POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: Dean Malenko leaves WWE, announced for Starrcast

Dean Malenko leaves WWE and is announced for Starrcast, WWE announces names at tryout, NXT referee breaks his leg, Rhea Ripley issues an apology, viewership for the Brody special & more.


**Wai Ting and I have our monthly MCU review out today to coincide with the release of Avengers: Endgame. On this month’s review, we chat about “Guardians of the Galaxy” that was released in 2014 starring Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista and the voices of Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper. We share our thoughts on the movie, the discussion about the franchise heading into the first film, an interview I did with Bautista at a Toronto screening, the choices for the soundtrack, what is introduced in this film that would have future repercussions, and we take your feedback. This review is available for members of the POST Wrestling Café.

**The Café Hangout is also out today with Wai Ting and I joined by Brandon Howard of Wrestlenomics to chat about the WWE’s first-quarter earnings report, the net loss on the quarter, reasons given for business being down, the impact of the forthcoming television deals, topics they didn’t want to address, the live event business, consumer products, star creation, and lots more. Plus, we previewed this weekend’s Crockett Cup and Impact Wrestling events along with your phone calls.

**On Saturday, The Rocky Maivia Picture Show returns with Nate Milton being joined by Brent Chittenden to review “Be Cool” from 2005. Nate will also be back on Sunday for the Impact Wrestling Rebellion POST Show with me. Both shows will be available on the main POST Wrestling feed.


**Dean Malenko has quit his position as a backstage producer at WWE, the news was first reported by Justin Barrasso at SI.com. Malenko came to the company in January 2000 in a major coup by the company alongside Chris Benoit, Eddy Guerrero, and Perry Saturn from WCW. The 58-year old wrapped up his in-ring career at the end of 2001 and has held a position with the company ever since. Malenko becomes the second high-profile and long-tenured producer to leave WWE this year following Arn Anderson’s departure.

**Malenko has since been added to the lineup for Starrcast next month in Las Vegas.

**The two big wrestling shows of the weekend are the NWA’s Crockett Cup event Saturday from Concord, North Carolina and the Impact Wrestling pay-per-view in Toronto on Sunday night. The Crockett Cup event will be airing on traditional pay-per-view, Fite TV and Honor Club VIP subscribers as the show is in concert with Ring of Honor. One of the highlights of the last NWA pay-per-view in October was the commentary with Jim Cornette joining Joe Galli and they were a terrific team. For this show, Galli, Cornette, and Ian Riccaboni and should be one of the highlights of the broadcast. It’s built around the NWA title match between Nick Aldis and Marty Scurll and the one-night tag team tournament involving talent from ROH, New Japan, CMLL, NWA, and outsiders. Below is the full card:
*Nick Aldis vs. Marty Scurll for the NWA title
*Willie Mack vs. Colt Cabana for the NWA national title
*Allysin Kay vs. Santana Garrett (replacing Jazz) for the vacant NWA women’s title, Madusa will present the title to the winner
*The Briscoes vs. The Rock ‘N’ Roll Express in the opening round
*Bandido and Flip Gordon vs. Stuka Jr. and Guerrera Maya Jr. in the opening round
*PCO and Brody King vs. Yuji Nagata and Satoshi Kojima in the opening round
*Crimson and Jax Dane vs TBA (winners of the Wild Card Tag Team Battle Royal held earlier that night)

**The WWE is running a tryout at the Performance Center this week and put out the list of the 40 people trying out. The notable names include: Ivelisse Velez (former Lucha Underground performer and Tough Enough contestant, who was in developmental until 2012 when she was released), Lance Anoa’i  (the son of Headshrinker Samu and had been working with MLW), James Wilder Jr. of the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL, Emily Andzulis (an MMA fighter with an 0-1 record from Tennessee), Chris Martin (has played in the NFL, CFL and was just part of the Alliance of American Football), Maritza Ayala (trained under the late Buddy Wayne), Andrea Benoit (wrestles as NOVA and trained under Tyson Dux), Kristopher Craig (trained under Billy Gunn at the Team 3-D Academy), Alexandria Gracia (has wrestled for Stardom in Japan, SHIMMER, and Shine), Mahmoud Fawzy Sebie (Olympic Greco Roman wrestler for Egypt at the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro), Patrick McAlpine (trained under Steve Corino), and Cadman Edward Turner (Originally from Australia and lives in Canada where he trains at the Battle Arts Academy in Mississauga). The full list of attendees can be seen on WWE’s website.

