POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: UFC releases card for May 30, location pending approval

UFC releases its full card for May 30th, the status of the event in Las Vegas, Jon Jones vs. Francis Ngannou talks, Triple threat added to TakeOver, Go Fund Me for Shad Gaspard, AEW injury notes & more.

Photo courtesy: UFC


**On Thursday’s Café Hangout, Wai & I were joined by journalist David Bixenspan for a lengthy discussion on the Owen Hart case he has reported on extensively, the Dark Side of the Ring episode, Bobby Talbert, questions that remain, true and false stories that have come out over the years, and lots more. This was a great discussion and encourage you to check it out.

**Wai Ting and I are back tonight with a new Rewind-A-SmackDown and will be a packed show. We will discuss tonight’s episode with our thoughts, a preview of Double or Nothing on Saturday, a discussion on today’s news items, and then our review of ‘The Final Days of Owen Hart’ from this week’s Dark Side of the Ring. This show will be available later tonight for all members of the POST Wrestling Café.

**On Saturday night, Wai and I will have our AEW Double or Nothing POST Show immediately after the pay-per-view. We will be LIVE for all Double Double, Iced Capp & Espresso members of the Café, and taking calls. The free version will be available for everyone early Sunday with a complete rundown of the card.

**For Café members, a new edition of Total Recall will be out Sunday with Wai Ting and Pauline chatting the most recent episodes of Total Bellas.

**I was a guest with Braden Herrington & Davie Portman on the upNXT Patreon for this month’s ‘Best Match Ever’ featuring Stan Hansen as the topic. We spoke for two hours on Hansen’s career and went through matches involving Hansen against Andre the Giant (a famous match from the Denen Coliseum in Sept. 1981 that was arguably Andre’s best match), a 1983 match against Terry Funk after Hansen’s jump to All Japan at the end of 1981 that was a huge deal, Hansen & Brody against Dorr & Terry Funk from the Real World Tag League in 1984, Hansen & Terry Gordy against Genichiro Tenryu & Toshiaki Kawada from the Tag League in 1985, Hansen vs. Kawada in April 1993, a singles match against Mitsuharu Misawa for the Triple Crown in May 1993 after Hansen won the Champion Carnival tournament, and Hansen vs. Kenta Kobashi from July 1993.

**Plus, I chatted with Nate Milton & Marcus Vanderberg of the Kings of Sport for over 40 minutes discussing ‘The Last Dance’, the final two episodes, this era of the NBA, the Toronto Raptors early years & lots more basketball discussion.


Tonight: Rewind-A-SmackDown with John Pollock & Wai (Patreon)
Saturday: AEW Double or Nothing POST Show (LIVE for Double Double, Iced Capp & Espresso members)
Sunday: Total Recall with Wai Ting & Pauline (Patreon)



**A Go Fund Me campaign has been set up following the passing of Shad Gaspard earlier this week. Shad is survived by his wife Siliana and their ten-year-old child Aryeh. The organizers of the campaign are raising the funds to assist the family with bills and expenses.

As many of you have heard on Sunday (May 17th) tragedy hit as Shad Gaspard went swimming with his son Aryeh –  when they got caught in a riptide. When the lifeguards went to rescue them, Shad made the ultimate sacrifice and told them to save his son instead. 

Family meant everything to Shad so we want to do anything we can to love and support them during this difficult time.

Shad’s friends are coming together to set up this GoFundMe to help his wife Siliana cover bills/expenses, Aryeh’s future college fund and we invite you to please join us.

Every little bit helps.

Your love and support is greatly appreciated!

**Here are the matches advertised for Friday Night SmackDown tonight on Fox, which were taped last week at the WWE Performance Center:
*Charlotte Flair vs. Bayley
*Dolph Ziggler & Sonya Deville vs. Otis & Mandy Rose
*Jeff Hardy vs. Sheamus in the Intercontinental title tournament
*AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura in the Intercontinental title tournament
*Isaiah Scott vs. Tyler Breeze on 205 Live

**TNT is running a countdown special for AEW’s Double or Nothing at 10 pm Eastern tonight. TSN2 in Canada will also be carrying it at the same time.

