Author Archives: ryanfoges
If I told you an Olympic-class skier ran the world’s most exclusive high-stakes poker game for a decade before being arrested in the middle of the night by 17 FBI agents wielding automatic weapons would you believe me? What if I added in that her players included Hollywood royalty, sports stars, business titans and finally, unbeknown to her, the Russian mob? Seems far fetched, right? Well luckily for movie fans, truth is sometimes stranger than fiction. Molly’s Game, which will serve as the directorial debut of Aaron Sorkin (who also wrote the movie based on the book of the same name) stars Jessica Chastain as Molly Bloom, the aforementioned Olympic skier turned poker queen. This movie looks like a whole hell of a lot of fun, and stars Idris Elba, Michael Cera, Chris O’Dowd & Kevin Costner. Save the date, as Molly’s Game premiers November 22nd.
He once said he would rather take his own life than reprise his role as 007. But Daniel Craig may now be regretting his words, as he has confirmed he will, for one final time, play James Bond.
Speaking on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on US TV on Tuesday night, the actor finally put an end to the long-running saga of will he/won’t he play the character for a fifth time.
“I have been quite cagey about it. I have been doing interviews all day and people have been asking me and I think I’ve been rather coy. But kind of felt like if I was going to speak the truth I should speak truth to you.”
Asked by Colbert directly whether he could deliver some “good news” about returning as Bond, Craig finally replied: “Yes.”
He revealed he had known for a “couple of months”, adding: “We’ve been discussing it, we’ve just been trying to figure things out. I always wanted to, I needed a break.” – The Guardian
When you see Craig’s James Bond paycheck
Daniel Craig, you sneaky minx. Imagine having a job that you publicly hate, and instead of getting fired your boss offers you $135 MILLION to keep doing it? Only in movies, man.
It is the source of much speculation of how much the film studios will have promised Craig to tempt him back. He was rumoured to have been paid $65m (£48.66m) for Spectre, and in 2016 it was reported he had been offered $150m to shoot two more Bond films, almost back to back.
I’m a big fan of Craig’s Bond movies (he’s no Sean Connery, Roger Moore or Pierce Brosnan, but then again, who is?) but knowing he’s making this much money might take me out of the films completely. All I’ll be thinking of when I watch future Bond movies that he’s in is that this guy is getting paid over 9 figures to wear a tuxedo, have sex with hot women and drive fancy cars. It’s hard to hate on Craig, though. Pretty magical game plan. Everybody knows that the forbidden fruit is the best tasting fruit. The movie studios wanting Craig but knowing he was the only man they couldn’t get drove them nuts. Now he’s getting paid monopoly money to play James Bond. Daniel Craig is the master and ruler of the world this week.
RAW was live from Boston last night for the final show before Summerslam. Tonight we got a mini Shield reunion, a new number one contender for Alexa Bliss’s Women’s title & a new Cruiserweight champion.
Average Nobodies note: make sure to follow us on Twitter – @averagenobodies and like us on Facebook – Facebook.com/AverageNobodies. We love talking pro wrestling, so you can comment on this post or reach out to us on social media if you want to join the discussion. You can also find all of our wrestling content by clicking the ‘wrestling’ tab under the banner on our home page.
And now, the Raw review for August 14th, 2017.
Fist Bump City
Raw opened with Dean Ambrose, followed by Seth Rollins, reminiscing on their shared friendship/brotherhood and a whole lot of fist bump teases. Ambrose doesn’t trust Rollins, Rollins doesn’t trust himself, and both guys definitely seem more comfortable being alone than they do linking back up and being forced to trust each other again. They’ve been teasing this reunion for weeks, so I could go without the constant fist bump teasing, but I do like that the story is that they’re teaming up out of necessity.
