POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: Top matches announced for Wrestle Kingdom 13

New Japan announces the top matches for the Tokyo Dome, more on Floyd Mayweather Jr's announcement with Rizin, Triple H's injury, options for Daniel Cormier, Takeshi Morishima arrested & more.


**First off, I wanted to thank everyone for their comments and feedback to our Crown Jewel show on Friday. It was the most ambitious idea Wai Ting and I have had since launching the site. I also wanted to thank the great guests that took time out of their schedules to join us with Dr. Courtney Radsch from the Committee to Protect Journalists, David Bixenspan from Deadspin & Between the Sheets podcast, Todd Martin of Pro Wrestling Torch, Nate Milton from the Kings of Sport podcast & Place to Be Nation, Brandon Howard from Wrestlenomics Radio, author Lavie Margolin & former White House staff member David Meyers. I was happy with the wide range of discussion points we had regarding the story and when it calls for it would love to do another show like this in the future. Wai deserves a ton of credit for finding a way to broadcast this show and incorporate so many live elements and without him, there is no way this show would have happened. We also posted a video of our donation being made to the CPJ after the show Friday night.

**Wai and I are back tonight with Rewind-A-Raw to review the show from Manchester, England and take your feedback (a feedback thread is already up for UK listeners that attended the show live). We will also discuss the Floyd Mayweather Jr. announcement for Rizin, the Wrestle Kingdom matches that have been announced and other news from the weekend. The show will be posted late tonight on the site and available in the usual places.

**From the weekend, we had several new shows out with a New Japan Power Struggle POST Show for members of the POST Wrestling Café, a UFC 230 POST Show with Phil Chertok & Ziggy Cao joining me for a rundown of the Madison Square Garden show, and Wai was also a guest on EGGSHELLS chatting with Chris Charlton about Wrestle Kingdom II from 2008.

**The POST MORTEM reviewing the month of October is available here with Wai Ting outlining the past month and some forthcoming changes for Café members.

**If you’re in Toronto, I’ll be participating on a panel chat Tuesday night at 6 pm for Content Talks Toronto. The panel is hosted by Michael Smith who runs various media panels throughout the year and the focus this month is podcasting. I’ll be on the panel with Sal Patel of TIFF, Ryan Freeman from Invisible City, and Kristian Borghesan from The Art of the Fail podcast. Tickets are $10 and $20 and can be purchased here with the event taking place at Nuology (480 University Avenue, Suite 1200).


*Tonight: Rewind-A-Raw with John Pollock & Wai Ting
*Tuesday: Rewind-A-SmackDown
*Tuesday: The DOUBLE SHOT (Patreon) including a review of Ultima Lucha Part 1
*Thursday: upNXT with Braden Herrington & Davie Portman
*Friday: Rewind-A-Wai #23 covering WWE Payback 2013 (Patreon)
*Saturday: EGGSHELLS Podcast Companion w/ Chris Charlton – 2009 with Joel Abraham


**New Japan Pro Wrestling held a press conference Sunday night that did not feature Floyd Mayweather Jr. New Japan announced the top matches for Wrestle Kingdom 13 on January 4th at the Tokyo Dome with the following matches listed:
*Kenny Omega vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi for the IWGP heavyweight title
*Chris Jericho vs. Tetsuya Naito for the Intercontinental title – Jericho is doing an angle refusing to grant the rematch, even if New Japan has announced it
*Kazuchika Okada vs. Jay White
*KUSHIDA vs. Taiji Ishimori for the IWGP junior heavyweight title
*El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Roppongi 3K vs. Shingo Takagi & Bushi for the IWGP junior heavyweight tag titles – this is a strange one as it’s a direct rematch from the finals of the Super Junior Tag League with Takagi & Bushi receiving a title match even after losing the final, although neither took the losing fall in the match.

