POLLOCK'S NEWS UPDATE - Alexa Bliss: "I’ve been ready to go since before Saudi Arabia.”

Originally published at POLLOCK'S NEWS UPDATE - Alexa Bliss: "I’ve been ready to go since before Saudi Arabia.”

POST IT NOTES

**Rewind-A-SmackDown will NOT be airing live tonight, instead the show will be released Saturday afternoon for POST Wrestling Café members. Wai Ting and I will be going through both SmackDown and Rampage and chatting about any other news happening.

**We will have lots of coverage all weekend long with Dave LeClair providing notes on Friday Night SmackDown & AEW Rampage, a review of Stardom’s Cinderella tournament final from Karen Peterson later today, coverage of Saturday’s NOAH card, and the NJPW Hyper Battle show from Mark Buckeldee, John Siino covering AAA’s TripleMania event, and Eric Marcotte covering the UFC Fight Night card with Rob Font vs. Marlon Vera.

**Next week on Rewind-A-Wai, we are reviewing the NJPW Wrestling World card from January 4, 2003, at the Tokyo Dome headlined by Yuji Nagata and Josh Barnett for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. You can post feedback and questions related to the event on the POST Wrestling Forum before Tuesday.

POST DAILY NEWS SHOW

Karen Peterson stops by to chat about:

– The finals of Stardom’s Cinderella tournament and its upcoming events
– Pro Wrestling NOAH’s first night at Sumo Hall with new champions crowned
– Champion Carnival final
– AEW Dynamite ratings
– Massive weekend coming up

The audio feed is available for everyone today by subscribing to POST Wrestling on your podcast app.

WRESTLING NEWS

**Friday Night SmackDown was taped last week in Albany, New York to coordinate with the SmackDown talent in the U.K. this week. Here are the matches that were taped (we were told there might be some slight changes regarding the order from which they were shot last week):
*Steel Cage Match: Drew McIntyre vs. Sami Zayn
*Beat the Clock Challenge: Charlotte Flair vs. Aliyah
*Beat the Clock Challenge: Ronda Rousey vs. Shotzi
*Intercontinental Championship: Ricochet (champion) vs. Shanky
*Raquel Rodriguez in action
*Naomi vs. Shayna Baszler
*Ridge Holland vs. Xavier Woods
*Kofi Kingston vs. Sheamus

**WWE’s European tour continues at the O2 Arena in London, England today. They will run Paris on Saturday and Leipzig, Germany on Sunday before returning home. The crew has the week off until next Friday’s edition of SmackDown on Long Island, New York.

**The Raw crew has live events in Lakeland, Florida on Saturday and Fairfax, Virginia. The matches advertised for Saturday include Cody Rhodes vs. Seth Rollins and a four-way match with Bianca Belair vs. Becky Lynch vs. Rhea Ripley vs. Liv Morgan.

**AEW Rampage airs at 10 p.m. ET tonight with the taped show from Philadelphia with the following matches and segments set to air:
*Owen Hart Qualifying Match: Swerve Strickland vs. Darby Allin
*Jade Cargill, Red Velvet & Kiera Hogan vs. Skye Blue, Trish Adora & Willow Nightingale
*Keith Lee vs. Colten Gunn
*ROH Television Championship: Samoa Joe (champion) vs. Trent Beretta
*Face-to-face confrontation between Hook and Danhausen

**There is only one NBA playoff game tonight as Memphis takes on Minnesota, which airs on ESPN head-to-head with the second hour of SmackDown and all of Rampage.

**Adam Glyn interviewed Alexa Bliss and asked her about when she would be returning to WWE programming. Bliss responded, “Hopefully soon, I’m just waiting on the call” and when asked about being fully healed, “Oh yeah, I’ve been ready to go since before Saudi Arabia.” After weeks of vignettes with Bliss speaking to a therapist on Raw, Bliss was added to the women’s Elimination Chamber match in February, which was won by Bianca Belair. Since that match, Bliss has not appeared on WWE programming and recently got married to Ryan Cabrera. Prior to the Elimination Chamber match, Bliss had not wrestled since the Extreme Rules event in September of last year.

