Thursday, December 31, 2015

NJPW WrestleKingdom 10 Predictions

Welcome to the official predictions for this Monday's NJPW WrestleKingdom 10!

Well folks, I have now been a die-hard New Japan fan for a full year.  It was just before WK9 that I subscribed to the network, and I've had not one regret since.  This company is light years ahead of anything else on the wrestling market these days (NXT is the only one that comes close), and January 4th is the date of their biggest PPV of the year, in Japan's most prestigious venue.  The last three WrestleKingdom shows have been absolutely tremendous, particularly last year's WK9 which I consider one of the two or three best PPVs I've ever seen.  Astonishingly, on paper this year's show looks even better than that one.  WrestleKingdom 10 will boast a streamlined nine-match card (plus a pre-show Rumble), and not one looks like a throwaway.  The main event is a rematch of last year's epic WK showdown, and the semi-main is a dream bout New Japan fans have been looking forward to for nearly two years.  Also the Ring of Honor World Title will be up for grabs on this show, New Japan will crown inaugural Six-Man Tag Champs, and every match but one is for a Championship.  This is as stacked a show as I can imagine this company putting together, and I'm breathless with anticipation.  We're going to see something really special next Monday.

But who's gonna win?  Well let's break down the card.  **Currently I'm 28/35 for New Japan predictions.**

IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championship 4-Way Match: reDRagon vs. The Young Bucks vs. Roppongi Vice vs. Matt Sydal & Ricochet

As with the last two WK shows, this year's extravaganza will open with a 4-way tag match.  While I would've liked to see just reDRagon vs. Sydal & Ricochet, I'm certainly not complaining about this.  These wild aerial-fests are always a fun way to kick off the show and I expect some great fireworks between these four teams.  O'Reilly and Fish have held the Jr. Tag belts for several months so I could easily see them dropping to one of the challengers.

Justin's pick: I think Sydal & Ricochet take it down.  This exciting new team has a very bright future in NJPW and I'd love to see them dominate the Jr. division for a while before graduating to the Heavyweights.

NFL Pick 'em: Week 17

B-Cuddy’s Picks

With that bag of milk Miggsy stumbling last week, I just about have this bullshit contest wrapped up. I’m sure he’ll mention for the 100th time that I only have one more pick right, and only have more locks and yada yada. But I don’t embrace excuses. The fact of the matter is I have been tied for 1st or in the outright lead for all but one week this season. Miggsy was in contention for almost the entire time, so I’ll give him that. Danny? Well here’s how I react when I see Danny’s picks:

It’s also how I react when I see Danny in person, but I try to hide it. Because I care about his feelings.  That’s the kind of person I am. On to the picks.

Oakland @ Kansas City (-7) – The Pick: RAIDERS +7
The pick here is easy. Division game and the Raiders aren’t half as bad as they’ve been for the last decade. So I’ll grab the points. The Chiefs are the better team for sure, but they just struggled to beat Cleveland. CLEVELAND! Saying Cleveland is bad at football is like saying Miggsy is bad at humping. Doesn’t even begin to describe the situation. Chiefs win, but only by a field goal.

Tampa Bay @ Carolina (-11) – The Pick: Carolina -11
Lot of points to be laying in a division matchup. But you just can’t over analyze this one. Carolina is very good. Tampa Bay is very bad. Sometimes it’s that simple. The Bucs are losers of 3 straight, including a home tilt against the lowly Bears last week who were without their top WR. Carolina somehow lost to Atlanta last week. Which is the primary reason this game isn’t my lock. But the Panthers still don’t have the #1 seed wrapped up, so they are going to need to play everyone to try to secure a win. A big concern here is Carolina gets up big, puts in the JV squad, and lets the backdoor cover happen. I’ll roll the dice.

New England (-10) @ Miami – The Pick: PATS -10
Same scenario as the Carolina game. The Pats need a win to clinch the #1 seed. And quite frankly, fuck Miami. They’re horrible. Miami has successfully quit on 2 coaches in the same season. So, they got that going for them. Last week the Patriots lost in OT. On the road. To a division foe. Who were fighting for their playoff lives. And the Pats had around 17 starters (estimated) inactive for the game. So I’m not exactly worried. A lot of the same players will probably sit out Sunday because week 17s and #1 seeds aren’t what the Pats focus on. They focus on Lombardi trophies. But it would be unwise to assume the Pats aren’t going to go out there and try to sure up a few things before the playoffs start. The Fish are just the unfortunate ones to be in the way this week. The Pats will remind everyone on Sunday that the SuperBowl runs through Foxboro.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Pro Wrestling: A Mark's History, part 25 (Year of The Crippler)

As 2004 opened it seemed Chris Benoit was being primed for a feud with Brock Lesnar.  The two had a pretty great Smackdown match in December, and after Benoit came up short, SD GM Paul Heyman informed him he wouldn't be granted another shot.  I figured he'd win the Royal Rumble and be automatically given a Title shot at WrestleMania XX.  I was right about most of it, just not about which Title he'd go after.

Backstage Triple H had apparently requested to have Benoit transferred over to RAW so he'd have a good technician to work with.  I guess he'd run through all his credible challengers (by "run through" I mean "chewed up and spat out") and realized he'd need some strong new babyfaces in 2004. 

So the story going into the Rumble was that Heyman would allow Benoit into the match but he'd be the #1 entry.  This clearly telegraphed a scenario where Benoit would run the table, but I couldn't have been more excited.  The Rumble card itself was pretty awful aside from the main event - a pointless Tables match, an abbreviated Cruiserweight match, a total letdown of an Eddie vs. Chavo blowoff (the two had split up after Chavo turned on Eddie), one of the least intriguing WWE Title matches ever in Brock Lesnar vs. Bob Holly (The backstory here was that Holly had faced Lesnar in 2002 and sandbagged the rookie, only to have Lesnar drop him on his head - nice goin' Bob.  WWE decided to use the real-life injury as fodder for a PPV Title match despite Holly's total and complete lack of credibility as a Title challenger.), and a tedious, overrated Triple H-Shawn Michaels rematch.  While Shawn and Hunter had closed 2003 with a fantastic RAW main event, their Last Man Standing rematch was a reptititous mess that mostly consisted of Big Move-Ref Count-Stand Up-Repeat. 

Great Rumble match.  I forget who won it though.

But the Rumble match itself overshadowed all the tripe on this show.  Benoit turned in a career performance, lasting 61 minutes and breaking the Rumble longevity record on his way to a gutsy Rumble victory.  This match also helped build the star of Randy Orton, who drew #2 and lasted about halfway till the end before being taken out by Mick Foley.  Finally it kicked off a feud that would build to a huge 'Mania dream match - Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

NFL Pick 'em: Week 16

In the spirit of our holiday season, today we invite you to our Festivus Celebration, and to begin we start with the Airing of Grievances. It doesn’t end til someone volunteers for the Feats of Strength. “How bout George?”

