POLLOCK'S UPDATE: Tony Khan speaks on state of AEW

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2023/06/14/pollocks-update-tony-khan-speaks-on-state-of-aew/


**Rewind-A-Dynamite is live at 10 p.m. ET tonight immediately followed by the Double Shot on the POST Wrestling Café. After Wai & I review Dynamite from Washington, we will be jumping onto the Café to share our thoughts on the latest Dark Side of the Ring episode covering The Graham Family.

**Tonight, on Rewind-A-Dynamite, we will reveal the hosts of the new AEW Collision review.

**We will be doing four consecutive shows on the POST Wrestling Café beginning with The Double Shot tonight and followed by Rewind-A-Wai on Thursday covering ROH Best in the World 2011, Rewind-A-SmackDown on Friday night, and a review of AEW Collision on Saturday night.


Tonight: Rewind-A-Dynamite (10 p.m. ET)
Tonight: Double Shot – Dark Side of the Ring (Patreon)
Thursday: Rewind-A-Wai #133 – ROH Best in the World 2011 (Patreon)
Thursday: The Wellness Policy (4:30 p.m. ET)
Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown with John & Wai (10 p.m. ET, Patreon)
Saturday: AEW Collision Review (Patreon)
Sunday: The N.W.A Podcast with Nate Milton, Kris Ealy & Andrew Thompson
Sunday: Wrestlenomics Radio


**Tony Khan was our guest on Pollock & Thurston today (the interview was recorded Monday afternoon for context). Some of the main takeaways included a strong indication that the option year involving AEW on WBD programming has either been picked up, or they are working with the idea it will be as Khan said to expect AEW programming on WBD in 2024. Khan confirmed that Battle of the Belts will continue. Over the past year, Battle of the Belts has aired on Friday nights following Rampage, but Khan didn’t confirm if they would remain on that night or air on Saturdays after Collision. He also said it would ‘make sense’ for CM Punk to speak on Collision, which would mean multiple segments involving the returning star between a promo and the match with FTR against Samoa Joe, Jay White & Juice Robinson as opposed to saving his first speaking role for another show.

**NXT ranked eighth among cable originals on Tuesday airing against the final game of the Stanley Cup playoffs, which turned into a blowout as the Vegas Golden Knights won 9-3 and won the Stanley Cup. NXT averaged 581,000 viewers and 0.16 in the 18-49 demographic, with a six percent drop in viewership from last week. The Golden Knights vs. Panthers averaged 2,468,000 viewers and 0.79 on TNT and 253,000 and 0.08 simulcast on TruTV (it was not carried on TBS, which aired the Yankees vs. Mets). The show did see a large decrease among women with a 22 percent drop in 18-49, 13 percent in 18-34, and 28 percent in 35-49. Males were not affected with minimal changes in those demos as 18-49 and 18-34 men were up two percent and 35-49 were up by one percent. In Canada, the show averaged approximately 63,000 viewers and 28,000 in the 25-54 demographic on Sportsnet 360, which were increases of 7% and 13% from last week respectively. (Wrestlenomics, Showbuzz Daily)

**Dark Side of the Ring averaged 197,000 viewers and 77,000 (0.06) in the demo, which was #96 among cable originals and aired against the end of the Stanley Cup game. It was the most-watched episode of DSOTR since the Chris Kanyon episode on September 23, 2021, and topped all but four episodes from the previous season. The show was up 27 percent in viewers and 43 percent in the 18-49 demo from last week’s episode on Magnum T.A.

**AEW Dynamite returns to the Capital One Center in Washington, D.C. – the site of the inaugural edition of the show in October 2019. The company has stacked tonight’s show as it embarks on a huge week in its history with the launch of Collision this Saturday and leading into the Forbidden Door event next weekend. Below is the advertised lineup for tonight:
*Title Eliminator: MJF vs. Adam Cole
*TNT Championship: Wardlow © vs. Jake Hager
*AEW Women’s Championship: Toni Storm © vs. Skye Blue  
*Hangman Page & The Young Bucks vs. Jon Moxley, Claudio Castagnoli & Wheeler Yuta
*Orange Cassidy, Sting, Darby Allin & Keith Lee vs. Swerve Strickland, Brian Cage, Toa Liona & Bishop Kaun
*Sammy Guevara returns

**The NBA & NHL playoffs are complete, so that’s a significant reduction in competition for WWE and AEW. However, there is yet another new episode of Vanderpump Rules airing at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo tonight, although Dynamite did a very strong number last week against both Vanderpump Rules & the NBA Finals on ABC.

**Stephanie Chase confirmed that AEW Collision will air on a four-day delay on ITV 4 in the U.K. beginning next Wednesday at 9 p.m. local time. Collision is also available live on AEW Plus in the U.K. among the regions confirmed over the past week by FITE.

**NXT is loading the deck for the next two weeks with its ‘Gold Rush’ episodes on June 20 and June 27. It was confirmed that Seth Rollins will defend the World Heavyweight Championship against Bron Breakker next week in one of the biggest matches NXT has had during its run on the USA Network and will have a week of promotion behind it. The integration of main roster talent continues with Baron Corbin, Mustafa Ali, Dana Brooke, and Los Lotharios having recurring roles on the show for the foreseeable future. Corbin is wrestling Carmelo Hayes for the NXT Championship on June 27 while Ali appears to be positioned as a challenger for Wes Lee or a three-way match involving Tyler Bate for the North American title. Los Lotharios jumped Axiom and Scrypts after the latter’s handicap match victory against Dabba-Kato to kickstart a program as heels on NXT. Inevitably, the WWE women’s tag titles are likely to be defended on this show and most assume that will mean Ronda Rousey eventually wrestling on the program. All of this serves as a backdrop to the fact that NXT’s television rights deal with the USA Network expires in the fall and they are applying a full-court press for the brand, which has ranked among the top five on cable over the past two weeks, which are levels NXT has not achieved since it’s first set of episodes in September 2019.

