A sudden traffic artery closes in St. Louis, more chaos happens

I was sitting in shock yesterday evening when this broke on social media:

255 had been one piece of shit in recent years, especially that section between Columbia and Collinsville that still had pavement that dated from the mid 1980s in use, and the locals have already bitched about that road. Still, that sudden closure of the JB Bridge took everyone on surprise because it was a bridge that MoDOT was on the hook for and MoDOT had done far better job in being proactive with maintenance. This is virtually in human terms, a potentially serious “non-contact” injury.

For the people in Freeburg, Waterloo, and Columbia, there is only one option to get across and that is Route 3. You could take Route 3 to get into St. Louis, or you could take it towards Chester. One option added considerable time in delays that easily tripled your morning drive as early as 6 in the morning, the other added a two hour drive to your trip. With as many as 60,000 (that 100k claim by MoDOT is exaggerated) vehicles having to go on Route 3 and the fact the JB Bridge was supposedly the only super load friendly bridge in the entire St. Louis area for the truckers, it was a big blow. That 60K now has to join about 120K that cut through downtown during the peak period and clearly it was not a pretty Monday morning.

Now with the important crossing out of action for at least a few days and that the incident is just three months shy of the 25th anniversary of one of the biggest incidents that happened on the major St. Louis bridges, here is a few advice for the Metro East that is reeling right now. We are not talking about that part of the Metro East that the locals refer as the Riverbend, but rather the part that is Monroe, St. Clair, and Randolph Counties.

Advice #1: Take it one day at a time.

Yeah, shit just hit the fan and there is nothing you can do about it. The only option besides resorting to prayer wishing the MoDOT engineers well is just take it one day at a time. What happens yesterday morning is in the past and you need to forget about it.

Advice #2: Explore all possible options.

Unlike the Riverbend that have a variety of options in the event something goes horribly wrong on 270 either on the bridges or even into North County, the people down in the southern part of the Metro East has nothing but Route 3. Whether that involves going through Chester or Cahokia is up to you, but don’t overlook the possibility of getting an hotel near work. It is an costly option but you got a difficult choice on what side of the river to sleep on. Working second shifts or third shifts can also be done, though if you got small children I would avoid second shifts with a passion. The options do not necessarily have to involve going to work, but what are you going to do if you must go to St. Louis from Waterloo.

Advice #3: Take this as an opportunity to make a change

Change is not necessarily a good thing, but sometimes you are forced into it. In 1994, the voters in the Riverbend went to the polls not even a few weeks after that incident that iced the morning peak for two mornings and started voting out the incumbent Democrats and that involved John Shimkus scoring an upset win for Congress over an more experienced and well financed Jay Hoffman. The Democrat party has not maintained the strong hold in that part of the Metro East since then and now Madison County is a Republican county that has GOP holding important seats and even favored Bruce Rauner in the 2018 gubernatorial election. The Democrats that were not voted out opted to retire and their vacant seats have been pursued heavily by the GOP.

St. Clair County, on the other hand, has remained Democrat but even that grip has been slipping. One of their Democrat judges barely held on in the retention vote last November. Others either barely survived elections or even got voted out.

You can control the change when it comes to politics – by getting rid of the incumbents that don’t care about the people.

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WWE #SurvivorSeries face/heel turn predictions

Around Wrestlemania I talked about a possible heel turn with Shane O Mac and Daniel Bryan and a Kevin Owens face turn.  It took several months for that possibility to be realized but right before KO was taken off TV there was a double turn with him and Bobby Lashley, despite the fact just a week before KO did a promo that generated so much heel heat.  KO has not been seen since that beating by Lashley, but now Lashley and Lio Rush has been gaining momentum even though Lashley is banged up himself and been limited to short matches and/or tag team action.  Despite the heel turn by Lashley there won’t be a major main event push for the time being – as Lashley is susceptible to injuries and a heel is already holding the top belt on Raw.

Daniel Bryan was going to need that heel turn in the worse way, and while his return was nice it was just a matter of time before that turn happened.  The only way AJ Styles was losing that WWE Title belt was an experienced heel doing it, and Samoa Joe was not the person that was capable largely due to past history of knee and foot injuries.  Samoa Joe also did not play that type of heel character that could pull off the heist and not surprisingly AJ Styles retained at every battle between the two.  Recently, The Miz put over Bryan for the number one contender for the WWE Title on Smackdown where the seeds may had been planted at Super Show Down where Bryan used a quick pinfall to surprise the Miz.  Whether or not tights were pulled on the Miz, it was a sign of a push and a possible heel turn. The heel turn of the Bella Twins right after SSD was a good likelihood of a heel turn was coming.  On the Smackdown before Survivor Series, that turn was cemented and it not only set up a heel vs heel matchup against Brock Lesnar at the PPV, it also set the seeds for a feud with AJ Styles that could last past Royal Rumble.

Survivor Series Update: Bryan put on a rather entertaining match and Lesnar did a good job selling even though it was heel vs heel. The low blow by Bryan got him into the match but Lesnar is just too strong.

