POLLOCK'S NEWS UPDATE: Shad Gaspard missing, Larry Csonka passes away

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/05/18/pollocks-news-update-shad-gaspard-missing-larry-csonka-passes-away/

POST IT NOTES

**Wai Ting and I will be back tonight with Rewind-A-Raw discussing tonight’s episode, and today’s news items.

**This past Friday, we reviewed ‘The Last Ride of the Road Warriors’ edition of Dark Side of the Ring on Rewind-A-SmackDown. The show also features a news rundown and our review of SmackDown.

**Voting is now open for the best card assembled from this past Friday’s Big Euro Transfer Window. You can view their respective line ups below:

Brigadier Pro Wrestling
REGRESS Wrestling
Graps & Claps Wrestling
Irish Wrestling Alliance

**Our MCU reviews return Tuesday evening as Wai Ting and I are joined by a friend of mine of over 20 years – Ed Boxler. The three of us will review ‘Captain Marvel’ with the penultimate release before Avengers: Endgame. This show will be out Tuesday night for all members of the POST Wrestling Café.

POST SCHEDULE

Tonight: Rewind-A-Raw with John Pollock & Wai Ting
Tuesday: MCU Review – “Captain Marvel” w/ guest Ed Boxler (Patreon)
Wednesday:
Rewind-A-Dynamite with John & Wai
Wednesday:
upNXT with Braden Herrington & Davie Portman
Thursday:
Café Hangout – Live at 3 pm ET for all Patrons
Friday:
Rewind-A-SmackDown (Patreon)
Saturday:
AEW Double or Nothing POST Show (LIVE for Double Double, Iced Capp & Espresso Patrons)
Sunday:
Total Recall with Wai Ting & Pauline (Patreon)

WRESTLING NEWS

**We want to start by sending our best wishes to the family of former WWE performer Shad Gaspard, who has gone missing. Gaspard was at Venice Beach on Sunday with his wife and 10-year old son. Gaspard and his son went swimming and were caught in a rip current with lifeguards attempting to get people out. TMZ reports that the son was rescued with a search party continuing to look for Gaspard. A witness told TMZ that Gaspard directed lifeguards to rescue his son first prior a big wave crashing down and was the last time they saw Gaspard.

Gaspard had two stints with WWE beginning with Ohio Valley Wrestling in 2003 and called up to the main roster in 2006 teaming with JTG as Cryme Tyme. They were let go one year later but returned in March 2008 the night after WrestleMania 24. For a time, they were linked with John Cena as the ‘Cryme Tyme Cenation’. Cryme Tyme broke up in 2010 and had a short-lived program with Gaspard let go in November 2010. He had branched into acting with numerous film and television roles over the past decade.

**Larry Csonka, who for years has written for 411 Wrestling, has passed away with the site alerting people on Monday. Csonka was such a vital resource for so many people because he wrote and reviewed everything out there. His output was at the highest level with match reviews, previews, and podcasts and did so in rapid fashion having reports up immediately after every show. I always had tremendous respect for his work ethic. In January 2019, he suffered a leg injury that led to a portion of his leg being amputated and returned to work and didn’t slow down at all, which shows the dedication and passion he had for his work. Our condolences go out to his family.

**Tonight’s episode of Raw was taped last week at the WWE Performance Center and will feature the following:
*Edge responds to Randy Orton’s challenge for a match at Backlash
*Drew McIntyre vs. King Corbin
*Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross vs. The IIconics for the WWE women’s tag titles
*The Street Profits and Viking Raiders will have an ‘Axe-Throwing Competition’

**In an interview with Arda Ocal of ESPN, Drew McIntyre spoke about his role on Raw and becoming WWE champion. An interesting note came off the top where Ocal introduced him as “the star of Monday Night Raw” and he noted during the interview that it’s the official WWE edict to promote him.

**Friday Night SmackDown finished with 2,042,000 viewers this past Friday on Fox. They registered 0.5 in the 18-49 demographic.

**Michael Mansury, who served as WWE’s VP of Global Television Production has departed the company, according to a report by Mike Johnson from PWinsider.com. Mansury started with the company in March 2009 after serving as a production assistant at MTV3. His role in WWE was as a production assistant but climbed the ladder becoming a producer and later managing producer in March 2014. He was promoted to his Vice President role in March 2016 working out of Stamford. Johnson reported that Mansury gave his notice to the company several months back that he would be leaving in May.

