POLLOCK'S NEWS UPDATE: The Rock confirmed for SmackDown on Fox

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/09/30/pollocks-news-update-the-rock-confirmed-for-smackdown-on-fox/


**Tonight’s episode of Rewind-A-Raw with Wai Ting and I will be packed with tons of news from the weekend and today. Then, we will review tonight’s season premiere of Raw from Phoenix, Arizona, and all the news coming off that show. We will also look ahead to the coming week, our new schedule and take your feedback.

**We have an interview on the site with Paul Lazenby discussing the passing of Rick Bognar, who died earlier this month and the news was released over the weekend.

**On Tuesday night, members of the POST Wrestling Café will have access to a 90-minute version of ASK-A-WAI with Wai Ting and I doing our monthly mailbag show and answering tons of questions. The Tuesday night slot will be the new home for our Café exclusives including Rewind-A-Wai and the MCU reviews.

**This Wednesday, on the British Wrestling Experience, Martin Bushby and Jamesie welcome PW Torch’s Will Cooling to discuss AEW’s UK television deal, reviews of the recent Riptide and Fight Club Pro shows, and a preview of this weekend’s wXw World Tag Team Festival. Wednesday night will also feature the launch of Rewind-A-Dynamite with Wai and I, plus Braden Herrington and Davie Portman will have a new upNXT covering the big show on Wednesday night.


*Tonight: Rewind-A-Raw with John Pollock & Wai Ting
*Tuesday: ASK-A-WAI (Patreon)
*Wednesday: British Wrestling Experience with guest Will Cooling
*Wednesday: Rewind-A-Dynamite with John & Wai (free)
*Wednesday: upNXT with Braden Herrington & Davie Portman
*Thursday: Café Hangout with guest Andrew Thompson (LIVE at 3 pm Eastern for ALL Café members)
*Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown with John & Wai (Patreon)
*Saturday: UFC 243 POST Show
*Sunday: WWE Hell in a Cell POST Show (LIVE for Double Double+ Café members)


**This marks the beginning of one of the biggest weeks for the industry in years. WWE had put enormous resources into their “premiere week” with the season-premiere of Raw that will feature the new broadcast team, the first head-to-head battle on Wednesday night with a loaded NXT program, the biggest one is SmackDown launching on Fox, plus a pay-per-view on Sunday that feels lost in the shuffle. On top of that, the Total Divas season-premiere has been moved to Tuesday night with a 10 pm Eastern start time.

**Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson confirmed Monday that he will be on this Friday’s episode of SmackDown for the debut on Fox. Johnson announced the news on social media and joins Steve Austin, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Kurt Angle, Mick Foley, Sting, and Bill Goldberg among the legends scheduled to appear.

**The season-premiere of Raw is in Phoenix, Arizona tonight from the Talking Stick Resort Arena. This will feature Vic Joseph taking over play-by-play duties alongside Dio Maddin and the returning Jerry Lawler. It’s a big show for Raw to kick off the week and has a lot of objectives with the promotion of two big shows later this week and a pay-per-view. In another era, you’d be looking at a show on Sunday that would die on pay-per-view but in this era, I have less concern about that show being pushed aside. The launch on Fox is so important and it should be the top priority beyond their monthly streaming event. Here is what has been announced for Raw:
*Seth Rollins vs. Rey Mysterio for the Universal title
*AJ Styles vs. Cedric Alexander for the United States title
*Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode vs. Heavy Machinery for the Raw tag titles
*Alexa Bliss vs. Sasha Banks
*Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair on Miz TV

**The NWA is holding their television tapings in Atlanta tonight and tomorrow from GPB Studios. If you are in attendance, we would appreciate any notes from the tapings that you can send to [email protected].

**TNT is running a Countdown to AEW special on Tuesday night at 8 pm Eastern and are promoting that they will reveal Chris Jericho’s partners on the countdown. Jericho and his partners will face The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega this Wednesday on the inaugural episode of Dynamite in Washington, D.C.

