POLLOCK'S NEWS UPDATE 7/6 - Ronda Rousey inducted into Hall of Fame, set for WWE events this weekend

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2018/07/06/pollocks-news-update-7-6-ronda-rousey-inducted-into-hall-of-fame-set-for-wwe-events-this-weekend/


**We have the latest edition of Rewind-A-Wai available for members of the POST Wrestling Café as Wai Ting and I review WCW Uncensored from March 1997. This event was selected by Espresso Executive Producer Jon Ziegler, who attended this pay-per-view in Charleston, South Carolina. The card is headlined by a triple team match with Team WCW (Lex Luger, The Giant & Scott Steiner) vs. Team N.W.O. (Hollywood Hogan, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall & Randy Savage) vs. Team Piper (Roddy Piper, Steve McMichael, Jeff Jarrett & Chris Benoit). This card also featured a big angle with Sting to close the show, Randy Savage attacking Diamond Dallas Page with the reveal of Kimberly Page in Playboy’s Nude Celebrities, Dean Malenko wins the U.S. title with the help of a camcorder, an attempted murder plot by The Outsiders caught on camera, an assessment of Dusty Rhodes’ commentary, the debut of Wrath, and Dennis Rodman. We also have your feedback & questions and you can access this show and our full archive by signing up to any tier of the POST Wrestling Café.

**Wai Ting filled it for Braden Herrington on this week’s edition of upNXT alongside Davie Portman to review NXT and chat the Johnny Gargano storyline.

**We have a huge weekend ahead with there shows coming out on Saturday:
*EGGSHELLS Companion Podcast – Chris Charlton will be joined by Alan4L from PW Torch to review the Tokyo Dome cards from 1991, which included the first WCW/NJPW Supershow headlined by Ric Flair vs. Tatsumi Fujinami.
*UFC 226 review – I’ll have a show posted late Saturday with Phil Chertok reviewing the UFC 226 card and highlights from International Fight Week. This show will be available on the main POST Wrestling podcast feed and through the site.
*NJPW at the Cow Palace review – Wai Ting will be reviewing the New Japan show with Dan “The Mouth” Lovranski and Mike Murray for members of the POST Wrestling Café.

**We will have coverage on the site of the TUF 27 Finale tonight.


Wai Ting & I also have a 30-minute “Mid-Year Review” as we look at the major stories from the WWE, Ring of Honor, Impact Wrestling, New Japan Pro Wrestling, and UFC, what are the big stories to watch for in 2018 and what stands out from 2018 thus far. This is a POST Production video that is available to “Double Double” and above members of the POST Wrestling Café.


**Ronda Rousey is scheduled for three WWE house shows this weekend, beginning tonight in Philadelphia at the Wells Fargo Center, the arena she debuted during the Royal Rumble. On Saturday, the Raw crew is at Madison Square Garden for a big show with Ronda Rousey vs. Nia Jax, and a six-man with The Undertaker, Roman Reigns & Braun Strowman vs. Kevin Owens, Elias & Baron Corbin advertised. On Sunday, they run Bridgeport, Connecticut with Rousey advertised for a tag match with Nia Jax against Alexa Bliss & Mickie James.

**The New Japan Pro Wrestling card takes place Saturday from the Cow Palace in San Francisco, California and will air on AXS TV in the U.S. and New Japan World outside the country. Below is the lineup for Saturday’s show:
*Kenny Omega vs. Cody for the IWGP heavyweight title
*Jay White vs. Juice Robinson for the United States title
*Hiromu Takahashi vs. Dragon Lee for the IWGP junior heavyweight title
*Kazuchika Okada & Will Ospreay vs. Tetsuya Naito & Bushi
*The Young Bucks vs. EVIL & Sanada for the IWGP tag titles
*Hirooki Goto vs. Jeff Cobb for the NEVER Openweight title
*Hiroshi Tanahashi & KUSHIDA vs. Hangman Page & Marty Scurll
*Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano
*Roppongi 3K, Yoshi-Hashi & Rocky Romero vs. Guerrillas of Destiny, Yujiro & Haku

