POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: Raw After Mania Viewership on USA Network

Raw after Mania viewership, Sasha Banks cancels talk show appearance, report on WrestleMania 37 frontrunner, a study on WWE reclassifying talent, T.J. Dillashaw suspended for two years & more.


**Monday’s edition of Rewind-A-Raw is up with Wai Ting and I reviewing Raw from the Barclays Center following WrestleMania. We go through the show-long Title vs. Title tease, the payoff to the tease, the debut of Lars Sullivan, the return of Sami Zayn, a surprise appearance by The Undertaker to confront Elias, and everything else from the show. Plus, we chat about the horrendous experience fans had leaving MetLife Stadium on Sunday, the latest on Ronda Rousey, Batista’s retirement, Hiroshi Tanahashi’s injury and New Japan’s April and May lineups.

**Wai Ting and I return with Rewind-A-SmackDown tonight to wrap up WrestleMania Week with another show in Brooklyn. We will also take your questions and feedback at the end of the show.

**This week, The Double Shot will come out Wednesday night for members of the POST Wrestling Café. This will allow us to review the premiere episode of Viceland’s “Dark Side of the Ring” series focusing on Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth. We will also have reviews of the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony, Being the Elite, and maybe some other items as well.

**Benno from the British Wrestling Experience did a fantastic job going through the highlights of WrestleMania Week. In his latest piece, he covered Day 3 and 4 with the standout moments from the Orange Cassidy show, House of Glory, the G1 Supercard, Joey Janela’s Spring Break III Part 2, WrestleMania, and the other events taking place Saturday and Sunday. He also wrote up a feature on the highlights from Day 1 and 2.

**Benno will also be joining us on the Café Hangout this Thursday to chat the fallout from WrestleMania Weekend, all the shows he watched, the structure of WrestleMania itself and his work with the GRAPPL Spotlight podcast.

**In addition to Benno, I also want to thank Sean Harrell, Cory Rabiea, and John Siino for their reports and notes they sent us over the weekend covering the many events going on during WrestleMania Week. It was a big help for me with so much to cover.


Assign a letter grade to WrestleMania 35:

1,873 votes:

B – 51%
C – 24%
A – 19%
D – 6%


*Tonight: Rewind-A-SmackDown with John Pollock & Wai Ting
*Wednesday: The Double Shot – reviews of the WWE Hall of Fame & Viceland’s Dark Side of the Ring premiere (Patreon)
*Thursday: Café Hangout – LIVE at 3 pm Eastern with guest Benno from the British Wrestling Experience (Double Double +)
*Thursday: upNXT with Braden Herrington and Davie Portman
*Friday: POST Wrestling LIVE in New York Q&A (Patreon)
*Sunday: UFC 236 POST Show with John Pollock and Phil Chertok


**Raw’s viewership for the night after WrestleMania was 2,924,000 viewers on the USA Network. It was an enormous drop of 25% from last year’s Raw following WrestleMania 34, which did 3.9 million viewers. This year’s show started with 3,182,000 viewers in the first hour, it dropped to 2,943,000 viewers in the second hour and fell 10% in the third hour to 2,646,000. It suggests that Title vs. Title was not enough to grow or even maintain the audience to the end of the show.

The NCAA basketball final did 19.6 million viewers on CBS, which last year’s Raw didn’t go up against. Although, in 2017 they did go head-to-head with Raw doing 3.76 million viewers and the NCAA game topping 22 million viewers that year.

**The WWE will hold their final event at the Barclays Center for WrestleMania Week with the SmackDown and 205 Live tapings tonight. AJ Styles is not expected to be on the show, we were told on Monday that he had gone home and are awaiting an update. He was pulled from his Axxess signing on Monday and replaced by Kofi Kingston. Fans at Axxess were told he was replaced due to an injury, but we have not confirmed that. Below is what has been announced for tonight’s show:
*Kofi Kingston’s championship celebration
*The Usos vs. The Hardys for the SmackDown tag titles

**Ronda Rousey did not appear on Monday’s episode of Raw. It was first reported by Dave Meltzer on Sunday night that Rousey suffered a broken right hand during the match with Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania. It was expected to be Rousey’s final match before taking a sabbatical. Regarding the finish, it was explained to me that Rousey’s shoulders were not supposed to come up during the finishing sequence. With the announcers immediately calling attention it, it made it seem like a disputed finish for Rousey to get an immediate rematch, but it was supposed to be a clean pin for Lynch.

