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’s celebrity death tour rocked on this week with the death of comedian Don Rickles. Don was arguably the greatest insult comedian of all time. He passed away on Thursday at age 90.
WWE NEWS AND NOTES:
- #ThankYouTaker. From his debut in 1990 to this past Sunday at Wrestlemania 33, the Undertaker has been a main event/top level act in WWE. 27 years from his WWE debut and the Undertaker has called it a career as he has wrestled his last match against Roman Reigns to close out Wrestlemania. Much respect to him and all he has accomplished. I think it is safe to say that he was the greatest gimmick in the history of wrestling no?
- Part of the reason for Taker retiring is that he has MAJOR hip surgery scheduled soon. He has had several hip surgeries over the years but they were all relatively minor to alleviate the pain and allow him to continue wrestling. It has gotten to the point where he can no longer “band aid” the problems and needs to correct them once and for all.
- It was fantastic hearing Jim Ross back on commentary for the Undertaker/Roman Reigns match on Sunday. Ross has signed a new two year deal with WWE to return where he will occasionally do commentary when asked as well as host WWE Network specials and do other features for WWE.
- Mania weekend has come and gone and it was a solid show but honestly WAY TOO LONG. I cannot imagine even those in charge at WWE or those working the show could say otherwise. There is no reason for a wrestling show to last 7 hours. Nothing was terrible on the show but it really didn’t need to be as long as it was. The show had a few memorable “Mania moments” but it was hurt by the length.
- Goldberg vs. Lesnar was EXACTLY what it needed to be at Mania and it was AWESOME. Probably the best 5 minute match ever.
- For anyone who doubted, there is ZERO PERCENT CHANCE that Nikki Bella didn’t know she was getting proposed to. Hell, she was probably engaged to Cena months ago. How do I know this? Well first off, the day before on Instagram she posted a picture of her and like 7 of her closest friends at a pool in Orlando. No way do her best friends fly in just to see Mania especially when they never did in the past. She had her friends fly in for the proposal. Secondly, the entire angle with them and Miz/Maryse was built around Cena not marrying her. Were you not watching? She knew. I can’t believe I even have to explain this.
- I was a bit disappointed in the mixed tag match because I expected more out of both Cena and Miz but it was what it was. They weren’t exactly given a lot of time and the entire purpose was to set up the proposal. Just felt wasted with all the buildup they had that it under delivered.
- Both Cena and Nikki Bella are going to be gone for the immediate future as Cena is filming a movie and Nikki is resting up her surgically repaired neck as she has been suffering from pain and discomfort in it for several weeks. Hopefully she does not or will not need an additional surgery.
- Seth Rollins vs. HHH was fantastic but the crowd was dead already when they came on. Having a 35 minute match 4 hours into a show was just not a great idea. The match would have benefitted if the card was shorter. Rollins actually worked the show and match with a fever of 102.9 degrees and the flu. Kudos to him.
- Not kudos to him however for doing the sunset flip into a powerbomb spot on HHH. That is the spot that he tore his knee up doing on Kane over a year ago. Considering his knee is not 100% now, there is absolutely NO reason he should have even attempted this.
- By the way, no Mick Foley coming back to get his recompense on either Triple H or Stephanie huh? Way to bury someone on his way out. And yes, he ISN’T coming back either. He was not under contract with WWE during his entire run as General Manager. It was a handshake agreement with Vince McMahon. His last appearance on RAW was his last appearance and last payday by WWE.
- Foley’s hip replacement surgery is scheduled for Wednesday, April 19th. Long road to recovery after that.
- For those wondering, Rob Gronkowski did receive written permission from the New England Patriots to get physical at Wrestlemania. While I am not ok with Mojo Rawley winning the Andre Battle Royal, I do “get it”. They wanted a SportsCenter moment especially since they had lost out on Shaquille O’Neal and this was it. It sucks that Braun Strowman had to suffer because of it since he was targeted to win but once WWE was able to get Gronk, they didn’t really have a choice.
- The Hardys are back and they are NOT “Broken” which saddens me. For those who think they still might be, following RAW on Monday they were on “Raw Talk” and Matt was normal Matt Hardy. He wasn’t broken. Either way, I am glad that they are back where they belong.
- Matt Hardy tweeted the following after RAW: "The sheer NIRVANA of coming home to that DEAFENING ovation at #Wrestlemania seems to have contained my CONDISHTION. If it CAN be contained." So at least that is the storyline purpose of him no longer being broken.
- The Hardy’s are being allowed to fulfill all of their independent obligations for the month of April including Tommy Dreamer’s “House of Hardcore” shows on the 21st and 22nd and Pro Wrestling South on the 29th which is the day before the Raw “Payback” PPV.
- If you want any of the “Broken Matt” or “Brother Nero” t-shirts, you have until Monday, April 17th to purchase them from the Pro Wrestling Tees story because all of the Hardy’s merchandise will be pulled on that day.
- Can anyone explain why in the world would they announce on commentary that Bray Wyatt’s father competed in the 1st Wrestlemania? Kayfabe!!!!
- For those wondering, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin was NOT in Orlando this week. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson also was NOT in Orlando for mania weekend however he did appear LIVE on Jimmy Fallon’s show on Wednesday which is in Orlando for the week. Missed it by a few days.
- Only about an hour on the job and Kurt Angle is already a more entertaining Raw General Manager than Mick Foley was his entire run. No offense to Foley who is good at what he does but Angle brings a fresh face to the show.
- Speaking of fresh faces, next week WWE hits the RESET BUTTON on everything as they are apparently doing some sort of “freshening up the rosters” where they will either do another draft or make a whole bunch of trades. Vince McMahon, looking way older than his age, announced this on Monday. I think it was announced in passing because even WWE isn’t sure of how they plan on doing it yet. Some of the names rumored to be switching brands are A.J. Styles, The New Day, Charlotte and Alexa Bliss. There could be more as when this idea was originally concocted, the purpose was to separate Roman Reigns from Brock Lesnar so they were going to move Reigns to Smackdown. Those plans appear to have changed however with the amount of heat Reigns received on Monday due to retiring the Undertaker.
- Roman Reigns reaction on RAW and the 10 straight minutes of being sh*t on by fans was an incredible spectacle to watch. Holy sh*t I don’t recall there EVER being anything close to that in wrestling in my entire life. WOW.
- Finn Balor made his return on RAW on Monday replacing the “injured” Chris Jericho and teamed with Seth Rollins to take on Samoa Joe and Kevin Owens. For those of you complaining about why/how Balor was teaming with Rollins, get over it. First off, yes Rollins did injure Balor but it was an accident. It wasn’t like he laid him out after a match and put him on the shelf. Next, pay attention to what you are watching. It was obvious by both men’s reactions that Balor was hesitant about teaming with Rollins and both men glared at each other several times throughout the match including when it was over and Balor seemed uncomfortable getting his hand raised by Rollins; subtle but effective. Lastly, it isn’t as if Balor volunteered for the match. They had established that Kurt Angle is the one who made the call to add Balor to the match.
- The Revival made their Raw debut. They are such a great tag team and so old school. My only gripe on them is that Smackdown really needs depth in their tag team division more than Raw does. But I guess they put them on RAW so they wouldn’t have to relive their feud with American Alpha. Makes sense from that perspective.
- Neville is awesome. Setting up for the “Red Arrow” against Mustafa Ali on RAW only to look at the crowd, climb down and not do it was incredible.
- Over on Smackdown, “The Perfect 10” Tye Dillinger has debuted as well as SHINSUKE NAKAMURA!!!!!! YAY!!!! I just really hope WWE doesn’t blow this but moving either A.J. Styles or John Cena over to RAW next week. I NEED Styles vs. Nakamura and in the future Cena vs. Nakamura. NEED. Not want.
- After Smackdown went off the air, Nakamura defeated Dolph Ziggler in a dark match.
- Great to see Drew McIntyre back in WWE albeit in NXT instead. He has really proven himself since being released several years back on the independents and in TNA. He may have finally reached his potential and is a huge asset to NXT.
- Do not know if this is a one off or the first of many but apparently the Vaudevillians are no more as Simon Gotch has been wished well in his future endeavors. He has already begun scheduling interviews and independent wrestling appearances. WWE is expecting to give Aiden English a push with Gotch gone. English is married to former NXT Women Shaul Guerrero, daughter of Eddie and Vickie Guerrero.
- Rusev has begun rehabbing his shoulder following surgery and is expected to be back between 2 – 4 months.
- Nothing new on the Mauro Ranallo front other than the fact that he may not come back at all. While I enjoy his work as an announcer, it may be for the best. His health absolutely should come first and if leaving WWE helps him then so be it. Get well soon man. For those who do not know, the story is that the episode was triggered by JBL and some comments that JBL made which caused Ranallo to spiral into depression. In JBL’s defense, he was not aware ahead of time that Ranallo was bi-polar and suffering from depression.
