POLLOCK'S NEWS UPDATE: Brian Cage set for surgery on Monday

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/01/24/pollocks-news-update-brian-cage-set-for-surgery-on-monday/


**Wai Ting and I are doing a special LIVE EDITION of Rewind-A-SmackDown tonight at 11 pm Eastern for all members of the POST Wrestling Café. We will have reviews of both Friday Night SmackDown and NWA ‘Hard Times’ followed by previews for Worlds Collide and the Royal Rumble and your phone & Skype calls discussing the weekend ahead. This is our first of two live shows this weekend as we will also go live after the Royal Rumble with our POST show.

**The deadline to submit your picks for POST Wrestling’s Royal Rumble Pool is Sunday at 3 pm Eastern. It is free to join and the winner(s) will be announced next Wednesday on Rewind-A-Dynamite.

**The latest edition of the British Wrestling Experience features Martin Bushby, Benno & Jamesie going through the top matches and moments from the past decade on the European scene. They go through the transformation throughout the decade, the promotions that thrived and those that died, as well as Martin, chatting about his trip to Japan.

**Braden Herrington & Davie Portman will have a Worlds Collide POST Show on the site Saturday night following the show in Houston, Texas.

**Eric Marcotte will have a UFC report posted on the site Saturday night following the card from Raleigh, North Carolina.

**On Sunday night, Wai Ting and I will be joined by Mike Murray for the Royal Rumble POST Show and we will be going live approximately 15 minutes after the show ends. If you are a Double Double, Iced Capp, or Espresso member of the Café you can watch the POST show live and phone in with your feedback to the show. The podcast version will be up Monday morning for everyone.


*Tonight: Rewind-A-SmackDown (LIVE at 11 pm ET for all Patrons including a review of NWA ‘Hard Times’)
*Saturday: Worlds Collide POST Show with Braden Herrington & Davie Portman
*Sunday: Thunderstruck with WH Park & guest Martin Bushby (Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Shinjiro Otani, March 1996)
*Sunday: Royal Rumble POST Show with John Pollock, Wai Ting & Mike Murray (LIVE for Double Double, Iced Capp & Iced Capp members)


**Friday Night SmackDown takes place from the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas tonight as WWE kicks off its Royal Rumble weekend in Texas. This is a departure from past years where the ‘Big Four’ shows have featured four consecutive nights of shows in the host city. This weekend, they are only running Houston on Saturday and Sunday with TakeOver swapped out for the Worlds Collide show. Monday’s episode of Raw will be in San Antonio to wrap up the weekend. Tonight’s show is the last show before the Rumble and is set to feature the following:
*Roman Reigns & The Usos vs. King Corbin, Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode
*The contract signing between The Fiend Bray Wyatt and Daniel Bryan

**The NWA returns to pay-per-view tonight with ‘Hard Times’ from GPB Studios in Atlanta, Georgia followed by two days of Power tapings for their next cycle. The show is heavily built around the Television title tournament with an eight-man bracket set up for tonight. The other major element to the show is Marty Scurll being advertised to appear but for a match. The initial thought was this show featuring Nick Aldis and Marty Scurll but the ROH relationship has opened the doors for more crossovers with Flip Gordon working Aldis on tonight’s show in a non-title match. If you watched this past week’s show, the major programs being pushed don’t climax on this show with the pay-per-view feeling like a bridge to their next stop. The pay-per-view will stream live at 7 pm Eastern tonight on Fite TV with the following card:
*Nick Aldis vs. Flip Gordon
*Aron Stevens vs. Scott Steiner for the National title
*Allysin Kay vs. Thunder Rosa for the NWA women’s title
*The Rock ‘N’ Roll Express vs. The Wild Cards vs. James Storm & Eli Drake for the NWA tag titles
*Trevor Murdoch vs. The Question Mark in the TV title tournament
*Dan Maff vs. Zicky Dice in the TV title tournament
*Ken Anderson vs. Tim Storm in the TV title tournament
*Ricky Starks vs. Matt Cross in the TV title tournament
*Semi-finals and finals of the TV title tournament

**Brian Cage (Brian Button), 35, provided an update on his current situation. Cage confirmed his deal with Impact Wrestling has come to an end, but the promotion did make a strong offer to keep him. He said he has not signed anywhere but had received offers from many promotions without stating from whom. The wrench in his plans is a torn right biceps that he confirmed he had sustained. The injury will result in his first surgery that is set for this Monday. He said there was an estimate that he could be out for six months but is optimistic he will be able to recover faster than that. Cage will turn 36 years old next week and last wrestled at Impact’s ‘Hard to Kill’ pay-per-view on January 12th, doing a very short match with Rob Van Dam.

