The NCAA National Wrestling Championship Finals air live from St. Louis at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN. Ohio State has already clinched the team championship, but the finals by weight class go like this:
125 - Nathan Tomasello (Ohio State) vs. Zeke Moisey (West Virginia)
133 - Cody Brewer (Oklahoma) vs. Cory Clark (Iowa)
141 - Logan Steiber (Ohio State) vs. Mitchell Port (Edinboro) [Stieber is attempting to become the fourth man in NCAA history to win four titles]
149 - Drake Houdashelt (Missouri) vs. David Habat (Edinboro)
157 - Isaiah Martinez (Illinois) vs. Brian Realbuto (Cornell)
165 - Alex Dieringer (Oklahoma State) vs. Taylor Walsh (Indiana)
174 - Tyler Wilips (Pittsburgh) vs. Matt Brown (Penn State)
184 - Gabe Dean (Cornell) vs. Nate Brown (Lehigh)
197 - Kyle Snyder (Ohio State) vs. Kyven Gadson (Iowa State)
HWT - Nick Gwiadowski (North Carolina State) vs. Adam Coon (Michigan)
UFC has a Fight Night card from Rio de Janiero, Brazil spread out across three different platforms for American viewers, at least:
Prelims on UFC Fight Pass at 7 p.m. ET
Fredy Serano vs. Bentley Syler
Jorge de Oliveira vs. Christos Giagos
Prelims on Fox Sports 2 at 8 p.m. ET
Cain Carrizosa vs. Leonardo Mafra
Drew Dober vs. Leandro Silva
Katsunori Kikuno vs. Kevin Souza
Akbarh Arreola vs. Francisco Trinaldo
Main Card on Fox Sports 1 at 10 p.m. ET
Andre Fili vs. Godofredo Pepey
Gilbert Burns vs. Alex Oliveira
Shayna Baszler vs. Amanda Nunes
Tony Martin vs. Leandro Santos
Josh Koscheck vs. Erick Silva
Ryan LaFlare vs. Demian Maia
This was the card that was originally set to be headlined by Urijah Faber vs. Raphael Assuncao, and with the Maia-LaFlare co-feature moved up to the main event as well as , it's not especially deep. The main event is definitely an interesting fight, as it's Maia's first back since being hospitalized with a bone infection and his first fight against a ranked opponent since his back to back losses to Jake Shields and Rory MacDonald that derailed his run at a title shot. This will either be the beginning of LaFlare's rise or a new beginning for Maia.
Koscheck, in the last fight of his contract, is a late replacement for for Ben Saunders, who would've made a big splash with a win. Whatever happens, with Erick Silva in there, the fight should be exciting while it lasts, but it could be very, very ugly for Koscheck, who was constantly rubbing his bad eye after getting hit by Jake Ellenberger a few weeks ago.
Elsewhere on the site, we have the Secret Psychic Spy's betting picks as well as a preview of the top two fights. If you're looking for technical breakdowns of each fight on the card, then Patrick Wyman at Sherdog has exactly that.
Also, if you're attending any of this weekend's WWE house shows, please send a report to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The newest issue of Figure Four Weekly is up on the site for subscribers (subscribe here) with a look at whatever is going on with NXT, plus notes on the upcoming WWE Jerry Lawler DVD as well as all of the usual reviews and international news.
The Kindle edition for non-subscribers isn't up yet, but you can still get the February 6th issue, featuring a a eulogy for the Pro Wrestling Illustrated Almanac and Book of Facts (which Kappa Publishing announced it is no longer producing) as well as all of the usual reviews and international news. It's available on the American, UK/Ireland, Canadian, and Australian Amazon Kindle stores, as well as various other regional Kindle stores that I'm probably forgetting.
Also, now available for the first time on Kindle (meaning Kindle devices and anything with the Kindle app) is Fall Guys, the seminal 1937 book that has been described as being like the 1930s version of the Wrestling Observer. It was surprisingly not on Kindle already, so we put together a nice version with a full table of contents w/ chapter marks, proper formatting on everything, etc. Right now it's available from the American, Canadian, and Australian Amazon/Kindle stores OR you can also buy it from anywhere in the world on PayHip, who will provide you with both Kindle and ePub (every other e-reader) format files, and you can either sideload them to your device or have them email it to your Kindle.
