POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: Steve “Mongo” McMichael diagnosed with ALS

Steve McMichael health update, Japanese groups affected by state of emergency, IMPACT viewers, Dana White on Bill Simmons, NWA PPV & more.

Photo Courtesy: WWE


**We have an interview posted with Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics going through WWE’s first-quarter earnings report, notes from the Q&A with analysts, Nick Khan’s comments on the call, the launch on Peacock, how WrestleMania performed, ideas for next year’s show in Texas, and we discuss the early indications of AEW & NXT running on separate nights.

**Tonight, Rewind-A-SmackDown will be hosted by Wai Ting with guest co-host Kate from Montreal as the two review Friday Night SmackDown, discuss the latest news, and open the phone lines for the duration of the show. Rewind-A-SmackDown is LIVE every Friday at 10:15 pm ET for all members of the POST Wrestling Café and available afterward for Patrons.

**Davie Portman and John Siino preview this Sunday’s IMPACT Rebellion pay-per-view.

**Wai Ting, WH Park & Nate Milton will be LIVE at 8 pm ET on Saturday for all Patrons to review the finale of The Falcon & The Winter Soldier.

**We will be LIVE on Saturday night with the UFC 261 POST Show on YouTube. You can subscribe to the channel and set a reminder as Phil Chertok and I will begin the show right after the pay-per-view ends.

**Members of the POST Wrestling Café can listen to the full WWE Q1 Earnings Call hosted by Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon-Levesque, Nick Khan, and Kristina Salen.

**Brandon Sears has a book review of the upcoming release, “The Wrestlers’ Wrestlers” by Dan Murphy & Brian Young that will be available next Tuesday through ECW Press.


Tonight: Rewind-A-SmackDown with Wai & Kate from Montreal (10:15 pm ET for all Patrons)
Saturday: MCU L8R with Wai, WH Park & Nate Milton (Patreon)
Saturday: The Rocky Maivia Picture Show with Nate & Brian Mann (The Rock hosts SNL in March 2000)
Saturday: UFC 261 POST Show with John Pollock & Phil Chertok
Sunday: IMPACT Rebellion POST Show with Davie Portman & John Siino


**Former NFL player and WCW wrestler Steve “Mongo” McMichael is not doing well. The Chicago Tribune has a story on McMichael battling ALS that affects the nervous system making it impossible for him to raise his arms, leg problems, and significant weight loss. He was diagnosed with the disease in February and given a 36-month onset. The family has established a GoFundMe for McMichael to assist with his daily care and medical needs as he is dependent on his wife for assistance with eating and daily hygiene. McMichael, 63, was part of the Bears squad that won the Super Bowl in January 1986 and continued with the league through 1994 where he ended up playing for Green Bay. McMichael was in the corner of Lawrence Taylor at WrestleMania 11 in April 1995 but made the full transition to pro wrestling with WCW the following year. After turning on partner Kevin Greene, McMichael joined the Four Horsemen in the spring of 1996 and wrestled for WCW until early 1999 winning the United States Championship once.

**A state of emergency has been issued to several major areas of Japan including Tokyo, Osaka, Hyogo, and Kyoto beginning this Sunday and lasting until at least May 11th. This is going to impact several pro wrestling groups as the order will coincide with “Golden Week” in Japan. The following announcements have been made:
*Pro Wrestling NOAH has canceled its events on May 2nd and May 3rd at Korakuen Hall, which will still air on Wrestle Universe but without fans in attendance
*NOAH is still going to run Nagoya on April 29th as the state of emergency doesn’t cover that prefecture
*All Japan Pro Wrestling will not be allowing fans to attend its Champion Carnival shows on April 25th, April 29th, and the finals on May 3rd with empty arena shows
*Stardom has canceled its shows for this Sunday in Osaka, postponed its April 30th show at Korakuen Hall (featuring the remaining rounds of the Cinderella tournament, which will occur at a later date), the May 7th Golden Fan Meeting in Osaka, and the May 8th and May 9th cards in Osaka
*Stardom is still moving forward with the following shows that are not affected by the state of emergency: April 24th in Hamamatsu, April 29th in Sendai, May 2nd in Hiroshima, and May 4th & 5th in Fukuoka
*NJPW has not made any announcements yet but they don’t have any events in Tokyo scheduled until May 9th with three straight nights at Korakuen Hall. Those shows would likely have to change based on the order lasting until at least May 11th.

**The go-home episode of IMPACT Wrestling did 145,000 viewers and 0.05 in the 18-49 demographic on Thursday night. The show finished 113th on the cable chart for Thursday and was up from 132,000 and 0.04 last week.

**So far, Friday Night SmackDown is simply being advertised around Roman Reigns along with the news that Apollo Crews will defend the Intercontinental Championship. It is Pat McAfee’s second week on commentary and the debut of new backstage correspondent Megan Morant.