Cesaro & Sheamus will not stop running down to the ring and beating the shit out of Rollins & Ambrose, and it’s clear that neither of them are going to win that battle two on one. They might not be cohesive enough to beat the tag champs as a team either, but they definitely stand a better chance when they join forces. Also, that visual of them finally touching fists was pretty badass, and it’s clear the crowd has been ready for some type of Shield reunion for the last four years. Cool opening segment, and the tag title match has a very good chance of stealing the show at Summerslam.
WWE provided a somewhat hopeful update on Ric Flair after the opening segment. Flair had been hospitalized over the weekend due to heart issues, and it looks like he still has a long road ahead of him. Thoughts and prayers with the Nature Boy & his family.
#1 Contender’s Match
The #1 contenders match between Sasha Banks and Nia Jax was exactly what it should’ve been. Nia should dominate every match she’s in, and that’s what happened here. Nia squashed Sasha from the opening bell, swinging her into the barricade and overpowering her at every turn. Sasha knows there’s a slim chance that she’ll be able to keep Nia down for a three count, so her best bet is to lock in the Banks Statement and pray Nia can’t take the pain. After taking a beating the entire match, Sasha finally locked it in. Nia almost got to the ropes, but Sasha did a great job kicking Nia’s hand away.
Nia almost powered out of it, but Sasha turned that into a sweet DDT, locked the Banks Statement in again and Nia was forced to tap out. Sasha vs. Alexa is the better matchup for Sunday, especially when you remember that Bliss had promised Nia a future title shot. Will Nia interfere to help Alexa keep the title & secure her future title shot? An interesting factor to consider for what should be a great title match.
Also, I love Alexa Bliss’s lifeguard throne. She should just sit there silently judging every Raw match until the end of time.
Elias vs. Beantown
Elias (no known last name) was conspicuous by his absence last week, and he either loves Toronto and couldn’t bear to come up with a diss song or WWE couldn’t come up with something interesting for him. Considering they had R-Truth come out to get beat up tonight, I’m going to go with option 2. Elias’s Boston song was interrupted by Truth’s rambling, and having Truth follow Elias would be like having Freddie Mercury open for William Hung. I like to keep an open mind when it comes to Raw, but Elias vs. R-Truth is not high on the list of matches I want to see.
Big Cass, Actual Smart Wrestler
After weeks and weeks and weeks of Enzo, Cass & Big Show yelling and fighting each other, we’re going to get Cass vs. Show with Enzo suspended in a shark cage above the ring at Summerslam. The whole feud is based around Cass being fed up with Enzo, who keeps running his mouth and not being able to back it up. Cass would always be left cleaning up Enzo’s messes, and now that Cass has broke off on his own, Big Show has taken his spot. Cass (who was not well received by the Boston crowd) cut a promo about how he’s going to beat Big Show Sunday and prove that he’s the best big man in wrestling today.
It was one of his better promos, and naturally he was interrupted by Enzo, who ran his mouth, brought out the Big Show and got kicked in the face multiple times while Big Show got attacked by Cass, Gallows & Anderson. Once again, Enzo runs his mouth and was nowhere to be found when his bigger friend was getting beat up. It’s always more fun watching smart wrestlers, which is why I enjoyed this segment so much. 99% of Big Show’s offense is his right hand, so why wouldn’t Cass slam his hand into the shark cage? If Big Show isn’t able to choke slam or knock out Cass, he’ll be at a huge disadvantage. Adding Gallows & Anderson into the mix is interesting, especially if it turns Cass into their leader. Will Enzo & Show find someone to even the odds? We’ll find out Sunday.
Cruiserweight Title Match
WWE has 6 hours worth of programming blocked off for Summerslam, so it was confusing to see Neville vs. Tozawa for the Cruiserweight title and Finn Balor vs. Bray Wyatt tonight. The first of those was Neville vs. Tozawa, and while it was a good match, Neville deserved a better end to his reign as champion. He’s been the high point of the division for this entire year, and while Neville will get his rematch at Summerslam, I would’ve preferred to just see this match on Sunday. Pay per views should be different than Raw’s & Smackdown’s, not literally the exact same match card.
