POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE 7/2 – New Japan’s president is profiled, Chuck Liddell vs. Tito Ortiz III announced

A third fight between Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz has been signed by Golden Boy Promotions, Harold Meij of New Japan Pro Wrestling discusses his plans for growth, WWE confirms that Ronda Rousey will appear at Extreme Rules, Shinsuke Nakamura comments on his injury, MVP leaves MLW & more.

POST IT NOTES

**Wai Ting and I will be back late tonight with Rewind-A-Raw followed by our exclusive POST Wrestling Café show with Wai’s review of Total Bellas and we will pick a name for this bonus show after the submissions we received last week. The free show with our Raw review is available on the main POST Wrestling feed and on the site, while the Patreon show can be accessed by subscribing to the POST Wrestling Café.

SHOWS THIS WEEK AT POST WRESTLING
*Tonight: Rewind-A-Raw
*Tonight: RAR bonus show with Wai’s review of Total Bellas and anything else we couldn’t fit onto Rewind-A-Raw (Patreon)
*Tuesday: Rewind-A-SmackDown
*Wednesday: Keep It 2000 with Brian Mann & Nate Milton
*Thursday: upNXT with Braden Herrington & Davie Portman
*Friday: Rewind-A-Wai – WCW Uncensored ’97 (Patreon)
*Saturday: EGGSHELLS Podcast Companion with Chris Charlton – 1991 Tokyo Dome cards
*Saturday: UFC 226 review with John Pollock & Phil Chertok
*Saturday: NJPW Cow Palace review with Wai Ting


WRESTLING NEWS

**The Japanese daily, “The Mainichi”, had a profile piece on Harold Meij, the new president of New Japan Pro Wrestling. Meij has a significant business background as a vice president for Coca-Cola Japan, as well as the Takara Tomy, where he helped the toy company rebound. Meij cited 100,000 registered members for New Japan World and 40,000 of those from outside of the U.S. It was also mentioned in the piece that New Japan brought in 4.6 billion yen for the fiscal year that ended in July 2018. Meiji added that his goal within three years is for New Japan to have profits of 10.2 billion yen.

The outlet spoke with Ichiro Noro, who is a professor of business administration at Seiwa University and wrote a book on the economics of professional wrestling. Noro was very enlightening in terms of the philosophical change in New Japan Pro Wrestling’s presentation:

Fans up until now have been people with an ideology of admiring the powerful. But now, nearly all of those fans have moved to other fighting franchises. The direction of the current economy is toward things like humanity, the environment and diversity. The reason that there are a growing number of female fans is because instead of strength alone, pro-wrestling is starting to show qualities like diversity that it never had before. The unique characteristics of the big names behind the revival of New Japan Pro-Wrestling, Hiroshi Tanahashi and Shinsuke Nakamura, have actually been the most effective in bringing in female fans.

The hiring of Meij is going to be one of those stories to watch with interest and see where he is able to evolve and expand the product. New Japan is at a unique point in their U.S. expansion as this Saturday’s Cow Palace card can be viewed in two distinct ways. One is that they are going to set their record for most tickets sold on U.S. soil, the other way to view it is the promotion overshooting and nowhere near to selling the venue out, their first example of a ceiling since going to Long Beach with immediate sellouts last July and this past March.

**Shinsuke Nakamura did fly to Japan for the shows at Sumo Hall but did not wrestle. Nakamura, who was advertised for matches against AJ Styles, was on crutches and replaced by Samoa Joe. In an interview with Nikkan Sports, Nakamura confirmed the story of a police dog biting his leg and estimated he would be able to wrestle again in two weeks.

**Tonight’s episode of Raw takes place from the Sioux Falls, South Dakota at the Denny Sanford Premier Center. They have not announced any matches for the show and have only promoted Bayley and Sasha Banks undergoing counseling after last week’s attack by Bayley.

**The SmackDown crew is off tonight as they just wrapped shows in Tokyo and Taipei this past weekend. The television tapings take place Tuesday night in Omaha, Nebraska featuring James Ellsworth vs. Asuka.

**Ronda Rousey will be appearing at “Extreme Rules” on July 15th in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. An interview was shot with Rousey where she announced that she would be buying a ticket to sit in the front row for the Alexa Bliss vs. Nia Jax title match.

**On Sunday’s “Strong Style Evolved UK” card in Manchester, Minoru Suzuki defeated Tomohiro Ishii for Rev Pro’s British heavyweight title. Those in attendance were raving about the match, which will likely be added to New Japan World later this month. After the match, WALTER attacked Ishii and had a stare down with Suzuki. The show also featured Zack Sabre Jr. defeating Kazuchika Okada in another match receiving praise.

**Lance Storm posted his memories of the late Matt Cappotelli, who he worked with during his time as a trainer in Ohio Valley Wrestling.

**Last Thursday’s episode of Impact Wrestling averaged 254,000 viewers on POP TV, which is the show’s lowest number of 2018.


**MVP has announced he has parted ways with MLW on both the wrestling and podcast divisions of the company. He stated in a video Monday that he wouldn’t get into the details, that he didn’t quite understand either, and would be seen on the next few episodes of “Fusion” that had already been taped and that will be it. MVP had been doing a podcast on their network called the “VIP Lounge” with former WWE lead writer Alex Greenfield. Of late, Damian Abraham had been sitting in for Greenfield to co-host the shows with MVP with their last episode released on June 21st.

