Originally published at POLLOCK'S NEWS UPDATE: Goldberg returns, Rogan calling UFC 271
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**Rewind-A-SmackDown is LIVE tonight at 11:15 p.m. ET. Wai Ting and I will be reviewing Friday Night SmackDown and AEW Rampage before taking your calls to discuss whatever topics you would like. This is show is available live and in podcast form exclusive for POST Wrestling Café members each Friday.
**ASK-A-WAI returns next Tuesday where Wai and I answer your questions for the entire show. Questions can be posted on the thread on the POST Wrestling Forum.
**On Saturday, Phil Chertok and I will be live for the UFC 271 POST Show immediately following the pay-per-view on the POST YouTube channel. You can also hear the two of us preview the card on tonight’s POST Daily News Show.
**On this week’s edition of The British Wrestling Experience, Martin Bushby has a lengthy discussion with Michael Oku coming off his match with Will Ospreay and going deep into his career. Plus, Martin and Benno share their own thoughts on the match and the reception it has received, announce a special guest for their live show coming up Sunday, April 3rd & more.
**Karen Peterson is a guest on the GRAPPL podcast to discuss STARDOM and her coverage of the product.
POST DAILY NEWS SHOW
-AEW Dynamite tops cable on Wednesday, Canadian numbers
-NJPW results from Sendai on Friday
-WWE card at Madison Square Garden
-WrestleMania Backlash in May
-Friday Night SmackDown & AEW Rampage tonight
-UFC 271 Preview with Phil Chertok (and his cat)
Audio version is free for everyone today.
**Friday Night SmackDown will feature a double taping tonight from the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana for their final shows before the Elimination Chamber event next weekend. The crew will be in Saudi Arabia next Friday and therefore, are taping in advance. Tonight’s show will show what impact the Winter Olympics will have on a WWE program that is not impacted by a station switch. Raw was down at the size you would anticipate by moving to Syfy and the competition while NXT 2.0 was blown out of the water with that combination of factors. AEW Dynamite was not affected by a station switch in the U.S. (they were in Canada) and ended up having their most-watched episode in over four months.
WWE has announced the following for tonight’s tapings:
*Bill Goldberg appears on the show
*Dungeon Style Match: Natalya vs. Aliyah
*SmackDown Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair (champion) vs. Naomi
*InZayn segment with guests Shinsuke Nakamura and Rick Boogs
*Intercontinental Championship: Shinsuke Nakamura (champion) vs. Sami Zayn (taped for 2/18)
**Ronda Rousey is also listed in the advertising for New Orleans tonight.
**AEW Rampage is the taped episode from Atlantic City, New Jersey at Boardwalk Hall with the following matches:
*The Young Bucks vs. Roppongi Vice (I was told from someone in the building that the match was good but had the tough task of following the Texas Death Match)
*Dr. Britt Baker vs. Robyn Renegade
*Hook vs. Blake Li
*AEW Tag Team Championship: Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus vs. Austin & Colten Gunn
*Bryan Danielson speaks
**Lita (Amy Dumas) is doing the media rounds for Elimination Chamber and spoke with Esquire Middle East about next weekend’s event. Lita spoke about the match scenario with Becky Lynch being proposed after the Royal Rumble and wasn’t a long-term direction:
Johnny Ace followed me out and said, ‘hey, what do you think about challenging Becky?’ It just kind of fell in place, there wasn’t like this long prep for it. There wasn’t this big grandiose plan that was set up for the perfect timing.
It was just like, ‘yeah, you want to do this? It’s in a couple weeks’. There was no time to overthink it. That’s how I work best, not overthinking things, going with my gut. I felt excited when I got the question posed to me. I didn’t think about everything that could possibly go wrong. I just focus on the opportunity that’s here.
Lita also spoke about having an opportunity to go to AEW and why she opted not to:
AEW is doing exciting stuff. It’s brought new life in the industry. Any time there’s competition, it’s good. It revives the industry. When they reached out to me, I did consider it. I said, we can talk, I’m interested, you guys are doing some interesting stuff. But ultimately, upon talking to them, it just made me say to myself, ‘but I have all of these things already!’ I have those things with my home that I’ve known for 20 years, with the people that I’ve worked with for 20 years. Basically, I gave them my blessing. I said, I will watch you and I support you. And I want you guys to do great, but this just doesn’t feel like the right fit for me right now.
**This was a very interesting week for television numbers especially for AEW, which saw Dynamite hit its largest average viewership since September when in theory, it should have been hurt going against the Olympics, the NBA, and South Park (which was the #1 show last Wednesday on cable when Dynamite hit its lowest figures since the move to TBS). Dynamite also had its third-highest 18-49 audience since September and was #1 on cable, which is remarkable.
