POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: Wrestling world continues to mourn Jay Briscoe

Photo Courtesy: IMPACT Wrestling

POST IT NOTES

**Rewind-A-SmackDown is live tonight at 11 p.m. ET for all POST Wrestling Café members. We will cover all the latest news as well SmackDown & AEW Rampage, plus take your phone calls and feedback.

**On Sunday night at 8 p.m. ET, Wai and I are doing a bonus show for Café members covering Wrestle Kingdom 17 – Part 2 and the NOAH Muta Final “Bye-Bye” events from Japan.

**The UFC 283 POST Show will air live at 1 p.m. ET this Sunday with Eric Marcotte & Phil Chertok covering the event and sharing their year-end award picks.

POST SCHEDULE

Tonight: Rewind-A-SmackDown with John & Wai (11 p.m. ET for Café members)
Sunday: UFC 283 POST Show with Eric Marcotte & Phil Chertok (1 p.m. ET)
Sunday: Wrestlenomics Radio
Sunday: Wrestle Kingdom 17 – Part 2 POST Show (8 p.m. ET, Patreon)

WRESTLING NEWS

**A fundraiser that was launched for the family of Jamin Pugh is expected to hit its goal of $200,000 since its launch on Wednesday. The wrestling world has rallied around the family and major donations have come in from Chris Jericho, The Young Bucks, Adam Cole, Kevin Steen and his family, and many others. The tributes have come from all corners of the industry and put into perspective just how well-respected Pugh was not just as a performer but as a husband and father.

**POST Wrestling did reach out to an official at Warner Bros. Discovery regarding Wednesday’s episode of Dynamite and what restrictions were in place to honor Jay Briscoe, we have not received a response to our questions. Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported that AEW was not allowed to do a full tribute show stemming from the past tweets by Briscoe. It was the same issue that prohibited the performer from appearing on TBS and TNT since the launch of AEW in 2019 including last year’s lead-up to the three matches with FTR on pay-per-view. It was evident watching Dynamite that something was up when the show didn’t begin with at least a ten-bell salute with all the performers on the stage (the vast majority having longstanding relationships with the Briscoes). Instead, there was a graphic, a pair of mentions by Excalibur, and various performers wearing armbands including the Young Bucks, who executed a Doomsday Device as a tribute.

This is one of those calls that are so misguided and lacks any attempt in seeking redemptive figures in society and strictly judge based on perceived optics, which were frankly, unfounded. Jay Briscoe made a horrible decision tweeting what he did including a reference to violence, which should not be sugar-coated or ignored. What is being ignored is the redemptive process over the past decade and a figure, backed by colleagues, took many meaningful steps toward education and understanding, finding the error of his words and truly learning rather than doubling down or screaming “cancel culture” or reacting for self-preservation for career opportunities. Instead, he went to the root of the issues and came out as a better-educated human being, and isn’t that what we should encourage in society? Punishment is a weird thing because some view it as you committing a wrongful act and therefore are punished. The hope should be that said punishment also forces one to reflect and come out a better person truly understanding where they went wrong. That is rarely going to be the case, but all indications signal it was for Jamin Pugh. If that is enough for people, it’s hard to envision what those critics expect beyond eternal penance and no ability to return. There are actions in society that will prohibit one’s ability to come back, Jamin Pugh’s tweets do not represent that in my book. Worse, is that WBD was exercising this moral decision on an uneven basis when moments after Dynamite we are sent to Dana White’s Power Slap just weeks after the video of White slapping his wife on video. WBD ran from the story and didn’t even comment publicly nor have they responded to questions regarding the tribute show on Wednesday. If you’re going to take a stance, you must show up and defend your decisions and they have not done so for either example I’ve outlined. WBD deserves all the criticism that comes its way. They got this one wrong.

