The Observer is now in its 31st year of being the leading insider pro wrestling publication in the world. The biggest and most influential names in the pro wrestling and MMA industry, from bookers to promoters to Hall of Fame wrestlers and fighters to the biggest names on camera and behind the scenes, along with thousands of readers in all 50 states and more than 30 countries subscribe. Many have subscribed for 20 years or longer consecutively. They get the most detailed and inside coverage of what is going on all over the world. Everywhere from Wall Street to the major offices to television networks in the U.S. and Japan turn to the Observer for what is going on in the business.
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We also have a look at the ratings of all the major shows.
We also have a look at the ratings of all the major television shows.
Also in this week's issue:
--CMLL's first major show of 2014
--Family feud being started among Mexican legends
--A look at AAA's first TV taping of the year
--First title matches of the year in Dragon Gate, as well as upcoming title matches
--TNA rumored to be part of a major show
--Wrestling promotion sues its rival for contract tampering
--A look at All Japan's upcoming junior heavyweight tournament
--More notes on the 2014 G-1 Climax tournament
--Lots of injury updates
--Notes on the life and careers of Luis Martinez and Don Chuy
--Big angle in WWC where longtime enemies join forces and tease of the beginning of career rivals also joining forces
--Health updates on a number of pro wrestling stars
--A new promotional gimmick
--Details on the 16 Carat Gold tournament
--More on the upcoming Mid South wrestling fan fest over WrestleMania weekend
--ROH's next show
--What U.S. promotion looking to bring in the best in the world
--More on current TNA angles
--What former WWE star is close to signing if not already in
--Update on Sting's status
--Why an original booking idea changed
--What contracts of major players in WWE and TNA are coming due and what do they mean
--Update on TNA TV tapings
--Kurt Angle talks his favorite matches and favorite cities to wrestle in
--Notes on TNA talent meeting
--Why TNA matches are going the way they did
--A look at TNA's house show weekend
--A look at TNA's upcoming TV show
--Notes on the last WSOF show
--Dana White responds to Georges St-Pierre and thoughts on the subject
--Chris Leben and his retirement
--This week's UFC lineup and notes on the show
--Next TV card after this week
--Notes on Dana White's new TV show
--Update on the health of Stefan Struve
--When Chris Weidman wants to defend his title next
--More on the looks to find a new head of the Nevada state athletic commission
--Another two TV show main events signed
--Lots of new UFC shows
--Details on Bellator shows from 2/28 to 4/18
--More on next Bellator PPV show
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)a
*October 22, 2001 (why the adult audience has left pro wrestling in such great numbers and what needed to have been done to save them)
*July 8, 1991 (Ric Flair leaves WCW as world champion/Zahorian steroid trial)
*February 8, 1993 (the life and times of Andre the Giant)
*May 13, 2002 (the life story of the most incredible pro wrestling career ever, a look at Lou Thesz, in one of the largest issues of our
*January 27, 2003 (part one of the two-part series covering the career and life of The Sheik)
*February 3, 2003 (Part two on The Sheik including thoughts from people who worked with him and where he stands historically)
*March 24, 2003 (history of the WWWF title, inside behind the Sammartino, Backlund and Backlund era)
*April 21, 2003 (history of WWF continues with the expansion nationally, the death of the regional territories and the rise of Hulk Hogan)
*May 12, 2003 (The life and death of Elizabeth and the rise of fall of Lex Luger)
*June 9, 2003 (Part 1 of history of WWF vs. WCW wars and what many say was the greatest year in U.S. wrestling; plus a look at Fred Blassie)
*June 16, 2003 (Freddie Blassie through the eyes of his biggest rivals and friends)
*July 28, 2003 (Part 2 of the history of the WWF vs. WCW war and the plans to make new superstars in the early 90s, what happened, and the night where the three biggest wrestling companies in the world combined for a joint show and what happened)