**Former Ring of Honor performer Taeler Hendrix (Taeler Conrad-Mellen) recently issued a series of statements, alleging that current ROH champion Jay Lethal (Jamar Shipman) was the reason she was taken off of television when the two were part of the House of Truth group. Hendrix responded to a tweet and claimed that because of her refusal to sleep with Lethal, she was removed from television. Hendrix added, “Attorneys on my behalf have an ongoing investigation. I know I’m not the only one & ppl that have known of this investigation have been supportive. I’ll continue to fight for what’s right.” Following the public accusations, Ring of Honor issued the following statement to the PW Torch site addressing the situation:

We were troubled to hear the allegations that surfaced last night on Twitter. We take these matters very seriously and will be investigating this situation thoroughly, reviewing all evidence related to the matter. Ring of Honor strives to provide an environment and workplace where male and female wrestlers are free from any misconduct or abuse. We will take appropriate action upon the conclusion of our findings.

POST Wrestling has reached out to Jay Lethal for comment on the situation and we will update our story if there is a response or statement issued on his behalf.

**Here are the matches for tonight’s episode of MLW “Fusion” at 8 pm Easter on beIN Sports:
*MVP vs. Sami Callihan in a Boiler Room Brawl
*ACH & Rich Swann vs. Tom Lawlor & Simon Gotch

**The story involving Lars Sullivan suffering a broken jaw at Takeover is just a storyline. They are keeping him off the live events to match the story they are telling on television, but we were told by one person with knowledge of the situation that he is completely fine. It is unknown if he is going to be used at the upcoming tapings this month.

**A match between Finn Balor and Baron Corbin has been added to the Extreme Rules show next weekend in Pittsburgh.

**This past Tuesday’s episode of SmackDown Live averaged 2,013,000 viewers on the USA Network, which was the second-lowest average the show has done since the brand split in July 2016. The only show during that time frame to do a lower viewership was the night of the U.S. Election in November 2016 that did 1.92 million viewers.

**Lucha Underground had their lowest viewership of the current season with 88,000 viewers for Wednesday’s episode on the El Rey Network. After an average of 143,000 viewers for the season premiere, the three episodes following have been unable to crack 100,000 viewers. After four episodes, the current season is averaging 106,500 viewers per episode.

**The first match announcement for “All In” was made Thursday night as Kazuchika Okada will face Marty Scurll on the show September 1st from the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.


**Impact Wrestling has added an X division title match between Matt Sydal and Brian Cage and a House of Hardcore Match between Tommy Dreamer and Eddie Edwards to the Slammiversary pay-per-view event on Sunday, July 22nd at The Rebel Entertainment Complex in Toronto.

**MLW has announced a Falls Count Anywhere Match between Joey Janela and MJF for the next set of television tapings on July 12th at the Gilt Nightclub in Orlando.

**A match to go out of your way to see is the Fenix vs. Rich Swann match from Thursday’s episode of Impact Wrestling. This was one of the best matches on Impact in a long time and on par with the Mustafa Ali vs. Buddy Murphy match from 205 Live this week, although much shorter. The post-match featured a great angle with Sami Callihan running out dressed as Pentagon Jr. and attacking Fenix before unmasking to reveal his identity. The match and angle were both strong points on the show.

**Guy Evans has just released a new book on the history of WCW Monday Nitro called, “Nitro: The Incredible Rise and Inevitable Collapse of Ted Turner’s WCW”. The book is available in paperback and as an eBook and features interviews with Eric Bischoff, Harvey Schiller, Jamie Kellner, Kevin Nash, Vince Russo, Kevin Sullivan, feature producer Neal Pruitt, Mike Weber, Alan Sharp, Jerry Jarrett, and others. We will have a review of the book in the coming weeks.

**One of the greatest moments in WCW history took place on this date in 1998 with Bill Goldberg defeating Hollywood Hogan at the Georgia Dome on Monday Nitro to become the WCW champion. Business was still incredible for WCW throughout 1998 with more than 41,000 attending Nitro. It wasn’t until the week prior that the match was made official for the broadcast with Hogan agreeing to lose the title to Goldberg. Earlier in the show, Goldberg had to defeat Scott Hall to get the match with Hogan and led to Goldberg winning the title and the incredible reaction by the audience. It was also a tremendous call from Bobby Heenan, who saw Goldberg as the savior of the company. Amazingly, they never had a rematch, as they could have headlined Starrcade with this match and it would have done enormous business. It has been heavily debated that the first match should have been on pay-per-view as they left so much money on the table for a one-night rating. That said, millions watched the coronation of Bill Goldberg and if handled properly would have made all that money back. Instead, Goldberg was not positioned as the main event player during his title run, facing Curt Hennig at following week’s Bash at the Beach. The following month, he was placed into a battle royal at Road Wild, while Hogan was in the main event doing celebrity matches with Dennis Rodman against Diamond Dallas Page & Karl Malone in July and the Jay Leno tag match in August.

