Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/03/30/pollocks-news-update-roman-reigns-addresses-wrestlemania-decision/
POST IT NOTES
**Wai Ting and I will be back with Rewind-A-Raw tonight following the taped show from the Performance Center. There is no shortage of news to go through, which we will discuss at the start and then wrap with your feedback and questions.
**We had a special POST Roundtable Show on Sunday with three great guests. Dr. Alex Patel returned to answer additional questions about the COVID-19 pandemic and his own assessment of the wrestling promotions continuing to run shows. Brandon Thurston from Wrestlenomics provided a financial analysis of the cost of WWE staging WrestleMania at the Performance Center and the revenue they are losing from that week in Tampa. Finally, Marcus Vanderberg from Yahoo Sports checks in from Los Angeles on how that part of the country is faring, the long-term impact this will have on the sports world and pro wrestling, as well as WrestleMania 36, airing this weekend.
**On Tuesday, it’s Rewind-A-Wai #58 and our Espresso Executive Producer Ryan Charkow has selected WCW World War 3 from November 1995. If you would like to submit feedback or questions related to this event, you can do so on the POST Wrestling Forum. This show will be available on the POST Wrestling Café for all members.
**For those that want a sample of the Rewind-A-Wai shows, we have made the first 25 shows available free for everyone.
*Tonight: Rewind-A-Raw with John Pollock & Wai Ting
*Tuesday: Rewind-A-Wai #58 – WCW World War 3 1995 (Patreon)
*Wednesday: upNXT with Braden Herrington & Davie Portman
*Thursday: Café GRANDE Hangout – LIVE & FREE at 2 pm Eastern on the POST YouTube channel
*Friday: British Wrestling Experience with Martin Bushby, Benno & Jamesie
*Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown with John & Wai (Patreon)
*Saturday: WrestleMania Night 1 POST Show (LIVE for ALL Café members)
*Sunday: Thunderstruck with WH Park & guest John Carroll (Jushin Thunder Liger & Takehiro Murahama vs. KENTA & Naomichi Marufuji, July 2003)
*Sunday: WrestleMania Night 2 POST Show (LIVE for Double Double, Iced Capp & Espresso Patrons)
**Tonight, is the final episode of Raw before WrestleMania 36 this weekend. The show was taped last week at the Performance Center and will feature appearances from Edge, The Undertaker, Brock Lesnar, and Becky Lynch.
**Roman Reigns (Joe Anoa’i) provided an update on Instagram and addressed his decision to pull out of WrestleMania due to his health concerns.
For me, you already know what’s going on. It’s all over the news, the dirt sheets, whatever you want to call them that I pulled out of WrestleMania and it’s funny because for years now man, years people like ‘Don’t show up to WrestleMania, we don’t want you in it’ you know I mean? There’s like a nice handful of dudes and haters that didn’t want me there but the moment I make a choice for me and my family, I’m a coward, I’m a sissy, a lot of different things that I am now. But you don’t know the whole story, all you know is what you think ‘oh well, his health and this and that’ but you don’t know what else is going on in my life. You don’t know if I have newborns, you don’t know if I have family in my household, older family.
For all my fans, you know I’m sorry I didn’t get to compete this year and put on a show and entertain but sometimes things are more important and I had to make a choice for me and my family. But no matter what you already know the deal, I showed I made the town, I made it to Orlando, and I had to make a decision for me. But it doesn’t take anything away from what I’ve done and what I’m going to do. I still love this game, I love pro wrestling, sports entertainment. I love being in the ring, it’s a little weird being in the ring when nobody’s watching, nobody in the arena. But man, I’m ready to get back to work.
**Tim Fiorvanti at ESPN has a big interview with Edge (Adam Copeland) detailing his comeback and the lengths he had to go to. He said the idea of a return stemmed from a bike accident he had last summer while doing a Celtic Warrior workout with Sheamus and felt relatively fine. That, and the physicality he has had while filming ‘Vikings’ led to him broaching the idea with his doctors. He met with Dr. James Andrews’ team in Birmingham, Alabama, and WWE’s medical director Dr. Joseph Maroon in Pittsburgh and ended up being cleared to return. From there, he had to train and didn’t want the secret out so that eliminated working with any local independent outlets that housed a ring or going to the WWE Performance Center, so WWE shipped him a ring to train in and relied on his wife Beth Phoenix and The Revival, who live in Asheville, North Carolina. It sounded like an arduous schedule because Phoenix was flying to Florida every week for NXT and returning on Thursdays to train with Copeland with the two having young daughters in school. Copeland added a long list of performers he would like to work with AJ Styles being the first one he listed followed by Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins.
