POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: Rampage start time, WWE & UFC ad revenue, Brian Gewirtz’s book

Photo Courtesy: AEW

POST IT NOTES

**Rewind-A-Dynamite is live tonight at 10 p.m. ET with Wai Ting and I discussing Dynamite from Long Island and taking your feedback. The show will be live on the POST YouTube channel and available on your podcast app right afterward.

**The British Wrestling Experience returns on Thursday with Martin Bushby, Benno & Andy Ogden to discuss the upcoming Will Ospreay vs. Minoru Suzuki match for RevPro on May 22nd, WWE’s Clash at the Castle, Chris Ridgeway in Pro Wrestling NOAH, and Benno’s live report from the ‘For the Love of Wrestling’ convention.

**Wai Ting will be joined by Kate from Montreal for the POST Daily News Show on Thursday at 1 p.m. ET.

POST DAILY NEWS SHOW

Wai Ting and I chat about:

– Kota Ibushi airing his grievances with New Japan
– Tony Khan on return to Arthur Ashe Stadium, gates for upcoming PPVs
– NXT In Your House date
– NXT 2.0 recap
– WWE Raw ratings
– AEW Dynamite tonight
– F1

Audio version available for POST Wrestling Café members.

WRESTLING NEWS

**Tony Khan appeared on Busted Open Radio on Wednesday and stated the start time for this week’s AEW Rampage will be 5:30 p.m. Eastern on TNT. It’s a killer for the show as evidenced by last Friday’s viewership but it’s just the reality of TNT’s commitments. Last Friday’s show averaged 292,000 viewers and 143,000 in 18-49, which decreased 37 and 20 percent respectively from the prior week. The TNT schedule is listing a 7 p.m. ET start time for Friday, May 20th.

**AEW Dynamite returns to the UBS Arena on Long Island, New York tonight, which provided one of the most interesting crowd dynamics when they ran the building last December. Instead of fighting the audience, they embraced it and presented MJF as the city’s hero and turned CM Punk heel for one night during the height of their program. What is interesting about tonight’s lineup, is that they are not treating that December reception for Punk as a one-off that you’re supposed to forget. Instead, Punk is booked against another hometown wrestler in John Silver, instructing its audience to boo Punk again. Conversely, MJF is part of a contract signing with Wardlow with the latter being among the most popular acts on programming over the past two months, and will almost surely receive the opposite reaction tonight.

The booking of talent in their hometowns has been an exceptional strength from AEW whether it’s MJF on Long Island, Britt Baker in Pittsburgh, Thunder Rosa in Texas, and Punk in Chicago. It caters to the audience rather than forcing the audience to adapt to the show. While WWE vocally expressed its frustrations when crowds in Toronto would react differently, it produced some of the most entertaining shows because for one night it was different. Instead of going with it, the announcers complained and over time, the audience changed and now, Toronto is just another stop on the tour like any other major city.

There is always the risk that by putting someone so popular like Wardlow in a position to be booed by 7,000+ fans that there could be a copycat effect by other crowds and compromise his popularity, but the reality is he’ll be just as popular next week and CM Punk was proof of that last year and remains as popular as ever.

As of Monday, WrestleTix reported over 7,100 tickets were out for the show with Dave Meltzer adding that there has been some “big late movement” of ticket sales. They are down from the December show in the same venue that did 9,300 paid. Both shows on Long Island have come in proximity to a WWE show in the market. WWE ran the UBS Arena one week before AEW’s debut in the building last year while this time, WWE ran the Nassau Coliseum for last Friday’s edition of SmackDown.

