POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: Tony Khan comments on NHL-Turner deal

Tony Khan reacts to NHL-Turner deal, AJ Styles & Omos on Raw, Carmella speaks on women's division, Dillashaw out, Mayweather-Paul & more.

Photo courtesy: All Elite Wrestling


**Wai Ting and I will be live with Rewind-A-Dynamite at 10:15 pm ET tonight for Double Double, Iced Capp & Espresso members of the POST Wrestling Café. We will have a review of AEW Dynamite, a breakdown of the major news items including viewership from the past few nights, and your feedback. The podcast version will be available for everyone late tonight wherever you listen to POST Wrestling.

**On Thursday, Bushby & Thompson’s Wrestling Adventure features a review of “The Rise and Fall of ECW” DVD from 2004 with a historical look at the promotion. Martin Bushby & Andrew Thompson will be joined by John Lister, who wrote the excellent Turning the Tables book on the history of ECW.

**On Friday, Wai and I will release our review of “Creed 2” starring Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone with guest film critic Ed Boxler joining us. This show will be available to all members of the POST Wrestling Café.


Tonight: Rewind-A-Dynamite with John & Wai (LIVE at 10:15 pm ET for Dbl Dbl+ Patrons)
Thursday: Bushby & Thompson’s Wrestling Adventure w/ guest John Lister (“The Rise and Fall of ECW” DVD)
Friday: CREED 2 review (Patreon)
Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown (LIVE at 10:15 pm ET for all Patrons)
Sunday: The Long & Winding Royal Road with WH Park & Rich Fann (Kobashi vs. Hansen, July 1993)
Sunday: POST Interview – Evan Husney & Jason Eisener, Dark Side of the Ring


**On Tuesday, the NHL and Turner Sports officially announced a seven-year deal for the remainder of the league’s package, which will be split between ESPN and Turner over the next seven seasons. Jeff Zucker of Turner Sports said they have not determined which night of the week will feature games on TNT given its existing commitments with the NBA and AEW. On NBC, Wednesday night had become a big night for the NHL schedule and would obviously have a larger ripple effect if Turner chose to keep that night consistent for hockey viewers. The Turner deal calls for up to 72 games per season, half of the first and second playoff games that will air on TNT and TBS, one conference final series, the annual Winter Classic event on New Year’s Day and three Stanley Cup Finals during those seven-years. The Turner deal includes a streaming component for games to stream on HBO Max and Bleacher Report.

The average annual value of the deals for the NHL will be $635 million between Disney/ESPN’s $410 million per season and $225 million from Turner Sports beginning with the 2021-22 season. The figure is almost double from the NHL’s previous pact with NBC and Disney Streaming Services that paid the league $350 million per season.

On Wednesday, Tony Khan spoke to Busted Open Radio and addressed the NHL deal and what it could mean for AEW (Transcribed by Fightful’s Jeremy Lambert):

I know Wednesday night is our slot and our home. I’m thrilled with our partnership with TNT. It’s the lifeblood of our company and our primary revenue source. It’s the way most fans get exposed to AEW and see our show. Every Wednesday that we do Dynamite, for a lot of wrestling fans, it’s a really important night of the week. I want everyone rest assured that they’re not going to have to worry about these kind of major….we have a contract with over two and a half years left for Wednesday nights in this slot. If there was ever an opportunity to move or a deal to be had, I would consider it. If we did something, it would have to be a really good deal for AEW and make sense for us. As it stands right now, that is the spot we’re in. If we move, I would certainly consider a deal if there was something in it for AEW.

**AEW Dynamite airs tonight at 8 pm ET with the following matches and segments advertised:
*TNT Championship: Darby Allin (champion) vs. Preston “10” Vance
*The Young Bucks vs. Matt & Mike Sydal in an Eliminator Match
*Kris Statlander vs. Penelope Ford
*Dustin Rhodes, Billy Gunn & Lee Johnson vs. QT Marshall, Nick Comoroto & Aaron Solow
*Penta El Zero Miedo vs. Orange Cassidy
*Brian Cage vs. Hangman Page
*The Parley between The Inner Circle and The Pinnacle
*Kenny Omega to appear

**Here are the matches and segments for tonight’s edition of MLW Fusion airing at 8 pm ET on Fubo Sports and MLW’s YouTube channel:
*Tom Lawlor vs. Marshall Von Erich
*Ross Von Erich vs. Dominic Garrini
*Hijo de LA Park vs. Bu Ku Dao
*Lio Rush and Myron Reed’s media event to promote their title match for May 5th

**AJ Styles and Omos appeared on WWE’s The Bump on Wednesday and announced they would be back on Raw this Monday. The new tag team champions have not appeared on WWE programming since winning the championship on the first night of WrestleMania on April 10th at Raymond James Stadium. Fightful Select reports that at least one of them had not been cleared after WrestleMania and that was the reason for their absence.

