WWE RAW - April 25, 2016
Random Thoughts and Opinions
- And...Stephanie McMahon is back. Damn she's good, best heel in the business hands down.
- Payback is already a loaded show, add in the Vince McMahon decision and this is a must see show.
- I have no desire to see Sheamus on my TV...ever. I would actually like him better if he did the job within the first five minutes of every match he's in. This match is going way too long.
- New Day just makes me smile. Enzo & Cass are amazing, but I have to admit, the Vaudvillians are a guilty pleasure.
- Nice debut from Gallows & Anderson, but like the Styles vs. Sheamus match, a bit too long.
- The Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn video package was fantastic.
- Lana back with Rusev...and everything is right in the world again. A really good match between Zayn & Rusev.
- This Zayn vs. Owens feud has the potential to be the feud of the year.
- Cody Rhodes...we miss you. I'm not feeling Apollo Crews yet.
- Dean Ambrose has some really good one liners. Chris Jericho’s attire just screams heel. I'm really enjoying this feud.
- I like Natalya dominating Emma, that's how the Styles match should have gone too.
- Something is missing from the Miz & Cesaro feud. I'm not a fan of the movie line quotes from either guy. I'd rather see both guys be presented as serious no nonsense competitors.
-Surreal to see video of Chyna and Eddie Guerrero together. So sad, but a nice tribute to her.
- Why are they going back to Ryback vs. Kalisto? Aside from Roman Reigns winning the title, did anything matter from WrestleMania? Ughh
- Alberto Del Rio deserves better. Good show closing confrontation between Reigns, Styles Gallows and Anderson. Really looking forward to Payback.
RAW is really clicking right now. The Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn video package was excellent and one of the highlights of the show. The build to Payback has really been done well. Every feud feels important; add in Vince McMahon naming who will run RAW and Payback becomes a must see show. Although I felt some of the matches went too long, the wrestling on the show was really good.
A classy move by WWE putting together an excellent tribute to the late Joanie Laurer aka Chyna. Despite WWE’s issues with her, I hope she gets into the WWE Hall of Fame at some point.
The mystery of who Gallows and Anderson are working with has been done well. The obvious direction is for Finn Balor to debut on Payback and be revealed as the leader. That's the payoff I'm most hoping for as well.
Shane & Stephanie McMahon
New Day, Enzo & Cass and the Vaudvillians
Gallows & Anderson debut tag match
Owens & Zayn video package
Rusev vs. Zayn
Chris Jericho & Dean Ambrose
Match length of Styles vs. Sheamus and Gallows & Anderson vs. the Usos
Stardust vs. Apollo Crews
Cesaro & Miz segment
WWE Hall of Famer, Jim Ross’ latest blog was posted on Saturday at www.jrsbarbq.com. Here are the highlights:
As always these are only the highlights. Ross goes into greater detail on his blog.
Jon Jones is finally back! The former light heavyweight champion makes his long awaited return to the octagon tonight for UFC 197. Jones will take on Ovince Saint Preux, who steps in on short notice for the injured Daniel Cormier. While the loss of Cormier and the title fight hurts, this still remains a terrific card.
In the co-main event flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson goes up against Olympic gold medalist Henry Cejudo. The fight I'm most looking forward to is in the lightweight division where former champion Anthony Pettis takes on Edson Barboza in tonight's third fight. The card rounds out with Ultimate Fighter: Latin America winner Yair Rodriguez taking on Andre Fili and Robert Whittaker vs. Rafael Natal.
Let's be honest, the only suspense in the Jones fight is which round will it end? There isn't a single thing Saint Preux is better at in the octagon than Jones. I see the first two minutes of the fight being competitive when Saint Preux has the best chance to surprise Jones with a lucky one punch knockout. The longer the fight goes on, the worse it's going to be for Saint Preux. Ovince doesn't have much in the gas tank to begin with, and the longer the fight lasts, the more damage he's going to take. My hope is for Jon Jones to limit the amount of damage he takes, make quick work of Saint Preux and gear up for Daniel Cormier at UFC 200.
Demetrious Johnson is looking to defend the flyweight championship for the eighth time as he takes on Henry Cejudo. Johnson is as technically sound as anybody in the sport. His gas tank is always full no matter what round he's in, and the longer the fight goes on the worse it is for his opponents. Obviously, Henry Cejudo has skills, after all he is an Olympic gold medalist. I just don't think he has enough experience to deal with everything Johnson is going to come at him with. I think Cejudo comes out of this fight a much smarter and better fighter. Unfortunately, this just isn't his time.
