POLLOCK'S NEWS UPDATE: Cody discusses the state of AEW

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/11/08/pollocks-news-update-cody-discusses-the-state-of-aew/

Photo courtesy: Lee South/AEW


**Wai Ting and I will be back with Rewind-A-SmackDown tonight for members of the POST Wrestling Café. We will chat about the episode of Friday Night SmackDown from Manchester, England and discuss the latest news and we’ll do a quick preview of AEW Full Gear along with taking feedback and questions.

**This weekend, we will have an AEW Full Gear POST Show around 11:30 pm eastern on Saturday. You can watch the show LIVE if you’re a Double Double, Iced Capp, or Espresso member of the POST Wrestling Café. The podcast version will be out early Sunday morning for everyone.

**WH Park is doing a bonus show Saturday night with Davis Storm to reviewing the NJPW Showdown in San Jose card. WH will also be releasing episode three of Thunderstruck with guest Joey Bay discussing Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Rey Mysterio from Starrcade 1996.

**Davie Portman is going to have a review of the EVOLVE 139 & 140 events this weekend. He will be joined by Jesse from the 6 and John Siino to chat about the cards from Queens on Saturday and Brooklyn on Sunday. The review will available on the upNXT Patreon feed Sunday night and available free on this site Monday morning.

**Thursday’s edition of the Café Hangout is posted with Damian Abraham in-studio with Wai Ting and I for the entire show and taking your phone calls with numerous subjects discussed.

**We have this week’s edition of Five Questions with Phil Chertok posted discussing Nate Diaz, the standout performances from UFC 244, Greg Hardy vs. Alexander Volkov, and the biggest fight remaining in 2019.


*Tonight: Rewind-A-SmackDown with John & Wai (Patreon)
*Saturday: AEW Full Gear POST Show (LIVE for Double Double, Iced Capp & Espresso Patrons)
*Sunday: NJPW Showdown in San Jose POST Show with WH Park & Davis Storm
*Sunday: Thunderstruck Ep. 3 with WH Park & guest Joey Bay (Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Rey Mysterio, Starrcade 1996)
*Monday: EVOLVE 139 & 140 POST Show with Davie Portman




**Cody held a conference call with members of the media on Friday ahead of Full Gear. We have posted the entire call on the site and below are some of the highlights:
*Cody called it a ‘real statement’ he delivered on Wednesday and was very happy with how it came off and how he felt going to the back
*He notes the pressure from the fanbase and lapsed fans that have come back to seek out AEW and wanting to deliver on what they have promised as an organization
*Cody praised Kevin Dunn for his work in production and likes taking the positive things he got there, he feels Keith Mitchell brings a more sports-oriented approach. He wants the roster and production to be close and cited Darby Allin speaking with cameramen about the unique things he does. He added the spontaneity and grit that Mitchell brings to their production.
*He doesn’t like the term ‘mid-card’, acknowledges it exists and he toiled there, but no one considers themselves ‘mid-card’ mentioning how the Intercontinental title when on last at SummerSlam 1992. He said in the next month or so, there would be a ‘prize’ for those on the rise. He added that all the titles need to be treated the same as the AEW title.
*They are releasing top five rankings for each division tonight and will hopefully be updated every Friday
*Cody debriefs every department after each week’s show. He mentioned the music is piped into the mix because they want to hear the crowd over top of it and Cody monitors the music each week. Mikey Rukus is the composer who has developed many of the theme songs in AEW.
*Christopher Daniels and Chris Harrington have been working hard on getting international talent into the country legally through visa work, etc.
*Kenny Omega is trying to do something different with the women’s division and praised the Joshi talent while the women’s division will grow after the pay-per-view this weekend.
*Their biggest hurdle is maintaining the buzz and ‘cool factor’, they can’t become a reactionary brand to what others are doing and only react to their fanbase.
*They are analyzing Neilsen, social Neilsen numbers, ITV, Fite TV and numerous data that Chris Harrington goes through and praised Harrington. He stated that some people are still analyzing their viewership like it was 1997 or the early 2000’s and they are looking at much more data now.
*Jim Ross has told him that they need to bring up what happens on AEW Dark on the Dynamite show. He doesn’t want to make all their shoulder programming ‘mandatory’ and Dynamite is the hub for everything. The shoulder program is there for you but as long as you see Dynamite, you aren’t missing anything.

