POST IT NOTES
**Rewind-A-Raw is live at 11:15 p.m. ET tonight with Wai Ting and I reviewing Raw from Tulsa, Oklahoma and taking your feedback and questions from the POST Wrestling Forum. Live access to the show is available to Double Double, Iced Capp & Espresso members of the POST Wrestling Café.
**On this past Sunday’s edition of Wrestlenomics, hosts Brandon Thurston and Chris Gullo did an extensive dive into the MLW antitrust lawsuit filed last week against WWE last week. The two went through the various complaints listed by MLW regarding their dealings with Tubi, VICE TV, and FITE TV and the key players involved from the MLW regarding its legal representation and the potential next steps for the suit.
**We also have new Wrestlenomics merchandise available on the POST Wrestling Store where you can purchase a Wrestlenomics t-shirt and coffee mug.
**On Tuesday, we will be releasing the first ASK-A-WAI Mailbag show of the year. You can submit questions on the POST Wrestling Forum thread.
POST DAILY NEWS
– WWE confirms Elimination Chamber for Saudi Arabia
– Cody Rhodes working without AEW contract, per report
– Mustafa Ali requests release
– Terminus debut
– Toronto Star article on WWE vs. AEW
– WWE Raw vs. NFL tonight
Tuesday: ASK-A-WAI Mailbag Show with John & Wai
Tuesday: upNXT with Braden Herrington & Davie Portman
Wednesday: Shot in the Dark with John Siino
Thursday: Andrew Thompson interviews Kaun
Thursday: The Wellness Policy with Wai Ting & Jordan Goodman
Saturday: The Fate of the Furious w/ Nate Milton, Benno & 2 Fast 2 Forever
Saturday: UFC 270 POST Show with John Pollock & Phil Chertok
Sunday: Wrestlenomics Radio
**WWE Raw will have one of its toughest nights of competition ever. For the first time, an NFL playoff game will air on Monday night with the Wild Card game between the Arizona Cardinals and L.A. Rams airing on ESPN and ABC. The ManningCast on ESPN 2 featuring Eli & Peyton Manning will also be airing the game and will include Dwayne Johnson as one of three guests on the alternate broadcast feed. While this will likely be among the lowest numbers in Raw’s history, it’s foolish to panic or react negatively given the unique circumstances. The silver lining is that there will be no more football competition this season after tonight’s game. It will be relatively smooth sailing for Raw until the spring when the NBA playoffs begin, which will impact AEW as well.
**WWE Raw takes place from the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma on the second-to-last episode before the Royal Rumble. The following segments have been advertised:
*How will Bobby Lashley respond to Brock Lesnar?
*Becky Lynch reacts to new challenger Doudrop
*What’s next for RK-Bro?
**Television figures will be delayed until Tuesday due to Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the United States. The final figures for Friday Night SmackDown and AEW Rampage will be released on Tuesday afternoon. Tonight’s Raw numbers will come out Wednesday afternoon, and NXT 2.0 figures will be out on Thursday morning. AEW Dynamite will be back on the regular schedule with the numbers coming Thursday afternoon.
**I would recommend seeking out this past weekend’s episode of Ring of Honor, which was the one-hour documentary special on the women’s title tournament. There were some very compelling interviews and features on the various women and was well done. I would also recommend the new Lions Roar series on New Japan World following aspiring students at the Fale Dojo in New Zealand and will be a weekly series on the service.
**Below are the matches scheduled for AEW Dark: Elevation tonight at 7 p.m. ET on the AEW YouTube channel:
*Ameera vs. Tay Conti
*Private Party (Isiah Kassidy & Marq Quen) vs. Chase Emory & Patrick Scott
*Matt Sydal & Lee Moriarty vs. J.R. Miller & Marcus Kross
*J.B. Cole & T.I.M. vs. Gunn Club (Colten & Austin Gunn) (w/ Billy Gunn)
*LaBron Kazone vs. Frankie Kazarian
*Alexander Moss vs. Jay Lethal
*Kenzie Paige vs. Ruby Soho
**AJPW has announced that Yuma Aoyagi, Shotaro Ashino, Rising HAYATO, and a staff member have been cleared to resume their work after testing negative for COVID-19. The promotion added that Masa Fuchi is “in the health observation period.”
