First Black Champ - The Rock Been Rocking

Young Landon is on the way, so we talked all we definitely know about Wrestlemania 35. Wrestlemania bout to be long AF and we could have seen some of this on In Your House, Velocity or Backlash. We also talk about New Day and how they are blurring the lines perfectly on Kofi's road to Wrestlemania on this week's #FirstBlackChamp podcast!

Follow JR Bang on Twitter: @jrbang
Follow Cam Quotes on Twitter: @ImCamQuotes

Listen to the new bangers playlist from The Barber's Chair on Apple Music, Spotify and Tidal!
Tidal: bit.ly/tidalbangers
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Rep THE MAN just in time for Wrestlemania with the brand new #FreeTheMan tees up now on the Barber's Chair Net merch shop
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Nearly Canceled: Entourage drops January 2019 exclusively on the Barber's Chair Patreon! Become a patron of The Barber's Chair on Patreon! $5 a month will get you a thank you on Ball Don't Lie and guarantees you access to Nearly Canceled: Entourage, along with more exclusive premium content from The Barber's Chair!
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Random Acts of Podcast EP230: J Prince Is Da Down Souf Thanos

On this week's episode RAOP we kick things off by talking about J Prince kicking over the buildings, straight men throwing sexual advances at studs, our first experiences with edibles, Avengers EndGame and a ton more other topics. Remember to send in YOUR questions, #TheyNeedTheirAssBeat or #RealNiggaOfTheWeek submissions, email us at MAIL@RAOPodcast.com or call 424-260-RAOP to leave a voicemail.

Listen to the new bangers playlist from The Barber's Chair on Apple Music, Spotify and Tidal!
Tidal: bit.ly/tidalbangers
Spotify: bit.ly/spotifybangers
Apple Music: bit.ly/applebangers

Rep THE MAN just in time for Wrestlemania with the brand new #FreeTheMan tees up now on the Barber's Chair Net merch shop
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Nearly Canceled: Entourage drops January 2019 exclusively on the Barber's Chair Patreon! Become a patron of The Barber's Chair on Patreon! $5 a month will get you a thank you on Ball Don't Lie and guarantees you access to Nearly Canceled: Entourage, along with more exclusive premium content from The Barber's Chair!
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Ball Don't Lie EP. 44 - Milk Madness

This week's episode is nothing but pure #BunnyTalk. The greatest white women (not named Anne Hathaway) on the planet.

Follow Pierce on Twitter: @HennyOmega
Follow Scott on Twitter: @BarbersChairNet
Follow Pavy on Twitter: @Pavyworld
Follow Hoops n Brews on Twitter: @HoopsNBrews
Follow Damien on Twitter: @Im_VelvetJones

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Rep THE MAN just in time for Wrestlemania with the brand new #FreeTheMan tees up now on the Barber's Chair Net merch shop
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Nearly Canceled: Entourage drops January 2019 exclusively on the Barber's Chair Patreon! Become a patron of The Barber's Chair on Patreon! $5 a month will get you a thank you on Ball Don't Lie and guarantees you access to Nearly Canceled: Entourage, along with more exclusive premium content from The Barber's Chair!
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2019 NFL Draft Analysis: Projected First Round Quarterbacks

Every week up until the 2019 NFL Draft on April 25, The Barber’s Chair will post weekly scouting reports of the top prospects to watch in this year’s selection class. The players are listed in no particular order. The heights and weights of each athlete were gathered from NFL.com’s official Combine results page.


Daniel Jones
Duke | 6’5” | 221 lbs.

Strengths: Decisive with his quick throws. Great short accuracy. Doesn’t get careless when the play breaks down. It showed with his limited turnovers. Will carve up a zone defense all the way down the field. Good at throwing on the run. Can run a read-option. Broke some long runs for touchdowns. Knows how to read the defenders. Scored several touchdowns because he waited for the defender to bite then threw it behind them.

Weaknesses: Needs to learn to be a pure pocket passer. Not fast enough to be considered mobile. Broke those long TDs but was getting less than five yards on most of his attempts. Never saw him attempt to slide. Would like to see him air it out more, especially when they’re down. His deep balls were either underthrown or dropped.

Pro Comparison: Nick Foles. Limited turnovers with an unnecessary infatuation with running the ball early in his career. Will likely flip-flop between competent starter and solid backup for several years until he finds a groove.


Drew Lock
Missouri | 6’4” | 228 lbs.

Strengths: Beautiful deep ball. High-arching and leads his receivers with it. Nice side-arm throw. Rips teams apart in the middle of the field. Maximizes the strengths of his tight end. Some eye-popping pro level throws. Great passes throwing toward the sideline. Knows when and how to slide. Had an incredible 13 TD / 0 INT ratio on play-action last season.

Weaknesses: Needs to learn to climb in the pocket for the type of QB he is. He either stays flat-footed or rolls to the right when his first read isn’t there. Took advantage of favorable match-ups but never rose to the level of greater competition.

Pro Comparison: Matthew Stafford. Visible arm talent but would be better served with an established run game.

I had the same takeaway from watching both guys. I’m really interested to see how much better they can be when surrounded by pro talent. Neither of them had the help of a legit running attack and Daniel Jones’ receivers had an inexcusable amount of drops. Both guys flashed major potential so let’s see if their skills can translate into NFL-style offenses.


