Monday, February 29, 2016

TV Tonight 2.29

By Raven Williams, @nevaRWilliams

Pacers @ Cavaliers (FOX Sports Ohio/NBA TV, 7pm)
Thunder @ Kings (NBA TV, 10pm)

Syracuse @ North Carolina (ESPN, 7pm)
Oklahoma State @ Iowa State (ESPNU, 7pm)
WOMENS: South Florida @ Connecticut (ESPN 2, 7pm)
Kansas @ Texas (ESPN, 9pm)
WOMENS: Texas @ Baylor (FOX Sports 1, 9pm)

Blue Jackets @ Rangers (FOX Sports Cincinnati/NHL Network, 7pm)


WWE Raw (USA, 8pm)
The Voice (NBC, 8pm)
The Bachelor (ABC, 8pm)
Gotham (FOX, 8pm)
Supergirl (CBS, 8pm)
Telenovela (NBC, 8:30pm)
American Dad (TBS, 8:30pm)

Lucifer (FOX, 9pm)
Scorpion (CBS, 9pm)
Angie Tribeca (TBS, 9pm)
The Magicians (SyFy, 9pm)
Major Crimes (TNT, 9pm)

Better Call Saul (AMC, 10pm)
Blindspot (NBC, 10pm)
Castle (ABC, 10pm)
NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS, 10pm)

Why I Want Kurt Angle In The WWE

By Brandon Albright, @B_Rock1978

Greetings fans of the man that won a Olympic gold medal with a broken freakin' neck, Kurt Angle! Wrestling Lockup with Brandon, is back with another blog, this time chronicling why I would love to see Kurt Angle back in the WWE and what I think he could do for the company. Oh it's's damn true!

Now for those that haven't been following TNA (I know there are some out there and some probably think Angle actually retired 16 years ago, cause they don't watch TNA.) Kurt Angle has closed out a very stellar 16 year career in TNA recently, as his TNA contract has expired and Angle has chosen not to resign. Inside the Impact Zone, Angle accomplished a lot in his TNA career.

6-Time TNA World Heavyweight Champion, 1-Time TNA X-Division Champion, 2-Time TNA World Tag Team Champion, 2-Time King of the Mountain, Back to back feuds of the year with Samoa Joe in 2006 and 2007, match of the year against Sting in 2007 and of course inducted into the TNA Hall of Fame in 2013. Very impressive considering WWE was sceptical of Angle's future when he left the company in 2000.

But I'm not here to blog and bash WWE, I actually want to blog about why I'd love to see the Olympic hero back where it all started, the WWE. Now this blog will contain all pros on why I want Angle back in WWE, I'm not blogging any cons, because I really want to see Angle back in the WWE and I honestly don't care about the cons. (If you're looking for Angle bashing, you won't find it here cause I'm a huge fan of Angle.)

*** NXT and Mentoring ***

Of course the first thing that comes to mind when I think of Kurt Angle possibly returning to the WWE, is putting him in NXT. NXT has become not just a training ground for up and comers, but has now blossomed into its own promotion. Guys that have already made their names on main rosters, like Rhyno, Brian Kendrick, Jushin Thunder Liger, James Storm, Samoa Joe and Austin Aries have all graced the halls of Full Sail University. Putting Kurt Angle on NXT would not only be smart, but business smart. Putting Angle in matches against guys like Baron Corbin, Sami Zayn, Finn Balor, Austin Aries and of course Samoa Joe would be another huge shot to the arm of NXT and continue to build NXT as its own promotion. Angle could also be used as a stepping stone to the main roster, but in a good way. Basically if you can go toe to toe with Angle and impress him, then you're ready for the main roster.

Angle would also be there backstage for the mentoring. Any wrestler having second thoughts about a match or their limitations, Angle would be there to give his advice and help nourish that up and comer. Angle would be there to not only make a wrestler better at their craft in the ring, but also build their minds to appreciate what the business means and why it's so important.

*** A WWE Retirement Tour ***

TNA let Angle do a retirement tour, why not WWE? Right now WWE is known for many part timers on the roster. Guys like Brock Lesnar, Chris Jericho and The Rock for example. It baffles my mind on why WWE wouldn't pull the trigger and give Angle a three month run and have one hell of a retirement tour. That's a definite guaranteed three months worth of quality five star matches and three pay per views that could gain huge subscribers that are Angle fans.

Now if I was Vince McMahon, I'd debut Angle the first week of January, have him announce his retirement tour on RAW and then go from there.  I'd have Angle wrestle on 2 RAW's in January, Royal Rumble, 2 RAW's in February, Fastlane, 3 RAW's in March and finally his retirement match at Wrestlemania. That's a total of ten matches that Angle would have against the WWE's best. After thinking about it for a little bit, I've decided on the 10 guys I would choose in this tour and why.

RAW: Neville. Angle praises the up and comer and sees a bright future for Neville. Angle vs. Neville would be the perfect kick off to Angle's retirement tour.

RAW: Alberto Del Rio. You definitely have to throw in just one opponent that hates America and have Angle stand up for our country. Del Rio and Angle are masters of mat and submission wrestling.

Royal Rumble: Kevin Owens. Owens wants to prove that Angle is way out of his league, has no business in the WWE and frankly is too "old".

RAW: Cesaro. Angle understands how Cesaro has been held back through the years and tells Cesaro to reach way down and give him a five star match and put the WWE back on notice.

RAW: Chris Jericho. Jericho and Angle had memorable matches with each other when both were starting out in WWE. This is a definite must on the tour.

Fastlane: AJ Styles. Angle is reliving his past matches against AJ back in TNA and wants to see if the kid still has it.

Kurt Angle comes out the night after Fastlane and brags about his great match with AJ Styles. Now it's time to look ahead to three guys that were a dominant faction in the WWE. Angle challenges all three former members of The Shield as his next opponents leading into his retirement match at Wrestlemania.

RAW: Dean Ambrose
RAW: Seth Rollins
RAW: Roman Reigns

Wrestlemania: John Cena. Without Kurt Angle there would've been no John Cena. Cena made his WWE debut, wrestling Angle on Smackdown. I think it would only be fitting that Cena was Angle's last opponent.

