POLLOCK'S NEWS UPDATE: Blood & Guts Preview, Weidman speaks

Originally published at POLLOCK'S NEWS UPDATE: Blood & Guts Preview, Weidman speaks

POST IT NOTES

**We are doing a special LIVE edition of Rewind-A-Dynamite for all members of the POST Wrestling Café tonight. Usually, this is only available for Double Double+ patrons, but all members will have access to the live show tonight beginning at 10:15 pm ET. Wai and I will have an extensive review of the ‘Blood and Guts’ edition of Dynamite and discuss the major news including Daniel Bryan and WWE, all the television ratings from the past few days, and Tony Khan’s announcements regarding Double or Nothing.

**If you missed it, I had the chance to speak with WWE performer Drew McIntyre about his new book “A Chosen Destiny: My Story” where we spoke about the wrestling books that influenced him, announcing he had COVID last year, the feud with Sheamus, and Vince McMahon proclaiming him a future champion in 2009.

**Braden Herrington and Davie Portman have a review of NXT on the first edition from the new upNXT headquarters.

**Andrew Thompson has an interview on the site with PB Smooth chatting about For the Culture, Black talent receiving a spotlight, and being trained by Candice LeRae & Johnny Gargano.

**The feedback thread is open for those wanting to share their memories of Affliction – Banned from July 2008. Rewind-A-Wai will be released this Friday covering the event with guest co-hosts Phil Chertok and Eric Marcotte.

POST SCHEDULE

Tonight: Rewind-A-Dynamite (LIVE for all Patrons at 10:15 pm ET)
Friday: Rewind-A-Wai #85: Affliction – Banned w/ John, Phil Chertok & Eric Marcotte (Patreon)
Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown (LIVE at 10:15 pm ET for all Patrons)
Saturday: The Rocky Maivia Picture Show w/ Nate Milton & Brian Mann
Sunday: POST Puroresu with John Pollock & WH Park

WRESTLING NEWS

**Tonight is one of the biggest editions of AEW Dynamite with the first “Blood and Guts” match in company history, a term adopted from Vince McMahon’s vague assessment of the AEW product during a conference call in 2019. The initial concept was scheduled for March 25, 2020, at the Prudential Center but was thwarted due to the pandemic and held off until now. It feels like a big show and I’m fairly high on what the viewership figures will be tonight.

One key question that could be a difference-maker is how this adaptation of War Games corresponds with the 50+ demo. If ever there was a match for a non-AEW wrestling fan to sample it’s this one because of the nostalgia of Jim Crockett Promotions and WCW, a month-long build for the match, and a fair amount of media over the past week with participants in the match.

The match itself should take up a significant portion of the episode as I can’t see this one going less than half an hour presenting a juggling act with commercial obligations. Hopefully, they can avoid going to picture-in-picture once all ten participants have entered the match because, in theory, the match can end at any time and it drastically reduces the urgency of anticipation if they go to a split-screen without audio of the match.

Sammy Guevara will start the match and therefore, The Pinnacle will have the advantage throughout the match. There are many possibilities for the outcome and different stories to tell throughout it. The prime focus is Jericho and MJF but I’m hoping Shawn Spears gets something significant as he needs it most to establish and justify his spot in The Pinnacle after being in the background of AEW programming for so long. I could see a big injury angle with Jericho where he is so bloodied and beaten forcing a teammate to surrender on his behalf and Jericho could disappear for a while and return. The Pinnacle can afford to lose but it feels more impactful for the new group on the block to beat the established one in a violent way. Regardless, there should be many matches to follow from another Jericho vs. MJF match, FTR vs. Santana & Ortiz, Hager vs. Wardlow, Spears vs. Guevara, and probably other variations. Jericho has flat-out said this isn’t the end of the program, and with the pay-per-view, in three weeks this should set the wheels in motion for that card.

Here is the full line-up of matches and segments announced for tonight’s AEW Dynamite at 8 pm ET on TNT and TSN 2 in Canada:
*Blood and Guts: The Inner Circle (Chris Jericho, Santana, Ortiz, Jake Hager & Sammy Guevara) vs. The Pinnacle (MJF, Shawn Spears, FTR & Wardlow)
*Kenny Omega & Michael Nakazawa vs. Jon Moxley & Eddie Kingston
*Four-Way Team Team Eliminator: Frankie Kazarian & Christopher Daniels vs. The Acclaimed vs. Brian Pillman Jr. & Griff Garrison vs. Luchasaurus & Jungle Boy
*Cody Rhodes vs. QT Marshall
*Britt Baker in action
*A statement from Miro

**MLW will end its “season” with tonight’s episode of Fusion airing at 7 pm ET on Fubo Sports and the MLW YouTube channel. The promotion is advertising a major surprise for tonight as it goes on hiatus before its live event on July 10th at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia. Below are the matches listed for tonight’s show:
*MLW Middleweight Championship: Lio Rush (champion) vs. Myron Reed
*Richard Holliday vs. Ariel Dominguez
*Laredo Kid vs. Gringo Loco
*The reveal of El Jefe

**In Canada, WWE Raw did 176,600 viewers and 102,200 in the 25-54 demographic this past Monday on Sportsnet 360. There was a lot of sports competition with both the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Blue Jays having games along with two other NHL games.

