POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE 6/29 – ROH ‘Best in the World’ Preview feat. Dalton Castle vs. Cody vs. Marty Scurll

A preview of tonight's Ring of Honor pay-per-view from Baltimore, CEO x NJPW event from Daytona Beach, former TNA talent at the WWE tryouts at the Performance Center, Lucha Underground's viewership, lots of UFC fight card changes, Josh Koscheck announces he is retired & lots more.


**Our monthly Ask-A-Wai show is available for members of the POST Wrestling Café with Wai & I spent two hours answering about 50 of your questions. We cover numerous topics, including awful wrestling matches, the WWE pursuing the Elite, Yokozuna’s title run from 1993-94, the WWE Network airing third-party events in the future, favorite songs, New Japan’s young lion system and many other topics covered. You can access the show on the POST Wrestling Café at https://www.patreon.com/posts/19739501.


**Tonight, is Ring of Honor’s Best in the World pay-per-view event from Baltimore, Maryland at the UMBC Event Center. It’s a loaded card and looks on paper to be a great show. The event will be on pay-per-view and available through Honor Club and the FITE TV app. Below is the full card:
*Dalton Castle vs. Cody vs. Marty Scurll for the ROH title –
Castle has been dealing with a back injury for a long time and only has two singles matches since Supercard of Honor. There is a natural story of Cody regaining the title and going on a title quest for the IWGP and NWA titles this summer. Castle is a very solid performer and there is a strong argument to sticking with Castle as his title reign hasn’t had a chance to pick up steam and I feel there is a higher ceiling for this run. Cody is a great candidate to be your champion. It comes down to their prognosis for Castle and if they feel it’s serious enough to switch the title. Hopefully, this match isn’t rushed as is the case sometimes on these shows when a match goes too long and have to be out by a certain time.
*The Briscoe Brothers vs. The Young Bucks for the ROH tag titles –
This sounds great and is an interesting match given the Bucks are the IWGP tag champions. The Bucks ascending to the heavyweight ranks and just winning the titles probably shouldn’t lose in this one unless there is a plan to utilize The Briscoes down the road again. The Briscoes have not received enough attention for their heel work this year with the seamless turn and cutting great promos consistently.
*The Kingdom vs. EVIL, Sanada & Bushi for the ROH six-man tag titles –
The Kingdom are gelling well as a three-man unit and I don’t see them dropping the titles. Bushi seems the obvious choice to take the fall. This could be a sleeper on a deep show, especially watching Sanada and EVIL’s work with Taven.
*Punishment Martinez vs. Hangman Page in a Baltimore Street Fight for the ROH TV title –
This match should be insane. Page tends to kill himself on these big shows and has the G1 coming up, so I hope he doesn’t do anything too insane. These two have great chemistry and are among the top stars on the rise of the company and should get a significant amount of time with the street fight stipulation. Martinez just won the title and also recently pinned Tomohiro Ishii so should be kept strong and keep the title.
*Bully Ray vs. Flip Gordon –
They had an outstanding segment on television with Bully Ray pretending to befriend Gordon and salute his work defending the U.S. It was a ploy and Bully turned on Gordon but was executed so well. Bully Ray is doing great since the heel turn and it’s a good program for Gordon.
*Sumie Sakai, Mayu Iwatani, Jenny Rose & Tenille Dashwood vs. Kelly Klein, Kagetsu, Hazuki & Hana Kimura –
This is a showcase for both the Women of Honor division and the Stardom talent coming over. Sakai has grown on me a bit as champion, although I still feel it made more sense to put the title on Klein from the start given how they have booked Klein since. I like having this match on the show that will be different from the rest of the card and see how the crowd reacts to the Stardom talent, who have a good following through their streaming service.
*KUSHIDA vs. Jay Lethal –
Lethal is trying to avenge all his losses and appears to be building up an eventual run at the ROH title. I think this match is going to be outstanding. Lethal never disappoints on an ROH pay-per-view and he’s facing one of the best guys in the world. Lethal should win this match and my expectations are high.
*Kenny King vs. Austin Aries –
I’m curious where this is placed on the card. King is hit and miss but is in there with a great opponent. If King wins, perhaps this is it for Aries, although even with the relaxed methods Impact has displayed with talent, it would be odd to see their world champion lose clean in a mid-card match on a competitor’s pay-per-view and that’s why I would lean towards Aries winning.

