POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE 4/29: General Sports Authority of Saudi Arabia apologizes over WWE ad

The General Sports Authority in Saudi Arabia apologizes for video at Greatest Royal Rumble, WWE's statement regarding Sami Zayn's absence, the finals of the Champion Carnival are set, Minoru Suzuki vs. Tetsuya Naito, Fedor Emelianenko stops Frank Mir, Impact number drops, and new Rewind-A-Wai on Backlash 2000.


**We have a new Rewind-A-Wai released for members of the POST Wrestling Café with a review of WWF Backlash 2000. This show was chosen by Espresso Executive Producer Daniel Dunn, who joins us on the show to chat why he chose this show and share his thoughts on the event 18 years later. The two of us review the show, which is headlined by Triple H vs. The Rock with Steve Austin’s first appearance since neck surgery earlier that year and led to a huge number on pay-per-view. It is a 2+ hour show and a $6 sign up will get you this show, and the full archive of bonus shows at http:/www.POSTwrestlingCafe.com.

**We have a second bonus show this weekend at the POST Wrestling Café with Wai Ting and I reviewing the WWE’s Greatest Royal Rumble event from Friday in Jeddah. We do review the entire show, but the first 20 minutes focus on the politics of the show and might not be everyone’s cup of tea, so feel free to fast forward to the review of the show.

**We will be back with Rewind-A-Raw Monday night to chat the first of two nights in Montreal for the WWE.


**The General Sports Authority of Saudi Arabia issued an apology on Friday when an advertisement deemed “indecent” by the GSA ran during the WWE’s Greatest Royal Rumble event and featured female talent in the ad. It was not specified which ad this was referring to but is believed to have been the new promo advertising the dual brand pay-per-views with various wrestlers singing in a sound booth. Below is the statement that was released and has been translated into English:

The General Sport Authority would like to apologize to the viewers and attendees of last night’s WWE event that took place in Jeddah, over the indecent scene involving women that appeared as an ad before a segment. It would like to confirm its total disapproval of this, in the shadow of its commitment to eliminate anything that goes against the communities values.

The authority has made sure to ban showing of any segment that involves women wrestling or any scenes related to it and stipulated that to the company (WWE). The authority also disapproved any promotional stuff with pictures or videos showing women in an indecent way and emphasized on commitment of this rule. And it’s a commitment that the authority would still commit to forever in all of it’s events and programs

I know there are a lot of people hopeful that the WWE will be able to progress their relationship with the Government to feature women on future shows, but it’s a major leap to anticipate that kind of change coming from a professional wrestling company. This statement is a hardline position from GSA with a public stance that this is non-negotiable.

**Finn Balor issued a statement regarding his “Balor Club is Everyone” shirt not being worn at the Greatest Royal Rumble card in Jeddah:

My Rainbow Gear was a statement at Wrestlemania Weeekend Although the gear has not been worn since in 6 appearances(Hartford CT, Cape Town x2,Pretoria, Johannesburg ,St.Louise Saudi Arabia) My support continues despite any color choice, change or laundry schedule.

**Regarding Sami Zayn’s absence from the Greatest Royal Rumble, the WWE issued this statement:

WWE is committed to embracing individuals from all backgrounds while respecting local customs and cultural differences around the world.

**Dave Bautista appeared on the Chad Dukes show on 106.7 The Fan to promote “Avengers: Infinity War” and discussed his talks with the WWE about working WrestleMania this year. Bautista said he spoke with WWE about being Ronda Rousey’s partner with Bautista requesting that they start a tease for a singles match between Bautista and Triple H for WrestleMania in 2019. They agreed to the plan but then stopped responding to Bautista and went with Kurt Angle for the spot this year. I spoke with Bautista in 2014, he told me back then that the match he wanted most was a rematch with Triple H at WrestleMania so it’s been on his mind for years and looks at that as the last major match he wants. For whatever reason, there is a strange relationship between the two sides despite Bautista’s enormous popularity in movies and having a desire to work with WWE. Bautista added in the interview that if nothing happens by next year, he will retire from pro wrestling at that point.

**I watched the main event of New Japan’s Wrestling Hi No Kuni event on Sunday with Tetsuya Naito defeating Minoru Suzuki to win the Intercontinental title. I didn’t think this was one of the better main events New Japan has had this year and the comeback by Naito after so much selling was brief with the Destino finish. Naito was popular with the audience and it didn’t drag but it didn’t reach the level you would expect either. It’s become the expectation that all New Japan main events have to go 30 minutes and they don’t need to, this would have been better at 21-22 minutes with less reliance on the kneebar submission that the audience doesn’t believe as a finish to a top guy like Naito. Conversely, I also watched the Hirooki Goto vs. Juice Robinson NEVER Openweight title match from Friday and loved it. Goto has been having a lackluster year since Wrestle Kingdom and Robinson sparks something few others do with Goto outside of the G1 or Tokyo Dome settings. Robinson is a tremendous underdog and the near falls were outstanding down the stretch.

**Triple Crown champion Kento Miyahara won the A Block at Sunday’s All Japan card at Korakuen Hall. Miyahara, Yuji Hino, Shingo Takagi, and Joe Doering were all alive going into the final day with everyone except Miyahara losing on the final day. Miyahara defeated Hino in the main event to give Miyahara 10 points to clinch the block. Miyahara will face Naomichi Marufuji on Monday in the finals of the Champion Carnival tournament.

