POLLOCK'S NEWS UPDATE: Big demand for Arthur Ashe Stadium show

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2021/07/16/pollocks-news-update-big-demand-for-arthur-ashe-stadium-show/

POST IT NOTES

**Rewind-A-SmackDown is live tonight at 10:15 p.m. ET with Wai Ting and I reviewing the first episode of SmackDown in front of fans since March 2020. After our review of the show from Houston, we will be opening the phone lines for the remainder of the show. All POST Wrestling Café members has live access into the Zoom Room to listen live and call.

**We have a bonus POST News Update with Wai and I discussing the news of AEW’s viewership figure for Fyter Fest, the on-sale for the card at Arthur Ashe Stadium, a Money in the Bank preview, Slammiversary, and Bill Goldberg expected back with a prominent match at SummerSlam.

**Our own Martin Bushby is hosting a 12-hour live stream on Saturday to raise funds for The Children’s Heart Surgery Fund. The live broadcast will begin on Saturday at 7 a.m. ET (Noon BST) with lots of guests scheduled to appear. Benno will be on with Martin for most of the live stream that will feature Wai Ting & his brother James, Andrew Thompson, Nate Milton, Jordan Goodman, Scrump from the PWT Cast, Will Cooling, John Lister, and many others stopping by. I will be on at 3 p.m. ET. You can listen to the stream at this link and can also donate to The Children’s Heart Surgery Fund.

**MCU L8R did a special live edition of the show on Thursday, which is available for all Café members to download. Wai Ting and WH Park were joined by Nate Milton to review the finale of Loki and take your calls with reaction to the series.

**On Saturday night, Davie Portman and John Siino will be hosting the Slammiversary POST Show reviewing the IMPACT pay-per-view from Nashville featuring Kenny Omega vs. Sami Callihan for the IMPACT title.

POST SCHEDULE

Tonight: Rewind-A-SmackDown (10:15 p.m. ET for all Patrons)
Saturday: IMPACT Slammiversary POST Show with Davie Portman & John Siino
Sunday: WWE MITB POST Show with John & Wai (Live for Double Double+ Patrons)

WRESTLING NEWS

**Friday was the public on-sale for AEW’s debut in New York for the Grand Slam edition of Dynamite on September 22nd at Arthur Ashe Stadium. As of Friday afternoon, WrestleTix noted that over 14,000 tickets have been distributed, although we don’t have the paid attendance figure yet. The same outlet noted that the set-up for the arena is now over 17,000 seats. It’s another major mark for AEW with the response to this show that will come one week after its debut at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. The lowest-priced tickets are listed on Ticketmaster at $25 with some platinum tickets going for $1,200 at the last check on the site. This show is going to be a massive success for the company and is a big story for its debut in the New York market that will invite the obvious comparisons to how WWE performs at Madison Square Garden on September 9th for a dual-brand edition of SmackDown.

**While it wasn’t AEW Dynamite’s largest audience, Wednesday’s viewership was among its most impressive ever. It was the fourth time this year that the show’s average topped one million viewers and the third time the 18-49 demo has hit 0.4. This show had the apparent disadvantage of going against Game 4 of the NBA Finals, although in the breakdowns of the show, AEW got stronger when the game began at 9 p.m. ET including its peak segment in overall viewers. The NBA game was watched by 10.25 million viewers.

Brandon Thurston at Wrestlenomics posted the quarter-hours noting that the peak segment for overall viewers was between 9:15 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. ET featuring Britt Baker’s live promo, the backstage response from Nyla Rose & Vickie Guerrero, Shawn Spears & MJF attacking Chris Jericho, and the match between Sammy Guevara and Wheeler Yuta with 1,133,000 viewers watching. After that peak, the show leveled off with 1,003,000 for Yuka Sakazaki vs. Penelope Ford (which is very impressive that two held a million viewers), and 1,002,000 for the Coffin match between Darby Allin and Ethan Page.

The show averaged 985,500 in the first hour and 1,064,500 in the second hour against the game.

The Wrestling Observer Newsletter added that Dynamite topped Raw in men 18-49 by 21,000 viewers and in males 35-49 by 26,000 viewers. Raw was ahead of Dynamite in males 18-34 by 6,000 viewers.

It’s a celebratory number for AEW in the sense of how well it fared against the NBA but also with a show that didn’t have anything close to the hype surrounding it as Blood & Guts. The show did have the Fyter Fest theme and proven ratings draw in Darby Allin saved for the main event but the show also built momentum and that has to be partially attributed to a hot audience in Cedar Park where the show felt like a company overflowing with stars based on the crowd reactions. Next week, they won’t have the NBA to contend with and in theory, should be able to hold onto this audience.

