Originally published at POLLOCK'S UPDATE: WWE Draft, Diary episode on Rosemary
DAN “THE MOUTH” LOVRANSKI
I wanted to start off the news update with congratulations to Dan “The Mouth” Lovranski, who is leaving wrestling radio after nearly twenty-five years and had been a good friend of mine going back to 1999.
Lovranski and I worked together on The LAW from 2003-17 and is as genuine a person as he came across on his shows. Along the way, he interviewed a who’s who in professional wrestling from Ric Flair, Bruno Sammartino, Gene Kiniski, Nick Bockwinkel, and countless others.
He was someone instrumental in my career when it came to providing opportunities, advice, and constant encouragement during my first few years of doing anything on-air related.
He came onboard The LAW in 1998 when it was hosted by Donnie Abreu and Jeff Marek and was an online broadcast. In February 1999, it gained a slot on the local sports station, The FAN 590 in a Sunday night slot at 1 a.m. ET and grew into a two-hour show, then adding a show on Saturday, and continuing to expand.
During those years, he was a producer on the show and did a weekly segment called the ‘Jabroni of the Week’ where he would run down someone on a weekly basis. In 2000, he was promoted to co-host of the program and held it for the duration of the show’s run with Marek, and later, Jason Agnew.
Dan will still continue his weekly music show on CIUT in Toronto that airs every Tuesday at Noon.
POST IT NOTES
**The latest edition of TALK features Wai & I chatting about the status of Twitter, its influence waning, the rise of AI, exercise, smoothies, health & many other topics that we would never force into our regular shows.
**Rewind-A-Smackdown is live at 10 p.m. ET for POST Café members with a review of the first night of the WWE Draft. Wai Ting and I will go through all the picks and review the show from Corpus Christi, plus discuss the top news stories from the day. We will also take your calls and feedback tonight.
**On Saturday, The Long & Winding Royal Road will feature the return of Dylan Fox as he joins WH Park and they travel back to December 2000. This month, the match featured is Yuji Nagata & Takashi Iizuka taking on Toshiaki Kawada & Masa Fuchi. Dylan is always an awesome guest, so you’ll enjoy this one.
**Wrestlenomics Radio is back on Sunday as Brandon Thurston, Chris Gullo & Jesse Collings speak on the latest news from around the industry and look toward next week’s WWE earnings report.
**The first night of the WWE Draft is tonight in Corpus Christi, Texas, and continues Monday in Fort Worth. The company has issued a list of performers that are eligible to be drafted tonight with the following listed for tonight: Becky Lynch, Bianca Belair, Bobby Lashley, Candice LeRae, Chelsea Green & Sonya Deville, Cody Rhodes, Damage CTRL, Dexter Lumis, Dolph Ziggler, Drew McIntyre, Edge, Hit Row, Imperium, Lacey Evans, Matt Riddle, Maximum Male Models, Mustafa Ali, Natalya, Omos w/ MVP, Shinsuke Nakamura, The Bloodline (Roman Reigns & Solo Sikoa), The Miz, The O.C. (AJ Styles, Gallows & Anderson, Michin), The Street Profits, Viking Raiders, and select NXT performers.
Despite all the mentions of teams breaking up, all the tag teams are listed as pairings and would suggest they won’t be breaking anyone up (unless they draft one but not the other, which makes no sense). The Bloodline is split into two groups with Reigns & Sikoa as a package and separate from The Usos. One group that is split up is The Judgment Day where Rhea Ripley is listed on her own while Finn Balor, Damian Priest & Dominik Mysterio are grouped as one unit.
Reigns will be drafted tonight and should be the top pick and take his championship(s) to that brand, so after tonight, we will know which brand will have the new championship after Night of Champions on 5/27. Cody Rhodes is eligible tonight, so the question is whether he is drafted to the same brand as Reigns or put on the opposite one to keep them apart.
Several performers are not listed on either list for Friday or Monday with the most notable being Bray Wyatt with questions continuing regarding his status since being removed from television and missing WrestleMania.
