POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: Triple Threat Tonight for a WWE Title Shot

Raw in Salt Lake City, statistics on Sunday's Super Bowl broadcast, SI looks at WWE's business, Dragon Lee vs. Bandido, WWE stock update, Jon Jones speaks & lots more.

POST IT NOTES

**Wai Ting and I are back tonight with Rewind-A-Raw to review tonight’s show from Salt Lake City and discuss the day’s news and take your feedback and questions. The show will be up late tonight for everyone on the site, iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, and wherever you listen to podcasts.

**Wai and I did a bonus show on Sunday night for members of the POST Wrestling Café running through both New Beginning in Sapporo cards from Saturday and Sunday. We ran through both shows and chatted about weekend news items with Dakota Kai vs. Tegan Nox added to TakeOver, the MLW-Dragon Gate news, and a preview of next Sunday’s show in Osaka.

**The feedback thread is open for the WWE Global Warning show from August 2002 at the former Colonial Stadium in Australia. We will review the show Tuesday night on Rewind-A-Wai.

**Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics Radio joins us this Thursday on the Café Hangout following the WWE’s Q4 and year-end earnings call. The Hangout is live at 3 pm Eastern for all members of the POST Wrestling Café.

POST SCHEDULE

*Tonight: Rewind-A-Raw with John Pollock & Wai Ting
*Tuesday: Rewind-A-Wai #54: WWE Global Warning 2002 (Patreon)
*Wednesday: Rewind-A-Dynamite with John Pollock & Wai Ting
*Wednesday: upNXT with Braden Herrington & Davie Portman
*Thursday: Café Hangout with guest Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics (LIVE at 3 pm ET for all Patrons)
*Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown with Wai Ting (Patreon)
*Friday: British Wrestling Experience with Martin Bushby, Benno & Jamesie
*Saturday: UFC 247 POST Show with John Pollock & Phil Chertok
*Sunday: Thunderstruck with WH Park & guest Nate Milton (Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Brian Pillman, WCW Monday Nitro)
*Sunday: New Beginning in Osaka POST Show with John & Wai (Patreon)

POST WRESTLING VIDEO

WRESTLING NEWS

**Tonight’s episode of Raw takes place from the Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. The state has been hit with a huge snowfall with Salt Lake City expected to be hit with ten inches of snow today. KSL.com reported numerous school closures and car accidents with advisories for those with the ability to make alternate plans to stay off the roads. The arena in Salt Lake City has stated Raw is happening.

WWE has announced that Brock Lesnar will defend the WWE title at Super ShowDown in Saudi Arabia on Thursday, February 27th. His challenger will be determined tonight with a triple threat match scheduled involving Seth Rollins, Bobby Lashley, and Ricochet.

Randy Orton will appear on the show to address last week’s closing angle with Edge and there will be a rematch from last week between Liv Morgan and Lana.

**After opening at $48.96, the WWE stock fell another 5.7% on Monday closing at $46.08 after last week’s major falls after the departures of George Barrios and Michelle Wilson.

**For those interested, the Super Bowl averaged 99.9 million viewers with a 41.7 rating on Fox Sunday night. The average increases to 102 million when adding Fox Deportes and streaming figures from Fox, NFL, and Verizon’s platforms. The halftime show featuring Jennifer Lopez and Shakira averaged 103 million viewers (and over 36 million views on YouTube) and 21.6 million watching the Fox pre-game show. The top markets in the U.S. were Kansas City, Milwaukee, Nashville, Denver, Boston, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Washington D.C, Cleveland, and Providence. In Kansas City, the game did a 55.7 rating and 89 share peaking in the fourth quarter at a 62.6 and 97 share. According to Fox’s data, 148.5 million Americans watched part of the game Sunday night.

Last year’s game on CBS did a 41.1 rating with an average of 98,190,000 viewers with 2.6 million streaming and 473,000 Spanish language viewers.

CBS will host the Super Bowl on February 7, 2021, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa where WrestleMania takes place this year.

**Dwayne Johnson opened the Super Bowl on Sunday with a produced feature introducing the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers. There was lots of WWE integration with the promotion of Friday Night SmackDown throughout the pre-game show and appearances from Roman Reigns and Sasha Banks representing the company.

