Thursday, August 28, 2008

Mr. Kennedy Out Four-Six Months

Another W.W.E. star will be out for a considerable amount of time due to injury. Mr. Kennedy will have surgery on his right shoulder after physical therapy didn't help. Kennedy (pictured)joins John Cena, Randy Orton and Umaga on the injury list. I may be forgetting some people and there may be some more additions as I read that Jamie Noble got hurt during the Smackdown tapings in a match against developmental wrestler, Jake Hagar.

The Second Coming? New York Rangers Lyon Cometh

The New York Rangers have announced their team of prospects that will play in the annual Traverse City (which is in Michigan for those of you scoring at home) tournament which starts September 13. The roster includes defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti and forward Artem Aninsimov, both of whom are top prospects. Also Lyon Messier (yeah, Mark’s son) will be on the team.

So is this the second coming? Is General Manager Glen “The Savior” Sather bringing Rangers’ fans a new "anointed one"?

So far the scouting reports on Lyon are not too glowing, but hey, they said Mark would never make it in the N.H.L. and how did that work out? Ironic, that Lyon is a defenseman and described as not as rugged as Mark. That kind of reminds me of how it was with Gordie and his son, Mark Howe. Gordie was a tougher than a two-dollar-steak forward, while his son Mark was one of the better two-way d-men around during the 1980s. Mark Howe even made it into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame.

I'm not saying that Lyon Messier is going to become a great defenseman in the N.H.L., but it's kind of ironic that there have been so many similarities between Mark Messier and Gordie Howe and now there is a similarity between the sons. I do find it kind of funny when they say that Mark's kid isn't as tough as dad, because not many people in general were or are as tough as Mark Messier. Same goes for the Howes; Gordie quite possibly was the meanest person ever on a sheet of ice, so how could his son come even close to approaching that level of toughness.

Nonetheless, above is a video of young Lyon doing his best impression of his pops.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Eight Belles Buried

The only filly to run at this past year's Kentucky Derby has been buried at Churchill Downs. Eight Belles' remains were buried Monday in a quiet ceremony at the Kentucky Derby Museum. Eight Belles (pictured) had to be euthanized after breaking both ankles on the track during the race in May. They plan on holding a public memorial service Sept. 7 and dedicating a plaque to her under a magnolia tree where she was buried.

W.W.E. Exhales, John Cena Back In Two-Four Months

Two hours after surgery John Cena showed up at last night's tapings for Smackdown in Pittsburgh to say “hello” to the guys. This kind of toughness and passion for the business to me is why I can’t hate John Cena. He travelled to Iraq last Christmas despite not being able to wrestle due to his pectoral injury, but went to entertain the troops with everyone else from the W.W.E. Why? Because Cena is one of the athletes that gets it!

He’s got a real love for the business and it shows in his work. Like my old friend Gorilla Monsoon used to say, the fans were literally hanging from the rafters the other night in Bridgeport, Conn. to see and cheer for Cena. Rightly or wrongly, the W.W.E. has been toning down its programming over the last year to be more family-friendly, if you want a guy who is a great role model, look right at John Cena. Anyone that questions his toughness or character is crazy.

According to John Cena's surgery was successful and that Dr. Joseph Maroon, renowned neurosurgeon, Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and team neurosurgeon for the Pittsburgh Steelers, was very positive regarding Cena's condition.

“We performed a microsurgical removal of a large disk fragment compression on the spinal cord which was weakening the nerve leading to the right arm," Dr. Maroon told shortly after the operation. "We created a small incision in the front of the neck, using an operating microscope, to remove the fragment from the spinal cord and nerve. The operation took approximately an hour and a half."

Dr. Maroon added, "I think John’s prognosis is excellent. We performed this same procedure on three all-pro NFL players, and all three resumed their football careers.”

W.W.E. And Baseball In Bridgeport

First, results from Friday night's show at the Arena at Harbor Yard:

Primo Colon defeated Snitsky. Colon has some work to do as he showed more sizzle than steak if you know what I mean.

Lance Cade over D-Low Brown. I was getting some food but caught the ending which saw Brown miss the frog splash and Cade getting the pin.

Jamie Noble beat William Regal. This was a really good match and I was very surprised by the ending. After the match Regal really sold how ticked off he was by the loss. Of all the heels on the show, Regal got some serious heat from the crowd.

