POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: The latest on the Jon Jones story

The latest on the Jon Jones case going into tonight's UFC 232 card, matches taped for Monday's Raw, Impact's viewership, MLW runs an angle involving a stabbing and more.

POST IT NOTES

**We will have a UFC 232 POST Show up late tonight as I will be joined by Phil Chertok and Ziggy Cao to review the card and the fall out after the event. This will be on the free feed for everyone to download and all the usual spots.

**The latest edition of EGGSHELLS is up on the site with host Chris Charlton welcoming Joe Lanza from the Voices of Wrestling network to review Wrestle Kingdom 10 from January 4th, 2016. The show was headlined by Kazuchika Okada defending the IWGP heavyweight title against Hiroshi Tanahashi and Shinsuke Nakamura vs. AJ Styles.

**Wai Ting and I are releasing a special Sunday edition of Rewind-A-Wai tomorrow with a review of ECW’s One Night Stand 2005 show. This was chosen by our Espresso Executive Producer Dustin Koga and was a great review. This will be available to members of the POST Wrestling Café.

**The EGGSHELLS podcast will wrap this week with the final two shows coming out Monday and Thursday. Monday’s show will recap Wrestle Kingdom 11 from 2017 featuring the first match between Kazuchika Okada and Kenny Omega and Thursday’s show will focus on last year’s Wrestle Kingdom card with Chris Charlton welcoming Kevin Kelly for the final show.

**Because of New Year’s, Wai Ting and I won’t have shows out Monday or Tuesday night but we will have a special show out Wednesday reviewing Raw and SmackDown and catching up on the latest news.

WRESTLING NEWS

**The WWE is taping the New Year’s Day edition of SmackDown tonight in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They are advertising John Cena’s return on the show as well as a New Day New Year’s Celebration segment.

**The Raw crew has a house show at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois tonight. This is strange as the SmackDown grew just ran the Allstate Arena in Rosemont on Wednesday with Dave Meltzer reporting that the show only drew 6,000, which is disappointing for the post-Christmas show in one of their top cities. It is a curious decision to be running the same market within a few days, albeit different crews.

**The following matches will be airing on Monday’s taped edition of Raw on New Year’s Eve, which was taped Friday in Detroit:
*Drew McIntyre vs. Dolph Ziggler in a steel cage match
*Battle Royal for a shot at the Intercontinental title
*The Riott Squad vs. Sasha Banks, Bayley and Ember Moon
*Seth Rollins vs. Bobby Lashley
*Jinder Mahal and The Singh Brothers vs. Rhyno and Heath Slater
*Dean Ambrose vs. Battle Royal winner for the Intercontinental title
*Ronda Rousey and Natalya vs. Nia Jax and Tamina

**Tom Leturgey at SLAM Wrestling has a feature on Bobby Hunt, who was a Pittsburgh area wrestler that passed away on Thursday at the age of 85 and was married for 61 years.

**Impact Wrestling’s second Best of 2018 special averaged 135,000 viewers on Pop TV on Thursday. This was up from the first Best of 2018 special the week prior that did 116,000 viewers. The final Pop TV broadcast will take place this Thursday with a new episode leading into the Homecoming pay-per-view next Sunday. The promotion will debut on the Pursuit Channel in the U.S. on Friday, January 11th at 10 pm Eastern.

**MLW did a wild angle during Friday’s Fusion broadcast involving Low Ki and Konnan. The match was for Low Ki’s MLW title with Konnan going for the championship in Miami with the idea that the aging star could win a title late in his career. It was a no disqualification match to allow for lots of run-ins and distractions because Konnan can barely do much after his injuries, especially for a match with someone like Low Ki. The match started with Konnan blasting Low Ki with a loaded sock and Low Ki sold tremendously well and started bleeding. Konnan bled as well but for all the violence throughout the match the audience didn’t seem heated and it wasn’t a large crowd. The closing angle saw Selena de la Renta hand off an object and Low Ki stabbed Konnan in the kidneys and left him laying in the ring as the referee called off the match. Tony Schiavone was insisting they call the authorities but as the music played to end the show, Schiavone did his usual sign off and it didn’t come off effective to me. In a different environment where you had a heated response from the crowd and it was a different era, it may have worked, but today this seemed too far off the grid with the idea a man was stabbed and left for dead in the ring. The effort was there to do something different, but I didn’t think worked for the Miami crowd.

