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 television shows over the past week and results from all the major arena events.
Also in this week's issue:
--How CMLL's first big show main event got changed due to injury
--Upcoming CMLL big shows
--CMLL star heads to China
--Notes on the upcoming Rey de Reyes show from AAA
--Update on the original Sin Cara and why he won't be on TV for a while
--A look at AAA and CMLL's shows over the weekend
--One promotion folds and another goes on hiatus over the past week
--Jake Roberts notes
--Update on Lionheart after injury
--Update on Extreme Rising
--How wrestling related podcasts are doing
--What famous kids movie character was patterned after a former pro wrestling star
--Upcoming big ROH shows
--Update on Rampage Jackson and pro wrestling
--Notes on this week's Lockdown show
--TNA after Lockdown
--TNA TV overseas
--A look at the weekend TNA house shows
--Biggest woman's fight of all-time
--Update on Rashad Evans
--Update on UFC's major new TV deal
--UFC's biggest week of the year
--Diaz Brothers notes
--Tons of new UFC fights
--Bellator's first PPV
--Notes on the first week of Bellator TV
--Major TV show this weekend featuring MMA legend
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.
SUNDAY'S NEWS UPDATE
--Bryan and I will be back tonight covering TNA Impact as well as taking your e-mail questions that can be sent to
--John Cena's schedule over the last 24 hours was a house show in Madison Square Garden, representing the company at the SXSW conference in Austin, TX this morning, and then a late afternoon house show tonight in Jonesboro, AR. Cena spoke for five minutes in Chinese at the conference. As part of the conference, Roku did a special presentation where they ran the WWE network all day long with Sgt. Slaughter as guest. Speaking for WWE in front of a panel besides Cena were Stephanie McMahon, Michael Cole and Perkins Miller. (thanks to Pete Schirmacher)
--Gerald Brisco of WWE is scouting at the Big-10 wrestling championships today. The NCAA tournament is two weeks away.
--The only first run programming on the network today will be WrestleMania 26.
--For what it's worth, a check of the WWE Network schedule on Tuesday does not list a live Main Event show. WWE officials say the show is still scheduled to go live at 8 p.m. Eastern from Little Rock.
--MVP and Jeremy Borash were at the Florida Panthers game yesterday promoting today's show. When MVP was announced, nobody knew who he was. (thanks to Joshua Izenberg)
--Ethan Carter III on twitter said he was going to issue an open challenge, so there could be one more match on today's show.
--The reason the Davey Grant vs. Roland Delorme fight was off yesterday's UFC show is Grant suffered a torn meniscus earlier in the week. Grant tried to fight through it and weighed in Friday. According to Gareth Davies of the Daily Telegraph, doctors took an MRI of his knee, saw the tear, and flagged the fight.
--Larry Scott, the first-ever Mr. Olympia, winning in 1965 and 1966, passed away yesterday at the age of 75. He retired after winning it a second time (although did try a comeback in 1979). He passed away from complications from Alzheimer's, which he's been suffering from for four years. In one of those early years, Scott beat Earl Maynard (who took third) and Harold Poole (who took second). Poole briefly was a pro wrestler and Maynard was a star in the 70s before becoming an actor.
--Lots of changes in this coming week's Bellator show from the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, IN. War Machine, Joe Riggs and Mark Scanlon are all out of the welterweight tournament, so the first round matches are Paul Bradley (21-5) vs. Nathan Coy (13-4), Jesse Juarez (21-8) vs. Adam McDonough (9-0), Cristiano Souza (7-) vs. Sam Oropeza (10-2) and Andrey Koreschkov (14-1) vs. Nah Shon Burrell (11-3). The main event is Daniel Straus defending the featherweight title against Pat Curran.
--Doc Young is the consulting producer of a new movie coming out in June called "Jersey Shore Massacre," a comedy/horror movie. Romeo Roselli, the former WWE wrestler, plays a knock off of Mike the Situation in the cast and Jenni Farley (J-Woww), who briefly worked for TNA during her Jersey Shore run, is Executive Producer. A story is at http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/jwoww-executive-produce-jersey-shore-686362
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Graeme Cameron and Brian Hoops)
1964 - Geoff Portz beat Billy Joyce in Bradford to win the British heavyweight title. Portz came to North America in the 70s and his son wrestled as Scott McGhee
1967 - Jim Breaks beat Modesto Aledo in Bradford to win the European lightweight title
1968 - Alberto Munoz beat Rene Guajardo to win the Mexican national middleweight title
1970 - At Madison Square Garden, Bruno Sammartino retained the WWWF title over Krippler Karl Kovacs (Stan "Big K" Kowalski) and Killer Kowalski drew Waldo Von Erich in a battle of heels
1972 - Jean Antone beat Aiko Kyo in Odawara to win the WWWA title
1973 - Don Carson & Dick Dunn beat The Masked Medics (Dale Lewis & Bob Griffin) in Sydney to win the IWA tag titles
1980 - Vickie Williams beat Estelle Molina in Monterrey to win the Mexican national women's title
1988 - Genichiro Tenryu beat Stan Hansen in Yokohama to win the PWF title and Toshiaki Kawada & Samson Fuyuki beat Takashi Ishikawa & Mighty Inoue to win the All Asia tag titles
1991 - Rick & Scott Steiner beat Michael Hayes & Jimmy Garvin in Montgomery, AL to become the NWA world tag tea champions
1996 - Rey Misterio Jr. beat Juventud Guerrera in a 2/3 falls match at the ECW Arena (one of the best matches in ECW history) and Raven beat Shane Douglas to keep the ECW title
2002 - Dan Severn won the NWA title from Shinya Hashimoto
--Hulk Hogan on TMZ said that he hopes C.M. Punk will return to the WWE as soon as possible.
