We Want Insanity
My Son Lucas
JG's 8/14/06 Raw Insanity: Edge Commits A Crime, Tapes It, and Plays It On TV
TGIF: Garden of Honor, China Cena, and More
The ROHbot Report: Honor Re-United, Dojo Pro Black Belt, And More
(29 Mins) Honor Nation: Mightier Than a Mouse

TGIF: He's Next For The Hall of Fame, Raw 25, and More

By Matt Dawgs Jan 12, 2018 - 2:53 PM print

T.G.I.F. with Matt Dawgs: #428

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.

IMPORTANT MATT NOTE:: I am hoping that you readers have taken the time to lend a hand and donated to the JAIDAN STRONG cause for me. I’d really appreciate it if you did; as little as $5 can go a long way. If not, it isn’t a big deal but please at least SHARE THE LINK. I get that finances can be tough for some but taking the time to share a link via your social media doesn’t cost a dime. I’d appreciate it greatly as one of your friends or family members may be able to help out. Thanks.

BONUS MATT NOTE: The 2017 Year End Awards!


- The WWE hype train is in full effect for the Royal Rumble but more so for the WWE 25th Anniversary Show which happens to be the “go home” show for the Royal Rumble PPV. WWE announced that the anniversary show will feature:

  • ”Stone Cold” Steve Austin
  • The Undertaker
  • “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair
  • DX of Shawn Michaels and HHH
  • Kevin Nash & Scott Hall
  • The New Age Outlaws
  • The Dudley’s
  • The A.P.A.
  • The Bella Twins
  • Jim Ross
  • Jerry “The King” Lawler
  • WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar ©
  • John Cena
  • “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase
  • Brother Love
  • The Godfather
  • The Boogeyman
  • Teddy Long
  • John Lauranaitis
  • Sgt. Slaughter
  • ”Mean” Gene Okerlund
  • - Not officially announced but scheduled to appear are Sean “X-Pac” Waltman and Eric Bishoff. I really wish Bischoff would come back and be RAW GM as he was awesome in that spot and probably the best GM/Authority Figure not named Vince McMahon in company history.

    - Austin’s appearance at RAW 25 is his first appearance on the show since October of 2015. There has to be something going on with WWE and Austin that he hasn’t been around and they just completely dumped his podcast from the Network as they haven’t done one since that abysmal one with Dean Ambrose a few years back.

    - For those wondering, the BIG stars such as Cena, Lesnar, Austin, Taker, HHH, etc are all being advertised for the Barclay’s Center show. I imagine people like Sgt. Slaughter and The Boogeyman will be at the Manhattan Center show. You can essentially have people appear at both since it is a 3 hour show and only 40 minutes from Manhattan Center to Barclays (or 10 minutes by helicopter).

    - I am glad to see that they aren’t abandoning the Jason Jordan heel turn. It was fantastic to see that he is playing a geek and that Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins don’t want him around. His heel turn is going to be GOLD. I just hope they cut the Kurt Angle is his dad hook when he turns. Can’t keep that lingering over his head.

    - And just like that on both Raw and Smackdown, Absolution and The Riott Squad are just regular girls. Clean jobs, no longer special. SMH.

    - By the way, are they making Sonia Deville up to look uber hot because they have Shayna Baszler coming up or at least on TV now in NXT?

    - Note to WWE Creative: Matt Hardy laughing is NOT what got the “Broken” Universe over. You guys are completely missing what made the gimmick fun. What made it fun is EVERYTHING ELSE other than the laugh. Let him do skits from home. Let him introduce queen Reby and King Maxel and Senor Benjamin and Vanguard 1. Let him be him. What you are doing right now is really REALLY stupid. Please stop and go back with what got the gimmick over.

    - “Woken” Matt Hardy posted a photo of himself shaking hands with Impact Wrestling President Ed Nordholm with the following caption: “I am thrilled to PROCLAIM that we have ACQUIRED new ALLIES on our side of #TheGreatWar. Ed Nordholm & The Owl of Anthem have revealed themselves as MAJESTIC beings who stand on the side of the LIGHT. The LIGHT always EMERGES, #WOKENWarriors. Everything is COPASETIC & WONDERFUL!” To translate that statement, Hardy and Impact finalized their terms regarding the “Broken Universe” rights returning to Matt Hardy. Maybe that is what WWE was waiting for before they begun skits for Hardy? One can only hope.

    - I am glad that they gave Matt Hardy the new music but they absolutely should have had Reby Hardy play it. She does play the piano.

    - That was a pretty damn good pop that the Miz got. I am happy for him. He has everything going for him and that is a complete 180 from when he debuted years ago. Good for him. Product of hard work and believing in himself.

    - Now we know why WWE chased The Young Bucks on “Too Sweet” huh? Great for Gallows and Anderson though. Make that money.

    - Did they really name drop Bad Luck Fale and Tama Tonga? I skipped their promo and am too lazy to go back and check.

    - Enzo Amore was legit busted open and did also legit injure his ankle vs. Cedric Alexander on Monday. The ankle injury will NOT keep him out of action but he did receive four stiches above his right eye.

