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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

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Eyes On NBA: Keys To Victory In The Finals

By @TrueGodImmortal



Let me say this to start this off: this is NOT an article predicting who will win the NBA Finals. I will not give a prediction. I will NOT say I think the Warriors could become the first team to sweep through the playoffs. I will NOT say I think that Steph Curry and Kevin Durant are due to have huge breakout series, and it will be a toss up between the two for Finals MVP. No, I will not say that if things don't run smoothly for the Warriors that the Cavs could win in 7 and Kyrie wins Finals MVP instead of LeBron. No, I will not say that it's possible for LeBron to average a 30 point triple double in the series and that he could get his 4th ring and Finals MVP in the process. No. That's not what I'm here to do (Dubs in 4, 5 at best if I had to choose, hypothetically speaking) at all. I'm here to provide insight for both teams on their keys to win this series. The third and heavily anticipated meeting between the two juggernauts has many wondering who will win this series. There's no possible suspensions, there are no flagrant fouls racking up and technical fouls racking, this is just exactly what we wanted. A healthy Cavs team. A healthy Warriors team. So who wins? Let's take a look at the keys to victory for each team, starting with Cleveland.


Keys To A Cleveland Victory 
The Cleveland Cavaliers are the best team in the Eastern Conference and the defending NBA Champions. They have the best player in the league in LeBron James, a sniper and great player in Kyrie Irving, and a comfortable power forward in Kevin Love. In addition to that, they have a 80 million dollar rebounder in Tristan Thompson, as well as J.R. Smith, a veteran like Richard Jefferson, and two former all stars off the bench in Kyle Korver and Deron Williams. On paper, this is almost an unbeatable lineup. When they were constructed this team back in January, on paper, they seemed like the proverbial favorites to win. Yet, for some reason, they are the underdogs in this series. Should they be? Actually, I don't think they should be. Let's take a look at the keys to a Cavs victory and a repeat championship run.


*LeBron James 
-LeBron has to play at an extremely great level in order to win the Cavs to a victory. He's the biggest key to a victory for them. Without Bron playing at his absolute best, the responsibility falls on the rest of the team and we saw how that's worked out in Game 3 of the Celtics series. The Warriors are a different animal than the Celtics and the Cavs need LeBron to be unstoppable. One has to wonder if fatigue will set in for him if they put Bron on KD, and what possible defensive stops could KD, Draymond, and Iguodala get on Bron. That is the biggest question for the Cavs, but we all expect LeBron to show up and have a very good Finals showing, as always really (except 2011). LeBron is essentially the main key, but of course, he's not the only one.


*Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love
-Lost in the narrative for Bron is that he has two multiple time All Stars who are more than willing to show up when needed. Kyrie is a star, Kevin Love is playing at the best level he's played since he's been in Cleveland, and everything is aligning right. If Love can play really good defense, if Kyrie can continue to score in bursts and make his amazing plays, and they can manage to be almost flawless against this top tier Warriors defense, the Cavs have a clear path to victory. Kyrie seems focused. Love seems focused. However, they both seemed focused before last year's series before they went down 3-1, so in addition to their focus, execution is key for them both and I don't doubt that Kyrie and Love are up to that challenge.

*The Bench Production 
-There isn't a single bench in the NBA that's as strong on paper as the Cavs bench. There is just one issue: their strength is offensive only. After bringing in Andrew Bogut for nothing, getting rid of Larry Sanders and Birdman Chris Andersen, they've found a rhythm with Kyle Korver and Deron Williams, two veterans who are making their first appearances in the NBA Finals. Iman Shumpert is another vital piece, as is Derrick Williams, Richard Jefferson, and Channing Frye. Truthfully, their bench won't get AS MUCH play because it's the Finals and that could be slightly detrimental to them depending how it goes. Regardless, the Cavs have a great chance if their bench is clicking and playing to the highest level.


*Defense
-Let's be honest here: the Cavs have very little competition in the East. They haven't really turned on the switch like that so far in the playoffs, as we've seen their struggles through the 13 games they played so far, but their biggest struggle is defense. The Cavs had a tough time containing the Pacers, a slightly easier time against the Raptors, who aren't a great shooting team (and missed a lot of wide open shots), and they couldn't sweep a Celtics team that were without Isaiah Thomas, their biggest scoring threat. They didn't play bad defense, but they didn't play champions defense and that's going to be a difference maker in this series. Do I think the Cavs come out playing amazing defense in games 1 and 2? No, I don't. I think they'll play decent defense and make some shots tougher for the Warriors, but the defense is going to make all of the difference going forward. To put it plainly, both the Jazz and Spurs are much better defensive teams and they were swept by the Warriors. Can the Cavs avoid those pitfalls and stay tenacious on defense? That will be the deciding factor in this series for sure. If the Cavs can defend very well in this series, they can win.


