POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: ROH’s Final Battle moved up, scheduled for four hour window

ROH Final Battle starting one hour earlier with four-hour window, ONE Championship expected to announce a deal with Turner, Finn Balor update, Spring Break Part 2 and more.

POST IT NOTES

**This week’s edition of Rewind-A-Raw is up featuring Wai Ting and I reviewing Monday’s episode from San Diego, a fascinating segment at the start of the show, a TLC match headlining the show, the Natalya segment with Ruby Riott, and lots more. Plus, we discussed the news of the day with the complete card for Wrestle Kingdom announced, New Japan’s next U.S. dates, the latest on the Colt Cabana lawsuit against CM Punk, Spring Break adds a second WrestleMania Week show and a rundown of this week’s busy POST Wrestling schedule.

**A reminder that the year-end awards voting ends Thursday at Midnight Eastern so submit your “Best of 2018” and “Worst of 2018” picks before the deadline.

**Wai Ting and I are back tonight with Rewind-A-SmackDown covering the final show before TLC and Wai will cover the semi-finals of the Mixed Match Challenge as this tournament comes to its thrilling conclusion Sunday. We will be doing our weekly POST Wrestling prize pack giveaway to a member of the POST Wrestling Café member at the start of the show, all Patrons are eligible to win a weekly prize by random draw.

**We will also have a new edition of the Double Shot coming out Wednesday morning with bonus reviews of Being the Elite, this past week’s MLW episode, and I’ll also be chatting the Matt Riddle shorts that the WWE has been releasing. This show is available for members of the POST Wrestling Café.

**This Thursday on the Café Hangout, we will be doing our WWE TLC preview and will be joined by Smash Wrestling’s Sebastian Suave to chat this Sunday’s card at the Franklin Horner Community Centre in Toronto. The show will be live at 3 pm Eastern Thursday for Double Double, Iced Capp and Espresso members of the Café and then uploaded for free on Friday afternoon on YouTube and to download the podcast version.

POST WRESTLING SCHEDULE THIS WEEK
*Tonight: Rewind-A-SmackDown
*Tonight:
 Double Shot (Patreon)
*Wednesday:
 British Wrestling Experience with guest Findlay Martin to chat the passing of the Dynamite Kid
*Thursday:
 The POST Roundtable featuring Ariel Helwani of ESPN
*Thursday: 
upNXT with Braden Herrington and Davie Portman
*Thursday:
 Café Hangout at 3 pm with guest Sebastian Suave of Smash Wrestling (Double Double and above members of the Café get it live, free show the next day)
*Friday: 
Marvel review of “Captain America – The First Avenger” (Patreon)
*Friday: 
ROH Final Battle POST Show with John Pollock and Mike Murray
*Saturday: 
EGGSHELLS Podcast Companion with Chris Charlton – 2014 with Juan Torres of The Lion Marks
*Saturday: 
POST Puroresu with John Pollock and WH Park
*Sunday: 
WWE TLC POST Show with John Pollock and Wai Ting (live video stream for Double Double and higher members of the Café)

WRESTLING NEWS

**The WWE’s SmackDown, 205 Live and Mixed Match Challenge tapings take place tonight from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Here is what they have announced for tonight’s tapings:
*Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair
*Naomi vs. Mandy Rose
*A rap battle between The Bar and The Usos hosted by New Day
*Apollo Crews and Bayley vs. Jinder Mahal and Alicia Fox in the semi-finals of the Mixed Match Challenge
*R-Truth and Carmella vs. The Miz and Asuka in the semi-finals of the Mixed Match Challenge
*Buddy Murphy vs. Noam Dar in a non-title match on 205 Live

**Finn Balor is not cleared to wrestle yet, but the expectation is he will be by Sunday’s TLC show where he is scheduled to face Drew McIntyre. Balor isn’t dealing with an injury as it’s more of an illness that requires clearance for physical contact. He is being replaced in the Mixed Match Challenge by Apollo Crews. Obviously, if there is a problem and he cannot be cleared in time they can write him off Sunday’s show and attribute it to the attack by McIntyre.