Dan's Airing of Grievances

The Baltimore Ravens
I’m very disappointed in this team. Not that they’ve lost a billion games or that a bunch of them have been injured. Oh, no, that makes me happy. I’m pissed off they’ve won ANY games. I was hoping for an 0-fer for this whiny, crybaby team. These guys set off the Deflategate mess by crying to the NFL after Belichick and Brady bitchslapped them with illegal not illegal formations that dumbass John Harbaugh couldn’t figure out. So they yell about air missing from footballs and set off an investigation easily explained by science. This team deserves every bad thing that happens to them, including these fellas below. Suck a dick, Baltimore. A big, fat dick.

I crap better than them.

The Referees
And we thought the replacement refs were bad? Holy SHIT, this season has been a clusterfuck of epic proportions with these idiots. These guys fuck up more than Steve Harvey.

"First down.....I mean, game over"
Maybe Ed Hochuli should stop bench pressing Cadillacs and read the fucking rulebook. Inadvertent whistle, my ass.

Pro Wrestling: A Mark's History, part 24 (Vince Screwed Goldberg)

After four pretty wretched months of television (which included a galactically stupid Hulk Hogan run as the masked Mr. America - oh and he feuded with Roddy Piper.  In 2003.), Kurt Angle returned from neck surgery in July 2003 and seemingly hadn't missed a beat.  He immediately set his sights on Brock Lesnar, who had dethroned him at WrestleMania.  Initially their renewed rivalry was one of mutual respect, as both guys were babyfaces.  Angle would challenge for the WWE Title in a Triple Threat at Vengeance.  A month earlier WWE split the B-PPVs into brand-exclusive shows; June's Bad Blood was RAW-only (and not good, but what can you expect with a Triple H vs. Kevin Nash main event?), and Vengeance was the first-ever Smackdown-only PPV.  Unlike its counterpart however, Vengeance was a very solid show, boasting four (and a half - Cena vs. Taker had moments but was too one-sided) good matches.

Yup, this headlined a PPV in 2003.

The show opened with a tournament final for the resurrected US Title - Chris Benoit vs. Eddie Guerrero.  After a strong 22 minutes Eddie scored the upset win to become the first holder of the WWE-version US Title.  The main event saw Angle defeat Lesnar and Big Show to regain the WWE Title, but the show-stealer was a WWE Tag Title match between Haas & Benjamin and Rey Mysterio & Billy Kidman.  This was a blazingly awesome 15-minute bout and should really have led to a prolonged feud.  But of course at that point WWE wasn't interested in giving the fans more of a good thing.  Vengeance also included TWO matches involving McMahons; the 2003 calendar had way too many of these and it got old immediately.

The stage was set for Summerslam to be headlined by a WrestleMania rematch.  Angle would grant Lesnar a shot at his newly-won Championship, and it would be a purely scientific contest.  Not so fast though - only weeks before the PPV Brock turned heel again and aligned himself with Vince (I'm not sure why every top heel had to be affiliated directly with the boss - what issue did Vince have with Kurt Angle?).  So now the roles would be reversed and the monster heel would be challenging the consummate veteran.  No matter, it would still be an excellent match.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Dan & Justin Discuss Star Wars: The Force Awakens

I believe Justin and I have softened our galactic stiffies enough to discuss the splendor that is Star Wars: The Force Awakens. There will be **SPOILERS** in this article, but we will not divulge any major plot points, and we definitely won’t discuss THAT scene (mainly because it’s tough to type through tears). So away we go.

Justin: It's clearly going to take multiple viewings of JJ Abrams' sequel to fully absorb its effectiveness and determine its place in the Star Wars pantheon, but what were your first impressions of  The Force Awakens?

Dan: I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm a sucker for nostalgia, and that beginning - seeing the words, "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...." followed by the blaring of John Williams score as the words STAR WARS materialize on the screen - well I was sucked right in. I was ready to get updated on all our past favorite characters but a funny thing happened on the way. Abrams gave us new, GOOD characters that I actually cared about and wanted to see more of. I was totally invested in Finn's journey from confused Stormtrooper to reluctant hero. Wanted to know more about our mysterious heroine Rey. And both of these British actors, John Boyega (whom I didnt know was British and he does a killer American accent) and Daisy Ridley are quite good. They both seem capable of pushing the mythos of the Star Wars universe forward.

Justin: This new trilogy was going to stand or fall based on the strength of its new characters, and fortunately Rey, Finn and Poe are all incredibly likable, clearly-drawn heroes you instantly want to spend time with.  Each of them has elements of Han, Luke and Leia, but they also bring their own stuff to the table.  JJ and co. have done a great job of integrating the aging heroes of the originals with these new characters and making Episode 7 a real passing of the torch.  By the end we desperately want to see where the story takes these young swashbucklers and the script wisely leaves enough unanswered questions about where they came from.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

The 2015 Year-End Pro Wrestling Awards

Welcome to's 2nd Annual Year-End Awards!

2015 was largely quite a shitshow if you're a WWE fan.  For the second straight year the product started off on a completely tone-deaf note, as Roman Reigns was pushed as the company's central figure for the first few months, despite soft fan support and a poorly defined character.  Even after the long-awaited return of Daniel Bryan, Vince stayed the course in building Reigns as the #1 Contender at WrestleMania, and fan relations took a big hit.  Bryan was booked as an afterthought, Reigns won the Royal Rumble, and both he and The Rock met the wrath of a pissed-off live crowd.  This caused WWE to hedge their bets for 'Mania, as the Showcase of the Immortals was not Reigns' crowning moment as originally anticipated.  Instead Mr. Money in the Bank Seth Rollins swooped in, joining the Reigns-Lesnar match in progress, and walked away with the strap.  Thus began a banner year for Mr. Rollins.  Or at least a banner year by WWE standards.

As has been the case over the past five years or so, WWE's booking in 2015 has been full of scripted promos, confusing angles, and 50-50 nonsense that gets no one over.  Their way around the consequences of that is to rely heavily on stars from the past to sell the big events.  But what happens when those established guys aren't around?  Well, WWE's shortsightedness came back to bite them in a big way in November, when not only was John Cena on hiatus, but Randy Orton, Cesaro, and WWE Champion Seth Rollins went down with injuries, leaving massive roster holes (Daniel Bryan, Tyson Kidd and Nikki Bella were already on the shelf by this time).  The depleted roster, coupled with horrid booking and go-nowhere storylines has led to some of the company's lowest RAW ratings in two decades, and fan enthusiasm up until Roman Reigns' WWE Title win was about the weakest I can remember.  WWE needs to seriously re-examine its strategy if they hope to turn things around in 2016.  With Reigns at least it seems they're doing just that, as his character has been given a more aggressive edge and he finally got the job done against Sheamus.

When I speak of all these WWE-related issues I'm of course only speaking for the main roster, as NXT became a full-fledged alternative brand in 2015.  Triple H's former developmental territory got everything right that the main roster got wrong (in particular the incredible Women's division), presenting a simple, streamlined, wrestling-heavy product that has attracted a rabid fanbase.  NXT reached a huge milestone in August, selling out the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, also the site of SummerSlam.  That this little upstart brand was able to sell out a major arena is truly amazing, and the hungry roster delivered in spades, arguably upstaging their main roster counterparts that weekend (Another TakeOver special is planned for WrestleMania weekend next year).  NXT is so much better at pushing new talent in fact, that being called up to the main roster often hurts, or at least stagnates, a wrestler's career.  Case in point Neville, who has scarcely been involved in a meaningful feud since his RAW debut in March.

