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., $20 for shipping costs to Canada and $25 for shipping costs outside North America. You can order the book the same way you order the newsletter.
SUNDAY'S NEWS UPDATE
--As far as round-by-round stats, here were the significant strikes landed per round in the UFC 171 Johny Hendricks vs. Robbie Lawler main event:
- Round 1 - 15-13 Hendricks
- Round 2 - 42-21 Hendricks
- Round 3 - 43-33 Lawler
- Round 4 - 56-34 Lawler
- Round 5 - 34-17 Hendricks
--UFC 171 is the third most searched for trend today behind Wayne Knight and David Brenner with more than 200,000. That's a normal number, so this would indicate a normal level of buys on PPV. That number is well down from UFC 170, but up from 169.
--Nick Diaz was at UFC 171, and said that he wanted to fight again...Dana White gave no indication who would be the next welterweight title contender...White also announced a 6/28 show in San Antonio which will be an FS 1 TV event.
--Total Divas! new season starts tonight at 9 p.m. on E!
--Week two of the Chael Sonnen vs. Wanderlei Silva season of Ultimate Fighter will air tonight on Fight Pass. Episode one was a gigantic hit on Globo in Brazil.
--Combate Americas featuring Daddy Yankee as commissioner airs on mun2 tonight at 10 p.m. Eastern.
--Mick Foley appears on Wrestling Observer Radio this coming Wednesday.
--Blue Demon Jr. pulled out of today's Rey de Reyes show in Monterrey, Mexico for AAA. There was an attempt to put this show on iPPV in the U.S., but it didn't happen.
--The annual WWE Shareholders meeting is 4/25 at the company headquarters in Stamford, CT.
--There is discussion of a St. Patrick Day's skit on Raw on Monday.
--CM Punk appears as part of a panel on AMC's Talking Dead at 11 PM EST.
--We're still getting complaints from those with Roku 3 or XBox 360 regarding the WWE Network. For Roku 3, if Roku doesn't have a heading for something, you can't access it. None of the 1985, 1986 and 1987 house shows are available nor the 1983 World Class shows, but 1982 are.
--Ricky Morton is doing a training seminar on 3/30 in Fayetteville at the RWC Training Academy at 2485 Hope Mills Rd. It starts at 1:15 p.m. and cost is $30.
--The movie "The Lady Wrestler," debuts on 4/4 at The Seven Sister Inn in Ocala, FL. It features women wrestlers that are being trained by Dory Funk Jr. It starts at 6 p.m. There will be autographs and a photo session at 6:30 p.m., and a second showing at 7 p.m. as well as scenes from a sequel at 7:30 p.m.
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Graeme Cameron and Brian Hoops)
1973 - Dr Wagner beat Enrique Vera in Mexico City to win the Mexican national light heavyweight title
1973 - Gene Kiniski beat Terry Funk in St. Louis to win the Missouri State title. Kiniski subbed for Johnny Valentine, who suffered a heart attack that week.
1989 - Hiroshi Hase beat Shiro Koshinaka in Yokohama to win the IWGP jr. heavyweight title
1992 - Kamala beat Koko Ware to win the USWA tile and Jimmy Valiant beat Dr Death for the Southern title in Memphis
1996 - D-Lo Brown beat Bobby Blaze to win the HWA title
1997 - Dean Malenko bat Eddy Guerrero to win the U.S. title in Charleston, SC
2003 - Fedor Emelianenko beat Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira to win the Pride heavyweight title, beginning a reign that lasted until Pride closed up in 2007.
--Celebrating birthdays today include Kenny Bolin (54), Mark Canterbury (Henry Godwinn) (50), Steve Armstrong (49) and Kenny Doane/Dykstra (28)
--Bellator fighter Terry Etim suffered a torn ACL and he's out of this coming Friday's show. Etim was to face Derek Campos in the first round of a lightweight tournament. Tim Welch (10-4) is entering the tournament on a less than a week's notice.
--WCWF on 3/21 at the WCWF Arena in Yuba City, CA
--Big Time Wrestling on 3/28 in Newark, CA at the Pavilion featuring Honky Tonk Man's final match in Northern California against Ka Ka Meng.