**Cain Velasquez is a very interesting subject with reports that he has met with WWE among several others. The company wants Velasquez, to the point that ideas have been thrown around internally if he were to come in. It is hard to imagine he could sign with a major company like WWE without any issues from UFC, although Velasquez told Marc Raimondi of ESPN this past July that his contract gave him the option to wrestle in WWE. Dave Meltzer has more on the Velasquez story on MMA Fighting.

**WWE confirmed on Monday that 205 Live is moving to Friday nights at 10 pm Eastern on the WWE Network beginning this Friday. The move was first reported by Mike Johnson at PWinsider.com has Tuesday. The word I was told is that the long-term plan for 205 Live is unknown.

**Richard Deitsch of The Athletic reported Monday that the WWE Backstage studio show will be “100% produced by Fox Sports”. Deitsch added that Fox Sports was involved in the selection process of the SmackDown broadcasters, but WWE had the final say on the team, which will be Michael Cole and Corey Graves. From someone at FS 1, they told me that some may be surprised at some of the angles they take on the studio show. While I don’t expect them to cover major scandals or touchy areas, I do feel this show needs to go further than an in-house WWE production and UFC Tonight is probably a good comparison.

**Fox is going all out this week promoting the arrival of Friday Night SmackDown with lots of talent scheduled for interviews and appearances on their properties. There is a giant ring set up outside Fox headquarters in New York and the following appearances are listed:
*Tuesday: Stephanie McMahon on FS 1’s First Things First at 8:10 am ET, on Fox & Friends at 8:30 am and a fan meet-and-greet at Fox Square at 9:15 am
*Wednesday: Charlotte Flair on First Things First at 8:10 am, on Fox & Friends at 8:30 am and meet-and-greet at 9:15 am
*Thursday: Roman Reigns on First Things First at 8:10 am, Fox & Friends at 8:30 am and meet-and-greet at 9:15 am, plus Reigns will appear on the Fox NFL Thursday coverage at 7:30 pm
*Friday: Prior to SmackDown, there will be a kickoff show airing on Fox at 7:30 pm Eastern

**Game Changer Wrestling presents “Curtain Call” tonight at 8 pm Eastern on Fite TV for $13.99 (U.S.) It is the farewell show for Joey Janela, Jungle Boy, and Marko Stunt, who all have signed with All Elite Wrestling. The card will feature Orange Cassidy vs. Ethan Page, Chris Dickinson vs. Matthew Justice, Jungle Boy vs. Jake Atlas, and Tony Deppen vs. David Starr. They are also advertising Teddy Hart, Nick Gage, and more.

**Fox’s airing of “SmackDown’s Greatest Hits” hosted by The Miz and Charlotte Flair this past Friday averaged 1,391,000 viewers from 8-9 pm Eastern. The WWE special beat out a repeat episode of “The Prodigal Son” that followed the special at 9 pm with 1,265,000 viewers.

**AEW has announced that the December 4th episode of Dynamite will take place from the State Farm Center in Champaign, Illinois with tickets on sale this Friday at Noon ET. Champaign is AEW president Tony Khan’s hometown.

**The Young Bucks posted a video Monday announcing that merchandise for the company will be available in all Hot Topics stores beginning in October. In a follow-up press release, AEW stated that stores in the U.S. and Canada will be carrying shirts for Kenny Omega, The Young Bucks, Chris Jericho, Cody, Hangman Page, Jungle Boy, and Luchasaurus.

**Over the weekend, WWE added a match between Roman Reigns and Erick Rowan for this Friday’s episode of SmackDown on Fox. There is a lot on their plate for Tuesday’s show with Kofi Kingston vs. Brock Lesnar, a ladder match between Kevin Owens and Shane McMahon, Becky Lynch & Charlotte Flair vs. Sasha Banks & Bayley, plus all the legends that have been advertised to appear.

