POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE 3/18 – Daniel Bryan keeps door open that he could wrestle at WrestleMania

Daniel Bryan spoke in an interview about the possibility of wrestling at WrestleMania that seems to indicate there is a chance, AJ Styles missed Saturday's house show in Texas, a full rundown of Saturday's UFC card in London, a new edition of WWE 24 set to debut Monday, this month's POST Roundtable Show, and more.

POST IT NOTES

**This month’s POST Wrestling Roundtable show is up on the site as Wai Ting and I are joined by upNXT’s Braden Herrington and Bartender Dave. upNXT is the latest show to join the POST Wrestling network and on this show, we chat about WrestleMania’s promotion, the state of NXT, what that show will look like post-Takeover, the decision to drop the Fabulous Moolah’s name from the battle royal at WrestleMania, what match goes on last at ‘Mania, the Ultimate Deletion, and more. The show can be downloaded at https://www.postwrestling.com/2018/03/18/post-roundtable-3-w-upnxts-braden-herrington-bartender-dave/ and free on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, TuneIn and wherever you listen to podcasts.

**Wai Ting and I will be back Monday night with Rewind-A-Raw and will discuss Monday night’s show from Dallas, Texas.

**WH Park will be returning this Thursday as the two of us will review the New Japan Cup Finals, announce the winner of our New Japan Cup Bracket contest, we will also preview next Sunday’s Long Beach show and discuss many other topics from the world of Japanese wrestling.

**This is also a Rewind-A-Wai week, our Espresso Executive Producer for this show is Jay from OSW and he has selected the Coliseum Home Video, “Smack Em, Whack Em”, which is available on the WWE Network.

WRESTLING NEWS

**On Sunday, Daniel Bryan (Bryan Danielson) spoke to The National outlet from Abu Dhabi and is an interview that will be heavily discussed. The major note from the interview was Bryan indicating there is a chance of him wrestling at WrestleMania in three-weeks. When asked about the potential of having a match at this year’s show, Bryan stated:

I don’t know and I don’t think they know. I think it all depends on whether or not I get cleared. As of this moment, as of today, I am not cleared by WWE.

I have done everything in my power. Everything they have asked me to and I have gone above and beyond as far as ‘Ok, what doctors do you need me to see. Send me to any doctor you want, any doctor that you want and lets get their feedback on what is going on with me’. So far every doctor has cleared me that they have sent me too and so there is a chance.

I used to think that the percentage of the WWE ever clearing me was low. I think with the stuff that I have done it has gone a little higher but I don’t know how much higher.

With how everything is there is one day to go if I don’t get cleared [storyline wise] and then there is another way to go if I am cleared. I am hoping to be cleared but I don’t know which way it goes.

One would assume that Bryan’s status will be known one way or another by this Tuesday with SmackDown Live being promoted around Bryan’s return to television this week.

Bryan was forced to retire by the WWE in February 2016 and he revealed that a test he had taken revealed a “small subacute or chronic lesion in the brain’s temporoparietal region” from many concussions throughout his career. Despite Bryan being cleared by several outside doctors, the WWE’s head physician, Dr. Joseph Maroon, would not clear him to return and as Bryan stated in the interview, his clearance has not been given as of today.

With the worked nature of professional wrestling, you wonder how creative the company could get and what they would be comfortable allowing Bryan to do in the ring. We have seen how cautious they have been with Paige, where she is not even allowed to touch anyone, while Bryan has served as a guest referee.

With Bryan providing the possibility of a match at WrestleMania, it sets up a big letdown if he isn’t wrestling this year. The logical outcome is Shane McMahon either facing Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn on his own, or with a tag partner and so much of SmackDown’s television has been built around Bryan and Shane for the past few months that Bryan not being involved in some capacity seems unlikely, even if it’s as a referee for the match.

Bryan’s contract with the WWE expires this September and he has indicated he has the intention of wrestling again and has been undergoing treatments on his brain. He has also stated that if any tests came back and were a cause of concern, he would not pursue a return to the ring and is proceeding with the belief that he is healthy enough to be wrestling.

**Monday’s episode of Raw takes place from the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas with the following advertised:
*Brock Lesnar appearing on the show
*The Ultimate Deletion with Matt Hardy vs. Bray Wyatt
*The WWE website is listing Ronda Rousey as well

**The SmackDown Live crew has a house show Monday night in Cedar Park, Texas and the television tapings will also be in Dallas this week.

**Zack Sabre Jr. defeated Sanada on Sunday in Shizuoka to advance to the finals of the New Japan Cup against Hiroshi Tanahashi on Wednesday morning. The winner will receive a title match of their choosing at Sakura Genesis on Sunday, April 1st at Sumo Hall. The highlight of the tournament has been the handling of Zack Sabre Jr. and making him a credible threat at the heavyweight division, the addition of Taka Michinoku as his mouthpiece has been a great move.

**The WWE held a live event at Madison Square Garden on Friday night, featuring Brock Lesnar defeating Kane and Braun Strowman to retain the Universal title in the middle of the show. It was Lesnar’s final match before WrestleMania and his third house show match this month. They announced that they will return to Madison Square Garden on Saturday, July 7th and that house show will feature Ronda Rousey’s first appearance at the arena.

**There was an angle at the Madison Square Garden show where the tag match with AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn was turned into a singles match with Nakamura vs. Owens. Owens and Zayn attacked Styles and he was taken to the back but did return later for a save. However, Styles did not work at the house show in Odessa, Texas on Saturday night and it is unknown what his status is.

