POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: CM Punk notes, reporter removed at NXT

Tony Schiavone shares notes on CM Punk's debut, Ice Cream bars, reporter removed from NXT taping & CM Punk on Dynamite tonight.

Photo Courtesy: All Elite Wrestling

POST IT NOTES

**Wai Ting and I will be live tonight at 10:15 p.m. ET for Rewind-A-Dynamite to chat about CM Punk’s first appearance on Dynamite and a review of the show. We’ll also go over all the latest news items and take your feedback. The show is available live for Double Double, Iced Capp & Espresso members of the POST Wrestling Café.

**The latest Rewind-A-Wai is out featuring Wai Ting and guest co-host Jon Pine reviewing GCW’s Run Rickey Run show from February 2020. The card is headlined by Rickey Shane Page facing Nick Gage and features a great rundown of the GCW product and lots of notes from Pine, who is an avid follower of their product. This was a very good show.

**John Siino has this week’s edition of Shot in the Dark covering AEW Dark & Elevation, NXT UK, 205 Live, NJPW Strong, Ring of Honor, and WWE Main Event in 15 minutes.

**Braden Herrington & Davie Portman have a review of Tuesday’s episode of NXT on the latest upNXT and also discuss upNXT Summer and more.

POST SCHEDULE

Tonight: Rewind-A-Dynamite with John & Wai (10:15 p.m. ET)
Thursday: Bushby & Thompson’s Wrestling Adventure (NXT TakeOver: New Orleans)
Thursday: MCU L8R with Wai Ting, WH Park & guest JP Houlihan (Patreon)
Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown & Rampage with Wai Ting & Kate from MTL (11:15 p.m. ET for all Patrons)
Sunday: POST Puroresu with WH Park & Andrew Thompson

WRESTLING NEWS

**AEW Dynamite takes place from the UWM Panther Arena tonight featuring the first appearance by CM Punk on Dynamite. WrestleTix noted that over 4,600 tickets were out as of Tuesday night. Below are the announced matches and segments:
*CM Punk appears on Dynamite for the first time
*Chris Jericho addresses his future
*Eliminator Tournament: The Varsity Blonds vs. Penta El Zero M & Rey Fenix
*Orange Cassidy vs. Matt Hardy
*Jon Moxley, Eddie Kingston & Jon Moxley vs. The Wingmen
*Malakai Black vs. Brock Anderson
*Red Velvet vs. Jamie Hayter
*QT Marshall, Aaron Solo & Nick Comoroto vs. The Gunn Club

The big story will be what size of audience Dynamite will draw with Punk’s first appearance on Dynamite. The Rampage figures were through the roof with Punk being the talk of the industry since Friday night. With the clips of his return circulating and more people being aware of his return to wrestling, tonight’s number should be huge. It will be interesting to see where he is placed on the show as it’s the biggest attraction tonight and could be saved for later. The most-watched episodes of Dynamite that tonight’s show could challenge are:
*Oct. 2, 2019 – 1,409,000 viewers (0.68 in 18-49 demo) – the premiere episode
*April 14, 2021 – 1,219,000 (0.44) – first week unopposed after NXT moves to Tuesdays and featured Mike Tyson on Dynamite as the special enforcer
*July 21, 2021 – 1,148,000 (0.44) – Fyter Fest Night 2 featuring Jon Moxley vs. Lance Archer in a Texas Deathmatch
*July 28, 2021 – 1,108,000 (0.45) – Fight for the Fallen featuring Chris Jericho vs. Nick Gage and The Elite vs. Dark Order & Hangman Page in a 5-on-5 Elimination Match
*April 21, 2021 – 1,104,000 (0.37) – Second week unopposed and featuring Darby Allin vs. Jungle Boy in the main event

**Tony Schiavone spoke about the debut of CM Punk at Rampage this past Friday on his What Happened When podcast. Of note from the podcast:
*On the format the day prior, CM Punk was listed as “special guest” and his name was not mentioned. Later that night, Tony Khan texted Schiavone and was thinking about having Schiavone introduce him. He said he was honored but said he would keep it minimal. Schiavone was listed on the format Friday to “introduce special guest”.
*CM Punk arrived and put in a room marked “special guest” and came with Lou D’Angeli and someone else that Schiavone didn’t reveal among the entourage
*It was decided that it was better for Punk to come out the way he did without an introduction. Punk said he wants Schiavone to interview him on Dynamite and that’s what is expected to happen tonight.
*Schiavone said they didn’t know what Punk would say beyond setting up the match with Darby Allin
*Britt Baker was “beside herself” that he mentioned her in the promo
*Schiavone had dinner after the show with Tony Khan and his girlfriend, Punk and his entourage, Baker, Rebel, Jeff Jones, Orange Cassidy, and some others. Schiavone ended up staying up all night to catch an early flight
*Schiavone called it a “top five” moment he has witnessed

**During Monday’s NXT taping at the Capitol Wrestling Center, a reporter for Bodyslam.net was removed from the taping for reporting on the results. This is the second example of this occurring after a correspondent with the Wrestling Observer site was removed in July. Trent Osborne issued several statements on Twitter to provide context regarding the policies, or lack thereof, for attending the tapings. This includes the note that no NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) is signed by those attending the tapings and that he was told that posting results violated the message they run at the start of each show notifying fans that “no recording or picture taking” is allowed.