-CMLL has a legends show on Monday night in Tulpetlac
--Steve Corino won the PCW title last night in Winnipeg ending the two-year reign of Antonio Scorpio. The next show if 4/5 at the Garden City Shopping Centre at Center Court with Harry Smith vs. Adam Knight in what is being promoted as the first cage match in Winnipeg in ten years.
--Former wrestler Jon Stewart (AWA) is in negotiations with Emmy winning Executive Producer Adam Wikenfld at Documentary Markes Inc. for a project.
--Over 200 people (only those invited allowed) were in Fort Worth on Friday night for the Texas Wrestling Hall of Fame ceremonies. Honored were Stan Hansen, Terry Gordy, Gary Young, Todd Hecht, Rick Manning, Khris Germany, Awesome Kong, Dusty Wolfe, Ray Evans, Matt Borne and Devastation Inc. The families of both Gordy and Borne were there, as were James Beard,Matt Riviera, Dr. Ken Ramey and Tim Storm. (thanks to David Farmer)
--Lucha Xtreme on Fresno TV last night: Will The Beast b Kevin El Divino, Mustafa Saed b Trap Johnson, Marcus Eriks b Mike Hayashi, Johnny Plinko d Wiseguy.
--Lucha Xtreme has an iPPV at 4 p.m. Pacific time today for $4.99 at www.luchaextreme.com
. It includes access to all of the company's TV shows over the past three years. The show is a One-night Gold Cup tag team tournament from Merced, CA at the American Legion post with Al Azar & Super Tiger, Suburban Commandos, JR Kratos & Mike Rayne, Sheik Khan Abadi & Crimson Plague, The Texas Hitmen and Jeff Cobb & Johnny Plinko.
--In Your Face Wrestling from last night in Ballston Spa, NY: Northern Studd won four-way over Lance Madewell, Ronnie Ribbs and Elite Terrell, Prince Ashaul-Naul & Dex Chase b Good Lord Willing & Lenny Oddity, Jamar Justice & Gabriel Soul b Ian Daniels & Ricky Rocket, Kenny Doane b Ricky Williams-DQ, Fronz Roddy b Chuck Deep in a pole match, Vigo & Sgt. Fury b CJ Scott & Evan Fellows to win tag title Roman Dominguez b Liam McFerrin, Tommy Dreamer & Rhino & Bobby Oceans over Justin Credible & Chip Stetson & Pierre Vachon in an elimination match.
--The Prairie Wrestling Alliance announced they are bringing Iron Sheik and Bushwhacker Luke Williams in for an Alberta Legends tour in May. For more info you can go to www.pwawrestling.ca
(thanks to Dwayne Soper)
--Pro Wrestling International from last night in Gibsonville, NC: Bobby Wohlfert b Joe Storm, Jimmy Parker & Ric Converse & Aaron Biggs & Matt Houston & Louis Moore b Ray Kandrack & Manny Garcia & Ryan Zane & Jason Miller & Nick Richards, Arik Royal b Smith Garrett, Mark James b Chase Dakota to win the Mid Atlantic TV title, Michael McAllister & Mecha Mercenary b Evan Banks & Arrick Andrews-DQ, Trevor Lee b Charlie Weston, Chet Sterling b Chris Lea, And Dawson b Hurricane Helms
--UWE from last night in Harrisburg, PA. The promotion listed the attendance at 1,300 but our correspondent said that looked high. They put the main event of Sage Strong winning the UWE title in a four-way over champion Kevin Murphy, The Mercenary and Ryan Kolby because guest enforcer Kevin Nash said he had to go home (Nash did a choke slam and chased a valet backstage--a heel authority figure later in the show overruled the title change), Laszlo Arpad b Slyder, Eddie Smooth b Tony Nese, Laszlo Arpad won Money in the Bank ladder match over Latin Spyder, Shane Malicca, Zack Rayne, C4 and The Wildcarz, Big Red & Cyrus Parker b Jaxon Connelly & Nick Myers, Bryan Castle & Red Scorpion b Adrian Bliss & Crimson, Jay Mack b Richie Nightmare in a lumberjack match, A.J. Styles b AR Fox in 25:00 of an excellent match. Styles said that Fox is one of the best wrestlers on the indie scene.