Tuesday, April 11, 2017

LIVE Smackdown...er....Live thoughts - April 11, 2017

9:59 - Pardon the pun, but what a phenomenal match that was!  These three had amazing chemistry together.  Everything looked so crisp and perfect.  And bravo to Baron Corbin, who totally hung with two amazing performers.  Excellent showing for all involved and really strong show.  I prefer the "Shake Up" format over the Draft any day.

9:47 - As we enjoy this truly fantastic match, I once again make a gentle plea to you to donate to my Man of the Year campaign.  I'm looking to raise $50,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and, thanks in part to the research this organization has done, survival rate for people with blood cancers has QUADRUPLED in some cases.  Yet, despite this, believe it or not somebody in the US dies every nine minutes of blood cancer.  Scary stuff.  Please consider making a donation -- honestly, any amount (even $5) helps:    http://www.mwoy.org/pages/nj/nnj17/mbasilo

9:36 - The New Day is heading to Smackdown!  I have to say, for the first time ever, Smackdown MAY have gotten the better out of a WWE Draft.  At the very least, they broke even.  And in almost every case, the move seemed to make sense -- either the person needed new scenery or they were struggling in their current environment.  Not bad.

I still think we may see one more draft pick.

9:28 - Really cool and effective use of Nakamura there.  Plus, Ziggler is SO MUCH better as a heel.  He needs a good valet to work off of, though (Paige would've been great.  Or Alexa Bliss).  His career was never more successful than when he had a female to work with (Vickie, AJ).

9:13 - I'm actually pretty disappointed that Vaudevillains didn't work out (ditto for Ascension).  It reeks of WWE's writers not being able to write outside of their comfort zone.

9:09 - I was mostly right.  It was Charlotte and a return.  And hey, Rusev is coming to Smackdown!

8:52 - I'm guessing we get at least two women in this trade.  Easy money is on Charlotte, but I'm expecting a return as well.  Maybe Summer.  If not, I say Emma.

8:41 - You gotta wonder what trades were necessary that got Smackdown Jinder Mahal and Primo/Epico.

8:21 - It was an odd decision moving Bray to Raw when, ideally, he should still be connected to Rowan and kept away from Braun.  Would've made more sense to move Harper.  Sidenote:  I am a sucker for Rowan's crazy masks.  Maintaining the sheep but doing weird things with it.  I especially liked the clown version.

8:08 - Sigh.  If there were two people who desperately needed to be kept separate, it's Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn.  This feud does nothing for either of them at this point and it's a crutch they keep relying on.

8:06 - I'm fairly impartial to Baron Corbin, but I must admit that my guilty pleasure is his entrace.  I love how the black smoke takes it over.

8:02 - I like this.  Start off with the obvious pick, since we all knew it was coming.

7:40 - It's Part II of the Superstar Shake Up, Smackdown version!  Last night we saw some pretty big moves (although, not as big as I had feared) with Dean Ambrose, Miz, and Bray Wyatt moving over to Raw.  Who's going from Raw to Smackdown, though?

My guesses:  Kevin Owens (and potentially Chris Jericho, to guarantee that the US Title goes to Smackdown).  I'm thinking perhaps Finn Balor.  Maybe Braun Strowman.  Roman Reigns has been heavily rumored, but I can't see that happening now since he won't actually be appearing on the show.  I don't know.

Anyway, follow the blog tonight and catch my thoughts on what happens.

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Monday, April 10, 2017

LIVE Raw thoughts - April 10, 2017

11:07 - Not a bad ending, but certainly not the one I expected.  One must wonder why they didn't just wait until after Payback before doing this Superstar Shake Up.  It would've avoided issues (like if Owens is being moved to Smackdown) and allowed them to close out some feuds.

But hey!  This means AJ is sticking to Smackdown!

Once again, I would like to request that you consider donating to my campaign as I attempt to raise $50,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (it's a lot of money and I'm going to need some help hitting that number!)  Here's the link:  http://www.mwoy.org/pages/nj/nnj17/mbasilo

I'll try to do this again tomorrow night for Smackdown.  Thanks for following along tonight.

