POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: Viewership Breakdown on Cable

A big breakdown of prime-time viewership on cable, the latest on Braun Strowman & TLC, ROH Final Battle preview, Jose Aldo makes weight, David Arquette documentary & lots more.


**Wai Ting and I are back on Rewind-A-SmackDown tonight for members of the POST Wrestling Café. We will be doing a double review tonight as Wai will be watching Friday Night SmackDown and I’ll watch the ROH Final Battle card. Plus, we will go through the news of the day and take your feedback at the end of the show.

**We will also have a UFC 245 POST Show late Saturday night, a new Thunderstruck with WH Park and guest Sarah Flann on Sunday morning, and the WWE TLC POST Show on Sunday night.

**Andrew Thompson spoke with ROH Television champion Shane Taylor ahead of tonight’s Final Battle card. In the interview, Taylor spoke about wrestling at Madison Square Garden, his run as TV champion and wrestling Dragon Lee tonight, as well as watching friends Keith Lee and Erik of the War Raiders succeeding in WWE.

**There is a fantastic interview on this week’s special edition of the British Wrestling Experience with David Starr that was conducted by Jamesie. The interview has received lots of praise and personally, I feel Jamesie has become one of the top interviewers out there.

**In this week’s edition of Five Questions, Phil Chertok discusses Jaizinho Rozenstruik’s knockout win over Alistair Overeem, the potential fight with Francis Ngannou, last weekend’s rematch between Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr., plus UFC 245 this weekend.

*Tonight: Rewind-A-SmackDown w/ a review of ROH Final Battle (Patreon)
*Saturday: UFC 245 POST Show with John Pollock & Phil Chertok
*Sunday: Thunderstruck with WH Park & guest Sarah Flann (Jushin Liger vs. Tyler Breeze at TakeOver: Brooklyn in Aug. 2015)
*Sunday: WWE TLC POST Show with John Pollock, Wai Ting & Mike Murray (LIVE for Double Double, Iced Capp & Espresso Café members)



**The Wrap has tabulated the prime-time audience numbers for all cable networks in 2019. Of the 115 cable networks listed Fox News Channel topped the list with an average viewership of 2,481,000 between 8-11 pm Monday through Sunday, followed by ESPN (1,784,000), and MSNBC (1,753,000).

TNT was #7 with 1,055,000 viewers in prime-time. AEW would fall below that figure with 921,000 viewers per episode since its launch on October 2nd.

The USA Network was #8 with 1,042,000 viewers, so it tells you how valuable Raw is to their overall average. At worst, Raw is hitting a two million viewer average on Mondays with the third hour frequently hitting 1.8-2.0 million. Conversely, NXT would be below that average at 829,000 viewers per episode since launching September 18th.

The Paramount Network, which airs Bellator was #34 with 396,000 viewers. Bellator has done 12 events on Paramount this year and averaged 344,000 viewers but those cards also simulcast on DAZN, so Bellator has that disadvantage.

E! was listed at #43 with 302,000 viewers, a figure Total Divas fell beneath for this past season that just wrapped and was its lowest in franchise history.

Viceland, which carried Dark Side of the Ring and The Wrestlers was #83 with 77,000 viewers on average. The first season of Dark Side blew past the station’s average with the six-episode season doing 206,000 viewers per show. There is a second season on the way. We are unaware of the future of The Wrestlers, which was hosted by Damian Abraham and aired in Canada prior to Viceland this year.

AXS TV was #92 with a prime-time average of 61,000 viewers. We don’t get any viewership figures for Impact Wrestling, New Japan, or WOW on the station. The average is below Impact’s prior homes on Pop TV and Destination America but above the Pursuit Network (which wasn’t listed among the top 115 cable stations).

beIN Sports Espanol was #109 with 11,000 viewers on average and beIN Sports was #112 with 5,000 average viewers. I don’t know what numbers MLW does on the station, but it would be hard to imagine wrestling doesn’t top those low figures.

**Tonight’s edition of Friday Night SmackDown takes place from Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin leading into the TLC event on Sunday. The show is being promoted around Roman Reigns’ response to the dog food angle from last week’s episode.

**Renee Young will conduct a sit-down interview with The Miz on tonight’s episode, as well.

**As of Thursday night, Braun Strowman was not expected to wrestle on the pay-per-view this Sunday as he is dealing with a back/hip issue. Initially, he was expected to have a match with Shinsuke Nakamura at TLC. The angle was to be shot on last week’s episode but Strowman was pulled due to the injury. One of the matches on the TLC card is expected to get a stipulation added to it.

UPDATE: WWE has since announced that the New Day vs. The Revival is now a ladder match for the SmackDown tag titles at TLC.

**Strowman did not work the WWE house show on Thursday night in Green Bay, Wisconsin but Elias did wrestle after being out since September. The card is Green Bay was headlined by Roman Reigns over King Corbin.

**AEW has officially announced Cody & Darby Allin vs. The Butcher & The Blade for next week’s episode of Dynamite in Corpus Christi, Texas. Below are the matches confirmed for Wednesday’s show:
*Chris Jericho vs. Jungle Boy in a non-title match
*Scorpio Sky & Frankie Kazarian vs. The Young Bucks for the AEW tag titles
*Kenny Omega & Hangman Page vs. Pentagon Jr. & Rey Fenix
*Kris Statlander vs. Britt Baker in a #1 contender’s match
*Cody & Darby Allin vs. The Butcher & The Blade

**ROH presents its final pay-per-view of 2019 with its annual Final Battle card taking place from the UMBC Event Center in Baltimore, Maryland.  The show caps off a tumultuous year for the group that, at best, can be described as a ‘rebuilding year’.

One year ago, they went into Final Battle aware Cody, The Young Bucks, and Hangman Page were leaving but caught some attention by adding Bandido, Brody King, and PCO. The first quarter of 2019 focused on the G1 Supercard at Madison Square Garden, the most successful show the company has ever been attached to with New Japan Pro Wrestling and ROH selling out the arena. Clearly, a large reason for the ticket demand was the hopes of the Elite members being on that show. The bottom fell out after the MSG show and the company has struggled in 2019 at a time when wrestling content is plentiful, and fans are picking and choosing what they keep up with. Talent-wise, this is still a strong roster and they put out a fantastic card in August for the Summer Supercard in Toronto, including a phenomenal ladder match between the Guerrillas of Destiny and The Briscoes. Match-quality isn’t going to set them apart when every company is putting out high-end matches. ROH has been hurt a lot by the negative publicity surrounding Kelly Klein over the past two months and public comments issued by Joey Mercury.

On a financial level, ROH has shown an ability to spend money if they deem a talent worthy of investment with Matt Taven re-signing with the group. Several performers have deals coming due and we’ll see what decisions are made with every major company stockpiling talent. The biggest name is Marty Scurll, who’s deal expired at the end of November but is working tonight’s show.

There isn’t a lot of buzz for tonight’s card but it’s imperative they put out a newsworthy show, which means more than just good to above-average matches. In today’s climate, you need to make your big shows feel important and that means great matches coupled with a strong angle or two, directions coming out of the show and an overall injection of enthusiasm to the cold product.

Tonight’s show begins at 7 pm Eastern with the first hour airing for free and the pay-per-view portion beginning at 8 pm with the following card:
*Rush vs. PCO for the ROH title
*The Briscoes vs. Jay Lethal & Jonathan Gresham for the ROH tag titles
*Bully Ray vs. Mark Haskins in a Street Fight
*Matt Taven vs. Vincent in a Grudge Match
*Shane Taylor vs. Dragon Lee for the ROH Television title
*Marty Scurll & Flip Gordon vs. Bandido & Flamita
*Jeff Cobb vs. Dan Maff
*Angelina Love vs. Maria Manic
*Kenny King vs. Rhett Titus on the free hour
*Silas Young & Josh Woods vs. Dalton Castle & Joe Hendry on the free hour

**Colt Cabana is doing the ROH pay-per-view tonight, the NWA pay-per-view on Saturday and then will be in Atlanta on Sunday and Monday for the NWA tapings.

