Thursday, July 30, 2009

We've Seen Cena vs. Orton Once Before, Kendrick Released, Burke/T.N.A.

A report here says that John Cena and Randy Orton have faced each other 24 times on pay-per-view since 2004 and so that means that SummerSlam will be the 25th meeting.

That same Website is reporting that there is a great deal of frustration backstage due to the fact that it is the same guys - Triple H, Randy Orton and John Cena - getting the top billing. Understandable.

Jim Ross always says that the sum of matches is what sells a pay-per-view and not any one particular bout. If that's the case then what would have been wrong with Jack Swagger facing Orton at SummerSlam and why did the W.W.E. have the whole "beat the clock" challenge to determine an opponent for Orton when everyone knew it would be Cena or Hunter?

In other news, Brian Kendrick was released today. Now that was a talent that the W.W.E. "creative writing" team absolutely ruined! I hope he lands on his feet somewhere.

Elijah Burke signed with T.N.A.; which is one of the better moves that company has made in quite a while.

Fedor To UFC? Nyet!!!

The L.A. Times is reporting that a deal which would bring Fedor Emelianenko to UFC and ultimately set up a match with Brock Lesnar has fallen through. The two sides have talked but nothing could be worked out. The sticking point appears to be that Fedor's management company M-1 wants to co-promote two or three of Fedor's matches, while UFC likes their fighters to be exclusive.

Personally, I think this will get worked out somehow. There's too much money at stake.

Sports Heroes?

With the news today that David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez failed a drug test in 2003, the question continues for me as to who are and who have been the real heroes of sports.

Growing up I could point to Lawrence Taylor, though, that proved to be faulty. My thoughts about Mark Messier I have chronicled on this blog the last few days and how he turned out to be a bit of a phony. If I had a son, I would want him to play like Pete Rose – hard nosed and honest – at least that was the case on the field. But there are many guys that are pretty solid citizens as far as I know. Phil Simms and Don Mattingly immediately come to mind. Bernard King is my favorite Knick of all-time. Today, I would say Derek Jeter is a pretty solid role model.

Honestly, though, I think it is important to separate what a person does on the field from what they do off of it, because it seems more often than not, you'll be disappointed.

Do The Rules Still Apply To Joba?

Joba Chamberlain was brilliant last night for the New York Yankees in their 6-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays. The trouble is that he has now pitched 110 innings, with the limit for him being set at around 160 for this season. Some are saying that because of this limit by management on the 23-year-old pitcher that the Yankees should snatch Roy Halladay from Toronto. I hope not. Chamberlain should be able to go the rest of the season and the rules should be scrapped. I think the Yankees should forget dealing youth (Phil Hughes, Austin Jackson, Jesus Montero and more) for age (Halladay) with no post-season success being guaranteed. The "Joba rules" are revisited here.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Fedor-Lesnar Signed and Sealed?

Friday afternoon Dana White will hold a major press conference and what he will discuss is the subject of many rumors around the Internet. Some things he may announce is a deal for U.F.C. with ESPN; the return of Tito Ortiz; more on the deal with Affliction; and according to this report in the L.A. Times, the U.F.C. President will announce that Fedor Emelianenko has signed with U.F.C. and will face Brock Lesnar at a pay-per-view within the next four or five months.

Fedor is holding a press conference this afternoon that promises more saber rattling from Emelianenko and his camp in the direction of Brock Lesnar.

If and when a deal is signed for Fedor to join U.F.C. and fight Lesnar it will not only be the biggest m.m.a. fight ever in terms of revenue, it will be the biggest pay-per-view of all time!

W.W.E. Roll Call of Champions

W.W.E. Champion Randy Orton – Faces John Cena at SummerSlam.

U.S. Champion Kofi Kingston – Does a win by Evan Bourne over Jack Swagger on Raw put Bourne in line for a shot at Kingston?

W.W.E. Divas Champ Mickie James - With Maryse having recently undergone knee surgery, will Gail Kim turn heel and challenge for the title?

Unified Tag Champs Chris Jericho/Big Show - The two will face Cryme Tyme at SummerSlam. Ho hum.

E.C.W. Champion Christian – Will face Tommy Dreamer next week on SyFy in an "extreme rules" match.

World Champ – Jeff hardy. I’m really looking forward to Hardy facing John Morrison on Smackdown this Friday.

W.W.E. Intercontinental Champ – Rey Mysterio I’d like to see Mysterio have a long reign, but I think he will drop the title to Dolph Ziggler soon.

W.W.E. Women's Champ Michelle McCool - We've seen McCool-Melina, perhaps Natalya will get a shot at the belt.

Led Zeppelin "Baby Come On Home" and Other ZOSO (or Zep news)

A few items worth nothing about Led Zeppelin:

First, Robert Plant survived a serious accident earlier this month in London. Apparently and ironically, Plant’s vehicle collided with a car driven by a drug counselor. Plant currently is working with Alison Krauss on a followup to their debut album, Raising Sand.

