POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: The Undertaker & Kurt Angle off Starrcast

The Undertaker and Kurt Angle are off Starrcast, Raw hits its second-lowest figure of 2019, Viceland announces another wrestling series, BOSJ lineup, the replacement for Jazz & more

POST IT NOTES

**Rewind-A-Raw is up on the site with Wai Ting and I reviewing Monday’s show from Des Moines, the latest WWE roster moves, Ronda Rousey’s update, CM Punk appearing at a show on Friday, Dustin Rhodes wrestling Cody at Double or Nothing, Jazz vacating the NWA women’s title and your feedback. You can download the show directly or listen to POST Wrestling on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher and wherever you get your podcasts.

**We will be back tonight with Rewind-A-SmackDown chatting tonight’s show and takes your questions and feedback. We will also discuss this past weekend’s Sengoku Lord event that New Japan held, the BOSJ lineup, and the rest of today’s news.

**The Double Shot will be out Wednesday for members of the POST Wrestling Café. On this week’s show, we will have a big discussion on Viceland’s Dark Side of the Ring episode covering Bruiser Brody. Plus, a review of Being the Elite and this past weekend’s episode of MLW Fusion.

**Brandon Howard will be our guest on Thursday’s Café Hangout to chat the WWE’s first-quarter earnings report that comes out that day. We will chat about the major discussion points from the report and the call with investors that day. The show will be available live at 3 pm Eastern on Thursday for Double Double, Iced Capp, and Espresso members of the POST Wrestling Café.

POST WRESTLING SCHEDULE

*Tonight: Rewind-A-SmackDown with John Pollock & Wai Ting
*Wednesday: The Double Shot (Patreon) – Dark Side of the Ring on “The Killing of Bruiser Brody”, Being the Elite, MLW Fusion
*Thursday: Café Hangout live at 3 pm Eastern with guest Brandon Howard on the WWE financials (Double Double, Iced Capp, Espresso members)
*Thursday: upNXT with Braden Herrington & Davie Portman
*Friday: MCU review of “Guardians of the Galaxy” with John Pollock & Wai Ting (Patreon)
*Saturday: The Rocky Maivia Picture Show with Nate Milton reviewing “Be Cool” with guest Brent Chittenden
*Sunday: Impact Wrestling Rebellion POST Show with John Pollock & Nate Milton

WRESTLING NEWS

**The SmackDown Live and 205 Live tapings will take place from the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska tonight with the following announced:
*Kofi Kingston vs. Shinsuke Nakamura in a non-title match
*Becky Lynch and Charlotte will have a face-to-face segment
*A segment with Roman Reigns and Vince McMahon
*Humberto Carrillo vs. Drew Gulak on 205 Live

**Conrad Thompson spoke to SI.com on Tuesday and announced that The Undertaker and Kurt Angle have been pulled from Starrcast II next month in Las Vegas. The Undertaker was announced for the convention back in February and Angle earlier this month. In speaking to the outlet, Thompson said that both performers have signed new deals with WWE, and they are prevented from appearing at Starrcast, despite attempts by Thompson to salvage something. Initially, Thompson said he was told that damages would be covered and there would be a suitable replacement, but no replacements have been announced.

Thompson pitched an idea where either Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon, or Paul Levesque would appear with all proceeds being donated to Connor’s Cure and matched by Thompson. His next attempt was to name Shawn Michaels as the replacement for Undertaker after he was told that main roster talent would not be available. This follows the news from the Inside the Ropes group in the U.K., who were set to host several Q&A and meet-and-greets with The Undertaker and was forced to eliminate the Q&A portion with Undertaker, who will be replaced by Mick Foley with Undertaker only participating in the meet-and-greets later this month.

**Raw hit its second-lowest mark of 2019 with 2,374,000 viewers watching Monday’s three-hour broadcast on the USA Network. The number represents a drop of 11% from last Monday and is a 21% drop from this week in 2018. The show began with 2,680,000 viewers in the first hour and fell 14% in the second hour to 2,296,000 and experienced another 6.5% drop to 2,136,000 in the third hour that included the show-closing match between AJ Styles and Baron Corbin.

The only Raw episode of 2019 to do lower was on January 7th, which went against the College Football Championship game between Alabama and Clemson that did 24.3 million viewers. This week’s sports competition came from the NBA playoffs with the Milwaukee Bucks vs. Detroit Pistons doing 2.81 million viewers on TNT.

**The long-awaited U.S. premiere of The Wrestlers is finally going to happen, which is the series hosted by Damian Abraham and had a limited run on VICE in Canada last year. Due to the success of “Dark Side of the Ring”, this series has been greenlit to air on Viceland with the network announcing that the ten episodes are set to air, although no premiere date has been released. The series is different from Dark Side of the Ring with Abraham traveling to locations including Japan, Nunavut, Bolivia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo with the professional wrestling as the backdrop. There are interviews throughout the series with MVP, Mia Yim, Rossy Ogawa, Atsushi Onita, Mayu Iwatani, Gabe Sapolsky, and others.

