POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE 6/22 – Sami Zayn out for the rest of 2018 with two torn rotator cuffs

Sami Zayn will miss the rest of the year with two torn rotator cuffs, AAA still has a hold on a date at Madison Square Garden, Lucha Underground's viewership has a big drop, review of Impact Wrestling, four contracts handed out on DWTNCS, our POST PROFILE on Vader & more.


**We have a very special edition of the POST PROFILE on the site with “The Man They Call Vader”. This audio documentary examines the career and legacy of the late Leon “Vader” White, who died this past Monday at the age of 63. This documentary features exclusive comments from Jim Ross and Bret Hart, as well as Jordan Breen from Between Rounds Radio, and “Eggshells: Wrestling in the Tokyo Dome” author Chris Charlton. The special is available on the main POST Wrestling podcast feed and it can be downloaded directly from the site.

**We have a new REWIND-A-WAI up on the POST Wrestling Café for all members and this week’s selection of TAGTEAM was made by Kris Ealy a.k.a. “Kris from L.A.”. Wai Ting and I review the 1991 pilot that aired on ABC the night before the Super Bowl and starred Jesse Ventura as Billy “The Body” Youngblood and Roddy Piper as “Tricky” Rick McDonald. The two are blackballed from professional wrestling and seek new careers, which land them in police academy as they become cops in one segment. Then, there is a dog walker that witnesses a double murder, she goes to the police, now the hitmen are after her to keep her quiet. What will happen? Spoiler: The series wasn’t picked up. You can listen to the full review at https://www.patreon.com/posts/rewind-wai-13-19598943.

**On Saturday, POST Wrestling is proud to be launching a weekly series hosted by Chris Charlton as he goes through the history of wrestling at the Tokyo Dome. Each Saturday for the next 30 weeks, Chris will tackle a year of wrestling history at the Tokyo Dome, beginning with 1989 and New Japan’s Battle Satellite event that featured Big Van Vader becoming the first foreign-born IWGP heavyweight champion. Chris will be joined by Jojo Remy on the inaugural edition of this companion podcast for Chris’ upcoming book, “Eggshells: Pro Wrestling Inside the Tokyo Dome.”


**Sami Zayn will be gone for the rest of 2018 and will be a question mark for next year’s WrestleMania card in April. Zayn underwent surgery this past week for a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder and is awaiting a second surgery for a torn rotator cuff in the left shoulder. Zayn believes he injured the right shoulder, which is considered “the good shoulder”, last August at a live event in Montreal against Jinder Mahal. The left shoulder is one he has town twice before, once in 2009 during a match with Kevin Steen, and a second time during his Raw debut (also in Montreal) against John Cena in 2015, which required surgery and he missed several months. Zayn has no idea when he re-tore the left shoulder and believes it may have been torn for several years and as far back as his rehab after the 2015 surgery. It’s a major blow to have one torn rotator cuff and with two, it’s going to be a long road to recovery for Zayn. He will be turning 34 years old next month and has been wrestling for 16 years. Given the hours of content being produced, I would like to see Zayn tried out as a commentator as it’s a role I could see him grow into.

**Mike Johnson at PWinsider.com reported Friday that AAA still has a hold on a date at Madison Square Garden on September 16th. Johnson added that they have a second date on hold in 2018 as well, although the exact date of the back up isn’t known. This follows the news from earlier in the week that Ring of Honor had lost a date at The Garden with Joe Koff speaking to PWinsider.com and stating that they were informed they were losing the date after the venue had communication with the WWE. It was expected that Ring of Honor was going to run The Garden over WrestleMania weekend next April and would easily be the biggest show in the promotion’s history. Johnson also noted that AAA is considering pushing back their proposed show at The Garden until 2019 to maximize the impact of running the venue.

**The WWE confirmed the second Mae Young Classic will be taking place August 8th and 9th from Full Sail University in Orlando, Florida. It will be a 32-woman tournament and will be taped like the 2017 version to air on the WWE Network. Last year’s tournament was won by Kairi Sane, who defeated Shayna Baszler in the final, which took place after a live edition of SmackDown from Las Vegas in September 2017. Tickets for this year’s Mae Young Classic went on sale Friday morning.

**The second week of Lucha Underground’s fourth season saw the television viewership for the 8 pm airing drop 33%. This week’s airing averaged 96,000 viewers, which is a big drop from last week’s season premiere of 143,000 viewers on the El Rey Network.

**Tuesday’s episode of WWE SmackDown Live averaged 2,315,000 viewers on the USA Network. The average is up 6% from last week and is their highest viewership since May 1st. This week’s show was promoted around the five-man gauntlet match for a WWE title shot.

**EVOLVE has a big weekend with a card in Brooklyn on Saturday night at 8 pm Eastern with Matt Riddle defending the EVOLVE championship against Shane Strickland and Austin Theory defending the WWN championship against Joey Janela. On Sunday, EVOLVE 107 takes place from Melrose, Massachusetts and features NXT North American champion Adam Cole defending the title against WALTER.