**Effy has accepted Jeff Jarrett’s challenge for the Hammerstein Ballroom event this Sunday. After Jarrett’s first appearance where he attacked Effy, there was a follow-up angle on Saturday’s GCW card in Illinois where Jarrett smashed a guitar over Allie Katch’s head.
**GCW has added B-Boy and Psycho Clown to Sunday’s WRLD on GCW event at the Hammerstein Ballroom.
**Charlotte Flair spoke with TV Source for a big feature on the SmackDown women’s champion. During the discussion, she mentioned women she would like to work with further:
I’ve never had a full feud with Naomi. I would love to face her again. I want to do a full program with Shayna Baszler; I admire her and her background. I also think that Bianca and I will need to have a full program at some point. I had a taste of what we could do on Raw, and I would like to go back to that and have a full program. She’s so athletic and powerful, and I need more time with her. Rhea also definitely has unfinished business with me. I would love to share more moments with her. I really want to fight everyone. I’m a different performer now, and I guess I have unfinished business with everyone.
**The Terminus event in Atlanta on Sunday was hit with weather issues that led to Jay Lethal being unable to make the show. Josh Alexander noted that his flight was canceled and drove fourteen hours in his truck to make it for his main event match with Jonathan Gresham. After delays, the show began around 6:30 p.m. ET and was a show designed to establish the rules and concept behind Terminus. It was an easy show to watch that was just over two hours and was assisted by the commentary duo of Lenny Leonard and Dave Prazak, who are a great team. There were some technical issues along the way but watching the replay later in the evening, I didn’t experience any. Santana of AEW appeared at the end to challenge Jonathan Gresham for the original ROH championship. The match will take place on Thursday, February 24th on the company’s follow-up event (the date occurs one day after the 20th anniversary of Ring of Honor’s launch).
**Liiza Hall also missed the Terminus event and was replaced by Diamante against Kiera Hogan.
**Steven Verrier has a preview of his upcoming book on George Gordienko. SLAM Wrestling has a feature story from Verrier discussing how Lou Thesz had wanted to drop the NWA championship to Gordienko in 1956. Instead, Thesz dropped the title to Whipper Billy Watson in March at a show in Toronto and won it back in November. Verrier’s book George Gordienko: Canadian Wrestler, Artist and Renaissance Man will be released in March through McFarland Books.
**NXT 2.0 has released the brackets for the men’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, which begins on Tuesday night:
*MSK vs. Jacket Time
*Edris Enofe & Malik Blade vs. Raul Mendoza & Joaquin Wilde
*Josh Briggs & Brooks Jensen vs. The Creed Brothers
*Grizzled Young Veterans vs. Andre Chase & Bodhi Hayward
**AEW has relayed information that those attending Dynamite and Rampage this week in Washington, D.C. will need to show proof of vaccination if they 12 years of age or over. Masks are also required to attend the events at the Entertainment & Sports Arena on Wednesday and Friday.
**Pro Wrestling NOAH drew 633 fans to Sendai Sun Plaza Hall on Sunday for its ‘Bumper Crop 2022’ event. This event was hit with ten performers being removed days earlier including Kaito Kiyomiya, who confirmed he had COVID-19. Below are the results (Courtesy: Purolove.com):
*GHC Heavyweight Championship: Katsuhiko Nakajima (champion) over Masa Kitamiya in 28:40
*GHC Tag Team Championship: Naomichi Marufuji & Keiji Muto (champions) over Kenoh & Manabu Soya in 20:55
*Kazuyuki Fujita, Takashi Sugiura, Kazushi Sakuraba & Kendo Kashin over Go Shiozaki, Masakatsu Funaki, King Tani & Mohammed Yone in 18:54
*Daisuke Harada & Haoh over Nioh & Aleja in 9:59
*Daisuke Harada over Seiki Yoshioka in 12:07
*Atsushi Kotoge & Hajime Ohara over HAYATA & Yuyu Susumu in 11:50
*NOSAWA Rongai, YO-HEY & Kotaro Suzuki over Haoh, Nioh & Aleja in 8:56
**Katsuhiko Nakajima will defend the GHC heavyweight championship next against Kazuyuki Fujita on February 23rd at ‘Gain Control 2022 in Nagoya’.