    - Be honest, if Enzo wasn’t part of the cruiserweight division, would you still be watching?

    - I love the Enzo/Jax storyline, I think it is fantastic. As an FYI….it was booked as punishment for both due to their backstage issues with Enzo being a putz and Jax needing “time off” for “rest”. But they are turning it into something excellent.

    - Angle on the phone with the “former diva” wanting to enter in the Royal Rumble could be one of many people. Former WWE Diva Serena Deeb was in Pittsburg on Monday undergoing WWE medical testing as she has in fact been offered a deal to return to the company in some capacity. Not just a one off for the Royal Rumble although if her medicals come back before then, I expect her to appear.

    - Also, both Molly Holly and Michelle McCool have been contacted about returning for the Women’s Rumble match as well so Angle could have been talking to one of them.

    - NXT has been notified that 9 women are expected to be called up for the Rumble match which to me feels like a bit much. If you call up that many women, I feel like it is overkill because they won’t get over and if they stay on the main roster, they get lost in the shuffle. I feel like maybe 4 is a good number and the rest get filled by those from the past. The Bellas, Lita, Trish, Beth Phoenix, Michelle McCool, Kaitlyn, Layla El, Kelly Kelly, Molly Holly, Victoria, Gail Kim. There are names out there that you can use for “one off” appearances without depleting the NXT roster or having women called up to essentially not do anything significant.

    - Uh…that Lesnar/Kane/Strowman angle was….uh….something?

    - DOWN GOES SAMOA JOE!!! AGAIN!!! Joe suffered a plantar fascia rupture on Monday and will need to be in a walking boot and a cast for several weeks. As of this writing, it does NOT appear like he will be able to wrestle at the Royal Rumble although you can believe he is going to try and convince WWE that he can. I hope he makes it because he has been on FIRE for the past few months especially with his promo ability and it would be a shame to see that momentum stalled over this especially since he was moving into a feud with John Cena following the Rumble and that will be awesome.

    - Sigh….CONTINUTIY IS ALL I ASK FOR. Is it really that f*cking hard for a creative team of 40 people to keep a story straight? Is it? Alexa Bliss is trying to instigate beef between Nia Jax and Asuka. She goes to Jax to tell her that Asuka was talking about her behind her back. Jax gets mad at it and then is no longer mad. She isn’t mad because she knows that Bliss doesn’t speak Japanese and that Asuka doesn’t speak English. Read that again….

    Asuka doesn’t speak English.



    Asuka was speaking English fine literally less than an hour before this skit on a segment where they revealed that she and Miz were tag team partners in the mixed match challenge. She spoke English 100% fine in a f*cking segment on this very f*cking same goddam show?!?!?!?!?!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How hard is continuity?!?!?!?! You just had her speaking English. Jesus H. Christ!!!!

    - Mizterouge vs. The Shield and Jason Jordan is coming. Thankfully next week and not on the 25th Anniversary show where Miz is scheduled to get his title rematch against Roman Reigns and I believe win the title back.

    - Over on Smackdown, I know I am setting myself up but I am going to be so disappointed if this Bryan/Shane deal doesn’t lead to Bryan’s return. Yes, I know it doesn’t look promising but these angles are pointing in that direction. Triple H did have this to say about Bryan getting an “exception” to wrestle one more match: “There can be no exception medically. If the belief is that he’s not healthy enough and there’s a risk for him to perform, then I don’t know why you’d allow him to step into the ring unless it can be proven otherwise. There will be no exceptions. We have some of the best medical people in the world that work for us. Our wellness policy, our concussion programming, and our protocols -- I’ll put them up there against any on the planet. That is a new science in a way, too. We’re going to look at it from all aspects, but the medical experts will make the determination as to whether he can ever step into that ring or not. Look, personally for him, I know it would be something he would love to do and part of me feels like I hope he has that opportunity. But at the same point in time, he’s married and has a child. Certainly, we put the human being first.” So that settles that. Unless Dr. Joseph Maroon clears him, he isn’t going to wrestle in WWE again.

    - Ruby Riott tapped clean to Becky Lynch. Wow. And speaking of, they showed the “reveal” where Becky found out before the show that Sami Zayn was going to be her partner in the mixed match challenge. You know, babyface Becky was legit excited that Sami Zayn, the man who helped Smackdown LOSE to Raw at the Survivor Series PPV, a top HEEL on the same brand she works on is her partner. And she is excited over this. SMH.

    - It’s made even more hilarious by the fact that HEEL Natalya got BABYFACE Shinsuke Nakamura as her partner later in the show and she said that she was HAPPY that she didn’t get fellow HEEL Sami Zayn as her partner. Is this Bizzaro World??

    - Mojo Rawley squashed Zack Ryder. Damn, LOL. Who would have thought that? I get that someone is high on Rawley because he is a legit athlete who played NFL football. But wow. Is Zack Ryder the most underused talent on the roster? Has to be no?

    - Rusev is so awesome. I do not understand why WWE doesn’t push him harder. Or at least turn him babyface since fans love him already. He can work. He can talk. He has a great look. I don’t get it!!!!

