Tuesday, November 29, 2011

NFL Week 12 Review

It's NFL Review Time!

Team of the Week: New Orleans Saints
-Sure they had a bye week to prepare for the Giants, but they absolutely dismantled them Monday night. They took a good Giants defense to the woodshed. Drew Brees was on his game last night. No sacks, no turnovers, no interceptions. Brees has a ton of weapons at his disposal and he knows exactly how to use each one. The Saints spread the ball out so much that you can't gameplan for just one weapon. The Saints defense under Greg Williams brings the pressure almost every down. Williams loves to blitz and isn't afraid to leave their secondary in single coverage. The Saints have a shot at the #2 seed with San Francisco losing this week. They won't get home field, but a bye week helps.

Game of the Week: New York Jets 28  Buffalo Bills 24
-Good back and forth game throughout. This game went a long way to helping out the Jets playoff chances, and probably put the nail in the coffin for the Bills. Mark Sanchez didn't play his best game, but he did throw 4 TD passes, including a great scramble and throw to Santonio Holmes with under 2 minutes to play. Sanchez also made a big throw to Plaxico Burress on 3rd and 11 to keep that drive going. The Bills had multiple opportunities to win late. Stevie Johnson dropped a wide open pass at the 20 that probably would have gotten the Bills inside the 10. On the next play, Ryan Fitzpatrick threw slightly behind an open Johnson in the end zone. It was a nice win for the Jets after losing two in a row. For the Bills, they have no one to blame but themselves after another crushing defeat.

Dog of the Week: Ndamukong Suh, DT, Detroit Lions
-Lots of choices for this week's award, but this clearly goes to Suh. Suh stomped the arm of a Packers offensive lineman during their Thanksgiving day game. Suh has a reputation for being a dirty player, and clearly this incident didn't help. Suh originally claimed that he was trying to get his footing under him, which might be one of the worst lies I have ever heard. Suh later apologized, but he is still facing a suspension. According to Jay Glazer of FOX Sports, Suh will be suspended for two games. The suspension seems just about right, I might have given him an extra game. This will definitely hurt the Lions defensively, especially going to New Orleans next week.

Other Week 12 Notes
-Lots of WRs have come under the gun this week, and deservedly so. I already talked about Stevie Johnson. His TD celebration was a bit excessive, and it cost the Bills field position. Then there is Eagles WR DeSean Jackson, who shied away from hits multiple times and it caused him to drop a few passes, including one in the end zone. Jackson was benched in the 4th quarter because of it. Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe jumped for a pass late in the 4th, but he never put his arms up and the ball sailed over his head into the arms of the Steelers secondary. You could label all 3 of these guys pre-madonna WRs, and they showed that label this week. Jackson probably won't be back in Philadelphia next year. Johnson is a UFA and may not be back in Buffalo. Bowe may not survive a potential coach change in Kansas City. Someone will sign these guys, but they have to deal with the excess baggage they potentially bring along.

-At this point, you have to feel sorry for the Houston Texans. Sure they are still 8-3, but now they lost Matt Leinart for the rest of the year with a broken collarbone. Now the Texans will rely on rookie T.J. Yates to lead this team into the playoffs. Yates wasn't bad in relief this week, but he was also playing the Jacksonville Jaguars. The good thing for Yates is that he is taking control of one of the better offenses in the league. He has a great two headed running attack with Arian Foster and Ben Tate. Andre Johnson is a playmaker at WR. The Texans defense is also one of the better defenses in the league. The Texans next two games are tough, home to Atlanta and at Cincinnati. A split there would be great. The last 3 are winnable: home to Carolina, at Indianapolis, home to Tennessee. 11-5 is doable, 10-6 should still win the AFC South. But can T.J. Yates really lead this team to the Super Bowl? Sorry, but I don't think so. The Texans had a chance with Matt Schaub, but not with Yates.

-Well, it looks like the New York Giants are destined for another late season collapse. They started off their brutal second half well after beating New England. But they've lost 3 straight and their loss to New Orleans is by far the worst loss yet. The Giants defense was just torn apart by Drew Brees. The Saints bottled up the Giants pass rush, and that exposed the Giants secondary. The loss of Ahmad Bradshaw has hurt the Giants offense as well. Eli Manning played well, but he can't do everything as well. Now the Giants get the undefeated Packers in New York this week. Even if the Giants lose this week, they still get the Cowboys twice and can win the NFC East. But the Cowboys are playing much better football than the Giants are. If the Giants don't get things right quickly, Tom Coughlin's head may be on the chopping block.

Hey I'm Just Sayin...
-Has Andrew Luck been fitted for his Colts jersey yet?

-Are the Bengals the only 7-4 team that can't sell out their home games?

-When will John Elway just learn to love Tim Tebow?

-I bet Kyle Orton wishes he was still in Denver.

-Who's starting the "When Will Tony Romo Choke" calendar?

AFC Playoff Picture
1. Houston Texans  8-3  vs Atlanta
2. New England Patriots  8-3  vs Indianapolis
3. Baltimore Ravens  8-3  at Cleveland
4. Oakland Raiders  7-4  at Miami
5. Pittsburgh Steelers  8-3  vs Cincinnati
6. Cincinnati Bengals  7-4  at Pittsburgh
7. Denver Broncos  6-5  at Minnesota
8. New York Jets  6-5  at Washington
9. Tennessee Titans  6-5  at Buffalo

A big game in the AFC Wild Card race with the Bengals visiting Pittsburgh. A loss their by the Bengals opens up the last Wild Card spot for every team below them. The Broncos are playing the best football of all four of these teams in my opinion, but they have a rough schedule after Minnesota. The Jets are very hot and cold, and they could just as easily lose to Washington as beat them.

NFC Playoff Picture
1. Green Bay Packers  11-0  at NY Giants
2. San Francisco 49ers  9-2  vs St. Louis
3. New Orleans Saints  8-3  vs Detroit
4. Dallas Cowboys  7-4  at Arizona
5. Chicago Bears  7-4  vs Kansas City
6. Atlanta Falcons  7-4  at Houston
7. Detroit Lions  7-4  at New Orleans
8. New York Giants  6-5  at Green Bay

Big games for all parties involved in the NFC Playoff race. The Packers/Giants and Lions/Saints match-ups could bring some separation to the picture. The Falcons face a big road game at Houston with them down their QB. Chicago looks to rebound against a down Kansas City team. And if I were the Cowboys, I wouldn't overlook the Cardinals. They are playing good football as of late and could play spoiler for the Cowboys.

1. Jack Del Rio, Jacksonville: FIRED!
-Early this morning Del Rio was fired as coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Del Rio's record was 69-73 as Jacksonville's coach and was 1-2 in the playoffs. Del Rio has publicly blamed the team's offensive coordinator in recent losses, which is never a good thing to do. And now there are reports that Jacksonville has been sold. I find it difficult to believe the Jaguars will land a big time coach. Maybe Brian Billick if they get lucky. But they are more than likely looking at a coordinator promoted to first time coach.

2. Steve Spagnuolo, St. Louis Rams
-Yes, the Rams have been decimated by injuries this year. Yes, they have had a difficult schedule. But there were high expectations in St. Louis this year after the team finished 7-9 last year and looked like a young, up-and-coming team in the process. But the Rams have taken a drastic step back this year. They have no one to protect Sam Bradford, and the defense gets continually burned by opposing running backs. Spags can't go 3 season with only winning 10 games. Expect a change. They may just promote Josh McDaniels, but the Rams may attract a good coach because of the young talent on the team. Jeff Fisher would be an ideal fit.

3. Norv Turner, San Diego Chargers
-Norv Turner has always found ways to bring his team back after a slow first half of the season, but that isn't happening this year. The Chargers aren't the same Chargers they have been in years past. Philip Rivers looks off, and the defense can't get offenses off the field. Turner has had numerous opportunities to win the Super Bowl with this team, but that time is up. Turner and GM A.J. Smith are probably both gone this odd-season. That means a new front office will evaluate this roster of veterans and see who fits, and who doesn't.

4. Andy Reid, Philadelphia Eagles
-Philly fans are ready with their pitchforks. There was a very audible "Fire Andy" chant at the Eagles game this past Sunday. Reid seems to have lost control of his team. There is a clear disconnect with WR DeSean Jackson, and who knows the real story behind the injury to Mike Vick. The star-studded secondary hasn't lived up to the billing either. Reid is a good coach, and he might have faced to high expectations coming into the season. If Reid stays Jackson is probably gone. If it were me, I would keep Reid around. If he does get fired, he will probably get hired almost immediately.

5. Raheem Morris, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
-The Bucs were expected to be competitive this year after finishing 10-6 last season. With a 4-7 record this season, they will definitely finish with a worse record. Morris takes some of the blame for not continuing to build on a young offense that looked good last year. Josh Freeman has regressed a bit, and the defense can't stop anyone in the running game. With Ron Rivera turning the Panthers around into a fun team, the Bucs are staring at the division cellar if they can't get going and turn things around.

-Todd Haley, Kansas City: Haley's team has regressed tremendously since winning the AFC West last year. Losing Matt Cassel, Eric Berry, and Jamaal Charles hurts, but they aren't excuses.

-Tony Sparano, Miami Dolphins: The team is playing better, but expect a change. Owner Stephen Ross wants to make a big splash and finally get people into the seats.

-Jim Caldwell, Indianapolis Colts: No Peyton Manning and injuries have hurt, but if the team finishes 0-16, you almost have to make a change. Can't let that stain be on the team forever.

-Ken Wisenhunt, Arizona Cardinals: He finally got his veteran QB, but he has played worse than expected. The defense as a whole is a mess. Wisenhunt may not get another year.

Three Games I'd Like to See Next Week
Cincinnati Bengals vs Pittsburgh Steelers: Can the Bengals finally pass a big test?
Detroit Lions vs New Orleans Saints: Saints look to stay hot, Lions look to make a statement.
Green Bay Packers vs New York Giants: Can the Giants save their season with a huge upset?

Until Next Time,
Justin C
Follow Me On Twitter @JCWonka

Monday, November 28, 2011

WWE Raw Review 11/28/2011

How Did That Slap Taste Cena?
Piper talked about the energy of the fans, and how the energy of them drives them to doing what he did when he was an active wrestler. He called out John Cena, who he said doesn't get the fans energy. Piper talked about the fans reactions toward Cena. Cena questioned Piper about the energy of the fans. Piper brought up legendary names that got all cheers. Then he said John Cena, which got a mixed response. Cena said he used to it by now. Cena talked about how he doesn't care what the fans think. There's a group of people who hate him, but he does what he does for the kids, for the WWE Universe fans that respect him and love him. Piper told Cena that if he doesn't get everything off his chest with the fans that hate him, he will regret it and live in denial the rest of his life. Cena told him he's in a good place. Piper slapped him and told him to feel the energy. Cena handed Piper back his Hall of Fame ring and walked out. So they are trying to make fans think Cena is going to go off and turn heel? Nice try WWE, but I'm not buying it. But it was a strong segment that probably got some fans to buy into it. Survey Says: 3.5/5

They showed John Morrison talking to Alex Riley. Match with Miz is next.

