Thursday, June 30, 2016

Would You Still Have Sex With Sunny?

As a fan of the WWE during the Attitude Era, Sunny held a special place near and dear to my heart, well, the place was more prominently below the heart, but you get the idea.  Let's not forget how big of a deal she was. She was the most downloaded woman on AOL. That is a way more important title in discussing Hottest Woman in the World than a Miss Universe Pageant.

That was 20 years ago, and like all of us, Sunny has aged. With that she has also lived a pretty rough life. Her husband died young, she has been in and out of jail, and she has now gotten into pornography to make some extra cash. With all of that, it's not exactly a surprise that she has not aged gracefully.

Still, it's Sunny. This was the most downloaded woman on the dang internet. So the question becomes, would you still have sex with Sunny? Now, as a married man, my answer is obviously no, but that's a boring excuse, so for argument's sake, let's say I was still a single dude.

I mean, she's lived a hard life, and it definitely shows. It's not like she's a sexy cougar, she's just an old lady at this point. But that's comparing her more to the Sunny ideal than a standard test. If this wasn't Sunny, I think I would find her much more attractive at her age, but I've seen what she used to be (and it was during a time where I was very impressionable when it came to the ladies), so she unfairly gets downgraded in people's minds. Let's give her another shot (where I don't look for the worst possible picture to prove a point) with the most recent picture I could find which was her trying to sell her Hall of Fame ring.
Alright, alright. I can get behind that (accidental sexual innuendo, hey-o!).

But let's check Wikipedia to go over those arrests again (real name Tammy Sytch).

In 2012, Sytch was arrested five times in a four-week span, for disorderly conduct, third degree burglary, and three counts of violating a protective order. She was arrested a sixth time in January 2013, also for violating a protective order. Sytch served 114 days in jail and was released in May 2013...In January 2016, Sytch pleaded guilty to driving while under suspension-DUI related charges stemming from three separate arrests in May and June 2015.

Yeesh. That is not ideal. But there are certainly no deal breakers there.

Let's face it, Sunny wasn't just a random hot chick, she was the ideal woman of my adolescence, so of course I would still have a go at it with Sunny. She ain't what she used to be, but none of us are. But Sunny's still got it, and that's why it'll always be Sunny in my bedroom.

The only issue, and it was an issue that plagued me during my single days when it came to women, is that Sunny probably doesn't want to have sex with me. 

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 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.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Ultimate WWE NXT Fantasy Draft - Part 2

With Smackdown moving to a live show on Tuesdays, there are plenty of rumors about an upcoming 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. So let's see what Jonah and I did for part two.

36-37. Jonah selects Sara Lee and King Constantine
Sara Lee, female winner of Tough Enough, great prospect.  Already known to a large audience from being on Tough Enough.  Now we’re getting really deep into the draft.  Joe had the advantage living in Florida, but I tried to come out swinging.  King Constantine is the total package.  Number one, he’s got an awesome name, he’s shredded as all get out, he’s a multiple time medalist in amatuer wrestling, and he’s an evil Russian.  After a year or two more of developing he’ll be ready to make his main roster debut and Putin will have probably declared war on us by then.

38-39. Joe selects Hugo Knox and Chris Girard
Chris Girard is a classic indy guy who is getting his chance in the WWE. He's going to be a good worker, and we'll see what he can blossom into when given an opportunity. Hugo Knox is a bodybuilding Brit who likes to dance. That is my jam right there. I laugh every time I see him, but it's definitely laughing with him, because he's basically dancing like he's at the club in the middle of the ring. He'll likely remain as the guy that I love way more than anybody else, but I'm still good with that.

40-41. Jonah selects Riddick Moss and Alexander Wolfe
I actually did my research on these guys.  Riddick Moss is endorsed by Finn Balor.  If Finn says you’ll be good, I believe him.  He’s also 6’2” 250 lbs. So Finn says he can wrestler and he’s got a good look.  Alexander Wolfe has made it on tv a few times as an enhancement talent, but he’s gotten in some offense.  I’ve read a lot of people praising his work, and he’s also the only German to be employed by the WWE so he expands my market into Germany as well.

42-43. Joe selects Aliyah and Thomas Kingdon
Aliyah is another attractive lady who is super young but has gotten a decent amount of matches for her age. She was highlighted on Breaking Ground, and it's clear that the WWE is excited about her potential. Kingdon is just a massive human being. No clue about anything else that he brings to the table.

44-45. Jonah selects Dylan Miley and Josh Woods
Holy crap have you seen Dylan Miley?  He’s 6’3” 285 lbs. Built like Rusev.  He’s raw, but he certainly has the look of a freaking monster.  Josh Woods has a good look, like the partial mask he wears during his entrance, then takes off after his entrance.  He’s also a 4 time All American, and a former National Champion.  That screams superstar to me.

