POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: WWE expected to make final decision on Crown Jewel, per report

A report states the WWE is expected to make a final decision on going to Saudi Arabia for Crown Jewel, Roman Reigns issues statement, latest on John Cena, SmackDown preview & more.


**This week’s edition of Rewind-A-Raw is on the site with Wai Ting and I chatting all the news coming out of Monday’s show. We start off the show chatting about Roman Reigns and cover the latest on John Cena, Saudi Arabia, Alexa Bliss, and a review of Raw. This is a packed show and can be downloaded or listen through iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

**Wai and I are back tonight with Rewind-A-SmackDown, we will chat all the news from today, plus reviews of SmackDown and the Mixed Match Challenge. We will also preview the Evolution card and take your feedback and questions from the POST Wrestling Forum.

**We will also have the DOUBLE SHOT up late tonight for members of the POST Wrestling Café. I will be reviewing this past Sunday’s NWA 70th-Anniversary card from Nashville and will also go over by ballot for the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame. Wai Ting will review the most recent episodes of Being the Elite and Total Divas.

**Feedback for this week’s Rewind-A-Wai covering Battleground 2016 (Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose) can be posted on the POST Wrestling Forum.


*Tonight: Rewind-A-SmackDown
*Thursday: upNXT & Forever Young with Braden Herrington & Davie Portman
*Friday: Rewind-A-Wai #22 on WWE Battleground 2016 (chosen by Espresso Executive Producer Jerry Kilgore)
*Saturday: EGGSHELLS Podcast Companion: 2007 with Chris Charlton and guest @Alan4L
*Sunday: WWE Evolution POST Show with John Pollock & Wai Ting (watch the live video stream if you are a Double Double, Iced Capp or Espresso member of the POST Wrestling Café)


**There is so much news going on within WWE with short and long-term effects. The biggest story is the news that Roman Reigns (Joe Anoa’i) has battling leukemia and is gone indefinitely with the Universal title vacated. Reigns announced this at the start of Raw, acknowledging that he battled leukemia in 2007 and it went into remission. It was a story few were aware of regarding his past fight with leukemia and given the WWE’s connection to so many charities and cancer awareness campaigns, it’s exemplary that he never opted to make it part of his story when the company has gone to incredible lengths marketing him in a positive manner. Reigns issued the following comment online Tuesday:

Thank you to everyone who’s reached out…I can’t put into words what it means to me. Your energy and positivity motivate me to get better quickly to get back in the ring, but for now I’m going to spend time with my family and focus on health. Thank you – Joe/Roman

**The new main event for Crown Jewel is scheduled between Brock Lesnar and Braun Strowman on November 2nd with the winner becoming Universal champion. The Crown Jewel show itself is in a state of flux. Tony Maglio at The Wrap is reporting that the WWE will decide the fate of the Crown Jewel event on Wednesday. The Turkish government was scheduled to release their findings into the murder of Jamal Khashoggi on Tuesday and it could sway the WWE’s decision to go to Saudi Arabia. Robbie Fox of Barstool Sports adds that the company is “frantically scouting locations to move Crown Jewel to. This is NOT definite confirmation that it’s out of Saudi Arabia, but the location and date are unquestionably in major jeopardy right now.”

**The timing is important of the WWE’s deadline to make a decision. On Thursday, they are scheduled for their quarterly investor’s call and earnings report being released. I would imagine this subject will dominate the investor’s call and it’s going to be a tough position for the WWE to take if they stick to their plan of running Crown Jewel in Riyadh. Conversely, you will have shareholders and analysts also question the financial windfall of pulling out of the show and future repercussions to the deal with the General Sports Authority. This deal is a mess for the company and it’s a matter of mitigating rather than avoiding because any choice they make is going to have a backlash.


**While the WWE has not reacted, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gave a speech Tuesday in Ankara to add additional details on the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Erdogan contradicted the latest story his death came because of a fistfight. Erdogan outlined that the murder was planned. He stated that a hard disk inside one of the cameras at the consulate was removed and that a team visited a nearby wooded area for reconnaissance prior to the murder. Erdogan did not make a case that it was ordered by the top of the Saudi Arabian government nor mentioning Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Turkey had previously indicated there was audio evidence of Khashoggi’s murder but that was not included in Erdogan’s address on Tuesday either. Erdogan traced the planning of Khashoggi’s murder to September 28th, which was the last time Khashoggi visited the consulate in Istanbul prior to October 2nd, which is the date he entered the consulate and never left. He is also calling on the 18 Saudi Arabian suspects arrested to be turned over and tried in Turkey for a “fair and impartial delegation.”

