Saturday, January 25, 2014

Royal Rumble Game 2014

For this particular game, numbers 1-30 (representing each entry in the Rumble) were put into a random integer generator, and spit back out in groups of 3. Each Friend was given a group, as can be seen below.

As the Rumble winds on, and the entries become tied to a Superstar (or Diva), the person holding that entry number will be rewarded points (or have points taken from) by completing any of the familiar Achievements below.

The Winner gets bragging rights, while also getting to decide the upcoming Wild Card Segment topic!

Also, be sure to head over to the Friends Cup leader board to catch up with any updates on the progress of the Friends' year-long prediction competition!

Achievements


Wins the Rumble (+7)
Clears the Ring (+5)
Most Eliminations (+3)
Longest Run Time (+3)
Slides under the bottom rope to escape the ring but avoid elimination (+1)
Avoids Elimination Acrobatically (+1)
Comes back in after being eliminated to eliminate someone else (-1)
Gets Eliminated by Multiple Wrestlers (-1)
Shortest Run Time (-3)
Hides from the Rumble for majority of the match (-3)
Goes for a finisher instead of an elimination (-5)
Jerry Lawler pick (-7)

Picks


Andy Blake Erik
1: CM Punk +3 2: Seth Rollins 5: Kane -6
4: Cody Rhodes 3: Damien Sandow 6: Alexander Rusev -1
7: Jack Swagger 11: Dean Ambrose 8: Kofi Kingston +1
14: Kevin Nash 12: Dolph Ziggler 9: Jimmy Uso
16: The Great Khali -1 13: R-Truth 10: Goldust
24: JBL -3 17: Sheamus 15: Roman Reigns +3
26: Ryback 18: The Miz 19: Fandango
28: Batista +7 23: Jey Uso 20: El Torito
29: Big E Langston 25: Erick Rowan 21: Antonio Cesaro
30: Rey Mysterio 27: Alberto Del Rio -5 22: Luke Harper
Total Total Total
6 -5 -3


Tiebreakers


Tiebreaker #1 Andy Blake Erik
Surprise Entrant Papa Shango Hulk Hogan Chris Jericho
Tiebreaker #2 Andy Blake Erik
NXT Participant Bo Dallas Adrian Neville Alexander Rusev

Friday, January 10, 2014

Presenting: The Shammies! (Blake's Edition)

In lieu of a regular episode this week, your favorite Friends have decided to treat you with a version of their very-own year-end awards, the SHAMMIES! Wrestling With Friends recently got together to create some awards that truly represented the product (mainly WWE), rather than the sham that is the WWE's Slammy Awards; though they still opted to shine a light on some of the more positive events later on. But that wasn't enough fun.
 
We cap off this action-packed week with a BANG! (DDP Style) and a few of Blake's choices. Be prepared to hear the Friends duke it out on the show as to who is the truly deserving winner (or loser) of the Shammy Awards!



Most Screwed Over Wrestler (DDP in WCW Award)

Loser: Damien Sandow

I don't know what Damien Sandow did to wind up in the fresh hell of a Great Khali feud, but one thing for sure is that his character is in free fall right now. Everything seemed to be going well for the Intellectual Savior. Even after coming up short in his title opportunity against a returning Super Cena, he still seemed to be tapped for something bigger. He came out week after week claiming he'd be the superstar to finally take down Cena by taking away the World Heavyweight Championship from him. Unfortunately, that career defining feud silently dissolved and the last Raw of 2013 featured the kickoff of a program with the Great Khali. What the hell happened?