**Coming off the disappointing quarterly report, the WWE stock dropped another 2% on Friday and closed at $83.52.

**New Japan Pro Wrestling on AXS TV tonight at 8 pm Eastern will feature the top two matches from last weekend’s Sengoku Lord show with Kota Ibushi vs. Zack Sabre Jr. for the Intercontinental title and Juice Robinson vs. Bad Luck Fale for the IWGP United States title. The main event is a must-see match and I also enjoyed the Robinson vs. Fale match, a lot.

**Here are the matches for tonight’s episode of Impact Wrestling at 10 pm Eastern, which is the final episode before Rebellion on Sunday:
*Johnny Impact, Pentagon Jr. and Fenix vs. Brian Cage and LAX
*Killer Kross vs. Willie Mack
*Rosemary vs. Undead Bridesmaid
*Rich Swann goes to the oVe Compound

**The WWE main roster crew is off this weekend and return Monday night with Raw in Lexington, Kentucky. There will be a SmackDown live event on Monday from Huntington, West Virginia with Kofi Kingston, Roman Reigns, Kevin Owens, and Charlotte Flair advertised.

**NXT referee Tom Castor suffered a broken leg during Thursday’s main event in Omaha, Nebraska. Castor was the referee for Velveteen Dream vs. Tyler Breeze and suffered the break but finished the match and made the three count.

**NXT UK performer Rhea Ripley (Demi Bennett) has issued an apology following the of a homophobic slur during a live video stream. Ripley was on camera where viewers could tip them to cut a promo and led to Ripley delivering one and including the slur. Below is her apology:

Demi Bennett speaking here: I know a lot of you are upset with me after tonight, but I just wanted to publically say that I am sorry. My brain to mouth filter came down for a second and I forgot that some words are a big no no to a lot of people. I am a firm believer that everyone should be treated equally, whether that be race or sexual orientation. With that said, I just wanted to say how dearly sorry I am to everyone that was offended by my choice of words tonight.

**The Dark Side of the Ring series on Viceland continues its success with their television audience. This past Wednesday’s episode on Bruiser Brody did a series-high 214,000 viewers. This week’s episode was up 18% from last week’s number on the Montreal Screwjob and to me, was the most impressive number of the season. The Brody episode had the handicap of being made available online in the U.S. ahead of time and was coming off one of the most famous stories of the past 30 years with Montreal. Next week’s episode is the Von Erich Family and of the four I’ve watched, it’s the best one. The final two episodes will be on Gino Hernandez on May 8th and the Fabulous Moolah on May 15th.

**Nia Jax underwent double knee surgery earlier this week for the torn ACLs in both knees. She said she was already walking with some assistance on Thursday.

**Stacey Ervin Jr. has confirmed the news that he has left NXT.

**Below are the matches for Saturday’s episode of MLW Fusion at 9 pm Eastern on beIN Sports from the tapings at the Melrose Ballroom:
*The Hart Foundation vs. MJF, Richard Holliday & Alex Hammerstone in a Tables match – This was from the first night of tapings that I attended and was the best match on the show. The Hart Foundation, specifically Teddy Hart, was super popular.
*Kotto Brazil vs. Jordan Oliver
*Rey Horus vs. Ace Austin

The episodes of Fusion are now being added to their YouTube channel on Monday nights at 7 pm Eastern.

