POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE 1/19 – WWE stands by decision regarding Hulk Hogan

The WWE issues statement on Hulk Hogan, charges dropped against the driver that killed Jan Ross, son of Whipper Billy Watson passes away, Impact posts Barbed Wire Massacre, weigh-in results from UFC 220 & Bellator 192, 205 Live goes on the road, Edmonton expected to allow pro wrestling shows to resume & more.

POST IT NOTES

**For our members of the POST Wrestling Café, we have the first-ever “POST Roundtable Show” that is on the Patreon site with Wai Ting, Brian Mann, Martin Bushby, and myself chatting the major news within the industry this week. The four of us discussed the Royal Rumble build up, the Raw 25th-anniversary show this Monday, the future of Brock Lesnar, the recent WWE signings, New Japan’s efforts to break further into North America and abroad and Impact’s new deal with Twitch. To listen to the show and become a member of the POST Wrestling Café, you can go to https://www.patreon.com/posts/post-roundtable-16482245.

**We also have a behind-the-scenes video from the POST Roundtable show and that is available to all “Double Double” and above patrons.

**On Saturday night, I will be back with a big review show to discuss the UFC 220 event from Boston and will also be reviewing Bellator 192. This show will be posted on the site and the POST Wrestling feed.

**Regarding our schedule on Thursdays, the British Wrestling Experience will be back with a new show next Thursday, January 25th and then Keep it 2000 returns on Thursday, February 1st. Those two shows will be bi-weekly on alternate Thursdays.

**We have several big shows scheduled for next week with lots of coverage throughout the week and for Royal Rumble weekend. The week kicks off with Rewind-A-Raw on Monday night following the 25th Anniversary of Raw.

WRESTLING NEWS

**With the 25th anniversary of Raw receiving so much attention, the name Hulk Hogan has come up numerous times. Obviously, this would be the show to have Hogan return if the company were open to such a return. Hogan did an interview with The Associated Press earlier this week, clearly angling for a return and would jump at the opportunity. In the interview, he cited Paul Levesque as one of the people that want Hogan back in the company and later teased doing something with The Bullet Club. It was a classic Hogan interview, but it did generate a response from the WWE when the AP inquired about a hypothetical Hogan return to the company. The WWE’s response was, “At this time, WWE remains committed to its decision.”

**The city of Edmonton, Alberta is expected to open their doors once again to allow professional wrestling events to take place within the city. Following the tragic death of MMA fighter Tim Hague, the city placed a moratorium to prohibit all combat sports for the span of one-year and included professional wrestling under the ban. A plea was made earlier this week by representatives from all forms of combat sports to the mayor of the city and city councilors arguing against the ban. In the wake of Hague’s death, a list of 18 recommendations has been made for the city of Edmonton to introduce over the course of 2018 with the belief they can introduce all but one of the recommendations this year. The outstanding issue is the recommendation for a provincial-wide athletic commission for oversight on all combat sports within the province of Alberta. It is different within Alberta because unlike most states and provinces, the individual cities regulate themselves and it’s a tall order to get all the different cities onto one page for oversight. This moratorium did affect the WWE as they had been scheduled to run a house show on February 9th and postponed the event after the moratorium was introduced.

**Jim Ross provided an update regarding the case involving the 17-years old driver that struck and killed Jan Ross this past March. The judge overseeing the case has dismissed the charges of vehicular manslaughter and stated that the community service performed and counseling that he has undergone is all that the law can pursue. Ross added that the driver did not even lose his driver’s license throughout this entire process and added that the state did object to the judges’ ruling but his decision stood. The driver cannot be identified as he is considered a juvenile. KOCO News out of Oklahoma led with this story on Thursday and stated in their news report that Ross was too upset about the decision to go on camera and discuss it further, but he did send the following statement to KOCO:

The system has failed us. Heartbreaking matters such as this make me wonder what our youth are being taught. It’s time we need to pay attention. Sad. Embarrassing. Makes it hard to continue loving my beloved Oklahoma.

**SLAM Wrestling’s Greg Oliver reported on Friday that Phil Watson, who was the son of legendary Canadian wrestler “Whipper” Billy Watson, died on Thursday after suffering a heart attack. The younger Watson had two siblings and followed his father into the industry as a teenager where he assisted his father with shows. Watson would travel abroad with a lot of his wrestling career taking place outside of Canada. He would work in England, Mexico, and in the U.S. for promoters such as Pedro Martinez, Johnny Powers, and Nick Gulas. In 2012, he was arrested and later exonerated after he had been accused of assaulting a 12-year old boy in the early 80’s. He was found not guilty with the judge not accepting the evidence from the complainant. Watson was 68-years old at the time of his passing.

