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: The Grim Reaper is not toying with the wrestling world as last Saturday, “The Russian Bear” Ivan Koloff passed away at age 74. He had been battling a liver disease for a while now. R.I.P.
WWE NEWS AND NOTES:
- Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson appeared in front of the live crowd after RAW went off the air on Monday to play to the live audience before they began filming a scene for his new movie on the life of Paige and her family. The match was supposed to be when Paige made her WWE debut and captured the WWE Women’s title from A.J. Lee on the Raw following Wrestlemania. A.J. will be played in the film by Thea Trinidad. Paige is being played by actress Florence Pugh however the stunt double for Pugh will be played by Tessa Blanchard. Lo and behold, when it was announced that Trinidad will be playing A.J. Lee, a C.M. Punk chant broke out which caused The Rock to call Punk on his cell phone. Punk however did not answer.
- “Stone Cold” Steve Austin was also backstage at RAW on Monday since he lives in the area and he ended up having a sit down interview for his podcast with Kevin Owens. He had previously interviewed Owens in one of his first podcasts PRIOR to Owens signing with WWE.
- Speaking of podcasts, there has been no Austin Podcast on the WWE Network since the dreadful Dean Ambrose one that was done. Did WWE pull the plug? There was supposed to be one per month with Austin. What happened?
- Also visiting backstage at RAW on Monday was former WWE Ring Announcer Lillian Garcia and former WWE Superstars X-Pac and JTG.
- Once again WWE wasted a Brock Lesnar date as he was backstage at RAW on Monday but was not used in front of the live crowd and instead did his backstage interview with Paul Heyman.
- Both Lesnar and Bill Goldberg are scheduled for RAW on Monday which is the “go home” show for Fastlane.
- RAW was a solid show with some very good stuff and then some of the usual stuff. Kevin Owens opening promo was fantastic. So was the Paul Heyman/Brock Lesnar backstage interview.
- Braun Strowman is awesome. That is all.
- Is Enzo turning heel? He sure acted like one when he was gloating in Cesaro’s face following Cass pinning him. He got cheered by the crowd but he was really extremely obnoxious about it acting like a total douche.
- Handsome Rusev. Ha!! FYI though, he hasn’t been wearing the nose guard on live events so his broken nose is healed.
- LOL. Poor ring crew. They had to redo the ropes just for that quick 1 minute segment between Brian Kendrick and Akira Tozawa. LOLOLOLZ.
- The Bayley/Stephanie/Sasha/Charlotte segment was also well done and WWE has done a good job of slowly and subtly turning Sasha Banks heel on Bayley.
- They are also planting the seeds for Mick Foley to be replaced due to his insubordination but really it is for him to finally get his hip replacement surgery. It kind of sucks for him because once he is fully replaced, odds are he is not going to be coming back in the role.
- In a strange twist, Naomi was stripped of the WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship due to the knee injury she suffered during her title win vs. Alexa Bliss. She was stripped because she wouldn’t be able to defend the title within the mandatory 30 day period. The hope is that she will be a game day decision for Wrestlemania however while she does not need surgery and did not tear anything, the scheduled rehab time is two months as she ALMOST tore her whole knee similar to Seth Rollins injury last year. The situation was even more interesting because the same exact scenario happened to Bliss when she was waiting for her title shot against Becky Lynch however Lynch was injured and did not defend the title for more than 30 days. Hoping she does make it back for Mania since it is in her hometown.
- Extremely disappointed that American Alpha has been using the “Steiner Bulldog” as their finisher instead of Grand Amplitude. That move is so 1990’s.
- Are the Usos blatantly trying to copy the Briscoes from ROH?
- For anyone who doubted that it was going to be John Cena and Nikki Bella vs. Miz and Maryse at Wrestlemania, do you believe it now?
- There is NO contender to the WWE Title as last week Randy Orton forfeited his Royal Rumble win since he refuses to fight “his friend” Bray Wyatt for the title. A Battle Royal was held to determine the number one contender and there was no winner as both A.J. Styles and Luke Harper’s feet touched the floor at the same time.
