Sunday, December 31, 2017

Weekend 3 Count 12/31/17

By Brandon Albright, @B_Rock1978

Wrestling Lockup with Brandon, brought to you by Triple Threat CLE brings you the Weekend 3 Count. W3C brings you wrestling news, rumors and recaps from around the wrestling world. You'll find news rumors and recaps involving WWE, NXT, Impact, ROH, Lucha Underground, NJPW, House of Hardcore, NWA, ICW, CZW, FIP, PWG, AAW, EVOLVE, PROGRESS, SHINE, SHIMMER, BEYOND, DEFIANT and any Indy promotion that I find an interesting story or a cool discovery in. Be sure to check out the W3C every Sunday afternoon at @TripleThreatCLE

*** WWE ***

- John Cena's Return: This past week on Monday Night RAW, John Cena returned to action as he battled Elias Samson. According to reports, Cena is expected to stick around for a few more weeks leading into the WWE Royal Rumble at the end of January.

- New Tag Team Champions Crowned: If you missed Monday Night RAW this past week, there were new WWE RAW World Tag Team Champions crowned. Seth Rollins and Jason Jordan defeated Sheamus and Cesaro to close out 2017 the new tag team champions.

- Jason Jordan Makes History: After winning the WWE RAW World Tag Team Championship this past Monday, Jason Jordan has made some history as well. Jordan currently is the first and only superstar to win the NXT World Tag Team Championship, the WWE Smackdown Live World Tag Team Championship and the WWE RAW World Tag Team Championship.

- Dolph Ziggler Stripped Of The WWE United States Championship: This past Tuesday on Smackdown Live, GM Daniel Bryan announced that Dolph Ziggler was being stripped of the WWE United States Championship, after Ziggler laid down the title in the ring, walked out and hasn't been heard from since.

- WWE United States Championship Tournament Announced: This past Tuesday on Smackdown Live, GM Daniel Bryan announced a tournament to crown a new WWE United States Champion. Bobby Roode defeated Baron Corbin and Jinder Mahal defeated Tye Dillinger to start it off. The winner of Aiden English vs. Xavier Woods will face Mahal and the winner of Zack Ryder vs. Mojo Rawley will battle Roode in the final four.

- Batista Return Possible?: According to Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Batista has stated that he would love to return to the WWE for one more full time run with the company. Batista stated that he's been eyeing a lengthy return to the WWE, one that could last up to a whole year. Batista stated that he has already met with Vince McMahon about the idea and Batista would love to have a long feud with Triple H during that year. I'll keep you posted on this news as more is revealed.

- Randy Orton Taking A Hiatus?: According to, Randy Orton could be out of action for most of February and all of March and will also work a light schedule in January. Rumors are stating that this could be leading to Orton eventually stepping down into a part time role with the company as well with Brock Lesnar, John Cena and Chris Jericho.

- Dean Ambrose Update: The Tuesday before Christmas, Dean Ambrose underwent successful surgery to repair a high grade triceps tendon injury. The procedure was performed by Dr. Jeffrey Dugas in Birmingham, Ala., and took around 40 minutes. Ambrose has begun physical therapy, starting with light range of motion exercises. Ambrose is expected to miss Wrestlemania 34, as he will be out for at least 9 months.

- Brian Kendrick Injured: This past Monday on RAW, Brian Kendrick was sent to local hospital to be checked for a potential injury, after taking a stiff Go To Sleep from Hideo Itami during their match. After tests came back it was discovered that Kendrick suffered a fractured orbital bone and a fractured nasal bridge. It's unknown at this time how long Kendrick will be out for.

- Paige Injured: This past Wednesday night at a live WWE event, Paige suffered a kick to the back by Sasha Banks which caused the match to be stopped and Paige in need of assistance. According to fans in attendance, initially, a stretcher was brought out, but Paige was able to walk to the back with the help of the doctors.

- Go To Sleep Banned: It was announced this week that after Hideo Itami accidentally injured Brian Kendrick delivering the Go To Sleep, Vince McMahon officially has banned the move from being used.

- Ronda Rousey News: After the announcement of the first ever Women's Royal Rumble at the WWE Royal Rumble, rumors began on a possible Ronda Rousey appearance in the match. Sources have said, however, that Rousey is still in training for her WWE debut and will also be filming a movie with Mark Wahlberg during the Royal Rumble time frame. It looks like her debut at the WWE Royal Rumble is false unless things change up to match time.

- Possible Fastlane Main Event Spoiler: The Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio has recently announced a Fatal Five Way Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at the Smackdown Live pay per view WWE Fastlane on March 11th. WWE have not confirmed this match to be true at the moment, but if it pans out to be true then it'll be WWE World Heavyweight Champion AJ Styles defending his championship in the Fatal Five Way Match against Shinsuke Nakamura, Randy Orton, Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens.

** 205 Live Recap **

- Jack Gallagher vs. Hideo Itami: The first match of the night saw Gallagher looking to get revenge on Itami after Itami injured Brian Kendrick on Monday Night RAW. Itami locks in a submission on Gallagher and makes him tap out to get the victory.

- Tony Nese vs. Akira Tozawa: Earlier in the night Nese stated that he wanted to take out everyone in the Zo Train, but understands that Enzo Amore is the star of 205 Live and Nese has learned his place. Tozawa mocked Nese for that decision and ended up getting slapped in the face by Nese. The match closes out with Nese hitting the running knees on Tozawa and scoring the pinfall.