**This Friday’s ROH Final Battle pay-per-view will be starting at 8 pm Eastern instead of the regular 9 pm start time for their cards. Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter adds that the show is scheduled for a four-hour window -on pay-per-view. The new start time means that Final Battle and MLW’s live broadcast on beIN Sports will go head-to-head.

**ROH has also added a match between Kenny King and Eli Isom to kick off Final Battle at the Hammerstein Ballroom Friday night. Below is the updated card for the pay-per-view:
*Jay Lethal vs. Cody for the ROH title
*Jeff Cobb vs. Hangman Page for the ROH Television title
*Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky vs. The Young Bucks vs. The Briscoes in a Ladder War for the ROH tag titles
*Sumie Sakai vs. Madison Rayne vs. Karen Q vs. Kelly Klein for the Women of Honor title
*Dalton Castle vs. Matt Taven
*Bully Ray vs. Flip Gordon in an I Quit match
*Marty Scurll vs. Christopher Daniels for a future ROH title shot
*Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Jonathan Gresham
*Kenny King vs. Eli Isom

**This Sunday’s match between Elias and Bobby Lashley will be a ladder match. A guitar will be hung over the ring and whoever retrieves the guitar will be allowed to use it as a weapon.

**Dakota Kai suffered a knee injury at an NXT live event over the weekend. The extent of the injury is not yet known.

**All Japan’s Real-World Tag League tournament concluded Tuesday at Korakuen Hall. The team of Joe Doering and Dylan James won the tournament defeating Shuji Ishikawa and Suwama on the final day with both going into the final day with 12 points. On the final day, there were five teams tied with 12 points altogether with Suwama & Ishikawa, Jun Akiyama & Daisuke Sekimoto, Kengo Mashimo & KAI, and Parrow & Odinson all losing Tuesday and Doering & James winning with 14 points after their win. Below are the final point totals:
*Joe Doering and Dylan James – 14
*Suwama and Shuji Ishikawa, Parrow and Odinson, Jun Akiyama and Daisuke Sekimoto, KAI and Kengo Mashimo – 12
*Kento Miyahara and Yoshitatsu, Manabu Soya and Takao Omori, Jake Lee and Ryoji Sai – 10
*Zeus and The Bodyguard – 8
*Naoya Nomura and Yuma Aoyagi, Tajiri and Gianni Valletta – 6

**Game Changer Wrestling had added an additional Spring Break show for WrestleMania Weekend in April. Following an instant sellout of the White Eagle Hall on Friday, April 5th, the promotion has added the second half of Spring Break that will take place Saturday night at Midnight from the same venue. The company has stated they will wait for people arriving from the Ring of Honor card at Madison Square Garden earlier that evening. Joey Janela added that talent will be different on both shows with the Saturday show being promoted as “The Greatest Clusterfuck”, which is their battle royal concept. Tickets for the second half of Spring Break go on sale this Friday at Noon Eastern and will likely be another immediate sellout.

**MLW has hit with numerous injuries for this week’s show in Miami and the latest is Jason Cade, who is off the card due to a legitimately broken ankle. Cade was scheduled to participate in a four-way ladder match for the vacant middleweight title and will be replaced by El Hijo de LA Park. The four-way match will also feature Dezmond Xavier, Kotto Brazil, and Andrew Everett.