**Another notable event on this was the WWF In Your House: Canadian Stampede card from Calgary in 1997. This was one of the best WWF shows of all-time up to this point, headlined by an incredibly heated ten-man tag with The Hart Foundation vs. Steve Austin, Legion of Doom, Ken Shamrock & Goldust. The audience was incredible that night and treated The Hart Foundation as national treasures fighting off the Americans.



Lucha Underground (July 4th)
-Results: Jake Strong over Big Bad Steve, Johnny Mundo & Taya over Daga & Kobra Moon, Matanza Cueto over Mr. Pectacular (Jessie Godderz), King Cuerno over Chavo Guerrero
-The show led to the main event where a medallion was awarded to King Cuerno after his win over Chavo Guerrero. Guerrero lost a “Loser Leaves Lucha” match in 2016 to Rey Mysterio, but perhaps there was a loophole that when that person leaves the promotion so do their existing stipulations that they hold over another performer. It was a decent main event, nothing to go out of your way for but it was a fine match for what it was and the only thing on the show to get significant time.
-Matt Striker opened the show with a medical update on Famous B, who was attacked by Jake Strong (the former Jack Swagger) several weeks back with the ankle lock. Not only has Famous B injured his ankle, his leg MAY HAVE TO BE AMPUTATED. I hope Matt Striker becomes Swagger’s hype man when he finally debuts for Bellator.
-I’ve given the Antonio Cueto character four episodes and I don’t like it. It’s such a parody of Dario, it doesn’t feel like it’s a serious character and just feels like it was a bad idea to kill off Dario with Antonio re-enforcing that point each week. Thankfully, in Lucha Underground, you can resurrect people from the dead so there is an easy “undo” to this.
-Matanza won a quick squash over Mr. Pectacular a.k.a. Jessie Godderz, formerly of TNA. I think Godderz has a good personality and can play the arrogant jock role very well, but this didn’t feel as though he anything but a cameo for a quick win for Matanza.
-Melissa Santos was mourning the loss to Fenix, who DIED LAST WEEK, after being placed in a casket during the Grave Consequences Match. I felt bad for Santos and I just hope someone can help her switch cable providers, so she can get POP TV. Perhaps all the dead characters on Lucha Underground can end up on Impact. I guess that would make Impact the “Upside Down”.
-Cage will face Mil Muertes next week for another medallion for the eventual Gift of the Gods match.


**The UFC will hold the first of two cards for International Fight Week with the TUF 27 Finale from The Pearl Theatre tonight. Below is the fight card with results from Thursday’s weigh-ins:

MAIN CARD (10 pm Eastern on FS 1, TSN 3 in Canada)
*Brad Tavares (186) vs. Israel Adesanya (186)
*Mike Trizano (154.5) vs. Joe Giannetti (155.5) – TUF lightweight final
*Brad Katona (145.5) vs. Jay Cucciniello (145) – TUF featherweight final
*Alex Caceres (146) vs. Martin Bravo (145.5)
*Barb Honchak (125.5) vs. Roxanne Modafferi (125)

PRELIMINARY CARD (8 pm on FS 1, Fight Network in Canada)
Alessio Di Chirico (186) vs. Julian Marquez (190) – Marques has been deducted 30% of his purse for missing weight
*Montana De La Rosa (125.5) vs. Rachael Ostovich (125.5)
*Luis Pena (154) vs. Richie Smullen (154.5)
*John Gunther (155.5) vs. Allan Zuniga (156)

*Bryce Mitchell (145) vs. Tyler Diamond (146)
*Steven Peterson (146) vs. Matt Bessette (145.5)
*Gerald Meerschaert (185) vs. Oskar Piechota (185.5)

**There was a scary moment at the end of Thursday’s UFC 226 pre-fight press conference. Daniel Cormier got up from the table and tripped over a speaker that had been placed directly next to him. Cormier fell on the stage and didn’t immediately get up. The sense of panic on Dana White’s face was noticeable, but Cormier eventually got up and did return for the face off with Stipe Miocic.

