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: Aaron Hernandez is dead; aged 27. Quite honestly, he is probably the best example to ever use to describe wasted talent. The man came from the streets to become an NFL star and instead of turning his life around and running with it including becoming a millionaire; he kept his street mentality and murdered people, for no reason at all. So instead of making his way to Washington DC with the rest of the New England Patriots on Wednesday to celebrate their 5th Super Bowl win, he was found hanging in a jail cell by his bed sheets. He also left his daughter without a father. He just couldn’t leave that thug life along.
WWE NEWS AND NOTES:
- Rest in peace goes out to Matt Anoa’i a.k.a. Rosey a.k.a. “Super Hero In Training” of WWE fame and brother of WWE Star Roman Reigns. Matt passed away earlier this week from heart failure at the age of 47 years old. He has battled some health issues for the past few years including congestive heart failure and diabetes due to his weight issues. Condolences go out to the entire Anoa’i family during this tragic time.
- I don’t care how many times it has been done; it is always cool to see a ring implode. Braun Strowman has “IT” and WWE needs to smarten up and hitch their wagon to him ASAP. The crowd is into him and he can be an incredible monster instead of being a set-up man for both Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns.
- David Otunga was set to debut on RAW Monday as part of the announce team but he landed a lead role in a film titled “Katrina” about a DEA agent during Hurricane Katrina. He will miss the next 6 weeks while filming the movie. Booker T will fill in on commentary in the meantime because god forbid we have a 2 man announce team. SMH.
- PS – the options were Booker T or Percy Watson. You see what they are doing there with that right? I don’t have to spell it out for you. They could have used Jim Ross or Jerry Lawler but then went with Booker T and then Percy Watson had Booker not been available.
- Chris Jericho vs. Samoa Joe was a fun little match. I wish they had more time to work together before Jericho goes on his next hiatus. I think it could have been a fun little feud.
- Has anyone been more ruined in recent years than Seth Rollins? A) He should have come back a babyface from his first knee injury. Instead they did that poor heel turn and he floundered from there. B) He is terrible now as a babyface. Just awful.
- By the way, I think WWE is purposely giving Rollins nicknames that are the drizzling sh*ts. “King Slayer”??? Really? This coming on the heels of “The Architect”.
- I cannot shake the feeling that Alexa Bliss is going to defeat Bayley in her home town at “Payback”.
- Finn Balor was “cleared” to return to action on Monday following his concussion last week at the hands (forearm) of Jinder Mahal. I put cleared in quotes since he won a squash match where he did not take any punishment and won in 36 seconds. So it is possible that WWE did some smoke and mirrors and allowed him to “wrestle” despite not being cleared. They did it with Daniel Bryan before he retired.
- If you paid attention to the Hardy Boyz promo backstage, Matt’s accent peeked out a few times while speaking. Allegedly WWE is in negotiations to buy out the “Broken Matt” gimmick for use. They plan on going with it. That is going to be awesome.
- Nia Jax....ugh. She needs more training. She is going to hurt someone.
- So if Jericho defeats Kevin Owens at Payback and wins the U.S. Title, he will have to go to Smackdown. But if Bray Wyatt wins the WWE title, he gets to stay on RAW? That is weird.
- I am so not getting why Miz and Dean Ambrose were moved to RAW and then put in a feud with each other. They legit had a 3 month feud on Smackdown not so long ago. No one wants to see it again. Both can be used way more efficiently.
- SIDE NOTE: During Miz’s promo with Ambrose he noted that Ambrose is lazy and complacent. That my friends was a direct shot at Ambrose from management as the feeling with Ambrose is that he isn’t as over as he should be and not on the same level as Reigns and Rollins because he phones it in with all facets of his work.
- You know that with Ambrose, Reigns and Rollins all on RAW they are eventually going to build to a Shield reunion. It is coming. Mark my words.
- Jinder Mahal is the number one contender to the WWE title. You read that correctly. On a roster that has A.J. Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, Baron Corbin, Dolph Ziggler & Luke Harper right now and John Cena and Rusev on the shelf, they went with Jinder Mahal. And they also called up the Bollywood Boys to the main roster as a tag team and not as Cruiserweights. I don’t even know what to say to this.
