The Old and the New Elevate a Good Royal Rumble

The unusual structure of the Royal Rumble provides many an opportunity to shake things up, and yet despite mostly predictable results, the 2016 version of the event still managed to be a whole lot of fun. Every match on the card was at least solid, and the 30-man main event bucked conventional wisdom just enough to stay interesting and place a bit of doubt in the back of my mind as to how everything would unfold. Continue reading “The Old and the New Elevate a Good Royal Rumble”

WWE TLC Offers Far More Than Expected

Following a disappointing Survivor Series and three straight weeks of retread garbage on Raw, I confess to being relatively certain that I would hate this year’s TLC pay-per-view. Perhaps my low expectations played a bit of a role in my enjoyment, but WWE’s annual December special was far more dynamic and even surprising than I believed possible. That’s saying quite a bit for a show that featured Roman Reigns taking on Sheamus as the main event of the card. Continue reading “WWE TLC Offers Far More Than Expected”

Survivor Series Was Pretty Terrible

A few weeks ago, it was easy to see dozens of ways that Seth Rollins’ untimely injury could lead to a thrilling and fresh Survivor Series despite the loss of a star performer. WWE immediately got the ball rolling by initiating a 16-man bracket to determine a new champion, and even the conclusion of the bracket left plenty of room for dense plotting. None of the ideas perpetrated by me or any other fan came to pass, as Vince McMahon and company instead elected to water one of its big four pay-per-views down with a whole lot of yuck. Continue reading “Survivor Series Was Pretty Terrible”

Angels Acquire Andrelton Simmons

I really hated breaking up the alliteration in my title by including Andrelton Simmons’ surname, but it had to be done. About 16 or 17 seconds after we first learned the Braves were listening to offers on their defensively gifted shortstop, a quick trip to MLB Trade Rumors revealed that the Angels had indeed made an offer not only worth listening to, but worth accepting. In exchange for giving up its young vacuum and a struggling minor league catcher named Jose Briceno, the Braves received veteran shortstop Erick Aybar and pitching prospects Sean Newcomb and Christopher Ellis. Everyone’s favorite Georgian team also netted $2.5 million in the deal, a fairly insignificant amount of money in MLB terms that would change my life forever should someone simply trade it to me. Continue reading “Angels Acquire Andrelton Simmons”

2015 MLB Award Picks: NL Rookie of the Year

Culling a winner from the 2015 National League crop of rookies was actually a much easier task than dealing with the Correa-Lindor debate in the junior circuit. Once Joc Pederson turned into a confused pumpkin following a torrid start, the show belonged to Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant. Bryant entered the season as everyone’s favorite pick for this award, and he didn’t disappoint despite enduring a mid-season slump that he was able to overcome with flying colors. I will now take a brief break to research where the phrase “with flying colors” came from in the first place.* Continue reading “2015 MLB Award Picks: NL Rookie of the Year”

2015 MLB Award Picks: AL Rookie of the Year

There haven’t been too many seasons in baseball history as rich with rookie talent as 2015 was, and it isn’t just the top tier that shone bright this past summer. For every Carlos Correa or Kris Bryant, you’ll find a Matt Duffy or Odubel Herrera shocking you with his competence. For each of the major postseason awards (Rookie of the Year, Cy Young, and MVP), I’ll be submitting my own ballot for each league complete with an explanation of my thought process. That series of posts begins today with the junior circuit freshman o’ the year, so brace yourself! Continue reading “2015 MLB Award Picks: AL Rookie of the Year”

Say It Ain’t So, Seth Rollins’ Knee

A couple of days after using my first Raw review to largely discuss WWE’s main event picture, I was told the very biggest piece of the damned thing will cease to be a factor. Heavyweight champion Seth Rollins, he of eye-popping acrobatics and smarmy diatribes, apparently suffered tears of his ACL and MCL that will sideline him for six to nine monthsThis cruel twist of fate (Matt Hardy finisher reference!) robs WWE of one of its very best, effectively making it like he’s pregnant and can’t return until he births his immediately long-haired Iowan child. Continue reading “Say It Ain’t So, Seth Rollins’ Knee”

Raw in Review, 11/2/15

Having spent over a decade away from WWE, one thing about Monday Night Raw has become abundantly clear to me since weirdly returning to the product later in life: nothing ever really happens. Today’s Raw isn’t going to contain many shocking reveals, character turns, or–God forbid!–title changes. Anything of that magnitude simply has to be saved for monthly pay-per-view events, which aren’t accurately named any longer now that each one can be seen simply by having access to the WWE Network. There isn’t any competition from a rival company, and it would stand to reason that being the only game in town would cause a sense of complacence. Continue reading “Raw in Review, 11/2/15”