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Also in this week's issue:
--A look at this past week's Arena Mexico show
--More on the retirement of Tinieblas
--Notes from this past week's AAA TV taping that included Jeff Jarrett and Abyss
--Major debut this week
--A look at Dragon Gate USA's next series of shows
--A look at a number of new Dragon Gate title matches
--All Japan vs. New Japan & Big Japan main event
--More on the New Japan tour of the Northeast
--Two major stars team up for the first time in nine years on a major show main event in August
--Shinya Hashimoto's son faces another major test
--Notes from the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame inductions
--Mark Lewin, Ivan Koloff, Destroyer and others induct people
--Notes on the debut of the new Urban Wrestling Federation on PPV
--One of the greatest wrestlers in U.S. history in the Danny Hodge era passes away
--Dory Funk Jr.'s return to St. Louis
--What happened with Terry Taylor in TNA
--Mick Foley's charity work
--TNA star whose contract expires shortly
--Desmond Wolfe talks
--Someone who was going to be brought to TNA is now on hold
--Plight of the X Division
--A look at the TNA weekend house shows
--A look at UFC in New York and the steps of how it may or may not get approval
--A look at the next UFC show
--Update on Jose Aldo Jr.
--Upcoming ticket sales for UFC events
--Update on Nick Diaz's career
--Major new sponsor headed to UFC and another close to coming
--What quote motivates Lorenzo Fertitta
--Demographic studies of UFC and what is shows about popularity on the current sports scene
--Notes on UFC's two major sponsors and how long they are committed for
--Another UFC fighter imitating Ric Flair
--The Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans feud from this week
--More on the guy Tito Ortiz bailed out and how it is giving UFC bad local publicity
--Nevada commission makes judging concession
--Dana White talks women fighting
--White compares UFC to boxing and wrestling
--Dietary change causes UFC fighter to lose 30 pounds
--Lots of upcoming UFC fights
--A look at Bellator's summer tournament
--Pacquiao vs. Mosley numbers
--Two former UFC stars arrested this past week and details
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
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
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*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.
--Ric Flair was charged today with contempt of court in a ruling issued by Superior Court in Mecklenberg County. Flair had agreed to pay Michael Bochicchio and Highspots Inc. $35,000 and autograph 300 pictures by 4/29 in a settlement for money Highspots claimed was owed to them by advancing Flair money. The court believed that Flair had the assets and income to where he could afford to comply with the agreement and had failed to do so. The order is that Flair can be put in prison for up to 90 days as long as he remains in contempt by not paying what was owed. Unless he complies with the terms of the agreement, he would be ordered to prison on 6/27.
--Ultimate Fighter last night did a 0.9 rating.
--How is this for the weirdest coincidence. On the movie Hangover 2, which debuts tomorrow night, early in the movie the guys go to someone's room and there is a Randy Savage poster up on the wall of all people.
--Kurt Angle on twitter said that he would be doing a reality show which would be based on him training and trying to qualify for the Olympics in wrestling. Angle would be 43 by the time the Olympics take place. He said he would officially announce his return to amateur wrestling competition in September. This probably won't go well, at least as far as Angle doing well at the competitive level.
--Want to thank everyone for all the nice comments regarding this week's issue and the Randy Savage story. We'll have more in the next issue as well. Writing it brought back a lot of memories of a very complex but also very talented person.
--A state audit of WWE that was an issue in the senate race could only find that WWE owed about $7,000 in underpaid unemployment compensation according to a WWE attorney in an AP story. The WWE did not agree with the findings they said, but the company has decided to pay the assessment for 2008 and 2009 to avoid any further expenses. They are paying $7,316.64 under protest. The audit also showed WWE overpaid on taxable payroll wages those years, creating a credit. They are also arguing that 23 people the state believed should be considered employees for purposes of unemployment compensation issues were really temporary workers. Five of them were hired to blur old images of the WWF logo in the video library.
--WWE has canceled its 8/20 show at the Rose Garden in Portland, a Smackdown event, but will return to the city for a show on February 27, 2012.
--Alan Belcher vs. Jason MacDonald was announced today for a 9/17 Spike TV special from New Orleans. Mike Swick also returns on the 8/27 show in Rio de Janeiro against Erick Silva, a Brazilian with a 12-1 record who would be making his debut.
--Dana White did say that they will be making a decision on the opponent for Jon Jones when he returns shortly after this weekend. Jones on a radio show in Syracuse said that he expected to fight Quinton Jackson, if Jackson wins Saturday, or Lyoto Machida. White only said it would not be Rashad Evans, because Evans is still facing Phil Davis on 8/3. He said they had considered pulling Evans out of the Davis fight, but said because they aren't sure when Jones will fight, they don't want to cancel a "sure thing" main event that they know when it is happening.
--He also said Georges St. Pierre would not be fighting at the 12/10 show in Montreal.
--After Hulk Hogan, who was WWF's biggest 80s star?
Randy Savage 56.5%
Roddy Piper 17.3%
Andre the Giant 14.8%
Ultimate Warrior 10.0%
Honky Tonk Man 0.9%
Sgt. Slaughter 0.4%
Ricky Steamboat 0.3%
Who was better on interviews?
The Rock 66.2%
Jim Cornette 33.8%
--Who should Jon Jones face next?
Evans-Davis winner 48.3%
Lyoto Machida 24.1%
Jackson-Hamill winner 16.5%
UFC usually does what the polls indicate, but in this case, it's almost upside down.