**The CEO x NJPW When Worlds Collide card airs tonight at 8 pm Eastern and will stream live on Twitch at https://www.twitch.tv/ceogaming. The show will feature five matches and has been spearheaded by Kenny Omega airing from the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach, Florida with the following:
*Kenny Omega & Kota Ibushi vs. Tetsuya Naito & Hiromu Takahashi
*Roppongi 3K vs. Dragon Lee & Ryusuke Taguchi
*Juice Robinson & David Finlay vs. Guerrillas of Destiny
*Jeff Cobb vs. Chase Owens

**The second season of GLOW was released today on Netflix with ten episodes being dropped. Wai Ting and I will be doing a review of the full season for the POST Wrestling Café on Friday, July 13th.

**AXS TV is airing back-to-back episodes of New Japan Pro Wrestling tonight, starting at 8 pm Eastern with the following matches from Dominion:
*Will Ospreay vs. Hiromu Takahashi for the IWGP junior heavyweight title
*Hirooki Goto vs. Michael Elgin vs. Taichi for the NEVER Openweight title
*Tetsuya Naito vs. Chris Jericho for the Intercontinental title
*EVIL & Sanada vs. The Young Bucks for the IWGP tag titles

**The WWE is holding two events from Sumo Hall today and Saturday with Shinsuke Nakamura advertised for the shows. Nakamura’s status is currently unknown for these events stemming from the injury he sustained Monday when he was bitten by a law enforcement dog prior to Monday’s house show in Bakersfield, California.

**The Raw crew begins their weekend tour in Rapid City, South Dakota with Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Bobby Lashley, and Braun Strowman advertised. On Saturday, the Raw crew is in Bismarck, North Dakota.

**ESPN has a major feature on Charlotte Flair to coincide with the release of ESPN’s annual Body Issue, which Flair posed for earlier this year.

**The WWE is holding tryouts at the Performance Center with several photos and videos being posted by the company. Two notable names attending are former TNA performers Robbie E. (Rob Strauss) and Laurel Van Ness (Chelsea Green).

**Impact Wrestling has announced a four-way match for Slammiversary with Johnny Impact vs. Rich Swann vs. Rey Fenix vs. Taiji Ishimori, as well as confirming the Hair vs. Mask match between Pentagon Jr. and Sami Callihan for the show on July 22nd in Toronto.

**Wednesday’s episode of Lucha Underground averaged 99,000 viewers on the El Rey Network that featured the three-way Grave Consequences Match. Their number was up by a small margin from 96,000 the week prior.

**Slate looks at Linda McMahon’s Instagram account and believes she may be the best Trump Cabinet member to use the photo-sharing site.

**MLW will be introducing a middleweight title at their Battle Riot card on July 19th in Queens, New York. The title will be decided in a singles match between Joey Ryan and MJF. The Battle Riot card will air the following week on July 27th as a two-hour special on beIN Sports.

**PROGRESS Wrestling has announced that ‘Chapter 80: Gods and Monsters’ will take place Saturday, December 8th at the O2 Ritz in Manchester and ‘Chapter 81: Pour Some PROGRESS On Me’ is the following day at the O2 Academy in Sheffield. Tickets for both go on sale this Monday at 12 pm.


**Bellator 201 takes place tonight from Temecula, California at the Pechanga Resort & Casino and airs at 9 pm Eastern on the Paramount Network with the following main card fights:
*Ilima-Lei Macfarlane vs. Alejandra Lara for the women’s flyweight title
*Saad Awad vs. Ryan Couture
*Valerie Letourneau vs. Kristina Williams
*Robbie Peralta vs. Juan Archuleta

The preliminary card features the highly touted wrestling prospects Ed Ruth facing Andy Murad and Tyrell Fortune meeting Josue Lugo. Keri Anne Melendez also returns to take on Tiani Valle.

