POLLOCK'S NEWS UPDATE: Dick Ebersol's new book, CMLL Aniversario, WBD-NBC Universal

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2022/09/16/pollocks-news-update-dick-ebersols-new-book-cmll-aniversario-wbd-nbc-universal/

POST IT NOTES

**Rewind-A-SmackDown is live at 11 p.m. ET tonight for POST Wrestling Café members. Wai Ting and I will review Friday Night SmackDown and AEW Rampage and take your calls and feedback throughout the show.

**The next edition of Rewind-A-Wai will be released next Tuesday for POST Wrestling Café members with Wai & I chatting about WCW Starrcade 1995 (available on the WWE Network) from Nashville, Tennessee. The show features inter-promotional matches between WCW and New Japan Pro Wrestling including Kensuke Sasaki, Shinjiro Otani, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Masa Chono, and Jushin Thunder Liger among the NJPW talent wrestling on the show. The feedback thread is up on the POST Wrestling Forum to leave comments and questions for next Tuesday’s show.

**Smash Wrestling will be running its first show in Toronto in over three years this Sunday at The Rec Room downtown. We have an interview on the site with promoter Sebastian Suave discussing his decision to come back, how the pandemic affected the promotion, the effects of SummerSlam 2019 week in Toronto on the local scene, why they scaled back events during that time, wrestling on Raw that year, and reflections on Smash as it nears its ten-year anniversary next month.

**On the latest MCU L8R, Rich Fann and WH Park discuss the news coming out of D23 and then provide a review of Episode 5 of She-Hulk. This show is available for all POST Wrestling Café members.

**On the site tonight, thecubsfan from Luchablog will have a report on the CMLL Aniversario card from Arena Mexico, which is sold out.

WRESTLING NEWS

**Friday Night SmackDown takes place from the Honda Center in Anaheim, California with Logan Paul being advertised to appear and teasing a program with Roman Reigns after an exchange with Paul Heyman on Twitter. Roman Reigns is not listed in the advertising for tonight’s show but is listed for next week in Salt Lake City.

They have announced a #1 contenders match for the tag titles with Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods vs. The Street Profits vs. Alpha Academy vs. Los Lotharios, which is a rematch from last week, which was the match that Braun Strowman interrupted and ended in a no-contest.

The Honda Center is the site of Ronda Rousey’s first fight with the UFC and the first women’s fight in the promotion’s history. The Honda Center was where Rousey defeated Liz Carmouche at UFC 157 in February 2013 after surviving a rear-naked choke attempt by Carmouche, who got Rousey’s back before being submitted by Rousey in the first round. It was a gamble by the UFC where many thought the best platform to introduce Rousey and the women’s division was on Fox instead of pay-per-view, but the show was a big success.

**Here are the matches set for AEW Rampage tonight at 10 p.m. ET on TNT and streaming on TSN Direct in Canada:
*ROH Television Championship: Samoa Joe (champion) vs. Josh Woods
*Ethan Page vs. Danhausen
*Penelope Ford vs. Willow Nightingale
*Matt Hardy vs. Darby Allin

**Dick Ebersol, one of the legendary sports executives in television history, has just released his biography From Saturday Night to Sunday Night. It covers his career that began at ABC working under Roone Arledge and then, moving to NBC where he helped launch Saturday Night Live along with Lorne Michaels and then took NBC Sports and made it a juggernaut through its coverage of the Olympics, the NBA on NBC franchise, walking away from football in 1998 and then coming up with the Sunday Night Football package in 2005, and also covers the tragic death of his son Teddy in a plane crash in November of 2004. There is a portion of the book dedicated to his ties with Vince McMahon and the launch of Saturday Night’s Main Event in May 1985, which became a replacement for SNL on a monthly basis on NBC and was a huge window of exposure for the company that did huge audiences for several years. A key part of the WWF’s expansion period and its growth was its strong syndication but having network exposure with both Saturday Night’s Main Event and Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘N Wrestling cartoon show on CBS. Ebersol would get involved with McMahon and WWF again in 2000 when NBC partnered with the XFL and launched the league in February of the following year and did a massive audience for the first week but was an important lesson that curiosity can attract attention but if the product is inferior and doesn’t make an impact, curiosity is fleeting and the numbers plummeted throughout the season and the XFL cut its losses and folded the league after one season. In 2006, Saturday Night’s Main Event was resurrected as a twice-per-year special on NBC after WWE returned to the USA Network several months earlier and part of the deal was getting the network window for several specials. It was a different era and the notion of big names having matches was novel in 1985 but not twenty years later when it was standard fare on Raw and SmackDown and they were shelved after five editions, ending in 2008 with other specials such as Tribute to the Troops taking its place on NBC. In 2010, Ebersol, who has always been close with McMahon, inducted Bob Uecker into the WWE Hall of Fame (we had originally written that Ebersol was inducted and have since made the correction).

