POLLOCK’S UPDATE: NXT follows Super Tuesday with fifth largest audience of year

Photo Courtesy: WWE

POST SCHEDULE

Tonight: Rewind-A-Dynamite with John Pollock & Wai Ting
Thursday: Rewind-A-Wai #141 – WrestleMania X-Seven (POST Wrestling Café)
Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown (POST Wrestling Café)
Saturday: Collision Course with Wai Ting & Kate from Montreal
Saturday: IMPACT Bound for Glory with John Pollock & John Siino (POST Wrestling Café)
Sunday: UFC 294 review with Eric Marcotte & Phil Chertok
Sunday: MCU L8R with WH Park & Neal Flanagan (POST Wrestling Café)

Wednesday’s audio version of the news update is available today for ALL patrons and comes out multiple times per week for Double Double & Espresso patrons.

Attorney Paul Lesko was the guest on Pollock & Thurston with a great breakdown and analysis of the legal dispute between WWE and Panini. WWE is attempting to get out of the remaining years on its deal with the trading card manufacturer and move its business to Fanatics while Panini is arguing it has carried out its portion of the deal and was blindsided by WWE’s attempt to end their deal. There is also a lot going on between Panini and Fanatics with three suits between them including an antitrust suit filed by Panini against its competitor.

Wai Ting and I will be releasing our next Rewind-A-Wai show on Thursday covering WrestleMania X-Seven from April 2001 and one of the biggest shows in the company’s history. This will be out Thursday evening for POST Wrestling Café members.

Rewind-A-Dynamite is live tonight at 10 p.m. ET on the POST YouTube channel.

WRESTLING/MMA NEWS

**Haus of Wrestling is reporting that the NWA’s two television deals that Billy Corgan has mentioned will be with the CW Network. Corgan appeared on Busted Open Radio last week to state they had two pending deals with a “top 20 network” and had been working the deals for over a year. Nick Hausman from Haus of Wrestling reports that “some logistics are being worked out” with an announcement forthcoming. Hausman states that the deals will see NWA Powerrr and a reality series on the behind-the-scenes of the NWA as the two programs to be featured on the network.

**NXT averaged 798,000 viewers and 0.23 in the 18-49 demographic on Tuesday for their follow-up after Super Tuesday. They fell 13% in viewership while airing against Game 2 of the Phillies vs. Diamondbacks which averaged 5.13 million viewers and 1.24 in the demo on TBS. It was NXT’s fifth-largest audience of the year behind three episodes with Becky Lynch and last Tuesday’s program. NXT was third for the night among sports programs behind the NLCS game and the post-game programming on TBS. Adults 18-34 dropped by 27% from last week, which was all due to males dropping from 111,000 to 62,000 as females in the 18-34 demo grew from 44,000 to 51,000. Adults 35-49 fell by 22%. In Canada, NXT averaged approximately 71,000 viewers and 37,000 in the 25-54 demographic on Sportsnet 360. (Sports TV Ratings & Wrestlenomics)

**NXT did have multiple main roster appearances from Rhea Ripley, Dominik Mysterio, Chelsea Green, Piper Niven, Shotzi and Natalya along with a video message sent by Becky Lynch for Lyra Valyria. Unlike last week, none of the main roster talents were promoted in advance for Tuesday’s show. The next two weeks will be the Halloween Havoc specials with Becky vs. Valkyria as the main match for next week’s card and Ilja Dragunov vs. Carmelo Hayes on October 31.

**Tammy Sytch is attempting to secure a lower prison sentence with prosecutors looking to secure the maximum sentence for Sytch. The former wrestling personality faces up to 26 years in prison after driving under the influence in a March 2022 car crash that resulted in the death of a man in Ormand Beach. The Daytona Beach News-Journal states that the lowest sentence Sytch could face is 10.5 years with court records stating Sytch is seeking a shorter sentence due to specialized treatment she requires for a “mental disorder that is unrelated to substance abuse or addiction for a physical disability”. Sytch pleaded no-contest in August to charges of DUI manslaughter, driving while her license was suspended causing death, four counts of DUI with damage to a person, and two counts of DUI with damage to property. Sytch stated in her plea that she has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, borderline personality disorder, and bipolar disorder and takes Prozac. Sytch’s sentencing is scheduled for November 27.

