Thursday, October 8, 2015

NJPW King of Pro-Wrestling 2015 Predictions!

Welcome to another set of New Japan PPV Predictions, here at!

This coming Monday is the annual October event, King of Pro-Wrestling, which has historically been a pretty hot show (KOPW 2012 and 2013 contained several classic matches apiece).  This is generally where any final changes of significance are made leading into WrestleKingdom season, and several championships are on the line this year.

Also of note is that KOPW will be the first broadcast with optional English commentary (provided by Kevin Kelly and Matt Striker), which is fantastic news.  Clearly the company is gaining traction in the US!

Let's take a look at the picks.  Currently I'm 14/17 overall since I started predicting New Japan shows.

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

The opening match is of the "cram a lot of guys into one match" variety, just to warm up the crowd.  Not much of an issue going on in this one but it should be an amusing little schmozz.  Kushida needs some kind of win after dropping two title matches in a row at Destruction.

Justin's pick: Team Liger

Tomoaki Honma vs. Yoshi-Hashi

Underdog favorite Honma finally gets a singles match on a PPV not named G1, so this oughta be a fun watch.  I'm hoping he's given some actual wins for a change; he's way too over to be jobbed out every month.

Justin's pick: Honma

31 Horror Movies in 31 Days: Cannibal Holocaust

by Dan Moore

I love horror movies, so I'm watching one a day in October.  There's no rhyme or reason to the flicks I'm watching. Some I've never seen, some I have. Join the discussion on Twitter with #31Movies31Days  


Day Eight: Cannibal Holocaust 

This is the nicest poster I could find

Director: Ruggero Deodato
Starring: A buncha people you've never heard of nor care about.

A dumb American camera crew goes to the Amazon and disappears. Later on, an anthropologist leads a rescue group to try to find them. They meet the hostile, cannibalistic tribe, and retrieve the film the other Americans filmed. What follows is some of the most raw, exploitative, violent footage mine eyes have ever seen.

What can be said about this movie that hasn't already been said in the last 35 years? Easily the most despicable, disgusting film I've ever seen. It's a very strange movie. The narrative is set up in such an odd way, going back and forth from New York, as they explain about the expedition and discovery of the films, talking about the original film crew, moving onto the rescue efforts, and ultimately showing the snuff-style footage that was documented by the first crew. Interspersed between all this are appalling scenes of authentic looking tortures and death. The whole while, the strangely beautiful score by Riz Ortolan plays under scenes that get increasingly hard to watch. For example, look at this scene:

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Pro Wrestling: A Mark's History, part 17 (In the Year 2000....)

As the new millennium dawned I could feel a changeover in the WWF product almost immediately. Right away there was a renewed sense of urgency to the show and it no longer felt like a bloated, frantic mess.

The first RAW episode of 2000 featured a WWF Title change, as Triple H won back the belt he had lost to The Big Show.  With no real direction for Paul Wight as Champion, it was clear Hunter should be the top dog for the time being.  Even better was that his first feud of the year would be against the man who had helped make The Rock such a successful heel Champ, Mick Foley.  But it wouldn't be the cuddly, lovable Mankind, who had morphed into something of a comedy act in 1999.  Instead the sadistic, violent Cactus Jack made his return to WWF TV and challenged Triple H to a Street Fight at the Royal Rumble.  At this time Hunter was still an unproven top heel and hadn't established himself as a legit tough guy, so the idea of him facing Cactus in a No DQ match was pretty crazy.

The Rumble event itself was incredible, and set the tone for the entire year.  From start to finish there was a fresh, exciting vibe to it all.  Taz(z) migrated over from ECW and made short work of recent newcomer Kurt Angle, The Hardy Boyz and Dudley Boyz beat the living crap out of each other in a blazing Tables match, Chris Jericho reasserted himself as the Intercontinental Champion after having to share that belt with Chyna (don't ask), The Rock inevitably but entertainingly won the Royal Rumble which was full of lively characters that kept the match moving.  But that Street Fight.....  Triple H and Cactus Jack punished each other for a full 25 minutes before Hunter retained with a Pedigree through a pile of thumbtacks.  This match was as much responsible for Triple H building a reputation as a durable top-flight heel as any other factor.  Hunter took all of Foley's stiff, hardcore-style offense and never seemed out of his element.  I've had my issues with Hunter over the years, but there's no denying that in the year 2000 he earned his stripes and became a WWF cornerstone.  This was the beginning of a career year for the future COO.

I just got brain matter all over my television screen.

In WCW, things were flying apart like crazy.  Vince Russo predictably wasn't able to turn the company around like he claimed to have done for the WWF.  The biggest difference of course was that in Stamford he was kept on a creative leash and his ideas went through a filter before reaching TV.  But in WCW there was no one to rein him in, and so the product devolved even further into a morass of nonsensical booking.  Russo soon found himself out on his ass, and Kevin Sullivan got the book.  Unfortunately that meant the remaining company workhorses like Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero could not be coaxed into staying with WCW (even after making Benoit the Champion), and they asked for their releases in January of 2000.  Imagine my shock and elation when I tuned into RAW on January 31st to see Benoit, Guerrero, Dean Malenko and Perry Saturn sitting at ringside.  Could it be??  Did the WWF just absorb WCW's best guys?

31 Horror Movies in 31 Days: YellowBrickRoad

by Dan Moore

I love horror movies, so I'm watching one a day in October.  There's no rhyme or reason to the flicks I'm watching. Some I've never seen, some I have. Join the discussion on Twitter with #31Movies31Days  

Day Seven: YellowBrickRoad (2010)

Director: Jesse Holland and Andy Mitton
Starring: Cassidy Freeman, Anessa Ramsey and Laura Heisler

Solid premise to this one. During WWII, the population of a town in New Hampshire just ups and vanishes. They walk up a mountain trail and disappear into the woods, like a bunch of untrained Bear Grylls (so just like the real Bear Grylls). Decades later, an expedition is set up to see what happened to these meandering folk in the wilderness. While this group treks out there, some sort of strange music is heard the whole way, confusing the group's navigation and  driving certain members of the party nutso. They either off themselves or others. This first hour is really cool. I bought into the whole concept. The freaky music was eerie as shit. It was very unsettling and had the perfect effect for a horror movie.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

31 Horror Movies in 31 Days: Curse of Chucky

by Dan Moore

I love horror movies, so I'm watching one a day in October.  There's no rhyme or reason to the flicks I'm watching. Some I've never seen, some I have. Join the discussion on Twitter with #31Movies31Days  

Day Six: Curse of Chucky 

Director: Don Mancini
Starring: Fiona Dourif, Danielle Bisutti, A. Martinez and Brad Dourif

I was ten years old when I saw the original Child's Play in 1989 (it came out in '88). I was at Timmy Bothwell's house for his birthday. His parents rented it from Video Paradise on Broadway in South Boston. All my little friends watched and laughed along. I did too. But I was scared shitless. That little doll wreaking havoc all over the place frightened me, mainly because I had a My Buddy doll at home. He resided in the basement for his life's duration after seeing this flick.

