POLLOCK'S NEWS UPDATE: SmackDown Draft Viewership on Fox

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/10/12/pollocks-news-update-smackdown-draft-viewership-on-fox/


**Tonight, Wai Ting and I are back with Rewind-A-Raw to chat about the second night of the WWE Draft, all the roster moves, today’s news and updates, a preview of the week at POST Wrestling, and take your feedback. The show will be posted late tonight and available on the main POST Wrestling feed wherever you listen to podcasts.

**The latest G1 Climax podcast features Wai Ting joined by Mark Buckeldee to review Sunday’s B Block show with Tetsuya Naito vs. EVIL headlining the card. We also have a review of Saturday’s excellent card from Osaka with Mike Murray joining me.

**On Tuesday, we will have two shows for members of the POST Wrestling Café. We will have our latest G1 Climax podcast covering Day 15 of the tournament out in the afternoon. In the evening, we will release Rewind-A-Wai #72 covering the WWE Survivor Series from November 17, 2002. The show features the debut of the Elimination Chamber with Triple H defending the World Heavyweight Championship against Shawn Michaels, Kane, Booker T., Chris Jericho, and Rob Van Dam, and Brock Lesnar vs. Big Show for the WWE Championship from Madison Square Garden. We have a feedback thread on the POST Wrestling Forum to take feedback, questions, and thoughts on the event.

**Andrew Thompson has an interview with independent wrestler Arik Royal on Tuesday for both the POST site and his YouTube channel. Andrew is also today’s guest on the PWT Cast with friends of the site Scrump & Stank.


*Tonight: Rewind-A-Raw with John Pollock & Wai Ting
*Tuesday: G1 Climax – Day 15 Podcast (Patreon)
*Tuesday: Rewind-A-Wai #72: WWE Survivor Series 2002 (Patreon)
*Wednesday: G1 Climax – Day 16 Podcast (Patreon)
*Wednesday: Rewind-A-Dynamite with John & Wai
*Wednesday: upNXT with Braden Herrington & Davie Portman
*Friday: G1 Climax – A BLOCK FINALS (FREE SHOW)
*Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown (LIVE at 10:15 pm ET for Café members)
*Saturday: G1 Climax – B BLOCK FINALS (Patreon)
*Sunday: G1 Climax – FINALS (Patreon)


**Friday Night SmackDown finished with 2,178,000 viewers for the first night of the draft on Fox. The show also maintained a 0.6 rating in the 18-49 demographic that equaled Jimmy Kimmel Live airing on ABC for second place among the networks with the NBA Finals dominating with 8,890,000 viewers and 3.2 demo rating. SmackDown also went against Game 5 of the ALDS series between the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays that topped the cable charts with 3,723,000 viewers and a 0.89 rating in the 18-49 demo. (Credit: Showbuzz Daily)

SmackDown was up 23,000 viewers from the week prior which is a disappointing result from the combination of the draft, promoting Bayley vs. Sasha Banks, The Fiend’s first match on television, and Falls Count Anywhere match all week.

This year’s draft special on SmackDown was down 24 percent from last year’s show and down 40 percent in the 18-49 figure.

**PWinsider.com was the first to report that WWE is expected to extend its stay at the Amway Center in Orlando for at least several additional weeks. The original agreement with the arena expired after October 30th but the site reports that the company will continue for at least four more weeks taking them into November. WWE had been filming RAW and Friday Night SmackDown out of the WWE Performance Center since the shutdown began in mid-March until moving to the Amway Center and branding it the “ThunderDome” beginning with the August 21st edition of SmackDown. Spectrum Sports 360’s Jon Alba noted that the Amway Center is expected to serve as a polling station for the November 3rd U.S. federal election. POST Wrestling has reached out to WWE for comment on the status of their residency at the Amway Center beyond October 30th and will update if we receive a response.

**Cultaholic was the first to report that Eva Marie (Natalie Marie Coyle) is set to return to WWE with PWinsider.com adding that she is in Orlando, Florida and the two sides came to terms last month. Marie joined the company in 2013 and was cast on the inaugural season of Total Divas and added to the main roster. In 2015, she was sent to NXT before returning to the main roster on the WrestleMania go-home episode in 2016. She was drafted to SmackDown when they re-started the brand split that summer and remained with the company until the summer of 2017.

