POST IT NOTES
**Wai Ting will be solo tonight for Rewind-A-SmackDown discussing the show from Buffalo and their ‘go-home’ show before Elimination Chamber this Sunday. Wai will also go through the latest news and take feedback from the POST Wrestling Forum. This show will be available for members of the POST Wrestling Café.
**The latest edition of the British Wrestling Experience is up with Martin Bushby and Benno joined by PW Torch’s Will Cooling. The three chat about the recent Rev Pro High Stakes card, Progress Chapter 103, and NXT TakeOver: Portland along with previews of 16 Carat, OTT’s ScrapperMania 6 next weekend, and NXT UK going to Dublin. Plus, Andy Ogden is on the show for his ‘Going Undergraps’ segment.
**If you missed it, we had a great interview on the Café Hangout this week with Evan Husney from ‘Dark Side of the Ring’. In the interview, we discussed the process of getting the show on the air, the success they had with the first season, and the response this week to the trailer going out for season two that begins Tuesday, March 24th. Topics this season will include the Chris Benoit double murder and suicide story from 2007, the death of Dino Bravo, UWF promoter Herb Abrams, an episode on New Jack, Owen Hart, and the Brawl for All tournament in 1998.
**Phil Chertok will join me Saturday night for the UFC 248 POST Show.
**On Sunday, WH Park will be joined by Davis Storm for this week’s edition of Thunderstruck to chat Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Koji Kanemoto from February 1997.
**Wai Ting and I will be LIVE this Sunday night immediately following the WWE Elimination Chamber card. You can call into the show and watch/listen live if you’re a Double Double, Iced Capp, or Espresso member of the POST Wrestling Café. The podcast version will be out Monday morning for everyone.
POST WRESTLING VIDEO
**Friday Night SmackDown takes place from the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, New York tonight at 8 pm Eastern on Fox. The following has been advertised for tonight’s episode heading into the Elimination Chamber show on Sunday:
*Kevin Nash, Scott Hall & Sean Waltman appearing on Moment of Bliss with Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross
*Bayley & Sasha Banks vs. Naomi & Lacey Evans
*John Morrison & The Miz vs. The Usos vs. New Day vs. Heavy Machinery vs. Lucha House Party vs. Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode in a Gauntlet Match – the winners enter the Elimination Chamber last
*The return of the Firefly Fun House
**Roman Reigns is not advertised for tonight’s show.
**WWE has officially announced that Edge (Adam Copeland) will appear on Raw this Monday from the Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C. It’s Edge’s first appearance since the angle with Randy Orton on the January 27th edition of Raw following the Royal Rumble. The arena had been advertising Edge in advance, although they removed his name from the event page earlier this week.
**Regarding the makeup of the WWE creative staff, we were told by someone with knowledge of the situation that there are seven females on the staff. We were told there are four women on Raw and three on SmackDown, one of whom is a writer’s assistant but can pitch ideas.
**Tickets for AEW’s Double or Nothing pay-per-view at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in May are selling very well. A non-AEW affiliated account that monitors ticket sales is listing the May 23rd event at 9,241 tickets sold with a set-up for 11,083 seats. We spoke with an AEW official who told us that the figures were ‘in the right neighborhood’. (NOTE: We originally had listed the ticket sales for the May 27th episode of Dynamite at the MGM Grand but have corrected the item to reflect that the figures are for ‘Double or Nothing’).
**WWE has one house show this weekend with a show on Saturday in Allentown, Pennsylvania. It is mainly Raw talent advertised, although The Fiend and Daniel Bryan are also being advertised. On the venue’s website, they are promoting The Fiend vs. Daniel Bryan, Drew McIntyre vs. Randy Orton, and Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka. Sunday night is the Elimination Chamber show in Philadelphia.
**NXT UK is taping television Friday and Saturday in Coventry, England. Finn Balor has been advertised for the tapings and hinted on this week’s episode of NXT that he would be responding to Imperium after last week’s attack by Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel.
