Thursday, January 31, 2008
In even better news, Roger Daltrey is planning on launching a second unit for teenage cancer patients in Glasgow, Scotland. The first one opened in May 2007. For more on the story click this. Daltrey is a patron for Teenage Cancer Trust. The proceeds from The Who's annual shows at the Royal Albert Hall go to the foundation. This year I've read they are trying to get the surviving members of the Sex Pistols to also perform at the concerts.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Inside The Squared Circle: No Way Out **SPOILERS**, Hogan's Nephew, Candice Michelle Super Bowl Commercial, Chris Harris News
-- Randy Orton puts the W.W.E. Championship on the line against John Cena.
-- Rey Mysterio gets a rematch with World Champion Edge.
**TWO ELIMINATION CHAMBER MATCHES**
The winner of this one will wrestle for the W.W.E. Championship at Wrestlemania. These six have been signed up for the match:
Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Jeff Hardy, Umaga, JBL and Chris Jericho.
The winner of the other "elimination chamber" match (structure pictured above) will fight for the World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania. Participants are:
Big Daddy V, The Great Khali, Finlay, M.V.P., Undertaker and Batista.
So far the only other match signed:
--Ric Flair puts his career on the line vs. Mr. Kennedy.
-- Hulk Hogan's nephew, "King" David Bollea, will be starting his mixed martial arts career in March for Xtreme Fighting Championship (XFC), based out of Florida.
-- Chris"Wildcat"Harris has left T.N.A. and has signed a deal with the W.W.E.
-- Candice Michelle's broken clavicle seems to be taking much longer to heal than first thought, and she is not expected to return to the ring just yet. You will, however, be able to check her out during Sunday's Super Bowl as she is featured in one of two Go Daddy commercials.
Keep it in the Ring!
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
The show opened with John Cena coming down to address the rowdy Philadelphia audience. I read that they had to cut the ringside microphone because of all the obscenities being hurled Cena’s way. This guy has people who really love him and also people who really hate him. Cena acknowledged the haters last night which was cool. He challenged Randy Orton to a title match right then and there. Orton came out and rejected the challenge saying he wants a bigger payday.
Instead Orton-Cena is set for No Way Out in February. Later on, William Regal and Vince McMahon discussed how the W.W.E. Champ’s opponent at Wrestlemania would be determined since Cena was cashing in on his championship match early. A decision was reached and Regal came out and announced to the crowd an "elimination chamber" match featuring Umaga, Jeff Hardy, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, JBL and Chris Jericho. The winner will fight either Cena or Orton for the W.W.E. Championship at Wrestlemania on March 30 in Orlando, Florida.
So where does this leave World Champion Edge? How will his Wrestlemania opponent be determined?
There was also a funny vignette - that I wish I had seen - which featured Vince McMahon telling his “illegitimate” son, Hornswoggle, that he was disappointed in his performance at the Royal Rumble.
Mr. Kennedy will also be facing Ric Flair at No Way Out – with Flair’s career at stake, of course.
Beth Phoenix & Jillian Hall def. Mickie James & Ashley
I got to see this bout and it was OK. Beth Phoenix should hold onto the W.W.E. Women's title for a long, long time. Turning Mickie James into an E.D.P (Emotionally Disturbed Person) has its humor, and it was pretty funny seeing Phoenix mock James’ crying.
Carlito def. Cody Rhodes
Typical match between these two. I don't get why Rhodes is W.W.E. tag team champion but in so many singles matches. Rhodes is good, but very green.
DX(Shawn Michaels & Triple H) def. Snitsky & Umaga
Only saw some of this match. The interview with Triple H and Shawn Michaels and then their ring entrances are priceless!
Mr. Kennedy def. Brian Kendrick
Did not see this one. Kendrick’s partner, Paul London, is due back from injury soon. The two are a great tag team and remind me of The Rockers. London, like Rhodes, should not be in singles competition at this point in his career.
Maria def. Melina
Got home just in time for this one. Santino Marella was at ringside and quickly covered up Maria when her underwear was exposed due to her pants being "accidentally" pulled down a bit while covering Melina for the pinfall victory.
Randy Orton & JBL def. Jeff Hardy & Chris Jericho
This was a real good match. I laughed out loud when JBL told Orton he had his back, only to roll out of the ring as soon as John Cena came running in.
Other thoughts...Two women's matches is two, too many. I like that they have given Jericho some snarl. A rich Texan who has put new roots down on Wall Street is really good. John Bradshaw Layfield is a guy I love to hate! Randy Orton has grown on me and seems to get better every week.
Keep it in the Ring!
Monday, January 28, 2008
I wrote in a prior post that I was not sure about what was going on with John Cena. I had read that Cena had made enough progress in rehabbing his completely torn pectoral muscle that W.W.E.’s writing team was keeping him in their plans for Wrestlemania. But it was a longshot that he would wrestle at the big event in March and most likely Cena would be involved to a lesser degree by serving as a special referee or in some sort of non-wrestling role.
Then I read that Cena himself told a newspaper that he was going to be starting work on a movie and wouldn’t be back until June. But he did say "never say never!" Oh if only I picked up on that one, someone might be asking me to pick stocks for them! Anyway, when Cena’s music blared over the loudspeakers at Madison Square Garden, I was completely shocked. Before I saw Cena, I thought it might have been some kind of ripoff, like an imitator much in the same way that the W.W.E. has used the diminutive Gillberg for the hulking Bill Goldberg in the past. But nope this was the real thing and what a shocked look on the face of Triple H when Cena walked toward the ring.
