POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: MMA fighter signs with WWE, The Undertaker bio, UFC Hall of Fame class

A&E Biography on The Undertaker set for July, Blood & Guts preview, Bellator fighter signs with WWE, UFC's Hall of Fame class & more.

Photo courtesy: WWE

POST IT NOTES

**Rewind-A-Dynamite is live at 10:05 p.m. ET tonight with Wai Ting and I reviewing AEW’s Blood & Guts from Detroit. We will also go over plans for the summer on the POST Wrestling Café, adjustments to our schedule, and more. The show is live on the POST YouTube channel and available to download on your podcast app by subscribing to POST Wrestling.

**Rewind-A-Wai #113 is out for POST Wrestling Café members as we review TNA Destination X from July 2012. The show is headlined by Austin Aries invoking “Option C” to challenge Bobby Roode for the TNA Championship and includes a tremendous Last Man Standing match between AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels in the middle of the Claire Lynch saga, Kurt Angle takes on Samoa Joe in the Bound for Glory Series, and an Ultimate X match for the vacant X Division Championship. We will also discuss the news from that week in 2021 including Kenny King leaving Ring of Honor for TNA, the G1 Climax Blocks, WWE getting set for Raw 1000 and moving to three hours, Ric Flair taking independent dates, John Laurinaitis’ power in WWE, AJ Styles’ timeline for his in-ring career in 2012, and more.

**Braden Herrington & Davie Portman review Tuesday’s edition of NXT 2.0 on upNXT.

**POST Wrestling’s Eric Marcotte will join me on Thursday on the Daily News Show to chat UFC 276.

POST DAILY NEWS SHOW

– WWE & AEW TV ratings for SmackDown, Rampage & Raw
– NXT 2.0 on Tuesday
– Great Amercian Bash card
– AEW Blood & Guts preview
– UFC Hall of Fame inductees

Audio version for POST Wrestling Café members.

WRESTLING NEWS

**ESPN reports that Bellator fighter Valerie Loureda has officially signed a multi-year deal with WWE. Marc Raimondi of ESPN reports that Loureda will report to the WWE Performance Center while still remaining under contract to Bellator. Loureda was initially hesitant on this direction for her career but was brought out to WrestleMania and that led to a tryout later that month. Loureda, 23, trained at American Top Team and made her pro debut in 2019 with all her fights under the Bellator banner. She has a 4-1 record and competed last November where she earned a split decision against Taylor Turner at Bellator 271.

**AEW will present its second version of Blood & Guts from the Little Caesar’s Arena in the promotion’s debut in Detroit. WrestleTix reports that nearly 10,300 tickets been distributed and will be among AEW’s highest attendances for Dynamite/Rampage. So far, there are three matches announced with Blood & Guts likely to take up the bulk of the show with the 6-on-6 match.

Dynamite is free of NHL & NBA playoff competition for the first week since April 13th and is coming off its Forbidden Door pay-per-view with a major match, so there is a lot working in Dynamite’s favor. While they don’t return to pay-per-view until September 4th, there is the Ring of Honor pay-per-view next month with several angles already in play that theoretically, will lead into the card on July 23rd.

Below is the lineup for tonight’s show at 8 p.m. ET on TBS:
*Blood & Guts: Jon Moxley, Eddie Kingston, Claudio Castagnoli, Santana, Ortiz & Wheeler Yuta vs. Chris Jericho, Jake Hager, Sammy Guevara, Matt Menard, Angelo Parker & Daniel Garcia
*TBS Championship: Jade Cargill (champion) vs. Leila Grey
*Ethan Page vs. Orange Cassidy
*Christian Cage speaks

**Over the past four weeks against NBA & NHL competition, Dynamite has averaged 887,000 viewers and 428,000 in 18-49. Prior to the playoffs, Dynamite averaged 998,000 viewers and 501,000 in 18-49 between March 23rd and April 13th, which were the four episodes before playoff season began. Overall, Dynamite held up well against the playoffs with the notable exception of June 15th, which was a night when television viewership was down overall but also coincided with a bad number on Rampage two nights later. By its standards, Rampage has performed poorly the last two weeks with two of its lowest numbers ever in the regular time slot.

