Sunday, July 24, 2016

San Diego Comic Con Trailers, Teasers, and Posters

MARVEL










DC

TELEVISION
MOVIES

Saturday, July 23, 2016

WWE Battleground Predictions


I'm starting to think that this whole "Kiernan Besse is a wrestling blog prophet" talk might actually be legit. For starters, my current record on The Sports Brief stands at 29-14 (.674) and that's factoring in my dismal 3-7 performance at WrestleMania.. whatever. Not only that but this is another blog that caused me to suffer from writer's block until I had a dream about it on a Friday night. This morning I woke up in a cold sweat with visions of this Sunday's PPV in front of me like I'm Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting shoutout Robin Williams. The draft happened this past week and the WWE handled it worse than the parents of the child who snuck into Harambe's exhibit. Smackdown is supposed to be a wave of youth but guys like Owens and Zayn are on Raw and 3 of the shows top stars are over 36. Word to Vince McMahon on that one. Smackdown will 100% get more viewers with better TV, but when the front office still treats it as a B Show, why should fans change their mind? However, the draft does make Battleground more intriguing by leaving a few question marks around which direction each wrestler is heading. So let's take a look at the card and figure it out.

Pre-Show:

Becky Lynch vs. Natalya

I'm assuming this match will make the Pre-Show but I don't really know. Who cares. Both women were drafted to Smackdown and with the genuine animosity behind the feud you can expect it to continue past this Sunday. It was Natalya who turned on Becky, who has been getting her payback over the past few weeks with attacks on Natty. Becky has been needing a push pretty badly and can benefit from a win much more that Natalya can. Therefore, the pick is in..

Pick: Becky Lynch


Main Card 

Rusev(c) vs. Zack Ryder -- United States Championship

There's just no shot Zack Ryder wins. I'm sorry. Rusev is back to being a monster and when paired with Lana the two of them are an unstoppable duo. Zack Ryder has had a nice 2016 so far and a competitive loss will be close enough to a win for him. I think Ryder can score a near fall but in the end Rusev and Lana will prevail.
Also Mojo and Ryder are going to be on Smackdown together so I hope the HypeBros don't take too long to come together on the main roster.

Pick: Rusev retains


The Miz(c) vs. Darren Young -- Intercontinental Championship

I feel like logic points towards Darren Young winning this one. He's been receiving a relatively large push for a while now with his "Make Darren Young Great Again" video packages and his endorsement from Bob Backlund, but I just don't think so. Before his exciting win with the Crossface Chicken Wing last week, he kind of stole his win in the Battle Royal by laying on the ground while the last two wrestlers fell over the top rope and then scored a roll up win soon after that. I also noticed that Rusev and Young were drafted to Raw while Miz and Ryder were drafted to Smackdown. I think Rusev is a lock to beat Ryder, so I just can't picture Young winning and having both mid card belts on Raw. Especially with how the rest of my picks are going.

Pick: The Miz retains


Charlotte & Dana Brooke vs. Sasha Banks & Mystery Partner

The WWE and Sasha Banks have been very tight lipped about who the mystery partner is, but Sasha did say this on Instagram tho..

I get a lot of tweets. It could be Nikki Bella — I've been hearing a lot of rumors. It might be Bayley. The [WWE] Draft just happened and we just got a lot of new girls — Alexa Bliss, Carmella, Nia Jax. Could be one of them. You never know. The Boss doesn't need friends, but the ones I do have I keep very close. I finally get to get my hands on Charlotte, who has been running from me since day one. She's been hiding because she knows I'm better than her. After this Sunday, I'm going to prove to Charlotte that I deserve a one-on-one match with her.

Despite their intense feud on Sasha's way out of NXT, her and Bayley are very good friends. So when Sasha addresses keeping her small group of friends close.. yeah. Also, if the WWE has learned anything from their past surprise disappointments, they'll go with Bayley, because basically anybody but Bayley will get booed. So just go with Bayley. Please.

