POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: AJ Styles on WWE’s streaming stance

AJ Styles discusses WWE's stance on streaming & dealing with COVID-19, G1 blocks revealed, AEW line-up, Canadian numbers, Impact avoids UFC.

Photo courtesy: WWE

POST IT NOTES

**Wai Ting and I will be back with Rewind-A-Dynamite later tonight with a review of the show from Daily’s Place, a discussion on the G1 announcements, and taking your feedback at the end. As always, we will hold a draw for POST Wrestling Café members with the winner receiving an item from the POST Wrestling Store.

**Our ROCKY II review is available now for all members of the POST Wrestling Café. Wai Ting and I review the sequel and dive into the follow-up to the critically-acclaimed original with new themes and characters explored.

**A special Tuesday edition of upNXT is available from Braden Herrington & Davie Portman chatting Super Tuesday II and the new NXT champion Finn Balor. You can listen to all their free podcasts by subscribing to upNXT and subscribe to YouTube.com/upNXT.

**Ed Boxler, who was our guest on our MCU review of Captain Marvel, is doing weekly movie reviews on his YouTube channel. In his latest post, he discussed returning to movie theatres and provides a review of Tenet.

POST SCHEDULE

Tonight: Rewind-A-Dynamite with John & Wai
Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown (LIVE at 10:15 pm ET for Café members)
Saturday: POST Puroresu with John & WH Park (G1 Climax Preview)
Sunday: POST Interview – Keith Elliot Greenberg, author of “Too Sweet: Inside the Indie Wrestling Revolution”

WRESTLING NEWS

**AJ Styles spoke on his Twitch stream regarding the recent restrictions WWE has outlined for some third party outlets. Styles confirmed that Twitch and YouTube don’t appear to be affected and said the company wants its talent to stream and interact with its audience:

Let’s talk about the stream. Is it going to continue? And from the contacts that I’ve had, the information I got is WWE does want us to interact with our fans, and that means streaming.  They want this to happen, they want you to have a YouTube channel, there are things they want you to do and be able to do and what we knew was a little vague at first.

We did different things and it was borderline whether we knew we could do it or not and so, those will be answered but streaming I don’t think will be one of those that are taken away, um, YouTube is not one of those that will be taken away. There will be changes in other areas I’m sure of it and I don’t know exactly where that is. But let me say this again, they, the WWE want us to be able to stream and interact with our fans and that’s exactly what we’re doing, that’s exactly what I’m doing. From Adam Cole to Breeze and Xavier Woods, Baron Corbin it’s what we do, it’s fun.

Styles also clarified several things about his news last week that he had previously had COVID-19 and how he quarantined for ten days:

Another thing I need to clarify is with the COVID. I had that like a month-and-a-half ago, whenever it was to the point where the CDC says you have to be quarantined for ten days. I got tested, I went home for ten days, stayed in the basement, was able to go to work because of the scheduling when they had it (TV tapings) next, it was ten days I was able to go back to work. The reason I let you guys know is that I wanted to let you guys know that for some of us it’s not that bad, for some of them it is. I just wanted you guys to know that I had it and that I’m okay – and had I not been tested I never would have never known I had it and I could have spread it, I guess. So, that’s good on WWE’s part for testing everyone, that’s a good thing.

**The field of participants for the annual G1 Climax were revealed on Wednesday only ten days before the start of the tournament on September 19th. The big news was the announcements of Will Ospreay, Jay White, KENTA, Juice Robinson, and Jeff Cobb who have not wrestled in Japan throughout the pandemic and it was questioned if they would make it or not. With those additions, it makes for a much stronger line-up than the alternatives that would have seen other New Japan roster members make up the field or going outside New Japan for some surprises. The biggest omission that was disappointing is Hiromu Takahashi, who would have been the Takahashi everyone preferred over Yujiro.

