Looking back at the best matches of the year, one name keeps popping up AJ Styles. He’s been in the WWE less than two years, but he’s already made a tremendous impact. He’s been WWE’s MVP since his debut, and he stole the show at this year’s Royal Rumble. While Cena and Styles fought a few times, their match at the Rumble was their finest one.
#4 WWE Championship Match: AJ Styles vs. John Cena (Royal Rumble)
In my write up for match #5 on this list, I mentioned I don’t like when matches rely on finisher kick outs. I stand by that point, but there are times when it works, and this match was one of them. Velveteen Dream and Aleister Black don’t have the name value of a Cena or Styles, and their finishers are too new not to be protected. On the other hand, Cena and Styles have been around forever. Everyone kicks out of the AA, and the first time Styles hit the Styles Clash in WWE, Jericho kicked out of it.
While false finishes were one part of this match, both guys worked their ass off and gave us a match of the year candidate in January. The match went over 24 minutes but kept a brisk pace, mostly thanks to Styles insane cardio conditioning. Styles can keep you invested in the beginning/middle parts of matches then kick it into high gear for the ending. Cena kept up to, and even though ‘big match John’ is an annoying nickname, it’s true. Cena almost always rises to the occasion in big time matches, and he had the perfect foil in AJ Styles. The historical significance of the match was huge too, as Cena’s win tied him with Ric Flair for the most world title wins in history.
2017 was a great year for wrestling. Whether you enjoy WWE, NXT, NJPW, ROH or any other promotion, there were many excellent matches to choose from. I’d like to watch every match from every promotion, but that’s impossible. WWE puts out 8 hours of TV every week (11 or more if there’s a PPV) so they occupy most of my wrestling time. While WWE put out their own list of the top 25 matches of 2017, I decided to whittle it down to five. Starting today through next Friday (skipping Christmas) I’ll post one match a day and explain why it made the list (not THAT list). Enjoy!
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#5 Aleister Black vs. Velveteen Dream – NXT TakeOver: WarGames
Aleister Black vs. Velveteen Dream had the best build on the War Games card and told one of the best stories of the year in WWE. Velveteen Dream wanted Black’s respect, and he was going to do anything to earn it. Dream tried getting inside Black’s head, attacking him and costing him matches. Nothing worked. With no more options to choose, Dream only had one left thing to do. He laced up his boots, put on his airbrushed tights and had a match of the year candidate.
Most guys in WWE can put on a good match but too often those matches don’t have a story behind it. One of my favorite things about NXT is that they focus on storytelling, which makes the pay-off match that much better. In a lesser man’s hands, Velveteen Dream would be a caricature. In 22 year old Patrick Clark’s hands, it’s a work of art. While Dream is a flamboyant, over the top character, Aleister Black is the polar opposite. He’s reserved, quiet and let’s his in ring work do the talking. When you put those two characters together, there’s a chance for magic, and that’s what we got at TakeOver: WarGames.
The psychology of the match was great and the actual wrestling was even better. I also loved how these two didn’t rely on kicking out of finishers to keep the match going. While that can be effective, if it happens too often it takes your mind out of the match. Dream gave it everything he had, but just like everyone else, he fell to the Black Mass. Black giving Dream the satisfaction of saying his name after the match was the perfect ending.
Celebrities dressing up for Halloween always warms our cold, dead, black hearts. It’s the one time of year they seem just like us. Since Halloween weekend has come and gone, we decided now was the perfect time to pick our favorite celebrity Halloween costumes.
John Cena & Nikki Bella – Ron Burgundy and Tits Magee
Look at John Cena showing he has a sense of humor. Cena and Nikki Bella are a couple in real life, and any time you can get a superstar couple to do a couple’s costume you’ve got my vote for best costume. It also helps that he picked a character that no matter how many people dress up as him, will never get old. Did John Cena walk around with a massive erection all night? Did they buy a dog and name him Baxter? The world will never know. What we do know is that this is one hell of a Halloween costume.
NPH and Family – The Riddler, The Joker, Batman and Batgirl
Neil Patrick Harris and his husband David Burtka know how to do a family Halloween costume! Which is no surprise because NPH and Co are always flexing their “awesome”. Don’t believe me? Check out these previous costumes by the BatFam.