Second, Jimmy Page has said that Led Zeppelin’s music will not be a part of games such as Guitar Hero or Rock Band. Basically he says that wannabe musicians should try the real thing, which I get, but I think that a whole new generation of fans would be introduced to the music of Led Zeppelin which would undoubtedly be a good thing.

Also, Cream bassist Jack Bruce claims he received death threats as a result of his dissing the Led Zeppelin reunion at the 02 arena last year. Bruce said at the time that Cream was 10 times the band Zeppelin ever was. Funny, 'cause I remember Keith Richards also taking a shot at Zeppelin when told they had a reunion:

“They had one? Well, well done Jimmy (Page) and Robert (Plant) ... ‘Stairway To Heaven don't make it for me, baby.”

I really think these guys say these things tongue-in-cheek and just to get people's goat.

Finally, this song by Led Zeppelin gets virtually no airplay: "Baby Come On Home," was recorded for Zeppelin's first album but wasn't released until their second boxed set in 1993.

The song is a tribute to songwriter Bert Berns.

More Thoughts On Mark Messier and Heroes

I previously took aim here at Mark Messier leaving the New York Rangers in 1997 – which, ironically took place 12 years ago yesterday. My point is not to take away from Messier’s legacy as a player overall or with the N.Y. Rangers in particular, but to say that MY EXPERIENCE is that his leaving was the turning point in MY LIFE of viewing all of these guys as human and flawed humans, just as you and I are.

The fact remains that Messier took the money and the security of a multiple-year deal to go play with Vancouver. Messier said at the time that the Rangers did not show him respect, but I will counter that notion with the fact that they paid him quite well and they also used to go out an put players around him that he would be comfortable playing with not just for on-ice chemistry but also because Mark wanted his friends here.

Why, Messier even in 1997, was not talking to the media shortly after the Rangers acquired Russ Courtnall and Esa Tikannen from Vancouver. He campaigned for Petr Nedved to get dealt during the 1995 season and he most famously lobbied for head coach Roger Nielsen to get canned in 1993. Even before Messier walked in the summer of 1997, the Rangers signed Brian Skrudland and Mike Keane as free agents; players that were brought in to win now! So what were the Blueshirts to do with those players when Messier left? It didn't make sense for Skrudland and Keane to be on the team, so the Rangers ended up dealing the two mid-season.

I think, personally, that when Mark Messier went against his own words and left the Rangers it helped me not only in my different reporting roles I have had over the last 12 years, but also that I am able to enjoy sports as being a form of entertainment and not MY LIFE. Do I have teams that I root for? Absolutely. Do I lose sleep when they lose? Not a chance. Does this make me better than anyone else? Nope, I just have a better perspective on things than I used to.

Another example of a guy that is put on a pedestal is Pat Riley. Yes, what he has done as a coach is remarkable, however, he lost a bit with me when he faxed his resignation to the New York Knicks. Riley penned a book called The Winner Within, which was a good read. But honestly by faxing his resignation he went against everything he preached about in the book.

Yes there are many guys that have played pro sports that have been model citizens on and off the field (or ice), but I just caution those that take these folks to be messiahs or that their word is gospel, because quite often it isn’t.

Again, I point to a quote from Bert Sugar in his book Boxing’s Greatest Fighters:

"Show me a person who has heroes and I'll show you someone still in the sixth grade."

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

12 Years Ago Mark Messier Proved To Be A Clown

"Show me a person who has heroes and I'll show you someone still in the sixth grade."
- Bert Sugar in Boxing's Greatest Fighters

That statement may have some validity to it.

I can tell you the exact day I looked at sports more cynically and that was July 28, 1997.

All season long I heard Mark Messier say that he would not be leaving the Rangers, yet on that day - exactly 12 years ago today - Messier signed a lucrative deal with the Vancouver Canucks.

I'm not saying that 1994 wasn't great for Rangers fans and that the night Messier's #11 was raised to the Madison Square Garden rafters wasn't special, although Messier's crying was a bit much to watch and take seriously; if he loved it here so much why did he leave?

Big money from a stupid Vancouver Canucks management team, that's why.

Messier took the money and ran, which is fine, but why didn't the guy just say he wanted money and security instead of saying over and over that money wasn't an issue and that he was willing to take a backseat. Oh and ask Vancouver fans how much of a "messiah" he was for them. They loathe him up in Vancouver.

Messier was offered the same deal that Wayne Gretzky was getting and called it "insulting." Yeah, I'd love to be insulted by nearly $6 million a year. I heard the same "insulting" charges out of Joe Torre. Whatever.

Today, there is not one pro athlete I look up to! Not one. There are many I greatly admire, but never again will I follow someone the way I did Mark Messier. Talk to me about sports and you'll quickly see that I'm not one of those people that blindly follows and I guess I partly have the "great" Messier to thank for that.

Odds & Sods "Summertime Blues" Version

The hazy, hot and humid weather we've had the last couple of days coupled with the boring stuff I hear and read about makes me yearn for football and cooler weather.

Hey did you hear Michael Jackson died?

