POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: Brandi Rhodes speaks on the Nightmare Collective

Brandi Rhodes speaks on the Nightmare Collective problems, Naito vs. Hiromu, AEW returning to two markets, Jon Jones speaks on WWE, UFC 247 fallout & more.

POST IT NOTES

**Wai Ting and I did a show on Sunday night with a review of New Beginning in Osaka, which was an excellent show. We went into detail on all the matches from Osaka-jo Hall, the matches set up coming out of the show, their return to Madison Square Garden, G1 dates, and taking your feedback. This show is available for members of the POST Wrestling Café.

**We also have a UFC 247 POST Show from Saturday with Phil Chertok and I reviewing the card, how we scored the main event between Jon Jones and Dominick Reyes, the judging controversies on the card, and a full rundown of the event from Houston.

**WH Park was joined by Nate Milton on Thunderstruck this past weekend to review the Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Brian Pillman match from the premiere episode of WCW Monday Nitro in September 1995.

**Wai Ting and I are back tonight with Rewind-A-Raw to discuss the show in California, WrestleMania 37’s location, New Japan’s February cards, and all the news from the past weekend.

**Andrew Thompson covered the ROH Free Enterprise event on Sunday and will have an interview with Session Moth Martina coming up on Tuesday with several interesting notes from that discussion.

POST SCHEDULE

*Tonight: Rewind-A-Raw with John Pollock & Wai Ting
*Tuesday: MCU review of ‘Black Panther’ with Wai Ting & Nate Milton (Patreon)
*Wednesday: Rewind-A-Dynamite with John Pollock & Wai Ting
*Wednesday: upNXT with Braden Herrington & Davie Portman
*Thursday: Café Hangout with guest Marcus Vanderberg of Yahoo (LIVE at 3 pm ET for Patrons)
*Friday: POST Puroresu with John Pollock, WH Park & guest Dylan Fox of the Eastern Lariat Podcast
*Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown with John & Wai (Patreon)
*Saturday: The Rocky Maivia Picture Show with Nate Milton & guests Joey Lewandowski and Joe Two from ‘2 Fast 2 Forever: The Fast & Furious’ podcast
*Sunday: Thunderstruck with WH Park & guest Will Cooling (Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Black Tiger II, June 1996)
*Sunday: NXT TakeOver: Portland POST Show with Braden Herrington & Davie Portman

WRESTLING NEWS

**Tonight’s episode of Raw takes place from Ontario, California and they have announced the following matches:
*Becky Lynch vs. Asuka for the Raw women’s title
*Seth Rollins, Murphy & AOP vs. Kevin Owens, Samoa Joe & Viking Raiders

**It was announced on Monday that WrestleMania 37 will take place from the new SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California on Sunday, March 28, 2021. A press conference will be held on Tuesday to make the formal announcement in the city. It’s the first time since 2005 that WrestleMania will be in the L.A. market.

**Brandi Rhodes was on Wrestling Observer Live with Bryan Alvarez and Mike Sempervive to discuss the end of her role within the Nightmare Collective. Last week’s episode of Dynamite signaled the end of it when Brandi came out during the final segment where Cody received the ten lashes. In the interview, Brandi noted that the initial idea was her playing a manager to Awesome Kong, who would be an assassin style of character. Kong was not doing well physically and limited her and opened the door for some additional characters to be brought in and created the Nightmare Collective. She acknowledged that fans were not into the story and Brandi felt the same way. She noted that the recent therapy sessions to add some depth to the character were her idea and not from other’s at AEW with Brandi hiring the actress herself to shoot the spots. It was also noted that there are questions for fans to see what happens with Mel and Luther as it seems they will remain.

The following video was released on Monday that appears to wrap up Brandi’s involvement with the group:

**The main event of New Japan’s 48th Anniversary card will feature Tetsuya Naito taking on LIJ stablemate Hiromu Takahashi at Ota Ward Gymnasium on Tuesday, March 3rd. The match was set up after Naito’s defense of the double championship against KENTA on Sunday at New Beginning in Osaka. Naito said he wanted to face Takahashi, who came out and accepted the challenge with their combined three championships on the mat and Takahashi lifting Naito’s IWGP heavyweight title and staring at it.

