Sunday Night Reset: November 10, 2019

In Flanders’ fields the poppies grow.

Tonight’s NFL PrimeTime game is Minnesota at Dallas, for those who wish to watch.

Congratulations to two people I’ve met in person, Solo Darling and Willow Nightingale, on becoming the CHIKARA Tag Team Champions.  Great to see Willow overcome her neck injury and return at the top.

Thank you also to the Patrons — I can confirm that tomorrow we will see Scott’s HEROES OF WRESTLING re-rant!  How will his ratings compare to mine?  TUNE INTO NITRO TO FIND OUT!

Enjoy the night.

WWE Friday Night Party Thread, Episode 6 — UNLEASH THE FURY

We made it!

So the big news for tonight’s SmackDown is that it’s already happened.  The show is being aired same-day tape from Manchester, England, meaning we get to view Old Trafford and the crowd gets to boo it.

The big story is that Manchester’s own Tyson Fury is going to speak.  Fresh off of a countout win over Braun Strowman, aka the Big Strow, Fury will address what he will be doing in both boxing and, potentially, wrestling.  Does he have another match in him?  Will he be better trained in the basics?  Is this just a friendly gesture for the Mancunians?

In addition, a match that was supposed to happen until everyone got stuck on the tarmac will be on the show tonight as Roman Reigns faces King Corbin.  Plus, Sasha Banks has a clean bill of health and will show it against Nikki Cross.  Plus, at least one NXT wrestler will make an appearance!  Which one?  Eh, I’ve probably said too much as it is.

Football has a college doubleheader.  UCF faces Tulsa on ESPN2 first, then we flip to FS1 for Washington and Oregon State.  The Cavaliers and Wizards meet on ESPN, followed by a college matchup of Washington (again) and Baylor, live from Anchorage, AK!  More basketball on ESPNU, as Illinois-Chicago faces Memphis in what may be your last chance to see phenom Jason Wiseman for the Tigers, with top 5 Kansas hosting last year’s mid-major bubble darling UNC Greensboro.  CBS Sports Network is showing Auburn/Davidson right now, with Navy facing East Carolina in the back half.

If you can’t afford or don’t wish to pay for Full Gear tomorrow, two options for wrestling: CHIKARA’s season finale Tug of War is on IWTV, while the SHE-1 will be streamed on YouTube!

Keep it clean, follow my instructions at all times.  Now touch gloves and come out swinging!

Indies and Insanity: November 7, 2019

Man, how nice that today’s the one day none of the major shows (WWE, NWA, AEW, not even Impact) are running.  Makes it the perfect day to report on the indies.

Real Sports Report: your Game of the Week of the Day in the NFL is the former San Diego against the future Las Vegas.  The NBA on TNT has Celtics/Hornets, then Blazers/Clippers.  If you prefer the college game, we got Temple against South Florida on ESPN as well as Louisiana Lafayette against Coastal Carolina on ESPNU.

But first, educating you on the future of wrestling that no one watches, here’s your Indie Roundup!

Read moreIndies and Insanity: November 7, 2019

WWE Friday Night Party Thread, Episode 5 — CARD SUBJECT TO CHANGE

We made it!  Which is more than I can say for the WWE talent.  (rimshot)

So my usual pattern has been to put a SmackDown Live preview in this part of the post, but that’s not happening.  For reasons nobody really knows but everyone on earth is speculating about, the people who performed at Allahween Havoc had a 24-hour delay in their flight.  Apparently what happens in Jeddah stays in Jeddah, as does whoever did it.

Given the number of people who worked that show, the folks still on our side of the Atlantic are not too numerous.  Which means we’re in for a wild ride.  To be fair, according to reports, a few main eventers were airlifted out of the country quickly, and there’s a group of other wrestlers who tried to but are currently somewhere around Greenland right now.  Who’s in what plane at this point is unclear.  What is clear is that some people who didn’t make the trip at all — Bryan and Miz most notably — will stem the tide.  But when Dana Brooke is one of the big names you have to advertise, it’s clear you’re working light.

On the plus side, now Vince has an excuse to rip up the show platform and rewrite it on a cocaine bender.  He normally does that just to keep in practice!

If this chaos sounds like something you’d rather DVR, live sports can be found as well.  ESPN has an NBA doubleheader: Rockets/Nets, then Lakers/Mavericks.  If you want football, ESPN2 has Navy traveling to Hartford to face Connecticut.  And speaking of college football, Jerry Lawler has confirmed he’s been invited as the Special Guest Picker for College GameDay live from Memphis!  His first appearance should be around 11:30 ET on ESPN tomorrow.