Friday, December 18, 2015


by Dan Moore

Twice in a week I’ve had to rebut a questionable list of Jingles's(**JB Note: It's possible Dan needs some sort of hobby, given how all-consumed he is with my blogs lately.**)  I mean, to have a list of greatest Star Wars characters and not top it with Darth Vader is LUDICROUS. The greatest villain in cinematic history, but he’s topped by the galactic equivalent of Larry from Three’s Company? NOT ON MY WATCH. 

Give this guy an upright dog BOOM Han Solo


Never trust a man in a vest. You know who wears vests? Jerks.

Case. Rested.


Han’s competition for best character ever would’ve been obliterated if the cocky prick could stay on target. He goes to save Luke during the first Death Star battle, and he fucking misses Vader. HE MISSES. He’s the best pilot in the galaxy (he says) but evidently that doesn’t include shooting.


The dude is macking hard on Leia, trying to get into the royal trousers and BOOM this happens.

She chooses to suck face with another guy, her fucking BROTHER no less. And he looks on like the fool that he is. Luke essentially kicks Han right in the Dagobah System and there’s nothing the stupid fucking flyboy can do about it.

NFL Pick 'em: Week 15

Dan's Picks

The Brock Star fell apart last Sunday and cost me the perfect week. Normally I’d be upset at that, but it had quite the silver lining. It allowed the Patriots to jump back into the 1st seed in the AFC. And barring disaster, the road to the Super Bowl goes through Foxboro.

Tom is much happier than last week
 Of course, Miggsy tried to make me look the fool by taking the opposite of my picks. Instead it bit him on the ass. I don’t really understand that guy. Really, no one does. I mean, what the hell is he doing in the middle of a lake holding this sign? Weird.

He really does too.

Arizona (-3.5) @ Philadelphia – The Pick: ARIZONA -3.5
This fake win streak Philly is on is a pure mirage. Bradford is a stiff. The defense is a joke. And the great fans in Philadelphia once booed Santa Claus (You may have heard about that once or twice). I firmly believe the next game that Chip Kelly wins as head coach will be at USC next year when he’s the head man in CA. I’m also picking Arizona because I was there once around Christmas and the weather was quite lovely.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Upon Further Review: Heat (1995)

By Dan Moore

Twenty years ago (20!!), one of the best heist movies of all time was released. Michael Mann’s Heat has many things going for it. Superb acting, the first face-to-face meeting in film of legends/Oscar winners Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino, and incredible action scenes. It will, of course, be remembered mostly for this.

The bank robbery and subsequent shootout scene that takes place afterwards is BANANAS. It’s one of the all time great action scenes ever put to film. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

The film follows lifetime criminal Neil McCauley (DeNiro) and his gang (Val Kilmer, Tom Sizemore and Danny Trejo) as they plan a heist and are pursued by obsessive cop Vincent Hanna (Pacino). Along the way there are romances, breakups, and many nuanced acting turns by this veteran thespian group.

The movie is much deeper than a bank heist flick. That’s part of what makes it unique and so eminently rewatchable. There’s so much to take in each time you view it. The characters are so true to themselves throughout the whole movie. The long run time (170 minutes) flies right by. It’s honestly a movie I wish were twice as long, as I could go on watching these characters figure each other out for hours on end. There’s so much to love about this movie. Even the soundtrack is awesome.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Arrival of Roman Reigns, or Look Who Just Woke Up!

Well WWE finally did something right.  They finally realized that if the fans are going to identify with or cheer Roman Reigns he needs to get angry, expose his humanity, and put a stop to endlessly being screwed over.

No one likes ineffectual babyfaces.  An underdog is one thing, an underdog built like a tank, decked out in riot gear, who repeatedly comes up short in big match situations is a recipe for box office poison.  WWE at last realized this and booked Reigns to snap Sunday night, after getting the shaft one too many times.  The epic beatdown he gave Triple H brought a mostly indifferent Boston crowd (who'd just suffered through a totally missable PPV, minus the awesome tag team opener) to its feet and had them chanting "Thank you Roman."  This was a big step for young Mr. Reigns.  The fans finally became invested in his character and wanted to see him serve up a big ol' slice of justice cake.  And Reigns did just that, laying waste to one Paul Levesque and rendering him stretcher-bound.  Step one was complete: hook the audience into wanting to see Reigns' next move.

On last night's RAW they got right down to business, as Stephanie confronted Reigns and slapped him hard several times (She connected too, Reigns' face was nice n' rosy).  Reigns initially laughed it off, but became deadly serious by the end of the segment.  This was well done, though it's yet another instance of the McMahons never being intimidated by any of the wrestlers.  We'd see an unforgivable example of this later in the show.  Steph announced that she wouldn't fire Reigns because Hunter asked her not to (foreshadowing a match between the two I'm sure), but Vince was on his way and he just might (foreshadowing the ball-shrinking fear everyone in the building apparently has for a septuagenarian).

Friday, December 11, 2015

NFL Pick 'em: Week 14

Dan's Picks

Baby steps, people. 2-1 record last week. I’ll take it. If the goddamn Patriots didn’t drop a turd resembling Cuddy’s face last week, then I’m undefeated.

Yes, Tom, it was that bad.
Which means I’m off the Pats this week. Hell, I’m probably off them the rest of the way. They’ve been no good to me on this pick 'em all year. And this past Sunday was the beer that broke the thirty’s pack. That game was atrocious to watch as a Pats fan. Sloppy special teams, QB play, just all around terrible, like Miggsy’s family. What a bunch of feltheads they are. Check ‘em out at Christmas.

Smells like wet socks at the dinner table

Onto the picks...

B-Cuddy’s Uninformed Wrestling Predictions: WWE TLC

(Editor's Note: As promised, Brandon will now offer his predictions for WWE Tables, Ladders & Chairs.  God help us.....)

When I was a kid, I was a big wrestling fan. I’d watch every Monday night, and hoped a friend’s parents would buy the PPV when the time came. I had fake championship belts, shirts, video games, and I’m sure some other nonsense. (Stone Cold was the G.O.A.T.) But here’s the thing…I was fucking 12. As a child, guys wearing speedos and beating the piss out of each other with chairs didn’t raise any red flags. But now?...It alarms me that any adult watches this shit. All I know of wrestling now is that it seems to upset the handful of my friends who still watch it. From time to time I catch a rant about how shitty the storylines are now or whatever. I don’t mean to cast judgment (yes I do), but quite frankly, I get embarrassed when I see these complaints. Grown men whining about a fake predetermined outcome is the same thing as some old broads yapping about a character getting killed off of their favorite “soaps.” And the worst thing? You can’t gamble on it. NO FUCKING THANKS. But I digress. For these predictions, I literally know nothing. I was only provided the names of the wrestlers and a picture of them. So without further ado…

Keith Owens vs Dean Ambrose – Intercontinental Championship

So I just caught on to what TLC stands for. When Justin and Dan first emailed me about it, I thought the R&B group was performing at halftime (is there a halftime?) or something. Which would be odd since I don’t think TLC and WWE have the same target audiences. I can’t confirm without seeing a proper Venn diagram, but I’m almost positive. Anyways, back to the match. Owens looks like a meat & potatoes kind of guy. Probably not terribly bright, and lifts truck tires & haystacks for his workout. Ambrose is sporting a beater in the picture I was provided. I can only assume this is part of his usual get-up. Got a real Rocky thing going, like he punches steaks in a freezer to train. A real working man.

