POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: Paige VanZant on past talks with WWE, Gable Steveson doesn’t rule out 2024 Olympics

Paige VanZant discusses her AEW deal and past WWE talks, Gable Steveson chats Olympics, Raw quarter hours, Jorge Masvidal update & more.

Photo Courtesy: AEW


**Rewind-A-Dynamite is live tonight at 10:05 p.m. ET on the POST YouTube channel with Wai Ting and I reviewing tonight’s edition of AEW Dynamite. We will go through all the news from the show and take feedback from the POST Wrestling Forum.

**The latest edition of Rewind-A-Wai is available for all members of the POST Wrestling Café with our review of ROH Supercard of Honor XI from April 2017. Some of the highlights of our review include The Hardys vs. The Young Bucks ladder match discussion, Hardys returning to WWE the next night and how they tried to keep it a secret, their exit from IMPACT, the state of ROH in 2017, the promotion setting its attendance record, 23-year old Will Ospreay wrestles on the show, news from that week five years ago, Stephanie McMahon on the prospect of Ronda Rousey coming to WWE, the news of the first Mae Young Classic, and our live notes from attending the ROH card in Lakeland, Florida.

**We will have another edition of Rewind-A-Wai next Tuesday covering the WWE Draft edition of SmackDown from July 2016 for POST Wrestling Café members.

**A reminder that we are continuing to update the WrestleMania Week schedule as new matches and shows are announced.


John Pollock & Wai Ting chat the WWE-MENA broadcast agreement, WrestleMania 38 in theatres, WWE Raw ratings, TripleMania card for next month, NXT Stand & Deliver updated card & more.


Tonight: Rewind-A-Dynamite (Live at 10:05 p.m. ET on POST YouTube)
Thursday: MCU L8R – Moon Knight Primer with Wai Ting & WH Park (Patreon)
Rewind-A-SmackDown at 11:05 p.m. (Patreon)
POST Puroresu with WH Park & Karen Peterson
The N.W.A. Podcast with guest Brandon Thurston
Wrestlenomics Radio with Brandon & Chris Gullo


**AEW Dynamite is back in Texas tonight with a live show from Cedar Park at the HEB Center. The following matches have been announced for the episode at 8 p.m. ET on TBS and TSN 2 in Canada:
*The Hardys, Sting & Darby Allin vs. Private Party, The Butcher & The Blade
*Bryan Danielson & Jon Moxley vs. The Varsity Blonds
*Chris Jericho & Daniel Garcia vs. John Silver & Alex Reynolds
*Adam Cole vs. Jay Lethal
*Red Velvet vs. Leyla Hirsch
*CM Punk returns
*MJF speaks
*Thunder Rosa appears

**Paige VanZant spoke with Damon Martin at MMA Fighting about how lucrative her post-UFC career has been. VanZant last fought for the promotion in July 2020 and signed with BKFC after her UFC contract expired. In 2021, she fought twice for the group with losses to Britain Hart and Rachael Ostovich but recently inked a deal with AEW. In the interview she noted:

I could retire tomorrow and be financially free, and my kids would be pretty close to being financially free.

VanZant noted that her AEW deal doesn’t restrict her from continuing to compete in MMA:

I want to fight for AEW. I want to fight for BKFC. Contract is open-ended so I could still do MMA at the same time. I love MMA and I know my door’s definitely not closed on MMA, but at the same time, my passion really is pro wrestling and bare-knuckle boxing right now.

VanZant said she loves the UFC but recognizes she is unlikely to fight for the promotion again due to the fact they don’t pay enough. VanZant has recently begun training for pro wrestling under David “Gangrel” Heath in Coconut Creek, Florida, and has made appearances on AEW programming over the last several months as part of the American Top Team contingent with Dan Lambert. VanZant also noted that her next fight with BKFC is the last on her current deal and there is interest from other MMA groups but didn’t specify which ones.

In a separate interview on The MMA Hour, VanZant said she went to the WWE Performance Center about a year ago and had talks with WWE as well. VanZant said AEW was willing to allow her to continue to do MMA and BKFC while WWE wanted an exclusive deal with her.

**Gable Steveson was a guest on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani on Wednesday discussing his NCAA championship win last weekend. Steveson has not decided yet about the 2024 Olympics but made it sound like a distinct possibility after he runs it by some people. He repeated that he will be going to WrestleMania next weekend in Texas but didn’t say if he’d be doing something on the show or just attending as a spectator. Brock Lesnar was one of the first to reach out to him after his win on Saturday night along with Paul Levesque, Paul Heyman, and Nick Khan.

He said he expects to be on WWE television shortly after WrestleMania once his school duties are complete and expects to be on Raw rather than NXT 2.0 while noting his brother (Bobby Steveson a.k.a. Damon Kemp) is on NXT. He also said he’ll be going by his own name. Steveson also said he can see himself doing MMA eventually and compared his route to Brock Lesnar’s going from amateur wrestling to WWE to MMA.

**WrestleMania 38 is going to be available in theatres across the United States through a deal with Fathom Events. They will not be airing the shows in any theatres in Texas. The Fathom Events site has a full list of the theatres carrying WrestleMania on both nights.

**Gabe Sapolsky issued several comments on Twitter regarding his past commentary work with Ring of Honor. With the classic footage being discussed more heavily since Tony Khan’s purchase, Sapolsky wanted to address his commentary style that he described as being “in-character” and not reflective of his values later in his career. While not being specific about any particular lines or comments, he said that he modeled his on-screen persona after Howard Stern at times and is requesting Tony Khan remove some of his commentary work when he chooses to market the library:

Since I see classic Ring Of Honor is getting more attention I want to take a moment and apologize for my “in character” commentary. I’ll start by saying I fired myself from commentary as soon as we found a suitable replacement. It was another era back then. It might be hard to believe but it was hard to find decent commentators who would work the hours we did. We used to do commentary on 2 shows staying up all night on a weeknight in Tampa, FL. Budget was also a concern & I wanted to save Cary $.

At the time, ROH was just a growing indie. It’s not like people were clamoring to stay up till 5am to do voiceovers in a living room in Tampa. We went through various commentators and eventually I didn’t cost any extra money as I was there anyway to edit/produce. I also knew the storylines, directions & characters.

Thankfully, we eventually found Lenny Leonard, who lived in the area, and Dave Prazak. We booked Prazak in FIP and combined the expenses to fly him in. They were a great team & still are. They gave us stability. My commentary skills ranged from bad to embarrassing to deplorable. There were times I tried to do a Howard Stern influenced character (big in the early 2000s) & had an ECW influence.

I apologize for anyone having to hear it now. As you can see from years of EVOLVE, my values and standards changed to being much more family friendly without trying to be “edgy” in a 90s style.

Can someone please ask Tony Khan to see if he can edit out my commentary or at least the worst parts of it. I’m not sure if that’s possible. Maybe he has the original master tapes. I don’t know. I hope my commentary doesn’t ruin people’s enjoyment of classic ROH. Thank you

**Brandon Thurston has the quarter-hour breakdown for Raw on Monday night. The show peaked in both viewers and in 18-49 for the in-ring segment involving AJ Styles and Seth Rollins at the start of the second hour with 1,912,000 viewers and 701,000 in 18-49. The low point was the start of the match between Styles and Rollins at 10:30 p.m. ET with 1,555,000 and 604,000 in the demo, which may have been affected with an ad break in the middle of it. Both numbers increased for the final quarter with the conclusion of the match that ended in a disqualification and Rollins remaining shut out of WrestleMania.

**Kazuyuki Fujita will defend the GHC championship against former champion Go Shiozaki on April 30th at Sumo Hall. After Shiozaki’s win against Katsuhiko Nakajima on Wednesday, Shiozaki issued the challenge and Fujita walked to the ring and accepted the match. Fujita made his first title defense this past Monday by defeating Masato Tanaka. Shiozaki has held the title four times and last held it from January 4, 2020, until February 12, 2021, when he lost it to Keiji Muto with Shiozaki undergoing shoulder surgery.

**WrestleCon has announced appearances by Dr. Britt Baker, Adam Cole, and Christian Cage for next weekend’s convention in Dallas, Texas.

**A grudge match between nZo and KC Navarro has been added to MLW’s Azteca Underground event at Gilley’s in Dallas on Friday, April 1st.

**NOAH has announced that foreign wrestlers Chris Ridgeway, Dragon Bane, Alpha Wolf, Ninja Mack, Rene Dupree, and Hijo de Dr. Wagner Jr. will be coming into the country for the shows on April 29 & 30.

**Trish Stratus and Riddle will be guests on WWE’s The Bump next Wednesday.

**J.J. Dillon and Kevin Sullivan appear on Judge Steve Harvey over a small claims dispute.


**UFC fighter Jorge Masvidal is facing a possible felony battery charge for his role in a physical altercation with Colby Covington on Monday night. The incident took place outside of the Papa Steak restaurant in Miami Beach with Covington alleging in the police report that Masvidal ran up and struck him twice with a closed fist to the face with Masvidal telling Covington that he shouldn’t have spoken about his kids. MMA Fighting obtained the police report that added that Covington sustained a fractured left front tooth and abrasion on his wrist.

Later that night, Masvidal released a short video challenging Covington to show his face while displaying no marks on his own face. He added that “You talk that shit you’ve got to back it up.” On Tuesday, he posted “Good morning to everyone except those that think about talking about someone’s kids is cool.”

Masvidal has not been arrested and no formal charges have been issued as of this writing.

The two fighters competed earlier this month in the main event of UFC 272 where Covington won by unanimous decision after five rounds.

**John Morgan at The Underground reports that Masvidal has elected to delay his application for a promoter’s license in the state of Nevada. The licensure was on the agenda for Wednesday’s Nevada State Athletic Commission meeting for Masvidal’s Gamebred Fighting Championship group to run a show in the state. Masvidal appeared by phone and stated he was not arrested on Monday and has yet to be charged.

**Chael Sonnen is facing eleven charges after an alleged incident in Las Vegas last December. TMZ reported that the former fighter faces a felony battery by strangulation charge along with ten misdemeanor battery charges. Police were called to the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas where Sonnen was allegedly involved in a physical altercation with six people including a woman, according to the documents TMZ obtained.

Sonnen was originally hit with five misdemeanor citations, which were dismissed by the court in January without prejudice, therefore, they could be re-filed in the future. Sonnen was escorted off the property in Las Vegas but was not arrested or put in jail at the time. He is set for a court date on April 27th to address the charges.

**Bellator welterweight champion Yaroslav Amosov will be unable to fight Michael “Venom” Page on Friday, May 13th with Amosov defending his home country of Ukraine as it continues to be attacked by Russia. The promotion has updated the card, which will now feature Page (20-1) fighting Logan Storley (13-1) for an interim welterweight championship while Amosov is unable to compete. The fight will take place at the OVO Arena Wembley in London, England, and will also feature Douglas Lima vs. Jason Jackson, Lyoto Machida vs. Fabian Edwards, Denise Kielholtz vs. Kana Watanabe, and Andrey Koreshkov vs. Paul Daley on the main card.

**Paddy Pimblett was on Barstool Sports to discuss his win over the weekend against Kazula Vargas in London, England. Pimblett revealed he was paid $24,000 for the fight with $12,000 to show and $12,000 for the win while also receiving a $50,000 performance of the night bonus. After the fight, Pimblett had said he would not accept a fight among anyone ranked in the top fifteen unless the UFC added some zeroes to his deal.

**The PFL will kick off its 2022 season with a card on Wednesday, April 20th. The main card will air on ESPN with Raush Manfio vs. Don Madge, Anthony Pettis vs. Myles Price, Antonio Carlos Junior vs. Delan Monte, and Clay Collard vs. Jeremy Stephens. The prelims will stream live on ESPN+ with Emiliano Sordi vs. Joshua Silveira, Olivier Aubin-Mercier vs. TBA, Marthin Hamlet vs. Teodoras Aukstuolis, Viktor Pesta vs. Omari Akhmedov, Robert Wilkinson vs. Bruce Souto, and Stevie Ray vs. Alexander Martinez.

**The PFL has announced a broadcast agreement with FPT Play in Vietnam for its Challengers Series and upcoming season, including the playoffs and world championship.


Jerry Lawler and Terry Funk from 1981 in Memphis:

WrestleMania 13 took place from the Allstate Arena in Illinois and featured one of the best matches in company history. While not the original plan for either one, Bret Hart took on Steve Austin in a Submission Match with Ken Shamrock as the special enforcer. It was a legendary match that culminated with Austin trapped in the sharpshooter while bleeding profusely and passing out to put the icing on the cake for Hart’s heel turn that was accentuated by his post-match attack. It was a brilliant match that set the tone for the rise of Austin as the new babyface star and would take the company to unprecedented heights. The show was not a commercial success with a low figure of 237,000 buys the long-term effects cannot be understated and they shattered that figure moving forward.


One of the many characters that Ed Leslie assumed, although a brief one that never took off:

Hulk Hogan wrestles Meng on an episode of WCW Pro in 1996:

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About John Pollock 5646 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.