For NXT, there are a lot of performers that could be deemed ‘ready’ for the call-up. Bron Breakker just turned heel and issued the challenge to Carmelo Hayes this past week. They could draft Breakker and he wraps up his NXT run but it does telegraph the outcome of the match. Grayson Waller and Roxanne Perez are ready for the elevation and with Indi Hartwell winning the women’s title and having a babyface in that role, it would clear the way for Perez to exit NXT. Pretty Deadly would seem tabbed for Raw or SmackDown after this week’s ending to the Trunk Match and essentially killing off the team in a literal fashion. The women’s tag division desperately needs teams and Katana Chance & Kayden Carter would be my choice as they have a great act, and both have improved greatly during their time working as a team.
Long-term, it remains to be seen how committed of an effort this will be to maintain distinct rosters. The add-on of another world title, suggests a meaningful approach but comes when the business has been exceptionally strong from television numbers and fans buying tickets and holding Raw and SmackDown at equal levels with the top stars available both nights of the week. It is going to be a challenge to present the new World Championship as equal to Roman Reigns after the nearly three-year run by Reigns. Beyond the performer with the title, they will be placed on the non-Reigns show, which instantly becomes the ‘lesser’ show, at least at the beginning. The timing is strange as this would have been equipped after Cody Rhodes got the big victory, the Reigns’ empire falls, and Cody is the one to separate the belts after accomplishing his mission – if you were adamant on splitting the belts, which I’m not.
**Tonight’s episode also features a WrestleMania rematch with Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn defending the Undisputed tag titles against The Usos. Zelina Vega will take on Sonya Deville tonight, as well.
**IMPACT Wrestling has two nights of tapings Friday & Saturday at Cicero Stadium in Illinois. It is expected that Naomi (Trinity Fatu) will be debuting this weekend and would be her first appearance for a wrestling company since leaving WWE. Besides the “major surprise”, they are promoting the following matches for Friday night’s taping: The Coven vs. Deonna Purrazzo & Jordynne Grace, Motor City Machine Guns vs. Eddie Edwards & Kenny King, Jonathan Gresham vs. Speedball Mike Bailey, Moose & Brian Myers vs. Bhupinder Gujjar & Yuya Uemura, and Masha Slamovich vs. Killer Kelly. Saturday’s taping has Steve Maclin vs. Rhino, Deonna Purrazzo vs. Killer Kelly for the Knockouts Championship, Alex Shelley & Jonathan Gresham & Yuya Uemura vs. Moose & Frankie Kazarian & Eddie Edwards, Chris Sabin vs. Speedball Mike Bailey, and Trey Miguel vs. Laredo Kid.
**Alex Hammerstone has confirmed he has a torn abductor muscle but expects to be back for the weekend of May 12-14.
**Sami Zayn is the guest on Whiskey Ginger with Andrew Santino.
**The latest episode of Diary on IMPACT performer Rosemary is the strongest one they have produced. The 25-minute piece covers her battles with mental health issues and the depression she faced after a ruptured ACL in 2018 and her difficulties getting back to 100 percent. Rosemary was incredibly open during this series and shined a light on many topics that are not spoken about often that athletes deal with and the mental burden that comes with the day-to-day rigors of professional wrestling. This is a great series with additional episodes on Josh Alexander and Trey Miguel this season.
**AEW Rampage airs at 6:30 p.m. ET tonight (it was promoted as 5:30 p.m. ET throughout the Dynamite but on Thursday, it was changed again) due to the NHL playoffs. The show was taped in Sunrise, Florida, and will include the following matches and segments:
*Ricky Starks & Shawn Spears vs. Jay White & Juice Robinson
*Keith Lee & Dustin Rhodes vs. Brady Pierce & Charlie James
*Anna Jay AS vs. Ashley D’Amboise
*The Acclaimed & Billy Gunn vs. Cameron Stewart, Ryzin & Dante Casanova
*Cash Wheeler vs. Jay Lethal
*The Outcasts will appear
**WWE’s European tour has been a big success with the numbers they have drawn on the mini tour. They had a sold-out event in Belfast, Northern Ireland on Friday and wrap up on Saturday with another sold-out card at the Accor Arena in Paris, France with over 12,500 tickets out. The crew is returning for the WWE Draft edition of Raw this Monday in Fort Worth, Texas.
