Monday, October 16, 2017

Ten Takes (Some of the Fuego Variety) For the Upcoming NBA Season

Ah it's the most wonderful time of the year. If anyone knows anything about the old Puma of Chocolate origin it's that he loves himself some NBA basketball. In fact, I'll step out on a limb and say that the NBA is THE BEST SPORTS LEAGUE. This is not an invitation for debate, if you have a differing opinion I invite you to create your own moderately visited blog and espouse your own crazy opinions! Now that we got that out the way in honor of the upcoming NBA season I shall give you a few of the takes rattling around the Chocolate noggin.

1. Dennis Smith Jr. is going to be the 2017-18 Rookie of the year.
Quickly becoming one of everyone's dark horse picks to be rookie of the year, I am drinking the kool-aid. Wildly athletic to a Westbrookian degree, he landed in the perfect spot.
With an experienced coach and team which also happens to have one of the more selfless lineups in recent memory We could see him get points and assists needed to be a statistical virtuoso in his inaugural campaign. Add in the fact Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz will probably cancel each other out and Lonzo Ball is heading into the season depending on Brandon Ingram, Julius Randle and Brook Lopez.

2. Fred Hoiberg will get a contract extension.
Now just so we're clear, I'm not saying he deserves a contract extension. I, and many others think he is in fact the worst coach in the league.  You see because the basketball gods are fickle and blessed us with years of Michael Jordan we have since been cursed with years of Gar Foreman and John Paxson. The dastardly duo can never admit to being wrong and their biggest mistake to date, giving the seemingly nice fella from Ames the reigns to a team that should be consistent playoff contenders.

3. Brett Brown will be Coach of the Year.
Does this count as a hot take? I'm not sure. What I am sure of is Brett Brown is one of the best coaches no one has ever heard of. Why has no one heard of him? Because he's been with the Philadelphia 76ers and consistently been given one of the worst rosters in the sport. Now he has a good mix of youth (Markelle Fultz, Ben Simmons, Dario Saric, and Joel Embiid) and veterans (JJ Reddick, Robert Covington, Amir Johnson) to make some strides towards a playoff spot in the East. A big part of that will come down to my next take...

4. Joel Embiid will play in at least 65 games.
It's crazy that in 3 seasons he has only played in 31 games but here we are and we are still excited at the possibility of what he can become. In a brief showing last season he showed the footwork, speed, and power that had Bill Self losing all composure when he was at the University of Kansas.
If he stays healthy then a debt of gratitude is owed to Sam Hinkie. He played the draft lottery like a fiddle and possibly could set the Sixers up for a solid run of contention.

5. Toronto's window has shut. 
For a brief shimmering moment some believed that the Raptors had a chance to dethrone the Cavaliers. That was cute. While the rest of the Eastern contenders got better they stood pat, in fact they may have gotten worse. While Boston acquired Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, Toronto added....googles furiously...CJ Miles? Well it could be worse he typed looking at a tear stained photo of Jimmy Butler.

6. Nikola Jokic wins the Most Improved Player Award
One thing I have learned from twitter is that outside of Kobe or LeBron no one has fiercer defenders than Nikola Jokic. And after seeing him in person last year as the Nuggets drubbed the Bulls I can see why. He has officially surpassed Kenneth Faried as the low post force and with the offense seemingly built around him the sky is the limit for the lanky Serbian.

7. Houston will earn the #2 Seed in the West...
Adding Chris Paul to the already strong core of James Harden, Trevor Ariza, and Clint Capela will definitely make Mike D'Antoni a happy man.
Now he has a point guard that is a marked improvement over Patrick Beverly and should open things up for sharp shooters such as Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon.

8. It Won't Matter, they're losing in the Second Round
Because like death and taxes the one thing you can always depend on is Chris Paul having an earlier than expected exit from the playoffs.

9. Giannis Antetokounmpo Will Win NBA MVP.
There I said it. Greek Freak joins the Parthenon of NBA Greats who have won an MVP award. Bad puns notwithstanding, the table is set perfectly for him.
He can play all 5 positions on the court, is on a young and exciting team, and I am guessing the media is getting fatigue from voting for LeBron, Steph, KD and Russ. That all plays into the hands of Giannis.

