POLLOCK’S UPDATE: WM 39 attendance, SD ratings, Go-home Raw preview

Photo Courtesy: WWE

POST IT NOTES

**Rewind-A-Raw is live at 11 p.m. ET tonight for a review of the final Raw before WrestleMania. Join us live on the POST YouTube channel. We will also discuss the top stories of the day.

**Our WrestleMania Week coverage begins today with our daily shows on the POST Wrestling Café. Today’s show features Speedball Mike Bailey and reporter Nick Hausman. Bailey has an unreal schedule this week with matches against Kota Ibushi, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Shigehiro Irie, and El Hijo del Vikingo among the events he is scheduled on. Hausman will chat about his own independent launch of Haus of Wrestling, the latest CM Punk saga, and WrestleMania Week coverage. On Tuesday, we are back with Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. We will have Café shows Monday – Friday (including an afternoon and a late-night show on Friday) and for $6 per month, you have access to all the WM Week shows. Join the POST Wrestling Café.

Preview of the chat with Speedball Mike Bailey:

**The N.W.A. Podcast had a big preview of WrestleMania 39 with Nate Milton, Kris Ealy & Andrew Thompson being joined by SP3 of Tru Heel Heat to chat the biggest stories going into the show and their predictions.

**John Siino and I reviewed IMPACT Sacrifice on Friday night and reacted to the news of the injuries to Josh Alexander and Mickie James.

**Wrestlenomics looks at the state of WWE’s business as they head into WrestleMania.

POST WRESTLEMANIA WEEK SCHEDULE

Tuesday: Dave Meltzer, Wrestling Observer Newsletter
Wednesday: Brandon Thurston, Wrestlenomics
Thursday: WrestleMania 39 Preview, GCW’s The Collective
Friday: Mark Hitchcock Memorial, Bloodsport & Multiverse
Friday: ROH Supercard of Honor, Smackdown & Hall of Fame
Saturday: WrestleMania 39 Night 1 (Free)
Sunday: WrestleMania 39 Night 2 (Free)

WRESTLING NEWS

**Friday Night SmackDown averaged 2,219,000 viewers and approximately 757,000 (0.58) in the 18-49 demographic this past Friday with both numbers down two percent from the previous week. It was SmackDown’s lowest overall viewership since December 16 as they aired against multiple NCAA basketball games on CBS, TBS, and ESPN that night. The back-to-back games on CBS against SmackDown averaged 5.1 million viewers (1.09 in the demo) and 4.77 million (1.03) while the games on TBS did 4.5 million (1.14) and 4.37 (1.29) along with a women’s game on ESPN at 1.1 million (0.21). (Data: Wrestlenomics and Showbuzz Daily)

SmackDown ranked fourth among network programs and beat everything besides the NCAA on CBS while dropping two percent in adults 18-34 and one percent with adults 35-49. Due to the immense basketball competition, the lack of a larger decline is a positive and should be viewed as a strong sign for SmackDown and the hype surrounding WrestleMania.

In Canada, SmackDown averaged 238,800 viewers and 95,900 in the 25-54 demo on Sportsnet 360. They dropped six percent in viewers but increased by 1.5 percent in the demo from last week. They ranked third among all sports programs that day behind the Toronto Blue Jays and Toronto Raptors.

**The second night of WrestleMania 39 has eclipsed 64,000 tickets distributed and is approximately 1,300 tickets above the first night, per WrestleTix. The outlet lists night one’s ticket distribution at 63,053 and the second night at 64,386. Last year, WWE announced inflated figures for the two nights at AT&T Stadium in Texas with the final counts from WrestleTix listed at 65,719 for night one (Steve Austin vs. Kevin Owens) and 65,653 for the second night (Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar) and Wrestlenomics estimating approximately 57,000 paid for each night at $6.5 to $8.5 million in live gate revenue per night. This year’s show will almost surely surpass last year’s figures and be the most successful two-night WrestleMania since the additional night was introduced. The all-time gate record belongs to WrestleMania 32 in April 2016 which was $17.3 million at AT&T Stadium for a one-night event that legitimately had over 80,700 people in the stadium.

**The final edition of Raw before WrestleMania takes place at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona tonight. There were additional seats opened and the show should be sold out by tonight with WrestleTix reports over 11,000 tickets distributed with under 500 remaining.

The major match on the show sees Cody Rhodes take on Solo Sikoa with Rhodes unbeaten since returning to WWE and Sikoa undefeated since his call-up. Conventional wisdom suggests Rhodes goes in as strong as possible and it’s a perfect way to cash in the streak of Sikoa. The alternative is that Rhodes is so red hot, that a well-booked loss doesn’t hurt him and creates several possibilities beyond WrestleMania. For one, it’s a major coup for Sikoa and makes a rematch that much bigger for the title and thus proving, Sikoa “is ready”. The other is that Sikoa would hold a win that Reigns theoretically would not have against Rhodes and plays into the Bloodline dissent and an issue between Reigns and Sikoa.

The only significant question regarding the WrestleMania card is Bobby Lashley’s role on the show. During Sunday’s live event in Denver, Lashley addressed the crowd and stated he didn’t have an opponent for WrestleMania (which in the storyline, he doesn’t, but could also be the case legitimately). There is no update regarding Bray Wyatt beyond that he’s been absent for weeks and the angle is not mentioned on television nor has Uncle Howdy been used in his place. Lashley is scheduled for the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal this Friday on SmackDown with other talents not booked at ‘Mania. Lashley and Bronson Reed would seem like the favorites for that match. If adding Lashley to the card is a priority, they have options between LA Knight, teaming with the Hurt Business, or something involving Reed stemming from Friday’s match.

