The Wrestling Drive on Smackdown Live Moving To Fox

After a way too lengthy hiatus, the wrestling drive returns to look at all things WWE with the big news that Smackdown Live appears to be moving to Fox!  Check out the wrestling drive below as we talk about all the speculation surrounding WWE’s apparent move back to network television

 

The Football Drive NFL Week 2 Picks Against The Spread!

At This point you probably know about the Wrestling Drive, my daily wrestling car vlog looking at the biggest news stories in pro wrestling as they happen as well as reaction vlogs to the biggest shows in the world professional wrestling.  Well, this week I decided to take that same concept and extend that out to football.  Introducing the Football Drive!  Each week I’m going to bring you 2 different NFL Football Car Vlogs looking at both top picks against the spread as well as NFL Survivor/ Knockout Pool advice.  I’d love to get you feedback on both pieces and so I’m going to attach both pieces right here!

First up take a look at my top NFL Picks Against The Spread,  looking at my top 6 picks against the spread.  I was 5-2 against the spread to start the season last week so we are off and running

 

Next take a look at my picks for NFL Survivor/ Knockout Pools for Week 2.  I give you two obvious choices, your smartest “Big Picture” choice of the week and 3 games to stay away from this week!

Check out the videos here and be sure to hit subscribe so that you get these videos as soon as they upload to the site!

Thanks and enjoy Week 2!

The Rumble of The Royal Rumble- 1989

It’s probably important before we move on that I point out that the first Royal Rumble event I ever saw live was the Royal Rumble 1991.  That said, the Royal Rumble 1989 and Royal Rumble 1990 were two shows that I saw about a million times growing up.  Since these shows were some of the few available at my local Blockbuster and some of the few events I didn’t own, I went out of my way to rent these tapes every time I had the chance to do so.  My parents were smart and knew that if we didn’t record the pay per views when we ordered them, I would want to buy the tapes as soon as they came out.  Thus, I owned pretty much every WWF pay per view on VHS cassette from 1991-2005 or until Digital TVs came out and made it tough to record on video cassette.  Thus, every other show that was available at Blockbuster made it’s way to my house every Friday when my father would go down to get us a movie.  It seemed like the videos at Blockbuster only went back to 1989 so in many ways this 1989 Royal Rumble was the beginning of my wrestling fandom, at least wrestling that I could remember.  With that out of the way let’s get into my thoughts of the Royal Rumble 1989.

Royal Rumble 1989- The Summit in Houston, Texas- January 15th, 1989

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Match Results

The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart) and Jim Duggan defeated The Fabulous Rougeaus (Jacques and Raymond) and Dino Bravo (with Frenchy Martin and Jimmy Hart) in a Two out of three falls match

Rockin’ Robin (c) defeated Judy Martin for the WWF Women’s Championship

King Haku (with Bobby Heenan) defeated Harley Race

Big John Studd won by last eliminating Ted DiBiase in the Royal Rumble match

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This was the first Royal Rumble to be presented on pay per view and also the first Royal Rumble to feature the, now famous, 30 participants.  Unlike the first Rumble event that we went over last night, the Royal Rumble is the complete focus of this show from start to finish.  There are only three other matches and other than a really fun six man tag opener, the other two matches were largely forgettable.  If you’re in the mood for Royal Rumble nostalgia then this is the show for you.  Right off the bat we’re greeted with the video montage of all of the Royal Rumble participants as Vince McMahon runs down all of the participants before proudly proclaiming “ITS THE ROYYYYYAAAALLLLL RRRUMMMBBBBLLLLLEEEEEE!!!!!”  in classic Vince McMahon announcer voice.  They only continued this for the first few Rumble pay per views but damn I loved these videos.  They got you so excited for the rest of the show and made everyone mean something by having their video features pop up on the screen.  Also, if you weren’t following along at the time, it introduced you to all of the participants.

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From here throughout the night there was a variety of vignettes that ran with a number of the participants choosing there spot in the rumble at random.  These were a lot of fun and got you ready for the match later on that night as they would set up good teasers as to the numbers each guy got based on their reactions to the numbers picked.  The big one I remember here was that The Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase went ahead and purchased a more favorable number from Slick, who at the time was managing the Twin Towers.  Then from there this was the debut of the classic Royal Rumble promos that would run throughout then night and feature some of the bigger names standing in front of their logos via green screen.  These always did a lot for me because they set up a number of potential winners for the Rumble.  It was obvious to me that with all of these different pieces that WWE wanted to build up the Rumble as just as important as the other big three pay per views, which had already debuted as annual pay per view traditions.

