Thursday, April 30, 2009

Inside The Squared Circle: Random W.W.E. Thoughts

Last Sunday’s W.W.E. pay-per-view, Backlash, saw all three heavyweight championships change hands when Edge defeated John Cena for the World Championship; Christian downed Jack Swagger for the E.C.W. Title and Randy Orton came away with Triple H’s W.W.E. Championship in a convoluted six-man match.

I’ve always been a proponent for keeping the championships on guys for a long time, although I wouldn’t go as far as the days when Bruno Sammartino was the W.W.W.F. World Champ for nearly eight years, but the W.W.E. changes champions more than some people change their socks; both notions are pretty scary. Anyway, I’d really like to see Edge hold his title until next year’s Wrestlemania, but I’m pretty sure that CM Punk will cash in the Money in the Bank briefcase and take Edge’s title, or will he? The way the W.W.E. jerks Punk around, I could see him being the first M.I.T.B. winner to cash in and not win a major championship.

I also see no reason why the W.W.E. would not keep the W.W.E. Championship on Randy Orton until the big show next March. Right now, Orton is at his peek and needs the title to elevate his status further, what’s the point of taking the title off of him?

Triple H is taking some time off and hopefully will return as a heel. Hunter will first feud with Batista and then I think eventually will take on Shawn Michaels at next year’s 'mania in HBK’s retirement match.

According to the Daily News and others, Mickey Rourke broke his hand when he decked Chris Jericho at Wrestlemania XXV.

The W.W.E. is said to be serious about separating their three different brands. Hmmm, nice to see then that MVP (drafted to Raw) will take on Dolph Ziggler tomorrow night on Smackdown.

Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey at the Kennedy Center

Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey were among several honorees last December at The Kennedy Center in Washington along with Morgan Freeman, George Jones, Barbra Streisand and Twyla Tharp. Former President George W. Bush did a nice job speaking for a few moments about The Who. The video is above courtesy of YouTube.

Second Round N.H.L. Picks

Here are my picks for the second round of the N.H.L. Playoffs which commences this evening. Each team's seed is in parentheses:

Boston (1) over Carolina (4) in six.
Washington (2) defeats Pittsburgh (3) in seven.

Detroit (1) beats Anaheim (4) in five.
Vancouver (2) downs Chicago (3) in six.

What's Next for the New York Rangers?

The New York Rangers are holding their break-up day today, after their opening round loss to the Washington Capitals and a very tumultuous 2008-2009 season. So where do the Rangers go from here? The Rangers played 89 games this year including the playoffs and scored two goals or less in 45 of those games. Quite simply, they need scoring and they need some good wingers, particularly on Scott Gomez’s flank.

So let’s take a look at the Rangers:

Henrik Lundqvist
Stephen Valiquette

No reason to make any changes here, this is Henrik’s 4th year in the N.H.L. and the first that he has not been one of the three finalists for the Vezina Trophy. He also is the first goalie in N.H.L. history to win at least 30 games in each of his first four seasons. Valiquette has flourished in his role as a backup goalie.

Marc Staal-Dan Girardi
Michal Rozsival-Wade Redden
Paul Mara-Derek Morris

Mara and Morris are unrestricted free agents and I doubt either will be back. However, I would like to see Mara return in a seventh-defenseman role, where he could also be a mentor to some of the young d-men. The Rangers hope that this year’s Hobey Baker winner Matt Gilroy out of Boston U. is ready to man their point on the power play and the Blueshirts are also hopeful that prospect, Bobby Sanguinetti, is ready to make the leap to the N.H.L. level after spending a year in Hartford. New York is doing a good job of building a very solid core of defenseman.

Markus Naslund-Scott Gomez-Ryan Callahan
Lauri Korpikoski-Chris Drury-Nikolai Zherdev
Sean Avery-Brandon Dubinsky-Nik Antropov
Fredrik Sjostrom-Artem Anisimov-Aaron Voros

Naslund has one year remaining on his deal that he signed last summer. Gomez and Callahan work well together, but the Rangers need a bona fide score to take Naslund’s spot. Naslund would be better served on the third line. Blair Betts, a superb penalty killer, must be resigned. I doubt Zherdev or Antropov will be brought back. Sjostrom is a free agent and should be signed as he is perfect in his role as a penalty killer/energy guy. I doubt that Voros will return. Korpikoski and Anisimov are good prospects, the former deserves a good luck in training camp and could become a top six forward, while the latter may need another year of seasoning in Hartford.

