POLLOCK'S UPDATE: Jake Roberts doc is a story of regret & redemption

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2023/02/27/pollocks-update-jake-roberts-doc-is-a-story-of-regret-redemption/

WRESTLING NEWS

**WWE Raw is at the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan with several matches announced one week in advance. The key segments on the show involve the women’s tag title match and the potential of a title switch to set up the WrestleMania direction. Brock Lesnar will appear on the show to answer Omos’ challenge for WrestleMania, which is an odd plan for Lesnar. Below are the matches and segments for tonight:
*Women’s Tag Team Championships: Dakota Kai & IYO SKY © vs. Becky Lynch & Lita
*Asuka vs. Carmella
*Piper Niven vs. Candice LeRae
*Brock Lesnar answers Omos’ challenge for WrestleMania
*The Miz reveals Maryse’s anniversary gift

The following contains descriptions of sexual abuse and may be triggering to some:

**Jake “The Snake” Roberts was the subject of A&E’s latest biography in the second of its six-week series. This was both a tragic and redemptive story for Roberts (Aurelian Smith Jr.) that went into the awful stories involving his father, Grizzly Smith and how his childhood wreaked havoc on his adult life. If you had seen the episode on Smith from Dark Side of the Ring, you are aware of how horrific the details are with Grizzly Smith, who was a pedophile (including his daughter Robin a.k.a. Rockin’ Robin admitting she was abused by him) and Jake being a product of rape. The story goes from his horrible childhood to finding a career in pro wrestling to earn respect from his father, which never arrives, so he set out to succeed despite him. He found worldwide fame and was an all-time great promo and character, but the cost was the relationship with his own children, which remains fragmented to this day. Over the past ten years, as he has become sober, he has reconciled with his two sons, Dustin and Derek, who are trying to put the past behind them but are still a source of hurt for them that were neglected by Jake for so long. Jake’s daughter, Brandy (who was featured in “Beyond the Mat”) was interviewed for the special but did not appear to have a close relationship with Jake at all, and was very forthright in how horrible their past was including a sad story of a driving Jake from one state to the other where he smoked crack for the entire drive. While pro wrestling is the job that removed Jake from being a father that was present, the wrestling career of Jake is beyond secondary in this piece and the story of a man trying to make good with his family with the limited time has left, is the central crux of the two-hour doc. Jake is as compelling a speaker as you’ll find, is extremely open and forthright about his problems, and made this episode very strong, albeit an extremely cautionary tale of spinning out of control and the hurt one causes to those around them.

**Next week’s A&E Biography covers Joanie “Chyna” Lauer while Rivals focuses on The Rock vs. John Cena. That programming block will air against AEW Revolution on Sunday night.

**Wrestlenomics did a study into the number of people to watch at least one minute of WWE and AEW programming this year using Live + 7-day viewership figures, according to Nielsen. This differs from the usual numbers we write about, which is an average of the viewership throughout the body of the show, but this study breaks down unique viewers tuning into the program for at least one minute. SmackDown leads the way with 6.85 million, Raw is next with 4.78 million, Dynamite has 2.9 million, NXT at 1.98 million, and Rampage at 1.25 million. Judging based on one minute per viewer, it can naturally skew high as viewers tuning in for the next program would count but are unlikely to be considered fans of the wrestling show (of the five programs, NXT is the only one to use the overrun with hard outs for the other four). It does give a good representation when it comes to the most to least-watched following the same order when going by the overall averages for each program. Only the strongest episodes of Raw that top two million viewers and equal or surpass SmackDown such as Raw is XXX but SmackDown is also in approximately 30 million more homes than Raw and has a major advantage over the other four shows each week of viewers they can reach.

How many people watch at least 1 minute of WWE and AEW programs?

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— Wrestlenomics (@wrestlenomics) February 26, 2023

**The Coca-Cola Coliseum in Toronto is now advertising a singles match between Roman Reigns and Sami Zayn for Saturday’s live event.

