Monday, February 29, 2016

The 10 Best Things in the WWE: February 2016

Another month and more of the same from the WWE. I had a fascinating conversation with my brother after Fastlane. He enjoyed the PPV, where I could barely pay attention to anything outside of the main event. The reason behind this is that I watch Raw every week, and he hasn't watched Raw in months. The repetitive nature of just about every damn match on that card meant that nothing meant anything, but if it was fresh, it was probably pretty enjoyable (outside of the six-man tag, obviously). WWE has enough talent to have engaging storylines every week, but they don't give anything enough time to actually develop. They want immediate returns instead of planting the seeds for something great down the line, and that is why the product has been stale. But this is an article that celebrates what WWE does well, because it's too easy to do the opposite. Without further adieu, the 10 best things in the WWE for February 2016:

1. Brock Lesnar (Last Month: Unranked)
Anytime Brock Lesnar is on screen, I sit up and pay attention. Everything is brought to a higher level with his presence. He may not get the credit, but he might be the best professional wrestler ever. No, he's not the most technically skilled, but he could be wrestling anyone, and I would give it my full attention. I can't think of a single wrestler he wouldn't put on a great match with. Like, is anyone out there really saying they wouldn't LOVE to see him smash Hornswoggle? I'd probably get physically ill if he chose to destroy Bayley, but I'd watch, and deep down inside, a part of me would enjoy it. He not only put himself at the top of this list but also propelled the other guys in the match along with him.

2. The New Day (LM: 1)
The New Day still rocks, and even though they are likely on their way to becoming good guys, I'm still excited for their future. Feuding with The League of Nations would build some interest, because no other tag team is a viable matchup until American Alpha comes up and takes down everything in their path.

3. Roman Reigns (LM: 6)
It is very hard to be objective with Roman Reigns. Either you follow the WWE's lead and are convinced he is the super savior that this generation needs, or you're a smark who decides that WWE can't tell them who to like and only focus on what he doesn't do well. I'm somewhere in the middle, and closer to the former than the latter. Roman Reigns is fun to watch in his matches, and he continues to have really good matches on big stages. I'd rather appreciate what he does well than what he doesn't.

4. Kevin Owens (LM: 4)
He won back his Intercontinental Title in about the most meaningless way possible, and then he wrestled Dolph Ziggler for the 35th time this month. I still find him to be consistently entertaining, and I am hoping the WWE utilizes him to the full extent for WrestleMania.

5. Shane McMahon (LM: Unranked)
I was never a big Shane O'Mac fan. He's fine and definitely the best wrestler of the McMahons, but he was by no means a good wrestler, just someone willing to take bumps, which, admittedly, is more than I'm willing to do. And I can't say that I'm excited for his match at WrestleMania, because he's kind of old, and The Undertaker is even older. With all that being said, he made a hell of an impact in his first segment, and it did raise my interest in anything the McMahons are doing. I think the play here is that Shane McMahon puts up a good fight with Taker, and after Taker tombstones him 1-3 times, Taker lies on his back and drags Shane over him to purposely lose. That's the way you have to play this, right?

6. Sasha Banks (LM: 2)
She's still great. She'll put on an entertaining match with Becky Lynch next month before moving on to face Charlotte at WrestleMania. They may actually keep my interest in a two-month build, as Sasha was continually building towards things with her feud with Team BAD, followed by taking on Becky Lynch to prep for a match for the title. That is nice work.

7. Dean Ambrose (LM: 7)
Dean Ambrose vs. Brock Lesnar actually has me excited. Sure, it's more for the latter than the former, but still, I'm excited. Ambrose has been on fire these past two months where his wackiness hasn't just been stupidity, but he's more of a crazy person who won't quit. I could get behind that. Still, we'll keep him around here and stay cautiously optimistic.

8. Charlotte Flair (LM: 9)
Sure, she's no Sasha Banks, but she is an effective women's champion. She is the biggest, strongest, most athletic Diva they have, so it's very easy for her to be disliked. Her speaking is a little rough, but she still has the highest potential to do something insane with her athleticism, and she continues to be solid. This is good.

9. Bo Dallas (LM: 5, as member of Social Outcasts)
Bo Dallas breaks into his own this month, as he is always the highlight of the Social Outcasts. Sure, what they're doing is still essentially meaningless, but it's worth paying attention to which gives him an advantage over most of the roster.

10. Dolph Ziggler (LM: 8)
The WWE is bound and determined to make me less and less excited about Dolph Ziggler, but I'm not ready to quit him yet. He had some really good matches with Kevin Owens, but it just wore me down seeing it every week.

And that wraps up this month. Falling off the list is Rusev (LM: 3) who didn't do anything of note, and Sami Zayn (LM: 10) who disappeared after his Royal Rumble appearance. 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Kimberly Page Can't Dance

I've been having old Nitros playing in the background while I'm reading and writing, and occasionally something will catch my eye. One of these things was the debut of the Nitro Girls, but it was not for the obvious reasons. The Nitro Girls came along in 1997, which meant I was 13 years old at the time. This was an age where I started liking girls, but I would never outwardly admit that I liked girls (Note: This stage lasted about a decade). Hence, I was a big Kimberly fan, but as a 13 year old, I would have only described her looks as "Nice body, good hooters." Those words still ring true today, but as I started watching, I realized that Kimberly Page can't dance. Instead of just stating this with no proof, I'm going to break down the video evidence.

