Tuesday, January 30, 2018
Thursday, January 11, 2018
Welcome back to another edition of the Possession Arrow.
If you are coming down from the adrenaline of the CFP National Championship and you are looking for another sport to occupy your time? Welcome to College Basketball. This season has had a lot of compelling storylines as we are 60 days until Selection Sunday. In this edition of Possession Arrow, we give you the storylines to get you up to speed, four national headlines and one local headline.
We are approaching 60 days to the NCAA Selection Show, and no one team has solidified themselves as THE favorite heading into March. We have had three different teams hold the top spot in the polls at some point or another this season (Duke, Michigan State, Villanova) and the teams we commonly find in the top 10-15, have all lost their fair share of games heading down the stretch this season, most recently Michigan State getting thumped by Ohio State in Columbus this past weekend. We have a case where 8-12 teams could all make a case to win the National Title in April, which team will seize the opportunity?
Jayhawk fans will tell you they are underachieving this year, and they are partially right. Coming into this season, Bill Self has only lost ten games at Allen Fieldhouse in his lengthy career. Kansas started the second week of January with TWO losses at home already. Depth is a big concern for the Jayhawks as they continue to limp to the end of the season, which is putting thei consecutive regular season title streak in serious jeopardy. The other half of that argument is that the Big 12 has risen up and become a tough conference this year. Outside of Kansas, you have West Virginia, Oklahoma and Trae Young (more on him later), Texas and Mo Bamba (more coming up), TCU is not an easy out and Texas Tech is a scary team to face this season. I'm not saying its a guarantee; but it is an intriguing situation to monitor.
If you don't know who Trae Young is? You need to take the time to watch Oklahoma basketball. In one season, he has become THE National Player of The Year favorite and a skyrocketing lottery pick. With his play being compared to Steph Curry and his passing ability compared to some of the best dimers in the Association today, NBA scouts are flocking to Norman, Oklahoma to see Trae play. He is averaging a 56 percent assist rate while averaging 29.5 PPG. If you need someone to watch this season? Trae Young is a great player to watch (*cough cough* Cavs fans re: Brooklyn pick)
No big man has won the Most Outstanding Player since 2012 (Anthony Davis). The men in the middle are dominating this season from the big time players like Marvin Bagley III (Duke) is solidifying himself as a top 3 pick, Mo Bamba (above, Texas) is a freak 6-11 brick wall averaging 5 blocks a game. DeAndre Ayton is 7-1, 250 pounds and has surged to the top of draft boards in Arizona, averaging 20 PPG and 11 RPG. If you want a big man outside of the big schools? Look to Jock Landale of Saint Mary's in California averaging 21 PPG and 10 RPG. Seton Hall's Angel Delgado has also had a double-double in 13 of 16 games this season. The big men are dominating this season, and they will all be players to watch in the NBA next season.
If you read my article on the keys to a successful Chris Holtmann era in Columbus, you know what they needed. They needed the players to buy in to the Chris Holtmann system and for Holtmann to win the recruiting battle in Ohio. It's safe to say the Buckeyes are buying in to Holtmann's system. Coming into this season, Ohio State was picked by most to finish at the bottom of the Big Ten. They have silenced those critics with a 13-4 start, with wins at Wisconsin, Iowa and against then number one Michigan State by 16 at home. We have seen a renaissance from Keita Bates-Diop from potential Buckeye bust, to a bright NBA future. Obviously, we have two months of basketball left to play, so lets not crown them yet (RIP Dennis Green), but the future is VERY bright for the Buckeyes in Columbus.
NXT returned this week for more NXT action. Two weeks ago, Johnny Gargano became the new #1 Contender to the NXT World Championship. Ember Moon successfully defended her NXT Women's Championship against Sonya Deville. NXT was back at it in Atlanta, Georgia for this week's show after having a best of last week.
** NXT TV Card **
- Shayna Bazsler battled Dakota Kai.
- Kassius Ohno battled Raul Mendoza.
- Lars Sullivan battled Lio Rush.
- NXT World Tag Team Champions Undisputed Era defended their titles against Roderick Strong and Aleister Black.
