Saturday, November 18, 2017

Buckeyes Preview 11/18/17: Illinois Fighting Illini @ Ohio State

By Jason Disantis, @JasonInCLE

After getting blown out by an Iowa team that was an 18-point underdog the hopes and dreams of a National Championship seemed all but lost for the Buckeyes. It was Ohio State’s second loss of the year and put them firmly behind a host of undefeated and one-loss teams. Despite the playoff hopes of the Buckeyes turning grim they were still in control of their Big Ten destiny. If they won out they would be playing for a Big Ten championship.

For many fans last week’s game against No.12 Michigan State was more than just a game. It was a picture into the minds of these Buckeye’s.

One of the biggest criticisms of former Buckeye coach John Cooper was that he sold Ohio State as a path to the NFL. As a result, his players didn’t always love or care about winning for Ohio State. Their focus was on making it pro. I have heard former players say that was the reason they lost to Michigan every year, despite being more talented.

With National Championship hopes almost gone, a question loomed of whether or not this Buckeye team would show up against Michigan State.

How much did they care about a Big Ten championship? How much would players from Florida or Texas care about winning for Ohio State? Remember, head coach Urban Meyer has expanded his recruiting for Ohio State farther beyond the walls of Ohio than any coach before him. And while he has been rewarded with possibly the most talented team in the nation for his efforts, the question of love for school remained.

Last week that question was answered with an emphatic statement not just to the Big Ten, but to the rest of the nation with a 48-3 dismantling of Michigan State.

From the opening drive the Buckeyes dominated the Spartans. It was easily Ohio State’s best and most balanced game this year and continued their path to a Big Ten championship.

“Credit to the leadership and the young guys following our lead,” said junior defensive end Sam Hubbard. “We had a meeting early in the week talking about the Big Ten standings and what we needed to do from here on out. It was mentioned that if we won this game we would swap as head in the Big Ten East and that was our focus.”

The other question many Buckeye’s fans had was answered Tuesday night: Will the two-loss Buckeyes have a shot to get back in the playoff hunt?

Ohio State sat at No.13 before last Saturday but with a big win and Georgia and Notre Dame both losing on Tuesday night the rankings committee moved them all the way up to No.9. It was a jump that, depending on who you talk to, gave the Buckeyes a shot to get back in the playoffs.

1. Alabama
2. Clemson
3. Miami
4. Oklahoma
5. Wisconsin
6. Auburn
7. Georgia
8. Notre Dame
9. Ohio State

Without breaking down everyone’s schedule I’ll give the cliff-notes version of how Ohio State can get back to the playoff.
Obviously Ohio State needs to win out which would put them above Notre Dame and Wisconsin (moves them to #7). If Alabama wins out it means Auburn would get a third loss and Georgia would again lose (moves them to #5). Clemson and Miami will most likely play in the ACC championship game and the committee would have to drop the loser of that game just one spot to keep them in the top 4 and keep Ohio State out. Unless Clemson and Miami play a triple overtime greatest college game in history it would be tough to keep Ohio State out at that point.

So to put it simply, if Ohio State and Alabama win-out there is a real good chance the Buckeyes will find themselves in the playoff.

But all of this talk about playoffs and Big Ten championships means nothing if the Buckeyes can’t take care of business against the 2-8 (0-7 Big Ten) Fighting Illini of Illinois. And head coach Urban Meyer knows it.

“There will be zero conversation around here [about the playoff], especially when you guys talk to the players there will be zero conversation about what happened before and what’s going to happen in the future,” Meyer said. “Zero.”

After starting the year 2-0 second year head coach Lovie Smith and the Illini have dropped 8 straight. At this point in the year the only motivation the Illini have is playing spoiler and Smith is pushing that mindset.

“I think the guys are looking for a great opportunity,” Smith said. “Where we are in our season, two games left to go… you’re last road game is playing against a team like this?”

As the Buckeyes prepare for their last home game of the season the focus is on Illinois. Not Big Ten Championships. Not National Championships. All of that stuff will take care of itself as long as Ohio State takes care of business.

What: Ohio State Buckeyes vs Illinois Fighting Illini
When: Saturday November 18, 2017 at 3:30 PM ET
Where: Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
Watch: ABC
Spread: OSU -41
Over/Under: 54
Money Line: OSU -16964, IL +27500

Friday, November 17, 2017

Podcast Special 11/17/17: WWE Survivor Series & NXT Takeover: War Games Preview

By Raven Williams, @nevaRWilliams

You can now download the latest episodes of "'s Podcast"!

Subscribe to us, on New Cleveland Radio iTunes here!

WWE Survivor Series Preview

DOWNLOAD: Survivor Series 2017 & NXT Takeover War Games Preview

SoundCloud Stream Here

WWE Survivor Series Preview

By Brandon Albright, @B_Rock1978

What's up Triple Threat CLE fans, I'm back with your WWE Survivor Series preview for this Sunday night's pay per view, live at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. This year's WWE Survivor Series will be the annual RAW vs. Smackdown Live event with both shows competing against each other in matches. WWE Survivor Series will be live on the WWE Network. If you can't see the show be sure to check back with Triple Threat CLE this Monday afternoon, as I will have the full recap of the show.

- WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar vs. WWE World Heavyweight Champion AJ Styles: WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar has been dominate since winning the title at Wrestlemania 33 against Goldberg. Lesnar has defended the title against guys like Roman Reigns, Samoa Joe and Braun Strowman and come out on top. Over on Smackdown Live, WWE World Heavyweight Champion AJ Styles dethroned the former champion Jinder Mahal two weeks before WWE Survivor Series to grab the match against Brock Lesnar. This match is being hyped as a Rocky movie come to life with the bigger champion Brock Lesnar battling the underdog champion AJ Styles. Which superstar will leave as the better world champion??

- WWE Intercontinental Champion The Miz vs. WWE United States Champion Baron Corbin: The Miz has been running Monday night's over on RAW as the WWE Intercontinental Champion for the past few months. Over on Smackdown Live, Baron Corbin defeated AJ Styles to win the WWE United States Championship to earn this spot. Miz and Corbin have been taking verbal shots at each other on social media with The Miz calling Corbin a joke of a champion and Corbin making comments about Miz's wife Maryse and their unborn child. Which superstar will leave WWE Survivor Series as the better mid card champion??

- WWE RAW World Tag Team Champions Sheamus and Cesaro vs. WWE Smackdown Live World Tag Team Champions The Usos: The Usos have been running Smackdown Live as the tag team champions, fending off The New Day in title matches. Over on RAW, two weeks before WWE Survivor Series, Sheamus and Cesaro defeated Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins to become the new WWE RAW World Tag Team Champions, after The New Day caused a distraction and faked another RAW takeover. Which tag team will leave WWE Survivor Series as the better tag team champions??

- WWE RAW Women's Champion Alexa Bliss vs. WWE Smackdown Live Women's Champion Charlotte: Alexa Bliss has been running things over on RAW the past few months as the WWE RAW Women's Champion, recently just defeating Mickie James in a feud. Over on Smackdown Live, just five days before the WWE Survivor Series, Charlotte defeated Nattie Neidhart to win the WWE Smackdown Live Women's Championship. The self proclaimed Queen of RAW Alexa Bliss now must face a woman that earned the Queen nickname long before her, Charlotte. Which female superstar will leave WWE Survivor Series the better women's champion??

- "WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match": Enzo Amore (c) vs. Kalisto: Enzo Amore and Kalisto have been in a heated feud for the past month as both men traded the WWE Cruiserweight Championship back and forth. Can Kalisto pull off the victory and regain the championship from Enzo? Will Enzo continue to reign as the master of talking smack and backing it up and retain his championship??

- The Shield vs. The New Day: The New Day arrived on Monday Night RAW two weeks ago and distracted Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins during their WWE RAW World Tag Team Championship Match against Sheamus and Cesaro. The distraction cost Ambrose and Rollins their titles during the chaos. Roman Reigns returned to action one week before WWE Survivor Series and along with Ambrose and Rollins challenged The New Day to a match. The New Day accepted the challenge from The Shield on social media to make this match official.

- "Men's 5-On-5 Elimination Match": Team RAW (Kurt Angle, Braun Strowman, Finn Balor, Samoa Joe and Triple H) vs. Team Smackdown Live: (Shane McMahon, Randy Orton, Bobby Roode, Shinsuke Nakamura and John Cena): Kurt Angle was chosen as the leader of Team RAW by Stephanie McMahon and ordered to win or else lose his job. Angle chose Strowman, Balor, Joe and Jason Jordan as his original four. Jordan suffered a leg injury and after Angle was insulted by Stephanie for choosing Jordan, Triple H returned. Triple H kicked Jordan off the team with a Pedigree and took over Jordan's spot. Over on Smackdown Live, Shane McMahon has been hell bent on making Smackdown Live the A Show over RAW. Shane took the team leader spot, as Orton, Roode and Nakamura won Qualifying matches to get their spots. With the fifth spot still open, Shane grabbed the WWE franchise John Cena for the last spot. 

- "Women's 5-On-5 Elimination Match": Team RAW (Alicia Fox, Nia Jax, Bayley, Sasha Banks and Asuka) vs. Team Smackdown Live (Becky Lynch, Naomi, Tamina, Carmella and ????): Smackdown Live's team of five were picked right from the start by Shane McMahon as his top five women on the Smackdown Live roster right now to represent them. Over on RAW, Alicia Fox won the team captain spot and then chose Nia Jax, Sasha Banks and Asuka as her first three. Bayley would go on to defeat Mickie James and Dana Brooke in a Triple Threat Match to earn the fifth and final spot on the team. One week before the pay per view, Charlotte defeated Nattie Neidhart to win the WWE Smackdown Live Women's Championship which took Charlotte off of Team Smackdown Live. It was announced that the fifth member of the team will be announced at the pay per view.

Spread Offense 11/17/17: College Football Playoff Breakdown

By Pat Luhta, @PLuhta

So I'm here to switch up things a bit in my weekly college football article. Due to lack of marquee games this week, I'll be breaking down the college football playoff picture instead of doing a week 12 preview. But before I get to that, here's MY current top 10 ballot.