**AEW Dynamite returns to its regular night at the Ford Bend Epicenter in Rosenberg, Texas (about 35 miles outside of Houston) and airs against Game 3 of the Houston Astros vs. Texas Rangers on FS1. The following has been announced:
*Dynamite Dozen Battle Royal
*Eliminator Match: Hikaru Shida vs. Emi Sakura
*Kenny Omega vs. Kyle Fletcher
*Jay White vs. Penta El Zero Miedo
*Jim Ross sit-down interview with Nick Wayne and “His Mom”
*Sting addresses the audience
*Toni Storm’s latest film
*Adam Copeland responds to Christian Cage

**John Ourand has a story at Sports Business Journal analyzing the bubble for sports media rights and the key deals to keep an eye on. Ourand doesn’t believe the sports right bubble is bursting but it is under greater scrutiny from the networks that have to justify these price hikes when cable subscribers continue to deplete. While the TKO stock took a hit after the SmackDown deal with NBC Universal was announced with a 40 percent increase (below market expectations), the Raw package remains the big jewel with Ari Emanuel stating there are several entities interested. Ourand reports that the NBA’s exclusive negotiating window with ESPN and WBD ends in the spring of 2024 with NBC, Amazon, Apple, YouTube, and Netflix expected to go after the rights. The fallout of the NBA rights and WBD’s ability to retain or not should play a major factor in its ability to compensate AEW at the level the promotion would be aiming for in its next round of negotiations as a middle-tier rights package.

Ourand writes:

The bottom rung of sports rights is the one that will see rights fee money shrink considerably. In the current environment, networks are much less likely to take a flier on, say, a pickleball deal than they would have been in the past.

Media companies are making these decisions based on one main question: Will a sport drive distribution revenue or subscriber growth? Of course, the sport also has to generate viewership and ad sales.

For smaller leagues, networks will need to have business plans that show profitability from ad sales, since they are unlikely to drive distribution revenue.

**The Wall Street Journal also has a story on the sought-after NBA rights. WSJ reports that incumbents ESPN and Warner Bros. Discovery are not looking to pay the gigantic increases that the NBA is seeking in their next renewal cycle. The two broadcasters are currently paying a combined $2.6 billion per year for their respective packages. The report states that if the two broadcasters buy smaller rights packages, it could open the door for a streaming player with Amazon and Apple expressing their interest.

Amazon and others have indicated they would find it even more appealing if the NBA could package national TV rights with local-market rights—so they can show people in Indiana the games of the hometown Pacers, for example, and the same in other cities around the country, according to people familiar with the discussions. 

**Wrestlenomics reported the quarter hours for the season premiere of Raw from Monday. The peak quarter for overall viewership was between 9 – 9:15 p.m. ET for the Seth Rollins and Drew McIntyre in-ring segment at 1,657,000 viewers (which topped the opening quarter by 1,000 viewers). The peak in the 18-49 demographic from 9:45 – 10 p.m. for the ending of Rhea Ripley vs. Shayna Baszler and post-match involving the five women brawling at 646,000 viewers.

**WWE has released a poster for the Crown Jewel event on November 4 and includes images of John Cena, Logan Paul, and Bianca Belair for the event in Riyadh.

**IMPACT has produced a Before the Bell special previewing the Bound for Glory main event between Alex Shelley and Josh Alexander this weekend.

**SNL produced a very campy pro-wrestling-style promo involving Bad Bunny, who is the host and musical guest for this weekend’s episode on NBC.

**The major news of Showtime getting out of boxing and MMA in 2024 is going to send shockwaves through the respective industries. The lineage of combat sports on the networks goes back 37 years and is a major blow several years after HBO ended its boxing coverage. Ariel Helwani reports that Bellator 301 on November 17 will not be affected, and the card is moving forward with the main card airing on Showtime. There is also a Showtime pay-per-view scheduled for November 25 with David Benavidez fighting Demetrius Andrade.

**The UFC has cut multiple fighters from the roster as first discovered by the Roster Tracker account. John Makdessi, Hannah Goldy, Andre Fialho, A.J. Fletcher, Kamuela Kirk, Carl Deaton, JP Buys, Tucker Lutz, and Shane Young have been removed from the UFC roster. Makdessi is the longest-tenured of the nine fighters as he began fighting for the UFC in December 2010 and fought twenty times for the promotion. He was coming off a pair of decision losses to Nasrat Haqparast and Jamie Mullarkey.

**The TKO stock continues to slide closing at $76.87 on Wednesday and falling nearly 4% today.

*****
POLLOCK & THURSTON
John Pollock and Brandon Thurston chat with attorney Paul Lesko about the details behind the lawsuit involving Panini and WWE.
*****
upNXT
Braden Herrington and Davie Portman review WWE NXT from October 17th, 2023 featuring Dijak vs Baron Corbin vs Carmelo Hayes vs Trick Williams to determine the Number 1 Contender for the NXT Championship.
*****
REWIND-A-RAW
Wai Ting and Andrew Thompson review WWE Raw’s Season Premiere with Cody Rhodes & Jey Uso vs. Judgment Day for the WWE Tag Titles and Gunther vs. Bronson Reed for the IC Title. Plus, news of the day and your feedback.
*****
THE N.W.A. PODCAST
Nate Milton, Kris Ealy, Andrew Thompson and Ray Williams return to discuss the month’s top stories including AEW & NXT’s Super Tuesday head-to-head battle, Jade Cargill’s WWE debut, and more.
*****

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About John Pollock 5441 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.