POLLOCK'S NEWS UPDATE: 30th Annual G1 Climax set to begin

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/09/18/pollocks-news-update-30th-annual-g1-climax-set-to-begin/


**It’s an abbreviated news update today as I was pulled away most of the afternoon, we will have added coverage over the weekend catching up on news along with our G1 coverage.

**The deadline to submit your picks for POST Wrestling G1 Climax contest is tonight at 11:59 pm Eastern.

**Wai Ting and I will be LIVE tonight with Rewind-A-SmackDown at 10:15 pm Eastern for POST Wrestling Café members. We will be doing the same format as last week using Zoom, so look out for the link to join us throughout the show. In addition to reviewing SmackDown, we will chat today’s news, provide a look at the two G1 shows this weekend, and take your calls.

**Our G1 Climax podcasts begin Saturday as Wai and I will have shows coming out each day following a G1 card for Café members. On Saturday, the show will be out in the afternoon for Café members and then we’ll post it free for everyone Saturday night. For Sunday, that G1 podcast will be exclusive to POST Wrestling Café members. Café access is $6 (U.S) per month and gives you access to all bonus content including all the G1 post shows, and access to the full archive going back to 2017 while also supporting our site.

**This week, I was a guest on The Fishbulb Podcast, which Phil Chertok of this site is the host of. I’ve known Phil for almost twenty years, so he knows me more than most, and therefore, the questions covered a lot more ground than a typical interview. I really enjoyed doing this one as it brought up a lot of memories and things from my career I don’t often think about. You can also subscribe to The Fishbulb Podcast on iTunes as Phil has had a lot of interesting guests from different walks of life since launching it earlier this year.

**The upNXT crew has uploaded a free version of Best Match Ever, which I was a guest on earlier this year chatting the best matches of Stan Hansen’s career. This was a great show as we went through Hansen’s entire career and the impact he had as one of the biggest foreign wrestlers to ever go to Japan.


**The 30th annual G1 Climax tournament begins this weekend with A and B Block shows taking place from Osaka, Japan with the twenty-man tournament taking place over the next month with 19 shows. From an in-ring perspective, the A Block is as deep a block as they have ever had while the question remains how the atmosphere will affect this year’s matches. With the protocols in place by New Japan, fans have been asked not to cheer and it’s created an alternative presentation that hasn’t always been smooth. That said, the wrestling should be some of the best this year and was enhanced by the addition of several foreign-based performers that haven’t wrestled in Japan since the shutdown earlier this year.

Below are the line-ups for the first two shows this weekend.

Saturday, September 19th at 4 am Eastern:
*Kazuchika Okada vs. Kota Ibushi – a rematch from Wrestle Kingdom this past January, which was one of the best matches of the year
*Shingo Takagi vs. Jay White
*Minoru Suzuki vs. Tomohiro Ishii
*Jeff Cobb vs. Taichi
*Will Ospreay vs. Yujiro
*Yota Tsuji vs. Yuya Uemura in a non-G1 match

Sunday, September 20th at 1 am Eastern (late Saturday/early Sunday):
*Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Tetsuya Naito
*EVIL vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
*KENTA vs. Hirooki Goto
*SANADA vs. Toru Yano
*Juice Robinson vs. Yoshi-Hashi
*Yota Tsuji vs. Gabriel Kidd in a non-G1 match

**Friday Night SmackDown has had a lot of momentum since the return of Roman Reigns and are coming off their best number since April last week. Tonight’s episode should follow that trend with the advertisement that Sasha Banks will return to address Bayley’s attack. Below is what they have announced for tonight’s show at 8 pm Eastern on Fox:
*Roman Reigns & Jey Uso vs. Sheamus & King Corbin in a Samoan Street Fight
*AJ Styles vs. Sami Zayn
*Sasha Banks responds to Bayley’s attack
*Nikki Cross will be a guest on “Moment of Bliss” with Alexa Bliss
*Danny Burch vs. Tony Nese on 205 Live

**Below are the matches for tonight’s episode of NJPW Strong billed as “The Road to Lion’s Break Crown” airing at 10 pm Eastern on NJPW World:
*Guerrillas of Destiny vs. ACH & Alex Zayne
*Rocky Romero & PJ Black vs. Fred Rosser & Misterioso
*Barrett Brown, Blake Christian, Jordan Clearwater & The DKC vs. Clark Connors, Logan Riegel, Adrian Quest & Danny Limelight

**The Lion’s Break Crown tournament will begin with next week’s episode of NJPW Strong on September 25th. The semi-finals air on October 2nd and the finals will be October 9th.