**Total Bellas did 533,000 viewers on Thursday night and 0.25 in the 18-49, which translated to seventh among all cable programming. This was the series’ third-highest number of the season.

**WWE has announced a triple threat match between Charlotte, Flair, Io Shirai, and Rhea Ripley for the NXT women’s title. The match will take place on Sunday, June 7th at the TakeOver: In Your House. This joins the previously announced match between Karrion Kross and Tommaso Ciampa for the TakeOver event.

**There were several injuries coming out of Wednesday’s episode of Dynamite. Rey Fenix and Matt Jackson were both hurt with Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter reporting that both are expected to still work the Double or Nothing show. Fenix executed a dive off the top rope to the floor, wasn’t caught and landed badly on the floor. Matt hit a high cross with brother Nick off the bleachers at TIAA Bank Field onto the Inner Circle members and injured his rib. The more serious potential injury is Britt Baker, who hurt her knee in the tag match with Nyla Rose against Hikaru Shida and Kris Statalander. Shida and Statlander lifted Rose and sent her on top of Baker, who was seated in the corner, off their shoulder with a double-team Death Valley Driver with Rose landing on Baker’s right knee. Baker was dragged to her corner by Rose to tag out and never returned to the match as Dr. Michael Sampson tended to her. We await an update on the severity of her injury as she was set to undergo an MRI and what her status is for Saturday where she was set to face Statlander.

**The 411 on Wrestling podcast has put out a tribute show for Larry Csonka, who passed away earlier this week. The show featured numerous people from the industry and website joining host Jeremy Lambert including Ethan Page, Rich Kraetsch from Voices of Wrestling, Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful, Bryan Rose, Steve Cook, and many others. There has also been a Go Fund Me set up in Csonka’s memory to help his wife and two children.

**WWE resumes taping next week with two episodes of Raw scheduled for Monday to air later that night and June 1st. SmackDown will tape on Tuesday with the May 29th and June 5th episodes. NXT tapes next Wednesday for the shows that night and June 3rd.

**Jimmy Korderas spoke with Mike Zigomanis & Scott MacArthur on Sportsnet on the death of Owen Hart in May 1999, which was 21 years ago tomorrow (Saturday).

**Mark Henry was a guest on the AK & Barak show and spoke about his relationship with Shad Gaspard, serving as a mentor to him, and his memories of him.

**Fight Network’s Albert Vartanian spoke with Ken Shamrock about his reaction to the night Owen Hart died at Over the Edge in May 1999. Shamrock worked later that night in an eight-man tag and recalled seeing Owen being wheeled to the back after the fall and questioning if it was real or not at that moment.

I don’t remember the match. All I remember is seeing Owen wheeled out on the cart and the thought ‘Is this real? Is this real or is this part of a program? It seemed real but as you know in the WWF, there are things people can make you believe that aren’t really happening so there is always a question, is it or isn’t it real? And, I think that’s what was happening in the moment at that time was we were waiting for him to pop up off the gurney, laugh at us and go ‘I gotcha’. And, they wheeled him into the ambulance and they took off and I think everybody for a while was just trying to figure out when they would say ‘Okay, we’re just playing’ but it never happened and I think it was probably two or three weeks after we had done a few shows that it really set in to the fans and the wrestlers that this was real like he wasn’t coming back.

**This weekend’s episode of MLW’s Anthology series focuses on Mance Warner. It will include Warner’s match against Sami Callihan in their ‘Loser Leaves MLW’ match and a No Ropes Barbed Wire Match between Warner and Jimmy Havoc.

**On Thursday, Impact Wrestling performers Zachary Wentz and Kimber Lee announced they were officially married. Congratulations to both.

**Nigel McGuinness is a guest on Coffee on the Ropes with host Kaori Takee.

**Corey Graves & Carmella are launching their own podcast ‘Bare With Us’ on Thursday, June 11th.

**Otis (Nikola Bogojevic) spoke to Yahoo Sports about his move from highly touted Greco-Roman wrestler to professional wrestling in the WWE system. There is also the revelation in 2005 he listed his favorite movie as ‘Ready to Rumble’. Otis also spoke about the ongoing story with Mandy Rose and how it’s been met by fans.

**Chris Van Vliet spoke with Bully Ray for close to two hours about his career. He discussed the involvement Ring of Honor had with the September 2018 ‘All In’ event and the comparisons between AEW and ECW that he sees through the fan engagement. He also explained a portion of the story involving the Bully Ray character not making it onto WWE television in 2016.

**The WWE stock closed at $44.51 on Friday.

**After the success of ‘The Last Dance’, ESPN has announced a nine-part documentary series on Tom Brady titled ‘Man in the Arena’ that will debut in 2021. The project is being done in conjunction with Brady’s 199 Productions.

**Bryan Danielson turns 39 today.

**Bet Online has released odds for Double or Nothing. Jon Moxley is the -250 favorite to beat Brodie Lee, Nyla Rose is a -200 favorite against Hikaru Shida, Darby Allin is the favorite to win the Casino Ladder Match with the mystery participant second, and Fenix third. The other favorites include Lance Archer (-150) over Cody (+110), The Inner Circle (-180) over The Elite (+140), MJF (-150) over Jungle Boy (-110), Britt Baker (-300) over Kris Statlander (+200), and Shawn Spears (-400) over Dustin Rhodes (+250).

**Paul Levesque spoke to TMZ about the passing of Shad Gaspard and seeing him six months ago:

**Dark Side of the Ring has released the bonus clip from this past week’s episode on Owen Hart. It features the interview subjects recalling ribs that Owen pulled and highlighting that side of him:


**Despite Dana White stating “we are a go on the 30th” regarding their next card in Las Vegas for May 30th, the Nevada Athletic Commission has not decided if that can happen yet. The commission will meet on May 27th where the agenda includes the UFC’s request to run shows at their Apex on May 30th and the UFC 250 pay-per-view on June 6th. It would seem to be cutting it extremely close if there were a ruling on three-days notice that UFC could not run in Nevada. Last weekend, White said that if Nevada wouldn’t allow them to run on May 30th they would go to Arizona. After White’s statement to Adam Hill of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, UFC issued the following statement on the status of running in Nevada:

UFC requests that the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NAC) place the organization’s application to conduct an event at the UFC Apex facility on May 30, 2020 on its next agenda. In light of published reports, UFC would like to clarify that it understands that its ability to conduct the event is subject to the approval of the NAC. UFC’s ability to conduct the event is also subject to compliance with all NAC rules and regulations and its own Operations, Health and Safety plan previously submitted to the NAC.

**There is a divide between the UFC and light heavyweight champion Jon Jones after talks about a potential heavyweight fight with Francis Ngannou has stalled. The fight became a subject of discussion last week after a comment Dana White made at a post-fight press conference stating a lot of fighters talk about big fights and it’s another story when it comes to signing the agreement. Jones made several tweets on Thursday sharing his displeasure that the UFC wasn’t interested in paying him what it would take to fight Ngannou. In an interview with John Morgan, Jones said it wasn’t a high dollar figure, they just outright said ‘No’ to the notion of re-doing his contract or offering a one-fight contract for the Ngannou. Jones told Morgan in the past, he was always told when he makes the move to heavyweight, he would be compensated for it and would stand to make a lot more with those big fights.

They just said that they feel like they’re taking care of me pretty good and that if I want to make more money, inevitably my money will go up by fighting Francis and those more entertaining fights. But that just wasn’t the deal, originally. They told me it would be a new contract if I went up to the heavyweight division. 

Jones is facing the option of competing against Jan Blachowicz next, although everything seems up in the air. On Thursday, Jones said he might take a year or two off but later noted he was emotional when he said that and was ultimately sad the UFC didn’t see his value.

From the perspective of Jones, he would be right to angle for a higher guaranteed amount especially during the pandemic, and working on a percentage of pay-per-view buys comes with a risk. UFC 249 was a home run and the top earners probably did way better than expected but who is to say where the pay-per-view industry will be by the time a potential fight with Jones and Ngannou were to come around, and why rely on pay-per-view bonuses when you have the leverage to gain a higher guarantee? I have no doubt Jones vs. Ngannou would do enormous business but it will also require Jones to put on the necessary weight and be a bit of time before that fight could occur. For Ngannou, a fight with Jones is bigger than one with Stipe Miocic or Daniel Cormier.

The report from Moody’s indicates that attendance was responsible for less than 12% of the UFC’s revenue in 2019, so that is the loss UFC is feeling without live gates. They are still making their television money and receiving their money from ESPN+ for the pay-per-views, which is a guaranteed am amount not contingent on a show performing well.

**UFC president Dana White revealed the card for the May 30th Fight Night and stating that they are expecting to run the show at the Apex in Las Vegas, although that is pending approval from the Nevada Athletic Commission. The card is as follows:

MAIN CARD (9 pm Eastern on ESPN & ESPN+)
*Tyron Woodley vs. Gilbert Burns
*Blagoy Ivanov vs. Augusto Sakai
*Kevin Holland vs. Daniel Rodriguez
*Roosevelt Roberts vs. Brok Weaver
*Hannah Cifers vs. Mackenzie Dern

*Katlyn Chookagian vs. Antonina Shevchenko
*Billy Quarantillo vs. Spike Carlyle
*Klidson Abreu vs. Jamahal Hill
*Tim Elliott vs. Brandon Royval
*Casey Kenney vs. Louis Smolka
*Chris Gutierrez vs. Vince Morales

**TSN in Canada will be airing the UFC 249 pay-per-view on Saturday night on TSN1 and TSN3. The card featuring Justin Gaethje vs. Tony Ferguson from two weeks ago will air in its entirety with the preliminary card at 7 pm Eastern and the main card at 9. It’s a great get for TSN, who is the UFC’s Canadian rights holder, to secure the pay-per-view airing so quickly after it aired. The show did a monstrous number on ESPN+ in the U.S. with John Ourand of Sports Business Journal reporting a figure of more than 700,000 buys.

**As expected, UFC has canceled its June 20th event in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and June 27th show in Austin, Texas.




Café Hangout: David Bixenspan talks Owen Hart

On today’s Hangout, John Pollock and Wai Ting welcome wrestling journalist David Bixenspan to discuss his recent research into the death of Owen Hart and his thoughts on the season finale of Dark Side of the Ring.
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Braden Herrington and Davie Portman review the May 20th edition of WWE NXT featuring Io Shirai vs. Rhea Ripley in a No. 1 Contenders Match!
REWIND-A-DYNAMITE 5/20/20: Double or Nothing Go-Home, Shad Gaspard

John Pollock and Wai Ting review a live edition of AEW Dynamite with the go-home episode going into the Double or Nothing pay-per-view this Saturday.
POST MOVIE REVIEW: Captain Marvel (2019)

Wai Ting, John Pollock, and writer/director/long-time friend Ed Boxler review the 21st Marvel Cinematic Universe film, Captain Marvel (2019).
REWIND-A-RAW 5/18/20: Shad Gaspard, Larry Csonka, WWE Raw, Last Ride Ep. 2

John Pollock and Wai Ting discuss Shad Gaspard and Larry Csonka. Plus, reviews of WWE Raw featuring Edge’s response to Randy Orton’s challenge for Backlash, and Chapter 2 of Undertaker: The Last Ride.
TRMPS #17: Snitch (2017) w/ Clement Bryant
This month on The Rocky Maivia Picture Show, Nate Milton welcomes podcaster & TV/Film Marketer Clement Bryant (Black Lightning Podcast) into the theater to review 2013’s “Snitch”!

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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.