The Pick: Ambrose grabs his lunch pail, smashes Owens in the face with it, and wins the belt.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

WWE TLC 2015 Predictions

Welcome to another edition of PPV Predictions!

It's December, and that means another phoned-in effort from WWE in the form of Tables, Ladders & Chairs.  The tagline of this show should be "TLC: Where Gimmick Matches Make Up for How Bad RAW Sucks."  Anyone who's been following WWE knows that RAW is in shambles right now - most of the top stars are injured and WWE is now feeling the effects of their terrible long-term booking, as no one is over and the ratings are hitting 20-year lows.  This is what happens when you continually condition fans to view the full-time roster as beneath the part-time stars of yesteryear.  It's also what happens when you give wrestlers poorly scripted promos to recite rather than letting them ad lib, and when you book everyone to win exactly half the time.  No one gains momentum and therefore the audience doesn't care.

This month we have a special treat for you, as our usual picks will be followed tomorrow by B-Cuddy of NFL Pick 'em fame.  It should be noted that Brandon has basically zero knowledge (and a general disdain) of pro wrestling and is making his picks in the dark.  Therefore he'll probably do better than Dan or I.  Stay tuned for B-Cuddy's Uninformed Wrestling Picks tomorrow!

Anyway, onto the predictions.  I'm thinking we'll see a match or two added to the show at the last minute, since apparently not knowing the entire show ahead of time = buyrates.

***Currently Dan and I are still tied for the year, at 52/75***

WWE Tag Team Championship Triple Threat Ladder Match: The New Day vs. The Usos vs. Lucha Dragons

This is one of the few matches I'm actually interested in.  The New Day are easily the best (only) good thing on the show right now, and amazingly are actually connecting with the crowd.  See what happens when you let talent get over on their own?  I'm glad to see The Usos back in action, and the Luchas are still a promising up-and-coming team.  This should be a fun spotfest.

Justin's Pick: New Day should retain, as their shtick is still great.  No reason to mess with the one thing that's working.
Dan's Pick: Yup, gotta assume the Terrible Trio retains here.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Pro Wrestling: A Mark's History, part 23 (The Austin Era Ends)

2003 was a year of extremes for WWE.  That particular calendar year included one of the best PPVs of all time, several of my favorite-ever matches, and multiple amazing performances by certain talent.  2003 also brought some of the worst wrestling television and creative decisions in the history of our sport (whassup Schiavone!).

In January the pieces were being moved into place for WrestleMania, as Kurt Angle had won the WWE Title from The Big Show while Brock Lesnar waited in the wings for the rematch he never got.  In the meantime though Angle would have to turn back the challenge of Chris Benoit at the '03 Royal Rumble.  I was in attendance for this PPV, and while a verrry uneven show, the Angle-Benoit semi-main event is still the best match I've ever seen live.  It started slow and methodical, and built over 19 minutes into a submission and mat wrestling clinic.  Angle retained the Championship and split, leaving Benoit alone in the ring to a FleetCenter standing ovation.  The events of June 2007 tainted this memory for me to a certain extent, but on that day being part of that roar of crowd approval for my (at the time) favorite wrestler was magical.

Amazing bout this one.

The other Title match at the Rumble pitted Lord God King Hunter against one of the least ready-for-prime-time challengers I'd ever seen, Scott Steiner.  Steiner had just finished sitting out the remainder of his WCW contract and healing from nagging injuries, and Vince scooped him right up.  Apparently though Vince hadn't bothered watching any of Steiner's recent matches, because the man who was once half of the legendary Steiner Brothers was now a freakishly musclebound stiff, who could scarcely bend any of his limbs, and who seemingly got winded getting dressed in the morning.  The match began with most of the live crowd behind Hunter, but quickly got old as the two men lumbered through the plodding contest (Steiner at one point fell on his ass executing a suplex, and generally seemed out of shape).  By the end Boston was booing both wrestlers, and the DQ finish didn't help matters.  So of the two World Title matches at the '03 Rumble, one got a standing ovation for the LOSER while the other was booed out of the building.  Which one got a Part 2 at No Way Out?  Yup, the Steiner match.  Fuckin' hell.

Brock Lesnar of course won the Rumble match itself, which meant the Angle-Lesnar dream match was happening at 'Mania.  This was quite an exciting proposition, and would be the first PPV main event since December 1997 to not feature Austin, Rock, Triple H or Undertaker.  To help build to this magnificent showdown, WWE booked a six-man tag at No Way Out - Brock Lesnar, Chris Benoit & Edge vs. Team Angle.  Sadly just before the PPV, Edge discovered he'd need spinal fusion surgery and would miss a year of action.  So it would instead be a 3-on-2 handicap match.  A real bummer, but it was still a fine contest, and one of very few highlights on this awful show.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

WWE's "Roman Empire" Is In Trouble

This was originally published in Sept. 2014.  Sadly everything I said back then is still an issue, and Roman Reigns isn't much closer to being mega-over than he was then.  If anything his fan support may be even less enthusiastic.....

As was clearly evident on this week's RAW, the Roman Empire is in trouble.  Roman Reigns, WWE's handpicked heir-apparent to John Cena as the face of the company, is not at all clicking with the audience the way he needs to.

Here is the goal - but can WWE do
what it takes to make it work?

As part of The Shield, Reigns was hugely over (as were his two partners) as the quiet, cool enforcer of the group who would stage a late-match power attack that left opponents lying in a heap.  Reigns was perfectly suited for that role and had clearly defined territory within the faction.  But as a post-Shield singles star, Reigns hasn't evolved at all and his act feels like a late 80s midcard babyface persona, not the next "it guy."

Friday, December 4, 2015

NFL Pick 'em: Week 13

Dan's Picks

Once more unto the breach, dear friends. Ya know, this year with the picks has not been good. Like any song playing on B-Cuddy’s car radio with the bass way too high, it stinks. So I must take solace in the important things in life. This picks blog? Pointless. No one cares about the useless choices of two bald guys and a handsome man making bad NFL picks. No, you know what the masses love?

That’s right, fake football. And let’s talk about the league myself, Miggsy & B-Cuddly are in, shall we? Take a look at the standings.

I mean, holy SHIT, did Brandon even know football was a sport when he drafted his team? I believe he thought he was drafting his fantasy women’s gymnastics team, a sport he is much more comfortable watching, and participating in thanks to his ample bosom. And Miggsy’s the biggest fraud in the league. This cracked out, corpsey-looking motherfucker (He’s so pale) changed his name to BUZZSAW cause he was cutting through everyone in the league...and has gone 3-3 ever since. He’s the Jeff Fisher of faux football, except Fisher has better breath. Meanwhile, I’m comfortably on my way to an unprecedented 8th Championship. So enjoy your picks, gentleman, and then go eat shit and die, you herpes weigh stations.

