POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: Viewership breakdown for WWE Raw

A breakdown of the draft edition of WWE Draft, Eric Bischoff let go by WWE, the debut of WWE "Backstage", Maria Kanellis posts a statement, 30 for 30 doc on Liddell vs. Ortiz, Roman Reigns comments on HIAC finish & more.


**We have this week’s edition of Rewind-A-Raw up on the site as Wai Ting and I review Raw from Denver, Colorado and the second night of the WWE Draft. We go through all the picks, the rosters for each brand, new Raw tag champions, the contract signing between Braun Strowman and Tyson Fury, Natalya teaming with Lacey Evans, and the closing angle with Seth Rollins and Bray Wyatt. Plus, we discuss all the news from the day including Mike Bennett asking for his release, King of Pro Wrestling thoughts, Friday Night SmackDown’s second-week drop, Taz doing AEW Dark next week & we take your feedback to Raw.

**We also have our review of New Japan’s King of Pro Wrestling card available to all Cafe members.

**Wai Ting and I are back late tonight with our latest MCU review covering Spider-Man: Homecoming from 2017. This review will be out for all members of the POST Wrestling Cafe.

**On Wednesday night, we will have new editions of Rewind-A-Dynamite and upNXT with Braden Herrington & Davie Portman.

*Tonight: MCU review of Spider-Man Homecoming (Patreon)
*Wednesday: Rewind-A-Dynamite with John Pollock & Wai Ting
*Wednesday: upNXT with Braden Herrington & Davie Portman
*Thursday: Cafe Hangout with guest Corey Erdman (LIVE at 3 pm ET for all Patrons)
*Friday: British Wrestling Experience with Martin Bushby, Benno & Jamesie
*Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown (Patreon)
*Saturday: The Rocky Maivia Picture Show with Nate Milton (“Race to Witch Mountain” w/ Braden Herrington & Davie Portman)
*Sunday: Bound for Glory POST Show with John Pollock & Nate Milton




**Monday’s episode of Raw averaged 2,279,000 viewers on the USA Network for the second night of the draft. The show went against the most-watched Monday Night Football game of the season with 13,339,000 watching the Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions. There was also a playoff game between the St. Louis Cardinals and Washington Nationals that attracted 3,652,000 on TBS.

The first hour saw 2,521,000 viewers tune in and their second-best open since the NFL returned last month. That tells me that despite the sports competition people were engaged to tune in for the draft but were turned off later in the show. The audience of Raw fell 8% in the second hour to 2,318,000 viewers and then dropped 14% in the third hour to 1,997,000 viewers. The third hour was Raw’s fourth-lowest final hour of 2019 and represented a drop of 21% from the first to the third hour.

The overall average viewership was only down 2% from the prior week and down 4% year-to-year compared to this week in 2018.

For the night, Raw did a 0.74 among people 18-49, which was down by a tiny margin from last week’s 0.75. Among females 12-34, the show was up 12% from last week while males 12-34 were the big loser down 17%. They were also up 5.6% among females 18-49. There were small drops of 3% each for people 25-54 and 50+.

If you compare this week’s number to the Superstar Shake-up show from this past April, this week’s draft was down 14% and a huge drop of 37% from the 2018 version of the Superstar Shake-up in April 2018. Granted, the April shows don’t have NFL competition but doesn’t explain such a major drop from a similar concept 18 months ago. There was something with this year’s draft that didn’t connect at the level of past shows with the theme of shaking up the rosters.

**The WWE and FS 1 are going to do a soft launch tonight of the Backstage show hosted by Renee Young and Booker T. They will have an enormous lead-in following the ALCS game on the network. They are promoting a “blockbuster trade” coming out of the draft that will be discussed on tonight’s episode and the tease of some major players moving brands. Fox Sports sent out a press release promoting that Paige and Christian will be on the panel discussing the WWE Draft, Renee Young will be interviewing Cain Velasquez and Rey Mysterio, Shawn Michaels, and Sting will discuss their favorite match, and Major League Baseball player Adam Jones will appear in-studio.

