Category Archives: SPORTS

John Cena Returning! What Does That Entail?

We learned Monday night that John Cena would be returning to WWE at “Hell in a Cell” in three weeks. He will be returning for a World Heavyweight Championship match against Alberto Del Rio. If you’re not surprised about this, well you should be. This return is weeks ahead of schedule.

Cena was last seen on the August 19th episode of RAW. He said he would be taking time off to repair a partially torn tricep muscle. How he could be healed and rehabbed already is beyond me but so be it. First of all, whether you like John Cena or not, this is good for the World Heavyweight Championship. The belt has been lost

August 19th episode of Raw. Cena showing torn tricep.
August 19th episode of Raw. Cena showing torn tricep.

in obscurity, and having Cena win it would be definite way to elevate it back to what it once was. Bringing Cena in, if he truly is ready to go, is possibly WWE’s only option for Del Rio at this point. With RVD taking some time off, and no other performer really ready to step up and lead, Cena is your only ‘go to’.

What is most interesting right now is what we will see when Cena does return. You may recall the cryptic tweet sent out by Cena the night he left WWE. The picture was on Cenas instagram and was a road sign that stated “change ahead”. Both John and the WWE are very aware of the lack of interest the WWE universe has left in the Cena product. Even when he was announced at Raw, the crowd reacted very harshly to the announcement, raining down the usual Cena boos. He is way overdue for some form of gimmick change, and the fact he was only announced and not a part of RAW indicated they may be waiting to unveil the new John Cena. I wouldn’t get too excited though, more likely we might see new ring gear and HOPEFULLY new theme music. As far as a heel turn goes, highly unlikely.

Cena after surgery
Cena after surgery

WWE is starving for baby face characters to lead, hence why they can’t find a suitable opponent for Del Rio. So bringing Cena back and going heel with him would make zero sense. Although, WWE is in the business of doing things that don’t make sense (Battleground), but for once doing something that is illogical would actually be awesome. So don’t expect it.

Cena returning and immediately receiving a title shot certainly has the wrestling world up in arms right now. One point to consider is that he is entitled to a WWE championship rematch, but that clearly isn’t going to happen. So instead he will get the second tier title opportunity. What upsets me about this is that guys like Dolph Ziggler are just going to be overlooked in lieu of Cena. How WWE can’t see why he is so disliked when they do things like this is just baffling.

Posted from Cenas instagram Aug 19th
Posted from Cenas instagram Aug 19th

 

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WWE Battleground PPV Review: Next Time the Lights Go Out, Leave Them Out.

Well for those of you who didn’t get the opportunity to see last nights Pay-per-view, WWE Battleground, you saved fifty dollars you’d be pleading to have back now. One match on the whole card saved the show from being a complete disappointment.

The show opened up with the World Heavyweight Championship match between Rob Van Dam and Alberto Del Rio. This wasn’t much of a surprise as the WHC belt has become about as prestigious as the European championship. The match was labeled a “hardcore rules match”, which was kinda cool to see WWE return to the term since we have a gazillion other matches with different names, but are all just a hardcore match at the end of the day.

[pullquote_left]One match on the whole card saved the show from being a complete disappointment.[/pullquote_left]What hurt this match the most was the fact we’re all aware RVD is here on a part-time basis and he was never going to get the belt. However there is no babyface available to challenge Del Rio at this point and RVD was the only option. Good luck selling a WHC match once Van Dam is gone.

In a sequence of very slow, drug out, and boring moves, Del Rio put the arm bar on RVD with his arm stuck in a chair, forcing Van Dam to tap out. Personally I hoped we were finally going to get a break from Del Rio. He is insanely boring to watch, and I gotta believe the general audience really couldn’t care less about him. None the less, your winner and still champ, Alberto Del Rio.

battle vd

The next couple matches were nothing special. The Real Americans defeated Santino Marrella and The Great Khali. How Kahli is even getting TV time is beyond me, but a PPV match? The guy can barely walk, let alone wrestle, not interesting whatsoever.

Curtis Axel beat R-Truth… obviously, R-Truth has been painfully irrelevant since he arrived in WWE, and I don’t think anyone believed he had a shot in the world of winning that match.

By far the best match of the night was The Shield vs The Rhodes family. Dusty was down in the corner of his sons opposite Dean Ambrose of the Shield. Cody is so much better in the ring than half the locker room. I totally forgot how much I liked him since he left. In a quick, well orchestrated, sequence of events Cody hit Cross Rhodes on Seth Rollins for the win. The place battle rfricking erupted. I literally got goosebumps during the match. WWE would be smart to use these two further, they’re gonna need damage control after two consecutive poor PPV’s.

