POLLOCK'S NEWS UPDATE - Judge dismisses concussion-related lawsuits against WWE

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2018/09/18/pollocks-news-update-judge-dismisses-concussion-related-lawsuits-against-wwe/


**Monday’s edition of Rewind-A-Raw is up on the site with Wai Ting and I reviewing Raw from Dallas, chatting about the “Crown Jewel” card in Saudi Arabia, the main event for that show with Brock Lesnar, the news of the day, a discussion on Becky Lynch, and at the end we learn of Kid Yamamoto’s passing and discuss his career. The show can be downloaded from the site directly or subscribe to POST Wrestling on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

**Wai Ting and I will be back tonight with Rewind-A-SmackDown reviewing tonight’s show from Tulsa and discussing today’s news items along with your feedback & questions.

**For members of the POST Wrestling Café, we will be releasing “The Double Shot” early Wednesday morning with additional reviews of last Friday’s CMLL Anniversary card from Arena Mexico, the Mick Foley special from the WWE Network and any other items we were unable to get to over the past few days. This show will be out for all members of the Café, if you sign up you will receive a custom RSS feed to load the Café feed into your podcast app and receive a minimum two bonus shows per week and access to the archive.

**On Wednesday, the British Wrestling Experience returns with Martin Bushby, Oli Court & Benno getting you up to speed on all the news from the British scene following Wrestling MediaCon, the World of Sport tour announced and Progress Wrestling’s big show on September 30th.

*Tonight: Rewind-A-SmackDown
*Wednesday: The Double Shot (Patreon) with reviews of CMLL’s Anniversary card and Mick Foley’s WWE Network special
*Wednesday: The British Wrestling Experience with Martin Bushby, Oli Court & Benno
*Thursday: upNXT/Forever Young with Braden Herrington & Davie Portman
*Friday: MCU review of “The Incredible Hulk” with Pollock & Wai (Patreon)
*Saturday: EGGSHELLS Podcast Companion with Chris Charlton on 2002 with Lee Daly
*Sunday: NJPW Destruction in Kobe POST Show with Pollock & Wai (Patreon)


**On Monday, Judge Vanessa L. Bryant who was overseeing the various concussion-related lawsuits against World Wrestling Entertainment dismissed the suits. The 39-page ruling can be read in full at this link.

The first of several suits were filed by attorney Konstantine Kyros in January 2015 on behalf of numerous former WWF/WWE wrestlers that alleged they were suffering from neurological issues sustained from brain injuries while wrestling or were at risk for future problems. There were lots of issues outlined by the court along this period with Kyros with criticism over certain elements of the filings, inaccuracies and other non-relevant information that he was asked to amend.

There were three individual cases remaining against WWE, which were eventually consolidated for Judge Bryant to rule on. The first case was filed in 2015 with a majority of the claims had been thrown out with the WWE seeking reimbursements for legal fees and was the outstanding issue from that suit. This was the suit that included Vito LoGrasso (Big Vito) and former developmental wrestler Evan Singleton. It was ruled earlier this year that the plaintiffs did not present any evidence that WWE was aware that concussions could cause permanent degenerative neurological conditions before 2007, which was when LoGrasso had left the company. They also ruled that the WWE had presented “undisputed evidence” that they had warned Singleton of the risks prior to a career-ending injury he sustained in 2012. This suit was ruled in favor of the WWE with prejudice and will prohibit the plaintiffs from bringing forth these claims again.

There was another suit filed o behalf of 53 plaintiffs against the WWE, which includes Joe Laurinaitis, Paul Orndorff, Shane Douglas, Demolition, Chavo Guerrero Jr. among those plaintiffs. A full list of the plaintiffs can be viewed on the Indeed Wrestling blog run by Chris Harrington.

The other case that was consolidated was a pre-emptive measure by the WWE filed against Blackjack Mulligan, Tom Billington, Koko B. Ware, and Ivan Koloff arguing they could not file suit against the company because of the statue of limitations.

Judge Bryant’s ruling outlined how Kyros had attempted to evade the Court’s jurisdiction, repeatedly filing complaints containing “irrelevant, inflammatory, and inaccurate information” and his conduct. The ruling outlined, “The Court has been extremely forgiving of Attorney Kyros’ and his appearing co-counsels’ highly questionable practices throughout this case, in an effort to give each wrestler a fair hearing. However, despite second, third, and fourth chances to submit pleasing that comply with Rules 8, 9, and 11. Attorney Kyros has persisted in asserting pages and pages of frivolous claims and allegations for which he lacked any factual basis. He was warned that if he continued to do so this case would be dismissed, and he ignored this warning.”

