POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: John Cena returns on SmackDown next week

John Cena will be on next week's episode of SmackDown, a lengthy look at the Jon Jones situation affecting UFC 232, Akira Tozawa being sent for Korakuen Hall show and lots more.

POST IT NOTES

**Wai Ting and I will have a show later tonight reviewing this week’s Raw and SmackDown episodes, and catching up on the news with the Jon Jones and UFC 232 story discussed in-depth and Impact Wrestling moving to the Pursuit Channel.

**Braden Herrington and Davie Portman return Thursday with upNXT.

**The British Wrestling Experience has their year-end show and are joined by JP Houlihan and Joe Lemon of the Indy Corner Spotlight. The five review the entire European scene in 2018 and name their Best Wrestler, Match, Promotion, Show, Import, and Breakthrough Star of the Year in this 3+ hour show. If you want the most thorough review of the U.K. scene this is the show to check out as these five did a great job on this.

**POST Wrestling’s WORST OF 2018 Show will be released Friday for everyone and will feature Braden Herrington, Davie Portman, Wai Ting, and I assembling the year-end panel. If you are a Double Double, Iced Capp, or Espresso member of the POST Wrestling Café, you have access to the video version now.

**Thank you to everyone that enjoyed the Christmas Show as we have received lots of great feedback to the show. A lot of work goes into this show each year and I want to thank the many guests that took time to join us.

**This weekend, we will have a UFC 232 POST Show late Saturday night with Phil Chertok and Zigg Cao joining me to review the card.

WRESTLING NEWS

**Here are the matches for tonight’s episode of NXT at 8 pm Eastern on the WWE Network:
*Roderick Strong and Kyle O’Reilly vs. Heavy Machinery for the NXT tag titles
*Bianca Belair vs. Lacey Evans vs. Io Shirai vs. Mia Yim in a #1 contender’s match for the NXT women’s title

**John Cena will be appearing on next week’s episode of SmackDown on New Year’s Day. The show will be taped Saturday in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as part of Cena’s three-week tour with the company. On Monday’s Raw, Vince McMahon had stated Cena would be returning to Raw and SmackDown. On his schedule, Cena is set to appear on January 7th in Orlando and January 14th in Memphis, which are both Raw tapings. Initially, Cena had stated that all his appearances would be non-televised.

**One of the most lucrative weeks of the year for the WWE kicks off with the post-Christmas house shows. Tonight, there are split crews in New York at Madison Square Garden and the Allstate Arena in Chicago. The Madison Square Garden show will feature Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins in a steel cage match for the Intercontinental title, Ronda Rousey vs. Nia Jax, and an NXT showcase match with Pete Dunne, Ricochet, Aleister Black, Velveteen Dream and Matt Riddle vs. Tommaso Ciampa and The Undisputed Era. Plus, John Cena is on the card. The Chicago card has Daniel Bryan vs. AJ Styles in a steel cage for the WWE title, Randy Orton vs. Rey Mysterio, Rusev vs. Shinsuke Nakamura for the U.S. title, and Asuka vs. Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair for the women’s title.

**The Raw crew is in Columbus, Ohio on Thursday at the Nationwide Arena and the SmackDown crew is in Uniondale, New York with John Cena working the Uniondale show. The New Year’s Eve episode of Raw is being taped Friday in Detroit and SmackDown will be taped Saturday in Pittsburgh.

**The WWE’s stock shot up 9.3% on Wednesday and closed at $73.20.

**The WWE is sending Akira Tozawa to work the Fight Club Pro card at Korakuen Hall on January 7th. Tozawa will team with Meiko Satomura to take on CCK. Tozawa is being sent as a replacement after the WWE had to pull Moustache Mountain (Pete Dunne, Trent Seven, and Tyler Bate) due to the show being so close to the NXT UK TakeOver special on January 12th.

**Dragon Gate has announced a deal with MBS TV (Mainichi Broadcasting System) that broadcasts to the Kansai region of Japan. The promotion will have a weekly 30-minute show on Wednesday nights, beginning January 9th.

**We wanted to send our best wishes to Mauro Ranallo, who was involved in a bad car accident on Sunday. Ranallo posted photos of the car, adding that another car lost control and smashed into him at full speed. Thankfully, there were no serious injuries with Ranallo calling it a miracle.

**Drew McIntyre has officially been announced for the Royal Rumble match on January 27th joining R-Truth in the men’s match.

**Yahoo Japan has a story on Stardom stating that the all women’s group drew 38,895 people in 2018, which would be an average of 525 per show.

**McAloon Productions is holding a card on January 31st in Atlanta called “Ultimate Bar Brawl”. They have announced that Ken Shamrock will face Tom Lawlor and ODB takes on Penelope Ford.

**New Japan World has posted the tag match with The Golden Lovers against Hiroshi Tanahashi and Will Ospreay from the last Korakuen Hall show. This was one of the best matches of 2018 if you missed it:

MMA NEWS

**UFC 232 takes place Saturday from The Forum in Inglewood, California. That opening sentence has been the story of the week as the promotion uprooted the card from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas to ensure Jon Jones could fight on Saturday night. The UFC and California State Athletic Commission have taken a lot of heat for this decision and the ripple effect it has caused. Thousands of fans are left without a card to attend Saturday, given it is New Year’s Eve weekend would mean tons of people likely planned vacations for this card and will either be refunded their ticket or must travel four hours away to watch the show. It is the fans that will be stuck eating the cost of their travel and accommodations for Las Vegas and that’s a lousy way to treat your fanbase, especially the week of Christmas scrambling to adjust travel plans is a nightmare. The fighters must be furious that they touch down in Las Vegas and are scheduled to be moved to Los Angeles on Thursday along with handling their corners and additional family and friends, plus there is a higher tax rate in California.