Monday, October 5, 2015

31 Horror Movies in 31 Days: Evil Dead (2013)

byDan Moore

I love horror movies, so I'm watching one a day in October.  There's no rhyme or reason to the flicks I'm watching. Some I've never seen, some I have. Join the discussion on Twitter with #31Movies31Days  

Day Five: Evil Dead (2013)

Director: Fede Alvarez
Starring:Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Lou Taylor Pucci, Jessica Luca

Ah, the Evil Dead. A franchise that has stood the test of time based essentially on the awesomeness of its hero, Ash Williams (played by the incredible Bruce Campbell). I can remember renting Evil Dead 2 from Blockbuster (I'm old) one Halloween with my friend Mike Dudas. We were expecting a horror, scare fest. What we got was a slapstick splatter movie that had us cracking up and required multiple viewings immediately. We rented the original and found the scare fest we were looking for. So when I heard of this remake a couple years ago, I was weary. I've been bored with most remakes, and I've cautiously stayed away from this one, until now. How wrong I was.

This movie was AWESOME. A continuous gore fest, Evil Dead has the same set up as the original two films. A couple of kids go to a remote cabin for a weekend and terror finds them. This time, Mia (Levy) is a drug addict trying to break the habit. She's taken to their family cabin by her brother David (Fernandez) and their friends so she's away from society and can beat the addiction.

Yeah, let's spend the weekend here, sure.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

31 Horror Movies in 31 Days: Burying the Ex

by Dan Moore

I love horror movies, so I'm watching one a day in October.  There's no rhyme or reason to the flicks I'm watching. Some I've never seen, some I have. Join the discussion on Twitter with #31Movies31Days 

Day Four: Burying The Ex (2014)

Director: Joe Dante
Starring: Anton Yelchin, Ashley Greene, Alexandra Daddario & Oliver Cooper

Joe Dante is one of my favorite directors. The movies he's made are some of the most re-watched films in my esteemable movie watching career. Gremlins 1 & 2, Innerspace (a forgotten classic) and The 'Burbs. All some of my fave flicks. So I had high hopes for this horror comedy mishmash with some undead themes in it. Too bad.

Yelchin stars as Max, a young man working in a horror novelty store who yearns to own his own type of store. His overbearing, vegan GF Evelyn is played by Greene, in a role that's impossible to like her in. She dies and comes back as a zombie because of cursed trinket in the store Max works in. That puts a crimp in Max's newly burgeoning relationship with the ice cream store-owning, horror-movie loving Olivia, played by Daddario (you may remember her and her two co-stars from the 1st season of True Detective. And if not, seek out the below scene. Trust me).

Hilarity is supposed ensue. It does not. The scenes are so badly written it's at times embarrassing to watch. It's just bad when you're watching a film and get totally taken out of a moment because you're thinking "No one talks like this."  An example, Max and Evelyn meet Olivia in her shop to order ice cream. Evelyn goes off on Olivia telling her that her products have pesticides, blah blah and ends by calling her a skank. The scene is there so you know "Evelyn, bad, Olivia, good" but it's so clumsily written you just laugh at it, and not in a good way. The laughs are few and far between. With the exception of Cooper, playing Max's half-brother Travis. He's the one actually funny character in the flick. A horny loser who bangs chicks at Max's apartment because he doesn't want chicks to know where he lives, he's good at being the slacker, best friend type. I laughed at most of his antics.
The tone is also off. It doesn't know if it's a straight up comedy or a horror movie. The switch is jarring at times. It goes from slapstick action to trying to be scary at the drop of a hat. That doesn't work.

THE GOOD: Yelchin, Daddario and Cooper are all very good actors and hold themselves well in the movie. All very likable actors playing likable characters. Dante favorite Dick Miller has a cameo, and it's great seeing the old guy. I also dug all the clips from the old school horror movies mixed intermittently throughout the film. Trying to name them all was great fun.

THE BAD: Greene's character is not likable at all. I realize that's the point, but it makes it hard to understand how a nice guy like Max fell for her in the first place. It goes against his character so much that it doesn't make sense.

THE DUMB: The badly written dialogue. The fact that Evelyn comes back and is basically a horny dead girl for the rest of the movie is just a weird choice for the film to make.

SHIT OR HIT: Definite shit. Even the lovely lady of the house, whose opinion in movies is basically "I love anything with people kissing" said at one point, "This movie stinks, I don't care what happens to any of these people." Then she watched Legally Blonde. Again.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

31 Horror Movies in 31 Days: Daisy Diamond

by Dan Moore

I love horror movies, so I'm watching one a day in October.  There's no rhyme or reason to the flicks I'm watching. Some I've never seen, some I have. Join the discussion on Twitter with #31Movies31Days  

Day Three: Daisy Diamond (2007)

Director: Simon Staho
Stars: Noomi Rapace

Wow. That was one tough watch. Technically not a horror movie, but if you watch this and aren't terrified, Alcatraz should be your summer home. This movie starts with intravenous drug use and a rape, and somehow the events that follow manage to be even more horrible.

The movie's about a young Danish girl named Anna. She's a single mother desperate to make it as an actress. She's having trouble landing paying roles due in part to her months-old daughter, Daisy, who cries constantly. In fact, this adorable kid's crying is essentially the movies soundtrack. She switches back and forth from loving mother to angry caretaker due to lack of sleep and stress. To reveal more of the plot is really giving away the rest of the movie. Rest assured, it's quite good but goddammit it's heartbreaking to watch.

That is mainly due to the incredible acting of Ms. Rapace. She gives a tour-de-force performance in this, which even comes through in the subtitles. She's amazing in this flick, and it's a good thing too, because she's legit in every scene. She has many long speeches in the movie that never feel forced. She's quite convincing as both the struggling actor and as the troubled mom trying her best to provide for her daughter. The love she shows for her baby followed swiftly by the obvious torment is an amazing switch she pulls off marvelously. But goddamn this movie is brutal to watch. The lengths to which she goes to achieve fame are awful. Truly heart wrenching stuff.

THE GOOD: Noomi Rapace. This movie makes what she went through in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo look like a trip to Epcot Center. (BTW, did you know Epcot stands for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow? Me neither. Cost me free wings at bar trivia the other night, dammit).

THE BAD: It's a real hard watch. It's not a bad movie, it's just bad for your feelings.

THE DUMB: There are scenes in the movie which delve into Anna's emotional connections with people but some are shown to be auditions for parts and some aren't. I realize the point was to be ambiguous about which parts of her life were fiction and which parts were real. But it was jarring to get involved in a scene for it to be ultimately revealed as fake.

SHIT OR HIT: It's a HIT but don't watch this if you just had a kid, or have any hope left in humanity. Goddamn I need a shower.

Friday, October 2, 2015

NFL Pick 'em: Week 4

Points Standings 
B-Cuddy Johnny Just-Can't-Win-Em-All: 9
Dan Paulie Perfect-O: 7
Miggsy Frankie Flawless: 7

After last week, me & Uncle Miggsy are feeling like Boba Fett, baby!

Two perfect people (except for Miggsy's baldness) and one sad, 2-for-3 performance from B-Cuddy
It's like he was watching as his most loathed friend went ahead and bowled ANOTHER perfect game. Stiff. Here's the thing about Brandon, he thinks he's all high and mighty, what with his fancy, girl-like time pieces and pants with no holes in the crotch. But he's just like an onion. The more layers you peel away, the more he stinks.


