POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: Edge announced for Raw tonight

Edge added to Raw, Royal Rumble news, a note on Charlotte Flair, an update on Sasha Banks, Tom Phillips replaces Vic Joseph, AJ Styles injury & lots more.

POST IT NOTES

**Our Royal Rumble POST Show is up on the site with Wai Ting, Mike Murray, and I running through the six-hour event from Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas. We go through all the matches, the Rumble winners, the return of Edge, WrestleMania programs beginning to take shape, and lots of phone calls and feedback to the show.

**Wai Ting and I are back late tonight with Rewind-A-Raw to discuss tonight’s show, the fallout from the Royal Rumble and lots of news.

POST SCHEDULE

*Monday: Rewind-A-Raw with John Pollock & Wai Ting
*Tuesday: ASK-A-WAI mailbag show (Patreon)
*Wednesday: Rewind-A-Dynamite with John Pollock & Wai Ting
*Wednesday: upNXT with Braden Herrington & Davie Portman
*Thursday: Café Hangout w/ guest Gareth Hodgson from GRAPPL (Live at 3 pm ET for all Patrons)
*Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown (Patreon)
*Sunday: Thunderstruck with WH Park & guest Rich Kraetsch of Voices of Wrestling (Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Tiger Mask III, 1/4/1994 at the Tokyo Dome)
*Sunday: New Beginning in Sapporo POST Show (Patreon)

WRESTLING NEWS

**Tonight’s episode of Raw takes place from the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas coming off the Royal Rumble. They have announced that Edge will be on the show tonight following his return last night in the Rumble. Below are the matches they have announced for tonight:
*Seth Rollins & Buddy Murphy vs. Samoa Joe & Kevin Owens for the Raw tag titles
*Liv Morgan vs. Lana

**Edge’s return was the major story coming out of the Royal Rumble, entering at #21 and lasting until the final three when he was eliminated by Roman Reigns. It was not a one-off return and he is scheduled for WrestleMania in April with Dave Meltzer reporting that his opponent is set to be Randy Orton, which I have also been told was the direction as of a few days ago. In time, I’m sure the story will come out surrounding his ability to get cleared by the company as he was someone that it was assumed would never be cleared to wrestle again after retiring in 2011 due to cervical spinal stenosis. It seemed to be a major step in hindsight when he was able to deliver a spear to Elias at last year’s SummerSlam show in Toronto.

At age of 46, he looked in fantastic shape on Sunday and that would indicate he’s been preparing for this spot for a while. It had been reported last October by the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that he has signed a new deal with WWE and Mike Johnson added that he was in Pittsburgh the same month on ‘WWE business’ with WWE’s head physician Dr. Joseph Maroon based in the city and would make sense that is what he was in town for. Copeland was steadfast in denying reports of a pending return, including as late as last week on a Pearl Jam podcast and denying the news of a contract or being in Pittsburgh, but really, what else was he going to say?

Beyond WrestleMania, it will be interesting to see what type of schedule he is looking to maintain. After the spot with Elias, Copeland noted on his podcast that physically he could definitely do another match but unlikely he could go full-time and for a performer of his level, you wouldn’t want him wrestling regularly and instead, be an attraction when a big show calls for it. There is no shortage of opponents that would line up to work with him as Edge was a major influence on many performers in the current era.

There are numerous ways to get to the Randy Orton match at WrestleMania. One idea would be the two teaming together first on the card in Saudi Arabia and then doing the split to lead into WrestleMania but I’m not aware of any plans for Edge beyond WrestleMania.

**Regarding Charlotte Flair, as of today she is not challenging either Becky Lynch or Bayley at WrestleMania. She is currently scheduled for another singles match.

**The decision to go with Charlotte Flair and Drew McIntyre as the winners of their respective Royal Rumble matches were made recently. There had been plans set for Shayna Baszler and Roman Reigns to win the Rumble matches, but those plans ultimately changed. The news of the original winners was first reported Sunday night by Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio, and we can confirm that report. I was specifically told that by Wednesday of last week, Reigns and Baszler were no longer winning but do not know the exact day that Flair and McIntyre were decided upon.

**Sasha Banks missed the Royal Rumble because she is dealing with an unknown injury. This was first reported by Fightful Select and we can confirm their report. One person with knowledge of the situation said she was set to be evaluated this past Friday and has been dealing with an injury since the beginning of the month. Banks has not wrestled since the January 3rd episode of Friday Night SmackDown in Memphis where she teamed with Bayley against Lacey Evans & Dana Brooke and Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross in a triple threat match.