**AEW will be returning to the Agganis Arena in Boston, Massachusetts for the April 15th edition of Dynamite and will return to Philadelphia on April 22nd at the Liacouras Center. This is the first set of markets AEW is bringing Dynamite back to since the show’s launch last fall. Boston and Philadelphia were run on October 9th and 16th last year with the Wrestling Observer Newsletter reporting that they drew 6,000 in Boston and 9,000 in Philadelphia, which were both sell-outs. Tickets for both shows go on sale this Friday at Noon Eastern.

**WWE has announced that 18-year old Simone Johnson, the daughter of Dwayne Johnson, has reported to the WWE Performance Center indicating she has signed with the company. Johnson has been at the Performance Center over the past year, but this was the formal announcement from the company. She will be doing an interview with Cathy Kelley this Wednesday at 3 pm Eastern on WWE’s digital platforms.

**The WWE stock saw a slight increase on Monday as it opened at $41.58 and closed at $42.05. The major factors that could see a swing in the value would be the big streaming deal they spoke about last week, and the closing of the television deals in India and the MENA region.

**Friday Night SmackDown finished with 2,538,000 viewers on Fox this past Friday. It was their second-highest of 2020 spurred by the appearance from Bill Goldberg setting up a match with The Fiend at Super ShowDown. The show went against the Democratic debate in New Hampshire, so SmackDown was #2 with adults 18-49 and 18-34 instead of the usual top spot they occupy in those demos for network programming. They finished with a 0.8 in the 18-49 demo and a 0.5 with 18-34s.

**UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones spoke to SI.com about the possibility of working with WWE in the future:

I’ve always respected WWE, and I feel like the sports can be so similar. I have the size and athleticism and the following to transition over really well. To get the opportunity to just show up, even as a special guest, would be a dream come true.

**A match between Dustin Rhodes and Sammy Guevara has been added to Dynamite this Wednesday night in Austin, Texas. This joins the previously announced matches with Jon Moxley vs. Santana, Riho vs. Nyla Rose for the AEW women’s title, and Kenny Omega & Hangman Page vs. Frankie Kazarian & Scorpio Sky for the AEW tag titles.

**All Japan Pro Wrestling has a big show Tuesday morning from Korakuen Hall and streaming at AJPW.tv. Below is the full card:
*Kento Miyahara vs. Yuma Aoyagi for the Triple Crown
*Suwama & Shuji Ishikawa vs. Shigehiro Irie & Lucas Steel for the All Japan tag titles
*Susumu Yokosuka vs. Francesco Akira for the AJPW junior heavyweight title
*Jake Lee & Koji Iwamoto vs. Takao Omori & Black Menso-re for the All-Asia tag titles
*Manabu Nakanishi, Jun Akiyama, Osamu Nishimura & Yutaka Yoshie vs. Yoshitatsu, Ryoji Sai, Tajiri & Dan Tamura
*Naoya Nomura, Ayato Yoshida & Fuminori Abe vs. Zeus, Izanagi & Utamaro
*Yusuke Okada, Hikaru Sato & JR Kratos vs. Hokuto Omori, Tsugataka Sato & Rising Hayato

**The latest in the lead-up to Nick Aldis vs. Marty Scurll is Scurll’s counteroffer that if Aldis wins the rematch, Scurll will write him a cheque for $500,000. Footage from Ring of Honor’s Free Enterprise will be featured on NWA Power on Tuesday night.

**The next edition of Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Sessions will feature Paul ‘Big Show’ Wight as the guest. The interview will air on the WWE Network beginning Sunday, February 23rd at 8 pm Eastern.

**Awful Announcing has a detailed rundown of the first weekend of the XFL.

**Buddy Murphy (now just ‘Murphy’) spoke to Metro in the U.K about the struggle of performing on 205 Live and following SmackDown each week and dealing with a lot of dead crowds:

We were the local band following AC/DC – so we went out there when the crowds have already seen all the stars that they wanted to. We had a tough job to get these fans that want to go home and get them onto their seats. It made our jobs really hard, but it made it a great learning experience to work in front of those crowds and bring them back. It’s only made me a better performer, but 205 was some of the best in-ring product in the world. It was just unfortunate that it wasn’t showcased to the best of its ability, I believe. But it did have the best in-ring product.

