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, 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.
WEDNESDAY'S NEWS UPDATE
--Bryan and I have a show on Ultimate Warrior up on the site right now and there are two other shows covering his death. The Warrior issue will be up on the site hopefully tonight. Bryan and I will be doing another radio show later as well.
--There is a ton of Warrior coverage all over the place
*Deadspin has a negative story on him
*Newsday talked to Curt Hawkins about growing up as a Warrior fan.
--TNA will be having a gauntlet match on Impact tomorrow night with the winner getting a shot at Magnus at the 4/27 PPV show.
--WWE stock rebounded a bit today, up 54 cents to $22.75 per share.
--Tickets for UFC 173, priced from $750 down to $75, go on sale today to Fight Club members and tomorrow for newsletter subscribers. they go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. Eastern time on Friday. The top matches are
*Renan Barao vs. TJ Dillashaw for the bantamweight title
*Robbie Lawler vs. Jake Ellenberger
*Takeya Mizugaki vs. Francisco Rivera
*Jamie Varner vs. James Krause
*Michael Chiesa vs. Francisco Trinaldo
--UFC today announced the main event for UFC 174 on 6/14 in Vancouver as Demetrious Johnson vs. Ali Bagautinov for the flyweight title. That is not going to be an easy sell to say the least.
--For those of you who have Comcast and DVR Raw, make sure to check it out because last week's show didn't record automatically because for some reason it was labeled a repeat, and at least as of yesterday, in some Comcast systems, that was the case for this coming week.
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Graeme Cameron and Brian Hoops)
1917 - Earl Caddock beat Joe Stecher in Omaha via forfeit to win the world title when Stecher, after losing the first fall, refused to come out for the second fall
1953 - Buddy Rogers beat Antonino Rocca in Cleveland to win the AWA title
1960 - Roy Shire & Ray Shire (Ray Stevens) beat Dick the Bruiser & Gene Kiniski to win the NWA world tag team titles
1965 - Rene Guajardo beat Rayo de Jalisco in Mexico City to win the NWA middleweight title
1969 - Black Gordman beat Alfonso Dantes to win the TV title in Hollywood
1976 - Fishman beat Blue Demon in Mexico City to win the NWA welterweight title
1978 - Perro Aguayo beat Ringo Mendoza in Guadalajara to win the NWA middleweight title
1978 - Ric Flair beat Tim Woods to win the U.S. title in Charlotte
1981 - Bulldog Bob Brown & Terry Taylor beat The Kelly Twins to win the Central States tag titles in Kansas City
1981 - Buddy Rose beat Jay Youngblood to win the Pacific Northwest title
1984 - Jerry Lawler beat Randy Savage to win the Mid American title in Lexington
1988 - Carlos Colon beat Hercules Ayala in Caguas to win the Universal title
1990 - Tiger Mask (Mitsuharu Misawa) & Kenta Kobashi beat Dan Kroffat & Doug Furnas in Okayama to win the All-Asia tag titles
2000 - Blue Panther beat El Hijo del Santo in Monterrey to win the WWA welterweight title
2001 - Kazuyuki Fujita beat Scott Norton in Osaka to win the IWGP title
2003 - Doug Basham beat Nick Dinsmore in Louisville to win the OVW title
2004 - L.A. Park beat Rey Misterio (original)_ in Tijuana to win the X-Law title
2007 - Naruki Doi & Magnitude Kishiwada & Gamma beat Cima & Susumu Yokosuka & Ryo Saito in Kobe to win the Open the Triangle Gate title
--The official closing of Mid South Wrestling was 27 years ago today. Actually, it was called the UWF, but that was the day the sale went through to Jim Crockett Promotions
--Matt Cross won this year's Super 8 tournament on Saturday night in Newark, DK, pinning John Skyler in the finals after three shooting star presses.
--Smash Wrestling on 5/4 in Etobicoke, ONT will have a one-ngiht tournament at the E-Zone. There are five first round matches with the winners going into a five-way match. The first round has Kevin Steen vs. Scotty O'Shea, Johnny Gargano vs. Matt Cross, John Greed vs. Josh Alexander, Alex Vega vs. ?, and Chris Hero vs. Michael Elgin.
--There is a new Paul Heyman interview at ElvisDuran.com
--Tommy Dreamer's House of Hardcore promotion on 6/6 in Poughkeepsie and 6/7 in Philadelphia has Hurricane Helms on the first night, and on both nights are Matt Striker, Hale Collins, Homicide, Eddie Kingston, Vic Dalishus, Kevin Steen, Adam Pearce, CW Anderson, Abyss, Chris Hero, Gangrel, A.J. Styles, Tommy Dreamer, Bully Ray and Devon. Appearing on 6/14 near San Diego, in Valley Center, CA at Harrah's, are Matt Hardy Reby Sky, Lance Storm, Tommy Dreamer, Terry Funk, Rikishi, Gangrel, Barbie Blank (formerly Kelly Kelly), Chris Masters, Adam Pearce, Ron Simmons and The Young Bucks.
--This may only be available in the U.K., but this is a Paige interview for BBC Radio Norfolk about her title win at
--Another interview with Paige at
--AAW Pro Wrestling Defined airs tonight at 7 p.m. on MaddyGTV on Roku.