Anthony Pettis vs. Edson Barboza is the fight of the night in my opinion. Barboza needs to win this fight in order to prove he belongs with elite of the division. Pettis needs the fight to get back into title contention after losing a controversial decision to Eddie Alvarez. This is a tough fight to predict, but I think Barboza's better striking ability and faster pace, not to mention the fact Pettis doesn't pressure, gets him the decision.
Jon Jones (21-1) vs. Ovince Saint Preux (19-7) Current Line: Jones -650, Preux +475 Pick: Jones by TKO
Demetrious Johnson (22-2-1) vs. Henry Cejudo (10-0) Current Line: Johnson -400, Cejudo +320 Pick: Johnson by decision
Anthony Pettis (18-4) vs. Edson Barboza (16-4) Current Line: Petis -165, Barboza +145 Pick: Barboza by decision
Robert Whittaker (16-4) vs. Rafael Natal (21-6-1) Current Line: Whittaker -320, Nata +260 Pick: Whittaker by TKO
Yair Rodriguez (7-1) vs. Andre Fili (15-3) Current Line: Rodriguez -125, Fili +105 Pick: Fili by decision
Enjoy the fights!
Bellator 153 comes to us from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. The main event features Ben Henderson making his Bellator debut against Andrey Koreshkov. This fight should be the best one of the night, although I don't see Henderson losing this fight in any way, furthermore, I don't see any surprises in tonight's card. I expect all the favorites to win with relative ease.
Onto the predictions:
Benson Henderson (23-5) vs. Andrey Koreshkov (18-1) Current Line: Henderson -210, Koreshkov +170 Pick: Henderson by decision
Henry Corrales (12-2) vs. Patricio Freire (24-3) Current Line: Freire -520, Corrales +390 Pick: Freire by TKO
Evangelista Santos (20-16) vs. Brennan Ward (14-3) Current Line: Ward -525, Santos +395 Pick: Ward by TKO
Jeremie Holloway (7-1) vs. Michael Page (9-0) Current Line: Page -1200, Holloway +675 Pick: Page by TKO
Toninho Furia (27-5) vs. Brent Primus (6-0) Current Line: N/A Pick: Primus by decision
WWE RAW - April 18, 2016
Random Thoughts and Opinions
- “Hey, be careful around the plant!” Dean Ambrose
- Chris Jericho vs. Dean Ambrose and Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn at Payback. Payback looks to be shaping up to be an excellent show.
- I enjoyed the opening segment. I'm a fan of this version of the Dean Ambrose character and his loss to the Undertaker at WrestleMania has already been forgotten. Heel Chris Jericho always works.
- Shane McMahon is booking matches via Facebook? The Authority never did that...must be the “new direction” Shane is taking RAW.
- When was the last time Jericho hit the Lionsault?
- Of course Sami Zayn takes another loss, guess we can expect an Ambrose win later.
- Bullet Club!
OK, clearly they're turning on A.J. If not now, definitely at Payback to cost him the World Championship against Roman Reigns.
- Bubba takes the pin! Clearly the Dudleys are going to cost Enzo & Cass the titles at Payback. At least I hope they do, because I'd like to see this feud continue.
- I'm already tired of Reigns catchphrase. Roman’s dying out there. Gallows and Anderson saved that segment and Style’s facials were spot on. I still think they turn on him at Payback. WWE is handling Gallows and Anderson perfectly.
- I enjoy watching Ziggler get destroyed.
- Eh, didn't care for the Miz and Cesaro’s promo. I really don't like Cesaro dancing around with New Day. I'd much prefer serious, ass kicker Cesaro. Cesaro should be kept far away from comedy bits.
- Can somebody please release Rusev and Del Rio from League of Nations purgatory?!?
- Bret Hart at Payback? Yes, please!
- I forgot Paige was a babyface.
- What's the requirement for hair length in order to be a woman wrestler in WWE?
- So Charlotte taps out to the Sharpshooter two weeks in a row? Clearly she retains at Payback.
- The Uso's = the team character development forgot. Good tag team match. Glad to see the Vaudevillans get the win. Don't look now but the WWE has assembled a nice tag team division.
- About what you'd expect from an Apollo Crews match.
- Kevin Owens’ frog splash from the apron...wow. Excellent main event. Jericho getting involved at the end makes sense.
