POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE – Analysis of Ring of Honor’s business at the mid-point of 2018

POST IT NOTES

**Rewind-A-Wai returns on Friday with Wai Ting and I reviewing WCW Uncensored 1997 featuring Team WCW vs. Team Piper vs. Team N.W.O. in the main event and an appearance by Dennis Rodman. This event was chosen by Espresso Executive Producer Jon Ziegler and he will stop by to share his memories of this show and why he chose this event. This show will be available to all members of the POST Wrestling Café.

**The final edition of Keep It 2000 is up on the site as Brian Mann & Nate Milton sign off for the final time and fast-forward to the final Monday Nitro from March 26th, 2001. They review the final Nitro alongside Chris Urbanowicz and then explain why they are shutting down the show. We owe Brian & Nate a big ‘thank you’ for their assistance over the years and providing excellent content along the way through the variety of shows they have produced. Nate will be joining me on July 22nd for a review of the Slammiversary pay-per-view.

**A reminder that the deadline to join our G1 picks contest is next Thursday, July 12th at 11:59 pm Eastern. You can make your picks (for free) to join the contest at http://www.POSTwrestling.com/g1. Our reviews of each G1 card will begin Saturday, July 14th with the G1 reviews available exclusively on the POST Wrestling Café, where all members will have access to the shows, in addition to our other bonus content.


WRESTLING NEWS

**Lavie Margolin, who is the author of “Trumpmania: Vince McMahon, WWE and the making of America’s 45th President”, has compiled data to assess Ring of Honor’s business at the mid-way point of 2018. The statistics were compiled through the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Wrestling Data, and the Internet Wrestling Database. It compares the numbers in each category to the first six months of each year of Ring of Honor’s existence dating back to 2002.

ROH’s average attendance for the first six months of 2018 is a record high 1,412 per show, greatly assisted by Supercard of Honor over WrestleMania weekend that drew ROH’s highest attendance in their history with approximately 6,000 people (Margolin has a figure of 5,879 for the show). The average is up 27.7% from the same period in 2017 and up 52% from 2016. In looking at the chart, one notable drop came in 2012. When the Sinclair purchase of the company went down in May 2011, they averaged 823 for the first six months of 2011 and one year later dropped to 671 per show.

Total attendance for the first six months of 2018 is listed at 32,484 (it is listed as total attendance for the six months and not a breakdown of paid and free), which is a giant leap of 42% from the same period in 2017. Again, Supercard of Honor is a big factor for the jump as they drew 6,000 for their biggest card of all-time, which was a net gain of 2,500 from the Supercard of Honor event in 2017 in Orlando. That said, even if Supercard of Honor drew the identical number as 2017, you would still have a record attendance number this year by a substantial margin from the previous high of 24,307 in 2017.

For the War of the Worlds tour in May, the figures listed in Margolin’s research are 1,900 for Lowell, Massachusetts, 1,400 for the Ted Reeve Arena in Toronto, 900 for Royal Oak, Michigan, and 1,800 for The Odeum in Villa Park, Illinois. The estimated attendance for this past Friday’s Best in the World pay-per-view in Baltimore at the larger UMBC Event Center was 2,500 with another 1,000 attending Saturday’s television taping in Fairfax, Virginia.

**Here are the matches scheduled for tonight’s episode of Impact Wrestling at 8 pm Eastern on POP TV:
*Kongo Kong vs. Brian Cage
*Rich Swann vs. Rey Fenix
*Su Yung & Undead Bride vs. Madison Rayne & Allie
*Killer Kross vs. TBA

**Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian, and Scorpio Sky have been announced for “All In” on September 1st at the Sears Centre.

**The NXT title match between Aleister Black and Tommaso Ciampa will take place on the July 25th episode and will be taped July 18th at Full Sail University.

**Impact Wrestling has signed a distribution deal with 52MX to broadcast Impact in Mexico. The first episode is scheduled to air this Saturday night at 9:30 pm.