*August 25, 2003 (2003 Hall of Fame issue with huge profiles on the controversial career of Shawn Michaels, Chris Benoit as well as historical features on Earl Caddock and Francisco Flores)
*September 22, 2003 (Part 3 of the history of the WWF vs WCW war with the seeds that caused the collapse of the industry in the 90s, Zahorian trial, Gulf War controversy, Flair leaves WCW while holding world title and much more)
*October 27, 2003 (The fascinating life of Stu Hart plus the story of Road Warrior Hawk)
*January 19, 2004 (2003 Awards issue)
*February 2, 2004 (History of Toronto wrestling, Jack Tunney life story, Royal Rumble and Battle Royal history)
*February 23, 2004 (History of Guerrero family with Eddy's win over Brock Lesnar)
*March 1, 2004 (History of WWF continues with the period that brought the company down in early 1992, the mistakes, the real stories and how the business changed)
*March 8, 2004 (History of Wrestlemania, its greatest matches and best and worst shows as voted both by wrestlers and non-wrestlers and Wrestlemania history books)
*July 5, 2004 (A look behind the scenes and Ric Flair's book and his background with Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan)
*July 12, 2004 (A look at more on Ric Flair's book and his comments on Bruno Sammartino, Bret Hart and Mick Foley)
*August 16, 2004 (History of the Olympians in pro wrestling)
*August 23, 2004 (2004 Hall of Fame issue and biggest issue of the year with huge profiles on Kazushi Sakuraba, Undertaker, Bob Backlund, Masahiro Chono, Ultimo Dragon, Kurt Angle and Tarzan Lopez--this counts as one issue if you are asking for a free issue, but ordered separately, due to size, is $6 in North America and $7 overseas)
*October 4, 2004 (the life and times of Big Bossman; as well as details of the life and times of one of the most influential men world wide in pro wrestling history, Jim Barnett)
*November 15, 2004 (the full story of what happened between Kurt Angle and Daniel Puder, plus coverage of the most important week in the history of TNA)
*January 24, 2005 (2004 Awards issue, Rock and WWE part company)
*March 14, 2005 (the 50 biggest money players in the history of WWF and a look at their Hall of Fame)
*May 9, 2005 (the life and times of Chris Candido)
*June 20, 2005 (The full story behind Paul Heyman and the death of ECW, as well as coverage of One Night Stand, Hardcore Homecoming and behind the scenes of both shows)
*July 18, 2005 (death of Shinya Hashimoto and his records with a look at the fall of New Japan, the Matt Hardy angle, tons of WWE firings, Cornette firing in detail as well as problems of a WWE developmental territory in our biggest news issue of the year which is a double-sized issue and would be $6 on its own and $7 overseas)
*August 24, 2005 (2005 Hall of Fame issue with career profiles of Paul Heyman, HHH and Freebirds plus debut of MMA Hall of Fame)
*September 12, 2005 (History of Mid South Wrestling)
*October 10, 2005 (Life and Times of the Ultimate Warrior)
*November 21, 2005 (Life and Times of Eddy Guerrero and Crusher, double issue $6 on its own and $7 overseas)
*December 5, 2005 (The Eddy Guerrero special issue, double issue $6 on its own, $7 overseas)
*January 9, 2006 (The life and times of Superstar Billy Graham, plus New Year's Eve 2005 coverage)
*January 16, 2006 (2005 Awards double issue, $6 or $7 overseas)
*April 3, 2006 (Story of Ann Calvello and the history of Roller Derby--many called this the best issue of the Observer ever)
*April 10, 2006 (Behind the scenes at the 2006 Wrestlemania/Hall of Fame week)
*July 24, 2006 (The History of the Von Erichs and World Class Championship Wrestling--the most unreal story ever in wrestling)
*September 4, 2006 (The Rise and Fall of Kurt Angle; 2006 Hall of Fame inductions of Eddie Guerrero, Paul Bowser, Masakatsu Funaki, Aja Kong and Hiroshi Hase including tons of wrestling history around the world from the 20s through the 60s, the evolution of working to not working in Japan, and a look at Guerrero in hindsight, double issue $6 or $7 overseas)
*October 9, 2006 (A look back nine years later at the life and legacy of Brian Pillman with tons of inside information about what made him tick as his real objectives)