R.I.P. Frank McCourt (August 19, 1930-July 19,2009). Brilliant, brilliant author.

Meanwhile, author Anne Rice has been hospitalized for intestinal blockage. She has never specified why, but she stopped travelling within the last couple of years due to her health.

I get that people may not like Sarah Palin's politics, but some people are taking it very, very personally.

I'm not sure which group of folks are crazier: birthers or 9/11 truthers.

July has been the deadliest month in Afghanistan for U.S. forces since we arrived there, yet it never gets a mention by the mainstream press. Why?

Oh yeah, Michael Jackson died, that's right.

Major League Baseball drops the ball with the trade deadline. Yes, the deadline is Friday, but deals can still be made in August. Huh? Here is an explanation of the rules. So much for MLB being fan-friendly!

Speaking of which, the N.H.L. has unhealthy franchises in Phoenix and on Long Island, so why was the cancellation of an entire season so necessary, Gary Bettman?

Bad news here for the Giants, looks like Antonio Pierce has some legal problems stemming from the whole Plax Burress thing.

U.F.C. President Dana White is holding a major press conference on Friday...should be very interesting.

Can ego possibly stand in the way of the biggest pay-per-view moneymaker of all time: Fedor Emelianenko versus Brock Lesnar?

I sent an email to New York Post columnist and blowhard Phil Mushnick correcting him on some items in a recent column of his. "Mr. Sloppy" loves to leave out the facts in order to further his vindictive agenda.

What about Dale Murphy for the Baseball Hall of Fame? I know, the teams he played on were never that good, but....

I was channel surfing last night and came across the 1997 home run derby on the MLB Network featuring a massive Sammy Sosa.

Old blues....Mark Messier bolted the Rangers in the summer of 1997 because G.M. Neil Smith wouldn't have a beer with him (i.e. wouldn't offer up enough shekels). Gee, if only Barack Obama was around then to have The Captain over for a beer, I'm sure things would have been worked out.

Martha Wainwright plays Central Park on August 14 and 15th. She'll also be teaming up with her brother, Rufus, and Norah Jones at the second annual Watermill Summer Concert in Southampton on August 29.

Hall & Oates will be playing in Trumbull, Conn. at the Indian Ledge Park Amphitheater on August 21 at 7 p.m.

Nicole Hart visits Pete's Saloon in Elmsford, N.Y. the same night.

As we approach the 40th anniversary of Woodstock in mid-August, there are plenty of books coming out. However, I want to give a plug to Back To The Garden: The Story of Woodstock and How it Changed a Generation by legendary New York radio guy Pete Fornatale.

Meanwhile, enjoy the above video of The Who covering Eddie Cochran and Jerry Capehart's "Summertime Blues" at the 1969 festival.

Tony Amonte Going Into U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame

It has been announced that Tony Amonte will be inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame; joining the 1998 U.S. women's Olympic hockey team, and former U.S. Olympic medalists John LeClair and Tom Barrasso as well as inventor Frank Zamboni, who'll be inducted posthumously.

Amonte was drafted by the Rangers and was absolutely despised by head coach Mike Keenan who was instrumental in getting him dealt to Chicago at the 1994 trade deadline for Brian Nooonan and Stephane Matteau.

More on the inductees here.

Monday Night Raw Thoughts

Last night’s Monday Night Raw from Washington, D.C. produced a solid show with Shaq as the guest host. Shaq and Big Show stared each other down, literally, to open the show. which set up the final match of Raw when Cryme Tyme beat unified tag team champions Chris Jericho & Big Show by disqualification when Shaq got involved.

Other matches and thoughts:
John Cena beat The Miz so Cena will now face WWE Champion Randy Orton at SummerSlam.

Evan Bourne beat Jack Swagger.
I was surprised by the fact that Bourne won and how quickly he pinned Swagger. What was the point of teasing a Swagger-Orton match at SummerSlam?

Hornswoggle def. Chavo Guerrero in a Blindfold Match.
Chavo deserves better and so do the fans.

Triple H vs. Cody Rhodes.
Hunter couldn’t beat Cody quickly enough.

U.S. Champion Kofi Kingston beat The Brian Kendrick.
Kendrick was distracted by Jerry Lawler. They have absolutely ruined Kendrick.

MVP vs. Chris Masters ended in double count-out.
I have no idea where they are going with MVP and am less than enthused to see the "master of boredom" back in the W.W.E. .

Mickie James, Kelly Kelly & Gail Kim beat Beth Phoenix, Alicia Fox & Rosa Mendes.

Mark Henry defeated Carlito and set the time to beat.
Henry’s time stood until the end when Cena beat it.

