POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: Maria Kanellis issues a statement

Maria Kanellis denies that she has requested her release, report on "All In" pay-per-view number, WOW debuts on AXS, UFC's debut on ESPN+, UFC introduces new championship belt and lots more.

POST IT NOTES

**Today is the release of the first edition of The Rocky Maivia Picture Show. This monthly addition to the POST Wrestling network will be led by Nate Milton as he goes through the films of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, beginning with The Scorpion King from April 2002. On his first show, Nate is joined by his former Keep it 2000 co-host Brian Mann to chat about the film, Johnson’s acting roles, where his career stood at this time and many other notes.

**We have the free version of the Café Hangout out today as Wai and I chat the recent WWE performers seeking their release, Chris Jericho’s road to All Elite Wrestling and taking your phone calls. You can download the audio version from the POST Wrestling feed or watch the video version below.

**We have a new Rewind-A-Wai out today with Wai Ting and I reviewing the NXT TakeOver: Dallas card from April 2016. This show was selected by Espresso Executive Producer Tyler Crane, who joined us to share his live experience attending this card over WrestleMania weekend. This show featured the WWE debut of Shinsuke Nakamura as he took on Sami Zayn, Finn Balor defending the NXT title against Samoa Joe, Bayley vs. Asuka for the NXT women’s title along with cameos from Bobby Roode and Kota Ibushi. This was an interesting show to contrast certain performers in 2016 and where they are today. This is available to all members of the POST Wrestling Café and signing up grants you access to the previous 27 editions of Rewind-A-Wai along with every Patreon show we have done since December 2017.

**POST Wrestling was recently listed by blogTO as one of the 50 Toronto-based podcasts to listen to.

**A reminder that the deadline to submit your picks for the POST Wrestling Royal Rumble Pool is Sunday, January 27th at 3 pm Eastern.

WRESTLING NEWS

**Maria Kanellis issued a statement Friday denying that she has asked for her release:

I was not going to address this but I am getting phone calls and emails about it. I DID NOT ask for my release. Speculation and rumors are running rampant. Someone is playing all the wrestling news sites. It’s a game. I’ve been in professional wrestling for 15 years and what I do in front of the camera will only be a small part of the full story. I have relationships with fans, talent, producers, and their families. I have been in the hospital when people have been injured and backstage to hug someone that just had a great match. I don’t need to stir up shit. I don’t need to put others down. I am an imperfect human that has learned from past mistakes. Whoever is leaking rumors I pity you. And your desperate attempt for attention while disparaging my husband and I. I’m gonna take the weekend off of social media to hang out with my beautiful family and I suggest whoever it is does the same. Social media is not fact. It is fantasy, a nightmare, or a place for bullies. I want to use this for motivation to be positive everyday. I am still learning how to be a mom. I still fight postpartum depression. And I still try and become a better person everyday. I don’t need this made up extra stress. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend and thank you for your support.”

It should be noted that in addition to Ryan Satin at Pro Wrestling Sheet that reputable outlets Fightful and Pro Wrestling Torch have also reported this news to back up Satin’s original story.

**In this week’s edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer reports that the estimated number of buys for the September 1st “All In” pay-per-view was 55,000. In the same issue, Meltzer reports that based on the contracts signed that Ring of Honor owns the footage from the event. It was known that ROH had a big role in the production of the event by lending staff to work the show with their Vice President of Operations Gary Juster playing a big role assisting Cody and the others with the planning of the show. Following the event in September, Matt Jackson noted how incredible Joe Koff, Greg Gilleland, and Juster were to work with. Cody and The Young Bucks were among the performers under contract to Ring of Honor at the time and had to receive clearance from the promotion as they were exclusive to the promotion in the United States.

**There was a scary situation earlier this week involving the niece of Kurt Angle. On Wednesday, 16-year old Marjani Aquil was kidnapped by her ex-boyfriend Jermain Rodgers, who was armed and forced her into a car. Angle put out a plea for any information and thankfully, their whereabouts were discovered after a tip was delivered where they had been seen on a Facebook Live video. Rodgers was arrested Thursday morning after a standoff where Rodgers was removed from a coal cellar in the home. Rodgers had also been accused of kidnapping her last year, as well. Rodgers is scheduled to appear in court on January 28th. Angle posted the following statement after his niece was found:

My niece has been found,” the 1996 Olympic gold medalist wrote. “Just wanted to say thank you… My family is truly appreciative. Love you all.

