POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: Status of Adam Cole, Tony Khan speaks

A report on the status of Adam Cole, Tony Khan interview notes, Ed Asner dies, Open Challenge on Raw, NWA EmPowerrr, Jake Paul beats Woodley.

Photo Courtesy: WWE


**We are live tonight with Rewind-A-Raw at 11:15 p.m. ET as we kick off a major week at the site. Wai Ting and I will preview what is coming up and go through some of the major news of the past few days along with a review of WWE Raw. The show will be live for Double Double, Iced Capp & Espresso members of the POST Wrestling Café.

**On Tuesday, we will be releasing this month’s edition of the ASK-A-WAI Mailbag Show as Wai Ting and I take your questions, which can be submitted on the POST Wrestling Forum (submit by Tuesday morning).

**WH Park and Andrew Thompson have a bonus edition of POST Puroresu. On the show, they chat about Minoru Suzuki’s upcoming U.S. tour and matches announced thus far, All Japan wrapping up its Royal Road tournament, the latest on the Stardom 5* Grand Prix & more.


Tonight: Rewind-A-Raw with John & Wai (11:15 p.m. ET)
Tuesday: ASK-A-WAI Mailbag Show (Patreon)
Tuesday: upNXT with Davie Portman & Braden Herrington
Wednesday: Shot in the Dark with John Siino
Wednesday: Rewind-A-Dynamite (10:15 p.m. ET)
Thursday: The Wellness Policy with Wai & Jordan Goodman (1 p.m. ET for Patrons)
Thursday: MCU L8R with Wai & WH Park (Patreon)
Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown & Rampage (11:15 p.m. ET for all Patrons)
Sunday: NJPW Wrestle Grand Slam POST Show (Patreon)
Sunday: The Long & Winding Royal Road with WH & Joey Bay (Dr. Death vs. Akira Taue, Carnival ’96)
Sunday: AEW All Out POST Show with John & Wai (Live for Double Double+ Patrons)


**Fightful is reporting that Adam Cole has not signed a new deal with WWE and is now “100 percent a free agent” with his short-term extension running out this past Friday. Cole last wrestled a week ago on the TakeOver 36 special losing two falls to Kyle O’Reilly in what was expected to be his final night on the brand. Cole debuted for WWE in the summer of 2017 and has been part of the NXT brand for his entire tenure with the company. At 32 years of age, Cole becomes the hottest free agent available and will only amplify the buzz of a potential move to AEW. There is no confirmation of him signing anywhere yet.

**AEW President Tony Khan spoke on Wrestling Observer Radio this past weekend that covered a lot of ground. Some notes from the interview:
*He has a pretty good idea of what will headline All Out but there’s always a chance something could change. He was asked about the potential of CM Punk vs. Darby Allin, Kenny Omega vs. Christian Cage, and The Young Bucks vs. Lucha Brothers as show-closers and said those would be the three candidates.
*CM Punk suggested doing The United Center and Khan came up with the marketing of “The First Dance”. Only Khan and Punk knew what “The First Dance” was going to be.
*Khan has plans to runs a U.K. event from Craven Cottage, which is the home of Fulham FC
*He was very complimentary of Jon Moxley for his role as their champion throughout the pandemic and was able to draw during the pandemic era, which wasn’t easy
*After being named ‘Promoter of the Year’ by the Observer, he received a voicemail from Dana White and said something to the effect of “Well, if it wasn’t going to me, I’m glad it’s fu***ing Tony”
*He was flat-out asked about Bryan Danielson coming to AEW and said he couldn’t answer it but it’s a good question
*His biggest lesson as a booker during the AEW years has been to trust his instincts and repeated the crossroads moment in December 2019 when they lost the demo for the one and only time to NXT. He said he knew some ideas were bad but went along with them and after that show, he realized he had to trust his instincts more while also being open to other ideas
*He does have backup plans if there is another shutdown but is hopeful they won’t have to move back
*Khan sounded adamantly opposed to the WWE’s talent recruitment strategy of shying away from the Indies and said he would take that talent. Khan mentioned many performers that wouldn’t have made it because of that narrow viewpoint and specifically noted Mick Foley.
*Mark Henry was credited with getting Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks to attend last week’s taping. He arrived late for Dynamite after practice, so they asked if he wanted to watch a great match on Rampage between Jurassic Express and The Lucha Bros.

**Legendary actor Ed Asner died on Sunday at the age of 91. While it pales in comparison to his larger roles, for wrestling fans he will be known for his portrayal as Frank Bass in the 1974 film “The Wrestler” that saw Verne Gagne hold an Executive Producer credit. The film featured dozens of AWA stars and served as a vehicle for Gagne, who essentially played himself under the name Mike Bullard as the promotion’s babyface champion. Bass puts together a match between Bullard and the new hot star Billy Taylor (Billy Robinson) where Bass is compromised by a group of mobsters that have bet $500,000 on Taylor winning the match and title. It’s a fun film but more intriguing for a wrestling fan to see a lot of classic names on the screen including a memorable barroom brawl fight involving Dusty Rhodes and Dick Murdoch.

