Also in this week's issue:
--Latest from Arena Mexico and the build to the Arena Mexico anniversary show
--A look at the different tournaments
--One of the most popular wrestlers ever with women says that he's retired
--Rival promotions both having matches on the same show and how this happened
--AAA loses one of its most popular wrestlers
--Notes from the last and next AAA taping
--Update on Champion Carnival tournament
--Update on Global League tag team tournament
--Update on the next New Japan PPV show
--Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr. become double champions
--A look back at the life of Houston promoter Paul Boesch
--A look at the attempt to start a new promotion with a blow out show in Puerto Rico
--Former regional wrestling promoter sentenced to eight years in prison
--Former WWF star complains about company's policies regarding helping former talent
--Bobby Roode talks his TNA contract issues
--TNA's next European tour
--New match for next ROH PPV
--TNA house show news
--Update on Georges St-Pierre and his next fight
--What event were WWE and TNA superstars both nearly in altercations
--What happened in these situations
--Advance ticket sales for all upcoming UFC events
--Future of Chael Sonnen
--A look at UFC 159
--Jones goes for record
--Dana White's latest treatment over ear problem
--Update on the health of Dan Hardy
--Notes on next two seasons of Ultimate Fighter
--More on UFC trying to get into New York
--Lots of new endorsements for Ronda Rousey
--Nate Diaz talks moving up
--Name fighters cut from this next season of Ultimate Fighter
--Bellator moves tie slot, at least for one night
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.
THURSDAY NEWS, NOTES AND LINKS
--In lieu of a breaking new update, I'm on at the beginning of today's Figure Four Daily with Todd Martin talking the early WrestleMania revenue numbers.
--UFC announced a Matt Mitrione vs. Brendan Schaub match on the 7/27 show in Seattle. Yes, the same Matt Mitrione who was suspended just over two weeks ago. I have no idea why you would suspend a guy in UFC for two weeks when guys rarely fight in less than four month intervals. In fact, Mitrione is back in just under four months from his previous fight.
--Jon Jones was on with Dan LeBatard on ESPN and he was ripping on Chael Sonnen. For all the people who thought Jones wasn't promoting the fight, he has been doing so with vigor the last few days. He said he apologized about comments about Sonnen being on steroids his whole career because he couldn't prove it, but then said, "I had a feeling through hearing stories throughout the grapevine that Chael is a guy who has secretly done steroids throughout his career. You look at some of his earlier fights and some fights he had extraordinary muscle tone and other fights he just didn't."
Sonnen has told people he likes Jones all week. When Jones was asked the same question, he said, "I can't say I like him, no I don't like him. You know whe he's not trying to be Huck (Jones' word) Hogan and saying all this disrespectful and classless stuff, he can be a pretty civil person. So , I like, I have respect for who Chael is when he's not at work."
--At today's press conference, Jones said that Sonnen isn't making $10 million for the fight (nobody really thought he was) and that Mitrione is a scumbag for what he said about Fallon Fox.
--Also at today's press conference, Dana White indicated:
- Daniel Cormier would probably move to light heavyweight
- The 8/17 show in Boston would be the best TV fight card they've ever put on for the Fox Sports 1 debut
- GSP would most likely face Johny Hendricks next
--The Countdown to UFC 159 airs on Fuel tonight at 11 p.m. As mentioned yesterday, the Sonnen vs. Jones stuff was surprisingly good, particularly considering how bad the segment on the 13th came off.
--In the U.K., ESPN U.K. and ESPN HD will be airing UFC 159 with the prelims at 1 a.m. and the PPV at 3 a.m.
--Dana White was at a fan Q&A yesterday in New York and asked about heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury, who has been making remarks about how he would destroy the midget Cain Velasquez. White said, "You want to fight Cain? Come on over here. You will get smashed."
--There is a kickstarter campaign
for Highspots.com to produce a documentary on the history of Jim Crockett Promotions that is coming down to the wire. They need to reach $15,000 today and are at $12,329 with seven hours to go.
--Hulk Hogan got a temporary restraining order against Gawker Media which forces them to take the Hogan sex tape with Heather Cole off their site. The judge ruled that all rights to the video rest with Hogan and that Gawker has to turn over any copies of the tape to him.
--C.M. Punk and girlfriend Amy Dumas walked the red carpet at yesterday's "Iron Man 3" premiere. At least the guy is catching up on lost time as far as being able to go where he wants and do what he wants until he returns after his knee heals up.
--The condition of Superstar Billy Graham has been improving but as of this morning he was still hospitalized in Wyoming. He's been in the hospital nearly two weeks.
--WWE house show results from Amneville, France yesterday
Alex Riley & Santino Marella b Primo & Epico
Fandango b Ted DiBiase
Layla b Aksana
Big Show b Usos
Wade Barrett b Justin Gabriel (IC title)
Sheamus b Mark Henry
Alberto Del Rio b Jack Swagger no DQ
Randy Orton & New Age Outlaws b The Shield via DQ
--On the Raw side yesterday, they were in Liege, Belgium and Ryback & Dolph Ziggler & Big E Langston wrestled John Cena & Kane & Daniel Bryan in the main event. Ryback ended up walking out on his partners, who then lost.
