POLLOCK'S NEWS UPDATE: CJ Perry speaks on WWE release

Originally published at POLLOCK'S NEWS UPDATE: CJ Perry speaks on WWE release


**Rewind-A-SmackDown will be live tonight at 10:15 p.m. ET for all members of the POST Wrestling Café. Wai Ting and I will be reviewing Friday Night SmackDown and discussing the passing of Del Wilkes a.k.a. The Patriot as well as looking at Wednesday’s viewership figure for AEW Dynamite. For the remainder of the show, it will be open calls to chat about all topics.

**We have put up a free sample of this week’s edition of Rewind-A-Wai covering the 2008 feud between Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho. The full show including an interview with former WWE writer Brad Corbitt is available to all members of the POST Wrestling Café.

**John Siino has a rundown and review of Thursday’s edition of IMPACT that was headlined by Kenny Omega & The Good Brothers taking on Sami Callihan, Moose & Chris Sabin.

**Happy Birthday to our own Eric Marcotte, who turns 23 today with UFC and Bellator giving him the weekend off.

**WH Park will be joined by Mark Buckeldee for this month’s installment of The Long & Winding Royal Road. This month, they will review the October 1999 match with Kenta Kobashi & Jun Akiyama facing Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa.


**Friday Night SmackDown airs tonight at 8 p.m. ET on Fox coming off Edge’s return on last week’s episode. Below are the announced matches/segments for tonight:
*Last Man Standing, MITB Qualifying Match: Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn
*Edge to address Roman Reigns

**205 Live at 10 p.m. ET on the WWE Network will feature the following qualifying matches for the NXT Breakout Tournament, which begins July 14th:
*Guru Raaj vs. Andre Chase (the former Harlem Bravado)
*Desmond Troy (Denzel Dejournette) vs. Joe Gacy

**Below are the matches scheduled for NJPW Strong tonight at 10 p.m. ET on New Japan World:
*Fred Rosser vs. Bateman
*Hikuleo vs. Jordan Clearwater
*Lio Rush vs. Adrian Quest

**This weekend’s syndicated edition of Ring of Honor features the following matches:
*ROH Pure Championship: Jonathan Gresham (champion) vs. Fred Yehi – the winner defends against Mike Bennett at Best in the World next weekend
*Fight On The Farm: Jay Briscoe vs. Mark Briscoe

**Returning to Wednesday night, AEW’s numbers in Canada saw an increase. Going against Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final, Dynamite averaged 94,900 viewers with 63,200 in the 25-54 demographic on TSN 2. It’s AEW’s best overall viewership since the first Friday night show on May 28th going into Double or Nothing. Wednesday’s game between Montreal and Tampa Bay was the most-watched sports broadcast in the country. AEW’s television figures for the U.S. were very strong with 883,000 viewers.

**The former Lana (CJ Perry) was a guest on Talk is Jericho in her first interview since being released by WWE last month. Lana spoke about the difficulties of the past year without fans at the events, the problems with WWE dropping stories, the break-up on-screen of Lana and Rusev, and discussed how difficult it was when Miro was released last year:

With Miro (being released by WWE), that f—ed me up. I was, first of all, shook. Never in a million years would I have thought he would have been fired before me, never – and that place makes you feel that way, that place makes you feel that men are more important than women. That place makes you feel, especially if you’re a manager or valet, you’re secondary and yeah, maybe you are secondary but I do feel I was a big part of his success and I think I’m a big part of his success behind closed doors at AEW and I can talk about that now. A big turn for him was when we started really talking about, ‘let’s make your message a bit more clear over there’ and it’s reassuring to me that I do grasp storytelling and wrestling as well. So, when he got fired I, God I was beyond devastated. Between the combination of the pandemic and not knowing what the world was going to hold and I just remember I would text Becky (Lynch) and she was like, ‘you can do it, you’re a strong woman’.