10. USC (last week: NR)
9. Notre Dame (last week: 4)
8. Ohio State (last week: NR)
7. Wisconsin (last week: 9)
6. Georgia (last week: 2)
5. Auburn (last week: 8)
4. Oklahoma (last week: 5)
3. Clemson (last week: 3)
2. Miami (last week: 6)
1. Alabama (last week: 1)


There is currently only one team that has locked in a playoff spot, the Alabama Crimson Tide(barring a crazy upset by Mercer this weekend.) Alabama plays Auburn to end their regular season, if they win then they go on to the SEC championship game to face Georgia. If they lose, then Auburn goes to the SEC championship game. So there’s 3 scenarios for the Crimson Tide, they either win out, beat Auburn and lose to Georgia in SEC title game, or lose to Auburn and not qualify for the SEC title game. All 3 situations give Alabama a max of 1 loss, and they aren’t dropping them from #1 to out of playoffs over a loss to either Auburn or Georgia.
So Alabama is in, so where does that leave us as far as the other 3 playoff spots are concerned?

There are a total of 6 teams that currently control their own destiny, meaning if they win out then they are in. Miami, Clemson, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Auburn and Georgia are the 6 teams vying for 3 remaining playoff spots, if they win out then they punch their ticket but if they lose than they are all but out of it, and a few teams may end up playing each other in what could amount to elimination games. Miami vs Clemson is set for the ACC title game, and there’s a possibility that Auburn vs. Georgia could meet in the SEC title game, so championship weekend could shape up to be a playoff weekend in itself.

Miami is the team that potentially has a “get out of losing a game” free card, but only if they lose to Clemson in the ACC title game. Losing to Virginia or Pitt could take destiny out of their hands, losing to either of those teams then following it up with a loss to Clemson and they are eliminated. The committee was skeptical of the Hurricanes up until the past 2 weeks, and after handily beating Virginia Tech and Notre Dame they have won their respect so Miami losing a game would not be as damaging as the other teams that control their destiny.

Clemson on the other hand, has to win out or else they are at the mercy of how other teams’ fare . They face the Citadel(haha ok then), at South Carolina in the Palmetto State rivalry and then Miami in the ACC title game, and while Tigers fans probably don’t want to hear this, Clemson’s only shot at losing a game and still making the playoffs is a loss to South Carolina. If they lose to the Citadel then they fall too far to make up the ground and if they lose to Miami in the ACC title game then the committee won’t be selecting a 2 loss team that didn’t win their conference. So Clemson needs to win out to ensure their spot, but if they lose to South Carolina then beat Miami to become ACC champs, then they still have a shot.

Georgia is somewhat in the same boat as Clemson is, but they need to tread very carefully these next two games. After their 40-17 loss to Auburn, the committee dropped them from #1 all the way to #7, so needless to say there’s now some skepticism. Another loss likely takes them out of the playoff race, but winning the SEC title might be enough to salvage their chances and get a playoff spot. The SEC championship is a must though, if Georgia beats both Kentucky and Georgia Tech but then loses to either Alabama or Auburn in the SEC title game, then they are out.

The other 3, Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Auburn, are all in a win out or be out situation.
Auburn has a shot to be the first ever 2 loss team to make the playoff. If they beat Alabama then go to the SEC championship game and beat Georgia(again) then there's no way that the committee can leave them out despite the 2 losses on their schedule. But at the same time, one loss the rest of the way and they are done so they would need to run the table and beat UL-Monroe, Alabama and then Georgia in order to get in.

Oklahoma has to run the table, because the committee has tipped their hands at how they feel about the Big 12. Aside from Oklahoma, only TCU and Oklahoma State remain in the top 25 so the Big 12 is not well represented at all, which puts Oklahoma in a must win situation despite only having 1 loss currently. Fortunately, Oklahoma has 2 very winnable games left in regular season with Kansas and West Virginia on their schedule and will likely be facing either TCU or Oklahoma State in the Big 12 championship game, 2 teams that they've already beaten. The opportunity is right there for them to take advantage of, but they have to take care of business or no playoffs for them.

As for Wisconsin, they are currently undefeated but sitting outside the top 4 playoff rankings. Their lack of schedule strength is what is holding them back, a 7-3 Northwestern team is their best win on the season. If they lose just 1 game then do not expect the committee to show mercy on them, they'll be dropped far enough that they won't be able to climb back up in time. Only possible chance for them to sustain a loss and make the playoffs would be for them to lose to Michigan but then beat Minnesota and win the Big Ten championship against Ohio State or Penn State, but even then it's a long shot.

This is the situation with Wisconsin and why I haven't given them much credit and still have them at #7 in my top 10 ballot, it's not so much their lack of schedule strength as it is their lack of impressive wins. I don't fault Wisconsin for their schedule for the most part, they can only control their non-conference schedule so the fact that the Big Ten schedule rotation got them to avoid Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan State while getting Michigan at home along with the B1G West being down right now is not on Wisconsin. The problem that I have with Wisconsin is that when they play these bad teams, they aren't really showing that dominance the other teams show when they play bad teams. 33-24 to Northwestern, 38-17 to Nebraska, 17-9 to Purdue, 38-13 to Maryland and 24-10 to Illinois doesn't jump out as a team that can take on an Alabama or Clemson and put up a fight for the national title. Their opportunity to show it is coming though, if they can run the table and end up 13-0 in a power 5 conference then there's no chance of them being left out.

