WED. UPDATE: UFC weigh-ins, Ratings, TUF casting, TNA, WWE knee surgery, Michaels, Nash



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        UFC TV for the next two days includes at midnight Eastern tonight on Spike they are airing a Fight Night with Rashad Evans vs. Sean Salmon.  Versus coverage tomorrow night starts at 8 p.m. with a one hour pregame show, with the live card at 9 p.m. 
 
        The newest issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, for this coming Monday, just went up on the web site earlier today, which has the complete WrestleMania show, and notes on the hottest programs on the show.  We also have a look at every controversy coming out of UFC 127, more on Mistico in WWE, Strikeforce's future big shows and plans for the rest of the year, and more on the biggest threats facing both the UFC and WWE business years from now.
 
        Our lead story covers WrestleMania 27, with a match-by-match breakdown, including what staple of the show is no longer there, and the building of the Rock/Cena angle.
 
        We also look at UFC 127, including business numbers, ratings numbers, what the ratings show, early PPV numbers.  We look at what long-term major match fell apart, at the welterweight division going forward, Fitch vs. Penn judging and round two in detail, Dana White's view on the fight, polls on the fight, what pro wrestler debuted on the UFC show and White's reaction to him, and all the Michael Bisping vs. Jorge Rivera controversy, how it started why it started and how real it was or wasn't.  We've also got match-by-match coverage and poll results on the show.
 
        The issue is up today on the web site and a second issue from late 1993 will be up later this week on the site.  You can sign up on the front page, and all issues from recent years are in the newsletter archives tab.  Each month there are approximately ten Observers and four new Figure Four Weeklies added to the site along with several audio shows daily and coverage of every major event in pro wrestling and MMA. 
 
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        We look at the WWE and CMLL press conferences on Thursday regarding Mistico.  We look at Jim Ross' comments at the press conference, Smackdown vs. Raw for him, the history of Latino stars on Smackdown, the challenges facing the former Mistico, now Sin Cara, in WWE, as well as the CMLL reaction to losing its top star.
 
        We also look at how "The Chaperone" did in its small theatrical release, and a lot more on newcomers signed by WWE in recent weeks and their background.  We also look at the WWE All-Stars roster, WWE comes back to Mexico, business notes from both the foreign and domestic shows this past week and highlights from all the WWE house shows.   
 
        We also have more on CMLL's first major show of the year, and the CMLL and AAA situation in Mexico as WWE has gotten network caliber television.
 
        We also look at the future of Strikeforce and the heavyweight tournament.
 
        We also look at the problems facing UFC and WWE gong forward, as well as how it affects other sports.
 
        We've got coverage of the ROH 9th anniversary show as well as how the iPPV did.
 
        We've got notes on the Royal Rumble buy rate, both domestic and international, as well as early indications on Elimination Chamber and Against All Odds.
 
        We've got ratings of all the national shows including how every segment on Raw did the past two weeks, the impact of the return of Rock, HHH and Undertaker, how their segments did, and what superstar segments did not do well, as well as how every segment of Impact did this past week.   We look at what audience has grown the most since the return of The Rock, and unique things about the TNA ratings this week.
 
        We also have our usual weekly features with results of the major arena shows from around the world, and the major TV show rundowns and reviews.
       
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Also in this week's issues:
 
--The national incredible partners tournament in CMLL ends
 
--What the ratings in Mexico say
 
--Update on AAA's Rey de Reyes and top angles
 
--Dragon Gate star returns over the weekend
 
--U.S. star gets Dragon Gate tile match
 
--Hall of Fame pro wrestler returns in late March as a father-and-son tag team
 
--Biggest Zero-One show in recent history featuring wrestlers from many groups and son of Hall of Famer debuting
 
--Tons of Chris Jericho news, what projects he has, how his book is doing, Dancing with the Stars and concerts
 
--Three different promotions sign national television deals this past week, we look at their starts and chances
 
--Update on a major theatrical release movie about a pro wrestling iconic figure
 
--WXW comes to U.S.
 