**Triple H (Paul Levesque) is expected to require surgery following the tag match at Crown Jewel with Shawn Michaels against The Undertaker and Kane. Levesque suffered what is thought to be a torn pectoral muscle and the WWE stated he would be flying back to the U.S. “to undergo surgical repair”. While the surgery would likely eliminate any plans for Hunter to have a match at WrestleMania, it also raises a question about his in-ring future when weighing the benefits and risks. It’s always terrible to suffer an injury that requires months and months of rehabilitation, but it’s one thing when you’re 31 years old and tear a quad where you can move to Birmingham, Alabama and make rehab your full-time job. But when you’re 49 years old, a major executive in the company and already spread thin with so many duties, rehab becomes a major time commitment that takes away from his regular duties and is going to make the next months extremely taxing. He obviously loves wrestling, but this is the type of injury that those around him at the company may need to assess if it’s the best use of his time and skills to be performing sporadic matches and risking a major injury that is going to diminish the time from his official role at the company. Even if it turns out this is not a full pectoral tear and the recovery is a shorter length, it’s a discussion worth exploring internally of putting one of their major executives in the ring when so much has been thrust upon Levesque to carry out on a daily basis.

**The WWE is taping Raw this afternoon from the Manchester Arena in England with the show airing on tape delay tonight in North America. It’s a rapid turnaround with the company limited to two weeks of promotion for the Survivor Series on November 18th in Los Angeles.

**The European tour continues Tuesday with the SmackDown, 205 Live & Mixed Match Challenge tapings in Manchester at the same venue. The Raw crew has a show in Leeds, England. The tour runs through Sunday and the crew returns for Raw next Monday in Kansas City, Missouri.


**The Washington Post covered the WWE’s Crown Jewel event in Friday and their choice to go ahead with the show. The reporter, Kevin Sullivan, noted that “fawning Saudi journalists lined up for photos with three WWE wrestlers who were not eager to discuss the Khashoggi controversy.” Sullivan attempted to get a comment on the controversy from Dolph Ziggler, who responded with, “WWE has released a statement on that. We love traveling the world and representing WWE and putting on a great show. The more we can come here and have that relationship with the fans, the better I think it is for all of us.”

**There won’t be any sense of how much the WWE made for the Crown Jewel event until early next year when they announce their fourth-quarter and year-end results. Even then, because the WWE has noted a confidentiality clause with the General Sports Authority, the actual figure is baked into a broader category of “Other Media” rather than being its own line item. The company did state that had they not gone through with Crown Jewel, it would affect their fourth-quarter guidance.

**The November 15th NXT live event in San Jose has been changed to a television taping. It is going to be a dilemma as they will be taping television to air after TakeOver with the event taking place November 17th.

**Michael Cole and Renee Young appeared on BBC Radio Monday and were asked about the Crown Jewel broadcast. Cole stated the company was trying to bring change and were hopeful one day women will be able to compete in the ring in Saudi Arabia. Young added that many fans came up to her and told her they want to see female wrestlers in the ring.

**The WWE’s stock shot up over 4% on Monday closing at $73.15.

**ROH will begin their Global Wars tour on Wednesday in Lewiston, Maine. The tour will feature four shows with additional stops in Lowell, Massachusetts on Thursday, Buffalo on Friday and Toronto this Sunday at the Mattamy Athletic Centre. Here are the matches for Wednesday’s card in Lewiston with all the shows streaming on Honor Club:
*Jay Lethal, Jonathan Gresham, KUSHIDA & Chris Sabin vs. Tetsuya Naito, EVIL, Sanada & Bushi
*The Young Bucks vs. Bully Ray & Silas Young
*Christopher Daniels vs. Juice Robinson
*Matt Taven, Vinny Marseglia & TK O’Ryan vs. Dalton Castle & The Boys
*Cody & Hangman Page vs. The Briscoe Brothers
*Frankie Kazarian & Scorpio Sky vs. Beer City Bruiser & Brian Milonas in a non-title match
*Jeff Cobb vs. Cheeseburger in a non-title match
*Flip Gordon vs. Eli Isom

**Ring of Honor has added a singles match between Zack Sabre Jr. and Jonathan Gresham to Final Battle on Friday, December 14th at the Hammerstein Ballroom. They have also announced Sumie Sakai will defend the Women of Honor title in a four-way on the show with the opponents to be announced.


