Also in this week's issue:
--Update on Dragon Gate's annual King of Gate tournament going into the semifinals of each block
--NOAH has a match of the year candidate and a look at their next swing of title matches
--Update on this year's G-1 Climax series
--An interesting article on the death of a Japanese gangster who killed the legendary Rikidozan
--Zero-One's 20th anniversary of Masato Tanaka's career show
--Another territorial documentary being filmed
--Notes on Flair and Piper appearing on Wife Swap
--Notes on this week's Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame inductions
--Wrestling stars who went to high school together
--This year's Danny Hodge trophy winners
--Former WCW & WWF wrestler becomes ordained minister
--The build to Carlos Colon vs. Invader in Puerto Rico and how they are building the angles
--A look back at the days when wrestlers would take on all comers in the audience and how a couple of people became pro wrestlers because they did well in those situations
--A look back at one of the most famous of those incidents where a wrestling legend got part of his finger bit off
--Schools to teach American style and Mexican style and for people to learn to bridge the gap
--Update on James Storm's injury
--A new TNA business deal
--Sting talks about how much longer his career will continue
--King Mo's first TV pro wrestling match
--Update on why Rob Van Dam is not on television
--TNA's biggest house show of the year coming
--Notes from the TNA house show
--A look at next week's Impact
--New UFC international TV deal and details
--Interesting notes on the next UFC main event
--How a change in drug testing outside of UFC for international sports may change things in MMA
--A look at one very expensive drug test failure
--Notes on the next UFC video game
--Notes on UFC's new You Tube channel
--Update on problems with Mark Hunt getting into the U.S. for the next PPV, where it stemmed from, and Hunt talks about the incident
--Lots of new UFC fights
--Update on Josh Barnett and his thoughts on UFC
--Dana White talks new gloves
--Lots of UFC roster cuts and thoughts on them
--Dan Hardy's medical update
--Why Shane Carwin retired
--Lorenzo Fertitta talks up the idea of doing a stadium show if they can get legalized in New York
--Former UFC fighter Nick Denis has concerns about future health of UFC fighters
--Denis also offers ideas for ads to legislation too get UFC in the state
--Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva continue talking
--Daniel Cormier talks future
--Update on Eddie Alvarez legal situation
--Ben Askren talks about Bellator drug testing
--MMA champion talks doing boxing this summer
--How PPV numbers are reported
--Notes on the business of recent big boxing fights
--Auto accidents in Mexico put one star out a long time, others not missing any time
--Shinsuke Nakamura heads to Mexico
--Details on the new Pierroth and why this seems to be a bad idea
--Some of Mexico's biggest stars may wind up in court fights with AAA, one is already in the middle of a big court fight
--A match that was talked about for a 100,000 seat arena by a major promotion and now both men have left the promotion
--Will the match proposed take place on an indie show in Mexico
--Update on TripleMania
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.
Thursday's News Update
--Sami Callihan has apparently signed a developmental deal with WWE as Big Japan Pro Wrestling announced today that he is all a show in a few weeks in Japan due to him signing the deal. Callihan, Mike Bennett and Samuray del Sol all were involved of late in the process of passing physicals and screenings as a prelude to being signed.
--Brandon Vera vs. Ben Rothwell in a heavyweight match was announced for the 8/31 UFC PPV show in Milwaukee.
--We have a new interview with Mickie James up on the site, talking about her music, WWE vs. TNA, lifestyle changes she's made and a non-wrestling television show she did more than a dozen years ago that I remembered seeing her on.
--A few notes from last night's radio show
*The circus that Bill Dundee worked for is the Cole Brothers Circus. It's the same circus that Randy Hales works for and that the late Ron West was working for. West actually got Dundee his job there althogh Dundee is not working for them right now. Two other former wrestlers who work for that circus are Tom Renesto Jr. and Mike Norris. (thanks to Trent Vandrisse)
*In reference to The Shield as a three-man unit holding the tag title, WWE does have priors with The Spirit Squad and Demolition. The only thing is, they are pushing this match as Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins as a team, not The Shield as a unit challenging. But if they win, WWE could decide to go either way.
