POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: New Japan’s U.S. shows off to a strong start

New Japan's next set of shows in the U.S. get off to a strong start, latest signing by ROH, WWE's Holiday Week viewership, title changes at Dragon Gate & more.

POST IT NOTES

**Our annual Christmas Show will be released Monday with Wai Ting and I welcoming numerous surprise guests to the show. This also marks the one-year anniversary of the launch of POST Wrestling. We cannot thank you enough for your support of our venture and allowing us to do this on a full-time basis. It’s been an incredibly busy year but also the most rewarding one.

**Braden Herrington and Davie Portman have a bonus show out with a review of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and the 1982 British animated short film The Snowman.

**The Best of 2018 Show is available on the main page of the site with Wai Ting, Braden Herrington, Davie Portman and I assembling the panel to provide our picks in each category. A new feature this year is our listener’s selections with the top vote-getters revealed in each category on the show. You can also watch the show on our YouTube channel:

**The Worst of 2018 Show will be out this Friday with the same panel.

POST WRESTLING’S HOLIDAY WEEK SCHEDULE

*Monday: The Christmas Show
*Wednesday: Special Rewind-A-Week – John Pollock and Wai Ting go through the highlights of Raw, SmackDown and the week’s news
*Wednesday: British Wrestling Experience & The Indie Corner’s U.K. Year in Review Show
*Thursday: upNXT with Braden Herrington and Davie Portman
*Friday: The Worst of 2018 Show
*Saturday: EGGSHELLS Podcast Companion with Chris Charlton – 2016 with Joe Lanza from the Voices of Wrestling
*Saturday: UFC 232 POST Show with John Pollock and Phil Chertok
*Sunday: Rewind-A-Wai on ECW One Night Stand 2005 (Patreon)

WRESTLING NEWS

**Here are the matches that will be airing on the Christmas Eve edition of Raw Monday, which was taped last week in Sacramento:
*Bobby Lashley vs. Elias in a Miracle on 34th Street Fight
*Bobby Roode and Chad Gable vs. AOP for the Raw tag titles
*Sasha Banks, Bayley and Ember Moon vs. Mickie James, Alicia Fox and Dana Brooke
*Finn Balor vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Drew McIntyre
*Ronda Rousey vs. Natalya for the Raw women’s title
*Jinder Mahal vs. Heath Slater
*Baron Corbin vs. Seth Rollins

**There was a communication mix up this week in the WWE that led to the premature announcement of a match at the Royal Rumble. Originally, the plan was to announce on last week’s episode of SmackDown that Asuka would be defending the women’s title against Becky Lynch at the Royal Rumble. However, that day it was decided that the Royal Rumble card was going to be “re-evaluated” and it was left up in the air whether the match would happen or not at the Rumble. The team in Stamford had the original plans and led to a segment on Main Event where they formally announced the match for the Rumble. On Friday, Paige issued a tweet to walk back the announcement with the story that she tried to push one final match as the outgoing General Manager, but it’s not official.

**New Japan’s return to the United States in early 2019 had a positive response with tickets moving quickly. The promotion will run the Globe Theatre in Los Angeles on January 30th and the Grady Cole Center in Charlotte, North Carolina on February 1st. The tickets made available were all gone Saturday when they went on sale. Kevin Kelly added that additional tickets would be made available for the show in Charlotte, which is the larger venue of the two. The events will take place at the same time of the New Beginning tour in Japan, so the U.S. events will feature certain New Japan talent not featured on the cards in Japan and talent from L.A. Dojo.

**The WWE crew is off for the holidays and resume their schedule on December 26th with the beginning of the post-Christmas house shows. On Wednesday, they will have cards at Madison Square Garden and the Allstate Arena in Chicago.

**Ring of Honor’s replenishing of talent continued this week with the announcement they have signed U.K. standout Mark Haskins to an exclusive contract. Haskins will begin on Saturday, January 12th at the television tapings at Center Stage in Atlanta and will be part of Honor Reigns Supreme the following night in Concord, North Carolina. Since the departure of the Elite, the company has announced the signings of PCO, Brody King, Bandido, Haskins and are also expected to be utilizing New Japan talent Will Ospreay, Zack Sabre Jr., and Juice Robinson heavily in 2019.

**Becky Lynch trained at SBG Ireland this past week and posted a photo with John Kavanagh.

**Dragon Gate held their Final Gate 2018 show in Fukuoka on Sunday to close out their year. In the main event, Dragon Kid defeated Eita in a Hair vs. Mask match and there were two title changes on the card. Big R Shimuzu and Ben-K won the Open the Twin Gate championship in a four-way elimination match with Yamato and Kagetora, Masato Yoshino and Naruki Doi, and Flamita and Bandido with this being Bandido’s final show with the company. The team of Kazma Sakamoto, Takashi Yoshida, and Yasushi Kanda won the Open the Triangle Gate titles from KZY, Susumu Yokosuka, and Genki Horiguchi, who had held the titles since May.

**Stardom presents their Year End Climax 2018 card Monday morning from Korakuen Hall with the following lineup:
*Momo Watanabe and Utami Hayashashita vs. Mayu Iwantai and Saki Kashima for the Goddesses of Stardom tag titles
*Konami vs. Kagetsu vs. Hana Kimura vs. Jungle Kyona
*Mary Apache vs. Hazuki
*Natsuko Tora, Ruaka and Kaori Yoneyama vs. Tam Nakano, Arisa Hoshiki and Starlight Kid
*AZM vs. Natsu Sumire
*Hina and Rina vs. Hanan and Natsumi

**Titus O’Neil hosted the Joy of Giving event in the Bay Area on Saturday and helped deliver 15,000 gifts to children in the area.

