**Brian Mann & Nate Milton are back with a new edition of Keep it 2000 and are joined this week by comedian Chris Trew to review the May 1st 2000 episode of WCW Monday Nitro in the mist of the David Arquette run as WCW champion. The show can be downloaded at http://dev.fightnetwork.com/law/keep-it-2000-ep-18-takin-care-of-bollea-may-1-2000/ and subscribe to Live Audio Wrestling on iTunes.
**We have our WWE SummerSlam preview up on the site with Jimmy Korderas and I previewing the entire card for this Sunday in Brooklyn at http://dev.fightnetwork.com/law/wwe-summerslam-2017-preview-with-john-pollock-jimmy-korderas/ and you can also watch it below:
**If you are in Toronto, Jason Agnew will be hosting the “Summer Strikes” improv / comedy show tonight at 10:30pm at Comedy Bar (945 Bloor Street West). The show will feature local wrestler RJ City, Aftermath TV’s Nug Nahrgang and Andrew Phung from CBC’s Kim’s Convenience show all playing.
**The LAW will be live Sunday night immediately following SummerSlam (the show won’t begin until SummerSlam concludes) around 11pm Eastern. Jason Agnew & Dan “The Mouth” Lovranski will be reviewing the entire 6+ hour show and taking your phone calls all show long at 1-855-591-6876. For those that download The LAW on Monday, we will have a special LAW Extra with Braden Herrington & Bartender Dave reviewing Takeover Brooklyn from Saturday night.
**Here is the full interview I conducted with Showtime Sports executive Stephen Espinoza:
**Daniel Bryan was a guest on the Edge & Christian podcast on Friday and discussed his process of coming back to wrestle. Bryan went into detail regarding his belief that he is healthy enough to wrestle again. He reviewed all the various doctors he sought out and was cleared by, mentioned the work he did with Evoke Neuroscience in New York but that everything came to a halt when he received news he had a subacute lesion on the temporoparietal region of his brain. This was the news that caused Bryan to stop his pursuit of being cleared and convinced him to take up Vince McMahon’s offer of retiring on the Raw from Seattle in February 2016.
The new wrinkle to this story is a call Bryan received a few weeks after the retirement from one of the specialists that had cleared him and asked Bryan what went wrong. Bryan explained the lesion discovery and the specialist went on to explain how vague a term “lesion” can be in the medical field and the actual effect on Bryan from the lesion having slower, but average reaction time. Bryan was still concerned that something could be wrong with his brain and didn’t pursue anything at the time.
The major catalyst he cited was being brought back onto television as the SmackDown General Manager, specifically stating that he was told he was being the GM and not being asked. Bryan said that being around the industry that closely on a weekly basis accelerated his desire to return. It should also be added that he was extremely complimentary of the WWE and that he isn’t looking to pressure them into clearing him and was also very happy that the company gave him eight-weeks of paternity leave when his child was born earlier this year.
He has been working with Dr. Barry Miskin out of Jupiter, Florida and had a SPECT scan performed on his brain. The results Bryan stated put his brain at the same level of a college football player. He also repeated what Brie Bella stated earlier this week, that he has had 40 treatments in a hyperbaric chamber.
Bryan listed off that he has had ten documented concussions and four post-concussion seizures during his career. He also added that one reason it has been hard for the WWE to clear him is because he wasn’t initially honest about his concussions.
He noted that if he finds a warning sign that he should not come back, he won’t do it and is not going to risk his health to wrestle again.
