Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Breaking Down the Chicago Bears Fifth Round Pick: Indiana Running Back - Jordan Howard

The NFL Draft has come and gone, and it appears that the Bears have a plan in place. Did I agree with that plan at every twist and turn? No, not really, but I also really enjoyed some of their moves so it all balances out. And they were active, and that definitely made for an exciting weekend. But what's done is done. The picks I like will obviously work out, and hopefully my genius fails me on the picks that I didn't like. So far, I have had the chance to break down:

First Round Pick: Leonard Floyd, Linebacker, Georgia
Second Round Pick: Cody Whitehair, Offensive Guard, Kansas State
Third Round Pick: Jonathan Bullard, Defensive Lineman, Florida
Fourth Round Pick: Nick Kwiatkoski, Linebacker, West Virginia
Fourth Round Pick: Deon Bush, Safety, Miami
Fourth Round Pick: Deiondre' Hall, Defensive Back, Northern Iowa

Finally, we make it to the fifth round, and one of the players that I loved going into this draft, Jordan Howard, a running back out of Indiana. The reason I liked him so much is that he tore up the Iowa Hawkeyes last season with 174 yards on 22 carries and two touchdowns. He was big, strong, and fast, and those are three traits I very much enjoy in my running backs. Thanks to Draft Breakdown, I was able to check out his games against Michigan, Michigan State, and Wake Forest.

Something that stands out about Howard's game is that he rarely goes down on the first contact, and he's a guy who keeps his legs churning and always falls forward.
That's the type of run that's not gonna stand out on a stat sheet, but it is so crucial to having a successful running attack. He gets hit two yards behind the line of scrimmage and ends up two yards past the line of scrimmage for a first down.

If you don't wrap up Jordan Howard, he is going to make you pay for it, as even when he gets knocked, his balance and strength is so good that he can churn forward for extra yardage.
This should not be a touchdown, but he shows impressive power and balance in his runs.

He's also solid as a receiver.
I know this isn't some amazing catch or even run after the catch, but I like that he snatches the ball with his hands as opposed to letting it come into his chest, and he follows his blocks into the endzone for an easy touchdown.

Although he can make catches out of the backfield, his blocking leaves a lot to be desired.
That is pretty weak, as he tries to wait on the defender and offers no punch instead of attacking and putting a hit on the guy.

But let's get back to the running, because that is where the bulk of his value lies. For a big guy, he has some moves.
He's not Barry Sanders, but those are some nice cuts to find holes and maximize his yardage before anyone can get a hand on him.

You need some more Howard highlights? Here's some more Jordan Howard highlights.
His game against Michigan was stupid good, and this was a Michigan defense that was renowned for its stinginess throughout the season, and Howard just continually ran over them.

I don't think I've hidden the fact that I am a huge fan of this pick for the Bears. Last year, I wasn't real happy with the Jeremy Langford pick, and although he put up some decent fantasy stats, he was not a very effective running back. I see the Bears starting the year with a committee, but I see Howard as separating himself from the other backs to take the bulk of the carries. He'll have to improve his blocking to become a three-down back, but if you're looking for a guy to run the football, it doesn't get much better than Howard. I think he was an absolute steal in the fifth round and considering the upgrades the Bears have made to the offensive line, he could make a huge impact as a rookie this season.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Derrick Rose Was Our Guy

Derrick Rose was our guy. I say was, because yesterday, Derrick Rose was traded from the Chicago Bulls to the New York Knicks. When I first saw the news, I felt a bit of numbness. I know Derrick Rose hasn't been the player he was before his injuries, but I was still hanging on and hoping that one day he would come back and relive those former glory days. So it stopped me in my tracks when I saw it. I'm going to miss Derrick Rose.

There's not many athletes that have meant as much to Chicago sports fans as Derrick Rose. In basketball, there was nobody that could touch his popularity since Michael Jordan. And for all of Chicago sports, the only person that can compare since Jordan is probably Brian Urlacher. Derrick Rose was our guy.

Let's not forget that the Bulls had no reasonable chance to get him but still somehow won that lottery. Derrick Rose was our blessing. And he was a hometown guy. He was a super athletic point guard in a league that was fading away from the dominance of big men. He was literally the perfect superstar to bring the Bulls back to glory.

