POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: Women’s Battle Royal announced for ‘Mania

WWE officially adds Women's Battle Royal, Linda McMahon to step down as SBA head, Dragon Gate talent off 'Mania week, a trailer for Viceland series, CFL player to receive WWE tryout & more.


**We have the latest edition of the Café Hangout available for download on the main POST Wrestling RSS feed as well as on our YouTube channel. This week, we were joined by Nate Milton from the Kings of Sport podcast and the host of the Rocky Maivia Picture Show on this site. I really enjoyed this discussion on the racial themes explored in the Kofi Kingston storyline with Vince McMahon leading into WrestleMania.

**Rewind-A-Wai returns today with Wai Ting and I reviewing two episodes of “The Simpsons” with wrestling-inspired themes. Returning to the show is Jay Hunter from OSW Review as discussing “The Old Man and the Lisa” from 1997 and “Gorgeous Grampa” from the 2013 season. It was a fun chat with Jay providing an extensive history of the series and how it has evolved and changed since 1989. This show is available for members of the POST Wrestling Café.

**The next Rewind-A-Wai will be out Friday, April 19th.

**I also have an interview on the site with Mike Bohn of MMA Junkie discussing the latest news. Bohn is in Philadelphia for Saturday’s card headlined by Edson Barboza fighting Justin Gaethje, which could be the best fight of 2019. We also chatted the UFC’s welterweight picture, the latest with Conor McGregor and how the UFC goes about handling him, the ESPN+ deal, this past Saturday’s card in Nashville and more.

**Next Wednesday night, Wai Ting and I will be doing a special edition of the Café Hangout that night, which will be live for Double Double, Iced Capp & Espresso Café members. We will be doing a full preview of WrestleMania and the surrounding cards, including the shows we will be attending and what to expect on the site WrestleMania weekend.


**On the site, we have a story on the passing of Koji Kitao, who died on February 10th, but the news only came out Friday from Nikkan Sports in Japan. Kitao had a unique career that saw him ascend the ranks to become a “yokozuna” in Sumo before being dismissed and given a forced retirement. He was poised to become a major pro wrestling star for New Japan and later with SWS, but his attitude and issues cut his runs with those companies short. We will chat more about Kitao on Saturday’s edition of POST Puroresu with WH Park.

**The WWE is running dual brand live events this weekend starting in Pikeville, Kentucky tonight. Seth Rollins, AJ Styles, Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, Dean Ambrose, Kofi Kingston, and Samoa Joe are among those advertised. The dual crew is in Wheeling, West Virginia on Saturday and Hershey, Pennsylvania on Sunday. The final television tapings before WrestleMania are Monday in Washington, D.C., and Tuesday in Baltimore.

**The WWE has officially announced the Women’s Battle Royal for WrestleMania next weekend at MetLife Stadium. The announced participants so far include Asuka, Naomi, The Riott Squad, Mickie James, Nikki Cross, Zelina Vega, Mandy, Sonya Deville, Lana, Dana Brooke, and Carmella.

**Politico is reporting that one of President Donald Trump’s longest lasting cabinet members will be stepping down. Linda McMahon is expected to leave her role as the head of the Small Business Administration with an announcement expected imminently. The report doesn’t state what her next plans are but one source they spoke with stated she is expected to have a role with President Trump’s re-election campaign through her fundraising.

**WrestleCon put out a big statement announcing that the Dragon Gate talent they had scheduled will be unable to work on their shows next week in New York. The company stated they hired an immigration attorney to work with Dragon Gate on the visas. They said after several attempts they ran out of time to get the visas processed due to WrestleCon not being the primary employer of the talent and cannot offer them annual contracts leaving them without a visa option. WrestleCon added that they are on the hook for $15,000 in travel and legal expenses. Dragon Gate talent was scheduled for the WrestleCon Supershow, the U.S. vs. The World, Pancakes, and Piledrivers, Black Label Pro, and Yamato was set to work the Impact card in Rahway, New Jersey. This followed last weekend’s news that PAC would not be working his scheduled dates, either.

