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TGIF: The Greatest Professional Wrestling Match Of All Time
The ROHbot Report: State of the Art Reviews, ROH International Cup, And More
(32 Mins) Honor Nation: Banking On Revenge


TGIF: Making An Impact On WWE, Rowdy Rumble, and More

By Matt Dawgs Feb 2, 2018 - 9:49 AM print


T.G.I.F. with Matt Dawgs: #431

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:

WWE NEWS AND NOTES:

- In MAJOR NEWS for WWE, UFC Legend Ronda Rousey has apparently signed a contract with WWE. Not a deal for a “one off” but an actual contract that will have her working for WWE for a few years. The Royal Rumble was her official debut as she showed up after the Women’s Rumble match that closed the show and pointed to the Wrestlemania sign. WWE is “all in” with Rousey as they have “Hot Ronda” shirts already in production with the “Hot Rod” design made famous by WWE Hall of Famer “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and they also licensed her infamous UFC entrance music, “Bad Reputation” by Joan Jett. WWE rarely ever licenses legit music and have only done it a handful of times such as “Rolling” by Limp Bizkit for the Undertaker and “Cult of Personality” by Living Colour for C.M. Punk.

- The jacket that Rousey wore to the ring was in fact a jacket that “Rowdy” Roddy Piper used to wear and was gifted to Rousey when she signed by Piper’s son. That’s awesome.

- Rousey is NOT officially retired from MMA and won’t say that she is. The assumption is Dana White allowed her to sign a WWE deal because she is under UFC contract and is STILL in the USADA drug testing pool.

- Rousey is dedicated to wrestling however and noted in an interview with ESPN: "This is my life now. First priority on my timeline for the next several years. This is not a smash-and-grab; this is not a publicity stunt," Rousey told ESPN's Ramona Shelburne of her decision to join WWE. "When I first met with Triple H, I told him, 'There are other things I can do with my time that'll make way more money, but I won't enjoy nearly as much."

- As of this writing, WWE is looking to nail down Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to return and team with Rousey at Wrestlemania against HHH and Stephanie McMahon but if they cannot come to terms with The Rock (and they may not due to his incredibly hectic schedule and the fact that there are insurance issues with his films due to him getting injured a few years back in his 2nd bout with John Cena that delayed production on his Hercules film) then plan B is for Rousey to team with Kurt Angle instead.

- WWE presented their annual Royal Rumble Weekend with two really solid shows with NXT Takeover and The Royal Rumble PPV. There were PLENTY of surprises across both shows to make the events memorable including the television debuts of Trevor “Ricochet” Mann, Candice LeRae, War Machine (using that name) and EC 3 (also using that name but NOT being called Ethan Carter III) were all shown to the audience under those names. While WWE had previously announced Ricochet, LeRae and War Machine as having signed and joining the Performance Center, EC 3 has also officially signed and is joining the company.

- Has NXT had a bad “Takeover” yet? Takeover Philadelphia was all sorts of awesome with damn solid matches including an excellent main event of NXT Champion Andrade Cien Almas vs. Johnny Gargano. Gargano is going to be a SUPER babyface whenever he gets called up to the main roster as he can go and he can garner a ton of sympathy. Cien Almas has FINALLY stepped into the role he was expected to be in since day one. I remember a time when he got discouraged and was considering trying to quit. Glad he didn’t make that decision and is now great in his role. The match itself was outstanding as was the post show angle that saw Gargano’s former DIY partner Tommaso Ciampa lay him out with a shot from his crutch. Ciampa still had a knee brace on and was limping which means he is still not ready to return but that was a big red arrow pointing to the fact that this feud isn’t over yet.

- I texted a bunch of people this including James Guttman but Alistair Black is way too good to be in NXT. The flip side of that coin is that I am 100% convinced that WWE will f*ck him up on the main roster and ruin what makes him great. He is so unique and awesome but he is just a cut above the rest of the talent down there. It is crazy.

- Adam Cole Bay-Bay!!!! For those of you who didn’t follow his ROH career and don’t watch NXT, you got a taste of him in the Royal Rumble match. He is awesome and such a great heel. He was also scheduled to be the “surprise” opponent for Bobby Roode in the pre-show of the Rumble until someone realized that maybe it isn’t the best idea to have him job in 8 minutes on his main roster debut. He was then swapped with Mojo Rawley in the Rumble match itself earlier in the day. Thank god for that.

