POLLOCK'S UPDATE: Roman Reigns' Celebration Highlights SmackDown

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2023/06/02/pollocks-update-roman-reigns-celebration-highlights-smackdown/


**Rewind-A-SmackDown is back at 11 p.m. ET for POST Wrestling Café members as we will be reviewing AEW Rampage tonight, along with Friday Night SmackDown. For those new to the Café, a link will be sent out Friday afternoon for access to the live stream and information on how you can call into the show. This is our third of four Café shows this week with Karen Peterson & Bruce Lord reviewing New Japan’s Dominion card on Sunday.

**Brandon Thurston will be the guest with WH Park on The Long & Winding Royal Road this Saturday as they chat about Toshiaki Kawada vs. Gary Albright from October 1995.

**We are fielding suggestions for the “Watch Along” topic we will view next week, if you have suggestions they can be sent to [email protected].

**Rewind-A-Wai #132 covers NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn II from August 2016 with Samoa Joe vs. Shinsuke Nakamura, Asuka vs. Bayley, and The Revival vs. DIY in the top matches. We had a big discussion about the presentation of NXT, how it differed from the main roster, and the pros and cons of that method. 

**The Double Shot has returned for season four of Dark Side of the Ring and will air every Wednesday immediately after Rewind-A-Dynamite for patrons. The first show is available with our thoughts on the “Chris & Tammy” episode.


Tonight: Rewind-A-SmackDown with John Pollock & Wai Ting (11 p.m. ET)
Saturday: The Long & Winding Royal Road with WH Park & Brandon Thurston (Toshiaki Kawada vs. Gary Albright, Oct. 1995)
Sunday: Wrestlenomics Radio with Brandon Thurston & MJ from NJ
Sunday: NJPW Dominion Review with Bruce Lord & Karen Peterson (Patreon)


**Friday Night SmackDown is at Mohegan Sun Plaza in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania tonight. Cody Rhodes is advertised for a match against The Miz, which is just a dark match for the live crowd. The show is sold out with approximately 9,000 tickets distributed, per WrestleTix.

The major segment tonight is the 1,000 Day Celebration for Roman Reigns, who won the Universal Championship on August 30, 2020 (today is day #1,006 as Universal Champion and #425 as WWE Champion and will pass CM Punk’s 2011-13 reign of 434 days next weekend. If you are using the overall number of days as champion, Reigns will surpass Pedro Morales’ 1,027 days later this month.)

Fightful Select reported that Reigns is set to receive a new championship belt, which POST Wrestling has also been told. 

There are no NBA or NHL games tonight, so SmackDown should likely win the night.

The following matches have been announced:
*Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Lacey Evans vs. Zelina Vega
*Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: LA Knight vs. Montez Ford

**One of the stronger AEW Rampage lineups airs at 10 p.m. ET on TNT tonight with a  “Championship Friday” theme with four title matches set to air:
*AAA Mega Championship: El Hijo del Vikingo © vs. Komander vs. Dralistico
*NJPW Television Championship: Zack Sabre Jr. © vs. Action Andretti
*NJPW Strong Women’s Championship: Willow Nightingale © vs. Emi Sakura
*ROH Pure Championship: Katsuyori Shibata © vs. Lee Moriarty

**The latest figure from WrestleTix shows that AEW has distributed approximately 7,600 tickets for the Collision debut at the United Center in Chicago on 6/17. The outlet observed that over 500 tickets moved after Wednesday’s announcement that CM Punk will be on the show. The follow-up episodes on 6/24 in Toronto and 6/29 in Hamilton continue to underperform.

**AEW has announced a Dynamite/Rampage taping on 7/26 at the MVP Arena in Albany, 8/2 at the Yuengling Center in Tampa, and 8/9 at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. They have also announced Collision dates for 8/5 at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, South Carolina, and 8/12 at the Greensboro Coliseum. The Greensboro Coliseum tweeted out an ad featuring CM Punk for the show in August. On the AEW site, all Collision shows include MJF, FTR, Thunder Rosa, House of Black, Miro, Andrade El Idolo, Samoa Joe, Thunder Rosa, and Powerhouse Hobbs in the ads. AEW has not announced anything for Collision on 7/29 and when POST Wrestling inquired about this Saturday date, we were told that “more live events announcements are forthcoming.”

**The season four premiere of Dark Side of the Ring covering Chris Candido & Tammy Sytch averaged 147,000 viewers and 0.05 in the 18-49 demographic on Vice TV this past Tuesday. The third season of Dark Side averaged 177,000 viewers and 0.07 in the demo, so it was below those figures. In terms of overall viewership, “Chris & Tammy” was larger than the season three episodes on FMW, Johnny K-9, Luna Vachon, and XPW but below Brian Pillman, Nick Gage, Collision in Korea, Ultimate Warrior, Grizzly Smith, Dynamite Kid, Plane Ride from Hell, Chris Kanyon, and the Steroid Trials. (Wrestlenomics)

**Dark Side of the Ring executive producer Evan Husney spoke with us on Thursday and noted that they have only completed four episodes this season and continue to work on the remainder. He said the episode on The Grahams was a very heavy one dealing with suicide throughout multiple generations of that family but does have a positive message through one of the family members that has become an advocate. On the “Plane Ride from Hell” episode that caused such an uproar, Husney as unaware if the former flight attendant Heidi Doyle broke a non-disparagement agreement to appear on the show, but did note that they contacted the other flight attendant that was part of the lawsuit against the company and she declined to speak on the episode. The Dark Side team was close to interviewing Tammy Sytch for this past week’s episode, which may have led to the season premiere being extended to two hours, but on legal advice, she declined. He acknowledged it would have been a much different episode with Sytch’s involvement.

