WED.UPDATE: Jon Jones signs major endorsement deal, Kevin Nash fallout, Natio G-1 update, Linda Mac

By Dave Meltzer | This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Bryan and I will be back with Wrestling Observer radio today covering the latest news in pro wrestling.  You can also send in questions for tonight's show to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Showtime will be having the first of two Ronda Rousey TV specials at 9:30 p.m. tonight.  Rousey will also be appearing on Conan O'Brien on TBS at 11 p.m.

Tonight on Fuel has UFC Tonight at 7 p.m. Ultimate Insider at 7:30 p.m., UFC 144 featuring the first Benson Henderson vs Frankie Edgar fight airs at 8 p.m., Best of Pride at 11 p.m., and a replay of Saturday's UFC show on FOX at midnight.

The next G-1 Climax show is Friday in Niigata with Tetsuya Naito vs. Lance Archer, Yuji Nagata vs. Shelton Benjamin, Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. MVP, Togi Makabe vs. Rush, Karl Anderson vs. Toru Yano, Satoshi Kojima vs. Minoru Suzuki, Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Yujiro Takahashi and Hirooki Goto  vs. Kazuchika Okada.  The tournament concludes with a show on Saturday at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo and Sunday at Sumo Hall in Tokyo which is a PPV show featuring eight singles matches and the championship match.


We have our look at WWE quarterly financials as well as profitability of each sector as our lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.  We cover the WrestleMania quarter, including breaking down the financial numbers of the show, including how much more or less than wrestlers made from the show compared with the previous two years, company projects on profits for the rest of the year, as well as Vince McMahon and George Barrios talk the company's future.
        We look at Vince McMahon's appraisal of the quarter, what was up, what was down, who and what they credited the increase in PPV to, update on network expenses, the difference in the current business model with that of the past, a look at the production of television in the fall, what the company says will be the result of adding a new TV show and a third hour of Raw and more.
        We look at the investment in Tout, business in different international regions, breaking down WrestleMania, how much more the company took in this year and a profit estimate for the show.  We also look at house show business, we've got a chart when it comes to PPV for the first six months of the last three years showing the annual increases from the bottoming out point.
        We also look at what records from a business standpoint were set at WrestleMania, how the return of Brock Lesnar was different in different markets on PPV, a WWE vs. UFC comparison when it comes to television that is very telling, costs of producing a WWE television shoot, how much less talent made this quarter on merchandise royalties, magazine sales, as well as a breakdown of how much money every WWE movie has made or lost to date, an updated schedule of WWE movies as well as a breakdown of actual profits by division in WWE.
        We also have a breakdown of UFC on FOX, talking about the fights, the business of the show, ratings, growth the next show, and GSP vs. Anderson Silva as the idea being floated around.  We've also got match-by-match coverage and poll results form the show.
        We also look back at the first TripleMania as well as cover the 20th version of the show which took place over the weekend.
        The issue is up on the site today if you are a web site member.  We also have a new back issue on the site from 1995 just put up talking about how a WWE network TV special got squashed and everyone running for cover changing their stories, how future Hall of Famer Hiroshi Hase left pro wrestling full-time for politics, huge nostalgia shows, the death of a well known bodybuilder turned wrestler named Don Ross, the Bret Hart-Jerry Lawler feud and more on the engagement of Kensuke Sasaki and Akira Hokuto.
        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 Observer is now in its 29th year of being the leading insider pro wrestling publication in the world.  The biggest and most influential names in the pro wrestling and MMA industry, from bookers to promoters to Hall of Fame wrestlers and fighters to the biggest names on camera and behind the scenes, along with thousands of readers in all 50 states and more than 30 countries subscribe.  Many have subscribed for 20 years or longer consecutively.  They get the most detailed and inside coverage of what is going on all over the world.  Everywhere from Wall Street to the major offices to television networks in the U.S. and Japan turn to the Observer for what is going on in the business.
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        We also look at what Dwayne Johnson has been up to, Undertaker's wife having a kid, the Rosa Mendes story with Jackson Andrews and how he lived with two women at the same time, why JTG blew up as well as the complaints a lot of prelim talent have been taking since the WrestleMania payoff came out, an update on the SummerSlam card, WWE considering adding another weekly TV show, departure of Chris Jericho, TV ratings in Canada, WWE business in Japan, a new Mick Foley book, new WWE signing, WWE Hall of Famer gets rid of his ring, DVR viewership of Raw, as well as business notes from the last week and details on all the house shows of the past week.
         We also have a look at the ratings of all the major shows and complete details on how every segment of Raw this past week did.  We look at what segments gained and lost viewers
        We also have results from all the major league arena events over the past week as well as a look at all the major television shows.
Also in this week's issue:
--The debut of the new Mistico, who he is and how business did the first few nights in
--AAA in a campaign against obesity
--AAA TV after TripleMania
--More on Johnny Gargano's new contract
--The Villano III 40th anniversary show
--A look at New Japan's debut in the iPPV business
--The cultural differences when it comes to PPV and iPPV between the U.S. and Japan
--Breakup of one of New Japan's lead heel groups
--A complete rundown of the G-1 Climax tournament to date, including best matches and storylines
--A look at the conclusion of this year's Zero-One Fire Festival
--New Japan stars coming to California
--New Japan having a tryout in the U.S.
--World's Greatest Masked Man tournament
--Kamala, Dawn Marie and more in the latest on things that make no sense
--Independent wrestler sentenced to 15 years in prison due to a sexual assault
--Former major league baseball player to headline a wrestling show
--Update on Davey Richards & Kyle O'Reilly
--The next two ROH iPPV shows
--Notes on the next several weeks of ROH television
--Update on TNA's schedule
--Hardcore Justice update
--Booking of James Storm looked at
--Upcoming TNA advertising perhaps giving away a major name debuting
--Update on King Mo and his planned debut
--Update on the Bound for Glory series
--A look at the weekend TNA house show
--Update on UFC 149 numbers
--Advance ticket sales for upcoming UFC shows
--More on the Chad Mendes situation
--Debut of the new season of Ultimate Fighter
--More on Rory MacDonald's cut
--A look at Velasquez vs. Overeem, and who gets the next title shot
--Update on lots of new UFC and Strikeforce matches
--A look at UFC 150
--Donald Cerrone looking past Melvin Guillard
--Dana White talks Forrest Griffin, Chris Leben, Matt Hughes, Nate Diaz and drug testing
--A look at Anderson Silva's prospective opponents
--Lorenzo Fertitta on the background of making Mir vs. Cormier
--Drug testing the Toronto show
--More on Josh Koscheck's injury
--Dana White changes his tune on TRT
--Roy Nelson on Alistair Overeem
--White's talks with Nate Diaz
--Plans for UFC's next show in Minneapolis
--Tons of new UFC fights
--Update on Georges St. Pierre
--Arrest of a member of Chael Sonnen's camp     
        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.
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*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)
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*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 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)
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*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)
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*August 11, 2008 (Ric Flair leaves WWE; Updated history of pro wrestlers and MMA fighters who went to the Olympics)
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* 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)
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        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.
WEDNESDAY'S NEWS, NOTES AND LINKS notes that Jon Jones has signed a worldwide sponsorship deal with Nike, which will include his own signature line of Nike gear.  This is a huge breakthrough for the sport, because it's a deal that includes worldwide advertising that will give him visibility and credibility as a major sports star.

