POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: Tributes pour in for Jon Huber

Tributes pour in one year after Jon Huber's passing, WWE in Tampa & New York tonight, Shawn Michaels on the state of NXT 2.0 & lots more.

Photo Courtesy: All Elite Wrestling


**I hope everyone had a great holiday and I wanted to thank all that listened and joined us for the annual POST Wrestling Christmas Show. The show was nearly six hours with many great guests stopping by to chat with Wai and I. We also crowned this year’s winner of the Jingle Contest while also hearing a dramatic reading of “Crack Addict”.

**For those unaware, we will have a reduced schedule this week. There will be no Rewind-A-Raw, Rewind-A-Dynamite, or Rewind-A-SmackDown this week with our regular schedule resuming Saturday with a Day 1 POST Show after the card from Atlanta. The following shows will be released this week:
*Tonight – Wrestlenomics Radio
*Tuesday – upNXT
*Wednesday – BDElite with Braden Herrington & Davie Portman
*Wednesday – Shot in the Dark with John Siino
*Thursday – MMA Year in Review with Phil Chertok & Eric Marcotte (Live on POST’s YouTube channel at 3 p.m. ET)
*Friday – POST Puroresu with John Pollock & WH Park
*Saturday – WWE Day 1 POST Show with John & Wai (Live for Double Double+ Patrons)

**The POST Daily News updates will return on Monday, January 3rd. That week is going to be all over the place due to the Wrestle Kingdom 16 cards on January 4 & 5 and will be doing shows covering each night in place of the POST Daily News shows next Tuesday & Wednesday. We will also have information over the next week regarding our annual ‘Best and Worst of’ shows covering the past year.

**We will be releasing video versions of select interviews from the POST Christmas Show throughout the week on the POST YouTube channel.



**Many people are remembering the late Jon Huber today, as it was one year ago that he tragically passed away. Everyone should take a moment to keep Amanda Huber and their two sons in your thoughts as you cannot fathom what a trying year this must have been. The tribute edition of Dynamite last year was the most emotional wrestling-related program I have ever witnessed and was one of the toughest to get through in one sitting. It has been remarkable to see how much Huber was loved by those around him and how AEW has worked to keep his memory alive from the opening line of the programs, reminders of his TNT title run, when the show went to Rochester in September and having his family involved on-screen and behind-the-scenes.


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Here is our obit on Jon Huber from last December.

**WWE is kicking off its post-Christmas week of house shows with cards in Tampa and New York City tonight. The Raw show at Madison Square Garden has approximately 5,400 tickets distributed, which is very low for that venue and the time of year. The SmackDown show in Tampa at the Amalie Arena has approximately 5,700 tickets go, with both figures courtesy of WrestleTix. If you are attending either of the shows or any others this week, reports and notes can be sent to [email protected].

**It was announced that tonight’s show at Madison Square Garden will include Tommaso Ciampa defending the NXT Championship against Pete Dunne.

**A story to watch this week regarding all live events is the number of tickets distributed in the markets compared to actual numbers in the building. If there is a large discrepancy, it would suggest that the rise of COVID cases due to the Omicron variant may play a factor in people opting to forego attending events indoors with so many people. The only show this week with specific restrictions affecting attendance is Wednesday’s show in Toronto, Ontario, where over 7,100 tickets are out in the market, but the Coca-Cola Coliseum is capped at about 5,000 (50 percent of its capacity).

**The final episode of Raw this year takes place Monday at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit with approximately 7,600 tickets distributed, which is a strong advance. The following matches and segments have been advertised:
*The Miz and Maryse renew their wedding vows
*United States Championship: Damian Priest (champion) vs. Dolph Ziggler
*AJ Styles vs. Omos
*Finn Balor vs. Austin Theory
*Randy Orton vs. Otis

**Ratings information will be delayed throughout the holidays with Showbuzz Daily announcing the scheduled releases for information over the next two weeks. The info for the Christmas Eve edition of SmackDown will be released on Tuesday and the Christmas edition of Rampage will be released this Wednesday with the Raw number coming out later that day as well.

**On Monday, the SmackDown crew is in Orlando at the Amway Center. On Tuesday, it’s split crews between Washington at the Capital One Center and Pittsburgh at the PPG Paints Arena. On Wednesday, it’s Baltimore at the Royal Farms Arena and Toronto at the Coca-Cola Coliseum and Thursday now features one event in Buffalo at the KeyBank Center with the Raw show in Laval postponed until March.

