Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Smackdown Live coming to FOX



WWE’s contract with NBC is set to expire in September 2019 and as such all other WWE shows are in search of a new home on a different network. As per reports, only RAW will be kept on the NBC Universal programming. FOX has proposed a bid to bring Smackdown Live onto their network. This partnership will result in Smackdown Live being moved to Friday nights instead of Tuesdays.

I think that this new deal with FOX is going to be great for the WWE brand, making it more accessible to greater amounts of people and increasing viewership significantly. Friday night is a very appropriate night to house a weekly time slot for a sport as rowdy as WWE. As great as I think this partnership will be, I still believe that it will come with some challenges. Smackdown Live risks being in competition with other programming. 

FOX was not the only party who made a bid to take over Smackdown Live. Another offer was made to WWE which was higher than that of FOX however, WWE agreed to partner with FOX as they believed this is the best platform to promote their brand. FOX is already partnered with other sporting leagues such as NFL and MLB. The contract between FOX and WWE is said to be worth more than $1 billion, which breaks down to $205 million a year paid to WWE. It is safe to assume that because Smackdown Live will be taking over a primetime slot Friday nights, that the show will now become a three hour episode. This is something I'm very excited about because this means that the longer the show and the more viewers who will be watching, we can anticipate that Smackdown will get a bit of a creative rejuventation which will spark and attract more viewers. 

Nick 

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

WWE Live Ottawa (30/04): Results






On Monday, April 30th, I made my way down to the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, Canada to see my fifteenth live WWE event. This event was nowhere near a sellout. The arena was empty, the crowd quiet and the matches did not play out as advertised. However, that did not take away from the talent we saw in the ring. Here are some highlights of the night’s events.

In a Tag Team match, we saw The Bludgeon Brothers defend their Smackdown Tag Team Championship title by defeating The Usos, The New Day and Rusev Day. 

One of the most anticipated meetings was Daniel Bryan versus The Miz and this certainly did not disappoint. The Canadian Tire Centre erupted with cheer when fans saw Daniel Bryan return to the ring. It was a hard fought battle between the two superstars, but Bryan brought his A game and destroyed The Miz.

For the main event, AJ Styles and Jeff Hardy teamed up against Shinsuke Nakamura and Samoa Joe. It was clear from the moment the match began that AJ Styles and Jeff Hardy were obviously the team to beat. They came out into the ring full of momentum and competition which ultimately ended with Nakamura and Samoa Joe being defeated.

All in all, the WWE Live in Ottawa was a great show to attend. Seeing all of the talent up close and in my home city was thoroughly exciting. As per usual, this night was definitely filled with the superstar talent and enthusiastic aggression that all fans come out to see. As disappointed as I was with the lack of attendance and the dull crowd, it does not take away from the thrilling experience WWE promises!

Until next time, 

Nick 

Monday, 30 April 2018

WWE Live Ottawa





Tonight, the WWE is headed to Canada’s capital city and my hometown of Ottawa. It’s been almost two years since I last took in a live WWE event and I am really excited to get back to it tonight. 

The lineup for tonight’s show looks pretty great. They have announced three of the matches so far. First, there is a triple threat match with Aj Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura and Samoa Joe competing for the WWE Championship. With these three wrestlers in the ring it will surely be an entertaining match. Next up, we have Daniel Bryan versus The Miz. These two have built up quite a rivalry over the years and with Daniel Bryan recently returning to the ring, I am excited to see how it translates in the squared circle. In the third match that has been announced so far, for the US championship, Jeff Hardy takes on Rusev. I will be purchasing a Happy Rusev Day t-shirt this evening. I am very excited to see Jeff Hardy in the ring again. Growing up as a wrestling fan in the attitude era, every time Jeff Hardy competed, he aways left me amazed with his in ring performance. This match already has me feeling nostalgic. Can’t wait to see how it goes down. 

 Other superstars scheduled to make appearances tonight are The New Day, Charlotte, Carmella (Smackdown Women’s Champion), and Smack Tag Team champions Bludgeon. 

The show starts at 7:30 pm at Canadian Tire Centre and I hope that it will live up to my expectations!

I will give a full run down of tonights live event in a blog post featured on Wednesday - so stay tuned!

Nick



Sunday, 7 January 2018

Letter to the England Football Association re FIFA 2018

Hey everyone,

I'm really excited for the FIFA 2018 in Russia. Check out this email I sent to the England Football Association and let me know what you think.

Dear Sir or Madam,

First off, let me introduce myself. My name is Nicholas Wright. I currently live in Ottawa, Canada. But for 10 years when I was growing up, London, England was my home while my father was working as a diplomat for Canada in your capital city. During that time in Britain, I developed a passion for the “Beautiful Game” of football, and especially for the glorious England team. I have followed their ups [and downs] over the years, and still proudly wear England`s fair colours when I watch their matches on television at home or in one of our sports pubs in Ottawa. Not the same of course as being in England, but football is much loved in Canada and it is growing in popularity with each passing year. And as a diehard England fan, I remain hopeful that The Three Lions team can return to its rightful place at the top of international football. 

Against this background, I am writing about the upcoming FIFA World Cup tournament in Russia this summer. This will be an important time for England to start to reclaim its international leadership. I am following closely the careful selection process for the England team. I am a great fan of the fine coach, Gareth Southgate, and wish him well in this important endeavour. And I would be grateful if my views on the player selection could be made available to the coach and his able staff. Personally I think Mr. Southgate has done a nice job thus far in selecting players for the 23 man squad. Many of Mr Southgate`s choices I agree with. But [apologies] there may be a few with which I take exception. As an avid football fan, I have gone through Mr. Southgate’s picks so far, and respectfully offer the following thoughts. 

