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: R.I.P. goes out to actor Alan Thicke as he passed away at age 69 earlier this week. Thicke was a father to most of us via his role on Growing Pains where he was Dr. Jason Seaver, stay at home dad who raised his 3 kids while his wife went back to work. He was a terrific actor as well as music composer as it is a little known fact that Thicke wrote many tunes that stick with us today including the opening theme song to Different Strokes, The Facts of Life and Growing Pains. He is survived by his wife and three sons including singer Robin Thicke.
BONUS MATT NOTE: R.I.P. also goes out to TNT Sports reporter Craig Sager who passed away yesterday at age 65 after a long battle with cancer that doctors thought he was going to pass away from 2 years ago. Instead, Sager fought harder than many all the while still managing to work as a TNT reporter. He would go to games, travel from games to chemotherapy then back to a game the following day which was a brutal schedule that he maintained. He was so beloved by the basketball community that last year he managed to get a chance to broadcast the NBA All Star game for ESPN despite being under contract to TNT. Officials at ABC allowed it to happen at the request of TNT who wanted him to work at least one in his NBA career. Sager was just inducted into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame last year.
WWE NEWS AND NOTES:
- Congratulations go out to The New Day as they are officially the longest reigning tag team champions in the entire history of the WWE as they surpassed Demolition’s record of 476 consecutive days on Monday at midnight. Remember when they debuted as a team and everyone sh*t all over them? Good times. Anyway, they successfully defended the titles TWICE on the show in two separate three way matches. This was solid booking because it was intriguing in a sense that the show made people want to stay tuned in to see if WWE would pull the titles off of them without having them break Demolition’s record. The matches meant so much more knowing the record was within reach.
- All this build for Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks in an Ironman match and Charlotte isn’t even in the building for RAW on Monday. SMH. I fully expect Charlotte to regain the title by defeating Sasha due to interference from Ric Flair. Interestingly enough however they noted that there is NO REMATCH CLAUSE meaning that the loser will be out of the title picture.
- It cannot just be me who is noticing that the crowd dies a slow death every time the cruiserweights come out. I do not understand how they built up the CWC so nicely and then just put the cruiserweights out each week to drown with no built up and non-interesting storylines.
- Is Zach Gallagher’s gimmick that he is one of the Vaudevillians?
- I popped HUGE when Mick Foley said that he and Daniel Bryan came to an agreement to trade Sami Zayn for a talent of equal value...EVA MARIE!!! LOLOLOLZ. Foley is good when he is motivated and this angle with Zayn seems to be pushing him to put in work.
- Looks like jobber to the stars, Dolph Ziggler is next in line for A.J. Styles WWE World title over on Smackdown. This is what happens when someone is buried beyond belief despite being over with the fans. You have him lose and lose and lose and lose and then you give him a title shot because no one else is popular enough to get it. Does anyone honestly believe that he has a shot at dethroning A.J.? And where does this leave Dean Ambrose? Back to feuding with Miz? Maybe a long feud with James Ellsworth? SMH. DEPTH. WWE NEEDS DEPTH.
- Also, this Ziggler thing is only a side note to the Styles/Ellsworth issue and eventually John Cena is next in line so why not let Luke Harper get the win? He can be a “throwaway” contender and also get a damn good match out of A.J.
- Due to his ankle injury suffered at TLC, WWE is keeping A.J. Styles out of action until the Monday, December 26th Smackdown Live house show at Madison Square Garden where he will defend the title against the returning John Cena. Cena will return to television the following night on Smackdown Live from Chicago Illinois.
- During the match where the Hype Bros won a championship opportunity against the Wyatt Family, Zack Ryder injured his knee and underwent surgery yesterday at the hands of the esteemed Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham Alabama. Ryder will be out of action for several months. No telling what is going to happen to the number one contender ship won by the Hype Bros but I would assume they are out the picture and someone else will get their title shot. No word on how long Ryder will be out but my assumption is at least 6 months.
