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Monday, October 27, 2014

OT: Wrestling Thread November 2014

Given that the old wrestling thread got shut down, here is a new one that shamelessly links to my Hell in a Cell review!

aberg Posted: October 27, 2014 at 01:47 PM | 2456 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: wrestling

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   1301. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 08, 2016 at 01:24 PM (#5151961)
Perhaps Donald Trump has found his running mate. Imagine the RNC chanting "YES" in unison! Inspiring!
   1302. aberg Posted: February 08, 2016 at 01:27 PM (#5151965)
Perhaps Donald Trump has found his running mate. Imagine the RNC chanting "YES" in unison! Inspiring!


Do veganism and living in yurts count as New York values?
   1303. Eric P. Posted: February 08, 2016 at 01:44 PM (#5151986)
Fingers crossed Danielson comes out in a salmon coloured blazer tonight.
   1304. aberg Posted: February 08, 2016 at 02:06 PM (#5152009)
Fingers crossed Danielson comes out in a salmon coloured blazer tonight.


Have already discussed with a friend the synergy of salmon and Seattle. Might even get a cutaway of the Pike's Place guys tossing a salmon colored jacket back and forth.
   1305. Chokeland Bill Posted: February 08, 2016 at 02:34 PM (#5152038)
Other promotions are sending out thank yous to Bryan; that says to me it's not a work. Meltzer is reporting that he had another round of testing right before the Rumble, and that might be the impetus for this.

It sucks, but hopefully it means that he can avoid most of the complications later in life. He's reached the absolute pinnacle of his profession, and Wrestlemania 30 is a career high-point that almost no one can match.
   1306. NJ in NJ Posted: February 08, 2016 at 11:27 PM (#5152383)
Greatest retirement speech ever. Sitting on my couch in a pool of tears.
   1307. Chokeland Bill Posted: February 08, 2016 at 11:29 PM (#5152385)
It was great.
   1308. Eric P. Posted: February 08, 2016 at 11:55 PM (#5152387)
It was great.


That's what she said.

But seriously, that was just a wonderful, beautiful speech. I hope the rest of his life is amazing.
   1309. Chokeland Bill Posted: February 18, 2016 at 02:55 PM (#5158941)
http://www.wwe.com/404/

WWE's new 404 page is pretty great
   1310. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: February 19, 2016 at 11:30 PM (#5160143)
i've given foot massages that were more violent than this kimbo/dada fight.

and that's a fitting end. kimbo wins by TKO (fatigue)
   1311. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: February 20, 2016 at 12:02 AM (#5160150)
and another fitting end for bellator. old man hit in groin.



why does bellator even exist?
   1312. Chokeland Bill Posted: February 21, 2016 at 10:51 PM (#5160835)
Puny chairs mean nothing to Roman!
   1313. NJ in NJ Posted: February 21, 2016 at 10:56 PM (#5160838)
It's almost like they want Roman to be hated.
   1314. Chokeland Bill Posted: February 21, 2016 at 10:59 PM (#5160842)
The Wyatts lose and no interference in the main event = plans have changed for Lesnar and Wyatt? I would not be opposed to a Dean/Brock feud.

The Mania card is actually less certain than it was a month ago.
   1315. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: February 22, 2016 at 01:42 AM (#5160866)
does the WWE have any buttons left to push? they signed sting, they signed styles, they signed RVD/jericho/the dudley boyz/del rio, and none of it has moved the needle.

rock, HHH, undertaker, cena, foley; it's been done. if they could bring back austin or edge, they would have done it years ago. bryan and punk are gone.


the next generation might be great, but they're too unknown to bring casual fans to the table yet.


am i missing something obvious?
   1316. Chokeland Bill Posted: February 22, 2016 at 08:34 AM (#5160893)
does the WWE have any buttons left to push? they signed sting, they signed styles, they signed RVD/jericho/the dudley boyz/del rio, and none of it has moved the needle.


I have parts of a rather long response in my head, but really all it comes down to is better booking. If the characters and stories were consistent and well-told, people would tune in more. They'll never hit the ratings highs of the Attitude Era again, but they still can recapture some of the audience lost in the last couple of years.

Things that have worked recently, from a booking standpoint:
1. Dean Ambrose in the main/sub-main event scene. The Owens and Brock feuds have recaptured most of his heat from the initial days of the Shield split. And now we're apparently getting Dean/Brock at Mania, which has a chance to make him a mega-star (think Austin/Bret at Mania 13).
2. US Title scene - they didn't get the full payoff from Cena's title reign, but Kalisto was nothing in October and now is a minor star.
3. Women's title scene - Once Charlotte started turning, she's gotten over as a heel, Becky's gotten over as a face, and Sasha stayed over despite limited screen time. They need to go all-out with the title match at Mania, a full NXT-style match. It's a real make-or-break point for how high the women can go.
4. AJ/Jericho/Miz - good way to bring in a new guy.
   1317. Random Transaction Generator Posted: February 22, 2016 at 08:41 AM (#5160899)
One button they could push is simply having Kevin Owens on TV more.
This post-Fastlane interview is hilarious.

Also, with so many major injuries in the last year (Orton, Cena, Rollins) they have a few buttons they could try...like a darker Cena, a rampaging Orton (vs Owens? That would be fun), Rollins turn...
   1318. aberg Posted: February 22, 2016 at 12:58 PM (#5161158)
I have been really enjoying almost everything that Owens, Ambrose, New Day, Styles, Jericho, Sasha, and Ziggler have done lately. I am at least interested when I see Lesnar/Heyman, Steph/HHH, Charlotte, the heel Dudleys, and Kalisto. I'm hopeful that I get to see more of Neville, Cody Rhodes, and the guys returning from injury. I think that's a pretty solid ratio of good to bad going on right now.

I guess I look at WWE programming a little differently. I know I'm not going to stop watching it altogether, so I mainly look for what I like on the show every week and don't spend much time thinking about what I don't like.
   1319. Man o' Schwar Posted: February 22, 2016 at 02:59 PM (#5161349)
The Wyatts lose and no interference in the main event = plans have changed for Lesnar and Wyatt? I would not be opposed to a Dean/Brock feud.

