POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE 1/18 – Even More Names Added to Raw 25th Anniversary

The WWE had added additional names for the 25th Anniversary of Raw, a pre-show is set for Monday's Raw, Kevin Nash cannot make it, Ethan Carter III spotted at the Performance Center, review of this week's NXT episode, Roman Reigns issues statement on allegations, UFC press conference scheduled for Friday & more.


**Brian Mann and Nate Milton have a special announcement regarding the future of Keep it 2000 at https://www.postwrestling.com/2018/01/18/keep-it-2000-special-announcement/.

**The first edition of the British Wrestling Experience is up on the site with Martin Bushby, Oli Court, and Benno providing an overview of the major European-based promotions and a preview of 2018. The show can be downloaded at https://www.postwrestling.com/2018/01/17/bwe-1-18-18-introduction/ and subscribe to British Wrestling Experience on your podcast app.

**On Friday, we will have the first-ever POST Roundtable Show and I will be joined by Wai Ting, Brian Mann, and Martin Bushby as we will go through numerous news topics within the industry with a mix of your topics sent in on the Forum. This show will be released Friday morning to all members of the POST Wrestling Café at www.patreon.com/POSTwrestling.

**This Saturday night, I will have a post-show on the site with reviews of UFC 220 and the Bellator 192 card. This show will be up on the site for everyone.


**The WWE has added to the giant list of names for the 25th Anniversary of Raw with the following scheduled to make appearances: MVP, Lilian Garcia, Jonathan Coachman, Howard Finkel, and William Regal. With no SmackDown house show on Monday night, there will be talent from SmackDown present on the show as well.

**There will be a one-hour Raw pre-show this Monday at 7 pm Eastern on the WWE Network. The panel will feature Renee Young, Sam Roberts, David Otunga, and Peter Rosenberg. 

**Earlier this week, a former nutrition company owner named Richard Rodriguez made allegations regarding past dealings with Roman Reigns (Joe Anoa’i). Rodriguez was arrested last year for his ties to a steroid distribution ring and in this phone interview, listed celebrities including Reigns as former clients. The WWE acknowledged the story and issued the following statement on Wednesday evening on behalf o Reigns:

I have never heard of Richard Rodriguez or Wellness Fitness Nutrition. I learned from the mistake I made nearly two years ago and paid the penalty for it. Since then, I’ve passed 11 tests as part of WWE’s independent drug testing program.

**Ethan Carter III (Michael Hutter) seems imminent for a return to the WWE. It was reported by Mike Johnson at PWinsider.com on Thursday that Hutter was working at the Performance Center this past Tuesday. His contract with Impact Wrestling has expired and he is free to pursue any opportunities immediately. In addition, given Impact’s new stance on intellectual property, Hutter has the rights to the EC 3 moniker and name. Hutter previously worked for the WWE from 2009-2013 as Derrick Bateman in Florida Championship Wrestling and later on the “Redemption” season of NXT.

**Despite being a very dull episode, Tuesday night’s episode of SmackDown Live averaged 2,602,000 viewers on the USA Network. The number is nearly identical to last week’s number of 2.603 million. This show only had the U.S. title tournament as the draw for the show with the semi-finals announced ahead of time and then the impromptu finals added to the show with Bobby Roode winning the vacant title.

**The USA Network also aired a special on the best moments in Raw history following SmackDown Live. The 60-minute special averaged 1,877,000 viewers, which has to be seen as a success as there was little promotion for the special. This also bodes well as a potential timeslot for the upcoming “Miz & Mrs” series starring The Miz and Maryse or if they ever add NXT to their lineup. Last month, the one-hour NXT special aired on its own night on Wednesday with WWE programming as a lead in and only managed to do 841,000 viewers. While Tuesdays at 10 pm is the timeslot for 205 Live, if they can get television rights fees from the USA Network, it makes all the sense in the world to put that series in the best timeslot available and following SmackDown seems like a no-brainer. You either air 205 Live head-to-head on the WWE Network or move 205 Live.

**Kevin Nash has announced that due to his recent knee operation he will be unable to make it to Brooklyn this Monday for the 25th Anniversary of Raw. Nash said he would be putting himself through “self-inflicted torture” to travel while recovering from the surgery.

