POST IT NOTES
**We have our monthly MCU review posted today for members of the POST Wrestling Café with Wai and I reviewing “Iron Man 2” from May 2010. In this review, we contrast the sequel to the original, the growth (or lack thereof) of Tony Stark, the use of Mickey Rourke as Ivan Vanko, replacing Terrence Howard with Don Cheadle, the plot of the sequel, a funny Mickey Rourke story of mine from the opening weekend of the film and themes explored in the movie. This is available to all members of the POST Wrestling Café now.
**On Saturday, Chris Charlton has the latest edition of the EGGSHELLS Podcast Companion covering the year 2006 at the Tokyo Dome with STRIGGA. There was only one Dome show that year with New Japan running the venue on January 4th featuring Brock Lesnar vs. Shinsuke Nakamura.
**On Sunday, Wai Ting and I will have a special bonus show on the POST Wrestling Café with a review of American Vandal Season 2 on Netflix. We received the first season and received a lot of interest to check out the follow-up season. For Double Double, Iced Capp & Espresso members, you can check out the video version of the review early at this link.
**Impact Wrestling will be moving time slots in Canada with the show scheduled to air at 10 pm Eastern on Fight Network and 11:30 pm on Game TV. Fight Network began airing Impact in early 2015 after the program began airing on Destination America in the U.S. and added a second window of the program onto Game TV afterward.
On the POP TV schedule, Impact is being replaced at 8 pm with reruns of the Gilmore Girls from 8-10 Thursday nights.
**Thursday’s episode of Impact averaged 189,000 viewers on POP TV, which was their third straight episode to fall under 200,000 viewers. They went up against Thursday Night Football on Fox (9,905,000) and the NFL Network (1,743,000), the Red Sox vs. Astros ALCS game on TBS (6,523,000), and the Bulls vs. 76ers game on TNT (1,555,000).
**With two weeks until the Crown Jewel, it appears that a major event would need to occur to prevent the WWE from traveling to Saudi Arabia for the show. There has been lots of information released this week concerning the death of Jamal Khashoggi. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced he would not be attending the “Davos in the Desert” summit, which was the first sign of pushback from the Trump administration during this investigation into the Khashoggi case. However, Mnuchin will be traveling to Saudi Arabia for an anti-terror finance meeting later this month. President Donald Trump has been cautious in his assessment of Saudi Arabia’s role in the Khashoggi case, but he acknowledged Thursday that the journalist is likely dead.
Analyst Eric Handler of MKM Partners spoke to Deadline and estimated that the WWE would be facing a hit around $2-3 million in the fourth quarter of 2018 if they opted to cancel or delay the November 2nd event. Handler went further by estimating that if the WWE walked away from the ten-year deal, it would be a hit in the range of $12-16 million in operating income for 2019. The WWE entered a ten-year deal with the General Sports Authority in Saudi Arabia earlier this year and while a confidentiality clause was cited by the WWE, the belief is that the company received $40-45 million in the second quarter for the Greatest Royal Rumble event in Jeddah.
The WWE will be holding their quarterly investors call next Thursday and should have significantly more attention than usual because of the upcoming Crown Jewel event. It’s impossible to imagine that topic not dominating the questions from investors and the rationale of the company to move forward with the event and fulfill this pact over the next decade.
I’d recommend several shows on the topic, including this week’s edition of The Fix with Todd Martin on the Pro Wrestling Torch site. The show is behind a paywall, but Martin outlines the dilemma the WWE is in and why going through with Crown Jewel and then quietly ending the deal in 2019 could be the best for all parties involved. Chris Harrington & Brandon Howard of Wrestlenomics also have a recap of the past week’s news involving the story on their Patreon supported show that was released Thursday.
**The USA Network will be airing a “Road to Evolution” special this Monday night following Raw. The special will also air next Wednesday at 10 pm following Total Divas on E! If you’re keeping score, next Wednesday will see the WWE put out six episodes of programming between the Evolution special, Total Divas, 205 Live, NXT, and the final episode of the Mae Young Classic.