--Former TNA tag champs face current ROH tag champs
 
--Behind new ROH signings
 
--More on TNA's TV taping in Fayetteville
 
--A look at celebs at the show and why they were used
 
--Update on TNA taping television outside Orlando
 
--Hogan filed another lawsuit
 
--Backstage employee leaves TNA for WWE
 
--How Impact is doing on TV in the U.K.
 
--Notes from the weekend TNA house shows
 
--UFC talks international plans
 
--UFC moves to 3-D coverage
 
--More on UFC relationship with bars
 
--UFC star goes into legit sports Hall of Fame
 
--Update on the Brock Lesnar autobiography
 
--UFC fans get ripped off by scam in Australia
 
--Lots of more new UFC matches
 
--Story behind challenger in upcoming Strikeforce title match
 
--Fedor Emelianenko update
 
--Notes on new Bellator season
 
--Return of Steve Austin
 
--Chris Jericho talks WWE return
 
--More on Bob Armstrong
 
--WWE new major marketing deal
 
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--Weigh-ins for tomorrow night's UFC on Versus 3 from Louisville
Prelims
Todd Brown (205) vs. Igor Pokrajac (204)
Dave Branch (186) vs. Rousimar Palhares (186)
Rob Kimmons (185) vs. Dongi Yang (186)
Reuben Duran (136) vs. Takeya Mizugaki (136)
Shane Roller (156) vs. Thiago Tavares (156)
 
Fights on Facebook at 8 p.m. Eastern
 
Danny Castillo (155) vs. Joe Stevenson (155)
Cyrille Diabate (205) vs. Steve Cantwell (206)
 
TV on Versus at 9 p.m.
Brian Bowles (135) vs. Damacio Page (136)
Alessio Sakara (186) vs. Chris Weidman (186)
C.B. Dollaway (185) vs. Mark Munoz (186)
Martin Kampmann (171) vs. Diego Sanchez (171)
        Sanchez has now shaved his head.   
 
--In the cable ratings for this week, USA is No. 1 at 2.3. Syfy was No. 15 at 0.9.  Spike again failed to crack the top 25.  Raw last week moved up to No. 2 and No. 3, trailing only Jersey Shore (5.5 rating).    Raw was also No. 7 and No. 9 in 18-34 and No. 2 and No. 4 in 18-49.
 
--Smackdown on 2/18 in the U.K. did 201,000 viewers, which was the Friday after Rock's return.  That's the most watched single episode WWE television show in the U.K. since August 16, 2004.  The Elimination Chamber had 265,000 viewers, making it the most watched PPV in the U.K. since WrestleMania in 2004.  TNA's second week on Challenge TV, the 2/10 show, had 152,000 viewers, the most watched show on the station and the most watched TNA show in history in the U.K. (thanks to Stephen Lyon)  
 
--Tomorrow night's UFC show will air live in Australia on Fuel TV at 1 p.m. (thanks to James Stanios)
 
--UFC is having a casting call on 3/21 at 8 a.m. in Newark, NJ at the Airport Marriott for season 14 of The Ultimate Fighter.  They are looking for featherweights and bantamweights.  It wouldn't surprise me to see Urijah Faber and Dominick Cruz as coaches, provided Faber beats Eddie Wineland two days earlier.    
 
--TNA is running house shows tomorrow night in Wanatchee, WA, Friday night in Kent, WA and Saturday night in Salem, OR headlined by Jeff Hardy vs. Mr. Anderson and Beer Money & Scott Steiner vs. Ink Inc. & Jeff Jarrett, plus Matt Hardy vs. A.J. Styles   
 
 
--Forbes Magazine has a positive story on WWE stock at http://blogs.forbes.com/greatspeculations/2011/03/01/  It claimed WWE as one of the most profitable companies in the U.S.  That's a little bit of an exaggeration to say the least.  They say the stock is undervalued.
 
--UFC is opening its third gym on 3/5 in Corona, CA at 470 N. McKinley St.
 
