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.
Sunday's News Update
--There was a pretty ugly scene at the post UFC press conference last night when MMA Junkie's John Morgan, in the nicest way possible, brought up TRT to Vitor Belfort, who then said it was boring and blew him off in a rude manner.
--UFC officially announced a return to Brazil of 8/3 in Rio de Janeiro with Jose Aldo Jr. vs. Anthony Pettis, but that was pretty much known.
--Mark Hunt reportedly has gotten a visa to come to the U.S. so the fight with Junior Dos Santos on Saturday is on.
--At this point, there is no answer as to whether Renan Barao vs. Eddie Wineland is happening on 6/15 in Winnipeg. It looks doubtful at best, but the question is whether the fight will be moved to a later date or a new June foe will be chosen for Wineland.
--John Cholish, after losing to Gleison Tibau in a fight last night on UFC's show in Brazil, announced his retirement. Before the fight started, Cholish said that win, lose or draw, this was his last fight. He said that financially it made no sense to continue as a fighter as he works as a commodities broker on Wall Street. He said he still wants to train, but in a prelim fight, he said between camp and bringing in his corner people, he ends up losing money. He said he wouldn't rule out a return, said it was a fun experience and had no regrets doing it. It is very hard for the unknown fighters in UFC. It's an incredible amount of training, potential punishment, and the money often isn't good unless you have something of a name.
--Among those in attendance at last night's Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame ceremony in Amsterdam, NY included Buff Bagwell, Ray Apollo, Jimmy Snuka, Lord Zoltan, Howard Finkel, Johnny Mantell, George Steele, Domenic DeNucci, Lanny Poffo (who was the MC), Joyce Grable (who starts a bone marrow transplant shortly which she delayed so she could accept her induction last night), Mae Young, J.J. Dillon, Paul Vachon, Dick Beyer, Terry Funk, Paul Orndorff, Wendi Richter, Tito Santana, Bill Watts, Jody Hamilton and Baron Von Raschke.
A lot of notable historians were there including Greg Oliver, Scott Teal, Tom Burke, Don Luce, Bertrand Hebert and Pat Laprade. Arda Ocal of the Score in Canada inducted Sandor Szabo and Oliver inducted Dick Shikat. Terry Funk inducted Dick Murdoch, Davey O'Hannon inducted Santana, Orndorff inducted The Assassins (with Tom Renesto Jr. accepting for his late father), Teal inducted Dillon, Steele inducted Watts (the two are longtime friends), Wendi Richter inducted Grable (her early tag team partner) and Vachon inducted Von Raschke (Paul's brother Mad Dog was the one who came up with him doing the German gimmick). (thanks to Pat Laprade and David Kaplan)
--Jerry Lawler's first match since his heart attack is this coming Saturday night in Ocala, FL, for Dory Funk Jr. It will be Lawler & Funk Jr. & Johnny Magnum & Jessica Powerhouse Hill vs. Cory Weston & Quinton Hitchcock & Romero Youngblood & Hollywood Heather.
--Chris Jericho threw out the first pitch at the St. Louis Cardinals game today before the PPV.
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY
1905 - Tom Jenkins beat Frank Gotch in Madison Square Garden to retain the American heavyweight title in a match that went 135:34 and Jenkins taking two of three falls. Both men ended up being legendary figures in not just pro wrestling, but U.S. wrestling in general.
1956 - Mike & Ben Sharpe beat Rikidozan & Kokichi Endo to win the NWA world tag team titles in Sapporo
1963 - The Destroyer beat Rikidozan in Osaka. This was the only clean loss as a single that Rikidozan ever had in Japan and it made Destroyer a career there.
1968 - Angel Blanco beat Ray Mendoza in Torreon to win the NWA world light heavyweight title
1970 - Thunder Sugiyama beat original champion Billy Robinson to win the IWA title
1974 - Mario Milano beat Waldo Von Erich in Sydney to win the Austra Asian title
1981 - After the retirement of Verne Gagne, on this day they announced that it would be too difficult to have a tournament and the AWA title was given to Nick Bockwinkel, the former champion. Yes, this made as much sense then as how it sounds now.
1986 - Nobuhiko Takada beat Shiro Koshinaka to win the IWGP jr. title. Those two had wars over the title in that era
1990 - Bobby Eaton & Stan Lane beat Brian Pillman & Tom Zenk in Washington, D.C. at a WCW PPV to win the U.S. tag team titles while Doom (Butch Reed & Ron Simmons) beat The Steiner Brothers to win the WCW tag titles
1991 - At the SuperBrawl PPV in St. Petersburg, Michael Hayes & Jimmy Garvin as The Freebirds, beat Tracy Smothers & Steve Armstrong to win the U.S. tag tiles, Bobby Eaton beat Arn Anderson to win the TV title and Ric Flair pinned Tatsumi Fujinami. In Japan, this was billed as Flair winning the NWA title that Fujinami held, but in the U.S. Fujinami was just called the challenger going for the WCW title.