Then there are a few teams that are still alive in the playoff hunt, but need to win out plus get some help in order to make the final 4. Ohio State, Notre Dame, Penn State and USC are all still in the running, but destiny is out of their hands.

Notre Dame might end up being the biggest long shot of the 4 to make the playoffs simply because they do not have a conference championship game. They play Navy this week and Stanford in the regular season finale, then they have to sit back and wait while all other playoff contending teams play the following weekend. The Fighting Irish need to hope that it goes chalk with Alabama, Miami and Oklahoma winning out, Wisconsin to lose a game and not win the Big Ten, and the B1G East winner to lose a regular season game but beat Wisconsin. That’s basically what Notre Dame is up against, so that loss to Miami last Saturday could very well have been a playoff eliminator.

Remember when I said that Notre Dame might be the biggest long shot? Well Penn State just said “hold my beer” on that statement. The Nittany Lions need to win out, but due to the Big Ten tiebreakers, they also need Ohio State to lose both of their games and Michigan State to lose at least 1 of their remaining 2 games. The Problem? Ohio State is hosting Illinois, who is currently a 41 point underdog to the Buckeyes, and Michigan State hosts Maryland and then goes to Rutgers. In that scenario, then Penn State would have 2 conference losses while OSU and MSU would end up with 3, and if then they would either have the tiebreaker with Michigan if the Wolverines beat both Wisconsin and OSU or if Michigan loses to Wisconsin then they would sit alone top the B1G East division. Even after all of that, they would need some chips to fall their way with teams that control their destiny losing. It all starts this weekend though, Penn State needs to be rooting for Illinois big time, because if the 41 point underdog can somehow pull this game off then doors begin to open, but if they lose to Ohio State then that door is slammed shut.

USC is already in their conference championship game, so all they can do is win out by beating UCLA then whoever they face in the Pac-12 title game. The best case scenario is for them to face Washington State, who is currently in a 3 way tie in the North division, so they can avenge one of their 2 losses on the season and make a case to the committee that to not look at the 3 point loss on the road but rather a neutral site win is more indicative of USC. From there they’ll just have to wait it out, hope for some upsets and see how it plays out. They’ll really want Ohio State and Auburn to lose, those 2 schools are ranked the highest of all 2 loss teams so USC will need them to lose in order to jump them in the rankings(Penn State is also ranked higher but a conference championship for USC will leapfrog them over PSU). Right now, all USC can do is win out and use their Pac-12 title as a bargaining chip incase some chaos were to happen.

As for the Ohio State Buckeyes, well let's just say that Ohio State fans are going to be required to do some things that will make them feel a little disgusted about. This is going to be tough for me to write since I am a Buckeyes fan goes...Ohio State needs to be HUGE Alabama Crimson Tide fans the rest of the way. I know, I know, "yuck!" comes to mind here but OSU cannot afford to have 2 teams from the SEC make it so they need Alabama to first knock out Auburn in week 13 then knock out Georgia in the SEC title game. Aside from wanting Alabama to win out, and fortunately this isn't a guaranteed necessity, OSU may also want to pull for Michigan this Saturday against Wisconsin. I'm almost positive that 1 loss eliminates Wisconsin(meaning OSU beating an undefeated Wisconsin team in B1G title game knocks them out), but Wisconsin losing once before the title game and OSU handing them their 2nd loss will remove all doubt. Miami losing once before the ACC title game means that automatically either the Hurricanes or Clemson will suffer the 2nd loss, but if they are still undefeated heading into the ACC title game then they need to beat Clemson. If that happens then Alabama, Miami(or Clemson/Miami winner if Miami loses before ACC title game), Oklahoma and Ohio State are the 4 teams, that's what the Buckeyes need to get in. So Ohio State needs to run the table and win the Big Ten, and root for Alabama(big time), Michigan(possibly) and either Clemson or Miami to be a 2 loss non conference champ along the way.

So there you have it, a complete breakdown of what teams need in order to make the playoffs. The playoff picture is becoming clear, but knowing college football means knowing to expect chaos these next few weeks.

Browns Preview 11/17/17: Jacksonville Jaguars @ Cleveland Browns

By Katelin Marshall, @KatelinKnowsCLE

The still winless Cleveland Browns host the (6-3) Jacksonville Jaguars. The weather is going to be cold this weekend and the running game is going to be extremely important for both teams. The Browns lost pro-bowl linebacker Jamie Collins for the season last week.

Browns Offense vs Jags Defense

The Browns need to have success running the ball this week and they can't give up on it. The Jags defense is the best when it comes to defending the pass but against the run they are ranked 25th. The running game for the Browns actually had some success last week. Isaiah Crowell ran for 90 yards and a touchdown and both DeShone Kizer and Duke Johnson ran for just over 50 yards. This is how the Browns are going to have to play offensively going forward. They need Crowell and Johnson to average around 120 yards between them and then also take what the defense gives them when it comes to Kizer.