**The finals of the New Japan Cup USA tournament air tonight as Tom Lawlor takes on Brody King to determine the NJPW Strong Champion after the eight-man tournament. The following matches will be part of tonight’s episode airing at 10 pm ET on NJPW World:
*New Japan Cup USA Finals: Brody King vs. Tom Lawlor
*Rocky Romero vs. Wheeler Yuta
*TJP & Clark Connors vs. Chris Dickinson & JR Kratos

**AEW has added a match between Penta El Zero Miedo and Orange Cassidy for next Wednesday’s episode of Dynamite on TNT.

**IMPACT Wrestling has one of its biggest pay-per-views in years this Sunday with Rebellion from Skyway Studios in Nashville, Tennessee. Both IMPACT and AEW have literally said that one participant in the main event will leave with both championships to offset any belief they would do a finish to avoid either title switching. For all concerned, it makes the most sense for Kenny Omega to win the IMPACT Championship and continue making appearances and leaving the door open for additional crossover. There was almost zero mention of the match on Dynamite this past week except for Don Callis stating Omega would be the next IMPACT champion and some promotional inserts during the picture-in-picture breaks on TNT. The show will also feature the first pro wrestling commentary that Mauro Ranallo has done since leaving WWE last summer when he calls the main event between Omega and Rich Swann. On paper, it looks like a really good show with the main event people are interested in, and an undercard that has a good chance of delivering in most of the matches:
*AEW vs. IMPACT Championship: Kenny Omega vs. Rich Swann
*Knockouts Championship: Deonna Purrazzo (champion) vs. Tenille Dashwood
*IMPACT Tag Team Championship: David Finlay & Juice Robinson (champions) vs. The Good Brothers
*X Division Championship: Ace Austin (champion) vs. TJP vs. Josh Alexander
*Knockouts Tag Team Championship: Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz (champions) vs. Jordynne Grace & Rachael Ellering
*Last Man Standing: Trey Miguel vs. Sami Callihan
*Brian Myers vs. Matt Cardona
*Eddie Edwards, James Storm, Chris Sabin & Willie Mack vs. Joe Doering, Deaner, Rhino & TBA

**WWE had its latest strong quarter with the first of 2021 generating a profit of $43.7 million with revenue of $263.5 million. The company over-delivered with a large upfront payment from Peacock to begin its licensing deal of the WWE Network in the United States. The Peacock payment was reflected in “Network” revenue that jumped from $43.5 million in the first quarter of 2020 to $79.4 this year with core content rights increasing by $6.5 million from the same quarter last year. The company appears to be going strong with the idea of licensing the WWE Network into other parts of the world similar to the U.S., Canada, and India with an overall strategy of producing endless content that it can license when content is at a premium with so many suitors.

**There were several announcements during the Q&A portion of the earnings call with analysts, among them was a deal for an anime series on Crunchyroll, which was recently purchased by Sony.

**On Friday, the WWE stock dropped over 3 percent closing at $54.23 after opening at $56.05.

**The NWA is returning with another pay-per-view on Sunday, June 6th. The event is titled “When Our Shadows Fall” with a 4 pm ET start time airing exclusively on FITE TV (which is now owned by TrillerNet). The shows lands on the same day as New Japan’s Dominion card from Osaka, although that show will be over hours before the NWA show with no overlap. The pay-per-view is listed for $19.99 U.S.

**There was a tragic story earlier this week involving NXT content producer Cornell Gunter and his fiancé Nicole with the couple losing their baby. The baby, Cairo, was born on Sunday but did not have a heartbeat. Cairo went eight minutes without oxygen to the brain and was transported to NICU. Gunter shared his frustration online claiming negligence on the part of the Winnie Palmer Hospital in Orlando that led to Cairo not making it. The family has set up a GoFundMe to assist with general expenses and is demanding answers and justice for the loss of their baby.

**We send our best wishes to Terry Funk, who recently contracted COVID-19, according to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. In the newsletter, it stated that Funk is in isolation after testing positive but is said to be doing okay.

**Joe Villa issued the following message after the news of his departure from WWE earlier this week where he served in its public relations department:

I am so humbled and overwhelmed by the amount of support from Superstars, colleagues, press and friends. Instead of everyone thanking me I want to thank you all. I truly hope I have to honor and privilege of working with you all again. Thank you from the bottom of heart.

**Terry Gordy, who was among the most naturally gifted performers, would have been 60 years old today. Gordy died in July 2001 at the age of 40 after suffering a heart attack brought on by a blood clot. During his prime, he was one of the top big men in the industry and groomed to be a megastar for All Japan Pro Wrestling, and was a key component of The Fabulous Freebirds. His career was greatly affected due to drug use and his in-ring skill suffered dramatically as the ‘90s wore on.

**This weekend’s Ring of Honor episode will feature the following matches:
*Rush, Kenny King & Bestia del Ring vs. Brody King, Homicide & Chris Dickinson
*Eli Isom vs. Dak Draper

**The match between Angelina Love and Quinn McKay that has been promoted heavily by Ring of Honor will air over the weekend of May 8th in syndication.

