POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: Ronda Rousey speaks on her WWE future

Ronda Rousey speaks on her future with the WWE, Roman Reigns appearing in Hobbs & Shaw movie, story on the 1987 Royal Rumble, Minoru Suzuki at Bloodsport.

POST IT NOTES

**We have the returning ASK-A-WAI out today. Wai Ting and I spent almost two hours answering mailbag questions that have piled up since December. On this show, we discuss All Elite Wrestling, launching on Patreon, the future of The Undertaker, a hypothetical question if Hulk Hogan couldn’t have worked the WrestleMania 1 card in 1985, Impact Wrestling’s TV situation, energy drinks, and way too much ASMR talk. This show is available for members of the POST Wrestling Café.

**The Royal Rumble Preview edition of the Café Hangout is now available for everyone. Wai Ting and I were joined by Jimmy Korderas of Aftermath TV on Sportsnet 360 to preview Sunday’s card and discuss the build-up for the show. Plus, we go through all the latest news with the Ronda Rousey story and potential of her break from WWE, the latest on John Cena, the New Beginning USA cards, Sonjay Dutt & Abyss leaving Impact Wrestling, the NXT TakeOver card, and we take your phone calls. This show is available as a podcast and video.

**On the latest edition of upNXT, Braden Herrington and Davie Portman review the final episode of NXT going into this Saturday’s TakeOver card from Phoenix, they preview the Royal Rumble and make their picks.

**A reminder that the deadline to enter the POST Wrestling Royal Rumble Pool is Sunday at 3 pm Eastern. It is free to join, and the winners will be announced on Rewind-A-Raw.

**We can now take phone calls and Skype calls during our live shows and will be dedicating a big portion of our Royal Rumble POST Show to your calls. You can listen live if you are a Double Double, Iced Capp or Espresso member of the POST Wrestling Café.

POST WRESTLING’S WEEKEND SCHEDULE

*Saturday: NXT TakeOver POST Show with Braden Herrington and Davie Portman
*Sunday: WWE Royal Rumble POST Show with John Pollock & Wai Ting (you can watch the show live immediately after the Rumble if you are a Double Double, Iced Capp or Espresso member of the Café. The show will be posted for free later that night.)

WRESTLING NEWS

**Ramona Shelburne spoke to Ronda Rousey for a story on ESPN. Rousey admitted when she started professional wrestling that she was skeptical she would be good at it and would get off after several months, which is amazing considering she came out of WrestleMania as the star on that show and displayed a natural aptitude for it at that level. The topic of her potential break from WWE was broached and she wouldn’t confirm or deny the story. Rousey seemed annoyed that people were speculating about the potential of her having children, which is something she herself has stated many times and reiterated in this interview:

I’ve not kept it a secret that I would definitely want to start a family. But how do you go about doing that? I love this way more than I thought that I would. So do you just keep going until you just happen to get pregnant? Or should you stop and go try and get pregnant? Or is going and trying to get pregnant putting yourself on the spot and then you’re less likely to get pregnant? I’ve never had a baby before, I don’t know these kinds of things. It would be kind of cool to just keep acting and then one day, ‘Hey, surprise twist, I’m pregnant.’ That would be fun. There’s a lot of things up in the air. A lot of decisions that we’ve gotta make as a family. I’m trying to figure it out as I go along.

**Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson announced Friday that Roman Reigns (Joe Anoa’i) will be playing Johnson’s brother in the upcoming Fast & Furious spinoff film, Hobbs & Shaw starring Johnson and Jason Statham. The film will be released on August 2nd this year.

**Bunim-Murray Productions, the company behind Total Bellas, Total Divas, and Miz & Mrs. are developing another series for the WWE. On Friday, the WWE announced that casting has begun for a reality series to find the next WWE female star. There were no additional details regarding a broadcaster or premiere date.

**Daniel Bryan spoke to ESPN ahead of the Royal Rumble on Sunday for an update on his post-match routine with the WWE’s medical staff. Bryan confirmed he is still undergoing testing after each match when he arrives in the back. The standard procedure includes an eye test, balance test, and then given a mathematical question. Bryan is hopeful the testing is going to be reduced to better utilize the medical staff for others that may require it more. In the article, it stated that he is on pace for 120 matches once the one-year anniversary of his return arrives, which is a major reduction from the 227 total he registered during his last full-year in 2013 before his injuries.