**There is a big feature on Jinder Mahal in the New York Times today to coincide with SummerSlam. The feature looks at the rise of Mahal’s character this year following his release in 2014 and return to the company last summer. The article quoted Michelle Wilson that the WWE is hopeful of going to India before the end of the year and cited a figure of 60 million weekly viewers in the country of India (that is what she said). The piece also compared Mahal’s character and portrayal to other minority figures of the past in the WWE and included Muhammad Hassan and how that character was written off in 2005. Hassan was caught in the middle of an incredibly tasteless segment, which was not a very tasteful angle to begin with, but then turned into one that was extremely offensive based on real world events. They had taped SmackDown earlier in the week in July 2005 and there was an attack on the show by Hassan and a group designed to look like hooded terrorists going after The Undertaker. Days later, the London bombings occurred on the same day SmackDown was to air and the episode aired as is with the attack angle. UPN came down hard on the angle considering the timing and wanted Hassan off the show and his character was subsequently written off and never returned.
**The WWE has added a six-man tag to the SummerSlam kickoff show this Sunday with The Miz & Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel vs. The Hardys & Jason Jordan in a rematch from this past Monday’s episode of Raw. This is the third match announced for the kickoff show and joins Akira Tozawa vs. Neville and New Day vs. The Usos.
**The Destination X special on Thursday night led to an average viewership of 320,000 viewers. The number is up 15.5% from last week and their highest number on POP TV in a month.
**This past Wednesday’s episode of Lucha Underground did 85,000 for the initial airing and 35,000 viewers for the replay on the El Rey Network. The 120,000 total is way down from last week’s combined viewership of 159,000.
**The NXT Takeover event from Brooklyn, New York goes down on Saturday night for the first of four straight nights at the Barclays Center for the company. The show will feature a pre-show at 7:30pm Eastern with a number of ex-NXT performers from the main roster scheduled to appear. Below is the card for Takeover:
*Bobby Roode vs. Drew McIntyre for the NXT title
*Asuka vs. Ember Moon for the NXT women’s title – personally, I would opt to put this match on last
*Authors of Pain vs. Sanity for the NXT tag titles
*Hideo Itami vs. Aleister Black
*Johnny Gargano vs. Andrade Cien Almas
They will be taping matches prior to Takeover to air on this coming Wednesday’s episode.
**Global Force Wrestling will be holding their second of six consecutive nights of television tapings at the Impact Zone tonight. After last night’s Destination X special, they taped matches for next week’s episode and are also taping for Xplosion during this schedule as well. All told, there will be over 24 hours of original content being taped during this six-day stretch and is the longest taping schedule they have ever held.
**House of Glory has a card tonight in Jamaica Queens, New York at the NYC Arena at 8pm. The show is highlighted by Matt Riddle taking on former UFC and Bellator fighter Stephan Bonnar.
**Jim Ross is hosting his “Ringside” show tonight at the Gotham Comedy Club with Paul Heyman joining him for the show. All general admission tickets are sold out.
**Paul Levesque and Stephanie McMahon will be on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” tonight at 11:35pm Eastern on NBC.
**Davey Richards is returning to work with EVOLVE in September and has been announced for a pair of dates. Richards (who headlined the very first EVOLVE show in 2010 against Kota Ibushi) will be working the EVOLVE 92 card on September 22nd in Livonia, Michigan and EVOLVE 93 on September 23rd in Chicago, Illinois.
**A preview of the Mae Young Classic will be airing on the WWE Network after SummerSlam this Sunday night.
**Gabe Sapolsky provided the following statement after this past Wednesday’s NXT media call where Paul Levesque noted that Sapolsky has been at recent NXT event but that Sapolsky is not directly working for the company:
I need to thank Triple H for those humbling and nice words. It has been an invaluable learning experience being at NXT. I am all about talent development. My favorite part of this job is seeing talent learn, improve, grow and then realize their dreams. The lessons I have learned from Triple H, William Regal and everyone at NXT has made me better at my job. Everyone is incredible there. There is no talk of a writer’s job at NXT. I am not there for a tryout as has been rumored. I’m there because we all want to have the best tools and ideas possible to lead pro wrestling into the future. NXT is an opportunity for me to improve my skills, and then spread that knowledge to everyone in WWN, whether it is directly to our locker room, to those who participate in the Seminar/Tryout or anyone who joins our office staff with the New Promoter Initiative. Triple H always has the future of the business in mind and unselfishly opens up all avenues. The culture in NXT is amazing and my goal is to teach that in EVOLVE, FIP, Style Battle and the other brands so the next generation can learn what it takes to be successful.
