By Dave Meltzer |
We're looking for your thoughts on both WrestleMania and Invasion Attack, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to
We're looking for reports on these shows
*Dragon Gate Mercury Rising iPPV from Saturday night
*The Wrestlecon show at the Sugar Mill in New Orleans
*TNA Saturday night in Dalton, GA
*Shimmer from Saturday
*The wrestling show from Friday night's Mid South Fan Fest in Chalmette, LA
*Friday night's TNA house show in Macon, GA
*Thursday night's TNA house show in Augusta, GA
All reports can be sent to
Raw will be tonight at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans. We're looking for reports on the dark matches, Superstars matches and anything else not evident from the live show.
Super Shisa & Shachihoko Boy vs. Kennichiro Arai & Chihiro Tominaga
Gamma & Ryotsu Shimizu vs. Cima & Kotoka
Don Fujii vs. Yosuke Santa Maria in a falls count anywhere match
2 count and 3 rope escape rules: Masaaki Mochizuki vs. U-T
Genki Horiguchi & Jimmy Susumu vs. Mondai Ryu & Kzy
Yamato vs. Uhaa Nation
Masato Yoshino & Akira Tozawa & Shingo Takagi vs. Naruki Doi & BxB Hulk & Cyber Kong vs. Jimmy Kanda & Jimmy Kagetora & Quu Quu Toyonoka Dolphin vs. T-Hawk & Eita & Flamita in a four-way match
Smackdown and Main Event will be Tuesday in Lafayette, LA at the Cajun Dome
What is the not just the biggest week but the most important week for the business in years is coming.
We discuss not only the shows inside the ring that take place in New Orleans, as well as other big events of the week, WrestleMania, but also even more far-reaching stories, such as the WWE Network, what the subscription number would mean, and how this also can affect decision making in other sports and entertainment.
We also look at how the network can adapt if things aren't high, how not just pro wrestling but the entire sports world will change if the number is really high, and why, ultimately, this is something that will be a staple of pro wrestling and sports going forward.
We also look at Jeff Jarrett's announcement, what is known about his new promotion, what has been done so far, and what little has come out.
We also look at how this year's WrestleMania show is different from any other, the big lure, thoughts on the matches and show overall, winners, losers and what to expect.
We also have a rundown of every major event of the week, when, where, what are the key things, ticket sales, and more. It's your complete guide to New Orleans if you're there or a complete guide of what is available to watch, who is involved, and when if you are staying home.
We also look at a recent WWE web site article on matches that never happened at WrestleMania. We look at the matches discussed, with more details on the ones that didn't happen, including what wasn't exactly accurate in the story, how things could have changed, what matches were seriously discussed, what stories don't add up, as well as a look back at the 1991-92 first Ric Flair vs. Hulk Hogan program.
We also look at the Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar match and promotion of the match, more notes on the WrestleMania show, Punk & A.J., WWE company value, investors talks on a WWE potential sale and things to worry about, interesting future WWE network plans, legend planning a WWE book, notes on two different tape libraries of major promoters that exist but aren't owned by WWE at this point, Chris Jericho explains why he didn't come back this year and how he sees the C.M. Punk situation, a major contract coming due in a few weeks, an update on Randy Savage and the WWE Hall of Fame, Batista talks leaving and coming back to WWE, Daniel Bryan, what next for Heyman, Total Divas, and a major front office change.
We also look at late 1991 and early 1992 and things that happened that shaped the business, as well as the payoffs for the 1991 SummerSlam show. We also have notes from developmental, and notes on all the weekend house shows and how business is doing.
We've also got a look at one of the most important fights to MMA, that wasn't even in MMA, the weekend's Cris Cyborg vs. Jorina Baars kickboxing match. We look at who Baars is, and tackle the big question, what does this mean for the potential of a future Ronda Rousey vs. Cyborg match. We look at what it should mean, and what it may mean, and how the two in the eyes of a lot of fans are completely different.
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.
If you are a new subscriber ordering 24 or more issues, you can get one free classic issue of your choice sent to you today. With a 40 issue subscription, you can get two free classic issues sent to you today. Just sent your Visa or Master Card order with your name, address, phone number, card number and expiration date to
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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:
--Notes on the deaths of three key personalities in Mexico, including a regional star who had huge matches but wasn't well known nationally
--CMLL's biggest tournament of the year, the search for a new idol, all the details, how the matches all can be seen in the U.S.
