POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE 3/19 – Saudi Arabian Government working with both WWE and the UFC’s parent company

A preview of Raw from Dallas, the WWE announces seven title matches for the card in Saudi Arabia but no women's title matches, the Saudi Arabian Government buys into the UFC's parent company, the WWE Network adds episodes of WCW Thunder, Ronda Rousey speaks on the potential of being booed, Joyce Grable defends Moolah, and more.

POST IT NOTES

**Wai Ting and I will be back with a new edition of Rewind-A-Raw tonight to discuss tonight’s show from Dallas and all the stories coming out. We will also be taking your feedback and questions at the end.

**For “Double Double” and above members of the POST Wrestling Café, we have our latest POST Production video. Wai Ting and I chat over lunch about upcoming announcements and project ideas we are working on for the site.

**Our latest POST Roundtable is up on the site, featuring Braden Herrington and Bartender Dave, who will be hosting upNXT on the POST Wrestling network. The two will be kicking off their new show this Thursday on the site with a catch up on what has been happening on NXT and a review of this week’s show.

**A reminder that we have an ongoing list of all the WrestleMania Week shows in New Orleans with a master list that is constantly being updated.

SHOWS THIS WEEK:

*Tonight: Rewind-A-Raw
*Tuesday: Rewind-A-SmackDown
*Wednesday: British Wrestling Experience – Strigga joins Oli Court and Benno to chat wXw’s 16 Carat Gold Tournament from earlier this month
*Thursday: upNXT with Braden Herrington and Bartender Dave
*Thursday: WH Park and I are back to chat the New Japan Cup Finals and preview this weekend in Long Beach
*Friday: Rewind-A-Wai – WWF Coliseum Home Video Smack ‘Em, Whack ‘Em with Jay Hunter from OSW (Patreon show)
*Sunday: NJPW Strong Style Evolved POST Show with John Pollock & Wai Ting

WRESTLING NOTES

**The WWE will be producing both Raw and SmackDown Live from the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas this week. Tonight’s show is built around the return of Brock Lesnar after a pair of intentional false advertisements to build the story between Lesnar and Roman Reigns. Presumably, Vince McMahon will be on the show tonight after guaranteeing Lesnar’s presence last week and inserting himself into the angle. The WWE website is also advertising Ronda Rousey and John Cena for the show. They have not announced anything for Rousey, so there is no guarantee she will be on the show.

Tonight will also feature the “Ultimate Deletion” between Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt. There is a lot of pressure for this segment to deliver as so much work has been put into the Hardy’s obtaining the rights to use the characters and get to this point. They have been promoting the match all weekend with the WWE releasing short videos on their YouTube channel and introducing many of the elements from the original. When Impact presented “The Final Deletion” in July 2016, it led to the highest number they have ever done on POP TV.

There will also be a singles match between Alexa Bliss and Asuka on Raw.

**The SmackDown crew has a house show in Cedar Park, Texas and will have the television tapings in Dallas on Tuesday night with Daniel Bryan’s return to television.

**A WWE 24 documentary entitled “Empowered” will be premiering on the WWE Network tonight following Raw and they have posted a trailer.

**An international story with direct ties to the WWE and now the UFC, involves Saudi Arabia’s Prince Mohamed bin Salman. It was reported on Monday that Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund has invested $400 million into Endeavor, the parent company of the Ultimate Fighting Championship and will allow the country a spot with Endeavor’s international advisory board. The investment in a variety of worldwide entertainment properties is tied to a program known as Vision 2030, which is designed to diversify Saudi Arabia’s economy away from oil reliance on entertainment playing a big role. It is through this same program that Saudi Arabia recently announced a ten-year partnership through the Saudi General Sports Authority with the WWE, which begins next month with a major event at King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in Jeddah. Prince Mohamed bin Salman is on a big tour of the United States and is scheduled to meet with President Donald Trump on Tuesday and will be the guest of honor at a dinner next month in Los Angeles, which will be hosted by Endeavor’s CEO, Ari Emanuel. The Prince’s arrival in the U.S. also comes at a time when many are protesting Saudi Arabia’s ongoing conflict in Yemen where the United Nations cites 10,000 civilians have been killed and another 40,000 have been injured.

