POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: WWE’s Christmas viewership, Jeff Novitzky defends UFC 232 decision

Jeff Novitzky defends the UFC's decision to move the UFC 232 card and allow Jon Jones to fight Saturday, Hiroshi Tanahashi signs a new deal, WWE's Christmas viewership and more.

POST IT NOTES

**Our WORST OF 2018 Show is up on the site with Wai Ting, Braden Herrington, Davie Portman and I making our picks in all the categories as well as revealing the results of the POST Wrestling listeners choices. You can download the show as a podcast or watch the video version below:

**On Saturday, we will have two shows out on the free feed with the latest edition of EGGSHELLS as Chris Charlton welcomes Joe Lanza from the Voices of Wrestling network to chat Wrestle Kingdom 10 from 2016. Late Saturday, I will have a UFC 232 POST Show with Phil Chertok and Ziggy Cao as we review the card from Los Angeles and the Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson main event.

**On Sunday, Wai Ting and I will be releasing the latest Rewind-A-Wai with a review of ECW’s One Night Stand from June 2005. This was chosen by Espresso Executive Producer Dustin Koga and has already been recorded. Personally, I thought this was an excellent show as we went in-depth into so many aspects of this show, how it came together, the concerns going into the show, the major players involved behind-the-scenes, the reaction to the event, and lots more. It is one of the most memorable WWE shows of all-time and we hope you enjoy this podcast when it drops on the POST Wrestling Café for Patrons this Sunday.

**I was recently interviewed by the Grammarly website, which runs a grammar-based app that I use frequently and was asked to discuss my career. The story was released on Friday and can be read on their website.

POST WRESTLING SCHEDULE
*Saturday: EGGSHELLS Podcast Companion with Chris Charlton – 2016 with Joe Lanza from the Voices of Wrestling network
*Saturday: UFC 232 POST Show with John Pollock, Phil Chertok, and Ziggy Cao
*Sunday: Rewind-A-Wai on ECW One Night Stand 2005 (Patreon)
*Monday: EGGSHELLS Podcast Companion with Chris Charlton covering 2017
*Tuesday: Wrestle Kingdom 13 Primer with John Pollock, WH Park, and Wai Ting

WRESTLING NEWS

**The Christmas Eve episode of Raw dropped significantly with 1,775,000 watching the three-hour episode on the USA Network. To show how things have changed, the last time an episode of Raw aired on Christmas Eve was in 2012 and averaged 3,150,000 viewers. The viewership figures for this week and next shouldn’t be taken too seriously and everyone expects the usual January bounce back when Monday Night Football ends and the WWE enters WrestleMania season with the build to the Royal Rumble. Monday’s episode saw a steady audience with 1.752 million watching in the first hour, 1.789 in the second hour and 1.784 in the third hour. The 50+ audience grew throughout the show starting at a 0.76 for the opening hour and jumping to 0.79 and 0.82 for the remaining two hours.

**The Christmas edition of SmackDown averaged 1,904,000 viewers on Tuesday night on the USA Network. So, it was a rare week where SmackDown topped Raw in viewership, but again this week should not be taken as a sign of anything because of the holidays. This week’s SmackDown number would be the lowest ever since the show moved to Tuesday nights on the USA Network, falling beneath the previous record set in November 2016 on the night of the U.S. Election. I would expect Raw to do an even lower number next week on New Year’s Eve, but SmackDown should be right at the same level and possibly higher because of John Cena’s return.

**The WWE will be taping the New Year’s Eve edition of Raw tonight from Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan. They have announced a steel cage match will take place between Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler.

**The SmackDown crew has a house show in Baltimore, Maryland and then tape the New Year’s episode of the show on Saturday in Pittsburgh featuring the return of John Cena.

**Hiroshi Tanahashi has announced that he has signed a contract renewal with New Japan Pro Wrestling one week prior to his 10th main event at the Tokyo Dome on January 4th.

**Next week’s episode of NXT will be a special two-hour episode. The show will feature NXT’s Year-End Awards and a match between Matt Riddle and Kassius Ohno from the last set of tapings.

**Buddy Murphy will defend the Cruiserweight title in a four-way match at the Royal Rumble. The three opponents will be determined in qualifying matches over the next two weeks with Kalisto vs. Lio Rush and Akira Tozawa vs. Drew Gulak taking place on next week’s show and then Hideo Itami taking on Cedric Alexander having the final qualifying match on the January 8th episode.

**Bray Wyatt wrestled on Thursday’s WWE house show in Columbus, Ohio and defeated Baron Corbin. It was his first match since November.

**Here are the matches that will be airing on tonight’s episode of MLW Fusion at 8 pm Eastern on beIN Sports from the tapings in Miami:
*Low Ki vs. Konnan in a No DQ match for the MLW title
*A $20,000 Simon Gotch Prize Fight
*Andrew Everett vs. Ariel Dominguez

**Beer City Bruiser has announced he has signed a new deal with Ring of Honor but can still work select independent dates.

MMA NEWS

**Jeff Novitzky, the Vice President of Athlete Health and Performance, was a guest on the Joe Rogan Experience on Thursday to discuss the situation involving Jon Jones and UFC 232 being moved to Los Angeles. The main news coming out of the two-hour interview was that USADA found abnormal findings in the several tests administered to Jon Jones beyond the December 9th test that has been the subject of controversy. The first time that USADA detected trace amounts of the M3 metabolite was from an August 29th test with a read of 8 picograms per milliliter. A second test administered on September 18th also detected trace amounts of the metabolite with 19 picograms. Jones proceeded to produce four cleans tests that were taken September 21st, October 2nd, October 11th, and November 14th before the December 9th test that displayed 60-80 picograms in the findings.

