POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: Chaos at UFC 279 weigh-ins, early estimate for All Out

Chaos at the UFC 279 weigh-ins including Khamzat Chimaev missing, early estimate for All Out buys, Dynamite quarter hours, Banks & Naomi in NY

Photo Courtesy: UFC

POST IT NOTES

**Rewind-A-SmackDown is live at 11 p.m. ET tonight for POST Wrestling Café members. Wai Ting and I will be reviewing Friday Night SmackDown and AEW Rampage (which we attended live and will contrast the live and televised versions) before opening the phone lines to discuss one of the most chaotic weeks in recent memory.

**This month’s edition of POSTmarks will be released on Saturday with David Meyers and Bruce Lord speaking with Dr. Alex Patel and will be a free release on the POST Wrestling Café feed.

**Our UFC 279 POST Show will be streaming live on Sunday at Noon Eastern with Eric Marcotte and I reviewing the show from the night before. It will be live on the POST YouTube channel and available on the free POST Wrestling feed immediately after.

WRESTLING NEWS

**Friday Night SmackDown takes place at 8 p.m. ET on Fox from the Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, Washington. Braun Strowman is scheduled to appear on the show after his return this past Monday on Raw. They have announced the following matches for tonight:
*Fatal Five-Way #1 Contenders Match: Ronda Rousey vs. Natalya vs. Xia Li vs. Lacey Evans vs. Sonya Deville
*The Street Profits & Hit Row vs. Maximum Male Models & Los Lotharios

**Tonight’s edition of Rampage features the matches taped in Buffalo at the KeyBank Center. Inside the arena, there was a big drop in enthusiasm after Dynamite, but they did work hard to get the crowd back into various parts of the main event. The show airs at 10 p.m. ET on TNT:
*World Title Tournament: Darby Allin vs. Sammy Guevara
*Madison Rayne vs. Serena Deeb
*ROH Championship: Claudio Castagnoli (champion) vs. Dax Harwood
*Samoa Joe appears
*Comments from Miro, The Baddies, and Powerhouse Hobbs

**In this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter, the early estimate for AEW’s All Out buys is in the range of 135,000 to 142,000. Dave Meltzer added that a person with knowledge of the digital buys said it should end up in this range or perhaps a bit higher. At the press conference last Sunday, Tony Khan saw the show was in the range of Double or Nothing from this past May, which did a reported 155,000 buys (although on Sunday, that’s a very early estimate as they await the television and satellite numbers and was said right after the show ended). This will end the streak of every AEW pay-per-view topping the same show from the year prior but that was going to be a sizable task regardless given last year’s All Out was the record with 205,000 for CM Punk’s first match in over seven years. It’s a number you can debate on a series of factors and whether the approach of going into the final week without your title match announced, doing the shorter version on television with a shocking ending, and also leaving the finals of the Trios tournament to be undecided until 48 hours before the event and was the second biggest match on the show. Khan did assign blame to WWE crowding the weekend with two shows and while that didn’t help matters for All Out, it also wasn’t making a difference of 65-75,000 buys. There is a valid argument that a fan willing to buy All Out might have allotted their free time to watching Clash at the Castle that weekend and got their fill of three great hours of wrestling for a fraction of the price All Out costs and wasn’t dedicating another five hours to wrestling on Sunday. It’s not just an economic decision but also one of fans’ time they are willing to spend watching wrestling on a long weekend and between WWE and AEW, they presented thirteen hours of programming between Friday and Sunday night when you include SmackDown and Rampage. It’s also the nature of the beast, this is the game being played and the fight has taken on a renewed interest with WWE in a very advantageous position as the industry leader that has acquired all the buzz.

**IMPACT Wrestling only averaged 60,000 viewers on Thursday with 0.01 in the 18-49 demographic, according to Showbuzz Daily.

**Brandon Thurston at Wrestlenomics released the quarter hours for this past Wednesday’s edition of Dynamite. The first quarter was the peak for both viewership and in the 18-49 demographic with 1,221,000 viewers and 608,000 in the demo and progressively dropped throughout the first hour before leveling in the second hour but fell in the final quarter to a show low of 881,000 viewers and 407,000 for the ending of Daniel Garcia vs. Wheeler Yuta and the post-match with Bryan Danielson and Chris Jericho. This week’s show is skewed because it wasn’t just a normal post-PPV show with the buzz from a major card but compounded by the press conference and backstage fight that was naturally going to heighten curiosity for how the promotion would address it. It remains to be seen in the coming weeks what impact the loss of CM Punk, The Young Bucks, and Kenny Omega will have because this week’s number isn’t going to answer that. The main event is a textbook example of investing in your future stars with the hope of paying dividends down the road. To analyze that last quarter and conclude negatively on Garcia and Yuta would be missing the entire point. The two were put into a spot where you are telling your audience they are the main event even if the audience doesn’t see them at that level yet with the hope that the match delivered and more importantly, the post-match involving Garcia as the hometown hero resonated on television and his stock rose so that his status has increased long-term.

**Sasha Banks (Mercedes Varnato) and Naomi (Trinity Fatu) were both part of New York Fashion Week and walked the runway.

**Beginning in October, most episodes of AEW Rampage will be live on Fridays and not be taped immediately after Dynamite those weeks. It starts on October 7th with Rampage in Washington, D.C. (they are running the city twice that week with Dynamite two nights earlier), the following week Rampage isn’t live on October 14th but will be taped on its show the previous night in Toronto with back-to-back shows in the city, October 21st is in Jacksonville at Daily’s Place, October 28th in Uncasville at the Mohegan Sun Arena, November 4th in Atlantic City, November 9th is a dual Dynamite/Rampage taping in Boston, and November 18th is the live Rampage from the Prudential Center in Newark the night before Full Gear in the same arena.

