POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: ROH’s next PPV and a ‘Past vs. Present’ card

Raw preview for Wichita, bios on Romeo Cormier & Steve Gillespie, ROH's next pay-per-view, Jericho cruise begins, the fallout from UFC 246, AEW going to Rochester & more.

POST IT NOTES

**Tonight on Rewind-A-Raw, Wai Ting returns from his trip as we review the final Raw heading into the Royal Rumble this Sunday. We will also catch up on all the news and take your feedback & questions at the end of the show. We will also have details for this year’s POST Wrestling Royal Rumble Pool on the show tonight.

**Andrew Thompson has an interview on the site with Sonny Kiss discussing his experiences at AEW, working with Billy Gunn and Dustin Rhodes, and more.

**On Tuesday, Rewind-A-Wai returns with a review of All Japan Women’s Dream Slam I card from April 1993. You can go back and watch the matches we are reviewing and leave feedback on the POST Wrestling Forum.

**Our full schedule for the upcoming week.

POST SCHEDULE

*Monday: Rewind-A-Raw with John Pollock & Wai Ting
*Tuesday: Rewind-A-Wai #53: AJW Dream Slam I (Patreon)
*Wednesday: Rewind-A-Dynamite
*Wednesday: upNXT with Braden Herrington & Davie Portman
*Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown & NWA Hard Times POST Show (LIVE at 10:30 pm Eastern for Patrons)
*Friday: British Wrestling Experience with Martin Bushby, Jamesie & Benno – Top Matches & Moments of the 2010s
*Saturday: Worlds Collide POST Show with Braden Herrington & Davie Portman
*Sunday: WWE Royal Rumble POST Show (LIVE for Double Double, Iced Capp & Espresso Patrons)

WRESTLING NEWS

**Tonight’s episode of Raw takes place from the Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita, Kansas heading into the Royal Rumble this Sunday with the following announced:
*Andrade vs. Rey Mysterio in a ladder match for the United States title
*Rusev & Liv Morgan vs. Bobby Lashley & Lana
*Brock Lesnar appearing on the show

**Romeo Cormier of the well-known wrestling family passed away on Friday at the age of 70. Cormier was one of several brothers to get into the industry with his brothers competing under the names Leo Burke, Yvon ‘The Beast’ Cormier, and Rudy Kay. Romeo competed under several names including ‘Bobby Kay’. As Bobby Burke, he won the Stampede Int’l tag titles with brother Leo Burke in September 1977 and a second time in December 1980. In 1982, he became the NWA Canadian Television champion in Toronto where he beat Private Nelson (who later wrestled as Boris Zhukov) and lost it back to him in March 1983. In the U.S., where worked for Central States and became their heavyweight champion in December 1974 and the tag titles with Tommy Martin. Of the brothers that got into wrestling, Yvon passed away in March 2009 at age 70, and Jean-Louis a.k.a. ‘Rudy Kay’ died in May 2008 at 65 while Leo is currently 71 years old.

**Steve Gillespie, who wrestled as Dr. Hannibal in FMW was found dead in his car this past weekend at the age of 56. Gillespie was a mainstay of various Canadian independents getting his start in the late ‘80s. It was on these shows that he worked with the likes of Len St. Clair (who became Dr. Luther and the paired teamed together in FMW), Don Callis, and the late Mike Lozansky. He was involved in the second wave of Stampede Wrestling after the promotion re-opened following its initial shutdown when Stu Hart made a deal with Vince McMahon, who later claimed the deal was breached and Stu wasn’t paid the agreed-upon amount, so he re-opened the territory. He worked a couple of WWF tapings in 1992 when the promotion was in Canada losing in quick matches.

In 1992, he went over to FMW and teamed with Luther and was a mainstay for the group until the fall of 1994. He was part of several Penalty Box Street Fights teaming with combinations of The Gladiator Mike Awesome, Ricky Fuji, and Big Titan against Atsushi Onita, Mr. Gannosuke, and Sambo Asako. By the end, he did some very short matches with The Sheik Ed Farhat, who would have been 68 by that time in 1994. He returned to Canada and wrestled as Steve Gillespie and Dr. Hannibal but did return to Japan in 1999 for some Onita Pro cards. According to Cagematch, his last recorded match was in 2013 for the RCW promotion in Alberta working a three-way match with Jason the Terrible and Katana.

