POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: Simone Johnson’s big spotlight, CM Punk’s birthday

Photo Courtesy: WWE

POST IT NOTES

**Rewind-A-Dynamite is live at 10 p.m. ET tonight at YouTube.com/POSTwrestling. Wai Ting and I will be discussing the news of the day with Andrew Thompson and then, we will have a review of Dynamite from Norfolk and take your questions & feedback.

**The October edition of the ASK-A-WAI Mailbag Show is available now for POST Wrestling Café members as Wai and I empty the mailbag and answer all your questions. This month’s topics include the WWWF’s relationship with NWA under Vince McMahon Sr., the progression of the “four pillars” of AEW over the past year, Tony Khan’s interview with Ariel Helwani, WWE talent that has been hurt since the regime shift, Halloween costumes, Halloween movies, time travel & more. Questions can be submitted throughout the month in the thread on the POST Wrestling Forum.

**For those wanting to submit memories and messages for our five-year anniversary, you can submit them at memo.fm/postwrestling.

**A reminder that we have a master list cataloging all 118 editions of Rewind-A-Wai going back to December 2017 that is sorted in chronological order on the POST Wrestling Forum. Rewind-A-Wai comes out every other Tuesday for POST Wrestling Café members and we’ll be doing a live watch along next Tuesday night for the show.

**A preview of this week’s ASK-A-WAI Mailbag Show:

POST SCHEDULE

Tonight: Rewind-A-Dynamite with John Pollock & Wai Ting (10 p.m. ET)
Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown with John & Wai (11 p.m.)
Saturday: The N.W.A. Podcast with Nate Milton, Kris Ealy & Andrew Thompson
Sunday: Wrestlenomics Radio

WRESTLING NEWS

**AEW Dynamite is live from the Chartway Arena in Norfolk, Virginia tonight at 8 p.m. ET on TBS. As of Tuesday, WrestleTix reported just under 3,000 tickets distributed for the show (they are way down from last November when a Dynamite & Rampage taping drew 5,100 and 4,800 paid, per the Wrestling Observer Newsletter). It is a loaded lineup for Dynamite including the late addition of an AEW Championship match, which was added over the weekend on social media. With the World Series beginning on Friday, Dynamite avoids that competition and should allow the show to be right near the top of the cable chart tonight. Below are the announced matches and segments:
*AEW Championship: Jon Moxley (champion) vs. Penta El Zero M
*Chris Jericho & Daniel Garcia vs. Claudio Castagnoli & Wheeler Yuta
*Bryan Danielson vs. Sammy Guevara
*Jamie Hayter vs. Riho
*FTR vs. Swerve in Our Glory in a #1 contenders match
*MJF to speak

**Simone Johnson, the 21-year-old daughter of Dwayne Johnson, made her on-screen debut on Tuesday for NXT. Johnson, who was given the ring name Ava Raine earlier this year, is the newest member of The Schism, who had teased the reveal of a new member after several attacks by a hidden figure wearing a hoodie. Johnson cut a short promo identifying herself as Ava Raine and not conforming to people’s preconceived notions of her and calling The Schism her “family”. Of course, due to the lineage, the level of expectation and scrutiny is going to be accelerated for Johnson, who has been in the WWE system for years but didn’t appear on a live event until this past spring. They are promoting Johnson in the polar opposite fashion as they did with her father as rather than leaning into her lineage, they are giving her a different name and while a passing reference was made in her promo, it appears they don’t want her defining characteristic to be who her father is. Dwayne Johnson had a similar mentality when debuting in 1996 but instead, was given the name Rocky Maivia to put as much spotlight on his lineage. WWE has gone on different kicks throughout the years when it comes to families including Charlotte Flair going back and forth with and without the last name and doing her father’s mannerisms, Bron Breakker not being named Steiner but then attaching his father in storylines with his son, and renaming Bobby Steveson despite his brother being in the system under his real name. For Johnson, it’s the test that so many in this NXT system have to undergo where they are learning on national television and some accelerate at a rapid speed while many struggle when lacking experience and being limited to short matches on television with minimal live event opportunities. But the spotlight for Johnson is going to be huge as evidenced by the amount of non-wrestling media coverage her appearance received on Tuesday night including write-ups by People, Entertainment Tonight, New York Post, Fox News, and Sports Illustrated.

