POLLOCK'S NEWS UPDATE Hell in a Cell on SmackDown tonight

Originally published at POLLOCK'S NEWS UPDATE Hell in a Cell on SmackDown tonight


**We have a bonus POST News Update available with Wai Ting and I previewing tonight’s shows, Hell in a Cell being moved to SmackDown, the UFC 263 buys, discussing the MMA career of Tom Lawlor, and a review of the Joanie “Chyna” Laurer documentary that aired on VICE on Thursday.

**We are back tonight with Rewind-A-DynaDown live at Midnight ET for all POST Wrestling Café members. We will review SmackDown, Dynamite, and open the phone lines for the remainder of the show.

POST Wrestling Dad Hats now available!


**The VICE Versa documentary on Joanie “Chyna” Laurer aired Thursday and was a sad look at the final years of her life and lacking a support network to help her. Director Marah Strauch took the remnants of the previous documentary that was being developed, The Reconstruction of Chyna, to put together this new feature for VICE. The film crew following Laurer throughout her final days are a major focus of the piece including Laurer’s manager that gets uncomfortable as Laurer was desperately in need of help and not having a camera in her face with a constant push to get everything documented. You came away with sympathy for Laurer, who was deeply hurt by losing her status as Chyna and trying to reclaim that fame and fill a hole in her life that was greatly occupied by her four years in the WWF. She spiraled out of control, sadly in the public eye for most of it, and died in April 2016 at the age of 46. It’s a hard one to watch and there are many lessons to learn from her story. We have a lengthier review of the episode on today’s POST News Update.

**The director Marah Strauch did a series of interviews promoting the premiere including with Scott Fishman of TV Insider.

**Friday Night SmackDown has undergone a radical shift with the announcement that the Hell in a Cell match between Roman Reigns and Rey Mysterio will air tonight, instead of the pay-per-view on Sunday. The change came out of nowhere with a Twitter exchange between the two performers to bump the match up by two days. Because it was such a late change, it’s hard to say if the news will circulate and make a difference with the first-ever Hell in a Cell match to air on Fox. It leaves Sunday’s show with four matches, although there are plenty of ongoing stories that could lead to matches being made if they need to fill out the Hell in a Cell card.

Here are the matches listed for tonight’s episode at 8 p.m. ET:
*Hell in a Cell Match for the Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (champion) vs. Rey Mysterio
*Apollo Crews & Commander Azeez vs. Kevin Owens & Big E.
*Otis vs. Angelo Dawkins
*Battle for the Crown: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. King Corbin

**AEW Dynamite is another taped show from Daily’s Place airing at 10 p.m. ET on TNT and TSN 2 in Canada (unlike last week, TSN does list AEW Dynamite in the guide for 10 p.m.). It’s Dynamite’s final Friday airing, although next week it airs on Saturday night before returning to Wednesdays on June 30th. Below are the matches and segments scheduled for tonight:
*MMA Rules Cage Fight: Jake Hager vs. Wardlow
*Matt Jackson & The Good Brothers vs. Frankie Kazarian, Penta El Zero Miedo & Eddie Kingston
*2-on-1 Handicap Match: Scorpio Sky & Ethan Page vs. Darby Allin
*Cody Rhodes & Brock Anderson vs. QT Marshall & Aaron Solow
*Orange Cassidy vs. Cezar Bononi
*Julia Hart vs. Penelope Ford

**Congratulations to Cody and Brandi Runnels, who announced the birth of their daughter Liberty.

**Here are the matches scheduled for tonight’s edition of NJPW Strong streaming at 10 p.m. ET on New Japan World:
*Satoshi Kojima vs. JR Kratos
*Fred Rosser & Adrian Quest vs. Bateman & Barrett Brown
*Josh Alexander vs. Alex Coughlin

