POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: SmackDown hurt badly against SOTU address

SmackDown's viewership hurt badly, Fox Entertainment CEO speaks on SmackDown on Fridays, a feature on Dwayne Johnson, All Elite announces Jimmy Havoc signing & more.

POST IT NOTES

**On Thursday, Wai Ting and I will be live with the Café Hangout at 3 pm Eastern with special guest Brandon Howard of the Wrestlenomics podcast. Brandon will be chatting with us about the WWE’s year-end earnings report and subsequent conference call with the executives from the company. We will also be taking your calls by phone and Skype. You can watch live and call in if you are a Double Double, Iced Capp or Espresso member of the POST Wrestling Café.

**We have this week’s edition of Rewind-A-SmackDown posted with Wai Ting and I reviewing SmackDown from Everett, Washington, a discussion on Daniel Bryan’s character and week two with the hemp title, the opening segment involving Becky Lynch and Triple H and more. Plus, we chat the news of the day with the report on the date of the next WWE card in Saudi Arabia, updates on Sasha Banks and Seth Rollins, a WWE writer announces he has left the company, and lots more.

**The Double Shot is also up for members of the POST Wrestling Café featuring reviews of the WWE’s Worlds Collide tournament, MLW’s Superfight special from Philadelphia, Being the Elite Episode 137, and Impact Wrestling’s feature on Bound for Glory that is on the GWN app.

**Braden Herrington and Davie Portman will be back withupNXT on Thursday.

POST WRESTLING SCHEDULE

*Wednesday: British Wrestling Experience with Martin Bushby and Benno
*Thursday: Café Hangout live at 3 pm Eastern with special guest Brandon Howard from Wrestlenomics chatting the WWE’s financials (Double Double +, free the next day)
*Thursday: upNXT with Braden Herrington and Davie Portman
*Friday: AEW press conference review with Pollock and Wai
*Friday: MCU review of “Iron Man 3” with Pollock and Wai (Patreon)
*Sunday: UFC 234 POST Show

WRESTLING NEWS

**On Wednesday, Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier spoke at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour and discussed Fox’s acquisition of WWE programming for the fall season. The most interesting line was Collier stating that “Short term, Friday night is going to WWE”. Collier did not expand upon the line and the definition or context of “short term”.

Collier added that other wrestling programming will be featured on FS 1 without going into specifics. SmackDown will debut on Fox on Friday nights in October after the completion of SmackDown’s contract with the USA Network. The deal for the series was made last year that will see Fox pay $205 million over five years for the programming rights.

**SmackDown Live got destroyed on Tuesday night going against the State of the Union address and the cable news coverage of the speech. The show averaged 1,841,000 viewers on the USA Network, which is the lowest number they have done since going live on Tuesday nights in July 2016. This is lower than the episode of SmackDown that ran on the night of the U.S. Election in November 2016 and the recent episode that ran on Christmas Day to put into context. While you would have had coverage before the speech, the actual State of the Union address didn’t begin until 9:07 pm so it wasn’t going against the first hour of SmackDown.

Viewers over the age of 50 were down 17% for SmackDown this week, 25-54 were down 10.7%, 18-34 was down 8.5% and males 18-49 were down 10% as the big drops from last week.

**All Elite Wrestling announced they have signed Jimmy Havoc ahead of their press conference Thursday in Las Vegas. Over the past weekend, MLW had announced that Havoc will be returning to the promotion later this year. What we have been told is that Havoc’s deal with AEW will be a non-exclusive one and that none of the plans between MLW and Havoc have changed.

**Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling have announced dates for their annual War of the Worlds Tour. The two promotions will run four events with dates on May 8th in Buffalo at the Buffalo RiverWorks, May 9th in Toronto at the Ted Reeve Arena, May 11th in Grand Rapids at the DeltaPlex and wrapping up May 12th in Villa Park, Illinois at the Odeum. Tickets for all four shows will be on sale next Wednesday for Honor Club members and Friday, February 15th to the general public at 10 am Eastern.

**The Hollywood Reporter spoke to Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia about “Fighting with my Family” that Seven Bucks Productions is producing along with WWE Studios and Film4 in the U.K. The two spoke of the difficulty in selling the film to a studio with Garcia citing the professional wrestling backdrop carrying a negative stigma to the studios. This despite the direct involvement of Johnson, who appears in the film. Eventually, it was bought by MGM for $17 million in 2017 with the film produced on a budget of $11 million that includes tax incentives.

Johnson also went into detail regarding the switch he underwent with management from CAA to WME and working with his ex-wife, Garcia. Johnson was told at the time to eliminate his connections to wrestling, which fell into the period between 2005 – 2011. Johnson added that he was told how to look, could not work out as much, to slim down and couldn’t make his image be all about masculinity. In time, Johnson made wholesale changes to his management, restarted his relationship with the WWE and is among the biggest actors in the world today.