Lance Storm noted that when he and Chris Jericho were training in Calgary in 1990 at the Hart Brothers camp, it was Gillespie and Bret Como who came by to work with the students. Storm ended up living with Gillespie for a year when the former rented out his basement to Storm.

**The Chris Jericho ‘Rock ‘N Rager at Sea’ departs from Miami today and heads to the Bahamas over the next few days. There will be live matches taking place on the cruise throughout the four-day excursion with the major event being this week’s episode of AEW Dynamite. The matches will be taped meaning this week’s show on TNT will be the first time that a taped edition of the show will air against a live episode of NXT. My expectation is that there will be minimal, if any, drop off in viewers this week if the results get out, which they most surely will. The draw this week includes the atmosphere of watching wrestling in a different environment that will harken back to the episodes of Nitro at Club La Vela and convey a party scene. On top of that, their biggest stars Chris Jericho, Jon Moxley, and Kenny Omega are wrestling matches this week so it’s all the big guns on free television.

**Ring of Honor is returning to pay-per-view for their 18th Anniversary card on Friday, March 13th. The event takes place from Las Vegas, Nevada at Sam’s Town Live. So, ROH is sticking to Friday nights for their pay-per-view, which I thought hurt them for Final Battle now that Friday Night SmackDown goes against their shows. There is a renewed sense of optimism regarding ROH considering the recent signings and having a new vision within the creative end of things. The company is coming off a terrible year where it felt ice-cold by the end, so this year is as much about fighting for relevancy with the other mid-tier promotions as it is about course-correcting from their freefall after the Madison Square Garden show last year.

**The night after the pay-per-view, ROH is running an interesting ‘Past vs. Present’ themed show in Las Vegas and are advertising Matt Sydal, Doug Williams, Homicide, and Necro Butcher for the show.

**ROH has added Taiji Ishimori, Mark Haskins, Rush, and ROH champion PCO to the talent scheduled for Supercard of Honor on Saturday, April 4th in Lakeland, Florida.

**The matches on the boat begin today with a show from 6:45 pm to 8:30 and another from 10 pm until 11 on the pool deck. The first show features Private Party vs. Santana & Ortiz, Allie vs. Britt Baker, Joey Janela vs. QT Marshall, MJF vs. Jungle Boy, and Jon Moxley vs. Sammy Guevara. The late show features Darby Allin vs. Kip Sabian, Nyla Rose vs. Penelope Ford, and The Young Bucks & Kenny Omega vs. SCU.

**Game Changer Wrestling has added Alex Shelley to Joey Janela’s Spring Break IV on Friday, April 3rd at The Cuban Club in Ybor City, Florida. They have also announced Davey Boy Smith Jr. for Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport III on Thursday, April 2nd at the same location.

**AEW is going to Rochester, New York for the March 18th episode of Dynamite at the Blue Cross Arena. It’s another big arena they are running in the Northeast as this show takes place one week prior to their show at the Prudential Center in New Jersey. Tickets for the Rochester show go on sale this Friday.

**A new edition of WWE Chronicle focusing on John Morrison will debut this Saturday night on the WWE Network following the Worlds Collide event. On Sunday night, a new WWE 24 on last year’s WrestleMania will air after the Royal Rumble.

**Mike Johnson at PWinsider.com is reporting that Jeff Hardy is scheduled for a court date on Monday, April 6th, which is the day after WrestleMania in Tampa. This stems from his October 2019 arrest in Moore County, North Carolina when he was seen driving erratically after exiting a liquor store. He was said to have been uncooperative when asked for a breathalyzer test and a sample of blood to be drawn. Hardy was arrested for driving while impaired. Hardy, 42, has been off the road with WWE since last April when he suffered an injury and the Hardys vacated the SmackDown tag titles.

**Over the weekend, Elijah Burke a.k.a. ‘The Pope’ D’Angelo Dinero was part of a group running the annual Love Drive from Pope’s charity he founded called Love-Alive. Volunteers were on hand in Jacksonville, Florida to hand out food, hygiene products, and school supplies for those in need. It was followed by a wrestling event that night in conjunction with Fighting Evolution Wrestling.

**PCO will defend the ROH title against Dragon Lee on ROH’s Bound by Honor event on Friday, February 28th in Nashville at the Municipal Auditorium. That show will also include Rush & Kenny King vs. Brody King & Flip Gordon, Marty Scurll vs. Slex, and Jeff Cobb & Dan Maff vs. The Briscoes. The next night in St. Louis, PCO will defend the ROH title against Rush and Mark Haskins.