**Paul Levesque was interviewed by John Anderson on ESPN promoting WrestleMania and the lengths the company has gone to run the show. Levesque said he was not scheduled to wrestle at this year’s event and with all the added responsibilities he has for the empty arena shows, it would have been ‘virtually impossible’ to wrestle this year. He defended the company stating entertainment is a necessity and they feel an obligation to provide this show and have taken as many precautions as they can while following the CDC’s instructions. When asked about the alteration to the Universal title match with Roman Reigns’ removal, Levesque stated:
There are various talent and I don’t want to get into the specifics of WrestleMania because that’s a ‘must-watch and see event’ but you know, we don’t like to take precautions with our talent any more so than we need to and all of our talent are in this in a voluntary capacity. Right out the gate, if they don’t want to be a part of this, if they feel there is a risk for whatever reason, be it themselves or someone around them, they don’t have to be here and nothing is held against them for that. Same with our crew and everybody else but we don’t want to take chances on that and with Roman, having a pre-existing condition that would make him more susceptible to something, it’s understandable, so you know we have had very few talents that have had issues or chosen to not be here but we’re where we’re at. For us, it’s been an amazing, at least for me, amazing process to be able to go to these events, everybody’s under immense pressure, obviously, there’s a ton of work going into this. Even the talent working in front of no one is not the easiest thing in the world and yet, everybody is here, they feel a sense of purpose and they’re all laughing, smiling, they’re having a blast. These have been some of the most fun days of television of everybody just staying within the rules and trying to do it but happily going out there and trying to perform a service and I don’t think that people should look at it as anything more than that, we’re trying to put a smile on your face.
**Jim Ross is out promoting his new book ‘Under the Black Hat’ that comes out Tuesday. He spoke to WFNZ and discussed the process of writing the book and commented on the status of AEW throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and Ross not traveling for at least two more weeks:
It is never going to be the same, it is what it is. And to say when we’re going to be able to come back, be totally live with all of our talents – you know, we have young talents who have young families and their little missus don’t want them to travel and I don’t blame. I’m not going to travel for two more weeks because I’m in that high-risk group.
I don’t know exactly what they’re going to do this week but nonetheless, we’re going to have a show – we’re going to have a live show Wednesday night and we’ll see how the cards fall. It’s really pushing the creativity envelope. How do you win games with a third of your team? It’s very challenging.
**All Japan is pressing forward with its Champion Carnival event with 18 shows scheduled beginning next Monday. Takao Omori is taking one of the empty slots after Davey Boy Smith Jr., Lucas Steel, and Joel Redman were removed from the tournament. The opening night of the Carnival was set for Korakuen Hall and has been moved to the smaller Shin-Kiba 1st Ring.
**AEW Dynamite will be airing on TSN 1 and TSN 2 this Wednesday night in Canada at 8 pm Eastern.
**Back Body Drop has UK viewership information from the past two weeks for both WWE and AEW.
-The March 16th edition of Raw was watched by 67,800 on BT Sport
-The March 18th edition of AEW Dynamite (which aired on ITV4 two days later and was their first empty arena show) averaged 101,000 viewers with 55,000 watching live and 46,000 time-shifted.
-The March 18th edition of NXT on BT Sport did 40,300, which was the show without any matches
-SmackDown on March 20th did 63,600.
-The March 19th edition of NXT UK that aired the following day on BT Sport averaged 33,600.
**Amazon has posted a short excerpt from Keith Elliot Greenberg’s next book titled ‘Too Sweet: Inside the Indie Revolution’, which is set to be released this September through ECW Press. The excerpt looks at the genesis of the ‘All In’ event from September 2018 with a quote from Jeff Jarrett.
**Steve Austin was interviewed by Peter Rosenberg discussing his trilogy with The Rock at WrestleMania from 1999, 2001, and 2003.
