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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

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Eyes On NFL: AFC and NFC Championship

By @TrueGodImmortal


We have arrived. After a long and brutal season, there are only four teams left. There are only four. With that being said, the championship round is not quite what we expected it to be. Many expected a rematch between the Steelers and the Patriots, while logic would have told you to expect a NFC Title battle between the Saints and the Falcons, but... as I said last week, anything is possible and I am not at all shocked at what occurred here. The Eagles vs Vikings and the story of the season, the Jacksonville Jaguars will take on the favorite to win it all, the New England Patriots. With all of these things set in motion now, the Super Bowl is so close and after this weekend, there will be two teams left standing. The entire season, all the ups and downs, all the controversy, from the kneeling to the suspensions to the injuries, has led us to this point. Who will make it to the Super Bowl? Let's take a look.

*AFC Championship
New England Patriots vs Jacksonville Jaguars 



-I would be pretty stupid to bet against the Patriots here right? So, I won't.... HOWEVER, if I had to pick the team I want to see win this one, it's the Jaguars. They are similar to the Ravens in 2000, similar to the Broncos in 2016, in the sense that their defense has got them this far, and could take them to the Super Bowl. After the way they gave the Steelers hell, one would be a bit foolish to expect the Patriots to completely demolish this Jaguars defense, but anything is possible. I would expect to see the Patriots take some punishment and while they have the top tier offense this season, one has to wonder can they slow down the run game. The most important factor in this game? Blake Bortles. If Bortles can play like he did for that stretch previously in the season, and the Jaguars play their best defense of the season? An upset could happen. For now, I'll go with the safe bet, but I honestly think the Jaguars could pull it off.
Winner: Patriots

*NFC Championship
Philadelphia Eagles vs Minnesota Vikings 



-After watching the defensive showing from both of these teams, I am extremely excited to see where this goes. This could be a turning point for the NFC, or at least a moment in time that we won't forget. Case Keenum led his team to a huge shocker of a victory against the Saints and Nick Foles did just enough to get the Eagles to this point, so with these two teams just barely making it to the dance, the no. 1 and 2 seed in the NFC now have their date with destiny. I'm not 100% convinced that this game will be high scoring, but I do see the potential for it. If it turns into a shootout... which it likely won't but still, I would have to lean towards the Vikings. If it goes through the run game and defense, I would have to go for the Eagles. This is really a tough one to call and any result is one that's fine with me. HOWEVER, I think fate might be on the side of the Vikings so that they can be the first team to host the Super Bowl ever. The narrative fits perfectly for what the NFL needs in terms of revenue and attention. Still, I'll go with my gut, and lean towards the Eagles, as Nick Foles might do just enough to lead Philly to the Super Bowl. Patriots vs Eagles? I think so. I would rather the Jaguars vs Eagles however, but we shall see.
Winner: Eagles


-True 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

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EOTR Tag Team Tuesdays: 5 Classic RAW Tag Team Matches

By @TrueGodImmortal



Raw 25 is a week away and many of us are excited I'm sure. With that in mind, I wanted to briefly take a look at 5 matches that were classic during the history of RAW. RAW has had some amazing matches and the list is extensive, but these 5 choices are some of the absolute best. Let's get into it.

*TLC 4
(Kane vs Bubba Ray Dudley and Spike Dudley vs Christian and Chris Jericho vs Jeff Hardy and Rob Van Dam)



-When we look back at this match, there is a lot to discuss. For one, Kane was without his partner The Hurricane. Two, this match features three men who took part in the first three TLC matches, but with new partners. Three, this was a part of the Raw Roulette that went down, so this match was a special treat. The spots were well executed and the crowd was live for this one, as each team attempted to walk away with the RAW tag team championships, but only one man was left standing: Kane. That's right. TLC 4 ends with Kane defeating the other 3 teams to hold onto the tag titles. Of the era of RAW that many people disliked (2002-2003), this was a definite highlight.