- Former WWE Diva A.J. Lee’s book was released yesterday. If anyone reads it, kindly provide me with a review. Thanks. I did read an excerpt where she was discussing her bi-polar disorder and she revealed that when WWE found out about it, they wanted to do an angle based off of it which she didn’t feel comfortable doing. When she declined, she was mysteriously removed from television for two months. Not a good time for that information to be coming out considering all that is going on with Mauro Ranallo.
- Mika Rotunda, daughter of Mike Rotunda and sister to Bo Dallas and Bray Wyatt has been hired to work in the production department for WWE.
WWE announced that they have 1,661,000 PAID subscribers to the WWE Network as of Monday. 1,237,000 of that is United States based with 424,000 being the rest of the world. The total including free memberships is 1,949,000 worldwide. Wow.
- FYI on Mania attendance, the total attendance announced by the New Day during the PPV was a complete work. They announced the number they did in order to beat the 74,635 number they did for Ric Flair’s retirement in 2008. The problem is that the Citrus Bowl was torn down in 2008 and rebuilt with a smaller capacity of about 5,000 less. So there is no way they could actually hold MORE than they did then especially with the bigger and more elaborate set they used this year.
- The total gate for Mania was $14.5 million which makes it the 2nd highest grossing Wrestlemania trailing last year’s in Dallas. That is majorly IMPRESSIVE since the Citrus Bowl holds about 30,000 less seats than AT&T Stadium.
- PS – I am calling it the Citrus Bowl due to the official Vince McMahon edict to not call the stadium by its new name of “Camping World Stadium”. Apparently Vince HATES the new name and made sure it wasn’t used at all for anything leading up to Wrestlemania.
- WWE announced a 32 woman tournament to take place in May for a WWE Network special. The tournament will feature women from 17 different countries. The announcement of the tournament took places at a business summit in Orlando hosted by Stephanie McMahon and Paul Levesque. They had the WWE women champions at the time accompany them. Bayley, Alexa Bliss and Asuka were there in the gear to help make the announcement.
- Chris Jericho has Roman Reigns and Kurt Angle lined up as podcast guests with Angle airing today. Should be fun interviews.
- WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair noted at Wrestlecon that he is NOT returning to the Podcast business. He said he quit because he can’t be objective about WWE due to Charlotte’s position in the company as well as some negative comments he did make about WWE that he got in trouble for including him once noting that Finn Balor was too small to ever headline Wrestlemania. He received nuclear heat from everyone in management over that one.
- WWE is working on “Kurt Angle: The Essential Collection” which will be a 3 disc DVD set which will include all of his greatest WWE matches including “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, The Rock, Shawn Michaels, Edge, HHH and others. I do bet that a specific opponent will NOT be there however.
- Despite saying that they were getting married last Wednesday, WWE star Paige and fiancé and former WWE star Alberto El Patron did NOT get married last week as scheduled and are instead getting married in June in an official ceremony.
WWE PAYBACK PPV is on Sunday, April 30th, 2017 from San Jose California and the line-up is as follows:WWE U.S. TITLE: Kevin Owens © vs. Chris Jericho
IMPACT WRESTLING NEWS and NOTES:
- Aron Rex a.k.a. the former Damien Sandow revealed that he is no longer working for Impact Wrestling. He did not clarify as to why just that he is exploring other opportunities. Remember when he left WWE and everyone felt WWE dropped the ball on him but Impact would “use him right and to his potential”? Good times.
- Magnus made his Impact return last night along with the GFW World Title. Still confused as to why WWE hasn’t made him an offer yet especially since his wife Mickie James works there. He has a good look and can work. He was all over the camera at the WWE Hall of Fame last week. Sign the guy.
- Chris “Masters” Adonis is another one. He should have been brought back by WWE a long time ago. He has improved so much since being released years ago. He deserves a 2nd chance.
- They need to give Matt Morgan the nickname “The Man of 1000 Chances”. I get it, he looks great. But Jesus, he has had 15 years to connect with the audience. LITERALLY. He debuted on WWE Tough Enough in 2002. He hasn’t connected yet. He hasn’t broken through and become a star yet. He is now 40 years old.
- Congrats to WrestlePro stars Fallah Bah and Mario Bokara. Both are good guys and have signed one year contracts with Impact.
- Also congrats to Sonjay Dutt as he has signed a deal with Impact Wrestling. I admittedly am kind of disappointed because I was hoping that with his guest training stints at NXT that he would get a full time position there but he is tight with Jeff Jarrett so this isn’t a surprise since Dutt helped a lot with Global Force Wrestling. I traveled to a few shows with Dutt in the early 2000’s. He is absolutely one of the nicest and funniest guys in the business today.
- Thoughts and prayers go out to Zema Ion a.k.a. DJZ who was injured during a CRASH match in Mexico. He apparent ruptured his colon and is suffering from internal bleeding due to taking a 450 splash. He has underwent successful MAJOR surgery in Mexico as he cannot travel back to the U.S. in his condition. Pray for him.
Ring of Honor / Lucha Underground / Independent / International News and Notes:
- According to sources, with the exception of Ring of Honor, the WWN Live affiliated shows and the few other major promotions, everything else running in Orlando over Wrestlemania week apparently took a wash financially. There are reports that one promotion drew 35 people paid. THIRTY FIVE. That sucks if true but when you have over 100 events between independent shows, one man shows, autograph signings, etc it is tough to draw with that competition.
- Michael Elgin wrestled 10 matches over last weekend. That has to be a record for matches across a 2 day period.
- There were WAY too many shows over the weekend for me to go into details with results or what you NEED to see. I have read reports and from what I understand, the 10 man tag at WrestleCon, The Hardys vs. Fenix and Pentagon from Wrestlecon, the Hardy’s vs. The Young Bucks from ROH, the Matt Riddle title win for the FloSlam title and Ricochet vs. Keith Lee at Evolve were the matches to go out of your way to see.
- ROH was a HUGE success in Lakeland Florida as they set their attendance record of 3,500 fans. WOW.
- Taeler Hendrix has departed from Ring of Honor.
- Bobby Fish is still working for ROH despite not being under contract. He refuses to sign for fear that it will lock him out of WWE where he expects to go. ROH is however allowing it and has plans for him in the distant future.
- Ugh. In a story I hate to be writing about, Colby Corino, son of Steve Corino, was arrested over Mania weekend in Orlando for shoplifting.
- The New Japan shows in Long Beach California on July 1st and 2nd have SOLD OUT. That is great news for them. This show is a strictly NJPW show and NOT a combined ROH show. The shows will have approximately 2,100 people per show. As of now, the Saturday show is expected to air LIVE on AXS.
- Congrats to Cody Rhodes as he confirmed that he will be competing in New Japan’s G-1 Climax tournament this year.
- Former WWE writer Christopher DeJoseph a.k.a. Fat Oily Guy in WWE is now in charge of creative at AAA in Mexico.
- Tomoaki Honma update. He is now able to raise his knees up. He is confined to a wheelchair and cannot walk but those improvements are a huge step up from where he was several weeks ago.
MMA News and Notes:
- Daniel Cormier squeaked by yesterday at the weigh-ins for tomorrow’s title defense against Rumble Johnson. He missed weight in his 1st attempt but cleared it in his 2nd. That would have been DISASTEROUS for UFC if he didn’t make weight.
- UFC is hoping that the winner of Daniel Cormier vs. Anthony Johnson tomorrow night in Buffalo will be ok enough to turn around and defend the Light Heavyweight title in July vs. Jon Jones for the co-main event of the International Fight Week card.
- UFC is still hoping they can confirm Michael Bisping vs. George St. Pierre as the main event of the July 8th show in Vegas with Cormier/Johnson winner vs. Jones underneath. Stacked show if they can get those two fights signed.
- The latest rumor on Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor is that McGregor’s trainer John Kavanagh noted that the fight will take place at 147 lbs. which means it will benefit Floyd since that is his fighting weight and McGregor is going to have to weight cut.
- Apparently Khabib Nurmagomedov’s weight cutting issues from several weeks ago which forced the cancellation of his interim title fight vs. Tony Ferguson is so severe that he may not be able to return to UFC until September. He has not been cleared to return to training and has several more tests and treatments to undergo.
- Kelvin Gastelum’s big break is OFF. His scheduled fight in Rio de Janeiro vs. Anderson Silva on June 3rd has been cancelled as he tested positive for marijuana following his March 11th win over Vitor Belfort. He has been temporarily suspended until his hearing. Failing a test for weed is next to impossible now due to the raised thresholds and especially because it is NOT tested for in out of competition testing. Even if you have trace amounts in your system on fight day, they will let you fight. So for him to get popped following a win means he had a LARGE amount in his system. What an idiot!!!
- Mohammed “King Mo” Lawal defeated a very large Quentin “Rampage” Jackson in the main event of last week’s Bellator 175 show. Lawal will now go on to face Ryan Bader at the Madison Square Garden debut in June. The Lawal vs. Bader fight will be the MAIN EVENT of the Spike TV portion of the broadcast and not the PPV itself.
