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.
--Bryan and I will be taping a call-in show today at a little after 7 p.m. Eastern time, so if you've got any questions on wrestling or MMA, call in during that hour.
--An update on Ted DiBiase is the last word we got is he has a wrist injury. We're still not sure of the severity but he was off the tour as of last night. Cody Rhodes said the injury was a broken hand at the house show in Fargo.
--Takeshi Morishima beat Go Shiozaki on today's Pro Wrestling NOAH show in Osaka to win the GHC title. In addition, Jun Akiyama & Akitoshi Saito won the GHC tag titles from Giant Bernard & Karl Anderson, who is three weeks have gone from holding two major sets of tag titles to zero.
--Johnny Gargano's back injury must be pretty serious since he's been pulled from this coming weekend's Dragon Gate USA show in Los Angeles where he was one of the headliners. "I'm really sorry about LA guys," Gargano wrote on twitter. "You guys deserve the best. That's not me right now. The show will still rule." Gabe Sapolsky said that Low Ki would be the replacement, making his Dragon Gate USA debut and that a new card would be announced shortly. (thanks to Daniel Short)
--The Urban Wrestling Federation will be doing a PPV tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
--Laurence Epstein of UFC wrote an article on today's Las Vegas Review-Journal about why UFC supports SOPA. Both UFC and WWE are supporting the bill, as are most major content providers and sports leagues. It's a very unpopular position to take with the public. WWE seems to be getting no backlash but UFC seems to be getting some message board backlash over it.
--"Haywire" starring Gina Carano is now estimated at doing $9 million for the weekend and ending up in fifth place. It did a little better last night than the first night. For a comparison, John Cena's first and best opening weekend, for "The Marine," which had a similar budget and did end up making money based on DVD sales, was $7.1 million.
--Jim Ross was in an auto accident yesterday. A man driving a pickup truck apparently made an illegal left turn and crashed head-on with Ross, who was driving his Escalade. Ross had no passengers with him. Both vehicles were totaled. Ross is reportedly very sore, but was saved by his seat belt and air bag from what could have been very serious injuries.
--MVP did an interview in the Miami Herald
today talking about Wrestling Revolution Project and the Iraqi war veteran character he played at the taping, his doing a singing concert soon in San Antonio (he has a music video on youtube) and talked about doing a rap project with John Cena, who he praised, doing an autobiography (he talked with Paul Heyman about doing it but has backed off for now and seemed open to a return to WWE when his New Japan contract expires.
--ROH debuts in Cincinnati at the Taft Masonic Center on 2/17. (thanks to Chris Cummins)
--Chuck Langerman's daily wrestling trivia notes that on January 15, 1994, the San Francisco 49ers beat the New York Giants 44-3 in a playoff game at Candlestick Park. That was the last NFL game that Lawrence Taylor ever played in. Taylor, one of the best outside linebackers in NFL history (some say the best) headlined WrestleMania XI, some 15 months later. On April 2, 1995, Taylor pinned Ban Bam Bigelow. Pat Patterson served as referee as he laid out the match and was there to call spots for Taylor. Taylor did well for a non-wrestler in that situation. There was talk of bringing him back with Taylor & Bigelow as a babyface team since Bigelow was kicked out of the Million Dollar Corporation for losing, but it never materialized. Taylor received a ton of negative publicity for doing the match, which makes no sense because football players doing plays or movies never garnered that kind of negative pub, and pro wrestling featured in those days tons of ex college footballers and through the years, many ex-pros. However, years later, Taylor did say he regretted doing it.
--And a second one is that Rob Zicari, who was convicted in a major pornography prosecution case, the former XPW promoter, and his wife, Janet Romano, who worked on his tapes and doing XPW shows as Lizzy Borden, both grew up in Rochester, NY. Zicari, the son of an adult bookstore owner, graduated from Penfield High School in 1994, before going into the porn industry. In an interesting twist, Joanie Laurer, who became Chyna, and is now working in that industry, also attended Penfield High School in the 80s, but left after her sophomore year and actually graduated from high school in Spain. Zicari was better known as Rob Black. XPW folded in 2003 and in 2004, Zicari sold all the company's footage.
--Who had the best knockout on Friday's UFC show?
Nick Denis 50.0%
Pat Barry 45.2%
Jorge Rivera 4.8%
--Who has the best submission on Friday's UFC show?
Jim Miller 59.0%
Josh Neer 29.1%
Daniel Pineda 5.1%
Khabib Nurmagomedov 5.1%
Fabricio Camoes 1.7%
--Poll on Diaz vs. Condit prime time
57.1% of those responding didn't see the show
--Poll on Smackdown
39.0% of those responding didn't see the show
--An incident from the 80s in the U.K. which, at the 13:00 mark
, shows a wrestler and a fan getting into a fight while taping a national broadcast.
--On David Letterman on Friday night, Letterman was introduced as "wrestling's controversial Intercontinental champion." (thanks to Brian Henke)
--USCW on Thursday night in Arcadia, FL before 225 fans: Mikey b Eddie Graves, Chasyn Rance b Jake Slater, Jamie D b Santana Garrett, Blain Rage b Ian Shire (thanks to Al Haft)
--In Your Face Wrestling on 3/17 presents the St. Patrick's Day Massacre in Ballston Spa, NY at the Community Center.
--Adam Pearce will be defending the NWA title at the NWA Wrestling Legends Fanfest weekend between 8/2 and 8/5 in Charlotte at the Hilton University Place Hotel.
--New Era Wrestling from last night in Shelbyville, IN: Aaron Anarchy vs. Donny Idol vs. Tripp Cassidy vs. Ryan Epic vs Dale Patricks was a no contest, Hillbilly Jedd b Osyris-=COR, Flash Flanagan b Anthony Lee, Dylan Bostic & Bobby Black b Tom & Troy Van Zant, T.J. Kemp b Rob Conway, Camron Starr DCOR Miss Heidi, Joey Owens b Rodney Fultz-DQ, Jon Wall b Damian Cole, Shawn Cook b G.T. Vega. Next show is 2/18 at the Boys Club in Shelbyville.
--GOUGE from last night in Roxboro, NC before more than 100 fans: Baron Von Fox b Raven Havoc, Otto Schwanz b Curtis Mack, Damien Wayne b Mike West, Sideshow Phil & Rob McBride & Seymour Snott b Lou Marconi & Frank Stalletto & Masked Bumba, Jimmy Jack Funk Jr. b Mickey Gambino. Next show is 3/3 in Creedmoor, NC at the Granville High School.
--CWF Mid Atlantic from last night in Burlington, NC before 170 fans: Mikael Yamaha b Canadian Mercenary, Mark James & Jason Miller & Bobby Wohlfert b Mecha Mercenary & Court Montgomery & Donovan Vice, Arrick Andrews & Evan Banks b Joe Black & Arik Royal, Roy Wilkins & Walter Eaton b Robyn Golphyn & Terrell Givens, Donnie Dollars b Chase Dakota, Chiva Kid b Ray Kandrack, Adam Page & Nick Richards b Trevor Lee & Ben Tyler (thanks to Brad Stutts)
--Mid Missouri Wrestling Alliance from last night in St. Louis: Chase King b Mauler, Johnny Courageous b Max Archer, Ace Hawkins b Dave Osborne, Jimmy D & Frankie D d Big Texan & Tony Raze, Ricky Cruz b Dave Vaughn, Brandon Espinosa b Gary Jackson in a lumberjack match, Dave Osborne won Battle Royal (thanks to Patrick Brandmeyer)