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Consecutive losses for 76ers

Eric Fisher’s weekly column on a variety of topics. This week Eric serves up opinions on the NCAA lifting Penn State’s sanctions, a positive NFL story overshadowed by the Ray Rice debacle, and how Chip Kelly’s roster moves Sunday hurt the Eagles.

Gordon Glantz announces his candidacy for the Eagles’ vacant personnel position, saying the position is more than simply a job. It’s his calling.

The NCAA has lifted all penalties against Penn State’s football program, including restoring 112 victories, that were imposed as part of the sanctions in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal. Joe Paterno is once again the all-time wins leader in major college football. The move came as part of a proposed settlement of a lawsuit.

Archive for the ‘Wrestling’ Category

Heel Turns: Too much of a good thing?

Posted by Achilles Heel On October - 29 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Achilles HeelThe bitter rivalry continues Sunday night.

There will be excitement. There will be pain.

No, the Greek God of Wrestling isn’t referring to the Eagles-Cowboys clash Sunday night. He’s referring to WWE’s Hell in a Cell, which takes place Sunday (8 p.m., preshow at 7 p.m.) on WWE Network.

Three matches at Hell in a Cell will take place inside the hell in a cell cage, which, for the uninitiated, also includes a roof of metal and chain link fencing. In Achilles Heel’s mind, that’s too many of the same type of match. Having three hell in a cell matches removes the uniqueness of this type of match, which should be reserved for the culmination of only the bitterest feuds. (This is the same reason I always criticize TNA’s Lockdown, which features steel cage matches for the entire card.)

There are only so many different types of spots you can do in a hell in a cell. The last thing WWE should want is for the hell in a cell match to become routine.

Having said that, there is plenty to look forward to at Hell in a Cell. Kevin Owens defends the WWE Universal Championship against Seth Rollins inside hell in a cell. Both Owens and Rollins should excel in this environment. Expect Owens to retain, possibly with Chris Jericho getting involved in the finish.

Sasha Banks defends the Raw Women’s Championship against Charlotte (now being listed on wwe.com as Charlotte Flair) in a hell in a cell match. This is the first women’s hell in a cell match, so it’s a historic match. Expect Sasha to retain the title.

The third hell in a cell match pits United States champion Roman Reigns against former champion Rusev, who has been tremendous during the buildup to this match. Of all of the wrestlers involved in the ill-fated League of Nations, Rusev has done the best job of restoring his former credibility. He actually has caused fans to cheer for Reigns, which is quite an accomplishment for a heel these days. Reigns should win, but, if WWE wants to do a title switch, this match would make the most sense – unless Jericho costs Owens his title against Rollins. This should be an extremely physical match.

There are two other title matches at Hell in a Cell. The New Day defend the RAW Tag Team Championship against the mismatched team of Sheamus and Cesaro. The Greek God of Wrestling thinks we may see a title change in this match.

The other title match pits T.J. Perkins against challenger Brian Kendrick for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship match. A title change is also possible here. It would be a nice reward for Kendrick for a terrific career.

Two other matches include Enzo Amore and Big Cass against Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson, and Bayley vs. Dana Brooke. Bayley should defeat Brooke. The outcome of the tag team match may depend on what happens in the tag team title match. It doesn’t make sense to bury Gallows and Anderson with another loss; however, if Sheamus and Cesaro take the tag team titles from New Day, an Amore and Big Cass victory may make more sense.

There will be a six-man cruiserweight match during the Hell in a Cell kickoff show. Cedric Alexander, Lince Dorado and Sin Cara will oppose Drew Gulak, Tony Nese and Ariya Daivari. This should be a fun, hard-hitting match.

Hell in a Cell should be an enjoyable event. If you’re looking for something a little less physical and with less bitterness and hatred, watch the Eagles-Cowboys game.

*****

ORTON TURN? The Greek God of Wrestling isn’t quite sure what to make of Randy Orton delivering an RKO to Kane, costing the Big Red Machine his match with Bray Wyatt on Smackdown. Later in the show, Orton said, “If you can’t beat them, join them.”

Could Orton be joining the Wyatt Family? Having Orton join Luke Harper as a henchman would make the Wyatt Family incredibly dangerous and powerful. On the hand, Achilles Heel has a suspicion that Orton is merely going undercover, infiltrating the Wyatt Family before getting revenge.

*****

TIME TO PLAY THE GAME: Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series on Nov. 20 in Toronto is official. The only thing that bothers me about this match is it sometimes seems as if the match is being used to promote WWE’s video game instead of the other way around.

*****

TNA TURMOIL: Bobby Lashley will get a return match against TNA World champion Eddie Edwards, and Cody and Brandi Rhodes defeated Mike Bennett and Maria Kanellis-Bennett in a battle of married couples, but the real action in TNA took place away from the arena, as the lawsuit between Billy Corgan and Dixie Carter continues.

*****

SABRE PART OF CHIKARA CARD: CHIKARA will make its final 2016 appearances in Philadelphia next Saturday (Nov. 5) with a day-night doubleheader at The Wrestle Factory, located at 4711 Wingate Street.

At “Counting Backwards” in the afternoon (2 p.m.), heralded independent wrestlers Zack Sabre Jr. will square off with Juan Francisco de Coronado. Other matches include Drew Gulak battling Lucas Calhoun, and the team of Dasher Hatfield and Heidi Lovelace facing Icarus and Mark Angelosetti, Hatfield’s former tag team partner.

In the evening (7 p.m.) at “Like Phantoms, Forever,” Hallowicked will defend the Grand Championship against Ophidian. Princess Kimberlee takes on Max Smashmaster, and there are a whole bunch of matches involving various ants – Missile Assault Ant, Bullet Ant, Soldier Ant and Fire Ant.

*****

WWE INVADES JERSEY: There will be plenty of opportunities to see WWE and WWE stars in New Jersey during the next few days. On Sunday (Oct. 30), Jimmy and Jey Uso will appear at iPlay America in Freehold from 9 a.m.-noon. Meanwhile, you can meet Smackdown Women’s champion Becky Lynch on Sunday (10 a.m.-noon) at Adventureland Store in Voorhees. Advance purchase of tickets for admission, autographs and photo opportunities is recommended for both appearances.

If you’re looking to see WWE stars in the ring, there will be a card Sunday (5 p.m.) with the Smackdown crew at PPL Center in Allentown. That should end in time to watch the Eagles game or the main portion of Hell in a Cell. On Monday, the Smackdown crew will be at Sun National Bank Center (7:30 p.m.) in Trenton.

If you’re willing to drive a little further, WWE World champion A.J. Styles will be at the Cricket Wireless Store in Passaic from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Smackdown is later that night in Newark.

*****

CLASSIC PARTNERS: The first round of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic wrapped up with victories by the team of Kota Ibushi and T.J. Perkins, replacing the injured Hideo Itami, and the team of Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa posting victories.

Gargano and Ciampa will face NXT Tag Team champions The Revival (Scott Dawson, Dash Wilder) in the quarterfinals. In other quarterfinal matches, Ibushi and Perkins will battle the new team of Sanity. Austin Aries and Roderick Strong will square off with TM-61, and No Way Jose and Rich Swann will battle the Authors of Pain. The tournament final will be Nov. 19 at NXT Takeover: Toronto.

*****

GETTING HIS KICKS: A match between NXT champion Shinsuke Nakamura and Austin Aries was stopped recently after Nakamura kicked Aries in the face. Aries tweeted out a shot of his swollen eye the next day. It was gross. Really gross.

*****

KING OF THE RING: The Undertaker was in Cleveland for the Cavaliers’ home opener. Before the Cavaliers got their championship rings, many of them posed for photographs with Undertaker.

*****

HARDCORE CAGE MATCH: House of Hardcore 22 on Dec. 16 at 2300 Arena in Philadelphia will feature House of Hardcore’s first steel cage match, a battle between Tommy Dreamer and “Broken” Matt Hardy. Other matches include John Hennigan (formerly John Morrison) vs. Fenix, Tony Nese vs. Lio Rush and Sami Callihan vs. Brian Cage.

Heel Turns: TNA in dire straits

Posted by Achilles Heel On October - 17 - 2016 ADD COMMENTS

Achilles HeelA few weeks ago, the Greek God of Wrestling informed you of TNA’s precarious situation. There were doubts about whether Bound for Glory, the company’s biggest show of the year, would take place.

Believe it or not, the situation has deteriorated. (For the simpletons out there, that mean the situation has gotten worse.)

