POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: Ric Flair’s in-ring return, Cain Velasquez denied bail

Photo Courtesy: WWE

POST IT NOTES

**Rewind-A-Raw is live tonight at 11 p.m. ET on the POST YouTube channel and available on your podcast app by subscribing to ‘POST Wrestling’. We will review Raw from Norfolk, Virginia and go through this week’s schedule at POST as well as take your feedback & questions.

**On Tuesday, Rewind-A-Wai #110 is covering WWF’s Thursday Raw Thursday from February 1997. During this week, Raw was moved to a special Thursday night slot on the USA Network and included Shawn Michaels vacating the WWF Championship in a famous segment. Wai Ting and I will discuss this entire story from many different perspectives including Michaels’ reflections years later, how Bret Hart perceived it, the coverage of it that week, and the fallout on WWF programming. Plus, all the news stories from that week in 1997, the massive competition Raw went against that night and a review of the entire episode including Rocky Maivia’s first championship win. This show will be released Tuesday evening for POST Wrestling Café members.

**You can post feedback for WWF’s Thursday Raw Thursday on the POST Wrestling Forum.

RIC FLAIR WRESTLING IN JULY

The major story today was confirmation that Ric Flair will wrestle this summer as part of the Starrcast convention in Nashville, Tennessee.

The idea of a 73-year-old opting to wrestle is concerning enough before accounting for Flair’s massive health struggles over the past five years. In the summer of 2017, he nearly died after a bowel blockage, kidney problems, and was in a coma for ten days.

A case like this does bring up the topic of proper oversight for professional wrestling. Yes, it is a scripted form of entertainment but also an athletic endeavor where tragedies have occurred. As we’ve seen in MMA and Boxing over the past few years, a commission isn’t always going to act responsibly as we have seen some egregious examples of fighters being licensed and fights being booked.

If the match is a six-man tag, as is expected, it lessens the load for Flair but given history as an indicator, no one believes Flair is just coming in and out for a quick spot or sequence and going to the lengths of training if not for a larger role than a cameo.

Professional wrestling always comes with the potential of injury, paralysis, or worse. The percentages of those outcomes are small, but they are not zero. Often, we see incredible risk-taking scenarios and that person walks away from it intact and we assume all is fine. The cheque for a performer typically comes due later in life from an accumulation of injuries and frankly, places less of a burden on the fan that can rest on the laurel of ‘that’s the game they signed up for’ rather than isolating one spot or one moment having an egregious impact on that person’s quality of life afterward.

WWE has been consistent when it comes to avoiding any physicality for older talent that have suffered significant health ailments such as Jerry Lawler, Ricky Steamboat, and Flair. The company was probably too protective of Bryan Danielson, who returned in 2018 and has not demonstrated any noticeable problems while wrestling at a high level for the past four years, and the same for Edge, who has come back at a high level. That said, WWE also put Vince McMahon in the ring this year, albeit for more of a spot than a real match, and for years they used Mae Young and were lucky to avoid disaster.

In an era where 63-year old Sting is leaping off balconies with spinal stenosis, wrestlers with once thought of career-ending neck injuries coming back, a 76-year old taking a Stone Cold Stunner at WrestleMania, and Canek wrestling at TripleMania, it is easy to avoid the question of how close to the sun we need to fly before something tragic occurs? I prefer being proactive rather than reactive but the reality is that many won’t have any issue with Flair wrestling at the age of 73 or 93 and if Flair can get through workouts with Jay Lethal, he should be fine in a match where he is not carrying the entire load.

This event will also demonstrate Flair’s image in the public coming off the ‘Plane Ride from Hell’ episode of Dark Side of the Ring and the allegations by Heidi Doyle regarding Flair’s actions on the flight in May 2002. Flair has denied the allegation that he made Doyle touch his genitals but it’s a subject that almost surely gets revisited if Flair is doing a lot of press for this event.

The event, which is being promoted through Thuzio, which is part of Triller, has the same appeal as some of Triller’s fight cards where it’s something so crazy that they are banking fans will pay to see. It is taking place in Nashville over SummerSlam weekend and will have the traditional Sunday night to themselves. The promotion will be unique as they have no television, and this is one that is largely going to be powered by the network of podcasts run by Conrad Thompson – including one with Flair. Starrcast itself is a brand that fans are familiar with and the goal would be fans buying access to the entire weekend of events as opposed to just the match involving Flair.

POST SCHEDULE

Tonight: Rewind-A-Raw with John Pollock & Wai Ting (11 p.m. ET)
Tuesday: Rewind-A-Wai – WWF Thursday Raw Thursday ’97 (Patreon)
Tuesday: upNXT with Braden Herrington & Davie Portman
Wednesday: Shot in the Dark with John Siino
Wednesday: Rewind-A-Dynamite (10 p.m. ET)
Thursday: The Wellness Policy w/ Wai Ting & Jordan Goodman “Comedy” (Live at 3 p.m. ET)
Thursday: POST Puroresu with John Pollock & WH Park
Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown (Live at 10 p.m. ET for Patrons)
Saturday: The N.W.A. Podcast with Nate Milton, Kris Ealy & Andrew Thompson
Saturday: POSTmarks feat. Karen Peterson (Patreon feed)
Sunday: Wrestlenomics with Brandon Thurston & Chris Gullo

WRESTLING NEWS

**We want to extend our best wishes to Jim Duggan and Mike “Virgil” Jones, who are both battling cancer. Duggan issued an update over the weekend that his prostate cancer treatment is not over and will be undergoing a second hormone shot this week and will begin radiation treatment over eight weeks. The bright side is that doctors believe they have caught it early.

Jones revealed he has been diagnosed with stage two colon cancer which comes weeks after Jones shared that he has been diagnosed with early stages of dementia and suffered two strokes, which he wasn’t aware of until seeing a doctor. Jones is in need of medical funds and has set up a PayPal account where he is hoping to raise $20,000 U.S.

**WWE Raw takes place from the Norfolk Scope in Virginia tonight and will get a rare break from the NBA & NHL playoffs with neither league having any games tonight. The show is sold out, according to Dave Meltzer with WrestleTix noting the capacity of 7,283. Below are the matches advertised so far:
*Steel Cage Match: Omos vs. Bobby Lashley

**Tony Khan spoke to Forbes on launching AEW in 2019, his background growing up as a fan, securing a television outlet, and the creative process within the company:

**WrestleTix reported the final ticket distribution count for New Japan’s Capital Collision show was 2,074 at the Entertainment & Sports Arena in Washington, D.C. on Saturday night. New Japan’s attendance figure released was 2,641.

**After Tammy Sytch’s bond was revoked this past Friday, her fiancé James Pente spoke with the media. Pente said if she was believed to be a danger to society, that decision should have been made before they posted $22,000 of the $227,500 bond figure, which Pente stated will not be returned. Sytch is back in jail following Friday’s hearing and being arraigned on May 31st where the former WWE talent faces multiple charges including DUI manslaughter after the death of 75-year-old Julian Lasseter in March when Sytch allegedly struck Lasseter from behind. Toxicology reports confirmed that Sytch’s blood-alcohol level was 0.28, which is over three times the legal limit in the state of Florida.

**Alex Coughlin is now going as “The Android” (not the iPhone) Alex Coughlin after graduating from Young Lion status and came out in a new outfit at the NJPW Strong tapings on Sunday.

**AEW Dark: Elevation at 7 pm. ET tonight has Mercedes Martinez defending the ROH Women’s Championship against Trish Adora, The Acclaimed & The Gunn Club vs. Lucas Chase, Zack Clayton, GKM & Bryce Donovan, Yuka Sakazaki & Anna Jay vs. Nyla Rose & Emi Sakura, Brody King vs. Alex Reynolds, Brandon Cutler vs. Bear Bronson, Evil Uno & Preston Vance vs. Eric James & VSK, and Keith Lee & Swerve Strickland vs. Luther & Serpentico.

**The NJPW Best of the Super Juniors continues Tuesday with the first set of B Block matches. The card from Yamagata will stream live at 5:30 a.m. ET on New Japan World with the following lineup:
*B BLOCK: El Desperado vs. Titan
*B BLOCK: Master Wato vs. TJP
*B BLOCK: Wheeler Yuta vs. Robbie Eagles
*B BLOCK: BUSHI vs. El Phantasmo
*B BLOCK: El Lindaman vs. DOUKI
*Taiji Ishimori, SHO & Dick Togo vs. Ryusuke Taguchi, Alex Zayne & Jado
*Ace Austin & Tiger Mask vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Taka Michinoku
*YOH, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Yuto Nakashima vs. Clark Connors, Ryohei Oiwa & Kosei Fujita

**Ian Riccaboni stated that the match between Tomohiro Ishii and Eddie Kingston at Capital Collision was the best singles match he has ever called.