 On the plane
My choices:  Harry Kane, Raheem stirling, Eric dier, phil Jones, Marcus rash ford, John stones, Ryan Bertrand

Other choices: Dele Alli, Jordan Henderson, Kyle walker, Jamie Vardy, Joe hart, jack butland.

In contention: 
My choices: Gary Cahill, Adam lallana, Danny rose, fraser Forster, Mic hael Keane, Jake Livermore, Jesse lingard, jermaine Defoe, Harry Maguire,  Danny wellbeck, Kieran tripper.

Other choices: Jordan Pickford, Daniel sturridge, Fabian Delph, 

At risk: 
My choices:  Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 

Other choices: Chris smalling, theo Walcott, Nathaniel clyne, 


Outside bets:
My choices: Harry winks, Nathaniel chaloba, Aaron cresswell,  Phil jagielka, 

Other choices: Ross Barkley, Danny drinkwater, jack wilshere, Tom Heaton , michail Antonio

Missing out:
My choices: Ben Gibson, android Townsend 

Other choices: Luke shaw 

Thank you for your consideration. I remain confident that Mr. Southgate’s finalized squad will be a terrific one. We all have wonderful memories of past England glories, but it has been far too many years since the England team has been able to shoulder proudly a championship cup. One of my saddest football memories was England`s devastating loss to Germany in 1996 and I want to be able banish that memory as a result of a winning performance in Russia this summer. For your information, I plan to be writing regular posts on my sports blog — The Sports Ambassador (thehockeyambassador.blogspot.ca) — in the run-up to the FIFA World Cup Championships. And rest assured that I will be rooting for England and for Mr Southgate`s squad. Any information that you can provide me to help me with my blog would be appreciated. I have provided my full mailing address below.  

Go England Go!

Your faithfully, 

Nicholas Wright
The Sports Ambassador

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Hogan vs Russo and the Death of WCW

Near the end of the Monday Night Wars between WCW and WWE, Vince Russo left the WWE and was brought in as the head of Creative for WCW in the hopes of boosting the ratings and turning the struggling company around. Russo did not like all of the politics going on in the dressing room between the wrestlers backstage and was determined to do something about it.

Russo wanted to create new stars and in doing so remove the old guard which was led bythe legendary Hulk Hogan.

The conflict played out on screen on July 9, 2000 at Bash at the Beach. The main event was set for Hogan to face Jeff Jarrett for the WCW championship. Jarrett was favored by Russo and was getting the push to win the WCW championship. Hogan did not like the way the match was scripted and decided to play his creative card clause that was in his contract. When the match began, Jarrett did as Russo ordered and lay down on his back in the middle of the ring. Hogan pleaded for him to get up, but to no avail. Hogan pinned Jarett using his foot and then cut a real promo stating "thats why the company is in the damn shape it's in because of bullshit like this". Hogan left with the belt and moments later Russo came out and addressed the audience. He cut a promo on Hogan, trash talking him to the audience, and promising that Hogan would never be seen again in the WCW, which he never was.


Hogan filed a defamation of character law suit that was eventually thrown out.

This was the breaking point of WCW. Poor management and wrestlers with too much control eventually led to WCW closing its doors for good in March of 2001.

Saturday, 30 July 2016

WWE NEW ERA

Recently the WWE entered a "new era" they have spit the roster in two and made Smackdown a live 2 hour show on Tuesday nights. The brand split happened in the WWE once before 2002-2005 with exiting programing coming from the brad split. Raw and Smackdown will have there own story lines and talent rosters. I am hoping that this will make the WWE great again, as lately I have been disappointed with production and the story lines that they have had in the past few years.

the WWE held a draft on July 19th 2016 (the first ever Smackdown live show) this epsisode was the best I had seen in a long time. the Rosters for RAW and Smackdown were selected live. when all the picks had been made it seamed to me the Rosters were split right down the middle with no clear winner! Here are some of the best picks in my opinion.

Raw- Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, Charlotte, Fin Balor, Brock Lesnar, The New Day, Sasha Banks, Nia Jax, Darren Young

SmackDown- Dean Ambrose, Randy Orton, John Cena, AJ Styles, Bray Wyatt, The Miz, American Alpha, Eva Marie, The Vaudevillains

The next week Monday night Raw was the first show of the "new era" I was very impressed by the show the wrestling was at its best and the mic work kept things flowing smoothly thought the show.

The following night smackdown live had its turn with there new roster. Shane Mcmahon had a big announcement that Backlash would be returning as a Smackdown pay per view in September! to my surprise Smackdown live was just as good if not better than Raw the night before.

I am hoping that Raw and Smackdown can continue with the great programming. I for one am one happy WWE fan at the moment. this is bet best WWE programming I have been since 2003!

Welcome Back Ron!



Thank goodness that Rogers and Hockey Night In Canada are finally thinking with their heads. Getting rid of George Strombolopoulous and Glenn Healey was the best thing they've done in a while. I can't wait to have Ron MacLean (together with the one and only Don Cherry) as host of Canada`s favourite sports television show. As hard as Strombo tried, and he did give it his best, it was apparent to everyone that his knowledge and appreciation of hockey was limited. And under his watch, the show was way too gimicky. He was picked by Rogers because he was younger than Ron and Rogers was trying to appeal to a more hip generation. Guess what? It didn`t work. Moreover Strombo`s too tight suits always looked ridiculous. So Rogers wisely is going back to the tried and true Ron MacLean -- a very safe pair of hands who loves the game. His knowledge of hockey history and tactics is unsurpassed in our country. And let`s face it -- the ratings with Strombo and co were way way down. So Rogers is taking this step as a means to better protect their investment and to reach out to more Canadians. I for one am thrilled. Thank you Rogers for giving us back our game the way it should be presented.