POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: EVOLVE show in development, per report

Content has been taped for a new EVOLVE show in NXT, WWE's updated third party restrictions, Scott Coker discusses Bellator-Showtime & more.

Photo Courtesy: EVOLVE


**Wai Ting and I are live tonight with Rewind-A-Dynamite at 10:15 pm ET for Double Double, Iced Capp & Espresso Patrons. We will have a full review of Dynamite and discuss the latest news items as well as taking feedback.

**Braden Herrington and Davie Portman will have a new edition of upNXT with the fallout from TakeOver. They will also be live at 10:15 pm ET at Twitch.tv/upNXTpodcast.

**Rewind-A-Wai #80 features our review of NXT TakeOver: R-Evolution from December 2014. The card features the NXT debut of Kevin Owens for a big angle at the end of the show, Sami Zayn puts his NXT career on the line for Neville’s NXT title, Hideo Itami & Finn Balor team, Charlotte Flair vs. Sasha Banks for the NXT Women’s Championship, and more. Plus, we re-visit the news from this week in history including my Wrestle Kingdom 9 story, The Young Bucks turning down a tryout with WWE, a major suit is filed in MMA, and more. This show is available for all members of the POST Wrestling Café.

**News tips, announcements, and press releases can always be sent to [email protected].


Tonight: Rewind-A-Dynamite (LIVE at 10:15 pm ET for Dbl Dbl+ Patrons)
Tonight: upNXT with Braden Herrington & Davie Portman (LIVE at 10:15 pm ET on Twitch.tv/upNXTpodcast)
Thursday: The Wellness Policy with Wai Ting & Jordan Goodman (LIVE at 3 pm ET for Patrons)
Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown with John & Wai (LIVE at 10:15 pm ET for all Patrons)
Saturday: The Rocky Maivia Picture Show with Nate Milton & Andrew Thompson (“Central Intelligence”)
Sunday: Rewand-A-Vision with Wai Ting & WH Park (Patreon)
Sunday: WWE Elimination Chamber POST Show (LIVE for Dbl Dbl+ Patrons)


**Here are the advertised matches and segments for tonight’s AEW Dynamite airing at 8 pm ET on TNT and TSN 2 in Canada:
*AEW Tag Team Championship: The Young Bucks (champions) vs. Santana & Ortiz
*Women’s Title Eliminator: Serena Deeb vs. Riho
*Jon Moxley, Lance Archer & Rey Fenix vs. Eddie Kingston, The Butcher & The Blade
*FTR vs. Matt & Mike Sydal
*Hangman Page & Matt Hardy vs. Jack Evans & Angelico
*Orange Cassidy vs. Luther
*Sting calls out Team Taz

**NXT comes off an excellent TakeOver card with tonight’s episode. The key on the show should be the follow-up to the angle with The Undisputed Era and many directions that can go. Thus far, they have only announced the match between Santos Escobar and Karrion Kross for tonight. Both AEW and NXT should experience a bounce-back effect this week and it would be troubling if NXT doesn’t receive a boost from TakeOver, which was as good a card as you could ask with the added intrigue of the angle ending the show to drive people to this week’s show.

**Here are the matches for tonight’s “Filthy Island” edition of MLW Fusion airing at 7 pm ET on Fubo Sports and the MLW YouTube channel:
*King of Knockouts 2: Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal vs. Low Ki
*Azteca Jungle Fight: Mil Muertes vs. Savio Vega
*Rocky Romero vs. Gringo Loco
*Kevin Ku vs. Zenshi
*Dominic Garrini vs. “Mauna Loa”
*Commentary from Tom Lawlor and Dan Lambert

**Lee Cole has announced that the funeral for his brother Tom will take place this Friday.

**A report from Sean Ross Sapp at Fightful Select states that WWE has taped content for a new project tentatively titled “NXT EVOLVE” with Jeremy Borash and Gabe Sapolsky heavily involved. There has been no official announcement made yet on when the show will air or on what platform. From a strategic standpoint, this makes all the sense in the world with the enormous amount of talent in the system. NXT proper serves a different function as a two-hour program on national television where talent development is not its primary function or the best outlet to develop young and inexperienced talent in the system.

**Wrestling INC was the first to report on Monday on WWE’s latest policy regarding its talent advertising and promoting third-party outlets. The latest restrictions prevent talent from monetizing their Twitter or Instagram accounts based on their contracts that allow the company to exclusively control their likeness. The report from Wrestling INC stated that a first violation would result in a warning followed by a fine or even a suspension. The company had already begun to crack down on third-party promotion for talent on Twitch and Cameo last year, which became a big story.