There were rumors circulating over the weekend that the company had pivoted to Ambrose/Lesnar at WM.

That said - jobbing the Wyatts out to Ryback and two guys in their 40s who should probably both be part-timers at this point is ridiculous.
   1320. Man o' Schwar Posted: February 22, 2016 at 03:12 PM (#5161368)
It's almost like they want Roman to be hated.

Someone was pointing out that the RAWs during the run up to WM are running through what should be some particularly hostile crowds (places like Brooklyn, Detroit, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia). I suspect it's going to get very ugly for Reigns, and the WWE is going to have to do some heavy editing of the crowd noise to drown out what will be a pretty clear preference for HHH.

It's hard to see any kind of a good ending here. The only thing I can come up with this point is Rollins coming out a couple of weeks before WM, pointing out that he never lost the belt, and demanding that they make it a 3-way (which Rollins wins). There are no other magic bullets here.

It's so funny that the roster is so stacked with talent that to have this level of booking problems seems almost intentional. You could put names in a hat, draw them at random, and probably come up with a better WM card than what we're going to have.

(I had a thought last night - at this point, I'd like of like to see the return of crowds expressing their displeasure by pelting the ring with garbage. Boos can be silenced by the editors, but it's pretty hard to hide an entire crowd showering Roman and HHH with cups and paper.)
   1321. Chokeland Bill Posted: February 22, 2016 at 03:21 PM (#5161375)
The Wyatts are basically dead in the water after last night. The only real direction that would work is Bray getting fed up with the rest of them losing every match and going nuts on his own. Bray himself has been somewhat protected, only eating pins from tip-top guys.

HHH is going to get a huge face reaction. He's not Roman, he's a popular legend, and he's the man behind NXT. And that NXT Dallas card is stacked. The Mania crowd is going to go crazy for him, unless he's booked to be some kind of inhuman monster the next 6 weeks.

I really wish they would use more of the roster. They have a ton of guys who rarely show up that can be used to eat pins instead of giving us Owens-Ziggler Round 97.
   1322. aberg Posted: February 22, 2016 at 04:43 PM (#5161437)
I really wish they would use more of the roster. They have a ton of guys who rarely show up that can be used to eat pins instead of giving us Owens-Ziggler Round 97.


This is my #2 complaint about WWE, right after having a 3 hour Raw. If they can't get out of 3 hour Raw, then at least let us see some different matches.

I know it goes against everything they have done for the last 2.5 years, but why not just steer into the reactions and let HHH be slightly more likable and Roman be slightly more villainous? The crowd is going to react that way anyway.
   1323. Chokeland Bill Posted: February 22, 2016 at 05:15 PM (#5161466)
Dean/Brock is essentially confirmed - https://www.facebook.com/wwe/videos/10153549018671443/

I really hope they do this right.
   1324. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: February 22, 2016 at 05:49 PM (#5161475)
It's hard to see any kind of a good ending here. The only thing I can come up with this point is Rollins coming out a couple of weeks before WM, pointing out that he never lost the belt, and demanding that they make it a 3-way (which Rollins wins). There are no other magic bullets here.

Idea: Make Dean/Brock an epic match in the middle of the program that Brock ultimately wins. Later on, a bruised and bandaged Dean returns and joins commentary for the main event, talking about how he had to be there to support Roman. That match is dominated by Roman, who spears HHH so forcefully that the ref standing 5 feet behind him is collateral damage. When Roman realizes after a few seconds that the ref can't make the count, Dean gets out of his chair, runs up to the ring apron, and calls him over. Roman slides out of the ring, at which point Dean hits him with a low blow and dirty deeds before rolling him back in. HHH barely lifts his arm to cover him and pick up the win as the ref regains his senses. The next night on Raw HHH grants Dean a title match and lays down to make him the champion and new face of the Authority.
   1325. Chokeland Bill Posted: February 22, 2016 at 08:31 PM (#5161528)
Well, that's an unlikely choice for Undertaker's opponent.
   1326. RJ in TO Posted: February 22, 2016 at 08:34 PM (#5161530)
Well, that's an unlikely choice for Undertaker's opponent.


It is, but I'm now looking forward to that match.
   1327. Hot Wheeling American Posted: February 22, 2016 at 09:18 PM (#5161547)
An hour later and I'm still laughing about it. lmao
   1328. Man o' Schwar Posted: February 23, 2016 at 11:11 AM (#5161790)
I assume that this Shane/UT match will be the overbooked equivalent of last year's HHH/Sting match. I guess they have 5 weeks now to line up the cronies on both sides.

My money: since they're in Texas, Austin shows up to help Shane and screw Vince one more time.
   1329. aberg Posted: February 23, 2016 at 11:33 AM (#5161824)
Shane's storyline last night was the ultimate "ask more questions than you provide answers" angle. WTF was the business arrangement he was talking about? It made NO sense. Something like, "to collect the collateral of your unsecured loan, you have to fight a zombie mortician inside a chain link fence." Who cares? It's fun!
   1330. RJ in TO Posted: February 23, 2016 at 11:59 AM (#5161869)
Something like, "to collect the collateral of your unsecured loan, you have to fight a zombie mortician inside a chain link fence."


Are you saying this isn't a standard clause? Because, if you are, I may need to have a chat with my lawyer.
   1331. Chokeland Bill Posted: February 23, 2016 at 12:07 PM (#5161886)
My bet is that it's a smokescreen because they don't know for certain whether Cena will be back. If Cena is back, he'll do the match. If not, someone else will. I doubt Shane is the actual opponent for Taker, but he will definitely do a crazy spot.
   1332. aberg Posted: February 23, 2016 at 12:18 PM (#5161895)
Are you saying this isn't a standard clause? Because, if you are, I may need to have a chat with my lawyer.


I'm a labor lawyer when I'm not watching wrestling, and I definitely thought about ways to substitute this mechanism for the standard arbitration clause.
   1333. Conor Posted: February 23, 2016 at 01:24 PM (#5161991)
Shane's storyline last night was the ultimate "ask more questions than you provide answers" angle. WTF was the business arrangement he was talking about? It made NO sense. Something like, "to collect the collateral of your unsecured loan, you have to fight a zombie mortician inside a chain link fence." Who cares? It's fun!


I was watching the show and messing around on my computer, and I thought I just zoned out when Shane said exactly he had over Vince, but nope.

I agree with 1331, it's just interesting if they go in that direction especially, because Shane is supposed to be the face, but if Cena is fighting on his behalf, he's going to be a heel. And there's no way people will root against Taker, regardless of the stips, at Mania. But even if they keep it with Shane vs Taker; we're supposed to want Shane to win, but no one is going to root against Taker.

I do have to say I'm more interested in the show now though.
   1334. SouthSideRyan Posted: February 23, 2016 at 02:08 PM (#5162047)
The streak is no more, and people rooted against him in his last 2 matches vs. Lesnar. I could see a WM crowd rooting for Shane.
   1335. Chokeland Bill Posted: February 23, 2016 at 02:22 PM (#5162060)
In Texas?
   1336. SouthSideRyan Posted: February 23, 2016 at 03:16 PM (#5162116)
Isn't WM a lot closer to a Super Bowl type crowd than a home-field advantage? With the travel crowd being heavy on the smarks.
   1337. Conor Posted: February 23, 2016 at 03:19 PM (#5162121)
I don't remember the hell in a cell that well, but I was at Summerslam, and I remember Taker being a slight crowd favorite. And that's against Lesnar, who is probably the most popular guy they have? I know Shane was super over last night, and I could be wrong, but I'd think the people will be going for Taker.
   1338. aberg Posted: February 23, 2016 at 05:10 PM (#5162249)
I think the face/heel dynamic is an even better rationale than the "Shane is old and not a wrestler" rationale for arguing that someone else will end up wrestling that match. Who is one of Shane's oldest and most loyal kayfabe friends? The Rock.
   1339. SouthSideRyan Posted: February 23, 2016 at 05:34 PM (#5162280)
Now granted it's wrestling and you make the rules up as you go along, but how do you get from I'll let you take charge of Raw if you beat the Undertaker to sure, just pick whoever you want. At least Vince/Trump were both replaced.
   1340. smileyy Posted: February 23, 2016 at 05:45 PM (#5162286)
I kind of assumed that Undertaker's WM streak ending would be the end of him at WM. Seems like a waste of a legacy otherwise.
   1341. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: February 23, 2016 at 10:03 PM (#5162392)
I kind of assumed that Undertaker's WM streak ending would be the end of him at WM. Seems like a waste of a legacy otherwise.

WWE's plan has been for undertaker to retire every year for the last 5 years but the fans still love him, he still wants to wrestle and WWE still needs him, so he keeps coming back.
   1342. Hot Wheeling American Posted: February 24, 2016 at 12:06 AM (#5162432)
   1343. SouthSideRyan Posted: February 24, 2016 at 10:46 AM (#5162645)
Two posts down from that are why I tend to stay off of wrestling websites.
   1344. Hot Wheeling American Posted: February 24, 2016 at 11:01 AM (#5162668)
It's one of the better ones. Something like that definitely sticks out and it's received heavy push back, but yeah, unless you stick to bbtf's own YR for your internet wrestling thoughts, you're gonna run into some sad stuff.
   1345. zenbitz Posted: February 24, 2016 at 11:59 AM (#5162767)
Is it time to merge this with OTP?
   1346. SouthSideRyan Posted: February 24, 2016 at 01:50 PM (#5162890)
I think it'd get lost in the shuffle of a general OTP, especially given the nature of people checking in and out of the product at various downtimes.
   1347. Man o' Schwar Posted: February 24, 2016 at 02:57 PM (#5162985)
I hope they don't replace Shane with someone else. There's no real interest in seeing UT vs the Rock, or UT vs Cena. Been there, done that. I doubt Sting could get cleared for much more than a run-in, bat shot, and run-out.

You have to assume (for storyline purposes) that whoever they got to fill in for Shane will win, otherwise there was zero point in bringing him back. From that perspective, it might be fun to see one of the younger guys get a chance, though I don't know who it would be (plus there's no way he would go over clean, so it's not like whoever it would be would get the big Lesnar rub from WM XXX).

It's only interesting for what it will be, which is an overbooked glorious mess. I guess, to their credit, they've got me a lot more interested in WM than I was after Sunday night.

(Also to their credit - this fake injury to Reigns will protect them from seeing him get booed out of the building at every stop on the road to Wrestlemania. It's a chickenshit move that helps them avoid dealing with their problems, but at least they were smart enough to recognize the problem and do something about it. It's not going to help them after WM, of course.)
   1348. SouthSideRyan Posted: February 24, 2016 at 03:32 PM (#5163031)
They've gotta start planning these events better. It's a fine line, and you obviously want hot crowds heading into Wrestlemania, but by this point, booking smark cities for that run or the Royal Rumble just seems like a bad idea. Sure if everyone's buying into what you're selling, it's great, but when has that ever been the case Post-Mania?

Lance Storm made a point a bit ago about how they've carried on with the tired evil authority gimmick for so long that life is imitating art, and those that are seen as the chosen ones of said people are instinctively turned on. Have there been missteps in Reigns's booking? Boy, howdy. Is the idea that he's a chosen one over insert (indy darling here) playing a role? I certainly think so. Reigns was mega-over as the muscle of The Shield. To see the crowd turn so dramatically against him in such a short period of time(Cena fatigue to this level took forever) just doesn't make a whole lot of sense IMO.
   1349. Man o' Schwar Posted: February 24, 2016 at 04:00 PM (#5163045)
Sure if everyone's buying into what you're selling, it's great, but when has that ever been the case Post-Mania?

It really helped in the run-up to WM XXX. I think if they had gone through the usual mild crowds that you get in some places, we probably would have ended up with Orton/Batista.

But you're right - it's probably safer to plan some middle-of-the-road places between RR and WM, just in case. Or, you know, don't make terrible booking choices in the first place.

Reigns was mega-over as the muscle of The Shield. To see the crowd turn so dramatically against him in such a short period of time(Cena fatigue to this level took forever) just doesn't make a whole lot of sense IMO.

I think you highlighted the difference. With Cena, he wasn't oversaturated until after he had already accomplished something. Crowds were crazy for him back when he was winning his first titles. Reigns seemed like he skipped about 12 steps along the line, and was shoved to the front. That's what bothered people. Not only that, he's been so protected. Guys like Cena, Orton, etc., they didn't start out winning every match. They went through their mid-card feuds, where they won some and lost some, before becoming top of the line guys. Roman went right to the top, and it felt like you knew he was going to be the winner every time he went out there.

I think there's some truth to the indie-favorite stuff, but I think that comes in part because those indie guys spent years proving themselves. Why are we being force-fed a green Reigns when you've got guys like Bryan and Cesaro and Owens and half a dozen others who are better in the ring, better on the mike (or at least as good as), and who have proven themselves for years?
   1350. Chokeland Bill Posted: February 24, 2016 at 04:42 PM (#5163083)
There's no real interest in seeing UT vs the Rock, or UT vs Cena.


I don't believe Cena and Taker have had a 1v1 match during Cena's face run. It would actually be a fresh match and I would like to see it.

Reigns' run in December pretty much proved that the booking is the real problem with him. When they booked to his strengths, he was over. They went back to making him Cena v2.0, and that isn't something he's cut out for. Plus, their use of him in the last 2 ppvs is just baffling.
   1351. SouthSideRyan Posted: February 24, 2016 at 06:22 PM (#5163166)
Philly cheering Reigns might be the most surprising thing I've seen in wrestling since I returned in 2011.
   1352. vagab0nd kills for candy Posted: February 24, 2016 at 06:51 PM (#5163176)
When they booked to his strengths, he was over.


Philly cheering Reigns might be the most surprising thing I've seen in wrestling since I returned in 2011.


a) it was over Sheamus. nobody likes Sheamus
b) cheering Reigns when everyone other smark crowd boos him is the most Philly thing possible
   1353. SouthSideRyan Posted: February 25, 2016 at 12:35 AM (#5163371)
Hahaha, b. is so true. Everyone's selling it as the crowd reaction being because of how well it was booked, but did it really differ that much from prior and following booking? It just seems to be example 1A of how crowd reaction can make an otherwise ordinary moment into one that means something. As MOS said, the Bryan moments had so much to do with the crowd. If the crowds were your run of the mill crowds and cheered but didn't go Attitude Era nuts over it, would it be such a historic moment? Would Jericho's debut in WWF still get to people this many years later if the Chicago crowd didn't lose their #### when his name hit the 'tron? Like I said it's a delicate balance, and I guess right now the WWE is risking their decisions against the backlash, but for what it's been lately, I don't know if they can keep doing that.

Ultimately they're serving 2 very different masters, and I don't really know how they can cater to both. My assumption since I've started watching again is they're looking to give a few bones to the hardcore smarkish fan to keep them invested, while dedicating more time towards that which will get the casual fans. Obviously the key thing is to get a Daniel Bryan who will cater to both, but I feel like guys like that are such a rarity. Even a guy like Owens who is so charismatic and works a fun easy to pick up style, you still look at him and he's an unattractive fat guy that doesn't do it for somebody flipping the channels like a guy like Reigns would.

I've heard rumors of a brand split, which was my first instinct after the Shane angle launched, and it makes sense to an extent, to cater one show largely towards one fanbase, and the other towards the other(obviously with some crossover to try to bridge those fanbases), but how much of that is going to be cannibalization of the product and just split your audience rather than grow it? I have no idea.

It's really an extension of the Cena problem(disclaimer: I think Cena is an all-time great, legit top 5er, only lacking my assumption that he'd be an incredible heel to prevent him from climbing higher), where you can either stick with what you know is currently drawing passable numbers or you can reduce your nearby profitability for better potential growth long-term, knowing that there's a risk that you could sink that much lower. Reigns for as much as he's booed is a great merch mover, and was at least getting great reactions on house show circuits during his previous booing phase. Maybe the last couple months have the houses going along with this, not sure. But do you stick with the guy on the top who's moving good merch, drawing good reactions off-TV, or do you take that risk, and elevate somebody who doesn't have great peripheral numbers, but maybe given the proper push could grow beyond the current numbers you're at.
   1354. SouthSideRyan Posted: February 25, 2016 at 01:08 AM (#5163378)
And while I'm on a posting run, let me go ahead and say the Young Bucks are annoying as ####, and I do not understand their appeal at all. To me they're the performer version of Vince Russo booking shoot walkouts on the script. Yeah, I get it, you're winking at us all that you're on it. That's the ####### point you dorks. Winking at the audience that we know what's going as your gimmick becomes Last Action Hero, not a brief 4th wall breaking joke.
   1355. Man o' Schwar Posted: February 25, 2016 at 01:50 AM (#5163381)
Even a guy like Owens who is so charismatic and works a fun easy to pick up style, you still look at him and he's an unattractive fat guy that doesn't do it for somebody flipping the channels like a guy like Reigns would.

Given half a chance, I think Owens could carry the banner at the top for at least a couple of years as a big-time heel. He's brutal in the ring and great on the mike. I hope they let him run with the ball at some point (and maybe it will take something like a brand split at this point to let it happen). I really look forward to some Owens/Styles matches, and Owens/Zayn will be nuts once they move him up full-time.

It's really an extension of the Cena problem(disclaimer: I think Cena is an all-time great, legit top 5er, only lacking my assumption that he'd be an incredible heel to prevent him from climbing higher), where you can either stick with what you know is currently drawing passable numbers or you can reduce your nearby profitability for better potential growth long-term, knowing that there's a risk that you could sink that much lower. Reigns for as much as he's booed is a great merch mover, and was at least getting great reactions on house show circuits during his previous booing phase. Maybe the last couple months have the houses going along with this, not sure. But do you stick with the guy on the top who's moving good merch, drawing good reactions off-TV, or do you take that risk, and elevate somebody who doesn't have great peripheral numbers, but maybe given the proper push could grow beyond the current numbers you're at.

I heard people who go to a lot of house shows say that one of the reasons Reigns moves a lot of merchandise is that they stock 10x more of his stuff than they do anyone else. I know, that's a chicken-egg thing - does he sell a lot because they stock a lot (and deliberately understock other guys), or do they stock a lot because the demand is there if they don't?

But I think your last sentence is the key one here - they've pushed him harder than they've pushed anyone in recent memory. It's been building like this for about 18 months now, with Reigns coming out on top of every feud, winning every beatdown, getting the prime spots at the top of RAW and in the main event. And with all that, the crowd is not only indifferent to him, they actively dislike him. But the WWE has sunk so much money and time into him now, it feels like they're going to stubbornly double down at every turn no matter what, because they don't want to have to go through this again - pick another guy, develop him as the top guy for 2 years, only to get to the end and find the crowd shitting all over him. And it's true that, at the start, he was a crowd favorite, the Shield ass-kicker when they were the hottest thing in the WWE. Given that start, plus the push, it's almost hard to fathom how it turned out this way. And yet it did.

BTW, I agree with you on Cena, particularly after his run with the US title last year. He was doing some of his best work with those open challenges. I think he would be a dynamite heel, and that's a trigger that the WWE is going to need to pull before he gets too old to make it worthwhile. Picturing him as a smarmy, ####-talking, crowd-mocking heel is so easy.
   1356. Random Transaction Generator Posted: February 25, 2016 at 06:45 AM (#5163397)
Picturing him as a smarmy, ####-talking, crowd-mocking heel is so easy.


The best part is that they could do it so naturally.

Just have him come out to face someone, and the crowd boos him.
He takes the mic, he rips into the crowd about how they LOOOVED him years ago, but now that he's not EDGY or MEAN, they don't...maybe THEY are fickle and stupid.
A couple more sentences, finish it with "SCREW YOU GUYS" and then just lay a holy beat down on his poor opponent (someone like Dolph/Sheamus/Alberto), including taunting/gesturing to the crowd.
Even after pinning him, pick him up and put him in a sharpshooter. Hit him with chairs after the match. Pantomime spitting on him. Push the ref over after he goes for the arm lift.

Then let Cena do angry spots on the mic for each RAW about how he's had enough of pleasing the crowd.

Just book him as a angry, bitter, wrestler who basically tells the audience that they don't deserve him (because they are shallow), and that only his real fans can cheer for him.
He stops on this way down the aisle to take a photo with a little kid, flashing those pearly whites...but then two steps later grabs some other "fan's sign" and rips it up and pushes him in the face.

(This gives him a heel personae, but still lets him be a fan to his youngest audience members who will still want to cheer him.)
   1357. CWS Keith plans to [omitted] at [omitted] Posted: February 25, 2016 at 09:04 AM (#5163435)
1353 is an excellent post, SSR.
   1358. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: February 25, 2016 at 12:50 PM (#5163707)
Last night's episode of Pawn Stars had a guy trying to make a deal for William Moody's WWE Hall of Fame ring, inscribed on the inside with "Paul Bearer." He claimed to be a family friend who was given the ring by the family. He was looking for something in the $22-25K range for it, but the buyer balked saying he's sold Super Bowl rings for less than that. Offered $4K for it, and that was the end of that.
   1359. Chokeland Bill Posted: March 07, 2016 at 03:20 PM (#5170999)
Rumor is that some guy with a very peppy theme song is getting called up tonight.
   1360. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 07, 2016 at 04:53 PM (#5171047)
Spongebob Squarepants?
   1361. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: March 07, 2016 at 07:40 PM (#5171118)
yoshi tatsu?
   1362. Chokeland Bill Posted: March 07, 2016 at 07:54 PM (#5171121)
Don't get too excited, it's probably just another generic babyface.
   1363. Chokeland Bill Posted: March 08, 2016 at 08:54 PM (#5171746)
Last night's Raw had one of the best pure tag team matches I've seen in quite some time. Definitely AJ's best match in WWE so far, and just well-done in pretty much all regards. The angle it set up is getting kind of tired, but was still very well executed.
   1364. Man o' Schwar Posted: March 09, 2016 at 01:39 PM (#5172269)
I'm kind of surprised - you would think that they would have come up with something bigger for Styles at his first Wrestlemania. Not that Jericho isn't big, but we've seen it multiple times already.

I really thought they would build to Owens/Styles at WM, after Owens eliminated him at the Rumble. Or Owens/Styles/Zayn.

But the tag match was great.
   1365. vagab0nd kills for candy Posted: March 10, 2016 at 04:56 PM (#5173143)
   1366. Chokeland Bill Posted: March 12, 2016 at 09:01 PM (#5174157)
I'm pretty sure every NXT tag team is better than every main roster team (New Day excepted)
   1367. Chokeland Bill Posted: March 12, 2016 at 10:26 PM (#5174222)
Really good match between Ambrose and HHH, booked exactly the way it needed to be to preserve Wrestlemania. Too bad the crowd was dead for most of it.
   1368. vagab0nd kills for candy Posted: March 12, 2016 at 10:58 PM (#5174263)
Really good match between Ambrose and HHH, booked exactly the way it needed to be to preserve Wrestlemania. Too bad the crowd was dead for most of it.


They preserved something that's going to get completely #### on... yay?

I'm pretty sure every NXT tag team is better than every main roster team (New Day excepted)


I'd add the injured Kidd/Cesaro team to the exception, but yeah, the main roster tag division is sawft.
   1369. Chokeland Bill Posted: March 12, 2016 at 11:17 PM (#5174266)
They preserved something that's going to get completely #### on... yay?


They can't keep calling audibles on Reigns. At some point they need to let him be the guy and see if he'll sink or swim. But for the first time since the Reigns push began, they are consciously building an alternative. Ambrose just pinned HHH clean, he's been getting a ton of face time to cut great promos, and he's getting a Wrestlemania match that is pretty much 100% ideal for pushing him to the next level. It's basically been the Dean Ambrose show since the Royal Rumble, and he's mostly been killing it.

Mania's going to be fine. The main event will probably be booed, but it will also probably be a solid match. Divas 3-way, Dean-Brock, and AJ-Jericho will all be good-to-great. Probably the IC title match as well. Battle Royal, Kalisto-Ryback, and second Divas match will probably suck. Tag title match could go either way. Shane-Taker will certainly be an overbooked novelty, but it will probably be entertaining, assuming Shane doesn't get seriously hurt doing whatever crazy thing he ends up doing.
   1370. NJ in NJ Posted: March 13, 2016 at 12:12 AM (#5174281)
They can't keep calling audibles on Reigns. At some point they need to let him be the guy and see if he'll sink or swim. But for the first time since the Reigns push began, they are consciously building an alternative. Ambrose just pinned HHH clean, he's been getting a ton of face time to cut great promos, and he's getting a Wrestlemania match that is pretty much 100% ideal for pushing him to the next level. It's basically been the Dean Ambrose show since the Royal Rumble, and he's mostly been killing it.

If my choices are Reigns and Ambrose, can I go with neither?
   1371. Chokeland Bill Posted: March 13, 2016 at 12:25 AM (#5174287)
If my choices are Reigns and Ambrose, can I go with neither?


Do you not like what Ambrose has been doing since the Rumble? I totally see where you're coming from based on 2015 Ambrose, but I think 2016 Ambrose has been mostly excellent.
   1372. NJ in NJ Posted: March 13, 2016 at 12:47 AM (#5174297)
Do you not like what Ambrose has been doing since the Rumble? I totally see where you're coming from based on 2015 Ambrose, but I think 2016 Ambrose has been mostly excellent.

I just hate all of his offense. I like everything else that he does and love him in theory and then his matches start and I want to change the channel.
   1373. vagab0nd kills for candy Posted: March 13, 2016 at 12:50 AM (#5174298)
allegedly Seth has been in the ring lately, wonder how close he is to being in a triple threat match
   1374. bigglou115 is not an Illuminati agent Posted: March 13, 2016 at 01:57 AM (#5174305)
I saw an article the other day that showed Reigns as the he number 2 merch seller behind Cena, and Ambrose as like 8 or 9 behind DB. People keep wanting these decisions to be about what they want to see or what would be the most entertaining product, but you have to think as long as network buys stay reasonable McMahon is going to go with who sells t shirts, and that's Reigns, because kids like him and adults don't buy wrestling merch (comparatively).

The Shane promos tell me McMahon is aware of the issues, but pleasing all the current fans and losing sales on Reigns shirts doesnt appear to be a risk they're willing to take, and color me unconvinced their wrong. Ambrose doesn't seem like as big a potential draw for the kiddos.
   1375. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 13, 2016 at 03:38 AM (#5174308)
pleasing all the current fans and losing sales on Reigns shirts doesnt appear to be a risk they're willing to take, and color me unconvinced they're wrong.


I'm unconvinced that keeping 90% of the roster permanently mired in the 3-week push/trading losses zone is the best way for WWE to maximize its T-shirt sales.
   1376. vagab0nd kills for candy Posted: March 13, 2016 at 11:23 AM (#5174354)
what came first, Reigns being 2nd in merch sales to Cena or Reigns pushed to the moon as the next Cena?
   1377. Chokeland Bill Posted: March 13, 2016 at 12:20 PM (#5174388)
Reigns was the Plan A next guy from before the Shield even got called up. With the Shield, he'd get the lion's share of the wins and almost none of the losses. The mega-push really started at Survivor Series 2013 and Royal Rumble 2014.
   1378. SouthSideRyan Posted: March 14, 2016 at 01:05 PM (#5174776)
[1376] So the push worked?
   1379. Chokeland Bill Posted: March 14, 2016 at 03:17 PM (#5174926)
Well, WWE can and does influence merch sales by A. having tons of different products for the top guys (this also includes New Day, Ambrose, and even KO) and B. Stocking more of the top guys' merch at shows. Cena and Reigns are the house show headliners. If a kid wants a shirt and nothing else is available, they're getting a Cena or Reigns shirt.

Ideally for WWE, Reigns would be number 1 by now. The fact that Cena is still #1 despite injuries and a diminished role is probably not what they want. So the push has worked to an extent, but not as much as they hoped it would. They mostly have the casual audience behind him, but less than Cena. They have almost none of the smark audience (same as Cena). And it really seems like they've just gotten a lesser version of Cena. Roman has no equivalent to the "Let's go Cena/Cena sucks" chants, he just gets normal cheers and boos. Roman's matches lack the weight of Cena's matches, where everything feels more important because it's Cena and he's the guy.

I'm kind of arguing myself into thinking they should have just committed and given Roman the belt to keep earlier. Cena got smark respect by having great matches with their favorites. Make Roman the guy, have him defend the belt in great matches. Not sure what you do about promos, which is where the true gulf between Cena and Roman lies.

Finn Balor is really kind of NXT Roman - great look, good matches and limited promo skills. Balor is over as hell because he's been treated as the true top guy and doesn't get beaten and/or screwed over. Also, the main event scene isn't the exclusive focus in NXT that it is on the main roster, so Finn doesn't need to take up as much time on promos.
   1380. Man o' Schwar Posted: March 14, 2016 at 05:59 PM (#5175067)
Make Roman the guy, have him defend the belt in great matches.

I'm not convinced he can do this. He's had some good matches, but not as the guy carrying the match. And his best matches have been with multiple opponents, which takes some of the focus off of him and allows for things like additional rest.

Reigns is popular with casual fans, but would 95% of the roster be equally or more popular if they had been booked the same way? Never losing, always in the top program, always being made to look strong, always protected, always pushed?

The problem the WWE has is that they've been pushing uphill for the better part of the last 18 months, and it's not getting any easier. They had to pull him off TV in the lead up to their biggest show of the year because they were afraid that seeing him continue to be booed out of the building every week would kill their WM main event. How is that a guy you can put at that top of the ticket?

I'm a guy who thinks Reigns can still be resurrected as a top guy, but this is Rocky Maivia all over again - the WWE shoving someone down everyone's throat when they're not ready for it. He may go over at WM in the main event, but it's not going to come to the reaction they want, and it's hard to believe that they're going to spoil their biggest card of the year by sending everyone home with a sour taste.

My guess - if they decide to go with Reigns winning, that won't be the main event. They'll end the show with Shane/UT, which will likely send everyone home happy no matter what the outcome is.
   1381. Chokeland Bill Posted: March 14, 2016 at 06:18 PM (#5175079)
I'm not convinced he can do this. He's had some good matches, but not as the guy carrying the match. And his best matches have been with multiple opponents, which takes some of the focus off of him and allows for things like additional rest.


You'd basically have to book him with top workers only, at least to start with. If they hadn't made Seth look like a chump, he could have done it. Bryan did it. Cesaro did it. KO could do it. They have the guys. Well, had the guys, considering the injuries. They kind of hurt themselves a bit having guys like Cesaro and Rollins not winning all the time - those are exactly the types of guys you use to make your top babyface look great.

Reigns is popular with casual fans, but would 95% of the roster be equally or more popular if they had been booked the same way? Never losing, always in the top program, always being made to look strong, always protected, always pushed?


This is a very important point, and it's magnified by the 50/50 booking. They seem to only want to protect one non-Cena guy at a time, which leaves them no alternatives if he flops or gets hurt. Dean is very popular, but he only started winning a bunch in the last few months. He basically lost every singles feud before that. How big would he be with even a lesser version of Roman's push?
   1382. vagab0nd kills for candy Posted: March 14, 2016 at 06:41 PM (#5175083)
Was typing up a reply to 1379, but 1380 covered most every thing I was going to say on Roman.


-----

Finn Balor is really kind of NXT Roman - great look, good matches and limited promo skills. Balor is over as hell because he's been treated as the true top guy and doesn't get beaten and/or screwed over. Also, the main event scene isn't the exclusive focus in NXT that it is on the main roster, so Finn doesn't need to take up as much time on promos.


Comparing the reaction of an NXT crowd and a WWE crowd is a bit tough. While they have similar pushes, Balor is a better wrestler, has a better moveset*, better overall matches, and (possibly most important for the Full Sail crowd) he spent years on the indie circuit churning out top notch matches. Full Sail would cheer for him either way.

* I'm lukewarm on the coup de grace, but it's better than using a tackle as a finisher.
   1383. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 14, 2016 at 06:43 PM (#5175084)
Reigns is popular with casual fans, but would 95% of the roster be equally or more popular if they had been booked the same way? Never losing, always in the top program, always being made to look strong, always protected, always pushed?


It also doesn't help that two of the 4 or 5 such slots are permanently reserved for a 51-year-old wrestler who only has 1.5 matches a year, and a 47-year-old wrestler who co-manages the company and turns his negative assessments of other wrestlers into on-air storylines.


Cena got smark respect by having great matches with their favorites.

That really only happened in the last year or two. Before that, smarks scoffed at Cena's "five moves of doom."
   1384. Man o' Schwar Posted: March 14, 2016 at 08:43 PM (#5175140)
It also doesn't help that two of the 4 or 5 such slots are permanently reserved for a 51-year-old wrestler who only has 1.5 matches a year, and a 47-year-old wrestler who co-manages the company and turns his negative assessments of other wrestlers into on-air storylines.

They've been killing themselves with this for years - 10.5 months out of the year, they focus on the main roster guys. But for the 6-8 weeks leading up to Wrestlemania, the focus is always on the part-timers getting major roster spots. Rock comes back every other year for a big match (or even when he doesn't wrestle, they give him a big promo to come out and pop the crowd). HHH always builds a top match for himself, more often than not by inserting himself into the main event picture. Undertaker every year, one of the top 2 or 3 matches on the card. Jericho comes back around the Rumble, wrestles at Mania, then disappears. Even Lesnar - I love him and he's over like no one else on the roster, but the guy only wrestles 6-7 times a year. When he was champion, he was only showing up for every other PPV, and he's almost never on free TV. You know that, if Sting hadn't gotten hurt, he'd be in there for a match.

The only problem you should have when your roster includes Styles, Owens, Zayn, Ambrose, Balor, Samoa Joe, Wyatt, Harper, Lesnar, Ziggler, New Day, Neville, Austin Aries, Nakamura, and half a dozen more is finding room on the card for everyone. And that's with Rollins, Cena, Orton, Itami, and Cesaro injured now but ready to come back in the next few months. You should not need to build the top of the card out with semi-retired part-timers looking for a quick payday and family relatives pushing the latest in a long line of tiresome authority angles engineered to keep yourselves on TV.

Half of the WM matches feature guys who aren't around most of the year, and they wonder why they have a hard time making new stars. You can't pretend guys are stars, then stick them all into a ladder match for the Western States Championship or make them fodder in the Big Show Memorial Battle Royale and expect the crowd to think they're important.
   1385. Man o' Schwar Posted: March 14, 2016 at 08:48 PM (#5175147)
That really only happened in the last year or two. Before that, smarks scoffed at Cena's "five moves of doom."

It's true. His run with the US championship and the open challenges each week was a great idea - it allowed them to pair him up with a bunch of people he probably never would have been put into extended programs with, and he certainly showed he can wrestle a variety of styles depending on his opponents. That springboard stunner needs to go, but other than that he had a great 2015.

