POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: Dark Side, IMPACT & PFL viewership

Viewership figures for Dark Side of the Ring, IMPACT & PFL; Hana Kimura Tribute Show, Grace re-signs, scary weigh-in story, Dynamite in Canada

Photo Courtesy: VICE TV

POST IT NOTES

**Rewind-A-SmackDown is LIVE for all members of the POST Wrestling Café tonight at 10:15 pm ET. Wai Ting and I will be reviewing the “Throwback” edition of Friday Night SmackDown and the Brian Pillman episode of Dark Side of the Ring, plus taking your phone calls on any subjects.

**Rewind-A-Wai #85 covers the Affliction – Banned pay-per-view from July 2008 featuring Fedor Emelianenko vs. Tim Sylvia as the t-shirt. On this edition of the show, Phil Chertok & Eric Marcotte joined me to review the Affliction pay-per-view as we go through all the fights, the short-lived history of the promotion, the fight purses that were disclosed, and the UFC’s counter-programming with a live Fight Night card that evening. Plus, we hear from Espresso Executive Producer Brandon from New Jersey to discuss why he selected this card. This show is available to all members of the POST Wrestling Café.

**I have a review of the Brian Pillman documentary from Thursday’s season premiere of Dark Side of the Ring.

**Nate Milton will be joined by Brian Mann on The Rocky Maivia Picture Show on Saturday. The former Keep It 2000 team will reunited to review The Rock’s first-time hosting SNL in March 2000.

**On Sunday, we will have a new edition of POST Puroresu with WH Park and myself discussing the state of emergency, NOAH’s recent card in Nagoya, the Champion Carnival, Atsushi Onita’s FMWE announcement, and Stardom’s Cinderella tournament resuming next weekend.

POST SCHEDULE

Tonight: Rewind-A-SmackDown (LIVE at 10:15 pm ET for all Café members)
Saturday: The Rocky Maivia Picture Show with Nate Milton & guest Brian Mann (The Rock hosts SNL in March 2000)
Sunday: POST Puroresu with John Pollock & WH Park

WRESTLING NEWS

**A special “Throwback” edition of Friday Night SmackDown airs tonight at 8 pm ET on FOX. The theme coincides with NASCAR’s Throwback Weekend for Sunday’s race airing on FS 1 from Darlington Raceway. Tonight’s episode will feature a rematch from WrestleMania between Seth Rollins and Cesaro.

**205 Live tonight at 10 pm ET will feature:
*Ari Sterling (the former Alex Zayne) vs. Samir Singh
*August Grey & Ikemen Jiro vs. Tony Nese & Ariya Daivari

**The two-hour season premiere of Dark Side of the Ring covering Brian Pillman averaged 272,000 viewers and 0.09 in the 18-49 demographic finishing 74th on the cable charts for Thursday. The overall viewership was higher than all the episodes in season two except the episodes on Chris Benoit and Owen Hart. The season two finale on Owen was their highest of all-time with 349,000 viewers and 0.18 in the 18-49 demo.

**IMPACT Wrestling averaged 123,000 viewers and 0.04 in the 18-49 demographic for Thursday’s episode and finished 125th.

**We have a more comprehensive breakdown of this past Wednesday’s ratings in Canada for AEW Dynamite on TSN 2:
-The show averaged 160,900 viewers and 97,400 in the 25-54 demographic (60,000 male, 37,000 female)
-Dynamite averaged approximately 106,000 in the 18-49 demo (69,000 male and 36,000 female)
-In the 18-34 demo, they averaged 67,000 viewers (43,000 male and 24,000 female)
-In 55+, the show averaged 28,000

**NJPW has postponed its two stadium events for Wrestle Grand Slam following the news of an extension of Japan’s state of emergency. The promotion said in its release that it is finalizing new dates for the cards that had been scheduled for May 15th at Yokohama Stadium and May 29th at the Tokyo Dome. Only two matches had been announced between both cards with Kota Ibushi vs. Jeff Cobb scheduled for Yokohama and the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship match between Will Ospreay and Kazuchika Okada for May 29th. The simple answer would be placing one or both matches on the Dominion card on June 6th in Osaka, however, they still need big matches for the rescheduled dates at the stadiums and that will be dependent on the timing of the new dates. The company has not issued any update regarding their shows on May 22nd in Nagoya, and May 24-26 at Korakuen Hall, which would be part of the affected areas of the state of emergency that has been extended to the end of May. The positive takeaway is that the roster gets extra time to recover especially Ospreay and Okada, who has been dealing with ailments.

**FITE TV will be carrying the Hana Kimura Memorial Show on Sunday, May 22nd at 10:30 pm ET (Sunday, May 23rd in Japan). The pay-per-view is listed for $14.99 U.S. There will be English commentary with the team including Ian Riccaboni and Cheeseburger from Ring of Honor. It is unknown how the state of emergency will affect this card, which is scheduled in Tokyo at Korakuen Hall.

