POLLOCK'S NEWS UPDATE: Sammy Guevara suspended indefinitely

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/06/22/pollocks-news-update-sammy-guevara-suspended-indefinitely/

POST IT NOTES

**On tonight’s edition of Rewind-A-Raw, we will be discussing all the latest news and the state of the industry following a week that has impacted it across the board. We will have a review of Raw, the final episode of “The Last Ride” and take your feedback at the end.

**Mike Murray has a review of Monday’s New Japan Cup show featuring four more opening round matches.

**The next Rewind-A-Wai will be released Tuesday night for members of the POST Wrestling Café. This was a listeners’ choice and the event voted on was WWF Ground Zero from September 1997 featuring Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker and Bret Hart vs. The Patriot for the WWF title. You can leave feedback and questions in the POST Wrestling Forum thread.

**On Tuesday, Andrew Thompson will be releasing an interview with OTT owner & founder Joe Cabray on the state of the promotion after the COVID-19 pandemic. As a note, this interview was conducted before the news involving David Starr and the promotion ceasing ties with him.

POST SCHEDULE

Tonight: Rewind-A-Raw with John Pollock & Wai Ting
Tuesday: Rewind-A-Wai #64: WWF Ground Zero 1997
Wednesday: Rewind-A-Dynamite with John & Wai
Wednesday: upNXT with Braden Herrington & Davie Portman
Thursday: British Wrestling Experience with Martin Bushby, Jamesie & Benno
Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown (LIVE for all Patrons at 10:15 pm Eastern)
Saturday: The Rocky Maivia Picture Show with Nate Milton & guest John Siino (G.I. Joe: Retaliation)

WRESTLING NEWS

**Sammy Guevara has been suspended indefinitely by AEW for a comment that surfaced from a podcast interview in January 2016. While appearing on the “Raw’s 4th Hour” podcast in January 2016, Guevara described being at a recent WWE show and joked that he wanted “to rape Sasha Banks”.

Later in the day, Guevara issued the following:

I’ve made stupid, inappropriate, and extremely offensive comments in my past. In my idiotic mind, I thought I was being funny in using words and terms that represent nothing but horror and pain. I am truly sorry for my hurtful words and actions, and I will never forgive myself. I also want to apologize to @sashabankswwe for my unacceptable comments. She’s an amazing person who didn’t deserve to be the brunt of my offensive remarks. I spoke with her earlier & she helped me learn a gigantic lesson & I thank her for that. Once again, I’m sincerely sorry.

Sasha Banks (Mercedes Varnado) added her own statement and spoke with Guevara about the incident:

Earlier I spoke with Sammy, he apologized and we had an open discussion. Words like the comments he made, jokingly or not, have absolutely no place in our society! I don’t condone or tolerate this kind of behavior. What one thinks is just a side comment can have a massive impact on someone else’s life, and can send the wrong message. We have to hold ourselves accountable for our actions and the words we saw, and I hope this situation shows him that. I hope from this point on, in order for growth and change within our community to take place, we all can continue to have these conversations. No person, man, woman, or child, should ever be subjected to a feeling of fear, or any unsafe environment. We all have to do better not just for ourselves, for generations to come.

AEW announced it was suspending Guevara indefinitely without pay. During this time, his salary will be donated to the Women’s Center of Jacksonville with Guevara undergoing sensitivity training. The promotion added that his status with the company will be re-evaluated later:

AEW insists on doing our part to create a world of understanding and respect for humankind. We therefore strongly condemn the extremely offensive and hurtful words of Sammy Guevara. As such, effective immediately, Sammy is suspended without pay until further notice. Sammy has agreed to undergo extensive sensitivity training and, upon completion, his future status within the company will be re-evaluated.

During his suspension, his salary will be donated to the Women’s Center of Jacksonville.

Obviously, Guevara’s match with Matt Hardy that was scheduled for this Wednesday’s live edition of Dynamite, is off.

**Reporter Jonathan Savage posted the following statement from the West Yorkshire Police regarding the allegations in the pro wrestling industry and carrying out inquiries:

We have now received further information and are carrying out enquiries in relation to Leeds. We are aware of the wider focus on social media, and ask that anyone with concerns about other incidents reports those to the police area where they occurred.

**Progress Wrestling’s co-founder Jon Briley has announced he is stepping away for the time being citing a medical procedure he will be having next week. Briley, in handling the promotion’s response to several allegations, received criticism for his handling of it on the promotion’s social media channels over the last few days. On Monday, Briley wrote:

A few months ago I was diagnosed with a serious medical condition.

