POLLOCK'S UPDATE: MARIGOLD launch notes, John Klinger dies, SmackDown rating

Originally published at POLLOCK'S UPDATE: MARIGOLD launch notes, John Klinger dies, SmackDown rating

POLLOCK’S AUDIO NEWS UPDATE

**Monday’s audio news update is available for all POST Wrestling Café members with Karen Peterson providing her quick thoughts on the launch of MARIGOLD at Korakuen Hall on Monday as well as my rundown of Sunday’s Best of the Super Juniors cards and highlights from Mark Shapiro’s chat at the JP Morgan conference on Monday. We do the audio updates multiple times per week for Double Double & Espresso members at POSTWrestlingCafe.com.


POST IT NOTES

**Rewind-A-Raw is live at 11:05 p.m. ET tonight with Wai Ting & John Pollock following WWE Raw from the Greensboro Coliseum.

**The Wellness Policy returns Tuesday with Wai Ting, Jordan Goodman & Neal Flanagan.

**The feedback thread for this week’s Rewind-A-Wai covering WWE Extreme Rules 2012.

**Brandon Sears’ latest book review covers Jim Ross’ third memoir, “Business Is About to Pick Up! 50 Years of Wrestling in 50 Unforgettable Calls”.

POST SCHEDULE

Tonight: Rewind-A-Raw with John Pollock & Wai Ting
Tuesday: The Wellness Policy
Tuesday: upNXT
Wednesday: Pollock & Thurston
Wednesday: Rewind-A-Dynamite
Thursday: Rewind-A-Wai – WWE Extreme Rules 2012 (POST Wrestling Café)
Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown (POST Wrestling Café)
Saturday: WWE King and Queen of the Ring
Saturday: Collision Course (POST Wrestling Café)
Sunday: AEW Double or Nothing

WRESTLING NEWS

**wXw released the news that “Bad Bones” John Klinger has died at the age of 40, although no cause of death was shared.

Klinger has been a veteran in the European wrestling scene, debuting in 2005 and becoming a mainstay with the German-based wXw.

Klinger held wXw’s World Heavyweight title for three months after winning the vacant belt in December 2008, losing the title to Bryan Danielson the following March just before Danielson signed with WWE.

Klinger was a two-time Unified World Champion, a two-time Shotgun champion, and a two-time tag champion with the promotion. He had not wrestled for wXw since 2018. In 2008, he won the 16 Carat Gold Tournament with wins against PCO, El Generico, Ares, and beating Bryan Danielson in the final.

Over the past four years, his main company was the German Wrestling Federation but he worked for multiple independent companies. Earlier this month, he dropped the Eastside Revolution Wrestling Championship with his last match taking place on May 11 for Prime Time Wrestling against Flash Morgan Webster.

He had various shots with TNA when they went to Europe including winning the company’s Gut Check in 2011, which was held in London. He worked several One Night Only pay-per-views in 2014 and episodes of Impact but never found a regular role.

Over the years, he had many big matches with Absolute Andy, Ilja Dragunov, WALTER/Gunther, Chris Hero, Bryan Danielson, Tommy End/Malakai Black, Jurn Simmons, Axel Tischer & others.

One of the biggest matches of his career occurred in June 2008 when he teamed with WALTER against Kenta Kobashi & Go Shiozaki in the main event of a show promoted by wXw and Pro Wrestling NOAH. It was a loaded card including Bryan Danielson vs. Nigel McGuinness, KENTA vs. Claudio Castagnoli, and Chris Hero vs. Takashi Sugiura.

**WWE Raw will not face any basketball competition as the conference finals do not commence until Tuesday. The lone sporting event tonight is Game 7 between the Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers at 9 p.m. ET. While it won’t be a major issue for Raw’s U.S. audience, the game will be gigantic in Canada and ensures a Canadian team in the conference finals, which begin this week.

Raw takes place at the Greensboro Coliseum and is the first wrestling event in the venue since Sting’s retirement in March, which generated over $1 million in ticket sales. The show is the final event for WWE before the crew heads to Saudi Arabia for Friday Night SmackDown and King and Queen of the Ring this weekend. WWE has not run the Greensboro Coliseum since May 2023 where they topped 10,000 tickets distributed. They had not hit that figure as of four days ago, according to WrestleTix but might be able to by show time.

The following is advertised for tonight’s show:
*King of the Ring – Semi-Final: Gunther vs. Jey Uso
*Queen of the Ring – Semi-Final: IYO SKY vs. Lyra Valkyria
*Non-Title Match: Sami Zayn vs. Chad Gable

**Friday Night SmackDown averaged 2,186,000 viewers and a 0.59 rating in the 18-49 demographic this past Friday on Fox. The viewership figure was SmackDown’s highest since April 19 but the demo figure was down from the previous week’s 0.62. Friday’s episode ranked first among network programming for the night. Canadian numbers are delayed due to the holiday.

