POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: New details emerge in Snuka & Argentino case

A big feature with new details on the Nancy Argentino case from 1983, Roman Reigns on his absence, a story on UFC anti-trust suit, Dana White speaks & more.

POST IT NOTES

**Rewind-A-SmackDown will be out late tonight for members of the POST Wrestling Café with Wai Ting and I chatting the final episode before Money in the Bank. Plus, we will review this week’s episode of Dark Side of the Ring covering Herb Abrams and chat the latest news.

**On Saturday, our UFC 249 POST Show will be streaming live on the POST Wrestling Discord channel, which is free to join and listen to. Phil Chertok and Eric Marcotte will be on the Discord for the whole night starting with the preliminary fights and I’ll be joining after the card’s conclusion for the POST Show.

**Wai Ting and I will be LIVE this Sunday immediately after Money in the Bank for Double Double, Iced Capp & Espresso members of the POST Wrestling Café. We will have a rundown of the card and then open the phone lines with a reaction to the event. The free version of the POST Show will be available everywhere Monday morning.

POST SCHEDULE

Tonight: Rewind-A-SmackDown with a review of Dark Side of the Ring (Patreon)
Saturday: UFC 249 POST Show with John Pollock & Phil Chertok
Sunday: Total Recall with Wai Ting & Pauline (Patreon)
Sunday: WWE Money in the Bank POST Show (LIVE for Double Double+ Patrons)

POST VIDEOS

WRESTLING NEWS

David Bixenspan at MEL Magazine has done a deep investigation into the story involving Nancy Argentino’s death in May 1983, which was the recent subject of an episode of Dark Side of the Ring.

The story focuses on several new aspects to the sordid case that remained open for 30 years before the Allentown Morning Call investigation in 2013 led to the case being looked at again and Snuka being charged. In 2017, it was determined by Judge Kelly Banach he was mentally unfit to stand trial and died twelve days later.

The first major incident between Snuka and Argentino occurred on January 18, 1983, at the Howard Johnson Motor Lodge in Onondaga County in Syracuse, New York. After complaints from a nearby room, the motel manager Thomas Donovan finally contacted police to investigate what was going on between the two. Bixenspan poured through statements and affidavits from the authorities assigned to the case that night stating they witnessed physical abuse by Snuka, including grabbing Argentino by the hair and dragging her against the wall. Deputy Lawrence Witter assessed her injuries from the attack included a bruised right thumb, a contusion to the neck, possible fractured ribs, and a lower back injury.

Argentino initially signed a release to share her medical records with the Sherriff’s department but the following day stated she wasn’t seeking prosecution and said she was never struck or intentionally harmed by Snuka. The MEL Magazine story investigates the possible reasons for this change in her response and discovered a file from the New York case summarizing a phone interview with Detective Gerald Procanyn with Sgt. Peter Bronstad (who was struck by Snuka at the motor lodge) and Deputy Alex Romanenko. In the summary, it states that ‘Vince McMahon tried to talk her out of making the complaint against Snuka’. WWE was contacted for a response to the MEL Magazine feature and did not respond.

The final portion is dedicated to the autopsy report after Argentino’s death in May 1983 conducted by Lehigh County Medical Examiner Dr. Isidore Mihalikis. This was key to the case being revisited as the Allentown Morning Call obtained the autopsy report for their 2013. It was obtained through the documents presented in the 1985 civil case filed by the Argentino family against Snuka for the wrongful death of Nancy and resulted in a $500,000 judgment levied and never paid.

In a memo between two lawyers outlining the contents of the autopsy report, one lawyer (only identified by the initials ‘DNZ’ and addressed to ‘’SRW’) outlines a conversation with Lehigh County District Attorney William Platt. In the memo, it states an autopsy report was never transcribed but the details were communicated orally. Platt conveyed that the death was consistent with a single fall with medical examiner not finding any ‘bruises, lacerations, or other indications of a beating or prior injuries’, adding that the cause of death would have been termed ‘accidental’ if a formal autopsy was prepared. When the actual autopsy report came out in 2013, it did not reflect the descriptions in the memo were numerous cuts and lacerations and stated in the report that

In view of the autopsy findings and the discrepancies in clinical history, I believe that the case should be investigated as a homicide until proven otherwise.

