Archive for January, 2011

The Royal Rumble is upon us and it’s a great time of year to be a wrestling fan. As soon as the Rumble is over, the push to Wrestlemania begins. This year WWE decided to make it a 40-man Rumble. Seems like too many wrestlers. But hey, anything that gets Zack Ryder on the big stage is ok with me. Seriously, I hope it doesn’t turn into a big, giant mess. Hopefully it just means that guys like JTG, Primo, Santino Marella, Yoshi Tatsu and Chris Masters get eliminated quickly.

WWE has already announced 34 competitors so there will be six surprise entries in this year’s Rumble. Who could fill those six spots? The surprises usually make for an interesting wait in-between wrestlers. Remember 2008 when John Cena was the surprise entrant at #30? He went on to win but the fact that he showed up was huge. I don’t think anyone expected him to be back from his neck surgery so soon. I was watching the Royal Rumble at a bar near Chicago that year and the place went nuts when his music hit. I think we’re in for a few surprises this year. A couple have already been spoiled but it should still be interesting.

Here are the 34 wrestlers already confirmed for the Royal Rumble:

Alberto Del Rio, Big Show, Chris Masters, CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Darren Young, David Hart Smith, David Otunga, Drew McIntyre, Ezekial Jackson, Heath Slater, Husky Harris, Jack Swagger, John Cena, John Morrison, JTG, Justin Gabriel, Kane, Kofi Kingston, Mark Henry, Mason Ryan, Michael McGillicutty, Primo, R-Truth, Rey Mysterio, Santino Marella, Sheamus, Ted DiBiase, Vladimir Kozlov, Wade Barrett, William Regal, Yoshi Tatsu, Zack Ryder

Is he back?

The wrestling dirt sheets are reporting that Kevin Nash and Booker T will be two of the surprise entrants. I don’t know what kind of reaction Booker T will get but the place should erupt when/if Nash comes out. That leaves four more spots to be filled. HHH should be healthy enough to come back so he should be another surprise entrant. There’s no reason not to bring him back now. Wrestlemania is around the corner and he needs to build an angle to get him there. I just hope he doesn’t win. WWE needs something fresh this year and if Cena or HHH win, it will seem like the same ol’ same ol’. Last year Beth Phoenix became the second woman to enter the Rumble so why not Awesome Kong this year? She’s in the company and they’re waiting for the right moment to debut her and seems like as good a time as any.

Some other names to fill the remaining spots are Christian, Evan Bourne, Jerry Lawler, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Cody Rhodes. Christian, Bourne and Rhodes would be nice but the other two, not so much. We don’t need to see any token “Legends” in the Rumble. The Undertaker is another name, a huge name, being thrown around. That would be big but does he really need a Wrestlemania push? He’ll be at Mania no matter what so winning the Royal Rumble is not a huge deal for him. He doesn’t need the rub.

Join a real company

An interesting angle I was thinking of was having Sting come out at #30. Sting has never been with WWE or WWF so this would be a big deal. This could lead to his induction into the Hall of Fame and possibly an angle with The Undertaker. Sting is 51 years old and he doesn’t have much time left in the ring. He’s hardly ever in TNA for an extended period of time so why not move to the E and finish his career there? The Hall of Fame should be the pinnacle for anyone in the business. I don’t know if Sting cares about that but it would be a good end of a career. Does he really want his last memories of a wrestler be in TNA?

The Mexican JBL

So who’s gonna win the whole thing? As long as it’s not HHH and John Cena, anyone else is fine with me. It’s not that I am a Cena or HHH hater, it’s just that we’ve seen that before. Personally, I wouldn’t mind Alberto Del Rio winning the Rumble. He may be too new to do it but he’s such a great heel and if he doesn’t win it this year, he should win it very soon. The guy is gonna be a star. John Morrison, CM Punk, Sheamus and Wade Barrett would also be good choices.

Speaking of CM Punk and Wade Barrett, maybe the Royal Rumble will come down to Nexus vs The Corre (Nexus II). The final participants could be a combination of CM Punk’s Nexus (Punk, Otunga, Harris, McGillicutty, Ryan) and Wade Barrett’s Corre (Barrett, Gabriel, Slater, Jackson). This could be a preview to an eventual Nexus v Nexus showdown at Wrestlemania. What also could take place is that Michael Tarver and Skip Sheffield could reappear at the Rumble and each could be one of the unannounced entrants. There, Tarver and Sheffield could choose sides and rejoin Nexus or join The Corre.

