Originally published at POLLOCK'S NEWS UPDATE: Nick Khan on future of TV rights, WWE
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**Rewind-A-Dynamite from Wednesday is available on the site with a review of AEW Dynamite from Houston, the build-up for Rampage on Friday, WWE Raw & NXT viewership figures, Shingo Takagi & BUSHI test positive for COVID-19, the return of Kota Ibushi next month, and your feedback to Dynamite.
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**I want to wish Andrew Thompson a Happy Birthday today.
Today: MCU L8R with Wai Ting & WH Park – Ep. 2 of “What…If?” (Patreon)
Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown/The First Dance (11:15 p.m. ET for all Patrons)
Saturday: SummerSlam POST Show with John, Kate from MTL & Nate Milton (Live for Double Double+ Patrons)
Sunday: NXT TakeOver POST Show with Braden & Davie
**Nick Khan was a guest on Recode Media with Peter Kafka to promote SummerSlam in Las Vegas. He explained that Las Vegas is a “Friday and Saturday night city” and hence why they opted to move the pay-per-view to Saturday versus the traditional Sunday night. Khan said even when SmackDown runs in the city, it’s a tough time when the show begins at 5 p.m. pacific, so Saturday night was optimal, and the ticket sales backed up their decision.
Khan was asked about the escalation of television rights fees especially in the wake of the pandemic and gave the following response:
What you’re seeing a little bit of, or what we may see a little bit of, is that the relative middle class of sports rights, we’re speaking in relative terms, that may get squeezed a little bit. So, I’m curious to see what happens with Major League Soccer’s deal. You know, the NFL (deals) came during the pandemic and kicked ass in terms of what of they were able to get, that’s no surprise. The NBA is coming up in a couple of years even with ratings a touch down, we think the NBA is going to be in great shape. With the disclosure that I was part of the process on the SEC, they got big numbers for their package, which they deserve all that and more. I’m curious to see what happens with the Big 12 especially with Oklahoma and Texas going to the SEC, curious to see what happens with the Pac-12, do those fall into the middle bucket or do they stay in the top?
I think you’ve seen it in prime-time scripted television if you will. When you and I were kids and Archie Bunker did a ’15’ rating and made a significant amount of money at the time for Norman Lear and the studio and everybody behind it. Now, you’re seeing shows in prime time that do a ‘1’ in the demo where significant dollars are paid for that. So, 1/15th and again, the ‘15’ was the overall audience, even less than 1/15th of what the audience was thirty years ago, is still commanding top dollar. So, I’m not sure you’ve seen a mechanism come across for advertisers yet that is as effective as television and put the streaming component in there on the ad-supported tiers, it feels like it’s going to be around at a high level for a long time.
Host Peter Kafka ended the chat by asking if WWE would be a standalone company one year from now:
We’re open for business on anything and everything and even some of the business plans we’ve announced recently I think are different or unique to what the company has traditionally done. So, we’re open for business, if someone calls, we’ll listen but we’re not active, we’re not out in the marketplace trying to change that structure.
**Brody King spoke with Wrestling Inc. and confirmed he tested positive for COVID-19 recently. King was scheduled for the NJPW Resurgence event this past weekend in the ten-man tag but was replaced by Adrian Quest. King shared his experience with host Nick Hausman:
I just had a really bad head cold, and I feel like you just can’t assume anything anymore. You can’t be like, ‘Oh, it must be allergies or a cold. I went and got tested, and I tested positive and I quarantined in my basement for a week. Thankfully, my children and my wife have continued to test negative. When you see that positive outcome, it’s not a fun feeling. I just hope that being vaccinated would help my case, and I feel like it did. I know that a lot of other people have had severely worse situations. Personally, I’ve had a friend that passed away a few weeks ago from COVID. I’m still here. Recently, on Sunday, I tested negative, so I guess we’re out of the worst of it.
**Thea Trinidad a.k.a. Zelina Vega will be part of a ceremony on September 11th to honor those who lost their lives in 2001 including Trinidad’s father, Michael Angel Trinidad.
**Here is what IMPACT Wrestling has announced for tonight’s episode at 8 p.m. ET on AXS TV:
*Christian Cage appears in the IMPACT Zone
*Melina makes her debut
*Moose & Ace Austin vs. Chris Sabin & Sami Callihan
*Doc Gallows vs. Joe Doering
*Mahabali Shera vs. Matt Cardona
*Locker Room Talk with Madison Rayne & guest Tenille Dashwood
*Tasha Steelz vs. Havok on ‘Before the Impact’ at 7 p.m.
