POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: Blanchard’s statement, CMLL, McGregor-Pacquiao


**Last night’s edition of Rewind-A-SmackDown is available to all members of the POST Wrestling Café. Wai and I discussed the go-home episode leading into Clash of Champions along with a pay-per-view preview. We also discussed the latest COVID-19 issues across the industry and the many questions that stem from it, the AEW & NXT ratings from Wednesday, Conor McGregor releasing numerous messages with Dana White, and his intention to fight Manny Pacquiao, and all the other news happening.

**Phil Chertok and I are LIVE tonight immediately after the UFC card with our UFC 253 POST Show that you can watch free at YouTube.com/POSTwrestling. We will have a review of the card and open the phone lines for the remainder of the show.

**On Sunday, Wai Ting & Mike Murray will have the G1 Climax Day 5 podcast coming out for members of the POST Wrestling Café running through the A Block card from Kobe World Hall.

**Wai and I will be back Sunday night with the Clash of Champions POST Show, which will be LIVE immediately after the pay-per-view for Double Double, Iced Capp & Espresso members of the POST Wrestling Café.


Tonight: 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)


**Tessa Blanchard, who has kept a low profile since leaving Impact Wrestling, issued a statement on Saturday addressing the past accusations of using racist language. In the statement, Blanchard said she was “taking back the control of my narrative” stating that the notion of being racist is not her and never has been and that she doesn’t have a history of being that way. The full statement is below:

I’ve been away for a while, the main reason for that is to focus on my wedding & honeymoon. The past few months I’ve gotten back to the basics & been focusing on the relationships I have with family, friends & myself. The point of this post is because I’m taking back the control of my narrative. I’ve had people weigh in on what I should do, what I should say, what interview to do, where to go.. now, I want to listen to what I want and what’s in my heart. I am so blessed in so many areas of my life & I am so grateful to have such strong people in my life. & I regained control of that mindset.. that I know who I am. At the end of every day I can look in the mirror and say ‘I know that woman, I like that woman, I love who that woman is becoming and what she’s capable of’, that’s all I need. racist? That’s not me, that’s never been me, I don’t have a history of being that way, I don’t have a history of using that language & that’s the end of it, it’s just not who I am. & I’m tired of being called & my family seeing me be called something so hateful.

Who I am is a woman that cares deeply about my passion and putting in work. Who I am is a woman that gives 110% at whatever she does whether it was waiting tables, extra curricular school work, the next workout, or in the ring. Who I am is a woman that prefers to be viewed as tough as nails instead of having any form of weakness. Who I am is a woman completely driven by my passion & what I believe God has for me in life. Even with those little details about me, at the end of the day none of it matters.. we are each responsible for taking control of our own lives. I’m taking back control of mine..


Earlier, I failed to expand on the story involving Blanchard for those that may be unfamiliar with it.

This past January, a tweet by Blanchard was sent over the weekend of the Impact Wrestling “Hard to Kill” pay-per-view encouraging women to be supportive of one another. This opened a floodgate with several female talents weighing in on what they perceived to be hypocritical based on their observations of Blanchard’s past behavior.

Among those was Allysin Kay, accusing Blanchard of previously spitting in the face of a black wrestler and calling her the n-word in Japan. Other accusations of bullying and behavioral issues came from Chelsea Green, Isla Dawn, Priscilla Kelly, Shanna, and Rebel.

Later, it was revealed that the black wrestler referred to was La Rosa Negra (Nilka García Solís), who addressed the incident that she claimed happened in April 2017 in Japan and included the following:

It saddens me that racism, envy, and bad things exist in sports, it will always be there. As adults, when something bad happens, we can resolve things by talking. There’s always a solution. Mine was to forget what happened on that day in April of 2017 in Japan. I think this was a good experience for me because now, I know I have a lot of backup. It’s impressive. I didn’t know so many people knew about the situation until the Twitter thing. I feel fulfilled. I feel tickled. Nothing will dull everything that I have achieved alone.