**HBO’s Last Week Tonight spent a few minutes discussing WWE’s continuation of shows during the pandemic. Host John Oliver spoke about WWE’s taking the necessary precautions (although, there is no knowledge that WWE is testing for COVID-19 unlike AEW and UFC in Jacksonville) but also noted the person claiming to be a WWE employee who anonymously asked the Orange County Board of County Commissioners for the shows to be shut down. WWE responded stating the accusations were untrue adding that employees can speak with human resources confidentially. Oliver also brought up AEW running shows and the UFC recently staging cards in Jacksonville, Florida with plans to launch Fight Island for international fighters. The link Oliver makes is professional wrestlers, MMA fighters, and college athletes do not have the benefit of a union or association and therefore, don’t have the negotiating power as major league sports athletes enjoy and some are exercising. It wasn’t very in-depth regarding the wrestling and MMA cards happening, although Oliver added that there is no way to eliminate risk completely and mentioned the UFC having a positive case but didn’t specifically name Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza or his cornermen.

UFC president Dana White issued a response through Twitter to the segment with Oliver:

I like John Oliver, I think he’s funny. But this is a perfect example of how you can control the narrative by using selective facts. We did approximately 1,100 tests, only 3 were positive, it was a fighter and his 2 trainers and we had 3 events NOT 1

**On the final episode of ESPN’s ‘The Last Dance’, they dedicated a few minutes on Dennis Rodman skipping practice after Game 3 and attending Monday Nitro on June 8th in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Rodman was fined by the Bulls for missing practice but was making an enormous amount for his limited WCW appearances and match the following month at Bash at the Beach. The Bulls and Jazz continued their series on Wednesday that week and Rodman appearing on Nitro gained lots of coverage. In terms of WCW’s promotional acumen, attracting the attention they did and paying it off by inserting Karl Malone into the tag match at Bash at the Beach, it was a phenomenal achievement. This period is remembered for Raw surpassing Nitro, however, WCW was doing phenomenal business during this era, although it was being stifled creatively. In the weeks to come, WCW had the huge episode of Nitro from the Georgia Dome with the coronation of Bill Goldberg, one of their biggest pay-per-views ever in Bash at the Beach, and ran three big stadium Nitros over the course of five weeks from December 1998 to January 1999.

**There will be lots of discussion about Owen Hart this week with the season finale of Dark Side of the Ring Tuesday night. It’s the first time Owen’s children Oje and Athena have spoken publicly about their father’s passing with the episode also featuring Martha Hart. Last month, David Bixenspan wrote a story for Fan Byte about Hart’s passing and received the police report, which is included in the story.

**CBS Sports has an interview with Martha Hart discussing Owen’s death in 1999, holding WWE responsible and going into detail about the rigging in place for the stunt.

**Will Cooling has an article on the Torch site looking at the finances of Progress Wrestling that are open to the public through the Companies House governmental agency in the UK. In Cooling’s research, it shows that under Progress’ real name (JJG Partners), the company paid out a dividend of £273,000 to owners Jon Briley, Glen Joseph, and Jim Smallman (the latter ended his role as a director in July 2019 and had his shares bought out. Smallman ended his role with the company by the end of the year to work exclusively with NXT UK). Cooling adds that the dividend payout was £155,000 in 2017/18. During the pandemic, the group has been running fundraisers and launched a Twitch channel to raise funds for workers.

**MLW has announced that they have re-signed Richard Holliday of The Dynasty to a new multi-year deal. On Monday, MLW CEO Court Bauer wrote that two performers nearly left the company but were able to secure them to new deals:

Crazy few days. @MLW came VERY close to losing TWO top wrestlers to free agency. Despite an aggressive competitor’s efforts for them to jump (w/ bonus tied to a jump), both wrestlers just signed newly minted long-term deals with us. I’m ecstatic and you will be too. More soon.

**Court Bauer spoke to Newsweek on their programming adjustment during the pandemic. Beginning this past weekend, they started airing their ‘Anthology’ series of older content with the first episode featuring older MLW matches featuring LA Park from the first iteration of MLW in the early 2000s. Bauer told Newsweek this format will allow them to have programming on beIN Sports going into 2021 and added that the company has additional programming ideas in mind. Bauer also confirmed in the story that the group has extended an invitation to Mike Tyson to get involved in something that would benefit a charity. On running shows during the pandemic, he stated:

In wrestling the key component is the fan participation. Who are the stars of the show? One of the biggest are the fans. If they’re not there it’s like watching a movie without a soundtrack. It can happen but should it? It’s kind of perverse.