**Bret Hart turns 64 years old today with lots of messages posted throughout the wrestling industry for Hart.

**Stardom has another pay-per-view this Sunday with ‘Yokohama Dream Cinderella 2021 in Summer’ airing Sunday morning at 4 a.m. ET on the Pia site for approximately $39 (U.S.). It is Stardom’s first major event since a breakthrough event for the promotion and all the buzz surrounding Utami Hayashishita vs. Syuri from last month’s card. This Sunday’s show also features the English commentary team of Stewart Fulton and Sonny Gutierrez, who got great reviews for the last event and is a necessary component for companies looking to expand their reach to a worldwide audience. Below is the current line-up for the pay-per-view:
*World of Stardom: Utami Hayashishita (champion) vs. Natsuko Tora
*Wonder of Stardom: Tam Nakano (champion) vs. Saya Kamitani
*Goddesses of Stardom: Giulia & Syuri (champions) vs. Mayu Iwatani & Koguma
*Future of Stardom – Tournament Final: Mina Shirakawa vs. Unagi Sayaka
*Starlight Kid & Ruaka vs. Momo Watanabe & AZM
*Gauntlet Tag: Hanan & Hina vs. Maika & Lady C vs. Saki Kashima & Rina vs. Konami & Fukigen Death

**FMWE will launch its first event (along with many other items) this Sunday from the venerable Tsurumi Fruit and Vegetable Market in Yokohama. The heavily gimmicked show will be streaming Saturday night at 11 p.m. ET for 1,000 Japanese yen ($9 U.S) while also accepting additional tips. Below are the announced matches:
*Death Match of Hell: Atsushi Onita, Ricky Fuji & Minoru Fujita vs. Abdullah Kobayashi, Onryo & Yuko Miyamoto – the match will include barbed wire barricade landmine explosions, barbed wire rope explosions, barbed wire bat explosions, and a table explosion.
*Bunkhouse Death Match: Miss Mongol vs. Nene D.A.I. vs. X – The concept is that there are 13 weapons available that will be added to the match based on fans spending money on the live stream to unlock them. The weapons include a trash can, fencing stick, chair, barbed wire bat, a whip, ladder, red pepper powder, DEMON STICK, a guitar, table, a bat, A KNIFE, and of course, A GUN).
*The Brahman Brothers vs. Kikutaro & Gabai Jiichan
*Monster Leather, Toshiya Kawarai & Mr. Atomic vs. Yuuichi Taniguchi, HASEGAWA & Naoshi Sano
*Explosion FAKE Death Match: Yumehito Imanari vs. Buatsushi Futonita

**Colt Cabana has released every episode of his popular Art of Wrestling podcast series. Cabana launched the podcast in July 2010 inviting friends for long-form discussions about their careers, stories, and navigating professional wrestling. It quickly became a ‘go-to’ spot for wrestlers to speak especially for undiscovered talent to have a spotlight placed on them. He has added all 379 long-form interviews that were conducted from 2010-2017 including the two interviews with CM Punk (Phil Brooks) from November 2014 that led to a tumultuous defamation lawsuit filed by Dr. Chris Amann that made it to the courts in 2018 where a jury ruled in favor of Cabana and Brooks. The Art of Wrestling basically has interviews with a who’s who of the modern national wrestling scene including The Young Bucks, Kenny Omega, Kevin Owens, Cody Rhodes, and Will Ospreay among the hundreds. Cabana is now producing a weekly ‘Wrestling Anonymous’ series where he takes voice messages and constructs a story out of them, which he recently spoke to POST Wrestling about.

**Eddie Edwards was interviewed by Justin Barrasso of SI.com and discussed his recent appendicitis. Edwards said the pain began in his stomach on the second-to-last day of television tapings and ignored it, thinking it was just a stomachache. It intensified to the point others suggested he go to the hospital and was finally taken by Tommy Dreamer:

When I saw the doctor, he quickly could tell I had appendicitis. So I had surgery and stayed in the hospital for a night. I was willing to fly home right away, but Tommy didn’t think I should be flying so soon after the surgery. Impact extended my stay in the hotel for six days, and then I flew home a week later. I’ve been back in the gym, and now I’m good to go.

Edwards said the worst part was that he was scheduled to wrestle Satoshi Kojima on the final day of tapings. The match would have aired on this week’s episode, but they shot an angle where W. Morrissey attacked Edwards backstage and the match didn’t take place. It was going to be the second match Kojima and Edwards had as they previously wrestled a match in Pro Wrestling NOAH in 2013.

**Ring of Honor has announced two matches that will air during the one-hour pre-show for Best in the World on Sunday, July 11th. PCO & Danhausen will team up against The Bouncers, and Rey Horus will take on Demonic Flamita beginning at 7 p.m. ET that night on Honor Club, YouTube, and the pay-per-view channels carrying the event.

