** Matt and Nick Jackson of The Young Bucks appeared on ESPN West Palm recently and during the interview, they were asked for their thoughts about not being a part of Wrestle Kingdom 14 and Matt Jackson stated that they were happy for their friends who were a part of it and they weren’t necessarily sad or upset about missing the show because they’ve worked that event so many times.
“I was just talking about this with my wife because we’re so used to being in Japan every year for New Year’s Eve and stuff. It was strange, but I’m so in my own bubble now and tunnel vision with what I’m doing with AEW now that I don’t think I missed it because I’ve done the dance so many times. So if anything, I was thinking about my friends who are out in Japan and wishing them the best and obviously, we had AEW support there with Jon Moxley and Chris Jericho and I texted Chris and said good luck. They’re doing good business out there, then good for them man. It’s good for everybody.” Matt said.
While on the topic of the rumored relationship between All Elite Wrestling and New Japan, Nick Jackson said that was just a rumor. He saw the video of Jericho talking about the two companies working together but thinks Jericho just did that just to get the internet buzzing but on AEW’s side, they’re open to a possible relationship.
“Yeah, that was just a rumor. Nothing is happening. I think he [Jericho] just did that to try and get the internet to talk a little more about the situation. But the door has not opened up at all. We wish them luck in what they’re doing because [like] Matt said with NXT, a lot of our friends work in New Japan. Most of them are our friends. We have friends everywhere in the wrestling world. If something came along, then we’d be open but nothing is happening right now.”
Both Nick and Matt were asked for their respective dream matches. Nick chose a six-man tag between The Elite and New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods). Matt Jackson’s dream tag match is to share the ring with Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder of The Revival.
Nick Jackson: “Off the top of my head, I would say The Elite versus New Day because that was something that was actually close to happening at one point, but it just never happened but I think if that six-man would’ve happened, it would’ve tore the house down.”
Matt Jackson: “I would say for me, the obvious one whenever anyone talks about the dream match that has never happened, would be us and The Revival because I feel like there’s some real life tension there and I don’t know if it’s competitive or friendly or whatever. It’s definitely something. There’s a competitive rivalry there and talk about two teams that are just the polar opposite styles. I think it could be a fun styles clash. I would love to have that match. That’s probably number one on my bucket list right now.”
** As reported by Pro Wrestling Sheet, former ROH World Television Champion Jeff Cobb is no longer under contract with the company. He is still working dates for ROH but is not exclusive to them. Cobb’s deal expired on January 1st and he decided to negotiate a per-show deal with ROH opposed to signing another contract. It is noted in the report that sources have told Pro Wrestling Sheet that Cobb is satisfied in Ring of Honor and will continue working with them unless that changes in the future.
** SoCal Uncensored were first to share the news that former PWG ring announcer and Mach-1 promoter, Jon Ian passed away at the age of 48. Jon Ian got into the entertainment business at an early age as he appeared on The Jeffersons and Good Times at a young age. Ian battled health issues for multiple years including two heart failures in 2015. His body was discovered by his roommate on January 6th but no cause of death has been revealed as of this writing. POST Wrestling would like to send our condolences to the family, friends and loved ones of Jon Ian. The likes of Kevin Owens, Peter Avalon, David Marquez among others showed their appreciation and love for Ian as the news of his passing became public.
** CMLL’s Family Tag tournament is returning and will take place during the upcoming Fantastica Mania tour. Negro Casas & Tiger, Euforia & Soberano Jr., Sanson & Cuatrero, and Angel de oro & Niebla Roja are the teams competing in the tournament. The full lineups for the Fantastica Mania tour can be found here.
