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:
--Top Japanese star headed to Arena Mexico
--Update on CMLL's attempt to create a new star
--Mask vs. mask match at Arena Mexico
--The TNA invasion of AAA
--Notes on TripleMania
--Update on the King of Gate tournament
--Two nights of champions shows
--Former Olympic gold medalist does pro wrestling angle
--Notes on All Japan booking Sumo Hall
--Pro Wrestling NOAH's annual European shows featuring Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli
--How business was and the top matches
--New Japan's Northeast tour rundown
--Next major New Japan show
--New Japan trios tournament lineup
--Notes on the Amsterdam Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame inductions
--New promotion debuts on PPV with notes on the debut show and who is on it
--Wrestling star will appear in a national TV ad
--New book scheduled about a deceased wrestler
--Legendary tag team feud continues perhaps for the last time
--Wrestling's most unbreakable records
--Son of former wrestler and NFL aspirations
--ROH Supercard of Honor
--Update on Pope D'Angelo Dinero
--Hulk Hogan talks wrestling one more match
--Hogan's craziness regarding TNA's bad PPV numbers
--Thoughts on TNA vs. WWE when it comes to getting their fan base to buy PPV sows
--Hogan works his first indie in a long time with many 80s stars
--Notes on the creation of a new TNA title
--Movie planned on major TNA star
--Hogan talks about bringing back another 90s star
--A Battle Royal screw up and how it was covered up
--Thoughts on TNA house shows and reactions
--A look at the next few weeks of Impact
--Update on Jon Jones
--Jones' next opponent
--Lots of notes from the UFC Fighters Summit
--Dana White wants everyone on twitter to promote themselves
--How White is going to bonus fighters for being on twitter
--Thoughts on who will be the first to screw up
--More on UFC 129 PPV numbers
--Comparing GSP's biggest fights
--Update on Fedor's return
--Lots of new matches
--Update on Jon Fitch after surgery
--UFC up for major award
--Behind the Matt Mitrione/Tito Ortiz issues
--Update on attempts to combat PPV piracy
--People let go by UFC
--What major MMA draw who is unlikely to fight again
--Changes UFC wants in judging protocol
--Paul Heyman's role with UFC and what happened
--What UFC fighter is linked with someone in a murder-for-hire case
--Notes on new UFC TV specials
--Update on Rashad Evans/Jon Jones feud
--Longest unbeaten streak among major champions
--For Olympic bronze medalist signs with Bellator for next tournament
--Former UFC fighter arrested
--New promotion debuts on TV
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
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*October 4, 2004 (the life and times of Big Bossman; as well as details
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*November 15, 2004 (the full story of what happened between Kurt Angle
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*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
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*May 9, 2005 (the life and times of Chris Candido)
*June 20, 2005 (The full story behind Paul Heyman and the death of ECW,
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*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
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*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
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*December 5, 2005 (The Eddy Guerrero special issue, double issue $6 on
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*January 9, 2006 (The life and times of Superstar Billy Graham, plus New
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*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
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*October 9, 2006 (A look back nine years later at the life and legacy of
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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
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*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)
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*August 11, 2008 (Ric Flair leaves WWE; Updated history of pro wrestlers
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*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
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--There are reports going around the John Cena's next program will be with C.M. Punk. Last night's show teased Alberto Del Rio in the spot, but Del Rio vs. Cena has been a long-term plan for SummerSlam, and starting in June would make it not fresh by that time so a filler program would work. Punk not losing in that tag last night and his stronger booking last Monday would give credence but it'll be clear tonight. The downside is they did that program just a few months ago as a TV program.
--This won't help last night's buy rate any as the Miami Heat vs. Chicago Bulls game on TNT did a 7.66 metered market rating, which is up 32% from a similar playoff game last season on the same Sunday.
--Dwayne Johnson appears on Tough Enough tonight as a guest, as does James Roday of Psych. Am very interested in how Roday can improve their wrestling. This is the next to last episode so we'll be down to 4 people after tonight's show.
--The dark match last night saw Daniel Bryan beat Drew McIntyre with the LeBell lock. Bryan, from the Seattle area, was as popular as anyone on the show.
--Off TV, Chavo Guerrero was down for a while after the match with Sin Cara last night but post-show reports we got said nobody was seriously injured.
