POLLOCK'S NEWS UPDATE: A breakdown of NXT's audience this week

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/09/20/pollocks-news-update-a-breakdown-of-nxts-audience-this-week/


**On today’s Café bonus show, it is the return of our MCU reviews as Wai Ting and I discuss “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” from 2017. On this show, we discuss the follow up to the popular franchise, the introduction of Ego and Kurt Russell’s portrayal as Peter Quill’s father, the handling of Yondu, a fantastic soundtrack, and many other observations from the film. This show is available for all members of the POST Wrestling Café and is a monthly special for Café members.

**On Thursday’s edition of the Café Hangout, Wai Ting and I welcomed Braden Herrington and Davie Portman in-studio for the entire show. We discussed the NXT episode from Wednesday, how they handled the premiere on the USA Network, the build towards October 2nd and took lots of phone calls. Plus, we got into all of the details regarding the upNXT duo’s launch on Patreon that you can join now and receive bonus content from the two.

**Davie Portman will have a free show Saturday night alongside Jesse from the 6 as they discuss both EVOLVE cards from this weekend. That show will be available on the free upNXT feed.

**Wai Ting and I return Sunday night with an NJPW Destruction in Kobe POST Show that will be out for all members of the POST Wrestling Café.

**This Monday on Rewind-A-Raw, Wai Ting and I will be announcing our schedule at POST Wrestling heading into the fall, what shows or staying and going, what days we will be putting out shows, and some other ideas that we are incorporating.


**The first week of NXT on the USA Network was a big success with an average viewership that topped most people’s expectations. The first hour averaged 1,179,000 viewers, topping “Suits” that followed at 9 pm doing 955,000 viewers. For the first week, those within the company need to be ecstatic to start with a foundation topping one-million viewers. The big test is October 2nd and what the percentage of the audience watching this past Wednesday is going to stay or sample the new alternative. In hindsight, it’s a strong argument in favor of putting NXT on two-weeks prior and setting viewership habits in place ahead of AEW’s launch. To AEW’s favor, is the curiosity of the type of show they will present and all the questions and intrigue that come with a new fresh product. With NXT, people know what to expect and it’s a solid wrestling show for two-hours.

October 2nd needs to be a major show and WWE has the tricky predicament of promoting NXT, SmackDown’s launch on Fox, and to a lesser extent the pay-per-view that same week. This week’s audience would back the theory that there was a strong word of mouth and awareness of the show with an adequate promotion on Raw and SmackDown that didn’t include an over-the-top hammering of the premiere.

The numbers that come out on October 3rd for NXT and AEW will be dissected and decoded from all angles, but one question it should answer is a crossover. Has AEW created its own fanbase or will there be a siphoning of the NXT audience on week one? If AEW and NXT both put up shows that attract 900,000 to one million apiece, it tells me there was a large audience not being served that have returned or been created by AEW. If NXT has a drop of 30-40% from their first two weeks, that would indicate AEW having the curiosity appeal and taking a healthy amount from the NXT audience. Realistically, this cannot be examined like our calendars are set to 1999 and I expect a strong amount to be watching both shows weekly and if this drives people to the WWE Network or B/R Live then it’s still a win for each side. A lot will be made of the viewership figures, and they are an important metric for the long-term but the best option for everyone is healthy audiences for both sides and that is my expectation.

The trap is whether either side will feel the pressure to hotshot matches and storylines in hopes of winning the week versus the long-term objective. WCW was caught in this trap in 1998 and beyond where winning the week superseded everything else. Television revenue for WCW was paltry compared to other revenue streams but in today’s landscape, television revenue is driving all these companies and is AEW’s big hope for a major rights deal. Conversely, NXT performing above the station average for the USA Network puts them in great standing and mitigates the loss of SmackDown, to a degree.

