Sunday, October 30, 2011

The WWE's "Youth Movement": 6 Months Later

So about 6 months ago I wrote a blog piece talking about the supposed youth movement that was happening in the WWE. During one of his conference calls, Vince McMahon said that the WWE was in a youth movement face and that they were going to focus on pushing the young talent that they had in the company. You can read that full piece here:

Well, it's been a little over 6 months since I wrote that column, and to say things didn't exactly go as planned might be a little bit of an understatement. Lots of factors probably went into that. One: nobody saw C.M. Punk coming. He had been stagnant for years, and all of the sudden he just exploded onto the main event scene and looks to be there to stay. I didn't think it would ever happen. Another factor into all of this is the success that was The Rock's return. The Rock helped Wrestlemania top 1 million buys. Many people also didn't expect The Rock to agree to wrestle at Survivor Series, Wrestlemania, and whenever else he agrees to wrestle. Then of course there was the big Vince McMahon/HHH/CEO storyline that brought back Kevin Nash and basically needed to involve the veteran key players.

But with that being said lets take a look back, and a look forward, to see what is in these stars' futures.

What I Said 6 Months Ago
-After The Miz and Alberto del Rio, I think John Morrison would have to be considered the next breakout star in the WWE.
-Morrison's parkour style gives him a unique offensive move set that makes him different from any other star in the WWE.
-Many people are comparing John Morrison to Jeff Hardy. That is a fair comparison. Obviously Morrison has his personal life in better order than Hardy.
-So when does the WWE pull the trigger on John Morrison? If it was up to me, I'd say SummerSlam.

Morrison was the first name on my list, so that's why I start with him. To say things have taken a turn for the worse for Morrison is quite the understatement. Morrison appeared to still be in for some type of push after Wrestlemania, but his behavior during the lead up to Wrestlemania really effected all of that. Morrison apparently had problems with Trish Stratus being in his match rather than his real life girlfriend Melina. Melina was apparently in Morrison's ear, and because of that he gave the cold shoulder to Stratus. That's a big no-no for a young guy looking to breakout in the business. Morrison still was in the main event of the next PPV, Extreme Rules, but it never really amounted to anything. Morrison dealt with a neck injury that made him miss most of the summer. But after that? He's basically been a flashy jobber since his return.

John Morrison's backstage reputation has been nothing to write home about if you believe the stories you hear. He apparently did everything Melina asked him to do. Vince McMahon was also apparently never that high on Morrison, mostly because he didn't believe Morrison looked like a guy that could "win a real fight." It pretty much seems like Morrison's main event opportunity has come and gone. If he stays with the WWE and re-signs, I highly doubt he gets any closer to the main event than he was. I will firmly say this right now: John Morrison will never be WWE or World Champion.

Dolph Ziggler
What I Said 6 Months Ago
-I don't think I've been more impressed with the overall improvement of one wrestler in the ring like I have been with Dolph Ziggler in the last few months.
-When Dolph Ziggler first debuted with his new gimmick, I thought there'd be no way he would get to where he is today. "Hi, I'm Dolph Ziggler." just seemed very stale and bad. But to his credit, Dolph has done very well over the last couple months.
-I don't have an exact scenario to play out for Ziggler, but I do think he will have the World Title again before the end of 2011, with Survivor Series being my first guess as to when he will win it.

Well, obviously Dolph Ziggler won't be getting his next World Title reign at Survivor Series. I hate having to consider this Dolph's second reign, because his hour long reign on an episode of Smackdown meant so much. But that's not to say that Dolph won't be getting one in the near future. Dolph still has all the potential in the world. He's one of the WWE's best workers in the ring, probably in the Top 5. And in the past few weeks, Dolph has been given more time to talk on the mic. And you know what? He is doing a hell of a job coming off as a serious threat. Dolph is apparently getting praise backstage for carrying the bulk of his program with Mason Ryan. I'm sure the WWE brass actually sees potential in Ziggler.

I think Ziggler was hurt when he was forced to move to RAW. If Ziggler was on Smackdown right now he would probably have more of an opportunity to main event. But on RAW, he plays second fiddle to John Cena, C.M. Punk, Alberto del Rio, Miz and HHH. Ziggler has held onto the United States Championship for a while now, but sooner or later he has to lose it if the WWE gets serious about moving him up the card. With Rock/Cena headlining Wrestlemania, the WWE can take risks about who will appear in their World and WWE Title matches. Ziggler doesn't scream main event, but he's somebody the WWE could take a chance on in one of those spots. I would be very surprised if Ziggler hasn't had a World or WWE Title run by the summer of 2012. The guy definitely deserves it. A WWE Title program with C.M. Punk would be a great thing to watch.

What I Said 6 Months Ago
-Even though he won the King of the Ring Tournament, he hasn't done much with it. First of all, he looks like a goof wearing the king attire. Second of all, he hasn't done anything worthy since winning it
-I think the best thing that could happen for Sheamus right now would be a move to Smackdown. There is nothing left for him on RAW.
-Sheamus is the type of guy that if re-established properly can be a top wrestler in this company down the line. He has the ability to slide into the main event slot and hold his own with the top guys in the company. Sheamus is in the position where instead of worrying about his next title reign, he needs to worry about re-establishing himself as a threat in the eyes of fans who now look at him as an afterthought

I don't know if anyone I wrote about has gone through a bigger resurgence than Sheamus. When I wrote about Sheamus 6 months ago, he was on a big losing streak. HHH demolished him on RAW in minutes, and he wasn't even on Wrestlemania. He wrestled Daniel Bryan in a dark match on the show. Sheamus eventually got his much needed move to Smackdown. At the time I suggested feuds with Rey Mysterio, Edge, and The Undertaker. Well: Rey moved to RAW, Edge retired, and Taker disappeared after Mania. All hope seemed lost for Sheamus, but little did I know his Irish luck was about to change.

In July, Sheamus turned face when he challenged Mark Henry to a match at SummerSlam. It was as simple a face turn as you could imagine. All he did was go into the ring, look at Henry, and say "I'll fight him." And to my surprise, Sheamus has gotten over quite well as a face. His reactions from the crowd are great, and Sheamus has seemed to embrace his role as a face. You can tell he is enjoying himself in front of the crowd. Once Henry finishes up his program with the Big Show, I wouldn't be surprised if Henry revisits his feud with Sheamus. Sheamus is over and he seems like the next logical choice for Henry to move onto.

What I Said 6 Months Ago
-It's a shame that it died the way it did. It would have been nice and refreshing to see a dominant heel faction on top of the WWE. But there is no denying that Barrett showed his worth to the WWE long term as a main event talent. He was outstanding on the mic while he was on top.
-If he can stay strong enough in the eyes of fans, I could see him as the leading candidate to win next year's Royal Rumble and headline Wrestlemania.
-Barrett needs to continue to improve in the ring. He already has the talent on the mic to be in the main event, now he just needs to add a bit more to his in ring work in order to maintain his status as a top guy now and down the line.

Wade Barrett has been very up and down this year. The Corre pretty much was a minuscule version of the Nexus. It never amounted to anything. Barrett won the Intercontinental Title but never really did much with it. He was jobbed out to Ezekiel Jackson and never really did much this summer. He did beat Daniel Bryan at SummerSlam. I thought Barrett might have been a prime candidate to win the Smackdown Money in the Bank but it didn't come to fruition. Now Wade Barrett is going through what he is calling his "Resurrection." Hopefully it leads to something. At this point, I will take an actual program with someone. I've seen house shows where Barrett is scheduled to face Randy Orton. That's a good start.

Hopefully this Resurrection does lead to something for Barrett. I really enjoyed his work as leader of Nexus. His mic skills haven't gone anywhere and he can still put on a good match with the right partner in the ring. A program with Randy Orton would do wonders for Barrett's ascent up the card. He may not win the program, but if he won a match or two over Orton, it would be great. Barrett's problem is that he has some competition on Smackdown for the next top spot with the next guy on my list. But if Barrett continues his "Resurrection," we may see him on top sooner than you think.

What I Said 6 Months Ago
-It will take some work, but Cody's gimmick is very much over as a heel right now.
-His mic work with this Dashing gimmick is very good. I didn't think the gimmick would last this long, but Cody is doing a tremendous job of making it work.
-Cody Rhodes is somebody I can see in the Spring or Summer of 2012 as a man ready to finally compete for a World Title, and ready to win it as well.

I think one could argue that Cody Rhodes is ahead of everyone else on this list. Rhodes continues to take his gimmick to the next level. He did a great thing in bringing back the old school Intercontinental Title. Rhodes has also looked very strong during his program with Randy Orton. Sure, he didn't win his match at Vengeance, but the program seems to be continuing on Smackdown. Rhodes has gone from a goofball gimmick to a gimmick that is a serious threat and one that the fans have to take seriously. Rhodes isn't going away anytime soon as he continues to fine tune his character.

The problem Rhodes is facing right now is that he is stuck behind Mark Henry on Smackdown. Rhodes is actually benefiting from all of the time he is getting on RAW. It is exposing him to the people who don't watch Smackdown. Rhodes might actually benefit from a permanent move to RAW. Programs with John Cena, C.M. Punk, and maybe even Zack Ryder all sound like good ideas. I thought Rhodes had a good shot of winning Money in the Bank this year, but obviously that didn't happen. Rhodes time will come. I would peg Rhodes and Barrett as two dark horse candidates to win the Royal Rumble. Even if he doesn't win the Royal Rumble, I think Rhodes is World Champion by the Summer of 2012.

What I Said 6 Months Ago
-Daniel Bryan is a favorite amongst the "smart" wrestling fans. Bryan is everything they like. A good worker in the ring capable of putting on an entertaining match with anyone.
-From my standpoint, I think Daniel Bryan has the potential to be a main event guy. From a WRESTLING standpoint, he reminds me a lot of Chris Benoit. I know that's a name people hate to bring up, and I'm sure there will be people who hate me for using him to compare with Daniel Bryan, but they do have some similarities.
-I think Bryan is the type of guy who can main event Wrestlemania if built up like Benoit was during his run to the World Title at Wrestlemania XX. I would say to watch for the Summer of 2012 or maybe even as late as Wrestlemania 29 for Bryan's first main event title run.

