POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE 2/16 – Impact pay-per-view scheduled for Orlando in April

The Impact pay-per-view in April will take place in Orlando, Kenny Omega and Kota Ibushi to team in New Orleans, Michael Elgin files suit, Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix continues with Matt Mitrione vs. Roy Nelson, a preview of EVOLVE cards this weekend, WWE signs former MMA fighter, and more.

POST IT NOTES

**This week’s Patreon bonus show is a review of the WWF’s “Battle at Royal Albert Hall” from October 1991.Wai Ting and I review the Coliseum Home Video release that features a 20-man battle royal, Ric Flair’s first month with the WWF, a Phantom of the Opera inspired entrance from The Undertaker and a discussion on the major news going on at the time for the World Wrestling Federation. Anyone is part of the POST Wrestling Café will have access to this show (and all of our Patreon exclusive shows). You can sign up now at www.POSTwrestlingCafe.com.

**On Sunday, we will be returning with the POST Roundtable Show. On this show, Wai Ting and I will be chatting with Damian Abraham about a ton of different topics and that is a free show for everyone.

**We also have the latest edition of Keep It 2000 on the site with Brian Mann and Nate Milton being joined by Sherdog.com’s Jordan Breen. The three are reviewing the June 12th, 2000 episode of WCW Monday Nitro coming off the Great American Bash pay-per-view and Bill Goldberg’s heel turn.

WRESTLING NEWS

**The Raw crew begins their weekend events with a show in Portland, Oregon tonight at the Moda Center and then are in Eugene, Oregon on Saturday night. The SmackDown crew begins Saturday night in Lubbock, Texas.

**John Cena is scheduled for Sunday’s Raw house show in Prescott, Arizona.

**Both Raw and SmackDown Live will be taking place from the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona this week.

**Pro Wrestling Guerilla has their “Neon Knights” card tonight in Reseda with the following lineup:
*Chuck Taylor vs. Trent for the PWG title
*Keith Lee vs. Matt Riddle
*Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Flip Gordon
*David Starr vs. Travis Banks
*Dalton Castle vs. Joey Janela
*Adam Brooks vs. Brodie King

**Earlier this week, we mentioned the article by Deadspin on the Jerry Lawler case from 1993 that saw Lawler removed from WWF television until the case was concluded. Lawler was facing charges of statutory rape, sodomy and harassing a witness. The case ended with Lawler accepting a misdemeanor charge for contacting one of the witnesses by phone. The Deadspin article features the detective on the 1993 case, Mike Redmond, stating that the two teenage girls involved never recanted their allegations and instead opted not to testify against Lawler. It was reported at the time in 1994 in the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper that a letter was sent to Judge Earl O’Bannon with the girls recanting their stories.

**Fightful.com was the first to report that Michael Elgin (Aaron Frobel) has filed a lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Warren County, Missouri against “Moses Malone” (not her actual name). Elgin is claiming damages from the publication of private text messages by Malone that have resulted in lost income and damage to his personal and professional reputation along with “anxiety, stress, and other mental pain and suffering”. Ryan Satin of Pro Wrestling Sheet posted the entire suit, which outline’s Elgin side of the case. Malone spoke with Pro Wrestling Ponderings in January and outlined her side of the story. Malone also issued the following statement after she was served with the papers on Thursday:

I’m sorry to disappoint, but all of the evidence against me in this lawsuit is the exact tweets that started this, and two online news stories. If you’re waiting for some big reveal from Elgin that proves he’s innocent or I’m lying/hiding something, you’ll be waiting forever.

**The WrestleCon Supershow on Thursday, April 5th in New Orleans will feature Kenny Omega and Kota Ibushi teaming up to take on Chuck Taylor and Trent Baretta. The show takes place on the Thursday night of WrestleMania Week from The Sugar Mill with a 9:30 pm start time and general admission is $50.

**Impact Wrestling has announced that the April 22nd pay-per-view event, “Redemption” will be taking place from Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. There was speculation that the event would be taking place in Toronto after a promo during the last set of television tapings stated the city was hosting the show. There was actually a funny bit on Lance Storm and Don Callis’ podcast this week where Callis was asked if the pay-per-view was taking place in Toronto and Callis responded that he doesn’t respond to rumors. The fact was, the only reason the speculation began was a promo from their own television tapings last month.

**Thursday’s episode of Impact Wrestling averaged 300,000 viewers on POP TV and was up from 294,000 last week. The show was headlined by a very good main event between Austin Aries and Eli Drake with Aries retaining the Impact title.

