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. to Dennis Stamp. Stamp is best known for his role in the wrestling documentary “Beyond The Mat” where he was Terry Funk’s friend from Amarillo Texas however would not attend Funk’s “retirement” show because in his infamous words “I’M NOT BOOKED”. He ended up being booked as the referee for the main event between Funk and Bret Hart which in the end was all for naught since Funk wrestled another 15 years after that “retirement”. Stamp passed away at age 68 after a relapse of cancer.
WWE NEWS AND NOTES:
- In late breaking news, apparently the cellphone of WWE Superstar Paige was hacked recently and as I am about to post this column, I am being bombarded with texts and emails about some photos and videos that are starting to appear on the internet featuring Paige. I, being a gentleman, am not going to post these as it would be wrong nor would I tell you where to find these pics. I can tell you that if you were NOT interested in seeing these then you absolutely should not go on Twitter or 4Chan or Reddit looking for them so you don’t accidently bump into them.
- Tremendous closing angle to RAW with Mick Foley, Stephanie McMahon and Triple H with the Seth Rollins “run in”. Well done. Overall RAW was a solid show which continued the trek to Wrestlemania.
- The angle was likely Foley’s swan song as he is leaving for his hip replacement surgery. So Stephanie will likely fire him off camera on Monday by announcing he is gone.
- Dana Brooke is a babyface. That was done because in all likelihood Sasha Banks is turning heel at Mania and they need to keep the balance.
- It doesn’t look like we are going to get Nia Jax added to the Raw Women’s match at Mania meaning someone smartened up and realized that she would bring the match down a notch.
- Shawn Michaels appearance was a pleasant surprise although I don’t really get the point of it other than a gratuitous appearance to garner a pop. It didn’t add much to Taker vs. Reigns. Now if they wanted to turn Reigns heel, having him lay out Shawn would have been tremendous. But it didn’t happen and felt like a waste of time to me.
- I kind of feel bad for Braun Strowman. He deserves a big spot at Mania and I know the plan is for him to win the Andre battle royal but he’s come so far in such a short period of time that he deserves better.
- EMMA IS COMING!!!!!!
- I would laugh tremendously if Emma debuts and then says she is leaving and Emmalina is coming.
- You can’t get cruiserweights over in 3 minutes. Not even Austin Aries.
- The Jericho/Mike Rome segment was HILARIOUS. That is all.
- Over on Smackdown, the A.J. Styles beat down of Shane McMahon was TREMENDOUS. Even the hardway blood on Shane’s head. Vince however must have been PISSED that they were pressed for time as they show ran long and almost cut before Shane came out to say that A.J. now has a Mania opponent. I wonder where the timing of the show was off or who ran long?
- Zero interest in Orton vs. Wyatt despite the fact that I think it will be a good in ring match.
- Poor American Alpha. No one cares about them anymore which is a damn shame.
- Mauro Ranallo missed Smackdown this week due to weather. That is 110% not true and all I can tell you is that Smackdown would suck without Mauro Ranallo. That is all I can say at this time.
- WWE announced on Monday that former Rutgers University football player Eric LeGrand will be the recipient of this years “Warrior Award” at the WWE Hall of Fame. LeGrand is best remembered for ending up paralyzed from the neck down during a televised game back in 2010.
- While he is currently not written into the plans, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in congratulating Eric LeGrand as being announced for the Warrior Award noted that he is going to try to make it to Orlando for the induction. One would assume if he is in Orlando, he will have an appearance on Mania itself.
- Speaking of the Rock, congrats to him as being announced as the season finale host of Saturday Night Live on May 20th. The appearance will make him part of the “Five-Timers” Club of SNL hosts that have hosted the show 5 times or more which includes Tom Hanks, Paul Simon, Danny Devito, Candice Bergen, Alec Baldwin, Chevy Chase, Drew Barrymore, Christopher Walken, Scarlett Johansson, Tina Fey, John Goodman, Justin Timberlake, Ben Affleck, Steve Martin, Elliot Gould and Bill Murray. That is some exclusive company right there.
