POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: ROH TV review, SD in Canada, Ticket sales

SmackDown viewership in Canada, Tora suffers injury, WWE settlement approved, ROH TV review, U.S. ticket sales & WCW on this date in 1999.

Photo Courtesy: Ring of Honor


**Wai Ting and I will be live tonight at 11:15 p.m. ET for Rewind-A-Raw to recap the news from the last few days, review Raw, and take your feedback. We also preview the week coming up at the site including coverage of UFC 264.

**On Tuesday, we will be releasing the July edition of the ASK-A-WAI Mailbag Show. You can still submit questions if you’re a Café member on the POST Wrestling Forum.

**The Long & Winding Royal Road is up on the site. This month, WH Park welcomes Mark Buckeldee from the site to chat about the October 1999 tag match with Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa vs. Kenta Kobashi & Jun Akiyama.

**We have also released a new t-shirt featuring The Four Pillars that is now available in the POST Wrestling Store with artwork from Sean McKenzie. The shirt is available in all sizes and comes in either black or white.


Tonight: Rewind-A-Raw with John & Wai (11:15 p.m. ET for Double Double+ Patrons)
Tuesday: ASK-A-WAI Mailbag Show with John & Wai (Patreon – submit questions here)
Tuesday: upNXT – Great American Bash
Wednesday: Rewind-A-Dynamite (10:15 p.m. ET for Double Double+)
Wednesday: Shot in the Dark with John Siino (upNXT feed)
Thursday: The British Wrestling Experience
Friday: UFC 264 Preview Show
Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown with Wai & Kate from MTL (10:15 p.m. ET for all Patrons)
Saturday: UFC 264 POST Show with John & Phil Chertok
Sunday: The NWA Podcast with Nate Milton, Kris Ealy & Andrew Thompson


**Tonight’s edition of Raw airs at 8 p.m. ET on the USA Network with the following announced:
*Bobby Lashley & MVP vs. Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods
*Ricochet vs. John Morrison
*Miz TV with guests Drew McIntyre, Riddle, John Morrison & Ricochet
*A medical update from Charlotte Flair

**In Canada, Friday Night SmackDown was down with an average of 108,000 viewers and 43,000 in the 25-54 demographic on Sportsnet 360. They faced big competition from the Stanley Cup Finals as Game 3 did just over 3 million viewers to dominate the night. SmackDown had previously averaged 133,000 viewers on June 18th and 115,500 on June 25th.

**The NBA Finals between Phoenix and Milwaukee begin on Tuesday night.  None of the games will be airing on Monday or Friday nights throughout the series meaning Raw and SmackDown will not be affected. Game 4 is scheduled for Wednesday, July 14th on the first week of AEW Fyter Fest but that’s the only conflict AEW has with the series. Game 2 and a potential Game 7 would air on Thursdays against IMPACT, which will also have its Slammiversary pay-per-view airing the same night if the series goes to a fifth game.

**In the Stanley Cup Final, Tampa Bay could end the series tonight against the Montreal Canadiens. This is more impactful for the wrestling numbers in Canada than in the U.S. The longest the series can last is this Sunday.

**Wrestlenomics has put together a graph based on the data compiled by WrestleTix through Ticketmaster regarding ticket distribution for WWE, AEW, New Japan, and Ring of Honor events in the U.S:
*For this coming week’s Dynamite in Miami, they have distributed 3,192 into the market at 68 percent of the James L. Knight Center’s capacity.
*AEW has a total sellout for the July 14th edition of Dynamite in Cedar Park, Texas with 4,430 tickets distributed, and have a strong advance for the July 28th show in Charlotte at the Bojangles’ Coliseum with 4,341 distributed (83 percent)
*WWE is listed at 6,663 tickets distributed (81 percent) for the July 19th episode of Raw at the American Airlines Center in Dallas
*The first WWE ‘Supershow’ non-televised events are set for July 24th in Pittsburgh and July 25th in Louisville. Pittsburgh is listed at 5,540 (75 percent) and Louisville at 2,819 (46 percent). Minneapolis on July 30th is listed at 6,260 (79 percent), and Detroit on August 1st at 4,950 (51 percent)
*ROH only appears to have a small capacity for this Sunday’s Best in the World pay-per-view at the Chesapeake Employers Insurance Arena with 413 tickets distributed, which is 64 percent of the capacity.
*NJPW’s Resurgence event on August 14th at The Torch at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum has 1,581 tickets distributed (70 percent), so that show has gotten off to a very good start and doesn’t have the major New Japan names on the card, although it does have Jon Moxley.

**WrestleTix also noted that the Money in the Bank show in two weeks is virtually sold out with 9,658 tickets distributed or 97 percent for the Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas.