**World of Sport’s follow up tour began Friday with a show in Southampton. On the show, Viper defeated Kay Lee Ray and Bea Priestley to win the WOS women’s championship. The tour continues Saturday at the Newport Centre. The first season is replaying on ITV, beginning on Saturday.

**Pro Wrestling Guerrilla is running their first card of 2019 with a show at The Globe Theatre in Los Angeles tonight. General admission and standing room only tickets are still available, according to the promotion’s website. Below is the card:
*Jeff Cobb vs. Trevor Lee for the PWG title, which is expected to be Lee’s final match with the group
*Dezmond Xavier and Zachary Wentz vs. Chuckie T. and Beretta for the PWG tag titles
*Bandido vs. ACH, who is subbing for the injured Flip Gordon
*Santana and Ortiz vs. Laredo Kid and Rey Horus
*Jonathan Gresham vs. Robbie Eagles
*Puma King vs. DJ Z
*Brody King vs. Jungle Boy

**EVOLVE has shows this weekend in New York, beginning with EVOLVE 119 in Brooklyn tonight streaming on WWN Live. Johnny Gargano is the major name on the shows from NXT, which tells you the commitment to this relationship when a key guy is working these shows one-week before TakeOver. When it came to Pete Dunne, Tyler Bate, and Trent Seven working the Fight Club Pro show in Tokyo one week before TakeOver in Blackpool, they were pulled from that show. Here are the matches for tonight’s show:
*Johnny Gargano and AR Fox vs. Austin Theory and Josh Briggs
*JD Drake vs. Eddie Kingston in a No DQ match for the WWN championship
*The Street Profits vs. TBA for the EVOLVE tag titles
*Leon Ruff and Adrian Alanis vs. John Silver and Alex Reynolds vs. TBA vs. TBA in a Scramble match to face The Street Profits that night for the titles
*Darby Allin vs. Fabian Aichner
*Anthony Henry vs. Curt Stallion
*Priscilla Kelly vs. Trish Adora
*Joe Gacy vs. Colby Corino

**Saturday’s EVOLVE 120 card in Queens is headlined by a non-title match between Johnny Gargano and Austin Theory.

**Here are the matches for tonight’s episode of Impact Wrestling at 10 pm Eastern on the Pursuit Channel, Twitch, and Fight Network in Canada from the tapings in Nashville:
*Jordynne Grace vs. Allie
*Santana and Ortiz vs. Jake and Dave Crist
*Eddie Edwards vs. Ethan Page
*Rich Swann vs. Trey Miguel for the X division title

**Impact is trying something new for Twitch users, where you can take the Impact Wrestling feed and provide your own commentary on your Twitch channel. The promotion requests that you delete the VOD version after Impact airs but can take the audio and post wherever you would like.

**Below is the lineup for tonight’s episode of MLW Fusion at 8 pm Eastern on beIN Sports:
*The Hart Foundation vs. The Dirty Blondes
*Ricky Martinez vs. Gringo Loco
*Ace Romero vs. Ariel Dominguez
*Rush vs. Shane Strickland

**The Raw crew begins their tour in San Antonio, Texas tonight with Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins advertised along with Ronda Rousey scheduled. The same crew is in Abilene, Texas on Saturday. SmackDown begins Saturday in Sioux Falls, South Dakota with Daniel Bryan vs. AJ Styles and a three-way with Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch for the women’s title.

**Brock Lesnar is advertised for Raw on Monday in Oklahoma City for the final episode prior to the Royal Rumble.

**Tonight’s episode of New Japan Pro Wrestling on AXS TV features the IWGP junior heavyweight title match between KUSHIDA and Taiji Ishimori and the Gauntlet match from Wrestle Kingdom 13. It’s their final week of coverage from the Tokyo Dome show and will move to New Year Dash with next week’s episode.

