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.

Subs

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.

Subs

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.

SUBS

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.

Subs

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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Leicester v Sevilla Ratings 3/14/17

Leicester Ratings

GK Schmeichel 8/10 – Made amazing saves.  Foul that led to penalty was unlucky.  Easy save on the penalty.

RB Simpson – 7/10 – Quiet night.  Barely challenged.

CB Huth – 7/10 – Successful on most of the headers and challenges for the evening.  Kept the Sevilla forwards in check.

CB Morgan – 8/10 – Got a piece on the ball that led to Leicester’s first goal.  Rarely challenged by the Sevilla attackers.

LB Fuchs – 7/10 – Rarely challenged, made key clearance passes when forced into it.

RM Mahrez – 9/10 – Got assists on both goals even though the crosses were not perfect.  Pulled the strings all night long, setting up several key passes that forced saves or just missed the target.

MF Ndidi – 8/10 – Shut down most of the Sevilla playmakers by himself.

MF Drinkwater – 7/10 – Quiet performance.  Did not have to do much.

LM Albrighton – 9/10 – Scored Leicester second goal after a poor clearance by the Sevilla defense.  Pulled the stings on the left side of the field.

FW Okazaki 7/10 – Had a shot that just missed wide.  Started an attack with a key pass to Mahrez that led to the second goal.  Was subbed out at the 62nd minute but his dirty work was done.

FW Vardy 7/10 – Drew the foul that set up the free kick that led to the first goal by Leicester.  Instigated the action that led to the red card of Nassir.  Was robbed on a couple counter attacks by the Sevilla goalkeeper.  Consistently drew double teams in the box, leading to Albrighton to go unmarked for the second goal.  Would have scored on a different night.

subs

Slimani 6/10 – Didn’t have to do much after coming on for Okazaki.

Amartey N/A – Late defensive minded sub coming on for Mahrez.

Sevilla Ratings

GK Sergio Rico 8/10 – Kept the team in the game for the most part.  Had no chance in the two goals that were conceded.  Robbed Vardy and Okazaki on multiple occasions.

D Rami 5/10 – Poor quality performance.  Unable to execute the free kicks early in the game.  Poor clearance in the second half led to the second goal.

D Mercado 5/10 – Poor quality performance.  Failed to properly marked Morgan on Leicester’s first goal.  Was subbed at halftime.

D Pareja 6/10 – Quiet performance.  Broke up several counter attacks with key interceptions and blocks.

MF N’Zonzi 4/10 – Took a poor penalty that was an easy save for Schmeichel.  Did nothing else of note.

MF Iborra 5/10 –  Conceded the free kick that led to the first goal by Leicester.  Largely absent in the match thanks to Drinkwater and Ndidi.

MF Escudero 7/10 – Was robbed by the cross bar on a shot that beat Schmeichel.  Unlucky to see his block of Okazaki shot go straight at Mahrez that contributed to the second goal.

MF Sarabia 5/10 – Ineffective at the midfield.  Was subbed out at halftime.  Inability to pass the ball and make plays doomed him.

FW Ben Yedder 4/10 – Ineffective and got subbed out.  Was ineffective at crossing passes.

FW Vitolo 6/10 – Eventually got booked for a needless foul.  Aside from drawing the penalty he did very little.

FW Nassir – 4/10 – Ineffective most of the night.  Both yellow cards were needless.  His only chance came in the 3rd minute.

subs

Jovetic 6/10 – Quiet performance.  Shanked a rebound.

Mariano 5/10 – came on but did not play well.  The poor clearance went straight to Albrighton for the second goal.

Correa 6/10 – Did not have enough time to make an impact.  Should had come in the game much sooner than the 67th minute as he forced Schmeichel into making a save soon after coming in.

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5 years after #Shermageddon – did it change Louisville for the better?

5 years ago (it happened September 9, 2011), Louisville was hit with an unexpected 162 day I-64 shutdown at one of the worst possible locations – the Sherman Minton Bridge.  That closure left Louisville with just two Ohio River crossings – the 4 lane Second Street Bridge (also known as the George Clark) and the overloaded Kennedy Bridge.  Locals that were willing to take the scenic route had the option of the Bradenburg Bridge (which suddenly became the go to option for the family as they were in the Fort Knox area), or the Milton-Madison Bridge up north (despite the construction project that was going on at the time).  Louisville was pretty much SOL and there was nothing that the locals could do about it.

At the time of the closure, there was bickering going on about building a new Ohio River bridge – which had been successfully stalled by a group of NIMBYs that allegedly had some strong financial backing by a wealthy suburb called Rivers Edge and assisted by the funding issues by both KYTC and INDOT at that time.  At the same time there was another group that wanted was not only NIMBY on the new downtown bridge, but wanted I-64 in downtown Louisville removed.

What happened after the 162 day nightmare ended: KYTC and INDOT threw in the towel and decided to use tolls as funding for the new bridges, and the NIMBY group virtually went on to do an about face rather quietly.

The downtown bridge, which became the Abraham Lincoln Bridge, has since opened to traffic but tolling will not start for another month.  The Kennedy Bridge is getting a much needed rehabilitation project that is nearing completion.  The East End Bridge is nearing completion and is slated to open late this year or early in 2017.

While Shermageddon did hit Louisville with an wakeup call, it is still too soon to determine the long term effects.  What it did show was that bickering over the fine details just adds to the problems.

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