POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE 1/11 – WWE “Mixed Match Challenge” Brackets & Full Schedule

The WWE has released the entire set of brackets and the scheduled for the "Mixed Match Challenge" and will also be broadcast on the WWE Network for U.K viewers.

POST IT NOTES

**We have just posted a new POST Production video for all “Double Double” and above members of the POST Wrestling Café. In the video, Wai Ting and I go through a number of projects we are working on for the site, asking for your feedback and looking at how we will be covering MMA on the site. You can log into your Patreon account and watch the full video now.

**I was a guest this past week on “The Ross Report with Jim Ross” to discuss the launch of POST Wrestling, news going on within the WWE, the future of Impact Wrestling and more. This will end up being a two-part interview with the rest airing on next week’s show. Part 1 can be heard at https://www.podcastone.com/episode/PostWrestlingcoms-John-Pollock-and-Ron-Harris.

**We are back on Friday morning with Rewind-A-Wai #2 as Wai and I will review the episode of WWE Raw from the night after WrestleMania 29 in 2013. This is our first Espresso review show with Executive Producer John Taylor joining us at the end of the show to explain why he chose this event to be reviewed and his own thoughts on this episode of Raw.

**This Sunday, we have “The 2018 MMA Prediction Show” coming out for everyone as Ariel Helwani makes his POST Wrestling debut. Ariel and I will go over his predictions from 2017 and then make a brand new “Likely / Unlikely” list for 2018 with tons of topics covered within the world of MMA (and even some pro wrestling too).

**Keep it 2000 with Brian Mann and Nate Milton will be coming to POST Wrestling. You can subscribe to their show on iTunes and Stitcher and get caught up on the reviews of WCW Monday Nitro from 2000. Their next show will be covering the June 5th, 2000 episode.

**Below is an interview I did on Thursday with James Lynch from the Fightful website. James and I worked together for years in the past and this was one of my favorite interviews as we chatted about a lot of topics that different than the usual stuff:

WRESTLING NEWS

**The Daily Mirror reported on Thursday that the WWE “Mixed Match Challenge” will be airing on the WWE Network for subscribers in the U.K. The series is set to air Tuesdays at 10 pm ET on Facebook Watch, which is only available in the U.S. It is unknown if other international markets will also be airing the series through the WWE Network. Below is the schedule for the series:
*Tuesday, January 16th – Shinsuke Nakamura and Natalya vs. Finn Balor and Sasha Banks
*Tuesday, January 23rd – The Miz and Asuka vs. Big E. and Carmella
*Tuesday, January 30th – Becky Lynch and Sami Zayn vs. Braun Strowman and Alexa Bliss
*Tuesday, February 6th – Jimmy Uso and Naomi vs. Goldust and Alicia Fox
*Tuesday, February 13th – Rusev and Lana vs. Bayley and Elias
*Tuesday, February 20th – Bobby Roode and Charlotte vs. Apollo Crews and Nia Jax
*Tuesday, February 27th – Week 1 winner vs. Week 2 winner
*Tuesday, March 6th – Week 3 winner vs. Week 4 winner
*Tuesday, March 13th – Week 5 winner vs. Week 7 winner
*Tuesday, March 20th – Week 7 winner vs. Winner 8 winner
*Tuesday, March 27th – Week 9 winner vs. 2nd Chance Team (decided by a fan vote)
*Tuesday, April 3rd – Finals

Dave Meltzer reported this week in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that following “Mixed Match Challenge”, 205 Live will air on the WWE Network around 10:20 pm Eastern until the top of the hour.

**Nickelodeon made a big announcement today expanding their relationship with John Cena with a variety of projects lined up. Cena will be returning for the second consecutive year to host the annual Kids’ Choice Awards, which will air live on Sunday, March 24th. Cena will also be joining the cast of the animated series “Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” as he will become the voice of Baron Draxum and will also become Executive Producer of a new game show called “Keep it Spotless” on the network.

