POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: Forbidden Door buys, UFC Hall of Fame review

A report on Forbidden Door buys, UFC Hall of Fame review, injury on GCW show, UFC 276 preview, Blood & Guts number in Canada, and more.

Photo Courtesy: AEW

POST IT NOTES

**Rewind-A-SmackDown is live at 11 p.m. ET tonight as Wai Ting and I will review SmackDown, AEW Rampage, and preview Money in the Bank for Saturday night. We will also be taking your calls on the show. All POST Wrestling Café members can stream the show live and call in with the info that is sent out earlier in the day and the show will be available on the Café podcast feed later tonight.

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**Wai Ting and I will be back Saturday night with the Money in the Bank POST Show streaming live on the POST YouTube channel minutes after the pay-per-view ends. On Sunday, Eric Marcotte & Phil Chertok will be live at 2 p.m. ET with their UFC 276 POST Show to wrap up the card from the night prior. Plus, Wrestlenomics Radio will be released on Sunday with Brandon Thurston and Chris Gullo.

**Eric Marcotte will have a report on the PFL event tonight featuring Kayla Harrison vs. Kaitlin Young.

POST DAILY NEWS SHOW

Wai Ting and Kate from Montreal discuss:
– AEW Blood & Guts numbers
– Forbidden Door buys, per Wrestlenomics
– Logan Paul signs with WWE
– Jeff Hardy pleads not guilty
– Alan Angels departs AEW
– NJPW injuries
– GCW match ends due to injury
– SmackDown & Rampage tonight

Audio version for POST Wrestling Café members.

WRESTLING NEWS

**Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics is reporting that the AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door event is estimated at approximately 127,000 buys worldwide based on the early indicators. It’s the same range being reported in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter with Dave Meltzer providing an estimate of 125-127,000. In Thurston’s reporting, he noted that 7,000 of those buys came from those in Japan buying the show on New Japan World (which subscribers had to pay in addition to their monthly subscription). Thurston estimates that AEW’s portion it will net (excluding tickets sold at movie theatres and sponsorships) will be around $4.4 million, which would be lower than its other pay-per-views this year but on par with Full Gear last November.

Going into the event given the numerous issues afflicting this show, I thought that 115,000 buys was the barometer and anything above it would have to be viewed successfully and they cleared that mark. If you had announced this show last fall and then added the caveat that you’d be doing an AEW and NJPW branded event without CM Punk, Kenny Omega, Bryan Danielson, and Kota Ibushi, it is a feather in their cap that this show did as well as it did. The concept was obviously enticing from the immediate demand for tickets – although, this was a case where the television promotion and injuries hampered interest with tickets as low as $4 the day of the event on StubHub. That aside, the arena was full, and it was a super-heated crowd that ended up seeing a strong candidate for ‘show of the year’.

The next experiment on pay-per-view is July 23rd where Ring of Honor will hold an event without the superior branding of AEW but will feature talent all over AEW programming. The Tsongas Center in Lowell, Massachusetts holds over 6,000 people, so they aren’t being conservative with the lesser brand. They only have three weeks to promote this card and I can’t imagine anyone expecting this to do near the level of business of even a lower-end AEW show.

**Friday Night SmackDown is live from Phoenix, Arizona at the Footprint Center on the eve of Money in the Bank. WWE isn’t advertising Roman Reigns or Ronda Rousey for tonight’s go-home show, and it’s not a week that makes sense to have Reigns on the program. They are pushing the idea that Reigns and Brock Lesnar will destroy one another at SummerSlam and the winner will be prone to a cash-in.

The men’s ladder match has six participants confirmed with Drew McIntyre, Sheamus, Sami Zayn, Riddle, Omos, and Seth Rollins. The one empty spot was scheduled for the winner of Kevin Owens vs. Ezekiel, which never happened on Raw after it was reported Owens had a minor injury he was dealing with. In theory, that spot will either be filled tonight or left open-ended for Saturday night and a surprise. The women’s match will feature Lacey Evans, Alexa Bliss, Liv Morgan, Raquel Rodriguez, Shotzi, Asuka, and Becky Lynch. It would make sense to have that match either open the pay-per-view or at least take place prior to both women’s title matches to tease the cash-in.

