Spaceman Frank’s SummerSlam 2017 Predictions

by Frank Lucci

SummerSlam 2017 promises to be a similar event to WrestleMania 33, meaning that while there will be plenty to like in this PPV, everyone will agree that the card would be better if they cut several of the 13 matches announced.

That many matches is just too damn many. At least throw in a Miz segment instead of the throwaway six man tag to break things up and act as a palate cleanser during the show.

I just hope the bad matches or potentially dead crowd during the show do not detract from the quality matches on the show, since there is a really solid three hour show in this marathon. I’m Spaceman Frank and these are my SummerSlam 2017 predictions.

Akira Tozawa (c) vs. Neville (WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match)

This match was looking to be a dud until Tozawa won the title on the Raw before the show. While the decision to switch the title unto the challenger so close to the main show baffled many it did serve it’s purpose to get people to care about this feud.

Tozawa can be a great champ (especially flanked by his boys in the Titus Brand), but it is hard to see him topping Neville’s run. One big advantage for the champ is, despite getting little reaction coming out he always gets the crowd into his matches. However I do not think it will be enough for Akira to retain. The King gets back his title in a good opener.

The New Day (c) vs. The Usos (WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match)

Why this is on the preshow instead of Big Show vs. Big Cass is a complete mystery to me (cursed shark cages).

Anyway, this match has plenty of goodwill from fans based on the popularity of the teams involved, and I think this could be a showstealer. It will be early enough so the crowd will not be burned out, and if there rad match at Battleground is any indication this should be epic. The New Day continue to be super hot fire no matter what they do, and considering they are all over the promotion for the show I think they retain the belts here.

The Hardy Boyz and Jason Jordan vs. The Miztourage

I would be behind Jason Jordan as Kurt Angle’s son if he changed his name to Jason Angle-Jordan and just tried to recreate Kurt’s biggest moments. Or if he wrestled Brock Lesnar and broke his neck just like his poppa.

Jordan’s new direction appears to already be dead in the water, and just about everyone else in this match is drifting along as well. I’m glad Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel have something to do at least. Miz vs. either Hardy Boy (can you still be considered a boy in your early 40’s?) would be a pretty fun feud for the IC belt, and WWE could keep teasing the Broken/Woken Hardys with the singles feud.

Miz needs the traction since his IC title run has been nothing on his epic Smackdown run and adding a bit of weirdness from Matt and Jeff would be fun. However here Hardyz and Jordan win because it is the preshow and any team with Dallas and Axel is doomed.

Big Show vs. Big Cass (Enzo Amore in a Shark Cage Match)

Starting off the main card we see WWE needing to remind kids about their shark cage playset. The only reason I see this match being watchable is if Enzo gets a mike in the cage so he can provide running commentary during the match. Big Show allegedly has a broken hand for this match, but I do not see Big Cass being able to hang with the giant.

Some people seem to think Enzo is going to turn heel and rejoin Cass, but I cannot see that working at all. Enzo is to entertaining to throw away, backstage heat or no. Enzo provides a distraction and costs Cass the win, thus getting the closest thing he can get to a win against Cass.

Naomi (c) vs. Natalya (WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship Match)

I really hope WWE does not continue to use the SmackDown Women’s championship as the bathroom break before main events. Naomi is a fine champ when the WWE actually has her defend the belt, but hindering her with infrequent title defenses and lousy segments do not help her. Plus, that whole Lana situation was misguided at best.

On the other hand I am glad Nattie Ice is getting a shot for the belt, and I would not mind if she got a crack as the top lady of SmackDown. I just wish she could cut a promo without sounding like she was reading off cue cards. With a good amount of time I see this match being decent but unmemorable, and I think Naomi retains.

Finn Balor vs. Bray Wyatt

I could see this match starting off the show, as Finn’s demon entrance would be a great way to pop the crowd to start things off. Both these men have lost so much momentum that it is crazy to think they were even champions since the previous SummerSlam. Both these guys need to enter the main event picture again ASAP or they will continue their freefall.

Out of the two I see Bray taking the loss here, unless he has a spectacular entrance planned as well. Go with the man with the paint when the chips are down. Now if only WWE could get me to care about this match beyond the entrances…

Randy Orton vs. Rusev

I hate everything about this match. From the lazy booking to the fact that it is going to suck the momentum right out of the show just like every Orton match this year has. I just cannot muster up anything but pity for Rusev.

I don’t mean to be a downer, but considering recent events in America can we get one foreigner character who does not play on xenophobia?

I think Rusev will lose here, and I wish he would come out on SmackDown, say he realized he simply does not have the hate for America he once did and that conflict in his soul caused his career to hit the skids. Now he is fully embracing his new country and can be the big goof he is on Total Divas and at Nashville Predator games. That would be much better than being just an ornery Bulgarian feuding with charisma vacuum Orton.

Cesaro and Sheamus (c) vs. Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose (WWE Raw Tag Team Championship Match)

For all the talk of the tag team scene in WWE being lackluster, WWE does have three former world champs in this match. This has been the sneakily best built match on the card, and having Dean and Seth act like real people instead of the babyface caricatures they were before is very much appreciated.

Rumors and fantasy booking are flying concerning a Shield reunion, and I think WWE may be moving in that direction. Seth and Dean as tag team champs and Roman being Universal Champ as part of a heel Shield is a hell of a way to end the show, although I doubt people would boo Reigns if he finally turned. Seth and Dean win in a potential barn burner of a match.

John Cena vs. Baron Corbin

This match between Cena and his favorite dumpster fire has people talking to say the least.

Corbin’s epic fail on the go home SmackDown has people talking about WWE losing faith in the big man, but I am choosing to see the cash in attempt in a different light. There are only so many ways to tell a Money in the Bank cash in story, and Corbin failing and then going on a rampage on SmackDown before organically earning a title shot may be better in the long term than just randomly handing him the belt. Here, I see Corbin attacking Cena before the match starts and just beating him down instead of having a proper match. Or, if the match gets underway, Corbin DQ’s himself to give Cena the technical victory. Either would be much better than Corbin storming to the ring and…having a regular match with the man that cost him his big break.

AJ Styles (c) vs. Kevin Owens (WWE United States Championship Match With Shane Mcmahon as Special Referee)

I keep waiting for these two to have a match of the year candidate, but so far this feud has been built on disappointment and potential botches.

I guess their snafu at Battleground served as the excuse to get Shane involved, but so far he has proven unable to prevent these men from attacking each other. With all signs pointing towards a Shane and Kevin match down the line I am thinking AJ keeps the belt here. We do not need more hot potatoing of the belt and AJ Styles can serve to elevate the belt while playing a proud country boy for the company.

Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Sasha Banks (WWE Raw Women’s Championship)

It may be a good thing Bayley got hurt when she did, as she was tanking hard beforehand.

Bliss and Banks had a damn good match before, and the rematch feels much more natural than Bayley getting the shot again after the kendo stick on a poll debacle. Both these women have proven to be worthy of the top spot, but it is hard t take Sasha’s chances seriously when she is second choice for this match. Sure, it worked out better in the end, but I have to think Bliss will retain here over the Boss.

Jinder Mahal (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (WWE Championship Match)

Jinder Mahal: heel in the ring, face in the gym.

With the possibility of Corbin cashing in out of the picture we can now focus on this very intriguing match. This may be one of the first, if not the first match for a main WWE title between two people of Asian descent, and both men deserve credit for making it so far in the company.

Both men’s standing and characters also depend individual crowd reactions. Jinder can either be a complex villain or a foreigner cartoon character, and Shinsuke can ether be The King of Strong Style or the goofy loose limbed guy. I imagine Brooklyn will have a stellar reaction for both, and I can see these guys working well together.

Jinder’s style is pretty snug, which will compliment Nakamura and the story they want to tell. Plus I am curious to see Mahal work against anyone other than Orton. I can see this going either way, but I’ll give the champ a slight edge here.

Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Braun Strowman vs. Samoa Joe vs. Roman Reigns (Fatal Four Way for WWE Universal Championship)

I am looking forward to this match the most out of any in the card, and honestly I will most likely be satisfied with whoever walks away with the belt.

With Reigns I would be happy if we get an evil Shield reunion, but if he just wins and keeps being the Big Dog in the Yard I will be peeved. Samoa Joe could sneak in and win the belt like when he one the number one contendership a few months ago, and considering how amazing he has been since I would love to see him be the top guy on Raw. Braun continues to impress, and he seems to make giant strides the more WWE leans on him to be a future cornerstone of the company. Plus, he seems like a lovely guy in real life who is not above stuff like this. And then we have the champ, whose resume speaks for itself.

While I can see each man having a significant shot to win the belt, I give Braun and Joe the least chance of victory, as Strowman may not quite be ready for a title run and Joe being the indy darling of the match. That leaves Brock and Reigns, with the champ threatening to leave if he loses. With that kind of statement I think Brock will win to keep him front and center in case he really does fight Jon Jones in UFC.

Spaceman Frank’s NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III Predictions

It is time… for bringing The Defenders to Netflix (oh, and  about a dozen hours of wrestling in between).

NXT Brooklyn 3 is like many threequels: the franchise may have lost some luster, but you still hope for a worthy chapter that can stand on it’s own. This could be a very good show that is more pleasing than big brother Summerslam (since it won’t be a punishing five plus hours), but there has been weirdness to the build that has left Brooklyn 3 feeling somewhat flat.

Granted, Takeovers have yet to disappoint, but considering what could have been I feel like this is a missed chance for a Return of the King level threequel rather than Saw 3. I’m Spaceman Frank and here are my NXT Takeover: Brooklyn 3 predictions.

Johnny Gargano vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas (with Zelina Vega)

The build to this match (much like SummerSlam match Rusev vs. Orton contest) consisted of Gargano wishing for an opponent, seeing Almas, and muttering “you’ll do” like a sad drunk at a dive bar looking for a date. Despite the minimalist build I am excited for this match.

For one thing, I do not think these two will have a bad match, and each are properly motivated to deliver. Gargano needs to prove he can be a singles star, and Andrade needs to show his new pairing with Zelina has legs. But what really interests me is the possibilities after this match.

I see Andrade getting a much needed win, most likely with help from Vega. This leads to Gargano looking for someone to even the odds against the pair, aka real life Mrs. Johnny Wrestling herself Candice Lerae. This leads to a mixed tag match down the road and a perfect filler match while Tommaso Ciampa recovers from knee surgery. Then Tommaso can fued by proxy with Johnny until he is ready to return.

Aleister Black vs. Hideo Itami

Heads are going to roll during this match, and I am pretty sure these two are just going to batter each other until the crowd legitimately worries someone is going to die.

Black is the hot new community in NXT, and I think he is going to earn a title shot before the year is out. Hideo already had his big comeback match for the championship, and I really think if he stays with WWE he will be on the main roster soon. There is no point in keeping him in developmental at this point, and he could be a valuable addition to 205 Live or Raw.

Since Hideo seems on his way out either way, I think Black will be winning in an epic match.

Authors of Pain (c) vs. Sanity (NXT Tag Team Championship Match)

With very little competition to be had for the Authors of Pain, NXT is throwing half of Sanity at the big boys with the gold.

The build to this match has been fine, but my most memorable moment was Nikki Cross taunting and calling out AOP rather than anything either of these tag teams have done.

There is plenty of potential in the ring, and I am waiting for a star making match for these four guys. The Authors had the best match of their career at NXT Chicago, but that was against the over as hell Team DIY who carried them immensely and made them look like monsters.

In a hoss vs. hoss match with a much less experienced team I think this may be a dud. Authors of Pain retain until Steaks and Weights themselves Heavy Machinery get another crack at the titles.

Asuka (c) vs. Ember Moon (NXT Women’s Championship Match)

I am very conflicted about this match.

When these two first  had their match at Takeover: Orlando I was all for Moon beating Asuka for the belt and ending her undefeated streak. Now, I would rather Moon lose. She has been derailed, partially due to injury and partially due to the fact that she just not have the chops to hang with Asuka, let alone beat her.

When the highlight of their build is the Full Sail crowd chanting for Asuka while recreating the Goldberg theme, you know that the challenger is done.

Am I saying Moon is bad? No, and I think in an NXT sans Asuka there is no question she could be a stellar champ. But not now.

What I predict is Asuka retaining, then the next TakeOver sees her defend against whoever wins the Mae Young classic. Have that women top Asuka, while at the same time calling Asuka up to Raw/SmackDown after SummerSlam. Asuka has done everything she can in NXT, and at this point she should be a main roster ambassador for the brand while the rest of the women get themselves sorted out.

Bobby Roode (c) vs. Drew McIntyre (NXT Championship Match)

It is a bad sign for NXT’s main event scene when I have to remind people I know who McIntyre is ever time he appears onscreen. I get he is a former champion and really salvaged his career in the indies/TNA, but I just do not have much invested in his journey to Brooklyn 3.

I know he is good, with his match against Roderick Strong the show before Takeover being a highlight, but his NXT Cheerleader/redemption arc is pretty weak. Hideo’s redemption arc last Takeover was much more believable, and there are plenty of opponents I would rather see here.

Roddy Strong got the shaft in his feud with Roode (who despite barely wrestling manages make up for it with his interview segments), and would be a much more logical fit here. Hideo could have also gotten the shot here with a stipulation after snapping in a tweener role. Aleister Black would be a fun opponent for Roode, as would poor Kassius Ohno who is left off the card. Hell, Johnny Wrestling getting his big break would have been better watching than Drew.

I am not saying that I expect this to be bad, I just think, like the Asuka match that things could have been done differently. As for the outcome I think Roode has proven he can carry a program with anyone and wrestle a nice safe style for the main roster so he will lose here. I could see McIntyre losing then jumping back to the main roster, but I think he is more suited to gauging newer talent in NXT while Roode could tag team with The Miz and make Raw 150% more watchable. Roode loses and puts over Strong at the next taping before moving on up.

SSEP: Episode 21: SummerSlam 2017 Preview

by Jon and Matt Schorr

Jon and Matt “the Jewharaja” preview WWE SummerSlam 2017.

Donate to our Patreon: www.patreon.com/thebonesaw.

SSEP Episode 20: NFL Getting Suspend Happy / Is The Public Already Over McGregor vs. Mayweather?

by Jon and Matt Schorr

Jon and the one and only Jewharaja are back for their 20th episode arguing the NFL suspension of Ezekiel Elliot and also talk some fantasy football. They also touch on the MLB and speculate if the world of sports is already over McGregor vs. Mayweather.

Donate to our Patreon: www.patreon.com/thebonesaw.

F*ck Mondays! Episode 41: Comic Con 2017 Trailerthon

by Chris Butera and Jonathan Schorr

Back from a hiatus due to life getting in the way, Chris and Jon discuss all the news and trailers from Comic Con 2017.

Donate to our Patreon: www.patreon.com/thebonesaw.

Manopera! Episode 45: Great Balls of Battleground

by Chris Butera and Frank Lucci

After a month of adulting, Chris and Spaceman Frank are back to talk WWE Great Balls of Fire, WWE Battleground, and all the madness in between.

Donate to our Patreon: www.patreon.com/thebonesaw.

 

 

Spaceman Frank’s WWE Battleground Predictions

by Frank Lucci

It’s almost time for SummerSlam, which means WWE is preparing for the second biggest show of the year, B-PPV’s be damned!

After Great Balls of Fire shone brightly upon the WWE Universe like an actual great ball of fire, WWE has seemingly put about three minutes of effort in per show. Immediately after one of the best PPV’s of the year, WWE has decided to have three foreigner heels on one show, John Cena brought up 9/11 to hype a Flag Match, and decided to run a bastard son angle.

As a reminder to readers, it is 2017. We have not traveled backwards in time, Vince McMahon is just having one of his senior moments. With not a whole lot to look forward to in Battleground, we can at least take comfort in the fact that NXT has been consistently excellent and 205 Live is the second most watchable show WWE puts on during the week. I’m Spaceman Frank and here is my Battleground 2017 predictions.

Tye Dillinger vs. Aiden English

I feel like they began this feud roughly seven weeks ago with a single segment on SmackDown and now we get this match on the preshow. I suppose I should be happy that both men are doing something that vaguely seems important, but really I think they only reason they got this match is because somebody felt sorry for them.

English can be a good heel and Tye can be a good babyface, but WWE seems to think they can just coast on their NXT highlights until they get the random shot to the moon push WWE loves to dole out. Tye wins because he is so unpopular, Google Drive wants to change his name to “Toe.”

Sami Zayn vs. Mike Kanellis

I wish Mike went by his original name Bennett because it is a lot easier to spell. This came about because Zayn kept accidentally interrupting the Kanellis’, before Mike beat Zayn on the SmackDown before Battleground. Both men can probably do better, but in the current state of SmackDown this is about as good as it gets (at least they are not on the preshow). Miracle Mike is the…well not hot but lukewarm newbie and Zayn can make anyone look good so I think Mike gets the win here.

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Baron Corbin

Shinsuke continues to go through all the low tier main event types on SmackDown, setting his sights on the man that almost took him out of the Money in the Bank match. We all know that WWE is gearing up for a match between Nakamura and AJ Styles, which makes me wonder why they decided to throw this match in here. Corbin needs some decent wins to justify his Money in the Bank winner status, but Nakamura also needs some high profile wins if people are going to care about his match with Styles. Perhaps a non finish will happen here, but just for the sake of picking a winner I see Corbin DQ’s himself beating up Shinsuke, giving the King of Strong Style the disqualification win.

The Usos (c) vs. The New Day (WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match)

After the excellent rap battle between these two groups a few weeks ago, WWE decided “eh, that will do” and given absolutely nothing for these guys to work with after. I want to be excited for this, but after the lame finish at Money in the Bank all I want is for somebody to pin somebody else this time. With no other obvious contenders for the belts besides maybe Breezeango I don’t think this will be the end of this feud. Maybe we get a best of seven rap battle series with the epic conclusion at SummerSlam (beats these guys filling time on the SummerSlam preshow). Usos retain because laziness.

AJ Styles (c) vs. Kevin Owens (US Championship Match)

I remember being super excited for the first encounter between these two men, before a meh match and a long delay in a rematch made me forget this was even happening.

Styles won the belt at a Madison Square Garden house show, so whatever payoff I expected to see here has gone up in smoke (maybe WWE is fast tracking the title change to wrap up this feud and have Nakamura challenge for the belt at SummerSlam?).

Anyway, with zero drama to play off of I still got some hope these men deliver a fine match, but until they get in the ring and start wowing me I simply do not have much to go on. AJ Styles wins because babyface champs in WWE are rare these days and WWE needs somebody fans can rally behind.

John Cena vs. Rusev (Flag Match)

Both Rusev and Cena return to restart their “classic” feud from 2015 which saw Rusev lose almost every single match in increasingly sad ways. This cuts right to the stupid gimmick portion of the feud, meaning we do not get Rusev hiring two smaller Bulgarian dudes to act as his Singh Brothers (I wonder what a popular Bulgarian last name is….(looks on Google).

With no Ivanov Brothers to help him, I do not expect Rusev to win here, especially because there are FLAGS and AMERICA and EAGLES AT STAKE, MAGGLE. Cena smashes Rusev and moves on to face another evil heel in Jinder Mahal before the Bulgarian’s body’s even cold, just in time for SummerSlam (mild shock there).

Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch vs. Lana vs. Natalya vs. Tamina (Fatal Five Way for the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship Number One Contendership)

Is there a rule that says Naomi cannot defend her belt on consecutive PPV’s?

For the second SmackDown PPV in a row WWE has all the women on the show (minus one or two) all get in the ring and butt heads to see how is getting the next “big” push for the next several weeks. While I think the booking for the ladies is pretty weak, this will probably be the best match on the card if done right. Everyone has a defined role going in, and if not for the fact that we have seen every single one of these women fight every single other women in the division for what seems like a decade I might actually be excited. If anyone has the best chance of winning I would have to say Charlotte, and her vs Naomi would be a good match for the belt in the future.

Please send Asuka to SmackDown ASAP.

Jinder Mahal (c) vs Randy Orton (Punjabi Prison Match for the WWE Championship)

The feud nobody wants yet continues to be sees these two face of in a stupid gimmick match that makes other stupid gimmick matches feel better about themselves. At least the Kennel from Hell match can say to itself “hey, at least people could see what was happening inside me.”

While I do not have the time nor the patience to properly purge myself of the vile I have for this match, I will say this: Mahal looks like a moron for taking away his biggest advantage (interference from the Singh Brothers) by making this a Punjabi Prison match, and Randy looks stupid period.

My best case scenario is that this becomes a comedy of errors.

First House of Horrors, and now a Punjabi Prison. You seem determined to ruin people’s first WWE Championship runs, Mr. Orton.

Jinder wins because I genuinely feel bad for how crappy his title run has been.

 

Harp House: Episode 19 – Sam Friedman: The Harmonica and Other Instruments

by Connor Frontera

An Injury forced Sam Friedman to explore other instruments, and he found his new love in the harmonica. In this episode, Friedman talks about his harmonica beginnings, and the two trade ideas about incorporating the harmonica and other instruments into your playing to create enjoyable music.

Donate to our Patreon: www.patreon.com/thebonesaw.

My Experience at MDF 2017 – Part 4: Sunday

by Anthony Carioscia

As always, Sunday was the last day of Maryland Deathfest like and the line up was killer. We walked down after getting food and I got there for the first band I wanted to see: Angelcorpse.

Angelcorpse

I had seen Angelcorpse last year at this fest and they were again heavy and intense. Vile and unrelenting with their aural assault, a great act to start the day.

Behexen 

I went to get some dinner and then came back for Finnish greats Behexen. I watched them from a high-up area with my friends Nick and Cheyenne. The atmosphere they invoked was like none other and were one of the bands that owned the day with their blistering intensity.

Oranzzi Pazuzu

Next up was experimental black metal group Oranzzi Pazuzu. The three of us watched them set up and we knew we were in for a different kind of band. We were all fans since around 2014 and what we got was a very good and jazz-like jam set, which really shook up the day in a good way.

P.L.F

I then went over to Soundstage to catch the Texas grind masters, P.L.F. They put on a great energetic punk show, making for a great warmup for the next act.

Iron Lung 

Next up were one of my favorite powerviolence bands, Iron Lung. They played a crushing set, although I didn’t see all of it because I wanted to catch some Akercocke at Rams Head.

Akercocke

Akercocke were one of the bands I wanted to see the most and when they started with my favorite song, “Horns of Baphomet,” I knew I was in for a great set. The sound was spot-on and the atmosphere was intense.

Terrorizer 

I caught a decent amount  of Terrorizer’s set, which was mostly their classic album World Downfall due to them not setting up on time. Their energy was unbeatable and they put on one of the best performances at the fest.

Candlemass

After Terrorizer I went to Ramshead for the rest of Candlemass’s set. Due to them also setting up late, they were playing “At the Gallows End,” my favorite song off of Nightfall, which they were doing in full.

I had seen them in 2014 and they were one of the best at the set’s at that fest. Here was no different. After they finished, the Nightfall set they played the two classics, ¨Mirror Mirror¨ and ¨Solitude¨ – a perfect way to end the night and the fest.

SSEP: Episode 19 – Judge’s HR Greatness/ Mayweather McGregor have Great Balls of Fire!

by Jon and Matt Schorr

Jon and Matt talk Judge’s HR greatness, Nunez’s runny nose, Mayweather/McGregor Hype and Review WWE Great Balls of Fire!

Donate to our Patreon: www.patreon.com/thebonesaw.

F*ck Mondays! Episode 40: Spider Man Homecoming Review

fmondays spiderman

Joined by high school pal Danny Chi, Chris and Jon review Spider Man Homercoming and a bunch of trailers.

Donate to our Patreon: www.patreon.com/thebonesaw.

Spaceman Frank’s Great Balls of Fire Predictions

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by Frank Lucci

It’s happening. It’s actually happening. WWE has named a Pay Per View Great Balls of Fire.

Despite the terribly lame name, WWE has built themselves a heck of a card for this Raw exclusive show, with the main focus being the much hyped Brock Lesnar vs. Samoa Joe match. Sure, there are some duds that look to be on the horizon, but WWE has actually made many of these feuds compelling, even if some of these matches we did not even want initially.

Furthermore, it has been a wild few weeks in the world of wrestling what with New Japan putting on their first US shows, Austin Aries being released, and AJ Styles winning the United States Championship at a Madison Square Garden house show, yet at the end of the day, deep in my heart of hearts, Brock vs Joe is all the comfort and joy I could possibly want. I’m Spaceman Frank and here are my predictions for (sigh) Great Balls of Fire.

Neville (C) vs. Akira Tozawa (With Titus O’Neil) (WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match)

The latest challenger in a long line of “Hey, what has this guy been doing on 205 Live?” to the King of the Cruiserweights sees Tozawa trying to make a splash.

I really love Tozawa and having him be part of the goofy Titus Brand is pretty fun, but he has the skill set to be a damn good vicious killer in the ring. I would love to see WWE treat this match with some importance, but I see it as the typical cruiserweight preshow match on the card. Neville wins this and every title defense ever until WWE throws all the cruiserweights in the ring and have a hodge podge flipathon where Ho Ho Lun sneaks in and wins because his name is a tasty treat and Vince McMahon loves that kind of branding!!

The Miz (C) (With Curtis Axel, Bo Dallas, and Maryse) vs. Dean Ambrose (Intercontinental Championship Match)

When the biggest news from this feud coming from Lavar “The Sum Total of All of Our Instagram Sins” Bell, you can be sure that WWE is out of ideas to make this feud interesting.

Sure, these two had a pretty solid match before, but after a screwy finish that made little sense it is hard to get pumped for a straight up rematch. These guys used to be exciting, then they went to Raw (strike one), then Axel and Dallas got involved (all the rest of the strikes needed to finish a baseball game). When WWE thinks to add those two to the mix, you know you´re having some trouble. Even The Miz can´t help you. Miz wins because he has three people in his corner how do you screw up and lose?

Alexa Bliss (C) vs. Sasha Banks (WWE Raw Women’s Championship Match)

What should be a dream match has fallen on deaf or apathetic ears as The Boss takes on Five Feet of Fury for the Women’s Championship.

Now, I think this match will be a killer encounter featuring two of the best females on the roster, so I will be hyped for this contest. I am not sure why it´s being treated like an afterthought, even though Banks won her right to challenge for the belt on the main event of an episode of Raw.

Perhaps it has been the way WWE has treated Bayley lately that has turned off people to the division, but until I see a stinker from these two I will be expecting magic. Or at least somebody to take a scary bump and leave me petrified.

I could make a argument that Banks takes the belt back here, but I think Bliss falls into the same category as Neville as the champ who is too good to randomly lose the belt. Perhaps we shall get some real storylines for the women and cruiserweights leading to SummerSlam, but for now, the champs are not going anywhere.

Cesaro and Sheamus (C) vs. The Hardy Boyz (30 Minute Iron Man Match for WWE Raw Tag Team Championship)

The feud that will not die goes to the next level when both teams face off in an Iron Man match because….reasons. With very little else to do besides milk their nostalgia, the Hardys seek to regain the championships they won at WrestleMania. I trust Cesaro and Sheamus to work for 30 minutes, but the Hardys? No thank you.

That being said, these four men have managed to put on fine matches with the occasionally clunky finish, so this will be fine. I think the champs will retain so they can finally move on.  Because the length of this match, I expect some other matches to be severely cut for time (gee, I wonder which match will get the shaft…)

Enzo vs. Big Cass

Big Cass boot to Medium Enzo for a three count.

I don’t see this match lasting any sort of time, and honestly, I can see Cass interrupting Fun Sized Enzo’s regular promo for some heat and just wrecking him. While I think it’s pretty dumb that the tag team broke up with the lack of depth currently in the tag scene, both men have cut some great promos that helped get me invested in this feud. I don’t think it will see another PPV bout as this has SummerSlam preshow written all over it. At least we can get more fire promos from Regular Person Enzo before Vince throws him in 205 jail and goes back to messaging Big Cass’ leg muscles while making disturbing sounds.

Seth Rollins vs. Bray Wyatt

Another match people seem to have dismissed because of the lack of build (besides Bray’s nonsense promos) sees two great in ring workers facing off in what should be a killer match.

Both dudes needs a barnburner to regain momentum with fans, and I think since they both know they are treading water, I believe they will go all out.

Is this a filler feud for both men? Yes. Are they pro enough to tell a great story and make you care about the match anyway? Yes. As for a winner, I think this could go either way but I am leaning towards Seth Rollins since he has a win against Samoa Joe in his back pocket and would be a good foil for the Miz down the road.

Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman (Ambulance Match)

Confession Time: I’m actually excited for a Roman Reigns match.

Braun throwing The Big Dog around like a gassy beagle has provided me with Gif after Gif of gold, and knowing there will be more live has me salivating.

Besides the sin of booking Braun like a stupid person on the go home show (because we gotta make Reigns look strong by acting like there is a gas leak directly under his opponent) this has been an entertaining feud. Big moves, big men, Big Dog, and big beards. This feuds feels the most “pro wrestling” out of any so far this year, as how else can two rampaging monsters settle their beef besides comically dragging each other to a waiting ambulance? Vegas is banking hard on Strowman being the winner, and since they predicted Joe becoming number one contender, I am going to trust them.

Brock Lesnar (C) vs. Samoa Joe (WWE Universal Championship Match)

This match…oh boy, this match….(takes a cold shower).

Anyway, the Spaceman’s dream match is happening and I can’t wait to see these two square off like Godzilla and Voltron.

Joe looks like he is on par with The Beast, and he proved deserving of this shot when he put on must see segments that showed why WWE should give him a chance to be champion. He killed it on the mic, he kills it when brutalizing Brock, and he would be fantastic as the right hand of The Authority.

Brock to his credit has sold for Joe well when being physical, but his side by side interview on the go home show where he adopted a “too cool for school” attitude was a bad look (He choked out Heyman and you and you wanna act like  you are trying to impress the head cheerleader by making fun of the fat kid? Shame).

This small gripe aside, I almost contemplated taking the day after off of work so I could stay up late and fully immerse myself in the experience of Brock vs. Joe, that’s how freaking excited I am.

The obvious winner seems to be Brock, and as much as I want to believe Joe could walk out as champ, I think Brock will move forward to SummerSlam as champ for a big headlining match. What that match is I don’t know, but in the meantime, I plan to spend Sunday chanting “FIGHT FOREVER” at everything and everyone.

 

Harp House – Episode 18: The Short Guide to Purchasing Harmonicas at SPAH (and Everywhere Else)

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by Connor Frontera

With SPAH just around the corner, Connor breaks down the most common types of harmonicas and gives his tops picks from what’s available on the market today. Links to several of the models mentioned will be listed below!

Hohner Crossover: us.playhohner.com/instruments/harm…-band-crossover/

Hohner Rocket: us.playhohner.com/instruments/harm…ries/the-rocket/

Seydel 1847: www.seydel1847.de/epages/Seydel184…bProducts/16201C

Suzuki Manji: www.suzukimusic.com/harmonicas/m20/

Hohner Chromonica 270 / 280: us.playhohner.com/instruments/harm…uper-chromonica/

Seydel Saxony: www.seydel1847.de/epages/Seydel184…bProducts/52480C

Hohner Chord 48: us.playhohner.com/instruments/harm…hestra/chord-48/

Easttop Pocket Chord: www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R…top+chord&_sacat=0

Suzuki Chord: www.suzukimusic.com/harmonicas/sch24-48/

Hohner Bass 58: us.playhohner.com/instruments/harm…/hohner-bass-58/

Donate to our Patreon: www.patreon.com/thebonesaw

Manopera! Episode 44: Whose Briefcase is it Anyway?

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by Chris Butera and Frank Lucci

Chris and Frank talk WWE Money in the Bank 2017 – and they’ve got a lot to get off their chests about both MITB matches, the pay-per-view and what to expect from Great Balls of Fire next Sunday.

Spaceman Frank cuts a promo on the now former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick.

For more awesome content, check out www.bonesawzine.com.
Donate to our Patreon: www.patreon.com/thebonesaw.

SSEP – Episode 18: 2017 NBA Draft / The Cyborg Situation / Mauro’s Big Break / MITB Review

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by Jon and Matt Schorr

It’s a slobberknocker of a podcast as Jon and “the Jewharaja” Matt Schorr break down the top picks in the NBA Draft, proclaim their love the UFC’s decision to strip Germaine De Randamie of the title and anticipate Mauro Ranallo calling WWE NXT as well as the Mega fight with Floyd Mayweather and Connor McGregor. All this, and they review WWE Money In The Bank.

Donate to our Patreon: www.patreon.com/thebonesaw.

SSEP – Episode 17: McGregor vs. Mayweather is Happening / WWE Money in the Bank Preview

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by Jon and Matt Schorr

Jon and Matt get excited about Mayweather vs. McGregor’s official announcement, review the worst NBA season ever, commend the greatness of the New York Yankees and preview WWE Money in the Bank Pay-Per-View this Sunday.

Donate to our Patreon: www.patreon.com/thebonesaw.

Harp House Episode 17: Top 10 Issues Harmonica Players Face: A Response to Ronnie Shellist’s Video!

by Connor Frontera

Ronnie Shellist recently posted a video to his YouTube Channel (above) discussing the top 10 issues harmonica players face and how to solve them. Connor goes through all 10 issues Shellist highlights and adds some of his own thoughts to offer as much positive advice he could.

Donate to our Patreon: www.patreon.com/thebonesaw.

My Experience at MDF 2017 – Part 3: Saturday

by Anthony Carioscia

Saturday was the most interesting day at this year’s Maryland Deathfest, not just because of the lineup, but because of the day leading up to it as well.

Matt’s friend Dave came into our room as well as his friends Chris and Ricky.  We went for dinner at a place called Dick’s Last Resort. It was a cool place where the staff would  – in addition to insult the customers – yell at them, throw stuff, give them all hats with insults on them. The waiter asked who was here for the DeathFest, then blasted Venom on his phone while headbanging and thrusting (not making this up). After we laughed and ate their great food, we headed to the venue and ran into Dave from Nucleus.

Uada

The first band I wanted to see for the day was Portland black metallers, Uada. The band is normally criticized for sounding too much like MGLA, but I think they are a fun little band and their performance was top-notch.

Goolagoon

I was very curious to see this Spongebob-themed punk band. Once you get past the gimmick, they are actually a pretty decent punk band and live they were loaded with energy.

Exhumed 

This was my fourth time seeing Exhumed, but they are never boring live. This was no different as they had a great set list and their over the top horror stage show was great like always.

Exumer

I am a fan of the band’s debut Possessed by Fire but nothing  after that. However, I was still curious to see Exumer. They played some songs of the first album but just seemed boring live.

Root

Along with Insect Warfare, Root were the band I was most excited to see. I had requested for Root to play since 2014, so it was nice to see them finally get added. They played a nice mix of their early black metal stuff and their later heavy metal stuff and sounded great. Big Boss’s voice was spot on and their stage setup was fun. They ended their set with the iconic “Pisen Pro Satana.”

Grave 

Next up were Swe-death masters Grave. I didn’t watch too much of their set due to not wanting to miss a second of Insect Warfare but they played a nice old-school set from what I saw and sounded great.

Insect Warfare

I went over to the Soundstage for the band that made me buy my ticket. Insect Warfare is one of my favorite grindcore bands and I was glad I finally got to see them. Their energy was unbeatable with an insane pit full of people crowd surfing, slipping on beer, and someone even threw a trash can into the pit. The singer had tons of over the top banter such as threatening those who bootleg his shirts. This was without a doubt the best set and best day of the fest. After them, we called it a night and headed back to the hotel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spaceman Frank’s Money in the Bank 2017 Predictions

by Frank Lucci

The world is focused on “Money” Mayweather announcing that his fight with Conor Mcgregor, but wrestling fans have Money in the Bank to look forward to instead.

Overall the card will be better than anything those two can put on, but WWE has been pushing fan’s patience with some terrible TV. It is like the closer the company gets to a live special the more they fall apart creatively. Throw in the massive hype for Brock Lesnar vs Samoa Joe and fans are looking past this PPV hard. Despite everything though WWE PPV’s are better watches than Raw or Smackdown Live, and there is going to be some (JBL three beers in voice) “HISTORY MADE HERE TONIGHT, TOM” as we get our first women’s Money in the Bank match. I’m Spaceman Frank and here are my Money in the Bank 2017 predictions!

