Also in this week's issue:
--Notes from this past week's show at Arena Mexico
--The annual Gran Alternativa tournament in Mexico City
--New Mexican national welterweight title tournament
--American indie stars being brought to Mexico City next week to headline at a major arena
--Notes on the last AAA TV tapings
--One of Mexico's all-time biggest draws says he's going to try for a final comeback run
--Notes on one of Dragon Gate's biggest shows of the year coming in two weeks
--Big stars from other promotions come to Dragon Gate this past week
--The Dragon Gate Ultimate Six Way event
--Update on injuries to Naomichi Marufuji
--Update on the current tag team tournament and results from all the matches
--Injury to one of the best worker in the business keeps him out of action
--Death of someone who changed the course of pro wrestling history more than almost anyone ever in the business, the man who committed an infamous murder.
--Update on the health and a look at the career of Dutch Savage
--Woman star announces her retirement in her 30s due to a stroke
--A look back at the death of Jimmy Snuka's girlfriend 30 years ago as it was brought up in his autobiography, with more based on how things were reported and what came out later
--75th anniversary of the first ever pro wrestling match on television
--Controversy follows big indie show with Kevin Nash, Mick Foley and others. What happened at the end
--Former WWE performer announces retirement
--More on the next ROH iPPV
--Maria Kanellis talks her future
--Notes on Bound for Glory
--A look at TNA's last television taping.
--Ronda Rousey talks Fallon Fox
--Lots of notes on the tryouts for the Ultimate Fighter's next season featuring more name fighters than any tryout in history
--Lots of new fights announced
--More on Jones vs. Sonnen
--Update on Liz Carmouche and her furniture
--Two new TV deals announced
--Champion boxer moving to MMA because of more money
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.
Friday's News Update
--Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone in Watertown, MA and the entire Boston area all week.
--Tamerlan Tsarnaev in the bombing case has a background in both boxing and wrestling and trained at an MMA gym, in fact, the same gym UFC fighter John Howard trains at.
--Showtime tomorrow night has the Austin Trout vs. Canelo Alvarez fight from the Alamodone in San Antonio that is expected to draw between 40,000 and 50,000 fans. It's a huge fight and Trout is good enough that Alvarez could lose this one. It's part of three straight Saturdays with huge fights, with next week another Showtime fight followed by Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Robert Guerrero on PPV.
--Deadspin tries to tell us that the Jon Jones vs. Chael Sonnen fight is about racism, that people don't like Jon Jones because he's a successful black man and that Sonnen is slow, awkward, mid-level (No. 2 in an admittedly weak division for a few years in a sport of tens of thousands is the middle these days) and white (yes this is pointed out) is at http://deadspin.com/chael-sonnen-the-ufcs-skip-bayless-race-baits-his-wa-474796344
Really, a lot of the points in the article are valid, but the article ruins its point by trying way too hard and thus losing credibility in the process.
--Speaking of Sonnen, he did a podcast with Steve Austin where he claimed he's not under UFC contract (obviously not true), never had a contract when he fought Anderson Silva, and that showed up to fight.
--Last Saturday, a Brazilian fan at the show in Las Vegas tried to attack Sonnen. The attacker was dragged out by security and the description of what happened to him sounded like the days when fans in the AWA would lay their hands on a wrestler, the fan would be taken to the back and put in a room with Larry Hennig.
--Currently on the WWE tour, the Smackdown lineup is:
Santino Marella & Alex Riley & Drew McIntyre & Jinder Mahal vs. Prime Time Players & Primo & Epico (this will likely change out of Scotland with McIntyre & Mahal no longer faces)
Ted DiBiase vs. Fandango
Natalya vs. Alicia Fox
Great Khali vs. Mark Henry
Randy Orton vs. Big Show
Wade Barrett vs Justin Gabriel for IC tile
Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger
Sheamus & New Age Outlaws vs. The Shield
Brodus Clay & Sweet T & Cameron & Naomi vs. Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow & Bella Twins
Zack Ryder vs. Heath Slater
William Regal vs. Michael McGillicutty
Kane & Daniel Bryan vs. Dolph Ziggler & Big E Langston for tag titles
R-Truth vs Antonio Cesaro
Kaitlyn vs. Tamina Snuka for Divas title
John Cena vs. Ryback tables match - Ryback doesn't get pinned, Cena goes over. This is the planned main event the entire tour.
--King Mo's next fight will be 6/19 when Bellator has its next show in Thackerivlle, OK. It's part of a four-man light heavyweight tournament this summer where they're hopeful Mo can win and get a light heavyweight title shot at the champion. Does anyone even know who the Bellator light heavyweight champion is? The answer to that trivia question is Attila Vegh. The 6/19 show is an experiment to see if Bellator can draw better on a Wednesday night than Thursday.