Shane O Mac has started a slow heel turn around Crown Jewel by sneaking in the picture and winning the “World Cup” by beating another heel in the final.  The promos he cut were consistent of a heel figure of authority.  Shane O Mac could use a gimmick change as well, and since the WWE Universe has been backing heels so heavily in the past few months it would not hurt for him to act like an asshole to the crowds.  What happens between now and Royal Rumble will define what kind of heel he becomes and a long term possibility could be a feud with him with some experienced veteran.  I don’t see Shane O Mac and Daniel Bryan teaming up for the time being as the former needs a good young heel stable to mentor and the latter is an experienced cocky heel that don’t need any help into doing his dirty deeds.

Survivor Series Update: Shane O Mac did not turn but was the last member of his Smackdown team before his elimination. Since Smackdown did not win a match in the entire PPV, Tuesday would be an interesting show.

Now with that said, here are the heel turns that need to happen:

Charlotte – Now that the feud with Becky Lynch (a feud she was a clear loser) is over, now is a good time for The Queen to go heel and it can start by beating up Ronda Rousey and being a sore loser.  These two will likely cross paths a lot between Survivor Series and Wrestlemania but now Charlotte must prove she can be the dirtiest girl in the game without her daddy help.  The Styling and Profiling heel gimmick that her daddy ran in the early to mid 1980s was one of the best gimmicks – it always got the crowd to pay attention even if there was minimal reaction – and backed up with that cocky persona.  That kind of gimmick could work well and with the WWE PG attitude, gimmicks that date from the late 1970s to early 1980s are working really well with heels.

Survivor Series Update: Charlotte pulled it off using a Kendo stick to intentionally get DQ, then went on an all out assault on Ronda. The WWE Universe was enjoying every minute of it. Short term there won’t be a lot of decent feuds on the Smackdown brand with both Becky and Charlotte heel, but due to the fact Charlotte and Ronda will likely cross paths again between now and Wrestlemania it could be where Charlotte moves to the Raw brand and begins a feud.

Bobby Roode – if anyone could pull off a cocky Styling and Profiling gimmick it is Roode, and a heel turn cannot come soon enough.  Don’t be surprised if this turn and gimmick puts Roode in the main event picture – as it worked too well in NXT.

Survivor Series Update: no turn but was not involved in the pinfall in the preshow that got his team eliminated. It will be a matter of time before Gable is stabbed in the back.

Bayley – she is the one that needs the turn the worse way on the Raw brand, as her current gimmick is stale, she is way down the pecking order for the Womens Championship on that brand, and is constantly forced to deal with tag team actions.  The past week may be finally a start of a trend – and she needs a new gimmick, music, and ring attire as well.  A new heel womens stable could be useful but it is going to take multiple heels to take down Ronda Rousey and she would need some heavy hitters.

Survivor Series update: was eliminated but not via a pinfall but rather a countout that also eliminated a Smackdown participant.

Asuka – another one that needs a desperate heel turn as the more experienced wrestlers have brought her back down to earth following her jump into the main brand late last year.  She has been doomed by poor promo skills – playing a heel would mask that by allowing her actions do the talking.

Survivor Series update: was eliminated but was the last Smackdown member to be pinned in the match.

The face turns that need to happen

Dolph Ziggler – he plays a great heel, with a good cocky persona and excellent charisma not to mention he is eye candy to most of the female fans.  But the problem is that it is time to elevate Drew McIntyre to main event status and sadly Ziggler needs to be stabbed in the back for that to occur.  I only expect a brief feud between the two, then McIntyre is off chasing for the Universal Title and Ziggler is putting the mid card over.

Survivor Series update: was one of just two Raw members eliminated in the mens match. Don’t expect a turn before Royal Rumble.

The Bar – their run as heel has run its course but injury histories for both Cesaro and Sheamus prevents them from getting extended run in singles competition.   It is time to cement some of the younger tag teams as established heels and the seeds could be planted when they put Authors of Pain over in a clean outcome come Survivor Series.

Survivor Series update: put over AOP as expected in a clean outcome but had a bit of a comedic moment before Sheamus took the pin.

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WWE Turns that need to happen at or after #Summerslam

I have been very open on social media platforms about turning a few wrestlers heel.  With some of the wrestlers unhappy and other contracts expiring, it will open a door for turns to occur with some occurring as early as Summerslam but the majority happening by Survivor Series.

Paul Heyman and Roman Reigns turn heel by forming a new partnership and screwing Brock Lesnar at Summerslam. 

There is no way that booking and creative is going to have Lesnar lose clean to Roman in the Universial Title match at Summerslam.  While Lesnar has been unpredictable in recent weeks on Raw, his contract is expiring and he is expected to leave for UFC later this fall.  Reigns have not come close to winning clean to Lesnar, and Lesnar was not even involved in the pinfall the last time he lost the title belt in a Triple Threat match a Wrestlemanias ago.

Its likely Lesnar is dropping the belt but I don’t see a Money in the Bank cash in like the last time he did lose it.  With Lesnar leaving, there is no reason for Heyman to be a crowd favorite – he needs a new villain to cut promos and Roman Reigns fits that bill.  Roman needs a heel turn in the worst way and go back to a 2012 version where he cut promos while wearing suits and fancy clothes, then used his cockiness to shine.