Wishing John Morrison The Best In His Future Endeavors
As Morrison came to the ring, he was attacked by Miz with a lead pipe. Morrison still walked to the ring. He tried to get the better of Miz, but Miz attacked his leg. Miz grabbed a kendo stick and used it on Morrison. Morrison grabbed the stick though and started beating Miz. Morrison followed Miz up the ramp. Morrison went to hit Miz, but Miz threw him into the WWE logo. Miz delivered a Skull Crushing Finale to Morrison. The ref stopped the match. and named Miz the winner. Morrison was stretchered away as John Laurinaitis came out and checked on him. Morrison is done with the WWE, for those that don't know.

Miz took the mic. Last week, R-Truth. Tonight, John Morrison. Next week, we'll see. Miz said the only person who can make this kind of impact is him. Because he's the Miz, and he's awesome. Trying to re-establish Miz and book him like he should have been booked as WWE Champ? We will see where this goes. Survey Says: 2.5/5

Divas Time. Another subliminal message in the Twitter box. Kelly and Alicia Fox beat the Bellas. Beth Phoenix and Natlaya randomly ran around the ring.

Backstage, John Laurinaitis told David Otunga Brodus Clay's debut is pushed back another week. Laurinaitis said it would only anger him more. Alberto del Rio walked in. Laurinaitis asked Del Rio if he was ready for his match. C.M. Punk came in. He said he did a Google search on Laurinaitis and spineless, and 156,000 hits came up. He said Del Rio and boring came up with 918,000 hits. Punk told Otunga that when he typed his name into Google, the only thing that came up was Jennifer Hudson. This all lead to Laurinaitis saying if Punk got intentionally disqualified, he would lose the WWE Title.

Orton Putting More People Over? WHAT DA HELL???
Wade Barrett came to ringside to do commentary for the Randy Orton/Dolph Ziggler match. They did a quick exchange before restarting. Orton hit a hip toss then did a Garvin stomp. Orton went for the knee to the head but missed. Ziggler hit a dropkick on Orton sending him to the outside. Ziggler worked over Orton in the corner. Neckbreaker by Ziggler. Ziggler went to the top but Orton knocked him off. Superplex by Orton. Back from break, Orton fought back with typical Orton offense.He went for the Mid Rope DDT, but Ziggler countered out. Barrett went on the apron but Orton drop kicked him off. This allowed Ziggler to hit the ZigZag for the win. Not as good as last week, but nice to see Ziggler get the win. The Barrett/Orton saga continues. Survey Says: 3/5

Daniel Bryan: Serious World Title Contender?
Michael Cole was in the ring with Daniel Bryan. Cole said he was given a World Title match, but Bryan said that he earned it by winning a Fatal 4 Way. Bryan called Cole the worst announcer in the WWE. Bryan asked for Cole's respect. Cole called him a hypocrite for attempting to cash in MITB last week. Cole said he would have stripped Bryan of his MITB briefcase. Bryan said he saw an opportunity and he took it. Bryan said he's taking the World Title Tuesday on Smackdown. Mark Henry came out and criticized Teddy Long for making him defend the World Title in a steel cage. Henry said Bryan can't beat him. Bryan came up the ramp and kicked Henry's injured leg. Nice build for tomorrow. Bryan came off a bit heelish at the end. Kind of threw me off there. Survey Says: 2.5/5

Zack Ryder beat Jack Swagger with the Rough Ryder. Nothing too much here. Ryder rebounds nicely after last week's squash to Del Rio. Swagger continues to flounder.

Mick Foley came out and did a Christmas poem about tomorrow's Smackdown.

Josh Matthews interviewed C.M. Punk. Punk said it is clear that Laurinaitis is starting from the bottom. Punk said after tonight, Laurinaitis can kiss his bottom. Which means he can kiss Punk's ass.

Kiss My Butt Funkhouser!
WWE Title time. Del Rio worked over Punk's arm early. A couple arm holds to set up the cross armbreaker later. Punk regained control and tossed Del Rio to the outside. Punk hit a dive on Del Rio heading into commercial. Back from break, ADR had control after knocking Punk off the top during the break. More arm work from Del Rio. Del Rio hit an axe handle to Punk's arm off the top rope. A couple long arm locks from Del Rio. Del Rio went to the top again but Punk caught him with a kick. The two exchanged punches and kicks. Punk went for his running bulldog but ADR countered into his knee drop armbreaker for two. ADR countered a GTS attempt into a pin for two.

ADR tried tu undo the turnbucble pad. The ref caught him. Ricardo got a chair. ADR hit the chair on the mat, then tossed it in Punk's hands. Punk tossed it back and went to the ground. The ref saw this and went to DQ ADR, but Punk rolled him up for two. ADR hit the backbreaker for two. ADR took Punk to the turnbuckle, but Punk countered and dropped ADR on the exposed turnbuckle and pinned him for the win. Ricardo argured, but ate a GTS for his troubles. Alright match. Not as good as Survivor Series. ADR was in control for the most part while Punk fought back. Something will probably come from the finish, and we will see another match between these two. Survey Says: 3/5

Another above average episode of RAW. They're trying to rebuild The Miz, which is a good start to a supposed main event push. Ziggler going over Orton was nice to see. They did a strong sell job for the live Smackdown tomorrow night. They built up Daniel Bryan about as well as they good. Nothing really advanced much on the RAW side. They are trying to get people to buy a potential John Cena heel turn, but I'm not believing it. It seems like they are just throwing Cena out there so he can get on TV because he has nothing going with anyone currently on the RAW roster. Punk and Del Rio seem destined for a rematch, so it leaves nothing currently for Cena at TLC. But I think RAW has been better because of it. Don't over expose Cena. Let some others take the spotlight. I'm giving RAW a 6. Good action albeit short, but few new storyline developments.

NFL Review tomorrow.

And remember kids, walking away after getting bitch slapped will get you ridiculed at school. Don't back down, don't rise above hate. Put your boots to that kid's ass.

Until Next Time,
Justin C
Follow Me On Twitter @JCWonka

Saturday, November 26, 2011

What Might Wrestlemania 28 Look Like?

Well, we have almost reached the quarter pole in the build to Wrestlemania. We are just a little over 4 months away until the WWE invades Miami for Wrestlemania 28. Unlike any other Wrestlemania before, we actually know what the main event willl be with The Rock facing off against John Cena. I don't like what the WWE has done with the build so far. Granted, Rock has only been around for two live shows since the match announcement, but I think they could have done a bit better with the Rock/Cena interaction at Survivor Series. I don't think this match will be for the WWE Title, and that's a smart thing. Why waste the WWE Title in a match that doesn't need it?

The one positive about Rock/Cena is that it allows the WWE to take some risks in their other matches. Rock/Cena should get the Wrestlemania buy rate over 1 million, unless the WWE really screws it up. That means the WWE can take risks with the WWE and World Title matches. Now, we know that Daniel Bryan is suppose to cash in his Money in the Bank World Title opportunity at Wrestlemania. It will be a real stretch if actually keeps it that long. The WWE has just started building up Bryan, and I don't know if they can make him into a threat in time for Wrestlemania. But like I said, the WWE can take a chance like that.

Then of course their is The Undertaker. We haven't seen The Undertaker since Wrestlemania 27. He's had hip and back surgery during his break, but it is rumored that he is healthy and ready to go for Wrestlemania 28. That's another big match for Wrestlemania. The Undertaker is looking at 20-0 if he wins this year. My guess is that this could be his final Wrestlemania, so either Undertaker retires 20-0 or someone goes down in history as the man who ended the streak.

And finally, there is that whole "It Begins" YouTube video that hijacked the WWE Twitter pop-up on RAW this past Monday? Who's it for? No one really knows. It could be for The Undertaker again. It could be Chris Jericho. It could be someone we aren't even thinking about. Some people say Chris Jericho isn't coming back after a stall in contract negotiations. Others think that those are just rumors thrown out there to get people off the trail. There is no real hint in that video to give people an idea of who it is.

So, lets take a look at a possible Wrestlemania 28 Match Card.

Divas Championship: Beth Phoenix (c) vs Kharma
If I'm doing my math right, Kharma should be back right in time for Wrestlemania. There is no one else that would really interest me in a Divas contest at Wrestlemania. You could turn Natalya or Beth face, but it wouldn't do as much as having Kharma back would. Kharma and Beth could actually have a good Divas match and should keep the crowd entertained, unlike a Kelly Kelly or Eve match. This would probably be the best match possible, as it involves the two Divas fans would care most about in a match.

Sheamus vs Alberto del Rio- Winner Gets A World/WWE Title Shot at Extreme Rules
This is a simple case of two guys pretty much having nothing else going for them. Sheamus has been getting a monster push as a face, but the Smackdown main event already has two faces in it for me. Alberto del Rio, meanwhile, can't get an extended reign as WWE Champion. Del Rio can't get past the shadow of C.M. Punk or John Cena. It's almost like Del Rio has peaked as a character. The move from Smackdown to RAW really hurt ADR, while the move from RAW to Smackdown has helped Sheamus. It is a fresh match-up here as these two have never faced off one-on-one to my knowledge. I'm sure these two could put on a good match. The added stipulation makes fans care about the match more.

Intercontinental Championship: Cody Rhodes (c) vs Goldust: Title vs Career
This is a match that Goldust, aka Dustin Rhodes, has been campaigning for. Dustin wants to close this last chapter in his career and what better way for him to go out than on the big stage against his baby brother. Rhodes is a start on the rise in the WWE and he is trying to bring the IC Title back to respectability. Dustin Rhodes won the IC Title multiple times as Goldust in his WWE Career, so having him try to regain the Title while putting his career on the line would be something interesting. Now of course, Cody would win this match. He is suppose to feud with Booker T in the coming months, and of course Booker and Goldust have a history. Another situation of right place, right time for these two.

Shaquille O'Neal, Big Show, Zack Ryder vs The Miz, Christian, Jack Swagger
The WWE likes to have some kind of celebrity involvement every year at Wrestlemania. Rumor has it that they were pushing for NBA stars Dwayne Wade and Lebron James at one point, but NBA Labor talks are on-going again and there is hope that the season can be saved. That leaves limited options. Shaq is retired from the NBA, is a fan of the WWE, and is still in shape enough to move around in the ring. Throw in Big Show, and you have two of the tallest athletes in the world. Zack Ryder would be perfect to interact with Shaq as well. On the heel side, Miz can talk a big game and Christian can play the cocky heel well. Swagger gets added because of the Awesome Truth break-up, otherwise R-Truth would be here. Shaq would definitely get the WWE the positive PR they love.

