**Tonight is The LAW’s Best of 2016 show with the show airing later tonight at 1am Eastern on TSN 1050 Toronto and TSN 1410 Vancouver. The show will be up on the site and available to download as well. Jason Agnew, Dan “The Mouth” Lovranski, Braden Herrington and I will be going through the following categories with our picks for the best from the past year:
BEST WRESTLER (Male)
BEST WRESTLER (Female)
BEST TAG TEAM
BEST ON THE MIC
BEST NON-WRESTLING PERFORMER
MATCH OF THE YEAR
FEUD OF THE YEAR
BEST PAY-PER-VIEW (Wrestling)
BEST MMA FIGHT CARD
BEST TELEVISION SHOW
BEST WWE NETWORK SHOW
BEST MIXED MARTIAL ARTIST
BEST MMA FIGHT
BEST LAW INTERVIEW
BIGGEST STORY OF 2016
Tonight on the show, we will also be joined by Dave Meltzer from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter for a look back at 2016 and a look ahead to the key stories ahead in the new year.
**The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels are both being advertised for Raw on January 9th in New Orleans, Louisiana. Brock Lesnar is being advertised for the January 16th episode of Raw in Little Rock, Arkansas. Bill Goldberg is also advertised for the January 23rd show in Cleveland in addition to tomorrow night’s show in Tampa.
**There is an ongoing carriage dispute between Charter Communications and NBC Universal, which includes the USA Network and E! The dispute has led to NBC mounting a campaign to urge viewers to demand that Charter Spectrum comes to an agreement with NBC or else there will be a blackout that will impact 17 million Charter Spectrum subscribers. On Saturday night, NBC released a statement that the talks have been extended as the deadline was initially set for Midnight on New Year’s Eve. A blackout would have a big impact on today’s NFL games, including the Sunday night game and would affect Monday night’s episode of Raw as well if a blackout is enforced.
**The “Hardy New Year” episode of Impact from this past Thursday did 224,000 viewers on POP TV, which was up from 209,000 for the “Best of 2016” show the prior. Both of these shows were largely throwaways with the next “new” episode coming this Thursday from the tapings this week in Orlando.
**Shane Taylor has announced that he has signed with Ring of Honor. Taylor and Keith Lee had some great matches with the promotion this past year, in particular with War Machine.
LAW MMA UPDATE
**I have a UFC 207 Post Show edition of The MMA Report up on the site at http://fightnetwork.com/law/the-mma-report-ufc-207-post-show-with-john-pollock/ with a full rundown of the event. You can also listen through iTunes by subscribing to The MMA Report with John Pollock or on the Live Audio Wrestling feed.
**UFC 207 will be remembered for the one-sided victory of Amanda Nunes in a fight that Ronda Rousey was never competitive in. Nunes needed only 48 seconds to stop the former bantamweight champion after Rousey was absorbing numerous blows to the head and referee Herb Dean stepped in to stop the bout. Rousey was left standing with a stunned look on her face at what had happened and never able to get into the fight. The speculation that this will be her last fight has been heightened but Rousey has yet to state if it was her final fight. Rousey did release the following statement on Saturday:
I want to say thank you to all of my fans who have been there for me in not only the greatest moments but in the most difficult ones. Words cannot convey how much your love and support means to me.
Returning to not just fighting, but winning, was my entire focus this past year. However, sometimes — even when you prepare and give everything you have and want something so badly — it doesn’t work how you planned. I take pride in seeing how far the women’s division has come in the UFC and commend all the other women who have been part of making this possible, including Amanda.
I need to take some time to reflect and think about the future. Thank you for believing in me and understanding.
TMZ did speak with AnnMaria DeMars, the mother of Rousey, who stated that she would like to see her daughter retire because she has many talents and doesn’t need to be fighting. DeMars also wrote a blog post reacting to Friday night’s loss at UFC 207.
**The UFC 207 card was the most attended show that the UFC has run at the new T-Mobile Arena with 18,533 ahead of the attendance at UFC 200 and 202. However, the 207 card did a gate of $4,750,000, which is well below both UFC 200 ($10.7) and 202 ($7.6) so tickets were scaled down from the prior two shows at the venue. Below are the results from the show:
*Alex Oliveira and Tim Means was ruled a no contest after an illegal knee delivered by Mean at 3:33 of Round 1 – Oliveria’s knee was clearly on the mat as he absorbed a series of knees and the fight was called off. The announcers were confused about the rule but it was illegal with the knee on the mat.
*Niko Price def. Brandon Thatch by arm-triangle choke at 4:30 of Round 1 – This was Thatch’s fourth consecutive loss and could be cut at this point.
*Alex Garcia def. Mike Pyle by KO at 3:34 of Round 1 – Garcia caught him with an overhand right and Pyle was out cold.