Between this match and the match at GBOF, it’s clear that Tozawa & Neville work well together. At the very least, their match Sunday should be fun to watch.
While I appreciate WWE giving us a reason for Finn to bring out The Demon this Sunday, I don’t think it had to be at the expense of a Balor/Wyatt match. Wyatt won the match clean, which I will always love because he needs to win more matches, but again, why would the average fan tune into to watch this match again at Summerslam? Finn bringing The Demon out is always cool, but he doesn’t really wrestle any different as The Demon. It’s really just a cooler entrance and some sweet face & body paint.
It would have been more effective if Balor fought someone else tonight, won clean & then Wyatt attacked post match with a Sister Abigail and his oddly, readily available bucket of blood. That way both guys look good heading into Summerslam, we don’t waste a pay per view match on Raw and Finn still has a reason to bring out The Demon. A man can dream.
Give Emma A Chance
Here are my thoughts on Emma vs. Mickie James:
Emma has been asking for more opportunities on social media lately, and she’s been rewarded for that by losing quickly and cleanly to Nia Jax, tapping out to Sasha Banks and losing quickly and cleanly to Mickie James. I guess the lesson here is don’t ask for an opportunity?
Team USA Extreme
Jason Jordan took on The Miz and had the match won when Axel & Bo Dallas interfered and started a 3 on 1 attack on JJ. That brought out the Hardy’s, and if the Revival didn’t get hurt, we probably would’ve gotten a badass Revival/Hardy’s match at Summerslam. Instead the Hardy’s have been added to the Miz-Tourage/Jordan feud, and the 6 man tonight was actually pretty fun. Jason Jordan continued to look great in the ring, and while his theme song is still the shits and the crowd isn’t into him yet, there’s only so many times you can watch him suplex guys out of their shoes and zip across the ring to spear guys before you start rooting for him.
The last couple minutes of this match were super fun, and my only issue with this is that The Miz continues to look awful. It’s one thing to get eaten alive by Brock Lesnar, but it’s another to get your ass handed to you by Jason Jordan. I understand wanting Jordan to look strong, but doing it at the expense of your only mid card champion is not the right call. They should be building up The Miz & JJ simultaneously, so if/when JJ wins the title, he’s beating someone worthy.
The Main Event
Brock Lesnar will defend his Universal title against Braun Strowman, Samoa Joe & Roman Reigns at Summerslam. As a preview for that main event, the main event of Raw was a face off of sorts between the four men. Heyman & Lesnar opened up the segment and sold the match like only they could. The stipulation of Lesnar leaving the WWE if he loses mixed with the real life story of Lesnar heading back to the UFC as soon as he legally can make this match one of the more unpredictable main events WWE have put on this year. Lesnar can lose the title without being pinned or submitted, which is always ideal, and I can picture scenarios where Strowman, Reigns & Joe win. Lesnar could always pull out a win too, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. After Joe & Strowman came out to talk some trash, Reigns joined the party and decided to spear Samoa Joe instead of talking on the microphone. No nonsense Roman is always the best kind of Roman, and Raw went off the air with the locker room trying to separate Braun and Brock.
Besides showing their hand with two matches that will be on the Summerslam card, this was a solid go home show for the WWE. Make sure to check back here Friday morning for our official Summerslam preview.
Peter Dinklage may be busy cozying up to dragons in the Game of Thrones universe, but as Sam Bloom in Rememory, he plays a mysterious man who tries to solve the murder of the creator of a memory playback device by using the device itself. The more I read back that sentence the more I confuse myself, but this looks like a classic rainy day psychological thriller to watch sometime down the road. I can’t imagine a ton of people going to see this in theaters, but every movie serves a different purpose. Rememory premieres August 24th.
With the concerning news about Ric Flair’s health issues, I thought it was appropriate to dedicate todays Music Monday to The Man. Flair is one of the few guys that transcended wrestling thanks to his longevity and overall knack for being able to consistently entertain us. Flair is undoubtedly one of the best pro wrestlers in history, and hopefully he’s able to beat this illness and continue to WOOO his way into our hearts.