    - Where o’ where the hell is Dolph Ziggler?!?!?! What are they doing with him? They better not be getting to the finals of this U.S. Title Tournament only to have him come out and claim to be U.S. Champion.

    - I am guessing that news outlets don’t follow wrestling because TMZ reported on Wednesday that Triple H met with Ronda Rousey and her agent in Los Angeles on Tuesday thus making it a big deal that he missed Smackdown since he doesn’t miss television tapings. Uh….Rousey is in. I don’t understand why people are making it a big deal. She has been training for MONTHS at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando as well as Los Angeles with Brian Kendrick. She is wrestling at Wrestlemania.

    - When asked about the Rich Swann situation, both HHH and Stephanie reiterated that WWE is waiting for the legal process to play out before coming to a decision on his arrest but if he is convicted, WWE policy is for his contract to be terminated immediately.

    - The complete line-up for the mixed match challenge has been announced and it will be:

    For RAW:

  • Braun Strowman & Alexa Bliss
  • Finn Balor & Sasha Banks
  • Apollo Crews & Nia Jax
  • The Miz & Asuka
  • Goldust & Alicia Fox
  • Elias & Bayley

  • Bobby Roode & Charlotte
  • Rusev & Lana
  • Jimmy Uso & Naomi
  • Shinsuke Nakamura & Natalya
  • Sami Zayn & Becky Lynch
  • Big E & Carmella
  • - WWE is going ahead with John Cena vs. The Undertaker at Mania. The angle to set it up will likely be shot at the “go home” RAW to the Royal Rumble which is the 25th Anniversary Show.

    - Also, Bill Goldberg is locked in to be the headliner for the 2018 WWE Hall of Fame class as well as The Dudley Boys. Goldberg will probably be announced on Monday’s RAW as that is when Hall of Fame tickets are put on sale next Friday.

    - Take this for what it is worth as I don’t think any “insider” info has come out but most betting sighs have John Cena and Shinsuke Nakamura as favorites to win the Royal Rumble match on the Men’s side with Asuka favorite to win on the women’s side.

    - Former ROH Booker and current booker of EVOLVE, Gabe Sapolsky has signed with WWE as a consultant where he will work in both NXT and on the main roster. Sapolsky is still going to maintain his position with WWN/Evolve and this signing will absolutely strengthen their partnership in the future.

    - Paige is more seriously injured than WWE is letting on as she did not wrestle any live events last weekend and only served as a manager for Sonia Deville and Mandy Rose. As witnessed on RAW, she did nothing physical at all.

    - A.J. Styles wrestled Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn in handicap matches last weekend on Live Events. So essentially they were going with a test run for the Royal Rumble PPV match. Styles won with the Styles Clash on Zayn.

    - If you get a chance, follow the Shayna Baszler videos that WWE has been posting of her at the Performance Center. They are fantastic with her being a bully to other trainees there. Amazing stuff. It also says something about Baszler and WWE’s confidence in her that she is being put in the Women’s title match right off the bat upon her debut despite the fact that she has so little time in wrestling. She is said to be really picking it up at a great pace and is possibly the best women’s worker in NXT after Kari Sane.

    - As of now, there is still no news on Neville. WWE wants him to return. He doesn’t want to return. WWE isn’t going to release him. He wants his release. It is just a waiting game now. The problem is, if in a waiting game, the WWE will eventually win out in the end. Right now, Neville is sitting home getting paid his downside and waiting out his contract. At an eventual point, WWE can and more than likely will freeze his contract and thus he will STOP being paid and his contract will just accrue interest until he comes back. So for example: let’s say he has 18 months on his deal. After 6 months, WWE decides to freeze the contract. Well now he has 12 months left but those 12 months rotate until he comes back and finishes his dates or they release him. Meaning he can sit another 6 months without pay but he would STILL have 12 months left on his deal. So he’s f*cked. WWE will either have to release him or he will have to come back eventually and finish his contract.

    - Despite no official announcement, Mark Henry, while still under contract, is considered retired by WWE. He is still being paid until whenever it is his contract expires and still does “Be A Star” as well as other WWE appearances such as autograph shows, etc. is now accepting independent dates for conventions and appearances. He will NOT be wrestling on the independents however.

    - In a surprise as I was 100% positive it would be for the E! Network, Miz and Maryse have been announced as having their own reality show which will instead air on the USA Network titled “Miz & Mrs.” which will follow their lives as WWE Superstars as well as the impending birth of their baby. Bunim/Murray, executive producers for “Total Divas” and “Total Bellas” will also produce this which adds to my surprise that E! didn’t pick it up. No premiere date has been set other than it will be in 2018 and will be six 30 minute episodes.

    - Does Lars Sullivan in NXT start calling this move the CTE BOMB???!!!!

    - Jumanji starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in its third week in release was number one at the box office making $36 million. That is quite impressive and is holding up well financially.

    - Congrats to Samoa Joe in other news as he has been announced as a voice actor for the new Transformers animated series that is coming out soon.

    - WWE is advertising a live event on the “Road To Wrestlemania” tour on March 16th which will feature WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar.

    - Police in Chicago have cleared WWE Star David Otunga regarding the domestic violence claims by ex-fiancé Jennifer Hudson after finding no wrong doing.

