Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Calculating A Future Raw

Last night saw WWE air the 1,300th episode of Raw. Somebody on Twitter has worked out that the 1,500th episode will take place on May 2nd 2022.

And, to top it off, this will also be The Rock's 50th birthday.

Will be interesting to see if WWE does anything for that occasion!

Monday, April 23, 2018

Wednesday's Child Was Full Of No

Ahh.. another royal baby.

Today's news was sort of not welcomed by yours truly.

Not because I didn't care. It's because I wanted him to arrive in two days!

In 2015, I placed a bet on Princess Charlotte being born on my birthday. The bet was a winner. This year, I couldn't find betting markets where I could place wagers on the exact date, but there were markets where it was possible to bet on the day.

Seeing as my birthday is on a Wednesday this year, I had a punt on the baby arriving on any date that falls on a Wednesday.

If only he had a bit more patience!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Scratchin' 2018 : Week 16

I have now completed the sixteenth week of a 2018 challenge I have set myself to play a National Lottery scratchcard every day this year.

After today's scratch, I am £53 in the red after 112 days.

There was only one successful card (if you call it that!) this week. It came on Friday in the form of a £1 break-even.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Bruno Doc On Monday

WWE has scheduled a Bruno Sammartino documentary to air on the WWE Network once WWE Raw ends on Monday night.

As noted in a couple of posts this week, Sammartino passed away at the age of eighty-two on Wednesday morning.

He is the longest reigning world champion within WWE's history.

It's on my 'to watch' list for Tuesday morning!

Friday, April 20, 2018

Arsene Is Out

Arsene Wenger will leave Arsenal at the end of the current season.

This was just announced by Arsenal.

As I've written many times over the years, even though Arsenal isn't my team, Wenger is one of my favourite coaches.

It'll be a shame to see him leave.

I know the clowns involved with the 'Wenger Out' campaign are rubbing their hands with glee right now. For them, I'll write the same thing I've done nearly every time I've written about the 'Wenger Out Brigade'.

Be careful of what you have wished for.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Sammartino Tributes

There has been an outpouring of respect shown to Bruno Sammartino who passed away yesterday at the age of eighty-two.

I wrote about him in yesterday's post. However, in today's post, I thought I'd put up a few things that I've seen online since the news broke.

First, here's something that Madison Square Garden did for Sammartino overnight:

MSG Bruno Sammartino Tribute

MSG not only celebrated Bruno with the video tribute outside the building. It also post the following on Twitter:

Madison Square Garden Tweets About Bruno Sammartino

The Mayor of Pittsburgh (Bruno's home) left a statement on the city's website. You can click on the image to expand it:

Pittsburgh Mayor's Statement On The Passing Of Bruno Sammartino

Not only did the Mayor of the City post a tribute. Some of the sports franchises did as well.

The Pittsburgh Penguins:

Pittsburgh Penguins Tweets About Bruno Sammartino

The Pittsburgh Steelers' general manager, Kevin Colbert, also made a statement on the passing:

Pittsburgh Steelers Tweets About Bruno Sammartino

Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was good friends with Sammartino:

Arnold Schwarzenegger Tweets About Bruno Sammartino

Arnie also added:

Arnold Schwarzenegger Tweets About Bruno Sammartino

I've purposely chosen respect from people and organisations outside of the wrestling business up until now. I thought I'd share the final two.

First, here's what WWE owner, Vince McMahon stated on the passing:

Vince McMahon Tweets About Bruno Sammartino

I wrote about the animosity that had existed between McMahon and Sammartino in my tribute to Sammartino yesterday. In the same post, I mentioned that - if it wasn't for Triple H being a peacemaker - it was unlikely that Sammartino would have had his final bow at Madison Square Garden when he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in April of 2013. 

Here's HHH's comment:

Triple H Tweets About Bruno Sammartino

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Bruno Sammartino Passes Away

I have been behind on a lot of things today. One of the tasks I kept putting off was writing today's post. I had no idea what I wanted to write about and made the decision, a few hours ago, that - as soon as I was back in front of the laptop - I would write about the first thing that came to mind.

It didn't go to plan. Well, not in the way I had anticipated.

I fired up the laptop and then noticed an email pop up in the corner of my screen. It was an alert from Twitter saying somebody had left a message.

F**k man. Bruno died.

If you've followed professional wrestling for any length of time, there is no doubt in my mind that you would have heard the name Bruno Sammartino.

Sammartino was a huge deal in wrestling. He won the WWWF (it was called World-Wide Wrestling Federation back then) Championship with a victory over 'Nature Boy' Buddy Rogers in 1963.

Bruno SammartinoAt the risk of not articulating the point across properly - being a world champion in pro wrestling during this period in the industry was a bigger deal than it is today. Titles - and reigns - meant a lot more to the promoter, and ultimately to the consumer. In today's wrestling, especially WWE, you see titles switch hands on a frequent basis.

Sammartino's reign lasted from the aforementioned May 17th 1963 win over Rogers right up to his loss to Ivan Koloff on January 18th 1971.

Yes, 1963 to 1971. A 2,803 day reign which will never be beaten in WWE. Ever.

There was another reign to come.

Sammartino regained the title in December of 1973. Becoming the first-ever two-time winner of the strap. This reign closed three-and-a-half years later following a loss to 'Superstar' Billy Graham on April 30th 1977.

Sammartino was hugely popular with the Italian-Americans on the east coast of the US when the WWWF was based only in that territory.

I always loved listening to Sammartino's stories whenever he would speak with the Wrestling Observer Newsletter's Dave Meltzer. It was fascinating to hear stories of how his family hid from soldiers up an Italian mountain during World War II and how, upon emigrating to the US, turned to weight training and wrestling.

Equally fascinating were his wrestling stories where he recounted all those sellouts from Madison Square Garden and other venues he worked in the territory.

Which leads to the one memory I am sure many fans of contemporary professional wrestling will recall today.

Back during the late 1980s to early 1990s, Sammartino became a huge critic of the World Wrestling Federation and this resulted in a schism between he and the WWF's owners.

Bruno Sammartino at the WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony in 2013Vince McMahon Jr. and Sammartino were at odds for many, many years. Then - in 2013 - with Triple H as a middle man, Sammartino accepted WWE's offer to be inducted into its Hall of Fame.

I wrote about it in a 2013 post titled 'Hell Freezes Over.' because, well, it was like hell freezing over!

The event was held at Madison Square Garden. Sammartino, just like all those years as champion, was the headliner at MSG.

For one final time.

It was a fitting way for the company to honour its longest-reigning world champion.

A cool moment was - at the end - as all the inductees took a bow, McMahon made his way over to Sammartino and they had their moment of closure.

For fans, such as myself, who knew the animosity between McMahon and Sammartino, this was an added bonus to the night's coverage.

From there, Sammartino did other projects for WWE like being a talking head on some of the company's DVD releases and made special appearances.

The news reports state that he passed away this morning. He is survived by his wife, three sons and four grandchildren.