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Also in this week's issue:
--Major anniversary of wrestling as one of the biggest wrestling arenas in the world coming this week
--Referee loses job over drug test
--Updates on the All Japan junior heavyweight tournament and NOAH tag team tournament
--New Japan vs. NOAH match added to next New Japan big shows
--Two former pro wrestlers this past week win election to public office, as well as the wife of a pro wrestler
--Updates on Scott Hall
--Another honor for Bruno Sammartino
--Update on Devon Nicholson Hepatitis story
--Notes on latest NWA title change
--Notes on the Urban Wrestling Federation, celebrity involvement, wrestlers signed and first PPV show
--A look at the Junior Hodge winner and what former WWE champion was his idol growing up because they shared the same high school coach and his remarkable high school record, one of the greatest in recorded wrestling history
--Former WCW and New Japan wrestler writes book about his experience and some funny notes of what he says and remembers and how he remembers things
--Baseball team channels pro wrestling for gimmick event
--70s star returns to wrestle in the city he had many of his most famous matches in
--New ROH matches
--More on TNA rebranding effort
--TNA hierarchy updates
--Ric Flair update
--Jeff Hardy update
--A look at the latest lawsuit filed against TNA
--Notes on the next TNA PPV show
--A look at TNA booking issues
--A look at what audience TNA is drawing well on television, but the other key audience it is doing poorly with
--Update on Desmond Wolfe
--Notes on major shows planned for the summer by TNA
--Update on health issues with a number of major UFC stars
--Thoughts on UFC 129 on PPV
--Why Mayhem Miller was the first Strikeforce fighter signed by UFC
--UFC requests Nevada commission to make changes regarding judging fights
--Update on Fedor vs. Henderson
--UFC adding new stations to its preview shows
--A look at the sport of wrestling in the U.S. and participation levels since the rise of UFC
--Lots of new UFC fights announced
--UFC ups marketing toward Hispanic audience
--Notes on this season of Ultimate Fighter
--Notes on the attempt to get Dream back together
--Bellator's last show and more on the championship weeks of this season
--Update on Ken Shamrock and Jens Pulver
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
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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
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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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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.
--Sorry this is up late but I just arrived in Toronto after a long day of travel. Bryan and I will be back tonight talking the latest news and taking your e-mails so you can sent questions to
--The expected dropping of the WWE dividend was announced after the close of the market, with the dividend being cut by 67%, from 36 cents per share to 12 cents per share. This should negatively affect an already dropping stock price, but with the company looking at spending its available cash and doing debt spending to acquire new entertainment companies, it was a decision that had to be made. We had written about the probability of this happening a few weeks ago
--Last night's Ultimate Fighter did a 1.1 rating, the highest rating of the season.
--I know a lot of people are down regarding how Kevin Nash's is handling the Scott Hall situation on twitter and in public, but the guy is watching his best friend of decades basically do a slow, torturous form of suicide that only gets worse by the day, so cut him some slack the next few days or weeks. This is a tragic situation, and that there may be a conclusion that is inevitable at some point is not going to make it any easier for those closest to him. The fact it's slow probably only makes it worse. Even though Hall did it to himself, this is similar for his loved ones to someone watching someone in the final stages of cancer.
--UFC has announced Diego Sanchez vs. Matt Hughes in a fight this fall, without giving a date. This ends any thoughts of Royce Gracie vs. Hughes in Brazil in August.
--For those in the Toronto area that want to attend UFC 129, there are tickets available on stubhub.com and they have released some tickets at ticketmaster.com now that production has moved in.
--UFC sent out a press release tonight with various celebrities (and Jeremy Botter) making predictions for the GSP vs. Jake Shields match. Botter picked Shields, as did Shane Victorino of the Phillies, David Haye and Chuck Liddell (Liddell has trained with Shields). However, The Rock picked GSP finishing Shields in round five and Shaq also picked GSP.
--Regarding any rumors of Mick Foley at Raw Monday, that's not happening. Foley is scheduled to do whatever was planned from him last Wednesday that was canceled due to miscommunication (they thought he was doing something in Las Vegas; he came back from Las Vegas to do the show but it had been rewritten) this coming week at the Impact tapings in Orlando.
--Kurt Angle is featured in the movie "Dylan Dog Dead of Night" which comes out in theaters tomorrow. So three different wrestlers have featured roles in movies that come out tomorrow, with "That's What I Am" in about a dozen theaters with Randy Orton having a role from WWE Films, and some movie with cars and bank robberies and the girl on the cover of Maxim, as well as Vin Diesel that Dwayne Johnson is starring in.
--The web site http://www.rottentomatoes.com
has a number of reviews of "That's What I Am." As of yesterday, five out of seven reviews were positive.