    - For the first time in a quarter of a century we are going to get a WWE vs. New Japan match (Jericho vs. Omega doesn’t count since Jericho isn’t under WWE contract) as Pete Dunne will defend the WWE U.K. title against Will Ospreay next week in the U.K. for IPW. The last time this happened was in 1993 when then WWF Champion Hulk Hogan defeated then IWGP Champion The Great Muta on a New Japan show.

    NXT TAKEOVER: PHILADELPHIA is on Saturday, January 27th, 2018 from Philadelphia Pennsylvania and the line-up is as follows:

  • NXT TITLE: Andrade Cien Almas © w/Zelina Vega vs. Johnny Gargano
  • NXT WOMEN’S TITLE: Ember Moon © vs. Shayna Baszler
  • NXT TAG TEAM TITLES: The Undisputed Era © (Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly) vs. The Authors of Pain (Akam & Rezar) w/Paul Ellering
  • EXTREME RULES MATCH: Adam Cole vs. Aleistar Black
  • Lars Sullivan vs. Killian Dain vs. Roderick Strong
  • WWE ROYAL RUMBLE PPV is on Sunday, January 28th, 2018 from Philadelphia Pennsylvania and the line-up is as follows:

  • WWE UNIVERSAL TITLE: Brock Lesnar © w/Paul Heyman vs. Braun Strowman vs. Kane
  • WWE TITLE: A.J. Styles © vs. Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn in a Handicap Match
  • WWE MEN’S ROYAL RUMBLE MATCH: Elias/Randy Orton/Shinsuke Nakamura/John Cena/Finn Balor/Baron Corbin/“Woken” Matt Hardy/Bray Wyatt/Samoa Joe
  • WWE WOMEN’S ROYAL RUMBLE MATCH: Naomi/Asuka/Ruby Riott/Liv Morgan/Sara Logan/Natalya/ Sasha Banks/Bayley/Sonya Deville/Mandy Rose/Paige/Lana/Tamina/Carmella/Nia Jax/Mickey James/
  • Finals of the U.S. Title Tournament: TBD vs. TBD
  • WWE RAW TAG TEAM TITLES: Seth Rollins & Jason Jordan © vs. The Bar (Sheamus & Cesaro)
  • WWE SMACKDOWN TAG TEAM TITLES: The Usos © vs. Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable in a 2 out of 3 Falls match

    - The new regime of Don Callis and Scott D’Amore officially took over Impact Wrestling this week with the latest set of television tapings beginning on Wednesday and some MAJOR changes took place. Firstly, Impact is now going back to the traditional 4 sided ring. THANK GOD. Secondly, Austin Aries made his return to the company and in the process managed to win the Impact World Heavyweight title (changed from Impact Global Title). So we have a new champ for the new regime. Lastly, Impact has gotten rid of the rounds for the Grand Title meaning that those matches will now be normal matches. That kind of defeats the purpose of the title since that made it different. Don’t get me wrong, I HATED the rounds and thought they didn’t need the title to begin with. But now having that title just seems like excess. All you need is the heavyweight title and the X-title.

    - Callis noted in a conference call this week that he doesn’t not plan on being an on-air character for the program and that Impact struck a deal with Twitch to have an Impact channel that will feature new and old content moving forward.

    - Rey Mysterio was negotiating and possibly still is to join the company. He was believed to be debuting at the tapings this week but no deal was agreed to. Not to say that he will not sign and debut at the next tapings but unless something happened last minute where he debuts tonight through Monday, if he signs, he won’t appear on TV until the end of April the earliest.

    - Best wishes go out to Sonjay Dutt as he suffered a torn Achilles tendon and will be unable to wrestle for 8 months to a year as that is the usual recovery time for surgery. He will be missing the Impact tapings that are currently ongoing as his doctors told him it was too soon to be flying following surgery as he could develop blood clots from the flight. That was the cause of death for Chris Candido flying a few days after surgery and Dutt was working with then TNA when Candido passed away.

    - Knockouts Champion Laurel Van Ness is likely to be dropping the title sometime this weekend before being granted her release from the company. She requested the release during the last set of tapings AFTER they put the title on her. Laurel, real name Chelsea Green, is the girlfriend of WWE’s Zack Ryder.

    - Su Yung is also debuting at these tapings. She is best known for being the wife of WWE’s Rich Swann and the victim in the alleged domestic violence situation that currently has Swann suspended. I am hoping that she was brought in PRIOR to the incident involving Swann and this isn’t just a case of her being brought in due to the news/who she is married to.

    - Moose tore his LCL at the tapings this week but will not miss any time as it does not require surgery. He is in some pain and discomfort but plans on taping up the leg and continuing on through.

    - Props to Impact as ratings have increased for 3 consecutive weeks now and that includes a “Best of” show. So the shows have been gaining viewership. I have seen bits and pieces and what they are doing isn’t half bad at all. The only issue is that with all of the cutbacks they now lack real “star power” as there is no one that seems larger than life other than maybe Lashley. Other than him, the show has a real “indy” feel to the roster. That is good on one hand because younger guys are far more talented and they can develop there and become stars hopefully. The flip side is that Impact has essentially become a developmental system instead of a big promotion. We are watching guys practice their craft.

