Also in this week's issue:
--Match in Mexico that got rave reviews even though it was short
--Main event from 23 years ago still headlining today
--A nostalgia show featuring the return of a number of stars in their 60s
--A look at the weekend AAA TV taping and the next tapings
--What may be the last Budokan Hall wrestling sellout for a long time
--Details of this year's Champion Carnival tournament
--First night pairings and bracketing
--More craziness in Japan from Nobuo Shiraishi
--Update on the All Japan junior heavyweight tag team tournament
--New Japan stars going to NOAH for big matches
--Notes on NOAH's upcoming Global tag team tournament
--New Japan working with the NWA and other U.S> indie groups
--Japanese star announces retirement
--Son of Hall of Famer about to debut next month
--Sean Waltman talks injures when he tore up his ass, literally, wrestling Jerry Lynn
--Fund raisers for Scott Hall
--More on Extreme Rising canceling shows, wanting their title belt back and more
--Former WWF star fighting for life, questions why company helps other but not him
--Former ROH champion talks retirement
--Former WWE star in a movie role
--More notes on the Joe Weider pro wrestling connection
--What legendary pro wrestler used to appear in Weider barbell ads
--65-year-old territorial legend announces a comeback to build for his group's biggest show of the year and brings up a murder to build his angle
--WWE wrestler appears in foreign promotion based on contract clause
--TNA stars appearing in Puerto Rico
--Update on former wrestling announcer Bob Caudle
--A look back at the days when local station personalities handled the area wrestling
--Funny story about a wrestler playing a prank on a sportscaster
--80s star home burns down
--Story behind Charlie Haas leaving ROH, both the altercation and why people were so upset at him
--A look at ROH's show in Asheville
--More stations that could be getting ROH
--A look at changes in Spike TV and what they are looking at as far as changing image
--A look at TNA writing
--Hulk Hogan talks HHH taking over
--A title forgotten about
--UFC's debut on Fox Sports 1
--UFC champion getting married
--Lots of UFC cuts
--Lots of new UFC fights
--Story behind Dan Hardy's ailment and his fighting future
--Nick Diaz's future as things stand
--Updating this season of Ultimate Fighter as the final episode approaches
--A look at the ending of the Bellator season
--Ken Shamrock coming out of retirement
--More notes on World Series of Fighting ratings
New subscribers ordering 24 or 40 issues have to let us know what major stories of the past 11 years you are most interested in and we'll send the issue with the best coverage of that story. We've got coverage of every major PPV event and world wide spectacular, every major star switching promotions, histories of companies like FMW, Rings and New Japan, retirement and obit issues of every major star who fits into those descriptions over the past 11 years, as well as our biggest issue every year, the annual awards issue, and our most controversial issue of every year, the Hall of Fame issue.
Our most requested issues in our history are:
*November 17, 1997 (full details of everything leading to the most famous wrestling match finish of modern times at the Survivor Series plus a history of in-ring double-crosses)
*December 21, 1998 (the complete Vince McMahon-Bret Hart conversation right before the Survivor Series match so you'll know exactly what was said--the conversation played in edited form both on the inaugural broadcast of Confidential as well as in Wrestling with Shadows, but everything that was said between the two about the match that was going to take place that same night)
*August 1, 1994 (the most detailed coverage anywhere of the Vince McMahon steroid trial, an issue praised in numerous newspaper article and Sex, Lies and Headlocks)
*March 26, 2001 (death of WCW and history of pro wrestling on the Turner networks)
*October 22, 2001 (why the adult audience has left pro wrestling in such great numbers and what needed to have been done to save them)
*July 8, 1991 (Ric Flair leaves WCW as world champion/Zahorian steroid trial)
*February 8, 1993 (the life and times of Andre the Giant)
*May 13, 2002 (the life story of the most incredible pro wrestling career ever, a look at Lou Thesz, in one of the largest issues of our
