POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: WWE announces releases

The WWE announces three releases, Cody comments on Arn Anderson, Naomi addresses recent TMZ story, Georges St-Pierre's retirement, POP TV president discusses Impact Wrestling & more.

POST IT NOTES

**Our monthly ASK-A-WAI show is out with Wai Ting and I going through 50 questions from the mailbag. This month we discuss the original names we had for the site, the NXT call-ups, the legacy of Pedro Morales, state of Impact Wrestling, the future for Dean Ambrose, how AJ Styles’ WWE run has turned out, a bunch of AEW questions, and tons more covered. This show available for all members of the POST Wrestling Café.

**We also have our weekly Café Hangout show available. This week, Wai Ting and I dedicate most of the show to discussing the career of Georges St-Pierre following his retirement announcement. We were also joined by ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, who attended the press conference and sat down with Georges after the announcement. This was a great show and I highly recommend you check it out. The audio version is available for download or you can watch below. The Café Hangout is live every Thursday at 3 pm Eastern for Double Double + members of the Café and is free the following day.

**This week’s edition of upNXT featured Braden Herrington being joined by Wai Ting for nearly two hours. The two reviewed this past week’s NXT, discussed the call-ups, and a lot of time dedicated to LEGO.

**With WrestleMania Week approaching, we have put together a list of all the events and information for the shows happening in New Jersey and New York that week. If there are any updates or mistakes, please contact [email protected]

**This Sunday, I’ll be a guest on Sports Sunday on 680 CJOB in Winnipeg with Kyle Milroy chatting about Georges St-Pierre.

**I was a guest on Josh Nason’s Punch Out show on the Wrestling Observer website chatting Georges St-Pierre’s career and retirement, Bellator, and POST Wrestling.

WRESTLING NEWS

**The WWE announced Friday that they have released Tye Dillinger (Ron Arneill), Hideo Itami (Kenta Kobayashi), and TJP (TJ Perkins). Dillinger and Itami had previously requested their releases and granted them. Dillinger made it public knowledge earlier this week that he had requested it, although the company did not comment on his status until today. TJP issued the following comment on Twitter:

Thanks for giving me a chance and letting me play for the team I grew up watching.

**It was first reported by Pro Wrestling Sheet that Arn Anderson has been let go by the WWE, which we were able to confirm on our end.

**Cody tweeted the following after the news involving Arn Anderson came out:

Love AA. I stole all of his catchphrases & use them on a daily basis. He went to bat for young talent & at the same time is essentially responsible for all of the current top guys & “golden circle”. He’s not corporate, but that’s a compliment. Can’t take wrestlers outta wrestling.

**The major focus of Raw is the return of Roman Reigns, who is being advertised for the show to provide an update on his health status. The WWE issued a press release to announce the Raw appearance and was followed by Good Morning America announcing Reigns would be on the show live from Times Square Tuesday morning. Reigns has not appeared on WWE programming since last October when he announced that he was battling leukemia for the second time and relinquished the Universal title. During his hiatus, he took part in the filming of the Fast & Furious spinoff “Hobbs & Shaw” alongside Dwayne Johnson. There was a heavy reference to The Shield at the Elimination Chamber card last weekend with Bobby Lashley, Drew McIntyre and Baron Corbin putting Braun Strowman through two tables with the Shield’s triple powerbomb. That angle followed the abrupt turn by Dean Ambrose the week prior, so the pieces are in place for a reunion based upon what has been presented on television.

**Naomi (Trinity Fatu) addressed the recent story reported by TMZ Sports regarding being pulled over alongside her husband in Detroit by police. The incident led to Jimmy Uso (Jonathan Fatu) being arrested and later released on bond. Naomi responded to someone on Twitter about the incident and stated:

I was NOT ticketed, I was NOT drinking, leaving the lot I was unaware that it exits to a 1 way street (it was dark snow no signs no traffic I was pulled immediately made a mistake and I own it) as for my husband he’s more of a man you’ll ever be & I’ll leave it at that.

**Ring of Honor and New Japan’s G1 Supercard event will be available on pay-per-view and both promotion’s streaming platforms. The April 6th card from Madison Square Garden will be available on traditional pay-per-view as well as on Fite.TV for $39.99. The event is also available for subscribers on New Japan World and Honor Club.