**FITE is streaming a unique event that EC3 is putting on called Free The Narrative featuring a “fight” between EC3 and Matt Cardona along with five other matches. Moose, Parrow, John Skyler, Bill Carr, Matt Sydal, and the former Percy Watson will also be featured on the show, which has the following description:

A unique professional wrestling and cinematic experience based on EC3’s “Control Your Narrative” movement, “FTN” features a gritty, realistic, physical blend of wrestling with in-depth character development and story telling.

Step inside “The Narrative” as Matt Cardona accepts EC3’s challenge for a “fight.” Not a fight based on money or titles, but based on personal pride and the pursuit of “purpose.”

In addition to EC3 vs Matt Cardona “FTN” hosts five “unsanctioned fights” where the only way to win is by tap out, knock out, or the inability to continue.

Featuring talent from all major “three letter” wrestling brands (including Moose, Parrow, John Skyler, “William” (Bill Carr) “The Vision” (Matt Sydal), “The Unknown Hand” (Percy Watson/Nick McNeil) watch as these combatants have unimpeded freedom from their respective “offices” and “creative teams.” Every participant in “FTN” act on their own accord, breaking the chains of their corporate wrestling personas in an expose to their respective realities.

Set to an original score, Free The Narrative is an entirely independent production that features an innovative blend of professional wrestling, cinema, and harsh reality.

**NJPW has a week off and then launches the Summer Struggle tour with back-to-back nights in Hokkaido on July 10th and 11th. Thus far, they have only announced the main events for those shows with El Desperado vs. Taiji Ishimori for the IWGP junior heavyweight title on the first night, and Zack Sabre Jr. & Taichi vs. Tetsuya Naito & SANADA for the IWGP tag titles on night two.

**A preview of this Sunday’s WWE Icons episode profiling Lex Luger.

**Eva Marie appeared on Mikhaila Peterson’s podcast discussing how she got involved with WWE, the difficulties of handling fame, her experience in AA, and the new character she is playing on Raw.

**Tickets for AEW’s return to Daily’s Place on August 4th will go on sale next Friday at 10 a.m. ET.

**The Wrestle Inn podcast spoke with Les Thatcher about his extraordinary career, the Brian Pillman Memorial shows, and more.

**This Sunday will mark Thatcher’s 61st anniversary since his first pro wrestling match against Ronnie Hill on July 4, 1960, in Blue Hill, Maine.

**Wrestling historian and author Greg Oliver will be at the Barton Street Fest on Saturday in Hamilton, Ontario with many of his books available. Along with Steven Johnson, the two have released the excellent Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame series covering The Canadians, The Heels, The Tag Teams, Heroes & Icons, and The Storytellers, which are all recommended.

**The WWE stock fell to $57.76 on Friday, down 1 percent from where it opened.


NJPW wrapped up its Kizuna Road tour on Friday with its latest show at Korakuen Hall. The show saw Tomohiro Ishii, Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI retain the NEVER Six-Man tag titles in the main event defeating Yuji Nagata, Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan after Goto hit Kojima with the GTR. After the match, Ishii was attacked by EVIL and set those two up for a program.

The highlights were the Young Lion trial series of matches as Yota Tsuji took on Kota Ibushi and Yuya Uemura faced off with Shingo Takagi. Both worked along the lines of what they were intended to achieve with both earning the respect of the two top stars with the backdrop of Takagi and Ibushi meeting this month at the Tokyo Dome.

Tsuji demonstrated a lot of fire against Ibushi and matching Ibushi’s slaps while also executing a Giant Swing and transitioning to the Boston Crab. In the end, Ibushi applied a half-crab at a high angle and rotated back for a variation of the submission to get the win and place another hold into Ibushi’s arsenal, which I liked a lot.

Takagi and Uemura did not disappoint with the latter becoming one of the most compelling characters in New Japan’s system. The 26-year old stands on top of the pack of current young lions with limitless potential that the audience sees and is along for the ride sensing a star in the making. He doesn’t have the size of Tsuji but it’s an era of New Japan where smaller-sized talent doesn’t have a ceiling. Uemura’s offense looked terrific and it’s evident the audience is behind him. His major moments in the match occurred when he kicked out of a Noshigami and proceeded to land a bridging German suplex for a two-count. Takagi blocked the double overhook suplex and landed a big Pumping Bomber to win.

