POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: Bill Goldberg and The Bellas on SmackDown

Bill Goldberg and The Bellas on SmackDown, latest on WrestleMania plans, Fight Network feature on Tessa Blanchard, Bob Arum open to selling Top Rank & more.


**Thursday’s edition of the Café Hangout is available for everyone to download. On the show, we had a great chat with Kristen Ashly from the Bell to Belles website. We discussed the advancements of the company’s promoting female talent, the overall changes that can be seen, being a female covering the industry and many other topics. We received a lot of compliments for the chat as Kristen was a great guest and we’ll definitely have her back on. Plus, we had a lot of news to run through including New Japan Road with Shingo Takagi vs. Tomohiro Ishii, Bob Arum open to selling Top Rank and who they have had talks with, and your phone calls.

**I wanted to thank everyone that purchased tickets on the first day for our POST Wrestling LIVE in Tampa Q&A. We were very happy with the sales for the first day. The Q&A takes place Sunday, April 5th at Noon at the Art Insitute of Tampa, which is minutes away from Raymond James Stadium. All the ticket information and VIP options are available here if you would like to join us that day.

**Jamesie has a lengthy interview Riptide Wrestling owner Josh Bevan on a special edition of the British Wrestling Experience this week. The two discuss the role of wrestling promoters in 2020, the impact positively and negatively of WWE in the U.K. market, Riptide’s unique presentation and a lot more covered.

**Wai Ting and I will have a new edition of Rewind-A-SmackDown tonight for members of the POST Wrestling Café. We will go through the latest news and take questions & feedback at the end of the show. That show will be posted late tonight.

**The latest edition of Five Questions with Phil Chertok examines Jan Blachowicz’s win over Corey Anderson last weekend, the Diego Sanchez disqualification victory over Michel Pereira, this weekend’s fight between Dan Hooker and Paul Felder, and the rematch between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury.

**On Sunday, WH Park is joined by Mike Murray for Thunderstruck and they will review Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Black Tiger II (Eddie Guererro) from June 1996.



**Tonight’s episode of Friday Night SmackDown takes place from the Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona on Fox with several matches and segments advertised for the show:
*Bill Goldberg appearing live ahead of next week’s Super ShowDown card
*The Bella Twins on Moment of Bliss with Alexa Bliss
*Naomi vs. Carmella in a #1 contender’s match – the winner challenges Bayley at Super ShowDown
*New Day & The Usos vs. Dolph Ziggler, Robert Roode, The Miz & John Morrison
*Renee Young’s sit-down interview Lacey Evans
*Brian Kendrick & Ariya Daivari vs. Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch in a No DQ match on 205 Live
*Joaquin Wilde vs. Raul Mendoza on 205 Live

**Regarding WrestleMania plans, we are told that the top matches on the SmackDown side are still very fluid and are not locked in. There is the potential for changes to that side and I would expect we will have a better idea of the main direction over the next week with Super ShowDown and the following night’s SmackDown show in Boston. As of now, no matches have officially been announced from SmackDown with the only official matches being Brock Lesnar vs. Drew McIntyre and Rhea Ripley vs. Charlotte Flair. Both John Cena and The Undertaker are scheduled to wrestle on the show this year.

**Manabu Nakanishi’s retirement match takes place Saturday morning at Korakuen Hall to conclude New Japan’s four consecutive cards at the venue. Below is the card that streams live at 4:30 am Eastern on New Japan World:
*Tiger Mask & Gabriel Kidd vs. Yota Tsuji & Yuya Uemura
*Minoru Suzuki, Taichi, El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Ryusuke Taguchi, Colt Cabana, Toru Yano & Rocky Romero
*Roppongi 3K & Toa Henare vs. Hiromu Takahashi, Sanada & Bushi
*Jay White, Guerrillas of Destiny & Bad Luck Fale vs. Juice Robinson, David Finlay, Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma
*Tetsuya Naito, Shingo Takagi & EVIL vs. Will Ospreay, Tomohiro Ishii & Yoshi-Hashi
*Manabu Nakanishi, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima & Yuji Nagata vs. Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Hirooki Goto & Kota Ibushi
*Manabu Nakanishi’s Retirement Ceremony

**During the weekend of Impact’s ‘Hard to Kill’ pay-per-view, The Fight Network was following Tessa Blanchard for an upcoming edition of their series ‘Diary’. As it turned out, this was the weekend when the allegations came out involving Blanchard prior to the pay-per-view where she won the Impact title from Sami Callihan. Despite the allegations, they did film throughout the weekend and the episode is scheduled to be released on Monday, March 2nd and will be very interesting to see how that aspect is covered because it would be impossible to avoid.

**Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kota Ibushi won the IWGP tag titles on today’s New Japan Road event defeating the Guerrillas of Destiny.

**TSN 2 in Canada is airing a replay of Dynamite tonight at Midnight Eastern, which is the first time they have done that.

**The WWE stock increased more than 5% today closing at $50.23.

**EVOLVE has added NXT performers Isaiah ‘Swerve’ Scott and Austin Theory to their WRESTLExpo Accelerate show on Thursday, April 2nd at Noon. Timothy Thatcher will be appearing on the April 3rd EVOLVE card at Noon with both shows in Tampa at the Bryan Glazer Family JCC.

**A six-man tag has been added to AEW Dynamite next week with Sammy Guevara, Santana & Ortiz taking on Luchasaurus, Jungle Boy & Marko Stunt in Kansas City, Missouri. The show also features a 30-minute Ironman match between Kenny Omega and PAC, Best Friends vs. The Butcher & The Blade, and a ‘weigh-in’ with Chris Jericho and Jon Moxley.

**After Saturday’s show, the next card on New Japan World is the Anniversary show on Tuesday, March 3rd headlined by Tetsuya Naito and Hiromu Takahashi at Ota Ward Gymnasium, which is the site of New Japan’s first event in 1972. The next day is the launch of the New Japan Cup tournament that runs through March 21st.

**ROH has added a ‘Dealer’s Choice’ match for their 18th Anniversary pay-per-view on Friday, March 13th. It will be a four-way match with Shane Taylor vs. Bateman vs. Dan Maff vs. Kenny King and the winner will receive a title match of their choosing. They have also announced The Briscoes vs. Dalton Castle & Joe Hendry and a match between Session Moth Martina and Nicole Savoy.

**Oona Chaplin is set to star in an upcoming horror film called ‘Lullaby’ that begins filming next month. The connection is that the screenplay was co-written by Alex Greenfield, who is the former lead writer on SmackDown and most recently had worked with MLW. Greenfield wrote the screenplay alongside Ben Powell and has been in the works for almost four years. John R. Leonetti will serve as the director and they will be filming the movie in Toronto next month.

**Femme Fatales has a card in Ottawa, Ontario tonight at St. Anthony’s Hall featuring a four-way match with Ashley Vox vs. Alexia Nicole vs. Veda Scott vs. Naveah along with LuFisto taking on Priscilla Kelly in a No DQ match. The show is located at 523 St-Anthony Street with doors opening at 6:30 pm with a meet-and-greet followed by the show at 8.

**Progress Wrestling is holding its Chapter 103 ‘Beer Snake City’ card this Sunday at the Electric Ballroom with the following matches:
*Cara Noir vs. Mark Andrews for the Progress title
*Paul Robinson vs. Kyle Fletcher for the Proteus title
*Scotty Davis & Jordan Devlin vs. The WorkHorsemen for the Progress tag titles
*Toni Storm & Jinny vs. Medusa Complex
*WALTER & Anti Fun Police vs. More than Hype
*Ilja Dragunov vs. Malik
*Gisele Shaw vs. Chakara

**The Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Will Ospreay match from last Friday’s Rev Pro High Stakes card has been added to New Japan World.

**AAA is sending Pagano to work the MLW ‘Intimidation Games’ event on April 18th at Cicero Stadium in Chicago.

**Here are the matches for Saturday night’s episode of MLW Fusion at 9 pm Eastern on beIN Sports:
*Ross Von Erich vs. Tom Lawlor
*Erick Stevens vs. Douglas James
*Muhammed ‘King Mo’ Lawal vs. TBA

**Tickets for Impact’s ‘Rebellion’ pay-per-view go on sale this Monday at 10 am Eastern. The card takes place Sunday, April 19th at Terminal 5 in New York City and will take place the same day as the NWA’s Crockett Cup card from College Park, Georgia.

**The Rock’s recent visit to the WWE Performance Center:

**Below is the promo from Cody after Dynamite went off the air Wednesday night in Atlanta:


**On Thursday night, UFC president Dana White spoke at a rally in Colorado Springs for President Donald Trump. This is not the first time White has appeared on behalf of Trump with White speaking at the Republican National Convention in 2016 prior to the election.

**In a potentially huge story, Bob Arum of Top Rank spoke with Business Insider and stated he would be open to selling the company and its assets. It’s believed that if a sale were to occur it would be the biggest in combat sports since Endeavor purchased the UFC in July 2016. In the interview, Arum said they have had talks with Endeavor, Telecommunications firm Liberty Global, and the DAZN streaming service. Arum noted the potential hang-up with DAZN as Top Rank is less than two years into their seven-year contract with ESPN. Top Rank has the promotional rights to Tyson Fury, Terence Crawford, Vasyl Lomachenko, Naoya Inoue, and Teofimo Lopez to name a few. Other assets include a massive tape library and debt-free property in Las Vegas.

