Road To Metlife: Final Stop: East Rutherford

Finally it’s here! Wrestlemania week. The time where wrestling fans all over the world unite for a weekend of celebration. Some will applaud over a successful experience. Others will groan and say the same thing EVERY YEAR: “worst Wrestlemania ever” and “Vince is out of touch” meanwhile resubscribing to the Network and tuning in to Raw. The matches this year look pretty solid minus one, but I think (hope) something is going to stem from the lackluster bout.

Nia/Tamina vs. Iconics vs. Natalya/Beth Pheonix vs. Sasha/Bailey

Fatal Four Way for WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship

We got the women’s tag team championship being defended for the first time ever on the big stage and it will feature a fatal four way. We got the defending champions Sasha and Bailey facing the teams of Smackdown’s The Iconics, Raw’s Nia and Tamina, and Natalya teaming with the returning Beth Pheonix. They built this up pretty well giving each team some decent screen time while also trying to squeeze everyone else involved in the card. Each team has a reason to walk out with the titles which is always a sign of good writing. Making the crowd guess who will win.

Prediction: The Iconics walk away with a surprise win. They’ve been silent the most and they did score a win over the champs so a win for the underdogs would be a nice change.

Randy Orton vs AJ Styles

This could easily be match of the night and most definitely match of the year contender. Both have had solid matches in their respective feuds in years past so to have these two in a face to face collision could guarantee us a great bout. The build up has been great and their promos were insane, partially because a lot of truth was spoken which left fans stunned from the segment.

Prediction: AJ Styles although the match will be great regardless who wins.

Drew McIntyre vs Roman Reigns

Hey look wrestling fans, a Wrestlemania match that doesn’t have Roman Reigns in the main event or a championship match. Bet you’ll still complain though. Honestly, this should be a good one. Reigns is good at putting people over and it is time to give Drew the push he deserves. Does that mean he’s winning this? Austin lost to Hart. Rock lost to Austin (twice). See where I’m going?

Prediction: Roman wins the battle, but the war will continue.

Triple H vs. Batista

No Holds Barred with HHH’s Career On The Line

Having seen these two compete in the past, I know both men will deliver. People can say what they want about HHH and “hoarding” the spotlight, but the guy can bring it to the table and has done so for the last 20 plus years. While these two haven’t placed a lot of screen time in this rivalry, it’s really not necessary. HHH has done this in the past with the Undertaker where there was little air time, but once that bell rang, everything that was needed to be said, was said in that ring. And I have no doubt the same will be done with him and Batista, given their already personal history. This match puts HHH’s career on the line which makes it tough to predict. On one hand, Hunter has never beaten the Animal so what better place to end that curse than the grand stage. Then again, how many more years does The Game have, especially now that he’s getting inducted in the Hall of Fame this weekend?

Baron Corbin vs Kurt Angle

Angle’s farewell match

Please please PLEASE let this be a swerve to a better match. Otherwise this will be the most underwhelming retirement in Sports entertainment history. I made my rant the other day so I’ll just make my prediction.

Prediction: Kurt Angle against Corbin. However if anyone takes his place, it’s anybody’s guess.

Prediction: HHH gets his win, but I feel this will set something else up.

Kofi Kingston vs Daniel Bryan WWE Championship Match

Finally, Kofi gets his Championship match and he’s getting it on the biggest stage. Fans have been waiting for this moment for a long time and his moment is finally here when he challenges tHe NeW dAnIeL bRyAn. Sorry, but I hate that nickname. Ideally, Kofi SHOULD walk away from this match culminating his 11 year journey with the coveted WWE Championship. I want it. The fans want it. But since it’s Wrestlemania and it’s Vince, there’s always room for a swerve. But I remain optimistic.

Prediction: And NEW WWE Champion, Kofi Kingston in a great match.

Seth Rollins vs Brock Lesnar Universal Championship Match

I really want to be excited for this match. I genuinely do. But Brock has managed to suck the excitement out of this rivalry. I believe he only made two appearances leading up to this match which is pathetic even for him. And it’s not like he was out promoting or plugging the match and the ppv. He was at home sitting on his lazy ass collecting a check while Rollins did all the work. Lesnar has been a joke if a champion and I can’t wait til he drops it to go back to UFC. He’s not the draw he used to be and nobody cares. The only way this match will be worth it is if Lesnar loses.

Prediction: and NEW Universal Champion, Seth Rollins after taking numerous German suplexes.

Becky Lynch vs. Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte Flair.