Viceland has been ecstatic with the success of Dark Side of the Ring and with ten episodes already shot and edited, there was no excuse not to air the episodes, presumably after the current series ends. The Dark Side of the Ring series will run for another four weeks with episodes on Bruiser Brody, the Von Erich family (which is excellent), Gino Hernandez, and Fabulous Moolah.

**The WWE is planning to run a second pay-per-view in June. They are expected to return to Saudi Arabia that month, although an official announcement and date have not been announced. We have been told there will be a second event that month that is scheduled for Sunday, June 23rd in Tacoma, Washington.

**The WWE stock rose over 3% on Monday closing at $99.25. At one point today, it traded as high as $100.10.

**The main event of Money in the Bank on May 19th will feature Seth Rollins defending the Universal title against AJ Styles. It is legitimately going to be their first singles match, ever. The two have been involved in three-ways and tag matches in the past. It was also announced on Raw that Becky Lynch will face Lacey Evans at the show. While Evans stated she would be wearing both belts after their match, the Money in the Bank is scheduled to be for the Raw women’s title. There will also be a men’s and women’s Money in the Bank Ladder match. The Raw participants in both ladder matches will be revealed on next week’s episode during the Moment of Bliss segment with Alexa Bliss.

**New Japan Pro Wrestling announced the lineup of participants for this year’s Best of the Super Juniors tournament, which begins May 13th. IWGP junior heavyweight champion Dragon Lee will be part of the tournament and traditionally, the winner receives a title shot at Dominion. It’s interesting that Will Ospreay is part of the lineup given he was moved up to the heavyweight division. Ospreay should help ticket sales for the tour and with the finals at Sumo Hall, it’s possible Ospreay go could right to the end as that’s a big upgrade in venue size for the tournament finals. The additions of Bandido and Jonathan Gresham are great and should increase the quality dramatically with Gresham poised to have a massive tournament and Bandido is one of the best fliers in the world. The notable names not part of this year’s tournament from 2018 are Hiromu Takahashi due to injury and KUSHIDA, who signed with WWE.

**Ronda Rousey will be a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert next Monday night to promote her role as the voice of Sonya Blade in Mortal Kombat 11.

**Santana Garrett is taking the spot of Jazz in this Saturday’s NWA women’s title match against Allysin Kay to determine the new champion. The title was vacated by Jazz on Monday with the former champion releasing a statement citing “medical and personal issues” for being unable to wrestle on Saturday’s card. The show is airing on traditional pay-per-view, Honor Club for VIP subscribers, and on Fite TV at 7 pm Eastern from Concord, North Carolina.

**Here is the card for Wednesday’s New Japan show at Korakuen Hall streaming at 5:30 am Eastern on New Japan World:
*Kazuchika Okada and SHO vs. Sanada and Shingo Takagi
*Kota Ibushi, Tomohiro Ishii & YOH vs. Tetsuya Naito, EVIL & Bushi
*Jay White, Guerrillas of Destiny & Hikuleo vs. Hirooki Goto, Togi Makabe, Toru Yano & Toa Henare
*Juice Robinson, Dragon Lee & Mikey Nicholls vs. Taiji Ishimori, Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens
*Minoru Suzuki, El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Ryusuke Taguchi, Jushin Thunder Liger & Tiger Mask
*Zack Sabre Jr., Taichi & Taka Michinoku vs. Yoshi-Hashi, Tomoaki Honma & Rocky Romero
*Yuji Nagata, Yota Tsuji & Yuya Uemura vs. Satoshi Kojima, Ren Narita & Shota Umino

**All Japan’s Champion Carnival is in its final week with the finals scheduled for next Monday at Korakuen Hall. Below are the updated standings for both blocks:

BLOCK A: Dylan James (9 points), Zeus (8), Shuji Ishikawa, Yuji Okabayashi, Ryoji Sai (7), Kento Miyahara, Gianni Valletta, Atsushi Aoki (6), and Yuma Aoyagi (4)

BLOCK B: Suwama, Yoshitatsu, Naoya Nomura, Daichi Hashimoto (8 points), Takashi Yoshida, Jake Lee, Joe Doering, Joel Redman (6), and Sam Adonis (4)

**Below are the tournament matches for Wednesday’s card in Nagaoka:
*Kento Miyahara vs. Ryoji Sai – Block A
*Yuji Okabayashi vs. Atsushi Aoki – Block A
*Sam Adonis vs. Jake Lee – Block B
*Joe Doering vs. Joel Redman – Block B

**The WWE has announced the following dates for Latin America later this year:
*Saturday, August 24th at the Jockey Club in Lima, Peru
*Sunday, August 25th at Roberto Duran Arena in Panama City, Panama
*Thursday, September 5th at Movistar Arena in Santiago, Chile
*Friday, September 6th at Luna Park in Buenos Aires, Argentina
*Saturday, October 26th at Coliseo de Puerto Rico in San Juan

It is worth noting that WWE is doing these shows with partners. The events in Peru, Panama, Argentina, and Puerto Rico are being promoted with MOVE Concerts and the card in Chile with DG Medios.

