2017 National League Central Preview

1. Chicago Cubs 


You can cross your fingers and hope and pray as hard as you want but I’m afraid this Cubs team isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon. They are still the best team in the league and only going to get better. They are young, deep, solid and versatile and have improved their record total by at least 6 wins every year since 2012.

Everything WWE for December 31, 2016

​Welcome to this edition of “Everything WWE”. This past Monday, December 26th, WWE presented a RAW at Allstate Arena in Chicago, Illinois. The big story that really stood out on this show was the continuing push of Braun Strowman. The show started with United States Champion, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins in the ring upset about the thrashing they recieved from The Gift of Destruction last week. This led to Stephanie McMahon announcing Rollins versus Strowman for later on the show. The Monster Among Men wanted to get his hands on The Architect badly enough to interrupt a tag team match which saw Darren Young & Bo Dallas facing off against The Shining Stars where he attacked all four men with a Christmas tree. The Abominable Stowman’s power was impressive as he started the match by forcing Rollins into the corner and then hitting him with a bale, tossing him all rrhe way across the ring. A suicide dive by Rollins couldn’t knock him down and he followed it up by chasing Rollins back into the ring and turning him inside out with a shoulder block. Later, Rollins tried jumping off the top turnbuckle at Stowman just to be easily caught and driven hard into the turnbuckles. The match ended in a no contest when “The Underdog of the Underground”, Sami Zayn performed a hit and run attack Strowman. In response to the atrack Strowman confronted Stephanie McMahon and demanded a Last Man Standing Match against Zayn next week. In a WWE.COM Exclusive, Zayn stated his motivation for attacking Strowman was because he knows he can beat him and wants to prove it to everyone including General Manager Mick Foley. In another website exclusive we saw how dangerous Strowman is as paramedics drained fluid from Zayn’s eye after what Strowman did to him during their confrontation. Strowman appears to be an unstoppable monster, but could Zayn pull off a victory next week possibly with help from Rollins and Reigns who both still have unresolved issues with the former Wyatt family member?

Rumors are flying about another push for Roman Reigns as many websites are reporting he is expected to win the Universal Championship at Survivor Series. This doesn’t sit well with many in the internet wrestling community, many of who feel he has been shoved down fans’ throats. This always shocks me as he has a good look, puts on good matches consistently and has had a very good run with the United States Championship. 

WWE.com had an exclusive video of RAW GM, Daniel Bryan massaging his dog and talking cute to his significant other, Brie Bella. I have to ask why am I submitted to such weak crap? Well, it’s because Brie stars on Total Divas, the WWE Diva reality show that airs on E! every Wednesday at 9 Eastern.

On Tuesday, December 27th WWE Smackdown Live’s Wild Card Finals came to us from Allstate Arena in Chicago, Illinois where 13,145 fans were in attendance. The show started out with the return of John Cena. He declared that this isn’t the New Era of WWE, it’s the “My Time Now Era” and that he was challenging the winner of the main event triple threat match between AJ Styles, Baron Corbin and Dolph Ziggler to a match for the WWE Championship at Royal Rumble. The main event saw the The Lone Wolf look very impressive in the ring with two world champions, forcing Styles and Ziggler to work together more than once to overcome his power. The Showoff continues to impress, making whoever he is in the ring with look good. If he was anywhere but WWE he’d have a world title right now. This match got out of hand at times, such as when Styles and Ziggler worked together to put Corbin through the announcer’s table. In the end The Phenomenal One watched Corbin hit End of Days on Ziggler before hitting the Phenomenal forearn on the big man and picking up the pinball on the prone Ziggler. As Styles celebrated his win Cena entered the ring and offered a handshake. The champ was sceptical at first, but accepted the show of respect. Will the mutual respect last until they meet at Royal Rumble?
Also, on the show we saw Alexis Bliss retain the Smackdown Women’s Championship against Becky Lynch when La Luchadora distracted Lynch while Bliss took advantage of being double jointed to convince the ref she had dislocated her elbow. She hadn’t and took advantage of the distraction to pick up the win. In a WWE.com exclusive Bliss celebrated her reign by having the side plates on the belt customized.

