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.
If you are a new subscriber ordering 24 or more issues, you can get one free classic issue of your choice sent to you today. With a 40 issue subscription, you can get two free classic issues sent to you today. Just sent your Visa or Master Card order with your name, address, phone number, card number and expiration date to
You can also order by paypal by sending to www.paypal.com
and directing the funds to
You can also subscribe via check, cash or money order, as well as credit card by mail, by sending to Wrestling Observer Newsletter, P.O. ox 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228.
We also have a look at the ratings of all the major television shows over the past week and results from all the major arena events.
Also in this week's issue:
--Update on CMLL's Gran Alternativa tournament
--Wrestlers on TV weekly who want to go back to their gimmicks from years ago
--Jeff Jarrett goes to Mexico
--AAA star in a major reality show
--Dragon Gate big show coverage
--Notes on this year's Champion Carnival tournament
--Update on All Japan jr. tournament
--Outsider captures major world title
--Update on KENTA and Pro Wrestling NOAH
--Update on Prince Devitt
--Hall of Famer hints at retirement after putting over protege
--Pro wrestling world title put up in a shoot match
--IGF announces its plans for the next several months
--Adam Copeland (Edge) talks about leaving wrestling, growing up as a fan and more
--Chavo Guerrero Jr. talks Chris Benoit on Chris Jericho's show
--CZW has big show
--Pro wrestling trivia note as it relates to one of the biggest celebrities of the last 100 years
--Update on the original Sin Cara
--Someone does a pro wrestling and pro wrestling match on the same day
--Latest from Puerto Rico
--Notes from the heyday of San Francisco wrestling
--Former TNA wrestler slowing down
--Whatever happened to???
--Notes on pro wrestling documentaries in discussion
--Former UFC fighter and former WWE star in international TV commercial
--ROH weekend show and what matches are being built for
--Vince Russo and TNA, an update
--How the TV has changed
--Notes on the next few TNA PPV shows
--What PPV show said to be really good
--Lots more backstage from the European tour
--A look at the TNA shows this past weekend
--More on Ronda Rousey in Hollywood
--Story behind her latest movie roles
--Details on the Jessica Eye situation
--The situation with the fighter on Ultimate Fighter who will not be going to UFC no matter what happens on the show
--More on UFC changing its bonus structure
--A look at the next show
--Dana White's latest TV show
--More on UFC prosecuting those who steal their PPVs
--Update on Anderson Silva
--Tons of new fights
--What UFC fighter is a Roller Derby coach
--New Bellator title fight
--Update on three-way TV battle in two weeks
--New promotion with national TV about to debut and notes on who is involved with the show including UFC's first superstar and a major name in pro wrestling
--Update on Ben Askren
--What boxing champion is interested in MMA
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.
MONDAY'S NEWS UPDATE
--Bryan and I will be back tonight after Raw with Wrestling Observer radio covering Raw and the latest news. You can send questions to tonight's show to
--Officially, WWE has said nothing regarding C.M. Punk. One person within the company contacted us and said he was not released.
--While nothing has been said publicly, reader Christopher Aiken was just told when calling Dish about ordering Elimination Chamber that they will not be carrying the event. Neither WWE nor Dish have made a public comment.
--Will be very interesting on Raw tonight to see if they announce Hulk Hogan and Undertaker for next week. It would make no sense not to because they are looking for a big rating to lead into the network debut.
--Joe Koff made comments on Live Audio Wrestling last night regarding domestic violence when the Matt Hardy/Reby Sky New Year's Eve situation were brought up, that has generated a lot of heat. I haven't listen to the interview, but the key notes were him saying that C.M. Punk leaving was a bigger story and that they don't want to get involved in domestic relationships since the charges were dropped and that "You know they're two wrestlers, they're probably very physical people."
--The UFC's matching period on the Gilbert Melendez contract is believed to expire in mid-March. If not, it would be within a few days in either direction.
--Lyoto Machida had his foot X-rayed and it isn't broken. He feared a broken foot in the third round in his fight. For those keeping score, Machida connected on 28 strikes over five rounds during that fight.
--I spent the weekend working on a story on Kensuke Sasaki, combination Hall of Fame induction and retirement story, for this week's Observer. Scary reading back on Japanese wrestling in the 90s and how deep and star-laden those big shows were.
--Tickets for Extreme Rules on 5/4 at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, NJ will go on sale later this week.
--Tickets also go on sale this week for a 4/25 house show in Toronto
--Regarding the story on Vince McMahon buying the Newcastle Football Club, the belief it is more likely Shane McMahon. Shane McMahon has some interest in European sports and British soccer, while Vince has very little interest in any sports.
