POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: Fox releases SmackDown spot & new logo

Fox has released a new commercial for SmackDown featuring the show's logo, a big look at this weekend's shows, Jim Ross discusses WWE's move to Fox, interview with the head of Fite TV, editor working on WWE projects & more.


**A new edition of Rewind-A-Wai is out today with Wai Ting and I reviewing the Mark Hitchcock Memorial Supershow from this past April over WrestleMania weekend. On the show, we go over who Mark Hitchcock and his tragic passing a year ago, plus additional notes on some of the behind-the-scenes issues surrounding the show. It’s headlined by Will Ospreay and Bandido, which was one of the best matches that weekend and also featured Jushin Thunder Liger teaming with X-Pac and Shane Helms, Masato Tanaka vs. Eddie Kingston, Dragon Lee vs. Barbaro Cavernario & lots more. This was selected by Espresso Executive Producer Philip Claycomb, who joined to us to discuss his live reaction to the show and he goes through the Trivia Gauntlet. This show is available to members of the POST Wrestling Café.

**We also have the Café Hangout available with Wai Ting and I previewed the upcoming weekend, including a rundown all the matches at All Out on Saturday night. Jamesie from the British Wrestling Experience joined us to discuss the NJPW Royal Quest and NXT UK TakeOver cards on Saturday, the health of the market, AEW’s potential when they go to the U.K., and tons more. It was a great discussion with Jamesie with lots of insight regarding the U.K. scene.

**Andrew Thompson is a new contributor that will be writing on the site. In his first piece, he spoke with Mike Weber from Fite TV about this weekend’s streaming schedule with AEW, New Japan, and a Game Changer Wrestling show. The outlet has also announced a deal with Impact Wrestling to carry Impact Plus and it’s all discussed in Andrew’s interview on the site.

**Brandon Sears has a great review of the upcoming book by Dylan Postl a.k.a. Hornswoggle. The book will be released by ECW Press in a few weeks and is titled “Life is Short and So Am I”. In the review, Sears recaps Postl’s explanation of a Wellness Policy violation he had in September 2015 and clarifies what exactly happened.

**This weekend, we will have written reports on the site covering the NJPW Royal Quest, NXT UK TakeOver, AEW All Out, and UFC cards. Plus, podcasts reviewing all the major shows.

**Next week on the Double Shot, Wai Ting and I will have several reviews of the panel shows at Starrcast, as well as reviews of Episodes 5 & 6 of the current season of GLOW.


*Saturday: Cruel Summer with WH Park & Joel Abraham (Tetsuya Naito vs. Kenny Omega, 2017 final)
*Saturday: AEW All Out POST Show with John Pollock & Wai Ting (LIVE for Double Double+ Patrons)
*Sunday: Cruel Summer with WH Park & John Pollock (Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kota Ibushi, 2018 final)
*Sunday: BWE POST Show on Royal Quest & NXT UK TakeOver with Martin Bushby, Jamesie & Benno


**A commercial was released on Friday promoting WWE’s move to Fox in October. The spot was tweeted out by Steve Austin, who is featured in the spot along with past and present talent with others mimicking their favorite performers’ mannerisms. The campaign is called “We’re all Superstars” and featured the unveiling of a new logo for the program.

**TNT is airing a Countdown to All Out special tonight at 10 pm Eastern.

**This is a huge weekend with All Elite Wrestling presenting their second pay-per-view with All Out from the Sears Center in Hoffman Estates, Illinois in conjunction with Starrcast III that kicked off Thursday with several panel discussions. Today’s lineup at Starrcast features the following shows that will stream on Fite TV:
*11 am – Dean Malenko
*1 pm – The Women of AEW with Brandi Rhodes, Allie, Dr. Britt Baker, Nyla Rose, and Sadie Gibbs
*3 pm – The Art of Wrestling with Colt Cabana
*5 pm – Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous with MJF and guest Marko Stunt
*7 pm – Turner Memories with Jim Ross & Tony Schiavone
*8:30 pm – Wrestling with Stereotypes II with hosts Andreas Hale & Kel Dansby with a panel that includes Scorpio Sky, Ron Funches, MegaRan, Darren Young (Fred Rosser), Private Party, Sonny Kiss, Nyla Rose, Big Swole, and Alexis Littlefoot
*11 pm – Cock of the Talk with Joey Ryan

**The big event at Starrcast is the sit-down interview with CM Punk on Saturday at 1 pm ET. The interview will be conducted by Mike Johnson at PWinsider.com. Earlier this week, Starrcast released a teaser with Punk inside a wrestling ring at the Pro Wrestling Tees headquarters. It featured a series of outtakes promoting his interview on that he will have a live microphone. Several pay-per-view outlets are carrying the Punk show, including Telus in Canada.

