POLLOCK'S NEWS UPDATE: CM Punk/Ryan Nemeth, G1 Analysis, All In tops 80k

Originally published at POLLOCK'S NEWS UPDATE: CM Punk/Ryan Nemeth, G1 Analysis


**Rewind-A-Raw is live at 11 p.m. ET as we chat Raw from Winnipeg and discuss the latest issues involving CM Punk on Collision following his comments aimed at Hangman Page off-air. Tune in tonight on the POST YouTube channel or download the show on your podcast app by searching and subscribing to POST Wrestling.

**We will reveal the winner of this year’s POST G1 Climax contest on tonight’s show. 

**Tonight on the POST  YouTube channel, we are releasing an interview with Zoey Stark.

**This Thursday, Wai Ting and I will present a special ‘Car Cast Edition’ of TALK with a lengthy discussion on the state of POST Wrestling as the summer winds down, our recent coverage, future ideas, work/life balance, and more. This will be available to POST Wrestling Café members.

**Our G1 coverage has wrapped up for another year and our final podcast covering Sunday’s show is available to POST Wrestling Café members. Karen Peterson, WH Park and I reviewed Sunday’s show, Tetsuya Naito’s third G1 win and how the final match performed, Naito’s performance over the final two nights, and many angles shot for future matches. We gave our picks for the best matches of the G1 Climax, the top performer, and picks for inclusion in next year’s tournament.


Tonight: Rewind-A-Raw with John Pollock & Wai Ting (11 p.m. ET)
Tuesday: upNXT with Braden Herrington & Davie Portman
Wednesday: Pollock & Thurston with Erik Magraken to chat UFC antitrust suit
Wednesday: Rewind-A-Dynamite with Wai Ting & Kate from Montreal
Thursday: Pollock & Ting TALK – Car Cast Edition (Patreon)
Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown (Patreon)
Saturday: Collision Course (Patreon)
Sunday: UFC 292 Review with John Pollock & Eric Marcotte
Sunday: The N.W.A. Podcast

Full schedule listing on the website   


From my ratings, the top ten matches for the G1 Climax season were 10) Henare vs. Tomohiro Ishii (Aug. 2), 9) SANADA vs. Kaito Kiyomiua (July 25), 8) Eddie Kingston vs. Tomohiro Ishii (July 26), 7) Will Ospreay vs. David Finlay (Aug. 10), 6) Kazuchika Okada vs. Taichi (July 21), 5) Will Ospreay vs. Kazuchika Okada (July 27), 4) Tetsuya Naito vs. Zack Sabre Jr. (Aug. 2), Tetsuya Naito vs. Kazuchika Okada (Aug. 13), Will Ospreay vs. El Phantasmo (Aug. 6), and 1) Tetsuya Naito vs. Will Ospreay (Aug. 12)

The final weekend of the G1 was sensational and while the best performer of the tournament was Will Ospreay, it was the story of Tetsuya Naito that resonated the strongest. Naito turned back the clock on back-to-back nights at Sumo Hall with a strong contender for Match of the Year with Ospreay on Saturday where it appeared Naito was temporarily knocked out in the closing portion. Then, he came back and had a classic with Okada in the final, which was not at the same level as the match with Ospreay, but the drama was through the roof and the audience was rabid. Going into the G1, I didn’t think anything would be able to touch the high bar set by Kenny Omega and Will Ospreay twice this year, but Ospreay and Naito reached that level for me, and would say those are the three strongest candidates for Match of the Year.

For the format, I think the 20:00 time limit was excellent and added drama to every match that hit the fifteen-minute mark. It didn’t withhold any matches and for Ospreay and Okada, it forced them to produce a different type of match that was just as compelling with the story that Ospreay doubted his ability to win in that amount of time.

The number of people in the G1 has been debated and 32 seem to be too many and led to a lot of parity of matches that were consumed and forgotten instantly. It’s not a case of depth of talent but a depth of stars and New Japan is in a rebuilding phase and the attendance figures confirmed that many of the projects are not completed yet.