The passing game is getting some help with the return of Corey Coleman. Coleman will be active for the first time since breaking his hand against the Ravens. Kenny Britt finally decided to show up last week even if it was just for two catches and a touchdown. The issue with passing game is guys like Duke Johnson and Seth DeValve are first and third on the team in catches. Second is Ricardo Lewis who has 25 catches but let's be 100...He's barely a NFL receiver.

Browns Defense vs Jags Offense

The Jags offense could be without a number of playmakers this week. Rookie Leonard Fournette has missed some games due to injury and has been limited in practice this week. Also for the Jags, both starting receivers Allen Hurns and Marqise Lee have been absent from practice due to injuries. Even if one of the receivers can't go expect for Fournette or Chris Ivory to get plenty of snaps. Sunday won't be kind to the quarterbacks. And with Kizer and Blake Bortles under-center each team should just play it safe.

For the Browns defensively, expect James Burgess to get the bulk of the snaps with Collins out. Also Jabrill Peppers' role on defense could expand a bit more with the Collins injury. It will be interesting to see if Gregg Williams puts Peppers in at linebacker like the Cardinals do with Deone Bucannon.

Five Guys to Watch

1. DeShone Kizer: I'm curious to see if Hue Jackson continues to put Kizer in favorable positions. He's done so the last two games and it's worked out for the most part. Now if only someone playing receiver can go out and actually make a big play consistently.

 2. Emmanual Ogbah: Ogbah is actually one of the best run stoppers in the game and he is one of the big reasons the Browns rank 4th in rush defense. With terrible weather Ogbah need to be on the field as much as possible in order to limit Fournette or Ivory.

3. Joe Schobert: If I would have told you that Schobert would be leading the Browns in tackles this season last year no one would have believed me...but its true. Schobert cutting weight and moving to middle linebacker has given him a NFL career. Again with a run heavy game plan Schobert will have his name called multiple times.

4. Corey Coleman: I am so glad Coleman is back. Yes, he probably won't get 12+ targets this week but with Coleman back the Browns have a reliable receiver going forward. And I'm sure Kizer can't wait to use his favorite toy again.

5. Jabrill Peppers: Peppers is on the list because of what I said above. He is really good near the line of scrimmage and its something to keep an eye out for if Gregg Williams starts using him as the linebacker hybrid he really is.

Injury Report:

Weather Report:

Betting Line (as of 11/16/17): Jacksonville -7.5

Predictions: Jacksonville 17 Browns...20!

I have a weird feeling about this game. With the terrible weather and all the shit talking the Jags have said this week, it seems like the perfect game for the Browns to win. IF they can take care of the football and not have any stupid mistakes in the redzone...The Browns have a really good chance of upsetting the Jaguars.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Wrestling Lockup With Brandon 11/16/17: NXT Recap

By Brandon Albright, @B_Rock1978

NXT returned this week for more NXT action at Full Sail University in Orlando, Florida. This week, we were just three short days away from NXT WarGames live on the WWE Network this Saturday night.

** NXT TV Card **

- The Street Profits battled Tino Sabbatelli and Riddick Moss.
- Lars Sullivan battled Raul Mendoza.
- Ember Moon vs. Mercedes Martinez.

- NXT World Champion Drew McIntyre has a face to face with #1 Contender Andrade "Cien" Almas.

** NXT **

- Making A Profit: In the opening match of NXT, The Street Profits battled Tino Sabbatelli and Riddick Moss. Sabbatelli/Riddick and The Profits agreed to this match after The Profits had been mocking Sabbatelli and Moss on how they throw their money around on expensive stuff. The Profits defeat Sabbatelli and Moss after hitting spinning clotheslines on both men and then hitting their finisher.  

- Lars Sullivan Continues To Dominate: The undefeated Lars Sullivan stepped into the ring for the second match of the night against Raul Mendoza. Sullivan destroys Mendoza with corner splashes and a power slam. Sullivan hits the Freak Accident on Mendoza and gets the win. Sullivan continued the onslaught after the match until Kassius Ohno hits the ring and makes the save. 

- Mercedes Gets Eclipsed And A Stare Down Follows: The third match of the night saw Ember Moon battle Mercedes Martinez in a one on one match. Ember hits the Eclipse Stunner on Mercedes and gets the victory. After the match, Nikki Cross arrives from the crowd and stares down Ember. Peyton Royce arrives next and stares down Ember from the ramp. Kairi Sane arrives next and stares down Ember from the stage while pointing her elbow at her.