The rest of the show was strong, especially Tommy Dreamer’s promo building up a Singapore Cane match in two weeks with Brian Pillman Jr. as Dreamer has been doing effective promos in MLW and Impact of late. The big match they are promoting next is Low Ki’s next title defense on February 2nd against Tom Lawlor, who came to Konnan’s aid at the end of the show and ran off Promociones Dorado.

**The latest edition of Talk is Jericho is a special tribute for Eddie Guerrero with Jericho being joined by Konnan, Rey Mysterio, and Diamond Dallas Page to share their memories. This show was recorded on the Jericho Cruise in October and is a great show that I recommend checking out.

**Former WWE announcer Justin Roberts turns 40 today.

**The WWE stock closed at $73.06 on Friday.

MMA NEWS

**Marc Raimondi at MMA Fighting has written a very well-reported piece on the entire story on Jon Jones and the lead-up tonight’s fight with Alexander Gustafsson. This story has changed several times since initially reported last week. Initially, it was stated by UFC president Dana White that Jones passed all prior tests before the abnormal finding in the December 9th test, that proved to be untrue as there were findings of the M3 metabolite in separates tests administered in August and September. Further, it was revealed Friday that when the California State Athletic Commission made the decision to allow Jones to fight in their state this weekend, they did so without being informed of the August and September irregularities in the test’s findings. Jeff Novitzky of the UFC stated in hindsight they probably should have been made aware by USADA, just as the Nevada Athletic Commission had been notified.

Andy Foster of the CSAC has stated that he received assurance from Dr. Daniel Eichner, who serves as the director of the Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory (SMRTL), that “there is no evidence that DHCMT has been re-administered” and added that the “most likely cause” of the metabolite remaining in Jones’ system is due to “residual levels from a previous exposure”. Eichner also wrote that “there is no scientific or medical evidence that the athlete would have an unfair advantage leading up to the competition or for a competition in December 2018.”

Of the experts cited in Raimondi’s piece, there is not an agreement on how long the M3 metabolite can stay in one’s system. Russian scientists Tim Sobolevsky and Grigory Rodchenkov performed a study on oral Turinabol in 2011 and stated in their findings that it can last 40-50 days, while Dr. Larry Bowers, who previously served as the director for science for USADA, believes it to be a period of 6-9 months. Jones tested positive for the substance in July 2017. Novitzky has stated they have been made aware of several cases of the long-term lasting effect of the M3 metabolite from other cases, including UFC fighter Grant Dawson.

Dr. Larry Bowers is one of the three experts that Jeff Novtizky has stated they have relied on for guidance on this case. Bowers informed USADA that he concluded Jones had not ingested anything new between August and December of this year but could not account if anything was taken prior. It should be added that Jones was not tested between October 2017 and August 2018.

The hearing that Nevada is scheduled to have should hopefully provide more information and light on this subject. I don’t think you can make a solid conclusion can be made based on the facts presented. Jones very well may have taken nothing since the drug test failure in 2017 and it would be wrong to make assumptions, even with the record Jones has accrued and is hardly someone deserving sympathy or the benefit of the doubt. If that is proven, then there is the question of whether a fighter should be allowed to fight before a banned substance is out of their system, regardless of the performance-enhancing properties present or not. The UFC did not do themselves any favors with their messaging and coming out with inaccurate information last weekend that Jones was clean in all prior tests when he wasn’t. Secondly, if USADA informed Nevada of the August and September test results, they needed to inform California as well so that commission could decide with all available facts and results.

**Josh Gross of The Guardian weighs in the past week leading up to UFC 232 with a look at the Jon Jones story.

**The UFC 232 card is tonight from The Forum in Inglewood, California with an expected sell out tonight. One thing you can’t argue is that the fanbase certainly didn’t punish the promotion for moving the show on short notice and fans left out that bought tickets and booked hotels and flights for a card in Las Vegas. The only fighter to miss weight on Friday was Montel Jackson, who weighed 137 pounds for his bantamweight fight with Brian Kelleher. If ever there was a card to waive a penalty for missing weight, this would be it. These fighters had to travel Thursday on the day they are cutting weight and had their entire week thrown up in the air as a result of a situation they had no control of. Below is the full card:

MAIN CARD (10 pm Eastern on pay-per-view)
*Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson for the UFC light heavyweight title – Their last fight was one of the greatest in UFC history. I re-watched the fight again this week and have always felt Jones won the fight with decisive rounds in the fourth and fifth. Neither has been regularly active since that fight in 2013 with Gustafsson fighting five fight times and Jones fighting four times. You have to favor Jones based on history, but Gustafsson looked outstanding in his last fight over Glover Teixeira, but that was in May 2017. No one is underestimating Gustafsson and I don’t even know how big of an upset it would be if he won.
*Cris Cyborg Justino vs. Amanda Nunes for the UFC women’s featherweight title – Nunes is a big underdog in the fight and will be forfeiting the size advantage. Justino had one of her best performances to date last December against Holly Holm and I could see this fight being similar. I expect a great fight and this one has been greatly overshadowed by the Jones story this week.
*Carlos Condit vs. Michael Chiesa – Chiesa is moving up to welterweight after missing weight for his fight with Anthony Pettis in July. Chiesa was in a deep lightweight division and could hang with tough guys, the big question is how he adapts with the big jump up. Condit has lost his last four going back three years and is on the downside of his career. I favor Chiesa in the fight.
*Corey Anderson vs. Ilir Latifi – Latifi had one blunder against Ryan Bader in an otherwise strong run for a light heavyweight. If Latifi wins, it probably won’t mean much as I can’t see either of these two being in line for a title fight even thought Latifi would have the record to warrant one.
*Chad Mendes vs. Alexander Volkanovski – This is the big test for Volkanovski, who is 5-0 in the UFC but never fought someone at the level of Mendes. Volkabovski beat his teammate Darren Elkins in his last fight. Mendes missed two years due to a USADA suspension and came back this year defeating Myles Jury. I like Mendes in this fight but it’s also a test for him and where his skill set is in 2018.

PRELIMINARY CARD (8 pm on FS 1, TSN 5 in Canada)
*Andrei Arlovski vs. Walt Harris – I can’t believe this is Arlovski’s fourth fight of 2018 and this will be his 28th fight in the UFC. I feel Harris is going to have the edge in this fight and there is always the chance of Arlovski dropping if the right shot lands cleanly on his chin.
*Cat Zingano vs. Megan Anderson – Featherweight is desperate for title contenders and either one could propel themselves into that spot with a win. Anderson was set to fight Cyborg but the fight didn’t happen and instead she was dominated by Holly Holm in June. Zingano picked up her first win since 2014 in her last fight with Marion Reneau.
*Douglas Silva de Andrade vs. Petr Yan
*BJ Penn vs. Ryan Hall

FIGHT PASS CARD (6:15 pm)
*Nathaniel Wood vs. Andre Ewell
*Uriah Hall vs. Bevon Lewis
*Siyar Bahadurzada vs. Curtis Millender
*Montel Jackson vs. Brian Kelleher

**Daniel Cormier announced ahead of tonight’s card that he is vacating the UFC light heavyweight title, which was always the plan with the championship going to the winner of tonight’s main event.

**The Rizin Fighting Federation will hold their annual New Year’s Eve event from the Saitama Super Arena. The show will be available on Fite TV and begins late Sunday night at 1 am Eastern with the following fights:
*Rena Kubota vs. Samantha Jean-Francois
*Tofik Musaev vs. Nobumitsu Osawa
*Justyna Haba vs. Shinju Nozawa Auclair
*Manel Kape vs. Ulka Sasaki
*Yuki Motoya vs. Justin Scoggins
*Johnny Case vs. Yusuke Yachi
*Kazuyuki Miyata vs. Erson Yamamoto
*Mika Nagano vs. Miyuu Yamamoto
*Damien Brown vs. Daron Cruickshank
*Gabi Garcia vs. Barbara Nepomuceno
*Jiri Prochazka vs. Brandon Halsey
*Kanna Asakura vs. Ayaka Hamasaki for the Rizin super atomweight title
*Kyoji Horiguchi vs. Darrion Caldwell for the Rizin bantamweight title

Fite TV is not listing the Floyd Mayweather vs. Tenshin Nasukawa exhibition bout for their broadcast, which is the main event of the card in Japan and will be a three-round boxing bout.

**Here is the final episode of UFC Embedded for tonight’s UFC 232 card:

*****
EGGSHELLS Podcast Companion: 2016 with Joe Lanza
Episode 28 sees Chris Charlton and Voices of Wrestling’s Joe Lanza look at 2016. AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura leave NJPW following their match, leading to a sudden elevation for Kenny Omega, and Kazuchika Okada finally vanquishes Hiroshi Tanahashi.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2018/12/29/eggshells-podcast-companion-2016-w-joe-lanza/
*****
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/
*****
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/
*****
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/
*****
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/
*****

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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.