**Next week’s episode of Dark Side of the Ring will cover Magnum T.A. (Terry Allen) and will include independent wrestler Megabyte Ronnie portraying Magnum in re-enactment scenes. Allen was a very good athlete that got involved in amateur wrestling in high school and continued in University at Old Dominion before breaking into professional wrestling through Buzz Sawyer (and didn’t have a positive experience with Sawyer, like Mark Calaway). He got his start in Portland and bounced around to San Antonio wrestling for Joe Blanchard and started to gain a name for himself in Florida for Eddie Graham and linking up with Dusty Rhodes. His biggest break occurred when he went to Mid-South for Bill Watts and was set for a mega babyface push and then moved on to Jim Crockett Promotions in 1984. Of course, his career was cut short two years later he totaled his Porsche in Charlotte when he struck a telephone pole and was paralyzed from the neck down. There were already plans in place for Magnum to unseat Ric Flair as the next NWA Champion and at 27 years of age, was going to be a focal point of JCP for years to come. There are a million questions you can ask and nothing is guaranteed in this industry regarding a push and connecting with the crowd in a main event position but Magnum had so many factors working for him and was the mentee of booker Dusty Rhodes, who was going to go all the way with him.

**The rest of season four of Dark Side of the Ring will cover The Graham Family on 6/13, Doink the Clown (Matt Borne) on 6/20, Junkyard Dog on 6/27, Adrian Adonis on 7/11, Bash at the Beach 2000 on 7/18, Abdullah the Butcher on 7/25, Bam Bam Bigelow on 8/1, and the season finale on Marty Jannetty on 8/8.

**AEW is running two House Rules shows this weekend beginning in Tupelo, Mississippi tonight. AEW has announced Toni Storm vs. Skye Blue for the AEW Women’s Championship, Dax Harwood vs. Daniel Garcia, Dr. Britt Baker vs. Ruby Soho, Kris Statlander vs. Anna Jay A.S for the TBS title, and Ethan Page & Big Bill against Darby Allin & Orange Cassidy for tonight’s show. On Saturday, they are in Huntsville, Alabama at the Propst Arena at the Von Braun Center.

**WWE has a live event in White Plains, New York on Saturday and have advertised Cody Rhodes (working the broken arm injury) against Finn Balor, Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn against the Viking Raiders, and Seth Rollins defending the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against The Miz. Sunday’s show is in Manchester, New Hampshire with the same matches advertised along with Rhea Ripley vs. Natalya for the SmackDown Women’s Championship.

**The WWE stock experienced a two percent increase and closed at $101.65 on Friday. Its market cap sits at $7.57 billion.

**GCW will host its annual Tournament of Survival on Saturday and streams on Fite+ beginning at 5 p.m. ET. The opening round participants include Rina Yamashita, Tomoya Hirata, Toru Sugiura, Joey Janela, Sawyer Wreck, Kasey Kirk, John Wayne Murdoch, Ciclope, Matt Tremont, Miedo Extremo, Green Phantom, and El Desperado.  

**All fighters made weight for Saturday’s UFC Fight Night card at the Apex in Las Vegas (which continues to irk fans with the empty atmosphere and feels like a purely cost savings move and has mortgaged the atmosphere to a significant degree). The card will air against Game 1 of the Florida Panthers vs. Las Vegas Golden Knights with the main card airing on ESPN.

Below is the full lineup:

MAIN CARD (9 p.m. ET on ESPN)
*Amir Albazi (16-1) vs. Kai Kara-France (24-10)
*Daniel Pineda (28-14) vs. Alex Caceres (20-13)
*Jesse Butler (12-4) vs. Jim Miller (35-17)
*Tim Elliott (18-12-1) vs. Victor Altamirano (12-2)
*Karine Silva (14-4) vs. Ketlen Souza (13-3)
*Abubakar Nurmagomedov (17-3-1) vs. Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos (23-7)

*Johnny Munoz (12-2) vs. Daniel Santos (10-2)
*Don’Tale Mayes (9-6) vs. Andrei Arlovski (34-21)
*John Castaneda (19-6) vs. Muin Gafurov (18-4)
*Jamie Mullarkey (16-5) vs. Muhammad Naimov (6-2)
*Jinh Yu Frey (11-8) vs. Elise Reed (6-3)
*Da’Mon Blackshear (12-5-1) vs. Luan Lacerda (12-2)
*Maxim Grishin (32-9-2) vs. Philipe Lins (16-5)

REWIND-A-WAI #132: NXT TakeOver Brooklyn II
John Pollock & Wai Ting review NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn II (2016) featuring Samoa Joe vs. Shinsuke Nakamura, Asuka vs. Bayley and The Revival vs. DIY in championship matches.
POLLOCK & THURSTON: Evan Husney, Dark Side of the Ring
John Pollock and Brandon Thurston chat with Evan Husney on the return of Dark Side of the Ring for its fourth season.
DOUBLE SHOT: Dark Side of the Ring – “Chris & Tammy”
John Pollock & Wai Ting look at Dark Side of the Ring Season 4’s premiere episode detailing the story of Chris Candido and Tammy Sytch in “Chris & Tammy”.
John Pollock & Wai Ting review AEW Dynamite coming out of Double or Nothing with Tony Khan’s announcement and Chris Jericho & Saraya vs. Adam Cole & Dr. Britt Baker. 
Braden Herrington and Davie Portman review WWE NXT from May 30th, 2023 featuring Gigi Dolin vs Jacy Jayne inside a Weaponized Steel Cage and Carmelo Hayes vs Noam Dar for the NXT Championship.
Brandon Thurston and Jesse Collings talk about AEW Double or Nothing, another WWE event in Saudi Arabia, and Nick Khan’s talk at the JPMorgan TMT conference.

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