Stunt Granny Audio #255

The better half.

The better half.

If you were wondering why it is considerably more sexy in here, it is because Dusty and Kevin are back for another rousing edition of Stunt Granny Audio. Kevin starts things off by breaking things down in the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs, and Dusty retaliates by regaling us with the lowdown on the NBA playoffs. They then move on to talking about the latest episode of Monday Night Raw. Dusty is still disgusted by the overly long Gettysburg Address reading interviews that WWE seems to love. Does Paul Heyman get a pass for his work? Where does Rob Van Dam fit in to this current landscape? Is Stephanie McMahon the worst?

They then break down which promotion has the better looking women – WWE or WCW. Which TNA performer has that ass? Which ring announcer chick does Dusty prefer – Renee Young or Christy Hemme? If you have to ask, you’ll never know. Do they have any faith in Jeff Jarrett and Global Force Wrestling making a dent in TNA’s business? What kind of pizza do they prefer? Who was the better member of the Powers of Pain? All that and a whole lot more nonsense, and if you don’t listen, you’re going to get arrested for public stupidity.

Kevin’s Blog: Almost Live, Definitely Half Assed Review of #WWE #Raw

BandwagonI had a full weekend but my favorite part came Saturday evening when exiting the Pittsburgh Penguins at Columbus Bluejackets game. Two things really amused me during the game. My girl and I walk past the sign up area to sign up for the “Arch City Army”, which is a faction of hard core Jackets fans, going to our seats every game. Since this game involved the Penguins, there were plenty of Pittsburgh fans in attendance including myself. The first derogatory thing told to me was to “Go home…to Pittsburgh.” After living in Columbus for 14 years, I still get this comment. I’m not going anywhere people. Deal with me rooting for the Penguins. The full season ticket holder that sits beside me seemed shocked that I wore my colors even though I told at Opening Night that I would be dressed in black and gold. What an idiot.

The second part was why I mentioned walking past the Arch City Army. After the Pens won 3-0, the best chant they muster was “Bandwagon! Bandwagon!” which is hilarious on multiple levels. You’re the only Bluejackets fans left in the arena. Looks like your bandwagon already left the arena so you’ve got no back up. Second, do you realize that the last time the Penguins won a Stanley Cup was 2009? That’s four years ago if you can’t do the math. You don’t stay on a band wagon for that long. When you’ve been rooting for a team for that long, you’re just a fan. The Pens have enjoyed a great regular seasons but have been terrible in the playoffs. Even last year ended with a miserable sweep to the Boston Bruins.

The “Bandwagon” chant also got me thinking after the Pittsburgh Steelers got dismantled by the New England Patriots. I wore my Pirates hat to the game because it used to be the best way to say “I’m a hard core Pittsburgh fan. You can’t call me a band wagon fan.” I’m starting to think now that I’m going to have wear Steelers gear since they’re the only losers in town. Time to review Raw after that rant which really could have been it’s own post. Let’s roll.

Lenny-Squiggy-laverne-and-shirley-19107748-640-480CM Punk kicks off the show then we get more review from last week. The Wyatt Family gets their entrance. Evidently, this is good for business. Luke Harper is Punk’s opponent. Jerry Lawler isn’t buying that it’ll stay a 1 on 1 match. Smart man. I’m not sure why Punk is going with the Squiggy look. Not surprised Harper got the call. He was good when I’ve seen him. Holy cow, Mitchell Cool is an idiot. Rowan doesn’t look like Michael Myers. Break time. Punk finally makes a come back. His neck breaker looked really bad. Punk ends up “stealing it” with a roll up. Rowan attacks Punk. Bray Wyatt joins in. Daniel Bryan makes the save with a chair. HHH gets more air time because the WWE makes content for their website. If it’s important, it makes it to TV. Could you imagine the CEO of Apple being taped saying “Finish him” to people mugging one of their employees, JBL? They’d be in as much trouble as Richie Incognito.

