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.
Saturday's News Update
--Bryan and I will be back tonight talking all the UFC news coming out of tonight's show as well as from the past few days, TNA, WWE and Japan with Wrestling Observer Radio. You can send questions for tonight's show to
--Things to watch out for on tonight's show and some questions
*Since I understand why Leonard Garcia is still in the promotion even though you can make a case he should have lost his last 11 (yes, really) fights, the idea is he's kind of popular for a prelim guy and has had a lot of really exciting fights. So, if that's the case, why is he on the Facebook prelims? If he's the kind of guy who livens up a show, and he is, he should be on TV.
*Sara McMann is an Olympic silver medalist in wrestling (2004) and with a win here, is one of the people who would be in line for the first 2014 shot at the women's title. It also feels like this is the first women's fight where, to the public, it's not the biggest fight on the show.
*Rustam Khabilov is the suplex machine, or at least was in his UFC debut.
*Phil Davis is a far better fighter than Vinny Magalhaes, but stylistically, the match may be more in jeopardy than the wins each man has achieved would indicate. Magalhaes is an absolute wizard on the ground, and Davis is most comfortable taking people down and keeping them there. It's not where you would think he would want to be tonight.
*If ever there was a fight that would have shocked people in another era, it's the idea that Roy Nelson is a big favorite over Cheick Kongo. And he should be, but Roy looks like the guy chowing down hot dogs at the Rec softball game that gets winded running to first. Kongo looks like a guy Vince McMahon would drool over. Plus Kongo has the reach, and a good striking background. Yet, I'll bet most think Nelson is knocking him out.
*The odds have narrowed, but to me, Alan Belcher is a pick-em with Michael Bisping. Been going back-and-forth on this one all week, plus Bisping is hurt coming in. I'm beginning to think my prediction of Bisping may not have been smart.
*Really little to say about the main event. It's not just that nobody thinks Sonnen will win, it's that one person after another has come up to me all week saying how the don't think Sonnen thinks he can win. In MMA, anyone can win, but with Anderson Silva, I could always visualize Sonnen having a chance, especially after he showed that he really did have a chance. With Jones, I just visualize that Jon Jones vs. Ryan Bader fight, and Bader is stronger and younger than Sonnen. No matter what people think of Jon Jones, and what Vitor Belfort almost did to him for a split second, I think he's the most difficult guy to beat in the entire sport.
--Bisping has a nerve issue in his right shoulder with a pinched nerve that has caused a loss of strength in his right arm. He has surgery scheduled for after the fight. He's had it for some time but decided against pulling out of the fight.
--The Champion Carnival tournament ends Monday morning at Korakuen Hall. After today's show in Osaka, the semifinals are Go Shiozaki (A block winner) vs. Kai (B block second place) and Jun Akiyama (B block winner) vs. Seiya Sanada (A block second place), with the two winners meeting for the championship. The winner gets a Triple Crown title shot at Suwama.
--There is an article in www.slate.com
on whether to test Tamerlan Tsaamaev's brain for CTE. I don't see much of an argument not to test him.
--The scheduled James Head vs. Nick Catone fight was canceled because Catone was hospitalized for dehydration trying to cut weight.
--You want to talk about bending over backwards to promote a fight, CBS tonight at 8 p.m. ha a one hour countdown show on Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Robert Guerrero building up their fight a week from tonight. The documentary, called "Mayweather," is narrated by LL Cool J and features a new Mayweather song that features Eddie Van Halen.
--Showtime also has boxing tonight from the Barclays Center with Zab Judah vs. Danny Garcia with the WBA, WBC and Ring Magazine Super lightweight titles.
--Georges St-Pierre will be on with Carson Daily on Monday night on NBC promoting his new book.
--Shaun Ricker, an independent wrestler who is headlining the Todos x Todos show tonight in Mexico City, is one of the contestants on "the Hero," on TNT, the show Dwayne Johnson is producing and hosting.
--FIP results from last night in Ybor City, FL: Johnny Vandal b Derek Ryze, Lance & Harlem Bravado b Tommy Taylor & Kenneth Cameron, Maxwell Chicago b Mikey Webb, Chasyn Race b Lince Dorado, Jay Rios & Eddie Cruz (Dos Ben Dejos) b Sugar Dunkerton & Aaron Epic, Trent Baretta b AR Fox, Mia Yim b Larry Dallas, Jon Davis b Homicide to keep the FIP title (thanks to Chris GST)
--Jim Cornette is returning from wherever he has been for a new podcast with Kenny Bolin starting in June. The show will be called "This Week in BS with JC and King B."
--At least one movie theater in Sydney, Australia is carrying tonight's UFC show (thanks to James Stanios)
--It was 26 years ago today when Austin Idol, Tommy Rich and Paul Heyman shaved the head of Jerry Lawler in one of the more memorable angles in Memphis wrestling history. Memphis was long past its peak, but for this angle, it was brought back. Scott Bowden recounts it in a big story at http://kentuckyfriedwrestling.com/theword2/anatomy-of-an-angle-austin-idol-tommy-rich-shave-the-head-of-jerry-lawler/
Lawler put up his Southern title and his hair against the hair of Idol in a cage match in Memphis where Idol vowed he would pay everyone's ticket money back if he didn't shave Lawler's head.