**The most notable events the WWE is running this weekend are the 205 Live shows that are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, they will be in Lowell, Massachusetts and on Sunday they will be in Poughkeepsie, New York. They were originally scheduled for three shows this weekend and start off with a Friday night event in Kingston, Rhode Island but that show was canceled. The shows are going to feature Matt Hardy vs. Bray Wyatt and Enzo defending the Cruiserweight title against Cedric Alexander with Nia Jax as the special referee. If anyone is attending either of the shows, we would appreciate a live report that you can send to john@POSTwrestling.com.

**The Raw crew has a show on Friday night in Reading, Pennsylvania and will be headlined by Roman Reigns vs. The Miz for the Intercontinental title and will also feature Kane taking on Braun Strowman. The Raw crew then goes to State College Pennsylvania on Saturday night. The SmackDown crew begins Saturday night in Florence, South Carolina.

**Mike Johnson has reported at PWinsider.com that Jason Jordan is off this weekend’s house shows due to an injury. Jordan also didn’t have a match this past Monday night on Raw. Jordan had been advertised this weekend for tag titles defenses with Seth Rollins against The Bar for the live events.

**AIW has a card in Cleveland, Ohio tonight at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and will be Raymond Rowe’s final independent match after signing with WWE. Rowe will take on Keith Lee in the main event and will also feature Juice Robinson taking on Dominic Garrini. The show kicks off at 7:30 pm.

**Ring of Honor is holding their television tapings in Nashville, Tennessee on Saturday night at the Nashville Municipal Auditorium. They have advertised that Dalton Castle will defend the ROH title against Punishment Martinez, Cody vs. Matt Taven, Motor City Machine Guns vs. The Best Friends for the ROH tag titles, The Hung Bucks vs. SoCal Uncensored for the ROH six-man tag titles, Jay Lethal vs. Flip Gordon, and Marty Scurll vs. Shane Taylor. There will also be opening round matches for the Women of Honor championship tournament with Madison Rayne vs. Mandy Leon, Karen Q. vs. Brandi Rhodes and Kelly Klein vs. Jessie Brooks.

**The WWE received a lot of publicity on Thursday night with Stephanie McMahon, Paul Levesque and the New Day appearing on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon”. The WWE performers engaged in a lip sync battle and Stephanie mentioned that they would see Fallon at Raw on Monday night in Brooklyn.

**George Barrios, the WWE’s chief financial and strategy officer, will be on Jim Cramer’s “Mad Money” to discuss the rising WWE stock at 6 pm Eastern tonight on CNBC.

**New Japan World has posted a 25-minute interview with Chris Jericho that was shot when he was in Japan earlier this month.

**The Fight Network had originally promoted that the “Barbed Wire Massacre Match” would air on their network, but the match ended up being pulled and only aired on Twitch on Thursday night. The Fight Network stated that the reason for pulling the match was because of a “last minute change due to broadcasting standards for certain networks which would affect our programming.” Impact Wrestling has posted the entire match on YouTube:

**There was very little to analyze on Thursday’s Impact episode as it was loaded with video features, there was a random Eddie Edwards vs. Aron Rex from 2016 thrown in and the show built to the Barbed Wire Massacre match, which didn’t end up airing in Canada. The show also featured a three-way match between Eli Drake, Alberto El Patron, and Johnny Impact from a recent Border City Wrestling event and took place in a ring that had the loosest ropes you have ever seen on a wrestling broadcast. The high point of the show was a very good X division title match between Taiji Ishimori and Dezmond Xavier, which was edited in the middle but still received a lot of time on television. They are promoting next week’s episode as a “Genesis” special with a rematch between Drake, El Patron, and Johnny Impact in a steel cage, Laurel Van Ness vs. Allie for the Knockout’s title, Bobby Lashley vs. Moose and Ethan Carter III defending the Grand championship against Matt Sydal.

**Superstar Billy Graham (Wayne Coleman) has launched a GoFundMe page to assist with raising funds for a necessary operation on his left hip. Coleman stated that the titanium cup that holds the ball of the head of the femur has been loosened over time and is grinding into the pelvis bone. Coleman has been forced to be on crutches for the last 18 months to avoid putting his body weight on the hip. If the operation is not completed, he could be confined to a wheelchair. It is a six-figure surgery at the Mayo Clinic with Medicare covering 75% and he is looking to raise $40,000 on GoFundMe.