**Rush and his father La Bestia del Ring released a video through YouTube on Monday discussing their departure from CMLL. The video was not in English but was transcribed by Carlos Toro at Fightful.com. Below are some of the highlights regarding Rush discussing his loyalty to the late Paco Alonso, who died this past July and had no problem with his daughter, Sofia Alonso:

But what did to my brother Dragon Lee was a sign of disrespect because my brother, like my myself and my brother Mistico, has elevated the brand of CMLL and worked very hard to do it in the United States. He was the only to be doing that in the United States, in Japan, in many parts around the world. And what did you do? Like me, my brother is set for great things and you know it. Now, my brother Mistico, we love him a lot and I hope this doesn’t affect him… The one who was always loyal to us, Paco Alonso, is no longer with us.

**For more on the CMLL situation, The Cubs Fan and Rob Bihari recorded a 40-minute podcast this past Friday night with the fallout from the announcement of their departures from CMLL along with Rush’s brother Dragon Lee.

**Rush is also holding a press conference this Wednesday.

**As I noted on Friday’s show covering Death Before Dishonor, Bandido was dealing with an injury and ended up missing the ROH television tapings on Saturday in Las Vegas. Bandido is dealing with a knee injury that he sustained prior to PWG’s Battle of Los Angeles, which he won. It was told to us that he aggravated the injury during BOLA and re-aggravated it during Friday’s tag match with Mark Haskins against the Briscoes. He has also removed himself from the wXw World Tag Team Festival shows this weekend in Germany.

**Jonathan Snowden at Bleacher Report recently spent a day following Cody Rhodes and wrote about the lead-up to this Wednesday’s launch on TNT. There are some interesting notes, including WWE trying to persuade Cody and Brandi Rhodes to stay in 2015 with large offers before leaving the company. Cody said that Paul Levesque took it personally because of how much he felt he had done for their family and added that it was Kevin Owens that first put him in touch with the Young Bucks as he set out on the independent scene. The article also outlines the set up in Atlanta where Diamond Dallas Page has let Cody and his team, work out of the DDPY studios. Steve Yu, who directed “The Resurrection of Jake the Snake” and is behind the “Road to” series, was the one to create the opening video for this Wednesday’s launch on TNT. In addition to Cody and Page, Snowden also spoke with Cody’s mother Michelle.

**A company that is becoming very popular among wrestlers and fighters is BioXcellerator, which specializes in stem cell therapy. The company has a headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona and a clinic in Medellin, Colombia. In Colombia, they can perform stem cell treatments not allowed by the FDA in the United States, due to the number of stem cells shot into the body. Among those to have the procedure include Rey Mysterio, Kevin Nash, Brian Cage, John Hennigan, Ryback, Bobby Lashley, Chuck Liddell, Matt Hughes, Gilbert Melendez, and Ken Shamrock. The company’s YouTube page is full of testimonials.

**Ronda Rousey will appear on tonight’s episode of 9-1-1 on Fox at 8 pm Eastern.

**WWE is sending Kassius Ohno and Cameron Grimes to work the next set of EVOLVE shows on October 11th and 12th. The first night is in Atlanta and is headlined by Austin Theory defending the EVOLVE title against AR Fox and will feature Ohno taking on Josh Briggs in a “Lights Out” match while Grimes will face Curt Stallion. The next night is in Concord, North Carolina with Grimes taking on Eddie Kingston, Ohno faces Stallion, and AR Fox & Leon Ruff defend the tag titles against Austin Theory & Anthony Greene.

**WWE is doing a two-hour “Watch Along” this Wednesday at 8 pm for the NXT broadcast. The talent listed for the special includes Ricochet, Apollo Crews, Kassius Ohno, Bianca Belair, Keith Lee, Jordan Myles, Rachael Evers, Chelsea Green, Deonna Purrazzo, Isaiah Scott, Rik Bugez, Jordan Omogbehin, Mansoor, Malcolm Bivens, and Brendan Vink. The Watch Along will stream on the WWE Network, YouTube, and Facebook, which means those outside the U.S. have access to the Watch Along but cannot watch NXT live through legal means. There will also be a pre-show on the same platforms this Wednesday at 7:30 pm hosted by Charly Caruso with Pat McAfee and Sam Roberts.