And the crazy thing is that he did it. He brought the Bulls back to levels they had not seen since MJ. With Tom Thibodeau coaching, the Bulls had a hard-nosed team that were a nightmare for any team to play. Thibs and Noah led the defense, and Derrick Rose was the offense. In their one opportunity before the injury, the Bulls cruised to the Eastern Conference Semis to take on the Miami Heat. Everyone in the world was rooting for the Bulls, and they came out and smashed the Heat by 20. They dropped the next two, but with time ticking down, Derrick Rose had a shot at the buzzer to take game four. It rimmed out, and the Bulls lost in overtime. They then barely lost at home in game 5. People remember it as a dominant 4-1 Heat win in that series, but man, had Derrick Rose just had that one break with the ball rolling in instead of out, it could've been far different.

And that pretty much sums up Derrick Rose's career to this point. It's a lot of what ifs, and so closes but not quites. I could try to go through all of them, but that would make this post incredibly long, and more importantly, I think it would just be too painful. Derrick Rose gave me so much hope, but his career has been emotionally draining to me as well. That's what happens when we care too much. It's stupid and completely illogical to care this much, but I can't help it. Derrick Rose was our guy.

God, this is really sounding like an obituary, so let's remember that he just got traded. He's gone, but we can still see him every now and then. I'll still be rooting for him, as he grasps for that glory that constantly seems just out of reach. But it won't be the same. He's not a Bull anymore. He's not a Chicago lifer. He's not the problem, and he's not the solution. But let's not forget, Derrick Rose was our guy.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Breaking Down the Chicago Bears Fourth Round Pick: Northern Iowa Defensive Back - Deiondre' Hall

The NFL Draft has come and gone, and it appears that the Bears have a plan in place. Did I agree with that plan at every twist and turn? No, not really, but I also really enjoyed some of their moves so it all balances out. And they were active, and that definitely made for an exciting weekend. But what's done is done. The picks I like will obviously work out, and hopefully my genius fails me on the picks that I didn't like. So far, I have had the chance to break down:

First Round Pick: Leonard Floyd, Linebacker, Georgia
Second Round Pick: Cody Whitehair, Offensive Guard, Kansas State
Third Round Pick: Jonathan Bullard, Defensive Lineman, Florida
Fourth Round Pick: Nick Kwiatkoski, Linebacker, West Virginia
Fourth Round Pick: Deon Bush, Safety, Miami

And today we move to the Bears final fourth round pick, a guy near and dear to my heart hometown state, Deiondre' Hall, a defensive back from the University of Northern Iowa. The first thing that you may notice is that I'm using the vague term of defensive back instead of cornerback or safety, because it's still unclear where he might fit in. He's not only 6'2", but he is long. I mean, just look at that picture up top. He is Stretch Armstrong come to life (with a little bit of a tan as well). He fits the mold of the big corner, but he did dabble at safety last year as well, so his role is still up in the air. For a mid-round pick, Hall is actually a very good athlete. His 40 time at the combine was only 4.68, but he was able to run a 4.55 during his pro day, and I think had he done that at the combine, he may have gone a round earlier. Thanks to Draft Breakdown, I was able to check out his games against Portland State and North Dakota State. One of these is not actually a state. Unfortunately, it's impossible to know which one.

If you want a safety who is going to lay a punishing hit on anybody coming over the middle, well, Hall probably isn't your guy. He's a bit of a Deion Sanders tackler, as he seems to avoid the big contact and goes for the ankles of running backs. Sometimes it works better than others.
I will admit that he did seem more willing to lay a hit on people during the Portland State game, but there were still examples of him trying to make the tackle with as little contact as possible, and that's not a recipe for tackling success.

He had 13 interceptions in college, but it was tough to judge his coverage skills as Northern Iowa played a lot of soft zone coverages where Hall gave guys plenty of cushion. I can't say whether this was by design or he was super cautious, but I would assume it was more the former than the latter. What I did see was a guy who had a good backpedal and appeared to be fairly fluid in turning his hips when necessary. With that, I think he fits better as a safety than he would as a corner as he seems more used to playing in a zone than man coverage.

Overall, well, it's defensive back tape. There wasn't a whole lot there. He seems like a fairly fluid athlete, and since he played both corner and free safety in college, it wouldn't be too surprising if the Bears saw him in a similar role where he could fill in where they were weakest. I think he's a depth guy to start out, and hopefully he can develop into a starter down the road.

