Originally published at POLLOCK'S NEWS UPDATE: Charlotte Flair on her hiatus, 'Mania & critics
POST IT NOTES
**The latest POST Movie Review has been released as Wai Ting & I continue our journey through the “Rocky” franchise. This month, we tackle ROCKY V from 1990 where Rocky Balboa has lost all his money, is facing brain trauma, and life after boxing. That is, until Tommy “The Machine” Gunn enters his life and Rocky takes him on as his protégé before George Washington Duke corrupts Gunn and turns him on his mentor setting the tables for a showdown in THE STREET! The movie is brutal but the review is fun, available now on the POST Wrestling Café. Next month we will review “Rocky Balboa” as the franchise is resurrected in 2006.
**We are LIVE at 10:15 pm ET tonight with Rewind-A-Dynamite for Double Double, Iced Capp & Espresso members of the POST Wrestling Café with a full review of AEW Dynamite, a discussion on the RAW ratings, and the rest of today’s news.
**Braden Herrington & Davie Portman will have a new edition of upNXT, which they stream live each Wednesday at 10:15 pm ET at Twitch.tv/upNXTpodcast.
**On Thursday, the latest edition of Bushby & Thompson’s Wrestling Adventure will be released on the British Wrestling Experience feed. On this week’s show, they will welcome Kris from L.A. and Chad Gelfand to review the Royal Rumble from Atlanta in January 2002.
**This Friday, we will have an interview on the site with Jimmy Korderas of Aftermath TV.
Tonight: Rewind-A-Dynamite with John & Wai (LIVE at 10:15 pm ET for Dbl Dbl+ Patrons)
Tonight: upNXT with Braden Herrington & Davie Portman
Thursday: Bushby & Thompson’s Wrestling Adventure (WWE Royal Rumble 2002)
Friday: POST Interview – Jimmy Korderas
Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown (LIVE at 10:15 pm ET for all Patrons)
Saturday: New Beginning in Nagoya POST Show (Patreon)
Sunday: Rewand-A-Vision with Wai Ting & WH Park (Patreon)
Sunday: WWE Royal Rumble POST Show with John & Wai (LIVE for Double Double+ Patrons)
**Tonight’s episode of AEW Dynamite airs at 8 pm ET on TNT and TSN 2 in Canada with the following line-up:
*The Young Bucks & The Good Brothers vs. Evil Uno, Stu Grayson, John Silver & Alex Reynolds
*Lance Archer vs. Eddie Kingston
*Dax Harwood vs. Jungle Boy
*Dr. Britt Baker vs. Shanna
*Hangman Page vs. Ryan Nemeth
*Darby Allin and Sting discuss the Street Fight at Revolution
*Jon Moxley speaks
*Cody responds to SHAQ
**NXT airs at 8 on the USA Network with the following matches:
*Non-Title Match: Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch vs. Finn Balor & Kyle O’Reilly
*NXT Cruiserweight Championship: Santos Escobar (champion) vs. Curt Stallion
*Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic: Drake Maverick & Killian Dane vs. MSK
*Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic: KUSHIDA & Leon Ruff vs. The Grizzled Young Veterans
*Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic: Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez vs. Aliyah & Jessi Kamea
**Here are the matches for tonight’s edition of MLW Fusion at 7 pm ET on Fubo Sports and the MLW YouTube channel:
*Caribbean Strap Match: Richard Holliday vs. Savio Vega
*AAA Cruiserweight Championship: Laredo Kid (champion) vs. Zenshi
*Dominic Garrini & Kevin Ku vs. TJP & Bu Ku Dao
John Ourand of Sports Business Journal was a guest on the Sports Media Podcast with Richard Deitsch discussing the WWE-Peacock deal and what Peacock is hoping to gain from this massive financial commitment with WWE over the next five years:
They had their WWE Network and I think they plateaued pretty quickly with that. They were finding it difficult to grow. I think they didn’t necessarily like owning their own network so to speak, it’s tougher than it looks. So now, what Nick Khan (WWE president) has done is basically taken what is not a growth engine for WWE and turned it into a billion dollars over five years and he gets a nice little piece of that. This, again, is NBC putting live events and a lot of content on Peacock. So, if you’re a WWE fan you’re going to subscribe to Peacock, and you’ll see those numbers go up.
Rick Cordella (Chief Revenue Officer of Peacock) was saying “you just want to get people in there” because once you’re in there, you’ll want to watch whatever wrestling programming there is, and then, they’re going to watch The Office or you’ll watch something else and they’re going to stick around. They sell advertising on Peacock and that matters to them, so they want to hit as many different constituencies as possible. I hate to say “win-win” but I see it working for both.
**Charlotte Flair spoke to Yahoo about her time off last year from WWE and returning at TLC in December. In June, Flair was written off with a storyline injury after being attacked by Nia Jax on RAW and returning as Asuka’s mystery partner to beat Jax & Shayna Baszler for the women’s tag titles.
