POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: Nine Lives of Vince doc, Josh Alexander vs. Speedball

Photo Courtesy: WWE

POST IT NOTES

**Rewind-A-SmackDown is live at 11 p.m. ET tonight for POST Wrestling Café members. Wai Ting and I will review SmackDown and Rampage and chat about the WON Hall of Fame class for 2022, Dynamite’s performance on Wednesday, and we’ll look ahead to the ROH & NXT cards this weekend. All Café members have access to stream the show live and call with the information sent out to patrons earlier today. The show will be available to download on the Café late tonight.

**On Saturday, we will have two POST Shows to cover Final Battle and Deadline. Wai Ting and Kate from Montreal will have a Final Battle POST Show for POST Wrestling Café members on Saturday evening. Meanwhile, Braden Herrington & Davie Portman of Poisonrana will have an NXT Deadline POST Show on the free POST Wrestling feed and streaming live on the POST YouTube channel immediately after Deadline.

**On Sunday, our UFC 282 POST Show will stream live at 1 p.m. ET with Eric Marcotte and I reviewing the card from Las Vegas headlined by Jan Blachowicz and Magomed Ankalaev for the vacant 205-pound title and Paddy Pimblett taking on Jared Gordon.

**Cody Saftic joined us on Thursday for a breakdown of the UFC betting scandal and his analysis of the situation involving coach James Krause and how big an issue this could be for the UFC. Plus, we discussed the big fights at UFC 282 this weekend, and was a great show to check out.

POST SCHEDULE

Tonight: Rewind-A-SmackDown with John Pollock & Wai Ting (11 p.m. ET)
Saturday: ROH Final Battle POST Show with Wai Ting & Kate from Montreal (Patreon)
Saturday: NXT Deadline POST Show with Braden Herrington & Davie Portman
Sunday: UFC 282 POST Show with John Pollock & Eric Marcotte (1 p.m. ET)
Sunday: Wrestlenomics Radio

WRESTLING NEWS

**Vice TV will premiere “The Nine Lives of Vince McMahon” documentary next Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET, which airs at the same time as the second hour of NXT. Vice is replaying the documentary at Midnight and 3 a.m. later that night and will have four hours of Dark Side of the Ring episodes serving as lead-ins with the shows covering the Plane Ride from Hell, Owen Hart, The Steroid Trial, and the Montreal Screwjob. The Vince documentary will be the most in-depth coverage of McMahon since his resignation over the summer with McMahon keeping an ultra-low profile in the wake of his scandal. Many people were interviewed for the Vice TV doc including reporters Brandon Thurston, Dave Meltzer, and Bryan Alvarez.

**Friday Night SmackDown is at the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh tonight where Kurt Angle will be appearing on the show on his 54th birthday. They have announced the following for tonight’s show, which is back on Fox after last week’s move to FS 1:
*Undisputed Tag Team Championship: The Usos (champions) vs. Sheamus & Butch
*Shotzi vs. Shayna Baszler
*Kurt Angle’s birthday celebration

**AEW Rampage attempts to bounce back after its lower 18-49 audience in history last Friday. The taped episode from Cedar Park, Texas includes Jon Moxley wrestling Konosuke Takeshita, which people were raving about that saw that match live in the arena. Rebuilding Rampage is not a one-week project and it’s a difficult game of retraining your audience to believe important things happen on the show while also fighting a terrible night and time for a lot of their audience, which has always hurt the show but should be performing much better than it is. While it’s not the sole issue, when the lineup was revealed for the best-of-seven series between Death Triangle and The Elite with all the matches scheduled for Dynamite, it was an indirect message to the audience about Rampage’s value, whether intentional or not. Wrestling viewership is built on habits and the AEW audience has developed a habit where they watch on Wednesday nights, they buy pay-per-views several times per year, and anything outside of that is considered non-essential beyond the loyalists that consume everything. If quality was rewarded with viewership, a lot more people would be watching programs like New Japan on AXS and IMPACT where the shows have great wrestling but are not considered essential viewing nor part of the average wrestling fan’s weekly habit and it’s a very difficult task to change those.

