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.
SUNDAY'S NEWS UPDATE
--Bryan and I will be back tonight for Wrestling Observer radio. With no major events over the weekend, we'll be taking a lot of questions that you can send in to
--Vickie Guerrero on Twitter said that she was still with the company. Multiple sources within the company had said she was done at the end of the week last week.
WWE Special Event schedule for the rest of the year
Extreme Rules 5/4 in East Rutherford, NJ
Payback 6/1 in Chicago
Money in the Bank 6/29 in Boston
Battleground 7/20 in Tampa
SummerSlam 8/17 in Los Angeles
Night of Champions 9/21 in Nashville
Hell in a Cell 10/26 in Dallas
Survivor Series 11/23 in St. Louis
TLC 12/14 in Cleveland
--Total Divas airs at 9 p.m. tonight on E!
--The episode of TUF Brazil with the Chael Sonnen/Wanderlei Silva pull-apart airs tonight on Fight Pass.
--The WWE Films release "Oculus" is projected to gross $12 million this weekend for third place behind Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Rio 2. The movie will be profitable, which is something that most WWE movies don't end up being.
--If you have Comcast, you should check if you DVR Raw. The show is split into three hours as opposed to one show, and lists it as a repeat.
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Graeme Cameron and Brian Hoops)
1960 - Hard Boiled Haggerty & Paul Vachon beat Lord James Blears & Herb Freeman in Honolulu to win the Hawaiian tag team title
1963 - Kay Noble beat Kathy Starr to win the vacant AWA women's title in St. Paul
1964 - Enrique Torres & Bearcat Wright beat Kinji Shibuya & Don Leo Jonathan in Vancouver to win the Canadian Open tag title
1965 - Kurt & Karl Von Brauner beat Jackie Fargo & Mario Milano in Nashville to win the world tag team titles
1970 - Gene Kiniski beat Mark Lewin in Vancouver to win the Pacific Coast title
1970 - Bob Geigel & The Stomper (Archie Gouldie) beat Killer Karl Kox & K.O. Kox in St. Joseph to win the North American tag titles
1970 - Albert Wall beat Steve Vedor in Nottingham to win the vacant British heavyweight title.
1971 - Jack & Jerry Brisco beat Dory Funk Jr. & Terry Funk in Tampa to win the Florida tag team titles
1974 - Ripper Collins beat Jimmy Snuka to win the Pacific Northwest title
1977 - Roddy Piper beat Chavo Guerrero to win the NWA light heavyweight title
1980 - Ole Anderson beat Killer Karl Kox in Knoxville to win the Southeastern title
1980 - Antonio Inoki beat Tiger Jeet Singh in Naucalpan to win the UWA heavyweight title
1983 - El Satanico beat El Jalisco to win the NWA middleweight title
1983 - Terry Allen (Magnum T.A. ) & Brad Armstrong beat The Kangaroos (Don Kent & Johny Heffernan) in Miami to win the Global tag team titles and Ric Flair went to a 60:00 draw with Barry Windham over the world title that night in Miami
1983 - Ted DiBiase & Mr. Olympia beat Tiger Conway Jr. & Mr. Wrestling II to win the Mid South tag titles in Shreveport
1985 - Mega Maharishi (Ed Wiskoski) & Kendo Nagasaki beat Don Running Bear & Billy Two Eagles in Portland to win the Northwest tag title
1991 - El Egipicio beat Rayo de Jalisco Jr. in Puebla to win the Mexican national heavyweight title
1994 - Diesel beat Razor Ramon in Rochester, NY to win the IC title
1997 - Steele (Val Venis) beat Rayo de Jalisco Jr. in Mexico City to win the CMLL heavyweight title
1997 - Terry Funk beat Raven to win the ECW title in Philadelphia
2002 - Genichiro Tenryu beat Keiji Muto in Tokyo to win the Triple Crown and Kendo Ka Shin beat Masa Fuchi to win the vacant jr. title, while Arashi & Nobutaka Araya beat Mitsuya Nagai & Shigeo Okumura to win the All-Asia tag title
2007 - Yuji Nagata beat Hiroshi Tanahashi in Osaka to win the IWGP title
--At the GLAAD media awards for this year there is a pro wrestling connection and an MMA connection. For Outstanding Talk Show Episode, Ellen DeGeneras interviewing Fred Rosser (Darren Young) was nominated for an award and for Outstanding Digital Journalism, a story by Loretta Hunt on Fallon Fox was also nominated. There was a ceremony for some awards last night in Los Angeles and I believe neither was announced, but they are up in another ceremony on 5/3 in New York.
--The WWE Network debuts a new show this week called WrestleMania 30 fallout. It's a four part series.
HOW MANY PPV BUYS DOES UFC 175 DO?
Under 300,000 8.0%
More than 801,000 8.0%
POLL ON BELLATOR
82.8% of those responding didn't see the show
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF TITO ORTIZ VS. ALEXANDER SHLEMENKO?