The A Block is the loaded one and should produce some of the best matches of 2020 with the mix of Kota Ibushi, Kazuchika Okada (who has struggled during the return), Tomohiro Ishii, Shingo Takagi, Will Ospreay, and Minoru Suzuki. Every combination of those listed is high-quality. Last year, Jeff Cobb came in with buzz and didn’t set the tournament on fire with his performances and this year’s G1 will be tougher given the atmosphere at the shows and the handicaps involved but Cobb will have an incredible block to have some top-level performances. Ospreay and Ishii have never had a singles match before.

The B Block is more contingent on who steps up and thrives. I would imagine Tetsuya Naito, Hiroshi Tanahashi, and EVIL will likely be booked strong through the majority of the G1 and can see KENTA being in that top mix as well. It will lead to a KENTA vs. EVIL match as the two Bullet Club members haven’t interacted since EVIL’s joined in the summer. Given how quickly he lost the title, I can see EVIL topping the standings and then falling near the end. This could be the block that has a sleeper like Hirooki Goto shine and have some strong performances but I see a lot on the shoulders of Tanahashi, Zack Sabre Jr., and Sanada for night-to-night consistency and we’ll see how well Naito holds up in a tournament format.

The loss of Jon Moxley hurts but everyone understands why he can’t do the tournament. The other omission is Bad Luck Fale, who hasn’t missed a G1 since 2013.

**AEW Dynamite returns with a live show at Daily’s Place tonight following the much-maligned All Out pay-per-view. While opinions varied regarding matches, the overall sense was that it was the worst AEW pay-per-view they have put on. It feels like they need a kick-ass show tonight to move onto their next cycle of stories with a shorter turnaround to Full Gear on November 7th.

While there isn’t a first-run edition of NXT, Syfy will air a replay of Tuesday’s show tonight at 8 pm Eastern. Last week, the NXT replay attracted 183,000 viewers. The larger competition is from the NBA with the early game between the Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics followed by the L.A. Clippers vs. Denver Nuggets scheduled at 9.

Below is what AEW is advertising for tonight’s show on TNT:
*Brodie Lee vs. Dustin Rhodes for the TNT title
*Chris Jericho & Jake Hager vs. Joey Janela & Sonny Kiss in a No Disqualifications Match
*Orange Cassidy vs. Angelico
*Rey Fenix & Pentagon Jr. vs. Luchasaurus & Jungle Boy
*Nyla Rose vs. Tay Conti
*FTR celebrates becoming the AEW tag champions
*Interviews from Jon Moxley, Lance Archer & Matt Hardy
*Kip Sabian names his “best man”

**AEW Dynamite airs on TSN 2 tonight in Canada. Following AEW, the channel will be airing back-to-back episodes of Dark Side of the Ring covering the Road Warriors and Owen Hart.

**The Associated Press reports that the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York has upheld the 2018 ruling by Judge Vanessa Bryant dismissing the class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of numerous wrestlers and led by lawyer Konstantine Kyros. The Court of Appeals ruled the claims either frivolous or were filed after the statute of limitations has ended. Kryos gave the following statement to the AP on the ruling:

In its conclusory assertions the injured wrestlers find no justice having been literally denied a day in court. Per this mandate wrestlers have no rights, no rights to bring a lawsuit, no rights to help from WWE for CTE & head injuries, no rights as misclassified employees, no rights to a jury, and ironically no right to even appeal!

In her 2018 ruling, Judge Vanessa Bryant also ordered Kyros to cover WWE’s legal fees, which could be a significant figure.

WWE commented on the ruling in a statement issued to Wrestling INC:

For nearly six years, WWE was subjected to stale and frivolous claims brought by Konstantine Kyros, whose misconduct triggered countless judicial opinions along the way. Today, the Second Circuit put an end to his pattern of baseless litigation, leaving open only the question of how much he must now pay to WWE as a sanction for his misconduct. We are grateful for the attention paid to these cases by the numerous federal judges who oversaw the litigation, and to the Second Circuit for its decision.