Beth Phoenix beat Mickie James. Decent match.

Ted DiBiase/Cody Rhodes beat Cryme Tyme. As good a match as you are going to get with Cryme Tyme.

Santino Marella over Kofi Kingston. Beth Phoenix distraction led to win for Marella.

CM Punk beat JBL. By far the best match I have seen between the two. It was a no-disqualification match and both guys took some nasty shots to the head with garbage cans, etc.

Dave Batista and John Cena defeated Kane & Chris Jericho. Huge, huge, ovation for Batista that was doubled by the roar for Cena. Jericho did a real good job before the match on the mic in berating the fans.

Overall, I really enjoyed the show. This was my first W.W.E. event in six years when funny enough I saw Monday Night Raw at the same arena. After the wrestling ended, we went next door to watch the final inning of the Bridgeport Bluefish-Lancaster Barnstormers game; a 5-4 win for the Bluefish. I was really amazed to see how few were in attendance for the ballgame. Harbor Yard is a real nice place to see a ballgame and if Friday night is any indication, they sadly just don’t draw flies.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Vote For Candice Michelle! Smackdown Your Vote

The W.W.E. is sending wrestlers to both conventions to try to get young people to sign up to vote. They have even come up with a website which does a tale of the tape of the candidates, Senators Barack Obama and John McCain. The site is here.

Candice Michelle (featured) is at the Democrats' Convention, along with Shelton Benjamin and Batista. Meanwhile, Shawn Michaels, Mr. Kennedy and Mickie James will be at the Republicans' Convention next week.

Incidentally, this will be the first time this country has elected a sitting senator since JFK.

Rangers Will Honor Bathgate, Finally!

The act of retiring numbers can become a joke after a while. Most hockey and Rangers’ fans love Adam Graves, so when it was announced that his No. 9 would get hoisted to the rafters of Madison Square Garden during the 2008-2009 season, no one laughed, but eyebrows were indeed raised.

People will debate whether or not Graves’ jersey should go to the top of Madison Square Garden, but what I am more interested in and happier about, is that Andy Bathgate’s No. 9 will be sent to the heavens of The Garden. I hoped for it in January and now thankfully it will happen!

The No. 9 of Andy Bathgate (pictured) and Harry Howell's No. 3 will both be retired during a ceremony before the Rangers-Maple Leafs game on February 22. Graves' number will be retired on February 3 before a game against Atlanta.

The W.W.E. Scramble

Long-time Vince McMahon buddy, Pat Patterson, came up with the Royal Rumble idea, now he brings us the “Championship Scramble” which we will see not one, but three such matches at the Unforgiven pay-per-view in two weeks.

The rules are simple (supposedly); two randomly selected wrestlers of the five start off the match followed by an additional participant every five minutes; the title can change hands every pinfall during the match until the 20 minutes has expired and whoever is the champ at that time is the official champion. I’m willing to see how it pans out, being that there are some definite pros and cons of the concept. But I'm not overly enthused by the idea.

First off, 20 minutes is way too short. Second, this type of format is OK for a U.S. or Intercontinental Title match, but it cheapens a World Championship. What’s good about the concept is it gets more guys involved in a title match at a pay-per-view than what we would normally see. Despite people criticizing Triple H incessantly, he is involved in the most interesting of the three scramble matches. I love seeing a guy like Brian Kendrick involved and having a chance at being W.W.E. Champ!

Pat Patterson’s Royal Rumble idea probably seemed destined for failure at the time also, so I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt on this one. But I do so very skeptically.

How Does W.W.E. Compensate For John Cena Injury?

John Cena is undergoing surgery today to repair a herniated disc in his neck. Many people are speculating that Cena could be out as long as a year if not longer. I’d prefer to wait to hear what the doctors will say after the surgery is over, however, it is hard not to wonder how a long-term absence of Cena will impact the W.W.E.

John Cena is a very polarizing individual for a variety of reasons, but the bottom line is that people either love him or hate him. Some say that only women and children go wild for this guy, but I think he’s got more of a following than that. The loudest ovation the other night at the Arena at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport, Conn. was for John Cena. I mean it was actually deafening!