**New Japan Pro Wrestling has begun their tour of Australia with the first show taking place Friday in Adelaide. The tour continues Saturday in Melbourne at Festival Hall and will feature: Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii, and Rocky Romero vs. Kenny Omega and The Guerillas of Destiny, Minoru Suzuki vs. Jonah Rock in a non-title match, The Young Bucks and Cody vs. KUSHIDA, Juice Robinson, and Toa Henare, Jay White vs. Slex in a non-title match, and Lance Archer vs. Eliot Sexton.

**The Australian tour continues on Sunday in Sydney with a main of Kazuchika Okada, Jay White, and Will Ospreay vs. The Young Bucks and Cody. The tour wraps up on Monday in Perth with EVIL and Sanada vs. Kazuchika Okada and Rocky Romero in a non-title match in the main event.

**Tuesday’s episode of SmackDown Live averaged 2,449,000 viewers on the USA Network.

**The WWE has announced that former MMA fighter Nicolai Salchow has begun training at the WWE’s Performance Center. Salchow was a former member of the Blackzilians team out of Florida, he fought at middleweight and had a 6-1 record as a professional. His last fight took place in July 2016 and he was defeated by Rex Harris by unanimous decision on the World Series of Fighting 32 card. Salchow is 34-years old and is from Dusseldorf, Germany.

**EVOLVE will be presenting two shows this weekend with EVOLVE 100 on Saturday night La Boom in Woodside, New York and airing at 6 pm Eastern on WWNLive.com. On Sunday night, they will hold EVOLVE 101 from The MCW Arena in Joppa, Maryland with a 7 pm Eastern start time. Below are the cards for both nights:
*EVOLVE 100: Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Austin Theory for the EVOLVE title, Keith Lee vs. AR Fox for the WWN championship, Chris Dickinson, and Jaka vs. The End for the EVOLVE tag titles, Matt Riddle vs. James Drake, Tracy Williams vs. Anthony Henry, Fred Yehi vs. Dom Garrini, and Darby Allin vs. Jason Kincaid vs. Jarek 1:20
*EVOLVE 101: Keith Lee vs. Tracy Williams in a non-title match, Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Chris Dickinson in a non-title match, Matt Riddle vs. Austin Theory vs. Jaka vs. Darby Allin, The End vs. Anthony Henry, The End vs. James Drake and Anthony Henry, Fred Yehi vs. Shane Mercer, Dante Cabenero vs. Ken Dixon

**Ring of Honor has announced that Ultimo Guerrero, Soberano Jr., and Volador Jr. will be working the Manhattan Mayhem event on Saturday, March 3rd at the Manhattan Center in New York City.

**Jim Ross will be hosting his one-man show on Friday, April 6th at 10 am in New Orleans over WrestleMania weekend. Ross stated on Friday that tickets will be going on-sale next Friday with additional details coming.

**During Friday’s Pro Wrestling NOAH card in Tokyo, they announced that the annual Global Tag League tournament will take place from March 18th – April 11th with the following teams announced for the tournament: Muhammad Yone and Quiet Storm (the GHC tag champions), Kenoh and Takashi Sugiura, Naomichi Marufuji and Atsushi Kotoge, Katsuhiko Nakajima and Masa Kitamiya, Go Shiosaki and Kaito Kiyomiya, Akitoshi Saito and Masao Inoue, Maybach Taniguchi and Mitsuya Nagai, and Cody Hall and Kazma Sakamoto.

**The next major NOAH card is the Great Voyage event on Sunday, March 11th with Kenoh vs. Takashi Sugiura for the GHC title, Muhammed Yone and Quiet Storm vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima and Masa Kitamiya for the GHC tag titles, and Daisuke Harada vs. Hayata for the GHC junior heavyweight title in the top three title matches.

**The next MLW card is “Spring Break ‘18” on Thursday, March 8th at the Gilt Nightclub in Orlando, Florida. The semi-finals of the world heavyweight title tournament will take place on this card with Tom Lawlor vs. Matt Riddle and Shane Strickland vs. Jimmy Havoc. They have also announced a “Fans Bring the Weapons Match” between Joey Janela and Darby Allin.

**The Global Wrestling Network will be adding their latest “One Night Only” event at 8 pm Eastern tonight with the following matches: Alberto El Patron vs. James Storm, EC3 vs. Moose, Rosemary vs. KC Spinelli, Santana and Ortiz vs. Trevor Lee and Caleb Konley, OVE vs. Dezmond Xavier and Eddie Edwards, El Hijo del Fantasma vs. Bobby Lashley.