**Tickets for the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony went on sale Friday. The event takes place Friday, April 6th at the Smoothie King Center with Bill Goldberg announced as the headliner of this year’s class.

**New Japan Pro Wrestling and CMLL continue the Fantasticamania tour on Sunday with their second of three Korakuen Hall shows. Sunday’s card is headlined by Volador, Jr. defending the welterweight title against Barbaro Cavernario and will feature the opening round matches of the “CMLL Brothers Tag Team Tournament” with Dragon Lee and Mistico vs. Sanson and Cuatero as well as Angel de Oro and Niebla Roja vs. Ultimo Guerrero and Gran Guerrero.

**There is a pair of big independent shows in Toronto this Sunday as both Smash Wrestling and Destiny Wrestling are running loaded shows. Smash Wrestling presents “Any Given Sunday 6” at 5 pm at The Phoenix Concert Theatre and will feature a ladder match between The Well-Oiled Machines and TDT for the Smash tag titles, Tyson Dux vs. Frankie TM for the Smash title, Matt Riddle vs. Brent Banks, Joe Hendry vs. Scotty O’Shea, Mark Haskins vs. Kevin Bennett, Sebastian Suave vs. Tarik, Halal Beefcake vs. The SSB and Lionel Knight vs. Allie vs. Kevin Blackwood vs. Carter Mason.

The Destiny show is called “Carnage” and takes place at 7:30 pm at the Don Kolov Arena at 4880 Tomkens Road in Mississauga and will feature the unique match of WWE U.K. champion Pete Dunne taking on Impact Wrestling champion Austin Aries.

MMA NEWS

**The UFC will hold a press conference at 5 pm Eastern with Max Holloway, Frankie Edgar, Tony Ferguson, and Khabib Nurmagomedov. The major question is whether they will be stripping Conor McGregor of the lightweight title or if the Ferguson vs. Nurmagomedov fight will be for the interim title.

**All the fighters made weight on Friday for the UFC 220 event on Saturday night from the TD Garden in Boston. Here is the full card and results of the weigh-ins:

MAIN CARD (10 pm Eastern on pay-per-view)
*Stipe Miocic (246) vs. Francis Ngannou (263) for the UFC heavyweight title
*Daniel Cormier (205) vs. Volkan Oezdemier (205) for the UFC light heavyweight title
*Shane Burgos (146) vs. Calvin Kattar (145.5)
*Gian Villante (206) vs. Francimar Barroso (205)
*Thomas Almeida (135.5) vs. Rob Font (136)

PRELIMINARY CARD (8 pm on FS1, TSN2)
*Kyle Bochniak (146) vs. Brandon Davis (146)
*Sabah Homasi (171) vs. Abdul Razak Alhassan (170)
*Dustin Ortiz (125.5) vs. Alexandre Pantoja (126)
*Dan Ige (145.5) vs. Julio Arce (146)

FIGHT PASS (7pm)
*Enrique Barzola (145.5) vs. Matt Bessett (146)
*Islam Makhachev (156) vs. Gleison Tibau (155)

**Bellator presents one of their biggest cards with Bellator 192 on Saturday from The Forum in Inglewood, California. This show coincides with the rebranding of Spike TV into The Paramount Network and they wanted a big show for this launch. Bellator president Scott Coker was on The MMA Hour and stated ticket sales were ahead of last year’s card at The Forum, which featured Tito Ortiz’s retirement fight against Chael Sonnen. The weigh-ins were earlier this morning and below is televised card for Saturday:

MAIN CARD (9 pm Eastern on The Paramount Network)
*Quinton Jackson (253) vs. Chael Sonnen (222) in the Heavyweight Grand Prix
*Douglas Lima (169) vs. Rory MacDonald (169.3) for the Bellator welterweight title
*Michael Chandler (156) vs. Goiti Yamauchi (155.9)
*Aaron Pico (155.9) vs. Shane Kruchten (146)
*Henry Corrales (145.8) vs. Georgi Karakhanyan (145)

**The Bellator prelims will feature the professional debut of 20-year old Khonry Gracie, who is the son of Royce Gracie. Gracie will be fighting 0-0 fighter Devon Brock on the prelims.