Below is the lineup for tonight’s episode at 10 p.m. ET on TNT:
*Jon Moxley vs. Konosuke Takeshita
*All-Atlantic Championship: Orange Cassidy (champion) vs. TBA
*Regina Di Wave Championship: Hikaru Shida (champion) vs. The Bunny
*Big Bill Morrissey & Lee Moriarty vs. Clayton Bloodstone & Izzy James

**Tales from the Territories aired the final episode of the season covering Mid-South Wrestling this past Tuesday on Vice TV. Wrestlenomics reports that the show averaged 75,000 viewers and 26,000 (0.02) in the 18-49 demographic and was their lowest of the past three weeks below the World Class and Jim Crockett Promotions versions. For the ten-episode season, the show averaged 80,500 viewers and 32,500 (0.02) in the demo. Commercially, it was not a big hit in comparison to Dark Side of the Ring on the network and with ten major territories covered, there are not too many options for an additional season, even if this did higher numbers. The most-watched episode was the premiere covering Memphis Wrestling which did 113,000 and 0.05 while the least-watched was the 11/1 episode on Stampede Wrestling which only did 34,000 viewers and 0.01 but also aired against the World Series.

**Ring of Honor holds its Final Battle card on Saturday afternoon with the Zero-Hour pre-show at 3 p.m. ET and the pay-per-view at 4 p.m. from the College Park Center in Arlington, Texas. The most important news will be whatever Tony Khan has to share regarding the brand’s distribution in the new year. Khan was asked about it on the media call on Wednesday and said he would address it after the show on Saturday. Between the top two matches, it’s the strongest ROH card they have put out this year between the star power of Chris Jericho and the Double Dog Collar match stipulation for FTR and The Briscoes, which should be an extremely violent and bloody match to end their rivalry. So much is contingent on ROH’s future because if they have a new TV or streaming deal, the best candidate to hold the belt is Jericho to ensure the show gets off to as strong a start as possible. If it’s a network or service outside of the WBD family, it creates an opportunity for The Briscoes, who cannot appear on TNT/TBS, and therefore, they could win the tag titles after losing the previous two matches to FTR. I expect this show to do the largest number of buys for ROH this year and on paper, it looks like a great show. As of Thursday, WrestleTix reported that over 2,200 tickets have been distributed, so this hasn’t been a big ticket seller for the company. Below is the card:
*ROH Championship: Chris Jericho (champion) vs. Claudio Castagnoli
*ROH Tag Team Championships, Double Dog Collar: FTR (champions) vs. The Briscoes
*ROH Pure Championship: Daniel Garcia (champion) vs. Wheeler Yuta
*ROH Women’s Championship: Mercedes Martinez (champion) vs. Athena
*ROH Television Championship: Samoa Joe (champion) vs. Juice Robinson
*ROH Six-Man Tag Team Championships: Dalton Castle & The Boys (champions) vs. Brian Cage & Gates of Agony
*Keith Lee & Swerve Strickland vs. Shane Taylor & JD Griffey

**On Saturday night, NXT holds its Deadline card from the WWE Performance Center with the novelty of the first Iron Survivor Challenge matches. The match features elements of WarGames, Royal Rumble, King of the Mountain, and the Scramble match that WWE tried in 2008 and never tried again. Each match will last 25 minutes with two people starting and a new entrant joining every five minutes and the one with the most falls after the time limit is the winner. If you are pinned or submitted, you go into the penalty box for 90 seconds. I imagine the audience will be very hot for the matches and the countdown clock typically helps with the drama as these matches ultimately come down to the closing seconds and whether they nail the ending. It is also worth trying new ideas and, at this stage, this is closer to off-Broadway than attempting it on the main roster pay-per-view where the pressure is higher to deliver. Below is the card that streams at 8 p.m. ET on the WWE Network and will be airing against the UFC prelims:
*NXT Championship: Bron Breakker (champion) vs. Apollo Crews
*Iron Survivor Challenge (Men’s match): Carmelo Hayes vs. Joe Gacy vs. Axiom vs. JD McDonagh vs. Grayson Waller
*Iron Survivor Challenge (Women’s match): Zoey Stark vs. Cora Jade vs. Roxanne Perez vs. Indi Hartwell vs. Kiana James
*NXT Tag Team Championships: Pretty Deadly (champions) vs. Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods
*Alba Fyre vs. Isla Dawn

**The final round-robin matches for New Japan’s World Tag League and Super Jr. Tag League are taking place this weekend. Saturday’s card in Ehime features the Super Jr. Tag League where there is a five-way tie involving Ace Austin & Chris Bey, TJP & Francesco Akira, Alex Zayne & El Lindaman, BUSHI & Titan, and YOH & Lio Rush who all have 12 points. The top two teams will meet in Wednesday’s final in Sendai. Saturday’s card will feature Bey & Austin vs. Akira & TJP (must-win for both teams), BUSHI & Titan vs. Rush & YOH (must-win), Alex Zayne & El Lindaman vs. DOUKI & Yoshinobu Kanemaru (DOUKI & Kanemaru are in the spoiler role), SHO & Dick Togo vs. Ryusuke Taguchi & Clark Connors, and KUSHIDA & Kevin Knight vs. Robbie Eagles & Tiger Mask (the latter two matches have no impact on the outcome).

