Originally published at POLLOCK'S NEWS UPDATE: AEW hits third highest audience in its history
POST IT NOTES
**On Friday morning, WH Park and I will have the latest POST Puroresu available chatting all the recent news in New Japan, the state of the Tokyo Dome card on Sunday, Kota Ibushi, and we will go through the news and notes from all the other major promotions.
**WH Park has a great preview on the site for Stardom’s 5Star Grand Prix that kicks off next weekend. WH breaks down the Red & Blue blocks and outlines all the performers scheduled for the tournament that runs until September. We will be chatting about his piece and the Grand Prix on POST Puroresu.
**Friday night at 10:15 p.m. ET, Rewind-A-SmackDown is live for all POST Wrestling Café members with a review of SmackDown and we’ll take calls.
**If you missed it, I joined WH Park and Wai Ting for a special edition of MCU L8R for Café members as we spent nearly 90 minutes reviewing Marvel’s Black Widow starring Scarlett Johansson and Florence Pugh. We also discussed Disney’s distribution model for the film by releasing it in theatres and through Disney+. Plus, the reaction from movie theatres, how the pandemic is adjusting habits, and what the box office results have shown us.
**Wednesday’s edition of Rewind-A-Dynamite is up on the site with a review of Fyter Fest Night 2 from Garland, Texas. In addition to the news from the show, we also discussed the report on CM Punk, the handling of Karrion Kross on Raw, the main event for TakeOver next month, NXT thoughts, WWE TV numbers, and John Cena’s schedule through SummerSlam.
From Brandon in New Jersey:
— Brandon Frm NJ (@BrandonfrmNJ) July 22, 2021
Tonight: POST Puroresu with John Pollock & WH Park
Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown with John & Wai (Live at 10:15 p.m. ET for all Patrons)
Sunday: NJPW Wrestle Grand Slam POST Show (Patreon)
**AEW Fyter Fest was another big success for the promotion hitting its third-largest viewership since Dynamite launched in October 2019. Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics reported that the show averaged 1,148,000 viewers on TNT and 575,000 viewers (0.44) in the 18-49 demographic.
Thurston noted that this week’s 18-49 number for AEW topped that of Raw on June 28th (535,000), July 5th (536,000), and July 12th (560,000). This week’s 18-49 number for Raw was 741,000 with the big boost from Money in the Bank, John Cena, and the return of fans.
This show finished behind the debut episode from Oct. 2, 2019 (1,409,000), and the first week after NXT moved to Tuesdays on April 14, 2021 (1,219,000).
It would also represent AEW’s best 18-49 figure since December 10, 2020 (0.45), which was the week after “Winter is Coming” and all the buzz surrounding Sting’s debut the previous week and speaking for the first time. Dynamite did average a 0.44 in the demo on April 14th this year but that rating was reported at 567,000 viewers, so this week narrowly edged out that week’s number.
Since returning to Wednesdays on TNT, Dynamite is averaging 982,000 viewers and 492,000 in 18-49 after four episodes in its normal timeslot and night.
**AEW Dynamite averaged 153,400 viewers in Canada and 81,500 in the 25-54 demographic on Wednesday on TSN 2. It would be AEW’s best number in Canada since the Blood & Guts episode on May 5th.
**WrestleTix reported that the final ticket figures for Fyter Fest on Wednesday were 5,688 tickets out in the market for the show at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas. The site estimated that it represented 92 percent of AEW’s capacity set-up for the building.
**Tariq Cherif, the co-founder of the Rolling Loud Festival, spoke to Complex about the festival partnering with WWE with matches airing from Miami on Friday Night SmackDown this week:
A lot of people on this team grew up fans of wrestling, and we love and respect what the WWE has built as far as their storylines and their brand and the way they’ve gotten this massive legion of diehard fans. They go to WrestleMania every year, and we’re building something similar over here. Granted, it’s different, but we have a lot of similarities, and we also have a lot of crossover fans. There’s a lot of hip-hop fans that are fans of wrestling. There’s a lot of wrestling fans who are fans of hip-hop. Hip-hop dominates all culture.
It’s the No. 1 genre of music. It drives culture across all press points, from music to fashion to athletics to tech to charities. It doesn’t matter where you are, hip-hop has a major presence. So we have a lot of crossover fans thanks to hip-hop being so massive, and thanks to wrestling being so massive. We just thought it would be cool to mesh both worlds together and bring them into our world, expose them to our fans at the festival and on our stream. And we’ll be in turn exposed to their fans that tune into Fox on Friday night to watch Smackdown. It’ll be pretty cool.
**Greg Oliver at SLAM has an obit on female wrestler Ethel Brown, who has died at the age of 90. In Oliver’s story, he reports that she was born Ethel Craig and married at the young age of 15, and left her husband after they had a child. Brown wrestled when she turned 18 from 1948 until 1956 and once wrestled June Byers. Brown re-married and had five more children with Brown leaving wrestling and entering the medical field as a nurse in Chicago. It’s a great story that Oliver wrote that includes quotes from interviews Brown gave over the years and historian/documentarian Chris Bournea on her impact through her relationships with Babs Wingo and Ethel Johnson.
