POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE 4/20: Remembering Bruno Sammartino

We look at a lot of the coverage for Bruno Sammartino this week, Alexa Bliss scheduled for Backlash, MLW debuts on beIN Sports, WWE tour in South Africa, how U.K. viewers can watch the Impact pay-per-view, new deal with 5Spike, Young Bucks' final night at famous venue, New Orleans police investigating WrestleCon incident, Andre the Giant doc review, and more.

POST IT NOTES

**This week’s special Patreon bonus show features Wai Ting and I reviewing the HBO “Andre the Giant” documentary that just premiered. The two of us share our thoughts on the documentary, which subjects came off best, the narrative chosen, the emphasis on Hulk Hogan and WrestleMania 3, the Vince McMahon interview and what was learned, and lots of other observations. Then, we chat with historian and producer Pat Laprade, who worked on and is featured in the documentary to chat about the behind-the-scenes of the project, traveling to France to interview Andre’s family, and the book he is writing on Andre’s life and career. The show is available to all members of the POST Wrestling Café and you can sign up at http://www.POSTwrestlingCafe.com

**We have posted a 12-minute preview of our interview with Pat Laprade, discussing the Andre the Giant documentary.

**This week did a special tribute show looking at the life and career of Bruno Sammartino with Wai Ting, Dan “The Mouth” Lovranski and I. That show can be downloaded at https://www.postwrestling.com/2018/04/18/bruno-sammartino-1935-2018/.

**We would like to welcome Davie Portman to upNXT as he will join Braden Herrington for weekly reviews of NXT. Their first show together is available on the site and you can subscribe directly to upNXT on iTunes and any program or device with information at https://www.postwrestling.com/subscribe/.

**On Sunday, I will be joined by Nate Milton as the two of us will review the Impact Wrestling “Redemption” card after it concludes. We will review the show and take an overall look at Impact as they present their first pay-per-view of 2018 and look at the health of the promotion. This show will be available for everyone on the site and by subscribing to POST Wrestling on iTunes.

WRESTLING NEWS

**The WWE’s Raw crew is on tour in South Africa and will have a show Friday in Pretoria and Saturday in Johannesburg. The crew will fly back after Saturday’s show for Raw on Monday night in St. Louis at the Scottrade Center and then all fly to Saudi Arabia for next Friday’s Greatest Royal Rumble. The SmackDown crew starts their tour on Saturday night in Johnson City, Tennessee with AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura and continue Sunday in Chattanooga.

**Alexa Bliss recently had minor cosmetic surgery following WrestleMania. We were told that she is expected back soon and is still scheduled for the Backlash event on Sunday, May 6th.

**Kevin Lee missed weight on Friday morning for his lightweight main event with Edson Barboza on Saturday night at the UFC Fight Night card at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Lee weighed 157 pounds and Barboza has agreed to go ahead with the fight while Lee will have 20% of his purse deducted. Unlike in Nevada, New Jersey would not allow for an extra hour for the fighter to make weight and Lee did not get a chance to cut the extra pound. Lee issued an apology for missing weight after the weigh-ins. Aspen Ladd also missed weight by 1.8 pounds for her bantamweight fight with Leslie Smith. Ladd put out a statement that her team insisted she stop cutting weight and indicated it was a result of “female circumstances” that affected the cut. Ladd stated that Leslie Smith has turned down the offer to go ahead with the fight, although the promotion has not yet confirmed the fight is off. Below is the full card for Saturday’s show in Atlantic City:

MAIN CARD (10 pm Eastern, TSN 2 in Canada)
*Edson Barboza (155.6) vs. Kevin Lee (157*)
*Frankie Edgar (145.6) vs. Cub Swanson (145)
*Chase Sherman (247) vs. Justin Willis (265.4)
*David Branch (186) vs. Thiago Santos (185.8)
*Brett Johns (135.8) vs. Aljamain Sterling (135.2)
*Jim Miller (155.4) vs. Dan Hooker (155.6)