For the last few months – with Cena being injured – all I heard was that Triple H would definitely be winning the W.W.E. title at Wrestlemania. There were so many people saying that Triple H would win the Royal Rumble, but it wasn’t to be. From what I have read thus far, John Cena was a surprise to virtually everyone backstage. Somehow they were able to keep him hidden in the bowels of Madison Square Garden. Of course, though, the guys in the match had to know he was coming because he eliminated a bunch of wrestlers from the match. Here are the results from last night and some other thoughts on the show:
Ric Flair used his patented figure-four leglock to force M.V.P. to submit. This match was a good opener.
JBL beat Chris Jericho via disqualification. There was a botched bulldog attempt in the match that got a round of boos from the M.S.G. audience, but it was still a good match. The feud goes on a little longer and I think it will culminate at some point in a bullrope or dog collar match.
Edge defeated Rey Mysterio. I was SHOCKED that Edge was cheered while Rey was booed. This match featured some outstanding moves by Mysterio and some great counters by Edge.
Jeff Hardy dominated Randy Orton but lost cleanly anyway. I don’t buy into the return of Cena being the reason why Hardy didn’t get the W.W.E. Championship. I don’t think Vince McMahon has any faith in Hardy carrying the belt, even if it were for a short time.
Here are my Wrestlemania predictions based off of what I saw last night:
W.W.E. Champion Randy Orton vs. John Cena – Cena had to relinquish the title due to injury, so he’ll most likely choose to face Orton to get his belt back.
World Heavyweight Champion Edge vs. Ric Flair. For a while now I have thought that The Undertaker would put his undefeated Wrestlemania record on the line against Edge for the World Title. But if Flair faces Mr. Kennedy at No Way Out in February and presumably wins – he would have to be considered a number one contender for either World Title. Although I would love to see Flair win the "gold belt" once more and then retire the next night on Monday Night Raw, he's just so past his time of being a great performer. But hey why not...
Triple H vs. Batista. It’s been a match that has been rumored, albeit one that would involve a championship at stake. The two, along with Cena, were the last three standing last night!
Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker. If this match is indeed made, it has the potential to be “match of the year.” The two were the first entrants into the match last night and as expected put on a great show for the crowd.
OTHER THREE COUNTS
--I loved that nobody knew about Cena returning last night. It threw so many people off and has the potential to really change the direction of some things.
--I also really enjoyed how Hornswoggle was not a big part of the show, nor were the women (except for a funny in-ring vignette with Maria, Ashley and Santino Marella).
--Somehow the W.W.E. was also able to do an incredibly smooth job with all six announcers from the three different brands calling the Rumble match!
--Michael Buffer as ring announcer was really cool also.
--The Great Khali had a small role as well, which made me happy.
--No Big Show, but I expect him on Raw tonight.
--Cena looks HUGE!
--The Giants will have to win the Super Bowl Sunday night to match the excitement level that I had after last night's Royal Rumble. I was so wound up I didn't fall asleep until 1 a.m. I can only equate the feeling to one of my teams winning dramatically in the playoffs! Money well-spent in my book!
Keep it in the Ring!
Saturday, January 26, 2008
In order to pick a winner of the Rumble match and the World Championship bouts, I have to think ahead to Wrestlemania. The winner of the Rumble will choose which champ he wants to face at ‘mania. At next month’s No Way Out pay-per-view there will be an elimination chamber match to determine who will face the other world champion.
I really have no idea who is going to win the Jeff Hardy-Randy Orton match for the W.W.E. Title. Hardy has been on a roll lately and both men have definitely taken their game to another level. I feel though that Triple H (Hunter Hearst Helmsley) has also been rolling and has been made to look unstoppable lately. So if Randy Orton beats someone who has been on the rise (Jeff Hardy) it makes him look like an “unbeatable” W.W.E. Champ. Thus you would have Orton vs. Triple H (please no one call him “Trips” or I’ll scream) at ‘mania.
But then there is the other side of the coin, which is that Hardy is a young talent that has finally arrived and is at the top of his game. He’s a high-flier who does some pretty death-defying moves. He has apparently overcome the problems he had around 2003 when he was released by the W.W.E. However, since he came back in 2006, the guy has been unbelievable! I’d love to see him face his idol Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania. So that would mean Michaels is going to win the Royal Rumble. A Michaels-Hardy bout at the Citrus Bowl at Wrestlemania would be incredible. But I am going the safe route and I will pick Triple H (by the way calling him “Trips” is like scratching a chalkboard) and so I will also go with Randy Orton retaining his W.W.E Championship against Jeff Hardy.
Royal Rumble Participants (in no particular order): Umaga, Snitsky, Holly, The Miz, John Morrison, Hornswoggle, Mick Foley, Batista, Undertaker, Kane, Jamie Noble, Finlay, Cody Rhodes, Shelton Benjamin, Carlito, Santino Marella, Shawn Michaels, Mark Henry, The Great Khali, Mr. Kennedy, Triple H, Tommy Dreamer, Big Daddy V and Chuck Palumbo.
OK so I only count 24 names as Rumble participants. I’m expecting CM Punk to be added to the mix and who knows maybe Big Show. I wouldn’t be surprised if the W.W.E. added Women’s Champ Beth Phoenix to this one. They are definitely pushing her as the next Chyna, so having her fight men would add to the desired perception of indestructibility. One person that won’t be in the big match is Bobby Lashley who has asked for his release from the W.W.E. Ric Flair and Carlito also asked for their releases at separate times last year, but were later talked into staying. So the point being is that anything can happen. We’ll have to keep a close eye on the Lashley thing. He wrote on his website that he was done in by some “evil forces” at the W.W.E. and was now training for a mixed martial arts career, although he would not be joining UFC.
Royal Rumble Match: Triple H (Michaels and Undertaker are my other choices)
Randy Orton defends W.W.E. Championship against Jeff Hardy
Orton beats Hardy to retain title in what has the potential to be a great match.
Rey Mysterio challenges Edge for World Heavyweight Title
Mysterio winning this would be great, but he works a schedule that is pretty minimal these days, so a World Title run seems unlikely. Edge retains.
M.V.P. vs. Ric Flair
Flair’s career is on the line, but M.V.P.'s U.S. Title is not. Lame! I’m a bit confused in that I keep reading that Flair will be inducted into the W.W.E. Hall of Fame the weekend of Wrestlemania. But I’ve also read that he will lose a “career ending” match to Vince McMahon at ‘mania. Nonetheless, since it’s non-title, Flair wins.
Chris Jericho vs. JBL
This has been a real good feud thus far, and I expect it to be a pretty good brawl at M.S.G. I’m going to say that John Bradshaw Layfield wins by knocking out Jericho with a cowbell or some sort of foreign object. Of course, when the referee is not looking.
Keep it in the Ring!
Friday, January 25, 2008
Mark Messier and Brian Leetch are Hall of Famers, so in their cases, no. Mike Richter, although a borderline Hall of Famer, may be the best goalie in the history of the New York Rangers and was a primary reason for the Rangers’ success in 1994. Adam Graves is another story altogether. To take nothing away from Graves’ play on the ice, I have to say that this one is all about popularity, in my opinion much in the same way as Eddie Giacomin's number "1" getting retired. Yes, Graves played a key role in the magical run of 93-94, however, you wanna know who led the Rangers in points during the 1993-1994 season? Sergei Zubov. Yes, the smooth-skating Muscovite with the perpetual five o’clock shadow. Should Zubov’s number “21” go to the top of The Garden? Of course, not. How about Alex Kovalev? Stephan Matteau? Silly you say and right you would be.
Graves’ number goes to the top of Madison Square Garden because, yes his numbers as a Ranger were good, but his tireless effort on the ice is far surpassed by his tireless contributions to charitable endeavors off of the ice and are what makes him so popular. I don’t think there is anyone who like Adam Graves who gives so much of himself in pro sports - and that’s only the stuff we know about. Graves has always been someone that tries to do things with little fanfare, which in New York is no easy task.
For one championship, four numbers may be excessive, but it was a unique and memorable conquest 1994 was, done on the backs of four special athletes. I do wish that the Graves ceremony was spaced out a bit from the Leetch ceremony. I also know that if M.S.G. isn’t going to formally do something for Andy Bathgate, I can guarantee you that Adam Graves is such a class act that he will mention and pay the proper respect to Mr. Bathgate at some point during the ceremony.
It’s a tricky thing with numbers. After Graves and hopefully fellow number “9” Andy Bathgate, I don’t think there is anyone else that deserves to have their number retired. Again, I’ve made my case for a dual ceremony in a previous entry here. I’ve heard folks saying that Wayne Gretzky should have his Rangers “99” retired. Foolish! It doesn’t need to happen, because no one in their right mind would wear Wayne’s number again. A retirement ceremony would be superfluous. Ditto in Philadelphia for Pelle Lindbergh. If I was a goalie for the Flyers I wouldn’t wear his number “31” – a posthumous retirement ceremony is not necessary.
Other than that…
I really enjoyed seeing John Davidson come up to the broadcast booth with Sam Rosen and Joe Micheletti during the second period. More so, I loved seeing Neil Smith in attendance and in the booth during part of the third period. I always thought that Smith was going to be a “lifer” with the Blueshirts. I think Rangers’ fans can appreciate now the great success that Smith had while general manager with the franchise. I thought it was also a nice touch for Wayne Gretzky and Derek Jeter to tape recorded video messages in which they congratulate Brian Leetch. Brendan Shanahan also did right by moving his locker over one and putting Leetch's stuff back into his old stall. Shanny then went out and got the game winner. If only Neil Smith would have traded for Shanahan in 1996 - to think not wanting to part with blue chip Christian Dube was the deal breaker.
One thing I will always remember about Brian Leetch was his uncanny ability to stop clearing attempts by the opposition while he manned the point on the power play. Leetch would either catch the puck with his gloved hand or use his left leg to sandwich any attempted clearing attempts. No one that I have seen, not the great Chelios, Bourque, or Lidstrom were able to do that.
Overall, a great night for a great New York Ranger.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
“Mark Messier Night” was held before the Edmonton Oilers-Rangers game. Makes perfect sense, considering all that Messier accomplished with the Oilers. So why the Thrashers on Leetch's night? Oh well, such is life. Hopefully the ceremony will inspire the Blueshirts to play spirited hockey like they did last night against the Thrashers.
It goes without saying that Leetch was a great player for the Rangers and one of the best American hockey players ever. Leetch played “Teddy Roosevelt” hockey. That is, he spoke softly, but carried a big stick. Next stop for Leetch: Hall of Fame.
Undoubtedly, the talk will now turn to the next cornerstone member of the 1994 Rangers. One, that folks have been clamoring for his number to be retired; that being, of course, Adam Graves. Yet, if you are going to retire his number “9,” then you have to have a dual ceremony. No I’m not trying to cause a big sensation, but I am talkin’ ‘bout a guy from another generation: Andy Bathgate.
Mr. Bathgate (pictured above) was captain of the Broadway Blues from 1961-1964 and would have brought the Cup to New York if it hadn’t been for some lackluster Rangers' teams that he played on. After playing 10 full seasons on Broadway, Bathgate was dealt to the Maple Leafs in ’64 and instantly helped them win the Cup that year. The next season he played for Detroit and led them to the Stanley Cup Finals. Bathgate won the Hart Trophy as M.V.P. after scoring 40 goals in the 1958-59 season. He did start a new sensation in a game against the Montreal Canadiens, when after blasting a puck off of Montreal goalie, Jacques Plante’s face, the goalie returned with a mask. Yes Virginia, back in those days even the goalies didn’t wear helmets.
I’m not overly excited to see Leetch’s jersey go up to the rafters, only because it seems like yesterday that they were doing the same thing for Mark Messier. But an Andy Bathgate/Adam Graves Night would really be something. The 75-year-old Bathgate was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1978, and in 1998 he was ranked number 58 on The Hockey News’ list of top 100 players of all-time.
The Garden should do the right thing and give him one last, great and much-deserved hockey honor by sending the original number “9” to the very top of Madison Square Garden.
Triple H will be in the Rumble after winning a mini-Rumble of sorts over Snitsky, Mark Henry, and William Regal. Shawn Michaels superkicked Mr. Kennedy to open Monday’s telecast, the first Raw in high definition. I’ve read that there were some technical kinks to work out. Yeah, tell me about it.
I have to say that every time I see Shawn Michaels I realize that this guy should probably be the “face” of the W.W.E. Due to Michaels’ age and not wanting to work the grueling schedule that the regulars do, Michaels works on a fairly minimal basis. But I’d still like to see him take the title one more time.
CM Punk lost the E.C.W. Championship to Chavo Guerrero last night due to outside interference from World Heavyweight Champion, Edge. Ironically, this will elevate CM Punk to some main events with Edge.
In other news, John Cena has been making a bunch of media appearances in promotion of the upcoming Royal Rumble. He recently told a British newspaper that he will be starting to work on a new film in a couple of weeks and that the shooting will last five months. Cena added that he won’t be in a W.W.E. ring for another 6-12 months. Ouch! The film is W.W.E.-produced and Cena’s second, following The Marine, which did well on DVD. This report conflicts with what I recently wrote that John Cena is being factored into Wrestlemania by the writing team of W.W.E.
Shawn Michaels def. Mr. Kennedy.
Beth Phoenix crushed Mickie James.
Finlay & Hornswoggle def. The Highlanders in an "Irish vs. Scottish" match.
Umaga def. Brian Kendrick.
Carlito def. “Hardcore”Bob Holly.
HHH eliminates Snitsky, Mark Henry & William Regal to earn spot in Royal Rumble.
Shelton Benjamin wins an "Over The Top Rope Challenge" Match. Other participants included Kane, The Miz, John Morrison and Tommy Dreamer.
Kelly Kelly wins a dance-off aginst Lena and Layla, after which the two losers attack Kelly Kelly….Ho hum!
Kofi Kingson impressively debuts to defeat David Owens.
Colin Delaney gets mauled by The Great Khali.
Chavo Guerrero defeats CM Punk for the ECW Championship due to outside interference from Edge.
Keep it in the Ring!
Monday, January 21, 2008
--W.W.E. Chairman Vince McMahon will be appearing in the boardroom on Celebrity Apprentice this Thursday night.
-- The Game Plan, starring Dwayne"The Rock"Johnson comes out on DVD tomorrow. Disney is said to be so pleased with working with The Rock, that they have signed him up to star in their remake of Escape From Witch Mountain. Meanwhile, nothing further has been reported regarding Rock's involvement with Wrestlemania and if he will be making a non-ring appearance in some way, shape or form.
-- John Cena will be a part of Wrestlemania. Incredibly, the Massachusetts native has rehabbed his torn pectoral muscle to the point that the writing team for the W.W.E. is including him in their plans for the big event in March.
-- So you want to be a movie star, eh? Well, I can't help you there but there is an opportunity to be in a movie that I am aware of. As part of a live event/shoot for the upcoming film The Wrestler, you can be a part of the crowd in the film. The shoot will take place Friday February 1st, at 6:30 p.m. at the Pioneer Club in Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey. Admission is free. If you want more information go to: www.wxwwrestling.com
Meanwhile, we venture up into the "squared circle" and get ready for Monday Night Raw. Tonight, the show goes HD (High Definition). I'll be very interested to see what the reviews will be for pro wrestling in HD. Hockey, I hear is fantastic! But the reservation in regards to wrestling is that it may expose some of the trickery that was previously covered up under the old format. Nonetheless, I look forward to another good Raw as this is the time of year to be a wrestling fan. Essentially, from November through the end of March is what I would consider the peak for wrestling. Simply, because the W.W.E. is on their "Wrestlemania footing" where the storylines become more and more clear.
Other than Raw being broadcast in HD, little else has been publicized about the event which is taking place in Richmond, Virginia. Shawn Michaels will take on Mr. Kennedy and Triple H will face a mystery opponent, whom he must beat to qualify for this Sunday's Royal Rumble.
In all probability, Big Show is not going to return until after the Rumble so I anticipate some kind of match where Triple H has to face three or four opponents in succession. Umaga, Santino Marella, Snitsky, and Carlito come to mind. There are currently nine spots remaining for the 30-man Rumble match, various reports are saying that there could be some "surprises." We'll see.
Friday, January 18, 2008
Inside The Squared Circle: Sid’s Delusional Boast, Kurt Angle A Coward? Who Is "The Slammer?" Controversial W.W.E. Returns, Lesnar-T.N.A.-U.F.C. News
American Gladiators, which Hogan is the co-host of, has been renewed for another season off of its strong ratings. The show has done a 6.1 or better each airing.
Kurt Angle got called out by Ken Shamrock recently for being "a coward." Shamrock has challenged Angle over and over to a mixed martial arts match, only to have Angle drag his feet during negotiations. Reportedly, at this point Angle is not willing to take the necessary time off from his wresting commitments to train for what I’m sure would be a grueling bout with Shamrock.
The New York Daily News' weekly masked wrestling columnist, “The Slammer,” is a step behind today in his report that Big Show may be returning to the W.W.E. In fact, Show has signed a contract and will be making his return after the January 27 Royal Rumble. Just for the record, I am not “The Slammer,” although you never have seen him (pictured above) and I in the same place at the same time, now have you?
Candice Michelle and Bobby Lashley are each set to return later this month, both from injuries. However, a dark cloud hangs over them. Lashley, a former member of the U.S. Army and a three-time national wrestling champ while at Missouri Valley Cottage, has supposedly slimmed down to the point that he looks like a completely different person. Infer what you wish...
Meanwhile, Michelle will return with all of these Internet stories cropping up that she appeared in a soft-porn film with one of the American Gladiators. On top of that, the star of the Go Daddy Superbowl commercials apparently did some bondage shots that have popped up on the Web, as well. This stuff all took place before her wrestling career; still, the pundits – whom I am not one of – are wondering if this news will impact her standing in the W.W.E.
In a strange twist of fate, Total Nonstop Action (T.N.A.) and U.F.C. have come to an agreement in which T.N.A. will do some major promoting of the upcoming Brock Lesnar-Frank Muir bout that will occur at the U.F.C.’s February 2 pay-per-view. The ironic thing is that U.F.C. was given permission to use some of Lesnar’s wrestling footage from when he was in the W.W.E. I’m wondering now if T.N.A. will be showing W.W.E. tape on their show?
Keep it in the Ring!
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Still, I would love to be able to go to the great Lambeau Field, even though I expect the Giants to lose this one by a pretty good margin. There is a side of me - which I know I am kidding myself - by hoping that this could turn out to be a legendary game between two storied franchises. That would truly turn this Giants’ run into something magical. Although I expect Eli Manning to look more like Scott Brunner than Phil Simms this week. One thing is certain, though, and that is that the game is being held at the perfect setting and I wish I was going.
So why do I have such a strong desire to travel to Green Bay, Wisconsin? I’ve always been a Rangers, Giants, Yankees, and Knicks fan (in no particular order), but I also have a favorite team in each sport that I root for when my guys are no longer in contention. Those would be the Green Bay Packers, St. Louis Cardinals (not as much anymore, but big-time when “Big Mac” was there), Toronto Maple Leafs (wish I was alive for Ted"Teeder”Kennedy), and the L.A. Lakers (Celtics used to beat the Knicks so I would pull for the Lakers). Anyway, there are two places that I’ve always wanted to see a game, one being Lambeau Field and the other being the Maple Leaf Gardens.
I got inside the Toronto Maple Leaf Gardens until a custodian told me they were “closed.” Naturally, this was in 2002, so yes, they were indeed closed. I did get to see the Leafs beat the Nashville Predators at the nearby Air Canada Center, which is a great arena but not as special as the Maple Leaf Gardens. When the doors were open at the Gardens you could see the rink from outside on Carlton Street. This is much different from Madison Square Garden where the rink is actually on the fifth floor of the building. Maple Leaf Gardens still stands and there is a ton of controversy in the picturesque city of Toronto over what to do with the old arena. Point being, that unless I am able to procure the use of a time machine, I won’t ever get to see the Leafs play the Rangers inside the Maple Leaf Gardens.
But there is a chance with Green Bay! The stadium used to be called City Stadium until 1965, when it was renamed after the Packers’ founder, former coach, and former player, Curly Lambeau. Oddly enough, Vince Lombardi wasn’t too thrilled about this, as he had hopes of the stadium being named after him one day. Nice to be humble, eh?
I haven't been to all of the sports landmarks, but most of the ones I've wanted to go to. I've been to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, which is a fantastic place and in a real nice city; I’ve been to the Baseball Hall of Fame, which has great history, but there’s about as much to do in Cooperstown as there is in Hartford, meaning zilcho! Yankee Stadium: many, many times. Really, there aren’t many sports arenas or stadiums that I have a real desire to go to except one…
The Giants are in Green Bay this Sunday and boy do I wish I was going!
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Next week the show is in High Definition (HD). Shawn Michaels will take on Mr. Kennedy and Vince McMahon has a surprise opponent for Triple H.
Monday, January 14, 2008
Inside The Squared Circle: "Big" Surprising Return To W.W.E., Wayne Gretzky & Wrestlemania, W.W.E. Goes HD, Congress' Investigation
I’m now going to predict a match at Wrestlemania between Big Show and The Great Khali; perhaps with Hulk Hogan as special referee. As far as Hogan goes, his popularity has really skyrocketed with the success of American Gladiators. Hulk has been on every talk show promoting Gladiators and this surge in Hulkamania will undoubtedly lead to Hogan getting his huge payday at Wrestlemania that he's been wanting for quite some time. Personally, I’m still hoping for a Hulk-"Stone Cold"Steve Austin bout.
Speaking of Wrestlemania, Wayne Gretzky caused a stir recently when he was wearing a "Wrestlemania 2010" t-shirt while being interviewed on television. The shirt is part of a campaign to bring the big event to the desert. Gretzky, as most folks know is the part-owner and Head Coach of the Phoenix Coyotes.
Ron"The Truth”Killings has indeed signed on with the W.W.E. for an $80,000 downside guaranteed contract. That number is a surprisingly low amount of money for someone who is not going to be in one of the W.W.E.’s developmental leagues.
Chris"Wildcat"Harris is following “The Truth” by leaving T.N.A. for W.W.E., as well.
The W.W.E. has announced today that beginning Monday January 21, all of their programming will be available in High Definition (HD). They’ve reportedly spent a cool $20 million upgrading, revamping, and renovating its broadcasting apparatus to make the move possible.
Henry Waxman's peeps have set up a website for folks who wish to report anonymous tips in regards to the use of steroids or illegal performance enhancing drugs in pro sports. Waxman, a California Democrat, is the Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Click me to visit the page.
Keep it in the Ring!
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Inside The Squared Circle: Royal Rumble Matches, “The Truth” Will Sign, Gladiators' Huge Rating, Ashley Massaro
Mick Foley and Hornswoggle won their tag team bout with The Highlanders Monday night, so they are both now entered into the Royal Rumble on January 27. This means that if “Horny” McMahon wins the Rumble, he gets to face one of the two world champs at Wrestlemania. Say it isn’t so Hall & Oates! Whichever world champ is not selected by the Rumble winner, will have to wait until February 17 and the No Way Out pay-per-view to find out who he will be facing at Wrestlemania. No Way Out will feature an "elimination chamber match," in which about six or seven wrestlers will enter into the domed cage, with the winner going to ‘mania for a title shot. In other Royal Rumble matches…
--Edge defends the World Championship against Rey Mysterio
--Randy Orton puts the W.W.E. Championship on the line against Jeff Hardy
--Ric Flair vs. M.V.P. (Montel Vontavious Porter) with Flair's career at stake
--Chris Jericho vs. John Bradshaw Layfield (JBL)
Ron “The Truth” Killings is set to sign a one-year deal with the W.W.E.
American Gladiators drew ratings of a 5.9 Sunday night and a 6.1 Monday night, which must make the folks at NBC extremely happy!
Chyna and Brooke Hogan are separately in negotiations to be on Dancing with the Stars.
Her commitment with Survivor over, Ashley Massaro made her return to the W.W.E. Friday night at the Westchester County Center in White Plains, N.Y. She followed that up with a win in the ridiculously silly, "lingerie pillow fight" on Monday Night Raw.
For those of you who are insomniacs or in-so-maniacs, ESPN Classic is airing old school broadcasts of the Universal Wrestling Federation (U.W.F.) at 1 a.m. during the week. Hell, it beats infomercial conman Don Lapre!
Keep it in the Ring!
The Blueshirts had yesterday off, so hopefully they could clear their heads and nurse some nagging injuries before the Philadelphia Flyers come into M.S.G. tonight. Martin Straka is hurting (concussion, out until at least the weekend), ditto Sean Avery (bruise on right hand, out indefinitely), and Brendan Shanahan took a puck off the ankle in Edmonton Saturday night, but has and will continue to play.
Head Coach Tom Renney is taking a lot of flack for what some are calling his overuse of the H.B.O. line (Ryan Hollweg, Blair Betts, Colton Orr) against T.B.'s top trio, consisting of Vincent Lecavalier, Martin St. Louis and Vinny Prospal. The problem was that it kept Jaromir Jagr’s line off the ice when the Rangers were trailing. In defense of the coach, that H.B.O. line has played very strong in prior games against Tampa's top threesome.
Henrik Lundqvist continues to downplay the impact his father's recent brain surgery - which reportedly went well - has had on his inconsistent play. I know athletes don't like to make excuses publicly, but how could something like that not impact a player's performance?
Some good news to report: Alexei Cherapanov, the Rangers' first-round pick in 2007, picked up a bronze medal at the World Juniors when Russia beat the United States over the weekend. I wouldn't expect the tournament to draw big ratings, but I've always wished that it would be aired on t.v. somewhere.
Artem Anisimov, who plays for Hartford and was drafted by New York in 2006, also was on the Russian team.