The following lineup is scheduled for tonight’s show at 8 p.m. ET on TBS and TSN 2 in Canada:
*Owen Hart Cup: Adam Cole vs. Dax Harwood
*Owen Hart Cup: Jeff Hardy vs. Darby Allin
*Owen Hart Cup: Toni Storm vs. Jamie Hayter
*FTW Championship: Ricky Starks (champion) vs. Jungle Boy
*CM Punk vs. John Silver
*Danhausen vs. Tony Nese
*Contract signing between MJF and Wardlow
*Jericho Appreciation Society victory speech

**WWE Raw finished fourth among cable originals on Monday behind TNT’s coverage of the NBA playoffs. Golden State vs. Memphis was the top cable program with 5,271,000 viewers and 1.70 in 18-49 going against the final 51 minutes of Raw. The earlier game between Boston and Milwaukee averaged 5,030,000 and 1.69 against the first two hours of Raw. Raw averaged 1,635,000 and 0.42 in the first hour (the lowest of the three hours, which is rare) and then jumped to 1,730,000 and 0.47 in the second hour with the final hour averaging 1,593,000 and 0.43. There were constant mentions that the U.S. title match between Theory and Cody Rhodes would begin at 10 p.m. ET to keep its audience for the start of hour three, which coincided with the start of the late NBA game.

**CNBC has a story on WWE’s recent financial earnings and its potential in advertising and sponsorships. In 2021, WWE reported $71.5 million in ads and sponsorships, which was up from $65.3 in 2020. During last week’s earnings call, it was noted the company received $10 million in sponsorship fees for WrestleMania 38 alone. The article cites Guggenheim Partners, which believes the UFC attracts over $100 million in sponsorships while WWE is estimated to earn around $35 million per year in sponsorships. From the article:

While WWE lags behind UFC in overall popularity, its fans are the most likely to notice sponsors, according to sponsorship consulting firm IEG. Sixty-seven percent of WWE’s fans are more likely to consume brands associated with the company, according to IEG’s research, which used data from polling outfit YouGov. That’s ahead of the 55% average for the group of the 11 biggest sports leagues, including the NFL, which is by far the most popular sports organization in the United States.

**Darby Allin spoke with Joseph Staszewski of the New York Post prior to tonight’s match with Jeff Hardy and felt this match came about quickly:

People thought this was a dream match and, yes, it’s a dream match for me, but man this came really quick. I was expecting it a little bit down the road to be honest. This came really quick, but now’s better than never. Wednesday, I don’t know what to expect. It’s gonna be an interesting one.

Allin also explained his relationship with Sting that exists behind the scenes:

When people first heard that me and Sting were going to be partnered up they automatically said, “hey, it’s the face paint. It’s the only thing they’ve got in common.” If they knew how we were behind the scenes and how we are right now they would understand this is more than just the face paint. We have such a connection.

I remember back when we were (filming) at Daily’s Place for the year during the pandemic, I would be changing in the boiler room and Sting walked by and Sting has his own locker room, and Sting walked by and said, “What are you doing in here?” I said, “It’s a place I feel I can really be myself and cut loose and just think about what I want to do.” I don’t work well when I’m stuck in big groups of people. And then he’s like, “Dude come in my locker room. My locker room is your locker room from now on.” And I’m like, “Oh crap, really ok.” From there I’ve been changing in Sting’s locker room. It’s just me and him, painting up in his room and we talk for hours. There is so much stuff that goes into that partnership that people don’t get to see.

**MLW has added a match between Brittany Blake and Zoey Skye for Friday’s ‘Kings of Colosseum’ event at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia.

**Former WWE writer Brian Gewirtz has released the cover art for its upcoming book that will be released in August from Twelve Books. The book is titled ‘There’s Just One Problem…True Tales From The Former 7th Most Powerful Person in WWE.’ This could be a fascinating book if Gewirtz is candid about his tenure in WWE given the length of time in that stressful role and all the major events he would have been around. Gewirtz spent fifteen years at WWE including eleven as lead writer. In 2015, he was named senior vice-president of development for Seven Bucks Productions. He is currently serving as a writer and producer on NBC’s Young Rock.

MMA NEWS

**Marc Ratner, the UFC’s VP of Regulatory Affairs, spoke with Ryan McKinnell and Andreas Hale on Sirius XM on Charles Oliveira’s weigh-in issue and complaints regarding the calibration of the scale. (Transcription courtesy of Simon Samano at MMA Junkie)

Well, first of all, let me say that the official scale, which is the one they weighed in on Friday with the athletic commission … 28 of the fighters made weight. So I’m very, very sure that there was nothing untoward on that scale. That scale was accurate.

What people are talking about, the night before, there’s a scale where the fighters can come down and check their weight. Some fighters wanted to change the scale from pounds to kilograms, which you can do, and I think that may have knocked it – we don’t have any proof of anything, but it may have knocked the (practice) scale out of calibration. When we found out that there was a problem with the scale early on Friday morning somewhere around 8 or 8:30, we got another scale that was calibrated and put it out there.

I am not sure what time that Charles or his camp came down on Friday. But he’s saying that he checked the weight on Thursday night, and he was fine. But I can say for sure that Friday there was nothing wrong with the official scale.

**ESPN is reporting that the UFC has re-scheduled the lightweight fight between Donald Cerrone and Joe Lauzon for Saturday, June 18th in Austin, Texas. The fight was scheduled for this past weekend’s UFC 274 event. After weigh-ins, Cerrone contracted food poisoning and had to withdraw from the fight on Saturday. The two have a combined 64 fights with the UFC and 33 performance bonuses in the promotion. Cerrone is winless since May 2019 and has gone 0-5 with 1 no contest while Lauzon has not fought since October 2019. Cerrone stated this week that he wants to have two more fights with the UFC and then he’ll be done.

**Ariel Helwani was the first to report that Brandon Moreno (19-6-2) and Kai Kara-France (24-9, 1 NC) are expecting to fight for the interim flyweight title on July 30th at UFC 277. Current champion Deiveson Figueiredo has an injury that is preventing him from competing on the card and therefore, UFC is adding an interim title. The card doesn’t have a location confirmed but Helwani reports that Dallas is the leading candidate.

Moreno is the former flyweight champion and lost the title to Figueiredo in January by decision. Moreno and Kara-France fought at UFC 245 in December 2019 with Moreno winning by unanimous decision. Since the loss, Kara-France has gone 4-1 and won his last three fights including a decision against Askar Askarov this past March. It will be a busy month for City Kickboxing as Israel Adesanya and Alexander Volkanovski are defending their championships at UFC 276 on July 2nd.

**Invicta FC47 takes place tonight with the main card streaming on YouTube at 8 p.m. ET with the following fights from Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas:
*Invicta Strawweight Championship: Emily Ducote © vs. Alesha Zappitella
*Chelsea Chandler vs. Courtney King
*Lindsey VanZandt vs. Jillian DeCoursey
*Janaisa Morandin vs. Liana Pirosin
*Brittney Cloudy vs. Serena DeJesus
*Fatima Kline vs. Sidney Trillo
*Jennifer Chieng vs. Alyssa Linduska

**Pat Barry and Rose Namajunas appeared on The MMA Hour to discuss the game plan Namajunas had on Saturday at UFC 274 and the cornering throughout the fight, which has been heavily criticized after Numajunas’ decision loss in the lackluster affair with Carla Esparza:

**Michael Chandler discussed his knockout of Tony Ferguson on The Pat McAfee Show.

**The UFC has added two fights to the Fight Night card at the O2 Arena in London, England on July 23rd. Alexander Gustafsson (18-7) will compete against Nikita Krylov (27-9). It will be Gustafsson’s first fight since July 2020 and has lost his previous three fights. The card will also include Molly McCann (12-4) taking on Hannah Goldy (6-2) in a flyweight contest. McCann scored one of the best knockouts of the year in February against Luana Carolina and was the leading candidate in the category until Michael Chandler’s knockout this past weekend at UFC 274. The July event at the O2 Arena is scheduled to be headlined by a heavyweight fight between Curtis Blaydes and Tom Aspinall.

ON THIS DATE

The retirement match of Kenta Kobashi, among the greatest wrestlers in history, on this date in 2013:

WWF presented In Your House: A Cold Day in Hell in 1997:

Becky Lynch announces she is pregnant and relinquishes the Raw Women’s Championship in 2020:

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About John Pollock 4277 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.