The CM Punk/Ryback match was good, but didn’t really have much flare to it. It was also spoiled with a poor ending, sort of feels like the writers were thinking too far into these finishes, or not thinking about them at all. You can’t take anything from Punk or Ryback though, both put on an awesome match. Being Heyman walked out unscathed, you would assume the feud is probably not over, which sort of sucks because I think everyone is waiting for Punk to step in on the Triple H-McMahon power situation.

The final Match was for the vacated WWE Championship. Daniel Bryan competed against Randy Orton for the umpteenth time and was basically the same match we’ve seen repeatedly over the past month and we’ll probably see again next month. Once again, this match fell victim to poor writing and ended ambiguously, to say the least. Big Show came out and knocked out Daniel Bryan, a couple of refs, Randy Orton… he knocked everyone out. I’m so confused and lost at his point. I have no clue what the hell is going on. There was no winner of the match, the title is still vacant, apparently Big Show hates everyone now, and Triple H is nowhere to be seen. So we all spent money to see a glorified episode of RAW, and tonight RAW (that’s the free show…) will probably be better and tie up more loose ends then the PPV…awesomebattle ort

Like I said earlier, if you didn’t see the show, it’s like you won money. Aside from the Rhodes/Shield match, the best part of the night was when the power went out and the “please stand by” screen came on for over 5 minutes. It took all of 30 seconds before the Twittersphere moved from irritated to irrationally hostile, definitely my favorite point of the evening. Probably should have left the lights off at this point.

My overall rating I give this PPV is 3 out of 10. All three stars were won by The Rhodes family and The Shield.

Loudest pop of the night– Cross Rhodes from Cody Rhodes

Best Match– Shield vs The Rhodes

Worst match– Kofi vs Bray Wyatt

The Grizzly’s Spotlight: A WWE First and Last – The Phenom vs. The Icon

On March 26, 2001 the WWE made their purchase of WCW known to the world. The idea of dream matches that would take place after that was endless. Goldberg vs Stone Cold, Triple H vs Scott Steiner, and so on. Although initially not all members of the WCW roster showed up on RAW the next week, eventually they all found their way into World Wrestling Entertainment. All… but one. Sting was possibly the biggest name in the WCW in those days. He had been groomed by “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair. He was a multi-time World champion, and a member of the notorious NWO. When the company was sold he opted to not join WWE, for his own personal reasons.

Still to this day he remains the biggest name in pro wrestling to never compete in a WWE ring. However, every year about this time, the rumor mill begins to turn and people start whispering. Stings contract with TNA expires at the end of this year. If he does come to WWE it will be, undoubtedly, to square off with the Undertaker. The dream match has been talked about since they were both in their prime 20 years ago. While Sting coming to WWE to face Taker at Mania is all well and good, there are intangibles at play here that people don’t seem to be grasping. Taker vs. Sting has been a dream match for decades sure, but how many other superstars still to this day want one match with the icon?

WWE's The Undertaker

Guys like The Rock, HBK, HHH, and even Stone Cold Steve Austin have stated their desire for a match with the legend. If Sting were to come aboard do you really think these guys would sit back and pass up the opportunity at one more dream match? More importantly, would WWE allow all that money in PPV buys to just drift by? The answer is an emphatic, no. Here lies the problem.

Undertaker has a two decade long undefeated streak at Wrestlemania. For years people have predicted the man to end it all would be the Icon Sting. The problem with that is that the streak has become almost bigger than Wrestlemania alone. And the reality is, every single WCW star that came to WWE was buried by the company in the end. Maybe out of spite from the Monday night wars. So what you are essentially looking at is the final battle of WCW vs WWE. And in what world can you see Vince McMahon allowing Sting to take that final win. It can’t happen, and it won’t happen.

[box_dark]“It’s no secret. I’ve always wanted to wrestle Undertaker; I’ve said that for years. And who would not want to work Wrestlemania.”

-Sting[/box_dark]

Icon vs Phenom taker
The Phenom

UNLESS…  reality sets in that this might be Takers final match. If that’s the case, would Vince allow Taker to ride off into the sunset with an undefeated record at Wrestlemania? No one is bigger than Wrestlemania to the McMahons, and a lifelong undefeated streak seems awfully bigger than a PPV to me. The obvious next problem is the line of hall of famers who either wrestle Sting before or after Mania. Surely you can’t allow Sting to be beat by them before he has the biggest win in Wrestlemania history.  One way or another, this match will be billed the biggest match of all time. Andre vs. Hulk will be forgotten after the dust settles from this. Sting stated he was “very close” to a deal last year, and by comments from him and Hulk Hogan recently, it seems inevitable that he is coming. 2014 is gonna be a big year for old time wrestling fans.