**Eric Bischoff is out of WWE with the company announcing that Bruce Prichard will be assuming the role of Executive Director of Friday Night SmackDown and reporting to Vince McMahon. WWE confirmed to POST Wrestling that Bischoff is done with the company as opposed to being re-assigned to a new role within the company. Bischoff was announced, alongside Paul Heyman, as the Executive Directors of the two shows back in June. Bischoff moved to Stamford over the summer so that’s a rough deal on his end with the job being a short-lived one. Recently, the creative teams were split up between Raw and SmackDown, although we had heard Prichard was one of the few that was still attending both shows. Bischoff issued the following comment on Twitter Tuesday afternoon:

Bruce is a great producer, good friend and I am certain he is going to thrive in his position. He’s going to be working with a great team of the most dedicated and hard working people I have had the pleasure of working with and getting to know.

While the current makeup of each show comes down to Vince McMahon, it is going to be a test to see how hands-on or hand-off McMahon is once the XFL launches and whether Heyman and Prichard will have increased influence if McMahon is less present. It is hard to imagine any circumstance where McMahon is completely removed from the process, although that does appear to be the case for NXT.

**Dave Meltzer adds that SmackDown will have Prichard and Ed Koskey as the key people in creative. Additionally, Meltzer is reporting that Seth Rollins will only be doing one match at Crown Jewel, which is the Falls Count Anywhere match with The Fiend. Rollins was previously announced as a member of Team Hogan for the five-on-five match but he is expected to be removed from that match. Team Hogan also has Ricochet and Rusev listed against Team Flair consisting of Randy Orton, King Corbin, Bobby Lashley, and Shinsuke Nakamura.

**Maria Kanellis posted a statement on Instagram responding to questions she must be repeatedly asked. One notable point she includes is that she has not asked for her release in the wake of her husband Mike Bennet stating he has asked for his. Below is Kanellis’ full post:

1. Family first. 2. I love and support my husband. 3. I make no apologies for either of my pregnancies. 4. Mike never went to rehab nor did WWE pay for it. 5. Mikes addiction was from about September 2013-July 2017. 6. We debuted in June 2017. 7. He never took time off. 8. I have not asked for my release. 9. You can unfollow me at anytime if you don’t like what I stand for. 10. Suck it. P.S. Have a nice day!

**New Japan Pro Wrestling announced that Jushin Thunder Liger will wrestle on both Tokyo Dome cards in January. On the first night, he will team with Tatsumi Fujinami, The Great Sasuke and Tiger Mask with El Samurai in their corner. Their opponents on the card will be Naoki Sano, Shinjiro Otani, Tatsuhito Takaiwa and Ryusuke Taguchi with Kuniaki Kobayashi in their corner. Liger will have his final match the next night on January 5th followed by a retirement ceremony at New Year Dash on January 6th at Ota Ward Gymnasium.

The participants of the match include his trainer Fujinami, who had his 40th-anniversary show with New Japan in 2012 but other than the isolated show has not wrestled for New Japan since 2008. Liger and Sano had a tremendous feud that included Sano ending Liger’s first reign as IWGP junior heavyweight champion in 1989 and Liger regained the title in January 1990 and was the match of the year in the Observer.

Following the loss to Minoru Suzuki at King of Pro Wrestling, Liger has requested another match with Suzuki but the rematch has not been announced. That would seem to be the leading candidate for the retirement match.

**Because of Typhoon Hagibis, New Japan has canceled this Friday’s Road to Power Struggle card in Nagano, Japan. It is the only show on the upcoming tour that has been affected by the damage of the typhoon.

**The Super Junior Tag League kicks off Wednesday for New Japan with the round-robin portion leading into the finals at Power Struggle on November 3rd. The following Tag League matches will take place Wednesday morning at Korakuen Hall with Japanese and English commentary on New Japan World at 5:30 am eastern:
*Volador Jr. & Titan vs. Tiger Mask & Yuya Uemura
*Ryusuke Taguchi & Rocky Romero vs. TJP & Clark Connors
*Roppongi 3K vs. El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru
*El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori vs. Will Ospreay & Robbie Eagles

**The Super Junior Tag League continues Thursday at Korakuen Hall and Saturday in Niigata. All of the tournament matches will air on New Japan World either live or on VOD.

