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.
Sunday's News Update
--We've gotten less feedback on last night's UFC then any major show in a long time. Before anyone jumps to conclusions about a lack of interest, it appears the opposite is the case. Based on Google searches, which has been a pretty good predictor of PPV numbers, it's at a level that would indicate being well ahead of company projections and the predictions here on the web site (which interestingly enough were almost identical). It's amazing the amount of reaction we got in February to that show, and all the reports about record bar traffic everywhere. While that show did well, this show is looking to do ahead of that number and we've gotten little reaction. Maybe it not being much of a show had something to do with it.
--Dating back the last several days, the only thing searched for more than items related to UFC (UFC 159, Jon Jones, UFC 159 results, Jon Jones vs. Chael Sonnen, Chael Sonnen, Jones vs. Sonnen, Jon Jones toe, UFC 159 card) were searches related to George Jones.
--Regarding John Cena, the injury is legitimate but it's not clear exactly what the injury is or the severity of it. The injury took place at a show seven days ago in Geneva, and he worked house shows on it so it's not like an Achilles tear which would have put him down for nine months. He will be at TV tomorrow night. It may be the injury Sting suffered last year on the European tour. It's tricky because with C.M. Punk out, that would be the two top full-timers gone, and Punk shouldn't be wrestling on his knee the way it is.
--Both WWE crews are now on the way home. The Raw crew is back in the U.S., in the Ohio area. Smackdown crew is leaving and in the process of getting back.
--Pain and Gain, Dwayne Johnson's latest movie, is estimated at doing $20 million over the weekend, meaning it exceeded projections and was No. 1 for the weekend.
--Punk was at the UFC last night, although not shown on camera.
--Chael Sonnen gave hints regarding retirement, saying that he doesn't want to be around without a path to the title and he thought after last night, he doesn't see him getting another shot. If Sonnen survived the round, and who knows if he would have, he'd have won the title. Actually if he would have survived long enough for someone to see Jon Jones' toe, Sonnen would have won the fight. Very weird night.
--Have no idea who the ghosts were that had their voice on the broadcast last night.
--Vinny Magalhaes said he couldn't believe one judge gave him a round last night either. There were no bad decisions last night, but there were some individual outrageously awful round scores.
--Dana White on Twitter got mad at ESPN Sports Business reporter Darren Rovell when he noted that someone he knew was able to get tickets for last night's show at way under face value from a scalper, citing it's not as hot as it once was. They did outdraw the Jon Jones vs. Shogun fight.
--One of the greatest pro wrestlers of all-time, Lou Thesz, passed away on this date 11 years ago, at the age of 86. Thesz was both the youngest world champion ever, in 1937 at the age of 21, but also the oldest of what I'd call a full-time touring world champion, at 49 when he lost to Gene Kiniski in 1966. There were older world champions, but they weren't full-time touring all over the world as champion for several years.
--It was also eight years ago today that Chris Candido died at the age of 33, and four years ago today that Playboy Buddy Rose died at 56.
--If I was WWE, I don't know if I'd be thrilled about this. Epic Labs has released a supplement called "Undertaker," promising results the same as steroids and using the term "Tombstone results." I think this would be the first prohormone named after a pro wrestler.
--Fuel is replaying Ultimate Fighter season 5, which was the last season that sent a lot of major stars to the big show including Nate Diaz (winner), Gray Maynard, Joe Lauzon, Matt Wiman, Cole Miller and Manny Gamburyan. B.J. Penn and Jens Pulver were coaches. Two episodes air tonight from 9-11 p.m. as the lead-in for the prelims from last night's show, which means you can see Sara McMann vs. Sheila Gaff two more times if you haven't seen it already.
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Graeme Cameron and Brian Hoops)
1972 - Spyros Arion beat Killer Karl Kox to become the first Austra Asian heavyweight champion
1983 - Alan Dennnison beat Jim Breaks in Nottingham to win the British welterweight title
1987 - Rollerball Mark Rocco beat Flying Fuji Yamada (Jushin Liger) in Catford, England to win the World heavy middleweight title
1989 - Angel Azteca beat Emilio Charles Jr. to win the NWA middleweight title
1990 - Jimmy Valiant beat Jerry Lawler to win the USWA title in Memphis and Brickhouse Brown & Sweet Daddy Falcone beat Rex King & Steve Doll to win the USWA tag titles.
1996 - Juventud Guerrera beat Rey Misterio Jr. in Queretaro to win the WWA welterweight title
1997 - Owen Hart beat Rocky Maivia in Omaha to win the IC title
1999 - Rob Conway beat Nick Dinsmore to win the OVW title
WHO IS THE BEST FIGHTER/ANALYST IN UFC?
Chael Sonnen 56.7%
Kenny Florian 20.7%
Brian Stann 8.5%
Michael Bisping 5.5%
Dominick Cruz 5.5%
Daniel Cormier 1.8%
Mark Munoz 1.2%
WHO WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO SEE FACE BENSON HENDERSON NEXT?
Josh Thomson 53.8%
Gilbert Melendez 22.4%
Gray Maynard 10.9%
Donald Cerrone 7.1%
T.J. Grant 3.8%
Jim Miller 1.9%
WHICH SHOW DO YOU EXPECT TO DO BIGGER NUMBERS?
Last night's show 74.1%
May 25 with Velasquez vs. Bigfoot Silva 25.9%
POLL ON SMACKDOWN
35.5% of those responding didn't see the show
WHICH OF THESE MATCHES ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO?