Monday, July 27, 2009

10 Hosts For Monday Night Raw

With Shaq getting set to host Monday Night Raw tonight in Washington, D.C. and Jeremy Piven serving as the guest general manager next Monday, I've come up with 10 people I would love to see host Raw:

1- Danica Patrick - Auto racing is enormously popular in this country and she has enough personality/look to be a ratings bonanza.
2- Howard Stern - This may not work since the W.W.E. is PG these days, but it would still be interesting.
3- Anil Kapoor - Actor that portrayed game show host in Slumdog Millionaire.
4- Brooke Hogan - Vince McMahon doesn't want her father so why not go for Hulk's daughter?
5- Rickey Henderson - Did you see his Hall of Fame induction speech? Classic. If not click here.
6- Brett Favre - Only if the show is in Wisconsin or the New York areas to draw some heel heat.
7- Cambridge Police Sgt. James Crowley - Ratings, ratings, ratings!
8- Jim Cramer - The "Mad Money" host would do a great job.
9- Miley Cyrus - OK if W.W.E. is going to go PG, then why not.
10 - Paula Abdul - Well-known mainstream star that can add a bit of attitude to the show.

Boxer Vernon Forrest Killed

George Willis of the New York Post writes here about the death of Vernon Forrest who has been described as the only decent man in boxing.

Forrest joins Alexis Arguello and Arturo Gatti as boxers whose lives have been cut short recently. Forrest was 38 and was the first man to defeat "Sugar" Shane Mosley.

At this point, there are no suspects.

Vernon "The Viper" Forrest is a former I.B.F. and W.B.C. Welterweight Champion.

Night Of Champions Recap

CM Punk lost the World Championship to Jeff Hardy
Very solid match. I was wrong on the outcome.

Randy Orton retains the W.W.E. Title in match vs. Triple H and John Cena
Good match. The ending allowed for more.

Chris Jericho and Big Show defeated Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase
When I initially went over some names here as to who would replace Edge as Jericho's partner I wrote of Big Show:

Big Show – It seems that Mark Henry and Big Show will eventually meet up on Raw and with Henry’s run-in with Jericho last night this may make some sense. Of course, then Henry would have to go grab a tag team partner.

So does this mean Mark Henry teams with someone, say, Evan Bourne?

E.C.W. Champion Tommy Dreamer lost the belt to Christian
Dreamer isn't in Christian's league, but I was surprised he lost the title in his adopted hometown of Philly.

Rey Mysterio retained the Intercontinetal Championship against Dolph Ziggler
In my opinion, this was the best match of the show. Good long match and it made me a believer in Ziggler.

U.S. Champ Kofi Kingston vs. Primo vs. MVP vs. Carlito vs. Jack Swagger vs. The Miz
Very exciting match in which Kingston shined. The match also set up a future Swagger-Kingston bout.

W.W.E. Women's Champ Michelle McCool vs. Melina
McCool won.

W.W.E. Divas Champ Maryse vs. Mickie James
Sloppy match, with James winning the title.

Fedor Ready For UFC Talks

With the days of Affliction promoting fights having ended and the company going back to sponsoring UFC, the future of Fedor Emelianenko is now at the forefront of the m.m.a. world. Fedor and his representatives are in the U.S. this week and are open to talks with UFC president Dana White as long as he doesn't throw a whole bunch of conditions at Fedor, thus we could get an "irresistible force versus the immovable object" match between the W.A.M.M.A. champ and UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar. Read more about Fedor here.

Ryan Howard Meet Ralph Kiner

Philadelphia Phillies' first baseman Ryan Howard recently hit his 200th home run in 658 games, achieving the total in fewer games than any player in major league history; breaking the record held by Ralph Kiner, who did it in 706 games.

According to the AP when Howard was asked about Kiner:

"Uh, he's the guy whose record I broke," Howard said with a smile. "Not to be disrespectful or anything, but he was before my time."

I'm not sure if there are any highlights of Kiner on YouTube, but at least Ryan could check out Kiner's Wikipedia page here.

I don't blame Howard so much as I do the p.r. staff of the Phillies; it wasn't like this came out of nowhere.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Affliction: Trilogy Pay-Per-View Cancelled

After Josh Barnett was suspended for failing a drug test and Affliction not being able to find a suitable opponent for W.A.M.M.A. heavyweight champ Fedor Emelianenko, the promotion has cancelled the August 1 pay-per-view. Barnett was found to have traces of an anabolic steroid in his system. Reportedly the company needed the pay-per-view to be successful in order to stay afloat, now it looks as though the mixed martial arts company will go kaput.

Fedor's contract is set to expire and U.F.C. President Dana White expressed interest recently of bringing him in to face Brock Lesnar.

Ironically, Bobby Lashley - with all of four m.m.a. fights to his credit - was one of several fighters under consideration to face Fedor, before the company scrapped the show after pressure from Showtime.

W.W.E. Night Of Champions: Preview and Predictions

This Sunday night the W.W.E. presents Night of Champions on pay-per-view. The show will only have matches for championships within World Wrestling Entertainment. Here's a look at the card:

CM Punk defends the World Championship against Jeff Hardy
Jeff Hardy's departure has been imminent for a few months now according to "those supposedly in the know," so where his contract status stands is anyone's guess. Regardless, I see Punk winning.