Well, it looks like I was off by a full year with Daniel Bryan's push. Of course that is if the WWE decided to go through with Bryan's push. Daniel Bryan surprised everyone with his win of the Smackdown Money in the Bank briefcase. I didn't see it coming at all. There was no indication at all that Bryan even had a chance of winning. Not only did Bryan surprise with his MITB win, but he surprised many by actually announcing when he would cash in. Bryan said he believed surprise cash-ins on vulnerable opponents did nothing, so he decided to cash in his MITB Briefcase at Wrestlemania.

But since Bryan won the MITB Briefcase, he's gone on a bit of a losing streak. He hasn't had any set program for a while. Some people think a heel turn may be on the horizon, but Smackdown is already filled with young heels and Bryan doesn't need to fall behind them. While the WWE can take the risk of having Bryan in the World Title match at Wrestlemania, it also doesn't scream "World Title Match." Now of course, a David vs Goliath type match with Bryan taking on Henry could be quite interesting. I think Bryan needs to be built back up a bit more though before anything can happen. At this point, no one is buying him as a World Champion. Bryan needs a major face lift in the next couple of months.

That's all from me this week.

Until next time,
Justin C
Follow Me on Twitter @JCWonka

Thursday, October 27, 2011

NFL Week 8 Picks

A really bad week last week. Lets hope this week's picks makes up for that.

Last Week's Record: 6-7
Year to Date Record: 64-39

Arizona Cardinals vs Baltimore Ravens
I really thought the Arizona Cardinals were going to be better than this. They're lucky the Rams are in their division, otherwise they would be the laughing-stock of the NFC West. Kevin Kolb has thoroughly disappointed in his first year in Arizona. And Larry Fitzgerald isn't making the plays after signing his long-term contract. Oh, and the defense is getting torn to shreds. They can't stop any passing attack they've faced so far. And the Cardinals are facing a pissed off Ravens team this week. The Ravens were embarrassed on Monday night football in Jacksonville. Joe Flacco looked like a JV High School Quarterback out there. The team passed more instead of relying on Ray Rice. Ray Lewis questioned that after the game. If there was ever a time for Flacco to right the ship, this game would be it. If Flacco can't play well against Arizona, then he may not be the answer for the Ravens after all. But I might expect the Ravens to lean more on Rice this week than ever before, especially if the team is openly criticizing the use of Ray Rice. Ravens win this won.

Baltimore 31  Arizona 16

Minnesota Vikings vs Carolina Panthers
It's the Battle of Two Rookie QBs from the Class of 2011. Ponder vs Newton. Christian Ponder looked rather impressive in his debut last week against Green Bay. Now Ponder takes his act to the road. Expect Ponder to actually throw against Carolina. He built his confidence up last week against Green Bay, no reason to think that he won't throw against Carolina. It helps when you have Adrian Peterson on the team as well. The Vikings defense will have to focus on containing Cam Newton, otherwise he will run wild on them like he did against Washington last week. Greg Jennings burned the Vikings defense last week, and they have to be fearful that Steve Smith might do the same this week. This is a wide open game, and I expect a few points to be scored by each team. But I'm taking the Vikings here. They played better under Ponder and almost beat Green Bay, no reason they can't beat Carolina.

Minnesota 33  Carolina 28

Jacksonville Jaguars vs Houston Texans
As ugly as it was, Blaine Gabbert got his first win against Baltimore in prime time. Gabbert didn't do a lot, but he did enough to get his team in field goal range for their only points. Maurice Jones-Drew also did his part, carrying the ball 30 times. Jacksonville's defense deserves just as much credit too. They pressured Joe Flacco, forced him into bad throws, and shut down Ray Rice. Now, they can't win every game like that. But it was nice for Gabbert to get that first win under his belt. The Texans took a completely different approach to winning last week. They absolutely thumped the Titans last week in Tennessee 41-7. And they did that without Andre Johnson, and he may return this week. The Texans are the clear favorites now in the AFC South, and if they play like they did last week, no one in the division will compete with them. If the Jags win here, they actually aren't out of the AFC South race. But they won't win. Houston builds off of last week.

Houston 28  Jacksonville 13

Miami Dolphins vs New York Giants
The Dolphins are terrible. The QB they signed two weeks ago, Sage Rosenfels, has already been put on Injured Reserve. They signed J.P. Losman this week. That's never a good sign. The team is in shambles. They blew a 15 point lead last week against Denver in the final 3 minutes of the game. There have already been rumblings of John Gruden or Bill Cowher coming to Miami next year. The Giants, meanwhile, are coming off a bye week rested and healthy. Eli Manning played well against the Bills two weeks ago, and Ahmad Bardshaw had his best game of the season. There's no reason to think the Giants won't role here. Of course they did lose to Seattle at home, but Miami is much worse than Seattle.

NY Giants 27  Miami 10

New Orleans Saints vs St. Louis Rams
The Saints scored 62 points last week against Indianapolis. The Rams also have one of the worst defenses in the NFL. This one could be another huge blowout. The Rams probably won't have Sam Bradford again either. Steven Jackson scores the only two TDs for the Rams, because he's on my fantasy team. But the Saints score way more. No need for further analysis.

New Orleans 45  St. Louis 14

Indianapolis Colts vs Tennessee Titans
Both of these teams are coming off of humiliating losses. The Titans were terrible at home against Houston. Matt Hasselbeck looked terrible, and Chris Johnson has yet to come to form after missing all of training camp. Johnson says it isn't his fault, but when you miss as much time as he did, it will show. And it is showing. The Colts, meanwhile, are finding out that life without Peyton Manning isn't all that great. Last week's 62-7 loss was hopefully the peak of their embarrassment. The Colts weren't playing that bad before last week. They can't let it affect them too much. The Colts are in the Andrew Luck race, but the Titans may be thinking of trotting out Jake Locker if the team continues to struggle. This could be an ugly game, but I think the Titans win here. If Chris Johnson can't get going here, then he may never get it going this year.

Tennessee 24  Indianapolis 20

Detroit Lions vs Denver Broncos
Tim Tebow's first start had a very up and down feel to it. He was sacked six times and had less than 50 yards passing in the first half. But he found a resurgence in the second half, primarily the last 3 minutes, and lead the Broncos to an 18-15 over time victory. Tebow still has a lot to do before he becomes a competent NFL QB. He had a lot of inaccurate throws and relied too much on his legs. And he lost Willis McGahee for a couple of weeks with a broken hand. Tebow should be motivated in his first home start of the season. The Lions are facing their own problems. They've lost two in a road, and are going to a tough place to play in Denver. And they may be without their starting QB Matthew Stafford. Stafford has an ankle sprain and is a game-time decision. Knowing Stafford and his toughness, my money is that he ends up playing. Even if he doesn't play, Shaun Hill is a good enough back-up that there won't be too much of a drop-off. Expect the Lions defense to be blitz heavy and get in the face of Tebow. Maybe Ndamukong Suh can trash talk Tebow after one of them. I expect this one to be close considering the Broncos new found spring in their step thanks to Tebow. But the Lions win a tight one.

Detroit 23  Denver 21

Washington Redskins vs Buffalo Bills
And now the Redskins are coming back down to reality. Jon Beck is playing as bad as Rex Grossman did. And now, they lost RB Tim Hightower and TE Chris Cooley for the year, and WR Santana Moss is out 5-7 weeks. That's just a bad combination all around for the Redskins. The Redskins defense is good, but not good enough to win games on their own. Beck played ok last week against Carolina, but he didn't play well enough to win them the game. The Bills are coming off a bye week. They got slightly healthy, but lost LB Shawne Merrieman for the year and NT Kyle Williams is still out a few weeks. The defense isn't built to be a shut down unit, but they shouldn't have problems containing the Redskins here. Starting LT Demetrius Bell is out this Sunday, as is his back-up Chirs Hairston. LG Andy Levitre will move to LT, which could cause some problems. But Ryan Fitzpatrick is the least sacked QB in the league, and he has Fred Jackson to lean on. If Jackson keeps up his star play, he could gain some attention in the MVP race. This game is in Toronto. I could go on a rant about this series as a Bills fan, but I won't. The Bills win here. But it is close, as the Bills know they have a huge showdown with the Jets next week.

Buffalo 30  Washington 24

Cincinnati Bengals vs Seattle Seahawks
I don't know what you would call Seattle's performance last week. Pathetic may be too nice of a word for it. Charlie Whitehurst looked terrible, as did the entire offense. Seattle is a different team at home though. The home crowd usually motivates them enough to play better. But the crowd can't improve the play of Tavaris Jackson or Charlie Whitehurst. Fans are probably actually hoping it is Jackson, which is the first time they've hopes that since Jackson was acquired. The Bengals are 4-2 coming off of their bye and now take on the tougher portion of their schedule, with the first stop being this West Coast trip. The Andy Dalton/A.J. Green combo has been a pleasant surprise but it will be interesting to see if they can keep it up. After this week, the Bengals go to Tennessee then face Pittsburgh and Baltimore back to back. The Bengals will also be without Rey Maualuga for this game. I expect a close game here, but the Bengals are the better team and should win here, even in Seattle.

Cincinnati 17  Seattle 16

Cleveland Browns vs San Francisco 49ers
The Browns are lucky Seattle played a lot worse than them last week. For a team that was suppose to improve on offense, it sure looks like they have taken a step back. The Browns will probably be without RB Peyton Hillis again on offense, although he really isn't the problem. The problem is Colt McCoy and his apparent regression this season. The defense is playing better, but the offense is just bad. They've only broken the 20 point barrier once this year. The 49ers, meanwhile, have gone under a huge resurgence under new coach Jim Harbaugh. He has Alex Smith playing well, and Frank Gore is playing much better than last year. The defense has also stepped up and played better. No reason to see the 49ers struggling here. They should take care of the Browns.

San Francisco 26  Cleveland 17

New England Patriots vs Pittsburgh Steelers
These are traditionally two of the best teams in the AFC, but whenever they met up, it is always Tom Brady and the Patriots that come out on top. The Steelers offense though is playing better than they have in recent years. Ben Roethlisberger loves finding Mike Wallace deep, and he should be able to find him plenty against the Patriots 32nd ranked pass defense. The Steelers pass defense has traditionally been abused by Tom Brady on a regular basis. Brady always finds ways to find an open WR. Last season, it was Te Rob Gronkowski who torched the Steelers. I think both QBs should be able to find open WRs, so I think it could come down to who has the better running game in this one and can control the clock. If the Steelers can pound the ball away on the ground while finding openings in the passing game, there is no reason to think they can't win. I know Tom Brady and Co. usually own the Pats, but I think the Steelers finally win one here. They've looked much better after I doubted them a few weeks ago.

