POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: Starrcast announces shows for convention

Starrcast announces the huge lineup of themed shows for Las Vegas, details on The Undertaker's appearance, a big preview of the weekend, Elimination Chamber odds & notes.

POST IT NOTES

**We have a new edition of Rewind-A-Wai available for members of the POST Wrestling Café. This was a great show reviewing WWE’s King of the Ring from June 2002. This was a tumultuous month for the company that saw Steve Austin walk out, Triple H requiring elbow surgery, the debut of John Cena on the main roster, the brief re-hiring of Vince Russo, Vince McMahon defeating Ric Flair for control of Raw and SmackDown and lots more. Wai Ting and review this show, discuss the rise of Brock Lesnar, a commentary written by Chris Jericho after his match with Rob Van Dam, Hulk Hogan’s nostalgia run, the problems with the main event, the return of The Rock, a terrible storyline for Molly Holly and more. Plus, we are joined by Espresso Executive Producer Matthew Winter to discuss his selection for this week’s review. If you sign up for the POST Wrestling Café you receive a minimum three bonus shows per week, including access to the complete archive.

**We also have the Café Hangout available with Wai Ting and I joined by Nate Milton to preview this Sunday’s WWE Elimination Chamber show, discuss the Jimmy Uso and Naomi story from TMZ, the Double or Nothing sellout, and other news and your phone calls. This is available in both audio and video and we do the show live for Patrons each Thursday at 3 pm Eastern.

**On Saturday, Nate Milton will present the second edition of The Rocky Maivia Picture Show as he reviews “The Rundown” with guests Jay Hunter & V1 from OSW Review.

**Wai Ting and I are back Sunday with the WWE Elimination Chamber POST Show. We will be going LIVE immediately after the show for Double Double, Iced Capp and Espresso members of the POST Wrestling Café and taking phone calls after our review. The free podcast version will be posted late Sunday night.

WRESTLING NEWS

**Ahead of Friday’s general on-sale, Starrcast announced a series of events and additional talent appearing at the loaded convention in Las Vegas. The biggest announcement was The Undertaker, who is set to be ramping up his personal appearances with astronomical figures being reported. On Friday’s edition of Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer noted that his rate is $25,000 per hour or $60,000 for three hours, although terms of the deal with Starrcast are unknown.

**Conrad Thompson appeared on Busted Open Radio Friday to discuss the announcement of The Undertaker appearing at Starrcast II. Thompson said the dialogue to book Undertaker began back in December with Bruce Prichard handing off his number to Thompson to make a pitch. After several days, ‘Taker got back to Thompson and handed him off to his representatives and then they closed the deal. Thompson ended the story by stating, “may my bank account rest in peace.”

**Starrcast has also announced the following themed shows for the convention:
*An Evening with Cody and The Young Bucks, hosted by Alex Marvez
*Talk is Jericho with various guests
*30 Years and Five Stars Later – The Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat Trilogy hosted by Jim Ross
*Behind the Paint with Sting, hosted by Tony Schiavone
*Sharpshooter: Bret Hart in his own words, hosted by Sean Mooney
*Empty Arena Retrospective with Jerry Lawler and Terry Funk
*Behind the Theme with Jim Johnston, hosted by Sean Mooney
*Crazy Like a Fox: Remembering Brian Pillman
*Lita’s panel on women’s wrestling
*JR and The King with Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler
*X-Pac 1-2-360 Degrees of the Attitude Era, hosted by Sean Waltman
*I Quit with Tully Blanchard and Magnum T.A., hosted by Tony Schiavone
*83 Weeks with Eric Bischoff and guests, including “Nitro” author Guy Evans
*The Art of Wrestling with Colt Cabana
*Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard Live
*Wrestling Observer Live with Dave Meltzer and Bryan Alvarez
*The premiere screening of “This is Wrestling: The Joey Ryan Story”
*The Starrcast Cosplay Contest, hosted by Leva Bates
*Double or Nothing live weigh-in

**Prior to Starrcast, The Undertaker will be doing three speaking shows through Inside the Ropes on April 30th in London, May 1st in Glasgow, and May 2nd in Manchester. The pricing for the shows in the U.K. ranged from £48.50 ($62.18 U.S), which was just for the Q&A portion and then various VIP packages that ranged from 220 pounds and topping out at £375 ($448.74 U.S.), which includes a front row seat for the Q&A, early meet-and-greet access, a professional photo, one autograph, a t-shirt from the tour, ITR pin, souvenir ticket and an event poster.