- Notice there was NO replay of the finish? That was because Styles landed first.
- The title situation should be resolved on Tuesday at Smackdown as Luke Harper will face A.J. Styles with the winner going onto Wrestlemania to face Bray Wyatt.
- Props to John Cena. Last week during the Wyatt vs. Cena vs. Styles three way on Smackdown, the original booking had Styles being pinned by Wyatt but Cena pushed for him to lose the fall since Styles was coming off a loss and Cena is leaving after Mania.
- The New Day has officially been named hosts of Wrestlemania 33 in New Orleans. This is because WWE literally has no opponents for them. Rather than put them in the tag team title program and have them try to reclaim the titles, they are going to be seen in multiple segments throughout the show. I get it. It is being done to feature them and actually it is probably a better position for them than the throwaway match they would have ended up being put in. So kudos to them.
- As noted, Austin Aries is medically cleared to wrestle and will be returning soon. He is expected to get a Cruiserweight title shot at Wrestlemania vs. Neville. So the Neville vs. Gallagher feud is going to end at Fast Lane.
- As I noted here several months ago, Diamond Dallas Page will be a part of the 2017 WWE Hall of Fame Class. Well deserved.
- Samoa Joe began his WWE Live Event dates over the weekend working against Sami Zayn.
- Tamina was back on the road last weekend at Smackdown Live Events working as a babyface.
- Finn Balor returned to brief action at the NXT Live Event on Wednesday in a surprise run-in attacking NXT Champion Bobby Roode. He is expected back on the road for RAW in early March with his first advertised live event being on March 10th in Buffalo New York.
- Heidi Lovelace made her NXT debut this week at the TV tapings using the name Ruby Riot. She is expected to feud with Nikki Cross of SANnitY.
- Elias Sampson a.k.a. The Drifter lost a “Loser Leaves NXT” match earlier this week to Kassius Ohno. This is interesting because I highly doubt he is being brought to the main roster since there is a line of several more talented people more ready than he is. So is he being released? Repackaged? What?
- In a hopeful sign of things to come, Asuka will be working the March 12th Madison Square Garden Smackdown show replacing the injured Naomi in an 8 woman tag match teaming with Tamina Snuka/Becky Lynch/Nikki Bella to face Carmella/Mickie James/Natalya/WWE Smackdown Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss. She is NOT going to be on the main roster following this as she is still NXT Women’s Champion and scheduled to defend her title at NXT Takeover Orlando Wrestlemania weekend.
- Best of luck to Lil Naitch a.k.a. referee Charles Robinson as he underwent foot surgery last week due to an injury he suffered while referring the A.J. Styles vs. John Cena match at the Royal Rumble. It was a minor surgery and he is expected back in time for Wrestlemania.
- The WWE is still looking to establish a territory in Mexico and Japan similar to that of the U.K. title they just launched in the next year or so.
WWE FASTLANE PPV is on Sunday, March 5th, 2017 from Milwaukee Wisconsin and the line-up is as follows:WWE UNIVERSAL TITLE: Kevin Owens © vs. GoldbergRoman Reigns vs. Braun StrowmanWWE RAW WOMEN’S TITLE: Bayley © vs. CharlotteSamoa Joe vs. Sami ZaynWWE TAG TEAM TITLES: The Club (Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson) © vs. Enzo Amore & Big CassWWE CRUISERWEIGHT TITLE: Neville © vs. Jack Gallagher
2017 WWE HALL OF FAME is on Friday, March 31st, 2017 from Orlando Florida and the line-up is as follows:Kurt AngleDiamond Dallas PageTeddy LongThe Rock & Roll Express (Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson)
NXT TAKEOVER ORLANDO is Saturday, 1st 2017 from Orlando Florida and the line-up is as follows:NXT TITLE: Bobby Roode © vs. Shinsuke NakamuraNXT TAG TEAM TITLES: The Authors of Pain © w/Paul Ellering vs. D.I.Y. (Tommasso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano) vs. The Revival (Dawson & Wilder)NXT WOMEN’S TITLE: Asuka © vs. Ember MoonTye Dillinger/No Way Jose/Roderick Strong/Ruby Riot vs. SAnitY (Eric Young/Alexander Wolfe/Killian Dain/Nikki Cross)
WWE WRESTLEMANIA 33 is on Sunday, April 2nd, 2017 from Orlando Florida and the line-up is as follows: Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar w/Paul HeymanWWE TITLE: Bray Wyatt © vs. TBDThe New Day (Big E./Xavier Woods/Kofi Kingston) will be special guests hosts.