**Ring of Honor continues their tour of Texas with a card in Houston tonight at the NRG Arena and streaming on Honor Club at 8:30 pm Eastern. Below is tonight’s card:
*Coast to Coast vs. Cheeseburger and Eli Isom in the Tag Wars tournament
*Beer City Bruiser and Brian Milonas vs. The Boys in the Tag Wars tournament
*Colt Cabana and Willie Mack (replacing Flip Gordon) vs. Kenny King and TBA in the Tag Wars tournament
*The Briscoes, Silas Young and Shane Taylor vs. Juice Robinson, David Finlay, Tracy Williams, and Mark Haskins
*Marty Scurll, PCO and Brody King vs. Clark Connors, Karl Fredericks and Alex Coughlin
*Jonathan Gresham vs. Matt Taven
*Jeff Cobb vs. Dalton Castle vs. Rocky Romero vs. Bandido in a Proving Ground match
*Jay Lethal vs. Vinny Marseglia for the ROH title

**Here is the lineup for tonight’s episode of MLW Fusion at 8 pm Eastern on beIN Sports:
*LA Park vs. Sami Callihan in a Falls Count Anywhere match
*Kotto Brazil vs. Vandal Ortagun
*Barrington Hughes vs. Ace Romero

**Here are the matches set for tonight’s episode of Impact Wrestling at 10 pm Eastern on the Pursuit Channel and Twitch from the tapings in Mexico City:
*Johnny Impact vs. Killer Kross for the Impact title
*Rich Swann vs. El Hijo del Vikingo
*Trey vs. Ethan Page
*Zachary Wentz and Dezmond Xavier vs. Desi Hit Squad

**Below are the matches on tonight’s episode of WOW: Women of Wrestling at 9 pm Eastern on AXS TV:
*Princess Aussie vs. Siren the Voodoo Doll
*Jessie Jones vs. Azteca
*Amber O’Neal vs. Tessa Blanchard
*They are also promoting a special cameo from Jacqueline Stallone, the mother of Sylvester, on the show

**New Japan has a Road to New Beginning card on Saturday morning, but it is not streaming on New Japan World. They will be streaming the “Road to” shows on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday next week at 4:30 am Eastern each day with English and Japanese commentary.

**The first of four Royal Rumble Axxess sessions starts tonight at 6 pm from the Phoenix Convention Center. The Axxess sessions throughout the weekend will be highlighted by the 15-man Worlds Collide tournament and three episodes of NXT UK to be produced. There are sessions on Saturday at 8 am and 1 pm and the final one is Sunday at 8 am.

**Due to Fight Network in Canada running a live MMA card from Alberta, Impact Wrestling won’t be airing until 1 am Eastern tonight. They are airing the Z Promotions event from Lethbridge headlined by Chris Curtis and Matt Dwyer in the main event.

**Minoru Suzuki has been announced for Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport card on Thursday, April 4th in Jersey City over WrestleMania week. Suzuki joins the most unique lineup of the week that includes Barnett, Frank Mir, Tom Lawlor, Hideki Suzuki, Jonathan Gresham, Timothy Thatcher, Simon Grimm, and Dan Severn.

**A new edition of WWE Chronicle featuring Paige will air on the WWE Network following TakeOver: Phoenix on Saturday night.

**On Thursday’s NXT house show in San Diego, Rey Mysterio made a surprise appearance to confront Kona Reeves, who was insulting the city. Tyler Bate was also on the show and defeated Adam Cole.

**All Elite Wrestling is holding a ticket announcement party on Thursday, February 7th to promote the on-sale date for “Double or Nothing” in May. The party will take place in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Hotel and will be streamed online that night at 9 pm Eastern.

**All Elite Wrestling has also announced the signing of Jungle Boy, which was revealed in the debut edition of The Road to Double or Nothing series. Jungle Boy (Jack Perry) is the 21-year old son of actor Luke Perry and has been wrestling since 2015. Over the past year, he has gained more attention in the California scene and wrestling matches for Game Changer Wrestling. He just made his debut for Pro Wrestling Guerrilla last Friday in a match with Brody King.

