POLLOCK'S NEWS UPDATE: Jeff Hardy, Miro, ROH Hall of Fame review, The Sheik's upcoming book

Originally published at POLLOCK'S NEWS UPDATE: Jeff Hardy, ROH Hall of Fame, The Sheik


**Rewind-A-Dynamite is live on the POST YouTube channel at 10:15 p.m. ET tonight. Wai Ting and I will review the fallout from AEW Revolution and chat about all the news from tonight’s Dynamite, as well as take your feedback and Super Chats during the live show. The podcast version will be posted late tonight and can be found by searching for POST Wrestling on your podcast app of choice.

**Rewind-A-Wai #105 is out for all members of the POST Wrestling Café covering TNA Hardcore Justice 2012. On this show we discuss:

– Bound for Glory Series tournament
– Austin Aries vs. Bobby Roode
– A ladder match involving Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe, AJ Styles & Christopher Daniels
– The start of Aces & Eights
– The state of TNA in 2012
– Red Bastien passes away this week in history
– WWE recruits include Baron Corbin, Charlotte Flair & Tenille Dashwood
– Kazuchika Okada wins first G1
– Kurt Angle responds to CM Punk’s comment about TNA
– Davey Richards apologizes
– The launch of Saturday Morning Slam

**The British Wrestling Experience returns on Thursday with Martin Bushby, Benno, and Andy Ogden discussing all the latest news from the European scene.

**Lavie Margolin from The Business of The Business podcast will be joining us this Friday on the POST Daily News show.

**Your homework assignment for this Saturday’s edition of The Long & Winding Royal Road is Kenta Kobashi & Jun Akiyama vs. Yoshihiro Takayama & Takao Omori from October 30, 1999.


Wai Ting and I discuss NXT Roadblock, Dolph Ziggler winning the NXT championship, Raw ratings, the latest on the New Japan Cup, the significance of Apple getting involved with live sports, and a preview of tonight’s Dynamite.


**The major name everyone is watching is Jeff Hardy, who is expected to be part of AEW imminently. Mike Johnson at PWinsider.com confirmed that Hardy is free and clear of his WWE contractual obligations with the expiration of his 90-day no-compete clause. Hardy himself did an interview stating he was going to AEW but had to backtrack the next day, but everyone expects him in and they’re actively pushing toward his return from the recent issues Matt Hardy has had on television and skits on Being the Elite. Hardy is 44-years old and the obvious return would see a reunion with Matt and create some interesting matches. In 2017, the Hardys returned to WWE to one of the biggest reactions in the last decade at WrestleMania 33. Within one month, the bloom was off the rose and they had been settled into a mid-card role as presented as a nostalgia act. AEW should get more mileage out of the duo but it’s still another major name to earmark television time for on a show that has a limited amount with countless names constantly arriving with William Regal and Shane Strickland being the latest.

Last week, Hardy was interviewed by the Lacrosse Tribune and said the following about going to AEW:

Nothing’s official yet. I’m still legally under contract with WWE until next Wednesday. Strange thing about that is you know what happens on Wednesday.

**AEW will follow up its tremendous pay-per-view with a live Dynamite from Estero, Florida tonight. The company hit a home run in many regards with another stellar pay-per-view where praise has been all over the map for the various matches that delivered in a big way. The last three pay-per-views have been arguably the top three in the promotion’s history as it reaps the benefits of the deep roster of talent.

It is too soon to tell what the Ring of Honor impact will have on the company and specifically on Tony Khan. Khan was unable to provide much detail as it seems the reverberations are still being felt and there are few details to share regarding its long-term placement. The top priority is the distribution with Khan’s ambitions of continuing to run the group and stating he would be the one booking it. It begs the question of where Khan can fit yet another role into his schedule and how involved the booking of a satellite group will become. It’s one thing to assemble the line-ups for Dark and Elevation with a few stories thrown in, but largely it’s a show to showcase lesser-known talent, build up performers with wins when they have a notable match on Dynamite or Rampage, and bring in noteworthy and interesting independent talent for an up-close look. If Ring of Honor is limited to that, it’s one thing, but if it’s weekly television that demands more stories and priority, it becomes another beast with many balls to juggle for Khan, and the risk of burnout has affected many of the great bookers of past generations.

In the short term, they need to figure out the battle plan for Supercard of Honor, which has two matches announced and seems like a show that is lost in the wake of the sale being announced. In a perfect world, that show could be used as the launching pad for the start of Khan’s vision for the company with a state of ROH address to the audience and present a show with killer matches and a mixture of AEW and outside talent. However, with the deal so fresh, how much will be locked into place within three weeks? Having just produced an “End of an Era” show with Final Battle in December, it would feel repetitive to do another type of show where the prevailing message is saying goodbye when for all intents and purposes, the show in December was that sign-off from the ROH of the past.

SEScoops reports that the sale to Tony Khan should be finalized around the first week of April with questions regarding the fate of the remaining employees at Ring of Honor and whether they will be retained or not.

PWTorch adds that the Supercard of Honor show is going to happen and it’s only a question of which staff will run the show, or if it’s a combination of both. The Torch lists the number of employees remaining at ROH being twelve.

