WED. UPDATE: Ratings, Biggest PPV of 2012, TNA shows, UFC rating, Reality star vs. Rogers, Flair



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        UFC 136, Jon Jones vs. Rampage Jackson, airs at 7 p.m. Eastern time tonight on Fuel.  They will also be replaying part two of Diaz vs. Condit (the last five minutes of this are really great, although when it's over the fight you want to see isn't Diaz vs. Condit) at 10 p.m. followed by the UFC Countdown show for Saturday at 10:30 p.m.  For those on the West Coast, UFC Tonight airs at 10 p.m. Pacific time, the Diaz vs. Condit is replayed at 10:30 p.m. Pacific and UFC 136 airs at 11 p.m. Pacific.
 
        A note that if you order a new print or web site subscription to the Observer this week you will get one of our biggest issues of the year, the 2011 awards double-issue.
 
        The Wrestling Observer ranges from 25,000 to 40,000 words covering pro wrestling and MMA all over the world.
        The annual Royal Rumble issue of the Wrestling Observer is out this week, with coverage not only of the Rumble but of the UFC on FOX, with notes on what both shows meant in the big picture going forward, an update on the direction of both companies coming out of two of what will be the biggest and most important shows of the year.
 
        We look at the surprise element of the Rumble, the Elimination Chamber direction, poll results from both shows, star ratings for the wrestling show and the Mania direction.  We also have a chart on the Royal Rumble scorecard, how long everyone was in, all the eliminations, order in and out, etc.
 
        We also have a look at the sale of New Japan Pro Wrestling to Bushiroad.  We look at the particulars of the sale, surprises about it, reaction of the top wrestlers, who knew ahead of time, the new owner talks about his plans and his own background as a wrestling fan and running wrestling shows.  We look at the pro wrestling scene in Japan including notes on the historical highs and lows of New Japan, the type of money the top stars are making now as compared to the past and more.
 
        We also look at the UFC's second prime time show on FOX, what was good, what was bad, the fights, the Chael Sonnen interview, the build for the future, poll on who won between Sonnen vs. Bisping.  We look at the ratings, what they mean, how they compared with the first show, what the big differences were and the five most watched fights in U.S. television history when it comes to MMA.  We also look at how the competition of airing UFC against the special worked for Spike, and other business notes on the show.
 
        We also have match-by-match coverage.
 
        We also have an update on Dana White vs. The Hackers, a strange story as well as arguments regarding live streaming of WWE & UFC events.
 
        We also look at why WWE isn't panicking about the hackers, 2013 WrestleMania talk, notes on Rock's schedule for Raw leading up to Mania as well as promotional work, and the 1000th episode of Raw coming.
 
        We also have more on the WWE Network, as well as on a new WWE Senior Vice President, another 2012 PPV change, and lots of notes about Chael Sonnen, C.M. Punk and the show in Chicago.  We also have notes on the WWE's youtube channel, Mike Tyson in the Hall of Fame, an idea talked about for Mania, the anniversary of the origin of the WWE title and an update on the Legends House show.
 
        We also look at a former PPV main eventer who is interested in returning and why it's unlikely to happen, more on Mark Henry's injury, lots of business notes when it comes to web traffic, DVD sales and the Christmas merchandise season and how it did compared to last year.
 
        We also have notes on Zack Ryder's new-found success, an update on a former world champion and his life after wrestling, David Otunga going back to legal work, Mick Foley talks about potential in-ring and the lone weekend house show and business notes on it.
 
        We've also got coverage of the Dragon Gate USA iPPV show.
 
        We also have a look at the numbers of the WWE's TLC PPV with the company releasing first estimates this week, as well as a look at how UFC 142 looks to be doing based on early estimates.
  
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        We also have a look at TNA's tour of the U.K., and Hulk Hogan's media.
 
        Plus we've got the most detailed look at Ring Ka King, the new promotion in India, including notes on the first weekend of television and how the final episode of the season ends with a match involving famous athletes from both India and Japan.
 
        We also have notes on the next few weeks of Impact programming and how Against All Odds gets built.
 