**Andrade’s first match since his WWE release appears to be set for July against Alberto El Patron (Jose Rodriguez Chucuan). Alberto has stated the date of the match would be July 31st for Nacion Lucha Libre in McAllen, Texas. Andrade sent out an Instagram story with the poster with the caption “July”. The news comes days before Alberto is set to go on trial as he faces charges of aggravated kidnapping and sexual assault stemming from a May 2020 incident where Chucuan was arrested and posted a $50,000 bond.

**On his Maurologue podcast, Mauro Ranallo briefly commented on his recent work at IMPACT’s Rebellion pay-per-view. He put over the locker room and treatment he received while adding that it “reignited his passion” for professional wrestling and hopes to work with IMPACT again:

Well, I just got home from a whirlwind trip to Music City, USA, Nashville where I made my return to professional wrestling commentary last night, making my debut for IMPACT Wrestling during the historic main event of the Rebellion pay-per-view. I’ve got to tell you; I had a blast working with D-Lo Brown and Matt Striker and what a match between AEW Champion Kenny Omega and Unified IMPACT belt holder Rich Swann in a title-for-title mega main event.

A big thank you to Scott D’Amore and all the people at IMPACT Wrestling for making me feel so welcome. It reminded me of, honestly, when I started my career at 16. Yeah, last night reignited my passion for professional wrestling. Very chill, relaxed atmosphere – a lot of support, a lot of respect, and a lot of hungry and determined roster comprising some decorated vets and some very talented up-and-comers. Man, they had their working boots on last night. I thought everyone delivered and from what I understand, the pay-per-view is getting rave reviews, and even more importantly, the pay-per-view buyrate should be one of the best that IMPACT Wrestling has done in some time. Yeah, it was great to see so many familiar faces and I do hope to get to do it again.

**On Busted Open Radio, Tony Khan spoke about the video package that ran last week for Tay Conti prior to her title match against Hikaru Shida and what trends they are seeing:

There were people that knew her, knew about her but that got people more a lot more interested in the Tay Conti match, which was a really really strong match and did really well for us.

I think those packages and honestly, it’s easier to do those things when you’re not in the head-to-head war, seriously. Those packages do a lot better now than they did a month ago, in terms of, there is a lot less flipping around during a package and things like that because everyone is all action, action, action and people want to watch matches. I always like doing the packages before but it’s really tough when there is wrestling on another channel.   

**Carmella was interviewed on The Bellas podcast and reacted to the release of Billie Kay ending their brief time as a tag team, and the lack of female involvement on Raw some weeks. They had an interesting discussion about the difficulties of being a babyface in WWE that often isn’t considered “cool” compared to the heels. One note from Nikki was that Vince McMahon would always insist on smiling as a babyface even if its not natural or comes off insincere stating she would never act like that naturally. Brie added the heels get the better dialogue and the babyface response has to be nice and come off like “the loser”.

Carmella said she was off television last summer for four or five months and wasn’t sure why she wasn’t being used. She was brought back with the new character and thought she had a great program with Sasha Banks. She injured her back at the Royal Rumble and was not cleared for physicality for a bit but largely fell by the wayside during that time and didn’t wrestle again until April. Carmella added that she was shocked The IIconics were released and was looking forward to working with Billie Kay as a team.

**The WWE stock closed at $55.55 on Wednesday.

**Pro Wrestling NOAH holds its Glory 2021 card late tonight at 2 am ET from Nagoya with fans in attendance. The card will feature Keiji Muto’s latest GHC Championship defense taking on Masa Kitamiya, who has been built up using the Prison Hold submission as a threat for Muto and likely working the knees of the 58-year old. Below is the full line-up, which will be available on FITE TV and the Wrestle Universe streaming service with English commentary.
*GHC Championship: Keiji Muto (champion) vs. Masa Kitamiya
*GHC National Championship: Kazuyuki Fujita (champion) vs. Takashi Sugiura
*Naomichi Marufuji, Masaaki Mochizuki & Masato Tanaka vs. Kaito Kiyomiya & Yoshiki Inamura
*GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Championship: Yoshinari Ogawa & HAYATA (champions) vs. Ikuto Hidaka & NOSAWA Rongai
*Kazushi Sakuraba, Kazunari Murakami & Kendo Kashin vs. Muhammed Yone, Shuhei Taniguchi & Masao Inoue
*Kotaro Suzuki vs. Yuya Susumu
*Katsuhiko Nakajima & Nioh vs. Akitoshi Saito & Junta Miyawaki
*Daisuke Harada, Atsushi Kotoge & Yasutaka Yano vs. Hajime Ohara, Seiki Yoshioka & YO-HEY