**Superkick’d Live has a show in Toronto tonight at The Great Hall (1087 Queen Street West)

*MLW has posted last week’s “Road to the World Championship” card for free on their YouTube channel:

TELEVISION REVIEWS

THE GOLDEN LOVERS (New Japan World)

“I’ve been alone and feeling alone for a long time” – Kenny Omega

-New Japan World has added a 30-minute feature on the reunion of Kenny Omega and Kota Ibushi. The setting is inside of Ibushi’s “Pro Wrestling Research Institute” (his gym) with a camera crew on hand when Kenny Omega shows up. The two are set to train together for the first time since their reunion.
-The two are shown going over their big tag team spots from the past with an emphasis on high-flying then and now focusing on big striking maneuvers with Omega’s V-Trigger and Ibushi’s Kamigoye. They come up with a way to incorporate both knee strikes as a tag maneuver and instantly give a backstory for when the two introduce the move.
-The final portion is a sit-down interview and the emotional reunion for both. Omega explained that this was about more than pro wrestling or it is good for business and represented the two have a bond deeper than wrestling. Omega also pushed the issues within The Bullet Club, Cody’s obsession with power as a leader and Omega’s kinship with The Young Bucks.
-Overall, this was an excellent storyline device for the reunion between the two and adding several layers to the story while also setting up many stories for the next few months.

NXT (Feb. 14th)
-The show was highlighted by a strong U.K. title match with Pete Dunne retaining against Roderick Strong. The trio of Dunne, Strong, and Tyler Bate in any combination has been a home run every time out. I would still put this match behind the Strong vs. Hideo Itami match from 205 Live last week, however biggest negative to the latter was the lack of crowd engagement throughout the match that hurt it a lot. In this match, while a smaller audience, they were into the match and it translated better on television. Dunne attacked the fingers of Strong, who made his comeback with a series of near falls before being hit with the Bitter End. If 205 Live can be resurrected and turned into a viable show, it will be a great outlet for performers such as Dunne and Strong and those clogged in the NXT pipeline and limited with the one-hour television program.
-The main event was a women’s title rematch between Ember Moon and Shayna Baszler. I thought Baszler’s offense and the attack on the arm were way better in this match than at Takeover. The Takeover match had the long armbar sequence as opposed to this match, where it was a vicious attack using weapons and played to Baszler’s demeanor as psychotic and out of control. The match ended with Kairi Sane returning to television and attacking Baszler (Baszler choked her out on the stage during her last appearance).
-Next week’s show will feature the NXT title rematch between Andrade Cien Almas and Johnny Gargano with Gargano putting his NXT career on the line.

MMA NEWS

**The Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix continues at tonight’s Bellator 194 card from Uncasville, Connecticut at the Mohegan Sun Arena. The tournament fight is a rematch between Roy Nelson and Matt Mitrione, who last fought in December 2012 with Nelson stopping Mitrione in the opening round of their fight at the TUF Season 16 Finale. Nelson has slowed down since their last fight and is now 41 years old and this will be his second fight with Bellator. He debuted last September with a unanimous decision win over Javy Ayala. Mitrione has evolved a lot since 2012 with better footwork and his boxing is significantly improved but is 39 years old himself. Mitrione is unbeaten since coming to Bellator and would have been in line for a heavyweight title fight if this tournament had not been designed. Below is the main card line up for tonight and begins at 9 pm Eastern the Paramount Network:
*Matt Mitrione vs. Roy Nelson in the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix
*Patricky “Pitbull” Freire vs. Derek Campos – this is a rematch from April 2012 when Freire stopped Campos in the second round. Campos has won his last four fights. Patricky is coming off wins over Josh Thomson and Benson Henderson. The winner of this fight would be in a position to challenge the winner of the Brent Primus vs. Michael Chandler lightweight title fight.
*Liam McGeary vs. Vadim Nemkov – McGeary is a former light heavyweight champion but has shown his issues with wrestlers and strong grapplers. McGeary has not fought since last May. Nemkov debuted for Bellator last August and knocked out Philipe Lins in the opening round.
*Heather Hardy vs. Ana Julaton – both are professional boxers, so they are going to have this fight under MMA rules and will have a boxing fight later this year.
*Tywan Claxton vs. Jose Antonio Perez

**UFC fighters Ruslan Magomedov and Zubaira Tukhugov have each accepted a two-year suspension as a result of out-of-competition drug test failures from 2016 with both testings positive for Ostarine. Magomedov and Tukhugov were both urine tested on September 7th, 2016 and failed their tests. Tukhugov also failed an additional test conducted on October 29th, 2016 but because the initial test didn’t come back beforehand, it was ruled as a single violation with Ostarine found in both tests. The two opted to fight the suspension and went through the arbitration process claiming a tainted supplement as the cause for the failures. It was ruled that it was not a valid explanation and two accepted their penalty and had to pay a combined $10,000 for the arbitration proceeding (which is going to be a major factor when lower end fighters are weighing the pros and cons of fighting a case, even if they believe they are innocent). The two-year suspensions are retroactive to September 26th, 2016 and can return to fight later this year. Magomedov is 14-1 as a heavyweight and 3-0 inside the UFC, last competing at UFC 192 in October 2015 and defeating Shawn Jordan. Tukhugov is a featherweight and is 18-4 with a 3-1 record inside the UFC. He last fought at UFC 198 in May 2016 dropping a split decision to Renato Moicano.

