POLLOCK'S NEWS UPDATE: Bob Armstrong, Summer Struggle Preview

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/08/28/pollocks-news-update-bob-armstrong-summer-struggle-preview/


**Last night’s edition of Rewind-A-Dynamite features a big review of Thursday’s edition of Dynamite along with an important discussion at the start of the show on the ongoing event stemming from the shooting of Jacob Blake and the response from various athletes. We also went over our schedule for the POST Wrestling Café including our G1 Climax coverage for September and October.

**Rewind-A-SmackDown is LIVE tonight at 10:15 pm Eastern as Wai Ting and I will review Friday Night SmackDown, chat today’s news, and we will preview the WWE Payback show featuring its one-week build-up. Plus, the phone lines will be open for all members of the POST Wrestling Café to get their chance to speak. It’s a busy weekend that kicks off with Rewind-A-SmackDown LIVE tonight.

**On Saturday, Wai & I will be back in the afternoon with an NJPW Summer Struggle POST Show reviewing the card from Jingu Stadium for members of the POST Wrestling Café. There will also be a bonus edition of Cruel Summer released with WH Park joined by Stephanie Chase of Digitial Spy to review last year’s G1 Climax final between Kota Ibushi and Jay White. The entire Cruel Summer series can be found in the archives with a review of every G1 final going back to the first one in 1991.

**On Sunday night, we will be LIVE for our Double Double, Iced Capp & Espresso Café members with the WWE Payback POST Show to review the pay-per-view and take phone calls. The free version of the show will be out Monday morning.

**Braden Herrington and Davie Portman are joined by John Siino as they review I Know What You Did Last Summer starring Jennifer Love Hewitt and Freddie Prinze Jr.


Tonight: Rewind-A-SmackDown (LIVE at 10:15 pm Eastern for Patrons)
Saturday: Cruel Summer with WH Park & guest Stephanie Chase (G1 Climax 2019 Final)
Saturday: NJPW Summer Struggle POST Show (Patreon)
Sunday: WWE Payback POST Show (LIVE for Double Double, Iced Capp & Espresso Patrons)


**Our condolences go out to the family of “Bullet” Bob Armstrong, who has died after battling prostate cancer that spread. Armstrong was one of the top babyfaces in the South across numerous territories, including Alabama (where he did have a heel run) and Knoxville that he bought into when Ron Fuller ran it. He entered the industry after serving in the Marines where he boxed and was full-time in the industry by 1966. In 1972, when the Atlanta war erupted in the wake of Ray Gunkel’s passing and his widow Ann set-up an outlaw group All-South Wrestling, Armstrong stayed with the NWA when so many others left for Gunkel’s start-up. In an interesting trivia note, a young Jim Cornette joined his fan club in 1975 when he was a teenager and ended up becoming its president where he wrote a bulletin called “Bob’s Brigade”. He gained national exposure through Georgia Championship Wrestling and his feud with Roddy Piper. Armstrong also had a well-remembered stint as the babyface commissioner in both Smokey Mountain Wrestling in the mid-’90s and a similar role in the early days of NWA TNA a decade later. His last match was on May 11, 2019, at the age of 79. His wife Veda Gail James died this past June and he is survived by sons Scott, Steve, and Brian (Road Dogg). His fourth son Brad died in November 2012.

Bullet Bob. Always so nice to me. I’d like to think he saw how thrilled I was whenever I got to speak with him, which fortunately for me was often. Here is a rare picture of him with sleeves on his shirt. Condolences to your family @WWEArmstrong. Your father is a legend. pic.twitter.com/Un9Yn7Rle6

— player/coach (@CMPunk) August 28, 2020

#RIP Bullet Bob pic.twitter.com/Ao3HYJmhLb

— Lance Storm (@LanceStorm) August 28, 2020

I’m truly gutted to hear of the passing of my friend Bob Armstrong. His family have been my “American” family since I’m moved here 27 years ago. I love them all dearly. My deepest condolences to them all. @WWEArmstrong @WWERoadDogg https://t.co/Purj4rmdaD