10:58 - I'm guessing the ending here is a cluster.  Joe runs in to assist Owens and Rollins comes in for the save.  Show ends with a mini Shield reunion, with Dean and Seth standing tall.

10:42 - Well, since I have some attention on the blog tonight, I really do want you to consider donating to my Man of the Year campaign, with 100% of the money raised going to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  It's scary to think about somebody dies of a blood cancer EVERY 9 MINUTES.  That is catastrophic.  Yet we have also come so far.  It is often said "any amount helps," but it truly does apply here.  If you're willing to contribute $5....$10....$20....whatever.  I'll take it and I will be so incredibly grateful.  Please just consider it.  You can donate at the link below:


10:39 - Love that Sasha and Alexa are on the same brand (have we ever seen them fight with Sasha as the face and Alexa as the heel), but man, snagging Mickie really depletes the Smackdown women's roster.

10:38 - Kinda thrilled.

10:36 - So Sasha pretty much has to turn on her tonight, right?

10:34 - I don't know why, but I really want Sasha and Alexa to end up on the same roster.  So here's hoping one of them gets drafted to the other show.

10:28 - Why fight something that works here?  Does anybody (at this point in time) want to see Dana as a standalone act?  Probably not.  She worked with Emma....why not just pair them back together and get both of them a little more over?

10:18 - There is a lot of red happening in this match.

Also, I can't wrap my head around how Meltzer always insists that Vince doesn't favor Raw over Smackdown.  For about 15 years worth of evidence that shows that Raw almost always gets the best out of the draft, almost always gets the big stars, almost always gets the featured match at big shows.  These are not isolated incidents.

10:07 - I don't know what's more comedic, the fact that Braun is a super hero for killing their biggest babyface or the editing of that segment.  First, Roman's stretcher completely changed location and position and secondly, Braun never closed the rear ambulance door.

10:04 - Look at the reaction Strownman gets for murdering your top babyface.  That isn't right or normal.  This big Undertaker win was the perfect moment to do something different with Roman's character.  It's terrible that they decided not to do that, because he's right back to square one right now.

Also, that is totally not where the stretcher landed.

10:00 - After some heelish behavior last week (which was intriguing) Reigns is back to his babyface ways AND now getting attacked by Strowman.  Clearly this company is unwilling to do anything to change up Roman's act.  This is highly disappointing.

9:36 - So Smackdown lost Bray, Ambrose and Miz.  Two recent WWE Champions and one of their hottest acts.  Reigns presumably moving to Smackdown is no doubt a big "name," but it's not a great act.  Based on what we've seen so far, my hope is that Smackdown keeps AJ, gains Balor AND the Club.  Owens seems like an obvious move.  I would also throw Braun Strowman to Smackdown as well.  He's gone through the big names on Raw, throw him to Smackdown and keep him away from Bray.  And maybe Rusev as well?

9:31 - I have to believe that AJ and Balor end up on separate rosters -- UNLESS they intend on reuniting the Club.  Also, I love how Balor has distinct entrances and videos depending on whether he's Balor Club or the Demon.

9:21 - I hate when Charlotte does that top rope moonsault to the outside.  Visually, it's amazing.  But there is just so much room for error and a serious injury.  Not to mention it's a throwaway Raw match.  Same that stuff for WrestleMania.

9:11 - Since they're giving us Nia vs. Charlotte tonight -- which could be a big match -- I wouldn't be surprised to see one of them heading to Smackdown.  I have to assume either Charlotte or Sasha is going to Smackdown.

9:06 - Rollins is sticking on Raw, so I assume that means Reigns is going to Smackdown.  Hope they give us a mini Shield reunion tonight, at least.

I say send Samoa Joe to Smackdown, along with Owens.

8:50 - I'm really torn on the whole presentation Cruiserweight Division.  On the one hand, I really appreciated the fact that the CWC went out of their way to tell us "Cruiserweights aren't about flying and bouncing around, it's about a weight class."  These athletes can be strikers, they can be technical wrestlers, and they can be high flyers.  And I think that was a really important message.  But within the context of Raw or Smackdown -- where everybody on the roster does the same thing -- they just look like smaller, less developed versions of the "main" Superstars.  I think, at least to get some attention of reaction, they kinda need to be high flyers and bounce around.  Otherwise, what's the point of them being a separate division with a different color scheme?  It's not like the women or tag team division get that.