*** WWE Behind-The-Scenes Position ***

Of course once the retirement tour ends, where would Kurt Angle go from there? How about a backstage mentor, or a road agent or a wrestling talent scout. Angle could do what guys like Michael P.S. Hayes, Ted Dibiase and Arn Anderson have done in the past, be that go to guy backstage when needed. With Angle's experience in the business, Angle could be there to help that up and comer from NXT find their gimmick to put them over on the main roster. Angle could be there to give advice and tell a wrestler what he thinks is and isn't working for them when he watches them wrestle. Angle, being a follower of amateur wrestling could be on the look out for any impressive talent coming up that could be a WWE fit. Maybe a nice suit and tie job inside WWE Headquarters?

*** WWE Hall of Fame ***

Of course another reason to see Kurt Angle back in the WWE is so he can take his rightful place inside the WWE Hall of Fame. Angle definitely is WWE HOF worthy.

Maybe Kurt Angle will just ride off into the sunset and enjoy retirement from wrestling for good and not even attempt a WWE comeback. Now again this whole blog was nothing but my wishes of nonsense that'll probably never happen. I also know that all the pros I've listed above have many cons. One thing is for sure though, before Angle calls it a career, I would love to one day see him back in a WWE ring.

Leadoff with Lee 2.29.16

By Chris Lee, @TripleThreatLee

- Browns center Alex Mack is expected to opt-out of his contract, but return to Cleveland on a new contract is a real possibility. According to one source the Browns and Mack are close to a new 4 year contract. Mack is in the second year of his five-year, $42 million contract that included $26 million guaranteed. He would make annual base salaries of $8 million over the remainder of the agreement and the deal includes a no-trade clause. Mack has already visited with new Browns head coach Hue Jackson and director of football operations Sashi Brown. Alex Mack could easily become the NFL's highest paid center making at least $10M per year. The Browns have until March 4 to negotiate a new contract with Mack before he is eligible to opt-out.

- There’s a belief at the combine that offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz end up with a contract in the $8M per year. That would make Schwartz the second-richest right tackle in the league in terms of annual salary. With the Browns expected to draft a quarterback with their second pick Hue Jackson would like to protect his investment. Last season Schwartz earned $1.095M in base salary.

- The NFL's competition committee has had "lengthy discussions" about reducing the preseason schedule for NFL teams to just three games instead of the four they have now. Team would have a two-week break between their final preseason game and the start of the regular season.  It doesn't sound as though the change would affect the 2016 preseason, but it sounds like it could definitely be in play for 2017 and beyond. Hopefully this isn't a precursor to the league attempting to lengthen the regular season schedule. . .if the shortened preseason is being done primarily because of potential injury concerns it kind of defeats the purpose of shortening the preseason.

- The Denver Post reported that Peyton Manning is expected to announce his retirement. If this is the end of his career Manning he will have 200 Wins, 71,948 passing yards and 539 touchdowns a 96.5 passer rating and 2 Super Bowls under his belt. He’s got a deadline of March 9th. The end of next week is March 4th. His decision should be final within the next week according to multiple reports. He doesn’t want to force Denver’s hand and make his exit awkward. Denver public relations tweeted the following in response to Dan Petty.

- Unless something drastically changes between now and Tuesday, it appears that the Denver Broncos will place the franchise tag on Von Miller. At this time it's unclear whether the Broncos will use the non-exclusive or exclusive version of the tag. The non-exclusive tag, would allow another team to sign Miller to an offer sheet and in return for two first-round draft picks if the Broncos don’t match the offer, would cost $14.129 million for 2016, fully guaranteed. The exclusive franchise tag would be based on the average of the five highest 2016 cap numbers for all linebackers, measured as of the conclusion of the period for signing restricted free agents to offer sheets, in April. The exclusive tag for linebackers currently is on track to by $14.04 million.

- FIFA has elected Gianni Infantino as its new president. Infantino won on the 2nd ballot, netting 115 out of 207 votes.  He will complete Sepp Blatter's term and serve until 2019. Infantino holds both Swiss and Italian citizenship and has been the general secretary of UEFA, the governing body of European soccer, since 2009. He worked with UEFA to expand the European Championship from 16 to 24 teams, and he has promised to expand the World Cup field to 40 teams. An attorney, Infantino has also served as a member of FIFA’s Reform Committee. Infantino becomes just the third Fifa president in 40 years personified by Blatter and his Brazilian predecessor João Havelange, during which Fifa’s revenues soared but scandals involving World Cup tickets, TV rights and corrupt bidding races multiplied. In May, Sepp Blatter was forced to promise to stand down and then was banned from football for six years for making a $1.3M "disloyal payment” to his one-time heir apparent Platini in 2011. 

- Major League Baseball handed Indians outfielder Abraham Almonte an 80-game suspension Friday for testing positive for boldenone, a form of a Performance Enhancing Drug (P.E.D). Almonte was signed July 31 2015 from the San Diego Padres and was to be the potential opening day starter in the early part of the season while All-Star outfielder Michael Brantley recovers from off-season shoulder surgery. Brantley has only now begun hitting off a tee and will not likely be ready by the start of the season. Almonte and free agent signee Rajai Davis were expected to get at-bats in the outfield as Brantley mended. Now, the Indians must lean more on Davis, and perhaps Colin Cowgill and Will Venable, who was signed to a minor league deal. Venable's deal is for $1.5M is base salary and can make an additional $2M in performance bonuses if he makes the team.

- The Cavs signed Jordan McRae of the D-League's Delaware 87ers will sign a 10-day contract. With Mo Williams' knee injury lingering McRae will help provide additional depth to the bench. The 6'5" guard is averaging 23.3 points, 4.6 boards and 5.2 assists for the 87ers this season.

- NBA veteran guard Joe Johnson was waived by the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday, shunned the Cavs and has decided to take his talents to South Beach once he clears waivers today at 5pm. The Miami Heat are expected to sign the seven time all-star for about $3M for the remainder of the season. In Sunday's game vs. the Knicks, Johnson had 12 points in 30 minutes, on 5 of 10 shooting from the field.