**Nielsen has released new data analyzing the amount of consumption by U.S. adults when comparing TV viewing between cable and streaming platforms. Of all TV consumption, 39 percent is still dedicated to cable television, while broadcast television amounts to 25 percent. According to their data, all streaming platforms equal 26 percent, which broken down by each platform is topped by Netflix with 6 percent, 6 percent by YouTube, Hulu with 3 percent, Amazon Prime Video at 2 percent, and 1 percent for Disney+. The streaming percentage for U.S. adults has grown from 14 percent in 2019 and 20 percent in 2020, so it’s increasing by 6 percent each year. Nielsen will be releasing data for streaming each month and this will be important to monitor given how “all in” media outlets have become regarding the future of streaming. The key is that streaming is growing but linear television is still the dominant form of consumption, which is something the NFL is both betting on and likely to influence given the length of their recent re-ups with the major networks that are heavily weighted on having broadcast outlets.

**Dave Meltzer reported in the Wrestling Observer that MLW has opted out of its deal with DAZN, which the promotion had the ability to do at the end of the first year. MLW CEO Court Bauer has stated they are in the middle of a deal for the rights to their library with details to come. The deal with DAZN was announced one year ago with the plan to have content on DAZN and special live events, which never materialized. Past events did appear on DAZN including episodes of Fusion Cup and their Opera Cup show. MLW remains on beIN Sports and VICE TV and will run their next live event on July 10th in Philadelphia with a September date in Texas and November in Chicago.

**Tony Khan spoke with UPI and discussed the resistance he had using a video wall of fans for AEW programming during the pandemic:

I didn’t want to have a video wall, and I pushed back when I got pushed to do a video wall. It was a fine idea and WWE did it, but it wasn’t what I wanted to do. I respect it, it’s good and it’s economical, but I wanted to continue to find a way to do the shows for the fans every week. And the fans at Daily’s Place supported us. We built like a wrestling territory having a weekly audience. I’m really proud of that.

**NJPW drew 556 fans in Shizuoka on Friday as part of its Kizuna Road tour. The show was headlined by Shingo Takagi, Tetsuya Naito, SANADA & BUSHI defeating Taichi, Zack Sabre Jr., El Desperado & Taiji Ishimori. The tour resumes Sunday in Ibaraki headlined by Takagi, Naito, SANADA & BUSHI vs. Minoru Suzuki, Zack Sabre Jr., Taichi & DOUKI. The next significant tour dates are Tuesday and Wednesday at Korakuen Hall.

**AIW out of Cleveland is running a live event tonight titled “Major Announcement”. The popular independent group will be running The Odeon Concert Theatre in Cleveland and it will stream live on IWTV. They are recommending fans to wear masks, but they are not mandatory. The group has added more seats for the show after Ohio lifted its state of emergency on Friday. The card is headlined by Matt Cardona, Brian Myers, Swoggle & Mark Sterling vs. Joshua Bishop, Wes Barkley, Cheech & Colin Delaney.

**Cody Rhodes was interviewed by GQ and shared the following on his health and issues he is having:

I’ve been on the road and doing this since I was 20. I’m 35 now and that means I’ve got the body of a 50 year old. My pelvis is out of line, I have a few herniations in my back. So when it comes to workouts, typically that means a little bit of HIIT training, but more than likely it’s going to be one big principle lift—squat, bench, or deadlift—and then it’s going to be two monster sets with three sets. So three different exercises, three sets. It’s not going to feel like I did a whole lot outside of that principle exercise. Then it’ll just be the elliptical for 14 minutes. 40 seconds moderate, 20 seconds sprint. That’s been my go-to workout throughout the pandemic on a workday. Then I come into my office and it’s all day. As soon as I shut the door, there’s a knock.

**MLW has announced that Richard Holliday will defend the Caribbean Championship against King Muertes at Battle Riot III on Saturday, July 10th at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia. Both men will also be involved in the 40-person Battle Riot battle royal with the winner receiving an MLW World Heavyweight title shot at any time with champion Jacob Fatu. The Philadelphia card will be MLW’s first show with fans since the pandemic started.

**AEW president Tony Khan is a guest on The Way of the Blade podcast with host Phil Schneider to discuss the Ric Flair vs. Ted DiBiase match from the November 16, 1985 episode of Mid-South Wrestling.

