Originally published at POLLOCK'S UPDATE: How will AEW Collision fare in Week 2?
POST IT NOTES
**Due to the demand for tickets, we have expanded the capacity for our Forbidden Pour event this Sunday at Real Sports (across the street from Scotiabank Arena). The doors will open at 3 p.m. ET and will kick off with a live edition of ASK-A-WAI with Wai & I answering your questions for about 70-80 minutes followed by a live game hosted by Braden Herrington & Davie Portman. The Poisonrana team will be giving away tons of unique wrestling-themed prizes. Plenty of POST Wrestling members will be in attendance and hanging out and your ticket also gives you access to the After Party in the same location immediately after Forbidden Door ends. Tickets are available at www.postwrestling.com/live.
**Rewind-A-SmackDown will be live at 10 p.m. ET hosted by Wai Ting & Kate from Montreal. They will review SmackDown and look ahead to the big weekend coming up as well as take your calls. The two will also be back Saturday night for Collision Course with both shows available to POST Wrestling Café members.
**A programming note, we will be doing a Forbidden Door POST Show this Monday at Noon ET as Wai Ting & I chat about Sunday’s show.
**MCU L8R is back on the POST Wrestling Café to kick off the new series “Secret Invasion”. The first episode review is available now with Wai Ting, Rich Fann & WH Park discussing the latest Marvel series on Disney+. MCU L8R will be covering the series all season long on the Café.
**I was a guest on the Haus of Wrestling with Nick Hausman discussing the return of CM Punk to AEW, his promo on Collision and follow-up appearance this past Wednesday, the issues at play, and this weekend’s Forbidden Door card. Wai Ting was also a guest with Hausman this past Tuesday discussing the news.
Tonight: Rewind-A-SmackDown with Wai Ting & Kate from Montreal (Patreon)
Saturday: Collision Course with Wai Ting & Kate from Montreal (Patreon)
Sunday: Wrestlenomics Radio with Brandon Thurston, Chris Gullo & Jesse Collings
Monday: Forbidden Door POST Show with John Pollock & Wai Ting (LIVE at Noon ET)
AEW COLLISION – WEEK 2
**AEW’s follow-up episode of Collision is Saturday night at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto and CM Punk’s second match since returning from a torn triceps injury. Last week’s debut of 816,000 viewers and 0.33 placed the show third among cable originals night and second in its time slot behind the College World Series. This weekend’s competition includes Major League Baseball and USFL football on broadcast television and ESPN’s coverage of the College World Series. With the UFC running an afternoon card on ABC, AEW should be able to beat everything outside of ESPN’s programming for the night. There are several interesting factors for the second show with audience retention from week one being the key and how much interest was created to bring a healthy percentage back on a difficult night. The difference-maker is CM Punk and what his involvement in a match means in the second week and how the Toronto audience reacts to Punk. It is not the worst thing in the world to have divergent reactions for Punk dependent on the market, but you never know how Toronto will sway. The Elite are not scheduled for Saturday’s show but all the key members of last year’s All Out situation will be under the same roof for the first time on Sunday night since Punk’s return. Since their own returns last November, The Elite has yet to be used at a press conference and we’ll see if Punk is utilized in that capacity on Sunday or if they avoid that potential issue altogether.
The lineup for Saturday is led by an eight-man tag with CM Punk, FTR & Ricky Starks taking on The Gunns, Jay White & Juice Robinson with the seed sown weeks ago when FTR came to the aid of Starks. The card also sees Hiroshi Tanahashi take on Swerve Strickland, an Owen Hart Cup tournament match between Nyla Rose and Willow Nightingale, and Andrade El Idolo vs. Brody King. Outside of Punk, the stars of the first Collision were Andrade and Buddy Matthews.
In Canada, the show will air live on TSN 5 (which is not a national feed and requires a higher cable subscription for some to receive it) but does cover Southeastern Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, P.E.I., Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador as the main TSN feed. Collision will also stream live on Saturday on TSN+.
What is your viewing plan for Week 2 of AEW Collision? (Approx. 435 votes)
Watching live: 43.9%
DVR and watch it later: 34.7%
Not interested: 21.4%
**Wrestlenomics provided the quarter-hour performance for NXT this past Tuesday and as expected, the main event between Seth Rollins and Bron Breakker was the major difference-maker. The final quarter (9:45 – 10 p.m. ET) averaged 861,000 viewers and 351,000 in the 18-49 demo, which grew 15% in viewers and 17% in the demo from the previous quarter (Q7). The larger gain occurred during the eight-minute overrun segment from 10:00 – 10:08 p.m. ET where viewership hit 950,000 (+27% from Q7) and 364,000 in 18-49 (+22% from Q7) and easily making it one of the most successful quarters in the history of the show on the USA Network. Overall, it was NXT’s largest audience in over two years and the biggest 18-49 audience since October 2020.
