Daily Archives: April 29, 2016

Your SO OF COURSE preview of WWE PAYBACK 2016!

In this day and age you can’t just “predict” a PPV anymore, you have to to account for the capricious whims of WWE’s septuagenarian, sleep-deprived egomaniac owner. You can’t just “preview” a PPV…you have to preview how things should go, in a reasonable and sane world, and then add “so of course…” and explain what Vince McMahon will probably do instead.

So consider this your SO OF COURSE preview of WWE WYATT FAMILY SHENANIGANS!

payback-2016-poster-2

(Wyatt family not included)

Last time on SO OF COURSE, WWE ran its thirty-second “WrestleMania” PPV, the culmination of months of storylines, RAW episodes, feuds and disappointment. So so much disappointment. Seriously, if you’re one of those people who just started watching WWE after WrestleMania (and according to the ratings, that’s all seven of you), then you have no idea how good you have it now. Raw in March was a seemingly never-ending bout of the drizzling sizzlers. The same 20 minute Triple H and/or Stephanie promo to start things off, the same feudless fights between midcarders no one has a reason to care about, the same tired main events featuring some combination of Sheamus or Alberto Del Rio, the same slow pace that makes three hours feel like thirty, with that final hour akin to a trek across the Sahara.

WrestleMania itself was like a bigger production version of this. It was long (from the time I sat in my seat to the time I exited the stadium I was there for close to eight hours), most of the finishes were bewildering (and a few were just stupid) and it ended with little hope for the future.

And then everything changed the next night. Despite losing, and with no logical explanation offered, Shane McMahon is the defacto head honcho of Monday Night Raw. And even though he is just an on-air character and isn’t actually making any decisions, the show has improved tremendously.

Me sitting down to watch Raw in March:

gif-sitting-down

Me sitting down to watch Raw in April:

gif-happy-cant-wait

Why the change? For one thing, storylines are being developed based around wrestlers, not authority figures (Shane has been mostly behind the scenes). For another thing, the stories themselves don’t feel like they’re being written—and rewritten—on the fly. Again, Shane isn’t actually running Raw, people. It’s still the same monkeys with typewriters churning out hot garbage that Vince McMahon is prone to scrap at 5pm on Monday. But it’s like…that didn’t happen at all this month. It’s like they all sat down and decided “okay let’s have some good Raws for a change.” Nothing management-wise has been altered; they just decided not to suck for a change of pace. It’s actually maddening when you think about it, since it shows that the company has the ability to make good television; they’ve just been stuck in a cycle of apathy for what’s felt like five years or more.

So now we come to Payback, which is being billed as “The first PPV of the New Era.” Obviously that’s been Shane’s buzzphrase since he took over a month ago, but it’s still a pretty big promise. If this show ends up being run of the mill, with bad finishes and bad booking all over the place, WWE is going to lose a lot more fans (and they’ve already lost a ton since WrestleMania). Right now a lot of fans don’t trust WWE, and even though this month of Raw has been amazing, a lot of fans are hesitant to get on board till the company proves they really have turned the corner. This event will go a long way to determine whether or not they have.

So what’s cooking for the big show? Let’s break it down…

BARON CORBIN vs DOLPH ZIGGLER

Almost everything about this feud is “the right call.” First of all, they debuted Baron Corbin with an obvious “first feud” in mind, something that guys like
The Ascension and Apollo Crews weren’t afforded. Good call. Second, Dolph Ziggler is the perfect “first feud” for a guy like Corbin. The Lone Wolf isn’t exactly the flashiest or the most agile in the ring. He’s a bit of a lumbering monster with a sadface bellybutton. Ziggler’s a guy who can flop all over the ring and make a bigger opponent look like a million bucks. Again, good call here. The only thing I don’t like about it is the lack of a motivation for it. Why is Corbin attacking Ziggler, apart from the cliched “I want to make a statement in my debut” angle? He showed toward the end of his NXT run some real depth of character and a good promo ability. If they had let him use it, this feud could have been a bigger deal than it was. That’s still the one thing WWE doesn’t do that NXT does well: In NXT every feud is given a story and the time to tell it, both in the ring and on the mic. There’s no wasted time on NXT. On WWE, however, several feuds have “programs” (wrestler-A is fighting wrestler-B) but not all of them have “stories” that drive the motivations of the heroes and villains. More of that, please.

