REWIND-A-SMACKDOWN 1/22/21: Pearce vs. Heyman, Obstacle Course

Originally published at REWIND-A-SMACKDOWN 1/22/21: Pearce vs. Heyman, Obstacle Course - POST Wrestling | WWE NXT AEW NJPW UFC Podcasts, News, Reviews

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John Pollock and Wai Ting review WWE SmackDown featuring Adam Pearce vs. Paul Heyman and the Bayley vs. Bianca Belair Obstacle Course Challenge.


  • AEW Dynamite and NXT ratings from Wednesday
  • NBC Universal shutting down NBCSN and moving sports programming to the USA Network
  • Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal return at Superstar Spectacle taping
  • Street Fight featuring Sting announced for AEW Revolution
  • NJPW announces Sakura Genesis for 4/4
  • UFC cuts fighter after breaking safety protocol in Abu Dhabi
  • Dana White vs. Illegal Streamers

SmackDown featured the tease of a match between Adam Pearce and Paul Heyman throughout the show, IC champion Big E. defended his title against Apollo Crews, Sami Zayn staged a protest, a new title match is announced for the Royal Rumble, Billie Kay screws up again, Cesaro continues to reach for the brass ring, and the much-anticipated Obstacle Course showdown between Bayley and Bianca Belair.

Patrons calls and POST Wrestling Forum feedback.

Plus, some TV talk to start as John discusses the finale of The Mandalorian Season 2.

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Thanks for the review, always a great weekly show. Look forward to it every weekend. Not sure about the Sting treatment though. ‘Don’t know why AEW ratings are up but it’s definitely not Sting.’ Then ‘if Sting is being advertised they have to disclose how he’s being used.’ Gees…ease up. With no one else significant advertised, ratings increase could be easily be Sting. If Goldberg was advertised for Raw and ratings went up it would be the first thing said. Glad to hear the Boneyard match brought up though to compare appearance responsibility. I dunno. Looking forward to next week.

The novelty of Sting appearing wore off, not different than the many times Flair returns and jumps the number but means little with repeated weekly appearances - different set of circumstances if you’re promoting Sting in a match, and hardly a guarantee he will spike a PPV number, but that would be the hope by saving his first AEW match for PPV. This is hardly a wild take. Goldberg hasn’t been making weekly appearances since early December, so not a good gauge for comparison.


Tangential, but we just finished our fifth or sixth run-through of “The Wire” a couple of nights ago. I would not at all be mad about a monthly review of each season, just saying… :wink:

Thanks John. Appreciate you taking the time to respond. I guess my point is that I think what drives ratings is murky at best. Creatively the novelty of Sting right now is static but it doesn’t mean he’s not attracting viewers if advertised, especially if ratings increase for his appearances.

To try to compare, I’m a huge baseball fan and a diehard supporter of the Blue Jays. If the Blue Jays aren’t on and I see Clayton Kershaw is pitching for the Dodgers in the late game, I’m more inclined to watch. It doesn’t mean I have to watch every game he pitches or live and die with each start. He’s one of the best pitchers ever and that’s why I watch.

I think, to me anyway, Sting is to AEW what Kershaw is to the Dodgers. A reason for the casual viewer to maybe tune in. It won’t be every time but it will be some of the time. But who knows…again, murky at best. But discounting his impact because he’s in a creative lull shortchanges his name value.

The Goldberg comment was because he often gets a pass and I’m not a fan. But that’s beside the point.

Anyway enough rambling from me. Again I appreciate the response and keep up the great work.

I think Sting is more comparable to late career Ichiro. A renowned and unique favorite and someone you might turn on a Yankees/Marlins game for in hopes he’ll do something fun when he pinch hits, but after a while you stop turning on the channel because you’re just getting a quick 3-5 minutes of the same thing without much upside - until they announce he’ll be starting an upcoming game…say…one Saturday night…and then you’re all-in to watch.