POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: Harlem Heat added to WWE Hall of Fame

Harlem Heat has been added to this year's WWE Hall of Fame class, report on Endeavor returning Saudi Arabian investment, Batista and The Shield on Raw & more.

POST IT NOTES

**We have our WWE Fastlane POST Show available both to download and watch through our YouTube channel.

Wai Ting and I have an extensive review of Fastlane, what did and didn’t work, the booking of several key matches, The Shield’s show-closing moment, a rundown of the first three nights of the New Japan Cup, and we take your feedback and calls.

**Wai Ting and I will be back tonight with Rewind-A-Raw to review the show from Pittsburgh, the latest on the New Japan Cup, Harlem Heat going into the Hall of Fame, the latest developments for WrestleMania and a preview of the week ahead on the site.

**The voice of Ring of Honor Ian Riccaboni will stop by POST Wrestling this week to promote ROH’s pay-per-view on Friday night from Las Vegas.

**The Rocky Maivia Picture Show is back this Saturday as Nate Milton will be reviewing “Walking Tall” alongside Garrett Martin from Paste Magazine and Kris Ealy. You can leave feedback on the POST Wrestling Forum.

**For fans of our Marvel reviews, here is a ranking of the best Marvel movies according to Rotten Tomatoes scores.

POST WRESTLING SCHEDULE THIS WEEK

*Tonight: Rewind-A-Raw with John Pollock and Wai Ting
*Tuesday:
Rewind-A-SmackDown with Pollock and Ting
*Tuesday:
The Double Shot (Patreon)
*Thursday:
upNXT with Braden Herrington and Davie Portman
*Thursday:
Interview with Ian Riccaboni of Ring of Honor
*Friday:
Cody Saftic returns for a show with Pollock
*Friday:
Rewind-A-Wai on WrestleMania 26 (Patreon)
*Saturday:
The Rocky Maivia Picture Show with Nate Milton, Garrett Martin & Kris Ealy reviewing “Walking Tall”
*Sunday:
Special bonus show from John Pollock (Patreon)

WRESTLING NEWS

**Tonight’s episode of Raw takes place from the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with Batista scheduled to appear for a face-to-face segment involving Triple H with the real build for WrestleMania starting tonight. They have also announced that Finn Balor will defend the Intercontinental title against Bobby Lashley. The show will begin with The Shield delivering a “farewell address”.

**The following matches have been announced for SmackDown on Tuesday in Dayton, Ohio:
*Samoa Joe vs. R-Truth for the United States title
*Ricochet, Aleister Black & The Hardys vs. Shinsuke Nakamura, Rusev & The Bar

**The WWE has announced that Harlem Heat will be part of this year’s Hall of Fame induction class on Saturday, April 6th in Brooklyn, New York.

Booker T. and Stevie Ray received their first notoriety in Texas working for the Global Wrestling Federation as The Ebony Experience when the promotion had television on ESPN. They were signed by WCW in 1993 and were recommended by Sid Vicious, who was close with them. They were brought in as “Kane” and “Kole”.

The team was paired with Sister Sherri and would go on to win the tag titles ten times. Their first reign came in December 1994 defeating Marcus Alexander Bagwell and The Patriot on an episode of WCW Saturday Night in Atlanta and then feuding with The Nasty Boys. The titles bounced around to Bunkhouse Buck & Dick Slater, The American Males, Sting & Lex Luger, The Steiners, and Public Enemy but always ended up back with Harlem Heat until the N.W.O. arrived and the division was focused around The Outsiders.

In 1998, it was so clear that Booker T. was a singles star in waiting and it had been obvious for a while. He won his first singles title on the final Monday Nitro of 1997 and started having great matches on television. One of the highlights of early 1998 was Rick Martel’s comeback and his feud with Booker T. Unfortunately, Martel suffered a bad knee injury when he was having this run and missed six months. Booker T. continued his Television title run and led to a best-of-seven series with Chris Benoit that solidified his standing.

Harlem Heat wasn’t revisited until 1999 as the team reunited and won the tag titles for the eighth time in August 1999. They feuded with the West Texas Rednecks and The Filthy Animals. Vince Russo and Ed Ferrara came into the company during this period and on their first episode of Nitro, Harlem Heat lost the tag titles to Konnan and Rey Mysterio. Six days later, the titles were vacated, and Harlem Heat won them back only to lose them the following night on Nitro to Konnan and Billy Kidman. That was their final reign as champions.

Booker T. would go through a bunch of ideas in 2000, including reverting to his old G.I. Bro character but ended up as WCW champion in July 2000. The two had an awful feud in early 2000, where Stevie replaced Booker with Big T. (Tony Norris a.k.a. Ahmed Johnson in the WWF) in a feud that climaxed with Big T. and Booker T. fighting over the rights to the letter “T” and Booker T. was forced to wrestler as…Booker.