As for the match itself, it won’t set the world on fire, but as long as they don’t go too long with it (which was a problem in their first match on the Raw-after-Mania), the Chicago crowd should be engaged and Corbin should get some nice heat. In the end though, Corbin needs the win to keep his momentum going.

DeGale wants Jack in London

Last Updated: 30/04/16 11:49am

IBF Super-Middleweight Champion James DeGale is promising his fans he'll make light work of Rogelio Medina.

IBF Super-Middleweight Champion James DeGale is promising his fans he'll make light work of Rogelio Medina.

IBF Super-Middleweight Champion James DeGale is promising his fans he’ll make light work of Rogelio Medina.

James DeGale made the weight and reiterated his desire for a London unification bout with Badou Jack ahead of his fight with Rogelio ‘Porky’ Medina on Sunday.

The IBF super-middleweight champion was inside the 168lbs limit, weighing in at 167.6lbs, with his Mexican opponent tipping the scales slightly heavier at 167.8lbs.

The 30-year-old’s bout against Medina will be the second defence of his IBF title, which he won by beating Andre Dirrell. He followed that up with a win over Lucian Bute.

DeGale insists he is out to make a statement against the 27-year-old in Washington DC, live on Sky Sports 1 HD, but clearly had one eye on WBC champion Jack, who takes on Bute on the same card, and is keen on a UK unification fight later in 2016.

“That’s what I want in September, it is pencilled in; me and Badou Jack, hopefully in London, that’s what I want,” DeGale told Sky Sports News HQ.

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“I think he has got the harder fight against Bute, against me he brought something extra, but if we both come through and both look good then hopefully in September we can fight.

“I’m feeling good, I made the weight fine, the weight is not a problem and I’m ready to go now. [Prepared] just like always, hard work, dedication and trained extremely hard.

“‘Porky Medina has got a good dig on him, good power, but he is limited. He’s tough, durable, he comes forward and loves to fight, a typical Mexican.

IBF Champion James DeGale (L) and Rogelio Medina pose in front of the White House prior to their title fight

IBF Champion James DeGale (L) and Rogelio Medina pose in front of the White House prior to their title fight

IBF Champion James DeGale (L) and Rogelio Medina pose in front of the White House prior to their title fight

“Styles make fights and I think he is made for me, I think I should look good on Saturday night. My last two fights have gone the distance, I can’t see this going the distance, I really can’t. I’ve trained hard.

“My last two performances against Dirrell and Bute, they have been elite fighters, this is a touch down, a step down if I am being brutally honest but I’ve still got to be switched on, get in there and do a proper job.”

At the weigh-in DeGale laid out his game plan for Medina and said he feels as though he has got to make a statement this weekend.

James DeGale defeated Lucian Bute

James DeGale defeated Lucian Bute

James DeGale defeated Lucian Bute

“100 per cent, this is the kind of fight I have got to look good in so that’s what I am going to do,” he added. “I think I’m going to take him apart for the first six rounds and then take him out late on. If this goes the distance I’m going to be disappointed.”

DeGale had previously said he would not leave Callum Smith waiting too long for a crack at the world title should he come through a unification fight with Jack.

Smith has travelled to Washington for the fight, backing DeGale to overcome Medina and praised his fellow Brit for fighting away from home.

Degale celebrates after his win over Bute

Degale celebrates after his win over Bute

Degale celebrates after his win over Bute

“I think he has improved a lot,” Smith said. “James should win and, providing he’s not complacent, he should look good in doing it but you never know in boxing. Medina is a worthy challenger but James should have too much.

“A lot of fighters only fight at home and struggle to move out of their comfort zone but James is not only travelling and winning but he’s beating good fighters in doing that and you’ve got to respect that.

“Come through tomorrow night, I think he does deserve a home coming but he has done it the hard way.”

Source article –

DeGale wants Jack in London

Bellew at Goodison confirmed

Last Updated: 29/04/16 7:46pm

Everton fan Tony Bellew starred in Creed (Creed, Warner Brothers)

Everton fan Tony Bellew starred in Creed (Creed, Warner Brothers)

Everton fan Tony Bellew starred in Creed (Creed, Warner Brothers)

Lifelong Everton fan Tony Bellew will fight Ilunga Makabu for a world title at Goodison Park, it has been confirmed.