**WWE continues the draft tonight on RAW with the remaining pool of talent being selected over the three-hour show. They have announced the following for tonight’s episode:
*Kevin Owens vs. Aleister Black in a No Disqualification Match
*Dual-Brand Battle Royal with the winner receiving a Raw women’s title match against Asuka
*Seth Rollins “farewell” address on Raw
*Mustafa Ali explains joining Retribution

**RAW goes against the Monday Night Football game between the Chargers and Saints, as well as Game 1 of the NLCS between the L.A. Dodgers and Atlanta Braves.

**The following talent is listed for tonight’s talent pool for the draft on RAW:
Bayley (SmackDown women’s champion)
Aleister Black
Alexa Bliss
Daniel Bryan
King Corbin
Apollo Crews
Nikki Cross
Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode
Erik (of The Viking Raiders)
Lacey Evans
Charlotte Flair
Jeff Hardy
Billie Kay
Keith Lee
Riddick Moss
Titus O’Neil
Randy Orton
Kevin Owens
R-Truth (24/7 champion)
Matt Riddle
The Riott Squad (Ruby Riott & Liv Morgan)
Peyton Royce
Arturo Ruas
Shinsuke Nakamura & Cesaro
The Street Profits (RAW tag champions)
Braun Strowman
Lars Sullivan
Akira Tozawa
Zelina Vega
Bray Wyatt
Sami Zayn (WWE Intercontinental champion)

**WWE has announced that Shorty G has been drafted to SmackDown. The remaining “free agents” from Friday’s pool include Mickie James, Gran Metalik & Lince Dorado.

**E! has announced that Total Bellas will return on Thursday, November 12th, and airs weekly at 9 pm Eastern. They have released a trailer promoting the upcoming season that heavily focuses on the pregnancies of Brie and Nikki.

**Ovaciones reports that Fray Tormenta (Sergio Gutierrez Benitez) is battling COVID-19 through the assistance of a nurse, tending to him at his home. Tormenta is 76 years old and was the basis for Jack Black’s character in the 2005 film “Nacho Libre”.

**Game Changer Wrestling completed The Collective over the weekend including Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport held Sunday evening. The show was an easy watch at 2 hours and 15 minutes and the pacing of the show was great. Here are a few notes from the show:
*The main event left everyone satisfied with a strong match between Jon Moxley and Chris Dickinson. Moxley worked in trunks and presented himself differently akin to his New Japan work rather than AEW and worked in many subtleties to differentiate. It’s a shame that Moxley didn’t get that match with Zack Sabre Jr. where they shot the angle prior to the shutdown, when and if they get to that match it should be excellent. Moxley won the match with a bulldog choke and then addressed the crowd and put over Dickinson. From a production standpoint, the audio was poor when someone got on the microphone but that was limited to Moxley’s speech and one by Josh Barnett at the beginning of the show.
*The other strong match was between Tom Lawlor and Homicide as Lawlor is the prototype for this style with the most MMA experience of anyone working the show and deeply understands professional wrestling to meld the two.
*Watching the show and seeing how well this show has been received since the first version in 2018, there are ways Raw Underground could have taken small elements and applied them. You will never achieve the aesthetic or underground feel that a show like Bloodsport naturally has over the glossy WWE, but you can learn from it. In the match where Simon Grimm beat Matt Makowski and Davey Boy Smith Jr. defeated Josh Alexander, both ended with stoppages from a pro-wrestling maneuver with Grimm’s half-and-half suplex and Smith Jr. using a Liger Bomb. It’s a way to introduce stoppages as a reasonable ending to a match and it builds those maneuvers as match-ending maneuvers that will generate more impact when used in the body of a regular match because we’ve been trained to see them end a match. It also demonstrated that a match can end at any point such as Smith’s win over Alexander, which was a bit disappointing because many saw as being one of the best matches on the show but it did serve a purpose being short to the overall concept.
*Lenny Leonard is fantastic and should be calling weekly wrestling on national television. His research and preparation for a different type of show was evident and had great anecdotes such as Tom Lawlor starting out on the Florida independent scene prior to going into MMA while Homicide was the Full Impact Pro champion. There are few full-time play-by-play jobs in professional wrestling, but he’d be one I’d want on my team.

**After having today off, the G1 Climax resumes Tuesday as the tournament hits the final week with three straight nights at Sumo Hall beginning this Friday. Tuesday’s card in Shizuoka features the A Block with the following matches and looks to be another phenomenal card from this side of the G1:
*Kazuchika Okada (5-2) vs. Tomohiro Ishii (3-4)
*Minoru Suzuki (3-4) vs. Jay White (5-2)
*Shingo Takagi (3-4) vs. Taichi (3-4)
*Kota Ibushi (5-2) vs. Yujiro Takahashi (0-7)
*Jeff Cobb (3-4) vs. Will Ospreay (5-2)
*Yuya Uemura vs. Gabriel Kidd

The G1 is down to four with Kazuchika Okada, Jay White, Kota Ibushi, and Will Ospreay. Because Okada and Ospreay have a match together, that guarantees that one of them is hitting at least 11 points and eliminates those with six and below, which is the remainder of the A Block field. In the B Block, it is essentially down to EVIL, Tetsuya Naito, Hirooki Goto, Zack Sabre Jr., and Sanada. Toru Yano is barely alive with six points but to stay alive, he must beat Naito on Wednesday and Hirooki Goto needs to beat EVIL.

**Chris Jericho was interviewed by Chris Van Vliet with a clip released of Jericho explaining the idea behind The Inner Circle and how it was pitched to him:

Well, Tony (Khan) wanted me to be part of a faction and I’ve never been part of one before. I was a bit reluctant at first, but then I was like “let’s give it a try” and I can’t remember what his…he wanted it to be a band like “Chris Jericho &…The Conspirators” or whatever it would be. My idea was “FIST”, like 1,2,3,4,5 (makes a fist) and that would be the merch. I was doing a BTE bit that Matt and Nick asked me to do and I said something “my inner circle is involved in this” and they said “Inner Circle is a cool name” and I said, “Yeah, that is a really cool name, that could be it”.

The idea first was who is going to be in it? It was always going to be the idea of a tag team, an up-and-comer, and a heater, so to speak. So, the original tag team bandied around, and it may have been by me, was Fenix and Pentagon and then I thought, I didn’t want gimmick guys, mask guys and then Santana & Ortiz came up and I knew them from the (Jericho) cruise but I don’t know much about them. You know The Bucks were saying how good they were, so let’s throw those guys in there, and then I wanted MJF but I think Cody wanted to do stuff with him, so I said “what about Sammy Guevara?” because I scouted Sammy Guevara and brought him to the table, had never met him before in my life I had just watched him on an NWA pay-per-view that Cody was wrestling (Nick) Aldis, and I thought this guy is good and he’s miscast as a babyface because he just looks like an asshole. So, Sammy, that’s cool and for the heater, there was a guy called Anthony Ogogo who is a boxer and they were suggesting him and I was like “I don’t want that” because I had that in WWE where they gave me heaters that were smaller than me or the same size. I want a big guy and I’d been kickboxing with the same trainer as Jake (Hager) when he was getting ready for his Bellator fights and I just started talking to him like “are you interested in coming back?” and he said, “yeah, I’d love to” and I pitched it to Tony and said, “this is the guy I want”, I’ve always been a big fan of his, I wanted him to be my heater back in WWE but they miscast him and didn’t know what to do with a 6-foot-6 good-looking blond guy who can work and has a character that can talk in the right circumstances, what the fuck? Like what?

I remember the very first night when everyone came out we did a photo shoot wearing the Inner Circle shirts and I was like “this reminds me of Guns ‘N Roses in 1987”, it’s five guys that don’t really belong together, if you look at that original photo it looks like they’re in five different bands but it just works. And, that’s the same to this day, when you get the five of us together it just works, it looks cool and I pride myself on the fact that in the whole year we’ve been together we’ve never had any dissension, no teases of breaking up, no cross words and no reason to. If this was WWE, we would have broken up after three months, you know? And it’s not what we’re going to do, there’s no reason to fuck with it and that’s one of the reasons why I love The Inner Circle. Now, can we add some people to it? Absolutely, that could always be part of the story and that will be part of the story but to me, it’s those five original guys, I like that, I still like that and I think we really gelled and we’ve become really good friends after not even really knowing each other at all.

**This week’s edition of Xplosion on IMPACT Plus has a match between Chris Sabin and Ben Carter.

**IMPACT Plus was upgrading its platform and, in the process, deleted several subscriptions from the streaming service. Impact Wrestling has stated it will be reaching out to those that lost their accounts.

**AXS TV will be airing Talk ‘N Shop: Full Keg hosted by The Good Brothers on Tuesday, October 20th immediately following Impact Wrestling at 10 pm Eastern.

**All Japan Pro Wrestling will kick off its Real-World Tag League tournament on November 18th and have listed the following teams for the tournament: Suwama & Shuji Ishikawa, Kento Miyahara & Yuma Aoyagi, Zeus & Shigehiro Irie, Jake Lee & Koji Iwamoto, Shotaro Ashino & Kuma Arashi, Yoshitatsu & Ryoji Sai, Masato Tanaka & Yoshihiro Tajiri, Daisuke, and Sekimoto & Abdullah Kobayashi.

**Lance Storm shared a message from August 2002 that Jim Ross sent to Storm following a tour of Australia during Ross’ time as head of talent relations. That was in conjunction with the Global Warning event WWE staged at Colonial Stadium that did one of WWE’s largest gates ever up to that point in its history. It was a SmackDown-only event, although Storm had been moved to RAW by the time the event took place but still worked the show teaming with Christian against Rey Mysterio & Billy Kidman.

**The WWE stock closed at $40.08 on Monday.

**Here is the line-up for Tuesday’s episode of Impact Wrestling on AXS TV:
*Kylie Rae vs. Kimber Lee
*Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz vs. Taya Valkyrie & Rosemary vs. Havok & Nevaeh

**ECW Press has announced they will be putting out a book called “Austin 3:16: 316 Facts & Stories about Stone Cold Steve Austin” by Michael McAvennie. The book is set to be released in March 2021.

**The cast of GLOW got together on Sunday for a Zoom conversation that was scheduled prior to the news of the show’s cancelation but they went ahead and discussed the impact of getting out to vote along with the news of Netflix pulling the plug on the series after three seasons.

**Being the Elite started with a clip from August 2019 with Hangman Page asking The Young Bucks to be in his corner at All-Out for his championship match against Chris Jericho just as The Bucks were in the corner for Kenny Omega’s big matches. The Bucks were hesitant because of their ladder match that night and off-camera duties. At the urging of Brandon Cutler, the Bucks finally sent a text to Page asking to forget the past year and wanted to talk adding that they loved him, but after sending the message it was discovered that Page lost his phone in the street. Someone finds Page’s phone and responds telling Matt to “fuck off” and that the friendship is over, but we never see who the person is sending those messages.

They are also starting a tournament for the BTE Championship belt introduced last week. They announced Matt vs. Nick Jackson, Alex Reynolds vs. John Silver, Chuck Taylor vs. Trent, Sammy Guevara vs. Fuego del Sol, Brandon Cutler vs. Peter Avalon, and Matt Hardy vs. Luchasaurus in Gator Golf matches.


**The UFC Fight Night card on Saturday was highlighted by one of the most spectacular knockouts of all-time. In the second round of their middleweight fight on the prelims, Joaquin Buckley landed a jumping spinning back kick to Impa Kasanganay where the latter fell like a large tree being chopped down. This is a shoo-in for KO of the Year and an all-time highlight reel clip.

THE MOST UNBELIEVABLE KO IN UFC HISTORY 🤯 #UFCFightIsland5 pic.twitter.com/O7BOJg8h9c

— UFC (@ufc) October 10, 2020

**In the main event of the show, Cory Sandhagen stopped Marlon Moraes in the second round of their bantamweight landing a spinning wheel kick and finishes Moraes with strikes. Sandhagen was coming off the first loss of his career this past June to Aljamain Sterling and Moraes is a huge victory that keeps Sandhagen in the upper echelon at 135 pounds. Moraes has been the recipient of poor luck having beaten Jose Aldo last December by split decision, yet it was Aldo who got a title fight after the loss and Moraes didn’t fight again until this past weekend.

**After their first card in France on Saturday, Bellator president Scott Coker spoke to the media after the card with the following highlights:
*Coker wouldn’t state Denise Kielholtz is next in line for flyweight champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane as they have some other options for Macfarlane but hinted at a women’s flyweight tournament for 2021
*They had plans to go to Brazil until the pandemic hit and forced changes to the schedule. There are plans to go to Korea, China, and Latin America in the future. Much like their European Series, they would like similar franchises in other parts of the world and potentially grow it into a World Cup event.
*The card in France was their final European date of 2020 but they have a return date booked for France, which he didn’t reveal. The remainder of their scheduled cards this year will take place at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.