**Here are the matches that are scheduled for tonight’s episode of Impact Wrestling at 8 pm Eastern on POP TV:
*Taiji Ishimori vs. Dezmond Xavier for the X division title
*Rosemary vs. KC Spinelli
*Chandler Park vs. Kongo Kong
*Eli Drake vs. Johnny Impact vs. Alberto El Patron for the Impact title

Immediately following Impact Wrestling, they will air the “Barbed Wire Massacre Match” on Twitch between oVe and LAX. This match was taped back in November at the television tapings in Ottawa. The Fight Network is advertising the match for tonight’s Impact episode. Dave Meltzer reported in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter that POP TV was legitimately bothered by how violent the match was and didn’t want to air it, so instead it will air on Twitch for those in the U.S.

**Wednesday night’s episode of Total Divas averaged 593,000 viewers on E!

**The WWE stock had another good showing on Thursday and closed at $33.20.

**The Fantasticamania tour continues early Friday morning at 4:30 am Eastern on New Japan World with the first of three cards at Korakuen Hall. Below is the lineup for Friday morning’s show:
*Niebla Roja vs. Gran Guerrero for the CMLL light heavyweight title
*Soberano, Jr. vs. Sanson for the welterweight title
*Angel de Oro vs. Cuatero for the CMLL middleweight title
*Ultimo Guerrero, Barbaro Cavernario, Puma and Disturbio vs. Atlantis, Mistico, Vol, dor, Jr., and Drone
*Tetsuya Naito, Hiromu Takahashi, Rush, and Bushi vs. Satoshi Kojima, Dragon Lee, Star. Jr, and Hirai Kawato
*Fuego vs. Okumura

The tour wraps up with shows at Korakuen Hall on Sunday and Monday morning.

**WrestlePro, who has been working with Impact Wrestling, have announced that Bobby Lashley will no longer be appearing on their February 3rd event and will be replaced on the show by Johnny Impact (John Hennigan).

**EVOLVE has announced a big tag match for their card on Thursday, April 5th in New Orleans with Daisuke Sekimoto and Munenori Sawa vs. WALTER and Timothy Thatcher during WrestleMania week.


WWE NXT (Jan. 17th)
-This was just an average show with a few more matches for Takeover set up. Ember Moon rushed out to save Aliyah after Shayna Baszler choked her following Aliyah’s loss to Lacey Evans. Moon laid out the challenge and Baszler accepted for Takeover in Philadelphia. That is a big match for Baszler and so far, she has been presented very strong within NXT.
-The highlight of the show was a video feature on the returning TM61, Shane Thorne and Nick Miller. There are times I watch babyfaces floundering on the main roster and I ask myself if it’s just that difficult to be a great babyface in 2018. Then I see something like and realize, no it’s not that difficult. This video featured legitimate outtakes from a promo session, which if they had been scripted would have fallen on their face, instead they came off extremely likeable and clearly are best friends. There was footage of their time in Australia and coming up through the NOAH ranks as proteges of Harley Race. By the end of this 5-minute video, you felt these guys were just two great guys that you want to root for and was an excellent piece of promotional assistance for a team that had no identity prior in NXT.
-The Authors of Pain defeated The Street Profits to set up the title match with Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly for Takeover. The match was fine for what it was, nothing too special but The Street Profits are very strong in their roles and there is lots of merchandise opportunity between them.
-Next week’s go-home show will feature Johnny Gargano putting his NXT title shot on the line against Velveteen Dream.


**The UFC has announced a press conference for Friday at 5 pm Eastern in Boston to promote UFC 222 on March 3rd and the UFC 223 card on April 7th. They have announced that the four main event participants on those two cards will be in attendance with Max Holloway vs. Frankie Edgar scheduled for UFC 222 and Tony Ferguson vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov for UFC 223. The major question is whether the UFC is planning to strip Conor McGregor of the lightweight title for this fight or if Ferguson will continue to defend the interim version.

**Below are episodes three and four of UFC Embedded going into the weekend:


REWIND-A-SMACKDOWN 1/16/18: New U.S. Champion, Mixed Match Challenge, Selfie Promos
REWIND-A-RAW 1/15/18: Braun Strowman Fired? Finn Balor vs. Seth Rollins, Paige Appears
THE 2018 MMA PREDICTION SHOW feat. Ariel Helwani
REWIND-A-WAI – Night After ‘Mania Raw 2013
(John Pollock and Wai Ting review Raw from the night after WrestleMania 29 featuring Dolph Ziggler’s cash in, birth of “Fandango-ing”, revolt during Orton vs. Sheamus and we welcome Espresso Executive Producer John Taylor at the end of the show)

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About John Pollock 3884 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.