**Masa Kitamiya & Kaito Kiyomiya became the official GHC tag champions on Thursday after beating Katsuhiko Nakajima & Manabu Soya at Korakuen Hall on Thursday.
Kitamiya and Nakajima had been the champions but after their break-up, each had to select a partner and determine which side would keep the titles. The feud between Kitamiya and Nakajima climaxed last month with a steel cage match where Nakajima lost and was forced to shave his head, per the match stipulation. Kitamiya & Kiyomiya become the 56th set of tag champions with Kitamiya being recognized as having held the title five times while Kiyomiya is holding the tag titles for the second time in his career after previously holding them with Go Shiozaki in 2018.
Thursday’s card in front of 562 fans at Korakuen Hall also featured HAYATA retaining the GHC junior heavyweight title against Ikuto Hidaka. Below are the results (courtesy: Purolove.com):
*GHC Tag Team Championship: Masa Kitamiya & Kaito Kiyomiya over Katsuhiko Nakajima & Manabu Soya
*GHC Jr. Heavyweight Championship: HAYATA over Ikuto Hidaka
*Yoshinari Ogawa & Seiki Yoshioka & Yuya Susumu over Daisuke Harada, Hajime Ohara & Atsushi Kotoge
*Kazushi Sakuraba & Takashi Sugiura over Naomichi Marufuji & Yuko Miyamoto
*Kenoh over Daisuke Nakamura
*Kotaro Suzuki, YO-HEY & NOSAWA Rongai over Haoh, Nioh & Tadasuke
*Akitoshi Saito, Masao Inoue, Mohammed Yone & King Tani over Junta Miyawaki, Kinya Okada, Kai Fujimura & Yasutaka Yano
**New Japan World has already added the Texas Deathmatch between Jon Moxley and Lance Archer from Wednesday’s episode of Dynamite.
**WWE is partnering with Iconic Events that will see SummerSlam broadcast in movie theatres across the U.S. on Saturday, August 21st. It is not the first time WWE has set up a deal to broadcast pay-per-views in movie theatres. In 2000, WWF Canada struck a deal with Famous Players and Bell ExpressVu to broadcast its monthly pay-per-views in 17 theatres across the country.
**IMPACT Wrestling airs at 8 p.m. ET tonight coming off its Slammiversary event. The show will include an appearance by Jay White as well as Mickie James, who both appeared on the pay-per-view among the surprises. The following matches are advertised for tonight from the tapings this week at Skyway Studios in Nashville:
*Knockouts Tag Team Championship: Havok & Rosemary (champions) vs. Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz
*Chris Bey vs. Rohit Raju
*Brian Myers, Tenille Dashwood & Sam Beale vs. Matt Cardona, Jake Something & Chelsea Green
*Appearances by Jay White and Mickie James
**New Japan Pro Wrestling continues its big stretch of shows this week with their Summer Struggle tour running in Osaka for the second night in a row. Friday’s show will stream late tonight at 1 a.m. ET on New Japan World with the following card:
*Tetsuya Naito vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
*SANADA vs. Taichi
*Shingo Takagi & BUSHI vs. Master Wato & Tomoaki Honma (replacing Kota Ibushi)
*Kazuchika Okada & YOSHI-HASHI vs. Jeff Cobb & Great O-Khan
*Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano vs. KENTA, EVIL & Yujiro
*El Phantasmo, Taiji Ishimori & Jado vs. Hirooki Goto, Rocky Romero & Ryusuke Taguchi
**NJPW’s card on Saturday at Dolphins Arena in Nagoya features Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. KENTA and Tomohiro Ishii vs. EVIL in the top matches and will stream at 4 a.m. ET that morning on New Japan World.
**The SWF promotion out of New Jersey announced on Wednesday that Patrick Clark (formerly the Velveteen Dream) would be appearing on their ‘Home Sweet Card’ on September 21st in Tom River. Later in the evening, the company announced that Clark would no longer be part of the event with the owner and founder Rob Fury issuing a statement on the promotion’s Twitter account:
Tonight we announced Velveteen Dream would be appearing at our Home Sweet Home event. I believe any man can be slandered and have been through other situations in my life unrelated but untrue. After careful consideration, Dream has been removed.
**Here are the results from Thursday’s NJPW Summer Struggle event in Osaka. The promotion drew 1,490 fans to the Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium for their first of two consecutive nights in the building:
*Taichi over Tetsuya Naito
*SANADA and Zack Sabre Jr. ended with a double pinfall
*Shingo Takagi & BUSHI over Master Wato & Tomoaki Honma (replacing Kota Ibushi)
*Jeff Cobb & Great O-Khan over Kazuchika Okada & Hirooki Goto
*Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI over KENTA, EVIL & Yujiro
*El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & DOUKI over Robbie Eagles, SHO & YOH
**VH1 is bringing back The Surreal Life reality series this fall. Deadline is reporting that the revamped series will include former WWE talent Lana (CJ Perry) as a contestant alongside Dennis Rodman, Stormy Daniels, Tamar Braxton, Frankie Muniz, Kim Coles, August Alsina, and Manny Mua.
