POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: WWE publicity from Super Bowl, Ratings, Royal Rumble viewing stats

Photo Courtesy: WWE


**Rewind-A-Raw is live at 11 p.m. ET tonight with Wai Ting and I chatting about WWE Raw, Billy Two Rivers, New Japan & NOAH’s cards in Osaka, the New Japan Cup, and lots more on the POST YouTube channel.

**A new edition of Small Talk will be released for Double Double+ members of the POST Wrestling Café on Tuesday.

**Later this week, I will be speaking with Bloody Elbow reporter John Nash on the changes to UFC contracts that he has reported on and is a very important story to follow. We spoke about this subject on Rewind-A-SmackDown this past Friday.

**Eric Marcotte and I have our UFC 284 POST Show available covering Saturday’s card and an excellent main event between Islam Makhachev and Alexander Volkanovski, Jens Pulver added to the UFC Hall of Fame, and the next season of TUF with Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler.


Tonight: Rewind-A-Raw with John Pollock & Wai Ting (11 p.m. ET)
Tuesday: Small Talk (Double Double+)
Tuesday: upNXT with Braden Herrington & Davie Portman (10:15 p.m. ET)
Wednesday: Rewind-A-Dynamite
Thursday: John Nash of Bloody Elbow on UFC contracts
Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown (Live in Montreal, Patreon)
Saturday: The Long & Winding Royal Road with WH Park & John Siino (RVD vs. Dan Kroffat, June 1995)
Saturday: WWE Elimination Chamber POST Show (Live in Montreal)
Sunday: NJPW Battle in the Valley POST Show with WH Park & Karen Peterson (Patreon)
Sunday: Wrestlenomics Radio

Full schedule available here.


**Friday Night SmackDown averaged 2,468,000 viewers and approximately 839,000 (0.64) in the 18-49 demographic and was the top program on television on Friday. It was SmackDown’s second-highest number of the year and was up 3.5 percent in viewers and 6 percent in the 18-49 demo from last week. SmackDown saw large increases among women 18-49 and women 35-49 from the previous week. In Canada, the show fell to 175,300 viewers going against both the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors, and was its least-watched episode in Canada on Sportsnet 360 since December 23rd. On NBC, Young Rock saw a small increase with 1,363,000 viewers and 0.22 in the 18-49 demo but still finished last among the big four networks.

**AEW Rampage averaged 375,000 viewers and approximately 154,000 (0.12) in the 18-49 demographic on TNT. Overall viewership dropped 8 percent from last week and was among the lowest viewership numbers for Rampage in its normal time slot and the lowest since December 8, 2022. The demo was up by 3 percent from last week. In 18-34, they had a big loss with women down 39 percent this week while men in the demo grew by 10 percent. Females 35-49 saw a 61 percent increase from last week after that figure had a big decline last week. (Showbuzz Daily and Wrestlenomics)

**The Super Bowl had a few professional wrestling tie-ins including The Undertaker (Mark Calaway) appearing in a commercial for DraftKings alongside Kevin Hart. There were also ads on Fox for Friday Night SmackDown and Greg Guttfield, which included an appearance by Tyrus holding the NWA Championship in the spot. Dave Bautista and John Cena were seen in separate movie trailers for the next installments of the Guardians of the Galaxy and Fast franchises. Nikki & Brie Bella, Orange Cassidy, and Dr. Britt Baker were among those that attended the game. The biggest attention was Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes receiving a WWE replica championship and receiving a lot of coverage with the photo of him holding the belt.

**Wrestlenomics reported on the audience number for the Royal Rumble on Peacock. Following last month’s event, Andrew Zarian of the Mat Men Podcast and Matthew Belloni of The Town reported that the event generated two million viewers on the U.S. streaming platform. Host Brandon Thurston confirmed the number but noted it was two million unique accounts that logged in to view the Rumble (what we don’t know is the average users per account that were watching, similar to pay-per-view buys where you don’t know how many unique people are watching a paid event), and was up 52 percent from last year’s Rumble, which would have been 1.3 million unique accounts. These measurements cover live + same day rather than an extended period of the entire weekend, for instance. Another distinction made between Peacock’s measurement and Nielsen’s television tracking is that Peacock’s number consists of any account that logged in for at least a portion of the Rumble while Nielsen takes an average number of the entirety of the show.

Prior to the Peacock deal, when the WWE Network was in-house, I was told they had three different measurements for content. They were monitored by debut date, Live+7 days, and Live+ to date (which would be an all-time viewing number). Typically, Live+7 was where the majority watched the shows and would be close to the range of the all-time number.

**WWE Raw takes place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn tonight for the final Raw before Elimination Chamber. WrestleTix reports over 10,400 tickets have been distributed for tonight’s episode which would make it Raw’s second most-attended show this year behind Raw is XXX in Philadelphia. The following is being advertised for tonight’s show at 8 p.m. ET:
*Contract signing between Bobby Lashley and Brock Lesnar
*Seth Rollins appears on MizTV
*The Miz vs. Rick Boogs
*Asuka, Carmella & Nikki Cross vs. Liv Morgan, Raquel Rodriguez & Natalya

**Cody Rhodes was doing a lot of promotion prior to Monday’s episode of Raw including an appearance with Hot 97, The MMA Hour, and the New York Post. It will be Rhodes’ first time working at Barclays Center since March 2016 when he was wrestling as Stardust.

**A match between Negro Casas and Ultimo Dragon has been announced for the Mark Hitchcock Memorial Supershow on 3/30 at The Globe Theatre during WrestleMania Week. It will be the first match between the two since 1994 and comes on the heels of Negro Casas recently leaving CMLL and appearing in AAA. The Supershow has announced Will Ospreay, Speedball Mike Baily, El Hijo del Vikingo, Taurus, and Shigehiro Irie for the card.