*January 27, 2003 (part one of the two-part series covering the career and life of The Sheik)
*February 3, 2003 (Part two on The Sheik including thoughts from people who worked with him and where he stands historically)
*March 24, 2003 (history of the WWWF title, inside behind the Sammartino, Backlund and Backlund era)
*April 21, 2003 (history of WWF continues with the expansion nationally, the death of the regional territories and the rise of Hulk Hogan)
*May 12, 2003 (The life and death of Elizabeth and the rise of fall of Lex Luger)
*June 9, 2003 (Part 1 of history of WWF vs. WCW wars and what many say was the greatest year in U.S. wrestling; plus a look at Fred Blassie)
*June 16, 2003 (Freddie Blassie through the eyes of his biggest rivals and friends)
*July 28, 2003 (Part 2 of the history of the WWF vs. WCW war and the plans to make new superstars in the early 90s, what happened, and the night where the three biggest wrestling companies in the world combined for a joint show and what happened)
*August 25, 2003 (2003 Hall of Fame issue with huge profiles on the controversial career of Shawn Michaels, Chris Benoit as well as historical features on Earl Caddock and Francisco Flores)
*September 22, 2003 (Part 3 of the history of the WWF vs WCW war with the seeds that caused the collapse of the industry in the 90s, Zahorian trial, Gulf War controversy, Flair leaves WCW while holding world title and much more)
*October 27, 2003 (The fascinating life of Stu Hart plus the story of Road Warrior Hawk)
*January 19, 2004 (2003 Awards issue)
*February 2, 2004 (History of Toronto wrestling, Jack Tunney life story, Royal Rumble and Battle Royal history)
*February 23, 2004 (History of Guerrero family with Eddy's win over Brock Lesnar)
*March 1, 2004 (History of WWF continues with the period that brought the company down in early 1992, the mistakes, the real stories and how the business changed)
*March 8, 2004 (History of Wrestlemania, its greatest matches and best and worst shows as voted both by wrestlers and non-wrestlers and Wrestlemania history books)
*July 5, 2004 (A look behind the scenes and Ric Flair's book and his background with Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan)
*July 12, 2004 (A look at more on Ric Flair's book and his comments on Bruno Sammartino, Bret Hart and Mick Foley)
*August 16, 2004 (History of the Olympians in pro wrestling)
*August 23, 2004 (2004 Hall of Fame issue and biggest issue of the year with huge profiles on Kazushi Sakuraba, Undertaker, Bob Backlund, Masahiro Chono, Ultimo Dragon, Kurt Angle and Tarzan Lopez--this counts as one issue if you are asking for a free issue, but ordered separately, due to size, is $6 in North America and $7 overseas)
*October 4, 2004 (the life and times of Big Bossman; as well as details of the life and times of one of the most influential men world wide in pro wrestling history, Jim Barnett)
*November 15, 2004 (the full story of what happened between Kurt Angle and Daniel Puder, plus coverage of the most important week in the history of TNA)
*January 24, 2005 (2004 Awards issue, Rock and WWE part company)
*March 14, 2005 (the 50 biggest money players in the history of WWF and a look at their Hall of Fame)
*May 9, 2005 (the life and times of Chris Candido)
*June 20, 2005 (The full story behind Paul Heyman and the death of ECW, as well as coverage of One Night Stand, Hardcore Homecoming and behind the scenes of both shows)
*July 18, 2005 (death of Shinya Hashimoto and his records with a look at the fall of New Japan, the Matt Hardy angle, tons of WWE firings, Cornette firing in detail as well as problems of a WWE developmental territory in our biggest news issue of the year which is a double-sized issue and would be $6 on its own and $7 overseas)
*August 24, 2005 (2005 Hall of Fame issue with career profiles of Paul Heyman, HHH and Freebirds plus debut of MMA Hall of Fame)
*September 12, 2005 (History of Mid South Wrestling)
*October 10, 2005 (Life and Times of the Ultimate Warrior)
*November 21, 2005 (Life and Times of Eddy Guerrero and Crusher, double issue $6 on its own and $7 overseas)
*December 5, 2005 (The Eddy Guerrero special issue, double issue $6 on its own, $7 overseas)
*January 9, 2006 (The life and times of Superstar Billy Graham, plus New Year's Eve 2005 coverage)