**AEW Dark has released the following line-up for Tuesday’s episode at 7 pm Eastern on YouTube:
*Ricky Starks vs. Christopher Daniels
*Penta El Zero M & Rey Fenix vs. Dontae Smiley & Maxx Stardom
*Eddie Kingston vs. Brian Pillman Jr.
*The Butcher & The Blade vs. Calvin Stewart & Puf
*Billy & Austin Gunn vs. M’Badu & Cruz
*Sonny Kiss & Joey Janela vs. Kevin Blackwood & Daniel Garcia
*Evil Uno & Stu Grayson vs. Rembrandt Lewis & Fuego del Sol
*Will Hobbs vs. Serpentico
*Ben Carter vs. Lee Johnson
*Serena Deeb vs. KiLynn King
*Five & Ten from Dark Order vs. Ryzin & Xander Gold

**NOAH’s N-1 Victory tournament began on Friday in Nagoya with the following results:
*Block B: Takashi Sugiura over Yoshiki Inamura
*Block A: Kaito Kiyomiya over Masaaki Mochizuki
*Block A: Go Shiozaki over Manabu Soya
*Block B: Katsuhiko Nakajima over Kenoh

**The N-1 tournament will resume Monday with Masaaki Mochizuki vs. Kazushi Sakuraba, Masa Kitamiya vs. Manabu Soya, Takashi Sugiura vs. Shuhei Taniguchi, and Naomichi Marfuji vs. Yoshiki Inamura. The tournament runs until October 11th with the finals in Osaka.

**The WWE stock closed at $40.16 on Friday.

**Thus far, KUSHIDA and Cameron Grimes have been announced for next Wednesday’s Gauntlet Eliminator on NXT.

**NXT UK returned on Thursday and it was largely a set-up for next week’s show that features WALTER vs. Saxton Huxley, the draw for the Heritage Cup with Pete Dunne appearing as a guest, and a match between NXT UK women’s champion Kay Lee Ray and Piper Niven. The commentary was handled by Andy Shepherd and the returning Nigel McGuinness.

**I had a chance to watch the four Champion Carnival matches from Tuesday’s show at Korakuen Hall with the following matches:
*Zeus over Jiro “Ikemen” Kuroshio in 7:14 – It was an average match with Zeus destroying Kuroshio with chops. The pendulum shifted when Kuroshio attacked Zeus’ shoulder. Kuroshio nearly slipped going for a springboard into a Super Frankensteiner but landed it. Zeus landed one big chop and won with it.
*Yoshitatsu over Yuma Aoyagi in 5:13 – They did a great job on this show establishing referee stoppages as a viable ending. In this one, Yoshitatsu’s lower back and ribs were wrapped and provided Aoyagi a target for the entire match. Yoshitatsu sold well, collapsing several times and the match was stopped due to pressure on the lower back from a submission.
*Kento Miyahara over Shotaro Ashino in 18:29 – I liked this one a lot. The last two matches of the show are the ones to seek out. Miyahara’s selling was phenomenal with his left knee targeted all match. He had to overcome interference from the floor and fired up with knee strikes and Ashino continually used an ankle lock. Miyahara finally got control of Ashino’s waist and hit the Shutdown German for the pin. This was great.
*Jake Lee over Suwama in 17:38 – This was a match that centered around Lee’s work on Suwama’s arm and shoulder that made Suwama feel like Shinya Hashimoto late in his career when he worked through all his shoulder damage. Lee broke down the arm, stomped on it, and eventually, used a Fujiwara, tied the arm, and hyperextended the other arm as referee Kyohei Wada stopped the match. This one had the heaviest implications with Lee defeating the Triple Crown champion and should set up a title match and doesn’t require Lee winning the Carnival.


