Thursday, September 29, 2016

Rolling Stone's Top 500 Albums of All Time, Picked Apart (151-200)

By Michael Drinan

We carry on with our bashing of Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time by tackling entries 101-150 (Part 3 is HERE).

151. Bruce Springsteen - Darkness on the Edge of Town
152. The B-52’s - The B-52’s
153. Howlin’ Wolf - Moanin’ In The Moonlight
154. A Tribe Called Quest - The Low End Theory
155. The Pretenders - The Pretenders
156. The Beastie Boys - Paul’s Boutique
157. Joy Division - Closer
158. Elton John - Captain Fantastic and The Brown Dirt Cowboy
159. Kiss - Alive
160. T. Rex - Electric Warrior

Not a whole lot here that I have a problem with. My favorite Springsteen album kicks off this section and I do think it should be ranked higher. It usually makes Top 100 lists (even with RS) so I’m a little surprised it’s as low as it is. The album aches with broken dreams and its characters are reaching for something that is not quite within their reach. It’s a lonely man’s record and no one does it better than The Boss.

A lot of people rank Paul’s Boutique higher but I like it where it’s at. Its influence in hip hop is undeniable and it really gave The Beastie Boys credibility within the genre, but it’s not an album I tend to go back to a lot. Maybe a few songs, but it doesn’t age very well.

161. Otis Redding - The Dock of the Bay
162. Radiohead - O.K. Computer
163. Prince - 1999
164. Linda Ronstadt - Heart Like A Wheel
165. Marvin Gaye - Let’s Get It On
166. Elvis Costello - Imperial Bedroom
167. Metallica - Master Of Puppets
168. Elvis Costello - My Aim Is True
169. Bob Marley & The Wailers - Exodus
170. The Who - Live At Leeds

Radiohead’s O.K. Computer is another album that is consistently in Top 100 lists so again, I’m a little surprised it’s as low it is here.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Dive Bars of Yesteryear: The Quiet Man Pub (South Boston, MA)

by Dan Moore

Back with another edition of The Dive Bars of America, but with a twist. In this edition, I talk about a storied dive bar from days past. I’ve got a 5-category rating system between 1 and 4 handlebar mustaches, which is the preferred mustache by 9 out of 10 old timers in dive bars.

The Quiet Man Pub
11 W Broadway
South Boston, MA 02127

Probably the most lamented bar in Southie, The Quiet Man is a legendary watering hole that, sadly, went the way of the dodo bird almost a decade ago. The Quiet Man was a bar with two rooms, one a straight-up pub, the other a restaurant area. It had a questionable bathroom, excellent food and tons of personality.

FUN FACTOR: Every time you walked into this joint, you would have a blast. Didn’t matter what you came there to do; if you were eating or boozing til the last number 9 bus drove away, the place was GREAT. There were TVs all about for your sporting needs, but it was more about the crew you showed up with. A good time was had by all in here.

Shortly before its untimely demise

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Brewery Reviewery: Mayflower Brewing Company (Plymouth, MA)

Whassup everybody?  My wife Kelly and I are back to review another local brewery.  This past weekend we took a little jaunt over to Mayflower Brewing Co. in Plymouth, MA for some local flavor.  In the past we'd sampled a few of their brews but overall neither of us has had too much familiarity with their products.  

The tasting room is a nice little venue, with hardwood floors and attractive natural-grain shelving and bar/tables that give off an old-school tavern vibe.  The atmosphere was casual and inviting, and the bar staff were friendly and well-informed.  Two critiques if I may: the taproom seemed to have a fly problem, as there were a handful of them buzzing around our heads.  Might wanna get that looked at.  Also the pours were served in plastic, disposable cups instead of actual glasses, which for me hurt the beers' various aromas.  Instead of getting a noseful of booze I was smelling plastic.  Onto the beers.....

The options on tap were numerous, as were the configurations by which one could get said beers down one's gullet.  There are free sample flights, full tasting flights for $10, half-pints, full pints, and growler fill-ups at a reasonable price.  Kelly and I went with a full flight each.  We got 5 tastes to a flight, and the pours were quite generous at what appeared to be 6 oz. per taste.  The barkeep helpfully suggested that since there were nine beer choices and we'd get a combined ten, that we sample all nine flavors and save one empty cup for the end to finish things off with our favorite.  This idea was genius in its simplicity.  The nine choices were quite varied and ranged from light and crisp to dark and rich.  From light to dark, here's how it went down (Spoiler alert: it went down easy, like a hooker on prom night.....I dunno what that means).

Monday, September 26, 2016

Movie Review - Captain America: Civil War

by Varun

Captain America: Civil War
Director- Anthony and Joe Russo 
Star Cast- Chris Evans, Sebastian Stan, Robert Downey Jr, Scarlet Johansson 
Rating- 4.25/5 

Civil War is the third installment in the Captain America movie series, the twelfth movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the first of their Third Phase.