*January 16, 2006 (2005 Awards double issue, $6 or $7 overseas)
*April 3, 2006 (Story of Ann Calvello and the history of Roller Derby--many called this the best issue of the Observer ever)
*April 10, 2006 (Behind the scenes at the 2006 Wrestlemania/Hall of Fame week)
*July 24, 2006 (The History of the Von Erichs and World Class Championship Wrestling--the most unreal story ever in wrestling)
*September 4, 2006 (The Rise and Fall of Kurt Angle; 2006 Hall of Fame inductions of Eddie Guerrero, Paul Bowser, Masakatsu Funaki, Aja Kong and Hiroshi Hase including tons of wrestling history around the world from the 20s through the 60s, the evolution of working to not working in Japan, and a look at Guerrero in hindsight, double issue $6 or $7 overseas)
*October 9, 2006 (A look back nine years later at the life and legacy of Brian Pillman with tons of inside information about what made him tick as his real objectives)
*November 15, 2006 (History of WCW part one, Eric Bischoff's book and how the industry was changed forever)
*November 20, 2006 (History of WCW part two, Why Jim Ross left WCW, How Bischoff changed the company, signing of Hulk Hogan, Beginning of Nitro, Jesse Ventura, Brian Pillman, Chris Jericho and signing Wrestlemania planned celebrity away)
*November 27, 2006 (History of WCW part three, When Bischoff challenged McMahon to fight; Truth and fiction around Bret Hart signing with WCW and why it didn't click)
*December 6, 2006 (details behind Pride's offers to sell promotion and Part four of History of WCW part four, Hogan-Goldberg match and why there was no rematch, WCW loses NBC network deal in 1999 and the real reasons the company fell apart)
*January 22, 2007 (2006 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
*February 14, 2007 (Life and Times of Bam Bigelow)
*March 5, 2007 (WWE begins plans that will change the business)
*March 12, 2007 (Life and Times of Mike Awesome)
*March 19, 2007 (Life and Times of Ernie Ladd)
*April 4, 2007 (Life and Times of Badnews Allen Coage--which many are calling one of the best issues in history)
*July 2, 2007 (Part one of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 5, 2007 (Part two of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 10, 2007 (Part three of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 19, 2007 (Part four of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 23, 2007 (Part five of Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 25, 2007 (Part six of Benoit double murder-suicide)
*August 15, 2007 (The legend of the God of Japanese wrestling and his influence on MMA, Karl Gotch)
*October 15 (2007 Hall of Fame double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas including inductions of The Rock, Tom Packs and the original Strangler Lewis)
*November 12, 2007 (Life and times of Fabulous Moolah and history of U.S. women's wrestling) .
*December 31, 2007 (History of Ric Flair and the heyday of wrestling at the Greensboro Coliseum)
*January 21, 2008 (2007 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
*March 17, 2008 (Life and times of Johnny Weaver)
*March 24, 2008 (Life and times of Gary Hart)
*April 10, 2008 (Farewell to Ric Flair; My thoughts, Shawn Michaels talks of Flair's meaning to him; Hall of Fame; Wrestlemania double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
*August 11, 2008 (Ric Flair leaves WWE; Updated history of pro wrestlers and MMA fighters who went to the Olympics)
* September 8, 2008 (2008 Hall of Fame double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas; part one of Killer Kowalski bio)
* September 15, 2008 (Life and Times of Evan Tanner)
* September 22, 2008 (The amazing career of Killer Kowalski, one of our most in-depth bios)
You can also order any of these issues on their own for $4 in North America or $5 overseas.
For the United States, it is $13 for 4 issues, $32 for 12, $61 for 24, $101 for 40 and $131 for 52. In Canada and Mexico, rates are $14.50 for 4, $35 for 12, $67 for 24, $111 for 40 and $144 or 52. In Europe, you can get the fastest delivery and best rates by sending to
For the rest of the world, rates are $16.50 for 4, $44 for 12, $85 for 24, $141 for 40 issues and $183 for 52 .
If you order by mail with a check, cash or money order (P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228), you can get $1 off in every price range.
