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:
--Popularity of wrestling in Mexico
--How the decline in Mexico differs from the decline in Japan
--Strange booking announcements
--The Mexican national incredible partners tag team tournament
--The last AAA original is no longer with the company
--A look at AAA TV plans after Rey de Reyes
--First foreigner vs. foreigner Open the Dream Gate title match main event
--Notes on the next Dragon Gate big show
--Promoter makes promise in national magazine that an April big show will air live on national TV
--A look at Pro Wrestling NOAH's upcoming tag team tournament
--New Japan vs. NOAH program's next step
--Major U.S. star may be less than one month from starting with New Japan. A look at the clues
--A look at the next few New Japan iPPV shows
--New Japan adds another overseas tour
--Hall of Famer's 60th birthday special show
--Feature movie coming up on overseas star
--A look at the death of Eikatsu Yoshida, the father of the greatest woman freestyle wrestler who ever lived and why it's made national attention in Japan
--A look at 16 Carat Gold tournament in Germany with a number of different major indie group champions and complete lineup
--Update on independent shows over WrestleMania weekend
--More on Stacy Keibler's wedding
--Wrestling personalities having success on iTunes
--Notes on new wrestling books
--Update on Buff Bagwell
--Where the most Hall of Famers have come from
--Gulf Coast wrestling reunion
--Notes on the wrestlers up for Cauliflower Alley Awards this year
--Where are they now on a short-lived WWE performer who now has a very unique profession
--Major news involving Sinclair Broadcasting and their TV empire
--Updates on the ROH shows with New Japan
--Value of Japanese in ROH
--A look at the weekend ROH title change
--ROH star buries hatchet with WWE stars
--A.J. Styles upcoming ROH schedule
--A look at all the details of the weekend ROH shows
--Jeff Jarrett teases his big announcement and what former name in production is with him
--Notes on TNA's upcoming TV tapings
--Davey Richards talks WWE and ROH
--Update on Thiago Silva after his arrest
--Notes on this upcoming wee's UFC show
--UFC's upcoming dates in Europe for the next year
--Update on Conor McGregor
--UFC running two shows in different parts of the world on the same day
--Chael Sonnen talks competing without TRT
--California commissioner talks TRT
--Notes on UFC Fight Pass
--Anderson Silva throwing kicks
--Next Fight Pass card
--UFC injury updates
--Lots of upcoming UFC events
--Notes on Bellator's first PPV show
--A rundown of Bellator's last show and next 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 covering Smackdown, Main Event and the latest wrestling and MMA news. You can also send e-mail questions to
--Adam Cole vs. Jay Briscoe in a ladder match will headline the 4/4 Supecard of Honor show of ROH in New Orleans.
--Santana Garrett wall be named Brittany in TNA. She will debut at TV tomorrow and there is a video of her up on the TNA site.
--Mick Foley appears Sunday at 10 a.m. at the Lexington, KY Comic Con for an autograph show and at 2 p.m. will have a panel discussion with Big Van Vader on the 20th anniversary of his losing his ear. He also performs in Knoxville eon Sunday at Side Splitters doing his comedy show.
--The Ric Flair vs. Kerry Von Erich match from December 25, 1982 (listed as December 27 for some reason) is on the WWE Network today. All I can say it what an incredible job of booking Gary Hart did on that card.
--Added to the WWE Network today
October 31, 1986 Boston Gardens house show headlined by Randy Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat and Hart Foundation vs. British Bulldogs. A funny note is this match actually took place right after the Steamboat injury angle was taped, but before it aired on television. It was also right before Dynamite Kid's near career ending back injury.
April 25, 1985 Toronto Maple Leaf Gardens house show headlined by Hulk Hogan vs. Paul Orndorff
May 16, 1993 Raw with Razor Ramon vs. 1-2-3-Kid
April 25, 1986 Boston Gardens with Pedro Morales & Davey Boy Smith vs. Greg Valentine & Brutus Beefcake
April 25, 1999 Raw with Undertaker & Stephanie McMahon wedding
Thanks to Casey Trowbridge
--Mick Foley & Gary Young reunite tonight in IHWE radio at 9 p.m. Eastern at Blogtalkradio.com/ihweradio
--James "Nunzio" Maritato turned 42 today. KENTA turned 33.
--Former wrestler and promoter Antone Leone passed away on this day in 1994 at the age of 77. John Pesek, who was the toughest of the tough, wsa 85 when he passed away on this day in 1978. Norm Kimber, the longtime Toronto ring announcer passed away on this day in 2002 at the age of 70. Dick Woerlhe, a well known referee in the WWWF was 81 when he passed away two years ago today (thanks to Georgia Wrestling History)
--Congratulations to Jeff Marek for his new role on Hockey Night in Canada
--Tommy Dreamer's House of Hardcore promotion runs 6/14 in Valley Center, CA at the Harrah's Rincon Casino, just outside of San Diego. There will be an autograph signing and a fan fest and there will be pro wrestling related events Friday through Sunday that weekend. More than 40 wrestling stars will be appearing. You have to be over the age of 2 to attend.
--Absolute Intense Wrestling on 3/29 at Turners Hall in Cleveland has a women's show with Allysin Kay vs. Leah Von Dutch.
