SummerSlam Top-10

Photo: WWE

With one of WWE’s big four events commencing in mere days, I wanted to post something.

I didn’t post all of July as my life has been quite hectic and emotionally tasking. Nonetheless, I am here and ready to write.

I will be listing my personal top-10 favorite matches that I’ve personally seen over the course of the 25+ years I’ve been watching pro wrestling.

Now, there’s nothing more subjective than wrestling and their fans. I’m not posting this to stir a debate or to say these are better than anyone else’s choices. Maybe my list will spark something in you to go to the WWE Network ($9.99 a month) and watch some of your favorites and some that you may have even forgot about.

SummerSlam takes place Sunday August 20th from Brooklyn, NY inside the Barclay’s Center.

Here we go!

1- Shawn Michaels vs. Triple-H- SummerSlam 2002

Not only is this particular contest my favorite Summerslam match of all-time but it is also in my top-5 overall favorites ever. It was the return of ‘The Heartbreak Kid’ Shawn Michaels since retiring in April of 1998 due to a shattered back. Naturally, other than The Undertaker it should be Triple H who gets the chance to climb between the ropes to wrestle against HBK in his first match back. I mean, they have had sort of a history together.

Nonetheless, in a match that went over 45 minutes, Michaels proved why he is the greatest in-ring performer in the history of pro wrestling.

2- Shawn Michaels vs. Hulk Hogan- SummerSlam 2005

Just the match idea alone is iconic. The promos leading up to it were a shoot as we now know that Hogan and Michaels did not get along. It’s business, brother! Unfortunately, I thought this match should’ve ended the other way. Hogan, a guy who was wrestling a one-off and didn’t plan on offering the company anything moving forward. Michaels was going to be a continued mainstay to help elevate younger talent. Michaels made Hogan look like a million bucks but had to do the job to the ‘Hulkster.’

But, as they always say, ‘that’s how Terry does business.’

3- The Hardy Boyz vs. The Dudley’s vs. Edge & Christian- SummerSlam 2000

The first-ever TLC (Tables, Ladders, and Chairs) match commenced at this event and my goodness it was revolutionary. It was just under 15 minutes of amazement from these six men who probably didn’t even realize quite what they were doing besides getting into an absolute car wreck. Edge & Christian went into the match champions and walked out the same.  Back then, high spots were cool because it was something new. Now, high spots are forced and in the indies high spots are all most have. It’s become a shame what high-spot monkeys have done to wrestling.

I’d much rather watch a 25 minute WRESTLING match where a couple high spots happen for storytelling and impact than see 2-6 guys completing flips and jumps while not selling whatsoever. Again, to each their own, that’s just how I feel.

4- Triple H vs. The Rock (IC Champ), Ladder Match- SummerSlam 1998.

This match was over 24 minutes and in my opinion it could’ve went so much longer because it was that good. You have two guys in the ring who rarely ever ventured to the top rope now fighting for the Intercontinental championship in a Ladder Match. Triple H won after ascending the ladder and retrieving the IC title. I loved the back and forth where neither guy really had the upper hand. This was also one of the first times we saw Chyna get involved with a big match. This match helped The Rock turn the corner and become a world championship contender. The IC title win for HHH elevated him to be seen as a great worker on the cusp of being a world champion type player.

5- Chris Jericho punches Shawn Michaels’ wife in the mouth. For a shoot. – SummerSlam 2008

The headline says it all but you have to see it. It kicked off one of the greatest rivalries in WWE history and was the hottest storyline of the decade, if we are all honest with each other. Rebecca ‘Michaels’ sold the shoot punch like a WWE vet and nobody knew anything was real until she stood up so we all could see the damage.

6- Seth Rollins (C) vs. John Cena (US-C)- SummerSlam 2015

This match was tremendous. However, at just under 20 minutes long I thought it could’ve been a little longer. Rollins won the match to secure both the WWE & United States Championship. Rollins and Cena had a great back & forth contest where both men showed why they’re bonafide superstars. Cena, who  never has a bad match, really allowed Rollins to shine here and take that next step. Great match with a bad finish.

7- Bret Hart (c) vs. Owen Hart- Steel Cage match, SummerSlam 1994

This was the second big match pitting the Hart brothers against each other in 1994. The other being Wrestlemania 10. This was an incredible rematch with Bret and Owen smack dab in the middle of their primes. This match went over 32 minutes and was easily the highlight of SummerSlam ’94. The chemistry was undeniable and it’s a shame this rivalry didn’t extend longer. The Hitman won this match to retain his title.

8- Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon, Ladder Match for the IC title, SummerSlam 1995

The rematch! Michaels and Razor turned in the greatest ladder match in WWE history months prior at WM10 that saw Razor became the undisputed Intercontinental champion. The snag of this ladder match was WWE were not allowed to use the ladder as a weapon. Huh? Correct. Great match and by this point nobody could touch Michaels in the ring. He was flawless by this time.

