-- As noted earlier here on the website, the July 8 episode of WWE SmackDown! scored a 1.73 (1.7) cable rating and averaged 2.72 million viewers, improving on year-low ratings and viewership the week before. The previous week's show drew a 1.63 cable rating and 2.33 million viwwers. This remains below the program's 2011 average of a 1.9 rating and 2.9 million viewers.
-- The NWA issued the following press release today announcing that The Sheik had been stripped of the NWA Title for pulling out of a scheduled title defense against Adam Pearce: CHARLOTTE, NC: The NWA has been informed that The Sheik has pulled out of his scheduled title defense on July 31st at the Ohio St. Fair against 3-time champion Adam Pearce. It is not clear at this time as to the reasons behind The Sheik's refusal to go through with this bout. The NWA first received an inkling of the issue when it was noted that the long-awaited showdown was no longer on The Sheik's calendar. When contacted, The Sheik's camp confirmed that he would not be appearing for the eagerly-anticipated battle. Faced with this refusal, the NWA Board of Directors held an emergency teleconference, with the result being that The Sheik has been stripped of the NWA World Heavyweight Championship, effective immediately. "This is not something the NWA does lightly", said Executive Director, Robert K. Trobich. "We prefer that the title be settled in the ring". The vacant title will be filled by the new main event for the July 31st show: A three-way match between the man who was promised the shot, 3-Time Champ, Scrap Iron Adam Pearce, and the holders of the two other most prestigious belts in the NWA, National Champion, Chance Prophet, and North American Champion, Shaun Tempers!
NOTE: It should be noted that this had been brewing for several weeks. There were some people within the NWA who believed The Sheik wasn't going to show up for a planned title defense against Adam Pearce. More soon.
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