POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: NXT TakeOver Portland Preview

John Pollock previews tonight's NXT TakeOver: Portland card, Jon Moxley and PAC at ScrapperMania, Jan Blachowicz wins & Jon Jones reacts.

POST IT NOTES

**Braden Herrington and Davie Portman will have a review of NXT TakeOver: Portland tonight on the site with a special edition of upNXT. You can subscribe to their show on iTunes and it will be available here on the site.

**The latest edition of Thunderstruck is up on the site with WH Park joined by Will Cooling, who hosts The British Wrestling Report on PW Torch. This week, the focus is on Jushin Thunder Liger’s participation in Rev Pro’s British J Cup from 2017 with lots of notes and analysis on the tournament.

**This month’s edition of The Rocky Maivia Picture Show with Nate Milton looks at the 2011 release of “Fast Five” with guests Joey Lewandowski and Joe Two of the 2 Fast 2 Forever podcast dedicated to the Fast & Furious franchise.

**On Monday, Andrew Thompson will have an interview on the site with Tanga Loa from the Guerrillas of Destiny. There will be a story and an audio version of the chat.

**Wai Ting and I will be back Monday night with Rewind-A-Raw following the show in Everett, Washington.

WRESTLING NEWS

**NXT TakeOver: Portland is tonight with the experiment of running a TakeOver card on Sunday instead of the usual Saturday. It is a deep card with an additional match from the norm with six matches scheduled. The only question will be if the Portland audience remains engaged for all the matches. I can see this being a longer show given the extra match and I can’t see any of them being shortchanged on time, or at least all of them require a certain amount. Below is the card, which begins at 7 pm Eastern from the Moda Center:

*Adam Cole vs. Tommaso Ciampa for the NXT title – It’s likely the title can switch given the long wait for Ciampa’s rematch for the title he never lost. They have placed a focus on Ciampa not being able to defend the title at WrestleMania weekend last year and this year could be that chance. There are several options from Ciampa winning to defend the title against Johnny Gargano as they were scheduled for last year or involve Cole in the title mix where he either retains tonight or gets involved with a three-way scenario.

*Keith Lee vs. Dominik Dijakovic for the North American title – I think this plays a big factor in the overall response to the show. If they get to have their legendary style of match that we saw at PWG and EVOLVE in 2017 then this will blow the roof off the place. If it’s a watered-down match it could affect the crowd that should have high expectations for it. Lee seems to be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the ‘USA Network era’ of the show with an additional hour and he’s become one of the main players with great exposure through his main roster appearances over the past few months.

*Rhea Ripley vs. Bianca Belair for the NXT women’s title – This has the handicap that few believe Belair can win the match, which isn’t death for a match but is an obstacle you have to overcome. Ripley and Charlotte Flair has been the plan for WrestleMania and I’ve heard nothing regarding a change. Belair had a great showing in the women’s Rumble, and I think it’s a great idea to have Belair challenge Flair with a week’s worth of promotion for an episode of NXT before WrestleMania. Ripley should retain here.

*Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish vs. Matt Riddle & Pete Dunne for the NXT tag titles – This match could be the show-stealer and I’m anticipating 15-18 minutes with an electric crowd. Riddle and Dunne have clicked from the get-go and it’s breathed life into their runs on the show. Riddle has been greatly under-utilized given his charisma level that’s off the charts and it’s allowed Dunne to have a much-needed second layer beyond being a great wrestler. O’Reilly may be the most underrated guy in the company because his name doesn’t get mentioned enough among the top talent regardless of brand. I’ll be shocked if this match isn’t stellar.

*Johnny Gargano vs. Finn Balor – Logic would suggest that the winner is in line for the next NXT title shot at TakeOver in Tampa. I would expect this one needs 18-20 minutes and may have the highest bar to clear when it comes to the expectation level. The placement of this match will be interesting to see if it goes on later in the card or early. It may work in the position of a co-feature going on right before the main event and it’s a clear direction at the end of the show for your next big title match.

*Dakota Kai vs. Tegan Nox in a Street Fight – I don’t know what to expect for this one from the aspect of the audience’s engagement. It was telling on NXT this week when Nox showed up to confront Kai and no one reacted. The WWE PC series on Nox’s comeback is the type of content that needs to be seen by the masses on television even if it’s an audience loser. Those videos form a bond with the audience to care about the babyface triumphing and fighting for something whereas the television version of the feud has cooled off since the angle at TakeOver last November. With the street fight stipulation, this one can’t be that short, so hopefully, the execution is there for the two to have a strong outing.