**While AEW is the biggest show of the weekend, a lot of eyes will be on the U.K. head-to-head shows earlier in the day as New Japan Pro Wrestling presents Royal Quest while NXT UK TakeOver takes place from Cardiff, Wales. Both shows are expected to be well attended with New Japan at the Copper Box Arena that seats about 7,000 and NXT UK at the Motorpoint Arena, which should have about 3,500 in attendance. In terms of a live event test, both sides are going to do well and it’s only an argument of scale that New Japan ran a bigger building and on paper, does have the stronger card.

On a worldwide basis, I do believe New Japan is hurt by not running on New Japan World. It is a lot of ask of their consumer base to spend $24.95 when there is another show going on at the same time with NXT UK and you would assume most have access to the WWE Network. While I don’t see it playing a giant effect, the CM Punk interview at Starrcast is also taking place during these shows with a 1 pm Eastern start time and he’s the most buzzworthy figure attached to the convention.

To tie all these events together, the fact that over 10,000 fans are going to wrestling on one day in Europe only affirms that AEW stands to make a killing when they run a big show in a market like London. We discussed this on the Café Hangout with Jamesie, who believes they can do 10,000 fans. I feel if they built up to a major pay-per-view and coupled it with Starrcast, they could do even better.

**Revolution Pro presents Summer Sizzler today at York Hall with one match have implications on Royal Quest. The show will be available on their streaming service next week. Below is the card:
*David Starr vs. Will Ospreay – Career vs. Control of Rev Pro
*Zack Sabre Jr. & Minoru Suzuki vs. Kazuchika Okada & Hiroshi Tanahashi – it’s a rematch from the G1 final, which was an excellent tag ending with Suzuki pinning Okada to set up the Royal Quest title match. This is a prelude to the singles matches at Copper Box on Saturday.
*El Phantasmo vs. Michael Oku for the British Cruiserweight title
*Kyle Fletcher & Mark Davis vs. Josh Bodom & Sha Samuels in the finals of the Road to Royal Quest tournament – the winners will challenge the Guerrillas of Destiny for the IWGP tag titles on Saturday
*Chris Brookes & Jonathan Gresham vs. Dan Moloney & MK McKinnan
*TK Cooper vs. Rob Lias
*Gabriel Kidd vs. Shaun Jackson

**New Japan Pro Wrestling presents Royal Quest on Saturday at 12:30 pm Eastern exclusively on Fite TV. The show will be added to New Japan World sometime in September, although no date has been confirmed. It’s a big show for the company as evidenced by the card they are bringing to London, which is bigger than I expected. This has the potential to be the show of the weekend, but I wonder what the visibility will be relative to a regular big show that is available on New Japan World. If this were on the streaming service, I think it would have hurt live viewing of the NXT UK show a lot. It will be interesting if this show does above average buys and if that alters their strategy for big shows. Here is the full card:

*Kazuchika Okada vs. Minoru Suzuki for the IWGP heavyweight title – In past singles matches, Okada is 4-1-2 against Suzuki with Suzuki’s only win coming in February 2013. I don’t think anyone sees a title change occurring, but it does feel like a big match for Suzuki, who may not have many main event opportunities like this. The two have had some classics in the past and the set up for this title match was great. The concept was Suzuki was left out of the G1, was overlooked and while everyone killed themselves in the tournament for a shot at the title, he pinned Okada on the final day and leapfrogged his way to become the top contender. I expect this one to go past thirty minutes, which can be risky with some main events but in front of this crowd and with these two, it should be electric and should be a phenomenal match.

*Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi for the British heavyweight title – They are 3-3 in past singles matches and this will be their fourth match of 2019. Tanahashi defeated Sabre Jr. in the New Japan Cup, then lost at the G1 Supercard when he challenged for the British heavyweight title, and then Tanahashi beat him in this year’s G1. It feels like the end of their program and Zack getting a big win in England to retain the heavyweight title would be a big moment for the crowd and continues Tanahashi’s story of being at a crossroads in his career following the disappointing G1. Tanahashi should get a big win to combat the decline, but it needs to be later and built towards. This can’t help but be great.

*Tomohiro Ishii vs. KENTA for the NEVER Openweight title – This was a surprising addition to a card that already had two big singles matches. KENTA is red hot after the turn on Ishii and attacking Katsuyori Shibata. I can’t see him losing in his first major match after the turn and expect him to win the title. The title is secondary to beating Ishii because, at this stage, KENTA does more for the title than vice versa. But, the title does have a history with Shibata and it can be used properly. KENTA had a good G1, but Ishii was many people’s pick for top performer of the summer. I look forward to seeing KENTA work as the heel and the dynamic with Ishii should be a strong one to enhance the match.

The rest of the card features the following:
*Guerrillas of Destiny vs. Aussie Open OR Sha Samuels & Josh Bodom for the IWGP tag titles
*Tetsuya Naito & Sanada vs. Jay White & Chase Owens
*El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori vs. Will Ospreay & Robbie Eagles
*Kota Ibushi & Juice Robinson vs. Yujiro & Hikuleo
*Roppongi 3K & Rocky Romero vs. Ryusuke Taguchi, Ren Narita & Shota Umino

**NXT UK TakeOver: Cardiff starts at 2 pm Eastern on Saturday from the Motorpoint Arena in Wales and airing on the WWE Network with the following line up:
*WALTER vs. Tyler Bate for the United Kingdom championship
*Toni Storm vs. Kay Lee Ray for the NXT UK women’s title
*Zack Gibson & James Drake vs. Mark Coffey & Wolfgang vs. Flash Morgan Webster & Mark Andrews for the NXT UK tag titles
*Joe Coffey vs. Dave Mastiff in a Last Man Standing match
*Noam Dar vs. Travis Banks

Cesaro will be part of the show in some fashion, whether it be an angle or wrestling. I thought it was a smart hook for the show to add Cesaro and if he’s doing a match, I think it would be valuable to announce it ahead of time.

**Jim Ross shared some notes on his Grilling JR podcast this week regarding WWE moving to Fox. When discussing the FS 1 studio show that WWE will have, Ross, said he was offered a role to be part of the weekly studio show. He was extended the offer from a top executive, but Ross was committed to AEW and could not accept it. Ross added that he expects Fox to have a greater say in SmackDown’s presentation and sound of the show than any partner WWE has had. In addition, he believes the current commentary team may not be the team that calls the show when it moves to Fox on October 4th.

**On Thursday, All Elite Wrestling announced that Dustin Rhodes has signed a multi-year agreement to serve several functions. In addition to wrestling, Rhodes will also become a promo coach and match producer as part of the promotion’s coaching staff. Rhodes is coming off one of the best matches of his career this past May at Double or Nothing with his brother Cody.

**Shaun Ryan, who was the editor behind the tremendous promotional videos for OTT in the past, has been working with WWE on several projects. Ryan was part of the team that produced the Prime Target special for this Saturday’s card in Wales and focusing on the match between WALTER and Tyler Bate. Ryan also worked on the Adrian Street documentary that will premiere on Saturday before TakeOver on the WWE Network.

**Game Changer Wrestling and Black Label Pro are promoting a card tonight at Midnight Eastern on Fite TV from Hoffman Estates, Illinois. The card will feature Mance Warner vs. Jerry Lawler, Nick Gage vs. Effy, Orange Cassidy vs. Gangrel, Tom Lawlor & Erick Stevens vs. Violence Forever, and a six-way match with Arez, Black Taurus, Gringo Loco, Rey Horus, Ophidian, and Steve Pain announced.

**Here are the matches for tonight’s episode of Impact Wrestling at 10 pm Eastern on Twitch, Pursuit & Fight Network in Canada:
*Michael Elgin vs. Rhino in a Falls Count Anywhere match
*Trey vs. TJP vs. Black Taurus vs. Golden Magic
*Ken Shamrock responds to Moose
*Taya Valkyrie defends the Knockout’s title

**WWE has one house show this weekend with a show in Westchester, New York. Seth Rollins is not on the show and returns Monday for Raw. They are advertising Braun Strowman vs. Baron Corbin for the main event in Westchester.

**Due to Hurricane Dorian, the NXT live events in Jacksonville and Fort Pierce, Florida have been re-scheduled. NXT will return to Jacksonville on Friday, September 20th and to Fort Pierce on Saturday, September 28th.

**Dominic Garrini has been added to MLW’s War Chamber tapings on Saturday, September 7th in North Richland Hills, Texas at the NYTEX Sports Centre. They have also added a Bunkhouse Match between Mance Warner and Jimmy Havoc to the card.

**Austin Theory will defend the EVOLVE Championship against Josh Briggs on Saturday, September 21st at La Boom in Queens, New York.

**This week’s episode of NXT was excellent and highlighted by Dominik Dijakovic defeating Keith Lee in a tremendous match. The audience got into the incredible athletic feats from the two, including Lee executing a top rope Spanish Fly that looked insane. It was the strongest presentation for either man since arriving in NXT. Dijakovic has been there for two years and Lee arrived in the spring of 2018. These are two guys that should benefit greatly from NXT expanding to a two-hour program as they are television ready, new blood, and their abilities as big men set them apart.

**Impact Wrestling has entered into a deal with Tap Digital Media Ventures to air the weekly Impact show on TAP EDGE in the Philippines. The series will air Saturday nights at 9 pm on SkyCable Channel 218, which will also carry Impact’s pay-per-view events starting with Bound for Glory.

**The WWE stock closed at $71.43 on Friday.

**The UFC will hold an early card on Saturday from Shenzhen, China with a 3 am Eastern start time for the preliminary fights. It’s not a deep card but the main event is a championship fight and has the potential of being a big deal if Weili Zhang can upset Jessica Andrade and become a superstar in China. Below is the full card results from the weigh-ins on Saturday:

MAIN CARD (6 am Eastern on ESPN+)

*Jessica Andrade (114.5) vs. Weili Zhang (115) for the UFC strawweight title
*Li Jingliang (171) vs. Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos (170.5)
*Kai Kara-France (126) vs. Mark De La Rosa (125.5)
*Movsar Evloev (146) vs. Zhenhong Lu (146)
*Mizuki Inoue (125) vs. Wu Yanan (129*)

*Song Kenan (170.5) vs. Derrick Krantz (169)
*Jun Yong Park (186) vs. Anthony Hernandez (185)
*Su Mudaerji (136) vs. Andre Soukhamthath (136)
*Da Un Jung (206) vs. Khadis Ibragimov (206)
*Damir Ismagulov (155.5) vs. Thiago Moises (156)
*Danaa Batgerel (136) vs. Heili Alateng (136)
*Lara Procopio (135) vs. Karol Rosa (135.5)

**WWE has released the full Prime Target special for Saturday’s NXT UK TakeOver card in Cardiff, Wales:


John Pollock and Wai Ting preview a busy weekend with AEW All Out, NJPW Royal Quest, NXT UK TakeOver: Cardiff and Starrcast all taking place. British Wrestling Experience’s Jamesie joins us to discuss a weekend of major shows in the UK
REWIND-A-WAI #43: WrestleCon Mark Hitchcock Memorial Show

John Pollock and Wai Ting review WrestleCon’s Mark Hitchcock Memorial Supershow 2019 headlined by Will Ospreay vs. Bandido in a heavily-anticipated match during WrestleMania 35 Weekend in New York City.
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John Pollock and Wai Ting review episodes 3 and 4 of GLOW Season 3, NXT UK TakeOver: Cardiff’s go-home episode, and two excellent profile pieces in WWE Network’s “Prime Target: NXT UK” and Fight Network’s “Diary: Rhino”.
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Davie Portman is joined by Jason Solomon from “Solomonster Sounds Off” for a special edition of upNXT where they review EVOLVE 134 featuring KUSHIDA vs. Drew Gulak for the WWE Cruiserweight title.

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About John Pollock 3864 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.