UFC 210 is TOMORROW NIGHT 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 on FOX is on Saturday, April 15th, 2017 from Kansas City Missouri and the line-up is as follows:UFC FLYWEIGHT TITLE: Demetrious Johnson © vs. Wilson ReisRonaldo “Jacare” Souza vs. Robert WhittakerMichelle Waterson vs. Rose Namajunas
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 AndradeEddie Alvarez vs. Dustin PoirierFrankie Edgar vs. Yair RodriquezBen Rothwell vs. Fabricio WerdumHenry Cejudo vs. Sergio PettisDemian Maia vs. Jorge Masvidal
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 ©Anderson Silva vs. TBDKarolina Kowalkiewicz vs. Claudia Gadelha
UFC 213 is on Saturday, July 8th, 2017 from Las Vegas Nevada and the line-up is as follows:TBD UFC MIDDLEWEIGHT TITLE: Michael Bisping © vs. George St. PierreRobbie Lawler vs. Donald Cerrone
Random Thoughts, Links, Pics, ETC.
- Random VIDEO of the week: Honest Trailer for “Fast & Furious: Tokyo Drift”
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week: Latest “Super Power Beatdown featuring Batman Beyond vs. Spider-Man 2099”
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 2: Teaser for Marvel/Netflix “The Defenders”
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 3: Final Trailer for “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword”
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 4: Teaser for “The Son of Bigfoot”
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 5: Official Trailer for “I Am Heath Ledger”
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 6: Latest Trailer for “The Mummy”
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 7: Latest Trailer for “Transformers: The Last Knight”
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 8: Latest Trailer for “All Eyez On Me”
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 9: Official Trailer for Rendel
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 10: Bad Lip Reading for “The Force Awakens”
- THIS LINK is for LIFE. Thank you soldiers. WELCOME HOME BLOG
- BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week: In the PC world of 2017, how anyone thought this was a good ad campaign is mind boggling. Honestly, not one person thought this through? I am surprised that Kris Jenner allowed this to happen.
- BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 1: Here we go. The POTUS is starting down the rabbit hole. Not that I blame him for changing his tune but once that military action door is opened, you can’t turn around and close it.
- BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 2: HUGE medical breakthrough for those with spinal cord injuries. Hopefully it sticks.
- BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 3: These kids suck for meddling in business that isn’t theirs but....they do have a point. How come no adults found this information? Is there no such thing as background checks? Honestly, these kids uncovered all of this in three weeks.
- BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 4: In all honesty, you have to charge these kids with a crime no? Accessory to murder?
- BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 5: Oh sh*t. I posted this movie trailer a few weeks ago. I had no idea it was based on a true story. WOW.
- BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 6: Absolutely would punch this girl right in the mouth over this as hard as humanely possible.
BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 7: So this is apparently going on in Seattle. Um.....
BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 8: Where was this when I was in college?
BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 9: I almost feel like she has to join the military or some sort of law enforcement now no? Otherwise it is a waste of her talents.
BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 10: NYC. My City.
- In what is tough news for movie fans, Sylvester Stallone announced on Sunday that he has withdrawn from taking part in the Expendables 4 and will not reprise his role as Barney Ross. He and the CEO of the studio producing the film could not come to terms on anything for the film from the script to the director to the CGI studio to the filming location.
- AMC’s The Walking Dead wrapped up their season this past weekend with a fine finale. I still see a lot of hate from many viewers regarding this season but I personally think it was excellent from beginning to end. Next season will bring out “All Out War” which should last the entire season. I hope to god they don’t fast forward most of it as the war should NOT end next season but the following instead. I did in fact HATE the swerve with the junk yard people. That was so terrible and those characters are awful. Besides that, everything else was fine.
- Act 3 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. began this week and the premiere was awesome. Not too many episodes left but this has been by far the best season of the show to date. Well done by all around.
- Season 2 of Marvel/Netflix’s “Jessica Jones” has begun production in New York City. Actor Charlie Cox of Daredevil fame also confirmed that he begins production of season 3 of Daredevil later this year meaning we will see the season in 2018.
- The Freeform Network has green lit a series order for “The New Warriors” which will feature Squirrel Girl.
- In a good example for leaving some things alone, the “ChiPs” film starring Dax Shepherd and Michael Pena BOMBED at the box office last weekend grossing a measley $4,000,000 coming in 9th place overall. Ouch.
- Film director Michael Bay has confirmed that he has 14 Transformer films in development. That is NOT a typo. I hate Michael Bay.
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