Right off the bat Civil War has upped an already high comic book movie game. The plot is the most widespread of any MCU Movie to date; there are two major conflicts that get the ball rolling along with four more subplots that grab your attention from the very first second till the end credits start rolling.

The movie involves 12 different superheroes divided into 2 teams of six. Unlike their rivals DC Comics' film Batman v Superman, which had three superheroes and set the plot for three more, none of the Civil War heroes felt forced into the movie. Each character had his/her valid motive and reason to be in the fight against each other.

With a plot so complicated, one of the toughest tasks to make sure the movie doesn't confuse its viewers is to have the right script. Civil War's script excels with flying colours. The script has good dialogue that packs in a fine blend of comedy, and the tongue-in-cheek one-liners have also improved since Age of Ultron. Each character phrases their perspective in their own style, especially the character of Black Panther played brilliantly by Chadwick Boseman. His dialogue is that of a prince from an African kingdom; there is a scene between him and Captain America right after he is first introduced that makes you straight up applaud him. Spider-man's dialogue is the best the hero has had in all six films he has appeared in. Tom Holland nails the young adult act, and it feels like he is a kid amongst grown men.

The film also excels in action choreography; it resembles The Winter Soldier in its fight scenes rather than The Avengers, which is good. The set pieces from Lagos to the airport to a space station launch site are all brilliant choices as they allow the heroes to make the most use of their environment in each setting (Especially the Captain's shield, which was utilized in new and unique ways).

The editing is spot on, in fact you wish that they would've added scenes because all the interactions amongst the characters are really fun to watch.

With all its pros the film does have cons, although just minor ones - one of these is the background score. Other than the music played during the airport scene right before the teams clash, no other songs made any impact. A tighter score such as Hans Zimmer's in The Dark Knight or Ennio Morriocone's in The Hateful Eight would have made the film more impactful.

Another con is the cinematography, all the film's settings are too average, for example the prison facility looks exactly how one would imagine a facility would look. There isn't anything extraordinary such as the elevator from Winter Soldier or the helicarrier in The Avengers.

But these are mere nitpicks when it comes to a movie of this stature; the Russos have proven yet again that their comic book ideology works on film, and brilliantly at that. Civil War is a must-watch for a Marvel fan, a DC fan, or just an average action movie fan. Best 2016 summer blockbuster hands down.

Nomination Chances

There is a medium-high chance for a Visual effects nomination, at the next academy awards. Although I wouldn't be unhappy if it isn't nominated.

Nomination scale:
Low-Medium-High, anything that has just high chances and isn't nominated makes me unhappy.

What the ratings mean:
0.5-1.5: Why was this movie even made?
1.75-2.5: A few good scenes, nothing memorable, disappointed me.
2.75-3.25: The movie did exactly what was expected of it, didn't add anything, but at least  it didn't fail.
3.5-4.25: The movie exceeded expectations and will help you look intellectual at discussions with friends.
4.5-5 Instant legend, this movie should be Oscar-nominated at least.

Friday, September 23, 2016

NFL Pick 'em 2016: Week 3

by Dan Moore (@SouthieDanimal), Mike Parker (@UncleMiggsy) & Brandon Cuddemi

Dan's Pick

Well, the NFL made us all their bitch last week. All three of us useless prognosticators lost.

Making the Richard Sherman face all weekend

I’m sure Brandon, with his pepperoni tits &and Miggsy with his less than alluring stench, will somehow try to spinzone this into only me being terrible, but the truth is in the stats. Combined, we’re 1-5. If we were coaching in the NFL, we woulda just got called into the office.

But it’s new week, and we shall press on.

Chicago Bears @ Dallas (-7) - THE PICK: DALLAS -7

One of my favorite annual traditions of the new football year is the standard “This is the year Jay Cutler figures it all out” story. Been reading that for going on 10 years now. Does this look like a man that is figuring anything out?!?

Smoking is so boss....

The man has nothing figured out (though his wife is super hot. I’d like to split her in half like a piece of fire wood). And now he’s injured and not even playing. Which STINKS, because even though he sucks, I love watching him fail. Just love that attitude of “Whatever, I threw a pick, I’m rich, gimme a cigarette”. But I cannot see his Bears going into Dallas and beating that team. Even with the boys starting a rookie QB, they should easily beat this Chicago team by double digits. Chicago could give Cleveland a run for worst team in the league. It’s AWESOME.

NJPW Destruction in Kobe Preview & Predictions

Welcome back to's PPV Predictions.  The third show in the Destruction series doesn't appear as strong overall as Hiroshima, but it does have the biggest main event of the three (which is literally the only singles match on this card).  

