Friday, November 20, 2015

Survivor Series 2015

Survivor Series is upon us...

The WWE is in trouble.  Not only have they been clobbered with injuries and  people taking time off, they've spent the past year pushing the very people who are gone at the expense of those who are there.  The WWE has been using people who only wrestle on a part-time basis as their focus point- Undertaker, Brock Lesnar, the Rock- and that has diminishing returns.  The one active wrestler they've pushed to a long reign with the title- Seth Rollins- in out for months with a knee injury.

So they've held a tournament for the title, and the final four are the US Champion (Alberto Del Rio), the IC Champion (Kevin Owens), and two members of the Shield (Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns).  The winner will be crowned at Survivor Series.

Let's get to the matches:

WWE World Title Semi-Final match:  Alberto Del Rio vs. Roman Reigns

What should happen:  Del Rio is one of the few guys who works better as a smartass face than as a heel.  He needs to be returned to the character he was at Lucha Underground.  Reigns is the guy they are pushing to the moon, and should have a clean win.

What I expect to happen:  Reigns will win.  There's no way Del Rio gets to the finals

What I'm terrified will happen:  Del Rio advances to prove me wrong

WWE World Title Semi-Final match:  Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose

What should happen:  Owens came in red-hot, beating Cena... then lost to Cena twice in a row.  Now he's treading water as the IC Champ- still an incredibly hot heel, but not as over as he was the first two months.  I think Owens should keep the IC belt until Sami Zayn returns (because those two can have one HELL of a match)- but Owens doesn't need the World Title today

What I expect to happen:  Ambrose wins to set up an All-Shield final

What I'm terrified will happen:  The Authority comes down, what appears to help Owens, but 'accidentally' helps Ambrose win to set up Ambrose's turn in the finals.

Tyler Breeze vs. Dolph Ziggler

What should happen:  Ziggler's been booked so poorly he might as well be called 'Cesaro 2.0'.  breeze has had great matches in NXT, and can easily be a workhorse.  Give these two thirty minutes and let the audience be begging for a rematch

What I expect to happen:  This is Breeze's PPV debut.  I think he wins

What I'm terrified will happen:  Ziggler wins.  Breeze goes to Superstars.  So does Ziggler

Kane and Undertaker vs. Bray Wyatt and Brau Strowman

What should happen:  I'm not sure how you restore Bray Wyatt's drawing power- he's lost too many times.  Maybe have his flock turn on him and have Undertaker take him under his wing as a protege to set up Undertaker's final match?

What I expect to happen:  The part-timers win.

What I'm terrified will happen:  Kane turns on Undertaker to set up their Wrestlemania match

Traditional 5 on 5 Survivor Series match

What should happen:  They haven't even announced who is in it, so who knows?  Either have Cesaro survive or the New Day survive, as both are the best people not on the card.

What I expect to happen:  Cesaro is the sole survivor on the face team (say him, R-Truth, Ryback, and the Usos vs. New Day, Wade Barrett, and the Miz)

What I'm terrified will happen:  Ryback turns heel and helps the heels win

WWE Divas match:  Charlotte vs. Paige

What should happen:  The WWE has botched the "Diva's revolution" so badly... and bringing up Reid Flair was low.  Forget that, have Paige win the title, drop it in two weeks to Sasha Banks, and begin the reign of the Boss

What I expect to happen:  Paige to win to set up her dominant heel reign.

What I'm terrified will happen:  Ric Flair comes down and turns on Charlotte to be at Paige's side

WWE Title match and Tournament Finale- Roman Reigns vs. Dean Ambrose

What should happen:  The story has been the Authority trying to find their new heel champion- so I would turn that around.  Have HHH approach Ambrose before the match and make it seem like Ambrose is open to it.  After a 15-20 minute match, the Authority comes down, distract the referee, hand Ambrose a chair- and Ambrose blasts HHH with the chair.  Ambrose and Reign chase the Authority from the ring, continue their match, Reigns wins cleanly, and the Shield celebrate

Now the Authority have two faces to go after- Reigns for holding the title, Ambrose for rejecting them.  Keep them as faces and at Wrestlemania, have Reigns face Brock Lesnar while Ambrose and HHH have a street fight.

What I expect to happen:  The Authority will come down and help one of them, turning them heel.  I don't know if the fans will boo Ambrose.  I think they will boo a heel Reigns (in fact, I think Reigns HAS to win, or risk being labelled as a Choker by the fans)- but what faces will he defend the title against?

What I'm terrified will happen:  Sheamus cashes in his briefcase and wins the belt.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

My Dream Iron Chef card

So here's the challenge from discussions with my lovely wife.  Come up with a Dream set of Iron Chef America matches (Basically, Wrestlemania for the Food Network).  Here are the rules:

  • Pick the opponent and secret ingredient for each current Iron Chef
  • Each opponent can be anyone except the other current Iron Chefs
  • Pick the matchups that appeals to you the best

Here's my choices:

Monday, October 19, 2015

NBA 2015-2016 Predictions

NBA Predictions

Eastern Conference:

New York

• Cleveland over Chicago, Miami over Atlanta, Washington over Boston, Milwaukee over Toronto
• Cleveland over Milwaukee, Washington over Miami
• Cleveland over Washington

Western Conference:
San Antonio
Golden State 
LA Clippers
Oklahoma City
New Orleans

LA Lakers

• San Antonio over New Orleans, Golden State over Phoenix, Memphis over LA Clippers, OKC over Houston
• OKC over San Antonio, Memphis over Golden State
• OKC over Memphis

More notes:
• Really high on Milwaukee this year
• The West will be a dogfight. Golden State’s a great team, but they had phenomenal luck last year. I think they stumble sometime this year
• Lottery: (1) Boston (via Brooklyn) (2) Philadelphia (3) Sacramento
• The Clippers are the team that is the biggest Wild Card; I could see them win the title, I could see them blow up completely.
• The Finals: I thought Cleveland would pull it off last year. Despite injuries to two of their big three and one of their key roleplayers, they took a loaded Golden State team to 6 games. LeBron’s peak window is closing- he’ll still be a great player for another decade, but the era where he’s clearly the best player in the NBA has only a year or two left. If the Cavs are going to win a title with LeBron as the best player, this is the best year to do it. CLEVELAND OVER OKC IN FIVE GAMES.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

MLB 2015 Playoff preference

MLB Playoff preference:

1.      Chicago Cubs- Yes, I stopped following them after the Soriano signing.  But they finally learned how to act like a smart team.  They hired Theo Epstein.  They drafted well.  They brought in Joe Maddon when he was available.  I’m sure Harry Caray is up in Heaven, drinking a Budweiser, and having a great time watching this team.

(Giant Gap...)

2.      Houston Astros- my rule; if a team I don’t actively root for can’t win it all, go for the team that has not won it all in my lifetime

3.      Texas Rangers- hence putting the teams from Texas as #2 and #3, with Houston ahead of the Rangers because the Astros are a more impressive story

4.      Pittsburgh Pirates- They won the World Series in my lifetime- but when I was seven. 

5.      Toronto Blue Jays- the only game I attended this year was in Toronto; this was before they had a huge win streak, but even then they looked impressive with their hitting. 

6.      Kansas City Royals- Pro:  Small-market team.  Con:  In the same division as the Indians

(Small Gap...)

7.      St. Louis Cardinals- I don’t hate the Cardinals, but they win.  All.  The.  Time.  It’s boring

(Large Gap...)

8.      New York Mets- Blargh.  Not a Mets fan.  Still think they are karmically paying back all of the luck they used to win in 1986.

9.      Los Angeles Dodgers- But at least the Mets aren’t as obnoxious as the Dodgers.  Or have anywhere near the payroll

10.   New York Yankees- oh, that’s right- they already lost.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Economics- a blinding flash of the obivous

I hate to just cut and paste what someone else wrote, but Kevin D. Williamson's comment about the deficit and taxes is so spot-on that I want everyone to see it:

Every Republican tax-reform plan should be rooted in this reality: If you are going to have federal spending that is 21 percent of GDP, then you can have a.) taxes that are 21 percent of GDP; b.) deficits. There is no c. 
If, on the other hand, you have a credible program for reducing spending to 17 or 18 percent of GDP, which is where taxes have been coming in, please do share it.  
The problem with the Growth Fairy model of balancing budgets is that while economic growth would certainly reduce federal spending as a share of GDP if spending were kept constant, there is zero evidence that the government of these United States has the will or the inclination to enact serious spending controls when times are good (Uncork the champagne!) or when times are bad (Wicked austerity! We must have stimulus!). So even if we buy Jeb Bush’s happy talk about growth, or Donald Trump’s, the idea that spending is just going to magically sit there, inert, while the economy zips forward and the tax coffers fill up, is delusional.  
There are no tax cuts when the government is running deficits, only tax deferrals. 

This applies to both parties and everyone's economic plan.  

Friday, September 4, 2015

NFL Predictions 2015-2016


Dallas 10-6
NY Giants 9-7
Philadelphia 9-7
Washington 3-13

Green Bay 12-4
Minnesota 9-7 (Wild Card)
Detroit 7-9
Chicago 7-9

Carolina 9-7
New Orleans 7-9 
Atlanta 6-10
Tampa Bay 4-12

Seattle 13-3
Arizona 10-6 (Wild Card)
St. Louis 8-8
San Francisco 5-11

Arizona over Carolina
Dallas over Minnesota

Seattle over Arizona
Green Bay over Dallas

Green Bay over Seattle


New England 11-5
Miami 10-6 (Wild Card)
Buffalo 7-9
NY Jets 4-12

Cincinnati 11-5
Baltimore 10-6 (Wild Card)
Pittsburgh 10-6
Cleveland 4-12

Indianapolis 11-5
Houston 9-7
Tennessee 7-9
Jacksonville 5-11

Denver 9-7
Kansas City 8-8
Oakland 6-10
San Diego 6-10

Indianapolis over Miami
Baltimore over Denver

New England over Baltimore
Cincinnati over Indianapolis

Cincinnati over New England

Super Bowl: Green Bay 34, Cincinnati 20

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

They say the first decade is the hardest...

Ten years ago today, Katie White and I were married by the State of Ohio.  

Since then, we've added one more cat, been in a few shows and several dozen Improv Jams together, lost one kidney, added several nieces and nephews, burned a few bridges, slaughtered millions of pixels in online games, won e-wrestling tag team titles together, lived, fought, cried, and loved.

It hasn't always been easy- you don't share two lives together without a few ups and downs.  But we've been together through a lot, and I can't imagine what live would be like without her.

We're both private people- Katie doesn't even a facebook page, and my philosophy is never to put anything online that I don't want the whole world to see.  But I'm good with the whole world seeing this.

I love you, Katie White-Sonby

and Always