Despite the criticism of the pricing, all three shows are listed as being sold out.

**Joe Hendry has announced he is no longer with Impact Wrestling and is a free agent. Hendry had been working with Impact since May of last year.

**Impact Wrestling begins three consecutive nights of television tapings in Las Vegas tonight. They are at Sam’s Town Casino through Sunday.

**WWE Network News is reporting that the WWE Network will be adding episodes of WWE Confidential this Monday. The series was a magazine style show hosted by Mean Gene Okerlund from 2002-2004 that aired Saturday nights on TNN. It was WWE’s attempt to present their version of “Hard Copy” and cover their own news. The website is reporting that episodes from 2002 until early 2003 will be added on Monday.

Among the stories they have covered during the show’s run included Steve Austin’s departure in June 2002 where Vince McMahon and an unwilling Jim Ross sat down for interviews to express their anger and disappointment in Austin’s actions walking out on the day of Raw.

**OTT announced Thursday that Will Ospreay has been removed from their ScrapperMania card in Dublin on March 16th and their card in Belfast on March 24th “due to other commitments”. New Japan is running both those dates for the New Japan Cup, including the finals on March 24th and it would seem logical that Ospreay would be part of the tournament. OTT has since announced that Jushin Thunder Liger will be taking Ospreay’s place and they have also announced Pete Dunne, Trent Seven, and Tyler Bate for the show.

**Below are the matches for tonight’s episode of Impact Wrestling at 10 pm Eastern on Twitch, the Pursuit Network and Fight Network in Canada:
*Johnny Impact vs. Killer Kross vs. Brian Cage vs. Moose for the Impact title
*Taya Valkyrie vs. Tessa Blanchard in a Street Fight for the Knockout’s title
*Willie Mack vs. Ethan Page
*Sami Callihan, Eddie Edwards, Eli Drake and Fallah Bahh vs. Psycho Clown, Aerostar, Puma King and Hijo Del Vikingo in an Elimination match

**Here are the matches for tonight’s episode of New Japan Pro Wrestling on AXS TV at 8 pm Eastern from the recent New Beginning tour:
*EVIL and Sanada vs. Minoru Suzuki and Zack Sabre Jr. for the IWGP tag titles
*Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kazuchika Okada vs. Jay White and Bad Luck Fale

**Below are the matches for tonight’s WOW: Women of Wrestling show at 9 pm Eastern on AXS TV:
*Jessicka Havok vs. Fire
*The Disciplinarian vs. Chantilly Chella
*Faith the Lioness vs. Razor

**EVOLVE is running cards in Atlanta and Concord, North Carolina this weekend, are cities that both New Japan and Ring of Honor have run over the past month. The WWE is loaning Adam Cole out this weekend for the shows, which WWN can stream on their Club WWN service. Below are the matches for tonight’s show the Kroc Center at 8 pm Eastern:
*Austin Theory vs. Darby Allin for the EVOLVE championship
*Adam Cole vs. Shane Strickland
*The Street Profits vs. DJZ and AR Fox for the EVOLVE tag titles
*Anthony Henry vs. Eddie Kingston
*Aja Perera vs. Priscilla Kelly for SHINE’s Nova championship
*Skulk Scramble match
*Curt Stallion vs. Josh Briggs
*JD Drake vs. Harlem Bravado

*OTT has a huge show this Sunday with Homecoming II from the National Basketball Arena on Sunday and the following lineup:
*Walter vs. PAC in a non-title match
*David Starr vs. Jordan Devlin, the winner faces Walter at Scrappermania
*The Lads from the Flats vs. Kings of the North in a Steel Cage match
*Will Ospreay and Scotty Davis vs. Besties in the World
*Mark Haskins vs. Andrew Everett vs. Terry Thatcher
*Justy and MJF vs. Angel Cruzers
*Ilja Dragunov vs. Shigehiro Irie
*More than Hype vs. Charlie Sterling and the Anti-Fun Police