**Thursday is going to be a packed day as the WWE will be releasing their 2018 year-end earnings report along with the fourth-quarter results. The final four months of the year would include the WWE’s return to Saudi Arabia for Crown Jewel as well as the stadium event in Melbourne, Australia.

In the second quarterly report, which covered the Greatest Royal Rumble show, the amount the company received for the first show in Saudi Arabia was not listed as its own line item. Instead, it was grouped into a category labeled “Other” alongside advertising revenue, sponsorships, YouTube, DVDs, reality show rights fees as well as secondary shows in foreign markets. That category grew from $11.9 million in 2017 to $60.6 million in 2018 and was assumed that the increase was largely from the deal in Saudi Arabia.

What we don’t know is if that large sum was for the April event or was the amount for both shows in 2018 and should have a better idea on Thursday.

**All Elite Wrestling is holding their press conference in Las Vegas Thursday night at 9 pm Eastern and should be making several announcements, including the on-sale date for “Double or Nothing”. Everyone is expecting Kenny Omega to be announced as signing with the group and they aren’t do anything to lower those expectations.

**A Cruiserweight title had been added to the WWE’s Elimination Chamber card with Buddy Murphy defending the title against Akira Tozawa.

**Mustafa Ali had his left eye swollen shut following his match with Randy Orton on SmackDown Tuesday night. Ali did return for the final segment and was involved in the show-closing brawl involving the members of the Elimination Chamber match.

**The WWE stock closed at $79.76 on Wednesday.

**Here is the Episode 2 of the UFC Embedded series for UFC 234:

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DOUBLE SHOT 2/6: WWE Worlds Collide, MLW Superfight, BTE, BFG Feature
John Pollock and Wai Ting chat the WWE’s World Collide tournament on the WWE Network, MLW Superfight from this past Saturday, Being the Elite Episode 137, a feature on Bound for Glory & more.
https://www.patreon.com/posts/24505441
*****

RASD 2/5/19: Becky slaps HHH, injury news, WWE returns to Saudi Arabia
John Pollock and Wai Ting review WWE SmackDown as Becky Lynch and Triple H engage in a heated confrontation, Daniel Bryan took on Jeff Hardy in a non-title match, WWE returns to Saudi Arabia, roster injury updates and more.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/02/06/rasd-2-5-19-becky-slaps-hhh-injury-news-wwe-returns-to-saudi-arabia/
*****

RAR 2/4/19: Kurt’s Angle, Becky suspended, Sasha Banks & Bayley qualify
John Pollock and Wai Ting review WWE Raw from Portland, Oregon featuring Stephanie McMahon and Becky Lynch opening the show, Kurt Angle teams with Braun Strowman in the main event, and Jeff Jarrett has his first match on Raw since 19 Double 9.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/02/05/rar-2-4-19-kurts-angle-becky-suspended-banks-bayley-qualify/
*****
upNXT 2/4/19: Halftime Heat
Braden Herrington & Davie Portman from upNXT are here to chat about WWE Halftime Heat! The lads discuss their evening watching Super Bowl LIII, the Maroon 5 feat. Travis Scott halftime show, and the WWE NXT Halftime Heat Match featuring Velveteen Dream, Aleister Black & Ricochet vs. Johnny Gargano, Tommaso Ciampa & Adam Cole.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/02/04/upnxt-2-4-19-halftime-heat/
*****
NJPW New Beginning in Sapporo 2019 POST Show
John Pollock & Wai Ting review NJPW’s New Beginning in Sapporo cards from Hokkaido featuring Los Ingobernables de Japon vs. Suzuki-gun in various matches and Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kazuchika Okada joining forces to take on Jay White & Bad Luck Fale.
https://www.patreon.com/posts/24439667/
*****
upNXT Movie Review: The Inbetweeners Movie (2011)
Braden Herrington & Davie Portman from upNXT are back with another movie review: The Inbetweeners Movie! The lads have a laugh and chat all about The Inbetweeners including their favorite moments from the series, Davie teaches Braden all sorts of British slang, they take your feedback… and more!
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/02/02/upnxt-movie-review-the-inbetweeners-movie-2011/
*****
POST Puroresu: New Beginning, KUSHIDA and KENTA leave promotions
John Pollock & WH Park chat the upcoming New Beginning shows, KUSHIDA leaves NJPW, Hideo Itami leaves WWE, NOAH is purchased, female performers in NJPW & more.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/02/01/post-puroresu-new-beginning-kushida-and-kenta-leave-promotions/
*****

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About John Pollock 992 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.