POLLOCK'S NEWS UPDATE: MJF speaks on return to AEW TV, CM Punk, contract status

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2022/09/19/pollocks-news-update-mjf-speaks-on-return-to-aew-tv-cm-punk-contract-status/


**Rewind-A-Raw is live at 11 p.m. ET tonight with Wai Ting and I discussing the show from San Jose, WWE adding WarGames to Survivor Series, MJF’s appearance on The MMA Hour, SmackDown & Rampage ratings, and your feedback. The show will be streaming live on the POST YouTube channel.

**On Tuesday, we will be releasing Rewind-A-Wai #116 covering WCW Starrcade 1995 with the “World Cup of Wrestling” as talent from New Japan squares off with WCW wrestlers. The show is headlined by Randy Savage defending the WCW World Heavyweight title against the winner of Sting vs. Lex Luger vs. Ric Flair. We will review the show and discuss all the noteworthy news items from that week in December 1995 and where WCW stood just months into the launch of Monday Nitro. This show will be available for all members of the POST Wrestling Café. You can still post feedback on the POST Wrestling Forum.

**Sunday’s edition of Wrestlenomics covered the Hollywood Reporter story on the potential of NBC Universal and Warner Brothers Discovery joining up in several years under one umbrella, whether there is a “boom period” going on in wrestling, WWE’s board of directors, and some news and notes on a potential WWE special on Fox, the Day 1 premium live event & more.


Tonight: Rewind-A-Raw with John Pollock & Wai Ting (11:05 p.m. ET)
Tuesday: Rewind-A-Wai – WCW Starrcade 1995 (Patreon)
Tuesday: upNXT with Braden Herrington & Chris Walder
Wednesday: Shot in the Dark with John Siino
Wednesday: Rewind-A-Dynamite
Thursday: The Wellness Policy with Wai Ting, Jordan Goodman & Neal Flanagan
Thursday: MCU L8R with Rich Fann & Karen Peterson (She-Hulk Ep. 6)
Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown (Special start at Midnight ET)
Saturday: The N.W.A. Podcast with Nate Milton, Kris Ealy & Andrew Thompson
Sunday: Wrestlenomics Radio
Sunday: POST Puroresu with John Pollock & WH Park


MJF was a guest on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani and unlike his last appearance, this one was fully endorsed by AEW, who promoted his appearance in advance and was designed to push Grand Slam this week.

Earlier this year, MJF was interviewed by Helwani and it was later reported that the performer didn’t go through the PR channels at AEW to clear the appearance and Helwani joked at the start of today’s interview about alerting AEW PR or Tony Khan before they begin the interview.

MJF is an interesting interview subject because the immediate reaction is to tune out because of the delivery being in sync with the on-screen persona. The art of interviewing him is to parse the real pieces of information he camouflages and separate what’s real. This appearance was tremendous in that he constantly put over AEW in his unique way, plugged the shows at Arthur Ashe Stadium, and gave enough interesting information to leave the consumer satisfied or at least entertain the MMA fan that has no idea who this guy is but he’s damn entertaining.

Regarding the All Out drama, he was careful with his wording and wasn’t going to address what CM Punk said at the press conference because he said it didn’t have anything to do with him. In fairness, MJF was mentioned by Punk (although no one took those remarks seriously compared with the other targets) but it absolutely affects MJF who had just shot an angle with Punk minutes before and his injury/suspension threw those plans out the window for now, if not permanently.

He would not comment about the backstage fight, which he reportedly was a neutral witness to and would mean he’s been questioned during the ongoing investigation.

Helwani asked if AEW needs CM Punk and MJF responded, “no comment” but did add that he felt the two had the best feud in AEW history and one of the best feuds of all time.

He also downplayed the backstage chaos stating it’s a team atmosphere and everyone is working for AEW to succeed – in this notion, he came off very well balancing his act with the public message of the company being on track and quelling the negative stories about the backstage issues.

On his return to television, he said he got a ridiculous amount of money to come back without needing to sign a contract extension and his contract expiration remains on January 1, 2024. You can take that with what you will as it would make no storyline sense to reveal an extension if it was signed because the entire heat is on the threat of him leaving. If true, it’s a master stroke on his part to be a featured star throughout his contract year and his asking price will only grow.

While was off television for three months, he traveled to Greece and Italy with his fiancé and other than that, stayed inside working out in his home gym and said he put on twenty pounds over the summer. He said the show was still good but missing something without him and wasn’t shy about taking credit for the last two weeks of Dynamite numbers since he returned.

While it’s evident within his work, he spoke about how much wrestling he watches to study and learn and said anyone not studying the industry is making a mistake. He said he watched wrestling all day long and specifically brought up World Class, Mid-South, and the AWA as libraries he watches. It was interesting when he said he doesn’t watch a lot of real sports because he can’t take anything from those outlets to apply to pro wrestling. I’d argue the opposite especially when it comes to specific personalities and how athletes respond to something in the moment or taking stories that legitimately play themselves out on the field, ice, or octagon that there are endless examples of where real sports stories and figures can be contorted into fuel for a pro wrestling story or inspiration for a promo, angle, or persona.