**For Money in the Bank, they are expected to be adding another match to the pay-per-view and one match added to the kickoff, which will either be announced tonight or over the weekend.

**Boston Mayor Marty Walsh issued a statement Friday and said the city is not expecting to have large crowds gathering this summer with parades and festivals off of the schedule up to and including Labor Day on September 7th. This would directly impact WWE and likely eliminates any chance of SummerSlam taking place in August from the TD Garden in Boston. Below is Mayor Walsh’s full statement:

We are planning a healthy re-opening and an equitable recovery process—as soon as the health data tells us it is safe. But we do not envision a point this summer when it will make sense to have large crowds gathered in close contact for prolonged periods. I can announce that parades and festivals will not take place this summer in the City of Boston, up to and including Labor Day on September 7. For smaller events, we will be looking at them on a case-by-case basis as we move through the summer months. If your event brings crowds together in close contact–like a concert, a road race, or a flag raising– you should start looking at alternatives now.

**The Undertaker did several interviews promoting his upcoming documentary series that premieres on Sunday. He spoke with Variety, TV Guide, and ESPN among his media interviews promoting the debut. In speaking to ESPN, he gave the following reaction to his match with Roman Reigns in 2017 at WrestleMania 33:

For me, in that role, I wanted to do the very best that I could do for Roman. I think the world of him. You want to be able to do the best you can for him, and you know you have no business being in the ring.

Yes, I could have mailed it in. Protected myself. Only done a couple of things that I knew that I could do. But that’s just not the way I work. And it wouldn’t have been fair to him. So I just tried to do the best I could. The harder I tried, the more I did — at least in my perception — it was not a good night. It was really disappointing. Watching it back finally, and watching it back in front of a film crew, it was like … I didn’t have to say much. You could just tell from the expression on my face that I wasn’t really pleased with it.

**Roman Reigns spoke with TMZ on Friday and stated the reason he is off WWE is because of his eight-week-old twins and not his own health. He wasn’t specific but said the drugs he takes do not attack his immune system. Back in February, WWE began advertising a men’s Elimination Chamber match for the March 8th pay-per-view and dropped the idea with Reigns announced as Bill Goldberg’s opponent at WrestleMania. With Reigns off the March 6th episode of SmackDown, a March 7th live event, and the Elimination Chamber show, that would seem to indicate the timeline.

Reigns didn’t provide any update on when he would return but did state his desire to do so but considered his family the priority and added that it’s also a message to his community to set an example. During the week of the WrestleMania tapings in March, Reigns removed himself from the tapings and Braun Strowman filled his spot for the match against Goldberg.

**WWE announced that WrestleMania 3 from March 1987 will air in its entirety this Tuesday at 8 pm Eastern on FS1.

**Total Bellas dropped 31% this week in viewership with 415,000 viewers and a 0.18 in the 18-49 demo. It was their lowest number this season and down from 600,000 last week.

**The WWE stock had a big day increasing more than 5% and closing at $46.06.

**Kazuchika Okada has donated 5 million Yen (almost $47,000 US) to the Nippon Foundation’s special Coronavirus relief fund. He issued the following statement announcing the donation:

I’m always grateful for NJPW fans’ support, and it’s my hope that I can get back to hearing the cheers of sold out crowds as soon as possible. It’s usually me receiving the support and power of the people, but now I feel it’s my turn to lend support to medical staff fighting this disease. I hope fans continue to stay home and stay healthy, so that we can return to the ring as soon as possible.

**Here are the matches and segments announced for Friday Night SmackDown, which was filmed last week at the WWE Performance Center and airs at 8 pm Eastern on Fox:
*Daniel Bryan, Drew Gulak & TBA vs. King Corbin, Shinsuke Nakamura & Cesaro
*Sonya Deville vs. Mandy Rose
*Bayley & Sasha Banks vs. Tamina & Lacey Evans
*Jeff Hardy returns
*Face-to-face segment with Braun Strowman and Bray Wyatt

**An interesting note from this past week’s ratings was that among males 18-34, AEW slightly outdrew Raw in that category with a 0.24 to Raw’s 0.23, which was first reported by Wade Keller at the Pro Wrestling Torch.