**The overnight numbers for the premiere of “Young Rock” on NBC list the show at 5,034,000 viewers with the final number still to come. The show is listed at a 0.9 in the 18-49 demographic, which be second amongst network programming on Tuesday behind “This Is Us” on NBC.

**Tetsuya Naito was removed from today’s Road to Castle Attack event due to a knee injury. Naito appeared on the show and apologized he couldn’t compete where he was to team with SANADA against Kota Ibushi & Yuji Nagata. Instead, they had a singles match where SANADA pinned Nagata. Naito said he would be ready and able to compete against Ibushi at Castle Attack later this month. The Road to Castle Attack tour resumes Friday in Iwate where Naito is still advertised for the main event tag match.

**Brandon Thurston at Wrestlenomics has a feature on the recent news that WWE was freezing raises and promotions, which was first reported by PWinsider.com. Thurston reported that sources he spoke with noted morale being low after the news especially for those taking on additional work during a pandemic when others were furloughed. Earlier this month, the company reported record revenue of $974.2 million for 2020 and net incomes for the year of $131.8 million. However, they fell short of analysts’ expectations for the fourth-quarter performance due to the escalated costs associated with the ThunderDome and not hosting a show in Saudi Arabia.

**Teddy Hart (Ted Annis) is currently in custody in the Tarrant County Correction Center in Fort Worth, Texas with his arrest date listed as February 10th.

**Steven Muehlhausen at DAZN spoke with Tom Lawlor prior to tonight’s Filthy Island episode and asked him about how 2020 affected his plans for the past year:

All things considered, if I take a look at the goals and things that I had set out for myself to accomplish, not a whole lot of them happened. The point of this time, more I look at, the overall landscape and you know, overall things are most people accomplish them. I’m sitting in a pretty good place. I made it through what I think is going to be the harder part of the pandemic. I’m not worse for the wear. The 2020 Opera Cup is probably my favorite stuff in wrestling that I’ve done, so I can’t look back on it and be upset with that. I’m happy with that. There’s good and bad. I really don’t like to rest on any sort of laurels. There’s always going to be more for me to accomplish. If there’s not, then I should probably stop.

**The implosion of Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey took place Wednesday morning. The casino was adjacent to Boardwalk Hall, which was the site of WrestleMania 4 in 1988 and WrestleMania 5 in 1989 and referred to on the broadcast as “Trump Plaza”, which sponsored the show.

**Beginning next Tuesday, Madison Square Garden is allowing fans to return for games involving the New York Knicks and New York Rangers. The venue is being reopened at 10 percent capacity or 2,000 people. Each fan attending needs to provide a negative PCR COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of the game with identification to verify, be subject to a temperature check upon arrival, and fill out a health questionnaire.

**GRAPPL released its top-rated matches for January with the average rating for each match from its users: Shingo Takagi vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi at New Beginning in Nagoya (4.62), Shingo Takagi vs. Jeff Cobb at Wrestle Kingdom (4.61), Kazuchika Okada vs. Will Ospreay (4.61), Kota Ibushi vs. Jay White (4.59), Tetsuya Naito vs. Kota Ibushi (4.47), and Kenny Omega vs. Rey Fenix from Dynamite (4.43).

**Charlotte Flair and Sasha Banks will be appearing at Topps Digital’s virtual WinterCon convention from February 25-28.

**The WWE stock rose 2 percent on Wednesday closing at $47.49.

**For the Elimination Chamber this Sunday, BetOnline lists Drew McIntyre as the favorite to win the Raw Chamber Match followed by Sheamus, AJ Styles, Randy Orton, Kofi Kingston, and Jeff Hardy. Hardy is the largest underdog at 50/1 odds. On the SmackDown side, Kevin Owens is the odds-on favorite to win and challenge Roman Reigns, followed by Cesaro, Daniel Bryan, Jey Uso, King Corbin, and Sami Zayn.

**New Japan’s Road to Castle Attack tour continues Friday at 4:30 am ET with a show headlined by Kota Ibushi & Tomoaki Honma against Tetsuya Naito & Shingo Takagi.

**DDT’s new KO-D Champion Jun Akiyama will defend his championship against Kazusada Higuchi on March 28th at Korakuen Hall.