**Here is the card for Saturday’s strong UFC show with a big main card:

*Tyron Woodley (171) vs. Colby Covington (171) – This fight probably needed to happen two years ago because today, Covington is a sizable favorite for good reason. The bad blood is legitimate between the two and that can often make for very tentative fighters. Woodley has looked like a different fighter in his last two appearances and this is a major crossroads fight for him.
*Donald Cerrone (170.5) vs. Niko Price (170.5) – Cerrone appears to be in a role where he will accept whatever is thrown at him. The four-fight losing streak is deceptive given the names he has lost to that are all elite fighters. This will be his 36th fight in the UFC.
*Khamzat Chimaev (185.5) vs. Gerald Meerschaert (186) – Chimaev has a lot of attention for his confidence and the fact he already has a fight scheduled with Demian Maia after this one. Meerschaert is a tough fight given how much experience he holds. A lot of people are already sold on Chimaev but this is still the biggest name he’s fought and I still feel the jury is out regarding where the ceiling is and I want to see him tested and certainly, Maia is a massive one.
*Johnny Walker (205.5) vs. Ryan Spann (205.5)
*Randa Markos (115.5) vs. Mackenzie Dern (115)
*Kevin Holland (185) vs. Darren Stewart (185.5)

*Jordan Espinosa (126) vs. David Dvorak (125.5)
*Mirsad Bektic (144.5) vs. Damon Jackson (145.5)
*Mayra Bueno Silva (125.5) vs. Mara Romero Borella (125)
*Sarah Alpar (135.5) vs. Jessica Rose-Clark (135)
*T.J. Laramie (145) vs. Darrick Minner (146)
*Journey Newson (135) vs. Randy Costa (135)
*Andre Ewell (134.5) vs. Irwin Rivera (135.5)
*Tyson Nam (136) vs. Jerome Rivera (135)

**During Thursday’s press conference, they separated Colby Covington and Tyron Woodley instead of pairing them on the dais together. Conversely, they brought out the other main card fighters for the first half of the press conference. Woodley would only answer questions from the media by including “Black Lives Matter” in all his answers. It got ugly on Instagram as Covington posted a photo of himself and wrote “The face I make when I’m ready to give a domestic terrorist sympathizer a hard lesson in American resolve”. In the comment section of the post, Tito Ortiz chimed in writing “Kick that terrorist’s ass” with #AllLivesMatter attached to his message. It’s just horrible that language was used by those two and it goes beyond fight promotion regarding Covington and makes you embarrassed to see fighters represent themselves this way.

**Dana White spoke to TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter and confirmed that Tony Ferguson won’t be fighting on the UFC 254 card next month in Abu Dhabi. After talks broke down involving Dustin Poirier fighting Ferguson, White said they were looking at another fight for Ferguson but in this latest interview said they couldn’t get a fight done and are moving on. On Thursday, the UFC announced the signing of free agent Michael Chandler, who will serve as the backup in case lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov or Justin Gaethje can’t fight on October 24th on the pay-per-view.

**Combate reported that Paulo Costa tested negative for COVID-19 and will now leave for Abu Dhabi, the site of UFC 253 next weekend where he challenges UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya.

**Here are the results from Invicta FC 42 held on Thursday night in Kansas City, Kansas:
*Alesha Zappitella def. Ashley Cummins by Von Flue choke at 1:20 of Round 4 to win the vacant Atomweight title
*Lisa Verzosa def. Raquel Canuto by unanimous decision
*Jessica Correra Delboni def. Herica Tiburcio by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
*Victoria Leonardo def. Liz Tracy by unanimous decision (29-28 all)
*Helen Peralta def. Jennifer Chieng by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)

**Invicta FC’s next card will be Friday, November 20th with two vacant titles up for grabs. The flyweight title will be awarded to the winner of the Pearl Gonzalez and Erin Blanchfield fight while Emily Ducote takes on Montserrat Ruiz for the vacant strawweight title. The card takes place on the eve of UFC 255.