As much as I love the non-stop pressure and the schedule, decompressing actually took a couple of weeks. Part of me realized that the show could go on without me. As a performer that’s also hard. Seeing the show go on and noticing that everyone is replaceable. When you’re used to that grind, letting myself just decompress overall will be better for my mind, my body, and my career long-term.
Flair also discussed the ongoing program with her father:
The transition to the storyline with my dad, I guess the most important thing the viewers have to see is how much I have grown as a performer from the last time I was on TV with him. Fathers and daughters fight. It’s now how I handle it. I’ve turned on my dad before, so now it’s looking at it from a perspective of did he turn on me or am I just fed up. People will need to see how it plays out.
Flair also indicated she would be interested in a rematch with Asuka at WrestleMania and also spoke about the constant criticism she receives online for her prominent position on television and how it’s unfair to criticize her work ethic and doesn’t feel guilty for taking opportunities presented to her.
**IMPACT Wrestling saw a boost in its audience this week with 186,000 viewers and 0.05 in the 18-49 demographic. It was their best viewership average of the year and increased by 26.5 percent from last week. The demo rating was up from 0.03.
**Lightshed Partners has a big analysis of WWE’s deal with Peacock and taking a larger view of niche streaming services following and licensing to the giant streamers. Lightshed believes that the goal for Peacock should be converting all the RAW viewers into subscribers but noting the precipitous drop in television viewership. Their analysis also looks at the difficulties involved for a content company (which they categorize WWE as) to add technology rather than the comparative ease for a technology company to acquire content. Lightshed is estimating that year one of the Peacock deal will see the streaming outfit pay WWE $185 million in licensing fees (meaning there would be escalators with the average annual value estimated at $200 million if the deal is worth north of $1 billion over the five-years) while domestic subscriber revenue is estimated at $135 million to outline the disparity. Lightshed adds:
That $50mm of upside should have some offsets, though. WWE will probably take a hit on advertising and sponsorship revenue, with Peacock taking anything sold directly on the Network and at least a piece of sponsorship for PPV events. In fact, one long term story for WWE was unlocking a sponsorship opportunity more in line with other sports. However, we believe Peacock may absorb much of that upside.
On the cost side, WWE will save on variable costs such as credit card fees, platform fees, CDNs etc. However, it will be harder to rid of fixed costs. Content costs are likely going up, as NBCU is expecting additional broad appeal content. Other fixed costs aren’t going anywhere until International is resolved. The Network content is already licensed in some larger markets like India and Canada, but it will likely take a long time for the rest of the world to find a home.
**The WWE stock has grown this week and closed at $57.44 on Wednesday. It traded as high as $60 during the day.
**Paul Levesque and Stephanie McMahon spoke with SI.com about WrestleMania including fans this year at Raymond James Stadium. McMahon said, “this isn’t going to be the traditional weeklong celebration, so we want to maximize the value for our audience. Doing WrestleMania for two nights maximizes that experience.”
Paul Levesque gave the following answer regarding capacity at Raymond James Stadium:
For us, it’s all about the safety protocol. That’s why we haven’t been able to make ticket announcements or even share the capacity yet. The world is not the same as it was one year ago, and we’re trying to bring an event that is safe but also very special.
**Big E. was the guest on Oral Sessions with Renee Paquette this week and discussed his desire to face Roman Reigns at WrestleMania this year. Big E. was asked about the current run he is on and that it seems to be connecting:
I don’t know if things are going well but it’s also a weird time because in wrestling your fans are your barometer and that’s the beautiful thing, a crowd in Jackson, Mississippi may respond differently from a crowd in Sacramento or a crowd in Baltimore and when you can hit all these different towns and it’s working and it’s loud, then I feel like “I’ve got something good here working” but now, we don’t have that.
**IMPACT Wrestling has announced that Rich Swann will defend the IMPACT Championship against Tommy Dreamer at the No Surrender special on Saturday, February 13th. The date coincides with Dreamer’s 50th birthday with the special airing on IMPACT Plus, which will air the same night as UFC 258.
**Peyton Royce spoke with Denise Salcedo and commented on the break-up of The IIconics last year and adjusting to her new role:
So, I thought at first it was going to be liberating because we had been a team our entire WWE career and I absolutely loved our time together, but I was looking at the silver lining when it happened. I was like “how can I make the best of this opportunity” because it is what it is, it’s an opportunity to go out and see what I can do on my own. That happened late last year, and I feel I’m still trying to find my footing on my own. Billie (Kay) is my tag team partner and in real life, she’s my best friend, so to not have her with me – even just at work, we work on separate days now, she’s just my support system that I feel I’ve lost that and I’m trying to rebuild that within myself, trying not to rely on someone else for that. So, it has been really tough, I’m so happy for her. She’s absolutely killing it on SmackDown right now, she’s a comedic genius, and she is just thriving, and I’m hoping I can get there too.
**All Japan has announced that Jun Kasai will defend the GAORA television championship against Shuji Ishikawa under Deathmatch Rules on Thursday, March 18th at Shinkiba 1st Ring in Tokyo. The match was set-up on Sunday after Ishikawa confronted and challenged Kasai after Kasai’s match with Black Menso-re at Korakuen Hall.