**The latest edition of The Boots and Trunks Podcast hosted by Jamesie analyzes the story of Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kazuchika Okada.


**The UFC 258 prelims on ESPN averaged 794,000 viewers with a 0.28 in the 18-49 demographic. With the ruling coming down that day in the impeachment hearing for Donald Trump, news coverage occupied the top twelve spots on the cable charts that day. UFC was the highest non-news programming for the day on cable. The numbers were way down from the UFC 257 prelims last month, but that for a significantly larger card with Dustin Poirier vs. Conor McGregor.

In comparing the key demos between the UFC 258 prelims and last week’s AEW, AEW beat UFC in adults 18-49, women 18-49, men 18-49, women 12-34, and adults 25-54. UFC beat AEW with adults 18-34, men 25-54, and adults 50+. In total viewers, UFC had 53,000 more viewers in its overall average.

**Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell of CBS Sports spoke with Bellator president Scott Coker and Stephen Espinoza of Showtime Sports. Here are some notes from the interview covering their recent relationship that sees Bellator premiere on Showtime in April:
*Espinoza did not think it would take eight years for MMA to get back on the network after Strikeforce was dissolved in 2013
*Coker realized when the depth was thin and made a sea change on building from the ground up and began with the signing of Aaron Pico and believes their depth is at its strongest now
*After Strikeforce was purchased in 2011, Coker had a three-year non-compete clause and then joined Bellator in 2014
*Espinoza said they have no plans for pay-per-view right now
*There is an ongoing dialogue regarding the potential of Bellator airing on CBS
*Bellator content will still air on CBS Sports Network with replays, as well as Pluto TV
*International events are difficult now due to COVID-19 and just focusing on the U.S. right now
*Coker did not want to sell Strikeforce in 2011 but his partners did and faced with a non-compete clause. He wasn’t initially interested in the Bellator role when he was contacted by Kevin Kay at Spike TV before coming around to the notion of taking the role of president.
*Espinoza said the Strikeforce experiment ended with a “bad taste” because they felt they were building something. After the purchase by Zuffa, Strikeforce continued to be run as its own brand for an additional two years before it was dissolved.

**Former UFC fighter Paul Kelly has announced his retirement at age 36. Kelly began his career in 2005 and joined the UFC after beginning his career with a 7-0 record. He fought for the promotion from 2008-11 as a welterweight and lightweight. In 2013, he went to prison for heroin trafficking and was released in 2019. He fought once more in March 2020. He has the distinction of being Donald Cerrone’s first opponent in the UFC. Kelly retires with a record of 15-5.

**The UFC has fifteen fights scheduled for Saturday’s Fight Night card, which airs on ESPN+ in the U.S. and TSN 5 in Canada. Below is the full card:

MAIN CARD (8 pm ET on ESPN+, TSN 5 in Canada)
*Heavyweight: Curtis Blaydes vs. Derrick Lewis
*Bantamweight: Ketlen Vieira vs. Yana Kunitskaya
*Featherweight: Charles Rosa vs. Darrick Minner
*Heavyweight: Aleksei Oleinik vs. Chris Daukaus
*Featherweight: Rafael Alves vs. Pat Sabatini
*Heavyweight: Andrei Arlovski vs. Tom Aspinall

*Middleweight: Phil Hawes vs. Nassourdine Imavov
*Featherweight: Jared Gordon vs. Danny Chavez
*Lightweight: Drakkar Klose vs. Luis Pena
*Bantamweight: Eddie Wineland vs. John Castaneda
*Featherweight: Nate Landwehr vs. Julian Erosa
*Flyweight: Shana Dobson vs. Casey O’Neill
*Featherweight: Chas Skelly vs. Jamall Emmers
*Bantamweight: Aiemann Zahabi vs. Drako Rodriguez
*Heavyweight: Sergey Spivak vs. Jared Vanderaa

**This Friday’s LFA 100 card is headlined by a flyweight world title fight between Victor Altamirano and Nate Smith airing on Fight Pass at 9 pm ET.


Pedro Munhoz vs. Jimmie Rivera at UFC Fight Night on Feb. 27 (MMA Fighting)

Matheus Nicolau vs. Tagir Ulanbekov at UFC Fight Night on March 13 (Combate)

Khama Worthy vs. Jamie Mullarkey at UFC 260 on March 27 (MMA Fighting)

Ion Cutelaba vs. Devin Clark at UFC Fight Night on May 1 (MMA DNA)



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About John Pollock 5648 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.