**The WWE’s Tribute to the Troops special did 1,127,000 viewers on the USA Network this past Thursday. Last year’s show averaged 1,401,000 viewers. Wednesday’s Year in Review special hosted by the New Day only did 584,000 viewers on the USA Network. This year, they chose to run the Year in Review special instead of NXT, which fared better last year averaging 841,000 viewers on the Wednesday night of WWE’s Holiday Week on USA.

**Thursday’s Best of 2018 special from Impact Wrestling averaged 116,000 viewers on Pop TV. They will have another Best of 2018 special next Thursday and their final broadcast on Pop will be the go-home show for Homecoming on January 3rd.

**DEFY Wrestling has announced that Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian, and Scorpio Sky will face Shane Strickland, Ravenous Randy Myers, and SCHAFF at the promotion’s second-anniversary show on Saturday, January 19th at Washington Hall in Seattle.

**This past Friday’s episode of MLW Fusion was their second episode from Miami at the Scottish Rite Temple. In terms of a venue, this didn’t provide the same atmosphere as some of MLW’s other shows, including Cicero Stadium in Chicago. There were fewer people in attendance for the show in Miami, but they did make noise throughout the show. The main event featured Tom Lawlor submitting former partner Simon Gotch and then issuing a challenge to Low Ki for the MLW heavyweight title and is a big match they have been building to. Lawlor worked the match with a broken hand, which he suffered in his loss to Deron Winn last month at the Golden Boy MMA card. The match was billed as an NHB fight with no ropes and no disqualifications with Lawlor winning with a rear-naked choke. I have been very impressed with Brian Pillman Jr. on this series and his chemistry with Teddy Hart is evident. Pillman Jr is very advanced on the character side, which is usually the aspect that takes longer to develop so he could be an interesting talent to watch in 2019. Next week’s show features Low Ki defending the MLW title against Konnan with the story of the aging veteran trying to win the big one comparing him to George Foreman and Randy Couture.

**The WWE stock closed at $69.73.

*****
upNXT MOVIE REVIEW: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)
Braden Herrington & Davie Portman from upNXT review National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation! Braden explains his love for the Chevy Chase Christmas classic and Davie watches it for the first time!
https://www.postwrestling.com/2018/12/23/upnxt-movie-review-national-lampoons-christmas-vacation-1989/
*****
EGGSHELLS Podcast Companion: 2015 w/ John Carroll
Episode 27 sees Chris Charlton and John Carroll look at 2015. Kota Ibushi and Shinsuke Nakamura have an all-time classic, Kazuchika Okada and Tetsuya Naito suffer crushing defeats, and Wrestle Kingdom is broadcast in English on pay per view for the first time.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2018/12/22/eggshells-podcast-companion-2015-w-john-carroll/
*****
THE BEST OF 2018 SHOW
It is POST Wrestling’s Best of 2018 Show with panelists John Pollock, Wai Ting, Braden Herrington and Davie Portman running through all their picks and results of the listener’s choices for each category.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2018/12/21/the-best-of-2018-show/
*****
upNXT 12/20/18: D.I.WHY?
Braden Herrington & Davie Portman chat this week’s episode of WWE NXT featuring Aleister Black vs. Johnny Gargano in a Steel Cage Match, Dijakovic debuts, Io Shirai & Dakota Kai vs. a debuting Marina Shafir & Jessamyn Duke and more!
https://www.postwrestling.com/2018/12/20/upnxt-12-20-18-d-i-why/
*****
DOUBLE SHOT 12/19/18: BTE, Becky Lynch “Chronicle”, Golden Lovers vs. Tanahashi and Ospreay
John Pollock and Wai Ting review the “Leaving the Territory” edition of Being the Elite, the Becky Lynch “Chronicle”, and Golden Lovers vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi & Will Ospreay.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2018/12/19/double-shot-12-19-18-bte-becky-lynch-chronicle-golden-lovers-vs-tanahashi-and-ospreay/
*****
RASD 12/19/18: The FresNO Movement, Mustafa Ali pins Daniel Bryan

John Pollock and Wai Ting review SmackDown from Fresno with Paige removed as General Manager, Daniel Bryan and Andrade Cien Almas vs. AJ Styles and Mustafa Ali, and more.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2018/12/19/rasd-12-19-18-the-fresno-movement-mustafa-ali-pins-daniel-bryan-paige-out-as-gm/
*****
RAR 12/17: Vince McMahon’s big announcement, Raw’s “Fresh Start”

Vince McMahon returns to the show to announce the new leader of Monday Night Raw, Baron Corbin receives a final chance to become Raw GM, Dean Ambrose and Ronda Rousey issue Open Challenges, and a number of NXT call-ups are announced on this “new” and “fresh” edition of Raw.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2018/12/18/rar-12-17-18-vince-mcmahons-big-announcement-raws-fresh-start/
*****
WWE TLC POST SHOW 

John Pollock & Wai Ting review WWE TLC 2018 headlined by Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte vs. Asuka in the first-ever Women’s TLC match for the SD Women’s Championship.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2018/12/17/wwe-tlc-2018-post-show-w-john-pollock-wai-ting/
*****

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About John Pollock 960 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.