Originally published at POLLOCK'S NEWS UPDATE: Notes from Paul Levesque's media call
POST IT NOTES
**Braden Herrington and Davie Portman will have a new edition of upNXT tonight following NXT. They will also be streaming upNXT LIVE at YouTube.com/upNXT.
**I want to wish our own Andrew Thompson a Happy Birthday. Check out his latest interview with former WWE Head of Security James Tillis.
**There is no Rewind-A-Dynamite tonight, instead, we will be doing a show on Saturday night. In its place, Wai Ting and I did a bonus show today covering the news with Renee Young’s pending departure from WWE, Paul Levesque’s media call, the latest on the Sonya Deville story, Raw ratings from Monday, NXT line-up tonight, and several UFC fight announcements. Plus, we included the entire Paul Levesque media call at the end of this show and it’s free for everyone.
**The latest edition of Rewind-A-Wai is available to all members of the POST Wrestling Café covering the WWF Royal Rumble from January 2001. On this show, we discuss:
*The build-up to WrestleMania X-Seven and the state of the company & the industry in early 2001
*A classic ladder match between Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho
*The promotion of Drew Carey’s Improv All-Stars and how well it did on pay-per-view
*The usage of the Honky Tonk Man and Haku
*Kurt Angle vs. Triple H for the WWF title
*The future of WCW and ECW
*Zuffa buys the UFC
*What was Shawn Michaels up to?
*Raw ratings from this week in 2001
*An insane WCW story involving Scott Steiner
**The British Wrestling Experience returns on Thursday with Martin Bushby & Benno along with special guest John Lister to discuss the legacy of Mark “Rollerball” Rocco, who passed away last month.
Tonight: upNXT with Braden Herrington & Davie Portman
Thursday: The British Wrestling Experience with Martin Bushby & Benno with guest John Lister
Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown (LIVE at 10:15 pm Eastern for all Patrons)
Saturday: Rewind-A-Dynamite – Special Saturday Night Edition
Saturday: NXT TakeOver XXX POST Show with Braden Herrington & Davie Portman
Sunday: WWE SummerSlam POST Show with John & Wai (LIVE for Double Double, Iced Capp & Espresso Patrons)
**NXT has the night to themselves with their go-home show before TakeOver this Saturday. While AEW will be airing the first half of last year’s All Out event on their YouTube channel, there will be no wrestling programming on TNT tonight. This episode of NXT was taped last week at Full Sail University with the following matches and segments advertised:
*Johnny Gargano vs. Ridge Holland – the winner enters the ladder match at TakeOver. This was the match we reported on last week that had to be re-started after Gargano took a fall onto his head and needed to be examined. They did complete the match and I’m sure it will look seamless tonight.
*Finn Balor vs. Velveteen Dream – the winner also enters the ladder match
*Santos Escobar, Raul Mendoza & Joaquin Wilde vs. Isaiah “Swerve” Scott, Tyler Breeze & Fandango
*Rhea Ripley & Shotzi Blackheart vs. Mercedes Martinez & Aliyah
*A promo segment involving Adam Cole and Pat McAfee
**WWE will be conducting a test on Thursday for the ThunderDome with a limited number of fans invited to watch. The following email was sent out on Wednesday to select audience members:
WWE ThunderDome – a new state-of-the-art viewing experience that virtually brings our fans into the WWE arena via live video on massive LED boards – is debuting this week on Friday Night SmackDown. You are invited to join us for an exclusive Sneak Peek of this cutting-edge technology tomorrow evening, where we will be presenting a special match just for you. By participating, you will be part of our final production test and experience the WWE ThunderDome before anyone else.
Please let us know if you are able to join us by clicking the link below to register. Upon registration, you will receive another email on Thursday with instructions and a specific call time to join the WWE ThunderDome. NOTE: there are a limited number of virtual seats, so we will assign spots on a first-come-first-served basis.
**Paul Levesque was asked during Wednesday’s media call about the allegations about Patrick Clark/Velveteen Dream following Levesque’s comments to CBS Sports stating they looked into them and did not find anything. He was asked by Jason Powell of ProWrestling.net about an accuser online who stated he had not been contacted by WWE (NOTE: An earlier version mistakenly left out the word “not”, it has been corrected). Powell followed by asking whether the investigation is open or closed with Levesque responding:
So, obviously we take all of these things very seriously. Allegations, misconduct of any nature we take very seriously. I’ll stand by what I said on CBS, we looked into it, didn’t find anything there in the manner that, you know, what we were looking for and we’ve moved on. But it doesn’t change the fact that we take it seriously and if there’s something else there we’ll look into it, that goes across the board for anybody. We’ve already talked about it, so I’d rather just move on to other topics.