**Tony Khan appeared on Busted Open Radio on Wednesday to promote Dynamite and defended criticism of putting cold matches on television. Khan said that not every match needs an elaborate story behind it and singled out the criticism by Eric Bischoff regarding his matchmaking style. Khan called it hypocritical because Bischoff would often program Monday Nitro with plenty of random matches including Lucha matches and noted that it coincided with Nitro being at its best with an eclectic mix of styles and talents that didn’t always require a story. Khan added that sometimes a story can begin with a match and determine who is better and go from there with an audience that has only seen pro wrestling done one way for so long, referring to WWE.

**Sportsnet 360 aired a replay of Raw late Monday night at 2 a.m. ET averaged 35,000 viewers and 27,000 in the 25-54 demo. This aired hours after the live edition aired on OLN in Canada. The 2 a.m. edition of Raw compared with NXT’s live viewership on Tuesday night of 36,000 viewers and 12,000 in the demo on Sportsnet 360.

**The match to go out of your way to see today is the Ren Narita vs. Tomohiro Ishii one from Korakuen Hall. In many ways, this was a career-making match for Narita in the opening round of the TV Title tournament. The pace was incredible from the start and the cheering crowd added so much to the atmosphere and sense that it was a big night for Narita with the chants at the beginning.

**New Japan is back at Korakuen Hall on Thursday at 5:30 a.m. ET for another cheering event. The card will see the second round of the TV title tournament begin with Zack Sabre Jr. vs. David Finlay and YOSHI-HASHI vs. EVIL. The winners will advance and meet at Battle Autumn on 11/5.

**The other news from the New Japan show on Wednesday was Great Muta appearing and spitting green mist into the face of Great O-Khan. The mist led to Toru Yano rolling up O-Khan and advancing in the TV Title tournament. Afterward, Muta stated he wanted to team with Yano and Kazuchika Okada against a team with O-Khan at the Historic X-Over event on 11/20 at the Ariake Arena.

**DOUKI missed Wednesday’s New Japan card at Korakuen Hall due to a fever. He tested negative for COVID-19 but was kept off the card where he was scheduled to team with Taichi & El Desperado.

**WrestleTix reports that there are approximately 3,700 tickets out for the live edition of AEW Rampage this Friday in Uncasville, Connecticut at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

**NJPW Strong holds its Night Before Rumble on 44th Street card on Thursday night from The Palladium in Times Square. The card is a mystery show with no matches announced in advance and comes 24 hours before the Rumble on 44th Street pay-per-view that is headlined by Kazuchika Okada & Eddie Kingston taking on Jay White & Juice Robinson.

**CM Punk turns 44 years old today and remains out of action with his future in AEW unknown. The performer is rehabbing his latest injury, which he sustained during the match with Jon Moxley at All Out prior to the infamous press conference and subsequent backstage fight. Regardless of his visibility, Punk will continue to be one of the most discussed and debated figures in the industry in the months to come, and what his future holds in the industry. When it’s time to look back at the period between August 2021 and September 2022, it’s an incredible story of highs and lows for Punk’s AEW tenure that launched the company to its highest popularity point when he arrived, drove pay-per-view numbers to record levels, had an incredible string of matches, a memorable program with MJF, and then the downfall involving the Hangman Page promo, his broken foot that thwarted his first title reign, his call-out of Page when he returned, the growing dissension backstage and the powder keg exploding at All Out.

**The WWE stock closed at $78.84 on Wednesday.

**MLW will have several debuts at Fightland this Sunday in Philadelphia including Sam Adonis, Delirious, and Alec Price. The card is headlined by a Last Man Standing match between Alex Hammerstone and EJ Nduka for the MLW World Heavyweight title. The television tapings will be taking place from the 2300 Arena.

**Takumi Iroha has sustained a broken clavicle and as a result, she is off Pro Wrestling Eve’s Wrestle Queendom event on 11/13 in London, England.

**Superkick’d in Toronto is running “Zombie Wrestling” events on Thursday and Friday this week at The Great Hall (1087 Queen Street West).

**Warrior Wrestling has announced that Eddie Kingston will be part of their 12/17 card in Chicago Heights, Illinois.

MMA NEWS

**Bellator and Rizin held a press conference in Japan on Wednesday to formally announce the 12/31 card on New Year’s Eve which will include five inter-promotional fights. The Bellator representatives are all current or former champions with the following four of five fights confirmed:
*A.J. McKee (19-1) vs. Robert de Souza (14-1) – de Souza is the current Rizin lightweight champion
*Patricio “Pitbull” Freire (34-5) vs. Kleber Koike Erbst (31-5-1) – a fight between the Bellator and Rizin featherweight champions
*Kyoji Horiguchi (30-5) vs. Hiromasa Ougikubo (25-6-2)
*Juan Archuleta (26-4) vs. Kim Soo Chul (18-6-1)

The card will air on Showtime in the U.S. on 12/31 from the Saitama Super Arena and one more inter-promotional fight will be added with all the fights contested under Rizin’s rule set inside of a ring.

**Showtime Sports president Stephen Espinoza was interviewed by MMA Fighting to promote the fight between Jake Paul and Anderson Silva this Saturday. Espinoza stated that the fight is on track to be the biggest card that Paul has headlined (he said it wouldn’t be at the level of the Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. card two years ago, which Paul fought on), so they believe it would be ahead of the fights with Ben Askren and Tyron Woodley. The Showtime executive added that UFC has not been cooperative and noted they did not allow Showtime to use footage of any of Silva’s fights in the lead-up to this card on Saturday. The fight takes place Saturday night at the Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona.

**Anderson Silva has clarified comments he made last month regarding his sparring sessions preparing for Jake Paul. In an interview conducted by MMA Weekly on September 13th (which was only released this week), Silva stated he was knocked out twice during a sparring session preparing for Paul. Since the interview was released, Silva has commented and denied being knocked out in sparring and that he misspoke in the interview with MMA Weekly. In the MMA Fighting article, the outlet noted that the Arizona Gaming Department, which is overseeing this weekend’s fight, was looking into the matter.

**TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter noted that UFC light heavyweight champion Jiri Prochazka has been tested 24 times over the past month by USADA, which is an astounding figure. The second most-tested fighter over the same period has been tested seven times. Prochazka will defend the championship on 12/10 at UFC 282 in a rematch against Glover Teixeira.

**CTV spoke with lawyer and combat sports judge Erik Magraken about the issues surrounding the Nevada Athletic Commission sanctioning slap fighting. The commission gave the green light for the upstart Power Slap League which is backed by those including Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta. Magraken argues that slap fighting is not a combat sport but a “combat spectacle” where participants don’t have the opportunity to defend themselves where it’s not a contest based on skill but rather on who can absorb the most brain trauma.

**Combate reported that Drakkar Klose is off the UFC Fight Night card on 11/5 after sustaining an ACL injury. Mark Madsen is now scheduled to fight Grant Dawson on the card. Madsen (12-0) was a silver medalist in Greco-Roman wrestling at the summer games in 2016 and is 4-0 since entering the UFC including recent decision wins against Clay Guida and Vinc Pichel. Dawson (18-1-1) submitted Jared Gordon in his last fight this past April.

ON THIS DATE

One of the best matches in WCW history from Halloween Havoc in 1997:

John Cena and Randy Orton have a Hell in a Cell match in 2014:

*****
SHOT IN THE DARK
John Siino reviews this week’s editions of AEW Dark, AEW Dark: Elevation, IMPACT Wrestling, Women of Wrestling, NXT Level Up, NJPW Strong, NWA USA, NWA Powerrr, and WWE Main Event in under 15 minutes on Shot In The Dark.
*****
upNXT: If Ya Smell What the Schism is Cookin
Braden Herrington and Davie Portman chat all about the October 25th edition of WWE NXT featuring Ilja Dragunov vs JD McDonagh in the main event.
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ASK-A-WAI: Ask Us Anything! (October 2022)
John Pollock and Wai Ting answer their patrons’ questions about anything and everything in the October 2022 edition of Ask-A-Wai
*****
REWIND-A-RAW
John Pollock and Wai Ting review WWE Raw from Charlotte, North Carolina with Bianca Belair taking on Bayley. Plus, SmackDown & Rampage ratings, Halloween Havoc thoughts, Elimination Chamber in Montreal & more.
*****
WRESTLENOMICS: Could The Rock buy WWE?
Brandon Thurston, Jesse Collings, Chris Gullo talk about AEW and CM Punk’s contract, and Dwayne Johnson’s comments on possibly investing in WWE.
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upNXT: NXT Halloween Havoc 2022
Braden Herrington is joined by Andrew Thompson to chat all about NXT Halloween Havoc 2022 featuring Bron Breakker vs. Ilja Dragunov vs. JD McDonagh!
*****
UFC 280 POST SHOW: Charles Oliveira vs. Islam Makhachev
John Pollock and Eric Marcotte review UFC 280 from Abu Dhabi featuring Charles Oliveira vs. Islam Makhachev for the vacant lightweight title.
*****

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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.