POLLOCK'S UPDATE: Forbidden Door II has giant pre-sale, NXT audience falls

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2023/03/22/pollocks-update-forbidden-door-ii-has-giant-pre-sale-nxt-audience-falls/


**The pre-sale for the 6/25 Forbidden Door II event began on Tuesday and the demand appears to be huge for the Toronto event. Dave Meltzer reports that the first day of the pre-sale has generated over $1 million (CDN) in ticket sales with the Scotiabank Arena expected to sell out. AEW did confirm to us that there are tickets being held back for the general public on sale, which is this Friday, but today’s indicators would suggest they’ll move quickly once available to the public. WrestleTix reports that they have already distributed 12,030 tickets with the arena configured for 13,600 with the remaining tickets likely to go instantly on Friday. The last time WWE ran the arena, they sold out last August for an episode of Raw that drew 14,169, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

AEW X NJPW Present Forbidden Door
Sun • Jun 25 • 7:00 PM
Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, ON

Available Tickets => 1,632
Current Setup => 13,662
Tickets Distributed => 12,030

Presale numbers so far.
[https://t.co/yRCOtL75Yu] pic.twitter.com/2bjFAeHmE8

— WrestleTix (@WrestleTix) March 22, 2023

It does emphasize the strength of the Forbidden Door and NJPW brands with the concept show spiking interest at a time when AEW has seen a drop in several metrics and failed to sell out the recent Revolution pay-per-view in San Francisco.

**NXT had its lowest viewership of the year with an average of 550,000 viewers and 0.12 in the 18-49 demographic as it ranked #29 among cable originals on Tuesday. It was NXT’s lowest audience since December 6, 2022, and the second-lowest 18-48 audience of the year behind the February 7 show that aired against the State of the Union address. (Wrestlenomics & Showbuzz Daily)

Cable was dominated by the championship final of the World Baseball Classic between the U.S. and Japan that averaged 4.48 million viewers and 1.46 in the demo and 492,000 and 0.17 on Fox Deportes. NXT dropped seven percent in viewers and fell 18 percent in the demo, but the sizable loss was among female viewership. Females 18-49 dropped 35 percent this week compared to males in the demo only falling by eight percent. In the 12-34 demo, females declined 67 percent while males in the same demo were identical to last week’s figure. They also had a big drop among adults 18-34 with its lowest number in that category since January 31.

In Canada, the show averaged approximately 66,000 viewers and 35,000 in the 25-54 demographic on Sportsnet 360. It was down 16 percent in viewership from last week but up from the demo of 33,000 last week. NXT did not rank among the top ten sports programs for the day in the country.

**MLW has announced that Battle Riot V will air on REELZ on Tuesday, April 25 in its regular time slot. It guarantees that MLW will have an airing beyond the ten-week mark on the network, although the future of MLW and REELZ remains unknown with neither side definitively addressing the Variety report that stated it would end its tenure on REELZ after ten weeks. The tenth week of the MLW Underground Wrestling will be on April 11. After the Variety report came out regarding the network forging a deal with Peacock, which has an exclusive arrangement with WWE for pro wrestling content, REELZ issued the following statement to PWinsider.com on the future of MLW with the network:

No decisions have been made by MLW or REELZ and we are both committed to a good outcome for MLW, its fans and REELZ.

Battle Riot V will be taped on April 8 in Philadelphia at the 2300 Arena. They have announced Jacob Fatu, John Hennigan, Raven, Willie Mack, Alex Kane, Rickey Shane Page, Shigehiro Irie, Lance Anoa’i, Sam Adonis, Mr. Thomas, 1 Called Manders, and Jimmy Lloyd for the 40-man battle royal.

**Tonight’s episode of AEW Dynamite is at the Cable Dahmer Arena in Independence, Missouri featuring Kenny Omega against El Hijo del Vikingo. It’s an interesting arena for Omega as it’s the site of his 30-minute Ironman match with PAC in February 2020, which is one of the best matches in Dynamite’s history. It is also the arena where Omega had his last singles match on Dynamite with a match against Alan Angels in November 2021. Omega has not had a singles match since the classic with Will Ospreay at Wrestle Kingdom and expectations are through the roof for this match tonight.