He really is awesome

There are other matches on the Royal Rumble card. Natalya  will be facing Lay-Cool in a two-on-one handicap match for the Diva’s Title that nobody will really care about. Natalya should retain and hopefully we start to see some dissension in Lay-Cool so they can finally break up this annoying team. Edge will take on Dolph Ziggler for the World Heavyweight Title. This should be a decent match and Vickie Guerrero will generate a ton of heat. Ziggler is enjoyable to watch but now is not his time to win the title. Randy Orton will take on The Miz for the WWE Title. No way The Miz loses this match. He’s too good of a heel champion to end his reign now. There’s also no way Randy Orton loses clean in this match either. Alex Riley will somehow take some punishment so Miz can get the win. Look for Riley to eat an RKO from Orton but also for Riley to interfere in order for The Miz to get the win.

Except for the Divas match, the card looks pretty good.

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Antonio Cromartie decided to call out Tom Brady this week. Smart move. It’s always a good idea to call out the league’s best quarterback on the league’s best team right before you have to travel to their stadium in a pivotal playoff game. The Patriots are a 9.5 point favorite in that game in case you care about those kind of things.

Why would you want to make this guy angry?

Before I go any further I must tell you that I am biased towards Tom Brady. I professed my man-love for him in this post. Let’s be clear, I’m not solely writing this because I have a man crush on Tom Brady, I’m writing this because the Jets talking is getting on my nerves. It just so happens that the Patriots are the target for the Jets jibes.

Why would Cromartie run his mouth? I forgot, he plays for the Jets and they like to talk and talk and talk, just look at who their coach is. Rex Ryan said this game is personal. What does this mean? Forget about Ryan. Cromartie thought it would be a good idea to call Tom Brady an asshole. Cromartie felt he needed to call out Brady because Brady allegedly taunted the Jets late in their 45-3 loss to the Patriots back in December. Boo hoo! Here’s the proof (what’s the big deal?). The ever-classy Tom Brady responded to Cromartie by saying, “Not everybody has great things to say about our team or organization or certain players. That’s kind of the way it’s always been. We’re just going to do our talking on the field. That’s the way we’ve always chosen to do it.” Exactly! Let your play do the talking.

So am I supposed to believe that Antonio Cromartie or the Jets never taunt on the field? The team with the biggest mouth, the Jets, are angry that got shown up by Tom Brady on the Pats. You know how you stop Brady from allegedly taunting you? Cover a damn receiver and don’t let him throw 4 TD’s against you.

Cromartie did a lot of chasing last week.

You’d think Antonio Cromartie wouldn’t want to bring attention to himself after the game he had against the Colts? Sure, he had that late kick return that set up the game winning field goal, and that was huge, but the rest of his game was forgettable. Pierre Garcon was Indy’s top receiver and guess who was covering him? I’ll give you one guess. Garcon had five catches for 112 yards in the game including a 57-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Reggie Wayne had one catch for one yard. Why is that? The Colts and Peyton Manning didn’t want anything to do with Darelle Revis. Indianapolis targeted Cromartie because they could.

The Patriots are going about their business and not playing this silly game. Bill Belichick told the Patriots players not to continue this Jets nonsense in the media. Smart. The Patriots are paying attention to what’s being said, that’s for sure, but they’re better than that to continue this war of words. Will these comments from the Jets and Cromartie fire up the Pats? I doubt it. I think they were already focused on the task at hand. It’ll just be sweeter if they can beat New York on Sunday.

Antonio Cromartie trying to remember the names of all his kids.

The last time we saw the gang, they were leaving Miami a fractured family. They still thought of themselves as a family but the cracks were visible. Angelina was long gone, unable to make it through another whole season. Snooki and JWOWW were BFFs, MVP were a cohesive unit and Ronnie and Sammi were the only people who could stand Ronnie and Sammi. Season two probably beat expectations and now we’re on to season three and the crew is back in Jersey where they belong.

Notice anything different?