10. The Chicago Bulls Will Not Even Win 20 Games. 
Live look at most Bulls fans
This one hurts the most. As a lifelong Bulls fans I have seen some insane highs, but now we're about to witness the darkest timeline. A timeline where we see a player to watch as Paul Zipser. Where we are depending on Bobby Portis to become at best a poor man's Taj Gibson. As we're being led into games by Fred Hoiberg, a man who barely commanded the respect of a college locker room.

Well there you have it. Not sure these are scorching takes but they're mine and I am gonna ride with em.  Let the madness begin!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Hell in a Cell 2017 Preview

Hot diggity damn, the blue brand is back with another pay per view so your boy is back with yet another heaping helping of prognostication. For the most part Smackdown has been the superior of the two brands so we shall see if their quality continues.Without further ado I present to you how I think things will play out on Hell...IN A...CELL!

Randy Orton VS Rusev

In theory you would think that Randy Orton doesn't really need this win as the RKO is possibly the most over move in all of professional wrestling and let's be honest, Rusev could use the win. However let's be honest with how this is going to work out, Rusev is going to physically dominate the entire match yet will fall victim to the RKO out of nowhere. Hopefully it is interesting, maybe even find a way to work in the homie Aiden English, who weirdly has all of the heels respect.
Winner: Randy Orton

Bobby Roode VS Dolph Ziggler
Ziggler is currently working a "I hate any kind of showmanship" gimmick which is weird because he has made his career calling himself the Show-Off. Bobby Roode fresh off a great heel run in NXT is trying to establish himself as a face so expect an over the top entrance from Roode. As for the match really only one way for this one to go and that would be a truly glorious victory for Roode.
Winner: Bobby Roode

Baron Corbin VS AJ Styles (United States Championship)
Baron Corbin is a perplexing case. Wins the Money in the Bank briefcase but then loses on the cash in. Then in a match where John Cena could have put him over out the door he loses again. AJ Styles on the other hand has been the best wrestler in the world probably since he came back from Japan.
From a story line aspect it makes no sense to have AJ drop the title if he's not going to feud for the World title. I would expect AJ to win and continue adding some prestige to the US title.
Winner: AJ Styles

Charlotte Flair VS Natalya (Smackdown Women's Championship)
It was pretty cool to see Nattie finally get another run as champ given some of the terrible booking she has had in the past (she seriously had a gimmick where she farted a lot. Seriously). But I think the time has come to transition the title to someone else. Now I know what you're thinking, Charlotte goes over here. Not necessarily. I see Nattie coming out over Charlotte but Carmella with the help of her lap dog James Ellsworth gets the drop on her and successfully cashes in her money in the bank contract.
Winner: Natalya...then Carmella

The Usos vs The New Day (Smackdown Tag Team Championship) 
Smackdown has not been without it's faults, but what consistently has been great has been the rivalry of the New Day and the Usos. After kinda floundering the last few years as generic babyfaces the Heel Usos have been my favorite act in all of Smackdown.
They single handedly are probably responsible for American Alpha not taking off as they should because they're doing such great work that you can't help but cheer for them. Unless they are against the New Day, no matter what two members represent they have undeniable chemistry with the Usos. Now you add in the fact this match is going to be in a Hell in a Cell match and you have the match of the night guaranteed.
I would expect the New Day to win and possibly then feud with a debuting heel tag team (*cough* Authors of Pain *cough*).
Winner: The New Day

Shinuske Nakamura vs Jinder Mahal (WWE Championship)
Jinder has been a serviceable champion. Not the worst I've seen, but definitely more suited to be a mid-card heel than a main event guy. That being said I don't think the time is right to put the title on Nakamura. I feel that should be a big moment against someone who he has had a long feud with and you can have that big moment. So given that this match is not inside a cell I would expect the Singhs to continue their shenanigans and do their job and Jinder retains and moves on to the next feud while Nakamura begins the program that could lead us to a match with AJ Styles at Wrestlemania.
Winner: Jinder Mahal

Shane McMahon VS Kevin Owens
Now this match has to close to show. I mean KO busted open the guy's 70 year old father and gave him a frog splash. Also shout out to Vince McMahon for taking a head butt like that at 70. Now Shane is known for falling off very tall things and being hurled through very sharp things. So you know there is going to be a moment where he is on top of the cage and let's be honest that never turns out well for him. Owens is such an unlikable person yet one of the top guys in the business so while some will root for Shane and Owens will make it seem close there's no way he loses this match.
Winner: Kevin Owens

Well there you have it, another ppv down. I'll look to continue my streak with the next pay per view but if I don't chill out, this is free content.