**Stardom’s Cinderella tournament wrapped up today in front of 2,017 fans at Ota Ward Gymnasium in Tokyo. It was the largest field in the history of the tournament and was down to the final four going into Friday’s final day. In the first semi-final match, Koguma pinned Hazuki (the two recently held the Goddesses of Stardom championships before losing to current champs Momo Watanabe & Starlight Kid). In the other semi-final, MIRAI pinned Natsupoi – leading to the final where MIRAI won the tournament. In the main event, Syuri retained the World of Stardom Championship against Himeka. The promotion’s next big event is the Fukuoka Goddess Festival on May 5th during Golden Week in Japan. That show will see Saya Kamitani defend the Wonder of Stardom title against Maika, Momo Watanabe & Starlight Kid defend the Goddesses of Stardom titles against Hazuki & Koguma, and Thekla defends the SWA title against Mayu Iwatani and an Elimination match between Donna del Mundo and God’s Eye in the top matches.

**Yuma Aoyagi won the B Block of All Japan’s Champion Carnival tournament on Friday after going to a 30-minute time limit draw with Triple Crown champion Kento Miyahara. Aoyagi wins the block with seven points followed by Miyahara and Takuya Nomura with six, Suwama at five, Yoshitatsu with four, and Kuma Arashi finishing with two. This sets up the final next Tuesday when Aoyagi faces A Block winner Jake Lee and the winner will receive a future Triple Crown match. Lee won last year’s tournament while Aoyagi has never won the Carnival.

**Pro Wrestling NOAH drew 1,585 fans to Sumo Hall today for their first of back-to-back shows at the venue. The show saw HAYATA regain the GHC Jr. Heavyweight Championship beating Eita in the main event. Yoshinari Ogawa & Chris Ridgeway won the GHC Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championships from YO-HEY & Atsushi Kotoge, and Haoh beat Nioh and cut off his hair with Nioh forced to go by a new name moving forward. NOAH returns late tonight at 2 a.m. ET on Wrestle Universe, which will include English commentary on the show from Stewart Fulton & Mark Pickering and the following card:
*GHC Heavyweight Championship (vacant): Go Shiozaki vs. Kaito Kiyomiya
*GHC Tag Team Championships: Takashi Sugiura & Hideki Suzuki (champions) vs. Kenoh & Katsuhiko Nakajima
*Naomichi Marufuji & TBA vs. Yoshiki Inamura & Kinya Okada
*Daisuke Harada, Atsushi Kotoge, YO-HEY & Junta Miyawaki vs. Alpha Wolf, Extreme Tiger, Dragon Bane & Ninja Mack
*GHC National Championship: Masakatsu Funaki (champion) vs. Simon Gotch
*Masa Kitamiya vs. Michael Elgin
*Rene Dupree & Hijo de Dr. Wagner Jr. vs. Masato Tanaka & Daiki Inaba
*Kazushi Sakuraba & Kendo Kashin vs. Masaaki Mochizuki & Don Fujii
*NOSAWA Rongai, Eita, Texano Jr., Kotaro Suzuki & Super Crazy vs. HAYATA, Yoshinari Ogawa, Seiki Yoshioka, Chris Ridgeway & Yuya Susumu
*Mohammed Yone, Akitoshi Saito & King Tani vs. Manabu Soya, Tadasuke & Hajime Ohara
*Kai Fujimura & SLEX vs. Alejandro & Yasutaka Yano

**During Thursday’s episode of IMPACT, there was a backstage segment where Rocky Romero told Ace Austin he could try and get him into the Best of the Super Juniors tournament, which Austin was intrigued by. The annual tournament for New Japan begins on May 15th with the field of participants yet to be announced.

