POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE 3/30 – At least 78,500 reasons to read today’s update

A look at the attendance figure from WrestleMania 3 following Deadspin's research, Impact does a strong number on POP, L.A. Memorial Coliseum seeking future WrestleMania, reviews of NXT and Impact Wrestling's television, Andre the Giant screener notes, Brock Lesnar wrestling in Boston tonight, and more.

POST IT NOTES

**We have our monthly ASK-A-WAI show out for members of the POST Wrestling Café. Wai and I went through two-hours worth of mailbag questions covering WrestleMania being split into a two-day event, the praise for New Japan Pro Wrestling, Sable in the WWE Hall of Fame, our schedule of podcasts for WrestleMania weekend, and tons more. The show is available at https://www.patreon.com/posts/ask-wai-ask-us-17854492  and is available for all Patrons.

**We have also posted an update on POST Wrestling itself after three months of operation and made it available for everyone at https://www.patreon.com/posts/post-wrestling-17861969. We go through the progress made, upcoming plans, our use of funding and other news and notes following the first three months of POST Wrestling.

**Wai Ting and I will be back with a Sunday night show reviewing the New Japan Sakura Genesis card from Sumo Hall. We will go through the card and take your feedback from the POST Wrestling Forum.

**This week’s edition of upNXT with Braden Herrington and Bartender Dave is available on the site at https://www.postwrestling.com/2018/03/29/upnxt-3-29-18-ec3-debuts-ricochet-smiles-roddy-wrestles/ as they review go through the penultimate episode leading into Takeover. The two chat the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic semi-finals, the addition of the North American title and ladder match at Takeover, the debuts of EC3 and Ricochet on the program, and they take your feedback at the end of the show.

**A new Keep It 2000 is also up on the site as Brian Mann and Nate Milton welcome Chris Urbanowicz to review the July 3rd, 2000, episode of WCW Monday Nitro going into the Bash at the Beach card that year. The show can be downloaded at https://www.postwrestling.com/2018/03/29/keep-it-2000-ep-27-my-heart-will-go-on-with-chris-urbanowicz-july-3-2000/ and also has its own RSS feed to subscribe to on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, or any podcast program you use.


WRESTLING NEWS

**David Bixenspan has done a lot of research into the attendance figure from WrestleMania 3 at the Pontiac Silverdome in 1987. The 93,173 figure is the most attendance figure in professional wrestling history, initially because of the legend of the event that signified the peak the promotion’s national expansion boom but has grown in legend because of the debate for over 15 years regarding its legitimacy. As the story goes, WWF event promoter Zane Bresloff, years after the show, spoke to Dave Meltzer and provided documentation of the actual number that was reported to be 78,500 and this was backed up years later when Meltzer was provided internal attendance figures by the company that also listed that figure. The WWE’s internal numbers when Meltzer was provided them listed the WrestleMania 3 total attendance at “about 78,000” and paid attendance listed at 75,700.

In Bixenspan’s research, Meltzer had reported an advance of 78,500 two weeks before the show and added that was 9,500 short of capacity for the venue, bringing the total capacity to 88,000. The Pontiac Silverdome website later listed the total capacity of the building at 88,000 and cited a visit by The Pope in 1987 attracting that sized audience.

Many of the documents to back up the various sides were unable to be recovered and there probably isn’t going to be a definitive conclusion, although it makes no sense for the WWE to have internal documents that would underreport the attendance. Bixenspan did seek to obtain these records from the WWE and didn`t receive a response.

The agreement most have is that the venue was truly full and there were no unoccupied seats. The other factor is whether the Pontiac Silverdome provided an accurate number of seats as their total capacity or inflated the true number and that presents the discrepancy.

If the 78,500 figure is accurate, there are two WWE events that have surpassed that total with SummerSlam 1992 at Wembley Stadium in London and WrestleMania 32 from AT&T Stadium in Texas in 2016.

It’s funny because if the aerial shot of the stadium was never taken, I don’t feel this debate would have raged on for so many years. While there was a lot of dispute when the WWE announced the 101,763 figure for the AT&T Stadium, there was nothing close the emotion of the WrestleMania 3 figure, possibly because it’s so much easier to verify a present attendance figure than one from 31 years ago. The WWE also stepped back from the figure and explained it wasn’t a paid number and they counted many people that you wouldn’t typically account for to reflect the attendance of a show.

**Impact Wrestling ended the month of March with their highest number on POP TV since July 2016. Thursday’s episode averaged 399,000 viewers, which is their highest Thursday night average on POP and second-highest number overall since the Final Deletion episode in July 2016 (when Impact was airing on Tuesday nights on POP). For the year, Impact is averaging 322,000 viewers on POP, which has been bolstered by their performance throughout the month of March where viewership has increased.

