POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: Britt Baker on NXT, WWE tryout and “Role Model”

Britt Baker speaks about her 'Role Model' influence, Oliver Luck's lawsuit against Vince McMahon, Billy Caputo passes, Rock's message for Triple H & more.

POST IT NOTES

**This month’s MCU review is available with Wai Ting and I discussing Ant-Man and the Wasp that was released in 2018 following Infinity War. On the show, we discussed the movie as a follow-up to both the original, the liberal use of ‘quantum’, the variety of characters utilized in this film, and how it played into the MCU at large. Next month’s review will cover Captain Marvel before Endgame that will be reviewed the month after. All the MCU reviews are available to members of the POST Wrestling Café.

**Davie Portman has a review of the first part of Impact Wrestling’s Rebellion special that ran on Tuesday night.

**Wai Ting and I are will be back with Rewind-A-Dynamite tonight to chat AEW and the latest news of the day. Plus, Braden Herrington & Davie Portman will have a new edition of upNXT discussing tonight’s episode.

**On Thursday, we will have an interview with writer and historian Pat Laprade discussing The Eighth Wonder of the World on the career of Andre the Giant along with his involvement with the latest episode of Dark Side of the Ring on Dino Bravo.

**A reminder that the Café Hangout will be LIVE this Friday at Noon Eastern for one week only. We are doing the show one day later due to the WWE financials and investor’s call happening Thursday. There will be a big story on the quarterly report on the site Thursday and then focusing on the report and investor’s call during the Hangout. Due to the Hangout airing Friday, we will be releasing Rewind-A-SmackDown on Saturday.

**Andrew Thompson will have an interview with Jay Reso on the site next week discussing the new film Cagefighter that will premiere on Fite TV on May 16th.

POST SCHEDULE

*Tonight: Rewind-A-Dynamite
*Tonight: upNXT with Braden Herrington & Davie Portman
*Thursday: POST Interview – Pat Laprade, co-author of The Eighth Wonder of the World
*Friday: Café Hangout – LIVE at Noon ET (Special day and time for Patrons)
*Saturday: Rewind-A-SmackDown (Patreon)
*Sunday: Total Recall with Wai & Pauline (Patreon)

WRESTLING NEWS

**Thursday will be a big day with WWE releasing its first-quarter financial earnings report. The usual investor’s call will be taking place later in the day at 5 pm Eastern and will have a story on the financials and earnings call on the site. A few weeks ago, the company noted that initial guidance for the quarter would be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the two-day WrestleMania 36 event aired in the second quarter, we may or may not receive a subscriber number for the day after to reflect if this year’s show had an impact on the number. The larger themes to look at is whether WWE divulges details on their domestic and international television deals being impacted by the pandemic, the recent layoffs, and furloughs, what sectors of the business have been hit most, information on the programming deals with ESPN to re-air past WrestleMania events along with added programming for FS1 on Tuesday nights, the closure of the XFL and WWE’s Class B shares they controlled, and a revised outlook and guidance for 2020.

**Britt Baker was a guest on Talk is Jericho discussing her dual role as a professional wrestler and dentist. She mentioned her dental office is currently shut down although they are going on a case-by-case basis for patients that may need to be assisted. During the interview, she spoke about appearing in the audience at past NXT TakeOver cards, trying out for WWE in the past, and criticism she has received for her ‘Role Model’ character (transcriptions courtesy of Andrew Thompson):

Britt talks about WWE filming her when she goes to NXT shows to support Adam Cole/Britt recalls Triple H apologizing to her after a TakeOver show:

“So I’ve always asked ahead of time, either The Bucks or Tony [Khan]. I’ve always said, ‘Is it okay if I go?’ And it’s to the point where Tony’s like, ‘Britt, stop asking me. Of course, you can always go. Why would we not want you to go support your boyfriend? We’re not like a cult. It’s not like you can’t go there. It’s fine.’ The first time that they put me on television, I was just sitting in my little comp ticket section and the camera was nowhere near us at any point in time and this was very early on. This was before we were on TV or anything. I think we had the one pay-per-view, and Stephanie McMahon comes out and she sits in the seat right next to me or it might’ve been a seat between us and they zoom in on her for her, ‘Hey, I’m in the crowd’ spot and I’m like two seats down just looking at her. I truly don’t know if anyone knew who I was at that point or not, because it was so early on and they didn’t have the camera anywhere near us until that point but it actually was a funny little meme because it looks like I’m mean mugging her in it.

But, the second time, which I knew Adam Cole was winning the championship title so I definitely wanted to go, and I didn’t want to just sit backstage and watch it on a TV. I was like, ‘Is there any way I could watch it in the crowd?’ Because… they were doing these crazy cage match bumps and all kinds of stuff where I was terrified. I was like, ‘No, I wanna be out there,’ and they said, ‘Yep, absolutely.’ I was texting with the one security guard — ‘We got you covered, don’t worry.’ So I’m in my seat, everything’s good and then for his match, they moved me, and they said, ‘Hey, you’ll be fine here because you’re behind the commentary table and because the match is in the cage, the camera’s not gonna come out here at all,’ and to me, I was like, ‘Okay, that makes sense,’ and it wasn’t until the very end. He took this disgusting bump off the top of the cage where — I don’t know which camera it was because I was looking in the ring and I didn’t even know until I got backstage in Gorilla, went to check on Adam and Triple H came up to me right away. He’s like, ‘Ah, I’m so sorry. We didn’t mean for that to happen.’ I’m kinda like, ‘Wait, what?’ And he’s like, ‘Yeah, we got you on camera with your reaction to the bump. I’m so sorry. The head [of] production didn’t know who you were.’ Do I believe that? I don’t know, but he was very apologetic to me, super-nice, him and Stephanie both were so sorry about that. ‘I hope you don’t get in trouble,’ which Tony didn’t care at all because after that night, I was the top Google search of that entire show — of the entire NXT show was Britt Baker, just because of that one little blip they showed me on TV.”

Britt talks Canyon Cemen being the one to tell her that WWE wasn’t signing her after her tryout:

“So, I had to tell a lot of lies to be able to get out of school for that weekend because it’s a couple of days, and actually, my tryout was pretty stacked with talent. Bianca [Belair] was in it, Lacey Evans, Velveteen Dream, Sonya Deville. It was a loaded class and all those names I just mentioned plus myself at the very end got pulled aside to do this extra physical with the doctor and I asked, I’m like what is this for? He’s like, ‘Oh, it’s basically the people on this list have intentions of being hired.’ So, I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m gonna get a job with WWE,’ and never forget at the very end of the camp, Canyon Cemen pulled me aside and if you’re an independent wrestler, Canyon Cemen is like the gatekeeper. You shall not pass or come on in the WWE… and he told me, ‘You really impressed a lot of people at this tryout’ and I was so excited, so excited and he says, ‘As a father, I have a really hard time pulling someone from a professional degree for this business’ and my heart just sank. I was like, ‘Sh*t!’ So a couple of weeks later, I get an email from him saying, ‘You have a lot of the qualities we look for, however we don’t have an opportunity for you at this time but if you have the passion to succeed in this business, you’ll find a way to make this work throughout dental school,’ and I never forgot that, which it didn’t work out in WWE but it worked out to my advantage even better because I’m able to do both careers. I’m a dentist and a professional wrestler on TV.”

Baker responds to people on social media saying that she stole the “Role Model” gimmick from Bayley:

“While we’re on the topic of that, no, we did not steal the ‘Role Model’ from Bayley because that’s like a daily thing and I know we’ve talked about it too, how the inspiration came from you, from Chris Jericho for the ‘Role Model’ gimmick. I’m not… I don’t wanna say I don’t know totally what’s going on with RAW and SmackDown because I try to stay in touch with it but at the same time, I’m a dentist and a professional wrestler. I don’t know every single storyline or [what’s] going on each week. So, it wasn’t until I actually said the words ‘Role Model’ on TV and then I got the Bayley army coming at me. ‘You’re stealing her gimmick’ [like] I even knew she was calling herself that too. Granted, totally different uses of the words, totally different gimmicks as we call it. But I just kinda wanted to set the record straight that no, we didn’t steal that from anybody. Well I stole it from you [Chris Jericho], not from her.”

Britt says wrestling fans often visit her at her dental office:

“All the time. People actually come to the office a lot of times because they’re fans and I don’t know why I didn’t think this out early on to have my real name be my wrestling name because it’s very easy to find me and my dental office, but thankfully, most of the fans that are patients are super respectful and they’re actually coming in for… they’re like shaking nervous sometimes but they’re still super respectful and are coming for dental care. Not just to, ‘Hey, can you sign this? Can [we] take a picture?’ And I’m thankful and I hope and pray it doesn’t get to that point, because then that’s gonna be interesting. Gonna have to change some things up, but on the same hand, I get asked dental questions from the wrestling locker room pretty much every single week.”

**Pro Wrestling NOAH has canceled their shows through the end of May following the completion of their Global Tag League tournament this past weekend. They join DDT, who are also owned by CyberAgent, in canceling their events through at least May 30th due to the coronavirus pandemic. NOAH had been running their shows up until last Sunday inside an empty studio.

**This has been an awful week when it comes to losses within the professional wrestling industry. Following the deaths of Howard Finkel, Dick Steinborn, Kevin Clark, Jack Lotz, Travis Scott Bowden, and learning that Joe Pedicino recently died comes news that former referee Billy Caputo has also passed. Caputo’s main job was as an ironworker in New York that he held for 37 years while working as a referee with the New York State Athletic Commission in his spare time. Caputo was part of the WrestleMania 1 show in March 1985, as were Finkel and Lotz. He retired in 2003 and went admitted to hospice care last year while battling cancer before passing away on Tuesday. SLAM Wrestling has a story on Caputo with memories from those that knew him. He was married with three children and four grandchildren and was 72 years of age.

**Dark Side of the Ring averaged 221,000 viewers on Vice TV for “The Assassination of Dino Bravo” with a 0.10 among the 18-49 demographic.

**The Athletic has a story on Oliver Luck suing XFL founder Vince McMahon for wrongful termination, which was filed last week in Connecticut. Luck is seeking unspecified damages and had an enormous contract worth $20 million with the league. The suit indicates that Luck was made aware of his termination by a phone call on April 8th, which was the day before most of the staff was terminated. Jerry McDevitt of K&L Gates is representing McMahon as his council in the case and provided the following statement to The Athletic:

Oliver Luck’s services as Commissioner and CEO of The XFL were terminated by a letter sent to him on Apr. 9, 2020 which explained the reasons for the termination. As to the lawsuit he filed, his allegations will be disputed and the position of Mr. McMahon will be set forth in our response to his lawsuit.

**The lawsuit filed by Oliver Luck can be read here.

**Here are the matches advertised for tonight’s episode of NXT at 8 pm Eastern:
*Finn Balor vs. Velveteen Dream
*El Hijo del Fantasma vs. Jack Gallagher
*KUSHIDA vs. Tony Nese
*Drake Maverick vs. Jake Atlas – from that promo Maverick posted after his release, this would have been incredibly heated in front of an audience
*Tegan Nox & Shotzi Blackheart vs. Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez

**Below are the matches set for AEW Dynamite at 8 pm Eastern on TNT along with TSN1 & TSN2 in Canada:
*Dustin Rhodes vs. Kip Sabian in the TNT Championship tournament – they are pushing the Rhodes retirement stipulation if he loses
*Sammy Guevara vs. Darby Allin in the TNT Championship tournament
*Jimmy Havoc vs. Orange Cassidy
*Kenny Omega in action
*Brodie Lee in action
*Wardlow in action

**Friday Night SmackDown finished with 2,187,000 viewers on Fox last Friday. It is their lowest number on Fox since the show moved to the network last October. They finished with a 0.6 in the 18-49 demographic with 766,000 viewers behind Shark Tank and 20/20 on ABC, MacGyver, and Magnum P.I. on CBS and tying Blacklist.

**During Wednesday’s edition of WWE’s, The Bump, Paul Levesque joined the show ahead of his twenty-fifth anniversary special this Friday on SmackDown. During the interview, a message was delivered from Dwayne Johnson:

**The WWE Network will be releasing a compilation of Triple H’s biggest matches this Friday at 10 am Eastern called 25 Years of Triple H: The Game-Changing Matches. Later that day at Noon, they will add a sit-down interview that Hunter conducted the late Lemmy Kilmister called Live to Win: A Conversation with Triple H and Lemmy. The Motorhead frontman died in December 2015 and performed Triple H’s live theme live on several occasions at WrestleMania X-Seven in 2001 and WrestleMania 21 in 2005.

**The WWE stock closed at $39.48 on Wednesday.

**Impact Wrestling ran the first part of their Rebellion special on Tuesday night highlighted by Ken Shamrock defeating Sami Callihan with the promotion delving into their cinematic-style match. This was shorter than recent examples from WWE and didn’t have the same level of action as Matt vs. Nick Jackson on Being the Elite. It was very intense, and Shamrock looked physically wrecked by the end, specifically his back being marked up from the damage. Once they left the ring and went backstage, there was music accompanying the fight scene with oVe involved until Callihan attacked them and they finished their fight ‘outside’. It culminated with Shamrock applying the ankle lock and Callihan passed out. Callihan is the top heel in the company but the way this ended and where they have gone with him it seems the babyface turn is inevitable, and probably next.

The rest of the show was average to good. I enjoyed the match between Kylie Rae and Kiera Hogan especially Rae’s fire toward the finish when she increased her intensity, landed a cannonball in the corner, and won with the STF (Smile to the Finish) but dropped the smiling persona and got serious. Rae is a great signing by Impact and continues to bolster its strong women’s division. Willie Mack won the X Division title from Ace Austin and celebrated with Rich Swann backstage. They are planting the seeds for a future program between the best friends over the X Division title based on how the segment came across to me. Due to the limited people traveling to the Nashville tapings, Josh Mathews did commentary with Madison Rayne, Gia Miller was used as the backstage interviewer and David Penzer returned on the show as the ring announcer.

**During Tuesday’s broadcast of Rebellion, they announced the matches for part two next week on AXS TV:
*Havok vs. Rosemary in a Full Metal Mayhem Match
*Joey Ryan vs. Cousin Jake
*Suicide vs. Chris Bey vs. Trey vs. Rohit Raju

**Tessa Blanchard and Eddie Edwards tweeted out their apologies for not appearing at Rebellion. Edwards was interviewed remotely by Josh Mathews and said he had his family to think about and could not attend. Blanchard tweeted the following message:

I’m sorry to all the fans of @IMPACTWRESTLING that I wasn’t there tonight. These times affect each one of us in very different yet very significant ways. I encourage everyone 2 stay home & that includes myself. Great job to everyone who competed tonight.

**The New Japan website spoke with Toa Henare about wrestling being halted during the pandemic, losing out on a match with Tomohiro Ishii, seeking the NEVER Openweight title, the retirement of Manabu Nakanishi, and his physical improvements this year.

**Mike Chioda issued his first comments since being released by WWE with a tenure that dates back over thirty years with the company:

I Want To Say Thanks To the WWE & To All My AMAZING WWE FANS & Universe! 35yrs & 31yrs Refereeing Working for WWE has been a FANTASTIC RUN!! I Am So PROUD to have Worked with So Many ICONS & AMAZING TALENT IN THIS INDUSTRY!! I THANK YOU ALL!! 1Luv! Mike Chioda

A Very Special Thanks To All My WWE Co-Workers & WWE FANS for Reaching out to Me! I Really Appreciate The RESPECT & KIND WORDS FROM EVERYONE!! During these Unprecedented times in our lives. Everyone & There Families B Safe & God Bless!

**Mike Quackenbush is providing an online seminar tonight at 8 pm Eastern titled ‘155 Years of Pro Wrestling History’. The seminar is available for $10 where those signing up will receive a private link.

**The Sporting News has an interview up with Dakota Kai promoting tonight’s episode of NXT. They asked her about the head-to-head competition with AEW and how fans have responded to the two programs:

Sporting News: NXT has competition on Wednesday night. People call it a war, but to me, it’s really good competition. It’s really good for the fans and the wrestling business. Knowing that there’s another legitimate wrestling promotion out there, does it raise your game knowing there’s another game in town competing on the same night as you guys.

Dakota Kai: One hundred percent. That’s the essence of competition. If there is something else out there that’s also bringing a great product, you want to elevate your own. That’s just how it would work. So honestly, I think it’s so good for the wrestling business. I wish a lot of people online would see that. The online community is small compared to those that watch it at home. I really wish that people would just be happy with both and not get into such heated debates about either. Wrestling is for everyone. It’s great for wrestling in general that there is competition out there; otherwise, how is anything going to be elevated in general? I love it. I just wish that people online would also see it that way and not take it so personal.

**Chuck Taylor of AEW is 34 years old today.

**Next week’s episode of Dark Side of the Ring is David Schultz & The Slap Heard Round the World. The episode will feature original interviews with both Schultz and John Stossel, who was slapped in the ear twice during Stossel’s interview with Schultz for 20/20 when asking about wrestling being fake.

**The latest edition of We Are Stardom features more matches from the Korakuen Hall show on March 8th with Hana Kimura & Jungle Kyona vs. Giulia & Maika, as well as Bea Priestley & Jamie Hayter defending the Goddesses of Stardom titles against Momo Watanabe & Utami Hayashashita.

MMA NEWS

**PFL CEO Peter Murray spoke with Amy Kaplan at Fansided regarding the decision to reschedule their 2020 season and how it affects the fighters. When the announcement was made, the PFL added that fighters would be paid a monthly stipend that is being described by Murray as a bonus and not an advance on future earnings with the promotion. However, Murray did reveal that a portion of the roster would be cut:

This stipend is not going to be reallocated from [the fighters’] future show and win dollars and their other commitments from the PFL tied to the season that we reschedule. It’s something that we can do, on some level, to help them through this time. Although we are rescheduling our 2020 season, we have fighters across six weight classes… We’re keeping the significant majority, over two-thirds.

**Ant Evans wrote a story about Ian Freeman and his upset victory over Frank Mir at UFC 38 in July 2002. It was the promotion’s first card in England at Royal Albert Hall and Mir was a heavy favorite after starting his career 4-0 and expected to fight for the title. In the story, featuring quotes from Freeman, he spoke of learning his Dad was dying after a tumor was discovered in his brain and Freeman opted not to pull out of the fight. Freeman ended up stopping Mir in the first round, called home, and learned his Dad had died the day prior.

**TSN1 in Canada will be airing a replay of UFC 206 this Saturday at 9 pm Eastern. The card from Toronto in December 2016 was headlined by Max Holloway taking on Anthony Pettis, which was for the interim featherweight title, but Pettis missed weight and only Holloway could win the title. It also featured many people’s fight of the year with Doo Ho Choi vs. Cub Swanson.

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POST MOVIE REVIEW: Ant-Man and the Wasp

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*****

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About John Pollock 5568 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.