POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: WWE responds to HBO’s Last Week Tonight

The WWE responds to HBO's Last Week Tonight feature, Batista and Brock Lesnar on Raw, new opponents for Rich Swann, Josh Barnett signs with Bellator, WrestleMania cards on this date & more.

POST IT NOTES

**Wai Ting and I are back with Rewind-A-Raw tonight on the site with a review of the show from Washington, the latest developments for WrestleMania, all the news from the day and we will take your feedback. Plus, our weekly draw for a piece of POST Wrestling merchandise with every member of the POST Wrestling Café eligible for the weekly draw.

**Wai Ting and I will be doing a special Wednesday night edition of the Café Hangout. We will live at 8 pm Eastern for a complete preview of WrestleMania and the surrounding events this week. You can watch the show live if you are a Double Double, Iced Capp, and Espresso member of the POST Wrestling Café.

POST WRESTLING’S WRESTLEMANIA WEEK SCHEDULE

MONDAY:
*Rewind-A-Raw with John Pollock and Wai Ting

TUESDAY
*Rewind-A-SmackDown with John Pollock and Wai Ting
*The Double Shot – A discussion of the HBO Last Week Tonight segment (Patreon)

WEDNESDAY

*The British Wrestling Experience with Benno and Will Cooling
*LIVE Café Hangout at 8 pm Eastern – Full WrestleMania 35 and weekend preview (Live for Double Double, Iced Capp, and Espresso Patrons)

THURSDAY
*WrestleMania Road Diary Day 1 Podcast with reviews of Bloodsport and MLW (Patreon)
*upNXT with Davie Portman and Braden Herrington

FRIDAY

*WrestleMania Road Diary Day 2 Podcast with reviews of WrestleCon U.S. vs. The World, Rev Pro, and NXT TakeOver (Patreon)
*NXT TakeOver POST Show with Braden Herrington & Davie Portman

SATURDAY
*WrestleMania Road Diary Day 3 Podcast with a review of ROH & NJPW G1 Supercard (Patreon)

SUNDAY
*WrestleMania 35 POST Show with John Pollock and Wai Ting (free)

WRESTLING NEWS

**In response to HBO’s “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” piece from Sunday, the WWE issued the following statement to PWinsider.com and has invited Oliver to attend WrestleMania on Sunday:

John Oliver is clearly a clever and humorous entertainer, however the subject matter covered in his WWE segment is no laughing matter. Prior to airing, WWE responded to his producers refuting every point in his one-sided presentation. John Oliver simply ignored the facts. The health and wellness of our performers is the single most important aspect of our business, and we have a comprehensive, longstanding Talent Wellness program. We invite John Oliver to attend WrestleMania this Sunday to learn more about our company.

**I have a review of the HBO piece on the site.

**Tonight’s episode of Raw is the final one before WrestleMania with a big show planned and lots announced. We reported over the weekend that the WWE is expected to add tag titles matches for both the Raw and SmackDown titles. The Revival is taking on Aleister Black and Ricochet tonight and we were told that is not the match happening at WrestleMania. The Raw tag title match will either be announced tonight or later in the week. The SmackDown tag title match is scheduled to be a multi-team match and that will be set up on Tuesday’s show. Here is what is being advertised for Raw:
*Stephanie McMahon will be on the show – this will likely be the segment to set up the title implications for Sunday’s main event, which we are told will be promoted as “Winner Take All”
*Ronda Rousey, Charlotte Flair & Becky Lynch vs. The Riott Squad
*Kurt Angle vs. Rey Mysterio
*Sasha Banks, Bayley, Natalya & Beth Phoenix vs. Nia Jax, Tamina & The IIconics – this will be Phoenix’s first match on Raw since 2012
*The Revival vs. Aleister Black and Ricochet for the Raw tag titles
*Appearances by Brock Lesnar and Batista

**The USA Network will be carrying the second hour of the WrestleMania kickoff show this Sunday from 6-7 pm Eastern. They will also air a one-hour edited version of the Hall of Fame ceremony next Monday following Raw at 11 pm.

**There is a SmackDown house show tonight from Roanoke, Virginia and they are advertising Randy Orton vs. AJ Styles, The Usos vs. Shinsuke Nakamura and Rusev, and Asuka vs. Mandy Rose.

**The WWE has also announced the following for SmackDown Live on Tuesday night from Baltimore:
*Rey Mysterio vs. Andrade
*A contract signing between Daniel Bryan and Kofi Kingston
*AJ Styles and Randy Orton appear on The Kevin Owens Show

**The “Miz and Mrs.” series returns on Tuesday night at 10 pm Eastern on the USA Network immediately following SmackDown. This is a continuation of the first season, which ran for six episodes last summer and averaged 1,260,000 viewers in the timeslot. This current run of 14 episodes will bring the series total to 20.

**Tommaso Ciampa put out a statement regarding his neck injury. He notes at the end that he’s been told he will be on borrowed time if he returns from this injury:

In May of 2017 they told me that no one has ever had 3 major surgeries in a 12 week span and returned at a competitive level. I returned to the most successful run of my career.

