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October 12, 1998 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Monday Night War ratings effect on Monday Night Football, UFC woes, plus more


The man who many, if not most, wrestling experts believe to be the greatest wrestler that has ever lived and many in his native country believe to be the greatest athlete alive has signed to take the plunge into the pro wrestling world according to a press conference on 10/6 in Japan.

Alexander "The Experiment" Karelin, the Russian Greco-roman superheavyweight who has won an unprecedented 11 consecutive world championships, was announced by RINGS President Akira Maeda as being his opponent on a big show in mid-February, most likely at the Tokyo Dome. Karelin broke the record set by another legendary Russian, freestyle superheavyweight Alexander Medved who wrestled in the 60s and early 70s and captured ten world titles.

According to Maeda, who called Karelin the toughest fighter in the world and compared his record and his credentials favorably to Rickson Gracie, he said he'd been trying to get Karelin early in the year but talks fell apart. He said they tried to make contact for Karelin to come to the show when RINGS promoted on 4/25 in Russia but it also didn't happen. He said they had continued to pursue Karelin through their Russian RINGS contacts and that he had signed a contract for the match last week.

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