POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: Impact Slammiversary preview

A preview of tonight's Slammiversary card, the fallout from UFC 239, a report that WWE has re-signed two performers, New Japan's next U.S. tour & more.

POST IT NOTES

**Tonight, on the site we will have an Impact Slammiversary POST Show with Nate Milton and I reviewing the card from Dallas, Texas and reading your feedback at the end of the show. This show will be available for everyone late tonight.

**Wai Ting and I kicked off our G1 Climax 2019 coverage with a 90-minute show Saturday night following the show from Dallas. You can download our free show and watch the YouTube version. Our subsequent G1 Climax shows will be available to members of the POST Wrestling Café with reviews of each tournament show.

**We also have two new editions of Cruel Summer our. The first show features host WH Park joined by Wai Ting to review the Keiji Mutoh vs. Yuji Nagata final from the 2001 G1 Climax and a fantastic story on the Finger Poke of Doom bringing Wai back into wrestling. On the second show, WH is joined by Dylan Fox of the Eastern Lariat podcast to review the 2002 final between Masahiro Chono and Yoshihiro Takayama. This match took place less than two-months after Takayama’s legendary fight with Don Frye in PRIDE and Takayama’s stock soared after that fight.

WRESTLING NEWS

**Impact Wrestling will hold their Slammiversary pay-per-view event tonight from Gilley’s in Dallas, Texas. Last year, it was the promotion’s best card of the year and as always, Impact has a strong lineup of matches. The venue is not a sizable one and should be full to enhance the environment. The company is at a standstill with the product less visible than at any point. The hope of gaining better television exposure seems the top priority and are awaiting a deal to be completed with AXS TV. If they get onto AXS, it’s a giant improvement from the Pursuit Channel, which has been a disaster for the company. Here is the full lineup of matches with the pay-per-view starting at 8 pm Eastern:
*Brian Cage vs. Michael Elgin for the Impact title – This is a big match they have been building since Elgin’s debut at the last pay-per-view where Cage was injured. Cage has wrestled but this is his first major match where people will expect 18-20 minutes and it will be a high pace. On paper, this looks great, but it will be dependent on Cage’s health and how that affects the match structure.
*Rich Swann vs. Johnny Impact for the X Division title – Johnny Impact is a significantly better heel and his new persona is closer to the Johnny Mundo version from Lucha Underground, which was his most effective. Willie Mack and John E. Bravo will probably be involved in some fashion. This should be another strong match.
*The North vs. LAX vs. Dez & Wentz for the Impact tag titles – They had the tag title switch on Friday’s Impact Plus show, which was a smart move to push the streaming platform and those shows having newsworthy events take place. The North is a great team and they should retain the titles and have a long run together as they have great chemistry and are a nice contrast to each other. The handling of LAX on this show and the upcoming tapings will be interesting given their contracts up this summer and how confident Impact is that they will re-sign. There is no doubt Impact deserves a lot of credit for promoting LAX into one of the best teams in the world and now they are going to be coveted.
*Taya Valkyrie vs. Rosemary vs. Su Yung vs. Jessicka Havok in a Monster’s Ball match for the Knockout’s title – It’s a match that Impact has established as their most violent match and we’ll see how far they go. I’m expecting it to be a violent match with blood and weapons. There is a strong possibility that this could be one of the more talked about matches and how the audience reacts to seeing women doing the ultra-violent spots, which is nothing new in wrestling but to some audiences they’ve probably never seen it.
*Tessa Blanchard vs. Sami Callihan – This has been promoted very effectively and should be one of the best matches of the night. Callihan has said he hopes to have the best intergender match, ever. Blanchard is fantastic and I think this feud has clicked very well and both have been excellent in their respective roles. Ultimately, Blanchard should win this match and goes a step further in establishing Blanchard as the top star of the company, regardless of gender, which is what she feels like when you watch the show each week.
*Rob Van Dam vs. Moose – Moose has been feuding with the former ECW stars and sets up this match with Van Dam to defend his friends. With Van Dam doing more and more with Impact, I think he wins this match. Van Dam has gotten in great shape and this could be a sleeper match on the show.
*Killer Kross vs. Eddie Edwards – The program has been building towards Edwards getting a big win. The focus of Kross has been more so his status with the company than the on-screen portrayal. Kross is a star and one of the best promos in the industry.
*TJP’s X Division Open Challenge

**The Raw crew has a show in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania tonight with Seth Rollins vs. Baron Corbin in a Street Fight for the Universal title, Becky Lynch vs. Lacey Evans for the Raw women’s title, and Ricochet vs. AJ Styles vs. Cesaro for the United States title advertised. The SmackDown crew is in Binghamton, New York with Kofi Kingston, Dolph Ziggler, Randy Orton, Charlotte Flair, and Finn Balor advertised. Raw takes place Monday from the Prudential Center and the SmackDown & 205 Live tapings are Tuesday in Manchester, New Hampshire.