**Denise Salcedo at Instinct Culture interviewed Shawn Michaels about the changes to NXT over the past few months, an update on Paul Levesque, and his current role with NXT 2.0:

I think the biggest thing was that I didn’t know I was gonna be the one having to do everything {laughs}. I was going to hopefully assist Hunter and put into place what he wanted us to put into place. It came a bit quick obviously. For the last 35 years that I’ve been with the WWE when they make a decision it’s done, it’s quick. They are so efficient, so quick and they just don’t sit and wait around. I think that was probably the biggest adjustment. I think we had probably three weeks, and we didn’t have a whole lot of information. By the time we got the information it was coming down by the last week and we went ahead and applied everything that we could. It’s fun, it’s a nervous excitement. You don’t really know what to expect but you’re looking at something where there’s no roadmap to doing it so you have to try and figure it out. I still enjoy that kind of stuff, Hunter and I, much like the DX days, we went out there not having any idea what we were gonna do, we were just gonna go out there and have fun and enjoy doing it. That’s how this kind of started from the get go. It would have been a lot easier had he been there the entire time to assist that’s for sure.

An update on Levesque:

Most of it is me bothering him to be perfectly honest. He has worked so much over the last several years and I don’t think he understood that it becomes your normal. For him to step away for a little bit, look, that takes getting used to. I went through it obviously, I am one of the rare people that was ready to do it and embrace it. But when it just happens out of the blue and you’re not expecting it; for him to go a hundred miles per hour to nothing was an adjustment. But I think he is, especially around this time of year, he’s now starting to realize like ‘hey this isn’t too bad.’ I think he’s bordering enjoying himself now {laughs} to be perfectly honest it’s a well deserved break for him, for sure.

Michaels’ current role:

I’ve now stepped out of the physical coaching aspect and into the Vice President of Talent Development and focusing more on television, the live show and creative. The {talent} pool has gotten very big. To me, the biggest advantage of all of that is the freshness, the newness… When I went from a tag team to a single’s competitor, I wasn’t given a cookie cutter ‘this is your character, this is what you’re gonna do,’ I was able to have some time to find ‘The Heartbreak Kid.’ I didn’t know who he was at the time but I had an opportunity to evolve this character and make it mine. That’s the one thing we’re allowed to do now with these new athletes coming in; is have time to sit down, to talk with them, to find out who they are, to get their insight, it really is a collaboration. It’s all of the stuff that I feel like people loved about NXT is that we’re not forcing things on people, we’re having them find it themselves…. We really got a nice little system, a nice little organization going on to where we are allowed to go through these different steps. But then it comes to getting them ready, in-ring ready, and sometimes it’s trial by fire, I have to be honest but the fact that they are former athletes that have been challenged before that have to worry about discipline, focus, going in there on game time, pressure situations, that is something that at least they come into the WWE having done a little bit…even at a young age they’ve had opportunities doing that so it’s amazing how disciplined and focused they can be and the athlete in them doesn’t like to fail. People like Hunter and I, we’re sort of the same way {laughs} we love being put in the toughest spot possible and see if we can succeed.

The departures of Adam Cole, Johnny Gargano, and Kyle O’Reilly:

We still keep in contact, but yeah it is bittersweet, those young men were a big part of my life, they were a lot of the reason that I sort of got back into this line of work. I was happily retired. When it came to Johnny, Tommaso, Adam, those guys, even way back, the Revival Boys, Shawn Spears who was Tye Dellinger at the time, all those young men sitting in a room with them; their passion, their excitement, their desire to be better was just hard not to love. They are the reason that I came back, and fell back in love with Sports Entertainment, with this line of work. As you’ve heard and everyone has numerous times, in NXT at the Performance Center, is where it’s still pure, it’s still all the reasons we get into it before it becomes business, and money and negotiations and things of that nature. To fast forward your question, I miss them. One of the things I always try to instill on all of them is ‘Your happiness, your contempt, your peace, is the most important thing to me.’ Because I learned that, yes mine all happened in the WWE but when everything was set and done that’s why I think that leaving and walking away was so much easier for me than it was for everybody else. I got all the answers to the questions that I had coming into this line of work and as long as they are at peace with that, that’s cool. At the very least, I tell them ‘if you’re not gonna be at peace with it atleast have a big bank account.” {laughs} at least it makes you feel better a little bit {laughs}. I do, I miss them, but I am very happy for them. Some things gotta be real life, Hunter and I, we love this stuff, same thing our real lives take precedence over everything else and it’s the same whether its Johnny, Adam, Kyle and whoever else, he’s now Malakai but Aleister, all of those guys I want them to be happy. Do I miss them? Yes. Would I prefer they be with us? Absolutely. But again you’re getting the opportunity to establish new relationships with Bron and Tony, The Creed Brothers, Carmello and Trick; have just been a joy to work with. Gigi and Jacy, I absolutely adore. It’s an ever evolving thing and that’s what this job is but it doesn’t mean that you can’t still have good relationships in the meantime.

