Thursday Update: More on Raw being shortened, Punk’s next MMA gig, Smackdown ratings up against election coverage, Beefcake, Mark Henry on Facebook Watch show, big Chicago indy weekend, Evolve-NXT, Styles DVD, Evolution

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor


C.M. Punk (artist Grant Gould © PWTorch)

If you attend a live event or have news tips for us, please send to pwtorch@pwtorch.com. Thanks!


-WWE Raw just got shorter, but not an hour shorter – just a few minutes. The overrun is coming to an end, according to a Fightful.com report. USA Network will hold Raw to a hard three-hour window. WCW started the overrun format with Nitro, a successful attempt to get fans who watched Raw’s main event to switch over to see how Nitro ended. It led to huge surges in viewership for the overrun for Nitro and may have been influential in “winning over” new viewers the following week based on the “hook” at the end of Nitro. WWE followed with their own overruns, at times it became a battle of who could have the longest overrun. It continued well after Nitro was cancelled by TNT because it usually led to a viewership surge at the top of the hour. That “surge” isn’t as valuable when Raw ratings are as low as they are now compared to 15 or 20 years ago, and it disrupts the viewership of USA Network’s programming the rest of the evening. Modern Family is schedule to start right as Raw ends at 11 ET now.

-Up against highly rated election coverage across the three major broadcast networks and cable news networks, Smackdown drew a 1.51 rating on Tuesday night, in between the last two weeks (1.55 last week, 1.46 two weeks ago). We’ll have more details with key metrics later here at PWTorch.com in a separate story.

-Former WWE main eventer and WWE Champion C.M. Punk isn’t done working under the UFC banner after all. Punk will join the commentary team for the Cage Fury Fighting Championship (CFFC) promotion for the Dec. 14 event set to air on UFC Fight Pass. CFFC President Rod Haydak said of Punk, “CM Punk’s knowledge and passion for MMA is incredible, and his charisma and personality make him a perfect fit for this role.” FULL STORY AT MMATORCH.COM

-Former WWF wrestler Brutus Beefcake is making a special appearance on the Canadian Wrestling Elite event tonight (11/8) in Medicine Hat, Alberta at the Medicine Hat Stampede. He is scheduled to be the guest referee at ringside for the main event between “Model” Deryck Crosse vs. “The Crazed Cowboy” Jacob Creed.

-Mark Henry starred in the third episode of “Risky Biz” on Facebook Watch today. Henry joined the team to create the ultimate test of strength where two contestants pushed their muscles to the max for a chance to win $25,000. Show description: “Risky Biz” peeks into the high stakes, suspenseful gamble that follows Odds On Promotions owner Mark Gilmartin and contest engineers Will Pemble and Joel Ifill as they conceptualize extravagant, prize-driven games that are fun and intriguing to attempt, but challenging to win.


CHECK OUT TODAY’S “THURSDAY FLAGSHIP” OF THE WADE KELLER PRO WRESTLING PODCAST WITH JASON POWELL FROM PROWRESTLING.NET…

PWTorch editor Wade Keller presents the Thursday Flagship edition of the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast with guest cohost Jason Powell from the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast and ProWrestling.net. They talk Survivor Series line-up taking shape, should A.J. Styles beat Brock Lesnar, a reshuffled Raw roster without Roman Reigns and with several turns, the futures of the Young Bucks, Cody, and Kenny Omega and whether there’s room for a new number two in the U.S., and more.

-On Tune In Radio HERE
-On Apple Podcasts HERE
-Or search “Wade Keller” on your podcast app of choice


-Evolve returns to action starting tomorrow (Nov. 9) with Evolve 115 in Detroit, Mich. The show will air live on ClubWWN and Fite.tv. Kassius Ohno conducted an interview that was spotlighted on WWE.com building up his return to Evolve and his Evolve Championship match at Evolve 115 against Fabian Aichner. This marks the first time that two NXT talents have wrestled for the Evolve Championship.

-Also on the card, NXT’s The Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins) defend against WWN Champion J.D. Drake & Anthony Henry, 205 Live wrestler Mustafa Ali faces DJZ, Shine Champion Allysin Kay vs. Shotzi Blackheart, A.R. Fox vs. Austin Theory, and a Four Way Freestyle featuring Harlem Bravado vs. Jason Kincaid vs. Josh Briggs vs. Leon Ruff.

-Evolve 116 takes place on Nov. 10 in Oak Lawn, Ill. The show is headlined by an Evolve Tag Team Championship match featuring The Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins) vs. A.R.Fox & Leon Ruff (w/Ayla, The Skulk). Other matches on the card include WWN Champion J.D. Drake vs. Austin Theory (w/Priscilla Kelly) vs. Harlem Bravado, Mustafa Ali vs. Darby Allin, Kassius Ohno vs. Shane Strickland, Evolve Champion Fabian Aichner vs. Anthony Henry in a non-title match, Freelance Champion Isaias Velazquez vs. GPA, and Jason Kincaid vs. Josh Briggs.

-MLW debuts in Chicago, Ill. tomorrow at Cicero Stadium (if you attend, please send results to pwtorch@pwtorch.com). MLW also announced it’s returning to Chicago on March 2, 2019 with “MLW: Intimidation Games.” Tickets go on sale this Monday, Nov. 12 at MLWTickets.com.

-This Saturday night, AAW is back in LaSalle, Ill. at the Nights of Columbus (TICKETS) with Sami Callihan & Jessica Havoc vs. Brody King & Jimmy Jacobs, Trevor Lee vs. Rich Swann, Lucha Bros (Penta & Rey Fenix) vs. The Rscals (Dezmond Xavier & Zackary Went), Kylie Rae vs. Allysin Kay, Eddie Kingston vs. Mance Warner, Marko Stunt & Ace Romero vs. Curt Stallion & Jack Something, and Quinn MacKay vs. Ally Kat, DJZ & Trey Miguel & Myron Reed vs. Mike Hartenbower & Kody Rice & PACO, and Myron Roode vs. Trey Miguel vs. DJZ.

WrestlingDVDNetwork.com reports that the Evolution DVD box will feature over a dozen women on the cover, with Ronda Rousey in the front along with Becky Lynch, and then Charlotte and Nikki Bella right behind them as the four most prominent featured, but it’s more of an ensemble picture than focusing on just two or three or four. Meanwhile, Super Show-Down’s DVD cover most prominently features Undertaker and Triple H, with a smaller picture above of all three Shield members. The “A.J. Styles Most Phenomenal Matches” DVD hit stores this week with over eight hours of Styles matches from his debut in WWE through this year.

RELATED: Raw length to be trimmed, Raw ratings on brink of dropping below key level for year, big drop-off on third hour this week


If you attend a live event or have news tips for us, please send to pwtorch@pwtorch.com. Thanks!

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