In a final piece of Smackdown news, American Alpha won a four corners match, taking the Smackdown Tag Team Championship from the Wyatt family. Both Chad Gable and Jason Jordan had family ringside to see them win the titles. Rumor has it they were groomed to be the centerpiece of the tag division on Team Blue. Executive Vice President of Takent, Live Events and Creative for WWE, Triple H, even offered congratulations to them on Twitter.

Some bad news out of the tag title match is that Heath Slater hurt himself, assembly jumping from the top turnbuckle. Turns out its not as bad as it originally appeared and he shouldn’t miss any time in the ring.

And now some good news. Showbuzzdaily.com reported that Smackdown averaged 2.885 million viewers this week up from 2.637 million last week.

So as it stands right now, on January 29 in San Antonio, Texas the Royal Rumble has three announced matches. Cena versus Styles for the WWE Championship, United States Champion, Reigns challenging Universal Champion, Kevin Owens, and the Rumble itself featuring Bill Goldberg and Brock Lesnar. 

In my opinion, the best thing going on in a WWE ring occurred on WWE Network’s nxt when Samoa Joe defended the nXt title against Shinsuke Nakamura in Japan. Both guys wrestle a strong style with heavy hits which is what the Japanese fans love. Nakamura regained the championship, tying Joe for most title reigns at 2.

WWE stock finished the week at $18.40. That’s down 15 cents from what it opened Friday at.

And, finally, it appears Universal Champion,  Kevin Owens made Roman Reigns laugh at a house show when Owens verbally assaulted a fan. Reigns took to Twitter trying to cover by saying he was laughing at Owens’ merchandise sales. This resulted in John Cena getting involved on Twitter a roasting Reigns by comparing their merchandise sales numbers.

That’s it for this week’s “Everything WWE”. Make sure to check out my latest article on http://www.ringside.nwaondemand.com for the latest news from the National Wrestling Alliance. And, if you would, visit http://goo.gl/slrkvQ. It’s a memorial fund for my son’s mother. Click the link and donate $5. 100% of your donation goes to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and there efforts to prevent suicide. It means a lot to me. Thank you! That’s it for this edition of “Everything WWE”. See you next time!

Week 14 Pick em

Oakland Raiders @ Kansas City Chiefs 

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Washington Redskins @ Philadelphia Eagles

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Houston Texans @ Indianapolis Colts

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Cincinnati Bengals @ Cleveland Browns 

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Denver Broncos @ Tennessee Titans 

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Arizona Cardinals @ Miami Dolphins 

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Chicago Bears @ Detroit Lions

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Pittsburgh Steelers @ Buffalo Bills

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San Diego Chargers @ Carolina Panthers 

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Minnesota Vikings @ Jacksonville Jaguars 

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New York Jets @ San Francisco 49ers

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Atlanta Falcons @ Los Angeles Rams

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New Orleans Saints @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

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Seattle Seahawks @ Green Bay Packers 

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Dallas Cowboys @ New York Giants

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Baltimore Ravens @ New England Patriots 

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Building the All Under-23 Offense in the NFL

 

 

 

QB: Dak Prescott, Cowboys, 23 years old

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There is no doubt that Prescott is a candidate for ROTY, and he might even be the leading candidate. His poise in the pocket along with his ability to pose a threat with his legs is more than enough for him to make my team. Carson Wentz was also in consideration, but I was pretty much splitting hairs with this decision.

RB: Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys, 21 years old

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Elliott has been running like mad man so far this season, with over 700 yards in only six games so far. He hasn’t rushed for under 130 yards in his last four games. ‘Nuff said. Todd Gurley was also in consideration, but in my opinion, he is a little too overrated, and he hasn’t been finding the holes this season like he did in his rookie season.

