POLLOCK'S NEWS UPDATE: SmackDown to stay on Friday nights this fall

Originally published at POLLOCK'S NEWS UPDATE: SmackDown to stay on Friday nights this fall


**We have our Money in the Bank POST Show available for download with Wai Ting and I reviewing Sunday night’s show and going through the entire card. After the review, we took phone calls and feedback to the show. Our UFC pay-per-view POST Shows stream live each month immediately after the show for Double Double, Iced Capp & Espresso members of the POST Wrestling Café.

**Phil Chertok and I have our UFC 249 POST Show available with a rundown of Saturday’s card and a big discussion of the top regarding the handling of the event and the news of Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza’s removal from the show on Friday.

**Tonight, Wai Ting and I will have a new Rewind-A-Raw discussing tonight’s episode from the WWE Performance Center and the fallout from Money in the Bank and directions of the key stories. We will also share our thoughts on Chapter 1 of Undertaker: The Last Ride, which premiered on Sunday on the WWE Network, and we will go through the major news items and take your feedback.

**On Tuesday, it’s Rewind-A-Wai #61 as Wai Ting and I review the September 18, 2000 episode of WCW Monday Nitro from Kitchener, Ontario. The show features a main event tag where the one to score the fall receives a WCW title shot – in a match that included the current WCW champion (it’s going to be one of those shows). You can leave any questions or feedback for us to answer on the POST Wrestling Forum. The show drops Tuesday evening for members of the POST Wrestling Café.

**Andrew Thompson will have an interview posted this Thursday with NWA champion Nick Aldis. Andrew will also join us on the Café Hangout this Thursday at 3 pm Eastern.

**Phil Chertok has also launched a separate podcast called The Fishbulb podcast that features conversations with many unique individuals. His latest show is out featuring professional rock climbing coach Matt Chapman.


Tonight: Rewind-A-Raw with John Pollock & Wai Ting
Tuesday: Rewind-A-Wai #61: WCW Monday Nitro 9/18/2000 (Patreon)
Wednesday: Rewind-A-Dynamite
Wednesday: upNXT with Braden Herrington & Davie Portman
Thursday: Cafe Hangout with guest Andrew Thompson (LIVE at 3 pm ET for Patrons)
Friday: The British Wrestling Experience with Martin Bushby, Benno & Jamesie
Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown (Patreon)
Saturday: The Rocky Maivia Picture Show with Nate Milton (“Snitch” starring Dwayne Johnson)



**On Monday, it was reported by Pro Wrestling Sheet that Becky Lynch will be making a major announcement on Raw tonight, which has already been taped today. She tweeted the following on Sunday night:

Haven’t been injured. Haven’t been talking much lately. So #Raw can’t come soon enough.

**WWE’s taping schedule will see the company hold Raw and this Friday’s episode of SmackDown at the WWE Performance Center today. On Tuesday, they will be taping the May 18th edition of Raw and the May 22nd edition of SmackDown. NXT is set to tape two episodes this Wednesday with the May 13th and 20th shows. Below is what has been announced for tonight’s episode of Raw at 8 pm Eastern on the USA Network:
*Becky Lynch’s announcement
*Edge and Randy Orton are advertised

**Friday Night SmackDown finished with 2,025,000 viewers this past Friday and a 0.5 in 18-49. The final number was up 7% from the week prior and the first week the show has increased week-to-week since April 3rd.

**Fox released its 2020 fall schedule on Monday with Friday Night SmackDown in its regular slot of Fridays at 8 pm Eastern on the network. The show is in the first year of its five-year deal with Fox, which is reportedly worth $205 million per year to WWE for the rights to the program.

The show premiered on Fox last October with 3,888,000 watching the two-hour premiere that was a loaded show including an appearance by The Rock Dwayne Johnson. The show was in a groove doing 0.7-0.8 each week in the 18-49 demographic, which was usually topping the Friday night network programs but have seen a decline throughout April and May. SmackDown was able to hold its audience at a stronger rate than Raw until April 17th when it dropped to 2,187,000 viewers with subsequent falling audience numbers. The show has done 0.5 in the key demo over its past three episodes.

**We have an update on the case involving Alberto Del Rio (Jose Rodriguez Chucuan) following his arrest over the weekend and facing a charge of sexual assault. The allegations made are harrowing to read and we have an update based on the reporting from the NBC news affiliate in San Antonio that had access to the case documents.

