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.
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, how the segments individually did on Raw and Impact, and results from all the major arena events.
Also in this week's issue:
--A look at CMLL's first major show of 2014
--Bobby Bonales Cup
--A major legends show
--Update on AAA coming to U.S. television in 2014
--Two title changes in Dragon Gate
--TNA title up for grabs in Japan this week
--A look at the 2014 Champion Carnival tournament
--New Japan business update, how they are doing compared to last year, goals, iPPV, and where WWE is ahead of New Japan in ways they can't seem to catch up
--What major U.S. star is likely to be a New Japan regular very shortly
--Notes on the 2014 Best of the Super Junior tournament
--A Japanese wrestling news story that got a ton of national publicity
--Rikidozan's grandson continues in pro wrestling
--Notes on a unique show next month where a Hall of Fame pro wrestler faces a debuting sumo star, and a former K-1 fighter also debuts as a pro wrestler.
--Tons of news from WrestleMania weekend. A look at all the non-WWE events scheduled with lineups
--A look at the career of Lorenzo Parente
--A must-see match of Parente that is on YouTube
--A look at the 16 Carat Gold tournament this past week
--First time ever battle of brothers tag team
--What to watch for in NCAA wrestling tournament
--More on New Japan wrestlers coming to ROH
--What star would like to come and why it's unlikely
--This coming week's ROH show notes
--ROH starting a new concept
--News on Jeff Jarrett's new promotion
--Why so many in TNA are talking about it
--What won't be happening
--Update on Kurt Angle
--Why TNA is looking at taping in New York
--Notes on the next TNA PPV
--TNA wrestler called sexiest woman in the world
--Other women wrestlers on list
--A look at the next month of TNA television and where everything is going
--Update on the UFC PPV business
--UFC international TV notes and one show doing great, another not as good
--More on Chael Sonnen vs. Wanderlei Silva
--Notes on new shows
--Ronda Rousey latest legal action
--MMA announcer has health scare
--Notes on Rousey's next potential opponents
--What potential opponent has at least temporarily fallen out
--Rousey and C.M. Punk notes
--Rousey and WrestleMania notes
--More on the Thiago Silva arrest
--New UFC fights
--Crazy request of a fighter in public
--Bellator PPV gets major competition
--A look at last week's Bellator show and next week's show
--Boxing PPV update
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
--We've got our Wrestling Observer Sin Limite show up today with Mike Sempervive, where we go in depth on questions sent in, up on the site today as well as talk current wrestling and yesterday's NCAA wrestling tournament. We are finishing up with another Sin Limite show tonight covering the UFC show today and the New Japan Cup earlier today, as well as taking questions that can be sent to
Mike and Bryan also have a radio show up on the site at 6 p.m. Eastern today.
--John Cena & Daniel Bryan vs. Kane & Bray Wyatt is advertised for tomorrow night's Raw tapings at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. That's not necessarily going to happen, and could be a dark match.
--Coming out of the New Japan Cup last night, there is no top contender for Kazuchika Okada's IWGP title for Invasion Attack in two weeks. I'm expecting an announcement in the next day or two. Shinsuke Nakamura won the New Japan Cup, but elected to challenge Hiroshi Tanahashi for the IC title in their third big match so far this year. Nakamura pretty much pulled an old school miracle out of Bad Luck Fale in the final.
--There was a Scooby Doo movie premiere yesterday in New York. A number of WWE performers (since both crews were within driving distance in Atlantic City and Uniondale were there including Sin Cara, A.J. Lee, The Miz, Brodus Clay, Kane as well as HHH and Stephanie McMahon. Scooby Doo will be on Raw tomorrow night.
--Jake Roberts wrestled last night in Joppatowne, MD for Maryland Championship Wrestling before 1,200 fans: Drllix b Shane Strickalnd, Nui Tofiga & Renee Michelle b Cobian & Jessie Kaye, Napalm Bomb & Solo b G-Fed & Buck Chyld, Gangrel b The Bruiser, Chuck Lennox & Sean Patrick b Ruckus & Lance Anoai, C-Fed & Colt Cabana b Hellcats, Hoss Hagood & "Bo Nekoda b Oliver Grimsley & Fenix Fury in a strap match, Jake Roberts & Adam Flash & Ronnie Zukko b Mustafa Aziz Daniels & Paul White & Mitch Miller (thanks to Joe Burrows)
--Cassidy Riley, Jim Duggan and Chase Stevens will be on the Duck Dynasty finale on Wednesday night. The storyline is that the family has a reunion and they hire Riley's Southern Wrestling Superstars promotion to perform. (thanks to Ronda Farrar)
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Brian Hoops)
1984 - Ric Flair beat Harley Race in Auckland, New Zealand to regain the NWA title. For some reason this title change has been erased from history, partially because it was something never approve by the NWA board at the time.