    - Impact’s Global Wrestling Network is now available on Apple TV as an app. That may entice me to actually give it a try now. Hmmm?

    - Congrats to former TNA Knockout/WWE Diva Christy Hemme as she gave birth to quadruplets over the weekend, three boys and one girl. Mom and babies are doing fine. Four babies, WOW. Good for her. The babies were also delivered on the 3rd birthday for her daughter. So all 5 of her kids now share the same birthday.

    - Nothing like showing WWE Superstars on your “Flashback” matches to emphasize the fact that you once had a super talented roster of stars and now you just have unknowns. This week’s match featured WWE GM Kurt Angle against James Storm. For a little more of a kick in the groin, the post-match celebration of Storm defeating Angle featured appearances by WWE Champion A.J. Styles, Bobby Roode and Frankie Kazarian. LOLOLZ.

    Ring of Honor / Lucha Underground / Independent / International News and Notes:

    - It is likely that the Chris Jericho vs. Tetsuya Naito match that was set up at New Year’s Dash will take place in March in the United States at the Long Beach show. Jericho is now on tour with Fozzy and will be for most of January and February. The belief is that Jericho is NOT under a long term deal but signed for several appearances and his match with Naito will not be the end of it. There is talk of him wrestling against Hiroshi Tanahashi and/or Kazuchika Okada as well, likely at Dominion in June.

    - For those who don’t think Jericho is a draw for New Japan, New Japan world picked up about 25,000 subscribers due to his announcement of wrestling on the show for Wrestle Kingdom. That is about a 33% increase in their subscriber base.

    - Omega is also in it for the long haul as he signed a new one-year deal on Monday meaning he is going to be in New Japan for all of 2018.

    - Jay White has officially joined “Chaos” after turning down Kenny Omega’s offer to join the Bullet Club. He did however note that his goal is to eventually challenge Chaos leader Kazuchika Okada for the title and noted that he doesn’t see anything wrong with stablemates striving to be the best and wrestling each other to see who is better. I do not know if this was planting the seeds for a heel turn or they eventually plan on going with a face vs. face title match.

    - More Bullet Club tension was teased with Cody about to attack Kota Ibushi with a chair before being stopped by Kenny Omega. The crowd went completely ape-sh*t for Omega stopping him and teasing a babyface turn but he didn’t officially turn as just argued with Cody. The official turn is still coming when either Cody turns heel on him or Omega attacks Cody in retaliation to some heel act that Cody does. They are building to an eventual Cody vs. Omega match either Mania weekend during the ROH “Supercard of Honor” show or at “Dominion” in June.

    - New Japan announced that they are doing a 4-day tour of Australia beginning on February 16th. While no line-ups have been confirmed, New Japan did announce who will be participating on the tour. That will be:

  • IWGP World Champion: Kazuchika Okada
  • IWGP Intercontinental Champion: Hiroshi Tanahashi
  • Minoru Suzuki
  • IWGP Jr. Tag Team Champions: The Young Bucks
  • Cody
  • Tomohiro Ishii
  • IWGP Tag Team Champions: EVIL & SANADA
  • NEVER OPEN WEIGHT 6 MAN CHAMPIONS: The Bullet Club (Tama Tonga/Tanga Loa/Bad Luck Fale)
  • Juice Robinson
  • Lance Archer
  • IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion: Will Ospreay
  • - New Japan is expecting a sellout of the Long Beach show of 5,300 people. I hope they do it but it will be a tough sell since it is a few weeks before Wrestlemania where most people would try to attend and thus not pay for 2 trips for wrestling events of that magnitude.

    - The Young Bucks tweeted that they are #AllIn with September 1st as the date. This means that they have finalized their venue for the show they are running with Cody Rhodes and will begin putting together the line-up. What saddens me is that Daniel Bryan will still be under WWE contract on this date as I believe his contract expires in October therefore he will not be wrestling at this show. CM Punk however……????

    - It is also weird though that they selected this date since it coincides with Night 2 of Pro Wrestling Guerrilla’s annual “Battle of Los Angeles”. That is definitely going to limit the talent that attends the show which will in turn affect their 10,000 attendance goal.

    - So far confirmed for the “All In’ Show is:

  • Cody
  • The Young Bucks
  • Kenny Omega
  • Arrow Star Stephen Amell
  • Hangman Page
  • Marty Scurll
  • - Dalton Castle’s first title defense coming out of Final Battle will be on January 20th against Punishment Martinez. I know a lot of people were kind of sour on Castle winning the title thinking it shouldn’t have been taken off of Cody. I kind of defended it since Final Battle is usually the crowning of the next guy to run with the ball but this main event does not seem like a major main event to me. Just saying. It isn’t the best way to get the ball rolling.

    - In an interesting turn of events, Dr. Wagner from Mexico has told people that he has signed with Lucha Underground for their upcoming season and he will be working the shows WITHOUT his mask.