Peace out humanoids.

Friday, September 29, 2017

September's Sit Your Ass Down Award: Classic Edition

Ah September, it has been quite a month. There has been no shortage of people worthy of this award and it even for the first time forced me to do a special edition of this award. Shout out you ol' Shitlock. But we must return to a sense of normalcy, after all that is what you, my tens of readers expect from ya boy. So it is without further ado that I present to you the recipient of the Sit Your Ass Down Award: Classic Edition!

This is a man who frankly probably should have been honored with this a ling time ago but better late than never I say. So Piers Morgan bring your Shepherd's Pie eating ass up here so you can sit your ass down!
You see a few weeks ago a video of sorority girls singing Kanye West's 'Gold Digger' (which still slaps HARD in case anyone was curious) and they repeatedly and rather enthusiastically seemed to revel in the line "She ain't messing with no broke nigga." And to those who took umbrage to these young white girls happily yelling nigga Piers has this to say: "How can it possibly be racist to sing along to a song that was No1 in America for TEN WEEKS?" Well there you have it gang. Had it only topped the 8 weeks, then you may have a point, 10 WEEKS?! Get over it snowflakes.

Of course that's absolute ridiculous reasoning. He even has the Welsh meatballs to basically blame hip hop artists for when white people say nigga. If that's the case I really am curious who was that fire chief from Pittsburgh listening to when he called Mike Tomlin a no good nigger. You see what this ass clown who has the same body composition as figgy pudding and people of his ilk are doing is acting like these white sorority girls and so many like them are just innocent kids. Fuck that noise. The bar is set pretty low people. If you're white you can't say nigga. That's it. Shit they're even letting white women become black women, you are literally allowed to do everything else. Just leave the n-word out of it.

To lay the usage of the word by people who aren't members of the black delegation at the feet of rappers is just ridiculous. Because something tells me Bull Connor was not listening to some fire mixtapes.
"I swear this Joey Badass negro is quite the rapper."
So in the words of the fine brothers over at Very Smart Brothas (Check them out, always a good read) "Piers Morgan Is Allowed to Say ‘Nigga’ if We’re Allowed to Smack the Pumpkin Spice out of Him When He Does."

So Piers, grab a steak and kidney pie and wash it down with a tall glass of shut the hell up when the urge to do something this stupid hits you. And please do us all a favor and sit your ass down. 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

A Very Special Public Service Announcement

Hi, I'm the Chocolate Puma and I am here with a very important public service announcement. You may remember me from such moments as telling people I disagree with on a cellular level to simultaneously sit your ass down while also informing them of their right to shut the fuck when grown folks is talking.
I'm here today to help out some people who may be curious how to avoid getting the soul slapped out of them by their black friends, family, and or coworkers. I'll give you 3 simple tips to ensure your soul stays intact.

Tip 3: Don't use black on black crime as a defense for well anything. 
Boy it should go without saying that the myth of the scourge of the black community being the most pressing issue affecting us has had more staying power than mediocre comedic actors careers (looking at you Tim Allen). Now while it is true that most crimes committed against black people is done by other black people, the same is also true of white people. In fact it's true across all racial and ethnic lines.
"So you can swag surf on the White House lawn but what about black on black crime?!"
You know why? People hurt those who are closest to them. Crime is intraracial. That being the case, I've never heard someone speak on the scourge of white on white crime. You know why? Because they don't care about black on black crime, they care about stopping you from talking about some black shit. So please...retire this tired reasoning.