The Hype Bros vs. The Colons (Preshow Box Social Funtime Hoopla Tag Team Doritios Pizza Rolls Match)

Zack Ryder is back in the most Zack Ryder way possible: coming back one week before the PPV for a preshow tag team match.

While he seemed to have some sort of push planned with his comeback videos on Youtube, instead he gets a nothing match with his buddy Mojo “ All Gojo” (feel free to send me a check for that one WWE) Rawley who can be seen taking sad selfies with his Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal trophy on Instagram (Hey kids remember when he beat our current champ Jinder Mahal with the help of Gronk?! WWE doesn’t!).

The Colons have somehow even less momentum, so I predict a whole bunch of nothing. Hype Bros win because somebody has to win and it might as well be those spunky lads.

The Usos (C) vs. The New Day (WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship)

Everything on the main card is for a title or a Money in the Bank briefcase, which helps make every match feel important. However, it has been awhile since The New Day have had a major PPV match that mattered, as they seem to fart along in promo segments when the chips are truly down (IE Wrestlemania). Meanwhile The Usos are doing fine as champs, but have been overshadowed by Breezango’s (where are they anyway?) pretaped segments. I think WWE will give The New Day a run with the belt eventually, but that feels more like a match for a bigger show like Summerslam. Plus, the Usos should get the initial win via shenanigans to preserve their heel status and look more credible against all the jokey tag teams that dominate Smackdown.

Naomi (C) vs. Lana (WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship)

The only active women on Smackdown not in the Money in the Bank match (where are you Nikki Bella?) sees Naomi being challenged versus longtime manager/ master of maybe one move Lana. I think the time for Lana to transition into a wrestler has come and gone, and to immediately give her a title show sends off red flags for me. Rumor is this came about due to WWE wanting to have the Eva Marie push sans the (probably) gone redhead, so Lana gets the spot. She is not the one to pull it off, since she is way more popular than Eva Marie ever was, while at the same time Naomi is not the person to face off against her. If you want the Eva Marie stuff to work you need somebody the snarkier fans will rally behind like Bayley rather than the middle of the road Namoi. Namoi really has not done much since winning the belt back, but there is no way WWE has Lana take her out in her first match unless she secretly is a fantastic wrestler. Naomi wins in a five minute nothing match.

Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Natalya vs. Tamina vs. Carmella (Money in the Bank Ladder Match)

Fan booking for this match has been more interesting than the build for this, along with many of the other recent news coming out of the women’s division. Between the first official (and rumored) entrants into the Mae Young Classic, plus the potential new Smackdown signings and NXT matches happening  and this has been overshadowed quickly despite the history being made. Here are my rankings for who will win the briefcase on Sunday, from least likely to most likely.

Tamina- Has very little momentum, and while I think heels have more of a shot in these things she barely qualifies as a heel with the poor reaction she garners. I think she has a role to play on Smackdown, but she needs to get some wins to look like any sort of threat.

Becky Lynch- While she somehow has retained most of her popularity despite being booked like she has been hit in the head with an air conditioner unit moments before wrestling, it does not fit her character to cash in on someone. Thankfully Bayley has firmly taken the idiot ball from Lynch since Extreme Rules. Becky could be a good heel, but with a thin roster of women WWE needs a babyface they can depend on. She will do some cool spots, but if she does a disarmer on top of the ladder I will give out on her on Manopera. Submissions on ladders is one of my major kayfabe breaking spots in wrestling.

Carmella- The Princess of Staten Island has been gaining some steam online from those who think WWE will give her the briefcase, so that they can begin building her up as a major player in the division. While I do not mind if she wins the briefcase, paints it with leopard spots, and makes Ellsworth carry it around for her, I still think she is not ready to be anywhere near the title.

Charlotte-While being a decorated champion and probably better than 3/5ths of the women in this match combined, WWE seems determined to make her a face. It would not make sense for her to be able to cash in anytime, especially since we all know she could just declare herself number one contender and Shane Mcmahon would agree. Plus, the chances of Flair hitting a crazy moonsault off the ladder and crashing through the table to take herself out of the match is roughly at 90%.

Natalya- While there is no chatter about Nattie Ice winning, I think it makes the most sense here. Nattie has been away from the title scene for ages despite carrying the division through some dark times, and it is time for her to get a push. She still cannot cut a promo without sounding like an extra from a church production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat she can put on a good match. Bitter Natalya getting the briefcase and cashing in to remind the WWE who is the best there is would be a good move.

Kevin Owens vs. AJ Styles vs. Baron Corbin vs. Sami Zayn vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (Money in the Bank Ladder Match)

Not much to say about the build to this match, other than WWE has tried to get the crowds to have equal amounts of apathy towards everyone involved. Here is the power rankings for winners of this match, from least to most likely.

Dolph Ziggler-Ziggler is here because it would be weird if he was not, but I would believe I was winning Money in the Bank over Dolph.

AJ Styles- Similar to Charlotte Flair, I think AJ is going to get title opportunities regardless if he wins here or not. He already is very established and the crowd is quite taken with him, so he does not need the briefcase to add to his appeal. He also has a feud with Owens on the backburner that he can go back to once this PPV is over. I will laugh if he continues to get his foot stuck in things just when he is starting to get close to winning.

Shinsuke Nakamura- Not sure what WWE is trying to do with Shinsuke on Smackdown. He is still wildly over with crowds, but portraying him as just some weird Japanese man who struggled to put away Ziggler last PPV is not what anybody expected. He could win the briefcase to add some actual mystery to “The Artist,” but I cannot see WWE pulling the trigger on him so soon when he has not had any sort of big moment since his debut. Dream match with Cena at Summerslam please.

Sami Zayn- People seem to think that Zayn may win the belt, be a goody two shoes and announce he will cash in well in advance. I do not buy it. A Sami push would be lots of fun, but I see him having to climb the ranks and grab the US title well before WWE considers putting him into the main event. Plus I can 100% seen Owens reminding us of their fight forever feud and destroying Zayn just for the lulz

Baron Corbin- It seems as though everyone is banking on Corbin to win here, and it would be a fine way to show that WWE has faith in the Lone Wolf. It would fit his character, and WWE has given him enough big moments that fans will buy him invading the main event scene at some point. I do not think he is quite a main eventer yet, but he could be very soon. I just wish he would cut his rapidly retreating hair and go for a more skinhead look.

Kevin Owens- Take everything I said about Corbin cashing in Money in the Bank and double it for Owens. Sure, he has already been champ, but just imagine Owens with the briefcase stalking the champ and being on commentary every time the champ has a match. He would be a perfect Mr. Money in the Bank, and WWE knows they can rely on him if a main eventer gets hurt or if Jinder starts to struggle.

Jinder Mahal (C) vs. Randy Orton (WWE Championship Match)

The rematch you did not know you wanted but WWE is giving to you anyway!

While I think Rusev should have gotten in this match back when he called for a shot at the belt at Money in the Bank, Jinder is doing far better as champ than anyone predicted. WWE somehow is pulling off booking him well, as the individual fans can easily decide if they want to cheer or boo him depending on their own thoughts.

This nuance has been missing in WWE for so long, and his popularity in social media and Youtube definitely helps him out. Meanwhile Orton continues to act like he is on horse tranquilizers, and I think his lack of effort has given Mahal some fans. I think Mahal will win, and I think he has put in enough work to warrant it (something I would have never predicted I would say).

My big fear is Cena returns (on July 4th no less), declares himself number one contender because something something AMERICA and Jinder turns into a caticure. Then he beats Jinder and ruins him forever while become a record breaking 17 time champ because “BALD EAGLES AND PURPLE MOUNTAINS MAJESTY, MAGGLE!”

Iron Maiden, Ghost at the Prudential Center

When the Iron Maiden tickets at the Prudential Center went on sale, I was given a pre-sale code from a friend. I instantly bought one as ‘Maiden is one of my all-time favorite bands.

The day came and I went with Birdman of Roargh to Newark, NJ to see these amazing Brits play with none other than Ghost opening (this would be my third time seeing Ghost and my second time seeing ‘Maiden, Birdman’s first time for each band). We got inside then met up with two of Birdman’s Jersey area friends. At around 7:45 the show started.

Ghost

Ghost seems to get mixed reactions in the metal world and I’m one who has been a decent-sized fan since I first heard their demo. I had caught them once at MDF 2011 and then again three years later at The Chance. Both times they put on a great show and this time wasn’t any different. They played a set of great tracks including “Year Zero,” “Cirice,” “Ritual,” and “Monstrance Clock.”

Iron Maiden 

I had not seen Iron Maiden since 2012 at Jones Beach with Alice Cooper and I was overdue for another.

The band played a set that was mostly for their latest album,The Book of Souls – which is great. In addition to the new tunes, they also played many classics such as “The Trooper(which sounded beyond amazing),” “Wrathchild, “Iron Maiden,” and “Children of the Damned.”

They encored with “The Number of the Beast,” “Blood Brothers,” and “Wasted Years.” Their sound was phenomenal, proving that they’ll never lose their touch. After the show, Birdman and I got the hell out of Newark and were glad we got to go to this amazing show.

 

My Experience at Maryland DeathFest 2017: Part 1 – Thursday

When Memorial Day Weekend reared its ugly head, it was time for yet another Maryland DeathFest (MDF).

While this year the Edison Lot was sadly gone, it still had a very good line up and the convenience of the two remaining venues being right next to each other. The day came and I got on a bus to New York City, met up with my friend Matt and we then both left to Baltimore. When we got to our hotel we dropped off our luggage, then headed to the venue. On the way to the fest we met up with some cool people, including this girl who came all the way from Chile. When I got there some sludge band called North was playing.

North

I had never heard of these guys until I got in the venue and from watching them, I was kind of glad I hadn’t. This band played boring cut and paste sludge – not the best way to start the fest.

SubRosa 

Next up were SubRosa, who I was excited to see. I always loved their sludge meets violin sound.  Their set wiped the bland taste North left out of my mouth. SubRosa had great atmosphere and really took advantage of the Ram’s Head stage’s awesome sound.

Conan 

I had seen Conan play two years ago on the same day and stage and it was pretty damn good.  Like before, they were great, heavy and crushing live.

Acid King

The stoner legends Acid King were up next and while they aren’t my favorite in that subgenre, there was no denying they put on an awesome performance.

Cryptopsy 

After Acid King finished up I ran over to Soundstage, where Decrepit Birth was finishing up their set. After watching them do an awesome cover of Death’s “Crystal Mountain,” Cryptopsy got on stage. Here I ran into my friends Nick and Cheyenne as we were ready to watch them play all of their 1996 album None So Vile.

They started their set with three really bad, newer songs which caused Nick and Chey to leave. Once they left the band started playing None So Vile in order. This improved the set greatly even if the Matt McGachy was no Lord Worm. The pit was also as insane as it was fun to watch that carnage unfold. After Cryptopsy the two of us headed back to the hotel to get ready for day two.

 

 

 

 

F*ck Mondays! Episode 39: Wonder Woman Refuses to Fly Delta

fmondays wonder woman

The boys review the glorious Wonder Woman movie (with spoilers). Jon recounts his recent plane ride from hell, courtesy of Delta Airlines.

Donate to our Patreon: www.patreon.com/thebonesaw.

Spaceman Frank’s WWE Extreme Rules 2017 Predictions

x_njg6by Frank Lucci

Extreme Rules feels like the first proper Pay-Per-View for Raw after WrestleMania, as the previous Raw exclusive PPV, Payback, featured no mention of the Universal title nor did it have an Intercontinental title match. This PPV rectifies this somewhat, and it also has the advantage of not having a House of Horrors match thrown in as well (hopefully). Extreme Rules also does not have an NXT: TakeOver to compete with as well, or more specifically, WWE UK wrestlers to compete with.

Despite all these positives, there is most definitely an air of doubt surrounding this event, as Raw has continued to punish those brave enough to watch all three hours (I wonder what the crossover demographic numbers is for Raw fans and snuff films is). There is some decent action that could and should take place on this card, but if the matches are as painful as the buildup to them, the Spaceman may not be able to fight his allergy pill and watch Extreme Rules in segments. I’m Spaceman Frank and here are my Extreme Rules 2017 predictions.

Rich Swann and Sasha Banks vs. Alicia Fox and Noam Dar

This match is a positive in my book because it takes three people (plus Alicia Fox) and gives them something to do and a spotlight to showcase why they deserve to be on a higher level. Banks has lost all momentum since WrestleMania, and it seems like a distant fever dream when Swann was Cruiserweight champion. They will make a good team, and if this is what they need to do to get TV time and get over I am all for it.

Fox is a steady but unspectacular hand in the ring, but Dar deserves more of a spotlight. He is very young but one of my boys from before the CWC, so I am praying to the Cruiserweight Gods he gets more than this. Throw him in with Neville and TJP and form a power stable on 205 Live since there’s precious little room for heels on the show not affiliated with the King of the Cruiserweights. Based on popularity alone, I think Banks wins it for her team.

Neville (c) vs. Austin Aries (Submission Match for WWE Cruiserweight Championship)

These two have held down Raw PPV’s since ‘Mania, and once again I think this may be a bright spot on a lackluster card. The stipulation works well for both these men, but having Neville tap to Aries the week before this match was flat out stupid (WWE knows when this happens people expect the winner to lose on the PPV, right?).

I get the feeling the live crowds are starting to catch on that Cruiserweight matches are usually much more exciting than much of the filler on Raw, but again with the show so hard to watch that is like being proud that you hopped over a puddle on the sidewalk.

Aries deserves a run with the belt with all the excellent work he has done to make me forget what a natural heel he is, but Neville is just too good at being bad to drop it. Also again, he tapped out once already (WWE we get it, you have one play in the go-home show playbook. It does not work. We all know what a loss before the PPV means).

Alexa Bliss (c) v.s Bayley (Kendo Stick on a Pole Match for WWE Raw’s Women’s Championship)

Women climbing a pole to get at another pole, did Vince Russo write this?

What the heck has happened to two of my favorite women’s wrestlers??? Bliss was an all-star on SmackDown, and Bayley went from NXT’s John Cena (Joan Cena?) in NXT to a supreme doofus on Raw.

The only positive thing about this feud thus far is Bliss really whacking the hell out of her opponents with the kendo stick, but really it is time to retire the “on a pole” stipulation. Seeing people fart around one corner of the ring for a random object is dull, and it is time to think of something to replace it (I vote for a “Find the Kendo Stick in a Box Under the Ring Match” or a “Kendo Stick Tied to a Greased Pig Match.”). Anyway, Bliss wins because Bayley would not go nuts whacking her opponent with a foreign object due to her pure-hearted nature.

Dean Ambrose (c) vs. The Miz (Intercontinental Championship Match – Ambrose can lose the belt via disqualification )

Hey, kids! Do you know what’s more extreme than tables, ladders, and chairs? Rules!

No clue why of all PPVs, WWE pulls this type of match out at Extreme Rules. It fits the character of The Miz, but do we really expect Ambrose to be so stupid that he loses the belt this way? If anything, WWE should have had this be a no-DQ match where Dean clobbers the Miz, Miz complains that he would win in a regular match and makes this match happen at (sigh) Great Balls of Fire. I think Dean walks away with the belt because he is still a solid number two option as the champion to make up for the lack of a Universal champion on TV, plus both men need somebody new to set their sights on.

The Hardy Boyz (c) vs. Sheamus and Cesaro (WWE Raw Tag Team Championship Cage match)

Sheamus and Cesaro have a new fire under them now that they are heels, and their brutal dissection of the Hardys during and after their previous match has me invested in seeing what happens.

Will Jeff dive off the cage? Yes. Will he lose another tooth? Maybe. Will Cesaro swing the entire cage structure in a fit of dizzy rage? Probably. But the biggest question of all: Will Matt get broken? That question will haunt every Hardy feud until they actually pull the trigger (and they will), so while I will watch his PPV matches looking for any and all clues towards him going berserk, overall it does detract from the story being told in the ring.

I am curious what a heel Ces-mus (Sheamaro???) title run would look like, but I think the Hardys still can run up and down the country getting that nostalgia money for a few months more. Jeff throws himself off the cage to get the win.

Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe vs. Finn Balor vs. Bray Wyatt vs. Seth Rollins (Fatal Five-Way Extreme Rules Match for the Universal Championship Number One Contendership)

WWE has finally figured out that, if the Universal Champion cannot be bothered to show up at every PPV, then they should build around who gets the next crack at him. I like this match on paper, and seeing who gets their hands of Borkin’ Heck Lesnar next is far more exciting than anything else, especially with the five men selected. The big downside I have for this match is the rumors that whoever gets a shot at Brock at (sigh) Great Balls of Fire will be one and done since Braun Stroman will be back before SummerSlam. Here is my breakdown of who I think is going to win, from least likely to most likely:

5. Finn Balor – He has had the most hype, even having Paul Heyman put him over. WWE obviously sees money in this matchup, so to have him taken out by Brock and then passed over with little hype is in bad taste. I think this match will set up the Finn-Wyatt feud hinted at before rather than wasting a money matchup on (sigh) Great Balls of Fire.

4. Samoa Joe – Again, Joe vs. Brock is a money matchup and something not to be wasted as a holdover for Braun. These two behemoths squaring off is my biggest dream match of the current roster, and when Jim Cornette on Table for 3 suggested Joe vs. Brock in a submission match at the next WrestleMania, I flipped out. Make Joe look strong here and keep him there for when it is time for the monsters to be unleashed.

3. Bray Wyatt – The feud that almost happened could very well happen here, as Wyatt is WWE’s answer to every top star who needs a throwaway feud. But Jesus man, there is no way WWE can keep kicking Wyatt when he is down. He was WWE Champion earlier in the year before the Orton feud and House of Horrors debacle undid everything his big win did for him. He and Finn take each other out to set up their feud which will probably see Wyatt lose in the end.

2. Seth Rollins – One of two men to have a match with The Beast before saw their previous encounter act as a sideshow to Undertaker’s return. A plucky babyface Rollins vs. Brock is interesting, especially if he shows more fight than when he was the cowardly champ. I can see Rollins taking an absolute beating but refusing to die, rehabbing his image in the process. Yet, he has too much history with too many men in the ring to win. Therefore…

1. Roman Reigns – WWE will have their cake and eat it too. WWE wants Reigns to be a top guy, so they will drum Reigns in here to setup the WrestleMania 31 rematch we have not gotten yet. This will fulfill WWE management’s desire to give Roman a big push, while letting Brock have an opponent he can demolish before Braun takes over. WWE wins, the people win due to Reigns immediately being out of the spotlight after (sigh) Great Balls of Fire, and the other men in the match win by avoiding the big job to Brockjack Horsner. Then Strowman vs. Lesnar for the Universal championship can headline SummerSlam…unless Braun costs Brock the belt and they fight each other while Reigns carries the belt into SummerSlam…OH GOD WHAT HAVE I DONE???

 

 

Iron Sheik Declares 2020 Bid

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Come 2020, the Iron Sheik will be looking to make America humble again.

The WWE Hall of Famer shocked the world Wednesday when he announced via Twitter that he too will be joining his fellow sports entertainer turned megastar Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in the next Presidential election.

“FUCK THE PRESIDENT TRUMP!” he tweeted. “BEFORE HE NICE GUY! NOW HE BIG DOUCHEBAG! I MAKE HIM HUMBLE!!! #SHEIK2020.”

To guarantee the internet’s implosion, Rocky responded to the Sheik’s promise.

“Much love/congrats 2 @the_ironsheik! Looking forward 2 tagging w/ #Sheikybaby in the #2020Election!”

When asked which party he would run with, Sheik has decided to go Independent, not just because he loves indy fans, but also because yellow is his favorite color. “It remind me of home and WWF World Heavyweight Championship belt,” he told The Bonesaw.

Shiek has also decided to make his party’s mascot a camel because of his intense pride for his Iranian culture (it’s also his favorite animal). “IRON SHEIK: NUMBER ONE! CAMEL: NUMBER ONE! ELEPHANT AND DONKEY? HUACK, PTOO” he yelled in delight. “ONLY THE ROCK THE REAL! ALL OTHER CANDIDATE JABRONI! FUCK THE KANYE, TOO!”

Other than serving the Shah of Iran in his youth, the Sheik has no political experience – possibly even less than President Trump. With that said, he knows exactly how he’s going to win the 2020 Presidency.

“I SUPLEX THEM, I PUT THEM IN THE CAMEL CLUTCH, I BREAK ALL THEIR FUCKING BACKS! I MAKE THEM HUMBLE!”

When asked if this is actually some kind of elaborate hoax in order to gain traction, the Sheik responded by suplexing our reporter and putting them in the Camel Clutch. Our reporter is now in critical condition at Mt. Kayfabe Memorial Hospital with a broken back and has since been terminated for upsetting a WWE legend and future Presidential candidate.

My Experience at Hudson Horror Show XV

Another May meant another set of dates to look forward to.

That set of May dates in question being Memorial Day Weekend’s Maryland Deathfest and the Hudson Horror Show’s 15th outing a week prior.

This year had an awesome line up of Frankenhooker, Slaughterhouse, the traditional mystery film, Nightmare on Elm Street 3, The Hidden, and Piranha.

Although I had seen every film on this bill before (and highly recommend them to anyone who hasn’t), I wanted to see them on a big screen. Unfortunately, I only wound up staying for the first four.

While I didn’t buy much merch this time around, I did win a copy of the film Hardware, which despite it being a pretty terrible movie it was pretty cool to win it.

Frankenhooker 

First up was the classic from the man behind Brain Damage and Basket Case. I had not seen this great horror comedy since high school but I remembered loving it.

Frankenhooker tells the story of a weird nerd name Jeffery who’s girlfriend dies in a freak accident. Jeffery then looks for ways to put her back together using the body parts of dead hookers. This is one flick that needs to be seen to be believed. It’s fun from front to back with its offensive humor, gross-out scenes, and of all things, exploding hookers.

Slaughterhouse 

The second film was the 80’s slasher Slaughterhouse which, ironically, I bought at the last Hudson Horror.

The film is a mix of 80’s teen slashers, redneck Texas Chainsaw Massacre type films, and dark humor. Slaughterhouse is about the owner of a slaughterhouse and his mentally challenged son who talks in pig sounds. When the town decides to shut them down, the two start capturing the town’s officals and making them into meat along with teenagers who try to joke about the place. Slaughterhouse is lots of fun and one to check out if you like slashers.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors

Between Dream Warriors and Slaughterhouse was the mystery film. While I can’t say what it was I will say it’s a violent non-horror movie based on an old Manga and it was awesome.

Dream Warriors is my favorite Freddy sequel as the film takes the series into a more comedic/fantasy direction. In the third Nightmare installment, a band of teenagers discover they have special powers in their dreams which they use to battle Freddy Krueger. This film is 80’s cheese at it’s finest and a perfect finale to end the fest.

 

Manopera! Episode 42: The Death Of #DIY, The Maharaja Rises

by Chris Butera and Frank Lucci

Our hosts discuss the surprise endings and aftermath of WWE’s NXT TakeOver: Chicago and Backlash events. In addition, Spaceman Frank addresses the controversy surrounding the Alamo Drafthouse’s “women’s only” Wonder Woman screening event.

Donate to our Patreon: www.patreon.com/thebonesaw.

SSEP: Episode 16 – For Whom Cyborg’s Bell Tolls / NXT Takeover / WWE Backlash Reviews

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by Jonathan Schorr

Jon goes solo this week, discussing UFC’s Chris Cyborg punching out cyber bullies and reviews WWE’s NXT TakeOver: Chicago and Backlash events.

Donate to our Patreon.

Harp House Episode 16: Mike Rubin’s “Live at Church” and the DM48!

by Connor J. Frontera

Reconnecting with his mentor, Frontera speaks with professional harmonica player Michael Rubin about his new Live Album “Live at Church;” an album packed with excellent musicianship and beautiful harmonies. Additionally, master harmonica player Rubin shows off the new DM48 Midi Harmonica Controller. More information about Rubin can be found at his website and YouTube channel.