New York Jets (-2) @ London Dolphins THE PICK= JETS
I have no faith in the New York Jets franchise. No faith in ownership, coaches, Ryan "HAHVID DOOOD" Fitzpatrick, hell, I don't trust the fans to find their way to the pisshouse. And even with all that, I'm still picking them. Why? Him. That's why.

Joe Philbin, after every play he's ever called

31 Horror Movies in 31 Days: The Frozen

by Dan Moore

I love horror movies, so I'm watching one a day in October.  There's no rhyme or reason to the flicks I'm watching. Some I've never seen, some I have. Join the discussion on Twitter with #31Movies31Days  

Day Two: The Frozen (2012)

Director: Andrew Hyatt
Stars: Brit Morgan, Seth David Mitchell

No, it's not the Disney cartoon. That's its own horror story. This one's about a young couple, Mike and Emma, who decide to spend a romantic, long weekend away. When I wanna go on a vacation, I go to Aruba or Mexico. Somewhere tropical and warm. These two dickheads decide to go to Mount ColdAsFuck. Like, this is legit the area they camp in.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

31 Horror Movies in 31 Days: ATM

by Dan Moore

I love horror movies. Have since I was a wee lad when my Aunt showed me Psycho. Been hooked since. Halloween is on its way so I'll be watching and reviewing a scary flick every day. There's no rhyme or reason to the flicks I'm watching. Some I've never seen, some I have. Join the discussion on the Twitter box with #31Movies31Days  

Day One:  ATM (2012)
Director - David Brooks
Starring - Brian Geraghty, Alice Eve and Josh Peck.

Yes, I also thought this was Urban Legend

When I read there was a horror movie called 'ATM' I was excited at the thought of a haunted cash machine charging exorbitant fees whilst killing big breasted, naked co-eds. Alas, that's not what this is about. (Ok, I lied, I thought it was an ass-to-mouth movie starring Alice Eve. Now that you're wiser, don't make the same mistake).

No, what we have here is a film about three friends trapped in an ATM in subzero temps as a killer lurks outside. These three shitbags, none very likable, all have a contrived reason to get into this ATM without cellphones. Of course.

Pro Wrestling: A Mark's History, part 16 (Russo Runs Wild)

As 1999 opened, pro wrestling had become a huge part of mainstream pop culture, with stars from both the WWF and WCW appearing on the covers of Entertainment Weekly, TV Guide, and even Newsweek.  The WWF ran a commercial during the SuperBowl and also aired a Halftime special opposite the actual Halftime show.  Pretty ballsy move, but it got ratings.

Totally surreal seeing stuff like this

The year opened with a live Nitro episode vs. a taped RAW.  WCW had announced a Kevin Nash vs. Goldberg rematch for the WCW Title but once again pulled a bait-and-switch, and Nash would face the returning Hulk Hogan instead.  But before that match took place, WCW made one of their biggest bonehead moves in company history, by spoiling RAW's main event result.  Eric Bischoff had adopted this practice back in 1995, but on this particular occasion the RAW main event just happened to be The Rock vs. Mankind for the WWF Title, and ol' Mick Foley was going over.  You all know what happened next - roughly half a million viewers immediately changed the channel to watch RAW, giving the WWF a major ratings win.  Nitro would never beat RAW again.  And of course Nitro's main event consisted of Hogan poking Nash in the shoulder and Nash laying down to drop the Title back to him.  One great big ego-stroking jerkfest to close out Nitro.  Once again I had been vindicated as a WWF loyalist.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Dear God, MORE Deflategate News?!?!

Somehow, someway, like a festering boil, the NFL created drama known as Deflategate just won't end. The NFL requested an expedited hearing for their appeal of the vacating of Tom Brady's 4-game suspension for his alleged knowledge of a deflated ball conspiracy.

Criminal Mastermind Tom Brady

Yesterday, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals announced that oral arguments could begin as early as Feb. 1, 2016, days before the Patriots play in the Super Bow (Yeah, I said it, what the hell), all over air that was most assuredly not missing from 11 of 12 footballs.

Pictured above the playful dolphin performing tricks is the NFL's
public enemy #1 beating up the palm tree: Air. That bastard.

The NFL has decided that after getting demolished publicly in a court of law it wanted to get beat up again, and fast! Seriously, how the FUCK are we still talking about this? This is the most overblown (Editor's Note: Or is it "underblown?") "controversy" in the history of sports. The fact that the NFL cannot let this go goes to show what an ego Commissioner Roger Goodell has. Let's go over some actual facts here:

Friday, September 25, 2015

NFL Pick 'em: Week 3

Points Standings

We're back after a dreadful and weird week two in the NFL. This week's slate of games are UGLY so hopefully we pretty em up, like meeting a beautiful woman in a bar at 7pm and not like picking up a giant pig monster in an alley at midnight.

Dan's Picks:

Atlanta (-2) @ Dallas THE PICK= ATLANTA
With Dallas losing their two biggest playmakers in Romo and Bryant, I have very little faith in their ability to move the chains. Their running game without Demarco Murray this year has been atrocious. I have zero confidence in Brandon Weeden as their new QB. That has nothing to do with his athletic ability. He's just so stupid looking. He's got a very punchable face. That ginger fuck should be a 3rd shift bus driver, not the starting quarterback for the most expensive team in the most expensive league in the world.

He always looks like he just ate bad mayonnaise.

Meanwhile, Matty Ice is a GORGEOUS specimen & he and Julio Jones continue to tear things up on the offensive side of the ball for the Falcons. I don't see that stopping in Dallas this week.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Pro Wrestling: A Mark's History, part 15 (Stone Cold! Stone Cold! Stone Cold!)

As 1998 began it was clear the WWF was taking back some of the momentum from WCW.  Steve Austin was now poised to challenge for the WWF Title and become the new face of the company, while Vince McMahon turned the volume way up on his new heel persona following the Montreal Screwjob.  The seeds were planted for Austin to become a constant thorn in Vince's corporate side, and I knew this was going to make for some wild television.

Not unlike Shawn Michaels' rise in 1996, Austin seemed to be a mortal lock to win the '98 Royal Rumble match, thus earning a title shot at WrestleMania.  The departure of Bret Hart and Davey Boy Smith left two large holes in the roster and therefore the Rumble match itself contained little suspense or star power.  But to me it was okay because the focus was on Austin's journey to the Championship and I couldn't wait to see it all unfold (I've always held the belief that in wrestling, predictability is fine as long as it makes sense dramatically and financially.  I'd rather see the obvious next top star make the trek to the Championship in the traditional fashion, than see swerves that don't make logical sense.).  The company was creative about putting obstacles in his way and creating a bit of suspense, but Austin predictably triumphed.  Another standout in this Rumble match was I-C Champion The Rock, who lasted about fifty minutes and was the final man eliminated.  I think this was the first time I really became a Rock fan.

King of the wrestling catch-phrase

Monday, September 21, 2015

NJPW Destruction 2015 Predictions!!!