**Below are some of the highlights from the rest of the call involving Levesque and members from the media:
*Is happy to be staying at Full Sail University and noted they have a partnership at the location regarding why NXT isn’t running at the Amway Center
*He was asked about the accusations against Patrick Clark and the accuser that claims they were not contacted by the company. Levesque said they took it seriously and didn’t find anything there and would rather move on to other topics
*They are constantly looking into every possible avenue to see what they can do on the live event side
*Levesque wouldn’t comment on Renee Young’s status and will let her address it on her own regarding her pending departure, he was highly complimentary of her work over the past eight years
*Every option for a SummerSlam location was looked into and said running it on a boat had as good a chance as every other idea and noted it wasn’t so easy to run a show on a boat
*There was no update when asked about Lars Sullivan
*He was asked about a new head writer on NXT and wouldn’t address any specific people but noted it is “business as usual” and would appear to confirm that head writer Joe Belcastro is moving on, which had been out there and we had heard about. It is not known if Belcastro has already left or is leaving soon. Ringside News had reported on the story on Wednesday.
*On the creative end, he said it was a collaborative effort mentioning Shawn Michaels, Road Dogg, and himself among those with input
*He acknowledged an upcoming draft, which at last check was scheduled for October
*Levesque is very impressed with Karrion Kross and called him “a sponge” constantly asking questions
*You have to make judgment calls of when talent is ready for certain scenarios to have the most success
*Raw Underground is a unique opportunity for some talent with a particular skillset to show off what they can do and adapt to the style and it doesn’t mean an NXT talent on Raw Underground signals they are on Raw
*He called Pat McAfee “a natural” and cited his football background and few have come in as athletically gifted adding his charisma was off the chart, “all the tools are there, the rest is on him” and is also working with one of the most gifted guys on their roster in Adam Cole
*The final subject was Bronson Reed and what he sees in him ahead of the ladder match on Saturday
**For those in Canada, AEW Dynamite will now be available at 6 pm Eastern this Saturday on TSN.ca and on the TSN app. It will also air on TSN2 at 10 pm Eastern that night.
**Paul Levesque was a guest on the Bill Simmons Podcast to discuss WWE navigating through the pandemic and promoting the launch of their shows at the Amway Center this Friday.
*He said the internet makes their jobs more difficult and it’s all opinions that are out there, it’s a subjective business and talent can selectively find an opinion that benefits them
*On the Firefly Funhouse at WrestleMania, he questioned how well that would have played on a screen at the stadium had WrestleMania taken place at Raymond James Stadium
*He said the most important thing is having a wealth of talent coming into the company and are as much a content company as they are a wrestling one
*On AEW, he said the strength of WWE is their ability to pivot and Vince McMahon will put the right people around him. He didn’t directly speak about AEW and more so used the question to discuss Vince McMahon’s history and ability to adapt
*Levesque noted when it comes to new stars it helps when the old one leaves citing Hulk Hogan leaving the company in 1993 – this is a point we have discussed where talent gets on top and can be there for years without other options. It was helpful for Hogan that Bruno Sammartino was largely retired by his run, that Hogan left for Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels, and then they left to usher in Steve Austin’s ascent with The Rock.
*He completed agreed with Simmons that Raw should be two hours and that it’s obvious adding it is so hard to write that third hour of Raw
*Regarding their on-screen product reflecting the world and its problems, he said if you go too far today you alienate people and can’t push the boundaries as they once did and cited films from ten years ago you couldn’t make and jokes that wouldn’t fly today
*They had a discussion about the dynamic of working for Vince McMahon while he’s also family and a grandfather to his children. He said if there was ever an issue so significant and he had to choose, he would walk away from working with McMahon if it would affect the family dynamic
*They just started training with the PC talent at a secondary facility and are now getting the Performance Center back with the move to the Amway Center for Raw and SmackDown
*He will see if the right scenario presents itself but didn’t completely close the door on wrestling again but prefers helping the younger talent than doing it himself, he said he will be fine if he doesn’t wrestle again
**A GoFundMe campaign was launched to assist the family of the late John Bedoya a.k.a. Xavier, who died this past week at the age of 42. The goal of nearly $20,000 has almost been raised as the campaign currently sits at $18,500 as of Wednesday afternoon.
**ESPN has an in-depth profile on Dominik Gutierrez a.k.a. Dominik Mysterio ahead of this Sunday’s match with Seth Rollins. The story includes comments from Rey Mysterio and reflections on Dominick’s involvement in the 2005 angle with Eddie Guerrero.
**Mike Johnson at PWinsider.com is reporting that EC3 is in Baltimore and will be at ROH’s tapings this week for a future appearance.
**During an interview with SI.com, Sasha Banks gave the following answer when asked about the 2016 comment by Sammy Guevera that led to his suspension by AEW:
As you can see on social media, I left my comment out there, I made my statement. I don’t feel like I need to touch upon it any more than I did, but as a role model, I have to lead by example. I can’t show hate with hate. I only can show through education, dignity, and integrity.
