Originally published at POLLOCK'S NEWS UPDATE: WM 39, G1 scenarios, Chris Dickinson files suit
POST IT NOTES
**Rewind-A-SmackDown is live at 11 p.m. ET tonight for POST Wrestling Café members. Kate from Montreal will join me to review SmackDown, AEW Rampage, and take your calls and feedback on the shows. Café members will have access to the live video stream and can download the show late tonight.
**On Sunday night, we will be doing a free G1 Climax show at 8 p.m. ET on the POST YouTube channel. Karen Peterson and I will review both cards over the weekend and go through the latest standings and potential outcomes as we tee up the final three nights at Nippon Budokan.
**Pat Laprade was a guest on Thursday chatting with me about the massive changes at WWE, the future of Vince McMahon, WWE’s return to Canada in a few weeks, AEW’s debut in Toronto, and Paul Levesque’s recent comment about Vince taking wrestling out of bars and into a global space.
**Our own Andrew Thompson spoke with Kerry Morton at The Gathering last weekend and discussed his match with Homicide later this month, wrestling at Ric Flair’s Last Match, his MLW debut & more.
**I’ll be dropping another interview this Monday at 11 a.m. ET.
**The general on-sale for WrestleMania 39 at SoFi Stadium began on Friday following pre-sales over the past few days. The company hosted a launch party on Thursday at the stadium to promote the on-sale and included several matches with Raquel Rodriguez over Nikki A.S.H, Theory over Ricochet, The Street Profits over Los Lotharios, and MizTV featuring Liv Morgan and JoJo Siwa as guests. Other celebrities in attendance included Snoop Dogg, who appeared with Bianca Belair and Becky Lynch; and Gabriel Iglesias who took the spot of Valerie Loureda as Los Lotharios did the Kiss Cam segment and kissed Iglesias on the cheek, instead of Loureda.
**Chris Dickinson (Christopher Torre) filed a lawsuit on July 22nd against former girlfriends Christina Kardooni a.k.a. Christina Von Eerie and McKalia Coulter. The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in New Jersey. Torre is accusing the two of committing “blatant acts of defamation that wrongfully accuse Mr. Torre of abusive conduct.” Earlier this year, Kardooni wrote about alleged actions by Torre during their relationship that included physical and verbal abuse. Torre denies the accusations in the suit, which states, “Mr. Torre never engaged in any forms of abuse, whether physical, verbal, or mental, either against any person. Mr. Torre also displays full respect for other women wrestlers, which is well acknowledged in the industry.” The suit states that Torre has lost bookings including his New Japan deal, which is a paid per appearance contract and only worked once for the group this past May at the TV tapings in Washington. Torre claimed that he was making an average of $20,000 per month with 15-20 events per month prior to these allegations.
Kardooni and Coulter issued a joint statement noting that none of the parties live in New Jersey and the state doesn’t have an anti-SLAPP law statute with the two also being sent cease-and-desist orders:
It has been made public that Christopher Torre (Chris Dickinson) has filed a federal defamation lawsuit in the district of New Jersey, against McKaila Coulter (ex-girlfriend) and myself (ex-girlfriend). None of the 3 parties live in NJ. Even his attorneys office is based out of Brooklyn, NY. New Jersey has no anti-SLAPP Law statue. That has made it very difficult and costly for us to find representation. Especially because neither of live anywhere near there.
We fear that if we don’t reply to the lawsuit with proper legal representation not only will it harm us, but it will only reinforce that women should be afraid to speak out against their abusers unless they have the resources to also fight them in court.
Defamation can only be claimed if there is false information. Everything we have spoke out against is true.
That being said, we did not back down after being sent C&Ds to our jobs and homes. We will continue to stand our ground in the court of law.
If anyone has any lawyer recommendations or groups they would recommend to help us fight this please reach out.
Thank you for your support.
