POLLOCK’S UPDATE: CM Punk speaks on SmackDown, nearly 15,000 tickets out

Photo Courtesy: WWE


**We are hosting a special FREE edition of Rewind-A-SmackDown tonight at 10:05 p.m. ET on the POST YouTube channel. Members of the POST Wrestling Café will have access to call into the, as per usual.

**The latest Rewind-A-Wai is another musical review with Wai Ting, Nate Milton & Kris Ealy listening to WrestleMania – The Album from 1993. The next Rewind show comes out Thursday, July 4 with a big review of the WWF Invasion pay-per-view from 2001. Rewind-A-Wai is available for all POST Wrestling Café members.

**Collision Course returns on Saturday on the POST Café as Kate from Montreal & John Siino cover the show from Allentown, Pennsylvania, and take calls.

**Listen to today’s audio news update from John Pollock going through all the major stories of the day including the passing of Teila Tuli, Conor McGregor’s injury, and the ratings for NXT & AEW Dynamite. Today’s audio news update is available for all POST Wrestling Café members.


Tonight: Rewind-A-SmackDown with John Pollock & Wai Ting (FREE)
: Collision Course with John Siino & Kate from MTL (POST Wrestling Café)
: Rewind-A-Raw
Tuesday: Evan Husney, “Who Killed WCW?”


**We will discuss it further on Rewind-A-SmackDown but that was a terrible number for AEW Dynamite on Wednesday. Unlike last week, they were not airing against the NBA Finals and unlike NXT, wasn’t airing against the Stanley Cup Final either. If the number was flat or down a small degree, you could chalk it up to the holiday but when you’re looking at a 26 percent decline in the key demo and a 37 percent loss among adults 35-49, it is a larger concern. There are only two episodes in the history of Dynamite to draw a lower audience and both were Friday night editions from July 2021 when the show was bumped from its regular night. There is always a danger of overreacting to one bad week and the silver lining is that as bad as this number was, the state of cable means a 0.16 is still enough to rank third for the night.

**CW Network confirmed on Thursday that the premiere of NXT on the CW Network will be Tuesday, October 1 at 8 p.m. ET. It marks the end of NXT’s five-year run on the USA Network, which began in September 2019 on Wednesday nights and premiered two weeks before the launch of AEW Dynamite on TNT. The two sides aired head-to-head until April 2021 when NXT was moved to Tuesdays.

**Friday Night SmackDown will have nearly 15,000 in attendance tonight at the Allstate Arena in Chicago for one of the bigger TV audiences of the year. The show includes CM Punk’s appearance and an update regarding his torn triceps, which he was set to have a check-up earlier this week. WWE has announced two triple threat qualifying matches for the Money in the Bank card along with a follow-up to The Bloodline’s attack on Cody Rhodes, Randy Orton & Kevin Owens at Clash at the Castle. Owens and Orton are involved in separate qualifying matches while they are hinting toward a six-man tag with the Bloodline. Below is the advertised lineup:
*CM Punk to appear
*Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Randy Orton vs. Tama Tonga vs. Carmelo Hayes
*Money in the Bank Qualifying Match: Kevin Owens vs. Grayson Waller vs. Andrade
*Cody Rhodes responds to The Bloodline’s attack
*LA Knight to confront Logan Paul

**CMLL and NJPW’s Fantasticamania card takes place tonight at Arena Mexico and will stream on YouTube for its top-tier subscribers. Mercedes Moné teased that she will be appearing on the show to scout Stephanie Vaquer before Forbidden Door. The lineup features:
*Mistico vs. Hiromu Takahashi
*Zack Sabre Jr. & Michael Oku vs. Averno & Volador Jr.
*NJPW STRONG Women’s Championship: Stephanie Vaquer © vs. La Catalina
*Mascara Dorada & Templario vs. Rocky Romero & Taiji Ishimori
*Bad Dude Tito & Che Cabrera vs. Magia Blanca & Magnus
*Futuro, Neon & Max Star vs. Astro Boy Jr., Dr. Karonte I & II

**AEW has a stronger-than-usual lineup for Rampage tonight at 10 p.m. ET on TNT including Shingo Takagi wrestling on the show and the return of Komander, who has not wrestled in AEW since April.
*Owen Hart Foundation Cup: Serena Deeb vs. Willow Nightingale (the winner faces Kris Statlander)
*TNT Title Qualifying Match: Lio Rush vs. Action Andretti
*Rey Fenix vs. Turbo Floyd
*Shingo Takagi vs. AR Fox
*Komander & Metalik vs. Private Party

**The third episode of “Who Killed WCW?” was the show’s best performance yet with 148,000 viewers and 0.06 in the 18-49 demographic on VICE this past Tuesday. The premiere averaged 138,000 and 0.03 and episode two attracted 117,000 viewers and 0.02. The final episode airs next Tuesday and covers the sale of WCW to the WWF in March 2001, the final episode of Monday Nitro, and WWF’s handling of the invasion.

