POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: SmackDown and Rampage prepare for battle

A look at Friday night's battle between WWE and AEW on FS1 and TNT, G1 Climax update, Scotty O'Shea, Forbes covers Tony Khan & more.

Photo Courtesy: Getty Images/TNT

POST IT NOTES

**Happy Thanksgiving to all of you in Canada.

**Rewind-A-Raw is LIVE tonight at 11:15 p.m. ET tonight as we review WWE Raw, go through a very busy weekend of news including GCW’s two events and announcement for the Hammerstein Ballroom, and Friday’s programming of SmackDown and Rampage. Tonight’s show is live for all Double Double, Iced Capp & Espresso members of the POST Wrestling Café.

**We will have three G1 Climax podcasts over the next three days. Wai Ting and I will be doing shows together on Tuesday and Wednesday and then I’ll be solo for Thursday’s show. The podcast on Wednesday will be free for everyone with the others accessible for all POST Wrestling Café members.

**I was interviewed by the Wrestle Inn site describing my start in the industry, advice for those getting started, as well as the current wrestling scene and direction of the industry.

POST SCHEDULE

Tonight: Rewind-A-Raw with John Pollock & Wai Ting
Tuesday: G1 Climax – Day 14 (Patreon)
Tuesday: upNXT with Davie Portman & Braden Herrington
Wednesday: G1 Climax – Day 15 (Patreon)
Wednesday: Shot in the Dark with John Siino (upNXT feed)
Thursday: G1 Climax – Day 16 (Patreon)
Thursday: The Wellness Policy with Wai Ting & Jordan Goodman (Live at 1 p.m. ET for all Patrons)
Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown (Live at 11:15 p.m. ET for all Patrons)
Sunday: Rewind-A-Dynamite with John & Wai
Sunday: The Long & Winding Royal Road – Akira Taue Bio w/ WH Park & guest Dave Musgrave

FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN VS AEW RAMPAGE

The focus of the week will be the Friday night counterprogramming of SmackDown against the first half-hour of AEW Rampage.

WWE is advertising the FS1 edition as a special “super-sized” edition that will run until 10:30 p.m. ET and overlap with the live edition of Rampage from the James L. Knight Center in Miami, Florida.

Tony Khan was quick to escalate the fight with a tweet Friday night declaring their intent to beat the company’s top show and that “it’s been a long time coming”. Khan had a more measured response the next day responding to a tweet and stating regardless of the stats that it will be great for the fans, which is undoubtedly true.

All of a sudden, a random Friday night is now the battleground that will be the center of both sides and their promotional efforts over the next week. Neither wants to lose the perception battle even though the outcomes will likely be spun in multiple directions.

In total viewers, it’s a fairly safe assumption that SmackDown should top Rampage given its past performances on FS1 in October 2019 & 2020 and last December. The 18-49 demo battle is the closer, and more important stat to monitor. In 2020, SmackDown averaged 881,000 viewers and 0.25 for the October 23rd edition of the show against the World Series, and then did 1,030,000 viewers and 0.30 on December 18th against college football. Over the past four weeks, Rampage 643,500 viewers and 0.27.

While everyone will hang on to the outcome of Friday’s numbers the larger picture is of greater importance. For AEW, they will be linked and compared to the WWE’s top show throughout the week and in the fallout and that’s a win for a company that is two years old. Long-term, everything is geared towards the next round of television rights negotiations and Rampage is within shooting distance of SmackDown’s demo figures on cable, it behooves AEW’s bargaining power to command rates commensurate with their competitor.

Of course, there is no indication this will be anything more than a novelty evening of SmackDown and Rampage both airing on a cable for a better comparison. The fallout could be interesting especially if SmackDown performs well, which the loaded line-up suggests it will. The immediate question is whether they go 2 ½ hours or even expand to three on October 29th when SmackDown is on FS1 again. Then, does FS1 and WWE consider the value of increasing the length of the program down the road?

That becomes more interesting because, yes, WWE is great at building one-night super shows but hardly having the ability to maintain such a pace. If FS1 added an hour of programming each Friday night directly against Rampage, it’s the latter that has proven consistency in its programming and even if they can’t top FS1 weekly, if they are close, I take that as a net positive for AEW that is perceived as being neck-and-neck with the industry leader on an even playing field. Of course, nothing could materialize out of one unique week of opposition but it’s WWE showing an aggressiveness that only benefits the viewer that will see both sides fight all week to grab your attention on Friday night.

WRESTLING NEWS

**WWE Raw takes place from the Chase Center in San Francisco, California tonight. The following matches and segments are being advertised including the opening round matches for the King of the Ring and Queen’s Crown tournaments:
*Charlotte Flair & Becky Lynch vs. Bianca Belair & Sasha Banks
*King of the Ring Quarterfinal: Kofi Kingston vs. Jinder Mahal
*King of the Ring Quarterfinal: Ricochet vs. Xavier Woods
*Queen’s Crown Quarterfinal: Doudrop vs. Natalya
*Queen’s Crown Quarterfinal: Shayna Baszler vs. Dana Brooke
*Face-to-Face: Big E. and Drew McIntyre

**We want to send our best wishes to Curt Sturrock, who wrestles on the Ontario independent scene as Scotty O’Shea. On Sunday, his wife Roslyn posted an announcement that he had suffered multiple seizures at their home and was discovered to have a brain bleed from a massive tumor on the left side of his brain. She went on to describe that the medical staff in Hamilton, Ontario were able to remove the entire tumor during emergency surgery. The last update from Roslyn was that Sturrock was still sedated with more tests scheduled for later this week. Fellow wrestler John Greed will be doing a Twitch stream tonight at approximately 6 p.m. ET with all funds raised going to Sturrock’s family.

**The G1 Climax continues Tuesday with a B Block show from Sendai streaming at 5:30 a.m. ET. It has one of the more anticipated matches of the block with Jeff Cobb attempting to stay undefeated when he faces Hiroshi Tanahashi in the main event. The B Block is essentially down to Cobb, Kazuchika Okada, and EVIL. EVIL already has a loss to Okada while Cobb and EVIL will square off on Thursday’s show. Below is the line-up for Tuesday:
*Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Jeff Cobb
*EVIL vs. Hirooki Goto
*Kazuchika Okada vs. Chase Owens
*SANADA vs. YOSHI-HASHI
*Taichi vs. Tama Tonga
*Non-tournament: Hiromu Takahashi vs. Ryohei Oiwa

**Forbes did a feature on Tony Khan as they shadowed him throughout the day of the Arthur Ashe Stadium show last month. In the piece, Khan goes over the story of the AEW’s launch and committing millions of dollars in contracts for talent after being “put through the wringer” by TNT to get on the network. It was in January 2020, that the existing deal with TNT was replaced by a new one for $175 million and huge at the time and even more so once the pandemic hit and their live event business was gone. Chris Jericho, Cody, and Brandi Rhodes were briefly interviewed for the piece describing the work ethic of Khan and Cody stating he proves you don’t need to be a wrestler to succeed in this industry.

**DEFY Wrestling held a show at the Kliever Armory in Portland, Oregon on Saturday night with the promotion listing the attendance at 500. In the main event, AEW performer Eddie Kingston teamed with Brody King to defeat SCHAFF & Ethan HD in a No Disqualification Tornado Match. The rest of the card saw Viva Van defeat Vert Vixen, Ricky Gibson & Eddie Pearl defeated Kevin & Brian Cook and Juicy Finau & Toa Liona to retain the DEFY tag titles, Derrick Shaw beat Eric Right, Titus Alexander over Jordan Oasis, and Coyote Azteca defeated Alan Extreme. DEFY runs its next show this Thursday at The Lodge Room in Highland Park, California with Eddie Kingston, Daniel Garcia, Christopher Daniels, and Calvin Tankman among the talent listed.

**All Japan Pro Wrestling has a big show at Ota Ward Gymnasium this Saturday with “Champions Night” with the card headlined by Jake Lee defending the Triple Crown against Kento Miyahara, which should be outstanding. Suwama & Shotaro Ashino will defend the AJPW tag titles against Shuji Ishikawa & Kohei Sato, and SUGI defends the AJPW Jr. Heavyweight title against Izanagi in the top matches.

**Pro Wrestling NOAH’s next major set of shows will include October 28th in Kumamoto for a card headlined by Takashi Sugiura defending the GHC National Championship against Masaaki Mochizuki, which was set up on Sunday’s show in Osaka. On October 30th, NOAH runs a card in Fukuoka featuring new GHC Heavyweight Champion Katsuhiko Nakajima making the first defense of his title against Masato Tanaka, who beat Nakajima during the N-1 Victory tournament. The 10/30 card also features HAYATA defending the GHC Jr. Heavyweight Championship against NOSAWA Rongai, and a six-man with Keiji Muto teaming with Naomichi Marufuji & Masaaki Mochizuki against Kaito Kiyomiya, Masa Kitamiya & Daiki Inaba.

**Tomohiro Ishii will be wrestling Vinnie Massaro for West Coast Pro Wrestling on Friday, November 12th in San Francisco at The State Room with tickets going on sale this Wednesday.

**Being the Elite: Ep. 277: “Powerbomb”.

**Ricochet (Trevor Mann) turns 33 years old today and Rhea Ripley turns 25.

**Big E. introduced Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder on Saturday with a tremendous video:

ON THIS DATE

*****
The N.W.A. Podcast: “Ettore De Force”
Nate Milton & Kris Ealy are joined by Chinyere Okafor (Notoriety Sports Network) to discuss Big E’s big win, the continuing conversation around AEW’s main event scene, and the ups & downs of being a Black woman in Pro-Wrestling/MMA media
*****
REWIND-A-SMACKDOWN 10/8/21: KOTR/Queen’s Crown Begins, CM Punk vs. Daniel Garcia
John Pollock & Wai Ting review WWE SmackDown featuring King of the Ring/Queen’s Crown first round matches and AEW Rampage with CM Punk vs. Daniel Garcia.
*****
MCU L8R: What If…? Ep. 9 Season Finale
Wai Ting & WH Park are joined by Nate Milton (NWA Podcast) and Rich Fann (PW Torch) to review What If…? Episode 9: “What If… The Watcher Broke His Oath?”
*****
REWIND-A-DYNAMITE: Casino Ladder Match, TBS Championship
John Pollock & Wai Ting review the second-anniversary episode of AEW Dynamite from Philadelphia featuring the Casino Ladder Match and big eight-man tag with The Elite vs. Danielson, Cage & Jurassic Express.
*****
SHOT IN THE DARK: Strictly Business Turn on Nick Aldis, Charlie Dempsey Debuts
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.
*****

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About John Pollock 3366 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.