**Denny Burkholder of CBS Sports has a tremendous piece on the original Royal Rumble match the WWF promoted in 1987. Prior to the Royal Rumble in Hamilton in January 1988, they tried out the concept on a house show in St. Louis the previous October at the Kiel Auditorium. The 12-man Rumble ended with One Man Gang eliminating Junkyard Dog but the other participants in the match are unknown beyond the assumption those on the undercard worked twice. The match was considered a failure as the show didn’t draw well and was fumbled by a mid-show announcement.

The battle royal was designed to set up a title challenger for Hulk Hogan when the promotion returned to the market in November, however, as was customary at intermission they announced tickets for the next event and the main event would be Hogan vs. One Man Gang for the title eliminating any suspense for the main event. The match, always credited to Pat Patterson, was shelved until January when they ran a special on the USA Network opposing the NWA’s Bunkhouse Stampede pay-per-view and revisited the Rumble idea and improved its presentation.

Burkholder also uncovered a similar-themed battle royal from 1976 in Bangor, Maine that advertised an 18-man battle royal with participants entering “two at a time” for a $5,000 prize.

**Ring of Honor has announced that Rush will be part of their February 9th television tapings on February 9th on Lakeland, Florida and the following night in Miami for an Honor Club show.

**A match between DJZ and Myron Reed has been added to the MLW Superfight card next Saturday in Philadelphia at the 2300 Arena.

**Ring of Honor wrestler Jonathan Gresham has launched a unique YouTube channel teaching wrestling holds and sequences.

**Marty Scurll has released a new shirt on Pro Wrestling Tees that reads “All My Friends are Dead”.

**This week’s episode of NXT UK featured a strong main event between Travis Banks and Jordan Devlin, which was originally planned for TakeOver and switched when Balor took the spot of Banks. I enjoyed this match a lot, it focused on Devlin attacking the knee and lower of Banks, who was very good in the babyface spot selling the injuries from his smaller counterpart. The ending saw both crashing to the floor and counted out, which was a disappointing finish, but like Rey Mysterio and Andrade this week, it was done to extend the program and didn’t hamper my enjoyment.

The other notable part saw Pete Dunne confronted by Gallus, but before they could attack, Walter came out and the two cleared the ring of Gallus and had their stare down. Walter’s target is Dunne and I had no desire to see them even tease being on the same page or working together against the common enemy. That save would mean so much more after the two have had their wars and you’re ready to tease a union of the bitter rivals, not as the introduction for Walter in his first television appearance.

**BetOnline has odds posted for the Royal Rumble with the following stats:
*Brock Lesnar is a -350 favorite to defeat Finn Balor
*Daniel Bryan is a -250 favorite to beat AJ Styles
*Asuka is a minus -200 favorite to beat Becky Lynch
*Ronda Rousey is listed at -700 to defeat Sasha Banks
*Shane McMahon and The Miz are -300 favorites to defeat The Bar
*The top three favorites to win the men’s Royal Rumble are Seth Rollins, Braun Strowman with Drew McIntyre and John Cena listed with the same odds
*Charlotte Flair is the favorite to win the women’s Rumble followed by Becky Lynch, Alexa Bliss, Ember Moon, Ronda Rousey, and Shayna Baszler
*Seth Rollins, Andrade, and Mustafa Ali are the top  favorite to last the longest
*Drew McIntyre is the favorite to have the most eliminations followed by Braun Strowman, Samoa Joe, and AJ Styles.

**Progress Wrestling has added last weekend’s Chapter 83 card “Remove Child Before Ironing” to their on-demand service. This is the show where Kid Lykos suffered a separated shoulder in the main event with CCK challenging the Swords of Essex, Will Ospreay and Paul Robinson for Progress the tag titles.

**The 2004 and 2009 editions of the Royal Rumble took place on this date. The 2004 version was built around Chris Benoit’s win after drawing #1 and lasting the entire match and eliminating Big Show last. It led to Benoit being moved to Raw and setting up that year’s three-way match at WrestleMania with Triple H and Shawn Michaels for the World title. For obvious reasons, it isn’t one of the Rumbles the company chooses to focus upon in their retrospectives, although when doing the statistics, they always include Benoit in the number of people to win from the #1 position, he just isn’t named.

