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: Alternative Facts.
WWE NEWS AND NOTES:
- Fantastic ending to RAW on Monday heading into the Royal Rumble this weekend. The crowd obviously did NOT expect Brock Lesnar to be there especially since he was not advertised and exploded when he came out. The got even louder when the Undertaker showed up unexpectedly and blew the roof off the building for the faceoff between Brock/Goldberg/Taker. Amazingly enough, despite the fact that Taker and Goldberg have known each other since BEFORE Taker started wrestling and both working in the same company for a year back in 2004/2005, they have NEVER been in the ring together; EVER.
- For what it is worth, Goldberg in interviews has been very positive about his experience in WWE this time around. He noted that Vince McMahon has opened the doors for him to return and that between how he is treated, the reaction he is getting from fans, etc., he is extremely happy that he got to return to WWE.
- FYI...Goldberg flubbing his lines during his promo on Monday was because he legit knocked himself silly when he headbutted the door to hype himself up like he used to do in his WCW days. Dude, you are 50 years old. Not 36 anymore. You can’t do that. Goldberg noted that he is probably not going to do that anymore.
- If anyone else thinks that Seth Rollins really isn’t going to be in the Royal Rumble, I got a bridge to sell you. It is an intriguing angle though to have him lose his spot to Sami Zayn all due to Triple H’s music playing. Glad to see that with the Super Bowl two weeks away, Triple H will be back on television soon.
- I honestly don’t think I can see Charlotte play a babyface again. She is amazing as a heel. As much as I want to see Bayley get a title run (and she deserves it), I am perfectly fine with Charlotte being Raw Women’s Champion forever.
- Although Charlotte did mention that no one was more proud of Bayley making it to RAW than she was. Um, correct me if I am wrong but wasn’t Charlotte already a heel when Bayley was called up and didn’t she say she didn’t belong here when that happened? Please don’t re-write history WWE. This wasn’t that long ago.
- EMMALINA IS COING SOON!!!! YAY!!!
- As of right now, there is only 40,000 sold for the Rumble on Sunday. The dome fits 62,000 so they are going to be WAY short of a sellout even if they paper it over the weekend. This is almost exactly the case as it was the last time the Rumble was held in San Antonio which saw Shawn Michaels win the WWE title back from Psycho Sid.
- Finn Balor was medically evaluated earlier this week to see if he can return to competition. If he was cleared, which obviously neither he nor WWE would announce, he will likely be in the Royal Rumble. If he wasn’t, it is expected he will return in time for Wrestlemania.
- As viewed the past two weeks on Smackdown, they are in fact building to an A.J. Styles vs. Shane McMahon match at Wrestlemania. I am torn by this. Styles deserves so much better at Mania. Flip side to that however is that Styles can definitely have an entertaining match with Shane. He’s done more with less talented people than Shane. By the way, A.J. can thank Brock Lesnar for this since as noted several times; Brock vs. Shane was penciled in for Mania until Goldberg was convinced to do more than one match.
- Pencil in Roman Reigns vs. Undertaker at Mania, likely for the Universal Title. Hopefully the pull the trigger on a Reigns heel turn already.
- Samoa Joe!!! Boom.
- The above was pre-emptive for the Royal Rumble on Sunday. Samoa Joe as well as Shinsuke Nakamura are currently scheduled for sign autographs at Fan Axxess Mania weekend with the main stars of Raw and Smackdown and not during the "B" signings or NXT signings.
- Akira Tozawa makes his "205 Live" debut next week. If they sign Kota Ibushi full time they will have some excellent Japanese talent working for them with Nakamura, Tozawa, Itami, Asuka and Ibushi.
- Revisiting this comment by the way but what is the point of having cruiserweights on RAW if they only get 3 – 5 minutes per match? Cruiserweights stand out because of their exciting matches. You can’t showcase much in 3 – 5 minutes.
- I wish I had more time to watch 205 Live because Neville is so damn good.
- Mustafa Ali’s finisher though. WOW.
- I hate that WWE doesn’t really see much in Enzo Amore because they really have something in him and Big Cass. They do realize that the pop that they get when their music hits ISN’T for Cass right?
- Speaking of Cass, I expect a big showing from him and Baron Corbin at the Rumble.
- Is this the most stacked Rumble ever? Usually we get a lot of jobbers/filler in this match. So far with 23 names announced, there aren’t many jobbers.
- Rusev is f*cking awesome on the mic. Rusev to Big E.: "Why do they call you Big E huh? Everyone can see that you are big. You don’t see people calling me Handsome Rusev since everyone can readily see that I am handsome."
- The finish to the Jericho/Reigns match was well done especially with Owens getting put in the cage, Jericho hanging from it as he tried to keep it from getting elevated and Reigns giving him the Superman Punch while he was hanging. The agent/producer that thought of that sequence needs to be applauded.
- Jerry Lawler’s appearance on Smackdown last week was NOT a one off. He has actually been re-signed to a new one year deal. NOT a Legends Deal as expected, but a contract. He will be at the Rumble on the pre-show panel and announcing the Rumble match itself alongside Michael Cole and Corey Graves.
- While this could be a swerve, Kurt Angle told TMZ that he isn’t going to be in Sunday’s Royal Rumble and he still has not spoken to WWE about anything other than the Hall of Fame.
- Smackdown Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss revealed that she was suffering from a life threatening case of anorexia when she was in college in 2009 and weighed as little as 80 lbs. while a college cheerleader in Akron. She now works to prevent anorexia.
- When is this James Ellsworth thing going to end? His segments on Smackdown with Carmella were TERRIBLE. And they had absolutely no point to them. None at all.
- WWE is currently negotiating with FloSlam even though they own a percentage to get them to release EVOLVE from their deal so that they can begin airing EVOLVE stuff on the WWE Network. In exchange, WWE will be willing to play ball allowing their contracted talents to appear on shows streamed by FloSlam. As of not, WWE has pulled ALL of their U.K. signed talents from shows streaming on FloSlam.
- Due to their relationship with EVOLVE, WWE is allowing Chris Hero’s Kassius Ohno) final EVOLVE matches this weekend to air on FloSlam.
- Brock Lesnar is scheduled to work a February 17th WWE Live Event in Dallas vs. The Big Show.
- WWE has commissioned a "Ric Flair" statue that will be revealed at WWE Fan Axxess over Wrestlemania weekend.
- Apparently there has been an ongoing power struggle backstage on the Smackdown brand with "Road Dogg" Brian James trying to usurp power from head writer Ryan Ward. Well that struggle is over as Brian James is officially the new head writer of Smackdown and Ryan Ward.
- Apparently Joey Mercury is no longer with the company. He was let go during the most recent WWE European tour. No reason was given but you can use your imagination as why he was dismissed mid-tour in Europe given his history with the company as well as his situation last year.
- I made a stink last week when WWE aired a full video package tribute to WWE Hall of Famer Jimmy Snuka. While Snuka was significant in the company history and certainly deserves praise since he was NEVER convicted of a crime, I felt it was way too close to the charges against him being dropped (2 weeks) and a graphic would have sufficed. Maybe show the graphic at the top of every hour. But it happened and that was done. Imagine my surprise when I get an email from the WWE Network telling me to "Celebrate the Life of Jimmy Snuka" on the Network with a special they put together. Um....no thanks.
- Linda McMahon’s confirmation hearing began this week in Washington D.C. this week and she is expected to clear with no problems however newly elected Senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois did bring up WWE’s labor practices and how WWE classifies their workers i.e. employees vs. independent contractors. That is an interesting development to say the least.
- John Cena added yet another hosting gig to his resume. He will be hosting this year’s Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards. This is in addition to his recent Saturday Night Live hosting and ESPN ESPY Awards hosting gigs. He is still also co-hosting NBC’s the "Today Show" at least once a week.
- The 2018 Royal Rumble will be taking place in Philadelphia Pennsylvania.
- Ric Flair’s podcast on MLW Radio available through iTunes will be back in February.
- Former WWE talent Alex Riley was on Jim Ross’ podcast and despite not going into details did confirm that he had an incident with John Cena which negatively affected his career. He said: "I’ll put it this way. There was an incident and it certainly changed the path of my career. I don’t want to discuss it right now, but I will one day, for sure. I will one day. It was a tough situation at times; I guess we can leave it at that. ... and, honestly, JR, I struggle with the morality of even talking about it and I’m not into blowing up anybody else at this point, but I promise you this, I will address it one day for sure. You don’t want to know. It was a tough situation."
- Netflix has landed the rights to the documentary titled: "Hulk Hogan, Gawker and the Trials of a Free Press". The documentary is exactly what you think it is about.
- Rey Mysterio’s son Dominick has begun his wrestling training in Southern California under the tutelage of longtime independent wrestler B-Boy at Battle U. That is awesome. B-Boy is an excellent person to learn from.
- WWE Hall of Famer Tammy "Sunny" Sytch is still being held in prison. She did plead guilty to some charges on January 12th as part of a plea deal but has yet to be sentenced.
- Former WWE star Dave Batista has some choice words for WWE in a recent interview conducted at the Sundance Film Festival. He noted that he HATED his last run with the company due to all of the behind-the scenes stuff that went on. He said he had no issue with putting over Daniel Bryan at Mania XXX but said that they wanted him to put him over again the following month which he turned down noting that they should reunite Evolution and make the Shield stronger. They did and then when it was time for him to leave, they broke up the Shield which he felt was a waste since they worked so hard to make them bigger as a group for months. He also revealed he was originally supposed to be done at Mania but stayed another month because he wanted to. He mentioned that despite all that, he was willing to come back later than summer before Summerslam since "Guardians of the Galaxy" would have just come out. He was told directly by Hunter and Stephanie, and I quote: "We don’t even know if it (Guardians) is going to be any good?" He also pushed to come back as a heel with a similar character to the way he left and was rebuffed as he was told that the fans would love him when he returned. Once he was getting booed every night, Vince eventually conceded he was right and turned him heel.
NXT TAKEOVER SAN ANTONIO is THIS SATURDAY 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 PainNXT WOMEN’S TITLE: Asuka © vs. Nikki Cross vs. Billie Kay vs. Peyton RoyceRoderick Strong vs. Andrade "Cien" AlmasTye Dillinger vs. Eric Young
WWE ROYAL RUMBLE PPV is THIS SUNDAY 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 / Seth Rollins / The Undertaker / Dean Ambrose / The Miz / Dolph Ziggler / Randy Orton / Bray Wyatt / Luke Harper / Cesaro / Sheamus / Big Show / Big Cass / Rusev / Sami Zayn / Mojo Rawley / WWE UNIVERSAL TITLE: Kevin Owens © vs. Roman Reigns in a NO DQ match w/Chris Jericho in a shark cage above the ringWWE TITLE: A.J. Styles © vs. John CenaWE RAW WOMEN’S TITLE: Charlotte © vs. BayleyWWE CRUISERWEIGHT TITLE: Rich Swann © vs. NevilleWWE TAG TEAM TITLES: Sheamus & Cesaro vs. The Club (Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson) with 2 referees.Nia Jax vs. Sasha BanksNikki Bella/Naomi/Becky Lynch vs. WWE Smackdown Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss ©/Mickie James/Natalya
TNA IMPACT WRESTLING NEWS and NOTES:
- Dutch Mantell is no longer a consultant for Impact Wrestling as he has been hired full time and is working on the creative team alongside head of creative John Gaburick and Matt Conway. I fully expect that Jeff Jarrett will be hired sooner rather than later and will take over for creative when he does.
- "Broken" Matt Hardy and "Brother Nero" Jeff captured Mexico’s "Crash" promotion tag team titled defeating Juventud Guerrera and Nicho (The original Psychosis of ECW/WCW/WWE fame). The match was in fact taped and will air highlights on Impact Wrestling. This is all part of Broken Matt’s "Premonition" that he and Jeff will capture all of the tag team championships in the world.
- Josh Barnett was brought in as a request by Bobby Lashley who has been training MMA with Barnett recently. Lashley recaptured the Impact World title last night defeating Eddie Edwards in a 30 minute Iron Man match.
Ring of Honor / Lucha Underground / Independent / International News and Notes:
- Kenny Omega announced that he has signed a new one-year contract with New Japan Pro Wrestling. He noted his goal is to become IWGP champion and make international wrestling bigger than it is. He only signed for one-year because he wants to revisit "other options" next year. He also noted the reason he revealed it was because he did not want his fans to think he was going to show up as a surprise in the WWE Royal Rumble on Sunday.
- In MAJOR AAA news, Pentagon Jr. has quit the promotion and announced that he will be known as Penta El Cero Miedo. AAA then trademarked Cero Miedo and he had to since announce he will be known as Penta El 0M. He debuted for the "Crash" promotion in Mexico which is booked by the former AAA booker Konnan. Joining him in his Crash debut were Daga and Hector Garza Jr. They were wearing gear representing "Perros de Mal" which apparently is NOT trademarked by AAA. He is also teaming with Rey Fenix (formerly Fenix in AAA who is his brother) and they are going by the name of "The Lucha Brothers". Not sure how this is going to affect his Lucha Underground status as Dorion Roldan, co-owner of AAA is now helping book Lucha Underground.
- There is no official timetable to the return of Lucha Underground to television. According to Executive producer Eric Van Wagenen, they were not aware that they would be taking a hiatus when they taped the season.
- Hangman Page has re-signed with Ring of Honor. So has Bobby Cruise.
MMA News and Notes:
- Daniel Cormier defending the UFC Light Heavyweight title vs. Anthony "Rumble" Johnson has been rescheduled. It will be the new main event of UFC 210 from Buffalo New York on April 8th. UFC is pushing for the winner to fight the returning Jon Jones later this summer however Cormier refuses to fight Jones unless Jones gets a fight before it. If Rumble wins however, he will almost certainly have to face Jones unless it is close enough that Cormier can warrant a rematch because Rumble has virtually cleared out all the top contenders in the division by knockout.
- UFC is now shying away from the annual Memorial Day Weekend PPV show. Instead the May PPV will be UFC 211 from Dallas Texas on May 13th.
- UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes announced that she has about two or three fights left in her before she plans on retiring and starting a family of her own. I fully believe that this is 100% a negotiating tactic on her part.
- Travis Browne vs. Derrick Lewis has been moved from UFC 209 in Brooklyn to the February Fight Night from Halifax as the main event since Junior Dos Santos is now injured and off that show. He was originally scheduled to headline that show vs. Stefan Struve.
- The above injury may be a blessing in disguise for Dos Santos as UFC is toying with the idea of giving him a title shot vs. Stipe Miocic later this year.
- Former UFC Play by Play announced Mike Goldberg broke his silence over his departure from UFC and noted that he left the company in a disappointing way. He also noted that since his departure was announced prior to his last show, he had not spoken to Dana White and still hasn’t to this day. He and Joe Rogan were under orders during his last broadcast to NOT mention he was leaving the company. This is some sad sh*t to say the least. I am flabbergasted that Dana White did not say goodbye to him or speak to him about the whole ordeal.
- Sage Northcutt announced that he is moving back down to Lightweight. I feel that is better for him as Welterweights are too big and strong for him.
- Gilbert Melendez is moving down from lightweight to featherweight.
- In news that is always tough to hear especially considering UFC is raking in the dough, UFC Bantamweight Michael McDonald has taken on a normal job which he is using to pay his bills and save up money so that he can pay for a training camp to return to UFC. He currently cannot afford a training camp. He last fought in the main event of a UFC Fight Night on FS1 on July 2016. He lost that fight via KO to Jon Lineker.
- Congrats to Tito Ortiz as he ended his MMA career last Saturday with a submission victory over Chael Sonnen at the Bellator show. Sonnen, in his Bellator debut looked different physically and it was obvious that his 3 years off and lack of "enhancements" have certainly had their effect on him.
- Ortiz vs. Sonnen was a HUGE draw for Bellator doing their 3rd biggest audience of all time with a peak of 1.85 million viewers.
- Bellator is negotiating with UFC Light Heavyweight Ryan Bader who is a free agent. They are also trying to sign former UFC star Lorenz Larkin.
- Bellator announced that Quinton "Rampage" Jackson vs. Mohammed "King Mo" Lawal will headline the March 31st Bellator show.
- Former Bellator heavyweight Brett Rogers is currently homeless and living on the streets in Florida. He was recently charged with 3 separate counts of sexual assault against men. That is not a typo.
UFC on FOX 23 is TOMORROW NIGHT 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 RandamieAnderson Silva vs. Derek BrunsonRonaldo "Jacare" Souza vs. Tim BoetschDustin Poirier vs. Jim Miller
UFC 209 is on Saturday, March 4th, 2017 from Paradise Nevada and the line-up is as follows:UFC WELTERWEIGHT TITLE: Tyron Woodley © vs/ Stephen "Wonderboy" ThompsonINTERIM UFC LIGHTWEIGHT TITLE: Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony FergusonAlistair Overeem vs. Mark Hunt
UFC 210 is on Saturday, April 8th, 2017 from Buffalo New York and the line-up is as follows:UFC LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE: Daniel Cormier © vs. Anthony "Rumble" JohnsonChris Weidman vs. Gegard Mousasi
Random Thoughts, Links, Pics, ETC.
- Random VIDEO of the week: Official Trailer for "Trainspotting 2"
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week: Latest Trailer for "King Arthur"
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 2: Great TV spot for "John Wick: Chapter 2"
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 3: Triumph The Insult Comic Dog was at the Inauguration.
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 4: Bad Lip Reading from President Trump’s Inauguration.
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 5: Official Trailer for "Colossal"
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 6: Honest Trailer for "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory"
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 7: The "Avenger’s Project". If this plays ANYTHING like Tomb Raider did, I am all in.
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 8: Official Trailer for "Wolves"
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 9: Official Trailer for "Brimstone"
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 10: I am still not watching this show nor do I have any plans to because a Batman show without Batman is not my cup of tea but honestly, if this "Jerome" is actually the Joker then I think they are doing a good job by the looks of it.
- THIS LINK is for LIFE. Thank you soldiers. WELCOME HOME BLOG
- BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week: I don’t understand why social media is making a fuss about this? So what? Who cares?
- BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 1: Major props to this guy. WOW!!!
- BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 2: Definitely a kind gesture and the type of gesture than can help this country turn around during this time of conflict and division. We need more of this.
- BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 3: 2017 picking up where 2016 left off regarding celebs.
- BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 4: This story is flying WAY under the radar and really should be a much bigger deal than it is.
- BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 5: Suffice to say, I do not think these men were pleased that his prison sentence was commuted by President Obama.
- BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 6: I subscribed. Only because I want to see if she would do it. You should too.
BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 7: It always blows my mind to read stories like this. Who cares if it is "too painful"? It should be.
BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 8: Thankfully this turned out ok but this could have been a way different story had this kid been dropped off elsewhere.
- STAR WARS: The Last Jedi!!!!!!
- Just an FYI...Avengers: Infinity War has officially begun production.
- Director James Cameron revealed that the rights to the Terminator are due to go back to him in 2019 and after the disaster that was Terminator: Genisys, he expects the rights to go back to him and he plans on rebooting the franchise.
- I live in a world where technically "Suicide Squad" is now an Oscar nominated film but "Deadpool" isn’t. SMH.
- Speaking of, Suicide Squad director David Ayer recently penned a letter discussing the film and in the letter he revealed that in hindsight, he should have made the Joker the main villain.
- The DC/WB Superhero block all came back this week with solid outings. Supergirl was well done and the chemistry between Kara and Mon-El is fantastic. Anyone else think he is the Prince of Daxim? Flash came back and was awesome as usual. Legends of Tomorrow certainly delivered with George Lucas being introduced. Yes, THAT George Lucas and Arrow has definitely shown improvement from last season and continues to be exciting now that Laurel is back. Or "Laurel" as I should call her. Good stuff.
- Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is by far having their best season ever. I am so glad that the show found its niche and now has a solid cast that can deliver some solid acting with some solid writing behind it. Best season of the show so far and best superhero show on free TV. Also...Patton Oswalt returns next week!!! YAY!!!
- Marvel’s "The Inhumans" TV show begins filming in March in Hawaii.
- Fox has ordered a pilot order for a drama series based on mutants from "Burn Notice" creator Matt Nix and X-Men director Bryan Singer. The show will be absed on a family with mutant children on the run and hooking up with a group of underground mutants. The show is expected to feature several well-known characters from the X-Men universe.
- Actors Noah Gray-Cabey and Debby Ryan has been cast as "Cloak and Dagger" for the new Marvel series which begins filming February 14th.
- Pixar should take note. "Finding Dory" was NOT nominated for an Academy Award. Other than Toy Story 3, no Pixar sequel has been nominated for an Oscar. Not Toy Story 2, not Cars 2 and not Monsters University. The Good Dinosaur is the ONLY non-Pixar sequel that was not nominated and that was because I list it as the worst Pixar film to date (although I need to watch Cars 2 because it is close).
- Any of you "Scandal" fans out there, how crazy was it that this week’s season premiere was so eerily close to reality ever though it was filmed 6 months ago BEFORE the current presidential election. PS – contrary to their claims, 100% they moved the premiere to this week rather than last when it was originally scheduled for to not give anyone ideas with the real inauguration set to take place the following day.
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