We also have ratings for all the national shows for the past week.
We also have our regular weekly features with results of all the major arena events around the world, as well as all the major TV show
Also in this week's issue:
--Wrestler arrested on robbery and kidnapping charges and garnering national publicity in his home country
--Mexico celebrity turns to pro wrestling, legendary star takes promoters to task
--Update on Masakatsu Funaki after his surgery
--Third generation wrestlers from one of most famous family about to debut
--Matt Hardy returns to pro wrestling
--Tribute to Los Angeles territorial wrestling
--One of biggest crowds for a U.S. indie in months
--ROH new PPV experiment and philosophy
--Notes on this week's RH shows
--Notes on TNA's television schedule for the next several months
--Lots of updates on Ring Ka King, the new India promotion which starts airing next week
--Who is on the roster, when the show will air, where it will be available, who is putting it together
--Hulk Hogan update
--TNA in the U.K. notes
--Notes on Sting's future
--Next TNA PPV outside of Orlando
--Eric Bischoff gets new TV deal
--Kurt Angle twitter fun
--Notes on weekend TNA house shows
--Official numbers for Brock Lesnar vs. Alistair Overeem
--Update on Kenny Florian's career
--Lorenzo Fertitta talks what they've learned about the PPV business and who is competition
--GSP talks about who he wants to fight next and why
--MMA's version of the Rock vs. Cena one year build
--Champion suffers broken hand
--Update on plans for a June PPV in Brazil from a soccer stadium
--How ticket sales are going for UFC events coming up
--New market UFC will debut in later this year
--Lots of new UFC fights
--Why the biggest match possible in one promotion is not going to happen
--Notes on reviews of "Haywire" with Gina Carano
--Update on Nate Marquardt
--Former Ultimate Fighter winner faces pro wrestler/fighter this weekend
--Notes on a new promotion and first main event
New subscribers ordering 24 or 40 issues have to let us know what major story (ies) of the past 11 years 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 11 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 networks)
*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 steroid trial)
*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 Lex Luger)
*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 and friends)
*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 Lesnar)
*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 business changed)
*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 week)
*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 overseas)
*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 overseas)
*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
*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 overseas)
*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)
You can also order any of these issues on their own for $4 in North America or $5 overseas.
For the United States, it is $12 for 4 issues, $29 for 12, $55 for 24, $91 for 40 and $118 for 52. In Canada and Mexico, rates are $13.50 for
4, $33 for 12, $61 for 24, $101 for 40 and $131 or 52. In Europe, you can get the fastest delivery and best rates by sending to
. For the rest of the world, rates are $15.50 for 4, $41 for 12, $78 for 24, $126 for 40 issues and $163 for
If you order by mail with a check, cash or money order (P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228), you can get $1 off in every price range.
We now 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.
--Craig Carton of Boomer & Carton fame on WFAN in New York announced today that he is hosting the new MMA Junkie TV show on Spike that debuts on Spike on Thursday night's at 11 p.m., right after Impact. The first episode of the show will be on 2/23, which just so happens to be right before the new Bellator season debuts. Carton will host, while Mike Straka, formerly with HDNet, and Nate Quarry, a former UFC fighter, will be the fight expert panel on the show. It will be a 30 minute show serving as a preview to the Bellator show on MTV 2 the next night, as well as UFC events. (thanks to Jeff Bradley)
--Johnny Gargano talked about his injury over the weekend. He said it started with an injury to his back and pelvis in a match on 1/1. He said it hurt and was nagging but worked through it. He said he felt weird on Saturday night in Philadelphia, he cramped, started to swell in his low back and stomach if he'd stretch he'd get a twinge down both of his legs. He said he was scared before getting in the ring and told Chuck Taylor to come out with a water bottle in case he'd need it. He said that by 2:00 into the match, his legs stopped working and he couldn't feel them and was in horrible pain. He said he still went 25 minutes and took a lot of stupid bumps. He said once his adrenaline wore off and the match was over, he was hurting bad. He said he collapsed when he got through the curtain. He was taken to the hospital and given an IV, pain meds and a CAT scan. He said he threw up several times and flew home the next morning. He said he needed a wheelchair to get through the airport and was in bad pain on the flight and has been in bad for several days, and it looks to be where he's staying for a while.