**MLW has signed a distribution deal with the France-based Webedia streaming platform. The streaming service will begin airing MLW Fusion on Monday nights at 9 pm in France beginning tonight. MLW CEO Court Bauer gave the following statement in the company’s press release:

This partnership marks an important step for MLW in France as we team up with an extraordinary partner in Webedia to present the league and its premier content. Major League Wrestling’s content is a must have for all TV platforms, especially to target Millennial sports fans.  Webedia is the perfect fit for MLW’s global content strategy.

**The latest addition to Ring of Honor’s Past vs. Present card is Jay Briscoe vs. Mark Briscoe for Saturday, March 14th in Las Vegas. This match joins previously announced matches with Alex Shelley & Matt Sydal vs. Marty Scurll & Flip Gordon, Jay Lethal vs. Xavier, Homicide vs. Brody King, and Jonathan Gresham vs. Doug Williams. The card will stream on Honor Club the night after their 18th Anniversary Show.

**Stardom held a card at Korakuen Hall on Saturday headlined by Takumi Iroha over Mayu Iwatani. The show also featured Arisa Hoshiki retaining the Wonder of Stardom title over Bea Priestley and the Trios unit of Giulia, Shuri & Maika defeated Momo Watanabe, Utami Hayashashita & AZM to win the Artist of Stardom title.

**Masked Republic is teaming with FanGirl Consulting & Brand Management in conjunction with Expo Lucha: Philadelphia this summer. The convention is taking place on August 15th and 16th from the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia with Juventud Guerrera, Konnan, and Psychosis set to attend. FanGirl will assist in finding brand partnerships, event sponsorships, and marketing outreach for Lucha Expo among the Hispanic fanbase.

**Bryan Alvarez will be in Portland, Oregon this Sunday prior to the TakeOver card signing from 1-3 pm at the Kinokuniya Bookstore at 829 SW 9th Avenue. He will be signing both of his books, ‘100 Things WWE Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’ and ‘Death of WCW’.

**Josh Alexander of Impact Wrestling has announced he is closing his CSS (Canadian Strong Style) wrestling school in Schomberg, Ontario this March after one year of operation.

**Jon Langmead has an extensive story on Billy Sandow on SLAM Wrestling.

**This weekend’s episode of MLW Fusion is being promoted as The Dynasty’s episode where they serve as the Executive Producers. All four members of the group will be in matches with Alex Hammerstone vs. Drago for the National Openweight title, Ross & Marshall Von Erich vs. MJF & Richard Holliday for the MLW tag titles, and Gino Medina vs. Septimo Dragon.

**EVOLVE champion Josh Briggs will defend the title against Anthony Greene in an ‘Anything Goes Match’ on Sunday, February 29th in Queens, New York. EVOLVE will be in Melrose, Massachusetts the following night with the shows streaming on Club WWN.

**There is a great special on the WWE Network called Rebuilding Big Show as it chronicles Paul Wight’s debilitating hip problems, the infection he received that led to several additional operations and eventually, a total hip replacement. It documents his rehabilitation process, getting cleared one year ago, and wanting to end his career on his own terms while adding the anger and depression that comes with long-term injuries for athletes. They had footage of some of his matches from late 2018 and he can barely get up and move inside the ring to the point, it was amazing he was cleared to compete during this time when he was involved with Cesaro and Sheamus. I had no idea this existed until scrolling through the guide and see it listed but it’s worth the twenty minutes.

**David Von Erich passed on this date at the age of 25. Curt Hennig also died on this date in 2003 at 44.

**Lisa Marie Varon turns 49 today and Taiji Ishimori turns 37.

**DEFY Wrestling returns on Friday, February 21st with ‘Kings of Crash’ at Washington Hall in Seattle. The show will feature Jeff Cobb, The Crash’s tag champions Bestia 666 & Mecha Wolf, SCHAFF vs. Ravenous Randy Myers for the DEFY title, Ricky Gibson & Eddie Pearl vs. Damian 666 & Guillermo Rosas for the DEFY tag titles and more.

**This video of P.J. Hawx diving off a balcony inside of a mall has gone viral and picked up by numerous outlets:

**Hiromu Takahashi’s chest after the chop fest with Ryu Lee on Sunday in Osaka:

MMA NEWS

**Saturday’s UFC 247 card drew 17,401 to the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas with a gate of $3,549,418 setting the UFC’s gate record in the building. The Fight of the Night bonus went to Trevin Giles and James Krause with the Performance of the Night bonuses to Mario Bautista and Kalinn ‘Khaos’ Williams for $50,000 each.