Initially, I didn’t want to come forward with my opinions on the situation to avoid the (fake) outrage on social media, but I’ve seen a few things that don’t sit right with me, so I felt the need to make this thread.

A few points:

1. I’m a journalist. It’s my job to report on the news and goings-on in the world of pro wrestling. That includes spoilers from a pre-taped show. I had access to in-demand information that no one else did, so I did my job and reported it. Simple as that.

2. I’m not trying to overthrow the hierarchy of WWE. If you read my report, there’s not a single negative thing about the show included. I did, however, make sure to note the great things that happened within the report. My report was the opposite of a smear campaign on NXT.

3. The spoilers we posted are not affecting NXT’s viewership in the slightest. Nobody is reading my report so they don’t have to watch NXT. If they’re reading my report they either never intended on watching in the first place, or they don’t care if the show is spoiled for them.

4. Nobody that goes to NXT signs an NDA. Nothing even resembling an NDA for that matter. We agree to terms on a Covid-liability form and that is the beginning and end of any “signature” we put down. (cont.)

I didn’t take a single picture or video last night (despite fans taking full videos of entrances but I digress) but I was told that my uploading of spoilers fell under the recording part of the “no recording or picture taking” message they play at the beginning of the show.

5. (Not to beat a dead horse but) If you don’t want to see spoilers then don’t click on my article. It really is that simple. It’s not like myself (or anyone else for that matter) was just tweeting spoilers out into the wind.

6. The article was viewed well over 10,000 times last night, so I don’t really understand the “people don’t want to see spoilers” slant.

7. Most importantly, to the people who got on this app and said that I should’ve gotten beat up, and especially to the guy that said I was one of the “people who caused the suicide death of Hana Kimura”, get help. You need it.

I am going to continue to do my job and try to be as big of an asset to @BodyslamNet that I can.

On the surface, it appears a case where WWE wants to both sell tickets and have actual fans in attendance for tapings while also controlling results getting spread. If they are not forcing people to sign NDAs, then it’s fair game that the contents of the tapings are reported, plain and simple. If it’s such a detriment to the show, don’t allow fans and fill the seats with the extras from the Performance Center. As we saw throughout the pandemic, viewership didn’t benefit from the lack of spoilers, although Joe Koff said on the ROH Strong Podcast he prefers the tapings without spoilers getting out.

It’s one thing if WWE makes it clear upfront that you can’t post results or had a signed document agreeing to those terms. Instead, it’s a grey area where they are picking and choosing where and when to enforce this policy and lump it into the generic message at the beginning of the show, that covers photos and video being taken and doesn’t cover tweets and postings.

While it’s been several years since SmackDown was a taped show, there were many instances when something big happened on the show and WWE would spoil it themselves to generate interest for the episode. In 1999, there was even a WWF.com feature where “Lucas” would post a video going through the SmackDown results, which was also when SmackDown was doing massive numbers after its launch on UPN.

Lucha Underground went to the extent of having its audience members sign NDAs and even threatened legal action when sites were reporting results prior to the episodes airing. Beyond that, I’m not aware of other companies using NDAs for their fans.

The timing of this coincides with AEW Rampage, which is going to be taped most weeks (including tonight) meaning results will be readily available online for roughly 48 hours before the show airs. That’s the trade-off where the alternative would be waiting for fans to leave the building and shooting Rampage with the talent as extras and the atmosphere would be terrible inside of a large arena.

Of all weeks, this is one where the lesson should have been learned about the fallacy of being paranoid over information getting out. Tony Khan could have been obsessed with surprising everyone with CM Punk, denied the reports, and harmed his credibility in the process. Instead, they leaned in and sold over 14,000 tickets, every viewer knew they were getting CM Punk and their interest was heightened not deflated – the strategy called for it to be a poorly kept secret.

There would be others that would have attempted to keep the Punk news under lock and key and the pop would be gigantic but totally unexpected and wouldn’t have had any anticipation behind it and that’s the business they are in – promoting and not surprising.

Punk is an extreme example but at its core, the contents of a show getting out should encourage interest, not detract from it. You won’t always have a CM Punk returning or Mick Foley winning the WWF Championship, but your audience isn’t plummeting when results of a rank-and-file show get out either.