**WWE is holding a lengthy taping in Manchester, England today with Friday Night SmackDown and Raw set to take place. SmackDown will air on a several hour tape delay while Raw will tape three days in advance, which is exceptionally rare for that program to have such an advanced taping. I wouldn’t expect any major hit on the SmackDown program but Raw could be hit hard being taped so many days ahead of time on top of its usual competition. Here are the matches announced for tonight’s SmackDown episode at 8 pm eastern on Fox:
*Roman Reigns vs. King Corbin
*Sasha Banks vs. Nikki Cross
*The Revival vs. New Day for the SmackDown tag titles
*An appearance by Tyson Fury

**There is a segment scheduled for tonight’s SmackDown that was taped backstage with The Fiend. The segment is designed to set up The Fiend’s next opponent.

**Regarding the excellent video from the Inner Circle that aired on Dynamite this week, there were no writers involved in the making of the video. Those involved were instructed to put over Chris Jericho and do so in their own unique way. It was also edited tremendously and came off as one of the better-produced comedy bits in a wrestling show that I can recall.

**On his podcast, Jerry Lawler covered the talent meeting at Raw this past Monday addressing the issues from the flight back from Saudi Arabia. Lawler was not on the trip but did attend the meeting after hearing about all the news regarding the travel problems.

Lawler relayed similar notes that have been reported that Vince McMahon and Paul Levesque stood in front of the talent with McMahon going through the problems that occurred. According to Lawler, McMahon told the talent he had never seen as many travel issues occur at one time with a plane. He outlined that the first problem surrounded the tug of the plane, then an issue with the fest and the weight on the plane with so many people, from there they needed more fuel followed by a sensor going off and the need for a piece of equipment that had to be flown in from Germany. At this point, those left in the country had to deplane and sent to a hotel and eventually, bussed to another airport.

Lawler added that McMahon said they would not use the same charter flight again (without naming Air Atlas) and that AJ Styles and Karl Anderson spoke during the meeting and Styles reiterating how on edge everyone was and his own frustration over the issues. During the meeting, Lawler said that McMahon classified that their relationship with the Government in Saudi Arabia is at ‘an all-time high’ and he shot down the conspiracy theories that were out there.

**Lavie Margolin has a breakdown of AEW’s ticket sales beginning with May’s Double or Nothing pay-per-view and going through their summer shows and each of the episodes of Dynamite.

**The following matches were taped at Full Sail University on Wednesday for tonight’s episode of 205 Live following SmackDown:
*Lio Rush vs. Raul Mendoza in a non-title match
*Mansoor vs. Brian Kendrick

**Starrcast kicks off today from Baltimore, Maryland for Full Gear weekend with the following panels streaming on Fite TV over the weekend:

*4 pm – Unhinged – The Jon Moxley Story
*5:30 pm – Inside the Rhodes with Cody, Brandi, and Dustin
*7 pm – Jim Crockett Jr.

*10 am – The Great American Baltimore
*Noon – The Great Muta (translated by Sunny Onoo)
*2 pm – Making History with Ron Simmons
*4 pm – World Championship Women

**Impact Wrestling has its second night of television tapings at the Melrose Ballroom tonight in Queens, New York. They taped television on Thursday night, which will begin airing next Tuesday night on AXS TV. The following matches are scheduled for tonight’s taping:
*Michael Elgin vs. Eddie Edwards
*Moose & Rob Van Dam vs. Rhino & Brian Cage
*Jessicka Havok vs. Rosemary

**New Japan will be in San Jose, California on Saturday night and the show will stream live on New Japan World at 10 pm eastern. Here is the card, including what is being billed as Jushin Thunder Liger’s final match in the United States:
*Kazuchika Okada & Will Ospreay vs. Kota Ibushi & Amazing Red
*Jay White & Chase Owens vs. Tetsuya Naito & Shingo Takagi
*Lance Archer vs. David Finlay for the IWGP United States title
*El Phantasmo vs. SHO for the British Cruiserweight title
*KENTA, Taiji Ishimori & Jado vs. Hirooki Goto, YOH & Rocky Romero
*Tomohiro Ishii, Juice Robinson & TJP vs. EVIL, Sanada & Bushi
*Minoru Suzuki & El Desperado vs. Karl Fredericks & Clark Connors
*Jushin Thunder Liger & Aaron Solow vs. Colt Cabana & Toru Yano
*Ren Narita vs. Alex Coughlin