We now have available personally autographed copies of Tributes II, our latest book, as well as a DVD that comes with it talking more about the subjects in the book. The book covers the life stories of Lou Thesz, Wahoo McDaniel, Elizabeth, Fred Blassie, Road Warrior Hawk, Andre the Giant, Curt Hennig, Johnny Valentine, Davey Boy Smith, Terry Gordy, Owen Hart, Stu Hart, Gorilla Monsoon, The Sheik and Tim Woods..
To get all of those biographies as back issues of the Observer would be a $60 value today. This is a collection of some of the best Observer articles of the past several years in a hardcover, full-color format that is 239 pages. There is also a foreword by Bret Hart. The book price is $12.95 plus $3.50 for shipping costs in the U.S., $10 for shipping costs to Canada and $12 for shipping costs outside North America. You can order the book the same way you order the newsletter.
WEDNESDAY NEWS, NOTES AND LINKS
--A quick note that the Observer that would normally be out today will be out tomorrow: a double issue covering WrestleMania. There is a ton in it, since it was one of the biggest weeks in wrestling history.
--At today's UFC press conference in Winnipeg, UFC Director of Operations for Canada Tom Wright spoke about the death of Felix Pablo Elochukwu on Saturday night in Michigan at an unrelated show. Wright sent condolences to the family and then brought up how it shows the need for oversight on shows like that.
"What we don't know is whether or not there were any preexisting medical conditions that Pablo was suffering from, and in a regulated environment, we would have known that. We also don't know if the referees were properly trained. We don't know whether or not there were the appropriate EMTs and ambulances and medical precautions in place. We don't even know if it was a fair fight as far as if the competitors were evenly balanced. Those are the kinds of things we would know if the sport had been regulated, if the event had been regulated."
--Fallon Fox gave a statement to MMA Fighting about Matt Mitrione's comments that got him suspended:
"Matt Mitrione went well beyond disagreeing with the medical experts who say I should be able to compete as a woman, and personally attacked me as a fighter, as a woman, and as a human being. His comments do not reflect the spirit of our sport, where most competitors uphold values like respect and dignity."
--I haven't heard anything new on Fandango, but a few hours ago, his theme was at No. 11 on the iTunes UK download chart. If he's still on the U.K. charts this weekend, the top 40 is on Sirius XM Ch. 2 on Sunday at 4 p.m. airing the BBC Radio 1 official countdown show. (thanks to Ed Hannan)
It's probably not getting to No. 1, because right now there is also a much bigger campaign to get "Ding Dong The Witch is Dead" to No. 1. That has to do with the death of Margaret Thatcher. (thanks to Robin Clarke)
--ROH sent a $5 discount code to everyone who ordered their iPPV with an apology note regarding the outage that caused the ending of the Kevin Steen vs. Jay Briscoe match to not air. The money can be used for future iPPV purchases and merchandise. I'm only saying this much about that show: as frustrating as it was to blank out in the main event, I got more than double my money's worth.
--Former UFC champion Pat Miletich, is looking at running for the U.S. senate as either a Republican or an Independent.
--Michelle Beadle, who is a big WWE fan, was mentioned as such in an item on her on the New York Daily News gossip page this morning (thanks to Jeff Sheridan)
--John Cena will be at the Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con: 5/30 to 6/2 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Cena appears on 5/30.
--In the cable ratings from last week, USA was back to No. 1 at an average of 2.73 million viewers in prime time. FX was No. 12 at 1.12 million. Syfy is No. 16 at 1.01 million. Spike was No. 20 at 875,000. The three hours of Raw last week were No. 3, No. 4 and No. 6 overall for the week. Two of the hours cracked the top 10 in 18-49, at No. 4 and No. 5
--There will be a UFC show on FOX on Sunday afternoon, Countdown to the Octagon, covering Benson Henderson vs. Gilbert Melendez. It will air at different times in different markets, so check your local listings.
--Tonight, Fuel has UFC Tonight at 7 p.m., Ultimate Insiders at 7:30 p.m., UFC 142 (Aldo vs. Mendes) at 8 p.m. and last Saturday's show from Sweden at 11 p.m.
