POLLOCK'S NEWS UPDATE: NXT viewership for U.S. and Canada

Originally published at POLLOCK'S NEWS UPDATE: NXT viewership for U.S. and Canada


**We’ve received some great feedback for the interview with Sean Waltman from Tuesday. We covered a lot of aspects of his career, which goes back over three decades with Waltman at the center of many important moments and eras. During the chat, we spoke of him appearing on national television at the age of 19 for Global, leaving the WWF in 1996 and returning as X-Pac two years later, the first break-up of DX in 1999, his feud with Shane McMahon, recent knee surgery, and more. Waltman’s podcast, “Pro Wrestling 4 Life” comes out each Thursday with co-host Nick Hausman.

**Rewind-A-Dynamite airs LIVE tonight at 10:15 pm ET for Double Double, Iced Capp & Espresso members of the POST Wrestling Café. Wai Ting and I will review AEW Dynamite, go through all the news and ratings notes, plus your feedback at the end.

**The British Wrestling Experience returns Thursday with Martin Bushby & Benno discussing all the latest news including Will Ospreay vs. Shingo Takagi, U.K. promotions returning this summer, Andy Quildan and MLW, and the potential sale of BT Sport.

**On Friday, we are releasing the latest ASK-A-WAI Mailbag Show for members of the POST Wrestling Café.


Tonight: Rewind-A-Dynamite (LIVE at 10:15 pm ET)
Thursday: The British Wrestling Experience with Martin Bushby & Benno
Friday: ASK-A-WAI Mailbag Show with John & Wai (Patreon)
Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown with Wai Ting & Kate from Montreal (LIVE at 10:15 pm ET for all Patrons)
Saturday: UFC 262 POST Show (LIVE after the card on POST’s YouTube)
Sunday: WrestleMania Backlash POST Show (LIVE for Double Double+ Patrons)


**On Tuesday, NXT finished 25th on cable with 697,000 viewers and 0.17 in the 18-49 demographic. It was the show’s lowest performance since moving to Tuesdays last month and down from last week’s numbers of 761,000 and 0.18. None of the key demos saw gigantic declines with the largest being females 18-49 dropping from 0.14 to 0.11 and males 12-34 going from 0.14 to 0.12. NXT’s male 18-49 and female 12-34 audiences were flat week-to-week. (Showbuzz Daily)

After five weeks, NXT is averaging 770,000 viewers and 0.20 in the 18-49 demo including last night’s episode.

In Canada, NXT averaged 45,000 viewers on Sportsnet 360 and was identical to last week’s figure. It did not finish among the top ten sports broadcasts in the country.

**AEW Dynamite returns with another live show tonight at Daily’s Place coming off Blood & Guts. Last week’s episode was the top show on cable for the night and occurred on Cinco de Mayo. Last December, when they presented “Winter is Coming” it included the arrival of Sting and led to an even larger audience the following week. Tonight’s show doesn’t have the hook that Sting provided in December but there was a lot of buzz for the episode and match, plus it’s a solid line-up including The Young Bucks against SCU in a match that should mean a lot but hasn’t had the real estate on TNT over the past few months to build itself properly. Here are the matches and segments scheduled for tonight’s program at 8 pm ET:
*AEW Tag Team Championship: The Young Bucks (champions) vs. Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian
*TNT Championship: Darby Allin (champion) vs. Miro
*IWGP United States Championship: Jon Moxley (champion) vs. Yuji Nagata
*Orange Cassidy vs. PAC – The winner challenges Kenny Omega at Double or Nothing
*Thunder Rosa in action (her first match on Dynamite since the ‘Lights Out Unsanctioned Match’ that aired on 3/17)
*Jim Ross’ sit-down interview with Britt Baker
*Cody Rhodes makes his Double or Nothing announcement
*The Coronation of The Pinnacle
*Interview with Jade Cargill

**Chris Jericho dedicated the entire length of Wednesday’s Talk is Jericho to behind-the-scenes of Blood & Guts. Below are some of the notes from his podcast:
– The original date for Blood & Guts was on Feb. 19, 2020, at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta but they felt it came too close to the Revolution pay-per-view and was moved to March 25th at the Prudential Center, which was scrapped due to the pandemic. Instead, the Dynamite in Atlanta featured the steel cage match between Cody and Wardlow.
– They didn’t want to have Blood & Guts without fans, so Stadium Stampede became the idea for Double or Nothing last May
– Santana hurt his back during Blood & Guts when he landed between the ring and the cage with a chair in the way
– Jericho acknowledged the commercial breaks were inconvenient and tried to work around them
– His neck is sore and also injured his arm, which he said was “a mess”
– Jericho had never watched a War Games match prior but did go back to watch and the WrestleWar 1992 match between Sting’s Squadron and The Dangerous Alliance
– The stunt at the end was an idea of Jericho, MJF, and Tony Khan with the spot weighing heavily on Jericho in the lead-up. They brought in a stunt coordinator to assist, who also worked on Stadium Stampede
– Jericho saw the critiques of the bump with the landing but he felt it looked amazing and had no regrets. He clarified it wasn’t a crash pad he landed on, instead, they used a six-inch-high gym mat with empty cardboard boxes underneath, which he nearly overshot and could have hit a set of lights with his head.
– He was extremely proud of the number they did on television last week and being #1 on cable. He downplayed what it means to trend on Twitter given how few tweets can achieve that status while the television number carries more weight.

**Reporter David Bixenspan was the first to note that on Tuesday, WWE referee Drake Wuertz spoke at a school board meeting for Seminole County Public School. Wuertz argued against children wearing masks stating the risks outweigh those of COVID-19 (with no evidence to support such a claim). He called the masked mandate a ‘tyrannical overreach’ and wearing them is ‘dehumanizing’ that limits socialization and has to live in constant fear. Wuertz then stated that wearing masks plays into the hands of child sex traffickers. He said this isn’t an anti-mask narrative but about parental rights before quoting Donald Trump to wrap up his address.