Dan Remembers Scott Weiland (1967-2015)

by Dan Moore

Scott Weiland, the lead singer of the seminal 90s grunge band Stone Temple Pilots, passed away last night at the age of 48. I had two distinct feelings about this when I read about it.

1. Dammit, one of my all-time faves, gone far too young.
2. I can't believe he lasted this long.

October 27, 1967 – December 3, 2015

I was 13 years old back in 1991, when the alternative movement really hit its stride. Albums by Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden were taking the music world by storm. They made me start to put away childish things, you know, Guns N Roses, Skid Row and Motley Crue. As I rocked along to the Seattle sound, in '92, a band whose roots grew in the San Diego rock scene crept up and slapped me in the face.

The first STP album came out and was immediately thrown into heavy rotation in my Walkman. Yes, that’s correct, I bought the tape. It was amazing. They were far more accessible to my adolescent brain than the other bands out at the time. From the original album, Core, the powerful, vocal thrust of "Plush," the metal riffs of "Sex Type Thing" and the closing, epic "Where the River Goes." All of it was perfect. This tape was traded throughout the neighborhood so all of us Southie hoodlums could have a copy. It was played so much that the actual tape was worn out and snapped. And I was a broke kid working at a Mom & Pop store. So I cracked that thing open, used some Scotch tape, and BOOM, I was rockin' again. They jumped to the top of my Favorite Bands list. Posters on the walls, shirts purchased and multiple copies of singles and albums.

Once Upon A Time, The Greatest Shooter in NBA History was Drafted 7th…

by Brandon Cuddemi

Steph Curry is on a level all by himself. His shot is downright beautiful. Like doves flying in the sunset, or something. Look, I’m not Robert Fucking Frost. Think of something majestic and that’s what his shot is like. Meanwhile, let’s see what Kobe’s shots are looking like this year...

(Kobe has nothing to do with this, but he plays for the Lakers, so fuck 'em) 

Here are some crazy numbers for Curry’s season and career:  In 20 games this season, he has made 102 threes. He’s on pace to make 418 of them. That would be 132 more than the current record for a single season. That record, by the way, belongs to him. He set it last season, when he broke the mark set in 2013-14 by...him. In all, he has 3 out of the top 5 spots in the record books for threes made in a single season. INSANE. Now granted, he shoots a million of these things. But, his percentages are actually historical too. For his career, he’s already 2nd all time for 3pt %. And nobody on that list comes close to attempting as many. Making it even more impressive. On top of it all, the guy easily has the best handles in the league, and 2-3 times a night you’ll see him make a fool out of whoever is defending him.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

The Newest Batman v Superman Trailer

By Dan Moore & Justin Ballard

I’m sure by now, most of us comic book movie-loving folk have seen the trailer for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. If not, here it is below…but I recommend skipping it if you don’t want to see the ENTIRE FUCKING MOVIE.


Here’s a neat little list of what is wrong with all of this.

1. Does Jesse Eisenberg think he’s playing the Riddler? 

DAN: The characterization Eisenberg has here portraying Lex Luthor seems horribly wrong. Lex is supposed to be a person that’s above it all, better than you, me, hell, he’s better than Superman. In this trailer, he’s acting like a goddamn clown. The tone is just too silly for me to take him seriously as the eternal thorn in Superman’s side. I get each actor likes to have his own take on an iconic character, and I dig Eisenberg as an actor, but it’s so far off from what Luthor is supposed to be that it’s jarring. It’s like it’s a totally different character. Jesse Eisenberg as Bex Buthor. I’m not liking this interpretation thus far.

JUSTIN: This take on Luthor is just 100% incorrect.  It’s not the same character at all.  He’s mousy, he’s silly, he’s sorta effeminate.  It’s simply not Lex Luthor.  Why does this creative team feel the need to reinvent the wheel?  First Superman’s a mopey, selfish jerk and now this?  Also the whole bit about Lex saying, “Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne in the same room?  I love bringing people together!”  Lex might as well be speaking directly into the camera at that point, because Clark and Bruce meeting each other wouldn’t be significant to anyone in the film.  It’s significant to us, the audience, because it’s the first time these two iconic characters have been onscreen together in a live action movie.  But the other characters wouldn’t care.  This just reeks of fan-service.

2. Is DC making a conscious effort to make this a more playful movie, a la the Marvel flicks?

JUSTIN:  It would appear so.  Especially once Wonder Woman shows up and they’re like “Is she with you?”  “I thought she was with you.”  Sounds like something lifted right out of The Avengers.

DAN: DC already set a murky, dark tone for Man of Steel. When that was criticized, did they decide now “Let’s make him funny!” There’s legit more laughs in this trailer from that one line above than in the entirety of MoS. It’s like they saw what success Marvel has with the happy Avengers heroes and went with that blueprint for this movie. So weird.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Pro Wrestling: A Mark's History, part 22 (Eric vs. Stephanie)

2002 was the first year in which WWF/E ran unopposed as a major wrestling company, but in the wake of WCW's and ECW's respective demises, two new companies formed. 

The first, Ring of Honor, was founded by Rob Feinstein and booked by Paul Heyman protege Gabe Sopolsky.  Like ECW it was a gritty, no-frills indie promotion with an emphasis on the in-ring product.  But unlike ECW the wrestling was technically-based instead of hardcore.  Veterans like Christopher Daniels, Low-Ki, and newcomer Bryan Danielson were showcased, and the company would bring in several international stars from time to time to give the product some flavor.  In lieu of a weekly TV show, very card would be available on VHS and later DVD, via RF Video.  Though it would take several years, ROH would come to be a major influence on the wrestling industry, just as ECW had done previously.  But we'll get to that.

The other new company was owned by Jeff and Jerry Jarrett, and was to be an NWA affiliate.  For some reason they called it Total Nonstop Action, or TNA (get it?), and the NWA gave them permission to use the sanctioned NWA World Championship as it's top belt.  The product was without a weekly cable timeslot, so instead they ran weekly two-hour PPVs from a venue in Nashville, which was a helluva financial commitment for anyone wanting to follow along.  For the most part TNA felt like a continuation of 2000 WCW; the top stars were either WWE castoffs or former WCW stars, and the product was needlessly raunchy.  The one innovation though was the newly created X-Division, which was similar to WCW's Cruiserweights, except there was no weight restriction.  The division was initially built around Jerry Lynn and hot new indie star AJ Styles, who would prove to be TNA's franchise player for the next decade.  While TNA wasn't exactly classic stuff, it did at least provide an alternative to an increasingly frustrating WWE product.

AJ's reign of awesome began in 2002.

After King of the Ring 2002 it was clear WWE was casting their lot with the prodigious Brock Lesnar.  He'd won the annual tournament and would be facing the Undisputed Champion at SummerSlam.  I had some reservations about his ability to deliver a PPV main event so early in his career but was excited for the company's focus on a young star.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

NFL Pick 'em: Week 12

Dan's Picks

This is honestly getting ridiculous. I lose a pick on a goddamn "inadvertent whistle" play?? What is this world coming to? This is beyond annoying. Tom Brady is in bounds and throws a beauty to Danny Amendola, and TWEEEEET whistled away for...something. I mean, look at Danny boy here, on his way to the promised land.