**There was a strange occurrence at the Bellator weigh-ins on Thursday in Connecticut. Heather Hardy got onto the scale for her flyweight bout with Ana Julaton and weighed 126.25 pounds. Mike Mazzulli of the Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation was concerned at over level of hydration and wanted her to replenish right away so didn’t ask her to take the additional two hours to cut the 0.25 pounds nor was he going to request that she remove her clothing to make the weight limit. The result was that Hardy officially missed weight and will be fined 20% of her purse, however Hardy was unaware any of this was occurring when she weighed in and just assumed they would waive the 0.25 pounds because she was wearing a bikini and was of the impression she made weight, only to be informed later that she was being fined. Hardy spoke to Marc Raimondi at MMA Fighting and she is focused on her fight tonight but plans to appeal this decision and called it “petty”.

**The UFC has a Sunday night card from Austin, Texas and will be airing on FS 1 with the following card:

MAIN CARD (9 pm Eastern on FS1, TSN 2 in Canada)
*Donald Cerrone vs. Yancy Medeiros – Cerrone has lost his last three fights at welterweight and Medeiros is coming off one of the best fights of 2017 against Alex Oliveira at UFC 219.
*Derrick Lewis vs. Marcin Tybura
*James Vick vs. Francisco Trinaldo – Vick is 8-1 in the UFC’s lightweight division, which is an incredible stat. Trinaldo has won 8 of his last 9 fights within the division and this a big fight among two of the most underrated fighters in the weight class.
*Thiago Alves vs. Curtis Millender
*Steven Peterson vs. Brandon Davis
*Thibault Gouti vs. Sage Northcutt

PRELIMINARY CARD (7 pm Eastern on FS1, Fight Network in Canada)
*Jared Gordon vs. Carlos Diego Ferreira
*Geoffrey Neal vs. Brian Camozzi
*Roberto Sanchez vs. Joby Sanchez
*Sarah Moras vs. Lucie Pudilova

FIGHT PASS CARD (6 pm Eastern)
*Alex Morono vs. Josh Burkman
*Oskar Piechota vs. Tim Williams

**Newsday reported that featherweights Renato Moicano and Calvin Kattar will fight at the UFC 223 card at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on Saturday, April 7th. Moicano suffered the first loss of his professional career in his last outing when he was submitted by Brian Ortega at UFC 214 last July. Kattar has won ten straight fights and is 2-0 in the UFC with wins over Andre Fili and Shane Burgos.

**Former Bellator lightweight champion Will Brooks announced this week that he was released by the UFC after three straight losses with the organization. In the same post, Brooks announced that he will be fighting for the Professional Fighter’s League, which will be launching a series of tournaments in various weight classes with a $1,000,000 prize for the winner of each tournament. Brooks won the Bellator lightweight title in 2014 and was on an eight-fight winning streak when he left the promotion to sign with the UFC. Brook defeated Ross Pearson in his UFC debut in July 2016 but had subsequent losses against Alex Oliveira (a fight where Oliveira came in overweight and Brooks still took the fight), Charles Oliveira and Nik Lentz that led to his release.

*****
PATREON BONUS SHOW: WWF “Battle at Royal Albert Hall ‘91” Coliseum Home Video Release
https://www.patreon.com/posts/wwf-coliseum-at-17021263
*****
KEEP IT 2000: Ep. 24 – “Soldberg” with Jordan Breen (June 12, 2000)
https://keepit2000.podbean.com/mf/download/fftmq5/Keep-It-2000-June-12-2000.mp3
*****
REWIND-A-SMACKDOWN 2/13/18: Dolph Ziggler Wants WM Main Event
https://postwrestling.podbean.com/mf/download/fymkz7/180213_RASD.mp3
*****
REWIND-A-RAW 2/12/18: Elimination Chamber 2nd Chance Match, Strowman Strums
https://postwrestling.podbean.com/mf/download/9cyzec/180213_RAR.mp3
*****
UFC 221 POST SHOW WITH JOHN POLLOCK & MMA JUNKIE’S MIKE BOHN
https://postwrestling.podbean.com/mf/download/zjdfy7/UFC-221-POST-SHOW.mp3
*****
NJPW NEW BEGINNING IN OSAKA REVIEW WITH JOHN POLLOCK & WAI TING (Patreon Show)
https://www.patreon.com/posts/njpw-new-in-2018-16924204
*****
REWIND-A-WAI – PWG BOLA ’17 – Final Stage (Patreon bonus show)
https://www.patreon.com/posts/rewind-wai-pwg-16892002
*****

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About John Pollock 900 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.