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.
--In the weekly TV ratings on cable, ESPN thanks to the Alabama vs. LSU game being the second most watched event in the history of cable television last week, finished with a 3.0 prime time average, easily beating USA at 2.1 and Disney at 1.7. Syfy was No. 10 at 1.0. FX was down to No. 20 at 0.8. Spike failed to crack the top 25. The top five shows all related to the LSU vs. Alabama game on ESPN, with the game, preshow coverage and post-show coverage. The episode of NCIS that beat Raw was No. 15. The two hours of Raw were No. 17 and No. 21.
--Mark Munoz was scheduled to undergo surgery this morning for floating bone chips in his right elbow, which was the injury that caused him to pull out of the 1/28 FOX show in Chicago where he was to face Chael Sonnen.
--A note about tomorrow's UFC show for those on the West Coast. FX is not staggering the feed in prime time. So the show will be airing live. The prelims on Fuel are from 6-9 p.m. Eastern and 3-6 p.m. Pacific. The live show on FX is scheduled for 6-8 p.m. Pacific and 9-11 p.m. Eastern. Weigh-ins are up on the site today at 5 p.m. Eastern. Keep this in mind when it comes to the rating, since UFC is stronger on the West Coast than anywhere else and it's airing out of prime time, plus the new night.
--The first episode of the preview of Nick Diaz vs. Carlos Condit will air on FX immediately after the fights tomorrow night. There will be three episodes of the series, all airing at 11 p.m. the next three Fridays.
--Last night on the Rachel Maddow show on MSNBC, she did a long segment talking about Ted DiBiase's 58th birthday. She showed clips of the Hulk Hogan vs. Ted DiBiase feud and said how Mitt Romney was coming across as the real life version of DiBiase's Million Dollar Man character and it seems to be costing him in recent polls where he talks too much about his wealth. Piece is at http://www.msnbc.com/id/26315908/ns/msnbc_tv-rachel_maddow_show/
(thanks to Jake Koch, Steven Miller, Shilo Robinson and others)
--The UFC's debut in Brisbane, Australia noted in this week's Observer will be the Ultimate Fighter finals of a U.K. vs. Australia season. UFC officials noted Brisbane was chosen was because 15% of the tickets purchased for the first two shows in Sydney came from Brisbane, and that Kyle Noke (who has the ability to garner mainstream press because he was the bodyguard for the late Steve "Crocodile Hunter" Irwin) who they are pushing as their new Australian star (George Sotiropolous isn't even on the next Sydney show) is from Queensland.
--The Courier-Mail also noted the idea of a May fight (which if so would either be on the FOX special or on the Memorial Day weekend UFC show) between Cain Velasquez vs. Frank Mir.
--Stacy Keibler will be on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon tomorrow night.
--Shawn Michaels will be getting some TV hunting awards tonight at the Golden Moose Awards which starts at 9:15 p.m. and will be streamed live at http://t.co/RBQGRm6V
(thanks to Carl Dantes)
--The Rock DVD called "The Rock: The Epic Journey of Dwayne Johnson" will be released on 2/21, as part of the beginning of the push of the Rock vs. Cena WrestleMania match.
--Who do you think will win this match:
Jim Miller 55.1%
Melvin Guillard 44.9%
Who wins this fight?
Chael Sonnen 80.6%
Michael Bisping 19.4%
Who wins this fight?
Rashad Evans 80.9%
Phil Davis 19.1%
--Who was the best pro wrestler of the 90s?
Bret Hart 28.5%
Shawn Michaels 20.1%
Steve Austin 14.8%
Mitsuharu Misawa 12.7%
Chris Benoit 7.0%
Kenta Kobashi 6.8%
Ric Flair 3.5%
Jushin Liger 1.7%
Toshiaki Kawada 1.6%
Eddy Guerrero 1.4%
Keiji Muto 1.2%
Rey Misterio Jr. 0.7%
--Shane Douglas is running an Extreme Reunion show on 4/28 in Philadelphia.