**In a follow-up to this week’s WCW episode on VICE, Lance Storm spoke on Figure Four Daily about the night Vince Russo was speared by Bill Goldberg into the guardrail and suffered a concussion. Storm said during the run-through earlier in the day, they knew it was a problem because that was the only place to do the spot, and no one decided to come up with a safer option. So, to mitigate the potential injury, they wrapped the guardrail in foam after Fit Finlay pointed out the issue. This match resulted in Vince Russo being recognized as WCW champion for one week before vacating the title and it went back to Booker T. on October 2, which was also Russo’s last show with WCW. In 2000, there were a total of twenty-five title changes including SIX TIMES the belt was declared vacant that year.

**Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport: Bushido airs late tonight at 2 a.m. ET on Triller TV for $19.99 U.S. with several major names from different eras. From the pro wrestling side, Jon Moxley is the major name as he has a rematch with Josh Barnett and would be stunned to see him lose given the political nature of Moxley holding the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship. For the Japanese audience, the major name is Kazushi Sakuraba but it’s a bygone era and it’s not like his involvement with NJPW and Pro Wrestling NOAH drew off his nostalgia. However, there was a time when Sakuraba’s star power was gigantic as the native star in PRIDE through his fights with the Gracie family famously going 90 minutes with Royce in the Pride Openweight Grand Prix in May 2000 and fighting Igor Vovchanchyn the same night. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson is the other notable participant, who always speaks of his affinity for Japan and the best period of his MMA career when he competed for PRIDE. There is a divide between the pro wrestling and MMA audiences when it comes to nostalgia and reverence for the past generations. In pro wrestling, once you’re part of a major period in wrestling, you can exist off its fumes for decades as evidenced by the major stars of WCW and ECW during the late ‘90s boom. In MMA, it’s such a quicker turnaround where fighters have shorter careers and I believe there is a greater turnover within the fanbase too. You don’t equate Chuck Liddell within the UFC machine as you do Steve Austin in WWE. There is a fanbase that is watching MMA today that didn’t live through Georges St-Pierre or Anderson Silva and it’s a smaller window compared to the enduring nostalgia we see in professional wrestling. Below is the lineup:
*Josh Barnett vs. Jon Moxley
*Minoru Suzuki vs. Timothy Thatcher
*Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs. Hideki Sekine
*Santino Marella vs. Kazushi Sakuraba
*Masakatsu Funaki vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr.
*Konami vs. Maya Fukuda
*Erik Hammer vs. Takuya Nomura
*Hideki Suzuki vs. Hikaru Sato
*Fuminori Abe vs. Yu Iizuka

**NJPW begins its G1 qualifying tournaments this weekend with shows on Saturday and Sunday. The card on Saturday features Yujiro vs. Callum Newman (winner faces KENTA) and Chase Owens vs. YOSHI-HASHI (winner faces Tomohiro Ishii) to determine who will join the A Block. On Sunday, it’s Toru Yano vs. Oleg Boltin (winner faces Hiroshi Tanahashi) and Satoshi Kojima vs. TJP (winner faces Taichi) for the B Block spot. The semi-final matches are on July 3 at Korakuen Hall and the finals on July 5 to wrap up the New Japan Soul tour. The G1 begins on July 20 with back-to-back nights at Edion Arena in Osaka.

**WWE will host live events in Bloomington, Illinois on Saturday and Kalamazoo, Michigan on Sunday. The Bloomington card is listing Cody Rhodes, Seth Rollins, Sami Zayn, Jey Uso, and LA Knight among the top talent. Sunday’s card is advertising Cody Rhodes vs. AJ Styles.

**AEW taped Saturday’s edition of Collision and the June 28 edition of Rampage last night in Allentown, Pennsylvania. This weekend’s episode of Collision includes Will Ospreay vs. Brian Cage for the International title, Kazuchika Okada vs. Ultimo Guerrero for the Continental Championship, Hechicero vs. Matt Menard, Malakai Black & Brody King vs. LSG & MSG, Chris Jericho & Big Bill vs. Private Party, The Patriarchy vs. Iron Savages & Jacked Jameson, Toni Storm & Mariah May vs. Lady Frost & Leyla Hirsch, and The Premier Athletes vs. Samoa Joe, HOOK & Katsuyori Shibata. Next week’s edition of Rampage features several NJPW talents on the show heading into Forbidden Door weekend with Shingo Takagi vs. Dalton Castle, El Phantasmo vs. AR Fox, Roderick Strong & Gabe Kidd vs. The Infantry, Queen Aminata vs. Skye Blue, and Orange Cassidy vs. The Outrunners.

**TNA Slammiversary will be headlined by Moose defending the TNA Heavyweight Championship in a six-way match. There will be matches over the next two weeks to determine who will be part of the match with Josh Alexander qualifying by beating Eric Young on Thursday’s program. Next week, it’s Steve Maclin vs. Sami Callihan and Nic Nemeth vs. Rich Swann from the recent taping in Chicago. In two weeks, it’s Mike Santana vs. Frankie Kazarian and Jake Something vs. Joe Hendry. Slammiversary takes place on July 20 at the Verdun Auditorium in Montreal.