**Here are the matches and segments announced for tonight’s Dynamite at 8 p.m. ET on TBS and TSN 2 in Canada:
*TNT Championship: Sammy Guevara (champion) vs. Scorpio Sky – Sky has not lost a singles match in AEW since March 10, 2021
*Jon Moxley & Bryan Danielson w/ William Regal vs. TBA
*Thunder Rosa vs. Leyla Hirsch (winner challenges Dr. Britt Baker next Wednesday for the women’s title)
*Chris Jericho addresses Eddie Kingston
*An emergency meeting for the members of the AHFO

**Fightful Select reported on Wednesday that Miro (Miroslav Barnyashev) has signed a four-year extension with AEW that will keep the performer with the company until at least the beginning of 2026. The former Rusev was part of the WWE cuts in April 2020 and joined AEW in September that year. In May of last year, he defeated Darby Allin to win the TNT championship and held the belt for over four months before losing it to Sammy Guevara in Rochester, New York. Miro has not wrestled since last November’s Full Gear event where he lost to Bryan Danielson.

**Apple is getting involved with live sports with the announcements of its deal with Major League Baseball for a weekly Friday night doubleheader package. Games will be available on its Apple TV+ streaming service. The deal covers those with the streaming service in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Australia, Brazil, South Korea, Japan, and the U.K. At the last WWE earnings call, company president Nick Khan stated they believe it’s only a matter of when Apple and Netflix get involved with live sports and this would represent Apple’s leap into live sports with reports that they will be pursuing the NFL Sunday Ticket once its rights expire at the end of the next season. For WWE and AEW, it’s only a positive if there are more players at the table seeking valuable live sports content, which the two will fall into as both looking for big increases in their next wave of domestic rights negotiations.

**This Friday is a big day for public on-sales in both WWE and AEW. Tickets will be put on sale for NXT Stand & Deliver (pre-sale is today) at the American Airlines Center for the afternoon show on the first night of WrestleMania. It is the first time NXT has gone outside of the Performance Center since the pandemic started two years ago and it’s a test to see what NXT 2.0 can draw on the biggest weekend of the year. For AEW, they have five events with tickets going on sale for its first California dates and Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. They will also be releasing tickets for Baltimore and Houston. There will be pre-sales for the AEW shows on Thursday.

**The New Japan Cup continues Thursday with more second-round matches taking place at 4:30 a.m. ET and streaming on New Japan World. Below is the lineup:
*New Japan Cup: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Bad Luck Fale
*New Japan Cup: Tetsuya Naito vs. Gedo
*New Japan Cup: Jeff Cobb vs. Satoshi Kojima
*New Japan Cup: YOSHI-HASHI vs. Kosei Fujita
*Will Ospreay, Aaron Henare & Great O-Khan vs. Shingo Takagi, SANADA & BUSHI
*Kazuchika Okada, Hirooki Goto & YOH vs. EVIL, SHO & Dick Togo
*Taichi, Zack Sabre Jr. & DOUKI vs. Master Wato, Tomoaki Honma & Ryusuke Taguchi

**IMPACT Wrestling has announced a match between Jay White and Chris Sabin for its Multiverse of Matches event at WrestleCon on Friday, April 1st. It joins the previous announcements of The Good Brothers taking on The Briscoes and an UItimate X match is scheduled.

**Sasha Banks and Xavier Woods have been nominated for the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards. Banks is nominated for favorite female sports star while Woods is among the nominees for the favorite male social star. The winners will be announced at the event on Saturday, April 9th with voting open to the public.

**Matt Jackson and his wife Dana are on Melissa Joan Hart’s podcast.

**DEFY has released the recent match between Shane “Swerve” Strickland and Nick Wayne, which is getting terrific reviews.

**DEFY has announced that Nick Wayne will face 2 Cold Scorpio at DEFY ON EDGE on March 26th in Portland, Oregon at the Kliever Memorial Armory.

**Showcase of Legends is hosting meet-and-greets this Sunday at the Washington Avenue Armory in Albany, New York from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event is advertising Windham Rotunda a.k.a. Bray Wyatt with autographs listed at $100, a photo-op for $110 as well as VIP and Super VIP packages that go for $300 and $500 respectively. The event is also advertising Dr. Britt Baker, Trish Stratus, Dustin Rhodes, Matt Cardona, Brian Myers, and Rikishi with admission to the event listed at $15.

**LuFisto is off this Sunday’s card for Beyond Wrestling due to a back injury. The performer stated it was nothing serious but is taking her doctor’s advice to take a few days off, so she is ready for the next few weeks.

**Canada’s Got Talent will premiere on Tuesday, March 22nd on City TV with Trish Stratus serving as one of the judges along with Howie Mandel, Lilly Singh, and Kardinal Offishall.

**Rick Steiner, Melina, and Aubrey Edwards have birthdays today.


This past weekend’s episode of Ring of Honor was its Hall of Fame episode and hosted by Ian Riccaboni and Cary Silkin with profiles of each of the inductees for the inaugural class – The Briscoes, Bryan Danielson, Samoa Joe, and CM Punk.