** In September, Eric Angle, who is the brother of WWE Hall Of Famer Kurt Angle was indicted for distributing steroids on the dark web. According to CBS Pittsburgh, Angle was one of three men who sold anabolic steroids and controlled substances before shipping them through UPS under fake names. They imported steroids from China and other locations. The substances were paid for with cryptocurrency and cash. Cleveland.com provided an update on the situation and Eric Angle has plead guilty to the charges against him. Along with Angle, Ronald Roginsky and John Ambrose plead guilty as well. Their trail was scheduled for next week although they reached an agreement with the government. John Ambrose and Eric pleaded guilty to the drug conspiracy charge while Roginsky took the drug and money laundering conspiracy charge. Roginsky and Ambrose were responsible for the distribution of 60,000 units of steroids and Eric Angle admitted that he purchased 721 grams of liquid steroids to sell. The trio will receive their sentence in April.
** WWE Champion Brock Lesnar will serve as the University Of Minnesota’s honorary coach for the team’s Big 10 season opener against Wisconsin on January 10th. University of Minnesota is celebrating the 20th anniversary of his NCAA Championship victory. The match-up will take place at Maturi Pavilion in Minneapolis.
** Here are the official rules for the XFL, as they were given to ESPN:
– A kickoff designed to discourage touchbacks and increase the likelihood of a return: The ball will be kicked off from the 30-yard line, but the coverage and blocking teams will line up at the receiving team’s 35- and 30-yard lines, respectively. Only the kicker and returner can move until the ball is caught, or three seconds after it hits the ground. A touchback will be spotted at the 35-yard line. Kicks out of bounds will go to the 45-yard line.
– Players can’t leave the line of scrimmage on punts until after the kick. Any kicks that go into the end zone or out of bounds will be marked at the 35-yard line or wherever the ball went out of bounds, whichever is better for the receiving team. The idea is to discourage fair catches and “coffin corner” kicks, while providing more incentive to go for it on fourth down.
– Three options after scoring a touchdown: a 1-point play from the 2-yard line, a 2-point play from the 3-yard line or a 3-point play from the 10-yard line. There is no option to kick an extra point.
– A shootout-style overtime: Each team will get five single-play possessions from the 5-yard line. If the game is still tied at that point, the rotating possessions will continue until there is a winner. The XFL hopes that overtimes will be rare, in part because of the multiple options for points after touchdowns.
– A rule that allows two forward passes on one play, providing the first doesn’t go past the line of scrimmage. The purpose is to encourage creative trick plays without the risk of losing possession of a lateral or backward pass, which is a live ball if it hits the ground.
– A requirement for only one foot to be in bounds for possession. XFL director of football operations Sam Schwartzstein said the change is easier to officiate quickly. It also is better for player safety, Schwartzstein said, because players take more unbraced falls while trying to place both feet in bounds.
– A total of nine officials on the field, one of whom will be dedicated solely to spotting the ball to minimize downtime between plays. XFL head of officiating Dean Blandino said most XFL officials have experience at the Division I college level. Blandino, the former NFL officiating chief, has been consulting with the XFL for more than a year. He performed a similar function for the Alliance of American Football (AAF) last spring.
– A video official who can intervene on significant non-reviewable plays when involving player safety, or on any calls inside of five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. There will also be booth-initiated reviews of traditionally reviewable plays using Hawk-Eye technology that ingests video directly from the broadcast truck.
– Allowing offensive linemen to be up to 2 yards downfield when a pass is thrown, with the hope of minimizing flags on run-pass option plays.
– A series of tweaks that the XFL hopes will cap game times at 2 hours, 45 minutes. (NFL games typically run about 3:06.) The tweaks include a running game clock that won’t stop after incomplete passes or when players go out of bounds, except inside of two minutes in each half. Additionally, there will be a 10-minute halftime, two timeouts per team per half and no coin tosses. The home team will always make the choice to kick, receive or defer to start the game. The visitors will make that choice to start overtime.
** A new episode of WWE ‘Untold’ is releasing on the WWE Network on January 19th and will feature Rey Mysterio recapping the 2006 Royal Rumble match which he won.