9- The Undertaker vs. Edge, Hell in a Cell- SummerSlam 2008

This match was just badass. Both guys were at their peak in terms of talent Edge was a red hot heel. The match ran just under 27 minutes and I hoped it never ended. Taker and Edge beat the crud out of each other to further their Smackdown rivalry and it was awesome. I re-watch it every now and then to this day.

10- The 2017 SummerSlam!

It hasn’t happened yet but the mere fact that I am attending this SummerSlam automatically gets itself on the list. Is it a cop-out? Probably. But it’s just facts, my guy!

Baseball numbers are nuts

There’s not another sport on earth that’s as fun to discuss statistically than baseball. The numbers go back to the early 1900s and they’re fascinating to go back and study. I’ve been immersed in baseball stats since I was 10 years old.

I used to read and highlight the yearly almanacs and baseball encyclopedia’s for pure fun. I gained tons of (useless) knowledge but it made me feel intelligent, even though I despised mathematics. Still do.

I’m going to list a bunch of names and include stats through their first 10 full seasons in MLB. Some of the names you may recognize while others you may scratch your head and hit up Google. My goal here is for us to stare and compare generations.

Babe Ruth first 10 seasons (as a hitter): .353/.491/.737/1.227, 450 HR, 1,297 RBI, 1,269 BB, and 1,701 H.

Babe Ruth Wearing Crown

Photo: Wagner College

Albert Pujols first 10 seasons: .331/.430/.625/1.050, 410 HR, 1,230 RBI, 914 BB, and 1,901 H.

220px-Albert_Pujols_stance

Photo: Wikipedia

Ted Williams first 10 seasons: .347/.484/.633/1.117, 323 HR, 1,261 RBI, 1,327 BB, and 1,763 H. (Worth noting, Williams missed 1943-45 while serving in WWII).

ted-williams-1941

Photo: SI

220px-BarryBonds1993

Photo: Wikipedia

Barry Bonds first 10 seasons: .293/.410/.558/.968, 318 HR, 945 RBI, 1,017 BB, 1,503 H, and 344 SB.

rickey-henderson-getty3

Photo: SI

Rickey Henderson first 10 seasons:  .291/.403/.436/.839, 137 HR, 535 RBI, 1,507 H, and 838 SB.

354948-griffey_4

Photo: SI

Ken Griffey Jr. first 10 seasons: .299/.380/.569/.948, 398 HR, 1,152 RBI, 1,742 H, and 167 SB.

Albert Belle first 10 seasons: .298/.374/.571/.945, 373 HR, 1,199 RBI, 670 BB, and 1,673 H.

albert-belle-swingjpg-577b04e640228807.jpg

Photo: Google

Hank Aaron first 10 seasons: .320/.375/.572/.947, 342 HR, 1,121 RBI, 541 BB, and 1,898 H.

AaronHenry1.jpg

Photo: BBHOF

Mike Schmidt first 10 seasons: .266/.383/.537/.920, 348 HR, 962 RBI, 953 BB, and 1,353 H.

640042e2836e1bf58b5894e061ae7653

Photo: Pinterest

Ichiro Suzuki first 10 seasons: .331/.376/.430/.806, 90 HR, 558 RBI, 457 BB, 2,244 H, and 383 SB (Ichiro is arguably one of the greatest hitters in MLB history with 2,244 hits in his first 10 full seasons in pro baseball.) b6e352edcee76b26becee60e2a6d6f36--seattle-mariners-baseball-players

Derek Jeter first 10 seasons: .314/.386/.462/.848, 169 HR, 756 RBI, 633 BB, 1,924 H, and 215 SB.

derek-jeter

Photo: Forbes

Stan Musial first 10 seasons: .346/.434/.591/1.025, 281 HR, 1,174 RBI, 990 BB, and 2,251 H.

Obit Stan Musial Baseball

Photo: Pioneer Press

Mickey Mantle first 10 seasons: .311/.429/.588/1.017, 361 HR, 998 RBI, 1,086 BB, and 1,609 H.

download

Photo: BBHOF

Pete Rose first 10 seasons: .309/.372/.436/.808, 109 HR, 586 RBI, 611 BB, and 1,922 H. (Crazy to think Ichiro had accumulated 322 more hits than Rose in the same amount of MLB service.)

pete-rose-001295159

Photo: SI

Miguel Cabrera first 10 seasons: .324/.403/.573/.976, 353 HR, 1,198 RBI, 778 BB, and 1,911 H.

Miguel-Cabrera-Large-6

Photo: SI

Next post I’ll list a number of legendary pitchers because those are just as amazing to see in print.