Will Ospreay & Roppongi Vice vs. Teruaki Kanemitsu, Henare & David Finlay

This is your basic warmup match, with an established CHAOS trio tuning up on three Young Lions.  Won't be very long I'm sure, likely in the 7-minute range.

Justin's pick: CHAOS
Landon's pick: CHAOS

Chase Owens & Yujiro Takahashi vs. Yoshitatsu & Captain New Japan

Another throwaway-type match to give The Hunter Club a spot on the card.  Win or lose they're still the weakest faction in the company.

Justin's pick: Bullet Club
Landon's pick: Bullet Club

Great Bash Heel & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Manabu Nakanishi & Tiger Mask

The prelims continue with this six-man which should have some decent exchanges but doesn't have much on the line.

Justin's pick: GBH & Taguchi
Landon's pick: GBH & Taguchi

reDRagon vs. Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi

Shibata's out with a spine injury, which hopefully isn't too serious, as the Tokyo show made it pretty clear a Shibata-O'Reilly match is on the horizon.  Nagata's old pal Nakanishi is subbing in here, which likely knocks the match quality down a peg or two.  Should still be decent though.

Justin's pick: reDRagon
Landon's pick: reDRagon

NEVER Openweight Six-Man Championship: Matt Sydal, Ricochet & Satoshi Kojima vs. Adam Cole & The Young Bucks

This one should be gallons of fun, between the Jacksons vs. Sydal & Ricochet action and Cole's character work.  These six-man belts have been a hot potato since their inception so you kinda always have to go with the challengers in this situation.

Justin's pick: Bullet Club
Landon's pick: Bullet Club

Thursday, September 22, 2016

WWE Clash of Champions Preview & Predictions

Welcome to another round of WWE Predictions here at!

Following suit from the inaugural Smackdown Live PPV Backlash a couple weeks ago, RAW is set to deliver its first PPV since the brand split.  WWE has borrowed the name of the old NWA/WCW staple, Clash of the Champions (minus "the" for some reason) and is replacing their own former staple Night of Champions (Not sure why they bothered changing the name at all, but whatever).  On paper we have a pretty damn good lineup actually.  Since RAW's roster is much deeper than Smackdown's this show looks to be superior to Backlash.  But Backlash unexpectedly managed to over-deliver, so it'll be interesting to see which brand wins the September showdown.  As with Backlash we'll be getting a pretty streamlined card that hopefully won't run more than three hours.  Going forward if WWE wants to make the Big Four PPVs four hours and keep the split shows under three, I'd be fine with that.  Anyway, let's look at the lineup.

***Justin leads Dan in predictions, 40/60 to 36/60.***

PreShow Match: Nia Jax vs. Alicia Fox

Nia's been squashing nobodies on RAW for weeks now, and this is her first main roster PPV appearance.  I expect another two-or-so-minute mauling since Alicia Fox isn't exactly a top contender.

Justin's pick: Nia Jax
Dan's pick: I gotta go with Nia, because she's related to the Dorchester Shrimp.

A delicious yet formidable opponent

Best of Seven Final: Sheamus vs. Cesaro

Thank Christ this feud is ending.  This is actually the ninth match between these two since the rivalry began, and aside from an undetermined title shot, nothing is on the line.  Sheamus took the first three matches and Cesaro tied it up this past Monday to force a Game 7.  If you ask me, Cesaro winning this match is the only outcome that makes any sense.  Sheamus is beyond damaged at this point, while Cesaro remains wildly popular.  If you're not gonna push Cesaro, for fuck's sake move him to Smackdown where there's room.

Justin's pick: Cesaro
Dan's pick: The Swiss Superman takes it down.

WWE Tag Team Championship: The New Day vs. The Club

This match again.  Their outing at SummerSlam was marred by pointless Jon Stewart interference (I'm a Stewart fan but there has to be a better way to use his celebrity than as a totally unwanted ringside distraction), so hopefully this'll just be a straight-up match.  A month ago I'd been pushing for a JeriKO Tag Title run but that's obviously off the table, so The Club probably wins the belts here finally.

Justin's pick: The Club
Dan's pick: The Club does nothing for me. Here's hoping the New Day retains.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

With a Little Bit of Chicken Fries

by Sok Maher

With a little bit of Chicken Fries…  

Our author, both scared and intrigued....

Here I sit with an enigma.  Meetings throughout the day with limited time to spare before the lunch hunger peaked and I would either A) pass out or…  Well it looks like Option A won.  This is now 10 minutes later.  Luckily I awoke to the aroma of deep fried chicken product mixed with cheese product.  In my list of Top 10 Things Humans Created, fake foods are the majority of them (Seedless watermelon is the #1 fake food, #2 of all things ever).  So I did what anyone would do when they smelled something close to their head.  I ate it.  Here’s how it went.