SmackDown will feature all participants for the ladder matches appearing on the show and has been the focus of the advertising throughout the week. They have announced the following matches for tonight:
*Raquel Rodriguez, Lacey Evans & Shotzi vs. Alexa Bliss, Liv Morgan & Asuka
*Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods vs. Viking Raiders

WrestleTix reports over 6,600 tickets have been distributed for tonight’s SmackDown with less than 600 tickets remaining for the set-up inside the arena.

**After Saturday’s Money in the Bank show, there will be a house show the following day in Tucson, Arizona. They are advertising Bianca Belair vs. Becky Lynch vs. Asuka for the Raw Women’s Championship and Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus in a Street Fight.

**AEW Rampage airs at 10 p.m. ET tonight with the following taped matches from Detroit:
*20-Man Rampage Rumble: Hangman Page, John Silver, Orange Cassidy, Rush, Frankie Kazarian, Ricky Starks, Powerhouse Hobbs, Keith Lee, Konosuke Takeshita, Penta Oscuro, Swerve Strickland, Darby Allin, The Butcher & The Blade, Max Caster, Matt Hardy, Dante Martin, Brody King, Dustin Rhodes, & Tony Nese
*Non-Title Match: The Young Bucks vs. Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI
*Toni Storm vs. Nyla Rose

**Game Changer Wrestling presents Gateway to Death at Pop’s Nightclub in Sauget, Illinois tonight and streaming at 9 p.m. ET on Fite TV. The card features Joey Janela vs. Davey Richards, Alex Colon vs. Cole Radrick, 2 Cold Scorpio vs. Allie Katch, Blake Christian vs. Gringo Loco, Ninja Mack vs. Axton Ray, Jordan Oliver vs. Dark Sheik, Tony Deppen vs. Nick Wayne, Effy vs. Delirious, and a Trios match with Jimmy Lloyd, Ciclope & Miedo Extremo vs. Second Gear Crew.

**The major news from Thursday’s GCW Dead on Arrival card was the injury sustained by Hoodfoot, who suffered a nasty cut from a light tube during his match with SLADE. The two squared off with SLADE breaking a light tube in half and handing one piece to Hoodfoot and they proceeded to stab each other. Hoodfoot suffered a major wound to his left arm and it was so bad that promoter Brett Lauderdale came down to the ringside area and the match was called off.

While most fans will be numb to the physical limits being pushed on a weekly basis, there is an irrational level of injuries we are seeing. Given the nature of the job, some are unpreventable, but this is not one and while the injury rate we’re witnessing will cool down, the risks will not, and the bar is constantly going higher and higher. Even if the number of injuries subsides, there are going to be stunts that go awry that have severe consequences and I don’t know how many people want to think about that, address it, or believe it’s anything more than pearl-clutching but I think it’s a dangerous level where wrestlers are being viewed closer to machines with an infinite battery life that is trying to stand out amongst the loaded sea of wrestlers that perform nightly.

**IMPACT is back with its Against All Odds special at Center Stage in Atlanta tonight and streaming on Fite TV and IMPACT Plus. It’s their follow-up show coming out of Slammiversary two weeks ago and has a very good lineup consisting of Josh Alexander vs. Joe Doering for the IMPACT Championship, Speedball Mike Bailey vs. Trey Miguel for the X Division Championship, Moose vs. Sami Callihan in a Clockwork Orange House of Fun Match, Jordynne Grace vs. Tasha Steelz for the Knockout’s Championship, Chelsea Green & Deonna Purrazzo vs. Mia Yim & Mickie James, Rosemary & Taya Valkyrie vs. Gisele Shaw & Tenille Dashwood for the Knockout’s tag titles, Motor City Machine Guns vs. Chris Bey & Ace Austin, and a ten-man tag with The Good Brothers, Heath & America’s Most Wanted facing Honor No More. The pre-show at 7:30 p.m. ET will feature Rich Swann vs. Brian Myers for the Digital Media title and Black Taurus vs. Laredo Kid.

**AEW’s Blood & Guts did a very strong number in Canada with 161,000 viewers and 93,900 in the 25-54 demographic (which is the main demo for Canadian viewership). Over the eight previous episodes since May 4th, Dynamite averaged 81,000 viewers in Canada, and this was their most-watched episode in the country since December 1, 2021. In a coincidence, the first version of Blood & Guts in May 2021 also averaged 161,000 viewers. For this week, Dynamite edged out Raw in the 25-54 demo (93,900 to 93,500) but Raw was higher in overall viewers (185,400 to 161,000).

