SUN. UPDATE: Is Hughes retired?, Time slot improvement hurts TNA ratings, WWE secondary program

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        We're looking for your thoughts on last night's UFC 135 PPV, 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 today's WWE joint branded show in Lubbock which will feature a guest appearance of Dusty Rhodes, last night's Raw show in El Paso, last night's Smackdown show in Amarillo, as well as today's TNA show in Hillsdale, MI at the County Fair.
        The Urban Wrestling Federation presents its second PPV tonight at 8 p.m.  Ricky Reyes vs. Slyck Wagner Brown and Rich Ortiz vs. Rasche Brown are two of the matches on the show.
        Raw comes from Kansas City on Monday night.
        Smackdown and NXT will be taped on Tuesday night in St. Louis.

        A look at the return of The Rock at Survivor Series, the fall of Matt Hardy, the fallout of Night of Champions, backstage at Raw and coverage of a number of major shows headlines this coming week's issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
        The lead story concerns the first match in seven-and-a-half years of The Rock, as we talk about ideas for the match, the good and bad from a business standpoint, his last match, his first major WWE match and the coincidences of that, the booking of the match and the Rock vs. Cena dynamic.  We also look at how much Rock's appearance likely meant for WrestleMania, what Survivor Series is coming off doing, the UFC competition that weekend and crowd reactions.
        We also look at all of Matt Hardy's legal issues, his latest arrests, details of the arrests, his girlfriend's claims of the story, what led to this latest arrest, his video saying he's going to rehab and a look at that.  We also look at the legal issues he's facing.
        We also look at the records set by John Cena at Night of Champions.  We look at the background of Mark Henry and how he got to where he now is over 15 years, looking at pre-wrestling, his WWE signing and when it actually took place, his days as an Olympian, his beginning in WWE, his near firing, and his title win.
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        We also look at ROH's Final Battle early notes, including head-to-head competition that day, and a rundown of the Death Before Dishonor iPPV show.
        We also have a feature on Brian Stann, and how 9/11 changed his life, the friends he lost, how it made him a fighter, what it was like in the Naval Academy on that day, the reactions and a lot of memories.  This is a really notable story about one of UFC's biggest stars, who fights in two weeks.   
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--Dana White after the show last night said that he thinks Matt Hughes is retired, but just doesn't want to say the word.  I think that was the impression most people had after his interview where he said that he wasn't retired, but was putting himself on the shelf for a while.
--Nate Diaz said that he was sticking with the lightweight division, as opposed to welterweight.  That makes sense because him fighting at welterweight, even if he could handle the wrestlers in that division, would create a logjam with his brother and Jake Shields also fighting at that weight.
--We don't get ROH here so I can't comment on the first show, but we're looking for comments on it from those who have seen it.  I also have yet to see Bellator from last night, but I've been told it was a great show.
--Update on U.K. ratings.  The live Raw show did 101,000 viewers on 8/22, 153,000 on 8/29 and 146,000 on 9/3.  Smackdown's first airing did 97,000 on 8/26, 72,000 on 9/2.  Impact did 209,000 on 8/23, 194,000 on 8/28, 180,000 on 9/4 and 149,000 on 9/11.  The move from Tuesday to Sunday, making it more current, and pushed as an upgrade by everyone, has turned out to be a negative.  Worse, the Sunday ratings have fallen every week, so it's not like they have to rebuild the numbers.  The first Sunday did only a little below normal ratings on Tuesday, and now they are way down.  It should be noted as always that TNA is on a station that is available in far more homes than WWE is, so total viewers is very misleading. (thanks to Ian Hamilton)
--While on a main feud right now, because Randy Orton's main program is with Mark Henry, there is talk of building up another Orton vs. Cody Rhodes match stemming from all the reaction to the bloodbath that aired on Friday night.  Until this is taken down, a video of the incident uncut it at
--Our weekend Observer radio show is already up on the site covering last night's UFC, as well as talking TNA and a lot of other subjects, including answering questions.  Our next show will be tomorrow night after Raw and we'll have a busy week upcoming including John McCarthy as a guest for the first time on Wednesday.  If you've got questions about the origination of UFC and its early years, as well as its growth, there is nobody who can probably give more perspective on it than McCarthy, who was at UFC I.
--The reason the ROH web site went down last night is because a new site is being launched.
--WWE legitimately sold out last night in El Paso.  Sellouts for house shows are not very frequent these days.  
--The link for the ESPN story on ROH's Kenny King is at (thanks to Brian McCarthy) 