**New Japan’s Road to New Beginning tour resumes Thursday with a card in Nagano headlined by Kota Ibushi, Hiroshi Tanahashi, SHO, Tomoaki Honma & Master Wato vs. Shingo Takagi, Hiromu Takahashi, Tetsuya Naito, BUSHI & SANADA.
**Solo Darling recently appeared on Ringsiders Wrestling.
**NBC has released a new trailer for the upcoming series “Young Rock” that premieres on Tuesday, February 16th at 8:30 pm ET chronicling the upbringing of Dwayne Johnson with a heavy wrestling tie-in:
**On Monday, it was announced that Triller would be staging their next boxing card on Saturday, April 17th with Jake Paul fighting Ben Askren in an eight-round boxing fight. Triller is the same group that promoted the successful event last November involving Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. with Paul knocking out former basketball player Nate Robinson on the undercard. Paul spoke to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani indicating the fight would be contested at a catchweight of 190 pounds and that negotiations involved other opponents before Askren landed the fight. The former Bellator welterweight champion retired from MMA in 2019 after back-to-back losses and had hip replacement surgery last year. He was still under contract with the UFC, but the promotion allowed him to take this fight with Paul, which will likely be a sizable payday for Askren. Many will scoff at the news but the Paul brothers, Logan and Jake, have proven an ability to draw through their viral marketing and tapping into a younger audience through their various social channels. In 2018, when Logan Paul fought KSI, it did shockingly well with two internet celebrities fighting and is reminiscent of the attraction that Kevin “Kimbo Slice” became in the 2000s that grew his status online and eventually became the top draw for Elite XC on Showtime and CBS.
To a wide section of the audience, fans are going to associate Askren with the five-second knockout by Jorge Masvidal with the idea of replication of that knockout if they buy the show. Askren is among the top wrestlers to ever enter MMA but was never an elite striker. Paul has had two pro fights, one of which was against a basketball player, so this is hardly world-class boxing you’re buying nor is that what the public demands with these types of fights. They want a spectacle and the culmination of several months of trash talk, which both can perform.
The event will go head-to-head with a UFC Fight Night card, which is scheduled to feature a prominent middleweight fight between Robert Whittaker and Paulo Costa, according to ESPN. In Paul’s interview with ESPN, he said that Snoop Dogg would be back on commentary and they are working on the undercard. He also said he’s on a fight-by-fight deal with Triller and doesn’t aspire to work with a promoter because he is his own marketer and distributor.
**The UFC 257 prelims on Saturday topped the cable charts with a 0.54 in the 18-49 demographic averaging 1,433,000 viewers on ESPN. The prelims topped RAW in all the key demos except females 18-49 (RAW edged them 0.36 to 0.34) and with adults 50+, which was a sizable difference with RAW doing 0.88 and the UFC prelims a 0.55, which makes up the viewership lead for RAW.
**ONE Championship and TNT have announced four weeks of fights airing on the network beginning Wednesday, April 7th. Throughout the month of April, TNT will air fights at 10 pm ET immediately following AEW Dynamite with a one-hour set of prelim fights streaming on B/R Live from 9-10 pm. The April 7th card will include Adriano Moraes defending the ONE flyweight championship against Demetrious Johnson, Eddie Alvarez vs. Iuri Lapicus, and a Muay Thai fight between Rodtang Jitmuangnon and Jacob Smith. On April 14th, Christian Lee defends the ONE lightweight title against Timofey Nastyukhin, and April 21st has Aung La N Sang vs. Vitaly Bigdash for the ONE light heavyweight title. They have not announced the card for April 28th.
**Brett Okamoto at ESPN is reporting that verbal agreements are in place for Darren Till (18-3-1) and Marvin Vettori (16-4-1) to fight on Saturday, April 10th. While the contracts are not signed, the fight is expected to headline a UFC Fight Night card, which would air the same night as part one of WrestleMania 37. Till competed once in 2020 where he lost by unanimous decision to Robert Whittaker after returning to the middleweight division in his previous fight. Vettori has won his last four fights with wins over Karl Roberson and Jack Hermansson in 2020.
**BJJ Scout has a breakdown of Dustin Poirier’s game plan against Conor McGregor this past Saturday at UFC 257. It also features Poirier’s assessment of McGregor’s inability to properly check the leg kicks and potential comparisons to Kyoji Horiguchi’s win over Kai Asakura in Rizin this past December.
**AKA head coach Javier Mendez spoke with Submission Radio on Dustin Poirier’s game plan at UFC 257, McGregor’s inability to defend the calf kicks, and that Georges St-Pierre would be the interesting fight for Khabib Nurmagomedov to take.
**LFA 100 will take place on Friday, February 19th from Park City, Kansas featuring a flyweight title fight between Victor Altamirano and Carlos Mota. The championship was vacated last year by Jimmy Flick after he moved to the UFC. The card will stream on Fight Pass that night at 9 pm ET.
Karol Rosa vs. Joselyne Edwards at UFC Fight Night on Feb. 6 (Milenio)
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