46-47. Joe selects Bronson Mathews and Tucker Knight
Bronson Mathews won Tough Enough and seems to be really disliked by almost everyone in the WWE. Welp, we're at pick 46, so what else do you want me to do? Tucker Knight originally had trunks that looked like a diaper wrapped with duck tape. I think he got rid of those, but he was the only guy left who has gotten TV time, so I think that is worth it.

48-49. Jonah selects Jeet Rama and Kishan Raftar
I felt kind of bad not taking Tucker Knight since he’s from my hometown of Portland, Oregon, but I’m just not sold on him.  Jeet Rama is a big dude with an athletic background and a sick moustache.  He’s also Indian and teams with fellow Indian Kishan Raftar.  Raftar is also a big guy who was an amatuer wrestling background.  Most importantly, they’re Indian.  If The Great Khali can get India interested, imagine what these two can do.

50-51. Joe selects Gzim Selmani and Sunny Dhinsa
So these guys are actually a tag team, and they have these awesome masks that they wear out to the ring. They are basically Executioners. I have watched them wrestle the Ealy Brothers, and it wasn't very good. Then I watched them against TM 61, and it was really fun. There's something here, so we'll see how far they can go.

52-53. Jonah selects Chris Atkins and Dallas Harper
What happens when you look up Chris Atkins?  You find a picture of him flexing making Arnold look tiny in comparison.  He was also trained by Sgt. Craig Pittman, and he’s Australian but clearly cooler than Murphy.  Dallas Harper made his debut by talking down to the crowd and telling them that he’s 6’9” and oh so fine.  That kind of confidence gets you a spot on my roster.

54-55. Joe selects Dan Matha and Nikki Storm
Dan Matha is a large human being. That’s really all I know about him. Nikki Storm tore it up on the independents and once she debuts, she’s probably going to get a significant push to make an impact. I feel stupid for letting her fall this far, but I’m happy to have benefitted from her falling.

56-57. Jonah selects Daria and Kenneth Crawford
Daria was also on Tough Enough and is a former MMA fighter.  That bodes well for her technical abilities.  She’s also apparently friends with Maria Menoudos, so I assume they’ll be future partners in a Wrestlemania match.  Kenneth Crawford was a marine and I’m a big mark for former military members.  USA USA USA.

58-59. Joe selects Cezar Bononi and Noah Kekoa
I’ve never seen Bononi wrestle, but I did once see him cut a promo. It wasn’t good, but English is at least his second language, and even though he struggled a little, he powered through, so I was pretty impressed with the big man from Brazil. Noah Kekoa got beat up on NXT television a few weeks ago, so he is a wrestler that exists.

60-61. Jonah selects Uriel and Gabriel Ealy
Identical twins and they’re a tag team?  Look out Bashams and Neo Nazis who are in charge of TNA’s production here come the Ealys.  Once they get called up they’re definitely squashing the Usos to establish their dominance.

62-63. Joe selects Mada and Steve Cutler
Mada was on Tough Enough. Did he win? Well, no. Second place? Nope. Third? Nah. I honestly don’t even remember how early he was eliminated at this point, but he’s a big dude, and it doesn’t get much better at pick 63. Steve Cutler was in the military, I think I heard that somewhere, so let’s go for it. I’ll also make up that he’s cousins with Jay Cutler. The bodybuilder, not the quarterback.

64-65. Jonah selects Babatunde Aiyegbusi and Carolyn Dunning
I was more excited than anyone should ever be about drafting Babtunde Aiyegbusi.  There was a lot of hype about him last year.  In the wrestling world?  No, in the NFL when he signed with the Minnesota Vikings.  Clearly that didn’t work out but he’s a physical freak and that’s never a bad thing.  Carolyn Dunning was a model and a bodybuilder.  Like Joe says, can’t have enough good looking women on your roster.

66-67. Joe selects Terrance Jean-Jacques and Danielle Kamella
Terrance Jean-Jacques is a former Iowa wrestler, so he’s totally my jam. He only lasted a year, but enough Iowa rubbed off on him to become the third NXT champion with Iowa ties. Maybe you’ve heard of Seth Rollins and Big E Langston? Yeah, Iowa people are the best. Danielle Kamella has done a bunch of media things, so she should have some charisma on the microphone.

68-69. Jonah selects Jerome Turner and Bianca Blair
Jerome Turner was signed because The Rock said they should sign him, The Rock.  He’s big and a former boxer.  Also, The Rock.  Bianca Blair will be the number one heel in all of professional wrestling within a year.  She’s a crossfitter.  The gimmick I will give her is that of a crossfitter who talks about nothing but crossfit.  Straight cash homey.

70-71. Joe selects Adrian Jaoude and Nikola Bogojevic
Jonah, saying a crossfitter who talks about nothing but crossfit is redundant, as that is the very definition of a crossfitter. Anyway, these are foreigners with amateur wrestling backgrounds, so I’m guessing at least one of them will be the next Iron Shiek. Also, I didn’t want ZZ. God, I am so happy to not have ZZ.

