POLLOCK'S NEWS UPDATE: Tony Khan on status of IMPACT relationship

Originally published at POLLOCK'S NEWS UPDATE: Tony Khan on status of IMPACT relationship


**Rewind-A-Dynamite is live tonight at 10:15 p.m. ET with Wai Ting and I reviewing AEW Dynamite from Independence, Missouri. We will also take your feedback from the POST Wrestling Forum and tee up the rest of the week and weekend here at POST Wrestling. Live access is available for Double Double, Iced Capp & Espresso members of the POST Wrestling Café.

**Thanks to everyone that has reached out regarding the daily news updates we have introduced that most seem to be enjoying the format of. Earlier today, we were joined by Andrew Thompson as we covered the Jon Moxley story, Dynamite tonight and the lead-up to Full Gear as well as options for the Title Eliminator Tournament, NXT 2.0, the injury to Zoey Stark, and ‘Heels’ being renewed for a second season on Starz. The daily news updates are available on YouTube and the audio version on Patreon.

**Rewind-A-Wai #98 was released on Tuesday with our review of WWE TLC 2011 as selected by Espresso Executive Producer David Porges. This event was highlighted by Daniel Bryan’s Money in the Bank cash-in on Big Show and Bryan’s retelling of the circumstances behind the decision from his book that was released several years ago. We dive into the headlines from this era including FCW standouts Jon Moxley and Seth Rollins getting a look on the house shows, Linda McMahon’s second campaign attempt, and a complete review of the TLC card and the state of WWE as 2011 came to an end. This show is available for all POST Wrestling Café members.

**On Thursday night, Martin Bushby will have an extensive interview with Rev Pro promoter Andy Quildan available on the British Wrestling Experience feed as he goes through Quildan’s entire career.


Tonight: Rewind-A-Dynamite (10:15 p.m. ET for Double Double+ Patrons)
Thursday: Martin Bushby interviews Andy Quildan (BWE feed)
Friday: WWE Q3 Earnings Report with John Pollock & Brandon Thurston
Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown with Wai Ting & Kate from Montreal (11:15 p.m. ET for all Patrons)
Saturday: UFC 268 POST Show with John Pollock & Phil Chertok
Sunday: The Long & Winding Royal Road with WH Park & Jamesie (Super Generation Army vs. Tsuruta-gun from April 20, 1991)
Sunday: Wrestlenomics Radio with Brandon Thurston & Chris Gullo (Debut on POST Wrestling)


**Here are the matches scheduled for tonight’s edition of AEW Dynamite from Independence, Missouri at the Cable Dahmer Arena and airing at 8 p.m. ET on TNT and TSN 2 in Canada:
*Kenny Omega vs. Alan “5” Angels
*Cody Rhodes vs. Andrade El Idolo
*TBS Tournament: Anna Jay vs. Jamie Hayter
*AAA Tag Team Championship: FTR (champions) vs. Samuray del Sol & Aerostar
*The Inner Circle selects the ATT members for the 5-on-5 match at Full Gear

AEW has not issued any update regarding tonight’s match with Orange Cassidy, who was originally scheduled to face Jon Moxley in the semi-finals of the Title Eliminator Tournament.

**Obviously, we want to send our best wishes to Jon Moxley as he seeks help. It is a major step in and of itself of identifying an issue and charting a course to address it. While sometimes lost on us, there is that much more pressure when you are in the public eye and your problems are going to become major news in your given industry. There is always a mentality of ignoring issues for far too long, never wanting to miss the next show, and allowing problems to compound and sadly, this is an industry with far too many examples that have ended tragically. Moxley should be applauded for sharing his struggles and given his stature in the industry, providing an example that it’s okay to press ‘pause’ on your career and take care of the larger priorities.

**Renee Paquette posted a statement thanking everyone for their support:

Thanks for this outpouring of support. Jon is every bit of the badass we all know him to be. I couldn’t be more proud of him for getting to proper help he needs, and being given the space to put his health first. Couldn’t possibly love this man more.

**AEW received a major gift from the Atlanta Braves by ending the World Series against the Houston Astros on Tuesday. If Game 7 was forced, it would have been played tonight against Dynamite. Without the MLB playoffs to contend with, tonight’s episode should give us a more accurate gauge on the effect that the live airing in the Pacific and Mountain time zones are going to have on Dynamite each week.

