POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: WWE co-president speaks on the future

WWE co-president George Barrios discusses the health of WWE, Tony Khan's interview with Sean Waltman about AEW, Impact debuts on Pursuit, Jon Jones passes drug tests & more.


**Wai Ting and I have the free edition of the Café Hangout out today. We do a live Hangout show each Thursday at 3 pm Eastern for Double Double, Iced Capp and Espresso members with the ability to call in and then post the show Friday for free. On this week’s show, we took several calls and discussed the latest on All Elite Wrestling, Tony Khan’s interview with Sean Waltman, and a look at the NXT UK TakeOver card in Blackpool this weekend. The video version can be watched below.

**Our Patreon bonus show today features the return of our MCU reviews as Wai Ting and I are joined by Brent Chittenden to review “The Avengers”. The 2012 film is the culmination of Phase One of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and this was a great show to do with Brent. We discuss each Avenger and their role within this film, the long-term vision, the introduction of Thanos, the Tony Stark and Steve Rogers dynamic, the role of Black Widow, the brilliance of Loki, and take your feedback at the end of the show. All levels of the POST Wrestling Café have instant access to this show.

**Martin Bushby and Benno will have an NXT UK TakeOver POST Show on Saturday following the event in Blackpool, England. That show will be available on both the British Wrestling Experience and POST Wrestling feeds.

**I wanted to address an erroneous statement from upNXT this week. A comment was made by Braden Herrington that was unsubstantiated and he has since apologized, and the clip has been edited off the show. Herrington was aware he had made an error before posting the show, edited it out, but sent the incorrect file, which is not an excuse, but I wanted to share so people are aware he realized his mistake immediately. I choose not to repeat what was said because of the sensitive nature of such a claim. We do not condone this at POST Wrestling and I know that Braden feels terrible for this error. Wai and I have spoken about this issue and understand that anything appearing on this site comes down to the two of us, regardless of our participation on a show, or not. If there are any issues people have regarding content, I encourage you to speak with me directly at john@POSTwrestling.com.

**Here is the full list of picks for our MMA’s Year in Review show with Mike Bohn of MMA Junkie and Cody Saftic from the Fight Network. Jordan Breen was unable to join us for the show but did send us his picks, which are included on the site.


**WWE co-president George Barrios recent spoke at Citi’s 2019 Global TMT West Conference in Las Vegas. Barrios went over the business strategy and goals for the company in 2019 and beyond. There was a lot of emphasis on the distinction between their advertiser and subscription-supported content. He noted that 70% of the revenue is domestic but 60% of their paid television content is being viewed internationally with a belief that the money will follow the viewing patterns internationally. They expect 2018 to produce $869 million in revenue and $88 million in operating income. He stated that growing their numbers for 2020 is a big priority to display year-over-year growth for the next time their domestic television package is due, with the upcoming USA Network and Fox deals lasting until 2024.

Barrios listed the top “heroes” on WWE programming as John Cena, Seth Rollins, Charlotte Flair, and Roman Reigns.

When it comes to sports streaming services, he listed Major League Baseball at the top, WWE Network second and stated that UFC was a “distant third” with Fight Pass. That tells me there is a huge gap in the sports streaming industry when Fight Pass is third.

Barrios was asked about the UK television deal, which was never announced in late 2018 as they had initially outlined. Barrios didn’t have an update but did acknowledge that viewership is down 30% or more in the UK and that hours consumed were down in India, whose deal with WWE is also up and expected to be announced in early 2019. Barrios added that additional distributions deals in Latin America, Chile, and the Middle East will be finalized over the next several months.

The company is bullish on several factors, listing the value of live viewership, people being comfortable over time with direct-to-consumer media (the WWE Network), the growth in broadband capabilities worldwide, social media platforms becoming video destinations, the growth of the middle class in emerging markets, and the next generation of audience consuming content on digital and social platforms.

**The WWE has announced the opening of its UK Performance Center at a 17,000 square foot venue. A press conference was held with Paul Levesque, Charlotte Flair, and Finn Balor among those speaking.  In the press release, they do not list where the PC is located but noted that over 30 of their European performers will train out of the Performance Center.

**Impact Wrestling debuts on the Pursuit Channel in the U.S. tonight at 10 pm Eastern and will be simulcast on Fight Network in Canada and Twitch. The following matches were taped this past Monday in Nashville:
*Pentagon Jr. and Fenix vs. Dezmond Xavier and Zachary Wentz
*Willie Mack vs. Sami Callihan
*Tessa Blanchard vs. Cali
*Johnny Impact vs. Killer Kross in a non-title match

**Here are the matches on tonight’s episode of MLW Fusion at 8 pm Eastern on beIN Sports:
*Tommy Dreamer vs. Brian Pillman Jr. in a Singapore Cane match
*Dragon Lee vs. Rich Swann
*Low Ki vs. Fred Yehi in a non-title match

**The Fantasticamania tour kicked off Friday and resumes Saturday in Ehime with a main event eight-man tag with Tetsuya Naito, Shingo Takagi, Bushi & El Terrible vs. Satoshi Kojima, Toa Henare, and Roppongi 3K. The next Fantasticamania card to stream on New Japan World is Wednesday’s card in Chiba at 5 am Eastern. The tour runs through Monday, January 21st.

