POLLOCK'S NEWS UPDATE: Dynamite surprise, Raw quarter hours

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2022/02/09/pollocks-news-update-dynamite-surprise-raw-quarter-hours/


**Rewind-A-Dynamite is live tonight at 10:15 p.m. ET with a review of the show from Atlantic City. Wai Ting and I will be going live for our Double Double, Iced Capp & Espresso members of the POST Wrestling Café and the podcast version will be posted late tonight. You can subscribe to POST Wrestling on your podcast app of choice.

**Next Tuesday is the return of the ASK-A-WAI Mailbag Show and we are gathering questions for the show, which can be posted in the thread on the POST Wrestling Forum. The show will be released for all POST Wrestling Café members.

**If you missed it, we had a great interview with Michael Oku on Tuesday discussing the reception to the five-star match he had with Will Ospreay last weekend at RevPro’s High Stakes card, re-watching the match, the state of the British wrestling scene, and more.

**We have the latest Rewind-A-Wai available for POST Wrestling Café members. This week’s choice was WWF’s Greatest Hits from 1991, which was released on Coliseum Video and was chosen by Espresso Executive Producer Brent Nicol. Wai Ting and I shared our thoughts on the 60-minute release, which can be viewed on the WWE Network and includes Ultimate Warrior vs. Ted DiBiase, Mr. Perfect regaining the Intercontinental title from Kerry Von Erich, Hulk Hogan & Tugboat against Rhythm and Blues, and more. The video is an assortment of matches from late 1990 and early 1991 hosted by Sean Mooney.

**The next Rewind-A-Wai comes out Tuesday, February 22nd, and will feature a comprehensive rundown of WrestleMania 27 from April 2011 featuring The Miz vs. John Cena with The Rock serving as the host of the event.

**The next edition of The British Wrestling Experience will be released on Thursday with Martin Bushby and Benno breaking down the latest news from the U.K. scene. The two will share their thoughts on the recent Will Ospreay vs. Michael Oku match


-The passing of Candi Divine
-WWE Raw on Syfy ratings
-NXT 2.0 review
-Vengeance Day lineup
-AEW Dynamite preview

Audio version available for POST Wrestling Café members.


**AEW Dynamite takes place from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey with the third title defense for Hangman Page since winning the title last November. The top items on the show are the championship match and the arrival of a free agent signing, who will face Isiah Kassidy in a qualifying match for the ‘Face the Revolution’ ladder match at the pay-per-view next month. Below is the lineup:
*AEW Championship, Texas Death Match: Hangman Page (champion) vs. Lance Archer
*The Inner Circle’s team meeting
*Face the Revolution Qualifying Match: Isiah Kassidy vs. TBA
*MJF speaks

WrestleTix reports that there are 5,500 tickets out for tonight’s show with the venue set up for almost 7,200.

The show is going against the Winter Olympics, so we will get a sense of what that means to the AEW audience compared to WWE’s, although AEW doesn’t have the double whammy of moving to a different network for the Olympics.

Dynamite is coming off a somewhat disappointing number, which was their lowest since moving to TBS. As we have seen, Dynamite is going to be skewed based on the audience that Big Bang Theory delivers. It becomes an interesting decision of whether the opening match or segment should be the “main event” with the hope of holding on to that audience and placing the second biggest attraction in the final quarter-hour. It’s easy to get lost in the weeds and there are positives and negatives to both. If the lead-in is down, there isn’t much you can do to find that lost audience, but as a rule, the start of the show is often going to be the most watched. For Raw, this time of the year shows that the second hour is going to be the peak, although there are some examples of demos growing through the three hours. But, it’s been years and years since the third hour saw growth on a routine basis and you could argue that instead of building towards a big final segment, you deliver in hour two knowing that your most loyal audience is sticking around regardless and the ones that are done after two hours are tuning out no matter what.

For tonight’s episode, depending on the level of surprise, I would introduce the new signing early in the hopes of spreading the word and people tuning in. It’s very hard to tease a surprise arrival and it reaches the expectation level. When you leave it a mystery, it gives permission for the audience to go wild with ideas and speculation even if some are impossible or ill-conceived. As we saw with Christian Cage, his arrival would have been received so much better if it wasn’t built up to such a large degree where the idea of signing a guy that just appeared in the Royal Rumble and had not wrestled for seven years was a letdown. The other side is that AEW was selling a pay-per-view and it greatly fueled interest in the show. For television, it’s a different animal, but there is a lesson when promoting surprises in advance and being able to deliver on the tease.

**For an indication of the impact of Raw moving to Syfy and going against the Olympics, in January the show averaged 1,718,000 viewers and 577,000 in 18-49. This week’s figures on the new station saw viewership drop by 19 percent and the demo was down 18.5 percent.

**Brandon Thurston noted that this past week’s episode of Raw was technically the least-watched first-run episode of Raw ever with 1,387,000 viewers. The least-watched Raw in its normal timeslot and normal station (USA Network) was on July 5th last year with 1,472,000 viewers. Thurston also noted that the last time Raw aired on Syfy (SciFi at the time) was on August 25, 2008, and averaged 4,091,000 viewers with a replay later that night at 12:40 a.m. ET averaging 483,000.

**Brandon Thurston also reported on the quarter hours from Raw on Monday, which is rarely public. Monday’s show got off to an exceptionally low start with 1,194,000 viewers with 405,000 in 18-49, which is probably the Syfy factor more than the Olympics and people finding the show and it grew for the next four quarters (without commercial interruption), peaking at 1,514,000 for Miz TV with Rey & Dominik Mysterio. The peak for 18-49 was the third quarter with the Bobby Lashley in-ring promo and Alexa Bliss in her therapy session that averaged 505,000 viewers. The show trailed off in hour three with the final segment averaging 1,287,000 and 443,000 in 18-49 for Seth Rollins & Kevin Owens vs. RK-Bro.