--Fuel today has the Road to the Octagon preview of Saturday's show at 5 p.m., Ultimate Insider at 6 p.m., UFC Tonight at 6:30 p.m., and weigh-ins for tomorrow at 7 p.m. Eastern.
--Jon Jones Nike merchandise will start selling today. Okay, will start being released for sale today.
--The latest UFC women's fight, Julie Kedzie vs. Germaine de Randamie, was added to the 7/6 show in Las Vegas.
--We should note that the annual web site convention will be taking place that weekend in Las Vegas in conjunction with the show.
--Another departure in the TNA front office is Michael Krewson, the Director of Touring. Basically that touring department is going through an overhaul.
--Shinsuke Nakamura's opponent for New Japan's IC title on the 5/3 PPV show from Fukuoka is expected to be announced today or tomorrow.
--Benson Henderson told Ariel Helwani that he's looking to retire at 33, after breaking Anderson Silva's record for most consecutive title defenses.
--Shawn Michaels will be doing a Raw house show run over Memorial Day weekend with shows in Salt Lake City, Red Deer and Lethbridge. I would presume the key to this would be having Michaels and Bret Hart on the Raw that week that comes from Calgary. Chris Jericho is also working that weekend's house shows on the Raw brand.
DO YOU THINK CELEBRITIES TAKE AWAY FROM THE CREDIBILITY OF THE WWE HALL OF FAME?
It doesn't have any credibility either way, but celebrities make it worse 31.8%
It doesn't have any credibility either way, and celebrities don't make a difference 23.5%
WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST NEWS STORY OF MARCH?
Bill Moody/Paul Bearer passes away 66.2%
Reid Fliehr passes away 16.8%
GSP vs. Nick Diaz tops 900,000 buys 8.7%
UFC becomes a major component of Fox Sports 1 2.5%
Jerry Lynn retires 1.8%
Kyle Dake vs. David Taylor main event at the NCAA tournament 1.3%
AAA coming to the U.S. 1.2%
Okada wins New Japan Cup 1.0%
Kenta Kobashi named figurehead commissioner of All Japan 0.7%
ROH Anniversary show 0.2%
WHO DO YOU THINK WINS THIS FIGHT?
Benson Henderson 82.2%
Gilbert Melendez 17.8%
WHO DO YOU THINK WINS THIS FIGHT?
Daniel Cormier 74.8%
Frank Mir 25.2%
--Regarding the note yesterday about the final Ric Flair vs Ricky Steamboat match, the match on TBS we wrote about was not their last match ever on television. The last Flair vs. Steamboat TV match was July 24, 1994, on The Main Event. Sherri Martel (managing Flair at the time) interfered a lot for the DQ and it was good but not at the level of their famous matches. On the July 30, 1994, episode of WCW Saturday Night, Flair & Steve Austin beat Steamboat & Sting in the TV main event. (thanks to Matt Jackson)
--Legends of the Ring is doing an autograph show on 6/8 in Monroe, NJ featuring Bruno Sammartino, Adam "Edge" Copleland, Sting and Team 3-D. For more info go to www.legendsofthering.com
--Nobody from Saturday's UFC show in Las Vegas failed their drug test.
--There is a Shine iPPV tonight at www.WWNLIve.com
from Ybor City, FL at the Opheum which includes:
Leva Bates vs. Kimberley in a cage match
Jazz vs. Ivelisse Velez
Angelina Love vs. Rain
Sweet Saraya Knight vs. Su Yung
Madison Eagles vs. Jessicka Havoc
Mercedes Martinez vs. Evie
Nikki Roxx & Mia Yim & Santana Garrett vs. Kellie Skater & Jessie McKay & Shazza McKenzie
Allysin Kay vs. Courtney Rush
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Graeme Cameron and Brian Hoops)
1888 - Professor William Miller, Australia's first pro wrestling star, beat Donald Dinnie in Melbourne on a show that drew 8,000 fans at a time when the entire population of the city was 480,000
1954 - Great Bolo & Tom Rice beat Wilbur Snyder & Sandor Szabo to win the International TV tag team titles in Hollywood, CA
1956 - Bobo Brazil beat Gene Stanlee in Springfield, OH to win the Ohio State title
1957 - Don Leo Jonathan beat Pepper Gomez in Houston to win the Texas title. What a visual that must have been given their respective sizes since Jonathan was 6-5 and Gomez was 5-7.