The number in Canada was also impressive given that they had the same competition as the U.S and they were moved off their regular station. According to Steve Argintaru, who is a former senior producer at TSN, TSN 5 is in more homes than TSN 2. However, there was zero promotion for the network switch and if you are someone that starts the show late or watches on their DVR, they would not have known and missed either the beginning of the show if they tuned in late or missed it altogether if they watched after the broadcast ended. The overall viewership for Dynamite on TSN 5 was its highest in Canada since December 1st.
**WWE has added Ronda Rousey to several shows before WrestleMania. The former UFC bantamweight champion is currently advertised for SmackDown episodes on February 25th in Hershey, March 4th in Miami, March 11th in Birmingham, March 18th in Charlotte, March 25th in Brooklyn. She is also listed for house shows on March 5th at Madison Square Garden, March 6th in Laval, March 12th in Jackson, Mississippi, March 13th in Pensacola, March 19th in Johnson City, March 20th in Huntsville, March 26th in State College, and March 27th in Charlottesville.
**West Coast Pro has a show tonight at 10 p.m. ET streaming on IndependentWrestling.tv featuring Jacob Fatu & Juicy Finau vs. AJ Gray & Effy, Speedball Mike Bailey vs. ACH, Blake Christian vs. Titus Alexander, Kevin Blackwood vs. Davey Richards, Gringo Loco vs. Arez vs. Nick Wayne, Vinnie Massaro vs. B-Boy, Kylie Rae vs. Masha Slamovich vs. Rachael Ellering vs. Nicole Savoy, and 44OH! vs. Alpha Zo, D-Rogue & Midas Kreed.
**Lucha reporter Alfredo Esparza has a lengthy obit on Super Muñeco (Hebert Palafox), who died this past week at the age of 59. On the Luchablog site, thecubsfan has a story on the career of Arturo Rivera, who also died this past week.
**According to the quarter-hour breakdown from Brandon Thurston, the show peaked with the opening promo segment involving The Pinnacle and CM Punk with 1,219,000 viewers and 582,000 and dropped to 1,090,000 and 523,000 respectively for the second quarter with the backstage promo involving Sting, Darby Allin & Andrade and the start of Wardlow vs. The Blade. The growth segments included The Inner Circle teaming meeting and the tag match with CM Punk & Jon Moxley against FTR. The show dripped to its lowest point for the ending of Jade Cargill vs. A.Q.A., Serena Deeb vs. Katie Arquette, and the entrances for the main event with 1,015,000 and 488,000. The final quarter with the Texas Death Match grew to 1,061,000 and 533,000.
**The Briscoe Brothers will take on Jacob Fatu & Juicy Finau on the GCW ‘Welcome to Heartbreak’ card on Friday, February 25th in Los Angeles. The card also features Sean Waltman & Joey Janela vs. Matt Cardona & Brian Myers, Dr. Wagner Jr. vs. Homicide, Lio Rush vs. AJ Gray, Speedball Mike Bailey vs. Ninja Mack, Nick Wayne vs. Blake Christian, and Atticus Cogar vs. Kevin Blackwood from the Ukrainian Cultural Center and streaming that night on FITE.
**Denise Salcedo of Instinct Culture interviewed Knockouts champion Mickie James about her recent appearance in the Royal Rumble and how the idea was pitched to her:
They reached out to IMPACT, Johnny pretty much called Scott directly on the phone to say, ‘Is this something that would be okay, would IMPACT be okay,’ because obviously, it’s a different company, a corporation. And then Scott reached out to me to ask me if I would be interested in being in the Rumble and what I would want to do and how I felt about it and then I was like ‘Absolutely,’ I was very adamant about wanting to be Hardcore Country Mickie James and to represent IMPACT and I am the Knockouts Champion, and we presented all of this to him, this is what I wanted and I talked to Johnny and he spoked to Vince and it all happened.
**GRAPPL noted that RevPro was the only European promotion to have matches make it onto its top 100 matches of the year. There were four matches from the group appearing on the list led by Will Ospreay vs. Ricky Knight Jr. (averaging user rating of 4.40 out of 5), Aussie Open vs. Destination Everywhere (4.16), Young Guns vs. Aussie Open (4.14), and Michael Oku vs. Speedball Mike Bailey (4.09).
**House of Glory holds a show from the NYC Arena in New York tonight featuring Low Ki defending the HOG Crown title against Alex Shelley, Jay White vs. Ken Broadway, and Rich Swann & Willie Mack vs. Private Party among the top matches.