- Making the oldest team in the NBA even older, free agent veteran Andre Miller has reached an agreement to sign with the San Antonio Spurs for the remainder of the season. Miller cleared waivers on Saturday after reaching a contract buyout with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

- Golden State Warriors guard Steph Curry now has 287 3-pointers this season,breaking his own record from last year of 286 (GSW still have 24 games remaining). And he tied the record for 3's made in a single game with 12. He shares that record with Donyell Marshall and Kobe Bryant. 

Sunday, February 28, 2016

TV Tonight 2.28

By Raven Williams, @nevaRWilliams

Timberwolves @ Mavericks (NBA TV, 7pm)

Virginia Tech @ Wake Forest (ESPNU, 6:30pm)
USC @ California (FOX Sports 1, 8pm)
Washington @ Oregon (ESPNU, 8:30pm)

Lightning @ Bruins (NBC Sports, 6:30pm)
Kings @ Ducks (NBC Sports, 9pm)

College Track and Field: SEC Indoor Championship (ESPN, 7pm)


Dateline NBC (NBC, 7pm)
Oscars Opening Ceremony: Live From The Red Carpet (ABC, 7pm)

The Simpsons (FOX, 8pm)
60 Minutes (CBS, 8pm)
Cooper Barrett's Guide To Surviving Life (FOX, 8:30pm)
The Oscars, hosted by Chris Rock (ABC, 8:30pm)

The Walking Dead (AMC, 9pm)
Vinyl (HBO, 9pm)
Shameless (Showtime, 9pm)
Family Guy (FOX, 9pm)
Bordertown (FOX, 9:30pm)

Girls (HBO, 10pm)
Talking Dead (AMC, 10pm)
Billions (Showtime, 10pm)
Togetherness (HBO, 10:30pm)

Last Week Tonight (HBO, 11pm)
Comic Book Men (AMC, 12am)

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Ring Of Honor 14th Anniversary #ROH14th

By Brandon Albright, @B_Rock1978

Wrestling Lockup with Brandon, brought to you by Triple Threat CLE, brings you the Ring Of Honor 14th Anniversary pay per view. ROH 14th Anniversary took place at the Sam's Town Live in sin city, Las Vegas, Nevada. ROH was in town for two solid nights in Las Vegas with a pay per view and a night of TV tapings. ROH promised to deliver, as all major ROH titles were on the line and we also seen talent from New Japan Pro Wrestling compete as well.

*** ROH 14th Anniversary ***

- "ROH Television Championship, Triple Threat Match": Tomohiro Ishii (c) vs. Roderick Strong vs. Bobby Fish: The match closes out with Ishii landing a super plex on Fish for a near fall. All three men trade blows until Ishii destroys Fish with a clothesline and Strong follows with a double knee gutbuster and a kick on Ishii and gets a near fall. Fish grabs Strong and applies the Fish Hook submission. Strong fights it and eventually escapes. Ishii is back in and crushes Strong with a clothesline for a near fall. Ishii finally hits a vertical brain buster and scores the pinfall.
Winner: Tomohiro Ishii, by pinfall, to retain the ROH Television Championship.

- Adam Page vs. BJ Whitmer: The match closes out with, Whitmer hitting Page with a snap suplex for a near fall. Page is back up and hits a clothesline, but Whitmer comes back and nails a power slam for a near fall. Whitmer sets Page up for an Exploder, but Page counters with an arm drag. Whitmer looks like he's going for an apron piledriver on Page, but Page boots Whitmer off the apron. Page hits a shooting star shoulerblock on Whitmer. Whitmer grabs a steel chair and goes to hit Page with it. The referee grabs the chair and warns Whitmer. As the referee turns his back to get rid of the chair Whitmer low blows Page and scores an inside cradle pinfall. After the match, Page grabs Whitmer and goes for the Rite of Passage. Whitmer fights out and escapes from the ring. Page is furious over Whitmer cheating to win and starts taking out ROH security guards.
Winner: BJ Whitmer, by pinfall.

- Hirooki Goto vs. Dalton Castle (w/The Boys): The match closes out with, Castle landing a knee and a suplex on Goto for a near fall. Castle goes for Bangarang, but Goto counters and unloads a series of corner kicks, followed by a near fall suplex on Castle. Castle goes outside, hits a hurricanrana and follows with a missile drop kick back inside the ring on Goto for a near fall. Castle hits a deadlift german suplex into a bridge for a near fall. Goto lands a reverse Ushigoroshi and finishes off Castle with Shouten Kai for the pinfall.
Winner: Hirooki Goto, by pinfall.

- Alex Shelley vs. Christopher Daniels (w/Kazarian): The match closes out with, Shelley hitting a suicide dive taking out Daniels and Kaz. Daniels lands a low blow, followed by a boot and an STO for a near fall on Shelley. Daniels hits a slingshot split legged moonsault and  applies a crossface submission, but Shelley is able to get to the ropes. Daniels distracts the referee as Kaz hits a leg drop on Shelley. Shelley comes back with an enziguri, followed by a body press for a near fall on Daniels. Kaz tries to get involved again, but this time Chris Sabin hits the ring and takes out Kaz. During the distraction Shelley is able to score the pinfall on Daniels. After the match, Shelley and Sabin reform the Motor City Machine Guns and take out Daniels and Kaz.
Winner: Alex Shelley, by pinfall.

- The Briscoes vs. Michael Elgin and Hiroshi Tanahashi: The match closes out with, The Briscoes double teaming Elgin, until Elgin grabs Mark and tosses him over the barricade. Elgin forearms Jay and tags Tanahashi. Tanahashi gets double teamed, but fights back, unfortunately to little effect as The Briscoes drop him with a uranage. The Briscoes hit a neckbreaker and an elbow drop on Tanahashi for a near fall. Elgin is in and hits a Death Valley Driver on Mark right on top of Jay. Elgin grabs Tanahashi and reverse power bombs his partner on top of Mark for a near fall. Jay gets taken out with a Sling Blade and Mark gets a High Fly Flow, giving Elgin and Tanahashi the pinfall.
Winners: Hiroshi Tanahashi and Michael Elgin, by pinfall.

