POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: Moxley & Marshall off AEW as precautions

Jon Moxley & QT Marshall off tonight's show due to COVID-19 interactions, latest #SpeakingOut stories, UFC increasing testing, Edge speaks & more.

Photo courtesy: All Elite Wrestling

POST IT NOTES

**Rewind-A-Wai #64 has been released with Wai Ting and I reviewing WWF Ground Zero from September 1997, which was the choice voted on by listeners to review. The card was headlined by The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels, and Bret Hart vs. The Patriot for the WWF title. We also discussed everything going on at the time including:
*The rise of Steve Austin and his recovery from his neck injury the prior month
*The significance of the price increase of the In Your House shows
*Bret Hart’s role as champion two months before leaving the company
*Brian Pillman’s final days
*The WWF undercard in 1997
*A horrible three-way match on this card
*The use of the minis and different ways they could have been presented & much more

The show is out for all members of the POST Wrestling Café. The next Rewind-A-Wai will be released Tuesday, July 7th.

**Wai Ting and I will be back tonight with Rewind-A-Dynamite to discuss lots of news and review tonight’s AEW show. Braden Herrington & Davie Portman will have their latest edition of upNXT on the site.

**The British Wrestling Experience will be releasing this week’s show on Thursday night as Martin Bushby, Jamesie & Benno react to the last week involving the #SpeakingOut stories and specific to the European wrestling scene.

SPEAKING OUT

**On Tuesday, David Lagana issued a statement refuting the claim by wrestler Liz Savage that he sexually assaulted her in 2010. After his statement ran on several sites, Savage responded by stating:

Yes he absolutely did touch me. I put my trust into him as a friend and he violated me.

Previous allegations against Lagana from Matthew Randazzo’s 2008 book Ring of Hell have come up during his time working at WWE from 2002 to 2008. In the book, multiple sources spoke to Randazzo including former WWE writers Dominick Pagliaro and Dan Madigan on the record. Pagliaro alleged that Lagana leveraged his power for sexual favors from both male and female talent. Madigan stated that he believed that WWE’s human resources were compiling a case involving complaints against Lagana prior to his 2008 departure. Madigan believed the company was aware but looked the other way and claimed that a male wrestler was propositioned and led to a veteran wrestler going to Talent Relations over it.

POST Wrestling has reached out to both Lagana and WWE for statements regarding these past allegations and the nature of his departure from the company. When reached by this outlet, Dan Madigan stands by the statements he made in the book.

**In the description for this week’s episode of Being the Elite, the following disclaimer was posted regarding allegations made against those that have appeared in the series in the past. They did not specifically mention anyone by name, although added they were deleting older episodes, they were uncomfortable with:

Hi guys and girls. We hope this video provides an escape, or even maybe makes you laugh during these tough times. We love you all. Out of respect to the victims, we have began the process of taking down BTE videos which featured an accused serial sexual abuser. Our biggest regret is providing a platform unknowingly to such a despicable person. Our hearts go out to the victims and anyone else affected.

**I wanted to direct people to a great discussion that Wade Keller and Rich Fann had on the PW Torch site regarding all these issues. I thought the discussion covered a lot of ground, many questions that fans are left to face, the obligation of both management and performers amidst these allegations that are wide-spread, systemic changes necessary, and how the business changes after these scandals. I highly recommend this episode for those seeking analysis on issues broad and specific on these complex stories.

**ECCW out of British Columbia has released a statement stating it’s been made aware of allegations involving members of its promotion and those people have been removed. The statement has been criticized for its lack of transparency and who it involves. In the statement, the company said it will not comment on the matter any further.

Following ECCW’s statement, we contacted Jeff Duncan and he issued the following statement to POST Wrestling after allegations had been made public:

I am no longer involved with ECCW. While I deny the allegations, I understand this course of action is best for the company.

**ATTACK! Pro Wrestling out of the U.K. has issued the following statement:

ATTACK! Commends the bravery of people choosing to speak out. We take these allegations seriously, and we are taking appropriate action. Abuse of any kind, of performers, staff, or audience will not be tolerated.

We will no longer work with individuals who have been implicated in the ongoing #speakingout movement.

In light of allegations made about many wrestlers across the UK scene, and on the ATTACK! Roster specifically, it is clear that massive structural changes are required in the wrestling industry before events can safely run again.

As such, we are going to take an indefinite hiatus from running events, and don’t plan to return until we can ensure the necessary changes have been made.

We sincerely apologise for not doing more to keep these individuals out of our environment, and stand by those who have bravely spoken out.