--A correction from yesterday. Pro Wrestling Syndicate's 3/9 show in Rahway, NJ is not the first pro wrestling event in the building in more than a year. TNA ran a show there in September. (thanks to Devin Cutting)
--The Sydney Morning Herald today had a review of "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island," giving it *. (thanks to James Stanios)
--If you are looking for tickets to the Miesha Tate vs. Ronda Rousey fight on 3/3 in Columbus, OH, the Internet presale word is STRIKE They go on sale to the public tomorrow. Smackdown tickets for 3/13 also at the Nationwide Arena go on sale on 1/28.
--Jim Ross talks about C.M. Punk's promo on Raw on Monday, as well as meeting Muhammad Ali (Ali came in to manage The Snowman against Jake Roberts on a Mid South Wrestling show at the Superdome in New Orleans in the 80s) at http://www.jrsbarbq.com
--The UFC show tomorrow night airs live on Saturday at Noon on ONE HD in Australia.
--The report in this week's Observer about a Ross Pearson vs. Dennis Siver fight was wrong. The fight is not happening.
--ESPN U.K's coverage of Diaz vs. Condit on 2/4 starts at 1:30 a.m. with the Countdown show, followed by MMA Live at 2:30 a.m. and UFC 143 at 3 a.m.
--Chuck Langerman's daily wrestling trivia concerns Jim Nance, a former AFL football star who was one of the best legitimate wrestlers of the 60s, and in fact, in his day, some considered him the most athletic heavyweight ever in college wrestling. Nance was 93-1 wrestling for Syracuse between 1963 and 1965, winning the 1963 and 1965 NCAA titles. He was the first African-American NCAA heavyweight champion and later was an MVP in pro football. He also did some pro wrestling in the off-season for promoter Pedro Martinez, and negotiated with Vince McMahon Sr., although he only refereed once in Boston (he played for the Patriots) and it didn't lead to a match.
--Frank Shamrock and Court Bauer did a story on Joe Lozito, the New York City subway hero at http://vimeo.com/21290563
Maksim Gilman was sentenced to 200 years in prison yesterday for murdering several people while on a killing spree last year. I understand as further punishment he's going to be forced to watch a never ending loop of 1999 WCW Thunder episodes. Lozito was able to stop Gilman's attacking by using moves he learned watching UFC events on television. Dana White always has him at ringside during shows in the New York area.
--Among the Friday night indie shows this week are:
ROH in Philadelphia at the National Guard Armory
MWW in Niles, OH at the Niles Wellness Center (a fine place for a pro wrestling event)
FPW in Bradenton, FL at the HBE Complex
EPWE in Allentown, PA at the East Side Youth Center
SWE in James City, NC at the SWE Power Station
ROH in Norfolk at the Scope Arena (a smaller building in the complex)
2CW in Ithaca, NY at Shops at Ithaca Mall
C4 in Ottawa, ONT at the Knights of Columbus
PCW in Harpers Ferry, WV at the Harpers Ferry KOA
ESW in North Tonawanda, NY at the St. Johnsburg Fire Hall
FOW in Hollywood, FL at the VWF
MOW in Clinton, OH at the High Points Christian Church
SWO in Columbia, PA at the Columbia Consolidated Fire Company
MOW in Clinton, OH at the High Point Christian Church
OWA in Onedia, TN at the Burchfield Elementary School
NWA F in Mataponii VA at the King & Queen County Elementary School
UWA in Hars, WV at the Old Ferrellsburg Grade School (thanks to Nate Stein)
--Irv Muchnick has a book on Concussions in sports and in particular the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's role, which includes talk about ImPACT testing at http://amzn.to/A0Hq2g
--New Japan is running Saturday and Sunday at Korakuen Hall for the annual Fantasticmania shows with CMLL. Saturday night has Hiroshi Tanahashi & La Sombra vs. Kazuchika Okada & Volador Jr., plus Jushin Liger & Tetsuya Naito & Diamante vs. Mephisto & Shinsuke Nakamura & Yujiro Takahashi. Sunday has La Sombra vs. Volador Jr. for the NWA welterweight title, Diamante & Naito & Tanahashi vs. Mephisto & Nakamura & Okada and Mascara Dorada vs. Kushida for the CMLL welterweight title.