The two major title matches on the card saw Triple H and Shawn Michaels go to a draw for the World title, following an excellent match on Raw the previous month in San Antonio, Texas. The other title match was Brock Lesnar’s defense against Hardcore Holly stemming from Holly’s broken neck in 2002 during a match with Lesnar.

In 2009, the Rumble was won by Randy Orton, who was red-hot as a heel at this time. On the “go home” Raw leading into the Rumble, they did the angle with Orton punting Vince McMahon in the head and I never felt Orton was more effective and over than this period. He won the Rumble and was poised for something huge at WrestleMania. Enter Shane McMahon and the worst program possible for the Orton character, who had to sell and make Shane his equal before moving onto the Triple H program at WrestleMania (cue the home invasion highlights for context why that program died). I felt this was a lost opportunity, but on that week and that night at the Rumble, they had something big with Orton.

**Those with birthdays today include Michelle McCool, Wayne “Honky Tonk Man” Ferris, Jay Briscoe, and Mark Andrews.

MMA NEWS

**The big card this weekend is Bellator 214 from The Forum in Inglewood, California. The card is airing on the Paramount Network and streaming on DAZN. This was initially going to be a head-to-head battle with UFC 233 scheduled for the Honda Center in Anaheim but was taken off the schedule, so Bellator has the MMA space to itself on Saturday. The card will feature the conclusion of the Heavyweight Grand Prix as light heavyweight champion Ryan Bader attempting to become a dual champion as he meets Fedor Emelianenko in the final. The heavyweight title will be awarded to the winner after Vitaly Minakov was stripped of the title in 2016 and had not defended it since April 2014.

This is also the MMA debut of Jake Hager, a.k.a. Jack Swagger as he fights J.W. Kiser. Hager has received attention this week for the fight but it’s hardly at the level of other crossovers. Hager was a solid wrestler at the University of Oklahoma, earning All-American honors but never rising to the top level and winning an NCAA championship. He signed with Bellator in late 2017 and did pro wrestling throughout 2018, so there are obvious questions given his age is 36. The other question is whether he draws an audience and helps Bellator get out of a rut with their television viewership. On paper, it looks like an entertaining main card and Aaron Pico is an enormous prospect and has come into his own as one of the Bellator’s stars to keep an eye on.

Below is the main card for Saturday’s event with weigh-in results and begins at 9 pm Eastern:
*Ryan Bader (227.8) vs. Fedor Emelianenko (236.2) in the finals of the Heavyweight Grand Prix
*Aaron Pico (145.5) vs. Henry Corrales (145.7)
*Jake Hager (238) vs. J.W. Kiser (224.3)
*Ricky Bandejas (135.9) vs. Juan Archuleta (135.8)
*Brandon McMahon (144.7) vs. Adel Altamimi (144.9)

**Bellator has stated that R-Truth will be walking Hager to the ring on Saturday night on the eve of the Royal Rumble.

**Earlier this week, results from one of the drug tests administered by VADA for Jon Jones came back with trace amounts of the M3 metabolite. The California State Athletic Commission and USADA believe is from the ingestion of Turinabol from 2017 and does not represent a new ingestion of the banned substance. The test by VADA was taken on December 28th, the day before his fight with Alexander Gustafsson, which Jones won by TKO in the third round. Nima Safapour released the following statement to MMA Fighting regarding the news of the test’s findings:

The inconclusive and inconsistent results that are repeatedly occurring with Jon Jones, at the very least, should compel our industry to have a greater, deeper, and more impartial discussion about the legitimacy of Jon’s defense. Jon has gone out publicly boasting when some of his results come back negative. However, he remains silent when his test results come back positive. You can not have it both ways and cherry-pick the results that are favorable for you, and insist that we disregard the results that go against your interests.

Jon has essentially received a use exemption on a strict liability violation. The science is not certain on the defense he has taken. Furthermore, science is always in a state of change. So the science we rely on today is different than the science we relied on from just a few years ago. It will probably change again going forward. Jones is also creating a precedent that will go beyond his personal interests in the sense that now other fighters will also seek use exemptions on a strict liability violation based on an issue that the science community is still divided on. It’s an absolute mess.

