POST IT NOTES
**Our first show of the day features a discussion and analysis of WWE’s third-quarter earnings report with Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics. The two of us discussed many of the key topics from the earnings call and Q3 report, the company having another record quarter, the pace they are on for the full year, the comments from Nick Khan and Kristina Salen, the Netflix documentary series for Vince McMahon, the future of streaming, the live event business, and lots more. The shows with Brandon are always popular when we do them and this was close to an hour discussing many areas of WWE’s business. You can hear the show by subscribing to POST Wrestling on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts.
**Wai Ting and I are back with Rewind-A-SmackDown tonight at 10:15 pm Eastern for members of the POST Wrestling Café. We will chat about the WWE’s earnings report & highlights from the call, AEW, and NXT’s ratings from Wednesday, plus a review of SmackDown and we will be taking calls throughout the show.
**On Saturday, it’s a double bill at POST Wrestling with The Rocky Maivia Picture Show and an upNXT Halloween special. Nate Milton is joined by Gen Chittenden to review the 2014 film “Hercules” starring Dwayne Johnson. Davie Portman & Braden Herrington will review “Halloween III: Season of the Witch” as a special Halloween show. On Sunday, WH Park resumes The Long & Winding Royal Road with guest Davie Portman as they review Kenta Kobashi vs. Dr. Death Steve Williams from August 1993.
Tonight: Rewind-A-SmackDown (LIVE at 10:15 pm ET for POST Wrestling Café members)
Saturday: The Rocky Maivia Picture Show with Nate Milton & guest Gen Chittenden (“Hercules”)
Saturday: upNXT Movie Review – Halloween III w/ Braden & Davie
Sunday: The Long & Winding Royal Road with WH Park & guest Davie Portman (Kenta Kobashi vs. Dr. Death Steve Williams)
**Friday Night SmackDown returns to Fox tonight at 8 pm Eastern. They have not announced any matches for the show but are advertising that Jey Uso will now be the “indentured servant” of Roman Reigns and Sasha Banks appears as the new SmackDown women’s champion. 205 Live will feature a tag match with Brian Kendrick & Mansoor vs. Ever-Rise airing at 10 pm Eastern on the WWE Network.
**Several WWE talents have stated they are suspending their Twitch streams until further notice. As has been reported over the past two months, WWE has clamped down on talent streaming on third-party sites including Twitch, and has led to several performers updating their fanbase on the status of its channels. The performer who was most outspoken was Paige (Saraya-Jade Bevis) who streamed on Thursday night lamenting the decision she has been forced to make and bringing up that she broke her neck twice for WWE and isn’t an active wrestler, therefore, Twitch has filled a small bit that wrestling occupied throughout her life.
AJ Styles posted the following note to his Twitch community:
I want to thank you all for the great memories on Mixer and Twitch. I will cherish these memories and I love everyone of you that have made this possible and supported me. As many of you WWE is making some changes that involve streaming. We will see what the future holds in that regard. With that being said I will be suspending Stylesclash stream. This isn’t good bye, but this is see you sometime in the future. We will leave discord open, but it won’t be monitored we will be making changes. Chris or I will let you know what that looks like once we figure it out. If you see me at the arenas or whatever be sure to let me know you’re part of the phenomenal family. Again this isn’t the end it’s just a pause. Thank you again for your support.
Mia Yim tweeted:
Sorry guys, no more stream for the time being. Thank you for making these past few difficult months manageable. It’s not goodbye, it’s see you later.
Aleister Black and Zelina Vega ended their latest stream with a similar message stating it wouldn’t be the last time they’re on Twitch and Black encouraging people to not get upset and they were going to figure it out.
Cesaro closed his latest stream and said he didn’t know when the next stream would be, adding that “it may not be for a long time, so I don’t know, I’ll find out more when you do.”
On her YouTube community page, Jessamyn Duke stated she would continue streaming but names, logos, and likenesses may change.
**Mike Johnson at PWinsider.com reported that a meeting was held recently with talent speaking to Vince McMahon about the Twitch issues but doesn’t appear to have changed the company’s stance.