Welcome back to, and another edition of New Japan PPV Predictions!  This week we get a double-dose of NJPW awesomeness, following up on the excellent G1 Climax.  It's NJPW Destruction, a two-part PPV taking place in Okayama and Kobe.  The key matchups are spread out between the two shows and the cards are filled out by the usual tag team bouts involving feuding stars.

For this column I'll only be predicting the really important matches, which ends up being four from each show.  So let's get to it...

Destruction in Okayama - 9.23.15

NWA Jr. Heavyweight Championship: Steve Anthony vs. Tiger Mask

This is a tough one for me to call as I haven't been keeping up on NWA current events, but being a title match I figured I'd include it and more or less flip a coin.  Steve Anthony beat the legendary Jushin Thunder Liger for the Title back in April, so I could easily see Liger's fellow countryman Tiger Mask avenging the loss and capturing said belt.  And I like Tiger Mask a lot, so I'll be rooting for him anyway.

WWE Night of Champions, or Why Seth Rollins is the New Shawn Michaels

Well sir, Night of Champions is now in the history books, and I'll be damned if it wasn't a highly entertaining, satisfying little PPV.  At seven matches (plus a pre-show match) NOC was nice and streamlined, and every bout was given time to breathe.  The finishes all made sense, nothing was overbooked, and we got two potentially very important title changes that could have long-standing ramifications.  Let's review, shall we?

The opening match kicked things off beautifully, as NXT grad Kevin Owens challenged the powerhouse Ryback for the Intercontinental Title.  This match accomplished exactly what it needed to and got just enough time to do it.  Owens was obviously outmatched in the strength and size department, but he targeted a limb and worked the crap out of it, utilizing innovative attacks to keep the match interesting.  Ryback staged a late-match comeback but Owens used classic heel tactics (the eye rake and the pull of the tights) to escape The Big Guy's finisher and score a quick rollup pin.  Kevin Owens is a perfect candidate to help restore prestige to the I-C Title like Daniel Bryan had intended.  He's one of the hottest heels in the company, excellent on the mic, delivers spectacularly in the ring, and can believably have his way with most of WWE's midcard pool.  I love this development and hope Owens gets a nice long reign.

The rematch between Dolph Ziggler and Rusev was next, and it was about as good as their SummerSlam bout - very well-worked by both guys and they got plenty of time to make an impression.  Unlike its predecessor this match actually had a finish, where Summer Rae got into a spat with the referee and threw her shoe (Who throws a shoe?  Honestly.), hitting Rusev by mistake.  Ziggler then hit the Zig-Zag (This man desperately needs a new signature move) for the upset.  Lana was absent due to injury but I'm hoping she figures into the inevitable third match by turning back heel and rejoining Rusev.  Those two need each other. 

Friday, September 18, 2015

NFL Pick 'em: Week 2

Welcome back to your official NFL picks, for week 2, where my associates Dan, Miggsy and B-Cuddy predict the top three games of each week.  Let's get to it!

Points Standings

Dan's Picks

Goddamn Mike Tomlin screwing me outta two points last week. Not even from the betting perspective on this, but can anyone explain to the what he was doing? They were down by two touchdowns with about ten seconds left. All he was doing was risking injury to his players. Befuddles my mind. Thankfully I was drunk. Anyways, onto the new week.

St. Louis (-3.5) @ Washington – THE PICK = ST. LOUIS
The one team as inept as my picks last week was Washington. Sure, they almost came back to squish the fish. But their ineptitude played out as planned. I expect that to continue this week (and honestly throughout the season. Skins STINK). Nick Foles should light up this sad looking defense. And whichever Gruden is coaching the Skins can make make faces and scream all day as his team loses, as usual.

Tennessee (-1) @ Cleveland - THE PICK= TENNESSEE
The New York Jets carved up the Browns defense last week's and beat them by three touchdowns. With Harvard grad Ryan Fitzpatrick at the helm of the Jets offense. Now, I'm not dumb enough to think Marcus Mariota is the next great quarterback yet, but I damn sure know he's better than Fitzy. And I damn sure know that the line is waaaaay too low for this game. I don't see Cleveland being too competitive in this game. Johnny Football looked flustered last week and Tennessee's gonna bring the heat to him. 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

WWE Night of Champions 2015 Predictions!

Welcome to the official predictions for this Sunday's WWE Night of Champions!

Coming off a very strong SummerSlam card which was headlined by two part-timers, WWE needed something big for the September followup.  A shot in the arm if you will.  And what better way to galvanize the 2015 fans than by bringing back the hot new WWE sensation Sting!  That's right, direct from WCW circa 1997, the Stinger is back and ready to claim his rightful place atop the WWE roster.  Hot off the heels of his WrestleMania loss to Triple H, it only made sense for the 56-year-old youngster to step up and challenge WWE's top dog Seth Rollins for the WWE Championship!

Okay, snarky rant finished.

Let's get to the predictions.  Dan leads Justin 35/53 to 34/53.

PreShow Match: Stardust/The Ascension vs. Neville/Lucha Dragons

On paper I like this alright.  The Ascension are pretty terrible workers but the other four are all fun to watch.  As I feared though, Neville has been listless since being called up to the main roster.  It's a sad thing when moving UP from NXT to WWE is a poor career move.

Pro Wrestling: A Mark's History, part 14 (The Birth of Attitude)

Before I get on with this installment, a few words about Brian Pillman:

On October 5th, 1997 Brian Pillman was found dead in his hotel room in St. Louis, the day of the WWF's Badd Blood PPV.  Before the show went on the air, Vince McMahon made the somber announcement. 

I must confess I had never been one of Pillman's biggest fans, as when he debuted in the NWA in 1989 I thought of him as just another pretty boy high flier.  I stopped watching NWA programming in 1990 so I hadn't really followed Pillman's evolving career except in brief flashes.  I liked the Hollywood Blonds team with Austin but didn't see much of their work.  In late '95/early '96 I read about his character now being a loose cannon heel and found that intriguing.  Then in the summer of '96 the WWF announced they had signed him.  I thought, "oh cool, he'll be a good addition to the roster."  It was then announced that he had been in a terrible car accident and suffered a shattered ankle.  "Oh super, they signed him and who knows when he'll be able to wrestle again."  When he finally returned to the ring in 1997 I liked the possibilities his persona presented.  He could have a killer feud with Austin, or have a great match with Shawn.  Unfortunately due to his injury Pillman had to drastically alter his in-ring style, which more or less put the kibosh on any epic main event singles matches he could've had.  Obviously no one can say where Pillman's WWF career would've gone had he not been in that car accident - he could've easily been a top-tier pre-Attitude heel, and the idea of a healthy Brian Pillman vs. Shawn Michaels is certainly interesting.  Sadly Pillman died of an undiagnosed heart condition, so he was evidently destined to die young.

RIP Brian Pillman

Friday, September 11, 2015

Pro Wrestling: A Mark's History, part 13 (USA vs. Canada)

1997 was an absolutely game-changing year for the WWF.  Events unfolded throughout the year that would have incredible long-term ramifications on the entire industry.

I began 1997 pretty optimistic about where the company was headed.  Shawn Michaels was poised to challenge Sid for the WWF Title at the Royal Rumble, the Rumble match field was as competitive as it had been in years, and since the PPV would be in San Antonio, the company imported several Mexican stars to help flavor the card (at the time I didn't realize how poor these particular Mexican wrestlers were compared to the top-flight ones WCW had already scooped up - Vince was just a little late to that party). 

The '97 Rumble gets an unfairly bad rap as far as I'm concerned.  At the time I absolutely loved the show and felt it was quite stacked.  Since multiple wrestlers were pulling double duty neither the Rumble nor the undercard had to be watered down.  This was the first Rumble match in a while where the winner wasn't obvious going into it.  Bret Hart, Steve Austin, Undertaker, Vader, Mankind, Owen Hart, and Davey Boy all seemed like viable options.  I figured Bret would win to set up a 'Mania 12 rematch (I wasn't aware of the offscreen animosity that was building between Bret and Shawn), and honestly I was a little bummed that Bret would likely be winning back the Title.  Bret was still a guy I underappreciated at the time and I really wanted to see Steve Austin elevated to a World Title contender and eventual Champion.  Needless to say I was pleasantly shocked when Austin "stole" the Rumble win by sliding back into the ring after his elimination.  This was all kinds of awesome, and totally fitting for his character to get a tainted win after such a gutsy babyface-like performance.  It beautifully continued the angle of Bret becoming increasingly disillusioned and slowly turning heel.

God, Sid even makes Sweet Chin Music look lame.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

NFL Pick 'em: Week 1

Hello all and welcome to a new weekly feature here on I'm an American, and as an American, I've been known to place a few bets here and there. And with the pending NFL season starting today, we've come up with this pick'em column to see who can prognosticate the best. We'll be picking three games a week, with one game being the LOCK OF THE WEEK. The lock of the the week is worth two points, and the other games are worth one point a piece. The winner will get a prize to be named later. We'll be picking with the spread based on a fine, reputable, perfectly legal website....maybe...

This is what we call 'research'

And just who will be picking these games?

First up is me, Dan Moore. I've been gambling since I could pick up a deck of cards. I'm more of a poker or blackjack guy, but I got no problem losing money betting on football.

Next up is newest Enuffa contributor Brandon Cuddemi. I've met some NFL gamblers in my day but I've never seen a guy sweat out the Pro Bowl before. He's got parlays on top of parlays and when they inevitably don't come in, the tornado of expletives is GLORIOUS.

Finally, one of my oldest friends, Mike Parker, or Miggsy as he's known. You got something to gamble on, he's your man. From dice to the ponies, the man will bet on it all (he once lost fifty bucks betting on what the first commercial would be during a Super Bowl).

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

This Week's Patriots Controversy: Deflategate or Spygate?

(Editor's Note: Dan Moore is back to talk about the NFL/ESPN's latest smear campaign against the New England Patriots.  We're also joined by newest contributor Brandon Cuddemi!)

Yesterday, the NFL's PR firm, otherwise known as ESPN, released its latest smear campaign against the New England Patriots, the reigning Super Bowl Champions. After the NFL and Der Fuhrer Goodell got embarrassed by a federal judge in court last week over the Deflategate nonsense, ESPNFL decided to drop an article rehashing the almost decade-old Spygate controversy. Below is all the new info included in the article:

The whole thing is essentially, "Anonymous source says 'We always thought something was going on but we can't prove it.'"  Since when is that reporting? There are no actual facts in the entire 10,000+ words. And the "reporters" responsible for this are getting all kinds of praise for this garbage article. We're officially in Bizarro World.

It states the Patriots taped 40 games from 2000-07. It strangely leaves out the fact that taping from an area other than the sidelines was legal til '07. The Pats were punished for taping in non-designated area. In fact, it's still legal to record the other teams from around the stadium as long as it's not the same game day. So I honestly don't even know what the point of this is, other than ESPN saying "Hey, the Pats got caught doing something years ago." They were successful beating NFL in court last week, so the NFL smeared them with this article to remind American citizens the Pats are the cheatingingst cheating cheaters that ever lived.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Welcome To My Newest Twitter Follower, Chris Mortensen

Editor's Note: Our very own Man on the Street Dan Moore has a brand new celebrity follower on Twitter!

During the wee hours of the night, one likes to sleep soundly and dream. Typically one doesn't like to get woken up at 1:23 AM by a phone you forget to silence. That happened to me last night. I groggily woke up and looked at the phone. What I saw was something strange. I had gained a new Twitter follower.

This now technically makes me an NFL insider
Now, gaining followers in the middle of the night isn't a weird thing. But this particular one is quite strange to me. Good ol' Mort has been on radio silence for about a week now. Not reporting on the biggest NFL story of the year. Tom Brady's suspension for Deflategate was overturned by the courts, and Mort has been silent. Not a word on Twitter, Facebook, ESPN or even MySpace (but who knows about that one).

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Tom Brady Freed! Deflategate: Phase 1 Victory for Brady, Patriots

Finally, our long, national nightmare is over (until the appeal). Tom Brady, the best quarterback in New England Patriots history and one of the best ever, has had his suspension overturned for general awareness of some footballs that might have been missing air. 

Live look at Roger Goodell

From the moment this "controversy" was unearthed the night of the Pats bashing the Colts in the AFC championship game, it seems the only people that knew Brady was being railroaded by Goodell and the NFL were in New England. The notion that this equipment "violation" would be turned into the #1 talking point on national newscasts and websites is complete insanity. In the world of sports, air leaking from a football is (and always has been) a non-story. But Goodell wanted to treat this (supposed) violation with a death sentence instead of the parking ticket-like slap on the wrist it deserved.

The NFL peacocked all over TV and newspapers about "the integrity of the game" while ignoring the integrity in their own offices. From false stories being leaked to outright lies, the NFL has shown nothing but a complete and total lack of integrity from the get-go. This investigation has been nothing but a way for the NFL to distract the public from its actual problems. The unending concussion debates, rampant 'roid issues, and countless domestic violence cases. Sure, Tom Brady won and his suspension is overturned, but in a way the NFL has won also. Squishy footballs is a far better headline to be talking about than the latest in head traumas or another of your players hitting a person he "loves." The public has been blathering about TB12 being a cheater instead of steroid suspensions. Definitely a PR win for the Shield.

Regardless of those issues, as it stands, Tom Brady is free to play football again. Hopefully, this is the end of it (no way in hell). I'm looking forward to seeing #12 under center next Thursday on opening night, and cheering along as the Patriots raise the fourth championship banner in their history to the rafters. With Tom Brady cheering along as well, a free man.

You Used to Be Sooooo Good: Harrison Ford

Welcome back to another edition of You Used to Be Soooo Good, where Justin & I, Dan Moore, discuss things used to be awesome but now, eh, not so much. This week we discuss a true hero of cinema. An icon in every sense of the definition. A great actor who lately has been serving us up a steady diet of shitburgers.

                  Harrison Ford:  You Used to Be Soooo Good

Yes....look at him.
DAN: I think the main problem with Ford is that his early movies, some of the biggest hits of all time, from Star Wars to Indy, were huge, important pop culture films. These are movies that, as silly as it sounds, are very important to people. They have Star Wars-themed weddings; people dress their kids up like Indiana Jones. Those characters are powerful and influential. And that’s how we think of Mr. Ford. This huge, mythical man, playing amongst the stars and foreign countries looking for treasures. To see him in such lackadaisical films now is a letdown. We have him built up as THE movie star, essentially, and he hasn’t had a groundbreaking or pop culture shattering role in some time.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Helluva Band: Metallica (Part 2)

In case you missed Part 1, click HERE

I saw Metallica in concert again in the summer of 1994 and figured they'd be playing one or two songs off their upcoming album, but they didn't.  Dammit.  In fact at one point James asked the crowd, "You guys wanna hear some new shit?  Yeah, so do we....."  What a tease.  The band more or less went dormant for 1995 as the recording process had clearly shifted into high gear.

When they emerged in 1996 with an album title and release date, the salivating commenced.  The record would be titled Load and would be released on June 4th.  Oh, and all four members of the band now had short hair.  Say what now??  Yup, the unthinkable had happened.  After grunge got huge and everyone decided metal was now passe (What a tragic era that was), the biggest metal band in the world elected to reinvent themselves for the mid-90s.  Even their world-recognized logo was toned down, with little fangs on the M and the A where huge zig-zag shapes once resided.  I had mixed feelings about all this.  On some level I understood that to avoid fading into irrelevancy like so many of their genre colleagues, Metallica would need to adapt.  The music they made so popular five years ago was no longer considered cool, and the band would need to keep exploring new territory.  But at the same time I knew I'd miss the band I was originally introduced to back in 1989.

One afternoon I was listening to the radio, knowing the debut single from Load would be premiering that day.  Without any fanfare a somber beat kicked in over a fretless bass line, and I instantly knew this was Metallica (not sure how).  It was of course the now infamous ballad "Until It Sleeps," which sounded absolutely nothing like anything they had done before.  Looking back it really was a weird choice for the first single.  Second?  Sure.  But songs like "Ain't My Bitch" or "King Nothing" seem like more conventional choices.  I guess that was the point; the band wanted to make everyone uncomfortable with their new direction.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Dan's Review of the MTV Video Music Awards

(Editor's Note: Goddammit, MTV.  You used to be soooooo good.  Hmmm, maybe Dan and I should post a discussion about that.....)

I'll admit this straight up. I watched nary a second of this narcissism convention. I wouldn't be able to stomach ten minutes of vapid, rich whores talking to equally vapid, rich dickheads, never mind four hours of this suck fest.  I make no qualms about the fact that I'm a decrepit, ornery, old man at this point in my life. I mean, look at this picture of yours truly below.

That's me running at full speed

So, clearly I am not the target audience. I get that. I have my finger far from the pulse of society. But what the hell business does MTV have putting on a video music awards show anyway? When was the last time they actually showed music videos on the channel formerly known as Music Television? Every time I flip through that station it's always pregnant teens domestically assaulting the poor bastard that wasn't smart enough to pull his pork sword outta the girl's baby bunker. There's literally no music on the channel at all anymore. None.

Pro Wrestling: A Mark's History, part 12 (The Year of HBK)

What a pivotal year 1996 was in the world of pretend fighting.  The landscape of the business would change drastically over next five years, and '96 was really where it began.  Yes, the Monday Night War had already started the previous September, but it wasn't until mid '96 that things fully escalated and each company would begin to find their respective identities.

Shawn Michaels made his triumphant post-concussion return at the Royal Rumble, putting on a mesmerizing performance and becoming only the second 2-time Rumble winner in history.  WrestleMania season that year was of the totally-predictable-but-awesome variety.  It was obviously Shawn's time to shine and I couldn't wait to see it all unfold.  Shawn's Rumble win positioned him to challenge Bret Hart for the WWF Title, creating what was on paper the greatest WrestleMania match of all time.  Added to the intrigue was the revelation that it would be a 60-minute Iron Man match.  This really felt like a celebration of pure wrestling, which was just all kinds of awesome.  Piling it on, the WWF also booked Undertaker vs. Diesel as the semi-main event.  The two best big men in the company at that time in a full-on slugfest.  This was shaping up to be an unequaled 'Mania lineup.

Over at WCW the World Title was passed back and forth between Ric Flair and Randy Savage (rehashing what the WWF had done in 1992), while Hulk Hogan took a buncha time off.  Hogan's fan reaction had become lukewarm as fans seemingly remembered why they had tired of his act in the WWF.  I was watching RAW religiously every week but flipping over to Nitro during breaks just to keep up on current events.  I did enjoy some of the Cruiserweight stuff on the show, but my first response was that the action was so fast and spectacular they weren't leaving any time for any of the moves to mean anything.  The terms "ring psychology" and "workrate" weren't yet in my lexicon, so I wasn't approaching this stuff from the point of view of an IWC fan by any means (still didn't have internet yet), but on some level I recognized that the storytelling aspect of the Cruiserweight matches was lacking.  It was around this time that I first saw Rey Mysterio, Eddie Guerrero and Dean Malenko, whom I had read about in PWI.  All the magazines raved about their work, but at the time I was pretty underwhelmed by them.  I appreciated the technical aspect but didn't connect with any of them emotionally.  Other than that stuff, Nitro just looked to me like Old Folks' Wrestling.  The main event matches and feuds were insufferably dull to me.

Yeah man, I just didn't get it at first.....

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Helluva Band: Nine Inch Nails

Hello and welcome to another edition of Helluva Band, where I dissect and discuss a particular band or artist I have grown to enjoy, thus forever ruining your experience of listening to them with my overanalytical gobbledygook.

Today I'll be talking about Nine Inch Nails, easily the most famous and well-respected of all industrial rock bands, and brainchild of enigmatic visionary Trent Reznor (Is there a cooler name in rock music?).  I'll discuss their/his various works and how I came to be a fan.

I first became aware of Nine Inch Nails in high school in the early 90s, mostly because the "alternative" kids had the logo sewn or drawn on their bookbags and jackets.  I had no idea what the band was all about and figured it was some sort of punk outfit, based solely on which of my classmates listened to them.  I myself was a metal guy, preferring the chunky guitar riffage and gutteral vocals of Metallica and Megadeth, and paid little attention to much else (The Beatles were an exception). 

At this time MTV had a weekly metal video show called Headbanger's Ball (goddamn this show was awesome) which aired from 11pm-2am every Saturday night.  I would stay up late long after my parents had retired for the evening and tape the videos I was interested in.  MTV used to be pretty spectacular back when they were actually MUSIC television.  One night a Nine Inch Nails video popped up on my TV screen for a song called "Wish."  This featured tinny, preamp-overdriven guitars and a fast, metal-ish tempo.  It was certainly unlike anything I had heard before, which at the time was a bad thing.  I wasn't terribly open to new and unusual music like I am these days, so I dismissed it as noisy crap.

The one that started it all.....

Two years later another Nine Inch Nails song started showing up in the rotation of my favorite station WAAF.  It had this weird, almost disco-esque feel to it, and the singer was blathering something about "fucking like an animal."  I'll be totally frank; I HATED this song when it came out.  It did nothing for me musically and I actually resented that metal fans everywhere (including some of my best friends) were embracing this wholly non-metal-sounding dance music with crude lyrics (Somehow I was rather uppity about including excessive cuss words in song lyrics even though I've had a mouth like a trucker since I was twelve).  Even my girlfriend at the time kinda liked the song and found it a little sexy; the idea of her enjoying another guy singing "I wanna fuck you like an animal" decidedly made me squirm.

Kinda looks like a guy about to eat a piece of poop.

So it's safe to say I had no intention of ever becoming a NIN fan.  Over the years they released other albums and few songs here and there caught my attention but I didn't really give them a fair chance.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

WWE, Sting, and Band-Aids

Last night's RAW featured two celebrated returns to WWE TV. 

The first occurred early in the show as The New Day, fresh off regaining the WWE Tag Titles at SummerSlam, were interrupted in their celebration by The Dudley Boyz, who haven't been seen together on WWE TV since 2005.  Both Bubba and D-Von appear to be in tremendous shape (Bubba especially has stepped up his game the past few years, enjoying a main event run in TNA) and a feud with such a decorated tag team will hopefully boost the credibility of the Tag Champs.  Big E, Kofi and Xavier Woods have one of the best acts in WWE at the moment (Woods has been brilliant with his ringside antics during their matches), so the optimist in me sees a three-month program involving some underhanded tactics allowing New Day to retain the straps, and then finally they get a clean win over the Dudleys in the blowoff match. 

The other return last night was of course Sting (or "The Vigilante, Sting" for those of you wondering why Police frontman Gordon Sumner showed up on RAW), who hasn't been seen since his unexpected (and ill-advised) WrestleMania loss to Triple H.  Sting pulled the ol' switcheroo in the main event segment, appearing in place of Seth Rollins' commemorative statue and wordlessly challenging The Authority's chosen one to a WWE Title match at Night of Champions.  As with the Dudleyz scenario, a high-profile feud with such a beloved legend seems designed to give the young WWE Champion a major rub, presumably leading to a much-needed clean win. 

Pro Wrestling: A Mark's History, part 11 (Diesel Power)

The 1995 Royal Rumble changed things up in that the entry intervals between wrestlers was cut down from 2 minutes (or sometimes 90 seconds) to 60 seconds.  My reaction at the time was that it cheapened the idea of longevity as the total match time was cut almost in half, but at the same time it allowed the ring to fill up faster.  In hindsight it was not a good idea, which is why they've never done it that way since.  Anyway, Shawn Michaels became the first wrestler to run the table, entering at #1 and winning the whole thing.  Obviously there would forever be an asterisk next to his achievement, but it was still pretty cool.  He also executed one of the most entertaining near-eliminations of all time, dangling off the top rope for what seemed like an eternity while only one foot touched the floor.

Dude, look how close that is......

What this meant for me though was that my two favorite wrestlers, Shawn Michaels and Diesel (yeah he grew on me fast for some reason I still don't understand) would be facing each other at WrestleMania XI for the WWF Title.  I could not have been more excited!
Wanna hear something stupid though?  A couple of my friends decided to order the show in their dorm room, AND DIDN'T EVEN INVITE ME.  Unbelievable.  I'm generally the biggest wrestling fan in any group of friends I've ever had.  That's not an exaggeration - it's really a sick thing.  And these pals of mine didn't mention their plans to order WrestleMania until after the fact.  Christ!  Of course the show was kind of a stinker anyway other than the Title match, which astoundingly didn't even close the show!

Monday, August 24, 2015

WWE SummerSlam 2015 was Better Than WrestleMania 31

Sometimes it pays to have low expectations.  Case in point, last night's SummerSlam extravaganza.  I went into this show with the mindset of "I'll be content as long as I don't feel like my night was wasted," and what I got was a consistently very entertaining wrestling show with a ton of variety where every match felt like it got enough time, and a few actually stood out.

The much-dreaded-by-me Brock Lesnar-Undertaker main event was easily the best match delivered by these two since their No Mercy 2002 Hell in a Cell.  It was streamlined, hard-hitting, full of nice little nuances (the double situp for example), and while the ending left me baffled at first, once the replay explained everything I actually kinda liked it.  Granted we've been conditioned that the timekeeper never rings the bell until the official calls for it, but in all these years you'd think human error would get in the way at least once.  Well, last night was that one occurrence.  Taker tapped out and the timekeeper jumped the gun.  It was a realistic screwup and hopefully WWE follows up on it by having The Authority discipline said timekeeper on RAW.  Moreover, it protects Lesnar as an unstoppable monster, sets up the inevitable "rubber match" at WrestleMania, and reframes this feud with Taker playing more of a heel (don't get me wrong, getting a Dallas crowd to boo Taker is going to be impossible, but still).  I liked this match a lot, and the lasting image for me will be of the defiant Lesnar flipping Taker off just before passing out to Hell's Gate.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

WWE SummerSlam 2015 Predictions!!!

Well folks it's that time again.  The tentpole PPV of the summer is upon us, and the 2015 edition is SUUUUUUUUUUUPER-SIZED!!!!  That's right, this year's SummerSlam is a four-hour spectacular loaded up with ten, count them, TEN big matches.  And since it's in a normal arena as opposed to a MegaUltraDome, the entrances hopefully won't be taking up half the show like they do at WrestleMania.  Also celebrity wrestling fan Jon Stewart is hosting the show.  While I don't get why a PPV needs a host (Isn't that why the announcers are there?), I'm a Stewart fan and he's a wrestling fan, so hopefully his involvement will be entertaining.

So let's get to the business of prognosticatin', shall we?  As always my associate Dan Moore will give his picks too.

Currently Dan is beating me, for the first time since we started this tradition.  I gotta step it up.  Dan: 28/43, Justin: 26/43

Four-way WWE Tag Team Title Match: Prime Time Players vs. The New Day vs. Lucha Dragons vs. Los Matadores

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Dan's Top 9: TV Shows to Watch While Boozing

Welcome to another edition of Dan's Top 9.  It's a countdown.  Written by Dan.  No explanation needed.   Done.


Booze. It's what makes the world go 'round. Whether out at the bar drinking a dozen or so beers with friends or sneaking a bottle of Mad Dog into a christening, booze makes everything better.  However, there are times where you don't wanna see the light of day or interact with other humans when you're drinking. For those times, I present to you the best programs on television to watch when you're drinking that thirty pack alone.

9. Nature Programs: The tranquil sounds of planet earth make for a lovely companion as you sip down Jack & Diets (I'm watching my figure). Also good for a laugh when you come upon some endangered species doing it. Ever watch rhinos bang when you're hammered? It's fucking HILARIOUS.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

A Newbie's Take on NJPW G1 Climax 25

Well folks, the G1 Climax 25 tournament has come and gone, and it is now time for post-G1 depression.  Sigh.....

Anywho, this being my first G1 tourney as a New Japan fan (or as my wife would call me, a "Jeezus, wouldya shut up about New Japan already??"), I thought I'd throw together a quick write-up about the experience.

The G1 tournament is of course New Japan's annual round-robin tournament to determine the #1 Contender at next year's WrestleKingdom PPV.  So it's like the Royal Rumble except waaaaaay more intensive.  The number of participants varies year to year, as does the schedule.  Whereas the last few tourneys have consisted of entire cards of G1 matches (which I loved because it meant multiple full shows of excellent singles bouts), the 2015 edition was more spread out to give the guys more time to recover from each match.  This year there were 19 total dates including the Finals, and each "regular season" show only featured five tourney matches from one block at a time.  This layout definitely made it easier to keep up if your goal was to only watch the G1 matches, as the first half of each show consisted of multi-man tag bouts to warm up the crowd.  The downside of course is that there wasn't a full show on the level of last year's Day 7 (considered by most to be the best NJPW show of the year).  Still the 2015 G1 tourney had a helluvalotta good-to-great matches and built to an absolutely fantastic peak with the "semi-finals" and the Finals show.

Pro Wrestling: A Mark's History, part 10 (The New WWF Generation)

As 1994 began, multiple top heroes were being positioned to challenge Yokozuna for the WWF Title.  Chief among them were former champ Bret Hart, Lex Luger, and after two years wading around the midcard pool fighting off silly cartoon villains, The Undertaker was finally being pushed as a top challenger. 

He would wrestle Yoko at the '94 Rumble in a casket match, and at the time I really thought he might take it down.  Unfortunately Taker needed some time off and he lost to the Champion with the help of 10 (ten!) midcard heels, in one of the worst matches I've ever seen.  Seriously, this thing stunk worse than a Taco Bell Chalupa fart.  Even worse was the goofy post-match angle, where Taker "disappeared" from the casket, appeared as a ghost on the TitanTron, and "floated" up to the ceiling (in fact it was Marty Janetty in Taker's costume who was the floating stunt double - I mean couldn't they have found anyone close to Taker's size for this job??).

Yup, Yokozuna looks how I felt watching this snorefest.

The Rumble match itself ended for the first time with co-winners, as Bret Hart and Lex Luger tumbled over the ropes simultaneously.  This meant that at WrestleMania X Yokozuna would have to defend the Title twice.  Luger won the coin toss for the first crack at the Champ, while Bret would face his estranged brother Owen before getting his shot.

These two matches, coupled with the possibility of a Bret vs. Luger main event, and the Shawn Michaels-Razor Ramon I-C Title match, made WrestleMania X a must-see event for me.  This was the first WrestleMania I had ever ordered on PPV, and man did I pick a good one!

I was actually shocked when Luger failed to win the Title, as I figured the months-long build from the summer of '93 would result in Luger finally climbing the mountain.  I was pretty pissed when he got disqualified and ousted from the Title hunt, and of course it was then a forgone conclusion that Bret would be regaining the belt in the main event.  To this day, with all due respect to Yokozuna, I still think Bret vs. Luger would've been a spectacular match and I consider it a lost opportunity that it never happened.  When Bret predictably won the Title back, I was happy for him and knew he was deserving, but I wasn't overly excited about it.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Deflategate: Why Are We Still Talking About This?

Editor's Note: Dan's pissed.  And rightfully so....

The New England Patriots have been mired in a 'controversy' of the NFL's making. During the AFC Championship game, some footballs were found to be significantly deflated of air. Or they weren't. Depending on which lie in the Wells Report you want to believe. But clearly the air gauge they used to measure the PSI showed this, right? Depends on which air gauge the Wells Report wants to tell us the refs used. The whole thing is a blueprint on how not to investigate something. The lack of science, the omission of facts and the complete keystone cops atmosphere of this would be hilarious if it weren't so frustrating.

Pictured: Feeding time at the NFL Office

Yesterday the testimony from Tom Brady's appeal hearing was released Does it paint quite the bad picture for the NFL. There's quite a few takeaways from it. Here's a few thoughts.


For months, it's been rumored the Baltimore Ravens tipped off the Indianapolis Colts about some shenanigans with Patriots footballs. Ravens Head Coach Harbaugh has vehemently denied this.

Yesterday's release shows otherwise. The Special Teams coordinator from the Ravens called Colts Coach Chuck Pagano about something screwy with the kicking balls (which, by the way, are never touched by game day staff until they hit the field. Those are issued straight out of box by NFL referees). Now, maybe you can make the argument that Harbaugh didn't know this but then that means one of two things

A) Harbaugh has no control over his staff and they do whatever they want, including going over his head and talking to other organizations

B) Harbaugh knew and blatantly lied, repeatedly.

You make the call.


Vincent is currently the NFL executive vice president of football operations. He is also, by all accounts, the most hypocritty hypocrite of all time. Tom Brady has been suspended four games for most likely being generally aware that some footballs were probably tampered with but maybe not because SCIENCE. But Aaron Rodgers, Pro Bowl QB for the Green Bay Packers, actually said he likes to push the limits of the PSI levels in the footballs. Not generally aware. He told this to broadcaster Phil Simms, who quoted this on an NFL broadcast.

Not only was this laughed about, it's not even a blip on the NFL's discipline radar. As pointed out yesterday from Stephanie Stradley, a lawyer from Houston with no horse in this race (follow her on Twitter @StephStradley, she's brilliant), this didn't even register as even a minor faux pas for Vincent or the NFL.

Rodgers specifically said he likes to push the limits of the air pressure in footballs, and nothing. Brady might be generally aware that some other guy maybe fiddled with some game equipment, four game suspension. Yeah, makes sense.


Throughout the whole testimony, Goodell constantly butts in to get reassurances for answers that are in plain English. Or he has no idea what the word 'Yes' means.

He lacks any kind of reasoning and seems to not understand how language or the world in general works. He asks about Brady getting rid of his phone (by the way, Goodell introduced the word "destroyed." Nowhere does Brady say this. That language was introduced by Rog and told to the public to make him sound guilty) and seems to have no clue what a phone is or how it works.

Evidently, Big Rog thinks cell phones are owned and operated by the Mission: Impossible crew. This is the guy in charge of the biggest sports entity in the world.

This whole Deflategate nonsense has been a sham and a witch hunt from the get-go. It's an embarrassment for Goodell, Brady, the Patriots and all of the NFL. The sooner Brady is exonerated and plays in week one, the sooner we can all forget this and watch some football again. Like we all want to.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

A "Rowdy" Roddy Piper Remembrance

(Editor's Note: I thought I'd defer to my associate Dan Moore to say a few words about the passing of Roddy Piper.  While I was obviously a fan of the Hot Rod, Dan admired him on a different level.  So it only seemed right for him to take the lead on this one.)

I grew up in a household that watched and tolerated wrestling to different degrees. My father went to live events with his buddies a lot. My mother used to let me, my older sister and younger brother stay up past our bedtime to watch Prime Time Wrestling, the precursor to RAW. She didn't mind wrestling but didn't much pay attention either. Around the corner was my Aunt Patty and my cousin John Michael who was like a big brother to us.  He watched all the time and tried out his wrestling moves on us much smaller kids. Auntie paid attention to varying degrees. But there was one wrestler everyone that all of us agreed was can't miss television: The Hot Rod was the best.

I was seven when WrestleMania came around back in 1985. That was back in the day when there were clear cut good guys and bad guys. My childhood brain loved the Hulkster, Junkyard Dog and Hillbilly Jim. I obviously hated King Kong Bundy and Greg "The Hammer" Valentine. They were jerks and cheats.