**Tom Phillips handled commentary on the Raw side at the Royal Rumble with PWinsider.com reporting that Phillips has replaced Vic Joseph as the lead play-by-play announcer on Raw moving forward. Joseph was installed alongside Jerry Lawler and Dio Maddin back in September with Maddin taken off the team in the lead-up to the Survivor Series when he was attacked by Brock Lesnar. Phillips had been calling SmackDown prior to the move from USA Network to Fox and was replaced by Michael Cole on that program with Phillips moving to NXT UK.

**Drew McIntyre was the major project that the Royal Rumble was designed for. It became apparent several weeks ago that McIntyre had broken out as the star they were grooming for a big role ahead of Aleister Black, with the two appearing to be the leading candidates for this spot. Both represented fresh opponents for Brock Lesnar and the McIntyre experiment got over very strong on Sunday night.

They structured the Rumble well and the pop for McIntyre eliminating Lesnar was excellent and established the Claymore as a top finish. You did sacrifice a lot of guys to create this story with Lesnar, but you had to with Lesnar vs. McIntyre the priority. Had Lesnar only eliminated bottom-rung guys it would have gotten stale and instead, they kept a level of shock value with surprise eliminations with the likes of John Morrison, Erick Rowan (who has been a monster for months), and the consecutive eliminations of Rey Mysterio, Big E., and Kofi Kingston. I thought it worked in the end as the priority was making McIntyre and that was achieved. You could have argued that was enough for McIntyre but instead, they went all the way and didn’t try to mitigate that accomplishment and had him win the entire thing.

Many times, it is better to put all your resources into getting one strong element over rather than try and get multiple objectives accomplished and going with McIntyre over Roman Reigns at the end seemed to be the right move. I also felt Michael Cole did a fantastic job with his call during the post-match celebration and explaining McIntyre’s history of being cut by WWE and working his way back, which should be a focus of his lead-up into WrestleMania. I thought the men’s Royal Rumble was a big success this year.

**Drew McIntyre spoke to Jonathan Snowden at Bleacher Report about winning the Royal Rumble match. This was his answer when asked when he found out he was winning the match:

“I didn’t know anything yesterday. I’m talking about today late. I’ve learned through my experience just to go with the flow. And when you get information, you take it and you perform it to the best of your ability. That’s why I always say sports entertainers, wrestlers, don’t get the credit we deserve. You got to be thinking on your feet, you’ve got to be ready to improve, and you’re doing your own stunts. You’ve got to pull the emotions of the crowd in the direction you want them to go. And there is no business like this. We literally think on our feet”.

**AJ Styles is believed to have sustained a shoulder injury during the Royal Rumble match on Sunday. Styles was favoring the arm after taking a flip while Edge hit a spear to him. Styles went to the corner and communicated with one of the officials, they went towards Edge and appeared to tell him to eliminate him, which Edge did immediately and felt like an audible being called as it was an anti-climactic elimination for Styles.

**WWE confirmed on the Royal Rumble broadcast that the next card in Saudi Arabia will be Super Showdown on Thursday, February 27th in Riyadh. The day of the week will force the company to be better prepared this time with the same predicament of getting the SmackDown crew back in time for Friday night’s show in Boston. After the insane travel back last time, it will be interesting if any additional talent requests to be kept off the show this time around. If I’m WWE, I would want to mitigate the number of SmackDown performers on the shows to avoid any issues but for such a major show, I would think you have to have top stars like Roman Reigns and The Fiend there.

**WWE will hold the Super Showdown event on February 27th and then have the Elimination Chamber show two-weeks later Sunday, March 8th in Philadelphia as the two major shows heading into WrestleMania. There is no Fast Lane show on the schedule this year, so it’s a four-week build from Elimination Chamber to WrestleMania on April 5th.

**Josh Barnett at PWinsider.com conducted an interview with Gail Kim on her role as a producer with Impact Wrestling and got into the issues surrounding Tessa Blanchard over ‘Hard to Kill’ weekend. Below is a portion of her answer describing the weekend and having a private conversation with Blanchard that weekend. Kim states in her dealings with Blanchard she has not seen any attitude issues or examples of bullying or racist language that she was accused of in the past:

When that happened, we went to a pay-per-view and it wasn’t even 24 hours. I went to speak to Tessa. Those details are private between her and I and are no one’s business. I based my decision of support at the pay-per-view and showing that support based on her time in the company. In the three years that she started with Impact wrestling, I’ve never seen any signs of any of that, of the undertones of bullying or racism. That’s where I made my decision of what I did and what I showed.

**MVP’s appearance in the men’s Royal Rumble marked his first WWE match since November 2010. His last match in the company nine years ago with Kaval/Low Ki against this year’s Rumble winner Drew McIntyre & Dolph Ziggler. MVP’s gear on Sunday night was inspired by Killmonger in ‘Black Panther’.