— William Regal (@RealKingRegal) August 28, 2020

Thanks for the memories Scotty! 2 of the nicest guys I know 😄Knoxville TV mid-70’s, please give “Pep” a hug for me & love & respect for the family! ❤️👍 https://t.co/J8TztUjKs1

— Les Thatcher (@LesThatcher) August 1, 2020

Les Thatcher:

My heart fell & became empty this morning with the news that one of my dearest friends and one of the greats of our business has taken the final 3 count! Bob Armstrong left us over night at the age of 80, he kicked ass and took names and there is no doubt that he was always “Bad to the Bone”.

No one worked any harder in the ring, no one respected the industry more. All of us that were blessed with his friendship are better for it. I have so many memories of our road trips, sharing our love for the 50’s do wop music, blessed to have been welcomed into the Armstrong home, our times hanging at the pier at Pensacola Beach. Thank you my brother for it all.

To Scott, Steve, & Brian and their families I send my heart felt prayers, love, and support. I am so very sorry for your loss.

To the wrestling world he was Bob, The Bullet, “Arms”, & I liked to call him by his high school nickname “Pep”. Go with God my brother and know that you will not be forgotten as you have left a huge footprint in this world. Save me a spot on that beach up there, as I remember you with so much love & respect!

**SLAM Wrestling’s Greg Oliver has a lengthy bio on Bob Armstrong.

**We will have a separate story posted with a rundown of the AEW ratings but the show did 813,000 viewers with a 0.29 in the 18-49 demographic. The Thursday night edition finished 11th for the night on cable.

**Paul Levesque spoke with Alistair McGeorge of the Metro UK outlet and discussed the company’s handling of allegations against several of its performers:

Part of this is why we started in the first place – to professionalise and put that system into place where everyone can feel safe and protected, and have a working environment that is inclusive of everyone and the opportunity to do what we do. ‘We take every allegation very seriously, and you can refer back to our policy. It’s zero tolerance for things of this manner. We look into everything. ‘We look into it, we go from there to see what is legitimate, what is not, what is real, what isn’t, and deal with it accordingly.

While a lot of these things happened years ago, we take them very seriously,’ he insisted, adding that such behaviour wouldn’t ‘be remotely tolerated’. We also have an open policy with everybody. No one should ever feel like, “I didn’t wanna say anything.” ‘That’s the exact opposite of what we want. We’re trying to make this the safe, inclusive environment for everybody that it should be.’

**Friday Night SmackDown is live from the Amway Center tonight in Orlando, Florida to set up the remaining matches for WWE Payback on Sunday. Tonight’s show has been advertised around Roman Reigns’ first appearance on SmackDown since March and the contract signing with The Fiend Bray Wyatt and Braun Strowman. As of now, Reigns’ first match back is the only hook for Payback as this feels like a completely arbitrary show that didn’t need to happen so quickly. I do anticipate SmackDown doing well tonight with the Reigns factor and the momentum the ThunderDome concept has had with the audience.

**Big E. will be a guest on Miz TV with The Miz & John Morrison tonight and using the segment from Talking Smack as the impetus behind it.