It was ruled that Kyros and his law offices will pay all of the legal feeds that the defendants (WWE) incurred for both of their motions of sanctions.

In response to Judge Bryant’s rulings, Konstantine Kyros issued a statement to PWinsider.com suggesting they will fight the ruling in appeals court, below is a portion of that statement:

The opinions expressed in today’s decision about my strong advocacy are inaccurate, bizarre and unworthy of the court. The reasoning of the opinion itself is flimsy as the court finds, in ignorance of the facts, that there is no reasonable basis for the assertions, despite a substantial body of medical peer reviewed literature going back almost a hundred years. In any event these are Jury issues as the plaintiffs demonstrated that the WWE knew about the risks of head injuries long before the 2007 date the court invents. Additionally the WWE misclassified, exploited, injured these people in violation of labor laws and continues to ignore that CTE even exists in professional wrestling. It is a sad ruling, and we trust the wrestlers claims will be better received in the appeals courts. I will continue to fight and advocate for wrestlers legal rights despite this tragic opinion that attempts to cast down my clients hopes for better lives.

PWinsider.com also received a response to Kyros’ statement from Jerry McDevitt, the lead counsel for the WWE, who provided this scathing retort:

This is the same kind of drivel Kyros pawned off on former wrestlers when soliciting them to sue WWE by false statements that he had obtained a billion dollar settlement for NFL players and would do the same for wrestlers, when in fact he had absolutely nothing to do with getting that settlement. He was caught repeatedly making false allegations; has been admonished repeatedly by federal judges about his dishonest behavior; and has now been subjected to two different sanction orders of the kind that would make most lawyers embarrassed and ashamed. The rant he sent you now insults the federal judge who issued the decision, and he still fails to address the basis of her opinion. He may well have been able to mislead those he solicited to join his lawsuits, but he will never succeed in misleading us or federal judges. Frankly, he should be disbarred.

**Tonight’s WWE tapings take place from Tulsa, Oklahoma from the BOK Center with SmackDown, 205 Live & the Mixed Match Challenge taking place. According to the BOK Center’s website, the show is set to start at 7:30 pm Eastern (6:30 local time) and would indicate that 205 Live matches will be taped after the Mixed Match Challenge with 205 Live moving to Wednesdays beginning this week. Below are the matches announced for tonight:
*AJ Styles vs. Andrade Cien Almas in a non-title match
*Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Rusev for the United States title
*Becky Lynch’s championship coronation
*Miz TV with a mystery guest
*Kevin Owens & Natalya vs. Braun Strowman & Ember Moon in the Mixed Match Challenge
*AJ Styles & Charlotte Flair vs. Jimmy Uso & Naomi in the Mixed Match Challenge

The company announced today that Ember Moon is taking the spot of Alexa Bliss on tonight’s show. The WWE stated she suffered an arm injury and experienced numbness after waking up Tuesday and is also off the live events this weekend.

**On Monday’s episode of Raw, it was announced that Kane will be in The Undertaker’s corner at the Super Show-Down opposite Triple H, who will have Shawn Michaels in his corner.

**Matt Hardy provided the following update regarding his home and the effects of Hurricane Florence:

To everyone who has checked on us, my family is safe following the hurricane. The Hardy Compound is badly flooded & we’re nonstop working to dry out & salvage what we can. Thanks you for checking on us & asking about our safety & the condition of our property. We appreciate it.

**Andrew Everett announced Monday that he was granted his release by Impact Wrestling. He wants to explore free agency and thanked Impact for exposing him to a larger audience while working for the promotion. Everett had been wrestling for Impact since 2015 but never received much of a push during that time. He had formed a tag team with DJ Z briefly this year with the two defeating Eli Drake & Scott Steiner for the Impact tag titles and dropping them at the same series of tapings that week to LAX.

**The GLOW series on Netflix was up for three Emmy Awards on Monday night and did not win any of the major awards (they win a pair of Creative Arts Emmys earlier this month for Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Program and for Outstanding Stunt Coordinator with Shauna Duggins becoming the first female to win in that category). The big winner on Monday’s awards show was the Amazon series “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”, which beat out GLOW for Outstanding Comedy Series. Betty Gilpin was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, which was won by Alex Borstein, and GLOW also received a nomination for Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series with Jesse Peretz nominated for the GLOW pilot and failing to win.