Pete is actively engaging with a range of parties about improved safeguarding practices in the industry. The outcome of this will be central to what we do in the future.

If you have a ticket for an upcoming show, this will be refunded shortly.

**While not a pro wrestling subject, there are many parallels going on with a recent lawsuit filed outlining horrifying allegations in the hockey world. On the Big Story podcast, former OHL player Brock McGillis discusses the necessary changes needed in hockey locker rooms and the culture as a whole, as well as push back or voices not speaking up regarding the problems persistent in hockey.

WRESTLING NEWS

**AEW president Tony Khan stated that QT Marshall has been removed from tonight’s show after encountering someone that has tested positive for COVID-19. Khan stated the person that tested positive was a non-wrestling acquaintance and rather than bring Marshall to Florida, he was asked to stay home and get tested for the virus out of caution and protecting everyone on the roster and staff. Marshall was scheduled to team with Dustin Rhodes against FTR on Dynamite and their team is being replaced by Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian.

**Following that announcement, Khan stated Jon Moxley was also off tonight’s show after alerting the company he had second-hand contact with someone that has the virus. Neither were flown to Florida and Moxley will be replaced by Brian Cage having a match on tonight’s show.

**Edge (Adam Copeland) was a guest on Busted Open with Dave LaGreca and Bully Ray to promote his film Money Plane that comes out on July 10th. Below are some notes from their discussion:
*He reiterated his advice that talent should take acting classes especially now where it shows in the empty arena setting.
*For the Last Man Standing match at WrestleMania, he wanted to get out of the ring as quickly as possible and defended the idea to have that stipulation first because of the angle with Beth Phoenix and then move to the straight wrestling match playing it off as Randy Orton’s strength of match in the story.
*He was critical towards those that were negative on the WrestleMania match based on how long it went and dismissed the criticisms from a small number of jaded fans. Mind you, I would imagine many (like myself) that felt the WrestleMania match was way too long and didn’t work, really enjoyed the Backlash match and fans didn’t seem jaded last week when that match aired. Everyone is going to take criticism differently, if you are seeking out opinions of your work online you accept the good reviews with the bad and if you’re going to dismiss online reaction as 2% of the audience that is “jaded” then you have to acknowledge when the pendulum swings in the other direction and people really enjoyed the Backlash match.
*Edge’s big goal during this run is that “selling sells” and it’s not about big wrestling moves while also acknowledging that he has twenty years of television behind him. I was glad he couched it like that because in 1999, his career was in a different place and it was the huge ladder matches that inarguably took him to the next level and part of that presentation was the tremendous level of risk involved and stunts that had not been seen in a WWE ring until then, and I’m sure many veterans were warning those six about the dangers. I would argue with the bar so high in 2020 when it comes to what can be achieved inside the ring, there is a great opening to set yourself apart as a fantastic speaker and to Edge’s point, having an acting ability that will get your character across because that lane is less clogged than simply getting over with your in-ring
*He said he pushes Randy Orton to the best of his capabilities but Orton doesn’t realize how special he is. He needed Orton to see if he could do this and knew Orton would step-up in the program.
*He has been given close to full control on his programs with a few exceptions, he writes his promos and drew influence from shadowing directors for years and seeing how they told their stories and is looking at this program as a director instead of a wrestler.
*Edge shut down the idea of ending The Undertaker’s streak in 2008 and felt it would hurt WrestleMania moving forward. He felt the streak should not have ended until Undertaker’s last match. He added he didn’t need it in 2008 because he was already “made” and didn’t feel Brock Lesnar needed it either.
*The match at Backlash with Randy Orton was filmed straight through and had four pick-up shots after. He hated the pick-up shots, but it was his idea to try the Go Pro reaction shots. Afterward, Edge believed they didn’t need them, but Vince McMahon loved them, and they were kept.

**Here are the matches for tonight’s episode of AEW Dynamite at 8 pm Eastern on TNT, which is a live show from Daily’s Place in Jacksonville:
*FTR vs. Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian (replacing QT Marshall & Dustin Rhodes)
*Matt Hardy vs. Santana (replacing Sammy Guevara)
*Luchasaurus vs. Wardlow in a Lumberjack Match
*Brodie Lee & Colt Cabana vs. Sonny Kiss & Joey Janela
*Brian Cage in action (replacing Jon Moxley)
*Hikaru Shida in action
*Press conference highlights with Cody and Jake Hager

**Below are the matches listed for tonight’s episode of NXT that was taped last week at Full Sail University:
*Keith Lee vs. Finn Balor vs. Johnny Gargano for the North American title (the winner faces Adam Cole on July 8th)
*Karrion Kross vs. Bronson Reed
*Damian Priest vs. Cameron Grimes

**Mike Murray has a review of Wednesday’s New Japan Cup card that featured the start of the second round. In the main event, Kazuchika Okada took on Yuji Nagata with the rest of the second-round matches featuring Hiromu Takahashi vs. Toru Yano, Tomohiro Ishii vs. Togi Makabe, and Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Taiji Ishimori. The tournament takes a break for one week and resumes next Wednesday with shows on July 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prior to the first cards in front of fans on July 11th and 12th in Osaka.

**WWE announced its new distribution deal in Italy where they are leaving Sky to join Discovery. The multi-year deal will see WWE’s flagship programming run on Discovery’s DPlay Plus streaming platform with English commentary while there will be shows in Italian airing on the DMAX network. The deal goes into effect on July 1st with Raw, SmackDown, NXT, Bottom Line, and Afterburn available on DPlay Plus. Italian versions of SmackDown, NXT, and an edited-down version of Raw will be voiced by Luca Franchini and Michele Posa to run on DMAX, which is a free-to-air channel in Italy.

**MLW CEO Court Bauer spoke with the New York Post about their new distribution deal with DAZN. It was noted that episodes of Fusion will continue to run on beIN Sports with older episodes and the Opera Cup event currently available on DAZN. Bauer also noted an eventual split from YouTube citing how YouTube underpays unless you have a strategic partnership, which they attempted. He also noted they are under no pressure to return and won’t until there is “some sort of therapy, treatment, and or a vaccine”.

**Rogers Sportsnet in Canada is launching a new series hosted by Tara Slone called Top of Her Game that will celebrate female athletes. The premiere episode will feature Stephanie McMahon-Levesque and Charlotte Flair as guests. It airs this Sunday at 6:30 pm Eastern on Sportsnet ONE and Sportsnet NOW.

**MLW has signed independent wrestler Calvin Tankman to a multi-year deal stating that the contract was signed last month. Based out of Indiana, Tankman has wrestled since 2016 and was on this past weekend’s Game Changer Wrestling event winning a six-man scramble match.

**Jamie Hemming at SLAM Wrestling has a feature on the late Julian Shabazz, who died earlier this month at the age of 52. Shabazz wrote the “Black Stars of Professional Wrestling” book that came out in 1999 and had several updated versions over the past two decades.

**Kenny McIntosh has re-scheduled their “One Night Only” show with Kevin Owens for Thursday, November 5th in Glasgow, Scotland. Owens was scheduled to do a show with McIntosh, but it was postponed when the pandemic hit. They are selling any additional tickets due to social distancing guidelines.

**The Cauliflower Alley Club is currently planning to hold its annual reunion on September 21-23 at the Gold Coast Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Greg Oliver, who is set to receive the James C. Melby Award revealed that he’s on the fence about attending this year given the pandemic. He has reached out to the CAC and voiced his concerns noting the Canada-U.S. border is still closed for non-essential travel, the dangers of flying right now, having older wrestlers traveling being a risk, and how Las Vegas has handled the spread of the virus.

**The WWE stock closed at $43.85 on Wednesday.

TELEVISION RATINGS

**On June 8th, WWE Raw averaged 1,737,000 viewers over the three hours. Programming Insider reports that with the Live+3 numbers, the average would be 2,000,000. The audience increased 15% (263,000 viewers) and the 18-49 demographic increased by 16.5% with the Live+3 numbers.

**For the June 10th episode of AEW Dynamite that did 677,000 viewers, the Live+3 numbers bring the average up to 837,000. In the 18-49 demo, Live+ brings the rating up from 0.23 to 0.30. For that week, viewership increased 23.6% in viewers and 32.8% in the main demo. On the same night, NXT did 673,000 viewers and Live+3 increased it by 18.3% to 796,000 viewers and up 34.4% in the 18-49 demo from 0.16 to 0.22.

**When you compare the Live+3 numbers for that week, UFC proved to be significantly more DVR-proof with a small gain for the Fight Night card headlined by Cynthia Calvillo vs. Jessica Eye on June 8th. The main card on ESPN averaged 908,000 viewers and only grew by 6.7% to 969,000 while the 18-49 demo went from 0.33 that night to 0.35 with Live+3 data.

**The largest movement for Live+3 numbers were for the season finale of Total Bellas. The show did 693,000 for the finale on June 11th and grew 65.3% to 1,146,000 and the demo increased by 72.3% from 0.29 to 0.51, which are astronomical figures showing that it’s a DVR-heavy show especially for the season finale.

**Saturday’s UFC Fight Night card on ESPN was fifth for the night on cable with 912,000 viewers and 0.32 in the 18-49 demographic that translated to 418,000 viewers in the demo. The coverage of the Donald Trump rally in Tulsa dominated cable Saturday night.

The UFC card was headlined by a heavyweight fight with Curtis Blaydes defeating Alexander Volkov by unanimous decision. The prelims on ESPN from 5-8 pm Eastern did 513,000 viewers and 196,000 in the 18-49 demo. The featured prelim fight was a lightweight fight where Bobby Green defeated Clay Guida by unanimous decision. This compares to the Fight Night card from June 20th where the main card did 908,000 and the prelims doing 551,000.

MMA NEWS

**ESPN has a big story on the additional measures UFC is taking regarding COVID-19 testing for fighters taking part in the shows in Abu Dhabi next month. In their reporting, it states that fighters involved will have to travel first to one of several regional anchor cities depending on where they are coming from – those locations are Las Vegas, Sao Paulo, London, and Moscow. They will be tested in the anchor city and quarantine before leaving for Abu Dhabi on a charter flight. ESPN adds that once they arrive on Yas Island, they will receive two more coronavirus tests and will be asked to quarantine until the results come back, then tested again and quarantine until the next results are returned, plus will be administered a test after the fight.

**There is a translation of an update from UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov on the health of his father, Abdulmanap. In the translated message, it states that his father has beaten the coronavirus, but it has done damage to his kidney and heart. Khabib can visit him for a half-hour each day, he can recognize Khabib but cannot speak.

**After one of the best fights of 2020, UFC featherweight Josh Emmett is expected to be out for a significant period with a laundry list of injuries. Emmett tells Brett Okamoto of ESPN that during the fight he suffered a complete tear of his ACL, a partial MCL tear, a focal impact fracture of his femur, and a Baker’s cyst rupture – which is described as a pre-existing injury where fluid leaks into the calf. Emmett, 35, defeated Shane Burgos by unanimous decision in a phenomenal fight last Saturday with his third consecutive win following previous victories against Michael Johnson and Mirsad Bektic.

**Paige VanZant spoke with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani about her upcoming fight with Amanda Ribas at UFC 251 on July 11th. VanZant has had terrible problems stemming from a broken arm she first suffered in a fight with Jessica Rose-Clark in January 2018 and has re-broken several times. She has not fought since January 2019 and was initially set to fight Ribas in March but VanZant fractured the arm for the third time. VanZant will travel from Portland, Oregon to Las Vegas on July 2nd to get tested for COVID-19 and fly to Abu Dhabi on July 3rd and is only taking her three cornermen with her. VanZant was adamant on testing free agency after this fight and has been on the same deal since she was 22 prior to fight Rose Namajunas in December 2015, she is now 26 and is making $46,000 to fight and $46,000 to win. VanZant has been fighting for the UFC since November 2014.

ON THIS DATE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2a9X1KLrnD4

 

 

*****
REWIND-A-WAI #64: WWF Ground Zero 1997

John Pollock and Wai Ting review WWF Ground Zero: In Your House from September 7, 1997, featuring the first-ever televised singles match between The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels. This show was originally reviewed on the debut edition of Review-A-Wai back in September 2009.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/06/24/rewind-a-wai-64-wwf-ground-zero-in-your-house-1997/
*****
REWIND-A-RAW 6/22/20: Impact Releases, Guevara-Banks, Last Ride Finale

John Pollock and Wai Ting discuss the news coming out of the weekend involving #SpeakingOut, plus a review of WWE Raw and the finale of The Undertaker: The Last Ride documentary series.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/06/23/rewind-a-raw-6-22-20-impact-releases-guevara-banks-last-ride-finale/
*****
REWIND-A-SMACKDOWN 6/19/20: Kristen Ashly talks #SpeakingOut

John Pollock & Wai Ting welcome Kristen Ashly (Bell to Belles) to discuss the #SpeakingOut movement and the creation of the Association of Women in Wrestling. Plus, your calls and a review of tonight’s SmackDown.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/06/20/rewind-a-smackdown-6-19-20-kristen-ashly-talks-speakingout/
*****
REWIND-A-DYNAMITE: Cody’s Stark Contrast, WWE Tapings, Last Ride 
John Pollock and Wai Ting review AEW Dynamite featuring two title matches and more matches confirmed for Fyter Fest.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/06/18/rewind-a-dynamite-6-17-20-codys-stark-contrast-wwe-tapings-last-ride/
*****

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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.