As far as the match goes, Charlotte's title isn't on the line and it's time for Sasha's push leading up to Summerslam where she becomes the Women's Champion, so a win here would be huge. Much like my prediction for Charlotte & Dana's match against Becky and Natty, Charlotte is protected by having Dana Brooke eat the pin if WWE is worried about her losing. Regardless, having Sasha score the pin for the win is exactly what needs to happen..

P.S. it's probably gunna be like Nia Jax so whatever..

Pick: Sasha Banks & Mystery Partner


The New Day vs. The Wyatt Family

Much like with Charlotte, The New Day are not defending the titles this Sunday, which allows them to take a loss. It's starting to get to that point where The Wyatts actually need a win. They always get into these feuds, cut unreal promos, perform in the ring, and then lose and make you wonder what the whole point was.
Sadly, Braun Strowman will be working on Raw while Bray and Rowan are on Smackdown. Will that factor in to the outcome of the match? I don't think it should. It's been known for a while that Strowman is a McMahon guy who would receive his push once viewed as ready, and I guess that time is coming. As far as the outcome tho, it's tough to call. How will the tag team division be handled with the brand split? Will there be two championships again? If the Wyatts are on Smackdown and New Day on Raw, will they get a title shot at Summerslam? Either way, I think Bray and his brothers need a win and The New Day can afford a loss, especially after becoming the longest reigning tag team champions today.
Also, The Wyatt Family Compound video was weird and a force of a response to the Hardy video. That's all I will say about it.

Pick: The Wyatt Family


Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens

The logical pick is Sami Zayn here, I think. I mean, Owens already won at Payback and a win could set up a rubber match at Summerslam, but I'm passing on that logic.
Owens is pissed about his fall in the draft and he's scary on his mean streak. I could see this becoming a brutal double count out where they give up on the match and beat the shit out of each other instead, as long as Zayn doesn't score a pin. Keeping Sami from pinning Owens builds his underdog narrative and will cause a HUGE pop once he finally scores that PPV win over his bitter rival.

Pick: Not Sami Zayn


Cena, Enzo & Cass vs. The Club

Styles stole a win in his last match with Cena so 50/50 booking leads me to believe that Cena will get his win back to kick off a Cena/Styles feud to headline Smackdown. Due to the draft, both teams will be splitting up, but that obviously means a lot more for The Club than it does for the loose alliance of Cena and The Realest Guys. I think this match will serve as a clean break for The Club trying to keep Styles aligned with them from Smackdown would be a force. One might even call it bold.. like Besse's Be Bolder Predictions Brought To You By Butterfinger.

Listen, I really don't have that bold of a prediction for this match or the card as a whole. But this could be my last chance to boldly predict Finn Balor's allignment with The Club so I can't just not do it after all of these swings and misses that I've had trying to predict it.
I think Cena and friends go over here, but that doesn't mean they're the ones standing tall at the end of the match. I don't even know how it would happen, but I just want Finn to come out and join Gallows and Anderson while abandoning Styles.
OR
Maybe Balor can run The Club on Raw while Styles starts his own division of the faction on Smackdown and build it up like the NWO or The Bullet Club in Japan. Just give me Finn Balor I honestly don't care how it happens. Yeah this bold prediction is garbage but I really don't care. Haters can write their own blogs.

Pick: Cena Enzo & Cass


Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose(c) vs..... roman reigns -- WWE Championship

