POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: WWE running in Florida gains major traction

Huge coverage of WWE able to run shows in Florida, details of amendments, Linda McMahon's Super PAC, ROH & MLW issue statements, NXT at Full Sail, Endeavor's credit rating & more.


**Monday’s edition of Rewind-A-Raw features a big discussion on the classification in Florida being adjusted to include sporting events such as WWE. We also chatted about the XFL filing for bankruptcy and a review of Monday’s edition of Raw from the Performance Center.

**On Wednesday morning, I’ll be a guest on the TSN 1050 Toronto morning show with Michael Landsberg and Carlo Colaiacovo at 9:05 am Eastern.

**Later tonight, Wai Ting and I are back with a new Rewind-A-Wai to cover the inaugural Starrcade events from Thanksgiving Night 1983 in Greensboro, North Carolina. This was chosen by our Espresso Executive Producer MCF, who will join us to share her thoughts on the show, the presentation of pro wrestling during this era, and play the 1983 version of the Trivia Gauntlet. This show will be available for all members of the POST Wrestling Café.


*Tonight: Rewind-A-Wai – Starrcade 1983 (Patreon)
*Wednesday: Rewind-A-Dynamite
*Wednesday: upNXT with Braden Herrington & Davie Portman
*Thursday: Café Hangout (Live at 3 pm ET for all Patrons)
*Friday: British Wrestling Experience
*Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown (Patreon)
*Saturday: The Rocky Maivia Picture Show (Journey 2: The Mysterious Island)
*Sunday: Thunderstruck Finale with WH Park & John Pollock (Jushin Thunder Liger’s retirement week)




**On Monday night, it was revealed by Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings that WWE falls into the category of ‘essential businesses’ within the state of Florida. Orange County has been hit with a lot of criticism and is deflecting by stating this was a decision made by the state and not the county. On their official Twitter feed, Orange County is directing critics of the classification to contact the office of Governor Ron DeSantis.

In his briefing with the media, Mayor Demings added that initially, WWE was ruled ‘non-essential’ but that changed after conversations with the Governor’s office.

In ESPN’s reporting, they drew attention to a memo that dated April 9th but which wasn’t widely known about until Monday. The memo was issued by the state to the Florida Division of Emergency Management with a list of additional essential services, among them:

Employees at a professional sports and media production with a national audience – including any athletes, entertainers, production team, executive team, media team and any others necessary to facilitate including services supporting such production – only if the location is closed to the general public.

Marc Raimondi of ESPN contacted a spokesperson from the office of Governor Ron DeSantis, who stated that such services are essential “because they are critical to Florida’s economy.” The spokesman also stated that the memo does not specify specific sports and implied other events could run as long as they are closed to the public.

This opens the floodgate for any sports outfit with a national television deal to run in the state of Florida. In theory, this would provide companies such as AEW, Impact Wrestling, Ring of Honor, MLW with an opening to run as the precedent is set. If streaming on the internet is considered a national audience then the list is that much longer.

If UFC opted to run in Florida instead of Lemoore, California, there is a strong chance UFC 249 and the following events would be on schedule to occur. The problem UFC had was by attempting to run in California, it drew the attention of Senator Dianne Feinstein and then Governor Gavin Newsom, who placed pressure on Disney and left them no choice but to stop UFC from running. The optics would be bad for Disney to turn around and greenlight events in another state.

**Politico looks at the decision made by Florida while also noting the money earmarked for the state of Florida from the Linda McMahon-led American First Action super PAC to re-elect Donald Trump in November. An ABC report states that McMahon’s Super PAC plans to spend $26.6 million in broadcast TV ad buys to run in battleground states North Carolina and Florida. Of that money, $18.5 is earmarked for Florida with $11.3 in Orlando and $7.2 in Tampa with people openly questioning the timing of these announcements.

**Investigative reporter Stephanie Coueignoux out of Orlando put together a timeline of Florida’s initial executive order and what was considered essential services along with their recent amendment while also at when Linda McMahon’s Super PAC announcement was revealed and Vince McMahon’s decision run live shows in the state.

**I have reached out to several promotions regarding this classification within Florida and if they are considering running in the state and below are the statements we received at POST Wrestling on Tuesday from Ring of Honor and MLW:

Joe Koff of ROH:

I think it’s great for WWE that they are able to operate how they see fit, or how they may even need to for their business. It doesn’t necessarily change our approach to the pandemic though. The safety of all of our performers, staff, vendors, and fans are the most important thing to us right now and we are continuing to improve our infrastructure and find ways to connect with them during this time. Are we eager to get back? Absolutely. For now, we will be monitoring day by day.

From Court Bauer at MLW:

No. I will not put my athletes, crew and staff along with their families at risk of contracting the virus.

