POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE 4/24 – Paul Levesque addresses WWE’s stance regarding Saudi Arabian event

Paul Levesque addresses the gender restrictions for the Greatest Royal Rumble defends WWE's decision, broadcast outlets for Friday's show, Paul Heyman not going to Saudi Arabia, Zack Ryder suffers a knee injury, Ronda Rousey vs. Mickie James advertised, on-sale date for NJPW in San Francisco, and more.

First off, I would like to thank the many people that reached out to Wai and I and asking about our safety on Monday following the horrific van attack in Toronto. Thankfully, the two of us were okay but it was an extremely difficult day for the city with a senseless tragedy occurring in our backyard. Sadly, there were ten people killed in the attack and there is no way to understand how someone carries out actions such as that. The major intersection is right around the area where I grew up and directly where I spent years working in high school and still have many friends living in and around that area. Please keep those directly affected by the actions on Monday in your thoughts.

POST IT NOTES

**We have Rewind-A-Raw posted on the main page of the site with Wai Ting and I discussing Monday’s episode of Raw, the tribute to Bruno Sammartino with a quick review of the “Bruno” documentary on the WWE Network, a large discussion on the politics of this Friday’s card in Saudi Arabia, the final segment between Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns, and we also take your questions and feedback at https://www.postwrestling.com/2018/04/24/rewind-a-raw-4-23-18-raw-is-bruno-greatest-royal-rumble/.

**Wai Ting and I will be back late tonight with Rewind-A-SmackDown to review SmackDown and 205 Live from Louisville tonight. We will also go through the actual card for the Greatest Royal Rumble on Friday.

**Keep It 2000 returns late Wednesday night as Brian Mann and Nate Milton will be tackling the July 17th, 2000 episode of WCW Monday Nitro. You can subscribe to their exclusive iTunes feed at https://www.postwrestling.com/subscribe/ and catch up on all past editions of the series.

**We will have two Patreon bonus shows this week with the first being a late Friday show reviewing the Greatest Royal Rumble. Because of the WWE show on Friday, we are moving Rewind-A-Wai to Sunday and that will be released for all members of the POST Wrestling Café with a big review of WWE Backlash 2000, as chosen by Espresso Executive Producer Daniel Dunn. We also have a feedback thread for the show on the POST Wrestling Forum.

WRESTLING NEWS

**Paul Levesque spoke to The Independent regarding this Friday’s Greatest Royal Rumble event in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The discussion focused on the restrictions towards women on the show this Friday with Levesque defending the company’s decision to stage an event without any female participants:

I understand that people are questioning it, but you have to understand that every culture is different and just because you don’t agree with a certain aspect of it, it doesn’t mean it’s not a relevant culture. You can’t dictate to a country or a religion about how they handle things but, having said that, WWE is at the forefront of a women’s evolution in the world and what you can’t do is affect change anywhere by staying away from it. The country is in the middle of a shift in how it is dealing with that – the position is changing, and rights are changing, as are the way women are handled and treated in society. We think that’s a great thing and we’re excited to be at the forefront of that change.

Levesque also brought up the example of Alexa Bliss and Sasha Banks having a match in Dubai last year and the chant of, “this is hope”, which has become a regular talking point during company press conferences when discussing the women’s evolution. While I don’t believe it was ever reasonable to expect the WWE to change the cultural norms of Saudi Arabian society for an event, by entering this extremely lucrative business agreement and opting to make such concessions, you are being complicit and that will come with certain backlash when the public message has been to the contrary. If you receive praise for the match in Dubai and invoking that change, a similar level of criticism is warranted when the opposite occurs, and I understand that Dubai and Saudi Arabia are different examples. Yes, for many people it’s crazy to assume a major company would walk away from such a lucrative financial deal to enhance their yearly revenue, but a company also possesses social currency that cannot be measured but can be felt and they have opted to boost the former by giving up some of the latter.

**The Greatest Royal Rumble will be airing live on Abu Dhabi Sports 1 in Arabic and Abu Dhabi Sports 6 in English this Friday. The card will also be airing on MBC Action and KSA Sports 1, which are over-the-air channels in the Middle East and stream live on Dawri Plus.

**They have announced that the Greatest Royal Rumble has sold out the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium. Tickets were scaled down significantly from a traditional show of this size from the WWE with tickets ranging from $2.67 – $80 U.S. The live gate doesn’t really affect the WWE as it’s a sold show to the Government of Saudi Arabia with the details of what the WWE is making off this show likely being clear with the second-quarter earnings report later this summer. When you figure in the Saudi Arabia show, the recent tour of South Africa, upcoming European tour, and WrestleMania falling into the second-quarter, this should be an enormous quarter for the company.