**All Japan’s Champion Carnival tournament wraps up with shows on Sunday and the finals are Monday at Korakuen Hall. Triple Crown champion Kento Miyahara has won the A Block after defeating Yuji Okabayashi on Thursday’s card. B Block wraps up on Sunday and there is currently a six-way tie with Joe Doering, Daichi Hashimoto, Naoya Nomura, Suwama, Yoshitatsu, and Jake Lee tied with eight points each. Joel Redman, Takashi Yoshida, and Sam Adonis can play spoilers on Sunday’s show with the following tournament matches on Sunday:
*Daichi Hashimoto vs. Sam Adonis
*Takashi Yoshida vs. Yoshitatsu
*Suwama vs. Naoya Nomura
*Jake Lee vs. Joe Doering

**I would highly recommend the match between Yuji Okabayashi and Dylan James from the Champion Carnival event on April 20th. I was also told to go out of my way to watch Okabayashi’s match against Shuji Ishikawa from the opening night and Okabayashi’s match with Zeus from April 21st.

**Progress Wrestling is holding their Super Strong Style 16 tournament next weekend from Alexandra Palace in London. The 16-man tournament features several performers being sent by NXT with the following opening round matches revealed by the promotion:
*Chris Brookes vs. Ilja Dragunov
*Aerostar vs. Trevor Lee
*Travis Banks vs. DJ Z
*David Starr vs. Artemis Spencer
*Kyle O’Reilly vs. Chris Ridgeway
*Darby Allin (the lone AEW talent) vs. Paul Robinson
*Lucky Kid vs. Jordan Devlin
*Kyle Fletcher vs Daga

**Billy Corgan speaks with the Charlotte Observer about his background with professional wrestling, getting involved with the NWA, the changes to the industry, and Saturday’s Crockett Cup show in North Carolina.

**Friend of the site Brent Chittenden recently spoke with PCO for the True North Nerds podcast.

**Comedian Jonny Loquasto has joined NXT as an announcer. Loquasto had previously worked for Championship Wrestling from Hollywood.

**Ring of Honor has announced their Manhattan Mayhem card for Saturday, July 20th at the Hammerstein Ballroom and Mass Hysteria the following night in Lowell, Massachusetts at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium.

**Chris Van Vliet recently spoke to Tony Khan about All Elite Wrestling, the addition of Dustin Rhodes to Double or Nothing and developing their promotion:


**The UFC is in Sunrise, Florida on Saturday night with the main card streaming on ESPN+ and TSN 5 in Canada. Below is the full card and the weigh-in results:

MAIN CARD (9 pm Eastern on ESPN+, TSN 5)

*Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (185.5) vs. Jack Hermansson (185)
*Greg Hardy (264.5) vs. Dimitrii Smoliakov (262)
*Alex Oliveira (171) vs. Mike Perry (171)
*Glover Teixeira (205.5) vs. Ion Cutelaba (205)
*John Lineker (135) vs. Cory Sandhagen (135)
*Thomas Gifford (156) vs. Roosevelt Roberts (155)

PRELIMINARY CARD (7 pm Eastern on ESPN, TSN 5 in Canada)
*Takashi Sato (170.5) vs. Ben Saunders (170.5)
*Andrei Arlovski (247) vs. Augusto Sakai (264)
*Carla Esparza (115) vs. Virna Jandiroba (115.5)
*Mike Davis (155) vs. Gilbert Burns (156)

PRELIMINARY CARD (5:30 pm on ESPN2, Fight Pass)

*Jim Miller (155.5) vs. Jason Gonzalez (156)
*Jodie Esquibel (116) vs. Angela Hill (115.5)
*Court McGee (170.5) vs. Dhiego Lima (171)