Obviously, the UFC was looking at this pay-per-view drawing off the shoulders of Jon Jones. If they had -not recently pulled the January 26th pay-per-view date in California, I could have seen Jones and Alexander Gustafsson postponed one month and gone ahead with Cris Cyborg and Amanda Nunes headlining this show. No doubt Saturday’s card would take a hit with the main event being moved, but I don’t know if it’s as big a hit as people think. I’m pegging Saturday’s card at 400,000 buys as people forget that Jones has not commanded big numbers outside of his fights with Daniel Cormier. Yes, this is the rematch of an incredible fight, but we’ve seen that promotional hook many times and a great fight being promised rarely yields giant leaps in pay-per-view business. Without the main event, I still think this card hits 280,000 so that isn’t a drop off to sneeze it, but also not enough to justify this extraordinary set of circumstances that could have long-term harm for ticket buyers.

I’m very mystified by this entire story. In July 2017, Jones tested positive for M3, which is a metabolite of Turinabol, which is a steroid. In his case, it was determined by the Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory, which is a WADA-accredited lab, that Jones had between 20-80 picograms in his system. This was enough to overrule his win over Daniel Cormier, return the light heavyweight championship to Cormier, levy a fine of $205,000 by the California State Athletic Commission, and warrant a 15-month suspension for Jones from USADA that recently ended.

In this “abnormal” finding from a drug test administered on December 9th, Jones was found with the same M3 metabolite and stated that 60 picograms of the metabolite were found in his system. However, now this is not punishable and believed to be from the same source as the July 2017 test failure and because he has already been sanctioned for that failing, this doesn’t count. On top of that, Andy Foster of the CSAC has cited scientists as his source that there is no performance enhancing properties of what was discovered.

This doesn’t add up to me. Either this infraction was punishable both times or was not a penalty either time. I am not a scientist, so I cannot explain how they determined that what was found in his system wasn’t new. He passed numerous tests during this fight camp, but the defense is that the testing for this one finding was more advanced. I’m left with a lot of questions on this one and the answers so far, have only left me with more.

**Due to the change in location for the UFC 232 card, the California State Athletic Commission is allowing an extra hour for fighters to weigh in on Friday. The morning weigh-ins will begin at 9 am Pacific and fighters have until Noon local time to step onto the scale.

**Tickets for Saturday’s UFC 232 show at The Forum go on sale today. UFC president Dana White had stated that the gate at the T-Mobile Arena would have been around $6 million and they will be lucky to hit $1 million at the new arena.

**The latest episode of UFC Embedded covers the location change of UFC 232:

*****
BWE 12/26/18: Best of British & European Wrestling 2018
Martin, Oli & Benno are joined by Benno’s co-hosts on the Indy Corner Spotlight podcast, JP Houlihan and Joe Lemon, to talk all the best of British and European wrestling in 2018.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2018/12/26/bwe-12-26-18-best-of-british-european-wrestling-2018/
*****
The POST Wrestling Christmas Show 2018
In their largest show ever, John and Wai reflect on the launch of POST Wrestling one year ago and do so with their friends while welcoming many surprise guests. Plus, the annual POST Wrestling Christmas Jingle Contest goes down with plenty of controversy coming out of this year’s version.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2018/12/24/the-post-wrestling-christmas-show-2018/
*****
upNXT Movie Review – National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)
Braden Herrington & Davie Portman from upNXT review National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation! Braden explains his love for the Chevy Chase Christmas classic and Davie watches it for the first time!
https://www.postwrestling.com/2018/12/23/upnxt-movie-review-national-lampoons-christmas-vacation-1989/
*****
EGGSHELLS Podcast Companion: 2015 with John Carroll
Episode 27 sees Chris Charlton and John Carroll look at 2015. Kota Ibushi and Shinsuke Nakamura have an all-time classic, Kazuchika Okada and Tetsuya Naito suffer crushing defeats, and Wrestle Kingdom is broadcast in English on pay per view for the first time.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2018/12/22/eggshells-podcast-companion-2015-w-john-carroll/
*****
THE BEST OF 2018 SHOW

It is POST Wrestling’s Best of 2018 Show with panelists John Pollock, Wai Ting, Braden Herrington and Davie Portman running through all their picks and results of the listener’s choices for each category.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2018/12/21/the-best-of-2018-show/
*****
upNXT 12/20/18: D.I.WHY?
Braden Herrington & Davie Portman chat this week’s episode of WWE NXT featuring Aleister Black vs. Johnny Gargano in a Steel Cage Match, Dijakovic debuts, Io Shirai & Dakota Kai vs. a debuting Marina Shafir & Jessamyn Duke and more!
https://www.postwrestling.com/2018/12/20/upnxt-12-20-18-d-i-why/
*****
DOUBLE SHOT 12/19/18: BTE, Becky Lynch “Chronicle”, Golden Lovers vs. Tanahashi and Ospreay
John Pollock and Wai Ting review the “Leaving the Territory” edition of Being the Elite, the Becky Lynch “Chronicle”, and Golden Lovers vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi & Will Ospreay.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2018/12/19/double-shot-12-19-18-bte-becky-lynch-chronicle-golden-lovers-vs-tanahashi-and-ospreay/
*****

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About John Pollock 1120 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.