POLLOCK'S NEWS UPDATE: New Japan announces January - March schedule of shows

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2018/12/03/pollocks-news-update-new-japan-announces-january-march-schedule-of-shows/


**Wai Ting and I return tonight with Rewind-A-Raw to chat tonight’s show from Houston, lots of news from the weekend to discuss, and we will take your questions and feedback at the end.

**You can post feedback for this Friday’s Rewind-A-Wai covering SummerSlam 2013 on the POST Wrestling Forum.

*Tonight: Rewind-A-Raw with John Pollock & Wai Ting
*Tuesday: Rewind-A-SmackDown
*Tuesday: Double Shot (Patreon)
*Thursday: upNXT with Braden Herrington and Davie Portman
*Thursday: Café Hangout with John Pollock and Wai Ting (Live at 3 pm for Double Double, Iced Capp, and Espresso members)
*Friday: Rewind-A-Wai covering WWE’s SummerSlam 2013, as chosen by Espresso Executive Producer Jay Scaife
*Saturday: EGGSHELLS Podcast Companion with Chris Charlton – 2013 with John Pollock
*Saturday: UFC 231 POST Show
*Sunday: NJPW World Tag League Final POST Show (Patreon)


**Tonight’s episode of Raw takes place from the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. They are advertising a tag match with Ronda Rousey and Natalya taking on Nia Jax and Tamina for the show, plus Dean Ambrose is scheduled to be on the show. They are coming off a terrible episode last week that wasn’t only panned by critics, but the audience dropped 19% from the first to the third hour.

**The annual New Japan and CMLL Fantasticamania tour will begin Friday, January 11th and runs through Monday, January 21st with eight shows. The last three nights of the tour take place from Korakuen Hall.

**New Japan Pro Wrestling will be breaking up their New Beginning shows as they have in years past. There will be two New Beginning cards from Sapporo on Saturday, February 2nd and Sunday, February 3rd. The New Beginning in Osaka card is on Monday, February 11th. The annual Honor Rising events with Ring of Honor are scheduled for Friday, February 22nd and Saturday, February 23rd at Korakuen Hall.

**The annual New Japan Cup tournament runs from Friday, March 8th until Sunday, March 24th with the winner receiving a title shot of their choosing. In year’s past, title shot has been at Sakura Genesis and this year it’s tricky because you have the big Madison Square Garden card on April 7th and it’s hard to run a big show at Sumo Hall the week before or the week after. No date has been announced yet for Sakura Genesis.

**As of Sunday, PCO was unsure if he would still be working the Smash Wrestling show in Toronto on December 16th. This follows the news that PCO has signed a deal with Ring of Honor and had to withdraw from MLW on December 13th in Miami, Florida. PCO will be replaced by Sami Callihan in the Falls Count Anywhere match against LA Park on December 13th in Miami.

**With Brody King, we did speak with AAW, who informed us King is still scheduled for their December 8th and 29th shows and is their heavyweight champion. One of the many stories to watch in 2019 is the effect the signings have on promotions like AAW, PWG, MLW, Impact, and other prominent independent groups. MLW and Impact are the ones with television and are going to be caught in the tough position of having many marketable stars that are going to become desirable in the arms race between WWE/NXT, Ring of Honor and in theory, All Elite Wrestling. The big take this weekend is that Ring of Honor is not only actively signing talent but appear to have the budget to sway talent when demand is at a high for unsigned performers. If Cody, The Young Bucks, and Hangman Page are not being re-signed the flipside is a lot of budget room that is freed up to go on a signing spree, the question is whether they can augment the loss of such talent that has led to Ring of Honor’s big business in 2018.

**Jim Duggan spoke to TMZ about his recent medical stare that put Duggan into ICU during Thanksgiving. Duggan told the outlet that he began having pain in his chest and was taken to the hospital and discovered his heart had gone into atrial fibrillation. Duggan was released after a few days in the hospital and believes he will be okay from the scare.

**MLW has added a match between DJZ and El Hijo de LA Park for the December 13th card in Miami at the Scottish Rite Temple. They will be taping television December 13th and 14th in Miami and going live from the venue on the Friday from 8-9 pm Eastern on beIN Sports.