**Dragon Gate held its major ‘Dead or Alive’ card from Aichi on Wednesday in front of 2,180. Below are the results: (Courtesy: Purolove.com):
*Mask vs. Hair Cage Survival: KAI & YAMATO over Dragon Kid & SB Kento
*Open the Dream Gate Championship: Shun Skywalker (champion) over HopHop Kikuta by TKO due to a shoulder injury
*Open the Triangle Gate Championship: Jason Lee, Dragon Dia & La Estrella over Susumu Yokosuka, Kzy & Genko Horiguchi (champions)
*Open the Twin Gate Unified Tag Championship: Kazma Sakamoto & Kaito Ishida over Masaaki Mochizuki & Takashi Yoshida (champions)
*Ryo Saito, Kagetora, Kota Minoura & Yasushi Kanda over Masato Yoshino, Naruki Doi, BxB Hulk & Eita
*Open the Brave Gate Championship: Keisuke Okuda (champion) over UT
*Ultimo Dragon & Don Fujii over Problem Dragon & Konomama Ichikawa
*Ben-K, Bokutimo Dragon & Ho Ho Lun over Diamante, HYO & Dia Inferno
*Funky “Jacky” Kamei and Yosuke Santa Maria fought to a 5-minute draw

**WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon-Levesque is named on Variety’s list of those making an impact in the entertainment industry.

**AEW has launched its own global online shop for its merchandise. The items are available in 224 countries and have over 400 shirts available. The online merchandise portal is run by Pro Wrestling Tees, who is the official apparel provider of AEW.

**WWE is partnering with Mate in Australia to produce ‘WWE Now Down Under’, a digital program to air on YouTube, Facebook, and regional Instagram and Twitter channels. The series will have an initial run of nine episodes aimed at the Australian market.

**AEW president Tony Khan spoke with Kenny Herzog for Entrepreneur about the successes and lessons of the upstart promotion. The two chatted about the shift during the pandemic and how AEW operated with a fraction of its roster in order to fulfill the programming requirements of their contract with TNT:

In the month of April (2020), 29% of our roster appeared, and the 71% that did not appear included a lot of the biggest stars in the company. And with that 29% of the roster, we fought on. We did win the demo every week, but the ratings were tighter than I wanted. Every week was a dog fight. For these tapings, I really felt like we had to keep the momentum going, but also so that we’ve fulfilled our obligations to our TV partner by producing new shows. The last thing I ever would want to do in this situation with everybody’s livelihood at risk is breach the TV contract. That is our lifeblood revenue stream. And so we taped enough wrestling matches to do up to six or seven weeks of Dynamite. We kept the stories alive, found fresh ways to do it, and I was really proud of the way we literally put over a month’s worth of shows together in 15 minutes; the work held up.

**TSN.ca spoke with Santana & Ortiz prior to tonight’s Blood & Guts match where the two shared their experiences learning from Konnan and Chris Jericho:

Ortiz: Konnan, I would say, would nitpick more at our in-ring work and Chris will focus more on our aura and what we’re putting out and little nuances and details or how we’re setting up an angle or promo. They’re different, but the same. We’re getting different types of advice and picking up on certain things. They’re teaching us by saying, ‘Hey, focus on this.’ By just watching those men work, we learn so much and it’s been an awesome experience.

Santana
: Guys like Chris and Konnan, they understand the fact that wrestling evolves. You can’t stay in the past. You have to evolve with it. That’s what they’ve done their whole careers. They’ve evolved with the times, they’ve progressed as performers and they’re hip to every era that they’re in. That’s also been a big plus for both of them and what’s helped them out in their careers.

**The season finale of ‘Young Rock’ aired on Tuesday night ending with Dwayne Johnson on the verge of winning the 2032 U.S. Election. Earlier this week, it was confirmed that NBC has picked up the comedy for a second season after performing well in its Tuesday prime-time slot. For the final scene of the season, Johnson is seated on a park bench when his actual mother Ata enters the scene and they discuss Rocky Johnson’s passing. It’s the second time Ata has appeared on the series this season.

**Former EVOLVE talent Anthony Henry appeared on Tuesday’s edition of NXT under his new ring name of Asher Hale. Last December, POST Wrestling’s Andrew Thompson spoke with Henry about his career and dealing with depression throughout the pandemic in 2020.

**WWE has released a trailer for the upcoming WWE Chronicle on Damian Priest, which premieres this Sunday on the WWE Network.

**Pat Laprade noted that “The Eighth Wonder of the World” book he co-authored with Bertrand Hebert is now a best-seller in Quebec. He added that in total, the book has sold over 15,000 copies.

**The Washington Post has an opinion piece on why the vaccination process is going so slowly in Japan and where the country ranks among other wealthy nations.

