4

Sacks in 3 seasons for 2014 1st-round pick Marcus Smith, cut by Eagles on Wednesday

Like a deeply scarred lover, the Cavaliers seem thrilled that LeBron James deems them worthy of his attention again. But this courtship isn’t about the Cavs or winning a title for Cleveland. It’s all about LeBron.

The Sixers are on the verge of breaking the franchise record for the worst start to a season. In addition to evaluating the Sixers’ opportunities to net their first win, Eric Fisher worries about an exchange between Michael Carter-Williams and head coach Brett Brown (pictured), highlights Nerlens Noel’s best game as a pro, and tells you why Cavaliers fans are experiencing a different kind of misery.

The Greek god of wrestling implores fans to leave him alone the next few days during events in Trenton, Allentown and Philadelphia. Achilles Heel also rips TNA for its lack of effort in promoting Bound for Glory, tells you when CHIKARA is coming back to Philly and announces some new champions.

Archive for the ‘Wrestling’ Category

Heel Turns: Philly is a Battleground

Posted by Achilles Heel On July - 21 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Achilles HeelAfter “Money in the Bank” and “Great Balls of Fire” didn’t match the Greek God of Wrestling’s expectations, he’s a little reluctant to fully endorse “Battleground,” WWE’s next split-brand pay-per-view, which takes place Sunday (7:30 p.m., WWE Network) at Wells Fargo Center.

The main event is a Punjabi Prison match between WWE champion Jinder Mahal and Randy Orton. This stipulation was picked by Mahal, but Achilles Heel thinks Orton has to win this match. First, Orton can’t lose to Mahal yet again. Second, Mahal hasn’t caught on particularly well as champion. In a reason related to the second one, I can’t see Mahal heading into SummerSlam as champion, unless WWE finds a new way to package his feud with Orton.

It will be interesting to see if A.J. Styles retains the United States Championship against former champion Kevin Owens. The loser could move into the WWE Championship picture, depending on whether Orton or Mahal emerges from Battleground as champion. The pick here is for Styles to retain.

The Usos, Jimmy and Jey, will defend the Smackdown Tag Team Championship against The New Day. A title change is possible, but the Greek God of Wrestling expects this title change to come at SummerSlam.

The five-woman elimination match for the right to challenge for the Smackdown Women’s Championship at SummerSlam could be entertaining. Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch and Natalya are all extremely capable wrestlers. Tamina plays the monster heel role, and Lana plays … I don’t know what role she plays. Perhaps Lana will stay out of the action and then try to pin opponents after they’ve been the recipients of big moves by other wrestlers. But an elimination match leaves no room for a fluke victory by Lana. Becky Lynch is my choice to win, but Charlotte and Natalya are certainly legitimate possibilities, with Tamina as a long shot.

We’ve gone pretty far down the card without mentioning the return to pay-per-view of both John Cena and Rusev, who will meet in a flag match. Achilles Heel envisions a Rusev victory, with Rusev moving into title contention for either the United States or WWE Championship. Cena won’t be hurt by a loss in a flag match if the ending is handled well.

Philadelphia will gets its first live look at Shinsuke Nakamura in a WWE ring. Nakamura battles Baron Corbin in what should be an interesting match.

The card is rounded out by Sami Zayn squaring off with Mike Kanellis and a pre-show match between Tye Dillinger and Aiden English. The also will supposedly be some sort of closure to the Breezango case. The payoff for the Breezango had better be worth all of the awful skits fans had to sit through on Smackdown and at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view.

One of the positives of Battleground is that there is uncertainty in the outcome of most of the matches. This creates more drama, which should enhance the atmosphere. After the past two split-brand pay-per-views failed to reach their potential, however, the Greek God of Wrestling isn’t giving an all-out endorsement for Battleground.

*****

TICKETS AVAILABLE: As of Thursday, there were tickets available for Battleground, particularly in the higher price range.

*****

RUMBLE TICKETS: Tickets for next year’s Royal Rumble in Philadelphia go on sale on Sat., July 29, but Achilles Heel has a suspicion that Rumble tickets may be available at the Wells Fargo Center box office during or after Battleground.