I got my surgery date a month ago. I don’t know how long I’ll be in hospital, and I don’t know what I’ll be like on the other side of it. I am scared.

I had spent time since the diagnosis putting things in place to keep things ticking over while I was off. That all disintegrated in the past week.

It became very apparent over this past weekend that I am currently unable to express myself properly in short form, and that I was doing more harm than good. I didn’t want to be on social media, there was no-one else to do it. To anyone who was upset by what was posted, I’m sorry, please know that I had the best of intentions.

A close friend called me and said “I know you’re usually quite blunt, but this doesn’t sound like you”. Others messaged to check if I was OK. I thank those people for taking the time.

Yesterday morning I realised the need for quick and drastic change. Sunday was spent putting the new team in place and I have absolute faith that they are the right people to lead the wrestling industry out of the mess that it’s in. PROGRESS has the platform to be a leader in that.

My surgery date is next week; I’m stepping back to give myself the best chance of a full recovery.

**The Scottish-based ICW promotion has issued the following announcement:

Over the past few days, serious allegations have been brought to our attention regarding individuals within the professional wrestling industry, some of whom have been associated with ICW.

The safety of our fans, performers and crew is paramount.

We have taken time to carefully investigate the situation, speak with members of our roster, in particular our female roster members, and to decide on a course of action.

We will strive to ensure a fair and safe work environment for all, and review any allegations of misconduct on a case-by-case basis, as we always have done. We have and will sever ties with an individual who poses a threat to that environment.

We have also created two new roles of the Talent Welfare Officers and will be appointing male and female roster members to those positions. In addition we’re going to put a selection of 16 staff and roster members through a Positive Mental Health Scotland course to become qualified Mental Health First Aiders.

**Saint Louis Anarchy has put out its code of conduct for fans and talent at their events. This is a move that all companies are going to need in place with little left for interpretation and clear-cut guidelines especially a zero-tolerance policy for serious offenses.

**The Association of Women in Wrestling, which Kristen Ashly has launched and spoke about on Rewind-A-SmackDown, has launched its own Twitter account @awiworg.

**Tonight’s episode of Raw was taped last Wednesday at the WWE Performance Center, and therefore, all those appearing on tonight’s show inside the venue would have undergone and passed the COVID-19 testing administered last Tuesday. Edge has stated he will have an update on tonight’s show regarding his injury and future (I would assume this is a taped message from home). They are advertising the following for tonight:
*Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair for the Raw women’s title
*The Street Profits vs. Viking Raiders for the Raw tag titles
*Bayley & Sasha Banks vs. The IIconics for the WWE women’s tag titles
*The return of Rey Mysterio
*An appearance by Ric Flair to announce Randy Orton as “The Greatest Wrestler Ever”

One of the patterns we are seeing since the creative shake-up is more championship matches on television with three on last week’s Raw and another three this week. The show had a strong audience by current standards last week and assisted by a show-long tease of Christian’s first match since 2014.

**John Ourand at Sports Business Journal is reporting that FS1 will no longer be producing WWE Backstage weekly and added he will have more to report tonight.

**Friday Night SmackDown from this past Friday finished with 2,072,000 viewers on Fox. The show did 0.5 in the 18-49 demographic. The demo rating is the ninth consecutive week at 0.5, but the overall viewership average is SmackDown’s highest since April 17th and slightly above last week’s average of 2,065,000.

**On Monday’s New Japan Cup card, Shingo Takagi and SHO had a phenomenal match that was on par with their match at the Best of the Super Juniors tournament in 2019. In front of a crowd, this would have torn the house down and was a star-making performance from SHO to the next level of his career. Even without a crowd, they overcame it with tremendous drama and a fantastic end to the match. I would put this on my top tier of matches in 2020 regardless of crowd size. The other standout match on the show featured Kota Ibushi taking on Zack Sabre Jr. that was not at the level of Takagi vs. SHO but wasn’t too far off. These matches along with Yuji Nagata vs. Minoru Suzuki are the top three to seek out if you are playing catch-up.

**The New Japan Cup resumes Tuesday with the final night of the opening round with the following matches streaming at 6 am Eastern on New Japan World:
*Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Yoshi-Hashi
*Bushi vs. YOH
*EVIL vs. Satoshi Kojima
*Hirooki Goto vs. Yujiro

**The WWE stock closed at $44.84 on Monday.

**It was noted by Sandra Toffoloni that it was on this date in 2007 that her older sister Nancy was murdered by Chris Benoit in one of the darkest stories in the industry’s history. Sandra has done a tremendous job speaking about the horrific weekend and keeping the memory of her sister and nephew Daniel alive, who often are forgotten given the nature of the crime and how we as a society, tend to focus more on the perpetrators than the victims.

