Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2018/10/12/pollocks-news-update-u-s-senators-voice-their-concern-over-wwes-crown-jewel-event/
POST IT NOTES
**Rewind-A-Wai returns today as Wai Ting & I review the first live special on the WWE Network with NXT Arrival from February 2014. The show was headlined by Bo Dallas and Adrian Neville in a ladder match for the NXT title and featured Paige vs. Emma for the women’s title and a tremendous opening match between Sami Zayn and “Antonio” Cesaro. We also discussed where the key characters ended up going, what this show’s legacy is and the growth of NXT since 2014.
This show was selected by Espresso Executive Producer Mike King, who was unable to appear on this week’s show. The show is available for members of the POST Wrestling Café.
**Wai Ting and I also have our weekly POST PRODUCTION VIDEO, which is available for Double Double, Iced Capp & Espresso members of the POST Wrestling Café. On this week’s video, we go through some news items, including Khabib Nurmagomedov’s threat to leave the UFC, Rey Mysterio’s return to the WWE, Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson added to UFC 232 in December, the launch of the WWE’s NXT UK program on the WWE Network, and Wai goes through our “soft launch” of our POST Wrestling merchandise store with an exclusive deal for Café members.
**On Saturday, Chris Charlton has a new edition of the EGGSHELLS Podcast Companion and welcomes back his brother Matt to chat about the year 2005 at the Tokyo Dome.
**On Sunday night, Nate Milton returns to POST Wrestling for our Impact Wrestling Bound for Glory POST Show.
**The biggest story affecting World Wrestling Entertainment is the decision to go ahead with the Crown Jewel event on November 2nd in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. In the wake of journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance and alleged murder at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, there is increasing evidence that the Saudi Arabian authorities were behind the alleged action. The Turkish government has informed those in the United States that they have audio and video evidence that Khashoggi was killed and dismembered inside the consulate. The Saudi Arabian officials are denying the murder and countering that Khashoggi left the consulate that day, they will be forming a joint committee with Turkey to investigate the case.
While the WWE’s involvement with the General Sports Authority and forthcoming event are not going to be at the forefront of this larger story, it’s almost impossible to imagine this show going on without heavy mainstream attention and criticism once it takes place. The WWE cannot present the same show as the Greatest Royal Rumble in April where videos played endorsing and promoting the government and serving as a public relations arm of the Saudi Arabian government.
On Friday, several U.S. Senators came out with their concerns over the WWE’s show next month in Riyadh. Democratic Senators Chris Murphy of Connecticut, Chris Coons of Delaware and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham spoke on the record to the IJF news outlet regarding their concerns with the show and hoping the WWE should take a “pause” regarding the show. They also spoke to Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey, who acknowledged the WWE being a private entity but the complications of Linda McMahon being part of President Donald Trump’s cabinet makes it a “grey area where the administration should give it some thought and maybe even prevail upon them not doing it.”
The exact amount the WWE is being paid for this show is unknown due to a company cited confidentiality clause in the agreement. In their last quarterly financial report, there was a line item in the live events section listed as “Other” and would suggest that the deal with the GSA was worth approximately $45 million, although that could cover both shows for 2018. The WWE entered a ten-year deal with the GSA this past year with the first event staged in Jeddah.
With mounting pressure for action, it is hard to imagine that this won’t grow into a larger issue for the WWE. President Donald Trump has condemned the act but has been resistant to cast blame and stated outright that it would be a mistake to sanction their arms deal with Saudi Arabia, which is worth $110 billion.
David Bixenspan wrote a piece for Deadspin on the ongoing story and received the following statement from the WWE, “we are currently monitoring the situation.”
**Mike Johnson at PWinsider.com is reporting that POP TV will be moving Impact Wrestling to a new timeslot of 10 pm Eastern, beginning on Thursday, October 25th. POST Wrestling has reached out to several officials for confirmation of the move and not received any response yet. The POP TV schedule lists Impact for 8 pm on October 17th with an immediate replay at 10 pm, which would make sense to ease people into the new timeslot and use next week’s show to promote the time change.