**Joe Spivak, who is a tackle at Northwestern University in Illinois spoke with ABC 7 in Chicago about joining WWE’s ‘Next in Line’ program
What I’m passionate about in life is competition and training, and pushing yourself and chasing edges. But also, all I want to do is spread the message of positivity that my family gave me and like, where else do those two platforms merge more perfectly and I started realizing – wait, this might be it.
**Make-A-Wish provides a VIP experience for a fan at Sunday’s WWE live event in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
**A new Los Angeles-based group called EPIC Pro Wrestling will be launching with its first show on May 21, 2022. The promotion released a press release on Monday announcing that Peter Avalon would be in the main event of the inaugural event. The booker for the group is Andrew Pesina, who previously wrote for the SoCalUncensored site.
**Madi Wrenkowski was a guest on It’s My Wrestling Podcast and described the debut match she had against Jazz:
I was terrified! Having the first match ever is terrifying but then to go against Jazz, like I feared this woman growing up and now I’m going to be standing literally across the ring from her. That’s insane. But as one does, I watched a lot of film study to prepare. Then literally before every single match everyone’s chanting “Jazz is gonna kill you” and I was like yeah, she’s gonna do that. I don’t know how to respond because she probably is – and she did. Then as a true veteran, she knows that the fight isn’t just in the ring, it’s also mental. So like she made sure to tell me every single day leading up that I taught you some of what I know, not all of what I know. Just remember that. I’m like Jazz, I get it, okay – you’re gonna kick my butt!
**Being the Elite Ep. 290: Nick’s Lost Luggage.
**The UFC handed out the Fight of the Night bonus to Calvin Kattar and Giga Chikadze and the Performance of the Night bonuses to Jake Collier and Viacheslav Borshchev for $50,000 each on Saturday. The main event is your first contender for Fight of the Year with a five-round war between the two and Kattar’s best performance to date. There were many questions about Kattar after he was blown out by Max Holloway last year and took the year off but came back looking terrific. It was Chikadze’s first loss in the UFC as many were projecting a future title fight if he was victorious.
**UFC president Dana White spoke with the media after the Fight Night card and was asked about the latest price increase to the pay-per-view events. White said that’s a decision by ESPN+, who they license the domestic rights, and UFC doesn’t have a say in that decision but isn’t crazy about the price increase. Beginning with UFC 270 this Saturday, ESPN+ will be pricing the shows at $74.99 in addition to the monthly subscription for the streaming service in the U.S.
**Greg Hardy revealed that he suffered a serious finger injury with MMA Fighting confirming that he is off this Saturday’s UFC 270 card. Hardy was scheduled to fight replacement Sergey Spivak on the pay-per-view portion but the injury to Hardy has led to the fight being removed. The same outlet reports that the UFC is hopeful of rebooking the fight for a future card.
**Katlyn Chookagian (17-4) revealed after her win on Saturday against Jennifer Maia that it was the final fight of her UFC contract. Chookagian stated after the fight that that promotion did not offer to extend it prior to the contest and wanted her to fight out her deal. After her decision win over Maia, she has won three in a row and is 10-4 since joining the promotion in 2016. All ten wins have been by decision and she fought for the 125-pound title against Valentina Shevchenko in February 2020, losing by TKO.
**The UFC will be holding a press conference this Thursday at 8 p.m. ET to promote the pay-per-view on Saturday. Francis Ngannou, Ciryl Gane, Brandon Moreno, and Deiveson Figueiredo will be in attendance and will stream on the UFC’s social channels.