It's really a shame that we live in a world where a disgraced wrestler like Roman Reigns can get caught cheating on a drug test, be absent from TV for the entire build up to a championship match, and return just in time for the fight that he HAS to be in because Rollins and Ambrose have carried the storyline so well. Sad!!
Bias aside, this is the match we've been waiting for and there's no way it disappoints. Unless Seth Rollins doesn't win. And especially if Reigns wins. Yeah maybe we aren't getting this match at Summerslam or Wrestlemania, but really, who cares? People are always complaining that these B Shows are never interesting enough but then it's an issue when a main event like this is on the card? Fuck outta here with your weird complaints. People get so angry about WWE being too predictable and then cry foul when they go against the grain. But I digress.
It's worth noting that Ambrose is going to Smackdown while Rollins and Reigns stay on Raw. I do NOT think Ambrose goes to Smackdown with the belt. I think Rollins pins Ambrose and him and Reigns feud over the title on Raw. If Smackdown is really about starting over and being a breath of fresh air, then they will be the brand that brings in the new title and has a tournament or some shit to determine the new champ. That would be on brand and they need to be after fucking up the draft by drafting fresh faces aka the oldest dudes on the roster.

Pick: Seth Rollins gets his belt back


P.S. Don't forget about Randy Orton's return on The Highlight Reel
Hopefully he hits an RKO on someone. If not, I don't really care about what he has to say about his fight with Brock Lesnar.

That's all I've got for now. What do you think? I felt pretty scatter brained with the justifications of my picks but that's all just part of the artistic process behind what I do. I gotta go to work.

Little Besse









Friday, July 22, 2016

Keefe on Sports Tonight

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Who Is The Favorite In The American League?

The AL appears to be wide open right now as the trade deadline approaches.  I personally like the Blue Jays to end up on top, but take a look at these intriguing numbers I put together and you decide...

Record (as of 7/21): 
1. Indians
2. Red Sox
3. Rangers
4. Blue Jays

Run Differential:
1. Indians
2. Blue Jays
3. Red Sox
4. Astros

Vegas:
1. Rangers +325
2. Indians +375
3. Blue Jays +550
4. Red Sox +600

Top 2 Starters Amongst Contenders:
1. TOR Aaron Sanchez/ Marco Estrada (both sub 3.00 ERA)
2. CLE Danny Salazar/ Corey Kluber
3. TEX Cole Hamels/ Colby Lewis or Yu Darvish whoever is healthy
4. BOS David Price/ Rick Porcello
5. BAL Chris Tillman/ Kevin Gausman
6. HOU Doug Fister/ Collin McHugh

Top Bat Amongst Contenders (using WAR):
1. TOR Josh Donaldson
2. HOU Jose Altuve
3. BOS Mookie Betts
4. BAL Manny Machado
5. TEX Ian Desmond
6. CLE Francisco Lindor

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Hey Nets, Maybe Only Do The Hold Up The Jersey Thing When You Have Real Players

But great news for the Celtics! 2017 and 2018 1st round picks are looking better and better.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

WWE Draft Results

They split this up into 5-pick rounds where Raw would go 1-3-5 and Smackdown 2-4.  Raw had the first overall pick and went Seth Rollins.  Here's the complete order...  Although not sure what happens to those who did not get picked (liked Luke Harper).

RAW

  • Seth Rollins 
  • Charlotte
  • Finn Balor
  • Roman Reigns
  • Brock Lesnar
  • New Day
  • Sami Zayn
  • Sasha Banks
  • Chris Jericho 
  • Rusev & Lana
  • Kevin Owens
  • Enzo & Big Cass
  • Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson
  • Big Show
  • Nia Jax
  • Neville 
  • Cesaro
  • Sheamus
  • Golden Truth (Goldust & R-Truth)
  • Titus O'Neil
  • Paige
  • Darren Young
  • Sin Cara
  • Jack Swagger
  • The Dudley Boyz
  • Summer Rae
  • Mark Henry
  • Braun Strowman
  • Bo Dallas
  • Shining Stars (Primo & Empico)
  • Alicia Fox
  • Dana Brooke
  • Curtis Axel