It also feels from watching that the young guns of the company, which has been slowly built up, are now reaping the rewards and coming off as major stars to the live crowds and on television. MJF, Darby Allin, Sammy Guevera, Britt Baker, and Jungle Boy have all demonstrated an ability to move numbers significantly and have formed a strong core of 30-year-old and under talent that is often the lifeblood of a promotion when you have those stars in development and start to become the stars.

**WWE returns to the road with a sold-out edition of Friday Night SmackDown from the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas tonight. It’s been a hot market with the UFC selling out the building this past May and returning in August for another pay-per-view while AEW will be running the Fertitta Center in the city next month.

Tonight’s show is the final stop before the Money in the Bank show in Fort Worth this Sunday and then it’s a start of the build for SummerSlam, so in theory, this should be a kickoff of a big period for the company. The following matches have been announced for tonight’s show at 8 p.m. ET on Fox:
*Roman Reigns & The Usos vs. Edge, Rey & Dominik Mysterio (this only Reigns’ eighth match on television since returning last August and the first one since April when he beat Daniel Bryan. It is also Edge’s first match since WrestleMania)
*SmackDown Women’s Championship: Bianca Belair (champion) vs. Carmella
*Fatal Four-Way: Kevin Owens vs. Big E. vs. King Nakamura vs. Seth Rollins

**On Friday morning, the State Farm Arena in Atlanta announced that Friday Night SmackDown is no longer taking place on September 17th, although no reason was given or a new location for the show. Refunds are available at the point of purchase. This comes one day after the arena was holding a pre-sale for tickets to SmackDown.

**The Associated Press spoke with Roman Reigns and Paul Levesque on WWE’s return to live events. The article noted WWE’s television viewership figures over the past few episodes and Levesque gave the following response regarding changes as they return with fans:

We see this as a moment in time to shift everything. I think you’ll see it in just the layout of everything, the set designs, the way it’s presented. There’s a greater emphasis on utilizing the spaces that we have and the TV aspect of it while still engaging the fans. A lot of that comes from the time we had to experiment inside the ThunderDome.

**New Japan Strong kicks off its Tag Team Turbulence tournament tonight with the following opening-round matches airing at 10 p.m. ET on New Japan World:
*Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows vs. Clark Connors & TJP
*Yuji Nagata & Ren Narita vs. Fred Yehi & Wheeler Yuta
*Kevin Knight & The DKC vs. Jorel Nelson & Royce Isaacs
*Brody King & Chris Dickinson vs. JR Kratos & Danny Limelight

**Below are the matches for tonight’s edition of 205 Live on the WWE Network:
*Grayson Weller vs. Ari Sterling
*Guru Raaj vs. Asher Hale

**New Japan’s Summer Struggle tour has a show at Korakuen Hall on Saturday at 5:30 a.m. ET streaming on New Japan World with the following card:
*El Phantasmo vs. Rocky Romero
*Taiji Ishimori vs. Ryusuke Taguchi
*El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & DOUKI vs. Robbie Eagles, SHO & YOH
*Tetsuya Naito, SANADA & BUSHI vs. Zack Sabre Jr., Taichi & Minoru Suzuki
*Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tomohiro Ishii, Yuya Uemura & Yota Tsuji vs. KENTA, EVIL, Yujiro & Dick Togo

**Monday’s New Japan card in Ibaraki is advertising Kota Ibushi for the eight-man tag main event. It would be Ibushi’s first match back after missing the last few shows due to the effects of a vaccination shot, according to the promotion.

**IMPACT Wrestling hosts its Slammiversary pay-per-view on Saturday from Skyway Studios in Nashville with limited attendance. Aside from Kenny Omega defending the IMPACT Championship, the hook for the show is the tease of which new faces will be appearing. It was a successful marketing concept last year that coincided with the 90-day no-compete clauses expiring for talent cut by WWE in April 2020. On Thursday’s episode, they heavily teased Chelsea Green showing up with Matt Cardona coming with a mystery partner to face Brian Myers & Tenille Dashwood with the promise that the show will be a “Hot Mess”. Green did appear on the ROH pay-per-view last week, although noted on her podcast she hasn’t signed with any company and wants to be a free agent for the next six months. She also noted she was unable to wrestle in the state of Maryland for Ring of Honor due to her arm injury.

