POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: Dynamite at The Forum, Excellent feature on CM Punk

AEW announces Dynamite at The Forum in L.A., terrific feature on CM Punk, NJPW anniversary preview, MITB tickets & Rafael Fiziev off UFC 272.

Photo Courtesy: AEW

POST IT NOTES

**Rewind-A-Raw is live at 11:15 p.m. ET tonight as Wai Ting and I review WWE Raw from Columbus, Ohio. We will also be announcing some changes regarding our live format for several of our shows and we will go over the upcoming schedule at POST.

**On Tuesday, Wai and I will be releasing our latest edition of TALK to go over the last few months running the site, and many other topics that we aren’t likely to discuss anywhere else. We’ve done a few of these shows in the past and have been met with a strong response. The show will be posted Tuesday evening for POST Wrestling Café members.

**For those in Toronto that are looking to watch AEW Revolution:

POST SCHEDULE

Tonight: Rewind-A-Raw with John Pollock & Wai Ting (11:15 p.m. ET)
Tuesday: Pollock & Wai – TALK (Patreon)
Tuesday: upNXT with Davie Portman & Braden Herrington
Wednesday: Shot in the Dark with John Siino (upNXT)
Wednesday: Rewind-A-Dynamite (10:15 p.m. ET)
Thursday: POST Puroresu with John Pollock & WH Park
Friday: Justice League review (upNXT)
Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown with John & Wai (11:15 p.m. ET)
Saturday: UFC 272 POST Show with Phil Chertok & Eric Marcotte
Sunday: Wrestlenomics Radio with Brandon Thurston & Chris Gullo
Sunday: AEW Revolution POST Show with John & Wai

POST DAILY NEWS SHOW

John Pollock & Wai Ting discuss:

– AEW’s announcements for SoCal & Detroit
– Becky Lynch vs. Bianca Belair on Night 1 of WrestleMania
– Kota Ibushi & Hiroyoshi Tenzan off New Japan shows
– Alex Zayne undergoes surgery
– Corey & Carmella reviews
– WWE Raw tonight & more

WRESTLING NEWS

**The Miz announced on Twitter that his match with Logan Paul against Rey & Dominik Mysterio will take place on the first night of WrestleMania on Saturday, April 2nd.

**AEW’s California debut will include a live edition of Dynamite from The Forum in Inglewood, California on Wednesday, June 1st. The news was reported through Variety just hours after announcing a live edition of Rampage on June 3rd from the Toyota Arena in Ontario, California. The California shows will follow Double or Nothing, which takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday, May 29th.

The Forum has hosted a handful of pro wrestling events going back to 1969 with the AWA. When WCW was at its peak it ran a special billed as ‘Saturday Nitro’ in June 1997 and came back with the ‘L.A. Melee’ in July 1998 days after Bill Goldberg won the WCW title from Hulk Hogan at the Georgia Dome. WCW’s last show at the famous venue was January 30, 1999 (the day before the Super Bowl) for a house show headlined by Goldberg and Kevin Nash in a rematch from Starrcade the month prior.

WWE ran the building in December 2015 for a house show that featured Brock Lesnar defeating Alberto Del Rio by DQ when Del Rio held the United States title and was headlined by Roman Reigns over Sheamus for the WWE title.

**WWE Raw takes place from the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio tonight. According to WrestleTix, there are almost 6,900 tickets out as of this morning with the configuration set at approximately 7,400. The following matches and segments have been announced for tonight’s show at 8 p.m. ET on the USA Network:
*United States Championship: Damian Priest (champion) vs. Finn Balor
*Edge addresses his WrestleMania future

**Esquire has a terrific feature on CM Punk that took an extensive look at his early days running the Lunatic Wrestling Federation (LWF) in Chicago from 1993-98 and how it led to a fallout with his older brother Michal where they have not spoken since. This was an incredibly well-researched piece and outlined Punk hitting his breaking point in WWE in January 2014 when he walked out after the Royal Rumble. Punk thought he had a concussion from the Rumble match and that added to a list of problems that included injured ribs, a knee that shot, the welt on his ass that became the focus of his trial in 2018, and was coughing up bile for several weeks. When Punk left that night, it led to major plans changing for WrestleMania as Punk was set for a program with Triple H (which would include a detour with Kane in the interim) and Daniel Bryan facing Sheamus at WrestleMania.

As was stated in the past, Punk never signed a non-disparage agreement with WWE but the price he paid was immense including Dr. Christopher Amann filing a suit against Punk and former friend Colt Cabana in early 2015, which WWE publicly supported. It was extremely difficult for his wife AJ Lee, who was still with WWE until April of 2015 and was caught in the middle between her husband and the company she worked for. The piece didn’t add anything on the fallout with Cabana or the lawsuits both filed before they were settled out of court.