--Affliction's store in Seal Beach, CA at 1799 Apollo has its Grand Opening on 6/4 at 1 p.m. with appearances by several MMA fighters including Randy Couture.
--Last night during American Idol, James Durbin, the big wrestling fan who did the deal with Hulk Hogan, and has socialized with The Miz and Chris Jericho, and gotten a WWE belt, was wearing a Nexus T-shirt during the show. Nobody said anything about what it was during the show.
--The Jens Pulver documentary "Jens Pulver: DRIVEN" will be screened on 6/10 at 5:30 P.M. at the deadCENTER Film Festival in Oklahoma City. Director Gregory Bayne will be in attendance. The documentary focused on Pulver preparing for what turned out to be his farewell WEC fight in Columbus, OH before he was cut. I was told the movie would appeal to anyone who even had mild interest in MMA.
--TMZ.com is trying to get as much Randy Savage news as it can. Well, it's been kind of amazing how much interest there has been. So today they noted there was a high-powered handgun in his car when he crashed. But he had a permit for it and Savage and his wife were both into target shooting. They also noted that yesterday was a private funeral with just the family where his ashes were scattered with his dog near his favorite tree, saying that Savage had requested that "Pomp and Circumstance" not be played at his ceremony saying he felt he had taken the thunder from Gorgeous George.
--WWEShopzone is doing a Randy Savage remembered package here fans can get action figures and DVDs. The DVD is getting Macho Madness and Hulk Hogan Unleashed. They are back selling retro ECW T-shirts. Apparently the last time they had them they sold out quickly which is why they stopped being available. At least that's what Joey Styles said. No explanation on who people who ordered them got WrestleMania VII T-shirts instead (thanks to Josh Jabcuga)
--The UFC announced the launch of the UFC Octagon Nation Tour throughout the summer in 18-wheeler trucks. They will be at the Bonnaroo Music Festival, the Summer X Games and Quicksilver Pro, as well as go to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, New Orleans, Pittsburgh and Washington, DC. This weekend they trucks will be at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas tomorrow and Saturday, and at Miller's Ale House on Sunday. They will be in Phoenix on Wednesday and back in Las Vegas and Friday and Saturday. They will be at Time Square in New York on 6/25, and at Bonnaroo in Chattanooga from 6/9 to 6/12.
--Today is the 43rd birth of TNA agent Pat Kenney, who was formerly Simon Diamond, as well as the 32nd birthday of Ashley Massaro and the 35th birthday of Kenny Florian (thanks to Paul Begley)
--Even though she denied the story when it came out, Vivid Video President Steve Hirsch said that Chyna approached him months ago about doing XXX porn and they have a film shot with porn stars Evan and Lee Stone called "Backdoor into Chyna."
--Maximum Fighting Championship announced Brian Cobb has signed a multi-fight deal and will debut on 6/10 in Edmonton on HDNet against Drew Fickett on a show that also includes Pete Spratt vs. Marcus Davis.
--Dragon Gate USA has a new PPV that debuts tomorrow night with Yamato vs. Akira Tozawa and Masato Yoshino & Pac vs. Cima & Naruki Doi, both of which are said to be great matches.
--Also on TV tomorrow night on HDNet will be Titan Fighting Championships from Memorial Hall in Kansas City headlined by Jens Pulver vs. Brian Davidson, Jake Rosholt vs. John Ott, Jared Rosholt vs. Kirk Grinlinton, Rudy Bears vs. Darryl Cobb, Nick Budig vs. Bob Cooper, Joe Wilk vs. Jesse Zygun and Sean Wilson vs. Deryck Ripley.
--CMLL from Monday night in Puebla: Cancerbero & Euforia & Raziel b Angel de Plata & Delta & Fuego, Ephesto & Mephisto & Misterioso Jr. b Sagrado & Stuka Jr. & Valiente, La Mascara & La Sombra & Strongman b Atlantis & Negro Casas & Mr. Niebla
--CMLL from Tuesday night in Guadalajara: Thunder Boy b Acertijo, Magnum & Virgo b Exterminador & Rafaga, Goya Kong & Luna Magica & Marcela b Amapola & Comandante & Mima Shimoda, Ephesto & Rey Escorpion & Vangelis b Diamante & Metro & Sangre Azteca, Black Warrior & La Sombra b Felino & Mr. Niebla-DQ
--EXW Xtreme Measures on Sunday in Phoenix featuring Bill DeMott, Tommy Dreamer, Val Venis and Johnny the Bull Stamboli. The promotion recently had a show featuring the return to pro wrestling of Robocop. I was there in D.C. the first time Robocop was there. That was some hokey stuff and despite how bad it was banned, it did get over to the live crowd better than I expected.
--Orlando Jordan and Luke Hawx are opening a wrestling school in Kenner, LA called Wildkat Sports & Entertainment. They will also train MMA fighters and other entertaining field training. They open with June classes for managers and referees. For more info go to www.wildkatsports.com
--Keith Williams is selling old 70s autographs on ebay under the seller name "TennesseeJedd" of people like Fred Blassie, Gorilla Monsoon, Bruno Sammartino, Stan Stasiak, Sypros Arion, Bulldog Brower, Ted DiBiase, Antonio Inoki, Tatsumi Fujinami, Shozo Kobayashi The Great Wizard and Crazy Luke Graham.
--East Coast Wrestling Alliance on 7/16 in Newark, DE at the Newark Boys & Girls Club