We also have our usual weekly features with results of the major arena shows from around the world, and the major TV show rundowns and reviews.
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Also in this week's issue:
--Hall of Fame candidate who recovered from a stroke talks coming out of retirement
--Update on Perro Aguayo Jr.
--Notes on the upcoming Dragon Gate singles tournament
--Dragon Gate's planned biggest show of the year, canceled due to earthquake, takes place on a much smaller scale
--One of the best wrestlers in the world will be sidelined for a long time due to neck issues
--A look at the next major show by Pro Wrestling NOAH including champ Sugiura defends against another outsider
--A look at the annual NOAH tag tournament which includes the Kings of Wrestling
--The Best of the Super Junior tournament for 2011, more wrestlers than ever, and on paper looks like some of the best matches of the year may be taking place
--Major New Japan matches from the past week
--Kickboxing legend may make pro wrestling debut
--One of the biggest feuds of the late 80s reprised on a major show at the end of the month
--Details of the King of Trios weekend, business, top matches and fallout
--News that freaked out many indie wrestlers in the Ohio area
--This week's pro wrestling award for stupidity in social media
--Lots of new ROH matches
--Lots of strange Matt hardy stuff
--Updates on TNA status of guys who have been off television
--TNA fan cruise
--Hulk Hogan to appear on major MMA TV show
--Lots more on the UFC purchasing Strikeforce with more details
--A look at several major MMA fights signed including top matches for UFC in Rio de Janeiro
--Update on Royce Gracie in UFC
--Lots of news about UFC show at the Rogers Centre and the setup of the show
--UFC network partner makes a major signing and how the money earmarked there affects UFC and WWE
--More on the future of Chael Sonnen
--Nick Diaz plays boxing card
--Realities of Diaz as a boxer
--How an FBI raid affects the MMA industry
--Jon Jones makes claims about Rashad Evans
--Junior Dos Santos talks what he can do to Brock Lesnar
--Update on UFC ticket sales including how the Lesnar vs. Dos Santos fight is doing
--More on the Toronto numbers
--Why the first proposed opponent for Gina Carano fell through and an update on someone talked about
--Human interest story regarding a headliner at the Toronto show
--Lots more UFC fights added this past week
--Payoffs from the last Strikeforce show
--MMA star looks to defect from their country to represent the U.S. at the Olympics
--Notes from Ultimate Fighter
--A financially strapped company announces a new major show
--A look at Joe Warren's attempt to go after several different goals
--A look at the last Bellator show
--How the last boxing PPV show did
New subscribers ordering 24 or 40 issues can get free issues from the last 18 years. You can get 2 free back issues by ordering 40 or more
issues and one for 24. Let us know which stories 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 18 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
*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
*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
*May 12, 2003 (The life and death of Elizabeth, and the rise of fall of
*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
*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
*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
*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
*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
*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
*February 14, 2007 (Life and Times of Bam 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
*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
*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)
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We also 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., $10 for shipping costs to Canada and $12 for shipping costs outside North America. You can order the book the same way you order the newsletter.
--There is a lot of internal speculation regarding after the draft that the annual spring cleaning would be taking place with roster cuts. A lot of people on the bubble said to be nervous.
--Not a lot on the draft. As noted yesterday, for a brief period of time, Beth Phoenix was listed on the Raw page. At one point today, Alberto Del Rio was listed on the Raw page. The one thing we do know is Del Rio was scheduled in June when they were originally going to have the draft to be moved at that time to Raw. Whether this is people jumping the gun or clerical errors, I don't know, but they've kept the draft stuff pretty quiet. The only thing we've heard is that as of last night the key decision (who becomes the top Smackdown babyface) and key thing regarding the draft had not been decided. There was talk of drafting Undertaker to Raw to make up for whoever the big babyface star that goes to Smackdown ends up being. What is also holding things up is Vince McMahon wants the top matches at SummerSlam decided on now, and thus moving talent around accordingly. They have to both do the draft, promote Rock on next week's show, and also promote Sunday's PPV show, plus the idea was to do another Cole-Ross angle.