Pittsburgh 38  New England 34

Dallas Cowboys vs Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles looked good heading into their bye week against Washington. They finally looked like the Dream Team everyone pegged them to be. Now they had the bye week to work out all of the kinks that they still had to workout. Now they have a prime time home game against one of their biggest rivals. The Cowboys took care of business last week against St. Louis, and a new star might have been born in RB DeMarco Murray. Murray ran for 293 yards last week against St. Louis. The Eagles run defense is nothing to write home about. Murray may not run for 293 yards, but he should top a 100. This game rests a lot on the shoulders of Tony Romo. Can Romo find Miles Austin and Dez Bryant against the Eagles "Holy Trinity" at cornerback. Romo has struggled in the spotlight before, and you have to wonder if he can handle the spotlight here again. Mike Vick should be able to find his WRs against a struggling Dallas secondary. Vick should also be able to make plays with his legs. The Cowboys need to bring heavy pressure on Vick and force him into mistakes, similar to what the Bills did a few weeks ago. Because Tony Romo has yet to shine in the spotlight, I'm taking the Eagles here.

Philadelphia 31  Dallas 27

San Diego Chargers vs Kansas City Chiefs
Remember after Week 2 when everybody was ready to write off the Chiefs. They were blown out by Buffalo and Detroit, and they lost Jamaal Charles and Eric Berry for the season. Matt Cassel looked terrible, and everything looked ready to fall apart. But the Chiefs held everything together, and are now right back in the AFC West race. They dismantled the Raiders in Oakland last week, which had to be a good feeling for everyone in the Chiefs organization. The Chargers, meanwhile, blew a double digit second half league against the Jets last week. Philip Rivers has not looked like himself at all this year. He hasn't had Vincent Jackson or Antonio Gates full time this year, but that has never slowed down Rivers before. He has a good running game this year, but that apparently isn't helping. You have to think that the Chargers will struggle in Arrowhead. The Chiefs played them close in San Diego, and I think they pull out the win on Monday night.

Kansas City 24  San Diego 20

My Vegas $$$ Picks
Last Week's Record: 2-2
Year to Date Record: 16-11-1

Pittsburgh +3 vs New England: Like I said, I think this is the year the Steelers finally beat the Patriots

Kansas City +3.5 vs San Diego: Chiefs are on a resurgence, Chargers are struggling

NY Giants -10 vs Miami: This spread seems to small

Minnesota +3.5 vs Carolina: They played the Packers tight, no reason they can't beat the Panthers

That's all from me today.

Until next time,
Justin C
Follow Me on Twitter @JCWonka

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

NFL Week 7 Review

Yep, it's that time! NFL Review time!

Team of the Week: Atlanta Falcons
-I had my doubts about these guys the last few weeks. I thought they would lose to Atlanta at home but they pulled off a win. Then I thought they would lose to Detroit on the road, but they pulled off a nice win. Things looked scary for a second when Matt Ryan got his ankle stepped on, but he came back and the Falcons sealed a victory late. The defense has stepped up its game big time in the last two weeks. Sans one big play from Calvin Johnson, the defense pretty much shut him down all day. The Falcons are determined to make it a 3 team race in the NFC South, and they probably will. Michael Turner looks back to his old form the last two games. If the Falcons rely on Turner first and Ryan second, they should be in it at the end.

Game of the Week: Green Bay 33  Minnesota 27
-There really weren't any stand out games this week, so I'm giving it to this game by default. I thought about giving it to San Diego/NY Jets, but gave it to this game instead. The Vikings gave the Packers everything they could handle yesterday, and they almost pulled off a huge upset. The Vikings looked like an inspired team under new rookie QB Christian Ponder. Ponder showed promise in his first game, taking it to the Packers in 3 plays on the Vikings first drive. But the Packers showed their strength late in the game, pulling away and capitalizing on the Vikings mistakes. The Packers have some flaws that were exposed in this game, and that will probably keep them from going 16-0 in the long run.

Dogs of the Week: Ndamukong Suh  & Cliff Avril, Detroit Lions
-Look, I know there is no way to prove that these guys said anything. But to have a handful of Falcons players say that they were trash talking an injured Matt Ryan Sunday means a couple things. It means something was definitely said. That many players don't come out and say something without that. It also adds to Suh's reputation of being a "dirty player" around league circles. There was already a problem earlier in the game when the Lions wouldn't let the Falcons come out of the tunnel. Add all of this together, and America's darling Detroit Lions teams may not be such darlings after all. Suh is a great talent, but his reputation around the league is probably at an all time low at this point.

Other Week 7 Notes
-I think when it is all set and done, the 2011 Rookie QB Class may go down as one of the best ever. Number 1 Overall Pick Cam Newton is the playmaker everyone thought he would be in Carolina even though their record doesn't show it. There's no reason he can't be the next Mike Vick. Andy Dalton in Cincinantil has the Bengals at 4-2 and right in the thick of the AFC Playoff Race. The Dalton-A.J. Green connection will be a formidable one in years to come. Christian Ponder showed a lot of promise in his first start yesterday against Green Bay. He made some rookie mistakes but that is to be expected in your first career start. Blaine Gabbert should improve given time with Jacksonville. And we've yet to see what Jake Locker (Tennessee), Ryan Mallet (New England), and Colin Kapernick (San Francisco) are capable of. This QB class shows a lot of promise and the future of that position in the NFL looks bright.

-Speaking of the QB position, TEBOWMANIA IS RUNNING WILD IN DENVER! Broncos fans wanted him, and they got him this week. And until the final 3 minutes of the game, Tebow was showing why people questioned if he good play in the NFL. Over-thrown/under-thrown passes, mis-reads, and poor mechanics plagued Tebow. Then something changed, and Tebow lead the Broncos on two straight scoring drives and a wild OT comeback win over Denver. Broncos fans need to expect more of this with Tebow at the helm. There will be a lot of ugly moments, but there will also be those moments when Tebow looks like the true winner everyone knows he is. And hey, at 2-4, the Broncos aren't out of the AFC West race yet. That division may be wide open for the taking.

-Are the wheels starting to fall off in Detroit. I don't think so, but I'm sure a lot of their fans are worried. The Lions lost their second straight home game against Atlanta. The offense has slowed down the last two weeks. Teams are doubling Calvin Johnson more often than not, and they are without RB Jahvid Best. And now, QB Matthew Stafford has an ankle sprain and may not play this week. The secondary is getting burned for big passes, and the offensive line is doing a terrible job protecting Stafford. At 5-2, there is still no reason to go into full blown panic mode yet. However, a road loss next week at Denver would change that.

-After all the hype the Oakland Raiders had coming into this week's game, they sure did put up a stinker. Kyle Boller looked terrible in the first half, throwing 3 interceptions. So what did coach Hue Jackson do? Switch to Carson Palmer. Only Palmer played just as bad as Boller, throwing 3 interceptions as well. Palmer admitted after the game that he probably only knows 10% of the playbook. Sure Boller was playing bad, but if Palmer knew so little about the playbook why put him in? That might have hurt the Raiders more than keeping Boller in. The Raiders allowed the Chiefs to come into their house and rub their face in the dirt. They also let the Chiefs back in the AFC West race. Hopefully Palmer knows at least 50% of the playbook when the Raiders play again in two weeks.

-Are the Jets back? They were left for dead yesterday, down 21-10 at halftime. But the defense held the Chargers to zero points in the 2nd half, and the offense woke up in the 2nd half leading a comeback to a much needed Jets victory. Sure they beat the Dolphins last week, but anyone can beat the Dolphins. Mark Sanchez finally found Plaxico Burress, three times in fact. Just when I was ready to write off the Jets, they show they can still compete. If the Jets play like they did Sunday, then they may very well find a way to get back into the playoffs. But that depends on how much Mark Sanchez continues to grow. The Jets will only go as far as he does.

Hey I'm Just Sayin...
-That was a perfect collapse by the Dolphins. No one suspected it was intentionally done in their race for Andrew Luck.

-I think the Saints may have just scored again.

-Cleveland 6  Seattle 3. Yeah, lets move on. Nothing to see here.

-Chris Johnson says he is not the problem in Tennessee. He's right, he's only half.

-Rumors are surfacing that an 80 year old woman with a cane ran through the Rams defense at the airport.

-Maybe Joe Flacco really can't lead a team to the Super Bowl.

1. Green Bay (7-0, #1 last week)- Some of their defensive flaws were exposed this week. But you have to wonder if anyone can hang with them offensively.

2. New England Patriots (5-1, #3)- They are now the class of the AFC by default thanks to Baltimore's horrendous showing Monday night.

3. San Francisco 49ers (5-1, #4)- They could clinch the NFC West by the end of November.

4. New Orleans Saints (5-2, #7)- Dying for a rematch with the Packers come last January.

5. New York Giants (4-2, #8)- I hate moving teams up that didn't play, but so many other teams struggled this week. Giants are still class of NFC East.

6. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2, #10)- The offense showed up this past week. Now they need to show up with a huge showdown against New England ahead.

7. Detroit Lions (5-2, #5)- Offensively, they need to find a way to score when teams double team Calvin Johnson.

8. Baltimore Ravens (4-2, #2)- That was about as ugly as you could get Monday night. Joe Flacco needs to find his game and fast.

9. Buffalo Bills (4-2, #9)- They're still banged up coming off the bye, but they get a wounded Redskins team in Toronto Sunday.

10. Atlanta Falcons (4-3, #16)- Big jump because of a big time performance in Detroit. Matt Ryan showed a lot of guts coming back after that ugly ankle injury.

11. New York Jets (4-3, #20)- They may be back after all. Big time second half performance.

12. Cincinnati Bengals (4-2, #11)- They start a rough part of the schedule coming up. Going to the west coast to Seattle is no easy matter.

13. San Diego Chargers (4-2, #6)- Zero points in the 2nd half is not common for this team. Philip Rivers is not on his game this year.

14. Chicago Bears (4-3, #15)- Jay Cutler showed that he can be a solid QB if given time in the pocket.

15. Houston Texans (4-3, #19)- They're still the class of the AFC South this year. Remember, that was 41 points without Andre Johnson.

16. Dallas Cowboys (3-3, #22)- Huge game at Philadelphia this week. Can Romo not choke away this one?

17. Philadelphia Eagles (2-4, #17)- Did the bye week finally right the ship completely?

18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-3, #13)- This young team is regressing more then they would like.