**The next series of WWE editions of A&E Biography will begin with a two-hour special on The Undertaker. The documentary is set to air on Sunday, July 10th, and will be part of a 3 ½ block of WWE programming each Sunday night on the network with a new edition of Biography, WWE Rivals, and Smack Talk.

**From those we heard from, Paul Levesque was not at the NXT 2.0 tapings on Tuesday and it was the regular crew running things. Levesque appeared at the Performance Center last week and gave a speech where he noted that he was “back” and looked forward to working with those he hadn’t had the chance to prior and hinted at something exciting coming up, which was why he was down there. It is unknown what the extent of his being “back” entails.

**Tuesday’s episode of NXT 2.0 set up the card for next week’s Great American Bash with six matches announced for next week’s program. The closing angle was a face-to-face segment with Bron Breakker and Cameron Grimes that led to Breakker being injured after being thrown into the turnbuckle. It felt like they were drawing on the same reaction for Cody Rhodes against Seth Rollins where the champion will go into the title match with an injured arm or shoulder. The segment was very good, and Grimes cut a great promo stating professional wrestling was Breakker’s “backup plan” after he couldn’t cut it in football. Grimes added that he’s the one with everything to lose after dropping the North American Championship and will be out of chances if he doesn’t win the NXT title while Breakker would get called up to Raw or SmackDown if he lost the title and probably ends up on SummerSlam. The final shot was stating that Breakker doesn’t have any heart just like his father, who was never a world champion. It was a great segment and it feels like a real main event world title match next week with each fighting for something.

The card will feature Bron Breakker vs. Cameron Grimes for the NXT Championship along with Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne vs. Roxanne Perez & Cora Jade for the women’s tag titles, Carmelo Hayes vs. Grayson Waller for the North American Championship, The Creed Brothers vs. Roderick Strong & Damon Kemp for the NXT tag titles, Trik Williams vs. Wes Lee, and Tiffany Stratton vs. Wendy Choo.

**Queen Aminata will take on Masha Slamovich at Terminus 3 on Thursday, July 21st at the Oasis Event Center in Atlanta. It’s the first match announcement for the event, which follows previous shows after Terminus was launched by Jonathan Gresham & Baron Black earlier this year.

**BetOnline has released the following odds for Money in the Bank this Saturday:
*Bianca Belair (-1400) vs. Carmella (+550)
*Ronda Rousey (-1400) vs. Natalya (+550)
*The Usos (-400) vs. The Street Profits (+250)
*Theory (-200) vs. Bobby Lashley (+140)

**The WWE stock closed at $61.02 on Wednesday.

MMA NEWS

**The 2022 UFC Hall of Fame ceremony takes place Thursday night at 10:30 p.m. ET streaming on Fight Pass as part of International Fight Week. The smaller class will see Daniel Cormier and Khabib Nurmagomedov inducted as members of the Modern Wing while the Fight Wing will add Cub Swanson vs. Dooho Choi from UFC 206 in December 2016. They will also present the Forrest Griffin Community Award to Max Holloway for 2021 and Giga Chikadze for 2022. This year, there are no Pioneer or Contributor inductions.

Daniel Cormier is among the most credentialed athletes in UFC history, who entered the sport after representing the U.S. at two Olympics in 2004 in Athens and 2008 in Beijing. Cormier finished fourth in Athens and failed to compete in Beijing after his kidneys shut down due to his weight cut. Cormier came up through Oklahoma State as a Division I wrestler at 184 pounds where he became an All-American and placed second to Cael Sanderson in the NCAA Championship that year. Sanderson was a phenom that won four NCAA Division titles at two weight classes between 1999-2002 moving up to 197 pounds for his final year.