--Regarding Tetsuya Naito, he did wrestle in the G-1 tournament today after being dropped on his head with a double arm piledriver by Rush on Tuesday and going out on a stretcher.  He did almost nothing in his match with MVP, but he still won the match.  So either this is a storyline for later or he's hurt but he has to work because of how carefully the booking was done.
--NBC Sports (formerly Versus) is killing it with Olympic ratings. The U.S. women's soccer overtime win over Canada did 2.92 million viewers while a basketball game did 3.33 million viewers, the biggest that network has ever done.
--Disney won the weekly cable ratings race with 2.60 million viewers on average in prime time compared to 2.57 million for USA and 2.08 million for TNT.  Syfy was No. 10 at 1.06 million. FX was No. 11 at 1.04 million. Spike was No. 19 at 782,000.  Raw's three were No. 2, No. 3 and No. 9 behind only The Closer and beat a NASCAR Sprint Cup race on ESPN (4.45 million viewers).  None of the hours were top ten in 18-34 but in 18-49 they were No. 2, No. 3 and  No. 5.  
--Kevin Nash got a reaction by saying how making Eddy Guerrero and Chris Benoit champions is what killed the wrestling business in an article on He said it, several wrestlers noted the stupidity of the remark, and then Nash claimed he was just the puppet master pulling strings like he was trolling.  I'd hate to be the writer of the article where a day after you publish it, the guy making the quotes said it was all a work. 

My feeling is why bother to waste any ire because some guy says something dumb, and the next day comes up with an excuse when people call him on it.  Among the wrestlers who responded included Chris Jericho (who Nash then called a mark), Roddy Piper, Chavo Guerrero Sr. and MVP.  Anyone can insult Benoit today without any repercussions, but when the best you can do if you're trolling is to insult Eddy Guerrero, wow.  Chavo was really hot, but what do you expect when someone insults somebody's deceased and super talented younger brother?  And at the end of the day, Jericho and Eddy were best friends for years dating back to working in Mexico.    
Jericho wrote:  "Funny how Kevin Nash says wrestling died when Benoit and Guerrero were champs, yet the worst year for WWE biz was 95 when he was on top.  Hope Kevin Nash doesn't tear his quad tweeting." Nash said: "Once again the puppet master pulls the marks strings.  Knew Jericho was a closet mark.  First one eliminated on a bullshit sing show.  Really."
--The UFC press conference for Saturday's show is at 1 p.m. Mountain time (3 p.m. Eastern) tomorrow.
--There is an article by Margaret Carlson on Congress which talks about Linda McMahon running for Senate. Carlson was pretty insulting of McMahon and of the Connecticut republicans who got behind her.
--The same site has a story on the Fertitta Brothers and the rise of UFC.  It repeats some of the myths about how they bought the company got then got the rules changed and regulated, even to the point of claiming eye gouging and biting were allowed before they took over.  None of that is true.  Virtually all the rules currently in place were put in place by the New Jersey Athletic Control Board before the Fertittas had purchased UFC.  Biting and eye gouging were never allowed.  They did spend a lot of money in trying to get regulated in every state using uniform rules.
Do you expect UFC 150 to beat UFC 149 on PPV?
Yes 44.4%
No 17.0%
It will do about the same 38.6%
Right now, what do you think about three hour Raws?
A good thing 12.3%
A bad thing 62.2%
Makes no difference 25.4%
What is your opinion of the promotion leading to SummerSlam so far?
Good, feels like a big show coming 14.1%
Below average, interest getting lower as the show approaches 34.4%
Average, it feels like a show coming but not a big show 51.5%
What is the best pro wrestling company in the world?
WWE 35.9%
TNA 25.1%
New Japan 22.0%
ROH 7.0%
Dragon Gate 4.8%
AAA 2.4%
CMLL 1.3%
NOAH 0.9%
All Japan 0.7%
Poll on Monday's Raw
Excellent 5.9%
Good 34.6%
Average 36.7%
Fair 12.9%
Poor 10.9%
        17.4% of those responding didn't see the show
--Last night's UFC 150 Countdown show on Fuel did 13,000 viewers.   The show next replays on Fuel tomorrow night at 11 p.m. 
--Connecticut democrats today started funding a group called "Mothers Opposing McMahon" who returned at a press conference today in West Hartford.  The claim is that McMahon has profited off the marketing of violence against women and mistreatment of her employees.  The McMahon campaign had already started its own group, "Women for McMahon," trying to make up for the fact that in her first election, she fared so poorly with women.
--Michael Bisping suffered a cut in training that required six stitches to close last week but said he will be fighting on the 9/22 show in Toronto against Brian Stann.
--Former IFL and Bellator star Jay Hieron returns to UFC as the replacement for the injured Josh Koscheck on 9/1, facing Jake Ellenberger, in Las Vegas. 
--Raven will be on TSN radio 1050 in Toronto tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. on the Cybulski and company show.  He'll be promoting a heavy metal music festival in Ontario that will include Apocalypse Pro Wrestling shows that feature Raven, Tommy Dreamer, Johnny Swinger and Joe E. Legend.
--Kushida of New Japan Pro Wrestling will face the winner of a Dave Dutra vs. A.J. Kirsch (Tough Enough) match on 8/26 in Gridley, CA at the Butte County Fair.
--An Extreme Rising video is up here.
--Here's an audio interview with Cody Rhodes.
--Roy Nelson talks this season of Ultimate Fighter, bad refereeing, Junior Dos Santos and more.
--Mick Foley is currently in Edinburgh, Scotland promoting a comedy tour.
--Celebrating birthdays today are Rena Lesnar, formerly Sable (45) and Jack Victory.  (thanks to Georgia Wrestling History)
--A story on Colt Cabana at the Gathering of the Juggalos event.
--We've got a lot more on this in the new Observer, but essentially Andy Slocum, who used to be Jackson Andrews in WWE, was engaged to two women at the same time.  One was Rosa Mendes.  The other, Amber Stovall of Houston, found out about Mendes when the TMZ story about Mendes claiming Slocum beat her got out.  She has since broken off the engagement.   
--Regarding Dawn Marie and all the stuff that has come out, Jerry Lynn said to  "Since a lot of the talk regarding Wrestler's Rescue has centered around what was done to help me when I injured my back, I felt it necessary to speak out.  Did Wrestler's Rescue raise any money for me directly?  No.  However, Dawn Marie put me in touch with Karl Lauer of the Cauliflower Alley Club, which did help me financially on several occasions during the period I was hurt and needed help.  I am deeply thankful to Dawn for making that connection for me and obviously, to the CAC as well as everyone else who supported me in any way during that time period. Thank you."
--The Forest Lake Times in Minnesota has a story on former pro wrestler Blackjack Daniels, who lived in the city for 30 years after his retirement from wrestling.
--Jon Fitch is figuring out the game, saying this yesterday: "Here at AKA, we've got fighters who come out to fight, fighters who will face anyone and don't hide from any opponents.  You've also got cowards out there like B.J. Penn who say they want to fight people, but then they run and hide.  He's a coward.  He wouldn't be welcomed here."