*****

WWE IN REGION: If you can’t get to Battleground on Sunday night, perhaps you can catch WWE on Saturday (7:30 p.m. ) at the Wildwood Convention Center. There also will be a Smackdown house show on Monday at the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark, Del. Earlier (11 a.m.-1 p.m.) on Monday, Dolph Ziggler will be at the Xfinity Store by Comcast in King of Prussia to sign autographs and pose for photos.

*****

CHIKARA POWER: CHIKARA presents an “Hour of Power” show on Sunday (4 p.m.) at The Wrestle Factory in Philadelphia. Matches included Hermit Crab vs. Razerhawk, Delmi Eko vs. Race Jaxon, and the Rumblebees vs. the Force. You can also watch the show by signing up for CHIKARA’s live streaming service.

You could go to The Wrestle Factory before Battleground and make it a wrestling doubleheader. Hour of Power will be followed on Aug. 5 by Chikarasaurus Rex: Flesh and Stone. Johnny Kidd Invitational winner Rory Gulak against CHIKARA grand champion Juan Francisco de Coronado headlines the card.

*****

JORDAN ELEVATED: The surprising revelation that Jason Jordan is Kurt Angle’s son, ending the storyline in which Angle and broadcaster Corey Graves were receiving texts about Angle, has some intriguing implications.

The move of Jordan to Raw breaks up American Alpha, a terrific young team that won the Smackdown Tag Team Championship earlier this year but hadn’t been very active lately. This leaves Chad Gable as a singles wrestler, a role he has filled recently on Smackdown. As for Jordan, this storyline certainly elevates his profile. He will likely be a featured singles wrestler, a role we haven’t seen him in very often.

This storyline and the move of Jordan to Raw also opens the door for Angle’s return to the ring. An attack on Jordan would be a personal attack to Angle. The Greek God of Wrestling envisions Angle teaming up with Jordan and then eventually having a singles match or two. Could they stretch this story out so Angle could have a match at WrestleMania next year?

*****

TURN THE PAIGE: The latest development in the domestic violence incident involving Alberto Del Rio (Alberto El Patron) and Paige at the Orlando airport is that Paige is being investigated for a potential domestic battery charge. Achilles Heel thinks it’s obvious that the Alberto-Paige relationship is not a healthy one. Two of Paige’s brothers posted their concern for her on social media, talking about Alberto being controlling. If they won’t get counseling on their own, their friends need to intervene and convince them to get help or convince Paige to get out of the relationship before there is further physical or emotional abuse.

*****

NO IMPACT: Global Force Wrestling’s suspension of Alberto El Patron for the domestic violence incident came after weeks of taping for Impact Wrestling was completed, so the suspension does not affect the on-air product. For those who wanted GFW to edit El Patron out of the show, this past Thursday’s Impact Wrestling made it obvious why that wasn’t possible. The main angle of the show was LAX trying to convince El Patron to become a member of their group.

*****

SHANE SAFE: For those who missed it, Shane McMahon was a passenger in a helicopter that had to make an emergency landing in the water near Long Island. Fortunately, Shane and the pilot were not seriously injured – or worse. All of the crazy stunts Shane has done in his career, including getting thrown off the top of Hell in Cell through a table, pale in comparison to the fear that must have come from the crash landing of a helicopter into the water.

*****

CHANCE OF A LIFETIME: Legendary CZW champion Masada will challenge Shane Strickland for the Combat Zone Wrestling Heavyweight Championship at “Once in a Lifetime” on Sat., Aug. 5 (7:30 p.m.) at Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees. Strickland captured the title in a four-way match with Lio Rush, Joe Gacy and defending champion Davey Richards at Evilution on July 8.

Atsushi Onita battles Father Matthew Tremont in what is certain to be a physical confrontation. Rush, who is headed to WWE, will battle Joey Janela in what is likely his final match in CZW. There will also be a meet-and-greet session with Onita from 4-6 p.m. The session costs $40 and is first-come, first-served.

*****

McINTYRE VS. ROODE: Drew McIntyre defeated Killian Dain to earn a shot at the NXT Championship against Bobby Roode at NXT: Takeover the night before SummerSlam. Roode has been an outstanding NXT champion, just as he was when he was TNA world champion. McIntyre also was a terrific TNA champion and has been good since he’s returned to WWE/NXT. McIntyre vs. Roode is an excellent marquee feud for NXT.

*****

GULAK EXCELS: For those who have been waiting for Drew Gulak to demonstrate the talent he’s shown on the independent circuit in WWE, check out Gulak’s 2-out-of-3-falls match against Mustafa Ali on 205 Live. Given the time and a storyline, Gulak can put together a tremendous match.

*****

STROWMAN INTERRUPTS: The Greek God of Wrestling is usually annoyed when a terrific match ends with outside interference and a non-decisive conclusion, but Braun Strowman’s interference in Raw’s main event between Samoa Joe and Roman Reigns last week made perfect sense. Strowman’s anger at Reigns after the ambulance incident is certainly understandable. Joe’s attack on Strowman for interrupting his opportunity to get a rematch with Brock Lesnar for the WWE Universal Championship at SummerSlam is also understandable.

Furthermore, the injection of Strowman into this storyline makes it even more interesting. Who will be Lesnar’s opponent at SummerSlam? Could it be a triple threat or fatal four-way match? We’ll find out during the coming weeks.

*****

DIJAK TO WWE: In a move that should not be surprising to anyone, Donovan Dijak is heading to WWE. Achilles Heel identified Dijak as future WWE material shortly after he started in Ring of Honor. Dijak has the six (6-foot-5, 260 pounds) and agility to be a potential star in WWE. The only question is whether he goes to NXT first or makes his debut on Raw or Smackdown.

 

Heel Turns: Fire didn’t sizzle

Posted by Achilles Heel On July - 16 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Achilles HeelWWE’s “Great Balls of Fire” didn’t reach the heights that the Greek God of Wrestling had hoped it would, but it was still a very good show.

The highlight of the show was the ambulance match between Braun Strowman and Roman Reigns. This match was terrific. Fans were chanting “This is awesome!” during this extremely physical match. What everyone will remember, though, is the aftermath.

After losing the match, Reigns put Strowman in the back of the ambulance, drove into the garage area and then put the ambulance in reverse, slamming into one of those giant trailers used for transporting things from city to city. The reaction of Raw general manager Kurt Angle and agent Jamie Noble, the arrival of the paramedics and Strowman’s bloody, stumbling emergence from the truck added to the drama. Having Curt Hawkins and Heath Slater “rush” to the ring for a supposedly unplanned match while the Strowman situation unfolded backstage was a nice touch to add realism to the events

There was plenty of drama in the main event as well, but the match didn’t last very long. Samoa Joe attacked WWE Universal champion Brock Lesnar before the bell, putting him through a table. The fans were at a fever pitch, but the match didn’t even last 10 minutes. Lesnar won with an F-5 after escaping the Kokina clutch. The match was intense and hard-hitting, but it should have lasted a little longer.

The Raw tag team title match lasted 30 minutes because it was an ironman match. Sheamus and Cesaro barely edged Matt and Jeff Hardy to retain the titles in an entertaining match. Sasha Banks and Alex Bliss put together an excellent match, but having Banks win when Bliss intentionally was counted out detracted from the match – even with Banks’ attack afterward.

The Miz retained the Intercontinental Championship against Dean Ambrose, with plenty of help from Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel, in a fun match. Big Cass crushed Enzo Amore. The opening match between Seth Rollins and Bray Wyatt was symbolic of Great Balls of Fire. There was nothing wrong with the match, but it felt as if it should have been better. Neville defeated Akira Tozawa to retain the Cruiserweight Championship during the preshow.

*****

PHILLY IS A BATTLEGROUND: WWE bring Battleground to Wells Fargo Center next Sunday (July 23). The main event features Jinder Mahal defending the WWE Championship against Randy Orton in a Punjabi Prison match. Previous Punjabi prison matches haven’t been so great, but that might be because I’m remembering a match involving the Great Khali. Orton and Mahal may have the athleticism to make this an interesting match.

In a “can’t miss” match, A.J. Styles defends the United States championship against former champion Kevin Owens. Jimmy and Jey Uso defend the Smackdown Tag Team Championship against The New Day. Other announced matches include John Cena vs. Rusev in a flag match; Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Baron Corbin; and a five-way elimination match to determine the No. 1 contender for the Smackdown Women’s Championship at SummerSlam. The participants in the five-way match are Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Natalya, Tamina and Lana.