**Brandon Thurston did a lot of research into past donations made by Vince & Linda McMahon to The Donald J. Trump Foundation in 2007 and 2009. Earlier this week, WWE issued another statement noting the findings of an additional $5 million in unreported payments related to Vince McMahon from those same years and totaling the same amount. It is not clear if they are in fact the same unreported expenses, but the connections of the time and amount led to Thurston digging further. The source of the donations to the foundation has been debated over the years as the Trump Foundation listed “WWE” as the donor in separate filings to the IRS in 2007 and 2009 with the company’s headquarters included. The filings note a $4 million donation in 2007 (the year that coincides with Trump’s involvement at WrestleMania 23), and $1 million in 2009 (the year Trump purchased the Monday Night Raw in storyline and sold it back to Vince). In 2012, a spokesperson with WWE stated that the donations came directly from Vince McMahon rather than the company or a joint donation with Linda and was around the time of Linda’s second run for a Senate seat in Connecticut where she was being heavily covered. That was semi-contradicted in 2016 when WWE told The Huffington Post that the donations to the Trump Foundation covered Trump’s appearance fees in 2007 and 2009, adding that “Vince and Linda made personal donations” and linking Linda with the donations. WWE did not comment on Thurston’s story when he reached out to them several times and therefore, it is not clear if these donations are the source of the latest findings by WWE of unreported expenses or a separate $5 million with the coincidence of equaling the same amount and occurring the same year as the Trump donations. It isn’t as though the donations were a mystery because they have been covered over the years by various outlets.
**Friday Night SmackDown takes place at the PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina tonight and airs at 8 p.m. ET on Fox. It was reported by Mike Johnson at PWinsider.com that former Hit Row members Top Dolla (A.J. Francis) and Ashante “Thee” Adonis (Tehuti Miles) are scheduled to be in Raleigh tonight. Along with Isaiah “Swerve” Scott/Swerve Strickland and B-Fab, Hit Row was an instant hit in NXT and they were called up to SmackDown last October. B-Fab was cut almost immediately and was followed by the other three being released two weeks later. Swerve signed with AEW earlier this year.
SmackDown will feature the follow-up to last week’s angle where Karrion Kross attacked Drew McIntyre with Scarlett leaving the hourglass on the apron for Roman Reigns.
The following matches and segments are listed for tonight’s SmackDown:
*Intercontinental Championship: Gunther (champion) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
*Women’s Tag Title Tournament: Raquel Rodriguez & Aliyah vs. Shotzi & Xia Li
*Contract signing between Liv Morgan and Shayna Baszler
**AEW Rampage airs at 10 p.m. ET on TNT with a taped card from Minneapolis and a lot of matches and segments announced:
*AAA Mixed Tag Team Championship: Sammy Guevara & Tay Melo (champions) vs. Dante Martin & Skye Blue
*Orange Cassidy vs. Ari Daivari
*Parker Boudreaux vs. Sonny Kiss
*The Gunn Club vs. Erick Redbeard & Danhausen
*Bryan Danielson speaks
*Interviews with Hook and Swerve in our Glory
**IMPACT Wrestling averaged 131,000 viewers and 0.03 in the 18-49 demographic on AXS TV. It ranked #131 among cable originals on Thursday night. Last week’s numbers were 115,000 and 0.03 respectively.
**IMPACT Wrestling has its Emergence card from Cicero Stadium in Illinois tonight. The special airs on Fite TV, Impact Plus, and for Ultimate Insiders on YouTube beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET with the following line-up:
*IMPACT Championship: Josh Alexander (champion) vs. Alex Shelley
*Knockouts Championship: Jordynne Grace (champion) vs. Mia Yim
*The Good Brothers, Ace Austin, Chris Bey & Hikuleo vs. Eddie Edwards, Matt Taven, Mike Bennett, Kenny King & PCO
*Sami Callihan vs. Steve Maclin
*Bandido vs. Rey Horus
*Violent by Design vs. KUSHIDA & Chris Sabin
*Speedball Mike Bailey vs. Jack Evans
*Knockouts Tag Team Championship: Rosemary & Taya Valkyrie vs. Deonna Purrazzo & Chelsea Green (Countdown to Emergence at 7:30 p.m. ET on YouTube)
*Digital Media Championship: Brian Myers (champion) vs. Bhupinder Gujjar (Countdown to Emergence at 7:30 p.m. ET on YouTube)
**IMPACT returns to Cicero Stadium on Saturday for Second City Slamm to tape upcoming episodes of IMPACT.
**WWE has a live event on Saturday in Salisbury, Maryland at the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center featuring Ronda Rousey vs. Raquel Rodriguez, Riddle vs. Seth Rollins, Bobby Lashley vs. The Miz, and Bianca Belair vs. Asuka among the matches advertised locally by the arena (although, on the WWE event page, they don’t list Rousey, Lashley or Rollins). Sunday they are in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and WWE does list Rousey, Rollins, Belair, The Usos, and Drew McIntyre for that show.