Renee Young talks to CM Punk. He knows that he’ll always be out numbered. Punk knows he’s not the only one who has a problem with them. Weird that Bryan didn’t pop in. Paul Heyman is on the phone. He appears to be in a Russian gulag because this interview isn’t on Skype. Heyman cries and hangs up. Ryback gets to take on the Great Khali to get some heat back. We get a break first. Lovely.

Khali is out powering Ryback early. I guess Ryback isn’t strong enough to give Khali Shellshock. Meat hook clothes line for the win. Ryback drags Santino out of the ring. He tosses Marella into the barrier. Just what the doctor ordered. We get more Big Show tape. JBL makes the same claims about jail. Evidently the authorities in those municipalities and the WWE don’t feel the same. Kofi Kingston shows up for Eric Nelson’s birthday, if he’s still alive.

Alberto Del Rio is his opponent. Del Rio is putting the boots to Kofi early. He needs to get heat back too if he’s going to take on Super Cena again. The crowd is still pulling for Kofi even though he’s been MIA for a while now. Del Rio misses the enziguri. Del Rio makes one of the lamest kick outs ever. Kofi goes for the SOS. Del Rio turns it into the cross arm breaker for the win. Nice counter. Dear lord, they go through Big Show’s charges with video packages. JBL has no answer for the charges other than he hates lawyers. That’s some weak sauce.

Randy Orton comes out first. Lawler is ready to announce his opponent when Orton gets on a mic. That was as bland as it could be. Big E Langston is his opponent. My boy Dolph Ziggler & the Miz got crushed. No surprise really because the only thing Orton had right was that the WWE Universe didn’t truly have a choice. We got 3 guys the WWE wants him to face. (Next Day Edit: Well, it’s really 1 guy that the WWE wants Orton to face and 2 guys that aren’t a stretch to face Orton.) Langston shoulder blocks him out of the ring. After tossing Orton to the outside a third time, we get a commercial. Orton finally gets control shortly after the break. Big E missed a spear. Yikes. That is a large gentleman doing that. Orton gets to bore us with a reverse chin lock. Big E shoulder blocks Orton in the corner. JBL gets no sold on a comment. Splash by Big E for a near fall. This is some bizarro world baby face match. Dominant showing by opponent, baby face makes a heroic comeback for the win. No way Big E wins this one. Hanging DDT by Orton. The ladies are loving the “New face of the WWE”. RKO out of the Big Ending. Why is Big Show getting so much air time?

Continue reading

Kevin’s Blog: Almost Live, Definitely Half Assed Review of #WWE #Raw

This website took things into their own hands for labeling.

This website took things into their own hands for labeling.

So if I had just made up my mind and had my computer repaired, I wouldn’t be using my parent’s spare old Dell. Of course, maybe dropping water on the lap top should have warned me that the rest of my week was going to suck from then on. I’m starting late again so I’m doing babbling. Let’s roll.

Angelo Savoldi is recognized. I get to learn who he is on Wikipedia. I’m sure I can do the reading during HHH‘s long speech. Stephanie gets to tell them that the 10 are “men.” RVD gets to be the mouth piece of the group. The McMahon’s try to turn the tables mentally on the 10 by giving them the Shield. He’s having a hard time pronunciating “frustration.” Okay, maybe they have me again. Not sure where they’re taking this thing and they don’t seem to know either.

Kofi Kingston is taking on Alberto Del Rio. Are the McMahon’s trying to wear out the 10 before their elimination match? Lawler asking if the match is fair to the Shield is pretty weird. Shouldn’t that be JBL’s role? They get a break with Kofi in control. The crowd is starting to do random chants. No surprise that Chicago is bringing it. Kofi gets a near fall from an SOS. I can’t remember the last time I saw a Boom Drop. It hasn’t gotten better. Nice German Suplex by Del Rio. Kofi screws up a DDT. Kofi misses a cross body. Del Rio goes vicious. Kofi taps out to the Cross Arm Breaker.

Renee Young gets to ask Miz the tough questions. HHH can’t let him wrestle because of his condition. He gives Miz the Big Show on Miz TV. They recap the Rhodes happenings.