**Impact Wrestling will be holding television tapings in Mexico City tonight and Saturday at Fronton Mexico, which they ran previously in September. The episodes from this weekend’s tapings will begin running Friday, January 25th.

**The big show of the weekend for the WWE is the first NXT UK TakeOver special from the Empress Ballroom in Blackpool, England. The card will stream on the WWE Network at 2 pm Eastern with the following card:
*Pete Dunne vs. Joe Coffey for the United Kingdom title
*Rhea Ripley vs. Toni Storm for the NXT UK women’s title
*Tyler Bate and Trent Seven vs. Zack Gibson and James Drake for the inaugural NXT UK tag titles
*Dave Mastiff vs. Eddie Dennis in a No Disqualification match
*Jordan Devlin vs. Travis Banks

**Ring of Honor is holding their first cards of 2019 with television tapings Saturday night at Center Stage in Atlanta and Honor Reigns Supreme on Sunday in Concord, North Carolina. Below are the matches announced for the television tapings, including some of the recent signings:
*The Briscoe Brothers vs. Chuckie T. and Beretta for the ROH tag titles
*Bandido vs. Mark Haskins
*Eli Isom vs. Silas Young for a future ROH Television title shot
*David Finlay vs. Tracy Williams
*Nick Aldis vs. PJ Black for the NWA heavyweight title
*Sumie Sakai vs. Madison Rayne vs. Jenny Rose
*Kelly Klein vs. Rockelle Vaughn for the Women of Honor title

**Tony Khan was a guest on X-Pac’s 12360 podcast on Afterbuzz following Tuesday’s rally in Jacksonville, Florida. Khan outlined his history as a passionate wrestling fan, including handling the HTML code for John McAdam in exchange for tapes when he was young. He emphasized the need for wins and losses to matter and incorporating legitimate records and streaks to assist with storytelling, citing Bill Goldberg’s win streak while it was still handled legitimately. Khan added they have no interest purchasing existing promotions or tape libraries, but the door is open for working relationships, as seen with their talent announcement with the OWE group in China. He stated that the discussion about “equal pay” breaks down to equal pay for equal spots and stated it would be equal levels of base pay for the spots on the card. This whole topic is one that is going to have to been seen firsthand and how it is applied because pro wrestling is such a subjective industry to allocate pay equality. At its core, you cannot design a perfect formula to figure out what each performer brings to a card, but the message has been consistent that pay is going to be a major incentive for AEW and providing more to the talent. Khan wouldn’t comment on the television situation but said there are interested parties. Khan will continue his roles, which include GM and SVP of Football Technology and Analytics for the Jacksonville Jaguars and Vice Chairman and Director of Football Operations for Fulham F.C.

**Game Changer Wrestling has announced that former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir will be wrestling his first pro wrestling match over WrestleMania weekend. The 39-year old will be wrestling at Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport card on Thursday, April 4th at the White Eagle Hall in Jersey City. Mir was part of the biggest UFC pay-per-views ever when he had a rematch with Brock Lesnar at UFC 100 in July 2009. He fought for the UFC until 2016 when he was suspended for two years by USADA after testing positive for oral Turinabol metabolites. Mir was released by the UFC in 2017 and signed with Bellator MMA, where he serves as a broadcaster and fighter. Mir fought twice in 2018 with TKO losses to Fedor Emelinaneko and Javy Ayala. The promotion has also announced that Tom Lawlor will be part of the Bloodsport card.

**Capitol Wrestling out of New Jersey has made two announcements for WrestleMania week. The first is a partnership with the Black and Brave Wrestling Academy, which is run by Seth Rollins (Colby Lopez) and Marek Brave. They will be hosting a seminar on April 4th in Jersey City with 20 spots available for experienced performers. Capitol Wrestling has also announced their anniversary card for Sunday, April 7th at Noon the same day as WrestleMania. They will run their card at Noon Eastern at 37-39 Bloomfield Avenue in Newark and tickets are priced at $15.

**MLW has announced that Aerostar will take on Rey Horus at their SuperFight event on Saturday, February 2nd at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia. The television taping will be headlined by Low Ki defending the MLW heavyweight title against Tom Lawlor and a tag title match between champions Pentagon Jr. and Rey Fenix against The Hart Foundation.

**Becky Lynch spoke to CBS Sports on her 2018 run since the attack on Charlotte Flair at SummerSlam, the direction her character went after SummerSlam, trying to explain the hug with Charlotte before the Survivor Series, and if her accent has ever held her back in the WWE.