**IMPACT’s next special is ‘Under Siege’ next Saturday night in Newport, Kentucky. After Will Ospreay tested positive for COVID-19, Tomohiro Ishii is flying back to Japan to work against Hiroshi Tanahashi on Sunday’s event in Fukuoka and return to the U.S. next weekend for this card and is also scheduled for the NJPW Strong shows the weekend after in Washington, D.C. Other matches for ‘Under Siege’ include Violent by Design vs. The Briscoes for the IMPACT tag titles, Taya Valkyrie vs. Deonna Purrazzo in a rematch for the Reina de Reinas Championship, The Bullet Club (Jay White, Karl Anderson, Doc Gallows, Chris Bey & El Phantasmo) vs. Honor No More (Eddie Edwards, Matt Taven, Mike Bennett, Vincent & Kenny King), and Tasha Steelz vs. Havok for the Knockouts title.

**There are several notable speakers scheduled for the Collision Conference in Toronto in June. AEW President Tony Khan will be among the more than 400 speakers at the three-day business networking event to discuss the rise of AEW. The event is also set to include speeches from Rajan Mehta, who is the vice-president and chief product and technology officer for WWE (and was just recognized as one of the top 50 tech leaders on a list put out by Forbes), former WWE executive vice president of digital media Perkins Miller, and fighters Claressa Shields and Cris Cyborg. The three-day conference takes place from June 20-23.

**The Hollywood Reporter has a story on several media companies banking on the viability of linear television despite so many chasing after streaming.

**Rey Fenix is scheduled to have his first match since January 5th when he teams with Hijo del Vikingo against The Young Bucks at AAA’s TripleMania card on Saturday night in Monterrey. Fenix suffered a nasty elbow injury on the first Dynamite of the year teaming with Penta when they lost the tag titles to Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus. Fenix appeared on this past week’s edition of Dynamite and did have a brace on the elbow. The card will also feature the opening round matches of the Roulette of Death tournament with eight masked wrestlers competing and the loser will advance. Whoever loses three matches throughout the tournament is unmasked with the tournament continuing in June and October on the TripleMania events. The card streams at 9 p.m. ET on FITE with the following card:
*Hijo del Vikingo & Rey Fenix vs. The Young Bucks
*Roulette of Death: Psycho Clown vs. Canek – Canek is 69 years old, so this should be something
*Trios Match: Bandido, Pagano & Taya Valkyrie vs. Cibernetico, Andrade El Idolo & Deonna Purrazzo
*Roulette of Death: Rayo de Jalisco Jr. vs. Blue Demon Jr. – 62 and 55 years old respectively
*Laredo Kid & TBA vs. Johnny Superstar (John Hennigan) & Black Taurus vs. Dragon Lee & Dralistico
*Roulette of Death: L.A. Park vs. Villano IV – 56 and 57 respectively
*Sammy Guevara & Tay Conti vs. Octagon Jr. & Sexy Star II vs. Latigo & Maravilla
*Roulette of Death: Pentagon Jr. vs. Ultimo Dragon
*Lumberjack Match for Copa TripleMania
*Marvel Exhibition

**English-language broadcaster Larry Dallas stated he has officially signed with AAA as he will be on the call for Saturday night’s event in Monterrey.

**Game Changer Wrestling has shows on Saturday and Sunday in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Tomorrow night’s event in Atlantic City, New Jersey has John Wayne Murdoch facing Cole Radrick for the Ultraviolent title, Allie Katch & Effy defending the tag titles against The Briscoes, Joey Janela vs. Speedball Mike Bailey, AKIRA vs. Hoodfoot, Chris Dickinson vs. Biff Busick, Slade vs. Sawyer Wreck, ACH vs. Alex Zayne, and Jordan Oliver vs. Masha Slamovich advertised.

**New Japan Pro Wrestling hosts Wrestling Dontaku from the Fukuoka Pay Pay Dome this Sunday at 4 a.m. ET on New Japan World. The venue hosted Wrestling Dontaku from 1993 to 1995 and again in 2000 and 2001 before moving to smaller locations in Fukuoka. The move to such a large venue comes at a time when the New Japan product isn’t hot but is putting two of its marquee stars in the main event with Kazuchika Okada and Tetsuya Naito. It’s hard to imagine a title switch but it’s their third match of 2022 with each holding a win including Naito eliminating Okada in the New Japan Cup. The event lost Will Ospreay after a positive COVID-19 test and removes him from the second-biggest match on the card against Hiroshi Tanahashi for the vacant IWGP U.S. title as Tomohiro Ishii replaces Ospreay. I would anticipate the competitors for the Best of the Super Juniors to be revealed either on this show or in the coming days as that tournament starts in two weeks. After this show, the next major one is Dominion on June 12th followed by The Forbidden Door pay-per-view on June 26th and then it’s into the G1 Climax in July.