Keys To A Golden State Victory
The Golden State Warriors are the best team in the NBA yet again. In 2015, on paper, fully healthy, the Warriors were slightly outmatched by the Cavs, but a series of events led to Kevin Love and Kyrie not being involved in the series. I think the Cavs were a better team then. In 2016, everything was pointing to a Warriors repeat, as they were 73-9 and able to win 3 games, being just one game away from winning the series. Injuries to Iguodala, Bogut, Steph, and Draymond missing game 5 changed the momentum of the series and lead to the decisive game 7, where the Warriors blew it in the final minutes (they led a majority of the game). The Warriors were the better team this year, but did not win due to injuries and the momentum shift. Similar to 2015, the result of 2016 was decided by momentum and injury in a way. Here we are at 2017. It's do or die. It's win or be ridiculed. It's redemption or another loss that they can't afford. This 2017 NBA Finals literally means everything to the Golden State Warriors and they will need many keys to win. Here are the keys that will make the Warriors tough to beat.


*Steph Curry
-The two time MVP has been playing the best basketball of his career in the playoffs this year and it looks like he is finally comfortable next to Kevin Durant. After deferring a bit for KD to get him into integrated into the system, Steph has returned to MVP form just in time for the NBA Finals. He's well rested and despite a small nagging elbow "injury", it doesn't seem like Steph will be taken off of his game. He's my personal pick to end up winning Finals MVP in the event that the Warriors win, as I think revenge and redemption is weighing heavy on his mind. When Durant went down, Steph stepped up huge when they needed him and returned to form as one of the top 4 players in the entire league. Cleveland, in the playoffs, haven't necessarily had his number, but they've slowed him down a bit. In 2015, in his first Finals, he led the team in scoring and clutch plays averaging 26 points, but 2016 was a bit tougher, as he only had two 30 point games in the entire series and didn't shoot very well. This year, he's healthy, focused, and ready. If Steph goes off, he could very well end up winning Finals MVP and be the vital piece. He's still the leader of the team and he will be the most important piece of the Warriors in this Finals.


*Kevin Durant
-The X Factor. The Warriors last year matched up well with the Cavs. Kyrie and Steph. Klay and JR. Love and Draymond. And either Harrison Barnes or Iguodala against LeBron. Now substitute those names against LeBron with KD. That changes the entire vibe of the series. Dramatically. Will KD go off? He's one of the players that you can't stop or shut down and he's elevated his game. If he's playing great on both ends of the floor, he could end up winning Finals MVP and secure the ring for the Warriors.


*Top Defense And Ball Movement
-The best defense in the playoffs and a top 3 defense all season? The Warriors. They've found that rhythm and are due to hit their final form going into this Finals series. If they play tough defense on the Cavs, they can slow down the scoring barrage the Cavs would try and go on and slow down their pace, which would work wonders for the Warriors. Defense is going to be very important for the Warriors in this series and if they can move the ball like they always have, and defend extremely well, they have great chances.


*Draymond Green
-The heart of the Warriors. Draymond will be your Defensive Player of The Year finally, and he's well deserving. This is his biggest test yet. Draymond is a student of the game and he's had to have been watching and scouting Kyrie, Love, LeBron, and even JR. If he's focused defensively and motivating the team on both ends, the Warriors will take off and score at will and defend perfectly. Draymond is the true biggest secret to victory for the Warriors. Simple as that.

*Klay Thompson 
-During this playoff season, Klay has struggled some. I don't expect it to continue this Finals series. I think the four headed monster of Klay, Steph, KD, and Draymond will all be locked in, which could be very deadly for any team, and if Klay has his shot falling along with his good defense going strong, the Cavs will be in for a brutal series. Klay is needed to produce and I don't think he will let his team down in the Finals. Not this year.