**After Hirooki Goto defeated Taichi for the NEVER Openweight title, he was interviewed backstage and stated he wanted to defend the title against Kota Ibushi and also wants to face Will Ospreay when he is healthy to return.

**The WWE has announced the following dates for their spring 2019 European tour: May 8th in Belfast, Northern Ireland at the SSE Arena, May 9th in Dublin, Ireland at the 3Arena, May 12th in Liverpool at Echo Arena, May 13th in Bournemouth at the International Centre, May 13th at the O2 Arena in London (Raw tapings), May 14th at the O2 Arena (SmackDown tapings), May 15th in Birmingham at the Resorts World Arena, May 16th in Sheffield at the FlyDSA Arena, May 17th in Cardiff, Wales at the Motorpoint Arena, and May 18th in Newcastle at the Metro Radio Arena.

**Former GHC heavyweight and ROH champion Takeshi Morishima was arrested Sunday, according to a report from TV Asahi. The report states that Morishima was arrested on suspicion of attacking a taxi driver in Tokyo after Morishima refused to pay the driver 18,000 yen. The driver was said to have injured his cheekbones from the assault. Morishima came up through All Japan’s system and left with the roster in 2000 as Mitsuharu Misawa formed Pro Wrestling NOAH. He was a five-time GHC tag champion with partners Takeshi Rikio, Kensuke Sasaki, Mohammed Yone & Maybach Taniguchi. He was sent to the United States to work for Ring of Honor and became Gabe Sapolsky’s major project. Morishima won the ROH title from Homicide in February 2007 and held it until October. His reign included the 2007 Wrestling Observer Newsletter Match of the Year with Morishima and Bryan Danielson from Manhattan, New York. Morishima returned to NOAH and won the GHC heavyweight title for the first time in March 2008 by ending the 448-day reign of Misawa. He would win the title again in January 2012 from Go Shiosaki for a year-long run and then won it once more in January 2014, dropping it to Yuji Nagata the next month. He retired in 2015 due to health concerns but was planning a comeback for 2019.

**Impact Wrestling had another bad number in their new time slot at 10 pm on Pop TV. Last Thursday’s episode averaged 105,000 viewers, barely above the previous week’s figure of 98,000 and barely cracked the top 150 cable episodes on Thursday coming in at #147. Impact is promoting this week’s episode as a special called “Final Hour” and features Johnny Impact vs. Killer Kross for the Impact title and Eddie Edwards vs. Moose from the final night of tapings at the Melrose Ballroom.

**Matt Taven, Vinny Marseglia & TK O’Ryan won the ROH six-man tag titles on Sunday at the Survival of the Fittest card in Columbus, Ohio. The Kingdom defeated Cody & The Young Bucks, who had held the titles since July. It’s the third reign for The Kingdom as six-man tag champions with Ring of Honor. Marty Scurll won the Survival of the Fittest tournament to earn a future ROH title shot. Scurll defeated Silas Young and Stuka Jr. to advance to the final where he defeated Christopher Daniels, Hangman Page, Jonathan Gresham, PJ Black, and Guerrero Maya Jr in a six-man elimination match.

**A new episode of WWE Ride Along will air on the WWE Network tonight after Raw with Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre, and Renee Young, Corey Graves & Nia Jax.

**Momo Watanabe and Utami Hayashashita won the Goddesses of Stardom Tag League tournament on Sunday defeating Bea Priestley and Chardonnay in the final in Fukuoka. Watanabe and Hayashishita had 8 points in the Blue Block, which tied them for first with Hana Kimura & Mary Apace. Priestley & Chardonnay won the Red Block with seven points and edged out Hazuki & Kagetsu by one point.

**Progress Wrestling has announced that Chapter 86 “Corrupted Harmony” will take place on Sunday, March 10th in Birmingham, England at the O2 Academy.