Game. Set. Match….I can say with confidence that their is no other family in the world the dresses for Halloween better than the Harris-Burtka clan. Also, how the hell are those costumes so perfect? I realize they have endless wealth and resources, but that doesn’t explain the completeness of these halloween costumes. A+ work!
For the second year in a row, a member of SNL has been nominated for an Emmy award (Bill Hader last year). Kate is definitely up against some strong competition:
Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory
Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Allison Janney, Mom
Kate Mulgrew, Orange Is the New Black
Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live
Anna Chlumsky, Veep
But I’m an SNL FTW kind of guy and there isn’t a scenario I can picture that doesn’t have her giving an acceptance speech.
All the other nominees are great at portraying their respective characters, but Kate McKinnon is great at portraying ALL her characters. Give her the win. If for no other reason but because Seth Meyers supports her.
So very happy for Kate McKinnon and her Emmy nomination today. She is a natural born killer!
— Seth Meyers (@sethmeyers) July 10, 2014
We meet/scare the shit out of Bryan Cranston in New York City and two months later he wins a Tony award. Coincidence? I highly doubt it, but when your best friend wins an award you celebrate him. That’s what best friends do. When I win an award for being the best left fielder in the Warwick, Rhode Island Mernick Division of men’s softball I expect him to be the first phone call I receive. But for now, I’ll let him have the spotlight. Best friends forever.
P.S. Legitimate best friends forever.
If Amar’e Stoudemire is Trying to Get Me To Like Him By Walking Around With a Fashionable Cane I Need Someone to Let Him Know It’s Working
Now that is a nice cane. Elegant, fancy, I don’t even know what else to say. I’m officially jealous of Amar’e Stoudemire. A cane is such an underrated fashion accesory, and I really hope he didn’t just have knee surgery or something because that would ruin it. People who use a cane because they’re handicapped arent cool because they actually need it to be mobile; people who use a cane as a fashion accesory, on the other hand, are very, very cool. Maybe cool isn’t the word I’m looking for, but I love the cane statement. It’s the ultimate wildcard accesory. If I saw a person at a party with a cane and they weren’t handicapped I would want to get to know that person. They probably have some crazy stories about repelling down moutains or being an average professional basketball player. From here on out, I’m team Amar’e. Might even change my name to Rya’n.
photo via Buzzfeed
Not the brightest idea to phrase the headline like that. The Daily Breeze just had to get tricky with this. Couldn’t of went with “12 Years a Slave Triumphs” or “Emotional Win for Best Picture” or pretty much anything besides “‘Slave’ becomes master”. At least this headline can’t be read by the entire world. Oh wait…
Photo via UPROXX.com
Alright, alright, alright. What a year for Matthew McConaughey. It’s his flat circled world, and we’re just along for the ride. He’s on the most talked about new show on TV (if you haven’t seen True Detective yet, you should. His performance as Rustin Cohle is great) and he was in TWO movies that were nominated for Best Picture. One of those movies, Dallas Buyer’s Club, was the reason he took the stage late Sunday night to accept his Best Actor Award. While it would’ve been nice to see Leo win his first long overdue golden statue, it’s hard to argue with McConaughey’s win. He was the most polarizing figure in a movie filled with great performances (Jared Leto also took home an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor). His physical transformation was tough to watch at times, but you did everything you could to keep your eyes on the screen, because you knew you were witnessing a special performance. McConaughey is no longer the rom-com leading man, or the naked guy playing the bongos: he’s a certified bad ass actor who proved he can carry a heavy movie all the way to the Oscars. Hopefully this is just the tip of the McConaughey iceberg, and he’s in the Oscar discussion for years to come.
Fun fact tidbit for anyone who cares about these things: Only Liza Minnelli (1973) and Helen Hunt (1998) have won a performance Oscar and Emmy in the same year. With his performance as Rustin Cohle, and HBO’s wily move to submit True Detective as a miniseries and not a standard drama (because there’s no way he beats Bryan Cranston), McConaughey could become number three. Just keep livin’, man.