*Also, from earlier in the week, The Munsters remake I thought I heard about was a Halloween TV special pilot called Mockingbird Lane (thanks to Ricky Henry)
--Marc Ratner of UFC tweeted today that it was a Good Day in New York (he goes there regularly to talk to the politicians and government officials, since his background is as the longtime government appointed head of the Nevada commission) said he believes if the bill to legalize UFC goes to the assembly, they have the votes to win. Then again, they have had the votes probably for at least a year, but haven't been able to get a vote.
--James Storm got his MRI results back from his injury from Thursday. The results were good. No hernia. His abdominal muscle was only partially torn and his groin was pulled but not torn. He starts rehab tomorrow. No surgery means a lot faster recovery time.
--Tomorrow night on AXS TV at 10 p.m. will be an in-depth interview by Michael Schiavello with Dana White. I'm going to watch a preview of it later today but others who have seen it have said it's very good.
--There is a story at www.pitch.com
on Cody Rhodes, talking about how his father told him the hardest rings to work in were in Kansas City. The one I always heard about was St. Louis. He also talks mustache background.
--Again, want to thank everyone for their nice remarks on the New York Times article and the Kenta Kobashi article and final show coverage.
--The first Raw ever at the Barclays Center, on 7/15, has a presale going right now with the code WWERAW
--The World Series of Fighting has announced it will crown its first middleweight champion in a four-man tournament that will have Jesse Taylor (formerly UFC/Strikeforce/TUF), Elvis Mutapcic (MFC champion), Dave Branch (former UFC fighter who beat Paulo Filho on their last show) and Danillo Villefort (former UFC). The two first round bouts will be on NBC Sports shows on 8/10 and a date in September not yet announced.
--UFC is getting into home fitness and nutrition hiring Mike Dolce of the Dolce Diet, creating UFC FIT, a lifestyle home fitness and nutrition program. It's a program with workout DVDs and a nutrition manual which pushes Xyience (a UFC affiliated company) supplements..
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Brian Hoops and Graeme Cameron)
1963 - Brute Bernard & Skull Murphy beat Buddy Austin & The Great Scott to win the WWWF United States tag team titles in Washington, DC
1964 - Verne Gagne won the AWA title beating Mad Dog Vachon in Omaha
1967 - Togo Shikuma & Chati Yokouchi beat Jack Brisco & Gorgeous George Jr. to win the U.S. tag team titles in Little Rock
1967 - Boris Malenko beat Wahoo McDaniel to win the Florida title in Tampa
1969 - Archie Gouldie beat Angelo Mosca in Calgary to win the North American title
1969 - Antonio Inoki beat Chris Markoff to win the World League tournament. Although Inoki never beat Baba in the tournament in a match, this was the first time Inoki won the tournament instead of Baba so it was a real big deal at the time.
1970 - The Claw beat Lonnie Mayne to win the Pacific Northwest title
1972 - Paul Jones beat Jack Brisco to win the Florida title in Tampa
1973 - Johnny Powers beat Eric the Animal to win the NWF North American title in Buffalo
1975 - Antonio Inoki beat Killer Karl Krupp to win the New Japan World League tournament
1977 - Giant Baba beat Mr Wrestling Tim Woods to win the Champion Carnival tournament
1980 - Al Madril & Tom Prichard beat Pampero Firpo & Jack Evans to win the Americas tag team title
1981 - Ricky Morton & Eddie Gilbert beat Jerry Brown & Ron McFarlane of Akbar's Army to win the U.S. tag titles in Tulsa
1981 - Kim Sung Ho beat Tommy Gilbert in San Juan to win the Caribbean title
1983 - Bobby Eaton & Duke Myers beat Stan Lane & Steve Keirn, the Fabulous Ones, to win the Southern tag titles in Memphis. Also Ken Patera won the International title from Jerry Lawler and Bill Dundee beat Dutch Mantell to win the Southern title
1987 - Bobby Eaton & Dennis Condrey beat Ron Garvin & Barry Windham in the finals of a tournament for the U.S. tag team titles in Atlanta
1991 - Villano III beat El Signo to win the UWA light heavyweight title in Mexico City
WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE REAL MAIN EVENT ON SUNDAY'S EXTREME RULES SHOW?
Lesnar vs. HHH 82.3%
Cena vs. Ryback 17.7%
WHAT DO YOU THINK WILL BE THE BEST MATCH AT EXTREME RULES?