19. Kansas City Chiefs (3-3, #24)- Suddenly, the Chiefs are right back in the AFC West race.

20. Oakland Raiders (4-3, #12)- Maybe they should have let Jason Campbell play with that broken collarbone last week.

21. Tennessee Titans (3-3, #14)- If Chris Johnson keeps talking, he will become a distraction more than anything else.

22. Cleveland Browns (3-3, #22)- Weren't they suppose to grow on offense this year?

23. Carolina Panthers (2-5, #25)- If they could get their running backs going they could be a dangerous threat come December.

24. Washington Redskins (3-3, #18)- Tim Hightower, out. Santana Moss, out. Playoff hopes: Non-existent.

25. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-5, #27)- See what happens when your defense shows up?

26. Denver Broncos (2-4, #26)- TEBOWMANIA is growing faster than Hulkamania.

27. Seattle Seahawks (2-4, #21)- I guess Charlie Whitehurst is worse than Tavaris Jackson.

28. Minnesota Vikings (1-5, #28)- Christian Ponder showed promise. All you could ask for in his 1st game.

29. Arizona Cardinals (1-5, #29)- Larry Fitzgerald might be regretting that big contract now.

30. St. Louis Rams (0-6, #30)- Run defense is as thin as a super model.

31. Indianapolis Colts (0-7, #31)- Peyton Manning probably wishes he wasn't on the sidelines.

32. Miami Dolphins (0-6, #32)- Countdown to the Cowher/Luck Era starts now.

Three Games I'd Like to See Next Week
New England vs Pittsburgh: Could be battle of the two top dogs in the AFC.
Dallas vs Philadelphia: Can Romo finally win a big game?
San Diego vs Kansas City: Suddenly, a huge game in the AFC West race.

Until next time,
Justin C
Follow Me on Twitter @JCWonka

Monday, October 24, 2011

RAW Thoughts for 10/24/2011

Nashism, Not At It's Finest?
After a recap of the happenings of Vengeance, HHH came out. No suit and tie. Jeans and a t-shirt. HHH said the business has been tough for him, but he's made some true friends in the business. He thought Kevin Nash was one of them, but money and business now seem more important to him. HHH said last night Nash tried to break his neck, but Nash really broke his heart. AWWWWW. HHH called Nash out to the ring, because he wants to take out his frustrations on him.

John Laurinaitis came out to try and calm down HHH. HHH told him to shut up and not walk through the ropes. HHH told him that he still works for him. And Laurinaitis job tonight is to find Nash, and give him the biggest contract he can. Because if he doesn't, HHH will go to his house and find Nash, and he will get arrested for what he will do to Nash. As HHH was walking to the back, Nash took a sledgehammer to the back of HHH. He shoved security that tried to stop him. HHH struggled to get up, then collapsed in the back. Eh, nothing special. Leads to Nash/HHH, which will be bad. Survey Says: 2.5/5

Back from break, they recapped the opening segment. They showed HHH being put in an ambulance. Nash stopped him, took HHH off the gurney, and hit HHH with the Sledgehammer in the face. Ouch.

Great White? Does That Make Randy Orton "The Great Orange?"
RAW's first match featured all Smackdown wrestlers. Cody Rhodes/Christian vs Randy Orton/Sheamus. Sheamus took out Christian on the outside with a shoulder tackle. But that allowed Cody to take advantage in the ring, and lock in a sleeper heading into a break. Back from break the heels were still in control. But Sheamus countered out of a Killswitch attempt by Christian and tagged in Randy Orton. Orton cleaned house. Backdrop on Christian, middle rope DDT. Cody distracted Orton, which allowed Christian to hit his corner kick. Tag to Cody. Cody worked on Orton and hit a nice dropkick before tagging Christian back in. Orton drop-kicked Christian off a high risk maneuver, then tagged in Sheamus. Eventually all four men ended up in the ring. Sheamus miss timed a Brogue Kick on Rhodes, so he made up for it with a Celtic Cross for the win. Good enough action. Still no RAW wrestlers though. Survey Says: 3/5

Backstage, Cena complained to Laurinaits about Miz/R-Truth. Cena wanted them in a match, and Ace agreed. Cena and a partner of his choosing vs Miz and R-Truth.

Dolph Ziggler beat Santino after Swagger distracted Santino. Swagger applied the ankle lock after, but Mason Ryan made the save. Nothing worth rating.

Backstage the Bellas were talking. Zack Ryder showed up, saying Laurinaitis picked him to be Cena's partner. Woo Woo Woo.

I Demand Better From My C.M. Punk Time
Alberto del Rio came out. He said he's done with John Cena, and he is moving onto a new challenger. But he said no one is good enough to beat him. C.M. Punk interrupted. He said ADR must be mistaken, because Punk beat him four weeks ago. He said it was in Grey's Sports Almanac. Punk said he never got his one-on-one rematch after Del Rio cashed in Money in the Bank on him. Punk asked ADR to put the WWE Title up against him. ADR said Punk didn't even win his match at Vengeance, so he's at the back of the line. Punk said maybe he will put ADR to sleep anyways. John Laurinaitis interrupted. He made Punk/ADR at Survivor Series, but he said Punk has to say he respects him first. Punk asked if Laurinaitis was Aretha Franklin. Punk mocked him, then went on a rant to talk about how Laurinaitis did so little in the business but got so far up the food chain. Laurinaitis didn't like it, so he told Punk he was going to take a week to decide. Punk said while he's deciding, think of this. He attempted a GTS on ADR, but Ricardo saved him. GTS to Ricardo instead. That just seemed like a segment to get those two on TV tonight. Survey Says: 2/5

Alicia Fox upset Natalya. WHYYYY?

Young Guys Getting Time? WHAT?
John Morrison vs Wade Barrett. One year ago this match would have been interesting. Now? No. Barrett threw Morrison against the barricade outside going into a commercial. Back from break, Morrison took a big boot from Barrett. Barrett worked over Morrison in the ropes, then booted him to the outside. Morrison fought back with some punches, then an elbow to the face, some clotheslines than a knee to the jaw, which got a two count. Barrett caught Morrison with a Black Hole Slam for two. Barrett went for Wasteland, but Morrison countered with a Side Russian leg sweep. Morrison missed Starship Pain. He went for a springboard kick, but Barrett couldn't catch him properly. Barrett grabbed him and hit Wasteland for the win. Fun little match. Hopefully a sign of things to come for Barrett. Survey Says: 2.5/5

Michael Cole showed some embarrassing pictures of Jim Ross. He challenged him to the "Michael Cole Challenge" next week. Cole said if he loses, Jim Ross can have his chair back, because he will quit.

The Only Man Who Can Save the WWE's Product Will Return
Zack Ryder was being interviewed, but Miz and R-Truth attacked him. Looks like a handicap match. Miz and R-Truth said Cena got what was coming to him at Vengeance. They said that it won't be over until Cena gets got, and that's the Truth. Cena got the better of Truth early, so he tagged in Miz. Miz was able to gain the upper hand on Cena. R-Truth tagged in, worked over Cena until Cena Scoop-Slammed him. Tag to Miz. Traditional Cena offense. Cena went for the Attitude Adjustment, but R-Truth hit him with the Water Bottle causing a DQ. Miz and Truth beatdown, but Laurinaitis stopped it. He said at Survivor Series, Miz and Truth will face Cena and a partner of his choosing. Cena chose The Rock. Not very suspenseful because of the promos before the match. Survey Says: 2/5

Not a good episode of RAW. The best part of the show was the Smackdown tag match and the Barrett win. I want to be interested in Punk/Del Rio, but that first interaction did nothing for me. The first 30 minutes was dedicated to HHH/Nash, taking me back to 2003. An HHH/Nash match will not be good, even if it is No DQ. I thought the Rock/Cena match was suppose to be a 5-on-5 elimination match, but that doesn't appear to be the case right now. Boring show that did nothing for me. Giving it a 3, just like the PPV. The Muppets should at least be entertaining next week.

And remember kids, you can't die from a broken neck, but you can die from a broken heart.

NFL Week 7 Review up tomorrow.

Until next time,
Justin C
Follow Me on Twitter @JCWonka

Sunday, October 23, 2011

WWE Vengeance Review

Welcome to my Vengeance Report! Enjoy!

Air Boom defeated Jack Swagger & Dolph Ziggler to retain the Tag Titles: **3/4
The show opened with Vickie Guerrero yelling "EXCUSE ME!" She introduced Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler is wrestling two matches tonight: the tag title match, then against Zack Ryder immediately after. Dolph and Kofi started with some mat wrestling. Kofi hit a nice flip on Dolph, who went flying. Kofi and Evan Bourne exchanged some quick tags while working over Jack Swagger. Swagger ended up catching Kofi mid air for a powerslam. After the heels worked over Kofi, he finally made the tag to Evan Bourne who hit some flashy offense. He went for Air Bourne but Swagger blocked it with his knees. Time for the heels to work over Bourne. Bourne almost had the tag, but Ziggler distracted the ref and Swagger pulled Kofi off the apron. Swagger went for the Swagger Bomb, but Bourne got a boot to the jaw. Both men made tags. Kofi hit his flying crossbody on Ziggler for two. Kofi hit Trouble in Paradise and the SOS. Swagger broke it up. He applied the ankle lock on Kofi, but it was broken up. Kofi hit Ziggler with another Trouble in Paradise, then tagged in Bourne for Air Bourne and the win. Fun little match.

Dolph Ziggler defeated Zack Ryder to retain the United States Championship: *1/2
Zack Ryder came out almost immediately for his match. Ryder whipped Ziggler into the apron. Air Boom threw Ziggler back in the ring, which got them tossed. Ziggler regained control. Ziggler went for a move in the corner and missed. Ryder went for a knee and missed. Ryder finally hit the knee. He was lining up for the Rough Ryder, but Swagger pulled him down. Ryder kicked Swagger, but Ziggler hit a superkick on Ryder for win. Weird. I would have had either Ziggler win both or lose both. Nothing was really accomplished here. Match was ok.

Backstage HHH and Punk agreed they don't like each other, but they need to get the job done tonight.