**The one-hour WrestleMania kickoff special on the USA Network did 749,000 viewers this past Sunday. The 6-7 pm hour slot featured the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal and the Raw tag title match with Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins defeating The Revival.

CORRECTION: Last year’s WrestleMania kickoff special on the USA Network averaged 762,000 viewers, we had originally listed 665,000 viewers, which was the viewership for the 2018 Hall of Fame special that ran last year on Saturday night during WrestleMania Weekend. Last year’s WrestleMania kickoff special feature the women’s battle royal and Cedric Alexander vs. Mustafa Ali.

**This year’s WWE Hall of Fame ceremony, which aired Monday night following Raw did 1,154,000 viewers. This was a one-hour edited version of Saturday’s ceremony from the Barclays Center.

**The WWE Network has announced the schedule for the various Axxess shows that were taped over the past few days. Below are the premiere dates for each themed show:
*Sunday, April 14th at 8 pm ET: Roderick Strong vs. Tyler Breeze, Harper vs. Dominik Dijakovic, Sanity vs. The Undisputed Era, Aiden English vs. Kassius Ohno
*Wednesday, April 17th at 9 pm: Brian Kendrick vs. Tyler Bate, Akira Tozawa vs. Jordan Devlin, Flash Morgan Webster & Mark Andrews vs. Mike Kanellis & Ariya Daivari, Gran Metalik vs. Ligero vs. Albert Hardie Jr.
*Wednesday, April 24th at 9 pm: Io Shirai vs. Sonya Deville, Nikki Cross vs. Toni Storm vs. Bianca Belair, Zelina Vega vs. Piper Niven, Kay Lee Ray vs. Candice LeRae (which will be a fun match for the announcers to call with the surnames)
*Wednesday, May 1st at 9 pm: 20-man battle royal and 20-woman battle royal with talent from NXT and NXT UK, as well as 205 Live talent in the men’s battle royal

**Arash Markazi of the Los Angeles Times is reporting that Inglewood, California is the frontrunner to host WrestleMania in 2021. The report states that the WWE’s flagship show would be earmarked for the new Los Angeles Stadium that is under construction and set to open in 2020. The stadium is also set to host the Super Bowl in 2022.

**Sasha Banks was scheduled for an appearance on the Wendy Williams Show on Tuesday but had to pull herself from it. Banks put up a statement and cited a personal reason for being unable to appear on the show. Banks did not appear on Raw with her partner Bayley wrestling Alexa Bliss on the show. Page Six reported that staff from the show were furious over the last-minute cancellation and Williams ended up doing an extra segment to cover.

**Dean Ambrose made his final WWE appearance on Monday night’s episode of Raw in Brooklyn. He was attacked by Bobby Lashley and the match never began. After the show, The Shield got together for a speech inside the ring and went over their history in the building going back to the TLC event in December 2012.

**The WWE announced that WrestleMania 35 did a live gate of $16.9 million at MetLife Stadium on Sunday. It is the second-highest gate in company history, trailing WrestleMania 32 at AT&T Stadium in Dallas that generated $17.3 million in 2016. The last time they ran MetLife Stadium in 2013 they did a gate of $11.9 million.

**Following his match with Triple H at WrestleMania, Dave Bautista formally announced his retirement:

To all the @wwe fans across the world that gave me the opportunity to suspend your disbelief, thank you. From the biggest part of my heart thank you for letting me entertain you. Tonight was my story book ending and I wanted to leave you with all I had to give. I’ll miss this theater of violence more than I can express in words but I am officially retiring from Sports Entertainment. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished, I leave in great health, and without a doubt the show will go on. I had a hell of a run. Thank you for the journey.

