Originally published at Jon Moxley proposes additional concussion protocols
Tonight: Rewind-A-SmackDown with John Pollock & Wai Ting (POST Wrestling Café)
Saturday: The Long & Winding Royal Road with WH Park & Braden Herrington (The Funks vs. Hansen & Gordy)
Saturday: Collision Course with Kate from Montreal & John Siino (POST Wrestling Café)
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We had a really thorough discussion about this year’s WON Hall of Fame ballot on Pollock & Thurston this week. Alan4L from the PW Torch site joined us for the full show to breakdown many of the key candidates including Roman Reigns, CM Punk, Young Bucks, Jon Moxley, Seth Rollins, The Briscoes, Shingo Takagi, Tomohiro Ishii, Paul Orndorff, and others. The deadline is less than two weeks away with the inductees being announced sometime later. Candidates require 60% of the vote in their given region and voters consist of past & current wrestlers, historians, and media.
Punk is a lightning rod candidate, especially after his last year, and had 41% of the votes last year, therefore, had a lot of ground to make up for inclusion. I vote for Punk each year and will again this year. The question is for voters that did not vote for Punk, how could the last year have strengthened his case? I’m pretty high on the addition of The Beauty Pair (Jackie Sato & Maki Ueda) in the Japanese section even with Sato already added in the inaugural class in 1996. For the short time they had, they were a major pop culture act in the country that transcended pro wrestling and set the stage for acts like The Crush Gals and marriage between women’s wrestling and pop music. The two were key to All Japan Women getting a weekly prime time slot on network television, receiving a recording contract, and as opponents, the two sold out Budokan Hall in 1977. After the deadline, I’ll find some time to go through my ballot on one of our shows.
**Jon Moxley recently spoke with The Messenger about ideas for further concussion protocols in professional wrestling. Moxley, who has been inactive due to a concussion sustained last month in a match with Rey Fenix, discussed the idea of having someone who is removed from the creative process that is experienced to identify signals of a concussion that can have unilateral power to halt a match if there is a concern for the wrestler’s state:
Maybe a really experienced wrestler and a really experienced doctor, who are trained to see signs of that sh–, are watching it on a separate feed. Even if they have a doctor close to ringside, what if the guy f—ing spills outside the ring? He doesn’t see that.
The doctor and wrestler are completely untethered to the creative portion of it. They have no idea nor any interest in what the story is, who wins, who loses or how long it’s supposed to go.
As soon as the doctor sees a sign of somebody being concussed, he just hits the f—ing red button. Boom, this is over. No matter how much time is left. No matter if it’s on live TV. It’s just over, and you figure it out from there.
It is really refreshing to hear a performer speak about this issue because it will carry a lot more weight among the people who require the most convincing – wrestlers. Ultimately, talent needs to believe that head trauma is severe enough that the days of gutting your way through injury to the finish is not an act of heroism but currently, that mindset is engrained among wrestlers. There is no excuse any longer for a visibly concussed performer to be going through the motions to ensure a match reaches its conclusion. Of course, Moxley is a prime example as his injury occurred at the start of the match with Fenix and he continued, but it’s also important to have a third party that can assume the role of the “bad guy” and take that call away from the performer, who has tunnel vision on their performance and completing the match.
It is very tricky in pro wrestling because even experienced veterans can be unsure if a wrestler is concussed or just selling effectively. The ultimate case study is The Undertaker’s match with Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 30 where ‘Taker suffered a bad concussion early in the match and from all accounts, it should have been stopped. Will officials have the willingness to pull the plug in such a high-profile setting? It’s why someone needs to be the default “bad guy” to make the call and accept the fan revolt.
Even in MMA, it’s very tricky such as Johnny Walker being deemed unable to continue in his fight with Magomed Ankalaev when he couldn’t name the country he was in and the ringside doctor caught a lot of backlash for his call.
While Moxley has been traveling to shows recently, he has not wrestled since September 20 due to the concussion.
