WED. UPDATE: UFC in New York looks stronger, Ratings, Kingston in U.K., Star of Raw, Stephanie & Cena conference appearance, Hogan to Toronto, Mero speaking at schools, Jericho TV show, Miz movie



By Dave Meltzer
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        WWE Main Event tonight on Ion at 8 p.m.
Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett
Zack Ryder vs. Cody Rhodes
Sin Cara vs. Antonio Cesaro
        Both Barrett and Cesaro's matches are non-title.
 
        A quick note.  The new issue of the Observer will be up on the site tomorrow.  There was a lot of late breaking news this week between the FS 1 deal, the death of Bill Moody and other stories so rather than having to edit a ton out this week (and we'd still have been late), it's better to make this the double issue week of the set.  
 
        For Fuel tonight, Best of Pride airs from 5-7 p.m., last night's Frank Mir special airs at 7 p.m., Ultimate Insider at 7:30 p.m., UFC 148 at 8 p.m. and the World MMA Awards show airs at midnight.
 
        The business and historical significance of UFC 157 is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.  We also update this week's news on the road to WrestleMania looking at what's up with Undertaker, what he could and couldn't do in his return match, plus we also have the first issue of 1996 new on the site this week, where we look at the year that ended and made predictions on the year that was coming.
 
        For UFC 157, we look at the business of the show, the narrative that built the show, the marketability of Ronda Rousey, a look at the PPV numbers for the last two shows, Dana White and Rousey talk about the reaction to the show, who was at the show, comparisons with the prior show, how the show was expected to fare, when the last time someone lighter than 170 did those kind of numbers, the marketing of Liz Carmouche, some interesting notes about viewership and what they meant, thoughts on skeptics, the Cyborg factor going forward, Rousey's outside offers, Hollywood offers, plans for her next opponent, plus all kinds of new fights talked about from the past week.
 
        We also have fight-by-fight coverage, how much everyone earned on the show as well as poll results from the show, and polls on the close decisions. 
 
        We also look at the HHH/Brock Lesnar angle, Undertaker's return, Jack Swagger's arrest, WWE's attempt to garner publicity through Glenn Beck and the irony of the reaction.
 
        We also have more notes on All Japan Pro Wrestling being sold, including background of the new ownership group, how the company is being reorganized and what is the vision of the new owners for the company.
 
        We also look at the secondary market for WrestleMania tickets, the business of the movie "Snitch" starring The Rock, more on Donald Trump in WWE Hall of Fame and what to look out for, Chris Jericho talks how he got a Raw main event that the creative team didn't think would happen.
 
        We also have tons of developmental news, name changes, angles, who is looking good, plus all the WWE business notes from the week and highlights from all the weekend house shows.
 
        We also have an extensive article on one of pro wrestling's top stars of the 60s and 70s, the late Ciclon Negro, who headlined all over the world against some of the biggest names of the era.  We talk about his glory days in places like Japan, Australia, California, Texas and more.  We look back at his world title challenges in Houston to Pat O'Connor, his promotion as King of the death matches and more.
 
        We also look at the theory that live sports are DVR proof.  We look at what percentages in the 18-49 age group are watching which type of shows, and in particular how shows like Raw and Bellator do when it comes to DVR viewership.
 
        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.
 
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        We also have a look at the ratings of all the major shows as well as details of how every segment on Raw and Impact did and what 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:
 
--Notes on CMLL's first big show of the year and its lineup
 
--Anniversaries coming up in Mexico
 
--Benefit show for the patriarch of the family that has produced the largest number of successful modern wrestlers
 
--Update on Arena Mexico wrestling
 
--Major legends match coming up
 
--Problems with a retirement show
 
--More notes on WrestleMania week shows
 
--Three promotions all run big shows in Japan head-to-head and how they did
 
--All Japan vs. Burning best-of-five seres
 
--A look at All Japan's first major show of the year including a rematch from one of the greatest fights in history
 
--Notes on wrestlers leaving New Japan
 
--Huge group of legends attend pro wrestling show this weekend including five Hall of Famers
 
--More on Nielsen looking at changing ratings
 
--Update on wrestling in the Olympics going forward
 
--1980s star will be part of a Lifetime reality show
 
--Notes on the AAA Canada show and the funny tournament they ran for their title
 
--Plans going forward
 
--A new pro wrestling reality show debuts i the U.S.
 
--New promotion opens its doors in April for "rematch of the century"
 
--Notes on the next ROH iPPV
 
--Hulk Hogan talks C.M. Punk
 
--Hulk Hogan talks why he nixed Bobby Roode as champion
 
--Reaction to Hogan's restaurant
 
--TNA looking at video games deal
 
--A look at TNA weekend shows
 
--Dana White talks cutting of Jon Fitch
 
--The real reason behind Fitch being cut
 
--Where Fitch is expected to end up
 
--The match equation around the UFC roster
 
--Lineup for this week's UFC show
 
--Alistair Overeem's testosterone level
 
--UFC again fights for legalization in New York
 
--Dana White unhappy with Diaz brothers
 
--Lots of UFC new matches and card changes
 
--More on UFC women's division
 
--Chael Sonnen files lawsuit
 
--More on Matt Riddle being cut
 
--Michael Bisping injuries
 
--UFC TV situation in the U.K.
 
--Notes on the most Explosive Bellator TV show to date
 
--What went wrong for King Mo
 
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Wednesday's News Update
 
--Bryan and I will be back tonight talking all the new UFC fights, Smackdown tapings, ROH iPPV, as well as taking your questions that you can send to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
--Chris Weidman, Lorenzo Fertitta and Ronda Rousey were in Albany, NY today speaking to legislators in attempting to get MMA legalized in the state.  According to WIVB.com, New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said that he expects MMA will be approved, although he said he's not sure how quickly it will happen.  Silver had been one of the main opponents.  He said the Democrats will discuss the issue in a closed-door session and he will see what they want to do.  He said he was personally opposed to the sport but understands that if it's on TV, the state is missing out on revenue by refusing to allow matches in arenas.
 
--Ultimate Fighter did 1.26 million viewers on Tuesday, way up from usual.  I couldn't find a rating for Robot Combat League from last night, so that probably isn't good.  Its lead in on Syfy, Faceoff did 1.6 million viewers which is a good number.
 
--UFC announced Darren Uyenoyama vs. Joseph Benadivez and Francisco Rivera vs. Hugo Viana for 4/20 in San Jose.

--Ariel Helwani at http://www.mmafighting.com/2013/3/6/4072622/mark-munoz-vs-tim-boetsch-slated-for-ufc-162 reported Tim Boetsch vs. Mark Munoz for 6/15 in Winnipeg.

--The History Channel beat USA this week averaging 3.57 million viewers to USA's 2.78 million in prime time.  FX did 1.38 million was No. 11, Syfy did 992,000 for No. 18 and Spike did 863,000 for No. 22.  History won due to "The Bible" doing more than 13 million viewers, a phenomenal cable number.  The three hours of Raw last week were No. 8, No. 10 and No. 12.  In the 18-49 demo, they were No. 8, No. 9 and No. 10.
 
--On the radio show, when Bryan and I were talking about NBC ratings, the network averages 7.50 million viewers in prime time this season, but last week it only averaged 4.12 million viewers, and was behind Univision in 18-49s.. 
 