**According to the odds posted at BetOnline, the top three favorites to win the men’s Royal Rumble are Seth Rollins at 5/4, Finn Balor 7/2, and Drew McIntyre 4/1. The top three favorites for the women’s Rumble are Charlotte Flair at 2/5, Becky Lynch 3/1, and Alexa Bliss & Ember Moon at 16/1. Other odds include Ronda Rousey listed as a -1500 favorite to defeat Sasha Banks, Daniel Bryan at -350 to beat AJ Styles, Brock Lesnar at -450 to defeat Braun Strowman, Rollins is the favorite to last the longest in the Rumble, McIntyre to have the most eliminations, and Rollins to be one of the final four remaining. (Thanks to Jimmy Shapiro)

**2K will be releasing a “Rising Stars Pack” for WWE 2K19 featuring Ricochet, Mike and Maria Kanellis, Lio Rush, Lacey Evans, Dakota Kai, and Candice LeRae on January 22nd.

**McKenzie Mitchell posted the following statement regarding her tenure with Impact Wrestling:

Grateful. Changed. IMPACTed. Undoubtedly the most exhilarating and exciting experience of my life thus far. Words can’t describe my appreciation for @impactwrestling and company and all that I’ve learned with this experience. To my friends, family, and fans- you guys rock and are the reason why I love doing what I do each and every day. 2019 is a year of change and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

**The WWE stock closed at $78.99 on Friday.

**Chris Jericho appears on Busted Open Radio with Dave LaGreca to discuss his signing with AEW:


**Brett Okamoto reported at ESPN on Thursday that the Jon Jones’ post-fight drug tests from the California State Athletic Commission and USADA came back clean with no detection of any picograms of the M3 metabolite, which had previously been found. Jones is scheduled for a hearing with the Nevada Athletic Commission on January 29th, who were unable to license Jones last month for his forthcoming fight with Alexander Gustafsson. Nevada was alerted to the findings on several tests that were administered between August and December. The inability to be licensed in Nevada led to the UFC moving the UFC 232 card from Las Vegas to Inglewood, California on a week’s notice. Jones was tested by the CSAC prior to being licensed by the state for the fight with Gustafsson and is also required to participate in testing by VADA (the Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency).

Café Hangout Live 1/10/19: AEW, Tony Khan, NXT UK TakeOver
John Pollock and Wai Ting are joined by a number of callers discussing All Elite Wrestling, Tony Khan, Saturday’s NXT UK TakeOver, WWE’s Worlds Collide Tournament, and MJfromNJ tells us how we did in our Elite-themed Likely/Unlikely game.
POST MOVIE REVIEW: The Avengers (2012)
John Pollock, Wai Ting, and special guest Brent Chittenden review the sixth Marvel Cinematic Universe film, The Avengers (2012). We discuss the culmination of Marvel’s Phase One with a look back at its most ambitious crossover at the time, helmed by writer/director Joss Whedon.
upNXT 1/10/19: Johnny Want the Smoke?

Braden Herrington & Davie Portman chat this week’s episode of NXT featuring Nikki Cross vs. Bianca Belair and EC3 vs. Adam Cole, and a fantastic opening segment between Gargano, Ricochet, Ciampa & Black. Davie brings back his review of 205 Live.
BWE 1/9/19: Progress Unboxing 3, NXT UK TakeOver, Brits in Japan
Martin & Benno are back to review Progress Chapter 82: Unboxing Live! 3 (Pete Dunne vs. Tyler Bate) and preview this weekend’s NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool show.
DOUBLE SHOT 1/9/19: Being the Elite, MLW Fusion, Priscilla Kelly clip
John Pollock & Wai Ting return with bonus discussions on Ep. 133 of Being the Elite “After Wrestle Kingdom”, the latest MLW Fusion show, and the Priscilla Kelly clip debate.
REWIND-A-SMACKDOWN 1/8/19: AEW Rally & News, Merchandise controversy, SmackDown review
John Pollock and Wai Ting review SmackDown and discuss all the news from the All Elite Wrestling rally, both taking place in Jacksonville, FL. We’ll also be joined by Graham, a fan who was turned away from attending SmackDown for wearing an AEW t-shirt.
MMA Year in Review 2018

It is the MMA Year in Review 2018 Show with the panel of John Pollock, MMA Junkie’s Mike Bohn and Fight Network’s Cody Saftic reviewing the year.
RAR 1/7/19: Gene Okerlund Tribute, Hulk Hogan returns, Falls Count Anywhere
John Pollock and Wai Ting discuss WWE Raw featuring a tribute for “Mean” Gene Okerlund that included the return of Hulk Hogan to television, a Falls Count Anywhere main event between Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins, and more.
Impact Homecoming / Kenny Omega and KUSHIDA Update

John Pollock is joined by WH Park to discuss the news regarding Kenny Omega and KUSHIDA and then Nate Milton joins the show for a review of Impact’s Homecoming event.

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About John Pollock 1727 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.