**Here are the matches scheduled for New Japan on AXS TV tonight at 8 pm Eastern:
*Tetsuya Naito vs. Taichi for the Intercontinental title
*Shingo Takagi and Bushi vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru and El Desperado for the IWGP junior heavyweight tag titles

**Below are the matched for WOW: Women of Wrestling tonight at 9 pm Eastern on AXS TV:
*The Beast vs. Azteca
*The Dagger vs. Keta Rush
*Stephy Slays vs. Nikki Krampus
*Holidead vs. Princess Aussie

**Below are the matches announced for tonight’s episode of Impact Wrestling at 10 pm Eastern on Pursuit, Twitch and Fight Network Canada from the Las Vegas tapings:
*Dezmond Xavier and Zachary Wentz vs. Desi Hit Squad
*Eli Drake vs. Eddie Edwards
*Alisha Edwards vs. Delilah Doom

**The WWE’s Raw crew has a show in Jonesboro, Arkansas tonight with Braun Strowman vs. Baron Corbin advertised for the main event along with Finn Balor vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Bobby Lashley. The same crew is in Tupelo, Mississippi on Saturday. The SmackDown crew starts Saturday in Columbia, South Carolina with AJ Styles, Charlotte Flair, Asuka, The Miz, and Shinsuke Nakamura advertised.

**Impact Wrestling has announced that the United We Stand event on Thursday, April 4th will only be airing on Fite.tv and will no longer be on Twitch. The show will be available to stream for $19.99 or as part of a bundle that Fite TV is putting together and will announce next week. Impact has also announced several additional matches with the following lineup:
*Rob Van Dam and Sabu vs. Pentagon Jr. and Fenix
*Rich Swann vs. Jake Crist vs. Jack Evans vs. Kotto Brazil vs. TBA in an Ultimate X match for the X division title
*Tessa Blanchard vs. Eli Drake
*Johnny Impact, Brian Cage, Moose and Eddie Edwards vs. Aerostar, Drago, Daga & King Cuerno

**New Japan Pro Wrestling and Ring of Honor are running their annual Honor Rising cards this weekend. The first show took place Friday from Korakuen Hall and continues Saturday with a card at 4:30 Eastern on New Japan World. Below is the card for the second show:
*Shota Umino, Ren Narita & Yota Tsuji vs. Colt Cabana, Delirious & Cheeseburger
*Zack Sabre Jr. and Taka Michinoku vs. Jonathan Gresham and Toa Henare
*Marty Scrull vs. Robbie Eagles
*Will Ospreay and Hirooki Goto vs. Jeff Cobb and Dalton Castle
*Tetsuya Naito and Shingo Takagi vs. Matt Taven and Vinny Marseglia
*Jay Lethal vs. TK O’Ryan for the ROH title
*EVIL and Sanada vs. Guerrillas of Destiny for the IWGP tag titles
*The Briscoes vs. Juice Robinson and David Finlay for the ROH tag titles

**Pop TV president Brad Schwartz was recently interviewed by Deadline and discussed the decision to drop Impact Wrestling, which has since moved to the Pursuit Channel in the U.S:

Yes, we had a wrestling show every Thursday night, which by the way was one of our 10 highest-rated shows on the network. They wanted to keep going, obviously. It was two hours of original content every Thursday night, 52 weeks a year that would do 400 thousand-500 thousand viewers every Thursday night.

We had to really start focusing on brand and expectation, and I think if you’re going to pitch yourself and tell audiences that you’re this place for premium content, Schitt’s Creek, Flack, Florida Girls, this type of stuff, then people need to know what to expect from you when they come to the channel.

If you are going by live viewership through Showbuzz Daily, Impact topped 400,000 viewers once and it was for the Final Deletion episode in July 2016 and then did 399,000 viewers for an episode in March 2018. They never hit 500,000 viewers nor were they ever consistently hitting 400,000 viewers. From July 5th through October 18th last year, the show averaged 233,250 viewers and Pop moved them to 10 pm on Thursday nights. In the new timeslot, their live viewership fell to an average of 151,000 for the final 11 weeks before moving to Pursuit.

**Revolution Pro announced a tag match for their card on Friday, April 5th in New York. Will Ospreay and PAC will team up against the CCK team of Chris Brookes and Jonathan Gresham. CCK got involved during last Friday’s match between Ospreay and PAC at York Hall with the two fighting them off and then completing a 30-minute draw. PAC is only doing one singles match during WrestleMania week and that is against Rich Swann on the Pancakes and Piledrivers card that Pro Wrestling Revolver is running on Saturday, April 6th.