Following the heel turn there is feuds waiting with Bobby Lashley and maybe a returning John Cena but not with the one holding the Money in the Bank suitcase.

The best method of this turn going down is either using dirty tactics all match, or when the ref is distracted Heyman uses a steel chair and Roman cover for the pin.  Whether or not the rest of the Shield turns heel with Roman will depend on what happens in the weeks following Summerslam.

Bobby Roode goes back to his Glorious Heel gimmick that made him a legend in NXT

Back in the NXT when Roode turned heel, he started developing the Glorious gimmick that was a throwback to the Ric Flair Styling and Profiling heel runs of the early to mid 1980s and subsequently went on a hot streak to the point by the time he finally dropped the belt he became a crowd favorite and went in to Smackdown.  However, the babyface run has not gained the momentum and Roode has not been able to show the ego like he had in NXT.  Roode can cut the promos but will he regain the cocky edge that he had in late 2016-early 2017?  While there is not a lot of babyface draws on the mid card right now, a good feud with the popular Monster Among Men might get him back on the right track as it will be too tempting to play dirty.  A heel stable or a tag team might also be in the cards.

Rusev will turn on Aidan English and become a fan favorite

While Rusev have been on a bit of a hot streak lately in Smackdown, it is due to the lack of contenders and that has watered down the importance of the WWE title for that show in recent weeks.  AJ Styles isn’t going to drop that belt anytime soon, Shinsuke is going to become a cocky heel with the US Title, and the Bludegon Brothers are too hot of a heel to lose the tag team titles.  What to do with a guy that developed a new gimmick late last year that has suddenly got him over?  Give him Lana back and let him get stabbed in the back by English in a promo on Smackdown.  While everyone is talking about Rusev being released but right now that is very unlikely with all the injuries in the midcard that have happened on Smackdown, and the recent heel turn of Randy Orton.

Kofi Kingston turns heel by attacking Big E and Woods following a loss to the Bluedgon Brothers with the Smackdown Tag Title Belts on the line

Everyone is expecting a New Day split up by the end of the year and a Big E heel turn.  While Big E does make a solid case for the heel turn, the main reason why the New Day turned heel four years ago was Kofi Kingston listening to the WWE Universe and getting cocky, then using his charisma to get them a new gimmick and being fan favorites.  Therefore a Kofi heel turn makes a logical point given the recent injuries and a weak mid card on the Smackdown brand.  Big E and Xavier Woods will still be paired but they won’t be the same and will eventually go their own ways much more quietly.  A heel turn out of frustration would be a perfect way to do it – it worked for Tommaso last year at NXT Takeover Chicago and now Tommaso is so over as a heel that he gets the asshole chants that the WWE Universe haven’t used in a long time.

Gargano cements a heel turn on NXT right before Summerslam

WWE Booking may have beaten me to the punch on NXT in the last week but last year Tommaso stabbed him in the back and the subsequent feud put them both on top of the NXT food chain.  With a possible move to the WWE main roster impending due to contracts running out and injuries to mid card players, a heel turn won’t hurt because they may very well have to go into the roster as a tag team and there is no way WWE is doing away with Tommaso Psycho Killer gimmick.  The midcard on both Raw and Smackdown needs a shakeup and a good heel that gets the crowd hating can set the tone the rest of the show.

The Bar becomes fan favorites

If Gargano and Tommaso go into Raw as a tag team and as heel using the current Psycho Killer gimmick of Tommaso, it will likely pop any other tag team on the Raw brand into the de facto fan favorites if it is done right.  I’m leaning towards The Bar being the crowd favorites over the B Team, as they are experienced veterans that got the skill sets to get the crowd going without relying on catch phrases and cheesy promos.  The Bar would be the better options of putting Tommaso over and this feud can carry over into Survivor Series.

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#Wrestlemania Predictions

With the Super Bowl of WWE Wrestling less than 24 hours away here is a few predictions for the PPV:

1.  Long awaited John Cena heel turn happens

The bottom line is that the WWE Universe does not boo The Deadman unless he insults a rival in that rival’s home town.  While the kids love Cena, the grownups do not and the heel turn is inevitable given the recent promos that Cena has cut.  The in ring career of Cena has been stale for a while and a heel turn and a gimmick change may be what helps Cena retain his top dog status.

Post event: looks like this is a slow turn and even Elias added a nice touch that John Cena sucked.  Cena getting squashed was icing on the cake.

2.  Roman Reigns cementing his heel turn

Reigns won the Royal Rumble to get another Wrestlemania title shot at Brock Lesnar.  The WWE Booking will not have Lesnar losing clean, so look for a heel turn of Roman Reigns and/or Paul Heyman with Reigns winning the title in a very dirty fashion.  The WWE Universe wanted Reigns to turn heel for a very long time anyway, and a new gimmick along with this turn is what he needs in the worst way.  Lesnar has held the belt for an year now and has barely broke a sweat and in his matches have opted to exploit mistakes made by competitors to gain wins in clean outcomes.  Reigns will need to cheat to win.

Post event:  Reigns failed to win but no turn

3.  Bayley cementing the recent heel turn with a defining Wrestlemania moment

A few weeks ago Bayley finally made her heel turn that I predicted last year.  While it does take time for a gimmick change to occur, her turn was needed so bad.  The hugging gimmick only went so far so an attitude change is what she needs.  This is expected to happen in the Womens Battle Royal.