A lot of people in my position are tempted because temptation is a big part of the decision-making process. I’m not tempted at all, I’m not in the position to be tempted. I’m comfortable waiting for things to get as normal as possible.

**Following the success of ‘The Last Dance’, ESPN will be airing a never-before-seen cinematic presentation of Game 6 between the Chicago Bulls and Utah Jazz from the 1998 finals this Wednesday night at 9 pm Eastern that will go against AEW Dynamite and NXT. When the game aired in 1998 on NBC, it did almost 36 million viewers.

**The WWE stock closed at $43.57 on Monday.

**Luchasaurus has been added to the Casino Ladder Match this Saturday at AEW’s Double or Nothing pay-per-view. The final entrant will be a mystery person and will join Darby Allin, Colt Cabana, Orange Cassidy, Rey Fenix, Kip Sabian, Scorpio Sky, Frankie Kazarian, and Luchasaurus for the match.

**TNT will be running a Countdown to Double or Nothing special this Friday night at 10 pm Eastern, which begins immediately after SmackDown airs on Fox.

**Arash Madani of Sportsnet spoke with WWE champion Drew McIntyre on being released in 2014, his return to the company, and winning the title at WrestleMania 36.

**The WWE Network has added new episodes of WWE Confidential from 2003-04. Episodes include profiles on Ernie Ladd, Road Warrior Hawk, and the Tribute to the Troops show in Iraq in 2003.

**Here are the matches for Tuesday’s episode of Impact Wrestling airing on AXS TV at 8 pm Eastern:
*Michael Elgin vs. Sami Callihan in the # 1 contender tournament
*Rhino vs. Ace Austin (replacing Ken Shamrock due to a storyline attack by Elgin) in the # 1 contender tournament
*XXXL vs. TJP & Fallah Bahh
*Willie Mack vs. Johnny Swinger in a non-title match

**The Blue Meanie (Brian Heffron) turns 37 years old today.

**This week’s edition of Being the Elite:

MMA NEWS

**On Saturday’s UFC card, the Fight of the Night bonus went to Song Yadong and Marlon Vera while the Performance of the Night bonuses was awarded to Cortney Casey and Miguel Baeza for $50,000 each. The card featured several debatable decisions including Vera vs. Yadong, along with the featherweight fight between Dan Ige and Edson Barboza, and Claudia Gadelha vs. Angela Hill. In all three of those fights, I saw it going 29-28 in the opposite direction from who won. With Hill and Gadelha, it was close, with each winning a round clearly and the third was closest but I scored it for Hill. Barboza looked very good at featherweight and providing the weight cut wasn’t too arduous, seems to be a weight he can be very competitive at and I had it 29-28 for Barboza.

**Referee Jason Herzog issued a statement after last Wednesday’s controversial fight between Glover Teixeira and Anthony Smith that most felt went too long before the fifth-round stoppage. Teixeira took over the fight in the third round, dropping Smith and dominating the third and fourth rounds 10-8 each. Prior to the fifth round, Smith was heard telling his corner that his teeth were falling out and there was a moment in the fight where he handed Herzog his lost teeth. Herzog took the blame for the fighting lasting as long as it did:

This sport of MMA is beautiful, it’s pure. And an incredible teacher. Some lessons are more harsh than others. I’ve seen a lot of opinions about what should have happen, who was at fault.

But let me be clear, there is only one person to blame. Me.

I am responsible for each fighter I am entrusted to oversee. I will take this experience, make the necessary changes, and get better.

REVIEW

The Last Ride – Chapter 2: The Redemption

The second episode of Undertaker: The Last Ride picks up with the aftermath of WrestleMania 33 and Undertaker’s disappointment from the match with Roman Reigns. It was as definitive a retirement as you could expect from the character and he had the mindset he was done. Four weeks after the match with Reigns, he has his right hip replaced following a previous replacement of the left one. The most engaging person consistently is Michelle McCool, who sees the addiction her husband has to chase one last great match with both the human side as his wife and the mentality of a performer herself. There is a tense scene after the operation where McCool spoke of the “blessing and the curse” of his hip replacement because he will feel better but worries he will feel so much better than he will begin testing what he can do. Undertaker responds by joking “in April” referring to WrestleMania time and it sinks in with McCool that he isn’t retired, and the thought has already entered his mind hours removed from surgery.