**NeuLion is hosting the Sports Media & Technology conference on October 16th and 17th and there is an interesting list of speakers announced for the conference. UFC president Dana White, XFL commissioner and C.E.O. Oliver Luck, ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro, and Charlie Ebersol of the Alliance of American Football are among the guest speakers. The event is taking place in New York City next month and it’s not cheap to attend with tickets going for more than $1,500.

**MLW has announced their first event for Chicago will take place on Thursday, November 8th at Cicero Stadium with a Fusion television taping. Tickets will go on sale this Saturday and they are advertising Low Ki, L.A. Park, Pentagon Jr., Rey Fenix, Konnan, Tom Lawlor, MJF, Aria Blake, and Salina de la Renta for the taping.


**We were wrapping up Rewind-A-Raw on Monday when the news broke that Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto had died from cancer. We have a bio on Yamamoto’s career and it is no stretch to say he was one of the most popular fighters in the world during the mid-2000’s. When K-1 introduced their MMA promotion, K-1 Hero’s, he became the face of that brand. He fought four times for Hero’s between July-December 2005 as he won the Lightweight Grand Prix defeating Royler Gracie, Caol Uno, and Genki Sudo during that stretch. Despite being undersized at lightweight, he was able to defeat high-level opponents and possessed knockout power, including a four-second stoppage of Kazuyuki Miyata in May 2006.

The fight that most look at as his star-making performance was his kickboxing bout with Masato at the K-1 Dynamite event on December 31st, 2004 and was seen by over 30 million viewers. The fight saw Masato win by decision in his native discipline, but the smaller Yamamoto gained a moral victory with a knockdown and going the distance against the professional kickboxer in his sport. On New Year’s Eve 2007, Yamamoto defeated Rani Yahya by TKO and chose to make a run at making the Japanese wrestling team for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

At the time, Yamamoto hadn’t lost an MMA fight since May 2002 and was at his drawing peak when he opted to step away and pursue his dream of going to the Olympics. He would not have a successful run as he suffered a terrible elbow injury as well as a knee injury that kept him out of action until May 2009.

When he returned, K-1 Hero’s was no more and in its place, the DREAM organization had launched, and he fought there. In his return fight, he dropped a decision to future Bellator champion Joe Warren and it began Yamamoto’s decline as he went 1-5 with 1 no contest the rest of his career.

He did make it to the UFC in 2011 and fought at a more reasonable weight of 135 pounds. He lost to future flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson, Darren Uyenoyama, and Vaughan Lee. He was out for another three years and returned in February 2015 for the final MMA fight of his career where he fought Roman Salazar at UFC 184 and the fight ended with an eye poke to Salazar and was ruled a no contest.

He had an exhibition bout with Masato on New Year’s Eve 2015 that aired on Fuji TV and did a 9.0 rating and was his last bout of note. He announced on Instagram a few weeks ago he was battling cancer and had been receiving treatment in Guam. Yamamoto was only 41 years old.

**Thursday’s UFC 229 press conference featuring Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor from Radio City Music Hall in New York will feature a public viewing party inside Times Square. The press conference is scheduled for 5 pm Eastern and will be displayed on the 330-foot Mega-Zilla screen between 45th and 46th street. The actual press conference at Radio City Music Hall is not open to the public.

**UFC light heavyweight Jimi Manuwa issued a statement regarding the injury he sustained that took him out of this Saturday’s main event with Thiago Santos in Brazil. Manuwa had arrived in Brazil and the following day has his last day of hard training. During that sessions, he suffered a partially torn hamstring that Manuwa was told was a greater than 50% tear and will require six weeks of recovery time. Eryk Anders has stepped in to take Manuwa’s spot and is coming up to light heavyweight for the main event this Saturday. Anders appeared on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show on Monday and noted he received a new contract worth more for taking the fight on short notice.

**Bellator president Scott Coker has announced that Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal will face Liam McGeary at Bellator 205 when the promotion goes to Honolulu, Hawaii. This fight was originally scheduled for October 2017 but fell apart due to an injury sustained by Lawal. This will be Lawal’s first fight at light heavyweight since May 2016 as his last four fights have been at heavyweight and coming off a 15-second stoppage by Ryan Bader in the Heavyweight Grand Prix tournament this past May. Former Bellator light heavyweight champion McGeary has lost two of his last three fights and is coming off stoppage losses to Linton Vassell in May 2017 and a TKO loss to Vadim Nemkov this past February at Bellator 194.

