POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: AEW expands deal, WWE cuts

Dynamite moving to TBS, new show launching in August, WWE cuts, Canadian numbers, Bellator welcoming fans back & lots more.

Photo Courtesy: All Elite Wrestling


**A special note for POST Wrestling Café members, tonight’s edition of Rewind-A-Dynamite will be LIVE for all Patrons beginning at 10:15 pm ET.

**We have a really great show coming out Friday covering TNA Unbreakable 2005 on Rewind-A-Wai. The show will cover the event and the famous three-way main event but we’ll also look at the state of the company in September 2005, the pending launch on Spike TV, the results of a focus group that greatly benefited one individual, and the upcoming head-to-head battle between the WWE and UFC. The show will be released Friday for all members of the POST Wrestling Café.

**Wai Ting and Jordan Goodman will be live on Thursday at 3 pm ET with The Wellness Policy and will be joined by artist David Speed. The show is available live for all POST Wrestling Café members.


**The major news today is the announcement from WarnerMedia that AEW Dynamite will move to TBS beginning 2022 while also launching a new on-hour show titled ‘AEW: Rampage’ on Friday, August 13th. The new hour of content will debut on TNT but also move to TBS beginning in the new year, although Tony Maglio of The Wrap added that it’s uncertain if Rampage will remain on Friday nights when it moves stations. The new deal also calls for four annual specials from AEW that will air on TNT, thus, providing AEW with a remaining presence on that network.

The four TNT specials will be in addition to the four pay-per-views that AEW runs annually. On paper, these programs sound like the former Clash of the Champions events that will serve to bridge the gap between pay-per-views and give AEW destinations to peak with a shorter window between significant events.

Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer reports that “increased TV compensation” is part of the deal, which is the key. Those terms have not been released. In January 2020, AEW and WarnerMedia signed a new four-year deal worth approximately $175 million. Khan did note in one of his statements that this is a “new agreement” but it is unknown if there has been an extension of the length. The deal signed in January 2020 was set to run until the end of 2023.

Tony Khan appeared on Busted Open Radio stating he renegotiated the deal with WarnerMedia and that AEW received “very, very fair financial considerations” for the move that sees Dynamite leave TNT for TBS. Khan stated the following on Busted Open Radio about renegotiating the deal with WarnerMedia:

So, I have renegotiated our contract with TNT and TBS and we have made a great agreement and I’m very excited about it. First of all, we are launching a third hour of wrestling that I’ve talked about a lot. It will be Friday nights at 10 pm. It will be in addition to Dynamite on Wednesdays 8-10 [p.m]. So, we’re launching a new show called ‘Rampage’. I’m really excited about it and I wanted to do it for a long time, and it was part of our original extension over a year ago. So, we’re doing another show Friday nights [at] 10 pm called Rampage and we’ll continue doing Dynamite Wednesdays 8-10.

There are many questions that arise from the deal including AEW’s taping schedule once it introduces another hour of content this summer. It’s a major commitment by WarnerMedia that will now boast 3 ½ hours of programming for AEW between Dynamite, Rampage, and the forthcoming Cody & Brandi Rhodes reality series. The company also produces its AEW Dark and AEW Dark: Elevation programming that airs weekly on YouTube.

I have been asked by several people about the new Rampage series regarding the Canadian market and have inquired but have yet to get an answer.

It was noted by Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics that the difference in homes between TNT and TBS is negligible. TBS is in more homes with 81,789,000 while TNT is in 81,342,000.

**There were eight names reported today as part of WWE’s latest releases. We have a story that includes all the names, which were first reported by the Fightful & PWinsider outlets and confirmed to POST Wrestling.

**Here is are the list of matches and segments advertised for tonight’s edition of AEW Dynamite airing at 8 pm ET on TNT and TSN 2 in Canada:
*AEW Tag Team Championship: The Young Bucks (champions) vs. The Varsity Blonds
*NWA Women’s Championship: Serena Deeb (champion) vs. Red Velvet
*Non-Title Match: Hikaru Shida (champion) vs. Rebel (not Reba)
*Jon Moxley & Eddie Kingston vs. The Acclaimed
*Christian Cage vs. Matt Sydal
*Anthony Ogogo vs. Austin Gunn
*The Inner Circle responds to The Pinnacle’s challenge for Double or Nothing
*The announcement of the full line-up for Double or Nothing

**AEW Dynamite is going against the San Antonio Spurs vs, Memphis Grizzlies game tonight. Now, that we are into playoff season it’s likely to play a factor for wrestling across the board as it traditionally does. AEW will be impacted scheduling-wise due to TNT’s commitments beginning next week when Dynamite runs on Friday for the go-home episode before Double or Nothing.

**Fightful reports that the AEW ‘Full Gear’ pay-per-view will take place in St. Louis on Saturday, November 6th, although the venue has not been confirmed yet. AEW will be running an event at the Chaifetz Arena the night prior on Friday, November 5th but it’s not confirmed if the same venue will host the pay-per-view.

**NXT averaged 40,000 viewers on Sportsnet 360 in Canada on Tuesday night.

**Monday’s episode of Raw averaged 1,823,000 viewers with a 0.48 in the 18-49 demographic, per the PW Torch. The show had a poor performance in the first hour with 1,790,000 viewers but saw a big increase to 1,932,000 for the second hour before falling to 1,748,000 in the third hour. Due to the issues with Showbuzz Daily, we don’t have a more detailed breakdown yet.

**In Canada, Raw averaged 212,900 viewers and 102,000 in the 25-54 demo on Sportsnet 360 going against the NHL playoffs. Its overall viewership in Canada was up from last week’s average of 177,000. Last Friday’s edition of SmackDown averaged 132,100 viewers and 64,100 in the 25-54 demo on Sportsnet 360.

