Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.

Funkhouser

KSR’s take on recent non sports related happenings

The Top 5 Best & Worst “Friday Night Lights” Characters

The Top 5 Best & Worst “Friday Night Lights” Characters

fnl-rankings

Every year, it’s the same. Fall camp starts, practice updates start rolling in, and you get that first morning where there’s a chill in the air to remind you football is right around the corner. With that, comes my annual viewing of “Friday Night Lights,” the best television show known to man.

Now, I don’t watch all five seasons every year — season two is so terrible I once threw the DVDs away in protest…only to fish them out of the trash the next day — but I do hop around to check in on my favorite characters in Dillon, Texas. Right now, I’m enjoying season three, just wrapping up the episode where Tim Riggins and Jason Street go to New York City, which includes the classic Riggins moment where he tries to convince Street to go see the musical “Gypsy.” Oh, that Tim Riggins. Always a hoot.

I’ve got a LOT of opinions about “Friday Night Lights,” and for years, have been assembling a list of the best and worst characters in my head. Because it’s Friday and why the hell not, I thought I’d share that list with you.

The 5 BEST Characters on “Friday Night Lights”

1. Tami Taylor

AKA the GOAT. AKA the best hair in show business. AKA my role model. Tami Taylor, brilliantly portrayed by Connie Britton, is the TV mom all other TV moms need to bow down to. But she’s so much more than just a mom. She’s a tireless defender of all that’s right in this world, including a nightly glass (or three) of wine. I am not a mother, my husband is not a football coach and I am not a school principal, but in all other aspects of life, I try to model myself after Tami. I even bought aviators, which historically have looked horrible on me, because she wears them. I call them my “Tami Taylors.”

2. Coach Taylor

Strongly considered putting Tami and Coach 1A and 1B, but couldn’t do that to Tami. What can you say about Coach Taylor? He’s also the best. He also has amazing hair. If he told me to eat razorblades, I’d probably do it. Not only is he the pinnacle of good, put up with Buddy Garrity, and gives the best pep talks in the world, he’s the hottest dad on television ever. Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose. Because Coach Taylor says so.

3. Tim Riggins

Riggins is the tragic hero of FNL, the man women want and men want to be. Though he may come off as a really hot, simple guy who wants nothing more than beer, women, and TEXAS FOREVER, we watch Riggins struggle with his destiny and identity throughout the series. He’s the quintessential “what if” character. What if he didn’t drop out of San Antonio State? What if he didn’t take the fall for Billy and go to jail? What if he had never moved into that trailer and saved us all from meeting Becky? That would have been nice.

4. Buddy Garrity

Buddy’s totally over the top, but he’s totally someone I could see living in my hometown. As a person, he’s pretty terrible — cheated on his wife, puts football over family, and generally seems pretty obnoxious — but as a character, he’s awesome. His reaction to finding out his kids don’t eat meat is one of my favorite moments on the show. We all know a Buddy Garrity.

5. Grandma Saracen

A wildcard pick, I’ll admit, but nothing brings a smile to my face more than sassy Grandma Saracen. Her battle with dementia was sad, but she may have produced more laugh-out-loud moments than any other character. For instance: how she insists on calling Coach Taylor “Coach Eric Taylor” every single time she sees him and how she doesn’t hesitate to tell Landry he throws the ball like a girl and is “just a funny looking creature.” Grandma Saracen is the original captain of #TeamNF, and I love it.

Honorable mention:

  • Landry: Great except when you had to hear him sing
  • Tyra: Also great, but mean to Landry
  • Smash: Referred to himself in the third person too much

 

The 5 WORST Characters on “Friday Night Lights”

TOO LATE

1. Julie Taylor

Tami Taylor may be the best, but her daughter Julie is the worst. I’m not sure there are words for how awful Julie is. She’s completely incapable of communicating her emotions, to the point she WRECKED HER OWN CAR because she didn’t want to go back to college. WTF? Not only is she insanely rude to her awesome parents, the only decisions she makes are terrible ones, like cheating on Matt Saracen with the Swedish guy or having an affair with her married TA in college and then running away to Chicago to cry to Saracen about it. Her only saving grace is genetics.

2. Becky

You knew Becky was going to be awful the minute she came on screen singing the national anthem in the kitchen like a banshee. Nobody worth liking sings that loud that early in the morning. Also, the way she throws herself at Tim Riggins is cringe-worthy. “Hello, Tim Riggins!” “Wake up and give me a ride, Tim Riggins!” “Which dress should I wear to my pageant Tim Riggins?” Out of the good of his heart, Riggins eventually becomes her friend, but his initial reaction to her — STFU and go away — is all you need to know.

3. Lyla Garrity

I actually warmed up to Lyla as the series went on (anyone who goes boozing with Mindy goes up a notch in my book), but she had too much ground to make up from the first two seasons. I get that it couldn’t have been easy to cope with your boyfriend going from future NFL superstar to depressed paraplegic, but the solution is never to cheat on him with his best friend, even if that’s Tim Riggins. Between that and her stint as a born-again Christian, Lyla could never figure out who she was. No offense, Minka Kelly, but all Lyla was on this series was a really pretty face.

4. Joe McCoy

I originally had his son, JD, on this list, but swapped. Even though JD is a punk, it’s not his fault his dad’s an abusive asshole. Joe McCoy just looks like a villain, all smug sitting in his big house on top of the hill, drinking his fancy scotch and smoking his cigars. Plus, who the hell leads a coup to fire a coach who just took your team to State? An idiot, that’s who. In terms of boosters, Buddy Garrity >>>>> the parents who collect change at intersections >>>>> the creepy guy selling drugs under the stands >>>>> Joe McCoy.

5. Jason Street

I’ll probably get roasted for this, but I stand by it. Jason Street is nice. Jason Street is sweet. Jason Street is a good person. But he’s also really, really boring. I understand that the series need him to show how football and its fame and fortune can go away in an instant, but did we really have to stick with him through two more seasons? Plus, he’s meant to be this model of good judgment but then he went to Mexico and contemplated getting injected with SHARK DNA so he could walk again. SHARK DNA. I realize Season 2 was the pits, but COME ON.

Honorable mention:

  • Baby Grace: Didn’t contribute anything, looked like an alien
  • Cash, Tyra’s cowboy boyfriend: Because none of us saw that coming at all
  • Waverly, Smash’s bipolar girlfriend: So much drama

Just Passing Time Until Stephen Colbert Comes Back To Us

Just Passing Time Until Stephen Colbert Comes Back To Us

Colbert

I’d like to take this time to point out that Stephen Colbert is FIFTY-ONE years old. Who knew?

Many of you have heard of the game where you are given three people and you have to decide if you would kill, marry or fornicate with one of those people. You are not legally bound to that decision, but I suppose whatever you decide says a little something about you.

Let’s practice:

Tom Selleck, Charles Barkley and Donald Trump.

I know everyone’s kill. That’s mean, guys. I do, however, think that the bases of this game is a little crass and since we are all respectable people, let’s alter the rules so that my momma will be proud. This week Stephen Colbert released his first week’s schedule for his new Late Show. Here is the schedule of the first guests for the Late Show:

Tuesday, Sep. 8: George Clooney and Jeb Bush

Wednesday, Sep. 9:Scarlett Johansson, SpaceX, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk and Kendrick Lamar.

Thursday, Sep. 10: Uber CEO Travis Kalanick with musical guest Toby Keith.