**Impact Wrestling has added a 20-person “Call Your Shot” gauntlet match to the Bound for Glory event on Sunday, October 20th. The winner of the match will receive a future title match of their choosing. The company is doing a publicity stunt where they have invited Joe Maddon to sit ringside for the event to provide managerial tips to the winner. The Chicago Cubs just announced that Maddon was out as their manager after five seasons and a World Series win in 2016.

**MLW has announced that they have signed Dominic Garrini to a multi-year deal and have added A.J. Kirsch to their broadcast team. Kirsch was a cast member on the 2011 edition of Tough Enough on the USA Network that was hosted by Steve Austin. Kirsch will begin working with MLW starting with this Saturday’s event that The Crash and MLW are putting on in Tijuana.

**Court Bauer held a media call on Monday and noted that Mance Warner suffered a collapsed lung and is off this weekend’s event in Tijuana.

**Former Wrestlenomics co-host Chris Harrington wrote a lengthy thread about working for All Elite Wrestling, his past experiences that led to this position and working full-time in the wrestling industry.

**Minoru Suzuki wrote that Yoshihiro Takayama has been moved to a new facility and note improvements Takayama has experienced. Takayama suffered a cervical spinal cord injury in May 2017 during a match where he attempted a sunset flip and landed on his head. The injury has left Takayama paralyzed.

**Here is an article written on WWE’s last card from Shanghai, China earlier this month with a focus on Xia Li.

**The WWE stock closed at $71.15 on Monday.

**A new episode of WWE’s “Table for 3” airs tonight following Raw with Eric Bischoff, Kurt Angle, and Vickie Guerrero. There will also be a new episode of Chronicle featuring Bill Goldberg that airs after Hell in a Cell this Sunday night.

**AEW has released their show open for TNT:

A little something to get you ready for Wednesday… #AEWDynamite show open!

Wednesday | 8PM ET | @TNTDrama pic.twitter.com/wRIEKG7b7G

— All Elite Wrestling on TNT (@AEWonTNT) September 30, 2019

**Big E. was part of Saturday’s PBC card on Fox featuring Errol Spence Jr. taking on Shawn Porter at the Staples Center. Big E. did his signature opening for the New Day while introducing Porter for his walkout. The deal was set up by reporter Andreas Hale, who is a senior editor at The Sporting News. Hale noted that Big E. could not stay for the fight and had to rush to catch a redeye for an 8 am appearance on Sunday morning for iPlay America.

**Joey Janela joins Super Humman for a flying elbow drop through a bunch of VCRs:

Flying elbow drop onto action figures VCR
With @JANELABABY @GCWrestling_ #superhumman #donttrythisathome #WWE pic.twitter.com/9dX5sh6I5g

— SUPER HUMMAN (@superhumman1234) September 29, 2019

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1 Like

The Rock hasn’t been on these nostalgia shows so his appearance is big news. Maybe they could do without Hogan and Flair seeing as they’ll be on Raw earlier in the week anyway. Focus on a handful of special appearances. They’re unlikely to cut anyone for the lineup though but at the very least I hope they don’t announce anyone else. Most importantly they need to make the current product look good and feel more important which they’ll hopefully do by having the post show discussion be about Brock Lesnar beating Kofi for the title in the main event. If they have The Rock’s return as the main event then this company is fucking insane.

Question is, who are these legends going to embarrass for no reason? I can see Nakamura & Sami Zayn being prime suspects. The Rock to pull out his great accent game from his locker for Nakamura and then Stone Cold to pour beer over Sami Zayn. That’d be really Fox.

Unfortunate Fox couldn’t promote The Rock Smackdown appearance on the Thursday Night game that did 13 million viewers and the weekend College and NFL games