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Years as Penn’s head coach for Al Bagnoli, who will coach final game Saturday at Cornell

The Flyers are off to yet another bad start this season. Eric Fisher examines how concerned we should be about their poor start again this season. Eric also looks at Wayne Simmonds, one of the Flyers’ few bright spots.

No Phillie should be considered untouchable as the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline approaches. Eric Fisher examines a list of players who might be traded and what the Phillies should receive in return.

The Greek god of wrestling believe that if WWE goes through with its plan to crown an undisputed champion, it will increase the importance of the United States and Intercontinental championships. Achilles Heel also gives you updates on Davey and Stevie Richards (no relation), tells you about discounts for upcoming shows in the Delaware Valley, and offers some bad WrestleMania news.

Archive for the ‘Wrestling’ Category

Heel Turns: Orton top star of the week

Posted by Achilles Heel On October - 18 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Achilles HeelThe Greek god of wrestling is going to open this column with a heavy dose of Randy Orton.

This often underappreciated superstar was the star of RAW and the Internet this past week.

On an episode of RAW filled with terrific matches, Orton and Dolph Ziggler put together an incredible match that was head-and-shoulders above everything else on RAW.

After a long back-and-forth match, Orton prevailed with one of his most creative RKOs. Orton caught Ziggler trying to deliver a “fameasser” leg drop. Holding Ziggler up at shoulder level while facing him, Orton threw Ziggler up in the air and then caught him with an RKO on the way down. It was an awesome move to end an awesome match.

Orton, who also delivered a picture-perfect superplex off the top rope during that match, was also involved in the best angle on RAW. While the feud between Dean Ambrose and John Cena over which one should get a piece of Seth Rollins first has taken center stage, the best storyline is the slowly budding rivalry between Orton and Rollins.

Orton has grumbled to The Authority (Triple H and Stephanie McMahon) about having to put out fires Rollins has started during the past month. On RAW this past week, Orton and Rollins engaged in a “Can you top this?” contest. Or, using a song from “Fiddler on the Roof” – and that reference is a first her at Heel Turns – a contest of “Anything you can do, I can do better.”

After Orton defeated Ziggler, Rollins, who was watching from the entrance ramp, came to the ring and delivered a curb-stomp to Ziggler. Not to be outdone, after Rollins beat Jack Swagger, Orton delivered an RKO to the Real American.

This rivalry clearly is just picking up steam. Achilles Heel wouldn’t be shocked if both Orton and Rollins won their Hell in a Cell matches on Oct. 26. They would then argue over who had the more impressive victory. Or, if one wins and one loses, expect the winner to remind the loser of the outcome, further building the rivalry until the two Authority members attack one another.

The best match. The best move. The best angle.

Randy Orton is on a roll. Like a fine wine, he keeps getting better with age.

*****

ORTON RULES THE INTERNET: If you haven’t seen any of the Randy Orton RKO vines on the Internet, do yourself a favor and click this link to check out a compilation of some of the best RKO vines. And if you’ve seen some of them, watch them again and enjoy a hearty laugh.

*****

WRESTLING MATTERS: One reason this past week’s RAW was so good was the quality of the wrestling. The triple-threat tag team match involving the Usos, Goldust and Stardust and the team of John Cena and Dean Ambrose started the string of outstanding in-ring action. Big Show and Rusev produced a crowd-pleasing match and, of course, Orton and Ziggler combined for a classic. The Seth Rollins-Jack Swagger and Cena-Ambrose matches, which normally would have been highlights, took a backseat to the other matches in terms of in-ring quality.

Angles and storylines matter. But professional wrestling is at its best when the wrestling is excellent. To paraphrase an infamous TNA slogan, “Wrestling matters.”

*****

FALL OF CHAMPIONS: The Greek god of wrestling doesn’t like when Intercontinental, U.S. and tag team champions are used for fodder for wrestlers in the world championship picture. These losses diminish the respective championships.

Having said that, Dolph Ziggler was elevated by his valiant effort in the RAW loss to Randy Orton. What didn’t help Ziggler was having him lose to Rusev the previous week and Seth Rollins on Smackdown this past Friday.

If Cesaro wrests the Intercontinental Championship from Ziggler, his win will be less meaningful because the tree consecutive televised losses have pushed Ziggler lower down the WWE pecking order. Similarly, Goldust and Stardust have barely won a match since capturing the tag team titles form the Usos.

*****

WEB GEMS: Biff Busick defends the Combat Zone Wrestling World Championship against Chris Dickinson tonight (Saturday) at 7:30 p.m. during Tangled Web 7 at Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees. In the co-main event, Matt Tremont battles Devon Moore in a tangled web match.

The tag team titles will be up for grabs as 014K defends against Team Tremendous. Shane Strickland defends the CZW Wired Championship against Mike Bailey.

*****

MAIN EVENT SAVES SHOW: For the second straight week, a sub-par edition of TNA’s Impact Wrestling was saved by the main event. The four-way No. 1 contenders elimination match between Bobby Roode, Austin Aries, Eric Young and Jeff Hardy. Roode pinned Aries at the end to earn another title shot at Bobby Lashley.

TNA is advertising a tag team tournament, which will begin Wednesday, to determine the No. 1 contenders for The Wolves (Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards) for the TNA tag team championship.

*****

GLORY DAYS: As the Greek god of wrestling wrote last week, why should I spend time discussing Bound for Glory when TNA could barely promote its own event. TNA World champion Bobby Lashley and tag team champions The Wolves were not on the card. The Great Muta and Tajiri defeated James Storm and Great Sanada in the main event. Team 3-D (Bully Ray and Devon) defeated Tommy Dreamer and Abyss in an eminently forgettable event.

*****

BEST NEVER TO WIN WORLD TITLE: Wwe.com posted a list of 20 legends who never won the world championship WWE’s list, of course, is inferior to the list compiled by yours truly.

WWE included Roddy Piper, Ted DiBiase, Paul Orndorff, Magnum T.A., Jake Roberts and Arn Anderson, but where were Jimmy Snuka, Don Muraco, Gorilla Monsson, Rick Rude, Owen Hart and Don Leo Jonathan? Their spots on the list were taken by, among others, Tatanka, Marty Janetty and Goldust.

*****

HIGHWAY TO HELL: The co-main events for Hell in a Cell next Sunday will be a pair of Hell in a Cell matches. Former Shield members Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins battle in one cage. Randy Orton and John Cena square off in the other Hell in a Cell match.

Other matches include Big Show vs. Rusev, Sheamus defending the United States Championship against The Miz, and Nikki and Brie Bella fighting, with the loser having to work as the winner’s personal assistant or be fired.

Heel Turns: Is TNA about to tap out?

Posted by Achilles Heel On October - 11 - 2014 ADD COMMENTS

Achilles HeelThe Greek god of wrestling was going to provide a preview of Bound for Glory, but if TNA isn’t going to try to promote the even properly, why should I?

TNA finally announced the full card for Sunday’s pay-per-view (8 p.m.) from Tokyo. Nothing like giving yourself time to get fans excited about the event.

Before I get to the matches that are supposed to take place, let Achilles Heel tell you who won’t be at Bound for Glory. TNA world champion Bobby Lashley won’t be there. Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards, the tag team champions, won’t be there. Bobby Roode won’t be there. Gail Kim, recently injured by HAVOK, won’t be there.

How can one of the promotions biggest events of the year not include a world championship or tag team championship match? It’s as if TNA has given up. That’s a very bad sign.

The X-Division and Knockouts championship will be defended at Bound for Glory. Samoa Joe defends the X-Division Championship against Low Ki and Kaz Hayashi. HAVOK defends the Knockouts Championship she won from Kim against Velvet Sky.

There are two other tag team matches. Team 3-D (Bully Ray and Devon), inducted into the TNA Hall of Fame, battles Abyss and Tommy Dreamer. The Great Muta and Tajiri face James Storm and the Great Sanada. Achilles Heel enjoys the work of Muta and Tajiri, but let’s be honest: both men are past their prime. The same is true of Dreamer.

Bound for Glory also includes talent from Wrestle-1 promotion. MVP faces Kazma Sakamoto; Ethan Carter III squares off with Ryota Hama, Manik meets Minoru Tanaka, and the team of Andy Wu and Hijo Del Panera takes on Kuroshio Ikemen Jiro and Yusuke Kodama.

The matches involving Japanese wrestlers, with the exception of the match involving Muta, Tajiri and Sanada, have received no buildup. I’m guessing the majority of TNA fans aren’t familiar with these wrestlers. The in-ring action might be good, and the Tokyo fans might appreciate it, but it’s hard to believe the late announcement of these matches will inspire more than a handful of fans to purchase Bound for Glory.

As I said earlier, it’s as if TNA, without a new television contract and without any announced events for the remainder of the year, has given up. If it was trying to bottom out with the lowest number of pay-per-view buyers, it couldn’t have done a better job of failing to get fans excited about Bound for Glory.

How can you have a pay-per-view without your world champion, No. 1 contender and tag team champions?

*****

MAGNIFICENT MAYHEM: As bad as TNA has been lately, it produced a match-of-they-year candidate this past week with Full Metal Mayhem, the final installment of the tag team competition between Team 3-D (Bubba Ray and Devon), Matt and Jeff Hardy and The Wolves (tag team champions Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards). The match was awesome.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t suppress the thought that this match will be tremendous programming for WWE Network after TNA folds and WWE buys its video library for a minimal price.

*****

A PHILLY RUMBLE: The 2015 Royal Rumble will be held at Wells Fargo Center. Tickets go on sale on Sat., Nov. 1. Early word is that the Rumble will include 40 participants instead of the customary 30.

The last time the Royal Rumble was held in Philadelphia was 2004. Don’t expect to see a lot of references to the 2004 Rumble on WWE programs. The 2004 Rumble was won by Chris Benoit, creating a feel-good moment that, of course, became a painful memory after Benoit’s murder-suicide.

The 2004 Rumble undercard included Brock Lesnar successfully defending the WWE Championship against Hardcore Holly and a physically brutal World Heavyweight championship match between Triple H and Sean Michaels. The match ended in a draw after neither Triple H nor Michaels could get off the mat before the referee counted to 10.

The Rumble was one of the best in WWE history. Benoit and Randy Orton, then with Evolution, were the first two entrants in the Rumble. Benoit won the Rumble. Benoit, of course, won the Rumble. Orton lasted until surprise entrant Mick Foley, seeking revenge on Orton for a humiliation on RAW, entered the match at No. 21 and took both he and Orton out of the match with a vintage Foley running clothesline over the top rope.

*****

INVISIBLE HEEL: Nice to not see all of you during the Trenton, Allentown and Wells Fargo Center events this past week. Achilles Heel did his best to stay away from the peons.

The Smackdown taping in Philly on Tuesday marked the 15th anniversary of Smackdown. The Greek god of wrestling celebrated Smackdown’s longevity in his suite and backstage with a few toasts.

*****

EDGE OF YOUR SEAT: In honor of the 15th anniversary of Smackdown, WWE Network has been running a lot of Smackdown-related programming. One show featured Edge and Christian hosting a series of highlights from Smackdown during its 15-year history.

One episode of Smackdown culminated in an outstanding steel cage match between JBL and challenger Eddie Guerrero for the World Heavyweight Championship. Another wonderful moment was Edge’s emotional promo on Smackdown days after announcing his retirement on RAW. Edge’s sincere comments and his gratefulness toward him mother, who was in the first row, almost brought a tear to the eye of the Greek god of wrestling.

*****

BRYAN PUMPS UP GIANTS FANS: Former Phillies right fielder Hunter Pence has been using Daniel Bryan’s “Yes!” chant to pump up Giants fans before games. Bryan showed up in person for Game 3 of the National League Division Series against the Dodgers to lead the chant.

I wonder why Bryan chose to make a playoff appearance in San Francisco instead of Philadelphia. Oh, that’s right. The Phillies finished in last place and missed the playoffs.

*****

PAVING ROAD TO HELL: Like TNA, WWE won’t have its world champion (Brock Lesnar) at its next pay-per-view. Unlike TNA, WWE’s top contenders for the championship will be at Hell in a Cell on Oct. 26, battling each other to see which one comes out on top.

John Cena and Dean Ambrose will wrestling in a contract-on-a-pole match. The winner will get his hands on Seth Rollins, a thorn in both men’s sides, in a Hell in a Cell match. The loser will face Randy Orton.

*****

BEULAH IS BACK: Beulah McGuillicutty will accompany Tommy Dreamer to the ring on Nov. 15 to face Ethan Carter III in an Old School Extreme Rules match at House of Hardcore VI. The event will be held at the 2300 Arena, formerly the ECW Arena. I’ll bet Beulah, Dreamer’s real-life wife, has many memories of the ECW Arena, some fond and some not so fond.

*****

CHIKARA RETURNS TO PHILLY: The 2300 Arena will host CHIKARA’s next Philadelphia event, “Tomorrow Never Dies,” on Dec. 6.

*****

BUSY WEEKEND: I wonder if Ring of Honor knew WWE’s Royal Rumble was going to be in Philadelphia on Jan. 25 when it announced its own event for Philly on Sat., Jan. 24. Sometimes independent organizations like the spillover effect when WWE is in town, with the most notable example being all the independent events in the WrestleMania city each year. On the other hand, some organizations feel that having WWE in town the same weekend siphons off some of their fans.

*****

LEGENDS AT WRESTLEMANIA? The backstage conversation between Triple H and The Rock after RAW has to be going somewhere. I don’t think we’ll see a Triple H-Rock singles match. Could they be in a tag team match? Might they find representatives to do battle at WrestleMania while they serve as managers? Keep an eye on this situation.

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