Originally published at POLLOCK'S NEWS UPDATE: More on Orndorff, feud with Hogan in '86
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**Rewind-A-Raw is live tonight at 11:15 p.m. ET as Wai Ting and I will review the final WWE episode from the ThunderDome, chat Paul Orndorff’s passing, Ariel Helwani speaking about ESPN, ROH Best in the World, and lots more. The show will be live for Double Double, Iced Capp & Espresso members of the POST Wrestling Café.
**Thanks to everyone that checked out the UFC 264 POST Show from Saturday night. We have a one-hour review of the card with a lot of discussion on the main event between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor, the injury to McGregor, options for both fighters, and our thoughts on the rest of the card. We will be doing both a preview and post show for Bellator 263 that takes place Saturday, July 31st from The Forum in Inglewood, California featuring Patricio “Pitbull” Freire vs. A.J. McKee for the Bellator Welterweight Championship and the finals of the Featherweight World Grand Prix.
**The July edition of The N.W.A Podcast is available with Nate Milton, Kris Ealy and Andrew Thompson discussing the recent story involving Kenice Mobley, the Black Wrestlers Matter show, and they chat with Prince Nana on this month’s show.
Tonight: Rewind-A-Raw with John & Wai (11:15 p.m. ET)
Tuesday: Rewind-A-Wai – Royal Rumble 1992 (Patreon)
Tuesday: upNXT with Braden Herrington & Davie Portman
Wednesday: Rewind-A-Dynamite (10:15 p.m. ET)
Wednesday: Shot in the Dark with John Siino
Thursday: MCU L8R with Wai Ting & WH Park (Loki finale)
Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown (10:15 p.m. ET for all Patrons)
Saturday: IMPACT Slammiversary POST Show with Davie Portman & John Siino
Sunday: WWE MITB POST Show with John & Wai (Live for Double Double+ Patrons)
**We have a big story on the career of Paul Orndorff, who has died at the age of 71. The news was reported by his son Travis on Monday as Paul had been in declining health. Orndorff had a very successful career before getting to the WWF in 1984 when he was 34. From 1984-1986, he was a major name in the company primarily for his role as one of Hulk Hogan’s top-drawing opponents of all time. Their peak was in Toronto in the summer of 1986 when they drew 64,100 with a paid crowd of just over 61,000. This was not a major promoted event on WWF television, it was just a tour stop that was promoted in conjunction with the annual Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) in the city. As historian Matt Farmer noted, during that seven-day stretch, Hogan and Orndorff drew over 150,000 fans in the cities where they took the match. The two headlined at the Capital Center in Landover on August 24th, at the Riverfront Coliseum in Cincinnati later that night, Toronto on August 28th, at the Kiel Auditorium on August 29th, and the Rosemont Horizon on August 30th.
Another impressive stat is that right after the massive card at Exhibition Stadium in Toronto, they came back less than two weeks later on September 7th for a show at Maple Leaf Gardens with Hogan & Roddy Piper vs. Orndorff & Adrian Adonis and still drew 13,000.
Just got slammed with the Paul Orndorff news,RIP my brother,love you and thank you for always making me fight for everything in our matches,heaven just got even more Wonderful,love U4LifeHH
— Hulk Hogan (@HulkHogan) July 12, 2021
Back in September 2019, Wai Ting and I did an extensive Rewind-A-Wai on The Big Event from August 1986 and looking at the business of the Hogan vs. Orndorff match along with a review of the entire card with Dan Lovranski joining us to chat about attending the card.
**In Canada, Friday Night SmackDown averaged 134,000 viewers and 51,100 in the 25-54 demographic on Sportsnet 360. It was their best viewership figure since June 11th with the main sports competition this past Friday coming from the Toronto Blue Jays vs. Tampa Bay Rays.