This box is mesmerizing.....

In my opinion, Burger King has always had superior chicken nuggets to McDonald’s.  Something about them just made them seem more like chicken than the McNugget, not to mention those creepy commercials when they made the McNuggets look like people.

Good call Ronald.  I was on the fence with your McNuggets because it lacked a certain cannibalistic appeal.  Thanks for making them more to my liking.

Fast forward to today.  I just read an article about pumpkin spice Eucharists, so clearly the human race has lost all control.  With that being said, Cheetos Chicken Fries aren’t really all that outrageous.  Chicken and cheese have been a happy couple for centuries and Burger King does nothing to put their relationship in jeopardy.  And now the tale of the tape…

The Dive Bars of America: Delaney’s Pub (Quincy, MA)

by Dan Moore

This column features some of the greatest and grossest dive bars in the U.S. of A. I’ll be using a 5-category rating system between 1 and 4 handlebar mustaches, which is the preferred mustache by 9 out of 10 old timers in dive bars.

35 Franklin Street
Quincy MA 02169

Delaney’s is a vile bar with filth covering it and disgusting people going in and out of it all day. Let’s get this over with.

FUN FACTOR: Do you like hepatitis? Fleas? Zika virus? If those things are your idea of a good time, run, don’t walk to Delaney’s. The place is most likely covered in all those, along with some heretofor unknown diseases. So head there now if you wanna end up with a jolly old case of Brainpox.


CAST OF REGULARS: All this place has is regulars. And they’re as disgusting as the beer that flows from the taps here. Also, despite the fact that it’s illegal to do so in the state of Massachusetts, EVERYONE smokes in here. It’s ridiculous. I walked in there thinking I was smoking. I still haven’t been able to get the crusty smell of Madge’s Marlboros off my jacket.


BEER CHOICES: Whatever you do, order a bottle from here. The dust in this place had dirt in it. The cleanest thing in this place was the urinal. If you’re drinking a draft beer in this place, good luck getting home, because the bacteria from these draft lines is 100% gonna make you go blind. I’d rather be dead than drink a draft from this joint. And I don’t even think it was beer they were pouring. That was the natural color of their putrid water. If you had a choice between a Bud draft from Delaney’s or drinking whatever is left at the bottom of monkey cage, take a glass over to Koko’s place and bottoms up.


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Dive Bars of America: Pat's Downtown Bar & Grill (Denver, CO)

by Dan Moore

Pat’s Downtown Bar & Grill
1624 Market St, Denver, CO 80202

In my latest jaunt to a town I went to for really no reason but to drink, Denver was where I laid my weary liver for a few days to pound down some original Coors, the banquet beer. While checking out the downtown area and bar-hopping quite easily thanks to the free shuttle Denver provides, we happened upon Pat’s. A chalkboard sign outside let us know they had $5 pitchers of beer, so we ventured south down the stairs.

FUN FACTOR: A basement bar with a small bar area but a huge dining area with plenty of TVs and seating, Pat’s is a perfect dingy hole in which you can sit for hours and get drunk. Off to the side is a dartboard and a coupla pinball machines. BE WARNED: this is a Philly bar. I have no problem with Philly folk, but we showed up on a college football Saturday, when it was transformed into a Penn State bar. That immediately turned me off, as I can’t separate their football program from the Sandusky child-love incidents, so I was horribly biased against the fan base in there. Rooting for that team and university sickens me.  Thankfully, the Lions were getting blown out and the crowd dispersed. But it cast a shadow on my fun factor.

Monday, September 19, 2016

NJPW Destruction in Hiroshima Preview & Predictions

by Landon Wayne

It’s time to talk about the most awkwardly titled event of New Japan’s year, Destruction in Hiroshima. This is probably the night I’m the most excited for, with Bullet Club being involved in all four major matches. Backing that is a competent undercard that contains the standard first-half fare, which could lead to Hiroshima to being the best of the three Destructions.

Hunter Club & Great Bash Heel vs. Tencozy, Sydal & Ricochet

Four teams that all come together with an audible clunk for the opening match. With the Tag League coming up, and the Junior tag division possibly merging with the heavyweights, this will be a match used to exposit four of the filler teams of the tournament.

Landon’s Pick: Tencozy, Sydal and Ricochet
Justin’s Pick: Should be a fun opener.  Tencozy, Sydal & Ricochet

ReDRagon, David Finlay, and Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Katsuyori Shibata, Manabu Nakanishi, Tiger Mask IV and Yuji Nagata

Another 8-man tag match used to get the crowd riled up. Expect residual heat to still be present between Fish and Shibata, and possibly a set up for the O’Reilly/Shibata match.