--Countdown to UFC 170 airs at 8 p.m. tonight on FS 1, head to head with hour one of Raw. There will be a number of replays during the week.
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Graeme Cameron and Brian Hoops)
1978 - Ringo Mendoza beat Faraon in Los Angeles at the Olympic Auditorium to win the NWA middleweight title
1981 - Canek beat Tiger Jeet Singh in Naucalpan to win the UWA heavyweight title
1986 - WWF champion Hulk Hogan beat IC champion Randy Savage in a lumberjack match in Madison Square Garden
1989 - Robert Fuller & Jimmy Golden beat Kevin & Kerry Von Erich in Dallas to win the World Class tag titles
1996 - Lex Luger beat Johnny B. Badd (Marc Mero) to win the WCW TV title
1996 - PG-13 beat Jesse James Armstrong (Road Dogg) & Tracy Smothers to win the USWA tag titles in Memphis
1997 - Sycho Sid (Vicious) beat Bret Hart in Nashville to win the WWF title
1997 - Prince Iaukea beat Steven Regal in Tampa to win the WCW TV title
1998 - The Headbangers beat Rock & Roll Express in Waco, TX to win the NWA tag titles
2001 - Lady Apache beat Rossy Moreno in Veracruz to win the Reina de Reinas title
2002 - Toshie Uematsu & Ran Yuyu won the AAAW womens' tag title from Chigayo Nagashima & Meiko Satomura
2007 - Toshiaki Kawada & Taiyo Kea beat Suwama & Ro-Z to win the All Japan tag titles and Katsuhiko Nakajima beat Shuji Kondo to keep the world jr. title
2008 - Jushin Liger & AKIRA beat Minoru (Tanaka) & Prince Devitt in Tokyo to win the IWGP jr. tag title, while Togi Makabe & Toru Yano beat Giant Bernard (Tensai) & Travis Tomko to win the heavyweight tag title
2009 - Team 3-D beat Togi Makabe & Toru Yano in Tokyo to win the IWGP tag titles
--Birthdays today include Chris Champion (53), Jimmy Jacobs (30) and Ricardo Rodriguez (28)
--Willy Rutkowski, who was Kurt Von Stroheim in the 60s, and later became the last Kurt Von Brauner in the late 60s and into the 70s, was 69 when he passed away on this day in 1993. Anyone who ever saw the Von Brauners live will have some scary memories of fans in a frenzy and big Kurt clearing the way with his fists all the way back to the dressing room.
--West Coast Wrestling Federation from Saturday night in Yuba City, CA: Dusty Grimes b Buddy Lee, Marcus Lewis & Kevin K b Alex Cross & KaKa Meng, Honor Society b Jack Flag & Nathan Brick, Dave Dutra b Victor Sterling, Brian Cage b Dylan Drake, Joe DeSoul b Jeckles the Jester (next show is 3/21). (thanks to Jim Davis)
--Universal Wrestling Alliance from Sunday in Saginaw, MI: Beefcake Andrews b Jacob Brawn, TNT b Tommy Kline, Xavier Justice b Cody Manning, Nyla Rose b Arella Angel, Mad Dragon NC Adam Sniper, Kris Korvis b Gran Akuma, Evans Boys DDQ Hardcore Wrestling Asylum, Sen. Bill John b Malice, Sabu & Rude Boy & Chuck Wagon b Necro Butcher & Terror Khan & Grizzly House Jones (thanks to Leonard Brand)
--Yesterday's CMLL results from Guadalajara: Meteoro b Relampago Azul, Xavier Cruz Jr. & William Rock b Ebola & Yaqui, Rafaga & Espectrum & Infierno b Leo & Halcon de Plata & Sky Kid, Barbaro Cavernario b Smaker, Blue Panther & Solar b Negro Navarro & Negro Casas, Mephisto b Titan.
--Tonight in Puebla has Mistico & Mascara Dorada & Valiente in a non-title match against Negro Casas & Felino & Mr. Niebla. Tuesday at Arena Mexico has a Mexican national trios title match with Rush & Titan & La Mascara defending against Niebla & Casas & Felino. Tuesday in Guadalajara has Solar vs. Navarro in a battle of 80s stars, plus a one-night tag team tournament with Marco Corleone & La Sombra, Atlantis & Diamante Azul, Euforia & Ultimo Guerrero and El Terrible & Rey Bucanero.