**WWE’s Greatest Ladder Matches special did 996,000 viewers on the overnights this past Saturday on Fox. It did 0.2 in the 18-49 demographic going against the UFC 249 prelims on ESPN and a re-airing of Game 7 of the NBA Finals from 2016 on ABC. Among network programing, the WWE special tied the NBA replay at the bottom with ABC doing 0.2 from 8-10 head-to-head with the Ladder Match special. NBC won the night in the demo with replays of Dateline NBC and Saturday Night Live. The final number should be out Tuesday.

**On Tuesday, FS1 will air a WrestleMania Recall episode at 7 pm Eastern followed by the airing of WrestleMania 3 in its entirety at 8 pm, which will go against the new episode of Dark Side of the Ring from 10-11 pm. A new episode of WWE Backstage follows at 11 pm with CM Punk on the panel and Otis will be a guest.

**WWE returns with their next major show on Sunday, June 14th with Backlash.

**The WWE fell on Monday closing at $44.43 on Monday.

Money in the Bank was completely geared around the match at headquarters, so we will see if they feel it necessary to create a similar hook for shows moving forward. I would prefer they keep them limited because they will wear out their welcome and Sunday’s match didn’t approach the response level that the Boneyard Match or Firefly Funhouse match received, although this show looked dull on paper without the match at headquarters because of the curiosity factor.

One thing for sure is that the headquarters match and other cinematic-style matches transfer easily for future video and digital gaming ideas.

**Bruce Prichard’s son Kane played the janitor in the Money in the Bank Ladder match at WWE headquarters.

**Mike Johnson at PWinsider.com reported that Su Yung (Vannarah Riggs) has signed a new multi-year deal with Impact Wrestling with her existing deal expiring back in March. Yung held the Knockout’s title in 2018 defeating Allie for the title and holding it until August when she dropped it to Tessa Blanchard. She currently performs as both the Su Yung and Susie characters.

**Colt Cabana and Darby Allin are the first participants announced for AEW’s Casino Ladder match that will take place at Double or Nothing on Saturday, May 23rd on pay-per-view. The multi-person ladder match will be contested for a future shot at the AEW championship.

**Greg Oliver and Bob Kapur have a big story at SLAM Wrestling on the passing of Lester Perfors a.k.a. ‘Supreme’ who died last week at the age of 49.

**Impact Wrestling is advertising the following matches for Tuesday’s episode on AXS TV:
*Hernandez vs. Madman Fulton in the opening round of the #1 contender’s tournament
*Rohit Raju vs. Trey in the opening round
*Havok vs. Kimber Lee
*Moose vs. Suicide

**Lince Dorado of the Lucha House Party turns 33 today.

**The latest episode of Being the Elite:


**ESPN’s Ariel Helwani reported Sunday that an e-mail was sent to the fighters and representatives of those attached to the upcoming shows in Jacksonville, Florida this week. The e-mail requested information if they had symptoms of fever, shortness of breath, or coughing along with any exposure to anyone that might have COVID-19.

It would indicate a lesson learned from this past week where Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza arrived in Jacksonville and informed UFC officials that a family member had COVID and was tested by UFC. A positive test came back Friday indicating Souza and two of his cornermen tested positive and his fight with Uriah Hall was off.

It would seem the safest course of action would be to remove someone from the card immediately once that is disclosed rather than take chances. To UFC’s credit, they went to extraordinary lengths over the past week to put this card on but they are still lessons to learn and this was one of them. There was a video circulating after Souza’s positive test was revealed where he was seen mingling with other fighters that Dana White acknowledged didn’t look good but said it was a short time.

**USADA announced a sanction levied against UFC middleweight Kelvin Gastelum for nine months but was reduced to five after the completion of a drug treatment program. Gastelum had an in-competition test come back positive last November for Carboxy-THC, a urinary metabolite of THC that was above the allowable limit of 180 ng/mL.

Gastelum fought Darren Till at UFC 244 on November 2nd and would have been the in-competition period. Due to the completion of the program, his suspended ended on April 3rd and he is eligible to fight. The middleweight is coming off losses to Israel Adesanya and Till in 2019.