TNA IMPACT WRESTLING NEWS and NOTES:
- Despite no longer being under contract to Impact, The Hardys have committed to working with Impact through April but have begun telling independent promotions that they cannot commit to anything in May since the need to figure out their next steps. This news likely means that they plan on listening to WWE over the next several months before making their decision.
- Impact has begun negotiations to bring back Nick “Magnus” Aldis back to the promotion. When his contract expired with TNA, he left the promotion to “Join the Force” with Jeff Jarrett’s Global Force Wrestling and was made their champion. With Jarrett back in the fold at Impact and apparently running things, it was only a matter of time before he was contacted. It is expected he will sign.
- Impact has confirmed that their next set of television tapings will take place in Orlando from March 2nd to March 5th. Their remaining sets of tapings which should take them through the end of the year are April 20th through 23rd, July 2nd through 6th and August 17th through 20th.
- As of now, there are no plans for Jeff Jarrett to appear on Impact Television as either an in ring performer or on air character. He is content working backstage on the day to day operations of the company. He also noted in a recent Q&A that there are plans to announce Impact Live Events soon.
- Drew Galloway is still not under a new contract either and no talks have happened in a few weeks. His current contract expires at the end of this month i.e. next week.
Ring of Honor / Lucha Underground / Independent / International News and Notes:
- Happy 15th Anniversary to Ring of Honor. I was at the first 3 shows they ever held in the Murphy Rec Center in Philadelphia when the roster was populated by the majority of people I trained with or knew such as Low-Ki, Homicide, Boogalou, The Boogie Knights (Mike Tobin and Danny Drake), Prince Nana, The S.A.T., The Amazing Red, Xavier, The Hit Squad (Monsta Mack and Mafia), The Christopher Street Connection (Buff E. & Mace Mendoza), Quiet Storm, Brian XL & Chris Devine. Boy has ROH changed over the years huh? Amazing that they managed to outlast everyone else trying to fill the ECW void and have garnered the most success. My hat is off to them for managing to survive many storms and roadblocks that have come during their existence.
- Christopher Daniels vs. Kazarian will take place on the April 1st. ROH show over Wrestlemania weekend in Lakeland Florida.
- Zack Sabre Jr. is living his dream as he will debut at the New Japan Pro Wrestling 45th Anniversary show next week against Katsuyori Shibata. That show will be headlined with Kazuchika Okada vs. Tiger Mask W (Kota Ibushi)
- Cody Rhodes also announced that he will be working primarily for New Japan going forward.
- Another one bites the dust for AAA. They have been working to try and confirm Alberto El Patron for his return to the company but Alberto has been telling people he has no interest in returning to AAA and is talking to CMLL.
- Vampiro is now in charge of talent relations for AAA. That was Konnan’s old position before being let go.
- WWN announced that over Wrestlemania weekend in Orlando they plan on crowning the first ever WWN World Champion. That title will be recognized across all of the WWN Promotions including Evolve.
- Kurt Angle is wrestling his FINAL independent wrestling date next Friday in Connecticut for Northeast Wrestling as he will be facing Cody Rhodes in a steel cage. After that, all of his previous commitments will have been honored and he will no longer be taking independent bookings due to his WWE commitments.
- A new wrestling drama is being worked out for the Starz Cable Network (The network that airs Power) called “Heels” which will be based on the lives of two independent wrestlers who are brothers and are fighting for control of their deceased father’s independent wrestling promotion in Georgia. Interesting concept.
MMA News and Notes:
- Officially back. George St. Pierre put pen to paper on his new UFC contract and will return to the Octagon this summer sometime vs. a TBD opponent (UFC is aiming for it to be Michael Bisping and Bisping wants the fight. They are eyeing this summer.). This is a big deal for UFC as with Ronda Rousey retired, Brock Lesnar retired and Conor McGregor waiting for Floyd Mayweather, UFC is lacking a 1,000,000 PPV buy guy. GSP is that guy.
- UFC FUN FACT: Ronda Rousey and Travis Browne have a combined 0 – 5 record since they began dating. Yep, Browne, who changed trainers when he began dating Rousey and started using Rousey’s trainer Edmund Tarverdyan was PUMMELLED last weekend by Derrick Lewis before the referee stopped the fight (possibly 5 or 6 punches late for that matter). Following the fight, Lewis commented that he knew he had more heart than Browne since Browne is a woman beater and then asked “Where is Ronda Rousey with her fine ass?” LOL. Lewis with the win is likely going to be put in the title picture.
- On the other side of the fighting world, Fedor Emelianenko’s Bellator debut did not go as planned. Actually, it did not go on at all as his opponent, Matt Mitrione pulled out of the fight the day of with kidney stones. No replacement was suitable at the last minute so the fight was scrapped. Chael Sonnen offered to step in last minute to replace Mitrione with no camp and no training since it was day of but Fedor’s people refused.
- Josh Koscheck made his Bellator debut on that show and subsequently lost in impressive fashion as he was knocked out in the 1st round. This was Koscheck’s 6th straight loss. He NEEDS to call it a career like yesterday.
- Bellator confirmed that Aaron Pico, who was signed by the promotion 2 years ago and is a wrestling prodigy, will make his debut over the summer. There has been a ton of hype on him since he was on the world’s radar since he was 16 years old and his wrestling game is said to be unmatched. He also has been training boxing since that age so has incredible boxing skills. He did not join Bellator earlier because he was competing to make the Summer Olympics last year and almost made the team.
- Bellator President Scott Coker noted that they are committed to commentator Sean Granger and he is “their guy” but if they ever run an event that conflicts with Granger’s duties as play by plan man for the Boston Celtics in the NBA, he would 100% be interested in bringing in former UFC play by plan man Mike Goldberg.
- The United States Anti-Doping Association (USADA) has granted Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino a therapeutic use exemption for the diuretic she tested positive for in December due to it being medically necessary to treat her kidney issues caused by weight cutting. That means she is no longer suspended by USADA or UFC and is free to fight ASAP. UFC is looking to book her a UFC Women’s Featherweight title fight vs. new champion Germaine de Randamie.
- UFC 208 (Holm vs. de Ramdamie) likely did about 200,000 PPV buys. Significant decrease from previous PPV shows.
- The trial of former MMA star “War Machine” a.k.a. Jon Koppenhaver begins on Monday, February 27th with jury selection. Koppenhaver is on trial for 34 felony counts following the attack and mutilation of former girlfriend and adult film star Christy Mack. Attempted murder is one of the charges against him.
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 HuntRashad Evans vs. Daniel Kelly
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 MousasiWill Brooks vs. Charles Oliveira
UFC 211 is on Saturday, May 13th, 2017 from Dallas Texas and the line-up is as follows:UFC HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE: Stipe Miocic © vs. Junior Dos SantosUFC WOMEN’S STRAWWEIGHT TITLE: Joanna Jedrzejczyk © vs. Jessica AndradeBen Rothwell vs. Fabricio Werdum
UFC 212 is on Saturday, June 3rd, 2017 from Rio De Janeiro Brazil and the line-up is as follows:UNDISPUTED UFC FEATHERWEIGHT TITLE: Jose Aldo © vs. Max Holloway ©
Random Thoughts, Links, Pics, ETC.
- Random VIDEO of the week: Honest Trailers for 2017 Oscar Nominees.
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week: Latest Trailer for “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword”
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 2: The Best of Arnold on Robot Chicken
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 3: WOW!!! This brought back memories. The Top 25 Cartoon Openings of the 1980’s.
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 4: I am Danny Rand.
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 5: International Trailer for “The Fate of the Furious”
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 6: R2D2 with a VOICE!!!
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 7: Official Trailer for “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul”
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 8: 12 Quinton Tarantino Characters who were related.
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 9: Everything wrong with John Wick in 12 minutes or less.
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 10: Best of E.T. on Robot Chicken.
- THIS LINK is for LIFE. Thank you soldiers. WELCOME HOME BLOG
- BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week: Life in Space. Still don’t understand how there are people who do not believe it.
- BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 1: The Titanic....in COLOR.
- BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 2: Hackings continue. I think almost every major website that requires passwords and personal information have been hacked in the past few years. Ugh.
- BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 3: This North Korean assassination story is getting more movie-like by the minute.
- BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 4: This is why I do not give them money. SMH.
- BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 5: This is becoming a HUGE problem for the U.S. and someone needs to crack down on it ASAP.
- BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 6: How is this a thing? How is it legal apparently? WTF?
BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 7: “Fake News” is banned from the White House.
BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 8: Another reason why I am ok with torture and vigilantism. WTF is wrong with people? I hope he dies slowly and painfully.
BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 9: CTE isn’t exclusive to Football and Wrestling. Sad.
BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 10: This is quietly falling under the radar but Bill Cosby may walk. WOW. This is a huge victory for him.
- Well I’ll be damned....Lethal Weapon was renewed for season 2 on Fox. WOW.
- Speaking of Fox, in what has to be a kick in the balls; Hugh Jackman noted that he would continue to play the role of Wolverine.....if Marvel Studios had reacquired the rights. OUCH.
- Fox’s Simon Kinberg noted in an interview this week that Fox will NOT make another Fantastic Four film until they get it “100% Right”. This could be a blessing in disguise because due to their contract with Marvel, they have a set amount of time between films in order to make one before the rights revert back to Marvel Studios!!!! So let’s hope they sit on it and forget it.
- Actor J.D. Pardo has been cast as Ezekiel “E.Z” Reyes a.k.a. the lead character in the Sons of Anarchy spinoff “Mayans MC”.
- Film director Guillermo Del Toro has confirmed that all plans for Hellboy 3 have been cancelled.
- Last week I revealed that director Matt Reeves was in talks to take over the director’s chair from Ben Affleck for WB’s “The Batman”. Well as it happens, after my column was posted, he declined the offer and pulled himself out of the running. Well earlier this week, WB found a new director to helm “The Batman”. That director is....MATT REEVES!!!! He is also now a producer of the film. The status of this studio. SMH. As of now they have Justice League and Wonder Woman in post-production. Then they have in the pipeline: The Batman, The Flash, Aquaman, Cyborg, Gotham City Sirens, Suicide Squad 2, Man of Steel 2, Justice League 2, Green Lantern Corps, Black Adam, Shazam, Nightwing, Deadshot, Lobo, Dark Universe and who knows what else. They have release dates set but no director or script for most. What the f*ck are they doing?!?!?!?!
- Despite the fact that all of their blockbuster films are in flux and their entire DC Universe falling apart at the seams, there is reportedly talks of a “Nightwing” film now in the works with director Chris McKay set to be in charge.
- Actor Cress Williams has landed the lead role of Black Lightning for WB’s “Black Lightning” show which will also be set in the “Arrow-Verse”
- Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. wrapped up their L.M.D. arc in AWESOME fashion this week and are now on hiatus until their return in April with their “Agents of Hydra” arc which also looks amazing. Major props to everyone involved in this show because this is by far the best season they have done. All of those twists were fantastic.
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