Novitzky stated that the Nevada Athletic Commission was made aware of the abnormal findings on December 6th and if the December 9th test had come back clean there wasn’t expected to be an issue with Jones fighting. Novitzky cited a paper that was researched and written by Grigory Rodchenkov, who was profiled in the documentary “Icarus”, who studied the effects of oral Turinabol and the metabolites that can remain in one’s system. The way Novitzky conveyed the findings of Rodchenkov is that there are short, medium and long-term metabolites and they were able to conclude that the picograms found in Jones’ system were long-term metabolites and are confident that it’s from the ingestion of the oral Turinabol that led to Jones’ failed test in July 2017 and he was sanctioned for. Novitzky added that there were no performance enhancing qualities found within the metabolite present in Jones’ system and Novitzky stated he would quit his job if they allowed someone to fight with a performance-enhancing substance detected.

Novitzky believes that there is a “pulsing effect” that leads to the body secreting this metabolite for those found to have the M3 metabolite. The testing is detecting such low amounts that they will push to have such small readings thrown out in the future.

**Jeff Novitzky added on the Joe Rogan Experience that the UFC recently extended their deal with USADA and the number of tests to be administered will be growing by 30-40%. This will mean way more testing of fighters, which Novitzky argued on the show was a benefit to Jon Jones because he did have the negative tests since August to offset the ones that displayed the trace amounts of the M3 metabolite to back the belief that there could be a pulsing effect.

**Here is the full card for UFC 232 on Saturday with the results of Friday’s weigh-ins:

MAIN CARD (10 pm Eastern on pay-per-view)
*Jon Jones (204) vs. Alexander Gustafsson (204.5) for the UFC light heavyweight title
*Cris Cyborg Justino (144) vs. Amanda Nunes (145) for the UFC women’s featherweight title
*Michael Chiesa (170.5) vs. Carlos Condit (171)
*Corey Anderson (204.5) vs. Ilir Latifi (205.5)
*Chad Mendes (146) vs. Alex Volkanovski (145)

PRELIMINARY CARD (8 pm Eastern on FS 1, TSN 5 in Canada)
*Andrei Arlovski (245.5) vs. Walt Harris (258.5)
*Cat Zingano (144) vs. Megan Anderson (146)
*Douglas Silva de Andrade (134.5) vs. Petr Yan (135.5)
*BJ Penn (156) vs. Ryan Hall (154)

FIGHT PASS CARD (6:30 pm)
*Andre Ewell (135.5) vs. Nathaniel Wood (135.5)
*Bevon Lewis (186) vs. Uriah Hall (185.5)
*Siyar Bahadurzada (171) vs. Curtis Millender (170)
*Montel Jackson (137*) vs. Brian Kelleher (135)

**The UFC held a press conference Thursday with UFC president Dana White, Jon Jones, Alexander Gustafsson, Cris “Cyborg” Justino, and Amanda Nunes in attendance. The presser ran off the rails with 90% of the questions focused on the drug tests of Jones and the fighter getting agitated throughout. There was a very embarrassing shutdown by Jones from reporter Izabelle Kostic asking questions about these repeated incidents and Jones came off poorly in his dismissal of the questions. Gustafsson was just trying to hype the fight and use this news for ammunition calling Jones a cheater and trying to get under his skin. White was asked about the extra taxes the fighters must pay and increased costs associated, and White did not indicate that the UFC would be covering these added expenses, which is terribly unfair, if true.

**With ticket prices scaled down, the UFC 232 event will be full at The Forum on Saturday in Los Angeles. Tickets went on sale Wednesday and they sold 10,000 tickets in the first four hours. They expect 14,000 people in attendance for the show.

**The commentary team for UFC 232 will consist of Jon Anik, Dominick Cruz, and Joe Rogan. Light heavyweight contender Anthony Smith will be working in the studio as an analyst for the first time for the FS 1 coverage.

**ONE Championship has announced a multi-year deal with TV Tokyo to air live and non-live content. This will also include the BS TV Tokyo digital platform to air content from ONE.

**UFC Fight Pass has signed a three-year distribution deal with Roy Jones Jr. Boxing Promotions to stream up to 72 events over the term of the deal. The deal will kick off with a card on Thursday, January 31st at 10 pm Eastern from the Viejas Casino & Resort in Alpine, California.

*****
THE WORST OF 2018 SHOW
It’s POST Wrestling’s Worst of 2018 show as the panel of John Pollock, Wai Ting, Braden Herrington, and Davie Portman go through the worst that 2018 had to offer.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2018/12/28/the-worst-of-2018-show/
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upNXT 12/27/18: Wrestling Day
Braden Herrington & Davie Portman chat this week’s episode of WWE NXT featuring Undisputed Era vs. Heavy Machinery for the NXT Tag titles, a number one contender’s fatal four-way for the NXT Women’s title featuring Bianca Bel-Air vs. Mia Yim vs. Io Shirai vs. Lacey Evans, a great Tommaso Ciampa promo and more.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2018/12/27/upnxt-12-27-18-wrestling-day/
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RARSD 12/26/18: Xmas Raw & SD, UFC 232, Impact to Pursuit, Jingle Contest Winner
John Pollock and Wai Ting return after a short break for Christmas with condensed reviews of Raw and SmackDown from Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Plus, they go through the entire UFC 232 mess involving Jon Jones and Impact Wrestling going to the Pursuit Channel in 2019.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2018/12/26/rarsd-12-26-18-xmas-raw-sd-ufc-232-impact-to-pursuit-jingle-contest-winner/
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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/
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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/
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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/
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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/
*****

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About John Pollock 641 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.