Thursday, August 17, 2017

Summerslam 2017 Preview

Oh yes the event of the summer has arrived and sweet lord is this card going to be long as all hell. Seriously counting the pres-how there are going to be 12 matches on this card and is slated to be about 6 hours long. Now I love the wrestling but dear lord this is going to be a marathon. Now with no further delay let's just dive into this.

Neville vs Akira Tozawa (WWE Crusierweight Title)
Since returning from injury and moving to the cruiserweight division Neville has been on an absolute roll. His evil Neville persona has been a welcome change from the bland babyface with cool moves he was before. Since turning heel he rarely does moves the crowd loves because they aren't worthy. Akira Tozawa has been a fan favorite since he was in the Cruiserweight Classic throwing some of the best German suplexes I've ever seen.
This match will be an exciting one as these two have great chemistry and I look forward to this feud continuing.
Winner: Tozawa

The Usos vs The New Day (Smackdown Tag Team Championships)
Since turning heel the Usos have gone from being the act that I take my bathroom break when I see them to arguably the best act on Smackdown.
They're being much more aggressive and exuding just a coolness that can't be denied. As for the New Day they have always been entertaining so it's hard for me to make a choice. I would say the Usos will win it back just because the New Day don't need the title to be popular or successful.
Winner: The Usos 

Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose vs Cesaro and Sheamus (Raw Tag Team Championships)
The long drawn out reunion of Rollins and Ambrose finally happened on the last Monday Night Raw. So given the popularity of the two joining forces I would guess that they will take the titles off the hands of Cesaro and Sheamus. That said Cesaro and Sheamus have been one of my my favorite acts. Going from hating each other's guts to a begrudging respect to now being one of the best tag teams in the entire division and I look forward to them feuding with the (hopefully soon to be Broken) Hardys.
Winner: Rollins and Ambrose

John Cena vs Baron Corbin 
Now this match is going to be hard to call. For some reason Corbin cashed in his Money in the Bank contract but lost due to a distraction from John Cena.
I wouldn't do that if I was you.
Now rumors are swirling that John Cena is going going to be at the post Summerslam Raw so having him go over Corbin makes little sense. But Cena is not going to lose clean so I say Corbin wins but it will be under less than fair circumstances.
Winner: Baron Corbin

Finn Balor vs Bray Wyatt
 This feud has really been underwhelming but Balor announced that he will be doing this match as the Demon. Arguably one of the coolest entrances in all of wrestling it also means that he's not losing.
Someday...
Hopefully this leads to the Balor Club forming and Bray Wyatt getting some direction post Summerslam.
Winner: Finn Balor


Big Show vs Big Cass
This one seems pretty straight forward that Big Show wins due to some kind of help from Enzo Amore who will be suspended above the cage in a shark cage. I also would expect Big Cass and the Club to get some licks in on the Big Show before Enzo gets his redemptive moment and somehow saves the day. I'm guessing by some kind of spot from the cage onto all 3 of those assaulting the Big Show.
Winner: The Big Show

Randy Orton vs Rusev
Now if I was going with my heart Rusev wins this match in a squash. Unfortunately I'll be a little more rational. Randy Orton just lost three times in a row to Jinder Mahal and this "feud" was kinda cobbled together at the last minute. So Randy wins here and then probably takes a break because after this not really sure where a baby face Randy Orton goes.
Winner: Randy Orton

Kevin Owens vs AJ Styles 
Anytime you put AJ Styles and Kevin Owens in a match it has the opportunity to steal the show.
Throw Shane McMahon in as the guest referee and definitely has a shot to be the match of the night. Now I get the feeling that this match is going to lead to a Shane McMahon feud with Kevin Owens, I expect the Phenomenal One to get the win when Shane interferes and stops Owens from cheating to get the victory.
Winner: AJ Styles  

Shinsuke Nakamura vs Jinder Mahal (WWE Championship)
Now had I written this before Smackdown I would have had Nakamura winning. Give Baron Corbin's failed cash in attempt I will have to say that somehow, someway Swagsuke will not be successful in his first attempt at the title.
Next time sweet prince...
 That said I don't think it will be a clean win for Jinder but it won't weaken him by making him look like a total jackass.
Winner: Jinder Mahal

Sasha Banks vs Alexa Bliss (WWE Raw Women's Championship)
Over the last few months there hasn't been a better women's wrestler on the roster than the Boss. And while Alexa Bliss is miles ahead of her on the mic, in the ring Sasha shall shine. The wild card in all of this is Bliss' relationship to Nia Jaxx, and will she get involved. If she does and accidentally costs Bliss the title it could open a very interesting feud there and allows Sasha to feud with some of the more underutilized women talent (*cough* Emma *cough) or even call up Asuka for a pretty damn entertaining feud.