Friday, Sep. 11: Amy Schumer, Stephen King and Troubled Waters (an unknown group that has me intrigued.)

With the aforementioned childish game in mind, I think we should use the pool of guests to answers some questions of our own. We are not legally bound to the decision, but I suppose whatever we decide says a little something about us.

 Which guest would make the best president?

Which guest would be the best to go on a road trip with?

Which guest would you like as a tennis partner?

Which guest, not named Stephen King, would you like to write your eulogy?

Which guest would you marry?

Which guest would you…you know…?

It is quite possible that you picked George Clooney for all of the questions. It is also possible, that you found this thought experiment to be pointless. I am totally cool with that. However, sometime in the near future, you will be waiting in a long, long line and your cellphone will be left in the car. Your mind will wander and you will ponder what it would be like to play tennis with Toby Keith. Would he wear flannel to volley a tennis ball over the net? Does he make the unnecessary grunting noise when he hits the ball? Who knows?

But, it is a lovely way to pass the time and hopefully by then, Stephen Colbert will be back on TV.


HOLLYWOOD GAME NIGHT -- "308" Episode 308 -- Pictured: (l-r) Bobby Moynihan, Randall Cobb, Amy Smart, Randall Park, Constance Wu, Paul Scheer, Jane Lynch -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

KSR Funkhouser: Randall Cobb Appeared on Hollywood Game Night

HOLLYWOOD GAME NIGHT -- "308" Episode 308 -- Pictured: (l-r) Bobby Moynihan, Randall Cobb, Amy Smart, Randall Park, Constance Wu, Paul Scheer, Jane Lynch -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

HOLLYWOOD GAME NIGHT — “308” Episode 308 — Pictured: (l-r) Bobby Moynihan, Randall Cobb, Amy Smart, Randall Park, Constance Wu, Paul Scheer, Jane Lynch — (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

Look, I already have a love/hate relationship with NBC’s Jane Lynch hosted Hollywood Game Night.  On a very snowy February afternoon about two years ago, I was sitting on my couch awaiting a Skype call from the casting department of said game show.  When that call came in, I was subjected to two rounds of different games that they play on the show.  I had to give and receive the game “How Do You Doo?” where you have to get your partner to guess a given song only using the word “doo”.  The other game was the Celebrity Name Game, where you get your partner to guess a given celebrity or character just giving verbal and charade type clues.  I’ll tell you now, I crushed that audition, only to never hear back from NBC, Jane Lynch, or that very nice casting person from Hollywood Game Night.  So needless to say, I’m quite jaded when it comes to this show.

That being said, I will bite the bullet to watch Hollywood Game Night if former Wildcat and current Green Bay Packer, Randall Cobb appears on the program.  Cobb served as a celebrity contestant, joined on his team by Amy Smart and Bobby Moynihan.  His trio and their “civilian” took on the trio of Randall Park and Constance Wu (of Fresh Off The Boat), plus funnyman Paul Scheer.

HOLLYWOOD GAME NIGHT -- "308" Episode 308 -- Pictured: (l-r) Contestant, Bobby Moynihan, Amy Smart, Randall Cobb -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

HOLLYWOOD GAME NIGHT — “308” Episode 308 — Pictured: (l-r) Contestant, Bobby Moynihan, Amy Smart, Randall Cobb — (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

So how did it go for Randall Cobb?  Not well, at least in the winning portion.  Cobb and the celebrities were paired with a cardiac rehab nurse named Ginger, and they just weren’t getting it as quickly as the other team.  After two rounds, Cobb’s team trailed 15-4.  In the third round, he got beat out by Scheer in a race to the buzzer on a category called “College Football Bowl Games”.  In Hollywood Game Night, there’s really no comeback from a deficit like that.  However, the wide receiver put on an otherwise pretty good performance, including doing the Carlton dance during a singing of “It’s Not Unusual”.

He admitted that he wasn’t “in his comfort zone” being on the show, but he had fun with it.  The episode can be found on NBC or Hulu if you want to check it out.  Below, starting at 3:00, watch Cobb kill it in charades:

The Packers’ new #1 receiver will be back in action on Saturday, August 29th as Green Bay takes on the Eagles at 8:00 PM at Lambeau Field for Week 3 Preseason action.


Video Game Buying Guide: Fall 2015

Video Game Buying Guide: Fall 2015

videogames-main_Full

August is almost over.  Soon the days of barbecues, lake trips, and neverending sunshine will be gone.  Instead we will be heading for the throes of winter, a dark time where we are forced indoors due to frigid cold and general bleakness.  This can be a daunting time, so we here at Funkhouser want to make sure you’re prepared to combat the bouts of cabin fever and general depression that arrives with the turning of the seasons.  Yesterday Abby Newcom enlightened us with what new shows to keep an eye on in the fall.  You can check out that breakdown here.  Today I will walk you through the upcoming video game releases so you’ll know what virtual adventures to prepare for.  Having said that, break out the controllers/keyboards/virtual headsets and other gadgets, it’s almost video game season!  Granted, you can play video games year round and new titles come out every week; but, as Fall rapidly approaches so too does the release of the most anticipated games of the year.  There are several big games coming out in the next few months and deciding which ones to get can be daunting.  Fear not friend, for I am here to guide you through the marketing rampage you are about to be caught up in so that you will know which games are best for you.

The Casual Gamer

Many of you may not be that into video games, and that’s cool.  Perhaps you got that Wii U for the kids and got hooked on Mario Kart 8, but that’s as far as you go.  Maybe your friends convinced you to get a PS4 or Xbox One so you could play a game together, then everybody stopped playing said game and you were left with a glorified Netflix player.  You could be someone that likes to pick up a controller on Sunday afternoon, knock out a couple of levels of Sonic on the old Sega Genesis and call it a day.  If you are, or can relate to, one of these, here are some games that you should be on the lookout for:

Spotlight Game: Super Mario Maker- Super Mario Maker is a really intriguing concept game which allows you to create your own Mario game.  Using the Wii U gamepad, players will be able to build environments, control enemy behaviors, and share their creations with friends and other Wii users, creating a Mario game which has endless possibilities of gameplay.  Release date: September 11, 2015

super mario maker

Other Considerations:

Lego Dimensions- September 27, 2015

Yoshi’s Wooly World– October 16, 2015

Star Fox Zero- November 20, 2015

The Sports Gamer

You know who you are.  You pride yourself on memorization of your favorite team’s Madden playbook.  You join in on dorm/office/online/pick random people off the street tournaments because you want to prove that your vast knowledge of a sport allows you to be a superior sports video game player.  When you play against someone who lines up in field goal block defense on every down of a Madden game you want to punch them in the face for violating the integrity of the game.  You’ve thrown controllers, quit mid-game, and taunted even computer opponents.  If this is you, embrace it, and get pumped for the following games:

Spotlight Game: NBA 2K16– Most sports games are simply recurring franchises which add a few features here or there and update rosters.  Typically there is not a lot to get excited about.  Yesterday the NBA 2K16 trailer dropped and as UK/Calipari fans we fawned over all of the familiar faces in the trailer.  With so many UK players in the game, it’s easy to be excited about NBA 2K16, but there are two specific things to get really excited about.  First is the addition of photo/videobombing.  With Karl Towns in the league this should be a very fun feature.  Second, the end of the trailer teased the addition of college basketball in some capacity.  The extent of this is unknown, my guess though is that when you create a MyPlayer you will have the opportunity to be recruited and choose a school.  I doubt there will be any actual playing, and the schools included will be limited, but hopefully UK will be one of those schools and I can live my fantasy of committing to the Cats.  Release date: September 29, 2015.

nba 2k16

Other Considerations:

Madden NFL 16– August 25, 2015

FIFA 16– September 22, 2015

WWE 2K16– October 27, 2016

Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5– November 10, 2015

The “I’m going to cash in the rest of my vacation days so I can do nothing but play this new game while completely abandoning all of life’s responsibilities” gamer.