Triple Threat Winner Takes All

For the first time ever, the women are headlining the mecca of sports entertainment. Well deserved ladies. But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this match should NOT have Charlotte Flair in it. With her, everything felt shoved trying to squeeze her in what was already a perfect dynamic. Having said that, adding the Smackdown women’s Championship to the mix definitely made this an unpredictable outcome. Will Becky overcome the odds? Will Charlotte be WWE’s legitimate chosen one? Or will Ronda Rousey be the next Brock Lesnar? The final Raw before Mania made this a fun ride and to be honest, I’ll be looking forward to seeing this match.

Prediction: And NEW Raw and Smackdown Women’s Champion, Becky Lynch. It’s her time now and beating the two corporate chosen athletes at Metlife would be the perfect place to start the The Man’s era.

Of course, we have several other matches but I wanted to capture the main matches that most are looking forward to. Overall, this year’s Wrestlemania should be a solid card with surprises and heartbreak. Whether we see it now or this Sunday, it will be an emotional show and I can’t wait.

Music Review: Bring Me The Horizon

This week, I wanted to quickly review an album I thought was set to release next month. Oopsie. On Friday, Bring Me the Horizon dropped their latest album, Amo and figured I would give it a listen during my workout. After listening to every track, my response to is a disappointing “oomph”.

The band usually puts out several good songs and I even have a few on my Spartan playlist to get me motivated. Happy Song is one of my favorites from these guys, but this album had nothing that stood out. From a gym goer point of view, there was nothing to move to. No motivation. No inspiration. They kind of went with the electronica route with this one which I am NOT a fan of at all. If any of you heard The Amity Infliction with Feels Like I’m Dying, it’s a lot of that. Mantra and Sugar Honey Iced Tea are probably the only two good tracks which are also currently the only two singles out.

I really had no strong and positive feedback from this one. I was kinda let down. But if you’re into the autotune style, then give it a shot. I’ll just listen to their previous album and await for their next project to get released.

Don’t be a D-bag. Put Away your Gymbag

I have to share this pet peeve that I have and I know I’m not alone in this one. Even though we go to the gym to sweat and break our bodies down there’s still a code of ethics that we all follow to make everyone’s session convenient and overall stress free. But of course there are those few jabronis that HAVE to be selfish, making us sensible gym goers grind our teeth and curse that person’s existence. That was my experience the other day.

It was leg day for me, or as I like to call it don’t cry you’re a man day. I don’t really have a specific order in how I work my legs, or any part of my body for that matter, so as long as I get it all in for the day. I was close to finishing up my workout when I saw a dufflebag and a hoodie sitting on top of the hamstring curl. Thinking it was the guy standing next to it, I proceeded to do a different workout. After several minutes on the leg extensions, I wanted to finish my legs by hitting the previous machine. Still occupied. Fair enough, I have to throw work on my abs anyway. After completing my leg raises I turned around and the bag with the hoodie on top was STILL sitting there with the guy next to it. Is he lounging around? Am I on the same timerest as him? I’m about to hit my second to last workout of the day with ab crunches when I finally saw some activity by the hamstring curls. The belongings didn’t come from the gym loiter. It came from the guy using the punching bag. Are you f#$!@&* kidding me?! He wasn’t even near the damn machine, let alone using it. This isn’t Planet Fitness, I will judge you and consider you a horrible pos for leaving your disgusting Nike hoodie on a machine you weren’t even using, meanwhile other people with courtesy were waiting. Needless to say, I got my workout in, but I do hope this guy tears a groin muscle in his future. Savage? yes. Justified? Uuum, completely.

It’s really not hard to have a little gym etiquette when working out. Just show a little respect for the people working and working out and everybody will have a great day. No need to be a toolbag and leave your stuff around like it’s your dirty dorm room. That’s why they have locker rooms. I’m sure I’ll be posting plenty of gym ettiqute tips, because honestly, some of y’all gone learn

19 Year Challenge: Papa Roach Review

True Papa Roach will probably fact check me and say their VERY first album came out in 1997. Well, the problem with that is Amazon doesn’t have that album, I’m froogle, and didn’t know about that album until I was today years old. And I know it doesn’t have a smooth ring to it, but it’s close enough and 19 is a long time to be in the music business, especially when your fanbase is still as strong as ever. I wanted to do a brief comparison between their 2000 album Insects and Who Do You Trust since the latter just came out this past Friday.

Going back to Insects, the album had a brooding and somber vibe. The messages were sad, even suicidal and Jacoby Shaddix expressed an element of pain throughout the album which showed in Never Enough and of course their breakout single Last Resort. It was still a good album and I enjoy listening to some of the songs even today, but there was an absolutely dark tone.

Their latest album, Who Do You Trust still has their familiar tone, but with a much more positive outlook. Jacoby still has his larger than life energy that if you saw live, you’d swear it can generate power throughout the venue. The Ending is ironically a strong opening for the album and has a heavier than normal sound for the band. But my favorite would have to be Elevate because not only is something I can put into my training list (see my Friday’s post) but it’s overall an uplifting and inspirational song for anyone.