**Friday Night SmackDown is at the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan tonight and has a big advance with nearly 12,000 tickets out for the show, per WrestleTix. The following has been announced for tonight’s show at 8 p.m. ET on Fox:
*#1 Contendership Tournament: Drew McIntyre & Sheamus vs. Viking Raiders
*#1 Contendership Tournament: Butch & Ridge Holland vs. Fabian Aichner & Ludwig Kaiser
*Contract signing between Roman Reigns and Kevin Owens

**AEW Rampage is a taped show from Fresno, California, and will include the following matches and segments at 10 p.m. ET on TNT:
*Daniel Garcia vs. Action Andretti
*Jade Cargill & Leila Grey vs. The Vanity Twins
*Brian Cage vs. Willie Mack
*Ethan Page vs. Jack Perry
*Eddie Kingston to appear

**The WWE stock closed at $88.69 on Friday.

**New Japan Pro Wrestling will host Wrestle Kingdom 17 – Part 2 late tonight at 2 a.m. ET and available as a separate pay-per-view (not part of the New Japan World subscription) for $30.55 USD. It is the second year in a row they have done a New Japan vs. Pro Wrestling NOAH series at the Yokohama Arena, which drew over 7,000 paid last year to the arena. It is a more significant card this year with five singles matches featuring an LIJ vs. KONGOH theme. The big matches are Tetsuya Naito against Kenou and Shingo Takagi vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima, which should be tremendous matches. It is a packed weekend with NOAH running the same building on Sunday for the Muta Final Bye-Bye card while New Japan returns Sunday with New Beginning in Nagoya. Below is the card for Saturday’s show, which allows fans to cheer in the building:
*Tetsuya Naito vs. Kenou
*Shingo Takagi vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima
*SANADA vs. Manabu Soya
*Hiromu Takahashi vs. Hajime Ohara
*BUSHI vs. Tadasuke
*Kazuchika Okada & Togi Makabe vs. Kaito Kiyomiya & Yoshiki Inamura (a match involving the IWGP heavyweight and GHC heavyweight champions)
*Master Wato, Ryusuke Taguchi & Tiger Mask vs. AMAKUSA, Junta Miyawaki & Alejandro
*El Desperado vs. YO-HEY
*Hiroshi Tanahashi, Takashi Sugiura, Satoshi Kojima & Toru Yano vs. Naomichi Marufuji, KENTA, El Phantasmo & Gedo
*Pre-show: Tomohiro Ishii & Oskar Leube vs. Masa Kitamiya & Daiki Inaba
*Pre-show: Ryohei Oiwa & Kosei Fujita vs. Yasutaka Yano & Taishi Ozawa

**Sunday’s New Beginning in Nagoya card at Dolphin’s Arena is not a big show despite the size of the arena. The main event features Shingo Takagi against Great O-Khan in an MMA rules match for the KOPW Championship and the rest of the show is multi-man tag matches. The next major card is 2/11 in Osaka that features Kazuchika Okada against Takagi for the IWGP heavyweight title.

**NOAH’s Great Muta Final “Bye-Bye” show takes place late Saturday night at 1 a.m. ET on Wrestle Universe and Fite TV with English commentary available. It will be Keiji Muto’s second-to-last match and final one as the Great Muta character. It is also Sting’s first match in the country since September 23, 1996 when he came on behalf of WCW for a series of shows. Sting and Muta last worked together in a ring on that exact same day in 2000 on a WCW house show in Lubbock, Texas. Below is the lineup for Sunday’s show at Yokohama Arena:
*Great Muta, Sting & Darby Allin vs. Naomichi Marufuji, Hakushi & AKIRA
*Kaito Kiyomiya, Hijo de Dr. Wagner Jr., Satoshi Kojima & Takashi Sugiura vs. Kenoh, Katsuhiko Nakajima, Masakatsu Funaki & Manabu Soya
*AMAKUSA, Ultimo Dragon & Ninja Mack vs. YO-HEY, Kzy & Dante Leon
*Martial Arts Rules: Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Hideki Suzuki
*Jake Lee, Jack Morris & Anthony Greene vs. Masa Kitamiya, Daiki Inaba & Yoshiki Inamura
*Yoshinari Ogawa, Eita & NOSAWA Rongai vs. Junta Miyawaki, Alejandro & Yasutaka Yano
*Timothy Thatcher vs. Masaaki Mochizuki
*Jungle Kyona & Saori Anou vs. Maya Yukihi & Natsu Sumire
*Atsushi Kotoge & Seiki Yoshioka vs. Hajime Ohara & Hi69