Below is the card for Slammiversary on Saturday night at 8 p.m. ET:
*IMPACT Championship, No Disqualification: Kenny Omega (champion) vs. Sami Callihan
*X Division Championship, Ultimate X: Josh Alexander (champion) vs. Chris Bey vs. Rohit Raju vs. Petey Williams vs. Ace Austin vs. Trey Miguel
*Knockouts Championship: Deonna Purrazzo (champion) vs. TBA
*Tag Team Championship: Violent by Design (champions) vs. Rich Swann & Willie Mack vs. Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows vs. TJP & Fallah Bahh
*Knockouts Tag Team Championship: Tasha Steelz & Kiera Hogan (champions) vs. Rosemary & Havok
*Eddie Edwards vs. W. Morrissey
*Moose vs. Chris Sabin
*Brian Myers & Tenille Dashwood vs. Matt Cardona & TBA

**The names cut by WWE in April with 90-day no competes that would now be expired include Mojo Rawley, Bo Dallas, Kalisto, Tucker, Chelsea Green (who stated she was let out several days early to appear on the ROH pay-per-view), Mickie James (who has been appearing for the NWA), and The IIconics. On today’s POST News Update, we were mentioning the names and I said Buddy Murphy, however, he was part of the later rounds of cuts and would have a no-compete clause that runs until the end of August unless he was able to get out of it.

**Rev Pro is back this Sunday with a card in Bristol at the Marble Factory. The card includes Gisele Shaw vs. Mariah May for the British Women’s Championship, Michael Oku vs. Lee Hunter for the British Cruiserweight title, Shota Umino vs. Dan Moloney, Doug Williams vs. Ricky Knight Jr., Chris Ridgeway vs. Connor Mills, and matches for the group’s Tag League tournament with The Legion vs. Gale & Newman, Dream Team vs. The Young Guns, and Redman & Sterling vs. Sunshine Machine.

**We want to send our best wishes to Cauliflower Alley Club president Brian Blair who is undergoing a major operation on his back today. The CAC website noted the surgery was scheduled to last nine hours and would be the 19th surgery he has had on his back. This would have been an exceptionally tough week for Blair, who was very close with Paul Orndorff, who died at the age of 71.

**Natalya spoke to Steven Muehlhausen of DAZN about her participation in the women’s Money in the Bank Ladder match this Sunday. During the interview she was asked about comparisons between herself and Randy Orton:

Damn (laughs). For me, I look at Randy Orton, and I really try to watch his work. Randy is just a master of the little things. All the little things he’s so good at, like his mannerisms, his facials, the way he can manipulate a camera, the way he can manipulate an audience. He’s just so good. I would love to be compared to Randy because I think Randy’s the greatest. Bret Hart is my top pick, and I am biased, but Randy really is one of the greatest of all time, so if I was ever compared to Randy Orton, it would be the biggest honor.

**Isaiah “Swerve” Scott was a guest on After the Bell with Corey Graves & Vic Joseph and discussed the formation of Hit Row on NXT.

**Game Changer Wrestling has added 2 Cold Scorpio for its “Off the Rails” card in Las Vegas on Friday, August 28th. The promotion has also announced Ricky Morton vs. Effy on the show.

**Diamond Dallas Page gets worked on by Dr. Beau Hightower, who works on a lot of athletes including pro wrestlers and fighters. During the procedure, Hightower interviews Page about his career and past injuries.

**AEW’s Excalibur and QT Marshall both have birthdays today.

**The WWE stock closed at $50.61 on Friday. The stock has taken a hit this week as it was trading at over $56 on Monday morning.

MMA NEWS

**Conor McGregor provided an update on his leg injury following UFC 264. In an Instagram video, the former two-division champion stated that he went into the fight with Dustin Poirier with stress fractures in his leg. Days removed from surgery, he stated in the video that he’s in a lot of pain.

Regulatory lawyer Erik Magraken made a public records request to the Nevada State Athletic Commission regarding McGregor’s pre-fight medical questionnaire and whether the fighter disclosed an injury going into the fight. His records request was denied due to privacy concerns.

**TMZ spoke with Dana White called it a “massive f— up” by his production team not showing Donald Trump on the UFC 264 broadcast. He said he was supposed to be shown during a series of cutaways to celebrities and there was a glitch in the truck that prevented his inclusion and then the main event ended before he could be shown.