The only one to take issue publicly has been Paige, who one must sympathize with after seeing her real-time reaction. While financially rewarding for some, it’s also clear that the community building and distraction that Twitch provides is of significant value. For performers on the main roster, they have never had so much time at home during this pandemic where at most they are performing once per week and having a semblance of civilian life without being beholden to a nonstop itinerary. However, for Paige, she is 28 years old and her career appears to be over, due to the neck damage she has sustained, and regardless of when WWE’s schedule picks up, it isn’t going to change her plight. Yes, there is a larger strategy by WWE but it’s a difficult proposition for Paige by walking away or suspending this community she’s built.
On a larger scale, it will be interesting to see if this results in more boilerplate changes to WWE deals that strictly limit outside endeavors for incoming talent. It will be much easier for WWE to restrict certain options for talent as they enter the company rather than pry it away once it becomes an issue. There has always been an enormous level of control over talent, but gaming and streaming became a grey area that talent was able to leap into and see it as a marketing opportunity that also compensated them without requiring oversight from the company.
It begs the question of where one draws the line? If a performer launches a Twitter account under their WWE alias, does that account become the property of the company when the talent leaves the promotion? If a performer wants to start an outside podcast, that would technically be in competition with their in-house podcasts that double as WWE Network content. That same initiative displayed by Shane Strickland led to the WWE bringing that show in-house and giving him his own show on the network that he would not have received at this stage of his career without launching the show outside WWE first.
Typically, these controlling measures might be met with resistance privately but ultimately, talent follows the orders of the company and doesn’t rock the boat publicly. It’s a contrast to the UFC where fighters routinely speak out against the company when they are at odds over contract issues, matchmaking, and perceived slights. It’s a different culture among WWE talent who either keep their criticism private or acquiesce to the company’s wishes. The third-party issue has not been one that has died down overnight since the edict was first reported in September and is a test of leverage.
Most would assume that talent is not going to cut off its nose to spite its face, meaning that WWE is their primary income and focus and are not going to die on this hill as evidenced by the numbers that have suspended their accounts. The video of Paige doesn’t make WWE come off well and time will tell if she changes her stance or continues to fight the wishes of the company.
**WWE posted an exceptionally strong set of results for its third-quarter earnings with revenue of $221,595,000 and a net income of $48.3 million, which is a new record replacing the previous mark set in the second quarter this year. It was a strong presentation beginning with Vince McMahon’s strong praise of its new executive management team with the additions of Nick Khan as its President of Television & Chief Revenue Officer, and Kristina Salen as its new Chief Financial Officer. Khan came off very well in terms of someone with expertise in sports media rights, which is going to be a major focus as their renewal talks edge closer in the coming years. It was notable that Stephanie McMahon-Levesque was on the call with Vince, Salen, and Khan and came off as the four public-facing executives of the company.
After another record quarter this year, they cautioned that profits are expected to be less in Q4 with significant expenses earmarked to the cost of the ThunderDome and bringing back a percentage of its furloughed employees from earlier this year. That said, they have already topped their previous record for yearly profit where they currently sit at approximately $118 million after nine months surpassing the 2018 record profit of $98.7 million.
While the immediate concern of some analysts centered around television ratings, which have stabilized compared to Q2, the company focused on the future of streaming stating they were prepared for such a change in the marketplace. When it comes to sectors for growth, they said talks have re-opened regarding the licensing of WWE Network content, which was thought to be a nearly complete deal earlier this year prior to the pandemic hitting.
It would appear WWE’s pay-per-view content on the network would be more valuable after seeing the surge of interest for UFC pay-per-views since May and what it has meant for ESPN+. While WWE has the obstacle of re-educating its audience after including pay-per-views as part of their network subscription, ultimately, history has proven the fanbase will follow for the major events.
For the UFC, they never reduced the cost of pay-per-views when they launched Fight Pass but after making the deal with ESPN+, there was an added hurdle where U.S. consumers had to subscribe to the service AND buy the pay-per-view. For WWE content, I couldn’t imagine putting the toothpaste back in the tube by asking fans to spend $40-50 on a show plus a subscription fee and would most likely be a deal where the third party service sees it as a driver for new subscribers.