**All Japan was in Sapporo on Sunday in front of 533 fans at the Hotel Emisia and was headlined by Kento Miyahara retaining the Triple Crown against Champion Carnival winner, Yuma Aoyagi after hitting the Shutdown German Suplex after 32 minutes and 43 seconds. On the same card, Hikaru Sato retained the AJPW junior heavyweight title against Yusuke Kodama, and Jake Lee beat Yoshitatsu with the D4C among the top matches. (Courtesy: Purolove.com)

**Stardom has announced 22 of the 26 participants for its annual 5 Star Grand Prix tournament, which begins on June 4th and will be its largest field ever. Mayu Iwatani, Koguma, Hakuzki, Hanan, AZM, Utami Hayashishita, Saya Kamitani, Saki Kashima, Starlight Kid, Momo Watanabe, Giulia, Maika, Himeka, Natsupoi, Thekla, Tam Nakano, Unagi Sayaka, Mina Shirakawa, Syuri, MIRAI, Risa Sera & Suzu Suzuki are confirmed for the tournament. There will be a series of matches to determine the next three spots (featuring Saya Iida, Momo Kohgo, Ami Sorei, Ruaka, Rina, Mai Sakurai, Waka Tsukiyama, Lady C, Hina & Miyu Amasaki) and the final entrant will be a surprise announcement.

**Being the Elite Ep. 307: “Three Simple Words”.

MMA NEWS

**Bail for Cain Velasquez was denied on Monday by Judge Shelyna Brown after the former UFC heavyweight champion made his second request. Earlier this year, Velasquez was taken into custody after a shooting in Morgan Hill, California. Velasquez allegedly shot at a vehicle containing three people including a man, Harry Eugene Goularte, who is accused of a lewd and lascivious act with a child under the age of 14 in Velasquez’s family. Goularte was not shot but his stepfather was wounded in the shooting and treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Velasquez’s attorney Mark Geragos stated that his client was willing to have an electronic monitoring device, and a supervisor at all times while accepting a bail figure of $1 million. Geragos argued that Velasquez could be suffering from traumatic brain injury and possibly CTE. Judge Brown turned down the request: (Transcription courtesy MMA Fighting):

This was such a reckless disregard for human life. In this case it is not just Mr. Goularte and his family. It is every single citizen who was in danger of being shot or rammed with the vehicle at the time of this seven mile chase.

So this court is not thinking of not only of Mr. Goularte and his family but this court is considering every single citizen in Santa Clara county who was in proximity to this alleged incident.

Velasquez is scheduled for a plea hearing on Friday, June 10th.

**UFC fighter Ashlee Evans-Smith has been suspended by USADA for fourteen months after a pair of out-of-competition urine tests detected an anabolic androgenic steroid in her system. The tests were submitted on January 3rd and January 27th with the suspension retroactive to the date of the first test, so she will be eligible to resume her career in March 2023. Evans-Smith, 34, has not competed since November 2020 and is coming off decision losses to Andrea Lee and Norma Dumont. In December 2014, she tested positive for a diuretic.

*****
POST DAILY NEWS: Ric Flair’s Last Match
John Pollock and Wai Ting are back to discuss Ric Flair’s in-ring return in July, a review of NJPW Capital Collision & Best of the Super Juniors.
*****
WRESTLENOMICS: Roman Reigns taking fewer dates
Brandon Thurston is joined by Jesse Collings this week to talk about Roman Reigns reportedly taking fewer dates with WWE and what effect that might have on business. NXT is returning to running house shows for the first time since early 2020.
*****
THE LONG & WINDING ROYAL ROAD: Stan Hansen vs. Vader (Feb. 10, 1990)
WH Park is joined by British Wrestling Experience’s Benno to talk about a legendary NJPW/AJPW match between Big Van Vader and Stan Hansen from February 10, 1990.
******
REWIND-A-SMACKDOWN
John Pollock & Wai Ting review AEW Rampage featuring Scorpio Sky vs. Frankie Kazarian for the TNT Championship, and WWE SmackDown featuring a tag title match between Naomi & Sasha Banks vs. Natalya & Shayna Baszler.
*****
*****
THE BRITISH WRESTLING EXPERIENCE: Progress Ch. 132/133, WWE Clash at the Castle
Martin Bushby, Andy Ogden & PWTorch’s Will Cooling talk the latest with WWE Clash At The Castle. Plus, reviews of Progress Ch. 132/133 and RevPro Unfinished Business.
******
REWIND-A-DYNAMITE: Hardy vs. Allin, MJF’s homecoming
John Pollock & Wai Ting review AEW Dynamite featuring MJF’s Long Island homecoming, an INSANE Jeff Hardy vs. Darby Allin “Anything Goes” main event, and much, much more.
*****

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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.