POST IT NOTES
**We have Rewind-A-SmackDown posted on the site with Wai Ting and I reviewing Tuesday night’s episode of SmackDown and 205 Live, including the closing injury angle with Shane McMahon, Cedric Alexander advancing to the finals of the Cruiserweight title tournament, the comparisons of AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura to Charlotte vs. Asuka, the latest advertising put out by the WWE, and we celebrate Wai’s birthday live on the show. The show can be downloaded at https://www.postwrestling.com/2018/03/14/rewind-a-smackdown-3-13-18-owens-zayn-attack-shane-asuka-charlotte-face-off/ and you can subscribe on any device with all of the subscription information at https://www.postwrestling.com/subscribe/.
**On Thursday, Brian Mann and Nate Milton will return with Keep It 2000 and this week they are reviewing the June 26th, 2000, episode of WCW Monday Nitro that features Lance Storm’s debut with WCW.
**On Friday, Wai Ting and I will have a Patreon bonus show and are changing it up this week with a review of the Oscar-winning Netflix documentary, “Icarus”. This review will take a deep look at the documentary, the work produced by director Bryan Fogel and serving himself as a test subject and how this documentary led to a massive unearthing of a statewide doping scandal in Russia.
**We will also have a new Roundtable show coming out for everyone this Sunday and we will be joined by Bartender Dave and Braden Herrington.
**Several days removed from the WWE’s announcement, the backlash against the decision to honor the Fabulous Moolah (Lillian Ellison) with a women’s battle royal at WrestleMania has gotten progressively louder. While I have minimal optimism that the WWE would correct course and walk back their decision, it has been encouraging to see the level of coverage, outrage and education provided from this announcement so that the allegations are known to a wider audience. It does not take a lot of research to learn of the many allegations that have been levied against Moolah over the years, unfortunately, many of those voices are no longer alive to speak up, but their words are out there from various interviews and accounts.
Pro Wrestling Sheet spoke to Jeannine Mjoseth, who was trained by Moolah and described her as a “monstrous person”, who skimmed money from the women she trained, ignored their injuries, and pimped the women out.
David Bixenspan has a piece on Deadspin outlining many of the allegations and questioning why the WWE opted to canonize Moolah at a time when they had bypassed Moolah as the “matriarch of the women’s evolution” by naming last year’s tournament after Mae Young.
Again, I don’t expect the WWE to walk this one back, although in maintaining this decision it places the women that are a part of this battle royal in a difficult position. There will be numerous media interviews and it is bound to be brought up somewhere and I would imagine many of the women on the roster, involved in this battle royal will be offset by the company’s hypocrisy in celebrating the women’s evolution within the company while celebrating a woman like Moolah. The positive from this is a wider audience now aware of these stories and understanding the underbelly of Moolah’s legacy, understanding the actual history and not being spoon fed the WWE’s narrative. Ultimately, it would have to take significant mainstream media pressure or internal pressure from the WWE’s sponsors to force a change and history has shown that the WWE typically bypasses that level of scrutiny.
**The WWE website has adjusted their advertising for the remaining episodes of Raw leading into WrestleMania. The website is now listing both Brock Lesnar and Ronda Rousey for the next three editions of Raw. The two are listed for next Monday’s show in Dallas, Texas, the March 26th episode in Cleveland, Ohio and the “go home” edition of Raw on April 2nd in Atlanta, Georgia. Given the WWE is openly using false advertising as a hook for the Brock Lesnar angle with Roman Reigns, you would have to be at least skeptical if you are buying a ticket to any of these shows with the assumption he will be at the show, although next Monday’s show is being pushed hard as a “guarantee” he will be in Dallas. In the case of Rousey, POST Wrestling was told by someone in the company that it was an issue with the web department publishing last week’s article that she would appear on every Raw episode until WrestleMania with the web team not being given final approval to run the article. Given they are purposely false advertising Lesnar in hopes of generating a negative reaction for Lesnar, you don’t want to paint Rousey in the same light and the WWE.com article made it feel that way this past Monday.
