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Your Average #WrestleMania 33 Preview A Week Away From The Big Show

There’s nothing quite like an upbeat, impossible to stop listening to song to get you ready for WrestleMania. The WWE gave Flo Rida a break this year and went with Pitbull for their theme song, and I’ve heard ‘Green Light’ so many times that now all I can think about is WrestleMania when I hear it. We’re only 9 days away from WM 33, and with one Raw and Smackdown left before the big show, almost all of the matches have either been made official or teased. Let’s take a look at the card.

Raw Universal Title Match

For better or worse, the top billed match for Raw (and most likely main event) at WrestleMania is Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg for the Universal Title. I understand this match from every angle except the creative one, because the WWE has set themselves up to have a 2 minute main event at their biggest show of the year. This isn’t the pessimistic side of me coming out, either. Goldberg is 50 years old, and he’s fought two matches since returning to the WWE. Both of those matches were under 2 minutes long. On top of that, Goldberg’s entire persona is built those kind of matches dating back to his time in WCW in the late 90’s. The general consensus is that Lesnar is going to maul him and take the title, which is fine, but it’s something that probably should’ve been done at Survivor Series and not in the main event of your biggest show.

Smackdown WWE Championship Match

If you want to see the differences between Raw and Smackdown, look no further than their championship matches at WM. While Raw’s features two part timers (if I’m being generous), Smackdown’s champion is a product of NXT who’s character has flourished for years before he finally become champion last month at Elimination Chamber. His opponent is a former rival turned follower turned rival again, and while Randy Orton has been doing this forever, he’s still a full time guy who I have no problem with being in a championship match. This story has been going on for months, and while it gets cloudy at times (especially when they had Orton refuse his title match, only to change his mind with very little reasoning explained) I’ve enjoyed it mainly because this is the spot Bray Wyatt should always be in. I’m not saying he always has to be champion, but his character is too unique and layered to be toiling around in the mid card. As fun as this story has been, the best part about the feud is that you know the match is going to deliver as well. That’s something that can’t be said about the Raw Title match.

Raw Women’s Championship

WWE WrestleMania

Photo: Cageside Seats

The story here is Bayley won the Women’s Championship from Charlotte with the help of her friend Sasha Banks. After a lot of back and forth and the unfortunate insertion of Stephanie McMahon into the fray, nothing really changed. Bayley is still the champ, Charlotte still feels (rightfully) screwed over and Sasha Banks is still Bayley’s best buddy. The X factor and fourth woman in this match is Nia Jax, who has steamrolled through the Women’s Division since debuting on Raw, even beating Bayley in a non title match on Monday. Last year’s women’s match featuring Charlotte/Sasha/Becky Lynch was far and away the best match on the show, so hopefully they bring a little bit of that magic here and give us a great match.

Smackdown Women’s Championship

While having Smackdown Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss defend her title against EVERYONE is a little bit of a cop out, I have to imagine this was a decision that was made once Naomi got injured. Naomi won the belt at Elimination Chamber and had to forfeit it shortly thereafter, which is a shame because she’s an easy to root for baby face that could’ve had a good program with a solid match against any of the female heels on the Smackdown roster. The ‘one vs. all’ stipulation should give Smackdown a hard reset opportunity post Mania, and whoever walks out with the Title should be given the spotlight. With her forever feud against Nikki Bella now in the past, my money is on Natalya to walk out the champ.

Raw Tag Team Championship Match

If I had to sum up the Raw Tag Team Division in one GIF, it would be this one:

No Division is in need of a reboot more than the Raw Tag Division, and hopefully after the triple threat match at Mania, that’s exactly what they’ll get. The talent is there: Gallows/Anderson, Enzo/Cass, Sheamus/Cesaro and New Day are the main four squads, and you have teams like the Shining Stars and R-Truth/Goldust that could sub in now and again. I have to imagine that a few NXT Tag Teams are getting promoted to the main roster after WM, so hopefully one of them gets sent to Raw and shake things up. As for this match, the story is all over the place, so it’s tough to be invested in any team. As much as I love Cesaro, he’s once again being wasted in a tag team, so I’m pulling for Gallows and Anderson to win and get a chance to be legitimate, heel champs.

