POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: WrestleMania 35 card takes shape

The WrestleMania 35 card is shaping up, Roman Reigns added to the European tour, an update on Conor McGregor, title fight added to UFC 238 & more.

POST IT NOTES

**Tonight, on the site we will have the following shows out:
*Rewind-A-SmackDown – John Pollock and Wai Ting review SmackDown, chat the news of the day and take your feedback
*The Double Shot (Patreon show) – Reviews of this week’s editions of Being the Elite, Total Bellas featuring Brie Bella’s retirement announcement, Fight Network’s Retrospective interview with Abyss, and a preview of the ROH 17th-Anniversary pay-per-view this Friday

**Monday’s edition of Rewind-A-Raw is up on the site and I thought this was an excellent show. Wai Ting and I had lengthy discussions on the ongoing Ronda Rousey angle, how the WrestleMania card is shaping up, a big review of Raw and we discussed Conor McGregor’s arrest, Harlem Heat into the Hall of Fame, Wally Yamaguchi’s passing, a review of the final opening round matches of the New Japan Cup, Wai’s second-round predictions and we also had some great topics questions during the feedback section. The show can be downloaded or subscribe to our RSS feed and listen on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, Google Play, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

**Every Monday on Rewind-A-Raw, we have a draw at the start of the show to give away an item from store.POSTwrestling.com. Everyone who is a member of the POST Wrestling Café is automatically entered in the draw each week and this week the prize was a new POST Wrestling snapback hat that we recently released.

**Tickets for POST Wrestling Live in New York are available at http://www.POSTwrestling.com/live. We will be holding a meet-and-greet and Q&A at the Broadway Comedy Club in New York City at 318 W. 53rd Street. The Q&A takes place at Noon Eastern and you can take part in the meet-and-greet either before or after the show.

**The feedback thread for this Friday’s Rewind-A-Wai covering WrestleMania 26 is up on the POST Wrestling Forum to leave your thoughts regarding the show from 2010.

POST WRESTLING SCHEDULE

*Tonight: Rewind-A-SmackDown with Pollock and Ting
*Tonight:
 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

**Monday’s episode of Raw averaged 2,818,000 viewers on the USA Network and was the program’s second-highest viewership of 2019. The show stayed consistent throughout the three hours with the first averaging 2,838,000 and then growing to 2,866,000 in the second hour, which is rare for the second hour to outperform the first. There was only a drop of 4% in the third hour to 2,752,000 viewers with the show building towards Roman Reigns’ first match on Raw since his return.

**Tonight’s SmackDown and 205 Live tapings take place from Dayton, Ohio at the Nutter Center with the following announced for the shows:
*Samoa Joe vs. R-Truth for the United States title
*The Hardys, Aleister Black and Ricochet vs. Shinsuke Nakamura, Rusev and The Bar
*Vince McMahon addresses Kofi Kingston
*Shane McMahon segment explaining his attack on The Miz
*Cedric Alexander vs. Oney Lorcan in the semi-finals on 205 Live
*Drew Gulak vs. Tony Nese in the semi-finals on 205 Live

**The card for WrestleMania has taken shape with most of the talent accounted for. After SmackDown tonight, it should answer some of the lingering questions. I’ve been told that there are a few variables left at the bottom of the card to be determined but everything else seems to be set. Below are the matches that have been announced and unofficial ones based off directions that have been pushed on television and my own speculation:

*Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch for the Raw women’s title (announced)

*Brock Lesnar vs. Seth Rollins for the Universal title (announced)

*Triple H vs. Batista in a No Holds Barred match (announced)

*Kurt Angle’s retirement match (announced) – You would assume they would have the feelgood moment of Angle winning his last match and for that story, Baron Corbin is better suited to eat the loss as opposed to someone like Samoa Joe or John Cena. Based purely off my speculation, if you are trying to get spots for everyone on the card, they could set up Angle & Finn Balor against Lashley & Corbin as the retirement match.

*Buddy Murphy vs. Tournament winner for the Cruiserweight title – my guess would be Cedric Alexander based on the final four

The following matches are not official or confirmed:

*Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre

*Daniel Bryan vs. Kofi Kingston for the WWE title

*Randy Orton vs. AJ Styles

*The Miz vs Shane McMahon

*John Cena vs. TBA – All I’ve heard is that they do have a plan for Cena but I don’t know the opponent. One option could be Elias if Cena is just coming in for something quick with low expectations. There is also the question of how available Cena is to do any television before ‘Mania considering he’s in the middle of shooting a movie. Based on television, it feels that Cena should do something involving R-Truth after all the references. Maybe they can attack Elias and rap together.

*Bayley & Sasha Banks vs. Tamina & Nia Jax vs. Natalya & Beth Phoenix for the WWE women’s tag titles – This was definitely the teased match on Raw, although I could see other teams being thrown into this program such as Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville, although the latter was teasing dissension at Fastlane.