**For 205 Live tonight at 10 p.m. ET on the WWE Network:
*Joe Gacy vs. Xyon Quinn
*Trick Williams vs. Ikemen Jiro
*Erica Yan vs. Lash Legend
**Warrior Wrestling has a pretty loaded card on Saturday night from Cicero Stadium and streaming on FITE TV at 8 p.m. ET. The card will include Sam Adonis defending the Warrior Wrestling title against Lince Dorado, The Briscoes defending the ROH tag titles against JD Drake & Anthony Henry, Thunder Rosa vs. Athena (formerly Ember Moon) for the Warrior Wrestling women’s title, Gringo Loco vs. Blake Christian vs. Alex Zayne vs. Myron Reed, Speedball Mike Bailey vs. Santana, Brian Cage & KC Navarro vs. The Acclaimed, Skye Blue vs. Miranda Alize, Dalton Castle vs. Warhorse, and Bandido vs. Dante Martin.
**The WWE stock closed at $55.70 on Friday.
**The latest odds for Elimination Chamber from BetOnline have Brock Lesnar as the favorite to win the men’s Chamber match followed by Bobby Lashley (3/2), Seth Rollins (5/2), AJ Styles (6/1), Riddle (7/1), and Austin Theory (25/1). The odds for the rest of the card as listed below:
*Roman Reigns (-1250) vs. Bill Goldberg (+550)
*Becky Lynch (-1500) vs. Lita (+575)
*The Usos (-400) vs. Viking Raiders (+250)
*Drew McIntyre (-600) vs. Madcap Moss (+350)
**The Miz is a guest on The Rich Eisen Show.
**Game Changer Wrestling has added Blake Christian vs. Ninja Mack to the Atlantic City card on February 20th.
**GCW will return to Harpo’s Theatre in Detroit on Saturday, April 23rd.
**Chris Van Vliet speaks with AEW’s Christopher Daniels.
**Ian Riccaboni will be doing an online chat next Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET on the Ring of Honor Facebook page.
**New Japan Pro Wrestling held its card at the Xebio Arena in Sendai this morning in front of 1,842 fans featuring the IWGP junior heavyweight title being defended in the main event. Below are the results (Courtesy: Purolove.com):
*Tomoaki Honma over Ryohei Oiwa in 7:02
*Yoshinobu Kanemaru & DOUKI over Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI in 9:05
*Tomohiro Ishii, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Hirooki Goto over EVIL, Yujiro & Dick Togo in 8:35
*Toru Yano, Togi Makabe & Ryusuke Taguchi over Minoru Suzuki, Taichi & Taka Michinoku in 9:08
*Great O-Khan over Satoshi Kojima in 11:01
*Tetsuya Naito, SANADA & Shingo Takagi over Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Yuji Nagata in 18:06
*Tiger Mask over Gedo in 15:20
*SHO over YOH in 22:26
*IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship: El Desperado over Master Wato in 28:20
**NJPW will be running a show in Osaka on Sunday, which streams live at 2:30 a.m. ET (late Saturday, early Sunday) with the following card:
*Kazuchika Okad & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Tetsuya Naito & SANADA
*NEVER Openweight Championship, Lumberjack Match: EVIL (champion) vs. Tomohiro Ishii
*Robbie Eagles vs. Taiji Ishimori
*Tiger Mask vs. El Phantasmo
*Minoru Suzuki, El Desperado & Taka Michinoku vs. Toru Yano, Master Wato & Ryusuke Taguchi
*Shingo Takagi, Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI vs. Taichi, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & DOUKI
*Great O-Khan vs. Togi Makabe
*YOH, Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI vs. SHO, Yujiro & Dick Togo
*Yuji Nagata, Tomoaki Honma & Kosei Fujita vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima & Ryohei Oiwa
**Joe Rogan is set to be part of the UFC 271 broadcast on Saturday night alongside Jon Anik and Daniel Cormier, per MMA Fighting. This comes as Rogan is at the center of controversy in the national spotlight over his past racist language coupled with the COVID controversies with regards to past guests and his own views he has shared. There was next to zero chance that the UFC was going to pull Rogan off the broadcast, it was only a question if Rogan would want to do the show or if he felt that being a lightning rod would distract from the broadcast. There will be an “elephant in the room” scenario where Rogan will be broadcasting fights for over six hours and people will be listening closely whether he acknowledges the subject.
A question about Rogan was asked at the UFC 271 press conference on Thursday. Middleweight champion Israel Adesanya stepped in and voiced his support for Rogan and said that Rogan needed to “f—k the noise”.
**The UFC 271 weigh-ins went down earlier today and there was a significant miss as William Knight missed the mark by 12 pounds for his light heavyweight fight with Maxim Grishin. MMA Junkie reported that Knight will be deducted 40 percent of his pay for the miss and the fight will now be taking place at heavyweight. Alex Perez missed weight by two pounds and his fight with Matt Schnell is off, which marks the fourth time this fight has fallen apart.
