POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: Tony Khan on future of Sunday night PPVs

Tony Khan discusses potential of running more Sunday night PPVs, Stardom's Budokan show, IWTV cuts ties with Synergy Pro Wrestling & more.

Photo Credit: All Elite Wrestling

POST IT NOTES

**On a special edition of Rewind-A-SmackDown tonight, Wai Ting will be joined by POST contributor Kate from Montreal for the entire show. The two will be going LIVE at 10:15 pm ET for all members of the POST Wrestling Café. They will review Friday Night SmackDown, discuss today’s news, and take your phone calls.

**A reminder that our special Marvel-inspired POST t-shirt is available this week with a 15 percent discount for all Patrons on the POST Wrestling Store.

**On Saturday night, Wai Ting and WH Park will be joined by Nate Milton for a LIVE edition of Rewand-A-Vision to recap and review the finale of WandaVision. All members of the POST Wrestling Café will be able to listen & watch live at 10 pm ET.

**Our UFC 259 POST Show with Phil Chertok and I will be LIVE immediately after the pay-per-view concludes Saturday on the POST YouTube channel. We will review the card and take your calls to discuss the event.

**Finally, Wai Ting and I will be live Sunday night for the AEW Revolution POST Show immediately after the show for our Double Double, Iced Capp & Espresso members of the POST Wrestling Café.

POST SCHEDULE

Tonight: Rewind-A-SmackDown with Wai Ting & Kate from Montreal (LIVE at 10:15 pm ET for Patrons)
Saturday: UFC 259 POST Show with John & Phil Chertok (LIVE on POST’s YouTube)
Saturday: Rewand-A-Vision with Wai, WH Park & Nate Milton (LIVE at 10 pm ET for all Patrons)
Sunday: AEW Revolution POST Show with John & Wai (LIVE for Dbl Dbl+ Patrons)

WRESTLING NEWS

**Here are the matches announced for tonight’s edition of Friday Night SmackDown airing at 8 pm ET on Fox:
*Steel Cage Match: Daniel Bryan vs. Jey Uso (If Bryan wins, he challenges Roman Reigns at Fastlane for the Universal title)
*Shayna Baszler vs. Bianca Belair

**Below are the matches for tonight’s episode of NJPW Strong featuring qualifying matches for the New Japan Cup USA tournament. The show streams at 10 pm ET on New Japan World:
*New Japan Cup USA Qualifier: Rocky Romero vs. Lio Rush
*New Japan Cup USA Qualifier: Tom Lawlor vs. The DKC
*Alex Coughlin & Karl Fredericks vs. Clark Connors & Kevin Knight

**AEW president Tony Khan spoke with Forbes contributor Alfred Konuwa about the Revolution pay-per-view. When asked about the possibility of NXT being moved off Wednesday nights, Khan gave the following answer to the potential change:

I don’t know if that’s a real thing or not, but it would be great to be unopposed and I’d love to have an unopposed audience. When we have, we’ve done some really good numbers and I think that would be awesome.

During the chat, Khan spoke about his openness to running Sunday night on pay-per-view in the future noting several of their shows coinciding with holiday Mondays in both the U.S. and  England:

On the three-day holidays, I think it’s good. I actually would argue that for Double or Nothing or All Out, a large percentage of the country is going to have Monday off, and in England those are bank holidays so a large percentage of England, people aren’t really working very much. Most people have Labor Day and Memorial Day off here and abroad.

Double or Nothing, I am strongly considering going to Sunday. All Out I really think it would be really smart to do Sunday because then I don’t compete with College Football and the NFL won’t be going head-to-head. Full Gear I will keep on a Saturday. Revolution and Full Gear, whenever possible, I will do on a Saturday.

**AEW has announced the signing of Shawn Dean. He began his career in late 2017 and was trained by AR Fox. Dean started appearing on episodes of AEW Dark during the early stages of the pandemic last March at the shows in Jacksonville and Norcross, Georgia. He’d had two matches on Dynamite losing quickly to Brian Cage in May, and to MJF last September. Over the past few episodes of Dark, he has been teaming with Carlie Bravo. Tony Khan wrote the following message regarding Dean’s signing:

Thank you for your service to the USA, @ShawnDean773, + thank you for everything you’ve done for @AEW to help us thrive through the pandemic. Your consistent hard work, positivity + reliability have made you so valuable to #AEW; now it’s my honor to officially welcome you aboard!