Below is the announced matches and segments for tonight’s show at 8 p.m. ET on TBS and TSN 2:
*Dream Match: Kenny Omega vs. El Hijo del Vikingo
*AEW Tag Team Championships: The Gunns © vs. Top Flight
*No Disqualification: Hook vs. Stokely Hathaway
*Jon Moxley vs. Stu Grayson
*Toni Storm vs. Skye Blue
*Sting, Darby Allin & Orange Cassidy vs. The Blade, The Butcher & Kip Sabian
*Adam Cole speaks

**Kenny Omega spoke to SI.com regarding critics of the match with Vikingo and not providing enough of an introduction for the Lucha star:

The two times I was most blown away were by individuals I’d never seen heading into the match. One was Rey Mysterio versus Psicosis in ECW, and the other was Great Sasuke versus Taka Michinoku when they first appeared for WWF. That took me down a rabbit hole so far that it helped create the wrestler I am today. So the people that want to cast this match away because they’re not too familiar with the name Vikingo, I hope they give it a shot. Allow this young man to display what makes him so special. We’re going to more than earn our spot in the show, and you get to be part of that experience.

**NXT taped two episodes on Tuesday night including next week’s go-home show before Stand & Deliver. The key things on the show next week include the battle royal to determine the final participant in the fatal five-way match for the North American Championship with Wes Lee, Dragon Lee, JD McDonagh, Ilja Dragunov, and Grayson Waller signing the contract for the Unsanctioned match with Johnny Gargano. The Stand & Deliver card has seven matches currently scheduled including the addition of an eight-person tag between The Schism and Chase U with Tyler Bate but is most notable for being the first on-screen match for Ava a.k.a. Simone Johnson, which should receive added press that week in L.A.

**Steve Austin was interviewed by Ryan Satin about his return match last year with Kevin Owens at WrestleMania and not officially announcing it would be a match until that night, as well as the preparation to get into ring shape.

🐍 @SteveAustinBSR opens up about his return to the ring last year at #WrestleMania and the @WWESheamus-inspired training sessions he did to prepare for the match.@RyanSatin #OutOfCharacter100 #OutOfCharacter pic.twitter.com/a9LlzCr1Ja

— WWE on FOX (@WWEonFOX) March 22, 2023

**NJPW’s Road to Sakura Genesis will include five shows between April and April 6. The top shows will be the April 2 and April 3 events at Korakuen Hall. The April 2 card will be headlined by Shingo Takagi defending the KOPW title against Aaron Henare in a no-time-limit match and will include Oleg Boltin’s debut match teaming with Ryusuke Taguchi & Shota Umino against Zack Sabre Jr., Robbie Eales & Kosei Fujita. The April 3 card is headlined by Minoru Suzuki, El Desperado & Ren Narita defending the NEVER Openweight Six-Man titles against EVIL, SHO & Yujiro following Tuesday’s angle where the House of Torture members unmasked El Desperado and spray painted the chest of Narita while Suzuki was not present due to his All Japan commitment. Both Korakuen Hall shows will stream on New Japan World at 5:30 a.m. ET and lead into the Sakura Genesis card at Ryogoku Kokugikan on April 8.

**All Japan wrestler Naoya Nomura has suffered an ACL injury and will need to undergo surgery. Due to the injury, he is out of the Champion Carnival tournament that starts in a few weeks. The 29-year-old last wrestled this past Saturday at Korakuen Hall in a six-man tag with Dan Tamura & Hikaru Sato against Minoru Tanaka, Seichi Ikemoto & Soma Watanabe. Nomura was not on Tuesday’s card at Ota Ward Gymnasium.

**AEW has switched the date for its first show in Regina, Saskatchewan this July. Originally, it was scheduled to be a live edition of Rampage on Friday, July 14 but is now listed as a “Televised Event” for Saturday, July 8. The new ad doesn’t specify what show is being taped on that date. Tickets for the show in Regina go on sale this Friday at 11 a.m. ET.

**Sharmell Huffman will be appearing on Chicago P.D. tonight at 10 p.m. ET on NBC.

**The WWE stock closed at $84.19 on Wednesday and fell two percent.

**IMPACT Wrestling has listed the following lineup for Thursday’s episode at 8 p.m. ET on AXS TV on the night before Sacrifice:
*Mickie James & Tommy Dreamer vs. Bully Ray & Masha Slamovich
*Motor City Machine Guns & KUSHIDA vs. Deaner, Angels & Big Kon
*Deonna Purrazzo vs. Savannah Evans
*Joe Hendry & Dango vs. Moose & Brian Myers
*Before the Impact: Trey Miguel vs. Kevin Knight

**Game Changer Wrestling will return to Las Vegas on Friday, May 26 over Memorial Day weekend and coincides with Double or Nothing that weekend in the city.