Below is the card for Wrestling Dontaku:
*IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada (champion) vs. Tetsuya Naito
*IWGP U.S. Championship (vacant): Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Tomohiro Ishii
*IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship: El Desperado (champion) vs. Taiji Ishimori
*NEVER Openweight Championship: EVIL (champion) vs. Tama Tonga
*IWGP Tag Team Championships: Great O-Khan & Jeff Cobb (champions) vs. Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI vs. Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens
*IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Championships: Ryusuke Taguchi & Master Wato (champions) vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru & DOUKI
*Tanga Loa vs. Yujiro
*Hiromu Takahashi vs. YOH
*Shingo Takagi, BUSHI & TBA (replacing Tatsumi Fujinami) vs. Zack Sabre Jr., Taichi & Taka Michinoku

**AAW has a card in Merrionette Park tonight that streams on FITE TV at 8:30 p.m. ET. The card will feature Mat Fitchett vs. Eric Young for the AAW Heavyweight title, Ace Austin vs. Myron Reed for the AAW Heritage title, Mike Bennett vs. Fred Yehi, Josh Alexander vs. Gnarls Garvin, ACH & Jah-C & TBA vs. Hakim Zane, Kara & Ren Jones, Ace Perry & Alex Hammerstone vs. Heather Reckless & Russ Jones for the AAW tag titles, and a steel cage match between Silas Young and 1 Called Manders.

**PWG presents ‘Delivering the Goods’ on Sunday night at The Globe Theatre in Los Angeles with Bandido vs. Daniel Garcia for the PWG title, Speedball Mike Bailey vs. Biff Busick, Blake Christian vs. Black Taurus, Aussie Open vs. The Briscoes, Jonathan Gresham vs. Kevin Blackwood (these two just had a great match in Ottawa for C*4), Wheeler Yuta vs. Aramis, and Jack Cartwheel vs. JD Drake. If you are attending the show, we are looking for live reports at [email protected].

**NXT Level Up airs at 10 p.m. ET tonight on the WWE Network with Damon Kemp vs. Dante Chen, Arianna Grace (Bianca Carelli) vs. Amari Miller, and Andre Chase vs. Quincy Elliott.

**The first inductee for the Deathmatch Hall of Fame will be J.C. Bailey and he will be inducted by Mad Man Pondo on Saturday, June 4th at The Showboat in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

**Game Changer Wrestling has recently announced shows for Providence on June 19th, St. Louis on July 1st, Evansville on July 3rd, Nashville on July 29th (the same weekend as SummerSlam in the city), and Charlotte on August 19th.

**Mick Foley has announced that he will be managing FTR on Saturday, May 14th for the Patriotic Wrestling Federation in York, South Carolina.

**C*4 Wrestling has added a match between Jeff Cobb and Junior Benitez for its “Friday the 13th” card in two weeks taking place in Ottawa, Ontario at St. Anthony’s Hall.

**West Coast Pro in South San Francisco has announced that the Motor City Machine Guns are coming in for their “Cruel Summer” event on Friday, July 8th at the United Irish Cultural Center.

MMA NEWS

**The major event on the combat sports calendar this weekend is the boxing fight between Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano as they two become the first females to headline an event at Madison Square Garden. There has been significant promotion in the lead-up this week with DAZN putting the full-court press behind it. This includes a partnership with WWE with various talents involved – mainly Bianca Belair and Becky Lynch, who interviewed the fighters and appeared at the weigh-ins on Friday.