Meanwhile, Larry Brooks of the New York Post has some bold ideas for the Blueshirts. Click here to read.

Tortorella also admits the water bottle incident was a mistake here.

Separated at Birth?

Are Washington Capitals Head Coach Bruce Boudreau (wearing a red shirt) and "the master of suspense" Alfred Hitchcock separated at birth?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Bill O'Reilly Flips Out (with music)

This is really funny!

Warning: No shortage of obscenities!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Stop Whining About Yankee Stadium

So there I was yesterday tuning in to WFAN's Mike Francesa to hear some hockey talk, after all, it is playoff time. I wasn't surprised that Mike wasn't talking about the N.H.L. or the New York Rangers, but I was surprised to hear the amount of time he was putting into whining about the new ballpark in the Bronx.

I thought there was no crying in baseball. Last I checked the Cleveland Indians played in the same park as the Bombers on Saturday and they didn't give up three touchdowns, two extra points and a two-point conversion.

The ball has been flying out of the park so far in this very young season. Check here to view some stats.

Also a good story this morning in the New York Post about this issue by Kevin Kernan.

My point is that the ballpark is what it is. Whining about it does nothing.

Back in the Press Box

Rob Adams had me on his radio show, "The Press Box," to talk hockey, baseball and some other odds and ends. Click this and then choose the show from Friday April 17 to hear my chat with Rob. I also encourage one and all to tune in every afternoon at 2 to listen to Rob's show. Just click the "listen live" button at the same link.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Quick First Round N.H.L. Playoff Picks

I would like to go into more depth, but alas that is not to be the case. Here are my picks for the N.H.L. Playoffs with the seeds in parentheses:

Rangers (7) beat Capitals (2) in six.
Hurricanes (6) over Devils (3) in seven.
Bruins (1) defeat Montreal (8) in five.
Flyers (5) surprise Pitt (4) in six.

Detroit (2) sweeps Columbus (7).
Vancouver (3) defeats St. Louis (6) in five.
Chicago (4) beats Calgary (5) in six.
San Jose (1) sweeps Anaheim (8).

Another Great Match On E.C.W.

I got home last night just in time to watch Evan Bourne square off with John Morrison on E.C.W. The match is definitely an early candidate for best match on t.v. in 2009. The two have great chemistry in the ring, and although Morrison won, I don't think the victory hurts Bourne in any way. E.C.W. on Sci-Fi moves back to a 10 o'clock start beginning May 5.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

John Duddy Tribute

A friend sent me this above tribute video recently, so I decided to post it here. The video features undefeated middleweight, John Duddy, showing his stuff on YouTube.

Duddy gets back in the ring April 24 against Billy Lyell at the Prudential Center or "The Rock" in New Jersey. Reportedly, the long awaited bout with W.B.C. World Middleweight Champ Kelly Pavlik is in the negotiating stage.

Rangers Need Win Tonight

The New York Rangers have been a compelling team this year for all of the wrong reasons, but tonight they can take a step toward changing that. A win at Madison Square Garden over the Philadelphia Flyers would put the Blueshirts in the playoffs for the fourth straight year.

For me, the Rangers took their personality out of the team when they decided to let Jaromir Jagr and Brendan Shanahan walk as free agents. Former coach Tom Renney, if he was behind those decisions, clearly miscalculated.

Under Renney the Broadway Blues were playing a defense first, last and always style of play. The problem was that the Rangers didn’t have the personnel like the ’95 Devils to play that stingy system.

John Tortorella – already an enemy of the media – was brought it to fire this team up and he has done so to a certain degree with the Rangers more up-tempo style of play. Realistically, I think the Rangers work better somewhere in between.

Changes are on the way in the off-season, but a win tonight will wipe away some of the bland taste of this 2008-2009 season. With Henrik Lundqvist between the pipes and guys like Ryan Callahan surging, the Rangers will be dangerous in the playoffs and is there anyone that doesn't think that Martin Brodeur would rather not have to deal with Sean Avery and the Rangers in the first round.