These gamers want one thing in life, to be the best.  They preoder the game as soon as they can so they can get whatever preorder exclusives accompany it.  They only preorder from places where they can pick up said game at a midnight release thus honing their skills hours before their more casual counterparts can play.  Simply put, these gamers live for their games and invest as much time as humanly possible to achieve the highest levels of success.  These gamers are also known to regularly quit a game for various reasons, only to continue playing, thus making them one of the most resilient types of gamers to be seen.  If you are a close friend or family member of such a gamer, please ensure to enjoy your time with them before said game comes out.  If you are one of these gamers, make sure your affairs are in order before embarking on the great journey that lies ahead of you.

Spotlight Game: Fallout 4- Those familiar with the Fallout series know that this game is an immense time consumer.  Between endless side quests, a huge sandbox gameplay area, and a million different ways to play the game, Fallout provides players with constant challenges and fresh tasks to keep players interested.  Those who pick up Fallout 4 need to go ahead and plan on playing for hours and hours.  Release date: November 4, 2015.

Other Considerations:

Metal Gear Solid   The Phantom Pain– September 1, 2015

Destiny: The Taken King– September 15, 2015

Rise of the Tomb Raider- Release TBD

The “first-person shooter making a triumphant return which means that the really good veterans of the previous games will be irrationally angry because the game is not like they remember and therefore it’s awful” gamer.

These gamers played the original Halo, Call of Duty, and Star Wars: Battlefront and have very fond memories of them.  They also played the subsequent sequels, vowing that each one was worse than the one before it but continued to play anyway.  Sadly, the franchises they played so much went on a long hiatus.  The Black Ops and Halo franchises have been without a game since 2012, while Battlefront hasn’t produced a new game since 2005.  These gamers have been waiting for a long time for the return.  Within a couple of weeks after the game’s announcement, though, their excitement turned to trepidation as they picked apart teaser trailers and game info to determine how it would fail in comparison to their predecessors.  If you are one of these gamers, just get over it and accept that you will in fact get this game and that it will be different.  Try to enjoy it, you never know when the franchise actually will end.

Spotlight game: Star Wars Battlefront 3 As indicated above, it has been ten years since the last entry to the Battlefront franchise.  The game’s comeback was obviously coordinated to coincide with the return of the films and capitalize on the Star Wars hype.  This has led many to wonder if the game would pay homage to its original entries, or if it is just a way to cash in.  Pre-launch reviews have been favorable, though, and personally I think it looks like it will be a solid addition.  It’s also the game I am most excited about this Fall so it better be good.  Release date: November 17, 2015.

Other Considerations:

Halo V: Guardians– October 27, 2015

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3- November 6, 2015.

 

What upcoming video games are you excited about?  Sound off in the comments below!

 

 

 


Review: WWE Superstar Showdown Board Game

Review: WWE Superstar Showdown Board Game

IMG_0357

Last weekend was a big couple of days for the WWE.  With NXT putting on one of the best PPVs in recent memory in the Takeover: Brooklyn event, along with the mega four-hour SummerSlam, pro-wrestling is starting to hit its stride again.  In the video game world, WWE 2k16 is getting to come out in the fall, but it has been a long time (if ever) since there has been a good WWE related board game… Until now.

WWE Superstar Showdown is a wrestling board game for 2-6 players (or 2 teams), published by Gale Force 9.  During the game, you will take the role of one of six possible superstars: The Big Show, Randy Orton, Daniel Bryan, John Cena, Roman Reigns and Big E.

IMG_0327

As you choose a superstar to use, you will receive that wrestler’s 30 card deck.  Each deck is comprised of five different types of cards: Grapples, Strikes, Maneuvers, Slams and Blocks.  Every deck is specifically tailored for each wrestlers.  For example, because Big Show is 500 pounds, he’s not that quick, so he has less maneuver cards, however, he has more strike cards in his deck.

To start the game, each player will draw their hand to six cards.  Players will choose three of those cards and place one in each of the 1-2-3 slots on their side of the board.  Cards will be flipped in order, as players compare their cards in a simple rock-paper-scissors mechanic.  A grapple beats a strike, a strike beats a maneuver and a maneuver beats a grapple.  Slams (finishers and signature moves) always win, while blocks always lose, but you don’t take the damage you would have had to otherwise.  After each card match-up is revealed, and one card beats the other, the winner of the match-up will get to do the actions that are on the bottom of the winning card.  There are total actions throughout the cards that dictate the action that happens in the ring on the board.  They are:

IMG_0349

Move: You can move your wrestler up to a designated number of spaces.  You can move diagonally, and if you land on the space of another wrestler, you can push them up to one square in any direction (except out of the ring)

Power:  If you are in an adjacent space (not diagonal) to your opponent, you may do the designated number of damage to them.  Damage is done as they remove the same amount of cards as the power number from their hand and deck into their “give up” pile.  These cards are removed from the game, and represent wear and damage to the wrestler.

Momentum Power: You deal as much damage as the number of spaces moved to reach your opponent.  This includes bouncing off the ropes.  If you land in a ropes square, you can move as many spaces in a straight line.  So it is possible to do up to five damage to your opponent by bouncing off the ropes in a momentum attack.

Corner Attack: If you’re in the turnbuckle as you play this action, you can jump off the top rope up to three squares in any direction and do three damage to your opponent if you can reach an adjacent square.

Movement and Power Set-Up: These allow you to add +1 to either your movement or power on any of your next winning cards in the round.

Throw: If adjacent to your opponent, you may throw them up to three squares away, including out of the ring (I will explain importance of this shortly)

Stun: If your opponent has to give up cards when you have a stun action at the bottom of your winning card, you can play another card out of your hand.  You may do this as many times as long as you keep playing cards with stuns at the bottom

Reversal: If your card loses but has a reversal at the bottom, you have a chance to play a card that beats your opponent’s card.

Kick Out: When being pinned, you can play a card with a kick out icon, preventing you from being pinned.  You must put the card into your Give Up pile after using it though, burning it from your deck.

If you win two out of the three cards in the round, and you are adjacent to your opponent, you may Pin your opponent.  This means they have to play a card from their hand with a kick out symbol to stay alive.  If they don’t have one in their hand, the top three cards are drawn one at a time from their superstar deck.  If any of these cards have a kick out icon, the game goes on and those cards are burned.  If, after three cards, there is no kick out icon, the pinning player wins the game.  You can also win the game by doing so much damage to your opponent that they don’t have any cards to draw when required to, therefore you win the game via KO.

There are other rules, including rules for being out of the ring.  If you are out of the ring, at the start of a round you can shuffle your discard pile into your deck before drawing cards, simulating you catching your breath in a match.  However, any card that loses when comparing cards while outside the ring gets sent to your Give Up pile, losing them for the remainder of the match.  The game also comes with rules for Tag Team and 6-Man tag matches, which really play up the strategy of moving around the ring to be able to tag out to your teammate.