**Sunday’s World Tag League matches in Hyogo have four teams still alive. Aussie Open has completed their round-robin matches with 14 points and is in the final. The other three teams alive are Tetsuya Naito & SANADA, TMDK, and Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI who are all alive with 12 points and one match left. Naito & SANADA takes on EVIL & Yujiro on Sunday’s card while Goto & YOSHI-HASHI face TMDK in the matches with importance attached to them. The other tournament matches are Hiroshi Tanahashi & Toru Yano vs. Aaron Henare & Great O-Khan, and Minoru Suzuki & Lance Archer vs. Gabriel Kidd & Alex Coughlin.

**Independent filmmaker Justin Godlien has released his short film Wrestling with the Past, which features a brief cameo from Wai Ting and I.

**There will be a contract signing between Tyrus and Matt Cardona on the 1/31 live edition of NWA Power in Knoxville, Tennessee. The NWA has announced that Tyrus will make the first defense of his NWA Championship against Cardona on the next NWA pay-per-view but has not released the date or details for that event.

**Ian Douglass of The Ringer has a feature on Dr. Britt Baker and spoke with the former women’s champion about her role in AEW. Baker noted a continued trend of talent that has a hard time handling the online discourse from the more toxic sectors:

Honestly, in my circle of friends, I see some of the men getting it just as bad as the women, if not worse,” confirmed Baker. “They’re getting body-shamed, height-shamed, hair-shamed, or whatever. The trolls don’t discriminate. They go after the men just as bad as they do the women. At least there’s some equality there, I guess! But seriously, I think we’re in a generation now where nobody is safe. Everybody is under fire, and they will come for you at one point, whether you like it or not. You could do everything right, but at some point, some troll is going to throw a match and start a fire about you, or about something you did or didn’t do. There’s nothing you can do. You just have to remember that fire doesn’t burn your life. It doesn’t burn your career. It’s just one small narrative that you can’t let get to you.

**On Friday’s edition of Talk is Jericho, Chris Jericho documented his matches in 2022, which he called one of the best of his career going back to 1990 when he debuted. He mentioned all the injuries he sustained during a short period of time over the summer including a bruised larynx, a broken nose, needing twelve stitches for a cut, and he lost his big toenail during a match with Wheeler Yuta. Jericho seemed most satisfied with his recent match against Tomohiro Ishii and noted that other ideas they had for an opponent on that show included Chris Hero and PCO, but neither was available. Jericho suggested Joe or Jay Lethal as former ROH champions, but they were wrapped up in other programs, so Tony Khan suggested Ishii and that was the choice. He also said there were various ideas for Jericho at Full Gear from singles matches against Castagnoli or Danielson to a three-way option before settling on the four-way to include Sammy Guevara.

**After surpassing the $80 mark last week, the WWE stock closed at $75.73 on Friday.

REVIEW


Impact Wrestling (December 8, 2022)

The promotion had one of its best episodes of the year on Thursday highlighted by the entire second hour featuring a match between Josh Alexander and Speedball Mike Bailey. Alexander returned to IMPACT for the first time since Bully Ray attacked him and his wife at Over Drive on 11/18. Alexander received the approval to hold an open challenge with the idea of Bully Ray answering the challenge, so he could get his hands on Alexander but still hold onto his title match on 1/13 at Hard to Kill. Bully Ray declined the open challenge and thus, backed down, which was a nice touch. Instead, Bailey came out to answer the challenge.

The two teased a 60-minute time limit draw with the AXS TV version broken up with commercials. Throughout the match, they told a great story involving Alexander’s shoulder being weakened and affecting some of his key moves including the C-4 Spike. This led to several moves where Alexander lost control of Bailey and his strength was compromised with Alexander doing a phenomenal job.

There were so many little things sprinkled in from the updates from David Penzer, the announcement of a match between Eddie Edwards and Delirious being delayed until next week due to the length, going seven minutes past the hour on AXS TV, and the commentary by Tom Hannifan and Matthew Rehwoldt putting over the drama of the match.

After surviving Ultima Weapon and countering a Flamingo Driver, Alexander hit a Styles Clash and yanked Bailey off the ropes into a piledriver with one minute left. He struggled and finally hit the C-4 Spike, hung on, and hit a follow-up C-4 before pinning Bailey with less than 30 seconds left in the match.

IMPACT has released the unedited version of the match and was a real highlight for the company this year.

MMA NEWS

**The province of Alberta has reinstated betting on UFC fights after initially following suit with the actions taken by Ontario. The two Canadian provinces announced their decisions to not allow bets after the fallout from the fight between Shayilan Neurdanbieke and Darrick Minner on 11/5 where there was an irregular line movement in the hours before the fight. Since the fight, the UFC has announced that Minner has been released and that all fighters connected to his coach James Krause is prohibited from competing in the organization as several investigations were launched into the nature of the line movement.

Alberta Gaming, Liquor, and Cannabis (AGLC) issued the following statement to various outlets on Friday:

With the recent announcement by the UFC that (James) Krause, his managers and fighters will not be permitted to participate in UFC events, pending Nevada State Athletic Commission’s investigation, Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC) has reinstated UFC betting markets on PlayAlberta.ca.

Protecting consumers in Alberta is of the utmost importance to AGLC. We will remain vigilant in monitoring the situation to ensure players continue to have safe and secure gaming opportunities on Play Alberta.

**The UFC presents its final pay-per-view of the year on Saturday night from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas with a card that is not deep in star power but several intriguing fights and a new light heavyweight champion will be crowned. The card has been hurt by the losses of Jiri Prochazka (who was scheduled for a rematch of this year’s fight of the year with Glover Teixeira, who is also off the card), Robbie Lawler, and surging prospect Bo Nickal. In the main event spot, former 205-pound champion Jan Blachowicz is an underdog against Magomed Ankalaev. The two were already scheduled to fight on the card but now have the added stakes of being for the vacant title and therefore, is a five-round fight. If Blachowicz wins, it’s very likely his next opponent would be Teixeira, which is the fight Teixeira was willing to take on this card but the UFC insisted on Ankalaev being in the fight and Teixeira wanted an extra month to prepare for the new opponent. From the promotional material, the UFC is pushing Paddy Pimblett as the star of the event and created a lot of noise this week after a tirade against reporter Ariel Helwani, which yielded a 1-hour response by Helwani on The MMA Hour, which has generated over 500,000 views.

The weigh-ins took place earlier today and below is the full lineup:

MAIN CARD (10 p.m. ET on pay-per-view)
*UFC Light Heavyweight Championship (Vacant): Magomed Ankalaev vs. Jan Blachowicz
*Paddy Pimblett vs. Jared Gordon
*Santiago Ponzinibbio vs. Alex Morono
*Darren Till vs. Dricus du Plessis
*Bryce Mitchell vs. Ilia Topuria

PRELIMINARY CARD (8 p.m. on ESPN 2 & ESPN+)
*Raul Rosas Jr. vs. Jay Perrin
*Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs. Chris Daukaus
*Edmen Shahbazyan vs. Dalcha Lungiambula
*Chris Curtis vs. Joaquin Buckley

EARLY PRELIMS (6:30 p.m. on ESPN+ and Fight Pass)

*Billy Quarantillo vs. Alexander Hernandez
*Erik Silva vs. T.J. Brown
*Cameron Saaiman vs. Steven Koslow

**A flyweight fight between Daniel da Silva and Vinicius Salvador is off the UFC 282 card. The promotion announced it was off due to a “medical issue” after da Silva missed weight by three pounds on Friday.

**Bellator 289 takes place tonight from the Mohegan Sun Arena with the two semi-final fights of the ongoing Bantamweight World Grand Prix scheduled along with a rematch for the women’s flyweight title. In the main event, Raufeon Stots and Danny Sabatello will compete in one of the semi-final fights with Stots defending the interim title. In the other semi-final, Magomed Magomedov takes on Patchy Mix, in the other five-round fight. The card also sees Liz Carmouche defend the women’s flyweight title against former champion Juliana Velasquez where the former champion is a -180 favorite on Draft Kings. Carmouche defeated Velasquez at Bellator 278 this past April with a stoppage that many disagreed with and felt was an early stoppage and led to Velasquez losing her title and suffering the first loss of her career. The main card rounds out with Dalton Rosta (who appeared on several editions of AEW Dynamite as part of American Top Team) fighting Anthony Adams in a middleweight bout. The main card airs at 9 p.m. ET on Showtime and the prelims stream on YouTube and Pluto TV.

**Dustin Poirier underwent surgery on his foot after being re-admitted to the hospital this week. In an update from his wife Jolie on Instagram, she noted that his staph infection began last Saturday, and he was not responding to antibiotics nor able to walk. After being released from the hospital on Wednesday, an abscess was detected, and was re-admitted and had it drained. She later said that surgery went well, and Poirier is on to the recovery stage. The 33-year-old last fought at UFC 281 in November where he submitted Michael Chandler at Madison Square Garden.

**The annual Fighters Only World MMA Awards took place on Thursday night in Las Vegas and streamed on ESPN+. The event was hosted by Chael Sonnen with tons of MMA fighters and luminaries attending the event. Below is the complete list of categories and winners:
*Fight of the Year: Jiri Prochazka vs. Glover Teixeira from UFC 275
*Female Fighter of the Year: Valentina Shevchenko (1-0 beating Talia Santos at UFC 275)
*Knockout of the Year: Michael Chandler’s front kick to Tony Ferguson at UFC 274
*Male Fighter of the Year: Alexander Volkanovski (2-0 with wins against Chan Sung Jung by TKO at UFC 273 and a decision win against Max Holloway at UFC 276)
*Gym of the Year: City Kickboxing
*Fighting Spirit of the Year: Kevin Holland
*Coach of the Year: Eugene Bareman of City Kickboxing
*MMA Programming of the Year: Morning Kombat with Luke Thomas & Brian Campbell
*Analyst of the Year: Michael Bisping
*Lifetime Achievement Award: Kirik Jenness of The Underground
*Promotion of the Year: UFC
*Leading Man of the Year: Dana White
*Ring Card Girl of the Year: Brittney Palmer
*Referee of the Year: Marc Goddard
*Comeback of the Year: Aljamain Sterling (returned from neck surgery to defeat Petr Yan by split decision at UFC 273 and stopped TJ Dillashaw at UFC 280)
*MMA Media Source of the Year: ESPN
*Submission of the Year: Charles Oliveira’s rear-naked choke on Dustin Poirier at UFC 269 (the period covers December of last year)
*MMA Journalist of the Year: Ariel Helwani (his 13th win in a row)
*Trainer of the Year: Heather Linden from the UFC Performance Institute
*Upset of the Year: Julianna Pena over Amanda Nunes at UFC 269

**Episode 4 and Episode 5 of UFC Embedded for this week’s card.

ON THIS DATE

Chris Jericho becomes the WWE Undisputed Champion in 2001 at the Vengeance pay-per-view in San Diego, California. After the closure of the Invasion storyline, the WCW Championship was incorporated into the Undisputed version with a four-man tournament set up for the pay-per-view. Jericho famously beat The Rock and Steve Austin on the same night and would use that line for over a decade reminding people of the feat. It was Jericho’s first official world title win in WWF after the phantom win against Triple H on Raw in April 2000 that was overturned. Jericho had a short with the title that was marred by a terrible program in the lead-up to WrestleMania 18 in Toronto with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon where Hunter won the title.

*****
UFC Betting Scandal & UFC 282 Preview
John Pollock chats with MMA analyst Cody Saftic about the ongoing UFC betting scandal and they discuss UFC 282 this Saturday.
*****
REWIND-A-DYNAMITE: A Regal Farewell
John Pollock & Wai Ting review AEW Dynamite featuring FTR challenging The Acclaimed for the AEW tag titles, and the Dynamite Dozen Battle Royale in Texas.
*****
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: It’s a NXT Day, Yes it is!
Poisonrana’s Braden Herrington and Davie Portman chat all about the December 6th, 2022 edition of WWE NXT featuring the go-home show for Deadline this Saturday!
*****
REWIND-A-WAI #121: WWF Superstars (May 30, 1992)
John Pollock & Wai Ting review the May 30, 1992, edition of WWF Superstars featuring the arrival of Nailz in an impromptu attack on the Big Bossman. Plus, the latest regarding Papa Shango’s “curse” on the Ultimate Warrior.
*****
REWIND-A-RAW
John Pollock and Wai Ting review WWE Raw featuring The Usos defending the tag titles. Plus, they chat about the latest involving William Regal, AEW Rampage’s low viewership & more.
*****
WRESTLENOMICS: WWE might buy international wrestling companies
Brandon Thurston is joined by Chris Gullo and Jesse Collings to talk about WWE possibly acquiring smaller international wrestling promotions.
*****
THE N.W.A. PODCAST: The 2022 Rap-Up!
Nate, Andrew, & Kris discuss the biggest stories of the year, hand out some awards, and play another round of “Who All G’on Be There?”
*****

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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.