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As for the Rumble match itself, believe it or not, this one ranks up there as one of the most unpredictable Rumbles of all time to this day.  Remember, at the time, the Royal Rumble was not for the main event spot at Wrestlemania.  Therefore, with no clear reward for the winner, WWE was allowed to take a chance with the winner.  If you look at some of the Royal Rumble participants, it reads like a late 1980s who’s who of talent.  Huge stars like Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Curt Hennig, Andre The Giant, Jake Roberts, and The Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase, to name a few, were all in the Rumble this year and you know what? None of them went on to win this match.  Instead, the winner of the match was Big John Studd who had just returned from a 2 year retirement a few months prior, turning face in the process.  The Studd win came out of nowhere as he didn’t even have a match at Wrestlemania 5 and would be gone from the WWF just six months after this.  While it was really cool to see someone win out of nowhere, looking back it would have been nice to see Ted Dibiase get the win.  He was such a hot heel and always seemed to be right there to get that tip top spot (Wrestlemania 4, 1988 Main Event, the Royal Rumble 1989) but never quite seemed to get over the top for a variety of reasons.

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There were also a couple of Rumble themes that debuted with this show. The first theme of course was that there were no friends and only enemies in the Royal Rumble.  This was no truer than Ax of Demolition drawing number 1 and Smash of Demolition drawing number 2 and then actually wrestling each other until teaming back up when Andre The Giant entered at Number 3.  Speaking of Andre he introduced us to our next theme of everyone in the ring coming together to try and eliminate the big guy in the match.  This always made for a nice visual and never quite worked with Andre who eliminated himself due his fear of snakes after Jake Roberts threw his snake back into the ring.  As stated earlier, there wasn’t anything on the line in the Rumble but that didn’t mean that this Rumble didn’t have major implications on Wrestlemania later that year.  The aforementioned Andre The Giant and Jake The Snake Roberts would go on to have at match at Wrestlemania but we would also see a bit of hype for that year’s Wrestlemania main event.  This was still during the year long build for the Hulk Hogan/ Randy Savage match at Wrestlemania 5 when the two were still teaming as the Mega Powers.  The tension between the two would continue to build throughout the year and nearly reached a climax here as Hogan would accidentally eliminate Savage.  Looking back, why was Savage the heel in this feud?  Hogan was always being the one to screw Savage over!

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Aside from the Rumble, the one thing that I remember most from this show was actually the posedown between Rick Rude and The Ultimate Warrior.  This was one of the silliest segments I can remember, even more hokey than the Dino Bravo bench press from the year prior, but as a kid I watched this segment almost everytime I rented this tape.  This was during the time period where the WWF was at its peak with the larger than life bodybuilder types on the top of the card.  This was still over a year before Vince McMahon would launch the World Bodybuilding Federation but you could tell how passionate he was about Bodybuilding with segments like these.  Jesse Ventura was classic again in this segment really putting over each pose.  Unlike the year before, the Ultimate Warrior was now on the rise in WWE and was likely held out of the Rumble match so that he could be protected and given his own segment.  While it may have been hokey, it was cool to see WWE doing something different and the result of this posedown would be the start of the Ultimate Warrior/ Rick Rude feud that would last over a year and give the Ultimate Warrior some of the best matches of his career.

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Well that’s going to do it for the Royal Rumble 1989, tomorrow we will look back at the Royal Rumble 1990 as Hulkamania runs wild, the Rumble theme song debuts, A familiar voice calls the action  and the Hammer Jammer? Until then, what were some of your favorite memories of the Royal Rumble 1989?!