World Heavyweight Championship: Mark Henry (c) vs Daniel Bryan vs Randy Orton
Oh Randy Orton, you just love to find your way into our World Title matches. I had a tough time deciding what to do with Orton. At one point I had him up against Alberto del Rio. Then I had him against Brodus Clay before I decided to take Clay off the card. If Chris Jericho were coming back, I might have him against Orton because Orton is the one who put Jericho out of the WWE with his punt to the head. But I don't think Jericho is coming back, so I put Orton in the World Title match. Orton could fight Bryan for the right to be added to the World Title match at Wrestlemania. Despite the opportunity to take a risk leaving Bryan in this match one-on-one, I think Vince McMahon will like it better if Orton is in it as well to add to the star power of the match. I don't know if Bryan wins or not. He has the makings of the first MITB winner to cash in and lose. At this point, Henry would be considered dominant and losing the Title here would be a big story, but it would be bigger if it was Bryan winning.

WWE Championship: C.M. Punk (c) vs Wade Barrett
Yes, the Barrett Barrage is in full effect. If I were a betting man, I would put my money on Wade Barrett winning the 2012 Royal Rumble. It seems that the WWE is finally fully behind pushing Barrett as a future main eventer. What better way to complete than to have Barrett win the Royal Rumble and co-headline Wrestlemania? Again, it is a risk that the WWE can take with Rock/Cena already happening. Punk is winning over more fans as the days go on. Ideally, I would have hoped that the WWE would stretch Punk/HHH all the way out here, but they shot that storyline to hell. There's also a bit of history between Punk and Barrett, as Punk was the man who kicked Barrett out of the original Nexus. I've always been high on Barrett, and I think if the WWE keeps up this push of his, people would buy him as a main eventer come Wrestlemania. Punk is obviously a great worker and should get the best out of Barrett.

The Undertaker vs Dolph Ziggler
Sure, this probably sounds a bit nuts. Why would Undertaker return to take on Dolph Ziggler? Well, who else do you think Taker would face at this point. With HHH wrestling as much as he has, the mystique of a Taker/HHH rematch is gone. I thought of Alberto del Rio, but he is already an established main eventer that doesn't need the rub of facing Taker at Wrestlemania. I thought about Barrett and Cody Rhodes, but I think the matches I have them in make more sense. You would think Taker would want to face a big star, but there is no one left. C.M. Punk is a possibility I guess, but Punk is turning into a big babyface, and I think the fans would actually end up booing Taker in this instance. Then you look at Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler has pulled double duty the last two PPVs. He put on a great match with C.M. Punk this past Monday on RAW. You could argue that he is the second best worker in the WWE right now behind C.M. Punk. Ziggler has improved greatly on the mic as well. All Ziggler needs to do is come out and challenge Taker, do it for a couple weeks before Taker shows signs of being around. While Ziggler isn't a main eventer, he's a young guy who you might think could break the streak because he could use the rub to launch him into stardom. I'm sure the match itself would be just fine as Taker always brings his A game to Mania, and Dolph has been on fire in the ring lately. Do I think Dolph ends the streak? Probably not. I think the Streak is Taker's legacy, and it is never broken. But just facing Undertaker at Wrestlemania will do wonders for Dolph's career.

The Rock vs John Cena
Obviously this is happening. It is one of the few dream matches that has not happened yet but will on April 1, 2012 in Miami. I'm interested to see how often The Rock appears on WWE TV in the build to Wrestlemania. I think he would have to appear at least every other week in order for the build and match to be worth it. If Survivor Series is any indication, Cena will get booed out of the building in Miami. Survivor Series also showed that Rock still has it in the ring and that the match definitely will be fun to watch. I still give credit to Vince McMahon and whoever else it was that convinced The Rock to come back for this. The match will be good, and the atmosphere in Miami will be electric. It's the big type of match that warrants the main event of Wrestlemania label.

Couple of Notes
-I left HHH off because I don't think he's needed here, plus I couldn't think of anything for him at all.

-I don't know if Rey Mysterio will be back in time from his knee injury to take part in Mania this year.

-The person I'm disappointed I left off most was R-Truth, but again, I couldn't find anything for him.

That's all from me today.

Until Next Time,
Justin C
Follow Me On Twitter @JCWonka

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

NFL Week 12 Picks

I will be occupied all day tomorrow and with NFL games starting early on Thursday, I figured I would get my picks done while I have the time today and very early tomorrow. There are a lot of big games this week with many playoff implications.

Last Week's Record: 9-5
Year to Date Record: 100-60

Green Bay Packers vs Detroit Lions
For the first time in a very long time, the Lions are playing a relevant game on Thanksgiving. The Lions host the undefeated Packers in a huge NFC showdown. A win by the Lions here might give them hope for a division title, but I think that might be stretching it a bit too much. A win here would help a lot because of the loss of Jay Cutler for the Bears. The Lions offense came back to life last week against Carolina. The Packers defense isn't the greatest, so expect a big game from Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson. Now with that being said, the Lions pass defense is nothing to write home about, so expect Aaron Rodgers to throw at will. All of this leads to one word: SHOOTOUT. This game features two of the best passing offenses in the league. Aaron Rodgers seems unstoppable, although he did get a good test last week from Tampa Bay. If the Lions can LIMIT Rodgers and not let him throw at will they may have a chance. Detroit's front seven needs to pressure Rodgers and make him throw it early. For the Lions, Matthew Stafford needs to limit his mistakes and not force throws to Calvin Johnson. But I think the Packers front seven is better than the Lions, and their added pressure give the Packers a win.

Green Bay 38  Detroit 34

Miami Dolphins vs Dallas Cowboys
These may be the two teams playing the best football in the last 3 weeks. The Dolphins have won 3 in a row after starting the season 0-7. Reggie Bush is running like a number one back for the first time in his career. Matt Moore is making people forget about Andrew Luck in Miami. And the Dolphins defense is shutting down the run and pressuring the QB into bad mistakes. If this Dolphins team had shown up earlier in the year, they may at least be .500 and in the hunt for a playoff spot. Tony Sparano may be saving his job. I still think its unlikely, but its possible. The team is playing hard for him, but they are also still playing in front of half empty stadiums. The Cowboys have won three in a row as well as their offense has come to life in recent weeks. Tony Romo has thrown at least 3 TDs in the last two games, and has put the Cowboys in a tie for first in the NFC East. With the Cowboys easy schedule in the coming weeks they have no excuses for a let down. But the Dolphins will be a tough out here. They will play just as hard as they have been in recent weeks and will look to spoil the Cowboys run at the playoffs. Unfortunately, the Cowboys are the more talented team and will win a close one.

Dallas 27  Miami 22

San Francisco 49ers vs Baltimore Ravens
It's Harbaugh vs Harbaugh. I'm sure it is the exact way the Harbaugh family envisioned spending their Thanksgiving. On the 49ers side, Jim Harbaugh has the 49ers at 9-1 and within one game of clinching the NFC West. If the 49ers win this week and Seattle losses, the division goes to San Francisco. Now, that doesn't mean a let up from the 49ers. They are still within a game of Green Bay for the top spot in the NFC. The Packers could slip up in the coming weeks, they have some difficult match-ups. Second, I don't think let up is in Jim Harbaugh's vocabulary. He will have his team playing hard every week because that is how he coaches. No let up whatsoever. On the Baltimore side, John Harbaugh has his team in a good spot. At 7-3, they are tied with Pittsburgh atop the AFC North. They have had let downs against lesser teams this year, but I wouldn't expect that against San Francisco. But the 49ers defense is very stingy and will shut down Ray Rice, or at least attempt too. If Joe Flacco can get time, he should find Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith open. The 49ers secondary isn't the greatest. But I like the 49ers here. They play a similar game to Baltimore: smash mouth, grind it out, run stuffing defense. But the likely loss of Ray Lewis will hurt the Ravens defense in the end. San Francisco wins a low scoring affair.

San Francisco 20  Baltimore 17

Houston Texans vs Jacksonville Jaguars
Let the Matt Leinart Era begin in Houston. This is a good first test for him. Leinart isn't being thrown to a top team, he's being thrown to a Jacksonville team that couldn't beat Cleveland last week. Leinart will more than likely have stud WR Andre Johnson back, which is a huge help. Even with Johnson back, expect a heavy dose of RBs Arian Foster and Ben Tate from the Texans. That will help take the pressure off of Leinart early on. The Jaguars continue to struggle offensively with Blaine Gabbert under center. But with teams focusing on Maurice Jones-Drew, Gabbert will eventually have to win a game himself. That will be tough to do against an improved Houston defense. Jones-Drew will get his touches and yards, but Gabbert still isn't good enough to win a game like this. Jack Del Rio's clock continues to tick as the Texans win here.

Houston 24  Jacksonville 13

Buffalo Bills vs New York Jets
Talk about two teams that are heading in the wrong directions. Three weeks ago the Bills were 5-2, but that seems like an eternity ago. The Bills have lost 3 straight, including an embarrassing home loss to the Jets. The offense has scored a combined 26 points the last three weeks. They didn't even get into the end zone last week against Miami. Ryan Fitzpatrick has looked terrible, and the defense is getting burned deep by anything that moves. Injuries are also mounting for the Bills. RB Fred Jackson has a bruised right calf that may keep him out. WR Donald Jones and C Eric Wood are out for the year, and both WRs Stevie Johnson and David Nelson are banged up. The Jets have lost two in a row after winning three straight. Mark Sanchez has looked terrible in both losses. They have injuries at RB with Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson both banged up. And the hyped defense couldn't stop Tim Tebow from driving 95 yards on them at the end of the game last week. The Jets, however, are still in better shape than the Bills overall. They are healthier, have a better coaching scheme, and are playing at home. That gives the Jets the win this week.

NY Jets 21  Buffalo 13

Cleveland Browns vs Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals were brought down to Earth the last two weeks after back-to-back losses against Pittsburgh and Baltimore. They only lost by a touchdown both games, but they were also in position to win both of those games in the end. But Andy Dalton threw a bad interception at the end of the game against Pittsburgh, and he had no time to throw against Baltimore in the closing seconds. That's not to take anything away from Cincinnati. The Bengals are still holding on to the last Wild Card spot, and are still playing better football than everyone below them in the AFC. The Bengals should get WR A.J. Green back this week, which will help open up the offense more. The Browns finally won a game last week against Jacksonville, and they will have revenge on their mind after a bad opening week loss at home against Cincinnati. Expect the Browns to be motivated for their cross state rivals. If Colt McCoy can get time to throw they might have a chance. But I don't see that happening. The Bengals rebound here and take care of the Browns in a low scoring affair.

Cincinnati 23  Cleveland 16

Minnesota Vikings vs Atlanta Falcons
The only reason to really watch the Vikings is out for a few weeks. RB Adrian Peterson suffered an ankle sprain last week and will likely miss this week's game. Toby Gerhart replaces AP, but he may not be half the running back Peterson is. Expect a lot of Percy Harvin in the backfield to try and throw off the Falcons. The Falcons will be able to drop a few more people back in the secondary, which should cause problems with Christian Ponder. The Falcons got a nice win last week at home against Tennessee. Expect Matt Ryan to have a big day against a bad Vikings secondary. If he gets Julio Jones back, then it will be a big day for them. Michael Turner should have a nice game as well. The Falcons are the all-around better team and should dispose of the Vikings rather easily here.