**Ring of Honor is holding an iPPV event on Saturday from Liverpool at 1pm Eastern / 6pm local time in England from the Liverpool Olympia. The show will be available on the FITE app and at ROHwrestling.com for $27.99 and has the following matches announced:
*Cody vs. Sanada for the ROH title
*The Young Bucks vs. Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian for the ROH tag titles
*Kushida vs. Hiromu Takahashi vs. Marty Scurll vs. Dalton Castle for the ROH Television title
*Tetsuya Naito & EVIL & Bushi vs. Bully Ray & The Briscoe Brothers
*Ultimo Guerrero & Rey Bucanero vs. Titan & Mistico
*Jay Lethal vs. Josh Bodom
*Kenny King vs. Hangman Page
*Silas Young vs. Mark Haskins
**Rolling Stone’s Mike Bohn spoke to Samoa Joe ahead of this Sunday’s fatal four-way match at SummerSlam. Joe noted that he didn’t know he would be in this spot and alluded to stepping up and taking advantage when the opportunity presented itself and also cited television numbers being up throughout the summer with this feud deserving credit for the rise.
**Impact Wrestling has posted an angle they shot following the Lashley vs. Matt Sydal where Jeff Jarrett confronts Dan Lambert and American Top Team backstage after Colby Covington’s attack on Brian Hebner. The angle was shot very well and involved James Storm getting in the middle of it as well:
**Flip Gordon will be working CMLL’s Anniversary card on Saturday September 16th and going on behalf of Ring of Honor.
**Superkick’d has a show tonight in downtown Toronto at The Great Hall (1087 Queen Street West) with doors opening at 7:30pm and the show begins at 8pm. Tickets are $30 at the door or you can buy online at www.superkickd.com.
Impact Wrestling (Aug. 17th):
-This was one of the better episodes in some time in the sense that the showed flowed a lot better, they were constantly going to commercial with teases going to break to hold your interest (the mystery man walking backstage, LAX on their way to confront Jim Cornette etc). In some ways, it did feel like one of those “reset episodes”, which Impact has had a number of with all the returns and surprises.
-Jim Cornette was the most discussed figure coming out of the show. The last thing they need is a Cornette vs. Bruce Prichard feud after the months of feuding between Jeremy Borash and Josh Mathews. If is a straight swap out of Prichard for Cornette, you are definitely getting a better promo and personality in Cornette. The segment with LAX and specifically Konnan was excellent with two of the great talkers in the industry at the moment.
-The commentary featured Jeremy Borash and Josh Mathews and it appears that The Pope is done. I have not been a fan of the commentary for some time as I still feel Mathews is a more effective heel manager rather than on the show for two-hours, although they have toned down the feuding between Borash & Mathews, which also negates the feud to begin with but at least makes for a more tolerable broadcast.
-Based on the handling of the Alberto El Patron situation on the show, you were left with the feeling he is not going to be brought back. During his promo, Prichard went so far as to wish him the best in his future endeavors, which is hardly a secret code term. More surprisingly, was Cornette clarifying that El Patron didn’t voluntarily give up the title but instead was stripped. That statement was a direct contradiction of El Patron’s statement he released a few days ago, suggesting he came up with the idea to vacate the title as a sign that he isn’t above anyone else in the locker room.
-There was also the obvious shot over the Tyrus situation involving Joseph Park & Grado and telling Grado not to complain online or “go to the poop sheets”. Tyrus was never mentioned on the show and from what I’ve learned appears to be a legitimate issue and not a storyline where Tyrus said he wasn’t showing up at the tapings and complained about his treatment in an Instagram video.
-The other big angle on the show was the American Top Team involvement at the end of the show where Colby Covington choked Brian Hebner after Matt Sydal beat Lashley in the main event.