**New Japan’s Burning Spirit tour continues Saturday in Gunma with Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Togi Makabe against JONAH, Shane Haste & Bad Dude Tito in the main event. Sunday’s show in Chiba is built around the 30th anniversary of Yuji Nagata’s pro wrestling debut and will headline the show against Great O-Khan.

**The WWE has split crew house shows this weekend with the Raw crew in Colorado Springs on Saturday and the SmackDown crew in Spokane, Washington. Ronda Rousey, Drew McIntyre, The Usos, and Gunther are listed for the SmackDown show. On Sunday, the same SmackDown crew runs a show in Wenatchee, Washington. Monday’s edition of Raw in Portland will include Edge vs. Dominik Mysterio, Raquel Rodrigeuz & Aliyah vs. Dakota Kai & IYO SKY for the tag titles, and Johnny Gargano’s first match since returning and goes against the return of Monday Night Football.

**NXT 2.0 has a live event in Jacksonville, Florida tonight and Orlando on Saturday.

**MLW has added a four-way AAA Luchadora Eliminator match for its Super Series event on September 18th with Lady Shani vs. Lady Flammer vs. La Hiedra vs. Reina Dorada. The winner of the match will receive a shot at the MLW women’s featherweight title that is held by Taya Valkyrie. The card in Atlanta includes Alex Hammerstone vs. Bandido for the MLW title, Jacob Fatu vs. Willie Mack in a street fight, Myron Reed vs. Shun Skywalker for the MLW middleweight title, Davey Richards vs. SB KENTo for the National Openweight title, and Microman teaming with Laredo Kid & Komander against Taurus, Gino Medina & Mini Abismo Negro.

**BetOnline has released odds on who will become the AEW champion after this tournament. The favorite is Bryan Danielson (-130), followed by Chris Jericho (+150), Jon Moxley (+450), and Sammy Guevara (+650). They have also put out odds on whether MJF will win the title before the end of the year with -300 for yes and +200 for no.

**SLAM Wrestling has a story on historian Steven Johnson, who is receiving the James C. Melby Historian Award at this month’s Cauliflower Alley Club convention.

**The WWE stock closed at $61.96 on Friday.

**Coming to Netflix Latinoamerica:

MMA NEWS

**Just days after AEW’s backstage brawl, UFC had a similar series of problems that led to the cancellation of Thursday’s UFC 279 press conference at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. There were multiple altercations that got physical including several fighters. It is believed to have begun with Khamzat Chimaev and Kevin Holland with Chimaev allegedly delivering a push kick to the chest of Holland. After people separated the two sides, Nate Diaz’s camp arrived and got into it with Chimaev’s side with water bottles being thrown. Meanwhile, they tried to get the press conference started by bringing out Holland and his opponent Daniel Rodriguez first, but Dana White quickly pulled the plug on the presser and told the audience it was canceled. After, White spoke to the media and stated that there wasn’t enough security and it was something they would handle in the future for press conferences but largely wrote it off as something typical that fighters get involved in. He said there were no injuries and there wouldn’t be fines or suspensions with all the fighters scheduled to compete on Saturday.

While there are notable comparisons given the proximity to the AEW example, there are differences too. For AEW, there were executives involved and it’s a different setting given it’s locker room mentality with people that need to co-exist on a weekly basis as opposed to the UFC where it’s not a group of fighters that don’t. UFC has also demonstrated its latitude when it comes to situations and if you’re going to draw a line in the sand between the two incidents, I would argue the UFC is too lenient on these situations rather than AEW overreacting. A prime example was Conor McGregor throwing the dolly at a bus in April 2018 in Brooklyn which resulted in legal issues for McGregor. However, after White publicly denounced the action that week, they were not shy about using that footage to sell the fight between McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov later that year, which was the company’s record pay-per-view number.

**There were additional problems on Friday with multiple fighters missing weight for Saturday’s card including headliner Khamzat Chimaev, who missed weight by 7.5 pounds for his welterweight bout with Nate Diaz. As of this writing, no official announcement has been made regarding the status of Chimaev for UFC 279 and whether the fight will happen. Diaz did make weight when he stepped onto the scale at 171 pounds.

The weigh-ins also saw heavyweight Chris Barnett miss the 265-pound limit by 1.5 pounds and featherweight Hakeem Dawodu come in at 3.5 pounds over the featherweight limit. Irene Aldana and Macy Chiasson will now compete at a 140-pound catchweight.

**The card has been thrown into chaos and as of this writing, the top fights are still being figured out. Ariel Helwani reports that the UFC is attempting to put together a new main event between Nate Diaz and Tony Ferguson, who both made the welterweight limit for their respective fights, and attempting to have Khamzat Chimaev fight Kevin Holland, and then Li Jingliang would fight Daniel Rodriguez as they mix and match the fighters in the top three fights that were originally scheduled before today’s weigh-in issues.

**When the fights are made official we will have an update and discuss the latest on Rewind-A-SmackDown tonight.

**Episode 4 of UFC Embedded prior to UFC 279 on Saturday.

ON THIS DATE

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Naomichi Marufuji wins the GHC Heavyweight Championship in 2006 defeating Jun Akiyama and kicking off his first of four reigns as champion.

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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.