Spaceman Frank’s WWE Fastlane 2018 Predictions

It’s the final stop on the road to WrestleMania… unless you could all the Raw’s and SmackDowns that take place in the next few weeks.

Somehow Fastlane has even less hype than Elimination Chamber, which is somewhat impressive. At least that had some historical firsts while Fastlane just has a bunch of guys farting around pretending that they matter as much as Ronda Rousey, Brock Lesnar and DA BIG DAWG ROMAN REIGNS.

This is evident by SmackDown having two halves of a match (TBD vs Nakamura and potentially Asuka vs TBD if she jumps brands) in the books for Wrestlemania while has three full matches ready. We get it WWE DA BIG DAWG is the biggest dawg in the pound even though Shinsuke is the Royal Rumble winner and is universally beloved. But hey, at least we get Nakamura vs. AJ…unless they take that away from us (DON’T YOU DARE TAKE THAT AWAY FROM US WWE!!!).  I’m Spaceman Frank and here are my Fastlane 2018 predictions!

(Note: as of this writing at 3:35 PM the day before Fastlane there is no preshow match announced, so I will go ahead and say Jinder Mahal will beat Mojo Rawley in a match that makes everyone sad.)

Becky Lynch and Naomi vs. Natalya and Carmella

This match is brought to us by the inevitable heat death of the universe.

Such is the depths of my apathy for the women’s division on SmackDown right now (Fun Fact: Becky Lynch has not won on PPV in over a year. Your first women’s champion of SmackDown ladies and gentleman). I do not know what the point of this match will be besides reminding us at 75% of the women involved in this match are former champions and Carmella may be one in the near future with the Money in the Bank briefcase. The good gals win because why not? (Probably WWE’s actual booking logic).

Bobby Roode (C) vs. Randy Orton (US Championship match)

As much as I love Bobby Roode his US title reign has…sucked. He pretty much has just hung around to kill 15 minutes and give us a singalong to partake in. Meanwhile, Orton has also been drifting around delivering RKO’s outta somewhere to remind us that he is a big deal.

I am concerned that Orton will win the belt here because he has to do something at WrestleMania, and Roode is can be in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal with all the other directionless schmucks. Orton wins in a slow, plodding match between two masters of the “methodical” style.

Charlotte Flair (C) vs. Ruby Riott (WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship)

Please God let this be the end of the constant matches between Flair and members of the Riott Squad. At this point the Squad seem to have wrestled 8,000 matches since their debut and have killed any hype we have for the gang. If you think WWE is going to go with Ruby over Flair for a title match at the biggest show of the year you need to stop drinking so much moonshine.

I hope Asuka jumps to SmackDown to face Charlotte at WrestleMania since that feels like it belongs at ‘Mania over two separate matches between the two. We got to cut time somewhere in the evening and this would be a better quality match than whatever else they book. If WWE wants to impress any fans tuning in for Ronda they should put their two best together. Charlotte wins and Ruby and the posse creep in the shadows for a while selling weed to middle schoolers.

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Rusev

WWE cares about Royal Rumble winner Shinsuke Nakamura that they booked him a match with zero match less than a week before Fastlane (Yayyyy). At least we get two of the most over guys in the company facing off in what should be a fun match.

Rusev appears to be not quite committing to being a good guy, which is odd considering he is literally the greatest person in written history. But he exists to sell t-shirts and calendars and job out to people. Nakamura wins the battle of the singalong champions and goes on to hopefully face AJ BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT WE WANT WWE DO NOT DARE MESS THIS UP.

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

This match is here to give fans something to wake them up, which is weird because if WWE was going to walk this feud back you would think they would wait until WrestleMania.

The Usos are trying to make the main ‘Mania card for the first time ever, and besides their hosting duties last year The New Day have very little time on the main show as well. I do not think these guys can have a bad match, so this is a very likely match of the night candidate. It also is the one I am least sure of for predictions, because New Day’s popularity may trump the Uso’s workhorse cred.

In the end, I want The Usos to be rewarded for stepping up their game and retain so they get their moment at WrestleMania.

AJ Styles (C) vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Baron Corbin vs. John Cena vs. Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens (WWE Championship Match)

WWE blew the most interesting story joining into this when they had Sami go after his super best friend on the go home show, thus shutting down the storyline that he would lay down for KO when he got the chance. That two vs. all gimmick would have at least yielded some drama, but now I expect Zayn to rediscover his heart of pure pureness at attack the dastardly Owens.

As for the rest of the people in this match, Ziggler came back after his sabbatical to continue his Zigglypuff ways. Corbin continues to be a person who is employed by the WWE, snd Big Match John threatens to digivolve to ManiaJohnamon at any second.

I have a shadow in my heart that whispers “it does not matter how good AJ Styles is: Cena will beat him for the championship because he is John Effing Cena.” I pray that does not happen because AJ VS. SHINSUKE WILL BE THE BEST MATCH EVER WE LITERALLY HAVE VIDEO EVIDENCE CONFIRMING IT WWE STOP YA NONSENSE AND GIVE US A MATCH WE WANT TO SEE AT MANIA.

….AJ wins or I drink a bottle of mouthwash before bed on Sunday.


Manopera! Episode 56: Predictability Chamber

Chris and Spaceman Frank review WWE Elimination Chamber 2018 and talk shop on the state of WWE on the road to WrestleMania!

Donate to our Patreon:

SSEP – Episode 34: WWE Post-Chamber, MLB, and NFL Talk

Jon and the Jewaharaja discuss the current state of WWE post-Elimination Chamber and pre-‘Mania, and finally get back to current sports talk with MLB and NFL updates.

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Spaceman Frank’s Elimination Chamber 2018 Predictions

The Elimination Chamber! The massive thing shows up every February and pretends to be super important but in reality, we all know what is going to happen already.

The Elimination Chamber is the Puxatony Phil. Yeah, Phil, we are stupid we know spring is coming eventually along with Roman Reigns’ WrestleMania push (You ain’t special, ya just a rodent)!

Tangent aside I do not expect much fireworks at this event or Fastlane, but it is easier to watch than tens of hours of Raw and Smackdown.

Considering until Friday there were only four matches announced shows just how little effs WWE gives about this Pay-Per-View. The only thing they seem to care about is Rhonda signing a paper and MAKING WOMEN’S HISTORY BUH GAWD. I’m Spaceman Frank and these are my Elimination Chamber 2018 predictions.

The Club vs. The Miztourage (Pre-show Thing That Gives You A Chance to Stop Listening to Booker T for a Bit)

It’s the members of the teams nobody cares about! On the Pre-show nobody cares about!

Is it possible both teams manage to job out to each other during this match? A match featuring the popular members of both teams could be cool, but will WWE really go along with Miz vs Balor? Or will they decide come Wrestlemania time to just throw all these dudes together for another preshow brawl?

Time will tell, and I predict The Club will win since I would be shocked if Axel and Bo are employed by WWE by the end of the year.


Matt Hardy vs. Bray Wyatt

Hey, Remember when this was a lowlight of Raw 25?! Well, now you get to experience it again! Until they pull out the shenanigans at The Hardy (or Wyatt), I have zero effs to give. I just enjoy that Hardy is officially labeled as “Woken Matt Hardy” on Elimination Chamber’s Wikipedia page.

Remember when Wyatt won the WWE Championship at last year’s version of the event? Pour one out for our lost internet darling. Matt Hardy has lost tons of momentum since his Woken videos started airing, and Bray has zero momentum, so Hardy wins.

The Bar vs. TItus Worldwide (WWE Raw Tag Team Championship Match)

Can I confess something? I am a big fan of all the members of Titus Worldwide.

I just wish this group actually did something worth investing in. Like, they have won a whole bunch lately, but it has all felt like a giant fluke. I do not consider them much of a threat to a team on the level of Breezango, let alone The Bar. Speaking of The Bar, is Sheamus actually hurt? I keep expecting him to go on the shelf because of his alleged neck injury, but here he is still putting on fantastic matches with his Swiss buddy.

As much as I enjoy The Bar, if he is really closing in on retirement I hope it means Cesaro gets a chance to be a singles star finally. The Bar win so they can begin the Irish Wake for Big Shamo’s career.


Asuka vs. Nia Jax

If Nia wins, then she will be involved in Raw’s women’s championship match at WrestleMania…so she will lose.

Look, I love Jax but she has lost every big match she has ever been in. Why would she start winning when it matters? Oh, wait they did that last year with Bray Wyatt….

Anyway, Asuka losing before ‘Mania would make about as much sense as knitting berets for a pack of wolves. Hell, Asuka losing during Mania makes very little sense, Rousey or no. She needs the championship first, and with several women’s matches potentially lined up for the event, I feel like a five-minute Asuka squash is in order. Asuka wins and Jax goes off to promote Total Divas.


Women’s Elimination Chamber Match

HISTORY AND SUCH! Once again WWE has pulled that trope out of the hat, and at this point, it is the only one left for them to use.

As for the participants, it is a mixed bag here. Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose are here as fodder, though if they split up I would be mildly curious to see how they far by themselves. Mickie James is another body here to make people look good, but the veteran should be able to pin one or two people before going out. Bayley and Sasha Banks are the potential show-stealing pair here, and if we get true Boss Banks out of the chamber then I will be happy.

Meanwhile, I can 100% see Alexa Bliss sneaking out with the belt for the Asuka squash, much like how she got wrecked in five minutes at last Wrestlemania.

Men’s Elimination Chamber Match

The supersized chamber match sees slightly more people in it for slightly more fun! SIGHTLY MORE FUN, GUYS! GET EXCITED!

Look, we all know what is going to happen. The rumors have been in place for a real. It is transparently obvious every time the fans real favorites (and future mayor Kane) get taken down by Brock Lesnar with one F-5. Meanwhile, Roman Reigns has been off in the shadows losing to a surprising amount of people, yet nobody is convinced he is suddenly vulnerable.

The Roman rehab tour has yielded some decent matches, but honestly, he is the fifth most over guy in this match at best. At worst he is facing six guys who have managed to get over with the crowd through different combinations of pristine wrestling chops and character work that does not feel like an old, out of touch man wrote it for him.

Roman is going to win, we all have accepted it in our hearts, and we just have to hope the other men in the chamber have something interesting to do at Reign’s “fourth time’s the charmaMania.”

Is the Ixalan Block Geared For Commander?

Rivals of Ixalan, the second half of Magic: The Gathering’s Ixalan block has a synergy of tribal cards that are hit or miss in the current meta known as Standard, but might fare better in the wild west multiplayer format known as Commander.

As for the tribes, there’s Merfolk, Pirates, Vampires, and Dinosaurs – the latter of which is not seeing as much play as the card game’s manufacturer Wizards of the Coast hoped.