**There is a massive weekend ahead for both professional wrestling and mixed martial arts. Here is a preview of the major shows on the schedule:
*Tonight – PFL from Washington, D.C. at 9 pm on NBC SN (Jake Shields vs. Ray Cooper III)
*Tonight – UFC Hall of Fame Ceremony at 10 pm on Fight Pass (Ronda Rousey, Art Davie, Matt Serra)
*Friday – UFC’s TUF 27 Finale card (Brad Tavares vs. Israel Adesanya and the finals of the TUF tournaments)
*Saturday – New Japan Pro Wrestling at the Cow Palace at 8 pm on AXS TV (Kenny Omega vs. Cody for the IWGP title)
*Saturday – UFC 226 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas (Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier)
*Saturday – WWE live event at Madison Square Garden (Ronda Rousey vs. Nia Jax, The Undertaker wrestling)

**Colt Cabana has re-posted an interview he conducted with the late Matt Cappotelli:


TELEVISION REVIEW

Ring of Honor (July 1st)
-This week’s show was taped at the Hammerstein Ballroom and had strong reactions throughout the show.
-The main event was greatly enhanced by the audience, who loved Ultimo Guerrero and could do no wrong in front of this crowd. Guerrero is a master at maximizing every little thing he does for the loudest reaction possible and had the audience eating out of his hand by the midway point. Equally great in this match was Matt Taven, who sold for Guerrero so effectively that it made this one of the more enjoyable television matches Ring of Honor has presented in some time. While there were several higher quality matches from the pay-per-view, this one had the atmosphere that elevated its standing. Guerrero always works when he comes in for the Ring of Honor and is terrific at adapting to the audience in front of him.
-Josh Woods defeated Façade, with Woods rebounding after his recent loss to Shane Taylor and continuing that program. Taylor was on commentary and is not a tremendous talker at this stage. The match was short with Woods gaining the clean victory and challenging Taylor.
-Kenny King defeated Jonathan Gresham with the Royal Flush and the two clicked very well with each other. They had a decent amount of time and Gresham rarely disappoints, while this was a very good outing from King too. Gresham is missing that last element of his presentation that will take him to the next level. He doesn’t display a lot of character work but his work is airtight and in time he will breakthrough as a featured talent on the roster.
-Next week’s show will feature a No Disqualification Match between Bully Ray and Cheeseburger, and singles match between Cody and Titan from CMLL.


MMA NEWS

**On Wednesday night, it was reported by Ariel Helwani at ESPN that UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway is off Saturday’s UFC 226 card due to concussion-like symptoms. Holloway conducted several interviews over the past few days where he didn’t appear himself, to the extent that Michael Bisping called him on it during a “UFC Tonight” appearance. Holloway was in rough shape Monday and taken to the emergency room, although the scans they took appeared to be okay and he was discharged. However, following Wednesday’s UFC open workout, Holloway crashed at his hotel and his team had a difficult time waking Holloway up. When he did wake up, he was slurring his speech and experiencing blurred vision, which led to Holloway returning to the emergency room. His team issued a statement outlining the issues and adding that Holloway was against the idea of pulling out of the fight, but clearly, his best interests were held by the team and there was no way he should have been fighting Saturday.

Brett Okamoto at ESPN reported that the UFC attempted to make an interim title fight between Ortega and Jeremy Stephens, but Ortega declined and is awaiting the fight with Holloway. The UFC’s second option was a fight between Stephens and Frankie Edgar, but Edgar was unable to fight on such short notice.

While a lot of people were excited about the featherweight title fight, I don’t think the pay-per-view business will be affected given the interest level in the main event between Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier.

It’s been a frustrating year for Holloway after many people pegged him as the top fighter of 2017. This is the third fight he has been pulled from in 2018. He was to defend the title against Frankie Edgar in March but suffered an injury and could not fight on the card. In April, when Tony Ferguson suffered an injury the week before UFC 223 in Brooklyn, Holloway stepped in one-weeks’ notice to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov at lightweight but was pulled from that fight due to the weight cut with the commission pulling the plug. It is a guessing game regarding when Holloway will be able to fight again until the severity of his possible concussion is known and how long it takes to recover from.