She's not that great on the microphone either, but I'm sure that she's happy that she no longer has to be The Booty Babe and hang out with Hulk Hogan's weird hot dog friend. But dancing wasn't really her strength as one of the first moves of the dance routine already made her look like she was moving in slow motion (and also not correctly).
She has no clue what is going on, and this wasn't the only slip up. She is very clearly trying to watch the girl next to her for clues on what she is supposed to be doing.

Literally, any time they brought up the level to professional dancer speed, poor Kim was just lost.
At least here she knows she's behind and tries to cut some corners, but if you're not going to do it right, you shouldn't be doing it at all. Straight arms, Kimmy.

Well, at least, she can throw her hands up, right?
Eh, I guess a shoulder shrug works just as well.

This usually wouldn't bother me. I mean, although I am an aficionado of West Coast Dance, I understand that anyone can have an off night. But this was their debut. This was their make or break moment, and Kimberly went out there and shit the bed repeatedly. On a lot of these moves, it's clear that she's not just slow, but she simply doesn't know the routine. This is unacceptable, and although she was the leader, I'd like to believe the Nitro Girls were a Cheerocracy and not a Cheertatorship. The latter is the only reason she could have stuck around, as any great squad knows that you're only as good as the weakest link.

Kimberly was the weakest link; it's just a shame that the Nitro Girls didn't say "Goodbye."

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Book of Mormon - A Review

I love Mormons. This is almost entirely due to soaking, but still, they're absolutely fascinating to me. Do they believe in some weird stuff? Sure, but that's true of all religions. Hell it's true of any belief system out there. So you may scoff at the idea of American Jesus, but I counter that you can't spell Jesus without US, which may make him the most American of all.

Although it seems as if everyone knows, The Book of Mormon is a musical. When it came out, it won like every award out there for musicals (They're called Tonys, possibly named after my father). Musicals sound very lame; I understand this, but this one was written by the guys from South Park, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, who are not only very funny but who grew up in Mormon country, so they know what they are talking about. This lead to me, for the very first time in my life, being excited about going to a musical.

Now, I must warn you that if you tell anyone that has already been to Book of Mormon that you will be going to it; they will freak out. Every dang person I talked to lit up like it was Christmas morning at the mere mention of this musical.

As for what I thought of the experience, the first thing that excited me were the Mormons standing outside to give us information on JesUS (I'm guessing they omitted the part about black skin being a curse for being evil). But I was shocked when some Mormon dude asked if I wanted to take a picture with a "real-life Mormon," like he was in Times Square dressed like Spiderman. Come on, Mormon, you ain't a dang unicorn; you're just a bland looking white person. Growing up in Iowa, every picture I have looks like it was taken with a group of Mormons.

Anyway, the show itself is great, and it made for a great date night. Although I know about the religion, I didn't know much about the musical itself. I kind of thought it would be more historical and focus on Joseph Smith, and although it touched on that, I was pleasantly surprised with the angle they took for the plot. I laughed my face off throughout the entire thing, and I was still a little jealous of the girl in front of me who was having laughing convulsions towards the end where I thought we may have to call an ambulance.

I had done plays, I had even gone to the ballet, but this was my first musical, and I would definitely go back for more. I used to be gritty, but my evolution (or devolution) into a fancy boy is nearly complete. I think I'm okay with that.

Monday, February 22, 2016

I Would Make Love To Mrs. Renfro

Mrs. Renfro may be the sexiest woman in the world. This, despite me never laying my eyes on anything more than a picture of her. But just a picture of her basically makes her the Sunny of my adulthood (although hopefully less racist). And even though I have never seen her flesh, I have tasted her, and oh my, her taste is impeccable. But enough buildup, feast your eyes on this beauty:
I don't know about you, but I'm all boned up over here.
But let's get down to brass tacks, Mrs. Renfro's Habanero Salsa is the hot sauce that I use for all of my Mexican needs and even some other needs like burgers or straight snacking. It's amazing. It's got a good kick to it without making you feel awful, and the taste is absolutely delicious. It's the only hot sauce worthy of my fantastic meals, and it's at least partially responsible for my wife agreeing to marry me.

But that's not her only amazing product, as the Ghost Pepper Nacho Cheese Sauce should be banned for being highly addictive. The only place I have found it is at a Fresh Market, and even then, they were sold out 2/3 of the time, so when I did see it in stock, I quickly made sure that they would be out of stock by the time I left. Imagine the best nacho cheese sauce you have ever had. Now add ghost peppers. That is what this sauce is. This is what the song Hurts So Good is about, as the taste is amazing, and that burn keeps you wanting more.

I have very strong feelings about Mrs. Renfro and their amazing products (They have tons of stuff, but the only other thing I have tried is the Ghost Pepper Salsa, which is also great). So Mrs. Renfro representative, feel free to leave a comment, hit me up on Twitter (@HottJoe) or email ( and bless me with some product or some sweet swag, as I will gladly wax poetically or become a walking billboard for Mrs. Renfro and her wide array of quality products.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Which Iowa Wrestler Is Going to Win a National Title in 2016?

Last week, I looked at each weight class's #1 ranked wrestler to show how crazy this NCAA Tournament could be. There are a lot of questions remaining, and things are wide open in some of those weight classes. Now it's time to determine which Iowa wrestler is going to rise above their seed and win a National Title in 2016. We'll start from the least likely and move our way on up to the Hawkeye that is most likely to be standing on top of the podium at the end of March Matness.

10. Patrick Rhoads - 165
Is it legitimate analysis to just write, "Haha, nope," and call it a day? I will be excited if Rhoads finds a way to make the tournament. If he got a win once he got there, that would be incredible. But Rhoads simply hasn't shown enough for me to even dream beyond that point.

9. Brody Grothus - 141
This is the only other Iowa wrestler who is a question mark to make the tournament. He's going to need a strong performance at the Big Ten Tournament to qualify, but I think he can do it. Outside of that, it's tough to say what he will do considering he's only had a handful of matches. He can definitely compete with guys, and I think he could be a viable contributor of some points if he gets in the tournament, especially with how weak 141 is as a weight class overall, but he's still got work to do, so I can't put him any higher than this right now.

8. Edwin Cooper - 157
This weight class has two absolute studs in Isaiah Martinez and Jason Nolf, so the chances of a National Title, well, it ain't happening. The key for Cooper in his matches is to start quickly. He's shown to be really dynamic on his feet, but if he gets down, it can get ugly. He really hasn't done much in the world of mat wrestling, from top or bottom, so it is going to be tough for him to find a way to win close matches in the tournament. Still, he's got a few solid wins, and he's taken care of business against guys he should beat. The only time he was really overmatched was against Gantt from NC State, so he has the skills to make an impact. It would take an incredible run for him to even reach AA status, but he has enough potential to put up a few wins and get points for the team battle.

7. Sam Stoll - HWT
This is when we stop looking at straight talent and start looking at the obstacles standing in their way to a National Championship. Sam Stoll has had a hell of a Freshman year, as he has exceeded everyone's expectations for him. Since his first varsity match, he has lost just one time, while racking up nine pins. Oh, and that one loss? That came to the top-ranked Nick Gwiazdowski (which I spelled right on the first try). That's the problem. Nick Gwiazdowski is in this weight class, and although Stoll has beaten good competition, he hasn't beaten great competition. I think he can become an All-American, but his chances of a National Title are minuscule.

6. Alex Meyer - 174
I was very excited about Meyer taking over the starting spot this season, as he showed a ton of promise when filling in last year. If you just looked at his record, you would probably still be excited. He only has two losses, and went undefeated in the Big Ten. That's good, but watching it all play out tells a different story. Meyer has rarely been the attacking wrestler that he was last season. He just hasn't wrestled much top competition this year, and he hasn't blown out guys that aren't on his level. He only had one match where he looked overwhelmed, and that seemed to just be a bad matchup, but wrestling close matches all the time and expecting to always come out on top is not a recipe for success. This is a winnable weight class, as I'm not sold on Nickal being an elite talent (yet, dude is great for a freshman), but Meyer just has too many question marks to pick him any higher than this. Still, All-American status is well within reach, but with a guy who has so many close matches, I could see anything from 3rd place to a 1-2 finish.

5. Nathan Burak - 197
Burak could very easily be undefeated this year, and I still can't put him any higher than this. Burak is the most solid wrestler that Iowa has, as he's not going to make any big mistakes, and he'll wrestle a smart match. But there just isn't enough high-end talent to see him having a great shot at a National Title. Morgan McIntosh and J'Den Cox are elite talents, and I see Burak just below that level. I see him as having a very high floor as I would be shocked if he wasn't an All-American, but I see him peaking around third place, which would be a great finish, but I just can't see that National Title.

4. Sammy Brooks - 184
Sammy Brooks is my favorite current Hawkeye wrestler. He's not the best, but the dude always goes for it whether it works or not. He's wrestled incredibly well this year, as he split a pair of matches with Hayden Zillmer, who is ranked fourth, and he got caught in a pin by TJ Dudley. Outside of that, he lost to David Taylor who is not only ridiculously good, but also graduated two years ago. He can compete with anybody, and I think he has the firepower to win the Big Tens. If he does that, it gets him a top-5 seed, and although beating Gabe Dean won't be easy, he wrestled him tough last year, and if he is aggressive, anything is possible. The chance of him winning a National Title is definitely small, but I'd be surprised if he wasn't an All-American.

3. Brandon Sorensen - 149
Sorensen is ranked as high as any Hawkeye at #2 at his weight class, and had you asked me about this weight class earlier in the year, I may have put him at the top of this list. But since a torrid start, he has slowed down, and Zain Retherford has sped up, as he has absolutely plowed through everyone that has stood in his way. Sorensen, meanwhile, has wrestled closely with guys that he should be blowing out, and it's tough to believe he can come out on top. I don't think Retherford is unbeatable, but Sorensen has to wrestle with reckless abandon if he is going to do enough to come out on top. It's tough for me to predict that when I haven't seen it for months. Still, he's got a great shot of making it to the raised stage on Saturday night.

2. Cory Clark - 133
Last year, I said Cory Clark had the best chance of anybody to win a National Title at his lowest point in the season. I knew how dangerous he could be when he was wrestling well, and he almost proved me right by making the finals before losing to Cody Brewer who was on an absolute tear throughout that tournament. I don't think his chances have gotten any worse, but the guy at the top's chances have gotten better. Clark has only lost one match this year, in Sudden Victory to the guy currently ranked #2, and he did that less than two weeks after suffering an injury that made him pull out of the Midlands. Cody Brewer is still there, and Nahshon Garrett is ranked #1, but Clark is the first guy that I've listed that I wouldn't be surprised if he was a National Champion this year. Everyone up to this point needs some luck, but Clark is legit, and he could definitely take the title at 133.

1. Thomas Gilman - 125
Thomas Gilman, back with a vengeance this year. After he got upset in the semifinals by Zeke Moisey last year, he has come out this year and simply dominated all of his competition. The only reason he is still only ranked second is that the defending national champion, Nathan Tomasello has done just as well this year. They will likely get another match at the Big Ten Tournament, and that will decide who goes in at #1, but the real deal will be who is peaking at the NCAAs. There is some other tough competition in Joey Dance and Nico Megaludis, but Gilman has the firepower and the intensity to overwhelm anyone that he faces. I think this is the year he gets his asterisk.

As for the team side of things, well, it's going to be tough. Penn State is loaded, but some of their top ranked guys are susceptible to upsets. Cael Sanderson has done a phenomenal job of getting his guys to peak at the right time, and Iowa's results have been rather pedestrian in the tournament. They're going to have to outperform their seeds and get contributions from the entire team (minus 165). It's not likely, but it is possible. The Big Tens will be interesting, but the NCAAs will be epic.

I can't wait.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Breaking Down the #1 Seeds in the 2016 NCAA Wrestling Tournament

As an Iowan, it is genetically ingrained in me to love wrestling. I can't help it, and my love of the sport seems to grow with each passing year. Even though my beloved Hawkeyes are on a drought (not winning a National Title since 2010), I am still awed by the sport, as I think it is one of the most action packed events you can watch.

This NCAA season has already been pretty surprising. Kyle Snyder took an Olympic Redshirt, then changed his mind and came back, but instead of wrestling 197, he's wrestling 285 (although his weight will be nowhere near that). Gabe Dean got beat by a guy who wasn't even a starter to begin the season, and Isaiah Martinez, who I thought had a chance to never lose a college match, lost to a Freshman this year. These are just some of the crazy things that have happened in the last few weeks. Wrestling is awesome.

Anyway, I was going through the rankings at each weight class, and it got me thinking how crazy this NCAA Tournament could be. Usually, there are a few guys who you know are going to win National Titles, but this year, it is different, as there isn't a single #1 seed that I would feel confident betting on this year. So I though it'd be fun to look at the #1 ranked guys and see who has the best and worst chance of winning a title this year.

1. 165 - Alex Dieringer, Oklahoma State
As much as it pains me to say this about an Oklahoma State wrestler, if I had to bet on anybody, it would be Dieringer. There is a reason he is looking for his third straight National Title, and it's because he is an absolute beast. 165 is shallow outside of that top 3, so I really don't see anybody tripping up Dieringer before the finals. His biggest competition are the Jordan cousins, Isaac from Wisconsin and Bo from Ohio State, and although both are tough wrestlers, Dieringer's offense gives him a significant advantage when he squares off against them.

2. 149 - Zain Retherford, Penn State
You know how I said it hurt to put Dieringer as having the best chance? Yeah, this might hurt more, because Retherford is currently ranked #1, and Brandon Sorensen from Iowa is ranked #2. Both guys are undefeated, and that should give me confidence in Sorensen's chances, but man, the Zain Train has just been unstoppable. After the top two, the defending National Champion, Jason Tsirtsis from Northwestern, is back, but hasn't quite looked right throughout this season. He is without a doubt a threat, as he's just incredibly good in all positions when he's wrestling at his best. This is going to take a monumental effort to knock off Retherford, which is very unfortunate.

3. HWT - Nick Gwiazdowski, North Carolina State
I nearly put Gwiazdowski in the top spot, but heavyweights are tough to predict as they are so inclined to wrestle close matches. Gwiazdowski has been an absolute hammer for NC State, as he hasn't just won, he's been putting up big points all year long. Still, he's had some close matches, and there is some good competition at this weight. Kyle Snyder's the guy that everybody talks about, and obviously winning a World Freestyle Title deserves a whole lot of respect, but I have doubts he'll make it to the Finals. He didn't win a title at 197 last year, so wrestling at 285 isn't going to make things any easier. I think Adam Coon has the highest potential of anybody outside of Gwiazdowski, but I still think GWizz has a damn good shot of getting through the field unscathed.

4. 184 - Gabe Dean, Cornell
Dean probably would have been on top of this list had I made it a couple weeks ago, but his recent loss to Nolan Boyd has to drop him a little. Still, he's pretty high for not being undefeated, but that shows you how good Dean has been when it matters in March. He wasn't able to overcome Ed Ruth, but he plowed through the field last year. He has close matches, but he always finds a way to come through. There is a ton of depth at this weight class (too many to name), so it won't be easy, but it's tough for me to reasonably pick against Dean without a single monumental talent to take him out.

5. 197 - Morgan McIntosh, Penn State
McIntosh has done everything he can to cement himself as the top guy at 197 this year. Still, there is J'Den Cox sitting there, who won the National Title two years ago. They're both incredibly good, and I definitely favor McIntosh, but not by a whole lot. As a Hawkeye homer, I will note that Nathan Burak wrestles everybody tough and his only loss is controversial as he came very close to a takedown (I thought he had it) in the closing seconds of his match against Brett Pfarr. McIntosh is the best but being the best over and over again isn't easy, so it's far from a guarantee that he'll pull it off.

6. 133 - Nahshon Garrett, Cornell
This may have been the hardest guy to place in these rankings. Garrett moved up from 125 this year, and he has dominated everyone he has faced. However, he hasn't faced a ton of the top guys at this weight class, and considering he never won the title at 125, Also, the defending national champion, Cody Brewer, is back this year. Garrett got the better of him when they faced off earlier in the season, but Brewer was one of the most dominant forces in the NCAA Tournament last year, so I'm not ready to count him out by any means. This doesn't even include Zane Richards and Cory Clark who are both incredibly tough and could definitely reach the finals. Garrett is great, but it's tough to have a lot of confidence in him with how strong the top of this weight class is.

7. 157 - Jason Nolf, Penn State
Nolf has been ridiculously good this season. He's not only undefeated, but he's also putting up bonus points like it ain't no thang, when it most certainly is a thang. No offense to Ian Miller, but the only real question on whether Nolf can win this National Title is getting through Isaiah Martinez from Illinois. I honestly thought that Martinez was the best wrestler at any weight class coming into this season, so my jaw dropped when I saw that he not only lost but got pinned by Nolf when they met earlier this season. Martinez looked off in that match in that he got down early, panicked, and possibly even gassed out trying to come back in a single move. The Big Ten Tournament is going to answer a ton of questions at nearly every weight class, but never is that more true than here. If Nolf wins again, he shoots up to the top of this list, but if he loses, it's likely him and I-Mar will have a rubber match in the finals of the NCAAs.\

8. 174 - Bo Nickal, Penn State
Penn State's other super freshman, although I don't see Nickal on the same level as Jason Nolf. Nickal has been crafty and has only suffered one loss in a weak division. Still, he's not physically overwhelming, and there are those chances of him slipping up well before reaching the finals. As to who is going to beat him, on that, I really don't have much of a clue. There's a lot of guys that could rise up, but Nickal is still probably the favorite, just because nobody else has been all that impressive either. This is probably the most wide open weight class in the nation, but Nickal deserves to be the favorite.

9. 125 - Nathan Tomasello, Ohio State
Not much faith in Tomasello repeating as a National Champion, and he has really given no reason for me to doubt him, but Thomas Gilman of Iowa has been wrestling ridiculously well the entire season, and I see that matchup as a coin toss. Maybe that's me being a homer, but Tomasello isn't untouchable, and 125 is incredibly deep. Outside of him and Gilman, Joey Dance and Nico Megaludis are both legitimate threats, and Tomasello is going to have to be his peak abilities to overcome everyone in this weight class.

10. 141 - Dean Heil, Oklahoma State
This was a tough one, as this is what I believe to be the weakest weight class in the nation, and because of that, they have the weakest #1 ranked guy in Heil from Oklahoma State. Now, I still must say that Heil is definitely a tough wrestler; it's just that I'm never overwhelmed by his performances. I just don't think there is much that separates 1-10 at this weight class, and there are plenty of opportunities to slip up before finding himself on top of the podium. Kevin Jack and Joey McKenna are the best alternatives at this weight, but this is the weight class where I could see somebody coming from out of nowhere to make a run at the title.

The elephant in the room is the team race. Currently, Penn State has four top-ranked guys and are the clear favorites for the team title. But the beauty of March Matness is the unpredictability. This year should have no shortage of that. It makes me happy to be a wrestling fan, because otherwise, there is like NOTHING going on in college sports in the month of March.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Natural Light, I Love You

Outside of the WWE, there is no #Brand that I have more affection for than Natural Light. I have waxed poetically about Natural Light here, here, and here. Oh, and also here. And how could I forget here? And then there's here. That should do it...wait, here's one more (there are actually more where I dropped in compliments; these are just the most prominent posts).

I love Natural Light. Nearly all of the most fun times I have had in my life have had Natural Light prominently involved. Is it the best beer I've ever had? No, it's not. But it is the best beer to have. It's perfect in so many ways.

It falls in this beautiful area where it's cheap but the Hipsters really haven't attached themselves to it. Not only that, but it's always easy to call out posers when they try hate on Natural Light. I have had this exchange every time I have Natural Light.

Poser: Natural Light, ugh, I can't believe you can drink this stuff.
Me: It's awesome beer, why is that so hard to believe?
Poser: It tastes like shit.
Me: Natural Light barely tastes like anything. You've never had Natural Light, have you?
Poser: Uh...
Me: Yep, that's what I thought.


Also, Natural Light is a great way to make friends. Good, salt of the Earth people have gone through some weekends of pounding back some Natural Lights. They may have lost their way as the years went on, but they are always excited to see a guy going to a backyard BBQ or Rose Bowl with 12 Nattys by his side.

Finally, I've mentioned this before (probably numerous times), but nothing bad happens when you drink Natty Light. You can have 1, you can have 10, you can have 100, and you can only reach a safe level of drunkeness that keeps you fully aware of the good times with the ability to impress the ladies.

I love Natural Light, and I want Natural Light to love me. I know that the good people at Natty Light Headquarters can't send me 30 packs as a gift, but I know they have swag. Sweet, sweet swag. Maybe a t-shirt, maybe a hat, or maybe a gi (which would be THE coolest thing ever), but come on Natty Light representative, show me some love. Hit me up on Twitter (@HottJoe) or by email (, as I have already pledge my allegiance but want to walk proudly in swag to let everyone know that I'm ALL NATURAL...Light.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Spoiled Florida Wrestling Fan

Florida has a lot of great attributes. As a person from Iowa, the biggest thing is that it is warm, because, especially this time of the year, living up north is the absolute worst. But as a wrestling fan, the second greatest aspect of living in Florida is that it is the headquarters of WWE's developmental system, which means I get an abundance of great minor league wrestling. Since I have lived my entire life without it, I know how blessed I am. However, some Florida fans are getting a tad entitled with how great things have been.

Now, obviously this is most obvious at the NXT Tapings in Orlando. These people went from not giving a crap about FCW in Tampa, to needing WWE Superstars to attend before they would support NXT, to now feeling as if they are the best fans in wrestling, because they chant through matches. Having NXT putting on ridiculous shows is definitely spoiling them, and it is good that NXT is traveling now, ecause the entire world deserves to see this.

This, of course, irritates the shit out of the Florida wrestling fan, as they feel like they are getting the short stick when really, they are still getting the longest stick; it's just that others now get to pull sticks as well. They have already lost out on the biggest Takeover events, and it's probably just a matter of time before they lose out on all of them and are left with just the tapings. It just makes sense to put it in front of 5000 people instead of 500.

And this transition really hit me last weekend when I went to an NXT house show in Largo at The Minnreg Hall (basically the ECW Arena of Western Florida). Because NXT has expanded to the point where they were not only doing a house show in Florida, but also one up in Pittsburgh, PA. At that show, they had Finn Balor, Samoa Joe, Bayley, and most importantly, American Alpha. That left us with Asuka, The Hype Bros, and Bull Dempsey may have been the only non-jobbers on the show. And Bull Dempsey just got fired, so it wasn't a stacked card.

Despite that, it's still a lot of talent. I mean, you're not finding many independent shows with a better roster than the B-show for NXT. Not only did I get to see one of Bull Dempsey's last matches, but I got to see Alexander Wolfe and Angelo Dawkins, and even Blake and Murphy without being distracted by that vixen, Alexa Bliss.

Speaking of Blake and Murphy, them being on the B-Show really gave them a chance to shine, and shine they did. They main evented against the Hype Bros and were CLEARLY having a competition on who could bump more ridiculously throughout the match. It was phenomenal.

So yeah, maybe the card on paper kind of sucked, but I got to see Asuka kick the crap out of a girl, Zack Ryder be a triumphant Broski, wrestlers representing all sorts of foreign countries, and Blake and Murphy steal the show. That's a really great night of wrestling, and even a spoiled wrestling fan should appreciate that.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

I Have No Idea Who To Hug

I am 31-years-old, and I still have no idea what to do in most social situations. I usually do fairly well despite not truly knowing what I'm doing. But if there is one situation where I am a bumbling buffoon, it is how to greet and say goodbye to people. Basically, I have no idea who to hug.

There are some simple situations. If I don't know a dude, bam, handshake, nothing more, nothing less. It is probably my favorite interaction simply because I actually know what to do. 

Then there are the males you are close to in your life. My Dad is the only male that I can guarantee gets a full hug from me. Some good friends get a full hug, and some only get a bro hug. Where is that line crossed? Shit, I have no clue, and this can lead to my first awkward interaction. If I go for a bro hug, and he goes for a full hug, I could seem like I do not value the friendship enough, and it is much more that I am too awkward to figure out how to interact with people. But seriously, thank god for the bro hug for giving me something between a hug and handshake, because there really needed to be that middle ground. Still, interactions with the fellas rarely end in disaster.

Now, much like all of my interactions with the opposite sex, there is always a chance of it ending in disaster. Who do I hug without coming across as a pervert? This is a question that has plagued mankind for generations. 

With people from work, it always starts with handshakes, but eventually, you do develop a friendly relationship, and what is the point where you give a female coworker a hug for special situations (obviously, you don't give handshakes and hugs to people you see very day; that would be exhausting). I have no idea where this line is crossed. The President of where I currently work went to give me a hug at our Christmas party, but I had already gone for the handshake, and it ended up with me believing I would be fired by the end of the day. I went out of my way to give her a hug later and probably saved my job at the process.

With female friends and acquaintances, it is almost too complicated to fully comprehend. At what point do ladies go from a handshake to a hug? Like, if I am meeting an acquaintance's significant other, I can only greet with a handshake, but after conversing with them, do I end with a hug? And how good of a friend does my buddy need to be for me to greet his lady with a hug despite never meeting her before? Are they going to think I'm a pervert? I really don't want to be labeled a pervert, but I also don't want to be the weirdo who only shakes ladies' hands. These are the thoughts that keep me awake at night.

Anyway, I'm really hoping that I'm not the only person who struggles with this. Maybe we could start a support group and figure this shit out together. Oh God, I just realized how big of a loser I am, because I basically want to create The Game, but instead of having sex with women, it's just to figure out handshakes and hugs. Thank God I'm already married, because I am not a catch.

Monday, February 8, 2016

My Goal for 2016 - Free Stuff

Me and this blog have been on one hell of a non-lucrative ride (probably because I still don't know to write, "This blog and I"), but I feel like 2016 is the year for this to change. I'm not going for ads on the site; instead, I'm going for straight pandering. You see, there are things that I love out there, but I'm still paying for them, which is incredibly unfortunate. That is why I am going to write lovingly about my favorite #Brands in the hopes that they will send me some free product or merchandise. On top of this, you will get exposed to the very best that this world has to offer. And trust me, it won't be expensive, because I am cheap as shit.

We'll officially begin next week, but for now, I'd like to tell my friends at Lamborghini that they make an incredible car, but if Ferrari wants my undying support, I could probably be bought with a simple keychain...attached to keys...for a brand new Ferrari.

(Editor's Note: I also put this on my dream board, so it's bound to happen)

Thursday, February 4, 2016

I Am Awesome With Toddlers

I am terrified of babies. They're basically the worst. I mean, the only reason people have babies is in the hope that they grow out of it and become a human. If somebody told parents that they had a permanent baby, would anybody blame them for putting that baby on a raft and floating them down the river? There's a good chance Moses's Mom was told this, panicked, and got rid of his ass.

Oh, anyway, although babies suck. They almost always do grow out of it and become humans. The first stage of this evolution is becoming a toddler. With babies, I am an awkward mess, because they are sub-human, but with toddlers, they are grown up enough to appreciate my humor while not being old enough to realize that I'm actually an idiot loser.

I learned of my skills over the holiday season as I got to hang out with a two and three-year-old. At first, I thought I would be able to ignore both of these children and play with the family dogs, but neither one was having it.

At the first house, I met the two-year-old (I had met him as a baby, but that didn't count, because he wasn't a real person yet), and right away, he could tell that I knew how to party. He immediately gave me a toy dog, instructed me that it needed to ride on a cart, and I needed to take that dog on the cart to chase him around the house as he rode his trike. Real talk, I could have chased this kid around all day and not got tired out, because he is a child, and I am a full-grown man. But having to chase him around while bent over and holding a dog on this vehicle while sliding around on hardwood floors in dress socks was a very tiring experience. I needed a damn water break, but eventually I got him to quit.

After that, we all ate some well needed lunch. For my chasing efforts, I earned some bits of chicken nuggets that I declined, because there was a 100% chance that his hands had recently been in poop. I don't know how long kids poop themselves, but I do know that they play with it well past that age, so I thanked him for the offer but stuck to my sandwich.

After that, it was time to check out what he got for Christmas. This is where toddlers struggle a bit, because they're too young for video games, although that may work in my favor, because I haven't played video games in years, so I would likely be terrible at them. Anyway, we started playing with a toy record player, and then started just taking toys out of their packaging, just so we could repack them, and then unpack them again. After the 15th time we did that, he started to get bored with it, so he started sprinting around. I sat on the floor with my legs flat in front of me, and the little guy tripped right over them. He fell pretty hard; I laughed, and he then had his new favorite game. This little fella just kept on sprinting around and tripping over my legs; he must have done it two dozen times. Much like me, toddlers are entertained by the simple things in life.

But after the little guy went for a nap, my day with toddlers was still not done.

It was time to party with a 3-year-old child, and party with him I did. I said hello to the adults, but adults are boring, so I went straight to playing, because this kid had some awesome toys. We started playing Superheroes where Spiderman teamed up with Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman to capture The Joker. He also built an alligator out of legos that was wreaking havoc all over the house as it was chomping on everyone.

But the main event was Ironman hands that glowed and made cool sound effects. I was a little jealous that I didn't get to be Ironman, but this gave me the chance to use the most fun toy of all, my imagination. I threw on a pair of sunflower glasses that were laying around and transformed into Flower Man. I even had a catchphrase, "Time to Grow," and used it every time I got up off the ground. It was pretty awesome but also exhausting as I had to throw around a child, but then pretend that he could actually take me in a fight (I could have easily taken him). I let him kill me a half dozen times to try to end the game, but he kept demanding that Flower Man come back to life. I even hid the glasses, but the little bugger found them, and we resumed fighting. Finally, I brought in the most evil villain I know, my wife, to tell us that play time was over. That way she's the bad guy, and I'm the cool guy.

Overall, I would not recommend having back-to-back play dates with toddlers as an adult. First off, because I think that setting something up like that is probably illegal, and second, it's pretty damn exhausting. Those kids got to take naps when we were done; I had to be social with other adults. Life isn't fair, but I'm not going to be a baby about it. Because babies suck, but toddlers are pretty cool.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

My Review of Top Golf

I'm in my 30s, married, a dog but no kids, so I basically live the most boring existence imaginable to the outside world. Now, this works great for me, as I love just hanging out during most weeks, as I love my wife and dog (sometimes not in that order) very much, and I'm a pretty chill dude so hanging out, getting my ass kicked at an MMA gym and going about my day are good days for me. Plus, although I'm chill most of the time, I do it big with things like WrestleMania, Grapple on the Gridiron, and the Rose Bowl. Still, my wife needs to be involved in activities, so both of us are always keeping an eye out for possible date nights. That is why I was very intrigued when my buddies mentioned Top Golf being a cool place and me realizing that there was one only about a half hour away. So, I ditched the dog, gathered up the old lady, and went out to show my wife what a dominant golfer I can be.

Here's the thing about me: I was probably made to be white trash. I don't really care about my appearance, to the point that I have gone out to meet people with my wife and had blood stains on my shirt...multiple times. I don't care about the nicer things in life, because I'm really not that picky. That being said, I'm always surprised when I go to nice places. Golf places have to be nice, because golf people somehow all act like they went to Duke. They're entitled douchebags with racist undertones, so they need to pretend they're fancy. The nice thing about Top Golf is that it is really nice, but had a variety of people there that made it not as pretentious as most places that appeal to golfers. I saw grandparents hacking away with their grandchildren, dudes just out drinking beers, and I also saw a lot of people who looked like they were cosplaying Rory McIlroy, so yes, there are still douchebags there.

Still, a three story driving range with electronic targets to keep score add some necessary excitement to the game of golf. After acquiring player cards, they sent us up to the third floor, because they could tell that we were a couple of,, that doesn't quite work, how about club aficionados, yeah, that'll work. Anyway, we go up there, slide are card in and let the games begin.

Now, I had one strategy going in, and strategy is a word I use very loosely, because I wanted to smash golf balls. Grip it and rip it as the fellas on the links like to say. On my second shot, I sailed the ball 250 yards with just a slight hook to the left. It was a beautiful shot. Unfotunately, the deeperst target is 215 and slightly to the right from where I was, so my ball sailed over, and I got zero points.

