POLLOCK’S UPDATE: The Rock speaks on WM 41, Latest on WWE vs. Texas case

Photo Courtesy: WWE

POST IT NOTES

**The June edition of the ASK-A-WAI Mailbag Show is available with Wai Ting & I answering your questions, including:

  • Covering TNA after Anthem’s acquisition
  • WrestleMania XL credential situation
  • How will Roman Reigns’ career be remembered?
  • Last thing we bought for ourselves for fun
  • Adam Copeland’s run in AEW
  • Thoughts on Wawa coffee
  • Are hot dogs & tacos sandwiches?

**Rewind-A-SmackDown is live at 10:05 p.m. ET tonight on the POST Wrestling Café with a review of SmackDown in Scotland and a preview of Clash at the Castle. Plus, your calls and feedback.

**Lucas Charpiot will be representing POST Wrestling & Wrestlenomics this weekend at Clash at the Castle. His first story previews the weekend and the massive revenue WWE is aiming for. 

**POST’s review of Clash at the Castle will stream live immediately after the PLE on Saturday with Wai Ting and co-host Neal Flanagan. On Saturday night on the POST Café, John Siino & Kate from Montreal will be live at 10 p.m. ET with Collision Course.

**The N.W.A. Podcast returns on Sunday at 8 p.m. ET with Nate Milton, Kris Ealy, Andrew Thompson, and 2-Way Ray.

POLLOCKS’ AUDIO UPDATE

POST SCHEDULE

Tonight: Rewind-A-SmackDown with John Pollock & Wai Ting (POST Wrestling Café)
Saturday:
WWE Clash at the Castle with Wai Ting & Neal Flanagan
Saturday:
Collision Course with John Siino & Kate from Montreal (POST Wrestling Café)
Sunday:
NJPW Soul 2024 with Bruce Lord (POST Wrestling Café)
Sunday:
The N.W.A. Podcast

WWE VS. STATE OF TEXAS OVER RECORDS REQUESTS

WWE is continuing its fight in the state of Texas to prevent records related to the Royal Rumble from 2023 in San Antonio from being released. Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics made the records requests in January 2023 to the city with WWE filing a complaint against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to prevent the information from being shared. In April of this year, Thurston made an additional records request to Governor Greg Abbott’s office.

In a letter dated May 31 to Tamara Smith of Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office, WWE’s legal representation Trisha R. DeLeon argued that Thurston did not intervene in the lawsuit filed by WWE against Paxton. It’s worth noting Thurston is not a defendant named in the suit. When contacted by Holland & Knight LLP about dropping his request for the records, he declined to and was not required to intervene nor would an independent reporter have the means necessarily.

DeLeon argues that the documents requested contain “sensitive and proprietary information” and should not be disclosed and fall under the protection of common law privacy. They are offering to release a copy of the confidential information with redacted portions. She argues specific details between WWE and the city are “trade secrets” and they maintain to keep these secretive for bargaining power with other cities. WWE’s rep added, “WWE is a private company with commercial and competitive interests to protect and should not be punished and exposed for bringing its business to municipal facilities here in Texas.”

WWE is using a precedent from a 1976 case to argue that the information should be withheld if it contains “highly intimate or embarrassing facts” and “is not of legitimate concern to the public.”

Her final argument was that Thurston only sought WWE’s private information and “not in pursuing transparency from a governing body.”

Thurston posted his response to DeLeon explaining why he did not intervene in the case filed against the Attorney General. He summarized that the AG’s office rejected WWE’s claims that the information should be protected under exemptions with WWE unable to provide sufficient evidence the information constituted trade secrets or proprietary information.

Regarding the assertion that he is only interested in uncovering WWE’s private information, he stated, “This assertion is entirely false” and “My objective is to ensure transparency from the City of San Antonio and the Office of the Governor regarding the government’s spending on WWE’s Royal Rumble event in 2023. This transparency serves the public interest by allowing taxpayers to evaluate whether their money was wisely spent and if the price paid aligns with other site fees and the economic impacts of similar events.” Thurston added the increasing focus on site fees for TKO Group Holdings, which they earmark as a growth strategy.