Beth Phoenix defeated Eve to retain the Divas Championship: *1/4
Divas Title. They showed a backstage skermish involving the Divas from earlier where Kelly Kelly was bullied. Eve tied up Beth in the ropes with a a part of her outfit. On the outside, Beth powerdropped Eve onto the apron. Beth continued to work over Eve in the ring. Eve fought back with a knee, clothesline, then backflip drop. Eve locked in a weird submission, but Beth broke it up. Beth went for the GlamSlam, but Eve countered it into the ropes and a roll up for two. Eve caught Beth with a kick and went for the moonsault and missed. Beth hit the GlamSlam for the win. Alright Divas Match, could have been worse. Eve hit some nice moves for a change.

Backstage, Matt Striker interviewed Big Show. Striker asked Show if he was properly prepared, Show said he should ask Mark Henry that. Show said it took 3 seconds for Henry to end 15 years of pain. Show said it will take him 3 seconds to do the same to him.

Sheamus defeated Christian: **1/2
Christian slapped Sheamus to start and hit some punches in the corner. That angered Sheamus so he hit some punches of his own. Sheamus hit some hard forearms to the chest then a suplex for two. Christian was able to take the leg out from Sheamus and hit a neckbreaker. Christian locked in a modified chin lock. Christian went for a headbutt from the top but missed. Sheamus charged Christian on the apron, but Christian ducked and Sheamus went over the top. Christian got a couple near falls. Sheamus countered a corner kick by Christian. Sheamus went for the Celtic Croos but Christian countered with two kicks. Sheamus hit the Irish Curse backbreaker for two. Sheamus went for the Brogue Kick, but Christian countered with a spear for two. Christian hit a nice top rope hurricarana. He went for the Spear, but Sheamus connected with the Brogue Kick for the win. Good match, but I didn't like Sheamus almost no selling the hurricarana.

Backstage, Miz and R-Truth told John Laurinaitis that he's done a great job as GM. Then they ripped on HHH, C.M. Punk, and the state of Texas.

Miz & R-Truth defeated HHH & C.M. Punk: **1/2
Punk and Miz started the match. After some brief action, Punk tagged in HHH while Miz immediately tagged in Truth. Back to Punk/miz, then Punk tagged HHH. They hit a double suplex. HHH locked in a Figure Four leg lock. HHH used Punk for leverage. HHH eventually stood alone in the ring after taking out Miz and Truth. But Truth and Miz regained control outside and took it to HHH back in the ring. Truth applied a headlock. Miz hit a couple knees, then went to a sleeper hold. Miz hit his combo backbreaker/neckbreaker for two. He tagged in R-Truth. Truth applied a head scissors. HHH countered the head scissors into a backdrop. Truth tagged in Miz, who ate an HHH clothesline. Miz tagged back in. HHH DDT'd him. HHH tagged in Punk. Punk worked over Miz. Truth tried to stop Punk on the turnbuckle, but HHH pulled himm of the apron. HHH pulled Truth off the apron and they brawled. Punk went for the GTS, but on the outside Kevin Nash started attacking HHH. Miz and R-Truth hit the "Little Jimmy Finale" with the ref distracted and picked up the win. Nash continued his assault in the ring, eventually hitting a Jacknife Powerbomb that looked really bad. The match was nothing to write home about. It furthered a story between Nash/HHH, but we don't know where it is going yet. I'd argue the tag opener was better.

Backstage, Alberto del Rio complained about never being in a Last Man Standing Match. Laurinaitis said that he was never in a Hell in A Cell match before either, and he walked out of that WWE Champion. ADR agreed and thanked Laurinaitis.

Randy Orton defeated Cody Rhodes: **1/2
Orton clotheslined Cody over the top early then went back into the ring where Cody took control. Cody worked over Orton with a barrage of moved before locking in a sleeper. Cody hit a nice dropkick for two. Cody was able to lock in a Boston Crab. Orton got out of it. Cody hit an Alabama Slam for two. Cody went for a moonsault from the top but Orton moved. Orton hit some clotheslines then a dropkick. Cody countered a gut wrench with a kick. Orton hit his shoulder back drop for two. Cody hit a head butt then a moonsault for two. Orton ran into one of Cody's "Baggers" trying to distract him, than Cody hit CrossRhodes for two. Cody mocked Orton's Viper moves for an RKO, but Orton countered with a dropkick. He hit his middle rope DDT. Cody called for the other bagger, but Orton disposed of him, then hit the RKO for the win. I liked the match, but didn't like the outcome. Cody could have kicked out of the RKO, or even won and it would have been better. Match was still good.

Mark Henry and Big Show went to a No Contest when THE RING EXPLODED! *3/4
They started with a  couple power lock-ups. Show got Henry down with some punches in the corner. Show hit a superkick which took Henry to the outside. Henry took his Title and was ready to leave, but how stopped him. In the ring, Henry chop blocked show. Henry bodyslammed show then worked over Show's leg. Henry put show in a leg lock. Show tried to fight back. He went for a bodyslam but his leg gave out. The two charged at each other and double clotheslined each other. Show hit some punches, then a splash and bodyslam. Show hit a chokeslam, but Henry kicked out. Show went for the KO Punch, but Henry kicked him and hit the World's Strongest Slam, but only for two. Henry went to the top rope, but Big Show caught him with a top rope chokeslam for two. Show went to the top, but Henry blocked it and superplexed Show off the top, causing the RING TO EXPLODE. Doctors came out to check on both men. I don't know why the WWE feels the need to protect Big Show. Henry should have went over clean, just like he did with Orton. But instead it looks like we will get another rematch. Match was what you would expect between these two: slow, plodding, power moves only.

John Laurinaitis said that despite the ring, the WWE Title match would still happen.

Alberto del Rio defeated John Cena in a Last Man Standing Match to retain the WWE Championship: ***1/2
Cena has a new shirt kids. BUY IT! ADR threw Ricardo into Cena. Cena went for an Attitude Adjustment but ADR kicked him. ADR threw Cena into the ringpost. Cena fought back in the ring with some punches, but ADR countered with a kick. ADR back dropped Cena. Cena went for an AA, but ADR countered with knees to the back. Cena fought back. Shoulder tackle, scoop slam, five knuckle shuffle. ADR escaped with a DDT. Cena hit a gut wrench. After a count Cena charged ADR, but ADR hit  tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. ADR set Cena up underneath the turnbuckle, and ADR jumped on the turnbuckle right into Cena's ribs. Cena stirred back up and hit an AA. Cena up at 6, ADR 8. Cena went for another AA, but Ricardo stopped it. Cena kicked Ricardo, but ADR locked in a sleeper. Cena got back up at 8. He threw ADR into the barricade outside from in the ring. ADR back up at 7. ADR threw Cena into the steps outside. Cena up. Ricardo ate the ringpost to the nuts, then ADR landed on the ring post. Cena went to throw the steps into ADR but ADR moved. ADR used it for a weapon instead. Cena up at 8 as the two fought to the back.

Cena went to dump a large moving case on ADR but he moved. ADR bodyslammed Cena on it. ADR threw metal grates from the interview set on Cena, but Cena got up at 8. They fought back inside the arena. ADR threw Cena into the V from the set. ADR went to put through Cena through a table, but Cena countered. ADR up at 8. They fought back to ringside. ADR went for a kick, but he hit the ringpost instead. Cena AA'd ADR threw the Spanish announce table. Miz & R-Truth appeared and hit their finishers on Cena. Cena got up before 10. ADR hit Cena with the title belt, and he couldn't beat the ten count up. ADR wins. I actually thought this was a fun little brawl. ADR looked strong throughout it, even with the false finish where he should have lost. It transitions Cena into something other than the WWE Title picture, which is good for Survivor Series.

This was really a PPV that didn't need to happen. At times it felt like a glorified episode of RAW. The wrestling disappointed and was nothing more than average at best. The finish to the World Title match was memorable, the opener tag was good, and the LMS Match was as well, but everything else was forgettable. Miz/R-Truth vs HHH/Punk was a huge disappointment, and the Nash interference really did nothing except tease a possible HHH/Nash match which will not be good. I don't think that happens though. This is a big miss on the PPV scale. I'm giving the show a 3. That gives it an honor of being the worst PPV of the year,

1. Money in the Bank

2. SummerSlam
3. Elimination Chamber
4. Extreme Rules
5. Wrestlemania 27
6. Hell in A Cell
7. Night of Champions
8. Royal Rumble
9. Capitol Punishment
10. Over the Limit
11. Vengeance

Where We Go From Here
Survivor Series is in a month, so we will actually have a proper build to this PPV. We already know there will be a 5-on-5 match, so lets go with this:

The Rock, John Cena, HHH, Sheamus, Randy Orton vs Miz, R-Truth, Kevin Nash, Christian, Cody Rhodes
WWE Championship: Alberto del Rio vs C.M. Punk
World Heavyweight Championship: Mark Henry vs Big Show: Steel Cage Match
Kofi Kingston, Evan Bourne, Zack Ryder, Mason Ryan, Daniel Bryan vs Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler, Wade Barrett, The Usos
Some Divas Match

That's all from me tonight. NFL & RAW Reviews up Tuesday.

Until next time,
Justin C
Follow Me on Twitter @JCWonka

Thursday, October 20, 2011

WWE Vengeance Preview

I wouldn't give you the John Cena poster from Hell in A Cell, but I will totally give you this Mark Henry poster. Hope it gives you nightmares, or makes you watch the movie Predator. Either one works for me.

This Sunday the WWE presents us with Vengeance on PPV, their third PPV offering in the last five weeks. In my opinion, it's the weakest built of the three. Hell in A Cell came close, but at least they built that for two weeks. It seems like the WWE only put one week's worth of full focus into Vengeance. No match really stands out or appeals much to be except Randy Orton/Cody Rhodes. I'm only interested in HHH/Punk vs Miz/R-Truth to see if it leads to anything big, which it probably won't. Both Championship matches do nothing for me. It's the first time I haven't been interested in what Mark Henry is doing in months.

Now, even with my lack of interest in the show, there still should be some solid wrestling on it. Every match has some good potential, with the exception of the Divas and Henry/Big Show. But in order for me to buy a PPV, I want to believe that there will be solid wrestling, a compelling build, and something interesting or big possibly going down. Unfortunately, I think only the first of those three options will happen. I will find a way to watch it and write a review for it, but I'm not expecting much from a storyline perspective.