Enjoy the weekend!  Keep it clean and come out swinging!

Indies and Insanity: October 31, 2019

It’s okay, everyone.  We survived another Saudi show.

San Francisco and Arizona are your Game of the Week of the Day.  Meanwhile, in college, you have two unbeaten teams playing in Baylor and Appalachian State (though not against each other — Baylor has West Virginia and Appalachian State has Georgia Southern).  In the NBA on TNT, we have Heat/Hawks, followed by Nuggets/Pelicans.

But first… wait, munchkins at the door.

…okay, now to the slate of independent wrestling you all love to ignore, after the jump.

Read moreIndies and Insanity: October 31, 2019

Hatewatch Thread: Crown Jewel II

Yes, it’s the day we’ve all been dreading.  It’s time for Allah-ween Avoc!

Watch as the WWE finds a newer and more creative way to kill the Fiend’s momentum because Vince didn’t create so it must not be good!  Thrill at Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair being cheered as 10 guys are ignored for putting on a match!  Watch Kofi Kingston’s stock drop EVEN FURTHER as he loses in Tag Team Turmoil!  Nauseate as the WWE pats themselves on the back for sending two women into a ring!

I’m sorry, am I supposed to be PROMOTING this show?

I’ll be back tonight with the Indie Preview.  In the meantime, let me know if anyone cares to watch.

WWE Friday Night Party Thread, Episode 4 — PRE-EMPTIVE STRIKEOUT

We’ve made it!

Welcome to SmackDown on FOX as our main event for tonight is… Zack Greinke vs Anibal Sanchez!?  Wait, that can’t be right….

*checks notes*

…oh, yeah, SmackDown this week is running into the World Series, so it’s been punted over to FS1.

Anyway, the big story coming into this is that any hope you had for a Kofi Kingston singles run is dead now that Xavier Woods is injured.  There’s no way they would break up New Day, so Kofi has to fall back and take his place.  It’s worse because I think the fans see the writing on the wall and they’ve given up on him too.  That said, Kofi and Big E are scheduled to face The Revival tonight.

Elsewhere, Nikki Cross will be in action against Mandy Rose.  After Cross’ six-pack challenge win, she is scheduled to face The New And Allegedly Improved Bayley at some point for their Women’s Championship.  But Cross doesn’t really feel like a challenge yet.  This is one time when “building momentum” actually makes sense, if only the phrase weren’t so overused it lost all meaning.

Of course, your true main event on SmackDown is the buildup to Allahween Havoc.  We’ll have a face-to-face staredown thingy go down between Brock Lesnar and Cain Velasquez, just to remind you that being a wrestling lifer is actually horrible and a true sign of greatness is being able to do more than just wrestle.  Oh hey, Vince, almost didn’t see you over there.

In addition, Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair will yell at each other on MizTV.

All of this can be found on FS1, because as mentioned, the Nationals (2) and Astros (0) meet on FOX in the World Series.  Meanwhile, ESPN has the NBA doubleheader of Mavericks/Pelicans and Jazz/Lakers.  In addition, Southern Cal and Colorado meet in Pac-12 After Dark.

Enjoy the weekend and keep it clean, guys.

Indies and Insanity: October 24, 2019

First, sports.

Your NFL Game of the Week of the Day is Minnesota/Washington.

College football features Southern Methodist against Houston, as the Cougars hope they don’t suffer DEATH BY SMU-SMU!

Also tonight, soccer (or as we in other haunts call it “metric football”) has MLS quarterfinals as Atlanta faces Philadelphia and Los Angeles faces Los Angeles.

ALSO also, NBA on TNT has Bucks/Rockets followed by Clippers/Warriors.  It’s a pretty full day.

As for the weekend, let’s find out what we got in the indie roundup after the jump!

Read moreIndies and Insanity: October 24, 2019

WWE Friday Night Party Thread: Episode 3 — THE ONE WHO NAKS

Yes, every show will get an episode title from me.  Deal.

TONIGHT!  We open the show with the Intercontinental Title (aka the de facto Smackdown title for now) on the line as Shinsuke Nakamura defends against Roman Reigns in a match set up because Sami Zayn can’t keep his damn mouth shut.  If we get Motivated Nakamura, this one will be amazing.  I loved their segment to close the 2018 Rumble.  Even if Reigns winning seems the most likely result, it’s fine.  Roman Reigns has everything a wrestler needs for universal appeal (except, of course, for actual universal appeal).

In other news, The New Bayley needs someone to defend the gold against, and the draft is the closest thing to reset we have.  So let’s run a scramble!  Six-way trainwrecks are really popular in the indies, so why not give it a whirl?  It’s Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville, Nikki Cross, Lacey Evans, Carmella, and Dana Brooke with the winner getting run through like an inflatable smiley face when Bayley faces them.

Speaking of, Bayley will be explaining why she’s suddenly in her angsty teenager phase on MizTV tonight.  Half of you will be waiting to see which cliche she uses to justify her turn.  (I have money on “It doesn’t pay to be nice, so why should I be?”)  The rest of you are just begging for her to come out in short trunks.  Weirdos.

Also pre-announced, we have Otis Dozovic, Tucker Knight, Xavier Woods, and Big E facing Scott Dawson, Dash Wilder, Bobby Roode, and Dolph Ziggler.  Man, the charisma gap in that one between the teams… heck, Otis and E by themselves have more charisma that their four foes combined.  This is all to set up the tag team turmoil match at Allahween Havoc, so expect neither team to get along.

College football is everywhere today, as we have Ohio State/Northwestern, Marshall/FAU, Pitt/Syracuse, and UNLV/Fresno State on TV.  The ALCS may well wrap up tonight as Houston (3) looks to end the Yankees (1).  ESPN2 has some MMA on, with Chris Weidman facing Dominick Reyes in the main event.

Enjoy the weekend, but let’s keep it clean, folks!

WWE Friday Night Party Thread, Episode 2 — DRAFT TIME

We made it!

Tonight, it’s Day 1 of the WWE Re-re-redraft!  According to the reports, 30 “acts” will be taken tonight — 18 to Raw, 12 to SmackDown (since Raw’s a longer show).  Now, this isn’t Day 1 of the Draft in the NFL sense; only about 40% of the roster is available here, meaning this and Raw are essentially two different drafts.  Here’s who is eligible in tonight’s draft:

AJ Styles, Akira Tozawa, Alexa Bliss, Angelo Dawkins, Becky Lynch, Bo Dallas, Bobby Lashley, Braun Strowman, Bray Wyatt, Cesaro, Chad Gable, Curtis Axel, Dash Wilder, Drew Gulak, Drew McIntyre, EC3, Eric Young, Erik (Viking Raiders), Gran Metalik, Heath Slater, Humberto Carrillo, Ivar (Viking Raiders), Kalisto, Karl Anderson, Kevin Owens, Lacey Evans, Lince Dorado, Luke Gallows, Montez Ford, Natalya, Nikki Cross, Randy Orton, Ricochet, Roman Reigns, Sasha Banks, Scott Dawson, Sin Cara, Tamina.

Now, some wrestlers are pledged to groups: Bullet Club, Bliss/Cross, Viking Raiders, Revival, Street Profits, Lucha House Party, and B-Team are all listed in groups.  If no splits occur, the 30th pick would be vacant as there’d be no one left, so expect some of these groups to go their separate ways.  If individuals only are drafted, there would be EIGHT free agents; don’t expect that extreme either.

As with 2016, it appears that the draft picks will be in groups of five — 3 to Raw, 2 to SmackDown.  I’m not entirely sure what order they’ll be drafted in within each set, and neither is anyone else: the first pick of the night (and probably of each set) will be decided by a match.  If Seth Rollins defeats Roman Reigns, Raw goes first; if Reigns wins, SmackDown goes first.  And if they end in a draw, Vince Russo’s in charge again.

The neatest twist is that both Fox and USA are being presented as controlling the draft.  Fox even tweeted out a picture of their “War Room” with former 24/7 champion Rob Stone as their lead analyst!  And yes, the silly football robot is in the room.

If you’re not interested in catching it live, there’s a lot on today!  TBS has the start of the NL Championship Series as Washington visits St. Louis.  ESPN is showing Virginia at Miami of Florida in ACC football; CBS Sports Network has Mountain West action as Colorado State faces New Mexico; ESPN2 is showing some World Series of Poker; and ESPNU has the deep DEEP cut of football as Lafayette faces Princeton!

Oh, and there may be some non-sports on, too.  Who knows?

Enjoy the night, but keep it clean, folks!

Indies and Insanity: October 10, 2019

Thanks for reading my Heroes of Wrestling look back!

Your NFL Game of the Week of the Day is New York Giants against New England.  In the college section, we have Syracuse against NC State on ESPN, while Bethune-Cookman takes on NC Central and Louisiana-Monroe at Texas State on ESPNU.  FS1 has the winner-take-all game between Tampa Bay and Houston in the ALDS.  ESPN2 has the WNBA finale between Connecticut and Washington.

After the jump, your indie calendar and chat thread.

Read moreIndies and Insanity: October 10, 2019

A 20th Anniversary Look Back in Horror: Heroes of Wrestling

Because why should Chris FB be the only one to suffer?

Anyway, with the WWE laying a massive egg on Sunday, I saw too many people on Twitter calling it the worst match they’d ever seen.  YOU FOOLS!  It’s not even the worst match in the history of October!  Of course, this day may well be cursed, considering the Immortal reveal was on 10/10 as well, but let’s look at the main offense to Pay-Per-View everywhere.

The concept was that the Stone family wanted to do a legends of wrestling circuit.  They figured if they got 50,000 buys — which in 1999 was ambitious but not out of the question — they could do a bunch of these shows for a profit.  They only made about 30,000 buys, and so much the better because the bad press from this show would’ve sunk them.  Read on.  IF YOU DARE.

Read moreA 20th Anniversary Look Back in Horror: Heroes of Wrestling

HELL IN A CELL 2019 Open Mic

Tonight!  It’s the WWE’s Hell in a Cell Pay-Per-View, featuring [404 card not found]!

If you’d rather watch something else, there’s Indianapolis at Kansas City in the NFL, while the NLDS’s are going down with Atlanta (1) going to Saint Louis (1) and LA (1) at Washington (1).

To quote Seth Rollins, I hate Pitt football.  If you check the box score, you’ll know why.

Enjoy the show.

WWE Friday Night Party Thread, Ep. 1: THE SMACK IS BACK!

We made it!

Yes, not only have we made it to the weekend, but it’s the moment we’ve been waiting for now for almost 2 years; the return of wrestling to Network TV!  It’s finally here!  (Much to the relief of Joe Buck, who is getting REALLY tired of plugging its debut.)

Tonight’s debut episode sees two major blowoffs as Kevin Owens and Shane McMahon have a Loser Leaves Television ladder match, while Kofi Kingston defends the big gold against Brock Lesnar!  Kofi’s 180 day reign has been perfectly good and welcomed by most of the wrestling world, but as Tom Cruise once said, everything ends badly; otherwise it wouldn’t end.  (Which is a great way of describing this KO/Shane feud, too, now that I think about it.)

While John Cena sends his regrets that he cannot attend, it’s SmackDown in LA — was there ever any doubt The Dwayne would show up?  The only question is who he’s going to humiliate on the mic this time around, if anyone.  It’s weird, because you don’t want to make the current talent look bad, but Rock’s brand of insult comedy is what made him a megastar in the first place.  Eh, maybe he can take it out on Shane or something.

One person who may be intentionally kept off the show for the foreseeable future is Randy Orton.  While on a Twitch stream last night, he punctuated a great moment with a word that Orton should never say (hint: it’s the same one Booker T said in 1996, pronounced the same way as an emphatic rather than a slur, but STILL.)  No word of if there will be repercussions yet.

Elsewhere, Houston takes game 1 over Tampa Bay.  Atlanta (0) and St. Louis (1) are going on.  About to start is game 1 between Minnesota and the Yankees.  And the nightcap is the LA Dodgers (1) hosting Washington (0).  Meanwhile, Central Florida and Cincinnati have a very important Group of 5 college football showdown.  And if independent wrestling is more your thing, King of Trios Night 1 is streaming on IWTV.  We are in wonderful times, folks.

As Princess would say, keep it clean.  Now enjoy the weekend!

Indies and Insanity: October 3, 2019

Hello everyone.

Your NFL Game of the Week of the Day is LA Rams taking on Seattle.  If baseball is your thing, you’re probably watching St. Louis at Atlanta as this goes up, with Washington at LA Dodgers to follow, both Game 1 of their best-of-five series.  College football fans have Temple getting a tricky road game against East Carolina.

As someone who will root for Team USA anywhere, can we PLEASE stop playing the Six Nations and getting killed?  I know we’re a Tier II team, but this group is going to kill us.

But let’s get to wrestling.  It’s a huge week in the wrestling world, and while the TVs don’t have much today, we have two HUGE multi-show extravaganzas this weekend!  After the jump, the infodump!

Read moreIndies and Insanity: October 3, 2019