**AXS TV launches Women of Wrestling tonight at 9 pm Eastern immediately following New Japan Pro Wrestling on the network. The series was created by Jeanie Buss of the L.A Lakers with David McLane also involved in the project. The following is scheduled for tonight’s premiere
*An appearance by Tessa Blanchard
*The Beast vs. Stephy Slays
*Fire vs. Abilene Maverick
*Khloe Hertz vs. Eye Candy
*Santana Garrett vs. Jungle Grrrl for the WOW championship

**Chinlock Wrestling out of Kingston, Ontario has announced a big charity event for June 15th with a Legends of Wrestling convention coupled with a show at the 5,000-seat Leon’s Centre in the city. The show will be put on my Jan Murphy along with Tommy Dreamer and House of Hardcore.

**Due to Flip Gordon’s knee injury, he will be replaced by Willie Mack in the upcoming Tag Wars tournament. Mack will be teaming with Colt Cabana and take on Kenny King and a mystery partner next Friday in Houston, Texas. The tournament takes place Thursday through Saturday with shows in Texas and the winning team challenges The Briscoes for the titles on March 16th at the pay-per-view in Las Vegas. The other opening round matches announced include Coast to Coast vs. Eli Isom and Cheeseburger, The Boys vs. Beer City Bruiser and Brian Milonis, PCO and Brody King vs. Vinny Marseglia and TK O’Ryan, Jay Lethal and Jonathan Gresham vs. Mark Haskins and Tracy Williams, and Juice Robinson & David Finlay vs. Karl Fredericks and Alex Coughlin.

**The WWE stock closed at $83.43 on Friday.

**Diamond Dallas Page has a new book out called Positively Unstoppable: The Art of Owning It (unless you borrow it from the library).

MMA NEWS

**The UFC’s first show of the ESPN era takes place Saturday from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The show is designed to push new subscribers for ESPN+, the streaming service that launched last year will be a primary destination for live UFC content over the span of the five-year pact. Fight week has been interested to observe with the ESPN machine getting behind the show, inviting fighters on ESPN programming, significant coverage in the lead-up and handling the Greg Hardy story where he will fight on the same card as Rachael Ostovich. While it was stunning that they would book the two together, the mainstream outcry has been far less than anticipated. Any reservations about Hardy were dashed by his addition to this card and being placed into the co-feature spot with Allen Crowder under the championship main event.

This card doesn’t have the anticipation and big feel that the debut on Fox did with Cain Velasquez defending the heavyweight title against Junior dos Santos. It’s also a big gap between network television and a streaming service. While the preliminary fights will air on ESPN proper, everything is geared towards ESPN+ for this card with the first big ESPN show scheduled for next month in Phoenix when Cain Velasquez fights Francis Ngannou. Below is the card for Saturday’s show and the results from the weigh-ins today:

MAIN CARD (10 pm Eastern on ESPN+, TSN 5 in Canada)
*Henry Cejudo (124.4) vs. T.J. Dillashaw (124.6) for the UFC flyweight title
*Greg Hardy (264) vs. Allen Crowder (252.6)
*Gregor Gillespie (155.2) vs. Yancy Medeiros (155.4)
*Joseph Benavidez (124.4) vs. Dustin Ortiz (123.8)
*Rachael Ostovich (125.8) vs. Paige VanZant (125.8)
*Glover Teixeira (205.6) vs. Karl Roberson (203.8)

PRELIMINARY CARD (8 pm on ESPN, TSN 5 in Canada)
*Donald Cerrone (155.8) vs. Alexander Hernandez (155.4)
*Joanne Calderwood (125.8) vs. Ariane Lipski (125.2)
*Alonzo Menifield (204.6) vs. Vinicius Moreira (205.6)
*Mario Bautista (135.2) vs. Cory Sandhagen (135.6)

FIGHT PASS CARD (ESPN+ and Fight Pass at 6:30 pm)
*Te Edwards (155) vs. Dennis Bermudez (155.8)
*Geoff Neal (170.4) vs. Belal Muhammad (170.2)
*Chance Rencountre (170.4) vs. Kyle Stewart (170.4)

**ESPN had a photographer embedded with T.J. Dillashaw as he prepared for the fight with Henry Cejudo, including some unreal photos during his weight cut this week.