**Mark Hildreth, who wrestled as ‘Van Hammer’ in WCW was arrested following an incident Sunday. The Palm Beach Post reported that Hildreth struck a 5-year old boy on his bicycle with his car and proceeded to leave the scene. Hildreth is facing charges of leaving the scene of an injury crash and a DUI. The unnamed victim was taken to hospital and is in stable condition with possible internal injuries. Hildreth was in court on Monday morning with bail set at $125,000 and includes an option to be placed under house arrest. In the story, it also states he was believed to be going 58 mph where the limit was 35. As Van Hammer, he debuted for WCW in 1991 and was placed on a two-month winning streak out of the gate. The company would go hot and cold with him and he ended up staying with WCW throughout the decade. He was a member of Raven’s Flock and then given another push in 1999 around the time Kevin Nash was booking the show. His last run in WCW saw him as a member of the Misfits in Action as ‘Major Stash’ until leaving the company in mid-2000.

**The angle involving MJF delivering ten lashes to Cody will take place on the February 5th edition of AEW Dynamite from Huntsville, Alabama. The angle precedes their match set for ‘Revolution’ on Saturday, February 29th on pay-per-view.

**WrestleMania Axxess takes place from Thursday, April 2nd through Monday, April 6th at the Tampa Convention Center. Tickets will go on sale on Friday, February 7th with a pre-sale from Wednesday, February 5th at 10 am ET until Thursday, February 6th at 11:59 pm with the code word DOTCOM.

**Due to a right shoulder injury, New Japan has removed Karl Fredericks from the remainder of the shows in the U.S. this week.

**Kota Ibushi, who was taken off the ongoing New Beginning tour of the United States, posted the following update on his health situation, which has been translated:

Good morning. I’m sorry for the local fans who were looking forward to the American Games. It was a hell of flu and Mallory-Weiss syndrome. I still can’t move much, but I’ll try to cure it a little better. I saw hallucinations for the first time in my life. I guess that was the only thing I got.

**Here is some additional information on Mallory-Weiss syndrome.

**The Briscoe Brothers announced Sunday that they have re-signed with Ring of Honor as their deals were set to expire later this year. Jay just turned 36 years old while Mark just turned 35 and the brothers have been wrestling for almost twenty years with ROH being their home base for most of their careers. The two debuted for ROH in 2002 with Jay working on their inaugural event in February 2002. They have won the ROH tag titles eleven times beginning in November 2003 when they defeated Dixie and Izzy of Special K and would hold them off-and-on for the next sixteen years. Their last run as champions began last July when they defeated the Guerrillas of Destiny at ‘Manhattan Mayhem’ and lost them to Jay Lethal & Jonathan Gresham last month at Final Battle in Baltimore. The duo has also had reigns as IWGP tag champions, ROH six-man tag champions with Bully Ray, CZW tag champions, and Jay has held the ROH title twice.

**The NWA has announced the addition of Sean Mooney to their broadcast team and will debut on Tuesday night’s episode of Power.

**Impact Wrestling has added Chris Sabin to the ‘TNA: There’s No Place Like Home’ card on Friday, April 3rd at The Ritz Ybor over WrestleMania weekend. Sabin wrestled for the company from 2003-2014 and became TNA champion in the summer of 2013 to complete his comeback from two ACL tears. He joined D-Lo Brown and Mr. Anderson as names announced for the nostalgia show that will be part of WrestleCon.

**ROH is doing its own nostalgia show on Saturday, March 14 with their ‘Past vs. Present’ card in Las Vegas, Nevada. In a video the company has released, Jay Lethal has issued a challenge to former ROH champion Xavier on the card. Xavier was the second champion in ROH history defeating Low Ki in September 2002 and held it for six months until Samoa Joe defeated him in March 2003 and begun his legendary reign that really established the title.

**MLW has added a match between Mance Warner and Gino Medina for the Fightland card this Saturday night at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia.

**Bubba Ray Dudley will be a guest on WWE’s ‘The Bump’ this Wednesday on the WWE Network and YouTube.

**The WWE stock closed at $59.09 on Monday.

**Today marks six years since CM Punk (Phil Brooks) went home the day after the Royal Rumble in 2014 on the afternoon of Raw in Cleveland, Ohio. Punk informed Vince McMahon and Paul Levesque backstage that he was going home and would mark the end of his time with the company, and largely with pro wrestling until this past year with his addition to the panel on WWE Backstage.

Punk would later be released by the company in June, which he would note in 2014 interview on the Art of Wrestling that his release notice was delivered on his wedding day. Punk had been set to wrestle Triple H that year at WrestleMania in New Orleans and led to several changes in the WrestleMania card, which resulted in Daniel Bryan’s major break and going from a match with Sheamus to winning the WWE title that year in the main event.

Raw that night in 2014 was at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland and was the same building Punk would have his first UFC fight in September 2016 at UFC 203 against Mickey Gall.

**The production gaffe of the year was easily the cutaway when Edge entered the ring to deliver his first spear in nine years. Dolph Ziggler (who took the spear) openly criticized the mistake and was requesting anyone that caught it on their phone. On the ‘Watch Along’, Xavier Woods was clearly baffled by the inopportune cutaway to the crowd during that moment. A fan did post a video of the spear delivered to Ziggler.

**Here is the card for tonight’s New Japan show in Durham, North Carolina at the Durham Armory:
*Yujiro vs. Misterioso
*Yuji Nagata & Satoshi Kojima vs. TJP & Alex Coughlin
*Colt Cabana, Toru Yano & Rocky Romero vs. The Rock ‘N’ Roll Express & Alex Zayne
*Jeff Cobb vs. Clark Connors
*Lance Archer vs. Ren Narita
*Juice Robinson, David Finlay, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Yoshi-Hashi vs. Guerrillas of Destiny, Chase Owens & Jado

**Back in Japan, New Japan has a card Tuesday morning in Akita with the following lineup:
*Yota Tsuji vs. Gabriel Kidd
*Taiji Ishimori & El Phantasmo vs. Tiger Mask & Yuya Uemura
*Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Manabu Nakanishi
*Roppongi 3K & Toa Henare vs. Minoru Suzuki, El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru
*Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Shingo Takagi, EVIL & Bushi
*Kazuchika Okada, Will Ospreay & Robbie Eagles vs. Taichi, Zack Sabre Jr. & Douki
*Tetsuya Naito, Sanada & Hiromu Takahashi vs. KENTA, Jay White & Gedo

*****
WWE ROYAL RUMBLE 2020 POST SHOW

John Pollock & Wai Ting are joined by Mike Murray to review WWE Royal Rumble 2020 featuring 30-Man Men’s and Women’s Royal Rumble matches, Becky Lynch vs. Asuka, and Daniel Bryan vs. “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/01/26/live-link-for-tonights-wwe-royal-rumble-2019-post-show-1130pm-et/
*****
THUNDERSTRUCK: Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Shinjiro Otani (3/17/1996)
WH Park and Martin Bushby of The British Wrestling Experience discuss a classic match between Jushin Liger and one of his greatest opponents, Shinjiro Otani. This match for the IWGP Jr. heavyweight title took place on March 17, 1996.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/01/26/thunderstruck-14-jushin-liger-vs-shinjiro-otani-3-17-96-w-martin-bushby/
*****
upNXT 1/25/2020: Worlds Collide POST Show

Braden Herrington and Davie Portman are back reviewing Worlds Collide 2020 from Houston, Texas featuring Imperium taking on The Undisputed Era.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/01/26/upnxt-01-25-2020-worlds-collide-2020/
*****

RASD 1/24/20: SmackDown, Hard Times & Royal Rumble Preview
John Pollock & Wai Ting have a special live show to review Friday Night SmackDown & NWA Hard Times, plus a preview of Worlds Collide and Royal Rumble, and your calls.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/01/25/rasd-1-24-20-smackdown-hard-times-royal-rumble-preview/
*****

BRITISH WRESTLING EXPERIENCE: The Best of the 2010s

Martin is back with Benno and Jamesie to discuss their favorite matches, moments and memories from the 2010s of European wrestling.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/01/24/bwe-1-24-20-best-of-the-2010s/
*****
upNXT 1/22/20: “We’re Not On A Boat”

Braden Herrington & Davie Portman are back to chat all about the Worlds Collide “Go-Home” edition of WWE NXT featuring Roderick Strong vs. Keith Lee for the North American Championship, TWO tag team matches in the semi-Finals of the Dusty Classic, Shotzi Blackheart vs. Shayna Baszler, and Io Shirai vs. Toni Storm.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/01/23/upnxt-1-22-20-were-not-on-a-boat/
*****
REWIND-A-DYNAMITE 1/22/20: “I’m On A Boat”

John Pollock and Wai Ting review AEW Dynamite on tape from Chris Jericho’s Rock ‘N’ Wrestling Rager at Sea.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/01/23/rewind-a-dynamite-1-22-20-im-on-a-boat/
*****
REWIND-A-WAI #53: AJW DREAMSLAM I

John Pollock and Wai Ting review All Japan Women’s Dream Slam I from April 2nd, 1993 as AJW, JWP Joshi Puroresu, LLPW, FMW, and EMLL come together to put on dream matches at the height of an early 90’s Joshi Puroresu boom.
https://www.patreon.com/posts/33343730/
*****

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About John Pollock 5646 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.