**LIV Golf has made a breakthrough in the U.S. with a broadcast deal with the CW network. The Saudi Arabian-funded tour has been met with great resistance because of its ties to the country and its human rights abuses. The deal is a multi-year one that includes broadcasting and streaming components beginning with the upcoming season that begins Feb. 24-26. ESPN is reporting that it’s a revenue-sharing agreement without rights fees being paid by CW and LIV will continue to pay for its production fees, which would make this an inferior deal to the original AEW contract with TNT, which was covering production costs for the promotion before ripping up the deal and creating a new one in January 2020. LIV Golf is financed by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia.

**Sami Zayn spoke with The Detroit News promoting tonight’s SmackDown show in the city and discussed the success of the long-running Bloodline story:

Things morph very quickly in the world of WWE, and live television is a very funny thing because it can take you places you never planned on going. Sometimes you get the right plot twist in the right town in front of the right crowd and it really takes it to the next level.

**Nielsen has released its monthly report on viewing consumption among different platforms. For the month of December, cable was responsible for 30.9% of people’s viewing and broadcast television accounted for 24.7% for a total of 55.6% on traditional television while streaming viewing was at 38.1% and 6.3% for “other”. In breaking down the streaming viewing, it was led by alternative streaming platforms and then YouTube/YouTube TV, Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, Disney+, HBO Max, Peacock, and Pluto TV in that order.

**MLW has added a Dumpster match between Real1, Microman, Mance Warner, and a mystery opponent for its SuperFight card on 2/4 at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia. The card will include Alex Hammerstone vs. Jacob Fatu for the MLW heavyweight title, Lio Rush vs. Davey Richards, Big Boss Shimizu & Kzy vs. TBA for the Open the Twin Gate titles, Taya Valkyrie vs. Delmi Exo for the featherweight title, Rickey Shane Page vs 1 Called Manders, and the debut of B3CCA.

**Progress Wrestling co-owner Martyn Best spoke with PWmania.com about its contract with WWE Network expiring and what led to the changes:

In very pure terms, our contract with WWE had been completed, so in that sense, nothing caused a change – just a straightforward completion of that contract. Of course, I’m not so naive not to be aware that there are wider matters at play, and I’d say there are two perspectives. Huge respect for WWE, and they are clearly facing some change. While I’m curious and watch with interest, I’m not going to be so rash as to speculate how the next few months will play out. For us, a contract ended, but not the relationship. I can guess that not having indie content on the network may make any future discussions of whatever digital media review has been referred to a little simpler. From the perspective of Lee (McAteer) and I, we now have a fresh set of options ahead of us. That WWE contract was agreed over six years ago by people no longer associated with the company, and the digital media landscape has changed dramatically, as has the wrestling scene, so we have some exciting opportunities ahead of us.

**NXT Level Up tonight at 10 p.m. ET has Nikkita Lyons vs. Jakara Jackson, Damon Kemp vs. Tank Ledger, and Joe Gacy vs. Odyssey Jones.

**Demand Lucha returns to Toronto on 2/16 at Parkdale Hall (1605 Queen Street West) with Joey Janela challenging Gringo Loco for the Premier Championship. The card will include Jack Evans, Aero Boy, 1 Called Manders, Jody Threat, and more.

MMA NEWS

**ESPN has a report on the UFC partnering with sports wagering firm U.S. Integrity while also strengthening its protocols regarding wagering. The promotion has reached out to fighters to warn fighters that wagering on UFC fights is prohibited by themselves or through a proxy and applies to a fighter’s coaches, managers, handlers, trainers, and others they are affiliated with. U.S. Integrity was the firm that initially alerted UFC about the strange line movement prior to the November 5, 2022 fight between Darrick Minner and Shayilan Nuerdanbieke for Minner to lose the fight in the opening round and for the fight to last under 2.5 rounds. Minner lost the fight in the first round and later acknowledged an injury going into the fight, which he didn’t disclose to the commission. Following these changes, the province of Ontario has lifted it ban on wagering for UFC fights, which is once again allowed inside the province and follows Alberta, which also recently lifted its ban. Coach James Krause and fighters Darrick Minner and Jeff Molina have been suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.  

**Anthony Smith was scheduled as the backup fighter for the main event of UFC 283 but missed weight on Friday. Smith weighed 206.5 pounds and was enlisted in case of any issue involving Glover Teixeira and Jamahal Hill for Saturday’s fight for the vacant light heavyweight title fight in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Alexandre Pantoja also weighed in as the backup fighter for the flyweight championship fight and made weight at 125 pounds.

**All the other fighters on the UFC 283 card made weight on Friday including the four fighters attached to the championship fights. Below is the card and results from the weigh-ins for Saturday’s event at the Jeunesse Arena:

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

*UFC Light Heavyweight Championship (vacant): Glover Teixeira (205) vs. Jamahal Hill (204.5)
*UFC Flyweight Championship: Deiveson Figueiredo (125) vs. Brandon Moreno (125)
*Gilbert Burns (170) vs. Neil Magny (171)
*Lauren Murphy (125.5) vs. Jessica Andrade (125)
*Paul Craig (205) vs. Johnny Walker (205)|

PRELIMINARY CARD (8 p.m. ET on ABC, ESPN & ESPN+)

*Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (205) vs. Ihor Potieria (205)
*Gregory Rodrigues (186) vs. Brunno Ferreira (185)
*Melquizael Costa (155) vs. Thiago Moises (155.5)
*Gabriel Bonfim (171) vs. Mounir Lazzez (170.5)

EARLY PRELIMS (6 p.m. ET on ESPN+ and Fight Pass)
*Jailton Almeida (232) cs, Shamil Abdurakhimov (263)
*Luan Lacerda (136) vs. Cody Stamann (135)
*Ismael Bonfim (156) vs. Terrance McKinney (156)
*Nicolas Dalby (170) vs. Warlley Alves (171)
*Zarah Fairn (146) vs. Josiane Nunes (145.5)
Daniel Marcos (136) vs. Saimon Oliveira (136)

ON THIS DATE

The 2002 Royal Rumble was a highly successful event on pay-per-view led by Triple H winning the Royal Rumble. After returning from a torn quad several weeks prior, Triple H went into the Rumble as the top babyface in the company and won the Rumble by eliminating Kurt Angle last. The Rumble included several returns with Curt Hennig, The Godfather, and Goldust all part of the battle royal and Hennig going all the way to the final four.

Kevin Nash appears on Regis & Kathie Lee to promote the Royal Rumble in 1995.

Dave Bautista returns to WWE on this date in 2014 ahead of that year’s Royal Rumble:

*****
THE WELLNESS POLICY: Anxiety (w/ Matt Halpern)
Wai Ting, Jordan Goodman, and Neal Flanagan were joined by special guest Matt Halpern of the progressive metal band Periphery to discuss anxiety, what it is, and how it differs from the day-to-day worries and stresses of life.
*****
REWIND-A-DYNAMITE
John Pollock & Wai Ting open the show by discussing the tragic death of Jay Briscoe at the age of 38. Plus, a review of AEW Dynamite.
*****
upNXT
Braden Herrington and Davie Portman talk about the tragic passing of Jay Briscoe and review the January 17th, 2023 edition of WWE NXT.
*****
REWIND-A-RAW
John Pollock and Wai Ting review WWE Raw from Cincinnati, Ohio, and chat about the news from the past weekend including Hard to Kill, Francis Ngannou, plus the return of Jon Jones.
*****
WRESTLENOMICS RADIO: Who will do business with Vince McMahon?
Brandon Thurston and Jesse Colling discuss the latest developments in Vince McMahon’s return to WWE and the company’s potential sale. Plus, did Mercedes Moné pop this week’s Dynamite rating?
*****
THE N.W.A. PODCAST: Moné, Power & Respect
Andrew Thompson, Nate Milton, and “The Professor” Kris Ealy break down Mercedes Moné’s move to NJPW/Stardom, recap a wild week for the WWE, respond to LIVE viewer feedback, and 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.