POLLOCK'S NEWS UPDATE: Lesnar-Velasquez, Fury-Strowman confirmed

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/10/11/pollocks-news-update-lesnar-velasquez-fury-strowman-confirmed/


**Wai Ting and I are back tonight with Rewind-A-SmackDown reviewing the first night of the WWE Draft and going through all the news from today. This show will be available to all members of the POST Wrestling Café.

**On Saturday, we have a new POST Puroresu out with WH Park and I previewing the King of Pro Wrestling card, going through the Japanese candidates on the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame ballot, a look at the Stardom and All Japan cards coming up, NOAH at Sumo Hall, and the Super Jr. Tag League minus Dragon Lee.

**On Sunday, we will have our 44-minute interview with David Lagana chatting the launch of NWA Power and the reaction to the premiere.




**On Friday afternoon, WWE held a press conference to confirm the involvement of Cain Velasquez and Tyson Fury at the Crown Jewel event in Saudi Arabia later this month.

Paul Levesque confirmed the two matches would take place with Brock Lesnar taking on Cain Velasquez and Braun Strowman facing lineal boxing heavyweight champion Tyson Fury.

Regarding Lesnar and Velasquez, it was never stated outright if the WWE title would be defended by Lesnar.

ESPN’s Marc Raimondi reported on Friday that the former UFC heavyweight champion has signed a multi-year deal with WWE and notified the UFC of his retirement from fighting.

During the live stream, no questions were taken from the media in attendance. Although, there were media scrums after they ended the live stream portion.

**The WWE Draft kicks off tonight on Friday Night SmackDown from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The show will kick off with Seth Rollins (representing Raw) taking on Roman Reigns (representing SmackDown) and the winner’s brand receives the first pick. They have also announced a rematch from the pay-per-view with Charlotte Flair taking on Bayley tonight for the SmackDown women’s title.

Raw will draft 41 performers and SmackDown will draft 30. For every two picks that SmackDown makes, Raw will get three, due to the length of the shows. Those that are not drafted will be considered free agents in storyline and added to either side.

**As of Thursday afternoon, the idea was that Stephanie McMahon would be the one announcing the picks on behalf of the two brands while the celebrities will be used in segments to share their analysis and reactions. Many, if not all, of the celebrity segments, have been taped in advance.

**The talent has been split into two pools with one group eligible to be drafted tonight and the other pool available on Monday’s episode of Raw.

Eligible on SmackDown tonight:
*Becky Lynch – meaning that champions are eligible
*Roman Reigns
*The O.C. (U.S. champion A.J. Styles, Luke Gallows, and Karl Anderson) – they can be drafted as a group or individually. Since there is a number restriction, there is a storyline strategy to choose one member as opposed to the group
*The Fiend Bray Wyatt
*Drew McIntyre
*Randy Orton
*Sasha Banks
*Braun Strowman
*Bobby Lashley
*Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross
*Lacey Evans
*The Viking Raiders
*The Revival, SmackDown tag champions
*Heavy Machinery
*The Street Profits – which seems to signal their departure from NXT
*Lucha House Party (Kalisto, Gran Metalik & Lince Dorado)
*Kevin Owens
*Humberto Carrillo
*Akira Tozawa
*Sin Cara
*Eric Young
*Chad Gable
*Heath Slater
*Drew Gulak
*The B-Team, Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel

**The following is the pool of talent that can be drafted during Monday’s episode of Raw from Denver, Colorado:
*Universal champion Seth Rollins
*WWE champion Brock Lesnar
*SmackDown women’s champion Charlotte Flair
*Intercontinental champion Shinsuke Nakamura (he is listed with Sami Zayn)
*Raw tag champions Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler
*Women’s tag champions Asuka & Kairi Sane
*Titus O’Neil
*New Day (Kofi Kingston, Big E. & Xavier Woods)
*Daniel Bryan
*Luke Harper
*Erick Rowan – Rowan & Harper are not listed as a package
*The Miz
*King Corbin
*Samoa Joe
*Cedric Alexander
*Rey Mysterio
*Apollo Crews
*Liv Morgan
*Jinder Mahal
*Buddy Murphy
*Mojo Rawley
*No Way Jose
*Dana Brooke
*Shelton Benjamin
*Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder
*The IIconics
*Sarah Logan
*Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville
*Drake Maverick

**I was specifically told that Ruby Riott and Ember Moon were not listed due to their injuries. The Ruby Riott injury is well-documented and has been out for several months. We are told that the Moon injury is a recent one and she last wrestled on September 23rd.