Usually we’d have to wait until late September or early October for SNL to reappear and start skewering the news. Luckily for us, SNL aired the first ever Weekend Update Summer Edition last night, and it was a welcome site. Colin Jost opened up the show with the most accurate line of all time – “it’s been a crazy year these last few weeks”. With Trump as President, everything feels like it’s going in super sonic motion, and just when your head is wrapped around one crazy news story, two more pop up to sock you in the jaw. Now, onto my two favorite parts.
It’s a goddamn shame that SNL missed out on Anthony Scaramucci. The Mooch and his personality and penchant for telling reporters that Steve Bannon sucks his own cock would have been a gold mine for SNL, but alas, those that fly closest to the sun aren’t mean to be around for long. Luckily we still got Bill Hader as Scaramucci, and he was fantastic because ‘Bill Hader as _____’ is always a going to be fantastic. I don’t know if they’ll bring Hader back for this season (especially if The Mooch doesn’t make his way back into the spotlight) but I’m glad we at least got this. Also, has there ever been a more on the nose description of someone than The Mooch being human cocaine? I don’t think so.
Kenan Thompson is heading into his 15th (!) season as an SNL cast member, and much like a fine wine, he gets better with age. He impersonated Lavar Ball last night, who I usually would hate to see pop up in the news, but if Kenan is doing the impersonation I’ll let it slide. Kenan’s vocal impersonations are never that great, but he makes it up for it in other ways, like the way he pronounced rhinoceros or the dance move he did to take the sneakers away from Colin. Lavar isn’t going away anytime soon (Lonzo hasn’t even started his rookie year yet) and I’m assuming his asinine comments will keep coming. This won’t be the last we’ve seen of Kenan’s newest impression.
Summerslam is only 10 days away, and things are heating up as we inch closer towards WWE’s Biggest Party of the Summer. While the match card hasn’t been finalized yet, there are 10 bouts already on the show, so let’s take a look at the confirmed matches and speculate on what else could be added.
Make sure to check back on the site next Friday for our official preview & predictions post for both Summerslam and TakeOver Brooklyn III.
Randy Orton vs. Rusev
I’m not as well versed on Smackdown feuds as I am with Raw, but WWE aren’t exactly the Coen Brothers when it comes to telling stories so I’m pretty sure I can figure things out. 2017 has been a frustrating year for Rusev. He missed WrestleMania due to a shoulder injury, got separated from Lana and when he finally debuted on Smackdown, he got thrown into a USA themed feud with John Cena that he obviously lost.
You’d think that’d be enough awfulness for one year, but now he’s slotted against Randy Orton, the man with less momentum than a nailed down piece of wood. Orton started the year off strong with a Royal Rumble win and a World title win at WrestleMania, but everything post Mania has been awful. He was in the House of Horrors match & has lost to Jinder Mahal three pay per views in a row. Even though he inexplicably got a clean non title win over Mahal on Tuesday, he’s still tanking.
In a perfect world, this would be a spot to give Rusev a win at a major pay per view over someone with name value, but we do not live in a perfect world. RKO out of somewhere will win it for Orton.
Finn Balor vs. Bray Wyatt
If you’ve been following the story of Bray Wyatt, you know all his storylines have three acts. Act 1. Start a feud by teleporting in and costing someone a match. Act 2. build up that feud with teleportation/spooky dark room promos. Act 3. Lose the match at a pay per view. We’re all the way though act 1 and almost through act 2, so the only thing left for Wyatt to do is lose to Balor at Summerslam. I really hope I’m wrong, but Balor hasn’t done much since returning from injury, and he wasn’t even on the GBOF card. Wyatt beat Rollins at that show, which was nice, but his track record causes me to believe he’s going to lose to Balor at the more important PPV.
This one could go either way, but I’m leaning towards Balor.