Atlanta 31  Minnesota 17

Arizona Cardinals vs St. Louis Rams
Um, does anyone care about this game? The Rams and Cardinals have both had equally disappointing seasons. The Cardinals acquisition of Kevin Kolb has been a colossal bust for them. The team is playing better under 2nd year QB John Skelton than Kolb. At least he remembers who Larry Fitzgerald is. The defense that was suppose to be improved has disappointed mightily. The Rams were beat up by injuries and a brutal early schedule. Sam Bradford has been injured, and injuries on the offensive line haven't helped him. The defense has finally come around. The acquisition of Brandon Lloyd has helped Bradford a lot, and the Rams should do everything possible to try and re-sign him in the off-season. Expect a big game from Steven Jackson, which leads to a win for the Rams.

St. Louis 28  Arizona 23

Carolina Panthers vs Indianapolis Colts
The Colts are one lucky franchise. After years of glory under Peyton Manning, they have one bad year and now will soon have years of glory under Andrew Luck. The Colts will take Luck if they get the 1st overall pick, no questions asked. And I think they will. The Colts have nothing going for them on offense or defense. And the defense will struggle against Cam Newton this week. Expect Newton, Johnathan Stewart, and DeAngelo Williams to run wild on the Colts poor run defense. If the Colts can get their run game going they might have a chance, but the Panthers offense can put up points in bunches, and they should have no problem doing that against Indianapolis. The Panthers rebound after a bad couple of weeks and pick up a win.

Carolina 31  Indianapolis 21

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Tennessee Titans
Hey, give Tampa Bay credit. They gave Green Bay one of their toughest games of the year last week. Josh Freeman was able to find open WRs and LaGarrette Blount found holes and just ran over the Packers defense. It may be too little too late for Tampa Bay. At 4-6, their playoff chances are all but down the drain. They are two games back of the last NFC Wild Card Spot. The Bucs may finally be putting everything together, but I don't think it will help them make the playoffs. Coach Raheem Morris blamed Tampa's struggles on the lockout, but that is not an excuse. Tampa showed last year they are good enough to win now, but they failed to live up to the hype this year. Tennessee failed to win a big game against Atlanta last week. They lost Matt Hasselbeck with an elbow injury, but he may be able to return this week because there was no structural damage to the elbow. Chris Johnson couldn't get going again, but against a bad Tampa defense he should be able to find holes. Tampa will give Tennessee a fight, but the Titans have more to play for and pull out a win here.

Tennessee 24  Tampa Bay 21

Chicago Bears vs Oakland Raiders
Well, let the Caleb Hanie Era begin in Chicago. It is his team for pretty much the rest of the regular season. The good thing is Hanie knows the system so he should be able to step right in with no problem. The bad news is he is still unproven for the most part in the league. He stepped in well during the NFC Championship, but that was it. Expect a heavy dose of Matt Forte from the Bears. But if the defense keeps playing well, the Bears shouldn't have a problem staying in all their games. The Raiders just keep winning under Carson Palmer. Palmer should have time to throw here against the Bears secondary. Palmer has to love the help he is getting from Michael Bush at running back, and if Darren McFadden returns this week, it gives the Raiders a dangerous two headed attack at running back. Before Cutler's injury, I would have picked the Bears. Now? I think the Raiders take this one and continue their stranglehold on the AFC West.

Oakland 27  Chicago 24

Washington Redskins vs Seattle Seahawks
Another game I don't know if anyone really cares about. The Redskins finally played a good game last week against Dallas. They showed signs of life on offense against Dallas. Problem is, their field goal kicker let them down again. Graham Gano missed a 52 yard field goal in OT, allowing the Cowboys to come back and win. Seattle, meanwhile, has played some good football in recent weeks and have won two in a row on the back of Marshawn Lynch, who finally looks like a #1 running back. Expect Lynch to have a good game again this week, and carry Seattle to their third win in a row.

Seattle 23  Washington 14

Denver Broncos vs San Diego Chargers
The Chargers are just in an absolute free fall. They've lost 5 in a row, and haven't won a game since they beat Denver in Week 5. Philip Rivers isn't playing like Philip Rivers. He doesn't have time to throw in the pocket and is making some bad decisions in the pocket. Injuries to different offensive playmakers throughout the year hasn't helped either. The defense also is getting picked apart rather easily. Meanwhile, the Broncos have won 4 out of 5 with Tim Tebow and have adopted their offense to fit his skill set. Oh, and the defense is playing lights out football. Von Miller is a beast at linebacker for the Broncos, and Champ Bailey is playing like the shut down corner he used to be. Tim Tebow should be able to make big plays against the Chargers, and I think he does to help them win here.

Denver 31  San Diego 27

New England Patriots vs Philadelphia Eagles
This is an interesting game. The Patriots look like they may have finally come together as a whole team. The defense has looked respectable in the last couple weeks. The Patriots have also been trying to get some kind of run game going, but that still hasn't happened yet. Tom Brady won't win them every game, even though having TE Rob Gronkowski and WR Wes Welker helps out matters. But it will be interesting to see Brady match-up with the Eagles secondary, who seem to have finally come around in Philadelphia. They shut down the Giants offense last week. If they can do the same thing to Tom Brady, it could mean trouble for the Patriots. No matter who starts for the Eagles, Vince Young or Mike Vick, both men should be able to make plays against the Patriots defense. It may be a mild upset, but I like the Eagles to shut down the Patriots and win here. They will be motivated after last week's win.

Philadelphia 28  New England 24

Pittsburgh Steelers vs Kansas City Chiefs
Why was this game not flexed out of the Sunday night slot? Even two weeks ago, the Chiefs still looked like a bad football team. Now they are even worse without Matt Cassel under center. Tyler Palko did not look good at all against New England. What do you expect from him against a good Steelers defense? The Chiefs defense might be able to contain the Steelers for a little bit, but they can't score points for them. I expect a Steelers win, and a rather easy one too with them coming off the bye.

Pittsburgh 35  Kansas City 14

New York Giants vs New Orleans Saints
Is this the beginning of the Giants collapse? It may very well. They shouldn't have gotten shut down so easily against Philadelphia. Eli Manning is better than that. The Giants really have missed Ahmad Bradshaw, who gives them a good running attack on offense. The Saints have had a bye week to prepare for the Giants. The Saints should rely on quick passes to avoid the Giants pass rush. If they do that, Drew Brees should be able to make plays with all of his offensive weapons. I would think Darren Sproles might be in for a good game out of the backfield for the Saints. With the game in New Orleans, I think the Saints win and make Tom Coughlin's seat even hotter than it was already.

New Orleans 24  NY Giants 23

My Vegas $$$ Picks
Last Week's Record: 2-2
Year To Date Record: 25-18-1

Miami +7 at Dallas: Dolphins will put up a fight til the end.

Atlanta -9.5 vs Minnesota: No AP means no chance for the Vikings.

Denver +6.5 at San Diego: Even if the Broncos lose, it will still be a close game.

Pittsburgh -10.5 at Kansas City: Chiefs have pretty much no chance.

Until Next Time,
Justin C
Follow Me On Twitter @JCWonka

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

NFL Week 11 Review

NFL Time! Two for one today. Because of the short week for me, I will have my picks up later!

Team of the Week: Denver Broncos
-Tim Tebow gets all of the attention on this team, but they have been putting together some solid all around efforts the past few weeks. This week against the Jets was no different. They shut down the Jets offensive attack and drove 95 yards down the field on a good Jets defense to win. The Broncos have won four out of their last five and are one game back of the Raiders in the AFC West. You have to give credit to coach John Fox, who has tailor made an offense that works for Tim Tebow. Can the Broncos win the AFC Wes or make the playoffs? Its possible. They have two winnable road games at San Diego and Minnesota, then two tough home games against Chicago and New England. It will be an interesting month ahead for Denver.

Game of the Week: Dallas 27  Washington 24- OT
-Hey, who knew that the Redskins could score 24 points? They gave Dallas everything they could handle. It almost seemed like the Redskins played the game against Dallas as if it were their Super Bowl. The Cowboys found a way to pull out the game in the end, and it gave them the lead in the NFC East thanks to their tiebreaker over the NY Giants. Tony Romo connected on 3TD passes, including a nice pass to Jason Witten. The Redskins caught a bad break on Graham Gano's missed field goal. You got to give the Skins credit for playing hard and not quitting. Where has this effort been the last few weeks?

Dog of the Week: New York Jets
-Had a tough time handing out this award this week. No one really did anything stupid. Rex Ryan cursed at a fan, so he was given a $75,000 fine by the NFL. But the Jets also failed to show up offensively for a second week in a row, and have now fallen a game out of the last Wild Card spot in the AFC and two games back plus a tiebreaker of the Patriots in the AFC East. The Jets play the Bills this week, a team they completely dominated a few weeks ago. But neither team can score recently. The Jets better win here, if not they can kiss their playoff hopes goodbye.

Other Week 11 Notes
-Another week, another injury to a starting QB on a potential playoff team. Jay Cutler broke his thumb and underwent surgery on it, and will likely be out for the rest of the regular season. Coach Lovie Smith thinks Cutler might be able to return, but that would be stretching it I think. This means Caleb Hanie takes over the reigns at QB. Hanie showed during the NFC Championship last year that he can play, and almost lead the Bears to the Super Bowl. The Bears play the rest of the AFC West then home to Seattle before finishing the season at Green Bay and Minnesota. The Bears have a good shot at the playoffs because they hold the tiebreaker over Atlanta and may over Detroit by years end, but the road just got a lot tougher. Expect more Matt Forte from the Bears from here on out. I still think the Bears make the playoffs. They have an easier schedule than Detroit, who have to play the Packers twice still.

-Does anyone want to claim the last playoff spot in the AFC? The Bengals are currently sitting in 6th place at 6-4, but they've lost 2 in a row. Then the Broncos, Titans, Jets, and Bills are all 5-5. The Jets have lost two in a row after winning three in a row. The Bills have lost 4 of their last 5, and the Titans like to trade off wins and losses every week. At this point, you would have to consider the Broncos the favorite for the last Wild Card Spot. They're playing the best football out of everyone in this group of teams. No one really knows what is going on with the Bills. All of the sudden they can't score points. Mark Sanchez is playing like bad Mark Sanchez for the Jets. Maybe Tim Tebow really is Jesus and he will lead the Broncos to a playoff birth on Christmas Eve right before his return? Who knows.

-So are the Eagles relevant again now? You know football analysts. When a team wins a big game like Philadelphia did, they are all of the sudden back in the playoff mix. But when they lose like they did last week against Arizona? Nope, they're done. That is why I hate most football analysts. They just go by how a team plays for the most part. They flip flop every week. But the Eagles defense finally played the way people expected them to play all year. They shut down the Giants offense and got a nice revenge win after the Giants beat the Eagles in Philadelphia. The Giants are now tied for 1st with the Cowboys, and the Giants have the Saints and Packers coming up. I still don't think the Eagles make the playoffs. They're 3 games back of Chicago and 2 back of Atlanta, and both of those teams have tiebreakers over the Eagles. If Mike Vick is back in time, maybe they can get to 9 wins, but the playoffs seem out of reach.