This PPV is also the perfect example of why the WWE has too many PPVs. Another WWE Title change here would just be ludicrous and de-value the title even more. I've always said that I would personally do 8 PPVs a year, but I understand that the WWE would want to do them once a month. But 3 PPVs in 6 weeks time is just ridiculous. It makes RAW seem more important. People don't think anything big will happen during the RAWs and Smackdowns in between these PPVs. Or, too much will be shoved into one show just like on the RAW where Triple H was forced out of control of RAW. PPV buys aren't getting any better. Why have more?

But enough of that rant, lets get into the PPV Preview.


Divas Championship: Beth Phoenix (c) vs Eve

First let me say that I am thoroughly disappointed that we did not get Kelly/Beth IV at this PPV. I was really expecting a Best of 7 series with the conclusion being a 60 Minute Ironman Match. But unfortunately, that fantasy will not happen. Instead, Eve steps in and challenges Beth for the Divas Title this Sunday. I'm surprised there was no rematch for Kelly in all seriousness. Why all of the sudden jump to Eve? Kelly turning heel? Doubt it. And I doubt Eve wins the Title here either. No reason for Beth to lose it so quickly. Beth wins with the GlamSlam and continues her hopefully lengthy reign.

WINNER: Beth Phoenix

Christian vs Sheamus

There are still some lingering problems between these two, so Teddy Long made a match between these two for this Sunday on Friday's Smackdown. Sheamus came out on top at Hell in A Cell. Normally that means Christian should come out on top this time, but Sheamus is too hot of a character right now to have him lose any momentum. I think Sheamus is doing great as a face, and he may be in line for a mega push in the months to come and leading up to Wrestlemania. He's very over with the crowd and he is a great worker in the ring. Christian is the ring savy veteran who knows how to work in the ring with anyone he has a match with. Christian can absorb another loss and still get his heat back through some dastardly heel actions and on the mic as well. Sheamus will get a match with Mark Henry sooner rather than later, and I think it happens either at Survivor Series or TLC. Sheamus picks up another win here. Hopefully these two get a 15 minute match.

WINNER: Sheamus

United States Championship: Dolph Ziggler (c) vs Zack Ryder

Another match made on Smackdown this Friday, by Smackdown GM Teddy Long. Wait, why is Teddy Long making matches that involve two RAW Superstars? Where is John Laurinaitis to put a stop to this? Anyways, it's the biggest match in Ryder's career. People have been clamoring for him to get on TV for months, and now he finally has his opportunity. Ryder surprisingly squashed Jack Swagger on RAW, then came out on the winning end of his tag match on Smackdown. Ziggler, meanwhile, has been getting more time on the mic, which is a good thing. He's coming off as a cocky heel who is super full of himself, but can also back it up in the ring. Ziggler deserves a main event run, but I don't see that happening on RAW anytime soon with the amount of talent above him on the show. He's someone who should have never moved to RAW. I think Ziggler retains the Title here, mostly because the WWE loves toying with their Internet fans. Just when they think Ryder is in line for a push, they take it away from us and give it to Mason Ryan instead.

WINNER: Dolph Ziggler

Randy Orton vs Cody Rhodes

This actually the match I'm looking forward too the most. I've loved the build for it, and I'm sure there are some people out there that haven't even recognized how good it has been. About a month ago Orton attacked Rhodes on an episode of Smackdown. He attacked Rhodes with the ring bell which left Rhodes with 9 staples in the back of his head. Ever since then Rhodes has been trying to get back at Orton. Two weeks ago Rhodes was finally able to extract his revenge, attacking Orton and putting a paper bag on his head. Then Rhodes cost Orton the World Heavyweight Title on an episode of Smackdown. The two brawled to the back on this past week's episode of RAW.

The reason I've loved the build to this so much is because Rhodes has looked like such a threat and a serious player throughout. He doesn't looked out-matched by Orton or out of place, he looks like he belongs out there with one of the WWE's big boys. Rhodes also scored big points with me by bringing back the old school Intercontinental Title. It's a shame that the Title isn't on the line here. I think that it would be a big boost to the Title's value having Orton fighting for it. Sure Orton doesn't need it, but it would make the IC Title seem more relevant than it has in years. That's only a minor thing to me though. As I said in the intro, I think this is the best built storyline on the show, and it is the match I'm looking forward to the most.

Now, having said all of that, I don't think I will like the outcome. I think it would be a huge boost to have Cody Rhodes win here, but I don't think that is happening. Rhodes is a future main event player no doubt, and his time will come. But Orton has lost rather cleanly the last two PPVs to Mark Henry, so in the WWE's eyes he needs to get his wins back. Orton wins with the RKO.

WINNER: Randy Orton

World Heavyweight Championship: Mark Henry (c) vs Big Show

Well, the WWE has done it. They finally don't have me interested in something Mark Henry is doing. I know, or at least I hope, this is just a short term thing before the build to a decent program at Survivor Series. Henry has been continuing his dominant reign as World Champion, and now he gets to face the very first man he inducted into his Hall of Pain. Now Big Show is back, and he is out for revenge. And what better way to get revenge then by taking the World Title away from Henry. Big Show was a RAW wrestler, but he was just granted a World Title shot by Teddy Long right before he was about to injure Henry with a chair, the same way Henry did to him.

Luckily for us, however, we don't have to worry about Big Show winning the World Title here. At least I hope not. There's no reason to have Big Show be the person to take the World Title from Mark Henry. Show doesn't need it. The match itself won't be pretty either. Expect a lot of power moves here, and also a lot of slow moments. But in the end, Mark Henry ducks a KO Punch from show, then hits the World's Strongest Slam for the win. He hits another after the match through the Spanish announce table too. Mark Henry's World Title reign continues, as it should.


C.M. Punk & HHH vs Miz & R-Truth

This match is a bit of a conundrum. I think it will be good from a wrestling standpoint, but storyline wise it is just a jumbled up mess. A month ago, HHH & C.M. Punk hated each other and were fighting on PPV. Now? They're partners against the two guys who interfered in their match at Night of Champions. It just seems like that the entire build of Punk/HHH at Night of Champions was an entire waste of time. But the WWE doesn't care about that because they already have your money. I thought Punk/HHH could have been built to something huge, maybe even at Wresltemania. But that is all a second thought now as they are now partners in this match.

Miz and R-Truth are back on PPV, albeit legally this time. At Hell in A Cell, the two caused havoc after the WWE Title match. They took out wrestlers, referees, and camera men before surrendering peacefully. But once John Laurinaitis took over RAW, he re-hired the two and now they are facing HHH/Punk at Vengeance. The Miz/R-Truth beatdown at the end of HIAC was cool and something different that we haven't seen in a while. But now? Miz and R-Truth are just back to normal superstars kissing up to John Laurinaitis just like normal heels do. In my opinion, their luster is gone.

Who wins this match really depends on where this storyline is going. One would assume that the big 5-on-5 match at Survivor Series will be for who has power in the WWE, and one team will be Team HHH, probably lead by HHH/Rock/Cena. And if we are getting to a fight for power in the future, there is no reason for team HHH/Punk to win here. If the storyline wasn't so screwed up, this would be the obvious place for HHH or Punk to turn. But with everything that has happened, it wouldn't make any sense. But the WWE would find some way to justify it if it did. What really happens? Mis-communication between Punk and HHH. Punk gets poked in the eye and goes for a roundhouse kick, but R-Truth ducks so Punk takes out HHH by accident instead. Truth takes out Punk, then Miz hits the Skull Crushing Finale on HHH for the win.

WINNERS: Miz & R-Truth

WWE Championship: John Cena vs Alberto del Rio (c)- Last Man Standing Match

I would like to thank John Cena for the math lesson this past Monday on RAW. Who ever knew that counting to ten would be so boring! One way or another, this will be the end of this feud at Vengeance, at least the WWE Title portion of it. Cena is teaming up with The Rock at Survivor Series, so that means either he is going in WWE Champ or Alberto del Rio is retaining and moving on to someone else after Vengeance.

This program just hasn't interested me too much. And it isn't just Cena. I don't think Del Rio and him work well together. Del Rio' last WWE Title reign lasted only 5 weeks. If he loses here, that means it only lasted 3 weeks? Two reign totally 2 months isn't great. It is also demeaning to the WWE Title. Alberto del Rio is a great act. Having Ricardo by his side is just gravy. Del Rio deserves a longer reign as WWE Champ then his first one, so I really hope they don't end it here.

But of course we can't count out that John Cena guy. But having the WWE Title on John Cena going into Survivor Series would be pointless. Sure, it could make people think that Rock/Cena at Wrestlemania might be for the WWE Title. But that would be a waste of another match. That match is big enough by itself on its own, no need to have the WWE Title around. Same thing with Survivor Series. That 5-on-5 match will be big enough, let the WWE Title have its own match with Alberto del Rio.

The Last Man Standing Match stipulation obviously favors Cena. The only thing that can obviously effect Cena in these matches is an 8,000 WATT SURGE LIGHT! If Del Rio sees one of those, he should use it to his advantage. But since Cena needs 5 opponents at Survivor Series, lets say there is a good old fashion beatdown at the end of this match. Miz, R-Truth, Cody Rhodes, Dolph Ziggler, and Jack Swagger come out to beatdown Cena. They all hit their finishers, and Cena stays down for the ten count. Del Rio retains the WWE Title.

WINNER: Alberto del Rio

That's a wrap from me. Hopefully, after Vengeance, the WWE rights the ship as we start the build to Survivor Series. It has the potential to be the biggest event of the year.

I will have a review of Vengeance up late Sunday after the PPV or Monday.

Until next time,
Justin C
Follow Me on Twitter @JCWonka

NFL Week 7 Picks

Picks time! Lots of QB changes this week. Also have to improve on last week's down performance.

Last Week's Record: 7-6
Year to Date Record: 58-32

San Diego Chargers vs New York Jets
The Jets are coming off a much needed win on Monday night against Miami. Problem is, even with that win, the Jets didn't prove much. The offense still only scored 17 points, and they didn't look good at all besides for one drive at the end of the first half. The defense looked alright, but had they been up against a more competent QB than Matt Moore, they would have been exposed. The first drive alone Moore missed two wide open WRs. The Jets have yet to beat a good team this year (sorry Dallas you don't count), and they are facing a good team in San Diego this week. The Chargers are also coming off a bye this week, so the whole west coast to east coast travel thing shouldn't be a problem. The big difference for the Chargers this year is that they have been able to get their running game going. The two headed attack of Ryan Matthews and Mike Tolbert is what was missing from the Chargers last year. Their defense is playing good as well. If the Jets want to prove they are for real, then this is the game they need to win. But the Chargers have had two weeks to prepare for the Jets, and the Jets are coming off a short week. Chargers win a close one.

