POLLOCK'S NEWS UPDATE: SmackDown on FS1 & Canadian viewers

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/10/26/pollocks-news-update-smackdown-on-fs1-canadian-viewers/

POST IT NOTES

**Our WWE Hell in a Cell POST Show is up on the site with Wai Ting and I reviewing the pay-per-view from Sunday night with the highs and lows of the card including three Hell in a Cell matches.

**Wai Ting and I are back tonight with Rewind-A-Raw to discuss the latest news coming out of the weekend, a review of WWE RAW, and we will take your questions & feedback at the end. Plus, a preview of the shows coming up this week on the site.

**On Tuesday, it’s Rewind-A-Wai #72 with Wai Ting and I reviewing the WWF King of the Ring 1995 show from Philadelphia. “The Mabel Year” will be reviewed in great detail with this show selected by Espresso Executive Producer Andrew MacDonald. The feedback thread is up on the POST Wrestling Forum. The show will be posted Tuesday night for all members of the POST Wrestling Café.

**We will also have an interview with AEW wrestler & Bellator fighter Jake Hager on the site Tuesday prior to his fight this Thursday at Bellator 250 against Brandon Calton.

POST SCHEDULE

Tonight: Rewind-A-Raw with John Pollock & Wai Ting
Tuesday: POST Interview – Jake Hager
Tuesday: Rewind-A-Wai #73 – WWF King of the Ring 1995
Wednesday: Rewind-A-Dynamite with John & Wai
Wednesday: upNXT with Braden Herrington & Davie Portman
Friday: WWE Q3 Report w/ Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics
Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown (LIVE at 10:15 pm ET for Café members)
Saturday: The Rocky Maivia Picture Show with Nate Milton & guest Gen Chittenden (“Hercules”)
Saturday: upNXT Movie Review – Halloween III w/ Braden & Davie
Sunday: The Long & Winding Royal Road with WH Park & guest Davie Portman (Kenta Kobashi vs. Dr. Death Steve Williams)

WRESTLING NEWS

**WWE has announced that Randy Orton will appear on “Moment of Bliss” tonight on RAW, plus qualifying matches for the Survivor Series will begin, and Drew McIntyre will start the show.

**Friday Night SmackDown averaged 881,000 viewers on FS1 this past Friday going against Game 3 of the World Series. SmackDown finished 15th for the night among cable programs with a 0.25. Last year, when SmackDown moved to FS1 for the World Series it did 888,000 viewers and a 0.27 in the demo.

The Dodgers vs. Rays game on Fox did 8,156,000 viewers and a 2.0 in the 18-49 demo and was easily the most-watched program of the night. Last year’s World Series game against SmackDown averaged 11,779,000 viewers on Fox.

What was interesting last week is that both AEW and SmackDown aired on cable head-to-head with the World Series. In the key demographics, AEW beat SmackDown in each category except males 12-34 and adults over 50 while SmackDown topped them in overall viewers by 128,000.

Yes, SmackDown was airing on a different channel while AEW was in its regular slot but this comes after a series of episodes from AEW and NXT that moved to different nights of the week and either held up or in the case of NXT did significantly better than its regular slot without AEW competition.

Below is a comparison of Friday Night SmackDown on FS1 to last week’s AEW Dynamite on TNT:

Source: Showbuzz Daily

ADULTS 18-49
AEW: 0.30
SmackDown: 0.25

FEMALES 18-49

AEW: 0.21
SmackDown: 0.14

MALES 18-49
AEW: 0.39
SmackDown: 0.36

ADULTS 18-34
AEW: 0.15
SmackDown: 0.13

FEMALES 12-34
AEW: 0.14
SmackDown: 0.08

MALES 12-34

AEW: 0.11
SmackDown: 0.15

ADULTS 25-54
AEW: 0.36
SmackDown: 0.30

ADULTS 50+
AEW: 0.28
SmackDown: 0.44

**On Friday night in Canada, SmackDown was the #2 most-watched sports broadcast behind Game 3 of the World Series. SmackDown averaged 124,100 viewers with 75,700 in the 25-54 demographic on Sportsnet 360. A replay of SmackDown later that night at Midnight did 36,000 viewers, WWE Main Event at 11 pm Eastern did 51,200 and the one-hour version of NXT at 7 pm did 40,600 viewers. The Dodgers vs. Rays game dominated the night with 481,400 viewers on Sportsnet.

