POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: “Black Saturday”, NXT notes, UFC 264 buys

Notes on NXT's schedule, report on how UFC 264 performed, "Black Saturday" on this date, Arthur Ashe Stadium pre-sale & Fyter Fest tonight.

Photo Courtesy: WWE

POST IT NOTES

**Rewind-A-Dynamite is live tonight at 10:15 p.m. ET immediately following AEW’s Fyter Fest show from Cedar Park, Texas. We will be going through the latest news items from the past two days, we’ll share our thoughts on NXT, and review Dynamite. All Double Double, Iced Capp & Espresso members of the POST Wrestling Café have live access to Rewind-A-Dynamite and the show will be available for everyone late tonight on all podcast platforms by subscribing to POST Wrestling.

**Rewind-A-Wai #90 was released on Tuesday with a big review of the WWF’s Royal Rumble 1992 event from Albany, New York. The show is well-remembered for the performances by Ric Flair and Bobby Heenan on the show where Flair runs the gauntlet in the Rumble after entering at #3. On the show, we review the entire card, share the news and notes from that week in history, the booking decisions at the time and in hindsight, as well as a quick chat with Espresso Executive Producer Robert Holzhammer who selected this show.

**Braden Herrington and Davie Portman have the latest upNXT available on the site reviewing Tuesday’s episode featuring Karrion Kross retaining the NXT Championship against Johnny Gargano.

**Later this week, WH Park will have a written piece previewing Stardom’s 5* Grand Prix that begins at the end of July.

POST SCHEDULE

Tonight
: Rewind-A-Dynamite (10:15 p.m. ET)
Thursday: MCU L8R with Wai Ting & WH Park (Loki finale)
Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown (10:15 p.m. ET for all Patrons)
Saturday: IMPACT Slammiversary POST Show with Davie Portman & John Siino
Sunday: WWE MITB POST Show with John & Wai (Live for Double Double+ Patrons)

WRESTLING NEWS

**The first of two Fyter Fest specials from AEW airs tonight at 8 p.m. ET from the H-E-B Center in Cedar Park, Texas. WrestleTix reports that more than 4,500 tickets have been distributed (which means ticket sales, comps, etc.) and is nearly sold out of the allotment AEW has put on sale. They do have serious sports competition with Game 4 of the NBA Finals between Phoenix and Milwaukee that goes against the second hour of the show. Here is the line-up for tonight’s episode at 8 p.m. ET:
*IWGP United States Championship: Jon Moxley (champion) vs. Karl Anderson
*Coffin Match: Darby Allin vs. Ethan Page
*FTW Championship: Brian Cage (champion) vs. Ricky Starks
*Christian Cage vs. Matt Hardy
*Penelope Ford vs. Yuka Sakazaki
*Sammy Guevara vs. Wheeler Yuta
*Hangman Page speaks

**Mike Johnson at PWinsider.com reports that the July 27th edition of NXT will air on Syfy instead of the USA Network due to coverage of the Olympics. Additionally, Fightful Select reports that week’s episode will be taped six days in advance. According to the site, NXT will have a double taping next week with the regular Tuesday show, and tape the following week’s episode on Wednesday, July 21st at the Capitol Wrestling Center (WWE Performance Center).

**Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics is reporting that the August 3rd episode of NXT will also air on Syfy.

**We did not receive a viewership figure for NXT in Canada for Tuesday, although we were told it did not finish among the top ten sports broadcasts.

**The internet pre-sale began on Wednesday for the September 22nd edition of AEW Dynamite at Arthur Ashe Stadium. It’s a very important event for AEW running New York for the first time and in such an ambitious setting in a unique venue. The public on-sale begins this Friday and I’m fairly bullish on the idea this is going to be a hot ticket. Over the course of AEW’s history, its fanbase has a large appetite for shows that have significance attached to them and this is one of them. It’s an incredible setting for pro wrestling and a big selling feature for AEW is its weekly television where the audience is part of the show and you want to be part of it. Not even rank-and-file Dynamite is going to have this buzz attached to it but the big ones certainly do and September is a giant month for the company with the sold-out All Out in Illinois, and then running three big arenas with the Prudential Center on September 15th, Arthur Ashe Stadium in September 22nd, and the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester on September 29th.