I have mixed feelings about John Cena, so I guess you could say I’m kind of a tweener on the subject. Some people hated that he was W.W.E. Champ for a whole year; I like long title reigns. Some people hate him because he is too much of a power wrestler and doesn’t have a good enough repertoire of moves; to me though I think Cena brings a lot of energy to his matches which makes up for the fact that he isn’t going to get confused with Bret Hart any time soon. Some people, though, believe he is great on the mic; I think he does way too much screaming and is too over-the-top. Probably why I like him is because I’ve seen him on Larry King and other talk shows and he comes across as a pretty likable guy and very down to earth. He even made fun of himself for not throwing the ball too well when he threw out the first pitch for a Red Sox game.

Nonetheless, regardless of what anyone thinks, a Cena loss from the W.W.E. scene is going to hurt their bottom line, undoubtedly. On the other hand, it will force the W.W.E. to find a way to make up for Cena’s absence. It will be interesting to see what the W.W.E. will try to do to make up for the former champ’s absence.

Monday Night Raw In Wilkes-Barre **SPOILERS**

Shawn Michaels steals the show again! In a pretty solid Monday Night Raw last night from Wilkes-Barre, Pa. the Michaels-Chris Jericho feud took another step toward being the best of the year. Really, it probably is already at this point, but the whole “eye for an eye” line that Shawn used during his in-ring challenge toward Jericho, who was supposedly at the WWE studios in Stamford, Conn. was classic. This sets things up for an “unsanctioned” match at Unforgiven in just a couple of weeks. Knowing that Michaels is a pretty religious guy makes that line work even better.

I got to thinking that if "Stone Cold" Steve Austin does have one final match at Wrestlemania XXV in his home state of Texas it should be against Chris Jericho. It's not going to be Hulk Hogan and who else is a legit heel right now that would be able to give Austin that great send-off?

Some other highlights from the show:

John Cena is out for a while with a neck injury and so he was replaced in the World Championship Scramble at Unforgiven with Rey Mysterio. Cena’s neck injury is reportedly pretty severe and so he could be gone for a long, long time. I give Cena credit, because he tried to wrestle through it. I saw him in a tag team match in Bridgeport Friday night (more on that show in a later post) and the guy has got plenty of fans, and not just women and children. Cena being out is a big loss for the W.W.E. like him or not.

There will also be an E.C.W. Championship Scramble at Unforgiven. Initially, I thought to myself this one has the chance to be the best of the three (there will also be a W.W.E. Championship Scramble). I thought, ok, you could have Mark Henry, Matt Hardy, Ricky Ortiz, Evan Bourne and John Morrison. But then I read this morning that they taped E.C.W. last night and that the scramble will be Mark Henry vs. The Miz vs. Finlay vs. Chavo Guerrero vs. Matt Hardy. Ugh!

The World Championship Scramble will be CM Punk vs. Batista vs. Kane vs. Rey Mysterio vs. JBL, while the W.W.E. Championship Scramble will be Triple H vs. The Brian Kendrick vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. MVP vs. Jeff Hardy. It was also announced that Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase will defend their World Tag Team Titles vs. Cryme Tyme at the pay-per-view.

Primo Colon made his wrestling debut last night and defeated Charlie Haas, who was dressed up as “Charlito.” Colon seems like he is getting a bit of a push with wins over the weekend against William Regal and Snitsky. Speaking of William Regal, he was nowhere to be found last night on Raw. It’s going to take a while I guess for Regal to get back in the good graces of the W.W.E. after his 60-day suspension. Regal would have been a good addition to the Scramble match, but after seeing him lose to Jamie Noble in Bridgeport, I realized that he’s not going to be in a main event for some time.

Overall, the show moved very well as there weren’t any long-winded speaking segments. The only thing I could do without is Cryme Tyme.

Raw Matches
CM Punk beat JBL - The way Raw should always start, with a WRESTLING MATCH!
Kelly Kelly beat Beth Phoenix - Santino distracted Phoenix, who reportedly suffered a broken nose in the match.
DiBiase and Rhodes defeated Hacksaw Duggan and Jerry Lawler - I still never feel as though I see these guys (Rhodes/DiBias) wrestle a long enough match to get a feel for them, especially DiBiase.
Santino Marella defeated Kofi Kingston - Phoenix pulled Kingston's leg forcing his head to hit Santino's knee and knock him out.
Kane loses via disqualification to Batista.

