If You Get It Right – That Would Be Phenomenal!

by Rob Steele

Two things that happened last night that bugged me.

They happened during the Royal Rumble, which if you don’t know, because you live under a rock or something, is a professional wrestling pay-per-view done by the WWE. Yes I consider wrestling to be considerably more of a sport board then something like golf, because golf is primarily a guy swinging a stick at a ball in what feels like slow motion, and then walking. Now that’s actually to the spectator point of view I understand that there’s a lot more that goes out in the sport. I can hear the complaints now. “Rob like you gotta line up the ball and figure out where it’s going and there’s the wind and this and that.”

You know what shut up. It’s not a sport it’s a competition. I’ll give you a competition it’s not a sport. In sports people get excited. You don’t get excited in golf, or if you do you have to whisper it. So no, golf is not a sport.

In professional wrestling, yes, the outcomes are preordained. I don’t consider wrestling to be “fake.” I consider it to be scripted. There’s a big difference. Yes a lot of the punches thrown don’t actually connect with anything. That’s fine. But when you have somebody pick somebody else up and throw them and there’s no wires involved, there’s a bit more reality going on.

Now do these guys know how to land properly? Yes. Thus making it essentially a stuntman competition. Look at it that way and it’s fun, as opposed to golf which is boring no matter how exciting you try to make it.

So at the Royal Rumble last night there was a new participant in the WWE. He’s a guy I’ve known for quite some time (not personally). I’ve watched him wrestle. His name is “The Phenomenal” AJ Styles and he was known for over a decade as the face of Impact Wrestling, or TNA Wrestling, or TNA Impact Wrestling (if it would pick a name that would be nice) but my point is he’s actually a fairly big name wrestler who just happen to not be in the WWE- until last night when he was entering number three in the Royal Rumble.

I had two problems with this happening the way it did. Problem number one when he was introduced. Actually there a few things with his introduction, let’s start with his theme song. He’s had the same theme song, or at least a variation thereof, for as long as I’ve known him. (2004) When it kicks in, you automatically know who’s coming- in this case: AJ Styles.

Last night they didn’t do that and that bothers me because they started off with some kind of slow country music thing, which is not exactly what his theme song sounds like, and it never picked up. It made him look boring. AJ Styles is not boring.

AJ-Styles-Royal-Rumble-16-645x370
The Phenomenal One has FINALLY arrived. Can he save the WWE?

This is the WWE we’re talking about here. Vince McMahon, you’ve got the money splurge a little bit and get the song. I’m pretty sure AJ owns at least part of it by now. Of course they could not use his song because this would mean they have to acknowledge other wrestling companies. In a sense, I know, the announcers didn’t last night they said, “oh yes! He was the IGJPRFQ champion just like Brock Lesnar was!” Whatever the hell alphabet that was, it wasn’t the same as saying he was the five-time heavyweight TNA champion the six time X Division Champion and however many time tag team champion. (he’s got a lot of belts) And that doesn’t include New Japan or ROH. Did they mention any of those? No. Why? Because the WWE doesn’t care about history. (Which is why they’re dooming themselves by repeating it. More on that in a moment.) My point is that saying that might have actually built him up a little bit. And we can’t have that in a newcomer now can’t we?

The other big thing that bugged me was the way he was eliminated. If you don’t know about how to eliminate someone from a Royal Rumble match, you have to throw your opponent over the top rope and, yes, you can have up to, I think, they had at most 30 people in the ring at a time – up to 40 competitors. Last night there was just 30 – which is plenty.

AJ Styles was the third of the participants. A new one is introduced every two minutes or something (I wasn’t paying that much attention because I tuned and specifically to watch AJ and after that I didn’t care about the WWE- I’ll get to that in just a minute) He was eliminated a good half an hour later. That’s a pretty good run, but he was eliminated by a guy named Kevin Owens (formally Steen- of ROH)

What bothers me about him getting eliminated by Kevin Owens was not that he was eliminated by Kevin Owens. It was that Owens looked at AJ and said “welcome to the WWE!” before throwing him over the top rope. Here’s my problem with that. Kevin Owens has been with the WWE maybe six months. They got the absolute newest guy to say “welcome to the WWE!” Like he’s been there long enough to say that! If that have been said by Kane, who’s been there for 20 something years, or if it been said by Bray Wyatt, who’s still relatively new but has more than 6-months under his belt, I would have had a better time accepting that phrase being used there.

With Steen Owens, saying it, that doesn’t sit well with me.

What I was saying about not caring where the rest of the match, I didn’t. Still don’t. Especially since Triple H won the belt. Oh goody, nepotism at its finest! And that’s my biggest problem with the WWE. It is no longer about the wrestling. It’s about the ownership, namely Vince McMahon and Triple H, and how much wrestlers are willing to kiss their asses. In some cases, literally. I wish I didn’t mean that.

But there’s a bit of hope.

AJ Styles is not one of the biggest guys in the world. He’s a cruiserweight. Over the weekend, the WWE also signed Austin Aries (who I do know incidentally) to a deal with NXT – the minor leagues of the WWE. Couple those signings with the addition of a number of new “high flying” cruiserweight-style stars and we could see the return of the cruiserweight division which has been kept rather low-key in terms of being involved in the whole “Vince and Triple H Ego Show.”