--A rundown of the wrestlers and schedule
--Notes from the biggest shows of the weekend in Mexico
--Major title matches next week
--Many of the biggest stars of the 70s, 80s and 90s are back this coming week
--Latest angles in AAA
--Jumbo Tsuruta Memorial show
--Mitsuharu Misawa Memorial show
--Chris Hero faces one of the best technical wrestlers in the world in Japan
--Notes on the first of the major Tokyo shows from New Japan
--Son of Hall of Famer in big match against current top star
--New reality TV show on wrestling being considered
--New promotion starting out
--One of the biggest indie shows of the year
--A great book about regional territorial wrestling from a promoter who worked from the ground up
--How this book differs from other books by promoters
--Most popular podcasts involving wrestlers
--Major show in Puerto Rico
--Carlos Colon's first Hall of Fame induction ceremony just took place
--Former wrestling show host on major sports show
--Upcoming retirement of one of the 80s biggest stars
--More on A.J. Styles and price of a top wrestler on the indie scene
--Plight of former top stars going on indies
--Jeff Hardy and Willow
--TNA Knockouts division notes
--A big surprise regarding someone talking about returning to TNA
--Notes on the weekend TNA house shows
--More on GSP, Chris Weidman and Johny Hendricks' surgeries
--New PPV main event and thoughts on it
--Lots of new fights
--Fights for title shots expected
--Unique reason why fighter was pulled from TUF
--Last week's Bellator show
--Last week's World Series of Fighting show
--Upcoming WSOF shows
--Notes on a big grudge match that was 11 years in the making and the hostilities that came out of it
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.
MONDAY'S NEWS UPDATE
--We will be back tonight after Raw to talk the WWE network number, Raw, more post-Mania news and the rest of the news. We will start back with email questions on Wednesday when the news gets back down to a somewhat normal level.
--WWE stock rebounded as the day went on. At the close today, it was at $23.90 per share, a drop of $4.12, which is substantial. But it was as low as $21.73 earlier coming off the network number announcement. Trading volume was nine times usual daily level.
--The general feeling as far as the WrestleMania show is that it was a huge success. You can see reader feedback all over our site, as well as news and columns.
--The UFC released Jake Shields today, after his loss to Hector Lombard on 3/16 in Dallas. Shields was ranked No. 11 in the division at the time of the cut, and had won four in a row leading to the Lombard fight, including one over Tyron Woodley. Like Yushin Okami and Jon Fitch, and the non-signing of Ben Askren, that's a message that you can't have boring fights unless you are a title contender.
--Sasha, Alexa and Charlotte from NXT were all part of the HHH ring entrance for his Mania opener against Daniel Bryan.
--WWE did have the date wrong yesterday on the clip of next year's WrestleMania. They had it March 25, 2015, which is a Wednesday. The actual date is March 29, 2015. (thanks to many)
--An interesting note on the late swing in betting odds where Brock Lesnar actually was the favorite in some places is that those in WWE are surprised noting that even the most high up people didn't know until the three count hit. Vince kept it a surprise from virtually everyone. I know of people who know the outcomes because they have to, and they had Undertaker winning.
--While there were gambling lines that swung and I think at the end every winner except may Cesaro was right at closing, the "Reddit" guy's record was off and he missed several.
--WrestleMania 30 got 1 million searches yesterday, second to Game of Thrones on HBO, which did crash. Last year got 2 million and the UFC show in December got 5 million while Mayweather-Alvarez got 10 million. The February UFC show got 500,000 and most WWE's get around 200,000.
--The reaction to the Undertaker loss got mainstream in a lot of places. One example is this in Australia
on their top news site. (thanks to Caleb Palmer and Thyane)
Germany's biggest tabloid
rarely covers wrestling but did a whole story on the streak and how shocking the loss was, saying it would be less shocking for the Pope to lose his faith than for Undertaker to lose at WrestleMania. (thanks to Jan Rothkopf)
--Jim Ross has a WrestleMania recap column up
--The edited version of the WWE Hall of Fame show edited will be replayed tonight after Raw at 11:05 p.m. on USA.
--The Kazuchika Okada vs. A.J. Styles IWGP title match is 5/3 in Fukuoka.
