**Rey Mysterio has signed with World Wrestling Entertainment and should be returning imminently. Since his appearance at the Royal Rumble in January, the sides have been talking and appeared to be close throughout the summer. It was reported Wednesday by Mike Johnson at PWinsider.com that the sides agreed to a two-year deal with Mysterio provided with an opt-out clause after 18 months. Mysterio will turn 44 years old this December and had a very lucrative situation as a free agent where he was able to command a lot of money for appearances and select matches worldwide. After leaving WWE in 2015, he began working for AAA and signed with Lucha Underground and appeared in their second and third seasons on the El Rey Network and didn’t return for the current season. After appearing in the Rumble this past January, he got over big for the surprise appearance and was later announced for New Japan’s card in Long Beach in March for a match with Jushin Thunder Liger. Mysterio suffered a biceps injury and did appear on the card but could not wrestle. Several matches were set up for Mysterio with Liger, Will Ospreay, and Marty Scurll lined up for Mysterio. He didn’t work for New Japan on their next Long Beach card in July but did wrestle in a six-man at Budokan Hall on the final night of the G1 Climax. When he wasn’t announced for this month’s Long Beach card, which could have used someone with his star power, it seemed evident that Mysterio was WWE bound. He did work the “All In” card earlier this month where he teamed with Bandido and Fenix against The Young Bucks and Kota Ibushi. Mysterio is also one of the featured characters in the WWE 2K19 game alongside Ronda Rousey and I would expect he will be on television in conjunction with the release of the game.
**This past Tuesday’s episode of SmackDown Live averaged 2,281,000 viewers on the USA Network. The number was up slightly by 52,000 viewers from last week’s episode. Monday’s episode of Raw did 2,660,000 viewers over the three hours and was down 40,000 viewers from the week prior. In addition to Monday Night Football, Raw also went against the Emmy Awards. The Seattle Seahawks vs. Cincinnati Bengals game did 11,720,000 and the Emmys averaged 10,212,000, which was the all-time low for the award show and down 11% from the prior two years.
**Tonight’s episode of Impact Wrestling is the first of four weeks from last week’s tapings in Mexico City leading into Bound for Glory next month. Below are the matches scheduled, featuring talent from AAA on the shows:
*Austin Aries vs. El Texano
*Sami Callihan & oVe vs. Aerostar, El Hijo del Vikingo & Laredo Kid
*Faby Apache vs. Alisha Edwards
*The announcement of this year’s Hall of Fame inductee
**Jeff Cobb was a guest on Sean Waltman’s podcast to discuss his recent win at Battle of Los Angeles from last weekend for Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. Cobb stated that he’s been told he will be free to leave Lucha Underground once this current season concludes. He did add that he hopes Lucha Underground doesn’t “mess with me in the end”.
**The WWE will be donating $100,000 to the Knoxville Public Safety Foundation at the request of Knox County Mayor Glen Jacobs. The story outlines that the donation will be made on behalf of Jacobs “in appreciation for making WWE appearances this fall.” Jacobs was announced this week as appearing at the Super Show-Down card in Melbourne in The Undertaker’s corner against Triple H and will be making additional appearances with the belief he will also be working the “Crown Jewel” event in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in November. Given his role as Mayor, Jacobs was likely to receive criticism for going to work WWE dates while in office and was something Jesse Ventura faced a lot of criticism over in the summer of 1999 when he appeared on Raw to build up that year’s SummerSlam appearance where he served as a special referee in the main event. That would likely be compounded by the fact that one of those dates will likely involve Jacobs going to work a show in Saudi Arabia, which opens up a larger can of worms for Jacobs to answer for to residents of Knox County.
**The WWE has announced the hiring of Brian Nurse as the company’s senior vice president, general counsel & secretary, who will report directly to Vince McMahon. Nurse will oversee all the legal affairs for the WWE and will serve as a legal advisor to the executive staff of the company. Nurse previously served in similar capacities at Nestle Waters North America and PepsiCo.
**Madison Rayne announced on Taz’s podcast this week that she has signed a one-year deal with Ring of Honor. Rayne left Impact Wrestling earlier this year and had a spot in the Mae Young Classic, with her first-round match airing last week where she lost to Mercedes Martinez.
**The SHIMMER promotion has launched their own streaming service at www.streamshimmer.com with a price tag of $9.99 per month. The promotion has uploaded their first 61 events that span November 2005 – October 2013.
**MLW has added a match between Shane Strickland and Tom Lawlor for the October 4th “Fury Road” events in Queens, New York at the Melrose Ballroom.