Fitch and Penn fought to a draw in a fight that most felt Fitch won.  A rematch was scheduled, but Fitch was injured and Penn ended up signing for other fights.  Penn talked about returning to AKA, where he started his career at, but Fitch nixed it since he had tenure, noting that Penn could be a future opponent.      
--RF Video will be doing an autograph session with Edge and Tommy Dreamer at Dave & Buster's in Philadelphia from 2-5 p.m.  Prices will be $100 for a combo with Edge that includes a picture and autograph.  Each extra autograph will be $40.  Dreamer will be a $25 combo, $15 for a photo only or $15 for an autograph only.  
--Nick Delpopolo of the U.S. Olympic judo team, who tested positive for marijuana, claimed that a family member had baked brownies that he ate a few weeks ago that contained marijuana.  He said he had no idea he had ingested marijuana until he found out about the test.  A letter was sent to the Olympic committee from a family member who claimed Delpopolo had no idea and that he had no idea the brownies had marijuana in them.  How does this happen, doctors giving you steroids and you don't know them, family members putting pot in your brownies a few weeks before the Olympics? Strange world.
--Sunday's The Newsroom had one of the characters read Dwayne Johnson's tweet about Osama Bin Laden being killed before the news got out and another character pretended the tweet was how The Rock is coming back to face HHH (thanks to Mark Rushford)
--Traditional Championship Wrestling starts on TV in Springfield, MO on 9/15 on Saturdays at 10 p.m. on KOZL-27.
--CZW has an iPPV this Saturday at 8 p.m. from Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, NJ with Sami Callihan vs. Ruckus, D.J. Hyde vs. Matt Tremont, Masada vs. Joker, Azrieal & Bandido Jr. vs Lucy 13 & Devon Moore, AR Fox vs. Alex Colon, Rich Swann vs. Shane Strickland and more.
--CMLL on Saturday night in Nezahualcoyotl before 1,100 fans:  Super Comando & Camorra b Robin & Bengala, Cachorro & Mr. Leo & Neza Kid b Taurus & Vampiro Metalico & Super Colt, Fuego & Starman & Guerrero Mixteco b Escandalo & Arkangel de la Muerte & Principe Azteca-DQ, Tiffany & Lady Apache b Estrellita & Goya Kong, Shocker & Maximo b Mr. Niebla & Felino-DQ, Atlantis & Titan & Mistico b Negro Casas & Ultimo Guerrero & Dragon Rojo Jr.
--CMLL on Sunday in Guadalajara before 1,100 fans:  Tapatio & Indigo b Pirana & Demonio Rojo, Sadico & Rey Trueno b Brillante Jr. & Halcon de Plata, Metatron & Esfinge b In Memoriam & Acertijo-DQ, Smaker b Mr. Trueno-DQ, Malefico & Espectrum b Gallo & Leon Blanco, Atlantis & Titan & Mistico b Mephisto & Ephesto & Dragon Rojo Jr.
--CMLL on Monday night in Puebla:  Virus & Nosferatu & Cancerbero b Starman & Sensei & Pegasso Extrema, Namajague b Triton, Averno & Ephesto & Niebla Roja b Maximo & Diamante & Sagrado, Atlantis & La Sombra & Volador Jr. b Mascara Dorada & Mr. Niebla & Ultimo Guerrero-DQ in a rudos and tecnicos team match (thanks to Steve "Dr. Lucha" Sims)
--Crossfire Entertainment on 9/1 in McMinnville, TN with Carlito Colon vs. Chris Masters, Shane Williams vs. Matt Hardy for the Crossfire title, Reby Sky vs. Jessicka Havok vs. Allysin Kay with Maria Kanellis as referee, plus Ricky Morton vs. Kid Kash.
--Empire Wrestling this Friday at the Academy Theater in Avondale Estates, GA
--NWA Smoky Mountain Wrestling on 9/1 in Kingsport, TN at the Civic Auditorium headlined by Chase Owens vs. Jimmy Rave. 
--Pro Wrestling Syndicate on 10/11 in Rahway, NJ has an iPPV featuring eight women's singles matches in the first round of a tournament. Ashley Massaro will host.  Alexxis Neveah, Becky Bayless, Miss Adiva, Annie Social, Ivy Kit, Brittney Savage, Marti Belle and Winter are all announced for the tournament.

Who is the strongest of these Hall of Fame candidates?


What do you believe is the second most popular promotion right now in the U.S?