I was disappointed that the A Block didn’t present more ambitious and aggressive booking for the first timers with Yota Tsuji, Ren Narita & Shota Umino positioned as young up-and-comers that are at the bottom of the mountain and just beginning their lengthy climb. Sometimes it’s worth telling long stories, other times it’s the stunning ascension to alert your crowd that this is someone to stand out from the pack and take notice of today. Kaito Kiyomiya had some excellent matches but it was curious why he was in the tournament with no attachment to Kazuchika Okada nor booking him in a way that enhances the demand for that rematch. Instead, he was presented as NOAH’s top guy that is only mid-tier in the “major leagues”. Hikuleo was the surprising pick to get out of the A Block and did level up with some of the best performances I’ve seen him have. I don’t see him as a game-changer for New Japan and everyone has the same concern that the time and effort put into Hikuelo could burn New Japan as it did with JONAH last year with the WWE or AEW being his ultimate landing spot.   

Overall, there were still a ton of great matches over the past month with several performers increasing their stock and having a greater identity after the tournament. It should be remembered for the final weekend, which delivered in a big way and was comparable with some of the best G1s of the past decade.


**Wade Keller at PW Torch had more on the CM Punk and Collision story that was reported over the weekend. Keller noted that Punk confronting Ryan Nemeth over his Tweet occurred at the June 21 episode of Dynamite in Chicago (not the June 17 episode of Collison in the same city). Keller stated that Punk cornered Nemeth and asked if they had a problem and whether they needed to “settle things outside” (which would have been a PR nightmare if he got into a fight on his second show back). Keller said the two shook hands, but the issue was not fully put to rest with Nemeth arriving in Greensboro over the weekend and being told he was no longer needed for the show. In the Torch’s report, it conveys that Punk is seeking a locker room without drama and has been credited for taking a leadership position. While there will be arguments pro and con regarding Punk, it is very hard to defend the post-show promo on Page that drags all this negativity back into the headlines and goes against Punk’s own reported edict of fostering a “low drama environment.” Regardless of the promo against Page, these contentious issues among performers were going to bubble to the surface. It is hard to feign surprise or anger over these developments because this was always the reality of trying to keep all parties under the umbrella and operate independently of one another on different shows. You were never going to snap your fingers and erase the past, there will be contentious issues along the way, there will be veiled shots thrown in promos without knowledge they are coming, and it will both benefit and embarrass the company by attempting to contain this drama rather than eliminate it.  

**WrestleTix reports that AEW All In has now hit 80,056 tickets distributed (a combination of paid and comp tickets) for the August 27 event at Wembley Stadium. It has surpassed the number of tickets distributed for SummerSlam 1992 and the next achievement on the list is the turnstile count for WrestleMania 32 in Arlington, Texas at 80,709 (per the WWE KPI in 2016, the number of tickets sold was between 73,711 and 85,888 but the turnstile count came from the Arlington Police of those that physically entered AT&T Stadium). The gate for All In has hit $9 million, which is above this year’s SummerSlam and last year’s Clash at the Castle for the largest non-WrestleMania gates in company history. The all-time mark of $17.3 million for WrestleMania 32 will not be threatened.

**Friday Night SmackDown fell to its lowest audience since May 5 and lowest 18-49 audience on May 26 due to the show being pre-empted by the NFL is multiple markets. The show from Calgary averaged 2,097,000 viewers and 720,000 (0.55) in the demo. The show was down 7% in viewership and 11% in the 18-49 demo. In the demo, it was women that dropped significantly with a 16% loss this week while males only fell 2%. Adults 18-34 were down by 21% with the 35-49 category dropping by 5%. Wrestlenomics reported the quarter-hours and to no surprise, the Bloodline segment in the final fifteen minutes was the star segment with 2,385,000 viewers and 845,000 in the 18-49 demo. The final quarter grew 15% in viewers and 24% in the demo from the previous fifteen minutes. (Data: Wrestlenomics)