**The family of Paul Orndorff has launched a GoFundMe campaign to assist with expenses. Thus far, they have raised over $12,000 with the goal set at $18,000. Orndorff passed away earlier this week at the age of 71 with the news revealed on Monday by his son Travis.

**Roman Reigns and Stephanie McMahon-Levesque spoke with Forbes about WWE’s return in front of fans beginning this Friday. The article mentions over 51,000 attending WrestleMania (which is what WWE publicly announced), although records from the Tampa Sports Authority confirmed the paid attendance was 40,806 with 36,447 actually attending. In the article, Reigns spoke about his top position and role on the show:

Yeah, you say you like this person or think this person should be in my position or this person deserves it or they’ve been through a greater journey or more adversity, but when it comes down to it, who makes the crowd louder? I’ve always, always been that guy. There’s only a handful of guys in the history of our company and the history of our business that can say they have it—that factor that registers with the people, that makes the people stand up and make noise, and I’m in that group.

**Greg Oliver at SLAM has a story on the passing of former referee Roger Francoeur, who passed away on Sunday. He was born in Quebec but moved to Hamilton with his family at a young age. He trained at Jack Wentworth’s gym and began wrestling in Ontario and select parts of the U.S. including Detroit. Later, Francoeur became a referee for the Tunneys. It was noted in the SLAM story, that he was a referee on The Big Event card on August 28, 1986, at Exhibition Stadium, which drew 64,000 people (over 61,000 paid) for Hulk Hogan vs. Paul Orndorff, which was heavily discussed over the past few days due to Orndorff’s passing. Francoeur was 80 years old.

**NJPW’s Summer Struggle tour is off for a few days and resumes this Saturday’s card at Korakuen Hall. The show will feature El Phantasmo vs. Rocky Romero and Taiji Ishimori vs. Ryusuke Taguchi in the top two matches, which will stream on New Japan World at 5:30 a.m. ET.

**Wednesday’s Summer Struggle card in Akita drew 751 fans with the following results:
*Shingo Takagi, Tetsuya Naito, SANADA & BUSHI over Taichi, Zack Sabre Jr., Yoshinobu Kanemaru & DOUKI
*Jeff Cobb & Great O-Khan over Kazuchika Okada & YOH
*Hiroshi Tanahashi, Master Wato, Rocky Romero & Ryusuke Taguchi over KENTA, El Phantasmo, Taiji Ishimori & Gedo
*EVIL, Yujiro & Dick Togo over Tomohiro Ishii, SHO & Yuya Uemura
*El Desperado over Yota Tsuji

**Jake Lee will make his first Triple Crown defense against Shotaro Ashino on the All Japan card on July 22nd at Korakeun Hall.

**Naomichi Marufuji will make his next defense of the GHC Heavyweight Championship against Kazushi Sakuraba. The match is scheduled for Hiroshima on Sunday, August 1st, and comes after Sakuraba issued the challenge following Marufuji’s victory against Takashi Sugiura this past weekend. The same card in Hiroshima will feature Daisuke Harada & Hajime Ohara defending the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Championship against Seiki Yoshioka & Yuya Susumu.

**Jeff Jarrett turns 54 years old today and Bully Ray (Mark LoMonaco) turns 50.

MMA NEWS

**UFC 264 was a huge event for the promotion with John Ourand of Sports Business Journal reporting that the event drew just shy of 1.8 million buys with approximately 1.3 million domestic purchases through ESPN+. The figure would top the previous fight between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor at UFC 257 in January that Ourand reported as doing 1.6 million worldwide buys and 1.2 million domestic. The UFC record remains 2.4 million buys that McGregor drew with Khabib Nurmagomedov in October 2018  but UFC 229 had a great advantage due to the size of the pay-per-view audience to draw from whereas ESPN+ has 13.8 million subscribers as of May.

These numbers would put McGregor and Poirier as the most successful feud in UFC based on total buys. Of course, if Nurmagomedov had opted to fight McGregor one more time they would have that designation.

It will be a great test for Poirier to see what percentage of these buys carry over for his expected fight with Charles Oliveira. Poirier has established him as a major star in the sport, but he’s drawn with McGregor and now is tasked with being the dominant side of the fight promotion with Oliveira.