You know. The way wrestling used to be. When it was fun. They have a great opportunity here and I honestly hope they don’t screw this up.   If they don’t, that would be Phenomenal.

Interview of Sam Harriman of Sisyphus brewing by Joel Schafer

I have been to many breweries and have tasted many beers. I came across Sisyphus by happenstance. I was stuck in downtown traffic and saw a sign for a brewery I never heard of. The brewery was in its infancy of being open. They didn’t have growlers for sale. They have come a long way since then. I have written about this brewery in the past as being a brewery that you need to visit that you haven’t heard of.  I still support this statement. Call me biased, call me what you will. Sisyphus is by far my favorite brewery in the state of Minnesota.

Grading the 2015 Atlanta Braves Trades by Joel SChafer

JAN 1 Atlanta Braves traded LHP Chasen Shreve and RHP David Carpenter to New York Yankees for LHP Manny Banuelos.

Chasen Shreve looks to be a reliever of the future for the pinstripes while Carpenter seems to be a throw in member of the trade. Manny has struggled mightily going 1-4 with a 5.50 era. for Atlanta. Manny is just 24..  Grade C- Continue reading “Grading the 2015 Atlanta Braves Trades by Joel SChafer”

2015’s Best / Worst Cities for Baseball Fans @WalletHub

bb_field_photoGet used to seeing more Americans sporting baseball fan gear this summer. If 2014’s any indication — Major League Baseball witnessed its seventh biggest attendance of all time this past September — we may see yet another record-breaking baseball season in 2015. Continue reading “2015’s Best / Worst Cities for Baseball Fans @WalletHub”

JohnE McCray interview By Joel Schafer

 I am glad pleased that I got the go ahead with BBB to interview one of my favorite Disc Golfers JohnE McCray. JohnE has been around for 20 years. He has the ability to beat the kids on tour and still competes in the Pro Open instead of the Master Open Class. JohnE from all accounts has is an advocate to this growing sport. I hope that this interview will give you a little bit of an idea how cool Mr. McCray is and how determined he is to compete and grow a sport that we both love. Continue reading “JohnE McCray interview By Joel Schafer”

#MayThe4thBeWithYou! – Written by @GenuinelyH5

Star-Wars-DayToday is a day for all Star Wars fans to celebrate the great Sci-Fi, Action/Adventure brain child of George Lucas that has woven its way into pop culture like a seamstress weaves a pattern into a beautiful quilt. Ever since I can remember there were Star Wars lunch boxes, thermoses, action figures and the three iconic movies that I still never miss and watch like each time is the first time. I mean for those of you that are fans like me who can forget classic lines like “Let go Luke use the force”, or “No I am your father”, to “You have failed me for the last time” the last one I will admit is a personal favorite of mine. I’m sure just as I’m quoting different lines from the first three movies you can conjure some of your own in your head as you continue to read my fellow fan of the force. Continue reading “#MayThe4thBeWithYou! – Written by @GenuinelyH5”

Breweries that need to be visited By Joel Schafer

While I have been contemplating my next piece on baseball while sipping on a Fulton Brewing Expat -Saison ale, I came upon the idea of writing about something that should be taken just as seriously. What you may ask would that be? The answer is BEER. There are so many good beers and breweries in the USA; many of those are in Beerapolis or better known as Minneapolis. I will touch on four breweries that need to be visited and tasted and enjoyed. I will stay away from breweries that have a reputation of already being excellent breweries: Fulton, Founders, Jolly Pumpkin, Odell, and Bells won’t come up again. These are fine breweries. If you haven’t had anything from any of these you are missing out. Continue reading “Breweries that need to be visited By Joel Schafer”

Ichabod Hyde: The Interview with Paige Turner

This interview by Paige Turner is a Baseball Beer and BBQ (BBB) exclusive.

Ichabod Hyde has been the front man for Bitchhead for nearly 25 years. His band’s music has been called anything from “techno bluegrass” to “Appalachian industrial.” Known more for their live shows, and small, mostly local and fiercely loyal cult following, Bitchhead releases their 12th live album later this year.

BBB: Your band has famously never produced a studio album.  Why is this? And do you see this fact changing at any point? Continue reading “Ichabod Hyde: The Interview with Paige Turner”

“If I were the MLB Commissioner” by Joel Schafer

I have said many times in the past that Major League Baseball needs change. Well, being that we started a new era in baseball where in large part Bud Selig screwed the league up more than it should have ever been. There was a strike shortened season that did not have a champion crowned. He tried to take out 2 teams, the Twins and Expos. He added inter-league play. He made an exhibition game count: the league that wins gets home field for the World Series. He has expanded the playoffs from 4 teams to too many teams and a bad playoff system. He also let the Steroid era get way too big with way too much FAKE media outcry. Thanks for nothing Bud. You are by far the worst sports commissioner in the history of all of sports. To make baseball better there are several things I would do to make the league better. Continue reading ““If I were the MLB Commissioner” by Joel Schafer”

“THE HUSTLE” by Joel Schafer

I would like to thank Lee and Ted and Todd for giving me the opportunity to write for the Triple B.  It is an honor to give you my unique look into a sport I love. Without any further adieu, I give you a piece I wrote while my youngest “chipper” was in the hospital,  written from my good ol’ blackberry (no I don’t have it anymore).

Continue reading ““THE HUSTLE” by Joel Schafer”