POST IT NOTES
**Rewind-A-SmackDown is LIVE tonight at 10 p.m. ET with Wai Ting and I reviewing the show from Sacramento and going over the latest news along with taking your calls. The show is live and available to download for all POST Wrestling Café members.
**Karen Peterson will be providing coverage of Stardom’s 5 Grand Prix Final on Saturday on the POST Wrestling site.
**On Saturday, we will have Collision Course with Wai Ting & Kate from Montreal on the POST Wrestling Café as well as a free show with Braden Herrington & John Siino covering NXT No Mercy. On Sunday, I will be joined by Siino to review AEW WrestleDream on the free feed.
**This month’s ASK-A-WAI Mailbag Show is available for POST Wrestling Café members covering a wide range of topics, including:
– AEW bringing back its rankings
– Roman Reigns’ run as a babyface
– The decision for Tony Khan to buy ROH
– Backstage drama leading to an increase in interest
– Pollock’s process of writing an obit
– WWE cuts and who would be most appealing for AEW & more with a 90+ minute show
Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown with John Pollock & Wai Ting
Saturday: NXT No Mercy review with Braden Herrington & John Siino
Saturday: Collision Course with Wai Ting & Kate from Montreal
Sunday: AEW WrestleDream review with John Pollock & John Siino
**Multiple talents scheduled to work for the 1PW (One Pro Wrestling) group out of England next month have come forward regarding promoter Steven Gauntley. The October 28 card at the Dome in Doncaster has seen ticket sales suspended after issues involving talents Matt Cardona, Steph De Lander, and announcer Joe Dombrowski were made public.
On Friday, the promotion announced through its 1PW Instagram account announced that all future events are canceled and informed ticket buyers to discuss the matter with their card issuer or bank.
In a statement sent to various outlets including POST Wrestling, Dombrowski stated:
This message serves as a word of warning to anyone who has had recent business dealings with 1PW/One Pro Wrestling, specifically Steven Gauntley, which has recently held events in Doncaster and Lincoln in the country of England, and has upcoming dates scheduled October 28 in Doncaster and December 2 in Lincoln.
If you are a wrestler booked on either of those dates, I strongly advise you to find another event to work as they, in all likelihood, will not happen.
If you are a fan or sponsor or have in any way put money into the 1PW promotion, I strongly advise you to contact your credit card company, bank, local authorities, media, anyone you can in an attempt to recoup your money before it’s too late. Upon investigating the company’s director, Steven Gauntley, and his recent business practices, and speaking to former business partners and shareholders, Mr. Gauntley has engaged in multiple fraudulent business practices that have left many chasing paydays and refunds that will likely never occur.
There are unfortunately numerous wrestlers, staff, and fans owed money as of this writing, and I fear the number will only grow as more come forward and the final pieces of this promotion fall.
Dombrowski has posted a lengthy thread involving his financial issues with 1PW and Gauntley and accusations of fraud.
Steven Gauntley continued to offer cheap vapid excuses to stall for time. Day after day, everything from "figuring out PayPal" to "vacation to Bulgaria".
Finally he told me he was leaving 1PW. Not because of fraud, embezzlement or debt… but because he fell down the stairs. pic.twitter.com/U07Pcx3roR
— Joe Dombrowski (@joe_dombrowski) September 27, 2023
The Doncaster Free Press has covered the story and received the following statement from the Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust, which oversees events at The Dome in Doncaster:
We are looking into the issues raised around the 1PW event so have decided to pause ticket sales for the time being. We will provide an update to customers as soon as we have more information.
In 2015, James Dixon wrote All Or Nothing, which included an in-depth history of 1PW and similar issues it had during its first incarnation.
**Curtis Smith, who was part of The Infernos tag team with brother Rocky, died this past Monday at the age of 80. From a story on his life by Steven Johnson at SLAM Wrestling, his career began in 1967 wrestling for promoter Nick Gulas. He wrestled under countless names before taking on the Inferno character with his brother in 1971 working in Florida and managed by J.C. Dykes. After splitting with Rocky, he teamed with Doug Gilbert and Roger Smith as worked singles under the names of The Executioner and The Blue Yankee. Throughout his career, he held versions of the titles in Amarillo, Los Angeles, Florida, Georgia, Kansas City, and Mississippi. In 1976, he went to New Japan Pro Wrestling on a tour that included Smith wrestling several singles matches with Antonio Inoki and working as part of The Infernos against teams that included Inoki & Katsuhisa Shibata (the father of Katsuyori). Smith returned in 1978 on his own as The Executioner and wrestled Inoki, Riki Choshu, Tatsumi Fujinami, and Strong Kobayashi throughout the tour. By the end of the ‘70s, his career wound down, although he did some matches in 1981 and another as late as 1993. After wrestling, he worked as a firefighter until retiring due to a back injury.
**Friday Night SmackDown continues its run of large attendance figures with more than 12,000 tickets out for tonight’s show at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California, per WrestleTix. The show includes a United States Championship match between Rey Mysterio and Santos Escobar, which looks to be the start of something bigger rather than a one-and-done between them. One would assume that barring any complications, LA Knight could be back tonight and can set up the tag match for Fast Lane teaming with John Cena, who is on the show tonight. Below are the announced matches and segments for SmackDown:
*United States Championship: Rey Mysterio © vs. Santos Escobar
*Charlotte Flair vs. Bayley
*Bobby Lashley on The Grayson Waller Effect
**The following matches will air tonight on AEW Rampage at 10 p.m. ET on TNT from this week’s tapings in Broomfield, Colorado:
*AEW Trios Championships: The Acclaimed & Daddy Ass vs. The Hardys & Brother Zay
*NJPW STRONG Championship: Eddie Kingston © vs. Rocky Romero
*The Righteous vs. TBA
*Ruby Soho vs. Hikaru Shida
**Bryan Danielson was a guest on BJ & Migs on 99.9 KISW in Seattle to promote this weekend’s shows. Danielson spoke about his recent announcement that he would be ending his full-time wrestling career next year to spend more time with his family. He said it was a real speech he shared with the audience and noted he isn’t that good of an actor and needs it to feel real in that setting. He doesn’t know what the future holds for him but would like to be out of the public eye for a while and enjoyed the days when he was a top independent wrestler and yet, at home in Aberdeen, no one knew who he was. He said he loves the idea of one day, calling up DEFY Wrestling and asking to wrestle without the promotion announcing it and appearing in a full-body suit and wrestling a completely different way with no one knowing it is him.
**Danielson also attended the Seattle Krakken game on Thursday night with Darby Allin and Nick Wayne.
**The final night of Stardom’s 5 Star Grand Prix takes place later tonight on pay-per-view at 3 a.m. ET. It will be Mariah May’s final show with the company as she wrestles Hanan in her final tournament match. May has wrestled for Stardom all year as a member of Club Venus and has six points in the Blue Stars block of the tournament. May was interviewed by Stardom and indicated that after her farewell match, she has a flight to catch at 6 a.m. the next morning, which is going to fuel speculation regarding her destination. When the interviewer asked if she was flying back to the U.K., she replied, “Maybe” and ran away.
Is this farewell? pic.twitter.com/F2DWEZYYyo
— We Are Stardom (@we_are_stardom) September 29, 2023
The final night of the 5 Star Grand Prix will feature the following round-robin matches and the finals in the main event:
*Red Stars: Mayu Iwatani (9) vs. Starlight Kid (4)
*Red Stars: Natsupoi (9) vs. Tam Nakano (11)
*Red Stars: Syuri (11) vs. Ami Sohrei (6)
*Red Stars: Hazuki (8) vs. Natsuko Tora (12)
*Blue Stars: MIRAI (10) vs. Maika (10)
*Blue Stars: AZM (8) vs. Momo Watanabe (8)
*Blue Stars: Hanan (4) vs. Mariah May (6)
*Blue Stars: Mina Shirakawa (9) vs. Saori Anou (8)
*Finals of the Grand Prix
Giulia and Suzu Suzuki each received forfeit wins on the final day of the GP due to the injuries to Utami Hayashishita and Saya Kamitani.
The Red Stars block is a fight between Suzuki and Natsuko Tora at 12 points each and Syuri and Tam Nakano with 11 each. The Blue Stars is led by Giulia with 11 but she has no matches left. Maika and MIRAI have 10 points each and face each other in their final tournament match. Mina Shirakawa has 9 going into Saturday and has a win over Giulua and MIRAI and a draw with Maika but would be a complicated picture to survive. Odds are, the Blue Stars will come down to the winner of MIRAI and Maika.
**NJPW has back-to-back shows at Korakuen Hall this weekend beginning Saturday morning at 5:30 a.m. ET on New Japan World. The card will see Kazuchika Okada & Lio Rush vs. Tetsuya Naito & Hiromu Takahashi, SANADA & DOUKI & Taka Michinoku vs. EVIL & SHO & Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Yuji Nagata & Shota Umino & Master Wato vs. Minoru Suzuki & El Desperado & Ren Narita in the best-of-seven series, David Finlay & Chase Owens & Gedo vs. Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa & Jado, Alex Coughlin & Gabe Kidd & Clark Connors & Drilla Moloney vs. Hikuleo & El Phantasmo & KUSHIDA & Kevin Knight, Shingo Takagi & Yota Tsuji & BUSHI vs. Jeff Cobb & Great O-Khan & Callum Newman, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Tomohiro Ishii & YOH vs. Tiger Mask & Oleg Boltin & Yuto Nakashima, and HENARE vs. Oskar Leube. Sunday’s card streams on New Japan World at 5:30 a.m. ET and is headlined by an Elimination Match with Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa, Hikuleo, El Phantasmo, KUSHIDA & Kevin Knight vs. David Finlay, Chase Owens, Alex Coughlin, Gabe Kidd, Clark Connors & Drilla Moloney.
**AEW has added multiple dates in November. They will run the Toyota Arena in Ontario, California (the site of this week’s Raw and likely unable to announce this event until the WWE event was over) on November 15 for Dynamite, November 22 for the Thanksgiving Eve episode of Dynamite at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago (the same week WWE is running SmackDown and the Survivor Series in the market), and a Rampage/Collision taping on November 25 at the Peterson Events Center in Pittsburgh.
**2K is discontinuing its WWE 2K22 servers as of January 3, 2024, and is pushing users of those servers to upgrade to WWE 2K23, which was released earlier this year.
**DEFY Wrestling has booked Speedball Mike Bailey for its Genesis card on October 27 at Washington Hall in Seattle.
**MLW will hold a meet & greet with Minoru Suzuki on October 14 at its Slaughterhouse card at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia.
**A massive heavyweight fight between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk has been signed with the two set to fight in Saudi Arabia. Mike Coppinger of ESPN first broke the news with no firm date confirmed but expected to be either late December or January. It is an extremely short turnaround for Fury, who is scheduled to fight former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngnannou on October 28 in Riyadh. Fury and Usyk will meet for the undisputed heavyweight championship and is a fight that fans and pundits have been clamoring to see.
**UFC CEO Dana White and Showtime Sports president Stephen Espinoza have been griping back and forth throughout the week beginning on Tuesday night. White was asked at the press conference after the Contenders Series card about the report that Showtime would be dropping its boxing programming next year. White gave a sarcastic response about Showtime’s production being great and Espinoza being a great guy before stating, “F—k Espinoza”. The next day, while promoting this Saturday’s fight between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Jermell Charlo, the president of the network went out of his way to point out that this Saturday’s card in Las Vegas will be their third $20+ million gate of the year and is a figure that UFC has never achieved (at least not yet as UFC 295 at Madison Square Garden is probably going to hit that number with the massive pricing of the tickets) and that “there are levels to this.” That drew a post from White in response:
That’s exactly the type of response I would expect from that weasel Espinoza. That scumbag has absolutely nothing to do with the success of Canelo, Ryan Garcia and Terence Crawford. Those guys are mega stars and they are the ones responsible for driving the gates in their fights. For him to even try and take any credit at all shows you what an arrogant, POS that guy is. For this guy to talk about ‘levels’ is hilarious. The production of the fights on Showtime is an embarrassment and I have been saying that FOREVER. He is a little guy with a big yap and is a complete phony. I’m not at all surprised this is the end for them. It should have come way sooner. Sorry to see you go, Weasel. Enjoy your retirement.
Showtime has yet to address the report of their future in boxing beyond 2023.
ASK-A-WAI: Ask Us Anything! (September 2023)
John Pollock and Wai Ting answer their patrons’ questions about anything and everything in the September 2023 edition of Ask-A-Wai.
John Pollock & Wai Ting review the final AEW Dynamite before WrestleDream with an update on Adam Cole’s injury, a big angle involving Jay White and MJF, and more.
POLLOCK & THURSTON
John Pollock and Brandon Thurston are joined by Josh Nason of the Wrestling Observer site to discuss SmackDown to USA & more.
Braden Herrington and Davie Portman review WWE NXT featuring Axiom vs Trick Williams vs Dragon Lee vs Tyler Bate to determine Dominik Mysterio’s opponent for the NXT North American Championship at No Mercy!
THE WELLNESS POLICY
Ahead of Jordan’s birthday, we speak about the topic of aging — why some may feel uncomfortable with it and why some may not! Neal drops a bombshell revelation on the POST Wrestling universe.
John Pollock and Wai Ting review WWE Raw with Judgment Day defending the tag titles against Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn.
NJPW Destruction in Kobe
Bruce Lord and Karen Peterson review NJPW Destruction in Kobe featuring Will Ospreay defending the IWGP UK Championship against Yota Tsuji.
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