**Bellator announced Monday they have signed welterweight champion Douglas Lima and flyweight champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane to multi-year, multi-fight contract extensions with the promotion.

Lima, 32, has been with Bellator since 2011 and won the welterweight title three times most recently defeating Rory MacDonald last October to regain the championship. He is 32-7 with only three losses during his time at Bellator to Ben Askren, Andrey Koreshkov, and Rory MacDonald and avenged the losses to Koreshkov and MacDonald.

Macfarlane, 29, signed with Bellator after her first pro fight in January 2015 and is unbeaten in her career. She became the 125-pound women’s champion in November 2017 defeating Emily Ducote to become their inaugural champion. Since then, she has defended the title four times and become a star in her native Hawaii where she has fought twice for the company. Macfarlane is coming off a decision victory over Kate Jackson last December.

**The major discussion following UFC 247 was the judging of the show where there were some bad cards turned in. Joe Solis was the judge that received the most criticism primarily for his 49-46 card for Jon Jones in the main event. I was content with either fighting winning 48-47 as I had Reyes winning the first two rounds comfortably and easily had Jones taking the fourth and fifth rounds. The close one for me was Round 3. Reyes landed more strikes in the round, but Jones had a great end to the round, and you must assess the damage Jones did with his fewer shots and if they were more impactful. Ultimately, I felt Reyes won the third round and therefore, 48-47 on my card.

Solis turned in two questionable cards prior to the main event with a 29-28 card for Trevin Giles over James Krause and a 30-27 card for Andre Ewell over Jonathan Martinez on the prelims. 29-28 for Giles is fine, although the second round seemed like a slam dunk for a 10-8 but doesn’t alter who won the fight. However, Solis scored the first round for Giles and the third round for Krause. The first round was a clear one for Krause. I had it 29-27 for Giles with a 10-8 in the second round and Giles winning the third round.

30-27 for Andre Ewell was nuts. I had it 29-28 for Martinez and there is no way Ewell won the second round and I can’t even argue the third round for him, either.

My issue is that this is a judge that doesn’t judge a lot of big fights. On MMA Decisions, it lists one fight card he did in 2014, one in 2015, a Bellator card in 2016, one show in 2017, and nothing in 2018 or 2019. That level of inactivity cannot leave one eligible to be judging a major championship fight and the pattern of bad scores on Saturday necessitates a review of his judging and some accountability.

**The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation provided a statement to Luke Thomas of Sirius XM regarding Saturday’s judging issues when the host requested someone from the commission come on his show.

**The light heavyweight division will be in focus this weekend with the UFC’s Fight Night card from Rio Rancho, New Mexico. In the main event, contenders Corey Anderson and Jan Blachowicz will meet at 205 pounds. Anderson has won his last four fights over Patrick Cummins, Glover Teixeira, Ilir Latifi, and Johnny Walker and a win over Blachowicz puts him high on the list to be the next championship contender. Blachowicz has won six of his last seven fights including victories against Jimi Manuwa, Nikita Krylov, Luke Rockhold, and Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza. His lone blemish during that stretch was a TKO loss to Thiago Santos last year that led to Santos receiving a title fight.

**If Jon Jones is remaining at light heavyweight, then the winner of this Saturday’s fight would be a frontrunner for the next title fight. The other options would be a rematch with Dominick Reyes, which seems to be in high demand or Jones moving up to heavyweight. A big element to Saturday’s fight was that Reyes could not maintain his output in the fourth and fifth rounds that led to Jones ending strong. The size Jones would give up at heavyweight is augmented by his conditioning that would be superior to most, if not all the heavyweights. Personally, I would love to see a rematch with Reyes, and I think there’s a natural rematch with Thiago Santos as options at light heavyweight but the big fights for Jones are all at heavyweight, or with middleweight champion Israel Adesanya.

**Bellator made it official Monday that Rafael Lovato Jr. has relinquished the promotion’s middleweight title due to his ongoing medical issues. Last month, Lovato Jr. revealed on the Joe Rogan Experience that he suffers from cavernoma, a condition in the brain and/or spine where there are clusters of vessels with small bubbles filled with blood and will make it exceedingly difficult for a commission to license him given he risk factors of what could happen. Lovato Jr. won the middleweight title on June 22, 2019, from Gegard Mousasi improving to 10-0 in his pro career. Lovato Jr. was quoted in the announcement today:

My journey with my team and family to become the Bellator middleweight world champion was incredible and something I will cherish forever. I dreamed of having a long reign as champion, but sometimes life has another plan. Bellator has been very supportive during this difficult process, a situation that has never really happened before in our sport. I know the division must move on while I am on the sidelines and I wish everyone great fights on their way to that belt. I will be working to come back if it is possible – and if not, life will continue to be amazing for me and I look forward to working with Bellator in another fashion.