**NPR did a feature on the passing of Rocky Johnson and spoke with Alfred Konuwa for the piece.

**A tag match with Jordan Oliver & Kotto Brazil vs. Gringo Loco & Puma King has been added to MLW’s Fightland tapings on Saturday, February 1st at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia.

**While promoting Dolittle, John Cena spoke to Cinema Blend about the efforts by Dwayne Johnson to open the doors for other wrestlers to segue into film and the ongoing process of changing the typecast roles of the past for professional wrestlers.

**John Powell at Entertainment Tonight Canada has a lengthy interview with PCO.

**Progress Wrestling’s Chapter 103 ‘Beer Snake City’ card will take place on Sunday, February 23rd from the Electric Ballroom with tickets going on sale today.

**WrestleCon has added Trish Stratus, Jim Duggan, Tito Santana, Greg Valentine, Raven, The Sandman, ODB, Billy Jack Haynes, Taryn Terrell, and Koko B. Ware for their convention April 2-5 in Tampa.

**NXT has added live events on March 5th at Express Live in Columbus, Ohio, the Agora Theatre in Cleveland on March 6th, Royal Oak Music Hall in Detroit on March 7th, Nashville at the War Memorial Auditorium on March 27th, the Old National Events Plaza in Evansville, Indiana on March 28th, and the Egyptian Room in Indianapolis on Sunday, March 29th. Tickets are available for the show in Indianapolis and the other five go on sale this Friday.

**The WWE Network has added ten episodes of WWF Prime Time from July 31st to October 2nd, 1989.

**On this date in 2002, the World Wrestling Federation held one of its top non-WrestleMania cards of all-time with the Royal Rumble from Atlanta. The show is believed to be the most-purchased event in Rumble history built around Triple H’s return from his torn quad suffered in May 2001. Hunter returned to television for a well-remembered segment at Madison Square Garden on January 7th that year and wrestled on television on the SmackDown heading into the show that week. Hunter won the Rumble, which featured the advertised returns of Goldust, Mr. Perfect, and The Godfather. The show was a massive success on pay-per-view and also featured Chris Jericho vs. The Rock for the Undisputed title and a Street Fight between Ric Flair and Vince McMahon. Hunter won the Rumble to set up that year’s WrestleMania match against Chris Jericho.

**ECCW held its annual ‘Ballroom Brawl’ shows this past weekend at the Commodore Ballroom. On the first night, The Riot defeated Gross Misconduct in a Wrestler Brings the Weapons Match, Erik Strange over Tony Deppen, Alex Zayne & Fergie & ReLoaded over El Phantasmo & The Wiseman, Jeff Cobb over Eddie Osbourne, The Voros Twins defeated The G.O.D.S. to win the ECCW tag titles, Beef Boy over Judas Icarus in an I Quit Match, and Bandido defeated Artemis Spencer to win the ECCW title.

On the second night, Fergie defeated Daniel Makabe, Jaxon Stone & Sonico, Travis Williams beat Erik Strange to keep the ECCW Canadian title, El Phantasmo over Beef Boy, Artemis Spencer over Tony Deppen in a No DQ match, The Voros Twins over Reloaded to retain the ECCW tag titles, Christina von Eerie over Nicole Matthews, Bambi Hall, Liiza Hall, Riea von Slasher & Cat Power in a TLC match to win the ECCW women’s title (said to be a great match), and Judas Icarus over Bandido, Jeff Cobb & Beef Boy to win the ECCW title.

**The WWE stock closed at $62.85 on Monday.

**Karl Anderson turns 40 today.

**On today’s episode of Being the Elite, Kenny Omega accidentally signs Marty Jannetty and makes him an EVP:

MMA NEWS

**The figures for UFC 246 were through the roof for the promotion with an announced attendance of 19,040 and a gate of $11 million at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. In the state of Nevada, it’s the UFC’s second-highest gate ever behind UFC 229 with Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor. In UFC history, it only trails UFC 229, UFC 205 (Eddie Alvarez vs. McGregor at MSG), and UFC 129 (GSP vs. Jake Shields at Rogers Center in Toronto). Within Nevada, McGregor has seven of the top ten gates in MMA history.

**There was no ‘Fight of the Night’ bonus handed out after the show on Saturday but they did give five ‘Performance of the Night’ bonuses to McGregor, Aleksei Oleinik, Brian Kelleher, Carlos Diego Ferreira, and Drew Dober for $50,000 each.