Below is FITE’s event description:

On May 23rd live on FITE is Hana Kimura Memorial “MATANE”. The event will honor the one year anniversary of the untimely passing Hana Kimura. The memorial evening features wrestlers such as Super Delfin, HUB, Yuko Miyamoto, Munenori, Sawa, Kaori, Yoneyama, Cherry, Hanako Nakamori, Yuki Miyazaki, VENY(ASUKA), KAGETSU, Mio Momono, Mika Iwata and much more.

**Salina de la Renta (Natalia Class) revealed that her contract was up with MLW and confirmed she was leaving the promotion. In our interview from Thursday with MLW CEO Court Bauer, he stated that Wednesday’s closing scene of the season finale was designed to write off her character.

**Paul Heyman spoke with Steven Muehlhausen of DAZN about his run with Brock Lesnar and the transition to working with Roman Reigns since last summer:

I had the run of a lifetime with Brock Lesnar. What we accomplished in our eight years since we returned in 2012, let alone what we accomplished in the 18 years since 2002 — and that includes writing a book together that includes Brock’s run in UFC. Many would make the valid claim what would be impossible to top: A near 600-day run as champion, multiple world titles, and the single biggest victory in the history of WWE, which was Brock Lesnar conquering The Undertaker’s undefeated streak at WrestleMania 30. To top that, to compete with that, to follow that is an impossible task. Can’t be done. But that’s the goal. That’s the vision of where we want to take Roman Reigns.

**IMPACT talent Jordynne Grace revealed on the Pro Wrestling Illustrated podcast that she has signed a new deal with IMPACT Wrestling. Grace, 25, joined the promotion in October 2018 and became its Knockouts Champion in January 2020 ending year-long reign of Taya Valkyrie. Grace is one-half of the current Knockouts Tag Champions with Rachael Ellering, who defeated Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz for the titles last month at the Rebellion pay-per-view.

**ROH has announced that tag champions Tracy Williams & Rhett Titus will defend against Mike Bennett & Matt Taven in two weeks for the syndicated show airing the weekend of May 22nd.

**Game Changer Wrestling has announced a card for June 6th at The Carousel Room at The Showboat called “Zombie Walk”.

**Will Ospreay turns 28 years old today and Kevin Owens is 37.

**Today would have been the late Owen Hart’s 56th birthday. He had just turned 34 when he passed away later that month in May 1999 at the Over the Edge pay-per-view in Kansas City, Missouri.

**Congratulations to our friends Pat Laprade and Kevin Raphael. Their podcast Les Anti-Pods de la Lutte has been nominated for the Canadian Podcast Awards in the sports category and is the only French-language podcast among the nominees for the award. Earlier this week, Laprade noted that the biography he co-authored with Bertrand Hebert on Andre the Giant has now sold over 15,000 copies worldwide.

**The WWE stock closed at $54.87 on Friday.

MMA NEWS

**There was another scary weigh-in on Friday with UFC flyweight Ryan Benoit needing assistance to make it onto the scale. It was hard to watch as he was battling to maintain balance on the scale and is the latest example of this extreme practice that isn’t correcting itself and yet, isn’t changing anytime soon. Benoit missed weight by three pounds and the fight has been scratched from Saturday’s UFC Fight Night event. Benoit was scheduled to fight Zarrukh Adashev.

**Here is the updated UFC Fight Night card for Saturday night at The Apex in Las Vegas with the results from Friday’s weigh-in:

MAIN CARD (8 pm ET on ESPN, ESPN+)
*Michelle Waterson (125) vs. Marina Rodriguez (125.5)
*Donald Cerrone (170) vs. Alex Morono (170.5)
*Neil Magny (170.5) vs. Geoff Neal (171)
*Marcos Rogerio de Lima (264.5) vs. Maurice Greene (237)
*Diego Ferreira (160.5*) vs. Gregor Gillespie (156) – Ferreira was fined 30 percent of his purse for missing weight but the fight will remain on the card
*Amanda Ribas (115.5) vs. Angela Hill (116)

PRELIMINARY CARD (5 pm ET on ESPN+)
*Kyle Daukaus (186) vs. Phil Hawes (186)
*Mike Trizano (146) vs. Ludovit Klein (146)
*Tafon Nchukwi (186) vs. Jun Yong Park (186)
*Carlston Harris (170.5) vs. Christian Aguilera (170.5)

**A heavyweight fight between Ben Rothwell and Philipe Lins was scheduled for the prelims but has been removed after Lins was not medically cleared.