**In Canada, AEW did approximately 150,000 viewers on TSN 2 for their second episode. The average is up from last week’s debut of 109,000. Last week had the disadvantage of minimal promotion after the deal was officially announced by TSN 24-hours before the debut. Due to how late it was finalized, some of the television guides didn’t even list AEW, so new viewers wouldn’t have known it was on last week.

**Pat Laprade of TVA Sports reported that the September 30th episode of Raw on Sportsnet 360 did 256,000 viewers and the October 4th episode of Friday Night SmackDown averaged 326,000 on the same network. It should be noted that SmackDown is simulcast in Canada on the local Fox affiliate in certain markets.

**205 Live is scheduled tonight immediately following Friday Night SmackDown on the WWE Network. Last week, they decided late in the day to forego producing a new episode despite announcing matches earlier in the day. On the website, the company is listing the following matches for tonight’s episode at 10 pm eastern:
*Akira Tozawa vs. Brian Kendrick
*Drew Gulak & Tony Nese vs. Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch

**Here are the matches for tonight’s episode of Impact Wrestling at 10 pm eastern for the penultimate episode before Bound for Glory next weekend:
*Tessa Blanchard & Daga vs. Jake Crist & Madman Fulton
*Moose vs. Stephan Bonnar
*Taya Valkyrie vs. Jessicka Havok for the Knockout’s title
*Eddie Edwards vs. Ace Austin in an X division title qualifying match

**Former wrestler Nick Mondo is working with All Elite Wrestling and is listed as a director. Mondo got into film after his pro wrestling career ended and directed the spots involving Jon Moxley escaping prison earlier this year that were released after Moxley left WWE.

**Fight Network in Canada will be moving Impact Wrestling to Tuesdays at 8 pm eastern to coincide with the move to AXS TV on Tuesday, October 29th. The move will also include Fight Network’s international feeds, including in Greece and Portugal. Impact will continue to air on Game TV in Canada each Saturday at 7 pm eastern, which is also a property of Anthem Sports and Entertainment.

**Next Wednesday’s AEW title match between Chris Jericho and Darby Allin will be a Street Fight and plays to the strengths of Allin without the need to work those limitations. This is an intriguing match on a lot of levels because Allin has been an early breakout star and was positioned strongly this week. Jericho is clearly on a mission to help get these younger performers over and this is a major match in Allin’s career, easily the biggest to date. Next week’s show in Philadelphia also features Riho vs. Dr. Britt Baker for the AEW women’s title and SCU vs. The Best Friends in the tag title tournament.

**MLW has added a middleweight title match with Teddy Hart defending against Austin Aries for their Saturday Night SuperFight pay-per-view on November 2nd from Cicero Stadium. The card is headlined by Jacob Fatu vs. LA Park for the MLW heavyweight title along with Alex Hammerstone vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr. for the National title, and Tom Lawlor vs. Timothy Thatcher.

**The WWE stock rose 3.5% on Friday and closed at $70.07.

**Ricochet (Trevor Mann) turns 31 today.

**The release date of “Rabid” featuring CM Punk and directed by the Soska Sisters will be Friday, December 13th. The movie was shot in Canada and they have released the latest trailer for the film:


**AEW and NXT were both down by notable figures this week coming off the big start to their head-to-head programming last week.

AEW averaged 1,018,000 viewers on TNT this week with 122,000 watching the simulcast on TruTV for a total of 1,179,000 viewers. The average was down 19% from last week’s premiere.