It’s phenomenal to read some of the above numbers and realize that home runs weren’t always everything. Some of the guys on this list average an over .330 average every single season. It’s ridiculous.

Have a safe and happy fourth of July everyone and GOD BLESS AMERICA!

Snatches upon Snatches

sethsnatchThis blog is called ‘Barbells and Mayhem’ and I haven’t posted a ‘training’ based writing in a bit.

I’m in the fourth week of an eight week cycle right now and things have been going well. A lot better than than the previous cycle. I think the summer does something to me. I sweat profusely (I already sweat like Brock Lesnar anyway) and I feel myself pushing harder when the weather is warmer. Maybe that makes sense to someone other than me.

Up until this cycle my weakest lift was the snatch. From what I gather, that’s usually the most difficult lift for a lot of crossfitters and power lifters. To me, it’s because of its form. It’s consistent and if you break it, you know it.

Thankfully, through much work and video study on the lift I’ve gotten much better. I’ve PR’d both the hang snatch and high-hang snatch in the last two weeks so that has really made me feel accomplished.

I’ve only been doing crossfit for a little over a year now and I have learned so much about my body. From a mental standpoint, it’s taught me how to take my time and focus on each lift and movement. It’s made me realize which body part needs more work to benefit other parts during WODs.

It’s crazy to think how important pistols and burpees are in functioning balance. My balance has improved immensely during my lifts and it’s made me feel more comfortable pushing for heavier weight. Case in point, back and front squats have felt great. I need to keep screwing my feet into the floor on these squats because I tend to lean forward and it’s pissing me off.

I’m not here to tout or toot my own horn because I know my weaknesses (a lot of them) and I know where I struggle. I still do not enjoy myself or how I look in the mirror. Morgan is constantly trying to remind me how good I look compared to just six months ago. I don’t see it. It’s a problem and I continually am working on it.

For me, training is like therapy. It’s a space where I can clear my head and nothing else matters except making myself better. That’s what it’s all about for me.

I’m not sure what the back half of this cycle will bring but I’m damn sure going to push harder and harder to see if I can continue to gain momentum heading into the brunt of summer.

I’m also looking forward to getting a couple friends into the box with me soon. Both of which are great friends of mine from church. These guys have reached out with interest and I can’t wait train with them.

In terms of baseball, this nightmare of a summer is almost over and I’m thankful for it. I’m eternally grateful for the lifelong friendships I’ve created with a few guys on the team but it’s time to move on and upward. Some won’t understand because they’re not at a point in their lives to understand. Luckily, a few on the same page as me and that’s important.

All that is left is to leave everything I have on the field these last couple games and then ride off into the sunset and prep for fall/spring hockey. That’s exciting.

Lastly, I listen to quite a few podcasts and I’m going to list my top 5 favorite here. Give them a listen if any interest you:

1- Steve Austin Show- PodcastOne, iTunes

2- Something to Wrestle With Pruce Prichard- iTunes, Google Music, etc..

3- Talk is Jericho- PodcastOne, iTunes

4- What Happened When with Tony Schiavone

5- The DIS (Disney World) Unplugged- iTunes, etc…

Have a great rest of your day everyone and God bless!

CD

Flyers better off after draft weekend

uspresswire-flyers-nolan-patrick

Photo: CSN Philly

The Philadelphia Flyers had a solid chance to reignite the future of their franchise when they held the second overall pick last week. They drafted who many considered the consensus number one player in the draft, Nolan Patrick of the Brandon Wheat Kings.

Yes, many preferred Nico Hischier, including myself. However, it’s not difficult to seek and find just how big of a piece Patrick will be for the future of the Flyers organization.

I’ve said to many of my friends in and out of the NHL that Patrick sharply reminds me of Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews. Everything about Patrick oozes characteristics similar to the 3-time Stanley Cup winner.

I can easily envision Patrick becoming the next Flyers captain in 2-3 years once the Flyers find a way to rid themselves of Claude Giroux and his heinous contract. He won’t light up the scoresheet at the end of the season but Patrick will do everything right. His ceiling could be 80-point seasons while I expect him to consistently range in the 70-75 point area.

Nonetheless, head coach Dave Hakstol has plenty to play with once the Flyers start the season back up October 14th against the Washington Capitals.

That directs me to the other ‘big move’ out of the Flyers. Brayden Schenn was dealt to the St. Louis Blues for Jori Lehtera and multiple draft picks.

Let’s be real about Schenn. He’s a dime a dozen. There’s loads like him in the National Hockey League. Will it be difficult to replace 25 goals? Of course. Especially on this team. His 17 power-play goals were tied for most in the league. However, he was putrid even strength when the Flyers really needed him most.