**Synergy Pro Wrestling has been dropped by IWTV after information surfaced regarding its owner Patrick Shea, who went by the name Colin West. Shea was convicted of aggravated criminal sexual contact in 1999 when he was fifteen and had to register as a sex offender.

The details of the case stated Shea sexually assaulted three male acquaintances between the ages of six and ten along with a separate case of sexually assaulting a twelve-year-old male.

Synergy operated out of New Jersey and was scheduled to be part of the WrestleMania Week shows that IWTV was streaming that week from Tampa along with a new series that was set to launch Tuesday on the platform called Synergy Off Season. The group’s Twitter account appears to have been deactivated.

IWTV issued a brief statement:

Effective immediately IWTV will no longer be affiliated with Synergy Pro Wrestling.

Many performers and those linked with the company have publicly ceased ties with the promotion.

Later in the day, the following statement appeared on Synergy Wrestling’s website:

I’m going to keep this short, as I know nothing I say will mean much to many of you.

I’m sorry I was not strong enough to break the cycle of abuse. It happened to me as a teenager & I should have been better. I was not. This is not an excuse. My actions were disgusting, and you have every right to be disgusted by them.

I have taken great strides to become a better man. Nothing I can do will change what was done. I can never full repay that debt. But I can spend the rest of my life trying, and I will.

Please do not take this out on the Synergy roster. They did not know. They are very good wrestlers & even better people. I’m sure they are hurting enough right now. Please support them.

It is clear by public opinion I am not welcome, and I will be leaving wrestling immediately. I will make no effort to return or be involved.

I hope I have proven to some of you along the way that people can change. You weren’t deceived. I am who I portray to be. I hate what I did decades ago. But I am proud of who I am today.

My primary goal in wrestling was to make people happy. I’m sorry I failed.

**The New Japan Cup continued Friday from Korakuen Hall in front of 520 fans that saw Toru Yano and Hirooki Goto advance. The main event was worth seeing as Goto and Taichi had a very good performance and some strong near-falls in the closing minutes. Goto will now face the winner of Kazuchika Okada vs. Shingo Takagi in the second round. Toru Yano beat Bad Luck Fale by count-out and doesn’t need to be seen with Yano advancing to face The Great O-Khan next week.

**NJPW will be running Ota Ward City Gymnasium on Saturday with the biggest match of the first round as Kazuchika Okada takes on Shingo Takagi. They established Okada as one of the favorites last weekend between the win against EVIL and using the Money Clip to submit Chase Owens the next night in a multi-man tag. After, Okada cut a promo stating he wanted to get back into the title hunt “and save” the title scene. Okada should be saved as a challenger for Kota Ibushi at a bigger event than Sakura Genesis and if you’re going to have someone beat Okada, I prefer it be Takagi that some of the other candidates on that side of the bracket. The New Japan Cup always has a big upset or surprise finish to establish that tempo and could easily see Takagi getting a marquee win on Saturday. Here is the card for Saturday’s show, which streams at 3 am ET on New Japan World:
*New Japan Cup Opening Round: Kazuchika Okada vs. Shingo Takagi (winner faces Hirooki Goto on 3/13)
*New Japan Cup Opening Round: Minoru Suzuki vs. Tomoaki Honma (winner faces KENTA/Robinson winner on 3/13)
*New Japan Cup Opening Round: KENTA vs. Juice Robinson
*Tetsuya Naito, SANADA & BUSHI vs. Will Ospreay, The Great O-Khan & Jeff Cobb
*Jay White, Chase Owens & Taiji Ishimori vs. David Finlay, Toa Henare & Yuya Uemura