- Moose (w/Stokely Hathaway) vs. Okada (w/Gedo): The match closes out with, Okada hitting a flapjack on Moose and a series of forearms. Moose and Okada trade strikes back and forth until Okada hits Moose with a reverse neck breaker for a near fall. Okada continues with a flying elbow drop and a Rainmaker on Moose for another near fall. Moose counters a Okada body press, goes for the Rainmaker, but gets drop kicked twice by Okada. Okada takes advantage and hits his Rainmaker to score the pinfall. After the match, both men show each other respect.
Winner: Okada, by pinfall.

- "NJPW NEVER Openweight Six-Man Tag Team Championship Match": The Young Bucks & Kenny Omega (c) vs. ACH, Matt Sydal & KUSHIDA: The match closes out with, The Young Bucks hitting a super kick on Sydal, then unloading punches on KUSHIDA. KUSHIDA fights back, but eats a trifecta of super kicks by The Bullet Club. The Bullet Club turn their attention toward ACH and Sydal and unload another trifecta of super kicks on them. The Young Bucks hit a swanton and Omega hits a Dragon suplex for a near fall. The Bullet Club with another trifecta of super kicks on Sydal for a near fall, as ACH stops the pinfall. Sydal breaks up the Tiger Special finisher and hits the Spanish Fly on Matt for a near fall. ACH and KUSHIDA hit a 450 moonsault combo, but the pinfall gets broken up. Omega plants KUSHIDA on the floor with a tombstone piledriver. ACH catches a punt to the head and Sydal eats another super kick. The Bullet Club hit The Bullet Club Special and score the pinfall.
Winners: The Bullet Club, by pinfall, to retain the NJPW NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championship.

- "ROH World Tag Team Championship,
No DQ Match": War Machine (c) vs. All Night Xpress: The match closes out with, ANX putting a trash can over Hanson's head and crushing it, dropping Hanson for a near fall. Rowe lands knees right to the face of Kenny King. War Machine set up King and hit Fallout, but King kicks out. They set Titus up for Fallout, outside on the floor, but King nails Hanson with a steel chair and then sends Hanson through a table. ANX hit the One Night Stand on Rowe, but Rowe kicks out on a near fall. Titus sets up a ladder bridged from the ring apron to the barricade on the outside. War Machine puts King right through the bridged ladder and King looks like he's unconscious. Back in the ring, War Machine hit Fallout on Titus, cover and score the pinfall.
Winners: War Machine, by pinfall, to retain the ROH World Tag Team Championship.

- "ROH World Heavyweight Championship, Triple Threat Match": Jay Lethal (c) (w/Truth Martini and Taeler Hendrix) vs. Adam Cole vs. Kyle O'Reilly: The match closes out with, Kyle hitting a drop kick on Cole, sending Cole off a steel chair. Kyle gets hit with the Trifecta and Truth Martini does a Trutharoonie in the ring. Lethal hits the Lethal Combination on Cole for a near fall. Cole is back up and hits a knee breaker on Lethal for a near fall. Kyle is back in and gets a near fall brain buster on Lethal. Kyle applies a Triangle submission on Lethal, but Cole tries to break it up. Kyle grabs Cole and locks him in an Ankle Lock submission, while having Lethal in the Triangle submission. Lethal looks like he's about to pass out, as Cole stops Lethal's arm from dropping to the mat a third time, as the referee checks on Lethal. Kyle locks in an RNC submission on Cole. Lethal finally comes to and hits a double Lethal Injection on Cole and Kyle to score the pinfall.
Winner: Jay Lethal, by pinfall, to retain the ROH World Heavyweight Championship.

Friday, February 26, 2016

TV Weekend 2.26 - 2.27

By Raven Williams, @nevaRWilliams

Caught on Camera With Nick Cannon (FRI, NBC, 8pm)
Last Man Standing (FRI, ABC, 8pm)
Sleepy Hollow (FRI, FOX, 8pm)
The Amazing Race (FRI, CBS, 8pm)
The Vampire Diaries (FRI, The CW, 8pm)
Dr. Ken (FRI, ABC, 8:30pm)

In Performance at the White House: A Tribute to Ray Charles (FRI, TV1, 9pm)
New Japan Pro Wrestling (FRI, AXSTV, 9pm)
Dateline NBC (FRI, NBC, 9pm)
Shark Tank (FRI, ABC, 9pm)
Second Chance (FRI, FOX, 9pm)
Hawaii Five-0 (FRI, CBS, 9pm)
The Originals (FRI, The CW, 9pm)

Blue Bloods (FRI, CBS, 10pm)
Real Time With Bill Maher (FRI, HBO, 10pm)
Burgers Brew & Que (FRI, Food Network, 10:30pm)


Doctor Who (SAT, BBC America, 9pm)
Black Sails (SAT, Starz, 9pm)
Saturday Night Live (SAT, NBC, 11:30pm)


Cavaliers @ Raptors (FRI, FOX Sports Ohio, 7:30pm)
Bulls @ Hawks (FRI, ESPN, 8pm)
Grizzlies @ Lakers (FRI, ESPN, 10:30pm)

Warriors @ Thunder (SAT, ABC, 8:30pm)

Iona @ Manhattan (FRI, ESPNU, 7pm)
Valparaiso @ Wisconsin-Milwaukee (FRI, ESPN 2, 7pm)
Harvard @ Yale (FRI, FOX Sports 1, 7pm)
Bowling Green @ Akron (FRI, CBS SportsNet, 7pm)
Rider @ Monmouth (FRI, ESPN 2, 9pm)
WOMENS: Xavier @ Villanova (FRI, FOX Sports Ohio, 9pm)

Butler @ Georgetown (SAT, CBS, 12pm)
Texas Tech @ Kansas (SAT, ESPN, 12pm)
Rhode Island @ Dayton (SAT, ESPN 2, 12pm)
Cincinnati @ East Carolina (SAT, ESPNU, 12pm)
Central Florida @ Temple (SAT, ESPNews, 12pm)
VCU @ George Washington (SAT, NBC Sports, 12:30pm)

Villanova @ Marquette (SAT, FOX, 2pm)
Oklahoma @ Texas (SAT, CBS, 2pm)
Arizona @ Utah (SAT, ESPN, 2pm)
Illinois State @ Wichita State (SAT, ESPN 2, 2pm)
WOMENS: Ohio State @ Michigan State (SAT, Big Ten, 2pm)

Kentucky @ Vanderbilt (SAT, CBS, 4pm)
Maryland @ Purdue (SAT, ESPN, 4pm)
Notre Dame @ Florida State (SAT, ESPN 2, 4pm)
DePaul @ Providence (SAT, CBS SportsNet, 4pm)
UCLA @ Stanford (SAT, FOX, 4:30pm)

Kansas State @ Iowa State (SAT, ESPN 2, 6pm)
West Virginia @ Oklahoma State (SAT, ESPNU, 6pm)
North Carolina @ Virginia (SAT, ESPN, 6:30pm)

Gonzaga @ BYU (SAT, ESPN 2, 8pm)
Baylor @ TCU (SAT, ESPNU, 8pm)
Florida @ LSU (SAT, ESPN, 9pm)
Fresno State @ New Mexico (SAT, ESPN 2, 10pm)

Panthers @ Blue Jackets (SAT, FOX Sports Ohio, 3pm)
Red Wings @ Avalanche (SAT, NBC, 8pm)

Bellator MMA Live (FRI, Spike, 9pm)

BOXING: Terence Crawford vs Hank Lundy (SAT, HBO, 10pm)
BOXING: Leo Santa Cruz vs. Kiko Martinez (SAT, Showtime, 10pm)

XFINITY Series: Heads Up Georgia 250 (SAT, FOX Sports 1, 1:30pm)
Camping World Truck Series: Georgia 200 (SAT, FOX Sports 1, 4:30pm)

Honda Classic, Third Round (SAT, NBC, 3pm)

SOCCER: West Bromwich Albion FC vs Crystal Palace FC (SAT, NBC, 12:30pm)

Wrestling Lockup with Brandon, 2.26.16: #NXT & #SmackDown

By Brandon Albright, @B_Rock1978

Wrestling Lockup with Brandon, brought to you by Triple Threat CLE, is here with your NXT Recap Edition.

This week's NXT took place at their home base of Full Sail University in Orlando, Florida. Jason Jordan and Chad Gable kicked off the show in tag team action battling former NXT World Tag Team Champions, Wesley Blake and Buddy Murphy. Apollo Crews was in one on one action this week. NXT GM William Regal makes a decision on last week's Sami Zayn vs. Samoa Joe match ending. Main event time saw NXT Women's Champion, Bayley and Carmella team up and battled Eva Marie and Nia Jax.

*** NXT ***

- Jason Jordan and Chad Gable vs. Wesley Blake and Buddy Murphy: The match closes out with Blake and Murphy double teaming Gable in their corner. Gable dodges a knee from Murphy and tags Jordan. Jordan drop kicks Blake, belly to belly suplex on Murphy and catches Blake on a cross body attempt and lands a suplex. Jordan and Gable hit their double team finisher and score the pinfall.
Winners: Jason Jordan and Chad Gable, by pinfall.

- Backstage, NXT GM William Regal announces that next week Sami Zayn will battle Samoa Joe in a "2 Out of 3 Falls Match" to determine the #1 Contender to Finn Balor and the NXT World Title. Regal also announces a newly signed big star will debut next week.

- Apollo Crews vs. Christopher Girard: The match closes out with, Girard applying a chin lock on Crews, but Crews lifts Girard up on his back and drops him to the mat. Girard gets back body dropped on the apron and then hit by an enziguri by Crews. Crews lifts Girard off the apron and hits the Apollo Bomb to score the pinfall.
Winner: Apollo Crews, by pinfall. 

- Backstage, NXT Women's Champion, Bayley tells Carmella that she'll make a great champion someday. Carmella makes it her goal to push harder and Bayley says she's aware of Asuka wanting a shot at the title.

- Video surveillance shows the NXT World Tag Team Champions, Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson, attacking Enzo Amore in the parking lot. Big Cass eventually arrives and makes the save.

- Tommaso Ciampa vs. Bull Dempsey: The match closes out with, Ciampa making quick work of Dempsey. Ciampa hits a running elbow and a leaping DDT on Dempsey. Ciampa locks in a modified version of the Rings Of Saturn submission and wins by tap out.
Winner: Tommaso Ciampa, by submission.

- Eva Marie and Nia Jax vs. Bayley and Carmella: The match closes out with, Nia missing a clothesline and falls outside. Bayley is in, hits Bayley To Belly on Eva and covers. Nia makes it back in just in time to break the pinfall. Nia head butts Bayley as Carmella comes in. Carmella locks in a submission on Eva, but Nia breaks up the submission. Nia hits a series of leg drops on Carmella, allowing Eva to cover and score the easy pinfall.
Winners: Eva Marie and Nia Jax, by pinfall.

- NXT closes out this week with NXT GM William Regal informing NXT World Champion, Finn Balor he'll be facing WWE superstar and former NXT Alumni, Neville in the near future. 


Wrestling Lockup with Brandon, brought to you by Triple Threat CLE, is here with your Smackdown Recap Edition.  

This week's Smackdown took place in Indianapolis, Indiana. Triple H bragged about what he did to Roman Reigns this past Monday on RAW. The Lucha Dragons, Neville and Dolph Ziggler teamed up for eight man tag team action against the League of Nations. Jimmy Uso faced Devon Dudley in a one on one match. Kevin Owens takes on Big Show in a non-title match. Divas action took place, as Nattie Neidhart battled Becky Lynch one on one. Heath Slater battled R-Truth. Main event time saw a six man tag team match with The New Day battling Chris Jericho, AJ Styles and Mark Henry.

*** Smackdown ***

- Triple H Promo: Triple H quotes the Rolling Stones' "Sympathy For The Devil", Roman Reigns was reminded of just exactly what "The Game" was capable of doing on RAW, Roman was put in his place, now dealing with nose surgery, Triple H is the law and The Authority. Triple H says it takes blood, sweat and tears to be WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Triple H had Reigns' blood in his hands and the tears will fall at Wrestlemania 32. Triple H reminds us that he's the Cerebral Assassin, The King of Kings, The Game and That Damn Good, and there isn't anything Reigns will be able to do about it.

- "Eight Man Tag Team Match": The Lucha Dragons, Neville and Dolph Ziggler vs. The League of Nations: The match closes out with, Neville hitting a 450 Splash on Barrett for a near fall, as Rusev broke up the pinfall. Sin Cara hits a enziguri on Rusev, as Kalisto follows with a dropkick, sending Rusev to the floor. Kalisto flies at Rusev, but Rusev catches him in mid-air. Sin Cara follows and drops Rusev with a suicide dive. Neville climbs up top and goes for Red Arrow on Barrett, but Del Rio lands a superkick on Neville. Ziggler lands a superkick on Del Rio, sending him to the floor. Sheamus comes in and nails the Brouge Kick on Neville and scores the pinfall.
Winners: The League of Nations, by pinfall.

- Backstage, Kevin Owens offers a rematch to Dean Ambrose for the WWE Intercontinental Championship, however, Ambrose isn't in the building tonight. Big Show interrupts and says KO has never beaten him yet. KO makes retirement jokes about Show. Show says retirement will make a pit stop to knockout KO later tonight.

- The Dudley Boys Promo: Bubba and Devon remind us that they are the 9-Time WWE World Tag Team Champions, they are not a circus or nostalgia act, they don't care what people think, they will do what they want to get the job done and the WWE Universe can shove their "We Want Tables" chants.

- Jimmy Uso vs. Devon Dudley: The match closes out quickly with, Jimmy landing an uppercut, an enziguri, a running Rikishi Splash and finally dropping Devon with an Uso Kick. Jimmy goes to the top rope, but gets distracted as it looks like Bubba is going for a table. Bubba knocks Jimmy off the ropes, before Jey gets there to help in time. Devon rolls Jimmy up and scores the pinfall.
Winner: Devon Dudley, by pinfall.

- Backstage, Chris Jericho mentions his respect for AJ Styles now and he and AJ showed chemistry teaming together on RAW. AJ says he came to the WWE to fight the best and have his Wrestlemania moment. Jericho and Styles target The New Day and possibly becoming tag team champions. Tonight, however, it's a six man tag team match and they need a partner. Mark Henry interrupts and offers his services, cause he owes New Day for turning on him.

- Kevin Owens vs. Big Show: The match closes out with, Show dropping Owens with a choke slam, but Owens rolls to the floor. Show tosses Owens back in the ring and goes to the top rope. Owens counters and goes for a Fisherman Buster Suplex, but Show easily blocks. Show goes for a choke slam on Owens off the top rope, but Owens drops Show crotch first on the top rope. Show falls to the floor and ends up getting counted out. After the match, Owens escapes as Show goes after him.
Winner: Kevin Owens, by Countout.

- Nattie Neidhart vs. Becky Lynch: The match closes out with, Nattie hitting a German Suplex, sending Becky to the floor. Team BAD arrives as Nattie tosses Becky back into the ring. Naomi gets in Nattie's face and lands a right hand to Nattie, forcing a DQ on Becky. After the match, Tamina hits a superkick on Nattie, as Sasha Banks hits the ring. Sasha and Becky join forces and clear Team BAD from the ring.
Winner: Nattie Neidhart, by DQ.

- Charlotte Promo: Charlotte announces that Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch will fight each other on RAW, to determine who faces Charlotte at Wrestlemania 32. She wishes both ladies luck and promises that she'll be watching from the front row. 

- Heath Slater vs. R-Truth: Goldust comes to the ring to watch the match. The match closes out with, Slater in control, hitting Truth with a boot and a couple knee drops for a near fall. Truth comes back with a leg lariat on Slater then knocks Rose off the ring apron. Truth hits a sitdown face slam on Slater, as Bo Dallas distracts the referee. Goldust lands a right hand on Slater during the distraction and Truth scores a backslide pinfall.
Winner: R-Truth, by pinfall.

- "Six Man Tag Team Match": The New Day vs. Chris Jericho, AJ Styles and Mark Henry: The match closes out with, Big E going for the Big Ending, but Jericho counters with an enziguri. AJ hits a forearm on Woods, sending Woods to the floor. AJ hits a springboard moonsault followed by a neck breaker for a near fall, as Big E breaks things up. Henry comes in and lays out Big E, but catches Trouble In Paradise by Kofi. Kofi measures Jericho and hits him as well with Trouble In Paradise. AJ tosses Kofi to the floor, but Woods follows from behind and gets a near fall rollup on AJ. Woods unloads a forearm on AJ, but AJ is able to counter Woods into the Calf Crusher submission. Woods fights briefly, but eventually taps out.
Winners: Chris Jericho, AJ Styles and Mark Henry, by submission.

- This closes out this weeks Smackdown.

Leadoff with Lee 2.26.16

By Chris Lee, @TripleThreatLee

- The Brooklyn Nets waive seven time all star Joe Johnson on Thursday. Johnson has until March 1st to sign with a team to be eligible for the playoffs. According to several reports Johnson's buyout with the Nets is worth about $21.9M. He has already been linked to sign with Oklahoma City, Cleveland, Boston and Toronto. Early indication is Joe Johnson will take a couple days to sift through offers, now that he's secured buyout. Johnson will clear waivers Saturday at 5 PM. He is averaging 11.8 points, 4.1 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game this season. Tax Implications for the Cavaliers for signing a player for the remainder of the season is around $980k (not including salary).

- On Thursday, MLB and the MLBPA jointly announced new rule changes for 2016 regarding slides to break up double plays.

- Runner begins his slide before reaching the base.
- Runner is able and attempts to reach the base with his hand or foot.
- Runner is able and attempts to remain on the base (except home plate) after completion of the slide.
- Runner slides within reach of the base without changing his pathway for the purpose of initiating contact with a fielder.
- Runner may not engage “in a roll block or intentionally initiate or attempts to initiate contact with the fielder’s upper body.

Not following the new rules will result in an automatic double play.

If the runner is deemed to have violated any of these conditions, then he and the batter will be called out for interference. Potential violations will be reviewable using instant replay, as will, for the first time, “neighborhood play” calls.

Also the pace of game program will expand this season to include timed 30-second visits to the pitcher’s mound by managers and pitching coaches.

- Browns VP Sashi Brown on Josh Gordon: 

"He understands that he's made some mistakes in the past, I think he's accountable for those and everything that we see and hear in talking to his representation and those that have been in communication with him is that he's eager to get back and contribute. And we feel like if he's accomplished those things, there's a spot for him on the roster, could certainly help".

That has been the strongest statement made by anyone with the Browns new regime concerning Josh Gordon since taking over. He's under contract for nearly $1.1 million in 2016, which is crumbs for a playmaking receiver. He'll be a restricted free agent in 2017.

- The word this week from the agent for Browns free agent Travis Benjamin was that contract talks ended. Despite that rumor, the Browns met with Benjamin's agent Ron Butler at the combine Wednesday night.

Don't expect the Browns to place the transition or franchise tag on any of their free agents, Mitchell Schwartz, Tashaun Gipson or Travis Benjamin, but at the same time Sashi Brown has made it clear when he said, "We're behind two or three weeks". Brown continued, saying "When you're on a coaching search, you're not able to spend as much time as we would have liked focusing on our rising unrestricted free agents' extensions. But they're all talented guys and can contribute".

Gipson will command about $10.6M with the franchise tag, while the amount for Schwartz is $12.7M and $7.5-$8M for Benjamin. 

- The Johnny Manziel domestic violence case against victim Colleen Crawley has been referred to the Dallas county district attorney's office for presentation to the grand jury.

If charges are brought onto Manziel he could face up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000. Legal experts say Dallas Police decision to let a grand jury examine Manziel case means it's weak. But you better believe he will need to meet with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell before he steps back on to the field.

- Colon Kaepernick and his agents request a trade from the 49ers. This new s come days after the Niners said Kaepernick would be on the roster come April 1st when his $11.9M salary becomes guaranteed. The biggest issue for the 49ers is finding a trade partner and possibly if Kaepernick can secure a new contract with that new team. In order to seek a trade and not lose his guaranteed money, Colin Kaepernick needs written permission from the 49ers. He has not been granted that as of yet. 

A possible draft day trade? Are the Browns going to be players in the mix? Browns coach Hue Jackson said he thought Kaepernick was the best quarterback in that draft, which included No. 1 pick Cam Newton. When he was coach of the Raiders in 2011, he wanted to trade up to draft Kaepernick, but it didn't work out. "Scouting him, I fell in love with the kid", said Jackson. "Leader, won a ton of games at Nevada, really impressive when you talked to him, strong, all the tools to win in the NFL. No doubt in my mind he was going to be good".

Thursday, February 25, 2016

TV Tonight 2.25

By Raven Williams, @nevaRWilliams

Thunder @ Pelicans (TNT, 8pm)
Rockets @ Trail Blazers (TNT, 10:30pm)

Florida State @ Duke (ESPN, 7pm)
SMU @ Memphis (ESPN 2, 7pm)
Nebraska @ Penn State (ESPNU, 7pm)
Providence @ Seton Hall (FOX Sports 1, 7pm)
Connecticut @ South Florida (CBS SportsNet, 7:30pm)
Indiana @ Illinois (ESPN, 9pm)
UCLA @ California (ESPN 2, 9pm)
St. John's @ DePaul (FOX Sports 1, 9pm)

Devils @ Blue Jackets (FOX Sports Ohio, 7pm)
Predators @ Blackhawks (NBC Sports, 8pm)


DC's Legends Of Tomorrow (The CW, 8pm)
WWE SmackDown (USA, 8pm)
You, Me and the Apocalypse (NBC, 8pm)
Grey's Anatomy (ABC, 8pm)
American Idol (FOX, 8pm)
The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 8pm)
Life In Pieces (CBS, 8:30pm)

The 100 (The CW, 9pm)
The Blacklist (NBC, 9pm)
Scandal (ABC, 9pm)
Mom (CBS, 9pm)
2 Broke Girls (CBS, 9:30pm)

Lip Sync Battle: Gigi Hadid vs. Tyler Posey (Spike, 10pm)
Vikings (History, 10pm)
Shades Of Blue (NBC, 10pm)
How To Get Away With Murder (ABC, 10pm)
Elementary (CBS, 10pm)
Ridiculousness (MTV, 10pm)
Colony (USA, 10pm)
Baskets (FX, 10pm)
Workaholics (Comedy Central, 10pm)
Idiotsitter (Comedy Central, 10:30pm)
Greatest Party Story Ever And Other Epic Tales (MTV, 10:30pm)

NFL Scouting Combine: It All Begins Here #NFLCombine

By Alex Hale, @DaSportsGenius7

As we always anticipate in late February, yes it is time for teams to head to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis for everyone's "favorite" event, the NFL Scouting Combine.  Fans will be tuning in to see who runs the fastest 40 time, while scouts will take that information in with other drills players will run.  At the end of all of this, teams will have a fair physical outlook of every prospect in this draft.  Now some players may choose to not participate and rely on their Pro Days, some may participate anyways.  Plus, we all are anticipating the annual winner of the now infamous, "Idiot Test".  The 40 yard dash now has a, "bounty" for the person who can best Chris Johnson's record time of 4.24, which will take up most of the TV time and will ignore other intriguing drills like "The Gauntlet" which is run by WRs.  The combine is one big circus, but out of all of this, I've managed to scrape up 5 names you know already to watch, and 5 sleepers to watch out for at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Top Prospects to Watch:

Jared Goff QB California- We all know about Jared Goff, the technically sound QB with a lightening quick release and ball placement that is undeniably the best in this class.  One of the things people question about Goff is how athletic is Goff?  Goff is deceptively quick and shows on film he can escape sacks and make plays on the run.  But can Goff run plays designed for a QB to run the football?  While most people will tell you to ignore the 40 time, what I will suggest is to not just look at Goff's 40 time, but his Agility Drills too.  Understanding how Goff ranks in both areas will show you not just how fast Goff can run, but more importantly how quick he is on his feet, which can turn Goff from POSSIBLY the #1 QB to the sure fire #1 QB in this draft.  All Goff needs to do is continue to show his passing ability and show he can run a little bit and he'll solidify his spot as the #1 QB.  One note to add: Watch Goff's hand size, one of the most underrated QB traits is hand size and if Goff has a smaller hand size that might translate into struggling in bad weather conditions.