Thurston concluded, “I respectfully ask that the Attorney General’s Office rule in favor of this information being released to the public to ensure transparency in government dealings, fairer pricing for citizens, and so those citizens can make more informed judgments about the use of public funds for private events.”

It’s an important case to monitor because it could set a precedent for WWE to have protections against transparency when it comes to its agreements with various cities and municipalities. After this issue in Texas, it’s going to be an area WWE is keenly aware of when negotiating with different regions for events and protections they have. There is a larger argument of taxpayer dollars going toward a major sporting event that brings business to the city but also allows the company to have free reign to upcharge their tickets to such a degree that many taxpayers in the city are priced out of these events due to dynamic pricing and overall popularity that creates demand. It isn’t a story that is going to generate juicy headlines but it’s a major story for TKO as both UFC and WWE want to have the ability to extract increasing site fees worldwide for their shows while also keeping their business private from outside scrutiny and that becomes a tough needle to thread and will only stand if politicians are willing to give them a pass. Thus far, AG Ken Paxton is fighting the case as he finally responded to the suit several weeks ago to avoid a default judgment.

Correction: We had initially listed Tamara Smith as the Holland & Knight LLP representative for WWE instead of Trisha R. DeLeon. Smith is the chief of the Attorney General’s Open Records division.

WRESTLING NEWS

**ESPN has a big story on Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and his return at WrestleMania 40 and training for the comeback and the story of the switches made to the WrestleMania card (someone should consider making a documentary on the chain of events). Johnson gave the following tease regarding his involvement in next year’s WrestleMania at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas:

We’re on the 1-yard line to create the biggest WrestleMania of all time and the biggest match of all time at WrestleMania 41 in Las Vegas. I’ll just leave it at that, Final Boss style.

**AEW Dynamite was impacted by airing against Game 3 of the NBA Finals this past Wednesday. Dynamite averaged 681,000 viewers and 297,000 (0.23) in the 18-49 demographic with the show’s lowest audience in the key demo since June 24, 2020. The Boston Celtics vs. Dallas Mavericks game averaged 10,973,000 on ABC with a 3.20 rating in the 18-49 demographic. Dynamite dropped by 14 percent in viewership and 18% in the demo from the previous week but suffered its largest decline among young males. Adults 18-34 fell by 37 percent this week to 87,000 average viewers with males 18-49 dropping to 183,000 or a 27 percent weekly decrease. AEW still managed to edge out NXT in the core demo by 3,000 viewers, although NXT won with overall viewership, and among women 18-49. Despite the big drop in 18-49, Dynamite still ranked second among cable originals on Wednesday behind a USA vs. Brazil soccer game on TNT. (Wrestlenomics, Sports Media Watch)

**Friday Night SmackDown will air tonight on Fox on a several-hour tape delay with the show in Glasgow, Scotland at the OVO Hydro. The show is scheduled to feature the following:
*Nia Jax vs. Michin
*Naomi vs. Chelsea Green
*The Grayson Waller Effect with DIY

**Below are the matches airing on AEW Rampage tonight at 10 p.m. ET on TNT from the taping in Des Moines:
*Non-Title Match:
Timeless Toni Storm vs. Alex Windsor
*Cage of Agony vs. Kevin Gutierrez, Solomon Tupu & Jay Marston
*Shota Umino vs. Rocky Romero
*Satnam Singh vs. Rosario Grillo
*PAC vs. Jay Lethal

**There are a lot of major shows happening this weekend including WWE, AAA, TNA, New Japan, Pro Wrestling NOAH, and the All Together card in Japan among them.

**WWE and NOAH will make an announcement at Sunday’s event at Yokohama Buntai, which is streaming on Wrestle Universe. The top matches include Kaito Kiyomiya vs. Gabe Kidd for the GHC Heavyweight title, Jack Morris & Anthony Greene vs. Naomichi Marufuji & Takashi Sugiura, and Daga vs. Starboy Charlie for the GHC Jr. Heavyweight title.