In a reply to a user on Twitter, La Rosa Negra added that her response to the incident to Blanchard ended her time working for Stardom and eventually, went to wrestle for the Marvelous promotion. Her last match for Stardom is listed in April 2017 and began with Marvelous in October that year.

The accusations became the focus that weekend as Blanchard won the Impact title at the pay-per-view from Sami Callihan and vaguely referenced the events that weekend in a promo for the live audience in Dallas, Texas.

In a statement later that week, Blanchard denied uttering the racial slur.

**CMLL held its 87th Anniversary card Friday night at an empty Arena Mexico. It was a throwback to the days before VCRs where if you missed the live broadcast, that was your only chance to see the show. It streamed on Ticketmaster Mexico without a VOD option, which is mind-boggling for any company in 2020 but when you’re talking about a company losing out on its largest gate of the year, plus eliminating whatever digital revenue the show could have made it’s a baffling question why this show was necessary with a COVID-19 outbreak affecting several performers that were removed from the show. Below are the results:
*Chamuel over Microman to retain the CMLL World Micro-Estrellas Championship
*Titan over Soberano Jr. to retain the CMLL World Welterweight title
*Reyna Isis over La Metalica to win the Mexican National Women’s Championship – So, they put the title on the replacement, who was taking Lluvia’s spot. In the case of both Lluvia and Princesa Sugehit, they have been promised their title matches when they return after winning the fan vote ahead of this card.
*El Cuatrero, Forastero & Sanson over Virus, Cancerbero & Raziel to retain the Mexican National Trios titles
*Marcela over Dalys by disqualification for the CMLL Women’s Championship – which sounds like a finish that was a compromise and not for the betterment of the card
*Volador Jr. over Templario to retain the NWA Historic Welterweight title – Templario replaced Bandido earlier in the week
*Mistico & Caristico over Rey Cometa & Espiritu Negro to retain the CMLL World Tag Titles – this was presented as the massive underdogs in Cometa & Negro headlining the biggest show of the year against the top stars and whether they could pull it off, they could not.

**Friday Night SmackDown’s overnight ratings have the show pegged at 2,030,000 viewers, which would suggest that the show has settled at this range after hitting a five-month high on September 11th. This week’s episode went against the Stanley Cup Finals on NBC that did 1,955,000 from 8-10 pm Eastern on the overnight numbers. These are not the final numbers for the shows, which will be released on Monday. SmackDown is listed as doing a 0.55 in the 18-49 demo with hour two being the highest among network programs on Friday night. The overnight figures display an average of 2,050,000 viewers for the first hour of SmackDown and 2,014,000 for hour two.

**Until last week’s drop, the three episodes of SmackDown since SummerSlam with the return of Roman Reigns had averaged 2,200,000 viewers. Last week’s show finished with 2,037,000 viewers.

**Friday’s episode of SmackDown was a weak show especially when it came to building the card Sunday with some ultra-weak challengers up and down the show. The high point was a tremendous closing segment with Roman Reigns and Jey Uso, and easily the best promo over Jey’s career. Reigns was great by being dismissive of Jey as a threat to the title and not being able to carry the ball and dressed down Jey until Jey responded by listing off the accolades of Reigns and contrasting to people not being able to tell him and Jimmy apart. It was a really good promo for the go-home segment and ended with Reigns returning from the back and hitting the Superman Punch and telling Jey he would never take his spot at the head of the table and he provides for the entire family, including Jey’s. It is the one segment I’d highly recommend watching from Friday.

**Mike Johnson at PWinsider.com reported that Billy Kidman was back working on Friday’s episode of SmackDown in Orlando. Kidman was one of many who had been furloughed this past April.

**The final of All Japan’s Champion Carnival is set as Zeus will take on Kento Miyahara on Monday, October 5th at Korakuen Hall. On Saturday’s show, Zeus defeated Jake Lee to win the A Block with both going into their match with six points each. In the B Block, it was down to Miyahara and Shuji Ishikawa with both at four points and headlined Saturday’s show with Miyahara defeating Ishikawa with the Shutdown German suplex. Miyahara won last year’s Carnival tournament while Zeus has never won the tournament.

**Warrior Wrestling has an outdoor event tonight airing at 7 pm Eastern and streaming on Fite TV. The event has seen several performers remove themselves including Lance Archer, Alex Zayne, Ben Carter, and Ethan Page. These events are going to be difficult for performers to weigh the pros and cons of what risk they are assuming or potentially adding if they attend a show. In the case of Page, his wife had a fever and while it may be nothing, but he wasn’t going to take that risk and potentially impact other wrestlers including his traveling partner Josh Alexander. The re-vamped lineup tonight includes:
*Brian Pillman Jr. vs. Brian Cage vs. Trey Miguel for the Warrior Wrestling title
*Kylie Rae vs. Madison Rayne for the Warrior Wrestling women’s title
*Zachary Wentz vs. Blake Christian
*Moose vs. Suicide
*Joey Janela vs. Robert Anthony
*Mike Bennett vs. Cheeseburger

**The G1 Climax resumes Sunday in Kobe with a loaded A Block show, which looks to be the strongest on-paper, thus far. The following matches will stream live late tonight at 3 am Eastern:
*Yota Tsuji vs. Gabriel Kidd
*Taichi (4) vs. Yujiro (0)
*Minoru Suzuki (2) vs. Jeff Cobb (2)
*Kota Ibushi (2) vs. Tomohiro Ishii (0)
*Will Ospreay (4) vs. Shingo Takagi (0)
*Kazuchika Okada (2) vs. Jay White (4)

**Nick Hausman of Wrestling INC spoke to Rocky Romero this week about the U.S expansion, the addition of NJPW Strong and gave the following answer about their original plans for 2020 when it came to the U.S market prior to the pandemic:

Well, I mean the original plan was to go August 22 to MSG. We were going to have a huge card there, and obviously, with the pandemic and New York being the major hotspot, especially in the beginning, that all got thrown to the wayside. I had to come up and kind of change plans. In New Japan, in general, it’s just like a live event company more than it is like an actual TV company. So it’s very different from AEW or WWE in that sense. So obviously, being a live event company and not being able to do live events, hurts our business quite a bit. This is kind of maybe like a forced model change in a way.

Not saying like, oh, it’s going to be TV first, TV this but definitely gives us maybe room to try things that we wouldn’t normally try, like a studio show shot in Los Angeles not too far from the dojo and being able to find new talent, which we’re always looking to do and always trying to add to the roster and find new players, especially new young players because I feel like the one thing they New Japan is golden at is finding talent and creating stars.

**Mike Mooneyham at the Post and Courier and Pat Laprade at Lutte Quebec have extensive stories on the career of the late Joe “Animal” Laurinaitis, who died earlier this week at the age of 60.

**SLAM Wrestling’s Bob Kapur wrote a story about being part of the virtual audience on Friday Night SmackDown last night. In his report, he noted the rules that were outlined prior to the show and direction they received during the body of the program:

At about 7:15 p.m., WWE announcer Greg Hamilton appeared on-screen. He welcomed us to the show and read us the rules for participating in the Thunderdome – no nudity (sorry, ladies, I complied with that one), no obscene gestures, no smoking/vaping, and no moving your camera or walking around with the camera on.

To add to the pressure, there was a director who throughout the night prompted everyone in the Thunderdome to react big. His disembodied voice would pop in every couple of minutes to encourage us to keep up the energy levels, to cheer and boo loudly, to give giant movements, whether applauding, giving someone the thumbs up or thumbs down or even to dance (“Give us some Nakamura dance moves!” during his entrance). He’d tell us when the Thunderdome was going to be prominently displayed – the feed we saw was on a slight delay, so we had to take his cues to know when we would be on-screen for at-home viewers. “Keep it up, guys! You’re doing great. Ten more seconds… show us how you feel about Alexa Bliss!”

**After NOAH’s latest N-1 Victory show on Saturday, the A Block is led by GHC champion Go Shiozaki with six points followed by Kaito Kiyomiya & Masaaki Mochizuki with five points, Kazushi Sakuraba with four, and Masa Kitamiya & Manabu Soya have two. The B Block has a tie between Katsuhiko Nakajima & Kenoh with six points, Takashi Sugiura & Naomichi Marufuji have five, Shuhei Taniguchi has two points, and Yoshiki Inamura has zero. The tournament doesn’t resume until next Sunday with a show at Korakuen Hall on October 4th and the finals are one week later on October 11th in Osaka.

**AEW Dark has announced nine matches for next Tuesday’s show airing on YouTube at 7 pm Eastern:
*Best Friends vs. Bshp King & M’Badu
*Tay Conti vs. Red Velvet
*Billy & Austin Gunn vs. Shawn Dean & Cezar Bononi
*Penelope Ford vs. Alex Gracia
*Luchasaurus & Jungle Boy vs. Five and Ten from the Dark Order
*Dustin Rhodes & QT Marshall vs. Colt Cabana & John Silver
*Nyla Rose vs. Rache Chanel
*Brian Pillman Jr. & Griff Garrison vs. Serpentico & Luther
*Scorpio Sky & Frankie Kazarian vs. Ray Rosas & Ryzin


**Tonight is the UFC 253 card from Fight Island and the first of five consecutive shows from the promotion on the island culminating with next month’s UFC 254 show. Here is the card for tonight’s show beginning with the early prelims at 7 pm Eastern:

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)

**After the initial revelation by Conor McGregor that he plans to fight Manny Pacquiao in the Middle East, Pacquiao’s side has confirmed that talks are ongoing. Pacquiao’s assistant Jayke Joson issued a statement to ESPN confirming the negotiations stating that the fight would happen in 2021 with proceeds of the fight going to victims of COVID-19 in the Philippines where Pacquiao holds the position of a Senator:

It is confirmed the negotiation between the camp of Senator Pacquiao and McGregor is now starting to move on. Again, as what our senator says, all his fights are dedicated for the welfare and unity of all Filipinos including this one. For the sake of all the Filipino Covid-19 victims, Senator Manny Pacquiao will be fighting UFC superstar Conor McGregor next year. The huge portion of his earnings will proceed to those who are affected nationwide by the pandemic.

Pacquiao, 41, was part of the largest pay-per-view fight in history with Floyd Mayweather Jr. in May 2015 generating 4.6 million buys. Two years later, Mayweather and McGregor landed the second-largest pay-per-view number of all-time with 4.3 million buys for their August 2017 boxing fight. Since the loss to Mayweather in 2015, Pacquiao has gone 5-1 and was victorious in his last three fights. Pacquiao fought twice in 2019 earning decisions against Adrien Broner and Keith Thurman.

**Bellator’s European Series presents a card today from Milan, Italy with the main card streaming at 5 pm Eastern while the prelims begin at 1:30 pm. Below are the main card fights:
*Fabian Edwards (the younger brother of UFC welterweight Leon Edwards) vs. Costello Van Steenis
*Pietro Penini vs. Mike Shipman
*Will Fleury vs. Kent Kauppinen

**Cage Warriors have their third card in as many days from Manchester, England. The card streams on UFC Fight Pass beginning at 1:50 pm Eastern and is headlined by Mason Jones taking on Adam Proctor for the vacant welterweight title.

**Here is episode five of the UFC Embedded series ahead of tonight’s UFC 253 card:

REWIND-A-SMACKDOWN 9/25/20: “Which One Are You?”
John Pollock and Wai Ting chat about the go-home episode of SmackDown before Clash of Champions, the latest COVID-19 issues affecting the industry, AEW & NXT ratings, and Conor McGregor’s latest plan.

upNXT MOVIE REVIEW: Batman (1989)
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”.
Martin Bushby & Andrew Thompson debut Wrestling Adventure, their new podcast looking back at classic wrestling shows and moments with a different guest each week. Joining them for the debut is Nate Milton to revisit WWE WrestleMania XIX.
upNXT 9/23/20: “Kool Kyle”
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.

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About John Pollock 5646 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.