Monday, June 20, 2016

I'm Not Your Buddy, Guy

More often than not, you run into people you don't know. There are many ways to deal with this situation. One of those is to not say anything, another is to say something nondescript, and the final, and by far the worst, is to add a nickname to the person you do not know. There are many examples of this. Personally, I'm quite fond of Chief, but I have heard from people who don't like it. In my own interactions, I'll usually use Man. But there are many others, including pal, guy, friend, and even boss. The worst of these, and it is not even close, is Buddy.

I was reminded of this as I was getting on the elevator today at work. There was a man in the elevator who took a while to get out as he was busy playing on his phone. This wasn't a big deal to me, as I can handle an extra second of inconvenience. Still, the guy felt the need to apologize, saying, "Sorry about that, buddy."

Who the hell does this clown think he is?

I don't know him, and I'm not his buddy. In fact, I'm nobody's buddy. I don't want my closest friends to call me buddy, because nobody over the age of eight wants to be called buddy. So unless you are talking to Will Ferrell's character from Elf, don't call people buddy.

There is a simple solution to this problem. Just don't add any word to the end of your statements. It's an easier and less annoying plan of action. Just say, "Excuse me." If you need something, throw on "Sir" or "Ma'am" as people will just think you kick it old school, and that's never offensive. Don't throw in a buddy, fella, guy, Jimbo, or any other stupid-add on. Trust me, the world will be better for it.

So don't get it twisted. I'm not your buddy, guy.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Cleveland Cavaliers Won't Win Game Six

In a must-win situation, the Cavaliers staved off elimination in game five at Golden State, and people are almost letting themselves believe in the power of LeBron and Kyrie. Here's the thing though, they don't stand a chance in this series, and they won't even win in Cleveland tonight.

I've been meaning to talk about how horrifically overrated the Cavaliers were this postseason, and I really missed my ideal window when they were dominating crappy East teams, but luckily, they gave me one more shot to address it before this season is over. People are talking about how the Cavaliers may have figured out something in Draymond Green's absence, and with Kyrie and LeBron on the same page, they can handle everything the Warriors throw at them, but people are missing the point. Although LeBron and Kyrie were great, it may have been the worst performance the Cavaliers have had. They did absolutely nothing to create shots on offense. It was that same old iso-ball that is not a long-term solution to an offense, and the Cavaliers are going to find that out sooner rather than later.

Now before I get into the negatives, let's quickly talk about their one great positive: LeBron James. LeBron James is incredible. He's the most talented basketball player to ever play in the NBA. Anytime you mention LeBron's greatness, it must always be in comparison to Michael Jordan, but for actual play on the court, LeBron is more comparable to Scottie Pippen. But imagine if Pippen had the damn athleticism of Allen Iverson while being built like Karl Malone. Yeah, it takes three Hall of Famers to describe how gifted LeBron is, so even though Steph Curry is the MVP, LeBron is still the best basketball player on the planet. That alone makes the Cavaliers dangerous.

But in my mind, the Cavaliers are LeBron, and LeBron alone.

Now, this is the part of the program where I openly admit that I am a Kyrie Irving hater. I think he's one of the most overrated players in the NBA. He's still very skilled at certain aspects. He can score. Wait, did I say aspects? I guess I just meant aspect, because he doesn't do a whole lot else very well. He's not a great passer, and I think the whole world knows how porous his defense is at this point. And even though he had a hell of a game 5, he's likely not going to be that hot again in his next 20 games.

And now that we are done with the big two, let's look at the rest of the Cavaliers roster, which is basically the land of misfit toys. They are a bunch of square pegs being pushed into round holes, and that is not a recipe for success.

Matthew Dellavedova - Last year, he got hot at the right time and people bought into a player that isn't very good. His only skill that hasn't deteriorated is that he can foul, so congratulations on that.

Channing Frye - This is where things get interesting, because Channing Frye is a talented player. He can stretch the floor as a big but do poor work on defense. Considering how Kevin Love has played, Frye would probably do better in those minutes.

Richard Jefferson - Jefferson gets a lot of love for being a key cog for the Cavaliers, and that is a major issue, because he would be getting James McAdoo minutes if he were on the Warriors.

Kevin Love - Holy shit has this guy fallen off a cliff. I really hope he is injured, because his play has just dropped off a cliff. But let's not forget how valuable he was early on in the playoffs. Kevin Love is a great NBA player, but this is the worst fit he could possibly be in. If he is your number one or two option on offense, he can make up for his lack of ability on defense. It also helps that his defense goes from "Turn the children's heads away" to "poor" when he is able to contribute on offense. But like I said earlier, the Cavs would probably be better off with Frye, because Love has been downright awful in this series.