**On Saturday’s broadcast, New Japan announced three dates for September for their Fighting Spirit Unleashed tour. They will be running the Lowell Memorial Auditorium on Friday, September 27th, the Hammerstein Ballroom on September 28th, and the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia on September 29th. Mike Johnson reported that these shows will not involve Ring of Honor with Johnson adding that ROH is running cards in Las Vegas that weekend. It very well could be logistical but it will obviously lead to speculation regarding the two promotions not being able to find a weekend to work together in the United States and New Japan doing more standalone cards in the U.S.

**Dave Meltzer reported on Wrestling Observer Radio that Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows have signed new deals with WWE.

**I wanted to send my condolences to the family of Shannon Rose, who was part of the Florida wrestling scene for decades in many capacities. Rose passed away on Friday and lived his life dealing with MS. I first heard from Rose around 1999 or 2000 and I seem to recall interviewing him around that time. In subsequent years, Rose would always be sending in results and news from the Florida scene with promotions and talent he was involved with through his own public relations firm. I didn’t know him well or anything like that, but it was a familiar name to see in your inbox if you’ve been reporting on wrestling news.

**Jon Moxley made an unadvertised appearance at the Future Stars of Wrestling event in Las Vegas on Friday night. Moxley ran out and had an impromptu match with Killer Kross that went to a no contest. The two attacked the security members after the match ended.

**Jacob Fatu won the MLW championship from Tom Lawlor in the main event of their Kings of Colosseum card Saturday night. The live broadcast on beIN Sports ended with Fatu hitting a Samoan drop and double springboard moonsault from the top turnbuckle and Fatu pinned Lawlor.

**WWE is advertising an appearance by Rey Mysterio for Monday’s episode of Raw in Newark, New Jersey. They have also announced the following matches for Tuesday’s episode of SmackDown from Manchester, New Hampshire:
*Finn Balor vs. Shinsuke Nakamura in a non-title match
*Kevin Owens vs. Dolph Ziggler

**Mick Moretti is the fifth entrant into PWG’s Battle of Los Angeles tournament joining A-Kid, Darby Allin, Jonathan Gresham, and Artemis Spencer. The tournament begins on Thursday, September 19th from The Globe Theatre in Los Angeles.

PAY-PER-VIEW REWIND
Impact Wrestling Slammiversary
Sunday, July 22nd, 2018
Toronto, Ontario at the Rebel Complex
*Johnny Impact over Rey Fenix, Petey Williams and Taiji Ishimori
*Tessa Blanchard over Allie
*Eddie Edwards over Tommy Dreamer
*Brian Cage over Matt Sydal to win the X Division title
*Su Yung over Madison Rayne to retain the Knockout’s title
*Santana & Ortiz over Hernandez & Homicide in a 5150 Street Fight to retain the Impact tag titles
*Pentagon Jr. over Sami Callihan in a Mask vs. Hair match
*Austin Aries over Moose to retain the Impact title

**Impact has released a short feature on Tessa Blanchard and training under George South:

MMA NEWS

**The UFC 239 pay-per-view was a very good card and featured a competitive and closely fought main event between Jon Jones and Thiago Santos. Jones won by split decision and was the first split decision of his career with judge Junichiro Kamijo scoring the fight 48-47 for the challenger. In watching the fight, I had it 48-47 for Jones but it was super close. I had Jones winning Rounds 2-4 and Santos taking the first and fifth. The fifth round was close as well with Santos landing the strongest strikes of the round, but Jones landed more. Regarding significant strikes landed round-by-round it was 11-7 for Santos in Round 1, 11-7 for Jones in Round 2, 14-6 for Jones in Round 3, 11-8 for Jones in Round 4, and 16-11 for Jones in the final round.

**UFC president Dana White said he felt Jones won the fight easily and was stunned it was a split decision nor was he high on the idea of a rematch. I would say the fight was very close despite White’s proclamation but regardless, Santos enhanced his name significantly by fighting on one leg for most of the fight and taking the best fighter in the world to the limit. It was not a dynamic performance from Jones, who did enough to win the middle rounds but when they went to read the scores, I didn’t know which way it was going to go. Jones had previously stated he wants to fight again this year and the question is who that challenger is. The big one is Daniel Cormier if he beats Stipe Miocic and wants another fight before retirement. The most deserving is Blachowicz, who has won five of his last six fights and the lone loss was to Santos. Chris Weidman is moving up from middleweight but after seeing Luke Rockhold on Saturday, you’d want Weidman to get at least one fight under his belt at light heavyweight before fighting someone the level of Jones. I would definitely hold off on Johnny Walker, who could be someone very special and be a bigger fight for Jones once Walker has had two or three more fights.

**The UFC 239 card drew 18,358 and had a live gate of $6,063.707.11, which would be the ninth highest MMA gate in the history of Nevada. There was no Fight of the Night bonus and they gave four Performance of the Night bonuses to Amanda Nunes, Jorge Masvidal, Jan Blachowicz, and Yadong Song for $50,000 each.

**Luke Rockhold suffered a broken jaw in the fight with Jan Blachowicz. It was his third knockout in his last four fights after previous losses to Michael Bisping and Yoel Romero. Obviously, the gamble of moving up in weight came with the risk of fighting bigger power hitters and Blachowicz checked off those boxes. I liked the move up for Rockhold, but the propensity of knockouts was placed into focus with his latest. White spoke at the press conference urging Rockhold to ‘hang them up’ and citing his successful career as a model that he doesn’t need to fight.