Tip 2: Don't defend white people who say nigga, nigger, etc...
It's a tale as old as time, white person gets their inner Tarantino on and drops a n-bomb and the next thing you know you have tons of white people throwing their capes on and coming to the rescue. They assure us, the members of the black delegation that this person couldn't possibly be racist. Frankly, I don't care, although for that to be the go to word you use when angry says ALOT. I've seen the "I don't think anyone should be able to say it" argument quite a bit and to that I say:
Since I have to go through life getting it hurled at me be it at work from an angry customer or anonymous troll who didn't like a Game of Thrones tweet, I'd say if I wanted to use it I earned the right. Also given the social contract if the only thing you have to do not be a complete shit bag is not drop a n word when you get angry, I say you got off pretty easy.

Finally and most importantly...

Tip 1: Don't let your president get your ass kicked.
Since November asshats across the country have been emboldened thanks to the election of Orange Julius Caesar (shout out to Larry Wilmore). You're seeing more out and out racist behavior from city officials, fire men, and a host of others. Now what has ol' Trumpito done that's racist? Well confirmed accounts include, a housing discrimination suit brought forward by the Department of Justice, he lobbied to have the Central Park Five executed and even after being exonerated will not back down on his incorrect claims, not to mention many unverified accounts. So if you're feeling empowered to say something froggy, before the inclination to jump hits you remember that while some people are peaceful in the face of asshattery of this nature, some will offer you a 2 piece with a biscuit for the low, low cost of free-ninety nine.
The 2 piece aka the Chris Childs special. 

So if you follow these helpful pointers I can assure that you won't get a chakra re-aligning slap from the black person in your life.

Friday, September 22, 2017

WWE No Mercy Preview

Keeping with what I have been attempting to do with each pay per view this year I shall give my predictions on what I think will be going down at the next show. But before I do, I'd like to express a few thoughts on Bobby "The Brain" Heenan.
The announcer, wrestler, manager, and well anything else you can think of in the wrestling world passed away this after a hell of a battle with cancer. Some of my earliest childhood memories of wrestling are of him as a manager, and most in my mind his friendship and partnership with Gorilla Monsoon. Their banter back and forth while also calling matches were not only entertaining, but also gave the proper gravitas to whatever match was being called. A consummate pro, and entertaining to the end. The Brain aka The Weasel will definitely be missed.

Now on to the show!

Jason Jordan VS The Miz (Intercontinental Championship)
Since coming over as the kayfabe son of Kurt Angle, Jason Jordan has just kinda been there. Impressive in the ring sure, but nothing that draws you to him. So what does creative do? They stick him with the Miz and let Miz do what he does best and that's talk. He has given us more to root for this guy with just a few promos than 2 previous months of squash matches. I see this as just the beginning of a possible good feud,  I expect the Miz to win with some shifty interference from the Miztourage.
Winner: The Miz

Sasha Banks VS Emma VS Bayley VS Nia Jax VS Alexa Bliss (Raw Women's Championship)
Ah yes the disjointed women's division. a mess. And this is not the fault of the women at all.I just don't know what story they are trying to tell. Why have Sasha win bringing up past failed defenses only to have her fail to defend it? Why just throw Baley in because she showed up? Why have Emma go on conspiracy rantings about starting the Women's Revolution?
Guess who is getting squashed by Asuka next month?
Are they ever gonna address Nia Jax and Alexa Bliss? Also with Asuka coming to Raw what does that do? So I'm just gonna guess that say...Emma wins.
Winner: Emma

Enzo Amore VS Neville (Crusierweight Championship)
Since returning from injury and turning heel at the start of the year Neville has been amazing. The King of the Cruiserweights has dispatched every foe who has stepped up and challenged him. Enzo was kind of man with no home after Big Cass went down with an injury so he seems kinda shoehorned into the Cruiserweight division. That being said he is a bigger name than well all of the cruiserweights and has gotten smurfed by Neville on numerous occasions already so I expect a very over confident Neville to get rolled up and Enzo to walk out with the title.
Winner: Enzo Amore

Finn Balor VS Bray Wyatt
So the Demon Finn beat Bray at the last pay per view, and given that creative apparently has nothing for either of these guys let's just say Bray wins and they have a rubber match at the next pay per view.
My reaction to this match.
Winner: Bray Wyatt

Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins VS Cesaro and Sheamus (Raw Tag Team Championship)
This match is possibly going to be the most entertaining on the entire card. Cesaro is probably the most gifted athlete in this match thus his nickname the Swiss Cyborg. Sheamus is a brawler who can puts on highly entertaining matches, while Rollins aka Crossfit Jesus shines with anyone. Hell this feud has even lit a fire into Dean Ambrose who seemingly was just going through the motions. That said I think Rollins and Ambrose retain here and maybe, just maybe some certain Top Guys are healthy enough to begin a feud with them.

Winner: Ambrose and Rollins

John Cena VS Roman Reigns
Ah yes, Big Match John versus the Big Dog. I honestly expect this to be a very good match. When Cena isn't making dick jokes and wanking motions in his promos is one of the best in the world (see his US Open challenge matches). And while it can be argued he has buried people in the past, in recent memory he has done a pretty good job of putting people over such as Kevin Owens, AJ Styles, Sami Zayn, Jason Jordan just to name a few. If I were booking this, Cena wins, Roman begins to doubt himself and you have someone that fans can relate to and would want to cheer. Instead Roman will win, act like nothing happened and be shoved down our throats as the conquering hero.
"Something, something yard...something, something Big Dog."
Winner: Roman Reigns

Braun Strowman VS Brock Lesnar (Raw Universal Championship)
In the words of the great Jim Ross, this match is going to be a slobberknocker. Given the negative tag of "part-timer" you have to admit that Brock Lesnar has looked like a million bucks in his last few defenses and made his opponents look legit as bad asses. He did it for Samoa Joe, he did for everyone in the fatal four way, and I think that streak continues Sunday. Braun has been built as a monster but this dude...can...GO. He's faster than someone that size should be with the ability to do drop kicks and kip ups as if he was half the size. Honestly I don't mind who wins, but for the sake of having a champ on tv every week I am going to say Braun gets his first run with the title. Also he gave us this moment which I'll forever be grateful for.

Winner: Braun Strowman

Well there you have it, another pay per view another round of increasingly inaccurate predictions! Join me when I incorrectly pick the matches of Hell in a Cell in a few weeks! 

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Fatherhood and Me

I have been meaning to write about this topic for quite a while. A few friends of mine wrote about their experiences earlier this year, shout out to John and Andy for setting the bar high. I have sat down many times and deleted all I wrote because I just couldn't get a cohesive point across and felt like a rambling mess. But here we are, at a place where I feel like the haze of being gifted with this precious gift combined with sleep deprivation and balancing work has begun to lift and the feelings of being a father are becoming much more clear.

I'm not what one would call a classically emotional person, I am much more likely to cry watching a fiery wrestling promo or a Sunday segment on ESPN than I am at say a wedding or a funeral. So when my son was born and there were no tears I wasn't shocked, what did shock me was it felt like I wasn't crying because there was a complete sensory overload.
Emotions flooding my body yet unable to get through.
So many emotions flooding in at once, as I gazed at this little guy who I had wondered how he would look for months finally in front of me. My body literally did not know how to react.

Now I have written many times of growing up without a father. So my fears before the arrival of the Cub were much more based on what the hell do I know to teach this guy?
So like stuff?
I would sit with him in his room, rocking slowly, nervously thinking of what to tell him even though I knew he had absolutely no idea what I was saying, there was this nervousness that it had to be as perfect as he was.
Raise em right.
One day I was sitting with him and began to read him a comic book, and just kinda got lost in it. I was finally relaxed with him and I looked down and he was just smiling at me. People say at the four to six month range babies get fun because their personality begins to shine through but for me, it was on day four and we haven't looked back since.

Everyday when I wake up (not counting the 4 am feeding) my only goal is to make his life better. Now while I didn't grow up with my father I was lucky enough to have some role models. Men from my church in good ol' Enterprise, Mississippi, my uncle, and a friend of mine who was kind enough to share his dad with me (shout out to you Jerry, miss you and that laugh that only comes when I have fallen off a bike head first after I did what you told me not to do.) The lessons and stories I have from all of these great men have provided a greater template than I could have ever imagined.

So armed with these lessons, and a few personal joys and passions of mine I try and share with him every day and while he has yet to show the same interest in documentaries and Japanese wrestling, I have no doubt that someday we'll get there. I hug and kiss my boy and bestow upon him these life lessons and pointless trivia that won't help him ever really, but will bond us forever.