LINEUP AGAINST TAMPA BAY ON TUESDAY NIGHT
Chris Drury-Scott Gomez-Jaromir Jagr
Nigel Dawes-Brandon Dubinsky-Brendan Shanahan (put together during 2nd)
Marcel Hossa-Greg Moore-Petr Prucha
Ryan Hollweg-Blair Betts-Colton Orr
Marc Staal-Michael Rozsival
Dan Girardi-Fedor Tyutin
Paul Mara-Jason Strudwick
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
The above video is courtesy of YouTube and features the last six minutes or so of the steel cage match between W.W.E. Intercontinental Champion, Jeff Hardy, and the "Samoan Bulldozer"Umaga from last night's Monday Night Raw. Fast forward to the 4:05 mark and watch Hardy hit his finishing maneuver, the "whisper in the wind" from the TOP OF THE CAGE!!!
The commentating of Jim Ross; W.W.E. Champion Randy Orton's shocked facial expression; and the move itself were just perfect!
Sorry, N.F.L. you're great but not the reason why I ask: Is it Monday night yet?
Before Jeff Hardy made his leap, it was the legendary Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka doing so in a cage match at Madison Square Garden against W.W.F. World Champion, Bob Backlund, on June 28, 1982.
Snuka would miss in this one, but his fans can gain solace in the fact that he connected on the move in a cage match at M.S.G. against Don Muraco the next year, although it was after the match was over. Muraco had already won the match after being thrown by Snuka into the cage door causing it to open and Muraco's momentum carrying him to the arena floor. Muraco emerged victorious, but was dragged back into the ring where Snuka connected on the leap. That particular bout would inspire two youngsters to pursue pro wrestling: best-selling author, Mick Foley, and Iona Prep graduate, Tommy Dreamer, who were both in attendance that night.
I couldn't find footage of Snuka-Muraco, nonetheless, enjoy the above video, you'll have to fast forward to the 5:40 mark to see Snuka fly through the air. Vince McMahon provides the commentary. The above featured Snuka-Backlund match was named the "Match of the Year" by Pro Wrestling Illustrated in 1982.
Monday, January 07, 2008
Guys please, keep it in the ring!
Inside The Squared Circle: Raw Roulette, Vince's New Stamford Pad, Lesnar/UFC, OSU Rooting Interest, The Rock News, Sting Update, American Gladiators
Speaking of deals, Vince McMahon recently purchased a $4 million penthouse in Donald Trump’s Trump Parc on Broad Street in downtown Stamford, Connecticut. The building is slated to open later this year and quite naturally, at 34 stories, is the tallest structure in the city of Stamford. Donald Trump and Vince McMahon will also be teaming up on television, when McMahon will be making appearances in the board room on Celebrity Apprentice.
The W.W.E. has apparently given U.F.C. permission to use some of their old Brock Lesnar footage to promo the upcoming Lesnar versus Frank Mir bout at U.F.C. 81 in February. This move is surprising because Lesnar left the W.W.E. on very bad terms and the two sides have had some very nasty litigation battles over a variety of different issues.
I’m pulling for Ohio State tonight against LSU only because of OSU’s star linebacker Jim Laurinaitis and his wrestling connections. His father Joe, was Road Warrior Animal, and his uncle John, wrestled as “Johnny Ace” and is now the head of talent for W.W.E. The star linebacker is expected by many experts to be playing on Sundays after his college career is done. I’m sure that if football doesn’t pan out, there will be a roster spot waiting for him in the W.W.E. Incidentally, I’ve read that Joe"Road Warrior Animal”Laurinaitis is in negotiations to become a writer for T.N.A.
Candice Michelle and a reportedly much smaller Bobby Lashley are both due to return from injury any day now.
“The Rock” Dwayne Johnson has been contacted by the W.W.E. in regards to inducting his father, Rocky Johnson, and his uncle, Rocky Maivia, into the W.W.E. Hall of Fame. Apparently, The Rock is all for it as long as it doesn’t interfere with his movie-making schedule.
Sting has in fact inked a new deal with T.N.A. for one more year and $500,000. Basically, he’ll only be working pay-per-views and some t.v. tapings. Nice deal! Spike TV, realizing how important Sting is for T.N.A. to draw ratings, kicked in some shekels in order to retain the Stinger.
Afa the Wild Samoan is training Mickey Rourke for the upcoming film The Wrestler. By the way, Afa and his real-life brother Sika, The Rock, Umaga, Rikishi and a bunch more are all related.
American Gladiators made its return last night with Hulk Hogan as the host. I only got to watch the last half hour or so, but liked it very much!
Keep it in the Ring!
Saturday, January 05, 2008
This video has caused quite a stir recently. It comes to you courtesy of YouTube and it features David Frost interviewing the late Benazir Bhutto in November. At the 2:15 mark of the tape she references a man who she said murdered Usama Bin Laden. This statement has conspiracy theorists saying that the reason why she was killed was for leaking this information out. I'm not sure what to make of it. What say you? I don't buy into conspiracy theories, but the issue to me is why would she make this statement.
Friday, January 04, 2008
So to Don and anyone else celebrating a birthday today...my hardest birthday punches to you!
Thursday, January 03, 2008
Prediction: Iraq will be relatively stable, and I emphasize relatively. However, Afghanistan will deteriorate, especially along the border with Pakistan. We never finished the job there, and this year al-Qaeda along with the Taliban will try to capitalize. They would love to have an impact in either direction on the 2008 election.
Wish: That America and her allies will reach some kind of consensus as to how long we are going to stay in Afghanistan and Iraq, what our commitment is, and what our goals are. Then, stick with that plan.
Prediction: The world will continue to ignore the ongoing genocide in Darfur.
Wish: That the politicians and t.v. pundits would take the time to explain what is going on there and why China is looking the other way.