There is a long portion focusing on the relationship between Mark Calaway and Vince McMahon and his willingness to go to any lengths for McMahon. Ahead of WrestleMania 34, Calaway is working out to see how he feels and is given a deadline of February 25th to make a decision if he’s doing ‘Mania and sends in a video to McMahon after taking some bumps and saying he was in. This is the year John Cena made weekly challenges and the public went into ‘Mania without the match announcement but everyone expects it. If there is a new wrinkle to the story of that match, it’s the clear message that Undertaker wanted to go out and have a classic match on par with past ‘Mania performances. Instead, the two got less than three minutes after the entrance and reveal he was there in New Orleans. He said he was training to go 45 minutes and instead, got five (which was being charitable). That said, was it the wrong call? Cena had slowed down significantly himself by that time and coming off the match with Reigns, it was clear that they didn’t want to risk overstaying their welcome and did a sprint instead of a marathon. It was a win in the sense the audience went nuts for ‘Taker on that show and being in the stadium that night, they were spent. The match that followed was Daniel Bryan’s comeback match and it struggled.

Next week’s episode continues the “vicious cycle” as McCool calls it as the high from WrestleMania 34 is brought down by the Crown Jewel match with Kane against Triple H & Shawn Michaels that is described as a “train wreck”, which is being kind. In 2018, Calaway ends up doing several matches after WrestleMania with the Greatest Royal Rumble in Saudi Arabia against Rusev, the Super Show-Down event in Australia against Triple H, and then Crown Jewel.

ON THIS DATE

 

*****
TRMPS #17: Snitch (2017) w/ Clement Bryant
This month on The Rocky Maivia Picture Show, Nate Milton welcomes podcaster & TV/Film Marketer Clement Bryant (Black Lightning Podcast) into the theater to review 2013’s “Snitch”!
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/05/16/trmps-17-snitch-2013-w-clement-bryant/
*****
REWIND-A-SMACKDOWN 5//15/20: IC Tournament, Martha Hart, Road Warriors
John Pollock and Wai Ting review Friday Night SmackDown with the start of the Intercontinental title tournament. Plus, Martha Hart appears on Talk is Jericho, and a review of Dark Side of the Ring: “The Last Ride of the Road Warriors”.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/05/16/rewind-a-smackdown-5-15-20-ic-tournament-martha-hart-road-warriors/
*****
BWE 5/15/20: The Big Euro Transfer Window
On the latest edition of the British Wrestling Experience, the European Wrestling Transfer Window will open. Live on air, Martin, Benno, Jamesie, and Andy will pit their wits against each other to select the best possible roster for their respective promotions.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/05/14/bwe-5-15-20-the-big-euro-transfer-window/
*****
Café Hangout: Andrew Thompson, NXT, Your Calls

John Pollock and Wai Ting welcome POST Wrestling’s Andrew Thompson to discuss the week in wrestling news. Plus, last night’s NXT, Mike Tyson, UFC, TakeOver: In Your House, Otis winning MITB, and your phone calls!
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/05/14/live-link-for-todays-cafe-hangout-3pm-et-2/
*****
upNXT 5/13/20: “You’re Not My Bro!”

Braden Herrington and Davie Portman review the May 13th edition of WWE NXT featuring Matt Riddle and Timothy Thatcher vs. Imperium for the NXT Tag Titles.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/05/14/upnxt-5-13-20-youre-not-my-bro/
*****
REWIND-A-DYNAMITE 5/13/20: Mike Tyson at DON, Vanguard 1, NXT In Your House
John Pollock and Wai Ting review a taped edition of AEW Dynamite featuring the announcement of Mike Tyson appearing at Double or Nothing and the Death of Vanguard-1.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/05/14/rewind-a-dynamite-5-13-20-mike-tyson-at-don-vanguard-1-nxt-in-your-house/
*****
REWIND-A-WAI #61: WCW Monday Nitro (Sept. 18, 2000)
John Pollock and Wai Ting review WCW Monday Nitro from Kitchener, Ontario held on September 18, 2000, featuring a… uh… the booking of this show is so difficult to describe in one paragraph you’ll really just need to listen to find out.
https://www.patreon.com/posts/37046517
*****

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I wonder if they are still going with The Greatest Match ever, I guess we’ll find out quickly enough because I believe Michael Cole will say “Will Edge accept the challenge of Randy Orton and be in possibly the greatest match ever” or somewhere along those lines.

Surprised AEW haven’t mocked this yet

Typo with Blue Meanies age. I think he turned 47 :slight_smile:

Both those stories suck

I feel like I’ve been reading 411 since the late 90s.