** Rick Malone, who was the reverend for Lana and Bobby Lashley’s wedding segment on RAW made his return to WWE programming last night. While getting ready for another Lana and Lashley segment, he made his way into the ring while AJ Styles was exiting the ring after his match. Security tackled Malone, thinking he was a fan and Malone took to his personal Facebook page and reacted to being pinned to the mat by security:
“This is what happened tonight at WWE/RAW: I needed to get into the ring in order to consummate the “Bobby Lashley and Lana Wedding” (which was totally disrupted last Monday night in Hartford CT), but security prevented me, so I had no other choice but to dive into the ring headfirst. Security was not pleased! But the married couple was very happy!”
** AEW President Tony Khan joined Dan Le Batard on the ‘Le Batard & Friends’ podcast and when asked what have been some of the biggest surprises for him in 2019, Khan stated that Jon Moxley signing with All Elite Wrestling was something out of left field and something he was not expecting to happen.
“Jon Moxley, I never in a million years was expecting that Jon Moxley would be wrestling with us this year, and that he would’ve come in, especially so quickly in the year. He was on our first show. When we looked to launch AEW, I knew that there was gonna be a good possibility — I’ve got another answer for you too and it’s non-AEW but my AEW answer is Jon, and what happened was, we launched at the beginning of the year. I knew we were gonna launch with Chris Jericho who’s one of the biggest names in the history of wrestling. Chris is one of my all-time favorites. My dad, when I got into the University of Illinois Laboratory High School when I was 13-years old, he said, you can basically have whatever you want one time, what do you want? And I asked him to take me to Philadelphia for a weekend to go to ECW…”
** WTOL.com ran a story about a young wrestling fan getting to meet Roman Reigns backstage at Friday Night SmackDown in Detroit.
** WWE uploaded a video to their YouTube channel of Charlotte Flair and WWE United States Champion Andrade working out:
** UFC Hall Of Famer Ronda Rousey chatted with D-Von Dudley about how wrestling inspired her MMA career:
** According to PWInsider, WWE has started planning for their Saudi Arabia event.
** Cheeseburger wrote a detailed article about his mentor, Jushin Thunder Liger that is up on ROHWrestling.com.
** The January 6th episode of Monday Night RAW was live from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and WWE is returning to Oklahoma on January 31st for Friday Night SmackDown.
** Jurassic Express (Marko Stunt, Luchasaurus & Jungle Boy) vs. Trent, Chuck Taylor and Orange Cassidy is official for AEW Dynamite on January 8th.
** Besties In The World (Davey Vega & Mat Fitchett) are defending their AAW Tag Team Championships against Curt Stallion and Jake Something at AAW’s January 24th show.
** Below is a new episode of AEW ‘Road To’. Marko Stunt, Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus were spotlighted in the episode and Marko talked about being depressed for months because of the backlash he received from his first appearance on Dynamite and felt like he shouldn’t be wrestling.
** Matt Hardy uploaded a new edition of ‘Thoughts From The Throne’ to his YouTube channel:
** The final viewership number is in for this past Friday’s episode of SmackDown and the show drew 2.413 million viewers, per Showbuzz Daily. The overnight number was 2.418 million.
** Monday Night RAW will broadcast live from Washington D.C. on March 9th.
** Tasha Steelz and Christian Casanova have been added to the GCW ‘For The Culture’ lineup.
** Prior to Monday Night RAW going live on the USA Network from Oklahoma City, Natalya defeated Chelsea Green, and Mojo Rawley defeated No Way Jose. Those matches were taped for WWE Main Event.
** Josh Barnett announced Jeff Cobb for Bloodsport III during WrestleMania 36 weekend in Tampa, Florida.
** AEW World Champion Chris Jericho took to Instagram to reflect on his match with Hiroshi Tanahashi on night two of Wrestle Kingdom 14 and here’s what Jericho thought about his recent experience in Japan and the match he was in:
“It was an absolute pleasure working with the legendary @hiroshi_tanahashi at #WrestleKingdom14! I’ve been waiting almost 2 years to wrestle the #Ace is it was all that I hoped it would be and more…possibly my favorite #NewJapan match ever!! Thanks to #Tana and @njpw1972 for another great match and trip to Japan. See you again soon! #JerichoVsTanahashi #PainmakerVsAce”
** IMPACT World Champion Sami Callihan is scheduled to compete in Insane Championship Wrestling’s ‘Square Go’ match on February 2nd.