But nope, there goes 6 points, bye bye, I’m a loser. Unreal. I’m not mad. I’m just disappointed.

St. Louis (+9) @ Cincinnati THE PICK - CINCINNATI
It’s a pretty bad look when your quarterback’s head gets slammed into the ground like Greg Hardy’s woman and he is still allowed to play, somehow.

There's nothing funny about this.
The NFL would have you believe that they care about the well-being of their players. That concussions are something they are actively trying to prevent. As evident in last week’s game, surely they jest. And with the Rams deciding that hey, Marshmallow-brains here is good to go this week...I’m on the Red Rifle and the cats to take this one down.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

NFL Pick 'em: Thanksgiving Edition

Happy Thanksgiving and welcome to a special holiday edition of NFL Pick 'em. Before you hork down pounds of turkey & gravy drenched side dishes, why not take a little taste of some lousy picks by myself, Miggsy & B-Cuddy? Here we go.

Dan's Picks

Philadelphia @ Detroit (Pick ‘Em) THE PICK - WATCH SOMETHING ELSE
Holy shit, what an awful game this is gonna be. Seriously. Butt Fumble master Mark Sanchez is getting another start for the hapless birds, and the only guy in town with a bigger head than Charlie Brown, Matt Stafford, continues to suck it up for the Lions.

Turning this game on your television is possibly the meanest thing you could do to your family on this holiday, short of not making mashed potatoes for dinner (thanks Uncle Benny). I have zero confidence in either of these teams. You should watch the turkey cook instead of this nonsense. Gun to my head…DETROIT

Monday, November 23, 2015

WWE Survivor Series Recap, or "I Throw My Hands Up"

Well folks, another Survivor Series is in the books, and my esteemed colleague Dan Moore and I are back with our analysis. 

Perennial Loser, er, I mean new WWE Champion Sheamus

Spoiler alert: This show pissed us both off.  But aren't we more entertaining that way?  Dan, your take?

DAN: What a missed opportunity last night for the WWE. The injury to Seth Rollins could have been a blessing in disguise. A chance to elevate some young talent on the roster and really start to push some new stars in the world of sports entertainment. Instead, Vince and his crazy cooks in the WWE kitchen served us up a shit sandwich.

The wrasslin’ portion of the show was actually fine. Match of the night was Roman Reigns vs. Alberto followed by Ambrose-Owens (Owens could be the company’s ultimate heel if he’s given that chance someday). I didn’t even have a problem with the combatants in the thrown together Survivor match. The teams were filled with capable members but the match itself lacked a story, as it was put together like, yesterday morning. 

No, my problem stems from the total lack of storytelling all night. It was atrocious. For example, in the aforementioned Survivor match, the heels were led out by the comedic tag champs, the New Day. No problem there. However, they attempted to make a humorous turn with Sheamus, your Money in the Bank briefcase holder. Normally, that’s not an issue. But when later in the evening, the very same Sheamus cashes in the contract against a newly crowned Champion Roman Reigns, something is very amiss here. Let me get this straight: the super babyface Reigns just lost to a man who an hour beforehand was acting like a clown and coming up with nonsensical phrases to get the audience to laugh, only to be mocked himself by his teammates? This is your heel champion now?

Friday, November 20, 2015

WWE Survivor Series 2015 Predictions

Welcome to another edition of official predictions!  November is of course the month when WWE takes its second-oldest PPV tradition and craps all over it with a watered-down shell of what Survivor Series used to be (Don't get Dan and me started on that).

This year the centerpiece of the PPV is the final two rounds of the WWE Title tournament.  Former Champion and backbone of the company Seth Rollins suffered a serious knee injury as you all know, and was forced to vacate the belt, thus WWE held a 16-man tourney to crown a new Champion.  The tournament itself has been pretty solid and has made for some fine TV matches over the past two weeks (Reigns vs. Cesaro is probably the tourney highlight so far).

The other big hyped matchup this year is the Brothers of Destruction vs. Bray Wyatt & Braun Strowman.  Now when this all got set up a month ago it seemed clear the plan was for all four Wyatts to face Taker, Kane and two other babyfaces in a Survivor Series match.  Ya know, woulda made sense.  But no, apparently Vince thinks a plain RAW-quality tag team match would be a bigger draw (Vince, what color is the sky in CrazyLand?).  So we're stuck with what is likely to be a plodding, phoned-in affair.  Next?

The one ray of Survivor Series hope was just announced at the Smackdown tapings the other night, as ten of WWE's brightest, most promising midcarders (for whom Creative has no plans going forward) will be assembled into a traditional elimination match.  Of course WWE hasn't announced which ten guys will be involved.  Why would you hype a Survivor Series match ahead of time for Survivor Series??  But at least we'll get a 5-on-5 match.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

NFL Pick 'em: Week 11

Dan's Picks

These picks....they’re not my kinda picks. Sure, I’m on the bottom, but let’s be real. It’s an unbelievable case of bad luck. If goddamn Mike Tomlin didn’t play for a TD with like 8 seconds left in the first week, if the Chiefs, the GODDAMN Chiefs don’t beat the Broncos for the first time in four years in a game where the most prolific regular-season passer in the history of the FUCKING LEAGUE threw four interceptions on 20 goddamn tosses, then I’m right up there with Bald & Balder. The only thing those two idiots hafta worry about picking correctly is what size Turtle Wax they need to shine up those fucking cue balls on their big fat necks. Now, let’s get to some more picks, which are most likely wrong. Fuck.

This is how I feel right now. Not really.
That performance by Manning last week was HILARIOUS.

Green Bay (+1) @ Minnesota THE PICK - GREEN BAY
The Pack are on a three game losing streak. Minny has pulled off a five (FIVE!?!) game winning streak. It’s been a great ride for the Vikings. But, much like Miggsy buying pairs of pants with a waistline in the thirties, it’s gonna come to a stop. Green Bay is coming off a shocking loss to the Lions at home and methinks they no likey that (plus, getting a point with the Packers is rare). I’m assuming they come out with a vengeance and destroy Minnesota, but I’m probably wrong because I stink.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Pro Wrestling: A Mark's History, part 21 (Get the 'F Out)

The first major event in 2002 was the long-awaited return of Triple H, who had finally recovered from his cringeworthy quad tear in May of '01.  The vignettes they'd been playing were clearly designed to get Hunter over as a returning hero, and I anticipated a mega-babyface push for him heading into WrestleMania season.  Remember, before he left I was a big Triple H fan, so the idea of a probable Triple H-Chris Jericho WrestleMania main event was electrifying to me.  Sadly it wouldn't exactly play out like I'd hoped.