**The second part of Lilian Garcia’s sit-down interview with Amy Dumas, Gail Kim, and Christy Hemme was released today promoting their Kayfabe project. The ambitious Kickstarter campaign has eight days remaining where the goal had been set at $400,000 (U.S.). and they have raised $62,000. It’s a unique idea and they put out a tremendous trailer with high production values behind it, but I never saw this campaign being funded solely by fans. Ultimately, this thing needed major financial backers and given that the campaign occurred as this pandemic occurred, it’s very hard to ask people to donate to a project when they have larger financial concerns. I do hope this project is revisited as I think it’s a great idea and it’s clear a lot of work has been put into the concept.
**The WWE stock closed at $33.44 on Monday.
**A new edition of WWE Untold will be released Friday on the WWE Network covering the match between Shawn Michaels and Kurt Angle from WrestleMania 21.
**On Sunday, Pro Wrestling NOAH presented one of the strangest matches I have ever seen in my life. GHC heavyweight champion Go Shiosaki defended the title against Kazuyuki Fujita inside an empty Korakuen Hall and streamed on DDT Universe. It was the longest GHC championship match in the nearly twenty-year history of the company. For the first 31 minutes, they did not touch, and it was surreal. Finally, Fujita shot for the takedown and then worked on top from mount before as escape by Shiosaki. They brawled to the lobby and teased going down the elevators (the arena portion is not on the ground level) and then fought through the empty bleachers and returned to the ring. It was an intense ending including Fujita’s brutal soccer kicks followed by near falls and a lariat by Shiosaki to retain the title after 57 minutes and 47 seconds. We’ll chat about the match more on Rewind-A-Raw as both Wai Ting and I watched it last night and it’s polarizing, to say the least.
**The rest of the NOAH card featured four other title matches. Yoshinari Ogawa retained the GHC junior heavyweight title against Daisuke Harada, Takashi Sugiura defeated Minoru Tanaka to keep the GHC National title, and Hayata & Yo-hey retained the GHC junior heavyweight tag titles against Kotaro Suzuki & Atsushi Kotoge.
**New Japan has postponed its tryouts in New Zealand that was scheduled for May 9th and 10th.
**This Saturday, New Japan World will be adding the film ‘My Dad is a Heel Wrestler’ starring Hiroshi Tanahashi. The 2018 release will feature English subtitles and be available to subscribers in the U.S., Canada, Japan, the UK, Australia, and Germany. In Japan, it will be available until April 3, 2021, and the outside territories until September 3, 2020.
**NXT referee Tom Castor recently returned after a terrible injury sustained in a match last year:
**The newest season of Total Bellas premieres this Thursday at 9 pm Eastern on E! The network has released the following clip to promote this Thursday’s return:
**The latest ‘Being the Elite’ features remote check-ins from everyone:
**The elusive fight between UFC lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson appears to be off again. With Nurmagomedov in Dagestan, Russia, and the travel restrictions, it appears to be impossible that the two will be able to fight on April 18th at UFC 249. Nurmagomedov provided an update on Instagram Live stating he was training with his team in San Jose at AKA and were told by the UFC the fight ‘100%’ is not happening in the United States and 99% would happen in the United Arab Emirates. Nurmagomedov stated he communicated with the UFC and decided to fly to the UAE but upon landing found out about the borders getting set to close and wouldn’t be able to leave and then went to Dagestan. Ariel Helwani at ESPN reports that the UFC is aware of his status and are seeking alternative options for UFC 249. Helwani stated an offer had been made to Ferguson to fight Justin Gaethje but it has not been agreed to or finalized nor a location for the card.
**One of the few events to happen during this pandemic was Chael Sonnen’s Submission Underground 12 show that streamed on Fight Pass on Sunday. The event was closed to the public from an undisclosed location in Oregon. MMA Junkie has a report on the show stating Sonnen was outside the venue and was the only commentator, there were no cornermen present, and competitors wore long-sleeved rash guards with the surface area sanitized between matches. The main fights on the show saw Craig Jones submit Kevin Casey with a heel hook and Ben Egli submitted Jake Ellenberger with an armbar.
