POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: UFC scrambling for a new venue

WWE, UFC & AEW moving forward with shows, UFC scrambling for a new venue, how the new travel restrictions affect UFC, the message WWE has given to those working their events & more.


**We will be doing a bonus show tonight with Wai Ting and I going through the latest developments and a look towards how the WWE, AEW, and UFC are moving ahead with shows. We will also be joined by Andrew Thompson to chat about the fallout from one of the most significant periods of our lifetime.

**WH Park has a new edition of Thunderstruck out today with guest JoJo Remy. On this week’s show, they are discussing Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Shinjiro Otani from February 1998.

**The feedback thread is open for this Tuesday’s edition of Rewind-A-Wai, which is a look at the career of Jay Lethal through several matches over his career. The links to the matches are available through YouTube and posted in the thread with Lethal against Kurt Angle from 2007, against AJ Styles in 2010, KUSHIDA in 2014, teaming with Shinsuke Nakamura against Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly in 2015 and facing Tetsuya Naito in 2016. The show will be available to members of the POST Wrestling Café this Tuesday.

**This week on Rewind-A-SmackDown, I was joined by Mike Murray (and his youngest daughter Norah) to discuss the empty arena version of SmackDown from Friday night. We have also made the first segment of the show free with all the latest news and updates regarding promotions and the state of the industry amidst the COVID-19 crisis.

**We will have a new edition of Rewind-A-Raw on Monday night. There are no changes to our schedule as we’re lucky in the sense this crisis won’t prohibit us from doing shows and may have time to do more than usual. If we get to a point where all wrestling and MMA cards are on hold, we have begun thinking of ideas for alternative show ideas.


**Multiple people at the WWE Performance Center on Friday spoke with us stating the message conveyed was that anyone that was uncomfortable could leave without any repercussions. This is consistent with the report of Tony Khan’s message to the AEW locker room last Wednesday that no one would be punished if they opted not to attend the shows.

**As of this writing, WWE is moving ahead with Raw on Monday night from the WWE Performance Center and will be closed to the public. They have advertised Steve Austin for several weeks along with a contract signing between The Undertaker and AJ Styles. From watching SmackDown, the talking segments worked a lot better while the wrestling was tougher. Daniel Bryan and Cesaro seemed fine in that environment but it’s not ideal and beyond the novelty of tuning in out of curiosity, I don’t think these shows are sustainable if we’re looking at an indefinite period of closed venues to the public.

It was a different case watching the UFC show on Saturday as it’s still a fight and had the ambiance with the cornermen that made it closer to a fight from the ‘Ultimate Fighter’ only in a larger venue. In both WWE and UFC’s cases, I found it difficult to get into the matches and fights because I question how safe this is and how wise it is to be holding these events. MMA Fighting reported that CABMMA (the commission in Brazil) did not test fighters for the coronavirus and that’s a big concern. If one fighter, trainer, or UFC employee at the arena in Brasilia ends up with the virus it will require everyone else to be tested and isolate themselves. If key personnel for either promotion needs to be quarantined. then it’s going to make these events even harder to execute.

For WWE, I see it affecting them the most as they continue to run shows with the same performers, week after week. Again, one positive case and the whole locker room is potentially exposed and would likely force the company to shut down just as Rudy Gobert and the Utah Jazz led to the ripple effect with the NBA.

WWE, UFC, and AEW are trying to soldier through this and be the ones that the country can rely on for escapist entertainment and there is a nobility to that rationale, but it doesn’t override the well being and safety of your performers. Yes, WWE and AEW are giving talent the option of not participating but that can only extend to a point if you’re adamant about not canceling events and the roster will feel that obligation to carry out the wishes of their company. For others, being on the road and consuming themselves with work is their distraction, unfortunately, we are in a state where doing those things are putting one at risk when you add in travel for those outside Florida for WWE and AEW.

None of this is easy, but the spotlight is on these three promotions specifically that are opting to go against the decisions made by the NBA, NHL, Major League Baseball, NCAA, and countless other sports and entertainment companies.