--With Cobo Arena being turned into a new $221 million Cobo Convention Center, on 97.1 The Ticket hosts Doug Karch and Scott Anderson were talking about their memories of Cobo Arena and asked listeners to call up.  Many talked about The Sheik and Big Time Wrestling. 
 
--Spike TV officially announced airing two prelim fights on 3/19 from Newark, NJ before UFC 128.  The 9 p.m. broadcast will feature Edson Barboza vs. Anthony Njokuani and Eliot Marshall vs. Luiz Cane. 
 
--Former Strikeforce champion Sarah Kaufman fights for the Armageddon Fighting Championships on 4/2 in Victoria, BC. 
 
--WWE wrestler Derrick Bateman from the just ended season of NXT is getting arthroscopic knee surgery under the Dr. James Andrews team in Birmingham. (thanks to Terri Bey)
 
--Mike Von Erich would have turned 47 today.  Lance Cade would have turned 31.
 
--Another Strikeforce show will be on 4/1 on Showtime, a Challengers show from Stockton.
 
--Update on a bill to regulate MMA in West Virginia at http://www.dailymail.com/ap/ApTopStories/201103020438 
 
--Bryan and I will be back later today with Wrestling Observer radio.  You can send any questions on pro wrestling or MMA to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
--Poll on Raw
Excellent 7.3%
Good 24.5%
Average 21.3%
Fair 13.6%
Poor 33.2%
        5.6% of those responding didn't see the show
 
--Plans for Thursday
Watching only UFC 35.1%
Watching only TNA 19.6%
Watching both 13.4%
Watching neither 31.8%
 
--Poll on Monday's ROH TV show
Excellent 24.4%
Good 48.9%
Average 11.1%
Fair 2.2%
Poor 13.3%
        65.1% of those responding didn't see the show
 
--A breast cancer benefit show by Megan Boys Entertainment takes place on 3/17 at 2-35 Carl Hall Rd., in Toronto with Iron Sheik, Eugene, Kurrgan, Bushwhacker Luke, Dustin Diamond and Tatanka.
 
--Shawn Michaels is running a contest/raffle for his fans and the winner will get an all expense paid trip to WrestleMania as Michaels guest, including two tickets to his Hall of Fame induction.  Deadline to enter is 3/25 and the winner will be chosen that day.  Proceeds benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Antonio.  For more info you can go to Michaels' twitter at http://twitter.com/ShawnMichaels
 
--Kevin Nash looks back at leaving basketball for wrestling at http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/03/01/2091022/wwe-legend-kevin-nash-meets-fans.html
 
--Hulk Hogan and Bubba the Love Sponge are promoting a drawing for a 2011 Special Edition Chevrolet Camaro autographed by Hogan and worth $44,000.  Tickets are available at Stingray Chevrolet in Tampa until 6 p.m. on 3/11 or at stingraychevrolet.com  
 
--A story on Cookie of TNA is at http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/03/02/2092969/cookie-spices-up-tna-with-jersey.html  How's this for a lead, "In a two week span, Total Nonstop Action Wrestling's Cookie became the talk of the mainstream media world."  I must have slept through those two weeks.
 
--Wade Barrett is going to the U.K. for a WWE promotional tour for WrestleMania and for the next tour.
 
--Dixie Carter will be appearing at the TNA booth at the Arnold Fitness Expo in Columbus, OH this weekend 
 
--Sunday CMLL in Guadalajara before 1,100 fans:  Disturbio & Camorra b Metatron & Divino, Electrico & Ultimo Dragoncito & Meteoro b Pequeno Olimpico & Pequeno Violencia & Pequeno Black Warrior, Metal Blanco b Inquisidor to keep the Western States welterweight title, Negro Casas & Felino b Hector Garza & El Texano Jr.-DQ, El Terrible b Rey Bucanero
 
