Good day to you all and welcome to We Want Insanity. I am your host for today, Matt Dawgs and this is my column. Today is the end of the work week and the time to look back at all the goings-on over the past seven days as I wrap it up with a bow and spout it out bit by bit. Buckle up. Enjoy the ride.
MATT NOTE: Happy 2017 everyone!!! Hope you all enjoyed the holidays and special thanks to James Bullock for covering in my absence but we are now back and have a ton of news to cover so let’s get to it.
WWE NEWS AND NOTES:
- RAW was once again a solid show that had ups and downs as usual. It wasn’t terrible as earlier RAW shows were over the end of last year.
- Goldberg’s segment with Kevin Owens, Chris Jericho and then Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman was good stuff.
- Jericho and Owens continue to be the best thing on WWE programming and when Jericho turns face and that eventual “Kevin Owens, you’re going on the list” line happens; the crowd is going to pop like never before.
- Smackdown ends up looking real piss poor when they keep emphasizing that they beat RAW in the ratings for the first time ever because it absolutely makes Smackdown look like a “B” show.
- Sami Zayn finally got a good match out of Braun Strowman!!!
- So Dolph Ziggler turned heel on Tuesday to the delight of the cheering crowd that was happy he laid out Kalisto in the ring and then cheered as he brawled with Apollo Crews backstage. I don’t think this is how WWE hoped his heel turn would go.
- Miz is the best thing going on Smackdown and that includes A.J. Styles being awesome.
- Is James Ellsworth now a heel or is he still the gullible babyface that is falling for Carmella’s act?
- Bet you that La Luchadora is Mickie James?
- Go out of your way to see the A.J. Styles/John Cena contract signing. Top notch stuff.
- I really enjoy that week to week on Smackdown they announce several matches. RAW could learn a thing or two from that. Get people to tune in the following week by promoting it in advance. It is working for Smackdown.
- They need to stop ‘hot potatoing” the IC title. Miz should ABSOLUTELY break Honky Tonk Man’s record. Get it off the books. He deserves it. But since they put the title on Ambrose on Tuesday, Ambrose needs to keep it for a while. Do not hot shot it back to Miz even though he is GREAT with it. Amazing what some consistency can do for a character. Miz built himself up for a main event run and was WWE champion, then he lost the title and became a jobber and now he is back as a semi-top guy with his wife and his act. Hopefully they keep him there because he deserves it.
- Neville is an AWESOME heel. Well done WWE. Well done.
- Paige and her fiancé, former WWE Star Alberto Del Rio were backstage at RAW this week from Tampa Florida. Del Rio was there despite being in an Austrian prison for a day following him and his brother assaulting a man at a party following a show they were wrestling on and causing the man to be hospitalized. While in prison, Del Rio and his brother got into a fight against each other which Del Rio got the better of bloodying his brother and also causing him to be hospitalized as well,
- All signs are pointing to Cena vs. The Undertaker at Wrestlemania for the WWE Title. That is the current direction they are heading in. There have been talks of some changes regarding the proposed line-up this week however with the only “LOCKED IN” matches being Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg, HHH vs. Seth Rollins and Shaquille O’Neal vs. The Big Show.
- WWE is coming strong with the Royal Rumble build as both Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker are scheduled for RAW appearances on Monday to build for an angle at the PPV. Someone did run past me the possible idea of Shawn announcing that he wants to be in the Rumble match which would be amazing if he was all because the show is in his hometown.
- Goldberg’s current contract has him scheduled for 3 PPV’s. He will be booked for the Rumble, Fast Lane in March and Mania in April. WWE will then gauge interest and look to resign him if he is interested or move him to a Legends Contract. He is expected to be on several episodes of RAW in the time being.
- A quick turnaround for WWE with this but next year’s Mania a.k.a. Wrestlemania 34 will be held at the Superdome in New Orleans. WWE held Wrestlemania 30 there four years ago.