Viewership for Impact Wrestling has taken a big hit since July with their last 11 weeks of programming averaging 227,000 viewers going back to July 26th. In the 11-week period prior to that, the show was averaging 283,000 viewers and dropped 20%. While the return of Thursday night football can explain the audience being down to a degree, the plunge began in August prior to football. It’s a mystery what led to the decline because buzz for the product was its highest in years following Slammiversary but after a one-week grace period, the audience dropped dramatically.
News of the timeslot changes comes right after Impact Wrestling announced they are working with Kings Highway Media to expand their content distribution. Impact Wrestling has been airing on POP TV since January 2016 following departures from Spike TV and Destination America.
**Chris Jericho’s Rock and Wrestling Rager at Sea has announced streaming deals with FITE TV and Honor Club. Select matches from the five-day event will be airing on both services on Saturday, November 3rd at 8 pm Eastern. Honor Club is advertising matches from the Sea of Honor tournament along with the six-man tag with Jericho & The Young Bucks vs. Kenny Omega, Cody & Marty Scurll. The FITE TV version is available for $24.99 and the Honor Club version comes with a subscription to the service. The cruise will begin on October 27th and runs through the 31st sailing from Miami to the Bahamas.
**After a rough period where the WWE stock fell under $79 this week, it closed at $85.55 on Friday.
**Below are the matches on MLW Fusion tonight at 8 pm Eastern on beIN Sports:
*Rich Swann vs. Teddy Hart
*Brian Pillman Jr. vs. Vandal Ortagun
*El Hijo de LA Park vs. Jimmy Yuta
**The WWE’s Raw crew begins their weekend tour in Syracuse tonight with Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose vs. Drew McIntyre & Elias being advertised along with Finn Balor vs. Bobby Lashley. The same crew is in Binghamton, New York on Saturday. The SmackDown crew starts Saturday in Raleigh, North Carolina with AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe, Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Jeff Hardy, and Becky Lynch vs. Carmella advertised.
**Monday’s episode of Raw takes place from Philadelphia at the Wells Fargo Center but nothing has been announced. SmackDown 1000 is Tuesday night from the Capital One Center in Washington with the Evolution reunion, Edge hosting The Cutting Edge, Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Rey Mysterio in a World Cup Qualifying match and an appearance by The Undertaker advertised.
**Ring of Honor is in Baltimore tonight with their Glory by Honor card at the UMBC Event Center at 8 pm Eastern with the following matches: Jay Lethal vs. Silas Young for the ROH title, Cody & The Young Bucks vs. Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian & Scorpio Sky for the ROH six-man tag titles, Marty Scurll vs. Shane Helms, Shane Taylor vs. Hangman Page, The Briscoe Brothers vs. Beer City Bruiser & Brian Milonas, Bully Ray vs. Jonathan Gresham, Jeff Cobb vs Eli Isom, Kenny King & Flip Gordon vs. Vinny Marseglia & TK O’Ryan, Sumie Sakai & Britt Baker vs. Jenny Rose & Stella Grey.
**Here is the full card for Sunday’s Bound for Glory event from the Melrose Ballroom in Queens, New York and airing on pay-per-view and the FITE TV app:
*Austin Aries vs. Johnny Impact for the Impact title
*Santana, Ortiz & Konnan vs. Hernandez, Homicide & Eddie Kingston in a Concrete Jungle Death Match
*Eddie Edwards vs. Moose
*Brian Cage, Pentagon Jr. & Fenix vs. Sami Callihan & oVe
*Tessa Blanchard vs. Taya Valkyrie for the Knockout’s title
*Rich Swann & Willie Mack vs. Matt Sydal & Ethan Page
*Allie vs. Su Yung in the “Undead Realm”
*Eli Drake’s Open Challenge
**Impact Wrestling will be streaming their Hall of Fame ceremony on Twitch Saturday night at 8 pm Eastern. They have announced that Father Jim Mitchell will be inducting Abyss at the ceremony.
