Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/08/03/pollocks-news-update-shane-mcmahon-new-faction-on-raw/
POST IT NOTES
**Wai Ting and I return tonight with Rewind-A-Raw with lots of news to discussing including the purchase of the XFL, WWE’s plans for another draft, weekend notes, and a big look at our schedule over the next week. Plus, a full review of WWE Raw and we will take your questions & feedback. The show is free each Monday night on the site and wherever you listen to podcasts.
**On Tuesday, Andrew Thompson will have an interview on the site with Fred Yehi.
**We are taking mailbag questions for this Saturday’s edition of POST Puroresu with WH Park & our guest Dylan Fox.
**You can still submit feedback for Tuesday night’s edition of Rewind-A-Wai as we review WWF Capital Carnage from December 1998. We will dive into all things WWF-related from this era and go through the card from London, England headlined by a Fatal Four-Way. The show also features plenty of Vinnie Jones, an insane promo from Vince McMahon, a rabid audience, Triple H returns from injury, the trying circumstances for Jim Ross to finish this show, Austin in bad health over the days leading into the show, The Rock’s first few weeks as WWF champion examined, and tons more. This show will be available to all members of the POST Wrestling Café.
Tonight: Rewind-A-Raw with John Pollock & Wai Ting
Tuesday: Andrew Thompson interviews Fred Yehi
Tuesday: Rewind-A-Wai #67: WWF Capital Carnage 1998 (Patreon)
Wednesday: upNXT with Braden Herrington & Davie Portman
Wednesday: Rewind-A-Dynamite with John & Wai
Thursday: The British Wrestling Experience – review of WWF Rebellion 2001
Friday: Silva vs. Sonnen – Ten Years Later, a POST Profile
Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown (LIVE at 10:15 pm Eastern for all Patrons)
Saturday: POST Puroresu with John Pollock, WH Park & guest Dylan Fox
Sunday: The Long & Winding Royal Road with WH Park & guest Daniel Makabe
**On Monday afternoon, WWE announced that Shane McMahon returns to television tonight on Raw and it will be his first appearance since October 2019. It has become evident that the playbook is short-term nostalgia and names from the past designed to offset television viewership declines. If short-term is the direction, then you can run the gamut of names from the past but ultimately, you can only draw from that playbook for so long.
**From former SmackDown lead writer Alex Greenfield on Monday:
I think it was late-fall 2005 in the midst of a ratings trough when we got notes from USA basically saying that they loved the McMahon Family Soap Opera and thought that was the key to raising ratings. Everything old is new again!
**The WWE is also promoting a new faction arriving on Raw tonight.
**Mike Johnson at PWinsider.com reports that Ric Flair is at the Performance Center and expected to be on Raw tonight.
**Raw will open with a United States title match between Apollo Crews and MVP and it will be Crews’ first appearance on television since June 27th. They have also announced a face-to-face segment involving Drew McIntyre and Randy Orton.
**WWE is taping two episodes of Raw at the Performance Center with tonight’s show and next Monday’s. They will also tape supplementary programming with Main Event and Raw Talk. On Tuesday, they will tape two episodes of Friday Night SmackDown for August 7th and August 14th.
**AEW has officially announced that MJF will challenge for the AEW title at the All-Out pay-per-view on Saturday, September 5th following last week’s promo segment. Champion Jon Moxley defends the title against Darby Allin on this Wednesday’s episode of Dynamite.
**TNT has announced that three episodes of AEW Dynamite will be affected by the network’s NBA coverage. The Wednesday, August 19th edition of Dynamite will now air on Saturday, August 22nd at 6 pm Eastern, which is the same night as NXT TakeOver on the WWE Network. The following week’s episode will air on Thursday, August 27th at 8 pm Eastern and the September 16th edition of Dynamite airs on Thursday, September 17th at 8 pm. TSN in Canada has not confirmed how this will impact their airings of the show but we should know later this week.
**Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter adds that the August 26th episode of AEW Dynamite will air later that night on TNT and then be replayed in prime time the following night.