**The WWE Network has added 77 episodes of WCW Thunder to the service. They have uploaded the episodes from the show’s debut in January 1998 until September 1999. The show was created at the peak of WCW’s popularity and the network wanted an additional show due to the success of Monday Nitro as was met with resistance from Eric Bischoff for concerns of overexposure and the amount of work in producing two additional hours weekly. There were ideas thrown around regarding the New World Order and their own show, which given the success of the singular N.W.O. pay-per-view in January 1997 and when they took over Nitro, would have ended up disastrous. Bischoff has stated in the past that one of the ideas to have Nitro built around Hulk Hogan and Thunder to become Bret Hart’s show. Instead, it was the same stars spread out over two shows instead of one and by 2000, Thunder became unbearable for most watching on a weekly basis. While it isn’t one of the trigger points often cited, January 1998 was a turning point for the company as not only did they introduce Thunder as a two-hour program, but later that month expanded Nitro to three-hours. The additional hours of programming did not show negative effects early on as Nitro continued to perform very strong into 1999 and Thunder was doing very good numbers for TBS throughout the year. It was by mid-1999 when the company’s creative was sinking at a rapid rate and five hours of original content (on top of their weekend Saturday Night and Pro programming) became overwhelming and eventually led to Nitro being reduced to two-hours in January 2000. The idea was that the reduction in Nitro’s length would artificially raise the overall audience. Instead, the audience didn’t increase, and they lost one hour of advertising in prime time.

**It was announced on Monday that Mark Henry is the latest addition to this year’s WWE Hall of Fame class. Edge appeared on the Busted Open Radio show with co-host Bubba Ray and was asked to induct him and D-Von along with Christian. Bubba also teased the idea of The Hardy’s joining Edge and Christian on stage at the Hall of Fame so all six could be together for the induction.

**A vote is going to be held on Tuesday among owners of the Trump Parc Stamford condominiums in Connecticut. This is where Vince McMahon owns a penthouse suite, which he purchased for $4.1 million in 2009, but has since depreciated and is now valued at $1.98 million, although McMahon did buy the suite for $1 million above what it was initially appraised at. The controversy stems from many of the condo owners upset that their units have been devalued because of the association to President Donald Trump. Tuesday’s vote will elect a homeowners’ board and will determine if the new board will proceed with hopes of dropping the association with Trump. The average unit price at Trump Parc has dropped from $1.05 million in 2015 down to $881,563 in 2017 based on the units sold. Both Vince and Linda McMahon declined to comment to the Washington Post regarding the story.

**Ronda Rousey spoke to the Mirror in the U.K. about her appearance at the Royal Rumble and the initial reaction from the audience. In Rousey’s estimation, she expected she was going to be booed at the start and was fine with generating that reaction, stating it would make Roddy Piper proud. In reading this interview, it certainly comes off that Rousey would embrace an eventual heel turn and play that role. In one of the more revealing statements (they are few and far between from Rousey today), she examined her relationship with the public as the “most dysfunctional relationship in my life” and stated:

All that emotion on my face was actually real, I was expecting to get booed out of the arena. And I still am a lot of times when I walk out there, ha ha. You know? Because if my relationship with the public in general was a relationship with an actual person, it would be the most dysfunctional relationship of my life and I probably would have took that person out of my life a long time ago.

So it’s hard to trust people to not break your heart when you go out there. So I get out there with a very thick skin and ready for everybody to try and like, I don’t know, screw me up somehow… But the open arms I received coming into the industry, it makes me want to cry every time I think about it. And I know any day from now that could switch and they could decide they hate my guts.

**Bill Apter spoke with Joyce Grable regarding last week’s story involving the Fabulous Moolah and the allegations that were brought back to light after the announcement of the battle royal. Grable worked for Moolah for 13-years, beginning in 1971 and lasted until 1984. Grable said the women knew upfront in the contract how much money Moolah took a percentage and it wasn’t hidden. Grable asked for a raise at the end, was denied it by Moolah and she gave her notice and left. Grable outright denied any of the allegations of Moolah pimping out the women and sending any men to the women’s rooms. Grable specified an incident where Moolah was approached by a German promoter to bring Grable over where they had the women wear two-piece suits during the match and the loser would have their top removed. Grable said she wouldn’t do it and Moolah didn’t proceed further with the promoter.