Kyler Murray
Oklahoma | 5’10” | 207 lbs.

Strengths: Happy feet. His feet are never flat and are always moving in case he has to take off. Very skilled runner but is still a pass-first quarterback. Running is a last resort. Crazy elusiveness that allows him to change directions without altering speed. Oklahoma’s poor defense forced him into many shootouts but he never lost composure. Baseball background taught him to create effortless throws at all angles, speeds, and distances. Insane improvisation skills.

Weaknesses: I’m worried his great offensive line at Oklahoma spoiled him. His NFL o-line may not allow him to dance around in the pocket as much. Needs to learn to slide better. Lost a fumble against West Virginia from falling forward. Has to slide earlier as well. NFL linebackers are going to close in on him a lot faster.

Pro Comparison: Russell Wilson. Can make magic on a broken play. Able to run a read-option based offense or drop back every snap if needed. Both have the baseball background as well.


Dwayne Haskins
Ohio State | 6’3” | 231 lbs.

Strengths: Hyper productive (50 TDs) against solid competition with limited starting experience. Already looks very mature and polished. Climbs the pocket well while always keeping his eyes downfield. Accurate throws on the run. Takes what the defense gives him. Spreads the ball around without forcing it to anyone.

Weaknesses: Heavy feet. Isn’t always able to escape when the pocket collapses. Rarely faced with the adversity of having to play from behind. Lost against Purdue for this reason. Overzealous with fitting balls into tight windows.

Pro Comparison: Jared Goff. Possesses all the intangibles and is capable of leading a dominant team with the right pieces and coaching staff.

bangers, A Barber's Chair Playlist

The hottest new music on the scene, curated by Amanda Davila. Search for more playlists from The Barber’s Chair on Apple Music, Spotify and Tidal!

Tidal: bit.ly/tidalbangers
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Follow Amanda on Twitter: @pettyspaghettti

Ruthless Aggression - Dana Brooke Is The San Diego Padres Of Pro Wrestling

Kofi gets his title opportunity taken away from him (again), the internet cries for Dana Brooke, more updates on the Road to Wrestlemania and the week in 2003, including Vince McMahon stabbing the hell out of Hulk Hogan!

Ruthless Aggression recap:
RAW 512
Smackdown 188

Follow Pierce: @HennyOmega
Follow Chris: @ChrisMNovak
Follow Rob: @RobertONeill31

Listen to the new bangers playlist from The Barber's Chair on Apple Music, Spotify and Tidal!

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Rep THE MAN just in time for Wrestlemania with the brand new #FreeTheMan tees up now on the Barber's Chair Net merch shop
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Nearly Canceled: Entourage drops January 2019 exclusively on the Barber's Chair Patreon! Become a patron of The Barber's Chair on Patreon! $5 a month will get you a thank you on Ball Don't Lie and guarantees you access to Nearly Canceled: Entourage, along with more exclusive premium content from The Barber's Chair!
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The Counter Press EP 31

The Counter Press is back with another episode. This time it's Puneet who joins Josh on the show. They discuss everything from Manchester United to the rumored expansion of the World Cup format.

Follow Josh on Twitter: @highbiscuits
Follow Puneet on Twitter: @PuneetSingh

Listen to the new bangers playlist from The Barber's Chair on Apple Music, Spotify and Tidal!
Tidal: bit.ly/tidalbangers
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Rep THE MAN just in time for Wrestlemania with the brand new #FreeTheMantees up now on the Barber's Chair Net merch shop
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Nearly Canceled: Entourage drops January 2019 exclusively on the Barber's Chair Patreon! Become a patron of The Barber's Chair on Patreon! $5 a month will get you a thank you on Ball Don't Lie and guarantees you access to Nearly Canceled: Entourage, along with more exclusive premium content from The Barber's Chair!
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Looking Glass #32: "Skywalker just space Uchihas"

X, Ash, and Church go off about James Gunn being reinstated by Disney, break down the latest Endgame trailer, Flash movie news, and more

Follow X: @BlackIce392
Follow Church: @COFFINBORNEGOD
Follow Ash: @AshThe_Stampede

Topics:
Spider-Verse
Star Wars Episode IX
New Mutants
Mortal Kombat 11
Deadly Class
Justice League/Black Hammer crossover
Superman: Year One
DC Comics
Arrow Spinoff
Esai Morales cast as Deathstroke
Doom Patrol
Flash
Marvel What-if
Marvel Comics
DOOM
Shang Chi
Avengers: Endgame trailer
James Gunn reinstatement

Listen to the new bangers playlist from The Barber's Chair on Apple Music, Spotify and Tidal!
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Spotify: bit.ly/spotifybangers
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Rep THE MAN just in time for Wrestlemania with the brand new #FreeTheMantees up now on the Barber's Chair Net merch shop
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Nearly Canceled: Entourage drops January 2019 exclusively on the Barber's Chair Patreon! Become a patron of The Barber's Chair on Patreon! $5 a month will get you a thank you on Ball Don't Lie and guarantees you access to Nearly Canceled: Entourage, along with more exclusive premium content from The Barber's Chair!
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The 40/40 Club - A-Rod Won