SMACKDOWN
  • Dean Ambrose
  • A.J. Styles
  • John Cena
  • Randy Orton
  • Bray Wyatt
  • Becky Lynch
  • The Miz & Maryse
  • Baron Corbin
  • American Alpha (Jordan & Gable)
  • Dolph Ziggler
  • Natalya
  • Alberto Del Rio 
  • The Usos
  • Kane
  • Kalisto
  • Naomi
  • The Ascension
  • Zack Ryder
  • Apollo Crews
  • Alexa Bliss
  • Breezango (Tyler Breeze & Fandango)
  • Eva Marie
  • The Vaudvillains
  • Erick Rowan
  • Mojo Rawley
  • Carmella


Biggest Draft Snubs:
Luke Harper (injured)
Nakamura (NXT)
Bayley (NXT)
Samoa Joe (NXT)



WWE Fantasy Draft.. Smackdown vs. Raw.. Kennedy vs. Besse




It's Little Besse here, and the WWE Draft is tonight.

Maybe it's just me, but it feels like the company has been coasting to the finish line of this current era ever since the announcement of the brand split. Raw has had good storylines, but it gets boring at times. And I'm talking more than the usual boringness that's caused by running the show for 3 hours every week. So I for one cannot wait for this draft to kick off. It seems like this is a huge page turn for the company and we will be getting the exciting brand rivalry that we had at the peak of my childhood wrestling fandom.

Obviously, when the company says they're doing a brand draft, there's more to it than just making picks like it's a fantasy league. The company has probably had at least a rough idea of who is going to what brand for weeks if not months now so they can schedule promotions, traveling, booking, etc... But at The Sports Brief we aren't afraid to go there. We aren't afraid to ask those, "What IF?" questions. So we decided to do our own fake life fantasy draft instead, completed with our own personal Road To Summerslam booking for each brand.

Here are the rules for the WWE Draft:


But we didn't use those cuz we didn't know they existed until last night. So we just kept it simple. I took Raw and the first pick while Kennedy took Smackdown and we alternated picks. We kept it to 15 rounds because we figured it was just enough for us each to build a card for Summerslam. I'm not out here trying to draft Mark Henry just so he can retire on my show. But here's a quick look at how the rosters came out.



We could go pick by pick and explain our thought process behind them all, but sounds like content more fit for a wrestling podcast (cc: Rich Keefe). So instead, let's take a look at what our fantasy Summerslam card's will be looking like.

Raw (Besse):

Since Ambrose went to Smackdown, that leaves us without a head champion. So the first order of business would be to bring back the old World Heavyweight Championship (or something of the sort). While cutting my promo about the new belt, various wrestlers will come out claiming the belt as theirs and that's just nonsense that I'd put an end to. But how? Easy. With a brand wide tournament to determine the two contenders for the top prize. But when the Final Four comes down to Rollins vs. Reigns and Cena vs. Styles and both matches turn into DQ blood baths, I decide to make it into a Fatal Four Way in Brooklyn for the belt. Now I'll get back to this match in a bit.

Now tell me, what's an episode of Raw without a New Day promo? Shit. That's what it is. So I'll send my 3 unicorns out there to warm the crowd and welcome them to the new era of Raw. They'll do their thing but soon be interrupted by The Revival who are still NXT Tag Team champs at the moment. The teams will exchange words and that will set up a program between the two for Summerslam. Champs vs. Champs, think of it as Owens vs. Cena in tag team form. Except The Revival doesn't want to wait until Summerslam, they want that match now, and they get it. Sadly, the unreal match is disrupted by The Club (currently just Styles, Gallows, and Anderson) and The Club/Revival start beating up the New Day who are then saved by Enzo & Cass. Since we're sharing a PPV with Smackdown I can only fit so many matches on the card and I really see some potential in this. Fatal Four Way tag team match for the belts at Summerslam. Boom. Did it.

Next, we have The Miz, who I basically drafted so I could take the belt off of him and push somebody else. Thanks bud. I actually do appreciate you as a heel champion but now you're gunna go back to helping put others over.

