POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: SmackDown & Rampage viewers

SmackDown & AEW Rampage viewership, Raw preview, Evan Husney interview, Becky Lynch on original return plans, G1 thoughts, Kanyon & more.

Photo Courtesy: WWE

POST IT NOTES

**Rewind-A-Raw is LIVE tonight at 11:15 p.m. ET as Wai Ting returns for our review of WWE Raw from Raleigh. Plus, we’ll chat about all the major news from the day and take your feedback from the POST Wrestling Forum. The show will be live for Double Double, Iced Capp & Espresso members of the POST Wrestling Café.

**On Tuesday, Rewind-A-Wai will cover the WCW Monday Nitro relaunch from April 10, 2000, with the return of Eric Bischoff and Vince Russo. You can post feedback for the show on the POST Wrestling Forum.

**We have a section of the site dedicated to our G1 Climax coverage with all the bonus podcasts and daily reports as well as contest standings.

**Mark Buckeldee has a review of Sunday’s Rev Pro High Stakes card that featured Will Ospreay vs. Ricky Knight Jr., and Aussie Open against Michael Oku & Connor Mills as the two big matches.

**We are going to have many contributors to the site this weekend with coverage of the CMLL Anniversary card, Stardom’s 5* Grand Prix Final, UFC 266, the G1 Climax shows, GCW’s Emo Fight and Getlostalot, and WWE Extreme Rules.

**Due to AEW Rampage being two hours this week, Rewind-A-SmackDown will be airing live at 12:15 a.m. ET this Friday night with Wai & I. Due to the late start and more to review, we will be foregoing calls on Friday’s show and do our weekly call-in segment after Extreme Rules on Sunday. There will be live access for all Patrons for the Extreme Rules POST Show.

POST SCHEDULE

Tonight: Rewind-A-Raw with John Pollock & Wai Ting (11:15 p.m. ET)
Tuesday: upNXT with Braden Herrington & Davie Portman
Tuesday: Rewind-A-Wai #95 – WCW Nitro Relaunch 4/10/2000 (Patreon)
Wednesday: Shot in the Dark with John Siino
Wednesday: Rewind-A-Dynamite with John & Wai (10:15 p.m. ET)
Thursday: G1 Climax – Day 3 Podcast (Patreon)
Thursday: Bushby & Thompson’s Wrestling Adventure (PWG Black Cole Sun, Dec. 2014)
Thursday: MCU L8R with Wai Ting & WH Park – What If? Episode 7 (Patreon)
Friday: G1 Climax – Day 4 Podcast (Patreon)
Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown with John & Wai (Special start time: 12:15 a.m. ET for all Patrons)
Saturday: UFC 266 POST Show with Phil Chertok & Eric Marcotte (LIVE on POST YouTube)
Sunday: G1 Climax – Day 5 Podcast (Patreon)
Sunday: WWE Extreme Rules POST Show (LIVE for Double Double+)

WRESTLING NEWS

**AEW Rampage finished second on cable Friday night with 642,000 viewers and 367,000 (0.28) in the 18-49 demographic, per Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics and Showbuzz Daily. It was Rampage’s lowest viewership of the six episodes with a 4 percent drop from last week. However, the 18-49 number was up by 6 percent and only fell behind the college football game between UCF and Louisville. The taped episode from the Prudential Center was hurt with males 12-34 falling by 31.5 percent and the 50+ audience dropped by 19 percent. The show did see a big increase among females 18-49 that grew 27 percent from last week and females 12-34 were up by 18 percent. Over the last four episodes, they have averaged 683,000 viewers and 386,000 in 18-49 since August 27th (the week after “The First Dance”, which would skew the numbers).

**Friday Night SmackDown finished with 2,243,000 viewers and 756,000 (0.58) in 18-49. They were second for the night among network programs behind Big Brother on CBS, although SmackDown was first among adults 18-34. (Credit: Brandon Thurston and Showbuzz Daily)

**In Canada, SmackDown fell to 126,000 viewers and 46,200 in the 25-54 demographic on Sportsnet 360. It was a sizable decrease from the previous week’s loaded show at Madison Square Garden that did 202,600 and 87,700. This past Friday’s episode went against the Toronto Blue Jays vs. Minnesota Twins game, which was the most-watched sports broadcast of the night averaging 912,000 viewers. The CFL game between Calgary and Hamilton went against SmackDown throughout the show while the Toronto Argonauts vs. Saskatchewan game began at 9:30 p.m. ET.