We rarely see quarter-hour data for WWE programs. This is one of those times.

Quarters for WWE Raw on Monday in preemption to Syfy.

📊 https://t.co/1SscdBCpr8 pic.twitter.com/V0oeooyDlk

— Brandon Thurston (@BrandonThurston) February 9, 2022

**Tony Khan spoke with Mike Johnson of PWinsider.com to promote tonight’s episode of Dynamite. On the subject of analyzing television numbers and how Dynamite is performing year-over-year, he stated:

Well, I think it’s all context. And I look at the overall rating, but also look at the ratings for the individual segments and the quarter hours and then put it in context year over year. As you said, we’ve had a really strong year so far for Dynamite and Rampage. Rampage recently has done some of the best numbers we’ve had since October and for Dynamite this year, we’re up over 30% so far in 2022 versus 2021. Some of that has been the move to TBS and the great lead-ins, which has worked out really well for us and a lot of it has been that the roster is stronger and there are more great names on the roster than there were at this time last year. So the ratings are much higher than they were when we started 2021. And that’s something I’d like to keep up and a trend we’d like to keep continuing.

Khan also spoke about monitoring the speculation regarding tonight’s surprise and his thought process when it comes to teasing the audience with a surprise:

First of all, I do want this to be something that the fans are happy about. And I think whenever there’s lots of different names being tossed around, it’s a good thing. And there’s a lot of good ideas from the fans and I like to listen to those ideas. Even if you can’t do them all in one night, there might be some stuff you can do in the future. So I have been monitoring that speculation. I like to stay in touch with the fans and follow the feedback. So it’s been really good for us. The last thing I would ever want to do is to disappoint the fans. So I really do believe we’ve got some exciting stuff for them and it should be a great show. And then if there’s more stuff they want to see, hopefully we could do that in the future too. But I know that this Wednesday we’re going to make a lot of people very happy. And I love doing that as a fan. The last thing you want to do is have something built up and then people be disappointed.

**Steve-O posted a video blog documenting the crew of Jackass going to St. Louis for the Royal Rumble. Steve-O said that he didn’t appear on the Rumble broadcast because once he arrived, he tested positive for COVID. This was also why the star missed the premiere of “Jackass Forever” later that week. The crew of Jackass traveled in a private jet with Ronda Rousey, her husband Travis Browne, and their new baby.

**The season premiere of MLW Fusion airs on Thursday night on the promotion’s YouTube channel at 8 p.m. ET with the following matches listed:
*MLW World Heavyweight Title, Falls Count Anywhere: Alex Hammerstone (champion) vs. Pagano
*King Muertes vs. Richard Holliday
*EJ Nduka vs. Ikuro Kwon

**Pro Wrestling NOAH has a card at Korakuen Hall on Thursday that will stream on Wrestle Universe. The main event features new GHC National champion Masakatsu Funaki defending the championship against Masaaki Mochizuki in the main event. Below is the full card:
*GHC National Championship: Masakatsu Funaki (champion) vs. Masaaki Mochizuki
*Naomichi Marufuji vs. Go Shiozaki
*Takashi Sugiura, Kazushi Sakuraba, Daisuke Harada, Masato Tanaka & Hajime Ohara vs. Masa Kitamiya, Yoshiki Inamura, Atsushi Kotoge, Daiki Inaba & Junta Miyawaki
*Eita, Kotaro Suzuki & Super Crazy vs. Kaito Kiyomiya, Yoshinari Ogawa & Yasutaka Yano
*NOSAWA Rongai & YO-HEY vs. HAYATA & Seiki Yoshioka
*Kenoh, Katsuhiko Nakajima & Manabu Soya vs. King Tani, Mohammed Yone & Akitoshi Saito
*Tadasuke vs. Haoh
*Kinya Okada & Kai Fujimura vs. Nioh & Aleja

**NJPW has a house show in Yamagata, which will not be streaming on New Japan World. The show will feature El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Taichi against Master Wato, Tomoaki Honma & Ryusuke Taguchi in the main event. The next show to air on New Japan World is this Friday’s event from the Xebio Arena with Master Wato challenging El Desperado for the IWGP junior heavyweight title.

**Due to the limitations inside of the venue, the Black Wrestlers Matter event on February 19th will not be streamed live. Instead, the promotion has stated that the event will be available on its site immediately afterward. The event takes place from the North County Recreation Complex in St. Louis.

**Game Changer Wrestling has announced their LA Fights and JCW promotions will be holding a joint show as part of The Collective during WrestleMania week. The two brands will have their show on Friday, April 1st at 11 a.m. local time in Texas from Fair Park and streaming on FITE TV.

**Debra “Madusa” Miceli celebrates a birthday today. ECW Press will be releasing her autobiography in the spring of 2023, which is being co-authored by historian Greg Oliver.

**Paradigm Sports issued a release on Wednesday noting that UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya has re-signed with the promoting and adding that the deal is “one of the most lucrative multi-fight deals in company history.” Adesanya began fighting for the UFC in 2018 and became the 185-pound champion in October 2019. He defends the title this Saturday at UFC 271 against former champ Robert Whittaker at the Toyota Center in Houston.

**UFC middleweight contender Derek Brunson spoke at today’s UFC 271 media day and said regardless of outcomes, he only plans to fight twice more after Saturday’s bout with Jared Cannonier.

**The UFC has put out Episode 2 and Episode 3 of the UFC Embedded series for this Saturday’s card in Houston.

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