4.  Surprise heel turn by Shinsuke Nakamura

He has gained popularity since making a breakthrough on the main WWE roster and by declaring for AJ Styles after winning the rumble was not a surprise.  I won’t go into details on how such an heel turn goes off but it could be as an result of a submission similar to the Montreal Screwjob or by playing dirty.  Being the top heel and the WWE Champion could do wonders for Nakamura if it is played right.

Post event – IT HAPPENED towards the end of the match, then cemented it by being a sore loser. Pray for a long feud between these two cause it will be awesome.

5.  Rusev turning face

The Rusev Day gimmick has been popular with fans and the booking needs to either release Rusev or give him his face turn.  I’m siding with the latter – and by all means give him his Lana back as well.

6.  A Double Turn between The Yep Movement and Daniel Bryan/Shane O Mac

Bryan has only been recently cleared to compete again so the WWE Booking is more likely going to have them play heel so they don’t have to do as much work to win matches.  A screwjob ending is likely in this match.

7.  Braun Strowman wins the tag team with Bray Wyatt.  With Alexia Bliss already involved don’t look for Team Little Big to have a wrestlemania moment but rather with Bray Wyatt that is not only in need of a face turn but not on the card.  These two have worked together in the past, Bray needs a fresh start, and having gold on their waist could make it happen.


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After #HIAC – the #WWE Turns that need to happen

With Sami Zayn turning heel by saving Kevin Owens then putting him over Shane O Mac for the pin, it would be the third heel turn that I correctly predicted to happen back in May.  (A fourth turn involving Roman Reigns didn’t turn out as I had hoped – as everyone thought a double turn occurred after the ambulance match in July.)  Four of the face turns also got predicted correctly but three went de facto.

Before I go on, here is the turns that correctly got predicted and why it was needed:

Bobby Roode face turn – for him to make it to the main WWE roster a face turn for this egoistical heel was necessary for a variety of reason – his current gimmick had made him very popular in NXT and the WWE Universe was giving him a lot of sympathy because of his age (at 41 making a debut in the main roster is typically considered a late bloomer and fans are more likely going to cheer for such a player).  Almost as soon he made his Smackdown debut, Dolph Ziggler mocked him and that led to a match at HIAC – following the match Ziggler cheap shotted Roode, all but cementing Roode’s face turn despite the fact Roode pulled tights (and virtually caused Ziggler to moon the crowd) for the pinfall.

Future: expect Roode to remain in the mid card for now but a possible feud against hot heel Jinder Mahal is out there given the way the WWE Title being used as mid card fodder in the Smackdown PPV brand.  Do not expect major changes to Roode character at this time.

Breezeango face turn – Their comedic heel gimmick with the Fashion Police made them popular and their face turn went de facto due to injuries on the tag team front earlier this year set them up against the heel tag team champions The Usos for the titles.

Future: another tag team title shot is possible but only if The Usos hold on to the titles.

AJ Styles face turn:  This turn also went de facto when he cross paths against Kevin Owens for a US Title shot.  Style’s heel turn didn’t go the way the creative team had planned, partly because it came too soon after Jericho stabbed him in the back.  Since the turn back to face Styles have been in the mid card, however, but had been putting on quality matches.

Future:  a possible WWE Title shot given the champion is an heel but don’t expect him to win the belt.  Expect him to be in the mid card area for some time until a trade to the Raw brand happens.

Titus O’Neil Face Turn:  The Titus Brand had gained a cult following and the turn happened when he started managing a cruiserweight that pulled off an upset of an heel Neville.  (Neville has since turned face.)

Future: expect this comedic act to remain mid card and possibly on 205 Live but because O’Neil is above 205 pounds the crusierweight action will likely be limited to managing.

Big Cass heel turn:  As expected this one happened a few weeks before Summerslam and just as Cass was getting momentum following the turn he ruptures an ACL and is now out until Wrestlemania.

Future:  sadly this was an turn that didn’t go as planned largely because of injury that was poorly timed.  Since his injury, Enzo made his own heel turn as a part of a double turn with Neville and I hope Cass returns as an heel himself.

Hideo Itami heel turn:  This turn was necessary because Itami’s gimmick had gone stale after returning from an injury and this has allowed him to get a fresh start in NXT.

Future:  expect a gimmick change to occur at some time later this year.  Itami is expected to make his main WWE roster debut as an heel late 2017 or early 2018, and he is eligible for 205 Live action.

Sami Zayn heel turn:  His underdog babyface gimmick had gone stale months ago and the WWE Universe did not want him beat the crap out of Kevin Owens any longer.  He was a character that needed a heel turn in the worse way and “saving” Owens at HIAC and then putting him over Shane O Mac for the pin might be the way it happens.

Future:  Zayn finally gets his fresh start that he needs with the heel turn.

Below are the turns that appeared to happen but failed to pan out:

Roman Reigns heel turn: everyone thought the outcome after the ambulance match was a double turn.  Since that match Reigns has feuded with Cena but also with The Miz and has supposedly reunited the Shield to battle the newly minted heel stable that The Miz had formed with Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas.  The heel turn possibility is still out there.

