Originally published at POLLOCK'S NEWS UPDATE: Gable Steveson wins gold in men's freestyle
POST IT NOTES
**Rewind-A-SmackDown is LIVE tonight at 10:15 p.m. ET with Wai Ting joined by Kate in Montreal for a review of SmackDown and taking your calls. All POST Wrestling Café members have live access tonight. Beginning next Friday, RASD will be covering both SmackDown and AEW Rampage for Café members.
**On Saturday, our UFC 265 POST Show will be live immediately following the main event as Phil Chertok and I provide a full review of the card from Houston. You can watch live on the POST YouTube.
**The NWA Podcast returns on Sunday with Nate Milton, Kris Ealy, and Andrew Thompson.
**I’ll have an obit on Bobby Eaton this weekend, which I’ve been working on over the past day. This was a really tough week when it came to historical figures in the industry with Eaton and Jody Hamilton along with Bert Prentice and Hideki Hosaka. For Eaton, it’s an immense tribute when you see so many performers acknowledging the natural talents, he possessed but more important, the type of man he was. Eaton was in that class of individuals that no one spoke negatively of and was a professional fan that turned it into a career and never appeared to stop loving the business. The matches live on, the tapes will be studied, and his influence will be noted but it’s the way you treat others on the way up, on the way, and in between that speak volumes when it’s time to reflect and from all accounts, Eaton was one of the good guys and is a tough loss for those closest to him.
Tonight: Rewind-A-SmackDown (Live at 10:15 p.m. ET for all Patrons)
Saturday: UFC 265 POST Show with John Pollock & Phil Chertok (Live after the PPV on the POST YouTube)
Sunday: The NWA Podcast with Nate Milton, Kris Ealy & Andrew Thompson
Monday: Rewind-A-Raw with John & Wai (Live at 11:15 p.m. ET for Double Double+)
The best POST photo of the year for this month’s edition of The Wellness Policy:
**Friday Night SmackDown takes place from the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida tonight. Below is what they have announced for the show:
*Finn Balor vs. Baron Corbin
*Jey Uso vs. Dominik Mysterio
*Bianca Belair responds to Sasha Banks’ attack
205 Live at 10 p.m. ET will feature KUSHIDA vs. Ari Sterling and Grayson Waller vs. Leon Ruff streaming on the WWE Network.
**WWE has one house show this weekend with a show in Fort Myers, Florida on Saturday with John Cena advertised. Monday’s edition of Raw takes place from the Amway Center in Orlando (which was the first home of the ThunderDome beginning last August).
**The Amalie Arena sent out a tweet on Friday afternoon stating that there would be a strict policy prohibiting fans from taking photos and video at tonight’s SmackDown. They warned that failure to comply would result in ejection. However, the arena’s site deleted the tweet. On the Amalie Arena site for tonight’s event, it states:
No video recording or streaming of this event is permitted (including through use of cell phones). Failure to comply will subject you to ejection from the building.
Among the list of prohibited actions is that fans are not allowed to bring a replica Money in the Bank briefcase into the arena but may purchase one in the arena. They are also listing that wearing costumes or wrestling masks is prohibited.
**Gable Steveson won the gold medal in the men’s 125kg freestyle final on Friday with a dramatic end to his match. Steveson was down 8-5 to Geno Patriashvili of Georgia with ten seconds remaining. In those final seconds, Steveson scored two spin-behind takedowns to win 10-8. After Georgia challenged the call, it was rejected and Steveson gained an additional point for the final tally. Petriashvili was the only wrestler to score any points on the 21-year old in the Olympics and will provide an incredible story for Steveson that was right out of a movie with the final scene as he earned the gold medal.
Steveson has a big decision to make regarding what he does next. He has not finished his college eligibility, so he could return for another season. He has not been shy about his interest to pursue pro wrestling with his brother Bobby Steveson already training at the Performance Center. Obviously, MMA is going to be an option as well if he wants to pursue that avenue but there is going to be no shortage of suitors for his services as he’ll likely be one of the stars coming out of these Olympics, and with his age and only three years between Olympics, he could wrestle again for the U.S. in Paris in 2024.
Brock Lesnar and Gable Steveson. 👀pic.twitter.com/cTIXmiYLmX
— FloWrestling (@FloWrestling) January 16, 2019
**Renee Paquette spoke with Pollo Del Mar for Wrestling Inc. and shared the update that her non-compete clause with WWE is almost up.
**WarnerMedia has a job posting for a director of scripted development & programming. The description is listed as follows:
Starting in August 2021 AEW is expanding from one two-hour weekly live show to a second weekly live one-hour show as well as adding quarterly specials. As well, we have 4 other AEW series in various stages of development (including Rhodes to the Top to be launched this year) and are helping them expand into various ancillary businesses such as comics, NFTs, EST distribution, streaming, etc. The project hire will primarily focus on helping with creative oversight of AEW on all fronts and helping to facilitate workflow across various departments such as biz dev, marketing, pr, etc. Secondarily, hire will assume back-up responsibilities for all current TNets Original Scripted Programming functions.