**The WWE stock saw a small gain on Friday and closed at $107.17 with a market cap of $7.98 billion.
**Between the NHL & NBA playoffs and Toronto Blue Jays coverage, AEW Dynamite did not rank among the top ten sports programs in Canada this past Wednesday.
**NJPW presents its Wrestling Satsuma no Kuni card on Saturday at 4 a.m. ET on New Japan World with the following card:
*Takagi Triad for the KOPW Championship: Shingo Takagi © vs. Taichi (Three-of-Five Falls Match by Pinfall, Submission, Knockout, DQ, and count-out)
*IWGP Tag Team Championship: Aussie Open © vs. Shane Haste & Mikey Nicholls
*SANADA, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & DOUKI vs. Tetsuya Naito, Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI
*Tama Tonga, Hikuleo, Master Wato & Jado vs. David Finlay, KENTA, Taiji Ishimori & Gedo
*Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii, Togi Makabe & Ryohei Oiwa vs. Minoru Suzuki, El Desperado, Ren Narita & Yuto Nakahsima
*Zack Sabre Jr. & Kosei Fujita vs. Jeff Cobb & Great O-Khan
*KUSHIDA, Kevin Knight & Tomoaki Honma vs. Aaron Henare, TJP & Francesco Akira
*EVIL & Yujiro vs. Shota Umino & Oskar Leube
*Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI vs. Toru Yano & Oleg Boltin
**On Sunday, NJPW has a Road to Wrestling Dontaku event in Kumamoto with an Elimination Match in the main event featuring Just Five Guys against LIJ.
**AJPW’s Champion Carnival has three more shows remaining with a card on Sunday in Osaka, next Thursday at Korakuen Hall, and the finals on 5/7 at Ota Ward Gymnasium. The A Block is led by Kento Miyahara, T-Hawk & Ryuki Honda (8 points) with Yuma Aoyagi, Satoshi Kojima & Cyrus (6 points), Jun Saito (4 points), and Yoshitatsu (2 points). The B Block has a four-way tie on top with Suwama, Shuji Ishikawa, Shotaro Ashino & Rei Saito (8 points), followed by Yuma Anzai & Manabu Soya (6 points), Hokuto Omori (4 points), and Takao Omori with zero. Saturday’s card features Manabu Soya vs. Takao Omori, Suwama vs. Rei Saito, Shuji Ishikawa vs. Shotaro Ashino, and Yuma Anzai vs. Hokuto Omori.
**C*4 Wrestling is back in Ottawa tonight at the Preston Event Centre with Kevin Blackwood vs. Stu Grayson vs. Gringo Loco vs. Gabriel Fuerza vs. Travis Williams vs. Junior Benito for the C*4 Wrestling Championship in the main event. The show will air on IWTV.
**Smash Wrestling is at the Franklin Horner Community Centre in Toronto on Saturday. The card includes Kevin Bennett vs. Leon St. Giovanni for the Smash Wrestling title, Nikita vs. Trish Adora for the Smash Women’s title, Psycho Mike Rollins vs. Bobby Orlando, Carter Mason vs. John Greed, and TDT vs. Yoya & Janai Kai vs. Junior Benito & Macrae Martin.
**Speedball Mike Bailey has been added to GCW’s Tournament of Survival on 6/4 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
**DEFY Wrestling has announced KENTA for its 6/3 event ‘Your Nightmare’ at Washington Hall in Seattle.
**Chris Candido died on this day in 2005 at the age of 33. His was a very tragic story of someone that had turned his life around and was doing well in TNA when he suffered a nasty leg and ankle injury at the Lockdown pay-per-view event. For a long time, it was thought that he died due to a blood clot but his brother Jonny stated that it was due to acute pneumonia.