San Diego 27  NY Jets 23

Chicago Bears vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
This game will be played in London's Wembley Stadium on the pitch, so get your tea krumpets ready. Pinkies out! But seriously, these are two teams coming off of big wins last week. The Bears blew out the Vikings last week to keep them afloat in the NFC Playoff race. Jay Cutler showed that he can be a competent NFL QB when given time to throw the ball. Devin Hester looked like the Devin Hester of old, and the defense played remarkably well. The Bears still have a long way to go, but that was a start. The Buccaneers rebounded off a horrible loss to San Francisco by upsetting the New Orleans Saints and tying them atop the NFC South. I still don't know which Tampa Bay team is the real one, I think it is somewhere in the middle. They will compete to the end, but I still think they are a year away from being a real contender. Even though this is a home game for Tampa, it doesn't change anything. This one is a real toss up. But I think a young Tampa pass rush gets to Jay Cutler, forcing him into mistakes he can be prone to make. Bucs win a close one.

Tampa Bay 20  Chicago 16

Washington Redskins vs Carolina Panthers
Our first game with a QB change. After Rex Grossman's 4 interception performance last week, Mike Shanahan is switching to Jon Beck at QB. This is part of the reason why the Redskins were never really a threat to win the NFC East. A Rex Grossman or Jon Beck lead team won't take you far. And what happens if Beck doesn't perform? Does Shanahan go back to Grossman? The Redskins will have a lot of offensive concerns going forward if their QB situation doesn't get right. The Panthers are still competing but coming up short in the win department. Cam Newton made a couple rookie mistakes last week, including that horrible interception. But the Panthers should mimic what Mike Vick and the Eagles did last week against Washington. It worked and got the Eagles back on track, so it should help the Panthers. With so many questions facing the Redskins, I like the Panthers to win here.

Carolina 24  Washington 20

Atlanta Falcons vs Detroit Lions
The Lions were shot down back to reality last week with their loss to the 49ers. The 49ers defense shut down Matthew Stafford and held Calvin Johnson scoreless. Lions fans shouldn't panic though, they still have a very good football team. Nobody expected them to go 16-0, but you wouldn't expect an offense like the Lions to be held to 19 points. There are questions surrounding Lions RB Jahvid Best, who may miss this game and more with a concussion. It is a big drop off from Best to Maurice Morris. That puts more pressure on the Lions passing attack. The Falcons finally came to life last week in their win over Carolina. Michael Turner had his best game of the year, but that could be tough to top this week do to the Lions good run defense. This is a game where Matt Ryan has to break out of his funk that he has been in this year. The Lions weakness is their secondary, and that needs to be taken advantage of. But I think the Lions come out motivated after last week's loss and win at home.

Detroit 31  Atlanta 21

Seattle Seahawks vs Cleveland Browns
I apologize to the fans of these teams in advance, but to me, this is the Boring Bowl. Sure there are teams with worse records, but these two teams just don't do anything to at least get me really excited. The Seahawks are coming off a bye but still riding the momentum of their road win two weeks ago against the NY Giants. They should ride Marshawn Lynch in this one, because similar to Washington, the Seahawks have problems at QB. Charlie Whitehurst or Tavaris Jackson? Does it make a difference? Both are equally as bad. The Browns made changes during their bye week but they didn't help them beat the Raiders last week. Now, there best offensive performer Peyton Hillis may not play this week due to a hamstring injury. The team is high on Montaro Hardesty, but he isn't Hillis. Colt McCoy has taken a step back under new coach Pat Shurmur. You have to wonder if he is the QB for Shurmur's system. Ugly game here, but the Browns win here because they are the home team.

Cleveland 19  Seattle 16

Denver Broncos vs Miami Dolphins
TIM TEBOW TIM TEBOW TIM TEBOW TIM TEBOW TIM TEBOW!!!!!!! That is all you will here about this game for the rest of the week and during it. Tebow gets his first start this year at QB for Denver. Denver fans wanted it, and now they will get to see what Tebow brings to the table: a weak arm, poor accuracy, and shaky pocket presence. Sure he can make some plays with his legs, but he has a lot of issues that I have always thought would keep him from being an NFL QB. If Tebow proves me wrong and turns out good, then I take back everything I have ever said about him. But he should make some plays here against a poor Dolphins team. The Dolphins should score here too. The Broncos defense isn't good either. Reggie Bush might have a good game here. With so much Tebow hype, I think the Dolphins pull of a mild upset here. The Broncos are too distracted.

Miami 26  Denver 24

Houston Texans vs Tennessee Titans
Big game in the AFC South. With the Jaguars and Colts stinking up the joint, the division is for the taking for one of these two teams. The Texans have hit a bit of a snag since losing Andre Johnson and Mario Williams, losing two games in a row and falling to .500. Andre Johnson hasn't been ruled out yet, but I doubt he plays. And that's a problem for the Texans offense, which looked stagnant last week against Baltimore. They are going up against a pretty tough defense this week against Tennessee too. The Titans are also coming off a bye and have had two weeks to prepare for the Texans. Their main focus should be stopping Arian Foster. If the Titans do that, then Matt Schaub has to win the game with a suspect supporting cast minus Johnson. Titans RB Chris Johnson should be able to finally get going here. If Matt Hasselbeck gets time, he should be able to find holes in the Texans defense. I like the Titans here: At home, coming off a bye, better better defense. Titans win.

Tennessee 28  Houston 21

Kansas City Chiefs vs Oakland Raiders
Just when you thought the Raiders season was on life support, they pull a rabbit out of their hat. When Jason Campbell went down with a broken collarbone, hope was dwindling. But Tuesday, the Raiders traded for former Bengals QB Carson Palmer, who hasn't played a lick of football this year. And he is starting Sunday. Palmer is very much a pocket passer. He won't move around like Campbell did. Good thing the Raiders have Darren McFadden, because even though Palmer knows Hue Jackson's offense, it will still take some time to get back into game day form. It is also a good thing the Raiders are playing the Chiefs, who aren't the best of NFL teams. But they are coming off a bye, which may help their chances. Hopefully QB Matt Cassel and coach Todd Haley worked out their differences. But the Chiefs still lack weapons on offense with Jamaal Charles out, and I don't think they keep up with the Raiders here.

Oakland 21  Kansas City 17

Pittsburgh Steelers vs Arizona Cardinals
A rematch of the Super Bowl two years ago, but one team looks completely different. The Cardinals have looked dreadful all around this year. Kevin Kolb isn't justifying the trade the Cardinlas made for him in the off-season. The defense could probably use Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie at this point. They are getting torched in the secondary. The Cardinals do have a guy on their team that plays wide receiver, his name is Larry Ftizgerald. The Cardinals need to find a way to get the ball to him as often as possible. The Steelers looked a bit weak last week against Jacksonville. They jumped out to a 17-0 lead, but scored no points in the second half and only won by 4. But the offense shouldn't find any problems moving against the Cardinals defense this week. Expect a big game from Big Ben and Mike Wallace. Steelers win here.

Pittsburgh 34  Arizona 23

Green Bay Packers vs Minnesota Vikings
Sure, this one is in Minnesota. Maybe the Vikings will keep this one close for a time because of their defense. But on offense, rookie Christian Ponder gets his first career start against the defending Super Bowl Champs. While I'm sure Vikings fans will be happy Ponder is in, it is very much a baptism by fire for Ponder. Expect a heavy dose of Adrian Peterson from the Vikings to ease Ponder's pain. The Packers just keep doing what they are doing. It was surprising to only see the Pack score 24 points against St. Louis. They might be angry about that, which isn't good news for the Vikings. Christian Ponder has to wait to get his first win. Packers here.

Green Bay 38  Minnesota 17

St. Louis Rams vs Dallas Cowboys
The Rams just can't catch any breaks, especially with their schedule. And now to add to their injury woes, Sam Bradford has a high ankle sprain. He is apparently going to play through it, but that can't be a good thing. The Cowboys have a strong pass rush lead by DeMarcus Ware, so expect them to be blitz heavy against an injured Bradford. But Bradford does have a new weapon to play with in recently acquired WR Brandon Lloyd. Lloyd knows Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels offense, so he should be able to fit right in. The Cowboys almost took out New England on the road last week. They shut down Tom Brady all game but couldn't do it on the last drive. Their weak secondary came back to haunt them in the end. But they forced turnovers on Brady, no reason they can't do it on Bradford. And if Tony Romo can't get going against the Rams defense, then he may not be the answer at QB for Dallas. But he should, and that is why I'm taking Dallas here.

Dallas 29  St. Louis 21

Indianapolis Colts vs New Orleans Saints
NBC probably loved this game when the NFL schedule came out. Now? It looks like and probably will be a blowout, or close to it. NBC and ESPN probably aren't happy with Peyton Manning right now. The Colts, to their credit, are at least staying competitive with Curtis Painter under center. Painter should be able to be semi-productive against a middle of the road Saints secondary. But he should also expect a heavy pass rush from the Saints defense with no run game to speak of for the Colts. The Saints are also probably not happy with their loss last week against Tampa Bay. It was the second week in a row they looked a bit shaky, and this time they couldn't come back against Tampa. But the Colts defense looks paper thin this year, and unless Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis just demolish Drew Brees, the Saints offense should pick the Colts apart. Saints in a blowout.

New Orleans 41  Indianapolis 21

Baltimore Ravens vs Jacksonville Jaguars
Another thriller on Monday night! Seriously, who picked the Monday night schedule this year? People really thought Jacksonville would be good this year? I didn't think so even with David Garrard. Now they have rookie Blaine Gabbert at QB, and he has yet to win a game this year. And now he faces a stellar Ravens defense. That's not a good sign. Expect the Ravens to stack the box and stop Maurice Jones-Drew. The Jaguars will try to stop Ray Rice, so that means Joe Flacco should have a good day. The Jags secondary isn't anything to write home about. But the Ravens currently look like the team to beat in the AFC, even with Flacco's sub-par play so far. But he has enough of a supporting cast to help him out, and that includes a win here. Jags keep it close because of the "prime time effect."

Baltimore 21  Jacksonville 12

My Vegas $$$ Picks
Last Week's Record: 2-2
Year to Date Record: 14-9-1

Don't Gamble Kids! But here are my gambling picks this week!