**Denise Salcedo interviewed Rocky Romero and spoke about the details of New Japan working with AEW and putting Forbidden Door together:

The initial part of the negotiation was fairly easy, and just working out details from there. Both sides were pretty giving because they wanted to make it work. Obviously, there is a huge potential for business, so once we got done with that part, we moved onto creative. That’s where it got difficult due to scheduling, other things, injuries, and everything else that came down the pipe line….so then it got even more difficult.. Finally in the last 24 hours or so, Hiromu got the fever, couldn’t come, couldn’t make the plane ride and then it was like ‘this is crazy.’ Everybody was saying ‘this show is cursed’ and then I started to feel like ‘this show is cursed {laughs}, something bad is gonna happen. ‘ And then it goes without a hitch the day of. It felt really good, for an event that I feel had a lot of mixed emotions, everybody seemed to have an opinion on the show, and a lot of people were saying ‘oh this will never do well,’ then the sell out happened, pay-per-view numbers so far have been really really good, and like 15,000+ people showed up to the United Center.  Not a bad night for a show that was supposedly cursed, and wouldn’t do good business. Thanks to all the haters for hating on it. {laughs} It also helped promote the show, that’s the funny thing, everybody having an opinion on the show and saying how it wouldn’t work got people talking about it….

In the interview, Romero teased that FTR could appear in Nashville later this month as part of the Starrcast event going on. He also said that they are planning to run a pay-per-view in October on the East Coast.

**Alan Angels, who recently confirmed his deal with AEW has expired, will be facing Anthony Henry at Unchartered Territory on Monday, July 11th at 8 p.m. ET streaming live on IWTV.

**New Japan Pro Wrestling is hosting a business strategy presentation next Thursday and will broadcast it on YouTube. It will take place from the Hikosen Theatre in Tokyo at 3 p.m. local time (late Wednesday/early Thursday at 2 a.m. ET).

**DEFY Wrestling is running Washington Hall in Seattle on July 16th & 17th. The first night will include The Bollywood Boyz defending the DEFY tag titles against Eddie Kingston & SCHAFF and Midnight Heat in a triple threat, Davey Richards vs. Konosuke Takeshita, and Swerve Strickland will be part of both shows.

UFC HALL OF FAME

UFC presented its Hall of Fame ceremony on Thursday from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The 2022 class was led by the inductions of Khabib Nurmagomedov and Daniel Cormier into the Modern Wing along with Cub Swanson vs. Dooho Choi into the Fight Wing for their classic at UFC 206 in Toronto. The promotion also awarded the Forrest Griffin Community Award for the past two years with the 2021 award to Max Holloway and 2022 to Giga Chikadze.

Nurmagomedov spoke at length and had a free-flowing recollection of events in his life, paying tribute to his father who died two years ago, coming to the U.S. and joining AKA, his mentality of having multiple opponent switches at UFC 223 when he won the lightweight title, and a very vivid memory when retelling these stories. He said ten years ago he had a different mindset about becoming rich and buying material things and now it is much different. He put a lot of emphasis on Islam Machachev as his successor and represents the legacy of his father, Abdulmanap, who passed in July 2020 and was difficult for Nurmagomedov to speak about. Nurmagomedov isolated coach Javier Mendez as one person who should be in the Hall of Fame given the number of champions the gym had throughout the 2010s between Cain Velasquez, Daniel Cormier, Luke Rockhold, and himself.

At 33, the notion of Nurmagomedov fighting again will exist for many years and you can only imagine the money he has been offered for another fight with Conor McGregor or chasing 30-0 against any top lightweight. He seems completely at ease with his legacy and career and has given no hint of ever fighting again but he is young enough that you can’t shut the door and even he explained how he changed over the past ten years and people can switch stances.