Also added in the box are stipulation cards that you can shuffle and deal out for your match such as: Submission match (no kick out cards can be played from your hand, you have 10 chances to draw a kickout from your deck.), Rope Break (can’t be pinned in a ropes square) and Hardcore Match (can’t play block cards from your hand).  These are pretty hokey and really don’t need to be used.  Especially the Rope Break, because it’s a rule in wrestling anyway, why wouldn’t it just be a standard rule in the game?

The rule book wants you to put on “events”.  With 1-4 matches, using the different stipulations and match types.  Included are also rules for gauntlet match.  I think this will run its course pretty quickly when only using the six wrestlers included in the base game.  There is already talk of expansions to WWE Superstar Showdown.  I talked to the CEO of Gale Force Nine, John Kovaleski, at GenCon 2015 and he mentioned that there are plans for a legends expansion, while others have said they also heard a divas expansion is in the works.  Kovaleski also mentioned that they were talking of a referee expansion, where you can move the ref around the ring, and depending on which way he is facing, you can cheat.  It will be interesting to see how/if that works.  Others were talking about chairs expansions, which might be part of that referee expansion.  The possibilities for this game are pretty much limitless, I mean, who knows, maybe we could see a Jon Stewart expansion if we’re REALLY lucky.

I played a lot of games of this during GenCon and many more since I have returned and I have a blast with it every time.  The game actually ended up being a surprise hit of GenCon, as the Gale Force Nine crew did a great job drawing people in and getting them to play this game that they might not normally would have.  The game is a great game for all wrestling fans as you will get to play out actual matches with the figures that are included in the game.  The icons at the bottom of the card allow for strategy, more than just the Rock, Paper, Scissors aspect of the game.  If you know you might lose a card comparison, you could play a reverse card to get the upper hand.  Maybe you want to move away from your opponent if you know he’s going to try and pin you.  In one game at GenCon, I threw my opponent out of the ring, and he kept losing our card comparisons, meaning he had to burn any lost cards out of the game.  He eventually lost because I wore him down so much that he couldn’t draw any more cards, a KO win for me.

Courtesy of Board Game Geek member: MrChurch13

The superstar models used for the figures in the game are pretty spot on.  Each one is doing their signature taunt, with the exception of Big E., but I don’t know what his would be.  If you head over to Board Game Geek’s website, you can see where someone has started to paint their miniatures, with extreme detail, which makes the figures look even more awesome.  Again, with just six wrestlers, you will start to run through all of the match-ups, so I’m hoping for an expansion soon to mix things up a little bit.  Kovaleski was hoping the first expansion would come out around Holiday 2015.  With the success of NXT, I’m hoping that they put out one of those sets as well.

I only had a few issues with the game, and none of them are game-breaking.  The first are some of the titles and images on the cards.  Being a wrestling fan, I pay way too much attention to the detail of the game to not be bothered by some mistakes.  For example, John Cena has a card called “Flying DDT”, but he is clearly doing a top-rope leg drop.  Other card issues I have include cards called “Fancy Feet”, these are a maneuver card, meaning they more than likely allow the wrestler to move around the ring.  However, on Bryan’s Fancy Feet card, it’s just a picture of his feet.  A better image would have helped, unless they were just saying that his boots looked fancy.  We found in a couple of games we played, that if you tie during a comparison, you draw the next card off the top of the deck and compare.  Well during the end of the match, when you are running out of cards, if you tie and don’t have a new one to draw, you automatically lose via DQ.  It is a very anti-climactic ending to the game, and could maybe use a rules clarification, because it isn’t specifically mentioned in the game.

However, despite those very minor issues, I am a huge fan of this game.  I have found that you can teach it to people who are not wrestling fans and they still can get into it.  It really has the ability to mimic an actual wrestling match, which is something that some prior wrestling games have not been able to do.  This game is also so diverse as you can win a game after the first round with a quick roll-up, or you can have a really long back and forth match that ends after a nice flurry of moves.  The most satisfying thing is winning a match after being kicked around for so long, but taking advantage of one round and pulling off the upset.   I will keep this game in my collection for quite some time, and can’t wait to see what Gale Force Nine comes out with in these future expansions.  If you are a wrestling fan, you need to add this game to your collection, as it is going to be a big success.

And before I close, I’m issuing a challenge to Matt Jones, Shannon The Dude, or anyone on the Kentucky Sports Radio staff to a round of WWE Superstar Showdown, to crown a KSR Champion.  Who has what it takes to face me?


New Shows I’m Adding To My TiVo This Fall

New Shows I’m Adding To My TiVo This Fall

 

For me, the only good thing about the end of summer is that it’s time to dive into a new line-up of television shows while curling up on the couch as the temperature drops. Here are some brand new shows I can’t wait to watch over the next few months.

screen-shot-2015-07-15-at-10.49.33-am

AUGUST

Narcos 

Premieres: August 27 on Netflix

Based on the true story of U.S. and Colombian efforts to bring down the infamous Medellin cartel during the cocaine-fueled drug wars of the 1980’s.

SEPTEMBER

The Catch

Premieres: TBD on ABC

Shonda Rhimes’s latest show follows a woman who has dedicated her career to catching con-artists and exposing fraud, but falls victim herself to a scam that costs her everything.

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Premieres: September 8 on CBS (11:30/10:30CT)

Colbert revealed on Twitter that Republican presidential candidate and former governor of Florida Jeb Bush will join George Clooney on the premiere episode, which airs Tuesday, Sept. 8. Kendrick Lamar will be the musical guest.

Blindspot

Premieres: September 21 on NBC (10/9CT)

An unidentified woman with amnesia is found covered with tattoos, and the FBI soon realize that each mark on her body reveals a crime to be solved.

Quantico

Premieres: September 27 on ABC (10/9CT)

The series follows a group of young FBI recruits battling their way through the training academy in Quantico, Virginia. However, the series reveals in a flash forward twist that after graduation one of their own will be suspected of masterminding the biggest terror attack on New York City since Sept. 11.

Grandfathered 

Premieres: September 29 on FOX (8/7CT)

John Stamos returns to TV, not as an uncle but newly-realized father and grandfather. The recently restaurant owner’s bachelor world turns upside down when he has a son who also has child.

OCTOBER

Jay’s Garage

Premieres: October 7 on CNBC (10/9CT)

Jay Leno is returning to TV to showcase the cars in his collection.

 

Supergirl

Premieres: October 26 on CBS (8:30/7:30CT)

Based on the DC Comics character Supergirl, Kara Zor-El decides the time has come to embrace her superhuman abilities and fulfill her destiny as a hero in this drama.

Samantha Bee on TBS Late Night

Premieres: TBD

A woman hosting late night TV? FINALLY! Samantha Bee from The Daily Show fame is getting her very own show and I don’t think it will disappoint.

Wicked City

Premieres: October 27 on ABC (10/9CT)

Set in 1980’s Los Angeles, the show centers around a sociopathic serial killer played by Ed Westwick. Dexter fans may have found their new favorite.

 

What new shows are you looking forward to watching this fall? Tell me in the comments!


Funkhouser: The Oral History

Funkhouser: The Oral History

1579

The namesake: William D. Funkhouser. Known, of course, for his rousing skull ventriloquism act.