Pro tours have been running Vampire Tokens, splashing some pirates, and a hint of Merfolk, but the only dino that was getting any real use – Rampaging Ferocidon- got hit with the banhammer in January, a strange blow in an effort to curb the consistency of mono-red burn and Temur energy decks in Standard.

However, sites such as MTGGoldfish and StarCityGames have featured heavy decklists for each tribe in the Commander format since the block showed up in September.

With cards such as Gishath, Sun’s Avatar, Zacama, Primal Calamity, and Kumena, Tyrant of Orazca having multiple abilities as well as Commander decks brewed around them, it leaves one open to wonder if the block was intended for the multiplayer format all along.

Each of the aforementioned have been discussed multiple times on Magic podcasts “Commander Clash” and “The Command Zone,” with Kumena being argued as possibly the best Merfolk commander.

Although there’s a slew of cards in the block that are occasionally used in Standard (Savage Stomp, Blood Sun, Carnage Tyrant), they are appearing more commonly in Commander decklists, and with so much synergy among each tribe, who could blame them?

It took time for players to adjust to Merfolk and Vampires before they found homes in Modern and Commander formats, and with Dinosaurs experiencing similar growing pains, it seems that they may finally be ready for a new domain to run roughshod over as Vamp’s and Merfolk continue to thrive all around.

Top Metal Shows of 2017 (Part 3)

Continuing on from part 2, Birdman, Jason, and myself continue to tell you, the loyal reader the most metal shows of 2017 with our top 3’s!

Birdman: # 3 – In Flames and Kataklysm at the Chance

Jason : Two bands that take me back to high school.

Birdman: There were a few days where In Flames detached from their tour with Alter Bridge to play with Kataklysm

Anthony : Skipped that one cause I was sure In Flames setlist wouldn’t be too old-school. Plus I think it was the same day as Amon Amarth. Alter Bridge and in Flames? Wierd bill

Jason: And how are Kataklysm live?

Birdman: Kataklysm was pretty solid, a lot of new songs.

Jason: Interesting.

Birdman: Yeah the only old songs In Flames played were “Moonshield” and “The Jester’s Dance.”

Jason : Wish they did more tracks from Colony. That was a great album.
Anthony : Agreed.

Birdman: During me filming that Anders took my phone and got a close up of Niklas and Jesper. Then we had an interesting back and forth in front of the whole theater over my Morbid Angel shirt.

Anthony : That’s pretty cool of him considering I hear he’s a dick…

Jason : Gives thumbs up!

Birdman : Well I guess he’s experienced a spiritual awakening or at least a modicum of shame since yesteryears. I caught guitar picks from Jesper and Niklas at the end.

Anthony Carioscia: #3 – Slayer Lamb of God and Behemoth at Madison Square Garden

Jason : I was there too.

Anthony : Yep, I remember.

Birdman : I know Behemoth’s changed since last we saw them

Anthony : It was my first time seeing them. Was mostly there for them because of that.

Jason: First time seeing Behemoth believe it or not and LOG was the best pit IMO. I also remember Randy giving a shoutout to NYHC.

Birdman: And Slayer. It didn’t feel empty without Jeff and Dave?

Anthony: Yeah, but their pit was intense. Slayer finally played the Antichrist; something they skipped the last 2 times. They still have energy.

Jason: Could have been better but t was also my first time seeing Slayer.

Anthony – I’m still glad Birdman and I saw them with Dave and Jeff. This was my third. The second time they played four songs off of South of Heaven.

Jason – Now I’m jelly. Now my 3rd is…

Jason :#3 – Rammstein and 3Teeth at Jones Beach

Jason: Capped off 8+ years waiting to see those guys.

Anthony: Rammstein’s a band I need to see before I die. Or they split.

Birdman: Not much time left. The next album may be their last.

Jason:  3Teeth were a decent industrial opener. I checked out their studio material, Pretty heavy stuff and helps that I’m getting more into synth stuff. Synth wave has taken a good amount of my music exploring lately.

Anthony: He said he was going to retire by a certain age. Hopefully they do a full US tour.

Jason: Rammstein as I expected from secondhand reports put on a great show. I wish it was at a better venue than the Jones Beach Theater but didn’t take much away from the show.

Anthony: My friend Jay hates Jones beach with a passion.

Birdman: What shows did you go to at Jones Beach besides Maiden Tony?

Anthony: None, sadly. Almost saw Rush there but that didn’t happen.

Jason: The setlist was solid and had my favorites including”Du Riechst So Gut (all-time favorite song),” “Ich Tu Dir Weh.” Decent amount of pyro, especially during “Du Hast.” I’m sad “Mein Teil” wasn’t played (the theatrics would have been awesome). At least “Ich Will” and “Engel (the encore)” were on the setlist. I’m happy I finally saw those guys.  And oh! “Stripped” by Depeche Mode was covered and “Sonne” near the end. The latter track is just epic.

F*ck Mondays! Episode 46: Walk Like a Wakandan (Black Panther Review)

Chris and Jon return just in time to review Marvel’s Black Panther as well as a bunch of new trailers!
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Spaceman Frank’s Royal Rumble 2018 Predictions

by Frank Lucci

It’s almost time for one of the most exciting nights in sports entertainment, and WWE hopes to start 2018 right at the Royal Rumble.

There has been plenty of news, both good and bad, involving the company. From restarting failed football leagues, superstars getting into legal problems, and a dull office party being held for the 25th anniversary of Raw less than a week before the Rumble.

Throw in huge amounts of rumors for who might show up from ex-Impact stars to UFC champs and maybe even some WWE Legends and speculation is running wild. But what will really happen? Probably not as much as people are hoping, but this can be the night the WWE pulls out some of that classic magic…or do the same thing they did last time the Rumble was in Philly (sigh). I’m Spaceman Frank and here are my Royal Rumble 2018 predictions!

Bobby Roode (C) vs. Somebody (US Championship Match)

I thought WWE decided to cut some time from the show by giving the US title tournament finale to Smackdown, but then we get new champ Roode facing a mystery opponent for the belt on the preshow.

Since this, like all the other preshow matches, literally came out of nowhere I do not think this is going to be much of a match. Roode should be in the Rumble to help fill out the dozen or so vacancies in that match, instead of filling time on the two hour preshow. Bcause really, we need to here Booker T ramble more on WWE programming.

I have a nasty feeling Dolph Ziggler is going to return here rather anticlimactically instead of being in the Rumble. What I hope is we get a random legend or a Zack Ryder type to fill in five minutes so Bobby can save his energy for later. Either way Roode retains.

The Club vs. The Revival

This rematch from Raw 25 sees the humiliated Revival take on The Club who are desperately trying to avoid filling the hole that Dash and Dawson now fill. There is nothing really to care about here, but it could still be a good match. Both teams deserve better, but this is what we get.

Maybe one day this will be a real feud, but I doubt it. The Club win because they need to be taken seriously so they can take losses to main eventers for Finn during his future feuds.

Kalisto, Gran Metalik, and Lince Dorado vs. TJP, Jack Gallagher, and Drew Gulak

This time filler theoretically could be used to figure out to see who may succeed the now disgraced and fired Enzo Amore as champ. But really, this is here to make the crowd pop as the small men do some flips and hit each other really hard before some dinosaurs plod around the ring.

Conspicuous by his absence is Cedric Alexander, who went from challenging for the belt to not being booked for the PPV. I hope that means he is in the Rumble. Drew Gulak is the only one here with any personality, so I think his team will win. As for what to do with the belt I would have a tournament to recreate some of that CWC magic that concludes on Wrestlemania…’s Preshow.

Meanwhile, as for the new GM, nobody seems to know who it will be, so I’d like to see Christian do it. He is a great face or heel, has a history of being a smaller competitor, and he could really add some flair and sta rpower to 205 live.

Seth Rollins and Jason Jordan (C) vs. The Bar (WWE Raw Tag Team Title Match)

The Bar look to get their titles back from the oddball duo of Seth and Jason, who seem to be ready for a split sooner rather than later. The problem is literally nobody cares, and while Jordan is getting better week to week as the spoiled friend who insists on being player one and playing as Raphael in Turtles in TIme he still is dealing with that go away heat.

I would like the champs to have one big PPV match where you get hooked into believing this team could work before the rug is pulled out from under Seth. Have Kurt get in his face for not helping his baby boy succeed to plant a seed for a possible match between Rollins and Angle in the future. Team Roll-Son wins and the split happens at the next PPV.

The Usos (C) vs. American Beta (WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship Match)

The Usos appear to be getting off scot-free for that whole DUI thing, which is a bit odd all things considered. They will be facing Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin, who are desperately trying to get the crowd to care about them by putting on really solid matches. It has not clicked quite yet, but they are getting there.

Despite the legal snafu, the Usos are still one of the best teams on the roster and I do not see much reason to have them lose. Mostly I just want them to make the main show of Wrestlemania for once, so I think they will retain here.

AJ Styles (C) vs. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn (Two on One Handicap Match for WWE Championship)

I am not sure what WWE is trying to do with this feud. It all comes down to Shane vs DB, with these guys and the belt being bit players for the authority figure fight. Nobody cares, and with KO injured both in real life and in kayfabe I am not sure why this is happening. I’d rather see AJ take on Zayn solo at this point since that should be a barnburner of a match.

Of course, we just saw that on the go-home Smackdown, but hey who cares. AJ deserves to be champ going into Mania, and there is plenty of dream matches for the big show he could be part of. AJ retains in what could be interesting or just a time filler.

Brock Lesnar (C) vs. Braun Strowman vs. The Demon Mayor Kane (WWE Universal Championship Match)

WWE has continued to give Braun Strowman epic moments that make great Youtube videos. Meanwhile, Brock is never around to make for interesting viewing and Kane is a mayoral candidate.

I want so badly for Braun to win because he is the most interesting man to watch in WWE and somebody I could see as their next breakout star. I 100% see a future where Marvel and DC are in a bidding war to get Braun to play a character in their cinematic universes.

We all know Brock vs Reigns is happening at Wrestlemania, and we shall see exactly how they get to that conclusion soon enough. I can only imagine Kane is here for the pin since he has spent the entire build getting beat up so bad he disappears. Brock wins in what could be fun or completely boring.

Women’s Royal Rumble Match

The main questions going into this match have been:

  1. Is Ronda Rousey going to win?
  2. Who exactly is going to fill in the dozen empty spots in the match?
  3. Will Asuka stay undefeated?
  4. Seriously though Is Ronda is Columbia or in Philly right now?!

If WWE is seriously bringing in Rousey this would be the splashy time to do it, and the more she posts about being in South American the more suspicious I get.