**The MLW event in El Paso, Texas on August 27th has been changed from a television taping to a house show, first reported by PWinsider.com. The site reports that an email was issued to talent noting that the local Lucha promoter they were working with was not bringing in as many talents as originally promised. The email was sent to inform talent not being brought to El Paso that they could secure other bookings and will be paid half their pay for the canceled booking. The MLW event page includes the caption “See a live house show!” and is advertising Alex Hammerstone, Jacob Fatu and the Samoan SWAT Team, Mads Krugger, and Microman for the show at Austin High School. MLW’s next show after El Paso is scheduled for September 18th in Norcross, Georgia at Espacio Discotheque.
**The G1 Climax enters its final week with two shows this weekend and then three nights at Nippon Budokan beginning on Tuesday. Saturday’s card streams live on New Japan World at 5 a.m. ET with the following line-up:
*B BLOCK: Jay White (4-0) vs. Taichi (2-2) – White is coming back after missing two shows due to heat stroke symptoms. He is the only one undefeated in any of the blocks and has two matches remaining. Taichi must win to stay alive.
*D BLOCK: Will Ospreay (2-2) vs. YOSHI-HASHI (2-2)
*D BLOCK: Shingo Takagi (2-2) vs. Yujiro (3-2)
*A BLOCK: Toru Yano (1-4) vs. Jeff Cobb (2-2)
*C BLOCK: Aaron Henare (1-4) vs. KENTA (1-3)
*Kazuchika Okada, Hirooki Goto & Tomohiro Ishii vs. EVIL, SHO & Dick Togo
*Tetsuya Naito, SANADA & BUSHI vs. Lance Archer, Zack Sabre Jr. & Taka Michinoku
*Tom Lawlor & Royce Isaacs vs. JONAH & Bad Dude Tito
*Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tama Tonga, David Finlay & Jado vs. Juice Robinson, Bad Luck Fale, Chase Owens & El Phantasmo
**Sunday’s card in Nagano at 2 a.m. ET (late Saturday) has tournament matches with Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. KENTA (rematch from Wrestle Kingdom where KENTA suffered his injuries and probably plays spoiler to Tanahashi), Tom Lawlor vs. Jeff Cobb, Taichi vs. Great O-Khan, and David Finlay vs. YOSHI-HASHI.
The A Block is down to Okada, Archer, JONAH, and Cobb by a thread. Okada has eight points while the other have six. Okada and Archer face off on Tuesday and that will likely determine the winner. If JONAH beats Fale and Archer beats Okada, there would be a three-way tie at eight points where JONAH has a win against Okada but a loss to Archer. Cobb has two matches left and theoretically, could end up with eight points as well and has a win over Archer but losses to Okada and JONAH. Lawlor, Fale & Yano are mathematically eliminated.
The B Block has Jay White and Tama Tonga tied with eight points. White has two matches left with Taichi and Tama Tonga. Taichi could win his last two matches and finish with eight points but there is almost no way White and Tonga have a double DQ, so he’s essentially out of it and the block will be determined by the winner of White and Tama Tonga on Tuesday.
The C Block is led by Zack Sabre Jr. with eight points. Hirooki Goto, Hiroshi Tanahashi, and Tetsuya Naito have six points. EVIL, Henare & KENTA are eliminated. Naito’s last match is with Zack on Tuesday and would win the block if he beats Zack AND Tanahashi & Goto lose their last match as both have wins against Naito. It’s likely that Tanahashi loses to KENTA and Goto is beaten by EVIL and clears the way for Naito to gain revenge on Zack from last year’s tournament and win the block on Tuesday.
D Block is the parity one where everyone is still alive and could result in a playoff match(es) on Wednesday to determine the block winner. The favorites are Shingo Takagi and Will Ospreay and I assumed it would be Naito vs. Takagi in the semi-final from the beginning. Ospreay and Takagi each have two matches remaining while the others have one. Takagi has the tiebreaker over Ospreay but both lost to David Finlay. I can see Juice Robinson beating Ospreay to set up a U.S. title match after Robinson never lost the title and that gives Ospreay two opponents this fall along with Finlay. Ospreay can beat YOSHI-HASHI and lose to Juice Robinson on Tuesday. This is the most complex block to break down with the most scenarios but I can only see two viable candidates to win it.
**Dave Meltzer reported in the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter that the next two NXT U.K. tapings were canceled as BT Sports Studios are unavailable. The reason given was that the studios are occupied for football coverage and it doesn’t appear NXT U.K. are seeking an alternative location for the tapings. Meltzer added that there is “uneasiness” among those he’s spoken with in the NXT U.K. crew and talent has not been told anything.