**Warrior Wrestling has a big card in Chicago Heights tonight that’s streaming on Fite TV for $14.99. The show will include Will Ospreay and Minoru Suzuki among the New Japan talent on the show. Below is the card:
*Brian Cage vs. El Phantasmo for the Warrior Wrestling title
*Will Ospreay, Amazing Red & Rocky Romero vs. The Rascalz
*Minoru Suzuki vs. Tom Lawlor
*Jake Atlas vs. Robert Anthony
*Michael Elgin vs. Sam Adonis
*Lance Archer vs. Brian Pillman Jr.
*Savanna Stone vs. Holidead
*Ace Austin vs. Blake Christian vs. Carlos Romo vs. Templario for the Impact X Division title
*Aero Star vs. Rey Horus vs. Black Taurus vs. Gringo Loco vs. Drago

This looks like a fantastic card. Kurt Angle will also be appearing at the Warrior Wrestling show tonight.

**WWE UK performer Piper Niven revealed that she is dealing with Bell’s Palsy.

**The Hollywood Reporter has a story that the XTR studio is developing a documentary on David Arquette. The title is ‘You Cannot Kill David Arquette’ as they follow the actor through his attempt to become a professional wrestler and following as he takes part in 19 matches. The premise is Arquette setting out to redeem himself for his 2000 involvement with WCW and will feature interviews with Courteney Cox, Patricia & Rosanna Arquette, Ric Flair, and others, It will be co-directed by David Darg and Price James with no release date announced.

**The NWA will present the ‘Into the Fire’ pay-per-view on Saturday night from GPB Studios in Atlanta, Georgia. Last week, the company stated that the pre-orders for this show exceeded the total number of buys for the NWA 70th-Anniversary show last year, which was headlined by Cody vs. Nick Aldis following their match at ‘All In’ the month prior. There is no argument that ‘Power’ has increased the profile of the brand significantly and while hurt by the publicity attached to Jim Cornette’s exit, there is still enthusiasm for the product. Replacing Cornette is Stu Bennett (the former Wade Barrett), who will be calling the show with Joe Galli. The company will follow the pay-per-view with two nights of tapings in the same location and will have a new episode coming out this Tuesday. Below is the card for Saturday’s show at 6:05 pm Eastern and airing on Fite TV:
*Nick Aldis vs. James Storm in a 2-of-3 Falls Match with Brian Hebner and Tim Storm appointed as referees for the first two falls respectively
*Colt Cabana vs. Aron Stevens vs. Ricky Starks for the NWA National title
*The Rock ‘N’ Roll Express vs. The Wild Cards for the NWA tag titles
*Allysin Kay & Ashley Vox vs. Melina & Marti Belle
*Mr. Anderson vs. Eli Drake
*Thunder Rosa vs. Tasha Steelz
*Trevor Murdoch vs. The Question Mark

**AAA presents its Guerra De Titanes on Saturday night from Ciudad Madero and features:
*Dr. Wagner Jr., Drago & Psycho Clown vs. Rush Toro Blanco (Rush), Blue Demon Jr. & La Bestia Del Ring
*Big Mami and Lady Maravilla in a Hair vs. Hair match
*Pentagon Jr. & Rey Fenix vs. Angelico & Australian Suicide vs. El Hijo del Vikingo & TBA for the AAA tag titles
*Black Taurus, El Texano Jr., Killer Kross & Chessman vs. Brian Cage, Murder Clown, Pagano & Puma King in a TLC match
*Taya Valkyrie, Faby Apache & Octagon Jr. vs. Abismo Negro, Ayako Hamada & Keyra vs. Carta Brava Jr., Mocho Cota Jr. & Tito Santana
*Demus, Latigo & Villano III Jr. vs. Mascarita Sagrada, Mr. Iguana & Nino Hamburguesa
*Aramis, Dinastia & Octogoncito vs. Arez, La Parkita Jr., & Mini Psycho Clown