Braun Strowman face turn:  since the ambulance match – The Monster Among Men has feuded with Samona Joe (another heel) and beat newly minted heel Enzo to a pulp.  For a while he was the number 1 contender to the Universal Championship that was being held by an babyface that creative had no plans on Lesnar dropping the belt for any reason.  For now, Strowman is a tweener that could be a face one week then a heel the next for no reason whatever.

Now, with no further ado, these are the turns that need to happen (note that the projected turns that I posted in May that have yet to happen are not being mentioned here):

Jason Jordan heel turn – by all means get this done and over with.  Against the Miz, the WWE Universe heavily cheered the heel Miz on, partly because the PPV match was in Hollywood where The Miz is a regional favorite, and that was despite the fact The Miz is a very good heel that can get crowd heat at will.  With the Kurt Angle thing happening, an heel turn is certain at some point just a matter of when it happens.  Following that heel turn, an gimmick change is certain.

Cesaro/Sheamus face turn:  While their heel turn was just a few months ago, their new gimmick has made them popular and one of two things will likely happen:  The Shield will disintegrate or Gallows/Anderson becomes the main threat in the tag team division.  While I would prefer Shemaus and Cesaro to pursue singles careers the reality is that Cesaro has a bad shoulder and a Raw roster decimated by injuries (just like late 2015) is the only way the creative team will put them into singles.

The Brian Kendrick face turn: main reason this is being put out there is that he was one of the few cruiserweights that didn’t attack Enzo during the Neville/Enzo double turn that happened recently.  Gallagher had just turned heel himself and it will be a matter of time when Kendrick and Enzo do cross paths.

Bayley heel turn:  her push stalled after an injury and an attitude change may be what she needs to get to the top of the Raw womens division but there is only two people that she can attack – Sasha and Mickie.  As a result expect this turn come out of nowhere.

Asuka face turn:  The main problem right now is that the Raw Womens Champion is currently an heel that will remain for the time being.  Asuka Raw debut got put on hold after an injury – but the WWE Universe wants her to do the first thing she makes that debut is to challenge for that title.

Rusev face turn:  It is time for Rusev to get a fresh start, as his hot heel gimmick as a foreign type heel had went stale and creative was booking him lose PPV matches.  Give Rusev his Lana back and let him feud with Jinder Mahal.

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15 WWE Turns that need to happen

Watching #DIY end at NXT Takeover Chicago when Tommaso turned heel was a great turn and we hope he reverts back to that Psycho Killer gimmick at some point – and cause a great feud in the process.  Last week Golddust finally turned heel by stabbing R Truth in the back.  Each heel turn had different reactions – the former got massive heat and shock from the crowd, the latter the WWE Universe thought it was about time it was done.

Face Turns that need to be done:

  1.  Bray Wyatt – without a stable he needs to start becoming the fan favorite.  Some of the promos are rather easy to chant to, he has a huge regional following down in the “Bible Belt”, and he has the charisma to do it.  Sadly, the booking has been booking him as a heel for all the wrong reasons.  Turning him face would give him a fresh start with new feuds, now that he moved to the Raw brand it will be a matter of time before he clashes with Kevin Owens.
  2. Bobby Roode – this character current got some egotistical heel that reminds you of Rick Rude and Ric Flair but in recent weeks he been digging down deep to come out winner in matches, namely at NXT Takeover Chicago when he somehow retained in a clean finish despite his opponent using heelish tactics.  Roode is a late bloomer when it comes to the WWE Universe as he is 41, and as such the WWE Universe is treating him as an underdog.  He will make a main roster debut at some point but a face turn will be necessary to do it.  UPDATE: his face turn has not occurred but now that Hideo Itami has turned heel and the otherwise lack of top babyfaces in NXT it will be a matter of time. 
  3. Breezango – this is in the process of being done largely due to an heel gimmick that made them popular with the WWE Universe.  Right now they are the de facto baby face tag team on Smackdown due to the injuries to the New Day and the lack of other tag teams on that brand.  It will be how the booking does this.  Update: New Day has returned but it still appears Breezango is still being pushed as some form of tweener and not a true babyface.
  4. Braun Strowman – despite an injury that put the end of the push and sidelined him for 6 weeks, the Monster of Men  had gained a cult following with a monster heel gimmick.  The WWE Universe was cheering for him during the feud with Roman Reigns.  A face turn upon his return can potentially set him up with feuds with Brock Lesnar and Kevin Owens down the road.  UPDATE:  he has returned as an heel but don’t expect him remain a heel for long – watch for a possible double turn with Roman Reigns around Summerslam.  UPDATE #2:  The double turn may had occurred at the end of the Ambulance match during Great Balls of Fire but don’t expect Strowman to take on a typical babyface role but more that of a tweener.
  5. Baron Corbin – another monster heel with a cult following, while not as dominant as Braun Strowman, he is younger and had attracted a large following in the midwest.  UPDATE: he has won Money in the Bank match and has a potential heel vs heel showdown with the current WWE Champion that would essentially make him a de facto babyface. 
  6. AJ Styles – his heel turn didn’t go in the way that they had hoped – largely because it was against John Cena and it also came too soon after Chris Jericho went heel by stabbing him in the back.  What he is lacking is the gimmick that can turn him back to babyface, which happened recently with Jericho.  UPDATE: this is likely happening against the feud with Kevin Owens.
  7. Titus O’Neil – the Titus Brand is getting a cult following in recent weeks on Raw and what is lacking right now is a heel taking exception to that gimmick.  This probably won’t happen until late in the year but this is a good mid card gimmick that has slowly gained momentum in recent weeks due to the rash of injuries and other turns that took place on Raw.  UPDATE:  it has gained a couple members and is evolving into a stable.  However, the booking is having them lose matches for all the wrong reasons.