After the match, a bloody-mouthed Uemura, stood up to the champion and shoved him off, and received a nod and seal of approval from Takagi. Uemura was left alone in the ring for the audience to acknowledge after the fight he displayed. It’s a story that all promotions should aim to tell with its young talent where you have that 20-something that isn’t a star today but the audience can see there’s something there and want to get on the bandwagon now and root for them.

GLEAT Ver. 1

I had the chance to watch the entire GLEAT event from Thursday at Tokyo Dome City Hall.

The card was a very easy watch comprised of four traditional pro-wrestling matches and four matches under UWF rules where each participant starts with five points. Points can be lost from rope breaks, knockdown attempts and if either side loses all their points then the match is over.

For the first half of the show, standouts included Issei Onitsuka, who demonstrated a lot of personality and was showcased in a six-man tag with CIMA and Shigehiro Irie defeating Kaz Hayashi (who looks and wrestles incredibly at the age of 48), Soma Watanabe & Keiichi Sato. Onitsuka hit a ‘rana to Hayashi and hooked the legs for the win.

Ryuichi Kawakami and T-Hawk had a great match, which served as the main event for the first half. T-Hawk hit this insane tope suicida and crashed hard into the guardrail, which looked brutal. Kawakami won in 17:28 after big striking exchanges and a set of near falls.

The UWF style matches were a lot of fun. They included Masakatsu Funaki submitting Yu Iizuka in eight minutes. Iizuka sold a koppu kick as though he was out on his feet and led to the rear-naked choke submission.

Daijiro Matsui & Tetsuya Izuchi beat Minoru Tanaka & Soma Watanabe (who worked twice on the show). Matsui is 48-years old and a long-time MMA fighter from 1998 during the early days of PRIDE and continued to fight with Cage Rage, DEEP, and other groups until 2017. Matsui swept to an armbar before getting a kimura applied to Soma for the tap.

The main event featured SHO of New Japan submitting Takanori Ito. The match demonstrated the whole gamut of what GLEAT is looking to accomplish with the marriage of pro wrestling and grappling. The match climaxed with Ito knocking SHO down, who returned with a ton of energy landing a pair of German suplexes with the last one being transitioned to an armbar. SHO adjusted to a triangle with Ito trying the traditional “pro wrestling” defense of lifting and slamming his opponent (which in real fights, usually allows the one applying the submission to deepen it) but fell and succumbed to the triangle.

The entire card is free on the GLEAT YouTube channel and is just over three hours, but a sizable portion is the opening introductions of the competitors and the closing comments.


In a match with extremely dire consequences for the fate of the invasion storyline, Booker T. and Buff Bagwell headlined Raw on this date in 2001 in Tacoma, Washington. The match died in the arena and led to Vince McMahon scrapping major plans for the WCW angle including the brand taking control of Raw and having its own house show touring schedule. The next week, the company set in motion about a year’s worth of story lines into one night that saw the alliance formed between WCW and ECW, Paul Heyman installed as a major player in the angle, and the reveal that Stephanie McMahon was financing ECW. While there was optimism based on WWF vs. WCW being a storyline you couldn’t mess up, the fan engagement still led to a giant pay-per-view number for the Invasion card later that month. That show was also fueled by Steve Austin teasing a babyface return on the go-home Raw prior to turning back heel and joining The Alliance. What should have led to spectacular business and endless possibilities was completely dead and over with by November.

Then, WWE paid tribute to the invasion storyline with a metaphor on this date in 2018:

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SHOT IN THE DARK: Survival of the Fittest Finals, Who Will Challenge WALTER?
John Siino reviews this week’s editions of AEW Dark, AEW Dark: Elevation, NXT UK, NWA Powerrr, 205 Live, NJPW Strong, Ring of Honor, and Main Event in under 15 minutes on Shot In The Dark.
REWIND-A-WAI #89: Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho 2008
John Pollock & Wai Ting bring you a special edition of Rewind-A-Wai as they dedicate the entire episode to one of the greatest feuds in WWE history: Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels from April to October 2008.
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Thanks for the two big reviews and quick retrospective on that start of WCW within WWF (oof).

I haven’t been following EC3’s Narrative stuff that closely, but I believe this special airing on FITE was previously available on his own site, but will now be available here at a discounted price.