Braxton Miller WR Ohio State- After an extremely strong Senior Bowl week, Braxton has found himself potentially as a 1st Round WR and rightfully so.  He showed the ability to get by defenders and make the plays downfield in the practices.  Now Miller has a golden opportunity to quite possibly do the unthinkable...become the 1st WR taken in the draft.  With recent reports saying LaQuon Treadwell has decided to not run at the Combine, this leaves the door open to another WR to take the spotlight from him.  Miller has enough size to go with his pure athletic ability to actually make the jump towards the middle of the 1st Round.  I fully expect Braxton to blow scouts away with his speed and ability in the drills.  I'll be looking at his High Jump to see how high Braxton can go up to get the ball.  That could really help him jump up in the draft.

Jack Conklin (Michigan State)/Taylor Decker (Ohio State)- I had to classify the two of them together because they're both in the same boat. Both men were standout LTs for their respective colleges, but both men are viewed by scouts as better RT prospects than LT prospects because they don't have the athletic ability to play over on the blind side.  On top of that, it's arguable these players are the #3 and #4 ranked OT in this draft.  With Laremy Tunsil and Ronnie Stanley clearly atop of the OT rankings, there's a major gap after those two.
 Someone needs to take advantage of the opportunity and I expect one of these two to fully do that.  The combine is a great opportunity for Offensive Linemen to show they have enough athleticism to potentially play on the blind side, and the ability to play the blind side can mean the difference from 1st Round pick to a 3rd Round pick.  This should be entertaining to watch between these two.

Noah Spence EDGE Eastern Kentucky- Spence, like his former OSU teammate Braxton Miller, dominated the Senior Bowl week and was by far the best player there.  Although Spence comes with his baggage, this is a great test for Spence to see where he's at.  Normally during the Combine there's always one top prospect who fails the so-called, "Idiot" Test.  Last year it was Shane Ray and it would be a damn shame for Spence to do it as well.  But if Spence has his act together, Spence has a chance to jump into the Top 10.  Seeing the talents of Von Miller and what he and the Denver pass rush brought, the NFL is in an era where a talent like Spence is extremely valuable.  While I expect him to show off his speed, I'm curious to see how he benches.  At only 6'2'' 254, he's going to have to show to go with his explosiveness the pure strength that he needs that will help him  handle bigger blockers he will face.  If he does out Oakman and Bosa, you got company.

The Land of The Unknowns:

Rashard Robinson CB LSU- The man already calling his shot saying he'll run the fastest 40 time, it really could benefit him being a big CB to begin with.  According to Dane Brugler, Robinson stands at 6'3'' 185, while has him at 6'1'' 163.  I'm very curious to see what his height and weight are.  If Robinson is what Brugler has him at AND he runs the fastest 40 time, regardless of his skills and off field baggage, Robinson will make a major jump on draft boards by pure athletic skill.  Look at Justin Gilbert folks.  For Cornerbacks right now, people want to find the next Richard Sherman, the big athletic CB that teams can hopefully mold into a total shutdown cornerback.

Devontae Booker RB Utah- Ok we talk about Derrick Henry and Ezekiel Elliott, but we forget Booker was considered to be with Elliott the top RB in this class.  He showed the ability to run the ball effectively and also has the ability to receive out of the backfield.  I would look more towards his agility drills to see how he stacks up against the other RBs in this class.  At 5'11'' 219 lbs, he has the size to play the position, while I would like to see him add more muscle to his frame to potentially be a 3 down back prospect.  I have a 3rd Round grade on Booker and if the Browns look at add another RB in this class, Booker might be on their radar.

Kenny Lawler WR California- A lot of people like to talk about Jared Goff and how successful he was, but most people forget Kenny Lawler was Goff's red-zone target.  Over the past 2 seasons he caught 22 TDs.  While he never caught for over 1000 yards, Lawler has shown the ability to score when he needs to and that is a trait you need to find in big physical receivers.  At 6'3'' 195, Lawler has the size to play big at the position.  One thing to consider, California has produced some good receivers in recent years in Keenan Allen and Marvin Jones.  That always is a good sign knowing the school has a solid recent track record with WRs.

Jeff Driskel QB Louisiana Tech- Yeah, remember this guy at Florida?  The QB who took one of the best offenses in the country and destroyed it.  The question I think that remains after his outstanding turnaround at Louisiana Tech, was it the coaching or was it level of competition?  Driskel without a doubt has the size, arm strength, and athleticism to succeed in the NFL.  But those things have been said before, so it comes down to the interviews and workouts for Driskel.  Driskel needs to impress in team interviews and solidify his skills at the combine and I can see him moving up into the 4-5th Rounds.

William Henry DT/DE Michigan- Michigan fans can cheer all they want about getting Rashan Gary, this Michigan fan asks what could've been had Henry stayed in Ann Arbor.  Henry showed this past year he can play any of the D-Line positions and can cause havoc in the backfield.  Quite possibly Henry was the key to the whole Michigan defense last year (outside of the secondary).  Henry needs to impress at the agility drills because right now at his size (6'4'' 311 lbs), he's viewed as a potential 3-4 NT, but a good showing at the combine might have teams evaluate him more as a 3-4 DE or a 4-3 DT.  That right there might send his draft stock soaring.

While the Combine is hyped up to be this big time event that tells us everything we need to know on scouts, here's a friendly game film and see their Pro Days.  As helpful as the NFL Scouting Combine is, it's merely a tool for scouts.  The Combine doesn't define everything so if anyone stands out, take it with a grain of salt until you get all the information.  

But hey folks, it's NFL Draft season... LET THE MADNESS BEGIN!