**The major story today is the purchase of the XFL by a group that includes Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, his business partner Dany Garcia, and RedBird Capital. The sale price was reported at $15 million, which could be a bargain if they have a strong business strategy and can land a meaningful distribution deal for the league. It is unknown how the group plans to utilize the league, which suspended operations in March and laid off most of its staff as Alpha Entertainment filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The sale was made prior to an auction for the league with Johnson and Garcia confirming the purchase online Monday morning. Johnson posted the following message regarding the significance of the sale and Garcia’s involvement in the ownership of the league:
Taking a moment to illuminate this very cool and huge milestone. My XFL partner, Dany Garcia becomes the first woman to OWN an entire sports league independent from a team. She was the architect in this acquisition and now we go to work – for the love of football.
**Friday Night SmackDown finished with 1,894,000 viewers on Fox this past Friday and did a 0.5 rating in the 18-49 demographic. The show fell under 1.9 million viewers for the first time since July 3rd but was still the #1 network show for the night in the 18-49 demo. They also did a 0.3 rating in the 18-34 demo, which was also #1 for the night among the big four networks.
**AEW kicks off its Women’s tag tournament tonight on YouTube at 7 pm Eastern. The first match of the tournament will feature Nyla Rose & Ariane Andrew taking on Tay Conti (Taynara Conti when she was in NXT) & Anna Jay. Dave Meltzer reported on Wrestling Observer Radio that two additional teams in the tournament will be Ivelisse & Diamante, and Brandi Rhodes & Allie.
**AEW has added a tag match to this week’s episode of Dynamite with Santana & Ortiz vs. Best Friends.
**The WWE stock dropped over 5% on Monday and closed at $44.17. It’s notable that after receiving a spike after the second-quarter earnings report, the stock has fallen back to the previous level after trading as high as $48.25 on Friday.
**Pro Wrestling NOAH has back-to-back nights at Korakuen Hall on Tuesday and Wednesday. Below is the line-up for Tuesday’s show:
*Katsuhiko Nakajima vs. Kenoh for the GHC National title
*Naomichi Marufuji, Yoshinari Ogawa & Takashi Sugiura vs. Go Shiozaki, Kotaro Suzuki & Kaito Kiyomiya
*Atsushi Kotoge, Seiki Yoshioka & Hajime Ohara vs. Daisuke Harada, Tadasuke & Yo-Hey
*Kaito Kiyomiya, Shuhei Taniguchi & Daiki Inaba vs. Atsushi Kotoge, Hajime Ohara & Seiki Yoshioka
*Katsuhiko Nakajima, Mohammed Yone & Kinya Okada vs. Akitoshi Saito, Masao Inoue & Seiya Morohashi
**NOAH returns on Wednesday for a show headlined by Go Shiozaki vs. Naomichi Marufuji for the GHC heavyweight title.
**On Sunday, Eita won Dragon Gate’s Open the Dream Gate championship defeating Naruki Doi in the main event of their Memorial Gate card in Wakayama. Doi had been champion since December and ends his second reign as champion. On the same card, Kota Minoura & Jason Lee defeated Kazma Sakamoto & BxB Hulk to become the new Open the Twin Gate champions.
**The NHL posted an update regarding its COVID-19 testing after play resumed in their hub cities of Edmonton and Toronto. After one week of returning to play, they had administered 7,013 tests from July 27th to August 1st and found no positive test results.
**Equity, the UK-based union for performers and creative practitioners has released several suggested guidelines for professional wrestling groups in the wake of the Speaking Out movement, among its suggestions:
*The development of a “Dignity at Work” policy allowing for complaints to be addressed and to be fair and transparent for both sides
*Transportation and accommodation being agreed to with talent in advance and in writing prior to the show(s)
*Having a private and secure dressing room space at each show
*A paramedic should be in attendance at each show
*If there is a wrestling school attached to the company, it should have transparent safeguarding policies in place that are known to everyone in which they are trained along with first aid provisions.
**Regarding Canadian viewership, last Wednesday’s sports programming was dominated by the return of Major League Baseball. Going against AEW and NXT, the Toronto Blue Jays game against the Washington Nationals on Sportsnet did 780,600 viewers (286,800 in the 25-54 demo, which is the main demo analyzed in Canada). AEW that night did 71,500 viewers (48,600 among 25-54) on TSN2. What was interesting is that immediately after AEW Dynamite, TSN2 ran a replay of the Dark Side of the Ring episode on Chris Benoit, which did 74,500 viewers (42,700 in 25-54).
**Chris Harrington of AEW noted that last week’s episode of AEW Dynamite averaged 65,000 among females 18-34 while WWE Raw averaged 61,000 in the same demographic. For context, one is the average of a two-hour show and Raw’s was over three hours with Raw’s third hour dropping dramatically. Among females 18-49, Raw did a 0.36 and 0.34 in the first two hours and fell to a 0.26 rating in the third hour.
**Drew McIntyre spoke to Scott Fishman at TV Insider about his match with Randy Orton at SummerSlam and was asked about declining television numbers:
It doesn’t bring me down. I’ve been through so much. The ups and downs in my career. Some really low points. I don’t let it get to me or distract me from the goal at home. I know a lot of previous champions have let it get to them. They’ve suffered in their personal life as a result and lashed out on social media. I don’t allow it to get to me from that standpoint. Our WWE Universe, our audience is such a big part of the show. We’re all just giving it all we can. I know we’re learning through this period.
The audience that has stuck around are getting to learn about the characters on a deeper level. I think because of this when we get back into the arenas, the viewership will grow. I think we will reach new heights to be honest because we’re going to have so many compelling characters. A lot of superstars are maximizing their opportunity in this environment. Right now you can really develop your character on a deeper level through this unique lens. I think when we do get back in the arenas they will attract the attention of fans. I hear what is going on. I see what’s going on social media. Things are gong well there, but they can also be better. Once we get back to normal, I think we’ll reach new heights as a company.
**The WWE Network added a new edition of “Day of” following Sasha Banks and Bayley on the day of Extreme Rules ahead of their matches with Asuka and Nikki Cross respectively. It’s a short feature at thirteen minutes and heavily in-character. The lone moments that were interested including Banks discussing the transition to work without fans and enjoying when the crowd doesn’t go with something and forces her to think on the fly. Banks added she has also learned a lot not having fans in the building. The video ends with Banks and Bayley leaving the building after the non-finish with Asuka and Banks taking the Raw women’s title and Banks promising the biggest celebration on Raw that WWE has ever seen, which never happened.
**New Japan Pro Wrestling resumes its Summer Struggle tour this Thursday with four consecutive nights at Korakuen Hall featuring the tournament to crown the new NEVER Openweight Six-Man tag titles.
**We Are Iowa had a feature on the upcoming Black Wrestlers Matter event that is taking place on Saturday, August 22nd in Des Moines at Franklin Jr. High School. Promoter Jon West and performer Brooke Valentine were interviewed for the piece. Due to social distancing, they are limiting the capacity to 300 people.
**The CBC has a story on several Canadian independent groups in the Maritimes that will forego running shows for the rest of 2020. The issue is the inability to make money running shows with social distancing that won’t allow the shows to be profitable. The options of running outdoors or larger arenas also bring up additional issues such as weather risks if running outdoors and the cost of booking larger venues and only selling tickets for a fraction of its capacity.
**Stardom is running their Cinderella cards in Yokohama over two nights on August 22nd and 23rd. On the first night, Mayu Iwatani defends the World of Stardom title against Syuri (who is also an MMA fighter and went 1-3 in the UFC from 2017-19). The first night also featured Utami Hayashashita vs. Himeka and Momo Watanabe vs. Giulia, and a Future of Stardom title match between champion Maika and Saya Kamitani. The second night is headlined by a Wonder of Stardom title match between champion Giulia and Tam Nakano, plus Utami Hayashashita & Saya Kamitani vs. Maika & Himeka for the Goddesses of Stardom titles, AZM vs. Starlight Kid for the High-Speed title, and singles match between Mayu Iwatani and Momo Watanabe.
**Bret Hart shared the following tribute to the late Mark “Rollerball” Rocco (Mark Hussey), who died last week at the age of 69:
Goodbye to probably the all time hardest working British wrestler Mark “Rollerball” Rocco. When he wrestled the Dynamite Kid back in the 70’s and 80’s it was incredible to watch. Like two pinballs flying all over the place at a pace nobody could top. Mark was a wonderful guy and a one of a kind performer. I’m so glad I got to know him and work with him. He was truly special.
ON THIS DATE
**Daniel Cormier spoke to Mike Bohn of MMA Junkie ahead of his UFC 252 trilogy fight with Stipe Miocic on August 15th. Here are the highlights from the interview:
*He said the original target date for the fight was August 1st and then they agreed to August 15th
*If he had serious back problems, he would not fight and was not going to compromise his training and was going to work as hard as he could preparing for this one
*Cormier has installed a home gym and noted their fight at UFC 252 will be inside the smaller sized octagon
*Coach Mark Henry worked with him for a week in Las Vegas and then came to San Jose to work with him along with his regular coaches including Javier Mendez and Bob Cook
*Jon Jones brought the best out of Cormier but Miocic has done the same, winning the UFC heavyweight title for a second time will be the defining moment of his career
*He thinks this fight will go the full five rounds and blamed the second fight on exhaustion
**UFC president Dana White spoke to the media after Saturday’s Fight Night card. Below are some notes from the Q&A:
*He called it “the craziest week ever” and said Kevin Holland wants to fight immediately after losing out on the fight with Trevin Giles
*They did try to get Ed Herman to fight but he was upset over the fight with Gerald Meerschaert falling apart that day
*White said it made sense for Jennifer Maia to get the next flyweight title fight against Valentina Shevchenko
*He thought the doctor should have been more decisive after the second round between Derek Brunson and Edmen Shahbazyan and either stop the fight or make the call to let it continue after Shahbazyan was nearly stopped at the end of the round before the fight-ending stoppage in round three
*There were two people that fainted with Trevin Giles before the fight and Joanne Calderwood fainted after her fight with Jennifer Maia
*The fighters that didn’t compete on Saturday got paid some money but not their show money, they are hoping to rebook most of them quickly
*When asked about other sports leagues, White said you have to do things inside the bubble, which is a method Major League Baseball did not adopt
**Saturday’s UFC Fight Night card was a strange one with numerous fights falling apart in the hours before and during. On the day of the show, Gerald Meerschaert tested positive for COVID-19 and his fight with Ed Herman was taken off the show. Then, right before he was set to walk out for his fight, Trevin Giles fainted, and the commission called off his fight with Kevin Holland. It left the main card with four fights and eight total and is the least number of fights on a UFC card since UFC 177 in August 2014.
**Trevin Giles posted the following update after fainting on Saturday night and being taken to hospital:
Got held over night in the hospital. Apparently I have heart irregularities that may be the cause of all this. Just had a heart cardiogram this morning. Waiting for the good news and back to Houston I go. I will enjoy my family, assure all my loved ones that I’m okay, then I will prepare to handle some unfinished business. Thanks for all the love and concern.
**The Fight of the Night bonus went to Bobby Green and Lando Vannata and the Performance of the Night bonuses went to Jennifer Maia and Vicente Luque.
**Dana White’s Contender’s Series returns on Tuesday night at 8 pm Eastern on Fight Pass from the UFC Apex. The series will run every Tuesday night with the following fights scheduled for this week’s return:
*Ty Flores (7-2) vs. Dustin Jacoby (11-5)
*Kenny Cross (10-3) vs. Damonte Robinson (6-1-1)
*Mikey Gonzalez (7-1) vs. Uros Medic (5-0)
*Jerome Rivera (9-2) vs. Luis Rodriguez (11-1)
*Jordan Leavitt (6-0) vs. Luke Flores (9-1)
ON THIS DATE
REWIND-A-SMACKDOWN 7/31/20: WWE Q2, Mark Rollerball Rocco, SmackDown
John Pollock and Wai Ting review this week’s WWE SmackDown featuring Bayley vs. Nikki Cross for the SD Women’s Championship and AJ Styles vs. Gran Metalik for the Intercontinental Championship.
WWE Q2 2020 Earnings Report & Analysis w/ Brandon Thurston
Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics joins John Pollock to discuss and analyze WWE’s second-quarter earnings report and subsequent call with media analysts on its performance this quarter.
REWIND-A-DYNAMITE 7/29/20: MJF’s Address, Matt Cardona & Ariane Appear
John Pollock and Wai Ting discuss AEW Dynamite with the arrival of several new faces to the company, Excalibur misses the show, Raw ratings, an interview with Cody & more.
upNXT 7/29/20: The Thicc Boi Dream Has Come True
Braden Herrington welcomes John Siino to chat all about this week’s WWE NXT featuring the main event of Finn Balor vs Dexter Lumis vs Timothy Thatcher. Plus, Johnny Gargano vs Roderick Strong in a show-stealing match.
ASK-A-WAI: Ask Us Anything! (August 2020)
John Pollock and Wai Ting answer their patrons’ questions from the POST Wrestling Forum in the August 2020 edition of Ask-A-Wai.
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