**Here is the card for tonight’s PFL event from Washington, D.C. and airing on Facebook Watch & NBC Sports Network:

MAIN CARD (10 pm Eastern on NBC Sports Network)
*Jake Shields vs. Ray Cooper III
*Pavel Kusch vs. Abubakar Nurmagomedov
*Rick Story vs. Yuri Villefort
*Eddie Gordon vs. Shamil Gamzatov
*Paul Bradley vs. Joao Zeferino
*Gasan Umalatov vs. John Howard

PRELIMINARY CARD (7 pm on Facebook)

*Magomed Magomedkerimov vs. Herman Terrado
*Sadibou Sy vs. Bruno Santos
*Anderson Goncalves vs. Louis Taylor
*Rex Harris vs. Andre Lobato
*Abusupiyan Magomedov vs. Danillo Villefort
*Bojan Velickovic vs. Jonatan Westin

**The UFC’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be airing on Fight Pass tonight at 10 pm Eastern with Ronda Rousey, Matt Serra, Art Davie, Bruce Connal, and the UFC 139 fight between Dan Henderson and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua being inducted through the various categories. I have a profile on the inductees on the site.

**The most recent season of TUF wrapped on Wednesday with a great fight between Jay Cucciniello of Team Miocic and Tyler Diamond of Team Cormier. Cucciniello stopped Diamond in the third round to advance to Friday’s finale against Brad Katona for the featherweight contract. The lightweight tournament comes down to Mike Trizano of Team Miocic fighting Joe Giannetti of Team Cormier. Below is the full card for Friday night’s TUF Finale from The Pearl in Las Vegas:

MAIN CARD (10 pm Eastern on FS 1, TSN 3 in Canada)
*Brad Tavares vs. Israel Adesanya
*Mike Triziano vs. Joe Giannetti
*Brad Katona vs. Jay Cucciniello
*Alex Caceres vs. Martin Bravo
*Barb Honchak vs. Roxanne Modafferi
*Alessio Di Chirico vs. Julian Marquez

PRELIMINARY CARD (8 pm on FS 1, Fight Network in Canada)
*Rachael Ostovich vs. Montana De La Rosa
*Luis Pena vs. Richie Smullen
*Allan Zuniga vs. John Gunther
*Matt Bessette vs. Steven Peterson

FIGHT PASS CARD (7 pm)

*Gerald Meerschaert vs. Oskar Piechota
*Bryce Mitchell vs. Tyler Diamond

**Former WWE ring announcer Justin Roberts has been hired by Lion Fight Promotions to start announcing their shows, beginning with their next card on Saturday, July 28th at Foxwoods Resort Casino.

*****
KEEP IT 2000: Ep. 33 – “I Own WCW” with Chris Urbanowicz (March 26, 2001)
https://keepit2000.podbean.com/mf/download/zejwum/KEEP_IT_2000_EP_33-2.mp3
*****
REWIND-A-SMACKDOWN 7/3/18: Team Hell No vs. The Usos, Ellsworth vs. Asuka
https://postwrestling.podbean.com/mf/download/ngq7mm/180703_RASD.mp3
*****

REWIND-A-RAW 7/2/18: Braun Strowman flips his shit
https://postwrestling.podbean.com/mf/download/kv2ufr/180702_RAR.mp3
*****
RAR BONUS 7/2/18: Being the Elite Ep. 109, New Show Name
https://www.patreon.com/posts/19834794
*****
EGGSHELLS Podcast Companion: 1990 w/ John Pollock
https://postwrestling.podbean.com/mf/download/i9ksyn/EGGSHELLS_Podcast_Companion__1990_w__John_Pollock.mp3
*****
ASK-A-WAI – July 2018
https://www.patreon.com/posts/19739501
*****
upNXT 6/28/18: The British Are Coming with Braden Herrington & Davie Portman
https://upnxt.podbean.com/mf/download/xsma4u/upNXT-June28.mp3
*****
BWE 6/27/18: WWE UK Championship Tournament, Frontline Wrestling
https://britishwrestlingexperience.podbean.com/mf/download/xcdpv9/BWE_Episode_13.mp3
*****

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About John Pollock 1120 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.