**PROGRESS Wrestling’s Chapter 113: Warp into Monster Disco Hell will be released Saturday on the WWE Network featuring two title matches. Cara Noir defends the Progress title against ELIJAH, and women’s champion Kanji defends the title against Mercedez Blaze. Jody Fleisch and Laure Di Matteo will also be on the show.

**Frank “Bruiser Brody” Goodish would have turned 75 today.

**The WWE stock closed at $57.83 on Friday.


**John Ourand at Sports Business Journal reports that UFC 263 this past Saturday did approximately 600,000 buys with almost 500,000 domestic purchases. The number is another feather in the cap of Israel Adesanya as a breakthrough star on the pay-per-view front, which was assisted by the return of Nate Diaz for his first fight since November 2019. The company is on fire with its pay-per-view performances and instant sellouts since returning to full capacity cards in April. It sets the stage for a high ceiling at UFC 264 when Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor have their third fight. The two drew 1.6 million buys back in January and this one will have the added revenue of an enormous gate the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas with major stakes involved for McGregor.

**After his win against Jordan Young, MMA veteran, and NJPW Strong Openweight Champion Tom Lawlor indicated he was retiring from the sport. After the scorecards were read and Lawlor was declared the winner, he left his gloves inside of the cage. He was awarded three points for the win, which wouldn’t be enough for Lawlor to qualify for the playoff portion of the season in the light heavyweight division.

.@FilthyTomLawlor removes his gloves and places them at the center of the cage — despite currently sitting in fourth place in the 2021 PFL Light Heavyweight standings, which would qualify him for the Playoffs. Keep an eye on this situation as it develops. #2021PFL5
🇺🇸ESPN+ pic.twitter.com/hY0Gw3ETPU

— PFL (@PFLMMA) June 17, 2021

Lawlor began in pro wrestling on the Florida circuit before starting his MMA career, which led him to the eighth season of TUF in 2008. Lawlor didn’t win the season but was signed by the UFC as he defeated Kyle Kingsbury on the finale card in December that year. He was on the massive UFC 100 card submitting C.B. Dollaway and earned a performance bonus, which was very lucrative that night. Lawlor was a quality middleweight earning wins against Patrick Cote, Jason MacDonald, and Michael Kuiper (which led to a knee injury that took Lawlor out of action for two years). He moved up to light heavyweight where he knocked out Gian Villante before dropping a decision to Corey Anderson in March 2016.

His career spiraled in 2016 after testing positive for a trace amount of Ostarine and had no explanation for how it got into his system. Lawlor was so worried about tainted supplements that he stayed away from them in the 18 months before his failed test, so didn’t have that defense to fall back on. His only explanations were from a sip of a coffee supplement he took at a gym, drinking a Monster Energy drink, or something from a Jamba Juice or Tropical Smoothie Café he bought from. They tested the coffee drink and it came back negative with no foreign contaminants.

It was a very unfair treatment where he was suspended for two years and then cut right before the suspension was to end. Today, if the same thing happened there is no way he would face that suspension and Lawlor is definitely a case where USADA irreparably harmed his career. In 2017, he told MMA Fighting:

I spent some nights in the backyard, in the dark, crying, sitting there with my head in my hand staring off into space thinking about the entire thing. All the work I’d put in was gone, in my mind. I’d been so vocal about the whole thing in the past.

During his time away, he got back into pro wrestling working for MLW after it re-launched in 2017 and working independently. He returned to fight on the one (and only) Golden Boy MMA card in November 2018 losing to prospect Deron Winn before signing with the PFL last year. In their light heavyweight division, Lawlor lost his PFL debut to Antonio Carlos Junior back in April before the win against Young on Thursday night.