**Bloomberg Law reports that the final approval has been completed between WWE and its investors from the City of Warren Police and Fire Retirement System lawsuit for the large settlement figure. The suit alleged that company officials misled stockholders on a pending media rights deal in the Middle East with certain officers selling their varying amounts of company stock with Vince McMahon, and former presidents George Barrios and Michelle Wilson named in the suit. The suit also included a confidential witness that was on the Crown Jewel event in October 2019 where talent was stranded in the country and missed that week’s SmackDown episode. An attempt to dismiss the suit was rejected by a judge last year and led to a settlement announcement last November of $39 million, which would be the largest amount WWE has ever paid out for a settlement. The article notes that the lead counsel of Labaton Sucharow LLP will receive $7.02 million of the figure in attorney’s fees and another $468,000 in litigation expenses.

**Stardom confirmed that Natsuko Tora suffered a torn ACL during Sunday’s World of Stardom Championship match with Utami Hayashishita. A torn ACL is typically a 6-9 month recovery period, so Tora is probably out for at least the remainder of 2021. Tora had just executed a dive off the top turnbuckle putting Hayashishita through a table on the floor and moments later, came off the apron with a foot stomp and her left knee buckled and she was unable to continue. Sensing the severity of the injury, they rang the bell and called the match off, which is the second example over the past week following the injury to Mercedes Martinez. It’s a welcome change from the usual doctrine of ‘get to the finish’ and I was relieved to see both cases where the focus was the injured athlete and not the finish of the match.

**Stardom’s annual 5* Grand Prix will begin on July 31st and runs until September 25th with 21 events scheduled. Natsuko Tora was announced for the Red Stars block but will obviously be replaced in the tournament. Below are the two blocks:

Red Star: Giulia, Mayu Iwatani, Momo Watanabe, Saki Kashima, Starlight Kid, Himeka, Natsupoi, Koguma, Mina Shirakawa

Blue Star: Utami Hayashishita, Syuri (guaranteeing a rematch of many people’s match of the year), Tam Nakano, Saya Kamitani, Maika, AZM, Konami, Ruaka, Unagi Sakya, ‘X’

**Stardom is back with a show at Korakuen Hall on Tuesday with the following matches announced:
*Artist of Stardom Championship: Tam Nakano, Mina Shirakawa & Unagi Sayaka (champions) vs. Utami Hayashishita, Saya Kamitani & AZM
*Momo Watanabe vs. Maika
*Giulia & Syuri vs. Konami & Ruaka
*Saki Kashima, Starlight Kid & Rina vs. Mayu Iwatani, Koguma & Hanan
*Fukigen Death vs. Hina vs. Lady C

**Here are the matches for tonight’s episode of AEW Dark: Elevation streaming at 7 p.m. ET:
*Serpentico vs. Dante Martin
*Orange Cassidy vs. Angelico
*Hikaru Shida vs. Dani Jordyn
*Serena Deeb vs. Tesha Price
*Thunder Rosa vs. Leila Grey
*Scorpio Sky vs. Marcus Kross

**Roman Reigns was interviewed by Peter Rosenberg about WWE’s return to Madison Square Garden on September 10th for Friday Night SmackDown.

**An unbelievable spot from Hijo del Vikingo, which feels like a weekly occurrence.

**Dean Muhtadi (formerly Mojo Rawley) spoke with TMZ Sports about his role in the upcoming film Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins that comes out July 23rd. Muhtadi said he is excited about all the things he can do now without being under contract to WWE. He is looking at doing more acting and will eventually return to pro wrestling but said it wouldn’t be immediate.

**The NJPW site has a story interview with Satoshi Kojima discussing why Stan Hansen would be his dream opponent if their paths have crossed, his memories of the Tokyo Dome card from January 1999, his thoughts on SANADA, and his recent excursion to the U.S. where he appeared on episodes of NJPW Strong and IMPACT:

It was nothing but beneficial! About four years ago I spent a month in Mexico, and this was the first time since then I was able to spend a significant period overseas. Just being able to train every day in a different environment and wrestle very different opponents, not to mention the daily life over a month or so, they were all very different and change definitely does you good in my opinion. I think I spent every waking minute during my time there thinking about wrestling.

**Ahead of this Saturday’s MLW card in Philadelphia, interview correspondent and host Alicia Atout spoke with SLAM Wrestling on the evolution of her career, working with IMPACT, at All In in 2018, and being brought to New York by MLW in 2019 and how it led to a contract:

They hit me up and said, ‘We would love to sign you in to a contract,’ and my mind was like, ‘Oh wow!’ Okay I didn’t… I wasn’t really expecting that from the jump, you know?’’ Just a couple hours into being there. So we spoke, I told them, ‘Let me think about it.’ I told them what I needed and vice versa.

**The June 25th edition of Friday Night SmackDown finished with 2,251,000 viewers on Fox with Live+3 data reported by Spoiler TV. The DVR viewership increased the overall viewership by 303,000 viewers and the 18-49 rating moving from 0.50 to 0.60.

**The WWE stock closed at $57.76 on Monday, which was a drop of 1 percent throughout the day.

**The NWA has released a new countdown series called Race to the Chase as they gear up for their pay-per-view events at the Chase Ballroom on August 28th and 29th in St. Louis.