- Ariya Daivari and Drew Gulak vs. Cedric Alexander and Mustafa Ali: Earlier in the night, Cedric tries to talk sense into Gulak that Enzo Amore is just using him. The match closes out with Ali hitting the 054 Splash on Daivari and scoring the pinfall.

*** NXT ***

- Johnny Gargano New #1 Contender: This past week on NXT TV, Johnny Gargano officially became the new #1 Contender to the NXT World Championship, after defeated Aleister Black, Lars Sullivan and Killian Dain in a Fatal Four Way Match.

- NXT Takeover Philadelphia: With Johnny Gargano winning the Fatal Four Way Match, the official main event at NXT Takeover Philadelphia will be Andrade "Cien" Almas defending the NXT World Championship against Johnny Gargano. NXT Takeover Philadelphia will take place the night before WWE Royal Rumble.

- Shayna Bazsler Debuts: This past week on NXT TV, Shayna Bazsler made her official NXT debut, by attacking and choking out Kairi Sane.

- WWE Adds A 5th NXT Yearly Pay Per View: WWE announced this week that NXT will get a 5th yearly Takeover Pay Per View, starting this year. WWE will be including WWE Money In The Bank as their 5th main pay per view that will include all of RAW and Smackdown Live stars. NXT will get their pay per view the Saturday before Money In The Bank.

- James Storm Asked About Signing With NXT: Former Impact wrestler James Storm was interviewed recently and was asked about whether or not he would return to NXT if he was offered a spot on the roster again. Storm stated that he has been hitting the gym daily and keeping in excellent shape, just in case he was made an offer by any promotion out there right now. Storm stated that NXT in his eyes is a huge promotion on its own now and any wrestler should be honored to accept a roster spot with the company. Storm stated that he would love to have a good run in NXT and also help out the up and comers in the company. Will we see The Cowboy return?? Will have to stay tuned and find out.

*** Impact Wrestling ***

- Ethan Carter Files Documents To Trademark His Name: Impact Wrestling star EC3 has filed documents this past week in an attempt to legally own his character’s name. EC3 filed trademark documents which state that he wants to use the name for “Entertainment services, namely, wrestling exhibits and performances by a professional wrestler and entertainer. The documents also note that he wants to use the name for “conducting fitness classes.” Impact Wrestling announced a few weeks ago that they were allowing all Impact Wrestlers past and present the opportunity to keep their gimmicks that they created in Impact Wrestling. This opened the door to allow Matt Hardy to debut his Broken/Woken gimmick finally in the WWE.


- Young Lion Cup Winner: Last week the 11th Annual Young Lion Cup Tournament finished up at NJPW Lion's Gate Project 10. Katsuya Kitamura came out victorious in the tournament and claimed the Young Lion Cup Trophy. The following is the final standings of the tournament.

- Katsuya Kitamura 10
- Hirai Kawato 8
- Tomoyuki Oka 6
- Shota Umino 4
- Ren Narita 1
- Tetsuhiro Yagi 1

And that's this week's W3C! Join me every Sunday afternoon as I bring you news, recaps and rumors all around the wrestling world!

Friday, December 29, 2017

The Truth About The 0-16 Browns "Parade"

By Jason Disantis, @JasonInCLE

I get it…

Some will say I don’t.  But I do.

The problem is they don’t. 

Who is they?

Everyone participating and supporting in the 0-16 parade. 

If you want to go and have a good time, knock yourself out.  Sing, dance, make balloon animals.  Do whatever the hell it is you guys have planned.  Whoop it up like you never have before.  But if you do go to the parade there are a couple things that have to be made crystal clear.

You, nor your leader Chris McNeil, are doing yeoman’s work.

This event has been called a parade since it became a thing last year when the Browns were approaching the “perfect” winless season.  But as the chances of this parade have gone from doubtful to almost certain, I’ve noticed a change in tone regarding how they want it to be seen.  McNeil and his supporters want it to be seen as a protest.  They have said that it is a message being sent, “a shot across the bow” to Jimmy Haslam and the front office of the Cleveland Browns.   

Stop it.  You sound ridiculous.

There are a couple reasons I doubt his sincerity in the “protest” message. 

If this parade is honestly meant to send a message to Jimmy Haslam they would be having it regardless of if they win this Sunday.  Let’s be honest.  There’s no difference between 1-15 and 0-16.  If you believe the organization is inept today, a win in the last game of the season doesn’t change that.  Beating the Steelers doesn’t suddenly make them smarter. 

Secondly, the idea that this parade is going to send a message to Jimmy Haslam is ridiculous.  At the end of this season they will be 1-31 over the last two years…  1-31…

If the worst two-year stretch of football in the history of the world doesn’t send a message, if declining attendance and an empty stadium doesn’t send a message, what-in-the-hell makes you think your parade is going to send a message? 

I’ve seen tweets of people saying, “when the Browns are good in a couple years you can thank this parade for putting pressure on them.”  And “all these idiots attacking [McNeil] for the parade is EXACTLY why Haslam doesn’t give a shit if the team sucks.  You idiots keep spending money on the worst team in sports history.  Why would he care to fix it if it’s still profitable?”

What the hell is wrong with you people?  (The funny thing about the second tweet, is one of those “idiots” he’s talking about is McNeil, as he is a season ticket holder)

The man is a billionaire.  You think YOU can shame him?

Another one of my problems with the parade is the effect it will have on the city.  A city that McNeil isn’t even from or currently reside in. 

The day after the Houston Astros won their first World Series Championship I drove to work and had to hear national moron Boomer Esiason use his CBS sports minute not to talk about the historical year the Astros had or what it meant to the city of Houston. 