**U.S. President Donald Trump came out Tuesday with his strongest language aimed at Saudi Arabia for the entire Jamal Khashoggi story. Trump called it, “the worst cover-up ever”. Trump went on to state that “Somebody really messed up. Whoever thought of that idea is in big trouble, I think, and they should be in big trouble.”

**Tonight’s WWE tapings are at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey with the following announced:
*AJ Styles & Daniel Bryan vs. The Usos
*Rusev vs. Aiden English
*Naomi vs. Mandy Rose
*Rey Mysterio on Miz TV
*Hideo Itami vs. Mustafa Ali in a Falls Count Anywhere match on 205 Live
*Mike Kanellis vs. Lince Dorado on 205 Live
*Bobby Roode & Natalya vs. Finn Balor & Bayley on the Mixed Match Challenge
*Naomi & Jimmy Uso vs. Asuka & The Miz on the Mixed Match Challenge

**Tonight’s episode of SmackDown goes up against Game 1 of the World Series between the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers on Fox.

**Robbie Fox had reported Monday that John Cena and Daniel Bryan were refusing to work the Crown Jewel. I was told that on Monday afternoon, creative was informed that John Cena was off the show and they did have a replacement in mind. On Monday’s Raw, Cena was still being advertised and mentioned in a promo by Kurt Angle as participating in the World Cup. That tells me there is still hope they can work out a deal with Cena, or if the event moves it could eliminate whatever reservations Cena has. It’s worth mentioning, I was not given the specific reason for Cena’s removal from Crown Jewel.

**The WWE’s “Road to Evolution” special that aired immediately after Raw averaged 1,114,000 viewers on the USA Network.

**Monday’s episode of Raw averaged 2,609,000 in the first hour, 2,622,000 in the second, and 2,413,000 in the final hour. It was their most-watched episode since September 17th and I would imagine a lot of people were tuning in after the Roman Reigns news began circulating after the opening segment. The Monday Night Football game between the New York Giants and Atlanta Falcons averaged 10,325,000 viewers.


**Alexa Bliss suffered an injury this past weekend at the WWE’s live event in Hartford and was not at television Monday in Providence. They are optimistic she will be able to work the Evolution card on Sunday, but they appear to have Alicia Fox set up as a replacement, if necessary.

**The only mention of Roman Reigns’ prior battle with leukemia was a vague reference by sports writer Justin Rogers in a 2015 article. The story focused on footballer player Calvin Johnson and his former Georgia Tech teammate, Joe Anoa’i. The article mentioned Anoa’i going undrafted and then, “As a free agent, Anoa’i got a shot with the Minnesota Vikings and Jacksonville Jaguars, but a serious illness forced him to take some time off.”

**A rematch between Tomohiro Ishii and Minoru Suzuki for the British heavyweight title has been added to Power Struggle on November 3rd.

**The Super Junior Tag League has a break until Friday when they resume the tour with shows at Korakuen Hall Friday and Saturday. The standings feature Shingo Takagi & Bushi tied with Roppongi 3K on top with six points each, Jushin Thunder Liger & Tiger Mask and Taiji Ishimori & Robbie Eagles have four each, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado, Volador Jr. & Soberano Jr., ACH & Ryusuke Taguchi, and KUSHIDA & Chris Sabin have two points each. There are six more tournament shows with the final show on November 1st and the finals on November 3rd at Power Struggle in Osaka.

**Ring of Honor has begun to announce matches for next month’s Global Wars tour.
*Juice Robinson vs. Christopher Daniels on November 7th in Lewiston, Maine
*Tetsuya Naito vs. Hangman Page on November 8th in Lowell, Massachusetts.
*Jay Lethal vs. Kenny King for the ROH title, Cody vs. Trent Beretta for the IWGP U.S. title on November 11th in Toronto

**The WWE stock closed at $82.24 on Tuesday.

**Members of the WWE locker room greet Roman Reigns after his speech on Raw:


REWIND-A-RAW 10/22/18: Roman Reigns reveals battle with leukemia, relinquishes the Universal title
It was a very emotional edition of Raw with Roman Reigns relinquishing the Universal title with the news that he is battling leukemia. The show also featured a contract signing between Ronda Rousey and Nikki Bella, Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose going for the Raw tag titles, the new title match at Crown Jewel, an appearance by DX and more on the “go home” show for Evolution.

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About John Pollock 3955 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.