Heel turns that need to happen

  1.  Roman Reigns – it is clear he needs an attitude change and a heel turn will do just that.  The WWE Universe already loathes him and a heel turn by attacking Seth Rollins or Randy Orton would do this.  UPDATE:  WWE Universe seem glad to seen the Monster Among Men back from injury and going right after the Roman Empire.  Watch for a potential double turn around Summerslam but cannot rule out attacking Seth Rollins or even Kurt Angle.  UPDATE #2:  the double turn may had happened at the end of the ambulance match at Great Balls of Fire, with Braun exploiting an mistake by Reigns to win the match, then Reigns getting in a sore loser rage putting Braun in the ambulance then hitting a truck.
  2. Big Cass – with his size, he would make a good monster heel gimmick and put the end of Swaft in one fell swoop.  His turn would be very shocking to the Universe and possibly jump start his singles career.  UPDATE:  Big Cass made the heel turn on 6/19/17 by cutting a promo then attacking Enzo.  Expect a short feud between those two but then expect him get a hot heel push with a new gimmick.
  3. Finn Balor – he just returned from an long term injury and a good heel turn out of nowhere might be what is necessary to get back the Championship.  It will likely start by stabbing Seth Rollins and this will likely be fitting given what happened at Summerslam.
  4. Hideo Itami – injuries had set him back as an rising baby face and at NXT TakeOver Chicago he may had taken his first step by using heelish tactics such as focusing on the body part of an opponent, then going in a rage mode back stage after the match.  A heel turn might be what he needs to finally get over in NXT and into that WWE Roster.  UPDATE:  After showing even more heelish behavior over the next few weeks, Itami turned heel on the 6/7/17 NXT Show with such a viscous showing by refusing to pin following a finisher and this may had been part of an delayed double turn with Bobby Roode  (the opponent was not exactly the wrestler that the turn should had happened on but it was clear booking wanted a weaker opponent).  Itami is expected to be pushed as an hot heel with a new gimmick and then make the WWE Roster around Survivor Series or Royal Rumble.
  5. The New Day – injuries put the end of their run right before Wrestlemania first with Big E then with Kofi.  Once the trio gets healthy a heel turn on the Smackdown brand by attacking Breezeango is going to happen.  While heel the trio can get another long title reign under the Freebird rule, they really need to find another crazy gimmick that the WWE Universe gets going about.  A heel turn will do this.  UPDATE:  The team has returned from injuries but there is truly no tag team on the Smackdown brand that a heel turn can be executed on.  This heel turn will likely come out of nowhere and it could be possible for Kofi or Big E stabbing the rest of the team in the back.
  6. John Cena – this heel turn will be long awaited – it will piss off all those little children but get all the adults going crazy.  Toss in a new heel stable with this and before you know it Cena will be loathed, anyone that gets in their path is a de facto baby face.  A double turn with AJ Styles or Bray Wyatt would be icing on the cake.  UPDATE:  Cena is expected to return to action in a few weeks.
  7. Dean Ambrose – this turn should not occur prior to AJ Styles and Bray Wyatt, but a late season turn between Summerslam and Survivor Series might be what he needs.  His baby face gimmick has hit a stale mate in recent weeks and it has been obvious that The Miz has clearly won the most recent feud when it comes in getting over with the fans.  A crazy heel gimmick would give him a new attitude.
  8. Sami Zayn – his underdog character has went stale and a heel turn might bring out his promo skills.   UPDATE: this turn will happen soon likely to give him a fresh start that he needs.
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The demise of Prop 2 on #MLS2STL

Last week I casually mentioned to a few people at the rally at Ballpark Village that one of those measures was likely to fail because there were flaws that they failed to recognize.  There was not a lot of negative advertising being made – and you didn’t see a lot of “No to Prop 2” propaganda on the streets.  If all the haters out there think that I am full of fucking shit about writing this, take your time reading the entire #MLS2STL trend on Twitter then mouth off.

Flaw 1: The large number of the #STLFC fan base and the usage of Soccer Park is people that live outside the STL City limits.  Even if they were in favor of both measures there was little those people could do about it because they weren’t able to vote on it.  The lack of regionalism on this vote led to the defeat of Prop 2 because they couldn’t overcome the minority population that were opposed to this.