**The WWE Network will be premiering “WWE 24: Empowered” on the history of the women’s division. There were many interviews shot over Royal Rumble weekend for this project.

**War Machine made an appearance at the NXT live event in Sebring, Florida on Friday night and cut a promo in the ring.

MMA NEWS

**The UFC returned to the O2 Arena in London, England on Saturday for a card that was streamed on Fight Pass. While not a big show on paper, the card delivered in terms of action and some incredible finishes throughout the card and a statement win for heavyweight Alexander Volkov in the main event. They announced a crowd of 16,274 and gate of $2,028,000, which are very impressive considering the lineup. Below are the results:
*Dmitriy Sosnovskiy def. Mark Godbeer by rear-naked choke at 4:29 of Round 2 – Not a great fight in terms of skills, both had opportunities throughout the fight and Sosnovskiy appeared to tire throughout the fight. Sosnovskiy stunned him with a shot, mounted him and then got the rear-naked choke.
*Kajan Johnson def. Stevie Ray by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) – I felt Stevie Ray won the fight and felt confident he has won the second and third rounds. The first round was so uneventful that either could have taken the round. The audience booed the decision and Johnson told the crowd they should be ashamed of themselves for booing them.
*Paul Craig def. Magomed Ankalaev by triangle choke at 4:59 of Round 3 – Ankalaev was winning the entire fight and was caught with a triangle in the final seconds and tapped out, if this was the climax of a movie, it would seem ridiculous.
*Danny Henry def. Hakeem Dawodu by guillotine choke at 0:39 of Round 1 – Henry rocked him with a shot and went for the guillotine, twisted Dawodu’s neck standing and got the tap.
*Danny Roberts def. Oliver Enkamp by KO at 2:12 of Round 1 – Roberts nailed him with a left hand, Enkamp went down, Roberts attacked him and the referee jumped in.
*Charles Byrd def. John Phillips by rear-naked choke at 3:58 of Round 1 – Byrd immediately took Phillips down and mounted him, he eventually took the back and locked on a choke and submitted Phillips.
*Leon Edwards def. Peter Sobotta by TKO at 4:59 of Round 3 – It is unbelievable that two fights were stopped at 4:59 of the third round on the same card. Roberts was one second away from a 30-27 win but had Sobotta mounted and dropping strikes as the referee called off the fight right as the buzzer sounded. Edwards challenged Darren Till, who was seated in the audience.
*Tom Duquesnoy def. Terrion Ware by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27) – I scored the fight 29-28 for Ware with Duquesnoy only winning the first round. A 30-27 card for Duquesnoy is hard to justify as the third round was very strong for Ware. Ware couldn’t believe the judges’ decision and I was pretty stunned too.
*Jan Blachowicz def. Jimi Manuwa by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) – This was a great fight and I had it 29-28 for Blachowicz with Manuwa winning the second round. Blachowicz used his jab well and had a better range of strikes while Manuwa was throwing home run shots. They were discussing a third fight between the since both have a win over the other.
*Alexander Volkov def. Fabricio Werdum by KO at 1:38 of Round 4 – I had Werdum winning Rounds 1 and 2 but he slowed down significantly by the third round and Volkov was able to engage with his striking. In the third, Volkov cut Werdum’s right eye and it was very bad. In the fourth, Volkov rocked him with a right uppercut and finished him with strikes. This will propel Volkov to a bigger fight within the heavyweight division, although will likely need a minimum of one more win before he’s in line for a title fight.

**The Fight of the Night bonus was awarded to Jan Blachowicz and Jimi Manuwa and the Performance bonuses went to Alexander Volkov and Paul Craig for $50,000 apiece.

**The UFC has two-weeks off before their next card, which is the UFC 223 pay-per-view on Saturday, April 7th at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. That is a very strong card with Tony Ferguson vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov and Rose Namajunas vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk on the card in the two championship fights. It’s also taking place on the busiest weekend of the year for professional wrestling and I cannot even fathom that weekend as we draw closer.

*****
POST ROUNDTABLE #3 (w/ upNXT’s Braden Herrington & Bartender Dave)
https://postwrestling.podbean.com/mf/download/4x478s/180318_Roundtable3.mp3
*****
PATREON BONUS: Review of Netflix documentary “Icarus” with John Pollock & Wai Ting
https://www.patreon.com/posts/netflix-review-17580567
*****
KEEP IT 2000 – Ep. 26 – “Hacksaw Is Ready”
Brian Mann and Nate Milton welcome Mouse Jones to review the June 26th, 2000, episode of WCW Monday Nitro.
https://keepit2000.podbean.com/mf/download/2v7kum/Keep-It-2000-June-26-2000.mp3
*****
REWIND-A-SMACKDOWN 3/13/18 – Owens & Zayn Attack Shane, Asuka & Charlotte face off
https://postwrestling.podbean.com/mf/download/hpwgmm/180313_RASD.mp3
*****
REWIND-A-RAW 3/12/18 – John Cena challenges The Undertaker, Reigns confronts Vince
https://postwrestling.podbean.com/mf/download/zcvzkz/180312_RAR.mp3
*****
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.
https://postwrestling.podbean.com/mf/download/emtzw4/180311_FASTLANE.mp3
*****

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About John Pollock 2500 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling.He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.