**SI.com spoke with Dave Meltzer about the departures of George Barrios and Michelle Wilson and the health of the company going into Thursday’s investor’s call. Meltzer’s analysis includes the stats that the average age of a Raw and SmackDown viewer is 50 while NXT is 55. That compares to the average WWE  viewer in 2000 being 23. That said, the WWE’s deals with Fox and the USA Network are guaranteed for five-years and Saudi Arabia deal for another eight years meaning that the fixed revenue figures are going to offset any other declines in business for the foreseeable future. The subject of AEW must be one that is increasing among the business community that is catching up to its impact. Once TNT renewed Dynamite, it was clear to see it isn’t a flash in the pan but here for the long haul. The impact on WWE’s business has been a big increase in talent expenses with those with deals coming making significantly more to stay, NXT going to USA has to be grouped with AEW’s influence and while it’s created more television revenue it’s also removed the WWE Network’s most consistent live weekly programming for those within the U.S. Conversely, those outside the U.S. must wait 24 hours to watch NXT so it does influence the worldwide and domestic subscriber base.

**AEW is promoting the following matches for Tuesday’s edition of Dark at 7 pm Eastern:
*Riho & Kenny Omega vs. Kip Sabian & Penelope Ford
*Jungle Boy & Marko Stunt vs. Brandon Cutler & Sonny Kiss
*Hikaru Shida vs. Mel
*Best Friends vs. Shawn Spears & Colin Delaney

**Ring of Honor has announced that Dragon Lee will defend the ROH Television title against Bandido at their 18th Anniversary card on Friday, March 13th in Las Vegas.

**Newsday has a piece on the late John Mair, who wrestled as ‘Crusher Doogan’ and based out of Long Island, New York. Mair got into the industry through the Malenko school in Florida and moved to Tampa in order to train. He would later return home and worked heavily with the New York Wrestling Connection group. Reporter Alfonso A. Castillo spoke with Mair’s wife Jennifer, as well as Dean Malenko and Tony Nese for the piece. Mair died unexpectedly on January 23rd at his home in Elmont, New York and the cause of death is unknown. He was 49 years old and leaves behind his wife and two children.

**NXT has added a street fight between Tegan Nox and Dakota Kai to TakeOver: Portland on Sunday, February 16th. That brings the match total to five for the show joining Adam Cole vs. Tommaso Ciampa for the NXT title, Rhea Ripley vs. Bianca Belair for the women’s title, Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish vs. Matt Riddle & Pete Dunne for the tag titles, and Johnny Gargano vs. Finn Balor.

**AEW will be bringing in several names from the past for this week’s episode of Dynamite in Huntsville, Alabama. Last week, they said that stars from the city’s history will be brought in for meet-and-greets and it’s not known if they will be acknowledged on Dynamite or Dark. Dave Meltzer reports that the names confirmed so far include Missy Hyatt, Doug Gilbert, Arn Anderson, and Austin Idol.

**During the Super Bowl, Joey Janela revealed that Minoru Suzuki will face Orange Cassidy at Spring Break IV on Friday, April 3rd. This is the perfect setting for such a match, and I expect it to be one of the highlights of the weekend. The card takes place from The Cuban Club in Ybor City and is the first match announced for the popular event. They have announced The Great Muta, Will Ospreay, and Alex Shelley for the show.

**The NEVER six-man tag titles will be defended this Thursday at Korakuen Hall on New Japan’s Road to New Beginning shows. The company runs three straight nights at the venue starting Tuesday. Thursday’s show is headlined by Shingo Takahi, EVIL & Bushi defending the six-man tag titles against Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii & Robbie Eagles.

**Tuesday’s Road to New Beginning show streams live on New Japan World at 4:30 am Eastern with the following card:
*Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Gabriel Kidd
*Taiji Ishimori vs. Yuya Uemura – this could be great if they get 8-10 minutes.
*Toa Henare & Yota Tsuji vs. Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma
*Minoru Suzuki & Douki vs. Manabu Nakanishi & Hiroyoshi Tenzan
*Shingo Takagi, EVIL & Hiromu Takahashi vs. Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii & Robbie Eagles
*Tetsuya Naito, Sanada & Bushi vs. KENTA, Jay White & El Phantasmo
*Kazuchika Okada, Will Ospreay & Roppongi 3K vs. Zack Sabre Jr., Taichi, El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru in an Elimination match

**Ring of Honor has added a match between Doug Williams and Jonathan Gresham and added former Pure champion John Walters to their ‘Past vs. Present’ event on Saturday, March 14th in Las Vegas, Nevada. The show takes place at Sam’s Town Live one night after their 18th Anniversary pay-per-view in the same location.

**The second part of New Japan’s in-character interview with Tetsuya Naito went up on Monday promoting this weekend’s match with KENTA. Naito spoke about the attack from KENTA at the Tokyo Dome, Bushi being the only LIJ member to run out, the return of Hiromu Takahashi and potential of the two having a match at the Anniversary show, the significance of wearing white for the match with Kazuchika Okada, and also gave the following answer regarding his use of the Stardust Press at Wrestle Kingdom on Okada:

It was significant that I could hit that move on the day Liger retired. Liger did invent the move, after all, so I kind of owe a lot to him. I didn’t go on record about Liger’s retirement beforehand, but that maybe that Stardust Press could be my little message to Liger. I don’t know if he saw the match, or if he thought anything about the move if he saw it, but I think that suffices as my little nod to him, perhaps.

**MLW issued a press release on Monday confirming our report over the weekend of a working relationship with Dragon Gate. MLW CEO Court Bauer was quoted in the release:

The collaboration between MLW and Dragon Gate is a very special opportunity to produce unique events, showcase spectacular talent and create a new canvas for Japanese and American cooperation. We are ecstatic about this partnership.

**This week’s edition of NXT UK will feature a Steel Corners Street Fight between Trent Seven and Eddie Dennis on Thursday at 3 pm Eastern.

**NXT women’s champion Rhea Ripley, North American champion Keith Lee, and Tommaso Ciampa will be doing meet-and-greets at EVOLVE 145 on February 29th in Queens and EVOLVE 146 the next night in Melrose, Massachusetts.

**Alphabet, the parent company of Google has reported advertising revenue for YouTube, Google Search, and Google Cloud. In its fourth-quarter and year-end earnings report, it was listed that YouTube generated $15.5 billion in revenue and represents an increase of 36% in 2018.

**Game Changer Wrestling is running three shows from Tokyo on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday this week from Shin-Kiba 1st Ring. The cards will air each night at 8 pm Eastern on Fite TV for $14.99 per event.

**The Street Profits will be on WWE’s ‘The Bump’ this Wednesday at 10 am Eastern.

**CZW is holding its 21st Anniversary card this Saturday at the Colossal Sports Academy at the Coliseum in Voorhees, New Jersey. The show will feature a No Rope Barbed Wire Deathmatch between Masada and Casanova Valentine, AR Fox vs. KC Navarro for the CZW Wired title, Kasey Catal vs. Alex Reynolds, and Necro Butcher will be inducted into CZW’s Hall of Fame. The show will be streaming on Fite TV for $14.99.

**The latest names announced for the WrestleCon convention April 2nd to 5th in Tampa are Hiroshi Tanahashi, Booker T., Darby Allin, Barry Windham, Missy Hyatt, Stephan Bonnar, Chase Owens, Ariane Andrews, Chris Masters, JTG, and Shad Gaspard.

**Progress Wrestling has announced the following talent for their April 2nd card as part of WrestleExpo in Tampa: Cara Noir, Paul Robinson, Kyle Fletcher, Spike Trivet, Jacob Fatu, Josef Samael, The Anti Fun Police, The O.J.M.O., and Eddie Kingston. The WrestleExpo events take place from the Bryan Glazer Family JCC in Tampa with the Progress show set for April 2nd at 8 pm. WrestleExpo will also feature cards from EVOLVE, SHIMMER, wXw, Kaiju Big Battel, the annual Mercury Rising show, and WWN’s special Accelerate events.

**Former NWA champion Dory Funk Jr. turns 79 years old today. Haku (Tonga Uli’uli Fifita) turns 61, and Marty Jannetty turns 60.

**Ric Flair appeared in a hummus commercial for Sabra that ran during the Super Bowl:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaMdt6uz_w8

MMA NEWS

**Colby Covington spoke on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show for the first time since his UFC 245 loss to Kamaru Usman in December. Covington complained about the officiating of Marc Goddard and audio from his corner being broadcast alluding to his jaw injury. During the interview, Covington denied suffering a broken jaw in the fight. He is angling for an immediate rematch with Usman, which is unlikely as the UFC is attempting to put together a fight between Usman and Jorge Masvidal for this summer. Helwani noted that Usman vs. Masvidal isn’t official yet with Masvidal’s side awaiting to see what Conor McGregor is doing next as that is the biggest potential fight for Masvidal.

