POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: Chris Jericho confirms AEW contract is for three-years

Chris Jericho elaborates on his deal with All Elite Wrestling, thoughts on the NXT UK TakeOver card, Trevor Lee states he has signed with WWE, UFC 232 pay-per-view estimate & more.

POST IT NOTES

**We have an NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool POST Show available on the site with Martin Bushby and Benno joined by Joe Lemon from Spotlight on The Indy Corner. The three shared their thoughts on the special, what worked and what didn’t work with a thorough breakdown of the card, the debut of WALTER, the usage of Finn Balor, what went wrong with the main event, future directions, and taking your feedback. The show is on the POST Wrestling feed and the British Wrestling Experience RSS feed. The British Wrestling Experience is a bi-weekly show at POST Wrestling with their next show coming out Wednesday, January 23rd.

**The annual MMA Prediction Show with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani will be dropping tonight on the site. Helwani and I will go over the predictions that were made for 2018 and then make a new list for 2019.

**Wai Ting and I are back Monday with Rewind-A-Raw for a review of the show from Memphis, discussing all the latest news and taking feedback at the end of the show.

**Wai Ting and I will be reviewing the Nigel McGuinness “Chasing the Magic” documentary on the Double Shot this week for Café members. I highly recommend people check it out on the WWE Network.

**Rewind-A-Wai returns this Friday with a review of NXT TakeOver: Dallas from April 2016 and the debut of Shinsuke Nakamura. This show was chosen by Espresso Executive Producer Tyler Crane and will be available for all members of the POST Wrestling Café.

WRESTLING NEWS

**Chris Jericho did an interview with reporter Chris Van Vliet to discuss his recent signing with All Elite Wrestling. Jericho confirmed it’s a three-year deal and he signed the contract last Sunday. Jericho spoke to Vince McMahon ahead of the signing to alert him and stated things were “amicable”. He characterized the deal from AEW as the biggest of his career “by far”, which sheds some light onto the offers and money AEW is putting out there in the market. In this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer reported that Jericho’s deal does allow him to work with New Japan Pro Wrestling on the side and continue with his cruise. Jericho doesn’t want people to believe there are any issues on his end with WWE and that was why he posted the photo with Paul Levesque.

**NXT UK held their first TakeOver special Saturday at the Empress Ballroom in Blackpool. The big news was the debut of WALTER at the end of the show to confront Pete Dunne and tease a future match. WALTER came off like a megastar and is the type of main event talent this brand needs, and frankly, would be an excellent main roster addition but that doesn’t appear to be in the immediate future. The show also featured Kay Lee Ray and Jazzy Gabert on camera with the announcers indicating they will be part of NXT UK. Kay Lee Ray is still advertised for the upcoming World of Sport shows in the UK.

**I found the TakeOver special to be a good show but would not place it as one of the better TakeOver shows. The match of the night was the opening tag with Zack Gibson and James Drake defeating Tyler Bate and Trent Seven to become the first NXT UK tag champions. This match was excellent, and I’d rate it ahead of last weekend’s Impact match with LAX against Pentgaon Jr. and Fenix (which was excellent, too). I liked the choice of putting the titles on Gibson and Drake to establish another team with Bate and Seven already set and have a heel team to chase. Tyler Bate put in a phenomenal performance and was the star of the show for me.

There was criticism over Finn Balor replacing Travis Banks to defeat Jordan Devlin on the card. As a match, I thought it was a good match, above a very good WWE television match and the audience went ballistic when Balor entered as a surprise replacement. The negative was that Devlin and Banks was a match that had been built up and people wanted to see. I don’t think Devlin gains a lot by simply having a match with Balor, who is a featured babyface on Raw and wasn’t going to be beaten on this show.

The main event between Pete Dunne and Joe Coffey was too long and it took me a long time to get into it, and once I did, it dragged past the trigger point and had an awkward ending. In terms of a big match environment, this was a rare miss for a Dunne match. The audience was with it by the end, but this match would have greatly been enhanced by going 21-minutes instead of 35. Coffey wasn’t a viable opponent for the main event of this big show, and it wasn’t like the audience wanted to see him win, either. They worked hard, but you could see the problems in the match, accentuated by two falls off the top turnbuckle before going to the finish. I don’t want to overly criticize the match, because there were elements that I enjoyed but felt like the wrong main event for this card.

The reveal of WALTER sent the show off a high note and a match with Dunne will be a big match. It was still a very fun show to watch, clocked in at 2 ½ hours and if you haven’t been following the television, this is an easy show to jump on with and I feel most enjoyed the show.