Timofey Mozgov - He's really big and can play interior defense. He has no actual basketball skills. Unfortunately, that makes him unplayable for the most part in today's NBA.

Iman Shumpert - Garbage on offense, only above average on defense. Good luck with that.

J.R. Smith - Usually bad, but sometimes he inexplicably catches fire and makes everything. I would say that a big game from Smith is their only hope in game six. Yes, Cleveland, your hopes are contingent on J.R. Smith. That does not sound promising.

Tristan Thompson - Note to self: Make friends with LeBron James.

And that's basically their team. They got one win when everything went right. They got another when Draymond Green was out and their two best players each probably had one of the ten best games of their careers (maybe Kyrie's best), and I just do not see that as a sustainable method for winning. I don't care that the Cavs are at home. This series is over. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Breaking Down the Chicago Bears Fourth Round Pick: Miami Safety - Deon Bush

The NFL Draft has come and gone, and it appears that the Bears have a plan in place. Did I agree with that plan at every twist and turn? No, not really, but I also really enjoyed some of their moves so it all balances out. And they were active, and that definitely made for an exciting weekend. But what's done is done. The picks I like will obviously work out, and hopefully my genius fails me on the picks that I didn't like. So far, I have had the chance to break down:

First Round Pick: Leonard Floyd, Linebacker, Georgia
Second Round Pick: Cody Whitehair, Offensive Guard, Kansas State
Third Round Pick: Jonathan Bullard, Defensive Lineman, Florida
Fourth Round Pick: Nick Kwiatkoski, Linebacker, West Virginia

And today, we take a look at the Bears second fourth-round pick, Deon Bush, a safety out of Miami. As you probably could have guessed from a fourth round safety, he's not some incredible athlete that set the combine on fire. He is nothing special athletically, but doesn't look to be a liability either. Safety is always a tough position to evaluate, as they aren't even on camera half the time from the normal television feed. Luckily, the good people over at Draft Breakdown had the tape from his games against Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh, and Nebraska.

One of Bush's strengths as a safety is that he can come up and make a hit when necessary. There were a few examples where he worked through blocks to impact a running play. This was one where he took the easy way out and just avoided the fullback and took down the quarterback on this failed sweep attempt.

More importantly, he'll lay the wood on a receiver going over the middle.
If that isn't Tyler Boyd going across the middle, that's probably going to be an incomplete pass.

And here's an example of that.
As you can see, for a less talented (white) receiver, they aren't able to hold onto the ball, as he does a very good job of breaking downfield on the receiver and knocking the ball loose.

Maybe the most impressive aspect of Bush is that he clearly has Jesus Christ himself doing him favors.
You can work hard as a safety to make great plays, but it always helps to have the Big Guy on your side.

As I stated, safety tape is limited. Still, from what Bush showed in these games, he has the ability to be a successful safety in the NFL. His athleticism isn't great, but his instincts seem to be there. With the Bears lack of talent on the defensive side of the ball, Bush has the ability to come in and start on day one. I don't think there's pro bowls in his future, but even without elite athleticism, I think he has enough instincts to not be a liability in the secondary. Worst case, he's a special teams contributor, which means he is exactly the type of player you're hoping to find in the middle of the draft. 

Monday, June 13, 2016

Paul Orndorff at the Beauty Salon

Paul Orndorff is one of those wrestlers that never quite caught the right breaks. He feuded with Hogan, but it was early, and it was never at a WrestleMania, so even a guy like King Kong Bundy is remembered more for his feud with Hogan. Speaking of Hogan, Orndorff was nearly given the Hulk Hogan push had Hogan not come back to WWE, and although that sounds great, Orndorff was not the guy to pull that off (which we'll be getting to later). Still, I most remember Orndorff for being one of Hogan's opponents on MicroLeague Wrestling for the Commodore 64.
Hogan's other opponent was Macho Man, so yeah, this was a pretty damn big deal.

Luckily, Orndorff's big push did come during the heyday of Prime Time Wrestling, which is probably the greatest show that WWE has ever produced. It was a late night talk show focused only on wrestling, hosted by Vince McMahon with Lord Alfred Hayes as his sidekick. The best thing they did on these were remote videos with WWE Superstars when they were away from the ring. So where would you find Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff when he was away from the ring? The beauty salon, of course, and everything he did was magical.