**Bellator has added several fights for their card in Paris, France next month. The October 10th card will be headlined by Cheick Kongo vs. Tim Johnson with Michael “Venom” Page vs. Ross Houston also announced previously. The new fights on the card include 44-year old veteran Melvin Manhoef set to fight Simon Biyong in a light heavyweight fight. Manhoef has been fighting at middleweight since 2014 and is coming up a weight class for this fight. Manhoef fought twice for Bellator in 2019 with wins against Kent Kauppinen and Yannick Bahati. Bellator has also added Oliver Enkamp vs. Emmanuel Dawa, Terry Brazier vs. Yves Landu, Davy Gallon vs. Brian Hooi, Dominique Wooding vs. Fabacary Diatta, Jean N’Doye vs. Ciaran Clarke, Dylan Logan vs. William Gomis, and Maguy Berchel vs. Lucie Bertaud.


upNXT – Best Match Ever: Stan Hansen
Braden Herrington and Davie Portman nerd out over more old school wrestling with another BEST MATCH EVER, and this time they are joined by POST Wrestling’s John Pollock to review, rate, and dissect the best matches of Stan Hansen.
upNXT 9/16/20: “It’s a Freakin’ Parking Lot!”
The BDE review WWE NXT featuring Damian Priest vs Timothy Thatcher for the NXT North American Championship, Io Shirai vs Shotzi Blackheart, Breezango vs Imperium for the NXT Tag Team Championship, plus the new TakeOver announcement and more!
REWIND-A-DYNAMITE 9/16/20: Parking Lot Fight, USA Network departure, Daniel Cormier
John Pollock and Wai Ting review AEW Dynamite and one of the craziest main events they have had, USA Network president is leaving, Raw ratings, and Daniel Cormier chats WWE.
REWIND-A-WAI #70: NWA Great American Bash 1990
John Pollock and Wai Ting review NWA Great American Bash 1990 featuring Ric Flair vs. Sting for the NWA World Championship.
REWIND-A-RAW 9/14/20: “Talkin’ Bout a Retribution”
John Pollock and Wai Ting discuss IN YOUR FACE WWE Raw, the identities of Retribution, the Conor McGregor story, SmackDown’s viewers, and a big week coming up on the site.
POST INTERVIEW: Author Keith Elliot Greenberg
John Pollock is joined by author Keith Elliot Greenberg to discuss his latest release Too Sweet: Inside the Indie Wrestling Revolution.
POST PURORESU: G1 Climax 2020 Preview
John Pollock is joined WH Park for their monthly edition of POST Puroresu featuring previews of the G1 Climax, Champion Carnival, and N-1 Victory tournaments coming up.
REWIND-A-SMACKDOWN: “Wobbly Dangerously”, AEW ratings, G1 cards
John Pollock and Wai Ting chat WWE SmackDown featuring the debut of Wobbly Walrus, plus AEW hits one million viewers, G1 line-ups, Hell in a Cell date change, WWE cuts & more.

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My happiness for the G1 Climax starting this weekend was almost subsided by that terrible shit from Covington and Tito. Screw them.

Excited for the G1, not sure how my picks will go tonight.

One of the few New Japan 4am cards of the year I let myself get up for to watch live.

Couldn’t decide between an Okada-EVIL final (Cup Final Revenge) or a Jay White-EVIL final, but wound up going with the more random one and stuck with the latter (perhaps with a Bullet Club turn on the last night of the B Block?). So far so good with the picks through two matches - have Ishii, Shingo, and Okada the rest of tonight.

Sizable part of me is still feeling the outside chance that they let Naito win the whole thing and pick Hiromu for the Dome…but until I see them actually elevate a Jr like that, it’ll just be a random booking idea in my head.

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Surest signs of G1 season beginning: All your picks going terribly and Kota Ibushi almost getting himself killed early in the tournament.

The world is normalizing.

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Anyone know what the plan is for English commentary this G1?

I don’t mind watching in Japanese but I much prefer hearing Kevin Kelly’s call.

Still couldn’t find a official word from the company last night but Chris Charlton did mention it on his Twitter…

EDIT: I’ve just checked NJPW WORLD, and no English VOD available yet.

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Night 2…still no English. I guess we might have to wait until next week in hopes that they get it down.

Speaking of Night 2: Juice Robinson just returned to Japan looking like Andy Kaufman and Freddie Mercury had a kid who became a Blues Brother and went on to get the first extremely enjoyable match out of Yoshi-Hashi I can remember and my expectations for tonight are so confusingly thrown off already.

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