Donate to our Patreon.

Why A Jinder Mahal Championship Reign is Best for Business

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Credit: WWE.com

by Chris Butera

Tonight in Chicago’s Allstate Arena, Jinder Mahal will get possibly his only opportunity at the WWE Championship when he faces Randy Orton.

Although Mahal is arguably the most unlikely Superstar to receive a main event push of all time, putting the title on the Maharaja would not only be one of WWE’s boldest moves, but one of the most beneficial in the company’s 50 plus year history.

While Mahal’s xenophobic foreigner angle is nothing new to the world of sports entertainment(and is also the main variation of multiple xenophobic heel angle’s on SmackDown Live currently), the former 3MB member has been crushing it on the mic and in the ring with what he’s been given. Considering his pairing with the Sigh Brothers (formerly known as The Bollywood Boyz) and revealing on Chris Jercho’s Talk is Jericho podcast that Vince McMahon has been writing his promos personally, it seems that Jinder and his impressive new physique actually has a legitimate shot at holding the gold.

This would not only do wonders for the sports entertainment juggernaut’s relations with India, who only recently launched their WWE Shop e-commerce website (the main speculation on the reason for Mahal’s seemingly out of nowhere push), but for the entire roster of WWE talent. India is one of the hardest markets to break into for business and WWE also has never really had a large depth of talent from that well to draw from. The company has also not had an Indian World Heavyweight Champion since The Great Khali’s reign a decade ago. A championship reign for the Maharaja shows that WWE is willing to invest stock in new talents and mix things up rather than continue to rely on the same four mainstays and already established part timers.

The blue brand’s on-air Co-General Manager Shane McMahon recently said on the Stone Cold podcast that talent is afraid to try new things and approach Vince with ideas, so WWE giving someone different a fair shake could be a great motivator for young talent to speak up and potentially get their well-deserved opportunities as well. This very moment in time is eerily similar to “The New Generation” era 20 years ago, where WWE was forced to push young talent such as Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels due to steroid scandals, declining ratings and top guys jumping ship to then-competitor WCW.

Besides Mahal, India and the rest of the WWE locker room, the fans would benefit from this shift as well. The WWE Universe is very critical of the product, mostly venting about how inconsistent and predictable the writing could be. Although it came at a time of low ratings, Mahal’s push threw a huge monkey wrench into their complaints, and the reception has been pretty positive so far (a villain is actually getting booed by the crowd organically for a change). It’s familiar territory, but different because it’s with an unexpected talent, which the fans like. It shakes things up in terms of talent competing for the main championship, and that’s a great way to get people talking about your product in addition to giving them a reason to tune in.

By pushing different people, WWE will elevate the title, the talent and most importantly, the product itself for the better. Giving Jinder Mahal a run with the WWE title is a high-risk maneuver, but it could result in one of the best eras in the company’s history.

Spaceman Frank’s WWE Backlash 2017 Predictions

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by Frank Lucci

Backlash is upon us, and SmackDown Live’s first crack at a Pay-Per-View after WrestleMania has been a roller coaster of emotions for fans even before it began. We saw several key members of the SmackDown roster get sent to Raw, a House of Horrors match over at Payback, and roughly half the card put together in the final week before the show.

It is telling that WWE had me on the hook before Payback when they announced A.J. Styles vs. Kevin Owens, then lost my interest once the rest of the card filled out. Due to lackluster writing, I am now again looking forward to a match on another card, the Fatal Five Way Match for the WWE Universal Championship number one contender status at Extreme Rules.

WWE should stop announcing main events of the next PPV before the last one has even air.

Throw in a random NXT TakeOver and Backlash could very easily be lost to time almost as soon as it is over. I’m Spaceman Frank, and here are my WWE Backlash predictions.

Tye Dillinger vs. Aiden English (Preshow Hoopla Funtime Carnival)

 He may be The Perfect Ten, but with WWE Creative continuing their habit of calling up talent with no real purpose for them, this is the best Mr. Dillinger can hope for.

Dillinger showed up on SmackDown with some decent momentum, but since then has just been responsible for filling time as SmackDown slowly becomes more and more like Raw with every passing week. He is going up against Aiden English, one of the many guys WWE has recently chosen to randomly push just to see what happens. English is now without a partner and back to singing (which I guess is a step forward from not being booked at all?).

Dillinger will get the win because English has less momentum and we cannot have all the random heels plucked from obscurity get the win.

Luke Harper vs. Erick Rowan

This next match is one that has already happened repeatedly, but is now getting (some of) the attention it deserves. With no Bray Wyatt to add mystery and Randy Orton moving on from his crazy teenage goth days of 2016, this feud pretty much boils down to the two going “Well, I guess we should fight each other now.”

Rowan is wearing clown masks and giggling, which sure is something to behold. Is it better than the genius guitar player/wine expert he was before? We shall see. Meanwhile, Harper has been meandering around looking vaguely confused, and since he is forever my boy, I hope WWE figures out what they want to do with the talented big man (maybe give him a tweener role/mercenary roll similar to King Cuerno in Lucha Underground minus the deer headgear so he can feud with a variety of people in need of a quality opponent?).

Rowan has the fresh gimmick, but Harper gets the nod because, hey, it was a few weeks ago that he was rumored to be added to the WWE Championship match at WrestleMania. Remember those days? Good times…(cries into Luke Harper body pillow).

Baron Corbin vs. Sami Zayn

Another “Hey, you two, go slug it out for a bit” feud that came about for reasons unknown (I swear after the Superstar Shake-Up SmackDown’s creative team made up a dart board with people’s faces on it and drew up future plans based on which faces each dart hit the most).

Due to his size and look, Corbin seems destined to reach the main event scene, so taking on Zayn to get some heat makes a micron of sense. Zayn has been rudderless when not being beaten up by Braun Stroman, so I do not have much faith in him here (when was the last time he won a PPV match anyway?). Corbin wins to keep hating on internet dweebs and potentially join the ranks of suddenly elevated midcarders along with Jinder Mahal and Rusev.

Naomi, Charlotte, and Becky Lynch vs. The Welcoming Committee (with James Ellsworth)

For whatever reason we can’t get a Women’s Championship match on Backlash, so instead we get a thrown together “meh” match featuring the (mostly) female response to the Social Outcasts.

On the flipside, this at least gives Ellsworth something to do, and him being the cocky d-bag on the fringe of the women’s division is better than seeing him waste a main eventer’s time in the WWE title picture.

The big story of this match is the dissension among the champ’s teammates, as Charlotte is still gunning for the belt and Becky Lynch has briefly teasing turning to the dark side.

My prediction is that Ellsworth interferes when the Lass Kicker is on a roll, with Lynch thinking Charlotte was the one who messed her up, leading to a big brawl. Thus, the Welcoming Committee steals a win and everyone gets the bathroom break they deserve.

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Dolph Ziggler

Oh, Dolph. You try so hard.

What everyone assumed would be The Miz vs. Nakamura is now being filled with Ziggler doing his best Miz impression (Seriously, does anyone really think Ziggler wins here?).

My Prediction: This.

Nakamura steamrolls Dolph and moves on to steamrolling others until SummerSlam, where he wins the John Cena lottery and faces off against The Face That Runs the Place.

The Usos (c) vs. Breezango (aka The Fashion Police) (WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match)

Tyler Breeze and Fandango have been responsible for the best segments on SmackDown in the past few weeks, and between The Fashion Files and Southpaw Regional Wrestling, these guys own WWE’s Youtube content.

It’s hard not to love these goofballs, and they are faces in all but name. However, they are still treated like jokes, so I do not have hope they will win against the Usos. Jimmy (shouldn’t he be James now? No good heel is named Jimmy) and Jey are much better heels then doofus good guys, and really deserve more of a focus than they are getting.

Are Breezy and ‘Dango the new Heath Slater and Rhyno? Maybe, but not now. Usos win.

Kevin Owens (c) vs. A.J. Styles (United States Championship Match)

The match that hands down will be the best on the card sees two of the internet’s favorites clash for SmackDown’s secondary title.

Owens has regressed with his “Face of America” gimmick, and with him, Mahal and potentially Rusev all trying to get heat by speaking different languages is lazy writing and even lazier booking (remember when SmackDown was the watchable show? NXT quickly took that title back, and now we get audiences booing a Canadian for speaking French despite being on the friendliest of terms with our northern neighbors).

Meanwhile, Styles can still do no wrong, so at least this match will be excellent to watch. I just wish he was getting the main event push again rather than propping up the midcard. Owens recently traded the title back and forth with Jericho, so I see him winning here since he still needs them after the Goldberg debacle.

Randy Orton (c) vs. Jinder Mahal (WWE Championship Match)

The main event is so hyped up that I have to remind my roommates what the main event of Backlash is roughly every three days.

There are many theories for why Mahal is getting a sudden main event push, from the WWE expanding into India to Vince McMahon loving his intensely muscled body.

To be fair, Jinder has done well with what WWE has given him, and barring the xenophobic “Boo me because I am speaking my native language” schtick he is playing the part well. After a few months of not being a joke instead of WWE’s usual “few weeks heel” build, I can believe him staying in the midcard.

Meanwhile, Orton is back to “zero effs given mode,” and I do not see him putting in any effort to get Jinder over as a legit threat considering he wouldn’t do it for Wyatt (Is Orton still supposed to be a good guy? I have zero interest in cheering him, and I think he is the most overrated superstar of the modern era. He does one move a year to remind you he is a good athlete, then coasts for the rest of the year). It would be great if WWE would just the belt off him and have him fart around away from the title picture forever, but not quite yet. Wait until Styles gets back into the title picture (or maybe even Rusev, the man more deserving of the Jinder push).

Orton wins and the crowd has a 50/50 chance of turning on this match.
…..DIVE

Spaceman Frank’s NXT Takeover: Chicago Predictions

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by Frank Lucci

NXT has snuck in a TakeOver event several weeks after WrestleMania, and the general reaction I’ve seen from people talking about this event is “There’s a TakeOver going on that week?”

It seems very random that WWE would pick Backlash of all Pay-Per-Views to piggyback a Takeover event onto, but when you consider that waiting until SummerSlam would be far too long for a TakeOver and the fact that Chicago is consistently one of the best crowds for wrestling, it makes a little bit more sense.

NXT has had a good run of television since ‘Mania and I dare say after a bit of a lull, the developmental brand has reemerged as the best weekly program WWE has going. Chicago promises to be a weird blend of established NXT talent with some new people thrown in to replace departed stars, which should be an explosive mix to watch. However, there are several notable people missing from the card (Kassius Ohno, Alister Black, Cien Almas, etc), and with only five matches announced as of this writing I expect a last minute match added just to screw with me. That said, I’m Spaceman Frank and here are my NXT Takeover: Chicago predictions!

Roderick Strong vs. Eric Young (with Alexander Wolfe and Killian Dain)

The only (as of this writing) non-title match sees The Messiah of the Backbreaker taking on Tye Dillinger’s role as the thorn in Sanity’s side as he gets a one on one match with their leader Eric Young.

Strong has had a hell of a time in NXT since ‘Mania as he went from generically handsome dude who does not talk into someone I generally want to succeed. Part of this is the excellent vignettes NXT produced that addressed the gaping void where his personality should be. Another large part was his supremely enjoyable number one contender’s match with Hideo Itami that sold me on him being someone who can have main event matches. Finally, during his amazing vignette he wore an Every Time I Die “Hot Damn” album cover t-shirt, which is a golden ticket into Spaceman Frank’s heart.

Strong has all the momentum here, but since Young has the number’s game here I think he will get the win. He has a solid TakeOver record thus far, and I think this feud has legs so Young will draw first blood for Sanity.

Tyler Bate (c) vs. Pete Dunne (WWE UK Championship Match)

The title match with the least build, mostly because WWE shot the UK show tapings out of order so we knew Dunne was getting a rematch before we actually saw him win the privilege of facing Bate.

Bate was excellent during the UK tournament, but I can see Dunne on the main roster now and immediately becoming a player in the main event scene a la Samoa Joe. I’d go as as far as to say Triple H needs to make Evolution 2.0 (EV 2.0?? Oh wait…) with Joe, Dunne, Triple H (as Ric Flair) and Brock Lesnar where the group feud over who is Brock’s number one contender by proxy while The Beast Incarnate is off strangling Emu’s or whatever he does on his farm.

Anyway, Bate wins here because I feel like if they make the switch it will be on the new UK show to build interest in that rather than prop up a TakeOver special.

Asuka (c) vs. Ruby Riot vs. Nikki Cross (NXT Women’s Championship Match)

Ember Moon’s injury and subsequent withdrawal from this match has really deflated the hype surrounding it.

Moon vs. Asuka still feels like the endgame for the women’s division, though Asuka vs. Cross has me much more hyped than any other potential matchup. That leaves Ruby Riot to take the pin, and with Asuka oh so very close to breaking Goldberg’s record for longest undefeated streak there is no reason for her to lose. As of late, we have seen WWE make sure to break every possible record they can, and Goldberg’s will be next. Cross and Riot keep brawling with the Empress of Tomorrow avoiding them until she can kick Riot in the head and keep her title.

The Authors of Pain (c) (with Paul Ellering) vs. Team DIY (NXT Tag Team Championship Ladder Match)

I want to see the big boys known as the Authors of Pain fall of a ladder.

I am ready to see this match, and it is far and away the match I am most looking forward to. Team DIY constantly have the best match during TakeOvers, and even though they are tasked to carry the massive dudes in AOP in a match best fit for smaller guys, I’m all in. I see bodies flying, amazing feats of strength, and above all else, people tumbling off of ladders. NXT only does a handful of gimmick matches during the year, so it is telling how much DIY has management’s faith if they get the nod for a Ladder Match. With rumors swirling that Ciampa is getting a new theme and confirmation that Gargano’s new theme is in the works, people think DIY will split soon. Not sure about that leap in logic, but I think AOP gets the win here.

Author’s note: With the news that Ciampa has suffered some sort of leg injury, it seems even more in doubt that Team DIY will win the belts back. Triple H has gone on the record to say that the guy has turned an ankle and should be good to go, but reiterated the fact that it is up to the medical staff to make the final call. This gives AOP even more of an excuse to beat up Johnny Wrestling for 15 minutes as Ciampa recovers outside the ring for extended periods of time.

Bobby Roode (c) vs. Hideo Itami (NXT Championship Match)

Hideo is finally back (for real this time), and immediately punched his ticket to the title scene by beating Roderick Strong. It makes sense that he would face Roode, as he is a holdout of a class of WWE signees that, for the most part, have vacated NXT. It also makes sense that he goes right back to the main event scene since that’s where he was suppose to be this entire time if not for injuries.

However, plenty of time has passed, and now many of the attributes that made Itami stand out in 2015 are par for the course in WWE. Honestly, I can see him getting hot-shotted to the main roster, but only as a Cruiserweight on 205 Live. Roode is an engaging as ever, and he is a prime candidate for a callup in the summer. For now, I predict he keeps his championship and the sudden influx of main event caliber guys in NXT leads him to losing it in a multi-man match down the road.

Amon Amarth, Goatwhore at the Paramount

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by Anthony Carioscia

Although In Flames and Katakylsm were playing The Chance in Poughkeepsie, I had no interest. I don’t care for Katakylsm, plus I had a good feeling In Flames wasn’t going to play anything before Clayman (I’d later find out I was right).

Instead, my friend Don and I decided to go see Amon Amarth and Goatwhore for a much better show at The Paramount in Huntington, Long Island. Upon getting there we realized it was a pretty nice place and hung out at a bar for a bit before going inside. Once inside, we spoke with some cool Long Island metalheads until it was time for Goatwhore to get on stage.

Goatwhore 

Though we’ve both seen Goatwhore so many times (this was my sixth to be exact), they never get old live. The last time I saw them was 3 years ago, so you could say it had been awhile. The energy of their performance was insane and it was cool to see them play for a bigger crowd. We also got to hear all kinds of classics such as “Baring Teeth for Revolt” and “Apocalyptic Havoc.”

Amon Amarth

After Goatwhore finished, it was time for the band I was most excited about. Back in High School, Amon Amarth was one of the first death metal bands I had ever listened to and I still consider their early material through 2008 to be top-notch melodeath (the stuff after…not so much).

Their set tonight had a lot of newer songs and although I’m not a fan of that era, their performance on those tracks was great. Amon Amarth also played many great old-school tracks, including “Death in Fire,” “Twilight of the Thunder God,” “Pursuit of Vikings” and my all time favorite “Cry of the Black Birds.”

Out of the 2017 shows I’ve been to so far, this one was my favorite. Both bands had tons of energy and because the show only consisted of two great bands rather than an endurance test with four or more good and bad ones.

 

 

Harp House: Episode 15 – Custom Harmonicas/Midwest Harmonica Workshop

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by Connor Frontera

Connor recently started a thread on the Harmonica Gear Facebook page that turned into a great discussion, where many people weighed in the value of custom harmonicas.

Additionally, Harp House interviews Midwest Harmonica Workshop founder Sean Whalin O’Phelan to talk about the workshop and this year’s attendees.

Donate to our Patreon: www.patreon.com/thebonesaw.

Manopera! Episode 41: Bray Waytt’s House of Payback

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Chris and Spaceman Frank review WWE Payback and discuss current events in Pro Wrestling.

Donate to our Patreon at www.patreon.com/thebonesaw.

F*ck Mondays! Episode 38: Guardians of the Galaxy 2 Review

Chris and Jon review Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy 2 with all the guts, glory and spoilers! Also reviewed is the trailer for the latest Marvel Netflix exclusive show, The Defenders.

Donate to our Patreon at www.patreon.com/thebonesaw.

SSEP: Episode 15 – NFL Draft/WWE Payback Review, Cyborg Gets Her Shot

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by Jonathan Schorr

Jon and Matt review the NFL Draft and WWE Payback. Also discussed are MLB news and the UFC’s Cris “Cyborg” Justino finally getting her Featherweight Championship opportunity.

Donate to our Patreon at www.patreon.com/thebonesaw.

Bonesaw Podcast: Episode 52 – Matt de Rogatis

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We sit down with out first actor, Matt de Rogatis, who most recently reprised his role as Roy in the Off-Broadway play Lone Star. De Rogatis shares his story of how he got into acting and where his dreams have taken him.

Lone Star tickets can be purchased at DrinkBeerRaiseHell.com.

Donate to our Patreon at www.patreon.com/thebonesaw.

Lone Star: Captivating and Surreal

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The year is 1972. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an unknown issue developing in Vietnam veterans. Upon his return from the war, Roy (Matt de Rogatis) discovers both he and his life have changed in Jame’s McLure’s Lone Star, an off-Broadway play that encompasses a man slowly going insane from the shock of the things he’s seen while clinging to his past.

The short play gets right to the point as Roy, drunk on his favorite beer (Lone Star) heads to the backyard of a Texas bar and immediately acknowledges the stars in the sky, one of the recurring motifs in the one-hour show. We are then introduced to his brother Ray (Chris Loupos) and for a brief moment, Cletis (Greg Pragel) –  a friend of Ray who Roy despises for seemingly no particular reason. As Ray and Roy chat and reminisce about Roy’s glory days, we quickly realize Roy is not nearly as stable as he claims to be while brother Ray is dealing with his own issues.

The acting is impeccable. De Rogatis’s portrayal of an alcoholic post-war victim really hits home as his energy translates well across the stage. His use of facial expressions and body language carry the character convincingly as you continue to feel worse for the mood-swinging Roy every minute. Loupos shares a unique chemistry with de Rogatis as you can immediately tell the two characters are brothers, as well as which is older. Loupos also makes you believe Ray’s concern for his brother and his attempts to make everything seem alright while holding back the truth. Together, they work very well. Pragel also provides a somber comic relief in Cletis, who simply wants to be accepted by the macho Roy.

The play also provides a simple, yet relatable premise while making fantastic use of what little time the actors have. From the mcguffin in Roy’s 1959 pink Thunderbird to his marital struggles to Ray and Cletis’ secrets, the elements are peppered in at the right moments where nothing feels forced. The dialogue feels real enough to suggest that similar conversations have happened many times in reality during this particular period, and even now with current war/military vets. Even the southern accents are done to a T (for Texas, that is).

Additionally, Lone Star also has a series of motifs sprinkled thoughout the presentation. Stars are a metaphor for Roy (indicated by his beverage of choice) and everyone he’s ever known and loved (the stars in the sky). Another is Hank William’s 1953 classic “Your Cheatin’ Heart.”

The one issue with Lone Star is it’s ending. Despite all the turmoil and build, the play tries to end on a positive note. This is not only confusing as there is no real resolve to Roy’s growing problems, but not entirely believable unless Roy really is that drunk (which is plausible). However, the audience will be left with many questions and the desire to see the true aftermath of Roy and Ray’s night out.

At the end of the night, Lone Star is a quick, yet large dose of drama with a great cast and script. Despite a light hiccup of a finale, you have a solid show that makes a strong brew out of the limited hops, grains and barley it’s given.

Lone Star is moving off-Broadway to The Triad May 6th and 13th. Tickets can be purchased at DrinkBeerRaiseHell.com.

F*ck Mondays! Episode 37: Criticizing The Critics

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Chris and Jon call out the critics for their most heinous Guardians of the Galaxy 2 reviews and praise the fans for sticking to their guns. Also spoken about are Fox’s next X-Men related projects and more.

Donate to our Patreon: www.patreon.com/thebonesaw.

Spaceman Frank’s WWE Payback 2017 Predictions

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by Frank Lucci

Oh boy, here we go.

I’m trying to come up with some positives for Raw (and the WWE’s) first post-WrestleMania Pay-Per-View, and they have decided to go in some…odd directions for it. Sure, the Superstar Shakeup was exciting, but since then we’ve seen Raw go from a decent hour and a half (on Hulu) to barely capable of making a compelling top ten moments video on YouTube. At least we have our lord and savior Braun Strowman to give us something entertaining while Universal Champ Brock Lesnar is busy counting his money while consuming an entire buffalo.

It’s amazing how much drop in quality Raw has suffered compared to SmackDown Live and NXT, who have used the Superstar Shakeup and infusion of new talent to gamely keep the ball rolling after WrestleMania. That said, I’m Spaceman Frank and here are my predictions for Payback.

Enzo and Big Cass vs.  The Club (Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson) (Pre-show Filler Bonanza)

While I’m generally pretty happy that The Hardy Boyz are back in WWE, these two teams got pretty screwed over by their arrival. The Club lost their belts at ‘Mania, and Enzo and Cass had what many assumed to be their big moment usurped by the returning Attitude Era team. WWE has now hoofed these two tag teams back to the pre-show where Enzo can waste a few minutes referencing local sports teams and feces while The Club wear nice coats and call people nerds. My preferred route after this PPV is The Club regaining their titles and beat Matt enough so he becomes broken again, where he and Enzo can have a professional debate that simply DELIGHTFUL.

Anyway, The Club wins because Enzo and Big Cass always lose.

Kevin Owens (c) vs. Chris Jericho (United States Championship Match where if Jericho wins, he is transferred to SmackDown Live)

Jericho is getting back to his band Fozzy and not expected to be seen past the week after Payback, so I wonder who’s going to win?

Owens needs some image rehab after losing to a “real” Superstar in Goldberg, and while his WrestleMania matchup with Y2J was decent, I do not see this being a masterpiece like the ending of the Owens  Sami Zayn feud. For one, there is no real stipulation, which seems very odd all things considered. Two, while these guys can wrestle a fine technical match, I’ve lost so much interest in this feud since the Festival of Friendship that I need more to go on besides countering each other’s significant moves. Owens wins and continues to speak french like the dirty Canadian heel he is until WWE remembers Zayn is also on SmackDown and have them start fighting again.

Neville (c) vs. Austin Aries (WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match)

These guys had a damn fine match at ‘Mania, and having them open that show was smart to draw some casual fans into the Cruiserweight style. Now Aries gets his rematch, and I hope they can build on their previous encounter to deliver some real excitement here. Aries has embraced his good guy role, but I really see him more as a bad guy in the long term. Neville is probably the best booked champ in WWE, so I think they will keep him on top of the purple brand while they cycle in different challengers to help them get over. 