8:37 - I don't know what it is, but skinny Big Show always seems so unhappy.  Not angry.  Just unhappy.

8:28 - I gotta admit, those Revival t-shirts were pretty cool.

8:15 - Logic would dictate that Owens is going to Raw.  At least with Bryan and Angle making trades (vs. a lottery system), they can logically make arrangements for title trades instead of it being a matter of convenience.

8:06 - And now Smackdown just lost their #1 draft pick.

8:03 - Annnnnnnd right off the back, Smackdown loses the person who was completely reinvigorated on Smackdown.

7:52 - It's a Superstar Shakeup and I'm bringing back my LIVE thoughts for the occasion.  What do I hope will happen?  Basically, that Smackdown doesn't get the bum end of this deal.  Can you think of a single WWE Draft where Raw didn't make out like a champ and people were left asking "so, what's going to happen to Smackdown?"
Honestly, I don't really want ANY of the top guys to leave Smackdown.  Cena will be safe regardless, but he adds a level of credibility to Smackdown.  And guys like AJ, Dean, Miz, Orton, and Wyatt won't really be better off on Raw.

So really, I hope Smackdown gets some desperately needed top talent and that their main event scene isn't completely shattered.

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Friday, April 7, 2017

IMPORTANT POST: Everybody wins when cancer loses

Did you know that every 3 minutes, someone in the US is diagnosed with a blood cancer?  And that every 9 minutes, someone in the US dies of a blood cancer?

When I was approached early last summer by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) about being nominated for the 2017 Man & Woman of the Year campaign, I was both honored (I was the first male nominee!) and intimidated (2015’s Man of the Year was only the host of CNBC’s Fast Money).  But ultimately, I knew I wanted to do whatever I could to help and accepting this nomination was the first step – through programs like Man & Woman of the Year, LLS has invested more than $1 billion in research to advance breakthrough therapies that have doubled, tripled, and in some cases quadrupled the survival rate for some blood cancers.  And as a team member of last year’s campaign, I got a glimpse of the individuals and families that have been impacted by this terrible disease.  It was heartbreaking, but also inspiring.

And with that, meet Shauna:

She’s a 12-year-old survivor of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) and the LLS Girl of the Year.  In her own words, “I was diagnosed with ALL in June 2009.  I received intense chemo treatments but am happy to say I am cured of cancer and granted my happily ever after!”  I had the pleasure of meeting Shauna in February and her story is truly moving.  As a Man of the Year nominee, it is my privilege to compete in her honor during this campaign and it is my goal to raise over $50,000 for those battling blood cancers all around the world.

As a tribute to those who have gone through this ordeal, I will be competing in this campaign under the “Team Strength” banner – working with an incredible team.  Over the next 10 weeks (beginning today and concluding June 15), we will be hosting many great events, sharing fun projects and doing what we can to help raise awareness.  I know that raising $50,000 in 10 weeks will not be easy, but I truly believe we can do it!

There are so many ways you can help:

  • Please visit http://www.mwoy.org/pages/nj/nnj17/mbasilo to make your generous donation to support this journey.  Trust me when I say that ANY donation helps, as every dollar raised counts as one vote and the titles are awarded to the man and woman with the most votes at the end of the campaign.
  • You can also mail a check payable to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society with the name “Matt Basilo” in the memo line.  Email me for address information.
  • “Like” our Facebook page to stay up-to-date and excited on our progress at www.facebook.com/LLSMWOTY.  Be the first to know about our events, raffles and auctions!
  • There are incredible sponsorship opportunities available for this nation-wide campaign as well.  Please reach out to me for more information!

     Through your generosity and assistance, I am confident that we can surpass my goal of $50,000 and that we can come one step closer to curing leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma.  And until then, we can help to improve the quality of life of patients and their family.

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is currently funding hundreds of researchers in over 15 countries. I want to make that number grow. My goal is to raise over $50,000 to support additional research. We invite you to believe by supporting our campaign.  Remember:  Everybody wins when cancer loses.

Thank you in advance for all of your support,


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