Time for another edition of N The Zone REPLAYING THE HITS! We take you back to Season 3 when Rory Karpf (@RoryKarpf), award-winning filmmaker and director joined N The Zone to talk about his work with the “30 For 30” Ric Flair documentary along with dismissing the notion that the same old story was given on Flair, along with being a fan of the wrestling genre. The guys also talk to him about his work with ESPN and how he developed a relationship with them, what was his best film that he has worked on, along with how he got connected with rapper Snoop Dogg. Plus touching base on the “I Hate Christian Laettner” documentary, how that came to fruition and what new projects he has in store for the future.
Vince McMahon knows how to get the attention.
The chairman of the WWE couldn’t have picked a better week to get the national attention in sports.
There was RAW’s 25th anniversary show on Monday night that featured great memories and nostalgic moments. (Aside from the following Tuesday’s Smackdown and Wednesday’s NXT events) Not to mention having the anniversary show in not one, but TWO venues with the Barclays Center and the original home of “Monday Night RAW,” the Manhattan Center. The eyes were on Vince.
Then on Thursday afternoon, the long-awaited announcement from Vince on the return of the XFL, or as I previously stated, “The Rebirth.” Maybe it wasn’t that long (it was made in November), but it damn sure felt that way. Again Vince had the eyes for that one because pro football is a little vulnerable right now with the fallout of politics being entered into the game. Vince gave a basic overview on what to look forward to in the new league. NO GIMMICKS, NO POLITICS, JUST FOOTBALL. Again, the eyes were on Vince.
Then last night, WWE began another weekend of action with its brand NXT and its “Takeover” in Philadelphia. 5 stellar matches including the brand’s top championship match in which the champion Andrade “Cien” Almas retained against challenger Johnny Gargano. I must say that was one helluva match. It entertained from the start of the match to the end of it. I have watched a couple of these NXT pay-per-views and each time I enjoyed it. I need to start watching more of the brand. Again, eyes were on Vince.
Then Sunday night, WWE capped it off in Philadelphia with the 2018 Royal Rumble with a history-in-the-making match. For the 1st time, a Rumble had 30 women compete and one of them (Asuka was the winner) will get the opportunity for a Women’s Title shot at Wrestlemania in April. Along with 8 other matches, that included the Men’s Royal Rumble match (Shinsuke Nakamura won and announced that he would fight AJ Styles for the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania)…once again the eyes were on Vince.
NOW, I understand that the Grammys took place at the same time but that did not stop Vince from banking in on the ones that truly watch his promotion. Especially when his promotion grabbed MAJOR news headlines when UFC fighter Ronda Rousey showed up at the end of the Royal Rumble pay-per-view which then prompted “The Worldwide Leader In Sports” to announce that she had signed with Vince’s promotion and participate full-time.
Vince couldn’t have planned this past week any better.
NOTE: If you read this and notice that I have used McMahon’s first name, it’s only for the sake of this piece.
Unfortunately there is no NEW episode this week due to some unfortunate circumstances in town. However, we do have a wonderful “BEST OF” show for you. In a matter of speaking this is a Rams-themed episode. Total coincidence when myself and Palmer put this show together. Seriously. I got two monologues from Palmer on the Rams; mostly William Hayes, Jeff Fisher, and former D’Marco Farr. Plus we have two “classic” interviews with former Rams QB Tony Banks and Joe Laurinitis, better known to wrestling fans as Road Warrior Animal, and also the father of former Rams linebacker…James Laurinitis. Banks talked about being a young QB in the NFL and how hard it was to overcoming certain issues (this was around the time of the RGIII saga) and Laurinitis talked about being the best tag team EVER along with why he and the WWE aren’t the best of friends. Very intriguing interviews for sure.
Take a listen here: The Best of N The Zone: 01-15-17
Time for another edition of The A-Train Rant…16-point-OH!
I have a lot to say on this day. Here we go.
- Roger Goodell continues to kill the NFL. I feel indifferent if professional football should go away as a whole.
- Tom Brady is a sore loser.
- Bill Belichick needs his eyes checked.
- Ohio State really sucks along with my Tar Heels. I knew UNC would be bad this year after watching them BEAT Kentucky.
- Joel Embiid of Kansas shouldn’t look at being #1 overall in the draft. He has great game so far, a lot more to work on and doesn’t need to focus on the NBA. He doesn’t need to be a Ralph Sampson or Hasheem Thabeet.
- I think I may have found a new favorite team…it’s the Golden State Warriors. Yes, they lost last night. But at the same time, this is a young team with a great head coach in Mark Jackson and should make playoff/championship runs for years. I love this team.
- The St. Louis Rams should get Clowney or a signal caller to wake up Sam Bradford in the upcoming 2014 NFL Draft. Not an offensive lineman. Work with the linemen they already have. Stop thinking that the next big draft pick is going to be the answer.
- Joakim Noah scares me as an NBA player. Last night’s Lakers/Bulls game indicated when he gets the ball under 2 minutes, he forgets how to play basketball. I like his energy but it seems like it spirals out of control when the game is on the line.
- Speaking of that Lakers/Bulls game…the Lakers got cheated in that game. Taj Gibson’s last second lay-up shouldn’t have happened the way it did. The clock didn’t start when Gibson got the ball.
- Clayton Kershaw deserves every bit of that $215 million the L.A. Dodgers gave him.