        We also have notes on a federal investigation of the UFC, the sale to Strikeforce, the real money figures of the sale and what was ruled.  
 
        We also have ratings for all the national shows for the past week.  We also have how every segment on Raw and Impact did as far as gaining and losing viewers, as well as who did what in the key segments and who appeals to what.  

        We also have our regular weekly features with results of all the major arena events around the world, as well as all the major TV show
reviews.   
 
         Also in this week's issue:
 
--Major attitude change in major company now looking at raiding big stars to rebuild
 
--Shocker talks about why he's been out of action
 
--One of the best wrestlers in the world is announced as coming to CMLL
 
--Update on business at Arena Mexico
 
--Annual King of Flyers match
 
--Plans for Jeff Jarrett's return to Mexico as AAA champion
 
--Latest New Japan vs. All Japan angle news
 
--New Japan opens tour and starts building the next PPV show
 
--Lineup for New Japan's next PPV show
 
--Pro wrestling world champion has MMA fight in a few weeks
 
--Disgraced former well known athlete faces Bob Sapp in a few weeks
 
--Two Hall of Famers battle for the first time ever
 
--A look at the WrestleReunion convention in Los Angeles
 
--More notes on Mike Tyson and Superstar Billy Graham meeting
 
--What Tyson remembers about pro wrestling
 
--Tyson appears at pro wrestling show
 
--Who was in this year's legends Battle Royal
 
--PWG has its biggest event of the year with many Dragon Gate stars
 
--Celebration of the Los Angeles territory
 
--Verne Gagne gets publicity as a Minneapolis theater has special showings of "The Wrestler" movie from 1974
 
--Other former AWA employees who were there
 
--How the event did
 
--Notes on a lot of lawsuits
 
--Former ROH star talks about why he's retiring in detail and looks back at his career
 
--Coach of one of pro wrestling's biggest stars passes away
 
--More on the death of wrestling trainee
 
--MVP talks the new Wrestling Retribution promotion and playing an all-new character
 
--How MVP got interested in being a pro wrestler
 
--Is he interested in returning to WWE
 
--Annual 16 Carat Gold tournament
 
--More on ROH vs. CHIKARA angle
 
--Hulk Hogan's return to the ring
 
--Ric Flair's new business deal and what does it mean
 
--Against All Odds PPV card
 
--Lots of crazy Hogan stories from his U.K. media work
 
--A look at the Bobby Roode and James Storm booking
 
--Why Hogan did the U.K. tour at the last minute
 
--How the U.K. tour did business-wise
 
--What angles didn't work in the U.K. and which ones did
 
--How TNA tried to save money on the tour
 
--Injury updates from the TNA tour
 
--What wrestling legend to Hogan invite to London
 
--TNA stars doing movies
 
--An update on  Haywire
 
--One of the best promos likely of the year for a match that still may not happen
 
--Two of UFC's biggest stars want one last match with each other
 
--A special on ordering UFC PPV events
 
--Matt Hughes talks his future
 
--Update on GSP and who and when he will likely fight
 
--Notes on the 3-D airing of UFC 143 and how often 3-D airings of UFC shows will be taking place in movie theaters
 
--What fixture of the UFC is gone as of now
 
--Notes on a movie about one of UFC's all-time greatest fighters
 
--What recently fired star is Dana White at least open about thinking about bringing back
 
--Another of Bellator's potentially biggest fights is not going to happen and why
 
--Fedor Emelianenko's plan for next fight
 
--Career of Olympic star turned MMA fighter now in jeopardy
 
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--In the weekly cable ratings, USA was No. 1 this week in prime time with a 2.2 average to 1.8 for The History Channel and 1.7 for Disney.  FX was No. 8 at 1.2, While Syfy was No. 13 at 0.9.  Spike was not in the top 25.  Raw last week was No. 7 and No. 8 overall.  The first hour was No. 10 in the 18-49 demo.
 