WR1: Odell Beckham Jr., Giants, 23 years old

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I promise that I’m not just choosing players from the NFC East! That division just has a lot of young talent at these skill positions. Odell Beckham Jr. is on track to become the best receiver ever, just look at the stats. He is so quick in and out of his breaks and he can stop on a dime. The only way to cover him is to get in his head and get him frustrated.

WR2: Jarvis Landry, Dolphins, 23 years old

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The other LSU receiver that was drafted in 2014, Jarvis Landry should really be one of the top 10 wideouts in the league, but playing for a lackluster Dolphins team has brought his hype down the last two years. Landry caught 110 balls last year for over 1,100 yards, and that shouldn’t go unnoticed.

WR3: Amari Cooper, Raiders, 22 years old

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I so badly wanted to put Mike Evans or Allen Robinson here, and I was considering Will Fuller, but he hasn’t proved enough yet. I just couldn’t leave Cooper off of this list. He broke the 1,000 yard mark for the Raiders last year, and he is already more than halfway there through six games so far in 2016. Cooper hasn’t put up Odell Beckham Jr.-like production, but being The Guy in your rookie season has to say something. Cooper is a fantastic route-runner, and while he won’t blow you away with speed, he is a very balanced receiver.

TE1: Hunter Henry, Chargers, 21 years old

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There are about no tight ends worth mentioning who are 23 years old or younger. Hunter Henry and Eric Ebron are about the only ones. I went with Henry mainly because he has posted over 300 yards in only six games, and he is still playing behind Antonio Gates for the most part. Also because, you know, it’s Eric Ebron.

 

 

Blue Collar News

​Welcome to this edition of “Blue Collar News” where we will take an in depth look at NWA Blue Collar Wrestling out of Portland, Oregon. This past Sunday, October 9th they presented a card at Eagles North Portland FOE 3426 located at 7611 North Exeter Street in Portland, Oregon. 
The opening match of the evening was a triple threat match for the NWA Pacific Northwest Heavyweight Championship. The champion, Buddy Highway, defended the strap against the Pacific Northwest TV Champion, Cousin Jameson, and Kyle King, who is a trainer from Xtreme Wrestling Center in Raytown, Missouri. Highway picked up the win by a pin fall and retained the title. Jameson had this to say after the match, “Both men (Highway and King) are amazing athletes and after a hard fought match Buddy Highway retained his championship. It was an honor to work with Kyle King.” The Pacific Northwest Heavyweight Champion, Buddy Highway, was worked up for this match and the future. He told me, “Well, my focus has been on Tommy C. Making his life as much of a living hell as possible. Making him fight “Brutal” Bob Evans and Wildman Kongo after defeating him in a “Pick My Poison” match. But this week has me against Jameson and Kansas’s own Kyle King for my NWA PNW Title. It was a pretty intense match, as King mainly stayed outside while I battled Jameson. But in the end after a Road Block on King I was able to retain my title. Now my sight is set on Tommy C., once again, as he has asked for his title rematch next week at NWA Blue Collar. All I know is this, I have my title in my possession and I’ll be damned if I’ll let that go, once again. This is The Lost Sullivan and the devil’s child has spoken!!” Kyle King was part of a wrestling seminar that day in Portland featuring himself, Top Rope Promotions star, Wildman Kongo, out of Falls River, Massachussetts and ROH’s “Brutal” Bob Evans. King was a class act and told this reporter about his career. “I’ve been working for 8 years, all over the US. In the past 2 years, I’ve done 2 Evolve seminars, got to work for them and Full Impact Pro in Florida, as well as bringing Bob out to Kansas City for his seminar. The XWC is Kansas City’s oldest wrestling training center, at over 2 years and has wrestling, physique and promo work each and every week. We have had students on Raw several times already, which has been great for us. The most interesting thing about Bob’s seminars is the positivity he brings. He’s got 25 years in this business and loves to serve. Be it his own experiences in wrestling or just business which has helped me personally so much in just the last year!” If you are interested in getting trained as a professional wrestler, referee or manager go check out Xtreme Wrestling Center on Facebook. 
In the second match of the evening James St. John defeated J.B. Moonshine by pinfall. J.B. was not happy afterwards and when asked about a re-match, he stated, “His win was a fluke and if he didn’t have a handful of my overalls he wouldn’t have won! I’m hoping there is (a re-match), I want my chance to prove it was a fluke, so, booker, book it!”
In the third match of the night Ares Toretto faced Badd Blood for the NWA Continental Heavyweight Title. Badd Blood retained the strap by a pin fall. Badd Blood will be traveling to Georgia to face “Desperado” Christian Walker, the NWA Georgia Wrestling Extreme champion on November 12th at a show being called “Badd Blood Rising”.
In the 4th match of the evening Measure 11 (Petrov and Tommy Celcius) faced off against ROH’s “Brutal” Bob Evans and Wildman Kongo. Evans and Kongo walked away with a pinfall victory. Kongo is well known in the Northeast and told me about his background. “I was trained by Bob Evans. I’ve been wrestling for 9 years and I’ve wrestled Dalton Castle, MVP and Aldo Rose a.k.a. Adam Rose (from WWE). All this year.”