Scramble Qualifying Matches:
Matt Hardy beat John Morrison.
The Miz beat Evan Bourne.
Chavo Guerrero beat Tommy Dreamer.
Finlay beat Mike Knox.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Odds & Sods

Ahhhh the last days of summer...

Get ready to be burnt out on election coverage. Figure from the start of the Democratic National Convention on August 25 all the way until the November election, we will be barraged with coverage by the media. On one hand I love politics, but on the other the media will just be so over-the-top with their reporting. When we start hearing about what the candidates like on their Cheerios then will all know we’ve heard too much.

Anyone else besides me a bit tired of the whole “go green” thing? I’m all for taking care of the environment, but this is another issue that folks are going to get burnt out on.

Obama-Joe Biden (Evan Bayh would probably be better).
McCain-Charlie Crist (although I like Bobby Jindall).

Will there be an "October surprise"?
Anyone know who started Cold War II?

Things to be happy about:
They settled that whole bigfoot rubber suit thing.
The Summer Olympics are almost over. Yeah, sure I'm a party pooper!

So Mike and the Mad Dog are through, eh? Despite the fact that I have criticized their show, I still listened/watched – though not nearly as much as I once did. I was a listener from the very start and have some fond memories of their shows and some not so fond memories. I will never forget the way they covered the news that Magic Johnson was HIV positive. Mike Francesa and Chris Russo did a really good job in covering that very sad story.

They were long overdue for a breakup in my opinion. Mike, to me, has been mailing it in for the past five years. In many ways, they mirrored the New York Yankees in that they peaked in the late 1990s and early 2000s. I’ll give both right up until 2003, but that is a stretch. All things must and do pass…

The current state of the way the Yankees are run makes me wonder if Derek Jeter will ever again win a championship as a Yankee. Regardless, I see no reason that he should not be on the team until he retires. The suggestion, as was done over the weekend, that he might not be re-signed after his current deal expires in 2010 makes for interesting copy but is foolish. Also, the idea that the Steinbrenners are going to sell the New York Yankees is also a bit outlandish.

Carl Pavano has a crink in his neck. Ah, poor baby. Guess he won’t be able to save the Yankees this year….or next….or the year after that.

The Chicago Cubs got booed at Monday Night Raw in their home city of Chicago. Classic! Almost as good as when E.C.W. fans in Philly booed Santa Claus.

I really can't believe that the Rangers start training camp soon!

Sorry to see saxophonist LeRoi Moore of the Dave Matthews Band passed away at the way too young age of 46.

Happy birthday to "dear boy" Keith Moon (August 23, 1946 – September 7, 1978). Moonie used to use that term, "dear boy," in a snobby accent when mocking the British elite.

Three Counts

A few items that I forgot to put in my last post...

As part of the W.W.E.'s "blue brand" Smackdown going to MyNetworkTV, Wrestlemania XXIV will air on Thursday night October 2, followed by the first episode of Smackdown the next night at 8 p.m.

Candice Michelle, out with a broken clavicle for quite some time now is rumored to be getting her release from W.W.E. Not sure I believe this one.

Sad note to pass along...The "Original Killer," Killer Kowalski was taken off of life support by his family and although they are hoping he recovers, it looks like it is just a matter of time before he passes. Kowalski is 81.

An indy wrestler named "Thunderbolt" passed away this week from a drug overdose. Nothing further was reported.

Inside The Squared Circle: Steve Austin's Wrestlemania Return? Sid's Comeback, Announce Team Shuffled, **Smackdown Spoilers**

The rumors are swirling that “Stone Cold” Steve Austin is in “early negotiations” with the W.W.E. about a “one time only” Wrestlemania XXV match next March. Austin currently is being advertised for a role – probably as a special guest referee - at the Cyber Sunday pay-per-view in October, which he did last year as well.

I’ve read that Austin has said he has one more good match left in him and for years fans have been clamoring for an Austin-Hulk Hogan match. Those two have never met one on one before, only in a tag team match so it has been labeled a “dream match.” In my opinion, a Hogan-Austin bout will never happen because both men will want to win and neither, I’m sure, will budge off of that. I’d really be shocked if Austin wrestles again.

This rumor probably stems from the fact that Austin is advertised for Cyber Sunday and that Wrestlemania takes place in his home state of Texas. Still, if you had to pick anyone off the WWE roster that could sell this match, it would be, of course, Shawn Michaels. But he too hails from the great state of Texas and I’d rather see him put an end to The Undertaker’s Wrestlemana winning streak next year.