This was a pretty good episode of RAW. It wasn't as good as the previous two weeks but it was still good. Gallows and Anderson’s interaction with A.J. Styles is intriguing. Are they working alone, or did Styles bring them in to help him win the WWE World Heavyweight title? I'll be disappointed if they're paired with Reigns. Either way, I like how WWE is handling Gallows and Anderson so far.
Although I enjoyed the match, I'm a little disappointed Enzo & Cass had a match against the Dudleys this early in their debut. Hopefully Bubba and Devon cost them the tag team titles and we get a feud with a full build up coming out of Payback.
Kevin Owens and Dean Ambrose had a great night. Both were good in the opening segment and their main event match to end the show was excellent. WWE is doing a fantastic job of rebuilding Ambrose coming out of WrestleMania.
The opening segment
Chris Jericho vs. Sami Zayn
The Bullet Club
Enzo & Cass vs. The Dudleys
The Vaudevillans vs. The Usos
Dean Ambrose vs. Kevin Owens
Roman Reign’s promo
The Miz and Cesaro
New Day & Cesaro vs. League of Nations
8 woman tag match
The UFC comes to Tampa Florida for UFC on FOX 19 for what should be a fun night of fights. An injury to Tony Ferguson wiped out the original main event as he was slated to go up against Khabib Nurmagomedov. Nurmagomedov is still on the card and will take on Darrell Horcher, while Glover Teixeira vs. Rashad Evans moves into the main event slot. The co-main event of Lyoto Machida vs. Dan Henderson has been completely taken off the card due to Machida testing positive for a banned substance. As a result Dan Henderson will fight Hector Lombard at UFC 199. The new co-main event pits Strawweights Rose Namajunas against Tecia Torres. The card rounds out with Featherweights, Cub Swanson taking on Nacran Dias.
UFC veterans Rashad Evans and Glover Teixeira face off in what should be a very competitive fight in the light heavyweight division. After two years on the shelf due to injuries, Rashad Evans returned in October, 2015 with an uninspired unanimous decision loss to Ryan Bader. If Evans comes into this fight looking like the fighter we saw against Bader, then it's going to be a long, disappointing night for him. But should he come back showing he still possesses his timing and speed along with the strong takedown ability we’re used to seeing then Evans has a great chance of winning. Evans is going to want to use his takedown skills, and once on the mat utilize his strong ground striking game.
While Evans’ best chance at winning is on the ground, Glover Teixeira can win the fight either standing or on the ground. That being said, Teixeira’s biggest advantage is his striking where he possesses one punch knockout power. After losing to Jon Jones and Phil Davis, Teixeira bounced back with back to back wins against Patrick Cummins and Ovince Saint Preux.
At this point in time Glover Teixeira’s skills are better than Evans’ in every facet besides wrestling. Glover has fought steadily over the last three years compared to only three fights over that same time span for Evans. Unfortunately, I don't think it was ring rust that caused Evans’ to perform so poorly against Bader.
In the co-main event Rose Namajunas will look to avenge her first loss to Tecia Torres back in 2013. This is a big fight with the winner getting a title shot against either Claudia Gadelha or Joanna Jedrzejczyk. While both fighters have improved greatly since 2013, it's Namajunas’ whom has improved more. While it won't be easy, this is Namajunas’ fight to lose.
Glover Teixeira (24-4) vs. Rashad Evans (24-4-1) Current Line: Teixeira -210, Evans +175 Pick: Teixeira by decision
Rose Namajunas (5-2) vs. Tecia Torres (7-0) Current Line: Rose -180, Torres +150 Pick: Namajunas by decision
Khabib Nurmagomedov (22-0) vs. Darrell Horcher (12-1) Current Line: Nurmagomedov -1100, Horcher +650 Pick: Nurmagomedov by submission
Cub Swanson (21-7) vs. Hacran Dias (23-3-1) Current Line: Swanson -120, Dias ev Pick: Dias by decision
Enjoy the fights!
IMPACT Wrestling - April 12, 2016
Random Thoughts and Opinions
- I love that Matt Hardy continues to open the show every week even tho he doesn't have the belt. As usual Matt kills it on the mic. Jeff was good here too.
- “The only thing I'm scared of is your crazy bitch genes inside our family tree.” Jeff Hardy to Reby Sky
- Well the Beer Money Invitational didn't last as long as I thought it would. That was way too quick of a match. Disappointing.
- Why is Jade still coming out to “Doll Parts?” As the Knockouts Champion shouldn't she have her own identity? Although Maria was good here, this segment made no sense. An argument over who runs the Knockouts? Isn't the goal to be the champion? This made my head hurt.