Denise Salcedo’s full interview with Shawn Michaels can be viewed on the Instinct Culture YouTube channel.

**DDT held its ‘Never Mind 2021 in Yoyogi’ show earlier today in front of 1,234 fans at the Yoyogi National Stadium Gymnasium. Mark Buckeldee has an extensive review of the show posted on the site. In the main event, Konosuke Takeshita retained the KO-D Openweight title against Yuji Okabayashi, which was said to be excellent and worth seeking out. Minoru Suzuki worked the show teaming with Chris Brookes & Maki Itoh against Yukio Sakaguchi, Kazusada Higuchi & Saki Akai with Suzuki pinning Sakaguchi after executing the Gotch piledriver.

**On AEW Rampage on Saturday night, they confirmed that next week’s episode will air on New Year’s Eve on TNT with the card to be announced this Wednesday. The final Dynamite of 2021 takes place from Daily’s Place in Jacksonville this Wednesday where the New Year’s Eve episode will be taped immediately following the live broadcast.

**Sami Zayn announced that in 2022, ‘Sami for Syria’ will be operating two mobile clinics in Syria and is seeking donations at samiforsyria.com. He has also posted a video message with additional information and the goals they have with the expansion in mobile clinics.

**The strongest portions of Friday Night SmackDown were focused on Paul Heyman. The show opened with a disheveled Heyman being interviewed in a sit-down style setting by Kayla Braxton and Heyman lamenting that his career may be over after his firing by Roman Reigns. It was reminiscent of a sit-down interview Heyman did years ago with Renee Young. Later in the episode, they aired a retrospective feature on Heyman with tons of old clips including his work The Dangerous Alliance, ECW footage, the Invasion of 2001, when Lesnar debuted in 2002, and up to the present with Reigns. This stuff was very effective and it’s easily the strongest story in WWE.

**GCW has added Psycho Clown from AAA to its event on Saturday, February 5th at the Irving Arena in Dallas, Texas.

**IMPACT Wrestling will kick off its year with the Hard to Kill pay-per-view on Saturday, January 8th (the same night as AEW’s Battle of the Belts) and have announced its key dates for the first four months of the year including its next pay-per-view, which is Rebellion for April:
*January 9 – Hard to Kill at The Factory in Dallas, Texas
*January 21 & 22 – TV tapings in Fort Lauderdale, Florida at the Charles Dodge Center
*February 19 – No Surrender in New Orleans, Louisiana at the Alario Center
*February 20 – TV tapings in New Orleans at the Alario Center
*March 5 – Sacrifice in Louisville, Kentucky at the Paristown Hall
*March 6 – TV tapings in Louisville at Paristown Hall
*March 18 & 19 – TV tapings at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia
*Saturday, April 23 – Rebellion pay-per-view in Poughkeepsie, New York at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center with TV tapings the next night

**All Japan Pro Wrestling held a one-night tag tournament on Sunday at Shin-Kiba 1st Ring in front of 150 people. Hokuto Omori & Yusuke Kodama won the eight-team tournament defeating Hikaru Sato & Dan Tamura in the final after earlier wins that evening against Takato Nakano & Masato Kamino, and SUGI & RAICHO. They ran a second show today in the building headlined by Jake Lee defeating Ryuki Honda with the D4C. (Courtesy: Purolove.com)


Hulk Hogan defends the WWF Championship against Kamala in 1986, one of Hogan’s best drawing opponents, and did huge business together that year. This match took place at Madison Square Garden:

Scarlett Bordeaux wrestled as an enhancement talent against Nia Jax on Raw in 2016:

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About John Pollock 5052 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.