POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: Dominion preview, Summer Struggle dates

NJPW Dominion preview, Summer Struggle dates, SummerSlam in Vegas, Dwayne Johnson endorses Dark Side ep, IWTV & GCW comment on lawsuit & more.

Photo Courtesy: NJPW

POST IT NOTES

**On Monday, Wai Ting and I will have an NJPW Dominion POST Show reviewing the Dominion card for members of the POST Wrestling Café. Then, we are back at 11:15 p.m. ET for Rewind-A-Raw that is available live for Double Double, Iced Capp & Espresso members of the POST Wrestling Café.

**Later today, we will be releasing The Long & Winding Royal Road with WH Park and Case Lowe from Voices of Wrestling providing an in-depth retrospective on the career of Kenta Kobashi.

**Eric Marcotte has an extensive rundown and review of Saturday’s UFC Fight Night card. Eric and Phil Chertok will be joining me later this week for a preview of UFC 263 on the site.

**John Siino will have a review of the NWA ‘When Our Shadows Fall’ pay-per-view tonight.

**We have uploaded a free version of our review of Friday Night Dynamite:

**Wai Ting and I share our thoughts on ‘The Shadow of Grizzly Smith’ episode of Dark Side of the Ring:

WRESTLING NEWS

**NJPW presents what is traditionally one of its biggest events of the year with Dominion early Monday morning at 5 a.m. ET. The show takes place from Osaka-jo Hall and features three strong matches along with two multi-man tag matches. The main event has every opportunity to be among the best of the year between Kazuchika Okada and Shingo Takagi for the vacant IWGP World Heavyweight Championship. Takagi is in competition with himself as his match with Will Ospreay from Fukuoka would appear to be the frontrunner in the match-of-the-year category and Okada’s own match with Ospreay from January is at least top five.

The company desperately needs some momentum as it goes into the summer, which is already going to be a difficult period with the Olympics beginning in late July. The best-case scenario is that Japan ramps up its vaccination rate and slowly travel restrictions ease but that feels like a long road ahead. The roster needs a spark and some new blood would freshen up the scene, but they are at the mercy of the pandemic. The loss of Will Ospreay temporarily only accentuates that problem and at a time when strong booking is sorely needed, New Japan has struggled greatly in that department over the past year. If Okada wins the title, it would seem like whatever plans the company had are being continued while Takagi winning would be a genuine surprise and indicative of charting a new course for the rest of 2021. Okada would be the safe bet and given the numbers New Japan is drawing, safe might be the best direction, but Takagi could have a lot of upsides and elevates him into the status of the elite upper echelon of the company. One year ago, it could have been a very different reaction had the company anointed Takagi as the top heel instead of EVIL, although if Takagi was saddled with the same style of booking with the involvement of Dick Togo it would have been an uphill battle, although I feel the audience would have been way more receptive of Takagi in that spot.

The winners of the top two matches with Okada vs. Takagi and Kota Ibushi vs. Jeff Cobb should produce the next championship program.

Here is the line-up for Dominion, which will stream live on New Japan World at 5 a.m. ET:
*IWGP World Heavyweight Championship (vacant): Kazuchika Okada vs. Shingo Takagi (they are 1-1 in previous singles matches with Okada beating Takagi in last year’s G1 and Takagi beating Okada in this year’s New Japan Cup)
*Kota Ibushi vs. Jeff Cobb
*IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: El Desperado (champion) vs. YOH
*Taichi, Zack Sabre Jr. & DOUKI vs. Tetsuya Naito, SANADA & BUSHI
*Hiroshi Tanahashi, Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii, YOSHI-HASHI & SHO vs. EVIL, Yujiro, Chase Owens, El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori

**After the Dominion card, New Japan will embark on its ‘Kizuna Road’ tour beginning Monday, June 14th with another three consecutive nights at Korakuen Hall and that tour features thirteen shows until July 2nd. After that, it’s the ‘Summer Struggle’ tour that has several major stops:
*Saturday, July 10th in Hokkaido
*Sunday, July 11th in Hokkaido
*Tuesday, July 13th – Korakuen Hall
*Wednesday, July 14th – in Yurihonjo at the Nices Arena (which is a venue that holds 4-5,000 people)
*Saturday, July 17th – Korakuen Hall
*Thursday, July 22nd in Osaka
*Thursday, July 23rd in Osaka
*Saturday, July 24th in Nagoya at Dolphin’s Arena
*Tuesday, July 27th – Korakuen Hall
*Friday, July 30th – Korakuen Hall
*Saturday, July 31st – Korakuen Hall
*Sunday, August 1st – Korakuen Hall

**The Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Logan Paul exhibition fight takes place tonight on pay-per-view beginning at 8 p.m. ET. At Saturday’s weigh-in, Mayweather stepped onto the scale at 155 pounds while Paul was 189.5 pounds. The contract stipulated that Paul couldn’t weigh more than 190 and Mayweather was limited to 160 pounds or under. The card will also feature a fight between former NFL player Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson and Brian Maxwell, Badou Jack facing Dervin Colina, and Jarret Hurd vs. Luis Arias on the pay-per-view card that is available on Showtime and Fanmio for $49.99 U.S.