Before all that though, there's one game on the table that means something. Win tonight and the Rangers can be a pain in the neck for teams with Stanley Cup dreams like the Devils and Bruins.

It starts tonight.

Was The Undertaker-Shawn Michaels Match The Best Ever?

Many people are wondering if The Undertaker’s win over Shawn Michaels this past Sunday at Wrestlemania XXV was the best ‘Mania match ever?

Hmmm, it’s a good question. I like to let things breathe a little bit, but the match certainly stands out for me. It’s hard to say what is the greatest. I would say there are a handful of matches that stand out as great ones. But to declare one particular match as the best one is too difficult.

Some of my favorite matches though are Owen-Bret Hart at Wrestlemania X; Ricky Steamboat against Randy Savage at WM III; Hulk Hogan-Andre the Giant WM III; Bret Hart-Roddy Piper WM VIII; Brock Lesnar-Kurt Angle XIX; Chris Jericho-Shawn Michaels WM XIX and any of the three Steve Austin-The Rock ‘mania bouts. But there are so many more.

A good match has more than just good wrestling; it’s the build, the atmosphere and the chemistry between the two.

For example, the staredown at the beginning of the match between The Rock and Hulk Hogan at WM XVIII gave anyone with a pulse goosebumps. Those two gave the match that special feeling.

Bret vs. Owen was a great scientific match, while Hogan-Andre was successful because of the build and the two combatants’ resumes.

Having said all of that, The Undertaker versus Shawn Michaels made WM XXV. I can’t wait to watch it again!

Pete Townshend Getting Divorced

The story here isn't that Pete Townshend is getting divorced from Karen Astley, because the two have been separated for 15 years or so. No, what stood out for me is that Astley has hired Fiona Shackleton as her lawyer. Shackelton (fitting name) represented Heather Mills in her bitter split from Paul McCartney. You may recall that Mill$ made out quite well for her$elf.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

The Press Box

My friend Rob Adams has a new sports show on the Lifestyle Talk Radio Network and was good enough to have me on as a guest. Here is the link to the show's archives, which includes my appearance this past Friday.

I hope you will check out "The Press Box" which airs every afternoon at 2, because I think Rob has a great knowledge of sports and is also encouraging the callers to drive the show. Unlike what you get on WFAN and ESPN Radio, where the hosts scream at the callers.

You can use this link to access the show.

The Poem a Day Challenge

I’m currently participating in the "Poem a Day Challenge" through Writer’s Digest. Basically, one of their bloggers on Poetic Asides gives a different topic every day and you write a poem about it. Some poems will get chosen for an e-book, but otherwise you get a badge at the end saying that you did it all month. I love challenges and I love the discipline of having to do something productive every day. The Website is here.

Arnold Schwarzenegger Prank Call

I’ll never get tired of these soundboards pranks calls. This one courtesy of YouTube is a classic. Arnold Schwarzenegger prank calls Joe the…I mean Murphy the Plumber!

Monday, April 06, 2009

The Wood Memorial 2009 - Unbelievable Race!

Besides The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania XXV, the main race at the Wood Memorial on Saturday at Aqueduct was the most exciting sporting event I saw this weekend.

I Want Revenge is definitely one to watch in next month's Kentucky Derby.

Wrestlemania XXV Delivers

The biggest pay-per-view of the year for W.W.E. delivered yesterday. Every match at Wrestlemania XXV was what most fans expected and a couple of bouts actually exceeded expectations.

CM Punk won the “Money in the Bank” ladder match for the second year in a row. There were doubts going into this one if Kane, Mark Henry and Finlay would add anything in the match. But this year’s M.I.T.B. installment was every bit as good as the prior years. Shelton Benjamin delivered the best high-spot of the match.

The show then took a dip with the Kid Rock performance followed up by the divas battle royale. Nothing against Kid Rock, except he went about one song too long. Santino Marella, dressed as a woman, scored the battle royale win. The match was what I expected as far as quality, which wasn’t a lot. The main gripe I have is that they did not announce the individual divas, particularly those returning such as Sunny, Victoria and Molly Holly.

