Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Dr. Strangelove and Congress

For some reason, the events of the last week or so have made me think of this classic and hysterical "War Room" scene from Dr. Strangelove. Sometimes I wonder - and fear - that this might be too real!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Forget 2008, Gen. Petraeus In 2012

I'll make a prediction right now that the winner of the 2008 election is only going to be in office for one term - the last time we had a one-term president was President George H.W. Bush 1988-1992. Regardless, the man who came up with an effective game plan in dealing with guerrilla warfare and the man who will become the new head of CENTCOM on Halloween is the guy that I'm recruiting for the job of running things at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Here is the link to General David Petraeus' (pictured) thoughts on the situation in Afghanistan.

Ric Flair's Robe Headed For The Smithsonian

The robe worn by former pro wrestler Ric Flair at WrestleMania XXIV (pictured) will spend its days in immortality after being donated to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. The robe will be a part of the Smithsonian’s Pop Culture Exhibit alongside Jim Henson’s Muppets and Fonzie’s jacket from Happy Days, according to the W.W.E. website.

You can see Flair, the robe and Wrestlemania XXIV on Smackdown's new home, MyNetworkTV this Thursday night at 8 in a special one-hour music presentation. Smackdown will debut on the network Friday night at 8.

Separated at Birth?

Are current W.W.E. Intercontinental Champion Santino Marella (pictured with IC title) and former New York Mets' reliever John Franco (pictured batting) separated at birth?

Incidentally, I feel bad for the majority of Mets' fans that have to endure another seasons ending in heartbreaking fashion!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Get Back!

I knew that August would be a light month for blogging, but I am surprised that I have not blogged more this month. But, I suspect that with the election coming up and fall sports starting to really heat up, I'll be blogging a great deal more. So thanks for reading to whoever stops by, this is something that I get a great deal out of!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My Old Friend Gorilla Monsoon

A couple of people have asked me who Gorilla Monsoon is? Although I never met him, I wish I did because he was one of the best broadcasters I have ever heard in any medium. The above video (although not great quality) is a very moving remembrance of the late Gorilla Monsoon.

The Who Being Honored at The White House...and that's not all!

The Who's surviving members Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey (pictured with Aerosmith's Joe Perry) are being honored by the Kennedy Center in December which means a trip to the White House. What's funny about this is that Morgan Freeman, George Jones, Barbra Streisand and Twyla Tharp are also being honored. Funny, you say? Think about it, Streisand in the same room as President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condie Rice? As my old friend Gorilla Monsoon would say, "The tension, you could cut it with a knife!" The full story is here.

Monday Night Raw: Jericho-Michaels Swerve?

Last night’s Monday Night Raw concluded with the announcement that Shawn Michaels will face Chris Jericho at the next W.W.E. pay-per-view, No Mercy, in a ladder match for Jericho’s World Championship.

Immediately after the show went off the air, I thought of how great it will be to see Michaels win a major championship one more time in his career. With injuries mounting and Michaels cutting back his schedule over the last year or so, one would think that Michaels is drawing closer to retirement.

A final run with the World Championship would be great to see and a reward to Michaels who has carried the Raw show so many times in the last few months. Shawn Michaels has also gotten my pay-per-view dollar, but what about this one?

Triple H will be defending his W.W.E. Championship against Jeff Hardy and now we have Michaels-Jericho. While it would seem that the ladder match – which Shawn Michaels put on the map – assures a title change, I’m not so sure. Jericho will counter with something that will even things up. That’s the way it has been in this feud – the best of the year – with each man engaging in a great psychological battle of human chess.

So what will it be? The storyline is now advanced with Jericho as World Champ, but are we guaranteed a title change. I’m still expecting another swerve before Sunday October 6 and something that in all likelihood will draw me in to another W.W.E. pay-per-view. But then again, doesn't Shawn Michaels always draw in the viewer?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remember September 11, 2001


2,998 deaths

6,291 injured

September 11, 2001 was one of the saddest days of my life and for many other people all over the world, as well as one of the worst days in the history of this great country. America's engagement in partisan politics for years is one of the reasons, I believe, which led to the events of that day and was also a culmination of us not being prepared for the wide-reaching capabilities of Islamic terrorism, in general.

No other song encapsulates my feelings about September 11 as this Who classic has come to doing. A few weeks after the attacks, The Who performed “Won’t Get Fooled Again” at the Concert for New York City, which was a star-studded event at Madison Square Garden honoring the first responders of September 11, 2001.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Ric Flair Involved in Altercation

Ric Flair was involved in a fight over the weekend which involved his daughter and her boyfriend. The details of the incident are sketchy, but Flair's daughter did get arrested and had to be subdued with a taser. The above picture is of Ric Flair (with his son Reid) out at a nightclub in the Charlotte area at some point following the incident - sporting a pretty nasty black eye. TMZ has more details on the story here.