NXT averaged 790,000 viewers on the USA Network, which was down 11% from last week’s average of 891,000. Given how loaded last week’s NXT show was, I was expecting a bigger drop this week and 11% was a modest drop considering the competition both shows had from Major League Baseball.

TBS ran back-to-back games with the St. Louis vs. Atlanta game doing 3,325,000 viewers followed by Washington vs. Los Angeles at 8:30 pm doing 5,856,000.

When breaking down the demographics, virtually all categories were down for both shows. (NOTE: These demographics do not include the TruTV viewership and only reflect what AEW did on TNT).

For people 18-49, AEW did a 0.46 to NXT’s 0.22, so a commanding win for AEW, although AEW was down 32% and NXT down 31% in the important demo.

Here are the full breakdowns:

AEW: 0.46 (-32%) – 61% of this week’s Raw episode in this demo
NXT: 0.22 (-31%)

AEW: 0.26 (-41%) – 49% of Raw
NXT: 0.16 (-30%)

AEW: 0.66 (-28%) – 69% of Raw
NXT: 0.29 (-29%)

AEW: 0.33 (-41%) – 61% of Raw
NXT: 0.15 (-35%)

AEW: 0.17 (-43%) – 51.5% of Raw
NXT: 0.11 (-35%)

AEW: 0.39 (-36%) – 65% of Raw
NXT: 0.14 (-33%)

AEW: 0.52 (30%) – 56.5% of Raw
NXT: 0.27 (-25%)

AEW: 0.30 (-12%) – 28.5% of Raw
NXT: 0.40 (+11%)

The only demographic that was up this week was NXT’s over 50 audience that saw an increase of 11%. It was the only demo that NXT beat AEW in and was the second straight week they won in that category. But, the over 50 audience isn’t the one these two sides are fighting over.

The second MLB game did huge numbers among M18-49, P25-54 and 50+. We won’t know how much that affects the wrestling audience until we see a week without baseball competition.


**After concerns this week that the UFC main event could be in jeopardy this Saturday, those concerns were eliminated Friday. Earlier in the week, it was reported that Joanna Jedrzejczyk has contacted the UFC and would be unable to make the strawweight limit of 116 pounds for her main event against Michelle Waterson this weekend in Tampa, Florida. Options were presented to Waterson including a catchweight fight, fighting Mackenzie Dern or Amanda Ribas that are on the Tampa card, or fighting Jessica Andrade at UFC 244 on November 2nd. Jedrzejczyk went through with the weight cut despite the concerns and came in at 115.5 pounds, so the main event is set for Saturday night.

Here is the full card for Saturday’s Fight Night card at the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida:

MAIN CARD (8 pm eastern on ESPN+, TSN 5 in Canada)
*Michelle Waterson (115) vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk (115.5)
*Kron Gracie (145.5) vs. Cub Swanson (146)
*Niko Price (170) vs. James Vick (170.5)
*Mackenzie Dern (115) vs. Amanda Ribas (115)
*Luis Pena (154.5) vs. Matt Frevola (154)
*Eryk Anders (186) vs. Gerald Meerschaert (184.5)

PRELIMINARY CARD (5 pm eastern on ESPN+)
*Ryan Spann (205) vs. Devin Clark (205.5)
*Mike Davis (155.5) vs. Thomas Gifford (155)
*Max Griffin (169.5) vs. Alex Morono (170)
*Tim Elliott (125.5) vs. Deiveson Figueiredo (125.5)
*Marlon Vera (135) vs. Andre Ewell (135)
*Hector Aldana (170) vs. Miguel Baeza (170)
*Marvin Vettori (185) vs. Andrew Sanchez (184)
*J.J. Aldrich (125) vs. Lauren Mueller (125.5)

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Regarding the Jericho VS Allin Streetfight, I really hope that they announce that The Inner Circle and The Elite are barred from ringside for this one.

It’ll end up as a clusterfuck otherwise