MMA NEWS

**UFC fighter Bruno Arruda da Silva, 30, has received a two-year sanction by USADA following an evidentiary hearing that was conducted on May 27, 2020. Arruda da Silva tested positive for the banned substance Boldenone and its metabolite, which they ruled was at a level “inconsistent with boldenone meat contamination”. This stems from a May 27, 2019 urine sample that was provided by Arruda da Silva and came back positive. His suspension is retroactive to June 14, 2019, and will be eligible to compete again in June 2021. He was scheduled to fight Deron Winn in his UFC debut and was pulled due to “undisclosed reasons” at the time.

**After Saturday’s UFC card, the Fight of the Night bonus obviously went to Josh Emmett and Shane Burgos. The two Performance of the Night bonuses went to Jim Miller and Justin Jaynes for $50,000 each.

**I caught the featherweight fight from Saturday between Josh Emmett and Shane Burgos, which was tremendous. Emmett’s knee buckled in the first minute of the three-round fight, but it didn’t slow him down. Burgos took so many big shots that it was amazing he lasted throughout the third round. I scored the fight for Emmett 29-28 and didn’t go 10-8 on the third round, but that was the most dominant round for Emmett.

**In the main event, Curtis Blaydes set a new UFC record for most takedowns in a heavyweight fight for his win over Alexander Volkov. Blaydes surpassed the previous record set by Cain Velasquez to secure the unanimous decision. Blaydes is in a tough spot as he has beaten everyone except for the top three in the division. Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier are going to fight on August 15th and the next contender is undeniably Francis Ngannou, who holds two wins over Blaydes. That puts Blaydes in the position of risking waiting for a title shot he isn’t guaranteed or taking a fight to stay busy and risking his standing. There are no fights that make sense for Blaydes beyond the top three, but the timing is off for any of those fights.

**This Saturday’s UFC card is headlined by a lightweight fight between Dustin Poirier and Dan Hooker. It’s Poirier’s first fight since losing to Khabib Nurmagomedov last September in his championship fight. Hooker has won seven of his last eight including wins over James Vick, Al Iaquinta, and Paul Felder un his last three. The fight with Felder was a razor-close split decision. A win over Poirier will send Hooker into the top echelon of the deep weight division. It’s an important fight for Poirier to remain among that group. It doesn’t get much more impressive that the lineup Poirier had to get through for that title fight last year after beating Anthony Pettis, Justin Gaethje, Eddie Alvarez, and Max Holloway.

**Bellator has released a special called “Kimbo Slice – One of a Kind” profiling the late Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson, who died four years ago this month:

**And finally, the most ridiculous promo UFC has ever created:

*****
REWIND-A-SMACKDOWN 6/19/20: Kristen Ashly talks #SpeakingOut

John Pollock & Wai Ting welcome Kristen Ashly (Bell to Belles) to discuss the #SpeakingOut movement and the creation of the Association of Women in Wrestling. Plus, your calls and a review of tonight’s SmackDown.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/06/20/rewind-a-smackdown-6-19-20-kristen-ashly-talks-speakingout/
*****
REWIND-A-DYNAMITE: Cody’s Stark Contrast, WWE Tapings, Last Ride
John Pollock and Wai Ting review AEW Dynamite featuring two title matches and more matches confirmed for Fyter Fest.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/06/18/rewind-a-dynamite-6-17-20-codys-stark-contrast-wwe-tapings-last-ride/
*****
upNXT 6/17/20: “The Therapeutic Era”
Braden Herrington and Davie Portman review the June 17th edition of WWE NXT featuring Tegan Nox & Shotzi Blackheart challenging Sasha Banks & Bayley for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/06/18/upnxt-6-17-20-therapeutic-era/
*****
POST MOVIE REVIEW – Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Wai Ting & John Pollock are joined by Brent Chittenden (True North Nerds) & Nate Milton (Kings of Sport) for a special roundtable discussion about the epic conclusion to Marvel Studios’ Infinity Saga, Avengers: Endgame (2019). Plus, they celebrate the best (and worst) of the MCU in the first-ever Feige Awards
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/06/16/post-movie-review-avengers-endgame-2019/
*****

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1 Like

Just my two cents regarding Sammy:

No matter where you fall on what he said, I think “suspended without pay” is the right move here. I’m not worried about him starving or missing rent this month. He’s got enough connections that he will be fine. He’s also young enough and his “crime” is innocuous enough that I assume AEW believes they can rehab his image and fire him up again in a few months.