Instead he used it to tear apart Cleveland as a bunch of losers.

Now what Boomer Esiason has to say doesn’t mean much and only solidifies him as a jack-ass.  But as a Clevelander you get tired of hearing it. 

And that’s my final point.

If you’re supporting this parade, then you can no longer mention your heart ache or frustration with the many egregious events of Cleveland sports history. 

The Shot.  The Drive.  The Fumble.  Red-right 88.  The Decision.  Jose Mesa.  Tony Fernandez. 

And now…  The Parade. 

Because I guarantee when the historic blunder that is this season is written in the annals of history it will be known as “The Parade.”

And you will have been a part of it.    

I don’t know McNeil personally and in no way am I questioning his fandom and commitment to Cleveland sports teams (or anyone else for that matter).  I follow him on Twitter and he’s a good follow and pretty funny most of the time.  Hell, I tip my hat to him for convincing thousands of people they’re making some kind of change and holding Haslam’s feet to the fire.  We both know that’s not true.  And if the Browns somehow win this weekend all the money collected for the parade will be donated to the Cleveland Food Bank, which is a great cause and should be applauded.     

So, with that being said, go to the parade.  Have fun.  Drink, eat, and be merry.  But if you do go don’t for one second think you are doing anything other than having a good time.  You’re not sending a message to the front office.  Nothing will change because you took a lap around the stadium.  The nation isn’t laughing with you.  They’re laughing at you.  The only ones being embarrassed by this parade is yourselves and this city.  You are solidifying your spot in Cleveland sports history.  And not in the good way. 

Browns Preview 12/29/17: Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers

By Katelin Marshall, @KatelinKnowsCLE

It's the season finale for the Browns as they try and fend off 0-16 for The Browns will be taking on the Steelers' backups since they've already clinched a first round bye in the playoffs. The Steelers are likely starting Landry Jones at quarterback and won't be playing running back Le'Veon Bell this game either. It's unknown what other players besides Bell, Antonio Brown, and Ben Roethlisberger will be sitting for this matchup so the preview will be even more Browns focused than usual.

Browns Offense vs Steelers Defense

I honestly don't really know what to say when it comes to the Browns offense. We've watched it all year, and it stinks. DeShone Kizer can't play a game where he doesn't turn the ball over and because of his poor decision making teams either bring pressure or shade coverage to Josh Gordon. Kizer needs to spread the ball much better than he has and if he doesn't do it early, Hue Jackson better pull him if he wants any chance to win.

It's also on Hue Jackson to run the ball. I know Isaiah Crowell is in the dog house and is most likely playing his last game in a Browns uniform but it's in Hue's best interest to run the ball with any of the three backs on the roster because of the poor weather conditions. It's unfortunate that it's come down to Jackson's playcalling instead of players on the field, but for once this season Hue has to coach to what he has to work with...

Browns Defense vs Steelers Offense

With the unknown of who's going to be playing on the offensive side of the ball the key for the defense should be simple. Get to Landry Jones and force a turnover or two. The running game for the Steelers shouldn't be much of a factor since Bell and Connor are out for the game so it's time for Gregg Williams to bring pressure and make Jones uncomfortable in the pocket. If Jones beats the Browns defense then good on him.

Five Guys To Watch

1. Myles Garrett: Garrett missed the week one matchup because of an injury. Now I know he isn't going against number 7 but it would be nice to show Pittsburgh what they have to deal with for the next 10 years.

2. Jabrill Peppers:
This is another game where we get to see Peppers play near the line of scrimmage more. I wonder if the plan for next year is to have Peppers line up more at the strong safety spot rather than free safety 25 yards away from the snap.

3. Jason McCourty: McCourty has played really well this season. As the leader of the defense he needs to make a huge play in this game. Whether it's an interception or a forced fumble, the Browns haven't really made a huge play on defense this year.

4. Hue Jackson: Hue Jackson should be coaching for his job Sunday. It's pretty simple...How can the Browns honestly bring back a coach who could potentially go 1-31 in two seasons...

5. Jimmy Haslam: Now I know Haslam isn't a part of any of the game day stuff but he's someone everyone is going to be watching once the game is over. Even though he said Hue will be back for 2018 a few weeks ago going 0-16 could potentially change that whether or not it's for the good or the bad.

Weather Report:

Injury Report:

Betting Line (As of 12/28/17):
Pittsburgh -8


As hard as it is to go 16-0 it might be just as hard to go 0-16. Terrible teams somehow win a couple game per year, but the Browns haven't which is nuts...That being said the NFL is set up for teams to basically win six games a year which is why I think the Browns are going to somehow win this game. The Steelers are resting most of their players and the Browns are fighting history...only one team has gone 0-16 and each member of the Browns don't want to be added to the list of players that have played on a winless team.

Final Score:
Browns: 17 Steelers: 14

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Cotton Bowl Preview 12/28/17: Ohio State Buckeyes vs. USC Trojans

By Jason Disantis, @JasonInCLE

The Ohio State Buckeyes missed out on the College Football Playoff this year as the committee ranked them at No.5 putting them one spot away from their third appearance in the final four. Although the Big Ten Champs won’t be playing for a National Title the Buckeyes were rewarded with a showdown against Pac 12 Champs, USC.

Although not a Playoff game, the nations attention will be squarely on AT&T Stadium Friday night for a number of reasons.

Ohio State and USC carry the rich histories of traditional powers. They are both in the top ten in National Championships and two of the winningest programs in college football history with over 800 wins a piece.