**MLW has announced Gringo Loco vs. Myron Reed for Intimidation Games next Saturday, March 2nd at the television tapings at Cicero Stadium. The live special that night will feature Tom Lawlor vs. Low Ki in a steel cage match for the MLW title and Pentagon Jr. & Fenix vs. Taurus & Laredo Kid at 9 pm Eastern on beIN Sports.

**Jay Lethal will be defending the ROH title against David Starr in Israel on Sunday, April 21st. The match will be taking place at Israeli Pro Wrestling Association’s Passover Bash 2019 show. ROH sent out a press release to make the announcement and added that if Lethal loses the title before the show, the new champion would defend the title on the card. Lethal is on his second reign as champion and won it back on June 30, 2018.

**A match between Brian Pillman Jr. and Emil Sitoci has been announced for WrestleCon’s U.S. vs. The World card on Friday, April 5th at 11 am at the Hilton Midtown Hotel in New York City.

**The Charlotte Observer has a big feature on Charlotte Flair ahead of next Tuesday’s SmackDown tapings in the city.

**Chris Jericho was a guest this past week on the Rich Eisen Show.

**The WWE has posted a video with clips from the recent producers they have hired with comments from Jeff Jarrett, Shane Helms, Chris “Abyss” Parks, Sonjay Dutt, and Shawn Daivari.

**The WWE stock closed at $86.54 on Friday.

MMA NEWS

**Georges St-Pierre made it official Thursday that he is retiring from mixed martial arts and will leave with a legacy among the greatest to ever compete. St-Pierre was complimentary of UFC president Dana White during the press conference, although did state several times that both Khabib Nuramgomedov and he wanted to fight but the UFC had other plans. Among the Canadian outlets streaming the retirement announcement live were TSN, Rogers Sportsnet, Global News, and CP24.

While keeping the door ajar by acknowledging that he doesn’t know what his mindset will be in several months regarding fighting, he stated that the same hunger he once had isn’t there even though physically he feels at the top of his game. St-Pierre will be 38 years old in May and has enough money to last a lifetime that you left with the impression he will be the exception to the rule when it comes to fighter retirements.

His legacy is as strong as anyone’s, avenging the only two losses of his career, winning championships at two weight classes, becoming one of the all-time greatest draws and a major Canadian icon in the process.

**Following his announcement, he did a 30-minute sit down interview with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani about his career, his regret over the handling of his hiatus announcement after UFC 167 and fighting Johny Hendricks that night, and more:

**The UFC will hold a Fight Night event Saturday in Prague, Czech Republic. The card will be streaming in the U.S. on ESPN+ and Fight Pass outside of the U.S. Below is the full card and results from the weigh-ins.

MAIN CARD (2 pm Eastern on ESPN+, Fight Pass)
*Jan Blachowicz (205) vs. Thiago Santos (204)
*Marcos Rogerio de Lima (255) vs. Stefan Struve (263)
*Michal Oleksiejczuk (204) vs. Gian Villante (206)
*Liz Carmouche (125) vs. Lucie Pudilova (126)
*Petr Yan (136) vs. John Dodson (136)
*Magomed Ankalaev (204) vs. Klidson Abreu (209*)

PRELIMINARY CARD (11 am Eastern on ESPN+, Fight Pass)
*Dwight Grant (171) vs. Carlo Pedersoli Jr. (171)
*Daniel Teymur (146) vs. Chris Fishgold (145)
*Veronica Macedo (126) vs. Gillian Robertson (125)
*Damir Hadzovic (155) vs. Marco Polo Reyes (155)
*Michel Prazeres (170) vs. Ismail Naurdiev (170)
*Carlos Diego Ferreira (157*) vs. Rustam Khabilov (156)
*Damir Ismagulov (155) vs. Joel Alvarez (156)

Klidson Abreu and Carlos Diego Ferreira were both fined 20% of their purse for missing weight.

**Bellator 217 will be taking place from the 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland on Saturday night at 9 pm Eastern on the Paramount Network and DAZN with the following main card fights:
*James Gallagher vs. Steven Graham
*Peter Queally vs. Myles Price
*Richie Smullen vs. Adam Gustab
*Charlie Ward vs. Jamie Stephenson

**Bellator will be off for a month after the Dublin card and will return March 22nd with a show from Thackerville, Oklahoma.