Schenn never found his niche with the Flyers as he was always radically inconsistent and unreliable. Plus, in terms of assets and contract, Schenn was the most logical piece to move. Can’t trade Wayne Simmonds as he’s the Flyers best overall player right now. Unfortunately, both Giroux and Jake Voracek cannot be traded due to their large contracts.

So, in the NHL a 25-goal scorer who’s available is much easier to trade. GM Ron Hextall made the right move on this one. More importantly, this made room for Patrick to slide right in to center either the second or third line for Hakstol this season. It was logical but widely unpopular for some reason.

The primary focus for the Flyers moving should be securing a quality starting goaltender not named Steve Mason. There are a few free agent veteran netminders on the market, but I’m not sure if any of them are the answer right now. If it were me, I’d ride it out with Anthony Stolarz and see what he can do. Just never know. He’s 23 and is ready to go.

Flyers have to get it right in Hischier

cut

Photo: NHL.com

Only one other time have the Philadelphia Flyers drafted number two overall in the NHL Draft. That was in 2007 when James van Riemsdyk followed future Hall of Famer and number one overall pick, Patrick Kane.

Ten years later, the Flyers are without ‘JVR’ but have the second overall pick in the NHL Draft. Friday night at the United Center in Chicago, GM Ron Hextall has a monster chance to elevate his Flyers team forward after a season that saw the franchise take a giant leap backwards.

The Flyers are expected to select Halifax center Nico Hischier, who played in Halifax this past year. Although unlikely, if the New Jersey Devils select the Swiss forward we will likely see the Flyers opt for Nolan Patrick of the Brandon Wheat Kings.

Personally, Hischier is the best fit for this team moving forward. The Flyers already have dead weight on their roster in Claude Giroux and Jake Voracek and will unfortunately have to continue paying their outrageous contracts. Why? Because no other team in the league wants either player with their respective cap hits.

Nonetheless, Hextall, Hakstol, and the Flyers have to push on and put other guys in the right place the best they can and it starts with Friday’s number two overall pick.

At 6-1, 175 Hischier is tremendous. He’s a dynamic skater who’s quickness separates him from everyone else in his class. He has good speed and has an elite hockey sense. He seems to always know where to be on the ice and is a magnet for the puck.

Hischier rocketed up the rankings after raking in 86 (38G, 48A) points in 57 games for the Halifax Mooseheads this past year. Over the last few years his offensive output and growth have risen aggressively.

There’s been heavy comparisons to Pavel Datsyuk. That’s a bit excessive, however, not bad to at least be mentioned in that conversation. Still, the Flyers could most certainly use a scorer of that caliber on a team who registered one 30-goal scorer and only four players over 50 points. The anemic Flyers offense needs a shot of skill and production, Hischier is that player.

It will be nice to see the likes of Travis Konecny and Wayne Simmonds play alongside this 18-year old kid.

Steve Kournianos of ‘The Draft Analysis‘ had this to say about Hischier:

“Hischier is an elite center with off-the-charts puck artistry and swift skating that combine into a lethal package. Sly and dangerous, he can strike at a moment’s notice. His agility and escapability are unmatched among draft peers, and at 18 years old his hockey sense is on par with the world’s best young players of any level. And he’s far from just a finesse player — Hischier is a fierce competitor who hates losing whether it’s a one-on-one puck battle or a seven-game series. He can kill penalties, lend support down low and do his best at physically moving opponent’s off the puck. Hischier has a good, accurate shot but it’s the way he fakes and jukes that makes beating goalies all the more simple. Blessed with sick hands, poise and a keen sixth sense, he is next to unstoppable once he takes the puck below the hashmarks.”

Mike Morreale of NHL.com:

“Hischier’s elite skill and hockey sense is combined with a complete level that allows him to be effective in any style of game. Hischier (6-1, 176) was 10th in the QMJHL with 86 points (38 goals, 48 assists) in 57 games and was named rookie of the year and best pro prospect in the league.”

I personally believe the Flyers are going to end up with the best player of this draft. Nolan Patrick is real good player, don’t get me wrong, and the Devils will have themselves a franchise player to build around. All things considered, Hischier is the complete package in my book and based off the people I have spoken to about him, I don’t seem to be in the minority at all.

Let’s hope the Flyers get this one right.

Been a while…

maxresdefault

It’s been a tad long since I last posted something as a lot has happened in my life since the last time we were here. For this post, I’ll produce bullet points to cover the events over the last month or so.