**AEW is running a bonus episode of Elevation tonight at 7 pm ET on YouTube headlined by Matt Sydal vs. Daniel Garcia.
**WWE and the Enfield Town Football Club are partnering for a promotion throughout the 2021-22 season:
Enfield Town Football Club, known to supporters of The Pitching In Isthmian Football League Premier Division as ‘The Towners’, will officially don the NXT UK® crest on their matchday shirts, starting with their first league home fixture against Brightlingsea Regent on Saturday, August 21, 2021. Enfield Town Football Club’s radical reputation within the football landscape was forged when in 2001 they became the first supporter-owned football club in the country – a move then widely adopted across the UK.
**Nielsen has released its monthly gauge of broadcast, cable, and streaming consumption. For the month of July, cable led the way with 38 percent of consumption (40 percent in June), broadcast networks at 24 percent (23 percent in June), streaming was listed at 28 percent (up from 27 percent), and ‘Other’ at 10 percent. In Neilsen’s streaming breakdown, it was led by ‘Other streaming’ at 8 percent, Netflix at 7 percent, YouTube at 6 percent, Hulu at 3 percent, Amazon Prime Video at 2 percent, and Disney+ at 2 percent.
**WWE and Major League Baseball has entered into a multi-year partnership for MLB-inspired replica championships and accessories with specific ones for each MLB team. The two will be putting out a line of merchandise beginning next year. The deal includes specific replica titles that will be released in conjunction with the World Series, All-Star Game, and Home Run Derby as well custom side plates and Lucha Libre masks.
**Sam Roberts interviewed CM Punk and Luke Hawx on working together for ‘Heels’, which premiered this past week on Starz.
**Roman Reigns spoke with Sportico on the traits necessary to become a top talent in WWE.
**Kiera Hogan is the final entrant in the NWA Women’s Invitational Cup at the EmPowerrr pay-per-view on Saturday, August 28th in St. Louis. Hogan joins Lady Frost, Tootie Lynn, Jamie Senegal, Chelsea Green, Debbie Malenko, Bianca Carelli, Jennacide, Masha Slamovich, and Thunder Kitty. It’s a ten-person gauntlet match with a new entrant joining the match every two minutes. The winner will challenge for the NWA Women’s Championship the following night at the NWA 73 event.
**NJPW has announced the results of the Twitter poll for the KOPW 2021 match between Toru Yano and Chase Owens at Wrestle Grand Slam. On September 4th, the two will have an ‘I Quit Match’ for the KOPW 2021 crown. In their release, NJPW stated there were 17,598 votes. The event will be the first of two consecutive shows at the MetLife Dome that weekend. The first night will also feature Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kota Ibushi for the IWGP United States Championship and Kazuchika Okada vs. Jeff Cobb.
**The WWE stock closed at $47.25 on Thursday.
**GCW has added Chris Dickinson vs. Jacob Fatu for its card in Los Angeles on Friday, September 17th at the Ukrainian Culture Center.
**There will be several Event Cinemas in New Zealand that will be carrying SummerSlam this weekend with WWE listing locations of Albany, Manukau, Palmerston North, Queen St., and Tauranga Crossing.
**Going into the weekend, here is a look at the major shows over the next several days:
*Friday Night SmackDown in Phoenix, Arizona
*AEW Rampage ‘The First Dance’ at The United Center in Chicago
*IMPACT Wrestling ‘Emergence’ on IMPACT Plus
*Bellator 265 on Showtime
*ROH Glory by Honor – Night 1 at 2300 Arena in Philadelphia
*GCW ‘Off the Rails’ in Las Vegas on Fite TV
*WWE SummerSlam at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas
*ROH Glory by Honor – Night 2 at 2300 Arena in Philadelphia
*UFC Fight Night: Kelvin Gastelum vs. Jared Cannonier at the UFC Apex
*NXT TakeOver 36 at the Capitol Wrestling Center
**Former fighter and podcast host Brendan Schaub shared details of a heroic act last week, saving multiple children after a frightening car crash on the freeway that left one woman dead. Schaub recounted the story on his podcast where he was driving with his wife on the freeway and spotted the scene of the accident with a child on the roof yelling for assistance. There were other children inside the wreckage. Schaub got to the vehicle, broke a window, and rescued the children with the assistance of another man at the scene. The passenger was identified as Aimee Garcia and was the mother of the children. It has been reported that the driver of the vehicle was Cesar Iban Torres, who drove on the wrong way of the highway with the intention of killing everyone in the vehicle and is facing numerous charges.