*****
Café Hangout: Ariel Helwani on GSP’s Retirement
John Pollock and Wai Ting are joined by ESPN’s Ariel Helwani to discuss the retirement of Georges St-Pierre. We also take your calls and discuss this week’s news including Tye Dillinger requesting his WWE release.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/02/22/ariel-helwani-on-gsps-retirement-cafe-hangout-live-2-21-19/
*****
ASK-A-WAI: Ask Us Anything! (March 2019)
John Pollock and Wai Ting cover over 50 questions in this 95 min podcast, discussing their favourite announcers, Weezer, Pedro Morales, NXT call-ups, AEW, Tyron Woodley, AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose, factions, Chris Benoit, Impact and more in the March 2019 edition of Ask-A-Wai.
https://www.patreon.com/posts/24873017/
*****
upNXT 2/21/19: Gargan-LEGO Escape

Braden Herrington is joined by POST Wrestling’s Wai Ting to review this week’s edition of WWE NXT including Johnny Gargano vs. Velveteen Dream for the NXT North American Title, Roderick Strong vs. Aleister Black, Matt Riddle calls out Brock Lesnar, Mia Yim vs. Xia Lee, and they chat all the talk about the HUGE main roster call ups from this week!
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/02/21/upnxt-2-21-19-gargan-lego-escape/
*****
BWE 2/20/19: Rev Pro High Stakes, OTT Homecoming 2, NXT UK, PCW in Blackpool
Martin and Benno are joined by Lee Malone of Voices Of Wrestling to talk Revolution Pro Wrestling High Stakes (Will Ospreay vs. PAC), Over The Top Homecoming 2 (Starr vs. Devlin, PAC vs. Walter) and Benno’s trip to Blackpool for Preston City Wrestling Road To Glory.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/02/20/bwe-2-20-19-rev-pro-high-stakes-ott-homecoming-2-nxt-uk-pcw-in-blackpool-wxw-icw/
*****
DOUBLE SHOT 2/20: Mark Henry documentary, OTT Homecoming 2, Total Bellas, BTE

John Pollock and Wai Ting review World’s Strongest Man: The Mark Henry Story, the latest Total Bellas feat. Liv Morgan’s injury, Being the Elite and matches from OTT’s Homecoming 2.
https://www.patreon.com/posts/24828807
*****
RASD 2/19/19: #KofiFastlane, NXT Talent Return, Mandy Rose pins Asuka

Tuesday’s episode of SmackDown featured the announcement of Daniel Bryan’s next title challenger at Fastlane along with a six-man tag involving the members of Sunday’s Elimination Chamber match.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/02/20/rasd-2-19-19-kofifastlane-nxt-talent-return-mandy-rose-pins-asuka/
*****
RAR 2/18/19: NXT-Tease, DX into the Hall of Fame, Rousey-Riott rematch

Following Elimination Chamber, Raw featured four big NXT call ups with NXT champion Tommaso Ciampa, North American champion Johnny Gargano, Ricochet and Aleister Black all wrestling on the show. Plus, Ronda Rousey defended her title in a rematch against Ruby Riott, “The Brock Lesnar Story” narrated by Paul Heyman, the first official inductees into the WWE’s Hall of Fame 2019 class & more.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/02/19/rar-2-18-19-nx-tease-dx-into-hall-of-fame-rousey-riott-rematch/
*****
WWE Elimination Chamber POST Show

John Pollock & Wai Ting review WWE Elimination Chamber 2019 from Houston, Texas featuring another great performance for Kofi Kingston, new WWE tag team women’s champions, and several title changes on a show that exceeded our expectations.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/02/18/wwe-elimination-chamber-2019-post-show
*****
TRMPS #2: The Rundown (2003) w/ Jay Hunter & Stephen “V1” Roe

On this edition of The Rocky Maivia Picture Show, Nate Milton welcomes Jay Hunter & V1 (OSW Review) into the theater to review 2003’s The Rundown! Is it as bad a film as the box-office would suggest? Was Seann William Scott TOO annoying?? Did Chris Walken even bother reading the script??? Find out the answers to those questions & more!
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/02/16/trmps-2-the-rundown-2003-w-jay-hunter-stephen-v1-roe/
*****

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About John Pollock 5568 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.