** Following NXT TakeOver: Portland on February 16th, the black-and-yellow brand will be heading on the road on the weekend of February 21st and they’ll be stopping through Milwaukee & Oshkosh, Wisconsin and St. Paul Minnesota.
** Australian streaming service ‘Kayo Sports’ is adding RAW, SmackDown and NXT to its content library.
** LEC cleaning products are sponsoring New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s ‘New Beginning USA’ tour which begins on January 24th in Tampa, Florida.
** New Japan Pro-Wrestling posted the closing moments of Jushin Thunder Liger’s retirement ceremony at New Year’s Dash:
** Big Japan Pro Wrestling: ‘Strong Kingdom’ Results (1/5/20) Tokyo, Japan
– Kazumi Kikuta & Ryuichi Kawakami def. Hideyoshi Kamitani & Kosuke Sato
– Ryota Hama & Yasufumi Nakanoue def. Akira Hyodo & Takuho Kato
– Fuminori Abe, Kota Sekifuda & Ryuichi Sekine def. Channing Decker, Drew Parker & TAJIRI
– Shigehiro Irie & Yuji Okabayashi def. Isami Kodaka & Yuko Miyamoto
– Takuya Nomura def. Kazuki Hashimoto
– Daichi Hashimoto def. Yuya Aoki
** Paul “Triple H” Levesque posted a teaser clip of the NXT U.K. TakeOver: Blackpool II ‘Prime Target’ special that will air on the WWE Network on January 10th.
** Eddie Kingston versus Dan Magee has been added to Rev Pro’s ‘Live At The Cockpit 49’ on February 2nd.
** WWE’s Titus O’Neil has been chosen as the grand marshal of the Krewe of the Knights of Sant’ Yago Illuminated Knight Parade in Florida. The parade has been a staple in the Tampa community since 1974 and it kicks off on February 8th.
** Following his return on the January 6th episode of RAW, WWE conducted an interview with The Big Show and Show opened up about the road he’s traveled since he last wrestled in November of 2018. He said he’s had five hip surgeries since then and things got rough at times but he stayed the course and is glad to be back.
“Tonight was amazing. After going through five hip surgeries in a year-and-a-half, to be able to take a phone call from a friend, a peer in the business. To come out in front of this incredible crowd tonight and get back in the ring in almost a year-and-a-half and be competitive, I’m just extremely humbled and grateful. They say what doesn’t break you makes you stronger and I think my faith in my career and my faith in myself and faith in this business was tested the past two years like it’s never been tested before and I’m just extremely grateful for the fans and we’ll see what happens next week.”
Sarah Schreiber then broke the news to Big Show that he’ll be back on next week’s RAW to team with Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe again to take on Seth Rollins, Akam and Rezar in a “Fist Fight”. Show was surprised by the news and had a good laugh when he found out the match type.
** Conrad Thompson was named one of the top Alabama entertainers of 2019.
** Per PWInsider, Ruby Riott was spotted at the WWE Performance Center. Ruby received double shoulder surgery last year. The former Riott Squad leader last wrestled in May of 2019. NXT’s Rachel Evers noted on Twitter that working out with Ruby at the P.C. was the highlight of her day.
** To promote Wednesday’s episode of Dynamite in Southaven, Mississippi, The Young Bucks chatted with Commercial Appeal and talked about the ‘Tribute To Memphis Wrestling Legends’ segment that is slated for the show. Brian Christopher Lawler is a part of that tribute lineup and Matt Jackson said he would’ve loved to have Jerry Lawler appear as well but Jerry is working for WWE as commentator on RAW. Matt also talked about piecing together storylines for Dynamite and said that fans are so used to getting exactly what they want when they want it, they aren’t used to going through the ups and downs of a storyline.
