POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: Throwback SmackDown does strong figures

Throwback SmackDown was a hit on FOX, report on next NXT TakeOver, Booker T. bio, New Day comic, fight taken off UFC 262, Kota Ibushi speaks.

Photo Courtesy: WWE

POST IT NOTES

**Tonight, we are live with Rewind-A-Raw at 11:15 pm ET for Double Double, Iced Capp & Espresso members of the POST Wrestling Café. Wai Ting and I will review WWE Raw and chat about the latest A&E Biography on Booker T. and go through some of the important news items from the past few days. The show will be posted late tonight for everyone and you can subscribe to ‘POST Wrestling’ wherever you listen to podcasts.

**The latest edition of POST Puroresu with WH Park and I is available on the site. On this show, we spoke about the extension of the state of emergency in Japan, the Wrestling Dontaku cards, Jake Lee winning the Champion Carnival, Keiji Muto vs. Masa Kitamiya, the news of Atsushi Onita running an FMWE card in July, and looking at the remainder of Stardom’s Cinderella tournament.

**You can submit questions for this week’s ASK-A-WAI Mailbag Show on the POST Wrestling Forum.

**On Tuesday, we are scheduled to have Sean Waltman on for an interview promoting his new podcast ‘Pro Wrestling 4 Life’.

POST SCHEDULE

Tonight: Rewind-A-Raw (11:15 pm ET for Double Double+ Patrons)
Tuesday: POST Interview – Sean Waltman
Tuesday: upNXT with Braden Herrington & Davie Portman (upNXT feed)
Wednesday: Rewind-A-Dynamite (LIVE at 10:15 pm ET)
Wednesday: Shot in the Dark with John Siino (upNXT feed)
Thursday: The British Wrestling Experience with Martin Bushby & Benno
Friday: ASK-A-WAI Mailbag Show with John & Wai (Patreon)
Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown with Wai Ting & Kate from Montreal (LIVE at 10:15 pm ET for all Patrons)
Saturday: UFC 262 POST Show (LIVE after the card on POST’s YouTube)
Sunday: WrestleMania Backlash POST Show (LIVE for Double Double+ Patrons)

WRESTLING NEWS

**The Throwback edition of Friday Night SmackDown proved to be a hit finishing with 2,282,000 viewers and 0.65 in the 18-49 demographic on FOX. The numbers were up 13 percent in overall viewers and a huge jump of 32.7 percent in the key demo. The show was the #1 program in the 18-49 and 18-34 categories topping Shark Tank on ABC, which usually edges out SmackDown. They also went against the NBA game on ESPN between Boston and Chicago that finished third on cable with 896,000 viewers and 0.29 in the 18-49 demo. (Showbuzz Daily)

Throughout the month of April, SmackDown averaged 2,129,000 viewers and 0.55 in the demo over five episodes. So, this week’s episode was up 7.2 percent in viewers and 18 percent in the demo from April’s average.

In Canada, SmackDown did a strong number on Sportsnet 360 with 250,500 viewers and 118,900 in the 25-54 demo going against the Toronto Blue Jays vs. Houston Astros game. In Canada, SmackDown was up 17.5 percent in overall viewers and 5 percent in the 25-54 demo from last week’s episode.

**Tonight’s edition of WWE Raw serves as the go-home episode for WrestleMania Backlash this Sunday. Thus far, there are three matches announced for tonight’s episode at 8 pm ET on the USA Network:
*Bobby Lashley vs. Drew McIntyre in a non-title match
*AJ Styles, Omos, Elias & Jaxson Ryker vs. New Day, Randy Orton & Riddle
*Nia Jax, Shayna Baszler & Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka, Mandy Rose & Dana Brooke