--Monday CMLL in Puebla before 4,500 fans:  Fuerza Chicana & Siki Ozama I & King Jaguar b Millennium & Silver & Asturiano, Lluvia & Dark Angel (Sarita in TNA) & Dalis la Caribena b Zeuxis & Princesa Sugei & Estrella Magica, Escandalo & Arkangel de la Muerte & Loco Max b Raciel & Escorpion & Cancerbero, Rush & Angel de Oro  & Diamante b Virus & Polvora & Euforia to keep the Mexican national trios title, Averno b Mascara Dorada
 
--Woman wrestling star Toshie Uematsu appears on the 3/12 CHIKARA show in Williamsport, PA at the Campbell Street Center, facing Madison Eagles of Australia.  Show is headlined by Mike Quackenbush & Hallowicked & Frightmare vs. Claudio Castagnoli & Sara Del Rey & Tim Donst 
   
--IWF on 3/12 in Woodland Park, NJ at the IWE Centre  
 
--Australasian Wrestling Federation on 3/19 in Minto, Australia at the AWF Dojo
 
--West Coast Wrestling Company on 3/12 in Lake Elsinore at the Trevi Entertainment Center
 
--J.D. Byriders and HPW on 3/5 in Columbus, IN, headlined by Eugene.  Each fan is asked to bring three cans of food to the show to help the Love Chapel. 
 
--Revolutionary Championship Wrestling on 3/12 in Portsmouth, OH at the Plumbers and Pipe Fitters
 
--JokeSlam combines wrestling and stand up comedy on 3/11 in San Francisco at Club Cocomo on Indiana St.  Must be 21 to attend.
 
--Ring Wars Carolinas on 3/5 in Lumberton, NC at the Lumberton indoor flea market
 
--X-1 Events on 3/12 at the Blaisdell Center in Honolulu headlined by Falaniko Vitale vs. Dylan Clay for the X-1 welterweight title has a Champions III show which also airs on PPV in Hawaii on Ch. 260 and on Internet PPV at X1Events.com
 
--NWS on 3/5 in Island Heights, NJ at the Volunteer Fire Department features Tito Santana
 
--Tri State Wrestling Alliance on 3/20 in Voorhees, NJ at the Flyers Skate Zone 
 
--Mickie James headlines for BANG on 3/26 in Ocala, FL at the Funking Conservatory Wrestling Sound Stage.
 
--Diego Saraiva faces 10-0 Marius Cujba for Wild Bill's Fight Nights in Duluth, GA on 3/11 for the newly created Georgia Fighters lightweight championship.
 
--Former WWE writers John Carle and David Lagana talk about 2006 to 2009 at http://iwantwrestling.com/2011/03/02/formerly-creative-podcast-5-new-episode/
 
--Christina Von Eeerie debuts for Shimmer on 3/26 and 3/27 in Berwyn, IL at the Eagles Club.
 
--New York Wrestling Connection on 3/4 in Northport, NY at Northport High School with Mikey Whipwreck
 
--WSU is doing an Internet PPV on 3/5 at the Ace Arena in Union City, NJ headlined by Mercedes Martinez vs. Serena.  Tina San Antonio is off the show due to a broken ankle.
 
 
 --Modern Arts Grappling on 5/7 in New Port Richey, FL and the Forever Indy Sportatorium with Raven, Austin Aries, Mark & Jay Briscoe, Sabu, Low Ki, Christopher Daniels, Adam Pearce and Steve Corino.
 
--An article in the Streetsboro Gateway News at http://www.thegatewaynews.com/news/article/4990260 talks about two local high school grads working for Pro Wrestling Ohio
 
--Gangrel headlines a wrestling show on Friday night in Turlock, CA at the High School as a cancer benefit.
 
--Dream Wave Wrestling on Saturday night in LaSalle, IL featuring Kevin Thorn, Colt Cabana and Demolition.  They also have an iPPV show on 4/9 headlined by Terry Funk.

Long-term, what are your thoughts on Lucha Underground?

 

What did you think of Wednesday's Ultimate Fighter TV show?

 

What did you think of TNA Impact?

 

What did you think of Lucha Underground last night?