**Bellator is back this Thursday in Uncasville with the Bellator 249 card that airs on the CBS Sports Network with the following main card airing at 10 pm Eastern:
*Cris Cyborg vs. Arlene Blencowe for the Bellator featherweight championship
*Patricky “Pitbull” Freire vs. Jeleel Willis
*Ricky Bandejas vs. Leandro Higo
*Saad Awad vs. Mandel Nallo

**The UFC has two more cards on Fight Island before returning to the U.S. This Saturday’s Fight Night card features an excellent featherweight main event between Brian Ortega and “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung. Ortega, 29, has not fought since a brutal war with former champion Max Holloway at UFC 231 in December 2018 where Ortega took significant punishment and it’s always a concern how a fighter returns from a fight of that magnitude. Jung would put himself in a strong position for a featherweight title shot with a win against Ortega to follow-up on his 2019 victories against Renato Moicano and Frankie Edgar, which were both TKO wins. Jung previously challenged for the 145-pound title in August 2013 losing by TKO to then-champion Jose Aldo. Jung didn’t fight again until 2017 due to his mandatory military service in South Korea and has gone 3-1 since returning in February 2017.

**Brian Ortega’s coach Rener Gracie is not traveling to Abu Dhabi due to the results of his COVID test in Las Vegas before he was set to leave. Gracie spoke to ESPN’s Marc Raimondi and note he and wife Eve Torres (the former WWE performer) tested positive about a month ago for the virus. After Gracie quarantined for two weeks, he produced two negative test results indicating he was okay. However, when he arrived in Las Vegas prior to flying to Abu Dhabi, he tested positive and was not allowed to travel.

**Saturday’s card also features undefeated heavyweight prospect Cyril Gane seeking his fourth win in the UFC facing Ante Delija, who is replacing Shamil Aburakhimov. The main card will also feature Jessica Andrade moving back to the flyweight division and takes on former title challenger Katlyn Chookagian, who lost to champion Valentina Shevchenko this past February and rebounded with a win against Valentina’s younger sister Antonina in May.




Day 14: Tetsuya Naito vs. EVIL
Day 13: Kazuchika Okada vs. Shingo Takagi
Day 12: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. EVIL
Day 11: Kota Ibushi vs. Shingo Takagi
Day 10: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. KENTA
Day 9: Kota Ibushi vs. Will Ospreay
Day 8: Tetsuya Naito vs. SANADA
Day 7: Tomohiro Ishii vs. Shingo Takagi
Day 6: Tetsuya Naito vs. Hirooki Goto
Day 5: Kazuchika Okada vs. Jay White
Day 4: Tetsuya Naito vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
Day 3: Kota Ibushi vs. Jay White
Day 2: Tetsuya Naito vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
Day 1: Kazuchika Okada vs. Kota Ibushi

REWIND-A-SMACKDOWN 10/9/20: WWE Draft, New Day Split, Tavel Civil Suit
John Pollock and Wai Ting chat about the first night of the WWE Draft on Friday Night SmackDown with a look at all the roster moves. News: Samantha Tavel’s civil suit, AEW & NXT ratings, and more.
Martin & Benno are joined by Sarah Grieve of Eat, Sleep, Suplex, Retweet to discuss RevPro Epic Encounters 2 & 3, the return of NXT UK, and the changes promotions are making following the Speaking Out movement.
upNXT 10/7/20: “Remember Moon”
Braden Herrington and Davie Portman review WWE NXT featuring Tommaso Ciampa vs Kushida, Ember Moon & Rhea Ripley vs Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzales, plus an unfortunate injury to Ridge Holland.
REWIND-A-DYNAMITE 10/7/20: “Y30-J”, Dog Collar, This Week in Florida
John Pollock and Wai Ting review AEW Dynamite with the 30th Anniversary Special for Chris Jericho, new WWE PC recruits, WWE Raw ratings and lots more.
John Pollock & Wai Ting review Rocky III (1982) as Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) enlists the help of rival Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) to defeat new nemesis, Clubber Lang (Mr. T).

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1 Like

That number is not a good one. Maybe they shouldn’t have done years of booking where they teach everyone that being on a specific show doesn’t mean anything…