*November 15, 2006 (History of WCW part one, Eric Bischoff's book and how the industry was changed forever)
*November 20, 2006 (History of WCW part two, Why Jim Ross left WCW, How Bischoff changed the company, signing of Hulk Hogan, Beginning of Nitro, Jesse Ventura, Brian Pillman, Chris Jericho and signing Wrestlemania planned celebrity away)
*November 27, 2006 (History of WCW part three, When Bischoff challenged McMahon to fight; Truth and fiction around Bret Hart signing with WCW and why it didn't click)
*December 6, 2006 (details behind Pride's offers to sell promotion and Part four of History of WCW part four, Hogan-Goldberg match and why there was no rematch, WCW loses NBC network deal in 1999 and the real reasons the company fell apart)
*January 22, 2007 (2006 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
*February 14, 2007 (Life and Times of Bam Bigelow)
*March 5, 2007 (WWE begins plans that will change the business)
*March 12, 2007 (Life and Times of Mike Awesome)
*March 19, 2007 (Life and Times of Ernie Ladd)
*April 4, 2007 (Life and Times of Badnews Allen Coage--which many are calling one of the best issues in history)
*July 2, 2007 (Part one of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 5, 2007 (Part two of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 10, 2007 (Part three of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 19, 2007 (Part four of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 23, 2007 (Part five of Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 25, 2007 (Part six of Benoit double murder-suicide)
*August 15, 2007 (The legend of the God of Japanese wrestling and his influence on MMA, Karl Gotch)
*October 15 (2007 Hall of Fame double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas including inductions of The Rock, Tom Packs and the original Strangler Lewis)
*November 12, 2007 (Life and times of Fabulous Moolah and history of U.S. women's wrestling) .
*December 31, 2007 (History of Ric Flair and the heyday of wrestling at the Greensboro Coliseum)
*January 21, 2008 (2007 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
*March 17, 2008 (Life and times of Johnny Weaver)
*March 24, 2008 (Life and times of Gary Hart)
*April 10, 2008 (Farewell to Ric Flair; My thoughts, Shawn Michaels talks of Flair's meaning to him; Hall of Fame; Wrestlemania double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
*August 11, 2008 (Ric Flair leaves WWE; Updated history of pro wrestlers and MMA fighters who went to the Olympics)
* September 8, 2008 (2008 Hall of Fame double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas; part one of Killer Kowalski bio)
* September 15, 2008 (Life and Times of Evan Tanner)
* September 22, 2008 (The amazing career of Killer Kowalski, one of our most in-depth bios)
You can also order any of these issues on their own for $4 in North America or $5 overseas.
For the United States, it is $13 for 4 issues, $32 for 12, $61 for 24, $101 for 40 and $131 for 52. In Canada and Mexico, rates are $14.50 for 4, $35 for 12, $67 for 24, $111 for 40 and $144 or 52. In Europe, you can get the fastest delivery and best rates by sending to
For the rest of the world, rates are $16.50 for 4, $44 for 12, $85 for 24, $141 for 40 issues and $183 for 52 .
If you order by mail with a check, cash or money order (P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228), you can get $1 off in every price range.
We now have available personally autographed copies of Tributes II, our latest book, as well as a DVD that comes with it talking more about the subjects in the book. The book covers the life stories of Lou Thesz, Wahoo McDaniel, Elizabeth, Fred Blassie, Road Warrior Hawk, Andre the Giant, Curt Hennig, Johnny Valentine, Davey Boy Smith, Terry Gordy, Owen Hart, Stu Hart, Gorilla Monsoon, The Sheik and Tim Woods..
To get all of those biographies as back issues of the Observer would be a $60 value today. This is a collection of some of the best Observer articles of the past several years in a hardcover, full-color format that is 239 pages. There is also a foreword by Bret Hart. The book price is $12.95 plus $3.50 for shipping costs in the U.S., $10 for shipping costs to Canada and $12 for shipping costs outside North America. You can order the book the same way you order the newsletter.