**MLW Fusion moves to Saturday nights this weekend at 9 pm Eastern on beIN Sports. The promotion will be uploading each week’s show to YouTube on Sundays at Noon Eastern. Below are the matches for Saturday’s show:
*Teddy Hart vs. MJF for the middleweight title
*Rich Swann vs. Ace Austin
*Alex Hammerstone vs. Ariel Dominguez

**The WWE’s Raw crew begins their weekend shows in Edinburg, Texas tonight with Ronda Rousey vs. Ruby Riott, Braun Strowman vs. Baron Corbin and a fatal four-way involving Bobby Lashley, Dean Ambrose, Drew McIntyre and Apollo Crews advertised. On Saturday, the same crew is in Laredo, Texas.

**The SmackDown crew has a show in Alexandria, Louisiana on Saturday with Daniel Bryan vs. AJ Styles vs. Jeff Hardy and Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair announced.

**The WWE Network will be premiering a documentary on Mark Henry following Elimination Chamber on Sunday night.

**The Cruiserweight title match between Buddy Murphy and Akira Tozawa will be airing on the kickoff portion of the Elimination Chamber card on Sunday at 6 pm Eastern from Houston.

**The Intercontinental title match at Elimination Chamber has been changed to a handicap match with Bobby Lashley and Lio Rush facing Finn Balor. They have also added a No Disqualification stipulation for the match between Braun Strowman and Baron Corbin.

**Cathy Kelley and Mike Rome will be hosting a live edition of WWE Now on Sunday at 2 pm Eastern previewing the Elimination Chamber. They will be joined by AJ Styles, The Riott Squad, and Braun Strowman with the show streaming live on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

**The latest odds for Elimination Chamber from BetOnline have the following listed:
*Daniel Bryan is the favorite to win the men’s Chamber match followed by AJ Styles at 5/1 and Samoa Joe at 8/1
*Bryan is the favorite to have the most eliminations in the match followed by Joe and Styles
*Bayley and Sasha Banks are 2/5 favorites to win the women’s Chamber followed by Nia Jax & Tamina at 9/2 and The IIconics at 5/1 odds
*Buddy Murphy is a -700 favorite to retain the Cruiserweight title over Akira Tozawa
*Ronda Rousey is a -5000 favorite over Ruby Riott, who is listed at +1200
*Shane McMahon and The Miz are -600 favorites for The Usos
*Finn Balor is the favorite at -170 to defeat Bobby Lashley and Lio Rush
*Braun Strowman is a -600 favorite over Baron Corbin

**LA Park, Madison Rayne, and Jonathan Coachman have been added to the loaded lineup at Starrcast May 23rd – 26th in Las Vegas.

**Nickelodeon has announced that John Cena will be hosting a resurrection version of “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader”. They are set to begin production in the spring and will debut later this year.

**Shane McMahon will appear on NCIS Los Angeles on March 31st on CBS.

**New Japan World will be streaming every New Japan Cup card in March. The tournament begins March 8th at Korakuen Hall and continues March 9th in Aichi, March 10th in Hyogo, March 11th in Kagawa, March 13th in Okayama, March 14th in Nara, March 16th at Korakuen Hall, March 17th at Korakuen Hall, March 20th in Shizuoka, March 21st in Hamamatsu, March 23rd in Niigata and the finals on March 24th in Niigata.

**MLW has announced that Puma King will take on Hijo de LA Park and Mance Warner will face LA Park in a Deathmatch on March 2nd at Intimidation Games at Cicero Stadium in Chicago.

**Essa Rios has been announced for the Clusterfuck Battle Royal at Joey Janela’s Spring Break on Saturday, April 6th at the White Eagle Hall in Jersey City.

**AIW has announced a tag match with MJF and Ethan Page vs. Colt Cabana and Grado for their WrestleMania week show on Thursday, April 4th at Midnight at the White Eagle Hall in Jersey City.

**Davey Boy Smith Jr. has been announced for Josh Barnet’s Bloodsport on Thursday, April 4th at 4 pm at White Eagle Hall.

**Stephanie McMahon will be delivering the commencement speech for the graduating class at Robert Morris University on May 11th in Pittsburgh.