- Shayna Baszler vs. Dakota Kai: The first match of the night saw the NXT debut of Baszler as she battled Dakota Kai. The match closes out with Baszler stomping repeatedly on Dakota's arm and elbow area, forcing the referee to step in and call off the match by stoppage. After the match, Baszler continues the assault and applies a sleeper on Dakota. Ember Moon finally hits the ring and makes the save.
- "NXT World Tag Team Championship Match": Undisputed Era (c) vs. Eric Young and Alexander Wolfe: The match never happens as SAnitY is found backstage laid out after Undisputed Era arrive in the ring. Nikki Cross tries to get revenge for SAnitY and hits the ring. NXT officials hold Nikki back as NXT GM William Regal arrives and announces that Undisputed Era is still defending their titles tonight against new challengers, Roderick Strong and Aleister Black.
Wednesday, January 10, 2018
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What's up wrestling fans, welcome to this week's Smackdown Live recap.
Last week, Sami Zayn scored the upset pinfall on the WWE World Heavyweight Champion AJ Styles, as Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon continued to have issues with each other during the match. Xavier Woods defeated Aiden English and advanced in the WWE United States Championship Tournament. Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable thought they had won the WWE Smackdown Live World Tag Team Championship, however, due to pinning the illegal man in the match, the match was restarted and The Usos retained. Let's get to this week's recap as the show was live in Birmingham, Alabama.
** Smackdown Live Card **
- Ruby Riot battled Becky Lynch.
- The Bludgeon Brothers battled The Ascension.
- Mojo Rawley battled Zack Ryder in a WWE United States Championship Tournament Match.
- Rusev and Aiden English battled Breezango.
- WWE World Heavyweight Champion AJ Styles, Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura battled Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn in a Handicap Match.
** Smackdown Live **
- The Shane McMahon And Daniel Bryan Drama Continues: Before the main event, Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan meet backstage. Shane says he and Bryan are not on the same page and Bryan's decisions lately have been horrible. Shane disagrees with the fact that Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn could become co-world champions and feels The Usos shouldn't have to again defend their titles against Benjamin and Gable when they already beat them. Shane accuses Bryan of being unstable. Bryan tells Shane that he could say the same about him considering he's a McMahon. Shane says they'll just agree to disagree at the moment then.
Tuesday, January 9, 2018
It's the beginning of the week and time to kick things off in wrestling with Monday Night RAW!
Last week on RAW, Roman Reigns survived Samoa Joe and retained the WWE Intercontinental Championship, Asuka defeated the WWE RAW Women's Champion Alexa Bliss in a non title match and The Balor Club, Finn Balor, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson reunited. Brock Lesnar and Kane battled it out in a face to face that seen Lesnar survive and laugh at a Kane choke slam. We're getting closer to the Royal Rumble as RAW was live this week in Memphis, Tennessee.
** Monday Night RAW Card **
- Bayley and Sasha Banks battled Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville.
- Woken Matt Hardy battled Curt Hawkins.
- WWE Cruiserweight Champion Enzo Amore defended his title against Cedric Alexander.
- Sheamus and Cesaro battled Titus O'Neil and Apollo Crews.
- Samoa Joe battled Rhyno.
- WWE Intercontinental Champion Roman Reigns and WWE RAW World Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins and Jason Jordan battled The Balor Club in a Six Man Tag Team Match.
** RAW Highlights **
Sunday, January 7, 2018
Wrestling Lockup with Brandon, brought to you by Triple Threat CLE brings you the Weekend 3 Count. W3C brings you wrestling news, rumors and recaps from around the wrestling world. You'll find news rumors and recaps involving WWE, NXT, Impact, ROH, Lucha Underground, NJPW, House of Hardcore, NWA, ICW, CZW, FIP, PWG, AAW, EVOLVE, PROGRESS, SHINE, SHIMMER, BEYOND, DEFIANT and any Indy promotion that I find an interesting story or a cool discovery in. Be sure to check out the W3C every Sunday afternoon at @TripleThreatCLE
*** WWE ***
- John Cena Announces His Entry Into The Royal Rumble: This past week, the sixteen time WWE World Heavyweight Champion John Cena officially announced that he will compete in this year's Royal Rumble.
- WWE Monday Night RAW Coming Back To Cleveland: It was announced this past week that WWE is bringing RAW back to Cleveland, two weeks before Wrestlemania 34. RAW will be at the Quicken Loans Arena on March 26th.
