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.
MONDAY'S NEWS UPDATE
--Bryan and I will be back tonight with Wrestling Observer radio covering Raw and the latest pro wrestling and MMA news. You can also send e-mail questions to
--The WWE Network schedule of new programs
Today they added an April 1994 episode of ECW and an October 1982 episode of World Class
Tomorrow they will add a December 1982 episode of World Class, as well as the legendary Ric Flair vs. Kerry Von Erich match from Christmas 1982 at Reunion Arena (there is no singular match in wrestling history that I can think of that turned around a territory), plus WrestleMania rewind on the 1998 Mania and Countdown of the 10 greatest finishers. Wednesday will debut an October 1986 show from the Boston Gardens headlined by Randy Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat, an April 1985 match from Toronto headlined by Hulk Hogan vs. Paul Orndorff, the May 1993 Raw show featuring the famous Razor Ramon vs. 1-2-3 Kid match, an April 1986 Boston Garden show headlined by Greg Valentine & Brutus Beefcake vs. Davey Boy Smith & Pedro Morales plus The Undertaker & Stephanie McMahon wedding episode of Raw from April 1999.
(thanks to Casey Trowbridge)
--HBOGo crashed last night during the season finale of "True Detective." What's notable is this show aired on live TV, but the Internet stream is the one that crashed.
--WWE stock had another strong day, up 45 cents and closing at $30.09.
--Zack Ryder is back with a new YouTube series called Last Rezort, saying that his dream was always to be a top guy in WWE, saying he made his break with a YouTube series, which got him a U.S. title run but now he's at the bottom. He said he was going to defy the odds and make his own break.
--A note for Saturday is the prelims for UFC 171 will be on FS 2 this coming week instead of FS 1 as usual, due to NCAA Basketball.
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Graeme Cameron and Brian Hoops)
1870 - James McLaughlin won a tournament in Detroit to become the American Collar-and-Elbow champion
1950 - Tommy O'Toole beat Sonny Myers in St. Joseph to win the vacant Missouri state title
1959 - Mighty Ursus (Jesse Ortega) & Shag Thomas beat Maurice & Paul Vachon in Edmonton to win the Canadian tag tam title
1959 - Andre Bollet & Frank Valois beat Johnny Walker (Mr. Wrestling II) & Amazing Zuma in Dallas to win the Texas tag team title
1960 - Cowboy Bob Ellis beat Kinji Shibuya in Kansas City to win the Central States title
1960 - Jesse Ortega & Alex Perez beat Dory Funk Sr. & Dick Hutton to win the North American tag team title in Amarillo
1967 - The Assassins beat Skandor Akbar & Swede Karlson to win the U.S. tag tam titles in Oklahoma City
1968 - Yukiko Tomoe beat Fabulous Moolah in Osaka to win the NWA women's title
1972 - John Tolos beat Killer Kowalski in Los Angeles to win the Americas title
1975 - Bill Dundee & George Barnes beat Eddie Marlin & Tojo Yamamoto in Memphis to win the Southern tag team titles
1978 - Moondog Mayne & Ron Bass beat Chavo Guerrero & El Halcon in Los Angeles to win the Americas tag team title
1980 - Jack Brisco & Jimmy Garvin beat Stan Lane & Bryan St. John in West Palm Beach to win the Florida tag team titles
1983 - Billy Jack Haynes & Stan Stasiak beat The Assassin (Dave Cannell) & Rip Hamilton to win the Pacific Northwest tag team titles
1985 - El Satanico & MS 1 & Pirata Morgan beat Los Brazos in Mexico City to win the Mexican national trios titles
1986 - Brian Adias beat The Grappler in Fort Worth to win the Texas title
1988 - Peter Brainbridge beat Jim Breaks in Bristol to win the European lightweight title
1998 - Black Warrior beat Shocker in Mexico City to win the NWA light heavyweight title
1999 - Yumiko Hotta beat Shinobu Kandori in Tokyo to win the WWWA title
2007 - Aja Kong beat Chigusa Nagayo to win the Open Weight Queen of Wrestling
--In yesterday's report when mentioning yesterday was the day in 1991 of The Steiners beating Michael Hayes & Jimmy Garvin for the WCW tag titles, that was the day the show aired. The match was actually taped on February 18, 1991 in Montgomery, AL. What made that reign famous is The Freebirds title win over Butch Reed & Ron Simmons didn't take place until February 24, 1991 in Phoenix. So it was the famous negative days championship reign.