**Brett Okamoto at ESPN reports that Valentina Shevchenko is expected to defend the women’s flyweight title against Joanne Calderwood next. The fight would take place on June 6th at the UFC 251 pay-per-view. There is no location for the event, although Okamoto reports that Australia is the leading candidate for the show. Shevchenko had largely cleaned out the women’s 125-pound division with Calderwood the only remaining contender after defenses against Jessica Eye, Liz Carmouche, and Katlyn Chookagian. Beyond that, there is Roxanne Modafferi, who was recently challenged by Lauren Murphy.

**Dana White spoke to ESPN and stated that light heavyweights Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua will fight for a third time at UFC 250 on May 9th in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The first fought in PRIDE with Rua defeating Nogueira by unanimous decision in June 2005 in the quarterfinals of the Middleweight Grand Prix that Rua won. They fought ten years later in August 2015 at UFC 190 with Rua winning again by unanimous decision. Rua only fought once in 2019 fighting Paul Craig to a draw last November. Nogueira, 43, has only had four fights since that last fight with Rua. He is coming off a knockout loss to Ryan Spann last May.

**There is an enormous boxing fight this weekend with the rematch between heavyweights Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury on Saturday night from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. It’s the second major combat sports event for ESPN+ this year following UFC 246 in January that did monstrous business for the streaming service. It’s a similar model for this fight where U.S. subscribers of ESPN+ must purchase the card on top of their ESPN+ membership. There has been lots of coverage of the fight all week and both fighters have raised their profile noticeably since their last fight in December 2018. Given Fox is a partner in this pay-per-view through Wilder and Fury’s involvement with WWE, it would make sense that they push the pay-per-view on tonight’s episode of SmackDown and probably a heavy push on Saturday’s UFC card on ESPN+.

**Bellator is running two cards this weekend with a show in Thackerville, Oklahoma tonight with Mauro Ranallo and John McCarthy calling the show. On Saturday, they are running one of their European Series events from Dublin, Ireland at the 3Arena with Mike Goldberg and Josh Thomson on the broadcast. Below are the main card fights for each:

Bellator 239 tonight at 9 pm Eastern on DAZN & Paramount Network:
*Ed Ruth vs. Yaroslav Amosov
*Brandon Girtz vs. Myles Jury
*Tyrell Fortune vs. Timothy Johnson
*Javy Ayala vs. Valentin Moldavsky

Bellator Europe 3 on Saturday at 5 pm Eastern:
*Leah McCourt vs. Judith Ruis
*Kyle Kurtz vs. Charlie Ward
*Aaron Chalmers vs. Austin Clem

Bellator 240 on Saturday at 10 pm Eastern on DAZN & Paramount Network:
*Brent Primus vs. Chris Bungard
*Kiefer Crosbie vs. Iamik Furtado
*Bec Rawlings vs. Elina Kallionidou
*Ricky Bandejas vs. Frans Mlambo
*Oliver Enkamp vs. Lewis Long

**LFA has a card tonight at 9 pm Eastern on Fight Pass headlined by Alex Polizzi and Jamal Pogues for the vacant light heavyweight title.

**The UFC has a card from Auckland, New Zealand that airs Saturday night in North America. It’s not a big show by any stretch and the most compelling fight by leaps and bounds in the main event. Lightweights Paul Felder and Dan Hooker will meet in the main event and the winner will catapult himself into the top-end mix of the division. The problem is the depth is so great at lightweight and there are outside factors that will make it hard for the winner to cut through the logjam. If McGregor fights the winner of Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson, then it places the remaining contenders on hold to fight one another or wait. I would say the winner of this fight could land a fight with Justin Gaethje or Dustin Poirier.

Below is the full card for Saturday:

MAIN CARD (7 pm Eastern on ESPN+)
*Paul Felder vs. Dan Hooker
*Jimmy Crute vs. Michal Oleksiejczuk
*Yan Xiaonan vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz
*Marcos Rogerio de Lima vs. Ben Sosoli
*Magomed Mustafaev vs. Brad Riddell
*Zubaira Tukhugov vs. Kevin Aguilar

*Josh Culibao vs. Jalin Turner
*Emil Meek vs. Jake Matthews
*Song Kenan vs. Callan Potter
*Tyson Nam vs. Kai Kara-France
*Angela Hill vs. Loma Lookboonmee
*Priscila Cachoeira vs. Shana Dobson

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About John Pollock 5645 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.