**I had a chance to watch the Open the Dream Gate title match between PAC and Kzy from earlier this week at Hakata Star Lanes. This was match-of-the-year caliber as the two were so on point with each other. PAC must be considered one of the best heels in the world and watching them so closely this week, it’s evident that PAC is well ahead of Jay White when it comes to the full presentation. I do expect Jay White to get there, but on this week, it was clear where PAC is at.

Kzy had a hell of a performance and they didn’t overdo the dives, so they were spaced out and had more impact. The timing of the near falls and kick out brought the audience up even more and ended with PAC landing the Black Arrow to retain the title after 28 minutes. After the match, a challenge was laid out by Shun Skywalker for PAC’s next title defense. Skywalker recently won the Young Tournament, defeating Kaito Ishida in the final last month.

**On this date in 2004, Eddie Guerrero defeated Brock Lesnar to become the WWE champion in the main event of the No Way Out pay-per-view at The Cow Palace in San Francisco. Guerrero was 36 years old at the time and had caught fire the year prior as one of the key stars on SmackDown. The promos that Guerrero cut on television going into the show were so incredible, including this gem on the final SmackDown before the pay-per-view.

**The WWE stock closed at $87.46 on Friday.

MMA NEWS

**Bellator has a big weekend with back-to-back shows at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut tonight and Saturday. Bellator 215 is tonight at 9 pm Eastern on the Paramount Network and DAZN with the following main card:
*Matt Mitrione (258.25) vs. Sergei Kharitonov (265)
*Logan Storley (169.25) vs. Ion Pascu (170.25)
*Eduardo Dantas (136) vs. Toby Misech (135.5)
*John Douma (136) vs. Mike Kimbel (136)
*Cody Jones (174) vs. Austin Vanderford (174.25) – Catchweight fight

**The bigger Bellator show is Bellator 216 on Saturday night at 10 pm Eastern and airs exclusively on DAZN. This one is headlined by Paul Daley and Michael “Venom” Page, who have been feuding for years and finally having the fight. It’s part of the Welterweight Grand Prix and given they want to have the highest audience for the fight, they opted to do it in the U.S. and not in the U.K., which seemed the natural setting. From DAZN’s perspective, it makes sense to have it in the U.S. as airing it live from the U.K. would mean a Saturday afternoon card unless you run the card late in the U.K. and whenever Bellator or Glory attempted to run cards live from overseas it would hurt the North American audience and that’s who they are specifically after. Below is the full main card and results from the weigh-ins:
*Michael Page (170) vs. Paul Daley (170) – Welterweight Grand Prix
*Cheick Kongo (236) vs. Vitaly Minakov (240.5)
*Mirko Cro Cop (234.5) vs. Roy Nelson (259.5)
*Erick Silva (170) vs. Yaroslav Amosov (169.75)
*Colby Fletcher (122.25) vs. Valerie Loureda (123.5)

**Invicta FC will be holding a show tonight from Memorial Hall in Kansas City and streaming on UFC Fight Pass at 8 pm Eastern. Below are the fights on the show:
*Pearl Gonzalez vs. Vanessa Porto for the vacant flyweight title
*Milana Dudieva vs. Karina Rodriguez in the semi-finals of the flyweight tournament
*DeAnna Bennett vs. Miranda Maverick in the semi-finals of the flyweight tournament
*Tracy Cortez vs. Erin Blanchfield in the alternate bout for the tournament
*Victoria Leonardo vs. Jamie Milanowski
*Courtney King vs. Holli Salazar
*Caitlin Sammons vs. Christina Ricker

**A featherweight fight between Helena Kolesnyk and Faith McMah was removed from the card after Kolesnyk missed weight. Holli Logan missed weight for her featherweight fight against Courtney King, but the fight will be contested as a catchweight with Logan fined 25% of her purse.

**The UFC will be holding their first full card on ESPN on Sunday night going against the NBA All-Star Game. It’s a big card for television, led by the heavyweight main event between former champion Cain Velasquez and Francis Ngannou. The weigh-ins take place Saturday from Phoenix, Arizona and below is the fight card.