On my wife's first attempt, she missed not the ball not once, not twice, but three times as she struck out in golf. She then hit a little dinker that manged to get near one of the targets and get her 4 points. I would say that this was the story of the day, but she actually got better as the day went on and hit everything straight as an arrow. I usually slice everything, but on this day, I hooked everything, and we were one of the furthest boxes to the left, so it was not my day to score points.

I got my ass handed to me. I found every way to miss the targets, and she just kept hitting them straight as an arrow towards those targets and kept putting up points. It was super aggravating, but instead of changing my strategy, like an intelligent person, I just kept gripping tighter and swinging harder, and hooking that ball violently to the left.

Luckily, Top Golf is not just golf, as we also got ourselves some BMs (Bloody Marys), and they had a pretty extensive bloody mary bar, so I decided to live by the motto of "Treat Yo Self" and had some celery, some bacon, a pickle, some Tabasco, a little Worcestershire, pepper, and Lawry's to really bring my BM to the next level. Also, since drinking was involved, I can just claim my wife is an alcoholic and has a higher tolerance than me, and that is why she kicked my ass so badly.

So, yeah, I got my ass handed to me by my wife in the competition (and I never let her win, so I am not even going to attempt to claim that), but it was still a good time. Oh, and next time, I'm going to be totally focused on my wife's annihilation, and no Grandparent, dude, or even a cosplaying Jordan Spieth will be able to save her.

I'll probably get destroyed again.

Monday, February 1, 2016

The 10 Best Things in the WWE: January 2016

I am 31 years old; I still watch pro wrestling. This is never a point in my favor, but I'm basically an addict at this point. It's not always good; in fact, it's usually not all that good, but when it is good, it can be one of the greatest things produces on television, and that's what I keep holding on to. Still, most of it sucks, but it's easy to focus in the negative; instead, I want to focus on the positive, so here are the ten best things in the WWE this past month (Note: I will only focus on the main roster, as nearly everything about NXT is great).

1. The New Day 
No self-respecting list could start with anything but The New Day. They're amazing. Just hearing them do their intro immediately puts a giant smile on my face, as I know I am about to feel real emotions and true love for a part of the WWE product. They have shown that they can hold their own with any wrestler that has ever been on the roster on the mic, and their work speaking should not overshadow their work in the ring, as Kofi and Big E complement each other incredibly well. I never thought I would be a huge Xavier Woods fan, but I am a huge Xavier Woods fan as the man has learned his niche and is incredibly entertaining without being totally distracting. New...Day Rocks.

2. Sasha Banks  
Just seeing Sasha Banks start walking out at the Royal Rumble overfilled my heart with joy. Sasha is the best female wrestler they have, and even though the talent has increased a ton with the Divas Revolution, it's still not all that close. She compels the crowd to the point that anytime there is a Divas match without Banks, everyone is wondering, "Where's Sasha?" She's got a lot going on right now as she's taking on Becky, wants to challenge Charlotte and is creating a riff between herself and Team BAD. The good news is that we won't have to wonder where Sasha is for the foreseeable future.

3. Rusev 
This is a man who speaks multiple languages, but did he learn these skills with an easy upbringing? No, he had to throw kids off the school bus, so there was enough room for him so he could go to school and learn. If you can get past the fact that he has an accent, you will learn that he is maybe the second most creative speaker in the entire company. He is my hero; he is your hero; he is even Putin's hero. All hail Rusev.

4. Kevin Owens 
He is consistently entertaining in and out of the ring, which makes him a rarity in the WWE right now. He's proof that a guy who is successful in a variety of organizations all over the country can also find success in the WWE. He hadn't debuted in NXT at this point last year, and now he is probably the likely opponent for Undertaker at WrestleMania, and is totally deserving of that opportunity.

5. The Social Outcasts 
This is mostly due to Bo Rida, who spit hot rhymes at Flo Rida and basically destroyed him in a rap battle that was designed for Bo to lose, but he BOlieved, and it was phenomenal. But at least they are doing something with those guys, and because they don't matter, they have freedom to do absolutely anything, which gives them more room to do something that truly stands out.

6. Roman Reigns 
I know everybody wants to shit on Roman Reigns, because. DURR the WWE can't tell me who to like, but just disliking the guys that WWE wants to push to prove how smart you are isn't all that productive either. Is he entertaining on the mic? No, not really, but he has been putting on good matches for a while, and objectively, he is pretty cool. He's a freakin' Samoan in SWAT gear. That's cool.

7. Dean Ambrose 
I am what you would call a Dean Ambrose hater, but that match at Royal Rumble was awesome, and that alone can put him on this list. Ambrose is not a guy who is made to appeal to me, but I can still understand some of the appeal, and he's fine, just not one of my favorites.

8. Dolph Ziggler 
He's still good in the ring, but it's tough to get too excited for him when you know that nothing that he is going to do will matter AT ALL. 

9. Ric and Charlotte Flair 
It's not the best Ric Flair. Hell, it's not the best Charlotte Flair, but I'm still interested when they're on TV, and that is way more than I can say for most of the Divas division. Becky Lynch does deserve some credit here, but not quite enough to include a third Diva in the Top 10.

10. Sami Zayn 
Yeah, this is kind of cheating, but he did make one appearance, so that does make him eligible. His one appearance was fun where they reminded everyone that Zayn and Owens still hate each other, but I doubt we will be seeing him on these rankings again anytime soon. 

These rankings are absolutely subjective, so feel free to let me know what I got wrong in the comments.