--Strikeforce tickets for the 3/3 show in Columbus, OH went on sale today to UFC Fight Club members. The Internet presale is tomorrow and tickets go on sale to the public on Friday. This is the show headlined by Miesha Tate vs. Ronda Rousey in the most talked about women's fight in almost three years. Tickets are $125, $75, $45 and $25.
--Even though FX is a higher rated network than Spike, Saturday night's UFC prelims did 880,000 viewers, significantly lower than the 1.0 to 1.7 million range the shows were doing on Spike. The NFL game obviously hurt.
--Carano will be the featured guest on Conan O'Brien tomorrow night (thanks to Steve Te Tai)
--Century Media Records has signed a recording contract with the band Fozzy, which is fronted by Chris Jericho. Jericho appears on KLOS 95.5 in Los Angeles tomorrow at 9 a.m. on the Mark and Brian show to discuss the deal.
--Ted DiBiase noted on twitter last night that he woke up yesterday with food poisoning but did wrestle. He apologized for not being at his best.
--Big Show suffered a back injury last night. We're not sure of the severity but we're told he landed wrong and hurt his match in the dark match against Daniel Bryan.
--One of our readers said that the only sign they saw taken at Raw in Anaheim was one that read Hogan vs. Warrior > Rock vs. Cena with photos of the Hogan-Warrior match.
--Joe Warren defends the Bellator featherweight title against Pat Curran on 3/9 in Hammond, IN. It will be the second show of the new season.
--There will be an ROH and CHIKARA doubleheader at the Frontier Fieldhouse in Chicago on 4/28, the night before WWE's Extreme Rules PPV show at the All-State Arena.
--Regarding Dixie Carter saying she thinks Sting will retire at the end of this year, Sting responded saying, "Rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated."
--If you're wondering the whereabouts of Mr. Anderson, he's returning at the TNA house shows this weekend. They run Worcester, Plymouth, MA and Lowell, MA on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
--A group called World Wrestling Fan Xperience (WWFX) runs on 2/4 at the Araneta Coliseum in Manila, Philippines with John Morrison vs. Shelton Benjamin. Also on the show are Chris Masters, Carlito, Hurricane Helms, Rhino, Snitsky, Luke Gallows, Daivari, Jimmy Yang and Billy Gunn, as well as Melina vs. Jillian Hall. Interesting that they are all using their WWE names.
--UFC announced two Emmy award winning producers have been hired. Kieren Portley will be the new Vice President of Studio and Spanish production, coming from ESPN Deportes. Zach Candito will be Event Producer for the UFC weigh-in shows, and pre-and -post fight coverage on Fuel. Portley's past includes working on MMA Live and Fantasy Football Now. Candito produced MMA Live and Fantasy Football Now.
--CZW has announced a new location for upcoming shows now that the Arena no longer has wrestling. They will run on 2/11 in Voorhees, NJ at Flyers Skate Zone and 3/10 in Northeast Philadelphia at Boyle's World gym. The annual Tournament of Death will be 6/23 in Townsend, DE at Marland Acres, where they have run shows in the past.
--Chuck Langerman's daily wrestling trivia talks about the building best known as the ECW Arena. The building has had many names over the years. From 1970 to 1986 it was a warehouse. In 1986, Philadelphia business lawyers Elias Stein and Leon Silverman purchased the building, and still own it today. It has since that time been known as Viking Hall, the ECW Arena, the XPW Arena, the CZW Arena, the Alhambra Arena, The Arena and the Asylum Arena. With new extensive renovations, its future when it comes to pro wrestling is uncertain.
--Rima Fakih of Tough Enough was ordered to stand trial on misdemeanor drunk driving charges from her 12/3 arrest where police said they found a partially empty bottle of Moet & Chandon Champagne and her blood alcohol level was above legal limits. Her trial will be on 3/14.
--The UFC Octagon Nation tour will be coming to Los Angeles on Saturday at Dodger Stadium before the MA Supercross event. Fans can check out the UFC experience from 12:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., with fitness stations, UFC gaming stations, an exhibit of UFC history, a Punch meter and more.