As for the other mystery opponents, I do not want too many NXT regulars showing up. Throw in The Iconic Duo, Ember Moon, and Nikki Cross and that’s it. Fill out the rest with some legends (since female legends do not nearly show up as much they should get some love, especially if Trish and Lita enter) and maybe some of the more well known Mae Young ladies like new signee Candice Lerae. Otherwise, if you add people like Bianca Belair people will know they got no chance and will just build up the Ronda expectations even more.

At the end of the day, it comes down to the UFC star and Asuka as potential winners. If Ronda is in the match she is winning, and if not Asuka wins.

Men’s Royal Rumble Match

This match has a little more mystery to it, but still has an equal number of spots needing to be filled.

I heard Pete Dunne is flying in for the match, and if he and Tyler Bate are in the match that would be amazing. Let them enter early and last a long time to keep the action fresh. We just saw a bunch of legends on Raw, so maybe keep some around for the Rumble.

If I had to predict a surefire legend I’d go with Bubba Ray Dudley since it is Philly after all. Garnish with some cruiserweights, a few NXT boys and Curt Hawkins and we got an interesting Rumble. The potential five winners are as follows (from least to most likely):

5) Roman Reigns-  He is officially in, and I think WWE might just be crazy/spiteful enough to have a repeat of Reign’s previous Rumble win in the exact same arena. Having him lose the IC belt to The Miz and sneakily declare for the match adds to my conspiracy vibe. But at the same time, somebody has to be the voice of reason and avoid the scene that would befall the city if this happens.

4) Dolph Ziggler- A random favorite in Vegas could sneak in and get a weird Jack Swagger at Mania 29 push. If Jackie Boy could get a title shot at the biggest show of the year, why not Zigglypuff? If he is the mystery challenger to Roode’s US Championship match then disregard this guy from winning/

3) John Cena- Because it is John Cena and we should assume he is going to win every match he is in.

2) Daniel Bryan- Another guy who is a betting favorite in Vegas. The ultimate boom or bust candidate could win in a surprise return, but too many people may just be getting their hopes up. WIth the potential legal problems a returning them concussed Bryan could cause I feel like WWE is still going to lean no on his return. That being said I could see him returning at number 30 to further his feud with Shane, who shames him for putting his wrestling desire over his GM duties.

1) Shinsuke Nakamura- While Nakamura has not exactly been built as a world beater, that match with Styles for the belt is looming. The company has teased them fighting for over half a year, and really WWE needs the goodwill a classic match such as this would bring to the Mania marathon. Unless WWE is plotting an evil surprise I think The King of Strong Style will be the one to point at the big Mania sign at the end of the night.

Spaceman Frank’s NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia Predictions

by Frank Lucci

It is time for the Road to Wrestlemania, which also means we are taking the footpath to Takeover: New Orleans as well.

Currently NXT is the bastion of sanity in a WWE Universe full of shock releases, hot debut rumors, and disappointing 25th anniversary shows. With WWE having plenty of open spots for both the men and women rumble matches, this could be a last glimpse of NXT in its current form. Every random match featuring the likes of Lacey Evans or Bianca Belair makes me wonder if these folks will soon be stepping into more prominent roles. But Shayna Baszler looms over all the women as the hot newcomer who is way better than expected in her role.

Meanwhile, on the men’s side there is plenty of rumors of who may be jumping up to the main roster via the Rumble, and each men’s match could see a participant leave NXT once the event is done. I’m SPaceman Frank and here are my NXT: Takeover Philadelphia predictions!

Kassius Ohno vs. Velveteen Dream

Despite hyping a potential Killian Dain or Roderick Strong vs Lars Sullivan NXT decided to throw this match together because reasons. Not that I am necessarily disappointed by seeing this match, but they spent several weeks building someone challenging Lars and now we got nothing. Ohno seems to settled into his role of opening TakeOvers and losing to the next big talent, and Dream is going from trying to be number one contender to jerking the curtain in less than a week.

Still, this should be fun, and I hope Velveteen throws Ohno a pair of shorts to cover his cellulite (sorry for body shaming but please Kassius stop with the tights). I really want Kassius to get a victory on a Takeover, but Velveteen Dream has some momentum going in and he is the future so he will win here.

The Undisputed Era vs. Authors of Pain (NXT Tag Team Championship Match)

This match has the feeling of a swan song for the Authors of Pain. Sure, they could grab the belts again and hold the fort down, but there would not be any point in it. They have been floating around since losing the belts, and while War Games was nice it didn’t mean much to the team’s status. Meanwhile Undisputed Era have been establishing that they are plotting the run the show going forward.

Really, I see Adam Cole potentially challenging for the belt around ‘Mania time if they don’t go for the other obvious choice for Mania time (more on that later). Kyle and Bobby have done pretty well as a team, but I see this being their true coming out as a team without Cole. The Era wins and AOP show up and start wrecking main roster teams and eat Heath Slater or Kurt Hawkins.

Aleister Black vs. Adam Cole (Extreme Rules Match)

A rare stipulation match sees Old Dutch Al (New nickname pending) taking on Michael Cole’s troubled stepson in an extreme rules match because Philly. I like how they firmly established why this match is happening, and the escalating violence really sold this as a blood feud to watch. It is tempting to give Aleister an advantage here, but really Undisputed Era can just pile on the numbers and help their man win this match.

I think the Undisputed Era are going to be NXT’s big thing in 2018, and a win here would solidify that feeling for me. Meanwhile Black could show up in the Rumble and I wouldn’t bat an eyelash. Cole wins after some shenanigans.

Ember Moon vs. Shayna Baszler (NXT Women’s Championship)

When they first started building to this I was very skeptical. I do not like the shoot to the top immediately push for “legit” athletes, and nothing in the Mae Young Classic told me Shayna would be a star within a year. But she is doing really well with her character work, particularly with her sit down interview with Percy “My head looks like a turtle” Watson and Ember Moon.

Meanwhile, since winning the belt I have seen the same old Ember as before, and I feel like I have seen the limits to her character and ring work. She is good, but not quite attention grabbing enough to carry a division. She is a prime candidate for a call up, where she will do fine…but just fine. With Ember being in the main event scene for over a year in NXT I am ready for here to get gone and let the hot newcomer take over. Lazer Blazer wins and gets the Brock treatment while she learns to actually wrestle.

Andrade “Cien” Almas v.s Johnny Gargano (NXT Championship Match)

Did anyone think this would headline a TakeOver event? Sure, their first TakeOver match was great, but who could have predicted this would be the headliner before the Rumble? Cien has been ok, but Zelina Vega is the real star here and everyone knows it.

Meanwhile, Johann Von Wrestling has been milking his steady rise for all it’s worth and it truly feels like he earned this spot. There is plenty of options on the table here. One is a returning Tomasso Ciampa costing Johnny Wrasslin’ a victory, but does anyone see Cien Almas as the headliner going into Mania season? Wouldn’t Team DIY exploding make much more sense for the biggest TakeOver of them all?

If Almas wins I see him moving on to Adam Cole, but again would Jonathan Grapples vs. Cole match more sense? I think the outcome is Johnny wins for the feel-good moment leading to Ciampa showing up to stare down or attacking his former partner.


SSEP – Episode 32: WWE RAW 25 Review / Royal Rumble Preview and Predictions

Jon and Matt quick discuss the NFL Conference championships and then a huge RAW 25 review and Royal Rumble Preview and Predictions.

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Manopera! Episode 54: Best Of 2017

Chris, Spaceman Frank, and ProWrestlingOpinion’s Nicholas Jason Lopez gather ’round the squared circle and talk the best and worst of wrestling in 2017!

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Bonesaw’s Top Metal Shows of 2017 Part 1

As always, another year has gone – and while 2018 has reared its questionable head, Bonesaw staff has come together to bring you another list of our favorite metal shows of 2017.
Summer Slaughter 2017

 Anthony :  Who played this year again?
Birdman: The headliner was Black Dhalia Murder playing “Nocturnal” in full. Then, Nightbringers and then I Will Return. Also got to see Lorna Shore for the first time. Their guitarist is a great neoclassical player.
Jason: Nice.
Birdman: Also was a throwback for me seeing rings of Saturn and Oceano again
Tony: The overwhelming amount of core is why I didn’t go this year.
Jason:  Agreed. Big drop off from 2016. My first and probably only time at Le Chance
Tony: 2016 had a great line up.
Decibel Metal and Beer Fest

 Jason: I guess my number five best show (improvising here) is Decibel Metal and Beer Fest. Featured Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Municipal Waste, and Immolation. I only went Day 1, but hooray!
Anthony: Nice, Jason. I wanted to go but could not due to money shortage.
Birdman: Where was this, Philly?
Jason: Yeah. The Fillmore. It’s a pretty decent venue.
Anthony: Krieg played too right?
Jason: Yeah, but didn’t do much for me. The three bands I mentioned were great, but the pit action wasn’t because it became a slip and slide.
Anthony: Did you get to meet your waifu again?
Jason: Nah, I didn’t see Kat again. I mean not in person, ya know. Immolation were solid and I have a selfie with Ross Dolan.
Anthony: That sucks. She was such a nice lady at MDF 2015.
Jason: It was also my first time catching Waste. Not bad live and pretty decent cardio from circle pitting, and, of course, I went ham for ANB. Chicken man had to restrain me once (he’s a friend who’s a MDF regular).
Anthony: I still need to see waste.
Birdman: Oh, they’re so much fun live.
Jason: Yes, they are okay. What’s your #5  Anthony Carioscia?
Amon Amarth and Goatwhore at the Paramount Theater in Long Island

 Jason: When was that again?
Birdman: I think Crazy Dan and Marcus went to that tour in CT.
Anthony: In May. My friend asked me to come along, so I figured why not? Awesome show. Amon played a lot of classics and Goatwhore is always fun to see.
Jason: Sadly, I never saw those vikings.
Tony: Recommend if you get the chance they out on a great performance. Glad to see them after being a fan since 8th grade
Birdman: Oh, they’re so much fun. I hope to catch them playing a headlining set instead of just a festival spot.

Vantafrost: Dispossessed

From the filthy, decrepit backwaters of New Jersey comes an old-school pure black-metal gauntlet just as nasty as the gutters it was festered.

Vantafrost’s four-song debut EP titled Dispossessed begins with the wailing siren of “Nazgul” followed by the Hellhammer-style riffs, tribal drumming, and Warrior-esque shrieks.

Right out of the starting gate you’re blasted back to the early 80’s/90’s sounds of primitive black metal in all its raw and gory glory.

As the Ring Wraiths calm their death dragons after having murdered many a man, elf, and hobbit and claimed the one ring for Sauron, Vantafrost continues to beat your body to a pulp with the unleashing of the hyper-aggressive “Darkhammer.”  The constant down-pick and minor key agony assault tread on until mid-song, where the doom-groove slows things down before a journeyman’s gallop progress the bridge and keeps hold. Everything is then musically tied together in a woven arrangement fit for Shelob and her kin.