**HBO held a screening for the upcoming Andre the Giant documentary on Thursday night in Los Angeles. Paul Levesque and Stephanie McMahon were in attendance for the premiere, as were Hulk Hogan, UFC president Dana White, Gennady Golovkin, Big Show, Rey Mysterio (who the WWE posted a photo of in their story on the event), Mark Henry, Freddie Roach and Jimmy Hart among others. A photo circulated with Levesque and Hogan speaking together.

**The USA Network will be adding several hours of WWE programming to their lineup for WrestleMania week with the following announcements:
*Thursday, April 5th at 8 pm Eastern – WrestleMania’s Greatest Moments special
*Saturday, April 7th at 10 pm – A one-hour edited version of the Hall of Fame from the night before
*Sunday, April 8th at 6 pm – USA will air the second hour of the WrestleMania kickoff special
*Monday, April 9th at 7 pm – A replay of the one-hour WWE Hall of Fame special

**With the all the focus Ronda Rousey received for her appearances on “Golic and Wingo” and “First Take” on ESPN, I hope everyone takes some time and watches the interview she did with Brett Okamoto at ESPN on the same day. Rousey was relaxed and did the interview alongside her photographer Michael Mardones a.k.a. Layzie the Savage. Rousey spoke about leaving MMA and stated she had wanted to leave the sport honorably for some time prior to her losses at the end, she was concerned that the division would not be able to continue without her. Despite the appearance that a weight is off her shoulders and she has embraced a new industry, she has yet to announce her retirement from MMA and keeps the door open. She added that for her WWE appearances, she has been given bullet points for her promos as opposed to memorizing lines.

**ESPN has a piece on the L.A. Memorial Coliseum’s attempting to attract the WWE to run WrestleMania with a look back at the Coliseum nearly hosting the show in 1991. The Coliseum put together a video to persuade the WWE (then World Wrestling Federation) to book the Coliseum and it’s stated in the article by Joe Furin, the Coliseum’s General Manager, that Vince McMahon loved the video. The company scheduled WrestleMania 7 for the Coliseum in March 1991 and announced the site during the broadcast of WrestleMania 6 the year prior. The promotional campaign centered around attracting “over 100,000 fans” to the Coliseum and breaking the previous record of 1987 (see story above). In February 1991, amidst lackluster ticket sales, they moved the show indoors to the L.A. Sports Arena and transferred the tickets. In the article, Furin stated it would be great to try and get WrestleMania into the Coliseum in 2020 or 2021. Los Angeles will also have a new stadium for the L.A. Rams opening in August 2020 with Hollywood Park, which is scheduled to host the Super Bowl in 2021.

**The WWE has announced that tickets for the “Greatest Royal Rumble” will be going on sale Friday, April 13th. It emphasizes how fast this show has come together as tickets will only be on sale two weeks before the show on April 27th in Jeddah. Earlier this week, they announced that John Cena will take on Triple H on the show to go along with the 50-man Royal Rumble and are also advertising Samoa Joe and Jeff Hardy for matches.

**Tonight’s Raw house show from the TD Garden in Boston will feature Brock Lesnar defending the Universal title against Kane and Braun Strowman. This is Lesnar’s final house show commitment on his current deal and was only announced recently. The Raw crew (minus Lesnar) head to North Charleston, South Carolina on Saturday night.

**The SmackDown crew begins their tour on Saturday night in Huntington, West Virginia at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena. The main event is advertising AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn vs. Baron Corbin and Randy Orton is also scheduled for the show in a three-way with Bobby Roode and Jinder Mahal.

**The major card of the weekend is New Japan’s Sakura Genesis show from Sumo Hall. The card will stream live at 3 am Eastern on New Japan World with the following announced:
*Kazuchika Okada vs. Zack Sabre Jr. for the IWGP heavyweight title
*Kenny Omega and Kota Ibushi vs. Cody and Hangman Page
*Will Ospreay vs. Marty Scurll for the IWGP junior heavyweight title
*Yoshinobu Kanemaru and El Desperado vs. Roppongi 3K vs. Hiromu Takahashi and Bushi for the IWGP junior heavyweight tag titles
*Minoru Suzuki and Killer Elite Squad vs. Tetsuya Naito, EVIL & Sanada
*Hiroshi Tanahashi, Juice Robinson & David Finlay vs. Hirooki Goto, Jay White & Yoshi-Hashi
*Bad Luck Fale and Guerrillas of Destiny vs. Togi Makabe, Michael Elgin & Ryusuke Taguchi for the NEVER six-man tag titles
*Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano vs. Taichi and Takashi Iizuka
*The Young Bucks vs. Chase Owens and Yujiro

**MLW has announced that Fred Yehi will make his debut for the promotion against Maxwell Jacob Friedman on the “World Championship Final” card on Thursday, April 12th at the Gilt Nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

**The WWE stock closed at $36.01 on Friday.

**I haven’t seen the entire Korakuen Hall card from Friday morning, but I did see the opener between Tetsuhiro Yagi and Ren Narita. This match was excellent, and I highly recommend it with the performances from both among the best they have ever had since debuting. Kevin Kelly, Don Callis, and Rocky Romero all put the match over strong on commentary and the audience reacted to big to some of the submission escapes towards the end of the match. I’m very high on the current crop of Young Lions as you’re bound to see several become big players in the years to come. New Japan has posted the Yagi vs. Narita match and the Yuji Nagata vs. Shota Umino match from today’s card:


TELEVISION REVIEWS

Impact Wrestling (March 29th)
-The month of March was a positive foot forward for the company overall with a big increase in viewership, some success with co-promotion of live events, and a strategic partnering with Lucha Underground for WrestleCon and a joint show that is selling very well.
-This week’s episode featured Austin Aries winning another title by defeating Matt Sydal for the Grand championship in a good main event but suffered the same fate that great matches on 205 Live experience.
-The Sami Callihan vs. Eddie Edwards feud has become a great element of the weekly programming. This week’s show saw cameras follow Edwards to Ohio to find Callihan. Edwards interrupted a local show and led to a brawl with Callihan. Edwards’ promo work is the weakest element of his presentation, but he stepped it up significantly for this angle and the feud feels important.
-Brian Cage and Bobby Lashley had a long match built around big near falls at the end and a surprise pin by Cage with a discus lariat and Lashley kicking out after the three-count. In front of a different audience, this match and the main event would have received more praise.
-The show has moved away from a heavy reliance on airing taped matches from local independent shows but this week they aired a Fallah Bahh vs. KM match from a WrestlePro card. It’s fine if you have a high quality looking match, but it was so dark in this arena and didn’t belong on television. You can fill the five minutes with anything and it would have looked better than the production quality of the match.
-They set up the X Division title match for the Redemption pay-per-view with Petey Williams announcing he would cash in his Feast or Fired briefcase for a shot at Matt Sydal’s title.
-The show has become much easier to watch over the past month, they are taking baby steps and the progress shouldn’t be overstated but it’s been notable this month.

NXT (March 28th)
-The semi-final matches of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic aired this week with The Authors of Pain defeating The Street Profits and Roderick Strong & Pete Dunne defeating Eric Young & Alexander Wolfe.
-The Authors feel so ready for the main roster and will enhance either tag division on Raw or SmackDown.
-The announcement of the addition of a North American title was made by William Regal with a ladder match added to Takeover with EC3 (who debuted on the show), Adam Cole, Velveteen Dream, Killian Dane, Lars Sullivan, and Ricochet (making his first appearance on NXT as well). I’m glad to see this continent receive its recognition on WWE programming with its own title.
-We had two attack angles on the show for the top two matches at Takeover with Andrade Cien Almas jumping Aleister Black outside the arena, and an angle from the Performance Center with Ember Moon and Shayna Baszler fighting (and a cameo from Serena Deeb).
-This was another week of getting the pieces in place for Takeover, a good main event between Dunne & Strong against Sanity and the rest was a by the numbers the show, enhanced by the debuts of EC3 and Ricochet for some newsworthy elements.
-The last match to put together is the NXT tag title match for Takeover with the Dusty Classic finals scheduled for next week’s show.


*****
ASK-A-WAI: Ask Us Anything! (April 2018)
https://www.patreon.com/posts/17854492
*****
upNXT 3/29/18: EC3 debuts, Ricochet smiles, Roddy wrestles
https://upnxt.podbean.com/mf/download/pxy5mi/UPNXTMAR292018.mp3
*****
KEEP IT 2000: Ep. 27 – “My Heart Will Go On” with Chris Urbanowicz (July 3, 2000)
https://keepit2000.podbean.com/mf/download/cg43m4/Keep-It-2000-July-3-2000.mp3
*****
REWIND-A-SMACKDOWN 3/27/18: Bryan issues WM challenge, Nakamura’s mind games
https://postwrestling.podbean.com/mf/download/7mmvii/180327_RASD.mp3
*****
REWIND-A-RAW 3/26/18: Cena mimics Undertaker, Ronda Rousey vs. Absolution
https://postwrestling.podbean.com/mf/download/pdcfeg/180326_RAR.mp3
*****
NJPW Strong Style Evolved Review w/ Dan Lovranski
John Pollock & Wai Ting review the Strong Style Evolved card and chat with Dan Lovranski, who attended the card in Long Beach as well as the PWG show on Friday night.
https://postwrestling.podbean.com/mf/download/mjt2xf/180326_NJPW_SSE.mp3
*****
REWIND-A-WAI – WWF Coliseum Video: Smack ‘Em, Whack ‘Em (Patreon-only)
John Pollock and Wai Ting review this 1993 Coliseum Home video release, featuring Bret Hart winning the WWF title from Ric Flair and the first WWF ladder match between Hart and Shawn Michaels. We also are joined by Espresso Executive Producer Jay Hunter from OSW Review.
https://www.patreon.com/posts/17713168
*****

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About John Pollock 960 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.