**Impact Wrestling’s Bound for Glory pay-per-view on October 24th will avoid going head-to-head with the Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje fight the same day. Dana White confirmed the UFC 254 pay-per-view from Abu Dhabi will air in the afternoon that day for North Americans. While Impact Wrestling has a niche audience buying its shows, it still avoids competition from one of the biggest fights of the year.

**Marty Jannetty’s bizarre and concerning behavior continued as he now denies that he murdered a man decades ago. Jannetty is claiming that the supposed confession he made on Facebook over the summer was part of a wrestling storyline that he said was supposed to end with a match against a corrections officer. Regardless of Jannetty’s latest story, the Columbus Police Department in Georgia states their investigation into Jannetty’s initial claims is still open.

**Gary Cassidy at Sportskeeda reports that WWE’s European tour that was initially postponed from this past spring to the fall has now been moved to the spring of 2021. The new tour lists six shows beginning April 28th in Cardiff at the Motorpoint Arena, April 29th in Sheffield, April 30th in Newcastle, May 1st in Glasgow at the SSE Hyrdo, May 2nd in Birmingham, and ending with an episode of Raw on Monday, May 3rd in London at the O2 Arena.

**After NXT, they shot an angle where Robert Stone announced that Mercedes Martinez is out of the Robert Stone Brand. They filed a restraining order against Martinez.

**The AEW All Out Countdown special on TNT averaged 357,000 viewers and a 0.14 in the 18-49 demo this past Saturday at 5:30 pm Eastern.

**We have a report on Tuesday’s edition of Impact Wrestling featuring a really good tag title match between the Motor City Machine Guns and The Rascalz. The following matches were announced for next week:
*Deonna Purrazzo & Kimber Lee vs. Kylie Rae & Susie
*Brian Myers vs. Willie Mack
*XXXL vs. The Deaners
*Kiera Hogan vs. Taya Valkyrie
*The Motor City Machine Guns, Dez & Wentz vs. The North, Ace Austin & Madman Fulton
*Tenille Dashwood returns
*The Whole F’N Talk Show with Rob Van Dam and Katie Forbes debuts

**Black Label Pro has added a match between Knockout’s champion Deonna Purrazzo and Billie Starkz for its Turbo Graps 16 event on Saturday, October 3rd airing on IWTV.

**Speaking of IWTV, the independent wrestling platform has updated its app for Apple TV replacing the existing one that will be discontinued as of today.

TELEVISION VIEWERSHIP

**Friday Night SmackDown from last week did a 1.27 rating and averaged 2,129,000 viewers on Fox with a 0.6 in the 18-49 demo that equates to 452,000 viewers in that category. The show was the top network show among the 18-49, 18-34, and 25-54 demos.

**Last Wednesday’s edition of AEW Dynamite did 469,000 viewers in the 18-49 demographic. The show finished with an 0.53 rating and 928,000 viewers overall. (Source: Showbuzz Daily)

**In Canada, the August 31st episode of WWE Raw on Sportsnet 360 coming off Payback averaged 276,600 viewers and 160,700 in the 25-54 demo and was the sixth most-watched sports broadcast that night in the country.

**The September 2nd edition of AEW Dynamite on TSN and September 4th edition of Friday Night SmackDown on Sportsnet 360 did not finish among the top ten sports broadcasts in Canada.

MMA NEWS

**TMZ was the first to report that UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture was involved in an ATV accident along with his girlfriend Mindy Robinson. Couture underwent orthopedic surgery on Tuesday with TMZ reporting that Couture required two plates to be inserted into his shoulder, but he is expected to make a full recovery. Robinson tweeted that Couture also broke four ribs and she injured her transverse process, which is a small bone from the vertebrae.

Couture’s manager Sam Spira sent the following statement to MMA Junkie:

Randy Couture and his girlfriend Mindy (Robinson) were involved in a Quad (ATV) accident late last night on his ranch just outside of Flagstaff, Arizona. As a result of the accident, later today, Randy will be having some orthopedic surgery. He (and Mindy) are expected to make a full recovery.