Flaw 2: The ownership group failed to convince the minority ethnic population to vote in favor of it, much less on what the vote was for.  While this group did go after the Bosnian community, the Hispanic and African American communities had a different opinion.  One of the well known local Hispanics was openly against it.  Some of the earliest returns came from those neighborhoods – and it set the tone for the entire evening of watching election returns. Surprisingly, a large number of the No votes also came from regular readers of the Riverfront Times, which actually supported the opposition groups – and this demographic fits mostly the 18-35 age range that the ownership group was trying to reach out to. The combination of the two prevented the affluent wards that had big support for #MLS2STL from overtaking the lead in the polls for Prop 2.  (I wished that the city would provide a breakdown of the vote per ward but that has not happened.)

Update 2:54 PM 4/5/17 – The ward by ward results were released and confirmed the main source of the No votes came from wards with large African American populations and to an lesser extent the Hispanic and Asian population.

Flaw 3: The locals believe that the convention bureau is not telling the truth about the Edwards Jones Dome for soccer.  It is common to see football fields double as soccer pitches in the USA and almost every high school in the area is set up as such.  The locals wanted the use of that place for a home field in soccer – especially when that place is already supported by their taxpayer money.  Almost every MLS team has used an already existing football stadium (NFL and/or college) at some point – most of it on an interim basis until funding of a soccer stadium with a grass field could be secured and constructed.  The convention bureau refused to allow the #MLS2STL group to use the dome on a short term basis – and the locals that rely on the dome for their livelihood that resided in the city limits showed up with the No votes.

Flaw 4:  Locals perceive the #MLS2STL ownership group as Sugar Daddy Owners of St. Louis FC.  This group of owners tried to engage the community and did everything right on that accord.  The problem was that they wanted around $65M of their taxpayer money – and with the wounds of Stan Kroenke’s personal screwjob fresh on the locals minds were not willing to part with that money.  In reality the locals wanted Kroenke to get lost because they know he doesn’t care about his sports teams (go to Denver and London and you see open dissent by their teams own fan bases and #KroenkeOut is a common trend by Arsenal supporters) so Kroenke bashed St. Louis on his way out.  Los Angeles had turned into a Chargers market in the 20 years they didn’t have NFL football and the locals did not bother to show up to most of the LA Rams games in the past season – and the Chargers often outdrew them.

St. Louis keep in mind that the London based Arsenal FC fan base has turned against Kroenke a long time ago. The same has happened on the teams he owns in Denver and LA.

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Leicester v Sunderland ratings

I apologize for not posting rating for the Leicester v Stoke match as I was not home most of the day.

Leicester ratings

GK Schmeichel – 7 – Barely challenged, made the saves when he had to.  Got bailed out on the goal post on one of the Sunderland shots but the Black Cats did not shoot the ball on target most of the match.

RB Simpson – 7 – Won the majority of the challenges presented to him.

CB Huth – 8 – Won all the key headers.  Forced the Sunderland GK to make diving save on one of the headers.  Was a big factor when Leicester did a corner kick even drawing four Sunderland players to mark him.

CB Benalouane – 8 – Kept Defoe in check and whatever Defoe got off was a poor angle shot.  Won the majority of his challenges.

LB Fuchs – 7 – Won the most of the challenges.  Had a brain fart in the 76th minute with a poor clearance that gave Sunderland a chance but they found woodwork.  Despite the mistake put on the performance of the higher quality.

RW Mahrez – 6 – Sunderland kept him in check.  Improved in the second half, especially when the first two subs were introduced.

MF Ndidi – 6 – Did not play well in the first half.  Performance improved in the second half.  Was substituted late in the game.

MF Drinkwater – 7 – Had a slow start in the game as well but started to pull the strings as the second half progressed.

LW Gray – 5 – Fail to effectively cross and strike at the ball when given the chance.  Was substituted in the 60th minute.

FW Okazaki – 6 – Had a quiet game but had few chances to make an impact due to Sunderland controlling the midfield.  Was substituted in the 60th minute.

FW Vardy – 7 – Up to the goal he scored he had a poor game.  Became more of a force after the opening goal and scored the second one.  After that point, he ran the show on the Sunderland back four.


LW Albrighton – 9 – Got both the assists and pulled the strings.  Sunderland had no answers for him.  Would been on sooner but he just recovered from an illness.  The man of the match.

FW Slimani – 8 – Scored the first goal on a header that he was unmarked because Sunderland was focused on Huth off the corner kick.  His goal forced the Sunderland defense to turn his focus on him allowing Vardy to start making his moves.

MF King – N/A – Had brief glimpses of quality.

Sunderland Ratings

GK Pickford – 6 – Had a quiet performance with several fine saves.  Had no chance on Slimani’s goal but could had done better with Vardy’s strike.

DF Jones – 6 – Kept Vardy in check most of the night but unable to deal with the Leicester attack once Albrighton and Slimani were introduced.

DF Ovideo – 5 – Did not perform well.  Unable to win the majority of the challenges and around the 57th minute Vardy won a corner kick at his expense that Huth nearly headed home.

DF Denayer – 6 – Quiet performance, was successful for the most of his challenges.

MF Kone – 6 – Kept the Leicester midfield in check for the first 60 minutes.

MF Larsson – 5 – Inability of delivering crosses from corner kicks and free kicks led to a game he would rather forget.  Was eventually substituted out after Leicester made the score 1-0.

MF Rodwell – 6 – Won the majority of the midfield challenges until the 60th minute but was unable to keep Albrighton in check.  Was subbed out.