Smackdown Tag Team Championship Match

Unlike the Raw Tag division, Smackdown has two clear alpha dogs: American Alpha and The Uso’s. In an interesting twist, The Uso’s won the Tag Team Titles from American Alpha on Tuesday, but as you can see in the video above, they won under sketchy circumstances. While no official match has been made as of today, I have to imagine they’ll be adding a rematch to the WM card. American Alpha were one of the best Tag Teams in NXT history, but their popularity hasn’t transitioned to the main roster as quickly as I thought it would. A marque title win at WrestleMania could change that, and keep your fingers crossed that The Revival get added to Smackdown soon so we can get some real tag team wrestling on the main roster.

US Championship Match

The best and most emotionally satisfying feud heading into WM is easily Chris Jericho vs. Kevin Owens. Both of these guys have been brilliant for the past 9 months or so, and have really ramped things up since the Royal Rumble. Ignoring the name value of Lesnar/Goldberg, this match should have been for the Universal Title, and this is the match where Kevin Owens should cement himself as the best guy in the company. I think Owens comes out of this match as the US Champ and the best heel WWE has, so it’s not a total wash. Jericho deserves to ride off into the sunset after one of the best runs of his entire career, and hopefully Owens can channel his inner John Cena and bring some prestige back to the US Title picture.

Intercontinental Championship Match

Similar to many feuds on Smackdown, Dean Ambrose and Baron Corbin’s beef started at Elimination Chamber. After Corbin was eliminated, he set his sights on Ambrose and beat the ever loving crap out of him. The Miz pinned an unconscious Ambrose, thus costing Dean a legitimate shot at winning the WWE Championship that night. Ambrose is still the IC Champion though, so Corbin has continued to taunt and attack Ambrose in the hopes of taking the title off him. Corbin is my pick for the most improved main roster player on either brand, and he’s really flourishing since being drafted to Smackdown. I’ve read rumors of this match possibly being No DQ, which would be great for Ambrose, as I have to imagine he’s anxious to make up for his dud against Brock Lesnar last year.

Cruiserweight Championship Match

The Cruiserweight Division was riding a wave of momentum after the Cruiserweight Classic, but they hit a brick wall once they debuted on Raw. There was nothing special or unique about them, and there was zero effort put into establishing the characters. TJ Perkins loved video games and Brian Kendrick was an angry pirate, and nobody cared. All that changed when Neville came on the scene, and thanks to great matches against Jack Gallagher and Rich Swann, plus the addition of Austin Aries, the Cruiserweight Division is riding a high into Mania. The Championship match features Neville defending against Aries, and along with Owens/Jericho, this match should steal the show.

Roman Reigns vs. The Undertaker

Not every match on the Mania card is for a title, and the biggest non title match is Roman Reigns vs. The Undertaker. What started off as a battle of yards was kicked up a notch on Monday night when Roman speared The Undertaker on Raw. Another guy to keep an on eye in this feud is Braun Strowman, who unfortunately hasn’t been featured as much as he should be. I understand that Reigns/Taker is the money matchup, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of someone as unique as Strowman. His combination of size, strength and speed is fascinating, and he shouldn’t be cowering away from The Undertaker at this stage in Taker’s career. As for Reigns/Taker, you have to imagine that the Orlando crowd is going to give Reigns hell all night, so if the WWE is smart, they’ll book Reigns as an asshole here. He doesn’t have to cheat to win, but he should be extra vicious in this match and give the crowd a real reason to boo him.

Shane McMahon vs. AJ Styles

How do you know it’s WrestleMania season? There’s always a few telltale signs: The Undertaker shows up, a Pitbull/Flo Rida song is playing every half hour and two or more people are staring and/or pointing at a bright sign that says WRESTLEMANIA. Those are all fun, but my favorite ongoing trend over the last few years has been Shane McMahon and his flying elbow drop. While I would’ve loved AJ Styles being involved in the World Championship match, that’s not his role at WM, and if there’s one thing he’s proved over the last 14 months, it’s that he excels in every spot the WWE has put him in. Honestly, he could have worse opponents, because not only will Shane give this match everything he’s got, he also brings name value, which pretty much guarantees this will be a top billed match. Styles is the definition of the cream rising to the top, so it won’t be long until he’s back in the title picture. This should be a fun match, and a good way to give Styles his first ever WM win.