Ortiz should be retired, should not be fighting after all his injuries 73.0%
Ridiculous fight putting champion against a guy past his prime 14.4%
Adding a big name like Ortiz helps get me interested in buying the show 9.1%
Size vs. age makes it a fair fight 2.7%
Ridiculous fight due to size difference 0.8%
--GOUGE from last night in Fuquay Varina, NC: Seymour Snott b Alas de Angel-DQ, Ulrich van Vorse b Chaco, Josh Powers b Timmy Lou Retton, Seymour Snott b Josh Powers, Ulrich von Vorse b Popo the Klown, Jimmy Jack Funk Jr. b Otto Schwanz, Ultrich von Vorse b Seymour Snott. Next show is 5/3 in Stem, NC at the Fire Hall.
--Satoshi Kojima defends the NWA title on 5/30 for Southern All-Star Wrestling in Nashville.
--Jim Ross talks Pacquiao-Bradley, Jake Roberts and having ESPN's Robert Flores on his podcast as well as Gail Kim, Jesse Ventura and more at www.jrsbarbq.com
--Independent Wrestling Revolution from last night in Sterling Heights, MI: Truth Martini & Anthony Rivera b Bump n Uglies, Breyer Wellington over Klunk the Clown, Mark Gjoka & Jimmy Shalwin, N8 Mattson over CK 3 and Gutter, Kamikaze b Jeff King, Jimmy Jacobs b Jamey Coxxx & Frankie the Face in a handicap match, Brimstone b Mr. Insanity and Jay the Cable Guy, Movado & Mr. Insanity & Brimstone & Jay the Cable Guy b N8 Mattson & Truth Martini & Anthony Rivera & Breyer Wellington (thanks to Leonard Brand)
--Shimmer from last night in Berwyn, IL: Angelus Layne b Mary Lee Rose Angie Skye & Stacy Shadows b Pink Flash Kira & Diana Hall
Volume 63 DVD: Evie b Rhia O'Reilly, Nevaeh b Christina Von Eerie, Jessicka Havoc b Kary Lee Ray, Courtney Rush b Marti Belle, Kimber Lee & Cherry Bomb b Leva Bates & Veda Scott, Madison Eagles b Heidi Lovelace, Saraya Knight b Tomoka Nakagawa, Yumi Ohka b Athena, Leon & Ray b Nicole Matthews & Portia Perez, Kellie Skater b Nikki Storm, Mia Yim b Hikaru Shida, LuFisto & Kane b Cheerleader Melissa & Mercedes Martinez...Volume 64 DVD: Athena b Cherry Bomb, Melanie Cruise b Kay Lee Ray and Nikki Storm, Heidi Lovelace b Angie Skye, Rhia O'Reilly & Saraya Knight b Leva Bates & Veda Scott, Christina Von Eerie b Marti Belle, LuFisto b Nevaeh, Courtney Rush over Evie, Madison Eagles and Nicole Matthews in four-way, Kana b Thunderkitty, Hikaru Shida b Kimber Lee, Mia Yim b Mercedes Martinez, Kellie Skater & Tomoka Nakagawa b Leon & ray to keep tag titles Cheerleader Melissa b Yumi Ohka to retain Shimmer title. They taped two more DVDs today. (thanks to Martin Bentley)
--Saturday's Lucha Xtreme from Fresno TV: Mike Rayne b Johnny Dynamo, Wiseguy b Jesse Poole, JR Kratos b D-Unit (thanks to Jon Southerland)
--During the BBC coverage of today's London Marathon, there was a runner dressed as Ultimate Warrior. he was interviewed on the broadcast and talked about Warrior, although it didn't appear the person doing the interview had any clue what he was talking about. (thanks to Darren Wadsworth, Matty Barker and many others)
--Anarchy Wrestling from last night in Cornelia, GA before more than 100 fans: Mike Posey b John Skyler, Jeremy Foster & Mikey Watkins b Bobby Moore & Laredo Kid, Jon & Trey Williams b Seth Delay & Slim Jay, Geter b Seven, Nemesis & Jackson b Alex Avgerinos & Lars Manderson, Vandal b Tommy Penirelli, Billy Buck b BJ Hancock, Corey Hollis b Steven Walters in double overtime. Walters is headed to NXT.
--IWF on 5/18 in Phoenix at the Celebrity Theater has Austin Aries, Ricochet, Johnny Gargano, Matt Hardy, Trent Baretta, Lance Hoyt, Brian Cage, Reno Scum, Rich Swann, AR Fox, Tony Nese, Shelton Benjamin and more.
--Lance Stephenson of the Indiana Pacers last night was on the mic and did the Ric Flair Whooo.
--Pro Wrestling Syndicate ran a Memorial show for agent Scott Epstein today in Avenel, NJ with proceeds going to the Epstein family. Among those scheduled were Ivan Koloff, Rocky Johnson, Tony Atlas, Bill Irwin, Jey Lethal and Tommy Dreamer.
--Marina Shafir, the former judo champion who is the Tully Blanchard of the Four Horsewomen, debuted last night on a show in Inglewood, CA by submitting Chandra Engel with an armbar in 1:57.