While most wrestling fans have been buzzing about the Monday Night Wars for weeks, there was actually a second war that took place this week. The UFC presented a UFC Fight Night on Monday which went head-to-head with WWE RAW. There has been a lot of talk over the last several years in regards to MMA and the UFC stealing pro wrestling fans. If Monday night’s ratings are any indication, the only ones that should be charged with theft should be the World Wrestling Entertainment.
The cable ratings are in and wow, this is quite a story here. The WWE smashed the UFC right in the mouth on Monday night. WWE RAW came in at a 3.7 rating for the night, with 5.45 million people tuning in to see pro wrestling. The UFC Fight Night produced a 1.1 rating with 1.7 million people watching. Even more shocking are the numbers of adults 18-49 that watched both shows. The WWE came in with a 2.1, while the UFC came in at 0.9. I guess some adults still prefer that “phony rasslin” to the smash-mouthed “real fighting” in MMA.
There are a few other stories that come out of these numbers that are also rather interesting. Last week’s TNA Wrestling had 2.02 million viewers in the 9-11 PM time slot. So not only did the WWE beat the UFC, but TNA Wrestling also grabbed more viewers than the UFC did in the same time slot. I think that Spike TV dropped a ball here and should have done a little cross promotion last week on Impact, similar to what the UFC did when they had Hulk Hogan on its show. It is one thing to lose out to the WWE, but a whole other story when TNA Wrestling beats out a UFC event in the same time slot a week earlier.
The WWE number is also real interesting in comparison to last week. The 3.7 is actually up from 3.6 the previous Monday night. The story here is that the WWE drew a better rating with Mike Tyson than they did with Bret Hart. Bret likely has his enemies working against him in the WWE locker room. This is not good news for him and his fans. The number is also an indication that last week’s TNA vs. WWE showdown was a great thing for the pro wrestling business overall. I would presume that the increased number this week is a bit of a carryover of the fans who watched TNA last week. It is obvious at least in the short term that the battle sparked some fan interest and may have even brought back some old fans that haven’t watched wrestling on Monday nights in years.
Dana White has made big claims about where he expects the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s business to be over the next ten years. White proclaimed last month, “UFC will be the biggest sport in the world by 2020.” He specifically talked about the NFL and how the UFC would blow away the NFL and everything else globally.
If he can’t even beat out two pro wrestling events on a Monday night, the UFC’s chances against the NFL are laughable.
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