**After Raw, Seth Rollins and The Fiend had a short dark match ending in a disqualification win for Rollins.

**NWA Power will have its second episode released tonight at 6:05 pm eastern on their YouTube and Facebook pages. The first episode drew lots of praise and has over 415,000 views on YouTube. The episode was the second most-viewed video the NWA has ever put out trailing a match between Nick Aldis and James Ellsworth from last year that has 1.1 million views. Power is going to be an interesting experiment to watch as they could not have received a stronger word-of-mouth campaign among the wrestling audience last week. They taped nine episodes in Atlanta and that leads into their first pay-per-view on December 14th with tapings to follow on December 15th and 16th at GPB Studios. The venue they are running in holds 255 people with Vice President David Lagana stating that they are planning quarterly pay-per-views that will be available through Fite TV.

**Here are the matches for tonight’s release of AEW Dark that will be released tonight at 7 pm eastern from last week’s tapings in Boston:
*Kenny Omega vs. Joey Janela in a Lights Out Unsanctioned match
*Jack Evans, Angelico & Dark Order vs. Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian, Scorpio Sky & CIMA
*Peter Avalon vs. Sonny Kiss vs. Kip Sabian

**Roman Reigns spoke to Forbes while promoting the upcoming 2K video game and gave his thoughts on the finish at Hell in a Cell and the reaction from the audience:

I think you should express your opinions, but it doesn’t hurt anybody if you have a shred of respect. Have a little respect for the performers who were out there killing themselves for you. I didn’t like the Hell in a Cell finish either, but I wasn’t about to cuss some guys out who got hit in the head over and over. Bray Wyatt put his health on the line to entertain some fans to the best of his ability. I didn’t like it, but I respect Bray’s effort and willingness to go out there and do what you have to do. So, if you can, just a little bit of respect.

**AEW’s final episode of Dynamite for the year will be in Corpus Christi, Texas on Wednesday, December 18th. The show will take place from the American Bank Center, which is the venue WWE runs in the city. AEW is not running a live show on Christmas Day, which is the final Wednesday of the year. Tickets for the Corpus Christi card go on sale this Friday.

**MLW has released producer Alex Greenfield, who was notified of their decision on Monday. There was no comment from MLW regarding the decision, but it was confirmed that he was let go on Monday. Greenfield had been associated with MLW prior to the re-launch of the wrestling promotion being a figure within their podcast space and then brought on as a producer for the weekly Fusion series. Greenfield had recently traveled to Tijuana for the MLW show with The Crash earlier this month. The departure comes several weeks before MLW’s first pay-per-view on November 2nd at Cicero Stadium in Illinois.

**Jim Crockett has been announced to appear at Starrcas IV next month in Baltimore over “Full Gear” weekend.

**CM Punk (Phil Brooks) will be participating in an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit this Thursday to promote his film “Girl on the Third Floor” that comes out next week.

**The WWE stock closed at $69.49 on Tuesday.

**The Highspots Network has added a sit-down interview that Rob Bihari conducted with Black Taurus discussing his past work experiences with CMLL and AAA among lots of topics covered.

**The Prairie Wrestling Alliance out of Edmonton, will be honoring the late Kay Johansen on their next show on October 26th. Johansen was a regular at the PWA shows, who passed away last week due to cancer. The company will be remembering her with a ten-bell salute at the start of the show.