**The UFC Hall of Fame ceremony took place Thursday night from The Pearl at the Palms in Las Vegas, Nevada. The entire ceremony lasted just over two hours and was a significantly easier event to consume than the WWE’s marathon Hall of Fame from this past April that went 4 ½ hours with an additional hour-long red-carpet ceremony prior.

The highlight of the event was the tribute for the late Bruce Connal, who was the senior producer of the UFC’s broadcasts and began with the promotion in 1998. The video package included voice-overs from his wife and children with clips of Connal’s instructions from inside the production truck from various moments in UFC history. It was among the greatest features I have ever seen produced by the UFC and has to been seen in order to appreciate to its fullest.

Ronda Rousey headlined the class and came out with husband Travis Brown for a brief speech. Her speech felt more like a motivational speech and lacked any personal stories and anecdotes that I feel work better in this type of setting. The theme of her speech was her gratefulness for her fans and those that supported her. This was Rousey’s first appearance at a UFC-related event since her loss to Amanda Nunes in December 2016. There were also WWE representatives on hand to cover the induction on social media.

UFC creator Art Davie was inducted by Sean Wheelock and Davie was the most colorful personality of the group. Davie fully admitted he was a carnival barker and shared his outrageous stories, including an idea to use John Wayne Bobbit in the mid 90’s (the man whose penis was cut off and was actually used during a WWF angle in 1998 with Val Venis) with Davie defending his awful idea with the counter that Dana White hired CM Punk. Davie was very entertaining. The most serious portion of the speech regarded his exit from the company and taking it hard when he was asked to leave his own company and his plans at the time to start a rival group. He concluded by stating he didn’t make the UFC, the UFC made him and made all these fighters.

Matt Serra’s speech was the opposite of Rousey’s as he appeared to ignore the teleprompter and shared stories with longtime coach and friend Ray Longo, who inducted Serra. Serra went through the impact Renzo Gracie had on his career, giving him a job at the gym when he was starting out, his win over Georges St-Pierre that he always believed he could win and shared a story of a teacher once telling him, “where are your fists going to take you in life?” and Serra proving his teacher wrong.

The first induction of the night was the fight from UFC 139 between Dan Henderson and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. Henderson accepted the award and noted he wasn’t even aware that fights were eligible for the Hall of Fame. The funniest part was Henderson stating after the first fight with Shogun that, “I never wanted another fight like that again, so leave it to the UFC to book a rematch”. Shogun was not in attendance because he is training for his fight on July 22nd against Anthony Smith and sent in a recorded message accepting the award.


**The UFC 226 weigh-ins took place Friday morning with Michael Chiesa being the lone fighter to miss the mark. Chiesa came in at 157.5 pounds and announced he will not fight at lightweight again.

Below is the full card and weigh-in results:

MAIN CARD (10 pm Eastern on pay-per-view)

*Stipe Miocic (242.5) vs. Daniel Cormier (246) for the UFC heavyweight title – It’s the lowest Miocic has weighed in for a fight since May 2016 when he defeated Fabricio Werdum. He weighed 246 for his fights against Alistair Overeem, Junior dos Santos, and Francis Ngannou.
*Francis Ngannou (253) vs. Derrick Lewis (264.5)
*Paul Felder (170) vs. Mike Perry (170.5)
Anthony Pettis (156) vs. Michael Chiesa (157.5)
*Gokhan Saki (206) vs. Khalil Rountree, Jr. (205)

PRELIMINARY CARD (8 pm on FS 1, TSN 2 in Canada)

*Uriah Hall (185.5) vs. Paulo Costa (185.5)
*Raphael Assuncao (136) vs. Rob Font (135.5)
*Landa Vannata (156) vs. Drakkar Klose (156)
*Curtis Millender (170.5) vs. Max Griffin (170.5)

*Gilbert Burns (155.5) vs. Dan Hooker (155.5)
*Jamie Moyle (116) vs. Emily Whitmire (116)

**The UFC also had heavyweight Alexander Volkov weigh-in as a backup option.

**UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway issued the following statement after being removed from this Saturday’s card due to concussion-like symptoms:

“It was what it was. Respect to Ortega and his team. Thank you @danawhite and the @UFC staff for making my health priority. Also thank you to @lilheathenmma (Jeremy Stephens) and @FrankieEdgar for being that champ life and stepping up. I see you. To all the fans I know the rollercoaster can be frustrating because my team is also on it with you. All I can say is I’m truly sorry and I hope you guys stay buckled in because it is far from being over. Don’t let the bad surprised distract you from the good surprises in this great sport. The best is still blessed.”