--Inside MMA will be live from Toronto with Georges St. Pierre and Jake Shields as guests. HDNet will be airing UFC 129 stuff from 8-11 p.m. tomorrow and then repeating it, with the Countdown to UFC 129 at 8 p.m., Inside MMA at 9 p.m. and two GSP vs Shields Prime Time shows at 10 p.m.
--Today is the 6th anniversary of the death of Chris Candito.
--Jay Lethal is taking independent bookings from Bill Behrens at
--Two episodes of GSP vs. Shields Prime Time aired at 11 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. last night on ESPN 2 doing an 0.11 and 0.09 rating. Neither airing was advertised ahead of time.
--EVOLVE announced a show on 7/26 at B.B. King's in New York
--The next EVOLVE show is 5/20 in Union City, NJ at the Ace Arena, called Style Battle with eight wrestlers representing different styles, a takeoff on the original UFC I in Denver. AR Fox represents high flying, Austin Aries represents Hybrid, Bobby Fish represents Japanese jr. heavyweight style, Brodie Lee represents super heavyweight style, Jon Davis represents Power and Sami Callihan represents Hard Hitting. Two more names will be announced.
--The Jeff Hardy video on the U.K. version of Impact on Tuesday likely doesn't necessarily mean anything other than it was used as filler because they have less commericials so need additions to the show to fill a two hour time slot (thanks to Kelvin Clegg)
--Jim Ross said that his X-rays were not encouraging (meaning some sort of a break most likely) after punching Michael Cole in the mouth. He noted Cole's tooth wnt to the bone of his knuckle which caused bleeding from both his hand and Cole's mouth and the risk of infection is kind of high. He will be wrestling on Sunday's Extreme Rules PPV. Well, if you can call it wrestling. They will be whipping each other with belts. Ross also talks Chris Jericho and UFC 129 at http://www.jrsbarbq.com
--UFC Central, an Internet show on UFC.TV will preview Saturday's show at 8 p.m. Saturday with Stephan Bonnar, Todd Harris, Kenny Florian and Molly Qerim covering the event.
--Dragon Gate USA's next tour will be 6/3 in the Boston area, 6/4 in Deer Park, NY (Cima vs. Johnny Gargano vs. Yamato vs. Masato Yoshino, plus another 3-way and 6-way match) and 6/5 at B.B. King's in New York with Cima & Austin Aries & Brodie Lee vs. Chuck Taylor & Johnny Gargano & Rich Swann in an elimination match.
--The Creative Caolition will be announcing a campaign working with WWE against bullying tomorrow called "Be a STAR," with STAR standing for Show Tolerance and Respect. Among those working with WWE are the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, The Ad Cuuncil, Island Def Jam Musci Group and the Close Up Foundation. Among those endorsing the project will include Jeremy Piven, Jao Biggs, Omar Epps, Marlon Wayans and Bob Dole.
--Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin were announced for the 5/21 Supercard of Honor show from ROH in Chicago.
--Jon Moxley starts next week in FCW.
--Deadline.com made note of Kevin Dunn's annual compensation for 2010, which was $746,154 in straight salary, $608,400 in stock grants, $359,000 in other income or more than $1.7 million.
--Michael McDonald replaces Kid Yamamoto on the 5/28 show in Las Vegas against Chris Cariaso in a prelim fight. This comes just a day after the announcement in Japan of a Yamamoto vs. Masato exhibition fight next week.
--Pro Wrestling Phoenix on Saturday night in Council Bluffs, IA with Arik Cannon vs. Zack Sabre Jr. plus Akira Tozawa appearing.
--Alex Marvez had an interview with the former Lord Humongous, Jeff Van Kamp, talking about how Jeff Van Kamp Jr. a quarterback at Florida Atlantic University is expected to be a mid-to-late round NFL draft pick at http://scrippsnews.com/node/61258
Van Kamp got major pushes in both Memphis and for Bill Watts in the mid-80s but got out of wrestling after a few years to work in law enforcement.
--A correction from yesterday. The Paul Orndorff fund raiser at the Southern Comfort Bar in Conley, GA will be on 5/8 at 1 p.m.
--Former WWF wrestler Steve Gatorwolf runs Tough Man style shows n 5/5 and 5/6 in Chinle, AZ at the Community Center with four weight classes. Koa Marie Turner, who worked for Hulk Hogan & Eric Bischoff's tour of Australia in 2009, will be the ring card girl.
--Wrestlfest 2011 on 5/21 in Newark, CA at the Pavilion will have autograph signings with Honky Tonk Man, Nasty Boys, Jimmy Snuka, Tony Atlas, Sean Waltman, Lanny Poffo, Bret Hart, Amber O'Neal, DDP,Jimmy Hart, Don Muraco, Greg Valentine, Ted DiBiase Sr., Jim Neidhart, Sara Del Rey,Kevin Nash and more.
--NWA East tomorrow night in McKeesport, PA at the Jacob Woll Pavilion with a Battle Royal.