Paul Orndorff, whose occupation is basically fighter in the kayfabe world of professional wrestling, is out here going to a beauty salon and getting a mani/pedi and his hair done like a metrosexual twenty years before it became popular. This is a man that was truly ahead of his time. In fact, he was so ahead of his time that he has things done that I'm not even sure are actual services that normal human beings can pay for.

One woman just puts a little lotion on his face, and that is her only job.
Another woman shines his shoes. Mr. Wonderful is wearing sneakers.
And one woman simply fluffs his hair for him. She doesn't cut it, doesn't style it, just fluffs it, and she has to be careful as Mr. Wonderful does not want a single hair pulled for his head.

The man has four women working on him at once, and he makes sure to criticize all of their work. You have to feel bad for hte girl who got stuck doing the manicure, as she has the only real job of the four.

But the best part of this video is that they clearly had one take to get everything in, and they were not going to redo this no matter what happened. This lets Mr. Wonderful go into unscripted diatribes where he starts off on the right road, but then plows through dead end signs and just keeps going hoping that if he drives through a field far enough that he might get back on a paved road.

"This is the kind of treatment that Mr. Wonderful gets. This is the trype of...treatment that he deserves, that he owns, that he has, that he is. He is Mr. Wonderful. I pay a lot of money to have my hair, my nails, my shoes shined. And these ladies right here are who help me. They're the one that make me what I am. They help to make me what Mr. Wonderful really is."

"See? I demand this. I demand every hair in the right place. I demand my nails done perfectly, because I am a perfectionist. I demand my shoes to be done right. That's the way I am. That's the way I am when I step in the ring. That's why this face looks the way it looks...and hair...everything. I make more money on my hair, and my face, and my shoes than most people make...in a year. I spend that in a week."

But even with the flubs, it leads to some brilliant moments. He accuses the manicurist of biting his fingernails while he wasn't looking. Just picture that in your head for a moment. Mr. Wonderful screaming at the shoe girl for not polishing up his sneakers and off to the side, this little blond lady is sneaking in bites of his fingernails. That's amazing. I mean, that's so amazing that I kind of want to get a manicure just so I can accuse a woman of biting my fingernails while I wasn't paying attention.

On top of that, he asks the shoe shiner to spit shine his shoes, and she obliges without a second thought. That is some classic woman demeaning that could only happen 30 years ago. It also leads to this amazing reaction from two of the beauty salon employees and then the shoe shine girl herself.
Finally, Mr. Wonderful is fed up with his treatment at the beauty salon. Although he spends "five hundred to six hundred dollars twice a week," he still cannot buy proper quality. It's truly amazing that he plays the victim as he exclaims that he "doesn't deserve this."

Paul Orndorff's visit to the beauty salon ends the only way it really could have. He leaves without paying.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Ultimate WWE NXT Fantasy Draft Review

With Smackdown moving to a live show on Tuesdays, it appears we are going to have a good old-fashioned brand split for the WWE. Instead of waiting for the WWE to pull off a disappointing draft routine, the ultimate tag team, Lukewarm Jonah and Hott Joe, came together this past week to have an old fashioned WWE Fantasy Draft. Our goal is to create the best possible roster to create a successful, moneymaking product.

We knocked out the main roster in parts onetwo, and three, with a review added at the end. But this week, we focus on NXT. With 73 superstars, we had to break it into two parts, with part one earlier this week and part two yesterday. Today is the conclusion where we discuss our thoughts more in-depth and wrap this thing up.

Jonah: So let's get this started, if you were in my position, how would you have handled the first few picks?

Joe: I think you have to go Balor with the first pick. Since he's been around for a while, people have gotten less impressed since he's not the hot new thing anymore, but he's great in the ring, and The Demon gimmick is about as unstoppable as Goldberg. As for the next two, my preference was American Alpha over Joe and Asuka. I'm not a big Samoa Joe fan. Joe's style is based on him being physically dominant, and I just don't know if he can do that when he gets to the main roster and looks small next to guys like Randy Orton. I would have been really bummed if I would not have gotten Alpha. After that Itami makes total sense, but I'm not an Aries guy at all. Did you have any thoughts on how the first nine picks went down?

Also, as I stated last week, the depth of the main roster shocked me, and this week, the lack of depth in NXT shocked me as well. The draft got really interesting for me at 10, what are your thoughts about those 10-20 picks?

Jonah: NXT is very talent heavy at the top.  I decided to go with Finn Balor.  He's got it all.  The look, the gimmick, the in ring talent.  He's a guaranteed star.  10 is definitely where things got interesting.  The picks up until that point are almost all guaranteed stars.  Outside of the top 10, you realize that there's not a lot of people left.  Alexa Bliss is great, and I love Tye Dillinger and have for years.  I wanted a push for him and Jason Jordan back when they were a tag team.  The Revival is still strong tag team, and they should be a tag team for life.  I see them being successful in the future.  I think No Way Jose needs a serious gimmick change, but he's got a good look and is good enough in the ring.  Nobody likes Mojo, and I think you took him too high.  If he comes with Gronk he may be worth that selection.  Carmella was a good pick and I'm a big fan of Gargano and Ciampa and think they'll be the next wrestlers pushed, especially when you look at the terrible depth in NXT.  I think you did great at building your women's division, but I think I got the better overall talent and my tag team division is extremely strong with my two teams.  What are your thoughts on the 10-20 picks?

Joe: Asked for his comments on Jonah, Mojo Rawley repeatedly screamed, "HE AIN'T HYPE," so tough break for you, Jonah. Because I can reunite the Hype Bros with my roster. I obviously acquired a ton of women's talent, so I'll have plenty of people to squash Rosa Mendes and Eva Marie on the main roster. I'm not totally sure what I think about No Way Jose, but there is something there. He's got likability, and that's a valuable commodity. As for your side, Ciampa's solid, but I feel like Gargano gets a lot of credit just because he came from the indy wrestling scene. It's not like he was really a star in any way, it was kind of a random signing, and somebody they care so little about that he can still wrestle on other cards. Having a couple workers like The Revival is good to have around, but I don't think you got your second tag team until later in this draft. So talk about your favorite pick in the 20s, and if it's not TM 61, talk about them instead.

Jonah: I may not be hype, but I'm still a more talented wrestler than Mojo.  Of course my favorite pick in the 20's is TM 61.  Big time tag team that fell way too far.  In a couple of months they'll probably be challenging American Alpha for the NXT tag team titles.  The Revival can't fight American Alpha every month.  That match they had with Gargano and Ciampa was great and announced their arrival.  Who was your favorite pick in the 20s?  For your picks, I like Andrande Almas, I knew you'd take him, but I thought I might be able to steal him away.  Guy has had a lot of success and will be over pretty quickly.  I also maintain that your pick, Tino Sabatelli, has butt implants.

Joe: I never watched TMDK (now TM 61) in their matches overseas, but they are a ton of fun in the ring. Nick Miller (can we change his name so he doesn't share it with a character on New Girl?) and Shane Thorne both have an overwhelming amount of in-ring charisma. Saying all that, I'm still happy with my decision to take Andrade Almas. He is the hottest of fire in the ring, and if this draft would have happened in a two months, he'd be a top-10 pick. Adrienne Reese has the coolest finisher in wrestling and further strengthens my stranglehold on women's wrestling. And considering that Tino has muscles in places that I don't, yeah, those have to be implants. Are there any other wrestlers that have been on television that stand out to you, good or bad? The next 20 picks were filled with wrestlers we have seen for brief periods in one way or another. Is there anybody that stands out to you, good or bad?

Jonah: I relate Nick Miller with the Nick Miller from New Girl.  I hope that's his entire character.  I like my picks of Peyton Royce and Billie Kay.  They've shown plenty of potential to be the next group of women in NXT.  I also put Liv Morgan in there as well.  I think Blake and Murphy were a great steal for you, but Rich Swann will be a big deal in no more than a few months.  Sawyer Fulton has all the potential in the world if they actually decide to use him.  I also like what I've seen out of Chris Gerard, and I've read great things about him.  Alexander Wolfe has looked good in his TV appearances and I've read some great reviews about him.  Tucker Knight is the one guy I don't really like.  I don't like his look and his in ring skills aren't impressive.  I got to see him win a match and was very underwhelmed by him.

