Tonight: Rewind-A-Raw with John Pollock & Wai Ting
Tuesday: upNXT with Davie Portman & Braden Herrington
Wednesday: Pollock & Thurston w/ Brandon Ross of LightShed Partners
Thursday: Rewind-A-Wai #140 – “Predator” (POST Wrestling Café)
Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown (POST Wrestling Café)
Saturday: WWE Fastlane with Wai Ting & John Siino
Saturday: Collision Course with Kate from MTL & Bruce Lord (POST Wrestling Café)
Sunday: MCU L8R – Season 2 premiere of Loki (POST Wrestling Café)
On Sunday’s show, we announced that we will be providing ad-free versions of Rewind-A-Raw, Rewind-A-Raw, and the pay-per-view reviews for all POST Wrestling Café beginning with the WrestleDream review. In addition, Double Double & Espresso members will start to receive audio versions of my news updates with at least three per week.
Tonight, on Rewind-A-Raw, we will be going over the POST Wrestling Café scheduled for this month and the changes we are making. Those looking to join can sign up at POSTWrestlingCafe.com starting at $6 per month for access to all the bonus shows including four this week.
Brandon Ross of LightShed partners returns to Pollock & Thurston this Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET on the POST Wrestling & Wrestlenomics feeds.
Rewind-A-Wai covers the 1987 film Predator this Thursday starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jesse Ventura. If you would like to share feedback, you can post it on the POST Wrestling Forum.
Karen Peterson has a big review of the final night of Stardom’s 5 Star Grand Prix, which was won by Suzu Suzuki.
ADAM COPELAND TO AEW
AEW put forth one of its best pay-per-views in company history that capped off with the arrival of Adam Copeland f/k/a Edge.
The 49-year-old saw his contract with WWE and relationship going back to 1997 come to an end as the month of September concluded. After arriving in Washington on Friday, Copeland hid out in Redmond while filming the vignette that aired prior to his appearance in front of the crowd. Darby Allin and Giancarlo Dittamo were the point people working with Copeland on the production.
It was as smooth a transition as a performer could have given how intertwined his career has been with one company. Aside from the loss of “Edge”, Copeland secured the “Rated R Superstar” IP and his long-used theme of “Metalingus” by Alter Bridge. On the latter, he cited his relationship with the band which only required a phone call, and that the song would follow him wherever he goes.
The performer will be relied upon immediately with appearances announced for Dynamite in Stockton and Collision in Salt Lake City as a precursor for his first match for the promotion on Title Tuesday on October 10 against Luchasaurus.
While being diplomatic and complimentary of his 25 years in WWE, it was clear that he wanted to do more and emphasized several times the feeling of being “free” while making it clear he was full-time and not showing up every three months. It had become a running joke to the point Copeland even mentioned it in a promo in WWE about the disappearances and returns, which had run their course for the character and coming up with the latest attack to explain his next absence.
Short-term, it is a major shot of adrenaline for a company that has arguably never been producing better quality shows yet has struggled with their week-to-week ticket selling and this is a shot in the arm. The novelty of seeing Copeland outside of a WWE setting, a laundry list of fresh matches, and an obvious genuine enthusiasm paint a picture of a strong signing that will yield more dividends for the locker room.
There is the balancing act of a company that needs to push so many talents to justify large-scale deals while also needing to create new and fresh stars. Between Copeland, Chris Jericho, Sting, Christian Cage, and to a lesser extent The Hardys and Jeff Jarrett – it’s a lot of veterans that require television time and are earmarked for major programs while balancing one of the deepest rosters ever assembled with countless rising stars with breakout potential. The expansion with Collision alleviates it and the Saturday show needs as much star power as possible this fall, which Copeland checks off.
At 49, he will also be pushing himself to a new level with a full-time schedule. The entirety of his WWE run over the past four years consisted of 28 matches. It isn’t the same pace as the old WWE schedule but it’s a much more intense style and unlike Chris Jericho, he has had a lot of major injuries.
The return in 2020 was a huge moment, offset by an untimely injury that year coupled with the pandemic and loss of crowds where WWE couldn’t assess Copeland’s true drawing power after the loss of fans less than two months into his return. He was consistently booked in big programs but failed to be a giant difference-maker over those years but has unanimous praise among his peers with constant credit for his ideas and openness to modern adaptations. It’s why AEW is a fresh slate and we’ve seen many performers tap into different areas of their game with fewer restrictions. Time will tell on the Copeland front.