- McIntyre And Almas Face To Face: Drew McIntyre congratulates Andrade "Cien" Almas for the way that he got his title shot at NXT WarGames. McIntyre wonders if Almas can handle the pressure and wants Almas to come out and face him like a man, just as long as Zelina Vega let's him off his leash. Zelina arrives first, then Almas follows and then storms to the ring. Almas and McIntyre swing at each other with McIntyre gaining control. Zelina leaps at McIntyre, but gets caught in mid air and set aside. Almas sucker punches McIntyre and then lays him out with the Hammerlock DDT. Almas and Zelina pose with the NXT World Championship before tossing it on McIntyre's body to end the show.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Wrestling Lockup With Brandon 11/15/17: Smackdown Live Charlotte Recap

By Brandon Albright, @B_Rock1978

Smackdown Live was live in my current hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina this week. We are just five short days away from WWE Survivor Series, with the Blue Brand delivering their go home show to the big event. Last week, we saw the Phenomenal One, AJ Styles defeat Jinder Mahal to become the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion and move on to face Brock Lesnar at WWE Survivor Series. This week, we could see more new champions crowned and matches changed for the event as WWE United States Champion Baron Corbin battled Sin Cara and WWE Smackdown Live Women's Champion Nattie Neidhart battled Charlotte with both their titles on the line. 

** Smackdown Live Card **

- WWE United States Champion Baron Corbin defended his title against Sin Cara.
- WWE Smackdown Live Women's Champion Nattie Neidhart defended her title against Charlotte.
- WWE Smackdown Live World Tag Team Champion Jimmy Uso battled Chad Gable.
- The New Day battled Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn.

** Smackdown Live **

- Shane McMahon Hypes The Troops: Smackdown Live kicked off with Shane McMahon getting the roster all on the same page for WWE Survivor Series. Shane wants Smackdown Live to no longer be known as the B Show. Becky Lynch promises the only thing getting broken on Sunday is Asuka's arm. Baron Corbin says that The Miz has been running on borrowed time and Sunday will be his end of days. Shane states that he's created the best team ever and Triple H joining Team RAW will not be a threat. The New Day chime in and let it be known that they aren't scared of The Shield's threats either. 

- Daniel Bryan Returns: Smackdown Live GM Daniel Bryan returned after being taken out by Kane two weeks ago on Monday Night RAW. Bryan takes the blame for going to RAW, but just like Smackdown  Live he doesn't stay down. Bryan says that RAW is scared that's why they added Triple H to their team and Bryan is expecting RAW to attack tonight, being five days away from WWE Survivor Series. Bryan introduces the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion AJ Styles and offers to be Styles' advocate for tonight. Bryan mocks Heyman and Lesnar and states that Lesnar isn't able to go in the ring as long as Styles can go and Lesnar's body will eventually quit. Styles takes over stating that he's not a puppet like Lesnar and can speak for himself. Styles says that he knows he's the underdog, but he loves those odds. Styles says this isn't a Rocky movie it's an AJ Styles Production where Styles wins and Smackdown Live becomes the A Show.
- The End Of Days For Kalisto: After weeks of defeating Baron Corbin in non title matches, Sin Cara finally got a shot at the WWE United States Championship tonight. Corbin finally gets his revenge on Sin Cara in this match as he's able to fend off the luchador. Corbin catches Sin Cara and plants him with End of Days to score the pinfall and retain the title. 

- The Queen Of The Kingdom Again: Charlotte returned to her hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina and battled Nattie Neidhart with the WWE Smackdown Live Women's Championship on the line. Charlotte fought off the Sharpshooter and gets the submission victory over Nattie with the Figure Eight to win the championship. Charlotte dedicates her victory to her father, Ric Flair, who surprises Charlotte and they both share a tearful celebration. 

- The Uso Penitentiary: The third match of the night saw Jimmy Uso battle Chad Gable in one on one action. Jey Uso gets involved and distracts Gable from outside the ring. Shelton Benjamin arrives to make the save, but gets kicked by Jey. Jimmy lands an Uso Kick on Gable and gets the win while Gable was distracted.

- RAW Takes Over The Show!: The main event of the show saw The New Day battle Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. That was until The Shield's music hits and they made their way to the ring. Owens and Zayn walk out and leave The New Day to take the attack from The Shield. The Usos try to help, but get jumped by Sheamus and Cesaro in the ring. Backstage, the RAW women's team attacks and lays out the Smackdown Live women's team and then Alexa Bliss lays out Charlotte. Samoa Joe, Finn Balor, Apollo Crews and Titus O'Neil hit the ring next and join RAW in the beat down.
Shane McMahon, Baron Corbin, Dolph Ziggler, Shinsuke Nakamura and The Hype Bros hit the ring to help Smackdown Live. Kurt Angle arrives and brings Braun Strowman with him, who stalks to the ring and lays out any Smackdown Live superstar in his path. RAW lays out Smackdown Live all along ringside as Shane is left surrounded by The Shield in the ring. Kurt Angle enters the ring as The Shield hold Shane. Angle tells Shane to wait till Sunday because it'll be worse then. Angle gives the signal to The Shield and they plant Shane with the Triple Power Bomb. Angle picks Shane up and plants him with an Angle Slam. The Shield pick Shane up and plant him with another Triple Power Bomb. Angle talks some trash to Shane as he's left broken in the ring before walking out with the rest of Team RAW to end the show. 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Podcast 11/14/17: College Football Shake Up, Browns & NFL Week 10, LeBron Vs. NY & More