**Tonight’s edition of Raw takes place from the Paycom Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma with WrestleTix reporting that there are approximately 4,300 tickets out for the show. This is a rare episode of Raw where several matches were announced one week in advance with the following scheduled:
*Bobby Lashley vs. Sheamus
*The Miz vs. John Morrison
*Eva Marie vs. Doudrop
*U.S. Championship Open Challenge from Damian Priest to start the show

**CNBC has an article on WWE’s television rights and the potential growth of international media rights. It also discusses the competition being presented by AEW and their attempt to grow with the recent addition of CM Punk. The outlet spoke with several stock analysts including Eric Handler, who said that one deal to watch is the WWE’s existing one with Hulu that allows for the streaming rights of Raw and SmackDown 24 hours after they air.

**Below are the matches listed for AEW Dark: Elevation tonight at 7 p.m. ET, which were taped last week in Milwaukee:
*Sammy Guevara & Fuego Del Sol vs. Serpentico & Dr. Luther
*Big Swole & Julia Hart vs. Nyla Rose & Diamante
*Laynie Luck vs. Thunder Rosa
*Emi Sakura vs. Ashley D’Amboise
*Hikaru Shida vs. Heather Reckless
*Brian Cage vs. Anthony Bowens
*Daniel Garcia vs. Tylor Sullivan
*Dante Martin vs. Adam Grace
*Jora Johl vs. Kal Herro

**Freelance Wrestling has posted an update that due to circumstances beyond their control several performers are off the ‘No Place Like Home’ show this Friday night. Daniel Garcia, Lee Moriarty, and Laynie Luck have all been removed by the promotion. The card streams at 8 p.m. ET on the same night as Rampage in Chicago with Garcia scheduled to wrestle Darby Allin on TNT. Garcia and Luck were scheduled to wrestle each other for the Freelance Underground Independent Championship while Moriarty was set to face Isaias Velazquez.

**Yota Tsuji spoke to NJPW1972 about his transition from Young Lion to the next chapter of his career, coming up through the New Japan Dojo, and the influence of Hiroshi Tanahashi.

**DEFY Wrestling returned over the weekend with back-to-back nights at Washington Hall in Seattle. It was the promotion’s first shows since February 2020 with the company announcing sell-outs for both nights. Below are the results from both nights:

Night 1:
*Clark Connors over Ethan HD
*Sonico over Leon Negro, Coyote Azteca & Guillermo Rosas
*Josh Alexander over Rocky Romero
*Ricky Gibson & Eddie Pearl over Cody Chhun & Nick Wayne to retain the DEFY Tag Team Championship
*SCHAFF over Calvin Tankman

Night 2:
*Calvin Tankman over Ethan HD
*Cody Chhun & Nick Wayne over Brian & Kevin Cook to retain the tag titles
*Guillermo Rosas & Rebel Kel over Sonico & Viva Van
*Alex Hammerstone over Cody Chhun
*Nick Wayne over Titus Alexander, Coyote Azteca, Leon Negro & Alan Extreme
*Clark Connors over Rocky Romero
*Lance Archer over SCHAFF

**On the second night of the DEFY show, Rocky Romero stated there would be a partnership between New Japan Strong with DEFY. The promotion will return with a card in Seattle on Saturday, September 25th featuring Eddie Kingston of AEW and will run in Portland, Oregon on October 9th. DEFY will be going to Los Angeles for the first time on Thursday, October 14th.

**I did have a chance to watch the NWA EmPowerrr event on Saturday from St. Louis. It was a very enjoyable show and a lot of positivity coming out of it. It clearly meant a lot to many of the performers for both the all women’s concept with a full house at the Chase Hotel along with the history of the venue. Mickie James kicked off the show with a passionate speech and led to Velvet Sky being in tears from it. Deonna Purrazzo and Melina had a very strong match focusing on Melina’s knee with Purrazzo constantly targeting the injured body part until hyperextending both arms and locking the leg for the submission. They had one bad spot where Melina couldn’t hit a Code Red out of the corner, but they recovered, and the audience added a lot by getting behind Melina. The Hex (Allison Kay & Marti Belle) won the NWA Women’s Tag Championship beating Renee Michelle & Sahara 7 and advancing to beat Red Velvet & KiLynn King in the finals. They are a great team with lots of tandem offense. Probably the most-discussed segment saw Awesome Kong (Kia Stevens) state that she was “done” and had an emotional embrace with her most-famous rival Gail Kim after fighting off Taryn Terrell, Jennacide & Paola Blaze. It was not the smoothest broadcast especially during Lady Frost’s entrance in the Women’s Invitational where the key for her name stayed on the screen for a long time while the camera couldn’t cut to an alternate shot and just remained on Frost while she stayed on the floor. I think anyone watching this show would have come away enjoying it, there were some good matches and a feel-good show in 2 ½ hours.