**ONE Championship has announced the opening round fights for their Lightweight Grand Prix that will include the promotional debut of Eddie Alvarez. On today’s card from Manila, Lowen Tynanes defeated Honorio Banario by TKO in the first round and will fight the winner of an upcoming bout between Alvarez and Timofey Nastyukhin, who will fight on March 31st on a card in Tokyo. The other side of the bracket will feature Ev Ting fighting Saygid Arslanaliev and Amir Khan taking on Ariel Sexton with both fights scheduled for February 22nd in Singapore.

**ONE Championship has announced a working relationship with Shooto in Japan with fighters from the Japanese group having the chance to fight on future ONE events and train at EVOLVE MMA in Singapore.

*****
Café Hangout: Royal Rumble Preview with Jimmy Korderas
John Pollock and Wai Ting are joined by Aftermath TV co-host and former WWE referee, Jimmy Korderas to preview this weekend’s Royal Rumble. Plus, we take your calls and talk Ronda Rousey’s future with WWE, Abyss & Sonjay Dutt joining WWE, NJPW’s US visa issues, Daniel Bryan goes off on Chase Field, NXT TakeOver: Phoenix, and WWE Worlds Collide.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/01/25/royal-rumble-preview-w-jimmy-korderas-cafe-hangout-live-1-24-19/
*****
ASK-A-WAI: Ask Us Anything (February 2019)
John Pollock and Wai Ting answer their patrons’ questions from the POST Wrestling Forum in the February 2018 edition of Ask-A-Wai. In this 107 min podcast, we discuss AEW, Patreon, UFC, Energy Drinks, ASMR, The Undertaker, Impact and more.
https://www.patreon.com/posts/24213974
*****
upNXT 1/24/19: DIY Another Day
Braden Herrington & Davie Portman chat this week’s “Go Home” episode of NXT featuring a huge angle involving DIY, Ricochet and Aleister Black, an amazing sleeper hit tag team match between Lorcan & Burch vs. Aichner & Barthel, Velveteen Dream vs. Bobby Fish, and more!
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/01/24/upnxt-1-24-19-diy-another-day/
*****
BWE 1/23/19: NXT UK, ITV World of Sport Tour, PAC vs. ZSJ
In a packed show, Benno and guests Will Cooling (Fighting Spirit Magazine) and JP Houlihan (Eurograps, The Indy Corner) talk NXT UK’s first TV show since Takeover: Blackpool, ITV World Of Sport’s UK tour, the Zack Sabre Jr. vs. PAC match from Rev Pro, plus the latest news and announcements from Progress, OTT and Fight Club Pro.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/01/24/bwe-1-23-19-nxt-uk-itv-world-of-sport-tour-pac-vs-zsj-progress-ott-fight-club-pro/
*****
DOUBLE SHOT 1/23: WWF Superstars from 1992, Being the Elite, Total Bellas, Impact Wrestling
John Pollock and Wai Ting review an episode of WWF Superstars from June 1992, and the latest episodes of Impact, Being the Elite & Total Divas.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/01/23/double-shot-1-23-wwf-superstars-from-1992-bte-total-bellas-impact-wrestling/
*****
RASD 1/22/19: Rey vs. Andrade, Bryan-Styles faceoff, XFL TV talks

On the final show before the Royal Rumble, Rey Mysterio took on Andrade in a 2-of-3 falls match, Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles had a face-to-face, Shane McMahon and The Miz are attacked before Sunday’s tag title match, and more.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/01/23/rasd-1-22-19-rey-vs-andrade-bryan-styles-faceoff-xfl-tv-talks/
*****
RAR 1/21/19: David vs. Goliath, John Cena Update, Rumble Go-Home

It’s the final Raw before the Royal Rumble with an update on the status of John Cena, Ronda Rousey teams with Natalya against Sasha Banks and Bayley, Brock Lesnar appears with Paul Heyman and Vince McMahon in the opening segment, Braun Strowman has his first match back against Finn Balor and more.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/01/22/rar-1-21-19-david-vs-goliath-john-cena-update-rumble-go-home/
*****
UFC ON ESPN+ POST Show with John Pollock & Phil Chertok

John Pollock is joined by Phil Chertok to review the UFC’s debut card on ESPN+ featuring Henry Cejudo defending the UFC flyweight title against T.J. Dillashaw, the debut of Greg Hardy, and the 30th UFC fight for Donald Cerrone.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/01/20/ufc-on-espn-post-show-henry-cejudo-vs-t-j-dillashaw/
*****

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About John Pollock 996 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.