--Full Impact Pro is doing an iPPV on Friday night at 9 p.m. Eastern from The Orpheum in Ybor City, FL with Jon Davis vs. Homicide for the FIP title, AR Fox vs. Trent Baretta and Dos BenDejos vs. Sugar Dunkerton & Aaron Epic.
--Tom Renesto of the original Assassins tag team with Jody Hamilton, one of the greatest teams of all-time, passed away on this date 13 years ago at the age of 72. Renesto also did a lot of booking in the 70s and 80s. In the 80s, Renesto actually did a gimmick as the heel booker in Memphis feuding with Jerry Lawler that was ground breaking at the time, because they did a deal where Lawler threatened to quit the promotion over Renesto's booking and Eddie Marlin (figurehead promoter) sided with Lawler because he said running Lawler out was bad for business.
--We had a few questions in the last 24 hours regarding Richie Steamboat, the second generation wrestler under WWE contract. Steamboat has been out of action with a back injury since October. There is no return date currently on the books.
WHAT PRO WRESTLING COMPANY HAS PRODUCED THE BEST BIG SHOWS THIS YEAR?
New Japan 61.2%
All Japan 1.0%
Dragon Gate 0.7%
WHO IS THE GREATEST MMA FIGHTER OF ALL-TIME?
Anderson Silva 45.2%
Fedor Emelianenko 18.0%
Georges St-Pierre 9.9%
Royce Gracie 7.8%
Randy Couture 7.5%
Kazushi Sakuraba 6.4%
Matt Hughes 2.3%
Jon Jones 1.4%
Jose Aldo Jr 1.4%
WHAT UFC CHAMPION WILL BE THE FIRST TO LOSE THEIR BELT?
Dominick Cruz 19.7%
Cain Velasquez 15.5%
Jose Aldo Jr. 12.0%
Benson Henderson 11.6%
Renan Barao 11.6%
Jon Jones 10.9%
Anderson Silva 7.7%
Ronda Rousey 6.0%
Georges St-Pierre 4.9%
HOW COME TNA CAN'T MOVE ITS NUMBERS UPWARDS?
Reality of being No. 2 when wrestling isn't hot 66.2%
Bad creative 24.7%
I believe they are on the verge of moving numbers up 5.3%
Bad talent 3.8%
TODAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Graeme Cameron and Brian Hoops)
1969 - Tex McKenzie & Billy White Wolf (Adnan Al Kaissie) beat The Spoiler (Don Jardine) & Waldo Von Erich in Sydney to win the IWA tag titles
1970 - Bruno Sammartino beat Ivan Koloff in a Texas death match at the Boston Gardens.
1979 - Tony St. Clair beat Giant Haystacks via DQ in London to win the British heavyweight title
1980 - A loaded show at Kiel Auditorium in St. Louis saw Harley Race retain the NWA title beating Ric Flair, Bob Backlund retained the WWF title beating Bulldog Bob Brown and Ken Patera won the Missouri State title from Kevin Von Erich.
1992 - The first ECW champion (as in Eastern Championship Wrestling, the predecessor to Extreme Championship Wrestling) was crowned with two Battle Royals, one of them won by Sal Bellomo, the other by Jimmy Snuka, led to a singles title match won by Snuka.
1984 - Bruiser Brody & Stan Hansen beat Giant Baba & Dory Funk Jr. in the tournament final in Yokohama to become the first World tag team champions for All Japan Pro Wrestling.
1992 - Takao Inoue & Mariko Yoshida beat Sakie Hasegawa & Debbie Malenko in Tokyo to win the Japanese women's tag team titles
1992 - Wing Kanemura & Hido beat The Head Hunters in Osaka to win the FMW World Brass Knux tag team titles
1992 - Manami Toyota beat Kyoko Inoue in Yokohama to win the IWA womens' title
1999 - Steve Austin beat The Rock in a No Holds Barred match in Providence to keep the WWF title
2000 - Dean Malenko beat Scotty 2 Hotty to win the WWF light heavyweight title and Crash Holly beat Matt Hardy to win the Hardcore title in Charlotte.
--River City Wrestling in San Antonio has four cage matches for its 5/4 show at the Aztec Indoor Soccer Arena. El Sicodelico Jr. defends the River City title against Michael Faith. Sammy Guevara defends the International title against Erick Ortiz. There are two other cage matches on the show.
--Lucha Xtreme in Fresno has a live TV taping on 5/19 in Fresno at the Sierra Athletic Club.
--CZW on 4/26 in Philadelphia at the Vogt Rec Center headlined by Devon Moore vs. Joey Gacy. The next major CZW show is 5/11 in Voorhees, NJ at the Flyers Skate Zone.
--The Marine 3 is now out on DVD in Australia (thanks to James Stanios)
--MPWA is doing TV tapings on Sunday at 3 p.m. at The Sgt. Romanowski VFW Post 6898 in Westland, MI. Admission is free for all. It's a family friendly show that bases itself around fan interaction and this will be their first TV taping. For more info you can go to http://mympwa.webs.com