*SmackDown tag titles match with The Usos, The Hardys, The Bar, Shinsuke Nakamura & Rusev. This seems to be where things are heading, although Aleister Black and Ricochet could be part of this, too.

The questions marks would be Samoa Joe, Rey Mysterio, Kevin Owens, Mustafa Ali and Andrade (all of which could be grouped together). Asuka doesn’t have a clear direction. At one point, there was a plan for Asuka and Lacey Evans but as of one month ago that was no longer the direction, things could change as you would think Evans has something noteworthy at ‘Mania given all the time spent building her up. Hopefully, tonight’s show sheds some light on these SmackDown wrestlers, including the tag team picture.

On Raw, you have the Intercontinental title picture that includes Bobby Lashley, Finn Balor and perhaps some others thrown in. Lashley vs. Balor doesn’t feel like a WrestleMania match after several matches already. If they were to do a multi-person title match that would seem like overkill.

There have been no hints regarding The Undertaker being involved on the show.

Braun Strowman seems to be paired with Michael Che and Colin Jost rather than having a match, which may work out fine for him especially if it leads to a cameo on SNL to destroy the Weekend Update set. The segments were dreadful last week but hopefully, they have some ideas for ‘Mania with a big stunt designed for Strowman.

Alexa Bliss is hosting the show, so that means a lot of non-wrestling segments to fit into the show between Bliss and the SNL correspondents.

They have not announced the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal or a women’s battle royal, but those options are there to ensure everyone on the roster is booked on the show.

**The WWE’s U.K. Twitter account announced that Roman Reigns has officially been added the European tour this spring. The tour begins May 8th and runs through May 17th, including Raw and SmackDown tapings that week from the O2 Arena in London.

**Brock Lesnar is scheduled to appear on next Monday’s episode of Raw from the Allstate Arena in Chicago.

**The second-round of the New Japan Cup begins Wednesday with a card from Okayama with the following tournament matches:
*Tomohiro Ishii vs. Taichi
*Chase Owens vs. Yoshi-Hashi

**Wednesday is a big day for New Japan Pro Wrestling with tickets going on sale for the opening night of the G1 Climax on Saturday, July 6th, at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. It’s unknown what the arena in Dallas will be configured for but when the UFC has sold out the venue, they have been able to put over 19,000 into the arena. Tickets go on sale Thursday for the Royal Quest card on August 31st in London at the Copper Box Arena that holds approximately 7,500 and should sell out right away with the pre-sale beginning today.

**Sunday’s episode of Total Bellas averaged 441,000 viewers and was their highest number since January 27th and fourth-highest of the current season. There are two episodes remaining this season on E!

**WrestleCon has announced that Santana & Ortiz of LAX will take on Adam Brooks & Robbie Eagles at the U.S. vs. The World show on Friday, April 5th at 11 am at the Hilton Midtown Hotel during WrestleMania week. They will be announcing one more match for this card, which brings the total matches to nine.

**Impact Wrestling has announced they will be taping television on Friday, May 3rd and Saturday, May 4th at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia. These tapings will follow two nights in Toronto for the Rebellion pay-per-view on April 28th and tapings the following night at the Rebel Entertainment Complex.

**Pro Wrestling Revolver has booked TJ Perkins for their anniversary card on May 10th in Des Moines, Iowa at the Val Air Ballroom. This is Perkin’s first announced booking since being released by the WWE last month.

**Lance Storm announced on the Figure Four Daily show that he will be working as an agent at the upcoming Impact Wrestling tapings this month at St. Clair College in Windsor, Ontario. The tapings are scheduled for March 22nd and 23rd with Storm seeing if it’s a good fit for him and likewise for Impact. Storm stated he is open to doing the role on a regular basis but is only scheduled for the Windsor tapings, so far.

**Fight Network has uploaded episodes from Season 3 of their Retrospective series. The episodes feature sit-down interviews with Alberto El Patron, Moose, Petey Williams, Chris “Abyss” Parks, Matt Sydal, Brian Cage, UFC flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko, Joseph Valtellini, and Simon Marcus.

**Pro Wrestling NOAH will have their final card at Hakata Star Lanes this Sunday, and it will stream on NOAH’s YouTube channel that morning at 4 am Eastern. The show will be headlined by GHC champion Kaito Kiyomiya and Kenoh taking on Quiet Storm and Mohammed Yone, plus Takashi Sugiura vs. Go Shiosaki, and Naomichi Marufuji vs. Yoshinari Ogawa as the top matches.

**NOAH has also announced the teams for their annual Global Tag League that begins April 6th and runs through May 4th with the following teams taking part: Go Shiosaki & Katsuhiko Nakajima, Kaito Kiyomiya & Kenoh, Mohammed Yone & Quiet Storm, Maybach Taniguchi & Yuji Hino, Takashi Sugiura & Kazma Sakamoto, Akitoshi Saito & Masao Inoue, Masa Kitamiya & Yoshiki Inamura, and Atsushi Kotoge & Mitsuya Nagai.

