POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: SmackDown drops 2% against All-Star Game

SmackDown Live had a slight decrease against the All-Star Game, Jun Akiyama stepping down as president, 205 Live review, Chad Mendes retires, the anniversary of UFC 100 & more.

WRESTLING NEWS

**Tuesday’s episode of SmackDown Live saw a 2% drop going against the Major League Baseball All-Star Game on Fox. Tuesday’s episode averaged 1,853,000 viewers featuring Roman Reigns vs. Dolph Ziggler in the main event leading into Extreme Rules. The All-Star Game saw 8,140,000 viewers tune in on average for the Fox broadcast. It was SmackDown’s lowest viewership since May 14th.

Last year’s All-Star Game took place on July 17, 2018, and compared with last year’s numbers the All-Star Game was down 2.4% and SmackDown was down 19% from the episode against last year’s game.

**WWE will release its second-quarter earnings report on Thursday, July 25th, which includes this year’s WrestleMania.

**Jun Akiyama is stepping down as president of All Japan Pro Wrestling with Takeshi Fukuda assuming the role while Akiyama will have the title of General Manager. The transition is set to take place later this year with Akiyama stepping down on October 10th. The 49-year old Akiyama began his career with All Japan and came up in the system, debuting in 1992 and leaving with most of the talent in 2000 to help start Pro Wrestling NOAH. In 2013, he returned alongside the Burning stablemates and has been serving as All Japan’s president since July 2014.

**Kento Miyahara will defend the Triple Crown title against Zeus on July 28th in Osaka. Miyahara has had a phenomenal year of title defenses most recently defending it against Yoshitatsu that received excellent reviews. I would imagine most people have Will Ospreay as the frontrunner for Wrestler of the Year and Miyahara should be second. Ospreay is going to have a phenomenal summer with the G1 and feels like it’s his award to lose at this point.

**AEW has announced a match between Sonny Kiss and Peter Avalon for this Saturday’s ‘Buy-In’ pre-show prior to Fight for the Fallen. They have also added matches with Bea Priestly and Dr. Britt Baker, although they have not named opponents for either one. The pre-show will stream live on AEW’s YouTube channel at 7:30 on Eastern and the main show airs at 8:15 pm on B/R Live and Fite.tv.

**The three-way match between Kiera Hogan, Jordynne Grace, and Madison Rayne that was taped prior to Slammiversary is set to air on Impact Wrestling Friday night. The promotion is also holding a card this Friday night in Mississauga, Ontario at the Don Kolov Arena featuring a ‘Mash Up’ tournament that is like Lethal Lottery with unlikely partners with Sami Callihan & Tessa Blanchard the first team announced.

**The next Impact television tapings are July 19th and 20th in Windsor, Ontario at St. Clair College.

**A rematch between Jacob Fatu and Tom Lawlor for the MLW title will headline the promotion’s Never Say Never card on Thursday, July 25th at the Melrose Ballroom in New York City. Fatu won the title from Lawlor this past Saturday at Cicero Stadium in Chicago at their Kings of Colosseum card that aired on beIN Sports. The card will also feature L.A. Park taking on Jimmy Havoc, Davey Boy Smith Jr. vs. Timothy Thatcher, and Rey Horus vs. Bestia 666.

**Bandido and Caveman Ugg are the latest announcements for PWG’s Battle of Los Angeles tournament in September. The join A-Kid, Darby Allin, Orange Cassidy, Artemis Spencer, Mick Moretti, and Jonathan Gresham.

**Greg Oliver and Steven Johnson are releasing the next book in their Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame series with this one focusing on ‘The Storytellers’. ECW Press is releasing the book on August 6th and features Kenny Omega and Chris Jericho on the cover.

TELEVISION REVIEW

205 Live (July 9, 2019)

RESULTS: Brian Kendrick over Sunil Singh, Jack Gallagher over Devin Justice, Oney Lorcan over Ariya Daivari in an ‘Anything Goes’ match