**UFC president Dana White spoke to the media after Tuesday’s Contender Series and spoke on the following:
*White raved about Tuesday’s episode of the Contender Series and was one of the best shows in the history of the series
*He confirmed the report from ESPN that the return to Yas Island will be for five weeks with UFC 253 and UFC 254 and three Fight Night cards in between
*The Contender Series will be on hiatus when they go to Yas Island
*When they return they will be filming Ultimate Fighter. They will have a meeting this week and said they had not named coaches yet. It will be the same formula as past seasons.
*He said they should have a great database regarding its COVID-19 testing and would be willing to share that if people reached out
*Khamzat Chimaev will fight Gerald Meerschaert on September 19th and has also been booked for a fight with Demian Maia when they return to Las Vegas, which had previously been reported. White said they would never book a guy in two fights but after what he’s seen from Chimaev he is willing to do that.
*There have been talks with Nick Diaz’s side but added there have been talks for years and downplayed the news that Diaz was eyeing a return in early 2021.
*He doesn’t see restrictions being loosened for international fighters to come to the U.S.
*Regarding his plea to Iran to not execute wrestler Navid Afkari, he said there is a story behind his decision to support Akkari but didn’t want to share it but did note it was the right thing to do. Afkari was issued two death sentences by the government after he participated in a 2018 protest. He pleaded guilty to several charges including the murder of a security guard but that has been disputed with the belief Afkari was tortured while confessing. It isn’t known what the relationship is between White and Afkari but White contacted President Donald Trump about it, and Trump tweeted his support of Afkari last week.
*UFC 254 on October 24th will be airing in the afternoon for those in North America rather than the usual 10 pm Eastern start time. The promotion did the same for Khabib Nurmagomedov’s fight with Dustin Poirier in September 2019 from Abu Dhabi. The UFC 254 is headlined by Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje for the UFC lightweight title. This will be their final show during the five-week stretch in Abu Dhabi before returning to Las Vegas.

**Here are the results from Tuesday’s edition of Dana White’s Contender Series, which received rave reviews and four contracted were awarded:
*Aliaskhab Khizrive def. Henrique Shiguemoto by rear-naked choke at 0:50 of Round 1
*Drako Rodriguez def. Mana Martinez by triangle choke at 2:22 of Round 1
*Phil Hawes def. Khadzhi Bestaev by TKO at 1:18 of Round 1
*Sherrard Blackledge def. Cameron Church by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
*Tafon Nchukwi def. Al Matavao by knockout at 2:01 of Round 1

**The Athletic has announced they have surpassed 1 million subscribers after being in dire straits earlier this year that led to significant layoffs. Co-founder Adam Hansmann spoke to MSNBC and stated that when the pandemic hit, it could have ended the venture. He said at their lowest, they were adding fewer than 100 new subscribers per day, down from the usual rate of thousands they added prior. In June, The Athletic announced cuts affecting 8 percent of its workforce and decimated its MMA coverage, which had a stellar line-up of writers and reporters and is down to only a few remaining on that beat.

The company is making over $60 million from the revenue of their subscriber base and ad sales on their podcasts, which has shielded them from being overly reliant on ad revenue when that spending is down. In the article, it said The Athletic has raised a total of $139.5 million with no plans to raise more but brings up the question of when its investors will be seeking a return.

**UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic has joined the list of clients for Vayner Sports. Other MMA clients of the upstart agency include Tony Ferguson, Curtis Blaydes, Eddie Alvarez, Chris Weidman, and Anthony Smith.

FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

-Juan Espino vs. Jeff Hughes at UFC 253 on September 26th (Source: ESPN)

-Liana Jojua vs. Miranda Maverick at UFC 254 on October 24th (Source: TASS)

-Rachael Ostovich vs. Gina Mazany at UFC Fight Night on November 28th (Source: MMA Junkie)

ON THIS DATE

 

 

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About John Pollock 2067 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling.He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.