Big Cass vs. Big Show (Enzo Amore will be suspended in a shark cage above the ring)
Dear lord please let this be the blow off match. The Enzo & Cass feud has been going in circles for what feels like forever, and adding Big Show into the mix hasn’t exactly been refreshing. I’ve read a few articles that think this has been a long con between Enzo & Cass and they’ll turn on the Big Show, but that’d be a hell of a lot of work for a mediocre result. I wouldn’t mind Enzo/Cass teaming back up as heels to add some depth to the tag division, but there’s no way WWE is doing that. Enzo in a shark cage means there’s a 1,000% chance he’s dropping something into the ring that’s meant for Big Show, but will end up Big Cass’s hands when the referee is knocked out or sleeping or trying to hang himself from boredom.
Big Cass by default.
John Cena vs. Baron Corbin
With Cena presumably fading into the Hollywood sunset this fall, this should be a spotlight win for Baron Corbin. I know this argument comes up every time Cena fights a younger guy in a big match, but John literally gains nothing with a win here, while Corbin could gain so much. He already has the MITB briefcase, and assuming Nakamura wins the title (which I’ll get to later) giving Corbin a win over Cena would make him that much more dangerous as he chases Nak.
It doesn’t even need to be a clean win. Have him kick Cena in the dick, set him on fire, whatever. WWE baby faces will never be as popular as they want them to be unless they have a legitimate heel to oppose them. If Corbin beats Cena at Summerslam, he’ll be on his way to being a true threat to whoever is holding the title.
Baron Corbin, NO RAGRETS
Cruiserweight Championship Match: Neville (C) vs. Akira Tozawa
In my Raw review’s I’ve said that I’d be interested in pretty much anyone else challenging Neville for the Cruiserweight title. I don’t understand the appeal of having guys like Rich Swann, Cedric Alexander, Gran Metalik & Mustafa Ali waste away on 205 Live & Main Event while Tozawa is given a title shot. At the least this should be a multi man match, but since it’s one on one, all I want is for Neville to rip Tozawa’s arm off and beat Titus O’Neil with it.
Neville should win convincingly.
Smackdown Tag Team Championship Match: New Day (C) vs. The Uso’s
New Day & The Uso’s have been having a very under the radar feud on Smackdown, and this is one of the matches I’m most excited for. As solid as Xavier Woods was at Battleground, the best wrestling version of New Day is always Big E & Kofi, so I’m glad to see they’ll be defending the straps. The Uso’s picked up a decisive win on Tuesday over Sami Zayn & Tye Dillinger, and New Day also showed some much needed aggression in their post match attack. You get the sense that these two teams really dislike each other, which is an element that’s missing from a lot of modern day feuds. If they’re given as much time as they were at Battleground, this could turn into a classic.
This is a toss up for me, but if I HAD to choose, I’m going Uso’s.
Smackdown Women’s Championship Match: Naomi (C) vs. Natalya
It’s refreshing to see the Women’s title defended in a one on one match at a major pay per view. I understand the mindset of wanting to get as much people on the card as possible, but the title feels more important when there’s a standout challenger. It’s also nice to see Natalya given a title match at a major pay per view, and as the senior member of the Women’s division I think she and Naomi are going to put on a hell of a match. Summerslam is slated for 4 hours (plus a 2 hour pre show) so there’s no reason to not give each match the time it needs to tell a story. Similar to Mahal/Nakamura, the result of this match may not matter as Carmella should be lurking in the background with her MITB briefcase.
Naomi retains after a hard fought match, and Carmella capitalizes and cashes in.
WWE United States Championship Match: AJ Styles (C) vs. Kevin Owens (Shane McMahon as special guest referee)
Whenever you put AJ Styles and Kevin Owens together they have a chance to do something special, so my only request for this match is to let them do what they do best, which is wrestle and tell a story. I know that’s a lot to ask when Shane McMahon is the special guest referee, but this is a different Shane O Mac than the one we saw ref matches in the late 90s & early 2000s.