He also made a point throughout the interview to note how pro wrestling is better when there are multiple companies succeeding so that the talent can better their standing in the industry by playing one side against the other and talent reaps the benefits of profitability. He said even if people don’t like AEW they should want it to succeed for the betterment of the industry rather than one company controlling so much. That’s a great lesson for pro wrestlers and MMA fighters where one company has dominated the market for the past twenty years and in an era of escalating revenues, pro wrestlers and fighters are underpaid when compared to the percentage of revenues athletes in other major league sports receive due to unions and associations adding that layer of protection and representation.


**WWE Raw takes place from the SAP Center in San Jose, California with stronger NFL competition than last week. There is a Monday Night Football doubleheader tonight, although there will be an overlap between the two games, meaning Raw will be airing against two games for a portion of the show. The Buffalo Bills vs. Tennessee Titans game airs at 7:15 p.m. ET on ESPN and the Minnesota Vikings vs. Philadelphia Eagles begins at 8:30 on ABC, so it will be roughly 90 minutes where Raw will air against both games.

Raw has announced the following matches for tonight’s show, which begins at 8 p.m. ET on the USA Network:
*United States Championship: Bobby Lashley (champion) vs. Seth Rollins
*Austin Theory vs. Kevin Owens
*MizTV – The Miz invites Dexter Lumis to appear

**Tony Khan posted a picture he took with Adam Cole stating that he got to see Cole after Sunday’s game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Indianapolis Colts. The two posed for a photo outside of TIAA Bank Field. Cole has not wrestled since Forbidden Door in June as he is dealing with the effects of a concussion.

**PWinsider.com reported that the court date for Patrick Clark (who wrestled as Velveteen Dream in WWE) has been canceled and a new date has not been listed. Clark was set to appear in court on September 28th but with the date canceled, it is possible that the case where Clark was facing charges of battery and trespassing could be closed. TMZ obtained police documents that alleged that Clark became “irate and argumentative” with an employee at a gym in Orlando and was accused of making threats toward the individual before punching them in the face and biting the employee. Clark had submitted a written plea of not guilty.

**The next two episodes of NXT 2.0 will be taped episodes from last Wednesday’s taping at the Performance Center. The following matches are scheduled for this week’s show:
*Tyler Bate vs. JD McDonagh in a #1 contender’s match
*Grayson Waller vs. Oro Mensah
*Von Wagner vs. Sanga
*Carmelo Hayes & Trick Williams vs. Andre Chase & Bodhi Hayward
*Cora Jade vs. Wendy Choo
*Malik Blade & Edris Enofe vs. The Dyad
*Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne vs. Tatum Paxley & Ivy Nile
*Nathan Frazer vs. Axiom in their best-of-three series

**DJ Whoo Kid will be a special ring announcer for one of the matches at AEW’s Grand Slam this week at Arthur Ashe Stadium. Both Dynamite and Rampage will be two-hour editions this week for the event, which takes place Wednesday night in Queens, New York.

**Konnan noted on his podcast that he inquired with Kenny Omega about working next month’s TripleMania XXX event with Omega noting he was suspended. Omega was never booked for the show, but AAA had teased the idea of Omega being a potential opponent for Hijo del Vikingo but his AEW suspension should rule him out as a possibility for the October 15th show.

**RGR Promotions out of California is teasing Hijo del Vikingo with a post on the group’s Instagram. Luchablog reports that Vikingo and others have been in a waiting pool for over a year to secure work visas to work in the country and this post by RGR could indicate that Vikingo has either been approved or will soon be obtaining a visa to work in the U.S.

**New Japan Pro Wrestling has stated that the first night of Royal Quest at Crystal Palace in London is sold out. NJPW will stage back-to-back shows at the venue on Saturday, October 1st, and Sunday, October 2nd, although the shows will not be available until later that month on New Japan World. The first night will feature FTR defending the IWGP tag titles against Aussie Open.

**Yoshihiro Takayama turns 56 years old today. Takayama will forever be linked with Don Frye for having one of the most exciting fights of all time in June 2002 at Pride 21. In 2017, Takayama sustained a cervical spine injury that left him paralyzed after attempting a sunset flip and landing on his head.

**A new edition of WWE’s Table for 3 will premiere this Friday on the WWE Network with Bron Breakker, and Rick & Scott Steiner.

**The WWE stock closed at $68.74 on Monday.

**ESPN 2 is airing a replay of UFC 274 tonight at 9 p.m. ET, which was headlined by Charles Oliveira vs. Justin Gaethje from earlier this year.


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