POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE 2/20 – Raw experiments with longest match in WWE history


**Today’s edition of Rewind-A-Raw with Wai Ting and myself is available for download and available on iTunes and Android devices. On this week’s show:
-The longest match in WWE history
-The performance by Seth Rollins
-The final build for Elimination Chamber
-The women’s six-person tag to close the show
-Jeff Jarrett going into the Hall of Fame
-Golden Lovers feature
-Joey Janela’s Spring Break 2 video
-Being the Elite
-Black Panther and your feedback!

**We are back tonight with Rewind-A-SmackDown and we will have reviews of SmackDown Live, 205 Live, and the Mixed Match Challenge. The show will be posted late tonight on the site, iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, and TuneIn.

**On Thursday, we will have a new edition of the British Wrestling Experience with Martin Bushby, Oli Court, and Benno. On this week’s show, they will be chatting about the latest happenings in OTT, ICW, Progress, PCW, Riptide, Tetsujin, as well as Joe Hendry participating in the Commonwealth Games.


**The WWE presented the most unique episode of Raw in recent memory with the Gauntlet Match involving the seven Elimination Chamber participants lasting close to two-hours. The star of the match and the show was Seth Rollins, who put forth an incredible marathon performance wrestling Roman Reigns, John Cena, and Elias for over one-hour. The total match time was 1 hour and 47 minutes from opening to closing bell and the freshest presentation to a match I can recall on Raw in years. The story wasn’t so much the match quality, the booking or even the elevation Seth Rollins received from such a performance, but instead the WWE’s open-minded approach to presenting something different. One of the biggest critiques of the show is the inability to break from the rigid form of presentation and a lack of evolution in the show dating back to 1997. While this episode of Raw looked the same, it did not feel the same for the first two-hours. From the marathon match, the athletic story being the focus and treating this match like a sports broadcast with Renee Young in the position of sideline (backstage) reporter. The interview subjects spoke introspectively of their performances, there was zero comedy or catchphrases shoe-horned into the interview and the underlying theme was pushing the audience to Sunday’s Elimination Chamber match and elevating its importance in the process.

You can only do a match like the Gauntlet every few years and long matches such as this would wear thin in no time, but as a one-time experiment, the credit should be given that they deviated from the norm and took a risk. This week’s television audience should not be the verdict on the experiment. At worst, you had a smaller audience than usual but accomplished bigger picture objectives such as building the Elimination Chamber match and more important, elevating Seth Rollins through his strengths and feeling like a top star when this show was over. On the other hand, if there was large growth throughout the match, it would emphasize what the audience wants more of and what they can do without (long monologues, backstage skits, short matches etc).

**The WWE is in Phoenix tonight for their second consecutive night of television at the Talking Stick Resort Arena. Below are the matches set for tonight’s shows:
*Charlotte, Naomi, and Becky Lynch vs. The Riott Squad (SmackDown Live)
*Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin vs. New Day with the winners facing The Usos at Fast Lane (SmackDown Live)
*Charlotte and Bobby Roode vs. Nia Jax and Apollo (Mixed Match Challenge)
*Ariya Daivari vs. Buddy Murphy (205 Live)
*Jack Gallagher vs. Mustafa Ali (205 Live)

**Ring of Honor has announced two matches for the “Manhattan Mayhem” event on Saturday, March 3rd at the Hammerstein Ballroom:
*The Young Bucks, Marty Scurll, and Hangman Page vs. Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian, Scorpio Sky, and Shane Taylor in a “Ultimate Mayhem Match” – it starts with two men, after 5:00 another third enters and then alternating entrants every 2:00 and the match cannot finish until the eight men are in the ring. It is the same rule set as War Games without the match taking place inside a steel cage.
*Cody vs. Flip Gordon – Fans choose the stipulation: Lumberjack Match, 2-of-3 Falls Match, or if Gordons wins he is booked on the “All In’ card.

**Lilian Garcia has announced that Stephanie McMahon will be a guest on her “Chasing the Glory” podcast next Monday on Podcast One.

