POLLOCK'S NEWS UPDATE: Impact Wrestling launches on AXS TV

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/10/29/pollocks-news-update-impact-wrestling-launches-on-axs-tv/


**This week’s edition of Rewind-A-Raw is available on the site and the usual places. Wai and I reviewed Raw from St. Louis and discuss the Jordan Myles story from this past weekend, SmackDown’s viewership on FS 1, and the changes WWE has made for next year’s WrestleMania weekend. Plus, your feedback and questions. You can listen to this show by searching for POST Wrestling on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, Google Play, and wherever you listen to podcasts.

**Andrew Thompson spoke with Myron Reed about this Saturday’s MLW pay-per-view at Cicero Stadium, his work with AAW, wrestling TJP, and teaming with Jordan Oliver and Kotto Brazil.

**Wai Ting and I will be back late tonight with our monthly ASK-A-WAI mailbag show. This will be a two-hour show going through a massive amount of questions from members of the POST Wrestling Cafe.

**On Wednesday night, we will have Rewind-A-Dynamite and upNXT with Braden Herrington & Davie Portman coming out discussing both shows.




**Impact Wrestling launches into its latest era tonight with the debut of its flagship program on AXS TV at 8 pm eastern. The tapings took place this past weekend in Windsor, Ontario with tonight’s debut featuring a rematch of the main event from Bound for Glory between Brian Cage and Sami Callihan. Much has been read and stated about Impact, but they are on stable ground, which sounded improbable over the past five years. AXS TV is not Spike (now Paramount Network) and it is a step above the Pursuit Channel by a good margin. As I’ve said, the value of Impact to Anthem Sport is content they own and can distribute worldwide and it’s the hidden value beyond just looking at the wrestling operations as profitable or not.

Gaining traction in an expanding market of wrestling content is a challenge. The idea of presenting professional wrestling is not enough to grip a sizable audience to tune in each week. You must differentiate yourself in such a way that fans will dedicate one to two hours per week to your product. WWE will have its audience every week and even they are struggling to get its audience to watch additional hours on Wednesday night. AEW has come out of the gate strong and found its core, and the groups like New Japan, Ring of Honor, MLW, and the NWA are seeking an opening among the North American fanbase.

New Japan is a unique sports-based product that has an ardent fanbase that will go out of their way to pay to see the product live once per year, doing several tours a year in the U.S. is going to be a tall order in 2020 considering their key American draws have left.

For ROH, 2019 has seen the company hit an unimaginable peak at Madison Square Garden followed by a tremendous drop in popularity and has struggled as the year closes out. There isn’t a quick-fix solution to ROH other than they have stable ownership they provide content for and in that sense, are insulated like Impact is with Anthem’s support.

MLW sets out with its first pay-per-view venture this Saturday and has produced consistently solid television, albeit with a small broadcaster in the space with beIN Sports. MLW’s strength has been tremendous scouting of undiscovered talent with the realization they must be two steps ahead of the big players with talent discovery and recruitment. They have also targeted a Hispanic audience and can reach those directly on beIN Sports Espanol. No one anticipates this Saturday’s pay-per-view to do a blockbuster number and it’s on a tough night of competition for the audience they have made an aggressive pitch towards. The combination of Canelo Alvarez fighting Sergei Kovalev and Nate Diaz vs. Jorge Masvidal makes this Saturday competitive for people’s attention and dollars.

Finally, the NWA is the wild card no one anticipated becoming a factor in their viewing habits as recently as several months back. It’s a small-time production that hooks you through nostalgia and exposed a massive hole in modern wrestling – the lack of quality promos. They have found their designated talkers and played to that strength asking for minimal commitment with shows ranging from 48-60 minutes per week and understanding their position in the market.

With Impact and ROH tied to large media companies, MLW and the NWA would represent the next tier of available pro wrestling if there are players out there that want in. For MLW to grow to the next level, you need a larger platform than beIN Sports and the NWA has made it clear that this format cannot last forever.

The larger factors affecting wrestling’s popularity to the television world can be viewed in several lights. On SmackDown, it’s been a diminishing audience each week and cratered this past Friday for the one-week switch to FS 1. The jury is out on Friday Night SmackDown, but we should have a better sense in several weeks with baseball competition out of the way and seeing where SmackDown settles on Fox.