Not only have these two prestigious powers been successful at the team level but they have also put on display some of the biggest stars to walk on the field at the college level. Ohio State and USC (along with Notre Dame) have had the most Heisman trophy winners of any other college football program, each with seven. And there will be no shortage of stars come Friday night in Arlington.

The big question for the Buckeyes is will they be able to stop USC star quarterback and potential No.1 pick in the upcoming draft, Sam Darnold.

Darnold ended his 2016 campaign by putting on a show by throwing for 5 touchdowns and over 400 yards in a Rose Bowl win against Penn State. That game put Darnold on the short list for the Heisman in 2017 and people were already talking about him being the No.1 pick when he decided to declare.

Although the statistics show a small regression for Darnold in 2017 he is still considered one of the top quarterbacks in college football. Over the past five games he has really upped his play throwing for nine touchdowns to just two interceptions. At 6-4, 220 pounds Darnold has all of the physical measurables you look for. He has a big arm and can make all of the throws but his most impressive skill, and the one the Buckeyes will have to be increasingly aware of, is his ability to make plays out of the pocket.

Darnold has a QBR of 68.2 when throwing outside of the pocket completing 59 percent of those passes to go with six touchdowns. When outside the pocket Darnold leads the nation in touchdown passes, yards, completions over 20-yards and first downs. It is the ability to make a play anywhere on the field that makes Darnold so dangerous.

The Buckeyes will counter with their own star quarterback and high-powered offense.

Despite not being the NFL prospect Darnold is, J.T. Barrett has been one of the greatest quarterbacks in Ohio State and Big Ten history. Barrett owns all of the Buckeye passing records and became a legend when he won the Big Ten Championship against an undefeated Wisconsin a week after having knee surgery. Barrett has thrown for more touchdowns and less interceptions than Darnold this season and while Darnold has the ability to make a play with his legs, he isn’t on the same level of J.T. Barrett. Barrett has run for over 3000 yards and 41 touchdowns in his Ohio State career. Over 700 of those yards and 10 touchdowns were tallied up in 2017.

While this game will boast two of the nations most impressive offenses, it is on the defensive side that the biggest differences can be seen.

The Buckeyes are allowing over 100 yards and touchdown less per game than the Trojans. They are lead by the nations best defensive line and another highly touted draft prospect, consensus All-American cornerback Denzel Ward.

The Ohio State Buckeyes have a chance to finish the 2017 season on the right note and set the tone for 2018. Some faces will be new, others familiar. Once again, they will be among the favorites for the 2018 National Title and there is no better way to begin that journey than by finishing this one.

What: The Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic: Ohio State Buckeyes vs. University of Southern California Trojans
When: December 29, 2017 at 8:30 PM ET
Where: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
Watch: ESPN
Spread: OSU -7.5
Over/Under: 64.5
Money Line: OSU -300, USC +240

Wrestling Lockup With Brandon 12/28/17: NXT Recap

By Brandon Albright, @B_Rock1978

NXT returned this week for more NXT action at Full Sail University in Orlando, Florida. This week, a new number one contender to the NXT World Championship was decided. NXT Women's Champion Ember Moon was also in action, defending her championship against Sonya Deville.

** NXT TV Card **

- The Street Profits battled Kris Starr and Riley Apex.
- NXT Women's Champion Ember Moon defended her title against Sonya Deville.
- Johnny Gargano, Lars Sullivan, Aleister Black and Killian Dain battled in a Fatal Four Way Match to determine a new number one contender to the NXT World Championship. 

** NXT **

- The Street Profits vs. Kris Starr and Riley Apex: The first match of the night kicked off NXT with tag team action. The current undefeated Street Profits took on Kris Starr and Riley Apex. The match closes out with The Street Profits making quick work of their opponents. Dawkins hits a big spine buster and Ford follows with a frog splash to score the pinfall.

- "NXT Women's Championship Match": Ember Moon (c) vs. Sonya Deville: The second match of the night saw Ember Moon put her title on the line against Sonya Deville. The match closes out with Sonya locking in a bear hug, but Ember escapes, blocks a wheel barrow lift and sends Sonya into the corner. Ember unloads on Sonya and gets a near fall. Ember hits a springboard drop kick and finishes Sonya off with the Eclipse Stunner for the pinfall. After the match, Kairi Sane appears and stares down Ember. Shayna Baszler suddenly debuts on NXT and chokes Kairi out on the stage.

- "#1 Contenders, Fatal Four Way Match": Killian Dain vs. Lars Sullivan vs. Aleister Black vs. Johnny Gargano: The main event of the show saw the Fatal Four Way Match to crown a new #1 Contender to the NXT World Championship. The match closes out with Sullivan taking out Black and Gargano then faces off with Dain. Black comes back in and unloads strikes on both Dain and Sullivan. Black nails the Black Mass kick and covers, but Undisputed Era hit the ring and interrupt the match. Gargano unloads on Undisputed Era and then tries to cover Black. Sullivan gets sent into the steel steps and then Gargano sends Dain into Sullivan after a counter. Gargano hits a leaping DDT and scores the pinfall to take the victory.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Wrestling Lockup With Brandon 12/27/17: Smackdown Live Chicago Recap

By Brandon Albright, @B_Rock1978

Smackdown Live was live this week in Chicago, Illinois, for night number two in the WWE's two night visit in the Windy City. Who will step up and try to make a name for themselves as we continue to move on to the WWE Royal Rumble??

** Smackdown Live Card **

- Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable, Rusev and Aiden English and The New Day battled in a #1 Contenders Triple Threat Match.
- The Bludgeon Brothers battled Breezango.
- Ruby Riot battled Naomi.
- Bobby Roode battled Baron Corbin in a WWE United States Championship Tournament match.
- Tye Dillinger battled Jinder Mahal in a WWE United States Championship Tournament Match.
- WWE World Heavyweight Champion AJ Styles battled Kevin Owens in a non title match.

** Smackdown Live **

- Daniel Bryan Addresses The WWE United States Championship and World Tag Team Championship Situations: Daniel Bryan kicked off Smackdown Live and officially announced that he has not heard anything from Dolph Ziggler all week since he laid down the WWE United States Championship. Bryan wishes Ziggler luck, officially strips Ziggler of the title and announces a tournament to decide a new champion. Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable interrupt and demand to know what will be done about the tag team titles because they've never been given their fair match alone against The Usos. Rusev and Aiden English interrupt next with English singing about them deserving a tag team title match. The New Day interrupt next and claim that they too deserve a tag team title match. Bryan puts an end to the arguing and bickering and announces a Triple Threat Match right now with the winners becoming the #1 Contenders.

- "Triple Threat, #1 Contenders Match": The New Day vs. Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable vs. Rusev and Aiden English: The first match kicked off just like Daniel Bryan said with the winning team becoming the new #1 Contenders to the tag team titles. The match closes out with Rusev applying a double Accolade submission on both Woods and Gable, but Benjamin breaks the submission with a head kick. Big E spears Benjamin and then attempts the Big Ending. Benjamin counters but eats an elbow. Big E goes to the top rope, but Benjamin and Gable counter, hit a double team finisher and score the pinfall.

- Daniel Bryan And Shane McMahon Continue To Have Problems: Shane confronts Bryan backstage and says that he still feels upset about Bryan comparing Shane to his father, Vince McMahon. Shane says Vince may be a vicious son of a bitch, but you have to give credit where it's due and he has revolutionized sports entertainment. Bryan accuses Shane of throwing around his weight. Shane accuses Bryan of doing the same and suggests that he should've announced Bobby Roode vs. Baron Corbin for the WWE United States Championship instead of a tournament. Shane then questions Bryan on why he would announce AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens tonight and not ban Sami Zayn from ringside. Bryan says he announced the tournament because this is the land of opportunity and he announced Styles vs. Owens because they had a great feud in 2017 and that's how he wanted to end the year. 

- Breezango vs. The Bludgeon Brothers: The second match of the night saw tag team action, with a rematch from WWE Clash of Champions. The match closes out with The Bludgeon Brothers in full control of the match when suddenly The Ascension hit the ring. The Ascension carry Breezango out of the ring and to safety, ending the match in a No Contest. After the match, The Ascension demand a match against The Bludgeon Brothers next week so they can get revenge for their friends Breezango.

- Ruby Riott vs. Naomi: The third match of the night saw the Women's Division in action. The match closes out with Liv Morgan getting on the apron, but gets knocked off by Naomi. Sarah Logan tries to distract Naomi, but it doesn't work either. Ruby takes out Naomi's knee and then nails the Riot Kick for the pinfall. After the match, the Riot Squad beat down Naomi until Charlotte hits the ring. Charlotte clotheslines Sarah, takes out Liv then goes after Ruby. The Riot Squad finally gain the advantage and beat down Charlotte. Nattie Neidhart, Tamina, Lana and Carmella hit the ring and chase the Riot Squad away.

- "WWE United States Championship Tournament First Round Match": Bobby Roode vs. Baron Corbin: The WWE United States Championship Tournament kicked off with Roode vs. Corbin. The match closes out with Corbin countering the Glorious DDT and hits Deep Six on Roode for a near fall. Corbin puts Roode in the corner and goes for a super plex. Roode fights his way out and then lands a head butt on Corbin. Roode gets caught coming off the ropes by Corbin. Roode counters Corbin and gets the rollup pinfall for the win.

- "WWE United States Championship Tournament First Round Match": Tye Dillinger vs. Jinder Mahal: The fifth match of the night saw the second match in the WWE United States Championship Tournament take place between Dillinger and Mahal. The match closes out with Mahal countering the Tye Breaker, and then rolling through on a Dillinger cross body for a near fall. Mahal hits a gut buster on Dillinger for a near fall. Dillinger counters Mahal offense and gets a near fall DDT. Mahal catches Dillinger and hits the Cobra Clutch Slam for the pinfall.

- AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens: The main event of the show saw Styles battle Owens. Styles stated that he didn't care whether or not Sami Zayn was with Owens tonight or not because it wouldn't make a difference with Styles being the best on the roster. Owens stated that he would prove tonight that he is better than the phenomenal one and has his guardian angel Sami Zayn in his corner. The match closes out with Styles suicide diving onto Zayn as he attempted a distraction. Styles sends Owens into the ring post then back into the ring.
Styles attempts the Phenomenal Forearm, but Zayn distracts Styles, allowing Owens to land a super kick for a near fall. Shane McMahon hits the ring and demands the referee to eject Zayn. The referee, Shane and Zayn are all arguing as Styles rolls up Owens, but the referee doesn't see the pinfall. Owens rolls up Styles and steals the pinfall as the referee finally turns around and sees it. After the match, an upset Styles stares down Shane McMahon to end the show.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Wrestling Lockup With Brandon 12/26/17: RAW Chicago Recap

By Brandon Albright, @B_Rock1978

It's the beginning of the week and time to kick things off in wrestling with Monday Night RAW! It wasn't just a normal Monday night this week, it was Christmas night, live in Chicago, Illinois. How rowdy would the tough Chicago crowd be on one of the most festive days of the year??

