Also in this week's issue:
--Top tier Mexican stars issue hair vs. hair challenge
--CMLL's Busca de Idolo tournament
--King of Gate tournament notes
--New president of Al Japan
--Match of the year candidate
--Pro Wrestling NOAH's next major show
--Full coverage of the Best of the Super junior tournament final
--Big show which featured shoot and worked matches together
--Why Madison Square Garden may have to move
--An update on wrestling in the Olympics and where it stands
--Update on Bobby Eaton
--Thoughts on what would have happened had ECW gotten on USA in 2001
--More on several matches Terry Funk will be working this summer
--Update on an attempt to bring back a territorial promotion from the 70s and what has happened since it started
--Another older promotion looking to come back
--Update on wrestling in Puerto Rico
--Current pro wrestling star wants to go into boxing
--Update on John Morrison
--Son of Hall of Famer arrested on gambling charges
--Update on recent WWE cuts
--Next ROH show
--TNA Slammiversary lineup
--Changes in Impact
--TNA Hall of Fame thoughts
--Updates on King Mo and Zema Ion
--A look at this week's TNA TV show
--Major retirements in UFC
--Advance ticket sales for upcoming UFC shows
--Update on the latest strange reason that makes no sense why UFC isn't likely to be legalized in New York this year
--Lots of new UFC matches
--Plans for the FS 1 main event
--Plans for what could be the biggest UFC show in history, and why the odds are against it
--Lots of matches being talked about
--More thoughts on Vitor Belfort and Fallon Fox
--What Georges St-Pierre is up to next
--Daniel Cormier's future
--Fighter donating all of his next fight purse
--How much it would cost UFC to raise minimums
--Famous boxer tries MMA
--The latest on Bob Sapp
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
--Lots of rumors surrounding the future of Keiji Muto. Earlier today, Nobuo Shiraishi, the owner and new president of All Japan Pro Wrestling, just said the two didn't see eye-to-eye and Muto is no longer with the company. There are rumors that Muto may start a new promotion, or join either New Japan Pro Wrestling or the IGF. Time will tell. Shiraishi will be attempting to sign all the wrestlers to new contracts. Essentially, anyone who doesn't sign by the end of this month will likely leave at the end of this month.
--WWE is looking for a new lead writer, responsible for building the TV scripts and developing long-term storylines (that will be changed every week) as well as character back stories for all current new characters. The job is to work with the new Vice President of Creative Writing, overseeing the creative process as it relates to scripts and storylines, ensure multiple ideas are presented for each story, and build the final draft. They want five plus years experience with script writing and TV production experience, deep working knowledge of WWE storylines and characters, the ability to motivate writers and deep understanding of pop culture, trends, topical news as they related to television. Writing for either reality TV, sitcoms or character-based nonfiction is required. They also have to understand the WWE audience demographic and psychology.
Seeing that was funny only because I've heard some notes since last night when they found out Raw on Monday was going against game seven of the Miami Heat vs. Indiana Pacers game. The writing team was under super stress because of the feeling that they feel there's a good chance the rating is not going to be good, and that Vince McMahon won't know why (which I'm thinking is overblown given even if he doesn't know the NBA, he's aware of the NBA's effect on ratings).
--Jim Mandl, a well-known wrestling historian, just passed away due to cancer. He had been ill for several months and this was not unexpected. (thanks to Crimson Mask)
--Dolph Ziggler was back on the road last night with Team Orton in Bethlehem, PA. He's still not cleared to wrestle due to his concussion, but cut a promo, which means he'll likely be on Raw Monday. They also continued to tease a Daniel Bryan heel turn after Randy Orton & Bryan & Kane wrestled The Shield in the main event. Bryan demanded Orton and Kane say he wasn't the weakest link to an obnoxious manner until Orton RKO'd him. Kane and Bryan did hug it out later.
--On ESPN Sports Center, the clip of UFC fighter George Roop superplexing his cornerman into the cage and doing the ground and pound on him made the "Worst of" list for the week.
--On Fuel tonight, the Shane Carwin vs. Frank Mir fight airs at 6 p.m., an episode of season five of Ultimate Fighter is at 10 p.m. and the Carlos Condit vs. Martin Kampmann I fight is at 11 p.m.
--Anti-tax critic Glenn Jacobs (aka Kane) will be speaking in the back room at Logan's Steakhouse in Nashville on 6/13 at the Campaign for Liberty Meeting. It is free and open to the public. His main topic is being in opposition to an Internet sales tax.
--Fast & Furious 6 is estimated at doing $34.5 million this weekend for its second straight weekend at No. 1. That's a big drop, ore than any other major movie. It's past $170 million domestic.