Conversely, AEW has come out of the gate with solid numbers in their key demos and while it’s likely taken a percentage of the audience that may be watching NXT otherwise, it does lead credence that they have found an audience of their own. In many respects, AEW’s performance represents the greatest chance of the trickle-down effect. WWE doing well on Mondays and Fridays, even with NXT on Wednesdays, is confirmation that the industry leader is just that. For AEW to perform well would open skeptic’s eyes that wrestling fans will support a non-WWE vehicle in large enough numbers while also coming at a fraction of the cost. If that trend is realized and AEW continues their performance, in theory, a television or streaming outlet could look at what other available wrestling is out there and see potential in an MLW or NWA.

**Here are the matches for tonight’s episode of Impact Wrestling at 8 pm eastern on AXS TV, Twitch, and Fight Network in Canada:
*Brian Cage vs. Sami Callihan in a steel cage match for the Impact title
*Naomichi Marufuji vs. Josh Alexander
*Ace Austin vs. Eddie Edwards
*Plus, appearances by Rob Van Dam and Ken Shamrock

**AXS TV will air a replay of Impact tonight at 11 pm eastern and therefore, viewers on the west coast can watch the show in prime time.

**A new episode of NWA Power airs tonight at 6:05 pm eastern on their YouTube and Facebook pages. One of the matches on the show will be Marti Bell taking on Ashley Vox.

**A new episode of Total Diva airs at 10 pm eastern tonight on E!

**Below are the matches for tonight’s episode of AEW Dark at 7 pm eastern from the last week’s tapings in Pittsburgh at the Peterson Events Center:
*Darby Allin vs. Jack Evans vs. Jimmy Havoc in a Falls Count Anywhere match
*Allie vs. Emi Sakura vs. Sadie Gibbs vs. Penelope Ford
*Dustin Rhodes & Sonny Kiss vs. Peter Avalon & QT Marshall

**Jordan Myles issued another statement on Tuesday, this time through Instagram regarding the comments he made over the past several days:

My tweets yesterday were completely disrespectful and were unprofessional.

I have offend a ton of people and used anger to fuel me. With that being said.. I’d like to take this time to state an apologize for not giving a shit about what others think of me. The anger I have inside of me has been built up for years now. Call me what you want, but you’ll never EVER be able to call me fake. I’ve been lied too, used, and often mistreated by others who I viewed as associates. I’ve tipped toe around, kept quiet, even took some Ls when necessary. Emotionally charged up due to the shirt which triggered past emotions. I’m never going to be sorry for being me nor will I take back my words. I’m the damn professional wrestler in the WORLD & universe today. My ribs are touching and I’m tired of waiting. Time to snatch plates from those that have been eating far too long and always gets seconds while guys like myself have to eat crumbs from the floor like an unwanted child. For 4 years .. I gave my all to a promotion only to find out that you could only reach so high just as long as you didn’t surpass certain “people”.. I never begged for anything, I never kissed no ass, nor did rub elbows with the right ppl to get ahead. I HUSTTLED, WORKED HARD. I didn’t call Hunter everyday to get booked in New Japan (s/o to NJPW) I earned it. I’ve always wanted to be “The Guy” and of no one will allow me to be in that spot.. I shall blaze my own trail to that spot rather it be by the approval of others or not. Today i shall continue to go the distance. Today I shall Lee moving forward. Today I shall rise up from my past ashes like a Dark Phoenix and promote change in this industry. Remember these words I AM THE BEST IN THE WORLD! AND NO MAN OR WOMAN WILL STOP ME FROM BEING HONEST. GO THE DISTANCE

**On Instagram Live, Dwayne Johnson appeared with UFC president Dana White and stated he would be attending the UFC 245 press conference this Friday in New York City to make an announcement. Johnson will be in attendance at UFC 244 on Saturday to present the BMF championship to the winner of the main event between Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal.

**The USA Network is doing an experiment on Wednesday by replaying a one-hour version of last week’s NXT at 7 pm eastern. The edited version of the show will lead into the new episode at 8 pm from Full Sail University.

**TNT is not scheduled to air a replay of AEW Dynamite tomorrow night at 10 pm eastern. For the first three weeks, they ran a replay immediately after the live broadcast but didn’t air one last week. TNT will be running a one-hour version of Dynamite on Saturday morning at 9 am.

**AEW has added a stipulation for the Chris Jericho vs. Cody match at Full Gear on Saturday, November 9th. To ensure there is a winner and a loser, they will have three judges at ringside in the event the match goes to the 60-minute time limit. They have not announced who the judges will be.