**The WWE stock closed at $54.72 on Friday.

**EVOLVE has shows in Queens and Brooklyn, New York this weekend airing on WWN Live. Below are the cards for each:

EVOLVE 139 on Saturday at 9 pm eastern: Austin Theory vs. Josh Briggs for the EVOLVE title, Anthony Henry vs. JD Drake in a No Holds Barred match, Eddie Kingston vs. Babatunde, Matt Sydal vs. Leon Ruff, Shotzi Blackheart vs. Reina Gonzalez, Arturo Ruas & Anthony Gutierrez vs. Joe Gacy & Sean Maluta, AR Fox vs. Colby Corino, and Curt Stallion & Brandon Taggart vs. Harlem Bravado & Anthony Greene

EVOLVE 140 on Sunday at 8 pm eastern: AR Fox vs. Matt Sydal, Austin Theory vs. Curt Stallion in a non-title match, Arturo Ruas vs. Eddie Kingston, JD Drake vs. Babatunde, Josh Briggs vs. Brandon Taggart vs. Joe Gacy vs. Anthony Henry, Leon Ruff & Adrian Alanis & Liam Gray vs. Harlem Bravado & Anthony Greene & TBA, plus Shotzi Blackheart’s farewell to EVOLVE.

**Donald Trump Jr. is doing the media rounds to promote his new book ‘Triggered’ and one of his interviews was with Chris Jericho on Friday’s edition of Talk is Jericho. I have not heard the interview, so I can’t comment on the subjects covered and what type of interview it was. Understandably, many are upset that Jericho had such a polarizing figure on his podcast. For Jericho, he had to understand what he was agreeing to when he had him on the show and what scrutiny that comes with. Ultimately, it comes down to your view of what role a podcast host occupies and if it falls in line with the responsibility of a journalistic approach to an interview subject, or just as a conversation that happens to be recorded. While most will group Jericho with the latter, he has also covered serious subjects on his show and done an excellent job uncovering a lot regarding the Chris Benoit story through his interviews with Sandra Toffoloni, Chavo Guerreo Jr., and others close to the Benoits through Jericho’s personal relationships and his own with Benoit. Inherently, people with differing political views should not be disqualified but the political divide in the United States is exceptional and just the mere title of Trump Jr’s book is going to anger a large number of people.

**While promoting his appearance on ‘The Goldbergs’ on ABC, Hulk Hogan informed SI.com that he is undergoing his latest back surgery next Tuesday where they are going to fuse six levels together. Earlier this year, Hogan had spoken about undergoing this surgery and coming back to wrestle at next April’s WrestleMania in Tampa with his ideal opponent being Vince McMahon.

**Adam Cole will be a guest on next Tuesday’s edition of WWE Backstage at 11 pm eastern on FS 1. The show got off to a terrible start with 49,000 viewers this past week with guests Shawn Michaels, John Cena, and Rob Gronkowski.

**Tuesday was a bad night overall for WWE as Total Divas fell to a series-low 191,000 viewers, which was a 32.5% drop from the previous week. I have no explanation for either show being as low as they ended up at. To add context for Total Divas, the previous week’s episode did 283,000 viewers and went against Game 6 of the World Series.

**Next week’s episode of NXT will feature a ladder match between Io Shirai and Mia Yim with the winner’s team receiving the number’s advantage in the War Games match on November 23rd in Chicago. NXT will also have a Cruiserweight title match between Lio Rush and Angel Garza next week following Garza’s win over Tony Nese this week.

**MLW is holding their Blood & Thunder television taping on Saturday in Orlando at the Gilt Nightclub. They have announced the following for the show that takes place at 4 pm: Tom Lawlor vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr, Jimmy Havoc vs. Mance Warner in a Falls Count Anywhere match, Teddy Hart vs. Myron Reed for the MLW middleweight title, Low Ki vs. Timothy Thatcher, Zeda Zhang vs. Spider Lady, Marshall Von Erich vs. Ikuro Kwon, Kotto Brazil & Jordan Oliver vs. Gringo Loco & Zenshi, and a Mystery Box Battle Royal.