**Jake Paul earned a split decision win against Tyron Woodley (77-75, 75-77, 78-74) on Sunday night, although there was a lot of criticism over the card Woodley received. After the fight, Woodley was angling for a rematch, but I can’t see that as being viable for Paul to do this one over again. The hype for the fight grew throughout the week with Showtime doing a strong job and seemed to peak in the final few days. Unlike Triller, we should get a legitimate number for how this pay-per-view performed from Showtime and what audience Paul brings (there is a sentiment that many of Paul’s supporters are more likely to stream his fights rather than pay for them and that certainly appeared to be the case for the Ben Askren fight earlier this year). Woodley was a great opponent for Paul and represented a legitimate step-up in competition, although still against a fighter whose base was wrestling and had never had a pro boxing fight. I did not see the fight but it appeared this one was more enjoyable than the Floyd Mayweather vs. Logan Paul fight but it’s still inexperienced boxers and if you understand the level they are competing at, you take it for what it is. If this pay-per-view does strong, it will at least allow Woodley to field some offers from other MMA companies that believe he can get some momentum from this promotion, although it is abundantly clear that Woodley is far from the fighter he was several years ago.

**The UFC has rescheduled the women’s bantamweight title fight between Amanda Nunes (21-4) and Julianna Pena (10-4) for UFC 269 on December 11th. The promotion announced the fight on Monday afternoon. The two were originally set to fight in August but was canceled after Nunes tested positive for COVID-19. No location has been announced yet for the December pay-per-view.

**This Saturday’s UFC Fight Night has a strong main event between middleweights Darren Till (18-3-1) and Derek Brunson (22-7) from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. This card was originally set for the U.K. but, COVID issues forced the card to remain in the U.S. Till is coming off a decision loss to Robert Whittaker in his only fight in 2020. Brunson is having a nice run at the age of 37 having won his last four fights going back to May 2019. He fought this past March where he earned a decision against Kevin Holland. The card also marks the UFC debut of Cage Warriors star Paddy “The Baddy” Pimblett (16-3), who comes in with a lot of attention at the age of 26 and will be fighting Luigi Vendramini (9-2).

**Dana White’s Contender Series is back this Wednesday (head-to-head with Dynamite) with the following four fights from the UFC Apex and airing on ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET:
*Azamat Murzakanov (9-0) vs. Matheus Scheffel (14-6)
*Joanderson Brito (11-2-1) vs. Diego Lopes (19-3)
*Victor Altamirano (9-1) vs. Carlos Candelario (8-0)
*A.J. Fletcher (8-0) vs. Leonardo Damiani (10-2-1)

**USADA has issued a two-year sanction to Liliya Shakirova after she tested positive for Meldonium after an out-of-competition test administered on December 5, 2020. The 29-year old made her UFC debut last October at UFC 254 where she lost to Lauren Murphy by submission. She will be eligible to resume her career in December 2022.


Today marks one full year that Roman Reigns has been WWE Universal Champion since beating The Fiend at Payback in 2020:

With the WWF on fire, they presented SummerSlam on this date in 1998 from Madison Square Garden with an estimated 700,000 buys on pay-per-view featuring Steve Austin vs. The Undertaker:

Bill Goldberg wrestled Satoshi Kojima on this date in 2002 as part of All Japan’s 30th Anniversary cards at Budokan Hall. It was Goldberg’s first match since WCW went out of business with Goldberg winning in less than five minutes and wrestling Taiyo Kea the following night:

WH Park is joined by Andrew Thompson to look at Minoru Suzuki’s upcoming American tour, how All Japan should book the Royal Road finals, Stardom’s 5 Star Grand Prix and more.
REWIND-A-SMACKDOWN: Becky Lynch, AEW Rampage
Wai Ting & Kate from MTL discuss Becky Lynch’s return to WWE SmackDown and AEW Rampage featuring Jurassic Express vs. Lucha Bros. in the Tag Team Title Eliminator Final.
MCU L8R: What…If? Ep. 3, Spider-Man: NWH Trailer
Wai Ting & WH Park are joined by JP Houlihan (GRAPPL Spotlight) to talk about the trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home and What If…? Episode 3: “What If… the World Lost Its Mightiest Heroes?”
BTWA: NXT TakeOver – New Orleans (2018)
Martin Bushby & Andrew Thompson are back with another round of Wrestling Adventure. This month they go back only 3 years to discuss NXT TakeOver: New Orleans from April of 2018.
REWIND-A-DYNAMITE: “That’s somebody else’s shtick”
John Pollock & Wai Ting review AEW Dynamite from Milwaukee with CM Punk’s first appearance on Dynamite, latest COVID cases in the industry, WWE Raw & NXT viewership, and more.
John Siino reviews this week’s AEW Dark, AEW Dark: Elevation, NXT UK, 205 Live, NJPW Strong, Ring of Honor, and Main Event in under 15 mins.
REWIND-A-WAI #93: GCW Run Rickey Run (2020)
Wai Ting and guest co-host Jon Pine review GCW Run Rickey Run from Feb. 15, 2020, headlined by Nick Gage vs. Rickey Shane Page in a Death Match for the GCW World Championship.
upNXT 8/24/21: Sick Burn
Braden Herrington and Davie Portman review the August 24th, 2021 edition of WWE NXT headlined by Legado Del Fantasma vs Hit Row!

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About John Pollock 5653 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.