POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE 3/27 – Ronda Rousey doesn’t want to speak about her MMA career

Ronda Rousey had several awkward exchanges with ESPN on Tuesday, back up ideas for Daniel Bryan's match at WrestleMania, nine women defend the Fabulous Moolah, Sakura Genesis card released, EVIL returns, WWE Network expected to add "Saturday Night" episodes, Road Dogg to induct Jeff Jarrett, and more.

POST IT NOTES

**This week’s edition of Rewind-A-Raw can be found on the main page of the site and on iTunes, Stitcher, Android and any other decide and podcast app you use. Wai and I have a full review of Monday’s show from Cleveland, the major angles from the show, as well as a discussion on the health issues of Shane McMahon, the matches announced for the WWE’s “Greatest Royal Rumble” card in Saudi Arabia, and your feedback to Raw. You can download the show at https://www.postwrestling.com/2018/03/27/rewind-a-raw-3-26-18-cena-mimics-undertaker-ronda-rousey-vs-absolution/.

**We will be back late Tuesday night with Rewind-A-SmackDown to chat SmackDown and whatever is done regarding Daniel Bryan’s match for WrestleMania, a review of 205 Live, and the Mixed Match Challenge semi-finals.

SHOWS THIS WEEK:
*Tonight: Rewind-A-SmackDown
*Thursday: Keep It 2000 with Brian Mann and Nate Milton (July 3, 2000, WCW Monday Nitro)
*Thursday: upNXT with Braden Herrington and Bartender Dave
*Friday: Ask-A-Wai mailbag show (Patreon)
*Sunday: NJPW Sakura Genesis review (Patreon)

WRESTLING NEWS

**The WWE’s television tapings for SmackDown, 205 Live, and the Mixed Match Challenge take place from the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh tonight. The major focus of the show is the handling of Shane McMahon’s illness and putting together Daniel Bryan’s match for WrestleMania with Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. The coverage of Bryan’s return and curiosity about the new match should lead to another strong number after last week’s strong performance. The following has been announced for the tapings tonight:
*Randy Orton and Bobby Roode vs. Jinder Mahal and Sunil Singh
*Charlotte vs. Natalya
*The Bludgeon Brothers vs. New Day
*Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Shelton Benjamin
*Bobby Roode and Charlotte vs. Finn Balor and Sasha Banks on the Mixed Match Challenge
*Kalisto vs. TJP vs. Akira Tozawa vs. Buddy Murphy on 205 Live

**There are several scenarios where they could go with Daniel Bryan for WrestleMania, although none of the options are a perfect fit or even logistically possible. The easiest option is making it a three-way or handicap match with Bryan, Owens, and Zayn, although that option may be the safest, it is also missing something where the match is presented as incomplete without Shane McMahon involved. From a strict storyline point of view, the logical replacement is Vince McMahon to payoff the Kevin Owens headbutt angle and seek revenge for his son, although Vince and Daniel Bryan are an odd combination. There is a history with Kane and Bryan, but it takes down Bryan’s return and reverts him to his comedy run and I don’t like that dynamic for his return match. Dolph Ziggler is so cold and the last thing you want is to pair Bryan with someone the audience is on not on board with. Some have suggested Chris Jericho, which if it was an option would probably be the best choice given his history with Owens. The problem is Jericho is in the middle of a tour with Fozzy and is scheduled for a show in New Hampshire on April 8th. It would be bad business for Fozzy to cancel any shows so that their lead singer could go and do a wrestling show, it wouldn’t be a call I would make if I was Jericho. There is a long list of guys ready to return with Big Cass, Jeff Hardy, Samoa Joe, and the expected arrival of Bobby Lashley, which I would peg as highly unlikely for any of those four. There isn’t an easy answer if the idea is to present a tag match, the positive is that the key component is Bryan and his first match since 2015. Regardless of what they go with, Bryan is part of the match and that alone makes it an important match and to some it will be the real main event of the show.

**Ronda Rousey was at ESPN on Tuesday doing media for WrestleMania, including an interview on “Golic and Wingo”. The interview did not get off to a good start when Rousey was asked about a potential return to MMA. The question was badly worded, although the essence of the question wasn’t hard to decipher, and Rousey did not show any patience. The interview recovered, she discussed her training for WrestleMania and equated pro wrestling as closer to stunt work with choreography rather than MMA.

There was an even more awkward exchange on ESPN’s First Take between Max Kellerman and Rousey. Kellerman was trying to ask Rousey about the backlash people gave her following her losses. Rousey was in no mood to discuss her losses, which are inevitably going to be brought up continually as she is doing media for WrestleMania. It isn’t even that she doesn’t want to address the losses I have an issue with, but rather the disdain and contempt she has for any reporter even asking her. Yes, this is a sensitive subject for Rousey, but she is accepting a position to be a major promotional element to WrestleMania and with that comes media obligations where questions on her past will be asked. Based off the feature that aired on Raw last Monday, it is clear in the right setting (ie: WWE) she will give some response to the losses when she noted that she felt that “God hated me” after her loss to Amanda Nunes.

**New Japan Pro Wrestling has released the full card for this Sunday’s Sakura Genesis card at Sumo Hall in Tokyo. The show will be streaming early Sunday morning at 3 am Eastern on New Japan World with the following announced for the show:
*Kazuchika Okada vs. Zack Sabre Jr. for the IWGP heavyweight title
*Kenny Omega and Kota Ibushi vs. Cody and Hangman Page
*Will Ospreay vs. Marty Scurll for the IWGP junior heavyweight title
*Yoshinobu Kanemaru and El Desperado vs. Roppongi 3K vs. Hiromu Takahashi and Bushi for the IWGP junior heavyweight tag titles
*Minoru Suzuki and Killer Elite Squad vs. Tetsuya Naito, EVIL & Sanada
*Hiroshi Tanahashi, Juice Robinson & David Finlay vs. Hirooki Goto, Jay White & Yoshi-Hashi
*Bad Luck Fale and Guerrillas of Destiny vs. Togi Makabe, Michael Elgin & Ryusuke Taguchi for the NEVER six-man tag titles
*Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano vs. Taichi and Takashi Iizuka
*The Young Bucks vs. Chase Owens and Yujiro

**Shane McMahon posted a photo from the hospital with his three sons and wrote:

Thank you everyone for the get well wishes. It truly helps. Im healing up, and I have the best medicine in the world with me.

**The WWE announced on Tuesday that Road Dogg (Brian James) will be inducting Jeff Jarrett into the Hall of Fame on Friday, April 6th, at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans. They have yet to announce who will be inducting Mark Henry, Hillbilly Jim, or Kid Rock.

**The Matt Riviera Show has compiled a series of statements from nine different people defending The Fabulous Moolah (Lillian Ellison) after the decision to remove her name from the marketing of the women’s battle royal at WrestleMania. The women defending Moolah include her daughter Mary Ellison, Joyce Grable, Leilani Kai, Susan Green, Brittany Brown, Diamond Lil, Peggy Lee Leather, Lisa Darnell, and Winona Littleheart.

**Ring of Honor C.O.O. Joe Koff spoke to Brian Fritz at The Sporting News to promote Supercard of Honor. Koff touched on a number of topics throughout the discussion, including that Impact Wrestling did have to approve Austin Aries’ appearing on the 16th Anniversary pay-per-view earlier this month in Las Vegas. When Koff was asked about the relationship with New Japan Pro Wrestling and New Japan possibly working on their own in the future, he gave this answer:

As a businessperson, I’m concerned about all of those things. Some of it’s in my control; some of it’s out of my control. Ring of Honor has been a resilient organization. We’ve had amazing people in Ring of Honor and have left Ring of Honor. There’s been lots of obits written when those people have left. The organization has never been stronger. I think one of the reasons that the organization has a lot of strength is we have distribution, we have television, we have a strong company that backs us, and we have a strong belief system in what we do. While name talent has always been part of Ring of Honor’s lore, Ring of Honor is a brand and a style of wrestling.

When certain people have left, and I can name them all through history going back to CM Punk who is now in UFC, and then Bryan Danielson, Kevin Owens now and Sami Zayn who are big stars on “SmackDown.” You could see it then that’s what they wanted and they were really good then but the organization didn’t stop when they left. The organization kept going because it’s organically strong. I like that part. So, if New Japan goes their separate ways and wants to become a competitor in the United States for professional wrestling, then we’ll deal with that when we have to deal with that.

**AJ Styles was interviewed by SI.com about his upcoming match with Shinsuke Nakamura at WrestleMania 34. Styles was adamant he would be wrestling on the show, despite whatever injury he is working through (Styles did work the house shows this past weekend in eight-man tags). He stated that both he and Nakamura have the mindset of going out and having one of the greatest matches in WrestleMania history.

**The Wrap reported on Monday that the Looking 4 Larry Agency, run by Paul Heyman and Mitchell Stuart, has struck a deal with Roy Bank’s Banca Studio. The deal calls for the creation of non-scripted content across various platforms, beginning with a potential series built around Heyman.

**Next week’s episode of Raw from Atlanta will feature a “Face off” segment involving Ronda Rousey, Kurt Angle, Triple H, and Stephanie McMahon. They have also announced a singles match between Seth Rollins and Finn Balor for the final Raw before WrestleMania 34.

**The WWE announced on Monday that Dean Ambrose was being pulled from his scheduled VIP signing at WWE Axxess over WrestleMania weekend. Ambrose was scheduled for a signing on Sunday morning at 10 am and will be replaced by Sting and Ric Flair. Ambrose has been on the sidelines since December following surgery on his triceps and is not expected back for several months. It is the first serious injury that Ambrose has suffered since joining the WWE as he has had the reputation of one of the promotion’s “ironmen” throughout his tenure on the main roster.

**The WWE Network News site has reported that episodes of WCW Saturday Night are expected to be added to the WWE Network next Monday. The site states that the episodes to be added will begin from 1992 and estimates around 100 hours of additional content during this upload. Prior to the launch of Monday Nitro in September 1995, Saturday Night was the flagship program for WCW on TBS in the traditional 6:05 pm timeslot on the network. The addition of Saturday Night programming to the network comes just a few weeks after they added archived episodes of WCW Thunder from January 1998 – September 1999.

**The George Tragos / Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame has announced their 2018 induction class with the following scheduled to be inducted over the weekend of July 26-28th in Waterloo, Iowa:
*Booker T. will receive the Lou Thesz Award
*Bruiser Brody will be posthumously awarded the Frank Gotch Award
*Ben Askren will receive the George Tragos Award
*Koji Miyamoto will receive the Jim Melby Award

**Scott D’Amore attended Strong Style Evolved on Sunday in Long Beach along with fellow Impact executive Don Callis. Callis was in town doing work for New Japan World, including calling the matches at the New Japan Dojo on Saturday and co-hosting the pre-show with Kevin Kelly on Sunday.

**New Japan will also have a “Road to Sakura Genesis” event this Friday morning from Korakuen Hall at 5:30 am Eastern with the following matches:
*Kazuchika Okada and Yoshi-Hashi vs. Zack Sabre Jr. and Taichi
*Minoru Suzuki, Killer Elite Squad, El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Tetsuya Naito, EVIL, Sanada & Bushi
*Hiroshi Tanahashi, KUSHIDA & Tiger Mask vs. Toru Yano and Roppongi 3K
*Hirooki Goto, Jay White & Tomohiro Ishii vs. Juice Robinson, David Finlay & Toa Henare
*Togi Makabe, Michael Elgin & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Tiger Mask & Tomoyuki Oka
*Yuji Nagata vs. Shota Umino
*Ren Narita vs. Tetsuhiro Yagi

This will be EVIL’s return from a broken orbital bone that he sustained on the tour of Australia in February.

*****
REWIND-A-RAW 3/26/18: Cena mimics Undertaker, Ronda Rousey vs. Absolution
https://postwrestling.podbean.com/mf/download/pdcfeg/180326_RAR.mp3
*****
NJPW Strong Style Evolved Review w/ Dan Lovranski
John Pollock & Wai Ting review the Strong Style Evolved card and chat with Dan Lovranski, who attended the card in Long Beach as well as the PWG show on Friday night.
https://postwrestling.podbean.com/mf/download/mjt2xf/180326_NJPW_SSE.mp3
*****
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
*****

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About John Pollock 1125 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.