**Chris Jericho’s appearance on Inside the NBA from Thursday night on TNT:


Impact Wrestling (Nov. 6)

RESULTS: Moose over Willie Mack, Michael Elgin over Fallah Bahh, Ken Shamrock over Joey Ryan, Taya Valkyrie over Madison Rayne in a non-title match, Petey Williams over Bhupinder Singh, Tommy Dreamer & Rich Swann & Tessa Blanchard & Daga over Sami Callihan & The Crists & Madman Fulton in a Street Fight

-This was the second episode of the AXS TV era and was bogged down by a bad atmosphere from the crowd in Windsor, Ontario. The biggest reaction of the night appeared to be the ‘dick flip’ involving Joey Ryan and Ken Shamrock, which was Impact’s attempt at a viral moment among the wrestling audience. The video got passed around, and they achieved their objective by getting Jim Cornette to go off on it, which benefits both sides. The match was nothing special until the spot followed by Shamrock firing up and submitting Ryan with the ankle lock. Shamrock is very slow at 55 and looks jacked but he’s someone the audience sees as a star from the past and there is no doubt he is working as hard as he can at his age to adapt to the modern performers he is paired with.
-The episode featured the culmination of the Ace Austin angle with Alisha Edwards. Edwards finally agreed to go out and celebrate with Austin, then she overheard him bragging to Reno Scum and she saw what his true intentions were. She lured him to the hotel room, had him strip down and blindfold himself as a set up for Eddie Edwards to attack him and send him running down the hallway in his underwear. The Edwards’ made out in the hallway.
-Fallah Bahh has recently lost a lot of weight, on the broadcast they said over 100 pounds, and he’s working more serious matches. Bahh had another match with Michael Elgin and they worked a serious match and Bahh looked great, although this new style is going to be way more taxing than the comedy elements he could rely on. Elgin and Bahh have very good chemistry.
-The show focused on oVe celebrating Sami Callihan’s title win from the week prior, acting like assholes backstage, and then coming out for the final segment. Among those they insulted backstage were Tommy Dreamer and Daga, leading to a show-closing street fight with Rich Swann and Tessa Blanchard joining Dreamer and Daga. Swann scored the cover on Callihan by countering the Cactus piledriver and should lead to something on television with Swann pinning the Impact champion.
-Gama Singh explained Mahabali Shera has gone on a ‘spiritual journey’ and introduced Bhupinder Singh as his latest protégé joining Rohit Raju and Raj Singh. Bhupinder lost a match to Petey Williams but the match was a backdrop for referee Cameron Adamson, who is a student of Scott D’Amore’s and has no legs. He was the referee and got bullied by Singh after the match and then fought back with a 619 and a 450-splash that got over with the audience.
-They are grooming Jordynne Grace to be the next challenger to Taya Valkyrie for the Knockout’s title.

Café Hangout 11/7/19: Damian Abraham Live in-studio

On today’s Café Hangout, John Pollock and Wai Ting are joined in-studio by Damian Abraham as they take your calls about the week in wrestling news, discussing the closest ratings yet in the Wednesday Night Wars.
REWIND-A-DYNAMITE 11/6/19: AEW Full Gear Go-Home Show

John Pollock and Wai Ting review of the go-home edition of AEW Dynamite leading into the Full Gear pay-per-view on Saturday night.
upNXT 11/6/19: Dakota Cry

Braden Herrington and Davie Portman are back to chat all about this week’s WWE NXT following the SmackDown and Raw invasions!
REWIND-A-WAI #48: NJPW New Beginning in Osaka 2014

John Pollock and Wai Ting review NJPW New Beginning in Osaka from February 11, 2014 featuring a IWGP Heavyweight Championship match between Kazuchika Okada vs. Hirooki Goto.

RAR 11/4/19: Adam Cole vs. Seth Rollins, WWE-Saudi Arabia
John Pollock and Wai Ting review WWE Raw featuring Adam Cole vs. Seth Rollins for the NXT title. We also discuss the latest involving the WWE roster’s travel issues in Saudi Arabia.
John Pollock & Wai Ting review NJPW Power Struggle 2019 featuring Jay White vs. Hirooki Goto for the IWGP Intercontinental title and the surprise return of an NJPW star from injury.
THUNDERSTRUCK #2: Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Bryan Danielson
WH Park and Benno of The British Wrestling Experience and The GRAPPL Spotlight podcasts get together for the first time to discuss Jushin Liger vs. Bryan Danielson from Ring of Honor’s Weekend of Thunder on November 5, 2004.

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