**In Canada, SmackDown was not affected by the NFL and did a great number with 241,600 viewers and 93,000 in the 25-54 demographic. It was the most-watched episode of SmackDown in Canada since April 7 coming off WrestleMania 39. The show was second among all sports programs on Friday in the country behind the CFL game between Montreal and Saskatchewan and ranked #8 in the demo among all programming in Canada on Friday. The SmackDown number was strong enough it boosted WWE Main Event to 117,500 viewers and 20,300 in the demo immediately following SmackDown on Sportsnet 360 and ranked fourth for the night in sports. Main Event never ranks in the top ten, so that was noticeable.

**AEW Rampage grew its 18-49 demographic for the second week in a row. The show averaged 398,000 viewers and 199,000 (0.15) in the demo for Friday’s show from Columbus. While viewership dropped by 8%, the 18-49 demo grew 10% to its highest figure since April. The 18-34 demo dropped by 19% including a 25% drop among women, but the 35-49 demo grew by 27% and was assisted by women in the age group doubling from the week prior.

**WWE Raw is at the Canada Life Centre in Winnipeg as the Canadian tour continues. The big match on the show is the rematch between Trish Stratus and Becky Lynch, which everyone (except Paul Levesque) thought was happening at SummerSlam. The benefit of it being on tonight’s show is they should receive a lot of time and have a great crowd, could be a factor regarding how Stratus is received as you would assume the crowd will be behind her and have to work to turn them around. This has been one of the longest programs of the year since Stratus’ return before WrestleMania and turning on Lynch shortly afterward. They have already teased Shayna Baszler facing Lynch after this match.

**The G1 Climax averaged 2,800 tickets sold per event this year over nineteen events, which is up from 2,400 over twenty shows in 2022. For the final two nights at Ryogoku Kokugikan (Sumo Hall), New Japan drew 6,579 on Saturday and 8,283 for the final night. In 2022, they ran the final three nights at the larger Nippon Budokan drawing 3,227, 3,179, and 6,176 for the final night. So, overall, the tournament was not a major increase over last year’s, but the final weekend had a significantly stronger interest as two events at Sumo Hall outdrew three at Budokan.

**NXT on Tuesday night has announced Tony D’Angelo & Channing Stacks Lorenzo vs. The Dyad for the NXT tag titles, a #1 contenders match between Dijak and Wes Lee (winner faces Carmelo Hayes on Aug. 22 at Heatwave), Dana Brooke vs. Blair Davenport, and Drew Gulak vs. Trick Williams.

**Most of the NJPW roster gets an extended break until the Destruction tour begins on September 8. There are talents being sent to the U.S. for the All-Star Jr. Festival & Multiverse United 2 events next weekend in Philadelphia and the RevPro Anniversary event on August 26 in London. It remains to be seen which (if any) NJPW talent is added to All In and/or All Out the following weekend. One name that will be unavailable for All In is IWGP World Heavyweight Champion SANADA, who is scheduled for the IMPACT Emergence card on the same day in Toronto and is also working with a torn biceps injury, which he revealed over the weekend.

**Stardom’s 5 Star Grand Prix has averaged 626 fans over eight events, but that tournament runs until September 30 with fourteen more Grand Prix cards to come. There was one Grand Prix match on Sunday’s pay-per-view but didn’t include that attendance figure in the average. Natsupoi leads the Red Stars block with seven points with Natsuko Tora in second place with six points and a tie between Mayu Iwatani, Suzu Suzuki & Tam Nakano with four points each. The Blue Stars has Mina Shirakawa on top with six points, Giulia has five, and a tie between MIRAI, Utami Hayashishita, Momo Watanabe, and Saori Anou tied with four points. The next show is Tuesday at Korakuen Hall with the following card:
*Red Stars: Mayu Iwatani (4) vs. Tam Nakano (4)
*Red Stars: Syuri (3) vs. Hazuki (0)
*Blue Stars: Utami Hayashishita (4) vs. AZM (2)
*Blue Stars: Momo Watanabe (4) vs. Saori Anou (4)
*Blue Stars: Mina Shirakawa (6) vs. Mariah May (2)
*Non-tournament: Natsupoi & Yuna Mizumori vs. Saki Kashima & MIRAI
*Non-tournament: Koguma, Hanan & Saya Iida vs. Lady C, Hina & Miyu Amasaki
*Non-tournament: Nanae Takahashi, Megan Bayne, Mei Seira & Suzu Suzuki vs. Starlight Kid, Natsuko Tora, Ruaka & Fukigen Death