Meanwhile, Sid Vicious has been telling everyone that he is coming back to the W.W.E. in September. Rumor has it that he will be in some kind of role as Chris Jericho’s bodyguard. This morning, though, I read that W.W.E. is currently offering Sid just a tryout match.

Speaking of tryouts, former Ring of Honor World Champ Takeshi Morishima won both of his tryout matches for W.W.E.; in a dark match for Raw on Monday and Smackdown last night. As far as Smackdown goes, last night’s taping results conclude this post. Warning: SPOILERS.

Mick Foley appears to be out the door and is either headed to reality t.v. or T.N.A. Hmmm, there is a joke in there someplace…

That being the case, Matt Striker is now paired up with Todd Grisham on E.C.W. while Tazz will provide color for Jim Ross on Friday nights. I like Mick Foley and was surprised that he wasn’t better on the mic, being that he is such an articulate guy. For whatever reason, although he was OK, he just was not as good as one might have expected. I like Tazz, a legit badass, that provides good color and a solid mix of comedy. As for Striker, he is very, very solid; well-spoken and very clear sounding. He’s a local guy also; lives in Ossining and former teacher at Cardozzo H.S. in Queens.

A W.W.E. Title Scramble for Unforgiven is announced with qualifying matches taking place on Smackdown.

Maria beats Natalya.

10 Man Battle Royal Winner earns a spot in the W.W.E. Title Scramble: Brian Kendrick won the match which earned him a spot in the scramble.

MVP over Festus. MVP wins by countout to earn a spot in the W.W.E. Title Scramble.

Shelton Benjamin pins Finlay. Shelton gets a spot in the W.W.E. Title Scramble.

Jeff Hardy defeats The Great Khali. Hardy earns a spot in the W.W.E. Title Scramble.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

SummerSlam Recap

Unfortunately, I did not get to posting yesterday, so away we go...

I'm a little surprised that so many people consider the W.W.E.'s SummerSlam pay-per-view to be the promotion's second best of the year - squarely behind Wrestlemania. I always considered the Royal Rumble to trail 'mania, but that's me I guess. This year's SS card was received with a great deal of skepticism by many prior to the event, overall, though I personally would give it a 7.5 on a scale of 1-10.

Let's go match by match:

Edge lost to The Undertaker in a “Hell in a Cell” Match
We all knew The Undertaker was going to win this match, the question was if the bout would put a real exclamation point on this lengthy, but good feud between two of the industry’s best. I think it did. Some thought that Undertaker choke slamming Edge through the ring after the match was overdone, but I didn’t mind it. Now I wonder who is next for both of these guys? Does Undertaker go right after Triple H or do they save that for Wrestlemania? I’d love to see Edge “emerge from hell” whenever that is as a deranged character. The role he played leading up this match as a guy that had snapped was brilliant. They could script it that just like “Hell in a Cell” changed Mick Foley, it made Edge a bit off-balance.

W.W.E. Champ Triple H beat The Great Khali
This match was better than I expected, but I had pretty low expectations for it. Oh I get it, Khali dominates the match so he appears as a legit contender, while Triple H’s pedigree is so devastating that it is all he needed to do against Khali. The strange thing is that W.W.E. had Big Show fight in the dark match of this pay-per-view. Why? Is Show the next one for Hunter or is it Undertaker?

World Champ CM Punk over JBL
This match was good, but was it pay-per-view quality? Hmmm, probably not. Glad to see Punk win and go back to his hometown of Chicago last night as World Champ.

E.C.W. Champ Mark Henry lost via disqualification to Matt Hardy
How long was this match? 40 seconds? Definitely not p.p.v. quality, although always good to see The Hardys.

Batista beat John Cena
I liked this match and think it was probably the best that these two could have against one another, although it would have been better if it had gone another five minutes and if there was something at stake like a title, pride or something.

MVP defeated Jeff Hardy
Rumors had circulated that Jeff Hardy had broken his neck early last week, thankfully those turned out to be false and instead Hardy actually had to have fluid drained from his elbow. This match left me wondering if having Shelton Benjamin interfere sets up a triple threat match down the line?

