POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: The latest on the changes to WrestleMania

The latest on the many changes to WrestleMania 36, more details on Jon Jones' arrest, Stephanie McMahon on precautions being taken, AJ Styles on the 'Boneyard Match'.


**Wai Ting and I are back tonight with Rewind-A-SmackDown for members of the POST Wrestling Café. We will discuss the latest on the WrestleMania card, go through today’s news, and take your feedback from the POST Wrestling Forum.

**On Thursday’s Café Hangout, Wai Ting and I reviewed the Dark Side of the Ring documentary on Chris Benoit and then discussed the Jon Jones arrest, and opened the phone lines for the remainder of the show.

**On the upNXT Patreon feed, Davie Portman and Braden Herrington grade the best WrestleMania main events of all-time.

**WH Park will be joined by Alan4L on Thunderstruck this Sunday. This week’s match is Jushin Thunder Liger & Minoru Tanaka taking on Tsuyoshi Kikuchi & Yoshinobu Kanemaru in NOAH from April 2002.

**Wai Ting and I will be doing a bonus show Sunday night here on the site with several guests scheduled.

**The feedback and question thread for our next Rewind-A-Wai is up on the POST Wrestling Forum. The next show drops on Tuesday with a review of WCW’s World War 3 event from November 1995.


*Tonight: Rewind-A-SmackDown (Patreon)
*Sunday: Thunderstruck with WH Park & guest Alan4L (Jushin Thunder Liger & Minoru Tanaka vs. Tsuyoshi Kikuchi & Yoshinobu Kanemaru from April 2002)
*Sunday: POST Bonus Show with John Pollock & Wai Ting
*Monday: Rewind-A-Raw
*Tuesday: Rewind-A-Wai #58 – WCW World War 3 1995



**A taped edition of Friday Night SmackDown will air tonight on Fox at 8 pm Eastern, which was filmed at the WWE Performance Center this past Saturday.

The major news is that Roman Reigns won’t be facing Bill Goldberg at WrestleMania with a new match believed to have been taped on Thursday. I was told that segments were also filmed to explain the change and I would imagine that the switch is addressed tonight. Dave Meltzer at the Wrestling Observer has reported the new opponent is Braun Strowman.

The following matches and segments have been advertised for tonight’s show:
*Drew Gulak vs. Shinsuke Nakamura – if Gulak wins, Daniel Bryan will face Sami Zayn for the Intercontinental title at WrestleMania
*The Usos vs. New Day
*Asuka vs. Alexa Bliss
*Firefly Fun House with Bray Wyatt
*Joaquin Wilde vs. Isaiah ‘Swerve’ Scott on 205 Live
*Oney Lorcan vs. Tony Nese on 205 Live

**Mike Johnson reported on Friday that The Miz did not wrestle at WrestleMania this week, although he had been in Orlando, Florida. In a separate report from Dave Meltzer, he had stated that The Miz was sick this week. Johnson also reported that Andrade is not wrestling at WrestleMania due to a minor injury suffered this past week.

We have a story up on the site, which includes the identity of Andrade’s replacement for WrestleMania.

**Raw women’s champion Becky Lynch was interviewed by Ariel Helwani on ESPN’s Instagram Live on Friday. She said that she ‘believed’ that her match with Shayna Baszler will take place on the first night of WrestleMania on Saturday, April 4th. Lynch said it is probably harder to do a wrestling match in an empty arena than a promo. In a fantastic piece of news, she noted that the lung cancer her father had been diagnosed with is gone.

**WWE’s chief brand officer Stephanie McMahon-Levesque spoke with Variety regarding the precautions taken as the company moved forward with its scheduled programming:

At a typical event, talent is milling about, they’re at catering or wherever when they’re not actually in part of the show. That’s not allowed now. There’s extensive testing and screening when you first come in the facility regardless of whether you’re a talent, a crew member, or anyone else. Working with our doctors, you have your temperature taken. If you have a temperature over 100.4 degrees, you are automatically asked to leave.

If you’ve been out of the country or been in touch or in contact with anybody who’s been out of the country you’re not allowed in the facility. We’re taking every precaution we can. It’s also why you don’t see talent or anyone else in the audience. We really are adhering to all the guidelines that we can to maintain the health and safety of our crew and our performers.

Variety also spoke with Dr. Thomas LaVeist from Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, who noted taking temperatures is the ‘first line of testing’ but it is not foolproof as those that are asymptomatic will go undetected by taking their temperature. WWE would not specify how many people constitute ‘essential personnel’, which the shows are being limited to in order to keep numbers low.

**AJ Styles spoke on his Mixer stream (beginning at the 10:00 mark) and addressed the questions regarding his match with The Undertaker being a ‘Boneyard Match’. Styles had his own questions about it and said they wanted to tread delicately rather than say ‘graveyard’ or ‘cemetery’. Styles alluded to it being a street fight in a graveyard and noting ‘it’s different’. He said he’s glad that his opponent is The Undertaker and didn’t want a match inside an empty arena because the live audience is so vital to what they do. They react based on how the fans react and feel for the talent that has had to go through with the empty arena matches and hope they get back to normal soon.

**This past Tuesday, Vince McMahon entered into a variable prepaid forward sale agreement. The deal calls for McMahon to pledge 3,484,006 shares of Class B common stock with fifteen settlement dates scheduled for March 2024. In the interim, McMahon would receive a cash payment of $85 million while also retaining voting and dividend rights throughout the period from now until March 2024. The Class B common stock is convertible to Class A stock that will be delivered to the bank issuing the funds, which Bloomberg reports is Morgan Stanley.

In March 2024, McMahon would deliver a maximum of 3,484,006 shares but the actual number of shares will be dependent on the stock price five years from now. WWE made the SEC filing regarding the transaction on Thursday.

**ESPN is airing a WWE marathon on Sunday beginning at 4:30 pm Eastern with E:60’s WWE Behind the Curtain feature followed by the 30 for 30 on Ric Flair at 5:30 pm. At 7 pm, they will air WrestleMania 32 from April 2016 at AT&T Stadium in Texas.

**Brodie Lee was the guest on Talk is Jericho on Friday and discussed leaving WWE and moving over to AEW. One of the issues the former Luke Harper noted was the disconnect for Vince McMahon between how Harper looked and how he spoke. He shared a story of McMahon wanting him to incorporate a Southern drawl accent and realizing that would be it for him:

The way I do talk, Vince doesn’t see that looks like me talking like me and I don’t think he can get over that. He saw a backwoods hillbilly that talked in a Southern drawl and being from Rochester, New York and being somewhat eloquent he didn’t understand and just didn’t compute with him. And, Arn I think was, maybe to his detriment, was one of my biggest supporters in meetings. Arn would just say ‘I’m just going to stop speaking up for you because I don’t think it’s doing you any favors.’ I had my supporters just not, I guess, vocal ones not ones that were willing to go to bat for me to a point. Once I fell into a role, no matter what I pitched, no matter what I showed anybody I just wasn’t digging my way out of it to the audience of one.

I remember going into his office and him telling me ‘Hey, I want you to do a Southern drawl’ and I was like, ‘Sir, I’m from Rochester, New York, I think it will sound really really fake’ and he just said ‘we don’t want it to sound fake but do me a favor and try it’ and I did it for him and he said ‘Yeah, I don’t like that’ and so, literally walked out thinking that’s gone that’s never going to come up again and then next week in the script, it was like, specific ‘Luke Harper do a southern accent’ and then it was f***ed from there.

**POST Wrestling’s Andrew Thompson listened to the entire interview and has a rundown of all the news from the interview with Brodie Lee on the site.

**Jon Moxley made a brief cameo on a remote edition of WWE Backstage as host Renee Young was recording from her home with Booker T. and Xavier Woods at separate locations.

**Ring of Honor will begin airing older content on their weekly television starting this weekend. They will be profiling a specific wrestler or tag team each episode starting with The Briscoes. The syndicated program this weekend will feature the following matches:
*The Briscoes vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico from 2007
*Jay Briscoe vs. Mark Briscoe from 2013

**Here are the matches for Saturday’s episode of MLW Fusion airing at 9 pm Eastern on beIN Sports:
*Muhammed ‘King Mo’ Lawal vs. Low Ki
*Brian Pillman Jr. vs. Jordan Oliver
*Alex Hammerstone vs. T-Hawk for the MLW Middleweight title

**Knox News has a big feature on Tom Prichard detailing his career, the many talents he has assisted in coaching, and moving to Knoxville where he has opened the Jacobs-Prichard Wrestling Academy with Glenn Jacobs.

**The Washington Post covers how the IOC arrived at their decision to postpone this year’s summer Olympics in Tokyo.

**Netflix has released a trailer for ‘The Main Event’ that WWE Studios produced along with the streaming giant. The children’s film includes The Miz, Keith Lee, Kofi Kingston, Sheamus, Mia Yim, Sheamus, Babatunde, Renee Young, and Corey Graves with roles. The movie premieres on April 10th on Netflix.

Below is the description:

When 11-year-old Leo Thompson discovers a magical wrestling mask that grants him super strength, he uses it to enter a WWE competition. With the support of his grandmother, Leo will do whatever it takes to achieve his dream of becoming a WWE Superstar. Can one kid win it all in the face of epic challengers in the ring?


**Jon Jones will have a bond arraignment on Wednesday, April 8th stemming from his arrest early Thursday morning.

**MMA Junkie has posted the statements from officers Jason Brown and Brian Johnson, who brought Jones in after responding to a gunshot that was heard. From their statements, the following notes came out:
-Officer Brown heard a single gunshot and drove west from his location to find a black Jeep with Jones inside
-Jones had an open bottle of alcohol that was ¼ full
-Jones also had ‘green leafy substance on his shirt and pants, consistent with marijuana’
-Jones said he knew nothing about the gunshot the officer had heard
-Jones was unable to locate the proof of his insurance for the vehicle
-The officer detected an odor of alcohol and Brown requested assistance from Officer Johnson, who is a DWI officer
-He performed poorly on three field sobriety tests and poorly on two of three alternative tests
-Inside the vehicle, they discovered a handgun under the driver’s seat along with a spent round just outside the driver’s side door
-Officer Johnson noted that Jones admitted to driving earlier and had the intention to drive now
-Jones took a breath test and above twice the legal limit
-The vehicle was towed and the lapel camera was tagged into evidence

**ESPN obtained the footage from the lapel camera of the officers and wrote about Jones’ response when the officers spoke with him. Jones said he was pulled over after “being nice” to homeless people and having a conversation with them. Jones admitted to drinking vodka and had been ‘stir crazy’ indoors and was his first time driving in two weeks.

He added he had bad anxiety after being handcuffed and became emotional when being placed into the back of the police car.

Café Hangout: Chris Benoit on Dark Side of the Ring, Jon Jones arrested

Join John Pollock and Wai Ting for the Café Hangout as they take your calls and discuss the Chris Benoit episode of Vice’s Dark Side of the Ring. Plus, the latest on today’s arrests of Jon Jones and Teddy Hart.

upNXT 3/25/20: “Don’t Touch Me”
Braden Herrington and Davie Portman review the March 25th edition of WWE NXT from Full Sail University featuring Matt Riddle vs. Roderick Strong, Austin Theory vs. Tyler Breeze, the return of Io Shirai, the debut of a brand new tag team, Triple H addresses Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano, and more.
REWIND-A-DYNAMITE 3/25/20: Vanguardian of the Galaxy
John Pollock and Wai Ting review AEW Dynamite from Daily’s Place with Matt Hardy confronting Chris Jericho.
On today’s show, John Pollock speaks with Jeff Marek about the new Dark Side of the Ring documentary covering Chris Benoit.
ASK-A-WAI: Ask us Anything! (March 2020)
John Pollock and Wai Ting answer their patrons’ questions from the POST Wrestling Forum in the March 2020 edition of Ask-A-Wai.
REWIND-A-RAW 3/23/20: Too Legit to Grit
John Pollock and Wai Ting review another empty-arena WWE Raw from the Performance Center as Randy Orton answers Edge’s challenge, and AJ Styles challenges The Undertaker to a BONEYARD match.
DOUBLE SHOT: FCW documentary, Austin-Bret, GCW “Social Distance” Match
John Pollock and Wai Ting present a special return of the DOUBLE SHOT featuring reviews of “A Future WWE: The FCW Story”, “Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Sessions: Bret Hart”, and GCW’s “Social Distance Rules” match between Joey Janela and Jimmy Lloyd.

Browse the POST Wrestling Store

Subscribe to POST Wrestling

POST Wrestling Forum

Support our Patreon – The POST Wrestling Café

Follow us
Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube

About John Pollock 5612 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.