Dammit, We're Going to Make This Work!!! (Vince McMahon Award)

Loser: Sin Cara

There was so much hype around Mistico's acquisition a few years ago, but that hype may have been his downfall. The WWE Universe was expecting the world from Sin Cara's eventual debut, but due to a variety of reasons that I don't care to get into (Botch Cara), things didn't work out quite how they were planned. WWE management at first did their best to ignore the problem, even finding a scapegoat in Chavo Guerrero. The problems didn't go away, however. Sin Cara never really settled into a groove in the WWE like most had hoped, and not only did his problems persist, they seemed to only get worse. After a fair amount of unspectacular matches and a few injuries, the writing most definitely was on the wall. The mask apparently seems to be more important than the man, because even though Mistico was finally sent back to Mexico, the character remains. With Hunico back under the mask, as well as under those damn yellow lights, Sin Cara seems to be getting another push. Maybe this time he'll finally catch on. I doubt it.


Get the F' off My TV!!! (Buff Bagwell Award)

Loser: All Authority Figures

This goes for both WWE and TNA. Stop trying to chase the magic that was the Vince/Austin angle back in the '90's. It's never going to happen again. There's the power couple of Triple H and Stephanie, both Raw and Smackdown GM's, Kane's position as the Director of Operations, and of course Vince is always lurking in the back back somewhere. That's not even counting JBL's role as GM of NXT. Holy crap! Over on TNA, Dixie Carter loves taking up too much TV time trying to get her new character over. It might come as a surprise to both companies, I tune in each week with the sole purpose to watch wrestling. Don't get me wrong, if you can add something to the show, by all means, do it, but don't waste time that could be better spent actually getting talent over.


Worst Moment of the Year (Vince Russo Award)

Loser: The Rock winning the WWE Championship from CM Punk

This may be the mark in me coming out, but The Rock shouldn't have been the one to break Punk's historic title reign. First, I still don't know what Dwayne did to deserve a title match. I know that's probably asking a little much from the WWE, but the logic, or lack there of, behind it hurts my head. Regardless of that, The Rock's title reign was terrible. He was barely ever on the show, and even when he was, of course he didn't wrestle. Not only that, but they missed a golden opportunity to make another top star. Daniel Bryan, Cody Rhodes, Dolph Ziggler, all superstars I felt were on the brink of breaking into the main event, and a solid feud with a heel Punk could have been enough to put them over. I get it, WWE wanted to set up a Rock/Cena Wrestlemania rematch, but it was a rematch I didn't care to see. To me, making a new top guy is more profitable in the long run than just cashing in on The Rock again. I'm not saying that the Rock couldn't have been involved in Wrestlemania, I just feel that he didn't need to be in the title picture. Maybe I'm the only one.

...and now, the Good...

 

Favorite Angle

Winner: The Brotherhood vs The Authority

During the brief moment the Authority angle was actually entertaining, the bright spot for me was the ongoing trials and tribulations of the Rhodes family. Not only did this angle finally get Cody to the level I felt he should have been at a year ago, it also brought Goldust back into the spotlight and gave him his shot at redemption. The Cody/Orton match that saw Cody fired was amazing, and the following Goldust/Orton was arguably even better. Since the angle's conclusion, Cody and Goldust are only making the tag team division that much better, and even though their title reign is probably coming to an end soon, I loved every minute of their success.


Favorite Match

Winner: Undertaker vs CM Punk

The controversial build to this match was unnecessary. Fans were already on board from the first whisper of "The Best in the World" versus "The Phenom." The story was already there. Punk wanted to prove he was actually the best by finally breaking Undertaker's streak. Everything they added with Paul Bearer was not only classless, regardless of if they got permission from the family or not, but not needed. Despite that, the match was amazing. It started off slow, much like any match involving either superstar, but it quickly picked up like we all knew it would. There was only one way their story could end. Punk stole the urn that was assumed to contain Bearer's ashes, but clearly the Undertaker would get his urn back in the end. That knowledge didn't make that match any less of a nail biter, and it wasn't until the Undertaker sat up in the Anaconda Vice were we ever really certain. The match stole the show, and made everything else seem mediocre by comparison.