Flair is no longer employed by W.W.E. and is out on his own where he feels he can make more money doing autograph signings and the like at indy shows. As great as Flair was inside the ring, there is a very sad piece of the Ric Flair story, which is partly evidenced by this recent incident. Also, Flair and his wife (number three, I believe) recently separated.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Unforgiven Results and Thoughts

I went back and forth yesterday on whether or not I wanted to see World Wrestling Entertainment’s Unforgiven pay-per-view. Ring of Honor was airing a repeat of Respect is Earned (which I haven’t seen yet) at 6 while the W.W.E. would put their show on at 8. I went with the W.W.E. and in some ways I think I would have been better suited going with Ring of Honor. As far as bang for your buck goes, R.O.H. delivers.

The W.W.E. had three scramble matches – the rules of which seemed to not only confuse the announcers, ring announcer and even the wrestlers, but definitely the fans. The concept would not be bad if it was used in an Intercontinental Championship match, but not a World title bout because it cheapens the title.

Triple H lost the title during the W.W.E. Championship scramble several times, but ultimately walked out with the belt, however, the ring announcer said he retained the title. But that’s really not true. I just checked the title history on W.W.E.com and Hunter is listed as never having lost the belt since he initially won it from Randy Orton several months ago. I’m confused. Do we recognize Jeff Hardy as a two-time W.W.E. Champ off of yesterday’s match or what? I may be nitpicking at it, but there has to be something that makes sense. In some ways, the holes in the scramble just make me think the W.W.E. has some very lazy writers.

I didn’t like the Undertaker-Big Show segment because that is something that can be saved for t.v. The W.W.E. also walked a very dangerous line with Vickie Guerrero and the casket. I give the show a 7 out of 10 overall, mostly due to the Michaels-Jericho match. For future pay-per-views I would like to see the W.W.E. please get back to having one on one title matches!

I did like the forming of the young stable led by Randy Orton which contains Afa Jr. (now called Manu), Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase. Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho lived up to expectations, although wasn’t Jericho knocked unconscious by Michaels? Yet, somehow he recovered in time to beat four other guys for the World Championship. Still, I like seeing Jericho with the title – mostly because I’m hoping Michaels gets the strap – but taking CM Punk out of the match is just wrong. Punk is not a W.W.E. creation, that is, he never came through one of the company’s developmental territories so I wonder if that is the reason why he is treated like a bastard at a family reunion.

WWE Championship Scramble
W.W.E. Champ Triple H vs. Jeff Hardy vs. MVP vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. The Brian Kendrick
Triple H leaves with the W.W.E. title in what was predictably the best of the three scramble matches.

World Heavyweight Championship Scramble World Champ CM Punk vs. JBL vs. Kane vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Batista
Chris Jericho replaced CM Punk who was beaten up by Randy Orton, Afa Jr., Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase. Jericho goes home with the gold, which makes sense because he is the most marketable heel on Monday Night Raw right now. By the way, wasn't Kane supposed to have "destroyed" Mysterio, yet the two never really seemed to have an issue with each other during the match. In fact, Mysterio stopped Batista from pinning Kane at one point. There was also a moment in which Batista -while champion - was going for a pinfall. Why? What would be the point of pinning someone else when you already have the title? Wouldn't it make more sense to throw everyone else out of the ring?

ECW Championship Scramble E.C.W. Champion Mark Henry vs. Finlay vs. The Miz vs. Matt Hardy vs. Chavo Guerrero
I was actually really happy with this one. Maybe because my expectations were so low, but I thought it had some really good action. Nice to see Matt Hardy with a championship!

Divas Championship Match Michelle McCool defends title vs. Maryse
This wasn’t a pay-per-view match and had no business being on the show. By the way, McCool retained.

Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho
Very good and quite disturbing at certain points. Michaels wins but says he isn’t “satisfied,” so I am assuming the feud continues. This match was what made me want to get the pay-per-view, I’m glad it delivered.

World Tag Team Champions Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase vs. Cryme Tyme
Cody and Ted retained in a match that was as good as it will get with these four. Now can they end this feud and have the champs move on to something worthwhile.

Friday, September 05, 2008

So Long Killer Kowalski

The one and only killer, Wladek (Walter) "Killer" Kowalski passed away last week after suffering a major heart attack at the beginning of August. Kowalski essentially defined the term "heel" or "bad guy" in the wrestling business and is noted for training some outstanding wrestlers at his school in Massachusetts such as Hunter Hearst Helmsley. Fellow blogger Kevin Eck remembers the "Killer" here.


Killer Kowalski
(October 13, 1926 – August 30, 2008)

Unforgiven Predictions

This Sunday is another W.W.E. pay-per-view: Unforgiven. The show, which emanates from Cleveland, will feature three championship scramble matches - a new concept that Pat Patterson has come up with. He, being the one that created the Royal Rumble match.

Overall, I have no idea what to expect from the trifecta of championship scramble matches. I'm not overly pumped about them, but they could be a big surprise depending on a few things. I think they should perhaps focus on the different and quirky alliances that can be born within those three matches, rather than a "Keystone cops" situation where the title changes hands every three or four minutes.