Santino Marella/Beth Phoenix vs. Mickie James/Kofi Kingston (Winner-Take-All)
They took the IC title off of Kofi and gave it to a guy that was just recently seen losing to Jimmy Kimmel’s cousin? "Creative" writing indeed.

Shawn Michaels Announcement
When you get right down to it, the best in the business today is Shawn Michaels. Thankfully he did not retire, which I’m sure most people did not expect him to. Because as Jim Ross wrote on his blog recently, wrestling needs Shawn Michaels more than Shawn Michaels needs wrestling. His wife, Rebecca, did a great job in taking that “punch” from Chris Jericho who is also at the top of his game right now. This feud between Michaels and Jericho has just been so well done, funny I read that Michaels and Jericho are scripting the whole thing and not the “creative” writing team. Go figure!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

SummerSlam 2008 Predictions

Since nothing worthwhile of note happened at the tapings for SmackDown last night, nor on Monday Night Raw for that matter, I have decided to go ahead and post some predictions for this Sunday’s SummerSlam pay-per-view.

Edge vs. The Undertaker in a “Hell in a Cell” Match
I would be shocked if Undertaker lost this one. The only question to me is how good of a match it will be. Edge-Undertaker have yet to have that one stand-out match that the two are capable of. This has the potential to be that one. Again, I can't see any other outcome, though, other than The Undertaker winning.

W.W.E. Champ Triple H vs. The Great Khali
My expectations are low for this, no question Hunter wins but can he make Khali look good in the process.

World Champ CM Punk vs. JBL
The night after SummerSlam, Monday Night Raw is from Chicago; Punk’s hometown. Does he go to Chicago as champ or will he perhaps drop the belt at SS, only to win the title back from JBL in front of the home crowd? I cringe to say it, but I think John Bradshaw Layfield takes the W.W.E. title from Punk at SS.

E.C.W. Champ Mark Henry vs. Matt Hardy
Would the W.W.E. have made a new XX-Large belt for the humongous Henry if they didn’t plan on keeping the title on him for a bit? I like Henry over Hardy probably due to some kind of interference from Tony Atlas or maybe even Colin Delaney (Ugh!).

John Cena vs. Batista
The W.W.E. rushed Cena-Batista and have definitely not put enough into the buildup. Is this a start of a long feud between the two with possibly one turning heel? I’m going with Dave Batista and hoping for a Cena heel turn.

MVP vs. Jeff Hardy
Hardy wins in what hopefully will be a good, long match.

Santino Marella/Beth Phoenix vs. Mickie James/Kofi Kingston (Winner-Take-All) This is a pay-per-view match? I think Marella and Phoenix win to become Intercontinental Champion and Women’s Champion, respectively.

Shawn Michaels Announcement
So will Shawn Michaels retire? Will we get an impromptu match between Michaels and Jericho? Is there some kind of swerve to this? Is “Psycho” Sid really coming back to the W.W.E. as a bodyguard for Jericho? Regardless, I think Michaels states that he is not retiring, thus continuing his feud with Chris Jericho.

I'll be back Monday with thoughts on the show!

Sarah McLachlan "Angel"

Equally as powerful as Eric Clapton's "Tears In Heaven" is "Angel" by Sarah McLachlan. Some people throw around the word 'incomparable' so much its meaning becomes impotent, however, McLachlan truly is incomparable!

Eric Clapton "Tears In Heaven"

This is such an amazingly powerful piece of music. I saw Clapton's autobiography at Barnes & Noble recently and read a few pages. The book appears to be a pretty compelling read; maybe I'll get it.

Martha Wainwright "See Emily Play" From Highline Ballroom

Hey, it's time to post a video! This particular song has been stuck in my head so I decided to post it. Martha Wainwright covers Pink Floyd's "See Emily Play" on her latest album and this is her performing the song at the Highline Ballroom in New York City. A show that I was at, by the way. Hmmm, so much for no video recording devices not being allowed inside! For more videos from the Martha Wainwright concert at the Highline Ballroom, click here.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Who "Athena"

I search and search and search for articles on the Georgia-Russia battle - maybe I should just follow the oil - and all I find are stories covering the John Edwards' fiasco. America's unquenchable desire for the salacious is befuddling, no doubt. Nonetheless, the whole thing makes me think of The Who's "Athena." This one comes off of the band's 1982 album, It's Hard.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Brett Favre: Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss

I would never be foolish enough to compare Brett Favre to Chad Pennington. For one, I never liked Pennington’s game. Second, I loved (past tense) Favre’s game. But unfortunately, time moves on and this is a case where New York Jets’ fans are going to get their hopes up again but will only be left with bitter disappointment as was the case with Pennington.