**The next move involving McGregor to impossible to predict because of so many factors. The fight that UFC president Dana White is pushing is the rematch with Khabib Nurmagomedov, who still must fight Tony Ferguson in April. White believes that fight can do business at the level of McGregor’s fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr., which seems impossible given the relative number of people that have ESPN+ compared to traditional pay-per-view but there is no doubt, the rematch would be enormous and blow past whatever the figures were from this past weekend.

The other options within the sport are Jorge Masvidal, Kamaru Usman, and Justin Gaethje. If the idea is that McGregor wants to stay busy and come back quick, then Gaethje makes a lot of sense, as does a rematch with Dustin Poirier providing McGregor wants to compete at lightweight. At welterweight, a fight with Masvidal would be enormous but I’d say the Masvidal and Usman fights would be large undertakings by McGregor. Usman is a nasty style fight for anyone at welterweight and has the least name value of the options.

Outside of MMA, people will groan at the notion of a rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr. or Manny Pacquiao’s name being thrown in the mix. But follow the money and it will reveal the pathway to that logic. For maximum earnings, those boxing fights would be the largest available to McGregor and would be back on traditional pay-per-view. I would not discount the boxing options for a second even though there will be the expected revolt from MMA fans who will ultimately watch no matter who McGregor fights. In closing, Saturday’s fight could not have gone better with McGregor destroying Donald Cerrone and opening the door for so many fights.

As we look back at this entire promotion of UFC 246, if you view this cynically as an exercise in PR from McGregor’s side, then you have to look at it as a success in people shifting away from the negative stories over McGregor’s head and the public voting with their dollars on Saturday that McGregor is the largest star in the sport by a wide margin and the allegations and past issues are not going to stunt that support. McGregor was on his best behavior all week and came off calculated in showing the public he was a changed man and seeking their redemption. Stars will always be cut enormous slack especially as they continue winning in the fashion McGregor did and exciting the public for what is next. Backed up by the business he produces, it’s easy to see why certain stars believe they are bulletproof and impervious to anything thrown their way. While this cloud still hangs over McGregor with the investigations reported on by the New York Times, McGregor maintains his innocence and that the truth will come out but if there are charges that follow with the investigations then that would be the detour to McGregor’s planned ‘season’.

**The UFC is back this Saturday with their first Fight Night show of the year on Saturday night from Raleigh, North Carolina and airing on ESPN+. The card is headlined by former heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos and Curtis Blaydes. JDS will turn 36 next week and comes off a stoppage loss to Francis Ngannou last June after wins over Blagoy Ivanov, Tai Tuivasa, and Derrick Lewis. It’s an important fight for dos Santos to remain among the higher end of the heavyweight mix as he meets a rising star in Blaydes. The 28-year old has won six of his last seven fights going back to July 2017. He competed twice in 2019 with a decision win over Justin Willis and stopped Shamil Abdurakhimov last September. It’s a major fight for Blaydes, who would catapult near the top of the division with a victory. The frustration is that the championship is on hold until Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier have their rematch, which has stalled with no update on when they will fight.

**Saturday night also features Bellator holding a big card from The Forum in Inglewood, California. It’s the promotional debut of Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino as she challenges featherweight champion Julia Budd. Budd fought Ronda Rousey in her third professional fight and was submitted in 39 seconds. Since that fight in November 2011, Budd has won eleven fights in a row and became champion in March 2017 defeating Marloes Coenen to become their first champion. Obviously, this is an enormous step up for Budd from the level of competitors she has fought since beating Coenen. It will be Justino’s first fight since July when she beat Felicia Spencer coming off her knockout loss to Amanda Nunes in December 2018.

The Bellator card also features Darrion Caldwell fighting Adam Borics in the quarter-final of the Featherweight Grand Prix, so that means it’s a five-round fight and the winner will fight A.J. McKee in the next round. Plus, Sergio Pettis makes his Bellator debut against Alfred Khashakyan and Aaron Pico finds himself on the prelims against Daniel Carey following back-to-back losses. The main card airs exclusively on DAZN this Saturday at 10 pm Eastern and the prelims begin at 7:30 pm on DAZN, the Bellator app, and the Bellator website.