Hey I'm Just Sayin...
-A 49ers win and a Seahawks loss this week gives San Fran the NFC West. Will the 49ers ease up?

-Maybe that ends the John Skelton/Kevin Kolb debate in Arizona.

-Cam Newton just scored 3 TDs. So ESPN, I don't think he hit a rookie wall.

-Hey, at least the Colts didn't lose this week!

-Is there anything better than football, turkey, and family on Thanksgiving?

AFC Playoff Picture
Place  Team  Record  Next Opponent
1. New England Patriots  7-3  at Philadelphia
2. Baltimore Ravens  7-3  vs San Francisco
3. Houston Texans  7-3  at Jacksonville
4. Oakland Raiders  6-4  vs Chicago
5. Pittsburgh Steelers  7-3  at Kansas City
6. Cincinnati Bengals  6-4  vs Cleveland
7. Denver Broncos  5-5  at San Diego
8. Tennessee Titans  5-5  vs Tampa Bay
9. New York Jets  5-5  vs Buffalo
10. Buffalo Bills  5-5  at NY Jets

NFC Playoff Picture
Place  Team  Record  Next Opponent
1. Green Bay Packers  10-0  at Detroit
2. San Francisco 49ers  9-1  at Baltimore
3. New Orleans Saints  7-3  vs NY Giants
4. Dallas Cowboys  6-4  vs Miami
5. Detroit Lions  7-3  vs Green Bay
6. Chicago Bears  7-3  at Oakland
7. Atlanta Falcons  6-4  vs Minnesota
8. New York Giants  6-4  at New Orleans

Three Games I Would Like To See Next Week
Green Bay Packers vs Detroit Lions: Can the Lions end the Packers perfect season?
San Francisco 49ers vs Baltimore Ravens: Which Ravens team show up? And a big statement game for the 49ers.
New York Giants vs New Orleans Saints: Can the Giants stop themselves from going into a free fall?

Kept it short this week, but I'm crunched for time starting tomorrow. Have to get picks done today too.

Until Next Time,
Justin C
Follow Me On Twitter @JCWonka

Monday, November 21, 2011

RAW Review for 11/21/2011

Time For Change, Part 2?
RAW started with C.M. Punk. He told a story about how he said in 1st grade he wanted to be a professional wrestler when he grew up. He said it was a very special moment, him winning the WWE Title at MSG. And he did it on his own terms. Punk said the game of "hot potato" with the WWE Title was over. Punk sat Indian style, and said he wanted to be an agent of change again in the WWE. He asked where the ice cream bars are. He also said he wanted to mae Interim RAW GM John Laurinaitis "Former" RAW GM John Laurinaitis.

John Lauriniaitis came out to congratulate Punk, and said he doesn't understand why Punk has an issue with him. Punk called Laurinaitis a coward. He said Laurinaitis would smile to his face and still try to undermine him. He called Laurinaits a soul-sucking, middle management, douchebag stooge. Laurinaitis said he's actually upper management. Laurinaitis also said he can be just as cool as Punk. He announced Punk vs ADR for the WWE Title next week. This week, Punk is taking on Dolph Ziggler nice. Punk said Laurinaitis doesn't listen to the WWE Universe. They don't want Punk vs Ziggler, they want Ziggler vs Ryder. Laurinaitis said Ryder is facing Alberto del Rio tonight. Punk said this week he will beat Ziggler, then take care of Del Rio next week. And some time soon, someone will beat some sense into Laurinaitis. Fun opening segment. Punk was good on the mic and Laurinaitis was good in his role as the heel GM. These two have a good give and take with each other. Survey Says: 4/5

They played a clip from after Survivor Series of the MSG crowd chanting for Zack Ryder when The Rock was thanking the fans. Rock said he is a fan of Ryder too.

Woo Woo Whooped!
Ryder interrupted Ricardo's entrance of Del Rio. ADR worked over Ryder's arm. He charged Ryder in the corner but Ryder lifted his knees to the face of ADR. Ryder hit the kick in the corner. He went for the Rough Ryder but ADR countered by throwing Ryder into the turnbuckle. ADR locked in the cross armbreaker for the win. Short match. Kind of a let down for Ryder fans, but they needed to re-establish ADR as a threat. Survey Says: 2/5

Hey, What Was That YouTube Link?
Sheamus beat Jack Swagger in another short match. It was very similar to last week. Swagger tried to apply the ankle lock, but Sheamus countered out of it and connected with the Brogue Kick for the win. Survey Says: 2/5

I was more distracted in this match with a YouTube link that appeared in the WWE Twitter corner before the match. Here it is: http://www.youtube.com/user/itbegins2012. Undertaker? Chris Jericho? STING? Let the speculation begin...

Kevin Nash came out on stage. Couldn't walk to the ring. Nash said MSG holds sweet memories to him. It should have been them taking on Rock and Cena last night. Nash said the Kliq isn't around anymore, and it is HHH's fault. Nash said he is the sole survivor of that group. Weird. Just a way to get Nash on TV I guess.

Cody Rhodes Is Evil Mwwahahahaha!
Cody Rhodes happened to be in the ring. He talked about being unhinged by Randy Orton and how he's not afraid to be him anymore. Cody said he's unbeatable. Santino came out for a match. Santino went for the Cobra and missed, allowing Cody to hit Cross Rhodes for the win. After the match, Cody confronted Booker T and told Booker he could hear him talking bad about him in the ring. Cody then threw a cup of water in the face of Booker. Looks like the start of Booker T's last in ring run. Survey Says: 2/5

Dolph Ziggler was interviewed. He said he was the only person last night to win two matches, and he is the new face of the WWE.

Now This IS Wrestling!
Punk/Ziggler time. The two exchanged headlock variations early as well as some mat submissions. The two did some rope counters before Ziggler slid to the outside. The two exchanged control on offense. Ziggler worked over Punk on the mat with some kicks and punches. Punk countered into a backslide for two, but Dolph came right back with a clothesline then back into a chinlock. Punk got out with a backdrop. Punk had Ziggler lined up for a knee into the corner, but Vickie distracted Punk by blowing a kiss. Punk went for the knee again, but missed and ended up on the outside heading into the commercial.

Dolph had control back from break, but Punk fought back with some punches and kicks, then a neckbreaker for two. He picked Ziggler up for the GTS, but Ziggler countered into a sleeper hold. Punk countered again into the GTS, but Ziggler countered into a pin attempt, but the referee saw Ziggler's feet on the ropes. Punk did the same thing except with his hands and the ref caught him as well. Punk hit the high knee in the corner then a bulldog for two. Punk went for the Macho Man Elbow, but Ziggler rolled away. Ziggler then connected with a nice drop kick for two. The two fought on top, Punk threw off Ziggler, then hit the elbow drop for two. Ziggler countered a GTS into a frontslam for two. Ziggler went for the ZigZag and missed. Punk hit the GTS for the win. It looked like Punk was suppose to catch Ziggler but missed. Very good match with arguably the two best workers in the WWE right now. Survey Says: 4/5

A Kane promo aired.

Big Show talked about Mark Henry taking the easy way out to protect his World Title. Show told Henry when he came back, he had something waiting for him. Show then made a fist. Whatever.

Kelly Kelly and Alicia Fox were backstage playing WWE 12. Then Beth and Natalya showed up. They said their characters would beat up Kelly and Alicia's. Ok.

Lets Hope The Barrett Barrage Buries Orton!
Wade Barrett took on Kofi next. Barrett dominated for the most part and had Kofi set up for Wasteland, but Randy Orton came out. Barrett bailed out of the ring and stared at Orton as they went to commercial. Back from break Barrett had control over Kofi. He hit a nice tilt-a-whirl slam then a boot in the ropes for two. Kingston fought back. He hit a flying crossbody then the Boom Drop. Kofi hit his spin kick in the corner, but when Kofi went for a Springboard on the ropes, Barrett knocked him off. Barrett hit Wasteland while staring at Orton at ringside for the win. Fun match. I love Barrett's continued dominance. Survey Says: 3/

Only John Cena Could Make This Show Bad
John Cena came out and talked about the happenings of Survivor Series. Cena talked about how he is glad the WWE Universe is honest about their feelings on him. Cena said The Rock proved he never lost it. Miz and R-Truth interrupted. They asked Cena if he heard the people chanting against him last night. Miz said last night no one wanted to see him. Truth said Cena is going down at Wrestlemania. The Cenation is going to become the "See Ya Nation." Cena said no one cares about Miz and R-Truth. Cena said Miz thinks R-Truth is just a crazy idiot. Cena said R-Truth thinks Miz is a pompous stuck up wannabe. Cena left as Miz and Truth argued. They shoved each other. Miz said they should go get Cena. They went up the ramp, then Miz hit the Skull Crushing Finale on R-Truth on the ramp. That segment seemed pointless, unless someone is going to vanish for 30 days. Cena buried both men anyways. Survey Says: 1.5/5

This was a very good show up until the last segment. Punk/Ziggler was great, and Barrett/Kofi was good as well. The action was good. The Punk/Laurinaitis interaction at the beginning was fun. Laurinaitis is good in his role as the heel authority figure. The continued push of young talent like Wade Barrett and Cody Rhodes is great. Of course, there will be talk about that YouTube video that I linked above. I'm saying Chris Jericho. It seems to early for The Undertaker. The last segment just seemed pointless and a way to get John Cena on TV. It didn't do anything. I'm still giving the show a 7. It was an 8 before the Cena segment.

NFL Review/Picks up tomorrow.

And remember kids, if your 1st grade teacher laughs at you for wanting to be a pro wrestler, you have C.M. Punk's permission to knee them in the face.

Until Next Time,
Justin C
Follow Me On Twitter @JCWonka

WWE Survivor Series Review

Last night was a night we never thought we would see again. For the first time in 7 years, The Rock returned to a WWE ring. Was it worth it? Lets find out.

First let me say that I watched this show at a Buffalo Wild Wings. If you're a wrestling fan who wants to watch a wrestling show, then this is a fun place to go. The food and drinks are a bit expensive, but it was a fun atmosphere. There were people cheering during the entire event. People even had their laptops out during the show. Yours truly was not that nerdy and did not bring his trusty laptop with him. But if you have a Buffalo Wild Wings in your area, I would recommend giving it a try. Just be prepared to shell out about $30 or so for your food and drinks at the end of the night.

John Laurinaitis started the show by welcoming everyone to Survivor Series. I thought this would lead to more of a presence for Laurinaitis during the show, but it never happened.