The headline item from the earnings call is that Netflix is producing a bio-series on Vince McMahon that will be executive produced by Bill Simmons. It was noted that it will be one of the largest budgets for a Netflix documentary and was presented as a major undertaking given Vince McMahon’s limited public profile especially over the past decade. While it’s hard to envision a full 360-degree analysis of McMahon’s highs and lows of his life, the fascination of a figure like McMahon should lead to a significant interest in the series beyond the wrestling audience. Regardless of content, it will likely present the deepest look at McMahon given the hours of sit-down interview time that will be required and enormous promotional resources to expect this project to have behind it.
**Following Thursday’s earnings report, the WWE was down 2.7 percent on Friday closing at $36.37.
**A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to assist with the memorial costs for the late Tracy Smothers, who passed away earlier this week at 58. Those that have made sizable donations include Scott D’Amore, Chris Jericho, Ricochet, Cody Rhodes, Jim Cornette, and Doc Gallows.
**AEW has announced that PAC will “break his silence” on next week’s episode of Dynamite. PAC has not wrestled since the shutdown and last appeared on the March 11th episode teaming with Death Triangle teammates Penta El Zero & Rey Fenix against Joey Janela & Private Party.
**Here is the line-up for tonight’s edition of NJPW Strong on New Japan World at 10 pm Eastern:
*David Finlay, PJ Black, Alex Zayne & Misterioso vs. KENTA, Guerrillas of Destiny & Hikuleo
*Karl Fredericks vs. Blake Christian
*Logan & Sterling Riegel vs. Clark Connors & The DKC
**In COVID-19 news, Florida had its largest number of new cases since August 14th on Friday with 5,592.
**Regarding tenants at the Amway Center in Orlando, the ECHL’s Orlando Solar Bears begin their season on Saturday, December 12th, however, their first home game at the arena isn’t until Tuesday, December 29th. Earlier this week, Jon Alba of Spectrum Sports posted the amended deal WWE has with the City of Orlando with the expiration date listed as November 24th, although it’s possible it could be extended with that buffer period.
**I have yet to watch the match, but everyone is raving about WALTER vs. Ilja Dragunov from Thursday’s edition of NXT UK as a match-of-the-year contender.
**IMPACT Wrestling will hold its next Impact Plus special on Saturday, November 14th with Turning Point.
**A message has been posted by WALTER, Alexander Wolfe & Marcel Barthel of NXT UK noting they are shutting down RINGKAMPF and will no longer be competing regularly in Germany with wXw:
Since everything has come to an end, we want to announce that we will close down our operations by the end of the year.
RINGKAMPF was a way to spread our message and ideology about Pro Wrestling, and support ourselves early in our careers. Today we are living our dream and are signed to the leading company in Pro Wrestling. This also means we are no longer able to compete in Germany or wXw on a regular basis.
To us, RINGKAMPF was always connected to wXw and our fanbase there. Without wXw there would be no RINGKAMPF. And we have been fortunate enough to leave our mark in the build up of Pro Wrestling in Germany.
We achieved everything we wanted to achieve with RINGKAMPF, and want to close this chapter in a positive way.
Lastly, thank you. Thank you to everybody who supported us over the years, and to wXw who helped us starting out.
Keep supporting our great sport!
**New Japan is holding a card in Ibaraki on Saturday headlined by Tetsuya Naito & SANADA vs. EVIL & Dick Togo. On Sunday & Monday, they are at Korakuen Hall with El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI for the IWGP junior heavyweight tag titles on Sunday and Zack Sabre Jr. & Taichi vs. Hirooki Goto & Yoshi-Hashi for the IWGP tag titles on Monday.
**Edge (Adam Copeland) turns 47 years old today. Here is a very cool story of an independent wrestler e-mailing Copeland a link to a match of his with Copeland responding with advice after watching it.