He's my little buddy, the perfect member of our household, and the greatest gift my wife and I have ever been blessed with. The greatest gift I never knew I wanted.
" more jokes."

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

September's Sit Your Ass Down Award: Special Edition

I know this usually comes a little later in the month, and I assure you that you are going to get one at the end of the month. But what came across the timeline just had to be addressed.
This is Jason Whitlock.
Beware of men with no facial hair.
Now this wingding who often rocks fedoras in a feeble attempt to hide the fact his head has identical characteristics and composition as that of a melted milk dud is a talking head over at Fox Sports One. In addition to that he has been Colin Kaepernick hater number one. In fact it's all he talks about. And on Labor Day he thought it would be down right HILARIOUS to send out this image from his lightly watched TV show.
So no one thought this would end poorly?


You see Jason Whitlock is what happens when someone so badly wants to be recognized as a legitimate intellectual that they are willing to spout anything for a pat on the head and an "atta boy." You can tell that by his I  guess you can call it feuds with people who are actually respected like Bomani Jones and Ta Nehisi Coates. (Although not sure it can be regarded as a feud if neither of the other party even acknowledges your existence.) Side note: Bomani Jones earned my forever respect for the class he showed when out of nowhere he drew the ire of Ol' Shitlock.

Seriously look at the people co-signing this jester for mediocrity ridiculous ass claims such as the "left" sent Kaepernick to ruin football because it was making too many young black men rich and famous. This is a thing that he believes.

He has positioned himself as the guy who when someone says something fucked up racially and they say they have a black friend, he's that black friend. Someone so desperate to be seen as important that he has seemingly mortgaged his soul to create this anti-black brand and finally be looked at as someone worthy of respect.

This bulging wart on the ass of American broadcast journalism, has spent the last year running down anyone who speaks on topics remotely racial. When LeBron James had "nigger" spray painted on his house, Whitlock said it had nothing to do with race because LeBron is rich. The literal example of something being racist and he can't take his gravy filled jowels out the ass of white supremacy long enough to admit it.

And by having this caricature of Kaepernick on his show, a man who took a stand by taking a knee he showed just what he is about. Here is a man who has donated time, money, and spearheaded efforts to actually help the community and in the process is having his career sabotaged while Whitlock has spent his time on twitter proclaiming Kap isn't black enough and over using phrases such as "okey-doke" and "mainstream media."

So from everyone of us who have yet to achieve to ascend to his post-racial level, I politely ask you to in the wise words of the sage Black Dynamite:

Saturday, September 2, 2017

The Puma Wrestling Index Top Ten

So it's that time of year when one of my favorite wrestling magazines releases its top 500 wrestlers. And as I am wont to do, it got me to thinking about who my top performers were for the past year. Now I'm not gonna give you a top 500 because as I type this I currently have the Chocolate Cub napping on my chest and frankly I'm not sure I could come up with 500 wrestlers if I tried. So you'll get ten and you'll like it. This free content baby!

10. Seth Rollins (WWE)
This entrance alone gets him a top 10 spot.
The architect of the Shield gets us started on this journey. Over the past year he has been probably the most steady force on the show. Anytime someone needs a good match throw Seth in there. He has been on a bit of a redemptive story line as he has seemingly made amends with Dean Ambrose over the dissolution  of the Shield and and they are the current Tag Team Champions.
Best Moment:
Beating Triple H with his own move at Wrestlemania.

9. The Miz (WWE)
2017 is really weird. Had you told me a few years that I would automatically be into whatever the Miz was saying I would have called you a liar but here we are. Never the most exciting guy in the ring but where he has made himself one of the best in the world has been on the microphone. Singlehandedly saving feuds with Dean Ambrose and John Cena just to name a few. If the A-Lister were to get another run with the top title, I don't think you'd hear a single objection from me.
Best Moment:
Bringing that hot fire on Talking Smack to Daniel Bryan.

8. Adam Cole (ROH/NXT)

Of all the legends who have gone through Ring of Honor such as AJ Styles, CM Punk, Samoa Joe etc., who can make the claim to being the only three time champion in the promotion's history? That's right. Adam Cole bay-bay! At only 28 years old he already has over a decade of experience and last year was a banner year for him. He joined the Bullet Club, had a great feud with Jay Lethal, and even as he left, he put over "the Villain" Marty Scurrll. Recently signed to NXT I'd expect him to be even higher on this list next year.
Best Moment:
Taking the spotlight at NXT Takeover Brooklyn.

7. Roman Reigns (WWE)
 Let's just go ahead and get this out the way, Roman Reigns the character is a dick. That constant smirk, questionable motivating tactics and feeling he's being shoved down the fans throats. That said in the ring, this guy is damn dynamite. His matched with Braun Strowman this year were ri-goddamn-diculous. He even got pushed over in a damn ambulance. So as much as I hate to do so, props must be given. And even with the overuse of the Spear by wrestlers today, no one does it better than Roman.

Best moment:

6. Samoa Joe (NXT/WWE)
Now on to one of my favorite wrestlers on the planet right now.  For years he was underappreciated and languished in TNA after a hot run with Kurt Angle on his arrival. After leaving TNA and recharging his battery in Ring of Honor he came into NXT and the rest is history. When his Godzilla inspired theme music hits someone is in for a long night. Feuds with Nakamura, Finn Balor and Brock Lesnar have been just magnificent.
Best Moment:
Calmly terrorizing Paul Heyman

5. Kevin Owens (WWE)
What a year for this guy. Since coming to the WWE he has won the Universal title, won the Intercontinental title, won the United States title and has put on show stealing matches night after night against the likes of Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, and of course his best friend and best enemy Sami Zayn. Currently looks like he is going into a program with Shane McMahon but give this guy a mic and get out his way. He will definitely make it worth a viewing.
Best Moment:
Breaking our hearts at the Festival of Friendship

4. Shinsuke Nakamura (NXT/WWE)
When it was anounced that the King of Strong style was leaving Japan for WWE I knew it was only a matter of time before he ended up here. A proficient striker and submission specialist but also a Michael Jackson cos player almost, he draws the attention of the crowd as soon as the strings begin on his theme. Since coming here he had great matches with Sami Zayn, Samoa Joe and Bobby Roode. Currently he's chasing the title on Smackdown and I expect the era of Strong Style to be upon us sooner rather than later.
Best Moment:
Debut match against Sami Zayn

3. Kazuichka Okada (NJPW)
Now any of my top three could have been number one but I'm putting the Rainmaker at 3.  Consistently this guy has put on classic after classic. From his wars with Tetsuya Naito to his ongoing saga with Kenny Omega this guy in your main event is a license to print money. And while he currently has zero interest in making a trip to the WWE one can only dream of some of the matches he would put on. For now I have no problem watching him tear it down with Omega, Minoru Suzuki and Naito.
Best Moment:
His trilogy of matches with Kenny Omega

2. AJ Styles (WWE)
Similar to Samoa Joe, AJ Styles was just treading water it appeared with TNA. After getting his release he made his way to New Japan and joined the Bullet Club...AND IMMEDIATELY BECAME THE BEST WRESTLER IN THE WORLD. Battles with Okada, Hiroki Goto, and Hiroshi Tanahashi made him the most talked about name in wrestling. When he came to the WWE he had some good matches but it didn't look like he belonged...that is until he took on John Cena. He brought out his heel persona and was putting on show stealing matches night in and night out. Hell even had a match with James Ellsworth and made it compelling.
Best Moment:
Headlining Royal Rumble against John Cena

And the man who in my opinion has been the top wrestler in the world...
1. Kenny Omega (NJPW)
Now on to the an who is hands down my favorite wrestler in the world. From being more of a comedy act and wrestling girls to the leader of the dastardly Bullet Club he has had quite the transformation. And he took it to the next level in the last year.  He became the first Gaijin to win the prestigious G1 Climax tourney in a classic bout with Hiroki Goto, won the first US Title in a classic bout with Ishii, and of course his creme de la creme trio of matches with Okada where in the third bout he finally was able to slay his top foe.
Best Moment:
Finally defeating Okada in the G1 Tourney.

Well folks there you have it, the first annual Puma Wrestling Index Top Ten, this will probably become a yearly thing but if it doesn't we had a good run.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

August's If You Don't Sit Your Ass Down Award

Ah yes it's that magical time of year when young Puma takes stock of all that has happened in the world recently and tells someone to very politely shut the hell up and have a seat. Now August was not short on many worthy contenders. Jason Whitlock, Tucker Carlson, even ya'll president all made an effort to be honored within this hallowed blog. But this morning I awoke and like a right cross from GGG I was floored at the audacity of the statement. Without further ado, the person who can take a seat this month is....

"Hey may find your post football career choices limited."
 Now what did the former star running back for the New York Giants do that would make me roll my eyes so hard I may have to miss a week of work with a sprained ocular muscle? Well I'm glad you asked. Well in a segment on his show discussing Colin Kaepernick the aforementioned Mr. Barber said "I don't commend him for sitting and not honoring this country and our flag." Now why is this worthy of being told to sit down? 

Again, glad you asked, damn you're polite. Tiki Barber is also the gentleman who left his wife...while she was pregnant...with twins...for the babysitter.
" uh....we cool right?"
Holy shit what a scumbag. He was such a scumbag that he basically ruined the burgeoning broadcast career he had going for him. In fact you could argue that no one benefited from his scumminess more than Michael Strahan. It gets better or worse really. In Sports Illustrated he spoke of hooking up with his side boo in agent Mark Lepselter's attic so that he would not get caught. He even said "Lep's Jewish, and it was like a reverse Anne Frank thing." He thought that was a good thing to say in an interview where he is trying to rehabilitate his image. This is the kind of man condemning Colin Kaepernick.

Now I'm not saying that to disagree with the method of protest you have to be squeaky clean but it really helps if you're not the kind of slime ball to leave his 7 month pregnant wife and bring his mistress to the birth of his children.

So Mr. Barber seeing as you were unable to honor your wife and vows maybe you sit this one out if honor is the angle you're gonna take.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

A Puma's Thoughts on the Confederate Flag and Monuments

I’ve debated writing something on this for quite a while and really kind of confused that this subject is even still a thing in the year of our Lord 2017. And that subject is the Confederate flag and Confederate monuments; its mind boggling to me that people are really fighting hard to keep these remnants of arguably the biggest L anyone has ever received in American history up for public consumption.
Much more appropriate
This isn’t to say we shouldn’t teach the history of the Confederacy but to hold it up as something to be honored is a weird thing to me. 

A little backstory here, the Puma grew up near a town called Stonewall in Mississippi. I didn’t really think too much of it as a child but I remember seeing a plaque in town speaking of the bravery of Stonewall Jackson, the man the town was named for. I did some digging (using encyclopedias because I’m old and this predates the Wikipedia you kids use today.) 
He probably hated slavery, so he's cool right?
What I found as a kid was a man who owned slaves, was gifted slaves, and then fought to protect the society that allowed him to do so. He owned people like me. That was a sickening thought for a young Puma who couldn’t have been more than 10 years old at the time. 

“But Puma, that flag and monuments are about heritage! Not hate!” I counter with those flags and monuments represent a heritage of hate. These monuments were not erected during the Civil War or even closely after the Civil War; they were built en masse in 2 waves. The first of the two waves being post Reconstruction in the Jim Crow era, and another uptick during the Civil Rights era, these monuments were built as forms of public intimidation and a reminder of Black people’s standing in society. 
During the late 1940s we saw the return of the Confederate battle flag when Dixiecrats protested against President Truman for having the gall to desegregate the armed forces and support anti-lynching bills. They waved the Confederate flags and enthusiastically did rebel yells. Now I want you to tell me why in the hell would I be like “oh cool, it’s just a flag! It’s just a statue!” No, it represents so much more. 

I've seen so many defenses begin with "my family fought for that flag and they didn't own slaves, what about their legacy?" To that I say with all due respect (so you know something wild disrespectful coming,) FUCK THE LEGACY OF FIGHTING FOR THAT FLAG. I have family who were terrorized with that flag. And I'm not the only person. So what about my family legacy? We have to be reminded of that terror just because people want to display history's version of a participation trophy? Fuck that noise. This isn't something that you need to hear both sides on, which side owned people? Cool, I'm with the other guys, end of discussion. 

Ok. I'm done. I promise I'll be back with wrestling or some snarky insults aimed at people I dislike. Or not, this is free content. You're welcome.

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.
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.