*Owen Hart and British Bulldog vs Shawn Michaels and Stone Cold Steve Austin
(May 1997)



-This match is one of the greatest tag matches in the history of the show, but it is a stand-alone classic as well. Owen and Bulldog were the tag team champions and Austin and HBK were a makeshift team that many didn't expect to work well. This match took place on my birthday, and I remember watching this live. I was excited to see Austin and Shawn team up and what we would get is an amazing match between four men who were at the top of their game. The whole aspect of the Hart Foundation being involved and Bret Hart in the wheelchair during the match was great and the moment that HBK hit the Sweet Chin Music and the three count was made, the crowd erupted for a legendary RAW moment. The beginning, the end, and the aftermath of this match is truly classic.

*Stone Cold Steve Austin and Triple H vs Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit
(May 2001)



-One of the toughest matches to revisit for multiple reasons, this is the greatest match in RAW history IMO. It is not only the greatest match in RAW history, but in terms of tag team matches, it might be top 3 of all time. Benoit and Jericho were hitting their primes in the ring and Austin was in the middle of his greatest year in the ring while Triple H was still at the top of his game. Through 20 minutes of intense action, it seemed as if neither team would budge. Unfortunately, following Triple H suffering his quad injury, the match would end soon after, with Benoit and Jericho picking up the victory. Truthfully, I wish the Triple H injury never happened, as I believe we could have seen 2 to 3 more minutes of this legendary bout.

*Stone Cold Steve Austin And The Rock vs Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, and Hulk Hogan
(March 2002)



-The NWO was a force to be reckoned with. Austin and Rock had teamed before, but they had never seen a force like the NWO. With Nash, Hogan, and Hall going against Austin and Rock, two of the greatest ever were at a disadvantage, but they held their own for most of the match. The action was just electric, as seeing Hogan and Austin do battle, Rock and Nash, as well as Austin and Nash was a lot of fun and with Hogan vs Rock on the horizon, the finish would likely be tied into that match and sure enough, Hogan would pick up the 1-2-3 over Rock in this battle. This is still one of my favorite matches on RAW and a true dream match at that. 

*Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, and Edge vs Evolution
(August 2004)



-A slept on match (and I think the elimination match between the teams a few months prior was just as good), this showed the volatile battles that these men would have and how the end of Evolution was fast approaching. With Edge and Orton coming off their match for the IC Title, and Benoit getting ready for his battle at Summerslam with Orton, this match was intense and would set the tone for what was to come. From Flair and Benoit trading chops to Batista imposing his will and strength, as well as Jericho adding his element of speed and skill, this match had it all. Orton picks up the win for his team after the RKO on Benoit.


-True 

Monday, January 15, 2018

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Eyes On Royal Rumble: The 5 Worst Rumble Wins

By @TrueGodImmortal



The Royal Rumble is creeping up on us. It's just about two weeks away and of course, it would be Royal Rumble month without having a look at some of the horrible moments in the history of the show. Today, we take a look at the 5 worst Royal Rumble wins and why. You may not agree with some of these choices, but each pick is valid. Let's take a look at the 5 worst Rumble wins.

5. Alberto Del Rio 
Royal Rumble 2011



-This could have been ranked higher. It really could have. However, the fact that this is one of the final times that the WWE attempted to actually go out and put over an upcoming guy with a Rumble win has it right at the end of the list. The truth is, Del Rio wasn't that good at the time, but he had the momentum slowly starting to build. Despite this, Del Rio walked into the first ever 40 man Rumble match and won it. While I have some thoughts on that idea as a whole, Del Rio winning wasn't the right call. I would have preferred to see CM Punk win and move on to face John Cena or at least become a part of the WWE Title match after all of the attention he would receive due to the New Nexus. Still, whoever you would give the Rumble to, Del Rio had a very anti climatic win.