Chris Jericho defeated legends Rick Steamboat, Roddy Piper and Jimmy Snuka. Steamboat made up for how bad Piper and Snuka looked. After the match, Mickey Rourke decked Jericho. Rourke took a little too long to get in the ring from his ringside seat, but it was OK.

Jeff Hardy and Matt Hardy beat the heck out of each other, before Jeff missed a leg drop onto his brother from the top of a huge ladder. I’m curious to see what direction they take this feud.

Rey Mysterio (in a really strange mask) beat J.B.L. for the W.W.E. Intercontinental Championship in about 20 seconds. After the match, J.B.L. quit (retired). Less actually was more in this match.

Shawn Michaels lost to The Undertaker in an unbelievably good match. ‘Taker is now 17-0 at ‘Mania. More on this match later.

John Cena became World Champion when he beat Edge and Big Show in a “triple threat” match. Good bout and the crowd rallied late.

Triple H retained his W.W.E. Championship against Randy Orton. I’m intrigued as to where they go with this feud. The match wasn’t one of the best between Orton-Hunter and the ending was a little flat. Placing on the show made all the difference. If this match was not the closer most people would probably consider it better than it was. Michaels and Undertaker should have closed the show.

Overall, I enjoyed Wrestlemania. They drew a great crowd with 72,744. Now we wait to see what the show did in terms of pay-per-view buys.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Wrestlemania XXV Preview and Predictions: The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels

This match is the main event to me!

When you mention “the streak” to wrestling fans, they know exactly what you are talking about. The Undertaker is now 16-0 at Wrestlemania and will put that phenomenal record on the line this Sunday against the man known as “Mr. Wrestlemania,” Shawn Michaels.

The W.W.E. saved their best work for building this match between The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels, one that we have not seen in a decade. The build has been so good, that I can’t imagine how they could put someone over in the future as a possible spoiler of ‘Taker’s streak.

The Undertaker doesn’t need the streak and Michaels doesn’t need to beat The Undertaker, because both men are so well-established. Still, there’s been talk the last couple of years that the W.W.E. would end the streak, but that they wanted to have Undertaker lose to a wrestler that was on the cusp of stardom and needed that extra boost.

Both of these men have put on outstanding performances at Wrestlemania in recent years with Michaels ending Ric Flair’s career last year, while The Undertaker brought out the best in Batista two years ago and also engaged in a highly entertaining bout last year against Edge.

The way wrestling is today, this is as close the W.W.E. can come to an epic match along the lines of Hulk Hogan-Andre The Giant. I believe this match should go on last and that a Michaels’ victory would make Wrestlemania XXV and put it in the archives as a special one.

I’m a proponent of ending the winning streak of The Undertaker because I just can’t see how there will ever be anyone else that is as believable as Shawn Michaels (I'm also a fan of H.B.K. so maybe I'm biased). We’ve seen on W.W.E. television over the last several weeks that Shawn Michaels is inside The Undertaker’s head and perhaps has his number. The Undertaker hasn’t been able to show up HBK on t.v. and has never in his illustrious career scored a victory over “The Showstopper.”

Michaels, with plenty of help from his friends, defeated The Undertaker in a “Casket” match 10 years ago. That match saw Michaels legitimately hurt his back. He would later be out of action for four years due to back problems.

I know that “the streak” is incredibly marketable for the W.W.E., but all things must come to an end. It may be wishful thinking, but I’m going with Shawn Michaels to steal the show in front of over 70,000 at Reliant Stadium and put an end to "the streak."

Wrestlemania XXV Preview and Predictions: W.W.E. Champ Triple H vs. Randy Orton

Randy Orton will challenge Triple H for the World Wrestling Entertainment Heavyweight Championship this Sunday. For Orton, he’s clearly at the peak of his career and firing on all cylinders as a heel. HHH, meanwhile, tries to snap a losing streak at Wrestlemania, which is currently at four.

Although we have seen this match before, the build for Orton-Hunter has been tremendous. The W.W.E. has made this issue personal as a result of Orton attacking Hunter's brother-in-law, Shane; father-in-law, Vince; and Hunter's wife, Stephanie.