Prior to this suspension, Gastelum had a March 2017 victory over Vitor Belfort changed to a no-contest when he tested positive for marijuana metabolites. In the statement, USADA added:

In addition, Gastelum’s positive test falls under the jurisdiction of the New York State Athletic Commission, which is handling the case in accordance with its rules.

**Coming out of that brutal fight with Justin Gaethje, Tony Ferguson suffered an orbital bone fracture, which Dana White revealed to Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports. It will probably be a long time before Ferguson fights again as he took an insurmountable level of damage up until the fifth-round stoppage.

Let’s not forget that the fight with Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov was announced back in November of last year for their April 18th date meaning Ferguson was training for months before the postponement of UFC 249. He added more on his plate in recent weeks choosing to make weight for 155 pounds prior to the non-existent April 18th card and then turning around to fight Justin Gaethje three weeks later. It was an incredible stretch Ferguson going undefeated from October 2013 until this past Saturday.

**From Saturday’s UFC 249 card, the Fight of the Night bonus went to Justin Gaethje and Tony Ferguson while the Performance of the Night bonuses was awarded to Gaethje and Francis Ngannou. On the undercard, Vicente Luque and Niko Price had a phenomenal fight that would have been my pick for the best fight of the night. As well, Bryce Mitchell had a great claim for performance of the night, although that category tends to reward performances that end with a finish. Each received $50,000 for their bonuses meaning $100,000 for Gaethje, who has now received nine bonuses in his seven UFC fights. He also received the Fight & Performance of the Night bonuses together for his UFC debut against Michael Johnson in July 2017.

**Endeavor, the parent company of the UFC, has secured a term loan of $260 million to deal with its financial situation during the pandemic. The news of the loan was first reported by the Wall Street Journal and follows news that 7,500 people in the company would be impacted by furloughs, layoffs, and other reductions to staff. Both the UFC and Professional Bull Riders (PBR) are owned by Endeavor and recently returned to staging live events without fans in attendance. Endeavor has been significantly hurt from the loss of live events along with the production of various film and television projects over this period.

**The UFC’s heavyweight picture presented the UFC with another option after Saturday’s results. Francis Ngannou knocked out Jairzinho Rozenstruik in 20 seconds of their fight with Ngannou’s fourth consecutive first-round stoppage victory, with the longest-lasting 1:11.

In a twist, Daniel Cormier, who had stated he only wanted to fight Stipe Miocic, is open to fighting Ngannou. Cormier appeared on the post-show after UFC 249 stating that Ngannou has now earned the right to fight for the title and he won’t wait forever for Miocic to fight.

The UFC heavyweight champion has stated he will not fight anytime soon with his gym closed and unable to adequately prepare for a championship fight during this time, where he is also a firefighter and working in that capacity. Miocic and Cormier have fought twice with each holding a win and last fought in August 2019 where Cormier was winning the fight until Miocic adjusted his game plan, attacking the body and stopping Cormier in the fourth round to regain the heavyweight title.

**While speaking with Megan Olivi on the UFC 249 post-show, Dominick Cruz threw out allegations towards referee Keith Peterson, who stopped his fight with Henry Cejudo in the second round of their championship fight. Cruz accused Peterson by stating “the guy smelled like alcohol and cigarettes so who knows what he was doing?” he added that Peterson should have been drug tested and had reservations about Peterson being the referee when he saw him. Obviously, the inference that an official was intoxicated is a serious charge to make and cause potential harm to a referee’s reputation. Peterson has not responded to the allegations.

**The UFC returns this Wednesday night with a card that will air in its entirety on ESPN+ (Fight Pass outside of the U.S.) meaning it won’t be airing on television against AEW and NXT in the U.S. It is their second of three cards in one week for the promotion from the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida and features the following card:

MAIN CARD (9 pm Eastern on ESPN+)
*Anthony Smith vs. Glover Teixeira
*Ben Rothwell vs. Ovince Saint Preux
*Drew Dober vs. Alexander Hernandez
*Ricky Simon vs. Ray Borg
*Marin Vettori vs. Karl Roberson

*Andrei Arlovski vs. Philipe Lins
*Michael Johnson vs. Thiago Moises
*Sarah Moras vs. Sijara Eubanks
*Gabriel Benitez vs. Omar Antonio Morales Ferrer
*Brian Kelleher vs. Hunter Azure
*Chase Sherman vs. Isaac Villanueva

**The television situation is a different scenario for Canadians as TSN will be carrying Wednesday’s in addition to their regular airing of AEW Dynamite. The Fight Night prelims and main card begin at 7 pm Eastern on TSN 1/3/4 and a UFC post-show is set to air at Midnight on TSN4. AEW Dynamite will be running on TSN2 at 8 pm. It won’t be a three-way battle in Canada as NXT does not air in the country until Friday night on Sportsnet 360.