Cormier transitioned to MMA after linking up with Bob Cook and American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) as MMA was red hot. There were factors working against Cormier who didn’t have his first pro fight until the age of 30 and entered the sport without any significant striking experience, which is remarkable given how the sport was evolving and Cormier’s adaptation into a striker to complement his wrestling.

Due to the pipeline between AKA and Strikeforce, he began his career on the Challengers cards and would fight five times in 2010. His break came in 2011 as he won the right to be the alternate in Strikeforce’s Heavyweight Grand Prix. An injury to Alistair Overeem opened the door for Cormier to enter the Grand Prix where he scored the biggest win of his career up to that point, stopping Antonio “Big Foot” Silva and going on to beat Josh Barnett in the finals.

After Strikeforce was purchased by Zuffa in 2011, the promotion ran for another two years before folding and Cormier was brought into the UFC’s heavyweight division. He beat former champion Frank Mir in his promotional debut and followed with a decision win against Roy Nelson before opting to cut down to light heavyweight. Cormier was better suited at heavyweight but his teammate Cain Velasquez was the champion and there was no path to a title fight at heavyweight given that relationship.

The story of Daniel Cormier’s fighting career will always be linked with Jon Jones, a relationship that got off to a bad start when Cormier believed he was snubbed by the young phenom at a public event and the two had bad blood from the beginning. Their first fight in January 2015 was a huge deal and was a competitive fight that Jones secured a decision in. Jones’ issues outside of the cage have plagued his career and after a hit-and-run incident in Albuquerque that year, he was stripped of the title which led to Cormier winning the championship beating Anthony Johnson despite an early knockdown in the contest. Cormier would defend the title against Alexander Gustafsson that year in a fight Cormier has called the toughest of his career and was an all-time great fight.

Cormier had to battle in the shadow of Jones, who fans believed was the true champion at light heavyweight and Cormier was only second best. Their rematch was scheduled for UFC 200 in July 2016, the biggest card in the company’s history, and the main event fell apart in the days leading into the card when Jones failed his pre-fight drug test. Cormier accepted a late replacement in Anderson Silva but lost out on the chance to headline the event with those honors going to Miesha Tate and Amanda Nunes, although the biggest star on the card was Brock Lesnar returning to fight Mark Hunt.

Cormier and Jones would finally have their rematch in July 2017 after Jones’ suspension expired. Jones landed a perfectly timed head kick to knock out Cormier and seemingly end the dispute. However, weeks later, Jones failed another drug test and the fight was changed to a no-contest and per the regulations in California, the title was returned to Cormier.

The public was tired of Jones’ issues that were affecting his career and by this time, Cormier was seen in a different light. It was his move back to heavyweight that cemented his legacy, beating Stipe Miocic in July 2018 to become a two-division champion and was the undisputed champion at heavyweight beating one of the greatest heavyweights of all time. In their two rematches, Miocic regained and defended the title against Cormier, which brought his career to an end in 2020.

Outside of the cage, Cormier is regarded as one of the great ambassadors of the sport that will likely have a job with the UFC as long as he wants to serve as an analyst on broadcasts. He overcame tragedy in his life with the loss of a child and professional shortcomings including the weight-cutting episode at the Olympics and has been a model representative for the sport and a Hall of Fame candidate that was guaranteed for inclusion.

Khabib Nurmagomedov is another slam dunk candidate for any MMA Hall of Fame after retiring undefeated at 29-0 following his win against Justin Gaethje in September 2020.

As a 16-0 fighter at the age of 23, he made his UFC debut. Throughout 2010 and 2011, he competed at welterweight before moving back to 155 pounds when he joined the UFC. Nurmagomedov went on a tear and opened a lot of eyes when he dismantled Abel Trujillo in May 2013 at UFC 160 with slam after slam as he dominated the fight. He followed that by beating the ultra-tough Pat Healy and then beating future champion Rafael dos Anjos before a debilitating rib injury sidelined Nurmagomedov for two years.

The injury severely slowed down his race toward a title fight but he returned in April 2016 securing wins against Darrell Horcher, Michael Johnson, and total annihilation of Edson Barboza at the end of 2017 to put him in line for his first title fight after nine fights in the UFC.

Nurmagomedov was scheduled to fight Tony Ferguson for the belt in April 2018 but the champion suffered a knee injury the week of the fight. He was replaced by Max Holloway, who was the featherweight champion at the time and was going to move up to 155 to take the fight. At weigh-ins, Holloway was declared medically unfit which led to Al Iaquinta taking the last minute and was the second opponent change in a week for Nurmagomedov.

Nurmagomedov won the vacant lightweight title that night and would fight Conor McGregor in October at UFC 228 in the biggest MMA event of all time. The card featured one of the nastiest promotional build-ups with McGregor’s statements about Nurmagomedov and led to an extremely tense scene that night and ultimately led to a post-fight brawl that was a low point for the UFC in terms of perception and actions carried out by the company. The fight reportedly drew 2.4 million buys and is an astronomical figure that will be difficult to break.

Despite plenty of prodding by Dana White, Nurmagomedov showed no interest in granting McGregor a rematch despite the millions of dollars that a rematch would generate for each fighter.

He ended his career with solid victories against Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje and retired at 29-0 to focus on coaching his other fighters and purchased the Russian-based Gorilla Fighting Championship promotion and renamed it Eagle FC, which expanded with cards into the United States last year.

While there will always be the debate over the greatest of all time, Nurmagomedov will be viewed by most if not all as the greatest lightweight in MMA history.

**Episode 3 of UFC Embedded going into UFC 276 this Saturday night.

*****
POST DAILY NEWS: AEW Blood & Guts preview, NXT 2.0, TV ratings
John Pollock & Wai Ting are back to discuss WWE Raw, SD and Rampage ratings, NXT 2.0 and tonight’s AEW Blood & Guts.
*****
upNXT: Shoulder Breakker
Braden Herrington and Davie Portman review WWE NXT from June 28th, 2022 headlined by Bron Breakker and Cameron Grimes in a Face To Face ahead of their NXT Championship match next week at the Great American Bash.
*****
REWIND-A-WAI #113: TNA Destination X 2012
John Pollock & Wai Ting review TNA Destination X 2012 as former X-Division champion Austin Aries selects “Option C” to challenge Bobby Roode for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.
*****
POST DAILY NEWS: Vince McMahon-Rita Chatterton abuse allegations (w/ David Bixenspan)
John Pollock & Wai Ting are joined by reporter David Bixenspan to discuss New York Magazine’s story about former WWE referee Rita Chatterton’s allegations of sexual abuse involving Vince McMahon.
*****
REWIND-A-RAW: 20 Years of Cena
John Pollock & Wai Ting review WWE Raw featuring the return of John Cena as he celebrates the 20-year anniversary of his debut. Plus, Last Chance MITB Qualifying Matches and an update from Cody Rhodes.
*****
AEW x NJPW FORBIDDEN DOOR POST SHOW
John Pollock & Wai Ting review AEWxNJPW Forbidden Door featuring Jon Moxley vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi for the Interim AEW Championship.
*****
WRESTLENOMICS: Vince McMahon scandal affects ratings, stock
Brandon Thurston and Chris Gullo discuss how WWE’s stock and TV ratings have been affected since the Wall Street Journal report on the scandal surrounding Vince McMahon. Plus, Tony Khan’s comments ahead of an injury-afflicted Forbidden Door pay-per-view.
*****
THE N.W.A. PODCAST: “Summer Madness”
“The Godfather” Nate Milton, “The Professor” Kris Ealy, and “The Youngest In Charge” Andrew Thompson return to give their thoughts on several of the season’s biggest stories! Rich Fann (PW Torch) joins.
*****
POST PURORESU: CyberFight Festival, Forbidden Door Preview
WH Park is joined by Karen Peterson to talk about CyberFight Festival, AEWxNJPW Forbidden Door, NJPW Dominion and G1 Climax.
*****

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About John Pollock 3973 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.