Dolph Ziggler defeated John Morrison to retain the United States Championship: **1/4
In the face of loud Zack Ryder chants, these two put on a really fun opening match. I can't continue to praise Ziggler enough. Ziggler continues to improve every night in the ring. Morrison was no bum in this match either. The two hit on enough flashy offensive moves in this match to quell some of the Ryder chants at times. Vickie got tossed from ringside about half way through the match when the referee caught her putting Dolph Ziggler's foot on the rope after a John Morrison pin attempt. The end came with Morrison attempting Starship Pain, but Dolph put his knees up to block it. He then connected on the ZigZag to retain the U.S. Title. Afterwards, Zack Ryder came out and beatdown Dolph. I commend Ziggler and Morrison for putting on a good match when they knew the crowd really wanted Zack Ryder. Ziggler seems destined for a main event push once he loses the U.S. Title, and I for one would love to see a program with Ziggler and Punk. Morrison continues to be a useful mid-card talent who can pop a crowd with his offense. But his potential time at the top has come and gone.

Beth Phoenix defeated Eve to retain the Divas Championship: *
I didn't know why, but to me Eve seemed a bit off during the match. Almost as if she was on something. I especially noticed it during her ring entrance. But this match wasn't anything special, except for Beth hitting the GlamSlam from the top rope for the win. That was a fun spot. I don't know what happens with Beth next. Probably back to Kelly Kelly.

David Otunga told C.M. Punk that John Laurinaitis wanted Punk to apologize to Michael Cole for his attack from RAW. Punk said he'd think about doing it after he won the WWE Championship later.

Cut to The Rock backstage. He talked about his memories from Madison Square Garden, from watching his grandfather and father wrestle to his debut at MSG in 1996 when he one of the worst haircuts and goofiest outfits of all time. He said that night would go down in history as the beginning of an odyssey. He ran through all of his catchphrases and accomplishments before saying that most of all, on that night, he became the People's Champion. Rock ripped on Miz and Truth for a bit before turning his attention to John Cena. Rock said he was going to shove a bolt of lightning up John Cena's ovulating lady parts, which started a "Lady Parts" chant. Rock went on to sing "New York, New York" before finishing with his signature "If ya smelllll, what The Rock, is cookin!" Classic Rock promo to get the crowd hyped up for his appearance later. I think he did a better job here with this promo then he did with his promo at Wrestlemania. Rock continues to show that he can keep the crowd in the palm of his hand at basically play with them like puppets.

Team Barrett defeated Team Orton in a Traditional 5-on-5 Elimination Match: **1/2
I had high hopes for this match. I thought it would be a great wrestling match. It wasn't bad, but it didn't live up to my expectations as well. The match just never seemed to be able to get out of second gear. And of course, I'm sure just like everyone else, you thought Randy Orton was going to overcome the 3-on-1 odds and win the match. We all know Orton was going to eliminate the Mexican janitor Hunico. He did with a nice RKO. But surprisingly, Wade Barrett hit Wasteland on Orton after a distraction from Cody Rhodes to pick up the win. Wade Barrett and Cody Rhodes were the sole survivors. This was a smart booking move by the WWE. They seem to be firmly behind Barrett now. That's a great sign. It was also great to see Cody Rhodes cheered by the MSG crowd. It's clear the fans like what he's doing and hopefully that leads to a bigger push for him down the line. It was nice to see Cody eliminate Mason Ryan. It may not have been the match of the night, but it was the smartest booking of the night. Another big story coming out of this match was the injury suffered to Sin Cara, who ruptured his patella tendon. That will keep him out a very long time, which means he will miss Wrestlemania. Another setback for Cara.

Backstage, John Laurinaitis told Alberto del Rio he needs to take his WWE Title match with C.M. Punk more seriously. ADR told him that he was, and he wasn't going to lose to someone who should be camped out on Wall Street. Laurnaitis began texting. I hope he has an unlimited plan.

Big Show defeated Mark Henry via DQ; Mark Henry retains the World Heavyweight Title: *1/4
Lots of slow movement in this match. Henry slammed Big Show through the ringside barricade, but Show got back in the ring before the 10 count. Show later super kicked Henry, which got a HBK chant going. Show then went to the top rope and hit an elbow drop, which got a "Randy Savage" chant going. Henry kicked out, then low blow kicked Henry for a DQ finish. After the match, Show put the chair on Henry's leg and jumped on it. I didn't get that. Are they writing off Henry? Why if so? And if you saw my tweet last night, you knew once again that I was upset with the finish. Big Show doesn't need to be protected still. You could argue the guy shouldn't even be wrestling anymore. Mark Henry's push continues to take a nose dive, and all of his mystique seems to be gone. Stupid booking with another memorable spot.

Backstage Barrett was interviewed before Miz and Truth interrupted him. Miz said that the problem is that the focus is everywhere but them. Well Miz, that's because you've been booked like shit. R-Truth said they should have billboards in Time Square. He said he talked to pigeons on the billboard today. And you know what they said? Nothing. Because pigeons don't talk. They crap, and tonight, crap gets got. That was pretty funny.

C.M. Punk defeated Alberto del Rio to Win the WWE Championship: ***1/2
The feud that I thought was the best built program heading into the PPV delivered with the best match of the night. Punk had his own personal ring announcer, Howard Finkel. The Fink got a good pop, as did Punk. The crowd was huge behind him. You could argue that the crowd was more behind him than Rock. This was a good wrestling match from start to finish. Del Rio worked over Punk's arm the majority of the match, and Punk did a good job selling it. Punk ducked out of the way of a Del Rio charge and ADR landed hard on the floor. ADR does that move a lot, and one of these days he's going to get hurt doing it. Punk fought back and went for a GTS, but ADR countered with knees to the back, then an enziguri to the head. Punk ducked a Del Rio charge then hit the Top Rope Elbow, which brought out another Randy Savage chant. Punk went for another GTS, but after a couple of back-and-forth counters, ADR locked in the Cross Armbreaker. Punk got his feet to the ropes. ADR shoved Punk into Ricardo on the apron. ADR rolled up Punk for two. Punk hit a kick to the head which got a two, then locked in the Anaconda Vice. Del Rio eventually tapped. C.M. Punk celebrated by jumping into the crowd.

I want to say the Title change happened to early. I want to say Alberto del Rio deserved a longer Title reign. But I can't. The MSG crowd made that moment 100x better. I said in my preview that I would prefer a long burn to Punk's next WWE Title win. Maybe win the Royal Rumble then go to Wrestlemania. But the WWE decided to pull the trigger while it was hot for C.M. Punk, and I can't fault them for that. Now lets see if Punk can get an extended Title reign out of it. It still seems like the WWE has a thing for hot-shotting the WWE Title. But they can't do that with Punk, not with the amount he is over. ADR never got over as WWE Champion. I think the WWE missed the boat on him early in 2011. Punk winning and celebrating with a hot crowd in MSG made the moment very memorable.

The Rock and John Cena defeated Miz and R-Truth: ***
As the crowd said during the match to The Rock, "You still got it." Rock dominated bot Miz and R-Truth early. Cena eventually tagged in, and the crowd chanted at him "You still suck." Ha. Miz and R-Truth eventually gained control over Cena for a bit. Cena fought back and eventually made the hot tag to The Rock. Rock took out Truth, then locked in the Sharpshooter on Miz. Truth broke it up, but Cena tacked him to the outside. Miz ran right into a Spinebuster, then ate a People's Elbow. Rock pinned Miz for the win.

I didn't go over the action much here because it was simple. Rock dominated early, tagged in Cena, Miz & R-Truth worked over Cena, Cena made the hot tag to Rock, then Rock got the win. I don't have a problem with that, but that is how it went down. Rock didn't miss a beat in the ring. He barely sold during the match. Had Miz and R-Truth been built up as credible threats, then maybe the crowd would have cared about the end result more. But it was a fun match regardless, and it was great to see Rock back in the ring. Afterwards, Rock hit a Rock Bottom on Cena. My only problem with this is that there was no real storyline advancement for Rock and Cena. They just tried to one up each other the whole time. With Rock about to disappear again, it will be interesting to see what happened with Cena.

I thought this was a good PPV. The opener was solid, the 5-on-5 was good, the WWE Title match was excellent, and the tag match was fun. Lots of solid action throughout. Some good storyline advancement and booking decisions with Wade Barrett, Dolph Ziggler, and C.M. Punk, but some questionable decisions as well with the likes of Big Show/Mark Henry, and no advancement in the Rock/Cena story. The MSG crowd was great and made the show feel that much more special. Overall, I'd give the show a 7.5.

2011 WWE PPV Rankings
1. Money in the Bank

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

Where Do We Go From Here
The next PPV is Tables, Ladders, and Chairs in a little less than a month. I think it would look like this:
WWE Title Ladder Match: C.M. Punk vs Alberto del Rio
World Title Chairs Match: Mark Henry vs Big Show
Tables Match: John Cena vs Miz & R-Truth
U.S. Title Ladder Match: Dolph Ziggler vs John Morrison vs Zack Ryder
Tag Team Table Match: Randy Orton & Sheamus vs Wade Barrett & Cody Rhodes
It is tough to predict this card, especially because you don't know what they are going to do with John Cena now that The Rock is gone for the next few months. My guess is that he sticks with Miz and R-Truth for another couple months, then tries to get the WWE Title back in an effort to make his match with Rock at Wrestlemania for the WWE Title.
That's it for me this morning. RAW Review later tonight, NFL Review tomorrow.
Until Next Time,
Justin C
Follow Me On Twitter @JCWonka

Saturday, November 19, 2011

WWE Survivor Series Preview

Never before, never again. The Rock and John Cena team up for the first time ever this Sunday, and I don't even know if I care about it. I will explain that later in the match preview.

I think other than that, everything else has been built pretty well heading into the PPV. The WWE went full blown into the C.M. Punk/Alberto del Rio feud the last couple weeks. Thanks to the Super Show aspect to RAW, they have built the 5-on-5 match really well. Mark Henry and Big Show won't be able to top what happened at Vengeance, but at least there is intrigue to see if they can and what they will try. And of course there is the puzzling situation that is the U.S. Title match.

Survivor Series used to be fun because of the 5-on-5 matches, but those are a thing of the past. I would have much rather preferred three 4-on-4 elimination matches. More guys would get on the show and more solid action would take place. Three of those matches, a Divas match, and the WWE and World Title matches would be perfect. Hell, I think the Rock match could have been made a 4-on-4 match and it would have been built better. That way, you could get more people involved than just Cena, Miz, and R-Truth before having The Rock show up on the RAW before the PPV.

Lets get into the Preview!

Divas Championship: Beth Phoenix (c) vs Eve

A lot of this feud has been built through WWE.com. It is a smart idea for the WWE to get more attention to their web site, but I don't like the idea of doing it with the Divas. They don't attract that many viewers. But on the site, Beth and Natalya stole Eve's ring gear. But then Eve and Kelly Kelly, with the help of Alicia Fox, stole the Sister of Salvation's rental car. Isn't that grand theft auto? Shouldn't the three of them have been arrested? Eve won a Divas battle royal on Halloween to win this Title shot, I didn't even remember that until we were reminded on this past week's RAW. I don't think Eve is winning here. My guess is that Beth holds on to the Title until Kharma comes back. She might lose it once more for a month or so, but that won't happen here. Beth wins.