From Bray, County Wicklow to the world 🇮🇪🤩@BeckyLynchWWE x @KatieTaylor #TaylorSerrano pic.twitter.com/1CTcsSupbe

— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) April 29, 2022

**UFC headliner Rob Font missed weight on Friday for Saturday’s bantamweight contest against Marlon Vera. The fight is still scheduled to take place despite Font missing weight by 2.5 pounds and forfeiting 20 percent of his purse. All other fighters made weight for the card with the following fights scheduled for Saturday:

MAIN CARD (7 p.m. ET on ESPN & ESPN+)
*Rob Font (19-5) vs. Marlon Vera (20-7-1)
*Andrei Arlovski (33-20) vs. Jake Collier (13-6)
*Andre Fili (21-8) vs. Joanderson Brito (12-3-1)
*Grant Dawson (17-1-1) vs. Jared Gordon (18-4)
*Tristan Connelly (14-7) vs. Darren Elkins (25-10)
*Krzysztof Jotko (23-5) vs. Gerald Meerschaert (34-14)

PRELIMINARY CARD (4 p.m. ET on ESPN2 & ESPN+)

*Alexandr Romanov (15-0) vs. Chase Sherman (15-9)
*Francisco Figueiredo (12-4-1) vs. Daniel Da Silva (11-2)
*Gabe Green (10-3) vs. Yohan Lainesse (8-0)
*Mike Breeden (10-4) vs. Natan Levy (6-1)
*Shanna Young (7-4) vs. Gina Mazany (7-5)
*Tatsuro Taira (10-0) vs. Carlos Candelario (8-1)

**On Thursday, Jorge Masvidal appeared in court regarding the charges he faces after allegedly striking fellow fighter Colby Covington outside of a Florida restaurant on March 21st. Masvidal has pleaded not guilty to two felony charges – aggravated battery and criminal mischief and was ordered to stay at least 25 feet away from Covington after a stay order was issued to Masvidal. ESPN reports that Masvidal will return to court on May 12th and that his representatives – Mauricio Padilla and Brad Cohen – are expected to file a motion to inspect the damage sustained by Covington and his watch that is valued at over $1,000. The former American Top Team teammates had a legitimate falling out and competed against one another at UFC 272 this past March where Covington won by unanimous decision.

**The California State Athletic Commission has appointed AnnMaria De Mars with the announcement made on Thursday. The Judo World Champion will be among those that can vote on policy and regulations regarding combat sports in the state pending approval from the state senate, according to ESPN. De Mars won the gold medal at the judo world championships in 1984 in Vienna, Austria, and is the mother of Olympic bronze medalist and current WWE star Ronda Rousey.

*****
POST DAILY NEWS: Stardom Cinderella 2022 Final
John Pollock is joined by Karen Peterson to discuss Stardom’s Cinderella Tournament 2022 Final. Plus, NOAH updates, AEW Dynamite ratings, and a preview of this weekend’s shows.
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MCU L8R: Moon Knight Ep. 5 (Patreon)
Wai Ting & WH Park are joined by “Our Man” Neal Flanagan to discuss Moon Knight Episode 5: “Asylum” as Marc & Steven navigate the truths of their traumatic past.
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upNXT 4/28: NXT/AEW Roundup
Braden Herrington and Davie Portman review the April 26th, 2022 edition of WWE NXT and the April 27th, edition of AEW Dynamite!
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BTWA: WWE Cruiserweight Classic (2016)
Martin Bushby is back with Andrew Thompson to journey back to 2016 and the WWE Cruiserweight Classic.
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REWIND-A-DYNAMITE
John Pollock & Wai Ting review AEW Dynamite featuring FTR’s Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler going one-on-one in an Owen Qualifier. Plus, Sammy Guevara vs. Scorpio Sky in a TNT championship ladder match, and Hikaru Shida vs Serena Deeb in a Philly Street Fight.
*****
SHOT IN THE DARK: Suzuki & Takeshita on AEW Dark
John Siino reviews this week’s editions of AEW Dark, AEW Dark: Elevation, NXT UK, IMPACT Wrestling, NXT Level Up, NJPW Strong, NWA USA, NWA Powerrr, and Main Event in under 15 minutes on Shot In The Dark.
*****
ASK-A-WAI: Ask Us Anything! (April 2022)
John Pollock and Wai Ting answer their patrons’ questions about anything and everything in the April 2022 edition of Ask-A-Wai.

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