--The UFC Fan Expo which takes place at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas on 7/5 and 7/6, happens at the same time as the annual website convention in Las Vegas, both of which are now annual events for that weekend in Las Vegas. Names announced for autograph sessions include Ryan Bader, Pat Barry, Joseph Benavidez, Michael Bisping, Travis Browne, Donald Cerrone, Carlos Condit, Dominick Cruz, Urijah Faber, Phil Davis, T.J. Dillashaw, Kelvin Gastelum, Forrest Griffin, Benson Henderson, Matt Hughes, Jon Jones, Martin Kampmann, Cung Le, Chuck Liddell, Gray Maynard, Gilbert Melendez, Chad Mendes, B.J. Penn, Mike Pyle, Luke Rockhold, Ronda Rousey, GSP, Chael Sonnen, Josh Thomson, Cain Velasquez, Eddie Wineland and Cat Zingano.
--It was ten years ago today when legendary Fred Blassie passed away at the age of 85. It's also 15 years since the death of Junkyard Dog in 1998, at the age of 45. Former Oregon promoter, wrestler and referee Sandy Barr passed away six years ago today at the age of 69.
--Among today's birthdays are Lex Luger (55), A.J. Styles (36), Velvet Sky (32) and Kim Neilsen (40).
--There were a number of problems earlier today with the CHIKARA iPPV show from Philadelphia. The freeview part went off with no problems (thanks to Tony Ceto)
WHO IS THE BIGGEST OMISSION FROM THE UFC HALL OF FAME?
Frank Shamrock 50.2%
Brock Lesnar 25.3%
Don Frye 11.6%
Pat Miletich 8.8%
Maurice Smith 2.8%
Matt Serra 0.8%
Evan Tanner 0.4%
WHO IS THE BIGGEST OMISSION FROM THE WWE HALL OF FAME?
Randy Savage 67.3%
Lou Thesz 25.6%
Bill Longson 1.1%
Dick the Bruiser 1.1%
Gene Kiniski 1.1%
Strangler Lewis 0.9%
Frank Gotch 0.9%
Gus Sonnenberg 0.9%
Jim Londos 0.6%
Whipper Watson 0.3%
Yvon Robert 0.3%
WHO DO YOU THINK IS A BIGGER STAR?
Jon Jones 81.2%
Cain Velasquez 18.8%
SO FAR THIS YEAR, WHO IS THE BEST CANDIDATE FOR WRESTLER OF THE YEAR?
Daniel Bryan 33.2%
Hiroshi Tanahashi 20.8%
Kazuchika Okada 14.8%
Bully Ray 10.0%
C.M. Punk 8.6%
Kevin Steen 4.3%
The Rock 3.0%
John Cena 2.4%
Jeff Hardy 1.1%
Jun Akiyama 0.5%
POLL ON SMACKDOWN
29.1% of those responding didn't see the show
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Brain Hoops and Graeme Cameron)
1960 - Dan Miller & Frank Valois (who later became well known as the manager of Andre the Giant) beat Rikidozan & Michiaki Yoshimura to win the vacant All Asia tag team titles in Osaka
1960 - Cowboy Bob Ellis beat Dick the Bruiser in Windsor, ONT to win the U.S. title
1962 - Dick the Bruiser beat Wilbur Snyder in Detroit to win the U.S. title
1978 - El Faraon beat Alfonso Dantes to win the NWA light heavyweight title in Mexico City
1979 - Dennis Condrey bat Ron Garfield to win the Mid American title in Chattanooga
1979 - The Spoiler was awarded the American title when champion Wahoo McDaniel was injured and couldn't compete in a scheduled match in Houston
1980 - Matt Borne & Buzz Sawyer beat Jimmy Snuka & The Iron Sheik in Greenville, SC to win the Mid Atlantic tag team titles in a tournament final
1980 - Ken Lucas & Ricky Morton beat Gypsy Joe & Skull Muprhy in Memphis to win the Southern tag team titles
1983 - Hulk Hogan beat Antonio Inoki via count out to win the original IWGP world heavyweight title tournament. This was one of the biggest tournaments,in pro wrestling history. You had Hogan (AWA's biggest star), Inoki (New Japan's biggest star), John Studd, Killer Khan, Rusher Kimura, Akira Maeda (European champion), Canek (biggest star in Mexico), Otto Wanz (biggest star in Germany and Austria) and Enrique Vera (champion in Mexico). On the same show, Tiger Mask beat Kuniaki Kobayashi to win the vacant NWA world junior heavyweight title.
1983 - Harley Race beat Dewey Robertson (later the Missing Link) in Kansas City to win the Central States titles. Race vacated the title eight days later when he beat Ric Flair in St. Louis for the world title
1987 - Honky Tonk Man beat Ricky Steamboat in Buffalo to win the IC title and start the longest reign in the history of the title.