I'm not convinced that "Legacy" is a major faction because Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase have never really looked very strong in this feud. When I think back to other great factions, I can't imagine Dusty Rhodes manhandling "Four Horseman" Tully Blanchard & Arn Anderson the way Hunter Hearst Helmsley tossed around Cody Rhodes or the ease with which Vince and Shane tossed Cody & Ted around.

The added stipulation that Triple H will lose the title if he gets disqualified or counted out tells me that Orton could win and Hunter can come out of the match still looking good. I think Randy Orton will win the championship, but am hoping it isn't because Hunter is counted out or disqualified. Orton would have to do something really outlandish to get Hunter that upset that he loses his cool.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Wrestlemania XXV Preview and Predictions: World Champ Edge vs. John Cena vs. Big Show

Let’s forget that Big Show and Edge have a feud going over Vickie Guerrero. Let’s also forget that we’ve seen Big Show-Edge, Big Show-Cena, and Edge-Cena on W.W.E. television over the last month. Let’s also hope that Vickie is not even close to ringside for this match. All of that aside, I think this could be one of the best "triple-threat" matches we’ve seen in a long time.

I think Big Show’s work inside the ring is very underrated. I like that they have built him as a monster heel by having Show easily win some handicap matches lately and also building Big Show up by having him knock out Edge on Smackdown and then beating Cena on Monday Night Raw.

Edge and John Cena have always had entertaining back-and-forth matches, so I would expect those two to do the bulk of the work in the match. But for some reason, I think Big Show walks out World Champion. I don’t know why and I know W.W.E. loves the feel-good finish, but I just have a feeling that the “largest athlete on the planet” goes home with the gold.

Wrestlemania XXV Preview and Predictions: Chris Jericho vs. "The Legends"

Chris Jericho takes on Jimmy "Superfly” Snuka, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat and Rowdy Roddy Piper in a match where Jericho has to defeat each one of his opponents and they only have to pin or force Jericho to submit once in order to be declared the victors.

The storyline came off the heels of the hugely successful movie, The Wrestler; a movie about a former star that is now washed up, broke and working matches in high school gyms. Jericho has been insulting legends - those that in some ways imitate the life of Mickey Rourke's character, Randy "The Ram" Robinson - for the last few months which caused speculation to run wild that Hulk Hogan or Steve Austin would face Jericho, however, for various reasons, the storyline never went in that direction.

Ric Flair will be in the legends’ corner while Mickey Rourke will be seated ringside.

Steve Austin is being inducted into the W.W.E. Hall of Fame Saturday night and many are wondering if he will be at Wrestlemania on Sunday and will Austin get involved somehow in this particular match? I read a while back that Austin is filming a movie in South America and has to fly back on Sunday.

Jericho is one of the best heels the W.W.E. has right now and I expect him to carry the legends. I absolutely don’t want to see Chris Jericho lose or get humiliated. So what I would like to see is Jericho make quick work of the three legends by cheating and using any means necessary. Jericho then goes to beat up Mickey Rourke and gets jumped by Flair and the other three. That case is a win-win, but I have a feeling that Jericho will indeed get completely humiliated in this bout.

Wrestlemania XXV Preview and Predictions: Jeff Hardy vs. Matt Hardy

Jeff Hardy takes on his brother Matt in an “extreme rules” match. This one should be very good and has the potential of stealing the show. I expect these two to beat the holy heck out of each other all over the Reliant Stadium in Houston. You can expect the Hardys to throw everything, literally, at one another and for both of them to jump off everything and anything that they can climb. “Extreme rules” matches have been done too often the last few years, but this one promises to deliver. Now the hard part is figuring out who will win. If they plan on making this a long feud, I expect Matt to win. If the plan is for Jeff to get drafted back to Monday Night Raw on April 13 and Matt to perhaps become a bigger star on Smackdown, then Jeff wins. Although, I wish Jeff was higher up on the card, this match will absolutely deliver.

Wrestlemania XXV Preview and Predictions: Money in the Bank Ladder Match

I’ve heard it said before that the “M.I.T.B.” ladder match is a can’t miss and that there is no way the W.W.E. could screw it up. Well, this year they gave it the old college try in attempting to ruin it.