- By the way, I love how they kept noting that Mahal will face off with Randy Orton at “Backlash” when Orton originally had to successfully defend his title against Bray Wyatt first. Apparently WWE has quietly made the match into a non-title match.
- WHAT IS THE HOUSE OF HORROS MATCH?!?!?! Are they ever going to explain it?
- The reason Baron Corbin was not put in the spot as Orton’s next opponent is that they want a slow build with Corbin. The plan is to make him a top guy in 2017 so expect him to get protected over the next several months. They also plan on changing his appearance and music soon. My guess is that they will build A.J. vs. Orton for Summerslam and then Corbin after that. Maybe even hold off on him winning the title till Mania but he is “the guy” on Smackdown.
- Lana is coming soon. Hopefully she arrives sooner than Emmalina did. And YES, they are breaking up her and Rusev. When he returns from his shoulder injury, it will be alone.
- The Shining Stars are no more. Primo and Epico are once again being billed as “The Colon’s”.
- Poor American Alpha. Wow. Not sure what else I can say about them.
- The New Day is likely going to be held off Smackdown until Kofi Kingston returns from his injury.
- Title Opportunity. That is an actual phrase that WWE has people use because Title Shot is one of those dirty words that Vince McMahon hates. SMH.
- Not sure why the change of heart but originally A.J. Styles was set to move from Smackdown to RAW during the Superstar Shakeup. The Bray Wyatt moving to RAW was a last minute thing as someone had cold feet about moving Styles from Smackdown back to RAW.
- Even though they are officially on the main roster, Shinsuke Nakamura, Tye Dillinger and the Revival worked the NXT live event loop last weekend. They will be working their respective brand live events this coming weekend but are still advertised sporadically for some NXT shows over the next few months.
- Well actually, the Revival won’t be working any shows for a few months as Dash Wilder had his jaw broken accidently at the NXT shows mentioned above by an errant punch from Hideo Itami. He will be out of action for 8 weeks. Damn, tough break.
- The Hardy Boyz are officially on the road with WWE starting this weekend. It is also noteworthy that Jeff Hardy’s international travel ban due to his drug conviction is over and he is booked to attend the U.K. tour for WWE in May.
- WWE is still negotiating with Anthem Sports over the “Broken Matt Hardy” gimmick. They do plan on implementing the gimmick once they acquire the rights to it as WWE feels that the merchandise will sell like hotcakes. Hardy actually has been dropping hints of the gimmick returning including “slipping” into his accent on RAW during the backstage promo he and Jeff cut.
- WWE has begun settlement talks with the attorneys of Mauro Ranallo. They are doing this in order to institute a gag order once they officially part ways in order to prevent Ranallo from speaking about his departure from the company. For the record, the only reason WWE is doing this is because they absolutely fear the backlash that will come if he is able to talk about everything. The story is continuing to make mainstream news and JBL is being raked through the coals over his involvement in it.
- Ranallo returned to broadcasting, albeit NOT for WWE on Saturday as he called the RIZIN MMA show in Japan alongside Frank Shamrock. He even noted via his Twitter: “I am so excited to be back! The fact that it is ONLY a 2 man book makes me even happier.!” LOL.
- As of right now, Paige is done with WWE. WWE has no plans to bring her back even when she is clear to return in May from her neck injury. They are likely going to just keep her until her contract expires which I believe is in another year. According to her fiancé Alberto El Patron, she isn’t coming back period so even if they wanted to use her, she likely wasn’t returning.
- Bill Goldberg’s contract with WWE expired however they do still have the ability to sell his merchandise for a few more months. It is expected that if WWE wants to use him again, they will come to a new agreement. If a new deal is not reached, you can fully expect a Legends Contract to be offered and Goldberg continue to work for WWE in an ambassador role of some sorts.
- WWE Hall of Famer “Stone Cold” Steve Austin cleared the air on his not being at Wrestlemania weekend in Orlando this year. He revealed on his podcast that he does not have any issues with WWE and that he in fact has sold his “Broken Skull Ranch” in Texas and was in the process of moving. He and his wife are purchasing a ranch near Los Angeles closer to their Marina Del Rey home. He will no longer be residing in Texas and will retain the rights to the “Broken Skull Ranch” name with the new owners of his old property renaming the ranch.