**Cathy Kelley will be doing her regular Q&A with Paul Levesque after tonight’s show and that is going to be Kelley’s final appearance after announcing Friday she is leaving WWE after tonight’s show. Kelley has been with WWE since February 2016 and indicated that she decided to step away to pursue other goals.

**The NXT TakeOver: Portland pre-show will air at 6:30 pm Eastern with Charly Caruso, Sam Roberts, and Mansoor on the panel.

**Dominik Dijakovic’s ring gear tonight is in honor of the late Kobe and Gianna Bryant. He will auction off the gear with all proceeds donated to the MambaOnThree Fund to support the families of the seven other victims of last month’s helicopter crash.

**There were several performers unavailable for Friday’s episode of SmackDown in Vancouver for a variety of reasons. The show had three matches on the program with Bayley vs. Carmella and Roman Reigns & Daniel Bryan vs. John Morrison & The Miz receiving a lot of time. In a tweet promoting the main event tag match, John Morrison noted that The Usos would not be at the show.

**The WWE has a combined house show tonight in Kennewick, Washington with Seth Rollins, The Fiend, Roman Reigns, Drew McIntyre, The Miz, and The Usos among those advertised.

**A tag match has been added to Raw this Monday with Rusev teaming with Humberto Carrillo against Bobby Lashley and Angel Garza. They have also announced a “sermon” with Seth Rollins and the previously announced No Holds Barred match between Randy Orton and Matt Hardy in Everett, Washington.

**Fightful’s Sean Ross Sapp has a report on Vince McMahon cutting back on his attendance at Raw and SmackDown tapings of late.

**OTT has revealed that Jon Moxley and PAC will be part of their annual ScrapperMania 6 card next month in Dublin at National Stadium. This follows several videos teasing Moxley’s announcement and they are building towards a match with OTT champion David Starr, who has challenged Moxley. LJ Cleary has issued a challenge to PAC, so that appears to be the direction for each. Moxley and PAC will also do a meet-and-greet on March 14th.

**TIME has an interesting article on non-compete clauses and their impact on the American workforce.

**The WWE Network has launched a new documentary series titled ‘Ruthless Aggression’ chronicling the post-Attitude Era period where business fell, and the search was on for its next signature star. It’s a five-part series with part one up on the service today and the rest airing over the next three weeks.

**On Saturday’s NXT live event in Fort Pierce, Florida, Taynara returned to the promotion. It was first reported by Fightful earlier this month that she had walked out over a disagreement. On Saturday’s show, she teamed with MJ Jenkins and Jessi Kamea losing to Mia Yim, Aoife Valkyrie & Rita Reis. It was Taynara’s first match since January 12th.

**The Mat Men Podcast was the first to report that Sasha Banks had filmed scenes for the second season of The Mandalorian on Disney+.

**Next Friday’s edition of 205 Live from Glendale, Arizona will feature a tag match with Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch taking on Ariya Daivari & Brian Kendrick as well as Joaquin Wilde facing Raul Mendoza.

**A tag match with WALTER & Daisuke Ikeda vs. Timothy Thatcher & Yuki Ishikawa has been added to the final night of wXw’s 16 Carat Gold weekend on Sunday, March 8th in Oberhausen, Germany.

**WrestleCon has released the information that Michael Elgin will face Taurus at the World Wide show on Saturday, April 4th at 3 pm at The Ritz in Ybor City over WrestleMania weekend. That match should be spectacular. The same card will feature Arez taking on Carlos Romo for the RIOT Lucha Libre championship and Cavernario from CMLL facing Caveman Ugg.

**Fight Club will launch a tournament to crown its first Open-Weight Fighting champion. The eight-man tournament begins on March 13th at The Hangar in Wolverhampton.

**Below is the fourth and final part of the Tegan Nox comeback story from the WWE’s PC YouTube channel:

MMA NEWS

**Jan Blachowicz made as strong a statement as possible to become the next candidate to fight Jon Jones with his knockout of Corey Anderson on Saturday night. Blachowicz had lost to Anderson by decision in September 2015. Since that loss, Blachowicz had gone 7-3 including winning six of his previous seven fights before the rematch with Anderson. He would have probably fought Jones last summer had he defeated Thiago Santos when they fought last February but Santos beat him by TKO, and he received the title fight.

Blachowicz landed an amazing right hand that stopped Anderson in the opening round on Saturday. To add fuel, Jon Jones was seated cage side and was very animated from his seat. The talk of Jones going to heavyweight seems to have died down considering last week’s fight with Dominick Reyes and if Jones remains at light heavyweight the only options are Reyes and Blachowicz. Blachowicz didn’t waste his chance and campaigned strongly for the title fight after his victory.