  • After nearly six years I left my full-time position at The Barclay Group and began a new challenge and journey with another company in Bala Cynwyd, PA. It was a timely change and a blessing as well. I’m in a different spot in my life one where lots of responsibilities are about to become even greater. BG just couldn’t be in my future and that’s just a fact. I’ll miss the camaraderie I developed there, the friendships, and the experience. It was a great place to work for nearly 72 months. I’m grateful for them.
  • Started my new gig on May 30th and it’s been stressful. It is a whole new world and protocol. I am getting the hang of it and things have began to run smoother for me. I am very lucky to be in the situation I am in and am thankful for the opportunity. God continues to provide and I have to trust that He always will.
  • My Bachelor party is set! My groomsmen are second to none. They really are. I do not deserve them. Nonetheless, we will all be heading to Brooklyn, NY on August 20th for ‘The biggest party of the Summer’ WWE Summerslam! Exciting doesn’t even begin to describe how I’m feeling about this. There isn’t a more perfect situation for a Bachelor party designed for me. This will be a night I’ll always remember and sharing with my best friends in life means everything.
  • Sadly, I’m beginning to come to the realization that my baseball ‘career’ is coming to an end. Physically, I feel better than I ever have. I’m 30 but I feel 20. There’s extenuating circumstances as to why I’ve reached this point and I won’t get into them here but after 25 years it may be time to ride off into the sunset. We will see what happens after July. I won’t need to make a decision until January of 2018 but as of right now I don’t envision myself running on a diamond next summer. There’s a lot of things I want to do with my weekends in the Summer than baseball. That’s just life and it moves in waves. I don’t get paid to play the game and that’s OKAY, which means I have that choice to do whatever I want, when I want on my terms. No commitments or stress (except stress that I create).
  • Crossfit has been amazing the last month or so. My strength has really elevated and I have finally began feeling confident in my abilities and lifts. It took a year but my goodness it’s worth it. I also have to thank Sean Sowney and Steve Clark for aiding me in my deadlift and back squat. I’m reaching numbers I never thought I’d reach. I’m excited for the future.
  • Morgan and I have dove head first into our wedding planning. We have putting together our table settings, invitations, and other ‘wedding’ related things the last week and it’s been stressful yet exhilarating. It’s really cool to be involved and have your creative ideas come to life in front of you. Morgan is phenomenal at everything she does and watching her piece every idea together has been riveting, to say the least. The finished product of things are far from finished but the rough drafts are pretty damn cool. Looking forward to everyone seeing the finished product on October 14th. No sneak peaks for anything till then! 😉
  • Friday will be the last REVO of the school year at our church. I cannot believe it’s already June and youth nights are over until September. To see the changes in these kids and young adults have been inspiring. I cant wait to see what God has in store for them. It’s been an honor mentoring them and I’m excited for next year.

There’s been a couple other things I’m sure but I can’t think of them right now. Oh well, this is more than enough.

I pray all of you have a wonderful and healthy weekend and Father’s Day! Lord knows how important my Dad is to me so I hope all the Dad’s across the nation feel loved everyday.

God bless,

CD

Vegas, Fear, and new podcast

13062353_10154114487352604_7381534482861918267_nI wish I could sit here and believe that I do not fear things. I wish I could utilize the whole Proverbs 29:25 verse that says ‘trusting God is safe; fearing man is not.’

Basically if all I fear is the Lord my God how I can possibly fear anything else in this world of man? Unfortunately, that just looks and sounds good to me. Gotta be honest. I fear many things, naturally. I’m not a robot.

This weekend I’ll be heading to Las Vegas for a few days and it’ll be the first time I will be on a plane for longer than two hours. So double that and more and I’m in Vegas.

Terrifying.

Nauseating.

Fearful.

I am a God-fearing man but I fear a lot of what man has to offer. Reality is perspective, it really is. My perspective is significantly different from the next person, the person next that person, and so on and so forth. \

One of my biggest fears are flying on an airplane. Ever since I was 10 years old I just fear them. Now, it’s a control thing. I have a car and I like driving everywhere because I’m in control of the vehicle and direction. I can see and visualize what’s ahead. On a plane I have to sit there and put my life in the hands of two pilots, who knows what their lifestyle is like and how their day is going.

These, along with other things, are what flows through my brain as I approach the flight. Nonetheless, I’ll be on a plane headed almost five hours west this weekend. Thank God for technology and in-flight WiFi so I can watch WWE Payback while strapped into my seat for hours on end. 😉

Should be a very good PPV for WWE. There are some great matches on tap as I think the Hardy Boyz vs. Cesaro & Sheamus will steal the show. When the pieces fit, tag matches are the best. I think Seth Rollins and Samoa Joe will tear the house down as well. It’s the first PPV since Wrestlemania so the energy should be high. Which means the WWE will find a way to turn off said projected energy. 🙂

I’ll be starting a new podcast soon. The podcast will be appropriately named ‘Barbells and Mayhem.’ I don’t know how to generalize the show or a thesis for it. I told my good buddy ‘Big Tom’ that the best way I can describe it is like ‘Seinfeld.’ Take it from there.