MAIN CARD (9 pm Eastern on ESPN, TSN 2 in Canada)
*Cain Velasquez vs. Francis Ngannou
*Paul Felder vs. James Vick
*Cortney Casey vs. Cynthia Calvillo
*Alex Caceres vs. Kron Gracie
*Bryan Barberena vs. Vicente Luque
*Andre Fili vs. Myles Jury

PRELIMINARY CARD (7 pm on ESPN, TSN 2 in Canada)
*Jimmie Rivera vs. Aljamain Sterling
*Manny Bermudez vs. Benito Lopez
*Ashlee Evans-Smith vs. Andrea Lee
*Nik Lentz vs. Scott Holtzman

FIGHT PASS CARD (5:30 pm on ESPN+, Fight Pass outside the U.S.)
*Jessica Penne vs. Jodie Esquibel
*Renan Barao vs. Luke Sanders
*Alexandra Albu vs. Emily Whitmire

*****
REWIND-A-WAI #30: WWE King of the Ring 2002 (Patreon)
John Pollock and Wai Ting review WWE King of the Ring 2002 featuring The Undertaker vs. Triple H for the WWE Undisputed Championship and the finals of the King of the Ring tournament.
https://www.patreon.com/posts/24711044
*****
upNXT 2/14/19: Happy Pal-entine’s Day
Braden Herrington is joined by friend of the show Scrump, to review this week’s edition of WWE NXT including Ricochet vs. Adam Cole, Dominik Dijakovic vs. Shane Thorne, Street Profits in action, Ohno “leaving” NXT and more!
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/02/14/upnxt-2-14-19-happy-pal-entines-day/
*****
DOUBLE SHOT: WWE Raw 6/17/2002, BTE, Total Bellas, 3.5 Degrees
John Pollock and Wai Ting review WWE Raw from June 17th, 2002, Being the Elite, Total Bellas & Stephanie McMahon on 3.5 Degrees.
https://www.patreon.com/posts/24667251
*****
REWIND-A-SMACKDOWN 2/12/19: New Day’s Long Night, Pedro Morales passes away
The final SmackDown before the Elimination Chamber featured a Gauntlet match taking up the final 70 minutes the show, Mustafa Ali’s replacement is announced. We also discuss the passing of Pedro Morales.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/02/13/rasd-2-12-19-new-days-long-night-pedro-morales-passes-away/
*****

RAR 2/11/19: Bex-it Strategy, New Beginning review, Double or Nothing, Mustafa Ali
John Pollock & Wai Ting review a WWE Raw that was built around whether Becky Lynch would apologize to Triple H and Stephanie McMahon for her actions last week, new tag team champs, plus our full review of NJPW New Beginning in Osaka with a new IWGP heavyweight champion.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/02/12/rar-2-11-19-bex-it-strategy-new-beginning-review-double-or-nothing-mustafa-ali/
*****
UFC 234 POST Show: Israel Adesanya vs. Anderson Silva
John Pollock and Phil Chertok review UFC 234 from Melbourne with Israel Adesanya vs. Anderson Silva after losing the main event due to Robert Whittaker undergoing emergency surgery.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/02/10/ufc-234-post-show-israel-adesanya-vs-anderson-silva/
*****
Café Hangout: WWE Q4 & Full Year 2018 Earnings Report

John Pollock and Wai Ting are joined by Wrestlenomics / Fightful’s Brandon Howard Thurston to discuss WWE’s Q4 and full year 2018 earnings reports which shed a lot of light on Crown Jewel, WWE Network, live event attendance and other indicators of success for the company in 2018.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/02/08/wwe-q4-full-year-2018-earnings-report-w-brandon-thurston-cafe-hangout-live-2-7-19/
*****
POST MOVIE REVIEW: Iron Man 3 (2013)

John Pollock & Wai Ting review the seventh Marvel Cinematic Universe film, Iron Man 3 (2013). We discuss why director Shane Black took over for Jon Favreau, the performance of Robert Downey Jr. as a PTSD-suffering Tony Stark following the events of The Avengers, the controversial swerve involving Ben Kingsley’s The Mandarin, and more.
https://www.patreon.com/posts/24553011/
*****

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About John Pollock 5608 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.