TELEVISION REVIEWSMae Young Classic (Sept. 19th) -RESULTS: Kaitlyn over Kavita Devi, Toni Storm over Jinny, Xia Li over Karen Q, Mia Yim over Allysin Kay -I enjoyed the main event as Yim and Kay had a backstory involving their prior matches where Yim broke Kay’s nose and they had an image of the broken nose. They didn’t mention their history in Impact together, although Beth Phoenix mentioned talking to Gail Kim about her time wresting Kay. They worked hard in the main event, they had a great slap exchange and had a great spot where Yim missed with a chop and hit the post, which came off great. -Xia Li is still very green but she makes up for her limitations with a lot of fire and personality that I didn’t sense in last year’s tournament when she was debuting. Both Li and Kavita Devi have minimal experience and are in the developmental stages of their career. -Kaitlyn and Kavita Devi wasn’t a very good match and the announcers mainly focused on Kaitlyn’s comeback and wrestling for the company at a time when they weren’t serious about women’s wrestling. Devi became an interesting subject last summer when her segments on YouTube did incredible stats because of the Indian population that sought her out and led to her getting a spot in the women’s battle royal at WrestleMania this year. -It’s a strange mix of who is advancing and who is eliminated as this show featured performers like Kaitlyn and Xia Li moving on while Allysin Kay and Jinny were eliminated. I would want this tournament to get over with match quality first as I feel that’s the only way this tournament will gain traction and there are some questionable decisions regarding who goes on. Kaitlyn does have a story as the former Diva Search contestant making a comeback and does make sense from that end. WWE NXT (Sept. 19th) -RESULTS: Lacey Evans & Aliyah over Dakota Kai & Deonna Purrazzo, Jakson Ryker over Humberto Carrillo, Ricochet and Pete Dunne went to a no contest in a Title vs. Title match -The main event was phenomenal, one of the better television main events of the year from the WWE with the two going 22 minutes and had the crowd the entire way. The crowd was electric as soon as each man stepped into the ring and treated this as a major deal with the idea one could become a double champion. It started with Ricochet trying to beat Dunne with his style and not relying on his high-flying. Ricochet was caught with a kick to the left arm and sold it the rest of the match effectively. The match built to select spots from Ricochet including a super huracanrana off the top and a few big near falls that led to a standing ovation. Dunne hit the X-Plex, the Bitter End and applied a triangle that Ricochet survived. As both were down selling, The Undisputed Era ran in and attacked both as the bell was called. The audience was so angry they ruined the match, but it such a tremendous match that they still applauded at the end. Go out of your way to watch this. -Dunne and Ricochet held their titles after Undisputed Era left following a save by the War Raiders and seems to be the direction for War Games in November if Bobby Fish can return by then. -The women’s tag match was a fine opener. I hope that all the mistakes made with Bayley on the main roster serve as a learning tool for Dakota Kai’s character and they don’t screw up what they have with her. They are starting to give Kai more of an edge and is an incredibly likable character, although the pitfalls of the main roster for a character like that are evident. They seem very high on Lacey Evans and priming her for a larger role in the women’s division. She cracked Kai with the Women’s Right to win the match. -Next week’s show features Tommaso Ciampa vs. Otis Dozovic in a non-title match.
205 Live (Sept. 19th)
-RESULTS: TJP over Lince Dorado, Cedric Alexander over Drew Gulak to retain the Cruiserweight title
-They taped the matches prior to SmackDown on Tuesday and after one week, I thought it was a positive move and I prefer the Wednesday timeslot. The first match between TJP and Lince Dorado didn’t have a significant amount of heat as the audience was stilling filing into the arena, but the main event featured a big difference.
-Alexander and Gulak had an outstanding match, not to the level of the NXT main event, but this was better than anything on Raw or SmackDown this week and ahead of their SummerSlam kickoff match. They went about 20 minutes with Alexander winning with the Lumbar Check. Gulak went for the Gulock several times and Alexander had to find creative ways to escape the submission. Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness, and Percy Watson did a great job selling the submission and the audience got into the match way more than a typical 205 Live main event. Alexander will defend the title against Buddy Murphy next at the Super Show-Down card, where Murphy should be the babyface in his hometown.
-TJP defeated Dorado after removing his mask and rolling him up.
-Drake Maverick informed Mustafa Ali that he has been cleared to compete and will face Hideo Itami next week. They also announced Lio Rush vs. Noam Dar next week after Rush told Maverick he was too busy to face Dar this week.
MMA NEWS**The UFC will be holding a press conference today at 5 pm Eastern from Radio City Music Hall in New York City with lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor. The press conference is closed to the public but will be airing on ESPN and on the Mega-Zilla screen in Times Square between 45th and 46th Streets. McGregor tweeted out this week that anyone that shows up with a bottle of his new whiskey, Proper No. 12, would be admitted into the press conference and two bottles would allow you to cut the line, which the UFC has denied.