Bellew (26-2-1-KO16) clashes with Congo-born Makabu (19-1-KO18) for the vacant WBC world cruiserweight title on May 29 – live on Sky Sports – and is thrilled by the prospect of his third world title challenge taking place in front of his fellow Evertonians.

“I’m over the moon to get this opportunity,” said Bellew. “Eddie Hearn and Bill Kenwright – the chairman of Everton – have got this done. I can’t thank them enough. They are both behind me 100 per cent and I’m looking forward to getting this all underway.

Eddie Hearn and Bill Kenwright – the chairman of Everton – have got this done. I can’t thank them enough.

Tony Bellew

“I’ve been training for four weeks now and this is the defining fight and night of my career. The experience has been passed, I’ve done it all now, British, Commonwealth, European, beaten fringe contenders, former world champions – I’m ready to conquer the world.

“I can’t wait for this all to get under way now, the build-up, press conferences – coming face to face with Ilunga Makabu for the first time.

Goodison Park will host Bellew's world title bout

Goodison Park will host Bellew's world title bout

Goodison Park will host Bellew’s world title bout

“The WBC belt has always been the one that I’ve wanted to win more than any other. I’ve got unfinished business with that green belt. I lost last time against Adonis Stevenson at light-heavyweight, but I was never a light-heavyweight.

“I was born to lift that belt on May 29. I’ve achieved my dream getting this fight on. I know I’m going to win. I can’t and won’t be defeated at Goodison Park – the greatest stadium in the world. I’m expecting the city to turn out in their droves as it’s going to be a very special event for us all.”

Bellew says it would be a dream come true to fight Ilunga Makabu at Goodison Park

Bellew says it would be a dream come true to fight Ilunga Makabu at Goodison Park

Bellew says it would be a dream come true to fight Ilunga Makabu at Goodison Park

In the recent blockbuster film Creed, Bellew starred alongside the likes of Sylvester Stallone in playing an Everton-supporting world champion named ‘Pretty’ Ricky Conlan.

Bellew fought for world titles down at light-heavyweight, losing a decision to Nathan Cleverly in 2011 and being stopped in the sixth round by Adonis Stevenson in November 2013.

Bellew will perform in front of Everton's famous Gwladys Street

Bellew will perform in front of Everton's famous Gwladys Street

Bellew will perform in front of Everton’s famous Gwladys Street

View the original here –

Bellew at Goodison confirmed

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Big bodies wear big belts

Last Updated: 29/04/16 4:41pm

Tyson Fury branded himself a “fat man” but which other heavyweights have won world titles without needing a six-pack?

Debate rages as to the relevance of athleticism (or at least aesthetic perceptions of athleticism) to heavyweight boxing. In one corner, we have the relatively care-free Fury insisting fighting pedigree is all-important and in the other, a chiselled Anthony Joshua offering him weight-loss advice.

WWE SmackDown Results: April 28, 2016

roman-reigns-16092014

Chaos and Confusion.

Three nights before Payback, the 871st edition of WWE Thursday Night SmackDown came to you from the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, NH. After getting attacked for the second week in a row by Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson, the notorious friends of AJ Styles, and even getting blasted with a Phenomenal Forearm by “The Phenomenal One” himself on RAW, WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns would be in action on SmackDown as, before he defends the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against AJ Styles this Sunday at Payback, Roman Reigns would go one-on-one with a fellow champion in Intercontinental Champion The Miz as these two champions would clash in a non-title, Champion vs. Champion match just three days before their respective title defenses at Payback.

Match Results

  • 6-Man Tag: Cesaro, Sami Zayn, & Kalisto def. The League of Nations by intentional count-out after Sheamus walks out on the match.
  • Baron Corbin def. Damien Sandow by pin following the End of Days.
  • Enzo & Big Cass def. Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel (with Heath Slater) by Enzo Amore pinning Curtis Axel following the Rocket Launcher.
  • Apollo Crews def. Stardust by pin with the spinning sitout powerbomb.
  • Champion vs. Champion: Non-Title: Roman Reigns def. The Miz (with Maryse) by pin following the Spear.

See page 2 for detailed results.

Original source:

WWE SmackDown Results: April 28, 2016