**Bruce Mitchell at the Pro Wrestling Torch has written a lengthy article on the situation involving former CWF Mid-Atlantic booker and announcer Brad Stutts. This past weekend, the promotion announced they were severing ties with Stutts due to “inappropriate behavior”. Concrete facts about the exact issues that occurred involving Stutts and a business partner, Charlie Hartman, have been difficult to come by with Mitchell having the most definitive account of the story. Some have been critical that Stutts’ is portrayed too positively in this piece and casting blame away from him. I see this as an incredibly difficult story to report on, other reporters have spoken about people close to the scene being very tight-lipped. Mitchell had the access and ability to report this story thoroughly and that was my major takeaway from the piece. No one is excusing the actions of those involved but I felt this story got the facts out on the table for the public to decipher what exactly occurred that led to Stutts’ dismissal.

**The Squared Circle Sirens outlet has reported that Candice LeRae has signed a developmental deal with the WWE and will be reporting to the Performance Center. The site added that she recently passed her medical examinations. The 32-year old has been a standout on the independent scene, beginning her career in 2002 and gaining notoriety through her work with Pro Wrestling Guerilla among the many promotions she has worked for throughout her career.

**Tuesday night’s episode of SmackDown Live was down 4.3% from last week with an average of 2,603,000 viewers on the USA Network. The show didn’t have any matches promoted ahead of time other than the Mojo Rawley vs. Zack Ryder tournament match.

**Following a panel discussion on Tuesday involving representatives from the WWE, the Television Critics Association sent out a tweet promoting the 25th Anniversary of Raw as a “five-hour event”. The WWE confirmed to POST Wrestling that this was a typo and the anniversary special is only scheduled for three-hours in its regular timeslot on the USA Network.

**The key news coming out of Wednesday night’s television tapings was the return of Austin Aries and his subsequent Impact title win. Aries interrupted Eli Drake and Chris Adonis and it led to a match with Aries regaining the title. Impact went ahead and announced the news themselves rather than attempt and keep it a secret. In their website story, it stated that the title win would air over the next few weeks. They have reverted to the four-sided ring and will be introducing new championship titles in April.

Tonight’s number on POP TV will be interesting given the various factors of this being the first show of the Don Callis and Scott D’Amore reign, whatever buzz there may be from the Austin Aries title win and the biggest being the lack of NFL football on Thursday nights (which has led to increases in Impact’s numbers over the past three weeks).

**Impact will be holding their second night of television tapings at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida and will be going head-to-head in the market with MLW’s show. There has been a lot of wrestling within the city this month as the WWE was just in town for the SmackDown tapings last week and this week Impact is running six consecutive nights. MLW is expected to have their strongest gate since the promotion was resurrected last year.

**Impact Wrestling will be working with Twitch to create their own specific channel on the streaming platform. A Twitch logo was prominently displayed on the ring skirt on Wednesday night’s television tapings. The Impact channel will feature a combination of archived footage from their library and they will be creating new content for the channel as well.

**On Wednesday, a photo was posted of Anthem Executive V.P Ed Nordholm shaking hands with Matt Hardy to officially end their year-long battle over the rights to the Broken Universe intellectual property. Hardy tweeted the following message with the photo:

I am thrilled to PROCLAIM that we have ACQUIRED new ALLIES on our side of #TheGreatWar. Ed Nordholm & The Owl of Anthem have revealed themselves as MAJESTIC beings who stand on the side of the LIGHT. The LIGHT always EMERGES, #WOKENWarriors. Everything is COPASETIC & WONDERFUL!

**Don Callis was asked today on the Impact Wrestling media call about appearing on camera for Impact and stated he had “no plans” of doing so citing all the work that Scott D’Amore and himself have behind-the-scenes.

**The Elite’s “All In” event now has a date scheduled for Saturday, September 1st at a location to-be-announced. Cody made the announcement with graphics and subsequent posts from The Young Bucks, Kenny Omega, Marty Scurll, Hangman Page and Stephen Amell confirmed their involvement on the show as well. Cody stated that the location would be announced in a future edition of “Being the Elite”.