**Pro Wrestling Guerrilla will return to The Globe Theatre on Friday, January 18th in Los Angeles with “Hand of Doom” and the following matches announced:
*Jeff Cobb vs. Trevor Lee for the PWG title
*Dezmond Xavier and Zachary Wentz vs. Chuck Taylor and Trent Beretta for the PWG tag titles
*Bandido vs. Flip Gordon
*Santana and Ortiz vs. Flamita and Rey Horus
*Robbie Eagles vs. Jonathan Gresham
*Puma King vs. DJZ
*Brody King vs. Jungle Boy (Jungle Boy is Jake Perry, the son of actor Luke Perry and made his Game Changer Wrestling debut on the L.A Confidential card last month)

**The WWE and USA Network is promoting “WWE Holiday Week” next week with programming every night. Raw and SmackDown will air Monday and Tuesday followed by “New Day’s WWE 2018 Pancake Powered Year End Spectacular” on Wednesday at 10 pm Eastern recapping 2018, Tribute to the Troops airs Thursday night at 9 pm and the week concludes with “San Andreas” starring Dwayne Johnson on Friday at 6 pm. Throughout the week, there will be interviews with The Miz and Maryse, Ronda Rousey, The Bella Twins, Natalya, and Lana on the “Talk Stoop” program.

**The UK based Fight Forever group that just ran four events over the past week, have announced two shows for 2019. The promotion will return with a show Thursday, January 24th in Birmingham, England at the PRYZM with Will Ospreay, Jimmy Havoc, El Phantasmo, Bea Priestley, Millie McKenzie, Lana Austin, and Drew Parker advertised. They will run the same venue on Friday, March 29th with PAC, Joe Hendry, Jimmy Havoc, El Phantasmo, David Starr, Lana Austin, and Chris Ridgeway announced for the show.

**There are two more episodes of NXT UK airing Wednesday and 3 and 4 pm Eastern on the WWE Network. The first episode will feature Trent Seven taking on Joe Coffey. The second hour will be headlined by Eddie Dennis and Dave Mastiff.

**The NWA and Lightning 1 has announced the hiring of Maureen Tracy as their Lead Operations Manager.

**The WWE stock closed at $75.44 on Tuesday. It traded as high as $78.08 during the day before falling.

MMA NEWS

**ONE Championship is expected to announce a distribution deal with Turner Sports. Ariel Helwani of ESPN broke the news that ONE is set to announce a three-year deal with Turner Sports that calls for 24 events per year to air on TNT and other digital platforms. Helwani’s report adds that shoulder programming and a reality show are also in the works as part of the pact. The deal will begin with a card from Jakarta, Indonesia on Saturday, January 19th. The 24 shows will be available to purchase on Turner’s streaming service B/R Live. Taped events and shoulder programming are scheduled to run on TNT, which due to the time zone difference would make it difficult to broadcast the shows live. The price point of the shows on B/R Live is not known yet.

Helwani adds that recent signing Sage Northcutt is expected to make his promotional debut on February 22nd in Singapore and Demetrious Johnson is set to debut on March 31st in Tokyo, Japan while Eddie Alvarez is in talks to fight on one or the other.

The major question is how much this deal is worth to ONE and whether Turner is paying a significant amount for the rights to their content in the U.S. This follows major deals for Bellator and Combate Americans with the upstart DAZN streaming service and ESPN’s enormous $1.5 billion deal for the UFC package that goes into effect on January 1st, 2019.

**Jon Jones appeared in front of the California State Athletic Commission Tuesday and was granted a temporary license in allow him to fight Alexander Gustafsson on December 29th in Las Vegas. Earlier this year, his licensed was revoked and he received a fine of $205,000 stemming from his July 2017 drug test failure after his second win over Daniel Cormier, which was changed to a no contest. Jones has also agreed to perform community service that will allow Jones to be fully reinstated in California. During Tuesday’s hearing, it was suggested Jones undergo additional drug testing through VADA (Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency) in addition to the USADA testing that he subjected to as a UFC athlete. It was left that Jones had agreed in principle to the additional testing but did not formally agree and isn’t required to.