By Raven Williams, @nevaRWilliams

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DOWNLOAD: College Football Shake Up, Browns/NFL Week 10, LeBron Vs. NY & More (11/14/17)

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DOWNLOAD: On Josh Gordon, Wentz & Goff, College Football, NBA's Top 5 Under 25 & More (11/7/17)
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DOWNLOAD: On NFL Trades, Did The Browns Misfire, JT Barrett, Horror Movies & More (10/31/17)
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DOWNLOAD: On Browns Blame Game, Vocal NFL Players, NBA's First Week & More (10/24/17)
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DOWNLOAD: On Cavs & NBA Opening Night, MLB Playoffs, College Upsets & NFL Week 6 (10/18/17)
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DOWNLOAD: On MLB Postseason, Browns Troubles, NFL Week 5 & Media Accountability (10/10/17)
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DOWNLOAD: On NFL Week 4, MLB Postseason, College Football, NBA All-Star & More (10/3/17)
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DOWNLOAD: On the Browns & NFL Week 3, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade & More (9/26/17)
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DOWNLOAD: On Kyrie & Kevin Durant, NBA's Top 25 & Browns/NFL Week 2 (9/19/17)
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DOWNLOAD: On Browns & NFL Week 1, Ohio State's Loss, Indians Streak, Kobe & NBA Rankings (9/12/17)
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DOWNLOAD: On the Browns & NFL Week 1, College Football and special guest Zac Jackson (9/6/17)
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DOWNLOAD: On Browns Moves, Cavs/Celtics & College Football Kickoff (8/30/17)
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DOWNLOAD: On LeBron James, Browns Preseason, QB Rankings & More (8/16/17)
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DOWNLOAD: Browns Preseason, Cavs Uniforms, All-Time Uniforms & TV Reboots (8/9/17)
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DOWNLOAD: On Kyrie Irving and Sports Hall of Fames (8/2/17)
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DOWNLOAD: On Kyrie Irving's Trade Request, LeBron's Power & The Cavs (7/2417)
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DOWNLOAD: On Kirk Cousins, LeBron James, Unappreciated Players & Fast Food Chicken (7/19/17)
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DOWNLOAD: On MLB All-Star, Young Stars & Bad NBA Contracts (7/12/17)
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DOWNLOAD: On NBA Free Agency, Chauncey Billups & Our 3-on-3 Teams (7/5/17)
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DOWNLOAD: On Chris Paul Trade, Phil Jackson, NBA Moves & Lavar Ball (6/28/17)
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2017 Episodes Of Triple Threat CLE Radio Show
2016 Episodes of Triple Threat CLE Radio Show

Wrestling Lockup With Brandon 11/14/17: RAW Atlanta Recap

By Brandon Albright, @B_Rock1978

It's the beginning of the week and time to kick things off in wrestling with Monday Night RAW! This week RAW was live in Atlanta, Georgia for the go home show to this Sunday night's WWE Survivor Series, live on the WWE Network. Last week, Smackdown Live's The New Day showed up, but were immediately blocked by RAW GM Kurt Angle and the RAW roster from doing any major damage. During all the chaos, however, there were new WWE RAW World Tag Team Champions crowned as Sheamus and Cesaro defeated Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins. Would we see anymore take over attempts from Smackdown Live before this Sundays pay per view?

** Monday Night RAW Card **

- Bayley, Mickie James and Dana Brooke battled it out in a Triple Threat Match.
- WWE Cruiserweight Champion Enzo Amore and Drew Gulak battled Akira Tozawa and Kalisto.
- Bray Wyatt battled Jason Jordan.
- The Shield battled WWE Intercontinental Champion The Miz and WWE RAW World Tag Team Champions Sheamus and Cesaro in a Six Man Tag Team Match.
- Samoa Joe and Finn Balor battled Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson.
- Braun Strowman battled Kane.

- Miz TV with The Miz and his special guests Sheamus and Cesaro.

- WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman comment on their new WWE Survivor Series opponent, WWE World Heavyweight Champion AJ Styles.

** RAW Highlights **

- Stephanie McMahon Questions Kurt Angle's Actions: Stephanie McMahon kicked off RAW in the ring, explains to the fans how it's her job to make sure the shareholders are happy, make the best decisions for WWE and one thing she needs to address is Kurt Angle. Kurt Angle is called out to the ring and is questioned by Stephanie about how The New Day got into the building last week and asks if Shane McMahon manipulated Angle again. Stephanie questions Angle's decision to make Jason Jordan the 5th member of Team RAW and allowed Team Smackdown Live to pick John Cena. Angle promises Stephanie that he's going to lead Team RAW to victory and break Shane's ankle. Stephanie says that isn't good enough because she wants Shane's head and Angle is way past his prime so she doesn't see that happening. Stephanie says Angle hasn't given her any acceptable excuse on why he should continue to lead RAW and it looks like she's about to make the decision to fire Angle when suddenly The Shield interrupt. The Shield stick up for Angle as being RAW's best choice for a leader, state that they're challenging The New Day to a match at WWE Survivor Series and if they have any balls then they will accept. 