**The UFC is holding another athlete panel ahead of UFC 247. This Wednesday, there will be two sessions hosted by Jon Anik at The Ballroom at Bayou Place in Houston. The first panel is at 6 pm with Dominick Reyes, Katlyn Chookagian, and Ilir Latifi and the second is at 6:45 with Jon Jones, Valentina Shevchenko, and Derrick Lewis.

**This weekend’s UFC card is the start of eight consecutive weekends of fight cards until WrestleMania weekend when the UFC is off.

**Last Friday, USADA announced that Diego Sanchez has accepted a three-month sanction after they detected Ostarine and S-23 in his system following a sample collected on December 12th. Sanchez was able to provide containers of products he was taking, and they were able to detect the prohibited substances, which were not listed on the label to lessen Sanchez’s sanction due to the contaminated supplements. They traced his usage of the supplements to October 26th, which is when the sanction is retroactive to and therefore, Sanchez is eligible to compete already.

**USADA announced a similar outcome for light heavyweight Ovince Saint Preux, who provided a sample on November 1st. His sample detected Ostarine, a metabolite of LGD-4033, and GW1516 sulfone and GW1516 sulfoxide. The former two are considered anabolic agents while GW1516 is listed as a non-specified substance under hormone and metabolic modulators. Saint Preux had sealed containers tested that found the substances and were not labeled. His suspension was retroactive to October 25th and is already eligible to fight again.

**Ariel Helwani traveled to Albuquerque, New Mexico last week to conduct a sit-down interview with UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones ahead of the fight with Dominick Reyes this Saturday. He sounded very open to fighting at heavyweight and believes he can beat heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic:

**The UFC 247 Countdown show focusing on the two championships fights:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVtC3arY3jc

*****
NJPW New Beginning in Sapporo 2020 POST Show

John Pollock & Wai Ting are not discussing the Super Bowl and instead, will be reviewing the two NJPW New Beginning in Sapporo this weekend headlined by Shingo Takagi vs. Hirooki Goto and Kazuchika Okada vs. Taichi.
https://www.patreon.com/posts/33692085
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THUNDERSTRUCK: Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Tiger Mask III (1/4/1994)

WH Park and Rich Kraetsch of Voices of Wrestling talk about Jushin Liger taking on Tiger Mask III aka Koji Kanemoto on New Japan’s January 4th, 1994 Tokyo Dome show.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/02/02/thunderstruck-15-jushin-liger-vs-tiger-mask-iii-1-4-94-w-rich-kraetsch/
*****
REWIND-A-SMACKDOWN 1/31/20: Dog Food, Barrios/Wilson Out, F9

John Pollock and Wai Ting review Friday Night SUPER SMACKDOWN coming out of the Royal Rumble. We discuss the WWE departures of co-presidents George Barrios and Michelle Wilson.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/02/01/rewind-a-smackdown-1-31-20-dog-food-barrios-wilson-out-f9/
*****
Café Hangout: GRAPPL 100, NXT-AEW Ratings, Your Calls
John Pollock and Wai Ting re-open the doors to the Café Hangout for the first time in 2020! We take calls all show long discussing this week’s top stories in wrestling and MMA. GRAPPL creator Gareth Hodgson joins us to discuss the GRAPPL 100!
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/01/30/live-link-cafe-hangout-returns-3-pm-et/
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upNXT 1/29/20: “Signed in Blood”

Braden Herrington & Davie Portman are back to talk all about the January 29th edition of WWE NXT featuring the final of the Dusty Classic between The Bro-serweights and Grizzled Young Vets.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/01/30/upnxt-1-29-20-signed-in-blood/
*****
REWIND-A-DYNAMITE 1/29/20: “Cleveland MOX”
John Pollock and Wai Ting review AEW Dynamite featuring Jon Moxley’s Ohio homecoming. Plus, DDT’s parent company buys NOAH, Mauro Ranallo gives us an update on his health, and The Bella Twins are both pregnant.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/01/30/rewind-a-dynamite-1-29-20-cleveland-mox/
*****
ASK-A-WAI: Ask Us Anything! (January 2020)
John Pollock and Wai Ting answer their patrons’ questions from the POST Wrestling Forum in the January 2020 edition of Ask-A-Wai.
https://www.patreon.com/posts/33528466
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About John Pollock 5662 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.