** Monday Night RAW Card **

- John Cena battled Elias Samson.
- Brian Kendrick battled Hideo Itami.
- Mickie James, Bayley and Sasha Banks battled Absolution in a Six Woman Tag Team Match.
- Kane battled Heath Slater.
- Finn Balor battled Curt Hawkins.
- WWE Cruiserweight Champion Enzo Amore, Drew Gulak and Ariya Daivari battled Cedric Alexander, Mustafa Ali and Akira Tozawa in a Six Man Tag Team, Miracle on 34th Street Fight Match.
- WWE Intercontinental Champion Roman Reigns defended his title against Samoa Joe.
- The Miztourage battled Braun Strowman in a Handicap Match.
- WWE RAW World Tag Team Champions Sheamus and Cesaro defended their titles against Seth Rollins and Jason Jordan.

** RAW Highlights **

- John Cena Returns: Cena kicks off the show with a Merry Christmas to the fans of Chicago. Cena talks about why he is a huge fan of the holidays when suddenly Elias Samson interrupts. Elias says he's sick of being interrupted on a weekly basis and demands the opportunity to perform tonight. Cena hands Elias a stool to sit on as Elias prepares himself and his guitar. The crowd unloads "CM Punk" chants at Elias as Elias attempts to sing. Elias sings a Christmas song then mocks the city of Chicago before getting interrupted by Cena. Cena tells Elias that he's pretty damn good, but when he starts treating the fans like jerks that's when Elias comes off as the real jerk. Elias agrees, sings the song again and praises the city of Chicago. Elias then asks Cena to finish the song for him, but then cheap shots Cena from behind. Elias says Christmas is overrated, Chicago sucks and he doesn't cater to Cena or the fans. Elias beats down on Cena some more, calls for a referee and demands his Christmas present of a match against John Cena right now.

- John Cena vs. Elias Samson: The first match of the night sees Elias get his wish from RAW GM Kurt Angle, with a match against Cena. The match closes out with Cena trapping Elias in the STF submission, but Elias escapes and knees Cena. Cena is able to lock in the STF submission a second time, but Elias reaches the ropes. Elias takes advantage and gets a couple near falls on Cena. Cena hits the running shoulder blocks and then the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Cena lifts Elias up and nails the AA to score the pinfall.

- Brian Kendrick vs. Hideo Itami: The second match of the night saw the cruiserweights in action. Kendrick and Jack Gallagher demanded this match with Itami to see if he belongs in the cruiserweight division or if he's just another passing fad. The match closes out with Itami escaping a Kendrick submission. Itami hits a clothesline, a kick and unloads a series of strikes. Itami drop kicks Kendrick into the corner and then hits the Go To Sleep to score the pinfall.

- "Six Woman Tag Team Match": Mickie James, Bayley and Sasha Banks vs. Absolution: The third match of the night saw Absolution continue their feud with the women's locker room, mainly Mickie, Bayley and Sasha. The match closes out with Bayley hot tagging and unloading on Paige. Bayley goes for a pinfall, but Sonya breaks it up. All six ladies start brawling around ringside now as Bayley and Paige fight in the ring. Bayley climbs the ropes, but gets crotched on them after Paige kicks the ropes. Paige hits RamPaige on Bayley and scores the pinfall.

- Kane vs. Heath Slater: The fourth match of the night saw the #1 Contender to the WWE Universal Championship, Kane, battle the one man band, Heath Slater. Slater's tag team partner, Rhyno, accompanied Slater and told Slater that this match is step number one in toughening Slater up. The match closes out with Slater getting completely destroyed by Kane. Slater is able to land a high knee on Kane, but gets grabbed by the throat on an attempted charge. Kane choke slams Slater to hell and scores the pinfall. After the match, Kane goes after Rhyno, but Rhyno unloads on Kane and goes for the Gore. Kane counters and choke slams Rhyno to hell. 

- Finn Balor vs. Curt Hawkins: The fifth match of the night saw Finn Balor answer Curt Hawkins' open challenge. Hawkins has gone all of 2017 without a single win and looked for his Christmas miracle tonight. The match closes out with Hawkins getting in some offense and a near fall. Hawkins gets frustrated and gets hit with the Slingblade from Balor. Balor drop kicks Hawkins into the corner and then hits the Coup de Grace for the pinfall.

- Bray Wyatt And Woken Matt Hardy Feud Continues: Backstage, Bray Wyatt begins his promo by stating that Sister Abigail hated the holiday season because it reminded her of people like Matt Hardy. Bray accuses Matt of using the Woken Warriors for his own personal gain and warns Matt that they are all surrounded by darkness. Bray makes his way to the ring and immediately gets jumped by Matt Hardy as the lights come on. Bray counters the Twist of Fate and escapes to the floor. Bray retreats up the ramp as Matt gets the Chicago fans chanting "Delete".

- "Six Man Tag Team, Miracle on 34th Street Fight Match": Enzo Amore, Drew Gulak and Ariya Daivari vs. Cedric Alexander, Mustafa Ali and Akira Tozawa: The sixth match of the night saw Enzo and his Zo Train battle #1 Contender Cedric Alexander, Mustafa Ali and Akira Tozawa. The match closes out with Ali hitting an inverted 450 Splash on Daivari, but Gulak stops the pinfall. Enzo tries to use a candy cane kendo stick, but Cedric catches him. Enzo escapes as Cedric unloads on Gulak with the kendo stick. Daivari gets a near fall rollup on Cedric, but Cedric comes back with the Lumbar Check on Daivari for the pinfall.