**The PFL playoffs continue tonight with a card from Seminole, Florida headlined by Kayla Harrison competing against Genah Fabian in the semi-finals of the women’s lightweight division. Due to Harrison, the fight is airing on ESPN as the promotion’s top star. The winner of the main event will fight either Taylor Guardado or Mariana Morais, who will also fight on the main card in the other semi-final along with the men’s heavyweight semi-finals. Below is the full card for tonight with the prelims beginning at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN+.
MAIN CARD (9 p.m. ET on ESPN, ESPN+, TSN 2 in Canada)
*Women’s Lightweight Semi-Final: Kayla Harrison vs. Genah Fabian
*Heavyweight Semi-Final: Bruno Cappelozza vs. Jamelle Jones
*Women’s Lightweight Semi-Final: Taylor Guardado vs. Mariana Morais (Morais was the designated alternate and replaces Larissa Pacheco, who missed weight on Wednesday at 158 pounds)
*Heavyweight Semi-Final: Ante Delija vs. Denis Goltsov
PRELIMINARY CARD (6 p.m. ET on ESPN+)
*Stuart Austin vs. Renan Ferreira
*Carl Seumanutafa vs. Muhammed DeReese
*Marina Mokhnatkina vs. Claudia Zamora
*Amanda Leve vs. Miranda Barber
*Christian Lohsen vs. Jonas Flok
**Showtime has announced the broadcast team for the August 29th fight between Jake Paul and Tyron Woodley. The fight will be called by Mauro Ranallo and Al Bernstein with reporter Ariel Helwani handling the post-fight interviews and serving as a guest analyst. Phoenix Carnevale will be the roving reporter throughout the arena and conducting backstage interviews. The card will take place from the Rocket Mortgage Center in Cleveland, Ohio, and airs on pay-per-view with a price tag of $59.99.
**Bellator fighter Jay Jay Wilson missed weight on Thursday for his featherweight fight against Adam Borics and the fight is off the Bellator 265 card. Wilson stepped onto the scale at 150.4 pounds and missing the limit by 4.4 pounds. This fight was considered an important one at 145 pounds between two fighters on three-fight win streaks and to establish the next contender at the featherweight division.
**ONE Championship has hired former WWE VP of Global Television Production Michael Mansury. After working with WWE for eleven years, Mansury left the company to work with Pat McAfee’s group and briefly launched a wrestling podcast with former WCW personality and Pittsburgh sports talk radio host Mark Madden. Mansury is joining ONE as an Executive Producer to oversee the live production team and will report to John Scheler, its SVP of Events and Production Development.
**MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck has released a tremendous feature on aspiring fighter Eugene Aubry, who was randomly shot last October and is battling to regain mobility in his legs. It’s a heartbreaking story and Heck did a lot of work on his backstory, his upbringing, and his relationship with his parents with both a long-form feature and an audio documentary on Aubry.
**Sara McMann has announced she is out of her scheduled fight with Ketlen Viera on August 28th due to injury.
**The UFC has announced that Misha Cirkunov will be moving down to middleweight to fight Krzysztof Jotko on October 2nd at the UFC Apex. Cirkunov, 34, has fought at light heavyweight his entire career other than one catchweight fight of 210 pounds in 2010. He joined the UFC in 2015 and has gone 6-4. After beating Jimmy Crute in September 2019, he didn’t fight again until this past March where he was stopped by Ryan Spann by TKO. Win or lose, Cirkunov has not been out of the first round in his last seven fights.
ON THIS DATE
SummerSlam 2001 took place in San Jose featuring a tremendous match between Steve Austin and Kurt Angle for the WWF Championship. It was also the first WWF event where two Black performers headlined a show as The Rock defended the WCW Championship against Booker T. The card took place in the middle of the Invasion storyline where the bloom was off the rose one month after that tremendous pay-per-view number they drew.
As often as the company ran this match, it was on this date in 2002 that Triple H and The Rock had their last match together:
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