Billy Corgan, who was trying to buy TNA, filed a lawsuit against TNA chairwoman Dixie Carter and TNA ownership. Corgan, who gained fame with the Smashing Pumpkins, reportedly used his own money for a television taping earlier this year. It’s unclear who put up the money necessary for Bound for Glory to take place.

There are reports that TNA owes $3.4 million to several companies. With few available revenue streams available, it’s unclear how, even under the best of circumstances, TNA can climb out of its financial hole.

But there are not the best of circumstances. A lawsuit between the man running the on-air product and the people trying to sell TNA is a disastrous situation.

TNA, which has been hemorrhaging money for years, is in dire straits. Achilles Heel can’t help but wonder if Bound for Glory is TNA’s final pay-per-view.

*****

GOING TO HELL: There will be not one, not two, but three Hell in a Cell matches during the Hell in a Cell event on October 30th. Kevin Owens will defend the WWE Universal Championship against Seth Rollins inside hell in a cell. Roman Reigns will defend the United States Championship against former champion Rusev inside hell in a cell. For the first time, a women’s match will take place in hell in a cell, with Sasha Banks defending the RAW Women’s Championship against former champion Charlotte.

Two other championship matches have been announced for Hell in a Cell. The New Day will put the WWE Tag Team Championship on the line against the mismatched duo of Sheamus and Cesaro. T.J. Perkins will defend the WWE Cruiserweight Championship again against Brian Kendrick.

*****

GOLDBERG RETURNS: Goldberg returns to RAW tonight (Monday) for the first time since WrestleMania XX. For those of you who aren’t too good at math, 12 years have elapsed since Goldberg was in WWE.

Goldberg will be at RAW to discuss a possible Survivor Series rematch with Brock Lesnar, the man he beat at WrestleMania XX.

Survivor Series, which will take place on Sun., Nov. 20 in Toronto, may also contain some traditional Survivor Series elimination bouts, with RAW and Smackdown fielding opposing teams. One problem WWE has with so many special events is that the promotion for Survivor Series, particularly with Goldberg and Lesnar involved, may overshadow the upcoming Hell in a Cell event.

*****

RIVALS AND PARTNERS: While WWE invades Toronto for NXT Takeover and Survivor Series on Nov. 19-20, Ring of Honor will be putting on events in the United Kingdom. On Sat., Nov. 19, Marty Scurll will team up with Will Ospreay to battle the Young Bucks in Leicester, England. Aside from the talent involved, what makes this match interesting is that Scurll and Ospreay will square off the next night in London.

*****

JBL INTERVIEWS LEGEND: WWE has a real treat after tonight’s RAW. As part of JBL’s Legends series, JBL will interview the living legend, Bruno Sammartino.

*****

CLASSIC PARTNERS: There will be a few surprises at the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. Hideo Itami suffered an injury at a house show that will knock him out of the tournament. Itami was supposed to form a Japanese dream team with Kota Ibushi. With Itami sidelined, Ibushi has found a pretty good replacement: WWE Cruiserweight champion T.J. Perkins. The back story in this partnership is that Perkins upset Ibushi in the semifinals of the Cruiserweight Classic..

Austin Aries also is awaiting a surprise tag team partner for the tournament. Because he detests spoilers, the Greek God of Wrestling won’t reveal the identity of Aries’ partner.

*****

TAKEOVER IN TORONTO: In addition to the finals of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, NXT Takeover: Toronto will also feature a grudge match between NXT champion Shinsuke Nakamura, and NXT Women’s champion Osuka will defend her title against none other than Mickie James!.

*****

SABRE COMING TO PHILLY: Heralded independent wrestlers Zack Sabre Jr., will square off with Juan Francisco de Coronado at CHIKARA’s Counting Backwards, the first half of a doubleheader during CHIKARA’s final Philly shows of the year. At “Like Phantoms, Forever” later that same night, Hallowicked will defend the Grand Championship against Ophidian.

*****

PAIGE TURNER: Paige has had quite a month. She was issued her second suspension for violating WWE’s drug policy, resulting in a 60-game suspension. She’s also scheduled to have major neck surgery. Paige capped off an eventful month by proposing in the ring to boyfriend Alberto El Patron (Alberto Del Rio). He said “yes.”

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