PRELIMINARY CARD (8 pm on FS 1, Fight Network in Canada)
*Ryan LaFlare (170.6) vs. Alex Garcia (171)
*Magomed Bibulatov vs. Ulka Sasaki – Bibulatov was not able to weigh-in and ruled medically unfit to compete, they have not announced which fight will replace this one on the prelims
*Siyar Bahadurzada (171) vs. Luan Chagas (170)
*Patrick Cummins (205.6) vs. Corey Anderson (205)

FIGHT PASS (6:30 pm)
*Aspen Ladd (137.8*) vs. Leslie Smith (135.4)
*Merab Dvalishvili (135.2) vs. Ricky Simon (135.8)
*Keita Nakamura (170.6) vs. Tony Martin (170.6)

**MLW will debut on beIN Sports tonight at 8 pm Eastern with “Major League Wrestling: Fusion” and will have a replay at 11 pm. The show is going to be called by Tony Schiavone and Rich Bocchini and will be Schaivone’s return to weekly television for the first time since WCW went out of business in March 2001. Tonight’s show will feature Pentagon Jr. vs. Rey Fenix in a #1 contender’s match, which was an excellent match when it took place. Austin Aries will take on ACH on tonight’s episode and Barrington Hughes will also be in action. All the information on carriers and how to watch the show on the beIN CONNECT app is available on the MLW website.

**PWG is holding All-Star Weekend tonight and Saturday from the American Legion Post in Reseda, California. Tonight is the final appearance by The Young Bucks at the notorious venue as they are not working Saturday night’s card or next month for the final event at the American Legion Post. Below is the lineup for tonight’s show:
*Jeff Cobb and Matt Riddle vs. The Young Bucks vs. Dezmond Xavier and Zachary Wentz for the PWG tag titles
*Keith Lee vs. Hangman Page in a non-title match
*Taiji Ishimori vs. Bandido
*WALTER and Timothy Thatcher vs. Tyler Bateman and Brody King
*Joey Janela vs. Jonah Rock
*Robbie Eagles vs. Flash Morgan Webster vs. Sammy Guevara
*Trevor Lee vs. Rey Horus

Saturday’s PWG show is headlined by Keith Lee vs. Jonah Rock vs. WALTER for the PWG title.

**Impact Wrestling’s “Redemption” pay-per-view will only be available to U.K viewers on the Global Wrestling Network app, beginning next Wednesday for those with premium membership for the app. The pay-per-view will air Sunday night on DISH Network, DirecTV, iN Demand, Vubiquity, Rogers, Bell, Shaw, and on FITE.tv at a price of $39.95.

**Impact has also announced they have renewed their deal with 5Spike in the U.K. with Impact Wrestling continuing to air Friday nights at 11 pm in the U.K.

**Impact will be taping television in Orlando following the pay-per-view on Sunday. The will be in Orlando until next Thursday and will take nine episodes of television. They will also be taping television on June 1st and 2nd in Windsor, Ontario.

**The second season of GLOW will be released on Netflix on Friday, June 29th.

**The New Orleans Police Department is investigating an incident from WrestleCon involving Harry Smith and Jake Roberts. Smith approached Roberts and Scott Hall about comments the two had made about his late father, Davey Boy Smith Jr. that Smith was offended by. There didn’t appear to be an issue with Hall and the two buried the hatchet, Roberts, however, did not apologize for his comments and led to Smith requesting they step outside. Roberts was not interested in a fight and words were exchanged with Smith allegedly throwing a cup of coffee at Roberts (POST Wrestling heard from an eyewitness that was standing nearby). Smith spoke to WrestleZone.com later that day and confirmed the incident occurred.

This has resulted in Smith being wanted for battery in connection with the incident. Pro Wrestling Sheet spoke to a member of the New Orleans Police Department and was provided with the following statement:

The NOPD is investigating a simple battery incident that occurred on April 7, 2018 in the 500 block of Canal Street. The victim told police that at about 11 a.m., he was signing autographs at the location when he was approached by a known subject, later identified as Harry Smith (DOB: 08-02-1985). The victim told police he attempted to shake hands with Smith, at which time a verbal argument ensued. Smith then allegedly threw a cup of coffee at the victim’s face and fled the scene. No major injuries were reported by the victim.

**It was first reported by PWinsider.com that John Gaburick is back working for the WWE and is currently in Saudi Arabia preparing for next Friday’s Greatest Royal Rumble show. Gaburick worked for the WWE from 2000-2013, primarily focused on the production side. Gaburick joined Impact Wrestling in 2013 and relocated to Nashville, Tennessee for the position as their Executive Vice President of Television Production and later oversaw the creative end as well. Gaburick was a Dixie Carter hire and when she was out of power, he was phased down from his roles and then left the company recently.

**Booker T. has stated that he will be doing commentary this Monday on Raw from St. Louis.

**Here are the updated standing for All Japan’s Champion Carnival tournament following today’s show in Osaka:

BLOCK A: Kento Miyahara (8), Yuji Hino (8), Joe Doering (6), Shuji Ishikawa (4), Shingo Takagi (4), Ryoji Sai (4), Naoya Nomura (2), The Bodyguard (2)

BLOCK B: Jun Akiyama (8), Naomichi Marufuji (6), Suwama (6), Zeus (6), Yoshitatsu (4), KAI (4), Dylan James (2), Yutaka Yoshie (2)

**The Champion Carnival continues on Saturday with their second straight night in Osaka with the following tournament matches:
*Jun Akiyama vs. Zeus – BLOCK B
*Naomichi Marufuji vs. Suwama – BLOCK B
*Shingo Takagi vs. Ryoji Sai – BLOCK A
*Shuji Ishikawa vs. The Bodyguard – BLOCK A

**Scott D’Amore spoke to Justin Barrasso at SI.com about the long road ahead for Impact Wrestling to build the promotion up. D’Amore spoke briefly about the decision to release Alberto El Patron and acknowledged the old way of thinking would have been to move on from the issue at WrestleCon and just go ahead with the main event of Austin Aries vs. El Patron, which all the television was promoting.

**MLW has announced that Jake Hager will be facing Jeff Cobb at the next set of television tapings on May 3rd in Orlando at the Gilt Nightclub.

**In promotion for the launch of MLW, beIN Sports USA has uploaded the entire match between Shane Strickland and Matt Riddle in the finals of the MLW title tournament.

BRUNO SAMMARTINO COVERAGE

Articles:

Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Washington Post
New York Times
Wrestling Observer Newsletter lead story and obit by Dave Meltzer
Associated Press
The Sun in the U.K
Sports Illustrated

Video:

*****
ANDRE THE GIANT DOCUMENTARY REVIEW (Patreon bonus show)
https://www.patreon.com/posts/andre-giant-w-18288387
*****
upNXT 4/19/18: A New Beginning…Again
https://upnxt.podbean.com/mf/download/u6xbj7/UPNXTAPRIL19.mp3
*****
BRUNO SAMMARTINO (1935-2018)
https://postwrestling.podbean.com/mf/download/p3725p/180418_BrunoSammartino.mp3
*****
BWE 4/18/18: WWE UK returns, ITV World of Sport rumours, RevPro Live in New Orleans
https://britishwrestlingexperience.podbean.com/mf/download/9rwamz/180418_BWE.mp3
*****
REWIND-A-SMACKDOWN 4/17/18: Superstar Shake-Up Night 2
https://postwrestling.podbean.com/mf/download/yjdbfv/180417_RASD.mp3
*****
REWIND-A-RAW 4/16/18 – Superstar Shake-Up Night 1
https://postwrestling.podbean.com/mf/download/5ggkh2/180416_RAR.mp3
*****
POST ROUNDTABLE #4 feat. Conrad Thompson
https://postwrestling.podbean.com/mf/download/a4mky6/180415_ROUNDTABLE.mp3
*****

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About John Pollock 3981 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.