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.
Sunday's News Update
--Jim Mandl, a super fan and historian from Detroit, is apparently in grave condition. Jim Lancaster posted on Kayfabe Memories: "Great prayer is needed for Jim Mandl and his family. I received a call from his wife, Marge, just a little while ago, who said the doctors have given Jim 48 hours to live. His ailments are causing kidney failure and other critical situations. The family is being called in to make serious decisions regarding his comfort and further medical efforts. Marge asked me to post this information to his on-line friends."
Lancaster, a former wrestler in the Ohio and Michigan area who also worked some WWWF, posted this yesterday and noted Jim was in the ICU unit at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.
--Thanks to Robert P and Joe Kazmer for the reports from last night's ROH show.
--Former UFC fighter Nick Denis co-wrote a very interesting story
in the New York Daily News, urging UFC and other promoters to contribute to a fund to help pay medical benefits for injuries to fighters suffered after their careers are over but may be lingering post-retirement.
--Bellator featherweight champion Pat Curran talked about how he's looking at doing a pro boxing match
and Bellator is allowing him to do so.
--At the Smackdown show last night in Odessa, TX, they announced at the beginning of the show that Dolph Ziggler wouldn't be there due to a concussion. It got booed by the fans but there's really no choice in the matter from a company standpoint. There are no estimates on when he'll be back other than when he can pass testing. They had a double main event with Randy Orton beating Big Show and Alberto Del Rio (who was to face Ziggler) beating Jack Swagger in a street fight.
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Brian Hoops and Graeme Cameron)
1941 - Blackie Guzman, who was the brother of El Santo, and ended up being a huge drawing card in Texas, beat Firpo Segura in Mexico City to win the Mexican national middleweight title
1964 - Toyonobori beat Gene Kiniski in Tokyo via count out to win the World League tournament
1971 - Johnny Saint beat Zoltan Boscick in Sheffield to win the British lightweight title
1984 - The Masked Outlaw (Dory Funk Jr. under a mask, his father was The Masked Outlaw in Vancouver more than 20 years earlier) beat Angelo Mosca Jr. to win the Mid Atlantic title in Spencer, NC
1992 - Espanoza, who later became Pentagon, beat El Hijo del Santo in Mexico City to win the UWA welterweight title
1993 - Emilio Charles Jr. beat Dandy in Acapulco to win the CMLL middleweight title
WHAT WRESTLER IS MOST SYNONYMOUS WITH AN ARENA?
Bruno Sammartino - Madison Square Garden 65.4%
Fritz Von Erich - Dallas Sportatorium 10.0%
Ric Flair - Greensboro Coliseum 6.9%
Kenta Kobashi - Tokyo Budokan Hall 5.5%
Ray Stevens - San Francisco Cow Palace 5.2%
Mitsuharu Misawa - Tokyo Budokan Hall 4.2%
Fred Blassie - Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles 1.0%
Argentina Rocca - Madison Square Garden 0.3%
Dusty Rhodes - Fort Homer Hesterley Armory Tampa 0.3%
Yvon Robert - Montreal Forum 0.3%
Edouard Carpentier - Montreal Forum 0.3%
Canek - El Toreo in Naucalpan 0.3%
WHAT WAS THE BEST TV MATCH THIS PAST WEEK?
Bryan vs. Ambrose 41.2%
Orton vs. Cesaro 23.5%
Daniels & Kazarian vs. Aries & Roode 19.1%
Sting & Angle & Abyss vs. Team 3-D & Ken Anderson 5.9%
Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler 5.9%
Chris Jericho vs. Ryback 3.7%
Jack Swagger vs. Big E Langston 0.7%
WHO WAS THE MOST VALUABLE PERSON IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF WOMEN'S MMA IN THE U.S?
Gina Carano 40.6%
Ronda Rousey 37.5%
Scott Coker 13.0%
Jeff Osborne 4.2%
Dana White 3.6%
Gary Shaw 1.0%
IS TNA MORE OR LESS INTERESTING WITH LESS PPVS?
The same 51.5%
More interesting 18.8%
Less interesting 15.3%
Less interesting but they probably had no choice 14.4%
POLL ON SMACKDOWN
39.3% of those responding didn't see the show
--Pain & Gain is expected to finish No. 3 for the weekend at about $5 million. No One Lives from WWE debuted at $45,900.