- Big Show vs. Shaquille O’Neal is OFF for Wrestlemania as Show was announced as an entrant in the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Apparently they didn’t come to terms.
- Kurt Angle was backstage at Smackdown this week as the show was in Pittsburgh. He left before the show ended but did mingle backstage.
- As of now, the tentative plan is for Shinsuke Nakamura to begin on the main roster after Wrestlemania. So NXT Takeover Orlando is likely his last NXT event.
- Finn Balor made his return and is back in action. If he is going to be doing anything at Wrestlemania, I fully expect him on Raw on Monday or the “go home” show the following week.
-Hideo Itami also made his return to NXT last weekend at a live event laying out Riddick Moss. Moss is the person he was wrestling when he was injured.
- DOWN GOES RUSEV. He underwent shoulder surgery earlier this week which will keep him out of action for the immediate future. He will be missing Wrestlemania. The expected timetable for his return is 2 – 3 months.
- DOWN GOES ALEXANDER. Cedric Alexander suffered a knee injury. He will be out of action for 5 months.
- Jack Swagger has officially been wished well on his future endeavors by WWE. He is in fact under a “no-compete” clause thus will not be able to wrestle, fight MMA or make wrestling related appearances until June.
- Props to John Cena as he has landed a starring role in “Daddy’s Home 2” which is the sequel to the hit comedy “Daddy’s Home” starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg. The original’s plot was about Will Ferrell marrying Wahlberg’s ex-wife and raising Wahlberg’s daughter when Wahlberg comes back into their lives. They ended up being at odds before becoming friends in the end. Well Cena had a cameo in that film as he shows up at the end because Wahlberg’s step-daughter with his new wife is Cena’s daughter. The sequel will reunite Ferrell and Wahlberg and also star Mel Gibson and Jon Lithgow. Cena is expected to be gone following Wrestlemania until June the earliest.
- Brock Lesnar worked the WWE Smackdown Madison Square Garden live event over the weekend defeating Kevin Owens with an F-5 in about 3 minutes. Owens jumped Lesnar before the bell and had some offense including his cannonball into the corner before Lesnar took over with some German Suplexes and the F-5.
- After my column was posted last Friday, WWE announced a U.K. tour in May titled “United Kingdom Championship Live” which will feature all of the current U.K. talents as well as the cruiserweights from WWE 205 Live including Rich Swann, T.J. Perkins, Thee Brian Kendrick, Tony Nese and Akira Tozawa. The shows will be taped for the WWE Network on May 6th and May 7th at Epic Studios in Norwich England which is where Paige’s family filmed shows for their World Association of Wrestling events. The building seats anywhere from 500 – 1,500 people depending on the set up but it appears WWE will be setting up for 900.
- WWE has revealed that they have a business relationship with Progress Wrestling in the U.K. as fans on the Progress mailing list received emails when the TV announcement was made that they had a 4 hour window to purchase tickets to the U.K. Live taping before tickets went on sale to the general public.
- WWE has reached out to a ton of independent females regarding a May television tapings for the WWE Network which is likely the women’s tournament that HHH talked about several months back.
- Stardom World Champion Io Shirai is in Orlando this week “trying out” at the WWE Performance Center.
- Former TNA wrestler and son of Gerald Brisco, Wes Brisco is also at the tryout camp this week. Wes was once in the WWE Developmental system in the FCW territory before he was released.
- There are several former and current Ring of Honor talents that were expected to start with NXT soon however ROH has sent legal letters to WWE regarding possible contract tampering which will delay these debuts. Those debuts were supposed to be Kyle O’Reilly, Donovan Dijak, Lio Rush and Bobby Fish. O’Reilly instead will be working for National Wrestling League in St. Louis and Dijak and Rush have both signed with EVOLVE which as we all know is a feeder system to NXT/WWE and Fish is accepting independent bookings for the time being.
- According to SEC Filings, Shane McMahon received compensation of $2,150,000 last year for his work as an on air performer.