    - Best wishes to Dan Barry who has made a significant name for himself over the past few years with tag team partner Bill Carr as “Team Tremendous” including standout matches in PWG among other places. Barry announced that 2018 will be his last year in wrestling as he is going to move onto other things in life. I have known Barry for about 15 years now, maybe more, and he is one of the nicest and most likeable and funny guys in wrestling. He also starred in several episodes of “Holy Foley” on the WWE Network as Mick Foley hired him to be Noelle Foley’s trainer. Congrats Dan.

    - Joey Janela announced that he will be returning to Wrestlemania weekend in New Orleans with his 2nd annual “Joey Janela’s Spring Break” show. For those who did not see last year’s show over Mania weekend, it was one of the most talked about shows of the entire week as it was non-stop fun and action including the “Clusterf*ck” match which was a Royal Rumble style battle royal that featured the likes of THE INVISIBLE MAN who came in the ring and emptied it out as well as GLACIER. Yes, f*cking GLACIER OF WCW FAME!!!! Amazing man that Joey Janela.

    - Joey Ryan’s “Bar Wrestling” which their last show featured a run-in my actor Macauley Culkin doing his Kevin McAllister from Home Alone character returns next weekend headlined by Ryan vs. current and longtime tag team partner Candice LeRae. This is likely due to LeRae signing with WWE last week thus one of her last independent dates and the official break-up of their tag team.

    MMA News and Notes:

    - Stipe Miocic has made it public that he feels absolutely disrespected by UFC since he is chasing history as if he defeats Francis Ngannou next weekend, he will be the first UFC Heavyweight to successfully defend the heavyweight title 3 consecutive times, something that even legendary Randy Couture cannot claim. The problem is, UFC has been hyping and hyping Ngannou non-stop obviously showing that they want him to win. Not that UFC is wrong about Ngannou as if he stops Miocic, he would be an absolute star and a HUGE draw for UFC. But Miocic is the champion and chasing a record so they should be pushing both simultaneously.

    - UFC 219 did an estimated 390,000 PPV buys which is a fantastic number for a show headlined by Cris Cyborg vs. Holly Holm. That shows that the fight was a draw because most, including UFC were estimating around 250,000.

    - Despite Showtime releasing the numbers (With UFC’s sign off on the press release), UFC President Dana White has gotten involved in a Twitter feud with Stephen Espinoza of Showtime claiming that the buyrate for Mayweather vs. McGregor is wrong and the final number should be about 6.7 million PPV buys worldwide. LOLZ.

    - Mayweather and McGregor have been trading barbs on Twitter again. I cannot imagine them thinking that a rematch would do big business so I am not entirely sure what the point is.

    - Dana White noted that he is looking to put together Conor McGregor vs. Tony Ferguson but that McGregor likely doesn’t want to fight until August. He said that if he could get McGregor to agree to a fight date by March i.e. NOT fighting in March but locking in a specific date, then he will let McGregor keep the lightweight title and sign Ferguson vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov and then the winner will face off with Conor to crown the undisputed lightweight champion. If they cannot lock down the date, then the winner of Ferguson vs. Nurmagomedov will be named champion and Conor will be stripped.

    - Tony Ferguson has been medically cleared and has begun training.

    - Demetrious Johnson has undergone successful shoulder surgery. There are no details on how severe the injury was or how long he will be kept out of action before returning.

    - UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunez is teasing a fight with UFC Women’s Featherweight Champion Cris “Cyborg” Justino noting that she has nothing against Cyborg but this is the fight that everyone wants to see. In all honesty, a fully focused Nunez may be able to beat Cyborg if she doesn’t get bombarded in the early rounds.

    - Brad Tavares is lobbying to fight Michael Bisping in his retirement fight in London on March 17th.

    - In some bullsh*t news, Jimmie Rivera who had to change the date of his honeymoon TWICE for UFC was NOT paid for UFC 219 despite his original opponent being injured and then his replacement opponent in which he was willing to fight at a higher weight then turned down the fight. That’s BALONEY. I feel as a fighter if your opponent pulls out last minute, you should be paid period. He went through camp, he made weight and he did everything he was supposed to do. It is of no fault of his own that the fight didn’t take place.

    - Vitor Belfort’s longtime trainer noted that Belfort’s fight on Sunday will be his final fight and that he is retiring from MMA to open up a gym in Brazil.

    - Bellator MMA has signed referee Big John McCarthy as their new color commentator replacing the recently departed Jimmy Smith. McCarthy is NOT retiring from refereeing but putting it on hold to commentate for the next several months. Signing with Bellator however will absolutely eliminate him from referring any UFC contests anymore which means it is the end of an era as McCarthy was a referee on UFC 2 and helped write the rule book, LITERALLY, for UFC and MMA. His first show doing commentary will be the January 20th show in Los Angeles headlined by Bellator MMA Welterweight Champion Douglas Lima defending against Rory MacDonald as well as Chael Sonnen vs. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and the latest in the career of Aaron Pico.

    - The January 20th show will air live on the Paramount Network which was formerly Spike TV.