**ITV Box Office, which had been carrying the AEW pay-per-view events, announced this week they are shutting down the channel effective today. This means that for those in the UK, the only way to watch the AEW pay-per-views for now is through Fite TV. The next pay-per-view is the ‘Revolution’ show on Sunday, February 29th.

**Ring of Honor has added Nick Aldis to the Supercard of Honor show in Lakeland, Florida on Saturday, April 4th over WrestleMania weekend.

**New Japan Pro Wrestling begins its U.S. tour in Tampa, Florida tonight with five shows scheduled over the next eight nights. These cards are not airing live on New Japan World and it’s unknown if they will eventually make their way onto the streaming service. The tour was hit with the loss of Kota Ibushi, who was removed from the shows due to falling ill and has to be serious to prevent him from making the shows. Tonight’s show will feature Clark Connors vs. Misterioso, Satoshi Kojima & Yuji Nagata vs. Alex Coughlin & Ren Narita, Karl Fredericks & TJP vs. Colt Cabana & Toru Yano, Jeff Cobb vs. Alex Zayne, Lance Archer vs. Yoshi-Hashi, and Juice Robinson, David Finlay, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Rocky Romero vs. Guerrillas of Destiny, Yujiro & Chase Owens.

**The U.S tour continues Sunday night in Nashville, Tennesse at the War Memorial Auditorium and Monday night in Durham, North Carolina.

**Conversely, New Japan begins its Road to New Beginning tour of Japan on Saturday with a card in Ibaraki, which also isn’t airing on New Japan World. That card has Yota Tsuji vs. Yuya Uemura, Taiji Ishimori & El Phantasmo vs. Tiger Mask & Gabriel Kidd (the latest young lion that is now based in Japan), Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Manabu Nakanishi vs. Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma, Roppongi 3K & Toa Henare vs. Minoru Suzuki, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado, Shingo Takagi & EVIL & Bushi vs. Hirooki Goto & Tomohiro Ishii & Ryusuke Taguchi, Kazuchika Okada & Will Ospreay & Robbie Eagles vs. Zack Sabre Jr. & Taichi & Douki, Tetsuya Naito & Sanada & Hiromu Takahashi vs. KENTA & Jay White & Gedo. They have additional shows Monday in Yamagata, Tuesday in Akita, and Wednesday in Aomori before the two New Beginning cards in Sapporo next weekend.

**WWE’s first of two nights at the Toyota Center features the Worlds Collide event that takes the place of TakeOver over Royal Rumble weekend. The idea of the show is to present inter-promotional matches between NXT and NXT UK with varying degrees of promotion on the respective shows. This hardly feels like a TakeOver card and the matches are largely strong-looking ones on paper with the minimal story outside of brand versus brand. It has the potential to be a fantastic show, DIY vs. Moustache Mountain could be the match of the weekend and Finn Balor vs. Ilja Dragunov sounds excellent and will come down to the audience’s participation and connection to the relatively unknown Dragunov on WWE programming. Below is the full card:
*Adam Cole, Roderick Strong, Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish vs. WALTER, Alexander Wolfe, Fabian Aichner & Marcel Barthel
*Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa vs. Tyler Bate & Trent Seven
*Rhea Ripley vs. Toni Storm for the NXT women’s title
*Finn Balor vs. Ilja Dragunov
*Angel Garza vs. Jordan Devlin vs. Isaiah Scott vs. Travis Banks for the Cruiserweight title
*Kay Lee Ray vs. Mia Yim on the pre-show at 6:30 pm Eastern

**This past Tuesday’s episode of WWE Backstage did 111,000 viewers on FS 1. The show featured CM Punk back on the panel and Becky Lynch was the guest. After three appearances, it doesn’t feel like Punk has the same novelty and each episode he’s been on has been lower than the previous appearance. This week’s show was up 32% from last week but down 10% from two weeks ago.

**Last week’s episode of Friday Night SmackDown finished with 2,562,000 viewers on Fox. They did a 0.8 among the 18-49 demo and 0.5 with 18-34s. It was SmackDown’s best number since November 8th of last year.

**Greg Oliver at SLAM Wrestling has a bio on Hercules Ayala, who died earlier this week at the age of 69. Ayala had a very noteworthy career that I hope receives more attention because he was a major star in Puerto Rico specifically his several-year long feud with Carlos Colon. Personally, I learned a great deal researching him this past week.