**The final show of the Fantasticamania tour runs on Tuesday morning at 4:30 a.m. ET on New Japan World. The card will include Mistico vs. Atlantis Jr., Ultimo Guerrero & Barbaro Cavernario & Master Wato vs. Volador Jr. & El Desperado & Templario, Soberano Jr. vs. Hechicero, Okumura vs. Dulce Gardenia, Hiromu Takahashi & Titan & BUSHI & Tetsuya Naito vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Satoshi Kojima & Ryohei Oiwa & Rey Cometa, Tiger Mask vs. Hijo Del Villano III, and Magia Blanca & Kosei Fujita vs. Yuto Nakashima & Captain Suicida.

**Bayley is the guest on the latest edition of Ariel Helwani Meets for BT Sport. She reiterated that Damage CTRL had been an idea of hers for years and had pitched it to Paul Levesque but needed to figure out what the group stood for and a reason for the group to exist. Bayley envisioned it being a larger group than just three of them and mentioned past ideas that included Tegan Nox and Peyton Royce. The first idea for the group name was “The Now”. She doesn’t believe there would have been a Damage CTRL without Paul Levesque in charge of creative (like Sami Zayn’s comments with Helwani about being positioned with Roman Reigns). Bayley only got the call to appear at last year’s SummerSlam the day before alongside IYO SKY and Dakota Kai. Bayley said, “I’ll never give up hope” regarding Mercedes Varnado returning to WWE and loved going to Japan to watch her debut at Wrestle Kingdom 17 in January.   

**Madusa spoke with PWmania.com about the idea of wrestling one more match:

I do if I was allowed, at least like a couple months of good training. Absolutely. Because it’s not something that I would take lightly. If I were going to dive into a retirement match I would take it serious and I would definitely want you know, a good build up, a little bit of a storyline, not just coming in and doing a one and done. Maybe they’ll have me show up in a show or something once a couple weeks or whatever, or with WWE doing stuff. So You’re darn straight, and it needs to be it needs to be shouted out. I’m not getting any younger, but I still have it in me. I won’t be at coming back to the ring in my eighties, for a final match. I won’t that’s just my choice. We’re going to do it within the next year or two or just I’m not going to do it. You know, that hey, guess what I and the platform to do it on? It’s WWE TV. So, yeah.

**Monday’s NJPW Fantasticamania card drew 1,384 to Korakuen Hall, which was the largest attendance of the tour, so far. In the main event, Titan retained the CMLL Welterweight Championship against Soberano Jr., Volador Jr. beat Templario in the other top match. The tour wraps on Tuesday in the same building.

**Abraham Josephine Riesman wrote a piece for the New York Times using WWE as a backdrop of the form U.S. politics has taken. Riesman is the author of the upcoming biography “Ringmaster” on Vince McMahon, which will be released in March.

**The following matches and segments have been announced for Tuesday’s episode of NXT on the USA Network:
*Wes Lee’s open challenge for the North American Championship
*Meiko Satomura vs. Zoey Stark
*Carmelo Hayes vs. Tyler Bate
*Indus Sher vs. Josh Briggs & Brooks Jensen
*Sol Ruca vs. Elektra Lopez
*Gigi Dolin speaks

**AJPW will run at Shinjuku Face on 3/14 with Naruki Doi defending the AJPW Jr. Heavyweight title against Rising HAYATO. Kento Miyahara will take on Yoshiki Inamura of NOAH.

**BetOnline has released the following lines for AEW Revolution this Sunday:
*MJF (-5000) vs. Bryan Danielson (+900)
*Jamie Hayter (-1000) vs. Ruby Soho (+350) vs. Saraya (+450)
*Samoa Joe (+300) vs. Wardlow (-500)
*The Elite (-220) vs. House of Black (+155)
*Hangman Page (-600) vs. Jon Moxley (+350)
*Ricky Starks (-400) vs. Chris Jericho (+250)

**House of Glory returns on 3/10 from the NYC Arena in New York for “With Glory Comes Pride” and will feature Low Ki taking on KUSHIDA, Jacob Fatu defending the HOG Championship against Fred Rosser, and Ultra Violette vs. Max the Impaler for the HOG Women’s title in the top matches.

**Smash Wrestling will be running a card on 3/12 at the London Music Hall in London, Ontario. They have announced Speedball Mike Bailey vs. The Driver, Alex Shelley vs. Matt Cross, Kevin Bennett vs. Pretty Ricky, Nikita vs. Taylor Rising, TDT vs. Locked & Loaded, and Myung Jae Lee vs. Carter Mason for the show. The group returns to Toronto, Ontario on 3/25 at the Franklin Horner Community Center with Kevin Bennett vs. Leon St. Giovanni, TDT vs. Junior Benito & Macrae Martin vs. Yoya & Janai Kai, and the debut of Bryan Keith with the promotion.

**The WWE stock closed at $86.01 on Monday.

MMA NEWS

**A service was held recently for the late Stephan Bonnar and broadcast on the UFC’s YouTube channel. Among the speakers were John Bonnar (his father), Dana White, Forrest Griffin, and members from the first season of TUF including Chris Leben. Bonnar died at the age of 45 last December. He was a key member of the inaugural season of TUF for his season-ending fight against Griffin where both were presented with contracts after a terrific fight that Dana White has always credited behind the success of the first season. Bonnar had a lengthy career with the UFC through 2012 but never advanced to become a championship-level fighter as Griffin did. The two had a rematch the following year that was not remembered like the first one, but Bonnar was always a great action fighter and had a very respectable career. He did receive a shot at middleweight champion Anderson Silva in 2012, which he lost and failed a post-fight drug test. Bonnar’s last fight was against Tito Ortiz in Bellator in 2014 back on Spike TV where he had the famous fight against Griffin. After MMA, he was involved in professional wrestling with various independent groups and wrestled for IMPACT Wrestling.

**Jake Paul suffered his first loss as a professional boxer on Sunday, dropping a split decision to Tommy Fury (the half-brother of Tyson Fury). The judges scored the fight 76-73, 74-75, and 76-73 in favor of Fury with both fighters receiving point deductions throughout the eight-round fight. Paul said he felt “kind of flat” and it was not a great camp noting he injured his arm and got sick twice but acknowledged that Fury won he fight “fair and square”. The fight took place from Saudi Arabia and streamed on ESPN+ pay-per-view, which Paul said in an interview with Ariel Helwani was a one-fight deal he signed with ESPN after his last several fights were in conjunction with Showtime.

**Bellator 291 took place from the 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland this past weekend and featured the return of welterweight champion Yaroslav Amosov, who defeated interim champion Logan Storley by unanimous decision. Amasov did not fight in 2022 after fighting on behalf of Ukraine in the war with Russia with Bellator 291 representing his first fight since June 2021. Amosov was dominant and won all five rounds on the judge’s score cards and marking his second victory over Storley following a previous win in 2020. Below are the main card results:
*Bellator Welterweight Championship: Yaroslav Amosov def. Logan Storley by unanimous decision (50-45 all)
*Jeremy Kennedy def. Pedro Carvalho by unanimous decision (30-27 all)
*Bryce Logan def. Peter Queally by TKO at 2:31 of Round 2
*Sinead Kavanagh def. Janay Harding by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
*Ciaran Clarke def. Leonardos Sinis by unanimous decision (30-26 all)

**The main event of this past Saturday’s UFC Fight Night event in Las Vegas fell apart the night of the fight. Nikita Krylov was pulled from the card due to illness and his fight with Ryan Spann was canceled with the middleweight fight between Brendan Allen and Andre Muniz serving as the new three-round main event. It was classified as a food-related illness that Krylov was dealing with throughout the day and was not allowed to compete. Allen scored a major win by submitting Muniz in the third round with an arm triangle to end Muniz’s nine-fight winning streak going back to 2017. Muniz had been on a roll beating Jacare Souza, Eryk Anders, and Uriah Hall in his last three fights. Allen has won four in a row after fighting and winning three times in 2022. After the fight, Allen said he wanted to avenge his losses to Sean Strickland and Chris Curtis.   

**The biggest star on the UFC card was Tatiana Suarez, who returned after nearly four years after her last fight. The 32-year-old dominated Montana De La Rosa with her wrestling and relentless clinch work as she battled for single legs and didn’t allow De La Rosa to ever get on offense. In the second round, she locked in a guillotine and cranked on it for the submission to improve to 9-0. The fight took place at 125 pounds but Suarez plans to return to the strawweight division and wants to go for the title, which is held by Zhang Weili.

**UFC lightweight Paddy Pimblett spoke to MMA Junkie’s Mike Bohn and expects to fight near the end of the year after his ankle surgery scheduled in March. Pimblett admitted in the interview that his unanimous decision win against Jared Gordon at UFC 282 last December was a closer fight than he felt that night. Pimblett still feels he won the fight but conceded that Gordon won the third round. Many people criticized the decision believing Gordon won the fight. Pimblett said he didn’t mind the criticism from fans, but it did bother him to hear Joe Rogan and Nate Diaz criticize it.

**Episode 1 of UFC Embedded for UFC 285 focusing on Jon Jones and Ciryl Gane.

**The Countdown to UFC 285 special previewing Jones vs. Gane, Valentina Shevchenko vs. Alexa Grasso, and Bo Nickal vs. Jamie Pickett.

POST IT NOTES

**Rewind-A-Raw is live at 11 p.m. ET tonight for a full review of tonight’s show from Grand Rapids. Wai Ting and I will also discuss the latest news and each of us will provide mini-reviews of the films we saw this past weekend with “Cocaine Bear” and “Ant-Man & The Wasp: Quantumania”. The show will stream live on the POST YouTube channel.

**Rewind-A-Wai returns on Tuesday evening with our look at WWF UK Rampage ’92 from Sheffield in April 1992. This event takes place two weeks after WrestleMania 8 and was a very successful tour for the company as domestic business was down amidst several scandals and various departures. You can leave feedback for the show on the POST Wrestling Forum.

**Davie Portman and Braden Herrington of Poisonrana will be hosting a two-night viewing party of WrestleMania 39 in Toronto. You can join the two of them and their listeners at Gabby’s at 309 King Street West on 4/1 and 4/2 with trivia, drink specials, and prizes being handed out throughout both nights. You can purchase tickets to attend at Poisonrana.ca.

**Emilio Sparks was a guest on this month’s edition of The N.W.A. Podcast with Nate Milton, Kris Ealy & Andrew Thompson discussing the major news events from the past several weeks.

POST SCHEDULE

Tonight: Rewind-A-Raw with John Pollock & Wai Ting
Tuesday: Rewind-A-Wai – WWF UK Rampage ’92 (Patreon)
Tuesday: upNXT with Davie Portman & Braden Herrington
Wednesday: Rewind-A-Dynamite
Thursday: Drive to Survive – Season 5 Ep. 1-3
Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown with John & Wai (Patreon)
Sunday: UFC 285 POST Show with John Pollock & Eric Marcotte
Sunday: AEW Revolution POST Show
Sunday: Wrestlenomics Radio

*****
WRESTLENOMICS RADIO
Brandon Thurston, Jesse Collings, and Chris Gullo evaluate whether the WWE Performance Center should be considered a success. Plus, a look at WBD’s claims about AEW Dynamite’s viewership.
*****
THE N.W.A. Podcast
Nate Milton, Andrew Thompson and “The Professor” Kris Ealy are joined by Emilio Sparks for the February 2023 edition of the Nubian Wrestling Advocates!
*****
IMPACT No Surrender POST Show
John Pollock & John Siino have a special bonus show with a review of IMPACT No Surrender with Josh Alexander vs. Rich Swann in Las Vegas.
*****
REWIND-A-SMACKDOWN
Wai Ting & Kate from MTL review tonight’s WWE SmackDown featuring Jimmy Uso and Sami Zayn’s confrontation and AEW Rampage featuring The Young Bucks vs. Aussie Open.
*****
MCU L8R: Ant-Man & The Wasp – Quantumania
WH Park, Rich Fann & Scrump review Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania, the first film of Marvel’s Phase 5. They discuss the film’s themes of abandonment, the fallout from responsibilities shirked, their love of Jonathan Majors as Kang, and of course the eternal question: Was it #NotMyKang or #NotMyMODOK for WH.
*****
POST INTERVIEW: Lucas Middlebrook
John Pollock and Brandon Thurston speak with labor attorney Lucas Middlebrook on the state of independent contractors in professional wrestling.
*****

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