--AAA has its first TV taping of 2012 on Saturday night in Guanajuato at the baseball stadium with Mesias & Jack Evans vs. Perro Aguayo Jr. & Hector Garza in the main event.
--Lion Fight Promotions has Muay Thai on 2/25 in Las Vegas at the Hard Rock with WBC interim light heavyweight champion Joe Schilling vs. Sion Marcus.
--Jackson's MMA series 7 takes place on Saturday night at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Albuquerque headlined by Michelle Waterson (8-3) vs. Diana Rewal (3-1) in a 105 pound weight class fight.
--Future Stars of Wrestling has its first iPPV show on gfl.tv on Friday night from Sam's Town in Las Vegas featuring Eugene, Sin Bodhi, Kenny King and Michael Modest. Impact Zone Wrestling has a free show on Saturday night at 8 p.m. from Lawton, OK.
--New Era Wrestling on Saturday night in Shelbyville, IN at the Boys Club featuring an appearance by Rob Conway.
--USWO runs Friday and Saturday night at the Stadium Inn in Nashville. Raven vs. Jocephus headlines the Friday night show.
--NWA Top Rope on Saturday night in Lebanon, TN at 220 East High St. headlined by Tasha Simone defending the NWA womens' title against Pandora.
--CMLL on Tuesday night in Guadalajara: Angel del Mal b Xavier Cruz Jr., Magnum & Rafaga b Leo & Hierro, Demus 3:16 & Pierrothito & Pequeno Violencia b Bam Bam & Electrico & Astral, Polvora & Rafaga b Titan & Triton, Atlantis & Delta & Guerrero Maya Jr. b Volador Jr. & Psicosis & Morphosis to retain the Mexican national trios titles
--NWA Ring Warriors from last night in Fort Lauderdale: Pablo Marquez b Francisco Ciatso Tommy Vandal b The Beast, Jesse Neal b Chasyn Rance, Santana Garrett b Christina Von Eerie, Chance Prophet DDQ Kahagas to keep the NWA National heavyweight title, Giant Titan b Steve Madison, Bruce Santee b Cassidy Riley, Billy Gunn & Mosh & Thrasher b Dark City Fight Club & Vordell Walker. Next show is 3/29 in Fort Lauderdale at the National Guard Armory the week of WrestleMania with Adam Pearce defending the NWA title and Jim Cornette managing his opponent, while Dark City Fight Club defends the NWA tag titles against The Head Bangers. Also Santana Garrett & Chasyn Rance vs. Jesse Neal & Christina Von Eerie with Tammy Sytch as referee and Billy Gunn vs. Vordell Walker. (thanks to Al Hart and Howard Brody)
--The Video-on-Demand of the Evolve show from Saturday night that was release don Tuesday has done a record amount of buys for the promotion.
--There are still spots open for the Dragon Gate USA seminar/tryout on 1/26 in Los Angeles. The seminar will be with Masato Yoshino and Jimmy Susumu (formerly Susumu Yokosuka).
--Vendetta Pro Wrestling on Sunday in Lompoc, CA at the Lompoc Veteran's Hall
--Steeltown Pro Wrestling on 1/29 in Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes, Manitoba at the Centennial Hall; 1/21 in Selkirk, Manitoba at the Memorial Hall and 1/22 in Winnipeg at the Royal Canadian Legion.
--Ted DiBiase Sr. will be a guest instructor at a Wrestling Clinic put on by the EWF in San Bernardino from 6-9 PM. today at ASU, 399 North D St. The price is $50.
--NWS on 1/27 in Brick, NJ at the Elks Lodge featuring The Zombie vs. Boogeyman, plus Marty Jannetty will appear.
--Jim Torres, the oldest son of the late Enrique Torres, will be attending the Los Angeles Territory reunion on 1/27 at the Westin Hotel. He will be bringing photos and posters of the Torres wrestling family.