**ROH has added the following matches to their ‘Free Enterprise’ event on February 9th in Baltimore: Brody King vs. Rey Horus, The Briscoes vs. Bandido & Flamita, Slex vs. Flip Gordon, Jay Lethal & Jonathan Gresham vs. Jeff Cobb & Dan Maff in a Proving Ground match, Joe Hendry & Dalton Castle vs. Bateman & Vincent, and a battle royal for a shot at the ROH title.

**ESPN spoke to NXT UK champion WALTER to promote the Worlds Collide event tomorrow night in Houston.

**New Japan has announced that Zack Sabre Jr. will take on El Desperado at the Lion’s Break 3 card on Thursday, April 2nd in Tampa, Florida as part of WrestleCon. The show takes place that day at 3 pm Eastern at The Ritz Ybor. Tickets start at $50 for standing room only and go all the way up to $150 for the front row.

**Black Label Pro has added a match between Haku and ‘Filthy’ Tom Lawlor for their WrestleMania weekend card on Friday, April 3rd at 11:59 pm ET in Ybor City, Florida. The card takes place at The Cuban Club where The Collective shows are taking place.

**Impact Wrestling has announced that D-Lo Brown and Mr. Anderson will be part of their TNA ‘There’s No Place Like Home’ event over WrestleMania weekend. The TNA nostalgia show will feature Brown and Anderson wrestling as their Aces & Eights characters. The show takes place on Friday, April 3rd at 7 pm ET from The Ritz Ybor in Tampa, Florida as part of WrestleCon. The show will also be streaming on Fite TV.

**MLW has added a middleweight title match between Myron Reed and Arez, and a match between Douglas James and Septimo Dragon to next weekend’s Fightland tapings at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia.

**Mike Awesome (Mike Alfonso) would have been 55 years old today. Awesome, who gained success in FMW and then a big splash returning to the U.S. with ECW in the late ‘90s. He became ECW champion in September 1999 with Taz on his way out to head to the World Wrestling Federation. In-ring, he will always be linked to Masato Tanaka for their run of matches, including memorable television matches on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve 1999 from Nashville and White Plains, New York. He left ECW for WCW in the spring of 2000 and created a lot of anger among those in the company with the way in which he left as he was still ECW champion. He would lose that title at an ECW show in Indianapolis to Taz, who was sent by WWF to serve as a transition from Awesome to Tommy Dreamer as ECW champion, ultimately ending with Justin Credible as the champion coming out of that mess. He had an unspectacular run in WCW as That ‘70s Guys and ‘The Fat Chick Thriller’ before settling as a teammate of Lance Storm with Team Canada group. Awesome was brought into the WWF for the invasion in 2001 but he was a minor player as a member of The Alliance. Injuries interrupted any chance of him finding a meaningful role and was cut in September 2002. His final years in the industry were primarily spent with All Japan and retired in February 2006. The following year, he committed suicide at the age of 42.

**BT Sport chronicles WWE’s move to the network on their ‘No Filter’ series:


**Coming off the enormous success of UFC 246, the UFC holds its first Fight Night card of 2020 with a show in Raleigh, North Carolina on Saturday night. They are going head-to-head with a big Bellator show on DAZN, so it’s both companies exclusively on streaming services within the United States.

The UFC show is built around two fights with the main event involving former heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos and Curtis Blaydes. It’s an important fight for Blaydes as a win catapults him into the contender’s portion of the division while a loss is a big setback and would keep dos Santos alive in that hierarchy of the weight class.

In the co-feature, Rafael dos Anjos will be taking on Michael Chiesa. RDA has lost three of his last four, but it’s been a murderer’s row of opponents with decision losses to Colby Covington and Kamaru Usman, a submission win over Kevin Lee and is coming off a decision loss to Leon Edwards. For Chiesa, he was already a quality lightweight but the weight cut was enough to force him to leave the division and looked go so far at welterweight with wins over Carlos Condit and Diego Sanchez but this is the real test to see if he can be a contender at the weight.