Landon’s Pick: Shibata, Nakanishi, Nagata and Tiger Mask IV
Justin’s Pick: Lotta great talent in this one and based on what happened in Tokyo it does look like they're setting up Shibata vs. O'Reilly.  Team Shibata wins.

Guerillas of Destiny vs. Roppongi Vice

Are you ready for a night of Bullet Club and CHAOS fighting? Too bad, you’re getting it. Starting out we have another indicator that the tag divisions are uniting, with hopefully an easy and statement-making win for Tama and Roa.

Landon’s Pick: Guerillas of Destiny
Justin’s Pick: I'm still unimpressed with Roa, but Tonga did alright for himself in G-1.  I can't see GoD going over though.  Roppongi Vice wins this.

Chase Owens and Yujiro Takahashi vs. Tomohiro Ishii and Hirooki Goto

Poor Chase. Poor, poor fucking Chase Owens. When you’re the fall guy on the team with Yujiro Takahashi, it’s gonna hurt to watch.

Landon’s Pick: Ishii and Goto
Justin’s pick: I love the Ishii-Goto combination.  Keep building these two up as a Tag Title threat.

Hiroshi Tanahashi, Michael Elgin, Juice Robinson and KUSHIDA vs. Tetsuya Naito, EVIL, SANADA and BUSHI

Probably going to end up about the same as the match in Tokyo. Only since BUSHI will be here, the White Meat Babyfaces have someone to take the fall. It still irritates me that EVIL pinned both Shibata and Elgin during the G-1, and gets nothing.

Landon’s Pick: Tanahashi, Elgin, Robinson and KUSHIDA
Justin’s Pick: Team Tanahashi

IWGP Tag Team Championship: The Briscoes vs. The Young Bucks

First of the big four on this night. And it’s time to ditch the Junior Tag Belts. No offense, but it’s the Jr. Tag division’s time to move on.

Landon’s Pick: The Young Bucks
Justin’s Pick: This might be my most anticipated match of the entire Destruction series.  On paper this is a potential MOTY candidate and should hopefully begin the process of merging the tag belts into one division.  This is a tough one to call, because it's still not clear if the belts are merging or if this is just a one-off.  If the belts are indeed merging, the Bucks are the obvious pick.  If this is just a case of NJPW dipping their toes in to see how the HW Champs match up with the Jr. Champs, I'd pick the Briscoes.  I guess I'll be hopeful and pick Matt & Nick to unify the straps.

Friday, September 16, 2016

NFL Pick 'em 2016: Week 2

Miggsy's Pick

Thankfully week one is over. I suffered a brutal 1-point loss but I’m not upset. WHY DIDN’T KC COME TO PLAY IN THE FIRST HALF!!!!  Ok, maybe I’m a little upset but I’d like to think I learned from my week one mistake. Like that time we went to Florida and vowed never to return. I learned my lesson and have only been back few times since then. I took a big dump last week like,
Brandon can talk now, imma be quiet,
but when I’m in the lead, imma talk again. 

Miggsy’s Monstah Pick of the Week
Bucs @ Cardinals over/under 50 – PICK: OVER

On paper, this thing looks like it’s going to be a shootout. The Bucs hung 31 on the Falcons (I bet Danny could fly higher than the Falcons with that feathered hair of his. God it looks so good!). Winston looked great and the muscle hamster contributed just under 100 AP yards. Their offense should put up a lot of points this year and their defense is atrocious. They couldn’t stop a drunk Ryan Lochte from vandalizing a Brazilian bathroom. It’s embarrassing. On the other hand, The Cards put up 21 on a really good Pats defense. Imagine what they’ll do to the Bucs. David Johnson and Larry Fitz are going to be busier than me and my wife on her birthday in Newport this weekend. Over like ya read about.  

B-Cuddy’s Pick

How some things never change. Your boy has once again provided you gambling fortune, while Cousin Itt & Elmer Fudd  have left you in financial ruin.
Danny looking sharp as ever.  Miggsy right after his all-too-frequent "problam."

Based on their track record, I’m not sure either of these bozos actually watches football. At this point, taking advice from them on NFL wagering is like getting a book recommendation from Derek, or a gourmet food recipe from Scotty Pickles.

A 100% legit Scotty Pickles shopping cart.  He's like a child....who drinks.

NJPW Destruction in Tokyo Preview & Predictions

Welcome to another round of PPV Predictions here at!