**While WWE didn’t promote the Logan Paul fight on SmackDown, they did conduct an interview with Paul for the WWE.com site.

**The NWA is back with its ‘When Our Shadows Fall’ pay-per-view airing at 4 p.m. ET today on FITE TV for $19.99 and below is the full card:
*NWA World Heavyweight Championship: Nick Aldis (champion) vs. Trevor Murdoch
*NWA Women’s Championship: Serena Deeb (champion) vs. Kamille
*NWA World Tag Team Championship: Aron Stevens & JR Kratos (champions) vs. Thom Latimer & Chris Adonis vs. Jax Dane & Crimson
*Melina & Thunder Rosa vs. Kylie Rae & Taryn Terrell
*NWA Television Championship: The Pope (champion) vs. Tyrus
*JTG vs. Fred Rosser
*Marshe Rockett & Slice Boogie vs. Odinson & Parrow vs. Bestia 666 & Mecha Wolf vs. Sal Rinauro & Sam Rudo

**Both IWTV and Game Changer Wrestling have addressed the lawsuit that has been launched by IWTV over a distribution agreement announced in March 2020. IWTV issued the following statement on Friday:

On December 26, 2020, Game Changer Wrestling (GCW) announced via social media that they unilaterally wished to be released from their distribution agreement with IndependentWrestling.TV (IWTV).

This agreement was signed in March 2020 and has been honored since then by IWTV. Over the past several months, IWTV has made multiple attempts to address GCW’s contractual concerns, including efforts to renegotiate and come to terms on a new agreement.

IWTV’s goal has always been to resolve this issue outside of the courts. While this is still our preference, unfortunately at this time we feel we have no option but to pursue legal action against GCW.

GCW owner Brett Laudedale responded with the following statement on Twitter and included a screenshot of a text message exchange:

My reply:

I have sent countless proposals including one as recently as Mid-April, trying to find an amicable resolution including for #ToS666 weekend.

I was promised a counter offer but it never came because Mike Burns was mad about Drew Cordiero’s Food Truck.

Still waiting.

**Jason Eisener spoke about Dwayne Johnson promoting this past week’s episode of Dark Side of the Ring on social media because of how powerful the episode on the Smith family was:

He had reached out a few days prior. He had seen the episode, we try to send the episodes when we can. He saw it and was deeply affected by it and he reached out after watching it and said he wanted to help spread the news about this episode and thought the episode had the power to help people that were maybe going through some of the same things that the Smith family had gone through and he felt he could use his voice to help elevate it. He’s still very in tune with the wrestling world and Jake was somebody he grew up around and yeah, he just wanted to be able to show support for that part of his life too.

Earlier in the week, Johnson wrote on Instagram:

I watched an early cut of this @darksideofthering episode that airs TONIGHT on @vicetv.
It’s a very hard watch but man it’s an important one.
I applaud the Smith family – Jake, Robin, Mike (Sam) – for having the bravery to speak out on the deep pain they experienced as kids – and the motivation to help those who’ve experienced that level of trauma as well.
Thanks to my good friends at @vicetv
 for sending me season3 of DSOTR.
And big respect to my squared circle brother, Jake Roberts for his sobriety going on many years now.
I’ll always root for my wrestling family/community to overcome challenging odds and win.

**Naomichi Marufuji ended the four-month GHC Championship reign of Keiji Muto at the first CyberFight Festival card on Sunday. Muto signed with NOAH earlier this year and ended the year-long plus reign of Go Shiozaki back in February with title defenses against Kaito Kiyomiya and Masa Kitamiya prior to Sunday’s title loss. For the 41-year old Marufuji, it’s his fourth time as champion and first time holding the title since December 2015.

**Mark Buckeldee has a great review of the CyberFight Festival card and it sounds like a very strong show especially the final four matches, which included the championship matches from NOAH, DDT, and Tokyo Joshi Pro.

**The fifteen-match CyberFight Festival card lasted 5 ½ hours at the Saitama Super Arena with a completely different format compared with New Japan that is limiting Monday’s Dominion card to five matches.

