**Court Bauer and I have put out a new show discussing all the latest news, including: Asuka vacating the NXT women’s title, the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight, the Jon Jones drug test failure and how it affects Brock Lesnar, TripleMania this weekend, the ongoing CM Punk lawsuit filed by Dr. Chris Amann, the plight of FloSlam, GFW looking at a streaming service, The Undertaker and lots more covered on this show and it is up at http://dev.fightnetwork.com/law/aug-25-edition-of-bauer-pollock/.
**We have a new Review-A-Wai edition up today as Braden Herrington & Bartender Dave fill in this week and review the new “Pure Country Pure Heart” movie starring Willie Nelson and featuring Shawn Michaels. They provide a full review of the film and also take your feedback at http://dev.fightnetwork.com/law/review-a-wai-pure-country-pure-heart-starring-shawn-michaels/ and on iTunes.
**I was a guest on TSN 1290 in Winnipeg on Friday to chat about the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight and you can listen at this link.
**Jim Ross will be our guest live this Sunday night on The LAW at 11pm Eastern.
**The major news from Thursday night’s set of NXT television tapings is that Asuka is vacating the NXT women’s title after 510 days as champion. The tapings concluded with the segment where Asuka came out, the locker room emptied and she announced she is vacating the title. William Regal and Triple H were also out for the segment and announced that negotiations had begun to send Asuka to either Raw or SmackDown. It is unknown what they will do with the title as there are several options. The first one is awarding it to the winner of the Mae Young Classic, although from a logic standpoint it is hard to explain why the title would go to women outside of the division. Asuka will become the latest test to see how effectively a star can transfer from NXT to the main roster and capture the same magic she has had within NXT since her debut in 2015.
**NXT has announced that Bobby Roode’s final NXT appearances will be coming up next month. Roode is scheduled for September 7th in Rochester, New York, September 8th in St. Catharines, Ontario and his final date is scheduled for September 9th in Toronto at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (the former Maple Leaf Gardens).
**The Raw crew has a live event in Carbondale, Illinois tonight with John Cena, Roman Reigns and Samoa Joe all advertised. Cena is also advertised for the Raw show Saturday night in Jonesboro, Arkansas. The SmackDown crew starts Saturday night in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
**This Saturday night, AAA will present TripleMania 25 from Arena Ciudad in Mexico City and will stream for free on Twitch and it will be joined in progress on Televisa in Mexico tomorrow night. Below is the full lineup for the show:
*Big Mami & Dinastia & Estrella Divina & Mascara de Bronce vs. Hernandez & La Hiedra & Mamba & Mini Psycho Clown
*Sexy Star vs. Ayako Hamada vs. Rosemary vs. Lady Shani for the AAA Reina de Reinas title
*Dark Scoria & Dark Cuervo vs. Drago & Aero Star vs. Monster & Murder Clown vs. DJZ & Andrew Everett for the AAA tag titles
*La Parka & Argenis & Bengala vs. Bobby Lashley & Moose & Jeff Jarrett vs. Australian Suicide & Pimpinela Escarlata & Faby Apache vs. Averno & Super Fly & Chessman vs. Pirata Morgan & Heavy Metal & Villano IV vs. Scorpio Jr. & Zumbido & Decnis vs. Psicosis & Maniaco & Histeria vs. Crazy Boy & Nino Hamburguesa & Lanzelot vs. Mr. Aguila & Halloween & Joe Lider vs. El Intocable & Blue Demon Jr. & Luchador Sorpresa
*Johnny Mundo vs. El Hijo del Fantasma vs. Texano Jr. in a TLC match for the AAA Mega & AAA Latin American & AAA Cruiserweight title
*Pagano vs. El Mesias in a Street Fight
*Dr. Wagner Jr. vs. Psycho Clow in a 2-of-3 Falls, Mask vs. Mask Match
**Thursday night’s episode of Impact Wrestling saw a drop to 296,000 viewers on POP TV for the show built around the crowning of a new GFW champion. This is down from last week’s average of 320,000 viewers.
**The culmination of the 11-week Cueto Cup tournament and the biggest build behind a Lucha Underground title match led to a surge in this week’s audience on the El Rey Network. The 8pm Eastern airing of this week’s episode averaged 177,000 viewers with 44,000 watching the replay for a total of 221,000 viewers. The overall viewership is up 84% from the week prior and is easily their highest number since returning back in May. To put into perspective, the number was 41,000 higher than last summer’s Ultima Lucha Dos season two finale.
**The WWE stock closed at $20.89 on Friday.
Lucha Underground (Aug. 23rd)
-This was the episode they had promoted since June with the culmination of the 11-week long Cueto Cup coming down to Prince Puma and Pentagon Dark.
-The tournament final was a very good 10-minute match, which was actually a welcome change in that Puma won convincingly with a limited number of near falls and wasn’t put in a position to steal the show. The 630 delivered by Puma was a thing of beauty and Puma called it one of the cleanest he has ever landed.
-The main event saw Johnny Mundo retain the Lucha Underground title over Rey Mysterio after interference from Dario Cueto and a belt shot from Mundo. The match also featured Dominic (Rey’s son) getting involved and took down Mundo.
-The other angle on the show featured Joey Ryan unmasking Veneno to reveal Cortez Castro (Ricky Reyes) working as a mole in the temple.
-Overall, this was a very good episode and the culmination of all their key stories from the past three-months. Based on the audience number, it shows people were aware this was a big show and tuned in for it (especially the first airing), which is a positive sign as you hear so little buzz for this show with these episodes being taped over a year ago.