**WrestleCon is offering refunds for the U.S. vs. The World card for any tickets purchased on or after November 6th when the Dragon Gate talent was advertised. You must contact them by email at [email protected].

**The following matches have been made official for the WrestleCon Supershow next Thursday at the Hilton Midtown Hotel at 4 pm:
*Will Ospreay vs. Bandido
*Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Shane Strickland
*Masato Tanaka vs. Eddie Kingston
*Dragon Lee vs. Cavernario
*Announced: Jushin Thunder Liger, Pentagon Jr., Fenix, SCU, Puma King, Black Taurus, LAX, DJ Z, Sammy Guevara, Diamante, Samantha Heights, and Arez.

**Black Label Pro has announced that Jonathan Gresham will not face Shigehiro Irie on their card next Friday in Jersey City. Irie is replacing Masato Yoshino in the spot.

**Curry Baker, an analyst with Guggenheim has placed a target price of $105 for the WWE stock following a meeting with the company on their forthcoming initiatives. In his report, Guggenheim is projecting the television renewal in the U.K. to be “flattish” while estimating a “fivefold increase” in India. Both deals expire after 2019. Additionally, the outlet believes the WWE could better monetize a third hour of the SmackDown tapings, which is currently used for 205 Live and Mixed Match Challenge throughout the year. They believe that a third hour of SmackDown on Fox could add $75 million in annual OIBDA, although that becomes tougher on network television with news affiliates running immediately after.

I would be very cautious about extending SmackDown by an hour especially when it’s unchartered territory regarding how the two-hour show will perform on the network this October. George Barrios has spoken about the third hour of the Tuesday tapings and there are various ways to utilize that hour. Curry added that better sponsorship deals for the company could add $50-100 million in OIBDA. The focus of this analysis is that the WWE has untapped value beyond their television content and with the stock priced around $87, most believe it is undervalued.

**The WWE stock closed at $86.78 on Friday.

**Viceland is set to debut its “Dark Side of the Ring” series focusing on several major stories in the history of professional wrestling. The series debuts on Wednesday, April 10th at 9 pm Eastern with an episode on the relationship between the late Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth. The series is narrated by Dutch Mantell with Jason Eisener serving as the director with producers Evan Husney and Ed Hatton. There are additional episodes dedicated to the Montreal Screwjob, the death of Bruiser Brody (which screened at Starrcast last year), the Von Erich family, the death of Gino Hernandez, and one episode dedicated to the Fabulous Moolah. I’ve has several people ask and this series is separate from the one Damian Abraham hosted for VICE, which has not aired in the U.S. yet but did have a limited run on the network in Canada last year.

**Here is the card for tonight’s “Against All Odds” edition of Impact Wrestling at 10 pm Eastern:
*Taya Valkyrie vs. Jordynne Grace for the Knockout’s title
*Brian Cage vs. Killer Kross
*Glen Gilbertti vs. Scarlett Bordeaux
*Rosemary goes to the Undead Realm

**Today is the final day of Jim Ross’ contract term with WWE and he will be a free agent on Saturday. Ross added that a WWE film crew was at his home on Friday to interview him for an upcoming project on The Undertaker.

**James Wilder Jr., the running back for the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL, will be attending the next tryout session at the WWE Performance Center. The 26-year old played for Florida State and won the BCS Championship Game in 2014 and later signed by the Cincinnati Bengals and played for the Buffalo Bills. He was released by the Bills in 2016 and signed with the Argos where he was named the league’s most outstanding rookie in 2017 in the same season the team won the Grey Cup against the Calgary Stampeders. In March 2018, Wilder Jr. signed a two-year extension with the Argos that runs through the end of the upcoming season, which starts at the end of May.

**The WWE has announced a television deal with Atresmedia out of Spain to carry Raw and SmackDown each week. The Mega outlet will air a two-hour edited version of Raw on Saturdays at 1 pm and SmackDown will air Sundays at 1 pm. The deal includes “This Week in WWE” and Season 1 through 4 of Total Divas on demand in the ATRESplayer service. The versions of Raw and SmackDown will include Castilian Spanish commentary.

**Grammy Award winner Yolanda Adams will be performing “America the Beautiful” at WrestleMania at MetLife Stadium.

**Seth Rollins spoke to Brian Fritz at The Sporting News about his match with Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania, the back injury that sidelined him recently, the women’s match headlining the card and other topics.

**Brett Davis is hosting Special Mania next Wednesday in New York City at MNN. Davis will be joined by guests Lita, Buff Bagwell, Dave Meltzer, Dalton Castle, Salina de la Renta, and The Nobodies to discuss WrestleMania Week. The show is free to attend live at 537 West 59th Street at 10:30 pm.

**EVOLVE has announced that NXT talent Shane Thorne, Angelo Dawkins, Eric Bugenhagen, and Lacey Lane will be working the EVOLVE 126 card on April 13th in Ybor City, Florida. The show is headlined by Mendoza challenging Austin Theory for the EVOLVE title if Theory retains against Kyle O’Reilly next week.

**Pro Wrestling NOAH has uploaded its entire Spring Navigation card from earlier today at Korakuen Hall. The show was headlined by Kaito Kiyomiya, Kenou & YO-HEY vs. Go Shiosaki, HAYATA & Katsuhiko Nakajima and a GHC junior heavyweight tag title match with Yoshinari Ogawa and Kotaro Suzuki defending against Minoru Tanaka and Hi69.

**Bill Goldberg and Shane McMahon have guest spots on NCIS: Los Angeles this Sunday night at 9 pm Eastern on CBS.

**Jim Cornette will be doing meet-and-greets before both MLW cards next week at the Melrose Ballroom. Ticket holders will have the chance to meet Cornette at 6 pm at the MLW Shop in the Pavilion of the venue with autographed 8x10s available for $30.

**Colt Cabana was unsuccessful attempting to purchase an authentic Big Daddy singlet from the British star’s daughter.


**The weigh-ins for Saturday night’s UFC Fight Night event in Philadelphia took place Friday morning. Ray Borg missed weight at 137.75 pounds and was the third time he has missed in his UFC career. The previous two misses occurred at flyweight with Borg coming up to bantamweight for Saturday’s fight against Casey Kenney. Ariel Helwani at ESPN reported that Borg was fined 30% of his purse but the fight is scheduled to go on. The rest of the fighters made weight and below is the card and weights.

MAIN CARD (7 pm Eastern on ESPN, TSN 2 in Canada)
*Edson Barboza (155.5) vs. Justin Gaethje (155.5)
*David Branch (185.5) vs. Jack Hermansson (185)
*Michael Johnson (146) vs. Josh Emmett (145.75)
*Michelle Waterson (115.5) vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz (114.75)
*Paul Craig (205) vs. Kennedy Nzechukwu (205.5)
*Sodiq Yusuff (145.5) vs. Sheymon Moraes (145)

PRELIMINARY CARD (5 pm on ESPN, TSN 2 in Canada)
*Jessica Aguilar (115.25) vs. Marina Rodriguez (114.75)
*Ross Pearson (155.25) vs. Desmond Green (155)
*Kevin Aguilar (145) vs. Enrique Barzola (145)
*Kevin Holland (185) vs. Gerald Meerschaert (185.5)

*Ray Borg (137.75*) vs. Casey Kenney (135.5)
*Maryna Moroz (125.25) vs. Sabina Mazo (125.5)
*Alex Perez (135.25) vs. Mark De La Rosa (135.5)

**Bellator 219 takes place tonight at 9 pm Eastern from Temecula, California and airing on the Paramount Network and DAZN. Below are the main card fights:
*Saad Awad vs. Brandon Girtz
*Shane Kruchten vs. Daniel Straus
*Andrey Koreshkov vs. Mike Jasper
*Joe Schilling vs. Keith Berry

**ONE Championship is holding one of their biggest cards ever with the promotional debuts of former UFC champions Eddie Alvarez and Demetrious Johnson. Each is entering a Grand Prix for their weight class with Alvarez fighting 12-4 Timofey Nastyukhin and Johnson facing 10-3 Yuya Wakamatsu. The main card streams on B/R Live at 5:30 am Eastern on Sunday morning from Sumo Hall with the following main card:
*Eduard Folayang vs. Shinya Aoki for the ONE lightweight title
*Jing Na Xiong vs. Angela Lee for the ONE strawweight title
*Aung La N Sang vs. Ken Hasegawa for the ONE middleweight title
*Kevin Belingon vs. Bibiano Fernandes for the ONE bantamweight title
*Demetrious Johnson vs. Yuya Wakamatsu for in the Flyweight World Grand Prix quarter-final
*Eddie Alvarez vs. Timofey Nastyukhin in the Lightweight World Grand Prix quarter-final

**Earlier this week, it was made official that Henry Cejudo and Marlon Moraes will fight for the vacant UFC bantamweight title at UFC 238 on June 8th in Chicago. The title was vacated by T.J. Dillashaw after an “adverse finding” in his post-fight drug test following his loss to Cejudo in January in Brooklyn. Dillashaw relinquished the title, which would have been stripped anyway once he was handed his one-year suspension by the New York State Athletic Commission.

**ESPN reported on two title fights that are being targeted for UFC 239 in July for International Fight Week. UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is expected to defend his title against Thiago Santos, who has won four straight and is 3-0 since moving up from middleweight. This will be Jones’ third fight since December with recent defenses against Alexander Gustafsson and Anthony Smith. On the same card, it’s expected that bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes will defend her title against Holly Holm.

Café Hangout: Kofi Kingston & Race in WWE w/ Nate Milton

John Pollock and Wai Ting are joined by Nate Milton to discuss the racial themes explored in the Kofi Kingston’s WrestleMania storyline for the WWE championship. Plus, a special unboxing of new POST merchandise, including our “secret audio cassette.
REWIND-A-WAI #33: “The Simpson” Wrestling Episodes (S8E21/S24E14)

John Pollock and Wai Ting review two wrestling-themed episodes of the world’s most famous animated sitcom, The Simpsons. We discuss our viewing history of The Simpsons, compare the quality of the series 16 years apart, and discuss how each episode represented professional wrestling’s mainstream status at the time.
POST Interview: Mike Bohn of MMA Junkie & USA Today

John Pollock is joined by Mike Bohn of MMA Junkie to chat this Saturday’s Barboza-Gaethje fight, the Conor McGregor story, the ESPN+ deal, welterweight division & more.
upNXT 3/28/19: Dusty Classic Finals & Gas Station Sunglasses
Braden Herrington and Davie Portman review this week’s WWE NXT featuring the finals of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic with Ricochet & Aleister Black vs. The Forgotten Sons.
DOUBLE SHOT: Omega Man documentary, BTE & C2E2 panel, Total Bellas
John Pollock and Wai Ting present an extended edition with a review of the “Omega Man” documentary, season-finale of Total Bellas, Being the Elite & their C2E2 panel chat.
RASD 3/26/19: Charlotte wins SD women’s title, Kofi Kingston receives ‘Mania match
Tuesday’s episode features a Tag Team Gauntlet match involving Big E. and Xavier Woods running the table for Kofi Kingston’s last chance to face Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania, Asuka defended the SmackDown women’s title against Charlotte Flair causing changes to the WrestleMania card.

John Pollock sits down with Kenny Omega to discuss “Omega Man: A Wrestling Love Story”, which premieres on TSN Wednesday night.
RAR 3/25/19: Joe-Angle, Conference Call Paul, Last Man Stan-Dean
Monday’s episode featured a Last Man Standing match between Drew McIntyre and Dean Ambrose, Triple H quotes the Spice Girls as his career is threatened, SNL hosts added to the WrestleMania battle royal & more.
John Pollock reviews the final night of the New Japan Cup tournament, featuring Kazuchika Okada facing Sanada in the finals in Nagaoka. Plus, a review of the whole show, angles shot on the undercard and a preview of the week ahead at POST Wrestling.

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About John Pollock 5030 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.