**New Japan and Pro Wrestling NOAH each held cards at the Edion Arena in Osaka over the weekend. New Japan drew 4,055 on Saturday and NOAH drew 2,092 the following night. New Japan’s card was highlighted by the final three matches, which were all strong and led by Kazuchika Okada retaining the IWGP heavyweight title against Shingo Takagi in one of the better matches of the year. Tama Tonga retained the NEVER Openweight title against El Phantasmo with ELP just having a phenomenal performance and would be a strong candidate of someone I would go all the way with and potentially win the New Japan Cup given the landscape. Jay White had a 25-minute match with Hikuleo and it was laid out brilliantly with Hikuleo turning the tables and he had the reversal for the Blade Runner and led to the match-ending choke slam and White is forced to “leave Japan”. White has one more match scheduled with NJPW this weekend in San Jose against Eddie Kingston and obviously, speculation will intensify regarding his landing spot. The NOAH card saw Jack Morris challenge Kaito Kiyomiya for the GHC heavyweight title in a very nice main event with Morris being a project for the company since the N-1 Victory tournament and protecting him all this time. Morris is a great athlete with a great look, and I thought performed very well in this big position and will only improve with a regular role with the top talents. The big angle saw Kazuchika Okada attack Kiyomiya from behind and play a heel version as he accepted the match for 2/21 at the Tokyo Dome. Tetsuya Naito also made a surprise appearance to address Keiji Muto and speak about his fandom of Muto as a child and going into the retirement match respectful of his mentor. We will discuss both cards on Rewind-A-Raw tonight.

**For New Japan, the next big show is Saturday’s Battle in the Valley followed by the Fantasticamania tour from 2/22 until 2/28. The New Japan Cup begins 3/5 and wraps up on 3/21 in Niigata.

**Wrestlenomics reported that IMPACT Wrestling averaged 81,000 viewers and 15,000 (0.01) in the 18-49 demographic last Thursday night. It was the program’s lowest viewership since 1/12.

**The Death Dollz will defend the Knockouts Tag Team Championship against The Hex consisting of Allysin Kay & Marti Belle at No Surrender on 2/24. The Hex appeared last Thursday on Impact when Father Jim Mitchell distracted The Death Dollz and The Hex jumped them inside the ring. The card will stream on Impact Plus and FITE TV from Las Vegas.

**DEFY Wrestling held its sixth-anniversary card this past Saturday with the promotion stating over 800 attended Washington Hall in Seattle. The card included Jon Moxley & SCHAFF over Zack Sabre Jr. & Davey Richards, Swerve Strickland over Titus Alexander to retain the DEFY title, Nick Wayne over Cody Chunn, Mance Warner & Matthew Justice over Ricky Gibson & Eddie Pearl to retain the tag titles, Danika Diehard over Vertvixen by DQ, Artemis Spencer over Guillermo Rosas (who replaced Eddie Kingston), and The Bollywood Boyz over Judas Icarus & Travis Williams. DEFY returns to Washington Hall on 3/11 and has announced that KUSHIDA and Top Flight will be on the show.

**Being the Elite Ep. 335: What’s Your Order?

**The WWE stock closed at $87.49 on Monday.

**UFC 284 was highlighted by a tremendous fight between Islam Makhachev and Alexander Volkanovski to determine the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Makhachev won the fight by unanimous decision off scores of 49-46, 48-47, and 48-47. I scored rounds one, two, and four for Makhachev and rounds three and five for Volkanovski but a 48-47 card for Volkanovski is completely justified. Despite losing, Volkanovski has received heavier praise with many believing he won the fight but was also the one coming up in weight and his star only grew by taking Makhachev to the limit and ending the fight with the most definitive round in the fifth. Due to the stakes and how closely it was contested, this one should be on the shortlist for ‘fight of the year’ at the end of 2023. Volkanovski is expected to fight interim champion Yair Rodriguez next while Makhachev has a few options at lightweight between the winner of Charles Oliveira vs. Beneil Dairush (more likely Dariush as a rematch with Oliveira seems unlikely) or Dustin Poirier.

**Here is Jens Pulver’s live reaction during the UFC 284 Watch Along when he found out he was being inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame later this year.   

**UFC welterweight Sodiq Yussuf has recently begun putting out these amazing breakdowns for upcoming events. His latest video looks at this Saturday’s card at the UFC Apex and is well worth the four minutes.

WRESTLENOMICS: Viewership for Royal Rumble on Peacock
Brandon Thurston and Chris Gullo discuss Royal Rumble viewing data on Peacock, SmackDown ratings on Fox, and reasons why Comcast wouldn’t want to own WWE.
John Pollock and Eric Marcotte review the UFC 284 card with UFC lightweight champion Islam Makhachev defending against Alexander  Volkanovski.
John Pollock & Wai Ting review Friday Night SmackDown & AEW Rampage and go through all the latest news from the past day.
John Pollock & Wai Ting review AEW Dynamite from El Paso with The Elite defending the Trios Championships. Plus, the latest on Jerry Lawler, SummerSlam in Detroit & MLW debuts on REELZ.
upNXT: Toxic Attraction Break Up
Braden Herrington and John Siino review WWE NXT featuring Vengeance Day fallout and Toxic Attraction on Bayley’s “Ding Dong, Hello!”
REWIND-A-WAI #125: Monday Night Raw (Feb. 15 & 22, 1993)
John Pollock & Wai Ting travel back to February 1993 to look back at two editions of WWF Monday Night Raw highlighted by Hulk Hogan’s return ahead of WrestleMania IX.

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About John Pollock 5428 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.