**On Monday’s edition of DC & Helwani, Daniel Cormier commented on the news of Jon Jones being arrested last Thursday in Albuquerque, New Mexico and the latest issue facing the UFC light heavyweight champion:
At 32 years of age, I didn’t enjoy seeing that man in that situation again because it’s just bad. It’s not just him he’s got daughters. He’s got a wife – or fiancé/girlfriend. He’s got so many things at home that are affected by this and affected by his actions and behavior. But it won’t change until something or the people around him change. I think about my rivalry with Jones, and I’m not some black power guy, as much as I dislike him in terms of personally, I hate him in a lot of ways, right? And I think of all the wasted talent and potential to be such a massive star, but I hate to see a young black athlete in that situation even more than my disdain for him. I don’t like seeing that because it’s almost what people expect, and I don’t want that to be the way it is for these young athletes.
**UFC president Dana White’s interviews continued with the latest being for Frank Warren’s Heavyweight Podcast. White spoke about the latest issue facing UFC 249 with the travel restrictions in Russia where Khabib Nurmagomedov is currently located. He was asked about the next steps and addressing the track record of the UFC and stating this he will be there for his fighters and employees if any of them or their loved ones get sick:
I am absolutely f**king relentless and I said this fight would go on and it will and when you’re talking about ambulances, safety, and all that stuff – just like what you saw when you came to the PI and all that stuff, we go overboard with everything all the time. I mean, think about this, in the 20 years, this thing has been going almost 25 years but in the 20 years I’ve been involved – and before me – there has never been a death or serious injury. That’s crazy, cheerleading can’t say that. We go completely overboard with health and safety even before the coronavirus. The health and safety part is nothing new to us. It’s now just trying to be able to maneuver as the world continues to freak out and lose their mind over this coronavirus stuff. All my fighters want to fight, my staff wants to work, everybody who’s involved in what I’m doing is absolutely willing and able to do this. The thing is, with my fighters, when they’re with me they’re getting the best medical attention they could possibly get. Better than if they were home alone by themselves or whatever their situation is. I’ve reached out to everybody, not just my employees that work for me but my fighters too. If them or a loved one becomes ill and needs me, I’m here. I will do everything in my power to help and take care of them, so that’s a given always. This fight will go on.
POST ROUNDTABLE: Dr. Alex Patel, Brandon Thurston & Marcus Vanderberg
John Pollock and Wai Ting present a bonus POST Roundtable featuring Dr. Alex Patel, Brandon Thurston and Marcus Vanderberg discussing the latest updates on COVID-19’s effects on professional wrestling and the world.
THUNDERSTRUCK: Liger & Tanaka vs. Kikuchi & Kanemaru (4/7/2002) with Alan4L
WH Park and Alan4L from Pro Wrestling Torch’s ProWres Paradise pontificate about many topics including this awesome tag match between Jushin Liger & Minoru Tanaka taking on the NOAH Jr. team of Tsuyoshi Kikuchi & Yoshinobu Kanemaru.
REWIND-A-SMACKDOWN 3/27/20: Latest on WrestleMania Changes
John Pollock and Wai Ting review Friday Night SmackDown and discuss today’s news as WWE navigates a number of major changes to WrestleMania 36 including Roman Reigns, Miz and Andrade being taken off the show, the latest on Jon Jones’ arrest, Brodie Lee on TIJ, and Dana White speaks.
Café Hangout: Chris Benoit on Dark Side of the Ring, Jon Jones arrested
Join John Pollock and Wai Ting for the Café Hangout as they take your calls and discuss the Chris Benoit episode of Vice’s Dark Side of the Ring. Plus, the latest on today’s arrests of Jon Jones and Teddy Hart.
upNXT 3/25/20: “Don’t Touch Me”
Braden Herrington and Davie Portman review the March 25th edition of WWE NXT from Full Sail University featuring Matt Riddle vs. Roderick Strong, Austin Theory vs. Tyler Breeze, the return of Io Shirai, the debut of a brand new tag team, Triple H addresses Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano, and more.
REWIND-A-DYNAMITE 3/25/20: Vanguardian of the Galaxy
John Pollock and Wai Ting review AEW Dynamite from Daily’s Place with Matt Hardy confronting Chris Jericho.
POST INTERVIEW: Jeff Marek
On today’s show, John Pollock speaks with Jeff Marek about the new Dark Side of the Ring documentary covering Chris Benoit.
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