4. Roman Reigns
Royal Rumble 2015



-This would be at the very top if it wasn't for the fact that the top 3 are actually just a little worse. Reigns was not the guy. Shit, he still isn't. However, in the beginning, I don't think it was set to be that bad. I think many of us expected Reigns to get the win and while we weren't excited about that, the biggest thing that sticks out to me in this situation is the fact that the WWE attempted to pull out all of the stops for Reigns..... AND IT STILL DIDN'T WORK. That is probably the most surprising part of this. First, Daniel Bryan was coming back and essentially, he was seen as the biggest threat to Reigns winning and being the GUY that they were trying to force. So, with that, they would end up eliminating Bryan early while forcing Reigns over Kane and The Big Show to the boos of the crowd. Not even an appearance by The Rock to get him cheers worked and essentially backfired, as it should have. In reality, this was one of the most ridiculous scenes to watch in WWE history, as Reigns definitely didn't deserve the win or the amount of effort they put in to force it. This Rumble win has haunted Reigns ever since.

3.  John Cena
Royal Rumble 2013



-The truth is, Cena won in 2008 and I still don't know if that was the right idea. However, I can for sure say the idea to make him win in 2013 was the worst call possible. Honestly, I have no idea what the hell WWE was thinking in 2013.... or now for that matter, but the point still stands. Regardless, Cena winning the Rumble at a time when you could have given it to anyone else is criminal. The WWE roster wasn't stacked like you'd expect, and the worst part about that is the fact that they really had no one ready to take the next step due to investing way too much into Cena. No one wanted Cena vs Rock 2 and no one wanted to see Cena win the Rumble AGAIN, thus.... It shouldn't have happened. But, good old WWE booking.

2. Batista
Royal Rumble 2014



-Another example of Vince McMahon ruining what should have been and could have been. The story was perfectly set up. Bryan enters the Rumble, wins it, and the Corporation go out of their way to deprive him of the title shot. They could have went with Daniel Bryan to win like everyone wanted... yet for some reason, they decided to go an entirely different route. Vince wanted Batista vs Randy Orton which... I'm not quite sure why. Regardless, there was no Daniel Bryan, there was no one left in the final 4 that even made sense to utilize in this instance as a replacement for Batista. All in all, this is one of the most confusing decisions ever.

1. Vince McMahon
Royal Rumble 1999



-Do I even need to explain this one? I mean let's be serious here. Let's be serious. Vince didn't deserve to win anything, let alone the fucking Rumble. Why? What was the point? To stop Austin from winning the Rumble a third straight time even though he probably should have. I don't even need to go into detail about this. It was ill advised and one of the worst decisions I've ever witnessed in WWE history. I have nothing left to say here. It was essentially one of the worst moments in WWE PPV history and quite possibly the worst Rumble moment ever. It did make for some good comedy however, and there's the silver lining.


-True 

Sunday, January 14, 2018

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EOTR Match Of The Week: 1992 Royal Rumble Match

By @Phranchize19


Background
After an indecisive battle between Hulk Hogan and The Undertaker for the WWF title once again, the president of the WWF at the time decided to vacate the title. The winner of that year’s Royal Rumble would be crowned WWF Champion.



The Match
With a Royal Rumble match, it is tough to really point out what went on so I'll start with the big moments in the match. One, 
Randy Savage almost eliminating himself just to attack Jake Roberts was actually a fun moment and would seemingly set up their feud to continue. Another moment would be Roddy Piper coming out to attack a fatigued Ric Flair. Then, it was fun to see The Undertaker coming in and dominating, which would set him up for the future. Of course, the match was won by Ric Flair, who became the WWF Champion and gave the speech of a lifetime following the win.



Key Eliminations
-Ted Dibiase being tossed out first
-Undertaker being eliminated by Hulk Hogan
-Hogan eliminated two people in short order
-Hogan being eliminated by Sid
-Flair eliminating Sid with Hogan’s help
-Nikolai Volkoff being eliminated shortly after his arrival
-Bulldog eliminated after being in for a lengthy time period
-Ric Flair not only had the most eliminations in this match with 5 but he set the record (at the time) for the longest time in the Royal Rumble match with just over an hour.