**OTT has released the entire match from their 4th-anniversary show last month between WALTER and Will Ospreay at Dublin National Stadium:


**Late Sunday night, a press conference was held by the Rizin Fighting Federation involving Floyd Mayweather Jr. and the announcement he will be fighting undefeated kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa on New Year’s Eve. The news came out of nowhere with the only hint coming earlier that night when Mayweather posted a photo wearing Rizin gloves. Mayweather was in attendance with Brent Johnson of One Entertainment, who is believed to have brokered the deal with Mayweather as it was curious that there was no presence from Mayweather’s long-time manager Leonard Ellerbe or Mayweather Promotions. They stated throughout the press conference that the rules and weight have not been decided upon with Mayweather confident his team would work it out with Rizin with the latter obviously in no position to dictate any terms and I would assume will acquiesce to any demands from Mayweather’s side. Nasukawa is no joke as an opponent as he has a 27-0 record in kickboxing and just beat Kyoji Horiguchi, who challenged Demetrious Johnson for the flyweight title in 2015. Nasukawa has also won all four MMA bouts he has participated in. Nasukawa competes at 128 pounds, so will be fighting a much heavier weight against Mayweather, who fought at 149.5 in his last fight against Conor McGregor and 146 pounds at the end of his boxing career.

The expectation would be that it’s presented as an exhibition with minimal rounds, but the larger question is how this deal is being financed and worth Mayweather’s time and effort. I cannot imagine Mayweather agreeing to anything other than traditional boxing rules as opening the fight to kicks would be insane on his part against someone like Nasukawa.

For someone that doesn’t fight for anything under eight figures, there must be an enormous backer for this fight and a larger outlet for a worldwide audience beyond FITE TV. The news has been covered by many major outlets and is likely the first-time casual fans have ever heard of Nasukawa and Rizin. For Nasukawa, this is a huge win for his notoriety in Japan and would instantly make him the top Japanese fighter in the country just because of the press he is going to receive for the next two months. For Rizin, the hope would be a massive audience on New Year’s Eve to create new fans. It will be the biggest New Year’s Eve card in Japan since the heyday of Pride and K-1 even if the fight is an exhibition, the draw will be the star power of Mayweather in a non-traditional setting for the undefeated boxer.


**The UFC 230 card had an announced attendance of 17,011 and a live gate of $2,841,718. It was a very healthy gate by the standards of a UFC show, although it paled to the first two UFC cards at Madison Square Garden. For comparison, the first show in November 2016 was a monster with Eddie Alvarez vs. Conor McGregor drawing 20,437 and the record gate for the company & The Garden at $17,700,000. Last year’s card at MSG drew 18,201 and $6,200,000 featuring three title fights and headlined by Georges St-Pierre defeating Michael Bisping in his first fight in four years.

**Former middleweight champion Chris Weidman put out the following statement after his loss to Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza on Saturday at UFC 230:

Unfortunately last night didn’t workout for me. Congrats to Jacare & his family & team on a amazing win. He is a true warrior & it was an honor to share the octagon with him. Thanks to everyone for the support, love & prayers. I appreciate it all. I will be back better from this!

It was a difficult loss for Weidman in terms of the immediate future. The loss sends Weidman back several spots within the top end of the middleweight mix and negates the win he had over Kelvin Gastelum in 2017 while a win over Jacare would have cemented him as the next title challenger. They could try and make the rematch with Luke Rockhold again or he could fight someone like Derek Brunson or a rising star in Paulo Costa. It wouldn’t surprise me if he eyed a move up to light heavyweight but there are lots of fights for him at middleweight but for the first time in years it feels like he is out of the title picture at that weight class.

