Also in this week's issue:
--A look at the 57th anniversary of pro wrestling at Arena Mexico as well as the first main event ever.
--Another special show coming this week
--One of the legends of wrestling quits home promotion and why
--The real reasons AAA is splitting into two groups and who can appear on what show
--A look at the expected rosters after the split
--A look at Dragon Gate's biggest show so far this year coming up
--Notes on the next two tournaments on Dragon Gate shows
--Hottest tag team feud right now in pro wrestling and its next chapter
--A look at NOAH's Global Tag League tournament
--The biggest women's pro wrestling show in many years and what former TNA star wins a title
--Health update on stars from the past
--Another major international group moving its big shows to iPPV
--Another new pro wrestling DVD funded
--Notes on next year's Cauliflower Alley Club and why the changes
--City bans pro wrestling
--Book on 30-year-old wrestling death comes out next week
--Tommy Dreamer runs second House of Hardcore show
--Indie name retires due to injuries
--A look at ROH's shows this week
--How Sinclair Broadcasting is doing with finances
--Details on Hulk Hogan's legal battle with Gawker media
--What match is TNA building toward
--Thoughts on the current TNA product and main angle
--Who is responsible for TNA's main angle
--Why TNA is no longer going live on Spike even though they are pretending they are
--Notes on the next TNA taping
--A major hire from WWE comes to TNA
--Notes on next TNA PPV show
--Lots of UFC business notes
--Thoughts and lineup for the next UFC on FOX show
--Thoughts on the Matt Mitrione situation
--Jon Jones gets involved in Mitrione controversy
--Jones talks Sonnen
--A look at the UFC heavyweight division
--UFC meeting with major companies about possible deals
--How NASCAR did compared to UFC in same time slot
--New UFC endorsement deals
--New UFC matches made
--Idea batted around for the first UFC on FS 1 show in Boston
--Olympic gold medalist continue to rise in MMA ranks
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
--Mike Sempervive and I did a three hour show broken up into two parts answering questions and talking New Japan. The links are up on the front page. The original listing may work for some people but doesn't for others, but the ones I put up seemed to work for most people. I'm not sure what the problem is for the original stuff. Tons of great questions from readers on a variety of subjects including great history stuff.
--Bryan and I will be doing the weekend show tomorrow night as opposed to tonight.
--The biggest boxing show of the year takes place in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand tonight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. (43-0) vs. Robert Guerrero (31-1-1), Daniel Ponce de Leon (44-4) vs. Abner Mares (25-0-1) and Leo Santa Cruz (23-0-1) vs. Alexander Munoz (36-4).
--HHH and Stephanie McMahon are attending the show. I always find it funny how WWE was so adamant about C.M. Punk not going to a UFC show in Chicago a year ago (I didn't hear anything negative about his going to the shows the last few weeks).
--Thiago Alves vs. Matt Brown was announced for the debut of Fox Sports 1 on 8/17 in Boston. It's not the main event obviously.
--John Cena at this point is not scheduled to miss any dates. He was on the road last night and will be at all Raw events that he was originally scheduled for. The singles matches with Ryback are now Cena & Kane & Daniel Bryan vs. The Shield, to protect Cena, who has a bruised heel.
--UFC announced the main card for the 7/6 PPV from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Keep in mind that this is the show in conjunction with this web site's annual Las Vegas convention, which takes place all weekend. The top five fights are Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman for the middleweight title, Frankie Edgar vs. Charles Oliveira, Tim Kennedy vs. Roger Gracie, Chan Sung Jung vs. Ricardo Lamas and Dennis Siver vs. Cub Swanson. Also on the card is Mark Munoz vs. Tim Boetsch, Chris Leben vs. Andrew Craig, Norman Parke vs. Kazuki Tokudome, Edson Barboza vs. John Makdessi (which should be a great fight), Dave Herman vs. Shane Del Rosario, Seth Baczynski vs. Brian Melancon and Mike Pierce vs. David Mitchell. Tickets go on sale Wednesday to Fight Club Members, Thursday to newsletter subscribers and Friday to the public at $1,200, $850, $600, $400, $250 and $125. Given that structure, they seem to be thinking this is a really big show because that looks like close to a $7 million scale.
--WWE's 10-Q report said they were buying a 2006 jet for $27.5 million to replace their1998 jet, which they are expecting to sell.
WHO FROM NXT SHOULD BE BROUGHT TO THE MAIN ROSTER NEXT?
Kassius Ohno 47.2%
Bray Wyatt 17.3%
Adrian Neville 8.1%
Sami Zayn 7.4%
Richie Steamboat 5.9%
Mason Ryan 2.2%
Corey Graves 0.7
IF YOU HAVE ORDERED A NEW JAPAN PPV IN THE PAST BUT DIDN'T ORDER THIS WEEK'S SHOW, WHY NOT?