Jericho, who had defeated both The Rock and Steve Austin at Vengeance 2001 to become the Undisputed Champ, was almost immediately treated as a transitional belt-holder, routinely booked in the opening segment on RAW against lower-card opponents like Maven and Tazz.  Not only that but these weren't exactly squash matches.  Jericho had trouble beating seemingly anyone, and it looked as though he was being deliberately portrayed as an undeserving fluke Champion.  Heading into the new year all signs pointed to a nice little Jericho vs. Rob Van Dam feud, culminating in a WWF Title match at the Royal Rumble.  But inexplicably their blowoff match took place on an episode of Smackdown, and Jericho was once again paired against The Rock for the PPV.  This seemed like a totally wasted opportunity to a) deliver a really great semi-main event at the Rumble, b) solidify Rob Van Dam as a new main event star after his surprising Hardcore Title loss to The Undertaker (who had pretty nonsensically turned heel in December), and c) stack the Rumble match itself with as many top-tier stars as possible.  What we got on that PPV was a third Jericho vs. Rock go-round that wasn't nearly as captivating as the first two, a Rumble match with a very obvious winner and only three other potential candidates, and Rob Van Dam relegated to a two-minute cameo at the end of the match (He should consider himself lucky, the other former Alliance star Booker T only got 33 seconds).

Hunter?  Why are your shoulder so big?

This was the first time I became acutely aware of petty backstage politics creating blatantly counterproductive booking, at least in the WWF (Christ, in WCW it was practically announced every week on Nitro).  While in hindsight there was obviously a lot of this stuff going on for years, even during the excellent 2000/early 2001 era, either I hadn't been as wise to the product or the company had done enough things right that I didn't notice so much.  That all changed post-Invasion.

Friday, November 13, 2015

NFL Pick 'em: Week 10

Brandon (16-11, 21pts)
Miggsy (16-11, 20pts)
DNM III (13-14, 17pts)

Dan's Picks

Hey it's Dan. I got nothing to say.

Carolina (-6) @ Tennessee THE PICK - CAROLINA 
The Panthers defensive line has been bonkers lately and they might have the best linebacker group in the league. I mean, look at Luke Kuechly, he's an animal!

Ok, maybe this pic of him looking like an accountant in an
oversize jersey was the wrong one to pick. 

Tennessee's offensive line has been atrocious. Methinks young Marcus may need a dry cleaner big time come Monday for all the grass stains he'll be wearing.

Kansas City @ Denver (-7) THE PICK - DENVER
Peyton is 3 yards away from beating notorious dick pic slinger Bret Favre's all time yards passing record.

The official jeans for interception prone QBs with small wangs.

Even noodle arm Manning has to be able to sling a few lame ducks on this putrid Chiefs team. Denver's defense should give Alex "I was drafted before Aaron Rodgers" Smith fits all day. He may not even break 100 yards passing. You can do this with every draft, but the fact that roughly a million teams passed on Rodgers is astounding. It's such a huge blunder in a league where there's maybe 8 good quarterbacks. To have one ready to go in the draft and keep passing him by is amazing.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

You Used To Be Sooooo Good: WWE Survivor Series

AND WE'RE BAAAACK!!!  It's been a while folks, but my esteemed colleague Dan Moore and I are back with a brand new installment of You Used To Be Soooo Good.  You know the drill, we examine something we once loved, explain why it sucks now, and work through our pain.

This here is a REAL logo.

Today we'll be talking about what used to be one of our favorite wrestling PPVs, the Survivor Series.  Debuting in 1987, the Series was built around gigantic team matchups, where two captains would gather their closest allies and wage war on their hated enemies.  It was a pure, uncomplicated format, and it worked beautifully.  But after the first few years the company began to stray from this concept.  Over the past two decades the elimination portion of the shows has been more often than not phoned in, while the focus has been on the regular ol' singles matches.  Thus Survivor Series has mostly devolved into a generic PPV where little of importance takes place.  Dan, what's your take on this once-beloved tradition?

DAN: Ah, the classic Survivor Series. At the time it debuted, it easily shot to the top of the charts as my favorite wrestling event. The idea of the PPV was, in retrospect, so simple, but so awesome. Tag teams made up of five men, with each man pinned (or DQd or counted out) being eliminated from the match, thus creating survivors. The year this show was born, I was heavy into my love of wrasslin'. We were all at my grandmother's house for Thanksgiving and because the show was on Thanksgiving night, my father made me and my brother leave early so we wouldn't miss a second of this brand new wrestling extravaganza. It's truly one of my favorite wrestling memories, and the very first Survivor Series is ingrained in my head as one of the all time great pay-per-views.

JUSTIN: I first heard about Survivor Series at a house show on Halloween night.  My dad and I went to the Worcester Centrum and on the back of the programs was an ad depicting Hulk Hogan's team on one side and Andre the Giant's team on the other.  I said, "What's this about?"  Just below that was an "Also featuring Randy Savage's team facing The Honky Tonk Man's team."  I said, "This sounds most intriguing."  Yes, at age 12 I used the word "intriguing."  I swear.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A Brief History of James Bond

**Editor's Note: Welcome to a special look at the history of James Bond, from our own Bond Consultant Dave Moore (Dan's brother).  Dave has what you might call an unhealthy fixation on everyone's favorite British spy.  So to commemorate the latest 007 opus Spectre, he's put together a little retrospective.  Enjoy!**

As many people know James Bond made his return to the screen this past weekend in SPECTRE, and I couldn't be more excited about a new Bond Film.  People who know me, know I'm a huge James Bond fan, both of the movies and the books.  The moment I first saw the inside of that gun barrel appear on the screen and a lone man walked into frame, fired his gun, and blood trickled down the screen, seven-year-old Dave was hooked.

Decades later, after 24 movies, who's the best Bond? Everyone has their personal favorite. Here is my breakdown:

For me it starts and stops with the original Bond, Sean Connery.  He's the first man to bring the character to life on film and he's still the best.  His presence on screen was electric. His physicality in the train fight with Robert Shaw's Red Grant in From Russia with Love made this a groundbreaking sequence.  He dripped sexuality and charisma. He was suave, charming and got any woman he looked at. He had the ability to deliver a perfectly-timed and witty one-liner. He was the coolest character in film at the time. Up until Daniel Craig, he was the closest to the James Bond from the books. Sadly Connery tired of the role and left after You Only Live Twice.  He came back a few years later for Diamonds are Forever but it wasn’t the same as the earlier films.

Pro Wrestling: A Mark's History, part 20 (The Invasion)

Ah, the Invasion Angle.  The most disappointing thing in wrestling history.  When Vince McMahon bought WCW I (like all wrestling fans everywhere) salivated at the thought of finally getting to see the top stars from both companies lock up in the ring.  Austin vs. Goldberg, Hogan vs. The Rock, Triple H vs. Sting (okay, two of those three did eventually happen, but stay with me here), and a host of other epic marquee matchups would now be possible.  Except they weren't.  Reason being, all of WCW's biggest names were still under contract to Time Warner for another year or more, and Vince didn't want to fork over the cash to buy them out.

Uh oh, the enemy is sitting politely in their seats.  What are we gonna do??

So instead the only "invaders" we got were the largely unproven midcard talent no one really cared about seeing in a WWF ring (Booker T excepted, he was the one real star Vince bought at this point).  The early stages of the Invasion consisted of random attacks by lower-echelon WCWers like Mike Awesome and Lance Storm (nothing against Lance at all, but he wasn't exactly a WCW cornerstone).  Finally at King of the Ring we saw Booker T for the first time as he attacked Steve Austin during his WWF Title match.  But since Austin won the match anyway this didn't make much of an impact.

The master plan for this Invasion was for Shane McMahon to lead the new WCW charge and split off into his own brand, slated for Friday nights on TNN.  The top four talents on whose shoulders WCW would be rebuilt were Booker T, Rob Van Dam, Test, and Buff Bagwell.  Wait, what??  Yup, someone in the WWF thought Buff Bagwell would be a top-flight WCW main eventer, and the first-ever WCW match broadcast on RAW pitted Buff against Booker T.  And then the match stunk up the joint.  Literally, the arena reeked of failure and self-loathing.  Coming off 18 solid months of WWF programming that was absolute gold 90 per cent of the time, I had very high hopes for a relaunched WCW under the McMahon banner.  When this Booker-Buff match flopped harder than an M. Night Shyamalan film, it stung.  The match was so bad it killed the relaunch dead before it even got out of the gate.  The network pulled the plug on the experiment, and Bagwell got his walkin' papers.

Friday, November 6, 2015

NFL Pick 'em: Week 9

Points standings 

Last week, I came down a bit. The week before, I was perfect, eating cavier and drinking champagne. A couple losses on Sunday, I'm horking down filet o' fish and guzzling syrup.

Your mother teach you to chug?

Nothing you can do about it except pretend everything's just peachy and go about your business. Like Miggsy and his hairline.


Atlanta (-7) @ San Francisco THE PICK - ATLANTA
Thank you.

New York Giants (-2 1/2) @ Tampa Bay THE PICK - NEW YORK
I hate Eli, and the Giants. I feel I need to say that each time I pick them. He stinks, yet with the sorry state of QB talent in the NFL, is legit top ten in the league. He shows that he can be great (like last week's 6 TD performance and two specific games in February we won't talk about). But he makes so many stupid mistakes, like Cuddy buying a large shirt (No, it fits dude, your gut is almost contained). I have to, HAVE TO, believe they're better than Tampa. Of course, I'm probably wrong. But I hate Florida. The whole state. It's overrated, humid, pricey and filled with Coke dealers and cousin fuckers. Not to mention the buncha dickheads that flock there to spend half their salaries to see teenagers dressed up like a fucking mouse. Holy shit, look, a fake castle, I'm a princess and it only cost me A MILLION DOLLARS. Seriously, Florida, eat a dick.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

NJPW Power Struggle 2015 Predictions

Welcome back to PPV Predictions, where I dissect the upcoming NJPW Power Struggle show!

We've arrived at what is essentially the final stop on the Road to WrestleKingdom, where things fall into place for the company's January 4th extravaganza.  As in previous years, Power Struggle is a pretty basic collection of matches not really designed to have lasting ramifications, but to warm everyone up for WK10.  Let's take a look at the scheduled bouts.

**Since I started predicting New Japan shows I'm 21/26 - not too shabby.**

David Finlay, Jay White, Sho Tanaka and Yohei Komatsu vs. Jushin Thunder Liger, Máscara Dorada, Ryusuke Taguchi and Tiger Mask

This show will contain several get-more-names-on-the-card matches, the first of which is this eight-man tag.  Many of these guys opened King of Pro-Wrestling as well.  Team Liger won that match, and I'm picking them here too.

Justin's pick: Liger/Dorada/Taguchi/Tiger Mask

Togi Makabe, Captain New Japan and Juice Robinson vs. Cody Hall, Doc Gallows and Tama Tonga

The first of three multi-man tags involving the Bullet Club, this pits the stable's bottom echelon against former Never Champ Makabe and his two partners.  Coming off a loss at KOPW I imagine Makabe gets a bit of rehabbing in this match.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

31 Horror Movies in 31 Days: Psycho

by Dan Moore

The final review #31Movies31Days

Psycho (1960)

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Starring: Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, John Gavin, Martin Balsam, John McIntire, Janet Leigh

This was it. The big one. The very first horror movie I ever saw in my life. Psycho. I watched it at my Aunt's house on the Movie Loft with Dana Hersey on WSBK TV 38, Boston. And it scared the bejesus out of me. The requisite "no more showers" was promised by myself, and I'm quite sure I held onto that pledge for a solid week.

The plot, of course, involves Norman Bates and his eponymous hotel. When Marion Crane, who is on the run after robbing her boss of $40,000, checks in, she meets this strange boy who has an even stranger infatuation with his little-seen mother. Mother resides in the creepy house overlooking the hotel, and if I thought the hospital in Session 9 was scary, check this shit out.


The movie is iconic for a myriad of reasons. The house. The hotel. The music. The still-scary-to-this-day shower scene. And of course, Mother.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Pro Wrestling: A Mark's History, part 19 (Vince Buys WCW)

2001 might be the most significant year in the history of pretend fighting.  After decades of the North American wrestling landscape being dominated by two or three major promotions, the year 2001 saw one company survive the Monday Night War by absorbing the other.  On March 26th, the unthinkable happened, as Vince McMahon bought WCW and assimilated it into his own company.  The final Nitro featured a simulcast segment where Vince announced to the world that he had bought the company, only for Shane McMahon to appear and drop the bombshell that HE had in fact purchased WCW out from under Vince.  This set the stage for the biggest wrestling angle of all time, the Invasion.

But before we get to that, let's rewind to January.

The 2001 PPV calendar was probably even better than the 2000 one, as four of the five Big PPVs were absolutely spectacular, and a few of the B shows were excellent too.  The Royal Rumble kicked things off perfectly, with a stacked Rumble match that entertained all the way through and culminated in Steve Austin's reascension, a worthy semi-main event in the Kurt Angle-Triple H WWF Title match (despite the lack of a babyface to root for), and the two Chrises, Benoit and Jericho, stealing the show with an amazing Ladder Match for the I-C Title.

The Chrises had a helluva six-month stretch in 2001

It was obvious the planned main event of WrestleMania 17 (dubbed X-Seven for some reason) was The Rock vs. Steve Austin.  I was less than pumped for this I must confess, as we had seen it two years prior and I had hoped for someone new to be elevated to that level.  Plus it was a face vs. face match and I just didn't feel much heat from it.  Turned out I had little to worry about, but we'll get to that in a bit.

At the 'Mania 17 press conference, Vince announced "This won't be the biggest WrestleMania ever, but it will be the best."  I'll never forget that line, as #1 it was 100% true, and #2 WWE in recent years seems to have forgotten that philosophy when putting together WrestleMania shows.  In trying to make each one as big as it can be, they've forgotten about making it better than the others.

Monday, November 2, 2015

31 Horror Movies in 31 Days: Session 9

by Dan Moore

Here we are, the final reviews.  Join the discussion on Twitter with #31Movies31Days

Day 30: Session 9 (2001)

Director: Brad Anderson
Starring: David Caruso, Peter Mullan, Stephen Gevedon, Paul Guilfoyle, Josh Lucas, Brendan Sexton III

New shorts. That's what you'll need after watching this one.

The movie's plot involves an asbestos removal company doing a job in a dilapidated mental institute. And the place looks real nice. Honestly.

Perhaps I'll summer here

Strange things start to occur once the crew gets in the building. One of the workers starts listening to old reel-to-reel session recordings, adding an even creepier layer to the happenings and the goings on. To tell more of the plot is not fair to the new viewer. Needless to say, you'll be scared.