WEDNESDAY'S NEWS UPDATE
--Bryan and I will be back tonight with Wrestling Observer radio, talking the 2013 Observer awards and the latest news. You can send e-mail questions to the show at
--Yuji Okabayashi needs surgery on the shoulder he dislocated over the weekend because of tendon damage and rotator cuff damage and could miss several months, as opposed to a few weeks. He injured it doing a splash off the top rope move that he always does. Even after being injured, he came back to the show and shook hands with fans, took photos and signed autographs and apologized for being hurt. So both Okabayashi and Daisuke Sekimoto are out of action which is a huge blow to Big Japan (thanks to Patrick Gronemann)
--WWE stock continues to soar. It closed today at $20.38, up 77 cents per share. The belief is it'll continue to increase at least through the network launch.
--An interivew with Daniel Bryan covered in the new Observer is at http://youtu.be/Z5YIcMXFTs8
--Dan Henderson signed a new six-fight deal with UFC and starts back on 3/23 in Natal, Brazil for a fight with Shogun Rua, a rematch of their 2011 classic.
--Following in the footsteps of the Daniel Bryan 'Yes' chant becoming a popular thing in U.S. sports, at the live National TV Awards show in the U.K. this evening on the major ITV network (show held in the O2 Arena in front of 18000 fans and the live tv broadcast likely being watched by 8 to 10 million viewers), a tv show called 'Educating Yorkshire' (a fly-on-the-wall documentary about life at a high school) won an award for 'Best TV Documentary'. One of the stars of the show, a 17 year old lad named Musharaf Asghar (who overcame a speech impediment during the course of the show) gave a short acceptance speech upon accepting the award, chanting 'Yes! Yes! Yes!' whilst doing the pointed hand movements. Asghar, a huge WWE fan, noted several minutes later on his Twitter that he did the 'Yes' chant in honour of his favourite wrestler, Daniel Bryan. Somebody must have alerted Bryan, as just minutes later he himself tweeted, 'Congratulations to @MusharafAsghar on the National Television Awards win! Another strong member of the #YESMovement'. (thanks to Stephen Lyon)
--Mirko Cro Cop vs. Remy Bonjasky headlines the next Glory card on Spike on 3/8 at 9 p.m. from Zagreb, Croatia. The show also features the Glory lightweight title with Andy Ristie vs. Ky Hollenbeck and a one-night tournament for a middleweight title shot with first round matches of Dustin Jacoby vs. Alex Pereira and Sahak Parpayan vs. Jason Wiilnis.
--Tully Blanchard turned 60 today.
--Crusher Jerry Blackwell was 45 when he passed away on this day in 1995. Hall of Famer Al Costello was 80 when he passed away on this day in 2000 (thanks to Georgia Wrestling History)
--Before returning to WWE, Dave Bautista filmed a movie called "L.A. Slasher," about reality TV glorifying people who are famous for just being famous and looking at people who become famous and wealthy based on no merit or talent. Are they doing a movie on the career of Ed Leslie? Besides Bautista, the cast includes Danny Trejo, Mischa Barton, Eric Roberts, and Brooke Hogan.
--Mick Foley's show in Royal Oak, MI tonight is sold out. He's also got shows tomorrow night in Toledo at 7:30- at Funny Bone and Friday night in Kalamazoo at Wings Stadium at 7 p.m. which is an autograph signing and not a performance.
--LeBron James did a video with a new replica WWE title belt that Dwayne Johnson sent him. USA Today wrote about it.
--Jim Ross is doing a talk show on 1/31 in Cullowhee, NC at Western Carolina University at 9 p.m. at the UC Grand Room.
--There will be a Shine iPPV on Friday night at 9 p.m. Eastern headlined by Rain vs. Ivelisse in a no DQ match.