**The New Japan Cup resumed on Wednesday with a card Shizuoka and featured two quarter-final matches. In the first tournament match, Juice Robinson defeated Michael Elgin with an inside cradle at the 17:06 mark. Elgin took the majority of the match and was in the process of a closing sequence with a buckle bomb and was caught with the inside cradle when he went for the Elgin Bomb. Elgin held up Robinson’s arm after the match and Robinson advances to the semi-finals. The main event saw Hiroshi Tanahashi defeat Bad Luck Fale by countout at 14:35 and was the second countout finish in this year’s tournament. Tanahashi landed a High Fly Flow to the floor, they fought on the apron with Tanahashi sent to the floor and Fale attempted a Bad Luck Fall into the crowd but Tanahashi pushed off the post and sent Fale over the guardrail and he was counted out. The audience was heavily behind Tanahashi and did cheer the finish, although it was an average match and not near the high-level matches of the tournament. Robinson and Tanahashi will face off in the semi-finals on Friday. The other semi-final match will take place on Sunday and the final is next Wednesday.
**The other quarter-final matches will take place Thursday morning at 5:30 am Eastern at Korakuen Hall and stream on New Japan World. The tournament matches will see Kota Ibushi vs. Zack Sabre Jr. and Sanada vs. Toru Yano. Below is the full card for Korakuen Hall on Thursday:
*Kota Ibushi vs. Zack Sabre Jr. in the New Japan Cup
*Toru Yano vs. Sanada in the New Japan Cup
*Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii, and Chuckie T. vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Michael Elgin, and Juice Robinson
*Minoru Suzuki, El Desperado, and Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Tetsuya Naito, Hiromu Takahashi, and Bushi
*Bad Luck Fale, Tanga Loa, Chase Owens, and Yujiro vs. Taichi, Davey Boy Smith Jr., Lance Archer, and Takashi Iizuka
*Hirooki Goto and Yoshi-Hashi vs. Togi Makabe and Toa Henare
*David Finlay and Ren Narita vs. Shota Umino and Tomoyuki Oka
**Ronda Rousey was a guest on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” on Tuesday to promote her WrestleMania match. The interview ran in the final ten minutes of the show and was basically Ellen trying to understand professional wrestling and a how a legitimate fighter couldn’t just slip into their old habits and start shooting on people in the ring. These types of interview appearances are important because this is the audience that purchased Rousey’s fights on pay-per-view, people who never bought any other UFC fights but were strictly fans of Rousey. It will be interesting to see the level of media Rousey does over the next three weeks leading into WrestleMania given her extremely limited media over the past two years.
**Here are the matches scheduled for tonight’s NXT episode at 8 pm Eastern on the WWE Network:
*Lacey Evans vs. Dakota Kai
*Pete Dunne vs. Adam Cole for the U.K. title
*Sanity vs. Tino Sabbatelli and Riddick Moss in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic
*Heavy Machinery vs. The Street Profits in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic
*Contract signing between Andrade Cien Almas and Aleister Black for Takeover
**Following this week’s WWE television, the card for WrestleMania appears to be largely constructed and here is how the card is shaping with matches that are official as well as ones expected to be announced:
*Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns for the Universal title – in my opinion the only choices to close the show are this one and the AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura match and I would be choosing the latter option. The WWE is going to extraordinary lengths to position Roman Reigns as the “man of the people” against Lesnar and with three weeks to go, I don’t feel the atmosphere at WrestleMania is going to be any different than any of us anticipate today. The reaction to Lesnar’s next television appearance will be telling to indicate if fans reject Lesnar or accept the notion that it’s the company’s latest plan to get Reigns into a favourable light.
*AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura for the WWE title – If this match gets 25-30 minutes, which I feel is a good possibility, it could go down as one of the better WrestleMania matches of all-time and a match that can adequately close the show despite the long time spent inside the stadium. The build would be greatly enhanced by a series of profile pieces on Nakamura where he can relax in his native language, rely on subtitles and tell the story of his journey to the WWE, decision to leave a major spot in New Japan to come chase a dream in WWE as he embarks on a championship match at WrestleMania. There is such a great story to be told and does not need to be told inside the arena.