**Stardom announced attendance of 3,318 for their All-Star Dream Cinderella show this past Wednesday at Budokan Hall. Going by the publicly announced figures, Stardom slightly outdrew the New Japan Anniversary show from Thursday inside the same venue and announced 3,026. The Stardom show felt bigger due to the significance of that group running such a big venue and celebrating its tenth anniversary, which was promoted for months and built as a climactic event. The New Japan show felt like another in a string of shows following two nights at Osaka-jo Hall and going right into the New Japan Cup. I have seen most of the Stardom show and still have the main event to view but it was a standout show. The matches with Utami Hayashishita vs. Saya Kamitani, Mayu Iwatani vs. Yoshiko, Momo Watanabe vs. Nanae Takahashi, and the opener involving AZM dropping the High-Speed Championship to Natuspoi are all recommended. I loved the Iwatani match with Yoshiko and for my money, there is no better underdog babyface fighting from underneath than Iwatani who had a great opponent to work off. The decision to use Yoshiko was a decisive one given the history and the 2015 match with Act Yasukawa, but the end-product was a terrific match. We will be discussing this card at length on the next POST Puroresu.

**DAZN’s Steven Muehlhausen spoke with Jon Moxley to promote AEW Revolution. Moxley was asked if he believes he and Kenny Omega are the best wrestlers in the world right now:

To answer your question very simply and expediently, yes. But I’m not, especially in something like wrestling; it’s not like hockey where if you win a Stanley Cup, you’re the best hockey team. In wrestling, that’s not necessarily the case. It’s different.

You can be one of the best. The most important thing is how do you say who’s better: Shawn Michaels or Ric Flair? You can’t pick. If your favorite wrestler growing up when you were a kid was Big Van Vader or Ahmed Johnson, then they’re the best wrestler in the world to you. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter who drew more money or who had people think had better matches. The most important thing is you just got to be the best you.

But yes, I think we are the two best wrestlers in the world right now. Because if I had to answer why, I’d say because what we do, especially here at AEW, is we’re being the best versions of ourselves. We’re not being fettered or held back. We’re not being put in any boxes. We’re fully creating the things we want to create the things we want to be. We’re not being held back by just about anything.

There are some things you can’t do on regular television, but that’s about it. As long as I’m not going out there swearing or whipping my d–  out, I can pretty much do whatever I want creatively. I wouldn’t need to anyway. You’re getting the best version of Kenny Omega, the best version of Jon Moxley on a weekly basis on Dynamite. I don’t think anybody’s doing it at a higher level than me and Kenny are right now. We’re both in our prime, both at our peak, both just really hitting on all cylinders.

We’re in a position with AEW where we just get to go out there, be given the ball, and get a chance to score touchdowns on a weekly basis. Nobody’s doing it at a higher level than us two right now.

**The Our Heroes Rock Kickstarter campaign has introduced a stretch goal of $100,000 for a music producer. The campaign surpassed its initial goal of $75,000 within one week to produce the pilot episode and is a project led by Ettore “Big E.” Ewen, Jonathan Davenport, and journalist Andreas Hale.

**The WWE stock closed at $54.50 on Friday.

**A special Saturday night edition of AEW Dark will stream at 7 pm ET with the company announcing twelve matches for the show.

**Game Changer Wrestling presents “Take Kare” on Saturday night at 8 pm ET streaming on FITE TV. The show is headlined by Ricky Shane Page facing Joey Janela. The card takes place from The Showboat in Atlantic City with the promotion stating it’s sold out.

**MLW has added a match between ACH and Kevin Ku for next Wednesday’s episode of MLW Fusion. The show will also feature Alex Hammerstone defending the MLW National Championship against LA Park.

**The NWA released a short video announcing they were back. The company will be running a pay-per-view on Sunday, March 21st at 4 pm ET and a new episode of Power on Tuesday, March 23rd at 6:05 pm ET.

**Scarlett Harris has just released a book A Diva Was a Female Version of a Wrestler: An Abbreviated Herstory of World Wrestling Entertainment.

**Beyond Wrestling has scheduled a show for Thursday, April 1st at the White Eagle Hall in Worcester, Massachusetts. The event, “Fool’s Paradise”, will have a limited capacity with masks required for the entire time, and temperature checks to enter.