We are then welcomed back to the land of the dead with the sounds of vomit, kicking off the aptly named “Demon’s Breath.” An old-school Venom-like track bounces around for a healthy helping of head and fist banging. What really links this track is the bouncy main riff and the relentless rhythms and vocal delivery.

Finally, the New Jersey freaks unleash one final barrage with the almighty “Leadpumper.” Not only does this capture the embodiment of the band’s in-your-face intensity, but it also cultivates the spirit of true black metal. Heavy, miserable, and downright terrifying.

Not only is this initial offering a warning to emerging metal bands clinging to trends in their local scene or their “flavor of the month” genre, but the intentionally bare-bones production proves that when done right, bands can take their fancy state-of-the-art recordings and shove it. Vantafrost have not only begun to dominate a sonically depraved world, but they’ve managed to deliver a Hyper Viper Beam that would make Cable proud.

SSEP: Episode 30 – NFL/MLB Talk/WWE Women’s Royal Rumble/ Clash of Champions Review

Jon and the Jewharaja discuss P-Diddy possibly owning the Carolina Panthers, Giancarlo Stanton to the NY Yankees and the WWE Women’s Royal Rumble with a Clash of Champions Review.

Spaceman Frank’s Clash of Champions Predictions

by Frank Lucci

WWE is already looking to 2018, but fans still have one last PPV to endure before the year is over. Nobody is expecting much from this event, and really who can blame them considering most of the hype has been “hey this is happening…is that cool with everyone?” At least it will be watchable, if not somewhat entertaining. I’m Spaceman Frank and here are my prediction for Clash of Champions 2017.

Mojo Rawley vs. Zack Ryder (preshow thing that is happening)
The hype brothers explode in such fury that this cannot even make the preshow. 2017 has been the year of tag team breakups, so I guess getting even a preshow match out of this is better than, say, a Golden Truth situation. Mojo is the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal winner…so he’s got that going for him. Meanwhile, Ryder is occasionally relevant. Sooooo…Mojo wins? Yeah, Mojo wins.
Bludgeon Bros. vs. Breezeango
Is watching Breezango wrestle what could be a serious match better than a Fashion Files segment? Probably not. Smackdown is capable of booking comedy tag teams well (see Heath Slater and Rhyno) but if they were going to do anything with Breezango it would have happened so months ago. Meanwhile, The Bros. are the hot new tag team that is neither new nor hot. But it has my boy Luke Harper (or just Harper now I guess) so they win here.
Baron Corbin (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Bobby Roode (United States Championship Triple Threat Match)
Hey remember when Bobby Roode was one of the members of Team Smackdown and maybe moved past getting stuck in the Bermuda Dolph-angle? (Copyright pending on that name) now they are sucking in Baron, who is here to show off the latest pair of pants he made from another pair of pants. I can’t see anyone caring about this match, so Corbin wins so he looks like someone who may be a thing at some point.
The Usos (c) vs. The New Day vs. Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin vs. Rusev and Aiden English (Tag Team Championships Fatal Four-Way Match)
What should be the match of the night sees excellent tag teams come to blows mostly to eat up time in the best way possible. Chad and Shelton (I assume at this point the last names have been dropped) started this feud off as the hot team, but the sudden rise of Rusev and Aiden (again, last name gone, probably) makes me think they might be the team to beat. I am not sure if they will get the belts, but I am all in on Rusev having something to do. Especially if it leads to a face turn for the Bulgarian. The Usos are the true heels here, so I think so cheating and blind tags happen and they retain.
Charlotte (c) vs. Natalya (Women’s Championship)
This rematch sees Nattie Ice try to get her belt back to impress her cats. Meanwhile, Charlotte may have Rhonda Rousey and the rest of the Four Horsewomen of MMA to deal with in the future. I wonder who is going to win. Charlotte wins because she can.
Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens 
This match is special because Daniel Bryan is stepping back into the ring…as a special second ref. Oh, and Zayn and Big Kev will be fired if they lose but who believes that? Seriously who cause Zayn is in the admittedly curious Mixed Match tournament so he isn’t getting fired. I can see this as a way to ease Bryan into a more physical role. Both to see if he can handle it and to keep him happy so he does not free to ROH when he gets a chance. I see Orton being a dick, trying to cheat, Bryan confronting him, Orton attacking and getting his team disqualified. Meanwhile, Shinsuke gets to be a person also in this match.
AJ Styles (c) vs. Jinder Mahal (WWE Championship)
The match everyone has been clamoring for returns! Jinder was so great at being champ that his sole appearance at Survivor Series was a talking head interview and the tour of India saw him lose in the sole night of the tour. At least he has his hard body and Singh Brothers. Seeing where Mahal lands in 2018 is a big mystery, but for now, WWE goes with their best guy as champ. AJ wins and maybe the WWE champ gets to headline a PPV in 2018.

Manopera! Episode 53: Half-WOKEN???

Chris and Spaceman Frank discuss a crazy amount of news that has recently happened within the pro wrestling world.

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SSEP: Episode 29 – End Of Fantasy Eli’s Fantasy WWE Women’s Divison Talk

Jon addresses the unluckiest Fantasy Football season ever and also argues with the Jewharaja on Eli’s consecutive start streak and the WWE women’s division.

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The Padre (Alpha Test)

In the olden days of point-and-click gaming, there were no walkthroughs, no online forums, or even strategy guides. Beating such a game required hours of thought, effort, and tedious trial error.

In an era loaded with point-and-click survival horror games all too reliant on cheap jump scares and lazy mechanics comes a chilling Lovecraftian indie throwback to the good old days.

Enter “The Padre,” a story about a priest searching for his friend alone in a decrepit mansion where everything goes bump in the night – including our hero.

The first thing you’ll notice about The Padre is the block style visuals. While this design choice draws too many similarities to Minecraft, it’s the only modern thing players will compare it to. That said, it’s hard not to wonder how much better the game would look if the graphics were slightly more realistic, even if they maintained their cartoonish charm.

Don’t let these looks fool you, this game is beyond creepy.

The story of the twisted mansion and the struggle our man of the cloth must endure takes you into the mind of the human psyche. The mansion is loaded with plenty of fun horror cliche’s and abundant with terror thanks to a pitch-perfect soundtrack by developer Shotgun with Glitters.

In addition to a terrifyngly compelling story, there are puzzles galore throughout your quest and plenty of baddies and traps to keep you on edge and unravel the mystery of the mansion and our clergyman’s demented past. The Padre also contains a litany of items and old-school mechanics that will keep your brain wracked around the game.

Another part of The Padre’s charm is the downright hilarious voiceovers. Some lines are delivered with such cheese, it’s hard not to crack up at your PC, which will, of course, result in death.

Speaking of death, there is one horrendous glitch that will frustrate gamers to no end.

If you die after clicking the icon to enter another room and the entrance initiates, you will appear in the next room postmortem. Reloading the file will not fix this, as the game autosaves when you get to the next room. The only way out of this one is to restart the game from the beginning.

On the bright side, the game is still in its alpha testing stages, so it’s likely this issue will be resolved before the final product is available.

Aside from “Notchy” looking graphics and a perilous problem, The Padre is a winner for old-school gamers looking for a spooktacular challenge. Shotgun with Glitters has taken their time and done its due diligence on what gamers really want in a story and gameplay, hitting you right in the nostalgia button.

The Padre is currently garnering crowdfunding support through Brightlocker, where the demo may be downloaded in an effort to help the game earn its keep (and hopefully your hard-earned cash).


Bonesaw Podcast – Episode 54: Exhumed’s Matt Harvey Returns

Death metal destuctionista Matt Harvey returns to our show to talk about Exhumed’s new album Death Revenge, plans for his Death-inspired band Gruesome, and much much more.

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Manopera! Episode 52: Survivor Series 2017 / NXT War Games Supershow

After a long Thanksgiving weekend, Chris and Spaceman Frank review NXT TakeOver: War Games (with enthusiasm) and Survivor Series 2017 (with less enthusiasm).
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F*ck Mondays! Episode 45: Thor/Justice League Thanksgiving Special

In honor of Thanksgiving, Chris and Jon review Thor Ragnarok, Justice League, and The Punisher.
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SSEP: Episode 28 – NXT WAR GAMES Review / WWE Survivor Series Preview

Jon and the Jewharaja review NXT TakeOver: War Games and preview WWE Survivor Series.

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Spaceman Frank’s Survivor Series 2017 Predictions

by Frank Lucci

It’s time for the last Big Four PPV of the year for the WWE, and the company has gone all-out making people get hyped for this event.

Even though they announced many of the matches weeks in advance the constant shift in participants has left audiences guessing both who would be involved in the marquee matches and if WWE actually had a plan.  This has benefited some wrestlers such as AJ Styles while leaving others (Jinder Mahal, Natalya, KO and Sami Zayn, etc) in the cold.

Mostly though things have worked out for the best for the audience, and really isn’t that what matters the most (if you work for WWE please don’t ask Vince or Triple H that, they will probably fire and/or Pedigree you)? Now, hopefully, WWE can translate these dream matches from the booking sheet to the ring, or this PV could start dragging like a modern day ‘Mania.

One thing I will say is while I appreciate the excitement the brand wars has brought to weekly TV, it does not make sense (YOU WORK ON TUESDAYS YOU SON OF A BITCH!!! DIE!!!!!!). I’m Spaceman Frank and here are my Survivor Series 2017 predictions.

Enzo Amore (c) vs. Kalisto (WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match)

This sole match on the two-hour preshow (unless they just throw together something else to kill time) sees these two go at it yet again. Really, they have not done much to make people care about this rematch, and my main thought during their encounters is wondering what other cruiserweights are doing currently. At least we got Drew Gulak and his Powerpoints.

I do not see a reason why WWE would choose Kalisto over Amore to be the face of the division (besides the fact that he is, you know, an excellent wrestler) so Amore will win here after doing some standup to kill some minutes.

The Miz (IC Champ) vs. Baron Corbin (US Champ)

This feud has mostly taken place on social media, which is a shame because it has been pretty spectacular.

The Miz has brought some real deal fire to Corbin, and it really makes me hope Miz gets a real feud to sink his teeth into at some point instead of jerking the curtain.  

Meanwhile, Corbin has just kind of existed as champ, farting around with the likes of Sin Cara instead of getting embarrassed in promo contests with his Raw counterpart. Corbin seems like management’s boy, but really I see this as another SummerSlam situation where Corbin gets stomped on by a vet to teach him some manners IRL. Miz gets a rare win on the main card before meandering around the preshows some more.

The Bar vs. The Usos (Tag Team Champs vs. Champs match)

Two teams doing their best work are clashing, and this should a barnburner of a match.