    UFC 220 is on Saturday, January 20th, 2018 from Boston Massachusetts and the line-up is as follows:

  • UFC HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE: Stipe Miocic © vs. Francis Ngannou
  • UFC LIGHTHEAVYWEIGHT TITLE: Daniel Cormier © vs. Volkhan Oezdemir
  • Calvin Kattar vs. Shane Burgos
  • Gian Villante vs. Francimar Barroso
  • Thomas Almeida vs. Rob Font
  • UFC ON FOX is on Saturday, January 27th, 2018 from Charlotte North Carolina and the line-up is as follows:

  • Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza vs. Derek Brunson
  • Ovince St. Pruex vs. Ilir Latifi
  • Dennis Bermudez vs. Andre Fili
  • Jordan Rinali vs. Gregor Gillispie
  • UFC 221 is on Saturday, February 11th, 2018 from Perth Australia and the line-up is as follows:

  • UFC MIDDLEWEIGHT TITLE: Robert Whitaker © vs. Luke Rockhold
  • Mark Hunt vs. Curtis Blaydes
  • Jake Matthews vs. Li Jingliang
  • UFC 222 is on Saturday, March 3rd, 2018 from Las Vegas Nevada and the line-up is as follows:

  • UFC FEATHERWEIGHT TITLE: Max Holloway © vs. Frankie Edgar
  • CB Dolloway vs. Hector Lombard
  • Stefan Struve vs. Andre Arlovski
  • Random Thoughts, Links, Pics, ETC.

    - BONUS Random VIDEO of the week: Official Trailer for “Blockers”

    - BONUS Random VIDEO of the week: Latest Trailer for “Red Sparrow”

    - BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 2: Honest Trailer for “Mother”

    - BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 3: How It Should Have Ended for “Thor: Ragnarok”

    - BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 4: Official Trailer for “The Vanishing of Sidney Hall”

    - BONUS Random VIDEO of the week: Latest Trailer for Marvel’s “Black Panter”

    - BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 6: Official Trailer for “Hellraiser Judgement”

    - BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 7: Thor: Ragnarok gag reel/outakes.

    - BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 8: Official Trailer for “Breaking In”

    - BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 9: Official Trailer for “Beirut”

    - BONUS Random VIDEO of the week Part 10: Official Trailer for “Traffik”

    - THIS LINK is for LIFE. Thank you soldiers. WELCOME HOME BLOG.

    - BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week: Ladies and gentlemen, the leader of the free world and most powerful nation on the planet. Sigh.

    - BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 1: So this is a tough one. Kudos to having the balls to do what this parent is doing. I know that in my heart I would absolutely say I would do the same in his shoes but on the flip side it is still my son. I would be so torn in reality despite knowing what this dad did is the right call.

    - BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 2: Completely terrible if these allegations prove to be true. Ugh. Not Stan.

    - BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 3: Glad he already got 60 years and cannot wait until he gets butt f*cked in jail by several inmates. Such a scumbag he is. Wow. I cannot believe that these kids we watched compete in sports at the highest level were being punished like this. Terrible.

    - BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 4: People sleep on the flu. Don’t think you can just get better by over the counter meds and rest. You need to see a doctor if you catch it. Vaccines don’t mean you don’t get sick.

    - BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 5: Absolutely an article I never thought I would read. LOL. Insanity the shit that people come up with.

    - BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 6: I’m not crying, you’re crying. I just have dust in my eyes. Screw you.

    - F*ck. Stan Lee has been accused of sexual harassment by home nurses who have been taking care of him. Ugh. And more people are coming out of the woodwork including a masseuse who claims he masturbated in front of her, BEFORE his wife had passed away.

    - Most of the actors on Avengers 4 has wrapped filming and that includes Chris Hemsworth a.k.a. Thor. With that, Hemsworth is done with his Marvel contract as that was his final film so if he is to remain playing the Thor character, he will have to sign a new deal. He has noted that he is interested in playing Thor as long as Marvel will have him and is open to returning to the role.

    - Marvel Studios has announced that they are in fact proceeding with a Scarlett Johannson led Black Widow solo film. I am 100% on board with an action/spy/espionage film. I wonder if it will be a prequel or part of Phase 4 of the MCU and thus fit into the current universe. Marvel likes everything being tied together.

    - Regarding introducing the X-Men into the MCU, I was having this discussion with someone last week and the truth is, you have to completely reboot the entire franchise with the exception of Hugh Jackman/Wolverine if you can get him to come back. There really isn’t any choice because Marvel would have to retcon the characters to introduce them. Example: Jennifer Lawrence costs WAY TOO MUCH money to add her to the cast and she would want to be one of the top stars of the film. You also have to look at it from a creative standpoint. No way does Marvel make her an illegitimate foster sister to Charles Xavier and no way does Marvel keep her as a babyface. She would be a strong heel in their universe; something that Jennifer Lawrence wouldn’t want to be. Next off, you have to look at McAvoy, Fassbender and Lawrence as a group. By the time you implement them into the MCU, they would have finished playing Charles Xavier, Magneto and Mystique for 4 movies each respectively. How many more times would they want to play the role? You can’t introduce them into the MCU for one film and then they all decide they don’t want to continue playing the roles anymore and you have to recast? Best bet is to start fresh with unknown or smaller known actors who are willing to play the parts across multiple films such as Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth and Scarlett Johannsson have done in the MCU. In my eyes, you can only bring in Hugh Jackman if he is willing to play the Wolverine role for at least a 3 picture deal because it is a “dream” sort of to have him interacting with Robert Downey Jr. for example. Jackman made that role iconic and most fans everywhere would LOVE to see him as Wolverine in the MCU. If you can’t get him for a few films, you absolutely need to bring him in for at least ONE film so that we can get that taste. From there, “kill” the character or bring in X-23 and use the same actress who portrayed her in Logan. At least keep that continuity. Everything else gets reboot. By reboot I mean don’t start fresh with the origin story. We’ve seen Professor X and Cyclops and Jean and Beast several times across several films. Just because it is a different studio doesn’t mean most of the audience needs a refresher. We get it. You can just cast actors in their 20’s to play the roles as already established. Have them introduced as the X-Men and take it from there.