**While it would be years away from completion, there is a lot of chatter among the television industry about the long-term future of Warner Brothers Discovery, which has been given the mandate post-merger of slashing its monstrous debt under the leadership of David Zaslav. The Hollywood Reporter notes that the company has over $50 billion in debt to slash and noted the chatter among people in powerful positions about a potential marriage between WBD and NBC Universal:

Given the company’s daunting challenges, it has become accepted wisdom at the highest levels of the industry that another deal waits in the wings for Warner Bros. Discovery. For reasons related to the complicated structure of that merger, no negotiations can happen until April 2024. But at that point, many industry observers believe that Comcast’s Brian Roberts will make a long-awaited move, looking to combine NBCUniversal and Warner Bros. Discovery.

If such a deal were attempted, it would face regulatory approval regarding anti-trust concerns with further conglomeration among the largest and most influential media outlets in the United States.

**CMLL presents its biggest show of the year with its 89th Anniversary card from Arena Mexico where the promotion has announced a sell-out. The event will be available through streaming on the Ticketmaster site for approximately $10 U.S. beginning at 6 p.m. ET. It’s a strong sign for CMLL to sell out the building for the first since the pandemic and should be the strongest atmosphere for an anniversary card in years. The main event was a risky concept on paper without knowing what will close the show and whether someone will even be unmasked as it could be a Hair vs. Hair main event.

The concept for the main event is that there are four teams (Atlantis & Fuerza Guerrera, Averno & Ultimo Guerrero, Atlantis Jr. & Stuka Jr., and Dragon Rojo Jr. & Soberano). There will be a mini-tournament with the match-ups announced tonight, the two winning teams will advance to face off later in the show and from there, the partners from the winning team will meet in either a Mask vs. Mask match or Hair vs. Hair depending on which team emerges. Averno and Ultimo Guerrero would result in a Hair vs. Hair match. The biggest match would clearly be Atlantis and Fuerza Guerrera but the overwhelming assumption is a match of that magnitude is not being done under this format where it’s unknown that such a match is taking place. That said, Guerrera is 68 years old and Atlantis is 59 and how long do you want to put off that stipulation?

Here is the full lineup:
*Atlantis & Fuerza Guerrera, Ultimo Guerrero & Averno, Atlantis Jr. & Stuka Jr., and Soberano Jr. & Dragon Rojo Jr.
*Mask vs. Mask: La Jarochita vs. Reyna Isis
*Copa Independencia: Mistico vs. Angel de Oro vs. Volador Jr.
*Negro Casas, Star Jr. & Titan vs. Euforia, Mephisto & Hechicero
*Mexican Trios Titles: Dulce Gardenia, Espiritu Negro & Rey Cometa (champions) vs. Arkalis, Guerrero Maya Jr. & Stigma

Thecubsfan from Luchablog will be covering this event for POST Wrestling with a report on the site tonight. He also has a preview of the card on the Voices of Wrestling site.

**WWE has a live event in Bakersfield, California on Saturday at the Mechanics Bank Arena with Ronda Rousey scheduled for the show. They are advertising Matt Riddle vs. Seth Rollins in a Street Fight and Bianca Belair, Asuka & Alexis Bliss vs. Damage CTRL. On Sunday, they are at the Oakland Arena and are listing Drew McIntyre & New Day vs. The Usos & Sami Zayn, Gunther vs. Ricochet vs. Madcap Moss, Belair & Asuka & Bliss vs. Damage CTRL, and Bobby Lashley vs. Tommaso Ciampa.

**Ronda Rousey discussed her match with Charlotte Flair from WrestleMania this past April in her latest Ronda on the Road episode. The video was shot back in April when SmackDown was in Milwaukee but was released earlier today. Rousey thinks the match at WrestleMania will become a cult classic and that you find something new each time you watch it. The match didn’t receive a lot of praise, especially in comparison to their follow-up the next month in the I Quit Match at WrestleMania Backlash, which most view as a significantly better outing for the two.

**Fozzy has been forced to postpone several dates from their Save the World tour in the U.S. due to Chris Jericho dealing with a bruised larynx that has not fully healed yet. They have announced that upcoming shows in Charlotte, Baltimore, Syracuse, Philadelphia, and Virginia Beach have been moved to April 2023 with all tickets being honored on the new dates. Due to scheduling issues, they cannot reschedule dates in Montreal, Toronto, Richmond, Lowell, and Albany and are encouraging ticket holders to contact the venues for refunds. Fozzy is still scheduled to go on tour in the U.K. beginning November 4th and then go to Australia and New Zealand later this year.