**Demand Lucha ran its latest card in Toronto on Thursday night and the atmosphere was outstanding. They run in a venue called Parkdale Hall, which is on the west end of Queen Street and an easily accessible location for people downtown. It was a largely young adult crowd that was into all the matches and the simplest of spots received a maximum reaction in the opening match between The Mane Event and Los Medicos (evil Lucha doctors in masks). It was a six-match show and went just over two hours, which is the perfect length and they filled the venue they were in (a rough estimate would be at least 400 people) on the same night the Toronto Maple Leafs had a playoff game, which is always a big deal in the city. It was such an entertaining environment and the crowd makes the show. The highlights included the unannounced Komander, who was initially pulled from the show and then made it as a surprise, a “Lucha Doors” match where they broke doors repeatedly, and a really fun match between Drago Kid and Sam Adonis, who is a great heel and riled up the audience before and after the match. Their next card is June 29 and they are loading it up with Adonis vs. Brian Cage along with El Hijo del Vikingo and Speedball Mike Bailey working the show. I would argue they need a larger venue for a show of this magnitude, but the location is really great and that should be a hot ticket coming out of Forbidden Door the previous week in Toronto.
**After a warrant was issued by the New Orleans Police Department, Nate Diaz turned himself in to the authorities. Diaz is facing a felony charge of second-degree battery. Diaz was seen on camera choking a man unconscious last weekend following a boxing event that Diaz attended. The man choked out is Rodney Peterson Jr., who has threatened to knock out Diaz the next time he sees him. MMA Junkie reported that Diaz voluntarily turned himself in on Thursday and was in custody for several hours. Diaz’s attorney Zach Rosenfield issued a statement that his client posted bond and is free to travel. The charge carries a maximum sentence of eight years in prison and/or a $2,000 fine in the state of New Orleans. Diaz is scheduled to make his pro boxing debut on 8/5 in Dallas against Jake Paul and airing on DAZN pay-per-view.
**The UFC runs the Apex in Las Vegas on Saturday night with an ESPN+ card. The event lost its main event between Arman Tsarukyan and Renato Moicano several weeks ago. In their place, Song Yadong and Ricky Simon meet in a five-round bantamweight contest. Yadong (19-7-1, 1 NC) had his three-fight win streak ended by Cory Sandhagen last September with a TKO loss. Simon (20-3) has won his last five fights and last submitted Jack Shore this past July.
Below is the full card:
MAIN CARD (7 p.m. ET on ESPN+)
*Song Yadong vs. Ricky Simon
*Caio Borralho vs. Michal Oleksiejczuk
*Rodolfo Vieira vs. Cody Brundage
*Fernando Padilla vs. Julian Erosa
*Waldo Cortes-Acosta vs. Marcos Rogerio
*Josh Quinlan vs. Trey Waters
PRELIMINARY CARD (4:30 p.m. ET on ESPN+)
*Martin Buday vs. Jake Collier
*Charles Johnson vs. Cody Durden
*Irina Alekseeva vs. Stephanie Egger – Alekseev missed weight by four pounds and was fined a percentage of her purse
*Marcus McGhee vs. Journey Newson
*Jamey-Lyn Horth vs. Hailey Cowan – Cowan missed weight by 1.5 pounds and also fined
Pollock & Ting: TALK (Vol. 8)
John Pollock & Wai Ting have a conversation about technology, Twitter blue checks, CN Tower Climbs, smoothies, and everything and nothing in the latest installment of Pollock & Ting: TALK.
John Pollock & Wai Ting review AEW Dynamite with Kenny Omega teaming with Konosuke Takeshita and another announcement from Tony Khan. Plus: Former WWE writer launches lawsuit against the company.
POLLOCK & THURSTON: Media Consultant Pat Crakes
John Pollock and Brandon Thurston welcome Pat Crakes to discuss the sports media industry, major deals on the horizon, and where professional wrestling fits in that space.
upNXT: Spring Breakin’ 2023
Braden Herrington and Davie Portman review WWE NXT: Spring Breakin’ headlined by Indi Hartwell vs Roxanne Perez vs Tiffany Stratton.
We review WWE Raw with Bad Bunny and Paul Levesque’s announcement of a new World Heavyweight Championship. Plus, CM Punk spotted backstage.
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