**CM Punk did an interview on 670 The Score this week and spoke about his belief that there will never be a union within professional wrestling:
For professional wrestling, yeah, wrestlers should 100% have a union. I’ll always say this, and I mean it in the most loving way; wrestlers will never unionize because wrestlers are stupid and selfish. That’s just the way it is. There is always going to be somebody else around the corner that wants what you have or possibly doesn’t want you to have what you have and they will do whatever the promoter wants you to do for less money. That’s unfortunate. The boys never stick together. (Transcribed by Fightful)
**Comcast released its third-quarter earnings report on Thursday and among the highlights were the growth of subscribers on Peacock. The streaming platform, which launched in 2021 picked up approximately four million subscribers in the quarter that ended on September 30 and brings the service up to 28 million subscribers (up from 15 million at the end of Q3 in 2022). Peacock’s revenue for the quarter grew to $830 million although still lost $565 million in the quarter with Comcast projecting lower losses in 2024. Peacock was bolstered by several implementations including the removal of free access to its premium tier for Xfinity subscribers, as well as free access for Cox subscribers to Peacock and the elimination of a free tier for new subscribers. Analysts are awaiting Disney’s earnings report next month to see the number of ESPN+ subscribers, which was last reported at 25.2 million and would place Peacock slightly ahead of the competitor. (Awful Announcing)
**Friday Night SmackDown is at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee tonight for a double taping (next week’s show is being taped due to a portion of the crew being in Saudi Arabia for Crown Jewel). The last report from WrestleTix notes 11,363 tickets distributed and is the eighth week in a row that SmackDown has topped 10,000 (the streak could end on November 10 as the show in Columbus has yet to hit 6,000 but they have two weeks). The show is promoted around the contract signing between Roman Reigns and LA Knight ahead of Crown Jewel and John Cena. They have also announced Rey Mysterio & Santos Escobar vs. The Street Profits.
**AEW Rampage airs at 10 p.m. ET on TNT tonight with the following matches taped in Philadelphia this past week:
*Skye Blue vs. Willow Nightingale vs. Anna Jay vs. Abadon (winner challenges Hikaru Shida on Collision)
*Mike Santana vs. Ortiz
*Konosuke Takeshita vs. Kyle Fletcher
*MJF and Kenny Omega to speak before their title match
**AEW has released a 25-minute feature on the history between Santana and Ortiz heading into tonight’s match on Rampage.
**Collision is at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville on Saturday with the big AEW title match between MJF and Kenny Omega promoted on three days’ notice. They have announced Athena vs. Mercedes Martinez for the ROH Women’s Championship as part of the ROH taping portion of the show.
**The final show under the IMPACT banner will be Final Resolution on Saturday, December 9 at the Don Kolov Arena in Toronto. Tickets for the event go on sale next Friday at 9 a.m. ET. One day later on November 4, tickets go on sale for the TNA Hard to Kill and Snake Eyes Extravaganza on January 13 & 14 in Las Vegas at The Palms.
**Billy Corgan spoke with Cleveland.com this week to promote NWA’s Samhain pay-per-view in the city this week and spoke about the aim of the promotion:
Our product is voiced for a casual wrestling fan. And I mean that in a positive way. I think we live in a very complicated society. People don’t always have time to follow every storyline. The greatest compliments I get are from people who grew up watching wrestling with a parent who’s no longer around and, as a result, they’ve lost touch with it.
**Thursday’s episode of IMPACT Wrestling was a highlight show from the key matches at Bound for Glory including the full-length version of the main event between Alex Shelley and Josh Alexander. There was additional footage that aired after Bound for Glory went off the air with Scott D’Amore’s full speech for the audience at Cicero Stadium that was very reminiscent of a Paul Heyman address inside of the ECW Arena. There was also a reaction shot of the locker room watching the show-closing video with the announcement of TNA’s return and the audience popping for the news. The next weeks of television will include tapings from last Sunday at Cicero Stadium and from the ongoing U.K. tour.
**IMPACT tapes its Turning Point special today in Newcastle and will air next Friday on Impact Plus, Ultimate Insiders on YouTube, and FITE TV. The card features Trinity vs. Deonna Purrazzo for the Knockouts title with Gail Kim as the referee, Will Ospreay vs. Eddie Edwards, Subculture vs. Josh Alexander & Eric Young, Jordynne Grace vs. Dani Luna, Motor City Machine Guns vs. Moose & Brian Myers, Frankie Kazarian vs. Rich Swann vs. Trey Miguel, Gisele Shaw vs. Alex Windsor, and Joe Hendry vs. Simon Miller. The tour wraps up this weekend with two nights in Coventry, England on Saturday and Sunday.