**Here are the matches listed for tonight’s edition of AEW Dark: Elevation streaming at 7 pm ET on its YouTube channel:
*Jon Moxley vs. Danny Limelight
*Britt Baker vs. Raychell Rose
*Madi Wrenkowski vs. Tay Conti
*Lee Johnson vs. David Ali
*Leyla Hirsch vs. Dani Jordyn
*Jade Cargill vs. Reka Tehaka
*Jungle Boy & Marko Stunt vs. Serpentico & Luther
*Isiah Kassidy vs. Alex Reynolds
*Matt Hardy & Marq Quen vs. Dean Alexander & Dillon McQueen
*Ethan Page & Scorpio Sky vs. Fuego Del Sol & Baron Black
*Thunder Rosa vs. Renee Michelle
*Chuck Taylor vs. Vary Morales
*Eddie Kingston vs. VSK
*Matt Sydal vs. Manny Smith
*Elevation feature on Danny Limelight

**Fightful Select reported that the next NXT TakeOver event is scheduled for Sunday, June 13th and once again, they will use the “In Your House” theme for the promotion of the event. Last year, they resurrected the “In Your House” branding for NXT’s first TakeOver during the pandemic. The “In Your House” concept was first introduced when the company expanded to monthly pay-per-view events in 1995 introducing the first one in May that year at a price of $14.95 for the smaller events. In September 1997, they expanded the shows to three hours and saw a price increase to $29.95, which proved vital for the company to increase its revenue during a period they were struggling financially. In 1999, the branding was dropped in favor of standalone naming conventions for the events.

**Dark Side of the Ring has confirmed the airdates for the first half of season three on VICE TV. The following schedule was issued with the episodes airing Thursdays at 9 pm ET:
*May 13th – Nick Gage
*May 20th – Collision in Korea
*May 27th – Ultimate Warrior (this will air four days after the A&E Biography on the same subject)
*June 3rd – Grizzly Smith
*June 10th – Dynamite Kid

The series will take a break and resume later this year with the remaining episodes that will cover the WWF steroid trial, FMW, Luna Vachon, XPW, Chris Kanyon, Johnny K-9, and the Plane Ride from Hell. Season three premiered last week with a two-hour episode dedicated to Brian Pillman that averaged 272,000 viewers and 0.09 in the 18-49 demo, which was the third-highest figure in the show’s history behind the episodes on Owen Hart and Chris Benoit.

**I wrote a lengthy review on Sunday’s A&E Biography on Booker T. and what the strengths and weaknesses of the documentary were. One glaring omissions were the handling of the promotional build-up for one of Booker’s most high-profile matches when he wrestled Triple H at WrestleMania 19. It garnered lots of negativity in 2003 and over the past eighteen years for the racial components included in one of Hunter’s promos to build the match. One of the interview subjects on the A&E special, David Dennis Jr., wrote on Twitter (and later deleted the comments) that he was interviewed at length about the WrestleMania 19 story, which didn’t make the final cut. A big issue I had was that there was a theme in the piece covering racism that Booker encountered during his time in Global and WCW from the fanbase, but was completely ignored when WWE felt playing the race card would garner heat for such a big match and wasn’t held to any reflection much less scrutiny in the same doc.

**WWE and A&E have released a trailer for next Sunday’s Biography on Shawn Michaels, which will air at the same time as WrestleMania Backlash. The remaining episodes cover Michaels, Ultimate Warrior on May 23rd, Mick Foley on May 30th, and Bret Hart on June 6th.

**The NJPW site spoke with Kota Ibushi about losing the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship, unifying the titles earlier this year, and his thoughts on the two-night Wrestle Kingdom this past January where he won the title on the first night from Tetsuya Naito and defended against Jay White on night two:

I’ve said it before, but I think looking back, I still would have preferred to face Jay White on January 4 and then Naito on night two. I think that would have cemented me as a champion better.

As it was, even though I’d beaten Jay on the fifth, it didn’t feel like a culmination. Finally winning those titles on January 4 felt a little anticlimactic, because I knew I had the next day as well.