**WWE Raw takes place from the PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina tonight going against the Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions. The company announced Friday that The Bloodline will face the New Day in a match that could have been built up for several weeks but was set up quickly on Friday’s episode of SmackDown to rush the match to combat the NFL and comes after two weeks of Dynamite edging Raw in the 18-49 demographic. Tonight’s NFL game should be a much lower figure to contend with from last week’s game that was simulcast on ABC. Raw finished with 1,670,000 viewers and 556,000 (0.43) in 18-49, however, the viewership grew throughout the show and means that the Lashley vs. Orton match and Big E. cash-in tease did mean something.

Here is the list of advertised matches and segments for Raw tonight:
*Roman Reigns & The Usos vs. Big E., Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods
*Big E.’s Championship Celebration
*WWE Women’s Tag Championship: Natalya & Tamina (champions) vs. Rhea Ripley & Nikki A.S.H.
*Sheamus vs. Jeff Hardy
*Nia Jax vs. Shayna Baszler
*Charlotte Flair on Alexa’s Playground

**Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal will not be in Raleigh tonight as they are on the U.K. tour with the SmackDown roster. The tour stops at the O2 Arena today in London and continues with a show in Cardiff, Wales on Tuesday and wraps up Wednesday in Glasgow, Scotland.

**Dark Side of the Ring co-producer Evan Husney appeared on Jim Cornette’s podcast to discuss last week’s episode on the Plane Ride from Hell. Husney acknowledged that there have been several past WWE flights with issues and people’s memories could be conflating events. Regarding Vince McMahon being on the May 2002 flight that the episode covered, Husney acknowledged those that have disputed he was on the flight but said that Heidi Doyle, Tommy Dreamer, Justin Credible, Rob Van Dam, Mike Chioda, and Terri Runnels all made references to McMahon being on the flight when they conducted those interviews. The Doyle one is notable since it wouldn’t be an instance of her conflating flights with another one McMahon was on. Jonathan Coachman was adamant over the weekend that McMahon was not on the flight while Dave Meltzer said he heard from multiple people on the flight over the past few days with several believing he was on the flight and several saying he was not. I did speak with one person on the flight, who said that Vince was on it but immediately brought up the story of Vince and Kurt Angle wrestling on the flight, which was a separate flight as Angle was wrestling on the SmackDown house shows in the U.S. that weekend in May 2002.

**MVP stated he will be getting knee surgery “soon”. WWE put out an update that the performer will be “out indefinitely” after he took an RKO from Randy Orton last Monday on Raw.

**SmackDown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch spoke with Alex McCarthy of talkSPORT regarding her return this year. Lynch stated she was ready to return at WrestleMania in April and it was discussed that she would face Bayley, who didn’t have a match on either night. After that didn’t happen, the plan was to return in October but she was contacted the week of SummerSlam to return as a surprise after Sasha Banks was unavailable to face Bianca Belair.

**Below is the line-up of matches for AEW Dark: Elevation streaming at 7 p.m. ET and taped last Wednesday at the Prudential Center:
*Joey Janela vs. Sonny Kiss
*Private Party vs. Teddy Goodz & Jorge Santi
*Dustin Rhodes vs. QT Marshall
*Orange Cassidy vs. Mike Verna
*Hikaru Shida vs. Masha Slamovich
*Santana & Ortiz vs. JT Dunn & Avery Good
*Evil Uno & Colt Cabana vs. Alan “5” Angels & Preston “10” Vance
*Thunder Rosa vs. Kaia McKenna
*The Gunn Club vs. Anthony Bennett, Ray Jaz & LSG (from Ring of Honor)

**The AEW and Owen Hart Foundation partnership has been met with heaps of praise and is a big story. It not only signals the ability to market Owen Hart in a lot of unique ways including the AEW video game and action figures, which are going to be very popular given the demand but it also signals the AEW’s ability to increase its role as the caretakers of history. For years, Martha Hart was maligned for not working with WWE and keeping Owen Hart out of WWE’s history, which was so unfair, and anyone that has studied the case, the ugly family dynamics of the lawsuit and toll it took should have no reservations regarding Martha’s refusal to work with WWE. It’s not like Owen’s matches don’t exist on the WWE Network as they are all there for people to view. It was evident that Martha didn’t have any issue with professional wrestling celebrating Owen given her endorsement of the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Hall of Fame to induct him in 2018 and said as much on Talk is Jericho last year that she would be open to New Japan honoring Owen if that was something they chose to do. The annual ‘Owen Hart Cup’ is a fantastic idea and is going to be a huge honor for the talent involved, most of whom would have grown up as fans of Owen, who is legitimately one of the most revered figures.