Stevie Ray became part of the broadcast team on Thunder until losing a career match against Scott Steiner in November 2000 that no one remembers.

There was a period after WCW went out of business that the two were not on speaking terms, but they buried the hatchet and Stevie Ray inducted his brother into the WWE Hall of Fame in April 2013 at Madison Square Garden. So, this will be Booker’s second induction into the Hall of Fame.

**On Sunday’s episode of Total Bellas, Brie Bella announced that he is fully retired after the Evolution pay-per-view. Brie was in Nikki Bella’s corner for the main event where Nikki challenged Ronda Rousey for the Raw women’s title. After auditioning for the Diva’s Search in 2006 and not being selected, The Bellas were signed in 2007 and reported to Florida Championship Wrestling. They were called up the following year with Brie debuting first followed by Nikki shortly afterward. Brie became Diva’s champion in April 2011 and held it until June when she dropped it to Kelly Kelly. Brie’s last televised match was a six-woman tag on October 8th last year with Nikki and Ronda Rousey as they defeated The Riott Squad at the Allstate Arena in Chicago.

**WrestleCon has added a singles match between Dragon Lee and Cavernario for the Mark Hitchcock Memorial Supershow on Thursday, April 4th, at the Hilton Midtown in New York.

**Deadline reports that Randy Orton will have a role in the upcoming film “Changeland” starring Seth Green. Gravitas Ventures has purchased the North American rights to the film, which will be released June 7th.

**David Finlay announced that he has suffered a torn labrum and will be out for a while after surgery. Finlay injured the shoulder last month on the second Honor Rising card teaming with Juice Robinson against The Briscoes.

**The WWE and Mars have announced an expanded partnership. The deals will feature Snickers as the presenting sponsor of WrestleMania for the fourth straight year with integration on WWE’s Raw and SmackDown broadcasts as well as their online platforms. Snickers will also be putting out five “Hunger Bars” with WWE talent associated with their “You’re Not You When You’re Hungry” campaign with bars for The Miz, Lana, Rusev, AJ Styles, and Bobby Roode. It also includes the Skittles brand, which will be the presenting sponsor for Hell in a Cell in September and have its own integration with WWE’s content.

**The opening round of the New Japan Cup concluded on Monday with Sanada, Minoru Suzuki, Colt Cabana, and Toru Yano advancing to the round of sixteen. The second round begins Wednesday with the following pairings set:
*Tomohiro Ishii vs. Taichi (March 13th)
*Yoshi-Hashi vs. Chase Owens (March 13th)
*Kazuchika Okada vs. Mikey Nicholls (March 14th)
*Will Ospreay vs. Lance Archer (March 14th)
*Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Ryusuke Taguchi (March 16th)
*Kota Ibushi vs. Zack Sabre Jr. (March 16th)
*Toru Yano vs. Colt Cabana (March 17th)
*Minoru Suzuki vs. Sanada (March 17th)

**The WWE stock rose almost 5% on Monday closing at $88.04.

**A new episode of WWE Photo Shoot featuring Dolph Ziggler will air on the WWE Network tonight immediately following Raw.

**Ring of Honor will hold their 17th-anniversary pay-per-view this Friday in Las Vegas. On Saturday, they will be taping television at the same location and have announced the following matches for the taping: The Kingdom vs. Villain Enterprises for the six-man tag titles, The Briscoes vs. Jeff Cobb & Willie Mack in a Crockett Cup qualifying match, Rush vs. Mark Haskins, Bandido vs. PJ Black, Tracy Williams vs. Kenny King, and Dalton Castle & The Boys vs. Clark Connors, Karl Fredericks & Alex Coughlin.

**WKBW-TV in Buffalo aired a feature on the passing of “The Destroyer” Dick Beyer.

**The New Japan Cup will run through March 24th and the winner faces Jay White for the IWGP heavyweight title at the G1 Supercard at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, April 6th.

**Jim Cornette recently did a sit-down interview to discuss joining MLW and his opinions of various members on the roster.

**Dan “The Mouth” Lovranski reviews various wrestling-themed rock albums over the years on his series “Slipped Through the Cracks”:

MMA NEWS

**The New York Times has reported that Endeavor, the parent company of the UFC, has returned a $400 million investment from Saudi Arabia’s government investment fund. This comes in response to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi last October at the Saudi Arabia consulate in Turkey. It is the most high-profile example of pushback from an American company in response to the murder. Virgin Group suspended their talks regarding a potential investment from the fund, as well.

In 2018, the WWE entered a ten-year agreement with the General Sports Authority and staged their first event of the deal in April with a follow-up show in November. It was the second show that drew the most criticism given WWE’s decision to go forward with the event one month after the murder of Khashoggi and many questions surrounding the circumstances. The company is expected to hold their third event of the deal this May.

**The Chicago Tribune was the first to report that two women’s fights have been signed for the UFC 238 pay-per-view on June 8th at the United Center. Tatiana Suarez, who many have pegged as a future champion, will fight Nina Ansaroff in a strawweight fight. They have also announced a flyweight bout between Joanne Calderwood and Katlyn Chookagian. Suarez won the Ultimate Fighter in July 2016 and has gone 4-0 in the UFC and just beat former champion Carla Esparza last September. Ansaroff has won her last four fights, so this is a big fight for both women to set up a possible title fight in 2019.

**The UFC returns this Saturday for an afternoon card from The O2 in London, England and is headlined by a welterweight fight between Darren Till and Jorge Masvidal. There is also an important fight between Volkan Oezdemir and Dominick Reyes at light heavyweight, which is a big fight for Reyes as it would catapult him into the top end of the division while Oezdemir fought for the title last year. Here is the full line up for this weekend:

MAIN CARD (4 pm Eastern on ESPN+)
*Darren Till vs. Jorge Masvidal
*Leon Edwards vs. Gunnar Nelson
*Volkan Oezdemir vs. Dominick Reyes
*Jose Quinonez vs. Nathaniel Wood
*Danny Roberts vs. Claudio Silva
*Jack Marshman vs. John Phillips

PRELIMINARY CARD (1 pm Eastern on ESPN+)
*Arnold Allen vs. Jordan Rinaldi
*Joseph Duffy vs. Marc Diakiese
*Nicolae Negumereanu vs. Saparbeg Safarov
*Tom Breese vs. Ian Heinisch
*Dan Ige vs. Danny Henry
*Molly McCann vs. Priscila Cachoeira
*Mike Grundy vs. Nad Narimani

*****
WWE FASTLANE 2019 POST SHOW
Roman Reigns returns to in-ring action as The Shield teams up for one last time, Vince McMahon toys around with Kofi Kingston’s dreams of becoming WWE Champion, Daniel Bryan vs. Kevin Owens vs. ??? steals the show despite an unfavorable set-up, and the latest chapter in the Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte vs. Ronda Rousey feud leaves many viewers dissatisfied.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/03/11/wwe-fastlane-2019-post-show/
*****
Café Hangout – March 7, 2019
John Pollock and Wai Ting take your calls and discuss the death of Dick “The Destroyer” Beyer, WrestleMania 36’s official announcement, Jushin Liger’s retirement, Tommaso Ciampa’s injury, plus a full preview of WWE Fastlane on this week’s Café Hangout.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/03/08/fastlane-preview-the-destroyer-passes-away-cafe-hangout-3-7-19/ 
*****
POST MOVIE REVIEW – Thor: The Dark World (2013)
John Pollock & Wai Ting review the eighth Marvel Cinematic Universe film, Thor: The Dark World (2013). Davie Portman from upNXT joins us to discuss what many consider to be the weakest MCU release to date. Does it deserve the criticism?
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/03/08/post-movie-review-thor-the-dark-world-2013/ 
*****
upNXT 3/7/19: Don’t Do It Yourself
Braden Herrington is joined by a returning Davie Portman to review this week’s HUGE edition of WWE NXT including the return of the Dusty Classic Tag Team Tournament featuring: Undisputed Era vs. DIY, Aleister Black & Ricochet vs. European Union, Moustache Mountain vs. Street Profits, & much more.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/03/07/upnxt-3-7-19-dont-do-it-yourself/ 
*****
BWE 3/7/19: Progress Chapter 84, NXT UK, wXw 16 Carat, Breed Pro Wrestling
Martin and Benno are joined by Will Cooling of Fighting Spirit Magazine to talk Progress Wrestling Chapter 84 (Walter vs. Chris Ridgeway), NXT UK (Ohno vs. Walter, Bate vs. Gallagher) and the debut show from Breed Pro Wrestling.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/03/06/bwe-3-6-19-progress-chapter-84-nxt-uk-wxw-16-carat-breed-pro-wrestling/ 
*****
DOUBLE SHOT 3/6/19: WWE Chronicle: Roman Reigns, Untold: ECW, BTE, Total Bellas
John & Wai review WWE Chronicle: Roman Reigns covering Roman’s big return last week with details about his battle with leukemia. Plus, WWE Untold looks at the failings of ECW on Sci-Fi, Being The Elite and Total Bellas.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/03/06/double-shot-3-6-19-wwe-chronicle-roman-reigns-untold-ecw-bte-total-bellas/
*****
RASD 3/5/19: Fastlane Go-Home, New US Champion, Mustafa Ali returns
Days before he faces Daniel Bryan at Fastlane, Kevin Owens faces Rowan as a returning Mustafa Ali helps even the odds, Charlotte calls Becky Lynch out, R-Truth issues a US Title Open Challenge answered by Samoa Joe, Rey Mysterio and Andrade. Plus, health updates on Tommaso Ciampa, Asuka, and Joey Janela.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/03/06/rasd-3-5-19-fastlane-go-home-new-us-champion-mustafa-ali-returns/ 
******

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About John Pollock 891 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.