Below are the matches and some thoughts:

WWE Championship Scramble
W.W.E. Champ Triple H vs. Jeff Hardy vs. MVP vs. Shelton Benjamin vs. The Brian Kendrick

Jeff Hardy lost a great deal of momentum due to his suspension and then getting moved over to Smackdown, but his time to become champ may be this Sunday. I think he will take the title, maybe that's why the wrestlers have really been stepping up the personal attacks on him during their promos. In some way, Vince McMahon could be doing it as a warning to Jeff Hardy. The other twist in all of this is that I have heard that Smackdown GM Vickie Guerrero will offer The Undertaker a match against the winner of the W.W.E. Championship scramble at the end of Unforgiven. If that's the case, then either Jeff Hardy will have a very short title reign or HHH will close the show in what has the potential to be an epic match against The Undertaker.

World Heavyweight Championship Scramble
World Champ CM Punk vs. JBL vs. Kane vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Batista
CM Punk has thus far been portrayed as the champion who finds a way to squeak by and is just barely able to hold onto his title. The same will hold true in this one, Punk walks out with the title via some sort of fluke.

ECW Championship Scramble
E.C.W. Champion Mark Henry vs. Finlay vs. The Miz vs. Matt Hardy vs. Chavo Guerrero
Mark Henry has been built on t.v. recently as unstoppable, which usually means that a loss is forthcoming. This could have been a great match if John Morrison was put in for The Miz and Evan Bourne replaced Finlay. Nonetheless, I think Matt Hardy will take home the E.C.W. title making both he and Jeff title holders.

Divas Championship Match
Michelle McCool defends title vs. Maryse
I feel bad for anyone sitting high up in the arena, because I have a hard enough time telling these two apart at home on t.v. Regardless, my expectations are very low for this one, though I would expect McCool to win.

Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho
The best feud in wrestling will write another chapter this Sunday when the two lock up in an "unsanctioned match." Michaels injured his triceps on Monday Night Raw, but not as severly as first feared. How much of an impact the injury will have on this match is anyone's guess, but I have little doubt that these two will steal the show. I think Michaels goes absolutely berserk and loses by disqualification or on some technicality. Rumors have swirled about Sid Vicious coming back to the W.W.E. and possibly being Jericho's "enforcer." Will Sid show up this Sunday?

World Tag Team Champions Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase vs. Cryme Tyme
This match has been done countless times now and never really quite well. I'd like to see Cody and DiBiase display some of that aggression that Randy Orton instilled in them on Monday night. That would further their careers, no doubt about it. Rhodes and DiBiase win this one easily.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Inspirational Football Speech

Rather than go into predictions for the N.F.L. season which begins tonight with the defending Super Bowl Champion New York Giants opening at home against the Washington Redskins, I have decided to post a video. This one comes from Any Given Sunday which I saw in the movie theater and thought it was really good - especially the football scenes. In the movie, Al Pacino plays a head coach faced with the reality that the game of football may have passed him by. The above video shows him getting his team fired up!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Inside The Squared Circle: The Good, Bad and Ugly About The W.W.E.

Shawn Michaels - This former World Champ gets me to buy pay-per-views. I’m sure the same applies for other fans. If Shawn Michaels’ injury was severe enough that he was not going to be able to take on Chris Jericho at Unforgiven, I most likely would not be getting that show. Thankfully, Michaels suffered only a small tear of his left triceps and not anything more severe and so he won’t miss any time. The “Internet doctors” that prognosticated Michaels to be out six months were once again wrong. So now we get to see another chapter written in one of the most well-orchestrated feuds I have seen in wrestling. These two are really firing on all cylinders and I can’t wait for Sunday’s Unforgiven show because of their match.

Randy Orton - The injured star made an appearance on Monday Night Raw and put down all of the current title holders. Orton has really grown on me and I look at him now as a legit superstar. Orton, a third-generation wrestler, is very convincing as an extremely arrogant and dangerous heel.
I think he will really turn the corner in his career when he comes back in three months from injury. I could definitely see Orton taking on more of a leadership role and heading up (as has been rumored) a stable of second and third-generation wrestlers.

Wiliam Regal – I guess he is being punished for the 60-day drug suspension, but losing to Jamie Noble is a bit of a stretch. The two work well together in the ring, but Noble just doesn’t get my interest. Regal should be higher up on the show.

Santino Marella – Marella has in-ring talent, but I’ve seen him lose way too much to really take him seriously. I’d love to see them put the Intercontinental title on someone else and keep it on that person for a long time to give that belt some of its luster back. Not only is Marella a joke, but he actually brings down Beth Phoenix.

Cryme Tyme – The duo perpetuates every bad stereotype about young black males in this country. At a time when the W.W.E. is trying to be more family-friendly, the characters portrayed by Shad and JT is ill-advised, to say the least. Throw in the fact that Cryme Tyme are just awful in the ring and the whole thing makes for dreadful television.

Attacking Jeff Hardy - I get the fact that personal lives do spill over into storylines, but taking shots at Jeff Hardy’s personal problems is just brutal. The guy lost his house and his dog to a fire a few months ago, right after being suspended for violating the substance abuse policy during a huge career push. Does the W.W.E. think “tough love” will help Jeff Hardy exorcise his demons?