POLLOCK'S NEWS UPDATE: 'Young Rock' recap, Sinclair-ROH, lawsuit against AEW

Originally published at POLLOCK'S NEWS UPDATE: 'Young Rock' recap, Sinclair-ROH, AEW suit


**Rewind-A-Dynamite is live at 10 p.m. ET on the POST YouTube channel. Wai Ting and I will have a review of the show from Baltimore and take your feedback from the POST Wrestling Forum.

**Rewind-A-Wai #109 is available for POST Wrestling Café members as Wai Ting and I review New Japan’s Wrestling World card from January 4, 2003, at the Tokyo Dome. This came as New Japan was getting heavily into the era of ‘Inoki-ism’, which had a disastrous consequence on business during this era with NJPW not getting back on its feet properly until the emergence of Kazuchika Okada and Hiroshi Tanahashi as the top feud. On this show, Josh Barnett makes his pro wrestling debut challenging Yuji Nagata for the IWGP title just months after winning the UFC heavyweight title and having it stripped following a failed drug test in Nevada. We discuss all the key news and events happening at the time, the resurrection of the NWF and its lineage, the reunion of TenCozy, Makai Club all over this show, 22-year-old Shinsuke Nakamura wrestles days after fighting Daniel Gracie, the Young Generation Cup, and lots more. This show was selected by Espresso Executive Producer Paul Delos Santos, who joined us to discuss ordering this tape in 2003 and how to view this time period of New Japan Pro Wrestling.

**On Thursday night, Wai Ting will have an all-star panel of WH Park, Rich Fann from PW Torch, and Nate Milton to review the season finale of Moon Knight. The show will be available live for all POST Wrestling Café members.

**On the POST Daily News Show this week, Phil Chertok stops by on Thursday for a UFC 274 preview, and Brandon Thurston will be my guest on Friday to review the WWE’s Q1 earnings report and its call with analysts. The show is live every weekday at 1 p.m. ET on the POST YouTube channel with an audio upload available for all POST Wrestling Café members allowing you to listen on your podcast app.


Wai Ting is joined by Braden Herrington & Davie Portman of upNXT to chat:
NXT Spring Breakin’ results
-WWE Raw ratings vs NBA playoffs
– IWGP U.S. Title Four-Way added to NJPW Capital Collision
– AEW reality show set for TBS
– AEW Console Game updates

Audio version for POST Wrestling Café members.


**AEW Dynamite takes place from the Chesapeake Employers Insurance Arena in Baltimore, Maryland, and will be airing on the east coast head-to-head with the NBA playoff game between Philadelphia and Miami.

It’s an interesting lineup with Jeff Hardy’s first singles match in AEW, Rey Fenix’s first match on AEW since his injury in January, and it’s a rare television singles match involving Chris Jericho. Jericho has only wrestled on television four times this year and has not had a singles match on television since last August during the Labors of Jericho.

In theory, the ROH women’s title unification should mean something but I don’t think it’s been conveyed as significant to the average viewer and even if you watched Supercard of Honor, it doesn’t feel like a major match. The outcome is interesting because if Deonna Purrazzo wins; it ensures she will be doing more with AEW/ROH. Until ROH finds its footing with a television or streaming home, it appears the strategy is to keep the brand moving on AEW programming but it’s an overwhelming number of titles to keep track of when you include the ROH, AAA, and FTW versions as supplemental to the AEW championships.

Last week’s Dynamite averaged 921,000 and 0.33 in 18-49. The overall viewership was elevated because of a rise in 50+ over the previous week, so that audience wasn’t affected by the NBA. As the playoffs get deeper, the competition is going to intensify as the NBA is on fire and is impacting all WWE and AEW programming.

In Canada, AEW airs against Game 2 of the Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Tampa Bay Lightning series and that’s going to be a monster in this country to contend with. The NHL is a stronger force than the NBA in Canada when it comes to competition, plus the Toronto Blue Jays are doing great numbers since the start of the season and it’s a crowded sports scene.

Here is the lineup for tonight’s edition of Dynamite at 8 p.m. ET on TBS and TSN 2 in Canada:
*ROH Women’s Championship: Deonna Purrazzo (champion) vs. Mercedes Martinez (interim champion)
*Owen Hart Cup Qualifying Match:
Jeff Hardy vs. Bobby Fish
*Owen Hart Cup Qualifying Match:
Rey Fenix vs. Dante Martin
*Bryan Danielson, Jon Moxley & Wheeler Yuta vs. The Butcher, The Blade & Angelico
*Wardlow vs. TBA (it’s been heavily hinted to be W. Morrissey of IMPACT but not outright stated)
*Chris Jericho vs. Santana
*The Varsity Blonds call out The House of Black

**Regarding viewership in Canada, WWE Raw averaged 55,000 viewers on OLN this past Monday, which was down from 66,000 on the same network last week. The replay on Sportsnet 360 aired early Tuesday from 2-5 a.m. ET and did approximately 37,000 viewers. Raw did not finish among the top ten sports programs that night, which was dominated by Toronto vs. Tampa Bay with the English broadcast on Sportsnet and CBC and another NHL game between Los Angeles and Edmonton, plus you had the Blue Jays playing.

**Sinclair Broadcasting disclosed in its 8-K filing, the sale of certain assets of Ring of Honor to “an affiliate of AEW” (Tony Khan is the one that made the purchase rather than AEW itself). The following statement was included in the filing:

In May, the Company sold certain assets of Ring of Honor Entertainment, including the wrestling promotion’s extensive video library dating back to 2002, brand assets, intellectual property, production equipment, and more, to an affiliate of AEW.

Earlier today, former Ring of Honor COO Joe Koff posted the following message on his LinkedIn profile:

What started with a dinner with Cary Silkin some 12 years ago, ended with Episode 552 of Ring of Honor television, which aired recently across our Ring of Honor network, featuring all of the Sinclair Broadcast stations, Bally Sports Networks, Marquee, select stations across America, regional cable systems, international clearances, STIRR, and Honor Club. 12years. 552 weekly original hours. Over 1,000+ hours of additional match content. Close to 100 podcasts. YouTube specials. Honor Club. PPV’s. Live House shows on 3 continents. Merchandise. And let me not forget a SOLD OUT Madison Garden. That was our Ring of Honor and now, it is in the most capable hands of AEW and the brilliant Tony Kahn along with all of the stars that shone in our Ring and the new stars sure to glow as brightly in his Ring of Honor. Thank you again Tony. As I look back on this amazing journey, there are so many people who joined this journey with me, our staff, our brilliant athletes that you will always know as Ring of Honor, our partners in production and distribution, our vendors and most importantly, you, our fans. I want to thank you personally for your continuous support, belief in me and our product, what we could do, what we would do, what we did! It was the journey of a lifetime and I thank you for sharing it with me.

**Dwyane Johnson’s entry into the WWF was the subject of Tuesday’s episode of Young Rock on NBC, which saw the most promotion the series has received on WWE programming the night prior. Johnson told the story of receiving a tryout match in March 1996 in Corpus Christi, Texas, which was described as a sell-out crowd of 15,000 people (that week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported the show was sold out, but the figure was 3,700). The characters represented on the show included Steve Austin (played by veteran wrestler Luke Hawx), Triple H, Mankind, The Undertaker, The Iron Sheik (who wasn’t with the company during this time), Mantaur (the character had been shelved the previous year but made for a comical visual in the locker room), Michael Hayes, Bruce Prichard, and the recurring Vince McMahon and Pat Patterson characters. Johnson wrestled The Brooklyn Brawler, who was played by Colt Cabana and had the most speaking parts of any of the locker room cast. It was portrayed that Johnson got over in front of the crowd and was brought back the next night in San Antonio, which was a match against Chris Candido before he was assigned to Memphis and began wrestling as Flex Kavana until his call-up at the Survivor Series that year. Viewership for the second season has been declining and we’ll see if the more targeted wrestling episodes featuring well-known characters spike the audience. WWE was actively promoting the episode the night before, which they have not been doing in the past, which I’ve always found strange given the NBC relationship. Nick Khan has gone out of his way to promote the series in various interviews noting his sister Nahnatchka is one of the showrunners.

**Brandon Thurston was the first to report a class-action lawsuit launched by Luigi Abreu against AEW alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and New York City Human Rights Law. The plaintiff, Abreu, is legally blind and alleges that AEW failed “to design, construct, maintain, and operate its website to be fully accessible to – and independently usable by – Plaintiff and other blind or visually-impaired people who use screen-reading software.” The lawsuit states a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and New York City Human Rights Law due to the site not being equally accessible to blind and visually impaired users. The plaintiff is seeking a preliminary and permanent injunction, declaratory relief, statutory damages, actual and punitive damages, pre-judgment and post-judgment interest, and reasonable attorneys’ fees and expenses.

**Pro Wrestling NOAH announced the dates for this year’s N-1 Victory tournament that begins August 11th in Yokohama Budokan runs until September 3rd with the finals in Osaka. The former Global League was changed to its current name in 2019 and has been won by Katsuhiko Nakajima for the previous two years. After the August 8th launch, the N-1 continues in Osaka on August 13th, Hiroshima on August 14th, Sendai on August 17th, Korakuen Hall on August 19th and 20th, Nagoya on August 27th, Kawasaki on August 28th, and the finals at Edion Arena on September 3rd.

**William Regal has an incredible promo at the start of the ‘Road to Baltimore’ feature that AEW released ahead of tonight’s show:

**CM Punk had a small role on Tuesday’s episode of Mayans M.C. on FX, which is the spin-off series from Sons of Anarchy. Punk played a character named Paul, who had served in the military.

**The NFL is rolling out its schedule for the next season and revealed five international games to be played in England, Germany, and Mexico. This will include the first-ever NFL game to air exclusively on ESPN+ when the Denver Broncos and Jacksonville Jaguars play at Wembley Stadium on October 30th. This is a trend we should expect across the sports landscape with deals including exclusive ones for the broadcaster’s streaming service. I have no doubt that this will be a trend that extends to WWE and AEW in their next round of U.S. media rights negotiations and we see several episodes earmarked for streaming platforms.


The 30th domestic season of The Ultimate Fighter premiered on Tuesday featuring coaches Julianna Pena and Amanda Nunes, who is set to fight this summer in a rematch from last December. This season will feature eight male heavyweights and eight female flyweights competing for UFC contracts over the course of the season. It appeared that Dana White is going to still have a presence as one of the talking heads but the “host role” is going to be performed by Forrest Griffin, who oversaw the team selections and fight announcements.

The first fight of the season saw Zac Pauga of Team Pena earn a unanimous decision win against Nyle Bartling over two rounds. Pauga had good takedown defense and when he got control of Bartling he had a series of big moments with strikes including a flurry from the back, which was the closest fight got to being stopped, although Bartling withstood them. Both men were undefeated going into the exhibition fight.

Pauga is a former football and Rugby player, who was cut by the Houston Texans and eventually, went into law enforcement and rose to become a detective before falling out of love with the profession and moving full-time to fighting. He has been competing for less than two years with LFA and Cage Warriors where he is 5-0.

One notable name this season is Mohammed Usman, the 33-year-old younger brother of welterweight champion Kamaru Usman. The younger Usman is 7-1 and has been competing since 2017. After several fights with Titan FC, he fought for the PFL last year and was submitted by Brandon Sayles.

The series also features 43-year-old ‘Bobby Maximus’ (real name Rob MacDonald), who competed on the second season of TUF in 2005 where he was defeated by eventual tournament winner Brad Imes. MacDonald fought three more times with the UFC in 2006 and continued fighting outside the promotion until 2009 prior to this year’s comeback.

Next week’s fight features Helen Peralta (5-2) of Team Pena fighting Kaytlin Neil (5-4) of Team Nunes.


**UFC president Dana White appeared on The Pivot Podcast and addressed his stance on fighter pay while stating that certain boxers are “overpaid”: (Transcription courtesy: Jed Meshew at MMA Fighting)

Everybody wants more money. And one of the big problems with boxing too, is that all those f****** guys are overpaid, and every time they put on a fight, it’s a going-out-of-business sale. We’re just trying to get as much f****** money as we can from you guys, and then we’re out of here. We’ll see you in three years.

You can’t build a league like that. You can’t build a sport. You can’t have 750 fighters under contract, making money, feeding their families every year, with that kind of mentality. It doesn’t work. You have to run a business.

**On that same topic, Tony Ferguson was very outspoken during Wednesday’s UFC 274 media day describing his frustrations with fighter pay and his inability to earn money in other areas, specifically listing boxing and professional wrestling:

"You should ask some of the other fighters that have been f*cking treated like sh*t for a long time too. I'm not the only one thinking it."

Tony Ferguson had *a lot* to say at #UFC274 media day.

▶️ https://t.co/Uihqe3kwD1 pic.twitter.com/FjXCGOlsHJ

— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) May 4, 2022

**Donald Cerrone gets emotional describing the emotions thinking of his son watching his fight this Saturday when he competes against Joe Lauzon.

Donald Cerrone (@CowboyCerrone) sheds tears at #UFC274 media day talking about fighting in front of his son on Saturday. 🤠 pic.twitter.com/BjySo41zs2

— MMA Junkie (@MMAJunkie) May 4, 2022

**Bellator heavyweight champion Ryan Bader has stated he has signed a new four-fight deal with the promotion as he heads into Bellator 280 this Friday in Paris, France against Cheick Kongo (Transcription courtesy: Farah Hannoun of MMA Junkie)

I just signed a new four-fight deal with Bellator, and I’m looking to stay at heavyweight. Obviously this is a career, so financials is a motivation, but competing and still trying to be the best and pushing myself is also there. I’m not out there, ‘OK, I’m just gonna be a mediocre guy and take these fights and make money and what not.’ If I’m gonna do it, I’m still gonna try and be the best at it, and so that’s where my mind frame is right now.

**The PFL has a notable event on Friday with its third card of the season and Kayla Harrison’s first fight of 2022. Harrison will headline the show against Marina Mokhnatkina (6-2), who has competed for Bellator and PFL in the past. The main card includes Ray Cooper III vs. Carlos Leal, Anthony Pettis vs. Myles Price, and Rory MacDonald vs. Brett Cooper and airs on ESPN 2 while the prelims will stream on ESPN+.

**UFC has released Episode 1, Episode 2, and Episode 3 of UFC Embedded promoting this Saturday’s UFC 274 card from Arizona.


Sami Zayn is introduced by Bret Hart at the Bell Centre in Montreal as he faces John Cena on Raw in 2015:

POST DAILY NEWS: AEW Reality Show & Video Game updates, NXT Spring Breakin’
Wai Ting is joined by upNXT’s Braden Herrington & Davie Portman to discuss NXT Spring Breakin’, a new AEW reality show coming to TBS, new updates on the AEW video game, Dynamite tonight, and more.
SHOT IN THE DARK: Yuya Uemura on AEW Dark, Arianna Grace debuts
John Siino reviews this week’s editions of AEW Dark, AEW Dark: Elevation, NXT UK, IMPACT Wrestling, NXT Level Up, NJPW Strong, NWA USA, NWA Powerrr, and Main Event in under 15 minutes on Shot In The Dark.
upNXT 5/3: NXT Spring Breakin’
Braden Herrington and Davie Portman review NXT Spring Breakin’ from May 3rd 2022 headlined by Bron Breakker vs Joe Gacy for the NXT Championship.
REWIND-A-WAI #109: NJPW Wrestling World 2003
John Pollock & Wai Ting to review NJPW Wrestling World 2003 headlined by Yuji Nagata vs. Josh Barnett for the IWGP Heavyweight Title from the Tokyo Dome on January 4th.
REWIND-A-RAW: WM Backlash Go-Home Raw
John Pollock & Wai Ting review the final WWE Raw ahead of Sunday’s WrestleMania Backlash PLE.
WRESTLENOMICS: AEW and WWE TV rights value
AEW and WWE are likely nearing negotiation time for their current U.S. live rights agreements. Brandon gives a detailed breakdown of how those rights might be valued.
John Pollock & Wai Ting review AEW Rampage & WWE SmackDown. They discuss WWE’s latest round of NXT roster cuts involving Dakota Kai, Malcolm Bivens, and others.

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