**The next months for Daniel Cormier are going to be very intriguing. After making quick work of Derrick Lewis on Saturday at UFC 230 with a performance outlining the gulf of difference between both fighters, Cormier stands to have at minimum one major money fight before retirement. Cormier maintains he will retire on his 40th birthday on March 20th despite his star power is at an all-time high and the options of fighting Brock Lesnar and Jon Jones in 2019. Lesnar did not appear at Madison Square Garden on Saturday and there is no indication Lesnar has signed with the UFC, however, he is active in the USADA testing pool and would be eligible to fight in early 2019. The date Cormier is eyeing is March 2nd when the UFC 235 event is scheduled at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. From a timing standpoint, Lesnar would have lots of time to train and it’s not imperative he drop the Universal title before that date. The fight would be a big one and would coincide with the start of the UFC’s deal with ESPN, meaning Lesnar would be featured on ESPN a month out from WrestleMania, if the plan would be Lesnar defending the title in April at MetLife Stadium.

For Cormier to fight Jones for the third time, I don’t see how it’s possible unless Cormier sticks around longer than intended. Assuming Jones and Alexander Gustafsson fight on December 29th, there is no way Jones is going to turn around that quickly for such a big fight with Cormier. There is huge interest in seeing Jones go up to heavyweight and fight Cormier, although all indications are that if the rematch occurs, it would be at light heavyweight. With the increased coverage ESPN is going to provide UFC, the big pay-per-views could be even larger with Cormier looking at two fights in 2019 that could come close or eclipse 1,000,000 buys. Cormier has made a lot of money the last few years and has so many options outside of fighting that he doesn’t need these fights, but it’s hard to walk away with such lucrative options. The competitive side of Cormier wants that fight with Jones because if he wins that fight, it’s hard to deny that Cormier retires as the greatest fighter ever. The Lesnar fight isn’t a legacy one and Cormier would be a big favorite, but it’s a financially savvy fight and could segue Cormier into a position down the road with the WWE. In fact, if I was the WWE, I would try and get both men on Raw for a segment prior to the fight knowing it could pay dividends to have Cormier introduced on WWE programming. It’s fascinating to watch how Cormier’s career ends and one day there should be a movie made on this guy’s life.


**The UFC will be holding their 25th Anniversary card this Saturday from Denver, Colorado (the site of UFC 1 on November 12th, 1993). The new main event is a featherweight fight between Chan Sung Jung and Yair Rodriguez after Frankie Edgar was injured and replaced by Rodriguez. Jung is making up for lost time as he’s been limited due to several factors with only two fights in five years. Jung challenged then-champion Jose Aldo for the featherweight title in August 2013 and lost. In late 2014, he underwent his mandatory military service in South Korea that took two years from his career. He came back in February 2017 and defeated Dennis Bermudez but has not fought since. Rodriguez has his own issues that led to inactivity as he hasn’t fought since May 2017 when he was dominated by Frankie Edgar and suffered the second loss of his career. It appeared Rodriguez was leaving the UFC after problems with UFC president Dana White, but the sides mended fences and he is back. It’s a quality main event involving two title contenders at 145 pounds. Below is the full card for this Saturday:

MAIN CARD (10 pm Eastern on FS 1, TSN 5 in Canada)
*Chan Sung Jung vs. Yair Rodriguez
*Donald Cerrone vs. Mike Perry
*Raquel Pennington vs. Germaine de Randamie
*Joseph Benavidez vs. Ray Borg
*Maycee Barber vs. Hannah Cifers
*Mike Trizano vs. Luis Pena

PRELIMINARY CARD (8 pm on FS 1, Fight Network in Canada)
*Ashley Yoder vs. Amanda Cooper
*Chas Skelly vs. Bobby Moffett
*Beneil Dariush vs. Thiago Moises
*Devonte Smith vs. Julian Erosa

FIGHT PASS CARD (6:30 pm Eastern)
*Davi Ramos vs. John Gunther
*Eric Shelton vs. Joseph Morales
*Mark de la Rosa vs. Joby Sanchez