**English commentator Mark Pickering interviewed Masa Kitamiya prior to the match with Muto for FanByte.

**New Japan Pro Wrestling is holding its second Wrestling Satsuma no Kuni event from Kagoshima on Thursday morning at 2 am ET on New Japan World. It’s the only card that Kota Ibushi is advertised for during this current tour as he headlines the show in a tag match in his first appearance since losing the IWGP World Heavyweight title earlier this month. Below is the card:
*Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kota Ibushi vs. Jeff Cobb & Aaron Henare
*Will Ospreay & The Great O-Khan vs. Shingo Takagi & Tetsuya Naito
*EVIL, Yujiro, Taiji Ishimori & Dick Togo vs. Toru Yano, Master Wato, Ryusuke Taguchi & Hiroyoshi Tenzan
*Guerrillas of Destiny & Jado vs. Taichi, Zack Sabre Jr. & DOUKI
*Roppongi 3K & Tiger Mask vs. El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Minoru Suzuki
*SANADA & BUSHI vs. Yota Tsuji & Yuya Uemura

New Japan needs to shoot some angles for the May 15th card at Yokohama Stadium, which is just over two weeks away and has no matches announced yet. It’s a packed schedule for New Japan as they finish in Kagoshima and hold the back-to-back cards in Fukuoka next Monday & Tuesday and then it’s the two stadium cards at Yokohama Stadium on May 15th and the Tokyo Dome on May 29th followed by the annual Dominion show on June 6th in Osaka.

**All Japan’s Champion Carnival is winding down with two more events. On Thursday, they will hold an empty arena show at Korakuen Hall with the finals having the same set-up at the venue on Monday. After Thursday’s event, Jake Lee is the leader with ten points. Second place has a logjam with Kento Miyahara, Zeus, Yuma Aoyagi, Suwama, and Kohei Sato with eight points each followed by Shotaro Ashino and Shuji Ishikawa with six points, Shinjiro Otani has four, and Koji Doi has two. Below are the matches scheduled for Thursday and streaming on AJPW.tv:
*Suwama vs. Shotaro Ashino
*Koji Doi vs. Zeus
*Kento Miyahara vs. Yuma Aoyagi
*Shuji Ishikawa vs. Jake Lee
*Shinjiro Otani vs. Kohei Sato

**WWE has released its Community Impact report outlining the initiatives the company has taken throughout the past year during the pandemic with its talent and staff.

**Thursday’s edition of IMPACT Wrestling will feature an in-ring celebration with new champion Kenny Omega and a tag match with Havok & Rosemary vs. Susan & Kimber Lee.


**T.J. Dillashaw has been forced to withdraw from his fight with Cory Sandhagen on May 8th due to a severe cut above his right eye. Dillashaw posted the news along with a photo of the wound that will delay his comeback. The former bantamweight champion has not competed since January 2019 when he lost to Henry Cejudo and failed his USADA test leading to a two-year suspension. Dillashaw stated he suffered the cut after a headbutt in training and that the UFC would be re-scheduling the fight with Sandhagen. ESPN’s Ariel Helwani reports that a verbal agreement has been reached between Michelle Waterson and Marina Rodriguez to serve as the new main event for the UFC Fight Night card on May 8th.