**Bobby Roode will be replacing Kevin Owens in the Mixed Match Challenge teaming with Natalya. Owens is set for knee surgery and the timetable for his return is unknown until they perform the surgery. Roode and Natalya will be facing Bobby Lashley & Mickie James on next Tuesday’s episode on Facebook Watch.
**AAW will be running a card tonight at 9 pm Eastern from Austin, Texas and will be streaming it live on Twitch with the following card: Brody King & Jimmy Jacobs vs. Sami Callihan & Darby Allin, ACH vs. Eddie Kingston, Trevor Lee vs. Rich Swann for the Heritage title, Aaron Solow & Ricky Starks vs. Mat Fitchett & Davey Vega, Myron Reed & AR Fox vs. Dezmond Xavier & Zachary Wentz, Thunder Rosa vs. Kylie Ray, Laredo Kid vs. Jason Cade, Steven Wolf & Pacu vs. Curt Stallion.
**The Fight Forever group has announced that Cody will take on Jimmy Havoc on Friday, December 7th in London at York Hall. Fight Forever will be running four shows from December 6th -9th in Birmingham, London, Bristol, and Liverpool.
**Wednesday’s episode of Total Divas averaged 380,000 viewers on E! The current season is averaging 398,000 viewers after four episodes.
**The WWE Network has added the following four matches to their Hidden Gems section:
*Eddie Guerrero vs. Nova from Ohio Valley Wrestling (Nov. 20th, 2002)
*Konnan vs. Art Barr (January 8th, 1992)
*Carlos Colon vs. Johnny Rodz at Madison Square Garden (August 1st, 1977)
*Super Crazy vs. El Hijo del Santo from Super Astros (November 22nd, 1998)
**A hearing is set for October 24th with the Nevada Athletic Commission voting on whether Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor will face indefinite suspensions for their roles in Saturday’s post-fight brawl. Nurmagomedov’s $2 million purse has still been withheld by the commission while McGregor was paid his full purse on Saturday.
**UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier spoke to ESPN about the decision to fight Derrick Lewis on November 3rd at UFC 230. Cormier acknowledged he wouldn’t accept a fight with Stipe Miocic on such short notice because Miocic has too many ways he can beat Cormier, while Lewis has one way by knockout. He noted that the offer by the UFC was just too good to turn down and that there was no way he could turn it down. Cormier believes even with a short training camp he is optimistic he can push harder than Lewis. He believes he will have one more fight left in his career after the fight with Lewis and is hopeful of a fight in March, stating that the fight that means most is the third fight with Jon Jones but financially the fight with Brock Lesnar would be bigger.
**Bellator 207 takes place tonight at 9 pm Eastern on the Paramount Network and DAZN from Uncasville, Connecticut. The promotion is running back-to-back nights in the Tristate area with Bellator 208 on Saturday from Long Island, New York. Tonight’s card is headlined by Matt Mitrione and Ryan Bader in the first semi-final bout of the Heavyweight Grand Prix. Below is the main card lineup for tonight’s show and results from the weigh-ins:
*Matt Mitrione (255) vs. Ryan Bader (229.5)
*Roy Nelson (263.75) vs. Sergei Kharitonov (265)
*Lorenz Larkin (171) bs. Ion Pascu (169.5)
*Kevin Ferguson Jr. (154.75) vs. Corey Browning (155)
*Carrington Banks (154.75) vs. Mandel Nallo (156)
**Below is the main card lineup for Bellator 208 on Saturday night from Long Island at 9 pm Eastern on the Paramount Network and DAZN:
*Fedor Emelianenko (236) vs. Chael Sonnen (227)
*Benson Henderson (155.8) vs. Saad Awad (155.8)
*Cheick Kongo (239.2) vs. Timothy Johnson (265.6)
*Alexander Shlemenko (185.2) vs. Anatoly Tokov (185.8)
*Andy Main (145.6) vs. Henry Corrales (146)
**ESPN’s Ariel Helwani reported on Friday that flyweights Jessica Eye and Katlyn Chookagian will be fighting on the UFC 231 card on December 8th in Toronto. This will provide backup options if there is an issue with Valentina Shevchenko and Joanna Jedrzejczyk for their fight the same night.