Randy Orton puts the W.W.E. Title on the line vs. Triple H and John Cena
I'm getting tired of "triple threat matches" but W.W.E. needed to do something to spice up the Triple H-Randy Orton feud. Somehow, someway, Randy Orton will escape with the W.W.E. Championship. I'm hoping that W.W.E. is finished with the Orton-Triple H feud, but I still have a feeling that those two will fight in a "hell in a cell" match at next month's SummerSlam.

Chris Jericho and Mystery Partner (replacing the injured Edge) vs. Cody Rhodes & Ted DiBiase for the Unified Tag Team Titles
I fully expect Christian to be Jericho's new partner which will set up a feud between Jericho/Christian and Edge if and when he returns from injury early next year. Anyone else would be extremely disappointing. I also expect something to happen between Rhodes and DiBiase with the final outcome being that Jericho leaves with the titles. The only other option besides Christian would be Jericho to defend the belts on his own, remember he loves to brag about how he defeated Steve Austin and The Rock in the same night so Jericho as the sole holder of the tag straps would not be out of line for his super arrogant character.

E.C.W. Champion Tommy Dreamer vs. Christian
Dreamer wins, probably due to some kind of interference from Abraham Washington.

Rey Mysterio defends Intercontinetal Championship against Dolph Ziggler
I'm not buying into Ziggler and am a bit puzzled by his push. Mysterio goes over.

U.S. Champ Kofi Kingston vs. Big Show vs. MVP vs. Carlito vs. Jack Swagger vs. The Miz
I guess the reason for having a "six pack" match is to get more guys on the show. Kingston retains.

W.W.E. Women's Champ Michelle McCool vs. Melina
McCool just got the title so I doubt they will take it off of her so quickly.

W.W.E. Divas Champ Maryse vs. Mickie James
Eventually James will beat Maryse for the belt, but just not this Sunday.

Boxing Briefs

An autopsy has found that former world champion Arturo Gatti may have died by his own hand. The New York Daily News has an article on the findings here. The story says that investigators "pointed out that the apartment's electronic locks showed that Gatti and Amanda Rodrigues were the only people who entered." I read elsewhere that his wife, Amanda, could not explain how she spent more than ten hours in the hotel room without realizing Gatti was dead, yet she professes her innocence. She is currently in a jail in Brazil, while prosecutors have until Wednesday to formally charge her.

Meanwhile, George Willis last week made a case here in the New York Post for a Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao bout.

Separated At Birth?

Are Montreal Canadiens tough guy and recent vegan convert George Laraque (top) and W.W.E. United States Champion Kofi Kingston separated at birth?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Chelios Coming To Broadway?

I suggested in a prior post that Chris Chelios manning the blueline for the New York Rangers was intriguing for me. The 47-year-old could serve as a sort of mentor to the solid crop of young blueliners the team has. Now it appears that Chelios does have interest in playing for New York. His buddy Jeremy Roenick says here that Chris Chelios has told him he wants to play for the Rangers. Chelios has played for only "original six" teams during his career: Montreal, Chicago and Detroit. The U.S. born defenseman is a first ballot hall-of-famer and one of the all around best defenseman I have seen. A one-year deal - and who knows maybe a coaching role with the team thereafter - would be a very good investment.

Chelios was once described by coach Mike Keenan as the only player that could play all 60 minutes of a game without a break - he's that much of a fitness freak.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Nicole Hart This Sunday Night On The Sean Kilkelly Show

I am looking forward to blues singer Nicole Hart joining me for this Sunday's edition of The Sean Kilkelly Show on BlogTalk Radio. Hart was named Female Vocalist of the Year at the 2009 Los Angeles South Bay Music Awards. Nicole Hart's MySpace page is here.

In the above YouTube video she sings "You Were Lyin' To Me" with the NRG Band at The Backroom in Boca Raton, Florida on March 27 of this year.

The show airs every Sunday night at 6 eastern time and the number to call in is (347) 857-1571.

Separated At Birth?

It has been rumored that The Muppets' character Animal was based on The Who's drummer Keith Moon (notice the similar eyebrows). At the very least, the question should be asked if they were separated at birth?

Separated At Birth?

Former W.W.E. superstar and current movie actor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and current E.C.W. newcomer Abraham Washington (top picture).

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Buzz Aldrin Could Throw Down

Forty years ago yesterday, Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon's surface. The man that followed him was Buzz Aldrin, who delivers a solid right in the above YouTube video to an obnoxious conspiracy theorist back in September 2002.

Why Was Evan Bourne Not On Raw?

Evan Bourne initially said he was not on last night’s show because he was recovering from a minor neck injury that he sustained in a match last week against Big Show. However, that appears to not be the case as he wrestled Jamie Noble in a match before Raw that will air this Thursday night on WGN’s Superstars. Reportedly this was a good match, which isn’t surprising that the two former Ring of Honor stars worked well together.

Also, Bourne was supposedly going to be in the “six pack” match at Night of Champions which was announced last night, but was pulled at the last minute. Incidentally, that match is for the U.S. Championship and involves current champ Kofi Kingston, Big Show, Jack Swagger, Miz, Carlito and M.V.P.