**ROH will hold its final set of television tapings on Sunday from the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia. They have announced Alex Shelley vs. Jonathan Gresham, Bateman vs. Tracy Williams, Rey Horus vs. Flip Gordon, Jeff Cobb & Dan Maff vs. Marty Scurll & PCO, and Sumie Sakai vs. Nicole Savoy.

**The WWE stock closed at $62.84 on Friday.

**WWE has launched on TikTok and added over 30 wrestler’s theme songs to their library.

**Bet Online has released odds for the WWE TLC card on Sunday. Bray Wyatt is listed at -1500 over The Miz (+575), The Kabuki Warriors are -200 favorites against Becky Lynch & Charlotte Flair (+150), The New Day (-200) vs. The Revival (+150), Roman Reigns (-500) vs. King Corbin (+300), Rusev (-150) vs. Bobby Lashley (+110), and Aleister Black (-500) vs. Buddy Murphy (+300).

**The USA Network will be airing the WWE 24 special on Becky Lynch next Wednesday at 10 pm Eastern following NXT. This past Wednesday, they aired the 24 special on NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn from 2015 and it did 367,000 viewers on the USA Network.

**Immediately following the WWE TLC event, the WWE Network will be airing Steve Austin’s interview with Bill Goldberg on the Broken Skull Sessions.

**Progress Wrestling has Chapter 99 ‘With a Flake, Please’ this Sunday from the O2 Academy in Sheffield, England with the following:
*Eddie Dennis vs. David Starr for the Progress Unified title
*Meiko Satomura vs. Jinny for the Progress Women’s title
*Paul Robinson vs. Chris Ridgeway for the Progress Proteus title
*Ilja Dragunov vs. Cara Noir in a 2-of-3 Falls Match
*Kassius Ohno vs. Timothy Thatcher
*James Drake & Zack Gibson vs. The Anti-Fun Police
*Mark Andrews vs. Primate

**Wrestlecon has announced that the Pancakes & Piledrivers IV card and Ethan Page’s Body Guy shows will put tickets on sale next Tuesday at 2 pm. The shows take place WrestleMania week in Ybor City, Florida at The Ritz. The Body Guy show will reveal the first match on the card prior to tickets going on sale.


**Jose Aldo made weight on Friday morning coming in at 136 pounds for his bantamweight debut at UFC 245. Throughout the week, he looked very drawn out and that included Thursday at media day. It will be interesting how much weight he puts back on for Saturday’s fight with Marlon Moraes, who is as dangerous an opponent as Aldo could receive at 135 pounds.

**Jessica Eye missed weight by five rounds for her flyweight fight against Viviane Araujo. Eye was fined 30% of her purse with the fight still scheduled for tomorrow night.

Below are the weigh-in results and full card for Saturday’s show:

MAIN CARD (10 pm Eastern on pay-per-view)
*Kamaru Usman (170) vs. Colby Covington (170) for the UFC welterweight title
*Max Holloway (145) vs. Alexander Volkanovski (144.5) for the UFC featherweight title
*Amanda Nunes (134.5) vs. Germaine de Randamie (134.5) for the UFC bantamweight title
*Jose Aldo (136) vs. Marlon Moraes (135.5)
*Petr Yan (135.5) vs. Urijah Faber (135.5)

*Geoff Neal (170) vs. Mike Perry (170.5)
*Irene Aldana (135.5) vs. Ketlen Vieira (136)
*Omari Akhmedov (185.5) vs. Ian Heinisch (185.5)
*Ben Saunders (170) vs. Matt Brown (171)