**It was confirmed on Sunday’s pay-per-view broadcast that the theme of the Survivor Series this year will be “30 Years of The Phenom” to honor the launch of The Undertaker character in November 1990.

**AAA held a press conference Monday to announced that TripleMania is tentatively scheduled for December at Arena Ciudad without listing a specific date because of the unknown status the city will be in. They announced Kenny Omega will defend the Mega heavyweight title on the card against Laredo Kid along with a Hair vs. Hair Match between Chessman and Pagano. There is also a partnership with Marvel with AAA putting together a tag match to promote its Funko Pops series of characters with Aracno & Leyenda Americana vs. Terror Purpura & Venenoide. The final news related to the event was that La Parka will be inducted into the AAA Hall of Fame. Lucha Blog has a complete rundown of the notes from the press conference.

**Marvel has put out a release touting the partnership with AAA. Below is a statement from Luis Lomeli, the Head of Licensing and Consumer Products for the Walt Disney Company in Mexico:

This collaboration with AAA represents an opportunity to participate in an iconic part of Mexican culture, such as wrestling and offering attractive content and experiences to the whole family that can be further celebrated with spectacular consumer products inspired by this discipline which is valuable for fans and consumers.

While developing these storytelling and content creation initiatives, the premise has been to stay true to the essence of Mexican wrestling at all times by bringing together AAA’s experience in terms of wrestling and Marvel’s experience in terms of story and character development. The potential of wrestling is unlimited. Its quality, color and talent are increasingly valued in the world. Based on this unique and original creative platform, we will develop different product lines such as clothing, footwear and accessories, toys, household and school items.

Cada lucha tiene un comienzo:

Alianza 🤝 @MarvelLATAM y Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide #MarvelLuchaLibre #TriplemaniaXXVIII pic.twitter.com/xfkvx1t9il

— Lucha Libre AAA (@luchalibreaaa) October 26, 2020

**There was a really classless comment on the Hell in a Cell kickoff show during the segment where Elias appeared with the panel. One of the panelists was Jeff Jarrett and Elias began performing a song where he compared Jarett and Jeff Hardy stating if he didn’t know any better, he would think “Jeff is Spanish for junkie”. It was bad enough that you were bringing up Jarrett’s past issues for no storyline purpose and was completely mean-spirited. What made is even worse was the knowledge that Sunday was Jarrett’s three-year anniversary of being sober.

**The biggest story following Bound for Glory was the absence of Kylie Rae on the show, who was scheduled to be part of the #2 match on the show challenging Knockouts champion Deonna Purrazzo. The Wrestling Observer site reported that Rae was in Nashville on Friday but didn’t appear at the building on Saturday with IMPACT officials unaware of her status. Su Yung was inserted as her replacement, defeating Purrazzo for the championship after they played Rae’s music and she didn’t come out. The Observer site added that Rae was said to be “okay in the physical sense”. First and foremost, is the hope that Rae is doing better. While there was a lot of anger over the nature of the switch on Saturday’s pay-per-view, it appeared that IMPACT was caught in a delicate situation. You can argue that once the back-up plan was put together, at that point you should alert your audience before they bought the pay-per-view for one of the biggest matches on the show. I can also see this being a tough situation they were thrust into and fans acknowledging that. POST Wrestling did reach out for comment from IMPACT and have yet to receive a response.