The Prime Time Players get to take on the Wyatt Family in the form of Luke Harper & Erick Rowan. The beat down of the 10 continues. Darren Young is taking it. The lights go off momentarily. Most exciting news of the match so far. Titus O’Neil gets the hot tag. Young takes out Rowan. Harper capitalizes on a distracted O’Neil. Clothesline for the Wyatt win. Young gets Sister Abigail’s kiss. Mitchell Cool gets cut off making a good point. Did someone just get in trouble?

Miz TV is on. The Miz wants to know why the Big Show would do that. The Miz asks the Big Show to stand up for himself. Stephanie McMahon strides down to the ring. Steph calls the Miz a utility person. She does condescending well. Steph makes Big Show knock out the Miz which he does with no hesitation. (Next Day Note: Did the WWE realize Big Show is a lot better as a heel? If so, good for them. I’d be happy to get rid of smilely Big Show again.)

Randy Orton comes out and finds out that his opponent is RVD. The announcer banter is the best part of the match until the early break. Buzzing thru entrances makes this so much quicker. I might catch up before the finish if I keep it up. Orton makes it interesting by kicking RVD off the top rope. He appears to have snapped. They get counted out but Orton still beats down RVD. So why aren’t the other 10 helping RVD out? What a bunch of pussies. Top Rope hanging DDT.

Randy Orton runs into the Bellas back stage. He warns Brie of his awaited beating. They’re doing a good job of putting more heat on Orton instead of the McMahons. They show clips from HHH’s new DVD. Big Steph does more condescending, this time to AJ Lee. AJ doesn’t like the way she’s being treated as Divas Champion. AJ listens to Big Steph.

Continue reading

Kevin’s Blog: The Pittsburgh Pirates Get To .500 (At Least)

Pirates Hats

’97, ’06 and ’11

My beloved Pittsburgh Pirates have not had a winning season since I got my driver’s license in 1992. I have suffered through the majority of the twenty consecutive seasons of a losing record. I will admit to being so ticked off at baseball for striking in 1994 that I stopped watching until 1999. During that time period though, I still sported a Pirates hat that I bought in the summer of 1997. It was an easy time period to keep the team out of my life since it was during my college years. I’d be home for the summer, mow lawns for twelve hours a day then go spend some of my money on some really cheap beer. Few of my friends liked sports and if they did, it was football. I had also convinced myself that it was a boring sport. Of all things that drug me back in, it was fantasy baseball. I hate losing, even if there isn’t money involved. But when my friend Jason invited me into that league in 1999, it changed the way I looked at the sport.

I have been a Pirates since I can remember. My mother was the big baseball supporter in the household while my dad was more of a Steelers guy. Both of them grew up in Pittsburgh. Three of my four grandparents were born in Pittsburgh. The fourth moved there from Penne, Italy when she was fourteen. All of them were invested in the sports products of the ‘Burgh so it was easy to become a fan. We went to Pirates games in the summer when we went to visit the grandparents. We never went to Steelers games as a family. I also went to a lot of games with a friend’s family because they were from Lancaster, PA and were huge Philadelphia Phillies fans. Our present for a good job in little league or for a job well done as an altar boy was of course a trip to a Pirates game.

But as already mentioned, my fandom was derailed by a bunch of idiots in 1994. When I got back into the swing of things in ’99 though, I went all in. I understand better why this sport wasn’t boring. I had acknowledged when I was a kid that pitching was important but I never thought about the cat and mouse game that pitchers and hitters play with each other. I remember arguing with fellow fans in grade school the day after I went to see the Atlanta Braves at the Pirates in the NLCS in 1991, Game 2. Zane Smith was out dueled by Steve Avery. Everyone thought I saw a boring game but I knew I saw two pitchers at their peak shutting down two great offenses. Now though, I understand more of the ideas behind scouting reports, good pitch location and mixing up pitch types. I didn’t realize how much space you needed to cover in the outfield, despite having been to Three Rivers Stadium more times than I can remember. The ability of the current Pirates outfield to cover that much space is incredible and requires more athleticism than I thought as a kid. The outfielders aren’t the only ones devouring tons of space to make plays. I thought it was easy to play infield since there was less space to cover. Even though it may be the case for first and third base, second base and shortstop have gobs of space to cover. Even though a third basemen might not have as much territory, they have the toughest throw to make in very little time to make an out and that’s just on a routine ground ball.