As The Miz's title reign continues to grow, so does his overwhelming ego. To the point where he KNOWS he can beat anyone. After losing to one of the main players in the Championship Tournament, he will begin holding open challenges for the Intercontinental belt, channeling his inner Cena. And much like Cena held his open challenge at Hell In a Cell to bring back Del Rio, The Miz will hold one at Summerslam to DEBUT.. wait for it....... FINN BALOR. The crowd will POP when Balor makes his first televised appearance in Brooklyn but they'll be booing him 15 minutes later when he stands tall as the Intercontinental Champion after receiving help from The Club and officially joining forces with them. But that's just the beginning of it.

Soon after comes the Tag Team Championship match in which The Club uses their strength in power and newfound strength in numbers to snake a win for those championships and become 2 for 2 on the night. Do you see where I'm going with this?

In between all of this drama we will be easily entertained by a match between Orton and Jericho that sprouted up some time during the tournament as well as the Women's Championship match between Charlotte and Bayley (who feels slighted by her former Four Horsewomen mates).
And then the Raw Main Event comes. And it's unreal. I mean Cena, Styles, Rollins, and Reigns will put on an absolute show. But it's a shame that Gallows, Anderson, and Balor will come out to help AJ Styles win and solidify The Club as the ultimate power heels as they stand tall at the end of the night holding 4 championship belts.

FIN


Smackdown (Kennedy):

Smackdown's theme is going to reach back into the WCW lexicon, and will be henceforth known as "Where the Big Boys Play."  Our roster features mostly men who are large enough that they'd have to buy two seats in coach on any airplane.  Not that you'd want to sit next to Brock, Owens, Joe, Bray, Rusev inside of a small tube for several hours, but I think we're going to give the road crew a heads up to reinforce the ring on Tuesday nights.

Now, this draft may have taken place before Brock's USADA failed test was announced, but I'm still happy to go with him as my first pick.  Ambrose was important because I wanted Smackdown to have the title belt on our show.  Step one is to build an an over the top heel version of Brock Lesnar.  Cut promos every week saying he'll do whatever it takes to win, cut corners wherever he needs to, get paid and walk away from UFC without feeling one iota of guilt about it.  If Daniel Bryan can take one last bump, I'd have Lesnar drop him on that stack of dimes he calls a neck to really push the heat to nuclear levels, BROTHER.  Lesnar's going to put Ambrose out of action for a few months at SummerSlam and walk out new champion.

On Tuesday nights running up to Summerslam, I'd run the inaugural Big Hoss Tournament to declare a number 1 contender.  Owens vs Bray, Samoa Joe vs Rusev.  Owens over Bray and Samoa Joe over Rusev in the first round with Samoa Joe eventually winning the number 1 contender spot and entering a long program with Brock after SummerSlam, unless someone from the Raw Brand wants to challenge Samoa Joe at SummerSlam for that slot.  AJ Styles and Joe did some nice work in TNA last decade, I'm sure they'd love to try it again in a normal 4 sided ring with actual fans in attendance.

In the interest of leaving enough room on the Summerslam card for Raw matches,  I'd put Nakamura, Neville, Cesaro and Sami Zayn into a four way dance.  Nice little spot-fest that doesn't need a ton of "psychology" or build behind it.

Long term - I think it'd be a fireable offense if I didn't put Nakamura and Kevin Owens against each other at some point.  Neville and Cesaro could also work together as a tag team to work against American Alpha.  I'd love to see a Rusev vs Bray feud, just for the ridiculous opposing promos they'd cut on each other.

Alphas vs Ciampa and Gargano would make for a really entertaining tag match during our Summerslam.  Pretty easy to put this match together with American Alpha as the "amateur wrestler/performance center/company men" vs the two indy guys who had to fight their way just to get into NXT.  Sasha Banks vs Asuka is our women's showcase, if Sasha can stay uninjured for over a 3 week period of time.  It's a nice luxury to have the Undertaker on the bench until WrestleMania 33 in our back pocket too.


And that's what we've got for a new product. Are you watching it?

Little Besse