The piece covered his move into MMA and his two fights with the UFC. After announcing his signing in December 2014, Punk didn’t fight until nearly two years later when he lost to Mickey Gall at UFC 203 in Cleveland. Gall stopped Punk in the first round by TKO, but Punk came back for the second fight in June 2018. The second fight was nuts given that Punk was in court the same week for his trial with Amann as he was getting ready to fight that Saturday and I cannot fathom juggling those two together. In the article, it stated Punk lasted five minutes in the second fight with Mike Jackson, but it was actually the full fifteen minutes and Jackson won by decision in a pretty bad fight. While everyone viewed it as a loss for Punk, it was quietly changed to a no-contest when Jackson tested positive for marijuana.

The timeline with AEW began with Punk meeting Tony Khan the day after Christmas in December 2018, just days before the public announcement of AEW’s launch on January 1, 2019, and the subsequent press conference in Jacksonville. Punk had no interest in AEW at the time but did begin texting with Khan about the product after Dynamite premiered in October 2019. The talks increased in early 2020 but then the pandemic hit, and it made no sense to have Punk return without fans.

There was one paragraph that truly summarized Punk’s passion for professional wrestling being rekindled and finding it in AEW:

It can take a while to realize the path you were on was the right one at the wrong time. That the thing you loved then is still the thing you love now, and that it’s still there, waiting for you. For Brooks, the thing he missed the most wasn’t the matches, the arenas, or even the fans. It was the family. He missed being in a car with a friend, driving from town to town. He missed the way all the wrestlers and the crew would come together from across the country for tapings every week, falling into an easy rapport in the locker room. In the old-school language of wrestlers, to be a part of the locker room is to be a “good brother,” and that camaraderie, that family, is what he missed.

**Tickets for the WWE Money in the Bank card will go on sale Thursday, March 17th at 1 p.m. ET for the card at Allegiant Stadium on Saturday, July 2nd. The show will run on the same night as UFC 276 in Las Vegas at the T-Mobile Arena, although it’s unknown what the UFC card will feature yet. It’s an interesting test to see WWE run such a large venue and compete for coverage throughout the week against a major UFC card that includes International Fight Week. Last August, WWE ran against a Manny Pacquiao fight in Vegas on the same night as SummerSlam it was a very successful event for WWE that drew approximately 41,000 paid.

**Here are the matches that will air on AEW Dark: Elevation tonight at 7 p.m. ET on YouTube:
*Jay Lethal vs. Jora Johl
*Lance Archer vs. Fuego del Sol
*Evil Uno & Stu Grayson vs. Serpentico & Luther
*Frankie Kazarian vs. Alan “5” Angels
*Leyla Hirsch vs. Willow Nightingale
*Nyla Rose, Diamante & Emi Sakura vs. Kayla Sparks (the performer that appeared on the live episode of SmackDown and the taped edition of Rampage this past Friday), Paris Van Dale & Little Mean Kathleen
*Red Velvet vs. Skye Blue

**New Japan’s 50th-anniversary card takes place Tuesday with the first of their back-to-back nights at Budokan Hall. The company’s first event occurred on March 6, 1972, at Ota Ward Gymnasium and was headlined by Antonio Inoki vs. Karl Gotch. The opening match was Tatsumi Fujinami losing to El Furioso, so Fujinami headlining this year’s card has the tie-in to the first show.

The card will stream Tuesday morning at 3 a.m. ET on New Japan World with the following line-up:
*Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Tatsumi Fujinami vs. Minoru Suzuki, Zack Sabre Jr. & Yoshiaki Fujiwara
*Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI vs. Master Wato & Ryusuke Taguchi
*Tetsuya Naito, Shingo Takagi, Hiromu Takahashi, SANADA & BUSHI vs. Tomohiro Ishii, Togi Makabe, Toru Yano, Tomoaki Honma & Shiro Koshinaka
*Yuji Nagata, Satoshi Kojima, Kosei Fujita & Yuto Nakashima vs. Will Ospreay, Jeff Cobb, Great O-Khan & Aaron Henare – Fujita and Nakashima are replacing Kota Ibushi & Hiroyoshi Tenzan
*CIMA, T-Hawk & El Lindaman vs. El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & DOUKI
*Bad Luck Fale, Taiji Ishimori & El Phantasmo vs. Taichi, Taka Michinoku & Minoru Tanaka
*EVIL, Yujiro & SHO vs. YOH, Tiger Mask & Ryohei Oiwa

**Wednesday’s New Japan Cup show at Budokan Hall features opening round matches with Kazuchika Okada vs. El Desperado, Tetsuya Naito vs. Yujiro (former tag partners), Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. YOH, Taichi vs. Toru Yano (the winner goes to the third round due to Tenzan’s removal), Jeff Cobb vs. Togi Makabe, Yuji Nagata vs. Hirooki Goto, YOSHI-HASHI vs. Tomoaki Honma, and Taka Michinoku vs. CIMA.

**In Kevin Eck’s weekly column on the ROH site, it was stated that more talent announcements would be made this week for Supercard of Honor including new names and some familiar faces. In the column, he noted that the ROH television episode over the weekend of March 12th will focus on the history of Supercard of Honor, and the March 19th & 26th editions of the program will look at Jonathan Gresham’s recent ROH title defenses outside of ROH.

**This week’s episode of Ring of Honor is the Hall of Fame episode featuring the inaugural class of The Briscoes, Bryan Danielson, Samoa Joe, and CM Punk.

**DEFY Wrestling held its card at Washington Hall on Saturday night that was featured Sw3rve over Nick Wayne, JONAH over SCHAFF, Christopher Daniels over Clark Connors to retain the interim DEFY title, The Bollywood Boyz over Rocky Romero & Kevin Knight to retain the tag titles, Cody Chhun & Guillermo Rosas over The Midnight Heat & Levi Cooper (Tucker in WWE), and Titus Alexander over Ethan HD.

**DEFY returns on Saturday, March 12th for another show at Washington Hall and then run the Kliever Armory in Portland on March 26th. The promotion has released its entire schedule for 2022.

**The Hardys cut a promo ahead of their match for Big Time Wrestling on Saturday, March 12th. They will either face The Briscoes or The Maximos. Jeff told Jay Briscoe he needs anger management and that Mark needs to fix his teeth. Matt brought up that the two of them have had 25 combined appearances at WrestleMania while The Briscoes have had none and has called Vince McMahon and Tony Khan and told them not to hire The Briscoes.

**DDT will hold its Judgement Day event on March 20th at Sumo Hall and is headlined by Konosuke Takeshita defending the KO-D Openweight Championship against Tetsuya Endo. The other top matches include Daisuke Sasaki vs. Jun Kasai vs. MAO in a Hardcore Three-Way for the DDT Universal title, HARASHIMA & Naomi Yoshimura vs. Chris Brookes & Masahiro Takanashi for the KO-D tag titles, Sanshiro Takagi vs. Michael Nakazawa, and Jun Akiyama & Takao Omori vs. Kazusada Higuchi & Hideki Okatani that is being billed as the 30th-anniversary match for Akiyama (debuted in September 1992 for All Japan against Kenta Kobashi).

**Greektown Wrestling returns on April 10th in Toronto at Kerr Hall West on the campus of Ryerson University. The promotion has announced Rob Van Dam vs. Channing Decker for the show along with Sonny Kiss, RJ City, Lady Frost, Jody Threat, and Anthony Carelli.

**Rev Pro has announced Aussie Open vs. The Velocities for its Epic Encounters card on Sunday, May 22nd at York Hall.

**OTT has announced added a tag match between the Kings of the North and Adam Maxted & Charlie Sterling for ScrapperMania 6 on Saturday, March 12th at National Stadium in Dublin, Ireland.

MMA NEWS

**UFC lightweight Rafael Fiziev has announced he is off this Saturday’s UFC 272 card against Rafael dos Anjos. The two were scheduled to fight last weekend but the fight was pushed back due to visa issues for Fiziev and they landed on the pay-per-view card as a five-round fight. On Monday, Fiziev announced he traveled from Thailand to Las Vegas and has contracted COVID-19 and citing a fever, soreness, and a cough.

What was even crazier, is that dos Anjos was in the middle of an interview on The MMA Hour when Ariel Helwani informed him the fight was off after receiving a text message from Fiziev’s manager:

**The big story from Saturday’s UFC Fight Night card was the dominant victory by Islam Makhachev, who stopped Bobby Green in the first round of their 160-pound catchweight fight. Makhachev successfully took Green to the ground and was relentless with pressure. He eventually mounted Green and swarmed him with strikes until referee Herb Dean stopped the fight. This positions Makhachev as the lightweight contender at the top of the list for the winner of Charles Oliveira and Justin Gaethje. Another lightweight to take serious note of is Arman Tsarukyan, who is now 18-2 after stopping Joel Alvarez in the second round of their fight over the weekend. Tsarukyan has won his last five with his only loss in the UFC coming against Makhachev.

*****
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About John Pollock 4102 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.