Over the next week-plus New Japan Pro Wrestling is giving us not one, not two, but THREE Destruction events containing 27 matches!  Many of these are house show tag bouts, but each PPV has a handful of big matches with either a title or a briefcase on the line, and there should be no shortage of quality bouts to talk about heading toward King of Pro-Wrestling in October.  Landon Wayne (LSWayne21) and I will give our predictions for all three cards, starting with Destruction in Tokyo (this Saturday, Sept. 17th).

David Finlay & Henare vs. Roppongi Vice

Experienced Young Lion teams with kiwi newcomer Young Lion against one of the company's most accomplished teams.  Yeah I'm pretty sure the Young Lions are gettin' pinned here.  Should be fun though.

Justin's pick: Roppongi Vice
Landon's pick: RPG Vice

Hunter Club vs. Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi

The Hunter Club has to be the least effective faction ever assembled to take on a dominant heel stable.  Nagata & Nakanishi have their way with Yoshitatsu & the Captain.

Justin's pick: Nagata & Nakanishi
Landon's pick: Nagata & Nakanishi

Tencozy & Jushin Liger vs. Great Bash Heel & Tiger Mask

This one could go either way and should be a very enjoyable six-man.  If it were me I'd give this to GBH and Tiger Mask, but I have a feeling it goes the other way.

Justin's pick: Tencozy & Liger
Landon's pick: Great Bash Heel & Tiger Mask IV

Guerillas of Destiny & Chase Owens vs. Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii & Gedo

The Bullet Club C-Team vs. two guys I hope go after the IWGP Tag belts in January plus Gedo.  I could be way off base but I'm calling Ishii & Goto to win the Tag League this year.

Justin's pick: Chaos
Landon's pick: Bullet Club

Kyle O'Reilly vs. Juice Robinson

This is an odd little addition to the card.  Since Bobby Fish is in a title match I guess they needed something for O'Reilly to do.  I hope in the near future we get to see O'Reilly challenge Shibata as well.  Clearly Kyle is winning this.

Justin's pick: Kyle O'Reilly
Landon's pick: Kyle O'Reilly

Kenny Omega, Bad Luck Fale & Yujiro Takahashi vs. Kazuchika Okada, Will Ospreay & Yoshi-Hashi

It's a preview of the WrestleKingdom 11 main event as Omega and Okada lead their teams in battle.  This could go either way but I'll take the Bullet Club.

Justin's pick: Bullet Club
Landon's pick: CHAOS

Hiroshi Tanahashi, Michael Elgin & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Los Ingobernables

By the same token here's a preview of the likely semi-main event for WK11, Tanahashi vs. Naito.  To me this match and the previous one set up the title challenger to get a win of some kind over their respective quarries.

Justin's pick: LIJ
Landon's pick: Team WMB (White Meat Babyfaces)

NEVER Openweight Championship: Katsuyori Shibata vs. Bobby Fish

This should be a helluva good fight.  ROH TV Champion Fish should be able to hold his own in a slugfest and maybe add some grappling fun to the proceedings.  I don't see Fish taking the belt here certainly but it will be entertaining.  As I said before I hope we get Shibata vs. O'Reilly in the near future as well.

Justin's pick: Shibata
Landon's pick: Shibata

IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship: Kushida vs. Bushi

We saw this match earlier this year and it was a helluva contest.  I see this one bettering their New Beginning match since it's getting the main event slot here (which is awesome and illustrates what a great, credible Jr. Heavyweight Champion Kushida is).  I could very easily see Bushi getting a short run with the Jr. HW belt and Kushida either winning it back prior to WrestleKingdom, or at that show itself.

Justin's pick: Bushi
Landon's pick: Kushida

This show is on paper the weakest of the three Destructions, with really only two matches of real significance.  But those two matches alone will make this worth seeing I think.  The Hiroshima and Kobe shows obviously have much more meat, while this feels like an appetizer.  

Anyway, stay tuned for Hiroshima picks coming up on Monday!  Thanks for reading!

Monday, September 12, 2016

WWE Backlash 2016 Review

Last night's Backlash PPV reminded me a lot of the old In Your House shows from the mid 90s, where the company's roster was dangerously thin but they managed to slap together a nice little show.  The way it ebbed and flowed reminded me particularly of shows like Good Friends, Better Enemies in that it had a strong opener followed by an inoffensive throwaway, followed by a very strong singles match, followed by another inoffensive bout (or two), and culminating in a pretty great, crowd pleasing main event.