--Bryan and I will be back tonight with our midweek version of Wrestling Observer radio.  We'll be talking Smackdown, the Elimination Chamber, Celebrity Wife Swap, UFC 143 and other news topics.  We should also have plenty of time for e-mail questions so if you've got anything on pro wrestling or MMA you can send it to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
--The press conference for UFC 143 will be at 4 p.m. Eastern time and will be available for streaming from the Mandalay Bay Hotel.  Nick Diaz will be there which means unpredictability will abound. 
 
--In what will possibly be the biggest PPV event of 2012, Floyd Mayweather vs. Miguel Cotto was announced for 5/5 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
 
--Jeff Hardy vs. Bobby Roode will headline this week's TNA house shows which are tomorrow night in Columbia, SC at the Township Auditorium, Friday night in Florence and Saturday night in Concord.
 
--Saturday's UFC prelims on Fuel did 144,000 viewers.
 
--Georges St. Pierre talks about his return and why he wants to fight Nick Diaz at http://www.dailystar.co.uk/inthering/view/233098/
 
--The Score in Canada announced that it will be televising the next season of Bellator.  The season stars on 3/9.  The shows will air live on thescore.com on Friday nights and airing on television on tape delay on Saturday nights at 9 p.m., Sundays at 8 p.m. and Wednesday at 4 p.m.
 
--Chuck Langerman's daily pro wrestling trivia talks about former WCW announcer turned sports shock jock Mark Madden.  Madden is a 1978 graduate of Shaler High School in Pittsburgh, and in what is little known, one of his classmates and prettiest girls at the school in those days is Jim Ross' wife Jan.  Madden graduated from Duquense University in Pittsburgh, a school that also graduated Art Rooney, the founder and former owners of the Pittsburgh Steelers, as well as his son Dan, the team's current president and chairman.  Madden has been described as brilliant by those who know him, but is no stranger to being in controversy.  He played a part in Bill Watts being fired by WCW in the 90s, and he was fired by ESPN radio after making remarks about the late Ted Kennedy.  He also runs Street Hockey USA and coaches in tournaments.
 
--UFC is making an electronic version of its fight programs for Saturday night's show available to the public and it's free at www.ufc.com/program
 
--Former Strikeforce star Brett Rogers will face reality TV fight Jeff Kugel in the main event of a show called "My Bloody Valentine" on 2/18 at the Palace in Auburn Hills, MI.  Kugel, who is 6-6 and 290 pounds, is the huge security guard on the reality TV show "Hardcore Pawn" that airs on TruTV.  Before that, he was an NHL enforcer with the Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League, and his brawls got him suspended for life from the league.  Kugel, 31, beat Butterbean in an MMA fight.
 
--Ric Flair appears at Frank & Son Collectibles at the City of Industry, CA on 3/3 between 1-3 p.m. for an autograph signing.  For more go to www.frankandsonshow.com
 
--Natalya has started her official web site at http://nattieneidhart.com  She'll be doing weekly blogs and posting photos.
 
--By the way, they are continuing the Natalya farting gimmick going forward.   
 
--Evolve's angle from 1/14 at the Arena in Philadelphia with Sabu Tod Gordon, New Jack, Balls Mahoney and Justin Credible is now up at http://youtu.be/wAkTu3mpTvw
 
--John Pollard noted The Miz's TV record since losing the title to John Cena is 15-32.  
 
--Best match on Raw Monday
C.M. Punk vs. Daniel Bryan 93.0%
Randy Orton vs. Dolph Ziggler 7.0%
 
--For the weekend's UFC & WWE
Best show of people who watched both shows
Royal Rumble 63.3%
UFC 36.7%
 
75% of those responding watched Royal Rumble.  77.2% of those responding watched UFC on FOX  As far as crossover, 85% of those who watched Royal Rumble also watched the UFC.  82.5% of those watching UFC also watched the Royal Rumble.
 
--Reasons people who watched the first UFC on FOX didn't watch the second
Other plans that night 36.1%
Didn't care about the card 26.1%
Watched something else on TV 21.0%
Didn't like the first show, didn't care to see a second one 14.3%
Lived on the West Coast, bad time slot 2.5%
 
--Poll on Raw from Monday
Excellent 40.7%
Good 43.0%
Average 6.2%
Fair 4.4%
Poor 5.8%
        9.4% of those responding didn't see the show
 
--Nigel McGuinness is working on a documentary about the end of his pro wrestling career and is also doing a commissioner role for a West Virginia independent group.
 