- Former WWE Star Dave Batista has signed on to join Sylvester Stallone in “Escape Plan 2” which is the sequel to the film “Escape Plan” starring Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
- Congrats to Xavier Woods as his “UpUpDownDown” You Tube channel reached 1,000,000 subscribers. Stephanie McMahon appeared on the latest episode as a guest to celebrate the milestone.
- As of right now, today, unless plans change the plan for the Main Event of next year’s Wrestlemania is a match for the WWE Universal Title between Brock Lesnar and.....ROMAN REIGNS.
- As noted in my February 17th column, WWE has confirmed that John Cena will be inducting Kurt Angle into the WWE Hall of Fame. It is very disappointed that it is not going to be Steve Austin.
- I’ll be damned but it looks like Jim Cornette is in fact going to be the one inducting the Rock & Roll Express into the WWE Hall of Fame.
- Ric Flair’s podcast which was scheduled to return in February with new host Robert Flores is NOT coming back. Flair has decided against doing a podcast at this time.
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)Beth Phoenix”Ravishing” Rick Rude
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: WWE UNIVERSAL TITLE: Goldberg © vs. Brock Lesnar w/Paul HeymanWWE TITLE: Bray Wyatt © vs. Randy OrtonThe Undertaker vs. Roman ReignsMIXED TAG: John Cena & Nikki Bella vs. Miz & MaryseTriple H vs. Seth RollinsWWE U.S. TITLE: Chris Jericho © vs. Kevin OwensA.J. Styles vs. Shane McMahonWWE RAW WOMEN’S TITLE: Bayley © vs. Charlotte vs. Sasha BanksWWE CRUISERWEIGHT TITLE: Neville © vs. Austin AriesWWE INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE: Dean Ambrose © vs. Baron CorbinWWE RAW TAG TEAM TITLES: The Club (Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson) © vs. Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs. Sheamus & CesaroWWE SMACKDOWN WOMEN’S TITLE: Alexa Bliss © vs. Becky Lynch vs. Natalya vs. Mickie James vs. Carmella vs. TBD Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal: Mojo Rawley / Dolph Ziggler / Big Show /The New Day (Big E./Xavier Woods/Kofi Kingston) will be special guests hosts.
IMPACT WRESTLING NEWS and NOTES:
- I understand wanting to protect intellectual property from being used for financial gain elsewhere but if Matt Hardy created the gimmick; there should be at least a discussion between Anthem and him before threatening legal action; especially when Impact is also claiming the rights to Senior Benjamin as well as Vanguard One, Queen Rebecca and King Maxel. It is crazy because Benjamin (His real name) was not paid by TNA for any of his appearances.
- Unless the Hardys had a completely different contract than everyone else in TNA when they were signed (which is possible) then they don’t have a strong case. Standard TNA contracts state in writing that any intellectual property first introduced on TNA television is property of TNA.
- As far as to why Bully Ray is able to be Bully Ray in ROH, when the gimmick was created for TNA at the time, he had filed a trademark for the name and gimmick and TNA didn’t oppose it. So he fully owns the rights to it.
- Impact has announced that they are taping shows in Mumbai India on May 30th and 31st thus fulfilling their deal with Sony Six in India. They also plan on doing live events in India in the 4th quarter of this year and are planning on a weekly television show featuring tons of India talent. Those are some lofty goals for a company that can barely get American television shows correctly.
- Former TNA creative team head, Scott D’Amore has officially been named Vice President of International Development. He is the liaison with Crash in Mexico as well as India and the United Kingdom. Part of the talent exchange with Crash is that Anthem will be working to help them acquire television deals within the U.S. If they can land this, they would jump ahead of AAA and CMLL in the U.S.
- Can anyone give a logical explanation as to why Alberto El Patron had to relinquish the Impact title? I know what was said, Alberto used a belt shot to win but honestly, when has that ever happened in wrestling? Cheating wins titles all the time in Impact and on top of that, Bruce Prichard and the board couldn’t give him a rematch without Lashley’s approval? What?
- Gail Kim plans on returning to Impact. She appeared at the last set of tapings but did not wrestle. She is nursing a back injury and is NOT under contract but has noted that she plans on sticking to Impact despite being a free agent and able to go elsewhere.