Season three starts with the usual scenes of everyone getting ready to go and making their way to the Jersey shore. This time there’s no Angelina. The producers decided the third times not the charm when it comes to her. She was mildly entertaining but for the most part, a total bitch. I mean they’re all bitches but she was an annoying, lying, whiny bitch and that’s the worst kind. She was able to string Jose along and get a Fossil watch out of him but pretty much the rest of the country couldn’t stand her.

In her stead we get Deena, Snooki’s best friend. They could be sisters. Deena is a dental assistant/waitress and self-proclaimed “walking holiday and “blast in a glass”. She wasn’t kidding. I bet she will be a thousand times more fun than Angelina which will automatically make her one million times more fun than Sammi. Deena couldn’t even make the ride from Poughkeepsie to Seaside Heights without dipping into the special bottle of booze she was saving for the Jersey shore. Welcome to the family Deena.

The rest of the gang you already know. Snooki and JWOWW are still friends but with Deena in the mix now I wonder if that relationship starts to change? Vinny and Pauly D are tight. Vinny looked genuinely excited when he hears that Pauly’s outside and even meets him at the door. The Situation is The Situation. Sammi and Ronnie are still together and as depressing as ever.

2/3rds of MVP

Everyone seemed happy to be returning to the shore except Sammi. She seemed like she was only interesting in bashing Snooki and JWOWW. Sammi got one shot in on JWOWW last season and she milked it the whole season. She thought she had life by the balls but little did she know, or maybe she didn’t want to know, that everyone thought she was the stupidest woman alive. Ronnie made her look so bad and she was the only one who didn’t realize it. She walked into the house like she was the queen and everyone better watch out. Ronnie is like a puppy and won’t dare do anything unless Sammi gives her approval. He may not be the best boyfriend alive but he’s learning how this relationship game works, for now.

Sammi and Ronnie arrive first and immediately piss everyone off and the rest of the group hasn’t even shown up yet. They decide to take the upstairs room. No problem, except it has three beds and nobody wants to room with them. Poor Situation, he wanted MVP to room together but since he showed up last, he has to bunk with Ronnie and Sammi. Situation tries to put a brave face on but you could tell he didn’t like it one bit. The Situation head rub told the whole story. The rest of the girls are together while Pauly D, Vinny and Vinny’s shower caddy have the other room.

Roomies

As everyone finally makes their way to the house you see that the Snooki, JWOWW Sammi situation hasn’t mellowed one bit. Sammi seems more emboldened to be a bitch to the rest and the tension rises quickly with Deena in the mix. The group settles, has a meal and then things get more interesting. An already drunk Deena wants to show Mike her cowboy hat but ends up showing him much more. Snooki calls it a kooka and Deena calls it a na na. Whatever you call it, The Situation saw it.

Sitch tells Ronnie and Sammi. Sammi laughs and Deena gets pissed off. While the gang hangs out downstairs, Ronnie and Sammi are in their room doing nothing. Shocker. Deena goes off on Sammi and makes a comment about Ronnie which sets him off and he goes downstairs to confront Deena and drama ensues. Sammi, Snooki and JWOWW have it out again about the note. Snooki drops a story, which may or not be true, about Ronnie’s mom calling her and asking what Ronnie’s doing with, “this boring-ass bitch”. Ronnie calls Snooki a loser from Poughkeepsie. Deena wants a piece of Sammi but instead Sammi gets JWOWW. The whole time, Vinny, Pauly D and The Situation are watching as if they’re at a tennis match. Their heads are going back and for with every insult being thrown across the room. Plus, Deena calls Sammi a cunt on the first day. Way to start out season three.

Like sisters

Somewhere between everyone showing up at the house and Deena showing Mike the goods, Snooki and Vinny have a falling out. Deena, Snooki and Vinny were in the hot tub and Vinny was creepin’ on Deena and that made Snooks very angry. Seems Vinny hooked up with her friend Ryder in between seasons and now she doesn’t want him hooking up with another one of her friends, her best friend. Snooki offers herself but Vinny doesn’t want to ruin their friendship and another fight has started. Looks like drama will dominate this season. Why wouldn’t Snooki be angry with Deena?

Awkward!