**The most talked about man in combat sports Jake Paul was interviewed by ESPN’s Ariel Helwani on Monday. Paul turned down the idea of fighting Daniel Cormier in an MMA fight after the former UFC champion stated he would fight Paul, but it had to be under his rules in MMA. Paul argued that he’s a boxer and that there is more money to be made in a boxing fight than MMA. The reality is that the only way that fight happens is through the cooperation of the UFC, which sounds preposterous, but you’d be naïve to outright dismiss the option. Paul stated he is not contracted to Triller and is going on one-fight deals with the promotion. He was also upfront about the fact that he is a troll trying to garner attention and the fighters are playing into his act, which they cannot beat him at because they are fuelled by pride and ego and that’s his fuel. Regardless of your opinion, Paul and his inner circle have tremendous marketing savvy and have ensured that his next fight will be bigger than the Ben Askren one. Paul also noted that the UFC set him up with tickets for the show this past weekend and obviously, they are not running away from the Paul story as they identified him on camera during the pay-per-view broadcast. On his next opponents, Paul said his top choice would be Nate Diaz but also likes the idea of fighting Tyron Woodley, whose contract with UFC just expired and would be free to take the fight without UFC’s approval.

**One of the biggest pay-per-view events of 2021 is official as Floyd Mayweather Jr. will box Logan Paul. The fight is being billed as a “special exhibition” for Sunday, June 6th at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida one night after Triller will stage its next card. The rules and weight restrictions have not been revealed as there is a size discrepancy between the two, although it’s a moot point given the gulf of disparity between the two. The event is being promoted by Showtime Sports, Fanmio, and Mayweather Promotions with Fanmio listing the digital pay-per-view for $49.99. Unlike the previous date in February, they are dropping the dynamic pricing structure that Fanmio introduced where the price would escalate as the fight drew closer to lure fans to buy the card in advance for a discount. For Mayweather, it will be his first pro fight since beating Conor McGregor in August 2017 and had the exhibition fight with Tenshin Nasukawa for Rizin on New Year’s Eve in 2018. This will only be Paul’s second professional fight after losing by split decision to KSI several years back.

**Conor McGregor has struck a major deal along with his partners in Proper No. Twelve. Proximo Spirits, which already held a 49 percent stake in the company has purchased majority control of the whiskey brand in a deal worth up to $600 million. The whiskey brand was founded by McGregor, manager Audie Attar, and Ken Austin with the three retaining an interest in the brand and have active roles. McGregor will continue to be the face of Proper No. Twelve and there will be a big push for the whiskey centering around McGregor’s next fight against Dustin Poirier in July.

**ONE Championship wraps up its month of fight cards on TNT tonight at 10 pm ET. There are three fights scheduled for the broadcast portion with three additional undercard fights:
*ONE Light Heavyweight Championship: Aung La N Sang vs. Reinier De Ridder
*Eddie Alvarez vs. Ok Rae Yoon
*Oumar Kane vs. Kirill Grishenko
*Eduard Folayang vs. Shinya Aoki
*Jackie Buntan vs. Ekaterina Vandaryeva in a Muay Thai fight
*Colbey Northcutt (the sister of Sage Northcutt) vs. Courtney Martin

**The PFL holds its second event of the season on Thursday night airing on ESPN2. The main event will be Rory MacDonald’s debut with the promotion after leaving Bellator. The 31-year old has not competed since October 2019 losing by decision to Douglas Lima. MacDonald will be fighting UFC, Bellator, and LFA veteran Curtis Millender, who is also making his PFL debut. Since March 2019, Millender has gone 1-3 and is coming off a decision loss to Sabah Homasi last August.

MLW wrestler and current NJPW Strong Openweight Champion Tom Lawlor will make his PFL debut fighting former UFC fighter Antonio Carlos Junior. Lawlor last fought Deron Winn in November 2018 on the Golden Boy MMA card after competing in the UFC from 2008-16.

Below are the main card fights for Thursday night on ESPN2 and TSN2 in Canada:
*Rory MacDonald (21-6-1) vs. Curtis Millender (18-6)
*Ray Cooper III (20-7-1) vs. Jason Ponet (20-12-1)
*Antonio Carlos Junior (10-5) vs. Tom Lawlor (10-7)
*Chris Camozzi (24-12) vs. Emiliano Sordi (22-8)


Darrion Caldwell vs. Leandro Higo at Bellator 259 on May 21 (MMA Fighting)

Chase Hooper vs. Steven Peterson at UFC 263 on June 12 (BJPenn.com)

Rodolfo Vieira vs. Dustin Stoltzfus at UFC Fight Night on July 17 (MMA Fighting)

Raphael Assuncao vs. Kyler Phillips at UFC Fight Night on July 24 (MMA Junkie)

Mickey Gall vs. Jordan Williams at UFC Fight Night on July 24 (MMA Fighting)

Randy Costa vs. Adrian Yanez at UFC Fight Night on July 24 (MMA Junkie)





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About John Pollock 5065 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.