    - Speaking of the MCU, actress Emily Van Camp a.k.a. Agent 13 a.k.a. Sharon Carter revealed that she is NOT in Avengers: Infinity War nor has she been contacted by Marvel to reprise her role in anything else moving forward. She noted that Marvel can call at any time but as of now she has nothing on the agenda for her. There have been rumors about her reprising the role for “Agents of Shield” but nothing confirmed.

    - Black Panther has set the record for pre-sales within the first 24 hours of tickets being sold and has surpassed the advance sales of Captain America: Civil War.

    - ABC TV head Channing Dungey spoke about the possibility of “Agents of Shield” returning next season and while not officially confirming their renewal spoke about the show in very promising fashion noting that last year’s season was excellent and he believes that this season is creatively their best to date. He also noted that he knows what is coming for the 2nd half of the season and is excited for it to hit the screen. He said he plans on meeting with the creative team to lay out their plans for season 6 for him to see if they are going to forge ahead but it does look promising for them if they keep up the excellent writing. That is fantastic news because I am in 100% agreement that this season of the show has been incredible so far.

    - Also about Shield, Ming-Na Wen a.k.a. Agent Melinda May is currently recovering from ACL surgery she suffered at the end of last season while filming a stunt. That is the reason she was “injured” when she went into the future because they needed to write in her limping into the show. In real life she has a knee brace on and is undergoing physical therapy. Other fun fact that bugged me out…she is 54 in real life. Totally does not look it at all. WOW.

    - Marvel’s “The Runaways” has been renewed for a 2nd season by Hulu. I am looking forward to binge watching the show now that all of the episodes are up.

    - Over in the Arrow-verse, Supergirl, which returns next Monday will take a 9 week hiatus in February to make way for Legends of Tomorrow. Legends is losing their timeslot to the debuting Black Lightning which is also a part of the Arrow-Verse despite no planned crossovers in the immediate future. Supergirl was swapped out because they managed to suffer some production issues that may or may not have to do with the firing of show runner Andrew Kriesberg for sexual harassment claims. CW also felt that there was going to be superhero overkill by having all of their shows on the air at the same time which is a LAME excuse since it is only one more show. That being said, due to the delay, Supergirl will now run until mid-June while the rest of the shows will end in May. That is a plus overall as Supergirl has been pretty excellent this season.

    - How in the world did I not know about “Drop the Mic” on TBS? I don’t really follow James Corden all that much except for an occasional “Carpool Karaoke” but I saw the Jonathan Lipniki vs. Danielle Fishelle EPISODE and it was HILARIOUS. I then You Tubed a bunch of others and A) Corden is GREAT on it and B) these are hilarious. I am hooked.

    - There have been a few major shake-ups at Warner Brothers that are going to change the face of the DCU. Toby Emmerich has been named chairman of the studio and will report directly to Warner Brothers CEO Kevin Tsujihara with no other middle men or committees to confirm with before things get greenlit. WB feels that one of the reasons “Justice League” faltered at the box office was because Henry Cavill’s Superman was NOT featured in any of the marketing of the film. To be honest, while I don’t feel that is the reason the movie bombed, I do agree 100% that was a dumb decision overall and “killing” him to begin with was majorly stupid. Tsuijhara also confirmed that the DCU will no longer attempt to follow in Marvel’s footsteps with a shared universe and doesn’t plan on connecting all of their films to tell one large overall story. Instead they will be stand-alone films that do not connect. Will there be crossover characters in future films? Possibly. But will one film lead to the next and then to the next? No. Geoff Johns is also OUT of DC films but will remain as Chief Creative Officer for DC Entertainment.

    - Apparently Kid Flash is expected to be joining the cast of “Legends of Tomorrow” as a replacement for Firestorm. I do not know if this is going to be a permanent role but he will be a part of the team for a few episodes. It is what is best as he doesn’t really have a point on “The Flash” anymore. One speedster saving Central City is enough.

    ~Matt Dawgs

    Feel free to discuss whatever you'd like on the “Board” where I can do my best to answer anything you’d like. Also drop a comment in the comment box below as I try my best to answer in a timely fashion. You can also tweet me on the tweeter. I reply there as well. Questions, Corrections, Comments, Feedback or Ideas: EMAIL ME .

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