POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE 3/23 – WWE confirms talks have taken place with Hulk Hogan

The WWE has issued a statement confirming recent talks with Hulk Hogan, Dr. Robert Cantu speaks on Bryan Danielson's clearance, history of black female wrestlers from 50's, Molly Holly to induct Ivory into Hall of Fame, review of Impact Wrestling, PWG card tonight, review of Coliseum Video on Rewind-A-Wai, and more.

POST IT NOTES

**We have a new Rewind-A-Wai show out today as Wai and I review the Coliseum Home Video “Smack ‘Em, Whack ‘Em”, chosen by Espresso Executive Producer Jay Hunter from OSW Review. This video features the 1992 WWF title change with Bret Hart defeating Ric Flair in Saskatoon, which never aired on television and we discuss the snap decision to put the title on Hart, the issues Flair had going into this match with his health and other notes. It also features the first ladder match in the WWF’s history with Hart vs. Shawn Michaels, home improvement tutorials from The Bushwhackers, a trip to a Hibachi style restaurant with Yokozuna, Crush vs. The Berzerker, The Undertaker vs. Razor Ramon, and we take your feedback. It is $6 to sign up for the POST Wrestling Café and will include every bonus show we put out, including our WrestleMania weekend shows we will have from New Orleans. You can sign up now at www.POSTwrestlingCafe.com.

**Wai Ting and I have a new POST Production video up discussing advertising, merchandise plans, upcoming Patreon shows, and other news concerning POST Wrestling. Our videos are available for Double Double, Iced Capp, and Espresso members of the POST Wrestling Café.

**Wai Ting and I will be back Sunday night with a free show reviewing the New Japan Strong Style Evolved card from Long Beach, California.

**We are looking for any live reports from people attending the WWE show in Toronto, PWG in Reseda, Impact Wrestling in California, AIW in Cleveland, and any other live shows going on this weekend. You can send show notes to john@POSTwrestling.com.

WRESTLING NEWS

**The WWE’s stance towards Hulk Hogan returning to the company appears to have softened with the two sides have engaged in talks over recent weeks, according to the reporting of Mike Johnson with PWinsider.com.

Johnson reported that talks have taken place over the past few weeks, although the extent of Hogan’s relationship or role within WWE if a return occurs, is unknown. The WWE issued the following statement and confirmed talks have taken place between both parties:

We have had discussions with Terry Bollea (aka Hulk Hogan) about how he can help others learn from his mistakes, however, he is not under any contract with WWE.

Hogan’s latest stint with the WWE began in early 2014 after Hogan’s contract expired with Impact Wrestling and he returned to the company and served as the host of WrestleMania 30 in New Orleans. Hogan also served as an ambassador for the company and was also hired as a judge on the “Tough Enough” series on the USA Network in 2015. Hogan’s tenure with the company was immediately ended following the contents of his sex tape with Heather Clem becoming public with several racist remarks from the tape being made public. The company ceased ties with Hogan, who pursued legal action against Gawker Media for the release of the tape and eventually led to a $140 million judgment and $31 million settlement.

In light of the recent controversy surrounding the decision to honor The Fabulous Moolah with the naming of the women’s battle royal, it would seem an exceptional sensitive time period to reintroduce Hogan in any capacity with the concern of sponsorship backlash. Ultimately, the WWE would need to clear this decision with all parties with whom they conduct business with, although even if sponsors sign off today, it is unknown what the public’s response will be towards Hogan and if they will put pressure on sponsors and advertisers, which was the case in the Moolah situation and public backlash aimed at Snickers, the title sponsor of WrestleMania.

The WWE must see a value in Hogan, even if his image has taken a significant hit over the past three years since the racist language was made public. Hogan is not in a position where health wise you would believe the WWE would be comfortable putting him in a match and showing the same caution they have for Jerry Lawler, Ricky Steamboat, and Ric Flair (even prior to last summer’s health scare for Flair). My gut tells me a large portion of fans will dismiss the negative attached to Hogan, he would receive a tremendous reaction upon his return and can be utilized in the promotional events on the international stadium events they have planned for 2018 that would be drawn to the legend of Hogan. Each person is going to have their own opinion of how Hogan should be viewed and utilized, for some, his conduct was irredeemable and not worth the headaches that his return will bring, and others will feel that he has paid his penance and should not be ex-communicated from the WWE for the rest of his life.

**Newsweek spoke to Dr. Robert Cantu, who is one of the leading authorities on concussion research and was also one of the doctors that Bryan Danielson was sent out to be examined by prior to his clearance this past week. Dr. Cantu stated the following findings when examining Bryan and not having any hesitation regarding his return to the ring:

I evaluated Bryan for a neurological opinion on return to WWE on February 26, 2018. Included in his medical records were multiple evaluations by renowned concussion clinicians. I determined that Bryan is currently asymptomatic, has a normal detailed neurological and cognitive neuropsychological examination, normal EEG, and an MRI that showed no definite evidence of a prior brain injury. It is my medical opinion that there is no absolute contraindication to his return to in-ring action in WWE.

**Corey Erdman has written a feature for VICE Sports, examining the legacies of Ethel Johnson, Babs Wingo, Kathleen Wimbley, and Marva Scott, who were first black female wrestlers, who began in the early 50’s. The article noted their drawing ability and citing a figure of $300 per week the women were making and a listed attendance of 9,000 they drew for a Kansas City card in 1954 at the Municipal Auditorium. They will also be the subject of an upcoming documentary called “Lady Wrestler”, which is scheduled to premiere on March 29th at the Wexner Center for the Arts and there is also a trailer for the documentary:

**It’s a big weekend in Southern California with Pro Wrestling Guerilla running a card tonight and New Japan Pro Wrestling running the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach on Sunday night. The PWG “Time is a Flat Circle” show will take place from The Globe Theatre, a rare departure from the American Legion Post after an issue with PayPal that led to an overselling of tickets, forcing the promotion to book a larger venue rather than refund tickets. Below is the card for tonight’s event:
*Chuck Taylor vs. Keith Lee for the PWG title
*Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Matt Riddle
*Will Ospreay vs. Adam Brooks
*Dezmond Xavier and Zachary Wentz vs. Bandido and Flamita
*Jeff Cobb vs. Jonah Rock
*Brody King vs. Eli Everfly vs. Douglas James vs. Jake Atlas
*Rey Horus vs. Joey Janela

**The WWE has a house show tonight at the Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto, Ontario with the Raw crew. They are advertising an eight-man tag main event with Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Finn Balor & Matt Hardy vs. The Miz, Bray Wyatt, Curtis Axel & Bo Dallas, as well as a four-way with Alexa Bliss vs. Mickie James vs. Bayley vs. Nia Jax. The Raw crew also has shows in Kitchener, Ontario on Saturday and Buffalo, New York on Sunday. John Cena is scheduled for Sunday’s show.

**The SmackDown crew begin Saturday night in Trenton, New Jersey and they also have an eight-man tag advertised with AJ Styles & New Day vs. Rusev, Aiden English, Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable. Dave Meltzer reported on the Wrestling Observer Newsletter site that Styles has been cleared to return to the ring this weekend at the house shows. The same crew is in Fairfax, Virginia on Sunday.

**To sell the firing storyline, the WWE has removed Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn from this weekend’s advertising as they are not listed for any of the house shows. The two are advertised for Tuesday’s SmackDown tapings in Pittsburgh.

**For those in Canada, the Strong Style Evolved card will only be airing on New Japan World. Several people asked us if Fight Network would be carrying the show and they will not be.

**The WWE has announced that Molly Holly will be inducting Ivory into the WWE Hall of Fame. Earlier in the week, they announced Edge and Christian would be inducting The Dudley Boyz. The Hall of Fame takes place on Friday, April 6th at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans. The other inductees include: Bill Goldberg, Mark Henry, Jeff Jarrett, Hillbilly Jim, Kid Rock and the Warrior Award recipient will be Jarrius Robertson.

**The Revolution Pro card in New Orleans will be taking place Friday, April 6th at The Sugar Mill and is one of many loaded cards that weekend. Their latest match announcement is a six-man tag with Kota Ibushi, Shane Strickland, and Flip Gordon vs. Will Ospreay, Rocky Romero, and Chuckie T. Ibushi is currently scheduled for three matches that weekend as he will also be teaming with Kenny Omega on Thursday, April 5th at the WrestleCon Supershow against Chuckie T. and a partner to be named, and Ibushi faces Hangman Page at the Supercard of Honor event on Saturday, April 7th.

**Benno from the British Wrestling Experience has put together a schedule of all the events from WrestleMania Week that will be available for live streaming and their start times.

**Penta El Zero and Fenix have been announced for the “All In” event on September 1st at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. They join Cody, Kenny Omega, The Young Bucks, Marty Scurll, Hangman Page, Tessa Blanchard, and Stephen Amell, who have already been announced for the event.

**Kenny Omega spoke to Dave Doyle at Yahoo Sports about this Sunday’s card in Long Beach, New Japan’s conservative approach to the North American community and The Golden Lovers appeal to the LGBT community. There is also an article at Paste Magazine that examines the role of Omega and Kota Ibushi as a symbol for the gay community and professional wrestling moving forward through this story rather than the historical presentation of gay characters within the industry.

**Here is the background for Zack Sabre Jr’s inspiration behind the “Orienteering with Napalm Death” submission that has been popularized throughout the New Japan Cup.

**Lilian Garcia will be the guest ring announcer for the WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal at WrestleMania.

**The WWE has announced several media appearances for next week. Ronda Rousey will be appearing on several ESPN programs next Tuesday, including Golic and Wingo at 9 am Eastern on ESPN 2, Sportscenter at 10 am, and First Take at 11:30 am. On Wednesday, Paul Levesque and Stephanie McMahon will be on Sportscenter at 10:30 am and First Take at 11 am. Next Thursday, John Cena will be hosting The Today Show on NBC and then will appear on Jimmy Kimmel Live that night at 11:35 pm on ABC. They will also fly the Raw and SmackDown women’s champions to New York to appear on The Today Show the morning after WrestleMania, which means a horrific day of travel as at least the Raw champion will have to be back in New Orleans that night for the show.

**Mark Henry will be a special guest at WaleMania on Thursday, April 5th in at Republic NOLA in New Orleans. Henry will be taking part in a meet-and-greet with golden and platinum ticket holders from 7-8:30 pm. Following the meet-and-greet, Henry will be joining Wai Ting and I on the podcast panel, which we are hosting to chat a bit about his Hall of Fame induction that weekend and touch on his career. There are a limited amount of general admission tickets remaining for WaleMania at https://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/1588424.

**Natalya announced in her Calgary Sun column that she will be in the Women’s Battle Royal at WrestleMania.

**MLW had announced more matches for the “World Championship Final” card on Thursday, April 12th in Orlando. They will have a rematch between Pentagon Dark and Fenix, as well as a “Fans Pick the Stipulation Match” with Sami Callihan and Joey Janela vs. Jimmy Havoc and Darby Allin.

**Ring of Honor has announced a “First Blood Match” between Cody and Matt Taven for April 15th in Columbus, Ohio at their Masters of the Craft event, which will stream on Honor Club that night.

**Impact Wrestling has announced that they will be running a show in the U.K in conjunction with the Wrestling MediaCon convention in September. Impact will be holding an event at the Bowlers Exhibition Centre in Manchester, England. For those attending, you can either buy a Platinum VIP ticket, which includes access to the Impact event or you will have to buy a separate ticket for the Impact show.

**War Machine wrestled their first WWE match on Thursday at the NXT live event in Jacksonville, Florida. The were introduced under their regular name and defeated Cezar Bononi and Adrian Jaoude.

**Alexa Bliss made several media appearances around Toronto on Friday to promote tonight’s house show at the Ricoh Coliseum. She spoke to Breakfast Television about overcoming her eating disorder:

TELEVISION REVIEW

Impact Wrestling (March 22nd)
-This week’s show featured the briefcase reveals from the Feast or Fired match that aired last week. The results saw Moose receive the Impact title shot, Petey Williams got the X division shot, Eli Drake the tag title shot, and Ethan Carter III received the “fired” briefcase. It was amusing given the theme of the show that Jeremy Borash bookended the show, although they have never explained why he is no longer on commentary other than he isn’t. Carter attacked Borash and beat him into episodic death where Borash will seek indefinite physical therapy at the Full Sail University medical center. After that attack, Brian Cage came out and laid out Carter to write him off the show.
-I have been enjoying the segments with Austin Aries and Alberto El Patron ahead of their pay-per-view match next month at Redemption. This week, they had an in-ring promo segment and both come off as confident and natural speakers with a focus on being the champion and underlying dislike for the other. The chemistry is very good between them and is the best El Patron has come off in a long time.
-The handling of the commentary situation and Josh Mathews serving as heel advisor to Matt Sydal is a mess. Granted, they didn’t realize Borash was leaving the company when they shot this angle with Mathews joining Sydal, but now that Mathews is remaining on commentary, Mathews is playing two different characters on the same show. Mathews disappears from commentary during his segments and Sonjay Dutt calls the match by himself, which isn’t working and Dutt is brand new on commentary, that it’s unfair to throw him into a situation like that and he badly needs someone to work off as solo commentary is very difficult.
-The Monster’s Ball Match between Kongo Kongo and Abyss was an average hardcore match, they teased Abyss getting his hands onto Jimmy Jacobs and chokeslamming him, but Kongo stopped Abyss and won the match. I would assume this is building to something at Redemption where Abyss will finally get revenge on Jacobs. The addition of Father Jim Mitchell helps the Abyss character a lot.
-There were also a series of segments involving Sami Callihan stalking Alisha, the wife of Eddie Edwards, at a hotel and Edwards racing to save her. It ended with Edwards finding Callihan dressed up as the hotel cleaning woman (presumably he killed the original cleaner) and they brawled in the hotel. This sounds silly recapping it, but I felt the first-person features from Callihan’s perspective were done well and regardless of your opinion on the baseball incident, it has made Callihan into a much more cut and dry heel to the audience and amplified the feud with Edwards.
-Next week’s show will feature Brian Cage vs. Bobby Lashley as they begin Lashley’s swan song.

*****
REWIND-A-WAI – WWF Coliseum Video: Smack ‘Em, Whack ‘Em (Patreon-only)
John Pollock and Wai Ting review this 1993 Coliseum Home video release, featuring Bret Hart winning the WWF title from Ric Flair and the first WWF ladder match between Hart and Shawn Michaels. We also are joined by Espresso Executive Producer Jay Hunter from OSW Review.
https://www.patreon.com/posts/17713168
*****
NEW JAPAN CUP FINAL REVIEW WITH JOHN POLLOCK & WH PARK

https://postwrestling.podbean.com/mf/download/f6wgcx/POST-WRESTLING-WH-Park-March-2018.mp3
*****
upNXT 3/22/18: A New Beginning, Adam Cole vs. Kassius Ohno, Roderick Strong finds a partner
https://upnxt.podbean.com/mf/download/9xwtcg/UPNXTMAR222018.mp3
*****
BWE 3/21/18: wXw 16 Carat Gold, ZSJ in New Japan Cup, Demise of 5 Star Wrestling
https://britishwrestlingexperience.podbean.com/mf/download/hdanqj/180321_BWE.mp3
*****
REWIND-A-SMACKDOWN 3/20/18: Daniel Bryan cleared; attacked by Owens/Zayn
https://postwrestling.podbean.com/mf/download/rdd4cx/180321_RASD.mp3
*****
BREAKING NEWS AUDIO: Daniel Bryan cleared by the WWE
https://postwrestling.podbean.com/mf/download/rwv37e/BREAKING-NEWS-Daniel-Bryan-Cleared.mp3

*****
REWIND-A-RAW 3/19/18: The Ultimate Deletion, Roman vs. US Marshals, WWE 24
https://postwrestling.podbean.com/mf/download/n6hsbp/180319_RAR.mp3

*****
POST ROUNDTABLE #3 (w/ upNXT’s Braden Herrington & Bartender Dave)
https://postwrestling.podbean.com/mf/download/4x478s/180318_Roundtable3.mp3
*****

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About John Pollock 996 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.