**Bloody Elbow has provided an extensive report on the case involving Iain Kidd, who worked for the site as a writer and podcast contributor. Over the weekend, several stories from the Evening Times and Planet Radio were uncovered regarding Kidd and two other individuals that were found guilty of being in possession of child pornography. Bloody Elbow’s own reporting states that editor Zane Simon was first made aware of the reports from a Twitter user citing a pair of Scottish media stories from July and September. The reports stated Kidd had been arrested and later convicted of downloading and possessing child pornography. Bloody Elbow included screenshots of their internal Slack discussion discovering the news to offer their transparency, including Kidd sending a message to Bloody Elbow’s Stephie Haynes after the stories came out. Kidd contacted Haynes denying filming or touching anyone underage and didn’t inform her of these charges, so she could deny having any knowledge of it. Haynes provided her own statement in the Bloody Elbow report:

It is important to me that the image is included in our post because I, and several of my colleagues, have been accused of possibly having previous knowledge of Iain Kidd’s heinous activities. I absolutely did not have a clue of his criminal doings before this past Friday. I unequivocally condemn his actions. The real victims here are the children that were abused, and it is they that deserve our sympathy and compassion.

The reports stated that Kidd was found to have 984 still images, 496 moving, and 7,689 pictures of extreme pornography. Kidd admitted in Glasgow Sheriff’s Court in early September to the charges of downloading and possessing indecent images of children from July 2005 until June 2017 and a charge of possessing extreme pornographic images between April 2007 and August 2017. Kidd and his business partner, Fillip Hannisdal received three-year community payback orders and will be placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register for three years, have no contact with children under the age of 16 and restrictions on internet browsing along with seeking treatment.

**The UFC officially announced the extension of their Canadian television rights deal with TSN and French-language RDS on Tuesday. The new deal will see the Canadian outlets carry 22 Fight night events, including the ESPN+ cards due to the streaming service not offered to Canadians. TSN will continue to air the pay-per-view prelims and will be adding the preliminary fights for all 22 Fight Night show, which previously aired on Fight Network and are not part of the new deal. The Fight Pass prelims will remain on the UFC’s streaming service for Canadians along with eight exclusive Fight Pass events during the year. The deal will include Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series and digital content for Snackable TV and Crave.

**The UFC 231 preliminary card averaged 786,000 viewers on FS 1 this past Saturday night. The prelims were headlined by Nina Ansaroff and Claudia Gadelha and were up 24% from the UFC 230 preliminary card from Madison Square Garden last month. The last hour of the prelims went against the start of the ESPN boxing card that was headlined by Vasiliy Lomachenko and Jose Pedraza that averaged 1,865,000 viewers. The UFC prelim number was their highest since the UFC 229 prelims in October, which was the undercard of the Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Conor McGregor pay-per-view.

**ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentary “42 to 1” on Buster Douglas’ upset over Mike Tyson airs tonight at 9 pm Eastern. The fight took place at the Tokyo Dome on February 11th, 1990, the day after a major card at the same venue hosted by New Japan. The wrestling card outdrew the boxing fight which saw Antonio Inoki and Shohei “Giant” Baba work together for the first time in 11 years. Initially, Ric Flair and Keiji Muto were to headline the Tokyo Dome but due to problems between Flair and WCW executive Jim Herd, Flair didn’t go and left New Japan in need of something to save the show. Baba sent Stan Hansen, Steve Williams, Jumbo Tsuruta, Genichiro Tenryu, Yoshiaki Yatsu, and a young Mitsuharu Misawa to work the card. The card is most-remembered for a violent match between Hansen and Big Van Vader where Vader’s eye popped out and he continued despite the gruesome injury. The upset win by Douglas over Tyson caused a ripple effect for the World Wrestling Federation, who had scheduled Tyson for a special guest referee spot on The Main Event in Detroit later that month. Tyson was to referee a title match between Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage on the show and it was changed with Douglas taking Tyson’s spot on the WWF show.

**ESPN Magazine’s annual “Dominant 20” list of athletes features UFC heavyweight champion and light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier at #3. The athletes are measured by various metrics related to their sport. The top five were Olympic gymnast Simone Biles at the top, followed by Olympic runner Eliud Kipchoge, Cormier in third, golfer Ariya Jutanugarn, and swimmer Katie Ledecky placed fifth.