From Chris Jericho:

After five weeks of waiting for my bruised larynx to heal with minimal results, my Laryngologist sent me for a vocal stroboscope today (Thursday, September 15). This is a procedure in which a camera with a strobe light attached, takes detailed pictures of your vocal cords to find any hidden issues. Now, I’ve never seen my vocal cords before (have you seen yours?!), but once I got past their gnarly appearance, I could see what the Doctor’s were seeing plain as day….that the left side of my larynx is still bruised and swollen. Good news is it’s not permanent and it IS healing! Bad news is I still need more time to heal, in order to be able to sing at 100%. Therefore we are forced to postpone and reschedule the rest of the 2022 US leg of the Save The World Tour. Nobody likes to move shows, least of all me, but if Fozzy and I can’t give you 100% during each and every show we do, we won’t do them. Therefore we are moving the shows to the spring of 2023.

**In promoting the on-sale date for the Royal Rumble later this month, the graphic for the event features various talent on the roster with the most prominent being Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar. The Royal Rumble will take place from The Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas on Saturday, January 28th with tickets going on sale on September 30th to the general public. Lesnar has not appeared on WWE programming since SummerSlam in July.

**While he has been quiet since last weekend’s backstage incident at All Out, CM Punk is being advertised for the next CFFC event on Saturday, October 8th. Punk is set to call the event alongside John Morgan and has been the color analyst for the promotion for years. The card will be streaming that night on UFC Fight Pass and is headlined by a heavyweight fight between Kevin Sears and Greg Velasco for the promotion’s vacant title in Bensalem, Pennsylvania.

**AEW put tickets on sale today for its return to Boston on November 9th for Dynamite & Rampage. WWE and AEW are running the city less than three weeks apart of each other as Survivor Series (which is sold out) takes place on November 26th at the TD Garden. AEW has also put tickets on sale today for November 2nd in Baltimore at the Chesapeake Arena, November 4th in Atlantic City for a live Rampage at Boardwalk Hall, and November 16th in Bridgeport for the go-home edition of Dynamite before Full Gear. Next Friday is the big on-sale date for AEW’s two nights at the Prudential Center in Newark with Rampage and Full Gear on November 18 & 19.

**All Japan Pro Wrestling makes its return to Nippon Budokan on Sunday, the building synonymous with its greatest matches in history. The promotion’s 50th Anniversary show will feature Suwama defending the Triple Crown against Kento Miyahara and will feature many legendary figures from All Japan’s history in attendance including Kenta Kobashi, Stan Hansen, Toshiaki Kawada, and Akira Taue among others.

**New Japan’s Burning Spirit is in Kagoshima on Saturday with the main event of Kazuchika Okada, Toru Yano & Togi Makabe vs. JONAH, Shane Haste & Bad Dude Tito. Sunday’s show in Beppu has a ten-man tag on top with Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tama Tonga, KUSHIDA, Toru Yano & Jado against Jay White, The Good Brothers, Taiji Ishimori & Gedo. The show on Sunday will stream on New Japan World at 4 a.m. ET.

**MLW holds its Super Series event this Sunday in Norcross, Georgia, and will be taped for future episodes of Fusion. The card will include Alex Hammerstone vs. Bandido for the MLW title, Jacob Fatu vs. Willie Mack in a Street Fight, Myron Reed vs. Shun Skywalker for the Middleweight title, Davey Richards vs. SB KENTo for the National Openweight title, Microman, Laredo Kid & Komander vs. Taurus, Gino Medina & Mini Abismo Negro, Lady Shani vs. Lady Flammer vs. Reina Dorada vs. La Hiedra and the winner challenging Taya Valkyrie for the featherweight title, Mance Warner vs. Mads Krugger, Alex Kane’s Peach State Prize Fight Invitational, and the Samoan Swat Team in action.

**Dragon Gate will host Dangerous Gate this Monday at Ota Ward City Gymnasium featuring Yuki Yoshioka defending the Open the Dream Gate title against Eita in the main event.

**DEFY Wrestling will be in Portland, Oregon on Saturday, October 8th with Christopher Daniels vs. Swerve Strickland, Midnight Heat vs. The Bollywood Boyz in a Three Stages of Hell match, and AEW’s Ortiz will face Adam Ryder.

REVIEW

Impact Wrestling (Sept. 15)

RESULTS: Speedball Mike Bailey over Mascara Dorada to retain the X Division title, Taurus & Crazzy Steve over Moose & Steve Maclin, Killer Kelly over Alisha, Josh Alexander & Rich Swann over Matt Taven & Mike Bennett by DQ for the IMPACT tag titles, Mickie James over Hyan, Motor City Machine Guns over The Good Brothers