--"Pain and Gain," the movie starring Dwayne Johnson and Mark Wahlberg, that opened last night, is estimated at doing $7.5 million for the night and expected to do about $19 million for the weekend. It was No. 1 for last night
WHO WAS THE GREATEST WORLD CHAMPION OF THE PAST TEN YEARS?
Kenta Kobashi 22.9%
C.M. Punk 21.8%
Bryan Danielson 19.3%
Hiroshi Tanahashi 12.2%
John Cena 10.8%
Samoa Joe 6.4%
Jun Akiyama 0.8%
WHAT CURRENT UFC CHAMPION WILL HOLD HIS TITLE THE LONGEST FROM TODAY?
Jon Jones 28.9%
Ronda Rousey 26.0%
Anderson Silva 19.9%
Georges St-Pierre 10.6%
Cain Velasquez 6.5%
Jose Aldo Jr. 3.7%
Benson Henderson 2.4%
Renan Barao 1.2%
Dominick Cruz 0.8%
WHO IS THE LEADING CANDIDATE FOR WRESTLER OF THE YEAR?
Hiroshi Tanahashi 27.8%
C.M. Punk 19.5%
Bully Ray 14.5%
Kazuchika Okada 12.4%
Dolph Ziggler 11.7%
The Rock 3.4%
John Cena 3.0%
Prince Devitt 2.8%
Kevin Steen 2.8%
El Texano Jr. 1.4%
POLL ON IMPACT
42.7% of those responding didn't see the show
--Dennis Rodman will be involved in on-line casino games in a package being put together by Bischoff/Hervey enterprises.
TODAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Graeme Cameron and Brian Hoops)
1968 - Mario Milano & Antonio Pugliese beat Brute Bernard & Skull Murphy in Melbourne to win the IWA tag titles
1977 - Dynamite Kid beat Jim Breaks in Manchester to win the British lightweight title
1980 - Cachorro Mendoza beat El Satanico in Monterrey to win the NWA middleweight title
1981 - Tommy Rich beat Harley Race in Augusta, GA to win the NWA heavyweight title, which Rich would only hold a few days before losing it back to Race
1987 - Yumi Ogura & Kazue Nagahori beat Yumiko Hotta & Hisako Uno (real name of Akira Hokuto) to win the WWWA tag team titles. On the same show, Chigusa Nagayo, the most popular female wrestler of all-time,pinned Leilani Kai to win the All-Pacific title
1990 - El Hijo del Santo beat Charles Lucero in Monterrey to win the UWA welterweight title
1992 - Barry Windham beat Steve Austin in Atlanta to win the WCW TV title
1997 - Keiji Muto & Masahiro Chono beat Shinya Hashimoto & Masa Saito in Tokyo to win the IWGP tag team titles
1997 - Jerry Lawler beat King Reginald (Reggie B. Fine) to win the USWA title in Memphis
2000 - John Cena beat Smelly (Mark Bell from the Bigger, Stronger, Faster documentary) in San Diego to win the UPW title. This may have been Cena's first pro championship
2008 - HHH won the WWE title winning over John Cena, JBL and Randy Orton at the Backlash PPV
--Barry Gibb (Bee Gees) was a fan of the Hogan Knows Best TV show. He was interviewed about the band and said, "The Hulk Hogan show I thought was fantastic. But I couldn't figure out what was going on, and it destroyed the family."
--Brian Hoops noted that in the discussion on our radio show about Andre the Giant appearing at the Clash of Champions in 1992, that Bruno Sammartino also appeared on that show as a guest in what was a show to celebrate the history of wrestling on the Superstation.
--Rikishi & Brian Christopher reunite in the main event on 5/4 in Cookeville, TN at the Tennessee Tech Gym to face Tommy Dreamer & 2 Tuff Tony, plus Hammerjack faces Kevin Sullivan and Shane Williams faces Al Snow.
--AAW tonight in Arlington Heights, IL at 1227 N. Rand Rd. with Brian Kendirck vs. Shane Hollister, Michael Elgin vs. Masada, ACH vs Lamar Titan and more.
--A correction from Thursday, when we listed Wing Kanemura & Bad Boy Hido winning the FMW World Brass Knux tag titles in 1992 on April 25, it was actually on that date in 1997. (thanks to Mark Pierson II)
--WWE has added a new Youtube show called WWE Hangouts hosted by Howard Finkel. It's Finkel talking with fans via Google plus.
--ECWA on 5/11 in Carney's Point, NJ at the YMCA.
--Prodigy Entertainment tomorrow night in Austin, TX at the Crown Center has Dr. Wagner Jr. & El Hijo del Santo vs. Angel Blanco Jr. & El Hijo del Solitario, Lance Archer & Chris Marvel & El Sicodelico Jr. vs. Head Hunters & Steve Pain,plus Necro Butcher and Roderick Strong.
--There will be a U.S. vs. Iran international wrestling competition on 5/19 at the Los Angeles Sports Arena with a 2 p.m. start.
--Celtic Championship Wrestling on 5/5 at the Bishiptown GAA Club in Ballinaspg Law, Bishoptown, Cork England.
--CHIKARA comes to the home of Platinum Championship Wrestling on 5/4 at 2001 Main St., in Porterdale, GA. Among those appearing are Archibald Peck, Mr. Touchdown, Fire Ant, Sugar Dunkerton, Eddie Kingston, Chuck Taylor, Jigsaw and more.
--In Your Face Wrestling on this coming Saturday night in Ballston Spa, NY at the Community Center. Jesse Neal vs. Pierre Vachon headlines.