In the semi-main Lance Dean faced C.J. Edwards. Edwards won by disqualification when Dean threw powder in his face and was caught by the ref.

The main event was a non-title, falls count anywhere match between the NWA Pacific Northwest Tag Team Champions, The Dark Asylum, and The Role Models. The Role Models got the pinfall when they handcuffed Butcher to the ring and double teamed Big Vicious. The end came when tgey backdroppef him through their “Worship Us” table in the center of the ring to score the pinfall. They look to have earned themselves another shot at the straps. 
Blue Collar Wrestling had a special visitor from the old wrestling days in Portland, Princess Victoria. She worked during the 80’s and was trained by Sandy Barr. She was best known for her feud with Velvet McIntyre in Vancouver for All Star Wrestling as well as in the NWA. They formed a tag team after concluding their feud and won the NWA World Women’s Tag Team Titles in Calgary. In 1984 they were recognized as the WWF Women’s Tag Team Champions. When asked about the experience, she told me, “Walking into BCW dressing room was like walking back in time 36 years. I heard please, thank you and excuse me. When the promoter spoke everyone shut up and listened. When the matches began, with very few exceptions, all were watching each other’s matches, There were critiques given and accepted. The matches were solid, old school wrestling and the crowd was on their feet for the entire show. There was no cussing in the interviews as the promoter had instructed, “The first word in the term “professional wrestler” is “professional” and I expect everyone of you to conduct yourself as such in every aspect of your lives not just at the arena.  I enjoyed every minute of my time there and am looking forward to going again. BCW is worth taking a look at, folks. Bring your kids and grandma and grandpa as this is a family orientated event..”
Next Sunday, in Portland, Blue Collar Wrestling will host Chris Youngblood, a fixture in World Class, World Wrestling Council in Puerto Rico, Global Wrestling Federation, USWA, WCW and FMW in Japan during the 80’s and 90’s. 
With all these classic stars and Ring of Honor stars working in NWA/BCW it’s going to be a great rest of the year for the promotion. Follow NWA Blue Collar Wrestling on Facebook to keep up with all the latest news from the NWA in Portland.
Will The Role Models be able to wrestle the tag titles away from The Dark Asylum? Will C.J. Edwards challenge for a title after his big semi-main event victory? What is in store for Chris Youngblood next week? Come back, next week, to Blue Collar News to find out! And, if you get a chance go visit http://theblackbooks.smackjeeves.com/ and read my web comic, “The Black Books”, a sci-fi detective noir story, for FREE. Finally, if you would do me a favor, visit http://afsp.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.personalCampaign&participantID=720221 and donate $5 to help prevent suicide. It means a lot to me. That’s it for this week. So, in the mean time and in between time, so long from Blue Collar News!