72-73. Jonah selects Macey Estrella and ZZ Loupe
Macey Estrella has a professional wrestling background and was on the SWAT team and a former marine.  Again, I mark for the troops and being a SWAT team member her gimmick is Michelle Rodriguez from SWAT.  ZZ Loupe was the last person available.  He’s famous so I guess that’s a good thing.

We'll be back tomorrow for our final review.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Ultimate WWE NXT Fantasy Draft

With Smackdown moving to a live show on Tuesdays, there are plenty of rumors about an upcoming 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 one, two, and three, with a review added at the end. But this week, we focus on NXT. With 73 superstars, there is plenty of guys to go through, so we'll break it down to two parts with a review to follow. Let's kick it off with part one. Since I had first pick for the main roster, Jonah selects first for NXT.

1. Jonah selects Finn Balor
The number one pick in an NXT draft is very tough.  There’s a few people who are guaranteed superstars.  I went with Finn Balor for his ability to work both face and heel, a great look, great matches, and that sweet entrance music and awesome entrance.  On my show I’m paying Marvel and DC whatever they need so Finn can cosplay as actual characters instead of being Venom but being called a demon.

2-3. Joe selects Shinsuke Nakamura and Bayley
I feel like I kind of lucked out in not having the first pick in the NXT draft. I think the first three people taken are all on about the same level as they are all hopefully going to blossom into huge stars on the main roster. I think Jonah made the right pick with Finn, because it seems like people are starting to underrate him just because he's been around for a while. Still, I get chills every time Shisuke Nakamura comes out, because he does the weirdest shit, but it is just so damn cool. God bless him. And Bayley is the perfect wrestler to market to children. She sends a positive message, and honestly, if you somehow hate Bayley, you're probably just a less ambitious Hitler. I don't like to drop the Hitler bomb, but yeah, you're basically shitty Hitler if you don't like Bayley.

4-5. Jonah selects Samoa Joe and Asuka
Fucking Joe.  Nakamura and Bayley were in the discussion for number one overall pick.  Nakamura is pure electricity, and Bayley will be the female John Cena for the next decade.  My consolation prizes aren’t bad though.  Samoa Joe is already a recognized star by most wrestling fans.  He’s back to being a motivated monster now that he’s on a real wrestling show.  The guy’s a main eventer as soon as he goes up to the main roster.  Asuka is awesome.  She’s a great wrestler, her strikes and submissions are incredible, and she is very unique.  She has plenty of charisma, she just needs to work on her English, but really, crowds eat her up even if she doesn’t speak.

6-7. Joe selects American Alpha
I knew Jonah could go one of two directions with his next picks, and I'm super happy he went the way he did. It's the way that made the most sense, but I'm deeply in love with American Alpha. Strictly wrestling wise, they are probably the second most fun people to watch just behind Nakamura, and even that's close. Gable is the most naturally gifted chain wrestler since Kurt Angle, and I will gladly take Tiny Kurt Angle anytime. Also, Jason Jordan has found the perfect niche for himself as the hot tag extraordinaire that will do every imaginable suplex to every imaginable thing in sight. They are that perfect mix of dominant tag team that is not so physically imposing that they also can't put people over, but yes, they should rein over the tag division for decades. That's right, decades.

8-9. Jonah selects Hideo Itami and Austin Aries
Fucking Joe again.  I couldn’t pass up Samoa Joe, so I didn’t have the opportunity to take American Alpha.  It’s a hell of a pick.  But again my consolation prize is pretty damn awesome.  Hideo Itami has been forgotten a bit since he’s had a long term injury, but when he comes back he’s going to make a big impact.  He’s Kenta damn it.  Austin Aries has it all, but it hasn’t all been put together yet in NXT.  It will be soon, because he works best as a heel.  He’s a cocky prick, that’s a tough face gimmick to get over.  Once he gets rolling, he’s an easy promotion and someone you can put in the ring with anyone and expect great things.

10-11. Joe selects Alexa Bliss and Tye Dillinger
I feel like Hideo Itami was the last elite talent left on the board, because I just don't see how well Aries translates to the main roster. And by him going that route, that left me with not one, but two Perfect 10s in Alexa Bliss and Tye Dillinger. Dillinger is so over right now, and that is with him still rarely winning matches. I have gotten to see him a lot at the NXT house shows in Florida, and he put on an excellent match with Andrade "Cien" Almas and a really good match with former WWE employee, Alex Riley. Dillinger isn't going to be a World Champion, but he can be a vital cog to make guys look great. And Alexa Bliss is not only very attractive, but she's got insane charisma and is becoming much better at the technical wrestling side of things. It doesn't get much better than locking down both Perfect 10s.

12-13. Jonah selects The Revival
Fantastic old school tag team.  Their gimmick will work great, they’ve been putting on classic matches as well.  They’re no American Alpha, but no one is.  They are however the next best thing, perfect heel team that should be around for a decade.

