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:
--A look at the Dragon Gate USA shows
--Build to major New Japan match
--New Japan's Taiwan tour
--Mid South Fan Fest
--History of Mid South Wrestling
--Bill Goldberg and Jim Ross speeches and notes
--ROH TV taping
--TNA taping schedule
--Why people in TNA remain nervous
--Several TNA injuries
--TNA creative updates
--John Gaburick talks about TNA
--Why Sonnen vs. Silva was moved
--Lots of UFC moves
--Cutting of Jake Shields
--Tons of new UFC fights
--Dana White's latest issues with the Diaz Brothers
--UFC star whose career was thought to be over may be fighting soon
--Lots of show over the next week
--Tons of new fights
--Ronda Rousey legal issues
--Update on Sting
--What can be done with Sting
--Talks about future WrestleManias
--Main Event off Ion
--Story behind people out of the company
--Update on Shane McMahon and his business and how it's doing
--Where was Ric Flair
--Legends Roundtable thoughts
--Stan Hansen's big moments in Japan
--The act that broke up on twitter
--Former NFL All-Pro signs with WWE to a unique deal
--Rollins talks the rise of Roman Reigns
--C.M. Punk 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.
THURSDAY'S NEWS UPDATE
--Some thoughts on the Nancy Gracie segment yesterday with DDP. It was that sensationalistic fake outrage stuff from reporters that are a total turnoff. However, people spreading the word that Nancy Gracie said Owen Hart died of steroids are just as bad (let me clarify this by saying I am going off a YouTube clip that was edited, so I may not have seen the entire segment). There was a list of wrestlers dying young on the screen. She never said one name on that list that I heard, except talked about Warrior. She just said a lot of wrestlers died young because of steroids and drugs, which is true. There was enough of an implication that the people on the list died that way that it was an unfair portrayal, but she never said that. And anyone talking about the nature of Warrior's death for more than 90 seconds in a journalistic capacity who doesn't bring up his admitted use of steroids is a hack. If you really respect the guy, respect the fact that he himself didn't run from the subject, unlike so many.
I have no idea if he was or wasn't using during any of the last decade or longer since he left wrestling. But he also was not shy to say that he did for years, and his failed tests and firings are all public record. He had a heart attack at 54 when he's supposed to be a health nut. I'm not saying that's what he died from. There could be plenty of other reasons. But if you don't even ask that question or bring up the possibility, you're trying to run from something.
She was obnoxious in her delivery, but she always is. Jim Cornette of all people should know that shows like that live for the reaction, and her show people are likely laughing at all the publicity wrestling fans are giving the show today. You want to get back at Nancy Grace? Don't watch the show. I don't. I watched last night for one minute and realized why I didn't need to, and it wasn't even a wrestling segment, then turned it off. Thinking getting the show trending on Twitter is a negative to her is to not understand how people laugh at people who overreact on shows like that. Worse, all the people who reacted to her saying Owen Hart died from steroids, there's nothing that makes people in that world not listen to people who complain to them, or laugh at those doing so, is claiming they said something they never said in the first place.
You want to complain about the segment, go ahead. Just make sure you don't say that Nancy Gracie said Owen Hart died of steroids, because then any letter just strengthens their ability to say all these crazy wrestling fans don't know what they are talking about.
To the people at the station she works at, a petition by wrestling fans to cancel Nancy Gracie is probably something they are all laughing at today, and reveling in the publicity. You want to do something constructive, or do a petition, or send letters to HLN, ask her to go on the air and give clarity to those list of wrestlers that say, yes, they died young, but Owen Hart, Mark Curtis (Brian Hildbrand), Brady Boone, etc. did not die from steroids or drugs, that you can reasonably get the idea from that piece that they did. And that is unfair to their memories and to their families.
She's not a real reporter--she's a sensationalist looking for ratings--and her ratings aren't even that good. But the inaccuracy of some who claimed Nancy Gracie said Owen Hart died of steroids was no better. I watched it and I didn't even get that there was an implication of that, but I could easily see where people could. It was confusing enough that it should have been clarified. I think she should go on today and clarify it for that reason. It probably won't happen, but that's a different thing that goes back to what they are doing isn't real reporting and they don't care about misinforming the public with their show. Unless they do clarify it tonight.
--DDP said that if he would have known the only topic being discussed was steroids he would not have done the show and said he was unaware of the list shown to the audience and the implication those wrestlers died from steroids and felt the show owes the families of some of those wrestles an apology.
--Sting on Facebook regarding Ultimate Warrior
"Jim always challenged me to strive at being the best, and I'll forever be grateful for the encouragement and motivation he provided. I was looking forward to catching up with him, and I'm saddened we didn't have that opportunity before he passed. My heart goes out to his wife Dana and their two daughters, and they will remain in my prayers."
--Dana White met with Gina Carano last night regarding signing her for a match with Ronda Rousey. The meeting seemed to go well. White didn't want to hint at anything past that.
--WWE stock fell $1.63 per share today to $21.12 per share.
POLL ON MAIN EVENT
40.7% of those responding didn't see the show
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST SHOW OF THE WEEKEND
UFC on Friday 82.8%
Bellator on Friday 17.2%
--WWE aired a tribute video for Warrior on the WWE Network last night that I presume will air again on Raw on Monday.
--The Washington Post did a story in the Lifestyle section called "The Ultimate Warrior joins a long list of wrestlers who died prematurely."
