UFC 232 live results: Jones vs. Gustafsson 2, Cyborg vs. Nunes
WWE Network adding Ibushi vs. Roode to Hidden Gems next week
Raw TV taping notes: Announcements for first episode of 2019
WWE Raw TV taping spoilers: Steel cage match
MLW Fusion results: Low Ki vs. Konnan no DQ World title match
Left My Wallet: Beer City Bruiser and Simon Diamond 12/28
JNPO: 2018 MMA Year In Review, pt. 2 12/28
B&V: Retro Nitro from 19 years ago this week! 12/27
F4W NEWSLETTER: Figure Four Weekly: Looking at WWE’s promise of change
After promising change, the challenge for WWE going forward is to make a real commitment to that instead of having it be a short-term ratings fix. Those vague promises of change were made during the opening segment of last Monday’s episode of Raw. Following two straight weeks of record-low ratings — with the first of them even being brought up on WWE television as Seth Rollins said Baron Corbin was the reason for the ratings dip — it was advertised that Vince McMahon would return to “shake things up.” Vince appeared and brought out Stephanie McMahon, Triple H, and Shane McMahon. WWE oddly blurred the lines between kayfabe and reality, with the McMahons also blaming Raw’s issues on Corbin.
WON NEWSLETTER: December 31, 2018 Observer Newsletter: Jon Jones testing controversy, more
The most in-depth reporting on the Jon Jones case is the lead story in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
This article tries to break down the time line, what the realities of drug testing are, what is misleading, why the show was moved, why the show had no reason to be moved, the limits on what drug testing can detect and how many statements over the past week have been double-talk, & the fishy parts of the case.
Also look at previous Jones tests and the controversy prior to the first Cormier fight that nobody talks about and why it was controversial. Go through the Tom Lawlor and Tim Sylvia cases.
Look at the new Impact TV deal, what is Pursuit TV, what options Impact had, comparing the homes that the different wrestling TV shows are in, & why it’s important for Anthem to keep Impact alive.
Read a rundown of WWE’s biggest annual house show of the year, the holiday show at Madison Square Garden. This issue has match-by-match coverage with star ratings and business notes, as well as appearances by Vince McMahon and John Cena, and Ronda Rousey being put in the main event.
Look at discussions regarding what could be the main event at WrestleMania and different angles on the match, the future of the top of the women’s division, more on Smackdown on FOX next year,
Look at Dragon Gate’s Final Gate show, its last major show of the year. Run down the show and talk of the future and update business for that promotion.
ORDERING INFO: Order the print Wrestling Observer right now and get it delivered via mail, by sending your name, address, Visa or Master Card number and an expiration date to Dave Meltzer, or by using PayPal directing funds to Dave@WrestlingObserver.com.
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SATURDAY NEWS UPDATE
Former Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee, a sports media personality who has been appearing on the NXT TakeOver pre-show panels, said on his podcast that WWE has offered him a multi-year contract: “WWE has formally offered me a multi-year contract. Who knows what we’re going to be doing over there, they just want me to come make some content. And we’ll see where it goes. I am very excited for this. It’s a dream come true.”
Paige reflected on this week being the one-year anniversary of her final match: “One year since the night in Uniondale. So crazy how quickly time passes. 2019 is gonna be a wonderful year. I can feel it”
WWE ranked their 10 best mic moments of 2018, with Daniel Bryan’s first promo as “the new Daniel Bryan” coming in at number one and Becky Lynch’s promo on Ronda Rousey after being injured by Nia Jax ranked second.
Lynch did an in-character interview with TMZ. When asked who she wants to face at WrestleMania, Lynch said she “wouldn’t mind slapping the head off Ronda Rousey.”
WWE uploaded the first episodes of Botch Club and Kitchen SmackDown to their YouTube account.
Xavier Woods and NJPW’s Kenny Omega ranked their 10 best video games of the year for Giant Bomb.
Ric Flair appeared in the opening video for Ron Funches’ next stand-up special, which will debut on Comedy Central on January 4.
Thursday’s best of 2018, part two episode of Impact averaged 135,000 viewers on Pop TV, up from the 116,000 viewers that part one averaged. The rating in the 18-49 demo stayed at a 0.04. This was the second-best viewership number Impact has done since changing to a later time slot. Before their move to the Pursuit Channel starts on Friday, January 11, the final Impact on Pop will air this coming Thursday.
AIW announced Scott Steiner vs. Swoggle (Hornswoggle) for their WrestleMania week show in Jersey City, New Jersey at 11:59 p.m. Eastern on Thursday, April 4.
WrestlePro also announced Swoggle vs. Dan Maff in a street fight for their “Does Funny = Money?” show in Rahway, New Jersey on Wednesday, April 3.
Cody Rhodes hinted at All Elite Wrestling again yesterday when he tweeted and later deleted a picture of his weight belt for Wrestle Kingdom 13, which was in Jacksonville Jaguars colors.
With Flamita unable to wrestle at the show, Laredo Kid will make his PWG debut at Hand of Doom on January 18. Laredo Kid will team with Rey Horus against LAX.
Will Ospreay wrote about his Wrestle Kingdom match against Kota Ibushi and reflected on facing Ibushi in a tag match during WrestleMania week in 2016: “April 2016. You have no idea how much you helped me this day. Only a few days before this photo/match, I lost a friend who helped me in British Wrestling, Kris Travis. To be in the ring with a man I would call an inspiration, helped me not focus on grieving but to celebrate his life. After this moment and how fans reacted to how we were in the ring, I knew that this was the match I wanted. Now I’m under a week my dream match on the biggest stage of my life. For a championship that has lost its place in New Japan but now shall live up to what it should be, an Openweight Championship. What I’m saying is thank you for helping me all those years ago, but January 4th 2019, my idol is my rival.”
MLW uploaded this week’s Fusion episode, which features Low Ki vs. Konnan in a no DQ match for the MLW World Heavyweight Championship, Ariel Dominguez vs. Andrew Everett, and Simon Gotch vs. Ace Romero.
The UFC uploaded the fourth, fifth, and sixth episodes of Embedded for tonight’s PPV.
Marc Raimondi of MMA Fighting has an in-depth article on the science of the Jon Jones drug test situation.
Jones said he’s not going to face Daniel Cormier at heavyweight. Jones also spoke about Cormier relinquishing the light heavyweight title: “It’s up to Daniel Cormier to challenge me to get his belt back. I heard that he ended up relinquishing his belt, and I think that’s a good look. But at the end of the day, I know most people know that he never was the champion. Hats off to him for being the heavyweight champion of the world, but I’ve been the light heavyweight champion since 2011. That’s just facts. That’s just facts. The belt was given to him. He has not beaten me. So, he can cancel all doubts by challenging me and really being a legit champ champ.”
Alexander Gustafsson wore an anti-doping shirt to yesterday’s ceremonial weigh-ins for UFC 232.
UFC Fight Pass has reached a three-year deal with Roy Jones Jr. Boxing.
Daily Pro Wrestling History: Mick Foley wins his first WWF World title
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