**It is expected that Tom Phillips and Byron Saxton will be the ones calling NXT on Wednesday night and the show will take place from Full Sail University while Raw and SmackDown are being done from the Performance Center.

**Last week’s episode of Friday Night SmackDown finished with a 1.40 rating and 2,317,000 viewers, so it avoided being the least-watched episode during its run on Fox. The lowest remains the November 15, 2019, show that finished with 2,309,000 viewers. This week’s show finished 0.6 in the 18-49 demo that translates to 823,000 viewers in the key demo.

**The WWE stock was up today and closed at $38.37.

**Dave Zirin at The Nation has a scathing editorial on WWE’s decision to continue its shows.

**The Wrap has a story on Endeavor’s credit rating being downgraded by S&P Global from B (‘highly speculative’) to CCC+ (‘substantial risk’). The company has been hit tremendously hard during the pandemic because of so many of its revenue streams being impacted, which was why the UFC is able to push through and run cards was of great value to the parent company. Over the past few years, Endeavor accumulated a lot of debt from the purchase of IMG and the UFC that were estimated at a combined price of $6.3 billion. Endeavor has been forced to make layoffs with 250 employees temporarily laid off that are unable to work from home coupled with 30% in pay reductions within the company.

The UFC maintains a credit rating of ‘B’ from S&P. Dana White has stated that there will be no layoffs on the UFC side.

**NBC Universal is doing a soft launch of its Peacock streaming service on Wednesday but will be limited to subscribers of Comcast Xfinity X1 and Flex. It won’t be available on a mobile app, web, or by streaming to a TV-connected device unless you have a Comcast box. The plan is to launch it nationally on July 15th

**The WWE story is gaining a lot of traction among mainstream outlets.

**FS1 has their Tuesday night WWE programming block beginning at 8 pm Eastern. The network will run three consecutive episodes from the WWE Ruthless Aggression series followed by a new edition of WWE Backstage. Edge and CM Punk will be on WWE Backstage and given the amount of mainstream focus on WWE today, it will be interesting to see what topics are brought up by Punk, or avoided.

**Dark Side of the Ring will cover the death of Nancy Argentino on tonight’s episode at 10 pm Eastern on Vice TV and Crave in Canada. We’ll be reviewing this episode later this week.

**ECW Press released The Eighth Wonder of the World today by Pat Laprade and Bertrand Hebert. This is the definitive account of the life of Andre Roussimoff a.k.a. ‘Andre the Giant’ and I learned so much reading this book. We will have Pat on the show in the two weeks to discuss the book and will also be chatting with him about the Dino Bravo episode of Dark Side of the Ring, which airs next Tuesday.

**Here are the matches and segments listed for tonight’s episode of Impact Wrestling at 8 pm Eastern on AXS TV, Twitch, and Fight Network in Canada:
*Contract signing between Ken Shamrock and Sami Callihan
*Taya Valkyrie vs. Tenille Dashwood
*Hernandez vs. Hakim Zane
*Johnny Swinger vs. M. Jackson
*The Rascalz vs. Reno Scum vs. XXXL vs. TJP & Fallah Bahh

**AEW is advertising a match between Billy Gunn and Shawn Spears for tonight’s episode of Dark at 7 pm Eastern on YouTube.

**WWE has announced a match between Finn Balor and Fabian Aichner for NXT this Wednesday. The ad on Raw also advertised an appearance by Charlotte Flair and the start of the Interim Cruiserweight title tournament.

**Scotty Davis of OTT spoke with POST Wrestling’s Andrew Thompson and the full interview can be read on the site. Of note, he was asked about the prospect of going to NXT UK and weighed the pros and cons of it believing that now is not the time for him to be entering a system like that:

It wouldn’t be for me right now. I’m not sure it if may at all. Obviously, there’s a lot of talks about it and there’s been some talks going back and forth from all the PROGRESS stuff but overall, I feel like I’m so young and, I’d rather build my name up and build my brand up. Then when I do make a big move somewhere, it’s a big deal. Like it’s something to talk about, but in terms of the people who have signed, in terms of the people who are currently training away and doing shows, I’m happy for a lot of them but, obviously, there’s some that are frustrated. I’d just say go with your gut and speak out about what you feel you’re worth, pretty much, because that’s a lot of the problem with the lads who are [signed]. They’re not speaking up. They’re not pushing themselves forward, but overall I feel like its been beneficial to a lot of people.

**AEW’s Road to the Championship Tournament:

**Being the Elite has released part two of Episode 199 with a third part coming out Wednesday. At the end of today’s show, they held a battle royal and led to the announcement that Matt and Nick Jackson will have a singles match on Episode 200:


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About John Pollock 5220 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.