The debut of The 40/40 Club. Mixed drinks of death, Lumen and crawling to Uber's in Beverly Hills (08:24-15:50). The new trailer for Avengers: Endgame (16:12-24:10). WWF Aggression and the wildest wrestling themes(24:18-26:30). Mr. 3000, Angels in the Outfield and our favorite baseball movies of all-time (26:40-42:40). A preview of the 'Elite Milk' discussion on next week's Ball Don't Lie (32:55-36:50). A-Rod puts a ring on J-Lo and gets the ultimate W over Jeter (36:51-38:50). Beverly Hills Cop, Eddie Murphy making terrible movies and Friday After Next is the greatest Christmas movie ever (42:41-48:00). Our boy Mets fan Mike joins the show to talk about the toughest division in baseball, how he plans to deal with the pain of another Mets season and when Tim Tebow will make the 40-man roster, if Eloy Jimenez will hit a homer before the Battle of Winterfell, if the Red Sox have become the Yankees daddies, the Cubs hitting struggles, and give over/unders for Bryce Harper and Manny Machado (50:09-1:44:04).

This week's Negro League Legend of the Week: Satchel Paige
Follow Pierce on Twitter: @HennyOmega
Follow Scott on Twitter: @BarbersChairNet
Follow Mike on Twitter: @OptimalViewing

Listen to the new bangers playlist from The Barber's Chair on Apple Music, Spotify and Tidal!
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Rep THE MAN just in time for Wrestlemania with the brand new #FreeTheMan tees up now on the Barber's Chair Net merch shop
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Ruthless Aggression - 3:16

Happy Steve Austin Day! Fastlane thoughts, Kofi running the gauntlet, RKO & AJ delivering an epic segment, Stokely Hathaway and the new NXT signings, plus this week in 2003.

Ruthless Aggression recap:
RAW 511
Smackdown 187

Follow Pierce: @HennyOmega
Follow Chris: @ChrisMNovak
Follow Rob: @RobertONeill31

Rep THE MAN just in time for Wrestlemania with the brand new #FreeTheMan tees up now on the Barber's Chair Net merch shop
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Nearly Canceled: Entourage is available right now exclusively on the Barber's Chair Patreon! Become a patron of The Barber's Chair on Patreon! $5 a month will get you a thank you on Ball Don't Lie and guarantees you access to Nearly Canceled: Entourage, along with more exclusive premium content from The Barber's Chair!
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2019 NFL Draft Analysis: Wide Receivers

Every week up until the 2019 NFL Draft on April 25, The Barber’s Chair will post weekly scouting reports of the top prospects to watch in this year’s selection class. The players are listed in no particular order. The heights and weights of each athlete were gathered from NFL.com’s official Combine results page.

AJ Brown
Ole Miss | 6’0”| 226 lbs

Strengths: Intelligent route-runner that commands targets. Averaged over seven catches per game in 2018. Will always get open in a zone or soft coverage. Has good hands and can improvise. Focuses on getting open every play rather than aiming for a home run. Found success against highest level of competition.

Weaknesses: Worked mostly in the slot. Teams may want to move him around. Fast but wont take the top off a defense. Rarely faced press coverage. Not sure if he can out-muscle someone.

Pro Comparison: Jarvis Landry


DK Metcalf
Ole Miss | 6’3” | 228 lbs

Strengths: Other-worldly athlete that stole the show at the combine. Rare combination of strength and straight-line speed for someone his size. Good at come-back and hook routes. Will make you pay if he gets defensive back out of position.

Weaknesses: Often glued to the cornerback. Has a really difficult time separating against above average competition. Would disappear on film for extended periods. Only wins in softer coverage. Very limited route tree and had a few bad drops. Someone his size needs to get better at boxing out DBs for jump balls.

Pro Comparison: Sammy Watkins

One benefit of the doubt I’ll give to Metcalf is that Jordan Ta’amu, his quarterback at Ole Miss, still has a lot of room to grow in terms of accuracy and making progressions. However, once I started watching the tape, it made a lot more sense as to why his stats didn’t match his combine workout. He’s still learning to be a wide receiver. He can be a great compliment opposite of a veteran wideout but forcing him into a WR1 slot would be too much to ask right now.


N’Keal Harry
Arizona State | 6’2” | 228 lbs

Strengths: Big, strong receiver that cranked out as many reps (27) as Metcalf at the combine. Good hands with the ability to create something special after the catch. Great control of his body for catch jump balls and back shoulder throws. Had his best moments and production working out of the slot. Good slants and double moves.

Weaknesses: Has a hard time beating outside corners. Rarely fools them with his route running. Worried he’ll get shut down if he doesn’t move to the slot full-time. Looks sluggish at times. Almost looks like he lost a step between seasons. That provided inconsistent tape as a result. He’ll alternate between average and superstar. Created a couple big plays where he reversed field. Hopefully that doesn’t cause big loss plays in the NFL.

Pro Comparison: Anquan Boldin, but needs to get better


Parris Campbell
Ohio State | 6’0” | 205 lbs.

Strengths: A versatile receiver with world-class speed (4.31). Used a lot with jet sweeps and can return kickoffs. Sneaky good route runner but can get even better. Doesn’t need much room to burn you after the catch. Will get open over the middle all day long. Torched a 10-1 Michigan defense (6-192-2) in every way he knew how. Ceiling could be very high in the right opportunity.