**WWE will broadcast its final episode from the ThunderDome tonight with a taped edition of WWE Raw. The show was taped last Tuesday with the following matches listed for tonight’s broadcast:
*Falls Count Anywhere: Ricochet vs. John Morrison
*United States Championship: Sheamus (champion) vs. Humberto Carrillo
*Non-title: Bobby Lashley vs. Xavier Woods
*Asuka vs. Alexa Bliss vs. Nikki A.S.H. vs. Naomi
*AJ Styles vs. Ivar of the Viking Raiders
*Omos vs. Erik
Tonight’s edition of Raw will be airing alongside the Home Run Derby on ESPN.
**Ariel Helwani appeared on The Dan Le Batard Show on Monday and went into great detail about the struggles he encountered working at ESPN with the company in business with the UFC. Some of the highlights from the interview included:
*Helwani stated he had no idea ESPN and UFC were in talks when he joined the company in 2018
*Helwani got nervous when ESPN became the sole U.S. distributor of the ESPN
*He encountered many roadblocks including when he was on-site at UFC events and working at a desk, he would be escorted out of the building because Helwani could not be in Dana White’s ‘vicinity or line of sight’ per the request of the UFC president
*Helwani did receive an offer to stay at ESPN but said it wasn’t fair or what he was looking for or reflective of the work he had provided and was ‘100 percent disappointed by the offer’. He threw out the theory that one could conclude that ESPN made a low offer so they could say they tried to retain him. He added that he is being paid more now and more ‘free and independent’.
*It obviously irked Helwani that his shows with Chael Sonnen and Daniel Cormier were never promoted on the UFC broadcasts and after he left, they were promoted heavily this past Saturday. It is worth noting that UFC controls the production of its shows and isn’t an ESPN directive.
*Early in his time with ESPN, he was asked to reach out with an olive branch to Dana White. Helwani did so reluctantly but never received a response.
**Ring of Honor has announced that the Death Before Dishonor pay-per-view will take place from Lakeland, Florida on Sunday, September 12th from the RP Funding Center. After Best in the World, the company is sticking with the Sunday night broadcast after ROH has previously run on Friday nights. The event will feature the finals of the women’s Quest for the Gold tournament. Tickets for the show go on sale to Honor Club members this Friday at 10 a.m. ET and for the rest of the public on July 23rd.
**AEW has announced the signing of Brian Pillman, Jr. Fightful Select reported over the weekend that Pillman would not be at the MLW tapings in Philadelphia and would “effectively be a full-time AEW star moving forward.” The same outlet is also reporting that Griff Garrison has signed a full-time deal with AEW.
**One of the major pay-per-views for the summer is official as Jake Paul will fight Tyron Woodley on Sunday, August 29th at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, Ohio. The fight will be contested at 190 pounds with Woodley making his pro boxing debut against the 3-0 Paul. The event will be a co-promotion of Showtime Sports and Jake Paul’s Most Valuable Promotions. Paul and Nakisa Bidarian will be listed as executive producers of the event with tickets going on sale this Thursday. The undercard is set to feature WBC & WBO featherweight champion Amanda Serrano defending against Yamileth Mercado.
A press conference involving Jake Paul and Tyron Woodley will be streaming on Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET on the Showtime Sports YouTube channel.
**Here are the matches listed for tonight’s episode of AEW Dark: Elevation streaming at 7 p.m. ET:
*Darby Allin vs. Angelico
*Jungle Boy vs. Lee Johnson
*Brian Cage vs. Alan “5” Angels
*Matt Hardy vs. Fuego Del Sol
*Hikaru Shida vs. Julia Hart
*Yuka Sakazaki vs. KiLynn King
*Riho vs. Amber Nova
*Red Velvet vs. Leila Grey
*Tay Conti vs. Labrava
*Thunder Rosa vs. Dreamgirl Ellie
*Scorpio Sky vs. Shawn Dean
*The Acclaimed, Luther & Serpentico vs. The Varsity Blonds & The Gunn Club
*Powerhouse Hobbs vs. Baron Black
*Leyla Hirsch vs. Kelsey Heather
**A match between Sarray and Gigi Dolin has been added to NXT on Tuesday night. The show will also feature Karrion Kross defending the NXT Championship against Johnny Gargano at 8 p.m. ET on the USA Network.