**For those in Canada, AEW Dynamite will be airing on TSN2 on May 13th and May 20th.

**Pro Wrestling NOAH is holding another empty arena show on Saturday to stream on DDT Universe with the following card:
*Takashi Sugiura vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima for the GHC National title
*Hayata & Yo-Hey vs. Yoshinari Ogawa & Kotaro Suzuki for the GHC junior heavyweight tag titles
*Atsushi Kotoge vs. Kaito Kiyomiya
*Naomichi Marufuji & Masaaki Mochizuki vs. Hajime Ohara & Seiki Yoshioka
*Kazushi Sakuraba, Rene Dupree & Nosawa vs. Kenoh, Manabu Soya & Haoh
*Shuhei Taniguchi, Mohammed Yone & Daisuke Harada vs. Masa Kitamiya, Yoshiki Inamura & Nioh
*Kinya Okada vs. Tadasuke

**The Owen Hart Foundation website wrote about the upcoming episode of Dark Side of the Ring that features Dr. Martha Hart’s involvement. They noted that the documentary crew spoke with Hart, as well as her children Oje and Athena for the episode with the crew flying to Calgary and completing the interviews in Toronto.

**Greg Oliver at SLAM Wrestling has a story on Jamie Asher, who wrestled as ‘Sexy Baby’ Jamie Jackson on the Ontario independent scene and died this past week at the age of 44.

**VICE TV is now airing the ‘After Dark’ show before Dark Side of the Ring each Tuesday (so, maybe ‘Sunset’ should be the accurate description). Anyway, this past Tuesday’s panel discussing the David Schultz episode averaged 72,000 viewers and a 0.03 in the 18-49 demo, which ranked 145th on cable Tuesday. It also went against FS1’s ‘Best of WWE: Brock Lesnar’ special that did 255,000 viewers. I have no idea how Vice didn’t reach an agreement with the directors Jason Eisener and Evan Husney to do a panel show afterward, which they do every Wednesday morning with Conrad Thompson with stories behind the filming and what was left out. The ‘After Dark’ special is a Vice in-house production with Eisener and Husney not connected to it.

**While few expected him to run, former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura has confirmed he won’t be running as a third-party candidate in this November’s federal election. Ventura noted he would be voting for the Green Party is pushing that a third-party candidate must be elected this year.

**Dragon Gate is resuming shows next weekend with the launch of their King of Gate tournament. There will be three blocks with Block A matches airing next Saturday, May 15th followed by a B Block show on May 16th and a C Block show on May 17th airing on the Dragon Gate streaming service. Block A features Susumu Yokosuka, Yosuke Santa Maria, Diamante, Dragon Kid, Kzy, Yamato, Ryo Saito, and HYO. Block B features Naruki Doi, Big R Shimizu, BxB Hulk, Keisuke Okuda, KAI, Genki Horiguchi, Jason Lee, and Kaito Ishida. Block C has Takashi Yoshida, Masaaki Mochizuki, Kazma Sakamoto, Dragon Dia, Ben-K, Eita, Strong Machine, and Kagetora.

MMA NEWS

**The UFC will run its first card since March 14th with the UFC 249 event on Saturday from the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. Many eyes will be on this show and the fallout with an assessment of the risk and reward. If this event goes without a hitch, it will likely accelerate others in this direction to restart with the assumption that enough preventable measures can be taken. The UFC is doing an extraordinary amount to mitigate risk but there is no way to eliminate it. UFC has access to COVID-19 testing with the swab and antibody testing, as does AEW, which are required for events running in Jacksonville. If there is a positive test that comes out, it’s hard to say what happens as it would depend on who is affected and if it’s a domino effect where everything must shut down due to the personnel that is required for all the shows. Everyone wants to see this succeed as it would represent a step forward for those hoping to see normalcy return but there’s a reason most leagues are shut down and not going this route at this point in the pandemic.

As a show, it’s as deep a card as UFC has promoted in a long time. The ESPN prelims should see a big audience with the combination of demand for the show, a strong line-up highlighted by Donald Cerrone in his first fight since the monstrous business he did with Conor McGregor, and the curiosity factor that was present for WWE & AEW when they started the empty arena shows. UFC ran one empty arena card on March 14th, which was an afternoon card from Brasilia. Going in that weekend, there was the thought that with no other live sports the UFC would have a big audience and it was 672,000 viewers that were nothing special. Granted, that was days after the shutdown began in the U.S. and now it’s eight weeks of no sports, so the demand should be there.