My last thought on this week’s show, and it hit me almost immediately Wednesday night, is how badly this is needed for the wrestling industry. The fact is, the industry has needed this level of competition and interest since 2001 but no company was ready. As much promise as Impact had in 2010 when they moved to Monday nights, they were not ready for that spot and could not sustain. In AEW’s short existence, it has passed the tests given from selling tickets, hitting remarkable pay-per-view figures without television, and seem poised for a long-term strategy that is distinctly different from WWE, which is key to the public’s interest. By December, if we are looking at consistent audiences of 1.8-2 million viewers watching the shows combined, I take that as a solid win for each and finally represent the tent expanding of professional wrestling fans.

**When it comes to the demographic breakdown for NXT on Wednesday night, I calculated the percentage that NXT retained in the demographics compared to Raw and SmackDown Live this past week. Among people 18-49, NXT did a 0.43 (60% of Raw, 68% of SmackDown), 0.30 in females 18-49 (54.5% of Raw, 61% of SmackDown), 0.56 in males 18-49 (64% of Raw, 72% of SmackDown), a 0.27 among people 18-34 (61% of Raw, 69% of SmackDown), a 0.20 in females 12-34 (59% of Raw, 67% of SmackDown), 0.26 for males 12-34 (58% of Raw, 76% of SmackDown), 0.48 among people 25-54 (55% of Raw, 64% of SmackDown), and a 0.47 among people 50+ (46% of Raw, 49% of SmackDown).

**Netflix has renewed GLOW for a fourth and final season. The series premiered in June 2017 and has received fifteen Emmy Award nominations over the course of its run. Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch will return as the showrunners for the series that stars Alison Brie, Betty Gilpin, and Marc Maron. Their third season was released this past August on the streaming platform.

**The Wrap’s Tony Maglio and Jennifer Maas reported that Friday Night SmackDown on Fox will be airing on tape delay for viewers on the west coast. The live airing at 8 pm will allow for live viewership for those in the eastern and central time zones along with those on DirecTV. The mountain time viewers will either get the show at 6 or 9 pm dependent on their cable affiliate. The Wrap added that the show will stream live on FoxSports.com and the Fox Sports app live at 8 pm Eastern across the country and remain on the app for 30-days. The strategy is inherently to appeal to viewers on the west coast where treating SmackDown as a live sporting event would mean airing at 5 pm Pacific, which is a much weaker timeslot than prime time even on tape delay.

**Pro Wrestling NOAH has announced a big match between Naomichi Marufuji and The Great Muta at Sumo Hall on November 2nd. The two were on opposite sides of a six-man tag on this past Monday’s card on the final night of the N-1 Victory tournament with Muto, Kaito Kiyomiya & Jun Akiyama defeating Marufuji, Masaaki Mochizuki & Shuhei Taniguchi.

**Here are the matches for tonight’s episode of Impact Wrestling at 10 pm Eastern on Twitch and the Pursuit Channel from the tapings in Mexico City:
*Sami Callihan, The Crists & Madman Fulton vs. Tessa Blanchard, Tommy Dreamer, Rhino & Rob Van Dam in a Street Fight
*The Rascalz vs. Australian Suicide, Arez & Toxin
*Mahabali Shera vs. Cody Deaner
*Santana & Ortiz vs. Rich Swann & Willie Mack
*Su Yung vs. Jessicka Havok in a No Disqualification match

**Absolute Intense Wrestling (AIW) has a card titled “Bobblehead Night” featuring D-Lo Brown tonight at 7:30 pm from The Odeon in Cleveland, Ohio and streaming for $12.99 on Fite TV.

**EVOLVE 135 has a show tonight at the Saint Finbar Catholic Church in Brooklyn, New York and will be streaming on Club WWN at 8 pm Eastern. Here is the card for tonight’s show:
*WALTER vs. JD Drake
*Austin Theory vs. Babatunde
*AR Fox, Leon Ruff & Liam Gray vs. Eddie Kingston, Joe Gacy & Colby Corino
*Sean Maluta vs. Stephen Wolf vs. Anthony Gutierrez vs. Karam
*Anthony Greene vs. Brandon Taggart vs. Curt Stallion vs. Daniel Garcia
*Arturo Ruas vs. John Silver
*Adrian Alanis vs. Harlem Bravado
*Shotzi Blackheart vs. Avery Taylor vs. Alex Garcia vs. Natalia Markova

**EVOLVE returns on Saturday night with a show from La Boom in New York headlined by Austin Theory vs. Josh Briggs for the EVOLVE title and WALTER taking on Kassius Ohno at 6 pm Eastern.