The June 20 episode has Seth Rollins vs. Bron Breakker for the NXT Championship, Wes Lee vs. Tyler Bate for the North American title with Mustafa Ali as the special referee, three-way contenders match with Brooks Jensen & Josh Briggs vs. Edris Enofe & Malik Blade vs. Hank Walker & Tank Ledger, and Dana Brooke vs. Cora Jade.

On June 27, Carmelo Hayes defends the NXT Championship against Baron Corbin, Tiffany Stratton defends the Women’s title against Thea Hail, and Gallus defends the NXT tag titles against the winners of next week’s three-way #1 contenders match.

**If you missed Dark Side of the Ring on Tuesday, it was among the more tragic stories they have told involving the Gossett a.k.a. Graham family and multiple suicides across four generations. While most were aware of Eddie’s death in January 1985 and son Mike’s suicide in October 2012 two years after his son took his life, there was also the news that Eddie’s father and brother killed themselves prior to 1985. It is a horrible story, but the star of this episode is Nicole Gossett, the daughter of Mike and granddaughter of Eddie, who is one of the more remarkable individuals to be profiled on Dark Side. The episode is called ‘Breaking the Cycle’ with Nicole representing a break in the cycle of suicides among the Gossetts. It is a really difficult watch but one that still manages to leave the viewer hopeful through the words of Nicole. We will discuss the episode in greater detail on the Double Shot tonight at the POST Café.

**The New Japan Road tour resumes on Friday in Shizuoka with another ten-man tag in the main event as Just Five Guys take on LIJ’s Tetsuya Naito, Shingo Takagi, Hiromi Takahashi, BUSHI & Yota Tsuji. The tour wraps up this weekend with the final shows on Saturday in Tokyo and Sunday in Chiba.

**SLAM Wrestling reported on the passing of independent wrestler Genesis Rivera, who wrestled as Chica Del Alto Voltaje (“High Voltage Girl”) in Puerto Rico. Rivera shared that she was battling cervical cancer for several years. Rivera died on Sunday and leaves behind her son, Diego.

**BetOnline has released odds for the G1 Climax with the block announcements made this past weekend. The favorites to finish first in each block are SANADA in Block A (-500), Kazuchika Okada in Block B (-200), David Finlay in Block C (-300), and Zack Sabre Jr. in Block D (-130). The largest underdog in the tournament is Chase Owens at +5000 in Block A followed by Toru Yano at +3000 in Block D, and Mikey Nicholls at +2000 in Block C. This year’s format will see the top two in each block advance to the quarterfinals.

**MLW has added a performance by B3CCA to its ‘Never Say Never’ card on July 8 at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia and streaming on FITE+.

**NJPW drew 629 fans to Kuki City General Gymnasium on Wednesday for its New Japan Road event. The show was headlined by LIJ’s Tetsuya Naito, Shingo Takagi, Hiromu Takahashi, Yota Tsuji & BUSHI beating SANADA, Taichi, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, DOUKI & Taka Michinoku when Tsuji hit a spear and pinned Michinoku.

**The WWE stock closed at $101.98 on Wednesday.

**Ultimate Fighter averaged 222,000 viewers and 0.07 in the 18-49 demo on ESPN for the third episode on Tuesday and ranked #88 among cable originals. It was a 19 percent drop in viewers from last week and a 25 percent drop from the season premiere. The 18-49 has gone from 0.14 in the first to 0.11 last week and down to 0.06. (Showbuzz Daily)

**Ian Machado Garry will get his biggest opponent yet when he fights Geoff Neal at UFC 292 in Boston on August 19. Garry (12-0) is 5-0 since entering the UFC and has competed twice this year with TKO wins against Song Kenan and Daniel Rodriguez. Neal (15-5) is 7-3 since entering the UFC and scored wins over Santiago Ponzinibbio and Vicente Luque before a submission loss to Shavkat Rakhmonov in his last fight this past March at UFC 285. (RTE)

POLLOCK & THURSTON: AEW President Tony Khan
John Pollock and Brandon Thurston chat with AEW President Tony Khan on the state of the promotion going into the launch of Collision.
Braden Herrington and Davie Portman review WWE NXT featuring Ilja Dragunov vs Baron Corbin, and Seth Rollins responding to Bron Breakker’s challenge.
John Pollock and Wai Ting review WWE Raw with Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn vs. Gunther & Ludwig Kaiser for the WWE Tag Titles, Finn Balor gets drowned out by Seth Rollins’ song, and Rhea Ripley receives a new title.
POISONRANA: Mercedes Martinez
Poisonrana chats with Mercedes Martinez about her love for pro wrestling (and women’s pro wrestling!) plus working the independents all over the world, being in the WWE “Mae Young Classic” tournament, and more.
Smackdown had its biggest rating of the year for the Roman Reigns 1000-day celebration segment, AEW Collision ratings predictions ahead of the debut of the show next week, and more in this week’s Wrestlenomics Radio.
John Pollock and Eric Marcotte review the UFC 289 card with Amanda Nunes dominating Irene Aldana and retiring from MMA.

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