The general consensus is that this will lead to KO vs. Shane somewhere down the line (since we’ve already seen Shane vs. AJ) but again, all I want is for these two to wrestle their asses off. Leave the shenanigans for another day. This match doesn’t need AJ getting his foot stuck in the announce table or a confusing ending based on shoulder placement. You have two of the best wrestlers in the world in a title match at your second biggest pay per view. Let them work their magic.
I’m very into workhorse mid card champion AJ Styles, so I’m going with AJ.
WWE Championship Match: Jinder Mahal (C) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
This is the match I’m most nervous about. While it’s great to see a fresh face as champion, Jinder Mahal’s title reign hasn’t been great. While a lot of that has to do with him only fighting Randy Orton, you also have to remember who Jinder Mahal was before this run. He was the third best member in 3MB during his former run and his most noteworthy moment during his last run on Raw was hitting Finn Balor too hard in the head. Just because he’s champion doesn’t mean he’s magically going to turn into AJ Styles in the ring.
Nakamura has also had some growing pains since debuting on the main roster. He’s had subpar matches with Ziggler, KO & Corbin, all of whom are capable of much more, especially against Nak. If Nakamura can’t have good to great matches with those three, is he capable of doing it with Jinder Mahal? Are we in for another bad match with Singh Brother interference? I always skew positive when it comes to pro wrestling, but this match doesn’t have a lot going for it.
Nakamura should win this match. Even if you have the Singh Brothers interfere, Nakamura is clearly the star of this match, and he should be able to overcome the odds and Kinshasa Jinder to win the belt. While Corbin could always cash in his MITB briefcase post match, don’t forget about John Cena. I can picture a scenario where Corbin beats Cena, and then Cena stops a possible cash in on new champion Nakamura, someone who Cena has already shown has earned his respect.
Fatal 4 Way Universal Championship Match: Brock Lesnar (C) vs. Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman vs. Samoa Joe
The biggest compliment I can give this match is that no result would surprise me. If Lesnar wins and retains the title somehow, it would make sense because he’s Brock Lesnar. If Samoa Joe or Strowman win, you’re giving them their first major title win at your second biggest pay per view. If Rollins & Ambrose win the tag titles earlier in the night and help Reigns win the Universal title in the main event I’ll probably lose consciousness.
The biggest stipulation is the announcement that if Lesnar loses, he’ll leave WWE. It’s no secret that he wants back in the UFC, and it’s tough to train for that and appear for WWE at the same time. As awesome as Brock is, he’s always better in small doses, and he doesn’t need the title. He can show up and murder everyone every 6 months or so until he’s 60. If his heart is set on returning to the UFC, let him do it and then welcome him back with open arms if he wants to return.
My heart is set on Samoa Joe winning here, so that’s who I’m going with. Lesnar leaves temporarily, Strowman & Reigns become de facto number one contenders and Joe gets a title he almost over deserves.
There are already 10 confirmed matches, but that will immediately change to 12 after Monday’s Raw. Alexa Bliss will defend her Women’s title against the winner of Sasha Banks/Nia Jax & I’d expect Rollins & Ambrose vs. Cesaro & Sheamus for the Raw tag belts to be announced as well. Goldust teased ‘an unveiling’ last Monday, so he should be on the card in some capacity. Miz vs. Jason Jordan? Hardy’s vs. The Club? Fashion Files? The sky is the limit for a 6 hour wrestling show, so make sure to check back next week for our official preview post.
Apparently when Braun Strowman isn’t busy threatening to break people’s bones, rolling them off loading docks or flipping ambulances, he’s reading movie speeches for The Ringer. This is such an odd combination that I wasn’t sure what to make of it at first, but I’d have to be a cold hearted son of a bitch to not enjoy Braun Strowman reciting a speech from Juno (sneaky good movie). As fun as this was to watch, it’s still only the second best thing Braun did this week: