Also in this week's issue:
--Foreign pro wrestling group claims they are running a 50,000 seat stadium and will be loaded up to get ready
--How a different group was planning on dong the match his year
--Longtime Mexican star announces retirement
--Pro wrestling star tabbed for international version of Survivor
--Dragon Gate planning its annual King of Cage tournament, as well as a second ticket
--Full-time Canadian pro wrestling stars this weekend
--Seiya Sanada getting big matches
--Ryo Saito essentially in the same position
--Kenta Kobashi retirement show notes
--What legend KENTA wants to defend his GHC title against
--Wrestling to return to one of his most famous locations
--Notes on the next four weeks of ROH television
--Dixie Carter looks at plans for early next year
--King Mo in pro wrestling
--TNA house show notes
--Wrestler who doesn't exist wins poll for a title shot
--Notes on UFC's new television deal in the U.K.
--When the deal goes into effect
--What will Wednesday on FS 1 look like
--Early PPV numbers for UFC 159
--Thoughts on what the numbers say
--How UFC PPV business is doing so far this year
--What to look out for on the July UFC show
--What's behind Anderson Silva's fine
--Lots of UFC cuts
--Lots of Ronda Rousey notes
--Early Mayweather vs. Guerrero PPV numbers and the fallout form it
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.
Wednesday's News Update
--TNA and Spike announced earlier today that Impact is being moved back to 9-11 p.m. starting on 5/30
. The first hour of Impact has dragged down the rating almost every week since they went to the new time slot. Part of the reason they moved was to allow Bellator to follow with a 10 p.m. start.
The question becomes what is next for Bellator. Spike officials haven't commented only to say an announcement will be made. With their reality show being on a Wednesday starting on 6/19, that may give a hint. Right now, Bellator has two dates with arenas booked and the dates cleared with the California State Athletic Commission for fall shows -- both Thursdays (9/12 and 11/21) at the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula . One would think that would have to change because no way Bellator is going to start at 11 p.m.
It's something of a risk to put Bellator on a night where it doesn't benefit from the TNA lead-in and promotion as ratings for TNA and Bellator almost always went up and down together and there was significant audience crossover. Still, others complained that the shows started too late and would watch if the main events weren't going on at near midnight on a work day. Still, Bellator was starting the same time as the late NBA games do and have done for years. Another note is that Wednesday will be the home of UFC on Fox Sports 1 in the fall.
--TNA has a live TV taping in Tupelo tomorrow night.
--A bill legalizing and regulating MMA in Connecticut, one of the few unregulated states left, passed 117-26 in the State House of Representatives yesterday. It moves next to the State Senate. Lorenzo Fertitta said UFC is looking to run shows in Hartford and Bridgeport.
--WWE reached a multi-year agreement with The Bridge Direct to market construction toys using WWE events and wrestlers. There will be action figures and construction bricks to build WWE sets. It's scheduled for a spring 2014 release.
--The only Sports Emmy Award to a combat sport went to HBO for its 24/7 show on Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez. Christopher Mole, Fernando Villegas and Christian Winters got the Emmy for Outstanding Editing of a sports series. (thanks to Mike Sempervive)
--Variety ran an article today saying that WWE is not going to be one of YouTube's pay channels, something we had figured when WWE signed the Yahoo deal. It didn't make sense on a lot of levels.
--Dwayne Johnson wasn't able to do promotional work for Fast Six in the U.K. this week as he's still not cleared to travel overseas after his recent abdominal surgery.
--Anderson Silva on his fine for missing media appearances scheduled yesterday in Los Angeles: "I never missed any commitment to the UFC. I would never have made the trip to Brazil if I knew I had to be in Los Angeles. Everyone knows that I always block my media schedule to devote myself to training, since that's my main priority. I'm an athlete, and my focus will always be to train and be prepared for the challenges."
--Steve Austin will be having Terry Funk as a guest on his podcast tomorrow.
--Besides those already listed in the Observer, also released by UFC were Leonard Garcia, Reuben Duran, Kurt Holobaugh, Justin Lawrence, Sam Sicilia and Issei Tamura. All were expected since the company has far too many fighters on its roster than it has shows to put them on. Garcia was the most popular cut, but he's lost five in a row. Lawrence looked like a good prospect on Ultimate Fighter but had been losing.
--More notes on the Chicago screening of Barbed Wire City, the ECW documentary. It will take place on 5/23 at the Pickwick Theater in Park Ridge, IL at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10. There will be a Q&A session with producers John Philipavage and Kevin Kiernan, as well as former ECW talent. It will be in conjunction with Resistance Pro Wrestling, which runs a show on 5/24 in Merrionette, IL at 115 Bourbon Street.
--The Fight Network in Canada on Saturday at 1 p.m. will be airing Cage Warriors, an MMA show from Al Fujairah, United Arab Emirates. At 3 p.m. they will be airing Enfusion: A1 World Combat Cup from Eindhoven, Holland at 3 p.m. Cage Warriors replays at 8 p.m.
--Former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia has signed to fight Tony Johnson at the 5/31 One FC show in Manila, Philippines. The show will air as an iPPV for $9.99.
--There will be a Lucha Libre Fan Fest on 6/1 in Tlalnepantla, Mexico featuring names like Mil Mascaras, Dos Caras, Ultimo Guerrero, Rush, Lizmark Sr., El Terrible, El Sicodelico, Averno, Kendo, Stuka Jr., Cuchillo, Soberano Jr., Rambo, Kahoz, Ephesto, Rocky Santana, Audaz, Brazo de Plata, Pantera, Jaque Mate and many others.
--On Fuel TV tonight has a Tito Ortiz special at 7 p.m., Ultimate Insider at 7:30 p.m. and the UFC 144 PPV headlined by Benson Henderson vs. Frankie Edgar at 8 p.m., plus UFC Fight Night for the Troops from a few years ago at midnight. All times are Easter, with the shows three hours earlier on the West Coast.
--Evolve has shows on 5/30 in Orlando, 6/1 in Jacksonville and 6/2 in Ybor City, FL. Orlando has announced AR Fox vs. Nick Jackson for the Evolve title and Johnny Gargano vs. Matt Jackson. Johnny Gargano defends the Open the Freedom Gate title against Samuray del Sol in Ybor City, while the Young Bucks defend the Open the United Gate tag titles against Eita & Tomahawk T.T. from Dragon Gate.
WHAT WAS THE BEST OF THESE RECENT MATCHES?
Undertaker vs. C.M. Punk WrestleMania 45.8%
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kazuchika Okada 4/7 35.6%
Kazuchika Okada vs. Minoru Suzuki 5/3 4.7%
Paul London vs. Davey Richards 5/4 4.7%
Jay Lethal vs. Michael Elgin 4/6 2.5%
Kyle O'Reilly & Bobby Fish vs. Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards 4/6 2.1%
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Karl Anderson 5/3 1.7%
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Shelton Benjamin 5/3 1.7%
Taiji Ishimori vs. Eddie Edwards 5/4 1.3%
WHO IS THE GREATEST UFC LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION OF ALL-TIME?
Jon Jones 33.6%
Chuck Liddell 32.2%
Randy Couture 16.3%
Frank Shamrock 10.0%
Tiro Ortiz 5.0%
Rashad Evans 1.3%
Forrest Griffin 1.0%
Quinton Jackson 0.3%
Shogun Rua 0.3%
WHICH OF THESE UPCOMING UFC TITLE BOUTS DO YOU EXPECT TO DO THE BIGGEST PPV NUMBERS?
GSP vs. Johny Hendricks 63.4%
Ronda Rousey vs. Cat Zingano 15.8%
Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman 7.7%
Cain Velasquez vs. Bigfoot Silva 4.9%
Jon Jones vs. Lyoto Machida 4.9%
Benson Henderson vs. Gray Maynard 1.1%
Jose Aldo vs. Anthony Pettis 1.1%
Renan Barao vs. Eddie Wineland 1.1%
WHICH OF THESE POTENTIAL MATCHES DO YOU CONSIDER THE BIGGEST?
Undertaker & partners vs. The Shield 34.5%
HHH vs. Brock Lesnar 17.3%
Kazuchika Okada vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi 14.1%
Dr. Wagner Jr. vs. L.A. Park mask vs. mask 13.0%
Bully Ray vs. Hulk Hogan 11.3%
Atlantis vs. Ultimo Guerrero mask vs. mask 8.5%
Cibernetico vs. Perro Aguayo Jr. hair vs. hair 1.3%
WHO WAS THE STAR OF RAW?