The Women's Six-Pack Challenge was a super way to kick off the show as it featured almost non-stop action with something important on the line.  Changing this to elimination rules was a great move since the purpose of the match was to crown an inaugural Smackdown Women's Champion; a one-fall format would've felt cheap.  I also liked that they were given plenty of time to tell a few different stories before any eliminations occurred.  Nikki Bella vs. Carmella seemed to be the main rivalry being spotlighted, which is fine.  I'm really diggin' Carmella as a heel.  She's no ring general, but her kinda trashy Long Island shtick works much better when she can be an entitled brat.  Naomi continues to impress and it was cool (and bittersweet) to see her break out Bryan Danielson's Cattle Mutilation finisher.  I'm not sure why Mauro Rinallo didn't call attention to it (Maybe it was because The Miz was gonna rip off a couple of Bryan's moves later on).  Putting the belt on Becky Lynch was the right move.  Becky's super over with multiple demographics and aside from Natalya she was the best worker in the match.  I hope the Becky vs. Natalya feud gets rekindled so the belt feels important and not overshadowed by Nikki vs. Carmella.  A fine start to the show that reminded me of a good Cruiserweight schmozz but with solid storytelling.

The Usos-Hype Bros match was next, and as I said it was inoffensive.  I'm still unsure why they wrote American Alpha out of this tournament.  I get that they're very new to main roster fans and you want to build them up before just slapping belts on them.  But with an already thin roster (and as it turns out a legit injury to one of your top stars), why would you book a kayfabe injury to your likely future top team at this point?  Anyway, this was fine.

Next up was The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler, in one of the best Intercontinental Title matches of the last decade or so.  We've seen these two fight ad nauseum but this time it seemed like both guys really wanted to elevate themselves and the Title.  The lack of roster depth actually helped in this situation because they were given a sprawling 18 minutes to make the match feel like a big deal.  The Miz gets a lot of flak for not being a good worker but I consider him at worst above average.  While he's not likely to ever deliver a five-star classic, The Miz has proven himself an excellent "listener" in the ring.  When he's in there with a superior grappler, Miz knows when to let the other guy lead and just be a good dance partner; he never gets in the way of the match excelling.  The fact that he's so good at being a dick heel certainly doesn't hurt either.  I'm really liking this Intercontinental reign and the decision-makers in WWE need to choose wisely when it's time for someone to finally dethrone him.  It's gotta be a babyface the fans strongly identify with, in whose journey they'll fully invest.  My pick at this point would be for Sami Zayn to jump to Smackdown (seems to me they're owed a pick anyway after the loss of Alberto Del Rio) and chase Miz for months, maybe beating him at WrestleMania next year.  Anyway, top-notch stuff from both Miz and Ziggles.

Friday, September 9, 2016

NFL Pick 'em 2016: Week 1

by Dan Moore

Mike Parker

Brandon Cuddemi

WE ARE BACK BABY! That’s right, me, Miggsy and B-Cuddy are back to bring you all the wrong picks for all the right games in this NFL season. My picks last year were…not so good.

In fact, I agreed with this pick.  Still do.

Dan's Pick

I was trying to win enough cash with my picks to buy a stripper orgy in a stretch limo. I could barely afford a handjob in a port-a-potty. But ya gotta have goals, so after I cashed in some cans, I got that HJ. So now, it’s a new year, new picks. We took a little time out of our busy schedules and all our hard office work to start up the pick machine.

Live look at why we have so much time right now.

New rule this year. We are each picking ONE GAME ONLY. That’s right, each week, you got a chance to go undefeated or be an ultimate loser. The stakes are higher, the waists are larger and the hairlines are exceedingly balder (Except mine. I have INSANE lettuce right now. It’s a goddamn salad bar on my head).

Thursday, September 8, 2016

WWE Backlash Predictions

Welcome to another round of WWE Predictions, here at!

This Sunday is the first split-brand PPV of The New Era, as the Smackdown crew presents Backlash.  Fans of the original Backlash series must be pleased as punch that the Backlash name has been revived (even though there was nothing inherently unique about the Backlash PPVs of old).

This show on paper appears to be the opposite of what the last several WWE PPVs have been.  In other words I don't expect this show to be an exhausting, unnecessarily stretched 3.5 hours or more.  This PPV only has six matches (Smackdown's roster is so thin I dunno how they'd manage any more than that), and they all have a purpose.  So let's dive in....

***I currently lead Dan 36/54 to 32/54***

Intercontinental Championship: The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler

Yeah I know, we've seen this match literally a billion times (No, I mean that.  LITERALLY ONE BILLION.), but the difference this time is The Miz is red-hot thanks to the killer promo he cut a few weeks ago on Smackdown GM Daniel Bryan.  Because it appeared on the Smackdown post-show Miz didn't have to adhere to a poorly written script and was able to actually imbue his character with real emotion and menace.  Bryan retaliated by siccing Ziggles on him.  Dolph wasn't exactly a threat at SummerSlam against WWE Champ Dean Ambrose but against the vulnerable IC Champ he just might be.

Justin's pick: Nah, not really.  Miz is gonna retain.  Taking the belt off him right now would be madness.
Dan's pick: I'm digging this version of the Miz. He MUST retain.