The Usos have gone steadily towards tweener territory with fans recognizing their hard work plus the scary chop block Chad Gable gave over in England. Meanwhile, Cesaro and Sheamus has anchored many a Raw half hour with their work, and despite the whole attempted murder of Stroman thing The Bar has had a strong year.

So who wins here? I see Raw’s team getting the win here since they have been consistently the better team and they have held the belts longer. Now, hopefully, something goes wrong and we get more of Cesaro shrugs memes.

The Shield vs. The New Day

A “holy cow I need this in my life even though this was not in a card a week ago” match if I’ve ever seen one sees perhaps the most popular three-person teams of the decade square off.

What adds to this match is the fact that Roman Reigns has been out with whatever disease he had, so this is their first reunited PPV match. It almost makes us forget that he is going to headline WrestleMania 34 and ruin things for everyone all over again.

The New Day will probably get their promo time in as well, which makes me concerned just how long this PPV will be. Since The Shield are all former world champions they seem to be the choice to win, but honestly I wouldn’t be that surprised if The New Day sneak in a win due to all the merch money they sell.

Team Raw (Alicia Fox, Nia Jax, Asuka, Sasha Banks, and Bayley) vs. Team SmackDown (Becky Lynch, Carmella, Naomi, Tamina, and TBA)

First off: Who is the mystery member of Team Smackdown? Is it the obvious choice of Natalya? The obvious choice of Paige? The less obvious choice but still not surprising Nikki Bella? We shall see.

The next big question is who will actually win this match?

On one hand, I would say that SmackDown’s team unity (minus TBA person) would seem to give them an advantage.

On the other hand, we have Asuka on team Raw, and if she loses in this match I will throw something out the window. Now is not the time to have her lose, but rather dominate and seal the win for Team Raw.

Hopefully, they also have her beat the piss out of Team Raw along with everyone backstage before locking eyes with Braun and forming an epic romance. I’d pay money to see that.

Charlotte vs. Alexa Bliss (Champion vs. Champion)

Another dream match out of nowhere sees tiny but spunky taking on an Amazon for bragging rights.

Really, the build for this match was Bliss giving Charlotte a forearm, but who cares when we got two excellent workers getting ready to go to war.

Charlotte is the one on a hot streak right now with her dad’s doc getting some attention and winning the title on the last SmackDown before Survivor Series. Meanwhile, Bliss has been on Total Divas having a ball with her BFF Nia Jax, which consistently has been entertaining when the boys on the show troll everything.

With Charlotte being the hot commodity right now, I see her winning and getting a win in the column for Team Blue.

Brock Lesnar vs. AJ Styles (Champion vs. Champion)

While Jinder vs. Brock would have been an interesting thought experiment/fever dream/WWE 2K18 Sim, having AJ Styles win the belt and face The Beast is fantastic. 

His victory is the highlight of SmackDown weekly TV for the year, and he is a natural challenger to Lesnar. I cannot stress how excited I am for this match, and every minute Styles hangs in the ring with the Universal champ is a victory for people who believe being the best worker in the company should warrant you a shot on top of the card. With Jinder, I thought a Brock win would be more secure, but I honestly give Styles more leeway to potentially win than Mahal (especially because the India tour has been downsized).

That being said, this is the one cross-promotion match that will end in a DQ/no contest. It would be weird to have one champ pin another, and Styles really deserves the non-finish over just jobbing to Brock. He has shoulders bigger than my television, he looks strong enough let AJ get the count-out or shenanigans happen so he can hold his head high.

Team Raw (Kurt Angle, Braun Strowman, Finn Bálor, Samoa Joe, and Triple H) vs. Team SmackDown (Shane McMahon, Randy Orton, Bobby Roode, Shinsuke Nakamura, and John Cena)

This traditional Survivor Series match sees an all -tar jamboree throwdown to various degrees of hype.

While guys like John Cena and Triple H have just kind snuck into this match it is hard to argue that they add to this more as stills on the graphic than dudes like Rusev or Jason “happy to be here” Jordan.

My low-key person I hope does well here: Bobby Roode. He has not been very prominent in this build, and I really hope he gets to pin somebody and look good to establish him to newer fans.

I think in the end, this match will come down to what team gets sabotaged by interference worse. I can see Jordan trying to avenge himself against Triple H to impress his dad Kurt Angle. But at the same time, I do not know how you have this PPV with no KO and Sami Zayn, and I think they will cost SmackDown the match.

Sure, that gives Raw many of the victories for this PPV, but really do you expect WWE to make SmackDown look better than Raw?


Spaceman Frank’s NXT TakeOver: War Games Predictions

by Frank Lucci

Houston’s Takeover seemed to be on a pretty clear path, until somebody in WWE (Triple H) got a huge nostalgia trip for classic WCW and decided to make this into a War Games-themed event. That combined with NXT having a future taping in the same building as one of WCW’s shows and the resurrection of Starcade as a live event proves that The H man really, really, reallyyyyyy wants to turn back the clock to the early 90’s.

This has been met with some mixed results (see my live reading of the revamped War Games rules and Chris’ reaction on the latest episode of Manopera!), but it is a TakeOver, so it should be pretty rad. Now if only WWE would put Gargano vs. Dunne for the UK Championship on the main show because WHY WOULDN’T YOU DO THAT WE ALL WANT IT WHY ARE YOU MAKING US WAIT A WEEK YOU MONSTERS???  I’m Spaceman Frank and here are my NXT Takeover: War Games predictions.

Kassius Ohno vs. Lars Sullivan

Kassius “Player Coach” Ohno gets his first singles match on a Takeover, taking on the suddenly ascendant Lars “Human Gargoyle” Sullivan. Granted, much of the people on this card can be considered “suddenly ascendent” but Sullivan, in particular, seems destined for something bigger. He is very much NXT’s Braun Stroman, and I can see Vince getting one look at him and penciling him into a main roster run before he is truly ready. But hey Stroman was not day one ready, and look where he is now.

Meanwhile, Ohno is putting his undefeated streak on the line, but really he is here to make himself look good while losing to the newest NXT freak. I just wish we got a more substantial feud for this along with Ohno getting more chances to show his stuff.  A good little match that isn’t as good as Gargano vs Dunne BECAUSE NOTHING WILL BE EVER that sees Sullivan getting the win.

Aleister Black vs. The Velveteen Dream

Before this feud began I would have thought there would be no way this could have pushed my interest at all. However young Patrick Clark has made the most of a gimmick that could have gone very poorly very quickly. He commits to the character and adds just the right amount of uncomfortable to keep it PG. Meanwhile Black is the perfect foil for him, as the zen-like guy who refuses to give attention to the Dream. One minor flaw I see in this is that Back obviously craves attention too, since he is covered in tattoos, rises from the smoke during his entrance, and sits in the ring with spotlights on him. Do not tell me you’d not like attention seekers and do that stuff. Anyway, Aleister is the vet and Clark was born in 1995, so Black will defeat The Velveteen Dream like he was The Velveteen Rabbit and Black was Scarlet Fever.

Ember Moon vs. Peyton Royce vs. Nikki Cross vs. Kairi Sane (Fatal Four Way for the Vacant NXT Women’s Championship)

How mad must Sane be? She wins this epic Mae Young Classic, beating some of the best in the world, and gets to be 25% of the match for Asuka’s forfeited championship. I would have made this a one on one match with Kairi facing the winner of an NXT only tournament to make things a little more even. That being said, this is a pretty good field of women who represent the future of the women’s division in NXT and beyond.

It is easy to write Royce right off the gate here, and while I think she has the least chance of winning I am curious to see if we see a serious Peyton make a run during the match. Moon would be an obvious choice as next champ since she has frequently been in the title picture, but honestly, I think Cross has eclipsed her (see what I did there?) in popularity. But all in all, I do not see the Sane Train being derailed despite the gap from the Mae Young Classic to now. She is too good, too adorable, and too badass to not get a chance to carry the belt.

Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas w/ Zelina Vega (NXT Championship Match)

Perhaps the match most screwed over by the inclusion of War Games sees McIntyre bypass most other logical challengers and face the out of nowhere Almas for the belt.

This is a big high risk/high reward match for both, and they really need a strong showing to not make this a dud.

To be fair, Drew has been putting on some very solid matches during NXT’s weekly show, and Almas has been doing much better character work as a heel. Vega has also been a revelation as the female manager who not only mixes it up on the mic and (gasp) gets involved in matches in the same way a man would. She is perhaps the most complete person involved into the match, and if she gets into the women’s division I am all for it.

Since Almas is pretty much filler since every other main eventer is busy I do not see him  winning. I just hope D-Mac gets a proper program before his main roster jump back to WWE.

Authors of Pain with Roderick Strong vs. Undisputed Era vs. Sanity (War Games Match)

The rules for this match…suck. Shark cages, wildly unfair rules, and way too much complications make this simple match into a Mario Party minigame. How could they decide this is the best way to what could be an old-school formulaic match (heels get numbers advantage, face shows up to save the day, repeat until all people are in the ring) into a big old cluster?

I can see Strong being the one guy being left along valiantly trying to hold his own until AOP shows up and has a weird Big Damn Hero moment. Meanwhile, I’ll bet my excellent Scary Jesus Rock Star beer that Undisputed Era gets the early numbers advantage.

I cannot say I am super excited for this match, but I should not be bad. My pick for a winner would be Sanity, since I see Strong and the Era’s feud building from here and the tag champions sneaking in a win.

Manopera! Episode 51: What is Going On???

Chris and a slightly less salty Seaman Frank discuss major news in the world of professional wrestling.

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SSEP: Episode 27 – UFC 217 Review / WWE Recap / Alpha vs. Omega

Jon and the Jewharaja are back following a 3-week hiatus and discuss UFC 217, Recap the current events of WWE and discuss Alpha vs Omega.

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Harp House Episode 23 – Making Sense of Michael Rubin’s New DM48 Tuning

In this episode, Connor and Michael break down a new chord tuning for the DM48. Make sure to bust out your pencil and paper for this one!

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Valence – He Tried to Kill Me With A Forklift

Complex melodies combined with exceedingly rigorous fretwork manifest  into a track from New Rochelle progmasters Valence that features a title just as ridiculous as the music that follows it.

He Tried to Kill Me With a Forklift.”

The single, released August 18 will take its true form Friday when Decibel magazine premieres the music video.

“Forklift” features chuggy yet harmonious overtones coupled with superb shredding, a slight nod to Iron Maiden’s “Wasted Years,” and a thick rhythm section pulling it all together. While the track is a heavy six-minute instrumental, the constant changes and revolving door of time signatures keeps one embedded in its near-bloody purpose.

“This was actually one of the first songs we’ve written that’s not part of a larger piece of music (like a concept album), so the focus was definitely riffs and groove rather than any particular concept, unlike our previous releases,” says guitarist Michael Buonanno, who adds that that reason alone was why Valence felt “Forklift” was best served as a standalone.