**All Japan Pro Wrestling has launched their streaming service at https://www.ajpw.tv. If you sign up and provide your information, you will not be charged for the remainder of the month and billing will go into effect in April. The first major show is this Sunday’s Power Dream Series, which is headlined by Joe Doering vs. Kento Miyahara for the Triple Crown. The service features content from 2017 but nothing beyond that and it doesn’t appear any of the classic All Japan footage will be on the service as the promotion does not own the rights to it. In the case of All Japan with NTV and New Japan with TV-Asahi, it is the broadcaster that controlled the rights and is the reason that New Japan World is owned by both entities. Once billing goes into effect, the All Japan streaming service will cost 900 yen per month, which is equivalent to $8.51 U.S. or $11.12 Canadian.

**The Nashville-based Aro Lucha promotion has announced that they will seek to crowdfund as a source of revenue with a site launched at https://wefunder.com/arolucha with seven investors thus far pooling $1,647 (their listed goal is a wide range between $50,000 and $1,070,000). The promotion is listing Rey Mysterio and Konnan as shareholders and partners in the company with Konnan listed as head writer and Mysterio as a wrestler for the first season (they are targeting June 2018 for their first season of tapings). The structure of the company includes Jason Brown as the C.E.O., Bill, and Kathy Campbell are listed as the Chief Capital Officers (they are listed as part-time officers, so this is not their full-time job), and Ron & Don Harris are also listed with Ron as the VP of Talent Relations and Don as VP of Production. The way the crowdfunding is set up is that those pledging money will receive non-voting Class B stock with Jason Brown holding the majority voting power with Class A stock, so while fans will have a stock, they will essentially have no impact on any decisions made by the company. The key is the promotion finding more stable revenue in the form of a lucrative television deal and other revenue streams beyond fans pledging money. Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported this past weekend that Mysterio is still negotiating with the WWE and it doesn’t appear his involvement with Aro Lucha could prevent him from returning to the WWE.

**The WWE issued a press release on Monday to advertise that seven title matches will take place on “The Greatest Royal Rumble” card on Friday, April 27th in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. In addition to the 50-man Royal Rumble Match, they are promoting that the Universal, WWE, Intercontinental, United States, Raw tag, SmackDown tag, and Cruiserweight titles will be defended on the show. It is notable that neither of the women’s titles is being advertised nor are any women promoted among the talent appearing thus far. The names listed thus far for the show are John Cena, Triple H, Roman Reigns, AJ Styles, Braun Strowman, New Day, Randy Orton, Bray Wyatt, and Shinsuke Nakamura.

**AJ Styles missed Sunday’s house show in San Angelo, Texas and there was an announcement at the start of the show that he had suffered an injury at Madison Square Garden on Friday. It would appear whatever injury he had was sustained prior as they did an angle at the start of Friday’s show to remove Styles from a tag match with Shinsuke Nakamura against Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn, although Styles did run in later to help Nakamura. Sunday’s show in San Angelo was headlined with Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura defeating Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn.

**Ring of Honor has announced that The Briscoes will defend the ROH tag titles against Hiroshi Tanahashi and Jay Lethal at Supercard of Honor on Saturday, April 7th in New Orleans at the UNO Lakefront Center.

**The annual six-man tag at the WWN Supershow in New Orleans will feature DJZ, Darby Allin & Trey Miguel taking on Austin Theory, Travis Banks & Zachery Wentz. WWN has also added a SHINE championship match to this card with LuFisto defending against Holidead. The WWN Supershow takes place Friday, April 6th, at the Pontchartrain Convention Center in New Orleans.

**A tag match has been added to the Impact Wrestling vs. Lucha Underground card on Friday, April 6th in New Orleans with Santana and Ortiz defending the Impact tag titles against The Mack and Killshot.

**Minoru Suzuki will be taking on Jeff Cobb at the Revolution Pro card on Friday, April 6th at The Sugar Mill in New Orleans, Louisiana.

**MLW has announced that Matt Sydal will debut with the promotion against Low Ki at their “World Championship Finals” event on Thursday, April 12th, at the Gilt Nightclub. The show will feature Matt Riddle vs. Shane Strickland in the finals of the MLW title tournament, and they have also announced a match between Priscilla Kelly and Santana Garrett.

**The WWE stock closed at $36.48 on Monday.

*****
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
*****

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About John Pollock 206 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.