*Antonio Carlos Jr. def. Marvin Vettori by unanimous decision (29-28 all) – Carlos Jr. won the first and third rounds.
*Neil Magny def. Johny Hendricks by unanimous decision (29-28 all) – Hendricks was able to get takedowns but did very little on top of Magny. It was even going into Round 3 and Hendricks took Magny down and was controlling on top until Magny went for a triangle in the final 0:20 and landed a number of elbows and in my opinion was enough to clinch the third round and the fight.
*Ray Borg def. Louis Smolka by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26) – Borg missed weight at 129.5 pounds but out grappled Smolka all fight long and easily won each round.
*Dong Hyun Kim def. Tarec Saffiedine by split decision (29-28, 27-30, 29-28) – I thought Saffiedine won all three rounds with the third round being the one you could give Kim, this wasn’t a good fight.
*T.J. Dillashaw def. John Lineker by unanimous decision (30-26 all) – Dillashaw was excellent with his takedowns and tons of pressure on top with the second round being a 10-8. After the fight, he made his case for the next bantamweight title shot and he has to be the next guy.
*Cody Garbrandt def. Dominick Cruz by unanimous decision (48-46, 48-46, 48-47) to win the bantamweight title – Garbrandt was tremendous in the fight by timing his strikes and Cruz entering and being caught. It is rare you’ll ever see Cruz hit this often and he explained after the fight that Garbrandt was controlling the range and that Cruz’s output was higher but that also opened him up more to Garbrandt’s strikes. Garbrandt answers numerous questions and will also surely fight Dillashaw next.
*Amanda Nunes def. Ronda Rousey by TKO at 0:48 of Round 1 to retain the women’s bantamweight title
**The Fight of the Night bonus went to Cody Garbrandt and Dominick Cruz and the Performance bonuses went to Amanda Nunes and Alex Garcia for an additional $50,000 to each fighter.
**Here are the results from the World Series of Fighting 34 card on Saturday afternoon from The Theatre at Madison Square Garden with the main card airing on NBC:
*Tom Marcellino def. Matt Denning by guillotine at 3:30 of Round 1
*Andre Harrison def. Bruce Boyington by rear-naked choke at 1:54 of Round 1
*Bruno Santos def. Vagab Vagabov by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
*Shane Kruchten def. Jeremy Mahon by unanimous decision (29-28 all)
*Smealinho Rama def. Jake Heun by TKO at 3:30 of Round 2
*David Branch def. Louis Taylor by rear-naked choke at 2:00 of Round 5 to retain the WSOF middleweight title
*Caio Alencar def. Jared Rosholt by KO at 1:17 of Round 1
*Marlon Moraes def. Josenaldo Silva by TKO (knee injury) at 2:30 of Round 1 – Moraes was dominating the fight with his strikes and Silva’s knee went out and waved it off himself
*Jon Fitch def. Jake Shields by unanimous decision (49-46 all) to retain the WSOF welterweight title – Fitch said after the fight that this may be his last fight and said he got a “funny reading” on a brain MRI before the fight.
*Justin Gaethje def. Luiz Firmino by TKO due to a doctor’s stoppage at 5:00 of Round 3 to retain the WSOF lightweight title – Firmino’s right eye was swollen badly and they ruled he could not see properly out of it and stopped the fight. This was a great fight and if Gaethje is back, he will almost surely be matched with Firmino again.
THE MMA REPORT – UFC 207 Post Show
(John Pollock runs through all the fights from UFC 207, including Amanda Nunes’ 48 second win over Ronda Rousey and Cody Garbrandt defeats Dominick Cruz for the bantamweight title)
KEEP IT 2000 – Episode 1: “Slappy New Year”
(Brian Mann & Nate Milton begin their reviews of Monday Nitro from 2000 with the January 3rd 2000 episode to kick off the year)
whtsNXT – The Best and Worst of 2016
(Jason Agnew, Braden Herrington and Bartender Dave are together to rundown the BEST and the WORST from NXT in 2016)
REVIEW-A-SMACKDOWN – Dec. 28th
(John Pollock & Wai Ting review Smackdown with the return of John Cena and American Alpha winning the tag titles, Talking Smack with JBL filling in and 205 Live with Neville pinning Rich Swann)
REVIEW-A-RAW: “I’ll Be (in Punk’s) Home for Christmas
(John Pollock & Wai Ting review Raw in Chicago, Stephanie’s comment about CM Punk, the Dusty Rhodes Bayley Bear angle, Roman Reigns vs. Kevin Owens and your feedback)
REVIEW-A-WAI – THE CHRISTMAS SHOW 2016
(John Pollock & Wai Ting welcome many surprise guests, go through the Jingle Contest entries and much more)
THE MMA REPORT – “The Rise and Return of Ronda Rousey”
(John Pollock documents the career of Ronda Rousey as she prepares for her fight with Amanda Nunes and coming off the first loss of her career)
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