Monday, May 27, 2024

UCLA Legend Bill Walton Passes at Age 71

 I am a lifelong UCLA Bruin.  Westwood is my home away from home.  Whenever I'm lucky enough to be on campus I'm a happy guy.  

You see, my Mother worked on Campus from 1972 to 1980.  My father went to UCLA from 1972 to 1974 graduating with a degree in English.  I was in the second class ever of the UCLA Childcare Center.  To this day I am still in touch with my favorite counselor from that era.  

I only ever wanted to go to UCLA for college, and when I couldn't get in as a Freshman after HS, I waited.  I went to SDSU, then Mesa and SMC (community colleges) until I had enough credits to transfer in as a Junior in 2004. I graduated in '06 with a degree in English.  And my grades were better than my Dads were.

So I grew up in a Bruin household.  I would hear the stories of the 88 game winning streak, the 10 championships (until '95) and I grew to revere the legends of the hardwood.  ESPECIALLY the big men.  

Kareem is my all time favorite Bruin.  He is my all time favorite living athelete.  He is the only celebrity I've met that actually made me star struck (and I've met and worked with plenty of celebs).  But number two was always Big Red, Bill Walton.

He came from San Diego, where I lived from 1980 to 1998.  He was a so-cal legend.  A Dead fan, and the hippest cat from Westwood.  He had such enthusasm for the Bruins, and I loved it when he called their games as the color guy.  

I really wanted to meet him.  Alas, I never will.  Didn't even know he was ill.

RIP Bill Walton, 1952 - 2024

Sunday, April 7, 2024

WRESTLEMANIA XL - Night Two Predictions

So I'm a little late, the first match is going on right now.

Last night - 

My predictions were pretty close to be 100% accurate.  I chose DIY instead of A-Town Down Under for one set of the Tag Belts.  I picked every other prediction accurately.  I only had Seth eating the pin rather than Cody.


World Heavy Weight Championship

Seth "Freakin" Rollins (c) vs. Drew McIntyre 

This is the opener, and McIntyre is a heavy favorite.  I think he does win here tonight, but I predict his reign will be very short as I think Damien Priest will cash in his Money in the Bank contract.

Philadelphia Street Fight:
The Pride (Bobby Lashley, Angelo Dawkins, and Montez Ford) (with B-Fab) vs. The Final Testament (Karrion Kross, Akam, and Rezar) (with Scarlett and Paul Ellering)

Don't really care, but thinking the Pride goes over.

LA Knight vs. AJ Styles

LA Knight is getting the rub here.  AJ hasn't been AJ at Mania for a while now.  Tonight is for Knight.

Triple Threat for the US Heavyweight Championship
Logan Paul (c) vs. Randy Orton vs. Kevin Owens

I'd love to see KO or RKO win, but Logan is going to retain somehow.  

WWE Women's Championship
Iyo Sky (c) vs. Bayley

Bayley finishes her heel to face turn with a feel good victory.

Bloodline Rules for the Undisputed Universal Championship

Roman Reigns (c) vs. Cody Rhodes

It's Cody's night.  Has been for a long time.  Somehow the Rock will cost Roman the title setting up the inevitable Rock vs. Roman match for down the road. Has to be.

Sadly - Seth Rollin's historic first reign as World Heavyweight Champion is over.  But look at that outfit.  It had foliage on the back.

And as predicted Damien Priest cashed in on Drew and is your NEW World Heavyweight Champion.  3 Champions, one night....only WWE.

Saturday, April 6, 2024

WRESTLEMANIA XL Night One Predictions

It's finally here, Wrestlemania XL (aka 40) taking place in Philadelphia starts tonight.  We're having my amazing girlfriend Paula and maybe another friend coming over to watch.  

We're of course very excited to see The Rock back in action after....oooh lemme check....His last official announced match was at Wrestlemania 29 where he was pinned by John Cena to cap his last comeback which was all of 3 matches long.  Sure he had a match at Mania 32 but it was an impromptu challenge against Erick Rowan, then of the Wyatt Family, and it took 30 seconds.  

Prior to the 2013 comeback, he had wrestled twice since 2003.  Yeah, The Rock hasn't been an active wrestler since 2003.  He's had 7 matches in 21 years.  That's even less than The Undertaker.

I'm really glad that they didn't go with the Rock vs. Roman storyline right away.  That needs to be built up.  This weekend is going to be the start, because I totally see Rock and Roman winning tonight and then Rock having something to do with Roman losing tomorrow, which then creates a big SummerSlam event.

Anyway, here's the rest of my predictions, based on my gut and the actual current betting odds.

Roman Reigns back in 2016 at
Staples Center House Show
before Money In the Bank
Bianca Belair, Jade Cargill & Naomi vs. Damage CTRL (Asuka, Dakota Kai & Kairi Sane)

  Sadly Asuka’s winless streak at the showcase of the Immortals will continue in this most meaningless of all the matches tonight.

Andrade & Rey Mysterio vs. Santos Escobar & Dominik Mysterio

  In the second most meaningless match tonight, originally we all thought that Dragon Lee and Rey would give it up to Santos and Dom, but now that Andrade is back int he mix, he’s pinning Santos for the victory.

Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship -- The Judgment Day [Finn Balor & Damien Priest] (c) vs. #DIY [Johnny Gargano & Tomasso Ciampa] vs. The Awesome Truth [R-Truth and The Miz] vs. The New Day [Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods] vs. A-Town Down Under [Austin Theory & Grayson Waller] vs. New Catch Republic [Pete Dunno & Tyler Bate] (Six Pack Ladder Match)
  No way Finn & Damien come out of this with both sets of straps.  Yes, BOTH sets are on the line and I guarantee they’ll be split up.  I’m going with Awesome Truth getting one set and DIY getting the other.  

Intercontinental Championship -- Gunther (c) vs. Sami Zayn

  Gunther has been champion for 666 days as of today, and is the longest reigning Intercontinental Champion in WWE history.  To put that in context - Gunter is the 182nd Intercontinental champion.  The previous record holder was the Honkey Tonk Man, who reigned for 454 days back between 1986 and 1988.  He was the 12th champion.  I love Sami Zayn.  He’s a great worker, a charismatic talker and one of the all around good guys in Wrestling today.  He has his own foundations for the causes he supports and isn’t unwilling to speak out.  I’d love to see him win here.  But I just don’t think he will.  Betting odds have been wavering all week, but as of this writing Sami is a -120 to win.  This is a tough pick, but and unless the odds change again before showtime, I'll go with Sami.  

Jey Uso vs. Jimmy Uso

 A battle of Brothers.  No way Jimmy gets over on the resurgent Prime Time Jey. I'm really not invested here. 

Women's World Championship -- Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Becky Lynch 
  Rhea will most likely retain here.  I’d love to see another belt on Becky, and they could do it since she has a book out, but the current odds are on Rhea.

 The Rock & Roman Reigns vs. Cody Rhodes & Seth Rollins

  The stipulation here is that if The Rock and Roman win then it’s “Bloodline Rules” for Cody’s challenge of Roman tomorrow.  No way that doesn’t happen.  Rock and Roman going over.  Wouldn’t be surprised if the newly beltless Damien Priest cashes in or tries to cash in his Money in the Bank contract on Seth after he eats the pin.

I'll be back tomorrow morning with results from today and my predictions for tomorrow's Night 2.