--The impression I was given is Bret Hart would be on Raw tonight, but the show was not even written. That's not unusual as the Monday after the PPV show often is being put together up until the last minute. Was also told they were working on a Randy Savage piece, which they pretty much have to do.
--Don Chargin, the boxing promoter who announced the Nick Diaz vs. Jeff Lacy boxing match a couple of weeks back, sent out a press release today saying the fight won't be taking place because Diaz will be fighting MMA instead. I'm just shocked.
--A number of places are using an interview Dana White did with Forbes Sports Money where he said about Strikeforce: "We're going to try to run this thing separately, and we'll see how it does" and "If it didn't happen the worst-case scenario that happens if we own Strikeforce is these guys roll over into the UFC." They are pushing it like they don't sound all gung-ho about keeping it separate. I think most people realize this is what it is, and Strikeforce exists as long as it needs to exist to fulfill television contracts. I don't see anything White said as making that any more or less likely.
--Randy Couture is picking two upsets, as not just Matt Hamill over Rampage Jackson but also Roy Nelson over Frank Mir.
--UFC announced Mike Pyle vs. Rory McDonald for 8/3 in Philadelphia.
--TMZ.com has tapes of the 911 calls about Randy Savage's car wreck.
--I don't have the link but today's Las Vegas Review-Journal has a story on Tito Ortiz bailing out Keith Harriman, who is alleged to have hired a hit man to try and kill his son. The story by John L. Smith said the image conscious UFC took a punch to the jaw. Dana White's lawyer tried to really distance White from Ortiz and the quotes make it sound like Ortiz better win his next fight or he's gone. Well, even if this didn't happen, if he didn't win, he'd be on the bubble. It also called on the Nevada Athletic Commission to inquire about a fighter being so close with a family facing all sorts of legal issues.
--In the same paper, Howard Stutz on Inside Gaming wrote about UFC's attempt to get into New York and how the Culinary Local 226, which has tried to unionize many Station Casino employees without success is working on blocking UFC getting into the state. It used some Dana White quotes about "these union idiots" trying to keep UFC out of New York. The Fertitta Brothers are partial owners and run Station Casinos in Las Vegas, which has 13,000 non-union employees. White said this should be between the union and Station Casinos and have nothing to do with UFC and MMA being legalized in New York. White also argued UFC is not antiunion noting they use union labor when they get into markets and use a union-owned travel booking company, and stay in unionized hotels. Story is at http://www.lvrj.com/blogs/stutz
--More on Randy Savage:
--Howard Stern had the Iron Sheik on today to talk about Randy Savage. He was in character saying he was a great performer but then did one of his rants about him, saying the only thing they did together was smoke pot but Savage was cheap.
--Bryan and I will be back tonight with Wrestling Observer radio for premium members of the site. We have tons of audio shows as well as 14 newsletters per month, including Wrestling Observer new and back issues, for premium members. If you've got any questions for tonight's show you can e-mail them to
--Poll on Smackdown from Friday
35.4% of those responding didn't see the show
--For Saturday night's Bellator
71.0% of those responding didn't see the show
--Should Randy Savage be put in the WWE Hall of Fame next year
Yet, but only if Rock is not because he shouldn't play second fiddle 28.8%
No, it will come off as an empty gesture 17.7%
--Who was best on interviews
Ric Flair 78.7%
Terry Funk 21.3%
--Best TV show of the past week
Tough Enough 28.8%
Voice vs. Hulk 8.1%
Ultimate Fighter 6.8%
It's Show time 1.7%
MMA Live 1.3%
Inside MMA 0.8%
--The 6/27 Raw from Las Vegas is going to be another of those spin the wheel Raw roulette shows.
--UFC is partnering with The Boot Campaign for a fund raiser for the Lone Survivor Foundation at. Fans who purchase "give back" combat boots on www.BootCampaign.com/UFC
will get free admission to an after-party on Saturday night's UFC show at the XS Nightclub at the encore Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. they are offering public bidding on a number of things including the Octagon canvas from Toronto, one-on-one training with UFC stars, VIP tickets to UFC events and more.