**WWE confirmed that SummerSlam will take place at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on Saturday, August 21st marking the first time the event has occurred on a Saturday. The card is being advertised with a start time of 8 p.m. ET, which was the same as WrestleMania this past April but differs from the usual pay-per-view start time of 7 p.m. There is an obvious conflict in the market as SummerSlam will run the same night as the Manny Pacquiao vs. Errol Spence Jr. fight, although SummerSlam should be finished before the fight. Locally, it’s a question of what media WWE will lose due to the coverage of the fight and accompanying events throughout the lead-up. On a national scale, it means very little given that one is a streaming event and the other will be on traditional pay-per-view. It will be an ambitious event for WWE to draw a stadium-level attendance in a market that hasn’t been one of WWE’s core cities historically. There is the novelty of running inside a new stadium and hopefully, see an increased demand for tickets due to the state of the country and accelerated vaccinations compared to April where neither night of WrestleMania sold out even at a reduced capacity.

**The final A&E Biography airs tonight at 8 p.m. ET covering Bret Hart with a two-hour documentary. The series is coming off its strongest episode of the series with the Mick Foley bio last weekend and I would expect similarities from Hart where he is very honest, unlike Foley, brutally at times. While it was a small chapter in the Shawn Michaels episode, tonight’s doc will likely focus more heavily on Montreal and the Survivor Series. The never-ending debate over this 23+-year-old match doesn’t have any new ground to cover but you do have access to Vince McMahon in the present-day and on much better terms with Hart that could prove interesting.

**The Miz and Maryse spoke with Forbes contributor Alfred Konuwa with Miz addressing the recent injury he suffered and has not wrestled since the Lumberjack Match with Damian Priest at WrestleMania Backlash:

Just look at all the news out there. They must be right (about my injury), right? They’re reporting on it, telling you exactly what’s going on. They must know! They must be geniuses! I was looking on Twitter, and then I was looking on the news sites that were talking about my injury, and I’m like ‘first off, how do they know?’ Because I’ve never said anything and they’re saying things wrong, like all wrong. And it’s annoying, I guess you can say, because I heard I was out nine months. I don’t expect to be out nine months. As a matter of fact, I was on Monday Night Raw last week and I plan on being on Monday Night Raw next week. Now, when will I have a real match? I don’t know. That’s for the doctors to decide and figure out. But I feel like a million bucks, and the way my headspace is, I don’t like to be gone for long.

**WWE is advertising the following for Monday’s edition of Raw:
*Tag Team Battle Royal feat. Randy Orton & Riddle, Gran Metalik & Lince Dorado, Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods, Viking Raiders, and T-Bar & Mace
*A contract signing between Bobby Lashley and Drew McIntyre for Hell in a Cell
*Shayna Baszler enters Alexa’s Playground

**Alex Colon won the GCW Tournament of Survival on Saturday at The Showboat in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The GCW Ultraviolent Champion won three matches during the show beating Bam Sullivan, Nolan Edward, and Atticus Cogar to win the eight-man tournament. Cogar beat 1 Called Manders and G-Raver to clinch his spot in the final.

**GCW continues with its ‘Zombie Walk’ card streaming at 3 p.m. ET today on FITE TV with the following matches listed:
*Rich Swann vs. Ninja Mack vs. Dante Leon
*Tony Deppen vs. Jack Cartwheel
*Chris Dickinson vs. Starboy Charlie
*Calvin Tankman vs. A.J. Gray
*Jordan Oliver vs. Ricky Marvin

**Drew McIntyre interviewed Dr. Francis Collins for the WWE site regarding COVID-19 vaccines. Last year, McIntyre was the first WWE performer to announce on the air that he had contracted COVID-19, although others had announced positive cases online, this was the first time it was acknowledged on WWE programming.

**This Thursday’s episode of IMPACT Wrestling will feature the following:
*An IMPACT & AEW “Summit” involving Tony Khan, Scott D’Amore, and Don Callis
*Eddie Edwards vs. Joe Doering
*No Disqualifications: W. Morrissey vs. Willie Mack
*Rosemary vs. Havok

MMA NEWS

**Saturday’s UFC Fight Night card featured two heavyweight stoppages on the top of the card and one of the best fights of 2021. In the main event, Jairzinho Rozenstruik stopped Augusto Sakai with one second left in the first round. It a rebound for Rozenstruik, who was coming off a decision loss to Ciryl Gane in February over five rounds with Rozenstruik improving to 12-2. Marcin Tybura extended his win streak to five with a TKO victory against Walt Harris in the first round. Both Rosenstruik and Tybura were awarded ‘Performance of the Night’ bonuses for $50,000 each. The big fight coming out of the event was the welterweight contest between Santiago Ponzinibbio and Miguel Baeza that Ponzinibbio won by unanimous decision including a spectacular third round and a fight everyone is raving about.