1992 - Brian Christopher beat Jimmy Valiant to win the Southern title in Memphis
1997 - WrestleManix XIII was in Chicago featuring the famous match where Bret Hart beat Steve Austin in the I Quit match when Austin passed out rather than submitted, with Ken Shamrock as referee. The Undertaker beat Sid to win the WWE title in a forgettable main event. Many consider Hart vs. Austin the best match in WrestleMania history.
POLL ON BELLATOR
73.7% of those responding didn't see the show
POLL ON SMACKDOWN
42.4% of those responding didn't see the show
WHO DO YOU THINK WILL BE THE NO. 2 COMPANY IN THE U.S. MARKET IN 2015?
Jarrett's company 27.9%
New Japan 12.9%
WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER THE GREATEST COMPETITION TO WWE?
--Southern Illinois Championship Wrestling from last night in East Carondelet, IL before a sellout 325 fans: Waco b Andino Giavanni, Jim Hoffarth b Max Archer, Heath Hatton b Matt Cage, Shorty Biggs b Jake Parnell, Gary Jackson b Malaki Matthews, Chaz Wesson b Ricky Cruz-DQ, Ron Powers & Daniel Eads b Frankie West & Ax, Iron Ken Kasa b Jake Dirden 2/3 falls (thanks to Larry Matysik and Patrick Brandmeyer)
--NWA Championship International Wrestling from Hillsdale, MI: Malice b Chris Richards, Movado DCOR Terror Khan, Austin Mannix b Chuck Wagon, Sebastian Rose b Louie Perez, Nitro b Sebastian Rose, Buzz Manson & Grizzly House Jones b Kris Korvis & Frank Staletto,
Andy Chene & Renzo Lavelle b Great Akuma & Marimoto, Chase Owens over Jack Thriller & Trey Miguel to retain NWA jr. title, Nitro b Lou Marconi (thanks to Leonard Brand)
--Lucha Xtreme TV results from Fresno last night: Jesse Poole b Zero, Sheik Han Badi b Al Azar, Jeff Cobb b Dave Dutra, Suburban Commandos NC JR Kratos & Mike Rayne (thanks to Jon Southerland)
--NWA Arkansas/Louisiana/Texas from last night in Gilmer, TX: Nobe Bryant b Zach Jackson, Ashton Jacobs b Joe Angelo Garcia, Bree Ann b Myka, Rudy Russo b Tadasuke, Manmimal b Shawn Adams, Black Bart Jr. & Cowboy Adam b Joe Black & William Huckabee-DQ, Kahagas b Rudy Boy Gonzalez (thanks to Rob Moore)
--Champions of the Galaxy on 7/11 in Jamestown, NY as part of the Filsinger Games fan convention with Alex Reynolds, Louden Noxious of CHIKARA and Kaiju Big Battel and Chuck Taylor.
--Absolute Intense Wrestling on 3/29 in Cleveland at Turners Hall will have both an afternoon and evening all-women's show at 3 p.m. at 7 p.m. Mia Yim, Veda Scott, Sassy Stephie, Kimber Lee and more.
--Anarchy Wrestling TV tapings from last night in Cornelia, GA: CB Suave b Seth Delay, Anthony Henry b Shane Marx, Bobby Moore b Shaun Tempers-COR, Brandon Parker b Eric Walker, Lars Manderson & Alex Avgerinos b Vandal & Kameron Kade, Jon & Trey Williams b BJ Hancock & Joey Rhymer-DQ. Next show is Saturday night with Mikael Judas vs. Iceberg and Geter for the Anarchy title in a no DQ match.
--Prairie Wrestling Alliance from last night in Calgary: Azrael b Sheik Shabaz-DQ, Duke Durrango & Chris Steele b Brandon Van Danielson & Marky, Michael Blaise b Brody Malibu, Priest b Richie Rage, Killer Ds b Chase Patrick & Kenny Stryker, Deryck Crosse b Travos Cole. (thanks to Dwayne Soper)
--A.J. Styles wrestles for the PWA this coming week in Edmonton against Marky.
--In Your Face Wrestling will be holding classes starting next month for wrestlers, managers, valets and referees. You have to be at least 18. An information session will be this coming Saturday at 2 p.m. at the In Your Face Wrestling Academy at 7 Northern Dr., Try, NY 12181. It'll be 1-2 hours long.