Grade and Analysis
This match set history. It was great considering all the talent and Hall Of Fame guys involved. Flair’s performance was legendary as well as seeing how long Bulldog went. The continuation of the Sid and Hogan was the real story in the match as well as the end of the Savage vs Roberts rivalry. Hearing Heenan on commentary was hilarious as he rooted for Flair. Undertaker’s performance sort of stood out although I felt he could’ve stayed longer, especially considering the fact that Sid had not come out yet. All in all, if this isn’t the greatest Rumble in history, it’s very close to it. 
Rating: 10/10


-Phranchize 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

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Eyes On Royal Rumble: The 5 Greatest Rumble Wins

By @TrueGodImmortal


As the Royal Rumble nears, we decided to take a look back at the Rumble itself. One of the most important aspects of the PPV is the Rumble itself and today, we'll look back at some of the best wins in Rumble history. The wins that showcased someone going through strenuous conditions and competition to win the Rumble. Which 5 winners make the list? Let's take a look.

5. Chris Benoit
Royal Rumble 2004



-It is tough. You know, I know the argument against anything Benoit, but for me... I have to include this one. While it could have been a bit higher on the list, I think it fits in the top 5. Benoit was able to overcome 30 men in order to get his victory and punch his ticket to Wrestlemania. I was surprised at the time to see him actually go out and win this match, as Goldberg, Kurt Angle, and so many others were going to be a part of the Rumble. Benoit wins by eliminating Big Show and he heads to Mania for a title shot.

4. Triple H
Royal Rumble 2002



-This win wasn't as impressive as some of the others, but what makes it special to me is the fact that Triple H had just returned to the WWF and he was looking to redeem himself. With an injury that sidelined him for over 6 months, many wondered if Triple H was really ready to get back into it, but The Game stepped up and went through some heavy competition in the Rumble like Mr. Perfect, RVD, Booker T, Kurt Angle, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and more to walk away with the victory and a chance to get the WWF Title at Wrestlemania 18.

3. Shawn Michaels
1995 Royal Rumble
 



-This is my personal favorite Rumble win. Shawn was knocking on the door of stardom in the WWF and this match would be the one that opened up so many eyes. Coming into the Rumble as the no. 1 entrant, Shawn had some minor competition in the match, but to be the first man to last that long in the Rumble is special. He would enter as no. 1 while the British Bulldog would enter as no. 2 and they would end up as the final two wrestlers as well. Shawn would win and punch his ticket to Wrestlemania 11, making himself a main eventer in the process.

2. Stone Cold Steve Austin
2001 Royal Rumble
 



-While the 1997 and 1998 Royal Rumbles were great wins, this feels like the definitive win for Austin. After missing an entire year due to an injury, Austin returned with a vengeance and wanted to walk away with the victory. He had struggled for a month or so after his return, but this match felt like the one that would change his fortunes. He would be attacked by Triple H on his way to the ring, but still managed to get back and eliminate Kane to get the win. This is my favorite overall Rumble match and PPV, and I think this Austin win is one of the crowning achievements for his career and it would begin a journey that would culminate in a way we didn't see coming at the time.

1. Ric Flair
1992 Royal Rumble 



-This win is probably more infamous for the aftermath than the actual win. Flair went in and wrestled for nearly an hour against a number of big names in the first ever Rumble match that would be for the WWF Title. Did Flair have the stamina to endure the 29 other men including Randy Savage, Sid Justice, Hulk Hogan, and more? He did and he would end up walking away with the title and the victory, making himself an even bigger legend in the process. However, what put this win over the edge is the promo after the match as we were treated to one of the greatest promos in the history of wrestling. For that moment along with the win itself, Flair takes the no. 1 spot.


-True

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

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EOTR Tag Team Tuesdays: The Dudley Boyz vs Edge And Christian vs The Hardy Boyz

By @TrueGodImmortal


As the year 2000 began, the WWF Tag Team scene was amazing with three teams at the top of the ladder, figuratively and literally. After a tough ladder match between The Hardy Boyz and Edge & Christian at No Mercy 1999 and a big battle between The Dudley Boyz and The Hardy Boyz in a table match at Royal Rumble 2000, the road would lead to one road and one road only: A triple threat tag title match. As a result of those two previous matches, we would see these three teams embark on a journey that would lead them to four matches over a year's time, involving a ladder and sometimes, tables and chairs. Today, I wanted to take a look back at the feud between these three teams, but only the matches that feature all three teams and take place under special circumstances. Intrigued? You should be. Let's take a look.

*Wrestlemania 2000
Triple Threat Ladder Match 




-This is my favorite match between the three teams. Essentially, it set the tone for the future, as these teams put everything on the line to come away with the tag team titles. Originally billed as a ladder match, these teams would bring out the tables and chairs to make an impact and the result would turn out to be a true classic. What made this match so exciting was that it felt fresh, and there was no shortage of high impact moves throughout. While I was rooting for the Dudley Boyz to win, a precedent for their feud was set when Edge and Christian walked away with a victory and the titles draped over their shoulders. If I had to rate this match on a scale of 1 to 10, this gets no less than a 9 or 9.5. It's that good and really, without this match, TLC wouldn't actually exist.

*Summerslam 2000
TLC 1



-I am not the biggest fan of this match and I'll be honest. I think it's overrated by many because it's the original, but of the four matches I'll discuss here... It's my least favorite. This match managed to incorporate a few more elements that the first triple threat didn't have, including a huge Swanton Bomb from Jeff Hardy from the top of the ladder, but for the most part, this match didn't have the same fire as the original. Perhaps it was the fact that this match wasn't at Wrestlemania, but it just didn't have the big fight feel that their first encounter did. Still, I'm not mad at the action here, but at under 15 minutes, I can't help but think this match could have been given a bit more time to really flesh out. It was 8 minutes shorter than the first one, and perhaps that it is what it took down a notch to me. On the scale of 1 to 10, I would give this match a 7.5 or 8, as it was still good, but was missing what made the first an undisputed classic. Edge and Christian pull off yet another victory to make it two in a row.

*Wrestlemania X-Seven
TLC 2




-This has the same issue IMO that the first one had. It was too short. Don't get me wrong, this is better than TLC 1, but still doesn't have the vibe that you'd expect it to have. It is a good match and many people consider it a classic and I agree. It is a classic. It's a better match than the first TLC but not better than their initial match the year prior at Mania. However, what made me a fan of this one a bit more than the first TLC is that they managed to fit more into this match along with more interference and higher profile spots. Still, there was something about this match that felt important. It felt like the final chapter or the culmination of the feud and of course, as it was in the first two matches, Edge and Christian win with the help of Rhyno. On a scale of 1 to 10, I would give this an 8.5 or maybe a 9. If given more time, this would surpass the first contest between the three.

*Smackdown
TLC 3




-This was the last chapter. With Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho added as the fourth team, we got the first ever TLC match with four teams. This match was on par with the first TLC contest and while it wasn't better than the first triple threat match at Wrestlemania 2000, I think it was a bit better than the Summerslam 2000 first TLC encounter. What made this match a bit more exciting to me honestly is the inclusion of Benoit and Jericho as it gave their feud a bit more fire than it had prior. The three team feud was running its course and what better way to finish off their legendary battle than with Benoit and Jericho breaking the curse and winning, marking the first match that involved all three teams that Edge And Christian didn't win. This is a great match and I would rate it around an 8 or 8.5 and it was a great crowning moment for Benoit and Jericho and a silent, but powerful end to the best feud of the Attitude Era for tag teams.


-True