Too often athletes in the twilight of their career have come to the bright lights and big city that is New York to try and have that final moment in the spotlight. Too often superstars have underestimated the pressures of performing in New York – go ask Randy Johnson about the media – and have wound up with egg on their faces. Sadly, New York teams take the bait time and time again. We’ll see. I have the utmost respect for what Favre has done on the field during his storied career. But I think this coming season will end much the way last year ended for Brett Favre: an interception.

One thing is certain, though, the New York Jets will not be a boring story this year, regardless of the outcome.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Smackdown From Atlanta, Georgia **Spoiler Warning**

Courtesy of other websites:

R-Truth (Ron Killings) beat Kenny Dykstra in the opening dark match.

Natalya, Victoria and Maryse beat Michelle McCool, Maria and Cherry after Maria tapped out to Natalya’s sharpshooter. All six were dressed in Olympic attire.

Backstage, La Familia found Bam Neely laid out with a black rose on top of him. They’re confused. Crowd pop for the Undertaker hint.

Ryder and Hawkins beat Jimmy Wang Yang and Shannon Moore.

MVP was interviewed backstage about Jeff Hardy. MVP vs. Hardy is confirmed for Summerslam.

Jeff Hardy beat Shelton Benjamin by DQ after MVP interfered.

Great Khali beat Triple H in a Broken Glass arm-wrestling match. Segment ended with Triple H helped to the back selling Khali’s vice grip.

Backstage, Curt Hawkins is shown laid out in the locker room with a black rose on him. Big pop. Ryder was later shown laid out too. Chavo and Vickie Guerrero think Edge is behind it.

Vladimir Kozlov beat Jesse (w/Festus).

Brian Kendrick (w/Ezekiel) beat Super Crazy. Afterwards, Ezekiel put Super Crazy in a torture rack.

Edge, Chavo, and Vickie all come out to the ring to call out The Undertaker. Both Edge and Chavo have chairs. Edge turns on Chavo and gives him a one man conchairto as Vickie watches from her wheelchair. Edge then pushes Vickie out of her chair. The show ends with Edge saying he’ll take Undertaker and La Familia to hell with him.

After the show ended, Triple H beat Vladimir Kozlov. Kozlov was hit with a pedigree and that was a squash match. Edge then attacked Triple H and gets a title match, with Edge losing by countout after bailing out.

Ring of Honor Final Battle 2008

The last time I went to wrestling in-person before this past Saturday night's "R.O.H. Death Before Dishonor" show was when I saw the W.W.E. in Bridgeport, CT. A pretty good show overall as I remember it and I also recall being incredibly impressed with Triple H's entrance! It won't be another six years before I go back to wrestling though - because I'm going to see the W.W.E. again in Bridgeport this month and I also plan on getting tickets to this show as soon as possible: Ring of Honor: Final Battle 2008.

The Rangers host the Devils that night up the street at Madison Square Garden, so parking may be at even more of a premium. That's fine! I have no idea how the Rangers will be this season - what with inviting Petr Nedved to camp - possibly a portent of things to come. But I'm pretty sure that R.O.H. will put on a great show on December 27. Oh yeah, one other thing about Saturday night, actually two. Cool to see the Briscoes use "Give Me Back My Bullets" by Lynyrd Skynyrd as their theme song. Also, the show was long, about three and a half hours not including a short intermission. But, believe me, the time flies!

From their website:

Ring Of Honor December 27th, 2008- 7:30 pm belltime
Manhattan Center (Hammerstein Ballroom)
311 West 34th St. New York, NY 10001 (212) 279-7740

Tickets are available at,, or by calling (215) 781-2500.

Talent lineup and matches will be announced in upcoming weeks!!!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Ring of Honor: Death Before Dishonor VI

I couldn't sleep Saturday night, but for good reason. I went to see Ring of Honor at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City and have not been that blown away by a wrestling show in quite some time. There were no leprechauns; no cars exploding; this was all about wrestling with some extremely passionate fans to boot.