Weaknesses: Very rarely put in a position where he needed to make contested catches. Ohio State knew how to showcase his speed while hiding his lack of strength. His NFL team needs to do the same. Had a couple of stretches in 2018 with a lack of production.

Pro Comparison: Curtis Samuel


Marquise “Hollywood” Brown
Oklahoma | 5’9” | 166 lbs.

Strengths: Absolute burner that can create unreal separation behind the safeties. Not just a straight-line runner as he can be devastating after the catch. Lines up all over the line of scrimmage. Doesn’t shy away from the CB1, regardless of his size. Somehow never gets tired over the course of a game. Will find a way to get open when his quarterback needs to improvise. Refuses to get tackled. Can catch balls over the shoulder with a defender on top of him. Turns on the jets as soon as he sees a DB out of position. Not a one-trick pony. Found success running various routes rather than just streaks and deep posts.

Weaknesses: The pillowy defenses of the Big 12 gave him plenty of room to reach his top speed. Hardly ever faced a high-level press corner that could put the clamps on him. Scouts will obviously see his size as an issue. Not going to box out many guys. Needs to put on some weight so he can endure getting tackled long-term.

Pro Comparison: Tyreek Hill in T.Y. Hilton’s body

First Black Champ - The Blackest Wrestlemania Ever

The Shane McMahon heel turn on Miz was expected, but the reason is trash! It's also a shame that Alexa Bliss is the host of Wrestlemania 35 at what should be the prime of her wrestling career. Cam's plans to retire #PrayForKurtAngle and we talk who his WM opponent will be and Bang deep dives on why the Kofi "People Like You" Part 2 really pissed him off on this week's #FirstBlackChamp podcast!

Listen to the new bangers playlist from The Barber's Chair on Apple Music, Spotify and Tidal!
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Rep THE MAN just in time for Wrestlemania with the brand new #FreeTheMantees up now on the Barber's Chair Net merch shop
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79th and Halas Ep. 123 - "Amos is the Opps"

On this surprise episode Scott & Flows go over the recent Free Agency signings by the Bears and how they improve the team.

Listen to the new bangers playlist from The Barber's Chair on Apple Music, Spotify and Tidal!
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Rep THE MAN just in time for Wrestlemania with the brand new #FreeTheMantees up now on the Barber's Chair Net merch shop
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Nearly Canceled: Entourage drops January 2019 exclusively on the Barber's Chair Patreon! Become a patron of The Barber's Chair on Patreon! $5 a month will get you a thank you on Ball Don't Lie and guarantees you access to Nearly Canceled: Entourage, along with more exclusive premium content from The Barber's Chair!
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Random Acts of Podcast EP229: The City Is Under New Management

On this week’s episode of RAOP we start off the show by chopping it up about all the recent transactions in the NFL. And then we get DDot Omen (@DDotOmenBlog) on the phone to talk about Yes Julz taking legal action on him, how to keep culture vultures away from the Culture and his new company THOROS LLC. Remember to send in YOUR questions, #TheyNeedTheirAssBeat or #RealNiggaOfTheWeek submissions, email us at MAIL@RAOPodcast.com or call 424-260-RAOP to leave a voicemail.

Listen to the new bangers playlist from The Barber's Chair on Apple Music, Spotify and Tidal!

Tidal: bit.ly/tidalbangers
Spotify: bit.ly/spotifybangers
Apple Music: bit.ly/applebangers

Rep THE MAN just in time for Wrestlemania with the brand new #FreeTheMan tees up now on the Barber's Chair Net merch shop
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Nearly Canceled: Entourage drops January 2019 exclusively on the Barber's Chair Patreon! Become a patron of The Barber's Chair on Patreon! $5 a month will get you a thank you on Ball Don't Lie and guarantees you access to Nearly Canceled: Entourage, along with more exclusive premium content from The Barber's Chair!
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Ball Don't Lie EP. 43 - "Get Paid, Black Man!"

Scott and Dante weigh in on a frenzied start to free agency, Odell's move to the Browns and AB's move to the Raiders. Plus fan incidents at games and Goofy Mog of the Week!

Topics:
NFL Free Agency
- Chicago Bears moves
- Odell to Browns
- Antonio Brown to Raiders
- winners/losers
NBA
- Warriors recent slump
- Are the Rockets the biggest threat out west?
- Fan incidents at games
Goofy Mog of the Week

Follow Scott on Twitter: @BarbersChairNet
Follow Dante on Twitter: @OctobersOwnTae

Listen to the new bangers playlist from The Barber's Chair on Apple Music, Spotify and Tidal!

Tidal: bit.ly/tidalbangers
Spotify: bit.ly/spotifybangers
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Rep THE MAN just in time for Wrestlemania with the brand new #FreeTheMan tees up now on the Barber's Chair Net merch shop
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Nearly Canceled: Entourage drops January 2019 exclusively on the Barber's Chair Patreon! Become a patron of The Barber's Chair on Patreon! $5 a month will get you a thank you on Ball Don't Lie and guarantees you access to Nearly Canceled: Entourage, along with more exclusive premium content from The Barber's Chair!
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This Week in WWE: Off on the road to WrestleMania!

Fastlane is in the books, and now the road to WrestleMania has OFFICIALLY begun! Rob and Chris break down this week’s episodes of Raw and SmackDown Live.

Raw.png

Chris Novak: With Fastlane come and gone, we’re now officially on the road to WrestleMania. Sounds fun to say, right? Here come The SHIELD!

Robert O’Neill: This is apparently a “farewell address” for the Hounds of Justice. It seems like shenanigans are coming.

Or not. Roman says that Seth has other things to take care of and Dean’s future is up in the air. They do the triple fist bump and Roman and Dean depart and… Paul Heyman comes out. He says Brock is gonna win at Wrestlemania but Seth says Brock struggles with little guys, which is true! That’s good storytelling!

Chris Novak: Very much a fan of this. Heyman goes off on a bit of a tangent, and then turns to a video package. Hey, cool!

Robert O’Neill: The package doesn’t faze Rollins though, who doesn’t back down. Heyman says that Rollins thinks he knows Lesnar, but he doesn’t know Lesnar, and SHELTON BENJAMIN attacks Rollins from behind. Storytelling!

Chris Novak: That is some storytelling that I can REALLY APPRECIATE!

Seth eventually defeated Benjamin after what was a pretty fun match. Really liked that entire opening sequence, to be honest. Rollins won with the Stomp. Really dug this match. Benjamin using the Germans and the F-5 were a nice touch too, as was Paul E.’s commentary. Just a very well-produced segment here. That I’m sure most of WrestleTwitter will be annoyed with.

Finn Bálor is here now. He’s about to defend his IC Championship against Bob Lashley.

Robert O’Neill: That Rollins/Benjamin match was awesome! I hope this can be as good. Balor is obviously very good but I’m not a Lashley guy.

Chris Novak: Lashley wins the Intercontinental Championship for the second time! Lio Rush redeemed himself by distracting Finn, which allowed for Lashley to hit a Spear in mid-air. Like that booking a lot. Obviously, Finn will likely win the championship back, because the story is now that Finn

Robert O’Neill: So we had surprise mid-card title changes on both shows this week! That’s exciting. It makes things seem more important. Also, the mid-air spear was awesome.

Chris Novak: Ronda Rousey is next. Also, we’re apparently learning who the host of WrestleMania is on Moment of Bliss later tonight. I have this weird hunch I know who it’s going to be…

Anyways, Ronda’s here.

Robert O’Neill: She’s tired of all the “carny con artists” and she’s willing to make the Wrestlemania match a handicap match cause she’s so sure she’s going to win. Then Dana Brooke (???) comes out and says she’s tired of Ronda disrespecting the business, and Ronda beats the living hell out of her.

Chris Novak: That was so bad that it was so good, honestly

Aleister Black and, presumably, Ricochet are here now. They’ll be facing Bobby Roode and Chad Gable. I’m going to assume that this match is going to slap.

It turns out that it did. Black won the match for his team with Black Mass. I would guess that probably puts them in line for a future title shot against The Revival. Which, hey, that’s fine with me. Solid stuff overall here. Keeping these guys in the spotlight. They just don’t take losses.

Robert O’Neill: It seems like these are your three teams in the Raw Tag Titles match at Wrestlemania, which is perfectly fine with me.

Alexa Bliss is here for Moment of Bliss to reveal the Wrestlemania guest host.

Aaaaand… it’s HER! Fantastic.

Chris Novak: Ahahahaha, that was very well done. I am fired up about this. Being the host of Mania is a more prominent role for her than to be in that battle royal on the Kickoff Show, especially if they aren’t having her be in any program right now. This should provide some entertainment.

Robert O’Neill: Colin Jost and Michael Che bought Braun Strowman a car to try and make up for last week, but Braun destroyed it and said he was gonna go to SNL this week!

Chris Novak: Elias came out to hate on Pittsburgh and Antonio Brown. Now, here comes No Way Jose. In case you missed it, he changed up his hair, and it looks pretty ridiculous. Elias then went and attacked him on the outside. He’s also beating the crap out of all the conga line members.

They then show a video package for Harlem Heat, who are going into the HOF this year. To which I say, HELL YES! An incredible tag team, and one of my early faves as a youngster. I’m still not going to the ceremony, but this is dope as hell.

Lacey Evans came out to do her cameo bit. Then, Nia Jax came out with Tamina. A brief stare down happened. Nia is facing Natalya. I don’t know who that’s for, but it’s happening regardless.

Okay, the match didn’t last very long at all. Beth came in and intervened and went after Nia and Tamina. That served a purpose to put Beth over, obviously. They then cut to the back and Bayley and Sasha Banks were ambushing Nia and Tamina! A pull apart in Gorilla! Hell yeah.

Robert O’Neill: Time for Batista and Triple H to meet face-to-face!

After back and forth and back and forth, Batista gets Triple H to agree to a match at Wrestlemania. BUT, Triple H adds it will be a no holds barred match! Things are going to get chaotic.

Chris Novak: Here’s Kurt Angle. Angle announces that he’s going to compete in his final match ever at WrestleMania. But tonight, he’s going to compete for the last time in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Against… Apollo Crews. I’m not ready for this, man.