Below is the full card with the results from Friday’s weigh-in:

MAIN CARD (8 pm Eastern on ESPN+)
*Junior dos Santos (247) vs. Curtis Blaydes (248)
*Michael Chiesa (170.5) vs. Rafael dos Anjos (170)
*Alex Perez (125.5) vs. Jordan Espinosa (126)
*Hannah Cifers (114.5) vs. Angela Hill (116)
*Darko Stosic (205) vs. Jamahal Hill (205.5)


*Bevon Lewis (186) vs. Dequan Townsend (185)
*Nik Lentz (146) vs. Arnold Allen (145.5)
*Justine Kish (126) vs. Lucie Pudilova (126)
*Montel Jackson (135.5) vs. Felipe Colares (135)
*Lina Lansberg (135) vs. Sara McMann (135)
*Tony Gravely (135) vs. Brett Johns (136)
*Herbert Burns (146) vs. Nate Landwehr (146)

**Bellator 238 takes place from The Forum in Inglewood, California Saturday night and is headlined by the promotional debut of Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino as she challenges Bellator featherweight champion Julia Budd. Cyborg is a big favorite going into the fight and we will how Budd has advanced and her game plan given the game plans we have seen utilized by Holly Holm (unsuccessfully) and conversely, Amanda Nunes who was able to hand Cyborg a loss in 2018.

The rest of the card includes the Featherweight Grand Prix Quarter-final fight between Darrion Caldwell and Adam Borics, the Bellator debut of Sergio Pettis, and perhaps the fight will the most long-term implications is Aaron Pico’s undercard fight against Daniel Carey. At the age of 23, Pico has enormous pressure on him to produce and is coming off consecutive losses in 2019. He is wisely being put on the prelims out of the spotlight to hopefully regain some momentum and be brought along slowly rather than such big fights as he had with Henry Corrales and Adam Borics last year.

Below is the main card, which begins at 10 pm Eastern on DAZN:
*Julia Budd (144.5) vs Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino (143.8) for the Bellator featherweight title
*Adam Borics (144.9) vs. Darrion Caldwell (144.6) in the Featherweight Grand Prix Quarter-final
*Henry Corrales (145.3) vs. Juan Archuleta (145.5)
*Sergio Pettis (135) vs. Alfred Khashakyan (135.9)
*Raymond Daniels (169.8) vs. Jason King (169.7)
*Ava Knight (114.5) vs. Emilee King (115.2)

**MMA Junkie’s Nolan King reported on Thursday that bantamweight Jimmie Rivera is off the UFC 247 card on February 8th. Rivera was set to fight Marlon Vera in the featured prelim fight at the Toyota Center in Houston. Vera remains without an opponent yet for the card and has been victorious in his previous five outings going back to August 2018. He fought three times last year with stoppages victories over Frankie Saenz, Nohein Hernandez, and Andre Ewell. The UFC 247 card is headlined by two title fight with Jon Jones defending his light heavyweight title against Dominick Reyes, and Valentina Shevchenko defending the flyweight title against Katlyn Chookagian.

**Combate was the first to report that Paige VanZant is out of her fight with Amanda Ribas on March 14th in Brasilia. It is believed that VanZant suffered an arm injury and is being replaced by Randa Markos on the card. Markos, 34, fought three times in 2019 submitting Angela Hill in March, dropping a decision to Claudia Gadelha in July, and is coming off a split decision win over Ashley Yoder in October. Ribas made her UFC debut last year and has posted wins over Emily Whitmire and Mackenzie Dern inside the promotion.

VanZant posted the following statement confirming the news after sustaining an arm fracture but plans to fight by May:

You know that Japanese proverb “Fall seven times, stand up eight.” Well my story is break your arm three times, keep fighting four. Anyone could choose to give up here, it would be the easiest thing to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that’s true strength. Yes I fractured my arm again. No this isn’t the end of my story. This is a very small fracture and will only take 6-8 weeks to heal. My Dr. said I will be back ready to take a fight in May. This is the second time I broke through a screw hole where my plate in my arm is, third break in a third spot. I know I need to adjust my training now that I have a permanent plate and screws in there. I will make those adjustments and I will return successfully just as I have before. I am not going anywhere, I am only 25 years old and I am a gangster fighter. I will be making my UFC return in May. God just wanted me to have a little more patience. Send me some good vibes #fanzants I could use some love.

**RMC Sport reported that heavyweights Cyril Gane and Shamil Abdurakhimov will fight at UFC 249 on April 18th in Brooklyn, New York. Gane is undefeated with a pro record of 6-0 since August 2018. He entered the UFC last August and has rattled off victories over Raphael Pessoa, Don’Tale Mayes, and Tanner Bosser with finishes against all three. Abdurakhimov, 38, has been fighting in the UFC since April 2015 with a 5-3 record inside the promotion. His three-fight win streak ended in his last outing where he was stopped by Curtis Blaydes at UFC 242 in September.

**Stephen Brunt of Rogers Sportnet has launched a new digital series called ‘Open Invitation’ and sat down with UFC president Dana White:


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