**The WWE has shows in Canada this weekend with the Raw crew in Calgary tonight and Edmonton, Alberta on Saturday. Local promos have been advertising Seth Rollins vs. The Fiend with Becky Lynch and Braun Strowman advertised among the top stars appearing. The SmackDown crew is overseas with a show on Saturday from Shanghai, China at the Mercedez-Benz Arena with Kofi Kingston, Roman Reigns, Daniel Bryan, Charlotte Flair, and Kevin Owens advertised. They travel back to the U.S. and will have a show Sunday in Honolulu, Hawaii before the SmackDown tapings next Tuesday in San Francisco, California.

**PWG’s Battle of Los Angeles tournament continues tonight with the following line up, featuring the remaining opening round matches in the 24-man tournament:
*Jungle Boy vs. Jake Atlas
*Joey Janela vs. Mick Moretti
*Rey Fenix vs. Aramis
*Penta El Zero M vs. Tony Deppen
*Orange Cassidy vs. David Starr
*Puma King vs. Bandido
*Dezmond Xavier & Zachary Wentz vs. Kyle Fletcher & Mark Davis for the PWG tag titles
*Jeff Cobb & Brody King vs. Daisuke Sekimoto & Jonathan Gresham

**EVOLVE champion Austin Theory worked against Bronson Reed on Thursday’s NXT house show in Daytona Beach, Florida.

**BOLA will continue Sunday with the quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals at The Globe Theatre in Los Angeles. If you are attending either show, you can send in results and notes to john@POSTwrestling.com.

**New Japan’s Young Lion Cup is down to Ren Narita, Karl Fredericks, and Shota Umino with each at ten points going into Sunday’s show in Kobe. Narita will face Clark Connors with Connor able to play spoiler while Fredericks will face Umino on Sunday. Narita has win over Fredericks but lost to Umino, so if he beats Connors, he can only win the tournament if Fredericks beats Umino, which seems unlikely. My assumption would be that Connors plays the spoiler and wins and the tournament comes down to Umino and Fredericks. The Destruction in Kobe show streams at 3 am Eastern on Sunday on New Japan World with the following match order:
*Yuji Nagata, Yota Tsuji & Yuya Uemura vs. Manabu Nakanishi, Michael Richards & Alex Coughlin
*Ren Narita vs. Clark Connors in the Young Lion Cup
*Shota Umino vs. Karl Fredericks in the Young Lion Cup
*Bad Luck Fale, Yujiro & Chase Owens vs. Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma & Toa Henare
*Hiroshi Tanahashi, Jushin Thunder Liger, Rocky Romero & Tiger Mask vs. Minoru Suzuki, Zack Sabre Jr., Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Douki
*KENTA, Guerrillas of Destiny, Taiji Ishimori & El Phantasmo vs. Tomohiro Ishii, Will Ospreay, Yoshi-Hashi & Roppongi 3K
*Kazuchika Okada, Kota Ibushi & Robbie Eagles vs. Sanada, EVIL & Bushi
*Shingo Takagi vs. Hirooki Goto
*Tetsuya Naito vs. Jay White for the IWGP Intercontinental title

**SHINE has a card on Saturday at 3 pm Eastern on Club WWN featuring Allysin Kay defending the SHIME championship against Shotzi Blackheart, Ivelisse vs. Mercedes Martinez, and a SHINE tag title street fight with Luscious Latasha & Gabby Gilbert vs. Aja Perera & Big Swole as the top matches.

**DEFY Wrestling has announced the addition of Killer Kross for their card next Friday at Washington Hall in Seattle. Kross will take on Douglas James while the show will also feature SCHAFF defending the DEFY title against Joey Janela and Rey Horus takes on Bestia 666.