**TKO president Mark Shapiro spoke at the JP Morgan Global Technology, Media & Communications Conference on Monday. Shapiro spoke about the ever-increasing site fees that WWE & UFC are commanding. Shapiro cited the success of last weekend’s UFC Fight Night card in St. Louis at the Enterprise, which set the all-time gate record for a Fight Night show. He added that they are looking to secure site fees for Raw & SmackDown in some markets, going beyond the premium live events. There was also discussion of UFC’s domestic rights coming due, packaging rights with WWE, the deeper relationship with Saudi Arabia, and shoulder programming opportunities with Netflix. We will discuss this more on Rewind-A-Raw tonight.

**The TKO stock continues to rise, closing at $107.60 on Monday and increasing two percent throughout the day. Over the past month, the stock has climbed thirteen percent.

**Marigold Dream Star Fighting held its inaugural show at a sold-out Korakuen Hall on Monday with an announced attendance of 1,539. The six-man show was headlined by Sareee & Bozilla (a 20-year-old wrestler from Germany, who only debuted in 2022) beating Giulia & Utami Hayashishita after Sareee pinned Hayashishita. They introduced two championships on the card with the MARIGOLD World Championship (the red belt) and United National Championship (the white belt) during Rossy Ogawa’s lone appearance on the show, which was kept brief. The show streamed on Wrestle Universe including English commentary from Stewart Fulton & Sonny Gutierrez (who also left STARDOM after Ogawa’s exit).

Karen Peterson has a full review of the show posted on the site including her match recommendations and overall thoughts on the launch.

They have announced a pay-per-view on Wrestle Universe on July 13 featuring Sareee vs. Giulia at Sumo Hall.

**MARIGOLD posted photos of a flower display sent to the company from WWE performers Akira Tozawa, IYO SKY, and Kairi Sane.

A wonderful array of flowers, including flowers from Tozawa, Io Sky and Kairi Sane. pic.twitter.com/5I69dzBmM1

— Marigold Joshi (@Marigold_Joshi) May 20, 2024

**The funeral for Tony Jones occurred on Saturday in Daly City, California with several wrestling luminaries attending including Michael Modest, Vinnie Massaro, Dave Meltzer, Christina Von Eerie, and others. Jones died on April 11 at the age of 53. Jones was a college wrestler at San Francisco State before getting involved in professional wrestling. He was trained by Michael Modest at the All-Pro Wrestling Boot Camp, which was run by Roland Alexander. Jones, Modest, and Alexander were featured in Barry Blaustein’s documentary “Beyond the Mat” where Jones and Modest received WWF tryouts in Sacramento in September 1998. Jones was a mainstay in Northern California with APW and later with Pro Wrestling Iron while also getting booked in Japan for Battlarts but never received the big break. His daughter Selina died in August 2014, and he is survived by his son, Anthony.

The Indy Handshake YouTube channel has produced a memorial video on Jones.

**The Best of the Super Juniors has an off day and returns Tuesday with A Block matches in Himeji. The promotion has noted that Francesco Akira won’t be available for his undercard tag match due to a knee injury (which he was actively selling on Sunday’s card against Drilla Moloney). Akira’s next tournament match is on Wednesday with Hiromu Takahashi. The following A Block matches are scheduled for Tuesday at 5:30 a.m. ET on New Japan World:
*A BLOCK: Kosei Fujita (4) vs. TJP (2)
*A BLOCK: Clark Connors (6) vs. BUSHI (4)
*A BLOCK: HAYATA (4) vs. Blake Christian (8)
*A BLOCK: Kevin Knight (6) vs. Titan (6)
*A BLOCK: El Desperado (6) vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru (4)

**Tuesday’s episode of NXT is a taped version from last week with the following lineup:
*NXT Tag Titles: Axiom & Nathan Frazer © vs. Channing Lorenzo & Luca Crusifino
*NXT North American Title – #1 Contenders Match: Josh Briggs vs. Wes Lee vs. Joe Coffey (replacing Ivar)
*NXT Women’s North American Title – Qualifying Match: Thea Hail vs. Fallon Henley
*NXT Women’s North American Title – Qualifying Match: Jaida Parker vs. Brinley Reece
*Shayna Baszler & Lola Vice vs. Natalya & Karmen Petrovic
*Lexis King vs. Dante Chen

**John Cena has joined the MET-Rx sports nutrition company with a multi-year partnership and participated in the company’s forthcoming digital campaign. The press release notes:

This multi-year collaboration with Cena will amplify MET-Rx’s winning Big Nutrition, Big Satisfaction product positioning across social media, digital platforms, and in-store activations. Through this partnership, MET-Rx aims to be the best option for complete nutrition and meal replacement while empowering individuals to push their limits and fuel their ambitions with products that deliver real results. MET-Rx products can be found at 7-Eleven, Walmart and other select retailers, and exclusive MET-Rx bundles will be available through Metrx.com and TikTok this month.