These numbers also drive home the desire by the UFC to keep the door open for another fight between Poirier and McGregor, even if it’s an egregious title shot that McGregor could obtain if Poirier beats Oliveira. The fact is, even if there is fatigue among the minority of fans, history shows that the fourth fight would likely be just as big. Even if it did 75 percent of what UFC 264 drew, you’re talking about a number that is multiple times what Poirier and Oliveira are likely to generate and still be one of the top drawing cards in company history. Personally, I would take McGregor away from Poirier because too many losses are going to diminish him as an elite fighter and there is no evidence, yet, that McGregor can’t compete with and beat other top lightweights. The third fight with Nate Diaz is staring them in the face and would be both financially lucrative and hardly a lock for either fighter to win.

**John Ourand added that the UFC 264 prelims on ESPN performed well. The early prelims from 6-8 p.m. ET averaged 830,000 viewers with Jennifer Maia vs. Jessica Eye in the featured bout on that portion of the card. The 8-10 p.m. broadcast averaged 1,615,000 viewers with Max Griffin vs. Carlos Condit in the feature spot. The prelim figure is a massive one for the prelims and was higher than the UFC 257 prelims in January that did 1,433,000 viewers prior to the previous fight between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor.

**Earlier this week, it was reported former fighter Travis Fulton was found dead in his jail cell and it’s believed he hung himself. Fulton was 44 years old and was being held at the Linn County Correctional Center in Iowa as his case proceeded. The Cedar Rapids Gazette reports that the day prior Fulton had filed a notice that he intended to plead guilty to two of the four charges he faced – one for sexual exploitation of a child and one count of possession of child pornography. MMA Fighting added that he was also facing charges in a domestic abuse case where he was accused of punching a woman and sending her to the hospital. Fulton literally had hundreds of fights on his record between MMA, Boxing, and a bare-knuckle fight in 2019. He started fighting in MMA in 1996 with his last record fight from April 2019 amassing a record of 255-54-10 with 1 no contest. That total is staggering alone and on top of it, he had 75 pro boxing fights between 1999 and 2019. Fulton fought twice for the UFC in the SEG days where he was submitted by Pete Williams at UFC 20 in May 1999 and beat David Dodd by decision at UFC 21 in July that same year.

**The UFC Fight Night event this Saturday has two intriguing stories attached to the top fights. In the main event, rising lightweight star Islam Makhachev (19-1) goes after his seventh consecutive victory against lesser-known Thiago Moises (15-4). Makhachev has been touted as a potential future champion in the division but has not been able to have that signature win or fighter in the top end of the division with the hope that a win against Moises would earn him a top name. His resume is actually very impressive as he’s earned wins against tough opponents that just don’t have big names in Chris Wade, Nik Lentz, Arman Tsarukyan, and Davi Ramos among the list. Moises is 26-years old and came off Dana White’s Contender Series in 2018 with a 4-2 mark inside the promotion. In his last three fights, he’s submitted Michael Johnson and earned decisions against Bobby Green and Alexander Hernandez, so it’s a huge opportunity for Moises if he were to be able to pull off an upset as he’s a massive underdog on the sportsbooks.

The other notable story is the return of former bantamweight champion Miesha Tate (18-7), who turns 35 next month and has not competed since November 2016. Tate had a roller coaster year in the sport prior to her retirement announcement. She came back in a fight she was losing to submit Holly Holm and win the championship in March that year and lost the belt in her first defense to current champion Amanda Nunes at UFC 200 in July. Tate was getting destroyed by Nunes’ striking and it was a brutal beating prior to Nunes submitting Tate to win the title. Tate came back several months later and lost by unanimous decision to Raquel Pennington and immediately announced her retirement inside the Octagon that night. Since retiring, she worked for ONE Championship and has had two children during her time away.

Tate has stated her goal is to win a championship and with the lack of challengers, Tate could be staring at a title opportunity if she beats Marion Reneau (9-7-1) this Saturday, which isn’t a given as Reneau is a very capable opponent, however, she has lost her last four fights with decision losses to Cat Zingano, Yana Kunitskaya, Raquel Pennington, and Macy Chiasson going back to July 2018. You never know how a fighter is going to perform after so many years off but Tate is clearly the biggest star on Saturday’s card that airs on ESPN and ESPN+.