Holds Harmless Match – HHH vs. Seth Rollins

HHH vs. Seth Rollins was originally booked for last year’s WrestleMania, but thanks to a devastating knee injury to Rollins, they delayed it a year. The match was almost delayed again after Rollins reinjured his knee, but it looks like he’ll be alright to go next Sunday. The stipulation, which was added on Monday, is that Rollins will have to sign a ‘hold harmless’ contract which would make it an unsanctioned fight. That would allow HHH to (figuratively) murder Seth Rollins and vice versa, since Seth isn’t technically cleared to wrestle by a doctor. It’s unfortunate these two won’t be fighting in a regular match, because I think it’d be great, but adding in this stipulation does make for some interesting scenarios. Don’t be surprised if Samoa Joe inserts himself into this match at some point, as he and Sami Zayn currently aren’t on the card. If they aren’t given an official match, expect both of them to show up here.

John Cena & Nikki Bella vs. The Miz & Maryse

Heading into 2017, The Miz was IC Champion and John Cena was the #1 contender for the World Championship, a title he would win at the Royal Rumble. How did we go from that to a mixed tag match at WrestleMania? I’m not sure, but this match gave us the ‘lost’ episodes of Total Bellas I added above, so it’s not all bad news. The real life story is that Nikki Bella still has an injured neck, and this match will most likely serve as her unofficial retirement match. There’s also rumors of Cena proposing to Nikki (they’re a real life couple) which would be a cool WM moment. All four of these superstars are actual wrestlers, so at the very least we should get a competent, mostly entertaining match. If it ends up with a proposal, that’ll be icing on the cake.

Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal

WWE WrestleMania

Photo: WWE

Rounding out this year’s already announced Mania card is the annual Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal. The participants already announced are Mojo Rawley, Apollo Crews, Big Show and Curt Hawkins with other active superstars and legends expected to either be announced next week or added as surprise entrants. With Big Show included, it looks like the speculated Shaq match is off the card, which is probably for the best. Shaq was cool 17 years ago, but I can’t imagine a lot of people were getting hyped to watch him ‘wrestle’ Big Show. They should use this match to give a young guy the spotlight, similar to what they did with Corbin last year. My pick would be Mojo Rawley, followed by Rob Gronkowski storming the ring and ripping every turnbuckle off with his bare hands.

More matches could always be added, but we’re already at 14, so this is most likely the final card. Make sure you’re following us @averagenobodies, as we’ll be tweeting all week leading up to and during the biggest show of the year.

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Gronk Is Helping Mojo Rawley Get Ready For #WrestleMania With Chops and Shouts of Encouragement

 

Rob Gronkowski is a professional football player. Mojo Rawley is a professional wrestler. While they’re both insane and freakishly talented, they also happen to be best buds. The NFL season is over, but the biggest part of Mojo’s year is just beginning as he gets ready to head to WrestleMania as part of the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. What’s the best way to get ready for that match, you ask? My vote is the Gronkowski method, which involves constant slaps to the chest and angry shouts of encouragement. The best part is that this is definitely not an act. I can picture Mojo and Gronk working out like this just as easily as I can picture them grocery shopping the exact same way. ‘Get those bananas, Mojo! You gotta stay hype with the potassium!”

-Ryan

Ep 25 – Scotland and SXSW

Ryan visits Scotland and Matt attends SXSW…This is what happened.

Fantasy Baseball Preview: 5 players to Target in Upcoming Drafts

With only 12 days until Opening Day, it’s officially the hottest time of the year for Fantasy Baseball drafts. Here are five players (plus a sleeper) you should target.

Round 1: 0F Mookie Betts, BOS: .318 AVG, 31 HR, 113 RBI, 26 SB, 122 Runs. Those were Mookie Betts’ stats last year, so the only question you should be asking yourself is: what’s not to love here? With Big Papi gone, Red Sox fans need a fresh face to turn to and Mookie Betts is the answer. He can contribute across the board in many formats. On pace to have another MVP type season, I believe Mookie will be the first overall pick in fantasy drafts this season. If you’re holding on to an early first round pick, do not let Mookie slide past you. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Round 2: 1B Anthony Rizzo, CHC: If you missed out on stud first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (Arizona) in the first round, then you’re in luck if you see this guy is still on the board. Rizzo may not get you many stolen bases, but that’s a common trait for first basemen. He’ll make it for up with solid production in the Runs, HR’s and RBI categories. I feel like the Cubs will come out hot this season with Rizzo and Kris Bryant as their conductors. Draft him!