**Variety reports that Dave Bautista has been cast in the sequel to “Knives Out”.

**BOOM! Studios are partnering with WWE for a two-issue limited series release, “WWE The New Day: Power of Positivity” that will be released in July. The comic will feature the three New Day members collaborating with writers Evan Narcisse, Austin Walker, and artist Daniel Bayliss for the project. The copies of the book will be available at comic book shops and digital versions at comiXology, iBooks, Google Play, and Madefire.

**Anthony Ogogo was a guest on Sports and Life with Ed Draper discussing his bronze medal he won in boxing at the Summer Olympics in 2012. Ogogo also described why he had to stop boxing due to an injury that has left him 78 percent blind in his left eye and the dangers of taking one bad blow.

**A&E has added a deleted scene from the Biography on Booker T. covering the introduction and creation of the King Booker character in 2006.

**WWE Icons featuring Rob Van Dam premieres this Sunday on the WWE Network. It is the third release of the series following episodes on Yokozuna and Beth Phoenix.

**Being the Elite Ep. 255: “They Should’ve Put That On Dynamite”.

**William Regal (Darren Matthews) turns 53 years old today. If you are looking for an underrated wrestling book, “Walking a Golden Mile” falls under that category and is one of the best books the WWE has ever released.

**Tito Santana (Merced Solis) turns 68 years old today. Santana has the distinction of wrestling on the first eight WrestleMania cards from 1985-1992 and then, wrestled a dark match at WrestleMania 9 in April 1993 before the streak ended. Santana was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in March 2004.

**The WWE stock closed at $54.59 on Monday.

MMA NEWS

**It was first reported by MMA DNA and confirmed by ESPN that this Saturday’s middleweight fight between Jack Hermansson (21-6) and Edmen Shahbazyan (11-1) has been moved. The fight is now scheduled for the following weekend on Saturday, May 22nd, although no reason for the change has been revealed. Shahbazyan suffered his first pro loss last August when he was stopped by Derek Brunson. Hermansson has won five of his last seven fights but is coming off a decision loss to Marvin Vettori last December.

**Bellator fighter Derek Anderson has been suspended for 120 days after falsifying pre-fight medical forms prior to his fight with Michael Page this past Friday. MMA Junkie spoke with Mike Mazzulli of the Mohegan Sun Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation after Anderson made an Instagram post citing four hospital visits during his training camp for kidney failure, which he failed to disclose on his forms. The questionnaire from the commission includes ‘Do you have any medical problems?’ and ‘Do you have any injuries which may affect your ability to fight?’. Anderson will be suspended for four months and must pass several tests for his kidneys to be reinstated.

**UFC 262 is this Saturday with the pay-per-view headlined by Michael Chandler and Charles Oliveira for the vacant lightweight championship. From a marquee standpoint, the card was hurt by the loss of Nate Diaz as his fight with Leon Edwards was moved to June 12th due to Diaz suffering a minor injury. The main event moves the lightweight division forward following Khabib Nurmagomedov’s retirement. The other fight tied to the lightweight championship picture is the July 10th fight between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor, which in theory, should set the winner up for a championship fight with Chandler or Oliveira.

**One story following Saturday’s UFC Fight Night was the future for Donald Cerrone. The 38-year old was stopped by Alex Morono in the first round and is winless in his previous six fights going 0-5 with a no-contest as well. Granted, those losses have included ones to Tony Ferguson, Justin Gaethje, Conor McGregor, and Anthony Pettis. However, it’s clear Cerrone is slower and it’s becoming harder for him to absorb the strikes he would have ate earlier in his career. After 54 professional fights, it takes a toll and becomes a question of what the UFC sees for him. Cerrone is adamant that he will not retire and for that reason, I can see the UFC giving him another fight.

**The Endeavor stock closed at $29.16 on Monday dropping almost 8 percent during the day.

FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Austin Hubbard vs. Vinc Pichel at UFC Fight Night on August 21st (MMA Fighting)

Gordon Ryan vs. Shinya Aoki in a grappling bout on August 27th for ONE Championship (ONE Championship)

*****
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About John Pollock 5663 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.