14-15. Joe selects Nia Jax and Mojo Rawley
So things really start to fall off quickly with the NXT roster. Like, thank god they only have to put on an hour of television a week, because even though that hour always leaves me wanting more, they just don't have the depth to pull it off. Nia Jax has a lot of value, because she's basically the monster of the women's division. It will always be easy to sell a feud with Nia Jax involved. She's still progressing in the ring, but that's what NXT is there for, and there's no reason she shouldn't be able to keep getting better. Then there's Mojo Rawley. He's also getting better, but I still don't know what you do with him. For a guy that big, he never really physically dominates guys like you'd like to see. Still, you should see him in person at small NXT shows; there is nobody better at interacting with children. Like, he puts Bayley to shame. Okay, he probably barely beats out Bayley, but still, he is so pumped up to take selfies with children and sign whatever they want. It's really impressive, and that adds to his value.

16-17. Jonah selects Johnny Gargano and Tomasso Ciampa
We decided Gargano and Ciampa were a team, and I was very happy to get them here.  Two big time prospects who, for now at least, are working better as a team than as singles.  They’re both talented enough and have a good enough look to go far either together or on their own.

18-19. Joe selects Carmella and No Way Jose
So I like Ciampa, but I'm super low on Johnny Gargano, as he is basically a sheet of plain white paper to me. The crowd seems to like him more than I do, but I was happy Jonah jumped on those guys. I used the opportunity to further bolster my Women's roster with Carmella who is your classic white meat babyface and can also pair with Enzo and Big Cass when she gets the callup. Then I got No Way Jose, who I'm still unsure of. He's fun; I know that much, but it's too early to really see where we can expect him to go from here.

20-21. Jonah selects Elias Samson and Angelo Dawkins
I like the Carmella pick, but I’m happy to get Elias Sampson here.  He has a good look, his wrestling has been fine, and I absolutely love the heel gimmick of douchebag with a guitar.  If you can’t relate to this heel gimmick, then you probably are a douchebag with a guitar, and everyone else hates you.  Angelo Dawkins is my next pick for a breakout guy in NXT.  He’s been there a long time, he’s young, has great size, and a great amateur background.

22-23. Joe selects Andrade “Cien” Almas and Adrienne Reese
Very happy that Jonah went that way, as I can now start stealing up guys who haven't made their TV debut yet. I wrote about both of these wrestlers a couple weeks ago, and Adrienne Reese is going to turn some heads when she makes her debut. Top rope flipping stunner is all you need to know. and Andrade "Cien" Almas got his first vignette a couple weeks ago, and oh man am I excited for his debut. Basically, if this draft would have happened a month later, he wouldn't have made it out of the top 10. Trust me, you will love Andrade Almas.

24-25. Jonah selects TM61
This was a steal.  I wanted Sampson, so I had to take another singles wrestler last round, but here I get another tag team that has been hugely successful around the world.  These guys will be future stars in the tag division, it’s basically a guarantee.  One final thing to remember, the mighty don’t kneel.

26-27. Joe selects Patrick Clark and Tino Sabbatelli
Well, first off, I'd just like to tell Jonah that he's a piece of shit for taking TM 61 from me. I knew I had to take Almas before the Australians, but it still hurts, and oh, would you look at that? There is a monumental dropoff at this point. Is this too early for Patrick Clark? Well, I would have said so a month ago, but then I saw his new tights that feature his face, a bald eagle, and the White House, and I am ALL IN on hated American, Patrick Clark. Tino Sabbatelli isn't a great talker, and he's not real great in the ring either. That said, he's got the best body in the WWE, and maybe the best body in WWE history. So at least he's really good at working out. After typing this out, I'm wondering if Jonah just put me on tilt with that TM 61 pick.

28-29. Jonah selects Billie Kay and Peyton Royce
Joe had been taking too many NXT women, so I’m happy to get Billie Kay and Peyton Royce.  They’ve shown that they can put on good matches even though they haven’t been winning.  They’re good looking, talented women’s wrestlers.  Very valuable to the future.

30-31. Joe selects Mandy Rose and Liv Morgan
Jonah took two ladies who are good looking and talented wrestlers. I took two ladies who are great looking and still figuring it out in the ring. Liv Morgan has shown a lot, but Mandy Rose is green as grass right now. Still, even she has a lot of natural charisma. I'm increasing my stable of hot chicks, and I definitely wouldn't mind a heel women's stable with these two and Alexa Bliss. I'm officially no longer on tilt.

32-33. Jonah selects Sawyer Fulton and Rich Swann
Sawyer Fulton is big, young, and a two time all American amateur wrestler.  Tons of potential.  Rich Swann has already made a name for himself around the world.  He’s incredibly talented, and once he actually gets some time he will get very over.

34-35. Joe selects Blake and Murphy
This is stupid low for these guys, so I'll take it. I know they're no longer a tag team, but they're serviceable wrestlers, and now that they are on their own, they can get a chance to shine. They might show to be a couple of dullards, but there's a reason they've been on the main show for so long, and I think they can start to show that. Also, one time at a house show, they both clearly decided they were going to oversell everything, and it was awesome. It raised my opinion of them.

And that wraps up part one. We'll be back with the second half later this week.

Monday, June 6, 2016

The Ultimate WWE Fantasy Draft - Review

Now that we have completed the ultimate WWE fantasy draft (Part one, part two, and part three), it's time to figure out the most interesting picks and hopefully get Jonah to admit my dominance in fantasy wrestling drafts. We had a long conversation, and shockingly, nothing was decided, but here are our thoughts.

Joe: Jonah, the draft is over, and I think you feel good about your roster, and I know I feel good about my roster. But the question that I'm most curious about is at the top. Did I make the right decision with Seth Rollins?

Jonah: Rollins is a good pick to have as the face of your brand.  He's got the look and the in ring skills of a star and gets a reaction from the crowd.  I feel like his heel work has been a little one dimensional but in the near future he will show whether or not he can be a little more original.  If you were in my position and rollins was off the board would you have gone with the other two shield members or gone a different way?

Joe: I did have Reigns in my top three, but I am super low on Dean Ambrose compared to most people. I understand that people really like him, but I knew there was no way I was going to end up with him in this draft. No, instead, the guy that I had at number two, and has the best argument to be number one is the doctor of Thuganomics, John Cena. I didn't take Cena with my next two picks, because right before I was about to pick him and Cesaro, I flashed back to Cesaro and Sami Zayn matches and realized that I couldn't separate those two. Why did you let Cena keep falling?

Jonah: Age and fear of injuries.  He's been banged up for a long time.  Also love for Kevin Owens.  He will be wwe champ within the year.  He does everything so well.  He's consistently the best week in and week out.  AJ Styles is fresher in terms of the wwe.  Basically anyone he faces off with is a fresh match people want to see and I think he's incapable of putting on a bad match.  Cena was next on my list I just had those few guys rated ahead of him.  We both love Brock Lesnar but are you worried you used such a high draft pick on someone that may wrestle one or two matches on your show at most?

Joe: Cena is a freak when it comes to injuries, so I'm not too worried about that. Also, he is BY FAR the biggest star in the WWE. And we really shouldn't forget that Cena had his best year as a wrestler before his injury. He often had the match of the night when defending the US Title, and the guy is a star who does a ton of charity. We hate John Cena, because we realize he is who we want to be.

I love Kevin Owens, but I think that his body does make him a tough sell to a casual wrestling fan. And AJ Styles is a great wrestler, but his potential is not leading a company.

As for Lesnar, he may only wrestle once or twice on Raw, but he's got 4-6 matches in PPVs, which will only happen with my guys. And I also get the benefit of Paul Heyman hanging around doing promos. And when Lesnar is wrestling, he is the main event (unless he's wrestling somebody shitty like Dean Ambrose, ZING). How far would you have let Lesnar fall? Also, out of your top 10 picks, who do you think was the best value?

Jonah: Hey I'm not hating on John Cena, I would have taken him if you didn't in the next round.  He does seem to be moving down the card a bit, but it was a great pick.  I do disagree on AJ, he carried TNA on his back, and I know they've become a complete joke but they were a decent company for awhile and that was the time that AJ was employed by them.  Lesnar likely wouldn't have fallen past my next two picks, I was just thinking that he doesn't wrestle on free tv, which does make it a little tougher for him since we're drafting for shows.  Paul Heyman, personal friend and follower of The Jonah Show is always entertaining.  I really like my top 10 picks, so it's tough to pick one.  Randy Orton is a veteran star who has been main eventing for a decade.  Rusev should already be in the main event, but he's working his way up due to terrible booking.  The New Day may be the best pick for me out of the top ten.  Big E will be a main eventer for at least a decade.  Kofi and Xavier are entertaining as hell, and they're both great in the ring too.  Kofi's a veteran who has been in main event feuds and shown he can hang.

So Joe, you were the first to pull the trigger on the women's division.  Why did you feel that was the right time to take the two women, and why was Charlotte your pick?  Everyone understands that Sasha is the best so I don't need any explanation on that.

Joe: On why I chose the women when I did, it was actually interesting, because you came to me with this idea, and about ten minutes later I was ready to draft as I just quickly ranked everybody. On my original list, I had New Day over Charlotte and Sasha, but when it came time to draft, I went with the ladies. Part of that is that picking Kofi and Xavier that early when I had never cared about them before had me very concerned. I felt like Big E was worthy of that pick, I mean, he is a Hawkeye, but New Day is starting to lose its luster, and even though they are still great, I don't know where things go for them in a year. I also factored in positional scarcity, and it was clear that this was the right choice. These two are a clear cut above everyone else in the division. Sasha is obviously phenomenal; I mean, I'm 31-years-old and cannot help dancing every time her music comes on. It makes me feel like a Boss. And Charlotte is so good in the ring that she has gotten two great matches out of Natalya (Takeover and Roadblock), and Natalya is only slightly more useful than a wet fart. And Charlotte is still getting better in the ring, and she's taking some baby steps on the mic. I feel like with these two picks, all I needed to add were warm bodies, and I would have the more entertaining women's division. Obviously, you're going to feel different, so what are your thoughts on your women's division?