I already have some big guests ready to come one ranging from pro wrestling, Philadelphia sports, and the world of crossfit. It should be lots of fun and I’m looking to shake up the world I just want to have fun with a medium I thoroughly enjoy.

So, look for the official start date soon.

I’m debating on what I want to do in Las Vegas. So far, I’m doing both Criss Angel ‘Mindfreak‘ shows, I believe I’ll hit up Crossfit Las Vegas at some point, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, and maybe a spa day if it doesn’t destroy the ol’ bank account.’

I’m looking forward to this mental break. There’s a lot of new things happening in my life that I’ll get into later on so this break will be fantastic. I’m very blessed to have this opportunity to get to a place I thought I’d never get to. Because of fear.

I will catch you all down the road with some solid news and updates.

God bless and be good 😉

-CD

Wrestlemania 33 Review

20170402_wm33_vid_taker--8e203fd7fcd9afdff77ad110f36fd27c

Photo: WWE

Sunday night April 2nd, 2017 will go down as one of the most memorable events in the history of professional wrestling and its fans.

Wrestlemania 33 has come and gone and now all we, as fans, have our reflections and opinions. We witnessed the return of one of the greatest tag-teams in pro wrestling history, Hardy Boyz, as they returned to capture the WWE Raw Tag-Team Championships in a ladder match.

We saw Seth Rollins put on a near 5-star performance with the Triple H just weeks after suffering a torn MCL.

Lastly, and most indelible, in what seems to have been the final match we will witness from The Undertaker. If you had a dry eye you’re a bigger man than me. I will spare the cliff notes version because we will see everything again on Monday Night Raw and the internet.

Here are my match-by-match opinions based on a 5-star rating.

AJ Styles def. Shane McMahon- 3***

  • Match length: 20:09- This match kicked of Wrestlemania 33 and it was simply OKAY. Shane McMahon looked highly unprepared for this contest in comparison to his match last year against The Undertaker. I thought McMahon blew up (gassed) within the first 8-10 minutes. It doesn’t help the fact that WWE creative booked him against a world class wrestler in AJ Styles. The match lacked the prototypical ‘big bump’  from Shane and was overall a regular wrestling match. Not horrible but far from great. Three stars for me as this would’ve been more suited for Summerslam not the biggest thrill ride ever. Styles was a great opponent for Shane but not vice versa. Wish Styles was the one facing Wyatt for the World title instead of Orton.

Kevin Owens def. Chris Jericho for the United States Championship- 4****

  • Match length: 16:20- For some reason WWE gave Shane and Styles more time than this match. I don’t get it. Other then HHH/Rollins this match was really the only other match that actually had a solid storyline built into it. To be honest, both Owens and Jericho have arguably had the best year together and individually in 2016-early 2017. Good wrestling match but didn’t have a chance to completely tell the story they could’ve if they would’ve been given an extra 5-10 minutes. Jericho is a living legend right now and is the last breed of the Attitude Era still around since The Undertaker is riding of into the sunset. Luckily for us, Jericho seems to be far from done as he continues to get better and better. As for Owens, he’s the new United States Champion and is one of the top heels and hands in the entire company. Sky continues to be the limit for Owens.

Bayley(c) def. Charlotte, Nia Jax, and Sasha Banks for the RAW Women’s Championship- 3***

  • Match length- 12:09- Twelve minutes?! Really, twelve minutes? These women have been one of the biggest draws in the company since the beginning of 2016 and they earn only twelve minutes at Wrestlemania 33. I thought it was rushed and poorly booked. Nia Jax had no business being in this match. Her character just isn’t there yet and her in-ring work is shotty at best. Needed a much longer stint in NXT, in my opinion. Not a Jax fan whatsoever. It’s evident when she is eliminated 2-3 minutes into the match. Charlotte is incredible. She really is. She will hopefully main event a Wrestlemania one day in the future because she’s phenomenal. A freak athlete with legendary bloodlines she continues to shine in every which way, except her overacting promo work. Bayley had her deserved Wrestlemania moment but don’t let that overtake the prowess of Charlotte Flair.

The Hardy Boyz def. Enzo & Cass, Gallows & Anderson (c), and Cesaro & Sheamus- 4.5****

  • Match length: 11:05- It’s crazy to go back and watch this match over again and realize it was barely over 11 minutes long. For a tag-team ladder match at Wrestlemania one would think it be a little longer but thanks in large part to the return of The Hardy Boyz the match felt just right. The Hardy’s hit their pop spots and looked good doing it. They captured their seventh WWE tag title reign. I feel bad for the other three teams in this match because they’ve had a rather long buildup throughout the last few months only to be bounced out of the picture by the returning Hardy’s. It’ll be interesting where the Hardy’s go from here as I assume a program with the Club is inevitable.