Duties include staying on top of current and upcoming creative for AEW projects, working with all departments regarding needs for marketing, review scripts, books & film submitted and determining if it meets the creative direction, hearing and evaluating pitches, and providing notes to help strengthen projects in development.
**Brian Blair posted the obituary for his late son, Brett, who died last month at the age of 29. His funeral will be this Monday in Tampa with a visitation followed by a service. The family has also set up the Brett L. Blair Memorial Fund c/o Valley Bank at 3702 W. Bearss Avenue in Tampa, FL, 33618 where they are encouraging donations in lieu of flowers.
**AEW is presenting a special Friday edition of Dark tonight at 10 p.m. ET with the following matches:
*Lance Archer vs. Tre’ Lamar
*Penta El Zero M & Rey Fenix vs. Sage Scott & Jake St. Patrick
*Frankie Kazarian vs. Peter Avalon
*Orange Cassidy vs. Jora Johl
*Ethan Page vs. Baron Black
*Julia Hart vs. Angelica Risk
*Kris Statlander vs. Leila Grey
*Matt Sydal, Mike Sydal & Dante Martin vs. Vary Morales, Aaron Fyre & Darian Bengston
*Abadon vs. Kelsey Heather
*The Gunn Club vs. Nick Comoroto & Aaron Solow
*Jurassic Express vs. D3 & Ryzin
**Here are the matches for tonight’s edition of NJPW Strong at 10 p.m. ET on New Japan World:
*Danny Limelight & JR Kratos vs. Royce Isaacs & Jorel Nelson
*Ren Narita & Alex Coughlin vs. Rocky Romero & Fred Rosser
*Kevin Knight vs. Alexander James
**NJPW’s Summer Struggle tour resumes Saturday with the start of the Super Jr. Tag League. The show streams at 5:30 a.m. ET from Korakuen Hall with the following card:
*Super Jr. Tag League: El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori vs. Roppongi 3K
**Super Jr. Tag League: El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Master Wato & Ryusuke Taguchi
**Super Jr. Tag League: Robbie Eagles & Tiger Mask vs. Gedo & Dick Togo
*Shingo Takagi, Tetsuya Naito, SANADA & BUSHI vs. Tomohiro Ishii, Hirooki Goto, YOSHI-HASHI & Tomoaki Honma
*Toru Yano, Togi Makabe & Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Chase Owens, Yujiro & Jado
NJPW is running Korakuen Hall Saturday, Sunday & Monday. Sunday’s card features El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori vs. Master Wato & Ryusuke Taguchi in the main event among the three tournament matches scheduled that day.
**Lavie Margolin of The Business of the Business Podcast has looked at YouTube subscriber growth among the top promotions over the past year. Since August 6, 2020. WWE had the largest growth going from 64 million to 80 million subscribers followed by IMPACT (3.62 to 4.22 million), Beyond Wrestling (2.59 to 3.22), AEW (1.48 to 2.31), Limitless Wrestling (725,000 to 989,000), ROH (516,000 to 644,000), Reality of Wrestling (344,000 to 505,000), NWA (205,000 to 215,000), and MLW (97,500 to 130,000) as the top growth promotions.
The fact Beyond Wrestling grew to the extent they did further proves their savviness in this field where they have a larger footprint on YouTube than other major companies. When you search through a lot of the most popular videos it is heavily concentrated on intergender wrestling and for Ring of Honor, their Women of Honor videos perform very well. While still a young company, AEW has not been able to crack through (obviously not to the WWE level that is a giant no one is threatening with digital reach) but are far behind IMPACT that benefits from a long tenure in the industry and they also have a near twenty-year library at their disposal, although so does ROH and they don’t have four million subscribers.
YouTube is a lot like Twitter where it’s a digital advertisement for your product with the hope that dollars follow. YouTube has been both a pain to some content creators and a boon to others regarding what level you need to make serious monetization. MLW and NWA are opting to go elsewhere and there is good and bad attached to YouTube, but it is the central window for many consumers to find your product. Added subscribers will help search function and do come with benefits but it’s also a metric where it’s a minimal commitment on the user’s end. It’s a click of a button and as long as they can absorb your updates and not be turned off, odds are no one is unsubscribing just as few people are going to go to the trouble of unfollowing Twitter accounts unless they are a serious annoyance. Then again, there are people out there that follow 3,800 accounts (me) and others that follow two (Wai).