MMA NEWS

**The UFC 259 pay-per-view is Saturday night with three championship fights topping the bill. The biggest is the move to light heavyweight for 185-pound champion Israel Adesanya as he attempts to win a title at a second division when he fights Jan Blachowicz. It is always cautionary when seeing one fighter move up by such a drastic amount such as middleweight to light heavyweight is. Blachowicz stated he would weigh about 220 pounds by fight time on Saturday while Adesanya weighed 200.5 pounds, well below the weight limit, on Friday. For Adesanya, you don’t want to compromise speed and for five rounds there are great benefits to be the lighter and fresher fighter but will concede significant size and power that Blachowicz will have at his disposal. It’s a tricky fight to breakdown due to the variables and I find it the most interesting of the three championship fights on Saturday. If Adesanya wins, it’s likely he will have to choose a title and weight class rather than flip flop between both weights but he’s already a big star and that will be magnified if he opens up the light heavyweight division with a much-needed superstar presence after Jon Jones’ departure for the heavyweight division. If Blachowicz wins, it likely cools the talk of Adesanya moving up, but it also depends on how the fight plays out and his ability to contend with the larger opponent. A brutal knockout loss would be limiting for Adesanya in the immediate aftermath but ultimately, is still a fighter with a high ceiling.

Here are the results from Friday’s weigh-in for the fifteen fights scheduled on Saturday:

MAIN CARD (10 pm ET on pay-per-view)
*UFC Light Heavyweight Championship: Jan Blachowicz (205) vs. Israel Adesanya (200.5)
*UFC Featherweight Championship: Amanda Nunes (145) vs. Megan Anderson (144.4)
*UFC Bantamweight Championship: Petr Yan (135) vs. Aljamain Sterling (134.5)
*Drew Dober (156) vs. Islam Makhachev (156)
*Thiago Santos (206) vs. Aleksandar Rakic (206)

PRELIMINARY CARD (8 pm ET on ESPN)
*Dominick Cruz (136) vs. Casey Kenney (136)
*Song Yadong (135.5) vs. Kyler Phillips (136)
*Joseph Benavidez (125.5) vs. Askar Askarov (127*) – Askarov missed the limit by one pound
*Livinha Souza (116) vs. Amanda Lemos (116)

EARLY PRELIMS (5:15 pm ET on ESPN+, Fight Pass)
*Tim Elliott (125.5) vs. Jordan Espinosa (126)
*Carlos Ulberg (205) vs. Kennedy Nzechukwu (205.5)
*Sean Brady (170.5) vs. Jake Matthews (169.5)
*Kai Kara-France (125.5) vs. Rogerio Bontorin (126)
*Aalon Cruz (155) vs. Uros Medic (156)
*Trevin Jones (134.5) vs. Mario Bautista (135.5)

**Brett Okamoto of ESPN spoke with Dana White prior to UFC 259 on Saturday, below are some notes from their discussion:
*He loves seeing Israel Adesanya come up to light heavyweight and is close to cleaning out the middleweight division
*White doesn’t think Adesanya can defend both titles, which sounds like they will make him choose a title to defend if he wins on Saturday.
*As soon as Texas announced it was opening, they inquired about running in Dallas and Houston. White said they were immediately shot down by Dallas and now they’re working on Houston as a site for a future event. He is optimistic about running Houston.
*He indicated a summer date they are hopeful of doing a third fight between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor.

**Earlier this week, it was reported that the UFC has signed a massive deal with DraftKings as the promotion’s first official sportsbook and daily fantasy partner. The deal covers the U.S. and Canada and is a five-year pact worth a reported figure of $350 million, according to ESPN when factoring marketing and cash into the deal. Part of the integration of DraftKings into the on-screen presentation will be a DraftKings clock attached to the Octagon and HD screens monitoring the time left in the rounds.

**Episode five of UFC Embedded ahead of UFC 259.

FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Randa Markos vs. Luana Pinheiro at UFC 260 on March 27 (UFC)

ON THIS DATE

 

 

 

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About John Pollock 2447 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling.He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.