**The promotion has unveiled their new legacy belt, which will be used for champions moving forward.

**The UFC’s return to England will happen on Saturday, March 16th a card set for the O2 Arena in London. Topping the bill is a welterweight fight between Darren Till and Jorge Masvidal with co-feature announced pitting another welterweight contest as Leon Edwards will fight Gunnar Nelson. Till has not competed since his loss to champion Tyron Woodley last September at UFC 228 in Dallas, which marked the first loss of Till’s career. Masvidal, who has been one of the durable fighters, had his first calendar year go by without a fight in 2018. He last fought in November 2017 where he dropped a decision to Stephen Thompson at UFC 217. The card from London will be airing on ESPN+ in the United States.

*****
Café Hangout LIVE 1/17: WWE talent requesting releases, Jericho Talks AEW Deal

ohn Pollock and Wai Ting discuss recent reports of The Revival and Mike & Maria Kanellis requesting their releases from the WWE. Plus, Chris Jericho dishes details about his AEW deal on his latest podcast.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/01/18/wwe-stars-request-releases-jericho-talks-aew-deal-cafe-hangout-live-1-17-19/
*****
TRMPS #1: The Scorpion King (2002) w/ Brian Mann

Welcome to the debut edition of The Rocky Maivia Picture Show! Nate Milton realizes that he can’t “Stand Alone” on his first episode, so he invites Brian Mann (Complex, “Keep It 2000”) into the theater to review Dwayne Johnson’s first major foray into the movie business, 2002’s The Scorpion King.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/01/18/trmps-1-the-scorpion-king-2002-w-brian-mann/
*****
REWIND-A-WAI #28: NXT TakeOver Dallas (2016)

John Pollock and Wai Ting review NXT TakeOver: Dallas featuring the WWE debut of Shinsuke Nakamura against Sami Zayn. We also discuss a blood-filled main event featuring Finn Balor vs. Samoa Joe that consisted of a number of medical interruptions.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/01/18/rewind-a-wai-28-nxt-takeover-dallas-2016/
*****
upNXT 1/17/19: JC & Chris Lightning, Kassius Ohno vs. Keith Lee

Braden Herrington & Davie Portman chat this week’s episode of NXT featuring Keith Lee vs Kassius Ohno, Johnny Gargano vs Humberto Carrillo, and the MUCH anticipated return of… JC & Chris!
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/01/17/upnxt-1-17-19-jc-chris-lightning-kassius-ohno-vs-keith-lee/
*****
DOUBLE SHOT 1/16: Nigel McGuinness & Gene Okerlund specials, Total Bellas Season 4

John Pollock and Wai Ting review the recent WWE Network specials on Nigel McGuinness and Mean Gene Okerlund, a review of the season premiere of Total Bellas and Being the Elite.
https://www.patreon.com/posts/24012991
*****
RASD 1/15: Shane’s Birthday Bash, USO-tel Room, Rush signs with ROH
John Pollock and Wai Ting review WWE SmackDown from Birmingham, Alabama featuring a Birthday Bash for Shane McMahon, a huge debate about the Jimmy Uso hotel segment with Mandy Rose, more cameos from the NXT call-ups, and a great television match between Rey Mysterio and Andrade, just Andrade
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/01/16/rasd-1-15-19-shanes-birthday-bash-uso-tel-room-rush-signs-with-roh/
*****
RAR 1/14/19: Braun Strowman replaced at Rumble, New IC champion
John Pollock and Wai Ting return to review WWE Raw from Memphis, Tennessee featuring changes to the Royal Rumble with Braun Strowman taken out of the Universal title match, a four-way to decide the new challenger, Nikki Cross wrestles on Raw, EC3, Lacey Evans and Heavy Machinery making cameos, and more.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/01/15/rar-1-14-19-braun-strowman-replaced-at-rumble-new-ic-champion/
*****
THE 2019 MMA PREDICTION SHOW

John Pollock welcomes ESPN’s Ariel Helwani for the 7th Annual MMA Prediction Show. They will re-visit the predictions made for 2018 and then a new edition of “Likely” or “Unlikely” for 2019
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/01/13/the-2019-mma-prediction-show-feat-ariel-helwani/
*****

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About John Pollock 703 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.