Prediction: Hillary Clinton, Rudy Giuliani, and Mike Bloomberg will be the choices for the United States Presidency. It will mark the all-time pettiest, snippiest, dirtiest, and most divisive presidential election in this country's history.
Wish: If the above does happen, I'd hope Bloomberg brings some sense of order to the pubescent behavior.
Prediction: The Green Bay Packers will lose to the New England Patriots, 20-19, in the Super Bowl. Brett Favre will announce his retirement after the game, causing John Madden to break down into a blubbering mess.
Prediction: Isiah Thomas will not be fired at any point in 2008.
Prediction: Joe Girardi will win the manager of the year award.
Wish: That all of the major sports leagues will get together and implement a zero-tolerance policy in regards to HGH and any and all performance enhancing substances.
Wish: That Herb Williams be named Knicks' Head Coach and Patrick Ewing the assistant.
Wish: One more Cup for Jaromir Jagr and Brendan Shanahan. Two class acts.
THINGS I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO
--Hopefully, playing more golf this year.
--Going somewhere on vacation, it's been too long. I've got to get a break from this place!
--The Presidential Election. If a certain two jabronis get the nomination I could see things getting really dirty, but it's still exciting no matter what!
--The Dark Knight. Sequel to Batman Begins hits theaters in July.
-- Finishing Atlas Shrugged. Really good book, but 1,100 pages is too much for me!
--Anne Rice's new book Christ The Lord: The Road To Cana due out in the spring.
--Reading Bret Hart's autobiography: Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Wrestling. The book debuts in the United States at the end of January, but has already received rave reviews in Canada. Here's an excerpt:
For as long as I can remember, my world was filled with liars and bullshitters, losers and pretenders, but I also saw the good side of pro wrestling. To me there is something bordering on beautiful about a brotherhood of big tough men who pretended to hurt one another for a living instead of actually doing it. Any idiot can hurt someone.
SOMETHING I'M NOT LOOKING FORWARD TO
The final game in Yankee Stadium. Progress is what it is and I'm sure the new ballpark will be great, but tearing down Yankee Stadium is like tugging on Superman's cape...you don't do it!
My Wish For You..
No Matter What...
Kelly, for a man's name? What kinda shit is that? What, you have never heard of Kelly Kisio? Former captain of the New York Rangers, wore number "11," and centered a pretty good line with John Ogrodnick and Brian Mullen. By the way, Kisio currently is the G.M./Head Coach of the Calgary Hitmen founded by Bret"The Hitman”Hart, Joe Sakic, Theo Fleury and some others. I continue...
Totally Abandoned. That’s the name of the supergroup that got together on New Year’s Eve to play some classic rock and roll songs. The lineup featured Pete Townshend, Eric Clapton, and Ringo Starr. I read on Rachel Fuller’s blog that she was going to be in the audience and she also added Joe Walsh would be there. I saw someplace else that the group did it from a pretty low key spot in London for tickets selling for under $100 and all the money going to charity. Fuller, is shutting down her blog, which has Sean a bit bummed. She didn’t give the reasons but said her concert jams, In The Attic, is in negotiation with Starbucks and Best Buy.
Funny, how this post has changed from when I originally wrote it this morning around 8:45 to now. Sean is extremely sad today, but just trying to get through the day. Please, refrain from commenting, he nor I am up for the “it’ll get better” stuff right now. Although we will be OK, it won’t be OK. This one has long term effects and impact. My expectations of myself and others is way out of whack. I really just want to crawl into a hole and die right now. But I’m just going to keep myself absorbed with my work and that will make the day go by. Family, holidays, bullshit, stress.
Oh yeah and to fuck with News12 and their henny penny style of broadcasting. It’s January, it’s cold, fuck off!
Yeah, and I couldn’t run on Dunkin’ this morning because of the huge line. So I drank piss coffee from an undisclosed neighboring coffee shop.
Oh well, boo hoo, woe is me. Time to get back to being the champion of ass kicking contests on one wooden leg!
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
--Former two-time N.C.A.A. national wrestling champion/former W.W.E. Champ Brock Lesnar and former N.C.A.A. national wrestling champion/Olympic gold medalist/former W.W.E. Champ Kurt Angle will fight one another on a UFC pay-per-view.
--John Cena becomes champion once again when he beats W.W.E. Champ Randy Orton, Batista, and Triple H in a Four Corners match at Summerslam.
--The Dudleys (Brother Ray and Brother Devon pictured above with numerous tag team titles), “Pyscho” Sid, Tammy”Sunny”Sytch, and Steve Blackman will all return to the W.W.E.
--Britney Spears will make an appearance and do some kind of run-in at Wrestlemania.
--In February, Ric Flair will go out in style by defeating Edge for the World Championship. He will immediately retire and then will be inducted into the W.W.E. Hall of Fame.
--Hornswoggle in small, no pun intended, doses.
--Ditto for the ladies. They're all great looking, but generally put on boring matches.
--That an upstart promotion will come about much in the same way that the old E.C.W. did.
--That President George W. Bush will declare 2008 the "year of the Dudleys" in honor of all they have accomplished and given to society.
--Hulk Hogan vs. "Stone Cold"Steve Austin at Wrestlemania 24.
Come back tomorrow for the slightly more serious, although somewhat more humorous, Odds & Sods 2008 Global Predictions & Wishes.
Tuesday, January 01, 2008