MF Cattermole – 6 – Had a quiet performance before getting subbed out, making no major errors and helping Sunderland win the battle in the midfield for the first 60 minutes.

FW Ndong – 5 – Had a poor performance up front.  Inability to effectively pass the ball made this a match one to forget.

FW Borini – 5 – Had a poor performance.  Inability to create chances and strike the ball when they were presented.  Was substituted out.

FW Defoe – 6 – Quiet performance and made a couple key passes but his teammates were unable to finish.  Eventually he was forced to make poor angle shots that often went for goal kicks because Leicester defended him too well.


MF Anichebe – 6 – Was denied by the woodwork in the 76th minute.  Did not make another impact.

FW Khazri – 6 – Failed to make an impact.

MF Gibson – N/A – came on too late in the game.

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Atlanta traffic – the meme fest

I’m glad that I don’t live in that town.  I have driven through the town in the past while on the way to visiting family in South Carolina and Florida and those moments often yield horror shows.  One year, on a Friday afternoon, it took 2 hours to use 75 from  top end of 285 to the airport.

Locals (and people from neighboring towns) did not hesitate to meme this epic fail:

I don’t expect making a trip through there anytime soon.

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West Ham v Leicester ratings 3/18/17

West Ham 2 – 3 Leicester

West Ham Ratings

GK Rudolph 7 – Had no chance in the goals he conceded.  Made a brilliant save on Slimani when Leicester did a late counter.

RB Bryan 5 – Did not play well.  Mahrez pulled the stings all game long.

CB Fonte 6 – Quiet performance.

CB Reid N/A – left in the 18th minute on what appeared to be a non contact injury.

LB Cresswell 7 – Played fairly well before being subbed out.  Kept Albrighton in check for most of the contest.

MF Kouyate 6 – Quiet performance.  Was kept in check by the Leicester midfield.

MF Obiang 6 – Committed a turnover that led to Leicester first goal.  Was subbed out due to injury in the 66th minute.

MF Ayew – 8 – Played very well.  Scored West Ham second goal from a corner kick.  Gave problems to Leicester whenever West Ham went for a corner kick.

MF Lanzini – 8 – Scored West Ham first goal on a direct free kick that there was nothing that LCFC could do about.

FW Antonio – 7 – Drew the foul that set up the free kick goal by Lanzini.

FW Carroll – 8 – Got robbed by the Leicester goalkeeper on several occasions in the second half.  Would have scored on a different day.  Had a goal disallowed by an offsides call.  Had an assist on the second goal.


CB Snodgrass (on 18) – 8 – Played fairly well winning the majority of challenges.  His corner kick and free kick deliveries were flawless and one of them led to a goal.

MF Fernandes (on 66) – 6 – Not enough time to make an impact.  Only had one chance late and that was saved.

LB Masuaku (on 73) – N/A – On for Cresswell but did not have enough time to make an impact.  Had 1 key pass late on but the ensuing shot was saved.

Leicester Ratings

GK Schmeichel – 9 – Had no chance in the two goals that were conceded.  Made several important saves down the stretch when it was clear that West Ham were the better team, including robbing Carroll at point blank range at least twice.

RB Simpson – 5 – Did not play well.  Inability to effectively pass and clear the ball, especially in the second half when it was clear that West Ham was the better team.  The West Ham wingers ran riot on Simpson.

CB Huth – 7 – Scored the second goal for Leicester.  Won the majority of the challenges even when West Ham was pouring on the pressure.

CB Benalouane – 7 – Gave West Ham some problems with the long range passing in the first half.  Was mostly quiet in the second half but won some key challenges late in the game.  Did not win the challenge that led to West Ham second goal but won the challenges that mattered the most.

LB Fuchs – 6 – Quiet performance – made no major errors in the match despite being dominated by the West Ham wingers.

RM Mahrez – 9 – Pulled the strings until getting subbed out in a late defensive minded change.  Had a goal, a key pass that led to the second goal, and an assist in the match.

MF Drinkwater – 6 – Conceded the free kick that led to West Ham first goal.  Took a needless booking in the second half.  Was kept in check by the West Ham midfield but made two late clearance passes to take the pressure off the LCFC defense.

MF Ndidi – 6- Quiet performance.  Was kept in check by the West Ham midfield but they did not do much against him, instead opting to attack on the wings.  His booking in the second half kept West Ham from quickly restarting the game.

LM Albrighton – 7 – Had an assist on the second goal.  Was kept in check by Cresswell for most of the match.  The corner kick late in the first half contributed to the third goal.

FW Okazaki – 7 – May have screened Rudolph that allowed the Mahrez cross to go in for the first goal.  Did not get on the scoresheet but gave the back four of West Ham a lot of problems.  Was subbed out in the 75th minute.

FW Vardy – 7 – Scored the third goal.  Gave the back four of West Ham problems but was gassed late in the game and subbed out in the 75th minute.


FW Musa (on 75) N/A – not enough time to make an impact.

FW Slimani (on 75) N/A – forced Randolph to make a save on a late counter attack but it was the only chance he had

LB Chilwell (on 85) N/A – late defensive minded sub.  Made a late clearance pass that started a counter attack chance.

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