**The late Tim White’s old establishment, The Friendly Tap, is re-opening under new management. White ran the establishment from 1989 until 2011 when he sold it to Debra and Gerald Podgurski. The Podgurskis divested from the bar last month and the relaunch is under the management of Charlie Greene and Patrick Johnson with an updated name of simply, “The Tap”. The bar was frequently used in WWE angles over the years where a brawl would break out and they would destroy the surroundings and inevitably, cover all the damages and then some for The Friendly Tap to upgrade. White, who served as an agent and referee with the WWF from 1985 until 2009, died in June 2022 at age 68. White was posthumously presented with the Warrior Award at the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony in 2023. (Boston Globe)

**MLW has added six names to the Battle Riot match on June 1 with the additions of AKIRA, 1 Called Manders, Mr. Thomas, Brett Ryan Gosselin, Joshua Bishop, and Jake Crist. The 40-person battle royal will stream live from Center Stage in Atlanta at 9 p.m. ET.

**Ian Riccaboni spoke with the Lehigh Valley News on the state of professional wrestling and AEW coming to his hometown of Allentown, Pennsylvania.

**DEFY Wrestling will return to Washington Hall in Seattle on July 19 and will include The Acclaimed on the show.

MMA NEWS

**Former UFC fighter Geane Herrera died on Saturday after a motorcycle accident at the age of 33. The Florida Highway Patrol hasn’t disclosed his name but friends of his and the BKFC organization have posted about Herrera’s death. MMA Junkie reports that Herrera was riding his motorcycle and struck the back of a Jeep Grand Cherokee. The Florida Highway Patrol tells the outlet:

The Florida Highway Patrol confirmed to MMA Junkie that the driver was traveling at a “high rate of speed” and was thrown “several hundred feet” before the motorcycle burst into flames. Herrera was pronounced dead on scene.

Herrera fought in the UFC from 2015-16 and went 1-3 as a flyweight. He lost his promotional debut to Ray Borg and stopped Jody Sanchez in December 2015. After losses to Ali Bagautinov and Ben Nguyen in 2016, he left the promotion and fought for ACB in Italy in 2018. He did one BKFC fight in July 2021 and won in fourteen seconds against Abdiel Velazquez.

His family launched a GoFundMe after his death and included the following message:

Our family is devastated by the tragic loss of our beloved Geane Carlos Herrera known in the professional fighting world as “La Pulga”, whose life was cut way too short at only 33 years-old. Geane leaves behind a 16 year-old son, his 3-month pregnant girlfriend, mother, father, sisters, a brother and a family that loves him and will deeply miss him.

Geane was full of life, always trying to live life to the fullest, he was a dedicated athlete with big dreams of making a difference and leaving his print in this world. He was such a happy go lucky person that left a mark in everyone that came into his life.

As is widely known funeral services are very expensive and our family does not have the means to cover the costs. We are asking for $50,000 but anything helps to cover for the funeral cost and leave a little bit of money for his son and future baby to give them some time to adjust and figure out life without their father going forward.

We are asking family, friends, fans, the UF community, the BKFC community, the fighting world and any stranger that can relate to our tragedy for support. Any little bit counts, please donate and help Geane’s family deal with this tragedy in any way.

****
POLLOCK’S AUDIO – May 20, 2024
TKO president Mark Shapiro speaks on company revenues, Karen Peterson recaps MARIGOLD’s debut & a BOSJ Night 6 review.
****
THE N.W.A. PODCAST: Sweet Chin Music (We Won’t Pass the Aux)
The Advocates are back and joined by Jesse Collings from Voices of Wrestling to discuss the state of wrestling journalism and media.
****
POSTmarks: RaceyJaycee (Jaycee Pittman)
Bruce Lord and David Meyers talk to RaceyJaycee (Jaycee Pittman) about racing, VHS tapes, being a secret wrestling fan in high school, and her connection to Bret Hart.
****
COLLISION COURSE
John Siino and Kate From MTL are on late night duty one more time as Collision & Rampage air back-to-back. Bryan Danielson and FTR take on The Righteous and Lance Archer, Will Ospreay faces Shane Taylor and a LOT more.
****

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