1989 - Aguila Solitario beat Fuerza Guerrera in Mexico City to win the NWA welterweight title
1990 - Dandy beat Angel Azteca in Mexico City to win the NWA middleweight title
1990 - Tony Anthony & Tom Burton (who later did MMA) became USWA tag champs. The champs were Rex King & Steve Doll. they beat King in a handicap match in Memphis.
1993 - The Patriot & The Eagle (Del Wilkes & James Hines) beat Kenta Kobashi & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi to win the All Asia tag title in Koyama
2004 - Jeff Jarrett beat Ron Killings, A.J. Styles, Raven and Chris Harris in the first King of the Mountain match in Nashville to win the NWA title
2005 - Kenny Omega beat Chris Sabin in Winnipeg to become the first Canadian X Division champion
--Evolve on iPPV tonight at 8 p.m. at WWNLive.com from Ybor City, FL:
Johnny Gargano vs Samuray del Sol for 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
Mia Yim vs. Ivelisse Velez
Bravado Brothers & Andrew Everett vs. Dos Ben Dejos & Shane Strickland
Chuck Taylor vs. Caleb Konley
Anthony Nese vs. Tommy Taylor
--MAV TV, which airs Championship Wrestling from Hollywood on Thursdays at 5 p.m., Saturdays at 4 a.m. and Sundays at 8 p.m., starts on DirecTV on 6/10.
--Dave Jansen suffered an injury in training and is out of a scheduled 6//19 lightweight title match with Bellator champion Michael Chandler in Thackerville, OK -- Bellator's first Wednesday night show. Instead, Chandler will defend his title against Dave "Caveman" Rickles on 7/31 in Albuquerque, the second show of the summer series.
--The new movie "Now You See Me' has lead characters who are bank robbers who call themselves The Four Horsemen. The film stars Jesse Eisenberg, Isa Fisher, Morgan Freeman, Woody Harrelson, Mark Ruffalo and Michael Caine and opened Friday night.
--Alpha-1 Wrestling on 6/29 in Hamilton, ONT at Club 77 with Alessandro Del Bruno vs. Scotty "Shea in a TLC match. Colin Delaney, Michael Elgin and Pepper Parks are also booked on the show.
--Robles Promotions tonight in McAllen, TX at the Fuego Western Club has Brazo de Plata & El Hijo del Santo & ? vs. Aquiles & El Hijo del Pierroth & Spawn.
--In Australia this weekend, "The Call" was No. 4 at the box office and "Snitch" was No. 6 (thanks to James Stanios)
--Lucha Xtreme from last night on Fresno TV: Mike Rayne b Marcus Eriks, Sheik Khan Abadi b Al Azar, Wiseguy b A.J. Kirsch. They continue to push Terry Funk vs. Manny Fernandez on 6/16 at Chuchanski Park in Fresno after the Fresno Grizzlies baseball game. In June in Fresno it could be well over 100 degrees.
--GOUGE from last night in Raleigh: Mickey Gambino b Seymour Snott, Jimmy Jack Funk Jr. b Zebadiah Munson, Alas de Angel b Chaco, Gluteus Maximas b KFC, Hobo Johnny b Toby. Next show is 7/14 in Raleigh, outdoors as part of a city fireworks show and then 8/3 in Raleigh.
--Eryk Anders, a linebacker who forced a fumble in the 2010 Rose Bowl game that led to Alabama beating Texas to win the national championship, is now an MMA fighter with a 12-2 record, having cut down to 185 pounds. (thanks to Alex Marvez)
--NAWA from last night in Waxahachie, TX: Dr. Nemo Luv b Bulldozer Big John Famous b Doberman, Joe Angelo Garcia & Corey Saturn b Cowboy Adam & Billy Club, Zack Jackson b Nobe Bryant-DQ (thanks to Rob Moore)
--Hoosier Pro Wrestling from last night in Columbus, IN before 180 fans: Fuji Brown b Gabriel Gray, Aaron Anarchy & Fast Eddie b Stompin Steve & Cooter Clampaett, JKO DDQ T.J. Powers, TVZ over Dylan Bostic and Bobby Black, Lylah Lodge b Crazy Mary Dobson, TK b Donny Idol, Ricky Ruckus b Chris Morrus, Diceman Ronnie Vegas & Flash Flanagan b Kharn Alexander & Dash Ventura. Next show is 6/22 at J.D. Byriders for the 12th annual Fill the Shelves Canned Food Drive to support the local food banks. Admission is 6 cans of food per person and bring your own lawn chair. (thanks to Jerry Wilson)