**The UFC returns next Saturday with an ESPN+ show from the Golden1 Center in Sacramento, California. For whatever reason, Germaine de Randamie and Aspen Ladd are in the main event with the real story involving Urijah Faber coming out of retirement in his hometown to fight Ricky Simon. Faber just turned 40 and he’s fighting an unknown in Simon, who is very good and won his last eight fights, including a decision over Rani Yahya in his last outing. It’s interesting that former flyweight champion Nicco Montano finds herself on the prelims and will be facing Julianna Pena, who hasn’t fought since January 2017 after having a baby. Pena was the real deal, and had she defeated Valentina Shevchenko in her last fight she likely would have fought Amanda Nunes that year.

**On the UFC broadcast, they announced dates for the rest of 2019 including their return to Madison Square Garden. The promotion will stage its UFC 244 pay-per-view from The Garden on Saturday, November 2nd and their year-end pay-per-view will be UFC 245 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on December 14th. The other notable dates include a Fight Night in Singapore on October 26th, a card in Moscow on November 9th, Sao Paulo on November 16th, and a card in South Korea on December 21st.

**Bellator returns on Friday with Bellator 224 from Thackerville, Oklahoma with one of their two summer cards. In the main event, Julia Budd will be defending the women’s featherweight title against Olga Rubin along with the main card consisting of Rafael Carvalho facing Chidi Njokuani, Kristina Williams taking on Juliana Velasquez, and Ed Ruth facing Kiichi Kunimoto. Leslie Smith will make her Bellator debut on the preliminary card against Sinead Kavanagh in a featherweight fight.

*****
CRUEL SUMMER: Masahiro Chono vs. Yoshihiro Takayama (2002)

WH Park welcomes back the Eastern Lariat’s, Dylan Fox to discuss the finals of NJPW’s 12th G1 Climax tournament: Masahiro Chono vs. Yoshihiro Takayama from August 11, 2002.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/07/07/cruel-summer-12-masahiro-chono-vs-yoshihiro-takayama-2002-w-dylan-fox/
*****
G1 CLIMAX 29 POST SHOW: Opening Night

John Pollock & Wai Ting review every tournament match from the G1 Climax 29. Day 1 (July 6) is headlined by Kazuchika Okada vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi and KENTA vs. Kota Ibushi.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/07/07/g1-climax-29-post-show-opening-night-okada-vs-tanahashi-free-preview/
*****
CRUEL SUMMER: Keiji Mutoh vs. Yuji Nagata (2001)

WH Park is joined by the other mastermind of POST Wrestling, Wai Ting to discuss the finals of NJPW’s 11th annual G1 Climax tournament: Keiji Mutoh vs. Yuji Nagata from August 12, 2001.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/07/06/cruel-summer-11-keiji-mutoh-vs-yuji-nagata-2001-w-wai-ting/
*****
CAFÉ HANGOUT – July 4, 2019
It’s the season finale of Viceland’s The Wrestlers and host Damian Abraham joins John Pollock and Wai Ting in-person for the entire show. We chat the series as a whole and the final two episodes dealing with Witch Catch wrestling in the Congo and Exóticos battling homophobia in Mexico, plus your calls!
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/07/05/vicelands-the-wrestlers-finale-damian-abraham-in-studio-cafe-hangout/
*****
ASK-A-WAI: Ask Us Anything! (July 2019)

John Pollock and Wai Ting answer their patrons’ questions from the POST Wrestling Forum in the July 2019 edition of Ask-A-Wai.
https://www.patreon.com/posts/28141374
*****
upNXT 7/4/19: “Anybody Can get Lucky, Once”

The BDE chat all about the July 3rd Edition of WWE NXT including Tyler Breeze vs. Roderick Strong, Isaiah “Swerve” Scott vs. Cameron Grimes from the NXT Breakout Tournament, and Adam Cole’s championship tour in Cleveland.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/07/04/upnxt-7-4-19-anybody-can-get-lucky-once/
*****
POST Interview: Cody Saftic 

Cody Saftic returns to the POST Office to chat with John Pollock about UFC 239, Jones vs. Santos, Nunes vs. Holm, the UFC Hall of Fame, the changing media landscape & more.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/07/04/post-interview-cody-saftic-on-ufc-239-hall-of-fame-media-landscape/
*****
NJPW G1 Climax 29 Primer

Join John Pollock, Wai Ting and WH Park as they preview pro wrestling’s biggest tournament of the year in their NJPW G1 Climax 29 Primer.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/07/04/njpw-g1-climax-29-primer/
******
RASD 7/2/19: Knock Knock Who’s There?

John Pollock and Wai Ting review Tuesday’s WWE SmackDown featuring a must-see promo exchange between Kofi Kingston and Samoa Joe.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/07/03/rasd-7-2-19-knock-knock-whos-there/
*****

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About John Pollock 1207 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.