** 205 Live Recap **
- Akira Tozawa vs. TJ Perkins: The first match of the night saw the return of TJP, who's been out with an injury the past few months. The match closes out with TJP sticking a thumb in Tozawa's eye and then hitting the Detonation Kick to score the pinfall.
- Hideo Itami vs. Jack Gallagher: The second match of the night saw Jack Gallagher getting a rematch against Hideo Itami, who put Gallagher's friend, Brian Kendrick, out with an eye injury. The match goes to a No Contest, after Gallagher tries to attack Itami with his umbrella, before the bell. Itami unloads on Gallagher, but Gallagher reveals a lead pipe that he uses to knock out Itami with.
- Goldust and Cedric Alexander vs. Drew Gulak and Ariya Daivari: The main event of the show saw a rematch from this week's Monday Night RAW. The match closes out with Alexander hitting the Lumbar Check on Gulak and scoring the pinfall.
*** NXT ***
- Candice LeRae Signing: According to The Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Candice LeRae is expected to sign with NXT soon. Candice is currently going through the standard signing process but there's no word yet on when she might be signed.
- Official NXT Takeover: Philadelphia Card: The following has been announced for NXT Takeover: Philadelphia the night before the WWE Royal Rumble.
** "NXT World Championship Match": Andrade "Cien" Almas (c) vs. Johnny Gargano.
** "NXT World Tag Team Championship Match": Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly (c) vs. The Authors of Pain.
** "NXT Women's Championship Match": Ember Moon (c) vs. Shayna Bazsler.
** "Extreme Rules Match": Aleister Black vs. Adam Cole.
** Lars Sullivan vs. Killian Dain.
*** Impact Wrestling ***
** Impact TV Recap **
- "Impact X Division Championship Match": Taiji Ishimori defeated Trevor Lee (c), by pinfall to win the title. Ishimori counters a suplex and hits a handspring kick for the near fall. Lee gets a near fall sit down power bomb. Ishimori knees Lee in the face and hits a 540 Splash on Lee to win the title. After the match, Dezmond Xavier congratulates Ishimori backstage and challenges him.
- "Impact Grand Championship, Triple Threat Match": Ethan Carter (c) defeated Matt Sydal and Fallah Bahh, by split decision to retain the title. Bahh took the first round from the judges. EC3 took round number two from the judges. Sydal hits the Shooting Star Press on EC3 in round number three, however, time expires to end the match before Sydal can get the pinfall. The judges give EC3 the third round and the win to retain the title.
- "Career vs. Career, No Holds Barred Match": Dan Lambert defeated James Storm, by pinfall, ending Storm's Impact career. Storm goes to finish off Lambert, however, KM hits the ring and smashes a beer bottle over Storm's head. Lambert gets a near fall on Storm. KM and Lambert both smash beer bottles over Storm's head, helping Lambert score the pinfall.
- Chandler Park defeated Jon Bolen, by pinfall in his in ring debut. Park gets dominated for most of the match until Joseph Park interferes while the referee is distracted and punches Bolen in the face. Park rolls up Bolen and scores the pinfall.
- "Impact World Heavyweight Championship Match": Eli Drake (c) defeated Alberto El Patron, by pinfall to retain the title. Drake tries to hit El Patron with the title but misses. El Patron drops Drake head first on the title and gets a near fall. The referee gets knocked out allowing Drake to hit El Patron with the title to score the pinfall when the referee woke up.
- "Impact World Tag Team Championship Match": LAX defeated oVe (c), by pinfall to win the titles. oVe gets a near fall powerbomb/blockbuster combo. Jake and Santana meet on the top rope where Santana attempts a splash. Jake counters and hits a midair cutter on Santana. Jake gets hit with the Street Sweeper giving LAX the win and The titles.
*** NEW JAPAN PRO WRESTLING ***
- "New Japan Rumble": Japan's version of the Royal Rumble kicked off the show. Mashito Kakihara came out victorious, last eliminating Cheeseburger to take the victory.
- "IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championship Match": The Young Bucks defeated Roppongi 3K (c), by submission to win the tag team titles. The Bucks hit the Meltzer Driver on Yoh and then Matt Jackson makes Yoh tap out to the Sharpshooter.
- "NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championship, Gauntlet Match": Chaos (Beretta, Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano) came out victorious to win the titles.
** Suzuki Gun (Zack Sabre Jr, Taichi and Takahashi Izuka) defeated Michael Elgin and War Machine.
** Chaos (Beretta, Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano) defeated Suzuki Gun.
** Chaos defeated Taguchi Japan (Juice Robinson, Ryusuke Taguchi and Togi Makabe)
** Chaos defeated The Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale and Guerillas of Destiny) to win the Gauntlet and the titles.
- Kota Ibushi defeated Cody Rhodes, by pinfall. Ibushi hits the Last Ride power bomb and the straight jacket german suplex. Ibushi then hits a Phoenix Splash and scores the pinfall.
- "IWGP Tag Team Championship Match": EVIL and SANADA defeated The Killer Elite Squad (c), by pinfall, to win the tag team titles. Evil and Sanada hit the Magic Killer on Davey Boy Smith Jr. Sanada hits a moonsault off the top rope to score the pinfall.
- "NEVER Openweight Championship, Haircut Match": Hirooki Goto defeated Minoru Suzuki (c), by pinfall to win the title. Goto hits two straight head butts, a super ushigoroshi off the ropes and two GTR's to score the pinfall. After the match, Suzuki refused to get his head shaved, but eventually returned to the ring and shaved his own head.
- "IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship, Fatal Four Way Match": Will Ospreay defeated Marty Scurll (c), Hiromu Takahashi and Kushida, by pinfall to win the title. Ospreay hits the OsCutter on Scurll to score the pinfall.
- "IWGP Intercontinental Championship Match": Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) defeated Jay "Switchblade" White, by pinfall to retain the title. Tanahashi hits two straight frog splashes on White to score the pinfall.
- "IWGP United States Championship, No DQ Match": Kenny Omega (c) defeated Chris Jericho, by pinfall, to retain the title. Omega hits the One Winged Angel, but Jericho survives by grabbing the ropes. Jericho hits the Code Breaker on Omega, but Omega kicks out at two and a half. Omega hits the One Winged Angel on Jericho on top of a steel chair and scores the pinfall to retain.
- "IWGP Heavyweight Championship Match": Kazuchika Okada (c) defeated Tetsuya Naito, by pinfall to retain the title. Naito counters the Rainmaker and hits Destino. Naito attempts another Destino, but Okada counters into a tombstone piledriver. Okada hits the Rainmaker on Naito and scores the pinfall.
- "Eight Man Tag Team Match": Manabu Nakanishi, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima and Yuji Nagata defeated Ren Narita, Shota Umino, Tetsuhiro Yagi and Tomoyuki Oka, by pinfall, after Kojima hits a lariat on Umino.
- "Ten Man Tag Team Match": El Desperado, Taichi, Taka Michinoku, Takashi Iizuka and Yoshinobu Kanemaru defeated Henare, Hirai Kawato, Jushin Liger, Tiger Mask IV and Togi Makabe, by pinfall after Desperado hit the Pinche Loco on Kawato.
- “Switchblade” Jay White defeated Katsuya Kitamura, by pinfall with the Blade Runner.
- "Six Man Tag Team Match": Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson Nick Jackson defeated Cheeseburger & Roppongi 3K (SHO & YOH), by pinfall with an assisted Indytaker on Cheeseburger.
- "Ten Man Tag Team Match": The Bullet Club (Chase Owens, Cody Rhodes, Leo Tonga, Marty Scurll and Yujiro Takahashi defeated Taguchi Japan (David Finlay, Juice Robinson, Kota Ibushi, Kushida and Ryusuke Taguchi), by submission with the American Nightmare from Rhodes on Finlay. After the match, The Bullet Club attack Ibushi, but Kenny Omega makes the surprising save and argues with Cody. Omega and Cody begin shoving each other until Omega grabs a microphone and says he's sick of Bullet Club’s infighting and he had the solution. Omega announces Switchblade Jay White as the newest member of The Bullet Club. White arrives, accepts the Bullet Club t-shirt, but then fakes out The Bullet Club by hitting the Blade Runner on Omega.
- "NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championship Match": The Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga and Tonga Roa) defeated Chaos (Beretta, Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano) (c), by pinfall with a Gun Stun from Tama on Beretta to win the titles.
- "Eight Man Tag Team Match": Suzuki-gun (Davey Boy Smith Jr., Lance Archer Minoru Suzuki and Zack Sabre, Jr.) defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi, Michael Elgin and War Machine, by pinfall with Killer Bomb from Smith and Archer onto Hanson. After the match, Suzuki attacks Tanahashi and celebrates with Tanahashi's IWGP Intercontinental Championship.
- "Ten Man Tag Team Match": Los Ingobernables de Japon (Bushi, Evil, Hiromu Takahashi, Sanada and Tetsuya Naito) defeated Chaos (Gedo, Hirooki Goto, Kazuchika Okada, Will Ospreay and Yoshi Hashi), by pinfall with Destino from Naito on Yoshi Hashi. After the match, LIJ continue to attack and Sanada chokes out Okada with the Skull End.
- Chris Jericho Attacks Tetsuya Naito: Before the show ended, Naito cut a promo to talk about his loss to Kazuchika Okada at Wrestle Kingdom 12. Chris Jericho suddenly hits the ring and attacks Naito from behind and beats him down to end the show.
And that's this week's W3C! Join me every Sunday afternoon as I bring you news, recaps and rumors all around the wrestling world!
Friday, January 5, 2018
2018 is now here as we get set for a big year in the octagon. The UFC has hit a milestone as it welcomes it’s 25th year of existence, to look back at what it was in 1993 to where it is now is nothing short of impressive and it seems that the sport is nowhere near it’s peak yet. With the company still growing and evolving, expectations are high for this year and there are some highly anticipated fights that could(and should) take place this year. Let’s take a look here at 5 fights that haven’t been booked yet but need to take place in 2018.
1. TONY FERGUSON VS. KHABIB NURMAGOMEDOV – This one is obvious, these 2 have to meet up with the lightweight title on the line. They were originally scheduled to meet at UFC 209 but a weight cut that went sour for Khabib forced him out. Since then, Ferguson defeated Kevin Lee for the “interim” title(the interim tag should soon be lifted and Ferguson will be declared the champ) while Nurmagomedov recently defeated Edson Barboza at UFC 219. That puts these 2 on a collision course once again, and this fight will be extremely anticipated. Ferguson has only lost 1 fight in the UFC and that was over 5 years ago while Khabib has an unblemished professional record, both are balanced fighters as well so stylistically this matchup is very even as well. UFC fans just have to hope for health, which has been Nurmagomedov’s issue throughout his career, and we should get this matchup sometime this year, hopefully sooner rather than later.
Now that 2017 is over, we can look back on the year that was in the UFC. The year started a bit slow with only 3 PPV’s in the first 4 months, but it picked up as we went along and delivered plenty of memorable events. Great fights and fantastic finishes have become the norm but 2017 delivered 2 new divisions(women’s featherweight and flyweight), an upset for the ages, a record breaking title defense streak and the return of one of the greatest fighters ever.
Let’s look back on the year of 2017 by handing out some awards and discussing what’s next in 2018 for this ever growing sport.
UPSET OF THE YEAR: Rose Namajunas defeats Joanna Jedrzejczyk – This wasn’t just an upset of the year, this was a top 5 upset of all-time. Joanna had basically cleaned out the 115 lbs straw weight division and her fight against Namajunas seemed more of a formality as everyone just figured she would win and then possibly move up to the new 125 lbs women's division to challenge for the title there. To make Rose's odds seem even more unfavorable, her 2 losses in the UFC were to Karolina Kowalkiewicz and Carla Esparza, 2 women that Joanna has beaten so if she couldn't beat them and they were unable to defeat Joanna then the transitive property says that Rose cannot beat Joanna. But at UFC 217, Rose Namajunas did the unthinkable, she stopped Joanna midway through the 1st round via TKO(punches/verbal submission) to become the new straw weight champion. And it's not just that she beat her, but the way she did. Joanna is renowned as the best striker in the division and she has outclassed everyone that has stood and traded with her, for Rose to dominate her on her feet and get a TKO win by knocking her down and punching her until Joanna verbally told the ref to call it is just mindblowing. Huge win for Rose Namajunas and easily the 2017 upset of the year.