- Some minor controversy via the internet this week when WWE Tag Team champion Big E. tweeted a picture of himself, Xavier Woods, Kofi Kingston, Sasha Banks and Rich Swann all holding their respective titles with the hashtag “#BlackExcellence”. Kofi Kingston penned a wonderful response explaining that it wasn’t a race baiting hashtag but one of pride since many years ago, African Americans would have NEVER been considered for holding titles or at least not as many as there are now. It was a way to show how proud they have come in the wrestling business.
- WWE announced on Thursday that they will be holding a two-day tournament airing live on the WWE Network to crown the inaugural U.L. Champion. The tournament will take place on January 14th and 15th in Blackpool England and will feature 16 independent wrestlers from the U.K. including Pete Dunne, Trent Seven, Tyler Bate, Jordan Devlin, Wolfgang, Tucker, Jack Starz, Joseph Conners and more. The tournament will be called by Michael Cole, William Regal and the newly signed Nigel McGuiness (See news item below). I believe that the title will strictly be defended in the U.K. and Europe and not be a featured title on Raw or Smackdown going forward. This tournament is one of the reasons why WWE has been offering U.K. talents contracts. The plan for WWE is to corner the market on many of the big independent names to help fuel the developmental system as well as keep any competition from getting future stars.
- Congrats to Nigel McGuiness as he has apparently signed with WWE as a trainer in NXT as well as a color commentator for WWE events in the United Kingdom. He will no longer be working for Ring of Honor and has fulfilled all of his commitments to them.
- WWE has signed Chris Hero once again to a contract. Hero was under a developmental deal from 2011 to 2013 but after some time was released as he was told to get “into shape” and he didn’t get into the shape they wanted him to. He was considered “fat” despite the fact that he was the best in ring talent in developmental at the time. After his past year of working on the Indies which he proved he is one of the best in ring workers in the entire world, WWE has apparently re-signed him as they are trying to lock up all top talent/workers in the world to deals to prevent them from working elsewhere. No word on whether or not he is going to be back in NXT or brought to the main roster. Little known fun fact, when C.M. Punk was with the company, he suggested that he have a group of “heavies” called up from developmental to assist him to keep the WWE Title. He came up with the idea of The Shield and suggested Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Chris Hero. Imagine how different WWE would have been had they not decided to add Roman Reigns into the group instead of Hero.
- UK legend Johnny Saint is also on his way to the Performance Center as a trainer. He noted via an interview that he will be relocating to Orlando for the next 6 months to help train. Saint will be the oldest trainer and actually employee in WWE as he is 75.
- Both Samoa Joe and Shinsuke Nakamura are nursing minor physical injuries. NXT is doing what they can to limit their in-ring action by protecting them in tag and six man tag team matches.
- WWE is also looking at bringing in TNA’s Eli Drake. Drake was once a WWE developmental talent under the name Slate Randall.
- Terron Beckham, cousin of New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is interested in trying out for NXT. He is an athletic marvel as he had an NFL tryout earlier this year despite NOT playing college football last year.
- No further update on Sawyer Fulton’s injury in developmental other than that he is going to be out of action for several months. He is likely not going to be a part of Sanity upon his return.
- Finn Balor gave a progress update on his shoulder noting that he is eyeing a return for Wrestlemania. He was asked about the Royal Rumble and he said that it is NOT impossible but a long shot.
- Awesome news for WWE RAW General Manager Mick Foley as he announced this week that he weighed in at 236.7 lbs. which is an incredible feat as when he started DDP Yoga, he was 337 lbs.
- In an interview this past week Randy Orton noted that he is enjoying working as part of the Wyatt Family and wants to keep it going. He also said he’d wants to wrestle for at least 10 more years which to me, with the wear and tear he likely has on his body would only work if he wrestled a Cena/HHH schedule in the near future meaning less and less live events. He said in order to accomplish that; he’d also need to wrestle in gear similar to Roman Reigns because it is getting more difficult at his age to keep a six pack. He is looking forward to working a long program with A.J. Styles and said he is one of the best workers he has ever seen. I too am looking forward to that feud as you know I have been singing praises for Orton’s work for YEARS as he is incredible as an in ring performer.