“We want long-term, nuanced stories, and sometimes you have to struggle and suffer a little bit to get to the climax of the story,” Matt Jackson said. “Wrestling fans are just so used to getting exactly what they need at the snap of a finger now.”
** Nikki and Brie Bella will be representing WWE at CES on January 7th.
** Glenn “Kane” Jacobs is appearing at Big Time Wrestling’s show on February 1st in Altoona, Pennsylvania.
** On the latest episode of 83 Weeks with Eric Bischoff, the former SmackDown Executive Producer talked about WWE’s ratings. Eric feels that the company has peaked with their ratings and will remain within the 2.1-2.5 million margin and explained his reasoning for believing that:
“I don’t necessarily want to comment a lot on WWE because they’re hugely successful right now in many respects, but if you look at their television ratings, they are flat-lining. If you look at their house show business, it’s pretty abysmal. Then you have to look at a lot of the other parts of their business that goes along with low attendance and low ratings — that being licensing and merchandising, all those things suffer when people don’t come to your events and don’t watch your shows. We talked about that last week. I think they’ve reached kind of their peak. They’re gonna do their 2.1., 2.2, 2.3 [million] viewers on Monday. They’re gonna do their 2.3., 2.4., 2.5 million viewers on Friday. That’s going to fluctuate throughout the year based on the time of year. Right now is gonna be a good time of year for both of those brands on WWE. Both RAW and SmackDown because there’s not really a lot of sports competition going on right now. That’ll change once the NBA Playoffs kick into gear, the weather starts getting warmer and the sun stays out later and fewer and fewer people are watching television. I think the Summer time is gonna be tough on SmackDown more than RAW. But, they’ll hold steady in that 2.1… go back and look at their ratings over the last five years. They’ve been steadily declining, but at a pretty slow rate. They’re losing five percent, eight percent, ten percent a year of their audience which sounds horrible and it’s not preferable. It’s not something anybody wants to have happen, but when you compare that kind of attrition in your numbers, to the attrition that people normally see across the board in cable and network television, it’s still pretty healthy. So they’re not in triage, but I think the fact that they’ve got so much content out there — you forgot about NXT. Now you’ve got three hours of Monday Night RAW, two hours of NXT and two hours of SmackDown. That’s seven hours of content, and it’s really hard to make it feel unique.
What drives you to have to watch any one of those shows? And they [WWE] haven’t really built a John Cena, a Rock, a Steve Austin, a Hulk Hogan, a Ric Flair. There isn’t that one big draw that you have to tune in to see for any of the brands. There’s a lot of amazing talent, but they’re all… the top talent in WWE are all kind of equal in many respects. They’re not positioned that way, but, I think that WWE has done a great job over the last 15 years, 20 years of making WWE the star, and the talent is a supporting cast member, and I think now that you’ve got seven hours of content out there, you don’t have a huge star like you did in the past. You don’t have your Stone Cold Steve Austin, the names that I just went through. You don’t have any of those guys that are really driving it because they’ve captured the imagination of the audience. You got a lot of people that everybody likes but nobody [becomes] a standout star and I think because of the number of hours of content that they have on the air right now, they are suffering.”
Bischoff discussed WWE again during the podcast and said that the promos that WWE has their wrestlers cut don’t feel real. He said that the company is so sanitized and filtered that it makes it hard for him to enjoy the product.