--The WWE is hiring in the social media department. There are interning positions in social media marketing, as well as a Director of Social Media Operations, a Manager of Social Media Engagement, and a Junior Social Media Editor.
--Absolute Intense Wrestling on 3/14 in Cleveland at Turners Hall with a 30 man gauntlet plus Michael Elgin vs. Andrew Everett for the AIW Absolute title, Tracy Smothers vs. Marion Fontaine, Tim Donst vs. Eddie Kingston, ACH vs. Louis Lyndon and more.
--A correction from yesterday. When we mentioned Buxx Belmar in the CZW Best of the Best tournament, we said he was from Ottawa. He's actually from Montreal (thanks to Patric Laprade)
--UPW March Mayhem from Saturday night in Rochester, NY: Easy Riders over The Top Guns, Life of the Party and Roc City Warriors, La Diva b Nikki Jett, Gabriel Saint b Kevin Dunn, Rochester Wrecking Crew b Order & Justice i a tables match, Easy Riders b Rochester Wrecking Crew to win the tag tiles, Ron Falco b Chip Stetson, Coconut Jones won Rumble, Coconut Jones & Cheech & Colin Delaney b Cloud & Nick Ando & Marc Hauss (thanks to Todd Brantley)
--UIPW from Sunday in Scarborough, ONT: Ethan Page b John Greed to retain Union title, Checkmate over Cater Mason & Shane Sabre to win tag titles, Buck Gunderson b Hacker, Sebastian Suave b RJ City, Brent Banks b Steve Brown, Kingdom James b Eddie Sapalucci, Psycho Mike Rollins b Scotty Turner. Next show is 5/25 at the Rockpile East Nightclub in Scarborough.
--The New Age Outlaws are doing a signing on 3/22 from Noon to 2 p.m. in Garden City, NY at the Roosevelt Field Mall's Steiner Sports Store
Friday night in Ybor City, FL at the Orpheum has Drew Gulak vs. Tiimothy Thatcher, Roderick Strong vs. Biff Busick, Gran Akuma vs. Lince Dorada and more. Saturday in Orlando at the Downtown Rec Complex has Gulak vs. Strong, Akuma vs. Thatcher and Busick vs. Lince Dorado.
--Premier Wrestling on 3/30 in Gilroy at the IFDES Lodge Portuguese Hall has Jeff Cobb (3-0-1) vs. Sledge (3-1), JR Kratos (3-2) vs. Dave Dutra (3-2), Marcus Lewis (1-2) vs. Julio Pedroza (1-1) Derek Sanders (0-0) vs. Sione (0-0), Dylan Drake (1-3) vs. Buddy 'Royal (1-1) and Nick Ruiz (1-3) vs. John Redito. There will be one more match added. Show time is 5 p.m. Presale tickets are $10 at www.premierwrestle.com
--As he does almost every year, Jim Duggan appeared at the Variety Club telethon in Iowa over the weekend (thanks to Brian Henke)_
--I Believe in Wrestling from last night in Orlando: Tim Zbyszko b Mike Young, Gabriel Black b Lizzie Parris, Tristan Keali-i b DJ Chino, Chico Adams b Joey Mayberry, Josh Hess & Jason Cade b Chasyn Rance & Santana Garrett, Maxwell Chicago b Jack Jameson, Lince Dorado & Rhett Giddins b Hercules Gomez & Aaron Epic. Next show is 4/13 at 6 p.m. (thanks to Al Haft)
--Booker T will be the special guest of the 5/9 Border City Wrestling show in Windsor, ONT at the St. Clair College Gym. Also on the show will be Petey Williams, Phil Atlas, Cody Deaner and Tyson Dux.
--Smash Wrestling on 3/30 in Etobicoke, ONT at the 227 Lounge headlined by Chris Hero vs. Tyson Dux, plus Johnny Gargano, Alex Shelley, Matt Cross, Rich Swann and more..
--River City Wrestling on 3/14 in San Antonio at Sidelines Grill featuring Hernandez.
--Pro Wrestling Phoenix from Saturday night in Council Bluffs, IA: Derek Cornell b Zac James, Geek Singh b Paul Daniels, Joey Daniels b Mike Sydal, Hype Gotti & Abu Colossus b Mad Dog McDowell & Jon West, Stephen King b Jeff O'Shea, Darren Russell b L-Ray-DQ, Branden Juarez won three-way over Matty Star and Bradley Charles. Next show is 4/12 in Council Bluffs at the National Guard Armory.