POLL ON SMACKDOWN
29.3% of those responding didn't see the show
POLL ON BELLATOR
57.4% of those responding didn't see the show
BEST RECENT MAJOR SHOW
WWE Elimination Chamber 70.8%
New Japan 2/11 11.6%
New Japan 3/6 7.9%
UFC 170 5.3%
UFC in China 2.5%
UFC Brazil 1.6%
New Japan 2/9 0.3%.
--In the cable ratings last week, USA was first at 2.14 million viewers. Second place History Channel was a at 2.01 million. Without Raw, USA would have fallen to No. 4 this week. Raw's three hours were No. 4, 5 and 6 for the week behind Walking Dead, Duck Dynasty and Talking Dead. In 18-34, the third hour was No. 9 and in 18-49 the three hours were No 4, 5 and 7.
--USWO from last night in Millersville, TN before 61 fans: Psycho Medic b Aaron Cross, Mikey Muscles NC Big Time Sexy, Nick Stanley b Kevin Zion, Kevin Weatherby b Zack Hartnell, David Knox b Fireball Roberts, Dyron Flynn won three-way over TNT Mottley and LT Falk (thanks to Jimmie Daniel)
--Lucha Xtreme TV from Fresno last night: T.Rent b Dave Dustra, Mike Rayne b Johnny Dynamo, Jeff Cobb & Johnny Plinko b Mikey Jay & Jesse Pool. Next show is 3/16 iPPV from the Veterans Memorial Building in Merced, CA.
--Mid Missouri Wrestling Alliance from last night in St. Louis: Brandon Espinosa b A.J. Williams, Moondog Rover b Rock Lobster, Barackus b Everett Connors, Lynn Mephisto b Dave Osborne, Ace Hawkins b J-Mal Swagg, Da'Marius Jones over Jackson Whitechade & Sean Orleans in a handicap match, Webmaster Stevie K won four-way over Andrew Wilder, Kuro Neko and Laurence Johnson, Gary Jackson & Brian James NC Lynn Mephisto & Barackus (thanks to Patrick Brandmeyer)
--CZW from last night in Voorhees, NJ: Caleb Konley b Alexander James, Joe Gacy b Tommy Dreamer, Timothy Thatcher b Dalton Castle, John Silver & Alex Reynolds b Sozio & Jake, Pepper Parks b Greg Excellent, Azreael & Chris Dickinson & David & Jake Crist b Juicy Product & Biff Busick & Alex Colon, Masada b Mr. Tofiga, Blk Jeez b D.J. Hyde Shane Strickland b Devon Moore Drew Gulak b AR Fox to keep the CZW title. Announced for Best of the Best were Timothy Thatcher, Buxx Belmar (from Ottawa), Caleb Konley Chuck Taylor, Lucky 13 and Andrew Everett. (thanks to Bob Magee)
--Anarchy Wrestling TV tapings from last night in Cornelia, GA: Tommy Penirelli b Billy Buck, Stryknyn b Nemesis, Shaun Tempers over Ace Rockwell and Slim J, Seth Delay over Vandal, Kameron Kade, Jeremy Foster and Kevin Blue in a Rumble for a TV title shot, Jon & Trey Williams b Lars Manderson & Alex Avgernnos to keep tag titles, Steven Walters over John Skyler and Anthony Henry, Iceberg NC Michael Judas. Hardcore Hell is 3/29 with Judas vs. Geter vs. Iceberg for the Anarchy title in a no DQ match
--Combate Americas airs tonight at 10 p.m. on mun2
--Matt Striker has been added to the 16 Carat gold weekend shows in Oberhausen, Germany this coming week. (thanks to Patrick Gronemann)
--Great North Wrestling on 5/10 in Smiths Falls at the Morial Center with Honky Tonk Man vs. Sexxxy Eddy an Hannibal vs. Jeremy Prophet for the Canadian title.