**The SmackDown and 205 Live television tapings are in Louisville, Kentucky tonight at the KFC Yum Center. SmackDown is being promoted around The Miz’s first appearance since the shakeup for a segment of Miz TV with Daniel Bryan as the guest. They have also announced the following for SmackDown:
*Asuka and Becky Lynch vs. Peyton Royce and Billie Kay
*Erick Rowan vs. Jimmy Uso
*Contract signing between Carmella and Charlotte for Backlash

**Last week, it was announced that Ronda Rousey would be appearing on four European shows on the upcoming tour. The venue in Paris, France for the May 19th card is advertising a singles match between Rousey and Mickie James. They are also advertising the following matches: Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe, Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor vs. Jinder Mahal vs. Bobby Roode for the Intercontinental title, Nia Jax vs. Bayley vs. Sasha Banks vs. Alexa Bliss for the women’s title, Braun Strowman vs. Baron Corbin, Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt vs. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn, and Bobby Lashley vs. Elias.

**Zack Ryder suffered a knee injury during a match with Mike Bennett on Monday night during a match that was taped for Main Event. The injury is serious enough that Ryder has been pulled from this week’s show in Saudi Arabia and was heading to Orlando to have an MRI on the knee.

**Impact Wrestling is taping television in Orlando at Universal Studios tonight and through Thursday. In total, they will tape nine episodes of Impact this week and then tape additional episodes in Windsor, Ontario on June 1st and 2nd and that should take them right into Slammiversary on July 22nd. They announced on Sunday that the pay-per-view in July will take place from The Rebel Complex (formerly Sound Academy) in Toronto, Ontario.

**Tickets for the New Japan Pro Wrestling card at the Cow Palace in San Francisco are scheduled to go on-sale next Tuesday, May 1st. It is by far the most ambitious arena that New Japan has run in the United States and a significant step up from the Long Beach Convention Center and Walter Pyramid they have run on their last two visits. The show is scheduled for Saturday, July 7th, which is also the same day as UFC 226 in Las Vegas.

**Byron Saxton will be hosting the Greatest Royal Rumble kickoff show this Friday at 11 am Eastern with Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, and Booker T. on the panel. Ross and Lawler will call the show.

**Mike Johnson at PWinsider.com is reporting that Paul Heyman is not going to Saudi Arabia for this Friday’s Greatest Royal Rumble event, no reason was given other than he was not booked for the show.

UPDATE: There is a separate report from Dave Meltzer stating that Paul Heyman is booked for the show on Friday. POST Wrestling has reached out to the WWE for confirmation on Heyman’s status for the show. It has since been added by Mike Johnson that Heyman is scheduled for the event and is flying out later this week.

**Ring of Honor has announced that Dalton Castle will defend the ROH title against Matt Taven on Wednesday, May 9th, in Lowell, Massachusetts on the first War of the Worlds show.

**Corey Graves mentioned on Raw that Shane McMahon will be part of the Royal Rumble match on Friday.

**Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and his girlfriend, Lauren Hashian, welcomed their second child together, a baby girl named Tiana Gia Johnson.

**Here are the updated standing for All Japan’s Champion Carnival tournament, which wraps up next Monday and has three remaining shows with the finals next Monday:

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

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

The next Carnival show is Wednesday morning at 5:30 am Eastern and will stream on AJPW.tv with the following tournament matches:
*KAI vs. Zeus – BLOCK B
*Yoshitatsu vs. Yutaka Yoshie – BLOCK B
*Suwama vs. Dylan James – BLOCK B
*Jun Akiyama vs. Naomichi Marufuji – BLOCK A
*Shingo Takagi vs. Naoya Nomura – BLOCK A

**MLW has announced that MVP will take on Maxwell Jacob Freidman and Rey Fenix will meet ACH at next week’s television taping on Thursday, May 3rd at the Gilt Nightclub in Orlando, Florida. The show will be headlined by Shane Strickland vs. Pentagon Jr. for the MLW world heavyweight title.

**The NWA’s latest “Ten Pounds of Gold” video is a feature on Colt Cabana:

*****
REWIND-A-RAW 4/23/18: Raw is Bruno, Greatest Royal Rumble
https://postwrestling.podbean.com/mf/download/f4mm9t/180423_RAR.mp3
*****
Impact Redemption 2018 Post Show w/ John Pollock & Nate Milton
https://postwrestling.podbean.com/mf/download/vu457c/180423_IMPACT_REDEMPTION.mp3
*****
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 rumors, RevPro Live in New Orleans
https://britishwrestlingexperience.podbean.com/mf/download/9rwamz/180418_BWE.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.