For years, Bautista has stated he wanted to have one final program with Triple H and retire. After starting late in the industry and terribly green when he was called up from OVW in 2002, he matured as a performer and figured out his strengths to become a major star for the company in 2005.

The story of Batista’s break from Evolution after winning the Royal Rumble and challenging Triple H at WrestleMania 21 was one of the best-promoted feuds in company history. Batista and John Cena were tabbed as the stars of their respective brands coming out of that show with Cena being placed on Raw and Batista on SmackDown after that year’s draft. At that time, Batista felt like the top star but in time, Cena would eclipse him. Batista remained with the company through 2010 with numerous injuries he came back from. When he left, he stated he had broken his back and followed a great heel run he had in his final program with Cena that year.

He returned in 2014 at the Royal Rumble and was scheduled to headline WrestleMania against Randy Orton. The audience rejected Batista to such a degree, that the audible was called to insert Daniel Bryan into the title picture at ‘Mania and leave as the star of the show. Batista left again shortly after that year’s ‘Mania and then exploded as a movie star following the success of Guardians of the Galaxy where he played Drax the Destroyer.

The program with Triple H kicked off at SmackDown 1000 last fall during a segment involving Evolution reuniting in the ring. There was a concern after Hunter tore his pectoral muscle in November if he would be able to perform at WrestleMania, but he made his recovery and the program went ahead.

**Brandon Howard at Fightful.com has researched the actual cost for the WWE to go through re-classify their talent as employees. Howard did his study based on re-classifying 215 performers with a 401k plan, retirement plan, health insurance, and travel expenses incorporated into his estimate. We will be having Brandon on the Café Hangout later this month to discuss his findings.

**New Japan has put out its lineups for April and the two Wrestling Dontaku cards in Fukuoka on May 3rd and 4th. The major news is Hiroshi Tanahashi is off the tour after suffering an elbow injury with no word on how long he is expected out for. Obviously, the next major card is Dominion in June at Osaka-jo Hall and if healthy, would be a big spot on that card before the G1 in July. The two cards in Fukuoka are led by Kazuchika Okada’s first title defense since regaining it when he faces Sanada on the second night. It’s a rematch of the New Japan Cup final where Okada won clean in a phenomenal match. It’s an odd choice after the nature of their recent match with the clean finish. The lineups will produce some good matches, but the depth issue is apparent with the loss of Kenny Omega, Tanahashi’s injury, and Tetsuya Naito being saved with tag matches. As New Japan transitions, it makes the signing of Kota Ibushi even more valuable because losing him would have been a big blow.

**All Elite Wrestling has launched their viral campaign for Fyter Festival, a spoof on the marketing for the Fyre Festival disaster in 2017. It’s connected to the June 29th CEO show in Daytona Beach, Florida. In addition to the AEW roster, the Jacksonville Jaguars and JWOWW from Jersey Shore sent out tweets promoting the Fyter Festival.

**Jim Ross has announced that his new podcast with Conrad Thompson will launch next week and will be called “Grilling Jim Ross”. This will be Thompson’s fourth weekly podcast following his series of shows with Bruce Prichard, Eric Bischoff, and Tony Schiavone.

**MLW has announced a television deal with Freesports to air Fusion in the U.K. and Ireland. The deal begins today with the two-hour broadcast of Battle Riot II, which took place this past Friday from the Melrose Ballroom. Starting next week, Fusion will be airing on Monday nights at 10 pm. In the release, they stated that the network is available in 18 million homes.

**ESPN has a feature on past WrestleMania events with memories shared by Ronda Rousey, Daniel Bryan, Roman Reigns, Shane McMahon, The Miz, Nia Jax, Braun Strowman, Seth Rollins, and Becky Lynch.

**The WWE Network premiered a new season of Table for 3 on Monday with Adam Cole, Johnny Gargano, and Ricochet. Part 2 of WWE Chronicle on Roman Reigns will premiere this Sunday night at 9 pm Eastern.

**The WWE Network is promoting future editions of “24” profiling Batista, Becky Lynch, and Andre the Giant. They are also set to air another installment of “365” focusing on Alexa Bliss.

