TUES UPDATE: Ratings for Rousey vs. Tate and UFC on FX 1, lots of Raw notes, Dos Santos title fight vs. Overeem signed, Saling update, next live Smackdown, tons more

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We're looking for your thoughts on Sunday night's ROH show, Saturday night's Strikeforce show from Columbus, OH, as well as Friday night's UFC on FX from Sydney, Australia, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

We're also looking for reports on Sunday's Raw show from Bangor, ME, Smackdown from Macon, GA, TNA from Wichita, Saturday's Smackdown show in Albany, GA, the TNA house shows this weekend on Thursday in Kansas City, Friday in Salina, KS, and last night in Dodge City, KS and today in Wichita, as well as the Friday night Raw show from Cornwall, ONT at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Smackdown is tonight from the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT with John Laurinaitis as General Manager.

This Week's Observer: Double Issue featuring WrestleMania build, Rock/Cena & Punk/Jericho promos

We've got another double issue of the Observer out this week.  The new issue is already available on the web site right now, as is another back issue from 1994 covering UFC IV and all the wrestling news from that period.

We look at the build for WrestleMania, the Rock-Cena promo, the Punk-Jericho promo, the internal predictions, the ratings, including exactly what happened with the ratings in the last segment and the goals of building the Mania match, and more importantly, what the Mania match can't do for long-term business.  We update the card announced as well as other matches teased, as well as how the key demos fluctuated in the last half hour of the show.

We also have coverage of the business of WWE with a rundown of the final quarter as well as the entire year of 2011.  We look at why the company is losing money for the first time in years, what divisions are up, what divisions are down, how it differs from last year, the dividend, and comments by Vince McMahon about the last few months as well as the company going forward.

We look at ticket sales and internal PPV predictions for WrestleMania, as well as the theory on how this show will build the company going forward.  We look in depth at the problems of the film division and will it continue and for how long is it safe in the wake of all the money losses.  We also look at an update on the network, why Vince McMahon said they are strong going into the network and why the stats he used may not really indicate strength in that marketplace.

We look at the money earmarked for the network's debut in 2012, and how to look at whether or not it is successful past the obvious bottom line because of opportunity costs changing.

We also look at his talk about recent non-WWE sports deals for content, as well as a look back at the historical cycles of pro wrestling in North America over the past 60 years.  We look at how the stock price is doing, as well as go into almost every facet of the business.

We look at WWE revenue over the past three years and what part of the world it comes from.

We look behind the small gain in attendance and why part of that is misleading.  We also look at ticket prices and merchandise, as well as compare grosses from this year and last year.

We also look at what recent PPV hit rock bottom, and why PPV numbers were up this past year.  We've got a chart listing all the PPV numbers for the past three years, as well as another chart looking at "Rock less" numbers, basically if you take Rock out of the equation, the overall trend of PPV numbers over the past four years.

We also look at a major lesson this year brought forth when it comes to big angles and PPV shows.

We look at why Superstars and NXT are not on television right now, as well as why one sector being down was so disappointing.  We look at toys, video games, novelty products, magazine sales and web site revenue.

We also have a year-by-year look at WWE business final numbers.

We also have a look at the Wrestler of the Year for the U.S. and Japan annually dating back the past 30 years.

About The Observer: The Must-Read Publication For Wrestling and MMA Fans, Media and More

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.

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.  Just sent your Visa or Master Card order with your name, address, phone number, card number and expiration date to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or you can order at www.paypal.com and use the This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it address.

You can also subscribe via check, cash or money order, as well as credit card by mail, by sending to Wrestling Observer Newsletter, P.O Box 1228, Campbell, CA  95009-1228.

More On The New Observer: UFC Back To Japan, Wrestling/MMA Connection, Tons More

We also have a look at UFC's return to Japan after 11 years, why the show sold, what the show indicated about the Japanese market, what kind of a crowd attended and how it differed from a pro wrestling crowd and a Pride crowd, a look back at the Benson Henderson title win over Frankie Edgar, stats on striking and takedowns, judges scoring, where the lightweight division goes, what Edgar is being pressured to do, and whether Edgar should move down in weight.

We look at the business stats of the show, gate, TV ratings on FX and early PPV numbers, the TV situation in Japan, and a look at the Japanese favorites on the show.

We've also got match-by-match coverage of the show, poll results and more.

We also look at the next Raw, tons of details on this year's Hall of Fame ceremony, where Ric Flair stands, Undertaker health update, Rock box office notes, more on Legends House, Rey Mysterio's return and WWE business notes from the past week as well as highlights from all of the weekend house shows.

We've also got the third part of our history of the UFC/pro wrestling connection, with notes and profiles on 16 more current and former UFC stars who have done pro wrestling.

We've also got a preview of Friday night wars, which start on 3/9 with four different stations broadcasting pro wrestling or MMA in prime time.  We look at how the night is going to shake up, the first Bellator show, as well as a look at the 32 fighters who will be competing on 3/9 to become Ultimate Fighter cast members.  We look at their backgrounds, records and who are the favorites coming in.

We also have our in-depth look at the ratings of the national shows, including how every segment of Raw and Smackdown did, what gained in audience, and what lost in audience.

We also have our weekly features with the results from the major events held around the world over the past week, as well as reviews of the major television shows.

Tuesday's News, Notes & Links

-- Dave will have more details in tomorrow's Observer, but the Rousey vs. Tate show on Saturday night did 431,000 viewers, up about 25% from the last show, but far from the most-watched Strikeforce show in history.

-- UFC on FX 2 did approximately 1.4 million viewers on Friday night.

-- New issue of Figure Four Weekly is out right now for members with stories on the rise of Ronda Rousey, the ROH 10th Anniversary show, WrestleMania changes and updates, UFC on FX 2, Rock vs. Cena, all the TV reviews from the past week and more. It's available both in text format to read on the web and also as a full-color illustrated eight-page PDF, which looks great on the iPad and other tablets, plus it can be printed out to be read elsewhere. Check it out on the front page if you haven't recently.

-- Junior dos Santos vs. Alistair Overeem for the UFC Heavyweight title has been added to the Memorial Day weekend UFC event in Las Vegas. Edson Barboza vs. Evan Dunham is the semi-main at this point.

-- Not surprisingly, Brandon Saling's license has been revoked by Ohio and New Jersey following an investigation Monday into his fight application. Saling, who was covered with (to put it mildly) questionable tattoos, is also a registered sex offender and has a domestic violence charge from 2008. He fought Saturday night on the Strikeforce show and this all came out after the fight.

-- Smackdown tonight has Randy Orton vs. Kane as the main event.

-- The next live Smackdown is listed as taking place on April 10th, according to the Syfy website.

-- UFC Tonight on FUEL this evening has an interview with Ian McCall about his fight this past weekend, the forced Chael Sonnen apology to Anderson Silva, plus Faber and Cruz previewing the new live season of Ultimate Fighter that kicks off this Friday.

-- PWInsider is reporting that since the WWE Network is being delayed until, well, God knows when, WWE Classics on Demand will continue indefinitely. Originally it was going to be dropped from most every cable system by WrestleMania. That means tonight, on Bryan & Vinny, more CLASSICS ON DEMAND~!

-- Michael writes: D"uring the CM Punk, Sheamus, Jericho, and Bryan match on RAW tonight, the ticker at the bottom of the screen said "Edge in "Breaking the Rules" - in theaters this Friday!" Except, as the little icon of the movie poster reminded us, the movie is called BENDING the Rules."

-- Rampage Jackson went raging on Twitter last night, writing that he was going to fight one more time for UFC and then be done, not with fighting, just with the organization itself, which he referred to as, get this,"U FIGHT CHEAP". Oh yeah. I don't think this was drunk tweeting so my proposed breathalyzer app wouldn't have stopped this one. This one, no app would have prevented. Between this and his Fighters Only interview celebrating feeling like a 25-year-old again with his TRT prescription from an anti-aging doctor, it has been a fascinating week for this guy.

-- James notes: "All kinds of ads for Ring of Honor ‘this weekend,’ on the local CBS affiliate in Albany, NY."

-- Tickets for UFC on FOX 3 with Nate Diaz vs. Jim Miller headlining go on sale this Friday, with the Fight Club pre-sale start Wednesday. Show takes place on May 5th from the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, NJ.

-- ROH has a two-disc Bryan Danielson best-of DVD, which I would bet is just about the most awesome DVD of the last several months, up for sale here.

-- Two different shows up today with Whitney from itapboys.com talking Rousey vs. Tate. Her pre-fight prediction, which was dead-on, is up on Stevie J's show here, and her post-fight appearance on the Wombat Sports (Women's Combat) podcast is up here.

What show Friday are you going to watch live?
Smackdown 45.1%
Ultimate Fighter 27.3%
Spike's Best of Ultimate Fighter 3.8%
Bellator 3.2%
None 20.5%

Who do you consider the biggest star in Strikeforce?
Ronda Rousey 63.8%
Josh Barnett 19.4%
Gilbert Melendez 12.1%
Miesha Tate 1.8%
Luke Rockhold 1.3%
Daniel Cormier 0.7%
King Mo 0.7%
Gegard Mousasi 0.2%

What was the best fight so far this year?
Tate vs. Rousey 44.4%
Henderson vs. Edgar 29.7%
Kaufman vs. Davis 14.4%
Ellenberger vs. Sanchez 11.5%

Who would you most like to see on the WWE main roster?
Dean Ambrose 36.6%
Seth Rollins 30.9%
Richie Steamboat 13.7%
Husky Harris 10.7%
Xavier Woods 2.3%
Sofia Cortez 2.2%
Raquel Diaz 2.0%
Damien Sandow 0.8%
Leo Kruger 0.8%

-- 3XWrestling, an Iowa-based pro wrestling program filmed in Des Moines and other Iowa locations, can be seen every Saturday at 6 p.m. on KWKB ch. 20 (eastern Iowa CW affiliate) and every Monday at 1:30 a.m. on KCWI ch 23 (central Iowa). Episodes will also be available here and here after they are broadcast on television.

-- On Saturday, March 10, the Full Contact Fighting Federation (FCFF) is back in Portland, OR for Rumble @ The Roseland 62. The FCFF is bringing three outstanding Title Fights including the return of Josh Bartlett the 185-pound FCFF Champion and FCFF veteran Heavyweight fighter: Damion Martindale. The FCFF is still buzzing off the excitement of their January event, in which the FCFF celebrated 10 years in business with a blowout, sellout event. The FCFF is the premiere cage fighting organization in the Northwest; Inside MMA (television show) coined the FCFF the as the “Golden Gloves of MMA.” Fighters are making their way from four states to compete on March 10th at Rumble @ The Roseland 62. Do not miss it! Tickets are on sale at Tickets West (Safeway) and at the door of the Roseland Theater starting at 6pm with the fights beginning at 7pm. This show will be airing live at gofightlive.tv. I went to the last show and it was awesome.

-- FSW returns to the FSW Arena, 6658 Boulder Highway, in Las Vegas, this Sunday, March 11th, 5pm, for a star studded show featuring 2 big title matches. FSW Champ Alkatrazz defends against Leon Hater, and FSW Tag Champs Reno Scum defend against FSW Arizona Champion Tyson Tyler & Johnny The Bull. Also scheduled, Michael Modest, Brandon Gatson, Von Dooms, Alofa the Samoan Tank and more.

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?