**Bellator 262 takes place tonight with the main card airing at 9 p.m. ET on Showtime and the prelims on the Bellator and Showtime Sports YouTube channel. Below is the full fight card and results from Thursday’s weigh-ins:

MAIN CARD (9 p.m. ET on Showtime)
*Bellator Flyweight Championship: Juliana Velasquez (125) vs. Denise Kielholtz (124)
*Tyrell Fortune (233.5) vs. Matt Mitrione (261)
*Matheus Mattos (135.75) vs. Cee Jay Hamilton (135.5)
*Dayana Silva (146) vs. Arlene Blencowe (146)
*Johnny Eblen (186) vs. Travis Davis (186)

PRELIMINARY CARD (6:30 p.m. ET on Bellator & Showtime Sports YouTube channels)
*Ronny Markes (252) vs. Said Sowma (245)
*Cody Law (145.75) vs. Theodore Macuka (146)
*Gabriella Gulfin (124.75) vs. Diana Avsaragova (126)
*Johnny Soto (145.75) vs. Adil Benjilany (145.75)
*Charlie Campbell (155) vs. Nicholas Giulietti (156)

**The UFC Fight Night card from Las Vegas takes place Saturday night beginning at 7 p.m. ET with the prelims. While the main event has a lot of stakes at play for Islam Makhachev, the big story is the return of Miesha Tate at the age of 34 who last competed in November 2016. Tate is fighting 44-year old Marion Reneau, who will be retiring after this fight. Reneau has competed in the UFC since 2015 with her biggest wins coming against Jessica Andrade and Sara McMann. Reneau has lost her previous four fights, which all went the distance.

Below is the fight card and results from Friday’s weigh-ins:

MAIN CARD (10 p.m. ET on ESPN, ESPN+)
*Islam Makhachev (155.5) vs. Thiago Moises (156)
*Miesha Tate (135) vs. Marion Reneau (136)
*Jeremy Stephens (156) vs. Mateusz Gamrot (155.5)
*Rodolfo Vieira (185) vs. Dustin Stoltzfus (185.5)
*Gabriel Benitez (146) vs. Billy Quarantillo (145.5)

PRELIMINARY CARD (7 p.m. on ESPN & ESPN+)
*Daniel Rodriguez (171) vs. Preston Parsons (169.5)
*Amanda Lemos (115.5) vs. Montserrat Conejo (113.5)
*Khalid Taha (135.5) vs. Sergey Morozov (135)
*Anderson dos Santos (135.5) vs. Miles Johns (135.5)
*Francisco Figueiredo (125.5) vs. Malcom Gordon (125.5)
*Alan Baudot (246) vs. Rodrigo Nascimento (259)

The UFC card will be going against Game 5 of the NBA Finals, which starts at 9 p.m. ET against the last hour of the prelims.

**LFA has a card from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil streaming tonight at 9 p.m. ET on Fight Pass featuring Rangel de Sa taking on Ismael Bonfim.

ON THIS DATE

Terry Gordy passed away on this date in 2001 at age 40 following a heart attack brought on by a blood clot. Gordy was considered a prodigy early in his career and beginning very young in the industry. It was Bill Watts that took Gordy & Michael Hayes and paired them with Buddy Rogers, which is the version of the Fabulous Freebirds that would drive business to gigantic heights in World Class feuding with The Von Erichs beginning with the 1982 angle on Christmas night. Gordy would become a major star for All Japan Pro Wrestling teaming with Stan Hansen for two years beginning in 1987. Gordy’s big moment came on July 17, 1990, beating Hansen and winning the Triple Crown, which was a major statement having Hansen lose. It was short-lived as Gordy had to relinquish the title that same month after a scary incident at a nightclub where his heart stopped. His career took a major downturn after an overdose in August 1993 that left him in a coma for days. If Gordy had been able to keep his vices in check, he would have been one of the all-time legends in Japan as the ‘90s were supposed to be his decade but sadly that was never fully realized.

On that same day in 2001, WWF shot an incredible angle to close the go-home Raw before the Invasion pay-per-view. The heel turn by Steve Austin at WrestleMania had done a number on the company’s business and it was clear that the audience wanted Austin back as a babyface. So, for one night they kept fans hooked as chaos reigned between the WWF and The Alliance while Austin was at a pool hall as Vince McMahon pleaded that “I need the old Stone Cold”. During a show-closing brawl, Austin’s music hit and the arena exploded as Austin fought with the WWF team to go off the air with the idea the old Austin was back as the top babyface. I truly believe that angle played a factor in the Invasion show doing so well on pay-per-view but alas, Austin turned back heel at the show and led The Alliance. Listen to the reaction Austin receives in this video, it is just as loud as the famous one he receives in Worcester for the Mick Foley title win.

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Really good to see the market hot for AEW. The MSG show for WWE seems to be doing well with crazy prices tool, so it’s good to see a prime wrestling city continue to be just that post-COVID. Hopefully bodes well for Newark too (not sure if those just get rolled over from last time or not). But mostly this makes me excited for whenever NJPW can finally get back over here for a full show to replace the one lost last August. Hopefully this makes them feel like they can still do an arena the size of MSG, especially with the Strong element giving them an important base in this country.

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