- WWE Hall of Famer Jerry “The King” Lawler revealed that he was called by Kevin Dunn last week and was informed that his salary was just too high for him to only be calling the pre-game show and that they plan on getting rid of the pre-game show soon because of cost considerations. Lawler’s contract is up in January and he and WWE will sit to review a new contract. He said Vince McMahon called him personally to tell him that they are not done with him yet and have plans on how to use him going forward. He is still going to be the MC of the Hall of Fame ceremony.
- WWE announced that the final RAW before Wrestlemania will be on March 27th from Philadelphia Pennsylvania.
- John Cena did well on his first hosting gig for Saturday Night Live. There were some “misses” but for the most part, most of his skits were pretty damn funny. He always carries himself well and was not above making fun of himself. You could tell by watching him that he was having a good time and he almost got caught breaking character a few times as he was chuckling during some of the skits.
- In a very interesting note, according to their latest SEC filing, Shane McMahon no longer holds any WWE stock. All his class A and class B shares have been sold and he has no ownership interest in WWE.
- Former WWE Star Shad Gaspard (formerly of Cryme Tyme) made the news last week as he STOPPED A ROBBERY of a gas station in Florida. He entered the station as his partner JTG remained in the car. Upon entering, a man asked him to buy him a beer. Shad replied that the man could ask him in a nicer tone before the man pulled out a gun and told Shad he was going to rob the place. Shad immediately grabbed him and restrained him for police and in the process found out that the gun was a BB gun.
- Best of luck to WWE Hall of Famer Booker T as he announced that he will be running for mayor of Houston Texas in 2019.
- A federal judge approved the bankruptcy plan by Gawker this week thus finalizing Hulk Hogan’s payment of said plan. He will receive his $31 million over the next few weeks although $10 million of that will likely go to Peter Theil who funded the lawsuit.
- The official trailer for the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary on the XFL can be found RIGHT HERE.
WWE ROADBLOCK: END OF THE LINE PPV is THIS SUNDAY from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and the line-up is as follows:WWE UNIVERSAL TITLE: Kevin Owens © vs. WWE U.S. Champion Roman ReignsWWE RAW WOMEN’S TITLE: Sasha Banks © vs. Charlotte in an 30 Minute IRONMAN MATCHSeth Rollins vs. Chris JerichoSami Zayn vs. Braun StrowmanWWE CRUISERWEIGHT TITLE: Rich Swann © vs. T.J. Perkins vs. Brian KendrickBig Cass vs. Rusev w/Lana
TNA IMPACT WRESTLING NEWS and NOTES:
- No one seems to have any idea what this means right now but Jeff Jarrett has met with officials at Anthem Sports and Entertainment. I do not believe he was offered any sort of position with TNA other than the fact that Anthem wanted to know more about TNA in general. That strikes me as odd however since Dixie Carter is still there and can provide the same insight that Jarrett can.
- TNA plans on doing their 2nd set of television tapings in 2017 in March in order to avoid taping shows close to Wrestlemania weekend which is taking place in Orlando.
- Sony Six in India has NOT voided their contract and TNA has agreed to tour India in 2017.
- Add Tigre Uno to the list of talents that are gone from TNA. His contract has expired and was not renewed by the company.
- Unfortunately I was unable to watch “Total Nonstop Deletion” last night as I was out. It is sitting on my DVR and I plan on catching it this weekend. I have heard that it was magical and everything one could expect from the Broken Hardy Boyz so I am indeed looking forward to it. Does anyone disagree with how awesome I am hearing it was?
Ring of Honor / Lucha Underground / Independent / International News and Notes:
- Nigel McGuiness is officially gone from ROH. The angle writing him out via the ROH website was NOT just an angle as he has agreed to a deal to become a trainer in NXT and a commentator in the U.K.
- Michael Elgin is also done with ROH. While he is officially under contract to New Japan Pro Wrestling, Elgin was doing occasional ROH bookings independently of NJPW. He noted that he is done taking ROH bookings and will only work for the promotion if a part of New Japan.
- As I noted last week, Cody has been announced as the newest member of the Bullet Club in New Japan Pro Wrestling. He will be using the name “The American Nightmare” Cody.
- Colby Corino, now out on bail from his recent arrest noted last weekend that he will undergo the necessary treatment.
- Matt Sydal is once again officially on U.S. soil and is taking independent bookings.
- Alberto El Patron was involved in a backstage fight in Mexico last weekend. He was attending a show as a guest as his brother was on the card and he apparently lost it when a wrestler known as Alan Extreme allegedly touched El Patron’s girlfriend Paige inappropriately. Alberto is said to have beaten Extreme up pretty badly from what some are saying was a misunderstanding.
- El Patron tweeted about the incident the following day noting: “Just to clarify, if you inappropriately touch my fiancé in front of my face you have to prepare to learn a lesson. #Respect”
- In fantastic New Japan news, AXS TV will air Wrestle Kingdom 11 spread across 4 weeks beginning on Friday, January 13th with the IWGP title match between Kazuchika Okada defending the title against Kenny Omega.
- In a great ARTICLE profiling the Young Bucks, they revealed for the first time that they were extremely close to joining A.J. Styles in the WWE. Styles approached them before he told New Japan and R.O.H. that he signed with WWE that he asked the Bucks what their contract status was but they had just signed new deals the previous month. Had they not signed new contracts, they would have joined A.J. in WWE. They just recently signed new 2-year deals with both ROH and New Japan so the earliest they could make the jump to WWE would be 2019. They did note that they want to be considered in the running to be the greatest tag team of all time and they realize that they have to have a WWE run to be in that conversation.
- Silas Young just signed a new one-year deal to remain in ROH.
NEW JAPAN PRO WRESTLING WRESTLE KINGDOM 11 is on Saturday, January 4th, 2017 from Tokyo Japan and the line-up is as follows:IWGP WORLD TITLE: Kazuchika Okada © vs. Kenny OmegaIWGP INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE: Tetsuya Naito © vs. Hiroshi TanahasiNEVER OPENWEIGHT TITLE: Katsuyori Shibata © vs. Hirooki GotoIWGP JUNIOR TITLE: Kushida © vs. Hiromu TakahashiIWGP TAG TEAM TITLES: The Guerrillas of Destiny © (Tama Tonga & Tanga Roa) vs. G.B.H.(Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma)RING OF HONOR WORLD TITLE: Kyle O’Reilly © vs. Adam Cole”The American Nightmare” Cody vs. Juice RobinsonNEVER OPENWEIFGHT SIX MAN TITLES: David Finlay/Ricochet/Satoshi Kojima © vs. The Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale/Hangman Page/Yujiro Takahashi) vs. Chaos (Will Ospreay/Tomohiro Iishi/Yohsi-Hashi) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japan (Bushi/Evil/Sanada)IWGP JUNIOR TAG TITLES: The Young Bucks © (Matt & Nick Jackson) vs. Roppongi Vice (Beretta & Rocky Romero)Tiger Mask W (Originally Kota Ibushi) vs. Tiger the Dark (ACH)New Japan Rumble Match
MMA News and Notes:
- Brock Lesnar had his Nevada State Athletic Commission hearing yesterday for his drug test failure following UFC 200 in July. He was given a 1-year suspension and $250,000 fine. This means he will be eligible to fight again in July. Lesnar likely received only 1-year due to Jon Jones being given that suspension as well. The fine seems excessive but it is the standard 10% of his purse for the night which was $2.5 million.
- Nate Diaz was fined $50,000 for his part in the water bottle throwing incident with Conor McGregor several months back.
- Max Holloway looked WAY IMPRESSIVE in knocking out Anthony Pettis last weekend at UFC 206 to become interim UFC Featherweight Champion and garner his 10th consecutive win in UFC. He will now go onto fight Jose Aldo (rumor is on February 11th in Brooklyn New York) to crown the undisputed UFC Featherweight Champion.