**MLW Fusion: ALPHA airs at 7 p.m. ET tonight on the promotion’s YouTube channel with the following announced for the show:
*Casket Match: King Muertes vs. Tom Lawlor
*The Sea Stars vs. Zoey Sky & Willow Nightingale
*Alex Kane Prize Fight Open

**AEW president Tony Khan provided an update on the status of its relationship with IMPACT Wrestling following Christian Cage losing the IMPACT title at Bound for Glory. Khan was a guest on Wrestling Observer Live and stated he was open to future ideas while noting: (Transcribed by Jeremy Lambert at Fightful)

I like those guys a lot and we’ve done a lot of great stuff. We don’t have anything booked right now and that’s different than how it’s been for the last year or so because for most of 2021, we’ve had stuff on paper planned and we don’t really have anything locked in right now but that’s no reason that we can’t come up with something. Scott and I talk pretty regularly and I’ve enjoyed going to Nashville and working with those guys. My post-production office is literally upstairs from where they tape.

**CM Punk was interviewed by Josh Martinez of Z100 in New York City and spoke about what a hypothetical return to WWE would have led to and why he wasn’t interested: (Transcribed by Stephanie Chase of Digital Spy)

If I went back to WWE, what would I do? There’s a formula. There’s a track record and a formula.

This is what they do. Batista comes back, he wins the Royal Rumble, he main events WrestleMania. Edge comes back. He’s in the Royal Rumble. I think he was in it twice. He might have won, I don’t know. He goes on the main event WrestleMania.

There’s a formula and I was bored of that shit ten years ago, so I’m bored of it now. I understand people saying that they don’t like certain things and all that, then it’s not for you. I get it.

**IMPACT Wrestling has confirmed the location for its first pay-per-view of 2022. The ‘Hard to Kill’ event will take place from The Factory in Deep Ellum in Dallas, Texas on Saturday, January 8th. On the venue’s site, it lists doors for 6 p.m. and a show start time of 7. Earlier this week, Andrew Zarian of the Mat Men Podcast reported that AEW is planning a Saturday night special on TNT for the same night.

**Big E. was interviewed by Kevin Michie of Sportsnet and discussed the expansion of Black representation in WWE and what he has observed:

I think it’s really cool. When you look around at the landscape of our industry, in WWE and outside of WWE, it just feels like a really good time to be a Black professional wrestler, whether you’re a man or a woman. I look around and I see so many stars. And what I love, too, is when I look at our roster I don’t see a bunch of people who were given these opportunities and these positions merely because of the colour of their skin, as some kind of a quota system. You look at a Bianca (Belair), you look at a Sasha (Banks) and they’re undeniable to me. They are clearly unique. Same thing with Kofi (Kingston) and (Xavier) Woods, and Bobby Lashley and you can go on and on, there are just so many really, really talented Black wrestlers.

I love seeing what Hit Row’s been doing, too, I love seeing them move to SmackDown, it’s exciting. It’s just a great time for us. I was a young Black kid who was a professional wrestling fan and some of my favourites were Goldberg and Scott Steiner but I also loved Ron Simmons, as well. I think when you can see people who look like you or resemble you as a young fan, it makes you think, ‘Oh yeah, this industry speaks to me. It’s not ignoring my fandom.’ If this is something that you might want to do one day, it makes it seem more plausible that ‘Yeah, this is something I can do because look at all look at all the other people who look like me who’ve done this before.’

**NJPW has a Road to Power Struggle show on Thursday from Ishikawa headlined by Shingo Takagi & Hiromu Takahashi vs. Zack Sabre Jr. & DOUKI. It’s the final show before Saturday’s Power Struggle event at the Edion Arena in Osaka featuring Takagi vs. ZSJ for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship in a rematch from the G1.

**The ballots for the annual Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame Class have been distributed (for disclosure, I am a voter). The criteria are a combination of drawing power, great in-ring performer, or excelling in their specific field of the industry, as well as historical significance in a positive manner. The ideal candidate will have a combination of those factors or be so far superior in one area that he or she is undeniable for inclusion. The performer must be at least 35 years of age and wrestling full-time for ten years or be a full-time wrestler for 15 years. Those added to the Hall of Fame must receive 60 percent of the votes in their given region (IE: Historical, Modern in U.S/Canada, Japan, Mexico, Europe/Australia/New Zealand/Pacific Islands/Africa, Non-Wrestlers). Voters can select up to ten candidates with selections from the non-wrestlers section not going against that number.