Tag Team Tournament Final Qualifier: The Usos vs. The Hype Bros

I don't get it.  Only two teams in this tournament had any business being the inaugural Smackdown Tag Champs (We need a better name for those belts, btw) - The Usos and American Alpha.  So rather than pit them against each other in the finals, WWE had them cross paths in the semis and booked the match to end after 30 seconds, then had The Usos turn heel (This I like) and injure AA to take them out of the tournament.  So now Jimmy & Jey have to fight Mojo and Zack (who were also beaten in the semis) for a slot against Rhyno & Heath Slater.  Well that's one way to swerve everyone.

Justin's pick: The Usos.  No way in hell The Hype Bros make it to the finals
Dan's pick:  I agree.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Top Ten Things: Junk Food Matches on the WWE Network

by Landon Wayne

There’s a lot of factors that go into forming a truly good match. You need good in-ring work, good chemistry, and a proper build up that lends a match real quality. But sometimes you don’t want the really nice, 5-course meal. Sometimes you just want a triple cheeseburger and large fries. That’s what this list is gonna be about. I’m counting down the matches I love to watch over and over, that people wouldn’t need context for, and can be conveniently found on the WWE Network. Prepare for hardcore matches, stupidity, and rowdy fans, as I count down my Top Ten Junk Food Matches on the WWE Network.

10. Edge vs Rey Mysterio vs Drew McIntyre vs Wade Barrett vs Kane vs The Big Show - Elimination Chamber 2011

The first of many carwreck matches featured, and the most recent match on this list. Edge’s penultimate Pay Per View appearance has him defending his title in one of the most crazy chambers since the stipulation became a yearly event. Major props to Drew McIntyre for showing a year’s worth of unused aggression in a 15-minute period, and Rey Mysterio for taking a year’s worth of ridiculously dangerous spots into and through the pods of the cell. Points are removed, however, for the succession of three eliminations in about 2 minutes near the end of the match. Still a fun watch.

9. Kane and The Big Show vs Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch - Taboo Tuesday 2005

This is not the last time either Kane or The Big Show will be on this list. The match is fun to watch for a few reasons. The crowd was uncommonly hot for this match, either because of the fans' dislike for Cade and Murdoch, or for the gladiator mindset of wanting to see any fools destroyed by killers like the challengers. There was little heat in the match, less by chance and moreso design. It’s not often that Kane has to take the beatdown for his team, but in this match someone has to be the weak half of the pair. A good match to laugh at.

8. Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg - Wrestlemania XX

A match that needs to be seen to really understand. Taking two men whose schtick is complete dominance over lesser competitors and having them fight each other sounds great on paper. Unfortunately, Brock was leaving for the NFL and Goldberg’s contract was up, and the New York City crowd knew that the match had nothing worth investing in. The first of the matches on this list where the crowd makes the match good, special guest referee Steve Austin gets credit for being the least interested person in the arena, there to Stun each man after the match was over. Arrive, Raise Hell, Leave indeed.

Rolling Stone's Top 500 Albums of All Time, Picked Apart (101-150)

by Michael Drinan

We carry on with our bashing of Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time by tackling entries 101-150 (Part 2 is HERE).

101. Frank Sinatra - In The Wee Small Hours
102. Cream - Fresh Cream
103. John Coltrane - Giant Steps
104. James Taylor - Sweet Baby James
105. Ray Charles - Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music
106. The Ramones - Rocket To Russia
107. Sam Cooke - Portrait of a Legend
108. David Bowie - Hunky Dory
109. The Rolling Stones - Aftermath
110. The Velvet Underground - Loaded

This is where I’m beginning to feel Rolling Stone’s bias to the older generations of artists while slagging off more recent works by current artists, essentially force-feeding the legacy of these older bands by naming their weaker works before more current releases. The first example is Cream’s Fresh Cream. Look, we all love Cream, (at least, most of us do) but is this album better than all of the albums released in the 50 years that followed? Nope. Also, I consider myself a list guy and I’ve never seen this album included in any “Greatest Albums of (whatever)” list...ever.

The same goes for The Ramones’ Rocket to Russia and The Rolling Stones’ Aftermath. I’m not suggesting these are bad albums but I think they’re ranked WAY too high.

In my last installment, I bitched about the Ray Charles compilation The Birth of Soul: The Complete Atlantic Recordings being listed at #54 instead of Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music. Being at #105 is way too low for me considering how important and influential that album was, not just for Ray Charles as an artist but for the entire country music genre.

Sam Cooke at #107 with a compilation feels like an exception to me considering how cut short his career and life was. He was beginning to embrace a more activist tone before he was killed. Would’ve loved to see the direction his career would’ve gone if he had lived.