It was time to read the minor league scouting reports, check out the draft and international signings. I knew that the Buffalo Bisons were the Pirates AAA farm team when I was a kid but I couldn’t have told you anyone who was there. These days, I go to Indianapolis Indians to see the next set of prospects. I had a friend move to Indianapolis. Since I was strapped for cash at the time, I crashed at his place to go see the Indians play the Pawtucket Red Sox. I got to see Andrew McCutchen, now an MVP candidate, in his next to last minor league start. I was bummed earlier this year when I thought Gerrit Cole, their No. 1 pick in 2011, was going to pitch the day before they came to Columbus. An extra day of rest helped me out and I got to see Cole in his next to last start in the minors. I was bummed that the Pirates next big time prospect, pitcher Jameson Taillon, didn’t come here to Columbus after he got a bump up from the AA Altoona Curve. Which is another fun part of the process, my hometown now has the Pirates AA team. Much more exciting for me than some other small city in the state or another state. It was a blast last year going to a game with my family when we were all back in Altoona. As for the international signings, I had no idea where the Pirates looked for talent. Now I know that they have the third best facility in the Dominican Republic behind the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. The Pirates signed Luis Heredia in 2010 as a sixteen year old. I would never had worried about that in high school.

Continue reading

The Pittsburgh Penguins Dilemma

Poker chips, large sum conceptJeremy thought this topic would be more interesting than another ROH bashing. I’m not sure his level of surprise when he IMed me this article from Deadspin but he did get me riled up enough to do this article. Here’s my take on their questions.

As I noted back on March 28th, the Pittsburgh Penguins decided to go all in during the trade deadline. I hoped they wouldn’t go bust but here they are. My beloved Penguins went down in flames in four short games in the Eastern Conference Final to the unheralded Boston Bruins. They scored a measly two goals in four games. Two goals might not even allow you to win a game much less a series. I’m going to break this down into a couple of categories for what happened and what needs to be addressed.

The Games

One pivotal moment came in the Penguins first round series against the New York Islanders. Marc-Andre Fleury has been the franchise goaltender since being picked with the number one overall in 2003. He started at the NHL level for a majority of that time. The guy even backed the team that went to back to back Stanley Cup Finals in ’08 and ’09 and winning the later of the two match ups against the Detroit Red Wings. Fleury wrapped up the Stanley Cup victory with a diving save on Niklas Lidstrom. In those years, he had a save percentages of 93.3% and 90.8%.  For those that don’t watch hockey, anything below 90% is bad. Ever since that save though, he has fallen apart in the playoffs starting with a terrible showing when they played Montreal in ’10. He had a save percentage of 89.1%. The hope of playoff success was low in 2011 because Evgeni Malkin had blown his ACL and Sidney Crosby was sitting with a concussion. Fleury could have stolen a series against the lowly Tampa Bay Lighting but he posted an 89.9% and the Penguins got booted in the first round. Last year is when things went to hell in a hand basket. Both the Philadelphia Flyers and Penguins decided that playing defense was no fun so they turned the playoffs into an All Star game by potting goals at a ridiculous pace. Fleury gave up 4.33 goals a game for a 83.4% save percentage. He couldn’t even stop basic shots and when the defense is that bad you need that to happen.