**It was first reported by Sean Ross Sapp at Fightful that the extension Adam Cole signed with WWE does not expire until this Friday. Cole did not appear on NXT on Tuesday night nor would he be contractually allowed to appear in Milwaukee tonight for AEW.

**After AEW SVP Chris Harrington tweeted out a video of the unmarked minute-by-minute numbers for Rampage last Friday, Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics has used a web app to decipher the minute-by-minute numbers of the August 20th program. From Thurston’s analysis, several minutes during CM Punk’s promo topped 1.4 million viewers and over 900,000 in 18-49 at certain points of the promo. Thurston noted that these are estimates and not official data from Nielsen.

**Tony Khan was a guest on Le Batard and Friends and spoke about CM Punk joining the company and his immediate impact: (Transcription courtesy Robert Defelice of Fightful):

I believe this was one of the best deals I’ve ever done in my life. I don’t think it was really all about money. You know, if you listen to what he and I had said, on the press conference we did, we did a scrum that was like 50 minutes and he gave so much of his time, he was so generous with really everybody that night, in terms of, obviously, wanting to spend time with the fans, but then creating this great moment by buying thousands and thousands of ice cream bars, so that everybody at this United Center was able to go out and get their free ice cream bar. That was pretty amazing.

**Chicago Eater has a story on CM Punk collaborating with Pretty Cool Ice Cream to supply ice cream bars for every fan in attendance last Friday at Rampage. Dana Salls Cree is the owner of Pretty Cool Ice Cream and met Punk two years ago and the idea was broached by Punk when he asked how many bars she could make for an event. She noted that the company has made 500 extra bars that will be available this weekend and will deliver 4,000 more to the NOW Arena for the September 3rd edition of Rampage, which the article says Punk will appear on. Salls Cree ended by noting Punk hand wrote a cheque from his account for the mass order of bars.

**CM Punk and Malakai Black trained at Roufusport on Wednesday prior to tonight’s episode in Milwaukee. There was a photo posted of Punk and Black along with Zelina Vega (Thea Trinidad) and Duke Roufus. Roufus spoke to ESPN’s Marc Raimondi and said he would be attending Dynamite tonight to support Punk along with Bellator bantamweight champion Sergio Pettis

**Here is the card for Thursday’s Summer Struggle card at Korakuen Hall and streaming at 5:30 a.m. ET on New Japan World. It is New Japan’s third of four consecutive nights at the venue with the tour wrapping up on Friday:
*Kazuchika Okada & Satoshi Kojima vs. Jeff Cobb & Great O-Khan
*El Phantasmo, Taiji Ishimori & Jado vs. El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Minoru Suzuki
*Zack Sabre Jr., Taichi & DOUKI vs. Hirooki Goto, YOSHI-HASHI & Tiger Mask
*Robbie Eagles & Tomoaki Honma vs. Master Wato & Hiroyoshi Tenzan
*Ryohei Oiwa vs. Kosei Fujita

**C*4 Wrestling out of Ottawa, Ontario has booked a match between Daniel Garcia and “Speedball” Mike Bailey for the C*4 Championship at its ‘Fighting Back’ event on Saturday, September 18th at St. Anthony’s Hall. Tickets for the event are on sale Thursday at 2 p.m. ET.

**New Japan Pro Wrestling has announced that Will Ospreay, Minoru Suzuki, and Lance Archer will be part of the New Japan Showdown events on October 16th and 17th at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia.

**Paul Heyman appeared on Out of Character with Ryan Satin discussing the roles Freddie Blassie, The Grand Wizard, and Lou Albano played during his early days in the industry as a photographer. Heyman also spoke about his current role with Roman Reigns and believing he is the best to ever perform this role.

**An incredibly heartfelt video involving John Cena meeting a child, whose mother fought cancer.

**Most people reading this have likely already seen it, but AEW released an incredible behind-the-scenes video of Friday’s opening to Rampage with director Tim Walbert mic’d from the truck. Walbert was a director in WWE from 2000-2007 and joined AEW in October 2019. He also spent ten years directing games for the Baltimore Orioles.

ON THIS DATE

One of the great segments in Nitro history in when Arn Anderson announced his retirement in 1997 and gave “his spot” to Curt Hennig. This was followed by one of the show’s worst when they did a parody of the speech the following week.

WWE presented one of its best top-to-bottom shows with SummerSlam in 2002. The event featured the crowning of Brock Lesnar as the new Undisputed Champion beating The Rock after Lesnar was built throughout the summer. The card also saw Shawn Michaels return to the ring for his Street Fight against Triple H and launched the second half of Michaels’ career that would go for 7 ½ years. It was also Rey Mysterio’s first pay-per-view match with the company as he and Kurt Angle had a phenomenal opener.

Ric Flair takes on “Bob Holley” in 1990:

Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa win the AJPW All-Asia tag titles from Yoshihiro Takayama & Takao Omori in Hiroshima:

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About John Pollock 3197 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.