POLLOCK'S NEWS UPDATE: Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler clarify their status

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/09/28/pollocks-news-update-nia-jax-shayna-baszler-clarify-their-status/

POST IT NOTES

**Our WWE Clash of Champions POST Show can be downloaded with Wai Ting and I reviewing a strong effort from WWE with the card receiving a lot of praise especially for the closing match between Roman Reigns and Jey Uso. Plus, we discuss the explanations for several absences that affected the lineup, the injury to Angel Garza, the announcement of the draft, and other notes from the show.

**We also have our UFC 253 POST Show from Saturday night with Phil Chertok and I reviewing the card featuring Israel Adesanya’s dominant win over Paulo Costa and Jan Blachowicz stopping Dominick Reyes to claim the vacant light heavyweight title.

**Plus, Wai Ting & Mike Murray review Day 5 of the G1 Climax from Kobe World Hall featuring Kazuchika Okada vs. Jay White, Shingo Takagi vs. Will Ospreay, Kota Ibushi vs. Tomohiro Ishii, Minoru Suzuki vs. Jeff Cobb, and Taichi vs. Yujiro.

**Wai Ting and I will be back with Rewind-A-Raw tonight going through all the latest news, reviewing WWE Raw, and we will answer questions and take feedback at the end. Subscribe to POST Wrestling wherever you listen to podcasts and make sure you never miss one of our shows.

**On Tuesday, I’ll be doing the G1 Climax Podcast with Benno from The British Wrestling Experience and the Grappl Spotlight podcast. We will have the show released Tuesday afternoon for Café members. Wai and I will resume the G1 shows together on Wednesday and Thursday this week.

**The feedback thread for Tuesday’s Rewind-A-Wai is episode is open for feedback to the WCW Slam Jam Vol. 1 album. Wai Ting will be reviewing the album with Nate Milton and Kris from L.A. on Rewind-A-Wai #71 that comes out Tuesday night for members of the POST Wrestling Café.

**This Sunday on The Long & Winding Royal Road, WH Park will be joined by @Hi5ame and they will be presenting a comprehensive biography on the life and career of Mitsuharu Misawa, which should be an excellent show this weekend. It will be released on the free POST Wrestling feed.

**And finally, we want to wish a Happy Birthday to WH Park of the POST Wrestling family and host of POST Puroresu and The Long & Winding Royal Road.

POST SCHEDULE

Tonight: Rewind-A-Raw with John Pollock & Wai Ting
Tuesday: G1 Climax – Day 6 with Pollock & Benno (Patreon)
Tuesday: Rewind-A-Wai #71 – WCW Slam Jam Vol. 1 with Wai, Nate Milton & Kris from L.A (Patreon)
Wednesday: G1 Climax – Day 7 with John & Wai (Patreon)
Wednesday: Rewind-A-Dynamite
Wednesday: upNXT with Braden Herrington & Davie Portman
Thursday: G1 Climax – Day 8 (Patreon)
Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown (LIVE at 10:15 pm Eastern for Café members)
Sunday: The Long & Winding Royal Road with WH Park & @Hi5ame (Biography of Mitsuharu Misawa)
Sunday: NXT TakeOver 31 POST Show with Braden Herrington & Davie Portman

WRESTLING NEWS

**WWE put forth one of their better pay-per-views of 2020 with Clash of Champions with a level of dramatics in the main event that is sorely lacking in its modern-day storytelling. In an era, where so often you hear the adage that it takes time to develop stars and connect with the audience, they took a wrestler in Jey Uso that could only be classified as “ice cold” as a world title challenger 30 days ago and closed the show with him and Roman Reigns.

The story was as base level as it gets – cousins fighting for the top championship. In four weeks, they leaned on the familial elements with some well-produced videos, comments from family members, and the best performances of Reigns’ tenure on the main roster solidifying his heel status and punctuated with a brilliant babyface promo by Jey results in WWE’s best go-home segment for a pay-per-view in eons.

Reigns was masterful with his tactics and demeanor, specifically at the end of the match where he created a whole line of slogans and t-shirts from “Acknowledge me” to “Call me chief”. The ending was dramatic with Jimmy Uso appearing on screen for the first time since his knee injury suffered at WrestleMania and eventually, throwing in the towel to save his brother.

My take was that this program was geared entirely around establishing Roman Reigns in his new skin and Jey Uso would hit an emotional button. The result could not possibly have gone better as the match picked up steam and by the end of Friday’s SmackDown, it was easily the biggest match on the show due to that last segment.