**New Japan Pro Wrestling has a break until Thursday for the G1 Climax tournament. They resume with back-to-back days at Ota Ward Gymnasium with Stardom running the same building on Saturday for the finals of the 5* Grand Prix. After the first two nights, the G1 produced two of the best matches of 2021 with its main events.

Shingo Takagi and Tomohiro Ishii had a classic with some of the greatest selling you’re going to see from Ishii. There was a scary moment where his shoulder gave out and he legitimately lost control of Takagi during a superplex spot off the turnbuckle, which is a frightening moment for that to happen. Ishii fired himself and went back to hit the superplex and did so successfully. It was as hard-hitting as you would imagine that was accentuated by Ishii staggering and collapsing to sell the effects. For me, this was easily a top-five match of 2021.

The second night featured the latest installment of Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kazuchika Okada and their first since July 2019. They played off history as they have fought to three draws in the G1 previously with one conclusive win for Okada in 2019. It came down to the buzzer as Okada hit the Rainmaker and won with under 25 seconds remaining in the match. Both are so fluid with each other and given their history, it was so gripping even for the opening ten minutes that was a feeling-out process but didn’t drag. On both nights, the commentary of Kevin Kelly and Chris Charlton was next level adding key story points based on their observations, understanding the little nuances and strategies in play that combine for a recipe for the ‘big fight feel’ that elevated both matches that much more.

**Davey Richards will face Tom Lawlor in the opening round of MLW’s Opera Cup tournament at Fightland on October 2nd in Philadelphia. The first and second rounds of the tournament will take place that night with the show being taped and a one-hour special airing on VICE TV later that week. The rest of the Opera Cup participants include Calvin Tankman, Bobby Fish, TJP, Lee Moriarty, Matt Cross, and Alex Shelley.

**The WWE stock closed at $54.77 on Monday.

**Dark Side of the Ring has put out a trailer for this week’s episode covering the late Chris Kulcsarits a.k.a. Chris Kanyon. They are listing Diamond Dallas Page, Jim Mitchell (one of the very first people he met in the industry after moving to North Carolina), Chris Jericho, The Young Bucks, Brian Cage, and Luke Hawx among those interviewed for the piece. Shane Helms, who was very close friends with Kanyon, stated he would not be appearing on it.

Independent wrestler Channing Decker was involved in performing wrestling scenes as Kanyon and Mortis.

**Eddie Kingston speaks before this week’s tag match at Arthur Ashe Stadium, which will air on Rampage this Friday:

**Being the Elite Ep. 274: “How’s it Taste”

ON THIS DATE

After working together on several house shows, The Hardys and The Dudley Boyz had their first television match together on Raw in 1999:

Chris Jericho defends the Intercontinental Championship against Shawn Michaels on Raw in 2004:

G1 CLIMAX 31 PODCASTS

Day 2 – Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kazuchika Okada
Day 1 – Shingo Takagi vs. Tomohiro Ishii

*****
REWIND-A-SMACKDOWN: “Rebecca Knox-ville”, AEW Rampage, Dark Side of the Ring
John Pollock & guest co-host Kate from Montreal discuss Friday Night SmackDown, AEW Rampage, and their thoughts on the Plane Ride from Hell episode of Dark Side of the Ring.
*****
MCU L8R: What If…? Ep. 6 “Killmonger Rescued Tony Stark?”
WH Park is joined by PWTcast’s Scrump & Stank to review What If…? Episode 6: “What If… Killmonger Rescued Tony Stark?” Scrump & Stank also discuss their thoughts on Shang-Chi and the recently released trailer for Disney+’s Hawkeye.
*****
REWIND-A-DYNAMITE 9/15/21: Omega vs. Danielson in Queens
John Pollock & guest co-host John Siino review AEW Dynamite from the Prudential Center in Newark featuring Adam Cole’s first match in AEW, plus thoughts on NXT 2.0 & more.
*****
SHOT IN THE DARK 9/15/21
John Siino reviews this week’s editions of AEW Dark, AEW Dark: Elevation, NXT UK, 205 Live, NJPW Strong, NWA Powerrr, Ring of Honor, and Main Event in under 15 minutes on Shot In The Dark.
*****
upNXT 9/14/21: NXT 2.0 – A True Love Story
Braden Herrington and Davie Portman talk about the beginning of a new era of NXT… “NXT 2.0”.
*****
REWIND-A-WAI #94: WWE SmackDown (April 15, 2004)
John Pollock & Wai Ting review WWE SmackDown from April 15, 2004 as General Manager Kurt Angle falls victim to an outburst from The Big Show following a high-stakes loss to WWE Champion Eddie Guerrero.
*****

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About John Pollock 3033 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling.He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.