**Shawn Spears previews Blood & Guts with Kenny McIntosh on Inside the Ropes.

**Dark Side of the Ring’s Evan Husney spoke with Steve & Larson on Going in Raw about Thursday’s season three premiere.

**Evan Husney and Jason Eisener also appeared on Oral Sessions with Renee Young and shared an insane story involving their attempt to interview John Zandig for the episode on Nick Gage, it didn’t go well.

**WWE has released the new Roman Reigns theme song, ‘Head of the Table’.

**Pro Wrestling NOAH has released the December 2020 match-of-the-year contender between Go Shiozaki and Takashi Sugiura.

MMA NEWS

**In his first interview since his injury at UFC 261, Chris Weidman spoke with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani about the recovery process. Here are some notes:
-This was the 24th surgery of his career but unlike any other and the road to recovery is going to be unlike any other. He said the process of dealing with the pain in the following days was “excruciating”.
-He still doesn’t have full feeling in his foot
-There is a great deal of frustration he’s dealing with as was in a great place physically and mentally with many goals going into the fight with Uriah Hall
-Weidman couldn’t have surgery until Sunday and described the pain as horrible to go through overnight
-Dana White and Reed Harris came to visit him at the hospital
-He wants to return and show people how good he is but the recovery is already more than he expected after ten days. He doesn’t think he’ll be able to walk for two months.
-The final minutes of the interview are just heart wrenching when he describes how tough it’s been especially for his two oldest children, who are 11 and 8

**Bloody Elbow’s John Nash has a helpful video explaining the antitrust lawsuit filed against the UFC. Nash goes through the key players involved, where the case stands, and how long this could potentially drag out. Nash’s belief is that the UFC would not risk leaving this to a judge to decide with the far likelier outcome of a settlement if things got to that point. Given the type of suit filed, there would be treble damages as Nash outlines in the video.

**ESPN’s Marc Raimondi reports a major change has been made by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. The commission has voted and will no longer test for cannabis when it comes to combat sports events. The only time the commission will act is if a fighter is clearly impaired on the night of the fight. This is a major change for Florida, which previously held positive marijuana tests subject to fines, suspensions, and even overturning wins. Raimondi noted the new policy goes into effect immediately and follows USADA’s changes this past January for the UFC anti-doping policy that basically eliminates any punishment for positive tests for cannabis.

**The PFL card on Thursday night has been moved to ESPN with the prelims and main card set to air beginning at 7 pm ET. The two major fights on the main card include the PFL debut of heavyweight Fabricio Werdum against Renan Ferreira, and the return of Kayla Harrison as she fights 16-10 Mariana Morais. Here are the four main card fights for Thursday:
*Fabricio Werdum (24-9-1) vs. Renan Ferreira (6-2)
*Kayla Harrison (8-0) vs. Mariana Morais (16-10)
*Brandon Sayles (5-1) vs. Mohammed Usman (7-1)
*Julija Pajic (3-0) vs. Larissa Pacheco (13-4)

**UFC fighter Oskar Piechota has accepted a 22-month sanction by USADA after testing positive for growth hormone after a sample collected last September. From the release:

Piechota, 31, tested positive for growth hormone releasing peptide 2 (GHRP-2 or pralmorelin) and GHRP-2 (1-3) free acid, a metabolite of GHRP-2, as the result of a urine sample collected on September 25, 2020. GHRP-2 is a Specified Substance in the class of Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors, Related Substances and Mimetics and is prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy and UFC Prohibited List.

Because Piechota cooperated his suspension was reduced by two months and is retroactive to September 25, 2020. The 31-year old was 0-3 and 1 no contest in his last four fights going back to July 2018. He would have been 0-4 during that stretch but the TKO loss to Marc-Andre Barriault last June was changed to a no-contest after Barriault failed his post-fight drug test.

**Bellator is back this Friday night on Showtime at 9 pm ET with the final fight in the Light Heavyweight Grand Prix. Due to a medical issue, Yoel Romero is off the card and is being replaced by Jose Augusto, who will fight Anthony Johnson. The return of Johnson is the biggest component of the show with his first fight since April 2017 when he retired after the second loss to Daniel Cormier. Below are the main card fights airing Friday night:
*Bantamweight Championship: Juan Archuleta (25-2) vs. Sergio Pettis (20-5)
*Light Heavyweight Grand Prix: Anthony Johnson (22-6) vs. Jose Augusto (7-2)
*Patricky “Pitbull” Freire (23-9) vs. Peter Queally (12-5-1)
*Derek Anderson (17-3) vs. Michael “Venom” Page (18-1)

FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Makwan Amirkhani vs. Nate Landwehr at UFC Fight Night on June 5 (UFC)

Antonio Arroyo vs. Tom Breese at UFC Fight Night on June 5 (UFC)

Irene Aldana vs. Yana Kunitskaya at UFC 264 on July 10 (MMA Junkie)

ON THIS DATE

 

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