- WWE Hall of Famer underwent successful hip replacement surgery earlier this week. He has a hard road of rehab ahead of him as his doctor following the surgery noted it was the worse hip he has ever seen in his career. WOW.
- It doesn’t appear that Shelton Benjamin will be returning to WWE, at least as of now as he is taking a bunch of independent and international bookings now that he has been medically cleared to return to wrestling. He is booked for an upcoming tour of Chile that begins soon. He did give notice to Pro Wrestling NOAH prior to the revelation of his injury but his group Suzuki-Gun was on loan to NOAH and are now back with New Japan which is foreigner heavy.
- As of right now, recently retired NFL star James Laurinaitis, son of WWE Hall of Famer Road Warrior Animal is likely NOT going to be coming to WWE. He has made several million dollars playing football and is looking to getting into announcing and possibly coaching college football.
- Jim Cornette’s return at the WWE Hall of Fame to induct the Rock & Roll Express was NOT a one-time deal. He already filmed an episode of “Table for 3” for the WWE Network with himself, Michael Hayes and Eric Bischoff. He and Bischoff have not spoken in 24 years and did not speak once before the filming. They did mend fences during the taping. Cornette is expected to be brought back in the future for other WWE Network specials.
- Former ROH/Impact star “Miracle” Mike Bennett and his wife, former WWE Diva Maria Kanellis-Bennett are expected to debut on the Smackdown roster soon. They are completely forgoing NXT.
WWE PAYBACK PPV is on Sunday, April 30th, 2017 from San Jose California and the line-up is as follows:WWE TITLE: Randy Orton © vs. Bray Wyatt in a HOUSE OF HORRORS MATCHRoman Reigns vs. Braun StrowmanWWE WOMEN’S RAW TITLE: Bayley © vs. Alexa BlissWWE U.S. TITLE: Kevin Owens © vs. Chris JerichoSeth Rollins vs. Samoa JoeWWE TAG TEAM TITLES: The Hardy Boyz © (Matt & Jeff Hardy) vs. Sheamus & CesaroWWE CRUISERWEIGHT TITLE: Neville © vs. Austin Aries
IMPACT WRESTLING NEWS and NOTES:
- Impact was “live” last night and is taping tonight, tomorrow and Sunday for the next several shows. These shows are expected to run through June I believe.
- Alberto El Patron has officially signed a deal with Impact. Not sure the length but he has cancelled several independent bookings since he signed.
- Spoilers Ahead: Last night's tapings saw the in-ring return of Sonjay Dutt and Low-Ki, the latter winning X-Division gold in his return. Also, it was officially announced that Global Force Wrestling has now officially merged with Impact.
- Impact and AAA confirmed their talent exchange in a press conference held on Tuesday in Mexico. Impact Champion Bobby Lashley, Eddie Edwards, Davey Richards and Moose will all be working the Triplemania event for AAA on August 26th which is their version of Wrestlemania. In exchange, AAA talents will be working the Impact Slammiversary PPVon July 2nd.
- Former TNA Knockout Lisa Marie Varon saw her restaurant which she shared with her ex-husband in Chicago close last week after 4 years in business. Varon was frequently in the restaurant up until she moved from Chicago back to California.
- Best wishes to Adam Thornstowe of Reno Scum as he suffered a torn biceps and will be out of action for 6 – 8 months. Tough break for him as he and his partner were getting the first major push of their careers.
- DJZ a.k.a. Zema Ion is still in Mexico recovering from his emergency surgery. He has been unable to travel home due to the recovery process and is staying with friends.
- Impact is interested in signing Matt Sydal formerly Evan Bourne of WWE.
Ring of Honor / Lucha Underground / Independent / International News and Notes:
- Ken “Mr. Anderson” will make his Ring of Honor debut on April 28th and will be getting a television title shot against Marty Scurll. I hope he doesn’t sh*t the bed. Last I heard he wasn’t in the best of shape.
- Former WWE Star Cody Rhodes has revealed that he plans on “settling down” soon and will choose a full time promotion to call his home.
- Commentator Ian Riccaboni signed a new multi-year deal to continue as the lead announcer for ROH. He took over the role full time after the departure of Kevin Kelly. Kelly is still able to do commentary for ROH so long as it does not conflict with his New Japan deal.