Achilles Heel will have a full Battleground preview in the next edition of Heel Turns. By the way, seats are still available for Battleground, particularly in the more expensive price ranges. An added incentive is that Royal Rumble tickets might go on sale at the arena box office during Battleground.

*****

ALBERTO IN TROUBLE: It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that the Greek God of Wrestling’s predictions for 2017 have turned out to be incredibly accurate. But there is one prediction I wish I got wrong: the one that said Alberto Del Rio (Alberto El Patron) would be involved in an altercation away from the ring.

The reason Achilles Heel wishes he were wrong is that Alberto, a favorite of mine in the ring, was detained by police in relation to a domestic violence incident at the Orlando airport. The female reportedly involved is Paige, his fiancé. The question here isn’t whether police charge Alberto with domestic battery after completing an investigation. The issue is Paige’s health.

Two of Paige’s brothers posted their concern for her on social media, talking about Alberto being controlling. We know Alberto has a history of violence, although usually it involves other men. He was arrested at the start of this year in connection to a bar fight in Austria. More recent, after a tasteless reference to Paige’s relationship with Xavier Woods during a verbal exchange between the New Day and the Usos on Smackdown, Alberto challenged Triple H and the New Day to meet him at his restaurant for a fight. And that’s just this year.

Fans will remember Alberto Del Rio wrestling with bruises on his face during SummerSlam in 2013 during an incident at a bar that also involved Drew McIntyre. That doesn’t mean that Alberto was at fault in all of these incidents, but it does demonstrate that he has a violent side.

Regardless of the results of the domestic battery investigation, I hope that Alberto gets professional help and that Paige is not victimized by any physical or emotional abuse.

*****

ALBERTO SUSPENDED: The Greek God of Wrestling intentionally separated the human side of the incident involving Alberto El Patron from the business side. Alberto defeated Bobby Lashley at Slammiversary in a title unification bout, making him the Global Force and Impact Wrestling champion.

Global Force Wrestling suspended Alberto, but it’s not clear whether he is being paid during the suspension. The suspension also comes after weeks of taping for Impact Wrestling was completed, so the suspension does not affect the on-air product. If Alberto is charged in the incident, GFW will have to make a more difficult decision than a suspension that has, if you’ll pardon the expression, little impact.

*****

NO SPOILERS: As many of you know, the Greek God of Wrestling detests spoilers, so don’t look here for the results of the Mae Young Classic, which will debut on WWE Network on Aug. 28.

*****

STRICKLAND WINS TITLE: Congratulations to Shane Strickland, who won the Combat Zone Wrestling Heavyweight Championship in a four-way match with Lio Rush, Joe Gacy and defending champion Davey Richards at Evilution on July 8. Hopefully, Strickland can lend some stability to the title, which has been held by seven different wrestlers during the past year, including Gacy, Rush and Richards. By the way, Rush is apparently headed for WWE or NXT.

*****

WWE IN REGION: If you can’t get to Battleground on Sunday night, perhaps you can catch WWE on Saturday (7:30 p.m. ) at the Wildwood Convention Center. There also will be a Smackdown house show on Mon., July 24 at the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark, Del. Earlier (11 a.m.-1 p.m.) on July 24, Dolph Ziggler will be at the Xfinity Store by Comcast in King of Prussia to sign autographs and pose for photos.

*****

CHIKARA POWER: CHIKARA presents an “Hour of Power” show on Sun., July 23 at 4 p.m. You can go to The Wrestle Factory before Battleground and make it a wrestling doubleheader. Hour of Power will be followed on Aug. 5 by Chikarasaurus Rex: Flesh and Stone. The only announced match is Johnny Kidd Invitational winner Rory Gulak against CHIKARA grand champion Juan Francisco de Coronado.

*****

ANGLE’S ANGLE: It will be interesting to see where WWE goes with the Kurt Angle storyline Monday on Raw. Angle and broadcaster Corey Graves have been receiving texts. Angle promised to address the situation Monday on Raw, ending his last conversation with an expression of love.

*****

POLICE MISCONDUCT: The Greek God of Wrestling likes Tyler Breeze and Fandango, but the Fashion Police segments on Smackdown are bad.

GET TICKETS TO UPCOMING PRO WRESTLING EVENTS!

WWE
Browse Tickets for a venue near you
Pirates' Jose Osuna throws out 3 Phillies