**NJPW’s Super Jr. Tag League runs in Fukushima on Saturday and streams at 3 a.m. ET on New Japan World with the following card:
*Super Jr. Tag League: El Desperado & Master Wato (6) vs. Clark Connors & Drilla Moloney (6)
*Super Jr. Tag League: KUSHIDA & Kevin Knight (6) vs. Titan & BUSHI (2)
*Super Jr. Tag League: Robbie Eagles & Kosei Fujita (2) vs. SHO & Yoshinobu Kanemaru (6)
*Super Jr. Tag League: YOH & MUSASHI (4) vs. DOUKI & Taka Michinoku (0)
*Super Jr. Tag League: TJP & Francesco Akira (4) vs. Ryusuke Taguchi & The DKC (4)
*EVIL, Yujiro & Dick Togo vs. Tomohiro Ishii, YOSHI-HASHI & Toru Yano
*Great O-Khan & Callum Newman vs. Shota Umino & Ren Narita
*Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma vs. Oleg Boltin, Oskar Leube & Yuto Nakashima
**The NWA presents its Samhain pay-per-view on Saturday night in Cleveland and streams on FITE TV for $14.99 U.S. The card currently sits at ten matches and comes at a time when the NWA is poised to make the announcement of its two television deals for the new year, which Haus of Wrestling has reported are with the CW Network. When asked about the network, Billy Corgan didn’t confirm or deny in interviews this week but could not speak on it yet, although has repeatedly mentioned the deals being signed. Below is the lineup for the pay-per-view:
*NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship – No Limits Match: EC3 © vs. Thom Latimer
*NWA World Women’s Championship: Kenzie Paige © vs. Ruthie Jay
*NWA World Jr. Heavyweight Championship – Pillar to Post Match: Colby Corino © vs. Joe Alonzo
*NWA World Tag Team Championships – Medieval Knights of the Round Table Match: Blunt Force Trauma © vs. Mike Knox & Trevor Murdoch
*NWA World Women’s Tag Titles: Kylie Paige & Ella Envy © vs. Natalia Markova & Taylor Rising
*Rock N’ Roll Tag Match: The Headbangers vs. Kerry Morton & Alex Taylor
*Submission Match: Jax Dane vs. Blake Troop
*Six Man Tag Team Riddle Box Match: The Brothers of Funstruction & Violent J vs. Vampiro & La Rebelion
*NWA National Heavyweight Championship – Burning Lake Brawl Match: Silas Mason © vs. Chris Adonis
*Devil’s Last Dance Ultimate Hardcore Team War Match: Gaagz The Gymp, Koa Laxmana, Dak Draper, Mims & Sal The Pal vs. Max The Impaler, Alex Misery, Judais, Cody James & Jake Dumas
**NJPW STRONG is in Las Vegas at Sam’s Town on Saturday night with the Fighting Spirit Unleashed card at 10 p.m. ET and a 30-minute pre-show. The card is going to feature the new play-by-play announcer Walker Stewart calling the event with Veda Scott. The only AEW representation on the show is Eddie Kingston and Lance Archer with the former defending the STRONG Openweight Championship against Henare in a rematch from the G1 Climax where Kingston won. Below is the lineup:
*NEVER Openweight Championship: Tama Tonga © vs. Shingo Takagi
*SANADA & Yuya Uemura vs. Tetsuya Naito & Hiromu Takahashi
*STRONG Openweight Championship: Eddie Kingston © vs. HENARE
*STRONG Openweight Tag Titles: Hikuelo & El Phantasmo © vs. Alex Zayne & Lance Archer
*STRONG Women’s Championship: Giulia © vs. Hyan
*Hiroshi Tanahashi, Atlantis, Atlantis Jr. & Mistico vs. Rocky Romero, Soberano Jr., Adrian Quest & Tiger Mask
*Tom Lawlor vs. Gabe Kidd
*Stephanie Vaquer & Zeuxis vs. Johnnie Robbie & Lluvia
*Satoshi Kojima vs. Jeff Cobb vs. Alex Coughlin vs. Fred Rosser (winner becomes #1 contender for STRONG Openweight title)
*Pre-Show: Matt Vandagriff vs. Buck Skynyr
*Pre-Show: Royce Isaacs, Jorel Nelson & Danny Limelight vs. Baliyan Akki, Jakob Austin Young & Titus Alexander
**John Cena’s new film Freelance is out today, which the performer is unable to promote due to the ongoing actor’s strike. The movie co-stars Alison Brie, who was one of the leads in GLOW during its run on Netflix. Cena plays an ex-Special Forces operative named Mason Pettits, who takes a freelance gig to protect a journalist (Brie) as she seeks to interview a dictator. Multiple performers appeared at a recent screening of the movie including A.J. Francis (Top Dolla), Ashante Adonis, Mojo Rawley, Alexa Bliss, LA Knight, Tanga Loa, Tyler Breeze, Harley Cameron, Samuray del Sol, Mike Rallis (Madcap Moss), Steph De Lander, Tenille Dashwood, and Xia Brookside.