- Thoughts and prayers go out to Akebono as he was rushed to the hospital following a DDT event in Japan and was placed in a medically induced coma where he will remain for at least 10 days. No word on why other than it is for health reasons.
- Katsuyori Shibata, following an amazing match with NJPW Champion Kazuchika Okada on April 9th is likely to be unable to EVER return to wrestling. During the match, Shibata countered the “Rainmaker” by head-butting Okada as hard as he could. Those in the arena noted that it sounded like a baseball hitting a bat at full speed. Shibata split his own head open from the contact but continued the match before losing. In the dressing room, Shibata collapsed and had to be stretchered to an ambulance and rushed to the hospital. Apparently the head butt caused a subdural hematoma (brain bleed) added to dehydration cause some brain issues which is causing him to lose some memory. He is still hospitalized at the time of this writing and while he does remember the match and has regained most of his faculties, doctors do not want him ever stepping foot inside a ring again. Hooray for strong style!!!
- I have not yet seen the Young Bucks & Kenny Omega vs. Ryan Smile/Will Ospreay/Lio Rush match yet. I have heard very different things on the match from it being incredible to people absolutely hating it. I did NOT get a reason why other than that I need to watch it. Anyone who has seen it, care to chime in?
- Former WWE Star Simon Gotch will now be wrestling independently under the name Simon Grimm.
- With the death of Joaquin Roldan from AAA, Vampiro and former WWE writer Chris DeJoseph will now have more power in the direction he company takes going forward as a product.
- Former WWE star Charlie Haas who has virtually been silent since his departure from Ring of Honor a few years ago with the exception of a few shows in his home state of Texas will have to undergo neck surgery that will force him to retire. Haas, still married to former WWE star Jackie Gayda-Haas is 45 years old and has not wrestled much since 2013.
- There is still no television taping update for season 4 of Lucha Underground but the belief amongst the producers is that the taping will eventually take place.
- It looks like Lucha Underground is now going to allow some flexibility regarding allowing their talents to appear for other promotions and plan on allowing some of their talents to wrestle for Impact so long as they are not using their LU gimmick. Example if Ricochet wants to work for Impact, he is free to do so but cannot do so as Prince Puma.
MMA News and Notes:
- Dana White revealed on ESPN Wednesday that he believes he is close to finalizing an agreement with Conor McGregor and his team in the next week or so which will clear a path for McGregor to fight Floyd Mayweather. He will then open up negotiations with Floyd. He believes that Conor will make about $75 million depending on PPV buys and Floyd will make well over $100 million. When asked about why he is working so hard to get this fight nailed down, White answered: “At the end of the day, this fight does not make a ton of sense for me or UFC. It really doesn’t. But Conor wants this real bad and I’ve said this many times, the kid’s stepped up and saved some big fights for me so I am in.”
- Demetrious Johnson tied Anderson Silva on Saturday for UFC’s record of most consecutive title defenses. It is sad however that it was also the lowest watched UFC on FOX show in HISTORY. Fans just do not care about the division. That is a shame because “Mighty Mouse” is a tremendous fighter.
- As of right now, the plan for UFC 214 on July 29th in Anaheim California is Daniel Cormier defending the UFC Light Heavyweight title against a returning Jon Jones. Should Jones not be able to or prefer a warm up, Cormier will then defend against Jimi Manuwa on that show while Jones will get another opponent.
- The co-main event for said show is looking like it will be Germaine de Randamie defending the Women’s UFC Featherweight title against Cris “Cyborg” Justino.
- An interesting story is emerging in South Korea involving UFC. When UFC travels to countries where they don’t usually frequent, UFC usually uses local MMA talents to fill out the undercard for those shows. Such countries like Japan, South Korea, Sweden, etc. Well on a card in November of 2015, a fighter on the undercard allegedly took a payment of $88,000 to throw a fight. He also placed a bet of $44,000 for his opponent to win. The problem is however when UFC officials noted the swing in the betting line prior to the fight, they confronted the fighter about it who not only denied any wrongdoing but ended up WINNING THE FIGHT. He was then threatened by those who paid him to throw it and contacted authorities which launched the investigation. Upon investigation, while the fighter involved remains unnamed in the media to protect his identity, there was talk at the time that Tae Hyun Bang and Leo Kuntz is the fight in question since the odds changed dramatically the day of the fight. In Las Vegas, the Las Vegas Review-Journal noted that the obscure fight that day received typical bets as if it was an NFL game on a Sunday.