**The UFC released their events schedule for the first quarter of 2019 when they move over to ESPN. Their first show on ESPN+ is Saturday, January 19th and is going to be a big show from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. UFC president Dana White stated after UFC 230 that the fights on Saturday would dictate some decisions for the Brooklyn card, without mentioning any names. It’s been suggested to have Israel Adesanya fight Anderson Silva on that card and it makes a lot of sense for a major fight on the first ESPN+ card and it was the fight I immediately thought of for Adesanya after his win over Derek Brunson. Below are the cards that have been announced for next year:
*Saturday, January 19th – UFC Fight Night on ESPN+ from the Barclays Center (the early prelims will stream on ESPN+, the televised prelims will air on ESPN and the main card on ESPN+)
*Saturday, January 26th – UFC 233 from the Honda Center in Anaheim (the televised prelims will air on ESPN)
*Saturday, February 2nd – UFC Fight Night on ESPN+ from Brazil (all the fights will air on ESPN+)
*Saturday, February 9th – UFC 234 (Dana White has basically confirmed this event will be in Australia and feature Robert Whittaker vs. Kelvin Gastelum for the middleweight title)
*Sunday, February 17th – UFC Fight Night on ESPN from the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix
*Saturday, February 23rd – UFC Fight Night on ESPN+
*Saturday, March 2nd – UFC 235 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas
*Saturday, March 9th – UFC Fight Night on ESPN+
*Saturday, March 16th – UFC Fight Night on ESPN+ from the O2 Arena in London, England
*Saturday, March 23rd – UFC Fight Night on ESPN+
*Saturday, March 30th – UFC Fight Night on ESPN

**The UFC has announced that Gilbert Melendez has suffered an injury and is off the TUF 28 Finale card where he was set to fight Arnold Allen. Melendez will be replaced by Rick Glenn in the featherweight fight with Allen on Friday, November 30th in Las Vegas. The card is headlined by a welterweight fight between Rafael dos Anjos and Kamaru Usman along with the finals of the TUF heavyweight and women’s featherweight tournaments.

John Pollock is joined by Phil Chertok & Ziggy Cao to rundown the UFC 230 card from Madison Square Garden with Daniel Cormier vs. Derrick Lewis for the UFC heavyweight title.
John Pollock & Wai Ting review New Japan’s Power Struggle card from Osaka featuring Chris Jericho vs. EVIL for the IC title, Tetsuya Naito vs. Zack Sabre Jr. & Tomohiro Ishii vs. Minoru Suzuki.
EGGSHELLS Podcast Companion: 2008 w/ Wai Ting
Episode 20 sees Chris Charlton and Wai Ting look at 2008. NJPW go from battling AJPW in the Dome to taking on TNA. Kurt Angle and Yuji Nagata steal the show, while Shinsuke Nakamura and Hiroshi Tanahashi headline.
WWE Crown Jewel POST Show (In Support of the Committee to Protect Journalists)
John Pollock & Wai Ting present a special live POST Show immediately following WWE Crown Jewel. Beyond discussing the results of this event, we’ll be conducting in-depth interviews about the various issues surrounding WWE’s involvement with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
John Pollock and Wai Ting answer their patrons’ questions from the POST Wrestling Forum in the November 2018 edition of Ask-A-Wai. Plus, we announce a number of upcoming changes to our Patreon tiers.
Braden Herrington & Davie Portman chat this week’s episode of WWE NXT featuring the debut of Matt Riddle and a huge backstage brawl. They also give their thoughts on WWE Evolution, the MYC Finals, and details about their Halloween party.

John Pollock & WH Park chat the Super Junior Tag League tournament, a big preview of NJPW’s Power Struggle, Kento Miyahara regains Triple Crown, a Q&A from listeners & more.
BWE 10/31/18
Martin Bushby, Oli Court & Benno are back to talk Attack Pro Wrestling Goosebumps VI (Team Whitewolf vs. The Hunter Brothers), Revolution Pro Wrestling TV Tapings (Zack Sabre JR vs. Kushida), Global Wars UK (Tomohiro Ishii vs. Minoru Suzuki).
Braden Herrington & Davie Portman from upNXT are back with their second film review podcast and in honor of today’s date (October 31st), they review HALLOWEEN II (1981).

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About John Pollock 5441 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.