By Dave Meltzer |
There is seven straight hours of UFC on FS 1 today, nine hours if you've got Fight Pass and can't get enough.
It starts with a live show from 3:15 p.m. Eastern (12:15 p.m. Pacific) to 10 p.m. from Quebec City, and follows with two more hours of the fights to get into the house for the first episode of the B.J. Penn and Frankie Edgar coached TUF season on FS 1.
Fight Pass at 3:15 p.m. Eastern
Tim Gorman (135) vs. Mitch Gagnon (135)
Chris Indich (170) vs. Richard Walsh (170)
Vik Grujic (186) vs. Nordine Taleb (185)
Mike De La Torre (156) vs. Mark Bocek (156)
FS 1 at 5 p.m. Eastern
Dustin Kimura (136) vs. George Roop (135)
Sean O'Connell (204) vs. Ryan Jimmo (205)
Leslie Smith (135) vs. Sarah Kaufman (135)
K.J. Noons (168) vs. Sam Stout (169)
Akira Corassani (145) vs. Dustin Poirier (145)
Oliver Aubin-Mercier (169) vs. Chad Laprise (170) for the TUF welterweight finals
Elias Theodorou (185) vs. Sheldon Wescott (184) for TUf welterweight finals
Kyle Noke (171) vs. Patrick Cote (170) in the coaches challenge
Tim Kennedy (186) vs. Michael Bisping (186) in the five round main event
We've got a new double issue of the Observer up today covering the death of Ultimate Warrior, the end of the streak, WrestleMania, Jeff Jarrett's promotion and all the news in the biggest wrestling news week of the year.
We look at the details of the death of the Ultimate Warrior, his health, was the speech the result of something he knew, did he have a premonition of dying young, the keys who his success in wrestling and why it didn't last and more.
We look at his days as Blade Runner Rock, working in Mid South Wrestling and in Texas, Big Van Vader, how he got over in WWE, the IC title run, Owen Hart, the matches with Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage, why his title run didn't work, people's childhood hero, his bodybuilding fanaticism, his bodybuilding career before wrestling, Sting, his WCW run, his name change, his family, his return to WWE, his projects after wrestling and more.
We also have a piece by Frankie Kazarian talking about growing up with the Ultimate Warrior as his favorite wrestler.
We also look at the end of the streak. We look at the match, other matches it compared to, the story of the streak, why the streak ended, and the real choice Vince McMahon made. We also look at how hard they tried to keep it a secret and if it worked. We also look at the injuries to Mark Calaway.
We also look at the rise of Daniel Bryan to WWE champion, the story of this year's WrestleMania, how the stream held up, Extreme Rules, plus match-by-match rundowns with star ratings.
We also have a look at the business of the WWE network, why it will be a success to a degree but the jury is out on it being a game changer. We also look at how many subscribers WWE budgeted the network to get this year and next year and the acceleration of its growth that is budgeted as well as how many PPV buys they budgeted WrestleMania to do this year.
We also look at satisfaction levels of the network.
We also look at the 25 biggest grossing shows in history in North America.
We also have an in-depth look at the 2014 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony. We look at the real star of the Hall of Fame this year, the courting of Ultimate Warrior, the Warrior DVD, the Carlos Colon controversy and all of the speeches.
We also examine the beginnings of Global Force Wrestling with Jeff Jarrett.
We've got a look at the New Japan Invasion Attack show, the angle to bring in A.J. Styles, the situation with Prince Devitt, the Gracies, and Naito vs. Ishii feud, the next PPV as well as match-by-match coverage with star ratings.
We also update the Gina Carano vs. Ronda Rousey situation.
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:
--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.
WEDNESDAY'S NEWS UPDATE
--Bryan and I will be back tonight for Wrestling Observer radio. There is a ton of news to talk about, much of what is in the new issue of the Observer that will be out later today. If you've got any questions from the issue, you can send them to
--The 4/15 Variety lists the death of Ultimate Warrior as No. 1 among its top five stories on page 6 and page 102 had another story on Warrior's reconciliation with WWE.
--The Wizard World convention on 6/20 to 6/22 in Philadelphia will have John Cena, Batista, Bruno Sammartino and the Bella Twins attending. The Twins appear 6/20 from 4:30 to 7 p.m., Sammartino on 6/21 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Batista on 6/21 from 2-6 p.m. and Cena on 6/22 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Bellas and Batista also will be donig Q&As.
--Big Show will be doing Wizard World in Atlanta in May.
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Brian Hoops and Graeme Cameron)
1960 - Dr. Jerry Graham & Eddie Graham beat Red & Lou (Lou Klein) Bastien to win the U.S. tag team titles
1982 - Giant Baba beat Bruiser Brody to win the Champion Carnival tournament
1983 - Roddy Piper beat Greg Valentine to win the U.S. title
1986 - Cien Caras & Mascara Ano 2000 beat Rayo de Jalisco Jr. & Tony Bennetto to win the Mexican national tag titles
1989 - Shinichi Nakano beat Masa Fuchi in Tokyo to win the All Japan jr. title
1992 - George & Shunji Takano beat Haku & Yoshiaki Yatsu to win the SWS tag titles
1994 - Toshiaki Kawada beat Steve Williams to win the Champion Carnival tournament
1994 - Chris Benoit as Wild Pegasus beat Great Sasuke in Tokyo to win the first legendary Super J Cup tournament
1999 - Vader beat Kenta Kobashi in Tokyo to win the Champion Carnival tournament
2000 - Heavy Metal beat Cobarde in Nuevo Laredo to win the UWA light heavyweight title
2000 - Chris Candido won the vacant WCW cruiserweight title over The Artist, Juventud Guerrera, Shannon Moore, Lash Leroux and Crowbar, Shane Douglas & Buff Bagwell beat Ric Flair & Lex Luger to win the vacant WCW tag title, Scott Steiner beat Sting to win the vacant U.S. title and Jeff Jarrett beat DDP to win the vacant WCW title. This all happened on one show in Chicago. And you wonder why they went out of business.
--UK wrestler Marty Scurll was diagnosed with a dislocated AC joint and not a dislocated shoulder as first thought. He was told he could probably return to the ring in six weeks. (thanks to Patrick Gronemann)
--Absolute Intense Wrestling on 4/25 at Turners Hall in Cleveland with Alex Shelley vs. Tim Donst, plus Kevin Steen & Johnny Gargano vs. Louis Lyndon & Allego. All matches on the show are billed as Compton Rules matches which means no DQ.
--Gina Carano turned 32 today. Other birthdays today include George Steele, who turns 77, Vickie Guerrero, who turns 46, and Paul London, who turns 34.
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF TOTAL DIVAS?
52.9% of those responding didn't see the show
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST SHOW THIS WEEK?
UFC on Saturday night 45.2%
New Japan iPPV 34.7%
UFC on Wednesday night 16.7%
WHAT SHOULD HEADLINE YOKOHAMA ARENA?
Okada vs. Styles rematch 30.8%
Styles vs Tanahashi 27.1%
Okada vs. Nakamura 21.6%
Okada vs Tanahashi 13.4%
Styles vs. Nakamura 7.2%
WHO DO YOU PREDICT WINS THIS FIGHT?
Michael Bisping 71.4%
Tim Kennedy 28.6%
WHAT WILL BE THE NO. 2 PROMOTION IN THE U.S. IN 2015?
Jarrett's group 26.0%
New Japan 12.3%
WHO WAS THE STAR OF RAW?
Bray Wyatt 36.1%
Roman Reigns 18.6%
Stephanie McMahon 7.7%
John Cena 6.5%
Randy Orton 1.7%
POLL ON RAW
9.5% of those responding didn't see the show
--Bellator weigh-ins for Friday's show are tomorrow at 5 p.m. local time at the Mid America Center in Council Bluffs, IA
--United Wrestling Coalition on 5/17 in Browns Mills, NJ at the Fire House.
--Paul Walker's brothers Cody and Caleb will be helping on finishing the scenes for their brother in Fast & Furious 7 which is doing reshooting (thanks to James Stanios)
--AAA is taping television tonight in San Luis Potosi with La Parka & Cibernetico & Fenix vs. Black Warrior & Perro Aguayo Jr. & Jeff Jarrett, and Electroshock & Psycho Clown & Alan Stone vs. El Texano Jr. & Chessman & Silver King as the top matches.
--FRAM Oil Filters purchased last night's CMLL show in Guadalajara, and gave away 3,500 tickets: Virgo b Demonio Rojo, Demus 3:16 & Nitrito & Pequeno Violencia b Stukita & Astral & Angelito, Stigma & Magnus & Esfinge b Malefico & Rebelde & Canelo Casas, Sangre Azteca & Bobby Zavala & Arkangel de la Muerte b Fuego & Triton & Gallo, Brazo de Plata b Kraneo, La Sombra & Valiente & La Mascara b Averno & Mephisto & Ephesto-DQ
--CMLL from Monday night in Puebla: Siki Ozama II & Espiritu Negro & King Jaguar b Millennium & Aguila Egipcia & Sensei, Espiritu Maligno & Blue Center & King Jaguar b Hombre Bala Jr. & Super Halcon Jr. & Asturiano, Stuka Jr. & Stigma & La Mascara b Dragon Rojo Jr. & Rey Escorpion & Polvora-DQ, Rush & Atlantis & La Sombra b El Terrible & Rey Bucanero & Vangellys, Mephisto b Mr. Aguila to retain the Mexican national light heavyweight title. (thanks to Kris Zellner and Steve "Dr. Lucha" Sims)
--Fight Club presale for the 6/7 UFC show in Albuquerque at the Tingley Coliseum start today. Newsletter sales start tomorrow and they go on sale to the public on Friday. Tickets range from $175 down to $50.
--Vance McAllister, a Republican Congressman from Monroe, LA, embroiled in a scandal because he was caught on tape kissing a staffer (he's married with kids, as is the staffer), worked with the staffer also in McAllister Promotions, which lists Southern Wrestling Superstars as an affiliate. Southern Wrestling Superstars was the name of the promotion that booked the talent on Duck Dynasty with Jim Duggan. The endorsement of the Duck Dynasty crew helped put him in office.
--In John Finnegan's listing of all TV and PPV matches, Jack Swagger lost his 100th TV match last night to Big Show. Since keeping track in late November 2006, Swagger is only the second person to lose 100 TV matches. The first was Dolph Ziggler.
--GCW on 6/14 in Oshawa, ONT
--Chris Sabin has been added to the 5/18 IWF show in Phoenix.