Kazuchika Okada vs. Minoru Suzuki 25.6%
HHH vs. Brock Lesnar 22.2%
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Karl Anderson 11.9%
Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger vs. Dolph Ziggler 9.9%
John Cena vs. Ryback 9.1%
Bully Ray vs. Sting 8.5%
Jay Briscoe vs. Adam Cole 8.2%
Sheamus vs. Mark Henry 2.8%
Masato Tanaka vs. Tomoaki Honma 1.7%
--Fandango's song played yesterday at the Minnesota Twins game at Target Field (thanks to Brian Hoops)
--Samuel Batts noted the similarity between the rogue cops in the Clint Eastwood movie "Magnum Force" and The Shield, particularly with the verbiage used.
--Canadian Wrestling Elite wrestlers will be part of a 6/1 event from Noon to 2 p.m. in Modern, Manitoba as part of the annual Modern Block Party street festival.
--Traditional Championship Wrestling TV show starts on KARD in Monroe, LA this coming Saturday with a 9 p.m. time slot.
--Traditional Championship Wrestling has its next TV taping on 6/1 in Meridian, MS headlined by Tommy Dreamer going after champion Lance Hoyt (Lance Archer). The former Michael Tarver is debuting under the name Tarver. Also headed in this summer for TV tapings include Zach Gowen and Trevor Murdoch.
--Absolute Intense Wrestling from last night in Cleveland: Submission Squad b Jollyville F---itis, Louis Lyndon over ACH, Davey Vega and Gary Jay, Gregory Iron & Veda Scott b The Batiri, Addy Star b Jody D'Milo, Colin Delaney & Matt Cross & Josh Prohibition b Eric Ryan & Ricky Shane Page & Bobby Beverly in a riot match, B.J. Whitmer b Michael Elgin, Josh Alexander b Ethan Page, Chris Dickinson b Masada.
--There was a new finish in the Alexander vs. Page match. Page's valet, instead of throwing in the towel to signal the end of the match, had no towel so she threw in her panties.
--We're looking for contact info on Bobby Horne aka Mo of Men on a Mission.
--The movie "Marine 2" is on Netflix.
--MV Promociones on Friday night in Tijuana: Tapatio Jr. over Cardenal Jr. and Rey Centella, Tigrillo & Ursus b
Dementor & Tenebro, Extassis & Extreme Tiger & Thunder b El Hijo del Fishman & Lizmark Jr. (not the one in WCW, but a younger brother of his) & Mr, Tempest, Las Traumas I & II b Cerebro Negro & Dr. Cerebro (fans threw money into the ring after the match), Arandu & TJ Boy b AK-47 & 911.
--Underground Independent Pro Wrestling runs Sunday at the Boys & Girls Club in East Los Angeles with El Hijo del Rey Misterio & Misteriso vs. Bestia 666 & Super Natural.
--AAW from last night in Arlington Heights, IL: Shane Hollister b Brian Kendrick, Jimmy Jacobs NC Arik Cannon, Zero Gravity & Marion Fontaine & Louis Lyndon b Irish Airborne & Ethan Page & Josh Alexander, Keith Walker b Chris Dickinson, Michael Elgin b Masada, MsChif won three-way over Neveah and Angelus Layne, Knight Wagner b Tony Rican, ACH b Lamar Titan, Silas Young b Matt Fitchett, Christian Rose b Davey Vega. Next show is 5/17 with Silas Young vs. Samuray del Sol plus Colt Cabana, Kyle O'Reilly, Davey Richards and Sami Callihan. (thanks to Chris GST)
--Pro Wrestling Evo Unplugged from last night in Concord, NC: Chase Brown b Smith James, Chip Day over Robyn Golphin, Joe Black and Raymond King, Cedric Alexander b Mr. Elite, Billy Brash & Zane Riley b Eli Evans & Ethan Case, Caleb Konley b Mark Briscoe to keep PWX title, Angelina Love b Amber O'Neal, Jay Briscoe b Corey Hollis (thanks to Chris GST)
--Zack Salvation, who works for the group, announced his retirement. He's suffering from Bell's Palsy and was battling significant injuries the past two years.
--Southern Championship Wrestling from last night in Sanford, FL: Irish Jack b Bobby Adams, Johnny Armani b Stevie Richards, Rico Casanova & Stevie Richards b Jason Cade & J.D. Amazing, Victor Creed b London Vice, Chasyn Race b Jason Cade, Santana Garrett & Luscious Latasha b Leva Bates & Justine Silver, Victor Creed b Johnny Armani (thanks to Alan Wojcik)
--Southern Heritage Championship Wrestling from last night in Gastonia, NC: Deon Johnson & Sweet Dreams b Chad Byrd & R.J. Hewitt, Shane Williams b George South Jr., Nikki Nitro b Le D Tapa (TNA), George South Sr. b Al Snow, Lodi b Jay Batista, Doc of Aces and 8s b Christian York, Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson b Warlord & Barbarian (thanks to Michael Carpenter)
--Lucha Libre Extreme on Fresno TV last night: Super Tiger b Will Da Beast, Big Dogg b Elemento, Mike Rayne b Crimson Plague, Wiseguy b Jacob O'Brien (thanks to Jon Southerland)
--Rob Conway and Eugene headlined for Hoosier Pro Wrestling on Saturday night in Columbus, IN at the 4-H Fairgrounds for the annual Derby Day show. They are pushing that both the male (Conway) and female (Kacee Carlisle) NWA champions are on the show.
--Anarchy Wrestling from last night in Cornelia, GA: Kevin Blue b Brandon Parker, Vandal b Trey Williams, Todd Sexton b Bo Newsome in a street fight, Geter wn over Chris Spectra and Wade Adams, Bobby Moore & C.B. Suave & Tommy Penirelli b Joey Rhymer & Supernatural & B.J. Hancock, Jeremy Vain & Slim J b Shaun Tempers & Seven. Next show is 5/11. (thanks to Bill Behrens)