- Apparently Mr. 450 a.k.a. John Yurnet who made his WWE debut last week on WWE 205 Live did NOT blow out his knee during the match hence why WWE isn’t paying for his surgery (as regardless if you are contracted talent or not, WWE will pay if you get hurt on their watch) but instead was injured going into the match. He did not want to cancel in his WWE debut so he tried to work hurt.
- Kassius Ohno, formerly known as Chris Hero, made his RETURN TO NXT yesterday at the television tapings when he came out following the Shinsuke Nakamura/Bobby Roode contract signing for NXT Takeover San Antonio and signaled that he wanted the title. Ohno was last in WWE developmental back in 2013 when he was released for reportedly not getting into shape when asked. He spent the past 3 years being one of the best workers on the independent scene and despite still not being in top shape was brought back into the company due to his ability in the ring.
- WWE is now interested in Matt Riddle as he has shown a ton of progress in Evolve and as I noted in my year end balloting that he is the top prospect of 2017 in my eyes.
- Former TNA Star Mark Andrews who wrestled in TNA as “Mandrews” is confirmed for the upcoming U.K. Title tournament. His contract with TNA literally expired last weekend.
- Finn Balor confirmed this week that he will be joining Michael Cole and Nigel McGuinness on the broadcast team for the U.K. Tournament.
- WWE is still planning on doing a Women’s Tournament for the WWE Network. It was originally set to be scheduled for January or February but with the U.K. tournament now taking place, they are looking at May for the women. It will feature several woman from the Performance Center as well as women on the independents in the U.S. and internationally.
- Mick Foley confirmed via social media that he is NOT under contract to WWE for his role as RAW GM. He is working on a handshake agreement with Vince McMahon for it. He also noted that he plans on having hip replacement surgery but he has not set a date yet contrary to what I reported a few weeks ago because he does NOT have health insurance as it lapsed due to an oversight on his part and the surgery costs $60,000 out of pocket. He does NOT want any crowd fundraising done for it. He plans on getting health insurance or will pay out of pocket for it.
- In an interesting note, Tyson Kidd changed his twitter handle this week form @KiddWWE to @TJWilson. Hmmmm.....
- With the WWE Diamond Dallas Page DVD being released in March as well as all he has done for WWE including helping both Jake Roberts and Scott Hall with their “demons” and helping them get to the Hall of Fame, it is believed that he will be announced as the first inductee into the 2017 WWE Hall of Fame. Joining Page in the Hall of Fame this year according to MIKE JOHNSON at PWInsider is none other than “Ravishing” Rick Rude.
- The WWE Network debuted a new show on Monday called “Bring it to the Table” hosted by New York radio DJ Peter Rosenberg. The show was a debate style show and the first episode featured guests Paul Heyman and John Bradshaw Layfield as they debated many wrestling related topics.
- The 2017 Money In The Bank PPV will be a Smackdown brand show.
- The Ric Flair podcast on MLW radio is done. Co-host Conrad Thompson confirmed it via Twitter. If you don’t know Conrad, you should go listen to his podcast with Bruce Prichard as it is FANTASTIC.
- Pennsylvania judge Kelly Banach dismissed all charges in the death of Nancy Argentino against WWE Hall of Famer “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka. Banach noted that his deteriorating mental state proved that he was not mentally competent to stand trial.