Two years ago KSR launched Funkhouser, a site dedicated to pop-culture being covered in the most ridiculous manner possible.  In the years since then, the writers at Funkhouser have covered everything from the latest album releases to the biggest TV shows, the best movies, and everything in between.  From the outside, this meteoric rise to the top-right of the KSR subhead banner might seem like all-day-bubbly fest and Mississippi caviar, but before Funkhouser could become the most talked about pop-culture page named Funkhouser, there was work to be done.  

This is the oral history of Funkhouser.

Funkhouser

Chapter One: A Time to be Born

God (our creator): In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.  And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.

CM Tomlin (Funkhouser Boss): Funkhouser began as an idea about four years ago, even though it only launched about two years ago.

Kalan Kucera (writer)Kind of a lot happened in between those two things.

Megan Suttles (writer): I don’t know how Funkhouser started.  A lot of people assume that it was created to house all of KSR’s Bachelor Show Recaps without the threat of comment section dissent.  The real story is that Funkhouser almost didn’t happen.

Josh Juckett (writer):  “I remember a time, not long ago

When KSR had no insight, on my favorite show”

Tomlin:  Matt and I would talk about how it would be great to have a sub-blog-type area to cover pop culture, and how with the right combination of writers it would probably work.

Josh: “Back in those times, it’s still in my head,

We didn’t have updates, of The Walking Dead.

Those days were dark, those days were sad.

I needed a forum, to discuss Breaking Bad!

Annoyed UK Fan (reader): Really KSR??? What does this have to do with UK sports???

Tomlin:  We made a list [of criteria] which included knowledge of popular board games, Terminator enthusiasm, electronic dance music critique, and late night talk show clip curation.

Kalan:  I remember how exciting it was when KSR put out the call for pop culture writers.  It was like, “YES.  Finally, an outlet for all of these opinions I have about Saddam Hussein’s romance novels!” I really think this excitement that everyone had is what drove Funkhouser’s creation.

Megan:  In 1996, a treasure hunter and his team aboard a research vessel searched the wreck of what was thought to be an unsinkable ship for a necklace with a rare diamond, the Heart of the Ocean.  They recovered a safe containing a drawing of a young woman wearing only the necklace dated April 14, 1912, the day the ship struck the iceberg.  Curiously, that woman was also holding hilarious stock images of various campuses in the United States.  That startling image was really, probably, the inspiration for Funkhouser.

Tomlin:  I feel like we filled all those roles nicely.

anigif_enhanced-5664-1415905501-12

(more…)


Funding Optimism In Lexington

Funding Optimism In Lexington

mouserat_logo

The Internet can be an endless sea of trolls and trash. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you can find glimmers of hope and reckless optimism. No one does reckless optimism better than Leslie Knope. On Parks and Recreation, Knope leads her squad of exaggerated versions of people you know to tackle any problem in Pawnee, IN.   It made me wish my city had a Leslie Knope. Last week, Lexington got Knoped. This Go Fund Me page was set up to raise money to bring the fictional Parks and Recreation band, Mouse Rat, to the CentrePointe “pit.”

I don’t want to over explain things, but on Parks and Recreation there was a pit. In Lexington there is a pit. On the sitcom, Andy Dwyer (played by Chris Pratt) is brought in to raise awareness for the Pawnee Pit. I hope you see where this is going. (Hint: Dwyer + Pit = Awareness & Pitlessness.)

 

I was riding a Hollywood Magic High for a couple days. The Guardian of the Galaxy himself was going to stroll into Lexington and solve our biggest eyesore.   Then reality set in. There was no way that the actual/fictional band would be able to come to Lexington to play in a pit that may or may not need saving.  The writing was on the wall and on the Go Fund Me page. They were no longer raising money to bring in Scarecrow Boat Mouse Rat.

Selfishly, I was sad because my post topic was shot down as quickly as Ron Swanson would turn down a vegan meal.  But, then my inner Leslie Knope kicked in. It wasn’t that we succeeded. (And when I say “we,” I mean the people that did all the work and me who read about it online.) It is that we tried. The Go Fund Me page is donating all the money raised ($1,020) to the Kentucky Children’s Hospital. In the end, donating the money to kids is better than watching a fake band in a dirty cavernous space.

It is what Leslie Knope would have wanted.

That and a big ol’ stack of waffles.


It’s Move-In Week!

It’s Move-In Week!

moving-college-students

To: [REDACTED]
From: UK Student Services
Subject: Move-In Week

Dear [REDACTED]:

We hope you have had a great summer and are ready to welcome you for a great first year as a University of Kentucky freshman! As you know, the week of August 16 is Move-In Week at UK, where you and all your new classmates will converge upon campus to settle in for the invaluable next several months. To ensure that everything moves smoothly over the next few days. Please note the following information BEFORE your move-in date.

♦By the sounds of unison clapping and horn music, you will notice that both the sororities and the marching band have already moved onto campus. Other scheduled groups with a designated move-in period include:
  August 17: Gymnastics Team (Woodland Glen III)
  August 18: French Sciences Majors (Tableau Périodique Building)
  August 19: Affluent Females (Daryl Hall)
Open move-in is available for all other students throughout the week.

♦Lexington traffic patterns will be altered during move-in week to help create a more conducive flow. Please pay attention to the following changes:

-Euclid Avenue will only be open for one hour each day (10:45-11:45 am).
-Limestone Avenue will be only accessible by horse.
-New Circle Road will be one way North-South from the Newtown Exit to the Leestown Rd. Exit, one way South-North from the Harrodsburg Road Exit to the Versailles Road Exit and closed between the Versailles Road Exit and the Old Frankfort Pike Exit.
-Richmond Road will be Tates Creek Road.

♦So as not to break any of your items during move in, it is best to unpack your boxes at your automobiles and bring each item into your residence quarters one at a time.

♦If your housing assignment includes the residence areas Brown Hall, Conover Hall West or Harrington Hall, please be aware that these residence buildings belong to the University of Delaware.

♦Hot plates are not allowed in residence halls. If you suspect you may have a hot plate, please alert a member of the wait staff who can inform you if the plate is hot.

♦Please, no parking in designated unloading areas or on the dance floor.

♦If your roommate is a murderer, please fill out a student residence grievance form. Student residence grievance forms are available at the Office of Housing and Residence Life with proof of murder.

♦Many of the university’s athletics teams will be on-hand to assist you this week; please don’t hesitate to ask a member of the basketball team to slam dunk your television or for a member of the rifle team, who can shoot your couch with a gun.

♦If you ride a bicycle please see your residence hall advisor about bicycle parking near your dormitory. Also, stop tucking your pants into your socks because that looks ridiculous.

If everyone follows these basic guidelines this year’s move-in should go smoothly and according to plan. Please direct any further questions you may have on your move-in toward the Student Life department and we will be happy to snap a picture of you carrying a mini-fridge to put in our annual scrapbook of people moving things. Here’s to a great year!

Sincerely,

Marisa Bone-Harolding
Assistant Department Head, Student Life


Dear Lorne: Six Great Choices for New SNL Cast Members This Season

Dear Lorne: Six Great Choices for New SNL Cast Members This Season

Saturday-Night-Live-Logo_0

With news coming today that the first three hosts of the 41st season of SNL would be Miley Cyrus, Amy Schumer and a still-rehabilitating Tracy Morgan, respectively, it’s almost certain that the next few days will also deliver headlines of new cast members joining the 2015-16 season. Just in case Lorne still needs some ideas, however, I’m happy to suggest some possible candidates from the farm leagues who’d make prime candidates for Not-Ready-for-Prime-Time Players in the upcoming years.