**Taz will be appearing at Starrcast II next month in Las Vegas.

**John Cena turns 42 years old today.

MMA NEWS

**USADA has suspended UFC fighter Walt Harris for four months after the heavyweight tested positive for the banned substance LGD-4033, which is an anabolic agent. Harris was able to produce a dietary supplement, which did not list the banned substance among its ingredients and successfully proved he took a tainted supplement as received a reduced suspension. Harris was flagged after his split decision win over Andrei Arlovski at UFC 232 in December and the win was changed to a no contest. Harris also accepted a four-month suspension and a $4,000 fine from the California State Athletic Commission. The suspension is retroactive to December and Harris will be eligible to fight again next week.

**Bellator welterweight Jon Fitch responded to the comments by Firas Zahabi regarding being flagged for a pre-fight drug test in 2014. Fitch spoke to Luke Thomas on The MMA Hour acknowledging he used testosterone in the lead up to his fight with Rousimar Palhares. He said he was dealing with issues personally and professionally and justified the usage at the time but believes there is nothing to gain in a weight class sport from testosterone. Fitch was flagged after the fight took place and suspended nine-months by the California State Athletic Commission. Zahabi labeled him a cheater ahead of this Saturday’s fight between Rory MacDonald and Fitch for the Bellator welterweight title.

**Marc Raimondi has announced that he will be leaving MMA Fighting to move to ESPN after spending the last five years with the outlet. Prior to MMA Fighting, Raimondi wrote for the New York Post until 2014. Raimondi is one of the best reporters in MMA and it’s a huge addition by ESPN’s MMA staff.

**It’s a packed weekend of shows coming up with UFC and Bellator going head-to-head on Saturday night with both presenting strong cards on paper. Saturday will also feature cards from KSW in Poland, Cage Warriors in Wales, and there is an LFA card on Friday night airing on AXS TV after New Japan Pro Wrestling.

*****
RAR 4/22/19: Never Rest & Never Rust, MITB title match, Firefly Fun House
The mysterious Superstar Shakeup continued with more roster moves reflected on the show, a pair of three-way matches took place with the winners facing off to determine Seth Rollins’ next challenger for the Universal title, an insane re-introduction of Bray Wyatt, the transformation of Bobby to Robert Roode & more.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/04/23/rar-4-22-19-never-rest-never-rust-mitb-title-match-firefly-fun-house/
*****
Café Hangout – David Lagana of the NWA

John Pollock and Wai Ting welcome NWA Vice President David Lagana to discuss the revival of The Crockett Cup tag team tournament, the importance of basing storylines on reality in the Cody vs. Nick Aldis build-up to ALL IN, and how he and Billy Corgan want to make the most out of the average wrestling fan’s limited supply of time.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/04/19/david-lagana-on-nwas-reality-based-storytelling-crockett-cup-cafe-hangout-4-18-19/
*****
REWIND-A-WAI #34: PWG Battle of Los Angeles (Patreon)
John Pollock and Wai Ting review the Final Stage of Pro Wrestling Guerilla’s Battle of Los Angeles 2018 tournament featuring Bandido, Jeff Cobb, Shingo Takagi, WALTER, Joey Janela, PCO, CIMA, Trevor Lee, Brody King and more.
https://www.patreon.com/posts/26209137/
*****
upNXT 4/18/19: The NXT Experience
Braden Herrington and Davie Portman review this week’s edition of WWE NXT featuring an instant TV classic for the North American championship between Velveteen Dream & Buddy Murphy, a heated segment between The Undisputed Era & Johnny Gargano, Shayna Bazler vs. Kairi Sane for the NXT Women’s Championship with a heartbreaking ending… and more.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/04/18/upnxt-4-18-19-the-nxt-experience/
*****
THE DOUBLE SHOT (Patreon)
John Pollock and Wai Ting review Joey Janela’s Spring Break III Part 1 & 2, Dark Side of the Ring on the Montreal Screwjob, Being the Elite & more.
https://www.patreon.com/posts/26185803
*****
BWE 4/17/19: Court Bauer on MLW in UK, Progress Chapter 87
Martin & Benno are joined by Jamesie to talk Progress Chapter 87 Breadknife, RevPro’s Live At The Cockpit 40, and notable Euro highlights from WrestleMania Weekend. They are then joined by Court Bauer, CEO of MLW to discuss the company’s premiere on Freesports and more.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/04/17/bwe-4-17-19-court-bauer-on-mlw-in-uk-progress-ch-87-wrestlemania-weekend/
*****
RASD 4/16/19: Superstar Shakeup Night 2, Roman Reigns to SD Live
John Pollock and Wai Ting review Tuesday’s episode of SmackDown from Montreal, Quebec and the second night of the Superstar Shakeup as Vince McMahon announces the “biggest acquisition in the history” of the show.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/04/17/rasd-4-16-19-superstar-shakeup-night-2-roman-reigns-to-sd-live/
*****

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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.