--The 2013 supplement for the official Wrestling Observer Newsletter Index (listing every major story in every issue is available for $5 at
It's also free with a $25 back issue order if you've purchased the complete index. The entire index covering every issue of the last 31 years is available for $22. He's also got a complete list of pre-1991 issues and Yearbooks from the 80s.
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Graeme Cameron and Brian Hoops)
1959 - Reggie (Crusher) & Stan Lisowski beat Herb & Seymour Freeman to win the NWA world tag team titles in Minneapolis
1960 - Bulldog Lee Hennig beat Cowboy Bob Ellis to win the Central States title in St. Joseph, MO
1962 - Killer Kowalski & Gene Kiniski beat Whipper Billy Watson & Roy McClarity in Vancouver to win the Pacific Coast tag team titles
1970 - The Spoilers beat Ron & Don Wright in Chattanooga to win the Tennessee tag team titles
1970 - Dick Murdoch & Dusty Rhodes beat Mario Milano & Mark Lewin in Sydney to win the IWA tag titles
1975 - Dick Murdoch beat Blackjack Mulligan to win the International title in Lubbock, TX
1981 - Bobby Eaton beat Steve Olsonoski in Atlanta to win the National TV title
1981 - Jumbo Tsuruta beat Abdullah the Butcher to win the United National title
1982 - Superstar & Super Destroyer beat Bob & Brad Armstrong to win the National tag team titles in Columbus, GA
1984 - Angelo Mosca beat Sgt. Slaughter in Toronto to win the Canadian title
1984 - Kendo Nagasaki beat Mike Rotundo in Orlando to win the Florida title
1995 - Jeff Jarrett beat Razor Ramon in Tampa to win the IC title and Shawn Michaels won the Royal Rumble
1996 - Lex Luger & Sting beat Harlem Heat in Las Vegas to win the WCW tag titles and Randy Savage beat Ric Flair to win the WCW title
1996 - Kyoko Inoue & Takako Inoue beat Mima Shimoda & Akira Hokuto to win the WWWA tag titles in Osaka
1999 - Toshiaki Kawada beat Mitsuharu Misawa in Osaka to win the Triple Crown in the match a week before Giant Baba's death that he said was the best match he had ever seen
2006 - Jun Akiyama beat Akira Taue to win the GHC title
2011 - Ryusuke Taguchi beat Mascara Dorada in Tokyo to win the CMLL welterweight title
2012 - Takeshi Morishima beat Go Shiozaki in Osaka to win the GHC tile and Jun Akiyama & Akitoshi Saito beat Giant Bernard (Tensai) & Karl Anderson to win the GHC tag titles
--Chaotic Wrestling on 3/21 in Dracut, MA at Lakeview Junior High School. They also have shows on 2/7 in Lowell, MA at the Polish American Veterans Club and 2/28 in Woburn, MA at the Elks Lodge.
--Absolute Intense Wrestling on 2/7 at Turners Hall in Cleveland with Michael Elgin defending his Absolute title against Drake Younger and Louis Lyndon defending the Intense title against Johnny Gargano.
--Pro Wrestling Phoenix from Saturday night in Council Bluffs, IA: Hype Gotti b Bradley Charles, Mad Dog McDowell b Cuco Santiago, Zac James b Jon West, Chris Havius b Joey Daniels, Darren Russell b Leslie Ray, Abu Colossus b Ryan Slade, Branden Juarez b Matty Starr to win the PWP title. Next show is 2/15 at the National Guard Armory in Council Bluffs
--XICW from Saturday night in Clinton Township, MI: Andy Muskat b Trey Miguel, Chris Hybrid b Joe Coleman, Willie Watts b Movado-DQ, Chaz Montana & Dickie Bronson b Brandon Espinosa & BOlt Brady, Taeler Hendrix b Jordynne Grace, Jimmy Jacobs b Tadarius Thomas, Jamey Coxxx b Mark Gjoka, DBA b Tracy Smothers, Sabu b Rhino (thanks to Leonard Brand)
WHAT WAS THE BEST OF THESE RECENT SHOW?