Daniel Cormier was incredible in paying tribute to his late parents, who he was choked up when addressing and outlining how hard they worked to make ends meet when he was young and giving him the strength to overcome significant hardships in his life. He pledged his support to Cain Velasquez, stating the heavyweight never viewed him as competition when Cormier joined AKA and was always there for him, just like he will be there for Cain now. He thanked Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta and brought up how they paid him $1 million for a fight he lost (the first fight with Jon Jones in January 2015) and it changed his life. It was cool to see Cormier go out of his way to thank Ariel Helwani, who he is very tight with but has been persona non grata on any type of UFC production for the past six years. Helwani was in the building watching the ceremony. Earlier in the show, Cormier was interviewed by Megan Olivi and said the top moment of his career was winning the heavyweight championship from Stipe Miocic in July 2018.

During his speech, he alluded to the post-match showdown with Brock Lesnar inside the cage after he beat Miocic and pretty much said that the two had the whole bit planned out (without a signed deal for Lesnar, so the fight never happened). The funniest part of the speech was Cormier finally acknowledging that he held the towel at UFC 210 when he was above the weight limit for his title defense against Anthony Johnson in Buffalo. By holding the towel, he made the weight and beat Johnson the next night.

Cub Swanson also gave a great speech and seemed incredibly honored to have his couple of minutes on the stage. He went through the key people that helped him throughout his career including TUF season two winner Joe Stevenson, who responded to an e-mail Swanson sent a month prior and told him to come train with his team. Dooho Choi didn’t attend the event but sent in a speech that they aired and said people would see the 2.0 version of Choi and he has improved since that last fight and added that the award probably means more to Swanson, who won that night. The fight was a war and the reality is that Choi has only fought twice since it happened with two losses and last competed in December 2019.

MMA NEWS

**All fighters made weight on Friday for UFC 276, which goes down on Saturday night from the T-Mobile Arena and will mark the company’s 18th consecutive sell-out. While it isn’t a blockbuster card to the level of past International Fight Week cards, the brand is red hot, Israel Adesanya is growing in popularity, and there has a been good amount of buzz for the card throughout the week and the return of IFW.

Jared Cannonier is not a major name but at 38 years old, this is his one shot at a championship. Adesanya’s lone blemish was when he moved up to light heavyweight and fought a much larger Jan Blachowicz. While Cannonier competed in heavier weight classes, it’s hard to imagine anything meaningful to equate to the Blachowicz fight. Cannonier has power but rushing at Adesanya could prove detrimental. Adesanya did a strong job at the press conference of setting up the Sean Strickland vs. Alex Pereira winner as his next opponent and seems to be the direct purpose of placing the two on this main card.

For me, the most intriguing fight is the third one between Alexander Volkanovski and Max Holloway, who are hands down the top featherweights in the world and it is the slimmest of margins that separate them. Volkanovski holds two decision wins against Holloway from December 2019 and July 2020 and remains undefeated in the UFC. I watched both fights this week and had the same scores I did the night of the fights with Volkanovski winning both fights 48-47. There were obvious changes Holloway made between the first and second fight – coming on late in the first fight and starting off strong in the second bout. Holloway cannot be caught fighting Volkanovski’s style of a fight but that is so easier said and done and makes Volkanovski so tricky. The version of Holloway that fought Calvin Kattar in January 2021 beats any featherweight in the world in my opinion, but it was a game of nonstop volume with Holloway’s incredible pressure once he’s unloading and does not tire. Volkanovski sets so many traps and it is chess at its finest when watching others try to gain any advantage on him. The closer fight was the second and many believe Holloway won the second fight – so, do you make larger-scale changes when it was razor-close? Or, do you go for broke and blow everything up to seek a better result knowing a fourth fight will be difficult to come by?

The card also features veterans Robbie Lawler, Jim Miller, and Donald Cerrone, who have a total of 99 fights in the UFC between them. Lawler has been moved to the main card for his fight with Bryan Barberena while Miller vs. Cerrone will air on the prelims. What’s notable, is that both ABC & ESPN will be carrying the prelims from 8-10 p.m. ET and airing against Money in the Bank and should be among the largest television audiences for a UFC broadcast this year given the combined coverage.

There are several rising fighters being placed against veterans with the examples of Sean O’Malley vs. Pedro Munhoz, Andre Muniz vs. Uriah Hall, and Maycee Barber vs. Jessica Eye as a litmus test to see where the younger stars are at development-wise. Of the three, O’Malley appears to have the largest upside given his fanbase, personality, and fighting style but Munhoz is his biggest test since fighting Marlon Vera.