There are a few similarities between Copeland and his contemporary, Mick Foley. Both had offers late in their careers to take the leap and join the competitor only to see WWE come back with a sweetheart offer. For Foley, it was in 2005 when IMPACT was launching on Spike TV and he was ready to make the move and inform Vince McMahon of the decision only to see the company offer him a great contract that called for two pay-per-views per year. He stayed for three more years, had a terrible experience as a member of the SmackDown commentary team, and made it to TNA eventually. Copeland was in that spot in 2019 and would have been one of AEW’s featured stars at the launch of Dynamite but signed with WWE and stayed for four years before making the move.
In closing, this type of movement between the major companies is healthy for the performers and the audience at large. It’s a new coat of paint on performers regardless of age, experience, or talent. In 2019, Copeland had an offer on the table and got a stronger deal from WWE, and in 2023, he felt compelled to “leave the territory” and had the landing pad. Jade Cargill had the leverage to work out a great deal for herself and up her demands and make the business decision that suited her. The floor is so much higher when you have an active competitor willing to spend big money on performers. There is a contrast in the schedules to accommodate the talent that wants to hit the road and do 100+ matches per year and for someone with a family and kids, there is a way to balance both and not miss your kids growing up or ruin your marriage because you’re gone all the time.
Business decisions go both ways. A company is a means to generate work out of the performer and in exchange, be paid accordingly. Full stop. When mass cuts come down, it’s not personal and only business, the same on the other end when the performer has a better offer or wants a refresh, it’s not personal and only business. Traditionally, the company has so much greater control of the performer and when the talent can steer the levers of power in their favor, it should be applauded for an industry that often forces a one-way power dynamic.
**WWE Raw is at the SAP Center in San Jose, California with many announcements for the show. It’s the week of Fastlane, so expect multiple matches to be added to the card, which currently has three officially announced. Last week, saw a tease of Judgment Day against Cody Rhodes, Jey Uso, Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn. None of the eight have matches for Saturday and I could see an eight-man tag added as that’s really early to be teasing a WarGames-style match two months out. Gunther and Tommaso Ciampa have a contract signing for a future match, which hasn’t been given a date but would make sense for Fastlane. Rhea Ripley has not been on television since the attack by Nia Jax, so it’s a match they will get to and only a question of how long they want to draw it out.
Below are the announced matches and segments for tonight:
*Nia Jax vs. Shayna Baszler
*Xavier Woods vs. Ivar
*Contract signing between Gunther and Tommaso Ciampa
*Drew McIntyre appears on MizTV
**Fightful Select reported that Becky Lynch is not cleared for tonight’s show due to the laceration she sustained in the Extreme Rules match at No Mercy.
**WrestleTix notes that it’s another strong advance for WWE Raw with nearly 9,500 tickets distributed and represents a 25% increase from the last time Raw ran in San Jose one year ago.
**David Bixenspan has new reporting on Matt Riddle and a separate allegation that was made against the wrestler. In June 2020, independent female talent Thunderkitty had tweeted (since deleted) about an incident where Riddle allegedly was changing in the women’s locker room area and got into an argument with one of the tenured performers. Bixenspan spoke with the performer in question, Malia Hosaka, and it’s believed to have taken place during a doubleheader show involving Queens of Combat and PWX at a National Guard Armory in September 2016 in North Carolina. The women’s show was from 4-6 p.m. and the PWX card started at 7. Typically, some independent shows require one change room for both men and women but it was noted that PWX shows always had two locker rooms and there was no reason for Riddle to change in front of the women and Hosaka seeing him in his underwear. Riddle was contacted for the story and called it a non-issue:
The PWX thing wasn’t even an incident. [T]here was only one locker [and] the promoter told me to change in there[,] so I did. Malia confronted me on my way out, I explained that the promoter told me to go change in there and she talked to the promoter and that was the end of it.
Hosaka said she was resting in the locker room, opened her eyes and Riddle was next to her in his underwear and led to an argument and Riddle allegedly called her a “bitch”.
Bixenspan also goes through additional details of the allegations made by Samantha Tavel a.k.a. Candy Cartwright during the Speaking Out Movement and various actions taken by Riddle including a failed attempt to secure a restraining order when the judge would not grant one. A lawsuit was filed by Tavel but dropped in July 2021.
**Next Tuesday has turned into a major night for professional wrestling as AEW is going to present Title Tuesday head-to-head with NXT. Obviously, AEW is not looking to lose on an unfamiliar night and will be greatly enhanced with Adam Copeland’s first match. That match joins Saraya vs. Hikaru Shida for the AEW Women’s title. FTR and The Young Bucks will have their fourth match stemming from the results at WrestleDream and I could see this one happening as early as Title Tuesday. MJF and Jay White is another title match on the horizon but could be drawn out further. It would seem apparent that NXT loads up next week’s show and they have plenty of big cards to play using main roster talent.