**Ring of Honor has added a tag match with Aussie Open (Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher) against PCO & Brody King for the Honor United card on Friday, October 25th in London, England at York Hall. On Sunday, October 27th in Bolton, England, ROH has announced a match between Bandido and Speedball Mike Bailey. In total, the promotion will hold three events in England that weekend with a Saturday card in Newport.

**Revolution Pro has announced that Tessa Blanchard will face Kanji on November 24th at York Hall on the British J-Cup card.

**Chris Jericho will be on the cover of Wingman Magazine this fall alongside Tony Gonzalez and Shawne Merriman profiling athletes and entertainers that have found success outside of their original field.

**MLW has announced that Timothy Thatcher will be on their “Blood & Thunder” event on Saturday, November 9th at the Gilt Nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

**Breed Wrestling recently released the full match between Daniel Makabe and Carlos Romo from earlier this month. Jamesie has a great interview with Makabe on this week’s edition of the British Wrestling Experience and discussing the match with Romo and his first tour of the UK.

**Former WWE and WCW performer Torrie Wilson announced that she recently got married. Wilson was previously married to Billy Kidman. She began in the industry in 1999 where she was brought in WCW as a valet for David Flair and worked with the company until it went out of business two years later. She was picked up by the World Wrestling Federation and debuted on television for the company in June 2001. She remained with the company for seven years and then moved on from wrestling but did return in 2018 for the first women’s Royal Rumble and appeared in a battle royal at the Evolution event. Wilson was part of the WWE’s Hall of Fame class this past April and was inducted over WrestleMania weekend.

**The WWE stock closed at $73.65 on Friday.

**Killer Kross recently addressed claims of what he has been making at Impact Wrestling as his issues with the company persist with a standoff that has resulted in Kross not being used while under contract:

https://t.co/nNo94mJt6J pic.twitter.com/4Xs4P62xIT

— 🕳🐇Killer Kross ⏳💀❌ (@realKILLERkross) September 20, 2019

**MLW has posted a cool video of Kevin Von Erich and his sons, Ross and Marshall, visiting the grounds of the old Sportatorium that has been demolished:

**Here is Chris Jericho’s appearance from America’s Got Talent:


**The UFC will be at Arena Ciudad on Saturday night in Mexico City with a Fight Night card. The weigh-ins took place earlier today with late replacement Vanessa Melo missing weight for her bantamweight fight against Irene Aldana. Melo weighed 140 pounds and will forfeit 30% of her purse. She was a late replacement for Marion Reneau, who pulled out of the fight and Melo took the short notice fight on ten days’ notice. Below is the full card and results from the weigh-ins:

MAIN CARD (8 pm Eastern on ESPN+, TSN 2 in Canada)
*Yair Rodriguez (145) vs. Jeremy Stephens (145)
*Carla Esparza (115) vs. Alexa Grasso (116)
*Brandon Moreno (124) vs. Askar Askarov (125)
*Irene Aldana (135) vs. Vanessa Melo (140*)
*Martin Bravo (144) vs. Steven Peterson (146)

PRELIMINARY CARD (5 pm Eastern on ESPN+)
*Jose Quinonez (134) vs. Carlos Huachin (136)
*Kyle Nelson (146) vs. Polo Reyes (145)
*Ariane Carnelossi (112) vs. Angela Hill (115)
*Tyson Nam (126) vs. Sergio Pettis (124)
*Vinicius Moreira (206) vs. Paul Craig (206)
*Bethe Correia (136) vs. Sijara Eubanks (135)
*Claudio Puelles (155) vs. Marcos Mariano (154)

In Canada, the first two preliminary fights air on Fight Pass at 5 pm Eastern and then TSN 2 will start airing the prelims at 6 pm.

**ESPN was the first to report that Greg Hardy’s next fight in the UFC will not be on October 26th card in Singapore and will be moved up by one week. Hardy was first set to fight Jarjis Danho in Singapore but is now going to fight 6-2 Ben Sosoli on October 18th on the ESPN card in Boston, Massachusetts. The Boston card had just lost the fight between Zabit Magomedsharipov and Calvin Kattar, which has been moved to the November 9th card in Moscow, Russia.

**UFC middleweight David Branch has been suspended for two years following a USADA violation. The agency released the news that Branch had tested positive for the peptide hormone ipamorelin after a drug test administered this past May. The suspension is retroactive to July 26th and he will be eligible to return after July 26, 2021. Branch is a former WSOF light heavyweight and middleweight champion, who fought for the UFC from 2010-11 and returned in 2017. Branch had gone 2-3 in his second stint with the promotion and was coming off stoppages by Jared Cannonier last November and a submission loss to Jack Hermansson this past March. Branch will be just shy of 39-years of age when he is eligible to compete again in 2021.

**Earlier this week, ESPN’s Marc Raimondi reported that Bellator MMA has signed 31-year old Nick Newell to a multi-fight contract. Newell is 16-2 and gained notoriety coming up through the XFC group and was signed by World Series of Fighting. Newell is a congenital amputee and was born without his full left arm and became a human-interest story due to his success. He lost to Justin Gaethje in July 2014 on a card broadcast on NBC and fought two more times for the organization. He was given a shot on Dana White’s Contender Series in the summer of 2018 and lost to Alex Munoz by unanimous decision and was not signed. Newell was added to Bellator’s card last month in Bridgeport, Connecticut and defeated Corey Browning by submission.

**The UFC held a press conference Thursday evening in New York City on The Rooftop at Pier 17 with Nate Diaz, Jorge Masvidal, and UFC president Dana White.

POST MOVIE REVIEW: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
John Pollock and Wai Ting review the fifteenth Marvel Cinematic Universe film, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017). We discuss James Gunn’s sequel to his 2014 surprise hit, the comedic talents of Dave Bautista as Drax, Yondu’s fantastic babyface turn, the incredible emotive abilities of a CGI raccoon, and how Awesome Mix Vol. 2 stacks up against the original.
CAFÉ HANGOUT – Sept. 19th, 2019

John Pollock and Wai Ting are joined live in-studio by upNXT’s Braden Herrington and Davie Portman (The BDE) to discuss last night’s NXT debut on USA and their recently launched Patreon.

THE DOUBLE SHOT: GLOW Season Finale, Bloodsport 2, WWE Chronicle
On this week’s Double Shot, John Pollock & Wai Ting review Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport 2, WWE Chronicle: Sasha Banks, and Episodes 9 & 10 (Finale) of GLOW Season 3.

upNXT 9/18/19: The Prohecy Fulfilled on USA
Braden Herrington & Davie Portman are back to chat about the very first Live episode of WWE NXT on the USA Network with Velveteen Dream vs. Roderick Strong.
BWE 9/18/19: Daniel Makabe interview
Martin, Benno & Jamesie are back to review OTT Road To 5th Anniversary (David Starr vs. Scotty Davis), NJPW Super J Cup (Will Ospreay vs. Amazing Red) & Breed Pro Wrestling. Daniel Makabe joins them to discuss his career, influences and his debut in the UK.
RASD 9/17/19: Brock Lesnar challenges Kofi Kingston on Fox
John Pollock and Wai Ting review Tuesday’s WWE SmackDown as Brock Lesnar appeared to challenge Kofi Kingston, Baron Corbin is coronated as King of the Ring, and Kevin Owens files a wrongful termination lawsuit against Shane McMahon.
RAR 9/16/19: Rusev Bae, KOTR Final, Paul Levesque’s Media Call
John Pollock and Wai Ting review WWE Raw featuring a Maria and Mike Kanellis’ Gender Reveal Party and Kane’s return. We also discuss Big Cass, NJPW Destruction in Kagoshima, and Paul Levesque’s media call about NXT and 205 Live.


John Pollock & Wai Ting review WWE Clash of Champions 2019 headlined by Seth Rollins vs. Braun Strowman for the WWE Universal Championship and Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks for the Raw Women’s Championship.

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