--Sin Cara is doing a number of independent bookings in Mexico. That's the original Sin Cara. (thanks to Steve "Dr. Lucha" Sims and Kris Zellner)
--There's nothing to read into the photo on the WWE site with an Undertaker toy next to a Sting toy. It's just people on the web site trying to get people on the Internet talking.
--Some Extreme Rising notes for the 3/1 show at the old ECW Arena in Philadelphia. Sandman and Shane Douglas were both announced for the show. There will be no Fan Fest on that day, but there will be a major Fan Fest in the same arena in conjunction with a 4/26 show. Damian 666 and Bestia 666 are off the show, but will be on the next show. There will be a Lucha Libre show on 4/27 at the ECW Arena put on by Masked Republic, with Damian 666, Bestia 666, L.A. Park, Dr. Wagner Jr., Solar, Negro Navarro and Cassandro. Stevie Richards vs. Sabu will headline on 3/1. Luke Hawx vs. Rich Ortiz is also on the show, as is Papadaon vs. New Japan's Takaaki Watanabe, Jay Bradley vs. Matt Cross, Blk Out vs Hit Squad and Axl Rotten & Balls Mahoney vs. Matt Tremont & 2 Tuff Tony.
--Trivia note for Presidents Day. What four U.S. Presidents have been inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame? They are George Washington (1992), Abraham Lincoln (1992), Teddy Roosevelt (1993) and William Howard Taft (1997). All four participated in wrestling in their younger days. I don't think any of them made their induction ceremony. (thanks to Steve Handley).
--The ESPN show E:60 is working on a piece on the WWE Performance Center.
--TMZ had a piece on Shane Victorino doing the UFC Fit workout, which is the multi-DVD thing that Mike Dolce put together.
--Smash Wrestling on 2/23 at the 227 Lounge in Etobicoke, ONT at 137 City View Dr. features Mickie James, Matt Cross, Jay Lethal and the Super Smash Brothers.
--Adrenaline Cup Wrestling from yesterday in Whitby, ONT: Fraternity b Kandi Kidz, Psycho Mike Rollins b Ethan Page, Will White over El Hijo de Bigote, Preston Myles and Channing Decker, Christopher Bishop b Lionel Knight, Jasmin b Angelina Love with Tyler Wilde as referee, Tyson Dux over Brent Banks and Paul London, Will White over John Greed, Christopher Bishop and Psycho Mike Rollins. Next show is 4/27 with Amazing Red, Michael Elgin and Kyle O'Reilly
--Wrestler Ashley Sixx, who had not been around for one year, said at the above show he had been gone because he was battling cancer but said he was now cancer free, which got a standing ovation (thanks to Steven Ashe)
--I Believe in Wrestling from last night in Orlando: Tristan Keal-l b Gabriel Black, Josh Hess b Sebastian Cruz, Rhett Giddins b Chico Adams, Santana Garrett b Chasyn Race-COR, Russell Payne won Battle Royal, Hercules Gomez b Tim Zbyszko, Lince Dorado NC Hercules Gomez. Next show is 2/21 with Dorado vs. Gomez no DQ and Rance vs. Santana Garrett (thanks to Al Haft)
--Pro Wrestling Eclipse on 3/30 in Oshawa, ONT at 2 p.m. at the Polish Alliance Hall with Joshua James vs. Cody Deaner and Davey Boy Smith Jr. vs. Ethan Page.
--EWF from Saturday night in Beaumont, CA: Killa Gorilla b Eddie Mattson, Flecha Fugaz b Patient Zero Richie Slade b Brute Baretto, Allie Parker b Terra Calaway, Andy Brown b Friar Juan Romero. Building was packed. Next show will be outdoors in the city on 5/3 (thanks to Frank Mott).
--Chris Masters vs. Kevy Chevy headlines a Wednesday night show from CWE in Neepawa, Manitoba at the Yellowhead Arena.
--NWA President Bruce Tharpe on twitter said that they will be debuting a national NWA television show in the very near future.
--Pro Wrestling Phoenix from Saturday night in Council Bluffs, IA: Abu Colossus & Hype Gotti b Jimmy Rockwell & Zack Thompson, Mad Dog McDowell b Zac James, Geek Singh b Sean Cruz, Joey Daniels b Darren Russell, Darin Corbin b Arik Cannon, Jon West b Leslie Ray, Derek Cornell b SM King, Matty Starr & Ryan Slade b Branden Juarez & Bradley Charles. Next show is 3/8 at the National Guard Armory in Council Bluffs.
--HPW March Mayhem on 3/1 in Columbus, IN at the 4-H Fairgrounds headlined by Rob Conway.