I am ordering later, a weekday was a bad time 40.0%
Given up on New Japan 16.0%
Didn't watch because it was a weekday, not interested in buying a show on delay 14.0%
Will only order the biggest shows, and this wasn't one of them 14.0%
Didn't order because no Tanahashi in the main event 12.0%
Didn't order because didn't like overall show 4.0%
ARE YOU PLANNING ON BUYING THE ROH IPPV
Don't order iPPVs 35.5%
Not a fan of ROH 16.8%
Won't order because of problems viewing in the past 14.2%
Yes, always order ROH shows 13.7%
Sometimes order, and like this show and an getting it 5.6%
Would order but have other plans 5.6%
Sometimes order, not ordering this because don't like the card 5.1%
Rather watch Mayweather fight 3.6%
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IMPACT?
42.2% of those responding didn't see the show
--Ric Flair appears tonight in Ringgold For Rumble Riot 6 by the AWF at the AWF Arena at 4913 US High way 41. Teddy Long is there. They are advertising Ric Flair vs. promoter Paul Lee as the main event. They don't actually say it's a match, but certainly hint at it. The local newspaper story lists it as the main event.
--Mr. Fuji (Harry Fujiwara) turned 78 today. WWE referee Scott Armstrong (Joseph James) turned 54.
--Dan Shocket, and there really was such a person, passed away at the age of 35 on this date in 1985. Shocket was a heel writer for the Apter-mags in the 80s.
--David Otunga was on HLN last night on there after dark show on the Jodi Arias murder trial. Otunga noted he was doing research on it and gave his own theories.
--Shawn Michaels is in Houston today to introduce the new Shawn Michaels MRA Showstopper air rifle by Gamo Outdoors USA. He was also signing autographs at the convention.
--Big Time Wrestling Wrestlefeste on 5/11 at the Newark, CA Memorial High School from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with Bret Hart, Honky Tonk Man, Terry Funk, Shelton X Benjamin, Carlito, Winter, Mickie Knuckles, Mickie James, Davey Boy Smith Jr., Chris Masters, Terri Runnels, Lanny Poffo, Colt Cabana, Roddy Piper and Rob Van Dam. Funk, Hart and Piper will all be appearing at 7:30 p.m. for a wrestling show at the gym.
--ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Graeme Cameron and Brian Hoops)
1956 - Rikidozan & Kokichi Endo beat Mike & Ben Sharpe to win the NWA world tag team titles in Osaka
1966 - Ian Campbell beat Billy Robinson in Perth to win the British heavyweight title
1981 - Paul Ellering & Terry Latham beat Rusher Kimura & Mighty Inoue in Sapporo to win the IWA tag team titles
1987 - The Fantastics (Tommy Rogers & Bobby Fulton) beat the RPMs (Mike Davis & Tommy Lane) to win the World Class tag titles in Lubbock, TX
1992 - El Satanico beat Lizmark in Mexico City to win the NWA world light heavyweight title
1993 - Tony St. Clair beat David Taylor in Croydon to win the British heavyweight title
1995 - Atsushi Onita beat Mr. Pogo in Nagoya to win the FMW World Brass Knux title
1998 - Fit Finlay beat Booker T to win the WCW TV title at the Nitro tapings in Indianapolis
--Glory Sports has a show on 5/11 at the Rave Eagles Club Grand Ballroom in Milwaukee featuring an eight-man 154 pound weight class tournament. Muhsin Corbbrey, who once fought Nick Diaz in MMA, as well as Jameel Massouh, who fought in WEC, are both in the kickboxing tournament.
--XM Radio Ch. 164, which broadcasts "The Rock of Jericho", switches to Ch. 242 on Thursday. (thanks to Jeff Sheridan)
--UWE from Wednesday night in Tlalnepantla: Beda & Yuma b Discordia & Sangre de Lobo, Felina Metalica & Vaquerita b Black Fury & Keira, Buck White & Mr. Flama & Iron Love & Terry 2000 b Rey Krimen & Sadico & Sepulturero & Sepciak K-DQ, Herejia b Chucho el
Roto, Black Terry & Fuerza Guerrera & Negro Navarro b Mr. Flama & Solar & Super Astro, Mr. Aguila & Kraneo & Psicosis b Felino & Mr. Niebla & Puma King (thanks to Kris Zellner)
--ECWA on 5/11 in Carney's Point, NJ at the YMCA of Salem County
--Primo of WWE fame works tonight in Baymon, PR, for the WWC, facing Invader #1. That's the same Invader #1 who killed Bruiser Brody in 1988.
--Dream Wave Wrestling tonight in LaSalle, IL with Buff Bagwell and Lince Dorado.
--On ESPN.com, there is a link to "Mike and Mike" and if you click on, there is a commercial for Werner Laddes with Rey Mysterio and Alicia Fox (thanks to Neal Hager)
--Some funny names in the credits for the movie "Iron Man 3," include Post Production Coordinator Adam Cole, as well as a Bruce Mitchell and a David Abbott. (thanks to Markus Gronemann)