Bill DeMott's resignation, what led to it happening, incidents that are claimed to have taken place and a rundown of developmental, is the headline story in the March 16 double issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. We also have an update on what is going on with Brock Lesnar and Vince McMahon, the WrestleMania card, more on Rampage Jackson's Bellator contract and what was in it, Al Haymon's attempt to bring boxing back to the mainstream and how this relates to wrestling and MMA, Coverage of the New Japan Cup and a look at PWG.
The latest issue of the observer Mar. 16, 2015 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Bill DeMott resigns from WWE, Brock Lesnar-WWE impasse continues, PWG live report
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The Wrestling Observer ranges weekly from 35,000 to 50,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA internationally. Each issue has coverage and analysis of all the major news, plus every issue breaks major news stories before the Internet sties and has the most complete look at the pro wrestling and MMA business anywhere, plus history pieces available nowhere else.
The lead story looks at Bill DeMott's tenure as head trainer for WWE developmental. We look at how he got started as a trainer, We look at the history of the WWE developmental program, why it was a surprise at first that DeMott was made head trainer, more on the complaints regarding DeMott, the claimed language used and how this relates to what pro wrestling was. We look at injury issues in developmental, why cameras were put on all practices, if there was a feeling DeMott was a time bomb, and why WWE handled this the way it did.
We look at other firings in WWE caused by outside pressure, including the departure of Hulk Hogan in 1992. We look at different things said by different former WWE performers regarding DeMott and this situation. We also look at talent development itself.
We up date Brock Lesnar's contract situation and negotiations, his timing, how things that have taken place work in his favor. We also update WrestleMania.
We look at the unique Rampage Jackson Bellator contract, where he said they breached, notes on the Bellator PPV, his guaranteed fight money and bonuses.
We also look at Connor Michalek and the WWE Hall of Fame, WWE signs book deal, Notes on this year's SummerSlam as well as the 2016 version, Daniel Bryan talks his return, the Rumble and his Mania match, current WWE value, Pat Patterson talks career to Chris Jericho, Patterson talks the first WrestleMania and Royal Rumble creation, John Cena honored, rundown of NXT shows and activities in Ohio, as well as a look at the WWE house shows and business notes from the past week.
We also look at the attempt with the Premier Boxing Championships to take boxing mainstream, and look at the debut show on NBC. We compare the ratings and the difference in audience makeup to that of UFC. We look at the PBC plans for 2015, and how they compare to what Vince McMahon did in 1984 and what the UFC did in 2005. We look at upcoming events, what the goal is, decisions, talent pay and overall economics related to the show.
We update the New Japan Cup, with the next iPPV lineup, early notes on the Invasion Attack show along with coverage of the first two events.
We also look at PWG, its changes, what has happened regarding some ROH talent, as well as a look at their last show.
We also have complete win-loss records of all TNA talent in 2014.
We also look at WWE business for January in several categories, including live attendance and television ratings.
The Observer is the world's most detailed weekly pro wrestling publication, in its 32nd year of publication, and is read by the biggest names in the pro wrestling, industry, MMA industry, sports world and on Wall Street.
We also have our regular features such as the most complete look at ratings, plus results of the major house show events each week in pro wrestling and MMA, and complete inside rundowns of all the TV shows.
Also in this week's issue:
--CMLL lineup for its first major show of the year
--What CMLL is doing for fans who watch Dos Leyendas at the movie theaters
--Tournament final to crown new NWA light heavyweight champion
--Finals of the incredible partners tournament
--Update on Alberto Del Rio injury
--AAA iPPV show this week ad notes on how to order
--A look at AAA's TV tapings this past week in Mexico City
--A look at the debut of Brian Cage in AAA
--Keiji Muto loses W-1 title belt and a look at the singles and tag titles in the promotion, plus the cruiserweight tournament
--A look at this week's Dragon Gate iPPV show
--Early notes on the next major Dragon Gate shows
--Notes on the 2015 Champion Carnival tournament
--First real big test of the new NOAH booking
--Notes on future of New Japan World
--New Japan stars headed to U.K.
--Shoot tournament to crown a pro wrestling world champion starts in April
--Special perks for Observer readers over WrestleMania weekend
--Tons of notes on activities and shows over Mania weekend
--Update on the first New Japan PPV, how it did, as well as an update on the future of Global Force Wrestling
--Notes on Northeast Wrestling doing an indie show that did more than 2,000 fans
--A look at Tommy Dreamer's House of Hardcore show
--Notes on the wXw 16 Carat Gold tournament
--Major Lucha Libre stars headed to he U.K.