**The major fight this weekend isn’t from the UFC but instead, is in Saudi Arabia for Francis Ngannou’s boxing debut against WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury (33-0-1, 24 KOs). FanDuel lists Fury as a -2000 favorite with the champion already lining up a title defense against Oleksandr Usyk for December 23. Fury weighed in at 277.7 pounds on Friday while Ngannou stepped onto the scale at 272.2 pounds for the contest. The card will air on ESPN+ pay-per-view on Saturday beginning at 2 p.m. ET.
**Kevin Iole of Yahoo reported that the Saudi Arabian side hired Mike Tyson to serve as Ngannou’s trainer and is flying in many fighters for the event including Manny Pacquiao, George Foreman, and others. Randy Couture and Chuck Liddell have posted that they are going to the fight and tagging Riyadh Season in their posts.
**Jon Jones posted a video to Instagram on Thursday and noted he was scheduled to undergo surgery today for his torn pectoral muscle. The injury has caused the removal of his fight with Stipe Miocic from the UFC 295 card on November 11 and in their place is an interim title fight between Sergei Pavlovich and Tom Aspinall. Jones stated he is planning to fight Miocic when he is healthy, which will be a significant amount of time given the injury and rehab process. Miocic turned 41 back in August and has not fought since March 2021.
**Stipe Miocic addressed the fight with Jon Jones being off on his OnlyFans account. Miocic said that his manager broke the news to him and that it felt, “Like I got kicked in the nuts”. He confirmed he was not offered the interim title fight at UFC 295 and is fine waiting to fight Jon Jones when he is healthy. White spoke on Tuesday at a press conference and said it would have been an “insult” to ask Miocic to fight for the interim title and all parties seem aligned to postpone the fight until Jones is ready. (MMA Fighting)
**Invicta FC 54 takes place at the Citizens House of Blues in Boston tonight at 8 p.m. ET and streams on YouTube. The five-fight card will feature:
*Invicta Strawweight Championship: Danni McCormack (7-2) vs. Karolina Wojcik (11-2)
*Dee Begley (4-2) vs. Kristina Williams (6-4)
*Hilarie Rose (6-4) vs. Andrea Amaro (3-2)
*Julia Dorny (2-1) vs. Riley Martinez (2-0)
*Fernanda Araujo (0-0) vs. Maria Djukic (2-2)
**The NHL is dealing with its own gambling controversy this week with the 41-game suspension issued to Shane Pinto of the Ottawa Senators. Pinto has been suspended due to “activities relating to sports wagering”, according to the NHL, although the specifics have not been shared. There was a memo from 2022 sent to league & team personnel that gave the NHL the authority to discipline anyone engaged in “improper gambling activities.” (Yahoo! Sports)
**RIZIN has announced the first four fights for its annual New Year’s Eve event. Juan Archuleta will defend the RIZIN bantamweight title against Kai Asakura, Kyoji Horiguchi will fight Makoto Shinryu for the vacant RIZIN flyweight title, John Dodson will take on Hiromasa Ougikubo, and Kleber Koike will take on Yutaka Saito. The annual card will be staged at the Saitama Super Arena.
ASK-A-WAI: Ask Us Anything! (October 2023)
John Pollock and Wai Ting answer their patrons’ questions about anything and everything in the October 2023 edition of Ask-A-Wai.
John Pollock and Wai Ting review AEW Dynamite with MJF vs. Juice Robinson, Kazuchika Okada’s return to AEW, and Tony Khan’s gift for Sting.
POLLOCK & THURSTON: Hall of Fame Preview
John Pollock and Brandon Thurston preview this year’s ballot for the Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame with Alan4L of PW Torch.
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