*The Bench Production  
-I remember when the season started and we all felt like the biggest issue that the Warriors would face is the bench, as they brought in faces like Javale McGee, who on paper didn't seem like a factor, and even Zaza Pachulia, who also seemed to not be a factor. After the Durant injury, they would also acquire Matt Barnes, who filled his role pretty well on both ends of the floor, minus a few choice moments. In addition to that, the Warriors drafted Patrick McCaw and Damien Jones, and it was believed that they would not be big factors for the season, but how wrong we were. Alongside 2015 Finals MVP Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, and Ian Clark, the Golden State Warriors bench could really be a difference maker during those 2nd and 3rd quarter moments where they are needed to step up.




Who Wins
Well, I said I wouldn't give an official prediction and I'm not. Who wins in this? The fans do. This will be the most watched NBA Finals in quite some time, and no matter who wins, the result works very well for the league. Who has more to lose? I'd say the Warriors have more to lose in every aspect, and they're playing for revenge. In any event, that could be dangerous and could work AGAINST them instead of for them. However, I've been saying this entire season that this reminds of the 2014 playoffs when Miami had an easy road through the East and got demolished by the Spurs, who were looking for true revenge. The Heat were a better defensive team in that era against a Spurs team with less weapons than the Warriors, which is why the Warriors are the favorites. The Cavs have all the tools to win, but if you ask me who I'm pulling for personally? I love to see redemption. I didn't mind LeBron getting his redemption and revenge last year, and if the Warriors get redemption this year, along with a ring for KD and Javale, I'm more than fine with that. Whoever wins, it'll be a great series in terms of attention, money, and drawing for the NBA. The NBA is the greatest spectacle on earth IMO and this Finals is a big supporter of that. Let the games begin.

-True

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

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EOTR Tag Team Tuesdays: Tag Team Breakups

By @AmeenKnows 


Tag Teams are like relationships. In fact, they are clearly relationships. They have their highs and their lows. In professional wrestling no matter how great your team is, your destiny is to one day break up and test the waters as a singles performer. Sometimes only one person can be a star. Maybe both can become successful individuals, but more often than not, the breakups go bad and they get put back together (example. Cryme Tyme, Prime Time Players). My list is about what had a lasting effect on me. I loved each of these teams dearly (Well not each of them but I liked them).

Honorable Mention: Christian and Y2J


-I wanted to go with Edge and Christian, but I just didn't feel like I cared about it as much as this one. Jericho and Christian were underratedly entertaining in Raw's midcard scene. They were World Tag Team Champions, but they allowed a woman to come between them.

5. The Rockers


-I added this one for pure historical significance. I didn't care about the Rockers as a kid because they were gone with the wind when I was born. Luckily for me I have that good ol' WWE Network (which you too can secure for the low fee of $9.99!) so I can go back and watch these fantastic clashes with the Rockers and one of my all time favorite teams, The Brain Busters. There are many stories about the break up being caused by a backstage incident with one stating Marty Jannetty quit on behalf of both himself and Shawn Michaels because of monetary issues. Nonetheless, the break up on screen was iconic. Shawn Michaels super kicking Jannetty and sending him through that glass window was a image that lasted forever in the minds of wrestling fans. After the break up, Michaels would go on to become one of the greatest singles stars in Professional Wrestling history. Janetty also had a solid career worthy of Hall of Fame consideration, but he didn't become nearly half of the star HBK was. Their break up also coined the phrase "The Jannetty" where whenever a team breaks up, the lesser superstar becomes known as the Marty Jannetty of the team.

4. D-Generation-X (2002)


-I thought about posting this in the Honorable Mention section but this one cut me deep. It was the July 22nd edition of Raw. Eric Bischoff had gotten Triple H to come over to Raw and HHH and HBK gave us a DX reunion. The crowd's going wild, they're giving us the cool jokes and catch phrases. Then out of nowhere, Triple H just buries Shawn with a Pedigree and my first thought is like "what the fuck"? Then a week later, Triple H smashes Shawn's head through a car window and it led to one of wrestling's more intense rivalries. This break up proved once again no matter how great you are, you are destined to split. This rivalry gave us a classic street fight, Three Stages of Hell and a Hell in a Cell match.