**Mark Davis of Aussie Open sustained a wrist injury during the match with FTR at WrestleDream. It appeared to happen during the Power & Glory spot with the superplex and splash followed by Kyle Fletcher and Cash Wheeler crashing onto Davis and Dax Harwood to break the cover. Davis had nearly no use of the wrist throughout the match including a Shatter Machine that Aussie Open delivered where Davis only used one arm for the lift. Later in the night, Davis tweeted “Sometimes you win em, sometimes you snap your wrist”.
**Darby Allin showed up at the press conference after WrestleDream with a sling on his right arm. He said he was going to the hospital after to have it checked out.
**According to Bryan Alvarez of the Wrestling Observer site, Rey Fenix’s injury was storyline-related to save him for the match with Nick Jackson on Dynamite this week. AEW was promoting the match on its social channels on Monday. Fenix was taken out of the match early and left Penta on his own resulting in him being the one to take the fall after a BTE Trigger by The Young Bucks.
**NXT has announced Blair Davenport vs. Gigi Dolin and Butch & Tyler Bate vs. Wolfgang & Mark Coffey for Tuesday’s show along with the fallout from No Mercy. Becky Lynch is advertised to appear.
**The three-year anniversary edition of AEW Dynamite has announced Rey Fenix vs. Nick Jackson for the AEW International title, Chris Jericho & Kenny Omega vs. Konosuke Takeshita & Sammy Guevara, and Adam Copeland’s first appearance on Dynamite.
**ABC is adding five NBA games in January that will air on Wednesday nights against AEW Dynamite on TBS. It is following the same trend of ABC adding Monday Night Football games (which are simulcast on ESPN) but this will allow for a larger audience to watch the NBA games and be stronger competition for AEW. (Sports Media Watch)
**New Japan World has the full sixty-minute match between Antonio Inoki and Billy Robinson from December 11, 1975, which was voted Match of the Year by Tokyo Sports. The match was referenced in the WrestleDream match with Bryan Danielson and Zack Sabre Jr. representing a modern comparison.
**Being the Elite Ep. 367: “Helicopter”.
**Bellator 300 this Saturday has lost one of its four championship fights. Linton Vassell has been forced to withdraw from his fight with Bellator heavyweight champion Ryan Bader. The card from San Diego will include Usman Nurmagomedov vs. Brent Primus for the lightweight title, Cris Cyborg vs. Cat Zingano for the women’s featherweight title, and Liz Carmouche vs. Ilima-Lei Macfarlane for the women’s flyweight title on Showtime. (MMA Junkie)
**Damon Martin of MMA Fighting reports that Cain Velasquez will be cornering Usman Nurmagomedov at Bellator 300 this weekend. Martin reports that Velasquez was given permission from the courts to participate in the fight as he gets set for his court hearing in December and is expected to go on trial for attempted murder in early 2024.
**Dana White’s Contender Series continues Tuesday on ESPN+ and Fight Pass. The card will feature Rodolfo Bellato (8-2) vs. Murtaza Talha (3-0), Victor Hugo (23-4) vs. Eduardo Torres Caut (16-1), Jose Daniel Medina (11-2) vs. Magommed Gadzhiyasulov (10-1), Raimond Magomedaliev (10-1) vs. Mauricio Ruffy (8-1), and Davi Bittencourt (14-3) vs. Lucas Rocha (16-1).
**After a rare weekend off, the UFC returns on Saturday at the Apex with a Fight Night card headlined by Grant Dawson (20-1-1) vs. Bobby Green (30-14-1). There will only be four Saturdays without UFC cards through the rest of 2023. Their next weekend off is October 28, which is the date of the Tyson Fury vs. Francis Ngannou boxing fight from Saudi Arabia.
**The TKO stock closed at $85.00 on Monday.
AEW WrestleDream Review
John Pollock and John Siino review AEW WrestleDream 2023 from Seattle, WA featuring Christian Cage vs. Darby Allin in the main event for the TNT title.
NXT No Mercy Review
Braden Herrington is joined by John Siino to review WWE NXT No Mercy 2023 headlined by Becky Lynch vs Tiffany Stratton in an Extreme Rules match for the NXT Women’s Championship.
Kate From MTL & Wai Ting review the final AEW Collision before WrestleDream as Kenny Omega & Chris Jericho team-up for the first time.
John Pollock & Wai Ting discuss Friday Night SmackDown with John Cena’s Fastlane partner revealed, Rey Mysterio vs. Santos Escobar for the WWE U.S. Championship, and more.
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.
Subscribe to POST Wrestling
POST Wrestling Forum
Support our Patreon – The POST Wrestling Café