These guys have come such a long way from their earlier work, and after 19 years, they’re still very relevant and loved by their fans. I would definitely pick this album up as this one you can listen to anywhere from the gym to your car or even in your home while doing chores.

What’s Your Anthem?

Ok, I learned something. When you’re working on your blog from work, check the Wi-Fi status because otherwise you might not be able to upload your post. Oops. We’ll just call this Spartan Sunday this week.

If you’re an avid gym goer, you’ll most likely bring your music player and headphones, crank the volume at the highest level for your earholes without going deaf, and let the music take over your workout. Some of us train to electronica. Others workout to hip-hop. Or maybe it’s Britney bitch….or something in the pop genre. Or you’re just like me and tune in to some good old fashion metal. Music is a force like no other as it has the ability to make you happy, sad, angry, or inspired in a single song. And if you pick the right songs, it can motivate you like hell in the gym.

I’m going to share something that most people don’t know. Before I leave the locker room to start my training, I put on my Bluetooth headphones and turn on my Amazon music. I scroll under my custom soundtrack (It’s titled Spartan Mix) and search for Motorhead – The Game and for a brief moment, I feel like I’m HHH about to enter the ring minus the spitting of my water because that’s just unsanitary. You may judge, but plwase continue reading while doing so.

Every year I try to pick a specific song and make that my anthem during my time in the gym, especially if I’m training for something important. My very first anthem was an instrumental from The Dark Knight Rises soundtrack that I used when I ran my first OCR in 2013. It was Hans Zimmer’s Imagine the Fire and I chose that because it started off pretty slow, but intense, like you’re about to endure the biggest challenge of your life. But then the tempo picks up and Batman’s theme starts with a small twist in the percussion. Then about halfway in, the mood changes again with a more aggressive approach, almost like you’re about to hit a wall, but then it changes one time with a stronger tempo and in the background you hear a chant that can be translated to “Rise” When you think about it while running, it almost matches your pace and I thought it was pretty appropriate. Plus, it’s Batman.

Since then, I’ve used several tunes to make my “anthem song” of the year when starting hitting the gym on the first day of the calendar. When I started my first Spartan Race, I chose Godsmack’s “Whatever” out of dedication to my friend Sean who initially pushed me to run when we were teenagers. I think he would’ve crushed those races if he were still with us. Two years ago, before my injury, I chose Throne by Bring Me the Horizon simply because I wanted my medal. But last year was the most significant because this was my first run since my injury and as I mentioned a few Fridays ago, I needed my win back so I went with an unorthadoxed choice in Vengeance on my Mind by G-Easy. Not everything in my playlist is metal, but most are appropriate for the occasion. This year I’m going with Adelitas Way – Still Hungry. I have a few more races left in me and I intend on running a few this year so this was a solid choice. And I have a ton of other songs that are on my playlist (92 to be exact) that push me to finish a workout or a run. Shout out to Pop Evil for their songs “Waking Lions” and “Be Legendary” because those songs had EVERYTHING to make the finish line.

So whether you got Metallica blasting in your eardrums or Lady Gaga or Kanye West, it’s good to have a playlist when tackling the iron. When focused, you’d be surprised how far you can go in a session by listening to your motivational soundtrack. And personally, having that anthem fuels the blood even more because when the year is over and you begin to reflect, you can ask yourself “did I hit my goal?” Or “Did I meet my own hype?” Trust me, it feels good when you do succeed. It gives you another challenge and a new anthem to march to next year.

Supporting Locals: Steve McDaniel Review

To all my locals in the Poconos, I have a different music review today that you might be familiar with. Over the weekend I saw an old buddy perform at my favorite spot, Sarah Street Grill. His name is Steve McDaniel and he’s been in the local music scene for years as a solo performer and in his group The Steve McDaniel Band. He plays modern bluegrass which I thought I wouldn’t be into, but he really has some catchy tunes and puts a cool spin on some modern music. I met him through some friends back when I was still in high school and since then, I’ve watched him perform at local bars. His positive vibe and good tunes have made for great nights out in the bar scene.

He has his own original material, but I posted something he did with his buddy and bandmate, Steve Herring. For all you Queen fans, it’s Under Pressure and I love hearing these guys perform this song. My other favorite cover of his is Snoop Dogg’s Gin and Juice. Have you ever heard bluegrass so G and still pull it off? Because Steve definitely does.

Anyway, Steve’s an awesome guy who loves his fans and greatly appreciates the support. Check out his facebook page and listen to some of his music on iTunes. Until then, Here’s a video of his version of Under Pressure.