**Ricochet has deleted a response on Twitter comparing his talents to Io Shirai that wasn’t received well, to say the least. Ricochet responded to a tweet with, “I’m not saying she’s not amazing. She (Io Shirai) 100% is. But I can do EVERYTHING she can, probably even better. She can’t do what I am capable of, maybe not even half”.

**John Ourand of SBJ looks at the announcement regarding AT&T combining WarnerMedia and Discovery and whether they will get more aggressive regarding sports rights. In the article, Ourand cites a research report from the MoffettNathanson outlet that believes that key Turner sports and news content will be moved to the Discovery+ streaming platform. Turner’s sports properties include Major League Baseball, the NBA, March Madness, and their recent acquisition of a portion of NHL’s domestic package.

**A fundraiser was held earlier this week for former NFL star and WCW wrestler Steve “Mongo” McMichael who recently revealed he is suffering from ALS. Ric Flair was among those in attendance this past Monday as well as Jim McMahon, Mike Ditka, and Bobby Hull. A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for McMichael, who has stated he won’t be making any more public appearances due to his condition.

*Paul Levesque will be speaking at the National Sports Forum’s Virtual Spring Summit on Thursday at 3:20 pm ET. Levesque will be joined by Sophos Marketing’s chief marketing officer Andy Milovich to discuss “New-Era Engagement and Return of the Live Fan Atmosphere”. The chat will be hosted at www.sports-forum.com.

**Lance Storm shared his memories of the late Jerome Young a.k.a. New Jack on Figure Four Daily. Storm shared many locker rooms with Young between their time together in Smoky Mountain Wrestling and ECW. Young passed away last week at the age of 58 following a heart attack.

**GCW has announced a match between Lio Rush and Dante Leon for the ‘Zombie Walk’ card on Sunday, June 6th at 3 pm ET at The Showboat in Atlantic City, New Jersey. That weekend will feature multiple events at the venue beginning with a Hybrid Wrestling card on Friday, June 4th followed by GCW’s Tournament of Survival, Deathmatch Hall of Fame ceremony, and Jersey Championship Wrestling show on Saturday beginning at 3 pm ET.

**Andre Rene Roussimoff a.k.a. Andre the Giant was born on this date in 1946, he would have been 75 years old today. Andre died in January 1993 and was the first member of the WWE’s Hall of Fame.

**The WWE stock closed at $52.69 on Wednesday.

**A scene from last season’s episode of Dark Side of the Ring, which didn’t make the final cut where Jerome Young shared how he wanted to be remembered:


**Bellator is returning with fans beginning with the Bellator 260 card on June 11th and Bellator 261 on June 26th with both cards taking place from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. It will be the promotion’s first U.S. event with fans since February 2020 with the announcement that “a limited number of tickets” will be made available beginning this Friday for the two cards. The Bellator 260 show features welterweight champion Douglas Lima defending against Yaroslav Amosov as well as a catchweight fight between Paul Daley and Jason Jackson. The Bellator 261 card features Timothy Johnson fighting Valentin Moldavsky to crown the interim heavyweight champion while regular champion Ryan Bader competes in the Light Heavyweight World Grand Prix.

**Bellator has announced a new relationship with the Elevate Sports Ventures sports and marketing firm. From its press release:

Elevate will leverage its “Insights” vertical, utilizing industry-leading data and analytics practices, to generate smarter sponsorship, premium and ticket-sales targets and strategies, including producing data-driven fan profile analysis, product and pricing strategies, lead-scoring modeling and more for BELLATOR MMA’s front office, global brand and future live events.

**MMA Junkie reports that T.J. Dillashaw’s comeback fight against Cory Sandhagen is now scheduled to headline the UFC Fight Night event on July 24th. The two were scheduled to fight earlier this month but a significant cut above Dillashaw’s eye forced the fight to be postponed. Dillashaw is coming off a two-year suspension issued by USADA after failing a drug test in early 2019 following his fight with Henry Cejudo. Sandhagen last competed in February where he delivered one of the most vicious knockouts in recent memory against Frankie Edgar.

**Tatiana Saurez, who has been pegged many as a future UFC champion, has been medically cleared to fight. The 30-year old spoke with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani stating she is targeting a return for August or September this year after being out of action since June 2019. Suarez was dealing with the effects of a bulging disc in her neck with her injury woes compounded by breaking her hand and sustaining a concussion. Suarez had been fighting at the strawweight division but stated in the interview that she wants to compete at flyweight upon her comeback. Suarez is 9-0 with five wins inside the UFC including victories against Alexa Grasso, Carla Esparza, and Nina Ansaroff.

**The PFL’s card on June 17th will be headlined by welterweights Rory MacDonald and Gleison Tibau and airing on ESPN 2. The card will also feature Ray Cooper III vs. Nikolai Aleksakhin, Emiliano Sordi vs. Dan Spohn, and Cezar Ferreira vs. Chris Camozzi on the main card. MLW’s Tom Lawlor is set to fight Jordan Young on the undercard that night, which will be streamed on ESPN+.

**Former UFC welterweight and middleweight champion Georges St-Pierre turns 40 years old today.


Daniel Weichel vs. Keoni Diggs at Bellator 261 on June 25 (Fansided)

Jinh Yu Frey vs. Ashley Yoder at UFC Fight Night on July 31 (MMA Fighting)

Cheyanne Buys vs. Gloria de Paula at UFC Fight Nigth on July 31 (MMA Fighting)

Orion Cosce vs. Philip Rowe at UFC Fight Night on July 31 (MMA Fighting)



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About John Pollock 5646 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.