Overall, this is a great card, and Eric Marcotte & I have a preview of UFC 276 from Thursday’s show.

MAIN CARD (10 p.m. ET on pay-per-view)

*UFC Middleweight Championship: Israel Adesanya (champion) vs. Jared Cannonier
*UFC Featherweight Championship: Alexander Volkanovski (champion) vs. Max Holloway
*Middleweight: Sean Strickland vs. Alex Pereira
*Welterweight: Robbie Lawler vs. Bryan Barberena
*Bantamweight: Sean O’Malley vs. Pedro Munhoz

PRELIMINARY CARD (8 p.m. ET on ESPN, ESPN+ & ABC)
*Lightweight: Brad Riddell vs. Jalin Turner
*Welterweight: Ian Garry vs. Gabriel Green
*Welterweight: Donald Cerrone vs. Jim Miller
*Middleweight: Dricus du Plessis vs. Brad Tavares

EARLY PRELIMS (6:30 p.m. ET on ESPN+, Fight Pass)
*Middleweight: Uriah Hall vs. Andre Muniz
*Flyweight: Maycee Barber vs. Jessica Eye
*Bantamweight: Jessica Rose-Clark vs. Julija Stoliarenko

**The PFL has a card from Atlanta tonight at the Overtime Elite Arena (which is five minutes away from Center Stage where IMPACT’s Against All Odds is taking place tonight). The main card airs on both ESPN & ESPN+ and features Kayla Harrison’s first fight of the new season and her new contract with the group. Harrison was scheduled to fight former Bellator champion Julia Budd, but she was replaced by veteran Kaitlin Young, who is a throwback to the first generation of female MMA fighters. Young, 36, has a 12-12-1 record and will be a sizable underdog against the undefeated Harrison, who is the star of the promotion. Young once fought Gina Carano on CBS in May 2008 when Elite XC debuted on the network. The rest of the card features fights involving the men’s lightweight and women’s lightweight tournaments with the following card with their current points in brackets:

MAIN CARD (8 p.m. ET on ESPN & ESPN+)
*Kayla Harrison (3) vs. Kaitlin Young (0)
*Rory MacDonald (6) vs. Sadibou Sy (3)
*Ray Cooper III (-1) vs. Brett Cooper (0)
*Magomed Magomedkerimov (0) vs. Dilano Taylor (3)
*Larissa Pacheco (6) vs. Genah Fabian (-1)
*Jarrah Al Silawi (3) vs. Magomed Umalatov (0)

PRELIMINARY CARD (6 p.m. ET on ESPN+)
*Marina Mokhnatkina (0) vs. Abigail Montes (0)
*Zamzagul Fayzallanova (0) vs. Martina Jindrova (3)
*Vanessa Melo (0) vs. Olena Kolesnyk (3)

After tonight’s card, the PFL is off for the rest of the month and return with cards on August 5th, August 12th, and August 20th before the finals in November.

**Episode 5 of UFC Embedded prior to UFC 276.

ON THIS DATE

Jeff Hardy challenges The Undertaker for the WWE Undisputed Championship on Raw in a match that was played up significantly in 2002 in an attempt to establish Hardy for a singles run:

Harley Race defends the NWA World Championship against former champion Terry Funk in 1977 at the Sam Houston Coliseum in Houston:

Kenta Kobashi faces Toshiaki Kawada in 1989 on the first night of the Asunaro Cup, which was shortly after Kobashi won his first match:

*****
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Wai Ting is joined by Kate from MTL to discuss ratings for AEW Blood & Guts, Forbidden Door PPV buys, Logan Paul signing with WWE, Jeff Hardy, and more.
*****
MCU L8R: Ms. Marvel Ep. 4 w/ Karen Peterson
Wai Ting & WH Park are joined by Karen Peterson to review Marvel Studios’ Ms. Marvel – Episode 4: “Seeing Red”.
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John Pollock & Wai Ting review AEW Blood & Guts as the Jericho Appreciation Society takes on the Blackpool Combat Club inside the double cage.
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SHOT IN THE DARK: Fred Rosser wins Strong Title
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*****
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.
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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.
*****
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.
*****

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About John Pollock 5663 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.