**The World Bare Knuckle Fighting Federation (WBKFF) has announced that Bas Rutten will be the president of the organization ahead of their November 9th pay-per-view event from Casper, Wyoming. The card will be titled “Rise of the Titans” and available on iN Demand, DirecTV, DISH Network and Rogers, Shaw, Bell TV and SaskTel in Canada. It will also be available on the FITE TV app with the following fights announced:
*Johny Hendricks vs. Brennan Ward
*Chris Leben vs. Phil Baroni
*Shawne Merriman vs. Mike Bourke
*Joey Angelo vs. Julian Lane
*Christina Marks vs. Jasmine Clarkson for the WBKGG women’s flyweight title
*Chris Yarborough vs. Brandon Dunivan
*Plus, the opening round of a $100,000 lightweight tournament featuring: Issac Vallie Flagg, Nick Gonzalez, Jay Cucciniello, Estevan Payan, Robbie Peralta, Mike Bronzoulis, and Leon Mynhardt
**The “Anatomy of a Fighter” series profiled Khabib Nurmagomedov’s preparation before his fight at UFC 229 this past Saturday. It features a brief clip of Nurmagomedov returning the locker room after the brawl and apologizing to coach Javier Mendez. The filmmaker stated that they have a 14-minute episode covering the post-fight but are unable to release it right now.
REWIND-A-WAI: NXT Arrival (Patreon)
John Pollock & Wai Ting review the first NXT special on the WWE Network from February 2014 with Bo Dallas vs. Adrian Neville for the NXT title in a ladder match, Paige vs. Emma for the women’s title, Sami Zayn vs. Cesaro & a big discussion on the legacy of this show and where the key people went.
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Two World Cup Qualifying matches with Jeff Hardy vs. Samoa Joe and Randy Orton vs. Big Show, the latest installment of Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair, Miz TV with AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan, and the conclusion of “One Night in Milwaukee”.
REWIND-A-RAW 10/8/19: HBK to wrestle, DX reforms, Bellas turn, Angle returns
Raw took place from Chicago and featured the announcement that Shawn Michaels will wrestle at Crown Jewel as part of a reformed D-Generation X, Trish Stratus will now team with Lita against Alexa Bliss & Mickie James at Evolution, Kurt Angle has his first match on Raw in almost 13 years, The Bellas attack Ronda Rousey & much more on a loaded Raw.
NJPW KING OF PRO WRESTLING POST SHOW (Patreon)
John Pollock & Wai Ting are back for a big review of NJPW King of Pro Wrestling 2018 featuring an incredible main event between Kenny Omega, Cody & Kota Ibushi for the IWGP heavyweight title, a big angle involving Jay White & Gedo forming a new alliance with the BC OGs, an appearance by Chris Jericho, and the debut of Shingo Takagi.
INTERVIEW: A.J. KIRSCH ON WWE 2K19
Davie Portman chats with the voice of WWE 2K19 My Career Mode, A.J. Kirsch. A.J. talks about how he got the gig, what to expect from the new game, his love for The Legend of Zelda series and shares his thoughts on Shawn Michaels stepping back into the ring. All this, plus more!
UFC 229 POST SHOW
John Pollock is joined by Phil Chertok & Ziggy Cao with the UFC 229 POST Show as they react to the show-closing brawl following Khabib Nurmagomedov’s win over Conor McGregor and a review of the entire show.
WWE SUPER SHOW-DOWN POST SHOW (Patreon)
John Pollock & Wai Ting review WWE Super Show-Down and discuss the main event featuring The Undertaker vs. Triple H, the post-match angle with Shawn Michaels and Kane, AJ Styles defending the WWE title against Samoa Joe and more.
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