**NJPW continues its Summer Struggle tour on Tuesday in Aomori with a main event eight-man tag consisting of Shingo Takagi, Tetsuya Naito, SANADA & BUSHI taking on Zack Sabre Jr., Taichi, El Desperado & DOUKI. On Wednesday, they will be in Akita, and Friday they return to Korakuen Hall. Kota Ibushi is not listed on any line-ups until Monday, July 19th.
**On Sunday, Pro Wrestling NOAH ran a card from Sendai featuring Naomichi Marufuji retaining the GHC Championship in the main event against Takashi Sugiura. It was Marufuji’s first title defense of this latest reign after beating Keiji Muto last month to win the belt. After the main event, Kazushi Sakuraba challenged Marufuji for the next title shot.
**Suwama returned to action on Sunday for All Japan Pro Wrestling following his bout with COVID-19. The former Triple Crown holder teamed with Shotaro Ashino & Dan Tamura to defeat Jake Lee, Hokuto Omori & Yusuke Kodama. The main event featured Kento Miyahara & Yuma Aoyagi retaining the All Japan tag titles against Koji Doi & Kuma Arashi.
**MLW has announced that they are opening more seats for their September 11th event in North Richland Hills, Texas. Court Bauer said they expect to have the seating in the 750-800 range for that event. The company returned in front of a live audience this past Saturday at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia, which they announced as a sell-out prior, although we haven’t received the attendance figure yet. Even with the AC running, the building was said to feel like a sauna.
**The WWE stock closed at $55.90 on Monday.
**Being the Elite Ep. 264 ‘BTE Is So Much Better Without Dark Order!’.
**Conor McGregor underwent a three-hour operation on Sunday to treat a fractured tibia and fibula. McGregor stated he would be on crutches for six weeks and has shown no signs that this injury will affect his career and his management issuing a statement that he is expected to make a full recovery. The most newsworthy portion of Dana White’s address after UFC 264 was his openness to promote the fourth fight between McGregor and Dustin Poirier. From a competitive standpoint, it feels redundant but when you’re looking at the business these two have generated this year, it’s not hard to see why White would bend over backward to make a fourth fight between them. If Poirier were to beat Charles Oliveira for the lightweight title while McGregor is rehabilitating and then receive a title fight, it would create chaos among fans but it’s also a lesson in how this business is run. Poirier has likely made obscene money for these two fights and the option of another one will be equally lucrative for a fight where McGregor has not posed any meaningful threat to Poirier in their recent two fights.
**Variety reports that Disney is once again raising the subscription price of ESPN+. The price hike will go into effect on August 13th with ESPN+ charging users $6.99 per month or $69.99 per year, which represents an increase of $1 and $10 respectively. The report notes that the cost of UFC pay-per-views will go unchanged as well as Disney’s bundle price for ESPN+, Disney+, and Hulu costs $13.99 per month. As of April, ESPN+ reported 13.8 million subscribers.
**Jessica Eye received thirteen stitches after her forehead was split open during Saturday’s fight with Jennifer Maia. Maia won the fight by unanimous decision.
**Bellator has confirmed the following main card fights for this Friday’s Bellator 262 event airing on Showtime:
*Flyweight Championship: Juliana Velasquez (11-0) vs. Denise Kielholtz (6-2)
*Tyrell Fortune (10-1, 1 NC) vs. Matt Mitrione (13-8, 1 NC)
*Matheus Mattos (12-2-1) vs. Cee Jay Hamilton (15-8)
*Dayana Silva (9-6) vs. Arlene Blencowe (13-8)
*Travis Davis (10-4) vs. Johnny Eblen (8-0)
ON THIS DATE
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UFC 264 PREVIEW SHOW
John Pollock is joined by Phil Chertok and Eric Marcotte to preview UFC 264 featuring Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor 3.
THE BRITISH WRESTLING EXPERIENCE
Martin Bushby & Benno are once again joined by Andy Ogden of Graps & Claps to rundown the last month in European wrestling including the latest with NXT UK, Doudrop on Raw, RevPro, Progress and more.
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