**MLW has announced that Pentagon Jr. & Rey Fenix will defend the MLW tag titles against Aerostar & Drago at the Battle Riot event on July 19th in Queens, New York. The card will air in a two-hour block on beIN Sports on July 27th at 8 pm Eastern.

**Bret Hart turns 61 years old today.

**Lightning One Productions has released the second edition of “All Us”:

MMA NEWS

**ESPN has confirmed that the third fight between former UFC light heavyweight champions Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz will take place later this year. The news confirmed by the outlet, who spoke with Oscar de la Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions, who confirmed the deal has been signed for their third fight. A date and location have not been announced but the fight is scheduled to take place on pay-per-view in Golden Boy’s first mixed martial arts event.

Liddell and Ortiz first fought in April 2004 in a fight that took years to put together. Both fighters were managed by Dana White, prior to White’s ownership stake in the UFC in 2001, and had also trained together in the past. Liddell was on a tear throughout 2002 and was in line for a title fight against Ortiz, who was the golden goose for the promotion during Zuffa’s initial ownership period. The opportunity arose for Zuffa to promote their first legitimate “money fight” between Ortiz and Ken Shamrock in November 2002 and Liddell stepped aside (taking a fight against Renato Babalu Sobral on the same card at UFC 40, despite the UFC telling him to just wait for his title fight). After Ortiz dispatched Shamrock, he stated in the post-fight interview that the UFC would have to pay him and Liddell a lot more than they are currently paying for two friends to fight for the title. Liddell didn’t feel nearly as bothered by the notion of fighting someone he had trained with and said that Ortiz was making their friendship out to be much bigger than it was. It was such a stalemate that it led to the UFC’s first interim championship being introduced at UFC 43 in June 2003 as former heavyweight champion Randy Couture came down from heavyweight to fight Liddell, in a fight that no one thought Couture had a prayer in. Instead, Couture disrupted the UFC’s plans by winning the interim title and now Ortiz was ready to return. Couture defeated Ortiz as well before losing the title in a complete fluke of a situation against Vitor Belfort at UFC 46 in January 2004 when Couture’ eyelid was sliced by Belfort’s glove. By this point, with no title to fight over, Liddell and Ortiz met in April 2004 in a highly anticipated fight with Liddell stopping Ortiz in the second round.


Liddell would avenge his loss to Couture and win the light heavyweight title at UFC 52 in April 2005 following the first season of TUF where the two served as the inaugural coaches. Liddell won the rubber fight in February 2006 and was the most popular fighter in the UFC by leaps and bounds in 2006. His year culminated with a rematch against Ortiz, who had defeated Forrest Griffin and Ken Shamrock twice during his campaign that year leading into UFC 66. It was a massive pay-per-view for the company as the UFC was in the midst of their popularity explosion with a different universe of fans compared to their first fight in 2004. The rematch lasted longer than the first but generated a similar outcome as Liddell stopped Ortiz in the third round, it would be Liddell’s last successful title defense.

Liddell lost the title to Quinton Jackson in his next fight in May 2007 and went 1-5 after the Ortiz rematch, retiring in 2010 at the behest of Dana White and taking a position within the company.

Ortiz continued to fight for the UFC despite a tumultuous up-and-down relationship with White. Ortiz announced his first retirement ahead of his third fight with Forrest Griffin in July 2012 and was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame. Ortiz came out of retirement, signing with Bellator MMA in 2014 fought four times. His second retirement was in January 2017 where he submitted Chael Sonnen and was given a classy tribute by Bellator to conclude the broadcast.

Liddell is now 48 years old, while Ortiz is 43. Both men are significantly past their primes as athletes, but when Liddell’s position in the UFC was eliminated, the writing appeared to be on the wall that he would fight again as he never got fighting out of his system. There will be interest in the fight because of their names and history, they have a big promotional vehicle behind them and the question will be whether Golden Boy can attract an audience to buy a non-boxing pay-per-view.

**Episode 1 of UFC Embedded for UFC 226:

**Here is the full UFC 226 countdown special ahead of Saturday’s card:

*****
EGGSHELLS Podcast Companion: 1990 w/ John Pollock
https://postwrestling.podbean.com/mf/download/i9ksyn/EGGSHELLS_Podcast_Companion__1990_w__John_Pollock.mp3
*****
ASK-A-WAI – July 2018
https://www.patreon.com/posts/19739501
*****
upNXT 6/28/18: The British Are Coming with Braden Herrington & Davie Portman
https://upnxt.podbean.com/mf/download/xsma4u/upNXT-June28.mp3
*****
BWE 6/27/18: WWE UK Championship Tournament, Frontline Wrestling
https://britishwrestlingexperience.podbean.com/mf/download/xcdpv9/BWE_Episode_13.mp3
*****
BWE 6/27/18: WWE UK Championship Tournament, Launch of NXT UK, Frontline Wrestling
https://britishwrestlingexperience.podbean.com/mf/download/xcdpv9/BWE_Episode_13.mp3
*****
REWIND-A-SMACKDOWN 6/26/18: Team Hell No reunites, WWE UK Night 2, Enzo’s interview
https://postwrestling.podbean.com/mf/download/uemgty/180626_RASD.mp3
*****

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About John Pollock 1120 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.