John Pollock & Wai Ting review WWE Money in the Bank 2020 featuring Men’s and Women’s Money in the Bank ladder matches taking place from WWE Headquarters in Stamford, CT.
TOTAL RECALL: Total Bellas Season 5, Ep. 5 & 6

Wai Ting and Pauline are back to review Total Bellas Season 5, Episode 5 “BellaVision” & Episode 6 “Salsa Caliente”.
UFC 249 POST SHOW: Tony Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje

John Pollock is joined by Phil Chertok to chat Saturday’s UFC 249 card including the two championship fights with Ferguson vs. Gaethje and Cejudo vs. Cruz.
REWIND-A-SMACKDOWN 5/8/20: MITB Go-Home, Reigns Speaks, Herb Abrams

John Pollock and Wai Ting review Friday Night SmackDown and the final episode leading into this Sunday’s Money in the Bank PPV. Plus, we discuss Jacare testing positive for COVID-19 and review Dark Side of the Ring: Herb Abrams.
Café Hangout: AEW Fined, WWE Untold: “I Am the Game”, WWE NXT
John Pollock and Wai Ting discuss AEW being fined $10,000 for a match, last night’s WWE NXT featuring the debut of Karrion Kross, and WWE Network’s excellent Untold: “I Am The Game” documentary detailing two pivotal matches in the careers of Triple H and Cactus Jack.
REWIND-A-DYNAMITE: AEW Goes Live, Tony Khan on Empty Arenas

John Pollock and Wai Ting review AEW Dynamite’s return to live programming from Jacksonville, Florida headlined by a Street Fight between Chris Jericho & Sammy Guevara vs. Kenny Omega & Matt Hardy.
upNXT: Fall and Pray

Braden Herrington and Davie Portman are reunited to review WWE NXT featuring Velveteen Dream vs. Adam Cole for the NXT Championship, Io Shirai vs. Charlotte Flair for the NXT Women’s Championship, and the in-ring debut of Karrion Kross.

John Pollock is joined by Phil Chertok for a UFC 249 Preview Show ahead of this Saturday’s card headlined by two championship fights in Florida.

John Pollock is joined by Phil Chertok for a UFC 249 Preview Show ahead of this Saturday’s card headlined by two championship fights in Florida.
upNXT REVIEW: LOST – Pilot Part 1 & 2
Davie Portman celebrates a decade since his favorite TV show, Lost aired its finale by reviewing the episode that kicked it all off: Pilot Part 1 & 2. He is joined by friends of the show Kevin Hudson (from Geekcentric), David Sykes, and MJ From NJ to chat all about one of the most groundbreaking pieces of TV in history.
ASK-A-WAI: Ask Us Anything! (May 2020)
John Pollock and Wai Ting answer their patrons’ questions from the POST Wrestling Forum in the May 2020 edition of Ask-A-Wai.

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I’ve got a feeling that Becky Lynch is going to be insufferable tonight.

Swear to God if Becky’s “announcement” involves taking 15 minutes to do an entrance and then taking a deep breath and announcing “I can’t do this right now…” before exiting abruptly, I am turning this shit off.

According to PWInsider… Spoilers below…

PWInsider.com has been told that during tonight’s Raw broadcast, which was taped earlier today, there will be a segment where Becky Lynch vacates the Raw Women’s Championship to Asuka, who won the Money in the Bank Briefcase on last night’s PPV. We have confirmed that with three difference sources.

PWInsider.com has also been told, off the record, why Lynch will be making the announcement but was asked to respect her privacy until she makes it public during Raw. We will respect those wishes and we hope everyone else will as well.

I based this comment on her character and promos annoying me.

If it’s for the reason that’s being predicted, I wonder if Seth Rollins will get written off possibly a injury angle or Murphy attacks him.

He may not want to be in the self isolation mode also may give that handshake that he and Drew had a different context