WINNER: Beth Phoenix

United States Championship: Dolph Ziggler (c) vs John Morrison

So where's Zack Ryder? Interim RAW GM John Laurinaitis, as stated exclusively on WWE.com, has not acknowledged Ryder's petition for a U.S. Title Shot yet and instead announced that John Morrison would be getting a shot at Dolph Ziggler this Sunday. Morrison had been on a long losing streak until he beat Ziggler two weeks ago on RAW. By WWE logic, that means he gets a United States Title shot. Now don't get me wrong, I think these two can put on a great match. Ziggler is becoming great in the ring and Morrison is full of flash and potential. Ziggler has improved by leaps and bounds the last two months. He's a future star for the WWE as long as they don't screw it up, like they did with John Morrison. Of course Ziggler doesn't have the backstage problems Morrison has as far as we know.

Then of course there is the case of Zack Ryder. With Survivor Series being held in New York City, not far from Ryder's home of Long Island, you can expect there to be loud and long chants for Ryder. How these two put on a match without that being a distraction is beyond me. I don't know what the WWE was thinking when they booked this match, unless they plan on putting Ryder in the match before hand. I think they will end up doing that if they are smart. More props to Ziggler for pulling double duty on PPV again. He's that good that it isn't a problem. Like I said, I think Ryder ends up getting put in the match and wins the Title.

WINNER: Zack Ryder

Team Orton vs Team Barrett: 5-on-5 Elimination Match

Lots of young potential in this match, a couple veterans, and Mason Ryan. Should be a good 5-on-5 match. Of course I'm sure Mason Ryan wouldn't be in this match if Evan Bourne was still around. Thanks a lot, Evan. On the face side, Sheamus continues to get a big push on Smackdown as he continues his dominating performances. Mason Ryan is getting a push on RAW despite not having a lick of talent to speak of. Ryan is just so bad and awkward in the ring that the fans really don't get behind him, and you can bet the Madison Square Garden crowd will let him know it. We will see how long it takes before Sin Cara botches something. Kofi Kingston is just waiting for Evan Bourne to comeback so he can be relevant again. And Randy Orton has been very good since shifting away from the World Title picture, having two good matches with Cody Rhodes and Wade Barrett.

On the heel side, Hunico looks like a Mexican gangster straight out of a prison movie. But he also comes off as a night janitor to me too. Don't know why. You wouldn't even think Jack Swagger was a former World Champ with the way he jobs nowadays. Dolph Ziggler is one of the best workers in the WWE right now. Cody Rhodes lost his mask and his awesome music, but he is much more focused after the beatdown he received from Randy Orton. And Wade Barrett is finally getting a proper push after he beat Randy Orton and Sheamus in recent weeks, even if it was with the help of some of his fellow heels.

So who wins? The faces looked strong on RAW and Smackdown. That usually means the heels come out on top at the PPV, but does the WWE want Orton or Sheamus to take the pinfall? Wade Barrett has been getting a strong push as well, so does the WWE want him losing? There are lots of questions and moving parts in this match. Lets get the simple out of the way: Kofi, Sin Cara, and Mason Ryan won't survive. Neither will Jack Swagger or Hunico. That leaves us with Orton/Sheamus vs Barrett/Rhodes/Ziggler. Rhodes gets dumped with an RKO. Vickie distracts Sheamus long enough to let Barrett hit Wasteland to eliminate Sheamus. Ziggler eats an RKO, then Barrett catches Orton with a roll-up for the win.

WINNER: Team Barrett

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

We all know what happened the last time these two guys faced each other. We've seen it on WWE TV numerous times by now. It was the WWE's way of protecting the Big Show and Mark Henry, even though I don't think Show needs to be protected at this point. No one will think less of Big Show if he loses a match. Henry refused to give Show a re-match at first, but Smackdown GM Teddy Long disagreed with Henry, and granted Show another World Title match.

These two have been exchanging promos and trash talking on Smackdowns in recent weeks. Mark Henry has pretty much had his way with Daniel Bryan over the last few weeks. I find it interesting that they are involving Bryan in this feud. I think they are trying to tease the idea of a Bryan cash in at Survivor Series with the New York crowd. I don't think it will happen, but it would not surprise me in the slightest if Bryan showed up at ringside during the match or after.

I think some of Mark Henry's mystique has vanished a bit in this program. Henry's dominant performances haven't seemed that good anymore. I really hope the WWE doesn't feel the need to protect Big Show again with some cop out finish. This match should end in one way and one way only. Mark Henry defeats Big Show after delivering his third World's Strongest Slam in the match and picks up the win. Henry moves on to a new opponent for TLC.

WINNER: Mark Henry

WWE Championship: Alberto del Rio (c) vs C.M. Punk

I think this is the best program the WWE has built heading into Sunday. They took something I wasn't really interested in at the start and made me actually care about it. So good job to them. The seeds for this feud were planted back at Survivor Series. After C.M. Punk won the WWE Championship, he was attacked by Kevin Nash. Alberto del Rio took advantage, cashed in his Money in the Bank contract, and won the WWE Title. Then at Hell in A Cell, Alberto del Rio attacked C.M. Punk with a lead pipe and pinned him to regain the WWE Title in a Triple Threat match that also involved John Cena.

On RAW a few weeks ago C.M. Punk told Del Rio that he never gave him his rematch for the WWE Title. After a couple of weeks of stalling by GM John Laurinaitis he finally told Punk he could hve his WWE Title match, if ADR agreed to it. After Punk slapped on the Anaconda Vice to ADR, he agreed. The next week saw Punk calling out ADR for being one dimensional. This lead to a couple of backstage beatdowns by ADR on Punk. Punk was pinned by ADR on RAW this past Monday.

Usually if someone takes the fall on the TV show before a PPV, that means he will win. But I don't necessarily know if that will be the case for Punk. The MSG crowd will definitely be behind Punk. He might get the second biggest pop of the night behind The Rock. The WWE seems poised to eventually give the Title to Punk as his merchandise sales are bringing in the WWE a pretty little penny. Punk's time will come, but I don't think the WWE will pull the trigger on him too quickly. Another Title change would just be meaningless. ADR has held the Title for barely over a month. He deserves an extended reign. C.M. Punk said his goal is to make the WWE Title mean something again. Punk can easily do that by not winning the Title and keep chasing after it, showing a desire to win it and bring it back to credibility. I think it would be great if the WWE could hold off until Wrestlemania for Punk's win, maybe even have him win the Royal Rumble. But I don't think they wait. But Punk doesn't win at Survivor Series. Del Rio retains with the help of some shenanigans by Ricardo Rodriguez and John Laurinaits.

WINNER: Alberto del Rio

John Cena & The Rock vs Miz & R-Truth

This is the selling point of the PPV. The Rock returns to action for the first time since 2004. It is also the same place where his last match took place, Madison Square Garden. And of course, The Rock is teaming with the one man that he can't stand. It is also the man he is facing at Wrestlemania 28, John Cena. RAW GM John Laurinaitis told Cena he could pick anyone to be his partner at Survivor Series, so Cena naturally decided to pick The Rock. Cena's logic for that is beyond stupid. He trusts the man he's facing at Wrestlemania next year? Dumb. The Rock accepted, saying that it is what the people want. Of course, it really has to do with the bling bling going into his pocket. But we can't mention that.

Everyone is talking about the dynamic of Cena and Rock teaming together. Can they co-exist? Will their egos get in each others way? Will one of them try to steal the spotlight? You could always throw out the possibility of a heel turn, but there's no way the MSG crowd boos Rock and cheers Cena. And Cena isn't turning heel. This past week's RAW ended with Rock getting the spotlight, hitting two successful Rock Bottoms before leaving the ring. Obviously, Cena would like to end the PPV on top. That "This Is Your Life" segment with Mick Foley was brutal and hard to watch. Not even Mick Foley could get the fans to cheer Cena. At this point I don't think Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera could get the MSG crowd to cheer Cena. It will be interesting to see how this dynamic duo performs.

Wait, what? You mean The Rock and John Cena are facing another tag team at Survivor Series? I thought they were just going to try and out perform each other with various flashy moves in the ring. You wouldn't know that the Miz and R-Truth are even involved in this match. Outside of one week, they have always ended up on their backs. John Cena did it single-handedly without The Rock, then The Rock did it with the help of John Cena. The WWE has completely screwed up the booking to this program. Miz and R-Truth should have gotten the better of Cena pretty much every week leading up to Survivor Series. Then, when The Rock showed up Monday, there should have been a mis-communication between Rock and Cena which caused Miz and R-Truth to gain the upper hand on them. That way, Miz and R-Truth look like threats heading into the PPV. But instead they are complete afterthoughts in the match, and pretty much have zero chance of winning. Why would fans care if they win? What would be the point now? Even if they won, they wouldn't "make a name for themselves" because they have already been booked so poorly.

This match ends simple. R-Truth eats an Attitude Adjustment from Cena after all four men enter end up in the ring at the same time. Rock connects with the People's Elbow then pins Truth for the win. After the match Miz tries to attack but meets the same fate. Then, Rock hits the Rock Bottom on John Cena, then another People' Elbow. The show ends with Rock standing tall in the ring, which is what the WWE exactly doesn't need at this point: someone who isn't a full time performer ending a PPV on top.

WINNERS: The Rock and John Cena

I will be watching the show at a Buffalo Wild Wings. No live Review for me, I probably will have a recap of the show up sometime Monday afternoon.

Until Next Time,
Justin C
Follow Me On Twitter @JCWonka

Thursday, November 17, 2011

NFL Week 11 Picks

NFL Picks Time! Woo Woo Woo, You Know It!

Last Week's Record: 7-9 YUCK!
Year to Date Record: 91-55

New York Jets vs Denver Broncos
Just when it looks like the Jets are about to become the team to beat in the AFC East they go and lay an egg against the Patriots. It looked like the same Jets team I thought had problems earlier in the year. Mark Sanchez struggling, the run game not going, and the defense looking confused a bit at times. Now the Jets have to go to Denver to face a Broncos team that has won three of their last four games. They beat the Chiefs by only completing two passes, and only attempting eight! No matter how much we try to deny it, Tim Tebow has brought new life to this Broncos team. Now, I don't think the Broncos can beat the Jets throwing only eight passes and running 54 times. But the Jets may have problems stopping the Broncos new option offense on such a short week. But if there is one guy that can do it, it may be Rex Ryan. I think this game is close, and the Broncos may very well pull off the upset. But the Jets have more talent and win in a very close affair.

NY Jets 20  Denver 16

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Green Bay Packers
And the Packers just keep rolling rolling rolling. They just swept the Vikings under the rug on Monday night. That passing offense may be one of the better passing attacks in the league history. Aaron Rodgers is winning the MVP award, end of story. There are some other nice stories but it is Rodgers award to lose. The Packers still have some flaws in their pass defense, but their front seven makes up for it with a great attack. Can they go undefeated? Absolutely. In order for a team to beat them, they need a great front seven that can pressure Rodgers. Unfortunately for Tampa Bay, they do not have that. Tampa looked terrible in their loss to Houston last week. It's frightening to see how much the offense has regressed this year. And the defense was exposed big time by Houston. I would expect Green Bay to do much of the same to Tampa. They will shut down LaGarrette Blount and force Josh Freeman to beat them, which is not happening. Packers win.