**Ariel Helwani of ESPN reported Thursday night that light heavyweight Ilir Latifi is off the UFC Fight Night card on July 22nd in Hamburg, Germany. Latifi has been forced to withdraw from his fight against Glover Teixeira due to injury, with Helwani adding that the UFC is seeking a replacement to fight Teixeira. The main event of the Hamburg card was recently changed with Volkan Oezdemir removed and placed on the UFC 227 card in August, leading to Anthony Smith stepping in to fight Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in the main event.

**Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz used the most of their time at the UFC Hall of Fame ceremony on Thursday night to promote their fight for later this year. The two were in the media area and asked by reporter Mike Bohn to have a face-off, which led to the following scene:

**The PFL presented their third card on Thursday night from Washington, D.C. and featured a pair of upsets on the main card. In the main event, Ray Cooper III defeated Jake Shields in the second round of their welterweight fight. There was an interesting backstory as Shields defeated Cooper’s father on a Shooto Hawaii card in July 2004. The other major upset was Pavel Kusch, who was listed at +885, submitting Abubakar Nurmagomedov in the second round. Nurmagomedov is the cousin of UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. Below are the results from the card:
*Ray Cooper III def. Jake Shields by TKO at 2:09 of Round 2
*Pavel Kusch def. Abubakar Nurmagomedov by rear-naked choke at 1:23 of Round 2
*Rick Story def. Yuri Villefort by unanimous decision (30-27 all)
*Shamil Gamzatov def. Eddie Gordon by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
*John Howard def. Gasan Umalatov by rear-naked choke at 2:59 of Round 2
*Magomed Magomedkerimov def. Herman Terrado by rear-naked choke at 4:54 of Round 1
*Joao Zeferino def. Paul Bradley by KO at 1:58 of Round 1
*Bruno Santos def. Sadibou Sy by unanimous decision (29-28 all)
*Louis Taylor def. Anderson Goncalves by TKO at 0:58 of Round 3
*Rex Harris def. Andre Lobato by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
*Abuspiyan Magomedov def. Danillo Villefort by TKO at 3:37 of Round 1
*Bojan Velickovic def. Jonatan Westin by TKO at 2:50 of Round 2

The points systems in PFL awards six points for a first-round finish, five points for a second finish, four points for a third-round finish, and three points for a decision victory. The standings for each weight class can be viewed on the PFL website.

**The PFL season continues with their next card on July 19th with a card from Nassau Coliseum headlined by Lance Palmer taking on Jumabieke Tuerxun.


**Bellator put out a press release promoting the viewership figures from last Friday’s main event at Bellator 201 between Ilima-Lei Macfarlane and Alejandra Lara. The fight averaged 710,000 viewers and peaked at 800,000 on the Paramount Network. The card averaged 466,000 viewers, with DVR viewership that average was 562,000. Macfarlane retained her title by submitting Lara in the third round of their flyweight title fight. On the same card, Valerie Letourneau defeated Kristina Williams by unanimous decision and seems like the obvious candidate to challenge Macfarlane next.

**Here is Episode 4 of this week’s UFC Embedded series:

REWIND-A-WAI – WCW Uncensored ’97 (Patreon)
John Pollock & Wai Ting review this card headlined by Team WCW vs. Team Piper vs. Team N.W.O. and chat with Espresso Executive Producer Jon Ziegler on his choice of this show.

upNXT 7/4/18: Gargano’s Descent
Wai Ting fills in for Braden Herrington to review this week’s NXT with Davie Portman to discuss the Johnny Gargano story, and learn about the World Cup.
KEEP IT 2000: Ep. 33 – “I Own WCW” with Chris Urbanowicz (March 26, 2001)

REWIND-A-SMACKDOWN 7/3/18: Team Hell No vs. The Usos, Ellsworth vs. Asuka
REWIND-A-RAW 7/2/18: Braun Strowman flips his shit

RAR BONUS 7/2/18: Being the Elite Ep. 109, New Show Name

EGGSHELLS Podcast Companion: 1990 w/ John Pollock

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