He rebounded from the terrible offseason (I’m going to skip over that whole lock out thing because it isn’t relevant to this discussion) and helped to lead the Penguins to a first place finish in the Eastern Conference. The problems looked resolved with a first game shut out of the Islanders. Unfortunately, he gave up four goals in the next three consecutive games. Fleury’s stats aren’t online now but you can’t win many games giving away four goal. The Penguins did pull out one of the three games. Former starter Tomas Vokoun played Game 5 and never looked back. Vokoun had one bad game though and it was Game 2 against the Boston Bruins. The Pens went down 3-0 in the first period. Dan Bylsma, the Pen’s coach, decided to pull Vokoun and send Fluery back in for the first time in a round and a half. Pens Center Brandon Sutter came streaking down the right wing and sniped a shoot over Tuuka Rask’s shoulder to make it 3-1 with a minute left in the first. Brad Marchand, who scored a goal earlier, came down less than thirty seconds later and floats a goal over Fleury’s glove hand which broke the Pens back. All Fleury had to do was make a damn save on a wrister from about the middle of the circles and the Pens have momentum going into the second period.  The guy let’s a floater go over his glove hand? Christ on a pony.

Game 3 in Boston had a bad moment too. The Pens needed a win. Despite playing well, they played their way into overtime knotted 1-1. The referees called three penalties in the first overtime. Mike “Doc” Emrick, NBCSports play by play man, noted with each penalty how long it had been since that number of penalties had been called in a playoff overtime game. Evgeni Malkin got the third while tired and trying to flip a puck up over the defense of Boston for a streaking, fresh Sidney Crosby. It went over the glass half a rink away. The Pens finished the first OT with some penalty time to kill still in the next OT. They killed the penalty. Later in the period, Malkin steals the puck from Jaromir Jagr, an ex-Penguin, who then clearly hooks Malkin to regain the puck. The Pens didn’t have time to recover as Jagr dished it to Marchand who scored the game winner. Former referee Kelly Fraser was asked whether this call should have been a penalty and he ripped the referees for not calling the penalty. Even my room mate Baby Momma Drama, who was born and raised in Boston, had to admit upon seeing a replay that Jagr committed a penalty. None of that matter though because the referees on ice didn’t call it. The Bruins are up 3-0 and pretty much all hope is gone.

The Coach

Dan Bylsma has been under fire at various points in his tenure in Pittsburgh because he’s at the helm of a team that boasts two of the most talented players in the world, Crosby & Malkin. He won a Stanley Cup after Michel Therrien had been fired in February or March of ’09. From what I’ve read, he has had some innovative strategies that he’s brought into the NHL as far as puck retrieval, especially for defensemen, go.  Ever since then, it seems other coaches have adjusted to his strategies. Last year’s debacle against the Flyers landed Bylsma on the hot seat. Crosby wasn’t playing well against Claude Giroux so instead of getting away from that match up at home when they have the last change, he stuck with it. Malkin was getting frustrated by Sean Courturier but he stuck by that match up too. Jordan Staal, the defensive specialist amongst their elite centers, sat by twiddling his thumbs. It may have been for the “better” considering that the Pens penalty killing, number one during the regular season, which was anchored by Staal was stinking out the joint too. Did Bylsma change strategies on the PK? Nope.

Continue reading

Phoenix Coyotes New Championship Belt

Coyotes Championship Belt

For those of you who don’t watch that much NHL hockey, there seems to be a kinship between them and professional wrestling. The latest example is this championship belt from the current Phoenix Coyotes which I first saw on the Puck Daddy blog over at Yahoo! Sports. Mikkel Boedker was the recipient of this new belt which replaced John Cena’s spinner belt. They seem to have modeled it after the new WWE Championship. It is possible since the Rock debuted the belt back on the February 19th show. I have no idea how long it takes to manufacture one but it’s possible given the month gap between their respective debuts. They both have the symbols flanking the head piece, the company logo in the middle and wording underneath. The Coyotes’ belt to me looks more like a championship belt because the Rock’s belt has a lot of void space that shows the black leather backing. I think gaudy when I think championship so more shiny = more official. The players on the Coyotes clearly care about wrestling so I only have one last question. If the Coyotes win the Stanley Cup, I wonder if they’ll say they’re going to Wrestlemania instead of Disney World? -Kevin

Belt_Rock Style

%d bloggers like this: