POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: Martha Hart speaks about WWE lawsuit

Martha Hart discusses WWE lawsuit, report on Rey Mysterio's status, the birth of The Hell Raisers, The Undertaker chats UFC 121 angle with Lesnar & more.

Photo courtesy: @wrestlingmuseum


**Tonight, we have Rewind-A-SmackDown with Wai Ting and I reviewing the show as well as ‘The Last Ride of the Road Warriors’ edition of Dark Side of the Ring. This will be available for all members of the POST Wrestling Café.

**The British Wrestling Experience has released a great show titled ‘The 2020 Euro Transfer Window’ with Martin Bushby, Benno, Jamesie, and Andy Ogden conducting a 20-round draft of European-based wrestlers to construct their own pay-per-view cards. Below is the premise of the show:

The year is 2021. Wrestling worldwide has been decimated by the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic. Wrestling fans around the world have rejected empty arena wrestling and viewing figures have plummeted. Every major wrestling company across the world has gone bankrupt, from WWE to AEW to NJPW.

As a result, every contracted wrestler on the planet is now a free agent.

With the recent discovery of a vaccine for COVID-19, however, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Travel within European countries has once again been deemed safe, but non-nationals are still banned from the US and Japan. Arena wrestling will soon once again be viable.

**Eric Marcotte will have coverage of the UFC Fight Night card on Saturday night from Jacksonville, Florida featuring Walt Harris vs. Alistair Overeem in the main event.

**This weekend, we will have The Rocky Maivia Picture Show with host Nate Milton reviewing ‘Snitch’ starring Dwayne Johnson coming out Sunday.



**Martha Hart did a rare interview speaking with Chris Jericho on Friday’s edition of Talk is Jericho. The interview was in promotion of next Tuesday’s release of Dark Side of the Ring cover the passing of Owen Hart in May 1999. In the interview with Jericho, it’s focused on his wrestling career and life outside of the ring and didn’t touch on the circumstances of his passing, which will be the heavy focus of Tuesday’s show.

Martha noted she doesn’t have a relationship with the Hart family citing the tumultuous period involving the lawsuit with WWE that led to infighting among the Harts. One of the major issues was an allocation agreement drawn up that ensured that if Stu and Helen Hart (who were listed as co-plaintiffs in the suit against WWE) were to pass away before the lawsuit ended, their share would be distributed among their children. Most, but not all, of the Hart children signed the allocation agreement. Ellie Hart made a copy and sent the allocation to lawyer Jerry McDevitt, who was representing WWE in the suit. This gave the WWE side the ability to argue that the agreement was designed to buy favorable testimony from the children. When speaking with Jericho, Martha said she doesn’t have any ill will towards the family, had nothing negative to say of the Hart grandchildren who she runs into at times in Calgary but said that the damage had been done and was irreparable.

A settlement in the wrongful death suit was reached in November 2000 with the plaintiffs receiving a reported figure of $18 million that was dispersed between Martha, children Oje and Athena, and Owen’s parents Stu and Helen. Martha Hart launched the Owen Hart Foundation after the settlement and promoted it on the show with Jericho.

Martha was adamant that she will not work with WWE on any projects related to Owen Hart and allow them to make money from those ventures as she holds them responsible for his death. She added she would be open if a company such as New Japan reached out to her to do something to commemorate Owen but has never been asked. In the summer of 2018, Owen Hart was inducted into the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Martha posted a photo the following month displaying the plaque she received from the group after Owen’s induction.

**Here is what has been announced for Friday Night SmackDown tonight at 8 pm Eastern from the WWE Performance Center:
*The start of the Intercontinental title tournament
*Charlotte Flair appears on the show
*Miz TV with guest Otis
*Tony Nese vs. Jack Gallagher on 205 Live (the return of new matches after several weeks of archival matches airing)
*Tyler Breeze vs. Tehuti Miles on 205 Live

**In this week’s issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer reports that Rey Mysterio’s 18-month contract he signed is coming due. Monday’s angle with Seth Rollins could be served as a springboard for that feud or gives WWE an ‘out’ if Mysterio were to forego a new deal. The timing is terrible for Mysterio, who has had a great WWE run and beyond expectations for a 45-year old with the litany of injuries he has had over his career. In a regular climate, there would be offers across the board with AEW and New Japan presumably going to great lengths to sign him when he became available. In this period, all companies are on shakier ground than six months ago.

In the Observer report, it states WWE is not giving raises right now and would indicate that Mysterio missed the boat on the massive contracts that he surely would have received had he signed a one-year deal instead of one for 18-months. Mysterio also has his son Dominic to think about and not creating any issues for his career that is just beginning. If Mysterio would opt to sit out for six months, he could take the chance that wrestling shows resume and he’d likely be a coveted free agent, but the issue is time. No one knows how long that will take and time is ticking down for a 45-year old in this industry.

Mysterio was rejuvenated in this run having dropped weight and his knees appear to be holding up. The biggest improvement has been the promos that have been a big part of his programs and allowed him to be a near-top babyface. Given all the factors, it would seem the safest move is re-signing with WWE that would seem the most probable unless there was an outside offer so large, he couldn’t turn it down. The other question mark is the term of the deal, which if WWE pushes for a 3-5-year deal would almost surely be the last of Mysterio’s in-ring career. He was very shrewd to sign an 18-month deal when he did to have many options, but no one could have predicted this climate 18-months ago.

**Total Bellas rebounded this week with 485,000 viewers on E! and up 17% from last week. It was the show’s fourth-best number this season of the seven episodes that have run but more impressive because they haven’t had Keeping up with the Kardashians as their lead-in for the past two shows. This week’s show did 0.20 in the main demo and 25th for the night among cable programs.

**On this week’s edition of the Pacific Rim Podcast, co-host Fumi Saito spoke about Road Warrior Hawk’s years with New Japan teaming with Kensuke Sasaki as The Hell Raisers. In the episode of Dark Side of the Ring, Animal (Joe Laurinaitis) spoke of how upset he was that Hawk went to Japan and used their gimmick with another wrestler. This occurred in 1992 after Hawk disappeared after SummerSlam 1992 and Animal had to work live events in handicap situations and teaming with Brian Adams. Animal injured his tailbone badly during that stretch and didn’t wrestle again until January 1996.

According to Fumi Saito, it was Masa Saito’s idea to pair Hawk with Sasaki and his idea was to call them ‘The New Road Warriors’, which Hawk refused. It took a sit-down meeting where Saito and Sasaki flew to Minneapolis to convince Hawk to do it as he was largely removed from wrestling in the months following SummerSlam. Hawk & Sasaki (as ‘Power Warrior’) debuted together on November 23, 1992, at Sumo Hall defeating Riki Choshu & Hiroshi Hase in three-minutes.

Fumi added an interesting story that the name for the team came when Hawk was in a Japanese bar and Ozzy Osbourne’s song ‘Hellraiser’ from the No More Tears album was playing. Hawk asked the bartender what the name of the song was, and it clicked for him. The Road Warriors came out to ‘Ironman’ for years by Black Sabbath and now Ozzy had moved on as a solo artist and Hawk saw it as a sign that it was the same direction he was going and it was the next chapter of his career after The Road Warriors.

**Earlier this week, The Undertaker was interviewed by Ariel Helwani to promote ‘The Last Ride’ and discussed the angle with Brock Lesnar in 2010 at the UFC 121 card that Helwani was caught in the middle of. Moments after Lesnar’s loss to Cain Velasquez, Lesnar was exiting and walked by ‘Taker, who was being interviewed by Helwani for the MMA Fighting outlet. Lesnar walked past him with ‘Taker asking, ‘do you want to do it?’ and the video spread like wildfire with the hope that Lesnar would be able to work WrestleMania 27 the following April. I knew Helwani wasn’t in on it, but he confirmed that to me the following day when I spoke to him that he had no idea that would happen. Lesnar was under contract to UFC and Dana White wasn’t going to allow him to work WrestleMania and led to Vince McMahon even offering to fight White at a UFC event or at WrestleMania, which White revealed in March 2013. In the interview this week, you could see Undertaker still tentative about admitting that it was an angle, but he did so, reluctantly.

Instead of Undertaker vs. Lesnar, that the year they brought back The Rock as the host of WrestleMania and started a multi-year program with John Cena while ‘Taker did back-to-back matches with Triple H in 2011 and 2012. When Lesnar got to WWE in April 2012, he was linked to Triple H for the following year’s WrestleMania and they didn’t get to Lesnar and Undertaker in 2014, which was the ending of the streak. Helwani covered the streak and while Undertaker wouldn’t say anything bad about the decision, he noted other wrestlers and colleagues thought it was a terrible mistake, but he wasn’t going to refuse or go against Vince McMahon’s wishes. Helwani asked if he was retired, he laughed and said he couldn’t give him that answer and alluded to some type of reveal in the documentary series. On television, they are clearly positioning AJ Styles for a rematch but that could also be misdirection. Even if The Undertaker announces his retirement at the end of the series, there will be a grain of salt taken with that news given all the times it’s been assumed or outright inferred he was done with WrestleMania 33 being the biggest example.

**Seth Rollins issued the following message after the news was made public he and fiancé Becky Lynch are expecting a child:

I took this a few moments after we got the best news of our lives and I don’t think I could have captured anything more beautiful. I can’t put into words how much it means to me.

Thank you all so much for your support over the last couple of days. The outpouring of love really has lifted us even higher than we’ve already been.

December can’t come soon enough!!

**The WWE stock closed at $41.64 on Friday.

**MLW is launching its Anthology series this weekend on beIN Sports and has announced that it will be hosted by Joey Styles. The first episode focuses on LA Park and will be Styles’ first wrestling project since November 2016. The first episode features the following matches from MLW’s archives:
*LA Park vs. Shocker (September 2002)
*LA Park vs. Sabu (probably their ‘Mexican Massacre’ match from May 2003)

**Kip Sabian and Scorpio Sky have been added to the Casino Ladder Match for next Saturday’s Double or Nothing pay-per-view in Jacksonville, Florida. Sabian and Sky join Orange Cassidy, Darby Allin, Colt Cabana, and Rey Fenix. The nine-person ladder match will start with two people and a new entrant comes in every 90 seconds. There will be a chip hung above the ring and participants can grab the chip at any point meaning there is an advantage to being in the match early.

**Jonathan Snowden was a guest with LeBetard and Friends discussing his excellent book on Ken Shamrock, which is out now through Hybrid Shoot.

**Bruce Prichard spoke to Newsweek about ‘The Last Ride’, his thoughts on the Boneyard Match, and other potential documentary subjects.

**The May 20th and May 27th editions of AEW Dynamite will be airing on TSN2 in Canada.

**Vince McMahon posted a tweet acknowledging the work of some of the production team behind Undertaker: The Last Ride:

**Kenny McIntosh of Inside the Ropes recently spoke to Lio Rush about his departure from WWE and working with Bobby Lashley as his manager. He gave the following answer regarding the split from Lashley and whether there was heat on Rush:

It was super exaggerated. I don’t understand where or how the whole backstage heat thing started. It might have happened because I was pretty vocal about a situation that happened overseas with carrying the waters and stuff like that.

There were some other stories out there that were completely untrue and didn’t happen. But that’s the one story that I’ve been pretty open about. So yeah I don’t really know where the backstage heat thing ever came from. People were always cordial to me and would come up to me. Nobody ever came and said anything bad or disrespectful and vice versa. As far as the split with me and Bobby, there was some miscommunication and frustration with me and the powers that be financially. That was my biggest thing at the time. I was still making the money I’d been making in NXT at the time and merchandise was getting put out and I felt I’d contributed so much to that as far as the sayings, the mottos, the catchphrases and I just wasn’t getting compensated for that. I wasn’t on the meet n greets with Bobby, which didn’t make sense to me.

But everywhere Bobby would go, I had to go cos I was his manager. But Bobby was so busy, he was the Intercontinental Champion he was on every show, every live event, travelling, had to get hotels. Yeah, all of that is great to be used but I’m not making enough money to cover these expenses. I have to do everything that Bobby’s doing but the difference is Bobby’s making this much (points high up) and I’m making this much (points low down) If I’m gonna do this I basically need more money to survive. You know its not just me out here, I’ve got a wife, I’ve got two kids, so I have other responsibilities I have to take care of.I guess they didn’t like that a 25 year old or whatever age I was at the time, they didn’t like me being so outspoken so they just cut it.

**Ring of Honor has added 100 matches to Honor Club over the next month. Among them include Bryan Danielson vs. Samoa Joe from ROH’s first-anniversary show in 2003, CM Punk vs. AJ Styles at the second-anniversary card in Feb. 2004, and Jay Briscoe vs. Samoa Joe from ‘At Our Best’ in March 2004.

**Masked Republic has launched its Lucha Central Podcast Network with a lineup of shows covering the Lucha industry with English and Spanish podcasts. They will include ‘Lucha Central Weekly’ that debuted today that will be a weekly news show, on May 25th they launch the ‘Lucha Central Lighting Report’ that will be a daily short-form news show and a show called ‘Lucha Libre Figures & Facts’ with Erik Arana, Jefry & Scott Toon, and historian Matt Farmer among the shows in their schedule.


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About John Pollock 5663 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.