**Combate’s Raphael Marinho is reporting that UFC featherweight champion Amanda Nunes has left American Top Team and is launching her own team. Nunes lost the women’s bantamweight title last month to Julianna Pena and was her first defeat since September 2014.
**The UFC has released the UFC 270 Countdown special focusing on the two championship fights this Saturday in Anaheim, California.
ON THIS DATE
It was a game-changer for the UFC when it launched Ultimate Fighter on this date in 2005 immediately following WWE Raw on Spike TV.
For years, Dana White had aimed for a live weekly special featuring fights and no one would bite. They finally got a window on Spike TV with reality television as the vehicle that would get them the airtime. It was so unproven that the UFC had to cover the production costs of the show and had this series failed, it may have been the end of Lorenzo & Frank Fertitta as owners.
Instead, the show caught fire and was evident after several episodes when a feud began between Chris Leben and the bullies of the house, Josh Koscheck and Bobby Southworth. The episode ended with the announcement Leben and Koscheck would fight the next week and their fate was sealed that the show was a success. While many point to the classic finale between Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar, which was big, the show was already a success and it would have been mind-boggling not to renew the series after the success of the first one.
Diego Sanchez and Forrest Griffin won the respective tournaments with a third contact given to Bonnar in the finale that April and changed the face of Spike TV, giving them the ability to cease negotiations with WWE that same year and leave Spike and return to the USA Network. UFC became the pillar of the network, which added TNA Wrestling in October that year and it was Ultimate Fighter that sent the UFC into its boom period, growing its pay-per-view business to unprecedented heights and would be a fruitful relationship through the end of 2011.
POST News 1/17: Elimination Chamber in Saudi Arabia, Ali requests release, WWE vs. AEW
John Pollock & Wai Ting discuss Elimination Chamber in Saudi Arabia, Mustafa Ali requesting his WWE release, Cody Rhodes’ free agency, WWE’s statement about AEW, Terminus and more.
Wrestlenomics: MLW files a lawsuit against WWE
MLW filed an antitrust lawsuit against WWE on Tuesday for allegedly interfering with MLW’s deal with Fox-owned streaming service Tubi. Brandon Thurston and Chris Gullo spend the entire episode breaking down the legal complaint and the outlook of the case.
LONG & WINDING ROYAL ROAD: Misawa vs. Kobashi (March 1, 2003)
WH Park and BWE’s Martin Bushby venture outside of both the 1990s and AJPW to jump to Pro Wrestling NOAH and 2003 to review Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Kenta Kobashi for the GHC Heavyweight Title from March 1st.
REWIND-A-SMACKDOWN: Lita returns, Cole vs. Trent, Jurassic Express vs. Dark Order
John Pollock & Wai Ting review WWE SmackDown with an appearance by Lita ahead of the Royal Rumble. AEW Rampage features Adam Cole vs. Trent Beretta, and Jurassic Express defending the tag titles against Silver/Reynolds.
POST Wrestling’s Worst of 2021 Show
POST Wrestling’s John Pollock & Wai Ting and upNXT’s Braden Herrington & Davie Portman discuss the many lowlights of the past year in our Worst of 2021 Show.
BRITISH WRESTLING EXPERIENCE: Ospreay vs. Okada, WALTER, Likely/Unlikely, Get in the Bin
Martin Bushby, Benno & Andy Ogden discuss Will Ospreay headlining the Tokyo Dome against Kazuchika Okada, Gabriel Kidd vs. Eddie Kingston from NJPW Strong, WALTER’s possible swan song in wXw against Cara Noir, and the upcoming RevPro ‘High Stakes’ show.
The 2022 MMA Prediction Show with Ariel Helwani
John Pollock is joined by Ariel Helwani for The 2022 MMA Prediction Show. They revisit Helwani’s predictions from 2021 to see how he fared before making a new list for 2022 in a new game of “Likely or Unlikely”.
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