Although a bunch of prog dudes never actually did get into a forklift fight in space as Valence’s Bandcamp page insinuates, the title actually references a running gag from the cult sci-fi meets Jim Henson-like verbal jousting show Mystery Science Theater 3000.

“It originally comes from the “Fugitive Alien” episode if you want to dig it up,” Buonanno said. “We wanted the title to fit the vibe of the song: kinda quirky and funny but also bad ass, and once that [Mystery Science Theater 3000] came up, we couldn’t name the song anything else.”

In addition to the mayhem and math-metal madness, Valence will also open for Scale the Summit and Angel Vivaldi on November 10 at the Kingsland in Brooklyn, NY. To help mitigate the buzz – and grow their fanbase, the four-piece is enlisting the help of Dewar PR.

“That show is going to be off the hook,” Buonanno said. “We were bugging out when we received the email.”

Ministry, Death Grips at the Electric Factory

Me, Jesse, Doug, Nick, and Andrew used a billing of both of these awesome bands as an excuse to make a road trip to Philly.  On the way there we did some random things such as eat cheese steaks at Gino’s and visited the famous Bomb Bomb bar.

At around 7:30, we got to the venue for the first band of the night.

Death Grips

I was very excited to see Death Grips finally after knowing them since Exmilitary came out. Doug and Jesse were both very excited being big fans as well (with them being Jesse’s favorite band). They did not speak a word during the entire set, knocking out over 20 songs in 45 minutes.

They didn’t run out of energy for a second and played so many great songs such a “Takyon,” “Guillitine,” “No Love,” “I’ve Seen Footage” and “Fever. ” They stole the show and even Andrew – who hates hip hop liked the set.


Ministry’s set was decent but could have been better.

They played mostly stuff from the Last Sucker and onward – an era I’m not a fan of.  However, they did sound pretty awesome when playing later songs like “NWO,” “Just One Fix” and “Lies, Lies, Lies.”

We left an hour into their set due to being so far from home in addition to them not playing  a lot of their classic tracks (seriously no “Stigmata”????).

All and all, Ministry did fine but Death Grips owned the night!!

Seaman Frank’s TLC 2017 Predictions

by frank Lucci

Friday before WWE’s latest PPV I was preparing a very depressing intro where I talked about how many shots of black rum I would need to get through even writing the preview for TLC, let alone how much booze would be needed to watch the show. I was thoroughly in Seaman Frank mode, especially when Mayoral Candidate Kane burst through the ring on Raw. At that point I was so salty I was thinking about another gimmick change to Salt Man Frank, the worst Mega Man boss of all time. I was truly a broken and beaten man.


Yes, it is very tragic and sad that many WWE Superstars are sick enough to warrant keeping them home and isolated from the rest of the roster, but I do not think anyone can pretend for a second that this has made TLC about 1000% more watchable (Sure they are pretty much throwing many prominent storylines out the window, but c’mon would you rather have bad but logical storylines or Kurt Freakin’ Angle?). Plus throw in Asuka’s debut (which was going to be the sole highlight before all this) and this has a chance to make everyone forget, just for a little while, all the doom and gloom surrounding the WWE these past few weeks. And if things get boring, well, you can always watch Rusev play Madden.  I’m Seaman Frank and here are my TLC 2017 Predictions!

Sasha Banks vs. Alicia Fox (Honey BBQ KFC DLC Scrappy Doo Slugfest)

This match comes after Fox got her first t-shirt after almost a decade of employment in the WWE, and it is great if you are a furry and crap for everyone else. She is coming out of nowhere to take on Banks, who seems to be doing important things (winning, losing, and then challenging for the women’s belt since SummerSlam) and nothing at all (losing or disappearing from television frequently).

Really, there is no reason for this match to happen, but hey there are only six matches on the main show so maybe this will get bumped up and we will have three women’s matches on a PPV. If people are sick you might as well take advantage of the moment and give the ladies and cruiserweights a shot. Sasha wins and Foxy disappears again until she is needed to act crazy at someone.

Brian Kendrick and Jack Gallagher vs. Cedric Alexander and Rich Swann

This match promises to be pretty exciting, especially if they get a decent amount of ring time to tell a story. With Nevile most likely gone from the company and rumors swirling that many superstars are unhappy, some have put two and two together to say that this is WWE’s attempt to pacify the cruiserweights.

It remains to be seen if this is just people piggybacking on Neville’s departure or legit gripes talent has, but at least for this PPV the division has a chance to shine. All four men are unique talents and can potentially steal the show, though it remains to see seen if the audience cares about this battle. Side note: can Alexander and Swann be a proper team outside the cruiserweights? That would be awesome. Team Swaxander wins in a cool little bout.

Kalisto (C) vs. Enzo Amore (WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match)

I am not sure what the WWE is trying to do with the cruiserweight title, as they brought in Enzo and got people talking. Then Neville quit and Enzo lost the title to colder than Antarctica Kalisto who is about as boring of a choice for champ as asking for towels for Christmas. I mean we should be happy for Kalisto, but shoving him straight to the top was misguided at best. Enzo’s momentum is gone, and whatever they wanted to do creatively with him is out the window.

So where does the cruiserweights go from here? I am guessing they swap the title back to Enzo like they did with Tozawa and Neville and then thrust a random person into the title picture. Gentleman Jack, maybe?

Alexa Bliss (C) vs. Mickie James (WWE Raw Women’s Championship Match)

I am excited for this match, besides the fact the build centers around Bliss calling James old. Seriously, Mickie James is 38 and looks amazing. I do not know anyone who says differently (STOP THIS NONSENSE WWE).

Anyway, it is about time they do something with James. She is very talented and could definitely be a boon to the division that needs some fresher faces in it. Plus she has already faced the debuting Asuka before down in NXT, so it is a good time to build her up so they can have a killer rematch. I get the feeling that Bliss is in a holding pattern until Nia Jax comes back from her sabbatical, so I am guessing she retains here and we get that feud soon after. Hopefully that feud does not fall into the same trap and WWE has Bliss call Jax fat…unless they bring in Scott Steiner as Bliss’ manager.  

Asuka vs. Emma

Emma won the right to be murdered …err… face off against Asuka in the latter’s PPV debut.

This should be a doozy of a match, as before all the Shield hype this seemed to be the match getting the most hype. I truly hope WWE does not drop the ball here, and if Asuka loses her streak to a random person on Raw in three weeks I will drop kick my TV. These two had a superb match back in NXT, so I imagine this will be an exciting squash. The question will be when Asuka gets into the title picture and if mainstream audiences take to the Empress of Tomorrow. Asuka wins and continues the streak until ‘Mania where she squashes Goldberg and challenges Lesnar in the ultimate Kaiju Big Battle.

Finn Balor vs. AJ Styles

What was going to be the disaster between a pumpkin and a cross dresser has immediately been updated to The Demon vs. one of the best wrestlers in the world.

This has a ton of potential, and I think this could be the sneaky match of the night. Just let these guys work a Japanese-style match for thirty minutes and give the audience something to sink their teeth into (just don’t have Finn use the pumpkin facepaint. Just…no).

Also, I am praying that it does not turn out that Styles was Sister Abigail all along. I mean, that would be a hell of twist, but I would be terrified to hear AJ’s creepy lady voice. With Finn rumored to eventually face Lesnar and AJ facing the immediate opponent for The Beast I think Finn will go over here. AJ can survive the loss, and Finn needs some solid wins for people to care about his eventual push towards the Universal Championship.

Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Kurt Angle vs. Cesaro, Sheamus, Kane, The Miz, and Braun Strowman (5 on 3 Handicap TLC Match)

Getting rid of Roman Reigns and replacing him with Kurt Freaking Angle is a godsend.

While before this was all just a way to drag seven different men into a situation to get people to cheer Reigns now is the return of a legend and a buffet of talented men ready to throw themselves into the mouth of madness. Still, there is some lingering problems here, such as why this is still a handicap match? I hope Braun is just like “nah I’m good” and leaves and Mayoral Candidate Kane just disappears forever.

At this point the match has changed so much they might as well just be like “our bad here is a regular match” and have Kane put over Braun. Since it seemed like a lock The Shield would win here before I am tempted to say they will win here, but I am going a different route. I think the numbers game will catch up to Team Sh-Angle, especially with the No-DQ setting. Braun or Miz get the pin on old man Angle and team Five Bar Miz-assic wn.


Spaceman Frank’s WWE Hell in a Cell 2107 Predictions

by Frank Lucci

Hell in a Cell – It’s happening, and there’s nothing we can do to stop it.

Despite having a larger amount of time to build to this show than Raw the SmackDown Live, the creative team have done nothing to really make this interesting. Sure, Shane McMahon got beat up, but that happens before every Shane match. Other than that we have a bunch of rematches and and throwaway feuds that are meant to kill time until Survivor Series (I honestly got this event confused with TLC and I am amazed WWE has the balls to put two gimmick Pay-Per-Views in one month).

At least we got The New Day and the Usos, a match that everyone cares about…except for the creative team since their previous matches have all been on preshows and curtain jerkers. But hey, now it’s a big deal! I’m Spaceman Frank and here are my Hell in a Cell 2017 predictions.

Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin vs. The Hype Bros (Preshow Slapfest Spectacular)

Do we have name for the team of Gable and Benjamin yet? Is American Beta too obvious? What about Cha-jamin? Anyway they face The Hype Bros, that team that looked to be breaking up, may still do that, but nobody cares either way. Fun fact: in 2017 Mojo Rawley won the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal and Zack Ryder was starring in comeback hype videos on YouTube. How the mighty have fallen.

Gable really had a chance to be a breakout star with his impressive singles matches, but instead he teams with a veteran to keep him hemmed into the tag team scene. Cha-jamin win here because they are the newer team and still have potential unlike the shambling remains of The Hype Bros.

Randy Orton vs. Rusev

Why? Just Why? Why throw this on PPV again instead of giving Sami Zayn a match? Or Tye Dillinger? Nope, gotta put Orton on PPV to continue his streak of ruining everything for everyone in 2017.

Poor, poor Rusev. Poor, poor WWE. Poor, poor humanity. Orton wins because of course he going to win he won in like 30 seconds at SummerSlam WHY DO WE NEED TO SEE THIS AGAIN??? WHAT HAVE WE DONE TO DESERVE THIS???

Bobby Roode vs. Dolph Ziggler

The battle between the guy with a cool entrance and his jealous coworker.

Ziggler is the guy that feuds with whoever showed up last, and while objectively I should care about this match, I just can’t find a reason why this needs to be a PPV match rather than a random match on SmackDown. Hopefully this match will surprise me and be really good, but I see this as being a way to kill about ten minutes with entrances and 15 minutes in the ring. Roode wins as the new guy who will probably move into the main event scene sooner rather than later.

AJ Styles (C) vs. Baron Corbin (US Title Match)

Baron Corbin couldn’t beat Mahal, couldn’t beat Cena, and couldn’t beat Dillinger (somebody give that man a title shot!).

I get that WWE has to do something to rehab his character, but constantly losing and getting rewarded for it is not the answer. Shouldn’t this be Styles vs. Dillinger as a way to crown The Perfect 10 as the hot new babyface? Instead we get Baron’s weird belly and receding hairline that is disappearing faster than management’s faith in him.

Despite my gripes about Baron I think he will win here. Sure AJ is better in every conceivable way, but I think they need him in the main event picture now. The WWE Championship is in a weird place where it is clearly not the focus of the show and fans know the best wrestlers do not challenge for it, so having Styles chase the belt will help rebuild it and Mahal as well. So Corbin will become champ and try to get some momentum going again after a rocky summer.

Natalya (C) vs. Charlotte (WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship Match)

Nattie’s title reign has been..a thing that has happened, and she has been a massive afterthought despite SmackDown having very little going on. It is sad really as this will probably be a good match that is going to set several records.

According to the champ herself, she will break Trish Stratus’ record of most PPV matches by a women in WWE and her and Charlotte will be the first pair of women to fight for the NXT, Divas, Raw and SmackDown Women’s titles. So why isn’t that the main focus of their feud???

For all of WWE’s talk about focusing more on women and treating them as equal to the men they sure messed up this historic match. It looks like a slam dunk for Charlotte to win her sixth (Sixth??? Really??!!!) women’s championship and go on to be the face of SmackDown’s women’s division.

The New Day (C) vs. The Usos (Hell in a Cell Match for the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship)

The Savior of this PPV sees these two white hot teams square off in Hell in a Cell.

While WWE has not done the best to keep this feud seem important enough to warrant a match in the demonic structure, the fans know these guys will deliver in the ring. I expect some exciting yet PG spots and some crazy bumps to take place, and with the added drama of everyone in the ring at once I see this being a hoot.

The big question is if Xavier Woods will be able to get into the cell as well, or if he will hold off getting involved. With the other Hell in a Cell match guaranteed to have some sort of big stunt it is good to have this here to be the excellent wrestling match to balance it out. The Usos could sneak away with the belts here, but I think The New Day retain since they are such huge ambassadors for the company.

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

WWE has a tour of India in December, so guess who’s winning this match?

WWE has left it wide open for the Singh Brothers to interfere yet again, so that seems like the most obvious route to a finish here since we have seen that in literally every Mahal match. Nakamura is in a weird place where he is getting a huge push, but it seems like creative have no idea how to capitalize on the unique superstar. Meanwhile, WWE has flushed any nuance and subtly with Mahal’s character down the drain when they decided to have him tell racist jokes.

When the crowd chants “That’s Too Far,” it’s easy to see why attendance is hitting record lows. Mahal wins again and hopefully we get Styles in the title picture to see if Mahal can step up and have a decent match for once.

Shane McMahon vs. Kevin Owens (Hell in a Cell match)

This Hell in a Cell match will probably lead to some memorable moment WWE puts into video packages for years.

I’ve heard rumors that WWE is filming something with a stunt Shane so he does not hurt himself, which is good for protecting his health but lessens the excitement factor. This is the only match WWE has thought to put some effort in, because Shane is the coolest dad on the roster and it’s a big deal when he decides to let someone beat him up (sorry, Titus).

I hope Shane brings his kids to the match and Owens throws them off the cell one at a time. 

Owens wins and possibly moves into the title picture at some point, though he has appeared on advertisements for Raw brand live events. Because Raw definitely needs more wrestlers they can ignore.

Why Nuclear Hatred Broke Up

Earlier this week, guitarist Robert Orr and myself decided to disband our crossover/thrash metal band Nuclear Hatred (formerly Zamboni) of seven years.

For six of those seven we were known as Zamboni, a punk/thrash powerhouse that never took itself too seriously. In that time we released a demo, two EP’s, a live album, and our one and only album. Those were good days. Thanks to the good people at the Meatlocker and some other local bands that we consider to be dear friends of ours, we built up a small scene in the New Jersey area, pulling together some great shows such as Midian’s one and only reunion show, a Cancerslug show that is now known as “The Jersey Massacre” on their YouTube page, and our five “Thrash Bash BBQ” events. If we needed help, another band was there to fill in on drums or help set up and promote a show. Everyone was going to everyone’s shows. Everyone was buying everyone’s merch. All the bands were looking out for each other. It was clear: We weren’t just making music, we were cultivating a community.

Fast forward to 2016. A week after we finally released our debut album (which was heavily promoted through Clawhammer PR and even got the attention of Zero Tolerance magazine and a few South American compilations), the suits came calling. The Frank J. Zamboni Corporation sent us a cease and desist letter telling us we couldn’t use the name Zamboni as it was copyright. While that is probably not true as Zamboni is a very common Italian last name (therefore impossible to copyright, and if it just so happened to be MY last name it would have made even less sense), we didn’t have the money to take them to court (In addition, we had copywritten our demo years back and if there actually WAS a copywright under that name, it would have gotten pinged back and we would have known to change the name on the spot). After pleading with law firms to find a loophole without changing our name and killing our long-overdue momentum, it seems that these ridiculous cases are simply done just to waste money and ruin a person financially at the company’s expense. We had no choice but to change the name in haste to Nuclear Hatred- the first song we ever wrote as Zamboni.

While we liked the name for a song and possibly album title, we hated it as a band name. We also hated the fact that we couldn’t really get booked anywhere unless we rented a place and booked the show ourselves (with one exception as a really wonderful human booking shows out of her parent’s Staten Island basement). Everyone was suddenly playing a very generic form of thrash or another genre and getting the booking we felt we deserved as we had accomplished much more than any of them.

And as for our so-called “community?” After all the help, support, and attempts to really create something over the years, not once did they offer us a slot on a show or ask what they could do to help us regain our lost momentum in our time of need. It was clear to us that there was no unity any longer. Everyone was only in it for themselves at this point and we were “just another band/occasional promoter.” The only times we would ever get any booking-related questions would be if we were booking a show and someone asked to be on it. When it came to even going to shows, there was no longer any excitement. You never felt like anyone in the venue cared nor that anyone playing was really going to make it – especially with the horrid shape that the music industry is in. People only showed up to shows for the headliner, and they “couldn’t afford” a local band’s t-shirt but just so happened to have the money for several overpriced drinks. The NY/NJ scene had died and anyone clinging to the idea that there still is one is a complete denier.

When it came to our writing, even the musical styles were changing, straying further away from crossover and thrash metal in our songwriting. The lyrical content for album two was to be much darker and revenge driven against the machine. We were simply too bitter and burnt out to really focus on our craft. Even routine practices were becoming a chore, happening less and less. We had plans to do some splits and EP’s, but they never materialized and we were given the runaround from people involved.

In January, we played our last show, although we didn’t know it yet (it also was the last SI basement show, oddly enough). Throughout the year we couldn’t squeeze out many practices due to scheduling and sometimes just not really having a drive anymore. Plus, we were listening to lots of other genres of metal and music altogether. I started a love affair with doom metal, gangster rap, and psychadelic rock. I also fell head-over-heels for stand-up comedy, voice acting, painting, podcasting, and the occasional game of Magic: The Gathering. Thrash in a dead scene that could care less about what I was doing seemed like a moot point.

After months of this, Orr and I sat down and had a phone call roughly a week ago. After about 30 seconds into the call, we both had the same idea: stop beating the dead horse and bury it. We both didn’t want to be there anymore. The music wasn’t fun, and the scene and our community were gone. Seven years was a good run, and we were too heartbroken over all of our hard work repeatedly being stabbed in the back to allow any of it to continue. Plus our lives were pulling us in different directions.

While we plan on still being musical for the rest of our lives, we’re not sure where the roads will take us. Until then, thank you for being a part of this journey and I hope to see you in the coming years. Hopefully the scene will sort itself out and there will be a community once again, but for now, there is much work to be done.


Dark Tranquillity at the Chance

After being a fan since high school, I was excited to finally get the opportunity to see Dark Tranquillity when they were announced for the Chance Theater.

As the days got closer it became more of a debate with money being short at times and car trouble (which turned out to be nothing) in the weeks leading up to it but luckily, everything turned out fine when it got close. After school I headed to the venue to finally catch the Swedish melodeath legends.


First main band on was the traditional metal throwback Striker. These guys will awfully generic and weren’t very good at all. They just felt like a weaker version of the bands they were paying tribute to and made me long-await Warbringer.


Second on were retro thrash titans Warbringer. I had not seen these guys since they opened for Iced Earth in 2012, so it was refreshing to see them once again. They didn’t play for long, but they made the most out of their minutes.

Dark Tranquillity 

At around 10:30 p.m. it was time for the headliners. While I honestly wasn’t a big fan of their latest album Atoma, I didn’t mind anything they played live from it due to their good performance. I was also glad I got to hear a good amount of classics such as “Wonders at Your Feet,” “Mundane and the Magic,” “Misery’s Crown,” and my favorite track, “Terminus.” Not a dull moment went by at that show and it was one of the best I’ve been to at that Chance in awhile.






Spaceman Frank’s No Mercy 2017 Predictions

by Frank Lucci

The wrestling world has No Mercy for fans, as in the several weeks since Summerslam The WWE and others seem to create a major news story every day. The Mae Young Classic Concludes! The Four Horsewomen of MMA may be invading! Paige may be coming back! Shelton Benjamin is back! Lio Rush made his debut at NXT tapings! Global Force Wrestling may become Impact again due to their usual incompetence! Flo and WWN are starting a legal battle over streaming data! Nikki Bella is on Dancing With the Stars! Konnor from The Ascension is a new dad! Daniel Bryan may head to Ring of Honor! VInce bleeds on television! And Jesus Christ the worked shoots! Every week with the worked shoots! No Mercy should be an interesting show, but will it stand out among all the news that has come down the pipeline? My gut says maybe. I’m Spaceman Frank and here are my No Mercy 2017 predictions!

Elias Sampson vs. Apollo Crews (Preshow Time Filler Spectacular)

Somebody (Vince Mcmahon) demanded this happen, so here we go. Titus Worldwide is dominating the preshow lately, and hopefully Akira Tozawa shows up here to remind everyone that he walked into the last PPV as Cruiserweight Champion. Is there a reason Titus cannot wrestle himself? Why is just being a manager? With the thin roster of tag teams on Raw Titus and Crews (with Tozawa doing a freebird gimmick?) could be a positive. Instead they face Elias, who hopefully will sing one of his strange songs to make sure we get less commentary on the preshow. Anything that prevents the preshow panel from talking more I am all for. Anyway Sampson wins because The Titus Brand loses every time. Maybe they should recruit Curt Hawkins…

Finn Balor vs. Bray Wyatt

I guess this is happening again, because reasons. I like the idea that Bray is calling out Finn the man instead of The Demon, and that could have been an interesting way to built this match up…if that was the built to their original match and not the sequel. Wyatt couldn’t beat him before, so Finn agrees to depower himself like Thanatos in the original Infinity Gauntlet storyline. Sure, you do that Finn. Grab that idiot ball with both hands. I did not care before and I do not care this time around. With all the worked shoots going around this story sticks out like a sore thumb. Balor wins despite the lack of demon powers because Wyatt cannot win anything and will be joining Titus Worldwide with Curt Hawkins.

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

These four men put on a hell of a show at SummerSlam, and I have high hopes for this match. This is a good way to keep these guys relevent and be in a title picture while keeping them all out of sneakily crowded Universal title picture. I hope Seth and Dean taunt Cesaro with two beach balls, causing him to hulk out, rip both at once, then flip the ring over. I am roughly 65% certain Cesaro could pull it off. While I am hyped for this match I am concerned what comes after? Do The Club get involved after essentially jobbing out in the built to this match? Do we get more thrown together teams? Do you elevate The Miztourage or the dream team of Bray Wyatt and Curt Hawkins? We shall see. Dean and Seth win so we have a strong babyface team on Raw people can get behind.

Alexa Bliss (C) vs. Emma vs. Nia Jax vs Sasha Banks vs. Bayley (Fatal Five Way for the WWE Raw Women’s Championship)

Bliss vs. Banks rematch? Cool Beans. Teasing adding Jax? Even better. Adding Jax and then also Emma for some reason? Ummmmm. Throwing Bayley in their the Raw before because it was in her hometown and people would actually cheer her? Sigh. We got a big old multi person match, so here are my rankings, from least to most likely, to win the match.


Bayley-She was just put in this match for reasons unknown, and it would be a strange to just give her the belt. Although WWE is hot potatoing the belt around anyway, so I at least see it being possible.

Sasha Banks- Considering this started off being about her seeking revenge for her loss was immediately pivoted to focus on others, I do not see her having much chance here. If they tease a heel turn for her by having her wrestle Bayley or take advantage of the no DQ setting that would be cool.

Nia Jax- If anyone has a chance to unseat the champ it is Jax. Usually in situations like this she gets ganged up on and taken out quick, and I would love for her to be a proper monster and wreck everybody here. But I see everyone hitting a parade of finishers on her towards the end of the match so she can roll out of the ring and not take the pin.

Alexa Bliss- I see the champ sneaking in and grabbing a pin to keep her belt. Bliss is super talented but they keep pulling the rug out from underneath her by having her drop the belt so I would like her to be a bit more dominate and have a lengthy run.

The Miz (C) vs. Jason Jordan (Intercontinental Title Match)

I almost care about this match. Almost. On one side Jordan has proven he can work a singles match with the best workers in the company, but the spectre of Baby Daddy Kurt Angle haunts him wherever he goes. The Miz is losing his wife Maryse from her television role due to her pregnancy, but he will recover so long as he just work shoots on everyone in the company. Meanwhile Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas are just hanging out in the background, and they really need to step up to fill the role Maryse will leave behind. I think The Miz will retain, continue to burn people with hot fire on the mic, adopt Curt Hawkins (thus inheriting Bray Wyatt and Titus Worldwide), and get that number one spot for longest combined reigns for the IC title.

Neville (C) vs. Enzo Amore (WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match)

WWE for the first time built a feud involving the Cruiserweights that actually has the main WWE audience invested. Neville has always been super consistent and oftentimes is the best champion WWE has, and adding the uber popular Enzo has people talking. And, despite the rumors of Zo’s backstage heat, the challenger has been booked in very interesting ways. Sure they have the main roster stomp on him every chance he gets, but he uses shortcuts to compete with the 205 Live regulars and thus hang with the best pure wrestlers in WWE. Will the same tactics work against Nevill, who is known for using nasty tricks himself? Special props for both men for their promo on the go home 205 Live that added a huge spike of interest for this match. I could one day see Enzo win the belt, but he needs the chase more than he needs the belt. Neville wins by getting shady on Amore who becomes the more popular version of Curt Hawkins.

John Cena vs. Roman Reigns

Oh boy. During their first promo battle Cena slayed Reigns like he was Curt Hawkins and pretty much won over most of the smart crowd to his side. Not that I thought they would need much to side with Cena, but whatever. Meanwhile Reigns needed several weeks to recover and deliver anything close to what Cena pulled off, and I find it telling that his best promo of their feud was when he was alone without John there to offer rebuttals. Hell, even Reign’s match with Jason Jordan was not as good as Cena’s match with the same opponent the week before. Roman has been exposed as the lame corporate Cena clone he is, and while some fans seem on his side I just do not see how this helped him at all besides to try to shame him into getting better. Sadly all signs point to Reigns winning, so he is my pick here.

Brock Lesnar (C) vs. Braun Stroman (WWE Universal Championship Match)

For once, Vince’s wet dream is the same as the IWC’s wet dream. The WWE has allowed these two just enough physical contact to make this match feel like the Wrestlemania worthy match it is. My only complaint was the go home segment where they had the talking head interviews. This did not work well with Samoa Joe, and having two massive hosses just sit and talk is really lame. Just have the traditional pull apart brawl that allows them to look terrifying while decimating the roster and maybe ripping Curt Hawkin’s spine out. I really, really, reallyyyyyyyy want my boy Braun to win…and I am going out on a limb and say he will. For one, he is one of the hottest things in WWE right now, and he is one of the very few people on the roster that is must see. Having a more consistent champion presence would benefit Raw as well. Then you can save Brock for the Royal Rumble or Survivor Series when he is freaking out and terrifying trying to get his title back. Lastly, if WWE is willing to experiment with Jinder Mahal as champ, why not pull the trigger on Braun? The reign of Stroman begins at No Mercy.


F*ck Mondays! Episode 43: It Review

Chris and Jon review “It” and address other issues in the movie world. Chris reveals the final moments of his voiceover perils!

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F*ck Mondays! Episode 42: Defenders Review and the Joker Too

Chris and Jon review Marvel’s The Defenders and discuss the Joker spinoff movies rumbling around Hollywood. Chris also goes off on a bad voiceover experience.

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Manopera! Episode 47: SummerSlam 2017 Review

Chris, Frank, and Pro Wrestling Opinion’s Nicholas Jason Lopez review WWE’s biggest party of the summer, SummerSlam 2017.

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SSEP: Episode 23: Mayweather and McGregor are Best Friends/Reigns Burned by Cena/Elliot Suspended?

Jon and Matt review Mayweather/McGregor, Reigns’ and Cena’s verbal spat and discuss if the final word on NFLs Ezekiel Elliot’s suspension will be coming soon.

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10 Underrated Tobe Hooper and George. A. Romero Films


by Anthony Carioscia

2017 is a sad year in the horror world as we lost George Romero and Tobe Hooper, arguably two of the genre’s best directors .

When your average person thinks of Romero, his legendary Living Dead Trilogy is what normally comes to mind and for Hooper, The first two Texas Chainsaw Massacres and Poltergeist. While these are all amazing films, let’s not forget that both directors had plenty of other movies that helped them earn their titles of masters of horror. Here in no particular order are those films, with five underrated films from each director.

Tobe Hooper:

Invaders from Mars

The 1980’s had several great remakes of classic 50’s sci-fi horror genre such as The Thing and The Fly. One that gets forgotten is Hooper’s version of Invaders From Mars, which is a shame since this film is a fun 80’s cheese fest joy ride with awesome special effects.

Body Bags

This made for TV anthology film was a giant lot between Hooper, John Carpenter and Larry Sulkis. Hooper directed the third and final segment “Eye.”

This film is about a baseball player who gets a replacement right eye after he looses it. He then starts getting disturbing visions and soon learns of the eye’s secret origin as he plummets into madness. This segment is the best in the film, but the other two are also well worth your time.


This slasher classic is set in an amusement park where a small group of teens get stuck in the fun house ride and are attacked by a killer with severe physical deformities. The film stars Elizabeth Berridge, who would later become known for being in the huge hit film Amadeus about the legendary composer Mozart.


Written by horror and sci-fi master Dan O’Bannon (Dead and Buried, Alien) and based on the novel Space Vampires, Lifeforce is a must see for horror and sci-fi fans. In this film, vampires from space arrive in London and start infecting everyone. This picture’s style fuses primitive shlock with traditional Hammer style horror to make an experience that’s out of this world. It also has Patrick Stewart, which is always a plus!

Eaten Alive 

A spiritual follow up to Texas Chainsaw, Eaten Alive is a 70’s grindhouse classic. Like TCM, this film is about a sadistic killer redneck who feeds his victims to his pet crocodile.


The Dark Half 

Based on the novel by Stephen King, this film tells the story of an author who creates a fake pen name sort of like what King did with Richard Bachman. This fake person now wants to take over the author’s life by any means neccessary.

Two Evil Eyes 

This overlooked gem is an anthology film involving both Romero and Italian, legend Dario Argento. It features two stories, both based on the works of Edgar Allen Poe with Argento directing The Black Cat and Romero directing The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar. While Romero’s skit isn’t as good as Argento’s, it’s still excellent, well crafted gothic horror.

The Crazies 

Romero is most known for making films about the living dead. In The Crazies, he gives us a similar concept but with a virus causing people to become rabid and zombie like. The social commentary and military themes commonly found in Romero’s works are all here as it feels like a side film in the Living Dead franchise.


George A. Romero is mostly know for his zombie films, but has several others well worth checking out – including the vampire classic Martin.

The film is about a young man who thinks he’s a vampire who goes to live with his insane elderly cousin who believes he’s a product of a family curse.

The film plays on the old-world hysteria that created vampires, but sets them in modern day. It also showcases Romero’s love for social commentary.


When master director George Romero teams up with Stephen King for a film, you know you have a masterpiece on your hands.

Creepshow is a horror anthology film that acts as a love letter to vintage horror comics such as Tales from the Crypt and Vault of Horror. The film consists of five shorts with two of the shorts, Weeds and The Crate being based on King stories. The rest were written by King specifically for the movie. From start to finish, Creepshow is a fun, gory, creepy and hilarious joy ride.

SSEP: Episode 22: Major NBA Trade / NXT TakeOver and SummerSlam Review / Mayweather McGregor Preview

Your boy Jon and the Jewharaja break down the Kyrie Irving trade to the Celtics, review both WWE NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III and SummerSlam, and preview Mayweather vs. McGregor.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


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.


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.


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 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.


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.


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!

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