**Jim Ross will be appearing at the Steel City Comic Con on April 12th – 14th in Monroeville, Pennsylvania at the Convention Center. Ross will be appearing all three days and Mark Henry will be there on Saturday and Sunday.

**Ilja Dragunov has been added to the Progress Wrestling cards on July 6th in Newcastle at the O2 Academy and July 7th in Manchester at the O2 Ritz.

**Fite TV will be streaming Rob Van Dam’s new documentary “Headstrong” on March 20th and will include a Q&A with Van Dam after it airs. The documentary will be available for $14.99 and will air that night at 9 pm Eastern.

**USA Championship Wrestling has launched a subscription-based streaming service with 130 hours of video content on the service. They are promoting that the recent Thunderdome Cage match between Jerry Lawler and Matt Riviera from last month has been added. It also includes a Mid-South Fan Fest Q&A with Bill Watts that was hosted by Jim Cornette in 2014.

**The WWE stock closed at $88.12 on Tuesday.

MMA NEWS

**Following his arrest Monday evening, Conor McGregor was released later that night on $12,500 bail from the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center in Florida. McGregor was arrested over an incident where it was claimed that the fighter took the phone of a fan attempting to take a picture and proceeded to slap it out of their hands, stomp it, and then left with the phone. McGregor is facing felony charges of strong-armed robbery and criminal mischief. On Tuesday morning, McGregor posted a brief statement on Instagram, stating: “Patience in this world is a virtue I continue to work on. I love my fans dearly. Thank you all.” Marc Raimondi at MMA Fighting reports that McGregor’s arraignment hearing is scheduled for April 10th.

**For Canadian viewers, this Saturday’s UFC card from England will only be available on Fight Pass and won’t be airing on TSN.

**A UFC women’s flyweight title fight is official for UFC 238 on Saturday, June 8th at the United Center in Chicago. Valentina Shevchenko will defend the title for the first time against Jessica Eye. Since joining the UFC, Shevchenko’s only losses have come to Amanda Nunes when competing at bantamweight. She returned to the flyweight ranks last year and won the vacant title at UFC 231 in Toronto with a decision victory over Joanna Jedrzejczyk. After struggling at bantamweight and losing four straight fights, Eye moved to the flyweight division and won her last three with decisions over Kalindra Faria, Jessica Rose-Clark and Katlyn Chookagian.

**Paulo Costa and his team have come out to shut down accusations that the fighter was removed from his rumored fight with Yoel Romero on April 27th due to a USADA violation. Romero stated on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show that the reason his opponent was switched from Costa to Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza was that he’s being investigated for a positive drug test. Romero contacted Helwani after the show to clarify he had only heard he failed a test but wasn’t sure if it was accurate. Costa’s manager, Wallid Ismail, told MMA Fighting that “there was no failed doping test” and added that it was a big lie by Romero. It is not known why Costa was removed from the April fight.

**On Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show on Monday, Anthony Smith spoke for the first time since his loss to Jon Jones at UFC 235. Smith was immediately booked for a fight with Alexander Gustafsson on June 1st in Sweden with the recent title contender hesitant to return so soon. Smith said he was hopeful of taking the rest of 2019 off and returning around January. He added he wanted to spend more time with his family as he travels to Denver for his training camps and returns home every weekend, which is a major grind. He added that he believes he’ll be over the loss to Jones soon enough and then will be ready to fight Gustafsson and his wife encouraged him to take this fight so that he has the rest of the year off, including the summer.

**Todd Martin has an interesting look into the UFC’s current pay structure, the positives and negatives of proposed changes to that system and debating the merits of guaranteed purse money versus the bonus structure with the show and win money.

**Chamatkar Sandhu of ESPN has an interesting piece on the plights of MMA fans in the U.K and the lengths some fans have to go to in order to follow the UFC’s product and watch events live into the early hours most Sunday mornings.

**The UFC has signed 4-0 fighter Norma Dumont with the 28-year old announcing the news on Instagram. Dumont had her pro debut in June 2016 and last fought in August 2018. Guilherme Cruz of MMA Fighting reports that she will compete in the women’s featherweight division, which is starving for fighters.

******
REWIND-A-RAW 3/11/19: Carny Con Artists, Hunter-Batista set, Conor McGregor arrested 
John Pollock and Wai Ting review WWE Raw featuring a face-to-face involving Triple H and Dave Batista, Kurt Angle announces his retirement plans, Ronda Rousey annihilates Dana Brooke and a farewell address from The Shield.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/03/12/rar-3-11-19-carny-con-artists-hunter-batista-set-conor-mcgregor-arrested/
*****
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/
*****

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About John Pollock 1124 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.