John Cena and Nikki Bella def. The Miz and Maryse- 1*

  • Match length: 9:40- Honestly, this was the most irrelevant match on the Wrestlemania card to begin with. It’s a shame this is what it’s come to for Cena. He’s an attention whore. And it’s sad. He’s pure gimmick. Sad. He proposed after their win and Bella said yes. Yay. 

Seth Rollins def. Triple H- 5*****

  • Match length: 25:30- For starters, this match had one of the best video packages I’ve seen the WWE produce in years. Maybe since HBK vs. Undertaker WM25. Without a doubt the best match of the night and had the best story and promo leading up to it. I’m not being biased because it would make me look stupid but other than AJ Styles I truly believe Seth Rollins is the best performer in the world. I do. Six weeks ago Rollins had invasive knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus in the already surgically repaired knee. That’s insane. He went out in front of 75,000+ people and went to battle with one of the greats of all time in Triple H and wrestled a 25-minute match. Incredible. The match itself had everything a main event should have. It told a story. It was a pro wrestling match. It it weren’t for Reigns-Undertaker this match could’ve ended the biggest thrill ride in Orlando.

Randy Orton def. Bray Wyatt (c) for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship- 3***

  • Match length: 10:30- I think this match was a victim of timing. The event was running long by this point and the crowd was dead. It’s a shame nobody cares about Randy Orton in 2017 because of how great he is. Bray Wyatt is a stud who’s been underutilized since day one of his character. I personally believe this whole program fell short for me and that’s on Orton. He’s a robot character and belongs in mid-card stories at this point. Once PG programming took over Orton’s ‘Viper’ character died. There were some cool visual effects in the ring throughout but overall it was a bad matchup and Wyatt dropping the title to Orton made zero sense to all of us watching. Great Wyatt entrance, bad match, and bad timing earns three stars for this.

Brock Lesnar def. Goldberg for the WWE Universal Championship- 4***

  • Match length: 4:45- This war ended giving us exactly what we wanted, at least four minutes. It was the immovable force vs. the immovable force and it was a mack truck crash. There was no selling just straight power and carnage. Goldberg speared Lesnar through the outside barricade near the announce tables, Lesnar sent Goldberg to suplex city over 10 times. It was a stopwatch match and was more then we hoped. It wasn’t the ‘bloodbath’ Goldberg promised but it was fun. Lesnar defeated Goldberg with an F5 to procure the WWE Universal Title.

Roman Reigns def. The Undertaker- 5*****

  • Match length: 23:05- I won’t elaborate on this too much because by this point we all what occurred and the magnitude of it. Reigns defeated The Undertaker in what is most likely the last time we will ever see Taker inside a WWE ring competing. It was truly the end of a era. The end of a generation. The Undertaker did what he had to do for the business when on the way out and that’s lose to the next torch carrier. That’s Reigns in the eyes of the WWE. Undertaker hand picked Reigns, that’s probably the truth of it all. WWE has always stood by the fact that they will let Taker decide who, what, and when would be his last rodeo. It was Wrestlemania 33 against Roman Reigns. We all have to accept and respect that decision. Not happy of course, but respect. The Undertaker is the greatest character in the history of sports entertainment and that will never change. Twenty-seven years with one company and basically one character. That’s unheardof. It’s honestly difficult to put into words what The Undertaker what has meant not only to the WWE but to myself and the fans of pro wrestling. He was the constant. That’s the best word to describe him. The leader, the judge, and the Phenom. One day soon I’ll do a post for The Undertaker but not here. For now, the last gunslinger in the WWE is riding off into the sunset. #ThankYouTaker

Opening Day

13615004_10154919122123492_4868883357131644879_nSunday marks Opening Day for myself and the SJ Monarchs baseball team. It’ll mark the third summer since my buddy Kyle and I built this thing. Although, we haven’t gotten the results we shooted for things have been growing and moving in the right direction.

Another great thing that’s come from this baseball team is lifelong friendships. Some of the guys of our team will forever be part of my life and only baseball can create that sort of bond with different people. There’s just something about the sport that brings guys from all different places together win, lose, or draw.

While I know the things I stated in my previous post, this is not my final season playing baseball. God willing, I believe I physically have many more years to go and mentally the game has become easy for me. I’m blessed to be a student of the game of baseball and the game has given me immense joy over the last 20+ years. I’ll play as long as God (and family) allows me to.

I’m hoping to have a solid season production wise. I bulked up since last July in terms of muscle mass and I’ll know quickly if it benefitted me or hurt me. My mobility feels the same, however, we will see how the range of motion and speed will react once a ball is hit into centerfield. I batted over .450 last summer which was decent but I can’t expect the same kind of production. I wouldn’t mind a .350 summer.

I love playing, still smiling, still productive, and still look forward to Sunday’s.

Monday, April 3rd, will kick off the 2017 season for the Philadelphia Phillies. I’m not expecting much, around 75-80 wins, but there’s nothing better than having something to do every night for at least six months. I’m excited for players like Odubel Herrera and Maikel Franco. I believe Herrera is a .310 or better hitter and he’s getting better every year. Franco, has some serious holes in his swing but can easily be a 30-HR, 90-100 RBI guy.

The prospects will be up periodically throughout the season and it’ll be cool to see what the future may look like. I’m not expecting much for the next couple years except growth and progression.

There’s a lot of cocky baseball fans out there and I’m not one of them. I’m not a pro player nor do I own any team. I’m a fan and that’s what I’ll always be. I’ll forever support the Philadelphia Phillies because that’s my squad. And I’ll never have anything against anyone who isn’t. Love who you love but don’t be a jerk about it because it just makes you look like a fool.

Well, I’ll sign off for now. Wrestlemania is this Sunday! It’s my Super Bowl.

My predictions: Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, AJ Styles, Kevin Owens, Brock Lesnar, Bayley, Enzo & Cass, Bray Wyatt, John Cena & Nikki Bella, Austin Aries, Baron Corbin, Braun Stroman.

Hope you all have a beautiful and blessed Easter holiday. Let’s also realize and remember why Easter is celebrated. It’s not about a bunny or chocolate or eggs. It’s about our salvation. It’s about our Lord and Savior BEATING death granting us eternal salvation and a way into eternity in heaven.

That’s what I’ll celebrate.

God bless all of you, and happy baseball 🙂

Chris

 

 

Spring, Baseball, and Vegas

9c2b5dcb-d710-46c9-b66f-681001f7841e

Photo- Google

It’s been about six weeks since my last post. Been ridiculously busy and stressed so I didn’t have much time to sit and type a little bit.

A lot has been going on. Lots of changes, heartache, tribulations, and triumphs. Life is good, I cannot complain. Well, at least not here I won’t.

Spring is officially here, according to the calendar. Still only 45 degrees outside but the sun is out. Not too bad. Thirteen days from today summer baseball officially begins for my team the South Jersey Monarchs. There’s plenty of excitement in the air heading into this season as the league made some significant changes that will benefit teams who have struggled. We made some key additions during the offseason and hopefully this will boost the team and give us a much needed push in the standings.

Baseball is Americana man, and I thank God everyday that I’m still able to physically and mentally play this game. I don’t know what 2018 will bring as this may be swan song year based off what I pray life will bring me and my fiance is the near future. However, I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.

Once you’re married and trying to build a family it’s really difficult (for me) to ask my wife to give up every weekend for the majority of the summer. She works incredibly hard and if she wants to go somewhere during the weekends then she deserves my attention.

Again, we will see what 2018 brings and if 2017 impacts those decisions. I wouldn’t be too upset if this is my final summer playing baseball as God gave me 25 years of it. Once again, can’t complain about it. I’ll miss great friends dearly but I’m just a little further in life than them right now and that’s quite alright. They should enjoy every minute they have the ability to play the greatest game on earth.

Nonetheless, I’m pumped to put my jersey and cleats on and go to war with my buddies.

It’s official: I’m going to Las Vegas in May and I’ll be flying….on an airplane….for almost five hours. I won’t go into detail but those who know me will understand my struggle with that important tidbit.

I’m most excited to be completing a dream of sorts while over there. Thanks to my selfless, observant, and beautiful bride-to-be, we will be sitting 12 rows from Criss Angel performing MINDFREAK LIVE! at the Luxor. There are no words on how much this means to me.

I’ve been a Loyal of Angel’s since 2005 and he’s been a true role model of mine and I never thought I’d actually be able to see him live in Las Vegas at the Luxor. That dream will become a reality in a matter of weeks. Believe that. I don’t publicly discuss how much I appreciate and follow Criss Angel often because people have opinions and judgements I make great attempts to avoid humans on that aspect of my life haha! Only my close friends get it. And I’m sure they balk at it too!

Wrestlemania 33 will commence on April 2nd and the show is shaping up to be pretty decent. Not how I’d write the card but it’s my superbowl and I can’t wait to sit and watch it with my fiance and closest friends. Good luck to all the men and women who lay it all on the line at the Showcase of Immortals.

I recently became a Distributor with AdvoCare I’m excited for the opportunities it could bring. I’ve used their products for almost a year now and will vouch for them. I don’t promote anything I don’t use or like. I’m not a salesman. However, I love the products and if you’re looking to enhance your fitness or overall health in a natural, herbal way hit me up and I’ll shoot straight with you. I want to see you be healthier and stronger than ever 😉

I’ll be back soon with another post. I won’t wait over a month to be back here. Have a great week all.

God bless,

Chris