**Josh Koscheck announced on Thursday’s edition of ‘The Luke Thomas Show’ that he was officially retired from the sport. Koscheck was the key villain alongside Bobby Southworth in the first season of the Ultimate Fighter, leading to a pivotal fight with Chris Leben during that season that cemented the success of TUF. It was the biggest scene of the season with Leben being called a “fatherless bastard” and Leben exploding and kicking down a door. It was announced at the conclusion that Leben and Koscheck would fight the next week and led to the next week’s show drawing over 2 million viewers, a phenomenal number for the series. Koscheck maintained his heel persona throughout his UFC tenure, understanding his role and relishing in the act of playing the villain to the audience. He was a four-time NCAA Division I wrestler, who went into TUF as a wrestler with two pro fights under his belt. He was signed after TUF and rose through the welterweight ranks. After handing Diego Sanchez the first loss of his career, he fought Georges St-Pierre for the first time in August 2007 in St-Pierre’s first fight after the title loss to Matt Serra and St-Pierre defeated Koscheck by unanimous decision. The two would rematch in December 2010 after a season of TUF where the two served as coaches and Koscheck did his part to build the fight as the heel challenging for the welterweight title in Montreal, Quebec. In the rematch, St-Pierre beat Koscheck on the feet and destroyed his eye, but Koscheck fought through the orbital bone break and they went the distance, although Koscheck would be out of action for over nine months. His last win occurred in February 2012 with a split decision victory over a tough Mike Pierce and then Koscheck would lose the final six fights of his career, his final fight taking place in Bellator in February 2017 where he was stopped in the opening round by unheralded Mauricio Alonso.

**The UFC had to play musical chairs for several upcoming fights following news that Al Iaquinta had removed himself from his scheduled main event against Justin Gaethje on August 25th in Lincoln, Nebraska. ESPN’s Ariel Helwani reported that Iaquinta had contacted the UFC and was no longer fighting on the card, although Iaquinta would not disclose the reason for his removal. The UFC reached out to several backup options, before committing to a new main event with Gaethje and James Vick, which is a tremendous fight. To make Vick available, he was removed from a scheduled fight with Paul Felder on July 14th in Boise, Idaho. On the same day, Yancy Medeiros was removed from his lightweight fight against Mike Perry at next weekend’s UFC 226 card due to a fractured rib. UFC president Dana White spoke to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto and confirmed that Felder will now fight a week earlier at UFC 226 against Mike Perry.

**This past Tuesday’s edition of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series was another solid edition. This has quickly become my favorite show to watch each week between pro wrestling and MMA. This week’s show featured Antonina Shevchenko (the older sister of Valentina) earning a contract after destroying late replacement Jaymee Nievara with a second-round TKO after punishing her with knees from the Thai clinch, including one that cut Nievara open in the first round. She will be competing at flyweight, which is the same weight class as her sister, and both joked about not wanting to fight each other. The second contract was awarded to Te Edwards, who stopped Austin Tweedy in 0:28 with a right hand and it was over in quick fashion. Here are the results from the show:
*Antonina Shevchenko def. Jaymee Nievara by TKO at 3:22 of Round 2
*Te Edwards def. Austin Tweedy by KO at 0:28 of Round 1
*Josh Parisian def. Greg Rebello by TKO at 1:31 of Round 1 – Parisian was given a spot on the next season of TUF and upgraded from an alternate, he was disappointed he didn’t receive a contract as he took the fight on four days’ notice and had a vicious spinning back fist that stopped Rebello
*Julian Erosa def. Jamall Emmers by KO at 1:10 of Round 2
*Jordan Williams def. Tim Caron by TKO at 3:37 of Round 3

After three episodes and 15 fights, only one fight has gone to the judges. The Tuesday Night Contender Series takes next week off and returns on Tuesday, July 10th.

ASK-A-WAI – July 2018
upNXT 6/28/18: The British Are Coming with Braden Herrington & Davie Portman
BWE 6/27/18: WWE UK Championship Tournament, Frontline Wrestling
BWE 6/27/18: WWE UK Championship Tournament, Launch of NXT UK, Frontline Wrestling
REWIND-A-SMACKDOWN 6/26/18: Team Hell No reunites, WWE UK Night 2, Enzo’s interview
RAR BONUS 6/25/18: Total Bellas, WWE UK, Being the Elite, All Us
REWIND-A-RAW 6/25/18: Bayley snaps, Dolph Ziggler vs. Seth Rollins, G1 contest announcement
EGGSHELLS Podcast Companion: 1989 with Chris Charlton joined by Jojo Remy

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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.