3. Kevin Steen and El Generico


-This break up was kind of expected for me anyway because I've always looked at Kevin as the short tempered, hot head of the two. So when you have a talented team like those guys, you'd expect them to win a lot, but the Briscoe Brothers just wouldn't allow it. Time and time again, close loss after close loss, they just could not beat the Briscoes. When the ROH Tag Team Titles were vacated, it seemed as if these guys would finally get there chance. They beat Go Shiozaki and Nigel McGuiness in round one, Chris Hero and Adam Pearce in round two, but once again fell short of the gold against Jimmy Jacobs and Tyler Black in the finals. They finally did capture the belts in a rematch and held them for 203 days before losing to the American Wolves. After failing to win the titles again, the stage was set at Final Battle 2009. This time after a loss to The Young Bucks, it seemed as though Steen was going to retire. He hugged his best friend then gave him a low blow and a chair shot. He proceeded to call El Generico the weakest link multiple times and started a new team with Steve Corino. This act of betrayal left a lasting effect on me because what came of it was an intense and brutal feud that lasted an entire year and ended with Steen being forced to leave Ring of Honor. It would not be the last time Steen (Kevin Owens) betrayed Generico (Sami Zayn). On his first night in WWE at NXT Takeover: R-EVOLUTION, Owens viciously attacked Zayn after his NXT Championship match with Neville, once again throwing away his friendship in the pursuit of winning.

2. DIY


-I considered putting this at number one for the emotional impact this breakup had on me. Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano were basically inseperable. They were like a married couple. They were so in sync with each other that every double team and follow up move flowed together like silk. I always felt like these guys are just too damn good to be together forever but it still blindsided me seeing Ciampa deliver a running knee to his partner. Earlier in their Ladder match with the Authors of Pain, Gargano saved Ciampa from being hit with a ladder and he took the ladder hit straight to the face. So with that image in mind, it was almost impossible for my brain to process what the hell Ciampa was doing. What keeps this from being number one is Ciampa's injury will keep him sidelined so this feud won't be kick-started just yet but I feel with the way these guys perform, it will be truly epic.

1. America's Most Wanted and Beer Money Inc.



-I went with this one for number one because they both came completely from nowhere. Well kind of. America's Most Wanted was one of the greatest Tag Teams ever. The Wildcat Chris Harris and The Cowboy James Storm were the pioneers of Tag Team Wrestling in TNA. 6 Time NWA World Tag Team Champions. Multi time Tag Team of the Year. These guys set the standard for greatness that other teams in the company would have to follow up on. They were so cocky and confident they could regain their titles back from young and upcoming LAX that they put their Tag Team status on the line for the titles on the December 14, 2006 episode of Impact. They were well on their way to winning when James Storm suddenly smashed a beer bottle over the head of Chris Harris. This allowed LAX to retain and Storm to go his seperate ways with Harris. After accomplishing so much you just thought there was no way Storm would rather split than be a Champion again, but we were wrong. However, karma always comes back to haunt you and boy did it get James Storm good. 5 years after Storm betrayed the Wildcat, he was riding high in Beer Money Incorporated with his good buddy Bobby Roode. Storm had finally won his first TNA World Heavyweight Championship from Kurt Angle and these guys were the best tag team in all of TNA at that point. Roode had previously failed to defeat Angle for the Championship and Sting gave away his opportunity to face Angle one more time to Storm, who as we know, defeated Angle. The stage was set for the November 3, 2011 episode of Impact. Roode and Storm are in the Main Event for the title just straight up killing it. When the match was reaching its final stage, Roode took one of Storm's beer bottles and smashed it over Storm's head. Not only did it end their team but it ended Storm's World Heavyweight Championship run. The moment was built up all too well with Roode pretending to be happy for his friend and then ultimately betraying him in the pursuit of Gold. What we got from it was Roode finally becoming the Guy for the Company, something I knew he had been destined to get to for years. James Storm had turned Chris Harris to his Marty Jannetty and Roode would betray him in the exact same fashion five years later. It was simple and effective story telling that played out perfectly and elevated Storm after his betrayal of Harris and later on Roode after he betrayed Storm.

-Ameen

Monday, May 29, 2017

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Eyes On Extreme Rules: PPV Preview

By @TrueGodImmortal 


Baltimore, MD will get another PPV and it happens to be the Raw exclusive Extreme Rules. Usually, Extreme Rules comes with a lot of great matches and excitement and honestly, this year it is devoid of it. Why is that? Well, aside from the absence of a Universal Title match, it lacks the star power, the actual Universal Champion, good stipulations, and it feels like a forced card honestly. With a few rematches that came from Payback, this PPV doesn't look too promising, but could we be wrong? Could we see the next chapter of Goldust and R-Truth and their breakup? More Enzo/Cass vs The Revival business? Only time will tell. Let's take a look at the announced card so far.