(That said, he still always ends up on top in all of his feuds when he doesn't really need to. There was nothing accomplished by having him lose once to Rusev via outside interference, then squash him 3 times in a row. Or lose once clean to Owens, then beat him 2 straight while running him down on the mic every week. But there was at least some progress.)
   1386. SouthSideRyan Posted: March 14, 2016 at 08:53 PM (#5175149)
I don't know that I can agree with the qualifiers on Reigns matches. He hasn't had a bad PPV match in 2 years. Included in that timeframe were singles matches with Sheamus, Ambrose, Del Rio, Wyatt(2), Big Show, Lesnar, Bryan, and Orton.
   1387. SouthSideRyan Posted: March 14, 2016 at 09:01 PM (#5175155)
Yes, Trips, mercifully this promo will be over soon. If you didn't want to be worried about how to get people to boo you, maybe you shouldn't have been crotch chopping and celebrating when you put Reigns out a few weeks back. This is awful.
   1388. vagab0nd kills for candy Posted: March 14, 2016 at 10:32 PM (#5175189)
it's amazing how fast they can turn down the boos.
   1389. aberg Posted: March 15, 2016 at 12:06 PM (#5175396)
If having part-timers on a card is a bad thing, then it has been killing wrestling promotions for as long as there have been wrestling promotions. The whole idea of the NWA champion was that he would be a part-timer in every territory. Did that mean challengers got "buried" in every local territory because they didn't take the title from the national star when he came through town? The same goes for older wrestlers with greater name recognition showing up on big cards. I don't think that's a problem at all.

When I watched Raw last night, the only thing that really bothered me was the fact that they are still equating Reigns with the common man. It's nonsensical. There are dozens of ways for HHH to describe Reigns that would make the fans sympathetic to him, but saying that he's just like them is so obviously untrue.
   1390. vagab0nd kills for candy Posted: March 15, 2016 at 12:41 PM (#5175417)
if they're so set on Roman Reigns super babyface, why not have him come out two minutes earlier and help Dolph get the win and then do the ultraviolence beat down?

sure, the boos would still be there, but it almost certainly would've lead to a more Cena like reaction.
   1391. Random Transaction Generator Posted: March 15, 2016 at 01:25 PM (#5175459)
Here is how I'd fix the Reigns problem:

Wrestlemania:

During the Ambrose/Lesnar match, Reigns comes down to help Ambrose during a tough spot, and accidentally clocks him with a chair/punch/whatever. Lesnar gets the win, Reigns shows attrition, and Ambrose comes REAAAL close to attacking him...but doesn't.

During the HHH/Reigns match, Reigns is laying a beat down on HHH. Lesnar comes down to the ring, but before he can interfere, a limping Ambrose intercepts him. Lesnar dispatches of Ambrose, then interferes in a way that gets Reigns the win (by clocking/F5'ing/suplexing) HHH. Reigns celebrates his victory, Heyman comes down to the ring, they shake hands, and Heyman raises both Lesnar's and Reigns hands at the end of the match.

On RAW, Reigns explains that he had enough of trying to beat the authority on his own, and agreed to have Heyman help him. Now Heyman can act as the promo guy for Reigns, Reigns can play the heel, he's lined up against Ambrose (and monster tag teams with Reigns against whoever is coming back from injuries (Cena, Cesaro, Rollins, Orton, etc.)) and they aren't saddled with boos for a face any more.
   1392. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 15, 2016 at 02:52 PM (#5175515)
Who needs Wrestlemania, Aztec Warfare is coming!
   1393. Chokeland Bill Posted: March 16, 2016 at 08:53 PM (#5176629)
Neville was injured on Raw. Bray has a back injury. You could make a pretty good card just from the injured guys.
   1394. aberg Posted: March 16, 2016 at 11:18 PM (#5176682)
Lucha Underground was on fire tonight.
   1395. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 18, 2016 at 08:14 PM (#5178139)
Hulk Hogan wins his lawsuit against Gawker Media for publishing his sex tape online. $115 million brother. Whatcha gonna do when the judge rules against you?
   1396. Man o' Schwar Posted: March 27, 2016 at 03:26 PM (#5182660)
I can feel the excitement in the road to Wrestlemania this year. We can't stop talking about it. :)
   1397. Tubbs is Bobby Grich when he flys off the handle Posted: March 27, 2016 at 07:52 PM (#5182744)
It really just feels like any other PPV card but with a couple of extra matches. They've done limited pushing of the Shane/Undertaker match & the rest of the card is good but there's no one match that makes this feel like a Wrestlemania
   1398. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: March 27, 2016 at 08:01 PM (#5182747)
I think everyone realizes that Wrestlemania can't possibly top the Aztec Warfare match and the reveal of Matanza Cueto on Lucha Underground last week.
   1399. Man o' Schwar Posted: March 27, 2016 at 09:00 PM (#5182755)
They've done limited pushing of the Shane/Undertaker match & the rest of the card is good but there's no one match that makes this feel like a Wrestlemania.

I hear rumors of surprises in some of the undercard matches, possible old-timers coming back to pop the crowd, etc.

I had low expectations for last year's WM, and at least the main event turned out to be memorable even if the rest of the card wasn't. I'm not sure what the equivalent of Rollins cashing in this year would be - that completely changed the landscape at the top of the card last year and set up feuds that carried the company for months, some of which were never really resolved in part because he got hurt.

I assume that whatever big thing happens that steers the course of the WWE for the rest of 2016 will come as a result of the Shane/UT match. Of course, given the stipulations, I'd be really surprised if Shane didn't win. Otherwise, what was the point of bringing him back? A couple of TV appearances, a loss at WM, and then we're back to where we were with the same Authority still in charge? That was like bringing Sting back for last year's WM and that inexplicable loss to HHH. But I also hope that this doesn't mean the next 6 months are going to be dominated by Shane and Vince (through HHH) battling for control of the company. They always seem to find that whole storyline much more interesting than the rest of us do.

Who the hell knows. I'm looking much more forward to the NXT card on Friday. Maybe next year with everyone healed up, the card will seem a bit more dynamic. Seemingly half of the best guys on the roster are on the shelf right now.
   1400. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: March 27, 2016 at 09:13 PM (#5182761)
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