**The final team announcement for the WWE’s “Mixed Match Challenge” is Carmella teaming with Big E. The three members of the New Day were placed in a fan poll with the winning member of the team getting the spot on the show. The series debuts next Tuesday night at 10 pm Eastern on Facebook Watch.

**New Japan and CMLL’s annual Fantasticamania tour will begin on Friday morning with eight shows scheduled through January 22nd and the final three shows at Korakuen Hall. Friday’s show in Aichi at Nagoya Congress Center will be headlined by Kazuchika Okada, Ultimo Guerrero and Gedo taking on Atlantis, Hiroshi Tanahashi, and Mistico.

**Here is the full card for MLW’s Zero Hour event that takes place at the GILT Nightclub in Orlando, Florida:
*Jimmy Havoc vs. Shane Strickland
*MVP vs. Low Ki
*Matt Riddle & Jeff Cobb vs. Tom Lawlor & Seth Petruzelli
*Penta El Zero M vs. Rey Fenix
*Sammy Guevara vs. Darby Allin
*MJF vs. Brody King
*Santana Garrett vs. MJ Jenkins
*The Dirty Blondes vs. Jimmy Yuta & Jason Cade
*Mike Parrow vs. Vandal Ortagun

**New Japan Pro Wrestling announced their tour of Australia earlier this week. The four-show tour will begin Friday, February 16th in Adelaide at the Titanium Arena and from there they will go to Melbourne on February 17th at the Festival Hall, Sydney on February 18th at the Quay Centre and the tour wraps on February 19th in Perth at the HBF Stadium (one week after the UFC pay-per-view in the same city). New Japan is advertising Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Minoru Suzuki, Cody, The Young Bucks, KUSHIDA, EVIL, Bad Luck Fale, Sanada, Will Ospreay, The Guerillas of Destiny, Juice Robinson and Lance Archer for the shows. Tickets go on sale this week.

**AXS TV has announced that the next six weeks of New Japan Pro Wrestling on Friday nights will feature coverage of Wrestle Kingdom 12 and New Year’s Dash. Below is the schedule and matches that air Fridays at 8 pm Eastern:
*January 12th – Roppongi 3K vs. The Young Bucks for the IWGP junior heavyweight tag titles, Marty Scurll vs. KUSHIDA vs. Hiromu Takahashi vs. Will Ospreay for the IWGP junior heavyweight title
*January 19th – NEVER six-man tag title Gauntlet Match, Minoru Suzuki vs. Hirooki Goto in a Hair vs. Hair Match for the NEVER Openweight title
*January 26th – Kota Ibushi vs. Cody, Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Jay White for the Intercontinental title
*February 2nd – Kenny Omega vs. Chris Jericho for the IWGP U.S title
*February 9th – Kazuchika Okada vs. Tetsuya Naito for the IWGP heavyweight title
*February 16th – Matches TBA from New Year’s Dash

*****
REWIND-A-SMACKDOWN 1/9/18 – John Pollock & Wai Ting review SmackDown Live, Wai catches us up on this season of Total Divas, Pollock chats Brian Pillman book and we take your feedback
https://postwrestling.podbean.com/mf/web/u3tyfs/180109_RASD.mp3
*****
REWIND-A-RAW 1/8/18 – Balor Club vs The Shield, Strowman Attempts Murder, Woken Mat In-Ring Debut
https://postwrestling.podbean.com/mf/download/ma33g4/180108_RAR.mp3
*****
POST WRESTLING’S “WORST OF 2017 SHOW” with John Pollock, Wai Ting, Jason Agnew and Dan “The Mouth” Lovranski
https://postwrestling.podbean.com/mf/download/t9yvzr/POST-WRESTLING-The-Worst-of-2017.mp3
*****
WRESTLE KINGDOM 12 REVIEW (Patron-only show)
https://www.postwrestling.com/2018/01/05/njpw-wrestle-kingdom-12-review-patreon-exclusive/
*****

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About John Pollock 250 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.