**The California State Athletic Commission issued documents to fighters on Friday regarding the allowable limit of weight they can put on after they weigh in. The following are the allowable limits per weight class and if a fighter is above the limit they risk not being sanctioned to fight within that weight class in the future:
*115 pounds (strawweight) – 126.5 + 1 pound (the +1 is for non-title fights and allows the fighter a one pound allowance, championship fights would limit the fighters to 126.5 pounds and this goes for all the weight limits)
*125 (flyweight) – 137.5 + 1
*135 (bantamweight) – 148.5 + 1
*145 (featherweight) – 159.5 + 1
*155 (lightweight) – 170.5 + 1
*170 (welterweight) – 187.5 + 1
*185 (middleweight) – 203.5 + 1
*205 (light heavyweight) – 225.5 + 1
*265 (heavyweight) – 291.5 + 1

**In desperate need of a main event, the UFC on FOX card on February 24th has landed one. The Orlando Sentinel reports that a featherweight fight between Jeremy Stephens and Josh Emmett will headline the card in Orlando at the Amway Center. Stephens just fought this past weekend and stopped Dooho Choi in the second round of their headlining bout in St. Louis. Emmett is coming off a knockout win over Ricardo Lamas last month in Winnipeg. A fight between Yoel Romero and David Branch had been announced for this card but Romero was moved from the card to fill the spot of the injured Robert Whittaker at UFC 221 against Luke Rockhold for the interim middleweight title.

**Bellator flyweights Heather Hardy and Ana Julaton are set for a unique two-fight series. The two are scheduled to fight at Bellator 194 on February 16th and will have a boxing fight later in the year. Both are professional boxers that come over to Bellator over the past year.

**This week marks the end of Spike TV as the network rebrands into the Paramount Network. While it is still a Viacom property and the pieces are the same, the end of Spike TV is a reminder of how instrumental of a network it was for both professional wrestling and for mixed martial arts. There is no debate that the industry of MMA would have been radically different (and possibly non-existent on a national level) without Spike and their decision to greenlight a reality series for the UFC, which the UFC paid for to get onto the network in January 2005. There is no hyperbole in stating that without TUF, the UFC likely would have died as TUF was their last-ditch effort to make the UFC work. It’s amazing the pieces that fell into place as the UFC initially wanted a show like “Tuesday Night Fights” and it was Spike that insisted on the reality show concept, which made a huge difference as it was the characters that got the series over and not just the fights. On top of that, Vince McMahon had the ability to veto TUF and opted not to, giving TUF the optimal lead-in audience from Raw and was an enormous for TUF to retain a strong percentage of the WWE’s audience. Spike TV saved TNA on multiple occasions but their deal to bring Impact to Spike in October 2005 was a life raft for Impact, which wasn’t even on television by that point and was running weekly television on the internet. Spike helped Impact for years through rights fees, helping to pay for specific talent and growing Impact from a one-hour taped show on Saturday nights to a two-hour prime-time show, even going head-to-head for a brief period on Monday nights against Raw (which was a big failure, but an experiment Spike was behind). The loss of Spike TV for Impact cannot be overstated as it was a such a blow to the company in the summer of 2014.

**Below is Episode 5 of this week’s UFC Embedded:

*****
POST ROUNDTABLE SHOW with John Pollock, Wai Ting, Brian Mann, and Martin Bushby (Patreon-only show)
https://www.patreon.com/posts/post-roundtable-16482245
*****
BRITISH WRESTLING EXPERIENCE 1/18: Introduction
https://britishwrestlingexperience.podbean.com/mf/download/yqgdv9/180118_BWE.mp3
*****

REWIND-A-SMACKDOWN 1/16/18: New U.S. Champion, Mixed Match Challenge, Selfie Promos
https://postwrestling.podbean.com/mf/download/etccku/180116_RASD.mp3
*****
REWIND-A-RAW 1/15/18: Braun Strowman Fired? Finn Balor vs. Seth Rollins, Paige Appears
https://postwrestling.podbean.com/mf/download/huy9y4/180115_RAR.mp3
*****
THE 2018 MMA PREDICTION SHOW feat. Ariel Helwani
https://postwrestling.podbean.com/mf/download/3rk3me/THE-2018-MMA-PREDICTION-SHOW.mp3
*****
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)
https://www.patreon.com/posts/rewind-wai-2-raw-16353951
*****

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About John Pollock 2120 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling.He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.