**The PFL card on Thursday featured a decision win by Gleison Tibau over Rory MacDonald that led to a lot of debate including MacDonald blasting the split decision loss and called it a “robbery”. Due to the loss, MacDonald remained at six points for the season with Joao Zeferino taking the top spot in the welterweight standings after his second-round submission win over Jason Ponet earned him five points. Here are the results from the card:
*Gleison Tibau def. Rory MacDonald by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) – 3 points for Tibau
*Ray Cooper III def. Nikolay Aleksakhin by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) – Cooper earned zero points and was deducted one for missing weight
*Emiliano Sordi vs. Dan Spohn ended in a draw (28-28 all)
*Chris Camozzi def. Cezar Ferreira by unanimous decision (29-27, 29-28, 29-28) – 3 points for Camozzi
*Antonio Carlos Junior vs. Vinny Magalhaes ended in a no-contest due to an accidental knee to the groin at 2:45 of Round 1
*Cory Hendricks def. Marthin Hamlet by rear-naked choke at 4:09 of Round 3
*Joao Zeferino def. Jason Ponet by arm-triangle choke at 2:16 of Round 2 – 5 points for Zeferino
*Magomed Magomedkerimov def. Curtis Millender by Ezekiel choke at 1:57 of Round 1 – 6 points for Magomedkerimov but is deducted one for missing his first regular-season fight and finishes with five
*Tom Lawlor def. Jordan Young by unanimous decision (30-27 all) – 3 points for Lawlor
*Sadibou Sy def. Alexey Kunchenko by unanimous decision (29-28 all) – 3 points for Sy

**The top four point-getters in each division qualify for the playoffs. In the light heavyweight division, Antonio Carlos Junior (7 points), Cezar Ferreira (6), Marthin Hamlet (5), and Emiliano Sordi (4) have qualified. In the welterweight division, Joao Zeferino (8 points), Rory MacDonald (6), Ray Cooper III (5), and Magomed Magomedkerimov (5) have qualified.

**Anderson Silva is set to box Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. on Saturday night in Guadalajara, Mexico and will be taking a portion of Chavez’s purse. On Friday, Chavez Jr. missed weight for their 182-pound contest by stepping on the scale at 184.4 pounds. The 2.4 pounds over the limit will cost Chavez Jr. $100,000 of his purse, which goes to Silva. The news of Chavez Jr. missing weight was first reported by Fight Hub TV. Silva issued the following reaction on his Instagram account:

Well guys, I’ve been a combat sports professional for over 20 years. I’ve always accomplished my duties inside and outside of the ring. The contractual weight for tomorrow’s fight is 182lbs, which I accomplished through months of hard work alongside my team. Unfortunately my opponent came in at 184.4lbs. Despite this, I will still put on a great show for you all.

**The UFC Fight Night card on Saturday features a featherweight main event between Chan Sung Jung and Dan Ige, which represent two of the high-end fighters at 145 pounds. Jung was outclassed in his last fight against Brian Ortega, who greatly elevated his game during his time off and returned a different fighter. Ige is trying to crack the upper echelon of the division and a win over Jung should land him a major fight in the division. Overall, it’s not a spectacular card on paper, Matt Brown will have his 28th fight in the UFC after competing on the seventh season of TUF (the same year Matt Riddle was on the series). Brown is coming off losses to Miguel Baeza and Carlos Condit and just turned 40 this past January.

Here are the fights scheduled for Saturday with weigh-in results:

MAIN CARD (7 p.m. ET on ESPN 2, ESPN+)

*Chan Sung Jung (146) vs. Dan Ige (146)
*Aleksei Oleinik (228) vs. Serghei Spivac (242)
*Marlon Vera (136) vs. Davey Grant (135.5)
*Julian Erosa (145.5) vs. Seungwoo Choi (146)
*Bruno Silva (186) vs. Wellington Turman (185.5)
*Matt Brown (170.5) vs. Dhiego Lima (171)

*Aleksa Camur (204.5) vs. Nicolae Negumereanu (205.5)
*Virna Jandiroba (115) vs. Kanako Murata (114.5)
*Khaos Williams (169) vs. Matthew Semelsberger (170)
*Roque Martinez (249) vs. Josh Parisian (266)
*Joaquim Silva (154.5) vs. Ricky Glenn (156)
*Lara Procopio (126) vs. Casey O’Neill (125.5)

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