- Despite the fact that almost all sources state she is not coming back to MMA, Ronda Rousey has been talking via phone to Dana White at least once a week. Dana claims they have never talked a comeback in any of their conversations. Rousey has also hired Dan Garner as her new strength and conditioning coach. Not sure why a retired fighter would want to hire one of the best in the game at strength and conditioning but hey, to each their own.
- In a last ditch effort to salvage the promotion, The World Series of Fighting has rebranded themselves the “Professional Fighters League” and will begin in January 2018 lasting 10 months. There will be 7 separate weight classes (one of which will be a women’s division) and every fighter will take part in 3 “regular season” fights and the best records in each division after those fights will fight in a “playoff” where the winners gets $1,000,000 each. As far as the remaining WSF shows go, those will in fact take place as scheduled on NBC and NBC Sports Network before the deal with WSF ends in December. The new promotion does NOT have a television deal secured as of yet.
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. Pierre UFC WELTERWEIGHT TITLE: Cody Garbrandt © vs. T.J. DillashawRobbie Lawler vs. Donald Cerrone
Random Thoughts, Links, Pics, ETC.
- Random VIDEO of the week: Official Teaser for “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week: Official Trailer for Season 4 of “Star Wars Rebels”
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 2: Official Trailer for “Star Wars Battlefront 2”
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 3: Official Teaser for “American Assassin”
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 4: Official Trailer for “Unforgetable”
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 5: Honest Trailer for “Split”
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 6: Sneak Peak of “Kingsman: The Golden Circle”
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 7: Official Trailer for “Wakefield”
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 8: Super Café: The Last Trailer
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 9: Official Trailer for Marvel’s “Cloak and Dagger”
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 10: Sizzle Reel for the last several episodes of season 5 of “Arrow”
- THIS LINK is for LIFE. Thank you soldiers. WELCOME HOME BLOG
- BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week: Such a senseless act of violence for nothing. Good riddance that this animal is gone though.
- BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 1: Grrrrr.....I want to become a vigilante so badly after stuff like this. Damn it.
- BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 2: I am glad that this guy was caught but I still feel like he is the wrong guy despite admitting it. I feel like this is a set up. Something doesn’t sit right with me.
- BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 3: Obviously he didn’t take physics. Just not a smart plan overall. I can understand not wanting to go back to jail but dude, come on. PS – If you get out of jail and don’t want to go back, a better plan would be to not commit a crime. Just saying.
- BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 4: The worst part is that I bet he sees nothing wrong with what he did because he is in love. SMH.
- BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 5: Fox News Bill O’Reilly has been FIRED. Still getting paid though.
- BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 6: Honestly I’d do the same. I don’t know if I would want to go on like that.
BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 7: Such a horrible act of violence and as I said in a previous column, it happens A LOT more frequently than we hear about. Terrible.
- Congrats to Tennis Star Serena Williams as she announced that she is 20 weeks pregnant. While not married yet, she is currently engaged to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian who is in fact a billionaire. Good person to hitch a wagon to.
- I unfortunately didn’t get to see “The Fate of the Furious” last weekend however apparently EVERYONE ELSE IN THE WORLD DID. The 8th Installment of the Fast & Furious franchise opened up to a whopping $532 million WORLDWIDE opening making it the highest worldwide opening of all time. WOW. An amazing feat considering the domestic U.S. gross was only $100 million which is far from the biggest U.S. opening ever.
- Marvel Studios has confirmed that they are returning to the San Diego Comic Con this year. Yay!!! That means we are getting something big. Avengers: Infinity War teaser?
- Marvel has announced that director James Gunn will return to write and direct Guardians of the Galaxy 3. That shows how much confidence they have in Volume 2 and how pleased they are that he can finish the trilogy.
- Allegedly Guardians Volume 2 has 5 POST CREDIT SCENES. No that is not a misprint. FIVE.
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been totally awesome. Simply amazing season so far which I hope they wrap up nicely when the finale airs in a few weeks. Some cool plot twists in this week’s episode.
- Better Call Saul. Yay!!
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