Admittedly I am a Sammy mark, but I hope he takes this time to reflect and make some changes in his personal life. This could be the opportunity he needs to fix his image and show the world that he’s a decent guy who made some mistakes. He didn’t rape anyone or assault anyone. He should not be “canceled.” What he did was not excuseable and deserved a response from AEW, but I’m hopeful he can be an example of a good guy making a mistake, atoning for his mistake, growing, and coming back better than ever.

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Totally agree.

He made an off colour joke in 2016 that was clearly wrong. However when you consider his age and really that it was just a comment and not anything he did (he was just really trying to say he found her attractive in a disgusting way) this punishment seems appropriate.

It was wrong and I’m sure he will learn from it. He apologized and spoke to Sasha about it. It doesn’t help that she’s a major star on the rival show so if AEW slapped him on the wrist it would look terrible. He deserved more than a slap on the wrist but not as much as people who have actually done horrible things (ie Joey Ryan, Gentlemen Jack, etc) and this was appropriate.

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One thing I can definitely say is I cannot separate this and just use Wrestling as an escape. It’s weird, I was waiting for the show last night and then when it started I just could not get into it no matter what. Shitty times.

It is absolutely the right move especially when you consider that he is quickly becoming a top attraction for them. He is going to be a top guy at some point if he doesn’t screw it up. At which point he may well be doing a ton of interviews etc best to address this now make sure he learns from it and can move forward.

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It was a stupid choice of words. And an apology for that in my opinion is enough. A suspension seems harsh for a stupid choice of words from a few years ago. Probably the least serious issue out of everything that’s being talked about. I guess AEW had to be seen doing something though.

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Its interesting, because the severity of the act is nothing in comparison to the allegations made about the majority of the other wrestlers, however, unlike the other allegations, there is no “other side of the story” here. There is a recording of him saying this things, it is what it is.

I can’t give AEW too hard of a time here. While I do think its mostly optics/PR on their end, if they didn’t punish him at all they would likely be lit up by critics/fans. For their sake, I hope stories like this don’t come out about their other wrestlers because now they have set a precedent and the one thing I have learned from the way the NFL handles this type of thing, is fans can’t stand it when these leagues/promotions are inconstant with their punishments. We’ll see what happens.

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It really is strange to me that this Sammy situation seems to be getting more press & talk and most of the other much more severe accusations. That’s Twitter. Words matter more than actions for some reason. Never made sense to me.

Anytime there is definitive proof in terms of audio or video, there is always more media/fan attention.

To give an NFL comparison, when Ray Rice was caught on camera punching his wife, tons of attention and he essentially kicked out of the league.

When Greg Hardy beat up his girlfriend leaving her a bloody mess, he was still able to return to the NFL, and after his career was over fight in the UFC. Not caught of camera.

Just to be clear to anyone reading this, I’m not in any way advocating for Ray Rice, my point is how Hardy got a pass in comparison because his incident was not captured on video.

Punishment fits the offense. He didn’t need to have his career ruined but it couldn’t go unchecked. Above all else, it will hopefully be a lesson to others (particularly younger) that you cant just say shitty things and get away with it.

Lets not forget that Shawn Spears and Cedric Alexander made similar jokes (I believe they involved rape) and both of them apologized and their careers moved on. The main difference here is that Sammy’s joke has resurfaced at a time when the industry is speaking out about sexual misconducts, so he got a more harsh sentence than the other two, but that’s just the way it’s going to be. AEW did the right thing and Sammy seems to have made the right response to the situation.

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This

It’s very difficult to have the perfect response to every offense like some expect.

There will definitely be overreactions due to current events (not saying this is or isn’t an example). It’s obviously a response to years and years of these situations not being properly handled.

Legit question to everyone:

Have you noticed any extreme examples of recent punishment dealing with racism/sexism offenses?

Very good point there is a visual element so you have a very good point.

This is true. I mean if this is it and he can come back and have a career I really have no problem with punishment. AEW’s And was pretty much forced. They claim to be this progressive company so they kind of had to.

This is the type of shit that is actually worrying -
Check out Greg Robert Miller (@gregrmiller995): https://twitter.com/gregrmiller995

I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary on his Twitter, did I miss something?

keep reading down to the pic of Sasha and her husband.

Go to “tweets & replies”. Not only is this guy obsessively talking about Sasha but he also regularly talks about replacing her husband because he’s not man enough… Sasha’s husband referenced him in a tweet by saying just search “Sasha Mikaze” in the search bar. These are the types of fans famous people must be scared shitless of.

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