**Right before they were scheduled to fight, the middleweight bout between Tom Breese and Antonio Arroyo was removed from the UFC Fight Night card. UFC officials told MMA Junkie it was due to an “undisclosed medical issue” but didn’t provide any additional details.

**Next Saturday is the UFC 263 pay-per-view featuring two championship rematches and the return of Nate Diaz. The card is headlined by Israel Adesanya and Marvin Vettori for the middleweight championship with the two having fought in the exact same arena three years ago and Adesanya winning by split decision. It’s been heated in the lead-up with Vettori claiming he won the fight, although it was a fairly clear fight to score with Adesanya winning the first two rounds and Vettori taking the third. You could argue the first round was close but watching the fight recently, the right guy absolutely won the fight.

Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno will have a rematch for the flyweight championship after a majority draw last December. Their last fight was one of the best fights of 2020 and saw Figueiredo deducted one point for a groin shot. It was immediately said they would book the rematch and this fight should be fireworks.

Nate Diaz has a tall order against Leon Edwards, who is unbeaten in his last nine fights but is coming off a no-contest against Belal Muhammad due to an eye poke. Diaz has not fought since November 2019 and this fight will be a five-round fight. It’s a great name for Edwards to fight and the longer the fight goes, it will test Edwards because of Diaz’s conditioning and volume striking that intensifies as the fight goes deeper. On paper, Edwards is a dangerous opponent for any welterweight, and I think it’s a very difficult fight for Diaz.

**The first of three significant fights between Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture occurred on this date in 2003. The two had their first fight at UFC 43 ‘Meltdown’, which was a case of Couture coming down from heavyweight to fight Liddell for an interim version of the light heavyweight championship. The fight everyone wanted to see was Liddell and champion Tito Ortiz, but Ortiz was adamant that they be paid more (sound familiar?) and played it up the two were much closer friends, which Liddell denied. Critics of Ortiz believed he didn’t want to fight Liddell because the two did train together in the past and it was thought that Liddell was the superior fighter. So, Couture was inserted for this fight to headline the pay-per-view and put on a great performance to become the interim champion and then became the full champion defeating Ortiz several months later as the legend of Randy Couture grew. Years later, Liddell and Couture coached the first season of TUF and fought in April 2005 as the company exploded in popularity. Their rematch did significant business on pay-per-view with Liddell beating Couture for the title and having one final fight in February 2006 where Liddell won again. It was after the third fight that Couture announced his retirement but returned one year later to compete at heavyweight and beat Tim Sylvia in his comeback fight to capture the title.

ON THIS DATE

A year’s worth of mileage out of this crown:

A contract signing!

Two months after WrestleMania 19:

*****
REWIND-A-DYNADOWN: “Almas Famous”
John Pollock & Wai Ting discuss WWE SmackDown and AEW Friday Night Dynamite for another doubleheader review along with your phone calls going into the weekend.
*****
POST NEWS UPDATE: Dynamite Update, Chyna doc, Grizzly Smith DSOTR
John Pollock & Wai Ting discuss today’s top stories including AEW Dynamite’s ongoing scheduling changes, VICE TV airing a new Joanie “Chyna” Laurer doc, Logan Paul vs. Floyd Mayweather, and our review of Dark Side of the Ring: In the Shadow of Grizzly Smith.
*****
REWIND-A-WAI #87: Warrior (2011 film)
John Pollock & Wai Ting review Warrior, a 2011 Mixed Martial Arts film about fighting, family and forgiveness featuring Tom Hardy, Joel Edgerton and Nick Nolte.
*****
POST NEWS UPDATE: WWE Releases
John Pollock & Wai Ting discuss WWE’s releases of Braun Strowman, Aleister Black, Lana, Ruby Riott, Santana Garrett and Murphy. Plus, Friday Night Dynamite ratings.
*****
SHOT IN THE DARK: Double or Nothing fallout, NJPW Strong
John Siino reviews this week’s editions of AEW Dark, AEW Dark: Elevation, NXT UK, NWA Powerrr, 205 Live, NJPW Strong, Ring of Honor, and Main Event in under 15 minutes on Shot In The Dark.
*****
POST INTERVIEW: ‘The Dissident’ director Bryan Fogel
John Pollock & Wai Ting are joined by Academy Award-winning director Bryan Fogel (Icarus) to discuss ‘The Dissident’, his 2020 documentary about the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and Saudi Arabia’s attempts to silence international dissent.
*****

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About John Pollock 5568 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.