--CMLL from Monday night in Puebla: Akron & Fuerza Chicana & Hechicero b Flyer & Meyer & Black Tiger Sr. Soberano Jr. & Asturiano & Millennium b Toro Bill Jr. & Espiritu Maligno & Espiritu Negro, Virus & Sangre Azteca & Misterioso Jr. b Sagrado & Rey Cometa & Pegasso Extreme, Averno & Mephisto & Ephesto b Mascara Dorada & Atlantis & Volador Jr., Rush & Marco Corleone & Maximo b Shocker & Ultimo Guerrero & Euforia-DQ
--CMLL from last night in Guadalajara: Divino & Brillante Jr. b Sadico & Demonio, Leo b Black Metal, Sky Kid & Smaker b Super Comando & Artillero to retain the Western States tag team titles, Amapola & Princesa Sugei & Dallys b Goya Kong & Estrellita & Lluvia, Negro Casas & Tiger & Puma b Blue Panther & Black Panther & Cachorro, Shocker & Rey Bucanero b Rush & Marco Corleone (thanks to Steve "Dr. Lucha" Sims and Kris Zellner)
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Graeme Cameron and Brian Hoops)
1965 - Bruno Sammartino beat Big Bill Miller via DQ in Pittsburgh to retain the WWWF title
1974 - Abdullah the Butcher beat John DaSilva to win the British Commonwealth heavyweight title
1975 - Raul Reyes beat Enrique Vera in Acapulco to win the Mexican national heavyweight title
1983 - In one of the most famous matches and shows in the history of the Carolinas, Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood beat Sgt. Slaughter & Don Kernodle in Greensboro before a sellout of 16,000 fans to win the world tag team titles and created one of the biggest traffic jams on record in the city. Ric Flair also wrestled Greg Valentine to a 60:00 draw that night.
1984 - Mr Wrestling II beat Junkyard Dog in New Orleans to win the North American title. New Orleans was never the same after that match
1984 - Road Warriors beat Jumbo Tsuruta & Genichiro Tenryu to win the All Japan tag team titles
1989 - Jeff Jarrett & Kerry Von Erich beat Robert Fuller & Jimmy Golden to win the World Class tag titles
1990 - Jerry Lawler beat Jimmy Valiant in Memphis to win the USWA title
1993 - Jimmy Snuka beat Glenn Osborne in a tournament final in Radnor, PA to become the first ECW TV champion
1994 - Mascarita Sagrada beat Espectrito in Los Angeles to win the AAA Minis title
2000 - Lance Storm & Justin Credible beat Mike Awesome & Raven and Tommy Dreamer & Masato Tanaka in Danbury, CT to win the ECW tag titles
2004 - Kensuke Sasaki beat Hiroyoshi Tenzan in Tokyo to win the IWGP title
2004 - Bryan Danielson & Curry Man (Christopher Daniels) beat Gedo & Jado in Tokyo to win the IWGP jr. tag titles
2006 - Karl Anderson beat Prince Devitt in Santa Monica to win the British Commonwealth heavyweight title
2010 - Electroshock beat Mesias in Queretaro to win the AAA heavyweight title
--Apparently Buff Bagwell made quite the appearance on the Dan LeBatard ESPN radio show last night.
--Rob Van Dam will be appearing at a Sports Legacy Institute fund raiser on 4/9 in Pasadena, CA at 650 Landor Lane. For more info you can reach
Chris Nowinski will be speaking.
--Jeff Jarrett talks about the 4/12 Dreamwave Wrestling anniversary show at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1iVq4EPQKc
The company's 5th anniversary show features Christian Rose defending his title against Michael Elgin, Johnny Gargano vs. Nick Brubaker 2/3 falls and Jim Cornette appearing.
--One FC War of Nations live from Kuala Lampur, Malaysia airs on The Fight Network in Canada on Friday at 7 a.m. Eastern time. The show is headlined by Nobutatsu Suzuki vs. Brock Larson. Former UFC fighter Kamal Shalorus faces Ariel Sexton.
--BBC 1 did a one hour documentary on the Scottish wrestling company Insane Championship Wrestling that aired last night. It's available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?vv=FA-Rj_saAB4
It was said to have been the most watched wrestling show in the U.K. in more than 25 years.
--Today would have been Mae Young's 91st birthday (thanks to Ken Raftery)
POLL ON RAW
11.0% of those responding didn't see the show
WHO DO YOU EXPECT TO WIN THIS FIGHT?
Johny Hendricks 79.2%
Robbie Lawler 20.8%
--There is a documentary tomorrow on Conor McGregor called "The Notorious: Reality Bites" on RTE Two in Ireland at 9:30 p.m. (thanks to Shane Browne)
--The IHWE has its Texas Hall of Fame ceremony on Saturday which is an invitation only affair. James Beard will induct Terry Gordy; Black Bart will induct Gary Young; Fred Urban will induct Dusty Wolfe; David Fuller & Matt Riviera will induct Matt Borne. Also honored will be Stan Hansen, Ray Evans, Awesome Kong (from the Kongs tag team), Khris Germany, Todd Hecht, Rick Manning and Devastation Incorporated.