We've got coverage of all the major shows of the past week in one of the year's biggest weekends, from WWE, Strikeforce, All Japan, New Japan and AAA as the lead stories in the newest issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
We look at C.M. Punk and the intrigue for the Money in the Bank PPV, as well as coverage of WWE's Capitol Punishment, with star ratings and poll results.
We also look at the texting problems at the WWE Power of the People show, what is claimed and what seems to have gone wrong.
We've got full coverage of Strikeforce, including where the heavyweight tournament stands, what person's stock dropped the most, Josh Barnett and pro wrestling, polls and match-by-match coverage.
We also look at the latest failure of MMA to get legalized in New York.
We look at TripleMania, as well as the AAA/TNA relationship, an update on Perro Aguayo Jr., the timing issues that caused one of the biggest matches not to air on PPV, changes in the company and notes on all the matches.
We also look at the situation where there was nearly a picket line before CMLL's Juicio Final show, and a look at the name of the next guy to hit WWE, after Averno lost his mask in the main event.
We also look at the first tag team in history to hold two of Japan's major three companies tag team titles at the same time. We also look at both the New Japan and All Japan major shows this past week.
The issue will be up on the site tomorrow. A new back issue from early 1994 was put up earlier in the week and another will be up today. Between the Observer and Figure Four Weekly, we have about 14 issues put up every month and dozens of new audio shows for web site subscribers including coverage after the shows of every major pro wrestling and MMA event.
You can also order print copies of the Observer with details below.
We also have notes from a conversation with Batista, including his thoughts regarding returning to WWE, his giving notice, his frustrations with the direction, his new goals, what happened with his contract negotiations with Strikeforce and why he opened up a gym.
We have notes on a promo already cut for SummerSlam.
We've got notes on Shane McMahon who has been getting exposure in two different non-wrestling related ventures, as well as him talking about his leaving WWF, and why one of the business is on the ground floor of something that could be gigantic.
We also note what two projects that have been talked about for Shawn Michaels in WWE as well as which one is taking place this week.
We've also got more on the changes in the WWE drug policy, which is a major issue to a segment in the locker room, plus the return to TV of HHH, what wrestler company officials are saying they dropped the ball on and why, former tag champ returning to WWE, and what happened behind the scenes as John Laurinaitis read the riot act to one of the Tough Enough fighters.
We also have an update on what Bill DeMott is doing nowadays, as well as his comparisons of the 2004 and 2011 Tough Enough, and the future of Andy Leavine.
We also note the funny things about the Little Jimmy line, as well as who got Kong pregnant, what WWE wrestler's father was a well known sportscaster and also was a former roommate in college with an old AWA star. We've got notes on what percentage of viewers don't watch live anymore. We also have a rundown of all the weekend house shows as well as business notes on the show.
We also look at the first ratings for the replay of Impact on Spike and what it means, as well as why this is happening.
We also look at a law that is being discussed which will cost WWE and UFC seven figures in lost sponsorships.
We've got ratings of all the national shows including how every segment on Raw and Impact did and what viewers came and left.
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.
The Wrestling Observer ranges from 25,000 to 40,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA all over the world.
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Also in this week's issue:
--Update on CMLL referee Rafa El Maya
--NWA Historic light heavyweight champion decided
--52nd anniversary of pro wrestling in an arena that has multiple shows per week and a look at the first main event
--How the Mesias kidnapping story came to be
--Major nostalgia night with a main event that would have headlined big 22 years ago
--Juventud Guerrera resurfaces
--Former AAA star complains about the change in Mexican wrestling
--Dragon Gate title match weekend in Sapporo notes with a couple of changes
--Dragon Gate star has knee surgery
--Next title matches for All Japan and New Japan
--One of the world's most respected and famous referees is now a free agent
--One of the biggest head-to-head shows of the year coming in late August, and details of the major stars being brought in from other sports for a wrestling show.
--Dick Togo's one year retirement tour after he retires in Japan at the end of the month.
--Hall of Famer having knee surgery this week.
--Notes on what should have been the final legal action related to the Benoit tragedy and why it still may not be done.
--Notes on Scott Hall going to jail
--Full details of the incident that led to Hall's conviction and jail time
--More on a major television station doing a feature on Hall
--Notes on a new pro wrestling television promotion and its goals
--Former member of WCW creative writes an autobiography, devotes a chapter to WCW including a story of a well remembered world title change and how the booker had a private conversation with one of the wrestlers in the match about the finish that nobody else was supposed to know about.
--Update on two of the 80s biggest stars and health issues
--A 90s star gets married for the third or fourth time
--And what No. 1 song from about 40 years ago inspired an indie wrestler's gimmicked name
--Notes on Sunday's Best in the World iPPV show
--Update on Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli, how their WWE tryout went
--More on ROH going forward
--TNA stars going overseas to different major shows for other promotions
--Story behind the Tuesday night replay of Impact
--Notes on the suspension of Matt Hardy
--Full details on the Bound for Glory tournament including who is in it and how the scoring works
--How the tournament is going to be done
--Notes on the next major episode of Impact
--Note on the X Division tournament in TNA
--Notes on an indie wrestler passing away
--Future of Jeff Jarrett in TNA
--Paul Heyman talks Dixie Carter
--Gabe Sapolsky talks about a booking plan of Heyman had he gone to TNA last year
--Update on Desmond Wolfe
--A look at TNA weekend house shows including the show in Buffalo with Hulk Hogan and some surprise weekend results
--Upcoming UFC does immediate sellout business
--Business notes from UFC 130 including early PPV estimates
--Best markets for UFC 130
--A look at the UFC and Strikeforce show this week
--Update on Cain Velasquez and his updated planned return date
--A look at many of the UFC champions
--Update on Strikeforce vs. UFC matches
--Drug testing in UFC looks too be getting tighter
--New UFC signing
--A hoard of new UFC matches
--Return of Bellator to TV this week
--Dream bantamweight tournament update
--More info on when Affliction folded and a back story behind it, which also includes aspects of Fedor Emelianenko's contracts
--What could be a major story to look out for at the latter part of this year
--Update on SummerSlam
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.