Seth Rollins vs. Samoa Joe

This is a match, and it is happening (that’s all I got for this one).

While ‘Mania probably would have been a better stage for these two to go at it rather than on this throwaway show, Triple H is busy doing whatever COO’s do in real life (concocting shady business deals on a boat while surrounded by bikini clad ladies, perhaps?).  I do not think this match will be bad as long as Rollins’ knee holds up, but this is just a standard singles match so both talents have something to do on the PPV.

While there is a story here, WWE has dropped the ball yet again when it comes to Rollins’ babyface run. This match has the potential to really start a great feud, and I think Joe will get the win in a situation mirroring Rollin’s original injury to get the ball rolling on Joe’s inevitable Universal Championship run.

The Hardy Boyz (c) vs. Sheamus and Cesaro (WWE Raw Tag Team Championship Match)

Matt “Broken on Twitter Only” Hardy and Jeff “I’m Also Here” Hardy are taking on Sheamus and Cesaro for the Tag Team Championships, but with a bland story and no real build, this is another match that also happens to be happening.

The Hardy Boyz only have a limited time before the nostalgia well runs dry, so considering the recent acquisition of the “Broken” Matt Hardy gimmick from Anthem Sports & Entertainment, hopefully WWE starts planting the seeds of the “Broken” Hardy’s with this match.

Sheamus and Cesaro are really good as a team, but I still want them to split because I think the main event scene could easily use both of these dudes, especially while Lesnar is choking out whatever dangerous beasts live in North Dakota (Bears? T-Rex’s??? Half bears half T-Rex hybrids???). The Hardy’s win while The Dudley Boyz sadly eat their mac and cheese wishing they got this kind of treatment when they came back to WWE.

Bayley (c) vs. Alexa Bliss (Raw Women’s Championship Match)

We get a desperately needed fresh matchup in the Raw’s Women’s division with Bayley taking on Bliss in what should be a pretty fine match.

Bliss came into her own the more SmackDown relied on her, and I think she is a suitable feud for Bayley as WWE continues to delay Sasha Bank’s heel turn for reasons unknown. Raw does not seem to know how to book their Women’s belt, as they went from record-setting reigns to switching the title every few months. Bayley has suffered from this throughout her brief run, so I can definitely see Bliss walking away with the belt to set up some back and forth title switches. However, now that WrestleMania is over I think cooler heads will prevail and Bayley will retain to keep that preteen girl money coming in.

Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt (House of Horrors Match)

What was once Bray’s rematch for the WWE Championship is now an inter-brand match where nobody knows what a “House of Horrors” actually is (did I transport to a Vince Russo era TNA PPV?).

I really want House of Horrors to be a secret tie-in with Swerved Season Three where Bray and Randy are confronted with their real life fears in a locked room for an hour, complete with picture in picture updates throughout the night as they freak out. What will actually happen has been vaguely described as a Boiler Room/ Hollywood Backlot Brawl where the area in question is the Wyatt Compound – which just so happens to be in driving distance of the arena (yes, really). Since this is now a non-title match for reasons unknown, I see Bray winning due to Erik Rowan jumping ship since a solo Rowan still loyal to Bray makes zero sense.

Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman

Because we have displeased some deity, Roman Reigns is here to demolish your hopes and dreams of a watchable Raw by beating up the entertaining wrestlers on the roster with the same three moves over and over and over again.  

The Abominable Strowman is the best part of Raw, and seeing a stupidly large yet agile man throw people around is amazing in itself. He has buckets of charisma (something Reigns wishes he had), making Strowman the Internet’s hatred of Reigns made flesh, and I really, truly hope he gets the win here.

However, WWE has made the baffling decisions to A) have Kalisto beat Strowman the Raw before Payback and B) not make this an ambulance match despite Strowman TIPPING OVER A GODDAMN AMBULANCE IT WAS RIGHT THERE WWE WHAT ARE YOU DOING???

If the rumors of Strowman getting Lesnar down the line are true then I am going with the Monster Among Men here. Reigns has had a rough few weeks personally and physically, but he does not need this win since he already beat Braun at Fastlane. Plus, they can always do the ambulance match later – or maybe an inferno match at Great Balls of Fire, which is a real thing because WWE does not want you to feel cool for watching wrestling.

SSEP: Episode 14 – 2017 NFL Draft Special

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by Jonathan Schorr

The boys and special guest “The Young Man” Hakim preview the NFL draft, which airs on ESPN this Thursday night at 8.

Donate to our Patreon: www.patreon.com/thebonesaw.

Harp House Episode 14: Which Position?

by Connor J. Frontera

A small Facebook conversation with newly endorsed Seydel player, Russell Huffer, sparked big thoughts about which position to use when playing different music.

Donate to our Patreon: www.patreon.com/thebonesaw

Manopera! Episode 40: All Shook Up

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We cover a lot of ground as the dynamic duo analyze the Superstar Shake-Up, the growing Mauro Ranallo/JBL situation and more. Chris recaps his experience at the WWE shareholder meeting and reads the news as Dusty Rhodes. Spaceman Frank cuts a promo on United Airlines.

This episode is dedicated to the memory of Matt “Rosey” Anoa’i.

Donate to our Patreon: www.patreon.com/thebonesaw.

SSEP: Episode 13 – The World of Sports/This Week in WWE

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by Jon Schorr

Jon and Matt delve into major sports news including the NY Rangers win over the Montreal Canadiens, some NBA playoff news, the beginning of the new MLB season, some major UFC talk and review this week in WWE.

Donate to our Patreon: www.patreon.com/thebonesaw.

Yooka-Laylee: Familiar and Fulfilling

by Robert Orr

The year is 1998, and the Nintendo 64 is one of the hottest video game consoles on the market.

Coming off the success of Goldeneye, RareWare launches one of the greatest platformers of all time in Banjo-Kazooie. The game featured hilarious dialogue, endearing characters, vibrant graphics, and most importantly of all, exciting and rewarding gameplay. Rare followed up with a number of classics, which include a much loved sequel (aptly named Banjo-Tooie), Donkey Kong 64, Conker’s Bad Fur Day, and Perfect Dark. Soon after, Nintendo announced the Gamecube, and rumors began circulating of what Rare’s next classic would be. Banjo-Threeie was teased numerous times, but the wait continued.

However, Rare and Nintendo’s partnership ended, and the company was acquired by Microsoft. Rare began developing games for the Xbox and later Xbox 360. Some were good, some were bad, but many were left wondering if Banjo-Threeie would ever see the light of day.

Eventually, news of a new Banjo-Kazooie game (Nuts and Bolts) finally surfaced. When the game was finally released, many fans were disappointed, as the classic platforming gameplay of the originals was replaced with a strange vehicle building quasi-sandbox. Suffice to say, the game was not well received by fans and critics alike, and many feared there would never be a true sequel to Banjo-Kazooie.

In 2012, a group of game designers, all veterans of RareWare’s heyday, decided to come together and form a new company, which would eventually be known as Playtonic Games. A Kickstarter for their newest endeavor, a true spiritual successor to RareWare’s greatest hit platformers, was successfully funded – a game called Yooka-Laylee.

Much like its precursors, Yooka-Laylee is a platforming game with a focus on collecting various items throughout large open worlds. Some of these items are used to buy new moves to help the titular heroes reach new areas of the game previously unreachable.

The main collectible, Pagies, are similar to Banjo-Kazooie’s Jiggies. Pagies are used to unlock new levels, and also “expand” existing levels, a new feature unique to Yooka-Laylee. Levels initially start off kind of small, but by paying a certain amount of extra Pagies (depending on the level), new sections of the level become available for the player to explore. Pagies are collected by completing various challenges throughout the level, which include completing puzzles and platforming challenges, defeating bosses, and simple exploration.

There’s also Ghost Writers, which are a bit tougher to collect, as they must be defeated and/or captured using the various special moves acquired throughout the game. There are additional unique items to be collected, which can be used in various ways in each level.

The levels themselves are huge. Banjo-Kazooie and Tooie were both known for their large levels (especially for the N64 era), but Yooka-Laylee takes it to the next level. With the edition of the expand feature, levels go from average-sized to gigantic worlds with a plethora of secrets. Each level is accessed through the hub world, Hivory Towers – this game’s analogue to Gruntilda’s Castle. Hivory Towers is massive in itself, with dozens of branching paths and secrets to be found. Aside from being the area where all the worlds are contained, Hivory Towers also serves as its own unique level, with various hidden collectibles and puzzles the player must complete in order to advance.

The characters are endearing and funny. Yooka the chameleon serves as the level-headed voice of reason of the duo, while Laylee the bat is a comedic and slightly sardonic foil to that. The main boss of the game, Capital B., is a nefarious honeybee businessman, and much like Gruntilda from Banjo-Kazooie, mocks Yooka and Laylee as they progress throughout the hub world. Capital B.’s partner is a strange duck head in a jar named Dr. Quack, who acts as the bumbling sidekick, designing trivia games to try and slow the player down as they progress through the game.

Also much like its predecessors, Yooka-Laylee features many side characters, as pretty much every item and inanimate object in the game can actually talk, and each of these side characters will quickly become loved by the player.

Graphically, Yooka-Laylee is gorgeous, featuring vibrant colors, dynamic light and shadows, and amazing high-def textures. The character animations are fluid and smooth, and the various transformations and special abilities are all creatively designed. The levels, aside from their titanic topography, are beautiful and unique, spanning various environments, from a tropical paradise to a frozen tundra – and even a casino. As with everything else, these levels are colorful and visually appealing, and players may find themselves climbing to the highest point of each level to just admire the scenery.

There are however, a few performance hiccups, which is to be expected from a game this new, and will most likely be patched as time goes on. It has also been reported by individuals who received early copies of the game that the camera had some issues. However, a first day patch seems to have fixed whatever problems there were with the camera, and aside from a few areas where it can get a bit crazy, the camera control is fairly solid.

Overall, Yooka-Laylee is a well-designed game, and while it does have a few flaws, these are minor in comparison to all the positive aspects of the game. Veterans of the original RareWare classics on the N64 will love Yooka-Laylee, although the gameplay may seem a bit dated to younger players. That said, Yooka-Laylee really does bring something for everyone to the table, and even younger players will grow to love it with time. The gameplay is simple enough for anyone to pick up and play, but has enough difficulty that even seasoned players of the platforming genre will find themselves with quite a challenge in completing the levels.

For those Rare fans who’ve been waiting years for Banjo-Threeie, the wait is finally over, and although it isn’t a true Banjo-Kazooie sequel, Yooka-Laylee certainly fills that void.

Bonesaw Podcast: Episode 51 – Gatecreeper’s Chase Mason

Chase Mason from Arizona’s Gatecreeper pops by to chat about the band’s album “Sonoran Deprevation,” the state of the music industry, and more.

Donate to our Patreon: www.patreon.com/thebonesaw.

F*ck Mondays! Episode 36: Marvel/DC Shakeup

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Chris and Jon talk the latest Marvel and DC trailers, Joss Whedon directing the new Batgirl movie, and a whole lot more.

Donate to our Patreon: www.patreon.com/thebonesaw.

Manopera! Episode 39: WrestleMania 33 Part 2 – DayShiftAMania Runs Wild

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Chris and Spaceman Frank are joined by www.ProWrestlingOpinion.com‘s Nicholas Jason Lopez to review WrestleMania 33, it’s aftermath, and speculate on the “Superstar Shakeup” angle. Spaceman Frank cuts a promo on the JBL/Mauro Ranallo situation.

Donate to our Patreon: www.patreon.com/thebonesaw.

Harp House Episode 13: Interview with Janalyn Miklas

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by Connor J. Frontera

In this episode, Connor interviews harmonica “Royalty” Janalyn Miklas to discuss women in the industry and the future of the instrument. Miklas also shares a few funny and personal moments about her most embarrassing performance.

Check out some of Susan Sauter’s work here.

Donate to our Patreon: www.patreon.com/thebonesaw

SSEP – Episode 12: WrestleMania 33 Review and Aftermath

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by Jonathan Schorr

Jon and Matt review the “ultimate thrill ride” known as WrestleMania 33 and tackle the aftermath from Raw and SmackDown Live.

Donate to our Patreon: www.patreon.com/thebonesaw.

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