POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: The Elite mock CM Punk & Ace Steel

Photo Courtesy: AEW


**During our trip this past weekend, we kept an audio diary and will be releasing it tonight on the POST Wrestling Café for all members.

**Wai Ting and Bruce Lord hosted Rewind-A-Dynamite on Wednesday night with a packed review of Dynamite from Chicago. The two discussed the fallout from Full Gear, the opening segment with the BCC members, The Elite’s handling of the CM Punk chants and spots they incorporated, and the tremendous main event between Chris Jericho and Tomohiro Ishii. Plus, a discussion of the day’s news including Cain Velasquez being booked by AAA, Karl Anderson going to New Japan next month, and Raw & NXT ratings notes.

*Due to AEW Rampage airing earlier in the day, Rewind-A-SmackDown will be live at 10 p.m. ET on Friday with Wai Ting & John Pollock for POST Wrestling Café members.

**Eric Marcotte will be covering the PFL Championship pay-per-view on Friday night for the site.


Tonight: POST Road Diary: NY & NJ (Patreon)
Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown with John Pollock & Wai Ting at 10 p.m. ET (Patreon)
Saturday: WWE Survivor Series POST Show with John & Wai
Sunday: Wrestlenomics Radio


**The largest talking point from Dynamite was The Elite’s reception in Chicago and opting to incorporate multiple references to CM Punk and Ace Steel throughout their Trios match with Death Triangle. In front of a heated crowd, The Elite entered with a mixed reaction, although the anti-sentiment took over with The Elite fully embracing the negative reaction and encouraging it.

On the surface, you can argue that for the night and the match, it played into the crowd’s desire to boo them and made it a unique match, completely different from Full Gear, and provided a great atmosphere. With a larger view, it could be negatively received by people beyond just Punk and Steel, who were the targets of ridicule. For nearly three months, AEW has tried to run from this story and detach this cloud overtop the promotion with The Elite’s return, a hot pay-per-view, and new directions after Full Gear signifying the next stage for the company.

There is also a locker room full of performers, many of whom are sympathetic to The Elite’s side of the altercation, that have tried to steer this ship back in the proper direction only to see the trio return and isolate the “F—k CM Punk” chants on Being the Elite and structure Wednesday’s match around the subject they desperately want to move away from. If this was a set-up for a return by Punk down the road then all is fair in professional wrestling, but there is no evidence or belief that is the situation. If he’s gone, it’s a much more questionable choice as it clearly worked for the crowd in Chicago, but does it encourage copycat chants in the coming weeks, which have now been encouraged on Being the Elite and Dynamite?

In 1997, the WWF didn’t run from the Bret Hart departure and ended up being a major focus of its direction despite the key player working for the competition. However, they had the ultimate surrogate in Steve Austin that represented the worker fighting Vince McMahon. It’s easy to dismiss Wednesday’s match as fun and games by the company, calling out the elephant in the room, and tailoring a match for the audience, which is the entire point of pro wrestling. But, if there is any lesson to be learned this year in AEW, it is the effect blurring the lines has had on its locker room. How can Tony Khan repeatedly state that he cannot address this situation but that it is fair game for the on-screen product? It’s one or the other.

It was eight years ago on Thanksgiving that the famous Art of Wrestling podcast with CM Punk was released detailing his exit from WWE earlier that year. While that show is the most remembered, it was the follow-up one week later that had an interesting line where Punk stated how much he had been itching to get his side of the story out regarding WWE before he could move on. I can’t help but think that Punk is in a similar position all these years later, itching to respond after the latest events. If Wednesday was any indication, the story will continue as AEW is actively encouraging it to remain top of mind.


**Happy Thanksgiving to our readers and listeners in the U.S.

**On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer reported several updated figures from this year’s AEW pay-per-views. The updated figures are in line with the same range reported by Wrestlenomics. At the post-show press conference, Tony Khan gave a very early estimate for Full Gear to be about 140,000 buys. Meltzer stated the number is expected to be a little under that estimate but has not received any data from the cable homes that bought the show adding that the streaming numbers for Full Gear were slightly below All Out in September. The full number of buys is not known for 90 days, so these are estimates and it’s still early given the show was five days ago. All Out is still within the 90-day window, so it’s not a final number but is around 140,000 buys for the rematch between CM Punk and Jon Moxley, which wasn’t finalized until the go-home edition of Dynamite and they just did a title switch on television before the pay-per-view. Forbidden Door looks to have a clear-cut success of a concept by drawing a $1 million gate at the United Center and Meltzer reports it did close to 140,000 buys, which was a show without CM Punk. It would suggest that idea of AEW vs. NJPW resonated with a larger fanbase than expected and might be their most impressive number even though it’s not the highest of the year. Double or Nothing appears to be over 160,000 buys, headlined by Hangman Page vs. CM Punk with Punk’s first shot at the title and winning it in Las Vegas, which was the promotion’s first $1 million gate. Finally, the Revolution show in March did over 170,000 buys, which had Hangman Page vs. Adam Cole for the AEW title but also had a huge grudge match between CM Punk and MJF as the two key matches.

**AEW is invariably going to be hurt this week with their television viewership for separate reasons. Last night’s show on Thanksgiving Eve is also a difficult night for them due to the holiday, although Full Gear has never taken place the same week as Thanksgiving, so this year’s show was coming off a big event and The Elite wrestling on television for the first night since their return. Friday’s edition of Rampage is in a terrible spot at 4 p.m. ET and 1 p.m. on the west coast, so that number should be thrown out regardless of how it performs. Due to Thanksgiving, numbers will be delayed after the next week as Dynamite’s figures won’t be out until Monday and Rampage & SmackDown are delayed until Tuesday.

**In Canada, AEW was switched to TSN 3 this week (it usually airs on TSN 2) and only did 48,000 viewers with 20,000 in the 25-54 demographic for the English-language broadcast of the show (the show also airs in French through RDS 2/RDS Info, which we don’t have numbers for). World Cup soccer is also dominating sports viewing in Canada.

**Wrestlenomics reported that Tuesday’s episode of Tales from the Territories covering World Class Championship Wrestling averaged 77,000 viewers and 42,000 (0.03) in the 18-49 demographic. It was up significantly from last week’s episode on Portland and this week’s 18-49 audience beat every episode this season except for the first two weeks on Memphis. Next Tuesday’s episode covers Jim Crockett Promotions with Arn Anderson, David Crockett, Ricky Morton, and Baby Doll on the panel with Nikita Koloff and Jim Cornette making appearances. The season finale on 12/6 covers Mid-South Wrestling with Jim Ross, Ted DiBiase, Michael Hayes & Jake Roberts.

**IMPACT Wrestling is airing a special Thanksgiving episode tonight with matches from prior years including the Turkey Bowl match from 2007 with Samoa Joe vs. Chris Sabin vs. AJ Styles and highlights of the turkey suit matches over the years.

**The Wrestling Observer site has posted Dave Meltzer’s History of Thanksgiving story from 2010 documenting the major pro wrestling events on the holiday going back to 1972.  

**Maki Itoh returns to Game Changer Wrestling on 1/1 at The Showboat in Atlantic City, New Jersey.


**The first weekend of March is shaping up to be a significant one with the potential of a major UFC card along with AEW’s Revolution pay-per-view. UFC 285 is expected to take place on 3/4 and could see the return of Jon Jones, who has been rumored for that card. Jones has not competed since March 2020 and this would be his first fight at heavyweight. The names being thrown out for Jones include Francis Ngannou and Curtis Blaydes. If it is Jones vs. Ngannou, it could be one of the biggest cards of the entire year for the promotion. AEW will be holding its pay-per-view the following night on 3/5 at the Chase Center in San Francisco.

**All the fighters made weight for the PFL Championship card on Friday at the Hulu Theatre in New York City including the participants of the six tournament final fights. The prelims air at 5:30 p.m. ET on ESPN+ followed by the pay-per-view main card at 8 p.m. which has seven fights. Due to the six championship fights being five-round fights, it could be an extremely long main card. Below is the full card and results from Thursday’s weigh-ins:

MAIN CARD (8 p.m. ET on ESPN+)
*Kayla Harrison (154.4) vs. Larissa Pacheco (154.2)
*Bubba Jenkins (145) vs. Brendan Loughnane (144.8)
*Matheus Scheffel (254.2) vs. Ante Delija (241.8)
*Julia Budd (146) vs. Aspen Ladd (145.4)
*Stevie Ray (154.6) vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier (154.6)
*Sadibou Sy (169.6) vs. Dilano Taylor (169.4)
*Rob Wilkinson (204.6) vs. Omari Akhmedov (202.8)

*Marlon Moraes (146) vs. Sheymon Moraes (145.8)
*Jeremy Stephens (155.8) vs. Natan Schulte (155.4)
*Magomed Magomedkerimov (175.8) vs. Gleison Tibau (174.6)
*Dakota Ditcheva (125.6) vs. Katherine Corogenes (124.3)
*Biaggio Ali Walsh (154.8) vs. Tom Grasser (154.8)

**MMA Junkie is reporting that a light heavyweight fight between Anthony Smith (36-17) and Jamahal Hill (11-1) will headline the UFC Fight Night card on 3/11 at a location to be announced. Smith has won three of his last four fights but is coming off a TKO loss to Magomed Ankalaev at UFC 277 in July. Hill has won three in a row with stoppage victories against Jimmy Crute, Johnny Walker, and Thiago Santos over the past year.


The first Starrcade event was staged on this date in 1983 at the Greensboro Coliseum in North Carolina by Jim Crockett Promotions. The idea was born out of the success of “The Final Conflict” earlier year at the same arena where Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood had one final shot at Sgt. Slaughter & Don Kernodle and resulted in approximately 6,000 fans being turned away. The name of Starrcade is credited to Dusty Rhodes, who was not booking the territory yet but did have input. Dory Funk Jr. was still head booker with Gary Hart, Ernie Ladd & Wahoo McDaniel booking parts of the territory. The lead-up was focused on Ric Flair gaining revenge on Harley Race, who did a bounty on Flair’s head and culminated in a steel cage match and Flair regaining the NWA Championship. The show sold out the Greensboro Coliseum with approximately 32,400 watching on closed circuit.

WWF held its second Survivor Series card on this date in 1988, running on Thanksgiving night at the Richfield Coliseum for the second year in a row. The show drew a reported figure of 13,500 and would move to Chicago the following year. WWF champion Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan teamed with Koko B. Ware, Hillbilly Jim & Hercules to defeat Ted DiBiase, Akeem, Big Bossman, King Haku & The Red Rooster (Terry Taylor) in the main event with Savage & Hogan the lone survivors. The two would headline the next WrestleMania which was one of the most successful feuds in the company’s history.

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About John Pollock 5646 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.