- If you didn’t watch Takeover, you NEED to see the Black vs. Cole match as well as Almas vs. Gargano because honestly those were two excellent matches and Almas vs. Gargano was all sorts of excellent.

- The Rumble PPV delivered in spades. It was the most fun Men’s Rumble match in a few years and the end booking was perfect. They couldn’t have put over Shinsuke any more if they tried. He eliminated the top 2 WWE “guys” in Cena and Roman to win. What more do you want? They weren’t fluke eliminations either. He legit won.

- As for the surprises, NXT Champ Andrade Cien Almas with his valet Zelina Vega, Adam Cole “Bay-Bay”, Rey Mysterio and Hurricane Helms. Helms cameo and Rey Mysterio’s entrances were perfect. Sadly both were “one offs”. Neither is signed to a deal.

- I have seen people praising the fact that Rey Mysterio’s YouTube clip has several MILLION more views than Ronda Rousey’s on the WWE YouTube account. What they forget to mention is that the only place to find Mysterio’s return online was the WWE YouTube account. Rousey’s debut however was EVERYWHERE including the ESPN YouTube account which also has a few million views. So in total, Rousey’s debut was viewed by more people online than Rey’s.

- With the above being said, WWE absolutely should offer Rey a deal to return for limited dates. He was in great shape and looked like he hasn’t missed a step. If you didn’t notice, he was also wearing his OLD SCHOOL tights and not the baggy pants to hide his knee braces. He wasn’t wearing knee braces at all which is an incredible sign. Bring him back and let him work a limited schedule.

- I’d sign Helms too. He can still work and is a name for 205 Live to help the guys there. They need more veteran cruiserweights.

- That was followed by a much better than expected Women’s Royal Rumble match. The surprise entrants, and there were A LOT, were perfect.

The surprises for the women were much more star studded including Lita, Molly Holly, Jacqueline, Beth Phoenix, Michelle McCool, Vickie Guerrero, Kelly Kelly, Torrie Wilson, Nikki Bella, Brie Bella, Ember Moon and Trish Stratus all joining the match. The match itself was excellent as everyone had their working shoes on and looked great. McCool, Phoenix, Trish and Molly didn’t miss a beat and looked like they could contribute to the main roster if they decided to come back full time. Great stuff.

- For those complaining about Ronda Rousey overshadowing Asuka’s moment, you are insane. Asuka won the 1st EVER Women’s Royal Rumble and in the process threw out the women’s face of the company to do so because despite all the love that the Four Horsewomen get, Nikki and Brie are still the top females the company has hence why they do the TV upfronts, award shows, red carpet, etc. Sh*t, they are still the star of Total Divas despite both of them spending the last year NOT BEING PART OF THE ROSTER. So throwing out Nikki to win is a surefire sign she is the star and is the equivalent of Nakamura throwing out both Cena and Reigns. They couldn’t have put her over stronger. Then they had her share the ring with both women champions; Alexa Bliss and Charlotte and let her be in the middle of the angle introducing the person who is now the most famous face in WWE not named Dwayne as it aired on repeat all across the world. They also let her slap Rousey’s hand away when she went to shake it thus not looking like a jabronie/mark who was in awe of Rousey or scared of her. It was fantastic.

- Look, you can hate on Rousey all you want for her attitude and for the fact that she can’t take a loss but the reality is, she is a HUGE star and is taking this seriously. She has been training for several months, several times a week. She is an athlete who works hard and I assume is getting good at it. I think she will be fine and is worth whatever it is they are paying her.

- One of the MAIN reasons they announced her signing when they did is because WWE is undergoing negotiations on their next TV deal. Having a proven star/name such as Ronda under a long term contract is a huge bonus in negotiating tactics. A Morgan Stanley analyst was quoted as saying that WWE could get a jump because of Rousey and move from the current $140 million a year they get from USA to $245 million a year.

- For those wondering, Stephanie McMahon is the trailblazer for the women’s revolution. Yep, in WWE revisionist history, she is the one who started all this. Not Paige and Emma who if you want to be technical, are the first who set this off. Not Charlotte or Natalya or Sasha or Becky or Bayley who all came to NXT AFTER Paige and Emma set the world on fire. Not any of the women who have since been hired after that including those who were not hired from the Mae Young Classic. Nope, it was all Stephanie.