**TNA has back-to-back shows at Cicero Stadium beginning with Against All Odds tonight on the TNA+ app and TrillerTV. PWinsider.com has reported that Jeff Hardy is expected to return to the company this weekend. There were some teases regarding Jeff during The System’s visit to the Hardy Compound on Thursday’s episode of Impact. John Siino will have a live report on the site tonight with ongoing coverage beginning at 8 p.m. ET with the following scheduled:
*TNA Heavyweight Championship:
Moose © vs. Broken Matt Hardy
*TNA Knockouts Championship: Jordynne Grace © vs. TBA in an Open Challenge
*TNA Tag Team Titles: Eddie Edwards & Brian Myers © vs. Nic & Ryan Nemeth
*X Division Championship: Mustafa Ali © vs. Trent Seven
*Mike Santana & Steve Maclin vs. The Rascalz
*Jonathan Gresham vs. Sami Callihan
*Josh Alexander & Eric Young vs. ABC
*Rich Swann vs. PCO
*Joe Hendry vs. Frankie Kazarian
*Knockouts Tag Team Titles:
Alisha Edwards & Masha Slamovich © vs. The Hex (pre-show)

**United Japan Pro-Wrestling hosts ALL TOGETHER on Saturday at 4 a.m. ET in Sapporo and airing on Abema pay-per-view with the following card:
*Tetsuya Naito vs. Jake Lee
*Kaito Kiyomiya, Kenoh & Alejandro vs. David Finlay, Gabe Kidd & YO-HEY
*Shingo Takagi, Hiromu Takahashi, Yota Tsuji, Titan & BUSHI vs. Jack Morris, Anthony Greene, Clark Connors, Drilla Moloney & LJ Cleary
*Tomohiro Ishii vs. Masa Kitamiya
*Hiroshi Tanahashi, Naomichi Marufuji & Kento Miyahara vs. SANADA, Taichi & Yuya Uemura
*Jeff Cobb, Great O-Khan & Kazusada Higuchi vs. Tetsuya Endo, Shota Umino & Ryohei Oiwa
*Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI vs. Daichi Hashimoto & Daisuke Sekimoto
*AZM vs. Starlight Kid
*Zack Sabre Jr., Robbie Eagles & Kosei Fujita vs. HAYATA, Ulka Sasaki & Yu Owada
*Pre-Show: Toru Yano & Tomoaki Honma vs. Tomoya & Andreza Giant Panda

**AAA hosts its second of three TripleMania events on Saturday from Tijuana at Estadio Chevron and streams at 9:30 p.m. ET on TrillerTV. Several AEW performers are appearing on the show including Jeff Jarrett, Satnam Singh, QT Marshall, and Nick Wayne along with Komander’s return for his first match since April. TNA is sending Rosemary, Havok, and Tasha Steelz for a Trios match, so they won’t be at the taping in Illinois tomorrow night. Below is the card:
*Vampiro, Alberto El Patron, Murder Clown & Dave the Clown vs. Sam Adonis, Satnam Singh, Parker Boudreaux & QT Marshall w/ Jeff Jarrett
*Dr. Wagner Jr., El Hijo del Dr. Wagner Jr. & Galeno del Mal vs. Brazo de Oro Jr., Psycho Clown & Negro Casas
*Cibernetico, Dark Cuervo & Dark Ozz vs. El Mesias, Dark Scoria & Dark Espiritu
*Komander, Octagon Jr. & Laredo Kid vs. CIMA, Nick Wayne & Willie Mack vs. D’Luxe, Nosiy Boy & Destiny
*Rey Horus vs. Mecha Wolf vs. Bestia 666
*Rosemary, Havok & Tasha Steelz vs. Flammer, La Hiedra & Maravilla
*Faby Apache, Nino Hamburguesa, Mr. Iguana & Pimpinela Escarlata vs. Anubis, Mamba, Keyra & Toto