Fantasy Baseball Draft

Photo: MLB.com

Round 3: 0F/2B Trea Turner, WSN: OK, time to breathe; you made it through the first few rounds of the draft. Congrats! Next up on my list is Trea Turner, nullity man extraordinaire for the Nationals, and I’m targeting him early to mid third round. If you’re a Nationals fan, you already know why I’m excited about this guy. Playing in only 73 games in the 2016 season, Turner’s batting average was a blistering .342. He was also a menace on the base-paths, stealing 33 bases. Heading into the 2017 season healthy, he’ll get to show what he’s capable of from the get go. Some experts are labeling Turner a bust because they don’t think he can sustain his production over a full season, but I view him as someone only scratching the surface of his potential. Enjoy the ride if you’re able to grab Trea in the third round or sooner.

Fantasy Baseball Draft

Photo: CBS Los Angeles

Round 4: SS Corey Seager, LAD: If you still haven’t drafted a shortstop by this point in the draft, I think it’s wise to take a look at Corey Seager. Currently projected to hit second in the Dodgers lineup, Seager led all National League shortstops with 26 home runs in 2016. He will be a consistent player in each category for your team except steals, although he was a perfect 3 for 3 last year. Corey hasn’t played much since March 4th with a strained oblique, but the most recent reports are that he’s “pain free” and does not expect to miss Opening Day.

Fantasy Baseball Draft

Photo: NESN

Round 5: 3B Kyle Seager, SEA: What can I say, I like the Seager brothers this year! Corey’s brother Kyle had a great 2016 campaign with 89 Runs, 30 HR’s and 99 RBI’s. I feel like those stats won’t change much this season. He’s what you want in a hitter and will help your team each and every week. Pick him with confidence and a smile on your face.

Fantasy Baseball Draft

Photo: MLB.com

Draft Day Sleeper: 3B/OF Miguel Sano, MIN: He’s coming off a disappointing 2016 season, but that’s usually how sleepers work.  If you’re looking for a Home Run specialist in the later rounds he has some great potential. He looks to hold down the 3B position, a spot he is more familiar with than the outfield. He’s projected to hit cleanup for the Twins, which hopefully translates to a lot of bats with runners on base.

Good luck drafting!

~Derek~

Shane McMahon Is Hitting Flying Elbow Drops Through Tables So It Must Be #WrestleMania Season

Isn’t it crazy that WrestleMania is only 11 days away? The biggest show of the year is taking shape, and one of the marquee matches is going to be AJ Styles vs. Shane McMahon. While it would’ve been nice to have Styles fighting for a major title after the year he’s had, it’s not happening, so we might as well enjoy his feud with Shane as much as we can. Since Styles is fighting Shane at Mania, there’s one thing guaranteed to happen during the build, and it happened last night: Shane McMahon delivering a flying elbow off the top rope putting his WM opponent through a table. He did it last year to the Undertaker, and here he is again, officially reminding us that WM 33 is almost here. It seems like the match at Mania is going to be either a street fight or No DQ, and that’s good news for fans. As great as AJ Styles is, I’m not interested in watching him to try to get a passable, normal wrestling match out of 47 year old Shane McMahon.

-Ryan

 

Trailer Alert: Fargo Season 3

The last time we checked in on the upcoming season of Fargo, a balding Ewan McGregor looked noticeably spooked while eating at a diner after a cop played by Carrie Coon walked in (I bet that’s a sentence you never thought you’d read). Now that we’re under a month away from the premiere, we get a similarly timed promo that introduces us to what should be most of the main players for season 3. While the faces are changing, it’s nice to see those wonderful accents and that excessive violence is staying the same. Season 3 premieres April 19th.

-Ryan

 

Ep 6 – Movie Theater Commandments

Sean introduces a riddle game and we go over our do’s and don’ts of going to the movie theater. Call 401-285-8120 to leave us a voicemail with a comment, question or observation and we will play it on the next episode.