**MLW is the latest company to announce changes to its schedule. The April 18th ‘Intimidation Games’ at Cicero Stadium has been postponed until June 12th and they will honor tickets that were purchased for April. The company issued the following statement Sunday regarding the change and its upcoming programming on beIN Sports:

We hope this email finds you, your family and friends in good health.

Due to the on going pandemic, Major League Wrestling has decided to temporarily suspend promoting live events for at least 45 days, effective immediately.

At the appropriate time, the league will communicate plans for promoting live events outside of the 45-day temporary hiatus and update the status of league events.

MLW programming will continue to air Saturday nights on beIN SPORTS on cable and satelitte, MLW’s YouTube channel and with partners around the world during this period.

As a result of the temporary suspension of promoting live events, MLW’s April 18th event in Chicago has been rescheduled for Friday night June 12 at Cicero Stadium.  All tickets purchased for the originally scheduled date will be honored at this time.

The MLW family would like to extend our appreciation and well wishes to all doctors, nurses, emergency services staff, first responders and medical professionals on the front line working to address the public health crisis in our nation and around the world.

**Here is Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases on ‘Meet the Press’ this morning:

**Earlier this week, AAA postponed next their Rey de Reyes show that was set for next Saturday. The card was scheduled to feature Los Psycho Circus taking on Rush El Toro Blanco, LA Park & La Bestia del Ring along with a AAA Mega heavyweight title match between Kenny Omega and Laredo Kid.

**CMLL has postponed their upcoming shows, including today’s show and next Friday’s annual Homenaje a Dos Leyendas card at Arena Mexico. Friday’s card was scheduled to be headlined by a Hair vs. Hair match between Felino and Barbaro Cavernario.

**Martin Kirby has announced his retirement with the following statement issued on Sunday:

I first began wrestling 14 years ago & in that time I’ve surpassed any expectations I ever had. The opportunities I’ve been fortunate to have received allowed me to wrestle in every major city, main event shows, meet & wrestle childhood heroes, have a WEWE Try Out & even complete 2 tour in Japan with Dragon Gate.

However, the time has now come to hang up my pink & black trunks for the final time. I’m proud of all the friends I’ve made, things I’ve accomplished & fans I’ve entertained over the years. Thank you.

**On Friday’s show, Jeff Hardy was given a new name for the Twist of Fate, which was identified twice by Michael Cole as the ‘Twist of Fury’. Matt Hardy was asked about the change and if he had trademarked the term, which he denied by saying:

I DID NOT. The WWE & Jeff are completely free to use ‘Twist of Fate’. The change 100% came on their end. I wouldn’t ever do anything to hinder my brother. I’m thrilled to see him back on WWE TV, looking healthy & happy.

**Will Cooling at PW Torch has an article on the British scene and how it’s handling the crisis with some shows continuing.

**The WSU 13th Anniversary show will take place today at 4 pm Eastern and stream on Fite TV but is closed to the public.

**Border City Wrestling posted a statement regarding the Impact Wrestling ‘Lockdown’ show they were promoting for later this month at St. Clair College in Windsor, Ontario:

To our valued Border City Wrestling fans, as you may have heard, St Clair College has cancelled all on-campus events, including Lockdown, until early April due to Coronavirus prevention efforts

We are currently exploring all available options for the event to take place while also taking into consideration public safety and guidelines from the health professionals.

Please keep checking this page for further updates.

For those who have already purchased a ticket and would like a refund, please contact your original point of sale.

**David Starr’s farewell speech at 16 Carat Gold last weekend has been released by wXw:


**The latest episode of MLW Fusion featured ‘Filthy’ Tom Lawlor taking on Killer Kross from the tapings at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia:


**The UFC is scrambling to book a new location for next Saturday’s Fight Night card that was scheduled for London, England at the O2 Arena. The company was set to move forward with the show until the U.S. government added the United Kingdom and Ireland to the travel restrictions imposed. ESPN reports that a memo was sent out by the promotion seeking fighters under contract from bantamweight up to welterweight to compete on short notice. Numerous fighters that were scheduled to fight next weekend won’t be able to travel to the U.S. to fight. Dana White spoke to ESPN’s SportsCenter and said the card will go on and they are searching for a new venue.

**Headliner Leon Edwards confirmed on Sunday he won’t be able to fight Tyron Woodley next week as the UFC seeks out a new main event. Edwards posted the following to Instagram:

Last night I went to sleep still with some hope that UFC London would continue next week.  I woke up this morning to the news that it won’t be.  We have been working with the UFC on possible solutions to keep the fight alive, but unfortunately with such a short window of time, nothing was viable.  Myself and my team are all fathers, husbands, sons and brothers, and not all of us can leave our families right now.  I wish we could have found a way for the fans, I truly do.

I have been dreaming of headlining a UFC show in my home country since I started this sport.  This cancellation is truly heartbreaking.  I have never worked harder and never been more prepared for the biggest moment in my career.  But I know that the whole world is hurting right now and this is bigger than me, this is bigger than sports.  All I can hope for is that all of you stay safe and look after each other as we get past this and move forward.

I am humbled by the thousands of messages of support I have received in the hours since the announcement, I truly appreciate you all and feel a lot of love right now.  I look forward to this event being rebooked when it is safe to do so, so Tyron and I can put on the show that you all deserve.

Please take care, we will all get through is.

**MMA Junkie has the latest on the status of the fights that were scheduled for Saturday.

**The promotion has also said they will need to find new venues for the March 28th and April 11th cards. Both shows were initially moved to the UFC Apex in Las Vegas but on Saturday, the Nevada State Athletic Commission held an emergency meeting to revoke licensing of any combat sports events until March 25th. It would be unreasonable to fly all the fighters in for fight week when the status of the card is being voted on three days prior and it’s hard to imagine Nevada agreeing to hold cards in two weeks, so for the UFC, they had to make the decision now.

**The ‘Fight of the Night’ bonus went to Maryna Moroz and Mayra Bueno Silva and the ‘Performance of the Night’ bonuses to Charles Oliveira and Gilbert Burns on Saturday night for $50,000 each.

**After being stopped by Gilbert Burns on Saturday, 42-year old Demian Maia said he would like one more fight and would likely retire after. He threw out Diego Sanchez and Donald Cerrone as opponents he would like to have for that remaining fight. Maia is 28-10 and has been fighting professionally since 2001 but didn’t take his second fight until December 2005. He joined the UFC in 2007 and fought 32 times for the organization. He challenged for the UFC middleweight title in April 2010 losing by decision to Anderson Silva at UFC 112 in a terrible main event that Dana White was furious over. In 2012, he moved down to welterweight and went 10-2 at the new weight before receiving a title fight against Tyron Woodley in July 2017, which Maia lost by decision. Since that fight, he has gone 3-3 defeating Lyman Good, Anthony Rocco Martin, and Ben Askren while his losses have been by decision to Colby Covington and Kamaru Usman and last night’s TKO loss to Burns.

**With no live sports beyond MMA, TSN’s Sportscentre in Canada had heavy coverage of the UFC Fight Night from Brasilia. MMA coverage kicked off the show, which included highlights of all the main card fights, and an in-studio segment with reporter Aaron Bronsteter with his reaction.

**ESPN is relying heavily on MMA as well as they aired the UFC 246 card from January featuring Conor McGregor vs. Donald Cerrone on Saturday before and after the Fight Night card in Brasilia.

THUNDERSTRUCK: Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Shinjiro Otani

Japanese Audio Wrestling partners WH Park and JoJo Remy reunite to complete the trilogy of shows featuring Jushin Liger taking on Shinjiro Otani; this one from 1998 for the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight title.
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John Pollock and Wai Ting take your calls and discuss the latest surrounding COVID-19 and its effects on the wrestling world. We’re joined by BWE’s Benno as well as Dr. Alex Patel to share their insights about the situation from around the globe.
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About John Pollock 5441 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.