Ring of Honor / Lucha Underground / Independent / International News and Notes:
- Congrats to Christopher Daniels on capturing the Ring of Honor World Title last weekend at the 15th Anniversary Show. Well-deserved and absolutely continues with my theory that Daniels is having one last run before finally calling it a career.
- With his loss to Daniels, Adam Cole is expected to done or close to done with Ring of Honor. His contract expires on May 1st but after losing the title, he was kicked out of the Bullet Club
- Matt and Jeff Hardy had an interesting weekend last week as they successfully defended their ROH Tag Team Titles at the above mentioned show only they defended them as Matt and Jeff Hardy. No mention was made of “Broken” Matt or Brother Nero. No Senior Benjamin, King Maxel or Reby sightings. No “Delete” or “Obsolete” chants by Matt. Nothing. Before the PPV began, ROH along with all PPV providers carrying the show received cease and desist letters from Impact Wrestling claiming that Broken Matt and Brother Nero were their intellectual property. Dish Network actually flat out cancelled their airing of the ROH PPV thus costing ROH a few buys. What is absolutely interesting is that Impact sent the cease and desist letter because they are hoping to keep Matt and Jeff from using the gimmick in WWE. They could care less about Ring of Honor.
- Bully Ray’s ROH deal is for the minimum of 1-year. He recently revealed that he is also working as an agent/producer backstage and has been asked to sit in with Hunter Johnson and Christopher Daniels on the booking committee. He revealed that “Bully Ray” was close to debuting in WWE when he last worked there and the original plan was for him to turn on Devon (they were building to it before it randomly got nixed) and then retire him so he could become an agent. But the day before the angle was supposed to happen, it was nixed and the Dudley Boys were written out.
- The Hardy Boyz however are signed for the “immediate future” according to Chief Operating Officer Joe Koff. This further fuels the idea that they are only signed until April and will be returning to the WWE.
- Best wishes to TK O’Ryan of “The Kingdom” as he broke his leg at last week’s ROH PPV doing a moonsault to the outside and hitting the guardrail. He will require surgery and be sidelined for several months.
- Looks like Bobby Fish is officially gone from ROH. He noted via twitter that he is accepting independent bookings beginning on March 27th. He was under a short term deal and by accepting indy bookings, it looks like he is gone.
- The first 2 seasons of Lucha Underground are now available for streaming in Netflix.
- Speaking of LU, Vampiro was named the new head of talent relations there. Paul London has also been working as a producer/agent for LU and recently noted publicly that he expects season 4 to begin filming in the fall.
- Rey Mysterio confirmed that his plans are to only work for Konnan’s “Crash” promotion in Mexico. No return to AAA is expected.
- Former WWE Star Adam Rose announced that 2017 will be his last year wrestling.
MMA News and Notes:
- Boxing legend Floyd Mayweather announced that he is coming out of retirement to fight Conor McGregor and the ball is entirely in Conor’s court now to get a deal done that allows UFC to let him fight. In all honest, he is 100% right. It is all up to UFC now.
- Vitor Belfort continued his “Shell of his former self” tour with a crushing loss to Kelvin Gastelum last weekend. He noted that he has one fight left on his deal with UFC and would like to complete it at the UFC June PPV in Rio de Janeiro before he retires.
- Gastelum will next go on to face Anderson Silva at UFC 212 in Rio in June.
- Yoel Romero noted that he does not plan on fighting until he gets his middleweight title shot and expects to be next in line to fight the winner of Michael Bisping vs. George St. Pierre. This likely means however that he will not be fighting until the fall at the earliest.
- Cain Velasquez is targeting June or July for his return. He has been out of action for several months following back surgery however he noted that he thinks he will not need back surgery again after that one.
- Matt Hughes, age 43, is in discussions to fight again although not in UFC. The discussions are with Bellator for a fight vs. Royce Gracie. It is just preliminary discussions.
- Lorenz Larkin has signed with Bellator.
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 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. Kelvin GastelumKarolina Kowalkiewicz vs. Claudia Gadelha
Random Thoughts, Links, Pics, ETC.