Jonah: Well, I agree that Sasha is the absolute best, and that her music is the absolute best.  I feel she is head and shoulders above everyone on the main roster.  Charlotte is very talented in the ring, but honestly dreadful on the mic.  It's not that Charlotte is a bad pick, I just feel that she is equal to Becky Lynch.  The only difference between the two is a push.  Becky is just as talented in the ring, and she's better on the mic.  I was able to get Becky more than 10 picks later.  I was concerned about the strength of your women's division, but I feel like mine stacks up well against yours.  Becky is at worst equal to Charlotte, I later got Paige who is the true catalyst for the women's revolution.  She came in, wrestled like a champ, and demanded attention.  She's just been lost in the shuffle for some reason, that reason being the WWE writing team can't book more than two women's feuds at a time or else their heads will explode.  I'm far from a big Nattie fan, but she does put on quality matches the majority of the time so she's very useful.  Nikki Bella is underrated in the ring because she's a Bella.  She's not a horsewoman, but she puts on good matches.  Alicia Fox and Naomi are underrated and underused, but plenty talented enough.  Tamina isn't that special, but she's a good enforcer in the women's division.  My women's division is deep and talented.  I feel like Chris Jericho fell further than I would have expected.  Is there a reason you didn't want him?

Joe: First off, you owe me a new laptop, because saying that "Becky is at worst equal to Charlotte" was so laughable that I did a spit take and now my monitor is covered in smoothie. I'm hoping you don't believe that, because nobody in the world thinks Becky is equal to Charlotte. Becky is really good, but Charlotte is the Brock Lesnar of the Women's division. She's bigger, stronger, and more athletic than any woman they have. Becky Lynch is good, but she's more on the Paige/Emma level than the Sasha/Charlotte/Bayley tier.

I mean my reasoning behind not taking Jericho is that his schedule is inconsistent, and he's not around long enough to truly have a compelling feud, because you know the other guy is going over. This is the longest he's been around in what, five years? He's not a full-time wrestler, and although this iteration has been great, it started out with him calling New Day "Rooty Tooty Booty" and proceeding to spend the next month defending that as genuinely funny. Jericho has been very good, but he can also be very bad. With the limited schedule, I didn't think the risk was worth it.

Speaking of part-timers, how early did I jump the gun on The Rock? Keep in mind, there is at least a one percent chance that he gets Vin Diesel to show up with him one time.

Jonah: Well now my feeling are hurt, I do think Becky is equal to Charlotte.  Charlotte is a great wrestler, but she is awful on the mic.  Maybe Brock Lesnar is a good comparison.  He's awesome in the ring, but he's not a great promo.  Jericho seems like he's back for awhile and he's been doing great work.  His first feud with The New Day was terrible, but he's been money since.  My love for the Rock is well documented, but it was too early for him.  If you're lucky he shows up twice a year and wrestles one match, again not on free tv.  I hope he brings Vin Diesel with him, I'd buy them as tag team champs all day.  He's the most electrifying man in all of entertainment, but I'm pretty sure he's got 18 movies to film with Kevin Hart, he's going to be busy.  Speaking of part timers, how long do you figure Shane is sticking around?

Joe: I don't know how involved he will be, but I'd be pretty surprised if he wasn't back with WWE, at least on a part-time basis, and the more they talk about it, I think he's likely to be fairly involved. It was also at this point where nobody has huge potential on the wrestling side. I'm a little bummed I missed out on Tyler Breeze. Any picks that stand out for you in part two of the draft?

Jonah: I do love Tyler Breeze.  I see that I took Titus O' Neil very early, but I think he's got a ton of potential.  Do you think his recent push is because the WWE reads our columns?  I'm also very happy with my pick of Fandango.  That guy can wrestle and he's all charisma all the time.  I think he's a great value.  I like your pick of the Vaudevillians.  So who's your favorite Social Outcast?  Which on of them will you book as the breakout star of the group?

Joe: Yeah, The Vaudevillains were a team that just kept falling, but they're both fun in the ring, and Aiden English having the ability to sing is something that that could be a huge help in getting them over. As for my favorite Social Outcast, Heath Slater is great at what he does, taking beatings in an entertaining way, Curtis Axel is hilarious, even if it is sometimes unintentional, but the cream of the crop is Bo Dallas. I know it's been two years, but Bo Dallas may be the best promo in NXT history. He was the absolute best, and despite being buried since being called up, he still gets a reaction. He is a FAR BETTER promo than his brother, as Bo could actually keep things fresh, and Bray is as stale as it gets. 

Moving on, I was the guy to jump on the non-wrestlers and lock down my announce team of Mauro Ranallo and Corey Graves which could be the steals of the draft for the impact they will have on my television product. I'm interested to hear your plan as Booker T only does occasional PPVs with his schedule, and Renee is pretty rough with announcing matches. So Jonah, what the hell are you going to do with your announcers that will not make me want to change the channel?

Jonah: Renee Young might as well be El Dandy because I will never doubt her.  I think she'll be great.  Even if she's not, she's still a great interviewer.  I have Michael Cole who is the voice of the WWE, so that's a solid announcer.  Tom Phillips has been good in NXT, he plays off Graves well and his delivery helps Graves stand out.  Byron Saxton is already a RAW announcer, he's not very good, but he's good enough to talk on the flagship show every week according to the WWE.  With just those three I have plenty of announcing talent.  Don't forget I also have Funaki, the number one announcer, plus Jerry Soto on the Spanish announce team.  So your superstar women's division includes wrestling legends like Eva Marie and Rosa Mendes.  How can you make them not complete wastes of space?

Joe: Step one: Put Eva Marie and Rosa Mendes in an hour long Iron Woman Match.
Step two: Start the match and let the crowd reign down with boos.
Step three: Brock Lesnar's music.
Step four: Annihilation

Outside of that, Eva Marie has become serviceable in the ring. She's still bad, but if you told me I had to watch an hour of Eva Marie or five minutes of Natalya, I'm All Red Everything. Rosa Mendes dated Gary Barnridge a couple years ago, so I will use her to identify fantasy football sleepers.

I don't really feel like doing a deep dive into the end of this thing, so who was your favorite pick, and who were you most disappointed about a guy that you weren't able to get?

Jonah: Well I know you'll disagree with this, but Bray Wyatt at 22 is an awesome pick.  Despite terrible booking he still matters and is still over.  If they put the slightest effort into him he'll be a main eventer.  He's also very good in the ring.  I was disappointed I missed out on Neville.  That guy is awesome, hopefully when he makes his return they'll stop booking him into obscurity.  I thought he'd last longer.  What about you?  Who was your favorite pick and who are you sad you missed out on?  

Joe: I mean, the big thing for me was how things fell for me at the beginning of the draft, as I got five of my top six rated guys, only missing out on Roman Reigns. But for deeper down the list, picking Apollo Crews and Neville back-to-back was a real highlight and I was also really happy to get Emma as she has been incredible since going back to NXT. I'll be excited to see her come back from injury. 

The biggest guy that I missed out on was Rusev, as he's just so damn cool. If he didn't have a Russian accent, he'd already be in the main event scene, as he's legitimately one of the five funniest people in the WWE. Some of the later picks I would have liked to get are Tyler Breeze and Darren Young with Bob Backlund. Backlund during an election year should prove to be entertaining.

But that'll wrap up the main roster talk. Next week is NXT Week where Jonah gets that coveted first overall pick.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

The Ultimate WWE Fantasy Draft - Part Three

With Smackdown moving to a live show on Tuesdays, there are plenty of rumors about an upcoming 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.

Some things to know before we get started is that you draft guys for what they are likely to do in the future. The Rock is in this draft, but you don't get to draft him as a full-time wrestler, but he can be used 1-2 times a year to talk for a half hour and boost ratings. Another thing is that wrestlers automatically got their managers with them, so Miz comes with Maryse. Also, tag teams must be taken in pairs, and they must be taken with the first of your two back-to-back picks since we did a snake draft. For New Day, they would take up the person's next three picks, but they would stay together. And to create this list, we used the list of WWE personnel on Wikipedia, so our main roster included 118 picks. And that does not include NXT Superstars (Supplemental Draft) or Mr. McMahon, who is ominpresent for our purposes.

Since Jonah is a true gentleman, he offered me the first pick, and from there, we will have two picks each through the rest of the draft. We did part one earlier this week, and followed that up with part two yesterday, so let's move onto part three where things get really obscure and hilarious.

80-81. Joe selects JBL and David Otunga
What Jonah forgets about Booker T is the reason he only shows up for some PPVs and nothing else is that he runs a wrestling school/promotion and radio show in Houston. I hope he adds some talent later on, because Michael Cole on commentary alone would be...something.

As for my picks, what am I going to do with JBL? I'm not totally sure. But WWE crowds seem to really like him, so I'm sure there's some value in that. But David Otunga can be utilized in a variety of ways. He's the perfect buddy for the authority, and he has a great coffee mug.

82-83. Jonah selects JoJo and Tom Phillips
I was avoiding JBL like the plague, he’s become the most annoying shill I could imagine.  He’s like a bad parody of a wrestling commentator.  Anyways, Jojo can do more backstage interviews and look good doing them as well as some ring introductions.  Tom Phillips has been entertaining on NXT, he’s been a great straight man to the more entertaining Corey Graves, but providing that skill is never a bad thing.

84-85. Joe selects Primo and Epico
Did you guys hear? Puerto Rico is beautiful, and so is the depth of my tag team division.

86-87. Jonah selects The Ascension
Who’s worse Primo and Epico or The Ascension?  According to this draft I guess the Ascension, but they were over in NXT.  I’m turning them back into a conspiracy theory, Freemasons run the world, Illuminati tag team.  It literally can’t make them any less over.