**Chris Jericho announced on Tuesday that Kenny Omega will be part of his cruise this October. The cruise takes place October 27th – 31st and leaves from Miami to Nassau in The Bahamas. The cruise is being promoted every week on Ring of Honor’s television with ROH providing talent for the “Sea of Honor” tournament on the cruise.

**MLW has announced an “Unsanctioned Match” between MVP and Low Ki for their next card on Thursday, March 8th in Orlando at the Gilt Nightclub. The other matches announced are the two semi-final matches in the World Heavyweight title tournament with Tom Lawlor vs. Matt Riddle and Jimmy Havoc vs. Shane Strickland, and a “Fans Bring the Weapons Match” between Joey Janela and Darby Allin.

**Zack Sabre Jr. will defend the British heavyweight title against Tomohiro Ishii at the Rev Pro card in New Orleans on Friday, April 6th at The Sugar Mill at 4 pm.

**A singles match between WALTER and Pierre Carl Ouellet has been added to Joey Janela’s Spring Break 2 event on Friday, April 6th during WrestleMania weekend in New Orleans, Louisiana.

**PWinsider.com reported on Tuesday that a biography on Sabu is in the works and slated for release in 2018. The book is being worked on by Kenny Casanova, who has previously put out biographies on James “Kamala” Harris and Ed Leslie, as well as upcoming releases from Leon “Vader” White and Danny Davis (the referee, not the trainer).

**Alpha-1 Wrestling’s next card is set for Sunday, March 11th in Hamilton, Ontario and will feature Josh Alexander vs. Myron Reed, Rickey Shane Page vs. MJF, Alex Daniels vs. Shane Sabre, and Josh Briggs vs. Kobe Durst. The show takes place at 222 Queenston Road in Hamilton and information is available at www.alpha-1wrestling.com.


Ring of Honor (Feb. 18th)
-The biggest development on the show was solidifying Bully Ray as the new “enforcer” of Ring of Honor as a device to enforce the Code of Honor without labeling himself as a General Manager or authority figure (but essentially performing that role). This occurred during the main event six-man tag title page when SoCal Uncensored defeated The Hung Bucks following a belt shot and Bully came out, polled the audience and restarted the match. Nick Jackson and Hangman Page hit dives to the floor and then The Bucks hit the Meltzer Driver and they retained the titles.
-Brandi Rhodes defeated Karen Q. in the Women of Honor tournament. They presented a video feature prior to the match, just as they did with Mandy Leon and Madison Rayne, but I didn’t feel this one was anywhere near as effective as last week’s. The match was not anything special as Brandi is very limited on a show that is very in-ring heavy. Brandi faked an injury and then caught Karen Q. with an inside cradle and won the match. Bully Ray wasn’t outraged over this finish and saved his reveal for the main event.
-They announced the main event for the 16th Anniversary pay-per-view with Dalton Castle defending the ROH title against Jay Lethal. Marty Scurll wants the winner of the match and confronted both Lethal and Castle during the show. I think the jury is still out on Castle as champion and the pay-per-view match should be a good indicator of how the audience takes to him in the top spot. Given the stretch of matches Lethal has been having, Castle has the best opponent possible for a solid main event title match.
-Lethal defeated Flip Gordon on this show after Gordon slipped on the middle rope and then Lethal capitalized and hit the Lethal Injection. It was presented like a screw up by Gordon, but the recovery by Lethal and transition into the finish almost made it work and that Gordon’s attempt for a high-risk maneuver cost him the match against the veteran.

REWIND-A-RAW 2/19/18: The Longest Match in WWE History; Jeff Jarrett Hall of Fame
POST ROUNDTABLE #2 (w/ VICE’s Damian Abraham)
PATREON BONUS SHOW: WWF “Battle at Royal Albert Hall ‘91” Coliseum Home Video Release
KEEP IT 2000: Ep. 24 – “Soldberg” with Jordan Breen (June 12, 2000)
REWIND-A-SMACKDOWN 2/13/18: Dolph Ziggler Wants WM Main Event

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About John Pollock 5568 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.