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.