Next week we’ll get the conclusion of the JWOWW – Sammi fight. Looks like a good one. The only complaint I have about this episode is the end. For some reason they decide to show a season preview and we see some pretty interesting things. Looks like the Ronnie-Sammi thing will come to a screeching halt but I don’t know how permanent that will be. The most interesting thing is that they show a clip of Sammi, Deena and Snooki playing and sliding down the steps. How can this be? How can Snooki have anything to do with Sammi? Where’s JWOWW during this whole thing? Can’t wait to see what unfolds. I hope this season we get to meet Jay 420, Johnny Yanks and Bill.

“The way you treat people in this house is the way you’re gonna get it back.” – Vinny

Welcome back to Jersey

Rich Rodriguez was shown the door by Michigan after three very un-Michigan seasons.  A win in the Gator Bowl might have saved his job but, sadly for him, it didn’t happen.  Instead, the 52-14 loss to Mississippi State highlighted the terrible, young Michigan defense.  The 52 points given up by the Wolverines were the most ever for a Michigan opponent in a bowl game and the 38 point loss margin was also their worse bowl defeat.  Rich Rod was already teetering after the 37-7 drubbing at the hands of Ohio State in the regular season finale and the Gator Bowl performance probably made the Michigan AD’s decision a lot easier.

You're not from around here are you?

Rodriguez went 15-22 in his three seasons at Michigan.  The Wolverines didn’t make it to a bowl game his first two seasons.  Rich Rod went 0-6 against their biggest rivals, Michigan State and Ohio State. Ryan Mallet transferred as soon as Rodriguez took over for Lloyd Carr because the spread offense wasn’t his style. Justin Boren transferred to Ohio State because Rich Rodriguez and his staff didn’t make the team feel like a family, like Carr did. The football team was placed on probation for the first time in its history under Rodriguez. Rich Rod only recruited one 5-star recruit during his tenure at Michigan.

Those all sound like good reasons to fire Rodriguez but the worst thing about Rich Rod, and the easiest reason for the AD, was that he’s wasn’t “a Michigan man”.  I don’t think people outside of Michigan realize how much being “a Michigan man” means to the sheep in Ann Arbor. I believe that if a Bo Schembechler or Lloyd Carr disciple were at the helm during this period, he’d still be around.  Speaking of Schembechler and being “a Michigan man”, remember the 1989 NCAA Tournament? Then coach, Bill Frieder decided to take the Arizona State job right before the tournament. Frieder was supposed to finish out the season and then join Sun Devils. Then AD, Bo Schembechler didn’t take too kindly to that and fired Frieder on the spot and installed assistant Steve Fisher.  Schembechler said, “a Michigan man is going to coach a Michigan team”, and the fans in Ann Arbor ate it up.  Being “a Michigan man” is huge to Wolverine fans, especially in football.

Schembechler: The Patron Saint of Ann Arbor

What will become of Michigan now? Denard Robinson has been coy when asked if he’d return after Rodriguez was fired? Will Michigan look for a coach that runs the spread offense Rich Rod brought in or will they look for a coach that brings back the glory of three yards and a cloud of dust that was a staple in the good ol’ days of Wolverine football? Robinson is made for the spread offense. He might not be a good fit in a drop back passing scheme. Some names being thrown around are Jim Harbaugh (Stanford), Les Miles (LSU) and Brady Hoke (San Diego State). Harbaugh is “a Michigan man” but the NFL is going after him. Why would Les Miles, another “Michigan man”, leave LSU to take over a mess of a program like Michigan? Miles was Michigan’s first choice before they hired Rich Rod.

Whoever they get, this defense isn’t getting any better in one year.  This team is years away from being back.  What kind of recruits can Brady Hoke pull that Rodriguez couldn’t? Tate Forcier could take over if Robinson decides to go so that’s not that big of a deal. Plus, let’s not get too excited about Denard Robinson. He’s got talent but he’s a slightly better version of Woodrow Dantzler from Clemson. Who worked with Dantzler at Clemson? Rich Rodriguez. Rich Rod will be back on his feet before Michigan is relevant again. I don’t know why Pitt hasn’t snapped him up already. Rodriguez can coach. He just had a bad run in Ann Arbor. Good luck in your future endeavors Rich Rod.

 

God, I hate Michigan football!