**Bellator 258 takes place tonight with the main card airing on Showtime at 9 pm ET with the bantamweight championship on the line along with the final opening round fight of the Light Heavyweight World Grand Prix. The card was hurt with the loss of Yoel Romero, who was not medically cleared to fight Anthony Johnson. Johnson remains on the card with alternate Jose Augusto inserted into the tournament where the winner fights Light Heavyweight Champion Vadim Nemkov in the next round. Below are the main card fights and results from the weigh-in:
*Bellator Bantamweight Championship: Juan Archuleta (135) vs. Sergio Pettis (134.75)
*Light Heavyweight Grand Prix: Anthony Johnson (205) vs. Jose Augusto (204.75)
*Patricky “Pitbull” Freire (155.5) vs. Peter Queally (155)
*175-Pound Catchweight: Michael “Venom” Page (174.75) vs. Derek Anderson (175)

**With current Bellator heavyweight champion Ryan Bader competing in the ongoing Light Heavyweight World Grand Prix, the promotion is adding an interim heavyweight title. On June 25th at Bellator 261, Timothy Johnson (15-6) will fight Valentin Moldavsky (10-1). The interim challenger will become the mandatory challenger when Bader is ready to return to heavyweight or will be made the official champion if Bader remains at light heavyweight. Bader defeated Lyoto Machida in the opening round of the Grand Prix and is set to fight Corey Anderson in July in the semi-finals.

**Thursday’s PFL card aired on ESPN and averaged 324,000 viewers with 0.09 in the 18-49 demographic. It finished 73rd for Thursday’s cable numbers and aired from 7-10:42 pm ET.

**There was a controversial ending to the main event of the PFL card on Thursday night. Renan Ferreira and Fabricio Werdum met in a heavyweight bout that saw Werdum immediately take the fight to the ground and began working for submissions. Werdum got a triangle and said he felt Ferreira tap, which was not seen by referee Keith Peterson. Werdum let go of the submission believing the fight was over but instead, Ferreira unloaded with strikes and was given the TKO victory. ESPN’s Marc Raimondi reports that Werdum has filed an appeal to the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board and will seek a review of the fight-ending sequence. Raimondi noted that New Jersey allows for instant replay but it’s up to the promotion whether they want to use it. The PFL has opted not to use instant replay because they run in other jurisdictions that don’t offer it and they want consistent procedures.

Here are the results from the PFL card on Thursday featuring fights in the men’s heavyweight and women’s lightweight divisions:
*Renan Ferreira def. Fabricio Werdum by TKO at 2:32 of Round 1
*Kayla Harrison def. Mariana Morais by TKO at 1:23 of Round 1
*Brandon Sayles def. Mohammed Usman (the brother of Kamaru Usman) by technical submission at 3:42 of Round 2
*Larissa Pacheco def. Julija Pajic by TKO at 0:51 of Round 1
*Bruno Cappelozaa def. Ante Delija by KO at 0:46 of Round 1
*Kaitlin Young def. Cindy Dandois by unanimous decision (30-27 all)
*Genah Fabian def. Laura Sanchez by unanimous decision (30-27 all)
*Denis Goltsov def. Muhammed DeReese by TKO at 4:21 of Round 1
*Taylor Guardado def. Olena Kolesnyk by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 29-27)
*Magomed Umalatov def. Kyron Bowen by TKO at 0:07 of Round 2

**The PFL will resume its season on June 10th featuring the MMA debut of Claressa Shields, who is set to fight Brittney Elkin.

**ESPN has re-signed analyst Chael Sonnen to a multi-year deal where he will continue his role for UFC events and co-hosting “Ariel & The Bad Guy” on ESPN+.

ON THIS DATE

 

*****
REWIND-A-WAI #85: Affliction – Banned (2008)
John Pollock is joined by guest co-hosts Phil Chertok & Eric Marcotte to review Affliction: Banned from the Honda Center in Anaheim on July 19th, 2008 headlined by Fedor Emelianenko vs. Tim Sylvia for the WAMMA Heavyweight Championship.
*****
POST INTERVIEW: MLW CEO Court Bauer
John Pollock speaks with MLW CEO Court Bauer on the promotion’s recent season-finale, returning with fans, and the reveal of (the former) Dario Cueto.
*****
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SHOT IN THE DARK 5/5/21: New ROH TV Champion, LA Dojo Showcase
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*****
upNXT 5/4/21: This Is The Way
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NJPW Wrestling Dontaku 2021 POST Show
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*****
REWIND-A-RAW 5/3/21: “Buns N’ Roses”, Randy Savage Biography
John Pollock & Wai Ting review WWE Raw featuring a coin flip to determine Bobby Lashley’s opponent, Angel Garza, the A&E Biography on Randy Savage, SD ratings and more.
*****
POST INTERVIEW: Dark Side of the Ring’s Evan Husney & Jason Eisener
John Pollock & Wai Ting speak with Dark Side of the Ring co-creators Evan Husney & Jason Eisener about their upcoming third season featuring subjects such as Brian Pillman, Ultimate Warrior and the “Plane Ride from Hell”.
*****

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About John Pollock 2610 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling.He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.