**Here is the “Road to the Octagon” special heading into the UFC’s final card on Fox this Saturday in Milwaukee featuring a rematch between Kevin Lee and Al Iaquinta:

*****
REWIND-A-RAW 12/10: Slater, Ladders & Chairs, Rollins says “Raw sucks”; Wrestle Kingdom 13 card
Monday’s Raw took place from San Diego heading into TLC this Sunday. The show featured Seth Rollins’ announcement that “Raw sucks” because of Baron Corbin to set up a show-closing TLC match for the IC title, plus a “Face-to-Face” between Ronda Rousey and Nia Jax, Bobby Roode and Chad Gable challenging for the Raw tag titles, Drew McIntyre downplays being undefeated & more.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2018/12/11/rar-12-10-18-slater-ladders-rollins-says-raw-sucks-wrestle-kingdom-13-card/
*****
NJPW World Tag League 2018 Final POST Show
John Pollock & Wai Ting review the NJPW World Tag League 2018 Final card featuring Guerrillas of Destiny vs. EVIL & SANADA, Hirooki Goto vs. Kota Ibushi for the NEVER Openweight Championship and Will Ospreay vs. Taichi.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2018/12/09/njpw-world-tag-league-2018-final-post-show-w-john-pollock-wai-ting/
*****
upNXT MOVIE REVIEW – Mighty Morphin Power Rangers The Movie (1995)
Braden Herrington & Davie Portman from upNXT are joined by friend of the show Scrump, to review the 1995 blockbuster, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie! It’s morphin’ time!
https://www.postwrestling.com/2018/12/09/upnxt-movie-review-mighty-morphin-power-rangers-the-movie-1995/
*****
UFC 231 POST Show: Max Holloway vs. Brian Ortega
John Pollock is joined by Phil Chertok to review UFC 231 from Toronto featuring two title fights with Max Holloway vs. Brian Ortega and Valentina Shevchenko vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2018/12/09/ufc-231-post-show-max-holloway-vs-brian-ortega/
*****
EGGSHELLS Podcast Companion: 2013 w/ John Pollock
Episode 25 sees Chris Charlton and John Pollock look at 2013. Kazushi Sakuraba makes a controversial return to prominence and has a classic with Shinsuke Nakamura. MVP and Low Ki finish with NJPW, and Kazuchika Okada and Hiroshi Tanahashi continue a legendary rivalry.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2018/12/08/eggshells-podcast-companion-2013-w-john-pollock/
*****
Café Hangout: Dynamite Kid passes, Greg Hardy in UFC, Year-End Voting
John Pollock and Wai Ting chat the passing of “Dynamite Kid” Tom Billington, UFC’s decision to debut accused abuser Greg Hardy on the same card as domestic abuse victim Rachael Ostovich, Chris Engler joins us for an update on the POST Wrestling’s Year-End Awards and more.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2018/12/07/dynamite-kid-passes-greg-hardy-in-ufc-cafe-hangout-live-12-6-18/
*****
REWIND-A-WAI #25: WWE SummerSlam 2013
John Pollock and Wai Ting review WWE SummerSlam 2013 featuring two excellent main events in John Cena vs. Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship and “The Beast vs. The Best” as Brock Lesnar faces CM Punk.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2018/12/07/rewind-a-wai-25-wwe-summerslam-2013/
*****
upNXT 12/6/18: Master of Puppets
Braden Herrington & Davie Portman chat this week’s episode of WWE NXT featuring a great angle between Ciampa, Black & Gargano; Shayna Baszler vs. Dakota Kai; Matt Riddle vs. Punishment Martinez and more! Plus, this week’s 205 Live.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2018/12/06/upnxt-12-6-18-master-of-puppets/
*****

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About John Pollock 641 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.