Birthday Mania Part 1- The Daily Spotlight for 10/28

Well I’m back…and I’m better than ever…

Ok I won’t give you my rendition of Eric Bischoff’s 2003 WWE theme but it really is great to be back with all of you on thedailysptolight.com.  I apologize for the brief hiatus but this has literally been one of the craziest and most fun months of my recent years.  For one, I’m now 30 which is scary as all hell but I will say that my loved ones totally stepped it up and really knocked it out of the park to make my birthday one for the ages.  I’ll be completey honest I was going through a stage where I was walking around with a massive chip on my shoulder, some wouldn’t have even been wrong to say that I had become quite the curmudgeon from time to time over the past year or so.  Thus, when my brithday was approaching this year I really didn’t want to acknowledge it.  Frankly, I contemplated changing my bday date on Facebook just so I wouldn’t need to go through all that trouble of trying to figure out who all of the people were who replied with the “Happy Birthday” formalized comment that facebook allows you to auto enter or “reply 1” to say happy birthday on the facebook app.  This was certainly not the way that I had always been about my birthday as for years I used to set up a week’s worth of different events from a pre party, to a family party to a best friends dinner leading up to a huge drunken blowoff that often ended with my friends and I being asked to leave the beer gardens, sometimes not even asked.  But this year birthday mania ceased to exist.
It all started when my buddy Joe had a 30th birthday party that his girlfriend and mother put together for him back in September.  There was a big barbecue filled with all of his closest friends and family.  He had family members at every turn, 30 year old decorations hung up all over the place, a table full of his closest childhood friends, a table full of his friends he had met through his wife and…me! I’ve always been a huge fan of nostalgia and this party was full of it.  It was also the first time that I ever considered doing something for my 30th.
Over the next week or two I tried to coordinate schedules and put feelers out there to people seeing if they’d come or where I could even have an event.  If I’m being completely honest, it was pretty darn stressful.  I realized pretty quickly that times had changed from the days where you’d be able to plan an event at a moment’s notice and everyone would be ready to party on a Friday afternoon.  Many of my friends and family moved far away and the one’s around here had families now or demanding jobs that just would not allow for them to be able to come hang out, not even for a 30th birthday (the mantra of avoid excuses had been all for naught!).  I eventually gave up figuring that it wasn’t worth it to have the event and understanding fully why joe’s party was planned by his mother and wife.
The week of my birthday I had made a plan with Eri, my mom, sister and Eri’s brother Deej to head on out to Aunt Bella’s for my birthday.  The place has always been a family favorite  it’s always good to get away with the family.  I knew this was going to be a tough year as it was also the first birthday without my father.  Each year I would always look forward to his midnight calls and his reflection about how old he and i were getting as we would both groan.  When the clock struck 12 at midnight, my phone exploded with text messages and phone calls from friends and family the like (many of whom did not even know of the tradition) as my mom and sister brought out a cake.  From there my phone was non stop as I was able to chat with people all day long and catch up with folks who called for my birthday.  Many know I’m an old school guy who appreciates a good phone call and this was just great.  When I got to work my boss was waiting there with a bag of sour patch kids ( my fav) and for the first time ever social media really came through.  I’ve been hard on the Facebook birthday shout out as it’s very impersonal and if someone sent me a birthday shoutout, I’d honestly not even read them all.  I’d even grown tired of the generic “thank you all for the birthday wishes” mandatory post that has to go out at the end of the day. But this year was different.  My buddies Steve, James, LP and, of course, Eri put out just incredible social media tributes and I got a lot of messages from people I had not seen in a long time but always wanted to reconnect with (one of which was a guy I knew in college, Mike, who served our country for many years and I always enjoyed his workout tips that he’d post for years as they really helped me when I dropped some 60 pounds back in 2008.  He left me a message and I was able to thank him for service, something that I felt good doing and it was something I wanted to do for a long time).  Dinner was also outstanding as we know the folks at Aunt Bellas well and they seemed as excited for my bday as I was quickly becoming. We had a great meal where I remember really picking mom’s brain about how much she remembered from giving birth to yours truly some 30 years ago.  When we got back home Mom revealed that for my birthday she had booked a trip for the five of us to go away for a weekend to the camelback lodge in the Poconos which longtime readers know I’ve always been fond of.  It was just an incredible day that reinvigorated my birthday spirit (I feel like Walter Hobbs after a month with Buddy The Elf).  So much so….
That I decided when I woke up Friday morning that, hell, with exactly one day of notice I would try to put together a last-minute birthday party for myself!  This was going to be like old times as I was going to invite all of my buddies and we were going to drink until they sent us home!  Not only that but I was going to ask that all of my friends converge out in Poughkeepsie (about 30 miles from me)! For about a year I had heard about this place called the Brickhouse Brewery and so due to my love of a good craft beer and my disregard for anyone’s convenience, we were on our way!   This was going to be awesome…Birthday Mania was truly running wild brother!  There was nothing that would slow me down baybay!! Well, not exactly…
To be continued tomorrow

The Spotlight On Last Night’s BIG Cameo on The Lip Sync Battle

Video Credit: Spike TV

Off the heels of one of the most talked about episodes in its 2 year history, Spike TV’s Lip Sync Battle returned last night featuring a battle between Kevin Hart & Olivia Munn. While it may not have been Beyoncé with Channing Tatum there’s quite the interesting cameo in Munn’s performance of Taylor Swift’s Bad Blood, especially for my fellow wrestling fans. Check out the video and let me know what you think.