--BBC Radio 4 this morning talked about the death of Warrior. UK wrestler Jimmy Havoc came out and brought up Warrior being one of the first wrestlers he saw. The hosts then started asking him about wrestling being predetermined and never spoke about Warrior again. The hosts were surprised when Havoc admitted it was predetermined.
--TNA may be doing an angle tonight to cover for Samoa Joe not being able to wrestle due to a concussion. At least he wasn't cleared as of the weekend.
--Alistair Overeem and GSP both had surgeries yesterday. Overeem had elbow surgery for a pinched nerve. GSP had left knee surgery in Los Angeles.
--The finals of the TUF Nations series, after last night's show, are Canadian Chad Laprise (7-0) vs. Canadian Oliver Aubin-Mercier (4-0) for the welterweight division and Canadian Elias Theodorou (8-0) vs. Canadian Sheldon Wescott (8-1) in the middleweight division. No Australians made the finals. In other matches off the series that will be on the final card, which is Wednesday night from Quebec City, there is:
Vik Grujic (6-2) vs. Nordine Taleb (8-2), Chris Indich (6-1) vs. Richard Walsh (7-1).
--Also from that show, Evan Dunham is out with a rib injury and Mark Bocek will now be facing Mike De La Torre.
--The Andrew Craig vs. Chris Camozzi fight scheduled for tomorrow's UFC show in Abu Dhabi is out because Craig had to pull out due to tonsillitis.
--Matt Grice was on UFC Tonight last night, amazing given all he went through after a serious brain injury when he was rear-ended in an auto accident and it was feared he wouldn't live the night.
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY
1960 - Shirley Crabtree, who later became Big Daddy, bat Ed Bright in London to win the British heavyweight title
1971 - Mark Lewin & King Curtis Iaukea beat Killer Kowalski & Bulldog Bob Brown in Melbourne to win the IWA tag titles
1975 - Mad Dog Vachon beat Mighty Inoue in Tokyo to win the IWA title
1987 - Owen Hart beat Makhan Singh in Calgary to win the North American title
1999 - Jushin Liger & Great Sasuke beat Kendo Ka Shin & Dr. Wagner Jr. in Tokyo to win the IWGP jr. title
2001 - Jeff Hardy beat HHH in Philadelphia to win the IC title
2011 - Aja Kong beat Mayumi Ozaki in Tokyo to win the Oz Academy Open weight title and Tomoka Nakagawa & Hiroyo Matsumoto beat Chikayo Nagashima & Sonoko Kato to win the tag titles
ODDS FOR TOMORROW
Roy Nelson -120
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira +110
Clay Guida -120
Tatsuya Kawajiri +115
John Howard +325
Ryan LaFlare -300
Beneil Dariush -235
Ramsey Nijem +215
--This year's All Japan Champion Carnival tournament starts Sunday in Tokyo.
--CMLL from Tuesday night in Guadalajara: Smaker b Espectrum, Leo & Esfinge & Black Metal b Camorra & Cholo & Disturbio, Zeuxis b Siluerta, Mr. Aguila & Rey Escorpion & Kraneo b Brazo de Plata & Maximo & Rey Cometa, Titan & Volador Jr. & Valiente b Mephisto & Gran Guerrero & Ultimo Guerrero-DQ (thanks to Steve "Dr. Lucha" Sims and Kris Zellner)
--The Self Destruction of the Ultimate Warrior DVD was going for $59 minimum yesterday on Amazon.
--Australia's leading film critic, David Stratton, gave Muppets Most Wanted, which includes Hornswoggle, a **1/2 rating. Co-host Margaret Pomeranz gave it a ***1/2 rating. (thanks to James Stanios)
--GOUGE this weekend on 4/11 in Creedmoor, NC at the South Gainesville High School Gym and 4/12 in Fuquay Varina, NC at the Flea Market and Luchadome for a 1 p.m. show
--Chaotic Wrestling tomorrow night in Woburn, MA at the Elks Lodge and Saturday night in Littleton, NH at the Opera House.
--The Los Angeles Dodgers played the Ultimate Warrior theme during the game last night with the Detroit Tigers (thanks to Adam Silverman)
--Ox Baker was mentioned by he announcers during a Penguins vs. Red Wings hockey game last night after two players bonked heads (thanks to Ross McQueen)
--East Coast Pro Wrestling on 4/19 in Elmira, NY at the First Arena. Among those scheduled are Ted DiBiase Jr., Vader, Velvet Sky, Tito Santana, Sandman (who will team with son Tyler Fullington), Gary Wolf, HC Loc, and Ghost Hunters star Jason Gowin.
--Shine is on iPPV on 4/18 in Ybor City, FL with Ivelisse vs. Sweet Saraya Knight for the Shine title, Leva & Mia Yim vs. Madison Eagles & Evie, plus Amazing Kong, Mercedes Martinez and Serena Deep.
--Evolve on 5/9 in Brooklyn has the Bravado Brothers vs. Fire Ant & Green Ant and Chuck Taylor vs. Drew Gulak.
--The Glory show from Istanbul will air live on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. Eastern time on The Fight Network in Canada. The show will air on tape delay in prime time Saturday night on Spike. Fight Network coverage also includes the prelims for the Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley show at 7 p.m.., Cage Warriors from Swansea, Wales at 9 p.m. and K-1 from Mallorca, Spain at 11 p.m
--The Glory show is headlined by Errol Zimmerman (101-11-1) vs. Ben Edwards (36-9-3) and Robin van Roosmalen (31-6) vs.Marat Grigorian (35-4-2).