**The annual 16 Carat Gold tournament began today from wXw in Oberhausen, Germany. The three-day event features a 16-man tournament that will culminate with Sunday’s final. Saturday’s show will feature Bobby Gunns defending the Unified world title against David Starr along with the quarter-final matches. Sunday features Avalanche vs. Ilja Dragunov for the Shotgun title, and a tag with WALTER & Daisuke Ikeda vs. Timothy Thatcher & Yuki Ishikawa, plus the semi-finals and final. The opening round matches today feature Cara Noir vs. Marius Al-Ani, Jeff Cobb vs. Alexander James, Bandido vs. Julian Pace, Eddie Kingston vs. Daniel Makabe, Mike Bailey vs. Chris Ridgeway, Puma King vs. The Rotation, Lucky Kid vs. Jurn Simmons, and Black Taurus vs. Shigehiro Irie.
**The Seattle Times has reported that an employee at CenturyLink Field where the Seattle Dragons of the XFL play, has tested positive for the coronavirus. The unnamed employee worked in concessions and was present at their last home game on February 22nd. The King County press office issued the following statement:
There are no extra precautions required for those who attended the Feb. 22 game or who will attend upcoming events but all King County residents should know that the risk for infection with COVID-19 is increasing in our community. As of now, Seattle’s professional sports organizations — Dragons, First & Goal/Seahawks, Mariners, and Sounders FC — will continue with scheduled events. The teams are in touch with local health officials and their respective leagues on a regular basis, as this public health issue continues to evolve.
**Ring of Honor has announced that Nick Aldis will defend the NWA championship against PCO at Supercard of Honor on Saturday, April 4th. This follows last weekend’s Gateway to Honor show, where Aldis attacked PCO and led to Rush pinning PCO after the Bull’s Horns to win the ROH title in a three-way match including Mark Haskins. Supercard of Honor will take place from the RF Funding Center in Lakeland, Florida over WrestleMania Weekend.
**Mike Rodgers has a big story at SLAM Wrestling on the life and career of Rip Oliver, who died on Thursday.
**The mid-season finale of Miz & Mrs. averaged 494,000 viewers this past Wednesday on the USA Network and 0.17 in the 18-49 demo. The six episodes since January 29th averaged 460,000 viewers on a new night. Not having SmackDown as the lead-in has hurt the show, which averaged 965,000 last summer for the six-episode run from July 23rd until August 27th on Tuesdays.
**WWE announced that Peter Rosenberg is returning to the company beginning this Sunday as part of the kickoff panel at Elimination Chamber. He will serve as a panelist on the kickoff shows as well as working on other shows and specials for the WWE Network.
**Mike Johnson at PWinsider.com reported on Friday that Terry Funk will not be flying to New York for The Big Event autograph signing.
**AEW has announced a six-man tag for next week’s episode of Dynamite with Pac, Pentagon Jr. & Rey Fenix vs. Joey Janela & Private Party. The show from Salt Lake City, Utah will also feature Cody vs. Ortiz, Jurassic Express vs. MJF, The Blade & The Butcher, and the rules for the Blood & Guts match on March 25th at the Prudential Center.
**Dalton Castle is the latest name to be added to Ring of Honor’s Pure title tournament in April. Castle joins Doug Williams, Jonathan Gresham, Alex Shelley, Rocky Romero, Mark Haskins, Slex, Tracy Williams, Marty Scurll, Fred Yehi, Yuji Nagata, and Joe Hendry in the tournament for the revived championship. The tournament begins with opening-round matches April 10th in Columbus, Ohio and April 11th in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
**ROH has added Gia Scott to the women’s title tournament that begins on Friday, April 24th in Philadelphia at the 2300 Arena. The 16-woman tournament will also include Sumie Sakai, Kellyanne, Angelina Love, Nicole Savoy, Ashley Vox, Alex Gracia, Mandy Leon, Tasha Steelz, Session Moth Martina, Katarina, and Jenny Rose.
**P.N. News (Paul Neu) has been added to the Clusterfuck Battle Royal at Joey Janela’s Spring Break IV card next month. Neu wrestled as the rap character in the early ‘90s for WCW before going overseas and spending most of his career wrestling in Europe as Cannonball Grizzly. He also had a brief stint in ECW in 1999. He joined Gedo of New Japan as part of the annual battle royal at Spring Break that takes place Friday, April 3rd at The Cuban Club in Ybor City, Florida.