--Mick Foley will be performing several shows this week. He will be at the Baltimore Comedy Factory on Tuesday, at Funny Bone in Virginia Beach on Wednesday, at Funny Bone in Richmond on Thursday and doing a Big Time Wrestling show in Wantagh, NY on Friday as a special guest.
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Brian Hoops and Graeme Cameron)
1934 - Dan Koloff beat Henri Deglane in Paris to win the European title
1968 - Great Kusatsu beat Tony Charles in Himeji to win the British Western Area heavyweight title
1978 - Giant Baba beat Abdullah the Butcher to win the Champion Carnival tournament
1986 - WrestleMania II was held in three different locations. In New York at the Nassau Coliseum, Mr. T beat Roddy Piper via DQ in the main event. In Los Angeles, Hulk Hogan retained the title over King Kong Bundy in the main event. In Chicago Andre the Giant won a Battle Royal plus Dynamite Kid & Davey Boy Smith beat Greg Valentine & Brutus Beefcake to win the tag titles
1986 - Javier Cruz beat Dandy in Monterrey to win the NWA welterweight title
1997 - Toshie Uematsu beat Malia Hosaka in Huntsville, LA to win the Gaea/WCW womens cruiserweight title
2002 - Yoshinari Ogawa beat Jun Akiyama in Tokyo to win the GHC title and Makoto Hashi beat Naomichi Marufuji to win the jr. title, but Hashi gave the belt back because Marufuji was injured
2004 - Emilio Charles Jr. & Scorpio Jr. beat Villanos IV & V in Acapulco to win the UWA tag titles
--On the WWE Network, the Great American Bash 1989 has video issues and a cut in saying due to problems with the original broadcast, this is as close to a full version as is available. I remember that as being one of the best PPVs of that era (thanks to Jeffrey Burns)
--An incredible amount of WWE network footage was shot over the past week with tons of new content and new faces that will be airing in the upcoming weeks.
WOULD YOU BE MORE INCLINED TO CHECK OUT NEW JAPAN ON IPPV IF A.J. STYLES WAS A REGULAR AND JIM ROSS WAS THE ANNOUNCER?
Yes, would try 42.0%
Not interested either way 29.3%
Already watch, won't make a difference 11.8%
Sometimes watch, would help 9.4%
Watch, but would rather listen to Japanese commentary and Styles makes no difference 7.0%
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE HALL OF FAME SHOW?
22.3% of those responding didn't see the show
--Lucha Xtreme from Saturday night in Fresno: Johnny Plinko b Mike Hayashi, Jeff Cobb b Sheik Khan Abadi, Manny Fernandez b Pogo the Clown in a lumberjack match to win the U.S. title (thanks to Jon Southerland)
--CWE from yesterday in St. Boniface, Manitoba: A.J. Sanchez b Kory Kinkade, Kevin Cannon b Tyler James, Nate Hardy b Tyler Colton, Anderson Tyson Moore b Brian Rich, Billy Blaze b Mike Mission, Nate Hardy won Battle Royal. Next show is 4/18 in Trsnscona at Rookie's Sports Bar.
--Colt Cabana headlines on 5/18 in Toronto at the Royal Canadian Legion for a show called Hostile Grounds at 5:30 p.m. at 3850 Lake Shore Blvd. West.
--Border City Wrestling on 5/9 at St. Clair College in Windsor, ONT with Booker T making an appearance plus Petey Williams, Phil Atlas and Cody Deaner.
--Pro Wrestling Eclipse on 5/11 in Oshawa, ONT at the Legion with Cody Deaner vs. Notorious TID
--Glory will be airing this coming Saturday night on Spike with the world light heavyweight kickboxing championship on the line in a four-man One-night tournament with Tyrone Spong (90-5) vs. Saulo Cavalari (28-2) and Gokhan Saki (79-16) vs. Nathan Corbett (57-4).
--CMLL Sunday in Guadalajara: Jocker b Marvel, Satara b Indigo, Yaqui b Idolo, Leo won a Torneo Cibernetico over Mugroso Vago, Acertijo, Explosivo, Furia, Nazi, Sadico, Sky Kid, Esfinge, Divino, Evola, Espectrum and El Hijo del Javier Cruz, Mr. Aguila & Ripper & Shocker b Gallo & Mascara Dorada & Volador Jr. (thanks to Kris Zellner)