--The annual Quebec Wrestling Awards and Hall of Fame inductees were announced yesterday.  El Generico won as Quebec's Wrestler of the Year as well as receiving the Edouard Carpentier Memorial Award as Quebec's Best Flying Wrestler.  LuFisto was named Woman Wrestler of the Year.  The Super Smash Brothers were named Tag Team of the Year.  NSPW of Quebec City was named Promotion of the Year.  Kevin Steen vs. ROH was named biggest news story of the year.
 
--Larry Moquin and The Sheik were both inducted into the Quebec Wrestling Hall of Fame.  Moquin was the second most popular wrestler in the 40s and 50s in the province behind only the legendary Yvon Robert.  He also booked the territory at one point, and wrestled in France, where he and Frank Valois first discovered Edouard Carpentier and brought him to Montreal where he became an international sensation in the 50s.  He retired in the 60s, but made a comeback in the early 70s working for the Vachon's Grand Prix Wrestling.  The Sheik wrestled often for All Star Wrestling in the late 60s and early 70s, with a number of main events against Jacques Rougeau.  They headlined a 1972 show outdoors at Jarry Park that drew 26,237 fans and was managed by Montreal's most famous manager, Eddie Creachman.  For more info you can go to www.quebecwrestling.ca
 
--AAW from Saturday night before a packed house in Berwyn, IL:  Danny Daniels & Jesse Emerson b Marion Fontaine & Tweek Phoenix, B.J. Whitmer b Mat Fitchett, Josh Raymond & Christian Able b Samuray del Sol & T.D. Thomas, J. Miller b Knight Wagner, Gregory Iron b Jordan McEntyre, Arik Cannon & Jimmy Jacobs b Irish Airborne, Zero Gravity & Dan Lawrence & MsChif b Clash, Shane Hollister b Louis Lyndon, Michael Elgin & Ryan Boz b Silas Young & Mason Beck.  Next show is 2/24.
 
--Former NCAA champion Bubba Jenkins has his second fight on 3/9 for Tachi Palace promotions in Lemore CA.  
 
--Action Zone Wrestling from Monday night in Waipahu, Hawaii:  Mark Anarchy over Jet Akuma, Rocko Shinoda & Sabaki, Kaimana b Sexy Aleki, Bobby Bold b Kenjiro Katahria-DQ, Urban Swag b Invincible, Jeff Cobb b Kris Kavanaugh in 2/3 falls.  The promotion announced the four wrestlers to represent AZW in the Pacific Challenge, a best two of three match series with two singles and a tag match against Team All Pro Wrestling, on 3/3 in Hayward, will be Cobb, Kaimana, Anarchy and Bolt.  APW announces its team on 2/19 (thanks to John LaRocca)
 
-Blitz Wrestling from Saturday night in Joliet, IL before 600 fans:  Mark Horning b Ashton Vuitton, Machine b Willie Da Bomb Richardson, Matty Starr & Zach Thompson b Buddy Roberts Jr. & Justin Reno, Robert Anthony b Ruff Crossing, Rhino b Jimmy Rockwell, Barry Ryte b Mike Anthony, Hardcore Binge b Stone Temple-COR Tony Rican b Ryan Slade-DQ, Dysfuntion b Tony Scarpone in fans bring the weapons barbed wire match (thanks to Steve Stone)
 
--The reality show "Last Man Standing" in Australia on ABC 2 has another wrestling themed show on Friday night at 8:30 p.m.  This week they are on the plains of Mongolia training and competing in Mongolian wrestling (thanks to Graeme Cameron)
 
--CHIKARA has a kids free show on 2/25 in Reading, PA at the Goodwill Beneficial Association
 
--UWC Championship Wrestling TV is up at http://www.youtube.com/UWCWrestlingVideos 


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