Legendary WWE Announcer Jim “JR” Ross Retires

Legendary WWE announcer Jim “JR” Ross has announced he will be officially retiring from pro wrestling yesterday. TMZ broke the story and was confirmed by WWE.com. Although a case could be made that he really retired several years ago, he has made it official.

jim-ross

JR was the lead man during the glory days of WWE during the “Attitude Era”. His mic work while with WWE was epic. He had the opportunity to call some of the biggest matches in history of pro wrestling. He even had a hand in helping coining nicknames for so many iconic stars such as “The Rattlesnake Steve Austin”. What made his work so good was that you could always sense he was every bit as big a fan as we were watching from home. His over the top and eccentric emotions screamed through the television every Monday night. One could almost credit his passion as a key element to the success of the WWE product through the 90’s and early 2000’s.

jim ross2JR was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2007. He has made a habit of frequent cameos on Monday Night Raw and calling select matches at different pay-per-views. However, his most recent appearance was at the Summerslam symposium. A collection of past superstars were on stage answering questions to promote the show and new video game. Some rather unflattering remarks about WWE management were made by hall of famers like Ric Flair. Consequently Ross came under fire for his lack of control over the stars that night. He was later quoted saying, “You can also say this wasn’t rehearsed. This was real, this was reality television at its best. I’ve lost complete control of my job. I’m sure I’ll never be asked back and this has probably destroyed what career I have left.

With that being noted, and no official comment made by good ole JR since WWE posted his retirement, it might be safe to say this wasn’t entirely his call. Nonetheless old boomer sooner makes some pretty bangin BBQ sauce and that seems to be going well for him. So I think he’ll be alright.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No More NCAA Football for EA Sports! Here’s What It Means For You

It looks like Ed O’Bannon gets to chalk up a victory for him and his class action lawsuit against EA Sports and the NCAA. According to ESPN and Gamespot, the NCAA has decided not to renew their contract to produce video games using the NCAA name and likenesses. It means that NCAA Football 14, the most recent edition released this month, will be the last of the series for the time being. It turns out that the potential lawsuit started by O’Bannon has presented itself as an obstacle to continuing the relationship between the video game maker and collegiate body without incurring more wrath financially and legally from others.

ncaa football 14 1

For those that don’t remember, Ed O’Bannon was a former college basketball player that was frustrated with seeing his likeness in video games and other licensed products from the NCAA and was not getting paid for it. So, like any American would, he sued both EA and NCAA for lost royalties and licensing profits. Other former student athletes followed suit and the grand total they believe stands at billions of dollars that need to be paid out to them. The video game part of it plays a major part in it as we gamers know that the names are NEVER used in the game but the numbers, height, weight, speed, strength, and how they play are put exactly in the game even as they lack an identifying marker. Some people even go as far as just renaming the players to the original name just to have the full experience. Obviously, this is a hotly debated part playing out in the legal system as we speak.

What does this mean for us gamers? Well, that copy of NCAA Football 14 with Denard Robinson on the cover? That’s the last game you’ll see with any NCAA likeness and names in a game from EA. Now, there’s still going to be a college football game for next year from EA Sports, most likely to be called College Football 15. They still are able to partner with the Collegiate Licensing Co. in order to include teams and leagues so we won’t see the game completely using NAIA teams or community colleges not affiliated with the NCAA. They just have to negotiate with each team and league individually in order to get them included in the game. There have been talks to have one featured team such as an Alabama or Ohio State to represent the game as powerhouses to help overcome the loss of the big license but that remains to be seen.

ncaa football 14 2

What we can probably see from here on in is even more generic football players that won’t look like the players or resemble them by number or likeness, so as to not throw gas on the fire. The NCAA is obviously spooked by this lawsuit and wants to get away from EA Sports, who continue to put players in the game that resemble the underclassmen. They don’t want to get into deeper hot water so they’ve decided to cut their losses and move on and see how this legal dilemma plays out. Either way, it’ll be interesting to see how this will affect games. While not as big as Madden, the NCAA games still represents a good portion of the EA Sports cash cow and if there’s a lot of changes coming to the games, it just might be time for them to cut their losses too.