——–

John-Hartman

John Hartman

Where He Comes From: Second City
Most Recently Seen In: The Second City revues Panic on Cloud 9 and Depraved New World
Why He’s Good: Hartman not only has a prestigious Jeff Award (given for excellence in Chicago Theater) for his writing and performing work, he’s a lauded member of the Chicago sketch and improv scene at Second City, the Improvised Shakespeare Company and as part of the ballyhooed musical improv group Baby Wants Candy.
What Could We Expect? Hartman’s forte is a prickly brand of humorously distant, cerebral comedy; he won’t endear himself to you as much as he’ll engage himself with you. Ask anyone in the Windy City and they’ll tell you Hartman’s been SNL material for some time now, and I would give Hartman a very strong chance of making the show at some point.
Exhibit A:

——-

9BD4F61E28966111436894015488_1538d23f76b.3.mp4_9es1ViP..KZXJO4yyn3C0ohoYMXZhKt1LnU.3pncFsOJDoqdjsHeWoyv3r9QF7TE

Megan Neuringer

Where She Comes From: UCB New York and LA
Most Recently Seen In: Best Week Ever, appearances on Comedy Central’s @Midnight
Why She’s Good: Neuringer is not only a seasoned sketch and improv actor (she performed with the UCB troupe DeCoster, where she was a major draw), she’s also a terrific writer, having contributed jokes to Jimmy Fallon. One look any Neuringer-based YouTube video will also reveal a dozen declarations of affection for her, proving that she’s not only funny and sharp but accessible enough to, I guess, entice YouTube viewers fall in love with her.
What We Could Expect: Neuringer has a Tina Fey/Cecily Strong-esque quality about her and her quick wit and delivery would make her a strong fit in a Weekend Update correspondent/anchor capacity. She also has a lovable, underlying goofiness to back up the package, which makes Neuringer a double threat.
Exhibit A:

——–

Unknown

TJ Jagodowski

Where He Comes From: iO, formerly the Improv Olympic
Most Recently Seen In: Get Hard, The Sonic Commercials
Why He’s Good: Good? Many people would consider TJ Jagodowski to be one of the best improvisational comedians of all time. He’s so good that when you type his name into YouTube the first several entries are just people asking him questions about improv technique. The first time I ever saw truly good improv comedy (which I’m not the world’s biggest fan of), Jagodowski was part of the troupe and I thought he was one of the sharpest performers I’ve ever seen live. I still do.
What We Could Expect: Let’s be honest; at 43 years old Jagodowski is not likely to join the cast, though I can’t imagine he hasn’t been eyed by SNL in the past. On the current cast Jagodowski would look like a Phil Hartman-style “glue man”  but could clearly pull off a multitude of great characters and would balance out a very young-skewing SNL crew, which doesn’t really have an elder statesman right now.
Exhibit A:

——

Unknown-1

Shelly Gossman

Where She Comes From: Second City
Most Recently Seen In: She’s previously an SNL writer
Why She’s Good: Gossman is an incredibly versatile performer, whether daring out into the audience as a Russian gymnast or threatening her competition as masked luchador. Physical and quick, Gossman puts it all out there and becomes a valuable lifter on any cast she joins.
What We Could Expect: Gossman has written for SNL in the past, so she knows how it works, before branching off to become a writer for the FOX series Raising Hope. She joined SNL with former castmate Mike O’Brien and Tim Robinson (who both themselves shifted down from featured players back to writers) and her character work would be a valuable addition to the solid stuff Kate McKinnon and Bobby Moynihan put out there weekly. I say bring her back to the fold.
Exhibit A (NSFW but fantastic): 

—–

images

Sam Richardson

Where He Comes From: Second City
Most Recently Seen In: HBO’s Veep, as Jonah Ryan’s earnest assistant Richard Splett
Why He’s Good: Richardson has a good take on all the angles, whether playing Family Matters‘ Reginal Veljohnson as a detective at a particularly gruesome homicide or a racially-charged White Sox fan. If you watch Veep, though, I don’t need to really tell you why he’s good; as an assistant to Jonah this last season, his Richard Splett stole every scene in which he appeared.
What We Could Expect: Every SNL cast needs a do-everything utility guy (Tim Meadows, Kevin Nealon, Darrell Hammond), and Richardson could fill this niche. He’s solid enough to keep a scene grounded but can pull off a character that yanks out the rug. If you’re worried that he’s already got something going on, don’t forget that current cast member Kyle Mooney began on Stephen Merchant’s HBO show Hello Ladies before bailing for the bright lights of SNL. So there’s that.
Exhibit A:

—–

Unknown-2

Josh Patten

Where He Comes From: UCB New York
Most Recently Seen In: The popular UCB troupe Grandma’s Ashes
Why He’s Good: Patten provides a level-headedness that can elevate to creative places; in both physicality and coutenance he strikes one as a young Jason Sudekis. As an improviser he brings to the table a good head for narrative and seems comfortable to cede the spotlight when need be, an important quality.
What We Could Expect: As a matter of fact, Josh Patten is currently a writer for Weekend Update, so he’s already plugged into the system. I’m not sure if writing for Update plugs him more in as a candidate for that segment or if we might see him as a cast member, but he’s already part of the proceedings so what could a trial year as a featured player hurt?
Exhibit A:

 


Anthony Davis Danced on The Late Late Show With James Corden

Anthony Davis Danced on The Late Late Show With James Corden

Davis

It has been a good week for former Kentucky basketball players in terms of appearing on late night television.  A few days ago we just had Karl-Anthony Towns on The Tonight Show, and now Anthony Davis has popped up on The Late Late Show With James Corden.  Not only does he fulfill a dream of mine to be on TV with James Corden, but he got to be on the show with Sir Patrick Stewart as well.  Topics covered include:

– His record breaking NBA contract

– He turned down dancing with the stars

– Teaching James to do the Nae Nae

– Being the cover athlete of NBA 2k16

– and More

 


From The Hand of God to KSR: An Introduction to Tony Acree

From The Hand of God to KSR: An Introduction to Tony Acree

tony-acree

Last week I posted about Fandom Fest, a pop culture convention held in Louisville.  If you read that you’ll know that there was a lot going on, bordering on sensory overload at times.  To get noticed at an event like this you typically have to do something extraordinary, usually involving an extravagant costume.  This is especially true in the exhibition hall, which housed the autograph booths, photo op locations, and the booths for all of the merchants.  Despite all of the distractions surrounding me as I walked through looking from booth to booth, one voice caught my attention and drew me in.  That voice belonged to Tony Acree, Kentucky-born bestselling author and huge UK/KSR fan.  He didn’t do anything dramatic, or extraordinary; rather, he asked what I like to read.  Next thing I know we’re talking about  Tyler Ulis and how much fun basketball season is going to be. I had the opportunity to talk with Acree throughout the weekend about his books, his career, and, of course, the Cats.

Tony Acree has been writing since high school, but it wasn’t until a college final when he realized he might have a career in writing.  He caught his first writing break when a college professor told him he needed to show proof he had submitted a story for publication before he would receive his grade.  Not only did Acree submit his story and get published, he got paid for it.  “I couldn’t believe it, somebody actually gave me money to use my story.”  Though this was the first time Acree had been published, it was far from the first time he got paid for his writing.  That actually began in those high school days, when he was paid fifty cents by friends to write poems for their boyfriends and girlfriends.