**WWE released a clip from this Sunday’s A&E special on Charlotte Flair where she speaks about her father’s retirement in 2008 and her desire to get into the industry.

**Bay Today has a story on Lance Storm being inducted into the North Bay Sports Hall of Fame this May.

**The next major NOAH card is April 16 in Sendai with Jake Lee making his first defense of the GHC Heavyweight title against Katsuhiko Nakajima. They have also announced El Hijo de Dr. Wagner Jr. vs. Jack Morris for the GHC National title, Masa Kitamiya & Daiki Inaba defending the GHC tag titles against Takashi Sugiura & Shuhei Taniguchi, Maya Yuhiki vs. Sumire Natsu, and a Trios match with Dragon Bane, Dralistico & Alejandro against Alpha Wolf, Xtreme Tiger & Lancelot.

**Dream Wave Wrestling has announced that El Hijo del Vikingo will be part of their show on 6/17 in LaSalle, Illinois.  


**Rewind-A-Dynamite is live at 10 p.m. ET tonight and we’ll go through all the top stories today and review the show from Missouri. We will be live on the POST YouTube channel and taking feedback & questions from the POST Forum.  

**For POST Wrestling Café members, WH Park and I hosted the New Japan Cup Final POST Show covering Tuesday’s show, SANADA’s win, and a fantastic IWGP Jr. Heavyweight title match between Hiromu Takahashi and Lio Rush. We also went through the NOAH card from Sunday where Jake Lee won the GHC title, the Yuji Nagata vs. Shuji Ishikawa match for the Triple Crown, and our live experience at GCW’s Worst Behavior at the Opera House in Toronto.

**FITE COO Mike Weber spoke with Brandon Thurston and I about all the shows coming up next week in L.A., the launch of Fite+ and GCW’s involvement with The Collective over ‘Mania Weekend, the tech side of their business, and Weber’s own thoughts on a possible sale of WWE. Weber has previously worked in the WWF, WCW, and TNA and is always an insightful guest when it comes to the streaming industry of professional wrestling.

**On Thursday, we’ll wrap up our coverage of season five of Drive to Survive with JC Pittman returning to the show to discuss episodes nine and ten, and the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix from this past weekend. This show will be available for all POST Café members. There will also be a new edition of The Wellness Policy coming out Thursday with Wai Ting, Jordan Goodman & Neal Flanagan.

**A reminder that Friday’s edition of Rewind-A-SmackDown will be a free edition of the show with Wai & Kate from Montreal at a special start time of 10 p.m. ET due to Rampage airing on Saturday. Later that night, John Siino and I will have a Café show covering IMPACT Sacrifice.


Tonight: Rewind-A-Dynamite with John Pollock & Wai Ting
Thursday: Drive to Survive – S5 Ep. 9 & 10 (Patreon)
Thursday: The Wellness Policy
Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown with Wai Ting & Kate from Montreal (Free)
Friday: IMPACT Sacrifice POST Show with Pollock & John Siino (Patreon)
Saturday: The N.W.A. Podcast (WrestleMania 39 Preview)
Saturday: The Long & Winding Royal Road (Kobashi vs. Vader, April ’99)
Sunday: Wrestlenomics Radio  

John Pollock and Brandon Thurston speak with Mike Weber of FITE TV as the platform gets set for its busiest week of the year.
Braden Herrington and Davie Portman review WWE NXT from March 21st, 2023 headlined by Bron Breakker & Carmelo Hayes vs Pretty Deadly!
John Pollock & WH Park review the New Japan Cup Final, Jake Lee wins GHC title, Nagata vs. Ishikawa, and GCW Worst Behavior live thoughts.
John Pollock and Wai Ting review WWE Raw with a confrontation between Roman Reigns and Cody Rhodes, Impaulsive with Logan Paul, and the two-week countdown until WrestleMania 39.
WRESTLENOMICS: AEW begins running house shows
Brandon Thurston, Jesse Collings and Chris Gullo talk about AEW running house shows and other subjects in wrestling business.
John Pollock and Eric Marcotte review the UFC 286 card with the third fight between Leon Edwards and Kamaru Usman for the UFC Welterweight Championship.

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