**Pro Wrestling NOAH has announced the blocks for this year’s N-1 tournament (formerly the Global League) that begins September 12th. In the past, it’s always been two blocks but this year they will have four blocks. Each block will house four wrestlers with the winners of each block advancing to the semi-finals followed by the final. The winner of the tournament will earn a shot at GHC Champion Naomichi Marufuji. Below are the blocks:
*BLOCK A: Takashi Sugiura, Keiji Muto, Kaito Kiyomiya & Manabu Soya
*BLOCK B: Kenoh, Masaaki Mochizuku, Kazunari Murakami & Daiki Inaba
*BLOCK C: Katsuhiko Nakajima, Kazushi Sakuraba, Kotaro Suzuki & Masato Tanaka
*BLOCK D: Masa Kitamiya, Kazuyuki Fujita, Akitoshi Saito & Masakatsu Funaki
**The annual Scenic City Invitational takes place tonight and Saturday from Red Bank, Tennessee, and streaming on IndependentWrestling.tv. The 16-man tournament will feature the following opening-round matches tonight at 7:30 p.m. ET and continues Saturday at the same time:
*Cabana Man Dan vs. Jeremy Wyatt
*Jon Davis vs. Logan Creed
*AC Mack vs. Gnarls Garvin
*Daniel Garcia vs. AC Mack
*Arik Royal vs. Derek Neal
*1 Called Manders vs. Alex Kane
*Brett Ison vs. Jaden Newman
*Daniel Makabe vs. Adam Priest
**Game Changer Wrestling is holding “No Signal in the Hills” on Saturday night at 11 p.m. ET on FITE TV from the Ukrainian Culture Center in Los Angeles with the following card:
*Nick Gage vs. Dark Sheik
*GCW Tag Team Championship: Mance Warner & Matthew Justice vs. Allie Katch & Effy
*Chris Dickinson vs. Starboy Charlie
*Rickey Shane Page & Atticus Cogar vs. Joey Janela & Marko Stunt
*Lee Moriarty vs. AJ Gray
*Tony Deppen vs. ASF
*Ninja Mack vs. Dante Leon
*Jordan Oliver vs. Treehouse Lee
*Jack Cartwheel vs. Lil Cholo vs. Nick Wayne vs. Grim Reefer vs. Eli Everfly vs. Jimmy Lloyd
**The WWE stock closed at $50.33 on Friday.
**The UFC 265 weigh-ins went down on Friday with Manel Kape being the only fighter to miss the target. Kape weighed 129 pounds for his flyweight fight against Ode Osbourne but the fight will remain on the card. MMA Junkie reports that Kape will forfeit 20 percent of his purse. All other fighters made weight with the following results for Saturday’s card at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas:
*Interim Heavyweight Championship: Derrick Lewis (264.5) vs. Ciryl Gane (247)
*Jose Aldo (136) vs. Pedro Munhoz (135)
*Michael Chiesa (170.5) vs. Vicente Luque (170)
*Angela Hill (115) vs. Tecia Torres (115)
*Casey Kenney (136) vs. Song Yadong (135.5)
*Rafael Fiziev (155.5) vs. Bobby Green (156)
*Vince Morales (136) vs. Drako Rodriguez (136)
*Alonzo Menifield (204.5) vs. Ed Herman (205.5)
*Karolina Kowalkiewicz (115) vs. Jessica Penne (116)
*Manel Kape (129*) vs. Ode Osbourne (125)
*Anderson dos Santos (135.5) vs. Miles Johns (136)
*Victoria Leonardo (125) vs. Melissa Gatto (124)
*Johnny Munoz Jr. (135.5) vs. Jamey Simmons (136)
**MMA Junkie posted an amazing quote from UFC president Dana White discussing how the interim title being fought for on Saturday “is awesome”. White’s argument in favor of the interim title was by comparing it to when the IBF and WBC champions would fight in boxing, thus, completing the transition from White mocking the oversaturation of boxing championships to embracing them. Fighters have greatly reduced leverage in the ESPN era with guaranteed money for the UFC that has alleviated the pressure to bend over backward for Conor McGregor last year and Jon Jones this year. The interim championship is just a promotional tool to add a prize to Saturday’s main event. They wanted a UFC heavyweight title fight in the main event, Francis Ngannou wasn’t available, so they created another heavyweight title to fulfill their need. That’s it. Are the number of buys Derrick Lewis and Ciryl Gane draw any higher with an interim title as opposed to being marketed as a five-round number one contender’s fight? Doubtful. It will create an easy heavyweight title for Ngannou, which further diminishes the public pressure for reconciliation with Jon Jones, who remains on the sidelines with no apparent urgency on either side to find a solution. The UFC has always had the power in these talks but it’s that much more in 2021 where they can wait out Jones as long as they want and the train keeps rolling, if Ngannou doesn’t agree to terms then they keep rolling ahead with Lewis or Gane and that’s what the interim title provides for UFC especially when fans readily accept this promotional device.
**UFC has released episode five of this week’s Embedded series going into UFC 265.
**Bellator confirmed this week that Fedor Emelianenko’s opponent this October will be Timothy Johnson (15-7). The two are set to meet on Saturday, October 23rd in Moscow, Russia at the VTB Arena. Johnson, 36, is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Valentin Moldavsky in June for the interim heavyweight title. Prior to the decision loss, he had won his previous three fights against Tyrell Fortune, Matt Mitrione, and Cheick Kongo. Emelianenko has not fought since Bellator 237 in December 2019 where he stopped Quinton Jackson in the first round. Emelianenko revealed this past January that he was hospitalized due to contracting COVID-19 and was released several days after.
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