- Fighting in hockey is probably the reason why I watch it. Sad.
- What the hell happened to Serena Williams? She might be done with tennis.
- So far EA Sports is on point about the St. Louis Blues. They simulated their season and it came out that they would win the Cup. It would be the franchise’s first. I would love to witness that for real (on TV of course or downtown).
- Super Bowl 48’s matchup on paper looks like it’s one for the ages. The NFL is getting what they want by playing the game in it’s “normal” element.
- Carmelo Anthony needs to leave the Knicks. All he’s doing is bringing them down instead of building them up.
- Paul George’s 360 dunk was very impressive. To anybody that thinks it wasn’t…get a video camera, go find a court and do the dunk. If you can, the dunk wasn’t impressive. Point blank.
- Speaking of that dunk, George won’t be in the dunk contest. This is a great indicator that All-Star Weekend needs to die. Who can forget the ever-popular 2Ball competition? SMH
- I hope the WWE gets this new WWE Network correct.
- I can’t wait to see what the Ultimare Warrior says at his Hall of Fame speech.
- I will participate in Warren Buffett’s BILLION DOLLAR (yes that’s correct) bracket challenge. CBS, ESPN, Fox Sports’ bracket challenge’s better up their game. $1,000,000 means nothing anymore.
- FINALLY. This whole Richard Sherman thing indicates how silly, stupid and crazy us fans really are. I think we are worse than the athletes themselves. What Sherman did wasn’t right. But don’t dare call him a thug. A thug is a criminal. If that’s the case, Sherman robbed the 49ers of going to the Super Bowl. That’s the best description of what a thug is. People are getting mad that Sherman’s antics have been compared to Muhammad Ali’s antics. It has great comparison sports-related. Talk trash. Back it up. Ali did that. So far, Sherman has done the same. 20 interceptions in just 3 seasons indicates that. With that said…
- Justin Verlander needs to (in the words of Chris Jericho) SHUT…THE HELL…UP.
GOOD DAY EVERYONE.
Time for the 14th edition of The A-Train Rant…hope your sports weekend was good, here at A-Train’s home…umm hell no.
That’s why I’m hear to rant about it…enjoy.
PRE-RANT: I always look forward to what Kevin Slaten has to say about Missouri sports…ALWAYS. Some things I like, others I don’t. He can be sane, he can be crazy. He’s entertaining. He makes sure you have something to say (if you listen to him). Check out “Slaten Unleashed” on TalkSTL.com every weekday from 3pm-6pm. Sometimes it’s good to be antagonizing, other times not. Still a sight to see each weekday afternoon.
- I’m cheering for Florida State in the national championship. Auburn did what they had to do in the SEC title game but I’m going against them.
- Welcome back, Kobe Bryant. Am I being nice to Jellybean? In this case, yes. Just hope it doesn’t bite him in his ass making this triumphant return and winds up going back on the shelf.
- Speaking of injuries, I would be happy that Rob Gronkowski got hurt…but I can’t. The reason is because you’re seeing a long trend of top players get hurt. I understand football players take pain and so do other athletes, but when is it smart to comeback and play again?
- I had no idea that baseball managers could get in the Hall of Fame so easily…Tony LaRussa, Joe Torre, and Bobby Cox are in.
- I guess I’m supposed to be thrilled for the Lambs (yeah I called them that) right now. Thanks to a friend, I understand Jeff Fisher. He has no control of his damn team. Several games this season, this bum ass team decides they want to fight their opposition. FOR WHAT? Is that supposed to fire up the team? In at least 4 of the games I saw they got in fights and grabbed a plethora of penalties. No control whatsoever. NONE. I understand this team has no QB, yeah no quarterback and I guess those draft picks are looking nicer every day. Thanks Washington.
- Mizzou football will be in great shape, the day they get a different coach. Pinkel can’t win big games. He sucks bad. Last 2 conference championship games he’s been in, he gets smoked. Then has no idea how that ever happened. However, Mizzou had an unforgettable season, can’t take away what they did.
- Speaking of Mizzou, shoutout to CBS Sports for having a Mizzou Saturday…great win for the Men’s program beating 18th-ranked UCLA.
- Cano and Ellsbury got paid. I still hate Cano.
- Good bye, Roy Halladay. Halladay announced his retirement after 16 seasons. I will never forget his 2010 season, Halladay threw a perfect game and then a no-hitter in the postseason. Shame he didn’t get a ring while in Philly. He had no chance in Toronto. NONE.
- The death of Total Nonstop Action Wrestling is near, they lost their biggest acquisition in AJ Styles.
- Please Daniel Snyder, do us all a favor and put Mike Shanahan out of his misery.
- Rudy Gay going to the Sacramento Kings does nothing for them. You got a bighead jackass in DeMarcus Cousins. Unless both can work together as a tandem, I don’t think it will work out in Sac-town.
- The Super Bowl being in New York City is hilarious…you asked for this one. “Cold weather is where the game is supposed to be.” Because of this, now you have restrictions. No tailgate parties at Meadowlands Stadium. Enjoy.
- Keith Olbermann (whom I have caused a response with on Twitter) had this to say about cheating. I hear a lot about it. Shoutout to Solomon Alexander for this but it’s great. Enjoy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5N1XoJq_fk
That’s all I can think of for now.
More to come.
Don’t forget N The Zone TV is coming soon and Beyond The Ropes podcast is LIVE every Monday night after Raw.