Acree has come a long way from his days as a high school Cyrano.  Fast forward to now and Acree has had multiple books published, owns his own press, and is even on the verge of possibly sending one of his books to the big screen.  Acree’s first novel, The Hand of God, was published by Hydra Publications.  The Hand of God is a supernatural thriller about bounty hunter Victor McCain (a UK grad working in Louisville) and how he gets drawn into dealing with the Devil.  The novel became a big hit, reaching #1 on the Amazon bestselling list and spawning two sequels (so far).  Acree’s novels have even received international attention, with sales across the world reaching France, Brazil, and as of this year, India.  Not bad for someone whose career got kick started by a college final.

HandofGod

Acree credits the success of Hand to many things.  He has a supportive wife, Karin, who helps him run a concierge business and serves as a soundboard for characters and ideas.  He also maintains a very organized schedule, writing three hours a night at Starbucks.  Another contributing factor to his success is his ability to engage people and have fun.  This was how I initially got drawn into a conversation with him in the first place.  While others would sit and watch you pass by their booth, Acree and the authors at his table stood up and talked to you.  Several people stopped Acree as we walked through the exhibition hall to say hi and he talked to them, knowing most of them by name.  He likes people and he likes to “… write people I know, the good and the bad.”

This type of engagement shows in Acree’s writing as well.  “I write books for people to read without stopping.  When they get to the end of a chapter, I want them to think, ‘just a few more pages.'”  Acree’s characters are irreverent and no subject matter is off limits.  Religion and science are just a couple of prominent themes which pop up throughout Hand.  This stems from his desire to make a personal connections with his readers.  What better way to make a personal connection than to write about themes which people take personally?  This relationship with the fans can at times be a double-edged sword though.  Being part of a small publisher allows you to have a close connection with fans, but it also has inhibitions, especially when it comes to killing off characters.  “In conflicts, people have to die…it ups the emotional tension.”  Acree knows that if certain characters (part of the “Scooby gang”) are killed then his readers may revolt.  G.R.R Martin he may not be, but fans shouldn’t get too comfortable as he did hint at a future death which readers will certainly feel.

With  the success of Hand, Acree was approached with movie interest so he went to the publisher to buy back the story rights.  Instead of the rights, Acree ended up buying Hydra Publications.  Hydra now features over 20 authors and is a sponsor for many events, including Imaginarium, a convention for creative writers held in Louisville.  Acree has also used his platform to help support local charities.  If fans donate at least $50 to WHAS Crusade for Children (a charity based out of Louisville), he will write you as a character in one of his books.  You even get input as to whether your character is good or bad.

One person he has been toying with the idea of writing has been KSR’s very own Matt Jones.  Acree is a big UK fan and when KSR hit the airwaves and internet, it gave him an outlet to show and enjoy his fandom with others.  “It feels like our show…we’re proud to say we listen to KSR.”  The sites’ irreverent tone also strikes a note with Acree, as the main character in Hand is also “very irreverent”, another underlying connection of his writing and being a UK fan.  He also has his own little part of KSR history.  A few years ago during a pregame show Acree called in to let listeners know that anyone coming from I-64 would need to leave soon or they wouldn’t make it due to a traffic backup.  According to Acree, after he hung up, Matt indicated this was the first ever traffic report on KSR from I-64.

Like most UK fans, last April was a rough time for Acree.  What was bad for many of us was worse in some ways for him due to having in-laws in Wisconsin.  Acree even makes a regular trip to Wisconsin and even has a local place where he goes to write (and incite basketball related shouting matches with the locals).  Fortunately for him, he is attending the UK-UofL basketball game is in Rupp this year so he gets to prolong his trip and the inevitable trash talking that will accompany it.  Hopefully he will write in the 2014-15 Wisconsin basketball team into one of his novels as a horde of demons to be taken out by UK-grad Victor McCain.

Of the upcoming seasons for UK football and basketball Acree is excited.  His major concern for football (and many other UK fans) is the risk of losing Stoops to another program, comparing that possibility to his writing philosophy.  “You don’t rewrite a book until it’s finished.  My biggest fear is keeping [Stoops] or we’ll have to start all over.”  A season-ticket holder for basketball, Acree is “excited to see the Dribble-Drive and I’d like to see Alex have a monster year.”  Though his excitement for the basketball team was very clear, he was equally excited about the trips to Lexington so he could visit The Sweet Spot, his go-to diner, before each game.  With a big smile on his face Acree  summed up what many of us are thinking, “I can’t wait for the season to start.”  Neither can we.

To find out more about Acree, his books, or what else is going on at Hydra Publications, check them out here.  You can also follow Acree on Twitter @TonyAcree or on Facebook here.  Acree also maintains a blog.

 

 


Funkhouser Predicts: NXT Brooklyn and WWE Summerslam 2015

Funkhouser Predicts: NXT Brooklyn and WWE Summerslam 2015

maxresdefault

It is a hot time right now in professional wrestling.  Lucha Underground just finished its first season on the El Rey network, which may have been the best first season of any wrestling show.  Today, WWE is getting mainstream attention (moreso than normal) as Brock Lesnar appears on SportsCenter.  It was announced that ESPN will also do a Gameday type show from the Barclays Center on the morning of SummerSlam 2015.  Just as important, WWE’s development show, NXT is holding a PPV the night before SummerSlam, also in the Barclays Center, which actually sold out the 18,000+ seat arena.  Arguably, Saturday’s PPV will be better and more important than SummerSlam itself.

So we thought at Funkhouser that we would predict the outcomes of the matches happening over the two day wrestling weekend.  However, only two people were brave enough to put their names on the high-stakes world of pro-wrestling pontification.  One has been watching wrestling consistently for the last 20 years.  The other just watched last month’s PPV, his first after being away from wrestling for almost 11 years.  Who will make more correct guesses on a scripted sporting event?  Only time will tell.

WWE-NXT-TakeOver-Brooklyn-New-York

NXT is promoted as the developmental program of WWE (which it is), but it consistently has put on better PPV events than its big brother since the inception of the WWE Network.  The TakeOver events, are widely regarded as must see events because the emphasis is on the action, while also delivering some of the best and logical storylines in wrestling today.  Normally hailing from Full Sail University in Flordia, NXT has taken to the road and is emanating from the Barclays Center, which it sold out.  Now they just have to deliver like they always do.  To the picks:

Disclaimer: Josh has never watched NXT, and has no idea of any of the storylines or wrestlers outside of the main WWE product.

20150709_LIGHT_NXT-TakeoverBK_matches_HP-samoabaron

Samoa Joe v Baron Corbin

Richmond: Baron Corbin has been an unstoppable force, only losing once by interference since his debut. However, his shtick of only winning in less than a minute, only facing jobbers, is getting old and the fans have turned on him.  We never thought we’d see Joe in WWE, but now he’s here.  Corbin could get more out of the win, but somehow I feel like Samoa Joe wins this one.

Josh Juckett: Tough call here but I think Baron Corbin is the pick.  He’s a former NFL lineman and that’s enough of a reason for me to pick him.

20150709_LIGHT_NXT-TakeoverBK_matches_HP_sasha-bayley

Sasha Banks vs. Bayley

Josh: I’m picking Bayley here.  I don’t know anything about how promotion from NXT to WWE works, but after seeing Sasha at Battleground she seemed poised to move up the ranks.  I figure in order for her to move up she’d have to lose the belt.  The logic is sound.