*Rich Swann and Sasha Banks vs Noam Dar and Alicia Fox



-This feels like an attempt to get Sasha's help in getting the Cruiserweight storyline over. I'm not interested in this match at all, but I think it could really have some good momentum and could be a fun watch for all. Swann and Noam have in ring chemistry and this could be fun to see. I don't expect Sasha and Alicia to get much ring time, but I do expect Swann and Sasha to pick up the win. Hopefully Swann gets another shot at the Cruiserweight Title, but I find it unlikely after this match. Swann and Sasha pick up the win.

*Submission Match 
Cruiserweight Championship
Austin Aries vs Neville 



-Aries and Neville have a solid feud. I like both and I think they could put in quite the classic feud if given the right push and promotion. However, it's been relegated to not being as prominent and honestly I hate the idea of a Submission Match instead of the other two choices I had. A Ladder or TLC match sounds like the perfect culmination to this feud or any title feud in the Cruiserweight Title picture, but unfortunately, that's not the plan here. I think Neville ends up retaining unfortunately, and Aries somehow gets one more rematch, in a 2 out of 3 Falls contest at "Great Balls Of Fire" in which Aries finally wins. Neville retains.

*Steel Cage Match 
Tag Team Championship
The Hardy Boyz vs Cesaro and Sheamus


-The Hardyz aren't Broken yet. They need to be. It seemed like we were getting the Broken Hardyz after Cesaro and Sheamus turned heel, but they've held off due to the Impact lawsuit and battle. Honestly, I'm surprised Cesaro and Sheamus are still together, and honestly, I don't expect them to win this match. I think the team to defeat the Hardyz are the team that is currently out of commission until the next month or so, The Revival. I predict the Hardyz retain here in a solid yet slightly sloppy contest and then Cesaro and Sheamus move on to feud with another face team, or they do what I thought they would have by now and broke up. The Hardyz will retain the championships.

*Kendo Stick On A Pole Match
Women's RAW Championship 
Bayley vs Alexa Bliss 



-There's not a match on this cars that been horribly built quite like this one. After the terrible promo between the two on RAW this past Monday, and the lack of empathy for Bayley as a main roster face, one has to assume that the eventual plan is going to be Alexa vs Sasha Banks, the biggest star on the roster for women. Bayley just isn't working as the sympathetic face and while I expect her to get her share of "revenge" in this match, I think we see Bayley come up just a tad short and Alexa continues her blissful reign.

*Intercontinental Championship 
The Miz vs Dean Ambrose 


-Nothing says Extreme Rules like a match that could end in a disqualification..... and cause the champion to lose his title. It's honestly a stupid stipulation and that's the basis of this entire card really. Nothing on this card really sticks out to me as being solid minus the mega main event and this match was one we watched for months on Smackdown just a few months prior so it was very pointless for it to be here yet again. The stipulation makes me believe Ambrose will win cleanly and retain, making the Miz look weaker by design since he couldn't even get Ambrose to get himself DQed. However, I'd rather Ambrose retain cleanly than to lose it on a disqualification. So, I predict Ambrose to retain.

*Fatal 5 Way Match For No. 1 Contender Spot
Samoa Joe vs Finn Balor vs Bray Wyatt vs Roman Reigns vs Seth Rollins 




-The only match I'm interested in seeing on this show really. This match will be the MOTN and in reality, there's essentially nothing about this match that is predictable. The booking has been done very well, and it seems that even after unnecessary wins over Finn Balor and Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns still isn't a favorite to win. Samoa Joe has momentum, Bray Wyatt has momentum, and even Finn Balor had momentum too. This match essentially could go either way, but based on the Heyman and Balor promo, there's a small feeling within me that Balor will end up walking away with the victory and going on to face Brock at the next PPV. Still, there's money in a huge Samoa Joe vs Brock match as well, and those two are my top choices. Either Joe or Finn win, and we get an actual dream match of sorts no matter how it turns out with those two. If Reigns or Bray actually do win, it would actually feel slightly like a waste, but you never know with WWE. Seth is the long shot to win, but he could pull out the victory too in a slight swerve. However, I predict Finn Balor wins, with Samoa Joe as my fallback pick. It should be a great match regardless.