Robert O’Neill: Wrestlemania is gonna be EMOTIONAL.

Chris Novak: Kurt won, as expected. Match was totally fine. Angle and Crews had a nice moment at the end of the match, as did Angle after Crews gave him the ring. This was all very well done.

Roman Reigns vs. Baron Corbin is supposed to be next. However, Drew Mac issues quite the beatdown on Reigns instead. Lord.Seth comes out eventually and helps him to the back along with the officials.

After Dean and Seth lead him to the trainer’s room, Ambrose is irate. He goes up to Triple H and says he wants Drew Mac in a Falls Count Anywhere Match. And it’s going down, so this is our main event.

And good LORD this was a brutal match. Mac turned it all the way up to 11 in this one, just brutalizing Ambrose. He hit a Claymore Kick for the win after jamming Ambrose’s head in a steel railing. Which, naturally, broke off its moorings after he landed that kick. Fun ass brawl to end what was a pretty fun Raw.

Robert O’Neill: I enjoy when Falls Count Anywhere matches actually go around the arena and not just around ringside so this was great. It made McIntyre look like a big deal again too after making him look like kind of a dork for the past few months.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Robert O’Neill: I’m in a weird spot right now. I liked and was entertained by everything on this Raw and felt everything had a purpose, but it won’t go down as an all-time great show. This is where giving out letter grades really becomes tough every week. A-

Chris Novak: There were quality matches and quality progressions in storylines. When you’re on the RTWM, that’s about all you can ask for. A- for me. Really dug this episode.

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Robert O’Neill: Shane McMahon is opening the show, likely to address why he committed such atrocities against Miz and George Mizanin. He’s also insisting that Greg Hamilton refer to him as “The Best In The World” again.

Chris Novak: That’s REAL HEAT for Shane McMahon! It’s like the year 2000 all over again!

Robert O’Neill: Shane mentions that no one appreciates what he does behind the scenes and he’s the Best in the World because he was born that way, and he’s going to face Miz at Wrestlemania. And it’s not a request, because Shane is Miz’s boss.

Chris Novak: That was an excellent villainous promo from Shane. I didn’t realize how much I missed heel Shane until now. That was tremendous work.

Anyways. Eight-man tag match coming. Aleister Black, Ricochet and The Hardy Boyz are about to face The Bar, Rusev and Shinsuke Nakamura. Have a feeling this is going to be very good.

Robert O’Neill: It was a lot of fun, and then The New Day came out and beat up all eight guys! This is brilliant. New Day is mad as hell and not gonna take this anymore. Love it.

Chris Novak: Here comes Randy Orton

Robert O’Neill: Oh man. He compared where he was in 2002 (making his WWE debut) to where AJ Styles was in 2002 (wrestling in a high school gym for $10) and 2004, and 2005, when Orton was facing The Undertaker and Styles was “down in Florida, getting a tan with Dixie Carter.”

This is the most I’ve cared about/enjoyed Randy Orton in years!

Chris Novak: Orton and Styles spent the next few minutes trading barbs with one another. Styles made mention of how many “babysitters” Orton’s had and how Orton’s surrounded by all of his “indie” pals. A couple of other fun mentions were dropped here. Orton told Styles that if he wants to keep renting a room, “rent’s due you son of a bitch,” which led to Styles saying that he needs to come take it, and said so while pointing up to the WM sign.

I am HERE for all of this. What a great segment.

Asuka is next! She’s facing Sonya Deville, which should be a lot of fun.

Robert O’Neill: It WAS fun! Asuka got the win when Many accidentally tripped Sonya, leading to the Asuka Lock, which was awfully similar to what happened at Fastlane…

Chris Novak: Sure is interesting…

The IIconics cut a promo on SASHER AND BAYLEY (writing it out like that, don’t care) and appear to want them to come to SmackDown Live. I mean, so do I! Who among us doesn’t?

Becky Lynch is next!

Robert O’Neill: The Man has come around! The crutches are gone and she’s ready to be in the main event of WrestleMania. But now Charlotte is here, and she’s been working hard while Becky’s been out of commission and she deserves to be there regardless of how she got there.

Chris Novak: Becky wraps things up by talking about how Charlotte’s had the division by the throat for four years, did nothing with it, while Becky in a few short months has them in the main event. The division doesn’t need a queen in her minds, it needs The Man.

Backstage, Daniel Bryan and Rowan were leaving Mr. McMahon’s office. Kayla Braxton got word from Bryan, who said they were talking about Kofi Kingston, and also added that they’ll be in a tag match against Kevin Owens and Mustafa Ali later tonight.

Speaking of tag team matches, we’ve got one next. Rey Mysterio teams with R-Truth against Andrade and the United States Champion, Samoa Joe.

Rey gets the pin fall victory here on the US Champion. So, you can probably expect that he’s going to get a shot at the US Championship very soon. Perhaps even next week! We shall see. Joe is not very happy afterwards. He attacked R-Truth AND Andrade afterwards. Solid and effective stuff here.

Robert O’Neill: These guys are all so good. It’s like the 2002 Smackdown midcard.

Chris Novak: On to what SHOULD be the last match of the night. Kevin Owens teams with Mustafa Ali against Daniel Bryan and Rowan.