**The full lawsuit that has been filed by Riki Paul Johnson against Ashley & Ric Fliehr, author Brian Shields, and the WWE can be read online. Johnson is seeking $500,000 in actual damages and an additional $5 million in punitive damages over the content of the Fliehr’s 2017 book, “Second Nature”. Johnson is alleging that falsehoods were written in the book, including that Johnson was sterile and unable to father children, physical and psychological abuse that Ashley outlined in the book along with alleged criminal misconduct that is “unsupported by any official record, medical reports or any other supporting documentation. Moreover, such conduct being attributed to the Plaintiff that is, in fact, contradicted by official police reports and police dash cam video footage depicting Defendant #1 (Ashley) being the ‘out of control’ aggressor in a physical and verbal tirade which was directed at the responding officers as well as her disparaging and racist comments being directed at the Afro-American community in Chapel Hill, NC.”
The WWE did comment on the suit to TMZ earlier this week by stating, “We recently received what appears to be a meritless lawsuit and we will vigorously defend ourselves.”
**Kevin Owens underwent double knee surgery this past week and was the impetus behind the injury angle on last Monday’s Raw with Braun Strowman. Dave Meltzer reported on Wrestling Observer Radio that the damage in the left knee of Owens was worse than anticipated, although neither was considered major reconstructive surgery. Meltzer added a timetable of February to April for a return.
**The WWE stock closed at $82.03 on Friday. It was down 1.76% for the day.
**Here are the matches on tonight’s episode of MLW Fusion on beIN Sports at 8 pm Eastern:
*Shane Strickland vs. Tom Lawlor
*Sammy Guevara vs. El Hijo de L.A. Park
*Barrington Hughes & Kotto Brazil vs. Lance & Sam Anoa’i
**The NWA will be holding their 70th-anniversary card this Sunday from the Nashville Fairgrounds and streaming it on FITE TV at 7:05 pm Eastern for $24.99 with the following card:
*Cody vs. Nick Aldis for the NWA championship
*Jazz vs. Penelope Ford for the NWA women’s title
*Willie Mack vs. Mike Parrow vs. Jay Bradley vs. Ricky Starks in the first round of the NWA national title tournament
*Colt Cabana vs. Sammy Guevara vs. Sam Shaw vs. Scorpio Sky in the first round of the NWA national title tournament
*The winners of the four-way matches will meet to determine the new champion
*Tim Storm vs. Peter Avalon
*Crimson & Jax Dane vs. The Kingdom of Josephus
*Laredo Kid vs. Barrett Brown
**Total Divas continues to lose viewers this season with a 10.5% drop this week. Wednesday’s episode averaged 340,000 viewers, which is another all-time low for the five-year-old series. The most-watched programming on cable was the NLCS game between the Astros and Red Sox that attracted 6,181,000 viewers on TBS.
**Tonight’s Raw house show in Bangor, Maine is advertising Ronda Rousey against Alexa Bliss and Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman as the top matches. Rousey is advertised for tonight’s show in Bangor, and the two co-branded house shows Saturday in Hartford and Sunday in Boston at the TD Garden. Saturday’s co-branded show is advertising AJ Styles vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Samoa Joe, Rousey vs. Bliss, Reigns vs. Strowman, and Rey Mysterio & Jeff Hardy vs. Shinsuke Nakamura & Randy Orton.
**The WWE formally announced their latest additions to the Performance Center with Matt Riddle, Mia Yim, Chelsea Green, and Punishment Martinez (Luis Martinez) as the standouts. The class also includes Daniel Vidot, who played in Australia’s National Rugby League, former basketball player Jordan Omogbehin from Nigeria, and Humberto Carrillo, who wrestled previously under a mask as Ultimo Ninja and appeared on NXT television in August.
**Lucha Underground averaged 73,000 viewers this past Wednesday on the El Rey Network, which was down from 84,000 last week. The fourth season will conclude with a two-part Ultima Lucha special on October 31st and November 7th.
**Jordynne Grace has announced she has had to pull out of three shows this weekend due to a lingering ankle injury she has been working with. Grace sprained her ankle several weeks back and was told it would take 4-6 weeks of recovery but worked on it anyway. She said her ankle is worse than ever and take a short break and hopes to be back in two weeks. She was scheduled to work for Nova Pro Wrestling in Virginia, AWS in California, and Innovative Pro Wrestling in New Jersey this weekend. Grace also made her debut with Impact Wrestling at the television tapings this past Tuesday and wrestled a match with Katarina.
**Powerbomb.tv is doing a unique concept over WrestleMania Week with a show called “Family Reunion” on Thursday, April 4th at Noon. The streaming service will be running a card in Jersey City and subscribers to the network will be able to reserve a ticket in advance for free. You can log into your Powerbomb account and go into the account management section now to reserve a seat for the show.