This week I should be preparing to walk into the main event of Takeover New York on Wrestlemania weekend as the NXT Champion. This match meant more to me than anyone will ever understand. The opportunity was taken away from me.

In March of 2019 they told me that if I return then I will be on borrowed time.

To be continued…

**We have a review of ROH’s Road to the G1 Supercard event from Sunday in Baltimore. The news coming out was that Juice Robinson will face Bully Ray at the G1 Supercard answering the open challenger for the street fight. They also added Tracy Williams, Coast 2 Coast, and Rhett Titus to the Honor Rumble. During the show, Kenny King announced he has signed a two-year contract with ROH.

**Kenny Omega had his first wrestling match since Wrestle Kingdom this past Saturday for Premier Championship Wrestling in Winnipeg. Omega teamed with Donny Dicaprio (Jason Geiger, who is featured in the Omega Man documentary) and Chris Stevens against Bobby Schink, Travis Cole, and Don Callis. I believe this was Callis’ first match since January 2004 when he wrestled Erik Watts in TNA. The match ended when Chris Jericho’s music played, Omega was distracted, turned around and was hit with a codebreaker by Callis and was pinned. It’s a noteworthy distinction that Omega’s two matches this year have been at the Tokyo Dome and Doubles Bar.

**Mercedes Martinez was injured on Sunday’s SHIMMER card in Berwyn, Illinois. Martinez took a frog splash and said that she had couldn’t breathe and her left side was in unbearable pain. Martinez was carried out of the ring and provided an update Monday that she suffered bruised ribs and thankfully, wasn’t anything worse.

**The WWE stock closed at $87.20 on Monday.

**Impact Wrestling has announced that Flamita will replace Yamato at Thursday’s United We Stand card in Rahway, New Jersey. Yamato was scheduled to challenge Rich Swann for the X division title but was pulled along with other Dragon Gate talent from the shows due to visa issues that will prevent them from appearing.

**Rich Swann was also scheduled to face PAC on Saturday’s Pro Wrestling Revolver and his new opponent is Chuck Mambo. That show takes place at 11 am at the Hilton Midtown Hotel in New York.

**MLW has added a match between Jacob Fatu and Barrington Hughes to Thursday’s Rise of the Renegades card at the Melrose Ballroom in Queens. MLW is running the venue Thursday and Friday night.

**Fite TV has announced that they will be streaming the pre-show for the G1 Supercard for free this Saturday at 6:30 pm Eastern featuring the Honor Rumble. The actual pay-per-view begins at 7:30 pm from Madison Square Garden.

**Tenille Dashwood announced on Sunday that she is now a free agent.

**A clip has surfaced of MJF appearing on the Rosie O’Donnell talk show in 2001.

**Several WrestleMania cards took place on this date in 1990, 2001, 2007, and 2012.

WrestleMania 6 in Toronto in 1990 was the first version outside of the U.S. and was designed as the coronation of the Ultimate Warrior by defeating Hulk Hogan, a transition that didn’t take and Hogan would win the title back a year later.

The 2001 show was the culmination of the promotion’s second boom period highlighted by Steve Austin defeating The Rock for the WWF title while turning heel in the same match and aligning with Vince McMahon. It would go on to become Austin’s biggest regret as business went down with Austin in the heel role and lacking a top babyface to work with. The Rock was off to film “The Scorpion King” until the summer and Triple H never turned babyface leaving the options of The Undertaker and Kane as transitional opponents and never fully committing to Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit as viable threats with the latter going for neck surgery in June.

The 2007 show was at Ford Field in Detroit and the set the all-time pay-per-view record that year with Donald Trump and Vince McMahon putting their hair on the line with Bobby Lashley representing the current President and Umaga representing McMahon. The main event for the show was switched to John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels after Triple H tore his quad for a second time in January during a match with Michaels against Edge and Randy Orton. The build-up of this show, particularly on Raw, was very solid as I recall.

Finally, WrestleMania 28 was on this date in 2012 and featured The Rock’s first match with John Cena with a program that began the previous year when Rock returned to host WrestleMania in 2011. The two split matches with Rock winning in Miami in 2012 and Cena winning the next year at MetLife Stadium. This show also kicked off Daniel Bryan’s rise in unexpected fashion as the audience revolted when he lost to Sheamus in 18 seconds in the opening match. The idea was to get Sheamus over as a top babyface, but it had the opposite effect with Bryan becoming the favorite. There were “Yes” chants throughout Raw the next night, even though Bryan wasn’t booked on the television portion. It took a long time but Bryan eventually did get there, winning the title two years later in the main event of WrestleMania.

