Sunday, January 21, 2018

Royal Rumble 2018 predictions

WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match (Kickoff Match)
Enzo Amore © vs. Cedric Alexander

My Crazy Dream Booking: A double DQ leads to the title being stripped and a tournament for a new champion. The final four are a returning Neville, Johnny Gargano, TJP, and a Richochet
What Should Happen: Amore retains, and the next #1 contender is Drew Gulak. Gulak wins at Wrestlemania and begins a three month campaign where no one is allowed to jump off the top rope during cruiserweight matches to set up for Mustafa Ali to overcome Gulak
What Will Happen: Alexander wins and begins defending against heels.
What I’m Terrified Will Happen: Amore retains and continues to slow down the division
If I Was Booking This And I Hated You: Amore wins, throws out an open challenge the next night on RAW, and it's answered by... Big Cass, who wins the title (and we forget all about the weight limit)

WWE Smackdown Tag Team matches
The Usos (Jey and Jimmy Uso) © vs. Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin

My Crazy Dream Booking: Usos retain. Gable goes nuts after the match, tearing apart the locker room- and getting fired by Shane McMahon in the process. Gable shouts 'fine' and leaves...
What Should Happen: Gable and Benjamin wins the titles. On Raw, Gable winning a title is brought up in comparison to Jordan.
What Will Happen: Usos retain and get prepared for a feud with the Bludgeon Brothers
What I’m Terrified Will Happen: Usos retain and get prepared for another feud with the New Day
If I Was Booking This And I Hated You: The Shield and the Bar beat up both teams, because the only tag teams that matter are on RAW

WWE RAW Tag Team Titles
Seth Rollins and Jason Jordan © vs. Cesaro and Sheamus

My Crazy Dream Booking: Cesaro and Sheamus win back the titles when Jordan abandons Rollins, allowing Rollins to get pinned. Dean Ambrose starts yelling at Jordan- and Jordan attacks the injured Ambrose. Kurt Angle separates them, starts yelling at Jordan- and Chad Gable comes in to join Jordan in attacking Angle. The next night, Stephanie McMahon announces she hired Gable, and the reformed American Alpha start feuding with Rollins and Angle.
What Should Happen: Cesaro and Sheamus win the belts cleanly. Rollins moves onto an upper level feud with the Miz. Jordan searches for another partner to take back his belts
What Will Happen: Jordan and Rollins retain as they keep building up the inevitable breakup.
What I’m Terrified Will Happen: Cesaro and Sheamus win- but Jordan's heelness starts infecting Rollins, and the fans turn on Rollins as well.
If I Was Booking This And I Hated You: Cesaro, Sheamus, and Joe all beat the hell out of Rollins and Jordan, but Reigns saves them all

WWE Smackdown Title
AJ Styles © vs. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn

My Crazy Dream Booking: Owens and Zayn win the title- and Zayn turns on Owens immediately afterwards, quoting "Payback in a bitch, Kevin." Kevin acknowledges that he probably deserved it, and that while Sami made it equal, he'll be glad to make stay one step ahead. They continue a weird, relationship where they try to kill each other for the title, but no one else is allowed to interfere.
What Should Happen: Owens and Zayn cheat, but Shane McMahon pulls a power play to keep the title on Styles. Bryan shakes his head and mutters that there's only one way to stop this... (see the Royal Rumble)
What Will Happen: Owens and Zayn win the belt and co-hold the title for a month before Styles wins
What I’m Terrified Will Happen: Styles retains and Owens and Zayn fall down the card.
If I Was Booking This And I Hated You: Shane McMahon walks out with the belt

2018 Women's Royal Rumble match
My Crazy Dream Booking: Asuka enters as #1 and outlasts the field won win it all. At one point, Charlotte/Sasha Banks/Bayley/Becky Lynch are standing in the ring- and the Four MMA Horsewomen start taunting them from ringside. The Riott Squad and Absolution throw them out, and the two sets of Four Horsewomen start brawling.
What Should Happen: Asuka wins, throwing out Charlotte and Ruby Riott to win it all.
What Will Happen: Asuka wins
What I’m Terrified Will Happen: Nia Jax wins 
If I Was Booking This And I Hated You: James Ellsworth wins

WWE Universal Championship
Brock Lesnar © (with Paul Heyman) vs. Braun Strowman vs. Kane

My Crazy Dream Booking: Strowman and Kane get thrown out, and Lesnar makes an open challenge, answered by Samoa Joe. Joe and Lesnar have a crazy brawl all over the arena
What Should Happen: Strowman wins the title. Give the belt to the guy who is over and is a full time member of the roster.
What Will Happen: Lesnar wins for his inevitable matchup with Reigns
What I’m Terrified Will Happen: Lesnar wins in five minutes
If I Was Booking This And I Hated You: Lesnar wins, but Kane and Strowman attack him after the match, and Reigns has to save Lesnar. Lesnar limps away, and the announcers wonder if he'll be able to walk by Wrestlemania.

2018 Men's Royal Rumble match
My Crazy Dream Booking: 
#1 and #2: Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt... immediately throw each other out, and start an all out war in the concession area that is shown during the slow parts of the match.
#30: See below
Longest Lasting: Nakamura
Most eliminations: John Cena
Highspots: Cena and Undertaker throw each other out
Final four: Mark Henry enters at #29 with only Nakamura, Roman Reigns, and Samoa Joe left. Henry and Joe throw out Nakamura, then Joe and Reigns team up to throw out Mark Henry. Joe and Reigns brawl on the rope and tumble out together as the countdown begins for the final entrant- and automatic winner...

"Ride of the Valkyries" play as Daniel Bryan comes out to win the match and challenge AJ Styles

What Should Happen: 
#1 and #2: Shinsuke Nakamura and Finn Balor
#30: Dolph Ziggler
Longest Lasting: Kofi Kingston
Most eliminations: Baron Corbin

Final four: Reigns, Kingston, Big E, Miz. The New Day's teamwork requires Miz and Reigns to work together to finally throw out Kingston. Then, as Reigns lifts up Big E, Miz throws both out to win the title shot.

What Will Happen: 
#1 and #2: Shinsuke Nakamura and Finn Balor
#30: Undertaker
Longest Lasting: Roman Reigns
Most eliminations: Samoa Joe

Final four: Reigns, Samoa Joe, Cena and Undertaker. Undertaker eliminates Cena, and as Cena and he are jawing, Samoa Joe throws out Undertaker. Joe and Reigns fight for five minutes before Reigns throws out Joe for the title shot

What I’m Terrified Will Happen: 
#1 and #2: Roman Reigns and Bobby Roode
#30: Samoa Joe
Longest Lasting: Randy Orton
Most eliminations: Big Show

Final four: Reigns, Orton, Big Show, Sheamus. Reigns overcomes the odds and lasts the entire match to throw out all three to win the title shot

If I Was Booking This And I Hated You: 
#1 and #2: Jinder Mahal and Health Slater
#30: HHH
Longest Lasting: EC3
Most eliminations: Big Show

Final four: Reigns, Nakamura, Rusev, HHH. Reigns and HHH easily dispatch the Smackdown wrestlers- then out comes the sledgehammer, and HHH moves on to face Lesnar for the title.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Project 190 update

Weight on January 1st, 2017- 234.0 pounds
Weight on January 1st, 2018- 216.6 pounds.

Nice.  Except:

Weight on October 5th, 2017- 209.8 pounds.

Damn Christmas and Holiday parties.

So now I'm back on the diet.  Lots of vegetables and potatoes, cutting out as much butter, oil and salt as possible, and trying to get 10,000+steps on my Fitbit  (not that easy when it's 10 degrees outside and snowing).

Friday, December 29, 2017

2018 Predictions

Let's do this!

  • Democrats take the House but not the Senate (too many seats are in red states)
  • Trump remains Trump- every other week a stupid and outrageous self-inflicted wound that causes outrage… until the next stupid and outrageous self-inflicted wound. 
  • Trump not primaried on the Right- in the end, the party falls in line
  • The left becomes a huge free-for-all with regards to getting in position for 2020, each one trying to outdo the other. 
  • One name among the Democrats- Al Franken.  Franken finally steps out of office and uses his freedom to constantly attack Trump, being a zealot about harassment (“I screwed up- I apologized, I stepped away to learn, and I will use my Presidency to make amends”).  He will be the lightning rod among Democrats going into the Presidential campaign 

Onto non-political predictions:

  • Houston shocks Golden State in the Western conference finals, 4 games to 3.  Golden State looks past Houston to a rematch with Houston, and Houston wears them down.  Houston/Cleveland goes 7 games, but Cleveland’s depth is too much
  • LeBron does leave Cleveland- for New York.  The Cavaliers break up, while LeBron forms a new superteam around Porzingis
  • The Yankees are the talk of baseball, as Stanton his 67 home runs… but they still come up short in the playoffs.  Houston-Cleveland are in the ALCS, and Houston prevails… but this time they lose to the Dodgers in the World Series
  • The Browns take Sam Darnold and Minkah Fitzpatrick with their two draft picks. 
  • The AFC title game is Pittsburgh—New England, with New England winning.  The NFC title game is Philadelphia-Minnesota, and Minnesota Wins… then shocks New England to win the Super Bowl (which is in Minnesota)
  • The Infinity War is the first major stumble among the Marvel Movies- it’s a case of ‘too much’.  It still does great numbers, but that’s when everyone sees the Superhero movie trend has peaked
  • The cascade of people outed as harassers will continue, as people will be called out for behavior of the last 30 years.

And personal prediction:

·        My ultimate goal is 190 pounds- I may not reach it, but I will be under 200 at some point of 2018

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Closing Out 2017

2017.... It was a Year.

Looking back, the biggest story was the explosion of sexual harassment cases- Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Roy Moore, Al Franken, Matt Lauer.  The dam broke- good.  Maybe this time a better standard can be held for the future. 

It was also the year I gave up on politics.  There are two parties in the USA, and their defining characteristic is how much they despise people who belong to the other party.  Donald Trump is pretty much who we thought he was- a narcissist who lives to see his name in lights and has no shame or doubts about his own awesomeness.  In today's political environment, that behavior is rewarded.  I'm not asking that the two sides stop fighting.  I just wish they actually fought over ideas instead of personalities. 

Sports?  The Cavaliers are a great team that ran into a greater team in the Warriors.  The Indians had a great season- I would love them to win one title before their core gets old, but it's a fun team to watch.  And the Browns were awful and pathetic- for the sake of the city, I would love them to get better.

On a personal level... we lost our cat Pippin this November.  We still have two cats, but losing the big guy hurt.  I lost ~25 pounds and hope to lost another 20 or so to get down to 190 this year.  Work is fine, and we still perform at Dinner Detective. 

May 2018 bring everyone peace and happiness.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

RIP Pippin

Last year, Katie and I lost our cat Smokey.  Tonight, we lost our second cat, Pippin.  I've written about him before- he came to us in 2011.

He was the most dog-like cat I have ever met.  Friendly to everyone, always willing to come up and bonk his head against our leg.  Smokey hated him- but I think Smokey hated every other animal except Katie and (somewhat) me.  After Smokey passed away we picked up two new kittens, and Pippin (for the most part) got along great with Dashiell and Mystery.

We must have had a half dozen nicknames for Pippin- everything from "Golden Yellow Spider Monkey" to "Hipster Pipster" to "Bonk Shu".  He loved everyone, and he was loved.

I miss you, Pip.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Double Down, Sashi Brown!

The Cleveland Browns are 0-10.  They look horrible.  DeShone Kizer has thrown 14 interceptions and only 5 touchdowns, and has been benched twice.  Their analytics method has caused them to pass on Carson Wentz and DeShaun Watson- the former looking like a great QB in the making for the Philadelphia Eagles, while Watson looked fantastic until he was injured.  

The Browns seem like a mortal lock to finish 0-16 and with the #1 pick in the draft (along with the Texans, pick, like around #10).  There's a bunch of QBs in this draft that are likely to go in the first round- Sam Darnold of USC (if he doesn't stay in school another year), Josh Rosen of UCLA, Lamar Jackson of Louisville, Josh Allen of Wyoming, and Baker Mayfield of Oklahoma.  

Surely, the Browns should abandon this analytic approach, take a QB with the #1 pick.  Right?

My advice for Sashi Brown (the VP of the Browns)- don't draft a QB.  Double down on your method.

Which, of course, sounds insane.  Why double down on something that has led you to 0-16?  

Here's my reasons:

1)  Every single QB in the top tier has flaws.  Rosen supposedly isn't like by his teammates.  Darnold has not been impressive and may stay at USC another year.  Jackson has accuracy issues.  Allen is a project, as is Mayfield.  If you're grabbing a QB #1, that means that you think he's the best QB in the class- and none of them are standing out.

2)  The Browns do have alternatives to drafting a QB #1.  They could try to get a free agent (Kirk Cousins is on the market).  They could grab a veteran QB like Josh McCown (who has led the Jets to a 4-6 record to a team that was supposedly as bad as the Browns).  Or...

3)  They have a young QB- Kizer.  Yes, he's looked bad.  He also has had no wide receivers, a poor running game... and he's young.  Look at the improvement Jared Goff had last year.  Head Coach Hue Jackson is supposed to be a quarterback guru- let's put him to the test.

So what do you do instead?

4)  Grab Saquon Barkley with the #1 pick.  He's a RB and considered the best 'Sure Thing' in the draft.  

5)  With the Texans pick, grab one of the top two WR (Calvin Ridley or Courtland Sutton).  If both of them fail to make it, grab an offensive lineman or a defensive back.  But ideally, one of them should be available.

With that, you have Kizer with a year's NFL experience under his belt, a new RB, a new WR, Corey Coleman and Josh Gordon back healthy, and Joe Thomas back in the lineup.  

I think you have a better chance turning Kizer into a good NFL Quarterback than drafting a QB and starting over.

Do I expect them to do so?  No- I expect them to grab one of the QBs, start over, and then spend next year under a cloud of "Well, we should have grabbed (player X) or (player Y) or (Players A, B, C) instead."

Look- if Sashi Brown makes it to the draft, he only gets one more chance.  If you really think rookie QBs are overrated (and the way you traded down to avoid drafting Wentz and Watson, you do), then reversing course now is tantamount to admitting the last two years were horrifically wrong.  Stick to your guns.  It's not like you'll get another chance if you lead the Browns to a 3-13 season the next year.  Double down.  

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Top 10 albums on a deserted island

And the music challenge was made- list ten albums you'd want on a deserted island.  No "Greatest Hits" allowed.

I muddled this in my mind for a week before making my selections.  In no particular order:

* Pink Floyd- "Wish You Were Here"
* Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers- "Damn the Torpedoes"
* SJ Tucker- "Wonders"
* The Connells- "One Simple Word"
* Daft Punk- "Random Access Memories"
* Soundtrack to "Final Fantasy VIII"
* Animal Logic- "Animal Logic"
* Peter Gabriel- "So"
* Bruce Hornsby & the Range- "Scenes from the Southside"
* Rush, "Tom Sawyer"

Damn- And I'm sure I could have gone to 20 easily.