- DJZ beat Trevor Lee? I'm not seeing the logic here. It looks like they're leading to a Lee vs. Edwards match so why not keep Lee strong?
- The first time we see the TNA Champion is a hour into the show.
- ECIII lighting Bennett up with the steel chair. Good match. Maria's interference worked well leading up to Carter losing his cool.
- Damn Al Snow is good! He really came off as being sincere all the way up to him destroying Shera. Where has THIS Al Snow been?
- Tell me Josh Matthews didn't just say Jade reminds him of Ronda Rousey. I like Jade as Knockouts Champion.
- The pace really quickens when the Hardy's are in the ring together. Good main event.
- Lashley looks like a monster. Looking forward to his feud with Galloway.
Once again Matt Hardy was the star of the show and no one else even comes close. I'm curious to see how TNA handles the sendoff of Bobby Roode and Eric Young. With Davey Richards out with an injury, that only leaves two tag teams capable of winning the titles; Decay and BroMans. My vote is for Decay to have an extended run with the titles while TNA rebuilds the tag team division.
I'm enjoying how TNA is handling Lashley. The calm, cool, collected killer Lashley works on every level. My concern is how they book the feud. I can't see TNA taking the belt off their babyface champion, but this version of Lashley has long term potential. Hopefully TNA has a plan for Lashley coming out of the feud after he puts Galloway over. I also hope TNA doesn't burn through the feud too quickly like they have a tendency to do.
IMPACT continues to be a good show. Unfortunately the ratings aren't as good. With TNA moving the second airing of IMPACT to Saturday's, hopefully the show will get a bump in ratings for the first airing.
Opening segment with Matt & Jeff Hardy
Beer Money Invitational for the in ring action
ECIII vs. Mike Bennett
Jade vs. Madison Rayne
Jeff Hardy & Drew Galloway vs. Matt Hardy & Tyrus
Lashley beatdown of Galloway
Beer Money Invitational for the length of the match
DJZ vs. Trevor Lee
WWE RAW - April 11, 2016
Random Thoughts and Opinions
- A decent opening from Shane McMahon and Kevin Owens. I liked the calm Shane McMahon. Aside from flubbing his lines when he returned and nerves, Shane has connected with the crowd well.
- A really good opening match between Owens and Cesaro. Actually surprised by the clean finish. I'm guessing we’ll see Cesaro vs. Miz, Styles vs. Reigns and Owens vs. Zayn at Payback.
- Did I just watch Dr. Phil vs. Ric Flair in a Woo off?
- Rusev needs to be a singles wrestler. Such a waste. Reigns tagging with Bray intrigues me.
- Natalya and Charlotte never disappoint. However, Dr. Phil hasn't added anything to the show thus far.
- Like the Lucha Dragons, the Uso’s do nothing for me. At first I was disappointed the Uso’s won, but Anderson and Gallows destroying them afterwards made up for it. I would have preferred a few weeks of vignettes building anticipation for Anderson and Gallow’s debut, but this worked.
- I'm a fan of The Miz and Maryse!
- Great match between Styles and Zayn. The wrestling on this show has been really good. Love Styles going over clean as Sami Zayn doesn't lose anything in the loss. Nice touch with the backstage meeting with the two of them. Zayn sold frustration and disappointment well.
- “Don't touch my potted plant.” Chris Jericho to Dean Ambrose. We’re finally getting a Jericho/Ambrose feud.
- I wish WWE treated A.J. Styles’ debut the way they are handling Apollo Crew’s.
- WWE should do more vignettes like the one they did for Baron Corbin.
- Bray Wyatt looked fantastic here...finally!
This was a really good show. Everything worked tonight. Even the segments with Dr. Phil were tolerable and I liked that they didn't make him the focal point of the show. Payback is shaping up to be a great show if they're planning on going with the following matches: Styles vs. Reigns for the WWE World Heavyweight Title, Zayn vs. Owens, Jericho vs. Ambrose, Cesaro vs. The Miz for the WWE IC Title, Natayla vs. Charlotte for the WWE Women’s Title and the winners of the Tag Team Tournament vs. New Day for the WWE Tag Team Titles.
It looks like we’re going to see Enzo & Cass vs. The Dudleys in a second round matchup in the tag team tournament. I would prefer a more high profile match between the teams with more of a build.
WWE has me curious as to how Bray Wyatt will figure into the title picture. WWE did a great job of setting up multiple feuds over the last two weeks, and the even-steven booking has also been absent. Hopefully the changes we are seeing are long term as the last two weeks of RAW have been really good.
The opening segment
Owens vs. Cesaro
Ric Flair, Charlotte and Dr. Phil
Charlotte vs. Natayla
Anderson & Gallows debut
The Miz & Maryse
Styles vs. Zayn
The Highlight Reel
Reigns & Wyatt vs. League of Nations
The Uso’s winning
WWE Hall of Famer, Jim Ross’ latest blog was posted on Sunday at www.jrsbarbq.com. Here are the highlights:
As always these are only the highlights. Ross goes into greater detail on his blog.
For the first time ever Croatia will host a UFC event. UFC Fight Night 86 comes to the Zagreb Arena in Zagreb, Croatia and is headlined by a terrific heavyweight fight between former champion Junior Dos Santos and Ben Rothwell. The co-main event features what should also be an exciting fight between heavyweights Gabriel Gonzaga and Derrick Lewis.
The card offers up yet two more heavyweight battles as Curtis Blaydes takes on Francis Ngannou and Timothy Johnson matches up against Marcin Tybura. The main card rounds out with Strawweights Maryna Moroz vs. Cristina Stanciu and Light Heavyweights Igor Pokrajac vs. Jan Blachowicz.
Junior Dos Santos is coming into this fight knowing this is a must win situation. His last fight was a knockout loss to Alistair Overeem in December. Pair that with the two beatings he took at the hands of Cain Velasquez and the five round battle with Stipe Miocic, and one has to wonder how much is left physically. Both fighters are known to have some of the most power in the division, but it's JDS’ chin that's in question.
Dos Santos will want to keep the fight standing where he can rely on his speed and his hands against Rothwell on Sunday. If JDS is going to win he must utilize his quickness and establish his jab to maintain distance. The last thing he wants is to find his back to the cage. Dos Santos has to keep the fight in the middle of the cage in order to use his biggest advantage against Rothwell, which is his speed. If Dos Santos can keep distance, stay off the cage and work his quick hands I think he can get the decision.
Meanwhile, Ben Rothwell is coming in with a ton of confidence after winning his last four fights in a row, including a knockout of Overeem and a submission of Jake Barnett. A win here will surely get him a shot at the heavyweight title. Like Dos Santos, Rothwell has huge power and can end the fight with one well placed punch. He's also developed quite a submission game as was displayed against Jake Barnett. Rothwell will look to back JDS up where he can do the most damage. But, should the fight go to the ground, that's just fine for Rothwell too as he holds the advantage over Dos Santos in the grappling department. If Rothwell can cut off the cage, back JDS up and work inside it's his fight to lose.
This is a big fight for Derrick Lewis. If he wins, his next fight will be against a top ten contender, but if he loses his climb back into relevancy will be steep. On the other hand, a win by Gabriel Gonzaga still leaves him at least two more wins away from becoming a contender. Because these two are fighters are heavyweights the possibility of a one punch knockout is always there. Gonzaga's best chances at winning are in the takedown game and working his ground and pound. Cardio has been a problem for Gonzaga, so the longer the fight goes on there's less chance of him coming out with a victory.
At this point in time Lewis possesses more ways to win the fight. I expect Gonzaga to come out hot and try to end the fight quickly. Once Lewis gets past the first couple of minutes of Gonzaga's onslaught the fight is his. Expect Gonzaga to gas out late in the first round giving Lewis the openings he needs to end the fight by TKO.
Ben Rothwell (36-9) vs. Junior Dos Santos (17-4) Current Line: Dos Santos -130, Rothwell +110 Pick: Rothwell by TKO
Derrick Lewis (14-4) vs. Gabriel Gonzaga (17-10) Current Line: Lewis -150, Gonzaga +130 Pick: Lewis by TKO
Francis Ngannou (6-1) vs. Curtis Blaydes (5-0) Current Line: Blaydes -145, Ngannou +125 Pick: Blaydes by TKO
Timothy Johnson (9-2) vs. Marcin Tybura (13-3) Current Line: Tybura -150, Johnson +130 Pick: Johnson by decision
Igor Pokrajac (25-12) vs. Jan Blachowicz (18-5) Current Line: Blachowicz -350, Pokrajac +275 Pick: Blachowicz by TKO
Maryna Moroz (6-1) vs. Cristina Stanciu (5-0) Current Line: Moroz -200, Stanciu +165 Pick: Moroz by decision
Enjoy the fights!
The Fighting Champion
Blogging about mixed martial arts, sports betting and providing winning sports picks.