**Warren Hayes recently spoke with Matt Rehwoldt (the former Aiden English). During the interview, spoke about Vince McMahon’s reaction to the crowd getting behind “Rusev Day” and whether McMahon believed the audience was making fun of him:
I was getting this from Miro who spoke to Vince directly. But yeah, to be fair, sometimes… I can see… the mind that is Vince McMahon is a very wild place. And so it literally could just be point face, what it was, or he could have been saying that to try to get Miro, like angry, and like yeah, fire him up. I wouldn’t put it past him. But there would always seem to be this hesitation behind really pulling the trigger on anything major with us, anyway, so I do take as that’s kind of the way it was seen by the boss. So yeah, it was, it was like, what else do we have to do to kind of show people are into this.
They were trying to push him as a really strong heel, so I get the urge to be like “No, let’s not immediately jump into like everybody loves him,” I get it. You don’t want to jump into anything too fast. But it kept going. If it’s ironic, people will throw it away in a week or two. They get over that stuff. But when they’re really loving something they stick with it and they did stick with it and stuck with it and stuck with it and stuck.
**Justin Barrasso posted the following footage from inside the Amway Arena of the construction of the WWE’s ThunderDome:
Footage from inside the Amway Center in Orlando, where WWE is working on its newest creation, the ThunderDome pic.twitter.com/WBx8Xx3U8a
— Justin Barrasso (@JustinBarrasso) August 19, 2020
**Impact Wrestling has released a trailer for the Bound for Glory pay-per-view on October 24th. The video features Eric Young and the tagline that “this world doesn’t belong to them; it belongs to us”. For the second straight pay-per-view, they are running on a Saturday night although will have larger competition with UFC 254 taking place that same night featuring Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje for the UFC lightweight title.
**There will be English commentary from New Japan for the Summer Struggle event at Jingu Stadium. Kevin Kelly and Chris Charlton will be calling the show live on New Japan World on Saturday, August 29th at 4 am Eastern.
**The WWE stock closed at $44.68 on Wednesday.
**NJPW Strong will now be available on Fite TV each Friday night at 10 pm Eastern in addition to airing on New Japan World. The Fite TV version is available for $5.99 U.S.
**MLW has partnered with NERDS Clothing to create a new line of MLW designs including t-shirts and jackets. The line of apparel will feature MLW talent The Von Erichs, Alex Hammerstone, Team Filthy, The Dynasty, CONTRA Unit, and Salina de la Renta.
**Here is the line-up from Impact Wrestling for next Tuesday’s continuation of its Emergence special:
*Deonna Purrazzo vs. Jordynne Grace in a 30:00 Ironman Match for the Knockouts championship
*Eddie Edwards’ Open Challenge
*Brian Myers vs. Willie Mack
*EC3 explains why he stole Moose’s TNA title
**MLW’s CEO Court Bauer turns 42 today.
ON THIS DATE
BONUS SHOW 8/19/20: Renee Young-WWE, NXT Media Call, Raw Ratings
John Pollock and Wai Ting present a special bonus show going over the news of the day including Renee Young’s pending departure from WWE, Paul Levesque’s call with the media, the latest on Sonya Deville & this week’s Raw ratings.
REWIND-A-WAI #68: WWF Royal Rumble 2001 (Patreon)
John Pollock and Wai Ting review WWF Royal Rumble 2001 featuring a 30-Man Royal Rumble, Kurt Angle vs. Triple H for the WWF title, and Chris Benoit vs. Chris Jericho in an IC title ladder match.
REWIND-A-RAW 8/17/20: HB-Kicked, WWE ThunderDome, Sonya Deville
John Pollock and Wai Ting discuss the go-home edition of WWE Raw leading into SummerSlam. Plus, the WWE ThunderDome, Jon Jones vacates the light heavyweight title, and lots of other news.
UFC 252 POST SHOW: Miocic vs. Cormier 3
John Pollock is joined by Phil Chertok to review UFC 252 from Las Vegas featuring Stipe Miocic retaining the UFC heavyweight title against Daniel Cormier.
TRMPS #20: “Ballers” Pilot (2015) w/ Stephen Gutteridge & MJ from NJ
This month on The Rocky Maivia Picture Show, Nate Milton welcomes first-time guests Stephen Gutteridge (Mid-South Moments) & MJ From NJ into the theater to review the 2015 pilot episode for HBO’s “Ballers”!
REWIND-A-SMACKDOWN 8/14/20: Strowman’s Land, WWE at Amway Center
John Pollock and Wai Ting chat Friday Night SmackDown and WWE’s pending move to the Amway Center, AEW & NXT’s ratings from Wednesday, UFC 252 & your phone calls.
upNXT MOVIE REVIEW: Money Plane (2020)
Braden Herrington is joined by friend of the show John Siino to chat all about WWE’s Edge and Kelsey Grammer starring in a ridiculous new action movie: Money Plane!
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