**Bellator is back with a big show Saturday night from the SAP Center in San Jose, California airing on DAZN. Below is the main card lineup at 10 pm Eastern with results from Friday’s weigh-in:
*Rory MacDonald (169.8) vs. Jon Fitch (169.5) for the Bellator welterweight title in the opening round of the Welterweight Grand Prix – the title will be defended throughout the tournament. MacDonald returns to his natural weight class after being stopped by middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi last September. Fitch has won his last five fights and debuted for Bellator last year with a win over Paul Daley. Fitch is 41-years old now and could be his last opportunity to fight for a title. There is a backstory as Fitch lost to Georges St-Pierre at UFC 87 in August 2008.
*Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (124.8) vs. Veta Arteaga (123.8) for the women’s flyweight title – Macfarlane should be a big favorite in this fight and has breakout potential as a star. She is 9-0 and eight of those fights have been with Bellator. She’s coming off her biggest win in December when she submitted Valerie Letourneau.
*Phil Davis (205.6) vs. Liam McGeary (205.2) – This is a rematch from November 2016 when Davis defeated McGeary for the light heavyweight title by unanimous decision. Davis lost the light heavyweight title to Ryan Bader in June 2017. He last fought Vadim Nemkov and lost that fight by split decision. The big difference is the wrestling and whether McGeary can combat it.
*Benson Henderson (156) vs. Adam Piccolotti (155.5) – Henderson has had a rocky road in Bellator with a 3-3 record but has put two wins together in his last outings against Roger Huerta and Saad Awad. Piccolotti is a tough lightweight and is 7-2 with Bellator with recent wins over Carrington Banks and James Terry.
*Gaston Bolanos (145.5) vs. Nathan Stolen (145.6)

**ESPN’s Ariel Helwani has reported that bantamweights Sean O’Malley and Marlon Vera are set to fight at UFC 239 during International Fight Week in Las Vegas on Saturday, July 6th. O’Malley just completed a six-month suspension that was issued by USADA for traces of ostarine detected in his system and proven to be from a contaminated supplement. O’Malley earned a spot in the UFC after winning on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series in July 2017 and has defeated Terrion Ware and Andre Soukhamthath inside the promotion. Vera has been with the UFC since 2014 and is coming off wins over Wuliji Buren, Guido Cannetti, and Frankie Saenz.

Café Hangout: WWE Q1 Financials with guest Brandon Howard

John Pollock and Wai Ting welcome Brandon Howard Thurston (Wrestlenomics, Fightful) to break down WWE’s First Quarter 2019 Earnings report. We discuss the company’s net loss of $8.4 million for the quarter, plus whether “superstar absences” may have truly contributed to WWE’s live event and ratings decrease.
POST MOVIE REVIEW: Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

John Pollock & Wai Ting review the tenth Marvel Cinematic Universe film, Guardians of the Galaxy (2014). On the week of Endgame’s release, we discuss Marvel’s first deep dive into its cosmic side as we learn more about the Infinity Stones and the world of Thanos.
upNXT 4/25/19: Disputed Era

Braden Herrington and Davie Portman review this week’s edition of WWE NXT featuring Johnny Gargano vs. Roderick Strong (and the possible break-up of The Undisputed Era?), War Raiders vs. Street Profits for the NXT tag titles, Candice LeRae & Kacy Catanzaro in action, Kassius Ohno shows up… and more!
DOUBLE SHOT: The Killing of Bruiser Brody, BTE, Ten Pounds of Gold & more

John Pollock & Wai Ting review Dark Side of the Ring on ‘The Killing of Bruiser Brody’, Being the Elite, Ten Pounds of Gold, MLW Fusion, Road to Double or Nothing & more.
RASD 4/23/19: Turn Owens Turn, Starrcast removals, BOSJ lineup
John Pollock and Wai Ting review Tuesday’s episode of WWE SmackDown as Kofi Kingston took on Shinsuke Nakamura with a big angle closing the show to set up Kingston’s next program, Charlotte Flair took on Bayley in a #1 contender’s match, Roman Reigns was not fired for attacking Vince McMahon, and we played Memento with Finn Balor and Andrade going right back to where they started last week.
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.

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About John Pollock 5662 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.