POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: TNT’s Kevin Reilly out at WarnerMedia

Executive shake-up at WarnerMedia, XFL sale is approved, Canadian numbers for AEW, Excalibur's return date, a study on YouTube numbers & more.

POST IT NOTES

**We have released a POST Profile audio documentary looking at the story behind the main event of UFC 117 between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen. Their first fight occurred on this date ten years ago, and we go back to look at how Sonnen got the title fight and his promotion of the first fight, as well as its aftermath.

**Wai Ting and I will be LIVE tonight at 10:15 pm Eastern with Rewind-A-SmackDown for all members of the POST Wrestling Café. We will have a big review of SmackDown, go through the news of the day, and open the phone lines for Café members to call and discuss whatever topics they choose.

**On Saturday, we will release this month’s edition of POST Puroresu with guest Dylan Fox of the Eastern Lariat podcast joining WH Park and I to discuss the highlights of the past month. Among the topics will be the DDT-NOAH story and the creation of CyberFight, New Japan’s return, and upcoming card at Jingu Stadium, Stardom’s 5 Star Grand Prix, and we will have a Q&A segment taking questions from the thread posted on the POST Wrestling Forum.

**This Sunday, WH Park releases the next installment of The Long & Winding Royal Road and will be joined by independent wrestler Daniel Makabe. On this month’s show, they will discuss the January 1992 match with Jumbo Tsuruta & Akira Taue vs. Kenta Kobashi & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi.

POST SCHEDULE

Tonight: Rewind-A-SmackDown (LIVE at 10:15 pm Eastern for all Patrons)
Saturday: POST Puroresu with John Pollock, WH Park & guest Dylan Fox
Sunday: The Long & Winding Royal Road with WH Park & guest Daniel Makabe
Monday: Rewind-A-Raw with John Pollock & Wai Ting

WRESTLING NEWS

**In a story that just broke Friday afternoon, several executives including Kevin Reilly are out at WarnerMedia. It was reported that Reilly and Bob Greenblatt are leaving the company with a reorganization coming down from the company’s new CEO Jason Kilar.

Reilly’s significance is that he was the key executive at the network that worked with Tony Khan in securing a deal to get AEW Dynamite on the air. AEW President Tony Khan was friends with Reilly and first pitched the concept of launching a wrestling promotion in April 2018 and the idea of working together. AEW and WarnerMedia announced their distribution deal in May 2019 and launched in October. This past January, the sides agreed to a new deal that extended AEW through 2023 on the network.

Reilly signed a new four-year deal with WarnerMedia, which was announced in May 2019, expanding Reilly’s role to oversee TruTV in addition to TNT and TBS and serving as its chief content officer. He was named president of TNT & TBS in November 2014.

The executives being put in new roles include CEO Ann Sarnoff who will oversee a new Studios & Network group combining content studios and programming across WarnerMedia’s properties including TNT.

HBO programming president Casey Bloys will oversee original content for HBO Max, TNT, TBS, and TruTV, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

**Friday Night SmackDown airs at 8 pm Eastern on Fox tonight, and was taped this past Tuesday at the WWE Performance Center and have advertised the following :
*Matt Riddle vs. Sheamus
*King Corbin vs. Jeff Hardy
*Sonya Deville on The Dirt Sheet with The Miz & John Morrison
*A Firefly Funhouse segment with Bray Wyatt

**Kevin Seifert of ESPN reported Friday that the sale of the XFL was approved in a Delaware bankruptcy court allowing the group consisting of Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia, and RedBird Capital to take control of the league. It had been reported this past week that the group has purchased the remnants of the XFL for $15 million with each partner having an equal stake. Dany Garcia was quoted in the article addressing plans for launching in 2021:

We’re doing all the steps that need to happen for the execution of that. But we’re also being mindful to what has actually been successful. It has been really interesting to see that [in sports], when you create a bubble, your players are safe. When you don’t, it’s chaos. We are a league, because of the number of teams we have, that actually can create a bubble environment. Those discussions are active.

**Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer is reporting that Excalibur will return to commentary for AEW on Wednesday, August 26th. The broadcaster has missed the past two episodes of Dynamite, although AEW did not respond to our request for a comment on the matter. Prior to last Wednesday’s broadcast, a 2006 clip from Pro Wrestling Guerrilla had surfaced where Excalibur and Kevin Owens (Kevin Steen) both used the n-word during a promo segment addressing Human Tornado. Excalibur had not commented on his reasons for missing the last two episodes. During his absence, Taz has stepped in and called the programs with Jim Ross and Tony Schiavone. This past Tuesday’s episode of AEW Dark was handled by Taz and Schiavone.

**The WWE dropped 3.8% on Friday closing at $43.70.

**Matt Hardy posted photos of the cut he sustained from the chair that was thrown at his head by Sammy Guevara on Dynamite this week. The episode was taped last week and required several stitches for Hardy. Guevara whipped the chair recklessly towards Hardy and I was not a fan of that aspect. Watching it back, it appeared it was the top part of the chair that connected and not the legs. It was hard to tell watching what happened as Hardy didn’t appear to bleed at first, then they cut back to him and there was a gusher. Obviously, it will be utilized for the angle to add a layer of legitimacy to the feud, but it was reckless handling of the chair by Guevara and it could have been even worse had it hit his eye.

**Lavie Margolin recently looked at the YouTube subscriber growth over the past 18 months among the top wrestling promotions with a presence on the free platform. Obviously, the subscriber numbers were exhibited by WWE growing 88.7% during the period from 33.9 million to 64 million subs. Next, was Impact Wrestling growing from 2.15 to 3.62 million (68.4%), Beyond Wrestling went from 1.29 to 2.59 million (100.7%), AAA increased from 759,000 to 1.24 million (35%), Limitless Wrestling from 262,000 to 725,000 (176.7%), Defiant Wrestling from 419,000 to 655,000 (56.3%), Ring of Honor from 354,000 to 516,000 (45.8%), and NJPW from 297,000 to 408,000 (37.4%) – who also have another 325,000 on their English account.

Margolin added that Booker T’s Reality of Wrestling grew from 35,000 to 344,000 subscribers, the NWA went from 65,000 to 205,000, and MLW from 51,000 to 97,500. He also noted that Lucha Underground’s YouTube channel (that has not added a new video in one year) grew over the past 18 months from 43,000 to 64,000.

Based on the size of the promotion, groups are going to see YouTube as holding different functions. For most independent groups, it’s a form of free advertising using past content in the hope of converting to paying customers through their own streaming platforms or buying a ticket. That is where they can grade success from YouTube, where wrestling companies at that level aren’t making much off advertising revenue.

For WWE, it hosts one of the largest YouTube channels in the world and its strategy has adjusted. Previously, they were adding TV segments as they were happening and abandoned that strategy in favor of adding television clips after the show had aired and thus, incentivizing people to watch the show live instead of following along in real-time on YouTube.

The growth of free subscribers on YouTube is across the board with strong increases for most. It’s a fine metric to analyze but not one that I would tie to direct correlation of popularity. I subscribe to many YouTube channel and I cannot remember ever unsubscribing to one because there is no need to regardless of how much I follow that channel or the genre it’s attached to. In that way, you’ll likely never seen churn in YouTube numbers because there is zero risks of maintaining a free subscription that most will forget about.

Impact Wrestling would be one example, where they have two million more YouTube subscribers than AEW and yet, it’s not even a debate which one is more successful. But, it’s an important platform to be on and gives content creators analytics on who is watching, and when you’re trying to reach a younger audience, being on a diverse set of platforms is positive even if you’re sacrificing premium content.

**NJPW Strong debuts tonight in the 10 pm Eastern timeslot on New Japan World taking the place of Lion’s Break Collision. The shows will allow U.S. based talent to work during the pandemic due to the travel limitations. The first three episodes will be dedicated to the New Japan Cup USA tournament, which is an eight-man single-elimination tournament for a future IWGP United States title opportunity. Tonight’s show features the following opening round matches:
*KENTA vs. Karl Fredericks
*Tanga Loa vs. Jeff Cobb
*David Finlay vs. Chase Owens
*Tama Tonga vs. Brody King

**On Friday’s Summer Struggle event at Korakuen Hall, the first round of the NEVER Openweight Six-Man tag title tournament wrapped up with two more teams advancing to the semi-finals. In the main event, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kota Ibushi & Master Wato defeated Taichi & Zack Sabre Jr. & Yoshinobu Kanemaru to advance. In the other tournament match, Hirooki Goto & Tomohiro Ishii & Yoshi-Hashi defeated Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma & Ryusuke Taguchi to advance. This sets up Saturday’s semi-finals at Korakuen Hall streaming at 4:30 am Eastern on New Japan World:
*Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kota Ibushi & Master Wato vs. Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii & Yoshi-Hashi
*Kazuchika Okada, SHO & Toru Yano vs. Shingo Takagi, Sanada & Bushi

**Stardom’s 5 Star Grand Prix kicks off Saturday at Korakuen Hall and runs until September 18th. Saturday’s card features the following round-robin matches:
*Natsuko Tora vs. Syuri (Blue Block)
*AZM vs. Saya Iida (Blue Block)
*Utami Hayashashita vs. Jungle Kyona (Blue Block)
*Momo Watanabe vs. Maika (Blue Block)
*Mayu Iwatani vs. Giulia (Red Block)
*Starlight Kid vs. DEATH Yama-san (Red Block)
*Konami vs. Saya Kamitani (Red Block)
*Tam Nakano vs. Himeka (Red Block)

**Stardom noted that Saki Kashima was removing herself from the Grand Prix “due to poor physical condition” and is being replaced by Saya Iida in the Blue Stars block. The Grand Prix continues Sunday at Korakuen Hall.

**Stardom is also gearing up for its two nights in Yokohama on August 22nd and August 23rd. On the first night, Mayu Iwatani defends the World of Stardom title against Syuri (former UFC fighter Syuri Kondo). On the second night, Giulia defends the Wonder of Stardom title against Tam Nakano.

**AEW Dark has revealed the following matches for next Tuesday’s episode at 7 pm Eastern, which looks like a strong line-up:
*Private Party vs. Brian Pillman Jr. & Griff Garrison
*Penelope Ford vs. Rachael Ellering – Ellering was part of the NXT releases and will be making her first appearance since leaving WWE
*Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian vs. The Butcher & The Blade
*Shawn Spears vs. Alex Chamberlain
*Rey Fenix vs. Lee Johnson
*Kip Sabian vs. Michael Stevens
*Luchasaurus, Jungle Boy & Marko Stunt vs. Pineapple Pete, Corey Hollis & Aaron Solow
*M’Badu & Shawn Dean vs. Austin & Billy
*Dustin Rhodes & QT Marshall vs. Jack Evans & Angelico

**Brock Lesnar’s Alexandria, Minnesota home is on the market for $850,000. The property covers 40 acres and is nearly 2,800 square feet with the house and a large cabin on the property.

**Warrior Wrestling has a loaded independent show tonight at 8 pm Eastern with the following card: Brian Pillman Jr. vs. Robert Anthony for the Warrior Wrestling title, Brian Cage vs. Jeff Cobb, Joey Janela vs. Jake Something, Lance Archer vs. Sam Adonis, Isaias Velasquez vs. Tre Lamar, The Rascalz vs. Alex Zane & Benjamin Carter & Blake Christian, Kylie Rae vs. Ray Lyn, and Warhorse vs. Dan The Dad vs. Beast Man vs. Matt Knicks vs. Nacho Clown vs. Cypher vs. Gobaldi vs. The Cornbelt Cowboy vs. Elayna Black vs. Davey Bang.

The show takes place on an outdoor field at Marian Catholic High School in Chicago Heights, Illinois. There will markings for seats to adhere to social distancing, masks are mandatory when coming near anyone (although you can remove it once you are at your seat), there will be temperature checks and symptom screening upon entry, hand sanitizer available, no paper tickets, no concessions, and parking has been pre-charged to avoid money being exchanged.

**Here are the matches for this Saturday’s episode of MLW Underground airing at 10 pm Eastern on beIN Sports and earlier that night on YouTube:
*Satoshi Kojima vs. Vampiro for the MLW heavyweight title
*Mike Awesome vs. Jerry Lynn in a #1 contender’s match
*Christopher Daniels vs. Super Crazy vs. Fuego Guerrera

**All-Star Wrestling promoter Gary Damron spoke with the Charleston Gazette-Mail on running drive-in wrestling shows in the state recently.

**Alpha-1 Entertainment is returning with a card on Saturday, August 29th at the Moose Lodge in Oshawa, Ontario. The show was limited to 100 tickets and they have announced a sell-out. So far, they have listed Ethan Page vs. Kobe Durst, Mark Wheeler vs. Josh Alexander for the Alpha-1 title, and Steve Brown vs. Holden Albright vs. BMD vs. Jody Threat for the Outer Limits title among the matches scheduled. The show has a start time of 2 pm with additional information at https://www.alpha-1wrestling.com/.

**Absolute Intense Wrestling (AIW) is heading to Indianapolis, Indiana to run a card on Sunday, September 20th at Winter River State Park. The show will take place at the Celebration Plaza Amphitheatre, which is where GCW has been running outdoor events. Promoter John Thorne noted on Friday that they have sold out 50% of the show within three hours of tickets going on sale with tickets ranging from $20-45.