- "WWE Intercontinental Championship Match": Roman Reigns (c) vs. Samoa Joe: Samoa Joe has taken full credit for taking out Dean Ambrose for 9 months with an elbow injury. Joe stated that he'd put Reigns to sleep tonight and take his title. Reigns stated that Joe hurt one of his brothers, so Reigns would hurt Joe in return and leave Chicago still the champion. The match closes out with Joe applying the Coquina Clutch submission on Reigns. Reigns tries to fight it and escape as Joe continues to apply the pressure. Reigns reaches the ropes and rolls outside finally. Joe suicide dives Reigns into the barricade and Reigns busts his elbow on it. Joe beats on Reigns' injured elbow, but Reigns fights back and unloads on Joe in the corner. Reigns refuses to let up and gets DQ'ed. After the match, Reigns hits the Superman Punch, sending Joe outside. Reigns sends Joe into the ring post twice, hits Joe in the face with the steel steps and then hits Joe with a steel chair.

- "Handicap Match": The Miztourage vs. Braun Strowman: Throughout the night, Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas had been attempting to spread Christmas cheer with the positivity of The Miztourage and The Miz. The match closes out with Strowman making quick work of Dallas and Axel with a quick squash match. Strowman hits the running power slam on Dallas for the pinfall. After the match, Strowman grabs Axel and lays him out with a running power slam as well.

- The Year Of Bliss: Alexa Bliss is in the ring and wishes everyone a Merry Blissmas and then mocks the fans for stuffing their faces over the holiday. Alexa calls 2017 the year of Bliss, she's dominated everyone, mentions the Women's Royal Rumble coming up and takes full credit for that announcement. Asuka suddenly interrupts and heads to the ring. Asuka announces her entry into the Royal Rumble, states that no one is ready for her and then stares down Alexa. Asuka suddenly lays Alexa out with the Asuka Kick to the head and celebrates.

- "WWE RAW World Tag Team Championship Match": Sheamus and Cesaro (c) vs. Seth Rollins and Jason Jordan: Earlier in the night, RAW GM Kurt Angle made the decision to put Rollins and Jordan together as a tag team with Dean Ambrose being out for the next 9 months with his elbow injury. Rollins hates the idea and Jordan doesn't want to go back to being in a tag team. Angle tells them to deal with it and wishes them a Merry Christmas. The match closes out with Sheamus and Cesaro taking out Jordan on the floor and stopping Rollins from getting a way to tag out. Jordan finally recovers and hot tags in. Jordan drives Sheamus into the corner four times, hits a corner spear  and gets a near fall suplex. Sheamus and Cesaro regain control of the match and Sheamus is able to trap Jordan in the Texas Cloverleaf submission, but Jordan holds on and reaches the ropes. Sheamus and Cesaro go for the double team, but Rollins trips up Cesaro as Sheamus plants Jordan with White Noise. Sheamus goes after Rollins, but gets sent into the steel steps. Cesaro follows and blows up Rollins with a huge uppercut. Jordan is able to hit a pop up neck breaker out of nowhere and score the pinfall to win the titles.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

On TV This Week 12/24 - 12/30

By Raven Williams, @nevaRWilliams

SUNDAY 12/24

Hawaii Bowl: Fresno State vs. Houston (ESPN, 8:30pm)
It's A Wonderful Life (NBC, 8pm)
Beauty And The Beast (ABC, 8pm)
I Love Lucy Christmas Special (CBS, 8pm)
A Christmas Carol (AMC, 8pm)
A Christmas Story (TNT/TBS, 8pm)

The Dick Van Dyke Show -- In Living Color (CBS, 9pm)
The Girlfriend Experience, FINALE (Starz, 9pm)

Scrooged (AMC, 10pm)

MONDAY 12/25

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Houston Texans (NBC, 4:30pm)
Oakland Raiders @ Philadelphia Eagles (ESPN, 8:15pm)

Philadelphia 76ers @ New York Knicks (ESPN, 12pm)
Cleveland Cavaliers @ Golden State Warriors (ABC, 3pm)
Washington Wizards @ Boston Celtics (ABC, 5:30pm)
Houston Rockets @ Oklahoma City Thunder (ABC, 8pm)
Minnesota Timberwolves @ Los Angeles Lakers (TNT, 10:30pm)
Showtime At The Apollo: Christmas (FOX, 8pm)
Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas (NBC, 8pm)
How The Grinch Stole Christmas (NBC, 8:30pm)


Zaxby's Heart Of Dallas Bowl: Utah vs. West Virginia (ESPN, 1:30pm)
Quick Lane Bowl: Duke vs. Northern Illinois (ESPN, 5:15pm)
Cactus Bowl: Kansas State vs. UCLA (ESPN, 9pm)

Chicago Bulls @ Milwaukee (NBA TV, 8pm)
Sacramento Kings @ LA Clippers (NBA TV, 10:30pm)
Happy New Year, Charlie Brown (ABC, 8pm)

Rudolph's Shiny New Year (ABC, 9pm)
The 40th Annual Kennedy Center Honors (CBS, 9pm)
Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations, FINALE (Travel, 9pm & 9:30pm)

Snoop Dogg Presents The Joker's Wild, FINALE (TBS, 10pm)


Walk-On's Independence Bowl: Southern Mississippi vs. Florida State (ESPN, 1:30pm)
New Era Pinstripe Bowl: Iowa vs. Boston College (ESPN, 5:15pm)
Foster Farms Bowl: Arizona vs. Purdue (FOX, 8:30pm)
Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl: Texas vs. Missouri (ESPN, 9pm)