--Bret Hart appears on Tough Enough tonight.
--Jesus Luna aka Charly Manson was arrested yesterday morning on charges of assaulting two police officers who were trying to arrest him and underage friend Adrian Lopez for being drunk in public. The wrestler, his friend and the police ended up in a heated argument which ended up the two officers sent to the hospital, one with head injuries, and Lopez being shot in the leg. (thanks to Kris Zellner)
--Chris Jericho is on Dancing with the Stars tonight at 8 p.m. Jericho has not been doing well in fan voting, so he needs a top three performance in the dancing tonight to be on the safe side when it comes to eliminations. Jericho noted that the band members from Fozzy will be at tonight's performance.
--The 9/18 WWE PPV show from Buffalo, formerly called Night of Champions, no longer has a name.
--Bryan and I will be back tonight covering the WWE draft, as well as the rest of today's news. If you've got questions for tonight's show you can send them to
As noted before, besides Bryan's regular shows, he and I will be doing seven shows in the next eight days with coverage of the UFC 129 activities from Toronto, the Raw draft, we'll have an interview with Mick Foley, Extreme Rules coverage and Rock birthday Raw coverage all between now and 5/2.
--Anderson Silva was on Opie & Anthony today. It'll be repeated at 8 p.m. on Sirius 197 and XM 202, talking about the documentary about his life that is premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival.
--UFC will unveil a country wide community initiative in Canada with an announcement tomorrow at 10 a.m. at the Cabbagetown Youth Centre in Toronto with UFC's head of Canadian Operations Tom Wright, and fighter Sam Stout.
--Gail Kim and Awesome Kong are going back-and-forth on twitter, trying to build up interest to get both going in a WWE feud and reprise the TNA feud.
--Best TV show of last week
Tough Enough 28.5%
Prime Time: St. Pierre vs Shields 14.5%
Ultimate Fighter 3.6%
Inside MMA 3.0%
MMA Live 0.6%
--Poll on Bellator
68.9% of those responding didn't see the show
--Who do you think won the Bellator main event?
Richard Hale 43.2%
D.J. Linderman 20.5%
A draw 36.4%
--Best of this group on promos
Jerry Lawler 52.3%
Superstar Billy Graham 31.3%
Ernie Ladd 4.6%
Baron Von Raschke 4.3%
Dick Murdoch 3.6%
Archie Gouldie 2.1%
Blackjack Mulligan 1.5%
Tor Kamata 0.3%
--ESPN E:60 will be doing a feature on tomorrow night's show on Dhafir Harris, who promoted backyard MMA fights that spawned Kimbo Slice. Show airs at 7 p.m. Eastern.
--KTVU Ch. 2's Ken Wayne talks with Jake Shields at http://www.ktvu.com/video/27651171/index.html They were pushing him as trying to become the first San Francisco resident to win a UFC championship. It didn't mention that Bay Area residents Cain Velasquez and Frank Shamrock have held UFC titles.
--TMZ.com has a report from Dave Bautista saying his MMA talks are dead with UFC buying Strikeforce.
--The WWE Divas were sent home from the Raw tour early because the laws of the Middle East would not allow them to perform in their costumes.
--CZW is having an open talent search. Submissions have to be in by tomorrow. Send a photo, resume and video footage to
--Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas face Adam Cole & Kyle O'Reilly on the 5/6 ROH show in Dearborn, MI.
--HDNet will be airing another Titan Fighting Championships show on 5/27 from Memorial Hall in Kansas City with a double headliner of Jens Pulver vs. Mike Powell of Waterloo, IA, and Drew McFedries vs. Darryl Cobb.
--Another HDNet show, Maximum Fighting Championship 30 takes place on 6/10 at the Mayfield Conference Centre in Edmonton headlined by Drew Fickett vs. Hermes Franca and Richie Whitson vs. Marcus Davis.
--Fuel TV announced a six-part original series called "Bruce Lee Lives!" which debuts on 7/17 at 10 p.m. There will be six 30 minute shows talking about people influenced by Lee including Ryan Phillippe, Carlos Santana, Jesse Ventura, Chuck Liddell, Criss Angel, Zach Snyder, Steve Aoki, Omar Epss, Herschel Walker, Cain Velasquez and Kenny Florian.
--Urban Wrestling Federation announced a June PPV featuring Homicide, Ruckus, Slyck Wagner Brown, Murder One, Joel & Wil Maximo and hip hop stars Red Cafe, Russell Spencer and Uncle Murda.
--The 5/5 U.S. vs. Russia Freestyle wrestling dual meet at Duffy Square in Times Square in New York at 6 p.m. has announced this lineup:
121 - Henry Cejudo (2008 Greco-Roman gold medalist) vs. Nariman Israpilov
132 - Shawn Bunch vs. Rasul Murtazaliev
145 - Brent Metcalf (two-time NCAA champion, Hodge Trophy winner) vs. Magomedmurad Gadzhiev
163 - Jordan Burroughs (two-time NCAA champion, most recent Hodge Trophy winner) vs. Aniuar Geduev
185 - Jake Herbert (two-time NCAA champion, Hodge Trophy winner) vs. Andrey Valiev
211 - Jake Varner vs. Shamil Akmedov
265 - Tervel Dlagnev (2011 national champion, 2009 3rd place world championships) vs. Barsag Kesaev
--We were told New England wrestler John Ferraro (wrestling name Gino Martino) set a Guinness World Record in Milan, Italy by having 45 concrete slabs broken over his head by a 16 pound bowling ball in three minutes. The old record was 18. Don't try that one at home.
--New Midwest Wrestling has held a show called Capital Punishment every year, but since WWE trade marked Capitol Punishment, they've been told they can no longer use the name. So on 5/28 in Springfield, IL at Lanphier High School, they are running a show called Sportsentertainmentmania.
--Northern Wrestling Federation from Saturday night in Fairfield, OH: Tim Lucarelli b Horatio Sanchez, T-Money b Roger Ruffen, In-Ge b Brian Dweey, Nasty Russ b Miguel Sanchez, Kyron b Jim Hutchinson, Anthony Bryan & K.Y. Jordan & Kirk Sheppard b Matt Stephens & Danny Todd, Stewart Olvier Backlund over Virus, Samson, Jesse Hyde, Jeremy Hyde, Dustin Lillard, Warlock, Pompano Joe and Coach Lotus. Next show is 4/30 in West Harrison, IN at the Harrison Heath & Fitness Center.
--Florida Underground Wrestling tomorrow night in Largo, FL at the Gasoline Alley Cafe headlined by Bruce Santee vs. Fidel Sierra in a taped fist match. They also run 5/6 in Palmetto, FL at The Hall with Sean Waltman as the headliner.
--EWF on 5/14 in Converse, IN at Borderman Gym
--Honky Tonk Man pushing WWE All-Stars video game at http://blog.al.com/techcetera/2011/04/honky_tonk_man_wrestles_for_ne.html
--MWF Night of Champions on 6/4 in Bridgeport, CT headlined by Shelton Benjamin vs. Slyck Wagner Brown, plus Paul Bearer, Jay Lethal and John Cena Sr. It's a fund raiser for the Gary Briane Tuttle Life Fund.
--Magnum Pro on 4/29 in Council Bluffs, IA at the Eagles Club with Arik Cannon, Akira Tozawa, Zack Sabre. Jr. and more.
--A CHIKARA Pro Wrestling game will be released at the 6/24 CHIKARA show in Chicago at the Logan Square Auditorium. Tom Filsinger of Filsinger games will be special guest at the event. The game will be shipped on 7/13 if you aren't at the show. For more info you can go to http://www.filsingergames.com
The next CHIKARA show is 5/14 in Burlington, NC at the Mid Atlantic Sportatorium and 5/21 in Easton, PA at the Palmer Center.
--The M-1 Global show from St. Petersburg, Russia airs at 11 a.m. Eastern time on 4/28 on the M-1 Global web site.
--A GSP action figure will be debuting at the Fan Expo on Friday in Toronto from Round 5.