The pay-per-view component is a crapshoot given the economy and a difference in the audience’s willingness to sit down and watch an empty arena show versus buying one. It’s an excellent card in terms of action fights and compelling stories but it’s also an event I can see heavy piracy. We aren’t likely to find out how this show does unless ESPN releases data next week, but it would be a good barometer of the pay-per-view industry in the COVID-19 world. Disney and Netflix have seen a surge in subscriptions during this period and with fewer entertainment options. A big UFC card may be enticing to people that haven’t been spending as much due to the lack of sports over the past two months.

I am less convinced that the UFC cards this Wednesday and next Saturday will do any better than they would under normal circumstances. Wednesday’s card features Anthony Smith vs. Glover Teixeira in a battle of past opponents that fought Jon Jones, and Saturday will see heavyweights Alistair Overeem and Walt Harris in the main event. Wednesday is going to be a tough night with AEW and NXT running shows and seeing how all three shows perform with the competition. I don’t see the wrestling products being hurt that much as it isn’t a marquee card from UFC. Also, the main card doesn’t start until 9 pm Eastern, so the top fights won’t be airing until AEW and NXT are off the air.

**Of the 24 fighters on Saturday’s card, only one missed weight on Friday with Jeremy Stephens missing by 4.5 pounds for his featherweight fight with Calvin Kattar.

Here are the results from Friday’s weigh-ins:

MAIN CARD (10 pm Eastern on pay-per-view)
*Tony Ferguson (155) vs. Justin Gaethje (155) for the interim lightweight title
*Henry Cejudo (135) vs. Dominick Cruz (135) for the UFC bantamweight title
*Francis Ngannou (261.5) vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik (260)
*Jeremy Stephens (150.5*) vs. Calvin Kattar (146)
*Greg Hardy (265.5) vs. Yorgan de Castro (262)

PRELIMINARY CARD (8 pm on ESPN, TSN1/4/5 in Canada)
*Donald Cerrone (171) vs. Anthony Pettis (170.5)
*Aleksei Oleinik (227.5) vs. Fabricio Werdum (243)
*Michelle Waterson (115) vs. Carla Esparza (115.5)
*Uriah Hall (186) vs. Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza (186)

EARLY PRELIMS (6:30 pm on ESPN+, Fight Pass)
*Vicente Luque (170) vs. Niko Price (170.5)
*Charles Rosa (146) vs. Bryce Mitchell (145.5)
*Ryan Spann (206) vs. Sam Alvey (205)

**In between weigh-ins, a UFC official was seen cleaning the scale.

**Bloomberg Businessweek has a big piece on the anti-trust lawsuit against UFC with the promotion set to return to action on Saturday amidst the concerns of the global pandemic. The plaintiffs are waiting to see if Judge Richard Boulware of Nevada will rule it a class-action lawsuit, which they note is expected to be appealed if ruled in such a direction. The article is well-researched when digging into past grievances from fighters and includes statements from the UFC’s legal representative William Isaacson. In the article, they cite analyst Brandon Ross of LightShed Partners estimating the UFC’s revenue from media rights and sponsorships for 2020 at $750 million while previous reports put fighter compensation “at or below” 20% of revenues for the company. In the anti-trust suit, the UFC is being represented by Boies Schiller Flexner LLP, and a ruling by the Judge regarding whether it can be ruled a class-action suit could come down any day.

**UFC president Dana White held a scrum with the media in attendance in Jacksonville for Saturday’s card. Below are some notes:
*His hope was to never stop running shows and cited their example of running the March 14th show from Brasilia that didn’t have any issues
*They will take the hit on the live gates and added expenses associated with running shows during the pandemic
*The winner of Tony Ferguson vs. Justin Gaethje will fight Khabib Nurmagomedov for the UFC lightweight title
*There is still no location set for May 23rd and has a main event in mind but didn’t reveal it
*The infrastructure for ‘Fight Island’ should be ready around mid-June, they did not buy an island but cut a deal to use it
*Everyone associated with this show has had the swab and antibody tests and there will be multiple tests administered
*He is pushing for the Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier fight and that division needs to keep moving
*There are ten places in the U.S. they could go and run cards

**Following his March plea deal, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is not expected to make any discipline from the UFC after his latest arrest. In an interview with Combate, Dana White told the outlet he decided not to punish the fighter and expects Jones to fight again in 2020. Jones was facing charges of aggravated DWI, negligent use of firearms, possession of an open container, and no proof of insurance when he was taken into custody on March 26th in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This was followed by news of a plea deal that includes community custody, a year of probation, and outpatient therapy while avoiding any jail time. Jones last competed in March where he narrowly defeated Dominick Reyes by unanimous decision at UFC 248.