**Fightful Select reported that the beatdown of The Hardys on Dynamite was a way to injure Jeff Hardy, who is not legally able to enter Canada and therefore, cannot appear live until July 19 at the earliest when they run their next show in the U.S.
**Friday Night SmackDown takes place from the Cajundome in Lafayette, Louisiana tonight on Fox. It will include the tag title unification match involving the WWE & NXT Women’s Champions and follows the big angle involving The Bloodline last week. Below are the current matches announced:
*WWE & NXT Women’s Tag Title Unification: Ronda Rousey & Shayna Baszler vs. Alba Fyre & Isla Dawn
*LA Knight vs. Santos Escobar vs. Butch
*Bayley vs. Shotzi for Bayley’s spot in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match
*Baron Corbin vs. Cameron Grimes
**AEW Rampage airs at 10 p.m. ET on TNT from Wednesday’s taping in Chicago. It will feature MJF’s first appearance on the show ever for an angle that will lead to another match at Forbidden Door this weekend. Below are the matches and segments set to air:
*Owen Hart Cup: Anna Jay A.S. vs. Skye Blue
*Will Ospreay, Kyle Fletcher, Jeff Cobb & Swerve Strickland vs. Best Friends, YOH & Rocky Romero
*Jack Perry vs. DOUKI
*The Acclaimed in action
*MJF to appear
*Adam Cole to appear
**AEW’s next eight events will be in Canada with no U.S. show until Dynamite on July 19 in Boston. It’s a mixed bag strengthened by the immediate sellout for Forbidden Door, which has surpassed 13,000 tickets distributed. The combination of CM Punk’s return and ticket prices being lowered has impacted Saturday’s episode of Collision in Toronto, which is now over 5,300 tickets out. Next Wednesday’s Dynamite in Hamilton has approximately 3,800 tickets out and the following night’s Collision in the same city has hit 1,700. The remaining Canadian dates are July 5 in Edmonton for Dynamite & Rampage, July 8 for Collision in Regina, July 12 with Dynamite in Saskatoon, and July 15 in Calgary for Collision and the finals of the Owen Hart Cup.
**Nick Hausman spoke with Konnan for Inside the Ropes regarding his role in trying to get Santana & Ortiz back on the same page and teaming again and how they were utilized in the Inner Circle group:
I don’t know because you know, for a while here, Ortiz and Santana haven’t been seeing eye to eye. I’ve been talking to both of them to see if they will reunite. I think that you know, the problem was that LAX originally — the first time I ever talked to Tony [Khan], he told me about LAX. And then the next thing I knew when I inquired about it, you know, he wanted me to come in and manage it.
And then when I inquired about it — or it might have been Cody — but then when I inquired about it Tony was like, ‘Oh Jericho’s is going to use them.’ And I was like, ‘That’s a weird fit. But f*ck it.’ Then when I saw that, and I love Jericho, he’s one of my best friends, but bro, he did nothing with them. I mean, absolutely nothing with them. And so these guys died a slow death and Santana was p*ssed off, and he has every reason to be, the guy’s f*cking uber-talented and you’re not doing sh*t with him.
**Jan Murphy spoke with Renee Paquette for the Toronto Sun ahead of AEW’s Canadian tour and working with producer Mike Mansury, who recently joined the promotion after working in WWE for eleven years:
Mike has produced so many different programs and whatnot, whether we were in WWE and now being able to work together in AEW. He’s just been amazing and he’s been a great producer, somebody who I’ve always been able to trust in my ear. I know that he’s going to get me where I need to go. Him and I are like simpatico. We could communicate with our eyes closed and get something done.
**IMPACT is running back-to-back nights at Center Stage in Atlanta Stage beginning tonight. The first night of its ‘Summer Sizzler’ shows will feature Alex Shelley vs. Brian Myers for the IMPACT title, Deonna Purrazzo vs. Taylor Wilde for the Knockouts title, Masha Slamovich vs. KiLynn King (Killer Kelly beat Taylor Wilde on this week’s show and they are teasing an alliance between Kelly & Slamovich as the next title challengers), Jonathan Gresham vs. Angels, and Courtney Rush vs. Gisele Shaw. This weekend’s tapings are the finals set before Slammiversary on July 15 with the crew heading to Australia later this week for two shows that will stream on FITE.