Richmond: Josh is right.  The Boss has been called up to the main roster, which means she will more than likely lose the title.  Bayley is the best.  She’s a hugger, her entrance involves Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Men.  She deserves this one.  Picking Bayley too.

20150709_LIGHT_NXT-TakeoverBK_matches_HP_BlakeMurphVaudevillians

Blake and Murphy vs. The Vaudevillains

Josh: The Vaudevillains have one of the best tag team names I’ve heard in a while.  I love it.  They will win on the strength of their name alone.

Richmond: Josh, if you like their name, just wait until you see their entrance.  The old-timey Vaudevillains should take this one because Blake and Murphy are awful.  However, I would really like to see Enzo Amore and Big Cass work their way to make this a triple-threat.  How do you have a PPV in Brooklyn without, “Bada Boom, The Realest Guys in the Room“.  Anyway, I also think the Vaudevillains take this one.

20150709_LIGHT_NXT-TakeoverBK_matches_HP_ThunderBreeze

Jushin “Thunder” Liger vs. Tyler Breeze

Richmond: You’ve got one of the greatest cruiserweights in the world coming in for a one night only appearance at NXT Brookly in Jushin “Thunder” Liger.  On the other side of the ring, you have Prince Pretty, Tyler Breeze.  Breeze is one of the best performers in NXT on a consistent basis, and I don’t really know what he gets by losing to Liger in this event, but for some reason, I’m giving this one to Liger as the opening match of the night.

Josh: I don’t like either of these guys, though I’ve only seen their names and that’s it.  This match ends in a draw.

20150709_LIGHT_NXT-TakeoverBK_matches_HP_FinnKevin
Finn Balor vs. Kevin Owens

Josh: I was impressed with Owens at Battleground.  His match with Cena was entertaining, though I thought he hammed up the heel angle a little too much.  Since I’ve predicted the other two titles to change hands I’m going to say Balor retains his belt.

Richmond: Any Ladder Match with Kevin Owens in it is going to be special.  That being said, it should be against Sami Zayn for it to really have the true meaning of a ladder war.  However, Finn Balor takes this one, but I hope that there is some sort of outside force in this one to make it even more special.

_______________________________________________________________________
 20150810_Summerslam_Match_tagteam_LIGHT_HP

Prime Time Players vs. Los Matadores vs. The Lucha Dragons vs. The New Day

Josh: Wow, this match is going to be chaos.  I love chaos.  I don’t know who the favorite would be, though I’m confident the PTPers won’t walk away champs.  Give me The Lucha Dragons.

Richmond: If there is one thing I love right now, it’s The New Day.  Especially since Big E recently said on Twitter that their whole goal was to make everything they do GIF-able.  Plus I could listen to Xavier Woods talk all day.  I’m pulling for The New Day, but see the Prime Time Players retaining.

zzzz20150810_Summerslam_Match_Divas_LIGHT-HP

Team Bella vs. Team BAD vs TeamPCB

Josh: Going with Team BAD on this.  Kind of piggybacking on my Sasha Banks logic from earlier, it feels like she’s going to be pushed to be a big player in the Divas ranks.  Charlotte Flair got her moment last month, it will be time for Sasha’s this time around.

Richmond: The Diva Movement is alive.  I wish they would stop calling them Divas though.  I’m also going to go with BAD, mainly because Banks is “The Boss” and she is going to be a big star.  One of two things will happen.  A) The Bellas will all be eliminated first, or it will come down to Charlotte, Nikki and Sasha Banks as the final three.

20150813_Summerslam_Match_OwensCesaro_LIGHT_HP

Kevin Owens vs. Cesaro

Richmond: If any match is going to “steal the show” this is going to be the one.  Owens, who will be coming off a loss from the night before is going to need to look good at SummerSlam.  Cesaro is always a big time player when it comes to big matches.  That being said, both of these guys need the win for the next step in their career.  However, Cesaro is my guy, so Cesaro it is.

Josh: Again, Owens seems like a guy the WWE is going to try to push as a big time player.  I don’t think he’d go from that match against Cena last month to a loss against Cesaro this month.  I predict some sort of interference to start propelling Owens into a bigger storyline from this one with Cesaro.

20150806_Summerslam_Match_mizrybackbigshow_LIGHT-HP

Ryback vs. The Big Show vs. The Miz

Josh: Another tough call.  I don’t know if Ryback is fully healed, though his return last week suggests he is.  Still though, if there are any lingering effects from his staph infection it would make sense for the belt to change hands.  I’m going to pick The Miz here, but I’ll be rooting for Big Show.

Richmond: Don’t Care… Ryback I guess?

20150721_Summerslam_Match_BrayLukeDeanRoman_LIGHT_HP

Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper vs. Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns

Josh: Ambrose and Reigns, easy.  Don’t see Wyatt getting the best of Reigns after the way things went down at Battleground.

Richmond: I’ve herd tell online about the WWE adding a new member of the Wyatt Family.  They’ve been really playing up the Reigns and Ambrose are “Brothers” angle, which leads me to believe that Ambrose will join the Wyatts. So, Wyatt Family for the Win.

20150810_Summerslam_Match_OrtonSheamus_LIGHT-HP

Randy Orton vs. Sheamus

Josh: I’ll go with Sheamus since Randy Orton won at Battleground.  That’s the best reason I could come up with.

Richmond: There’s a history of the Money in the Bank holder to lose a lot of matches, so you never know when he’ll cash in.  So I’ll call Orton, even though I don’t look forward to this match.

20150810_Summerslam_Match_amellneville-starustbarrett_LIGHT_HP3

Stephen Amell and Neville vs. Goldust and King Barrett

Josh: No idea where to go on this one.  When in doubt, go with the guy who chopped off Nagini’s head, Amell and Neville ftw.

Richmond: Yeah, guest star in a match.  This one goes to Neville and Amell.  Althought, this match will surprise you, Amell is quite athletic.

20150813_Summerslam_Match_CenaRollins_LIGHT_HP_v2

Seth Rollins vs. John Cena

Josh: Cena seems like the pick here, but I’m going to go with Rollins.  Though the WWE seemingly keeps pushing Cena despite fan sentiment, I have a hard time seeing him be pushed enough to hold two championships. That and the fact that  Rollins is obnoxious enough to pull off having two belts makes me lean toward Rollins.

Richmond: I echo everything that Josh just said.  Also, they just printed a full run of 15x Champ shirts for Cena, and I can’t imagine they would do that a week before he wins #16.  Rollins defeats Cena after doing 21-15-9 Muscle-Ups/Handstand Pushups, than an AMRAP of Power Cleans.

20150721_Summerslam_Match_TakerLesnar_LIGHTv3_HP

Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar

Josh: The Undertaker may have gotten a measure of revenge on Lesnar at Battleground but this match he will get the full helping of vengeance (despite what he said about Paul Heyman on Raw).  Undertaker is likely on the final legs of his career and he may be used to put over some up and comers, but against an established talent like Lesnar and the history I have to think the Dead Man walks away with a win.

Richmond: This is the toughest one.  Lesnar got the biggest win of all-time, defeating Undertaker at Wrestlemania and breaking the streak.  However, for some reason I feel like The Undertaker wins this one too, setting up a rubber match at Wrestlemania 32?  I don’t know.

_____________________________________________________________________

Be sure to watch NXT Brooklyn and Summerslam 2015 this weekend and see how Josh and I fared on our picks.