**WWE has added a tag match to Payback with Rey & Dominik Mysterio vs. Seth Rollins & Murphy in a rematch from Raw.

**New Japan embarks on its biggest show since Wrestle Kingdom running the Summer Struggle event from Jingu Stadium on Saturday. The card will be streaming Saturday morning at 4 am Eastern and will also feature live English commentary from Kevin Kelly and Chris Charlton. As of now, it’s a six-match show, which is less than a typical New Japan show. Here is the full line-up:
*Double Championship Match: EVIL (champion) vs. Tetsuya Naito – Their match at Dominion was pretty bad by the standards of a main event in New Japan and was excessive with the length of it. With EVIL in this role, the heat has been generated from run-ins and using weapons, which are overdone but if that’s the direction they could benefit greatly by keeping the matches to under 20 minutes. To take the title of EVIL would seem counterproductive taking the title off Naito in the first place. EVIL may not be everyone’s first choice to elevate but he was New Japan’s choice and it would be cutting his legs off to take the title off him this early. The same happened to Jay White last year where he became the transitional champion between Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kazuchika Okada and it was setback he had to overcome with such a short title reign.
*IWGP Tag Title Match: Zack Sabre Jr. & Taichi (champions) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kota Ibushi – The matches have been very good and while it’s been done to death, the combination of Sabre Jr. and Tanahashi is a strong one. One would think Tanahashi and Ibushi should be poised for big runs in the G1 Climax and while the tandem elevates the tag titles, I don’t think now is the time to flip them back.
*IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Hiromu Takahashi (champion) vs. Taiji Ishimori – It’s a rematch of the 2018 finals for the Best of the Super Juniors and that was an extraordinary match. They are in a featured spot on the card and given the lack of matches, I’m expecting all the top title matches to receive ample amounts of time. An interesting topic is whether Takahashi and by extension, the junior heavyweights, have any representation in the G1? Even with the foreign talent, I would think it makes the tournament stronger having Takahashi entered.
*NEVER Openweight Championship: Shingo Takagi (champion) vs. Minoru Suzuki – This is the big match on the show and a first-time singles meeting. On paper, this could be excellent and with the addition of a crowd (although a muted one), it should assist with the atmosphere. When Suzuki is called upon, he can still produce a big match and there is ample pressure for the two to deliver a classic with this one. I’m expecting a big G1 for Takagi and losing the title before the tournament isn’t out of the realm of possibility.
*KOPW 2020 Crown: Kazuchika Okada vs. El Desperado vs. Toru Yano vs. SANADA – It’s a traditional four-way match without any additional bells and whistles with a concept that is catering to those elements. Okada has not had a standout match since returning from the shutdown and this KOPW idea has been designed around him. It feels like a needless title/crown to add to the bloated list of championships in New Japan and serves as a departure for Okada from the main title. Okada winning this match establishes this as a top priority with a main event talent holding the crown, which will always have a stipulation attached to defenses and it’s a race to see who is still holding the crown at the end of the year. The test-run of stipulation matches this past Wednesday didn’t leave me with a lot of desire to see as a permanent part of New Japan’s presentation and they have their work cut out for them to get the concept established.
*Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Master Wato – Yes, this is on the card as well.

**On Thursday, AEW experimented opening Daily’s Place to 10 percent of its capacity (approximately 500 fans), who was stationed in the 200 level with an empty section separating themselves from the talent and production members. AEW is moving forward with a physically distanced audience for next Wednesday’s live episode of Dynamite on September 2nd and the All Out pay-per-view on Saturday, September 5th. Tickets for both shows go on sale Saturday with Dynamite tickets starting at $35 and All Out tickets starting at $50. Dave Meltzer reports in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that talent and crew will stay in Florida from September 2nd until September 9th. On the 9th, they would hold that night’s edition of Dynamite and tape AEW Dark along with the episodes to air September 16th and 17th (which is the week AEW will run a one-hour show after the NBA playoffs on the 16th and follow with a two-hour show on the 17th).

**Excalibur was at Daily’s Place on Thursday and did call AEW Dark, so he will be back next Tuesday when that show airs. It is not known why he wasn’t on Dynamite, although AEW had advertised Chris Jericho throughout the week for commentary.

**It was also notable that Jim Ross was constantly referring to Pentagon Jr. as Penta El Zero M on Thursday’s episode, indicating a name change for AEW purposes.

**Here are the matches for NJPW Strong tonight at 10 pm Eastern billed as “The Road to Fighting Spirit Unleased” airing on New Japan World:
*PJ Black vs. Chase Owens
*ACH, TJP, Karl Fredericks & Clark Connors vs. Misterioso, Barrett Brown, Blake Christian & Adrian Quest
*Danny Limelight vs. Jordan Clearwater

**Game Changer Wrestling has announced that they have re-scheduled The Collective series of shows that were originally slated for WrestleMania weekend. The group said many more details are forthcoming.