**Despite the on-site prognosis from a ringside physician, UFC flyweight Maycee Barber suffered a complete tear of her ACL during her fight with Roxanne Modafferi at UFC 246. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto reported on the injury, which should keep Barber would for nine months. Her father and trainer, Bucky Barber, told ESPN that they believe she suffered the injury in the first ten seconds of the three-round fight and felt a pop after stepping back. Modafferi dominated the fight and earned a unanimous decision victory while handing Barber the first loss of her career. Before the start of the third round, an inspector at ringside examined the knee and informed referee Jason Herzog that it was a partial tear and that she was ‘fine’, which was audible on the broadcast.

**Days after the news that Yoel Romero will challenge Israel Adesanya for the middleweight championship, another title fight is in the works where the challenge is coming off a loss. After an initial report from Combate, UFC president Dana White informed ESPN they are working on setting up a bantamweight title fight involving champion Henry Cejudo and Jose Aldo. The fight is being targeted for UFC 250 on May 9th in Brazil with the location likely playing a notable factor in Aldo getting the nod over more deserving contenders at the weight. Aldo made his bantamweight debut at UFC 245 in December and lost a split decision to Marlon Moraes. Media scores were split between the two, which I scored 29-28 for Moraes.

I have less of an issue with Romero fighting Adesanya as there isn’t a logjam of contenders. The most deserving is Paulo Costa and he’s injured with White indicating he’ll get a title fight when he’s healthy. The only person who should be upset is Jared Cannonier, who has won his last three but was set to fight Robert Whittaker on the same card as Adesanya-Romero until Whittaker pulled out last week. At bantamweight, you have Aljamain Sterling and Cory Sandhagen on impressive streaks, but they pale to Petr Yan, who has won his last nine with a perfect record inside the UFC coming off wins over Jimmie Rivera and Urijah Faber. There will always be deference to someone with a large marquee value and that is the biggest factor for Aldo getting a title fight in Brazil but to me, there has to be some merit beyond that being 0-1 in the division doesn’t cut it for me with the decision loss to Moraes hardly a robbery in any sense. To me, Yan is the most dangerous fighter in the division and when you add Marlon Moraes’ name and the expected return of Dominick Cruz, it’s a hell of a competitive field at the top of the 135-pound picture.

*****
THUNDERSTRUCK #13: Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru (July 10, 2004)

WH Park and JP of The GRAPPL Spotlight get together to discuss Jushin Liger’s match where he defends the GHC Jr Heavyweight title against then NOAH wrestler, Yoshinobu Kanemaru.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/01/19/thunderstruck-13-jushin-liger-vs-yoshinobu-kanemaru-7-10-04-w-jp/
*****
UFC 246 POST SHOW: McGregor vs. Cerrone

John Pollock & Phil Chertok present the UFC 246 POST Show recapping Saturday’s card from the T-Mobile Arena featuring Conor McGregor vs. Donald Cerrone.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/01/19/ufc-246-post-show-mcgregor-vs-cowboy/
*****
TRMPS #13: Faster (2010) w/ Kris Ealy & Hanzi

On this installment of TRMPS, Nate Milton welcomes “The Professor” Kris Ealy and friend of the program/former Stern Show contributor Hanzi to review “Faster”.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/01/18/trmps-13-faster-2010-w-kris-ealy-hanzi/
*****

THE 2020 MMA PREDICTION SHOW WITH ARIEL HELWANI

John Pollock welcomes ESPN’s Ariel Helwani for their annual Prediction Show as they look ahead to what the year 2020 has in store for MMA.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/01/16/the-2020-mma-prediction-show-with-ariel-helwani/
*****
POST BONUS: UFC 246 PREVIEW WITH JOHN POLLOCK

John Pollock previews this Saturday’s UFC 246 card headlined by Conor McGregor taking on Donald Cerrone, a rundown of the entire card, and notes from Wednesday’s press conference.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/01/16/post-bonus-ufc-246-preview-with-john-pollock/
*****
RAD 1/15/20: BASH AT THE BEACH W/ DAMIAN ABRAHAM

John Pollock is joined by Damian Abraham from Turned Out a Punk to review AEW Dynamite, discuss their TNT renewal, the passing of Rocky Johnson & more.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/01/16/rad-1-15-20-bash-at-the-beach-w-damian-abraham/
*****
upNXT 1/15/20: “Joint Manipulation”

Braden Herrington & Davie Portman are back to chat all about the January 15th edition of WWE NXT featuring a Battle Royal.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/01/16/upnxt-01-15-20-joint-manipulation/
*****

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About John Pollock 1495 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.