1993 - The Head Hunters beat Yukihiro Kanemura & Miguel Perez Jr. to win the WING tag team titles
1995 - Razor Ramon beat Jeff Jarrett in a ladder match in Montreal to win the IC title
1996 - The Godwinn Brothers beat Skip & Zip (Chris Candido & Tom Prichard) to win the WWF tag titles in Madison Square Garden
1998 - The late Abismo Negro beat Pentagon to win the Mexican national middleweight title
2002 - Undertaker beat Hulk Hogan on PPV in Nashville to win the WWF title
WHAT DID THE MOST DAMAGE TO THE INDUSTRY?
WCW folding 53.8%
WWE dominance of the industry 23.7%
Chris Benoit 7.9%
Rise of UFC 5.9%
TNA inability to get past a certain level 3.8%
ECW folding 2.2%
Japan going down 1.8%
Mexico going down 1.0%
WHO WAS THE MOST VALUABLE OVER THE PAST DECADE?
Dana White 46.4%
Vince McMahon 13.1%
John Cena 13.1%
Dwayne Johnson 7.3%
Brock Lesnar 6.2%
C.M. Punk 5.1%
Chuck Liddell 1.8%
Dixie Carter 1.6%
Hulk Hogan 1.6%
POLL ON SMACKDOWN
49.6% of those responding didn't see the show
--To see the local CBS news coverage in Pittsburgh of Bruno Sammartino Day, here you go
--Dick Slater, who Dean Ambrose has a resemblance to as far as how he carries himself in the ring, turned 62 today. Dionicio Castellanos, known as Nicho as now as the original Psicosis that was in WCW and WWE as a big rival of Rey Mysterio, turned 42 today.
--NWA Southern All-Star Wrestling from Friday night in Millersville, TN: L.T. Falk b Kevin Weatherby, Big Time Sexy b Hot Rod Biggs, Jeremiah Plunkett & Drew Haskins b Doug Gilbert & L.T. Falk, Johnny Bandana b Hammerjack, Wolfie D b King Shane Williams, Chris Michaels NC Gary Valiant (thanks to Lekisha Oliver)
--Slam Championship Wrestling free show from yesterday in Gloucester City, NJ: Angel Aponte b Darren Jackson, Dante Morrell b Dane Rivers, Corky & Monstro b Latin Connection, Breaker Morant b Jon Phoenix (thanks to Paul Verlander)
--Former UFC fighter Marcus Davis, 39, beat Darrius Heyliger via unanimous decision before 3,000 fans last night at New England Fights in Lewiston, ME. Former NFL player Tyler King won the Maine state heavyweight title beating Travis Bartlett via arm triangle choke in the first round. Henry Martinez, another former UFC fighter, lost in the second round to strikes via ref stoppage to Dez Green. Their next show is 7/12 in Bangor, ME at Darling's Waterfront Pavilion, plus 8/3 in Biddeford, ME at the Arena and back in Lewiston on 9/21.
--Millennium Pro Wrestling from last night in Simi Valley, CA: Bo Cooper b G.Q. Money in a career vs. career anything goes match, J.J. Steele b Brett Walters, Ryan Morals b Kodi Phipps, Jason Flame b Delisioso, Frankie Dee b Vandal Drummond which meant Steve "Dr. Lucha" Sims got his hair cut, Jimmy Mayhem & Mr. Tanaka b Mario Banks & Tofer Cash, Trex b Spectre, Hobo b Jacob Tarasso, Jalapeno Lopez b Warrior. Seth Skyfire, who used to work in WWE developmental in OVW with C.M. Punk and The Miz, was on the show doing an angle. He hasn't been around wrestling in a while. Next show is 6/22 (thanks to Dan Farren and Scott Walton)
--Southern Illinois Championship Wrestling from last night in East Carondelet, IL before a sellout 250 fans: Bobby D b Brandon Gallagher, Chas Wesson b Alexander Rudolph, Gary Jackson & Chris Hargas b Big Texan & Dave Vaughn, Heath Hatton b Waco-DQ, Ironman Kasa b Jay Parnell, Shorty Biggs b Max Archer, Ron Powers & Flash Flanagan b Bob Orton Jr. & Butch Reed. Reed was heavy, but looked good in the ring at 58 years old and head his head on straight. Sabu showed up at 8:45 p.m. He had done a show in the area the night before and had asked to sell autographs at the show but was told he wasn't booked and they card was already done. He showed up anyway but was not allowed to appear. (thanks to Larry Matysik and Patrick Brandmeyer)
--CHIKARA from yesterday with two shows with a one-day 2013 Tag World Grand Prix
Afternoon show: in Chicago: Young Bucks b Baltic Siege, Hallowicked & Frightmare over deviANT & Orbit Adventure Ant, Batiri b Lance & Harlem Bravado, Alex Castle & Matt Cage (with Gangrel) b Zero Gravity, Fire Ant & Green Ant b Los Ice Creams, Devastation Corporation b Gary the Barn Owl & Pierre Abernathy, Arik Cannon & Darin Corbin b Saturyne & Heidi Lovelace, Jigsaw & The Shard b Da Soul Touchaz.
Evening show in Chicago: Young Bucks b Spectral Envoy, Batiri b Alex Castle & Matt Cage, Devastation Corporation DCOR Fire Ant & Green Ant, Jigsaw & The Shard b Arik Cannon & Darin Corbin, Icarus b Colt Cabana, Eddie Kingston b Archibald Peck to keep the Grand championship, Pieces of Hate b Young Bucks to win the tournament (thanks to Chris GST)