I wonder if Bourne is already getting screwed over by the Monday Night Raw comedy team a.k.a. “creative writers.” I got home late last night and tuned in to see Chris Jericho fight Mark Henry. I tuned out when I saw that Hornswoggle and Chavo Guerrero were going to fight in a “sharp dressed man” match orchestrated by Raw guest hosts ZZ Top.

I have no idea what the powers that be have against Chavo Guerrero; a solid wrestler that deserves better than losing regularly to Hornswoggle. He also seems to be universally liked and well-respected by his peers.

Latest New York Rangers News

Arthur Staple opines here that Chris Drury must step up for head coach John Tortorella this season. Gee, being that he is the team's captain I would say that's not a bad idea.

Although the New York Post's Larry Brooks says that Dallas may be looking to deal Brad Richards and that the Blueshirts have inquired, I've read that the Rangers are more likely to pick up free agent forward Alex Tanguay. Regardless, most people believe that Glen "The Savior" Sather has at least one deal up his sleeve to complete this very much incomplete and haphazardly put together team.

Meanwhile, former Rangers' tough guy Chris Nilan was recently arrested in Quincy, Mass. after Lord & Taylor security guards accused him of stealing a bathing suit. The case has now been dismissed after Nilan agreed to stay out of the store and paid $100 in court costs.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. Against UFC

“This is not a racial statement, but there’s no white fighters in boxing that are dominating. So they had to go and do something else and start something new."

-Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Floyd Mayweather made those remarks when comparing boxing and U.F.C. Mayweather is fighting Juan Manuel Marquez on September 19, which is the same night that UFC 103 takes place. U.F.C. 100 did over 1.5 million buys and so I'm sure that "Money" Mayweather is desperate to draw attention to his pay-per-view match. Still, it's pretty classless, but not surprising in the world of pro sports these days.

Cherepanov Doctors Cleared

Late Rangers prospect Alexei Cherepanov suffered from myocarditis, a condition that obstructed blood flow to his heart and other organs and that team doctors are not going to face any legal ramifications, according to an investigation. Cherepanov, while playing in Russia for Avangard collapsed on the bench during a game last October and died. Interesting, though, that Avangard's president, general manager and a team doctor were suspended indefinitely from positions in the Kontinental Hockey League, and another Avangard doctor was suspended for two years. Click this for more.

Monday Night Raw Snoozefest

I only caught a few minutes of Monday Night Raw last night, but it doesn’t appear like I missed much anyway. Alfonso Castillo of The Steel Cage blog via Newsday has more here.

Evan Bourne, incidentally, suffered a minor injury neck injury in a match last Monday night against Big Show. He was kept off of last night's edition. Good job by Kevin Eck at Ring Posts noting that Evan Bourne wasn't just "selling" a neck injury.

Eck wrote in last week's review here:
The bump that Evan Bourne took when he landed hard on his head and neck after being speared by The Big Show was one of the scariest I have seen. I really feared that we may have witnessed a tragedy on live television, but he seemed to be OK. ...

One Step Closer To Mayweather-Pacquiao?

Fight fans can rejoice now that Top Rank promoter Bob Arum has finally gotten a deal done for a bout between Manny Pacquiao and W.B.O. Welterweight Champ Miguel Cotto.

The match will take place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Nov. 14.

Of course, Bob Arum, is a great promoter in much the same way that P.T. Barnum was, so this may just all be smoke and mirrors.

Assuming Pac-Man wins and Floyd Mayweather Jr. defeats Juan Manuel Marquez in September, we could have a dream matchup between Mayweather and Pacquiao a year from now.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Sean Kilkelly Show

This Sunday night at 6 eastern time marks the debut of "The Sean Kilkelly Show" on BlogTalk Radio. Here is the link to it and the number to call is (347) 857-1571. It's a one-hour weekly show where any topic is on the table: sports, politics, music, etc.

Good Music For A Good Cause

I picked up the DVD, TCT at the Royal Albert Hall, recently and was pleasantly surprised by what I saw and heard. The DVD is a compilation of some of the artists that performed in 2007 at the annual Teenage Cancer Trust Concerts at the legendary venue. The shows are organized by Roger Daltrey for the charity which raises money for kids suffering from cancer. Proceeds from the sale of the DVD go to the charity.

Below is the setlist and although I bought the DVD for The Who's performance and Noel Gallagher, I really liked everyone, particularly A Band of Bees and the really eccentric performance of Gruff Rhys. Oh yes and there is a Pete Townshend interview included, which the front cover of the DVD describes as being "emotional." I didn't see it as such, but rather informative. For example, Pete says that he and Eric Clapton were summoned by Beatles' manager Brian Epstein to have dinner with the band and to be the first ones to listen to "Strawberry Fields" and to give their feedback - which was that essentially it was the best thing they had ever heard.

1) The Who - The Seeker
2) Noel Gallagher - Don't Look Back In Anger
3) Noel Gallagher and Paul Weller - The Butterfly Collector
4) Kaiser Chiefs - Take My Temperature
5) The Coral - Dreaming Of You
6) The Cure - The Kiss
7) Razorlight and Roger Daltrey - Summertime Blues
8) The View - Face For The Radio
9) Bloc Party - Like Eating Glass
10) A Band Of Bees - Got To Let Go
11) Gruff Rhys - Gwn Mi Wn
12) Judas Priest - Hell Bent For Leather
13) Kasabian - L.S.F.
14) The Who - Baba O'Riley
15) The Who - Tea And Theatre

Brock Lesnar vs. Jack Swagger

While potential opponents stake their claim as to why they should be the next one to take on U.F.C. Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar, I figure I would throw out a name: Jack Swagger. Swagger, real name Jake Hager, played football and wrestled at the University of Oklahoma before switching to wrestling full-time in his sophomore year. Hager was an All-American wrestler and set the single season record for most pins at 30. Jake Hager is now known as Jack Swagger in the W.W.E. and is quickly becoming a top heavyweight in the business.

Now, I'm not suggesting a mixed martial arts match between Swagger and Lesnar, but how about a collegiate-style wrestling match? Lesnar was an all-American wrestler at the University of Minnesota and a two-time national wrestling champion.

I know it will never happen, but it probably would be better than anything else out there right now.

Will Yogi Berra Coach The Mets?

There is no shortage of prank calls to sports radio shows on YouTube. This one occurs during Mike Francesa's show on WFAN and the YES Network when he gets pranked by a guy that first claims he would listen to Mike while in jail and then suggests 84-year-old Yogi Berra would be able to fix the New York Mets. I actually heard someone call about six weeks ago and offer up Berra as a solution for the Mets, but I don't remember the jail part. Perhaps the Yogi Berra name is being thrown around in a similar way that Pat Buchanan's name was for a while.

Steve Somers Somewhere Back In Time

I came across the above YouTube video of Steve Somers - the fearless sportscaster - from 1982 before he became "The Schmooze" talking s-p-o-r-t-s on WFAN in New York City.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Next Opponent For Brock Lesnar Is...

Speculation is now running rampant as to who the next opponent will be for U.F.C. Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar. Most fans and U.F.C. President Dana White want Fedor Emelianenko to create an "irresistible force versus immovable object dream matchup." The trouble is that the Russian is under contract with U.F.C.'s rival promotion, Affliction, although he has one more match before his contract expires. Fedor will be defending his W.A.M.M.A. Heavyweight title against former U.F.C. Heavyweight Champion Josh Barnett on August 1, at Affliction: Trilogy.

Meanwhile, we can take a look at a tale of the tape between Fedor Emelianenko and Brock Lesnar:

Name: Fedor Emelianenko
Nickname: The Last Emperor,
The Russian Military Experiment
Nationality: Russian
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 231 lbs
Reach: 74 inches
Born: September 28, 1976
Primary fighting style: Sambo, Judo
M.M.A. Record: 30 Wins, 7 By knockout,
16 By submission, 7 By decision,
1 Loss, 1 No contest.

Name: Brock Lesnar
Nickname: In W.W.E. The Next Big Thing
Nationality: American
Height: 6’3”
Weight: 265 lbs
Reach: 81 inches
Born: July 12, 1977
Primary fighting style: Wrestling,
Collegiate wrestling, Amature wrestling
M. M.M.A. Record: 4 Wins, 2 By knockout,
1 By submission, 1 Loss,
0 Draws, 0 No Contests.

Was Jimi Hendrix Murdered?

Ian Punnett had former Jimi Hendrix roadie, James 'Tappy' Wright, on Coast To Coast AM over the weekend. The two discussed the theory that Hendrix was murdered and did not die of a drug overdose. The circumstances of his death have never fully been explained, though most assumed it was due to an accidental overdose. Wright says that Hendrix was murdered by his manager, Mike Jeffery. The motive was that Jeffery owed money to the mob and would collect on the insurance money.

Hendrix has been put together with Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison as music's "three J's;" rock stars that all died at the age of 27 in 1970 (Hendrix, Joplin) or 1971 (Morrison). The Rolling Stones' Bryan Jones - out of the band at the time of his death - died of an overdose in 1969, however, his girlfriend at the time said that Jones was withholding money from someone that was working on his house, thus she submits that Jones was murdered by the builder.

Incidentally, Hendrix supposedly was going to join Emerson Lake and Palmer to form H.E.L.P.

A New Tag Team Partner For Chris Jericho?

So just who will Chris Jericho select as his new partner in defending the unified tag team championship at Night of Champions on July 26? Remember, the holders of the titles can defend the belts on any of the three brands. Here are some possibilities:

Big Show – It seems that Mark Henry and Big Show will eventually meet up on Raw and with Henry’s run-in with Jericho last night this may make some sense. Of course, then Henry would have to go grab a tag team partner.

Carlito – Probably not. I foresee him joining “Legacy” when DiBiase turns face.

Cody Rhodes – This would only happen if they were going to disband “Legacy” altogether.

The Miz – I haven’t followed it, but apparently Jericho and The Miz have been having some sort of playful war of words on Twitter recently.