**The reaction to the ruling on Jon Jones has been met with lots of negative feedback. A hearing was held this past weekend involving Jones and USADA, with the latter recommending an 18-month reduced suspension and the arbitrator settling on a 15-month suspension. The suspension is retroactive to the date of the failed drug test on July 28th, 2017 and allows Jones to resume fighting after October 28th this year. In the ruling, it was outlined that the reduction in time was also attributed to the delivery of “substantial assistance” by Jones. Substantial assistance is outlined in the UFC’s anti-doping policy as discovering or bringing forward an Anti-Doping Policy Violation, essentially assisting in another case and bringing it to light. Jones had to agree to fully cooperate or risk his suspension being extended. There is no way to assess this case other than a double standard when Jones was unable to provide a tainted supplement that would have contained the metabolite found in his drug test last year. There are fighters that have legitimately proven to have taken a tainted supplement and faced punishment, who weren’t repeat offenders. Jones was facing a four-year suspension because this was his second failure following a July 2016 test that forced him off the UFC 200 card during fight week.
Jones would be eligible to fight at the UFC 230 card at Madison Square Garden on November 3rd, although ESPN’s Ariel Helwani reports that he is not in talks to fight on that card. The matchmaking for Jones could cause a ripple effect in either the light heavyweight and/or heavyweight divisions. There is no shortage of opponents for Jones with the obvious being a fight with Brock Lesnar, which is the biggest non-McGregor fight the UFC could make. Lesnar had already set up a fight with heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier and all indications were that was the fight that would happen next, however, Jones being available could throw a curveball. If that fight with Cormier was switched, I cannot imagine how upset Cormier would be, who has stated he has a hard out with retirement in March and wouldn’t give him time to fight Lesnar or Jones, which are the massive fights for Cormier with enormous money on the table. Although Cormier has been adamant about retiring in March when he turns 40, he would be walking away from enormous money because he would be guaranteed to fight the winner of Lesnar-Jones in 2019, and if things turn out that Cormier does fight Lesnar next, Jones would be an option and Cormier could end up with two enormous fights to cap off his career.
UFC 230 still needs a main event and it’s possible they could have an announcement as early as tonight’s press conference. If Jones is unable to fight in November, the last big option they have is convincing Georges St-Pierre to fight on that card. Beyond that, Tyron Woodley has indicated that if his hand is healed he would be willing to fight Colby Covington on that card and Joanna Jedrzejczyk stated she would be open to fighting Valentina Shevchenko on that date, although those two fights are nowhere near the level of a Jon Jones or Georges St-Pierre and the real main event of that card would become the Nate Diaz vs. Dustin Poirier fight.
**Jon Jones released the following statement after the ruling was announced Wednesday night:
It’s difficult to express myself at this moment but I can definitely say my heart is filled with gratitude and appreciation. I want to thank all of you who have stood by me during the toughest stretch of my life. It has meant the world to me and always will. But now is the time to shift the focus front and center to the road ahead. Greatness is what I’m chasing and the path to reclaiming my throne is now officially open. Comeback Season begins now.
**ESPN has announced that their ESPN+ streaming service has hit 1,000,000 paid subscribers five months after launching. The service, which is carrying a significant amount of UFC content beginning in 2019, is priced at $4.99 per month (or $49.99 per year) and has been pushed heavily by ESPN across all their platforms. Their deal with the UFC will go into effect this January with 30 UFC Fight Nights will be available and 20 of those cards with be exclusive on ESPN+.
BRITISH WRESTLING EXPERIENCE 9/19/18: Fight Club Pro, MediaCon, British J Cup, WOS
Martin Bushby & Benno are back to chat about Fight Club Pro’s recent card featuring Tyler Bate vs. Jordan Devlin, Rev Pro’s British J Cup, World of Sport Ep.8, and Benno chats his live coverage of Wrestling MediaCon
DOUBLE SHOT 9/19/18: CMLL’s 85th Anniversary, Mick Foley’s WWE Network Special
John Pollock & Wai Ting have more to chat about with John’s review of the CMLL Anniversary card from Arena Mexico last Friday, both discuss the Mick Foley special on the anniversary of the Hell in a Cell and Wai recaps the latest edition of Ten Pounds of Gold.
REWIND-A-SMACKDOWN 9/18/18: Queen Becky…Bitch, Mixed Match Challenge
John Pollock & Wai Ting review SmackDown in Tulsa, the top program on the show, Becky’s character, Aiden English turns on Rusev, AJ Styles vs. Andrade Cien Almas, a review of Mixed Match Challenge and all the news from the day.
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.
WWE HELL IN A CELL POST SHOW
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.
NJPW DESTRUCTION IN HIROSHIMA POST SHOW
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.
Subscribe to POST Wrestling
POST Wrestling Forum https://forum.postwrestling.com
Support our Patreon – The POST Wrestling Café http://www.patreon.com/POSTwrestling