All posts by Chris Butera

Chris Butera enjoys going to metal concerts, reading and having a cold one with friends.

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.

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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.

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

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!

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

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.

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

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.

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

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).