MMA NEWS

**Josh Barnett announced on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show on Monday that he has signed with Bellator. Barnett is 41-years old and has not fought since September 2016 after an arduous legal battle with USADA over a failed test that Barnett successfully proved was from a tainted supplement. It was a long drawn off affair that finally wrapped up last March and Barnett requested his release from the UFC and was granted it in June. Barnett previously fought for Scott Coker in Strikeforce from 2011-2013 before returning to the UFC after Strikeforce folded. Barnett went 3-2 during his UFC run, including wins over Frank Mir, Roy Nelson, and Andrei Arlovski.

**Friday’s Bellator 219 card averaged 319,000 viewers on the Paramount Network featuring Brandon Girtz defeating Saad Awad in the main event. The average was up from last weekend’s card that drew 255,000 viewers on March 23rd featuring Emmanuel Sanchez defeating Georgi Karakhanyan in the main event. Their next show is a big one from San Jose with Rory MacDonald vs. Jon Fitch in the Welterweight Grand Prix with MacDonald’s title on the line and Ilima-Lei Macfarlane defending the flyweight title against Veta Arteaga.

**USADA announced Monday that UFC heavyweight Ruslan Magomedov has been handed a lifetime suspension for his second and third violation of the UFC’s Anti-Doping policy. The 32-year old tested positive for Methyltestosterone and stanozolol after an out-of-competition drug test was administered on October 10, 2018. Then, he was asked for a sample collection on February 5th and refused to provide one, which counts as a failure. He had previously been suspended in September 2016 after testing positive for Ostarine. Magaomedov began fighting in November 2010 and was defeated former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia in October 2013. He was 11-1 when he joined the UFC and went 3-0 for the promotion with decision victories over Viktor Pesta, Josh Copeland, and Shawn Jordan with his last fight taking place in October 2015.

**The UFC has a rare weekend off coming up and return on Saturday, April 13th with the UFC 236 pay-per-view in Atlanta. They will have weekly cards from that weekend until Memorial Day weekend. The UFC 236 card will feature two interim title fights with Dustin Poirier fighting featherweight champion Max Holloway in a rematch from UFC 143 in February 2012 and Israel Adesanya meets Kelvin Gastelum to create an interim middleweight champion.

**Here are the main card results from ONE Championship’s card in Tokyo on Sunday featuring the debuts of Demetrious Johnson and Eddie Alvarez:
*Yodsanklai Fairtex def. Andy Souwer by TKO at 0:51 of Round 2
*Timofey Nastyukhin def. Eddie Alvarez by TKO at 4:05 of Round 1 in the Lightweight Grand Prix quarterfinal
*Demetrious Johnson def. Yuya Wakamatsu by guillotine at 2:40 of Round 2 in the Flyweight Grand Prix quarterfinal
*Bibiano Fernandes def. Kevin Belingon by DQ due to illegal elbows to the back of the head to win the ONE bantamweight title
*Aung La Nsang def. Ken Hasegawa by TKO at 4:41 of Round 2 to retain the ONE middleweight title
*Xiong Jingnan def. Angela Lee by TKO at 1:37 of Round 5 to retain the ONE women’s strawweight title
*Shinya Aoki def. Eduard Folayang by arm-triangle at 2:34 of Round 1 to win the ONE lightweight title

On the prelims, Kairat Akhmedov defeated Reece McLaren by unanimous decision and Danny Kingad defeated Senzo Ikeda by unanimous decision, which was both quarterfinal fights in the Flyweight Grand Prix tournament.

**ONE’s next card is on Friday, April 12th in the Philippines with Martin Nguyen defending the ONE featherweight title against Jadamba Narantungalag, Yosuke Saruta defending the ONE strawweight title against Joshua Pacio and the final Flyweight Grand Prix quarterfinal fight between Tatsumitsu Wada and Gustavo Balart.

*****
POST PURORESU: Koji Kitao, G1 Supercard & Champion Carnival Preview, New Japan Cup
John Pollock and WH Park recap the New Japan Cup with their top matches, preview the G1 Supercard and All Japan’s Champion Carnival, reviews of Miyahara vs. Nomura and Watanabe. Kyona & lots more.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/03/30/post-puroresu-g1-supercard-champion-carnival-preview-new-japan-cup/
*****

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.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/03/29/kofi-kingston-race-in-wwe-w-nate-milton-cafe-hangout-3-29-19/
*****
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. 
https://www.patreon.com/posts/25709484
*****
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.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/03/28/post-interview-mike-bohn-of-mma-junkie-usa-today/
*****
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.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/03/28/upnxt-3-28-19-dusty-classic-finals-gas-station-sunglasses/
*****
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.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/03/27/double-shot-omega-man-doc-bte-c2e2-panel-total-bellas/
*****
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.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/03/27/rasd-3-26-19-charlotte-wins-sd-womens-title-kofi-kingston-receives-mania-match/
*****
THE POST INTERVIEW: Kenny Omega

John Pollock sits down with Kenny Omega to discuss “Omega Man: A Wrestling Love Story”, which premieres on TSN Wednesday night.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/03/26/post-interview-kenny-omega/
*****

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About John Pollock 889 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.