**Combate reports that a middleweight fight between Ian Heinisch and Gerald Meerschaert is scheduled to take place at UFC 250 on June 6th at an unknown location. The event was initially set for Perth, Australia but will be unable to stage a card in Australia during this period.

POLL RESULTS

Which shows are you planning to buy this month?

1,422 votes

Neither – 54%
AEW Double or Nothing – 30%
UFC 249 – 11%
Both – 5%

ON THIS DATE

 

*****
Café Hangout: AEW Fined, WWE Untold: “I Am the Game”, WWE NXT

John Pollock and Wai Ting discuss AEW being fined $10,000 for a match, last night’s WWE NXT featuring the debut of Karrion Kross, and WWE Network’s excellent Untold: “I Am The Game” documentary detailing two pivotal matches in the careers of Triple H and Cactus Jack.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/05/07/cafe-hangout-3pm-et-your-calls-wwe-nxt-untold-i-am-the-game/
*****
REWIND-A-DYNAMITE: AEW Goes Live, Tony Khan on Empty Arenas

John Pollock and Wai Ting review AEW Dynamite’s return to live programming from Jacksonville, Florida headlined by a Street Fight between Chris Jericho & Sammy Guevara vs. Kenny Omega & Matt Hardy.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/05/07/rewind-a-dynamite-5-6-20-aew-goes-live-tony-khan-on-empty-arenas/
*****
upNXT: Fall and Pray

Braden Herrington and Davie Portman are reunited to review WWE NXT featuring Velveteen Dream vs. Adam Cole for the NXT Championship, Io Shirai vs. Charlotte Flair for the NXT Women’s Championship, and the in-ring debut of Karrion Kross.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/05/07/upnxt-5-6-20-fall-and-pray/
*****
UFC 249 PREVIEW SHOW

John Pollock is joined by Phil Chertok for a UFC 249 Preview Show ahead of this Saturday’s card headlined by two championship fights in Florida.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/05/06/ufc-249-preview-show-with-john-pollock-phil-chertok/
*****

UFC 249 PREVIEW SHOW 
John Pollock is joined by Phil Chertok for a UFC 249 Preview Show ahead of this Saturday’s card headlined by two championship fights in Florida.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/05/06/ufc-249-preview-show-with-john-pollock-phil-chertok/
*****
upNXT REVIEW: LOST – Pilot Part 1 & 2
Davie Portman celebrates a decade since his favorite TV show, Lost aired its finale by reviewing the episode that kicked it all off: Pilot Part 1 & 2. He is joined by friends of the show Kevin Hudson (from Geekcentric), David Sykes, and MJ From NJ to chat all about one of the most groundbreaking pieces of TV in history.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/05/05/lost_pilot_1_2/ 
*****
ASK-A-WAI: Ask Us Anything! (May 2020)
John Pollock and Wai Ting answer their patrons’ questions from the POST Wrestling Forum in the May 2020 edition of Ask-A-Wai.
https://www.patreon.com/posts/36785427 
*****
REWIND-A-RAW 5/4/20: The Phenomenal Resurrection 
John Pollock and Wai Ting review WWE Raw featuring a major return in the Last Chance Gauntlet Match to determine the final men’s Money In The Bank qualifier. Plus today’s news and more.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/05/05/rewind-a-raw-5-4-20-the-phenomenal-resurrection/
*****
POST PURORESU: Great Sasuke Documentary, All Japan 4/30

John Pollock & WH Park provide updates on the major promotions, a review of All Japan’s recent show & The Great Sasuke documentary, plus several show announcements.
https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/05/03/post-puroresu-great-sasuke-documentary-all-japan-4-30/
*****

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About John Pollock 5646 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.