Those on the bubble this year, who must receive at least 50 percent to remain on next year’s ballot are Don Owen (legendary promoter from Portland who ran until 1991), Sgt. Slaughter (a major star in the Carolinas and was poised to be the top babyface underneath Hulk Hogan in the early ‘80s before his departure and formed a fantastic team with the late Don Kernodle), Jim Crockett Jr. (the successor to his father overseeing the Mid-Atlantic territory as it expanded and became a staple on TBS after WWF left the network. He is both credited and maligned given the heights JCP reached while nearly going out of business in 1988 until the promotion was purchased by Turner.), Enrique Torres (a significant star in the ’40s and ‘50s from the Torres family where he has big runs in Hawaii for 50th State, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Mid-Atlantic, Georgia, and San Francisco among them) and Johnny “Mr. Wrestling II” Walker (Huge star in Georgia Championship Wrestling and a key part of the 1972 fight in Atlanta between the NWA and Ann Gunkel’s promotion. He is often mentioned as the favorite wrestler of Lillian Carter, the mother of former U.S. president Jimmy Carter.)

Of those candidates, Owen and Slaughter each received 53 percent last year and were the only two that were close.

The major addition to the ballot in 2021 is 33-year old Kazuchika Okada, who is credited alongside Hiroshi Tanahashi and Gedo as the architects of the New Japan boom for most of the past decade. While the company is nowhere near its greatest historical peaks, it was at a historical low point in the years prior in the 2000s.

Okada’s return from an excursion in 2012 from TNA sparked an immediate rise for the star as Gedo’s major project as a booker. Okada was quickly put on top by ending Tanahashi’s year-plus reign as IWGP heavyweight champion, which was heavily debated then. After a June 2012 match with Tetsuya Naito, generally, everyone saw Okada as the next superstar and was an instance of Gedo putting everything behind Okada ready the public was ready or not for such a rapid ascent. His feud with Tanahashi over the next several years was the feud of the decade and climaxed with Okada beating his rival at the Tokyo Dome in 2016 after several wins but never at the Tokyo Dome.

The business grew further through Okada’s series of matches with Kenny Omega as international growth was seen on New Japan World and through the company’s television portal on AXS TV along with a working relationship with Ring of Honor that peaked with a sold-out event at Madison Square Garden in April 2019.

There is basically no question that Okada is going to be voted into the Hall of Fame on his first appearance on the ballot but how high the percentage will be. I would assume it will be the highest since at least Kenta Kobashi received 98 percent in 2002.

**After Showbuzz Daily posted the complete ratings breakdown on Monday, it added some new information for Raw. It was very steady from the week prior with an identical number of viewers in 18-49 with 613,000 from the week prior (it’s more impressive this week as Monday Night Football was up 7 percent and last week’s episode was billed as the “season premiere”, although this week’s had a marquee title match advertised all week). The show fell 4 percent in viewers and 18-49 throughout the episode. Female viewership was up this week in 18-49s by 17 percent while Males 18-49 dropped by 8.5 percent. Adults 18-34 and Females 18-49 had similar patterns where they grew in hour two and reverted to the same hour one level in the third with no decline over the totality of the episode. The 12-34 audience were the only demos with any noticeable change over the three hours with females increasing by 14 percent throughout the show and males dropping 11 percent.

**Andrade El Idolo turns 32 today.

**The WWE stock closed at $60.94 on Wednesday.

**One of the stories going into UFC 268 is the promotional debut of multiple-time kickboxing champion Alex Pereira. The former GLORY middleweight and light heavyweight champion holds two kickboxing wins over current UFC champion Israel Adesanya. The two fought in 2016 with Pereira winning by decision prior to a knockout victory the following year. Pereira is 3-1 in MMA having competed for Jungle Fight and LFA before this Saturday’s fight against Andreas Michailidis (13-4). Pereira was on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani today and stated that new light heavyweight champion Glover Teixeira will be in his corner at UFC 268. The fight will be the featured prelim fight before the pay-per-view.

**The New Yorker’s Kelefa Sanneh has a feature on Jake Paul and his rise within boxing as one of its marquee attractions.

**Episode 3 of UFC Embedded prior to UFC 268 this weekend.

**The UFC will be holding a press conference on Thursday evening at 5 p.m. ET in New York City to promote UFC 268 this Saturday.


A match between Aguila (the future Essa Rios) and Super Loco (better known as Super Crazy) on Raw in 1997 as part of the light heavyweight title tournament:

Steve Austin takes on The Rock in the main event of the Rebellion event in the U.K on this date in 2001:

SHOT IN THE DARK: Matt Taven/Mike Bennett debut on NWA, New NXT UK Heritage Cup Champion
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Martin Bushby & Andrew Thompson are back with another round of Wrestling Adventure. This month they are joined by Chad Gelfand & Chris Jeter to go back to WWE King of the Ring 2002.

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