ON THIS DATE

It was a very historic event on this date in 1984 with the World Wrestling Federation officially taking over the WTBS time slots as host Freddie Miller introduced Vince McMahon on what has since been dubbed “Black Saturday”.

The sale of Georgia Championship Wrestling was engineered by Jack & Jerry Brisco, who each controlled 19.5 percent of the stock. They approached Vince McMahon Jr. with the offer to sell for $750,000 with minority stockholders Jerry Oates and Paul Jones agreeing with the Briscoes to sell. Ole Anderson was blindsided by the sale and attempted to fight it in court, which was ultimately a failure and WWF finally went on WTBS on this date in 1984 with the Saturday and Sunday slots.

The wrestling that the WWF presented was not what the GCW fan was accustomed and the shows became heavily reliant on taped footage from the different arena shows, instead of being shot in the WTBS studios. In time, WTBS created alternatives for its fan base by providing Ole Anderson with an hour of programming on Saturday mornings with Championship Wrestling from Georgia and adding Bill Watts’ Mid-South Wrestling on Sunday afternoons.

The ratings for the WWF product were not strong and the marriage was short-lived, although ended in beneficial terms for McMahon. Jim Barnett helped broker a sale of the time slots by McMahon to Jim Crockett Jr. for $1 million. It was welcome revenue for the WWF that was responsible for massive payments for all the television slots they were buying across the country during the expansion as well as the costs associated with the first WrestleMania event in March 1985.

While it was a blow to lose the national window of WTBS, WrestleMania 1 ended up successful on closed-circuit across the country and the company found enormous success through its working relationship that MTV that drew terrific television numbers. After WrestleMania, they launched Saturday Night’s Main Event on NBC in May 1985 and was another major outlet for the company that entrenched itself on a national level in the following years, although faced significant competition from Jim Crockett Promotions in many markets especially from 1985-88.

Hulk Hogan explains ‘The Facts of Life’ about Earthquake, Dino Bravo & Jimmy Hart, God’s creation of Hulkamania, and becoming a ‘Born Again Hulkamaniac’:

And in 2003, the WWE produced this abysmal angle:

*****
upNXT 7/13/21: The Tuesday Knight vs. Killer Kross
Braden Herrington and Davie Portman review the July 13th 2021 episode of WWE NXT featuring Karrion Kross vs Johnny Gargano for the NXT Championship with Samoa Joe as the Special Guest Referee!
*****
REWIND-A-WAI #90: WWF Royal Rumble 1992
John Pollock & Wai Ting review WWF Royal Rumble 1992 as Ric Flair lasts over 60 minutes to win the 30-man Royal Rumble for the vacant WWF World Heavyweight Championship.
*****
REWIND-A-RAW: ThunderDome Era Ends, Paul Orndorff passes
John Pollock & Wai Ting review WWE Raw with the final broadcast from the ThunderDome and chat about the passing of Paul Orndorff, the fallout to UFC 264 with Conor McGregor, and more
*****
The N.W.A. Podcast: “A.W.A. – Ashanti Wrestling Advocates”
On this month’s N.W.A. Podcast, Nate Milton & “The Professor” Kris Ealy are joined by veteran performer/producer/promoter Prince Nana. They respond to listener feedback from last month’s POST debut before Andrew Thompson joins for “Nubian News”!
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UFC 264 POST SHOW: Dustin Poirier vs. Conor McGregor 3
John Pollock is joined by Phil Chertok for a review of UFC 264 featuring Dustin Poirier vs. Conor McGregor in the main event.
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REWIND-A-SMACKDOWN: Bayley injury, Jimmy Uso, Shotzi & Nox
Wai Ting & Kate from Montreal review the final WWE SmackDown from the ThunderDome as Bayley addresses her injury, Jimmy Uso appears, and Shotzi & Nox make their debut. Plus, today’s top stories and your calls.
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UFC 264 PREVIEW SHOW
John Pollock is joined by Phil Chertok and Eric Marcotte to preview UFC 264 featuring Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor 3.
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THE BRITISH WRESTLING EXPERIENCE
Martin Bushby & Benno are once again joined by Andy Ogden of Graps & Claps to rundown the last month in European wrestling including the latest with NXT UK, Doudrop on Raw, RevPro, Progress and more.
*****

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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.