POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE 3/5 – Ronda Rousey scheduled for all Raw episodes through WrestleMania

Ronda Rousey will be on every episode of Raw through WrestleMania, Hillbilly Jim announced for the WWE Hall of Fame, "Greatest Royal Rumble" to take place in Saudi Arabia, NXT Takeover confirmed for Money in the Bank weekend, Katsuyori Shibata to coach at New Japan Dojo, ROH television review, and lots more.

POST IT NOTES

**Wai Ting and I will be back with a new edition of Rewind-A-Raw later tonight to discuss the show from Milwaukee and all the latest news going on from around the industry. We will also be taking your questions and feedback from the POST Wrestling Forum.

**Wai and I will be presenting two shows on Tuesday with Rewind-A-SmackDown and a bonus show for our Patreon subscribers at the POST Wrestling Café with a review of the New Japan 46th Anniversary card. The Patreon review will be up Tuesday afternoon and all subscribers on the Café will have access to that show immediately when it drops. There will be two Patreon bonus shows this week, including Friday’s Rewind-A-Wai covering WrestleMania 20 from 2004 at Madison Square Garden (which I suspect is going to be a gigantic show).

**The deadline to submit your brackets for our New Japan Cup contest is this Thursday, March 8th. Send in your completed brackets with predictions for the winners in the tournament to john@POSTwrestling.com. We will announce the winner after the tournament on our next show with WH Park.

SHOWS THIS WEEK AT POST WRESTLING:

*Tonight: Rewind-A-Raw:
*Tuesday: NJPW 46th Anniversary show review (Patreon)
*Tuesday: Rewind-A-SmackDown
*Thursday: British Wrestling Experience with Martin Bushby, Oli Court, and Benno
*Friday: Rewind-A-Wai (WrestleMania 20, Patreon)
*Sunday: WWE Fastlane and ROH 16th Anniversary review

WRESTLING NEWS

**The WWE has confirmed that Ronda Rousey will be appearing on every episode of Raw leading into WrestleMania with the following dates scheduled – Tonight in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, March 12th in Detroit, March 19th in Dallas, March 26th in Cleveland, and April 2nd in Atlanta.

**Tonight’s episode of Raw takes place from the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The WWE is advertising John Cena for tonight’s episode, but he is not listed for the SmackDown tapings on Tuesday night, which is strange given his involvement in this weekend’s Fastlane card. The only match announced for tonight’s show is a rematch from Elimination Chamber with Asuka vs. Nia Jax.

**The SmackDown crew has a house show tonight in La Crosse, Wisconsin with A.J. Styles, Randy Orton, Shinsuke Nakamura, Sami Zayn, and Kevin Owens advertised. The television tapings are Tuesday night in Green Bay at the Resch Center.

**New Japan Pro Wrestling will present their 46th Anniversary Show early Tuesday morning at 5 am Eastern on New Japan World. The show will take place at Ota Ward Gymnasium, which is the site of the promotion’s inaugural event held in 1972 that was headlined by Antonio Inoki vs. Karl Gotch. Below is the card for Tuesday’s show:
*Kazuchika Okada vs. Will Ospreay in a non-title match – A rare match involving teammates and given the heavyweight vs. junior heavyweight dynamic, it’s perhaps the only time they will meet in a New Japan ring unless Ospreay eventually moves up to the heavyweight division. The two had a match for Revolution Pro in 2015 and opened the doors for Ospreay to come to New Japan the following April with a strong introduction as a member of CHAOS. This match should be off the charts with two of the best performers in the world, you could make a case each is top five, and Okada is the top big match performer in the industry.
*Minoru Suzuki vs. Togi Makabe for the Intercontinental title – I expect a routine defense from Suzuki and getting a victory with the Gotch piledriver, which has historical significance on this show. It would seem likely that Suzuki and Hiroshi Tanahashi are building towards a rematch for the Intercontinental title for the spring, perhaps as early as Sakura Genesis.
*Tetsuya Naito vs. Taichi – this is a “stay busy” match for Naito until he is ready for the next big program. They had a match outside of New Japan that some were very high on, it’s a big match for Taichi, who is largely a role player within Suzuki-gun.
*Sanada vs. Yoshi-Hashi – this was switched to a singles match after EVIL suffered a cheekbone injury on the Australian tour.
*Roppongi 3K vs. Hiromu Takahashi and Bushi vs. El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru for the IWGP junior heavyweight tag titles – Takahashi is working this show and then coming to Las Vegas this weekend for the Ring of Honor pay-per-view and television tapings
*Tomohiro Ishii, Hirooki Goto, and Toru Yano vs. Juice Robinson, David Finlay, and Toa Henare
*Katsuya Kitamura vs. Manabu Nakanishi in Kitamura’s final trial series match
*Yuji Nagata, Tomoyuki Oka, Shota Umino, Tetsuhiro Yagi, and Ren Narita vs. KUSHIDA, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Ryusuke Taguchi, Jushin Thunder Liger, and Tiger Mask