Robert O’Neill: Bryan busted out a “I HAVE TILL FIVE” on a submission, which was a great throwback. Aside from that, the match was fun. It was short, but that’s fine! Rowan beat Mustafa with the clawslam.

Chris Novak: That was a fun match, albeit a bit abbreviated.

Here comes Vince, who’s granting Kofi a “WrestleMania opportunity.” Whatever it is that’s supposed to mean.

Robert O’Neill: New Day is here and they’re not putting up with this anymore. They go to India, they go everywhere, they never complain, they never said they’re going to leave and they’re STILL treated like garbage, especially Kofi!

But Vince says no one deserves anything, including Vince himself! And if Kofi was main event material, it would have happened a long time ago. And Vince said Daniel Bryan told him that Kofi is a “B-Plus player” because we’ve officially come full circle. Kofi says he has never complained despite missing so much time with his family, because he loves his job. He just needs to know what he has to do to get an opportunity, because the fans believe in him. And now Randy Orton is here! And Kofi just has to beat him. And beat Samoa Joe. And beat The Bar. And beat Rowan. All in a gauntlet match next week.

Chris Novak: Kofi knocked it out of the freaking PARK. Oh my Lord. Next week is teed up to be one for the books, man. What a promo.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Robert O’Neill: Much like Raw, I liked everything on Smackdown. I have no complaints here. But it also doesn’t feel like an all-time great show, so I think Smackdown is also an A-

Chris Novak: A- show for me, as well. Everything hit right with me here. Cannot wait for next week.

Looking Glass #31: "Da Agenda"

Looking Glass returns from hiatus with a full-spoiler Captain Marvel review, Will Smith leaving Suicide Squad, Idris Elba joining The Suicide Squad, Pokemon Sword & Shield, Game of Thrones and more!

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WWE Fastlane 2019: Recap, results, analysis, match grades
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The New Day vs. Rusev and Shinsuke Nakamura

Chris Novak: This wound up being the only Kickoff Show match. They made Rey vs. Andrade a Fatal 4-Way for the US Title, featuring the same four who were in the match on Tuesday. This tag was a fun way to get the night started, unsurprisingly. Lot of near falls and a pretty solid pace to this one. Some unique double team maneuvers utilized by the newer tag team, as well. New Day won after hitting the Midnight Hour on Rusev. I’m giving this a very high ***¾. It ruled something fierce

Robert O’Neill: I came into this match not knowing about the long-term sustainability of a Rusev/Shinsuke team, but holy hell this was a lot of fun. They looked like a team that had been together for years, and I would like them to team forever. ****

Miz and Shane McMahon vs. The Usos - SmackDown Tag Team Championships

Robert O’Neill: Wow. This was so much better than their match at the Royal Rumble. Miz delivered an all-time great performance. The Usos played a big part as well but Miz pulled out all the stops and there was a part where Shane and one of the Usos collided in mid-air as they both tried to do top rope moves, I’ve never seen anything like it. Usos retaining was the right call, as well. Shane embraced with Miz and Miz’s dad after the match AND THEN HIT MIZ FROM BEHIND AND BEAT HIM UP. WHAT THE HELL MAN? ****

Chris Novak: I need more babyface Miz and I need it now. What an effort. Obviously, The Usos’ greatness has been stated quite enough. And they really did the damn thing here. But my goodness, Miz put in work. Crowd was hot the entire way for Miz as well. The Usos retained after Miz’s attempt at a Frog Splash went awry. Shane cut one of The Usos’ off earlier when he went off the top rope. ****¼ here for me. Just terrific.

Mandy Rose vs. Asuka - Smackdown Women’s Championship

Chris Novak: Asuka won rather decisively after Sonya attempted to get involved. But, unfortunately for Deville, she didn’t get the job done right, and neither did Mandy. So Asuka retains as she heads into WrestleMania. *** for me. Did more than enough to work for me but, obviously, it wasn’t enough for her to win.

Robert O’Neill: Yeah, the match was fine. The ending is going to be something to remember because Sonya pulled the ring apron up to get a kendo stick and then Mandy slipped on it and allowed Asuka to get the victory. **½

We head backstage as The New Day have made their way into Vince McMahon’s office to plead their case for Kofi to be in the title match. And Vince relents and lets Kofi in! But The New Day are barred from ringside and the match is right now!

Well. Uh. Greg Hamilton said he was informed that the WWE Championship match was later and instead Kofi will be facing The Bar right now.

Kofi Kingston vs. The Bar

Robert O’Neill: The Bar beat the hell out of Kofi for about five minutes and won. What did you expect? *

Chris Novak: Masterfully done here. Kofi is so obviously doing big things eventually and it’s going to be so good. ** here obviously, as it wasn’t much of a match, but it was at least a solid story to tell.

The Revival vs. Aleister Black and Ricochet vs. Bobby Roode and Chad Gable -- Raw Tag Team Championships

Chris Novak: This match was a super fun one. As was to be expected. The Revival retained after hitting the Shatter Machine on Chad Gable. That will probably do it for he and Roode in the title picture for now, but it’s pretty obvious that Ricochet and Aleister Black have big things coming their way. They both got in great spots in this one. ***¾ and I am admittedly giving that a very HIGH ***¾ like I did with one of the other tag matches on this show. This was some good shit.