**Big E. discusses his match with Apollo Crews at WrestleMania 37.

**John Cena turns 44 today, Dr. Britt Baker turns 30.


**To promote UFC 261, Dana White appeared on The Bill Simmons podcast and spoke of the success the company has had despite the pandemic. One stat that White mentioned was that UFC Fight Pass has grown 66 percent during the pandemic. Regarding last year’s proposed event on native land in California, Dana White explained why the show couldn’t happen:

So what happened with Disney was, I figured out a way to get into California without the state being able to mess with me. It was an Indian reservation and, you know, only federal can mess with the Indian reservations, okay? We had this Indian reservation dialed in and ESPN, Disney, they’re in California, you’ve got the Governor of California calling and saying, ‘This can’t happen’, and we were ready for anything. I was saying, the only way they can stop us if they try to block the roads to the Indian reservation, then we found out that they can’t legally do that, that’s how deep we were getting with this thing. So, the Governor of California calls ESPN or Disney and asks them to whatever and Disney was very good about it and ESPN. When they called, they were like, ‘Listen, do us a favor’ and we said, ‘Okay’, and they reciprocated big time.

White kept pushing that Derrick Lewis is the guy that deserves to fight for the heavyweight title when asked about the status of Jon Jones. White’s argument is that fighters sign deals and then want new ones when a big fight comes along. White said Jones would have points on the pay-per-view, so if it does well, he would enjoy its success. Through the Antitrust suit against the UFC, it is now clear where fighter pay stands and that there is a threshold of roughly 20 percent on an annual basis earmarked for fighter revenue. The fighters at the top end could absolutely argue they deserve more of a share of revenue but that’s an asset to the business side of the UFC that fighter pay is kept at a lower level and there is no union or player’s association to negotiate with, no share of the television or streaming revenue and other built-in measures that add leverage to the UFC. With the guaranteed money from ESPN+ for each pay-per-view, there is less leverage for someone like Jon Jones than the previous model where UFC was more dependent on the success of a pay-per-view versus a fixed amount they receive whether Jones fight Francis Ngannou or Derrick Lewis gets the fight.

**All 26 fighters set to compete at UFC 261 made weight on Friday in Jacksonville, Florida. The card will be UFC’s first in front of a full capacity arena since March 2020 with over 15,000 expected to attend the show at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena. Below is the card and results from the weigh-ins:

MAIN CARD (10 pm ET on pay-per-view)
*UFC Welterweight Championship: Kamaru Usman (169.5) vs. Jorge Masvidal (170)
*UFC Strawweight Championship: Zhang Weili (114.5) vs. Rose Namajunas (114.5)
*UFC Flyweight Championship: Valentina Shevchenko (124.5) vs. Jessica Andrade (124.5)
*Chris Weidman (186) vs. Uriah Hall (185)
*Anthony Smith (206) vs. Jimmy Crute (205.5)

PRELIMINARY CARD (8 pm on ESPN, TSN4&5 in Canada)

*Randy Brown (171) vs. Alex Oliveira (171)
*Dwight Grant (170) vs. Stefan Sekulic (171)
*Brendan Allen (186) vs. Karl Roberson (185)
*Pat Sabatini (146) vs. Tristan Connelly (146)

EARLY PRELIMS (6 pm on ESPN+, Fight Pass)
*Danaa Batgerel (136) vs. Kevin Natividad (135.5)
*Rong Zhu (156) vs. Kazula Vargas (155)
*Jeffrey Molina (126) vs. Qileng Aori (126)
*Na Liang (116) vs. Ariane Carnelossi (115)

**On Saturday afternoon, TSN5 in Canada will be replaying the Jorge Masvidal vs. Nate Diaz fight from UFC 244 in November 2019 at 1 pm ET. At 2 pm, they will air one of the greatest fights in UFC history with the strawweight fight between Zhang Weili and Joanna Jedrzejczyk from UFC 248 last March.

**The PFL is back tonight with its first show of the 2021 season airing at 9 pm ET on ESPN 2 and TSN 2 in Canada tonight. Below is the main card for tonight’s show:
*Lightweight: Anthony Pettis vs. Clay Collard
*Lightweight: Natan Schulte vs. Marcin Held
*Featherweight: Movlid Khaibulaev vs. Lazar Stojadinovic
*Featherweight: Lance Palmer vs. Bubba Jenkins

**ESPN has an oral history covering the night Jorge Masvidal and Leon Edwards had their backstage fight in March 2019. The incident occurred after Masvidal’s victory over Darren Till at the O2 Arena in London, England. What added to the legend of the story was it being caught on camera as Masvidal confronted Edwards, threw several shots, and famously described the combination as a “three-piece and a soda” that helped accelerate the fighter’s popularity.

**UFC president Dana White was a guest on the Icebreakers podcast, which is co-hosted by former light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell.

**Episode five of UFC Embedded prior to Saturday’s card in Jacksonville, Florida.




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About John Pollock 5616 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.