**After Thursday’s show at Korakuen Hall, SHO announced that Roppongi 3K was vacating the IWGP junior heavyweight tag titles. His partner YOH is out of action for an unknown period due to a knee injury. The pair were on their fourth reign as champion winning the titles on the second night of Wrestle Kingdom this past January from El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori.

**NJPW Strong will be holding two weeks of “Fighting Spirit Unleashed” on Friday, September 4th, and September 11th. The first week includes Jay White vs. Flip Gordon, Brody King vs. Hikuleo, and the New Japan debut of Fred Rosser (the former Darren Young in WWE). The following week features KENTA vs. Jeff Cobb with the briefcase on the line for the future IWGP United States title shot.

**The Wrap has a story on the expectations that television ad revenue will drop 15 percent this year even when you factor in that it’s an Election year and sports have returned.

**The documentary You Cannot Kill David Arquette is out to today on many digital platforms to purchase. The documentary follows Arquette’s return to professional wrestling to redeem himself with fans that saw his WCW title win in May 2000. This includes the extremely violent match he had against Nick Gage for Game Changer Wrestling in November 2018. Justin Morissette of Sportsnet 650 in Vancouver recently spoke with Arquette and the full interview can be read here at POST Wrestling.

**Jeff Hardy spoke with The Daily Star about the recent program with Sheamus addressing his past issues with drugs and alcohol and some having a negative response to the story:

The stuff with Sheamus that’s happened most recently, I knew there was a great outcome in it. I knew that bar fight was going to be cinematic and good. All the stuff building up to that match, I just knew the outcome was going to be fantastic. And it’s good to face challenges like that because there’s so much negativity in the world. I’m not a social media guy at all, I don’t read comments or the negativity of people who thought it was wrong or that , I don’t read any of that. I’m just confident in myself to get through it, and when I get a feeling that something’s going to be good, I just run with it.

**Scorpio Sky was interviewed by Dominic DeAngelo at WrestleZone and discussed his goals with AEW:

I personally would love to be the first grand slam champion in AEW history, but I want to go that Bret Hart route, I want to be a tag team champion, I want to win the TNT Championship and then I want to be the World Champion and that is the goal. That’s ultimately—it starts with the TNT Championship. I was this close to it, and I’m shooting with you here. Getting in the ring with Cody and wrestling for the TNT Championship, it felt good. It felt really good and I looked at that new belt and I’m like, ‘Man, I want that. I truly, truly want that,’ and that’s my immediate goal.

**Ringsiders Wrestling recently interviewed Aaron Solow.

**Bet Online is listing Finn Balor as a slight favorite to win the NXT title next Tuesday with 7/5 odds followed by Tommaso Ciampa at 8/5, Adam Cole at 5/2, and Johnny Gargano as the underdog among them at 7/2.

**The WWE stock closed at $44.92 on Friday.





**UFC president Dana White spoke on the final night of the Republican Convention Thursday with the full speech below:

**The UFC Fight Night card on Saturday from the UFC APEX features a three-round light heavyweight main event between Anthony Smith and Aleksandar Rakic. Robbie Lawler returns for his first fight since the loss to Colby Covington 13 months ago as he takes on Neil Magny. Below is the full line-up and results from Friday’s weigh-ins:

MAIN CARD (9 pm Eastern on ESPN+)
*Anthony Smith (205) vs. Aleksandar Rakic (205.5)
*Robbie Lawler (171) vs. Neil Magny (171)
*Alexa Grasso (126) vs. Ji Yeon Kim (126)
*Ricardo Lamas (145) vs. Bill Algeo (146)
*Magomed Ankalaev (205) vs. Ion Cutelaba (205.5)


*Impa Kasaganay (185.5) vs. Maki Pitolo (184.5)
*Zak Cummings (185) vs. Alessio Di Chirico (184)
*Alex Caceres (145) vs. Austin Springer (151*) – Springer missed weight by five pounds and was fined 30 percent of his purse
*Christian Aguilera (170) vs. Sean Brady (170.5)
*Emily Whitmire (115.5) vs. Polyana Viana (116)
*Hannah Cifers (117*) vs. Mallory Martin (115.5) – Cifers missed weight by one pound and was fined 20 percent