Toronto Raptors @ Oklahoma City Thunder (NBA TV, 8pm)
Cleveland Cavaliers @ Sacramento Kings (FOX Sports Ohio, 10pm)
Utah Jazz @ Golden State Warriors (NBA TV, 10:30pm)

Columbus Blue Jackets @ Pittsburgh Penguins (FOX Sports Ohio, 7pm)
Washington Capitals @ New York Rangers (NBC Sports, 8pm)

Butler @ Georgetown (FOX Sports 1, 6:30pm)
Eastern Michigan @ Syracuse (ESPN 2, 7pm)
Florida Gulf Coast @ Rhode Island (ESPNU, 7pm)
Xavier @ Marquette (FOX Sports 1, 8:30pm)
UCF @ SMU (ESPN 2, 9pm)
The Carol Burnett 50th Anniversary Special (CBS, 8pm)
EA Madden NFL 18 Challenge (The CW, 8pm)

Expedition Unknown, PREMIERE (Travel, 9pm)


Military Bowl: Virginia @ Navy (ESPN, 1:30pm)
Camping World Bowl: Virginia Tech vs. Oklahoma State (ESPN, 5:15pm)
Valero Alamo Bowl: Stanford vs. TCU (ESPN, 9pm)
San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl: Washington State vs. Michigan State (FOX Sports 1, 9pm)

Houston Rockets @ Boston Celtics (TNT, 8pm)
Philadelphia 76ers @ Portland Trail Blazers (TNT, 10:30pm)

Boston Bruins @ Washington Capitals (NBC Sports, 7:30pm)
Vegas Golden Knights @ Los Angeles Kings (NBC Sports, 10pm)

Creighton @ Seton Hall (FOX Sports 1, 6:30pm)
Tulane @ Temple (ESPN 2, 7pm)
Houston @ South Florida (ESPNews, 7pm)
Pacific @ Gonzaga (ESPN 2, 9pm)
Can't Stop, Won't Stop: A Bad Boy Story (FOX, 8pm)

Tamar & Vince, FINALE (WE TV, 9pm)

FRIDAY 12/29

Belk Bowl: Wake Forest vs. Texas A&M (ESPN, 1pm)
Hyundai Sun Bowl: North Carolina vs. Arizona State (CBS, 3pm)
Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl: Kentucky vs. Northwestern (ESPN, 4:30pm)
Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl: New Mexico State vs. Utah State (CBS SportsNet, 5:30pm)
Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic: USC vs. Ohio State (ESPN, 8:30pm)

Houston Rockets @ Washington Wizards (NBA TV, 7pm)
Phoenix Suns @ Sacramento Kings (NBA TV, 10pm)

Columbus Blue Jackets @ Ottawa Senators (FOX Sports Ohio, 7:30pm)
Nashville Predators @ Minnesota Wild (NBC Sports, 8pm)

Louisville @ Kentucky (CBS, 1pm)
Cleveland State @ Michigan State (Big Ten, 6pm)
West Virginia @ Oklahoma State (ESPNU, 7pm)
UT Arlington @ Coastal Carolina (ESPN 2, 7pm)
UMBC @ Maryland (FOX Sports 1, 8pm)
Kansas @ Texas (ESPN 2, 9pm)
Kansas State @ Iowa State (ESPNU, 9pm)
Utah @ Oregon (FOX Sports 1, 10pm)
Colorado @ Oregon State (ESPNU, 11pm)
Washington State @ UCLA (ESPN 2, 11pm)
All Def Comedy, FINALE (HBO, 10pm & 10:30pm)


Taxslayer Bowl: Louisville vs. Mississippi State (ESPN, 12pm)
Autozone Liberty Bowl: Iowa State @ Memphis (ABC, 12:30pm)
Playstation Fiesta Bowl: Washington vs. Penn State (ESPN, 4pm)
Capital One Orange Bowl: Wisconsin @ Miami (ESPN, 8pm)

Wake Forest @ North Carolina (ESPN 2, 12pm)
Wichita State @ Connecticut (CBS, 12pm)
Brown @ Northwestern (FOX Sports 1, 12pm)
Miami (OH) @ Ohio State (ESPNU, 12pm)
Fordham @ VCU (NBC Sports, 12:30pm)

Florida State @ Duke (CBS, 2pm)
DePaul @ Xavier (FOX Sports 1, 2pm)
Massachusetts @ St. Bonaventure (NBC Sports, 2:30pm)
Villanova @ Butler (CBS, 4pm)
Vanderbilt @ Florida (ESPN 2, 4pm)
Georgetown @ Marquette (FOX Sports 1, 4:30pm)
Davidson @ Richmond (NBC Sports, 4:30pm)
Texas A&M @ Alabama (ESPN 2, 6pm)
Jacksonville @ Michigan (Big Ten, 6pm)
Temple @ Houston (ESPNU, 6pm)
California @ Stanford (FOX Sports 1, 10pm)

Cleveland Cavaliers @ Utah Jazz (FOX Sports Ohio, 8pm)
Philadelphia 76ers @ Denver (NBA TV, 9pm)

Premier League: Manchester United FC vs. Southampton FC (NBC, 12:30pm)

UFC 219: Cyborg vs. Holm - Prelims (FOX Sports 1, 8pm)
MOVIE: King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword (HBO, 8pm)

Saturday Night Live; (NBC, 11:30pm)