The Brian Kendrick - It seemed as though the W.W.E. was teasing a Kendrick/Miz pairing, but Kendrick seems to have dropped the subject as of late.

Dolph Ziggler - The two have teamed together on Superstars.

R-Truth - Although he is not utilized enough by the W.W.E., it wouldn't make sense to turn him heel.

Ezekiel Jackson - The big guy is pretty inexperienced, though, Jackson would match up well with Mark Henry in a tag team confrontation.

Christian - I would love to see Jericho and Christian. This would be perfect to set up a feud with Christian's old partner Edge, if and when he returns from injury. Jericho already put down Edge last night on Raw as a weak tag team partner.

My top picks are: Christian, Ziggler and Miz.

Roger Daltrey Going Solo

The Who's frontman Roger Daltrey will be getting out this fall for some solo gigs. Daltrey says he has to keep his voice active since The Who perform so infrequently.

One of my favorite performances of Daltrey is when he got together with Irish band, The Chieftains and produced the CD, The Chieftains: An Irish Evening: Live At The Grand Opera House, Belfast. The Chieftains have also performed with Daltrey at other live events.

Here is a link to Daltrey performing "After The Fire" with The Chieftains and Sinead O'Connor at Carnegie Hall in 1994. The Who had considered playing this song at The Concert for NYC after 9/11, but thought the song was too sad for the event.

Another Wasted Summer For Rangers

About halfway through July and a little less than two months until the New York Rangers take to the ice for training camp and I can classify this summer as a failure for Rangers GM Glen Sather. Let's take a look at what the team has done so far.

The Blueshirts inked oft-injured Marian Gaborik to a five-year contract worth $37.5 million. They also signed marginal forward Ales Kotalik for three years at three million dollars per. Just this morning New York traded 23-year-old Lori Korpikoski to Phoenix. Why? Because of rumors he would go play in Russia? Maybe he was interested in playing in the KHL because he knew the Rangers wouldn't give him a legit shot at taking a regular shift and getting some meaningful ice time. Thirteen players have been jettisoned from the roster since John Tortorella took over as the head coach, while Nik Zherdev will become the 14th after the Rangers allow him to become an unrestricted free agent following his arbitration hearing next month.

Turnover doesn’t produce champions. Not having a plan doesn’t produce champions. Signing free agents that are huge gambles has shown nothing for the Rangers. Yet this tiresome song continues year after year. Glen Sather, for some unknown reason, can do whatever he wants and is never held responsible by ownership.

Just when I thought last summer's ineptitude was bad, "The Savior" tops himself.

Foolish Criticism of Brock Lesnar

Brock Lesnar’s outburst in the aftermath of his brutal victory over Frank Mir at U.F.C. 100 could be easily criticized if U.F.C. was the Vatican, perhaps. But let’s face facts, U.F.C. is as violent as it gets and for Dana White to take on this attitude that the company is the moral authority or above any type of bad behavior is flat out hypocritical. Now, Lesnar putting down a sponsor is just bad business and in that regard I think White is absolutely correct in admonishing the undisputed U.F.C. Heavyweight Champion.

Incidentally, Brock Lesnar only worked for the W.W.E. for four years and has been out of the company for five years now. So the assertion that Lesnar is “just coming over” from W.W.E. is ridiculous. Let’s not forget that in between employment with W.W.E. and U.F.C., Lesnar was a late cut for the Minnesota Vikings in 2004 and also worked for the New Japan Pro Wrestling promotion in 2005 and 2006.

Lensar’s last match with the W.W.E. was in March of 2004 at Wrestlemania XX. He and Bill Goldberg were lustily booed throughout the contest because the fans knew that both would be leaving the company. Both wrestlers received a “stone cold stunner” at the conclusion of the match and booed out of Madison Square Garden. I have posted the match's conclusion above courtesy of YouTube.

If you want to see U.F.C. President Dana White – whom has done a tremendous job in reviving the once money-losing company – go off on Sherdog reporter Loretta Hunt, click this and fast forward to the 4:39 mark.

Dos Caras Officially In W.W.E.

Dos Caras Jr. has landed in World Wrestling Entertainment, albeit with their "farm team" Florida Championship Wrestling (F.C.W.). He had a match with Kris Logan at an F.C.W. show on Friday night and lost. He was announced simply as "Dos". That's fine, at least he is finally with the company after months of rumors and contract snafus.

Here's an idea for W.W.E.: why not form a second-generation stable of masked wrestlers consisting of Caras, Rey Mysterio and F.C.W. prospect El Sicodelico, who is the nephew of the legendary Mil Mascaras and cousin of the aforementioned Caras? It might actually be worthwhile.

Roger Daltrey's Fundraising Continues To Pay Off

Sarah the Duchess of York, Roger Daltrey and Stereophonics lead singer Kelly Jones, all visited the University Hospital of Wales recently where they officially opened a $6 million unit designed specifically for teenagers with cancer. The money was raised through Daltrey's Teenage Cancer Trust.

For more click this.