- While the show may NOT have done the worst PPV buyrate in UFC history (numbers aren’t confirmed but it is trending towards definitely being the lowest of 2016), Holloway looked dominant and Pettis may need to start thinking of another careers as he has lost 4 of his last 5 fights. Following the loss to Holloway; he noted he was done with his featherweight experiment and moving back to lightweight which to me isn’t a great idea for him since he lost his last 3 fights at that weight before snapping that streak in his featherweight debut.
- With Donald Cerrone defeating Matt Brown last weekend, he is now tied with George St. Pierre for 2nd place all time in UFC wins with 19. He trailed Michael Bisping’s 20 wins.
- Despite Cris “Cyborg” Justino now saying that making 145 lbs. is an issue, Dana White announced that UFC will crown a new UFC Women’s Featherweight Champion at the February 11th UFC 208 PPV event in Brooklyn as Holly Holm will fight Germaine de Randamie to crown the first champion. The plan is for Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino to face the winner of said fight down the road. Justino was scheduled to be awarded the title since she is currently the Invicta 145 lb. women’s champion and was penciled in to defend the new title on this show however she turned down fights against both challengers citing that she needed time to recover from her last weight cut to 145. So Dana White proceeded to start the division without her.
- In other Cyborg news, congrats to her as she was officially granted a green card and is now officially a U.S. citizen.
- UFC has signed Junior Dos Santos vs. Stefan Struve to headline a UFC Fight Night on February 19th. Someone is getting knocked out.
- Donald Cerrone vs. Jorge Masvidal. January 28th. BOOM!!! Someone is getting knocked out.
- Vitor Belfort vs. Kelvin Gastelum on March 11th in Brazil for a UFC Fight Night main event. Someone is getting knocked out.
- Dana White confirmed that UFC has opened up talks again with George St. Pierre. I really want to see GSP come back and I am sure UFC would be happy to have another name draw but this window is closing. GSP isn’t getting any younger and the longer it takes for him to come back just means more time he has spent away from fighting. Not a good look for him.
- White also made some interesting comments this week regarding the commentary team. He sang high praise for Joe Rogan calling him “the greatest combat sports announcer in history” before sating that he is working on a dream team of sorts for Rogan. This absolutely means that Mike Goldberg is in the running to be replaced. I cannot imagine why Dana would publicly make a statement like that if Goldberg wasn’t being shown the door since it makes it appear as if he is sh*tting on Goldberg as a commentator.
- In a cool and interesting Bellator note, Mohammed “King Mo” Lawal said this week in an interview that he is willing to fight anyone, in any weight class meaning he’d drop to Middleweight or move to heavyweight and even mentioned fighting Shane Carwin who outweighs him by a significant margin or Fedor Emelianenko. He did not however that he would NEVER fight Chael Sonnen and revealed that when he was suffering from a severe staph infection that almost cost him his leg (doctors considered amputation), Sonnen, while still in UFC, called him personally and told him that if he needed any money for medical bills or to feed his family while he was in the hospital, to let him know and he’d take care of it. Lawal noted that he would never fight a guy who he hardly knew who was willing to do that for him.
- Combate America is serious about making a splash in the MMA world and think they can lock in the Hispanic demographic they are targeting as they just raised $10,000,000 in funding.
UFC ON FOX is TOMORROW NIGHT from Sacramento California and the line-up is as follows:Paige VanZant vs. Michelle WatersonSage Northcutt vs. Mickey GallUrijah Faber vs. Brad Pickett in what is Faber’s retirement fightAlan Jouban vs. Mike Perry
UFC 207 is on Friday, December 30th, 2016 from Las Vegas Nevada and the line-up is as follows:UFC WOMEN’S BANTAMWEIGHT TITLE: Amanda Nunes © vs. Ronda RouseyUFC BANTAMWEIGHT TITLE: Dominick Cruz © vs. Cody GarbrandtCain Velasquez vs. Fabricio WerdumDoo Ho Choi vs. Cub SwansonJohnny Hendricks vs. Neil MagnyDong Hyun Kim vs. Tarec SaffiedineAlex Oliveira vs. Tim Means
UFC on FOX 23 is on Saturday, January 28th, 2017 from Denver Colorado and the line-up is as follows:Donald Cerrone vs. Jorge Masvidal
UFC 208 is on Saturday, February 11th, 2017 from Brooklyn New York and the line-up is as follows:VACANT UFC WOMEN’S FEATHERWEIGHT TITLE: Holly Holm vs. Germaine de RandamieTravis Browne vs. Derrick Lewis
Random Thoughts, Links, Pics, ETC.
- Random VIDEO of the week: Official Trailer for “Fate of the Furious” (a.k.a. Fast & Furious 8).
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week: Honest Trailer for “Empire Strikes Back”
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 2: International Trailer for “Spider-Man: Homecoming”
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 3: Official Trailer for Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk”
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 4: Official Trailer for “Despicable Me 3”
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 5: Official Trailer for “Unforgettable”
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 6: Episode 1 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “Slingshot” web series following Yo-Yo. All 6 episodes can be found in this link.
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 7: Official Trailer for “The Boss Baby”
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 8: International Trailer for “Ghost in the Shell”
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 9: Official Trailer for “Arsenal”
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 10: How “Star Wars” should have ended.
- THIS LINK is for LIFE. Thank you soldiers. WELCOME HOME BLOG
- BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week: Terrible. Kids do this every winter and I feel like this happens once a year. Parents and kids need to be prepared for this.
- BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 1: Millennials are some real pieces of sh*t, for real. I cannot understand why they act the way they act.
- BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 2: F*cking little thugs in NYC. I hope they get beaten to death.
- BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 3: Keep believing that global warming isn’t a thing. Go ahead.
- Random ARTICLE of the week PART 4: Good idea in theory but I think it is too little, too late. There are too many better places out there offering delivery service especially with Seamless Web and GrubHub.
- BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 5: SMH....our future is doomed.
- BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 6: F*ck this guy if he lied about this as I first read it and got choked up. Scumbag move if he isn’t telling the truth.
- BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 7: Thanks to Johnny Knoxville, Steve O and their cronies, we get people like him.
- BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 8: Oops......lawsuit city though. Boom.
- BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 9: I call shenanigans. He is just looking to go viral. Probably not even married.
- BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 10: I wish it wouldn’t have finished. It has to .
- For those of you who’ve been complaining about The Walking Dead, you got your wish with the mid-season finale. A solid ending with some things wrapped up and some deaths. Overall I think this season has been stellar so far and those complaining are not getting storyline and character development. It is fantastic.
- The 2nd half of season 7 of the Walking Dead debuts on Sunday, February 12th.
- CBS is planning on rebooting “The Honeymooners”. Is nothing sacred anymore?
- Not many of you have probably been watching but Disney Channel’s “Girl Meets World” is an awesome show. Anyway, the season 3 finale airs in January and there is no update on a 4th season which is a shame.
- According to director James Mangold, Hugh Jackman took a pay cut to star in “Logan” so that they could use the additional budget saved by his salary to make the film rated R.
- Despite not debuting in theaters until July 2017, Marvel and Sony announced a SEQUEL to Spider-Man: Homecoming as well as the July 5th, 2019 release date in theaters. WOW.
- Despite still not being on 100% solid ground in the film department, Warner Brothers remains aggressive in their film scheduling by announcing a sequel to Suicide Squad is currently in development as well as a Deadshot solo film starring Will Smith and “Gotham City Sirens” which will be Harley Quinn’s solo film but by the title leads many to believe that there will be other DC females and villains in it. There is a comic of the same title which features a Harley team up with Poison Ivy and Catwoman. They are also fast tracking “The Batman” as it will likely be released before the sequel to Justice League.
- I hope to god that the rumors of Megan Fox as Poison Ivy AREN’T true. While hot, she certainly cannot act to save a life.
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