There may be more matches added as the week progresses, but as of now, Extreme Rules doesn't seem to be very enticing, but who knows, WWE tends to surprise from time to time. Will this end up as a great event? I guess we'll have to tune in and find out.

-True

Sunday, May 28, 2017

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Retrospective: The 12 Greatest Wrestling Commentators

By @DisAppAintFree & @Phranchize19



Commentators in professional wrestling provide insight and  credibility to the matches they call. Not to mention, it's their job to sell what's going on in the ring. Now there's been many commentators that have done extraordinarily well and there's been some who quite stink at their job. Today, me and @Phranchize19 give you some of professional wrestling's best commentators!

12. JBL


-Whether you love him or hate him, he's pretty great at playing the character he's been given, and mainly as a heel is where JBL shines best. As @IOnlySayFacts had recently touched on, John Bradshaw Layfield is one of the best heels in professional wrestling due to his dedication to his heel gimmick and mic work. As a commentator this is no exception, as half of the time he often makes a good job vouching for heel wrestlers and providing necessary comedy for heel wrestlers. He's full of charisma and capable of keeping viewers interested through programmings.

11. Randy Savage


-Savage is without a doubt one of the greatest wrestlers/WWE legends, but many fans feel his commentary gig is underrated. While it is forgotten mainly cause it was overshadowed by Savage's ring accomplishments and the short stint it was, Savage did make the best of it. His voice already being the golden document of how a professional wrestler should cut promos would be beneficial as a commentator. Whether he says "WHAAAT", "OOOOH YEEAAAAH" or any simple line, he carries the insight of every viewer and how they react to what goes in the ring. He had great delivery and timing. He is without a doubt underrated.

10. Tazz


-Probably Smackdown's best color commentator. Opposite of his tough scary demeanor in ECW, Tazz showed a lighthearted side as commentator, as he was always cracking jokes and barely caught not smiling. He was somewhat of a tweener as he would root for faces ("LATINO HEEEAAATT"), but root for heels while justifying their actions most the time. Nevertheless, being the in ring veteran he is, he spewed a lot of in ring knowledge and he was the only broadcast partner of Michael Cole to make him sound good. That's saying something.

9. CM Punk


-Speaking of wrestlers with short stints, CM Punk within 3 damn months proved why he's the best at what he does! His ring career temporarily on hold, Punk filled in as a commentator and despite his inexperience, he nailed it. From his sarcasm, smark comments, and verbal abuse to fellow commentators, CM Punk provides comedic gold on the booth. I wish I could put him higher, but I can't grade consistency due to the short stint. Regardless, it goes without saying, Punk is definitely one of the best wrestlers on commentator duty.

8. Vince McMahon 


-I honestly wished Vince had his heel charisma as color commentator as sometimes he can get bland. However, for the most part, Vince was pretty great at commentator duty as a face. He was often unbiased and called it how it is, whether he commends the likes of Hart or Stone Cold, both who hated him onscreen. While he wasn't Mr. Personality until later on his career, he did have memorable calls to classic matches. His call as Shawn Michaels captured his first title at WM 12 is iconic. He knew his stuff and captured important details of what's going in the ring and kept the viewers well informed. Sometimes we forget how much of a scholar McMahon is on actual wrestling as his smarts is downplayed by his poor booking decisions nowadays.

7. Paul Heyman


-As Paul E. Dangerously, Heyman showed potential as a color commentator. Nearly a decade later, soon after the fall of ECW, Paul filled in for The King who left because of personal reasons. For NINE MONTHS, we the WWE(F) Universe, had the best commentary duo with Ross and Heyman calling it down the line. "HEY JR GUESS WHAT?!", "what..", "WASSSUUUPPPP!" he would say as The Dudleys perform their signature headbutt move on their opponents. Not only did Paul big up his former employees (even when they were jobbing), but he did a helluva job as voice for The Alliance, who were heels. Why didn't he lead the ECW alliance? That's really WWE's dumbass writings, but it doesn't take away from the charisma, comedy, and extra insight he provided to the fans. Unlike average commentators who reach to the viewers, Heyman reached to the FANS!

6. Joey Styles 


-For nearly 7 years, Styles have singlehandedly detailed every aspect of what went on in a fast messy environment that is known as ECW. It's not easy being a one man commentator and announcer, but Styles nailed it. Whether showing off his scholarly knowledge of professional wrestling, "A quick scoop of a slam", "TAZZ LOCKS IN THE KATAHAJIME" or his most famous reaction "OH MY GAWWWDDDDDD", Styles has a knack of displaying every single great aspect that a color commentator should have. He delivered the same magic in WWE though he was downplayed alot and mistreated as he was always replaced by Ross during a PPV. Luckily he was able to call the classic Hardcore match between Edge & Foley at WM22.