**Impact Wrestling will air this year’s Slammiversary pay-per-view from July on AXS TV tonight at 8 pm ahead of Impact’s flagship program moving to the station on October 29th. Here is the card from the pay-per-view:
*Sami Callihan vs. Tessa Blanchard
*Brian Cage vs. Michael Elgin for the Impact title
*Rich Swann vs. Johnny Impact for the X Division title
*Taya Valkyrie vs. Rosemary vs. Jessicka Havok vs. Su Yung for the Knockout’s title
*Rob Van Dam vs. Moose
*Eddie Edwards vs. Killer Kross in a First Blood match
*The North vs. LAX vs. Des & Wentz for the Impact tag titles
*Jake Crist vs. Willie Mack vs. TJP vs. Trey

**Next week, Impact airs a special called “This is Impact” on AXS TV in the same Tuesday night slot ahead of the Impact premiere the following week.

**Chelsea Green is a guest on the latest edition of One0Degree Shift with Eric Termuende discussing the mindset of being a professional wrestler.

**GV Wire looks back at the Heroes of Wrestling pay-per-view that took place twenty years ago this month in October 1999. It is considered one of the worst pay-per-views in wrestling history and has the distinction of sharing the same date as Hiroshi Tanahashi’s debut in New Japan Pro Wrestling.


**Cub Swanson provided a health update on Tuesday following his unanimous decision victory over Kron Gracie this past Saturday in Tampa, Florida. Swanson stated he has a broken left hand and minor scratches on both eyes. He added that he probably will not be fighting again this year. Swanson snapped a four-fight losing streak with the win over Gracie with losses to Brian Ortega, Frankie Edgar, Renato Moicano, and Shane Burgos since December 2017, which is hardly a losing streak to feel bad about given the high level of fighters he has fought.

**ESPN will be airing the new 30 for 30 documentary on the rivalry between Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz tonight. The documentary was directed by Micah Brown and features interviews with Liddell, Ortiz, Dana White, Joe Rogan, Ariel Helwani, Kevin Iole and others. TSN in Canada is expected to air this at some point but there is no airing scheduled yet.

The story of Liddell and Ortiz is a big one in UFC’s history with two pivotal stars that helped take the promotion to enormous heights. When the company was barely hanging on, the promise of a fight between the two was one of the few cards the promotion had to play.

In 2003, it became a public fight with Ortiz becoming the first prominent fighter in the UFC to complain about pay and saw the potential in a big fight with Liddell but was painted as the villain for avoiding the fight. In time, they put the fight together and they first fought in April 2004 with Liddell stopping Ortiz. Some of the shine had been taken off the fight after such a long delay on top of both losing to Randy Couture in 2003. Their rematch in 2006 was gigantic and came during a year when the UFC exploded on pay-per-view after the success of Ultimate Fighter’s launch in 2005 and the promotion becoming profitable for the first time in the Zuffa era.

Their fight at UFC 66 in December 2006 followed Ortiz’s wins over Forrest Griffin and two victories over Ken Shamrock that year. In the July 2006 fight at UFC 60, Ortiz vs. Shamrock set the company’s pay-per-view record with a reported 775,000 buys and came back with a free fight in October on Spike that did monster numbers. This coincided with Liddell at his drawing peak as the light heavyweight champion.

Liddell won the second fight and was his final title defense until losing the championship in his next fight against Quinton Jackson in May 2007. They were set to have a third fight in June 2010 after the completion of a season of TUF but Ortiz was injured and replaced by Rich Franklin.

Their fourth fight was a forgettable affair in November 2018 for Golden Boy MMA where Ortiz finally beat Liddell. It was a sad performance from Liddell, who had no business fighting as he was a severely diminished version of himself.

**Both Bellator MMA and ONE Championship ran televised cards on Saturday night. Bellator had a show from Milan, Italy that averaged 202,000 viewers on the Paramount Network at 9 pm eastern, and simulcast on DAZN. The Bellator 230 portion was headlined by Vadim Nemkov defeated Rafael Carvalho by submission in the second round. The ONE Championship card aired on TNT at 11 pm eastern and the two shows went head-to-head from 11 pm until 12:22 am. The ONE card averaged 264,000 viewers and ran for 4 hours and 24 minutes on the cable outlet.

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About John Pollock 5650 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.