Natalya vs Naomi (Smackdown Women's Championship)
Naomi is probably the most athletic talented wrestler on the roster and in terms of pure mat based skill you'd be hard pressed to find someone more proficient than Natalya. This should be a good showcase of Natalya's technical prowess and Naomi's athleticism. In the end I think Natalya will end the reign of Naomi.
Winner: Natalya
But Then:
Carmella the winner of the Women's Money in the Bank contract will seize the opportunity to catch a celebrating Nattie slipping and cash in and win the title.
Winner: Carmella

Braun Strowman vs Roman Reigns vs Samoa Joe vs Brock Lesnar (WWE Universal Title)
And now the main event that should have you salivating. Braun Strowman has won me over. First of all he flipped an ambulance. I'll repeat that because it bears repeating. HE FLIPPED A DAMN AMBULANCE. Roman Reigns for all his faults, once he gets in the ring is a prime time player. Samoa Joe has been on a roll like no other, as he is a legit bad ass and delivers one hell of an intimidating promo.
Joe's gonna kill you...seriously.
And Brock Lesnar? Well he's a damn monster. People his size and age shouldn't be able to move with his speed and still possess that strength. I see Braun and Brock essentially taking each other out and as Roman spears one of the two and prepares to go for a cover Joe will strike with the Coquina Clutch and become the new Universal Champion.
Winner: Samoa Joe

Well there you have it. Not sure if any of these will work out as I predicted but like an idiot I will put myself out there and give it a shot. Alright kids, I am out. 
 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

NXT Takeover Brooklyn III Preview

Well the world has turned into some hot piles of burning trash well more so, so in an effort to distract myself from the ills of a society that has all of a sudden become concerned with the feelings of nazis, I will for the 3 to 4 people who read this and watch wrestling I shall give you my predictions starting with NXT Takeover on Saturday night.

But before I begin I must say that if you are a fan of wrestling then you must begin watching NXT sooner rather than later. If for nothing else it was announced this week that the brand has signed former Ring of Honor champion Adam Cole...bay bay!
Stealing the show with the Phenomenal One
Seriously look up some of his matches with fellow NXT signee Kyle O'Reilly and be amazed. Now I'm not about to delve into some fantasy booking so into the card as currently presented.

Johnny Gargano vs Andrade Cien Almas
Now that DIY has broken up we have Johnny Wrestling doing it on his own.
He is gonna be going against the newly revitalized Cien Almas who will have Zelina Vega (formerly Thea Trinidad in his corner...hey boo!) This could be the perfect match to start off the show, Almas' aggression with the plucky underdog style of Johnny Gargano will definitely be a great complement to each other. I think in the end Almas will ignore the direction of Vega and it will cost him the the match. This makes his character continually evolve and builds Gargano as a top babyface for when the Sicilian Psychopath himself Tomasso Ciamppa returns...and the Psycho is returning.
Winner: Gargano

Aleister Black vs Hideo Itami
I'll admit I was unaware of the work of the former Tommy End but hot damn he has been killing since coming to NXT.

And Itami since becoming a bitter jerk has shown the aggression and stiff kicks that made him famous all those years in Japan. I imagine that aggression will be his downfall however as Black has shown an eerie calm in the ring and can hit that Black Mass roundhouse kick from well anywhere. Plus it builds him to contend for the NXT Title sooner rather than later.
Winner: Black  

Sanity vs Authors of Pain (NXT Tag Team Championship)
When they first debuted I was not the biggest fan of the AOP, but every time they've gotten in the ring they've gotten better. Working with teams like the Revival and DIY didn't hurt but these two young guys certainly looked like they belonged.
 As for Sanity they aren't too compelling outside of the Beast from Belfast Killian Dain. That's not to say Alexander Wolfe isn't entertaining as the maniacal sidekick, just the story hasn't had a chance to build to a compelling crescendo yet. I expect The Authors to continue on to one more special as champs before dropping the title to Sanity and moving up to Raw or Smackdown.
Winner: Authors of Pain

Ember Moon vs Asuka (NXT Women's Championship)
Now this match could steal the show. Asuka has been dominant since arriving. In fact she has yet to be pinned. And the very subtle change in character from confident to very cocky has been amazing. As for Ember Moon, in the ring she is amazing. And her finisher has been built up as a definite night ender for whoever is on the receiving end.

I would say now is the time to pull the trigger and finally end the reign of the Empress of Tomorrow.
Winner: Ember Moon

Drew McIntyre vs Bobby Roode (NXT Championship)
This feud has been going on all of 2 weeks so I would not expect to see a title change here.

That's not to say we won't see a good match however. Bobby Roode is perfect as the arrogant champ who seemingly has bitten off more than he can chew before getting serious and finding a way to win. McIntyre has just come back to WWE as a man of the people babyface. He's a big guy with a very impressive move set and given time for a feud to develop and fans get reintroduced to him this could be the man to end the reign of the Glorious One. That time isn't now though.
Winner: Bobby Roode 

Well folks there we have it, my opinion on the latest Takeover from NXT. Perhaps if time permits I shall do one for Summerslam as well. I'm out. 


    




Thursday, August 3, 2017

NBA: I Truly Love You



Well free agency and the draft have passed for the NBA and all I can say is this off-season did not disappoint. From crazy ass trades, to superstars acting petulant and demanding trades in the most soap opera fashion imaginable this off-season has shown why the NBA is the best league out there and no this is not up for debate with me. So because the Chocolate Cub and I have spent most of our time together watching basketball, I shall share with you a few of my favorite and not so favorite moves of this off season.
Best Trade:
Minnesota trading for Jimmy Butler:
So long sweet prince.
 Let’s just go ahead and get this out the way. In Butler the young T-Wolves get a premier wing defender, reliable scorer and someone with a very attractive contract. All they had to give up was Zach LaVine who is coming off an ACL injury and Kris Dunn who they appeared to be quite low on. Thibs for the win.
Conversely…
Worst Trade: 
Chicago trades Jimmy Butler to Minnesota for LaVine, Dunn, and Lauri Markkanen.
Giving him a legend like Tyrus Thomas number...smh
 …Sigh. Had we not swapped draft picks as well I could have been convinced to like this trade. We give up Butler for unproven commodities in both Dunn and Markkanen, and a wild card in Zach LaVine. Bang up job there GarPax…just a bang up job.
Best Free Agent Signing:
This may seem like I'm cheating but the best signing during the free agent period had to be Kevin Durant signing for a discounted deal to remain with the Warriors.
You selfish s.o.b.
He could have gotten up to 10 million more per year elsewhere or in Golden State but he took a pay cut to allow the Warriors re-sign some valuable pieces and walk into the 2017 season as the presumptive favorites to win it all again.

Top Rookie of 2017:
Now here I am truly conflicted. From watching the Summer League there were three players that stuck out to me as potential perennial all-stars.

  • Jayson Tatum-SF, Boston: I wasn't too impressed with him while at Duke but he showed up ready to play. Clearly the most offensively ready player in the draft, he was able to score in a multitude of ways in Las Vegas. With a fade away already being compared to some of the game's best, the Celtics could be re-loading for a years long run at the top of the Eastern Conference.
  • DeAaron Fox- PG, Sacramento: The fastest player in the draft and already one of the 3 fastest players in the league. He is able to push the action with a controlled chaos much in the way John Wall does for the Wizards. If he can ever get a more consistent jumper Sacramento will have quite the player to trade away in 3 seasons to avoid going to the playoffs and stay in the draft lottery.
  • Lonzo Ball- PG, Lakers: Despite his blowhard of a father Lonzo has somehow become a very mild mannered, team first phenom.His vision is second to none in his class and while his jumper is not the most beautiful looking shot it is certainly effective. I hope he takes advice from Kobe on how to successfully navigate having an overbearing father.

Surprise Team of 2017:
Philadelphia 76ers:
Ya'll better trust the process.
Given the current weakened state of the Eastern Conference this pick may not seem like the best but with a core of Joel Embiid, Dario Saric, Ben Simmons, and Markelle Fultz plus veterans like Amir Johnson and JJ Reddick this is a team finally worthy of being coached by Brett Brown who has been woefully underrated due to the roster looking straight basura the last few years.

Most Improved Team:
Minnesota Timberwolves
Play time...is over.
Without a doubt no team improved themselves as much as the Timberwolves did. Not only did they add Jimmy Butler, they added Jamal Crawford, Taj Gibson, and Jeff Teague to go along with a young impressive roster that already had Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins, and Shabazz Muhammad. Tom Thibodeau for all his accolades as a coach definitely deserves some props for his front office work as well.


Well folks that's my time, now begins the long wait until training camps and preseason. If you'll excuse me I'll be getting myself pumped up for it.

Monday, July 31, 2017

July's If You Don't Sit Yo Ass Down Award!



It’s been a while since we last came together here at my palace of petty. Something that I’m sure no new parent has heard ever, babies are exhausting. But I would never let a full month go by without giving you a very petty and possibly wildly fuego take on whom among us needs to have a seat. And boy let me tell you there has been no shortage of people who could use a seat, so without further ado I give the winner of July’s If You Don’t Sit Your Ass Down award…

Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti, get your ass up here so you can sit your ass down! 
Now why would I be telling a well-respected business man to sit his ass down? Well I am glad you asked! You use his is a part of a bigger problem in the NFL, he is a part of owners’ cowardly black balling of Colin Kaepernick. And make no mistake about it, this is a black balling. We’ve heard all along that “oh this based on talent” and oh this based on past performances.” Well if that was the case why would Steve Bisciotti and team president David Cass go to Ray Lewis and sponsors, not a QB evaluator or coach on whether or not they should sign Kaepernick? 

They’re even taking fan polls. I’m sorry but that’s the most asinine thing I’ve ever heard. Especially given that this fan base has supported a domestic abuser and most notably Ray Lewis.
You know the same Ray Lewis who was charged with obstruction of justice in a murder trial? The same Ray Lewis they’re running to for advice. Are you kidding me?! 

So, when the talk about fit and people’s talent dictating the market, I call bullshit. 
"Hello darkness my old friend."- Ryan Mallett
Because especially in the case of the Ravens, you mean to tell me that Ryan Mallett (career passer rating 64.9), Dustin Vaughn (career passer rating 0.0) and Josh Woodrum (Career passer rating 0.0) are all better choices to bring in than Kaepernick (Career passer rating 88.9)?  That alone shows this is not and has not ever been about talent and who can help someone win. 

Whether you agree with his protest or not, you have to admit he was not disruptive or disrespectful. He took a knee off to the side and that was that. 
If you're mad about the players and not the flag holder checking his dms, you're an asshole.
Something tells me if you had a problem with it, you really would have a problem with the NFL charging the military 5.5 million dollars for tributes to troops in 2015. No? Hadn’t heard a single peep calling owners and league execs un-patriotic. 

So for this one Bisciotti you get the coveted “If You Don’t Sit Your Ass Down award!” Now grow a spine and help your damn team.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Chocolate Puma's Mock NBA Draft Spectacular

Ah yes, it's my favorite time of the year, the annual NBA draft. Where we see fresh faced kids get introduced to the 82 game meat grinder of a season. As of right now my beloved Chicago Bulls have yet to trade away our best player for a shot at a prime time rookie, the following predictions are based on    

1. Philadelphia
Markelle Fultz, PG - Washington
The best player in the draft, a pure scoring point guard with an impressive wingspan of almost 6'10 should fit in quite nicely with the impressive core of Saric, Embiid, and Ben Simmons. It would appear that the process should have been trusted after all.

2. Los Angeles Lakers
Lonzo Ball, PG - UCLA

A true pass first point guard in the vein of Jason Kidd. Although I will admit he has a better jumper at this point than Kidd did, his defense leaves a lot to be desired. With that said he'd be a welcome addition to any team.

3. Boston
Josh Taytum, SF - Duke
Dealt with a few injuries his one year at Duke but he is a dynamic scoring small forward. He bolsters the bench immediately and provides a pretty athletic combo with last year's pick Jaylen Brown. 

 
4. Phoenix
Josh Jackson, SF - Kansas
I would have had Jackson going to Boston but he didn't work out for them. Character issues aside he is a pro ready scorer. Gets to the basket at will and has a grinder attitude in tight games. Team him with guards like Devin Booker and Eric Bledsoe and they could have a very entertaining core.





5. Sacramento
 
De'Aaron Fox, PG - Kentucky

I really like Fox, I really do and it pains me to do this but I think he's going to Sacramento. He could be the possibly the fastest player the second he is drafted. A very NBA ready shooter and passer, he could be the steal of the draft if going to a halfway decently run team.
 
6. Orlando
Jonathan Isaac, PF - Florida State
The first pick based on potential, he showed flashes of brilliance while at Florida State but did not perform on a consistent basis. I think if given time to develop he could be a Serge Ibaka level player.




7. Minnesota

Zach Collins, PF/C- Gonzaga
DAAAAAAAAAD!
 Given the recent release of Nikola Pekovic they could use a low post scoring force to help out Karl Anthony Townes. Collins has a nice jumper and back to the basket game. Even though he has the face of someone who constantly yells "Do you know who my dad is?!"



8. New York


Malik Monk, SG - Kentucky


Not the best defensive player, but he was an elite college scorer. He is able to get his own shot off from any angle and any spot on the floor. Now will he be allowed to flourish in the triangle offense remains the real question.

9. Dallas


Lauri Markkanen, PF - Arizona
This is just serendipitous. Dirk Nowitzki is nearing the end of his career and who should be available? A 7 foot Euro player with great footwork and NBA range when it comes to the three pointer. Give him a year learning under Dirk and we could have quite the passing of the torch.


10. Sacramento
Donovan Mitchell, SG - Louisville
I mean who knows what the hell the Kings are going to do. That said Mitchell is probably the best player at this point in the draft so sorry about that buddy.

11. Charlotte
Justin Jackson, SF/PF - UNC

He improved every year while in Chapel Hill. He has become a guy who's lanky frame allows him to get any shot he wants. Has improved immensely as a defender and is very underrated as a rebounder.

12. Detroit
Luke Kennard, SG - Duke
I can't believe I'm here either!
No player has benefited more from Grayson Allen being a total nut case than Luke Kennard.  A very good shooter who has surprised with his athleticism

13. Denver
Bam Adebayo, SG - Kentucky
Boom wild card! Bam didn't play but his potential is off the charts. Denver has Gary Harris starting at the 2 and this will allow him to develop slowly. Which he will definitely need. 

14. Miami
TJ Leaf, PF - UCLA 
With Chris Bosh having to retire this opens up a spot for someone who is versatile enough to be a face up threat while Hassan Whiteside gobbles up the boards and TJ Leaf fits the bill. Very good defender and rebounder, could be the start of a very promising front court with Whiteside and Winslow.

Well there you have it. I'm sure all of these will be wrong by the time I hit publish but I'm just so damn happy that it's finally here. Enjoy basketball nerds.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

June's If You Don't Sit Yo Ass Down Award!



Ah another month so it’s time for my ongoing series in which I unleash a rant directed at someone who should probably sit they ass down and shut the hell up. Today I want to present this June’s If You Don’t Sit Yo Ass Down Award to…
Bill Cosby!
That's right it's your turn to have a seat in the judgement chamber of the Chocolate Puma you hypocritical milky eyed bastard. In case you've been living under a rock, Ol' Uncle Pudding Pop here for decades (allegedly) popped drugs into unsuspecting women's drinks for years and sexually assaulted them. Well when finally seeing his day in court Ol' Billy Qualudes over here decides that this is all a conspiracy of the man.

Now maybe it's not Billy saying it but his defenders have pulled every possible excuse out the book for this guy. "He was about to buy NBC!" Yeah he asked about it in 1992 and the network wasn't for sale. Another favorite is that this is all to bring him down for uplifting black people! Well this is literally the worst plan in history to bring anyone down. I can see it now, a cabal of hooded figures around a table discussing their plans.
"See what we will do is give him a movie and stand up career."
"Yes? Then we bring him down?"
"No. then we give him an influential tv show and prop him up as a paragon of moral virtues!"
"Then we bring him down!"
"Not quite. Then we wait until he has fallen from the public eye and known more for his ridiculous sweaters."
"Then we bring him down?"
"Exactly"
"It's the perfect plan."

That's pretty damn ridiculous! And if there is this mystical figure trying to bring down positive black men, why did they choose this old cornball? LeBron James, Barack Obama, Denzel Washington, Ken Griffey, Jr., Gerald from Hey Arnold!, not a single accusation among all of em.
The walk of a man with no accusations.
What annoys me the most about Bill Cosby, beside the (alleged) sexual assaults of course, is that for years he walked around looking down on black and brown folk. People remember the infamous "Pound Cake" speech he gave but let's not act like that was a new position for him. For him to be that guy but also a guy who put himself the height of morality is just sickening. In the best case scenario, 50+ women are lying and he just cheated on his wife for over 3 decades. THIS IS NOT A GOOD PERSON.

So I could care less if you have a TV show I liked, you ain't my daddy and your old hypocritical ass should be in jail. So with that said get someone to pull your blind ass a chair up and have a seat.