**This weekend’s UFC Fight Night card takes place from Ginasio do Ibirapuera in Sao Paulo, Brazil with the following 14-fight card, beginning at 6:45 pm Eastern on Fight Pass on Saturday night:

MAIN CARD (10:30 pm Eastern on FS 1, TSN 5 in Canada)
*Thiago Santos vs. Eryk Anders
*Alex Oliveira vs. Carlo Pedersoli Jr.
*Sam Alvey vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
*Renan Barao vs. Andre Ewell
*Randa Markos vs. Marina Rodriguez

PRELIMINARY CARD (8:30 pm on FS 2, Fight Network in Canada)

*Charles Oliveira vs. Christos Giagos
*Evan Dunham vs. Francisco Trinaldo
*Luis Henrique vs. Ryan Spann
*Chase Sherman vs. Augusto Sakai

*Sergio Moraes vs. Ben Saunders
*Mayra Bueno Silva vs. Gillian Robertson
*Thales Leites vs. Hector Lombard
*Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos vs. Luigi Vendramini
*Livia Renata Souza vs. Alex Chambers

**The UFC has released the first of their 25 mini-documentaries to coincide with their 25th anniversary in November. The first documentary is an animated feature by director Dan Marks covering the various individuals arguing over who deserves credit for the design and concept of the octagon. The initial idea was always thought to have come from director John Milius, although Art Davie disputes Milius as the creator. Greg Harrison, who served as the production designer for the first four UFC events explains why he was the one behind the idea, Jason Cusson was the art director for the first seven UFC events and disputes Harrison’s story, then there is Michael Pillot who argues his case and it’s rounded out by promoter Greg Kazja Patschull, who believes that Davie and Royce Gracie got the idea from attending one of his shows in early 1993 in Irvine, California.

The second documentary will be released on Wednesday with a history of the Lion’s Den Gym and this Friday’s documentary is titled, “Ultimate Accessory: The Story of the UFC Championship Belt.” New documentaries will be released every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on UFC Fight Pass.

REWIND-A-RAW 9/17/18: Lots of Baron Corbin, Saudi Arabia main event set

John Pollock & Wai Ting review Raw from Dallas, the announcement of the second event in Saudi Arabia with the main event announced, news of the day, feedback & more.

John Pollock & Wai Ting review the Hell in a Cell card, a match-by-match rundown, Brock Lesnar appears during the main event, Becky Lynch wins the women’s title, the finish of Styles-Joe, the red cage and more.

John Pollock & Wai Ting review New Japan’s Destruction card from Hiroshima with the IWGP title match between Kenny Omega and Tomohiro Ishii and several future matches set up on the undercard from the current tour.

EGGSHELLS Podcast Companion: 2001 w/ Rich Kraetsch
Chris Charlton is joined by Rich Kraetsch of Voices of Wrestling to discuss 2001 at the Tokyo Dome with the bizarre relationship between New Japan & All Japan, Toshiaki Kawada’s rematch with Kensuke Sasaki, the final year All Japan ran the Dome & more.

REWIND-A-WAI #19: UFC 194 (Patreon)
John Pollock & Wai Ting review the UFC 194 card from December 2015 headlined by Jose Aldo vs. Conor McGregor and Chris Weidman vs. Luke Rockhold. We welcome MMA analyst Robin Black, who covered the show live and interviewed McGregor ahead of the fight. This event was selected by Espresso Executive Producer Joshua Martin.

upNXT/Forever Young 9/13/18: Mae Young Classic review with Dahlia Black
Braden Herrington & Davie Portman return to chat about a dull edition of NXT, but then things pick up with a review of the second week of the Mae Young Classic and are joined by wrestler Dahlia Black with her thoughts on the MYC episode.

POST PURORESU – Sept. 2018
John Pollock & WH Park chat about the recent Golden Lovers vs. Will Ospreay & Tomohiro Ishii tag, the Destruction cards, Zeus defends the Triple Crown against Shuji Ishikawa, the Naomichi Marufuji vs. KENTA match at Sumo Hall, Stardom’s 5 Star Grand Prix, Takayamania Empire benefit card & lots more.

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That concussion law shit actually had a slight impact on the stock. Can’t figure out what else moved it today. Not complaining.

I just want to pay my Respects to to Kid Yamamoto. I didn’t even know You had cancer. I’m saddened and upset. You are an Amazing Kickboxer and MMA Fighter and I know Your in the Best Place Now but it sucks so bad that cancer and many other hardships in Life take so much out of everyone and many times takes us away. I know You are Alive Everywhere though and are free of cancer and all bad things. All the Best Always. Until We Meet and Forever! :pray: