POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: Industry reacts to latest COVID-19 issues

WWE's statement on COVID-19 procedures, talent removing themselves from independent shows, CMLL running its anniversary card, Conor McGregor tweets messages with Dana White & more.

Photo courtesy: Warrior Wrestling


**Rewind-A-SmackDown is LIVE tonight at 10:15 pm Eastern with Wai Ting & I discussing tonight’s episode of SmackDown for all members of the POST Wrestling Café. We will be doing video tonight and opening the phone lines for all to discuss the latest news and thoughts on the show tonight. Plus, we will do a preview of Sunday’s Clash of Champions card and the weekend coming up.

**On Saturday night, Phil Chertok and I will be hosting the UFC 253 POST Show, streaming LIVE at YouTube.com/POSTwrestling immediately after the end of the main card. We will have a review of all the fights and take calls. Subscribe to the YouTube channel so you never miss a show.

**Sunday’s G1 Climax Podcast will feature Wai Ting & Mike Murray reviewing Day 5 of the tournament from Kobe World Hall, which is an A Block show headlined by Kazuchika Okada vs. Jay White and Will Ospreay vs. Shingo Takagi. This will be available exclusively for members of the POST Wrestling Café.

**Finally, the WWE Clash of Champions POST Show goes down Sunday night where Wai and I will be live immediately after the pay-per-view for Double Double, Iced Capp & Espresso members of the POST Wrestling Café.

**Davie Portman and Braden Herrington have released their latest movie review discussing the 1989 release of Batman starring Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson. The show is available on the free upNXT feed.


Tonight: Rewind-A-SmackDown (LIVE at 10:15 pm ET for Café members)
Saturday: UFC 253 POST Show with John Pollock & Phil Chertok (LIVE on POST’s YouTube)
Sunday: G1 Climax – Day 5 Podcast with Wai Ting & Mike Murray (Patreon)
Sunday: WWE Clash of Champions POST Show (LIVE for Double Double, Iced Capp & Espresso Café members)


**On Thursday, WWE appeared to address the recent reports of the latest COVID-19 outbreak, which was first reported on by Sean Ross Sapp and Jon Alba this past Monday.

WWE issued the following statement to several outlets:

As part of ongoing testing protocols, WWE completed its second round of weekly COVID-19 testing on Tuesday. Individuals that tested positive will quarantine for 14 days, receive medical care, and then will only be cleared when they are symptom-free and test negative. Additionally, extensive contact tracing has taken place and other individuals have been placed in 14-day quarantine, and will then only be cleared after they test negative.

Mike Johnson at PWinsider.com reports that several sources indicated that a party was hosted by an NXT talent and led to asymptomatic spread among others at the Performance Center. On Thursday, classes were canceled at the Performance Center, which POST Wrestling was made aware of during the day.

Johnson’s report added that talent and staff working at the Performance Center or NXT tapings will not be allowed to work Raw and SmackDown tapings until further notice.

**On Thursday night, Chelsea Green revealed on her Facebook page that she had tested positive for COVID-19 but has since recovered from the virus.

**AEW is scheduled to be taping next week’s episode in Jacksonville, Florida today. Many of the AEW roster members were in attendance for the Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Miami Dolphins game at TIAA Bank Field on Thursday. They return for their next live edition of the show at Daily’s Place on Wednesday, October 7th.

**CMLL is going ahead with its 87th Anniversary card tonight from an empty Arena Mexico. The decision to stage the show was dubious, to begin with, given it’s a live gate driven company but compounded by the revelation of at least four wrestlers with COVID-19 that have been removed from the show. Princesa Sugehit, Lluvia, Ultimo Guerrero, and Bandido have been replaced for tonight’s show, though it opens many questions regarding the specific testing procedures CMLL has used and the fear of the asymptomatic spread of the virus that could potentially affect those still working the card. Mistico, who recently teamed with Bandido, did have a test administered and posted an image of his test result on his phone stating he was negative. Guerrero last worked on September 11th and Sugehit on September 12th.

The card will stream on Ticketmaster Mexico at 9:30 pm Eastern tonight and there is no VOD option to watch it later. The latest card consists of the following:
*Caristico & Mistico vs. Rey Cometa & Espiritu Negro for the CMLL World Tag Titles
*El Cuatrero, Forastero & Sanson vs. Virus, Raziel & Cancerbero for the Mexican National Trios Titles
*La Metalica vs. Reina Isis for the Mexican National Women’s Title
*Marcela vs. Dalys for the CMLL World Women’s Title
*Volador Jr. vs. Templario for the NWA World Historic Welterweight title
*Titan vs. Soberano Jr. for the CMLL World Welterweight title
*Chamuel vs. Microman for the CMLL World Micro-Estrellas Championship

**Over at Voices of Wrestling, thecubsfan has a preview of tonight’s show and taking a look at the large issues surrounding the practicality of running the event while placing performers in a no-win situation.

**The new names for Mia Yim and Mercedes Martinez will be “Retaliation” and “Reckoning”. PWinsider.com reported they were among the names that WWE has trademarked with Yim changing her Twitter profile to “Reckoning”.

**Friday Night SmackDown takes place tonight from the Amway Center in Orlando and is the final show before Clash of Champions this Sunday. They are advertising the following for tonight’s show at 8 pm Eastern on Fox:
*Jeff Hardy vs. Sami Zayn
*Alexa Bliss vs. Lacey Evans
*An interview with Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman

**Ethan Page has removed himself from Saturday’s Warrior Wrestling show in Chicago as a precaution after his wife contracted a fever. He wants to be safe and not put anyone at risk including traveling with Josh Alexander to the show.

**Deonna Purrazzo has removed herself from The Collective series of events that GCW is putting on in two weeks. Purrazzo stated it was precautionary because of the importance of Bound for Glory coming up at the end of October:

Unfortunately, I’ve made the decision to cancel my shows for The Collective weekend.

With BFG coming up, my highest priority needs to be staying healthy and leaving adaquant time self-isolate, if need be.

This is just precautionary. I’ll see y’all soon, I promise Stay safe!

**Serena Deeb has removed herself from next Tuesday’s United Wrestling Network pay-per-view where she was scheduled to face Allysin Kay and will be replaced by Nicole Savoy. Deeb wrote the following:

Earlier this week, I came into contact with an individual who later tested positive for COVID-19. I am taking extra precaution and will be self-quarantining for 10 days.

Due to this, I unfortunately have to postpone the match at Primetime Live next week with Allysin Kay. I offer my utmost apologies for this. This is a serious matter, and the health and safety of everyone involved always comes first.

**On tonight’s edition of NJPW Strong, it’s the start of the Lion’s Break Crown tournament with the following opening-round matches streaming at 10 pm Eastern on New Japan World:
*Clark Connors vs. Jordan Clearwater
*Logan Riegel vs. The DKC
*Danny Limelight vs. Barrett Brown
*Blake Christian vs. Adrian Quest

**Variety looked at several issues affecting WWE including their reaction to the viewership decline due to storyline quality, which it’s pointed out, comes down to Vince McMahon as the final editor. The article, which has data provided from Wrestlenomics, looks at the projected revenue they receive from Saudi Arabia, and the recent criticism the company received from former U.S. presidential candidate Andrew Yang.

**Interestingly enough, Andrew Yang had Dolph Ziggler (Nick Nemeth) on his podcast this week.

**The Champion Carnival has its penultimate show on Saturday with the following tournament matches leading to the final on October 5th:
*BLOCK A: Jake Lee vs. Zeus
*BLOCK A: Jiro “Ikemen” Kuroshio vs. Kuma Arashi
*BLOCK B: Shuji Ishikawa vs. Kento Miyahara
*BLOCK B: Yoshitatsu vs. Shotaro Ashino

**NOAH’s N-1 Victory tournament resumes Sunday with the following matches:
*BLOCK A: Go Shiozaki vs. Masa Kitamiya
*BLOCK A: Masaaki Mochizuki vs. Manabu Soya
*BLOCK B: Naomichi Marufuji vs. Shuhei Taniguchi
*BLOCK B: Katsuhiko Nakajima vs. Yoshiki Inamura

**Ivar (Todd Smith) posted an update on Thursday following neck surgery last week that was performed by Dr. Andrew Cordover in Birmingham, Alabama.

**Ken Shamrock tweeted Dwayne Johnson asking him to send a video message for his Impact Wrestling Hall of Fame induction, which Johnson agreed and will send.

**Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport has announced that the main event will feature Jon Moxley taking on Chris Dickinson on Sunday, October 11th at The Collective in Indianapolis, Indiana.

**Next Wednesday’s edition of NXT, which has already been taped, will feature a face-to-face segment with Finn Balor and Kyle O’Reilly moderated by Shawn Michaels.

**AEW has isolated the match between Ben Carter and Lee Johnson from this past week’s episode of AEW Dark, which many are raving about.

**Joseph Montecillo, who has been a guest on The Long & Winding Royal Road, has done a fantastic video essay analyzing the in-ring year of 1990 in professional wrestling.

**Game Changer Wrestling has added shows on Saturday, November 7th with the Nick Gage Invitational 5 and Sunday, November 8th with “So Much Fun”. Both shows take place from The Showboat in Atlantic City, New Jersey with tickets on sale today. Those attending must wear masks with reduced capacity, social distancing in effect, and there will be hand sanitizer stations.

**The WWE stock closed at $39.15 on Friday.


**Two fighters missed weight on Friday prior to UFC 253 on Saturday. Zubaira Tukhugov was four pounds over the featherweight limit weighing 150 pounds for his fight against Hakeem Dawodu on the pay-per-view main card. L’udovit Klein also missed by four pounds for his featherweight fifth against Shane Young.

Below is the card for Saturday’s card with the results from today’s weigh-ins:

MAIN CARD (10 pm ET on pay-per-view)
*Israel Adesanya (184) vs. Paulo Costa (185) for the UFC middleweight title
*Dominick Reyes (205) vs. Jan Blachowicz (205) for the vacant UFC light heavyweight title
*Kai Kara-France (126) vs. Brandon Royval (126)
*Ketlen Vieira (136) vs. Sijara Eubanks (136)
*Hakeem Dawodu (145) vs. Zubaira Tukhugov (150*)

PRELIMINARY CARD (8 pm on ESPN2, ESPN+, TSN 5 in Canada)
*Brad Riddell (156) vs. Alex Da Silva (156)
*Jake Matthews (170) vs. Diego Sanchez (170)
*Shane Young (146) vs. L’udovit Klein (150*)
*William Knight (205) vs. Aleksa Camur (206)

EARLY PRELIMS (7 pm on ESPN2, ESPN+, TSN 5 in Canada)
*Juan Espino (255) vs. Jeff Hughes (258)
*Khadis Ibragimov (206) vs. Danilo Marques (206)

**Adesanya and Costa had a pull-apart during the stare down on Friday. Costa put a black belt around his waist while handing a white belt to Adesanya, who proceeded to whip the belt at Costa.

**I don’t have the feeling of a big pay-per-view out of UFC this weekend. It’s a two-fight card for marquee value and honestly, any success this pay-per-view I would attribute to Israel Adesanya and the state of his crossover appeal. Adesanya has come up in the ESPN+ era where pay-per-view figures are less public unless they are released by ESPN and/or Disney, therefore it’s hard to gauge what level Adesanya has reached as a pay-per-view draw. I was surprised that last month’s UFC 252 card featuring Daniel Cormier’s retirement fight didn’t hit the high six figures and indicates that with more sports returning, the UFC isn’t drawing based on the novelty of being one of the few sports options. In May, I feel UFC 249 greatly benefited from that distinction with Justin Gaethje and Tony Ferguson never drawing a figure on their own in the universe of 700,000 buys for ESPN+. In July, UFC 251 did monster business that was greatly assisted by the late addition of Jorge Masvidal. With those shows, I pegged Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier to be huge and it fell short of that while still a good number.

**Saturday’s card will see the first UFC light heavyweight not named Jon Jones or Daniel Cormier since Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in 2011. I find it a compelling championship between Dominick Reyes and Jan Blachowicz. Reyes came the closest of anyone to beating Jones when they fought this past March with a lot scoring it 3-2 for Reyes, for transparency I did score the fight 3-2 for Jones. The portion of the fight everyone agreed on was that Jones dominated the championship rounds and that could be a test if Blachowicz reserves his output for the final rounds. Blachowicz has finishing power with two of his last three wins coming that way, although one was against a middleweight in Luke Rockhold coming up to light heavyweight. Reyes is a sizable betting favorite, but I don’t discount Blachowicz in this fight.

**After Diego Sanchez stated that fighting Conor McGregor would be a dream fight for him, McGregor responded telling Sanchez he lobbied Dana White for a fight with Sanchez in Dublin, Ireland. McGregor released a message chain between him and White from this past February with McGregor pushing for a fight in May. White joked that they would have their promoter’s license revoked if they booked McGregor to fight Sanchez while McGregor complimented Sanchez’s performance against Michel Pereira, which ended in a disqualification win for Sanchez. The messages published revealed that McGregor was told the earlier he could fight would be International Fight Week on July 11th against Justin Gaethje, of course, this was before the shutdown that threw live events in a state of chaos. A fight between McGregor and Sanchez makes no sense and I can’t say I disagreed with White’s stance when presented with that option. McGregor ended his tweets stating he was fighting Manny Pacquiao next in the Middle East, which I’d take with the largest grain of salt I could find.

**Bellator has released its full card for Bellator 247, which will be the promotion’s debut on the CBS Sports Network on Thursday, October 1st. The card will air live from Milan, Italy meaning that the prelims will begin at 12:15 pm Eastern or 9:15 am on the west coast. The prelims will stream on the CBS Sports website and Bellator’s YouTube channel with the following main card fights airing at 4 pm Eastern on CBS Sports Network:
*Paul Daley vs. Derek Anderson
*Norbert Novenyi Jr. vs. Laid Zerhouni
*Kate Jackson vs. Denise Kielholtz
*Ilias Bulaid vs. Ivan Naccari

**In an interview with Damon Martin of MMA Fighting, Showtime Sports President Stephen Espinoza gave the following answer regarding Bellator appearing on other Viacom properties beyond just CBS Sports Network:

I think the expansion of Bellator programming across all ViacomCBS is very likely in the long run. I think it applies to boxing as well. I think one of the most exciting aspects of the merger is having now a range of different outlets from CBS network to CBS Sports Network, across all the different Viacom outlets and then with streaming, with Paramount Plus, with Showtime on the premium and streaming side, there’s now an opportunity to really spread combat sports across a whole range of platforms both in range of the content itself and also in terms of the promotion.

**Congratulations to Amanda Nunes and Nina Ansaroff, who had their daughter on Thursday. The baby’s name is Raegan Ann Nunes.



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Braden Herrington & Davie Portman kick off their new series of Batman movie reviews by reviewing Tim Burton’s gothic campy take on the comic book superhero in 1989’s “Batman”.
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The BDE run down WWE NXT featuring the first-ever “Gauntlet Eliminator Match” between Kyle O’Reilly, Kushida, Bronson Reed, Timothy Thatcher, and Cameron Grimes to determine who faces Finn Balor for the NXT Championship at TakeOver.
REWIND-A-DYNAMITE 9/23/20: Moxley-Kingston, Joe Laurinaitis, COVID-19
John Pollock and Wai Ting review AEW Dynamite with Jon Moxley defending the AEW title, a look at the career of Joe “Road Warrior Animal” Laurinaitis, and COVID-19 issues affecting several promotions.
ASK-A-WAI: Ask Us Anything!
John Pollock and Wai Ting answer their patrons’ questions from the POST Wrestling Forum in the Sectober 2020 edition of Ask-A-Wai.
REWIND-A-RAW 9/21/20: “Introducing Slapjack, T-Bar & Mace”
John Pollock and Wai Ting discuss the Retribution edition of WWE Raw along with a shark attack, a report on several COVID-19 cases in NXT, two CMLL performers test positive, and SmackDown’s number drops.
THE ROCKY MAIVIA PICTURE SHOW: Empire State (2013) w/ Brandon from NJ & Kris from L.A
Nate Milton arranges an East Coast/West Coast collaboration with guests Brandon From NJ and Kris From L.A.! The guys head into the theater to review The Rock’s 2013 direct-to-DVD “based on a true story” classic, “Empire State”!

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About John Pollock 2059 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling.He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.