 

Dave Chappelle’s Netflix Stand Up Special Is Now Streaming

Netflix is hell bent on taking over every entertainment medium this year, and that includes stand up comedy. They’ve recently released specials from Mike Birbiglia and Amy Schumer, and as of today, Dave Chappelle joins that list. His special showcases his sets from Los Angeles (The Age of Spin) and Austin (Deep in the Heart of Texas), and I’m glad he’s back doing mainstream comedy again. Netflix isn’t done yet though, as they have Louis C.K. and Tracy Morgan specials scheduled for April and May, plus Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld later in the year. 2017 is going to be a great year for stand up comedy.

-Ryan

5 Reasons To Believe The Boston Celtics Will Win The Eastern Conference

Boston Celtics

Photo: USA Today Sports

As of today, March 20th, the Boston Celtics are currently 2.5 games games back of the Cleveland Cavaliers for the #1 seed in the East (thanks, 76ers). Here are five reasons why I think the Celtics will eventually overtake the Cavs and win the East.

1. Remaining Schedule: With the regular season winding down, the Celtics find themselves in a tight race with the Cavs, Wizards and Raptors for the #1 Seed in the Eastern Conference. A Loveless Cavs team has stumbled against their recent opponent’s causing their #1 seed to become within an arm’s reach of the Celts and other teams. The Celtics currently have the #2 seed, but John Wall and Co. aren’t going to make it easy for them. Luckily the Celtics have an easy climb up the mountain with their remaining 13 Games. Out of those 13 games, 8 are against teams with a record below .500. The Celts also play 10 out of their remaining 15 games at home. Less travel could help conserve energy for the upcoming playoffs, and the Celts are 23-9 at home, compared to 21-17 on the road. 

2. Full Speed Ahead: While injuries affect all teams, it is unfortunate that the Celtics haven’t been able to compete all year with a complete team. At the beginning of the year, Al Horford was concussed, followed by a groin injury to IT, and then Avery Bradley was on the shelf with a lengthy Achilles injury.  After watching the recent game against Chicago, the full cast played like a dominant force. Defense, Offense, and Marcus Smart rebounding like a mad man showed this team’s full potential.  A full roster also helps preserve IT’s body and playing time.  He plays the most minutes on the team at 34.1 per game, and is clearly their most important as he leads the team in points and assists. If the Celts are going to have any success in the playoffs, they need Mr. 4th Quarter to be at full strength.

3. The Future Is In Brown’s Hands: I guess not accepting that invitation to the dunk contest really was the right choice, eh Mr. Brown?. Jaylen Brown has blossomed this season into an integral player for the Celts. The silver lining to all the Celtics injuries were that they gave Brown the opportunity to play more minutes and thus grow as a player.  The past few months Coach Steven’s penciled Brown in the starting lineup, helping him transform into a major asset for the team. Brown released a statement advising that he bowed out of the Dunk Contest in order to work on his shot mechanics and help improve his standing with the team, and it’s paid off. While he’s struggled over the last three games, he averaged 10.5 points over the previous 10 games, including some key 3’s with the game on the line for the Celts. With Bradley back, Brown’s roll has shifted to a bench player, which is never a bad thing, as it allows Coach Stevens to have an emerging scoring threat on his second unit.

4. Catch Smart If You Can: I’ll admit it; I wasn’t the biggest Marcus Smart guy at first, but this season has really changed my outlook. If I had to pick any Robin to Isiah Thomas’s Batman, it would now be Marcus Smart. He brings toughness and a certain ‘grind and grit’ mentality to this team, and I don’t know where this team would rank in the standings without him. He’s another guy that stepped up tremendously when key players were hurt this season. Danny Ainge viewed him as untouchable at the trade deadline, and that trust is paying off. One of the season long flaws for the Celts has been their rebounding, where they currently rank 27th in the League. Although the numbers don’t show it, Smart has caused chaos under the rim for opponents by continually crashing the boards and making things happen.

5. In Steven’s We Trust: Why are teams successful? Besides spending millions of dollars to make super teams, there are other reasons for success. When I think of the Celtics, one term pops into my head: communication. Steven’s has always been a player’s coach dating back to his Butler days, and the Celtics currently have the 5th youngest franchise with an average age of 24.1. With their fiery play and ball movement, it’s easy to tell Brad seems to have a knack for bringing players together and producing a sensational product. The Celtics need to continue following his direction to finish the season strong and get out of the 1st round of the playoffs, a task they came up short on last season.

-Derek

~Let’s Go Celtics! ~