NXT TAKEOVER SAN ANTONIO is on Saturday, January 28th, 2017 from San Antonio Texas and the line-up is as follows:NXT WORLD TITLE: Shinsuke Nakamura © vs. Bobby RoodeNXT TAG TEAM TITLES: D.I.Y. (Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano) vs. The Authors of Pain
WWE ROYAL RUMBLE PPV is on Sunday, January 29th, 2017 from San Antonio Texas and the line-up is as follows:ROYAL RUMBLE MATCH: Brock Lesnar / Bill Goldberg / Braun Strowman / Chris Jericho / Kofi Kingston / Big E. / Xavier Woods / Baron Corbin /WWE UNIVERSAL TITLE: Kevin Owens © vs. Roman Reigns w/Chris Jericho in a shark cage above the ringWWE TITLE: A.J. Styles © vs. John CenaWE RAW WOMEN’S TITLE: Charlotte © vs. Bayley
TNA IMPACT WRESTLING NEWS and NOTES:
- It is official!!! In a press release issued on Wednesday, Anthem Sports and Entertainment announced that they have acquired a majority interest in TNA Impact Wrestling and are now in control of the company. Ed Nordholm has been named the new president of Anthem Wrestling Exhibitions LLC and will be running the promotion and is chairman of the Board of Managers for Impact Wrestling. Dixie Carter has stepped out of her role as president and down as chairman of the board and will remain as an “advisor”. She will also keep a minority stake in TNA.
- It is believed that Anthem purchased 85% of the company with Aroluxe still holding onto 10% and Dixie Carter keeping 5%. She has no influence over any of the decision making processes of TNA any longer. With that decision means that over the next several months, several positions within TNA may change including that of John Gaburick who is currently in charge of creative within TNA. Anthem is likely going to put people they choose in positions of power; that will also include Jeff Jarrett who has been hired as a consultant for creative and was backstage at the Impact tapings last night. Former WWE manager and former TNA creative head Dutch Mantell (Zeb Colter)is also on board.
- There are rumors that Fight Network may be also helping Jarrett in securing a television deal for Global Force Wrestling. Yes, that is still apparently a thing.
- Not ideal for the “new TNA” but Verizon FiOS (My cable provider) will be dropping Pop TV on January 15th. So I will no longer be watching TNA going forward because honestly, I am not going out of my way to watch it online. Currently I DVR it and watch what I hear is the good stuff or completely terrible stuff. Pop TV will be streaming on Hulu Plus but I am not 100% sure if that will include TNA and even if it does, I am not going to go out of my way to watch it.
- By the way, there is a TNA PPV tonight. The only things announced for it was Mike Bennett vs. Moose in an “Anything Goes” match and Eli Drake and a mystery partner vs. Matt Hardy and Jeff Hardy for the tag team titles.
- Davey Richards is back to action as he has been working live events after missing almost a year with a knee injury. He is expected back at this weekend’s Impact television tapings.
- The contracts of Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy and Drew Galloway end with the current set of television tapings. Unless a new deal is reached, none will be at the next set of tapings in March as they are no longer under a deal.
- Matt Hardy confirmed that he and his wife are expecting another boy.
Ring of Honor / Lucha Underground / Independent / International News and Notes:
- The Young Bucks apologized to fans who wanted to see them in WWE noting that they had no choice but to stay with ROH and New Japan because of the schedule to be with their families and the money was so good to stay. They noted to never say never about a WWE run but it won’t be for at least 2 years.
- Kazuchika Okada defeated Kenny Omega in the main event of Wrestle Kingdom 11 on Wednesday and not for nothing but even though it was only 4 days into 2017, it is not only front runner for Match of the Year but there are some who are saying it may be the best match OF ALL TIME. Yes, I am well aware that we have a full year ahead of us but still, it is going to be very hard for anyone to top this. It will air on AXS television in the coming weeks so go out of your way to check it out somehow, preferably online and unedited. I have not seen it yet but plan on tracking it down in its entirety whether with Japanese commentary or Kevin Kelly/Steve Corino BEFORE I watch the AXS one next week.
- On the same show as above, Kyle O’Reilly wrestled what was apparently his last Ring of Honor match as Adam Cole defeated him to become the ONLY 3 time ROH World Champion in ROH history. O’Reilly’s ROH contract expired on December 31st. Many assumed that when he won the title at Final Battle earlier in December, he had signed to stay but apparently he agreed to drop the title at Wrestle Kingdom in advance hence the title switch at Final Battle. He will likely be heading to WWE soon.
- Ray Rowe is also set to be leaving for WWE soon.
- Many believe that new ROH Champion Adam Cole will be WWE bound come May when his contract expires on May 1st.
- Jay Lethal has signed a new 2-year contract with Ring of Honor. Christopher Daniels, Bobby Fish and Hangman Page has also all signed on to stay. Fish was in fact offered a WWE deal but chose to stay with ROH.
- After leaving ROH, ACH is being booked regularly for Evolve going forward.
- Despite having signed with WWE, Chris Hero will be wrestling for Evolve over Royal Rumble weekend in San Antonio. Now Evolve does have a working relationship with WWE so this is NOT exactly out of the ordinary.
- Take it for what it is worth but Kurt Angle is not taking any more independent bookings past April 1st. Just saying.....
- Teddy Hart was arrested in Texas due to driving while intoxicated, hazardous driving and evading law enforcement. He was released on bail.
- Lucha Underground is doing a “mid-season finale” next week and will go on hiatus for several months since they are not planning on filming new episodes until fall of 2017 to air in 2018. So they need to stretch out programming. No new air date for the 2nd half of this season has been set.
MMA News and Notes:
- 48 Seconds. Just like that the legacy of Ronda Rousey was forever tarnished and her MMA career has likely come to an end. Amanda Nunes retained her UFC Women’s Bantamweight Title last week in astonishing fashion as she knocked out Ronda Rousey in 48 seconds of the first round. Rousey for some reason stuck to her game plan as she did in the Holly Holm fight of trying to stand up and strike. Her coach, Edmond Tarverdyan encouraged her to do so despite her not having the ability to match up with a striker and her not having any sort of head movement and thus being a stationary target for Nunes. She got smashed hard with a barrage of punches before it was mercifully stopped.
- Following the fight, many within the MMA community including Nunes herself in the post-fight press conference criticized Rousey’s trainer for the game plan she went in the fight with as well as convincing Rousey she was a good boxer.
- The loss likely marks the end of Rousey’s MMA career. She was already mulling retirement to move on into acting and possibly starting a family with her boyfriend Travis Browne. While she was in magnificent shape physically, she has been broken mentally. She absolutely could come back to MMA and be successful if she wanted to with some new coaching but why would or should she? She has had success, she can make more money in other avenues and she may not be able to recover mentally from losing in the fashion she did. She has nothing to prove. Sure she can still get a huge payday with a Holly Holm rematch or a Cris “Cyborg” Justino fight. And if she won either of those, she could get a HUGE buy rate on PPV in a rematch vs. Nunes but now we are talking several years. She doesn’t need to. She was a pioneer of women’s MMA in the UFC. She laid the ground work and set the table. Now, she can relax and enjoy the spoils that came with it. No one will or no one should judge her. Let her enjoy her successes.
- Rousey, who did NO MEDIA leading up to the fight, did absolutely no media following the fight to the surprise of absolutely no one. She did release a statement to ESPN noting that she needs time to reflect and think about her future.
- Ronda made $3,000,000 for the fight which was her largest ever UFC flat pay day. Nunes made $100,000 for the fight and an additional $100,000 with the win. Also her biggest pay day. Both will make significant more with PPV bonuses which should be significant because despite Ronda doing ZERO MEDIA leading into the fight, the fight is trending towards a PPV buyrate of 1.1 million buys which is a tremendous success for a Friday Night Show and had Ronda done media leading up to the show as well as the show being on a Saturday instead of Friday, this fight would have easily beaten Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz 2 for the highest UFC PPV buyrate of all time.
- Congrats to NEW UFC Star Cody Garbrandt as his star was born last weekend in impressive fashion as he dominated Dominick Cruz to capture the UFC Bantamweight Title. Garbrandt completely dominated Cruz in impressive fashion to win the title via decision. He said he is willing to fight Dominick Cruz in a rematch but understands if they want T.J. Dillashaw to get the next shot. He is also willing to fight Conor McGregor or Jose Aldo if they’d let him.
- Fabricio Werdum was NOT paid for his cancelled fight with Cain Velasquez last week as UFC had offered him fights with both Junior Dos Santos and then Alistair Overeem in February and he turned them down. Had he accepted the Overeem fight, he would have likely been paid for this PPV and then again for the February one. Since he did not weigh in for the fight, he was not given his pay.
- UFC last weekend marked the official end of the line for both UFC Play by Play man Mike Goldberg as well as UFC Matchmaker Joe Silva. Both left the company following the show.
- Congrats to former WWE commentator Todd Grisham as he was announced as joinig UFC as the new desk man and calling certain FS-1 events. He will NOT be the man replacing Mike Goldberg. No word on who his official replacement will be as of now. Grisham is a sports commentator and a long time MMA fan so he will be a good fit. It is sad however that UFC did not show any class to Goldberg by letting him say his goodbyes on air. He should have been given that much since essentially he knew he was out the door several months back when Dana White said so without actually saying so in an interview.
- Tony Ferguson is looking to get paid more by UFC despite being under contract. He was offered a fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov before an eventual title fight against Conor McGregor where the winner will get Conor. Ferguson turned down the fight noting he wants more money. Khabib then noted via Twitter that he will pay Ferguson $200,000 out of his own pocket to make the fight. Tony politely declined and then went on a verbal rampage against UFC saying that he will happily fight Khabib and it is ridiculous that Khabib is willing to pay him but UFC is not. He said he will not accept Khabib’s generous offer because he has a family and he isn’t going to take food out of Khabib’s children’s mouths. He wants UFC to pay the 200K for him to take the fight. We will see where this ends up going.
- The drug that Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino tested positive for in her USADA anti-doping test was Spironolactone which is a diuretic. She says she was prescribed it by her doctors to help her problems with her kidneys and her low potassium levels which were both the result of her most recent weight cut to 140 lbs. In the ESPN “Outside the Lines” special that aired about her most recent weight cut, it was revealed that she cut from 166 lbs. down to 140 lbs. in two days. That is not good.
- Demetrious Johnson suffered a torn muscle in his leg following his win on December 3rd vs. Tim Elliot. He will be out of action until at least April.
- Mark Hunt has stated that his UFC 209 fight vs. Alistair Overeem is now official. He did NOT get the caveat that should Overeem fail a drug test, he gets 100% of Overeem’s purse. UFC would not bend on that however Hunt noted that he needed to earn a living so he took the fight.
- Congrats to Mirko “Cro Cop” Filopovic as he captured the Rizin Heavyweight Grand Prix tournament last week in Japan.
- R.I.P. to huge MMA and Pro Wrestling fan Adam Gellar as he passed away earlier this week after a battle with cancer. Gellar was actually a producer who worked a ton of UFC shows as well as Showtime Sports and NBA basketball in the New York/New Jersey Area. He leaves behind a wife and young daughter. He was well known throughout UFC with many fighters actually hanging out with him following shows. He was only 39. The New York Knicks had a tribute to him on their screen during the Knicks game on Wednesday.
- Luke Rockhold has broken up with girlfriend/pop star Demi Lovato. Luke Rockhold is an idiot.
- Congrats to Chael Sonnen as he is on the new Celebrity Apprentice show run by Arnold Schwarzenegger.
UFC on FOX 23 is on Saturday, January 28th, 2017 from Denver Colorado and the line-up is as follows:Julianna Pena vs. Valentina ShevchenkoDonald Cerrone vs. Jorge MasvidalAndres Arlovski vs. Francis Ngannou
UFC 208 is on Saturday, February 11th, 2017 from Brooklyn New York and the line-up is as follows:VACANT UFC WOMEN’S FEATHERWEIGHT TITLE: Holly Holm vs. Germaine de RandamieRonaldo “Jacare” Souza vs. Tim BoetschTravis Browne vs. Derrick LewisDustin Poirier vs. Jim Miller
UFC 209 is on Saturday, March 4th, 2017 from Paradise Nevada and the line-up is as follows:Alistair Overeem vs. Mark Hunt
Random Thoughts, Links, Pics, ETC.
- Random VIDEO of the week: Elf as a thriller film!!!
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week: Official Trailer for “Alien: Covenant”
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 2: The best of comic book movies 2016.
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 3: Honest Trailer for “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventures”
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 4: First Teaser for NBC’s “Powerless”
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 5: The Best of Garfield on Robot Chicken.
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 6: Latest Teaser for “Cars 3”
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 7: Official Trailer for “All Nighter”
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 8: Official Trailer for “The Girl With All The Gifts”
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 9: Red Band Trailer for “Death Race 2050”
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 10: Official Trailer for “Rings”
- THIS LINK is for LIFE. Thank you soldiers. WELCOME HOME BLOG
- BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week: Typical random day in New York where people just stab people in the head for no apparent reason. SMH.
- BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 1: This world is going to sh*t and heads are going to f*cking roll over this since he was a PASSENGER on a flight into the U.S.
- BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 2: Stupid f*cking idiots. I hope they get treated real special when they get to jail. SMH.
- BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 3: I totally expected this and would not be the slighted bit surprised if Leah Remini has some sort of “accident” in 2017.
- Random ARTICLE of the week PART 4: And they say the U.S. Prison system is bad.
- BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 5: SMH. So sad and so avoidable.
- BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 6: BWAAAHAAAHAAA, LOLZ at Yahoo.
- BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 7: Talk about incredible timing and coincidences. Kim Kardashian was apparently filming “Keeping up with the Kardashians” and the exact moment she was re-living her robbery in Paris on camera is apparently the moment she got the call that Kanye was having a breakdown. It is all on camera!!!! Wow. Those E! producers really lucked out that they coincidentally were recording.
- Continuing to build on an already spectacular cast, Marvel’s “Black Panther” has cast actor Sterling K. Brown to play the role of N’Jobu, a figure from T’Challa’s past. Sterling Brown is best known for his breakthrough role as Christopher Darden in the highly popular “The People vs. O.J. Simpson”.
- After the debacle that was Batman v. Superman and the upcoming Justice League film that appears so lackluster by the previews alone that WB has shelved PART 2 in favor of “The Batman” film by Ben Affleck, Affleck revealed last week that unless the script comes together soon in a way that he feels is EPIC, he will completely walk away from the project both as a director and as the Batman character because he vows to NOT be known as the man who ruined Batman. This does NOT sound promising for WB/DC and their movie franchise. Affleck was probably the only redeeming quality of BvS and people including myself actually enjoyed his take on Bruce Wayne/Batman. So Affleck walking away from the DCU would be a MAJOR blow to their universe.
- In fairly big DC news, DC Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns a.k.a. The head of the DCU and TV divisions announced that he will be returning to writing DC comics in 2017. Hopefully he can tie in universes between comics and both film and TV.
- It is with a heavy heart this week that I report that The Disney Channel has cancelled “Girl Meets World” after 3 seasons. It is a shame because that show was such a family friendly fun show that is a throwback similar to its predecessor “Boy Meets World” and shows similar like “Growing Pains” and what not that were funny and taught life lessons. Disney really dropped the ball with this as it was doing decent ratings for the network despite dropping a ton from season 1 - 3 and had a very strong/solid fan base. Plus the main stars of the show, both Rowan Blanchard and Sabrina Carpenter have some real potential to break out as actresses.
- I just found out that World War Z 2 has a June release date. What? I didn’t even know this was being filmed. Is Brad Pitt in it? I enjoyed the first one significantly more than I probably should have.
- Most show’s that I watch began returning from mid-season break this week with Chicago P.D. and Law & Order: SVU. Next week up we have Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. coming back and the WB Super Hero Block returning next week. So it is a good time to be a TV fan now.
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