--TNA Impact is live tomorrow night in Corpus Christi with a loaded show that includes Bully Ray vs. Jeff Hardy in a full metal mayhem match, Bobby Roode & Austin Aries defending the tag titles against Chavo Guerrero Jr. & Hernandez, who have to split up if they lose, Adam Pearce and Magno in Gut Check plus Gail Kim vs. Taryn Terrell.
--Mickie James has a new music video that features boyfriend Nick Aldis (Magnus) and Trish Stratus that debuted today on the AOL music site. The song is called "Somebody's Gonna Pay."
DID RAW MAKE UP FOR WRESTLEMANIA?
No, the biggest show of the year should have been better 43.2%
Yes, Raw made up for it with the world title change and crowd 30.1%
No, Raw wasn't good, only the crowd made it lively 15.2%
WrestleMania was good, Raw didn't have to make up for anything 11.5%
IS FANDANGO NOW A STAR?
No, just an illusion created by some fans 34.4%
He isn't a star now, I think he will become a star some day 24.0%
Yes, he was made a star this week and will remain one from this point forward 22.1%
No, he isn't a star now and I don't think he will ever be a star 19.6%
WILL HENDERSON VS. MELENDEZ CRACK THE TOP 15 MOST WATCHED FIGHTS IN HISTORY?
No, it's not a strong enough match 45.7%
No, it's being held in April, without promotion during NFL games and it's only then you can do those numbers 27.2%
Yes, UFC is hot and it's a great main event 14.0%
Yes, Henderson made himself a star the last time on FOX and he's got a good opponent 13.2%
DID YOU LIKE RAW?
4.5% of those responding didn't see the show
WHO IS THE BEST OF THE CURRENT WRESTLING WORLD CHAMPIONS?
Dolph Ziggler 36.6%
Kazuchika Okada 23.2%
Bully Ray 12.5%
John Cena 10.4%
Jay Briscoe 4.6%
El Terrible 0.6%
El Texano Jr. 0.5%
THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Graeme Cameron and Brian Hoops)
1956 - Richard Brown (son of Orville Brown) won the Central States title from Mike DiBiase (father of Ted DiBiase Sr.) in Topeka
1960 - Shirley Crabtree, who nearly two decades later would become famous as Big Daddy, beat Ed Bright in Leicester to win the BWA British heavyweight title
1971 - Mark Lewin & King Curtis Iaukea beat Killer Kowalski & Bulldog Bob Brown in Melbourne to win the vacant IWA tag titles after Lewin and Kowalski, who were the champs, had split up
1975 - Mad Dog Vachon beat Mighty Inoue in Tokyo to win the IWE title
1987 - Owen Hart beat Makhan Singh in Calgary to win the North American title
1999 - Jushin Liger & Great Sasuke beat Dr. Wagner Jr. & Kendo Ka Shin in Tokyo to win the IWGP jr. tag titles
2001 - Jeff Hardy beat HHH in Philadelphia to win the IC title
--American Journey (HLN on Sunday at 7 p.m. Eastern) has a show called "Fighting for a Dream," a UFC related documentary.
--One FC announced its next show is 5/31 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines with Honorio Banario defending the featherweight title against Koji Oishi and Bibiano Fernandes defending the bantamweight title against Koetsu Okazaki.
--There will be Smackdown tapings in New York on 6/4 at the Nassau Coliseum.
--Dreamwave Wrestling runs Saturday night in LaSalle, IL with the fourth anniversary show featuring Nick Brubaker vs. Jason Hades, Colt Cabana vs. Shockwave the Robot and John Morrison vs. Christian Rose.
--Chuck Langerman noted to us that pro wrestler and former UFC champion Dan Severn is currently in the 8th spot on the all-time list of most consecutive pins in high school wrestling. Severn, during the 1975 and 1976 season at Montrose-Hill McCloy High in Michigan, had 37 straight pins. The record is 54.
--Regarding notes on people getting fake tickets through Stubhub, both eBay and Stubhub have the same policy in that all purchases are insured. There is always a chance when you get tickets on the secondary market they could be fakes.