**After four N-1 Victory shows, the tour is averaging 753 per show with the tournament drawing 926 at Korakuen Hall this past Friday. The A Block is led by Jake Lee and Masa Kitamiya (6 points), Timothy Thatcher, Kenoh & Yuki Yoshioka (4), Adam Brooks and Jack Morris (2), and Yoshiki Inamura (0). The B Block in a logjam with Go Shiozaki, Katsuhiko Nakajima, Lance Anoa’i, Hijo de Dr. Wagner Jr., Saxon Huxley, and Manabu Soya tied with four points each while Yuma Anzai and Daiki Inaba have two points each. The tour continues this Saturday in Sapporo, Aug. 26 in Sendai, Aug. 27 in Kawasaki, and the finals are Sept. 3 in Osaka.

**IMPACT has added two matches to the pre-show for this Sunday’s Multiverse United 2 card in Philadelphia. Kenny King will defend the Digital Media Championship against Yoshinobu Kanemaru, and a six-man tag will take place with Joe Hendry, Yuya Uemura & Heath against Master Wato, Rocky Romero & Ryusuke Taguchi. The pre-show airs at 4:30 p.m. ET this Sunday with the main card at 5 p.m.

**RevPro’s 11th Anniversary event on Saturday, August 26 at the Copper Box Arena will include Michael Oku vs. Trent Seven for the RevPro Undisputed British Heavyweight title, Will Ospreay vs. Shingo Takagi (the match of the year in 2019),  Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Ricky Knight Jr., Tomohiro Ishii vs. Luke Jacobs, Katsuyori Shibata & El Phantasmo vs. David Finlay & Gabe Kidd, Dan Moloney vs. Leon Slater, and JJ Gale vs. Kosei Fujita. The card will be streaming live that day at 12:30 p.m. ET at RevPro On Demand.

**Kevin Blackwood will make his MLW debut Fury Road on September 3 against Alec Price and TJ Crawford in a three-way match. Fury Road is a Fusion TV taping at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia.

**Chris Hero is holding an online seminar on Tuesday through Zoom for anyone involved in the industry. The seminar takes place at 3 p.m. ET and will last for two hours. Tickets can be purchased through Skiddle.

**Being the Elite Ep. 360: “Matt’s Sowry”.

**The WWE stock closed at $111.84 on Monday with the company sitting at a market cap of $9.29 billion.

John Pollock, WH Park & Karen Peterson review Night 19 of NJPW G1 Climax 33 featuring the tournament final at Ryogoku Kokugikan.
John Siino & Kate From MTL review AEW Collision featuring House of Black vs. CMFTR for the AEW Trios Championship.
John Pollock & Wai Ting review Night 18 of NJPW G1 Climax 33 featuring Semi Final matches with Tetsuya Naito vs. Will Ospreay and Kazuchika Okada vs. EVIL.
John Pollock & Wai Ting review WWE SmackDown as Jey Uso confronts his twin brother Jimmy about his actions at SummerSlam.
DOUBLE SHOT: The World According to Marty Jannetty
John Pollock and Wai Ting conclude their weekly look at Dark Side of the Ring with a review of “The World According to Marty Jannetty”.
John Pollock & Wai Ting review AEW Dynamite with The Young Bucks taking on The Hardys and RVD challenges for the FTW Championship.
John Pollock and Brandon Thurston speak with reporter David Bixenspan about the lawsuit filed by Hulk Hogan after Bash at the Beach 2000.

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