5. Gorilla Monsoon


-The epitome of a face color commentator. Though at times he seemed biased towards the faces and outshined by his broadcast partners, Monsoon always had charisma. He provided a great voice and delivered calling classic matches. Whether with Heenan or Ventura, he was the perfect face half of color commentary,  thus benefitting the heel half when calling a match.

4. Jerry "The King" Lawler


-An unfiltered Jerry Lawler is gold. Lawler made commentary so much fun. Whether he was bashing guys such as Stone Cold or Bret Hart or fantasizing over women such as Debra, Sunny or Sable or making some of the greatest jokes ever, Lawler is a mainstay when it comes to announcing. His greatest work was in the 90's where he ranged from a heel, in which he verbally slaughtered the Hart family, to a comedic perv when he lusted over Debra's "puppies".

3. Jesse Ventura


-The man who originally played the heel commentator, Ventura's style of commentating was well received by Vince. He is arguably the greatest heel color commentator as he often would root for the villain and diss the good guys. His gripe against Hogan is one of the reasons
his heel commentary worked because he truly hated him (Hogan snitched on him to the boss about forming a labor union), so he did everything in power to bash him. For the most part it made sense, Hogan used to cheat but never got called out on it but Ventura was always on his ass. WM5, WM6, and Survivor Series 1987 main event are great examples of his commentary work.

2.Bobby Heenan


-Bobby Heenan was arguably wrestling's first comedian. He made a legendary duo with Gorilla Monsoon. Heenan had jokes for days and made commentary fun with disparaging remarks towards all the babyfaces especially Hogan and fans whom he was constantly referring to humanoids. Besides being a legendary manager, he became a legendary commentator and even in his WCW days, where he was more rational, it was great TV. He's one of the best ever and always remember to "be fair to Flair".

1. Jim Ross


-When one thinks of announcing in the wrestling industry, they tend to think of Jim Ross. Many, if not all people consider him the best announcer in the business. His storytelling and antics with Jerry Lawyer made matches so much more enjoyable. Jim Ross has called so many legendary matches and elevated them with his superb play by play. He's the most respected announcer and is looked at as a mentor/inspiration by several on screen employees. He always spoke his mind and never kissed anyone's ass, especially Vince, who fired him a lot. And of course he has quotables for days:
"STONE COLD STONE COLD!" 
"TOUGHER THAN A TWO DOLLAR STATE"
"BONAFIED SLOBBERKNOCKER" 
"THE AUSTIN ERA HAS BEGUN" 
"FOR THE LOVE OF GOD THATS ENOUGH" 
"STONE COLD IS SHAKING HANDS WITH SATAN HIMSELF" 
The list goes on.

-EOTR

Thursday, May 25, 2017

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EOTR Match Of The Week: British Bulldog vs Owen Hart

By @Phranchize19



It's always exciting to see new championships created, but the European title was the first new title introduced in the WWF in over 18 years (at the time). Titles can be made or broken by their first champion and they way that they won that title.


Background
The European Title was introduced in 1997 and a tournament was held to determine a new champion. The tournament was held in Germany and came down to the British Bulldog (who's actually from Europe) and Owen Hart (Bulldog’s brother in law). In an ironic twist, these two men were not only brother in laws but tag partners and the reigning WWF Tag Team champions. The story practically wrote it self. Hints of jealousy were dropped in as well as their family ties were used to sell this story.




The Match
Owen and Bulldog would start out with basic wrestling holds. Both men sold each other's offense as well as showed great athleticism. There was chain wrestling, brawling, high flying, and taunting. Owen would eye rake his brother in law much to the dismay of the Germans. British Bulldog would come out on top after a reversal on a roll up attempt.



Phranchize Rating And Analysis
This match was perfect. The crowd was hot for Bulldog and it showed. These are two of the greatest technicians ever and they went out there and put on a show. Bulldog coming out the victor was the right move and it didn't damage Owen's credibility. The announce team did well by selling their history and selling the tension the two have had (Could've done without Honky Tonk Man even though I'm a huge fan). This was the perfect match for a new title.

Rating: 9.5/10

-C. Yates