- With Ronda now in and Stephanie as the trailblazer for women, WWE brought back all of those older talents for the Rumble not only to participate in the Rumble match itself but they filmed footage for a documentary they are releasing on women in wrestling. Despite the WWE version of history now being made, WWE is still the best when it comes to documentaries so it should be good.

- One of the reasons that the Women’s Rumble match went so smoothly was because they were pulled off live events on Friday and Saturday to arrive in Philadelphia and run through the entire rumble match itself.

- During the Rumble, Michael Cole noted that Jinder Mahal was making his first appearance in the Royal Rumble match. That would be 100% true if you completely ERASE the 2012 Royal Rumble from history where he entered at #14 and was eliminated by the Great Khali. Or of course the 2013 Royal Rumble where he entered at #27 and was eliminated by Sheamus. I hate these f*cking commentators sometimes.

- Jason Jordan’s injury is apparently significant. His neck is giving him issues and he is being protected on live events and TV by doing as little as possible and sometimes nothing. He is being evaluated but as of now, he is having trouble with his grip in his hand thus meaning he has some sort of disc issues that will possibly require surgery and thus keep him out of action for a significant amount of time including missing Wrestlemania which is a super tough break for him as the tentative plan was for him to wrestle either Seth Rollins or Kurt Angle on that show.

- Bobby Lashley has agreed to terms and is expected to make his WWE return imminently. It is a matter of WHEN, not IF. They may save his return for after Wrestlemania so that he can be in the plans for an eventual feud with Brock Lesnar.

- Alicia Fox broke her tailbone and the recovery time will be several months.

- RAW was a solid show that was very heavy on wrestling and little on angles. None of the surprises from the night before showed up INCLUDING Rousey who was back in Columbia filming “Mile 22” with Mark Wahlberg.

- There are no hospitals in Philadelphia; only “Local medical facilities”. Can any Philly readers confirm this?

- Women are once again having a first as Stephanie McMahon announced on RAW that Alexa Bliss will defend her title in the first ever Women’s Elimination Chamber match. While I am all for all of this woman stuff, as Sasha Banks demonstrated on RAW, they still have to try and take it easy. For those who missed it, Banks did a suicide dive on Asuka on RAW and legit almost committed suicide as she tripped in the ropes while diving and landed on the top of her head almost spiking herself like a pile driver. She is so talented and such a hard worker but she takes a lot of reckless bumps with her body. I don’t know if it is because her is so petite so it looks worse than it is or if it is because she just throws herself around to make things look better but is risking her health while doing so. Either way, she needs to take some of the stuff out of her toolbox before she gets injured.

- Did anyone else notice that Asuka won with the “Asuka Lock” and NOT the armbar as she has been using for months? Interesting.

- It is coming……Matt Hardy has tweeted so. He wrote after Raw on Monday: “I WILL END YOU BRAY!!!! You will suffer The Final DELETION!!!” I just hope and pray that WWE doesn’t f*ck it up.

- “Senior Benjamin, PREPARE THE BATTLEFIELD FOR MASSACRE!!!”

- There is a good chance that they do get “The Woken Universe” correctly however as WWE has in fact hired Jeremy Borash away from Impact. He was one of the key people in creative for Impact and worked side by side with Matt Hardy to create the “Broken” character. Borash was also the longest tenured employee of Impact having been with the company since DAY ONE, literally DAY ONE as he was hired before they even held their first event.

- Congrats to Borash as he is one of the hardest working men in wrestling and wears many hats. He can do commentary, back stage interviews, ring announcing, production, writing, etc. Borash was a big part of Matt Hardy’s brain trust when working on the “Broken” Universe in TNA. As of now, the plan is for him to work in NXT doing multiple things asked of him. He is a Triple H hire as he came recommended by several people within the company.

- I am ok with Cena beating Balor because it was an excellent match and was coming off of Balor being the iron-man in the Rumble. I am not ok with the fact that they gave it away on free TV with no hype but why am I surprised?

- For those wondering, Taker vs. Cena is still the plan for Mania. They haven’t done the angle for it because Cena is in the Elimination Chamber and by teasing to Taker/Cena would give away the result that Cena isn’t winning.

- The Dudley Boyz have been confirmed as the latest act to be inducted into the 2018 WWE Hall of Fame. Bubba Ray noted that they are officially the first ECW created act to be inducted into the Hall.

- Former WWE Diva Ivory is the next expected name to be announced for the Hall of Fame shortly. Even though he is not retired officially, Mark Henry is also expected to get the nod which means we have absolutely seen the last of him in-ring wise. The posthumous induction expected to be Bam Bam Bigelow and Kid Rock will be the celebrity inductee.

- Best of luck to Miz and Maryse as their baby has a due date of 2 days before Wrestlemania.

- Daniel Bryan has implemented a new “Top 10” ranking system to Smackdown. Neither he nor Shane McMahon will have any say in the rankings as they will be done by the Smackdown locker room and wrestlers are NOT allowed to vote for themselves. This ranking system will determine who gets title shots, etc.

- Smackdown this week was full of changes. A ton of new and mostly weird and out of place graphics were added in an attempt to make the show feel “cutting edge” and different than Raw. They mostly failed as it made the show look weird instead.

- Great follow up on Smackdown to Dolph Ziggler’s surprise return from quitting the company a few months back. That was sarcasm by the way since Ziggler wasn’t on Smackdown this week. SMH.

- One of the guys squashed by the Bludgeon Brothers this week was Rory Gulak, brother of 205 Live competitor Drew Gulak.

- They are teasing the breakup of Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens already. Please do not rush this WWE. There is a ton of life left in them as a duo. It is way too soon.

- In this week’s “Mixed Match Challenge”, Braun Strowman and Alexa Bliss defeated Sami Zayn and Becky Lynch when Bliss jumped off of Braun’s shoulders to hit “Twisted Bliss” on Becky.

- WWE is teasing a romance between Strowman and Bliss and quite honestly, I am ALL IN ON IT!!! It is great. They can absolutely go down the same route as Enzo/Nia Jax from a few weeks ago only this time Nia is the one hating on Alexa. Imagine how much more gold this would have been had Enzo not gotten fired. Double dates with them, etc? They cut a promo following their match where Braun said he thinks she is cute and she replied that Braun is kind of cute too. She then told Braun that they are going to go all the way. Braun misinterpreted this and smiled and smirked before she clarified that she meant all the way to the finals of the tournament. GOLD.

- Ahem…from last week’s column: “My assumption is that the GM will be the debuting Rockstar Spud.”

- Drake Maverick is the new GM of 205 Live. Maverick is the debuting Rockstar Spud of TNA fame. This is the perfect role for him as he is an ok wrestling but GREAT talker/character and can help with the show.

- He announced a 16 man tournament to crown the new Cruiserweight champion with the finals of the tournament taking place at Wrestlemania.

- Debuting next week for 205 Live will be Roderick Strong as he faces Hideo Itami in the tournament for the vacant title. I am extremely disappointed that Strong is being typecast as a cruiserweight as he is no smaller than Sami Zayn and is just as good as a worker. It sucks that he is going to be vanished to 205 Live when he can contribute greatly to Raw and especially on Smackdown.

- 1st ever WWE U.K. champion Tyler Bate was in the cruiserweight tournament this week losing to T.J.P. I don’t get why they debuted him to job him out. If it was a “one off” then that is even stupider because he can be an asset to 205 Live.

- In much ado about nothing news, for some reason the 2006 allegations of sexual assault against Vince McMahon made the news cycle again this week. It is weird because no charges were filed and nothing came of it. Assuming it made the news again because of #MeToo but it isn’t like this wasn’t covered already.

- BEHIND THE SCENES of RAW 25 at the Manhattan Center.

- The flu struck WWE again as Nigel McGuiness missed the Takeover show last weekend. McGuinness as well as Corey Graves are two examples of people who are in the wrestling business who WANT IT. Graves was on Edge and Christian’s podcast last week and discussed how he got into commentating. When he got his last concussion in NXT, he was told he needed to go home and take time off. Rather than doing nothing, he showed up at the Performance Center every day and picked the brains of the trainers and guests who were there. He would also camp out in Dusty Rhodes office under the “learning tree”. Eventually Dusty asked him to help run the promo class and secretly informed WWE top brass that Graves was showing a lot of initiative rather than doing nothing at home. One day at the PC, Michael Cole saw all that Graves was helping with and asked if he had any interest in commentary. Graves decided to start learning about commentary. Then WWE informed him that they wouldn’t allow him to wrestling anymore due to multiple concussions but that they loved his work ethic and that they want him to become a full time commentator which he accepted.

- Jerry Lawler revealed that the Miz and Seth Rollins appearing at the Manhattan Center for Raw 25 were legitimate last minute decisions by WWE while the show was on the air because they realized how tense the Center was getting for the lack of star power and angles they were being given.

- The hits keep on coming for the Colons. Epico revealed via social media that he underwent shoulder surgery in Birmingham Alabama this week which will sideline him for up to 6 months. Despite not being on television in months, he and cousin Primo recently returned to Smackdown live events as a team facing the Bludgeon Brothers and the Ascension in three-way matches. This was recent as Primo was out before their return for about 6 months due to knee surgery.

- Former WWE talent James Ellsworth discussed his release from WWE this week on “Talk is Jericho”. During the conversation he revealed that Carmella was the first person to call him when he was released and she ended up staying with him on the phone until he was ready to hang up.

- Former WWE Diva Kaitlyn, who was NOT called for the Women’s Royal Rumble is going to be wrestling her first match later this month since she left WWE in 2014, revealed that after leaving WWE to get married to her husband, she developed a drug addiction and didn’t seek help until 2016. So she was on drugs for about 2 years. Once she got her help, she divorced her husband in 2017 and developed a drinking problem which she has also recovered from. She is now sober for the first time in almost 4 years.

- Excellent WWE production piece on KASSIUS OHNO.

- The Bill Simmons/HBO documentary with WWE’s input on the life and death of Andre the Giant is set to debut on HBO on April 10th. In addition to footage of Andre being used, WWE also provided interviews with Vince McMahon, “Mean” Gene Okerlund, Ric Flair, Jerry “The King” Lawler and others. You can view THE TRAILER HERE.

- With the Andre The Giant documentary on HBO coming in April, WWE is planning on pushing the Andre Battle Royal hard this year like they did in year-one before it fell off a cliff and became a geek-fest with no real consequences.

- Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” is now up to $821 million worldwide. They have greenlit a sequel for obvious reasons.

- WWE has signed Egyptian boxer Mohamed Fahim to a developmental deal. He is a 28 year old boxer and was signed based off of a tryout WWE held in Abu Dhabi in April of last year.

- It is expected to be formally announced soon but from what I understand it is locked in, Wrestlemania 35 will be held at Met Life Stadium in New Jersey. As of this writing, I plan on attending and making it the first Wrestlemania for my son.

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

- In what was a surprising turn of events at the New Japan “New Beginnings” tour, “Switchblade” Jay White captured the IWGP U.S. Title from Kenny Omega which was promptly followed by Cody attacking Omega and kicking him out of the Bullet Club. Talk about major angles. This was followed by Cody about to lay out Omega with a chair but he was saved by Kota Ibushi. Omega and Kota then hugged to end the show. Fantastic angle.

- After the show, Omega released a statement to the press about his “relationship” with Kota Ibushi. Now I have never seen any of their DDT work either as a team or their eventual match which was one of the top in-ring matches to ever take place in Japan as I have only heard about it but Omega’s statement sure poured it on thick and lead me to believe that he and Ibushi’s “relationship” was “more” than friendship/respect. He kind of hinted that they were gay/bi.

- If you aren’t a fan of the “Being the Elite” show that the Bullet Club posts to You Tube, you should be following it as they are both in and out of character on that show thus blurring the lines of reality vs. scripted. Anyway, this week’s episode of the show ended with a despondent and sad Kenny Omega along with Kota Ibushi walking through the hallway of a hotel before knocking on a door. When the door opened, it was The Young Bucks and they entered the room and shut the door. So maybe the Bullet Club isn’t broken up yet? Or maybe the Bucks are siding with Kenny? Interesting stuff.

- The other main angle of the show was Minoru Suzuki capturing the IWGP Intercontinental Title due to referee stoppage from Hiroshi Tanahashi due to not being able to continue as Suzuki “injured” Tanahashi’s knee. This is being done to give him time off to recover from his various injuries. He was stretchered out of the ring. He will likely return at either the Long Beach show in March or the ROH show Wrestlemania weekend in April.

- Cody has been working with a broken cheekbone suffered at the last ROH TV tapings. It is a perfect time to bring back the phantom of the opera mask if you ask me.

- The announcement for the location of The Bullet Club’s “All In” show is expected to be around March 1st. The likely location for the show is Chicago but other locations are not out of the running other than international spots meaning The U.K. is officially out. The show is also likely to be streamed live on the internet.

- The “Strong Style Evolved” show which is New Japan’s 2018 U.S. venture in Long Beach sold out in 20 minutes. All 5,000 seats are gone. That is awesome news. Next year they are absolutely going to have to run a normal arena that holds 10,000. It is even more impressive that the show is only a few weeks before Wrestlemania and no line-up has even been announced.

- Johnny Mundo lost his AAA Heavyweight title last weekend to Dr. Wagner Jr. and is now officially gone from the promotion.

- Bestia 666 and Daga have taken over the booking duties for The Crash promotion in Mexico following Konnan’s departure to Arolucha.

- Unless this was reported when it happened and I missed it, I just found out that 5 years ago when teaching an aqua aerobics class, Allison Danger (former ROH star and sister to WWE’s Steve Corino) suffered a small stroke and doctors revealed it was due to concussion related brain damage. She quietly retired from wrestling after that and has kept out of the limelight since. Terrible news.

- Joey Janela has announced that the main event of “Joey Janela’s Spring Break 2” will be Janela against The Great Sasuke.

- New Independent promotion “Create or Die” is having their 2nd show on February 23rd in the Bronx with a main event of EC Negro vs. Teddy Hart. Yes, THAT Teddy Hart. In the Bronx. Hope he can compose himself and doesn’t flake as it’s a great opportunity for Negro to show just how good he is. Also it will be the REAL Hit Squad (See Impact section for more on this) of Dan Maff and Steve “Monsta” Mack vs. LAX of Ortiz & Santana.

GLOBAL FORCE IMPACT WRESTLING NEWS and NOTES:

- In something I never thought I would see Jeremy Borash has left the promotion and signed with WWE. Borash worked tirelessly for TNA in all of its incarnations as he has been with the promotion since day one and wore many hats in Impact as he has done it all. It is going to be incredibly weird for Impact in the next few months if Borash ends up working on air because he did most of his voiceover work for the next several episodes of Impact already. Unless Impact is going to hire his replacement and have him do voiceovers of all of their recent tapings again, a WWE talent will be going lead play by play for Impact.

- There is a lot of that on Impact as Lashley, EC 3, Laurel Van Ness and now Jeremy Borash will all be on Impact television through April when their next tapings will be held despite the fact that they are all gone from the company and either already in WWE like EC 3 and Borash or expected to like Lashley and Van Ness.

- Gama Singh, (long time wrestler and uncle to Jinder Mahal) will debut as a manager for a group of Indian wrestlers called “The Desi Hit Squad”. It is completely and utterly ridiculous that Impact would use the Hit Squad name for a team when in fact they tried to HIRE the real Hit Squad of Steve “Monsta” Mack and Dan Maff when they were bought by Anthem over the summer. This is such a bullsh*t move by a company that I thought was turning over a new leaf in their effort to shake the negative stigma that their previous leaders had. SMH.

- It is expected that even with all of the cutbacks that Impact has had, that they will re-sign Eddie Edwards when his contract expires shortly.

MMA News and Notes:

- Last week I noted that despite a big win over Volkhan Ozedemir to retain his UFC Light Heavyweight title and the fact that UFC Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic defended his title for a record breaking 3rd time, Daniel Cormier wouldn’t move up to heavyweight to challenge Miocic for the title due to his longtime best friend and training partner Cain Velasquez making his way back and being considered a challenger for it. After that was posted, I was 100% wrong apparently as UFC announced that Stipe Miocic vs. Daniel Cormier is SET for UFC 226 in July with both being coaches for the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter first. This is a mega fight for UFC and could be Miocic’s only real challenge for the title as he has pretty much cleaned out the division through his career.

- Velasquez did clear up the whole “not fighting my teammate thing” with the following tweet: “Like always, I'm gonna be in the gym every day to help my brother @dc_mma become the next heavyweight champ at #UFC226. Once he wins, things could get interesting. #AndNew #WeAreAKA #GonnaGetMyBeltBack”

- Despite Vitor Belfort’s request, UFC is targeting Rashad Evans to be Michael Bisping’s final opponent for his retirement fight in London. Nothing has been signed by anyone but that is the fight UFC wants to put on. I guess they want Bisping to go out with a whimper instead of a bang because that bout has snoozefest written all over it.

- With that being said, Bisping revealed on Tuesday that he will NOT be fighting on the London show after all and while he wouldn’t confirm, may already be retired as his family and closest friends have been against him fighting one more time and want him to hang it up.