-This was a stronger episode than usual with an outstanding main event between Oney Lorcan and Ariya Daivari. The two had an ‘Anything Goes’ match and got over 20 minutes with Lorcan winning after a superplex onto a table. Daivari was disputing which one’s shoulders were down on Twitter afterward, so they may play off the controversy and extend the feud. It was a great match and I’m sure Drew Gulak and Tony Nese will not have any of the allowances these two had with tons of weapons and getting so much time for their match on Sunday.
-The show ended with a great feature promoting the Gulak vs. Nese match and documenting their friendship and history, the turning point for Gulak after his loss to Nese in the #1 contender’s tournament this past March and Gulak winning the title without pinning Nese, who was the champion. I liked this a lot.
-The toughest issue the show is dealing with involves Drake Maverick and Mike Kanellis. It’s clear they are building something up between them, but they’re forced into a corner where they are playing different versions of their characters on Raw and 205 Live. On this show, Maverick doesn’t do any comedy and he’s the respectable and credible babyface General Manager. Kanellis is angry that Maverick is spending his time on Raw and his priorities should be on 205 Live, but now his character does the same thing. The dynamic is like Jim Cornette and Kevin Steen in Ring of Honor, although the audience isn’t behind Kanellis to the degree they were the anti-hero Steen in 2012. To their credit, they try and make sense of it on the show with Maverick noting to Kanellis that he understands the issues he’s having with Maria and this business is wreaking havoc on his marriage, too.

MMA NEWS

**The PFL continues their season with a card from the Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey tonight. The preliminary card begins at 5:30 pm Eastern on ESPN+ and the main card airs at 8:30 pm on ESPN 2. Below are the fights:

MAIN CARD (8:30 pm Eastern on ESPN2)
*Magomed Magomedkerimov vs. Chris Curtis
*Morgan Frier vs. Kayla Harrison
*John Howard vs. Ray Cooper III
*Joao Zeferino vs. Bojan Velickovic

PRELIMINARY CARD (5:30 pm on ESPN+)
*Sadiboy Sy vs. Glaico Franca
*David Michaud vs. Handesson Ferreira
*Bobbi Jo Dalziel vs. Larissa Pacheco
*Genah Fabian vs. Moriel Charneski

**Bellator has announced a return to the SAP Center in San Jose, California with Bellator 226. The card will be headlined by Ryan Bader defending the heavyweight title against Cheick Kongo. Kongo has won his last eight fights and certainly deserves the shot especially since being snubbed from the Heavyweight Grand Prix. Bader hasn’t fought since January when he stopped Fedor Emelianenko and is also the promotion’s light heavyweight champion. The card will feature the start of the Featherweight Grand Prix although no fights have been announced for the San Jose show. ESPN reported on Wednesday that featherweight champion Patricio ‘Pitbull’ Freire will defend the title against Juan Archuleta in the opening round of the tournament on September 28th in Inglewood, California. This show lands on the same day as UFC 242 from Abu Dhabi featuring Khabib Nurmagomedov defending the lightweight title against Dustin Poirier.

**This past week, Chad Mendes announced to ESPN that he was retiring from mixed martial arts at the age of 34. Mendes was a two-time All-American for Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, California and placed second at the NCAA championships in 2008 competing at 141 pounds. After his collegiate career, he was recruited and linked up with Team Alpha Male and has his first pro fight in September 2008. After five fights, he was signed by the WEC where he defeated Erik Koch and Cub Swanson less than two years into his career. He was 9-0 when the UFC absorbed the lower weights classes within WEC, and he was brought in.

Mendes earned victories over Michihiro Omigawa and Rani Yahya before receiving a featherweight title fight against Jose Aldo in January 2012 where he was knocked out with one second remaining in the opening round. The fight was incredibly heated with Aldo defending the title in Rio de Janeiro and Aldo’s celebration after the win was a memorable one. Mendes came back and won his next five fights, including victories over Darren Elkins, Clay Guida, and Nik Lentz (Elkins and Guida now train at Team Alpha Male) and received a rematch with Aldo in October 2014. In the rematch, they went five rounds in a fantastic fight that Aldo won.

His biggest fight occurred in July 2015 after Aldo suffered an injury and was pulled from his title defense against Conor McGregor at UFC 189. With less than two weeks to prepare, Mendes was not in fighting shape but accepted the fight with McGregor. Mendes won the first round but got tired and was finished in the second round. It was a big fight for McGregor, because of the questions regarding his ability to deal with a top wrestler. Later that year, Mendes was knocked out by Frankie Edgar and then faced a USADA suspension that took him out for two-years.

Mendes tested positive for GHRP-6, which is a growth-hormone-releasing hexapeptide that Mendes stated was found in his psoriasis medication and didn’t realize the banned substance was contained in the medication. He returned in July 2018 to defeat Myles Jury and last fought in December where he was defeated by Alexander Volkanovski.

**The UFC returns to Sacramento this weekend with an ESPN+ card at the Golden 1 Center. The card is headlined by Germaine de Randamie taking on Aspen Ladd, but it seems the biggest story is Urijah Faber, who is coming back at the age of 40 to fight Ricky Simon. Faber retired in December 2016 after defeated Brad Pickett in Sacramento and he’s fighting a legitimate prospect in Simon, who has won his last eight fights. In the main event, Ladd is 8-0 and holds wins over Lina Lansberg, Tonya Evinger, and Sijara Eubanks in the UFC. This is Ladd’s toughest fight to date and a win will inch her closer to a title shot at 135 pounds, although Nunes is angling for another fight with Cris Cyborg at featherweight for the championship. That fight will be contingent on Cyborg defeating Felicia Spencer later this month in Edmonton at UFC 240.

The weigh-ins take place Friday morning and below is the complete card for Saturday’s show in Sacramento:

MAIN CARD (8 pm Eastern on ESPN+)
*Germaine de Randamie vs. Aspen Ladd
*Urijah Faber vs. Ricky Simon
*Josh Emmett vs. Mirsad Bektic
*Karl Roberson vs. Wellington Turman
*Marvin Vettori vs. Cezar Ferreira

PRELIMINARY CARD (5 pm on ESPN+)
*John Allan vs. Mike Rodriguez
*Sheymon Moraes vs. Andre Fili
*Nicco Montano vs. Julianna Pena
*Ryan Hall vs. Darren Elkins
*Liu Pingyuan vs. Jonathan Martinez
*Livinha Souza vs. Brianna VanBuren
*Vince Morales vs. Benito Lopez

**Combate Americas will hold a card from the Save Mart Center in Fresno, California on August 2nd that will air on Univision, UDN, and DAZN. The card is headlined by a women’s flyweight fight between Zoila Frausto and Reina Cordoba along with a bantamweight between Isaiah Batin-Gonzalez and Jesse Strader and a welterweight fight with Joaquin Lopez taking on J.C. Llamas. DAZN will air the card live with English commentary at 10 pm Eastern and there will be a Spanish broadcast at Midnight for both Univision and UDN viewers.

**One of the most successful cards in UFC history took place on this date ten years ago with UFC 100. The show was headlined by the rematch between Brock Lesnar and Frank Mir to unify the heavyweight titles. After Randy Couture’s year away from UFC where he wasn’t stripped of the title, they created an interim version and it was eventually won by Mir in December 2008 from Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. During that time, Couture and UFC made amends and the champion returned the month prior and lost the actual title to Lesnar at UFC 91 in November. This set up the biggest rematch possible following Mir’s submission of Lesnar in February 2008. The fight was set for UFC 98 in May but an injury to Mir delayed it to July and made UFC 100 even bigger as it already had Georges St-Pierre defending the welterweight title against Thiago Alves and the big grudge fight between Dan Henderson and Michael Bisping. Lesnar won the rematch and up to that point in their history, shattered their record for pay-per-view buys and took the promotion to another level. Lesnar was at his drawing peak but would miss a year of action primarily due to Diverticulitis.

*****
BWE 7/10/19: Progress Ch. 90 & 92, EVE Wrestle Queendom 2, Riptide Wrestling

Martin and Jamesie are back with Benno to talk Pro Wrestling EVE Wrestle Queendom 2 (Kay Lee Ray vs. Viper), Riptide Wrestling Point Break (PAC vs. Cara Noir) and Zack Sabre Jr. & Will Ospreay in this years NJPW G1 Climax.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/07/10/bwe-7-10-19-progress-ch-90-92-eve-wrestle-queendom-2-riptide-wrestling-rev-pro-ungovernable/
*****
RASD 7/9/19: Au-Steen vs. McMahon, Extreme Rules Preview

John Pollock and Wai Ting review Tuesday’s WWE SmackDown featuring Roman Reigns vs. Dolph Ziggler in the main event heading into Extreme Rules.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/07/10/rasd-7-9-19-au-steen-vs-mcmahon-extreme-rules-preview/
*****
RAR 7/8/19: Cedric the Sports Entertainer
John Pollock and Wai Ting review Monday’s Extreme Rules go-home edition of WWE Raw featuring the main event where Roman Reigns teamed with a masked janitor against Shane McMahon & Drew McIntyre.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/07/09/rar-7-8-19-cedric-the-sports-entertainer/
*****
IMPACT SLAMMIVERSARY 2019 POST SHOW

John Pollock is joined by Nate Milton to review the Slammiversary card from Dallas, the Intergender main event, the state of Impact Wrestling & more.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2019/07/08/impact-slammiversary-2019-post-show/
*****
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/
*****

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About John Pollock 1000 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.