Where you go from here is an interesting aspect because Jey Uso feels like someone you have laid a solid foundation under but it’s hard to see where they follow-up. By going to a rematch, I don’t know if you can accomplish your goal any better than Sunday’s performance accomplished, and beating Jey a second time doesn’t seem necessary. Way down the line, there is the obvious shift where The Usos could align with their cousin as heels and would cement them as the star tag team of the division but in the interim, there is plenty of juice for the two as babyfaces with the sympathetic factor following Clash of Champions.

**At the start of the Clash of Champions kickoff broadcast, it was stated that Shayna Baszler, Nia Jax & Nikki Cross were not medically cleared to compete on the show and resulted in the changes to the card we reported Sunday afternoon. Jax did respond to a tweet regarding the medical clearances with the word “Lies” and later posted:

Girl….I could not be better. I apologize that the announcement scared some, but all is great and healthy on my end & my tag partner’s end as well (not that I speak for her, but I kind of just did).

Shayna Baszler stated outright she doesn’t have COVID-19.

They said on the broadcast that the women’s tag title match with Baszler & Jax vs. Ruby Riott & Liv Morgan would be addressed on Raw tonight. On the pay-per-view, Bayley came out to gloat about Nikki Cross forfeiting and led to an impromptu match with Asuka that ended in a disqualification before Sasha Banks appeared and attacked Bayley.

**Dana Massie is the guest on this week’s edition of the PWT Cast with Scrump & Stank discussing her role as the Chief Marketing & Merchandising Officer for AEW and was asked about major decisions they had to make when figuring out where The Young Bucks would go a few years ago:

The summer of 2018 I guess was when everything was going on he (Matt Jackson) had been talking to Triple H at WWE and I really thought for a moment that was the direction we were going and then Tony’s (Khan) name came up and I’ve told Tony this and he finds it the funniest thing, I flat out told Matt not to pick the phone up for Tony. I was like “how many times do we see this, like, a rich fan starting his own promotion, like blah, blah, blah. I’ve heard it before, what’s going to be different this time?” And, he was like “I don’t know, I just have a good feeling about this I feel we need to hear him out”, I’m like “alright fine, but I want to be in the room I want to hear what he has to say”.

So, I was pretty skeptical, I have to say, at the beginning but very quickly I realized this was like a legit thing, and there were times we weren’t sure what to do. WWE was the safe bet, we knew they had been around for years, we knew that was an easy choice and it was like, okay if we go with this other thing – of course, we didn’t know it was going to be AEW – it’s a huge leap of faith that we’re taking and it could easily stink if we don’t have our things in place. And I will never forget that Tony, from the very beginning, always had a plan to get TNT onboard and I remember Matt and I just looking at each other and laughing and was like “cool dude, that’s a great dream to have but I don’t know if that’s going to happen as soon as you want it to”. He just proved us wrong on everything, he doesn’t take “No” for an answer, he’s very passionate about wrestling, which I said earlier I appreciate so much it makes such a huge difference. So yeah, I don’t know that was like a big thing for me, making that decision.

And the other time I remember being hesitant, I think it was when AJ (Styles) left to go to WWE, we were out in Japan and Matt told me that he and Nick (Jackson) and Kenny (Omega) were going to start this trio and they needed to come up with a name and I was kind of hesitant about that too because I know you’re part of Bullet Club but this seems kind of risky too and that’s when they formed The Elite and even that was kind of scary too. Now I kind of laugh because that was nothing compared to what we’re doing now but that was a big decision for them and thankfully, it was the right thing for them to do, look at how big the Elite name has grown and heck, Elite is right in the middle of the name of the company we’re working for now.

**During the Raw tag title match, Angel Garza appeared to sustain an injury causing a rushed finish that came off poorly. Garza threw a knee strike at Montez Ford and proceeded to fall while favoring the left leg. The referee put up the “X” as Garza tagged Andrade and rolled to the floor where he remained for the duration. Angelo Dawkins hit Andrade with The Anointment with Andrade clearly kicking out at two, but the referee counted three confusing the announcers and the audience while Dawkins hardly hid his frustration. Alex McCarthy at talkSPORT reports that Garza was set for an MRI on Monday with the hope the injury wasn’t as serious as feared. We were told on Sunday night that the finish was always The Street Profits going over.