- Random VIDEO of the week: Honest Trailer for “Beauty and the Beast”
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week: Latest Trailer for “Despicable Me 3”
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 2: Official Trailer for “Megan Leavey”
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 3: Official Trailer for “Here Alone”
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 4: Official Trailer for Pixar’s “Coco”
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 5: Latest Trailer for “Transformers 5: The Last Knight”
- BONUS Random VIDEO of the week PART 6: Easter Eggs and references for “Logan”
- THIS LINK is for LIFE. Thank you soldiers. WELCOME HOME BLOG
- BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week: This is some real low class scumbag sh*t. Ashamed that it had to happen here.
- BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 1: Is this really necessary after all these years? I get what he did was terribly wrong but he’s 98 years old. Come on.
- BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 2: I hope that both the news and the police in Miami know that this ISN’T a new trend. I went to Miami for Spring Break back in 2002 and it was EXACTLY like this is being described. WTF?
- BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 3: So it begins, the beginning of the end. Trump is going to start a war,
- BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 4: Damn Angelina, have some common sense.
- BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 5: This is the neighborhood I grew up in and sadly I know someone who knew the EMT. Tragic.
- BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 6: Neither one of these people can be serious can they? Not the women who offered to sell her kid nor the woman who sued when it fell through. They had to know that it wasn’t legal no?
BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 7: Just read the headline and tell me why Apple is to blame here?
BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 8: Divorce no? There’s no coming back from this is there?
BONUS Random ARTICLE of the week PART 9: How does something like this happen? And why would they leave it in the car?
- In terrible news for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, all signs are pointing to Chris Evans last donning the shield of Captain America in “Avengers: Infinity War”. It is the final film on his Marvel contract and he has noted that he’d like to explore other opportunities in film as both an actor and as a director which he couldn’t do before due to the intense schedule of Marvel films.
- Logan. Loved it. Thought it was fantastic and told a good story. It is sad that it wasn’t the official “Old Man Logan” story but for obvious reasons that couldn’t be done. I highly recommend it.
- The Matrix is being rebooted. Michael B. Jordan is wanted for the lead role. I don’t know how I feel about this. Zak Penn is currently in talks to write the script.
- After all of the Ben Affleck hullabaloo over him and The Batman film was likely caused by Affleck as he revealed on Wednesday that he recently completed a stint in alcohol rehab. Speaking of The Batman, the script is once again being rewritten from the ground up. Complete rewrite. Ouch. The film is not set to begin production until 2018 at this point meaning a 2019 release.
- The WB/DC train continues to ravel out of control as Aquaman, currently DC’s only scheduled movie for 2018, has been pushed out for a 2nd time and is now set to be released in December 2018.
- The Walking Dead bounced back from that weird and all too convenient Rick/Michionne episode from last week. Honestly, that had to have been the worst episode of the season with Rick and Michionne just happening upon a cache of weapons when they needed to find a cache of weapons; plus the Rick “dying” fake out. It was weird. Great rebound however with this episode.
- Flash and Arrow continue their solid episode outings. I am WAY behind on Supergirl however. About 5 episodes. Have I missed much?
- Disappointed in the finale of “This is Us” as I thought it was the reveal. Solid episode overall but not what I expected it to be.
- FX has renewed “Legion” for a 2nd season. I still have yet to watch an episode and I think I am just going to skip it for now and binge it over the summer. There is way too much television to keep up with now.
- Actor Henry Cavill best known for being the current Superman in the DC Cinematic Universe is currently co-starring with Tom Cruise in the latest Mission Impossible film.
- Sony Pictures is going off the reservation despite their agreement with Marvel to produce Spider-Man in the MCU. Sony announced that they are going ahead with a VENOM film on October 5th 2018. It will likely NOT tie into Spider-Man or the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Feel free to discuss whatever you'd like on the “Board” where I can do my best to answer anything you’d like. Also drop a comment in the comment box below as I try my best to answer in a timely fashion. You can also tweet me on the tweeter. I reply there as well. Questions, Corrections, Comments, Feedback or Ideas: EMAIL ME .