**The third NXT Takeover of 2018 will take place Saturday, June 16th at the Allstate Arena in Chicago, Illinois on the night before the WWE’s Money in the Bank show. They are doing a promotion where you can buy tickets to both shows this Wednesday at 1 pm Eastern with the rest of the tickets for Takeover on sale Saturday, April 14th. There are scheduled to be five Takeover events this year with the shows piggybacking off major WWE events with Takeover shows also scheduled for SummerSlam weekend in Brooklyn and Survivor Series weekend in Los Angeles.

**The WWE and the Saudi General Sports Authority announced a ten-year partnership on Monday, which will begin with a major show on Friday, April 27th. The two sides announced the “Greatest Royal Rumble” event for April that will feature a 50-man Royal Rumble Match with John Cena, Roman Reigns, AJ Styles, Triple H, Braun Strowman, Randy Orton, Shinsuke Nakamura, New Day, and Bray Wyatt announced for the show. It is unknown if the event will be airing on the WWE Network with the release stating that ticket and broadcasting information will be coming in the next few weeks. The 10-year pact is in support of Vision 2030, which is a social and economic reform program in Saudi Arabia. The initiative was introduced in 2016 by the Saudi Arabian Government to focus on education, tourism, recreation, infrastructure, and health and be less reliant on oil.

**The WWE announced on Monday that Hillbilly Jim (James Morris) is the latest inductee for this year’s Hall of Fame class. Morris started out wrestling briefly for Stampede Wrestling and then wrestling under the moniker “Harley Davidson” in Memphis before getting called by the World Wrestling Federation where he is most associated throughout his career. As Hillbilly Jim, he was put in a great spot as the protégé of WWF champion Hulk Hogan, initially being introduced as this giant fan sitting ringside and later being trained in storyline by Hogan and being gifted a pair of wrestling boots from the champion. He debuted on the undercard of the February 1985 “War to Settle the Score” card from Madison Square Garden defeating Rene Goulet. A knee injury sidelined him for the majority of 1985 and remained a fun character in the mid-card throughout his WWF tenure. He was also one of the characters featured on “Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n Wrestling” cartoon series on CBS from 1985-1986 and turned him into one of the more memorable character wrestlers of that era.

His most high-profile match came in 1987 at WrestleMania 3, teaming with Little Beaver and Haiti Kid against King Kong Bundy, Little Tokyo, and Lord Littlebrook. He would have a role with the company through 1990 and then returned in the mid-90’s as the manager of The Godwinns. He also did lots of promotional work for the company, including working in the home video department as a representative and going on the road for the WrestleMania Axxess tour from 2004-2006 to malls across the country to promote WrestleMania. His last major match with the company was the Gimmick Battle Royal at WrestleMania X-7 in April 2001 at The Astrodome in Houston, Texas. For years, he was serving as a host of “Hillbilly Jim’s Moonshine Matinee” on SiriusXM with a four-hour block on Saturdays and Sundays.

**We have not received any new information regarding the severity of Rey Mysterio’s arm injury that he sustained this past Friday night. An official with New Japan Pro Wrestling noted to POST Wrestling that they were awaiting results to see how severe the injury is and should have more information later this week. Mysterio is slated to face Jushin Thunder Liger on Sunday, March 25th in Long Beach, California.

**Ring of Honor has announced that Tomohiro Ishii will be working the Supercard of Honor show on Saturday, April 6th at the UNO Lakefront Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. They have only announced the Kenny Omega vs. Cody match and the card has sold more tickets than any ROH show in history by a wide margin.

**New Japan Pro Wrestling has announced that Katsuyori Shibata will become the head trainer of the New Japan Dojo that will be based out of Los Angeles. Shibata, who was trained in the New Japan Dojo in Japan, will be transitioning into a coaching role and will be aided by Scorpio Sky, who will serve as Shibata’s assistant coach. Shibata’s career is believed to be over following a head injury that he sustained during a match with Kazuchika Okada at Sakura Genesis in April 2017. Shibata delivered a headbutt to the skull of Shibata prior to the conclusion of the match and discovered afterward he had suffered a subdural hematoma. Shibata made a surprise appearance at the G-1 Climax Finals last August in one of the most emotional scenes in the company’s history.

**AIW has announced that Jeff Jarrett will be working for the promotion on Friday, March 23rd at their “Gauntlet for the Gold 13” event at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.

**The WWE announced last week that they have promoted Brian Flinn to the role of Chief Marketing & Communications Officer. Flinn previously worked at the NBA where he rose to become the Senior Vice President of Marketing before joining the WWE in 2012. Flinn will report to Michelle Wilson, who was recently promoted to co-president of the WWE alongside George Barrios.

**David Bixenspan takes a look at the notable non-WWE events going on during WrestleMania Week in New Orleans.

**Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson recorded an acceptance speech for his first Razzie Award for Baywatch, which won the “So Rotten You Loved It” award. The other nominees the film beat out were The Emoji Movie, Fifty Shades Darker, The Mummy, and Transformers: The Last Knight.

TELEVISION REVIEW

Ring of Honor (March 4th)
Results: The Briscoe Brothers over Best Friends, Hangman Page over Christopher Daniels, Dalton Castle and Jay Lethal over Punishment Martinez and Marty Scurll
-This was the final episode before this Friday’s 16th Anniversary pay-per-view and the show ended with brief promos from the key participants promoting their matches for Friday.
-The funniest part of the show was when “enforcer” Bully Ray came out to send So Cal Uncensored to the back for Christopher Daniels’ match with Hangman Page. As Bully ejected them, he made the “too sweet” sign to Page, who began shaking his head that they cannot use that sign and Bully responded, “No, you can’t do this, but I can do this all night long” and basically told the WWE to come and sue him right before his Hall of Fame induction next month.
-The main event featured the pairings of two separate matches at the pay-per-view with Castle and Lethal teaming before their ROH title match and Scurll and Martinez also having a match this Friday. I can’t say the Castle vs. Lethal build has been all that special, although I feel Lethal is going to have a strong match with Castle as he is among the most consistent performers for the promotion. Castle hasn’t knocked it out of the park since winning the title in December, although did receive a big reaction for his first appearance with the title in front of the Nashville crowd in January.
-The Women of Honor tournament will resume on next week’s television with another week of strict highlights of ongoing tournament matches. It seems that the tournament involves too many performers as ROH doesn’t have the television time to air all the matches so they’re pushing you to their digital channels to check out the matches. Most of the pre-match videos to hype up the matches have been good in providing context to the matches and getting the personalities across.

MMA NEWS

**Bellator has added a heavyweight rematch between Mirko Cro Cop and Roy Nelson to the Bellator 200 card on Friday, May 25th in London, England. Following several retirement announcements, Cro Cop has signed with Bellator and is on his latest last run with an eight-fight winning streak since August 2014. He last fought this past New Year’s Eve for Rizin and stopped Tsuyoshi Kohsaka in 62 seconds. He is 43 years old and will meet Roy Nelson, who was just eliminated from the Heavyweight Grand Prix with a majority decision loss to Matt Mitrione last month. Cro Cop and Nelson fought in October 2011 at UFC 137, which Nelson won with a third round TKO.

**Conor McGregor, who is technically still the UFC lightweight champion, is featured in a new Burger King spot to promote the chain’s new Spicy Crispy Chicken Sandwich:

*****
UFC 222 POST SHOW WITH JOHN POLLOCK
https://postwrestling.podbean.com/mf/download/54te6q/UFC-222-POST-SHOW.mp3
*****
ASK-A-WAI – Ask Us Anything
John Pollock and Wai Ting answer any and all of their patrons’ questions from the members-only section of the POST Wrestling Forum.
https://www.patreon.com/posts/17301615
*****
KEEP IT 2000: Ep. 25 – “Rock ‘n Roll, Make-Up, Fire” with Robert Karpeles (June 19, 2000)
Former WWE creative member and @WWECreative_ish mastermind Robert Karpeles joins Brian Mann and Nate Milton to discuss a surprise Russo-less Nitro.
https://keepit2000.podbean.com/mf/download/zyf49c/Keep-It-2000-June-19-2000.mp3
*****
NJPW 46th Anniversary Show Preview
John Pollock and WH Park chat Honor Rising cards, NJPW’s 46th anniversary card, Long Beach main event, New Japan Cup brackets, All Japan’s streaming service, Champion Carnival, and more.
https://postwrestling.podbean.com/mf/download/mmffpw/POST-WRESTLING-WH-Park-Feb-2018.mp3
*****
REWIND-A-SMACKDOWN 2/27/18: John Cena vs. AJ Styles, The Usos vs. New Day
John Pollock and Wai Ting review WWE SmackDown, 205 Live, the Mixed Match Challenge, and recap the Jon Jones hearing in front of the California State Athletic Commission
https://postwrestling.podbean.com/mf/download/54vicv/180227_RASD.mp3
*****
REWIND-A-RAW 2/26/18: Ronda vs. Stephanie, Reigns Cuts Great Promo, John Cena to SmackDown
https://postwrestling.podbean.com/mf/download/u4v2wj/180226_RAR.mp3
*****

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About John Pollock 776 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.