**wXw out of Germany has announced that they will be running their 20th-anniversary show from the Congress Center in Oberhausen on Saturday, August 7th. They will be putting advance tickets on sale this Wednesday

**The next episode of The Broken Skull Sessions airs this Sunday with Steve Austin interviewing Kevin Nash. It’s part of the WWE’s ‘N.W.O. Week’ to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the Bash at the Beach show in 1996 when Hulk Hogan joined Nash and Scott Hall and formed the New World Order.

**Nick Patrick is the latest guest on Stories with Brisco & Bradshaw.

**Being the Elite – Ep. 263 ‘Mustache’.

**This November, the Tracy Smothers Memorial Invitational Tournament will take place from Springfield, Tennessee, and have distribution on Highspots afterward. The event will feature an eight-man tournament with opening round matches already announced: Kerry Morton vs. Kaleb Conley, Tony Nese vs. AJ Gray, Suge D vs. Nunzio/Little Guido, and EC3 vs. Suicide. Smothers died last October at the age of 58 and was a popular figure among several generations of independent talent that came up learning from Smothers.

Ring of Honor

For its final episode before the pay-per-view, they presented two completely different matches.

In the first one, Jonathan Gresham defended the Pure Championship against Fred Yehi. They explained their history training under Curtis Hughes at WWA4 in Atlanta and Yehi’s road to Ring of Honor. Gresham has evolved into one of my favorite champions for any promotion as the technical wizard that has added a cocky edge to his demeanor and in-ring work that gels seamlessly. After shaking hands at the beginning, Gresham kicked Yehi’s arm away and set the tone instantly.

They had a strong match that works the best inside the empty studio. It was a case of each trying to outsmart the other with some incredible feints, counters, and submission attempts. Gresham faked a move to throw off Yehi and used a backslide while hooking the other, so it was like a crucifix and caught Yehi for the three-count.

Gresham celebrated the win and after, said he has no respect for Mike Bennett because he has not earned his respect. They will meet at the pay-per-view on Sunday.

The rest of the show was the ‘Fight on the Farm’ between Jay and Mark Briscoe that was taped in Sandy Fork, Delaware.

The match was designed for both Briscoes to get everything out of their system and was the idea of Papa Briscoe, who oversaw the fight.

It was would be wrong to label this as a ‘cinematic match’ because it was basically a hardcore match shot on location and with no silliness or fantastical elements, it was just a fight.

The pre-match video featured several home videos when the Briscoes had wrestling matches on their property including Mark jumping off a roof like Mick Foley, which came into play when Mark recreated the dive during the fight.

There was no commentary and they constantly aired warnings for viewers not to try these stunts at home because they could result in injury or death.

It went a bit long and lasted approximately 25 minutes of the hour, although they had a pair of commercial breaks.

It ended with both down inside of a ring inside of the barn and had nothing left as Papa Briscoe asked if they got it out of their systems and then told them it’s time to get back to work as ‘the baddest tag team in the world’ and to ‘clean this shit up’. Papa Briscoe was great.

It was an enjoyable hour of Ring of Honor and I liked the stark contrast between the two matches.


It was a reality check for WCW on this date in 1999 with an episode of Monday Nitro from the Georgia Dome. Six months after their last event at the stadium featuring the ‘Finger Poke of Doom’, return business was way down. In January 1999, WCW drew 34,788 paid to the Georgia Dome and a live gate of $930,735 with an all-time blunder of a finish where Kevin Nash dropped the WCW title to Hulk Hogan after being poked by Hogan’s finger. In this example of ‘let the story play itself out’, the story played out with a 44 percent drop in paid attendance and a 36 percent decline in the live gate.

The July 5, 1999, episode of Nitro also featured the return to television of Bill Goldberg and Bret Hart speaking on WCW programming for the first time since his brother Owen died six weeks prior.

The company never ran another show at the Georgia Dome, transitioning to the newer Philips Arena with this Nitro signaling the end of the ‘stadium era’ for the promotion. Those big Nitros included an amazing run at the Astrodome in Houston, TWA Dome in St. Louis, and Georgia Dome from December 7, 1998, to January 4, 1999.

Kenta Kobashi made his latest return to NOAH on this date in 2002 at Korakuen Hall. After missing most of 2001, he came back in February 2002 and then immediately missed another five months. In this return, Kobashi wrestled the opener teaming with Kotaro Suzuki against Masao Inoue & Yoshinobu Kanemaru:

Regardless of your opinion, the Final Deletion on this date in 2016 served as a major influence for the years to come especially throughout the pandemic. The brainchild of Matt Hardy, Jeremy Borash, and others was one of the few bright spots for IMPACT Wrestling in 2016 and led to a new chapter for The Hardy’s careers that led to their return to WWE the following year:

WH Park is joined by Mark Buckeldee to review a classic tag match from 10/23/99 as Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa (The Untouchables) defend their AJPW World Tag Team Titles against challengers, Kenta Kobashi & Jun Akiyama (Burning).
John Pollock & Wai Ting review WWE SmackDown with a great Last Man Standing Match, Zelina Vega returns, and we discuss the passing of Del Wilkes.
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SHOT IN THE DARK: Survival of the Fittest Finals, Who Will Challenge WALTER?
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About John Pollock 5612 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.