Shelton Benjamin, M.V.P., CM Punk and Christian are all solid entrants, but then there is Finlay, Kane and Mark Henry! Finlay has been in “M.I.T.B.” before and Kane does seem to have some agility for a big man, but Mark Henry on a ladder is just frightening. Still, this will be a very exciting match with some high-risk-taking moments.

For those that don't know, the match features a briefcase above the ring and a number of ladders surrounding the "squared circle." The object is to be the first one to climb a ladder and retrieve the briefcase. The briefcase purportedly contains a contract which allows the "M.I.T.B." match winner to cash in for a title match at any time during the coming year against any champion. Of course, your opponents try like heck to stop you with ladders and whatever else they can find, which makes this match unique

Who is going to win this year is anybody’s guess, but I think they go with Shelton Benjamin and try to put Benjamin in a sink or swim position for the next year. Benjamin has all the tools, but has always lacked “it” to become a major star. Perhaps, W.W.E. will see if Benjamin can handle the added spotlight and run with it, or if he will fumble the ball or in this case the briefcase.

CM Punk would be an interesting guy to have win the match, having won it last year. Meanwhile, reportedly Christian isn’t one of Vince McMahon’s favorites, but that could have been a W.W.E. leak to swerve everyone. Besides, Vince once referred to CM Punk as a "string bean" and he made him World Champion so who knows. M.V.P. recently snapped his long losing streak by winning the U.S. Championship from Shelton Benjamin, so perhaps his 2008 misfortunes are reversed to the point of a M.I.T.B. win and then a World Championship run this year. The twisted side of me has Mark Henry winning just to tick everyone off. Still, I’m going with Shelton Benjamin to come out on top in this match.

Wrestlemania XXV Preview and Predictions: Tag Team Championship Unification match

World Tag Team Champions The Miz & John Morrison will battle W.W.E. Tag Team Champions Carlito & Primo in a Unified W.W.E. Tag Team Championship Lumberjack Match. Also, a Bella twin will be in the corner of each tag team.

The added stipulation that this is a lumberjack match is a good way to get more wrestlers involved in Wrestlemania, but it also sets up the match for an inconclusive finish. I think that somehow the lumberjacks, who are supposed to stand around the ring and make sure nobody tries to leave the "squared circle," will all end up in the ring and cause the match to be ruled a double-disqualification, thus the two tag team titles will remain.

Although the W.W.E. tag team division is bereft of solid tag teams, a championship does make things interesting, so I like the idea of two sets of tag team champions. I'm sure some fans get confused - at least I do - but the World Tag Championship is the one with the most history and dates back to 1971. Anyway, I could also see The Miz turning on John Morrison, as it may be time for the W.W.E. to capitalize on these two individually. Morrison did have some singles success previously, but I think he is ready to become a top star in the company.

Overall, I think this will be a very solid match and one that I am looking forward to. It’s a candidate to open the show.

Alice Cooper Talks Wrestlemania

Rock music and pro wrestling have always seemed like a natural marriage, going back to the early days when MTV featured a Madison Square Garden match between Hulk Hogan and Rowdy Roddy Piper. So with Kid Rock getting ready to perform at this Sunday’s show, it seems appropriate for SLAM! Sports to talk to some of the past rockers that have performed in front of a wrestling audience. The article features Alice Cooper giving his thoughts on Wrestlemania III and how he was a bit scared of the 93,000 in attendance that day. Ozzy Osbourne guitarist, Zakk Wylde, gives his thoughts on performing on Smackdown, as well. The story is here.

Wrestlemania XXV Preview and Predictions: The 25-Diva Battle Royale

The W.W.E. always finds a way to get their ladies involved at Wrestlemania and a battle royale is the easiest way to get all of them into the action. Here are the confirmed entrants for the Wrestlemania XXV battle royale:

Mickie James (1), Melina (2), Candice Michelle (3), Beth Phoenix (4), Maryse (5), Gail Kim (6), Katie Lea (7), Michelle McCool (8), Maria (9), Kelly Kelly (10), Brie Bella (11), Nikki Bella (12), Natalya (13), Eve (14), Tiffany (15), Jillian Hall (16), Layla (17), Rosa Mendes (18).

That leaves seven spots, so here is who I think will fill those openings:

Molly Holly (1), Tammy “Sunny” Sytch (2), Trish Stratus (3), Victoria (4), Torrie Wilson (5) and Jackie Gayda Haas (6).