*Triple H and Stephanie McMahon vs. Kurt Angle and Ronda Rousey – this is the real main event of the show and will generate the most media attention because of Rousey, who will be relied upon to go out and sell the show to media outlets that only she can get onto.
*John Cena vs. The Undertaker – you would expect this to be locked in on next week’s show as that’s probably the latest you want to wait. Given the closing scene of WrestleMania last year and not completely erasing your own story, ‘Taker coming out with a different appearance or look and retiring the hat and jacket would be something I would consider. Regardless, I hope there is no retirement tease this year because it’s Terry Funk level now.
*Charlotte vs. Asuka for the SmackDown women’s title
*Alexa Bliss vs. Nia Jax for the Raw women’s title
*The Miz vs. Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor for the Intercontinental title
*Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn – everyone expects Shane McMahon to be added either as a three-way or a tag match with Shane getting a partner.
*Randy Orton vs. Bobby Roode vs. Jinder Mahal for the U.S. title – You’re probably looking at a minimum of three kickoff matches and this one could land on the kickoff.
*The Bar vs. Braun Strowman for the Raw tag titles – The only question is whether Strowman will be forced to get a partner or not, there are few options that would work for Strowman, such as a monster tag team with Samoa Joe or the odd couple team they always love to do and the candidate would be Elias.
*The Usos vs. New Day vs. The Bludgeon Brothers for the SmackDown tag titles
*Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
*Fabulous Moolah Memorial Battle Royal – these two matches ensure every member of the roster gets onto the show, one of the battle royals will have to take place on the kickoff and the other can be slotted anywhere on the main card. The Moolah video package indicated women from NXT will be included as I would expect both battle royals to feature NXT talent.
*Cedric Alexander vs. Mustafa Ali or Drew Gulak for the Cruiserweight title – I would guess this match, one of the battle royals and the U.S. title match are most likely for the kickoff lineup. The worst spot on this show is the first match on the kickoff when the audience is still filing in and no one reacts to the match with so few in the stadium.
Those 14 matches appear to be either locked in or close to it, the only one I would unsure of is whether Bayley and Sasha Banks will get a singles match. This is a large card with 14 matches, on top of all the other added elements to the show, the Hall of Fame segment, and a possible Kid Rock performance (which is something this show doesn’t need). Bayley and Banks could easily end up in the women’s battle royal and their singles match is earmarked for the following month. Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt are not accounted for on the show, which could mean they are thrown into the battle royal as I can’t see them airing the Ultimate Deletion and getting another singles match at WrestleMania.
**Impact Wrestling and Lucha Underground have announced an “I Quit Match” between Sami Callihan and Eddie Edwards for their co-promoted event on Friday, April 6th at the Sugar Mill in New Orleans, Louisiana.
**Revolution Pro has announced that Hiroshi Tanahashi and Juice Robinson will take on Aussie Open at their WrestleMania Week show on Friday, April 6th at 4 pm at The Sugar Mill.
**Ring of Honor has announced that Tomohiro Ishii will take on Punishment Martinez at Supercard of Honor on Saturday, April 7th at the UNO Lakefront Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. The card already features Kenny Omega vs. Cody, Dalton Castle vs Marty Scurll for the ROH title and a Ladder Match for the Six-Man tag titles with SoCal Uncensored vs. The Young Bucks and Flip Gordon.
REWIND-A-SMACKDOWN 3/13/18 – Owens & Zayn Attack Shane, Asuka & Charlotte face off
REWIND-A-RAW 3/12/18 – John Cena challenges The Undertaker, Reigns confronts Vince
WWE FASTLANE POST SHOW
John Pollock and Wai Ting review WWE Fastlane, ROH’s 16th Anniversary card, the first three nights of the New Japan Cup, and take your feedback & questions.
REWIND-A-WAI – WRESTLEMANIA XX (Patreon only)
John Pollock and Wai Ting go almost three hours reviewing WrestleMania 20 with the disaster between Brock Lesnar and Bill Goldberg, Chris Benoit’s title win and viewing it today, The Undertaker’s return and tons more.
BRITISH WRESTLING EXPERIENCE 3/8/18: Progress Chapter 64, Fight Club Pro “A Tribute to Francois Trebec”, wXw 16 Carat Preview, 5 Star Wrestling
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