--Mike Tyson will be on Jimmy Kimmel on Thursday. Steve Austin will be on Jimmy Fallon on Friday and Tyson will be on Ellen DeGeneres on Friday. (thanks to Adam Lebow)
--Quinton Jackson will be on Craig Ferguson tonight.
--Irv Muchnick looks at the rash of suicides in sports and includes Michael Benoit saying athletes in contact sports should use high-grade Omega 3 oils daily for brain protection at http://www.beyondchron.org/
--TNA has canceled its 7/23 house show in Concord, NC.
--A couple of Tijuana house show the next few weeks at Auditorio Municipal. The 5/27 show features the debut of the new El Hijo del Rey Misterio, plus has Blue Demon Jr. & Dr. Wagner Jr. vs. L.A. Park & Carlito. 6/17 is headlined by El Hijo del Santo vs. Blue Demon Jr.
--Josh Barnett is doing a benefit concert on Thursday night at the House of Blues in Hollywood with all proceeds going to the American Red Cross Japanese relief effort. Tickets are $15 and on sale at Ticketmaster. A number of metal bands are performing on the stage headlined by All Shall Perish.
--Today is the 12th anniversary of the death of Owen Hart in Kansas City on a live PPV show. In many ways that was the darkest moment in modern wrestling history as far as something that took place during a show, although now you may have to call it a tie with the death of Mitsuharu Misawa.
--A show called Acid-Fest two, a tribute to the late Trent Acid, takes place on 6/10 at the Arena in Philadelphia as a 4 p.m. show. All money is earmarked toward his family to help them finish paying funeral costs. Homicide, Adam Flash, Amy Lee, Messiah, Devon Moore, Adam Cole, SATs, Ryan McBride, John McChesney, Eddie Kingston are among those donating their time and talents to the event.
--Future Stars of Wrestling on 6/12 at the SFW Arena in Las Vegas at 7 p.m. headlined by Franco D'Angelo vs. Al Katrzz plus Sinn Bodhi Stacy Carter, Michael Modest and Kenny King. Their one hour TV show that airs on TV in Las Vegas is available at http://www.futurestarsofwrestling.com
--After the death of Randy Savage, Lance Storm has decided to pay tribute to people who have helped his career long before they pass away hopefully. No. 1 is Jim Cornette at http://www.stormwrestling.com/052311.html
--In Your Face Wrestling on 6/25 in Ballston Spa, NY at the Community Center
--Traditional Championship Wrestling on 6/11 in Fort Smith, AR at the Events Center headlined by Matt Riviera vs. Prince Al Farat in a bull rope match plus an appearance of Bobby Eaton as a manager.
--There are Lucha Libre shows on Saturday night in Cudahy, CA at the Clara Sports Complex and Sunday in Salinas at Sherwood Hall promoted by FMLL with Angel Blanco Jr. & Dr. Wagner Jr. vs. Blue Demon Jr. & L.A. Park.
--Ring Wars Carolinas on 5/28 in Hoffman, NC at the Rec Center
--Hard Knocks is on itzon.tv on 5/25 at 5:35 p.m. as well as on Sky 219 in the U.K. tonight at 9:30 p.m.
--IWF from Saturday night in Woodland Park, NJ: Marc Corino b Jarrett Foster, Joey Golden b Absolutely Edwin, Aaron Stride b Austin Williams, Chris Steeler b Kevin Knight, Donte Arcade & Karson Slade b Frank Scoleri & Kraig Stagg, Flex Freeman b Mastodon Francis with Tom Prichard as referee.
--New Experience Wrestling on Friday night in West Memphis, AR at the NEW Arena
--CHIKARA returns to Chicago on 6/24 at the Logan Square Auditorium.
--Platinum Championship Wrestling on Friday night at the Academy Theater in Avondale Estates, GA
--Pro Wrestling Syndicate iPPV on Friday night at GFL.tv from Elmhurst, NY at the Elks Lodge in Queens featuring Mick Foley as commissioner plus Sami Callihan vs. Dan Maff in a Texas death match and Sid Vicious vs. Eddie Kingston, plus Velvet Sky will manage, and Sonjay Dutt and Rich Swann are wrestling.
--Former WWE wrestler Candice Michelle was on NBC's National Heads Up Poker championships yesterday. She was there because she still works for Go Daddy, which is a big sponsor of these shows.