This is a concept used in the past, including at the first Clash of the Champions event in March 1988 when Ric Flair defended the NWA title against Sting with Gary Juster, Sandy Scott, Penthouse model Patty Mullen, Jason Hervey, and Ken Osmond introduced as judges at ringside. Judges were also utilized at WrestleWar ’89 with Lou Thesz, Terry Funk, and Pat O’Connor at ringside for Ricky Steamboat’s title defense against Ric Flair in Nashville, Tennessee. The post-match involving Flair and Funk was one of the most memorable angles of its time when Funk challenged Flair for a title match and attacked Flair with a piledriver through a table.

**The 20-man battle royal at Crown Jewel will take place on the kickoff portion this Thursday at Noon eastern. The winner of the match will challenge AJ Styles for the United States title later in the show with the following names listed for the battle royal: Sunil Singh, Mojo Rawley, Erick Rowan, R-Truth, Sin Cara, Brian Kendrick, Titus O’Neil, Tony Nese, Akira Tozawa, Shelton Benjamin, No Way Jose, Humberto Carrillo, Heath Slater, Cedric Alexander, Luke Harper, Eric Young, Drake Maverick, Andrade, Buddy Murphy, and Apollo Crews.

**There will be a press event involving WWE talent in Saudi Arabia that will be streaming live early Wednesday morning at 4 am eastern. The event will stream live on the WWE Network and WWE’s YouTube and Facebook channels.

**WWE will launch the first podcast on its new network on Wednesday with ‘After the Bell’ hosted by Corey Graves. The first show will feature interviews with Paul Levesque, Seth Rollins, Ric Flair, and Bayley as guests. The show is being promoted as one that ‘won’t pull any punches’ as Dio Maddin stated on Raw and they are choosing the optimal week to define what content the show will cover. The biggest story of the week involves Jordan Myles and his criticism of the t-shirt design with Levesque joining the show as a guest. Plus, you have the Crown Jewel event in Saudi Arabia and in speaking with SI.com you got a sense of Graves opinion on the matter:

It’s a long, grueling trip over there, but most of the talent like it because it’s a pretty good pay day. To me, it’s super exciting to have these totally unusual attractions like Cain Velasquez-Brock Strowman and Tyson Fury-Braun Strowman. If you take any sort of political feeling out of the equation, aren’t you, as a fan of WWE, aren’t you curious and excited to watch these attractions? It is what it is. This is not about politics for the talent, it’s about doing what we do best on the planet all over the planet. Everyone that works for any company has things they love and things they don’t love, but what we’re all focused on is having to fly back to SmackDown in Buffalo the next day.

**Regarding the closing angle on Raw involving Rusev, Lana, and Bobby Lashley, the segment has over 3.2 million views on WWE’s YouTube channel. It blew away everything else from the show with the second most-watched video being highlights of the Seth Rollins vs. Erick Rowan falls count anywhere match with 1.1 million views, as of this afternoon.

**The WWE stock closed at $68.16 on Tuesday.

**SI.com reported that former WWE writer and producer Chris DeJoseph has joined MLW as a co-executive producer. DeJoseph had last worked in professional wrestling as one of the main producers for Lucha Underground on the El Rey Network and was also a senior producer on the ‘Big Brother’ series on CBS. Earlier this month, it was reported that Alex Greenfield had been let go by MLW and it’s believed that DeJoseph will be handling several of Greenfield’s previous duties while overseeing other aspects of MLW’s production as they hope to expand.

**Ring of Honor has added a match between Ultimo Guerrero and Jonathan Gresham to the ‘Unauthorized’ card this Sunday in Columbus, Ohio.

**ROH has also announced that their two live events for Texas next week have been moved to June 2020. The promotion was set to run Gilley’s in Dallas on November 9th and the Aztec Theatre in San Antonio on November 10th. They have moved the shows to June 5th and 6th, respectively. The company is stating it was due to a ‘operational conflict as the primary reason.’ In lieu of the shows, the company is sending Jay Lethal, Matt Taven, Dalton Castle, and Shane Taylor for meet-and-greet sessions on November 9th and 10th at the locations, which are free for those that bought tickets to the shows.

**Ken Shamrock will be appearing at the Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens in New York next month. Shamrock will visit on Wednesday, November 5th at 5 pm ahead of Impact Wrestling’s next set of television tapings at the Melrose Ballroom on November 7-8.

**Evan Bourne will face Leon Ruff at EVOLVE 139 on November 9th in Queens, New York and the take on AR Fox the next night at EVOLVE 140 in Brooklyn.