*This was the farewell to The Good Brothers, who lost to the Machine Guns and then had a send-off with the four shaking hands and doing the “too sweet” before posing to the crowd. The Machine Guns won clean after Skull and Bones on Anderson with Shelley scoring the pin.
*Mickie James won the second match of her “Last Rodeo” story where she is starting at the bottom in hopes of working towards one more shot at the Knockouts title and will retire if she loses again (the Ric Flair retirement story from WWE). After beating Hyan (Reality of Wrestling), Gisele Shaw confronted James and challenged her to a match at Victory Road with Shaw accusing James of delaying the inevitable and holding onto the spotlight.
*Speedball Mike Bailey and Mascara Dorada had the best match on the show, which is the usual contribution from Bailey in these weekly X Division matches. Dorada is a great pick-up for any company and also wrestled on AEW Dark Elevation this past Wednesday in Albany.
*Josh Alexander and Heath continue to have tension building with Alexander skeptical of Heath’s intentions. During the tag title match, Eddie Edwards got involved with a kendo stick which led to Heath running down and hitting the Wake-Up Call to Taven, which caused the disqualification with Alexander & Swann frustrated. After a match proposal by Scott D’Amore, Heath is going to team with Alexander & Swann against Honor No More at Victory Road.
*As a tag team, Alexander and Swann were great together and down the road, it’s an alliance I’d like to see them maintain even if they are each doing singles programs but can still do tag matches occasionally with an alliance among two top babyfaces. It was a really good match until the DQ, but the DQ served a purpose for the story they are telling, and I had no issue with it.
*With only a few weeks until Bound for Glory, it doesn’t feel like the big show of the year is around the corner. They have announced Josh Alexander vs. Eddie Edwards and Jordynne Grace vs. Masha Slamovich for BFG but all the attention is on Victory Road next Friday and that leaves two episodes of IMPACT to fully focus on the pay-per-view and they need to hit the promotion hard.

MMA NEWS

**The major fight this weekend is not from the UFC but it’s the third fight between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and airing on DAZN pay-per-view (which is an interesting story along with DAZN’s pitch to consumers when it launched was that it would replace the dying model of pay-per-view and now it’s shifting to a model where you need to buy the fight on top of your monthly subscription). It is the third (and likely last) fight between the two after a draw in September 2017, which most scored for Golovkin and their second fight a year later saw Canelo win by majority decision. Golovkin is now 40 years old and has fought four times since their last meeting but didn’t fight at all in 2021 and returned with a TKO win against Ryota Murata this past April in Japan. Canelo, 32, has fought eight times since the last Golovkin bout and fighting at super middleweight along with fights at light heavyweight, which included his last fight in May where he dropped a decision to Dmitry Bivol.

**The UFC will be running a Fight Night card at the Apex on Saturday and features a very competitive and intriguing bantamweight fight between Cory Sandhagen and Song Yadong. Sandhagen hasn’t fought since last October when he lost to Petr Yan for the interim bantamweight title but is a real contender at 135 pounds and it’s a tough fight to come back with. Yadong isn’t always included among the discussion at bantamweight but has quietly gone 8-1-1 in his UFC campaign and won his last three fights including a knockout of Marlon Moraes in his last fight in March.

Friday’s weigh-ins saw two fighters miss weight as Alen Amedovski was 0.5 pounds above the middleweight limit for his fight against Joe Pyfer. Aspen Ladd missed the bantamweight limit by two pounds for her fight with Sara McMann and is the fourth time in Ladd’s career that she has missed weight. The UFC has announced that the fight between Ladd and McMann has been canceled.

Below is the updated card for Saturday night:

MAIN CARD (7 p.m. ET on ESPN+)
*Cory Sandhagen (14-4) vs. Song Yadong (19-6-1)
*Chidi Njokuani (22-7) vs. Gregory Rodrigues (12-4)
*Bill Algeo (16-6) vs. Andre Fili (21-9)
*Alen Amedovski (8-3) vs. Joe Pyfer (9-2)
*Tanner Boser (20-8-1) vs. Rodrigo Nascimento (8-1)
*Anthony Hernandez (9-2) vs. Marc-Andre Barriault (14-5)

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

*Pat Sabatini (17-3) vs. Damon Jackson (21-4-1)
*Trevin Giles (14-4) vs. Louis Cosce (7-1)
*Denise Gomes (6-1) vs. Loma Lookboonmee (6-3)
*Trey Ogden (15-5) vs. Daniel Zellhuber (12-0)
*Mariya Agapova (10-3) vs. Gillian Robertson (10-7)
*Javid Basharat (12-0) vs. Tony Gravely (23-7)
*Nikolas Motta (12-4) vs. Cameron VanCamp (15-6-1)

ON THIS DATE

Vince McMahon becomes the WWF champion on SmackDown, which aired on this date in 1999. McMahon then took part in the “time-honored tradition” and vacated the title rather than losing it:

Kenta Kobashi & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi vs. Jun Akiyama & Yoshihiro Takayama from Differ Ariake in 2000:

The Parking Lot Brawl with Santana & Ortiz against Best Friends on this date in 2020:

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