**Revolution Pro out of England has announced a huge match for their High Stakes cards on February 15th as Will Ospreay will take on PAC. The show will take place from York Hall in London and will be one of the most anticipated matches in recent memory on the UK scene.

**EVOLVE has announced that Roderick Strong has been added to their December 15th and 16th cards. At EVOLVE 117, Strong will be part of a triple threat match for the EVOLVE title with champion Fabian Aichner and Austin Theory. On the following night, he will be taking on Darby Allin. Both events will be streamed on the WWN Live network and feature NXT talent Kassius Ohno and The Street Profits.

**Here is the card for Tuesday’s World Tag League card from New Japan:
*Guerrillas of Destiny vs. Shota Umino and Ayato Yoshida in the World Tag League
*Yuji Nagata and Manabu Nakanishi vs. Hangman Page and Yujiro in the World Tag League
*Zack Sabre Jr. and Taichi vs. Satoshi Kojima and Hiroyoshi Tenzan in the World Tag League
*Killer Elite Squad vs. Togi Makabe and Toa Henare in the World Tag League
*Minoru Suzuki and Takashi Iizuka vs. Michael Elgin and Jeff Cobb in the World Tag League
*Best Friends vs. Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano in the World Tag League
*EVIL and Sanada vs. Juice Robinson and David Finlay in the World Tag League
*Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi, KUSHIDA and Rocky Romero vs. Jay White, Bad Luck Fale, Taiji Ishimori and Gedo

**The All Japan Real-World Tag League continues Tuesday with the following tournament matches at Oro City Hall:
*Tajiri and Gianni Valletta vs. Zeus and The Bodyguard
*Kengo Mashimo and KAI vs. Shuji Ishikawa and Suwama
*Parrow and Odinson vs. Takao Omori and Manabu Soya

**Last Thursday’s episode of Impact Wrestling averaged 122,000 viewers on Pop TV. The show was headlined by Eli Drake defeating Tommy Dreamer in a No Disqualification match. Dreamer has been cutting some strong promos throughout this program with Drake, who wants to eradicate hardcore wrestling. While viewership has plummeted since the move to 10 pm on Thursday nights, the company is building up to their Homecoming pay-per-view in January it’s shaping up to be a strong card.

**The season-finale of Total Divas last week averaged 412,000 viewers on E! The show focused on the passing of Jim Neidhart last summer and planning his funeral. This past season averaged 391,700 viewers for the ten-episodes with the most-watched being the season premiere that did 454,000. The final two episodes of the season were the second most watched episodes with 412,000 for the November 14th and 28th airings.

**The Young Bucks will be working this Sunday’s World Tag League final in Iwate. After the World Tag League wraps this Sunday, New Japan will hold two Korakuen Hall shows on December 14th and 15th, which are their finals events of 2018.

**Ring of Honor has added Britt Baker, Holidead, and Luchasaurus to their television tapings December 15th in Philadelphia at the 2300 Arena.

**Trevor Lee defends the Mid-Atlantic heavyweight title against Arik Royal on December 29th at CWF Mid-Atlantic’s Battlecade XIX event in Gibsonville, North Carolina. Lee has held the title for more than 1,000 days and it’s widely expected he will be reporting to NXT in January.

**Alpha-1 Wrestling is running a card in Oshawa, Ontario on January 20th with Cheech vs. Josh Briggs for the Zero Gravity title at the Polish Hall at 219 Olive Avenue.

**The WWE stock closed at $73.59 on Monday.


**Following Friday’s TUF 28 Finale card in Las Vegas, the promotion handed out four Performance of the Night bonuses to Kamaru Usman, Juan Espino, Joseph Benavidez, and Roosevelt Roberts. The card drew 2,020 to the Pearl Theatre at the Palms and a gate of $204,600. Saturday’s Fight Night event from Adelaide, Australia drew 8,652 and a gate of $1,026,937, which is a hell of a gate generated from less than 9,000 paying. The Fight of the Night bonus went to Kai Kara-France and Elias Garcia and the Performance of the Night bonuses were awarded to Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Sodiq Yussuf.

**The UFC 231 pay-per-view is this Saturday in Toronto and will feature Max Holloway’s first fight since last December. There was a lot of concern over his health, which led to his removal from the UFC 226 card in July where he was set to fight Brian Ortega. The UFC’s promotional video for this Saturday’s card focused on Holloway’s health issues and being very disconnected during a live interview on UFC Tonight where Michael Bisping made note of his state of mind. Holloway was on The MMA Hour with Luke Thomas Monday and stated that an investigation is still ongoing regarding what was wrong with him, but his team has ruled out a concussion as the cause. The problems began early enough in the week that he had not begun his big weight cut.

**Jake Hager (who wrestled in WWE as Jack Swagger and as Jake Strong for Lucha Underground) announced on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show on Monday that he will make his Bellator debut in January. Hager is set to fight JW Kiser on Saturday, January 26th at The Forum in Inglewood, California. Hager signed with Bellator in November 2017 and was a Division I All-American at the University of Oklahoma. Hager signed with World Wrestling Entertainment in 2006 and was brought to the main roster on the ECW brand in 2008. At his peak, he won the Money in the Bank briefcase in 2010 at WrestleMania 26 and cashed it in days later to become World champion by pinning Chris Jericho on an episode of SmackDown. Hager was released from his contract in March 2017. Kiser fought 18 times as an amateur and just went pro this year with a 1-1 record. He’s 39 years old and just fought over the weekend by stopping Michael Edwards at the KC Fighting Alliance card.

**Undefeated fighter Austin Vanderford announced on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show on Monday that he has signed with Bellator. Vanderford, who is married to Paige VanZant, began fighting pro in March 2017 and fought on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series in July with a submission win, but was not offered a contract.

**Below is the Countdown to UFC 231 special for this Saturday’s card at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto:

**Here is the first episode of UFC Embedded for this weekend’s pay-per-view card:

EGGSHELLS Podcast Companion: 2012 w/ Sean Radican
Episode 24 sees Chris Charlton and Sean Radican look at 2012. As NJPW is on the verge of a buyout by Bushiroad, Kazuchika Okada returns full time but doesn’t get the reception he’d like. Meanwhile, Hiroshi Tanahashi breaks an IWGP record.

ASK-A-WAI: Ask Us Anything! (December 2018)
John Pollock and Wai Ting answer their patrons’ questions from the POST Wrestling Forum in the December 2018 edition of Ask-A-Wai.

upNXT 11/29/18: Big Lads Wrestling
Braden Herrington & Davie Portman chat this week’s episode of WWE NXT from San Jose featuring Lars Sullivan vs. Keith Lee, Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch vs. The Mighty, a Dijak promo and more!

BWE 11/28/18: NXT UK, Walter, OTT Redemption, EVE She-1, ICW Fear & Loathing
Martin & Benno are joined by Will Cooling from Fighting Spirit Magazine to discuss all the major news regarding recent NXT UK contract changes. They look at how this will affect the UK scene from every angle.

DOUBLE SHOT 11/28: WWE Starrcade, Edge & Christian Show, Being the Elite, Ronda Rousey and Daniel Cormier docs
John Pollock and Wai Ting review the WWE Starrcade test, Edge & Christian’s season-premiere, Being the Elite & a pair of UFC documentaries on Ronda Rousey & Daniel Cormier, plus the New Japan World feature on the LA Dojo.

REWIND-A-SMACKDOWN 11/27/18: Women’s TLC announced, Jeff Hardy’s anniversary, CM Punk speaks
The Target Center in Minneapolis was the site of SmackDown Live Tuesday with a Battle Royal to determine the third member of the first women’s TLC match next month involving Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair, Randy Orton and Rey Mysterio continued their feud with another attack, and Jeff Hardy’s 20th anniversary celebration was ruined by Samoa Joe.

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PCO also has a January 12th booking in Vancouver for ECCW; still haven’t seen any clarification or updates from them regarding whether he’s still on the card or not.

How did ROH add Britt Baker if she’s signed to NXT or is she not signed?

Never mind: she’s not signed. Curious, I thought WWE scooped her up