**Chris Charlton of NJPW noted that Lance Archer’s win over Jon Moxley for the IWGP U.S. title was the first time a New Japan title has changed hands in a non-NJPW ring since May 2013. That was when La Sombra (Andrade El Idolo) beat Shinsuke Nakamura for the Intercontinental title in Mexico City for CMLL.
**DEFY Wrestling is returning with fans on Friday, August 27th and Saturday, August 28th at Washington Hall in Seattle. Tickets for the show go on sale this Friday at 10 a.m. PT at DEFYWrestling.com. The first night will feature IMPACT star Josh Alexander taking on Artemis Spencer and the second night features AEW’s Lance Archer against SCHAFF.
**The next major NOAH event on August 1st will be available on FITE TV with English commentary. The show is headlined by Naomichi Marufuji defending the GHC Championship against Kazushi Sakuraba and HAYATA defending the GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship against YO-HEY.
**Tokyo Joshi Pro has begun its Tokyo Princess Cup tournament that will run over the next several weeks. The first set of opening round matches took place on Thursday at Shin-Kiba 1st Ring with Mahiro Kiryu over Arisu Endo, Raku over Moka Miyamoto, Mirau Maiumi defeating Pom Harajuku (who had tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month but returned to action this past Saturday in Osaka), and Miyu Yamashita over Nao Kakuta in the main event. The remaining first-round matches take place Friday with the tournament continuing Saturday & Sunday at Shin-Kiba 1st Ring, July 31st at Shinjuku Face, and the semi-finals and finals are at Korakuen Hall on August 14th and 15th. The final two shows will have live English commentary on Wrestle Universe.
**Friday’s edition of 205 Live is scheduled to feature Asher Hale taking on Guru Raaj and Ari Sterling facing Jake Atlas at 10 p.m. ET on the WWE Network.
**Congratulations to Anthony Carelli (formerly Santino Marella) as he and his wife have just had a baby daughter.
**The WWE stock closed at $49.61 on Thursday.
**Blitzkrieg Pro is advertising Curtis Hussey as “Dirty Dango” (formerly Fandango) for their show on October 24th in Enfield, Connecticut. Curtis was released in June by WWE after working for the company since 2006.
**Shawn Michaels (Michael Hickenbottom) turns 56 years old today. Thunder Rosa, Akira Tozawa, Kenny King, Fandango, and Trey Baxter (formerly Blake Christian) also have birthdays today.
ON THIS DATE
The high point of the 2001 invasion storyline took place on this date with the lone Invasion pay-per-view. Weeks after the formation of The Alliance – combining WCW with ECW, they faced Team WWF in a ten-man tag. The team of Steve Austin, The Undertaker, Kurt Angle, Kane & Chris Jericho took on Diamond Dallas Page, Booker T., The Dudley Boyz & Rhyno that culminated with Austin turning on the WWF and joining The Alliance.
The show was highlighted by a match between Rob Van Dam and Jeff Hardy but given all the years of interest in an inter-promotional style of the show, the card overall was not at the usual level of a WWF show during this era. However, even with the miscues in the lead-up, the show did an amazing number of buys with 775,000 reported. It was an indication of how strong engagement for the angle was even without the major guns from WCW being involved with the absence of Bill Goldberg, Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff, Ric Flair, The Outsiders, and Scott Steiner.
The only 1-on-1 match between The Rock and Eddy Guerrero took place on this date in 2002 on Raw from Grand Rapids, Michigan:
The last time Raw topped 3 million viewers for the Raw Reunion in 2019 featuring Steve Austin:
Eddie Kingston debuts in AEW to challenge Cody Rhodes for the TNT Championship:
REWIND-A-DYNAMITE: Moxley vs. Archer, Nick Gage, CM Punk report
John Pollock & Wai Ting review AEW Dynamite’s Fyter Fest Night 2 featuring a Mox vs. Archer Texas Deathmatch and an appearance by Nick Gage. We discuss a report on CM Punk being in talks for an in-ring return.
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John Siino reviews this week’s editions of AEW Dark, AEW Dark: Elevation, NXT UK, NWA Powerrr, 205 Live, NJPW Strong, Ring of Honor, and Main Event in under 15 minutes on Shot In The Dark.
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REWIND-A-RAW: Cena, Goldberg, Nikki ASH, Karrion Kross
John Pollock & Wai Ting review WWE Raw in front of a live crowd in Dallas with appearances by John Cena, Bill Goldberg, Keith Lee, Karrion Kross, and Lilly following Money in the Bank.
WWE MONEY IN THE BANK POST SHOW
John Pollock & Wai Ting review WWE Money In The Bank 2021 featuring Roman Reigns vs. Edge for the Universal Championship, Men’s & Women’s Money In The Bank ladder matches, and a major return to close the show.
IMPACT SLAMMIVERSARY POST SHOW
Davie Portman and John Siino review IMPACT Slammiversary 2021 featuring Kenny Omega vs Sami Callihan for the IMPACT Championship!
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