**The first anniversary of Collision is Saturday in Youngstown, Ohio at the Covelli Center with the following announced:
*Christian Cage’s Father’s Day Special
*Jon Moxley, Bryan Danielson, Claudio Castagnoli & Wheeler Yuta vs. Mikey Nicholls, Shane Haste, Lio Rush & Rocky Romero
*No DQ Match:
Deonna Purrazzo vs. Thunder Rosa
*TNT Championship – Qualifying Match:
Dante Martin vs. Lee Moriarty
*The Gunns & Juice Robinson vs. House of Black
*The Acclaimed appear

**MARIGOLD is holding two events this weekend in Kyoto and Nagoya with the opening round matches for its Superfly Championship. Saturday’s card will include Myla Grace vs. Misa Matsui and Natsumi Showzuki vs. Zayda Steel in opening round matches. On Sunday, the opening round features MIRAI vs. Miku Aono and Bozilla vs. Nagisa Nozaki.

**NJPW presents its Soul event late Saturday night from Sapporo with the announcement of the first eighteen participants in this year’s G1 Climax. The show will stream on New Japan World at 1 a.m. ET (late Saturday/early Sunday) featuring:
*IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship – Steel Cage:
SHO © vs. El Desperado
*IWGP Global Heavyweight Championship: SANADA © vs. David Finlay
*NEVER Openweight Championship: Shingo Takagi © vs. HENARE
*IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Titles: Clark Connors & Drilla Moloney © vs. Robbie Eagles & Kosei Fujita
*NEVER Openweight Six-Man Titles: Yota Tsuji, Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI © vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Toru Yano & Oleg Boltin
*Tetsuya Naito & Titan vs. Yuya Uemura & Taka Michinoku
*EVIL, Yujiro & Dick Togo vs. Shota Umino & Bishamon
*Ren Narita & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Taichi & DOUKI
*Tomohiro Ishii, Satoshi Kojima, Tomoaki Honma, Shoma Kato & Katsuya Murashima vs. Jeff Cobb, Great O-Khan, Francesco Akira, TJP & Callum Newman
*Kickoff Match: Masatora Yasuda vs. Daiki Nagai

**GCW presents Lights Out on TrillerTV+ tonight at 9 p.m. ET from Golden, Colorado with Mance Warner’s first title defense against Jordan Oliver, Broski Jimmy vs. Danhausen, Allie Katch vs. Man Like DeReiss, Zilla Fatu vs. Cole Radrick, and Nick Gage vs. Orin Veidt.

**Shane McMahon was spotted at the New York Yankees game on Wednesday and was high-fiving fans when he was recognized.

**MLW is hosting a meet-and-greet with Mistico at its Blood & Thunder event on July 12 in Tampa at The Coliseum. The CMLL star will be available from 6-6:30 p.m. with autographs for $40, a photo for $40, or a combo package for $60. Blood & Thunder streams later that night on YouTube featuring a 3 Stages of Destruction match between Mads Krule Krugger and Matt Justice.

MMA NEWS

**The UFC was dealt a massive blow by losing Conor McGregor with just over two weeks until his fight with Michael Chandler.  The promotion had trumpeted its largest live gate ever above $20 million for the UFC 303 card and will now present a main event with Alex Pereira vs. Jiri Prochazka for the light heavyweight championship. POST Wrestling has reached out to the Nevada State Athletic Commission regarding its policy on refunds for ticket buyers who were paying to watch the McGregor vs. Chandler main event. Ariel Helwani was all over this story for the past two weeks since the press conference in Dublin was canceled. He confirmed there was an injury to McGregor and didn’t want to tip his hand at the presser regarding the injury and it was called off. Still, there was optimism that the injury wasn’t serious enough to prevent McGregor from fighting on June 29, although things worsened and by Wednesday, Helwani conveyed on The MMA Hour that the fight was likely going to fall apart.

The hope is for McGregor and Chandler to fight in August or September, and it would make all the sense to book their fight as the main event at the Sphere in Las Vegas. For Chandler, you cannot imagine how frustrating this must be as he has put his career on hold for two years awaiting this fight by coaching a season of The Ultimate Fighter and waiting all this time only to get another delay this close to the fight after his camp is nearly completed.