**Vickie Guerrero spoke with Daily DDT and confirmed she has signed a contract with AEW.

**Here are the results from Friday’s NJPW Summer Struggle tour card at Korakuen Hall in front of 698 people:
*Yuji Nagata over Yuya Uemura in 8:06
*Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan over Gabriel Kidd & Yota Tsuji in 8:52
*Kazuchika Okada, SHO & Toru Yano over Minoru Suzuki, El Desperado & Douki in 9:16
*Tetsuya Naito, Shingo Takagi, Sanada & Bushi over EVIL, Dick Togo, Taiji Ishimori & Gedo in 13:26
*Hirooki Goto, Yoshi-Hashi & Tomohiro Ishii over Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma & Ryusuke Taguchi in 11:53 in the first round of the NEVER Openweight Six-Man tag title tournament
*Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kota Ibushi & Master Wato over Taichi, Zack Sabre Jr. & Yoshinobu Kanemaru in 16:53 in the first round of the NEVER Openweight Six-Man tag title tournament

TELEVISION VIEWERSHIP

**In Canada, Wednesday night’s episode of AEW Dynamite on TSN 2 averaged 156,800 viewers (74,800 in the 25-54 demographic) and was #10 among the top ten sports programs that night. AEW went against a big NHL game between the Penguins and Canadiens that did 1,076,600 viewers (442,300 in 25-54) on Sportsnet, as well as a Toronto Raptors vs. Orlando Magic game that did 521,700 (228,000 in 25-54).

**On Monday, WWE Raw did not finish in the top ten sports broadcasts in Canada, meaning it was under 239,500 viewers. The most-watched sports broadcast on Monday was a Winnipeg Jets vs. Calgary Flames game that averaged 912,700 viewers. Four of the top five sports programs were NHL games in Canada.

**According to Programming Insider, the July 22nd edition of AEW Dynamite added 209,000 viewers with Live+3 viewership bringing its total audience to 1,054,000 along with a 29.5% increase in 18-49 viewers from a 0.32 to a 0.41. That same night, NXT added 144,000 viewers in Live+3 going from 615,000 to 759,000 adults 18-49 increased from 0.17 to 0.23.

**For the July 20th edition of Raw that averaged 1,628,000 viewers and a 0.46 in the 18-49 demographic, Live+3 brought that figures up to 1,836,000 (+12.7%) and a 0.57 (+24%) in the demo.

**USA Network’s series Cannonball hosted by The Miz on July 23rd grew 27.8% in total viewers and 23.5% in the 18-49 demo adding the Live+3 data, which brought the figures up to 717,000 viewers and a 0.21 in the 18-49 demo.

**Finally, the UFC Fight Night event on July 25th headlined by Robert Whittaker vs. Darren Till saw its audience grow from 908,000 to 979,000 and the 18-49 demo go from 0.35 to 0.38 with the Live+3 data.

ON THIS DATE

 

*****
POST PROFILE: Silva vs. Sonnen – Ten Years Later
John Pollock documents one of the biggest feuds in MMA history that led to Anderson Silva defending the UFC middleweight championship against Chael Sonnen in August 2010 at UFC 117.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/08/07/post-profile-silva-vs-sonnen-ten-years-later/
*****
BWE Retro Edition: WWF Rebellion 2001
Martin is joined by Cristen Brinkerhoff, Florence Bullock & Liv Heller (formerly of the “No Sell It” podcast) to take an irreverent look back at the UK-only PPV, WWF Rebellion 2001.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/08/06/bwe-retro-edition-wwf-rebellion-2001/
*****
REWIND-A-DYNAMITE 8/5/20: Jericho-Cassidy Debate, Nick Khan-WWE, Raw Ratings
John Pollock and Wai Ting discuss AEW Dynamite featuring the debate between Chris Jericho & Orange Cassidy with moderator Eric Bischoff, and tons of news including Raw ratings and WWE hiring Nick Khan.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/08/06/rewind-a-dynamite-8-5-20-jericho-cassidy-debate-nick-khan-wwe-raw-ratings/
*****
upNXT 8/5/20: “He’s An Angry Elf”
The BDE chat all about this week’s NXT featuring the main event of Undisputed Era vs Imperium for the NXT Tag Team Championship (and a huge Pat McAfee angle), plus Keith Lee vs Cameron Grimes, Rhea Ripley vs Dakota Kai and more.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/08/06/upnxt-8-5-20-hes-an-angry-elf/
*****
REWIND-A-WAI #67: WWF Capital Carnage 1998
John Pollock and Wai Ting review WWF Capital Carnage 1998, a UK-only PPV from London, England headlined by a Fatal Four-Way match featuring Steve Austin vs. The Undertaker vs. Mankind vs. Kane.
https://www.patreon.com/posts/40104017
*****
REWIND-A-RAW 8/3/20: Raw Underground, Rock-XFL, TNT-Dynamite

John Pollock and Wai Ting discuss WWE Raw featuring the return of Shane McMahon with Raw Underground, Montez Ford is poisoned, and we chat all the latest news including the sale of the XFL.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/08/04/rar-8-3-20-raw-underground-rock-xfl-tnt-dynamite/
*****

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About John Pollock 2008 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling.He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.