There is one spot remaining in the women’s WrestleMania Showcase.

Below are the announced matches and segments for tonight’s show:
*Cody Rhodes vs. Solo Sikoa
*Braun Strowman, Ricochet & Street Profits vs. Viking Raiders, Otis & Chad Gable
*Weigh-in between Omos and Brock Lesnar
*MizTV with Becky Lynch, Lita & Trish Stratus

**Tony Khan has confirmed the previous report that the go-home show for ROH’s Supercard of Honor will be taped this Wednesday night in St. Louis at the Dynamite taping. The episode will stream the next day on Honor Club. Luchablog is reporting that El Hijo del Vikingo is expected to be in St. Louis this Wednesday, which makes sense with his match against Komander on the ROH show this Friday. I hope AEW does a big follow-up from last week’s match and treats it like a classic. It is one thing to have the classic match but part of that distinction is marketing it as a classic and not letting people forget about it, which is so easy in this era of weekly classics.

**WWE did a massive number for its live event in Denver, Colorado at the Ball Arena on Sunday. WrestleTix reported a final count of 9,653 tickets distributed, so the final number could be higher. They were up 57 percent from the last show they ran in the building, which is more impressive as it was an episode of Raw one year ago. The card is Denver was headlined by Cody Rhodes, Braun Strowman & Ricochet beating The Usos & Solo Sikoa with the rest of the results including Austin Theory over Bobby Lashley and The Miz, Asuka & Mia Yim over Dakota Kai & IYO SKY, Charlotte Flair over Liv Morgan and Sonya Deville, Bronson Reed over Johnny Gargano, The Brawling Brutes over Imperium in a six-man tag, and Bianca Belair over Chelsea Green.  

**The WWE stock was up nearly three percent on Monday and closed at $87.37. The company’s market cap sits at $6.5 billion.

**Tuesday’s episode of NXT was taped last week as the crew head to L.A. this week for Stand & Deliver. The following matches are set to air tomorrow night on USA:
*Battle Royal for the final spot in the North American title match
*Von Wagner vs. Tyler Bate
*Elektra Lopez vs. Valentina Feroz
*Eddy Thorpe (formerly Karl Fredericks) vs. Myles Borne
*Last Chance Qualifying Match: Ivy Nile vs. Indi Hartwell vs. Sol Ruca
*Drew Gulak vs. Hank Walker
*Tony D’Angelo & Channing Lorenzo vs. Josh Briggs & Brooks Jensen

**WWE is going to be running the Calgary Saddledome on August 11 for an episode of Friday Night SmackDown. They will be running the building less than one month after AEW holds its House Rules event in the same venue during their Canadian tour this summer.

**Edge was a guest on Sportsnet 590 The FAN discussing his favorite matches, WrestleMania, and his love for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

ON THIS DATE

WrestleMania 4 took place in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and was built around the 14-man tournament for the vacant WWF Championship. The show aired on the same day as the first Clash of the Champions special on TBS and featured the classic 45-minute draw between Ric Flair and Sting that blew away everything on the WrestleMania card along with a tremendous match between The Midnight Express and The Fantastics on the undercard in Greensboro. WrestleMania was built around the crowning of Randy Savage as WWF champion after beating Butch Reed, Greg Valentine, One Man Gang, and Ted DiBiase in the tournament and being endorsed by Hulk Hogan while serving as a prelude to their giant match one year down the road in the same building. History would repeat itself in 1989 with another free Clash special airing on the day of WrestleMania 5.

*****
MANIA WEEK: Speedball Mike Bailey, Nick Hausman
POST Wrestling’s WrestleMania Week coverage kicks off with John Pollock &  Wai Ting welcoming Speedball Mike Bailey and reporter Nick Hausman to the show.
*****
WRESTLENOMICS RADIO
On this week’s Wrestlenomics Radio: Wrestlemania week attendance is up. Plus, Vince McMahon pays $17.4 million toward WWE’s investigation into his sexual misconduct allegations.
*****
THE N.W.A. PODCAST
Nate Milton, Andrew Thompson and “The Professor” Kris Ealy are joined by SP3 (Tru Heel Heat) for a colorful preview of WrestleMania 39.
*****
THE LONG & WINDING ROYAL ROAD
WH Park is joined by Kieran Lefort from Must See Matches to review Kenta Kobashi vs Vader from the Champion Carnival final on April 16, 1999.
*****
IMPACT SACRIFICE POST SHOW
John Pollock is joined by John Siino to review IMPACT Sacifice and the injuries to Josh Alexander and Mickie James.
*****
REWIND-A-SMACKDOWN [FREE EDITION]
Wai Ting & Kate from MTL review tonight’s WWE SmackDown as Dominik Mysterio confronts the Mysterio Family. Plus today’s top stories involving CM Punk, Mercedes Moné, Josh Alexander and more.
*****
THE WELLNESS POLICY: Loss and Grief
Wai Ting, Jordan Goodman and Neal Flanagan talk about loss and grief just a few weeks removed from the death of Jordan’s father.
*****

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About John Pollock 5426 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.