**The UFC is back in Las Vegas and is running another Fight Night card from the UFC APEX on Saturday, which is the first time they have held a card on Halloween. The major question is whether Anderson Silva is playing “trick” or “treat” regarding the future of his fighting career. In an interview last week with Mike Bohn of MMA Junkie, the former middleweight champion said it would “probably” be his last fight and then said his “final UFC fight”. Speaking to Ariel Helwani of ESPN earlier this week, Silva was less committed that this would be his last fight.
— Jed I. Goodman (@jedigoodman) October 28, 2020
**Greg Hardy initially stepped onto the scale at 266.5 pounds and was given one hour to drop to the heavyweight limit, which he did and came in at 264.5 pounds for Saturday’s fight. Below are the results from Friday’s weigh-in:
MAIN CARD (7 pm ET on ESPN+, TSN4 & TSN5 in Canada)
*Anderson Silva (184) vs. Uriah Hall (186)
*Andre Fili (146) vs. Bryce Mitchell (146)
*Kevin Holland (185.5) vs. Charlie Ontiveros (182.5)
*Maurice Greene (250) vs. Greg Hardy (264.5)
*Thiago Moises (156) vs. Bobby Green (155)
PRELIMINARY CARD (4 pm ET on ESPN+)
*Chris Gruetzemacher (155.5) vs. Alexander Hernandez (155.5)
*Adrian Yanez (135.5) vs. Victor Rodriguez (133)
*Jack Marshman (187.5*) vs. Sean Strickland (185.5)
*Jason Witt (170.5) vs. Cole Williams (175.5*)
*Dustin Jacoby (204) vs. Justin Ledet (205.5)
*Miles Johns (135) vs. Kevin Natvidad (134.5)
*Jack Marshman missed weight by 1.5 pounds and Cole Williams missed by 4.5 pounds. According to MMA Junkie, Marshman will forfeit 20 percent of his purse and Williams will give up 40 percent of his purse.
**The women’s flyweight fight between Cortney Casey and Priscila Cachoeira was removed from Saturday’s UFC Fight Night card due to weight cutting issues for Cachoeira.
**Zach Gelb of CBS Sports Radio spoke with UFC president Dana White. In the chat, White said that he has spoken with Khabib Nurmagomedov and White believes that the UFC lightweight champion will return and attempt to go 30-0.
Khabib and I have been talking. You know, he was completely emotional that night when he got through that fight. I have a feeling that he might go for 30-0.
I think that he’s not going to retire. His Dad wanted him to get to 30-0 and I think he wants to honor his Dad’s wish.
White also said in the interview that they have sent bout agreements to Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier for the proposed January 23rd date. White said McGregor hasn’t signed the agreement yet and wasn’t sure if Poirier had signed yet.
**Bellator 250 took place Thursday from its bubble environment in Uncasville, Connecticut where the vacant middleweight title was awarded to Gegard Mousasi after beating welterweight champion Douglas Lima by unanimous decision. Due to health issues, Rafael Lovato Jr. vacated the championship earlier this year after beating Mousasi to win the belt. Lima was coming up in weight to fight for his second championship and sustained his first loss since January 2018. The card also featured Jake Hager earning a split decision against Brandon Calton, who played in the NFL and was a tough test for Hager. Hager took several big shots including a right hand that drilled him flush and he absorbed it. I scored it 29-28 for Hager with Calton winning the second round. Below are the full results from the card:
*Gegard Mousasi def. Douglas Lima by unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 48-47) to become the Bellator middleweight champion
*Henry Corrales def. Brandon Girtz by split decision (30-27, 27-30, 30-27)
*Dalton Rosta def. Ty Gwerder by unanimous decision (30-27 all)
*Jake Hager def. Brandon Calton by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
*Sabah Homasi def, Bobby Voelker by KO at 0:20 of Round 2
*Johnny Eblen def. Taylor Johnson by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
*Adam Borics def. Erick Sanchez by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
*Cody Law def. Orlando Ortega by D’Arce choke at 2:41 of Round 1
**Prior to Bellator 250, the card lost Nick Newell and Veta Arteaga. Ariel Helwani of ESPN reported that Newell tested positive for COVID-19 and Alexander Lee of MMA Fighting reported that Arteaga also tested positive for COVID-19. Newell had been scheduled to fight Zach Zane and Artega was supposed to fight Desiree Yanez. The main card still included three fights with Dalton Rosta vs. Ty Gwerder bumped to the main card.