**NXT UK is running the Empress Ballroom in Blackpool for the second straight day with the television tapings.

**The Raw crew has a house show in Huntsville, Alabama tonight featuring John Cena, Dean Ambrose, and Seth Rollins advertised. The SmackDown crew is in Lexington, Kentucky with Daniel Bryan, AJ Styles, and Becky Lynch advertised. Monday’s episode of Raw takes place from Memphis, Tennessee with John Cena scheduled for the show. Tuesday’s SmackDown taping is in Birmingham, Alabama.

**The WWE has announced two matches for Raw on Monday with Ronda Rousey and Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax and Tamina and a three-way with Dean Ambrose vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Seth Rollins for the Intercontinental title.

**They have announced that Rey Mysterio will face Andrade Cien Almas and Carmella faces Sonya Deville this Tuesday on SmackDown. They have also announced a segment where The Miz will throw a birthday party for Shane McMahon, who turns 49 on Tuesday.

**Ring of Honor is holding a card from the Cabarrus Arena tonight in Concord, North Carolina and will stream live at 7 pm Eastern on the Honor Club streaming service. Below is the full card for tonight’s show:
*Jay Lethal vs. Dalton Castle for the ROH title
*Kelly Klein vs. Jenny Rose for the Women of Honor title
*Marty Scurll, PCO & Brody King vs. The Briscoes and Silas Young
*The Kingdom vs. Shane Helms, Delirious & Luchasaurus in a Proving Ground match
*Bandido vs. PJ Black
*Flip Gordon vs. Tracy Williams
*Juice Robinson and David Finlay vs. The Best Friends
*Mark Haskins vs. Beer City Bruiser
*Jeff Cobb vs. Shane Taylor vs. Jonathan Gresham vs. Rhett Titus in a Proving Ground match – if Cobb loses, there will be an immediate ROH Television title match

**Following the main event of CWF Mid-Atlantic’s New Year’s Knockout event, Trevor Lee announced to the audience in Gibsonville, North Carolina that he is no longer a free agent and signed a contract with WWE. He added that it wasn’t his final appearance for CWF Mid-Atlantic and will be defending his CWF Mid-Atlantic heavyweight championship in a six-pack scramble match on February 2nd. Lee has held the title since December 2015.

**Season 4 of Total Bellas premieres tonight at 9 pm Eastern on E!

**Daisuke Sekimoto and Yuji Okabayashi defeated Shuji Ishikawa and Suwama to win the All Japan tag titles earlier today at Korakuen Hall in the main event of Big Japan’s show. The Violence Giants of Suwama and Ishikawa had been champions since June and this was their second reign as champions.

**The WWE Network is listing 205 Live returning to its old time slot of Tuesdays at 10 pm Eastern, beginning this week. The show was moved to Wednesday at 7 pm Eastern when the Mixed Match Challenge began in September.

**Chris Harrington’s official role with All Elite Wrestling is Vice President of Business Strategy and will be working their full-time. He has been working with Tony Khan on this project for the past six months.

**Ring of Honor held their first set of television tapings of the year at Center Stage in Atlanta on Saturday. The big news from the show is the formation of a new group called Lifeblood featuring Juice Robinson, David Finlay, Bandido, Mark Haskins, Tenille Dashwood, and Tracy Williams.

**Prior to the NXT UK TakeOver special, there were matches at the Empress Ballroom with Ligero defeating Saxson Huxley, Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel over Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster, and Jinny defeated Isla Dawn. Aichner and Barthel had been teaming on NXT UK and debuted on NXT television this past week.

MMA NEWS

**This past week, Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported that UFC 232 did roughly 700,000 buys on pay-per-view featuring Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson for the light heavyweight title. This figure was well above my expectations and a strong sign that Jones has broken through as a pay-per-view draw without Daniel Cormier or Rashad Evans.

Despite the controversy of Jones’ drug tests and the show being moved from Las Vegas to Inglewood, it appeared to only strengthen interest in the card. This resulted in a sell out of The Forum with tickets going on sale Wednesday of fight week and a huge number on pay-per-view. If Jones is licensed in Nevada and fights March 2nd against Anthony Smith, we will see how much of an effect Jones has because that pay-per-view is on his shoulders despite two title fights expected for the card with Tyron Woodley vs. Kamaru Usman as the co-feature for the welterweight title. The UFC 232 number is the UFC’s second biggest of 2018 behind the mammoth UFC 229 card that generated 2.4 million buys for Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Conor McGregor, which shattered the UFC’s pay-per-view record.

**Glover Teixeira has received a new opponent for next Saturday’s UFC debut on ESPN+ with Karl Roberson taking the place of an injured Ion Cutelaba. Roberson is 2-1 in the UFC and is coming off a unanimous decision win over Jack Marshman at UFC 230 this past November. His last three fights have been at middleweight but he is coming back up to light heavyweight for this fight with Teixeira.

**It was first reported by Nolan King of FloCombat that Randy Brown is off the UFC on ESPN+ card next Saturday in Brooklyn, New York. Brown was scheduled to fight Chance Rencountre but has been removed due to an undisclosed reason. Brown put out a statement confirming his removal but added that he is “100 percent healthy and ready to fight”, but that “the decision wasn’t up to us.” The UFC has not announced a replacement but ESPN’s Ariel Helwani reports that the leading candidate is Dwight Grant, who defeated Tyler Hill last June on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series and lost his UFC debut to Zak Ottow last month by split decision in Milwaukee.

**Ag Fight out of Brazil reported that John Lineker is off next Saturday’s card in Brooklyn for his fight with Cory Sandhagen, who will now fight Mario Bautista. The 25-year old Bautista made his pro debut in May 2017 and is 6-0 with five stoppage wins outside of the UFC. FloCombat was the first to report on Bautista taking the vacant spot against Sandhagen.

**A one-hour version of Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show will begin airing on Tuesday nights at Midnight Eastern on either ESPN2 or ESPNews. The show will be an edited version of the show Helwani hosts on Mondays at 1 pm. Helwani recently hosted a year-end awards special New Year’s Eve on ESPN2 that averaged 62,000 viewers.

**The UFC will be holding a press conference this Thursday at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn. The presser will begin at 2 pm Eastern featuring Henry Cejudo, T.J. Dillashaw, Donald Cerrone, and Alexander Hernandez.

**Here is the full updated card for the UFC on ESPN+ event next Saturday from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn:

MAIN CARD (10 pm Eastern on ESPN+, TSN 5 in Canada)
*Henry Cejudo vs. T.J. Dillashaw for the UFC flyweight title
*Greg Hardy vs. Allen Crowder
*Gregor Gillespie vs. Yancy Medeiros
*Joseph Benavidez vs. Dustin Ortiz
*Rachael Ostovich vs. Paige VanZant
*Glover Teixeira vs. Karl Roberson

PRELIMINARY CARD (8 pm on ESPN, TSN 5 in Canada)
*Donald Cerrone vs. Alexander Hernandez
*Joanne Calderwood vs. Ariane Lipski
*Alonzo Menifield vs. Vinicius Moreira
*Cory Sandhagen vs. Mario Bautista

FIGHT PASS CARD (6:30 pm)

*Dennis Bermudez vs. Te Edwards
*Belal Muhammad vs. Geoff Neal
*Chance Rencountre vs. Dwight Grant

**After Bellator middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi was forced to withdraw from the Bellator 214 card later this month, the promotion was hopeful of booking challenger Rafael Lovato Jr. into another fight. MMA Junkie reports they could not find a suitable replacement and Lovato Jr. will not be fighting on the January 26th card in Inglewood, California. The card features the finals of the Heavyweight World Grand Prix between Fedor Emelianenko and Ryan Bader and will also feature Aaron Pico taking on Henry Corrales and former WWE wrestler Jake Hager (Jack Swagger) will be fighting J.W. Kiser on the main card.

*****
NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool POST Show

Martin & Benno are joined by Joe Lemon from Spotlight on The Indy Corner to review the first-ever NXT UK TakeOver from Blackpool, England. They talk their favorite moments from the show, what worked and what didn’t.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/01/12/nxt-uk-takeover-blackpool-post-show-w-martin-bushby-benno-joe-lemon/
*****
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.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/01/11/all-elite-wrestling-tony-khan-nxt-uk-takeover-cafe-hangout-live-1-10-19/
*****
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.
https://www.patreon.com/posts/23904584
*****
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.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/01/10/upnxt-1-10-19-johnny-want-the-smoke/
*****
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.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/01/09/bwe-1-9-19-progress-unboxing-3-nxt-uk-takeover-brits-in-japan/
*****
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.
https://www.patreon.com/posts/23857991
*****
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.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/01/09/rasd-1-8-19-aew-rally-news-merchandise-controversy-smackdown-review/
*****
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.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/01/08/mma-year-in-review-2018-with-john-pollock-mike-bohn-cody-saftic/
*****

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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.