- Then There Were Five: The first match of RAW saw Bayley, Mickie James and Dana Brooke battle it out in a Triple Threat Match to determine the fifth member of Team RAW for the ladies. Dana makes the mistake of going after Asuka, who was at ringside with the other three ladies from Team RAW. Asuka drills Dana with a spin kick, knocking Dana out cold on the floor. Bayley counters a Mickie DDT and hits the Bayley To Belly to get the victory and the final spot. 

- Cruiserweight Action, How You Doin'?: The second match of the night saw WWE Cruiserweight Champion Enzo Amore and Drew Gulak battle #1 Contender Kalisto and Akira Tozawa. Tozawa goes for the senton on Enzo, but Gulak pulls Enzo out of the way. Kalisto takes out Gulak, but collides with Tozawa, after Enzo shoves Tozawa into him. Enzo drills Tozawa with JawDoneZo and grabs the win for his team. 

- Miz TV with The Miz: Miz hypes his match for WWE Survivor Series and doesn't care if it's Baron Corbin or Sin Cara that he fights because he'll defeat them both. Miz brings out Sheamus and Cesaro as his guests this week for Miz TV. Sheamus and Cesaro state that they didn't care about Smackdown Live invading last week, all they cared about was winning back the WWE RAW World Tag Team Championship and that's what they did. Sheamus and Cesaro guarantee that they are jailbreaking The Uso Penitentiary at WWE Survivor Series and defeating The Usos. The Miz guarantees that Sheamus, Cesaro and The Miz will defeat The Shield tonight in their Six Man Tag Team Match.

- Jason Jordan Tries To Prove Himself: After talk of the RAW roster being upset that Jason Jordan was chosen as the fifth man on Team RAW, RAW GM Kurt Angle put Jordan in a match against Bray Wyatt to prove himself. Jordan looks on his to victory when Jordan's leg suddenly gives out on him. Bray hits a Uranage on Jordan and goes for Sister Abigail. Jordan counters and scores a rollup pinfall on Bray for the win. After the match, Bray attacks Jordan and slams Jordan's injured leg into the ringpost. Jordan can barely stand and is helped backstage by the official.

- The Beast Is Ready To Battle The Phenomenal One: Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar arrived to make a statement on Lesnar's match against AJ Styles at WWE Survivor Series. Heyman hypes the Lesnar vs. Styles match by giving us the top five reasons why the fans should get WWE Network just for this match alone. Reason number one, this is the only way to see the match, number two, everyone wants to see this match, number three, Styles is the perfect opponent for Lesnar right now and Styles is on a roll, number four, Styles facing Lesnar is a prime example of the Rocky movie coming to life and reason number five, is the realization that this isn't a Rocky movie and Styles, the ultimate underdog, will suffer the F5 and become just another victim to the beast incarnate....BROCK LESNAR!

- The Shield Go Way Above The Bar: The Shield battled The Miz, Sheamus and Cesaro in a Six Man Tag Team Match. Chaos breaks out with Reigns and Cesaro countering the Superman Punch and The Neutralizer on each other. Miz blind tags in and almost steals a rollup on Reigns. Cesaro gets taken out by a flying Rollins knee. Sheamus gets taken out with Dirty Deeds by Ambrose. Miz is surrounded by The Shield and then run down with a Reigns spear. The Shield Triple Power Bomb Miz and take the win.

- Time To Play The Game: Kurt Angle is back in the ring to make a very important announcement. Due to Jason Jordan's leg injury, he's taking Jordan off Team RAW. Jason Jordan interrupts and pleads with Angle not to do this to him because he needs this match to prove himself. Angle looks to be having second thoughts and might go back on his decision when Stephanie McMahon interrupts. Stephanie is stunned that Angle is about to fall for this again and orders him to make the official announcement on who's replacing Jordan now. TIME TO PLAY THE GAME!! Triple H's music hits and out storms The Game to the ring. Triple H tells Angle that if he's not going to make the announcement than he is. At WWE Survivor Series, Jason Jordan is out and the fifth member of Team RAW is.....Triple H! Jordan continues to beg for his spot back and ends up taking a Pedigree from Triple H as he storms out of the ring.  

- The Demon And The Destroyer: Earlier in the evening, RAW GM Kurt Angle ordered Finn Balor and Samoa Joe to get on the same page for WWE Survivor Series and then put them in a tag match together to prove it against Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. Balor and Joe look great teamed up together and stay on the same page. Joe hits the Uranage on Anderson then suicide dives Gallows outside. Balor hits Coup de Grace on Anderson for the win. Joe storms off and doesn't celebrate with Balor, proving he can keep his hatred for Balor in check.

- The Monster Among Men Battles A Big Red Machine: Braun Strowman demanded a match with Kane in the main event tonight. After hesitating on the idea, RAW GM Kurt Angle finally agreed to the match. Kane and Strowman brawl all over ringside with the steel steps and a steel chair coming into play. Strowman attempts to superplex Kane off the top rope and through a table on the floor, but Kane blocks it. Kane attempts a choke slam, but Strowman blocks it. Strowman scoops up Kane and hits the running power slam, completely busting the ring mat with both Strowman and Kane falling through the ring to end the show.