**LFA is holding a card tonight at 9 pm Eastern on Fight Pass with the following fights:
*Brant Moore (155.8) vs. Joe Giannetti (155.2)
*Demarques Jackson (169.6) vs. Adrian Hadribeaj (170.4)
*Desmond Torres (135.2) vs. Ricardo Dias (134.8)
*Tyler Ray (171) vs. Steve Jones (170.6)
*Josh Fremd (198.8) vs. Lamar Gosey (205.6) – this is a light heavyweight fight, so Fremd came in super light
*Clayton Carpenter (125.8) vs. Manuel Medina (125)

**Titan FC also has a show tonight airing at 8 pm Eastern on UFC Fight Pass. In the main event, Mohammed Usman takes on Terrance Hodges and there will be a fight for their vacant flyweight title between Wascar Cruz and Christian Ynastrilla.

**On this date in 2005, Pride held one of the biggest heavyweight fights in MMA history as its heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko took on Mirko Cro Cop. The fight was preceded by one of the greatest videos ever produced ahead of a fight. The card also included the semi-finals and final of the Middleweight Grand Prix that year. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua stopped Alistair Overeem to advance to the final where he defeated Ricardo Arona with a knockout in the first round. Shogun’s tournament path features victories over Quinton Jackson, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Overeem, and Arona over the course of three shows between April and August 2005.

**Also on this date:

REWIND-A-DYNAMITE 8/27/20: Fans return, Mox-MJF signing, Dark Order celebration

John Pollock and Wai Ting review a Thursday edition of AEW Dynamite in front of limited fans featuring a Jon Moxley-MJF contract signing, Dark Order celebrating Brodie Lee’s TNT title win, and a Tables Match between Matt Hardy and Sammy Guevara.
upNXT 8/26/20: “Krossed Out”
Braden Herrington and Davie Portman review the August 26th edition of WWE NXT including Karrion Kross vacating the NXT Championship due to injury and William Regal setting up a Fatal Four Way 60-Minute Iron Man Match next week between Adam Cole, Johnny Gargano, Tommaso Ciampa and Finn Balor for the vacant championship.
BONUS SHOW 8/26/20: Raw & AEW Ratings, ThunderDome Problems, New Japan
John Pollock and Wai Ting are back with another bonus show covering the latest news including WWE Raw & Saturday Night Dynamite ratings, and a review of Wednesday’s New Japan card featuring KOPW matches.
BONUS SHOW: Raw & AEW Ratings, ThunderDome Problems, New Japan
John Pollock and Wai Ting are back with another bonus show covering the latest news including WWE Raw & Saturday Night Dynamite ratings, and a review of Wednesday’s New Japan card featuring KOPW matches.
ASK-A-WAI: Ask Us Anything! (September 2020)
John Pollock and Wai Ting answer their patrons’ questions from the POST Wrestling Forum in the September 2020 edition of Ask-A-Wai.
REWIND-A-RAW 8/24/20: SummerSlam Hangover, Keith Lee Debuts
John Pollock and Wai Ting review the first episode of WWE Raw inside the WWE ThunderDome with the fallout to SummerSlam and the immediate turnaround for Payback this weekend
John Pollock & Wai Ting review WWE SummerSlam featuring the return of Roman Reigns, Drew McIntyre vs. Randy Orton for the WWE Championship, Braun Strowman vs. The Fiend for Universal Championship, and Asuka going for double gold.
John Pollock and Wai Ting review a special Saturday night edition of AEW Dynamite and share their thoughts on the NXT TakeOver: XXX card along with notes from Paul Levesque’s post-show media call. Plus, a full preview of WWE SummerSlam.
Braden Herrington and Davie Portman review NXT TakeOver: XXX featuring Keith Lee vs Karrion Kross for the NXT Championship, Io Shirai vs Dakota Kai for the NXT Women’s Championship, Adam Cole takes on a debuting Pat McAfee.

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