Below is the full card with the weigh-in results:
MAIN CARD (10 p.m. ET on pay-per-view)
*UFC Middleweight Championship: Israel Adesanya (184) vs. Robert Whittaker (184) – This is a rematch from October 2019 where Adesanya controlled the fight and finished Whittaker by landing a right hand in the second round. Whittaker has rebounded with a strong campaign with wins against Darren Till, Jared Cannonier, and Kelvin Gastelum. There has also been an increased focus on his wrestling over the past three fights, which was noted by analyst Luke Thomas regarding his increased takedown quotient. A lot of attention is placed on Adesanya’s loss last year to Jan Blachowicz at light heavyweight, but this fight is at middleweight and he is among the most dynamic strikers in the sport. This is a great fight involving the top two middleweights in the world.
*Derrick Lewis (266) vs. Tai Tuivasa (265) – Lewis is back in his hometown after losing to Ciryl Gane in Houston last August. Lewis is always going to be a dangerous heavyweight, but he has demonstrated an inability to make his way into the championship level. For Tuivasa, there are more questions surrounding his ceiling after winning his last four. This is a big test for Tuivasa as a win will propel him to the next level.
*Jared Cannonier (185) vs. Derek Brunson (185.5) – Brunson has won his last five and would be in a strong position for a title fight if he can beat Cannonier. A Whittaker title win could throw a wrench into those plans. Brunson said this week that he will fight two more times and then retire, which is not going to strengthen his case for a title, but you always take retirement talk with a grain of salt. Cannonier is 4-1 since moving to middleweight and unlike Brunson, has never lost to Adesanya.
*Kyler Phillips (136) vs. Marcelo Royo (136) – Phillips is 3-1 in the UFC and coming off a majority decision loss to Raulian Paiva. Rojo lost his promotional debut to Charles Jourdain last March.
*Nasrat Haqparast (156) vs. Bobby Green (155.5) – Haqparast had a tough fight against Dan Hooker in his last outing in September where he lost by decision. Green had an insane schedule fighting four times between June and October 2020. He fought twice in 2021 and is coming off a TKO win against Al Iaquinta. When Green is on and frustrating opponents with his shoulder roll and tricky striking, he looks like an elite fighter.
PRELIMINARY CARD (8 p.m. ET on ESPN 2 & ESPN+, TSN 5 in Canada)
*Andrei Arlovski (246) vs. Jared Vanderaa (265) – The former heavyweight champion just turned 43 and this will be his 36th fight in the UFC with the first taking place in November 2000 (not a typo). Vanderaa came from the Contender Series and is coming off a TKO loss to Alexander Romanov last October.
*Casey O’Neill (125.5) vs. Roxanne Modafferi (126) – This will be Modafferi’s retirement fight after beginning her career in 2003 and fighting all over the world.
*Maxim Grishin (206) vs. William Knight (218*) – This was scheduled to be a light heavyweight fight until Knight missed weight by 12 pounds.
EARLY PRELIMS (6 p.m. on ESPN+ and UFC Fight Pass)
*Ronnie Lawrence (136) vs. Leomana Martinez (136)
*Alexander Hernandez (156) vs. Renato Moicano (156)
*Fabio Cherant (206) vs. Carlos Ulberg (204)
*A.J. Dobson (185) vs. Jacob Malkoun (186)
*Douglas Silva de Andrade (136) vs. Sergey Morozov (135)
*Mike Mathetha (170) vs. Jeremiah Wells (170.5)
**Former UFC flyweight Jussier Formiga (23-8) headlines the LFA 124 card tonight against Felipe Burns (11-5) from Phoenix, Arizona, and streaming on Fight Pass at 10 p.m. ET.
**The lightweight fight between Rafael Fiziev and Rafael dos Anjos is expected to be moved. Ariel Helwani was the first to report with the news that Fiziev and dos Anjos are expected to move to the UFC 272 pay-per-view and will remain as a five-round fight. The reason is a visa-related issue for Fiziev. Helwani reports that the light heavyweight fight between Jamahal Hill and Johnny Walker will serve as the next main event for next weekend’s card.
**Eagle FC will present their next card on Friday, March 11th from Miami and it is set to feature a bantamweight fight between Ray Borg and Ricky Bandejas, according to MMA Fighting. The card will be the promotion’s second event in the U.S. and is headlined by a 165-pound fight between TUF 1 winner Diego Sanchez and Kevin Lee.
**Ken Shamrock turns 58 years old today.
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