Paul Heyman 31.2%
Brock Lesnar 28.7%
The Shield 28.7%
John Cena 1.7%
POLL ON MONDAY'S RAW
17.5% of those responding didn't see the show
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Brian Hoops and Graeme Cameron)
1971 - Albert Wall beat Gwyn Davies in Manchester to win the British heavyweight title
1974 - Jimmy & Johnny Valiant beat Dean Ho & Tony Garea to win the WWWF tag team title in Philadelphia
1974 - Antonio Inoki won a triangular match over Killer Karl Krupp and Seiji Sakaguchi to win the New Japan World League tournament
1976 - Abdullah the Butcher beat Giant Baba to win the Champion Carnival tournament
1982 - Tony St. Clair beat John Quinn in Hanley to win the U.K. version of the world heavyweight title
1984 - Ivan Koloff & Don Kernodle beat Wahoo McDaniel & Mark Youngblood in Raleigh to win the NWA world tag team titles
1988 - Kerry Von Erich beat Iceman King Parsons to win the World Class title
1988 - Tatsumi Fujinami beat Big Van Vader in Tokyo to win the IWGP heavyweight title
2000 - Chris Benoit beat Chris Jericho at the Nassau Coliseum to win the IC title
--Notes on WWE Classics on Demand for this week:
- 5/8/89 house show from East Rutherford, NJ
- Rey Mysterio: The Life of a Masked Man Part 1 & 2
- AWA All Star Wrestling 9/19/81
- ECW 8/21/98
- Stampede Wrestling 2/79
--King Mo will be wrestling again tonight at the OVW TV tapings in Louisville at the Davis Arena
--RightCoastPro has a tournament on 6/1 in Newark, DE with a Battle Royal at the Life Community Church.
--Masked Republic announced an affiliation to their developmental program, the Ludis Wrestling Center in Brooklyn with the SATs as trainers.
--Promoters of the 5/18 New England Fights promotion in Lewiston, ME, are predicting 3,000 fans to attend the 5/18 cars headlined by former UFC star, 39-year-old Marcus Davis (21-9) facing Darrius Heyliger (4-1). There will be more than 30 fights on the show at the Colisee, including former UFC fighter Henry Martinez and former NFL player Tyler King.
--CMLL from Monday night in Puebla: Meyer & Tigre Rojo b Ares & Malayo, Artillero & Super Comando & Taurus b Camaleon & Hours & Magnus, Amapola & Princesa Blanca & Princesa Sugei b Dalis la Caribena & Goya Kong & Luna Magica, Blue Panther & Diamante Azul & Thunder b El Terrible & Negro Casas & Rey Bucanero, Mascara Dorada & Mistico & Valiente b Averno & Mephisto & Ephesto
--CMLL from last night in Guadalajara: Infierno & Exterminador b Virgo & Halcon de Plata, Leo & Esfinge & Sky Kid b Nosferatu & Disturbio & Arkangel de la Muerte-DQ, Demus 3:16 & Pierrothito & Pequeno Black Warrior b Fantasy & Astral & Ultimo Dragoncito, Brazo de Plata & La Mascara & Angel de Oro b Felino & Tier & Puma, Ultimo Guerrero & Euforia & Niebla Roja b Mascara Dorada & Valiente & Mistico (thanks to Steve "Dr. Lucha" Sims and Kris Zellner)
--Millennium Wrestling Federation has an autograph show on 6/22 in Fairhaven, MA at the Seaport Inn & Marina Hotel featuring Teddy Long, to benefit OneFundBoston.org
--United States Championship Wrestling from last night in Jacksonville, FL: Blain Rage b Sweet Thang Willie, Super Destroyer b Alan Stratton & Blake Archer in a handicap match, Santana Garrett b Justine Silver, Chasyn Rance b Lince Dorado, Jon Hess and Jayson Falcone (thanks to Al Haft)
--The Australian TV show "At the Movies" saw the country's leading film critic, David Stratton, give "Spring Breakers," which Jeff Jarrett has a role in, a *** rating. Co-host Margaret Pomeranz gave it ***1/2 (thanks to James Stanios)
--Empire State Wrestling on 5/10 in Lockport, NY at the Kenan Center Arena with Goldust, Shane Helms and Michael Elgin
--SummerFist 6 MMA on 7/14 at the Orange County Fair's opening week in Southern California. The fights will start at 6 p.m. Here's where
you can save $5 per ticket with fair admission included.
--SoCal Pro Wrestling and Magnum Pro Wrestling on 5/10 in Escondido, CA at the Escondido Sports & Fitness Center at 7 p.m.
--Substance Cage Combat runs 6/29 in Toronto at the George Bell Centre headlined by Adrian Wooley (7-3) vs. Randy Turner (7-3).