WWE TLC 40.8%
UFC 168 29.0%
New Japan Tokyo Dome 24.3%
UFC on FOX Johnson vs. Benavidez 3.1%
Fantastica Mania 1-19 1.9%
Fantastica Mania 1/18 0.6%
UFC on FS 1 Rockhold vs. Philippou 0.3%
WHAT WILL DO THE BEST ON DOMESTIC PPV?
Royal Rumble 61.4%
UFC 170 36.5%
UFC 169 2.1%
WHO SHOULD WIN THIS MATCH?
John Cena 36.9%
Randy Orton 63.1%
WHO DO YOU EXPECT TO WIN THE BELLATOR LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT TOURNAMENT?
Rampage Jackson 45.9%
King Mo 25.1%
Christian M'Pumbu 15.5%
Mikhail Zayats 13.5%
WILL BELLATOR RATINGS GO UP THIS SEASON?
Yes, better lineup of fights 12.8%
No, MMA interest is declining 33.6%
Will be about the same as last season 40.9%
No, worse lineup than last season 12.8%
WHO WAS THE STAR OF RAW?
Brock Lesnar 23.1%
C.M. Punk 15.7%
Stephanie McMahon 7.1%
John Cena 3.9%
Randy Orton 2.4%
POLL ON RAW
10.2% of those responding didn't see the show
--Currently on the soon to be defunct Classics on Demand channel
2013 Night of Champions
Best of Clash of the Champions Volume 5 and 6
1/21/1980 Madison Square Garden
12/18/98 ECW TV show
12/8/82 Mid Atlantic Championship Wrestling
1/1/90 Prime Time Wrestling
--Empire Wrestling Federation from Friday night in Azusa, CA for the one night Inland Empire tournament: RJ Ruiz b Juan Roman, SoCal Crazy b Flecha Fugaz, B-Boy b Richie Slade, Joey Barohne b Prince Raccid Najjar, B-Boy b SoCal Crazy, RJ Ruiz b Joey Barone, Rico Dynamite & Tommy Wilson b Patient Zero & Andy Brown, RJ Ruiz b B-Boy to become the Inland Empire champion (thanks to Frank Mott)
--Deathproof Fight Club from Sunday in Etobicoke, ONT: Notorious TID NC Shawnymo, EZE Eric Cairnie & Rob Rage b Matt Cash in handicap match, Ethan Page over Hardcore Hick and Taylor-Kay Deen in three-way, John Greed b Aiden Rayne, JK47 b Aiden Rayne, Shane Sabre over Jesse Amato and Jewells Malone, Danny Orlando b Shane Sabre, Johnny Wave b PD Flexx. Next show is 3/23 at The Rockpile in Etobicoke (thanks to Steven Ashe)
--CMLL from Monday night in Puebla: Super Comando & Artillero b Asutriano & Aguila Egipcia, Sensei & Metalico b El Hijo del Signo & Espiritu Maligno, Goya Kong & Estrellita & Dark Angel b Princesa Blanca & Dallys la Caribena & Princesa Sugei, Atlantis & Diamante Azul & La Mascara b Mr. Niebla & Negro Casas & Felino-DQ, Shocker b Rey Bucanero
--CMLL from last night in Guadalajara: Sky Kid & Divino b Sadico & Demonio Rojo, Magnus & Fuego & Gallo b Arkangel de la Muerte & Nosferatu & Barbaro Cavernario, Kraneo & Olimpico & Morphosis b Maximo & Delta & Sagrado, Shocker & Diamante Azul b Rey Bucanero & Euforia, Mr. Niebla b Atlantis (thanks to Steve "Dr. Lucha" Sims and Kris Zellner)
--The One Fighting Championship signed a deal with TV 9, the Public TV station in Malaysia. It's the second most watched TV station in the country and most watched in the 15-29 age group.
--NWA Florida Underground Wrestling on 1/25 in Tampa at the DoubleTree Hotel Westshore with Matt Morgan vs. Michael Tarver. Wes Brisco has been added to the show.