**Heath Miller was injured during the Call Your Shot Gauntlet Match where the Wrestling Observer site reporting that he suffered a hernia. It was evident throughout his time in the ring that he was having a hard time moving around and was eventually, eliminated. Later, it was noted that he was scheduled to win the match based on the stipulation that if Heath or Rhino didn’t win, they would be gone. So, they adjusted on the fly with Rhino winning the match and pinning Sami Callihan at the end. For all the examples, of injuries forcing a match to change on the fly, this was done very seamlessly and is a lot more complicated when you’re adjusting a battle royal with Rhino entering the match first and working the full 25 minutes.

**Alex Shelley posted an update after he was removed from the four-way tag title match at Bound for Glory. Before the match began, Shelley was hit with a double underhook piledriver by Josh Alexander on the ramp with Chris Sabin wrestling the match alone against the other three teams. Shelley indicated he is dealing with issues connected to his C5 and C6 vertebrae and has also canceled his upcoming match with Billy Roc for Black Label Pro on November 21st.

So, the C6 nerve root controls your pointer finger and bicep and C5 can refer to your pectoralis. If you feel intense burning in either of these areas following trauma, please seek medical attention. I feel somewhat grateful to have the education to know what the red flags are.

**Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer reports that the match between Tay Conti and Abadon won’t be airing this Wednesday on AEW Dynamite. The episode was taped last Thursday, and an injury was sustained by Abadon where she took an elbow to the throat and forced the match to be stopped and she was taken to a hospital for evaluation. The promotion has since announced a match between Eddie Kingston and Matt Sydal has been added to the show with the updated card below:
*Lumberjack Match for the TNT Championship: Cody (champion) vs. Orange Cassidy
*World Title Eliminator Semi-Finals: Kenny Omega vs. Penta El Zero M (replacing Rey Fenix)
*World Title Eliminator Semi-Finals: Hangman Page vs. Wardlow
*Eddie Kingston vs. Matt Sydal
*The Inner Circle’s Town Hall with Chris Jericho & MJF

**Greg Oliver at SLAM Wrestling has a story on the passing of photographer Joe Black, who was based out of Toronto and died last Tuesday at the age of 94. Black ran a studio called Graphic Artists in the city and photographed many wrestlers that popped by for promo shots including Giant Baba. Black also worked heavily with photographing players in the NHL and CFL with many of his photos preserved in the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.

**Tonight’s episode of Corner Gas Animated will feature cameos from Lance Storm, Bret Hart, and Trish Stratus airing at 9 pm Eastern on CTV Comedy.

MONDAY: Brent and Hank’s excitement over meeting their favourite wrestler turns to despair when they discover he has redefined himself – as a gardener! Cameos by @LanceStorm @BretHart and @trishstratuscom. Watch #CornerGasAnimated 9 PM (ET/PT) on @CTVComedy. pic.twitter.com/0arobI0DXx

— Corner Gas (@CornerGas) October 25, 2020

**Brendan Vink is now going by the name Tony Modra. Under the previous name, he had a cup of coffee on the main roster earlier this year teaming with Shane Thorne, but the pairing was dropped with Thorne later re-branded as Slapjack as part of Retribution.

**The WWE Network has unlocked all the episodes of “The Last Ride” documentary series on The Undertaker on the free version of the service.

**The Back Body Drop outlet has some updated UK viewership totals from the past month:
*RAW on October 12th – 63,200 on BT Sport
*SmackDown on October 16th – 26,500 on BT Sport
*IMPACT on October 14th – 9,400 on Freesport
*A replay of NXT UK on October 17th – 26,500 on BT Sport
*AEW Dynamite on October 16th – 118,000 on ITV4 (it aired at 11:50 pm that night instead of its usual slot of 10 pm)

**John Arezzi is working with Greg Oliver to release his upcoming biography “Mat Memories: My Wild Life in Pro Wrestling, Country Music, and with the Mets” through ECW Press. They have released the cover design for the book, which comes out next April.

**Mick Foley was interviewed by Nick Hausman at Wrestling INC on his criticism of President Donald Trump and decided to speak publicly about it ahead of next week’s election.