Team Hell No vs. Rollins & Reigns 34.8%
HHH vs. Lesnar 25.7%
Ambrose vs. Kingston 24.3%
Jericho vs. Fandango 7.7%
Swagger vs. Del Rio 3.5%
Henry vs. Sheamus 2.3%
Cena vs. Ryback 1.2%
Orton vs. Show 0.5%
DO YOU THINK SATURDAY'S UFC SHOW BEATS A 1.0 RATING?
Yes, UFC has momentum right now 31.4%
No, not a good enough overall show 30.2%
No, not a good enough main event 21.5%
Yes, Belfort vs. Rockhold is a good TV drawing main event 16.9%
WHO DO YOU EXPECT TO WIN THE FIGHT?
Luke Rockhold 56.9%
Vitor Belfort 43.1%
SHOULD DEAN AMBROSE WIN THE U.S. TITLE?
Yes, and they should make the title strong 62.1%
No, title will drag him down from main event level 27.8%
Yes, title will elevate his career 5.1%
He's overrated and doesn't deserve the title 5.0%
--The accomplice of the man accused of shooting Tom Dotterer in January was sentenced to 16 years in prison. Dotterer is the 77-year-old liquor store owner who was shot in the eye in a robbery attempt, and later said the worst part of his week was C.M. Punk losing the WWE title to The Rock, which got him a lot of publicity, including Punk eventually calling and later meeting Dotterer. Story is at http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2013/05/syracuse_man_gets_16_years_in.html#incart_m-rpt-2
(thanks to Steve Kowalczyk)
--Evolve on 6/2 in Ybor City, FL at The Orpheum has Johnny Gargano vs. Samuray del Sol for the Open the Freedom Gate title, Young Bucks vs. Eita & Tomahawk T.T. for the Open the United Gate tag title, Jon Davis vs. Brian Cage, AR Fox vs. Lince Dorado and more.
--The new issue of Men's Heath has a poll asking what is the most iconic T-shirt design of all-time
I Love New York was first with 24%, followed by the Rolling Stones tongue at 13% and Austin 3:16 at 7% (thanks to Henry Petty)
--Birthdays today include longtime WWWF prelim wrestler Johnny Rodz, who turned 75 (who once was pushed as a headliner in California as Java Ruuk), Charles Wright (Godfather) who is 52 and Mike Bennett, who is 28. Some people know this story, but long before Wright was a wrestler, he and I trained at the Iron Works Gym in Campbell, CA (which hasn't existed for around 15 years, many of the greatest U.S. Olympic athletes in the 80s trained there). We were there at probably the same time several days a week for a few years. His training partner and I were friends, and I can't ever saying one word to Wright, who everyone called "Bear" in those days, even when we actually were alternating on the same equipment. He was a local basketball star who then moved to Las Vegas and got into pro wrestling in Tennessee.
--King Kong Czaya, a huge star in places like Singapore and Japan in the 50s, passed away at 61 in 1970. The famous comedian who was involved in one of the most famous angles of all-time, Andy Kaufman, was 35 when he passed away in 1984. Alex Rizzo, aka Big Dick Dudley, was 34 when he passed away in 2002. (thanks to Georgia Wrestling History)
--AIWF has shows on Saturday in Waynesville, NC at the Old Waynesville Armory, Saturday in Myrtle Beach, SC at the Sports Mall and in Burnsville, NC at the Old Burnsville Gym.
--Pro Wrestling Syndicate on Saturday night in Woodside Queens has Kevin Matthews vs. Homicide for the PWS title as the main event, as well as Davey Boy Smith Jr. vs. Scott Steiner, Flash Funk vs. Marty Jannetty, Trent Barreta vs. Dan Maff plus D-Lo Brown, Luke Gallows, Necro Butcher and Shelly Martinez.
--Pure Wrestling Association on 5/24 in Lefroy, ONT at Grange Hall and 5/25 in Kitchener, ONT at the Alpine Club.
--Liberty States Wrestling on Saturday night in Hasbrouck Heights, NJ at the VFW features Vader.
--Chaotic Wrestling tomorrow night in Lowell, MA at the Polish American Veterans Club with Brian Milonas vs. Brain Fury vs. Logan Brothers and Matt Taven vs. Alex Arion.
--Kyle Dake, the Hodge Trophy winner, was on today's Dan Patrick show. (thanks to Charles Parker)
--Ultimate Wrestling on 6/9 in Troy, NY at the Boys and Girls Club