- Now that Bisping pulled out of London, UFC is headlining that show with Fabricio Werdum vs. Alexander Volkov.

- George St. Pierre’s trainer has noted that he believes that GSP will be out of action for a year or possibly two from his colitis. So that shows how severe it is. He does think that GSP will fight again.

- Lyoto Machida is headlining the FS1 card tomorrow night from Brazil against up and comer Eryk Anders. Anders is undefeated and many expect big things out of him. A win against Machida will certainly put him on the map.

- Paige VanZant crushed a lot of fanboy hearts last week when she announced that she and longtime boyfriend Austin Vanderford are engaged. Vanderford is a welterweight in MMA with a 3 – 0 record.

It was revealed in Brazil that Anderson Silva tested positive for methyltestosterone and a diuretic before his fight with Kelvin Gastelum last fall. With both substances being illegal and one of them being testosterone, his MMA career is almost certainly over as he’s gonna get a 4 year suspension. At his age and as long as he’s been fighting, that’s it for him.

UFC 221 is on Saturday, February 11th, 2018 from Perth Australia and the line-up is as follows:

  • INTERIM UFC MIDDLEWEIGHT TITLE: Luke Rockhold vs. Yoel Romero
  • 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
  • UFC 223 is on Saturday, April 7th, 2018 from Brooklyn New York and the line-up is as follows:

  • UFC LIGHTWEIGHT TITLE: Tony Ferguson © vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov
  • UFC WOMEN’S STRAWWEIGHT TITLE: Rose Namajunas © vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk
  • Anthony Pettis vs. Michael Chiesa
  • Brandon Moreno vs. Ray Borg
  • Random Thoughts, Links, Pics, ETC.

    - BONUS Random VIDEO of the week: Official Trailer for “Ant-Man & The Wasp”

    - BONUS Random VIDEO of the week: Official Trailer for “Dundee” And by the way, it isn’t a real film and I am thoroughly disappointed. It is a trailer for a Super Bowl commercial celebrating tourism in Australia. Damn it.

    - BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 2: Official Trailer for “Unsane”

    - BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 3: Official Trailer for “Annihilation”

    - BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 4: Official Trailer for Netflix’s “When We First Met”

    - BONUS Random VIDEO of the week Part 5: WWE’s Sasha Banks on “Hot Ones”

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

    - BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 7: Latest Trailer for “Game Night”

    - BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 8: Official Teaser for “The Week Of”

    - BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 9: Official Teaser for “Skyscraper”

    - BONUS Random VIDEO of the week Part 10: Official Trailer for Netflix’s “Mute”

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

    - BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week:

    - BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 1: Terrible. So young too. Hopefully they are left in peace and we don’t gear stories about how they were arguing or he flipped the car on purpose or they were on drugs.

    - BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 2: What the f*ck is this world coming to? She was 12? Jesus.

    - BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 3: I can’t front as I try to stay away from reporting Kardashian news as best I can but this was 100% a POWER MOVE by Kim K. LOL.

    - BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 4: F*ck this scumbag. Who cares?

    - BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 5: LOLOLOLZ. P. Diddy has no chill. LOL.

    - 21st Century Fox has halted production of their “Gambit” movie starring Channing Tatum and the movie may not proceed as planned.

    - Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige revealed this week that he has not begun to think about how he plans on integrating the X-Men and Fantastic Four into the Marvel Cinematic Universe yet.

    - Black Panther held their premiere this week and reviewers are giving it RAVE REVIEWS. I tried to purchase tickets for a random 4 pm show on the Saturday after release and the theater is sold out. That NEVER happened to me for any Marvel film as I usually buy them week of release and find 4 seats over the weekend. Not for this though, sold out most of the weekend at my usual theater. WOW.

    - First Krypton and now WB/DC comes back with “Metropolis” for their DC Digital platform. The show will be based on Lois Lane and her life as a reporter as well as Lex Luthor before Superman comes to town. Why the f*ck does DC continue to do this to us? Gotham, Krypton and now Metropolis? Ugh.

    - HBO’s “The Leftovers” director Nicole Kassell has been tasked with directing the pilot for HBO’s “Watchmen” series. Nice.

    - The official trailer for “Solo: A Star Wars Story” will debut Monday on Good Morning America.

    ~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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