PRELIMINARY CARD (Fight Pass & ESPN+ at 6:15 pm)
*Chase Hooper (144.5) vs. Daniel Teymur (145.5)
*Kai Kara-France (125.5) vs. Brandon Moreno (125.5)
*Viviane Araujo (126) vs. Jessica Eye (131*)
*Oskar Piechota (186) vs. Punahele Soriano (185.5)

**The Nevada Athletic Commission released the guaranteed purse figures for the three titles fights. Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington will each make $500,000, Max Holloway will make $350,000, and Alexander Volkanovski is listed at $250,000. Amanda Nunes is the only one with a win bonus attached as she is guaranteed $350,000 and an additional $100,000 with a win while Germaine de Randamie has a guarantee of $100,000. The rest of the main card features Jose Aldo ($400,000 guaranteed and a $50,000 win bonus) vs. Marlon Moraes ($110,00/$110,000), and Urijah Faber ($250,000) vs. Petr Yan ($66,000/$66,000).

**Combate Americas issued a press release on Friday touting that 3.1 million people in Mexico watched last weekend’s card on Televisa Canal 5. The show, headlined by Tito Ortiz and Alberto El Patron, was the first card presented on pay-per-view by the promotion and acknowledged that the pay-per-view did not do well:

The live pay-per-view television broadcast in the U.S. did not fare as well, according to initial reports that indicate a low buy rate for the company’s only pay-per-view offering to date.

**The UFC has added a Fight Night card for Saturday, February 29th in Norfolk, Virginia. This is the same night as AEW’s next pay-per-view in Chicago.

**Below are the latest episodes of UFC Embedded for UFC 245:



Jamesie is joined by David Starr for a near 2-hour interview discussing his incredible 2019 including matches against Walter & Jordan Devlin in OTT, appearances in PWG, wXw, RevPro, Progress and more.
Café Hangout: Weekends Previews, AEW-NXT Ratings, Phone Calls
John Pollock and Wai Ting open the phone lines all show long and preview a busy weekend of events with WWE TLC, UFC 245, NWA Into the Fire and ROH Final Battle 2019. Plus, we have our first TIE in the AEW-NXT Wednesday Night Wars.
upNXT 12/11/19: In The Arms of an Angel
Braden Herrington & Davie Portman review the December 11th edition of WWE NXT featuring a triple threat number one contenders match between Finn Balor vs. Tommaso Ciampa vs. Keith Lee, Lio Rush defends his Cruiserweight title against Angel Garza, plus Mia Yim vs. Dakota Kai, and much more!
REWIND-A-DYNAMITE 12/11/19: Texas Street Fight, AEW’s next PPV

John Pollock and Wai Ting review AEW Dynamite featuring a Texas Street Fight between the Young Bucks against Santana & Ortiz with the winners receiving a tag title match on next week’s show.
REWIND-A-WAI #51: ECW on TNN (Patreon)

John Pollock and Wai Ting review ECW on TNN from December 31, 1999, headlined by Masato Tanaka vs. Mike Awesome for the ECW Championship. Plus, unprotected chair shots, WWE Network-edited theme music, how we spent our Y2K and more in this review.
REWIND-A-RAW 12/9/19: Lana-Rusev Divorce, Rollins Gets in the Van
Wai Ting is joined by Nate Milton to review WWE Raw featuring Lana & Rusev’s divorce and Seth Rollins’ big reveal. We also discuss today’s news about the WWE Hall of Fame, Wrestle Kingdom 14 and more.
NJPW World Tag League 2019 POST Show
John Pollock & Wai Ting review NJPW World Tag League 2019 Final headlined by EVIL & Sanada vs. Juice Robinson & David Finlay and featuring a number of angles building towards Wrestle Kingdom 14. We also discuss WWE’s releases of Luke Harper, Sin Cara, and The Ascension.

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About John Pollock 5646 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.