**Former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman has indicated he will return to his natural weight class. After a move up to light heavyweight last October, he was knocked out by Dominick Reyes and leaving the 35-year old with a record of 1-5 in since December 2015. Weidman posted the following message on Monday:

I’ve been through the highest of highs and the lowest of lows in my fight career. I really love what I do, and I believe I still have some great moments ahead of me! Can’t wait to shut up all the haters! To all the people that have supported me through the ups and the downs, I appreciate it more than you know. I am more motivated than ever and I know the future is bright. Hopefully getting a fight booked around April back in the MW division!

**Shaun Al-Shatti of The Athletic makes a crazy observation over the mirrored scoring of Jon Jones vs. Dominick Reyes with Jones vs. Alexander Gustaffson from UFC 165 in 2013.

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

John Pollock & Wai Ting review the NJPW New Beginning in Osaka card from this past weekend as Tetsuya Naito makes the first defense of the Double Championship against KENTA, plus Jon Moxley vs. Minoru Suzuki, and Hiromu Takahashi vs. Ryu Lee.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/02/09/njpw-new-beginning-in-osaka-2020-post-show/
*****
THUNDERSTRUCK: Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Brian Pillman (9/4/1995)

WH Park and Nate Milton of POST Wrestling’s The Rocky Maivia Picture Show come together for the first time ever to review the historical first-ever match on the first-ever episode of WCW Nitro – Jushin Liger vs. Brian Pillman from September 4th, 1995.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/02/09/thunderstruck-16-jushin-liger-vs-brian-pillman-9-4-95-w-nate-milton/
*****
UFC 247 POST SHOW: Jon Jones vs. Dominick Reyes

John Pollock & Phil Chertok present the UFC 247 POST Show recapping Saturday’s card from Houston, Texas with Jon Jones and Valentina Shevchenko defending their championships.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/02/09/ufc-247-post-show-jon-jones-vs-dominick-reyes/
*****
REWIND-A-SMACKDOWN: Goldberg challenges The Fiend

Wai Ting is back for a solo review of WWE SmackDown as Goldberg returns to challenge “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt at Super ShowDown.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/02/07/rewind-a-smackdown-2-7-20-goldberg-challenges-the-fiend/
*****

BWE 2/7/20: Progress 101 & 102, Worlds Collide, Ospreay vs. ZSJ, Timothy Thatcher

Martin, Benno, and Jamesie are back to discuss Progress Ch. 101/102, NXT vs. NXT UK Worlds Collide, OTT Take Me To Your Leader, Will Ospreay vs. ZSJ, the latest with RevPro and more.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/02/07/bwe-2-7-20-progress-101-102-worlds-collide-ospreay-vs-zsj-timothy-thatcher/
*****

Café Hangout: WWE Q4 and Full Year 2019 Results w/ Brandon Thurston
John Pollock and Wai Ting are joined by Wrestlenomics’ Brandon Thurston to discuss WWE’s Q4 and Full Year 2019 Results and Investor’s Earnings Call.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/02/06/live-link-cafe-hangout-w-wrestlenomics-brandon-thurston-3pm-et/
*****
upNXT 2/5/20: “How Much Fish?”

Braden Herrington is joined by friend of the show Scrump to chat about the February 5th edition of WWE NXT featuring Undisputed Era vs. Ciampa/Riddle/Dunne, Matt Riddle cuts a hilarious promo (and has a new golf cart), plus Charlotte shows up… and more!
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/02/06/upnxt-2-5-20-how-much-fish/
*****
REWIND-A-DYNAMITE 2/5/20: Lash Equal Cash, Britt’s Boot Canal

John Pollock and Wai Ting review AEW Dynamite featuring Cody taking ten lashes from MJF in order to receive his match at Revolution.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/02/06/rewind-a-dynamite-2-5-20-lash-equals-cash-britts-boot-canal/
*****

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About John Pollock 1582 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.