I'm so glad myself and The Girlfriend stayed for the event, because quite frankly I didn't feel like waiting on the long line that snaked up West 34th Street. Thankfully the line moved quickly and tickets were still available. Overall, I think every wrestling move in the book was used throughout the night. The tag team of the Briscoes is better than anything the W.W.E. or T.N.A. has to offer. Getting to see a world championship - even if the N.W.A. Title isn't what it used to be - change hands also was a treat. I walked out of there after the four-way match and thought how could Vince McMahon not be trying to get if not all four then one of these guys to jump to W.W.E. Contracts be dammed, that's never stopped Vince before.

My words don't really do justice in describing Ring of Honor. All I can say is that December 27 R.O.H. comes back to the Hammerstein and you can bet there's no place else I would rather be on that day!

Here's the results from the show, with some additional thoughts:

The Briscoes defeated Ruckus and Jigsaw.
Jay and Mark Briscoe are the best tag team in wrestling, yes, better at this point in time than my beloved Dudleys.

Chris Hero pinned Delerious after a forearm smash knockout.
Hero got major "heat" from the fans. Delerious is a bit of a Rey Mysterio knockoff, which isn't a bad thing.

Eddie Edwards defeated Roderick Strong.
Roderick Strong = crowd favorite.

Brent Albright defeated Adam Pearce to become the new N.W.A. champion.
Bloody match with Albright winning after being sent through a table from the top rope. The N.W.A. title has been bastardized over the years, but to see a title that traces its lineage back to the beginning of the 20th century change hands was pretty cool.

Austin Aries defeated The Age of the Fall's Jimmy Jacobs and Necro Butcher in a three-way match. Necro walked out on Jacobs after he thought Jacobs hit him with a chair and Austin pinned Jacobs.
Aries is very much like CM Punk.

Naomichi Marufuji pinned Go Shiozaki.
These guys - like all of the wrestlers on the card - told a great story in the ring. At the beginning of the match there was that ho-hum sort of feeling, but by the end of the bout I wanted to see a rematch.

Kevin Steen & El Generico defeated The Motor City Machineguns.
Generico is over with the fans big-time as is Steen. I was disappointed to see the 'guns lose, but this tag team match blows away any tag team match I have seen on W.W.E television in the last year.

ROH Champion Nigel McGuinness won a four-way match against Bryan Danielson, Claudio Castignoli and Tyler Black.
I liked the way it started off as a tag-team match in which you didn't have a designated partner and could tag whoever you wanted. Nice twist. Black also reminds me of Punk and although Danielson and McGuinness are outstanding wrestlers, if one guy has that "W.W.E. look," it would be Castignoli. The guy is an absolute monster! Think Batista with a lot of wrestling ability.

Monday Night Raw From Knoxville, Tennessee

Dear Mr. McMahon,

You're product is lacking!


Your fanbase

I'm not sure if all of the W.W.E.'s fanbase feels this way, but I do. What the heck was that last night on Monday Night Raw?

Giving John Cena and Batista the World Tag Titles? This idea of putting tag straps on two guys set to face one another has been done way too often!

It may be me, but am I just missing something with JBL. I felt like they made Punk once again look inept as a champion in his match against Chris Jericho and JBL. Memo to whoever: capitalize on Jericho's buzz right now and make him GM.

I know many people will say that I should give the Mike Adamle as Raw GM some time, but do I have to?

So Kane goes from being maniacal one week to now being somewhat docile - must be the Prozac - and oh is there anyone that doesn't think that his old mask isn't in that bag he has been carrying around?

There's just something lacking from Raw these days. Some kind of real pop, something to get excited about. It's funny, only a month ago I thought CM Punk, Cody Rhodes, Ted DiBiase and Kofi Kingston would lead the charge on Raw and spice things up. But last night I got that feeling of deja vu all over again; more of the same! Blah!

Perhaps, I'm being too harsh. It may be that after seeing Ring of Honor (R.O.H.) Saturday night in New York City at the Hammerstein Ballroom I am just expecting way too much from the W.W.E. I'll get into that GREAT experience in a later post.

I also can't believe that people are clamoring for Ric Flair to jump back in the ring after he and W.W.E. parted ways yesterday. Flair in T.N.A.? Against who, exactly? Flair had the perfect retirement ending to a career in a business where most of the performers don't get a farewell party. Let it be, Ric.