--NWA Ring Warriors tonight in Fort Lauderdale at the Armory.
--NCW in Montreal this past Saturday night drew 160 fans with Billy Gunn & X-Pac, as D-Generation X, beating Thomas Dubois & Mathieu St-Jacques in the main event. Gunn & X-Pac were praised for their work and for staying late signing photos and autographs. The same night in Quebec City, NSPW drew 317 fans with a main event of Fit Finlay beating Marko Estrada, on a show where Lance Storm trainee Simon Martel beat Kevin Steen to win the NSPW title. (thanks to Pat Laprade)
--CMLL on Sunday in Guadalajara: Demonio Maya & Acertijo b Indigo & Divino, Esfinge b Ebola, Espectrum & Mr. Trueno & Rey Trueno b Metatron & Black Metal & Leon Blanco, Titan b Tiger-DQ, Mascara Dorada & La Mascara b Averno & Ephesto
--EWA on 2/14 in Agwam, MA a the Springfield Turverin featuring former WWE wrestler Antonio Thomas.
--Buffalo Championship Wrestling on 2/19 in North Tonawanda, NY at the Dom Polski Hall
--Results from Saturday night's Buffalo Championship Wrestling show in Buffalo: Jordan Lennox b Matt Johnson, Brodie Lee b Rip Impact, T-Rex Express b Ron Falco & Frank the Tank-DQ, Rik Matrix b Mean Marcos, Brian Jennings b Nicki Rose, Nicki Rose won Bunkhouse Battle Royal (thanks to Steven Ashe)
--Today's Sydney Morning Herald had a story on UFC fighter Kyle Noke, who is the local star being promoted for the 3/3 show in Sydney. (thanks to James Stanios)
--Here's a story
on the 3/3 UFC show with Demetrious Johnson and Joseph Benavidez
. (thanks to Tim Forge)
--Pro Wrestling Syndicate on 3/9 in Rahway, NJ at the Rec Center in the first pro wrestling show in the building in more than one year. Appearing at the show will be Papa Shango, The Shockmaster, The Godfather, Angelina Love, Shelly Martinez, Hot 97s Peter Rosenberg and Sam Roberts of the Opie & Anthony show. The main event has Sami Callihan vs. Colt Cabana, plus Davey Richards vs. Dan Maff, Necro Butcher vs. The Sheik (managed by Abdullah the Butcher), Anthony Nese vs. Alex Reynolds, plus also wrestling on the show include Sid Vicious, Warlord, Barbarian, AR Fox, Amazing Red, Zema Ion, Reby Sky and Eddie Kingston.
--Legends Dory Funk Jr. & Jerry Lawler team with Johnny Magnum an Cory Weston to face Shane Chung & Blain Rage & Jayson Falcone & Fushicho Masauku on Saturday night at the BANG Sound Stage in Ocala, FL.
--The Score Fighting Series on 3/16 in Hamilton, ONT at the Hamilton Place Theatre is headlined by John Alessio vs. Ryan Healy, plus Rich Clementi will be on the card. Tickets go on sale Tuesday at the Copps Coliseum box office.
--Sunday in Tijuana: Exodo & Invasor b Enigma & Tirano, Kamaleon Negro & Posedon & Metalica b Dragon Chino & Quinta Dimension Jr. & Lady Lee, Espectro II & Los Fugitivos I & II & Mosco Negro b Cincico & Viento & Zarco & Super Muneco-DQ, Damian 666 & Bestia 666 & El Hijo del Rey Misterio I b Extassis & Jonathan & Super Astro (thanks to Kris Zellner)
--There are shows on 1/29 in Reynosa and 1/30 in Hermoso billed as the Enrique Vera farewell tour. Vera was a major star back in the 70s and 80s in Mexico and had a run where he was pushed in California as well.
--Traci Brooks and Alicia Webb (Ryan Shamrock) have been added to the WrestleReunion event in Los Angeles from 1/27 to 1/29 at the Airport Westin.
--Martin Casaus of Tough Enough has his NWA UCW-Zero 10th anniversary show where he's bringing in Luke Robinson to faced him on 3/31 in Salt Lake City.