Green Bay 34  Tampa Bay 21

Carolina Panthers vs Detroit Lions
Both of these teams are coming off losses they would like to forget. I thought the Panthers would be a good second half spoiler, but the Titans may have demoralized them last week. They came up with a great defensive strategy that shut down Cam Newton. The Panthers special teams was also burned big time for a couple of plays. The Lions, meanwhile, were absolutely trounced by the Bears in Chicago. Matthew Stafford can't throw the ball 60+ times and be expected to win. The lack of a running game for the Lions is disturbing. They really miss Jahvid Best, and he may not be back for the rest of the year. That could hurt the Lions when it comes to their playoff chances. Their secondary is also weak and that could be a problem this week. Steve Smith could be in line for a big game. The Panthers could easily walk into Detroit and steal one, but I think the Lions are a better team and they will win a close one.

Detroit 28  Carolina 23

Jacksonville Jaguars vs Cleveland Browns
This may be a game between the two worst offenses in the NFL. Neither team seems able to eclipse the 24 point mark this year. Blaine Gabbert has shown some signs of improvement the last few games, but he still is just an average QB at best for Jacksonville. The Browns can't get anything going at all on offense. They were only able to score 12 points last week against St. Louis. It's almost like they are afraid to go into the end zone. Both teams have some strengths on defense. Jacksonville can stop the run, whereas Cleveland can stop the pass. But Cleveland has problems stopping the run, so Maurice Jones-Drew should have a nice game. Jacksonville wins a game no one watches.

Jacksonville 19  Cleveland 9

Oakland Raiders vs Minnesota Vikings
In the weekly "Favorite to Win the AFC West" contest, Oakland has taken a one game lead over everyone else in the division. Carson Palmer finally looks comfortable under center. He should look more comfortable here as the Vikings have one of the worst pass defenses in the league, and they just lost CB Antoine Winfield for the year with a broken collarbone. Darren McFadden is likely to miss this game, but the Raiders shouldn't miss a beat with Michael Bush, who had a breakout game last week. The Vikings struggled Monday night against the Packers. Hopefully it wasn't too deflating for them. Christian Ponder was pressured a lot by the Packers defense. Expect another game with a heavy dose of Adrian Peterson from the Vikings. The Vikings will improve eventually, but the Raiders are the better team right now and are playing the better football. Carson Palmer has a big game and the Raiders roll.

Oakland 27  Minnesota 17

Buffalo Bills vs Miami Dolphins
Where have everyone's Lovable Bills gone. After scoring 30 points with ease their first few games, the Bills have scored a combined 18 points in their last two outings. They have steered away from handing off the ball to Fred Jackson, which is what they should be doing more often. The loss of Center Eric Wood for the year will hurt, as he was arguably their best offensive linemen. The defense, especially the secondary, has also been pushed around the last few weeks. Tony Romo was nearly perfect against them. While the Bills have lost two in a row, the Dolphins have won two in a row. Reggie Bush has looked like a feature back these last two games. Matt Moore looks comfortable in the pocket. The defense is also playing much better. A few weeks ago this looked like a very winnable game for the Bills. Now? It could be much worse. If Brandon Marshall keeps up his hot play, it could mean trouble for the Bills. But the Bills are the more talented team, and they should pull out a close victory here.

Buffalo 28  Miami 24

Dallas Cowboys vs Washington Redskins
The Cowboys looked like the team everyone thinks they are last week. Tony Romo looked like Aaron Rodgers, and DeMarco Murray continues to run all over any defense he faces. And the defense looks like they have finally come around after getting smoked by the Eagles a few weeks ago. The Cowboys have a very soft schedule left. Their only tough games are against the Giants. The Redskins, well, who knows. They probably hope that the Dolphins and Seahawks continue to win so they can get a higher pick the Draft next year. It is pretty clear Mike Shanahan doesn't care for either Rex Grossman or John Beck. Grossman started last week and looked almost as bad as Beck did. The offense is right up there with the Jaguars and Browns as far as bad offenses go. How did they win 3 games? They don't win this one. The Cowboys walk all over the Redskins.

Dallas 34  Washington 17

Cincinnati Bengals vs Baltimore Ravens
Another huge AFC North showdown. The Bengals were brought back down to earth a bit last week with their home loss to Pittsburgh. They competed the whole game which was a good sign. Andy Dalton made a couple rookie mistakes, including that interception had the end of the game. The Bengals may be without WR AJ. Green for this game. That would be a huge loss for the Bengals, as it takes away their main offensive threat. The Bengals also lost CB Leon Hall for the rest of the year with a torn ACL. That's a big loss for a good Bengals defense. Hall was their best corner, and now teams may be able to throw on them more often. The bad Ravens showed up again last week, getting beat by the Seahawks in Seattle. How do you only give Ray Rice five carries? He is your best offensive weapon, he should be touching the ball 20+ times a game. Joe Flacco shouldn't carry your offense, Ray Rice should. The Ravens defense should stack the box and force Dalton to beat them. I think the Ravens will re-focus on Ray Rice here. If they don't, the Ravens may start to question the thinking of offensive coordinator Cam Cameron. Ravens in another close one.

Baltimore 21  Cincinnati 20

Arizona Cardinals vs San Francisco 49ers
Don't look now, but the Cardinals have won two in a row with John Skelton at QB. He even threw for 3 touchdowns last week against a pretty good Eagles secondary. Do they even go back to Kolb when he gets healthy? The Cardinals suspect defense also shut down Mike Vick last week. If they can shut down Vick, can they do the same to Alex Smith? The 49ers have won eight in a row and seem poised to lock up the NFC West by the beginning of December. Frank Gore may sit out this game, but they wouldn't drop too far off with Kendall Hunter in the backfield. Hunter already proved he can handle the workload in the backfield. Expect Smith to look for Vernon Davis a lot in this game. The 49ers defense shouldn't have a problem shutting down an injured Beanie Wells, but Larry Fitzgerald may have a good game with the 49ers secondary playing just average. I like the 49ers here to get to 9-1.

San Francisco 23  Arizona 17

Seattle Seahawks vs St. Louis Rams
The Seahawks shocked everyone last week with an upset of the Ravens. Marshawn Lynch is finally running like the feature running back everyone thought he could be when he was traded to Seattle. Lynch's moves to get the first down to seal the game for Baltimore were great. Expect another heavy dose of Lynch from the Seahawks in this game. Seattle may be without WRs Sidney Rice and Doug Baldwin, as both men suffered concussions last week. The Rams picked up an ugly road win last week at Seattle. The Sam Bradford-Brandon Lloyd connection looks like it could be a good one in the future. The Rams should do everything they can to sign Lloyd in the off-season. Those two combined with Steven Jackson could form a nice trio for the Rams. The Rams defense has stepped up its game recently, so expect them to do everything they can to shut down Lynch and make Tavaris Jackson beat them. I like the Rams to win here. They're finally getting healthy on offense.

St. Louis 30  Seattle 20

Tennessee Titans vs Atlanta Falcons
This may actually be the biggest game of the week as far as playoff implications go. Both of these teams are 5-4 and hanging on to their wild card lives. The Falcons are coming off an OT loss to New Orleans which saw them go for a 4th and 1 at their own 29 and not convert. I defended Mike Smith and still do, but a lot of people are questioning that decision. The Falcons are still a good team. They have the talent to make the playoffs, but they need to figure out who the primary threat is on offense and focus on that. This game, the Falcons should focus on their passing attack and take advantage of a weak Tennessee secondary. The Titans keep winning and sticking around in the playoff race despite no one talking about them. Chris Johnson has played surprisingly well the last couple games, but he faces a stiff test here in the Falcons front seven. And if that front seven can pressure Matt Hasselbeck it could be a long day for the Titans offense. I think the Falcons are the better team and they pull out the win here.

Atlanta 27  Tennessee 21

San Diego Chargers vs Chicago Bears
Talk about two teams heading in opposite directions. Lets start with the Chargers, losers of four straight after a hot 4-1 start. The Kansas City debacle may comeback to be the turning point of the season. Or you could go back to the week before where the Chargers lost a double digit second half lead against the Jets. Philip Rivers isn't the same Philip Rivers of recent years. Sure he's putting up big stats, but he's also making some bad throws and questionable decisions. The defense is also having problems stopping anything through the air, and the run defense was torched by Michael Bush last week. The Bears, meanwhile, have won four in a row and have looked like the same team that won the NFC North last year. Jay Cutler is getting time to throw and Matt Forte is arguably the best running back in the league this year. And Devin Hester is a serious threat on special teams. And with the problems the Chargers have on special teams, they may find it best to just punt away from Hester in this one. The Bears front seven will pressure Rivers and force him into the same mistakes he's been making. Bears win in a high scoring affair.

Chicago 35  San Diego 30

Philadelphia Eagles vs New York Giants
The Eagles are the drama darlings of the NFL. Last week DeSean Jackson was benched for missing a team meeting, and the offense struggled without the threat of his big play ability. Then Mike Vick suffered broken ribs during the game. When it happened remains a question we probably won't ever find out. And then there is the defense. The Big $$$ secondary was burned by a QB named John Skelton. This team may have packed it in already for all we know. The players may cost Andy Reid his job. The Giants lost on the road last week, starting their tough stretch 1-1. They hung around and were driving late but they couldn't find a way to get into the end zone. Eli Manning looks good when he has all of his weapons at his disposal. They held San Francisco in check early, but couldn't keep them contained the whole game. This is a big game for the Giants and a needed win. They have New Orleans and Green Bay back to back coming up, a loss here would hurt their division chances. But the Giants are the more complete team, are in better shape mentally, and have already beat Philadelphia in Philly. And with Mike Vick not likely to play, the Giants should roll rather easily here.

NY Giants 30  Philadelphia 17

Kansas City Chiefs vs New England Patriots
A few weeks ago this game looked promising after Kansas City won three straight and looked like a good team on offense again. But the last two games? They scored a combined 13 points and look like the same bad team that started the season. And now they lost Matt Cassel for likely the rest of the year with a hand injury. The defense got shredded by the Tim Tebow option. They won't have to worry about that this week, as Tom Brady will just throw the ball at will on them. The Patriots once again looked like the favorite in the AFC East last week against the Jets. They still don't have much of a running game to speak of, which could hurt later on. The defense looked improved last week and will gain more confidence this week playing a bad Chiefs offense. No reason to think the Patriots won't role here.

New England 41  Kansas City 17

My Vegas $$$ Picks
Last Week's Record: 1-3
Year to Date Record: 23-16-1

Buffalo +2 at Miami: Bills are the more talented team.

Chicago -3.5 vs San Diego: Bears are playing much better than the Chargers right now.

NY Giants -4 vs Philadelphia: No Vick pretty much means no chance for Philadelphia.

New England -15 vs Kansas City: Chiefs may not score 15 points.

Survivor Series Preview up probably early Saturday.

Until Next Time,
Justin C
Follow Me On Twitter @JCWonka