**CMLL at Arena Mexico tonight has a Trios main event as Mistico teams with Soberano Jr. & Templario against Volador Jr., Titan & Dragon Rojo Jr. The card also features Barbaro Cavernario with Euforia & Mephisto against Ultimo Guerrero, Gran Guerrero & Hechicero and Dulce Gardenia, Rey Cometa & Espiritu Negro vs. Akuma, Espanto Jr. & Dark Magic in the top three matches at 8:30 p.m. ET. Saturday at Arena Coliseo is headlined by Euforia, Mistico & Soberano Jr. against Volador Jr, Stuka Jr. & Gran Guerrero and Sunday at Arena Mexico features Atlantis, Volador Jr. & Star Jr. against Mephisto, Terrible & Niebla Roja.
**GCW runs Thalia Hall in Chicago tonight with a card at 11 p.m. ET on FITE+. The card includes Blake Christian vs. Gringo Loco for the GCW title, El Hijo del Vikingo vs. Metalik, Steph De Lander vs. LuFisto, Joey Janela & Sawyer Wreck vs. Effy & Allie Katch, Los Macizos vs. Second Gear Crew, Jack Cartwheel vs. Arez, Komander vs. Jordan Oliver, and Alec Price & Cole Radrick vs. Davey Bang & August Matthews.
**Ethan Page was a guest on TSN 1050 Toronto to promote the upcoming shows in Toronto and Hamilton over the next week.
**The next season of Amazing Race Canada is going to feature Gail Kim & Gisele Shaw as one of the teams competing for the grand prize. The season premiere will air on July 4 on CTV in Canada. The following is from their profile:
Gail and Gisele want to crush the stereotype of “dumb wrestlers” in a “fake” world and show Canada that they are fierce female athletes. Proudly representing their Asian backgrounds, they are racing to inspire young girls everywhere to go after their dreams – and to do it together – and for the LGBTQ2S+ community.
**Demand Lucha is back in Toronto next Thursday for a big event at Parkdale Hall. The lineup includes El Hijo del Vikingo, Speedball Mike Bailey, Gringo Loco, Sam Adonis, Jack Cartwheel, Toxin, and Brian Cage. The front row is sold out but tickets for the remaining sections are available ranging from $34-$63. This show is taking place the same night as the Collision taping in Hamilton, which is about an hour outside of the city.
**AEW Games has released the main names of the available roster when ‘Fight Forever’ is released next week:
Introducing the main game roster of AEW: Fight Forever!#AEWFightForever launches June 29th on PC and consoles!
— AEW Games (@AEWGames) June 23, 2023
**The Ultimate Fighter had its best performance of the season this past Tuesday with 468,000 viewers and 0.13 in the 18-49 demographic on ESPN. The show ranked #12 among cable originals for the night and was up from 222,000 and 0.06 the week prior. One could surmise that all the negative attention on Conor McGregor contributed to people tuning in much like all the negative coverage of Power Slap led to one strong number before it returned to normal levels on TBS this year. The season has not received much positive attention as it’s a battle of UFC veterans against regional stars with McGregor choosing all the younger fighters that are significant underdogs with Michael Chandler’s team at 4-0 this season. There is also growing skepticism regarding the likelihood of McGregor and Chandler fighting with no announcement of McGregor re-entering the USADA pool or a planned date for the fight. (Showbuzz Daily)
**The UFC is back on ABC on Saturday afternoon and therefore, alleviates the competition for AEW Collision in the evening. The card has an excellent main event between featherweights Josh Emmett and Ilia Topuria. Emmett was riding a five-fight win streak until it was snapped by Yair Rodriguez this past February but if he manages to beat Topuria, it would be a major win in his career but at 38, the time is ticking for some a tough division. Topuria is the real deal in every sense and is undefeated in his career. He had a big performance against Bryce Mitchell last December and submitted him with an arm-triangle and would be among the title contenders if he extends his winning streak on Saturday. Despite a lot of the UFC Fight Night cards lacking depth, it’s a great main event they have booked.
MAIN CARD (3 p.m. ET on ABC)
*Josh Emmett vs. Ilia Topuria
*Amanda Ribas vs. Maycee Barber
*Cody Brundage vs. Sedriques Dumas
*David Onama vs. Gabriel Santos
*Brendan Allen vs. Bruno Silva
PRELIMINARY CARD (Noon ET on ESPN & ESPN+)
*Neil Magny vs. Philip Rowe
*Zhalgas Zhumagulov vs. Joshua Van
*Justin Tafa vs. Austen Lane
*Randy Brown vs. Wellington Turman
*Loik Radzhabov vs. Mateusz Rebecki – Radzhabov missed weight by 1.25 pounds and was fined 20% of his purse
*Tabatha Ricci vs. Gillian Robertson
*Trevor Peek vs. Jose Mariscal
*Jamall Emmers vs. Jack Jenkins – Emmers weighed 147 pounds but made the limit of 146 on his second try
**The flyweight fight between Kleydson Rodrigues and Tatsuro Taira was pulled from the card on Friday due to Rodrigues having missed weight. The fighter stepped onto the scale at 129 pounds.
**MMA Junkie revealed that a rematch between light heavyweights Anthony Smith and Ryan Spann is scheduled for August 26 in Kallang, Singapore. They fought in September 2021 where Smith (36-18) submitted Spann in the first round with Smith going 0-2 since that fight with losses to Magomed Ankalaev and Johnny Walker. Spann (21-8) bounced back after the loss to Smith with stoppage wins against Ion Cutelaba and Dominick Reyes before a submission loss to Nikita Krylov this past March. The card in Singapore is scheduled to be headlined by a featherweight fight between former champion Max Holloway (24-7) and ‘The Korean Zombie’ Chan Sung Jung (17-7).
**MMA Fighting reports that a rematch for the UFC Flyweight Championship is set for September. Alexa Grasso (16-3) is set to make her first title defense against former champion Valentina Shevchenko (23-4), who has dominated the weight class throughout its existence in the UFC. The site reports that the fight will take place on a UFC Fight Night card on September 16 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Grasso pulled off the sizable upset earlier this year at UFC 285 by submitting Shevchenko in the fourth round and handing Shevchenko her first loss since Sept. 2017 and only defeat at flyweight.
**Former two-time UFC Strawweight Champion Rose Namajunas is moving up to the flyweight division for her next fight. MMA Junkie reports that Namajunas will fight Manon Fiorot on September 2 at the UFC Fight Night event in Paris, France at the Accor Arena. Namajunas (11-5) has not fought since her title loss to Carla Esparza at UFC 274 last May, which was generally regarded as one of the worst title fights in UFC history. Fiorot (10-1) will be competing in her home country of France and has been unbeaten since entering the UFC and coming off decision wins against former title challengers Jennifer Maia and Katlyn Chookagian in her last two outings.
**The PFL runs its card in Atlanta tonight with the main card airing at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN & ESPN+ with Olivier Aubin-Mercier (18-5) vs. Anthony Romero (10-0), Sadibou Sy (13-6-2) vs. Shane Mitchell (13-5), Shane Burgos (15-4) vs. Yamato Nishikawa (21-4-6), David Zawada (17-8) vs. Magomed Magomedkerimov (31-6), Nayib Lopez (16-0) vs. Magomed Umalatov (13-0), and Clay Collard (22-10) vs. Stevie Ray (25-11) with the prelims airing at 6 p.m. on ESPN+.
MCU L8R: Secret Invasion Episode 1 Review
Rich Fann, WH Park & Wai Ting review Marvel Studios’ Secret Invasion Episode 1: “Resurrection” as Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury returns to Earth to deal with a clandestine invasion of Skrulls.
DOUBLE SHOT: Dark Side of the Ring
On this week’s Double Shot, John Pollock and Wai Ting continue their weekly look at Dark Side of the Ring with a review of Season 4 Episode 4, “What Happened to Doink the Clown?”
John Pollock & Wai Ting review AEW Dynamite Le Suzuki Gods, Bryan Danielson calls out Kazuchika Okada and CM Punk appears in Chicago.
POLLOCK & THURSTON: Dave Meltzer, Wrestling Observer Newsletter
John Pollock and Brandon Thurston welcome Dave Meltzer from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter to discuss AEW Collision & Forbidden Door.
Braden Herrington and Davie Portman review WWE NXT: Gold Rush from June 20th, 2023 headlined by Seth Rollins vs Bron Breaker for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
John Pollock and Wai Ting review WWE Raw as Logan Paul enters MITB, Tommaso Ciampa returns, and Cody Rhodes teams with Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens against The Judgment Day.
The N.W.A. Podcast: Summer Madness
Nate Milton and Kris Ealy are joined by John Siino & Rich Fann to chat about their first impressions of AEW Collision featuring CM Punk, and their top stories of the first half of 2023.
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