Carolina -2.5 vs Washington: Always bet against a bad new QB

St. Louis +12.5 at Dallas: Cowboys aren't an elite team. Won't be a blowout.

Pittsburgh -3.5 at Arizona: Can't trust the Cardinals until they get going.

Green Bay -9 at Minnesota: Aaron Rodgers is 9 points better than Christian Ponder.

That's all she wrote for these picks. WWE Vengeance Preview should be up by 5.

Until next time,
Justin C
Follow Me on Twitter @JCWonka

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

NFL Week 6 Review

Another NFL Week in the books. Lets review it!

Team of the Week: Philadelphia Eagles
-I could have easily given this to the San Francisco 49ers for the third week in a row, but I figured I would let someone else share the spotlight of this esteemed honor. The Eagles put their critics to bed for at least one week with their big road win over Washington. It's big for a couple reasons. First, the Eagles defense shut down what is one of the better running attacks in the league. They held Washington to 6 points. Second, the Eagles beat the Redskins coming off of their bye week. The Redskins had two weeks to prepare for this game and put up a stinker. The offense made plays and relied more on LeSean McCoy which is a good thing. People were quick to write off the Eagles, including myself, but we all may have spoke too quick. If the Eagles offense and defense played like they did Sunday, then they may start riding a hot streak that can't be stopped.

Game of the Week: New England 20  Dallas 16
-There were a lot of close games this week that I could have went with, but I decided on this one for a few reasons. First it was a defensive battle which I like most of the time. If anyone ever wants to find out how to control Tom Brady, watch a game where Rex Ryan is the defensive coordinator opposite Brady. Ryan's defense shut down Brady last year in Cleveland, and they did a pretty good job this week in Dallas. But then Tom Brady played like Tom Brady on the Patriots final drive, leading them down the field before finding Aaron Hernandez in the end zone with 20 seconds left to give the Patriots the lead. It was a big win for the Pats, who reclaimed the lead in the AFC East with Buffalo's loss. Tom Brady has looked quite human in the last few weeks, throwing as many touchdowns as interceptions. The Patriots have a bye next week, but their next 3 games are no roll overs: at Pittsburgh, home to the NY Giants, and at the NY Jets. Could be tough sledding ahead.

Dogs of the Week: Jim Harbaugh/Jim Schwartz
-I know lots of people are taking sides on this argument. But both guys are at fault here in my opinion. First off, Harbaugh was way too jumpy and excited when going for the handshake. He should have celebrated with his team after the game, or calmed himself down before going for the handshake. Schwartz also over-reacted to Harbaugh. Instead of practically challenging him to a fight, Schwartz should have either ignored him or just calmly said, "Hey, calm down." Sure it isn't the "manly" thing to do, but it's better than taking the attention away from a great game played between both teams. It is part of the reason I didn't give it my game of the week honors. I like both guys as coaches, but they both acted pretty immature Sunday.

Other Week 6 Notes
-It will be interesting to see how the Raiders handle Jason Campbell's broken collarbone situation. Right now, they plan on going with Kyle Boller next week against Kansas City. The bye week is after that, and that is when they could add a QB to the roster. At 4-2, the Raiders are serious contenders in the AFC West. But I don't know how much you can trust Kyle Boller to get you to the playoffs. Campbell is out a minimum of 6 weeks with his injury. Do they add a veteran back-up through trade or free agency? Do they lean on Boller? Do they dare call Brett Favre? My gut says they ride out Boller and hope he doesn't lead them to 6 straight losses. Boller isn't going to win them any games with his play, but he may lose them some.

-Can someone please explain the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to me? They upset the Atlanta Falcons a few weeks ago, then last week they get demolished by San Francisco, and this week they upset the New Orleans Saints without star RB LaGarrette Blount. They held Drew Brees and company to 20 points, and forced an interception in the end zone to seal the game. Tampa has their good weeks and their bad weeks. There are times when they look like a young, up-and-coming team, then there are times where they look like division bottom dwellers like last week. But now they are tied for the division lead in a tight NFC South race. The Bucs go to London next week to play Chicago, a big game for both teams.

-See what happens when Good Eli Manning shows up? Eli didn't throw any picks or make any bad plays in the Giants 27-24 win over Buffalo. Eli didn't throw any touchdowns, but did have 292 yards passing and was not sacked once. And the much maligned Giants defense stepped up, getting two interceptions on two horribly underthrown passes by Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Giants currently stand on top of the NFC East, but that spot changes almost weekly, and the Giants are known for some late season collapses. After the bye the Giants have an easy home game against Miami, but then two tough road games at New England then San Francisco. I still think the Eagles win the NFC East, but the Giants might give them the biggest challenge.

-I have to give some love to the Cincinnati Bengals. They are 4-2 right now and in the thick of things in the AFC. Because of Cam Newton, Andy Dalton and A.J. Green aren't getting the rookie recognition that they deserve. Green looks like a future stud WR, and Dalton is playing perfectly fine at QB. Dalton isn't making many mistakes. And the defense is one of the best put together units in the league. They haven't allowed over 24 points in any games this year, which is really remarkable considering the amount of points some teams are putting up this year. But while the 4-2 start is nice, the Bengals still have to face the Steelers and Ravens twice, as well as go to Tennessee and host Houston. Not any easy tasks to say the least.

Hey I'm Just Sayin...
-Is that the last game Donovan McNabb starts at QB for his career?

-Rex Grossman or Jon Beck? I bet the Redskins wish they still had Donovan McNabb.

-What value does Brandon Lloyd have to the Rams at this point?

-Will poor Blaine Gabbert ever get a win?

-Only 24 points against St. Louis? Packers fans should be concerned. #sarcasm

-With Tim Tebow coming to town next week, should the Dolphins be considered the road team in Miami?

1. Green Bay Packers (6-0, #1 last week)- Win, Practice, Travel/Stay Home, Win, Repeat Next Week.

2. Baltimore Ravens (4-1, #4)- The Ravens early bye week didn't stop them from their continued dominance.

3. New England Patriots (5-1, #6)- Tom Brady has looked human, but the defense has played well the last two weeks. Tough schedule ahead after the bye though.

4. San Francisco 49ers (5-1, #8)- Big jump for the 49ers this week. But Jim Harbaugh has some guys playing the best football of their career, and they have a 3 win lead in the pitiful NFC West.

5. Detroit Lions (5-1, #2)- Lions fans are now off of Cloud 9. This is still a good football team, but they have a tough test next week against Atlanta.

6. San Diego Chargers (4-1, #7)- They've has 2 weeks to get ready for the Jets. There's no excuses if they don't beat a down Jets team on a short week.

7. New Orleans Saints (4-2, #3)- This time, the Saints weren't able to pull off a late victory. But Sean Payton is one tough S.O.B. after taking that hit.

8. New York Giants (4-2, #12)- That's the Giants team their fans expected to see this year. Ahmad Bradshaw should be the featured back from here on out.

9. Buffalo Bills (4-2, #5)- That loss is on Ryan Fitzpatrick. Two badly underthrown balls for INTs. They should use the bye week to get healthy, and still have a good shot at the playoffs.

10. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2, #10)- No second half points against Jacksonville has to be a concern. They almost let Jacksonville steal one.

11. Cincinnati Bengals (4-2, #15)- They have taken advantage of a weak early schedule, but they have a brutal schedule coming after the bye week. Can the rookies hold up?

12. Oakland Raiders (4-2, #11)- I hate dropping teams even though they won, but the loss of Jason Campbell could be a devastating blow to their playoff hopes.

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-2, #16)- Hesitant to move them up because I'm still not sold on them. Need to put together a couple solid outings in a row.

14. Tennessee Titans (3-2, #14)- They've had 2 weeks to prepare for their big showdown against Houston. No excuses for a poor performance.

15. Chicago Bears (3-3, #18)- They took advantage of a bad Vikings team Sunday night. If that Bears team shows up more often they could compete for a Wild Card spot.

16. Atlanta Falcons (3-3, #17)- They pulled away late against Carolina. Now they have a big game against Detroit that could pave the road for the rest of their season.

17. Philadelphia Eagles (2-4, #20)- That's the Dream Team we've been expecting all year.

18. Washington Redskins (3-2, #9)- The impending QB controversy causes this drastic drop. They may be better off flipping a coin.

19. Houston Texans (3-3, #13)- What looked like their opportunity to win the division has stumbled into a road block. They need Andre Johnson back quickly.

20. New York Jets (3-3, #22)- It was an ugly win, but a win that the Jets needed to get some confidence back. Now back to real business against San Diego next week.

21. Seattle Seahawks (2-3, #20)- Could Charlie Whitehurst really be any worse than Tavaris Jackson?

22. Dallas Cowboys (2-3, #19)- It was a valiant fight against New England, but the defense couldn't stop Brady on the last drive. At least it wasn't Romo's fault.

23. Cleveland Browns (2-3, #21)- This time it was Peyton Hills hamstring. What will it be next time? A hang nail?

24. Kansas City Chiefs (2-3, #24)- Perfect opportunity for them to take advantage of a Jason Campbell-less Oakland Raiders team.

25. Carolina Panthers (1-5, #23)- Close but no cigar is only entertaining for so long.

26. Denver Broncos (1-4, #26)- Whatcha gonna do, when TEBOWMANIA RUNS WILD ON YOU!

27. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-5, #27)- The defense never gave up and held the Steelers scoreless in the second half. Too bad the offense couldn't pull through.

28. Minnesota Vikings (1-5, #28)- Paging Christian Ponder. Christian Ponder under center please.

29. Arizona Cardinals (1-4, #29)- Hopefully they used the bye week to straighten out the offense.

30. St. Louis Rams (0-5, #30)- Moral Victory: Holding the Packers to 24 points.

31. Indianapolis Colts (0-6, #31)- Curtis Painter has the early lead for Thor in the 3rd movie.

32. Miami Dolphins (0-5, #32)- Dolphins fans waiting for Wrestlemania 28 in April, the next big event to be held in Sun Life Stadium.

Three Games I'd Like to See Next Week
San Diego Chargers vs New York Jets: Can the Chargers keep up their hot early start?
Atlanta Falcons vs Detroit Lions: Falcons need this one, Lions can't start a losing streak now.
Houston Texans vs Tennessee Titans: Winner has early edge in the AFC South race.

That's all from me today. Vengeance PPV Preview and NFL Week 7 Picks later in the week.

Until next time,
Justin C
Follow Me on Twitter @JCWonka