88-89. Joe selects Mean Gene Okerlund and Charles Robinson
Now I know there are rules about expanding people's roles, but come on, can't we just make sure that "Mean" Gene Okerlund shows up for any show that is near his area. Gene is the damn best, and even if I can only have him around once a year, he'll still be a valuable mentor to every interviewer I have. Also, I got Lil' Naitch to take care of Charlotte now that her Dad is out of the picture.

90-91. Jonah selects Lita and Mike Chioda
Who better to talk about the women’s division than Lita?  No one that’s who.  She’s a Hall of Famer and a legend.  She’s great on pre shows, I’d be happy having her just putting over the women’s division on the pre show, but if Mean Gene can show up a little bit more, than so can Lita.  She would be the perfect figurehead of a new women’s division.  I mean her or Brooke Hogan.  Mike Chioda is a referee.  I recognize his name and his face.  He’s been a ref for years and years.

92-93. Joe selects Marcelo Rodriguez and Carlos Cabrera
Locking down the Latin Market by getting the only fluent Spanish announcers is a great deal for my global #brand. These guys make stars in the Latin American market, so it is a steal to get them this late in the game.

94-95. Jonah selects Lilian Garcia and Scott Armstrong
Joe is actually incorrect.  Lilian Garcia speaks perfect Spanish and is a great ring announcer.  Plus she can sing the National Anthem like a champ.  Have fun playing the national anthem on a boombox or something Joe.  Scott Armstrong is also a referee who I actually know, so he’s probably pretty good.

96-97. Joe selects Jerry Lawler and Rosa Mendes
Is Lawler pretty brutal at this point? No doubt, but let's not forget that this guy is a legitimate legend for what he did during the prime of his career, and even the haters still kind of love him for that. You may say Rosa Mendes is worthless, but just imagine Rosa Mendes vs. Brock Lesnar, and I think that is something that is very much worthwhile. Also, we can reunite her with Primo and Epico for...reasons!

98-99. Jonah selects Funaki and Chad Patton
Joe tries to take over the Latin market, but we all know what market is really exploding, the Asian market.  Funaki is Smackdown’s number one announcer, but he also does the play by play for the Asian markets.  Chad Patton continues the streak of referees that I’ve heard of, therefore are good.

100-101. Joe selects Tony Chimel and Drake Wuertz
Tony Chimel has managed to keep his job for a very long time, which means he knows where the skeletons are buried. Not only is Drake Wuertz a great referee, he's perfect in case I need a ref to get in a death match.

102-103. Jonah selects Byron Saxton and Dan Engler
Byron Saxton is on WWE TV every week.  I’m not sure why, but hey that’s got to mean something.  Dan Engler was Rudy Charles in TNA.  If he can survive TNA, then I know he can survive a nuclear war.

104-105. Joe selects Scott Stanford and Greg Hamilton
To get a certified Broski at 104 is great value in Scott Stanford, and Greg Hamilton is the number one guy who could benefit from any opportunity to be around Mean Gene.

106-107. Jonah selects Jerry Soto and Dasha Fuentes
Jerry Soto is a color commentator for the Spanish Team, and the co host of WWE en Espanol.  So despite what Joe thinks, I’ve got some people who can commentate in Spanish.  Dasha Fuentes is a lovely interviewer/ring announcer.

108-109. Joe selects John Cone and Shawn Bennett
John Cone is a referee who has been around for a while, and he is the WWE office referee, so he’s versatile no matter what he is officiating. Shawn Bennett is my wife’s favorite referee, so I took him to honor her. He seems to ref to the best of his abilities, so good for him.

110-111. Jonah selects Andrea D'Marco and Ryan Tran
Andrea D’Marco is a good looking ring announcer for NXT, and judging by her work in Portland, she’s got a good future.  Ryan Tran is a referee who used to be a wrestler.  He’s also Asian so if you don’t like him you’re racist.

112-113. Joe selects Rob Schamberger and Mike Rome
Rob Schamberger does the artwork for WWE, so this is going to be a huge moneymaker for my #brand. Still, I was a little disappointed to not get Andrea D'Marco as it is always a good idea to get attractive women involved in your product. I probably should have risked divorce and waited on Shawn Bennett. Mike Rome is my consolation prize.

114-115. Jonah selects Jason Ayers and Rob Zapata
These guys referee matches.  Whelp, that’s about it.

116-117. Joe selects Eddie Oregno and Danilo Anfibio
These are two NXT referees. I knew nothing about people at this point in the draft. I am sure they are fine people and will do a fine job for my #brand. Good lord, there are a lot of guys in this company. I can’t wait to do NXT next week.

118. Jonah selects Darrick Moore
I can’t believe Joe let Darrick Moore fall to me.  He’s also a referee.  That’s it.

And that wraps up the main roster part of this draft. Next week, it's the Supplemental Draft, aka, NXT Draft.