**Friday Night SmackDown finished with 2,110,000 viewers on Fox with a 0.6 rating in the 18-49 demographic. The demo rating was equal to the Stanley Cup Final game that night on NBC between Tampa Bay and Dallas that did 2,216,000 viewers. The NBA playoff game between Miami and Boston that night did 4,366,000 viewers on ESPN and 1.72 among 18-49s. The final number for SmackDown was slightly ahead of the previous week’s figure of 2,037,000.

**In Canada, SmackDown was the sixth most-watched sports broadcast that night with 185,700 viewers and 122,000 in the 25-54 demographic. The one-hour edited version of NXT that night averaged 66,600 and 30,500 in the demo. The top two sports-related programs were the Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Dallas Stars game followed by the Toronto Blue Jays vs. Baltimore Orioles game.

**Dwayne Johnson made a lot of news Sunday announcing that he was endorsing Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris for the upcoming November election. Johnson stated he was a registered independent and sat down with Biden & Harris for a short interview that ran as part of his endorsement announcement.

As a political independent & centrist, I’ve voted for both parties in the past. In this critical presidential election, I’m endorsing @JoeBiden & @KamalaHarris.

Progress takes courage, humanity, empathy, strength, KINDNESS & RESPECT.

We must ALL VOTE: https://t.co/rZi1mxh8DC pic.twitter.com/auLbc8xDBv

— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) September 27, 2020

**Tonight’s episode of Raw will go against the biggest Monday Night Football game so far this season with the Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens. It’s also Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Dallas Stars and Tampa Bay Lightning. Late Monday afternoon, they announced a rematch between Asuka and Zelina Vega for the Raw women’s title.

**The Commercial Appeal has a story on Jerry Lawler’s 50th-anniversary show from Saturday night in Jackson, Tennessee. Lawler wrestled in the main event teaming with The Rock ‘N’ Roll Express in a steel cage match defeating Doug Gilbert, Tommy Rich & Matt Riviera. Among those in attendance were Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs, Jim Ross, Sgt. Slaughter, Lex Luger, and Scott Steiner. One concerning issues brought up in the article by the paper was the lack of enforcement regarding masks being worn, even though they were necessary to attend:

Masks were required for entry, but most fans and wrestling talent on hand weren’t wearing them within the ballpark as they viewed Lawler’s main event and the night’s eight other matches.

**Mike Johnson at PWinsider.com reports that Rob Van Dam and Katie Forbes are no longer with Impact Wrestling after the conclusion of their storyline with Sami Callihan. The site adds that Van Dam, 49, had not been under contract for some time and had been going on short-term agreements as did Forbes. Van Dam initially worked with the company from 2010-13 but returned in April 2019 and has been working consistently with the promotion since.

**The G1 picks up again on Tuesday with back-to-back nights at Korakuen Hall and then another show Thursday in Nagaoka. Tomohiro Ishii has been the star of either block after five nights of matches. After matches with Minoru Suzuki, Will Ospreay, and Kota Ibushi you could easily place those in your top three matches of the tournament. At 44, it’s been incredible to watch him continue this pace in the toughest stretch of the year anywhere in the industry. His match with Ibushi on Sunday was one of the best of the year and might be my favorite match of the G1 so far. It was a phenomenal show at Kobe World Hall with Shingo Takagi vs. Will Ospreay and Kazuchika Okada vs. Jay White also solid efforts. The combo of Ibushi-Ishii and Ospreay-Takagi was strong a back-to-back combination as you may see on any show this year.

The A Block is led by Taichi and Jay White with six points apiece. The B Block features a tie between Juice Robinson, Tetsuya Naito, and Toru Yano with four points. Naito is facing Hirooki Goto on Tuesday and SANADA on Thursday and I can see Naito losing to SANADA on Thursday for his first loss of the G1 and could be SANADA’s first win.

Here is the line-up for Tuesday’s B Block show at 5:30 am Eastern on New Japan World:
*Tetsuya Naito (2-0) vs. Hirooki Goto (1-1)
*EVIL (1-1) vs. Toru Yano (2-0)
*Hiroshi Tanahashi (0-2) vs. Juice Robinson (2-0)
*Zack Sabre Jr. (1-1) vs. KENTA (1-1)
*SANADA (0-2) vs. Yoshi-Hashi (0-2)
*Yuya Uemura vs. Gabriel Kidd

**A match between Orange Cassidy and 10 of the Dark Order (Preston Vance) has been announced for AEW Dynamite this Wednesday. The episode was taped last Friday in Jacksonville, Florida.

**AEW and NXT are going to have no shortage of sports competition this Wednesday with the start of the NBA Finals between the L.A. Lakers and Miami Heat, the Wild Card round of the Major League Baseball playoffs, and if necessary, Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final that night. The schedule for the NBA Finals doesn’t include any Monday night games but Game 2 is this Friday night against SmackDown and if they need a fifth game, it will be on Friday, October 9th.

**The Champion Carnival final takes place this Sunday and All Japan has released the full card the show at Korakuen Hall and streaming on AJPW.tv:
*Champion Carnival Final: Kento Miyahara vs. Zeus
*Yuma Aoyagi vs. Koji Doi
*Yoshitatsu, Yusuke Okada & Chikara vs. Ryoji Sai, Ishikiri & So Daimonji
*Suwama, Shuji Ishikawa & Dan Tamura vs. Shotaro Ashino, Kuma Arashi & Hokuto Omori
*Shigehiro Irie, Izanagi & Utamaro vs. Jiro “Ikemen” Kuroshio, Francesco Akira & Rising Hayato
*Jake Lee, Koji Iwamoto & Tajiri vs. Takao Omori, Black Menso-re & Atsuki Aoyagi
*Hikaru Sato & Ryuki Honda vs. Osamu Nishimura & Ryuji Hijikata

**The WWE stock closed at $39.87 on Monday.

**Inside the Ropes is partnering with the Wrestling Observer to re-release the old Observer Yearbooks starting with the 1997 edition.

**The latest episode of A Shot of Brandi features Brandi Rhodes speaking with Tony Khan.

**Bianca Belair spoke with Stephanie Chase of Digital Spy about her YouTube channel and the angle where she attacked Zelina Vega during a live Twitch stream.

**The next WWE 24 special will feature Drew McIntyre and premieres this Sunday on the WWE Network.

MMA NEWS

**Dana White was furious with Conor McGregor over the leaked messages exchanged between the two earlier this year. White wasn’t shy when asked about the messages at the post-fight press conference on Saturday after UFC 253. White stated McGregor violated “the man code” by releasing private conversations they had about the prospect of McGregor fighting Diego Sanchez or Justin Gaethje earlier this year. McGregor responded Sunday that the “code was broke” when White lied about McGregor turning down fights. White also stated during the press conference that he had no idea what was going on regarding McGregor fighting Manny Pacquiao, which McGregor said White has been involved in, and “the legal letters are there, stop lying”.

**The UFC stages its next card on Fight Island this Saturday with a Fight Night show headlined by a women’s bantamweight fight between former champion Holly Holm and Irene Aldana. Holm turns 39 in a few weeks and last fought for the title in July 2019 losing by TKO to Amanda Nunes. Since that loss, she defeated Raquel Pennington last January, so this fight will be critical if she wants to stay in that title scene. Aldana is coming off a pair of wins including Ketlen Vieira last December. Holm and Aldana were scheduled to fight in August when Aldana pulled out of the fight and later disclosed she had tested positive for COVID-19. The card is not a deep one with the other notable fights including Germaine de Randamie facing Julianna Pena and Carlos Condit takes on Court McGee. This is a must-win for Condit, who has gone 0-5 since January 2016 and hasn’t fought since December 2018. McGee has lost four of his last five, so it’s a big one for fighters.

**The Fight of the Night bonus from UFC 253 went to the excellent flyweight fight between Brandon Royval and Kai Kara-France, which featured one of the best rounds of 2020. The Performance of the Night bonuses went to Israel Adesanya and Jan Blachowicz with the bonus winners all receiving $50,000.

**During the pay-per-view broadcast, it was officially announced that UFC 254 will feature a six-fight main card with the pay-per-view portion airing at 2 pm Eastern on Saturday, October 24th with the following six fights on the main card:
*UFC lightweight title: Khabib Nurmagomedov (champion) vs. Justin Gaethje
*Robert Whittaker vs. Jared Cannonier
*Alexander Volkov vs. Walt Harris
*Islam Makhachev vs. Rafael dos Anjos
*Cynthia Calvillo vs. Lauren Murphy
*Magomed Ankalaev vs. Ion Cutelaba

**Combate was the first to report that Sodiq Yussuf is out of his scheduled fight against Edson Barboza on October 10th in Abu Dhabi and will be replaced by Makwan Amirkhani. It was not stated why Yusuff had to remove himself from the card. Barboza made his featherweight debut in May losing a close split decision to Dan Ige. Amirkhani is coming off a victory against Danny Henry this past July.

**MMA Fighting reports that Bobby Green will fight Thiago Moises on the October 31st Fight Night card in Las Vegas. This will be Green’s fourth fight since June. He has earned decisions wins against Clay Guida, Lando Vannata, and Alan Patrick this year.

**It was on this date in 2001 that UFC presented its first card in Las Vegas after being regulated by the Nevada State Athletic Commission just months after the purchase of the company by Zuffa LLC. It was a bittersweet night for the company as the card was a disaster as every main card fight went to a decision including three championship fights. In the lead-up, they lost one half of the main event when Vitor Belfort had to pull out of the highly anticipated light heavyweight title fight with champion Tito Ortiz. Belfort was replaced by Vladimir Matyushenko that didn’t have anywhere close to the sizzle of the original headline attraction. Due to the length of the card, they went over their allotted time on pay-per-view resulting in a bunch of refunds. White later claimed that the poor show set the company back by a full year.

**Fedor Emelianenko turns 44 today.

**New light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz arrives home in Poland with the title:

Wejście smoka @JanBlachowicz❗😍 Zaskoczył wszystkich #LegendaryPolishPower pic.twitter.com/LJGH37tWBq

— TVP SPORT (@sport_tvppl) September 28, 2020

ON THIS DATE

G1 CLIMAX PODCASTS

Day 5 w/ Wai Ting & Mike Murray (Okada vs. White, Ospreay vs. Takagi)
Day 4 (Naito vs. Zack Sabre Jr.)
Day 3 (White vs. Ibushi)
Day 2 (Naito vs. Tanahashi)
Day 1 (Okada vs. Ibushi)

*****
WWE Clash of Champions POST Show
John Pollock & Wai Ting review WWE Clash of Champions: Gold Rush featuring Roman Reigns vs. Jey Uso for the Universal Championship and Drew McIntyre vs. Randy Orton for the WWE Championship.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/09/27/wwe-clash-of-champions-2020-post-show-live-link/
*****
UFC 253 POST Show with John Pollock & Phil Chertok
John Pollock & Phil Chertok host the UFC 253 POST Show and discuss Israel Adesanya’s dominant title defense against Paulo Costa.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/09/27/ufc-253-post-show-israel-adesanya-vs-paulo-costa/
*****
REWIND-A-SMACKDOWN 9/25/20: “Which One Are You?”
John Pollock and Wai Ting chat about the go-home episode of SmackDown before Clash of Champions, the latest COVID-19 issues affecting the industry, AEW & NXT ratings, and Conor McGregor’s latest plan.
https://www.patreon.com/posts/42035019
*****

upNXT MOVIE REVIEW: Batman (1989)
Braden Herrington & Davie Portman kick off their new series of Batman movie reviews by reviewing Tim Burton’s gothic campy take on the comic book superhero in 1989’s “Batman”.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/09/24/upnxt-movie-review-batman-1989/
*****
BUSHBY & THOMPSON’S WRESTLING ADVENTURE
Martin Bushby & Andrew Thompson debut Wrestling Adventure, their new podcast looking back at classic wrestling shows and moments with a different guest each week. Joining them for the debut is Nate Milton to revisit WWE WrestleMania XIX.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/09/24/bushby-thompsons-wrestling-adventure-wwe-wrestlemania-xix-w-nate-milton/
*****
upNXT 9/23/20: “Kool Kyle”
The BDE run down WWE NXT featuring the first-ever “Gauntlet Eliminator Match” between Kyle O’Reilly, Kushida, Bronson Reed, Timothy Thatcher, and Cameron Grimes to determine who faces Finn Balor for the NXT Championship at TakeOver.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/09/24/upnxt-9-23-20-kool-kyle/
*****
REWIND-A-DYNAMITE 9/23/20: Moxley-Kingston, Joe Laurinaitis, COVID-19
John Pollock and Wai Ting review AEW Dynamite with Jon Moxley defending the AEW title, a look at the career of Joe “Road Warrior Animal” Laurinaitis, and COVID-19 issues affecting several promotions.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/09/24/rewind-a-dynamite-9-23-20-moxley-kingston-joe-laurinaitis-covid-19/
*****
ASK-A-WAI: Ask Us Anything!
John Pollock and Wai Ting answer their patrons’ questions from the POST Wrestling Forum in the Sectober 2020 edition of Ask-A-Wai.
https://www.patreon.com/posts/41904077/
*****

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