**The loss of the main event wasn’t the only change to UFC 303 as former light heavyweight champion Jamahal Hill is unable to fight Carlos Ulberg. Hill is being replaced by Anthony Smith, who just fought on May 4 with a win against Vitor Petrino at UFC 301. Dana White has announced the addition of a featherweight fight between Brian Ortega and Diego Lopes to the main card of UFC 303, which is an excellent fight. It is still a very good main card portion but isn’t going to generate anywhere near the level of interest for obvious reasons.

**Khamzat Chimaev is off the UFC card in Saudi Arabia on June 22 with the announcement that Chimaev was out due to an illness. Former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker will remain on the card with new opponent Ikram Aliskerov (15-1). Aliskerov, 31, is a three-time world champion in Sambo and competed in Brave FC before joining the UFC in 2022 after a win on Dana White’s Contender Series. He is 2-0 in the UFC with stoppage wins against Phil Hawes and Warlley Alves. Ironically, Aliskerov’s only loss in his career was to Chimaev in Brave FC in April 2019.  The card airs next Saturday on ABC and is the first UFC card to take place in the country.

**The UFC Fight Night airs from the Apex on Saturday with the full card airing on both ESPN2 and ESPN+. Ikram Aliskerov was scheduled to fight on this event but was pulled this week to fight Robert Whittaker next weekend in Saudi Arabia. This would be among the thinnest cards I can recall from the UFC regarding name visibility and is the epitome of “just a bunch of fights”. There are three top-15 ranked fighters on this entire show with headliners Alex Perez and Tatsuro Taira, and fellow flyweight Tagir Ulanbekov.

MAIN CARD (7 p.m. ET on ESPN2 & ESPN+)
*Alex Perez (25-8) vs. Tatsuro Taira (14-0)
*Miles Johns (14-2) vs. Douglas Silva de Andrade (29-5)
*Timmy Cuamba (8-2) vs. Lucas Almeida (13-2)
*Jose Johnson (13-7) vs. Asu Almabayev (19-2)
*Josh Quinlan (7-2) vs. Adam Fugitt (6-2)

PRELIMINARY CARD
*Tagir Ulanbekov (15-2) vs. Joshua Van (19-2)
*Nate Maness (15-3) vs. Jimmy Flick (17-7)
*Brady Hiestand (7-2) vs. Garrett Armfield (10-3)
*Carli Judice (3-1) vs. Gabriella Fernandes (8-3)
*Westin Wilson (7-6) vs. Jeka Saragih (14-3)
*Josefine Lindgren Knutsson (7-0) vs. Julia Polastri (9-3)
*Melquizael Costa (14-6) vs. Shayilan Nuerdanbieke (39-11)

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ASK-A-WAI Mailbag Show
John Pollock and Wai Ting answer their patrons’ questions about anything and everything in the June 2024 edition of Ask-A-Wai.
****
MCU L8R: X-Men – The Last Stand (2006)
This week in their Deadpool & Wolverine ReWatch prep, Rich Fann & WH Park are joined by Eric Marcotte to review the historically maligned and backstage-troubled, X-Men: The Last Stand from 2006.
****
REWIND-A-DYNAMITE
John Pollock and Wai Ting review AEW Dynamite with Will Ospreay defending the AEW International title against Rey Fenix.
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POLLOCK & THURSTON

John Pollock and Brandon Thurston chat about the status of Janel Grant’s lawsuit after the latest ruling, AEW’s attendance woes, and Clash at the Castle.
****
“Who Killed WCW?” Ep. 2
John Pollock & Wai Ting share their thoughts on Who Killed WCW? Episode 2: “The Streak is Over”, documenting the beginnings of the promotion’s decline through pivotal events such as the end of Goldberg’s Streak, The Fingerpoke of Doom, and continued executive interference from Turner.
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About John Pollock 5646 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.