**During the Impact Wrestling broadcast, Tom Hannifan stated that there were more sign-ups for TNA+ this past Friday for Against All Odds than any single day in the streaming platform’s history. They didn’t disclose the number but coincides with a recent promotion they introduced for a sizable discount on the yearly subscription plan. For Against All Odds to have this additional interest, you have to credit the tease of an NXT performer answering Jordynne Grace’s challenge and report from PWinsider that Jeff Hardy was set to debut with the company.

**Brad Balukjian, author of The Six Pack, has posted some records related to WWF events in 1989 with house shows at the Hara Arena in Ohio, the Providence Civic Center in Rhode Island, and the Reunion Arena in Dallas.

**TNA has added TV taping dates for Spartanburg, South Carolina on September 27 & September 28. The next major shows are Slammiversary on July 20, Emergence on August 30, and Victory Road on September 13.

**The UFC 303 card continues to experience turbulence. Ariel Helwani reported that Carlos Ulberg was off the card and Anthony Smith will now fight Roman Doldize on the June 29 card. This fight began with Jamahal Hill vs. Khalil Rountree Jr., which changed with Rountree Jr. revealed he had failed a drug test and Carlos Ulberg replaced him. Then, Hill suffered an injury and Anthony Smith stepped in to fight on short notice. Now, Ulberg is out and we have another iteration of the fight.

**The UFC will host its first card in Saudi Arabia on Saturday in a relationship that Vince McMahon helped to broker before his exit from TKO and which Mark Shapiro stated is worth $20 million to the company to run this show. I don’t sense any of the same sentiments among UFC fans toward the promotion running in the country as we saw with WWE going to the country. There are no female fighters booked on the card but we don’t know if that was by request but it’s rare for a card not to feature any women’s fights. It’s an afternoon show with the main card airing on ABC and ESPN+ and the prelims beginning at Noon ET on ESPN. Dana White is in Saudi Arabia for the card and it will be interesting to see how the show is presented and compared to WWE’s Greatest Royal Rumble, which was the first in its ten-year deal with the government.

MAIN CARD (3 p.m. ET on ABC & ESPN+)
*Robert Whittaker vs. Ikram Aliskerov
*Sergei Pavlovich vs. Alexander Volkov
*Daniel Rodriguez vs. Kelvin Gastelum – the fight was moved to 185 pounds from 170
*Shara Magomedov vs. Antonio Turcoli
*Johnny Walker vs. Volkan Oezdemir

(Noon on ESPN & ESPN+)
*Jared Gordon vs. Nasrat Haqparast
*Felipe Lima vs. Muhammad Naimov
*Rinat Fakhretdinov vs. Nicolas Dalby
*Muin Gafurov vs. Kyung Ho Kang
*Brendson Ribeiro vs. Magomed Gadzhiyasulov
*Xiao Long vs. Chang-ho Lee

**The PFL runs its card in Salt Lake City tonight with the main card at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN. The main card features Clay Collard (25-12) vs. Mads Burnell (18-6), Impa Kasanganay (16-4) vs. Jakob Nedoh (4-2), Bruno Miranda (16-5) vs. Patricky “Pitbull” Freire (25-13), Rob Wilkinson (19-2) vs. Josh Silveira (13-2), Doveltdzhan Yagshimuradov (22-7-1) vs. Simon Biyong (9-4), and Alex Polizzi (10-4) vs. Antonio Carlos Junior (15-5).

**The Bellator Championship Series airs on Saturday from the 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland, and is headlined by Jason Jackson (18-4) fighting Ramazan Kuramagomedov (11-0) along with Paul Hughes (9-1) vs. Bobby King (12-6), and Arlene Blencowe (15-10) vs. Sinead Kavanagh (9-6) in the top fights.

**The TKO closed at $106.52 on Friday.

REWIND-A-WAI #159: WrestleMania – The Album (1993)
In their latest wrestling music review, Wai Ting reunites with Nate Milton & Kris Ealy (Kings of Sport, NWA Podcast) to listen to and discuss WWF’s WrestleMania – The Album from 1993.
MCU L8R: X-Men Origins – Wolverine (2009)
This week in their Deadpool & Wolverine ReWatch prep, Rich Fann & WH Park are joined by “Our Man” Neal Flanagan of The Wellness Policy to review the problematic but essential, X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
John Pollock and Wai Ting review AEW Dynamite featuring MJF vs. Rush and a heated face-to-face between Swerve Strickland & Will Ospreay.
John Pollock and Brandon Thurston chat about WWE’s Clash at the Castle in Scotland, and a curveball is thrown regarding UFC’s antitrust suit.
Davie Portman and John Siino review WWE NXT featuring a Battle Royal to determine Trick Williams’ opponent at NXT Heatwave!
THE DOUBLE SHOT: “Who Killed WCW? Ep. 3
John Pollock & Wai Ting share their thoughts on Who Killed WCW? Episode 3: “New Blood”, documenting the arrival of former WWF head writer Vince Russo.

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About John Pollock 5651 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.