Joe: Jonah, I think what this has taught me more than anything is how damn impressive your optimism is. You typed that, "Sawyer Fulton has all the potential in the world." Were you high when you wrote that? Like, he's fine, but the last time I saw him at a house show, he was in a Heavy Metal tag team with Alexander Wolfe. They were basically The Ascension adjacent. And Rich Swann is fine, but I don't think he's destined to be a big deal, unless Ricochet is secretly wearing Rich Swann's skin all of a sudden. Oh man, now I'm being a negative nancy. Liv Morgan and Mandy Rose are both really hot, and Rose does seem to be finding her character. And Tucker Knight used to wear a duck tape diaper, so mad respect for that. Oh, and I almost forgot Hugo Knox. Not sure if you've seen him, but you will love him, as he is a British bodybuilding club dancer, and it is AMAZING. Do you have thoughts on those final 20 picks? There are some super obscure names in there, although there may be some potential as well.

Jonah: Can I find optimism in the last 20 picks?  Of course I can.  Lots of amateur wrestling accomplishments in both our sides.  Some great foreigners, lots of fun stuff.  Now if you want to know who the greatest of the bunch is going to be it's Babatunde Aiyegbusi.  He's a physical marvel that took the same road to the WWE as Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns, through the Minnesota Vikings.  Jerome Turner is big and has the support of The Rock so he's a guy to watch out for.  Terrance Jean Jaques was an Iowa wrestler and I know that's important, but it's something I feel is teachable.  When you talk about guys who are very impressive based on their appearance I'm going with Dylan Miley.  He looks like a more muscular Rusev.  

Joe: Well, I'll let you be optimistic for both of us, as the only thing I can really add is people are excited about Nikki Storm, but I have only seen her once and couldn't judge a lot off of it.

After 191 picks (118 for main roster), this experiment is finally over. I have to say this has been one of the more fun projects for the blog. I honestly think drug rehab should involve fantasy drafts to replace the highs, because hot damn do I get excited for these things. For NXT, I think it's pretty clear that there will never be a brand split, because I think six months into it, I'd be putting on best-of-7 series with Nakamura and Tucker Knight (it would be a sweep). It seems that 22-25 are the picks we're most excited about. For you, it's TM 61, and for me, I'm already all-in on Andrade "Cien" Almas and Adrienne Reese. Ultimately, I think this one is fairly close, you geared more towards the Indy darlings, and I geared more towards charisma and the ladies. I'm obviously more excited about my roster, but of course I am, I wouldn't have drafted these people if I wasn't.

I don't think we'll ever agree on who had the better main roster, but it's pretty clear that we focused on different things. I focused on mainstream appeal, as I feel that my roster will dominate the second half of the WrestleMania card. With Big Match John, Triple H, Taker, and Brock, the only big match I'm not guaranteed is the World Title match. The downside with my roster is the latter three are part-timers, but I think that could be a benefit as it gives me time to build up guys like Neville and Apollo Crews instead of getting stuck in a rut of main event guys are main event guys and midcard guys are midcard guys.

What are your closing thoughts?

Jonah: Whew 191 picks.  That was fun, I'm glad I found someone as into it as I am.  You have the star power for right now, but as you said your guys are part time.  They're also old as hell.  Undertaker might have one or two more matches in him at most.  Triple H will only wrestle a couple more matches as well, I think at least.  Brock can leave at any time and decide to be President of the United States or whatever his next goal will be.  Cena should be around for another few years, and he's the one I really do feel bad about missing out on, but I missed out on him by taking guys who can main event Wrestlemania for at least the next 10 years.  Don't forget when Cena made his big return this Monday the response was very meh until Styles came out, then the crowd got excited to see the two of them face off.  Owens is just so good at everything.  He's not musclebound, but once he turns face again and is doing planchas to the outside, he'll be hugely over.  Orton is still a huge name, and as you said, Rusev should already be a main eventer and will be around for a long, long time.  The first 16 people that I took are either already main eventing, or are already in the upper midcard.  After that I added lots of talent that has been underused.  My roster is strong top to bottom, from the men's division, to the women's division, to the tag division.  I added to the depth through the NXT draft, but yes we definitely have to keep our rosters together in NXT.  I'd say your draft looks more appealing on paper, but like I said, my first 16 picks are super over and talented.  That's 8 feuds plus an undercard with talented wrestlers.  We are both very strong, and if the draft actually went down this way and had two talented bookers in charge of the roster, the WWE would know what it's like to feel successful again. 

Joe: Can't wait to see how they screw it up.