Robert O’Neill: Thank the lord, The Revival retained. I was worried for a little bit! It’s amazing how adding two guys who weren’t even an actual tag team in Ricochet and Black has propped up the tag division so much. Excited to see what comes next. ***½

Samoa Joe vs. Andrade vs. Rey Mysterio vs. R-Truth - United States Championship

Chris Novak: They did it again. After a banger on Tuesday, these four delivered ANOTHER banger tonight, and it was arguably even better. Joe retained after choking Rey out with the Coquina Clutch. Naturally, everybody got their shine on, with Andrade looking awesome, of course, as he is to do. SmackDown’s midcard/upper-midcard is just INSANE right now, probably up to 2003 levels right now if we’re being honest. ****¼ for me here. MOTN so far.

Robert O’Neill: I think I liked the one of Tuesday a little more but I’m splitting hairs. That was awesome. Add Mustafa Ali and Luke Harper and made it your Wrestlemania opener in a ladder match. ****¼ here as well.

The Boss and Hug Connection vs. Nia Jax and Tamina - Women’s Tag Team Championships

Chris Novak: Good match, great booking. Boss and Hug retained after Bayley hit Nia with a hurricanrana and turned into a pinning combination. The match had a lot of energy and, once again, Bayley looked like The Ace that I know she is. ***¼ for me. Nia and Tamina beat them both down afterwards. Then we got BETH PHOENIX getting involved, as she stood up for them both and caught a beating for it. NATALYA then came down to save her friend and former DIVAS OF DOOM tag team partner, but she too got beat up. So Nia and Tamina stand tall after all that. That was a real hot angle.

Robert O’Neill: Unfortunately, I had to step out during most of this match so I’m deferring to Chris here. Pretty interested in a potential Divas of Doom reunion, though!

Daniel Bryan vs. Kevin Owens vs. Mustafa Ali - WWE Championship Match

Chris Novak: There are some matches that take your breath away. This was one of them. Daniel Bryan retained his WWE Championship in a Triple Threat against Kevin Owens and Mustafa Ali. Mustafa, of course, was a late add to the match, an add that many thought would go to Kofi Kingston. The crowd wasn’t happy at first, but because Ali is so good, the won them back over anyway. Owens was phenomenal in his first lengthy match back. And Daniel Bryan? Well, Bryan’s the GOAT. So you already know. ****¾, and the MOTY so far in this man’s opinion. Holy shit. I need a cigarette.

Robert O’Neill: That was amazing. All three guys clicked so well, and some of the spots in this match were INSANE, including Bryan hitting the knee on Ali in mid-air to win, which got me to audibly gasp. It’s so nice to have all three of these guys back healthy and putting on matches like this. Instant classic. ****¾ from me as well.

Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair

Chris Novak: RONDA ROUSEY intervened and caused the disqualification that allowed Becky Lynch to go on to WrestleMania. That was not a surprising result at all here. I think the match could’ve probably went longer. But, if the idea was to do that, I don’t necessarily mind it at all. Will go *** from what we got. Let’s just go into overdrive now.

Robert O’Neill: That’s very smart storytelling. It wasn’t as good as the match at Evolution but it didn’t need to be, because it told a story like everything else tonight. **

Chris Novak: Randy Orton hit Elias with an RKO #FROMOUTTANOWHERE. Then AJ Styles came out to hit him with a Phenomenal Forearm. STORYTELLING!

The Shield vs. Baron Corbin, Bobby Lashley and Drew McIntyre

Robert O’Neill: If Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins wanted to “get the band back together” this was a live and in-person greatest hits album from the Hounds of Justice. The fight spilled all over the arena, Rollins did a dive from the balcony in a callback to the match against Evolution at Extreme Rules 2014, Drew Mcintyre got triple powerbombed through a table, and then when the numbers were in their favor, the three took turns hitting finishers on Baron Corbin in the ring before another triple powerbomb for the win. It was the performance we have grown to love from The Shield, and if it’s indeed their last match, it’s a hell of a way to end things. ****

Chris Novak: You nailed everything Rob. They played the hits. It was SO fun too. **** for me as well.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Robert O’Neill: I’m on the record as saying this PPV was largely unnecessary because we knew everything that was going to happen and there didn’t need to be two shows between the Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania. I stand by that, but I was also surprised with how they were still able to pull off great storytelling and start the build for Wrestlemania instead of waiting until TV this week. It had a different feel than WWE PPVs of the past few years, thanks largely to creative shakeups of late, and I enjoyed it immensely. A+

Chris Novak: This was, in my opinion, an all-time great ‘B’ PPV. A+ for me, as well. Let’s get on the road to Mania now!

Thrones-N-Wine EP 2: Sir Jorah is Doug Funnie

HNB Media presents Thrones-N-Wine: a Hoops N Brews spinoff centered around Game Of Thrones. Starring Game of Thrones show fan @ReelTPJ and Scott (@BarbersChairNet) as they discuss the new Game of Thrones trailer, if Jon Snow and Khaleesi will be together, Sir Jorah being a simp and more.

Listen to Thrones-N-Wine wherever you listen to podcasts!
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