--Chuck Langerman's daily wrestling trivia.  What a difference 21 years make.  In 1990, there were 57 active wrestlers on the roster at the time the Wrestling Observer Yearbook was printed.  Of those, only one, Undertaker, who only works a few shows a year, is still in the WWE today.  Of those 57, 13 have passed away (23%).
--Sherman Wilmott, who did the documentary Memphis Heat, talks at
--Jose Gonzalez said that Time Warner cable in Woodland Hills, where he lives, is fine.  AT&T U-verse sent messages to customers apologizing for the problems at last night's UFC show. 
--One person close to the situation said the problem was it was overloaded, but I doubt last night's show did even half of what the Mayweather show did the week before, so that doesn't seem to make sense on the surface.
--Regarding any early indications, last night several hours after the show, on Google's most searches in the U.S., Rampage Jackson was No. 4, Matt Hughes was No. 8, and Jon Jones was No. 10.  This afternoon, Jones was No. 10 and Hughes was No. 12.  UFC events haven't fared that well in months.  For what it's worth, our level of responses was below usual.  It's not a perfect predictor of PPV numbers, but it's more often than not a good indicator.
--Nobody saw Strikeforce Challengers on Friday night
Excellent 13.6%
Good 40.9%
Average 18.2%
Fair 13.6%
Poor 13.6%
        85.6% of those responding didn't see the show.  That's even worse than Hogan's Micro Championship Wrestling.  Well, better remarks from those who saw it, but most didn't watch.
--Poll on Smackdown
Excellent 11.0%
Good 37.6%
Average 29.4%
Fair 7.3%
Poor 14.7%
        42.3% of those responding didn't see the show.
--What company puts on the most consistently good major shows?
UFC 31.9%
ROH 30.3%
WWE 15.7%
New Japan 10.6%
TNA 3.3%
Dragon Gate 3.3%
CMLL 1.3%
Strikeforce 1.1%
Bellator 1.1%
AAA 0.7%
Pro Wrestling NOAH 0.4%
Dream 0.2%     
--Real Championship Wrestling from last night in Baltimore before 300 fans:  Sean Haze b Ruckus, Monster Mafia b 4Saken, Skull b Milo Shizo, Niles Young b Greg Excellent, Alex Payne b T. Jay Sykes, Sabian b Ryan McBride-DQ, Ophidian b Robbie Mireno, Azrieal b Christian York.  Next show is 11/5. (thanks to Joe Burrows)
--There is a video of Jerry "The Chef" Carr, a wrestler who is also a chef at eos (thanks to Jonathan Khamis)    
--Crossfire Entertainment on 11/5 in Nashville at the Fairgrounds has Fit Finlay vs. Al Snow, New Age Outlaws vs. David Young & Sigmon, Kid Kash vs. Stevie Richards, Brian Christopher vs. Derrick King plus appearances by Shane Douglas and Maria Kanellis.
--CWE on 10/2 in Winnipeg at the Polish Fraternal Hall featuring Teddy Hart.
--NWA Anarchy TV tapings from last night in Cornelia, GA:  C.B. Gibson & Tommy Daniels b Davey Vega & Gary Jay, Bo Newsome b Jacob Ashworth-DQ, Bryan Casanova & Slim J b Boykins & Mayne, Drew Haskins b Donnie Steamboat, Johnny Dangerous & Body Chase b Pierre Abernathy & Evan Gelistico, Steven Walters b John Skyler, Anthony Henry won elimination match over Gi Quest, Skirra Corvus, Billy Buck, J.C. Walker and Bobby Moore, Shaun Tampers b Mikal Judas (Murphy from TNA) (thanks to Bill Behrens)
--NWA Force 1 on 10/8 in Egg Harbor Township, NJ.
--The Daily Telegraph in Australia has a story on James Te Huna's win over Ricardo Romero in a prelim match last night at tunning-win/story-e6freygr-1226145807333
--Newsday on Long Island has a story about Dennis Bermudez, who is on this season's TUF.  He lives in Massapequa, NY and trains at the Long Island MMA.  Bermudez wrestled at Bloomsburg and his goal in life was to be a truck driver for UPS, work 25 years and then retire, but he got hooked on MMA.  He was in the hunt for season 12 of TUF but blew it on the interview portion after advancing through all the physical aspects.
--The Bangor Daily News at has a story on Bangor's Marcus Davis, the former UFC fighter who also briefly did an angle in TNA during one of the Kurt Angle vs. Samoa Joe feuds as Joe's MMA trainer, choked out Travis Coyle last night for Global Fight League 13 in Portland, ME before 2,600 fans.  Davis, who is 38, needed only 1:21 to get the win.  Davis will next fight Chuck O'Neil, who was briefly in UFC coming off TUF, on 10/15 in Miami.
--I Believe in Wrestling from last night in Orlando:  Latin Assassins b Nuyoricanz, Richard Parliament b Damien Darling, Mike Reed b Chasyn Rance, Ray Beez & Jack LeDuc & Lince Dorado & Raymond Snow & Brandon Scherer b Francisco Ciatso & Aaron Epic & Simon Sez & Shooter Storm & Jason Hanley (thanks to Al Haft)
--GOUGE from  last night in Butner, NC:  Scrapyard Dog b Vector, Otto Schwanz b Mike West, Lou Marconi b Blue Dewey, Rob McBride b Leatherface, Mickey Gambino & Frank Stelletto b Redman & Codename Fox, Seymour Snott b Gluteus Maximus in a gladiator death match.  Next show is 10/8 in Raleigh at the Downtown Amphitheater.
--SCW from last night in Poulsbo, WA:  Randy Zellers b True Buddah, Valiente Brothers b Sam Simms & Sniper, Exile b Biohazard & Gremlin, Randy Taylor & The Chef b Josh Blaze & Outpatient, Diaffulah Dobashi b Dean de Drifta, Valiente Brothers b Randy Taylor & Chef to win SCW tag team titles, Dash Venture b Hoss Tull and Christopher Ryseck, Dale Houston b Ron Sutherland (thanks to Charles Short)
--Acer Arena, the building where WWE and UFC both run in Sydney, Australia, has had its name changed to the Allphones Arena.  (thanks to James Stanios)

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?