**The WWE stock fell on Monday and closed at $37.65.

**Here is the line-up for Tuesday’s episode of AEW Dark at 7 pm Eastern:
*Ivelisse & Diamante vs. KiLynn King & Savannah Evans
*Brandon Cutler vs. Peter Avalon
*Evil Uno & Stu Grayson vs. Top Flight
*Anna Jay vs. Katalina Perez
*Ricky Starks vs. VSK
*Sonny Kiss vs. Aaron Solow
*Luchasaurus, Jungle Boy & Marko Stunt vs. Jersey Muscle & Danny Limelight
*Darby Allin vs. Alex Chamberlain
*The Hybrid2 vs. Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian
*Sean Maluta vs. 10 of the Dark Order
*Brian Cage vs. Fuego Del Sol
*Matt Sydal vs. Lee Johnson
*Best Friends vs. Anthony Bowens & Max Caster
*Will Hobbs vs. Nick Comoroto
*Hikaru Shida vs. Leyla Hirsch

MMA NEWS

**The announcement by Khabib Nurmagomedov that he was retiring at 29-0 following his submission of Justin Gaethje is being taken as a retirement that is likely to stick. Often, a fighter announces their retirement as a tool for leverage or done in the heat of the moment, this one appeared calculated and a foregone plan by Nurmagomedov from the start of this camp following the loss of his father and the promise he made to his mother to end his career after the fight. While there is always the chance, his mother may have a change of heart and encourage him to come back, I feel this is probably the end of a very extraordinary career with Nurmagomedov walking away at the young age of 32.

His name will be part of the shortlist of all-time great fighters alongside Jon Jones and Georges St-Pierre in that top tier. Nurmagomedov has several arguments in his favor from the fact he retires undefeated and faced quality opponents throughout most of his career, lost one round to Conor McGregor in October 2018, and arguably had his best performances in the last years of his career culminating in submissions of McGregor, Dustin Poirier, and Justin Gaethje. The times you saw Nurmagomedov struggle are minuscule – he had a very tough fight against Gleison Tibau in July 2012, he did get hit by Michael Johnson in November 2016 before dominating Johnson and finishing him, there was the Al Iaquinta fight that he had 24 hours to prepare for and still won all five rounds, and the McGregor fight will likely be remembered as his toughest and he won decisively.

He will also leave with the MMA pay-per-view record set with McGregor at UFC 229 with 2.4 million buys that will be a mark that is going to take a generational fight to top.

There is always that elusive fight, or one more mountain to climb for any fighter and the difficulty is knowing when it’s time to step away and do so on your terms, which he is doing. Having that fight with St-Pierre would be a fight of enormous proportions and if ever there was one fight to stick around for that was it with both expressing strong interest and even Dana White stating he would try and make it if it was Nurmagomedov’s last one. The legacies of Nurmagomedov and St-Pierre will only grow because each knew when it was time to step away and the public never saw the decline of either fighter. Others like Anderson Silva and BJ Penn will have tremendous highs but will also be graded on their final years and that’s the reality of MMA for the vast majority fall into a trap of chasing past glory and not coming to terms with a way of life that they have identified with their entire adult life.

Of all the fighters we have seen in this generation, I don’t know if there is anyone that has walked away from more financially than Nurmagomedov. At any point, he could have exercised the rematch with McGregor, and it may have topped the first time, add in the St-Pierre fight and you’re talking unreal money for two fights that he has opted to forego.

As it pertains to the future of the lightweight division, the obvious choice is having the vacant lightweight title decided between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier on the proposed January 23rd fight. The rest of the division could shake out with Tony Ferguson fighting Michael Chandler and matching Justin Gaethje with Dan Hooker as your next contenders. All this is contingent on satisfying the fighters’ terms, which Ferguson has been vocal about and Poirier has made it clear he wants to be adequately compensated for the wars he’s put his body through and understanding that transaction. The UFC did a strong job introducing Chandler to its audience on Saturday with a video package and interview that showed the full promotional muscle is behind Chandler and having a big fight when he debuts.

**Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports spoke with Nurmagomedov’s trainer Javier Mendez after UFC 254. Mendez revealed that the UFC lightweight champion went through a terrible fight camp where he contracted the mumps on September 11th and that sidelined him for two weeks. Then, he returned to training and broke a toe. Mendez added that teammates fell ill and there was staph infection going and called it “the worst camp we’ve ever had in the sense of preparation.” Mendez also told Iole that Nurmagomedov will help him coach at AKA in the future.

**Two judges scored the first round of the UFC 254 main event for Justin Gaethje. Judges Sal D’Amato and Ben Cartlidge had it for Gaethje while Derek Cleary had it for Nurmagomedov. I was pretty convinced that was a clear round for Nurmagomedov, although Gaethje was landing near the end of the round that led to Nurmagomedov finally going for his first takedown and going for Gaethje’s arm with a biceps slicer as the horn sounded.

**At the UFC 254 post-fight press conference, Dana White stated that the fight to make at middleweight was the rematch between champion Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker. Whittaker fought a great fight against Jared Cannonier securing a unanimous decision on scores of 29-28. The first round was close, and I edged it for Cannonier due to the damage from the leg kicks but rounds two and three were Whittaker’s. Adesanya defeated Whittaker at UFC 243 in October 2019 and has defended the title twice with wins against Yoel Romero and a dominant outing against Paulo Costa last month. Whittaker has stated he is now pursuing the fight immediately and is adamant about spending the holidays with his family and anticipating the birth of his next child and doesn’t want to have a fight consuming him as his wife goes through the birth.

**After UFC 254, George St-Pierre spoke with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani and called it a “masterful performance” from Khabib Nurmagomedov. He said he will not ask for or pursue the fight with Nurmagomedov given the circumstances behind his decision to fight following the passing of his father on July 3rd. He isn’t sure if Nurmagomedov will ever return and wants to see him go be with his family and not think about fighting but St-Pierre sounded very open if Nurmagomedov ever changed his mind.

**Josh Gross at Sherdog.com has a story on the state of the PFL as they recently announced their plans to resume cards in April 2021. Fighters at the league have been frustrated due to the inability to compete this year with Lance Palmer threatening a civil suit and not happy with the $1,000 stipend offered. Some fighters on the roster have been able to supplement their income by competing elsewhere and this includes Tom Lawlor, who has been wrestling during the pandemic.

ON THIS DATE

*****
WWE HELL IN A CELL POST SHOW
John Pollock and Wai Ting review WWE Hell in a Cell 2020 featuring Randy Orton vs. Drew McIntyre for the WWE Championship. Plus, Roman Reigns vs. Jey Uso and Sasha Banks vs. Bayley.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/10/25/wwe-hell-in-a-cell-2020-post-show/
*****
IMPACT BOUND FOR GLORY POST SHOW
Davie Portman & Nate Milton review Impact Bound for Glory 2020 featuring Eric Young vs. Rich Swann for the Impact World Championship.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/10/25/impact-bound-for-glory-2020-post-show/
*****
UFC 254 POST SHOW: Nurmagomedov vs. Gaethje
John Pollock is joined by Phil Chertok for the UFC 254 POST Show to discuss Khabib Nurmagomedov’s victory over Justin Gaethje and retirement.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/10/24/ufc-254-post-show-khabib-nurmagomedov-vs-justin-gaethje/
*****
REWIND-A-SMACKDOWN 10/23/20: Miz-Carriage of Justice, HIAC Preview
John Pollock and Wai Ting chat about the Hell in a Cell go-home edition of Friday Night SmackDown with a preview of Sunday’s card. They discuss the Alex Reynolds injury on Dynamite, AEW/NXT ratings, and more.
https://www.patreon.com/posts/43094668
*****

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For me this shows that if Fox would pick up AEW it would probably do the same number as Smackdown on the same slot.

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