Impact Wrestling (Aug. 24th)
-The entire second hour of the program was dedicated to the 20-man Gauntlet for the Gold Match with several angles shot during the match for future programs. Eddie Edwards and Eli Drake did the 1995 Royal Rumble scenario where the #1 and 2 entrants were the final two with Drake pinning Edwards clean to become the new champion. Drake is a great talker but is being placed into a main event position much like Jinder Mahal was this year in the sense that Drake was positioned higher than Mahal but it will take a lot of work for the audience to take to Drake as champion. Personally, if I was going to have someone out of left field win the title, I would be looking at someone like Trevor Lee, who has shown the ability to carry himself and be a top guy from his CWF Mid-Atlantic work and would be a something unique. The jury is out on Drake until we see the next few episodes and how he comes across as champion.
-Moose eliminated Lashley and led to a pull apart with the ATT members in the front row and will be the focused program going into Bound for Glory.
-Johnny Nitro (John Hennigan) debuted in the Gauntlet and received a big reaction for his entrance.
-Jim Cornette was used throughout the show and has already become the best promos on any show. I wasn’t a big fan of the segment where Cornette was delivering a speech to all the members of the Gauntlet Match and talking down to all of them and was similar to a speech Dixie Carter did on television a few years ago dressing down the talent. Bruce Prichard was not at the tapings after his firing angle, so if he is returning it won’t be until Bound for Glory at the earliest (unless they have taped anything backstage to set up a return for the pay-per-view).
-This was the second straight week that I found Impact to be a pretty easy show to digest and the pacing has improved a lot with these first two episodes from the recent tapings. They are experimenting with a lot of production ideas and I liked the black-and-white promos of the Gauntlet participants prior to the match.
**Everything is focused on Saturday night’s fight between Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Conor McGregor and it will be one of the largest combat sports events of all-time. The fact the fight is happening is an incredible feat on its own and one in which I would imagine a book will be written on one day. It is a convergence of two industries that have always been cousins in boxing and mixed martial arts, with ardent fan bases on each side that are viewing this fight through contradictory lenses.
While the promotion for this fight never felt like a referendum on either sport, the closer we get to the fight the more you see fans of each sport siding with “their guy” as a representative. I have seen many comparisons of this fight to the 1976 fight between Muhammad Ali and Antonio Inoki, but I sense a closer resemblance to the first fight Brock Lesnar had in the UFC with Frank Mir. At that time, Lesnar had one professional MMA fight and was extremely limited as a striker and grappler going against a former heavyweight champion with a high-level jiu-jitsu game. On the outside, it was the convergence of two strong fan bases with the MMA audience viewing Lesnar as the outsider and the professional wrestling audience viewing Lesnar as representative of the industry and not embarrassing himself. The end result was perfect and it ended Lesnar tapping out in the first round, but looking good enough early that he gained the respect of his critics. It built to a bigger rematch the following year and Mir was a huge reason Lesnar became the star he did.
McGregor will gain points if he shows any kind of skill set that momentarily leads to success and should he last a number of rounds it will be all that more impressive. It is hard to predict how McGregor will be viewed coming out of the fight until you see the fight play out. When CM Punk fought Mickey Gall, it was a one-sided affair and Punk was out of his depth and was generally looked upon as harmful to his future within the UFC.
If this really is the final fight for Mayweather, then McGregor should surpass Saul “Canelo” Alvarez as the king of pay-per-view and will be in high demand for his next fight and should be yield a tremendous amount of leverage and power for whomever he fights for next.
The buildup for the fight was intriguing, the actual fight presents a lot of curiosity and questions but even more fascinating is the fallout after this fight and what happens next for McGregor. He has major fights lined up in MMA, Boxing and the ultimate one would be a scenario in which a rematch with Mayweather is warranted after this fight and the same formula is applied from the Mir-Lesnar series on a much larger scale with Mayweather-McGregor.
BAUER & POLLOCK – Aug. 25th
(John Pollock & Court Bauer return to chat about Asuka vacating the women’s title, Mayweather vs. McGregor thoughts, the Jon Jones drug test failure and impact on Brock Lesnar, the CM Punk lawsuit and tons more news & notes)
REVIEW-A-WAI – “Pure Country Pure Heart”
(Braden Herrington & Bartender Dave fill in and review the new film that stars Willie Nelson and also features Shawn Michaels in a starring role)
THE MMA REPORT – Aug. 24th
(It is Mayweather vs. McGregor fight week and John Pollock is joined by Corey Erdman of Showtime Sports, Severe MMA’s Sean Sheehan, Fight Network’s Cody Saftic and a discussion on the Jon Jones drug test failure)
REVIEW-A-SMACKDOWN – Aug. 23rd
(John Pollock & Wai Ting review the final night in Brooklyn for the WWE with the debut of Bobby Roode, return of Shelton Benjamin and another A.J. Styles vs. Kevin Owens match along with a debate on beach balls)
REVIEW-A-RAW: “Balls-clays Center”
(John Pollock & Wai Ting review Raw from the Barclays Center with the return of John Cena to Raw and teaming with Roman Reigns, fallout from SummerSlam, injury to Big Cass and we take your feedback and questions)
JAPANESE AUDIO WRESTLING – Aug. 21st
(JoJo Remy & WH Park share their thoughts on the final three nights of the G-1, Tetsuya Naito’s win, directions for Wrestle Kingdom 12 and they conduct a fantasy draft for the 2018 G-1)
THE LAW: LIVE AUDIO WRESTLING – Aug. 21st
(Jason Agnew & Dan “The Mouth” Lovranski run through the WWE SummerSlam card and take your calls, Dave Meltzer chats SummerSlam and the latest on Ric Flair, plus LAW Extra with Braden Herrington & Bartender Dave reviewing NXT Takeover from Brooklyn)
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