**XFL commissioner Oliver Luck recently spoke to the Pro Football Talk podcast and announced their plans for point conversions after a touchdown. There will be no kicking options, instead, teams can opt for a one, two, or three-point running or passing conversion. The team can go for one extra point from the two-yard line, a two-point conversion from the five-yard line, and a three-point conversion from the ten-yard line.

**The WWE stock closed at $91.04 on Tuesday.


**USADA announced Tuesday that former UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw has been suspended two-years after failing a pre-fight drug test ahead of his flyweight title fight against Henry Cejudo this past January. USADA revealed that Dillashaw tested positive for EPO in a test that was administered on January 18th and will be ineligible to fight until January 2021. Dillashaw had previously been suspended for one year and fined $10,000 by the New York State Athletic Commission but USADA’s ruling will tack on an additional year to his period of ineligibility. He will be able to return just before his 35th birthday.

**The civil suit filed against Conor McGregor after the UFC fighter smashed a fan’s phone, has been dismissed. The fan, Ahmed Abdirzak, was seeking $15,000 in damages with Miami-Dade County court dismissing the suit with prejudice. That doesn’t mean McGregor is in the clear from the March 11th incident as he is still facing criminal charges and is scheduled for a court date on Wednesday.

**Here is Episode 1 of the UFC’s Embedded series going into this Saturday’s card from Atlanta:

RAR 4/8/19: Raw After WrestleMania 35, Dead Man Walking with Elias

John Pollock and Wai Ting review WWE Raw After WrestleMania 35 from the Barclays Center featuring an appearance by The Undertaker to interrupt Elias, a Title vs. Title bait-and-switch match involving Seth Rollins and Kofi Kingston.
WWE WrestleMania 35 POST Show

John Pollock & Wai Ting review WWE WrestleMania 35 from the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. We discuss our live experience attending the longest show in WWE history featuring Becky Lynch defeating Ronda Rousey and Charlotte Flair in the first women’s WrestleMania main event.
ROH & NJPW G1 Supercard POST Show (WM Road Diary Day 3)

John Pollock and Wai Ting review Ring of Honor and New Japan’s G1 Supercard from Madison Square Garden with Kazuchika Okada regaining the IWGP heavyweight title. Plus, an update on the Bret Hart incident at the WWE Hall of Fame.
NXT TakeOver: New York POST Show

Braden Herrington and Davie Portman are LIVE in Brooklyn to review NXT TakeOver: New York. They are joined by friends of the show Scrump & Jesse from The 6 to give their live perspectives.

WrestleMania Road Diary Day 2

John Pollock and Wai Ting check in from New York with Day 2 of their WrestleMania Road Diaries. We review our trips to NXT TakeOver: New York (Johnny Gargano vs. Adam Cole), RevPro: Live In NY (Hiroshi Tanahashi & Will Ospreay vs. Suzuki-Gun), and Wrestlecon: US vs The World (Brian Cage vs. Masato Tanaka)
WrestleMania Road Diary Day 1

John Pollock and Wai Ting check in from New York with Day 1 of their WrestleMania Road Diary. The two document their trip from Toronto and a brush with their mortality. Plus, reviews of Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport and MLW’s Rise of the Renegades.
WrestleMania Week Guide & Preview

John Pollock and Wai Ting deliver a special edition of the Hangout discussing all the highlights of WrestleMania Week 2019. We preview WrestleMania, NXT TakeOver, ROH/NJPW G1 Supercard, and every other show you might want to check out during the busiest weekend of the wrestling calendar.
THE DOUBLE SHOT: HBO’s Last Week Tonight, BTE, Allie killed on Impact

John Pollock and Wai Ting have a big conversation on HBO’s Last Week Tonight segment on the WWE, plus Being the Elite and Allie’s character being killed off on Impact.

Browse the new POST Wrestling Store

Subscribe to POST Wrestling

POST Wrestling Forum

Support our Patreon – The POST Wrestling Café

Follow us
Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube

About John Pollock 5659 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.