**Karrion Kross and Scarlett Bourdeaux will still be appearing at DEFY Wrestling’s event next Saturday night at Washington Hall in Seattle (Kross was originally advertised for a match against Yuya Uemura). The two will be part of a meet-and-greet. The card will include Christopher Daniels, Swerve Strickland, Bobby Fish, The Bollywood Boyz, Alex Shelley, Killer Kelly, Yuya Uemura, and Dragon Gate’s La Estrella among those advertised.
**The WWE on A&E block this Sunday features a two-hour documentary on DX at 8 p.m. ET. There has been a fair amount of AEW talent appearing on these A&E specials with Billy Gunn featured in the DX piece and other interviews conducted with Jim Ross, Mark Henry, and Paul Wight. The Rivals episode on Sunday at 10 p.m. ET focuses on Triple H and Mick Foley and their programs from 1997 and 2000. Next week’s documentary is on Edge and the Rivals episode covers Edge vs. John Cena.
**The latest update from WrestleTix is that WWE’s Clash at the Castle has now moved nearly 63,000 tickets for the September 3rd card at Principality Stadium and will make this a virtual lock that the show will surpass the real attendance figures from WrestleMania 38 this past April.
**Ontario independent wrestler Holden Albright (Brendone Caulfield) sadly lost his father unexpectedly this past Sunday. Caulfield has put together a GoFundMe campaign to assist with costs associated with his passing. We want to send our condolences to Brendone and his family.
**Game Changer Wrestling has its annual Homecoming shows this weekend at The Showboat in Atlantic City. Saturday night’s card at 7 p.m. ET on Fite TV has Jon Moxley vs. Effy for the GCW title, Alex Colon defending the Ultraviolent title against Rina Yamashita, Nick Wayne against Starboy Charlie, John Wayne Murdoch vs. Matt Tremont, Tony Deppen vs. Blake Christian, Cole Radrick against Charli Evans, and The Briscoes face Ciclope & Miedo Extremo. The Sunday card at 4 p.m. ET features Matt Cardona and Chelsea Green renewing their wedding vows and has Ciclope & Miedo Extremo defending the GCW tag titles against Alex Colon & John Wayne Murdoch, Dark Sheik vs. Maki Itoh, Cole Radrick vs. Charli Evans, Blake Christian teams with Jordan Oliver & Nick Wayne against The Second Gear Crew, Speedball Mike Bailey against Joe Lando, Allie Katch & Effy vs. Charli Evans & Everett Connors, Rina Yamashita vs. Sawyer Wreck, Kevin Blackwood faces Ninja Mack and a Seven-Way Scramble match for the GCW Extreme title with Cole Radrick defending against Gringo Loco, Masha Slamovich, Jimmy Lloyd, Axton Ray, Starboy Charlie & Alec Price.
**Pro Wrestling NOAH’s N-1 Victory tournament began on Thursday and will take place over the course of nine events through September 3rd. The first night at Yokohama Budokan drew 940 fans with block matches featuring Katsuhiko Nakajima over Masa Kitamiya, Masato Tanaka over Anthony Greene, Masakatsu Funaki over Kinya Okada (replacement for Timothy Thatcher in the N-1), Hideki Suzuki over Masaaki Mochizuki, Jack Morris over Kaito Kiyomiya (big upset for the day), Kenoh over El Hijo de Dr. Wagner Jr, Takashi Sugiura over Satoshi Kojima, and Kazuyuki Fujita over Go Shiozaki.
**Saturday’s N-1 card will stream on Wrestle Universe from Osaka with Go Shiozaki vs. Anthony Greene, Kazuyuki Fujita vs. Hijo de Dr. Wagner Jr., Masaaki Mochizuki vs. Kenoh, Masato Tanaka vs. Hideki Suzuki, Katsuhiko Nakajima vs. Masakatsu Funaki, Kaito Kiyomiya vs. Masa Kitamiya, and Satoshi Kojima vs. Kinya Okada. They will also run Hiroshima Sun Plaza on Sunday, which just hosted back-to-back nights of the G1 over the past week.
**All Japan Pro Wrestling’s Oudou tournament continued on Thursday with the remaining opening round matches. Shotaro Ashino advanced by beating Dan Tamura, Takao Omori beat Ryuki Honda, Cyrus beat Shuji Ishikawa, and Yuji Nagata defeated Yoshitatsu. The winners move to the second round joining Jake Lee, Takuya Nomura, Naoya Nomura, and Kento Miyahara. The second-round matches will take place on Sunday and Tuesday with Miyahara vs. Cyrus, Ashino vs. Nagata, Lee vs. Takuya Nomura, and Omori vs. Naoya Nomura. The tournament wraps up on August 20th with the semi-finals and final at Korakuen Hall.
**The WWE stock closed at $72.54 on Friday.
**Bellator 284 takes place tonight from Sioux Falls, South Dakota with a main event welterweight fight between Neiman Gracie and Goiti Yamauchi. The big news on Thursday was former flyweight champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane missing weight by three pounds for her fight against Bruna Ellen and giving up a percentage of her purse for the weight miss. It is another setback for the former champion, who lost her title to Juliana Velasquez at the end of 2020 and followed that loss with another decision defeat at the hands of Justine Kish in her home market of Honolulu, Hawaii. Speaking of Kish, she also missed weight for tonight’s card and was off by 2.4 pounds and will also give up a percentage of her purse when she fights DeAnna Bennett on the prelims.
The main card airs at 9 p.m. ET on Showtime with Gracie vs. Yamauchi, Valentin Moldavsky vs. Steve Mowry, Macfarlane vs. Ellen, Gokhan Saricam vs. Said Sowma, and Aaron Jeffrey against Austin Vanderford (Vanderford is looking to rebound after his first-round TKO loss to Gegard Mousasi for the 185-pound title this past February).
**Saturday’s UFC Fight Night card is headlined by a bantamweight bout between former champion Dominick Cruz and Marlon Vera. Cruz is coming off a pair of decision wins against Casey Kenney and Pedro Munhoz and Vera would be a significant win for the 36-year-old. Vera, 29, is on the strongest streak of his career with three straight wins and the last two coming against Frankie Edgar and Rob Font. There is not a lot of depth to this card from the perspective of well-known commodities but it is a strong main event at the UFC Apex.
All the fighters made weight on Friday.
MAIN CARD (7 p.m. ET on ESPN & ESPN+)
*Dominick Cruz (24-3) vs. Marlon Vera (21-7-1)
*David Onama (10-1) vs. Nate Landwehr (15-4)
*Iasmin Lucindo (13-4) vs. Yazmin Jauregui (8-0)
*Devin Clark (13-6) vs. Azamat Murzakanov (11-0)
*Priscila Cachoeira (11-4) vs. Ariane Lipski (14-7)
*Gerald Meerschaert (34-15) vs. Bruno Silva (22-7)
PRELIMINARY CARD (4 p.m. ET on ESPN & ESPN+)
*Angela Hill (13-12) vs. Lupita Godinez (8-2)
*Lukasz Brzeski (8-1-1) vs. Martin Buday (10-1)
*Cynthia Calvillo (9-4-1) vs. Nina Nunes (10-7)
*Gabriel Benitez (22-10) vs. Charlie Ontiveros (11-8)
*Ode Osbourne (11-4) vs. Tyson Nam (20-12-1)
*Josh Quinlan (5-0) vs. Jason Witt (19-8)
*Youssef Zalal (10-5) vs. Da’Mon Blackshear (12-4)
**The PFL continues its playoffs in Cardiff, Wales on Saturday with an afternoon event from the Motorpoint Arena. The semi-finals of the welterweight tournament will include Rory MacDonald fighting Dilano Taylor and Sadibou Sy against Carlos Leal. In the heavyweight tournament, Juan Adams faces Matheus Scheffel (both are replacements after Bruno Cappelozza and Denis Goltsov could not continue in the tournament) and Ante Delija faces Renan Ferreira in the other semi-final fight. The rest of the semi-final fights this season take place next Saturday in London, England and the finals are set for November.
ON THIS DATE
An all-time great moment in 2017 when Katsuyori Shibata made his first public appearance after a nearly fatal head injury sustained earlier this year in a match with Kazuchika Okada:
5 years ago todaypic.twitter.com/jrvHtVLakt
— Ashutosh (@AshLovesPuro) August 12, 2022
Bruno Sammartino announces his retirement in 1981 and finished up with a match against George Steele that year and several matches with All Japan before the end of the year. Sammartino staged a return to team up with his son David in 1985 and wrestled until August 1987 with his last match taking place in Baltimore teaming with Hulk Hogan against King Kong Bundy & One Man Gang.
Hiroshi Tanahashi wins his third G-1 Climax by beating Kota Ibushi in the finals in 2018:
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Brandon Thurston and Jesse Collings (in for Chris Gullo) talk about Warner Bros. Discovery’s earnings call and what it suggests about AEW’s media rights outlook & more.
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