**New Japan Pro Wrestling has announced the full card for the G1 special from the Cow Palace on Saturday, July 7th:
*Kenny Omega vs. Cody for the IWGP heavyweight title
*Jay White vs. Juice Robinson for the United States title
*Hiromu Takahashi vs. Dragon Lee for the IWGP junior heavyweight title
*Kazuchika Okada & Will Ospreay vs. Tetsuya Naito & Bushi
*The Young Bucks vs. EVIL & Sanada for the IWGP tag titles
*Hirooki Goto vs. Jeff Cobb for the NEVER Openweight title
*Hiroshi Tanahashi & KUSHIDA vs. Marty Scurll & Hangman Page
*Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano
*Guerrillas of Destiny, Chase Owens & Haku vs. Roppongi 3K, Yoshi-Hashi & Rocky Romero

**The incredible match between Hiromu Takahashi and Taiji Ishimori from the finals of the Best of the Super Juniors tournament airs on AXS TV tonight at 8 pm Eastern with Jim Ross and Josh Barnett calling the match.

**David Bixenspan has an article on Deadspin on Leon “Vader” White and what made him such an incredible big man, along with his ups and downs in WCW, the WWF, and internationally.

**The Raw crew starts their weekend tour with a card in Boise Idaho at the Taco Bell Arena tonight and are in Salt Lake City, Utah on Saturday. The SmackDown crew is in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Saturday with The Miz, Jeff Hardy, Shinsuke Nakamura and Samoa Joe as the top talent advertised. Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles are not listed for Saturday’s show.

The most notable omission from the card is Rey Mysterio, who most expected to be working this show with angles shot involving Mysterio and Marty Scurll that appeared to be building for this show.

**Ring of Honor has added a singles match between Kenny King and Austin Aries to next week’s Best in the World pay-per-view from Baltimore. The show is scheduled to be headlined by a three-way match with Dalton Castle defending the ROH title against Cody and Marty Scurll.

**Pro Wrestling Guerrilla continues to add names to the lineup for the Battle of Los Angeles tournament in September. There are currently ten names announced for the biggest U.S independent tournament of the year with PCO, Brody King, Ilja Dragunov, Jody Fleisch, Joey Janela, Robbie Eagles, Puma King, David Starr, Rey Horus, and Chris Brookes taking part. The tournament takes place September 14th – 16th at the Globe Theatre in Los Angeles.

**Konnan is scheduled to participate in his first wrestling match since 2012 when he works the 40-man Battle Riot battle royal at MLW’s July 19th card in Queens, New York at the Melrose Ballroom. Konnan will be returning to the ring after a recent hip replacement surgery he had this past March.


Impact Wrestling (June 21st)
-Impact is throwing a lot of different things on the wall and the biggest positive is that they aren’t afraid to try things new. This show was a good showcase of such, including the ongoing Eddie Edwards saga. Perhaps some are turned off by how outside the box this story is, or maybe aren’t sold on Edwards’ acting, but I think Edwards has done a great job. The story is that his hatred of Sami Callihan has driven him to the edge and he’s losing everything through his rage, even though he feels justified in his actions. His wife has supposedly left him, he’s lost his mentor Tommy Dreamer, and is left alone. The segment on Thursday was Edwards arriving at his empty home and destroying it and spiraling out of control.
-The main angle of the show featured Pentagon Jr. & El Hijo del Fantasma defeating oVe, leading to Sami Callihan attacking Pentagon and tearing off a portion of his mask before Fantasma saved. This will lead to their match at Slammiversary and keeps Callihan occupied while Edwards feuds with Dreamer.
-Madison Rayne defeated Taya and then announced that because of her victory she has been granted a title shot against Su Yung at Slammiversary and cut an effective promo that immediately placed an importance on the match. I liked how simple this was, Rayne defeated two of the top Knockouts in Tessa Blanchard and Taya, therefore earning a title shot and has been an underdog in these matches. The attempt to win one more title is the singular focus and it gave an easy-to-digest story out and a reason to get behind Rayne.
-LAX defeated Andrew Everett and DJZ to win back the tag titles in the best match on the show. Later, Konnan returned to confront The King (Eddie Kingston) as Konnan searches for his attacker and threatened King if it turns out he was involved. Konnan’s promos returning are an easy positive for this show.
-Scott Steiner defeated KM in a quick match with the Steiner Recliner. This is the worst use of Steiner as a regular performer just thrown into matches where it means nothing. It is hard to watch Steiner move around, he’s still someone to the crowd, but should be saved for 1-2 matches a year when it’s built up with a big grudge and he plays the out-of-control tag partner, the key is using him sparingly and not in a two-minute television match.