Here are the final point totals from the Champion Carnival:

BLOCK A: Kento Miyahara (10 points), Yuji Hino (8), Joe Doering (8), Shuji Ishikawa (8), Shingo Takagi (8), Ryoji Sai (6), Naoya Nomura (4), The Bodyguard (4)

BLOCK B: Naomichi Marufuji (10), Suwama (8), Zeus (8), Jun Akiyama (8), KAI (6), Yoshitatsu (6), Dylan James (6), Yutaka Yoshie (4)

**This past Thursday’s episode of Impact Wrestling dropped 17% with heavy sports competition. Going up against the NFL Draft, and the NBA and NHL playoffs, Impact averaged 308,000 viewers on POP TV for the episode coming out of the Redemption pay-per-view. Since March, the show has only fallen below 325,000 viewers once (and that the night they went up against a USA Network special on the greatest WrestleMania moments).

**With this weekend’s massive release of “The Avengers: Infinity War”, you have Dave Bautista, Dwayne Johnson (Rampage), and John Cena (Blockers) in major movies that are currently in theatres.

**Mike Mooneyham of the Post and Courier has a big feature on the passing of Bruno Sammartino this weekend.

**Jake Roberts and Harry Smith have buried the hatchet following an incident over WrestleMania Weekend in New Orleans at WrestleCon. Following comments Roberts had made about his late father, Smith confronted Roberts at WrestleCon and demanded an apology, which Roberts refused. Smith asked Roberts to step outside and Roberts wasn’t interested in a fight. This situation led to Smith throwing a cup of coffee at Roberts with charges being pressed. Smith was in contact with Roberts recently and the two have reached an understanding and it appears Roberts will not be pursuing any charges against Smith, who released a statement with his apology:

I’d like to announce publicly and officially that I spoke with Jake Roberts on the phone today and we squashed heat we have for what happened at the WrestleCon event. I apologized and said I would apologize publicly as Jake agreed he would be dropping any charges pressed against me. I’m a man of my word and I’d like to say sorry to any fans that I stressed with this situation also. I wish Jake all the best and glad that we squashed the heat. I actually had spoken to Roddy Piper before he passed away about the podcast Jake and he did. I’m certainly glad we worked things out, as Roddy died [not] long after.

**GHC champion Takashi Sugiura retained his championship in the main event of Pro Wrestling NOAH’s Great Voyage card on Sunday in Niigata. Sugiura defeated Atsushi Kotoge with the Olympic Slam and was challenged by Naomichi Marufuji for his next title defense. On the same show, Go Shiosaki and Kaito Kiyomiya won the GHC tag titles by defeating Katsuhiko Nakajima and Masa Kitamiya. Sugiura vs. Marufuji is expected to headline NOAH’s Korakuen Hall card on May 29th.

**Titus O’Neil turns 41 years old today.

**Superkick’d Live has a show in Toronto on Friday, May 18th at The Great Hall (1987 Queen Street West) at 8 pm. Tickets are $25 for general admission and $40 VIP if you buy in advance.

**Below are two documentaries that Wai and I have discussed on Bruno Sammartino:

**For the first time ever, the WWE has eclipsed $40 per share with a close at $40.30 on Friday.


**Fedor Emelianenko stopped Frank Mir in the opening round of their Heavyweight Grand Prix fight on Saturday night at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois. Emelianenko was tagged early but came back, stunning Mir by the fence, sending the former UFC heavyweight champion down to his knees and finishing Mir with strikes. Emelianenko will advance to fight Chael Sonnen in the second round of the Grand Prix. Matt Mitrione has also advanced to the semi-finals and will meet the winner of Ryan Bader vs. Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal, who are fighting on May 12th in San Jose. Below are the main card results from Bellator 198 on Saturday:
*Dillon Danis def. Kyle Walker by toe hold at 1:38 of Round 1 – Danis is a southpaw and was light on his feet. He looked good for his first professional fight.
*Neiman Gracie def. Javier Torres by arm-triangle choke at 3:18 of Round 2
*Rafael Lovato Jr. def. Gerald Harris by armbar at 1:11 of Round 1
*Emmanuel Sanchez def. Sam Sicilia by arm-triangle at 3:52 of Round 1
*Fedor Emelianenko def. Frank Mir by TKO at 0:48 of Round 1

**It was first reported by The Telegraph in the U.K. and other outlets have confirmed that the FBI spoke with Fedor Emelianenko while he was in the country this past week for Bellator 198. Emelianenko’s longtime U.S. manager Jerry Millen confirmed to The Associated Press that the FBI located Emelianenko at his hotel and spoke with him but would not state what the reason. MMA Fighting has added that they do not believe Emelianenko is under any investigation. It has been speculated that he may have been of interest because of his ties to Vladimir Putin and the Russian Government as well as previously working with President Donald Trump with the Affliction promotion, which Emelianenko fought for in 2008 and 2009.

**It was reported by MMA TakeOver that UFC welterweight Gunnar Nelson is off next month’s UFC Fight Night card in Liverpool, England. Nelson has suffered a knee injury and scheduled for surgery on Monday, leaving Neil Magny without an opponent for the May 27th card in Liverpool. It is believed to be a minor injury and he will miss 8-10 weeks of training.

REWIND-A-WAI #9: WWF Backlash 2000 (Patreon)
WWE Greatest Royal Rumble Post Show with John Pollock & Wai Ting (Patreon)
upNXT 4/26/18: Black Hearts Never Break with Braden Herrington & Davie Portman
KEEP IT 2000: Ep. 29 – “Body Positive Mike Awesome” with Kath Barbadoro (July 18, 2000)
REWIND-A-SMACKDOWN 4/24/18: Nakamura vs. The Club, Rumble Predictions
REWIND-A-RAW 4/23/18: Raw is Bruno, Greatest Royal Rumble
Impact Redemption 2018 Post Show w/ John Pollock & Nate Milton

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About John Pollock 5598 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.