**Jones was very complimentary of Blachowicz’s performance and wasn’t shy about his criticism of Anderson:

 

**UFC middleweight Jared Cannonier stated he tore his left pectoral completely last week and is set for surgery this Tuesday. The UFC had been attempting to put a fight together between Cannonier and Darren Till for the UFC 248 card next month in Las Vegas, but that’s obviously off the table now. Cannonier, 35, moved down to middleweight after losses to Jan Blachowicz and Dominick Reyes (who are now the top contenders at light heavyweight) and has gone 3-0 at middleweight with stoppage wins over David Branch, Anderson Silva, and Jack Hermansson.

**Next weekend’s UFC card takes place from Auckland, New Zealand with a lightweight main event between Paul Felder and Dan Hooker. Felder is 17-4 having won five of his last six fights with consecutive victories against James Vick and Edson Barboza coming into this one. The 19-8 Hooker is a native of Auckland and won six of his last seven fights and is coming off victories against James Vick and Al Iaquinta in 2019.

**Bellator will be in Dublin, Ireland this Friday for a card at the 3Arena. The show was built around James Gallagher fighting in Ireland, but he suffered an injury and is off of the card. It’s one of those split shows from Bellator with one half promoted as Bellator 240 with former lightweight champion Brent Primus fighting Chris Bungard. The other half is part of their European series and the new main event is Leah McCourt against Judith Ruis in a featherweight fight.

*****
THUNDERSTRUCK: Jushin Thunder Liger in RevPro’s British J Cup

WH Park and Will Cooling from PW Torch’s The British Wrestling Report talk for the first time to discuss Jushin Liger’s participation in the British J Cup held by RevPro in the summer of 2017.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/02/16/thunderstruck-17-jushin-liger-in-revpros-british-j-cup-7-8-17-w-will-cooling/
*****
TRMPS #14: Fast Give (2011) w/ Joey Lewandowski & Joe Two

Nate Milton welcomes Joey Lewandowski & Joe Two of the “2 Fast 2 Forever” podcast into the theater to recap The Rock’s first ride as DSS Agent Luke “Rebecca” Hobbs in 2011’s Fast Five.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/02/15/trmps-14-fast-five-2011-w-joey-lewandowski-joe-two/
*****
REWIND-A-SMACKDOWN 2/14/20: Heavy Hearted Machinery

John Pollock and Wai Ting are back to review WWE SmackDown on Valentine’s Day featuring Otis’ date with Mandy Rose. Carmella challenges Bayley for the SD women’s title, and Hulk Hogan joins us via satellite.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/02/15/rewind-a-smackdown-2-14-20-heavy-hearted-machinery/
*****

POST PURORESU: New Beginning, MSG, Miyahara vs. Aoyagi

WH Park is joined by Dylan Fox of the Eastern Lariat Podcast to discuss the New Beginning cards, NJPW at MSG, Champion Carnival, CyberAgent buys NOAH & more.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/02/14/post-puroresu-new-beginning-msg-miyahara-vs-aoyagi/
*****
CAFÉ HANGOUT: WrestleMania 37 in LA, XFL w/ Marcus Vanderberg

John Pollock and Wai Ting are joined by Marcus Vanderberg (Yahoo Sports, The Kings of Sport podcast) to chat about WrestleMania going to Los Angeles’ SoFi Stadium in 2021, XFL Week 1 and the latest in wrestling news.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/02/13/live-link-cafe-hangout-your-calls-marcus-vanderberg/
*****
upNXT 2/12/20: “Bro, Where’s My Car?”

Braden Herrington and Davie Portman are back to review the NXT TakeOver: Portland “go-home” edition of WWE NXT featuring KUSHIDA vs. Adam Cole, Johnny Gargano vs. Cameron Grimes, and more.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/02/13/upnxt-2-12-20-bro-wheres-my-car/
*****
REWIND-A-DYNAMITE 2/12/20: Chronic Palatal Abscess, Eye for an Eye

John Pollock and Wai Ting review AEW Dynamite featuring an “Eye for an Eye” main event between Jon Moxley and Santana, Riho defends her title against Nyla Rose, and Chris Jericho debuts Inner Circle’s hitman.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/02/13/rewind-a-dynamite-2-12-20-chronic-palatal-abscess-eye-for-an-eye/
*****
POST MOVIE REVIEW – Black Panther (2018)

Wai Ting and Nate Milton (The Rocky Maivia Picture Show, Kings of Sport) review the eighteenth Marvel Cinematic Universe film, Black Panther (2018).
https://www.patreon.com/posts/33945784
*****

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About John Pollock 1743 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling.He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.