**The UFC has an early morning card on Saturday from Kallang, Singapore. The show will begin with the preliminary fights at 4:30 am Eastern on Fight Pass with the Fight Pass main card at 8 am. The main event features Donald Cerrone meeting Leon Edwards and is a big fight for both. Cerrone is now 35 years old and while he is coming off a win over Yancy Medeiros, he has lost three of his last four. Edwards has been a rising star at welterweight and won his last five fights dating back to May 2016 and beaten tough opponents in Albert Tumenov, Vicente Luque, Bryan Barberena, and Peter Sobotta in his last four. Cerrone is the biggest name that he’s fought and it’s his first main event. The rest of the card is unremarkable as you really need a magnifying glass for some of these fighters. Jake Matthews is deep on the prelims and since coming up to welterweight has gone 2-0, he will be fighting Shinsho Anzai. The main card also features a light heavyweight fight between Ovince Saint Preux and Tyson Pedro, although neither are close to the top mix at their weight class. Below is the full card:

MAIN CARD (8 am Eastern on Fight Pass, Fight Network in Canada)

*Donald Cerrone vs. Leon Edwards
*Tyson Pedro vs. Ovince Saint Preux
*Jessica Rose-Clark vs. Jessica Eye
*Daichi Abe vs. Li Jingliang

PRELIMINARY CARD (4:30 am Eastern on Fight Pass)

*Teruto Ishihara vs. Petr Yan
*Song Yadong vs. Felipe Arantes
*Rolando Dy vs. Shane Young
*Hector Aldana vs. Song Kenan
*Shinsho Anzai vs. Jake Matthews
*Viviane Pereira vs. Yan Xiaonan
*Matt Schnell vs. Naoki Inoue
*Ulka Sasaki vs. Jenel Lausa
*Ji Yeon Kim vs. Melinda Fabian

**MMA Fighting has announced that veteran reporter and broadcaster Luke Thomas will be the new host of “The MMA Hour” on Mondays at Noon Eastern. Thomas is replacing Ariel Helwani, who left MMA Fighting and began at ESPN last week, with the newly formatted show scheduled to be a two-hour show. Thomas also hosts a daily show on SiriusXM, which he will continue with. Helwani will be going head-to-head with his former show with “The Ariel Helwani MMA Show” scheduled to premiere this Monday at 1 pm Eastern.

**Here are the results of the PFL 2 card from Thursday night in Chicago, Illinois:
*Dan Spohn def. Basigit Ataev by TKO at 4:29 of Round 3
*Natan Schulte def. Chris Wade by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 29-28)
*Robert Watley def. Thiago Tavares by TKO (accidental low blow) at 0:35 of Round 2
*Maxim Grishin def. Jason Butcher by TKO (knee injury) at 1:40 of Round 1
*Rakim Cleveland def. Rashid Yusupov by TKO (injury) at 0:01 of Round 3
*Vinny Magalhaes def. Jamie Abdallah by rear-naked choke at 1:37 of Round 1
*Islam Mamedov def. Yuki Kawana by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
*Brandon Halsey def. Smealinho Rama by TKO (cut) at 0:01 of Round 3
*Sean O’Connell def. Ronny Markes by TKO at 0:41 of Round 2
*Efrain Escudero def. Jason High by guillotine at 0:35 of Round 3 – The referee stopped the fight while Escudero had a guillotine applied and High was furious stating he didn’t tap. He shoved the referee and protested the stoppage.
*Kayla Harrison def. Brittney Elkin by armbar at 3:18 of Round 1
*Brian Foster def. Ramsey Nijem by KO at 0:23 of Round 3
*Will Brooks def. Luiz Firminho by unanimous decision (30-27 all)

**Here are the results of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series from Tuesday night in Las Vegas where four contracts were handed out:
*Dwight Grant def. Tyler Hill by KO at 2:08 of Round 2 – Grant connected with an overhand right and immediately landed a left hook follow up and finished him with strikes.
*Ryan Spann def. Emiliano Sordi by guillotine at 0:26 of Round 1 – They did such a great job setting the scene for this fight. Last year, Spann was stopped on the show in the first round and went into a depression. His young son told him to get back to the gym and he got several wins outside the UFC and got a second chance in this fight and won in 26 seconds. This was a feel-good story.
*Austin Springer def. Giga Chikadze by rear-naked choke at 4:10 of Round 3 – Springer was the only fighter that didn’t receive a contract. He mounted Chikadze in the third round and got his back before securing the rear-naked choke for the submission.
*Anthony Hernandez def. Jordan Wright by KO at 0:40 of Round 1 – Hernandez just swarmed him with a series of right hooks, Wright went down and was finished.
*Matt Sayles def. Yazan Hajeh by TKO at 1:57 of Round 1 – Sayles dropped him with a right hand and went from side control to mount and finished him with strikes.

**Randy Couture turns 55 years old today.

THE POST PROFILE: “The Man They Call Vader” feat. Comments from Bret Hart, Jim Ross, Chris Charlton & Jordan Breen
REWIND-A-WAI #13: Tag Team (1991) starring Jesse Ventura & Roddy Piper
upNXT 6/21/18: NXT HangOver Chicago with Braden Herrington & Davie Portman
REWIND-A-SMACKDOWN 6/19/18: Big Cass released, Gauntlet Match
RAR OVERRUN 6/18/18: WWE 24 – Hardys: Woken, Total Bellas Review
REWIND-A-RAW 6/18/18: Ronda Rousey Suspended, Surprise title change, G1 Blocks

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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.