1960 - Mike DiBiase beat Eddie Graham in Tampa to win the Florida Brass Knux title
1963 - Tarzan Tyler beat Eddie Graham in Atlanta to win that area's version of the world title
1966 - Eddie Graham & Bob Orton Sr. beat The Medics in Tampa to win that area's world tag team title
1974 - Bobby Shane & Mr. Wrestling (George Barnes) beat Pat Barrett & Tony Kontellis in Sydney to win the Austra Asian tag team titles
1974 - Bill Ross beat Jim Breaks in Stirling, England to win the European lightweight title
1975 - Bobo Brazil beat Abdullah the Butcher in Detroit to win the U.S. title
1976 - Rusher Kimura beat Mad Dog Vachon in Sapporo to win the IWA heavyweight title
1980 - Ric Flair beat Jimmy Snuka in Greensboro to win the U.S. title
1982 - Tommy Rich beat Ron Bass in Augusta, GA to win the National heavyweight title
1982 - Dream Machine beat Dutch Mantell (Zeb Colter) to win the Mid American title in Memphis
1984 - Luke Graham beat Buzz Tyler in Kansas City to win the Central States title
1988 - Jumbo Tsuruta beat Bruiser Brody in Sendai to win the International heavyweight title. That was one of the few clean pin losses Brody ever took in Japan.
1993 - Brian Lee beat Bobby Eaton in Barbourville, KY to win the SMW TV title
1997 - Toshiaki Kawada won a three-way final over Mitsuharu Misawa and Kenta Kobashi at Budokan Hall in Tokyo to win the Champion Carnival tournament.
1998 - Raven beat DDP in a Raven's Rules match to win the U.S. title while Randy Savage beat Sting to win the WCW title in a no DQ match to headline Spring Stampede in Denver
1999 - Psicosis beat Blitzkrieg, Juventud Guerrera and Rey Misterio Jr. to win the WCW cruiserweight title in Gainesville, GA
2002 - Colt Cabana won a three-way over champion C.M. Punk and Eddy Guerrero in Dayton to win the IWA Mid South heavyweight title
2004 - Chris Benoit & Edge beat Ric Flair & Batista to win the world tag team titles in Calgary
2009 - Mick Foley beat Sting at Lockdown in Philadelphia to win the TNA title
--One FC announced Phil Baroni vs. Nobutatsu Suzuki, Kevin Belingon vs. Masakatsu Ueda and Eduard Folayang vs. Kamal Shalorus for its 5/31 show in Manila, Philippines. Baroni has a cult following in The Philippines.
--Former UFC fighter Vladimir Matyushenko has signed with Bellator.
--The next Lion Fight show on AXS will be on 7/26 from the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. Kevin Ross vs. Matt Embree was announced so far for the Muay Thai show.
--Julie Cain, a Roller Games star in Australia in the 60s and 70s, passed away on Tuesday after a long battle with cancer. Hall became a regular when Roller Games were a huge hit in Australia. She was diagnosed with stage for cancer about six months ago. Julie Cain briefly skated in the U.S., in 1971 on the heel Texas Outlaws and in 1972 on the Australian Kangaroos. (thanks to Tom Wersdefer)
--In the episode of Family Guy called "Turban Cowboy," which FOX has pulled from HULU and all other on-line sites due to a Boston Marathon reference (Peter Griffin in the story drives a car and runs over competitors to win the race), during the show Peter converted to Islam and joined a terrorist organization. One of the organization members wanted to know if he could be trusted, so the question he was asked was, "Who is better, Hulk Hogan or The Iron Sheik? Peter answered Iron Sheik, and was accepted into the organization (thanks to Roy Lucier)
--Victory Commonwealth Wrestling on Sunday at El Mocambo in Toronto with a 3 p.m. show.
--Koko Ware headlines for Great Canadian Wrestling on 5/17 in Oshawa, ONT at the Harmony Creek Community Centre with Robbie McAllister.
--AIWF Mid Atlantic on Saturday in Mt. Airy, NC at the National Guard Armory.
--There is an MMA show tonight in Denver at the National Western Complex with 12 fights.
--NEO Wrestling Federation on 4/27 in Niagara Falls, ONT at 4536 Portage Rd. #2 Kevin Nash will be headlining.
--Crossfire Wrestling on 5/5 in St. Catharines, ONT at the Merritton Community Centre.
--Classic Championship Wrestling from 5/5 at 2 p.m. in Tillsonburg, ONT at the Legion with Shawn Spears and Mike Rollins.
--Ultimate Wrestling on 5/5 in Troy, NY at the Boys and Girls Club features ROH tag champ Bobby Fish.
--New World Wrestling Extreme on 5/18 in Woonsocket RI at American Legion Post 85.