**I was told to go out of my way to watch the six-man opener from Tuesday’s Super Junior Tag League card. The match featured Ren Narita, Toa Henare & Shota Umino defeating Ayato Yoshida, Yota Tsuji & Yuya Uemura in 11:33. This was a super hot opening match and the current crop of young lions is off the chart. Yota Tsuji works very well and has enormous upside as a future heavyweight, displaying tons of fire early in the match and getting his timing down. The frantic pace in the closing minutes between Narita and Uemura was spectacular. Everything was a struggle, down to Uemura’s attempt at a Boston crab where he stomps the lower back to lock on the hold that he frequently uses. Narita broke free after a big struggle to the rope and applied his own Boston crab for the win. With the recent news that Tetsuhiro Yagi will no longer be continuing to wrestle, it opens more space for these core performers to shine (Henare is not a young lion anymore but can be grouped with them). I would place Umino near the top of the list but it’s so competitive with Narita, Tsuji and, Uemura all producing solid results and the young lion matches have become must-see on these shows.
**Next Wednesday’s episode of 205 Live is their 100th episode after premiering in November 2016 on the WWE Network. The show will feature a Falls Count Anywhere match between Hideo Itami and Mustafa Ali and Mike Kanellis will have his first match on the show against Lince Dorado. The show will be taped Tuesday in Newark, New Jersey prior to the SmackDown and Mixed Match Challenge tapings.
**New Japan’s Super Junior Tag League continues Saturday with a show at 5:30 am Eastern from Ehime with the following tournament matches:
*KUSHIDA & Chris Sabin vs. Soberano Jr. & Volador Jr.
*Taiji Ishimori & Robbie Eagles vs. Roppongi 3K
**Congratulations to Anthony Carelli (formerly Santino Marella) and his wife who gave birth to a boy on Friday.
**wXw has released the entire match between Ilja Dragunov and Bobby Gunns from the second night of the World Tag Team League on October 6th. The match featured an incredible atmosphere with Alan Counihan and Rico Bushido calling the match.
POST MOVIE REVIEW: Iron Man 2 (2010)
John Pollock and Wai Ting discuss the return of Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, the controversy surrounding Don Cheadle replacing Terrence Howard as James Rhodes, the introduction of Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, the use of antagonists played by Mickey Rourke and Sam Rockwell, and the reasons why this movie might not be as fondly remembered as its predecessor.
upNXT MOVIE REVIEW: Halloween (1978)
Braden Herrington & Davie Portman from upNXT review John Carpenter’s 1978 horror classic, HALLOWEEN! They go through and share their views on the film, give their thoughts on the entire Halloween series itself, deliver some nerdy trivia, and look ahead to the new sequel coming out today!
upNXT & Forever Young 10/18/18: Back to Black
Braden Herrington & Davie Portman chat this week’s episode of WWE NXT featuring the War Raiders vs. Undisputed Era and the return of Aleister Black! Plus this week’s episode of the WWE Mae Young Classic and the Tegan Nox injury.
BWE 10/17/18: WWE NXT UK, wXw Tag League, Defiant Fight or Flight, Progress
Martin Bushby & Benno are back to talk the first episode of WWE NXT UK including the highlights from the show, where it fits in the UK scene and the future of the brand.
DOUBLE SHOT 10/17/18
John Pollock & Wai Ting review the Eddie Guerrero “Untold” feature, Being the Elite Ep. 121, Lucha Underground & Total Divas.
RASD 10/16/18: SmackDown 1000, Evolution reunion, Mysterio vs. Nakamura
This week was SmackDown 1000 with the return of several stars, including Rey Mysterio for a World Cup Qualifier with Shinsuke Nakamura, a reunion of Evolution and a match tease, Edge hosted The Cutting Edge with guest Becky Lynch, new SmackDown tag champions and a BIG SHOW TURN!
REWIND-A-RAW 10/15/18: WWE avoids Saudi Arabia mentions, Rollins & Ziggler qualify for World Cup
John Pollock & Wai Ting review Raw from Philadelphia, how the Crown Jewel show was handled amidst mounting criticism, two more qualify for the World Cup, your feedback & an announcement about a fundraising show.
BOUND FOR GLORY 2018 POST SHOW
John Pollock & Nate Milton review Impact Wrestling’s Bound for Glory card featuring Austin Aries vs. Johnny Impact for the title, Allie enters the “Undead Realm”, a Concrete Jungle Deathmatch, plus we chat Impact’s time slot move, the state of the company & your feedback.
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