**The KAYfABE Kickstarter campaign led by Gail Kim, Amy Dumas, and Christy Hemme has raised over $57,000 with the goal of $400,000 (U.S) to shoot a pilot episode of the series. The project will only be funded if they reach the goal by Tuesday, April 7th.
**An autograph signing with The Bella Twins at WrestleMania Axxess has been canceled. There was no reason provided but stated that the session will be re-scheduled to feature another talent.
**This Sunday, the WWE Network is releasing a documentary on Florida Championship Wrestling, their developmental territory from 2007-2012 and the precursor to NXT. FCW came about after they shut down Deep South Wrestling and had the developmental program consolidated once they stopped working with Ohio Valley Wrestling.
**John Cena’s return to Friday Night SmackDown last Friday night in Boston at the TD Garden:
**UFC 248 takes place on Saturday night from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada with two championship fights scheduled. Below is the card and results from today’s weigh-in:
MAIN CARD (10 pm Eastern on pay-per-view)
*Israel Adesanya (184.5) vs. Yoel Romero (185) for the UFC middleweight title
*Zhang Weili (115) vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk (115) for the UFC strawweight title
*Beneil Dariush (156) vs. Drakkar Klose (156)
*Neil Magny (171) vs. Li Jingliang (171)
*Max Griffin (170.5) vs. Alex Oliveira (171)
PRELIMINARY CARD (8 pm on ESPN, TSN 5 in Canada)
*Sean O’Malley (135.5) vs. Jose Quinonez (135.5)
*Mark Madsen (156) vs. Austin Hubbard (154.5)
*Rodolfo Vieira (186) vs. Saparbek Safarov (186)
*Gerald Meerschaert (185) vs. Deron Winn (185.5)
FIGHT PASS CARD (6:30 pm)
*Polyana Viana (116) vs. Emily Whitmire (117.5*)
*Giga Chikasze (146) vs. Jamall Emmers (145.5)
*Danaa Batgerel (136) vs. Guido Cannetti (135.5)
**Emily Whitmire missed weight for her strawweight fight against Polyana Viana. Whitmire came in at 117.5 pounds and had to forfeit 20% of her purse.
**There is a UFC 249 press conference tonight at 6 pm Eastern featuring lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and challenger Tony Ferguson, who will fight on Saturday, April 18th in Brooklyn, New York.
**While the UFC may have the biggest show this weekend, the most interesting one for me is Invicta FC’s Phoenix Rising show tonight in Kansas City, Kansas. After several trials in boxing and kickboxing, Invicta FC is going to test out open scoring for tonight’s show amidst criticism of the judging. After each round, scores from the judges will be revealed to the fighters, broadcasters, and on the screen for the audience.
It is an experiment and there are plenty of causes for concern with the most prevalent arguments including fighters that may coast if they are up on the cards entering the final round, judges swayed by the audience’s reaction to a score, or something specific like Diego Sanchez vs. Michel Pereira a few weeks back where Sanchez wanted to know if he would win the fight if he did not continue after taking an illegal knee.
There are enough reasons to be cautious about, but I feel it’s worth the experiment and to see it in execution. I don’t buy the fighters just coasting especially if this were a UFC fight where the win bonus is in effect for the fighter that is down 20-18. Secondly, it’s easier to expect such a strategy from a boxer who is up by nine rounds in a twelve round fight as opposed to a three or five-round MMA fight.
The judges must tune out the audience throughout the fight and not be swayed if they are booed or criticized for judging one round against the audience’s assertion of who won the round, that creates a potential of the judge feeling he owes one to the other fighter if doesn’t have the conviction of his scoring methodology. It’s not like we haven’t seen instances where there is an early stoppage by a referee and later in a card, we see a fight go too long and it seems reactionary.
This may not work for MMA and then we will learn the hidden attributes of the current system but I’m always for experimenting and seeing something in practice as opposed to not being attempted due to the potential problems that may or may not be actualized.
Tonight’s show airs at 8 pm Eastern on UFC Fight Pass and will feature a one-night bantamweight tournament with the following fights:
*Lisa Verzosa vs. Julija Stoliarenko for the vacant bantamweight title
*Kay Hansen vs. Liana Pirosin in a non-tournament fight
*Serena DeJesus vs. Kerri Kenneson in the bantamweight tournament quarter-final
*Claire Guthrie vs. Taylor Guardado in the bantamweight tournament quarter-final
*Hope Chase vs. Julia Ottolino in the bantamweight tournament quarter-final
*Taneisha Tennant vs. Brittney Victoria in the bantamweight tournament quarter-final
*Mitzi Merry vs. Morgan Hickam in a tournament alternate fight
*Kelly Clayton vs. Florina Moeller in a tournament alternate fight
*Bantamweight tournament semi-finals
*Bantamweight tournament finals
**Brett Okamoto at ESPN reports that Amanda Nunes is set to defend the women’s featherweight title against Felicia Spencer at UFC 250 on May 9th in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The candidates were Spencer and Megan Anderson, who were both coming off wins this past Saturday in Norfolk, Virginia. However, Spencer holds a victory over Anderson and made the most sense of the two. The report stated that contracts are not signed but a verbal agreement is in place for the fight to join the previously announced Henry Cejudo vs. Jose Aldo fight for the bantamweight title in Brazil.
**ESPN reported that Ion Cutelaba and Magomed Ankalaev have been re-booked for UFC 249 on Saturday, April 18th in Brooklyn, New York. The two fought last Saturday and was quickly stopped by referee Kevin MacDonald when Cutelaba was moving his head and MacDonald thought he was wobbled and called off the fight.
**LFA has a card tonight at 9 pm Eastern on Fight Pass from The Bomb Factory in Dallas, Texas. The card is headlined by Damon Jackson taking on Mauro Chaulet.
**MMA Junkie reported that Julianna Pena has had to pull out of her fight with Aspen Ladd later this month due to an undisclosed injury. The two were set to fight on Saturday, March 28th in Columbus, Ohio. The site added that a replacement will not be sought for Ladd as the UFC hopes to rebook the fight on a future card. After two-and-a-half years away, Pena returned to the octagon last July and defeated Nicco Montano by unanimous decision. Ladd has gone 4-1 since coming to the UFC from Invicta FC and is coming off a TKO win over Yana Kunitskaya last December.
**With the concern of the coronavirus outbreak, ONE Championship has postponed its March 20th card that was set to take place in Vietnam. The event has been moved to June 26th in Ho Chi Minh City. Their next event is tentatively set for April 10th in Jakarta, Indonesia with Adriano Moraes defending the ONE flyweight title against Demetrious Johnson and Aung La N Sang vs. Vitaly Bigdash for the ONE middleweight title.
**Former UFC and Strikeforce fighter Liz Carmouche makes her Bellator debut against Mandy Bohm on Friday, May 29th in Temecula, California. Carmouche, 36, fought Ronda Rousey in the UFC’s first card headlined by females at UFC 157 in February 2013 and would go 5-5 in the promotion. She last fought flyweight champion, Valentina Shevchenko, last August and lost by unanimous decision with Carmouche cut by the organization last December. Bohm is 6-0 with one no-contest since beginning her pro career in September 2014. She last fought in May 2019 submitting Jade Masson-Wong at a TKO event in Quebec.
Recently, I went back and watched the March 3, 1984 episode of World Class Championship Wrestling from 36 years ago this week. This was the tribute episode for David Von Erich that aired several weeks after his death in Japan on WCCW’s Sunday morning show on KXTX that was their syndicated program. They also had a two-hour slot Saturday night on KTVT from the matches taped earlier in the week in Fort Worth, Texas.
If you have never watched the episode, it’s surreal for its era and would, sadly, become a template when the WWF faced their own tragedies with Owen Hart and Eddie Guerrero.
The show features as close to out-of-character interviews as you’ll see in this period including then-NWA champion Ric Flair, Harley Race, Jimmy Garvin, and Michael Hayes speaking about David’s death. In all four cases, they opted to speak with the heels that had feuded with David. It was evident that Hayes was conflicted with the real-life emotion of losing David while maintaining his Freebird persona and outlining that their feud with the Von Erichs will continue. While today it would be ridiculous and was justifiably criticized when Larry Zbyszko took the same approach when Louie Spicolli died in 1998, this was a different time in 1984. Hayes was linked to the Von Erichs at the peak of the territory’s popularity that I’m sure there was the pressure to maintain the façade understanding the business-first mentality that permeated throughout the show.
More telling was Ric Flair acknowledging that David was going to become the NWA champion soon. Everybody agreed that David was expected to win the title but to hear it from the man holding the championship and to say it on television was about as clear-cut as you can get. Harley Race echoed the same sentiment in his speech about David closing in on winning the title. With the Owen Hart tribute episode so closely linked to this one, it is eerie to point out Race’s connection as he was backstage at Kemper Arena the night Hart died fifteen years later, as was Hayes.
1984 was set up to be David’s big year after beating Harley Race the previous year for the Missouri heavyweight title and programmed against Flair on Christmas night at Reunion Arena. The rematch was expected in the coming months after David’s younger brother Mike lasted ten minutes with Flair and the stipulation was if he lasted, David could choose the stipulations for the rematch with Flair for the title.
The most uncomfortable segment was at the end where host Bill Mercer sat down with the Von Erich (Adkisson) family – Fritz, wife Doris, and their surviving sons Kevin, Kerry, Mike, and Chris. Just the image of the family together in varying degrees of grief with the knowledge of what the ensuing years would entail are haunting. It goes from remembering David to Fritz putting on his promoter’s hat and transferring the loss of David into the focus on his successor, Mike. Fritz pivots the conversation to remarking how much Mike looks just like David and Kevin pointing out the uncanny similarities. In a business that often leaves good taste aside, and a degree of leeway should be given to a family so engrained in the industry that reality and fiction are hard to distinguish, this still felt so uneasy to watch as the wheels turned to place the spotlight on Mike. It’s compounded by the knowledge that several years later, it would be Mike remembered, and then Chris, and then Kerry. Today, that group sit-down would be a 1-on-1 discussion between Mercer and Kevin.
Kris Zellner, David Bixenspan and Beau James did a thorough breakdown of the story involving David’s death on the Between the Sheets podcast that I would recommend.
BWE 3/6/20: Progress 103, RevPro High Stakes, OTT ScrapperMania, wXw 16 Carat
Martin & Benno are joined by PWTorch’s Will Cooling to rundown the last month or so in European wrestling including Progress Ch. 103, RevPro High Stakes. Plus previews of OTT ScrapperMania and wXw 16 Carat.
Café Hangout: Dark Side of the Ring’s Evan Husney
John Pollock and Wai Ting are joined live in-studio by Evan Husney, Executive Producer of Vice’s Dark Side of the Ring.
upNXT 3/4/20: Two Cage Are Better Than One
Braden Herrington and Davie Portman are back reviewing the March 4th edition of WWE NXT! Featuring two steel cage matches, a sit down interview with Johnny Gargano and more.
REWIND-A-DYNAMITE 3/4/20: Snake in the Grass
John Pollock and Wai Ting review AEW Dynamite with the fallout from Saturday’s Revolution pay-per-view. Jake “The Snake” Roberts appears.
POST BONUS SHOW: Cody Saftic previews UFC 248
John Pollock is joined by Cody Saftic from the Dog or Pass Podcast and Fight Network to chat about the latest MMA news and this weekend’s UFC 248 card.
REWIND-A-WAI #56: PWG ELEVEN (2014)
John Pollock and Wai Ting review PWG: ELEVEN from July 26, 2014 featuring The Young Bucks vs. Joey Ryan & Candice LeRae in a Guerrilla Warfare match for the PWG Tag Team titles. Plus, Kevin Steen says goodbye to Pro Wrestling Guerrilla.
REWIND-A-RAW 3/2/20: Randy Orton confronts Beth Phoenix
John Pollock and Wai Ting review WWE Raw as Randy Orton confronts Beth Phoenix during her medical update on Edge, and The Street Profits challenge for the tag team titles one last time.
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