-John Hennigan debuts on next week’s episode as “Johnny Impact” and will also feature the 20-man Gauntlet Match (which was taped on Thursday night).
-One small thing I liked was the opening signature to the show that displayed all the different countries they are in, promoted the broadcast partners and emphasized the “Global” aspect of the promotion and was a good addition to kick off the show each week.
-Overall, this was one of the easier Impacts to watch as usually the show drags in that second hour. It is going to be a test during these tapings for the audience to be engaged as they are taping 12 episodes in total and the audience won’t be up on all the storylines and advancements because they will not have aired yet and that is always a challenger for the Impact taping schedule but this one is really pronounced when you are taping episodes that won’t air until October towards the latter taping days.
Lucha Underground (Aug. 16th)
-This week’s show featured the two semi-final matches of the Cueto Cup with Ricochet defeating Fenix and Pentagon Dark defeating Mil Muertes to set up the final for next week’s show. Both matches set up programs for the loser with Marty the Moth going after Melissa Santos and leading to Fenix being distracted. In the other semi-final, Cage attacked Mil Muertes backstage and he worked the match with injured ribs.
-The closing segment was done very well with Johnny Mundo and Rey Mysterio in the ring and separated by a security wall. It led to a brawl and then the locker room eventually emptied but they staggered it out and in doing so, put emphasis on all the different pairings for future matches with Prince Puma-Pentagon Dark (next week), Muertes-Cage, Fenix-Marty the Moth and then others got involved but it put emphasis on all these feuds.
-Next week is the big show they have been building to for months with the Mundo vs. Mysterio title match and the finals of the Cueto Cup, which has been running since June on television.
WWE SUMMERSLAM PREVIEW
(John Pollock & Jimmy Korderas provide a full preview of Sunday’s SummerSlam card from Brooklyn with the fatal four-way main event for the Universal title and all the rest of the matches scheduled)
KEEP IT 2000 – Ep. 18 “Takin’ Care of Bollea”
(Brian Mann & Nate Milton are joined by comedian Chris Trew to review the May 1st 2000 episode of WCW Monday Nitro during David Arquette’s run as WCW champion and leading into Slamboree that year)
THE MMA REPORT – Aug. 17th
(John Pollock welcomes Stephen Espinoza of Showtime Sports to discuss the making of Mayweather vs. McGregor, working with Dana White, the UFC’s initial stance against the fight, working with McGregor in the future & more)
whtsNXT – Aug. 17th
(Braden Herrington & Bartender Dave chat the final episode of NXT before Takeover in Brooklyn this Saturday and make predictions for the Takeover card)
BRITISH AUDIO WRESTLING – Aug. 17th
(Martin Bushby & Oli Court & Benno return to chat the recent ICW & PROGRESS cards, chat about ZSJ’s G-1 Climax outing, the ROH War of the Worlds U.K. tour and Sean Sedor joins the show to chat the PROGRESS card from New York City this past weekend)
REVIEW-A-SMACKDOWN – Aug. 16th
(John Pollock & Wai Ting review the final SmackDown Live before SummerSlam, the uncomfortable opening segment to the show, Jinder Mahal vs. John Cena, Baron Corbin’s cash in failure and a review of 205 Live)
REVIEW-A-RAW: “I Earn Fist”
(John Pollock & Wai Ting review Raw from Boston, Ambrose & Rollins unite, update on Ric Flair, Alberto El Patron stripped of GFW title, G-1 finals and we take your feedback & questions)
THE LAW: LIVE AUDIO WRESTLING – AUGUST 14TH
(Jason Agnew & Dan “The Mouth” Lovranski chat all the week’s news and review the G-1 with John Pollock; Dave Meltzer stops by to chat G-1, Ronda Rousey, Alberto El Patron and more; plus, a preview of SummerSlam weekend and Live Audio Extra will a complete rundown of the G-1 Finals from Sumo Hall)
To pick up any of The LAW’s branded t-shirts check out http://www.