Is Tony Atlas Still With WWE?, UFC vs. WWE, Backstage News

WWE's popularity in Mexico continues to grow. Both Raw and Smackdown are among the top 20 television shows in Mexico. Raw was the fourth highest rated show on Televisa Ch. 5 in May, while Smackdown was the fourth highest rated show of the month on Ch. 7. In April, Raw did a 13.1 rating and Smackdown did a 13.2. Just to compare, UFC 100 did a 13.3 in Mexico and that was just the main event of Lesnar vs. Mir.

Here is an interesting and rather telling stat. UFC 100 in North America looks to have done slightly more buys than a combined total of all seven WWE PPV events of the first six months of 2009, including the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania 25. UFC 100 and UFC 101 combined will likely end up doing only slightly less than all 14 WWE PPV events in 2009. Involving TNA PPV events is even more telling as UFC 100 should to a little better than the next six years of TNA PPV events. That is of course providing that TNA maintains its normal average of 20,000 buys per show with some being a little higher and lower. To show the comparison, TNA ratings for Impact are at the same level as UFC's Ultimate Fighter and live event specials if not higher some times. Yet when you look at PPV buyrate business it is literally night and day.

The latest on Tony Atlas' status with WWE is that he is still under contract to the organization, receiving his downside guarantee. We may not have seen the last of the former Saba Simba on WWE television as there has been talk of having him managing someone down the line. Back in the spring, there was an angle in place where Mark Henry would turn on Atlas by firing him as his associate, thus making the Hall of Famer a babyface. However, the storyline was dropped cold when the decision was made to move Henry over to Raw and turn him babyface.

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