**Bellator returns next Thursday and the card headlined by Corey Anderson in his promotional debut against Melvin Manhoef.
**Bellator’s flyweight champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane will defend her title against Julianna Velasquez on December 10th in Uncasville, Connecticut.
**Bellator president Scott Coker spoke after the Bellator 250 card to the media with the following notes:
*He called the Gegard Mousasi vs. Douglas Lima a “tactical” fight and felt Lima handled the move up in weight well
*Coker was complimentary of Jake Hager and went through a “dog fight” with Brandon Calton and told people to understand he’s only had a few fights
*He said the recent list of fighters removed from the roster is not as drastic as they appear stating they went without any cuts for several months and did them all at once now while signing new fighters. Coker said some fighters retired and others were let go.
**Earlier this week, reporter Jason Floyd reported a lengthy list of fighters taken off Bellator’s roster. The fighters that have retired are Pat Curran, Jon Fitch, and Rafael Lovato Jr. while other names removed from the roster include Joe Warren, Frank Mir, Roy Nelson, Rafael Carvalho, Vinicius Zani, Shawn Bunch, Mike Kimbel, Ricky Bandejas, AJ Agazarm, Derek Campos, and Joe Schilling among the list reported.
**In complete contrast to the WWE-Twitch story, former UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway has announced a partnership with Facebook Gaming beginning this Sunday.
ON THIS DATE
WWE Q3 2020 EARNINGS REPORT & ANALYSIS W/ BRANDON THURSTON
John Pollock is joined by Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics to discuss WWE’s third-quarter earnings report & call with analysts this week.
upNXT 10/28/20: Halloween Havoc
Braden Herrington and Davie Portman (whilst in costume!) review the October 28th, 2020 edition of WWE NXT a.k.a. Halloween Havoc – hosted by Shotzi Blackheart!
REWIND-A-DYNAMITE 10/28/20: “One-Armed Angel”, Tracy Smothers passes away
John Pollock and Wai Ting review AEW Dynamite featuring a Lumberjack Match and the semi-finals of the World Title Eliminator Tournament, Tracy Smothers passes away, RAW ratings and a closing angle on IMPACT.
REWIND-A-WAI #73: WWF King of the Ring 1995
John Pollock and Wai Ting review WWF King of the Ring 1995 featuring the annual KOTR tournament and a Kiss My Foot Match between Bret Hart and Jerry “The King” Lawler.
POST INTERVIEW: Jake Hager of AEW & Bellator MMA
John Pollock speaks with Jake Hager about his fight with Brandon Calton at Bellator 250, a full year with AEW, recent tweet on WWE & more.
REWIND-A-RAW 10/26/20: “The Wreckoning”, Survivor Series
John Pollock and Wai Ting discuss WWE Raw following the Hell in a Cell card, lots of Survivor Series news, SmackDown on FS1 ratings, a AAA-Marvel announcement and more.
WWE HELL IN A CELL POST SHOW
John Pollock and Wai Ting review WWE Hell in a Cell 2020 featuring Randy Orton vs. Drew McIntyre for the WWE Championship. Plus, Roman Reigns vs. Jey Uso and Sasha Banks vs. Bayley.
IMPACT BOUND FOR GLORY POST SHOW
Davie Portman & Nate Milton review Impact Bound for Glory 2020 featuring Eric Young vs. Rich Swann for the Impact World Championship.
UFC 254 POST SHOW: Nurmagomedov vs. Gaethje
John Pollock is joined by Phil Chertok for the UFC 254 POST Show to discuss Khabib Nurmagomedov’s victory over Justin Gaethje and retirement.
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