--CZW announced first round brackets for Saturday's Best of the Best XII show in Voorhees, NJ at Flyers Skate Zone. The matches are Alex Colon vs. Shane Strickland vs. Rich Swann, Jon Gresham vs. Biff Busick vs. Caleb Konley, Shane Hollister vs. Alex Reynolds vs. Tommy End and AR Fox vs. Uhaa Nation vs. Chiva Kid. Also on the show is Adam Cole vs. Sami Callihan.
--UWA tomorrow night in Alcoa, TN at the Green Acres Flea Market.
--Mistico & Aereo vs. Euforia & Black Demon headline on 4/20 at 5 p.m. in Juarez at Gimnasio Municipal. La Sombra headlines on Sunday at 6 p.m. there at Arena Anahuag.
--CWE on 4/14 in Winnipeg at the Holy Cross Gymnasium Hall headlined by Big Van Vader vs. Marius.
--CMLL from last night in Guadalajara: Metatron & Sky Kid b Mr. Trueno & Rey Trueno, Virus & Raziel & Cancerbero b Starman & Triton & Pegasso Extreme, Pequeno Olimpico b Astral to retain the CMLL super minis title, Rush & Shocker & Valiente b Mr. Aguila & Psicosis & Kraneo, Ultimo Guerrero & Euforia & Niebla Roja b Thunder & Atlantis & Mistico-DQ
--CMLL from Monday night in Puebla: Espiritu Maligno & Ares el Guerrero b Meyer & Milenium, Demus 3:16 & Pierrothito & Universito 2000 b Stukita & Electrico & Astral, Amapola & Princesa Blanca & Princesa Sugei b Marcela & Afrodita & Estrellita, Dragon Rojo Jr. & Rey Escorpion & Polvora b La Sombra & Angel de Oro & Mistico, Shocker b Rey Bucanero, Marco Corleone & Rush & Maximo b Ultimo Guerrero & Euforia & Niebla Roja.
On the way back from the show, Marco Corleone was in an auto accident with his car rolling over. He escaped with just cuts and bruises. (thanks to Steve "Dr. Lucha" Sims)
--Shawn Michaels appears live on 8/31 in Waynesboro, VA at the high school gym. He will be doing a Q&A, VIP Meet and greet and more. Q&A is $25 and other stuff is in more expensive packages.
--The Fight Network on 4/13 at 2 p.m. airs Air Enfusion, a kickboxing show from Novo Mesto, Slovenia. It airs live in Canada, as well as on ZON in Portugal, D-Smart in Turkey and ZAP in Angola and Mozambique. Immediately following will be the Cage Warriors show from Glasgow, Scotland, on Saturday at 4 p.m
--An interview with former WWF wrestler Nick "Big Bully" Busick is up at SLAM
--Dan Severn is doing a training session on 4/20 from 10 a.m. to Noon at his Michigan Sports camps at 315 North Fiske Rd. in Coldwater, MI.
--FMLL on 4/14 at the Coliseum in El Paso has El Hijo del Santo & L.A. Park vs. Angel Blanco Jr. & Dr. Wagner Jr. plus Atlantis & Rayo de Jalisco Jr. vs. Cien Caras Jr. & Ultimo Guerrero
--FMLL on 5/10 in Pico Rivera, CA has Dr. Wagner Jr. & El Hijo del Solitario vs. Angel Blanco Jr. & L.A. Park.
--CWE on 5/17 in Gladstone, Manitoba at the Gladstone Community Centre in a benefit show for 8-year-old Clay Anderson who is battling cancer.
--AAW on Friday night in Berwyn, IL at the Eagles Club with Michael Elgin vs. Davey Richards, Sami Callihan vs. Shane Hollister, ACH vs. Kyle O'Reilly and losers have to split up with Keith Walker & Tweek Phoenix vs. Darin Corbin & Mrion Fontaine. Plus Arik Cannon, Irish Airborne, Jimmy Jacobs, Colt Cabana, Silas Young, Christina Von Eerie and more.