“And I think that’s what is missing for me, and again, this is not a bash WWE because there’s people there that I love and that I’ll always support and I enjoyed working for the company. I have a ton of respect for everybody from Vince McMahon on down so this is not a bash WWE-thing, but this is just me talking about what I like and I think one of the things that makes it hard for me to watch WWE is the quality of the promos are so… flat. I was searching for a word. They are just not real. A few of ‘em, not all of ‘em, but the vast majority of them are so heavily scripted. So not the person that’s trying to perform it. There’s nothing organic about it. There’s nothing that feels real, there’s nothing that’s remotely believable and so many of those promos, that it actually takes me out of my enjoyment of the match. If you don’t care about the talent or you’re not buying into the talent, or you’re not buying into the talent’s emotion that they’re trying to convey, it’s really hard to get excited about the match and that’s unfortunately one of the things that I run into. The WWE is so sanitized and so filtered, that it is hard to get excited about it, for me. Other people, love it, and God bless ‘em all. But, when you see a guy like Ric Flair and Arn Anderson, the Steve Austins. The guys that could really — Mick Foley, another one. The guys that could go out and just wing it. Chris Jericho as I mentioned, and deliver a great promo and create emotion that didn’t exist before the promo. That’s the fun part of this business for me.”
** WrestlingINC conducted an interview with Jordan Oliver of MLW’s Injustice.
** Former NXT North American Champion Ricochet joined Booker T on his Hall Of Fame podcast. While talking about his time on the independent scene, Ricochet said there are aspects of being an independent wrestler that he misses such as having the pressure of his success being solely on him.
“I mean, there do come times when I’m like, ‘Man, I do miss it’ just because it was… I don’t know. It was yours to succeed or fail or whatever. Whether it was good or bad, it was just up to you to decide that, and sometimes it really works and sometimes it didn’t. I miss it but then at the same time it’s like, that was all for a specific goal and now I’m actually living my dream and my goal now and… the two parts of me are divided because half of me, I always have and I always will just love the WWE product just because I always have and always will. But also, there’s a side of me that’s like, ‘Man, that indie scene’ and the guys we had at that time were really pushing it to the next level. For me, it was like a golden era for me so honestly, it’s for sure gonna hold up.”
** Voting is open for the 2019 Ring of Honor awards.
** Here are the lineups for EVOLVE 143 on January 17th in Ybor City, Florida and EVOLVE 144 on January 18th in Orlando:
– No-DQ Match: Josh Briggs vs. Anthony Greene (w/ Brandi Lauren)
– EVOLVE Tag Team Championships: BESTies in the World (Davey Vega & Mat Fitchett) (c) vs. Eddie Kingston & Joe Gacy
– AR Fox (w/ Ayla & The Skulk) vs. Brendan Vink
– Curt Stallion vs. Dexter Lumis
– Adrian Alanis vs. Denzel Dejournette
– Triple Threat Match: Stephen Wolf vs. Anthony Gutierrez vs. Leon Ruff
– Brandi Lauren vs. Indi Hartwell
– Santana Garrett vs. Avery Taylor
– EVOLVE Championship: Josh Briggs (c) vs. Dexter Lumis
– Mansoor vs. AR Fox (w/ Ayla & The Skulk)
– Joaquin Wilde vs. Leon Ruff
– BESTies in the World (Davey Vega & Mat Fitchett) vs. Liam Gray & Adrian Alanis
– No Holds Barred Match: Eddie Kingston vs. Anthony Gutierrez
– Anthony Greene (w/ Brandi Lauren) vs. Rik Bugez
– Joe Gacy vs. Denzel Dejournette
– Stephen Wolf vs. Brendan Vink
** Vancouver Sun has a story up about a former employee of ‘Fastenal’ and employees were gifted barbecue sauce as a Christmas gift. The man vented about the gift through an anonymous account on Twitter and tagged the company’s American and Canadian profiles. A day later he was called by management about the tweet and was fired ten days later. He believes that management identified that it was him on the account because of a ticket he bought for a WWE show in Vancouver that revealed his computer work station and parts of his workplace.
** Goodhumor.com has WWE ice cream sandwiches available for sale.
** Roman Reigns granted another Make-A-Wish in Memphis, Tennessee last week prior to Friday Night SmackDown.