**NXT has sent out an email to fans regarding policies for attending live Tuesday night shows. The company will no longer require a COVID-19 test to be conducted the day prior, instead, they will provide COVID-19 testing on-site the night of the show free of charge. All fans will need to undergo COVID testing on-site regardless of whether they have been vaccinated. Rapid Antigen COVID-19 and temperature check s will be administered prior to entry and masks remain mandatory throughout the show.

**Due to the state of emergency extension in Japan, Stardom has postponed its 5/29 event at Ota Ward City Gymnasium in Tokyo. The event was scheduled to feature the finals of the ongoing Cinderella tournament and will be re-scheduled for a future date. This comes after New Japan, All Japan, and Pro Wrestling NOAH were forced to cancel and postpone events. The state of emergency covers several prefectures in Japan including Tokyo and was recently extended until the end of May.

**Tama Tonga addressed the recent outbreak of positive COVID cases in New Japan on his Tama’s Island podcast. The following was transcribed by Fightful’s Jeremy Lambert:

Some of our guys got hit up . Luckily, I am not one of those guys. Who are those guys? I don’t know, but I’m not one of them. It’s a little chaotic on the foreigner side as far as the uncertainty because we don’t know what’s going to happen next. That’s just something we’re all trying to figure out. Once we found out about the guys who tested positive, we’re just trying to figure out what to do. I was scheduled to go home after Grand Slam, but now, because of the situation, I have been prolonged and we changed the schedule. It’s just not knowing that’s causing people to go crazy. Props to New Japan. I’ve been quarantined since Wrestling Dontaku and they sent me a thermometer and tests. So far, so good.

**ESPN’s Ariel Helwani has an hour-long interview with Ric Flair discussing Michael Chandler, who attempted to channel Flair during his post-fight speech after beating Dan Hooker in January. Flair also spoke about overcoming anxiety issues throughout his career, his promos, his near-death experience in 2017, and the match with Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 24 in 2008. Flair also shared his thoughts on the angle with Lacey Evans and Charlotte Flair earlier this year, which he didn’t like but went along with it.

**NXT is building up for a big show on 5/25 with the announcement on Wednesday that Karrion Kross will defend the NXT Championship against Finn Balor. The same show on 5/25 will include the in-ring debut of Franky Monet (formerly Taya Valkyrie). Next week’s episode features a Steel Cage Match between Johnny Gargano and Bronson Reed for the North American Championship.

**Several WWE events scheduled for July in Australia & New Zealand have been moved to the summer of 2022. TEG Dainty has issued the following updates regarding the international shows with tickets being honored on the new dates:
*July 31, 2021, at the Spark Arena in Auckland, New Zealand has been rescheduled for August 4, 2022
*July 30, 2021, at the Qudos Banks Arena in Sydney, Australia, has been moved to August 5, 2022
*July 29, 2021, at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia, has been moved to August 6, 2022

**Distributor Indie Rights is releasing a documentary called “The Other Side of the Ring” profiling female wrestlers Katarina Leigh Waters, Keta Meggett, Delilah Doom, and Shelly Martinez that will be released May 20th. They have released a trailer for the documentary, which will be available on Tubi TV, Vimeo on Demand, and Google Play.

**The WWE stock closed at $52.81 on Wednesday.

**MLW will begin its open draft on Thursday, May 20th

**Kenny Johnson, who is a very talented filmmaker, has released the documentary “LIFE after DEATH” profiling Matt Tremont.

**Ring of Honor will be streaming a match between Miranda Alize and Trish Adora tonight at 7 pm ET as part of Women’s Division Wednesday.


**The MMA career of former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva appears to be over. While speaking to Ariel Helwani of ESPN, the 46-year old stated, “I think MMA for me is done.” Silva is scheduled for a boxing fight on June 19th against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in Mexico and said in the interview he may focus on jiu-jitsu as his next challenge. Silva had one of the legendary championship reigns in MMA history from 2006 until 2013 as the 185-pound king in the UFC. His final years took their toll with Silva losing back-to-back fights to Chris Weidman including a brutal leg break in the second fight that sidelined him for more than a year. He returned in January 2015 and had his win against Nick Diaz overturned after failing his drug test. After the Diaz fight, Silva went 1-5 and last competed for the UFC last October losing to Uriah Hall by TKO.

**Karim Zidan has an article on The Guardian analyzing the UFC’s move into the NFT space and how fighters are unlikely to receive a cut of that business. Zidan compares it to the NBA, which has seen an explosion with NFTs working with Top Shots. Top Shots takes 5 percent of the revenue it is shared among itself, the NBA, and the players union. In the UFC, there is no union or association to negotiate those rights and therefore, it is not expected to see revenue trickle down to the fighters, which UFC declined to comment or clarify when asked by The Guardian. The same questions would apply to WWE and its talent as the company introduced its first NFTs over WrestleMania weekend last month.

**Bellator has added a 175-pound catchweight fight between Paul Daley (43-17-2) and Jason Jackson (14-4) for Bellator 206 on Friday, June 11th in Uncasville, Connecticut. ESPN’s Ariel Helwani added that Daley has signed a new contract with Bellator. The 38-year old Daley is coming off a TKO victory against Sabah Homasi last month and has won his last three fights. Jackson is on a four-fight winning streak and earned a decision victory against Neiman Gracie last month at Bellator 255.

**Episode 3 of UFC Embedded for UFC 262 on Saturday.




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Woof. Those numbers are pretty bad for NXT.