--70s star resurfaces after winning battle over cancer and wrestles his first match in 24 years
--Another former UFC fighter now training for pro wrestling
--Notes on the next ROH PPV show
--Notes on the ROH shows with New Japan
--More on the Samoa Joe vs. Jay Briscoe ROH title match
--The biggest threat to ROH right now
--Lineups for this week's ROH house shows
--Matt Sydal injury notes
--A look at the next month of ROH television
--Changes in TNA television
--TNA tag team title notes
--Wrestler to debut this week with TNA
--New TNA TV contract
--Notes on this week's UFC show
--Thoughts on the new Johny Hendricks
--UFC to have a four hour live show on FOX
--New UFC fights
--Pay records for the last Invicta show
--More on PPV potential of Rousey vs. Cyborg
--More on Burt Watson quitting UFC
--Watson talks about his departure
--A look at UFC's debut in The Philippines
--Next Bellator lineup featuring former star from Japan
--Renzo Gracie pleads guilty to assault charges
--Jason Miller arrested again
--Former UFC fighter tracks down robber
--Next Ben Askren fight
--Chael Sonnen returns to combat
If you are a new subscriber ordering 24 or more issues, you can get one free classic issue of your choice sent to you today. With a 40 issue subscription, you can get two free classic issues sent to you today.
New subscribers ordering 24 or 40 issues have to let us know what major stories 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)a
*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 history)
*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 Hogan)
*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 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 Lewis)
*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.
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., $20 for shipping costs to Canada and $25 for shipping costs outside North America. You can order the book the same way you order the newsletter.
Saturday Daily Update
-- Some additional information on the death of Perro Aguayo Jr. has come out since the original reports early this morning: MedioTiempo spoke to the athletic commission doctor and the official cause of death is being given as cervical spinal trauma. While additional camera angles have surfaced, it's still very unclear what happened since he seems like he might be out of it before the spots that people initially believed were responsible (since they were when he lost consciousness). The doctor was in the back tending to another wrestler with a spinal inury when everyone noticed something was wrong with Aguayo.
There have been a lot of comparisons to the deaths of Oro (Mexican wrestler who suffered a brain injury taking a "Kobashi bump" on his head off a chop) and Mitsuharu Misawa (suffered horrific neck damage, never got it checked out, and was internally decapitated by a bad bump on a back suplex). Unless there's an autopsy and there's some indication what kind of motion caused the injury, we may never know exactly what happened, though.
-- For those not familiar with lucha libre, Aguayo was the top heel in AAA and a major star in Mexico going back to his debut at 16 years old in 1995, and was arguably the most charismatic wrestler of his generation. A few matches to check out to remember him with (some are the first part of matches uploaded in multiple parts).
vs. Juventud Guerrera (AAA 6/18/95 - Olympic Wrestling Rules) - Perrito's pro debut. He's green, of course, but he's game and brings plenty to the match.
vs. Mistico (CMLL 2004?) - Arguably the best singles match of Mistico's original big main event run.
vs. Universo 2000 (CMLL 2006 - Hair vs. Hair) - Not their best match together (can't find it online), but the climax of my personal favorite Perrito feud.
vs. El Hijo del Santo (CMLL 2006) - Brawling, dives, technical wrestling, mask ripping, everything that makes lucha libre great.
vs. Myzteziz (AAA Sin Limite 2/28/15) - Great match against the original Mistico from a few weeks ago.
Descanse en paz.
-- SoCalUncensored has some additional details about the career of Cincinatti Red, who also passed away. Worth checking out to know more about the guy than just that he was Samoa Joe's original trainer.
-- CM Punk's UFC fighter portraits have started popping up after being added to the Getty Images editorial collection. He's clearly lost weight. UFC takes these of everyone so websites with Getty subscriptions have photos of as much of the roster as possible, and in Punk's case, they now have "CM Punk as a UFC fighter" photos.
-- Contrary to speculation, Mick Foley won't be adding a new show this week in San Jose since there very little time time to promote it.
-- VICE has a nice article abotu Sandra Gray, WWE's seamstress best known for her appearances on Total Divas. Most awesome thing learned from the article: She recently held a fashion show as a benefit for a local domestic violence shelter, and the models were WWE talent, including Cesaro and Roman Reigns.