--A note from yesterday's this day in wrestling: The Great Mephisto, who was around in 1944, was not Frankie Cain. He may have been Judo Jack Terry or another guy, but Cain wasn't Mephisto until much later (thanks to Crimson Mask)
--WSU and CZW iPPV from yesterday in Voorhees, NJ had the Queen and King of the ring tournament:
Neveah & Jake Crist b Cherry Bomb & Pepper Parks
Kimber Lee & Drew Gulak b Mickie Knuckles & Devon Moore
Athena & AR Fox b Ezavel Suena & Latin Dragon
Addy Starr & Matt Tremont b Christina Von Eerie & Masada
Allysin Kay & Sassy Stephie b Marti Belle & Lexus
Kimber Lee & Drew Gulak b Neveah & Jake Crist
Athena & AR Fox b Addy Starr & Matt Tremont
Jessicka Havoc b Sami Callihan
Athena & AR Fox b Kimber Lee & Drew Gulak
--AAA is taping TV tonight in Durango with Dark Cuervo & Dark Ozz & La Parka vs. Perro Aguayo Jr. & Daga & Psicosis as the main event.
--Southern Illinois Championship Wrestling from last night in Alton, IL before a full house of 340 fans: Gary Jackson b Bobby D, Kevin X b Alexandre Rudolph-COR (Baron Von Raschke, who was there, put Rudolph in the claw for the finish), Jason Jones b David DeLorean, Ken Kasa b Chris Hargas, Bull Schmitt b Ron Powers with Bob Orton Jr as referee, Ricky Cruz b Flash Flanagan-DQ, Greg Valentine & Chaz Wesson (managed by Jerry Brisco) b Dave Vaughn & Big Texan (thanks to Larry Matysik and Patrick Brandmeyer)
--Harley Race, Orton, Brisco, Von Raschke and Larry Matysik did a Q&A in the same casino on Friday night. They drew 350 fans, a full house. von Raschke said to be very good with the comedy. Next show is 5/18 in East Carondelet, IL with Bob Orton Jr. & Bull Schmitt vs. Ron Powers & Flash Flanagan, plus an appearance of Butch Reed.
--All Star Wrestling from last night in Lewisburg, TN before 100 fans: Chaos b Phil White, Mark Dunnavant b Magnificent James Arp, Bobby Lowe b Chaos, Wolfie D b Damien Payne, Mikey Dunn & Sharp Dressed Man Lawrence b Yukon Jack & JP Oreo Cage Jones. Next show is 7/13 in Marshall County High School in Lewisburg with Tito Santana, Tony Atlas and Mickie James. (thanks to Jimmie Daniel)
--Michael Mananquil of San Bruno, CA, a two-time world Muay Thai champion, won the Road to Glory lightweight tournament put on by Glory USA last night in Milwaukee. He won $20,000 and a multi-fight contract with Glory. Mananquil beat Jameel Massouh, a former WEC fighter via split decision, , then knocked out Muhsin Corbbrey (who nearly beat Nick Diaz once in Hawaii). In the finals he beat Cyrus Washington via decision. Next show is 6/22 with a light heavyweight tournament at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York.
--Lucha Xtreme TV from last night in Fresno: Matt Sparks b Jake O'Brien, Johnny Plinko b Brandon Groom, Super Tiger & Al Azar b Brian Tannen & JR Kratos. They have a taping on 5/17 in Fresno at the Sierra Athletic Club at 2 pm. Manny Fernandez claimed he would be doing a match with Terry Funk on 6/16. I don't expect a match to happen, although Funk is doing some appearances over the next few months at shows (thanks to Jon Southerland)
--Big Time Wrestling from last night in Newark, CA before 700 fans: Colt Cabana b Victor Sterling, David Hart Smith (managed by Bret Hart) b Ryan Von Kool, Shelton Benjamin b Kimo, Shane Kody & Le Emperor b Synn & Tony Vargas, Jason Styles b Honky Tonk Man, Mickie James b Winter, Chris Masters b Carlito. (thanks to Derek Sousa)
--Bombshells Ladies of Wrestling from last night in Iselin, NJ: Rosa Negra b Santana Garrett, Alicia b Sumie Sakai, Silvie Silver b Angel Orsini, Amazing Kong b Amy Lee in a first blood match, Amber Rodriguez b Cherry Layne, Shelly Martinez b Serena Deeb, Missy Sampson b Mickie Knuckles, Rosa Negra b Missy Sampson to win the Bombshells title (thanks to Al Haft)
--Doug Basham turned 42 today and Ricky Ortiz, another former OVW & WWE wrestler, turned 38.
--Former Central States star Danny Little Bear passed away on this day in 1991 at the age of 65. Johnny Eagles, a classic British star who worked a number of U.S. territories, best known in Tennessee and Oregon, passed away in 1999 on this day at 64. Penny Banner, one of the greatest female wrestlers ever, passed away five years ago today at 73. Leo Garibaldi, a famous booker in Georgia and California among other places, passed away the same day at 75. (thanks to Georgia Wrestling History)