**MLW has added a match between Zeda Zhang and a mystery woman billed as ‘Spider Lady’ for their Blood & Thunder television tapings on Saturday, November 9th at the Gilt Nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

**Alfred Konuwa recently spoke to members of the Impact Wrestling roster, including Taya Valkyrie. In the story, he asked Valkyrie about the recent report that her husband John Hennigan is set to return to WWE:

I mean, we don’t really talk We’re together all the time and I’ve never—in the almost four years that we’ve been together—there’s never been an argument or problem or like a lack of finding time for each other.

Even though we’ve worked together a lot of that time, part of that time—when we first started for example—I was living in Mexico. We were traveling back and forth and we made it work and no matter where he goes on his next step of his journey and his professional wrestling career, it’s going to be okay because we love each other, support each other and I know he’s got my back, I’ve got his back and it’s just part of life.

**WWE will be hosting meet-and-greet sessions over Survivor Series weekend in Chicago at the Hyatt Rosemont. There will be platinum packages available for $250 and limited to 25 people and regular meet-and-greet tickets for $125. On Saturday, November 23rd Sting will appear at 9 am New Day at 12 pm, The OC at 3 pm, and Bayley & Sasha Banks at 6 pm. On Sunday, November 24th, the NXT champion and North American champion (whoever has the titles the day after TakeOver) will appear at 8 am, and Seth Rollins & Becky Lynch will appear at 11 am.

**Sony has announced they are shutting down the Playstation Vue platform in January after failing to secure a buyer for the property. Last summer, MLW had announced a deal for Playstation Vue to carry their Fusion program. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the service had approximately 800,000 subscribers as of April 2019 but was competing with the likes of Hulu, YouTube TV, Sling TV, and other alternatives for cord-cutters. Below is a portion of Sony’s statement from Tuesday:

Today we are announcing that we will shut down the PlayStation Vue service on January 30, 2020. Unfortunately, the highly competitive Pay TV industry, with expensive content and network deals, has been slower to change than we expected. Because of this, we have decided to remain focused on our core gaming business.

**DEFY Wrestling is working with PCW Ultra and Progress Wrestling for two straight nights of events. They will present ‘Wrestle Summit’ on Saturday, November 30th and Sunday, December 1st at Washington Hall in Seattle. They are advertising Meiko Satomura, SCHAFF, El Phantasmo, Jake Atlas, Artemis Spencer, Alex Hammerstone, and Douglas James for the two events. DEFY will also hold a card on January 3rd featuring Matt Sydal at the same venue.

**For Wednesday night, here are the matches and segments that have been promoted for AEW Dynamite and NXT:

AEW Dynamite from Charleston, West Virginia
*Frankie Kazarian & Scorpio Sky vs. Pentagon Jr. & Rey Fenix in the finals of the tag title tournament – Rock ‘N’ Roll Express to present the titles to the winners
*Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks vs. Angelico, Jack Evans & Kip Sabian
*Hangman Page vs. Sammy Guevara

NXT from Full Sail University:
*Kabuki Warriors vs. Dakota Kai & Tegan Nox for the WWE women’s tag titles
*Tyler Bate vs. Cameron Grimes
*Io Shirai vs. Candice LeRae – a rematch of their excellent match from TakeOver in August
*Finn Balor appears to discuss his turn last week


**Here is the first two episodes of UFC Embedded going into UFC 244 this Saturday night:


**Dwayne Johnson joins Dana White on Instagram Live and will attend the UFC 245 press conference this Friday:

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RASD 10/25/19: Doom for Dominick, Jake Hager’s fight

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Café Hangout – Oct. 24, 2019
John Pollock and Wai Ting discuss this week’s news including reactions to the glitch-filled release of WWE 2K20, AEW vs. NXT Week 4 ratings, Conor McGregor’s plans to fight in January, a report on Randy Couture, thoughts on this week’s NXT & NWA Power episodes, and our thoughts on “Joker”.
John Pollock and Wai Ting review this week’s AEW Dynamite on TNT featuring Jon Moxley vs. PAC and a big angle with Cody and Chris Jericho. Plus, we choose a new theme song for Rewind-A-Dynamite.
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Braden Herrington and Davie Portman are back to review this week’s WWE NXT featuring Keith Lee vs. Dominik Dijakovic vs. Roderick Strong for the North American Championship, Matt Riddle vs. Cameron Grimes, Rhea Ripley vs. Bianca Belair and a HUGE angle to close the show!

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