While there were not any messages sent in from the inductees, the episode was a great show with each inductee having their own chapter with a profile piece accompanied by clips of some of their best matches. This included the famous Ladder War between The Briscoes with Kevin Steen & El Generico in 2007, Joe vs. Punk’s second one-hour draw in 2004, and Danielson winning the ROH title from James Gibson and defending it against Roderick Strong and Nigel McGuinness. The Punk chapter was tremendous with his heel promo after winning the belt in June 2005 and stating “I’m a snake”, which was directly lifted by MJF last week, signing his WWE contract on the ROH belt and losing the title to Gibson and his farewell speech before going to OVW. It was really a tremendous hour of television and showcasing the video library’s worth.

But the best part was the last in-studio segment where Ian Riccaboni had a plaque with the inductee’s names listed on it and behind the plaque was a box that contained a separate award that was handed to Cary Silkin as the first recipient of the Legacy Award. Silkin was legitimately surprised and wasn’t aware he was being given the award. The award will now be referred to as the Cary Silkin Legacy Award and he seemed genuinely touched by the sentiment.

If you’re a long-time ROH fan, you’ll really enjoy this episode.


I’m in the middle of reading an advance copy of Blood and Fire: The Unbelievable Real-Life Story of Wrestling’s Original Sheik by Brian Solomon.

The book is incredibly well researched with the deepest look into the history of Detroit wrestling and Farhat’s influence on his territory that he purchased from Jim Barnett and Johnny Doyle and expanded his operations with the television going into several states near and far.

Most of all, it’s a book that painfully details the demise of Big Time Wrestling and is a great learning tool for any aspiring booker, or even a fan of the dangers of losing sight of the forest from the trees. In 1972 and 1973, Detroit was on fire with regular sell-outs of 12,000+ at Cobo Arena, it withstood a several-year-long promotional war with Dick the Bruiser and Wilbur Snyder, who were relegated to Indianapolis before coming back to Detroit. For several years, Farhat outdrew the group running Cobo while the opposition was at Olympia Stadium. The war ended with Bruiser conceding Detroit on the agreement that Farhat pull his television out of Indianapolis and like any businessmen, they worked an inter-promotional angle. The Sheik vs. Bruiser program didn’t spark meaningful business as ego got in the way and neither side wanted to put the other over.

Ego is a major theme of Farhat’s demise with a refusal to elevate new stars and take the spotlight off himself. It sounds simplistic, but as the owner of the territory, there is security in knowing you’re not going to double-cross yourself and leave the territory. The Sheik’s formula was panned over time – heavy bloodbaths, short matches, and unsatisfying finishes that sparked business for years – particularly in Detroit and Toronto, where Sheik went undefeated for years working with Frank Tunney but it burned the city out, as it did in Detroit.

By the end, they were drawing 2,000 at Cobo Arena, and the company shuttered by the end of 1980 as Farhat clung to the industry with a body that was shot and mounting personal issues that affected him and his business.

It’s an extremely detailed book that serves as a historical record of Farhat and his successes beyond Detroit and documenting his time in Tennessee, Texas, California and becoming a legend in Japan with his most prominent stint in All Japan Pro Wrestling, and later, FMW.

I recommend it for anyone that wants to learn the history of Farhat, and this book presents the good and the bad with a fascinating illustration of how a company can peak and rapidly decline when it loses touch with the audience.


**Bellator is returning to Hawaii for back-to-back cards in Oahu next month. The promotion will stage events at the Neal S. Blaisdell Arena on Friday, April 22nd, and Saturday, April 23rd. The first night will be its version of Fight for the Troops where it’s a free show for military, veterans, and first responders with fights to be announced later. The Saturday card will air on Showtime and will be headlined by two championship fights with Sergio Pettis (22-5) defending the 135-pound title against Raufeon Stots (17-1) in the opening round of the Bantamweight World Grand Prix, and a women’s featherweight championship fight between Cris Cyborg (25-2, 1 NC) vs. Arlene Blencowe (15-8). The main card will also see Hawaii native Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (11-1) against Justine Kish (7-5), and a great bantamweight match-up between Patchy Mix (15-1) and Kyoji Horiguchi (29-4) in another opening round match of the Grand Prix.

**The UFC Fight Night card at the Apex this Saturday is headlined by a light heavyweight fight between Thiago Santos (22-9) and Magomed Ankalaev (16-1). Ankalaev has won his previous seven fights and is on the cusp of breaking into the top tier of the division. With a victory on Saturday, Ankalaev would have to be among the considerations to fight the winner of the upcoming light heavyweight championship fight between Glover Teixeira and Jiri Prochazka. Santos scored his first win since 2019 in his last outing against Johnny Walker back in October with a decision win. Prior to that fight, he had the July 2019 loss to Jon Jones where he injured both knees and didn’t fight until sixteen months later. He returned from injury and was submitted by Glover Teixeira and followed that loss with a decision loss to Aleksandar Rakic before getting the win against Walker.


Ric Flair takes on Mitsuharu Misawa (as Tiger Mask II) in 1987:

The final episode of Raw before the moving to the Performance Center during the pandemic:

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