So that leaves one spot open which I feel will be filled by Santino Marella, unfortunately. Some of the seven have been confirmed, such as Victoria and Sunny. I heard Molly Holly, but have not seen it confirmed. Trish Stratus seems a logical entrant, but if she isn't than I would expect the near-octogenarian Mae Young to fill out a spot. I guarantee Young will be there in some capacity.

So how will this match shake out? There’s a couple of scenarios that I can foresee. First, if Trish Stratus is in the match I would like to see it come down to her and Beth Phoenix, so we get an impromptu “dream match” within the battle royale. Santino Marella would probably end up costing Phoenix the match, which would lead to Phoenix turning on Marella. The second scenario is that somehow, Mae Young wins and turns it into a complete joke.

This has the potential to be a pretty entertaining match, hopefully W.W.E. doesn’t drop the ball.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Pete Rose at Wrestlemania

The W.W.E. has always been able to lure celebrities to the annual Wrestlemania pay-per-view. So many names have come to wrestling's biggest show, such as Lawrence Taylor, Burt Reynolds, Pam Anderson, William "The Refrigerator" Perry and countless others. But one notable moment came at Wrestlemania XIV, which took place in Boston, when former baseball great, Pete Rose, was supposed to be the guest ring announcer. The above video - courtesy of YouTube -explains why Rose was unable to fulfill his duties.

Kane and Shawn Michaels Interviewed

Two mainstays of World Wrestling Entertainment and men with big matches this Sunday at Wrestlemania XXV are featured in separate interviews. The first is here with Shawn Michaels being interviewed by Brian Fritz (host of the "Between the Ropes" wrestling show) in the Orlando Sentinel. Meanwhile, "The Big Red Monster" Kane is interviewed here in the UK Sun.

If you don't like reading and would rather listen to an interview, click this (courtesy of to hear a good spot with Jim Ross.

Wrestlemania XXV Preview and Predictions: JBL vs. Rey Myserio

So here we go folks, I’m going to preview and give my prediction for each Wrestlemania XXV match in separate posts.

John Bradshaw Layfield puts the W.W.E. Intercontinental Championship on the line against Rey Mysterio this Sunday. JBL says that he will do something historic at Wrestlemania, something that has never been done before. So what do I think that will be?

Yes, it has been a number of years since the IC title has been put on the line at ‘mania, however, there is more to it than that. Smackdown commentator, Long Island native, and legit badass, Tazz, left his post as color commentator after taping this Friday’s Smackdown on Monday night (yes, that actually does make sense). So I think that JBL’s historic moment will be that he will be the color guy on the pay-per-view for Smackdown matches along with Jim Ross and he will also successfully defend his title against Rey Mysterio. JBL may even retire from the ring, which he is expected to do in the very near future.

What kind of match will this be? JBL is limited because of his bad back, but Mysterio can go and will most likely dominate the bout until JBL comes out of nowhere with his “clothesline from hell” finisher.

By the way, I've become a regular listener of the show "Between the Ropes" which airs every Tuesday night at 6 o'clock on ESPN Florida, but you can listen to the show on the "Between the Ropes" Website here. Oh yeah, and I called in to last night's show to ask the guys a question.

The Passing of Anne Marie Marra, 55

A sad note from the Hudson Valley Writers' Center:

We note with great sadness the passing of our dear friend, Anne Marie Marra, on March 17. Anne Marie was one of our Third Friday Open Mike hosts and had been scheduled to host on March 20. A talented poet, musician, painter, and quilt-maker, she competed in August at the National Poetry Slam in Madison, Wisconsin as part of the 2008 White Plains Poetry Slam Team. Anne Marie's inimitable humor, warmth, and kindness touched all who knew her, and we are fortunate to have had her as part of the Writers' Center family. Our May Open Mike will be dedicated to Anne Marie's memory and creative spirit.

Meanwhile, tonight's poetry reading at the White Plains Library will be dedicated to Anne Marie. I have posted a YouTube video above of Anne Marie reading one of her poems. Although I can't say that I knew her personally, I do remember her as being a very enthusiastic reader and host of the open mic series. I also remember her graciousness as a listener when others were reading their work.