--The Miz was a guest today on Opie & Anthony which replays at 8 p.m. on Sirius 206/XM 105.  He's talking "The Marine 3." (thanks to Jeff Sheridan)
 
--Sky News Radio in the U.K. spoke to Kofi Kingston, who is there on a promotional tour at www.tinyurl.com/e2j2g6e
 
--There will be a live Raw in Roanoke on 5/6 with a pre-sale currently going on with the code WWECENA
 
ON THIS DAY IN PRO WRESTLING HISTORY (thanks to Brian Hoops)
61 years ago today - Sonny Myers beat Enrique Torres in Kansas City to win the Heart of America heavyweight title
60 years ago - Wild Bull Curry beat Dangerous Danny McShain to become the first Texas Brass Knuckles champion in Houston.  Curry would end up being one of the biggest stars in the history of wrestling in that city.
54 years ago - Angelo Savoldi beat Ivan the Terrible in Oklahoma City to win the NWA world jr. heavyweight title.  Savoldi ended up dropping that title to Danny Hodge, the most legendary champion in that title's history.
52 years ago - Guy & Joe Brunetti (Joe Tangaro) beat The Masked Outlaw (Dory Funk Sr.) & Pancho Pico in Vancouver to win the Pacific Coast tag team titles
51 years ago - Art & Stan Neilsen beat Handsome Johnny Barend & Magnificent Maurice to win the AWA tag titles. 
43 years ago - Fred Blassie beat Rocky Johnson (father of Dwayne Johnson) in Los Angeles to win the Americas' title
42 years ago - Jimmy Golden (who was once Jack Swagger Sr. and Bunkhouse Buck) & Dennis Hall beat Bobby Hart & Lorenzo Parenta in Chattanooga to win the area version of the world tag team titles
40 years ago - Kintaro Oki & Umanosuke Ueda beat Killer Karl Krupp & Johnny Valentine in Nagoya to win the International tag team titles
39 years ago - Kurt & Karl Von Brauner beat Pat Patterson & Rocky Johnson in Sacramento to win the world tag team titles.
34 years ago:  The Valiant Brothers, Johnny & Jerry, beat Tony Garea & Larry Zbyszko in Allentown to win the WWF tag tam titles
27 years ago:  Bill & Scott Irwin beat Alofa (Rikishi) & Dan Kroffat to win the International tag team titles in Sudbury, ONT
26 years ago:  Mike Miller & Rip Oliver beat Coco Samoa & Ricky Santana in Portland to win the Pacific Northwest tag team titles
25 years ago:  Kerry Von Erich beat Al Perez in Dallas to win the World Class title
23 years ago:  Terry Gordy & Steve Williams beat Stan Hansen & Genichiro Tenryu at Budokan Half to win the All Japan world tag team titles.  This was the beginning of the Gordy & Williams tag team.
22 years ago: Hiroshi Hase & Kensuke Sasaki beat Super Strong Machine & Hiro Saito to win the IWGP tag titles in Nagasaki
19 years ago:  Three ECW title changes on the same show at the ECW Arena.  Public Enemy beat Kevin Sullivan &  The Tazmaniac (now Taz) to win the tag titles.  Tazmaniac beat Sabu to win the TV title and then J.T. Smith beat The Tazmaniac to win the TV title
18 years ago:  The SMW TV title changed hands twice at a TV taping in Council VA, with Boo Bradley (later Balls Mahoney) beating Killer Kyle for the vacant title, and Kyle won the title in a rematch
17 years ago:  Lex Luger beat Johnny B. Badd (Marc Mero) to win the WCW TV title in Macon, GA
14 years ago:  Vader beat Akira Taue in Tokyo to win the Triple Crown
10 years ago - Chris Sabin won a three-way over Jerry Lynn and Frankie Kazarian to win the Border City Wrestling TV title in Oldcastle, ONT.  D-Lo Brown beat Johnny Swinger on the same show to win the Can-Am title
9 years ago - Bill Dundee beat Jerry Lawler in a tournament final to win the Southern title in Memphis
 
WHY DID FUEL DO RECORD NUMBERS SATURDAY?
Wanderlei Silva fought on free TV 31.5%
The Rousey fight made UFC a hot commodity and it carried over to this show 22.1%
People wanted to see Silva vs. Stann thinking it would be a great fight 17.9%
People wanted to see Silva vs. Stann because they were stars 16.9%
People wanted to see Silva and Hunt return to the Saitama Super Arena 11.7%
 
WHO WAS THE STAR OF RAW?
C.M. Punk 36.4%
The Rock 26.7%
New Age Outlaws 16.4%
John Cena 10.0%
Ric Flair 7.7%
HHH 2.8%
 
POLL ON RAW
Excellent 11.5%
Good 42.1%
Average 25.3%
Fair 10.0%
Poor 11.1%
        12.4% of those responding didn't see the show
 
WHO WINS THIS FIGHT?
Shogun Rua 67.6%
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira 32.4%
 
--Birthdays today include Killer Khan (Masashi Ozawa) turning 66, Val Venis turns 42, Ken Anderson turns 37 and David Flair turns 34.
 
--Bibber McCoy passed away on this day in 1977 at the age of 70.  Ray Fernandez (Hercules Hernandez) passed away nine years ago at the age of 46.  Badnews Allen was 63 and Ray Thunder Stern was 74 when they passed away on this day six years ago.  Don Curtis was 80 when he passed away on this day five years ago.  Tiny Mills was 85 when he passed away on this day three years ago (thanks to Georgia Wrestling History.com)
 
--John Cena, Stephanie McMahon and WWE EVP of Digital Media Perkins Miller will be peaking as part of a panel at SXSW on Saturday talking about WWE's strategy to crush social media.  If you are in Austin, TX, details are at http://schedule.sxsw.com/2013/events/event_IAP5972 (thanks to Josh Nason)
 
--Hulk Hogan will be appearing at the Fan Expo in Toronto, a major comic book and sci-fi convention from 8/22 to 8/25.  The date Hogan will be appearing has not been announced.  They claimed it will  be his first Canadian appearance doing autographs. Well, if you forget at Fan Axxess at Mania, a book signing in Toronto, a meet and greet in Brantford, a show in B.C., and, well you get the picture.  Appearing at the convention will also include Joe Montana, Bobby Orr and Gordie Howe (thanks to Chris Cooper)
 
--A preview for a new Ric Flair interview DVD is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wal6WQB7lhQ and a second one at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbJhG6X0bqM 
 
--Matt ten-Hoeve has tickets to the Evolve and CZW shows on 4/5 and would like to sell them at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   He said he'd rather go to the ROH iPPV show that night.
 
--Marc Mero is currently in Georgia on a speaking tour talking about staying away from drugs, suicide, bullying and peer pressure.  He will be appearing tomorrow at 9:30 a.m., Noon and 1:45 p.m. at the J.J. Daniell Middle School in Marietta, GA, Friday at 1:30 p.m. and 2:50 p.m. at the Simpson Middle School in Marietta, and Sunday at 9 a.m. and 11a.m. at the Piedmont Church for a free community outreach event in Marietta.
 
--IWA East Coast on 3/8 in Nitro, WV at 7:30 p.m. headlined by Kevin Sullivan vs. Ron Mathis, Mad Man Pondo vs. Chance Prophet and Sami Callihan vs. Facade.
 
--Premiere Championship Wrestling from Saturday night in Winnipeg:  Jay Walker b James Beaver, Blake Broadway b Vinnie Valiant, Jackie Lee b David London, Leo London & James Beaver b Jay Walker & Moses Luke.  Next shows are 3/16 in Winnipeg at Doubles Fun Club with Steve Corino and Kenny Omega, 4/10 in Brandon, Manitoba at Houston's Bar with Honky Tonk Man, and 4/12 in Winnipeg at Rookies Sports Bar with Honky Tonk Man.     
 
--Okay, this is going to get public freaking out but here does.  My friend Jeff Gagliardo was out on Monday night at a restaurant near his apartment and the bartender looked exactly like C.M. Punk.  He said the resemblance was ridiculous, same hair, face, tattoos, everything.  They looked like twins.  So he went to him and said how he must get people bothering him every day asking if he was or if he was related to C.M. Punk.  He had no idea what Jeff was talking about.  He said he never heard of C.M. Punk.  He did say that one day a kid told him he looked just like a famous wrestler, but he didn't remember the name.  Then Jeff showed him a photo on his phone and he was shocked. The guy looked just like him.
 
--There will be a tribute to the AWA at the Tragos/Thesz Hall of Fame weekend in Waterloo, IA on 7/12 and 7/13.  It will take place at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Fan Fest with Bill Apter and AWA stars.    
 
--Scott Steiner calls Hulk Hogan a name I'm not allowed to use without my mouth being washed out with soap and also talks about DDP attacking him at a Nitro event backstage for real at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlp3Q1-skBl&list=UUxzAP69BsvqJQFLhsDiLAAA&index=1 
 
--Mickie James appears for Dory Funk's BANG promotion on 3/23 in Ocala, FL at the BANG Sound Stage.
 
--559 Fights is promoting an MMMA show in Lemoore, CA on Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Cinnamon Recreation Complex.  Local college wrestler Alberto Arreola faces Kurt Eberhard in the main event of the 15 fight show.
 
--One of the main characters of the CBS TV show "Golden Boy," is named Don Owen.  Well, at least he's not named Chick Donovan. (thanks to Robert Miqueli) 
 
--EWF on 3/15 in Azusa, CA at VWF Post 8070.   
 
--UWC Championship Wrestling TV at http://www.youtube.com/UWCWrestlingVideos
 
--There will be a Tribute to the 80s and 90s Flashback pro wrestling show on 4/13 in Santa Ana, CA at the Yost Theatre as a Dynamite D Memorial show.  There will be characters playing the roles of Bret Hart, Tito Santana, Shawn Michaels, Randy Savage, Hulk Hogan, Razor Ramon, 1-2-3 Kid as well as others.
 
--Championship Wrestling from Hollywood runs every Thursday at the Santino Brothers Dojo at Bell Garden, CA at 8:30 p.m. 
 
--Deathproof Wrestling on Sunday in Etobicoke, ONT:  Weapons of Anarchy b Sabre & Preston Myles, Matt Cash won four-way over Steve Brown, Buck Gunderson and JK-47, Joey Kings b Mike Rollins, PD Flex over Jesse Amato and Warhed, El Hildo d'El Vogoe b John Greed, Warhed b PD Flex and Jesse Amato in a falls count anywhere match. (thanks to Steven Ashe)
 
--CMLL Monday in Puebla:  Espiritu Maligno & Fuerza Chicana b Centauro de Fuego & Siki Osama Jr., Seductora & Vaquerita & Zeuxis b Dalis la Caribena & Lady Afrodita & Luna Magica, Fuego & Sagrado & Stuka Jr. b Arkangel de la Muerte & Hooligan & Vangelis, Okumura b Rey Cometa, Felino & Negro Casas & Mr. Niebla b Diamante Azul & El Hijo del Fantasma & Mascara Dorada, Atlantis & La Sombra & Thunder b Euforia & Ultimo Guerrero & Volador Jr.-DQ
 
--CMLL Tuesday in Guadalajara:  Black Metal & Sky Kid b In Memoriam & Sadico-DQ, Nitro & Rafaga b Starman & Stigma, Diamante & Fuego & Triton b Escandalo & Raziel & Sangre Azteca, Barbaro Cavernario b Esfinge, Averno & Mephisto & Ephesto b Angel de Oro & Delta & El Hijo del Fantasma, Marco Corleone & Rush & Thunder b El Terrible & Euforia & Ultimo Guerrero (thanks to Kris Zellner)
 
--The Fight Network will be airing BAMMA 12, headlined by Judo Jim Wallhead (23-7) vs. Matt Beach (16-4) live at 4 p.m. Eastern time on Saturday from Newcastle, England, followed by a tape of Cage Warriors 52 from London at 6 p.m., and Enfusion Live, a kickboxing show at 8 p.m. from Barcelona, Spain, which features Abraham Roqueni vs. Artur Kyshenko.
 
--Chase Degenhardt (8-3) faces Smilin Sam Alvey (19-5, 1 NC) of TUF and Bellator fame on the 5/10 MFC show in Edmonton that will air on AXS TV.  

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