Favorite Moment

Winner: Dolph Ziggler winning the World Heavyweight Championship

Del Rio was not getting over as a babyface and Jack Swagger was still not living up to his potential. They put on an alright match at Wrestlemania and a throw away match the night after on Raw. The universe was more than ready for something new. So when Ziggler's music hit after Swagger had finished dismantling Del Rio, the entire crowd stood up, started paying attention, and cheered their asses off. It didn't matter that Ziggler was supposed to be a heel. The crowd was ready to see Mr. Money in the Bank finally take his rightful place as Champion and finally become the top star that we all thought he should be. I don't know if it was him finally cashing in his contract and getting his hands on gold, the roar of the crowd as they unleashed the biggest pop in recent memory, or a combination of the two, but it was a moment I won't be soon forgetting!


Wrestler of the Year

Winner: Daniel Bryan

2013 didn't go out like WWE fans hoped it would. Not only was Daniel Bryan not the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, but he wasn't anywhere near it. Despite that, to me, 2013 was all about D-Bry. As one half of Team Hell No, he and Kane held the gold (or bronze?) for a big chunk of 2013. In singles competition, Bryan was untouchable and always brought his "A" game. Not only did he compete on both Raw and Smackdown each week, but it wasn't rare to see Bryan in more than one match in a single evening. He also beat Cena clean on the second biggest PPV of the year, which is something that rarely happens. It was a big year for him, and as long as he's still employed by the WWE, I think there's always a chance we'll see him wearing the big, gold "W."

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Presenting: The Shammies! (Andy's Edition)

In lieu of a regular episode this week, your favorite Friends have decided to treat you with a version of their very-own year-end awards, the SHAMMIES! Wrestling With Friends recently got together to create some awards that truly represented the product (mainly WWE), rather than the sham that is the WWE's Slammy Awards; though they still opted to shine a light on some of the more positive events later on. But that wasn't enough fun.

We're up to round two, with Andy's hot picks. Be prepared to hear the Friends duke it out on the show as to who is the truly deserving winner (or loser) of the Shammy Awards!


Most Screwed Over Wrestler (DDP in WCW Award)

Loser: Wade Barrett

This is a close call. Heck, you could make a compelling case for at least half a dozen other wrestlers (Ted DiBiase, Kaitlyn, Dolph Ziggler, Daniel Bryan and Ryback come to mind). I see slightly more potential in Wade Barrett, who already has main event experience dating back to his days in The Nexus (which feels like a lifetime ago). After Daniel Bryan was abruptly fired, he single-handedly saved the group of green rookies from collapsing. His reward? Jobbing ever since, and being stuck with a Bad News Gimmick that is destined to fail. It’s not interesting, it’s not funny and it’s embarrassing television. A good looking, charismatic, legitimately tough dude just can’t catch a break.


Dammit, We're Going to Make This Work!!! (Vince McMahon Award)

Loser: Sin Cara

The former Mistico is no longer under the mask these days. He’s been Doink’d, with someone else now taking the role. It’s stupid and unnecessary. If you want to sell masks to kids, just put one back on Sami Zayn and promote him to the main roster. Also, stop saying Sin Cara had his own comic book. Yes, Mistico did. Hunico did not. Just let the Sin Cara character die a peaceful death (or a painful one, doesn’t really matter) already.


Get the F off My TV!!! (Buff Bagwell Award)

Loser: Stephanie McMahon

Again, quite a few wrestlers were strongly considered for this award (Curtis Axel, Cameron, HHH and Big Show for starters), but none are so obliviously awful in so many ways as Stephanie McMahon. Heck, I liked her in around 1999, but there’s no reason she should still be on TV every week. She can’t act as a babyface (which she tried this year), she doesn’t wrestle and she constantly steals the spotlight from people who actually work hard for a living and go to every house show and sacrifice their bodies for the sport. She doesn’t understand wrestling and she never will. Be afraid of a Stephanie McMahon/HHH run WWE. Be very afraid.


Worst Moment of the Year

Loser: Great Khali and Jinder Mahal Play the Flute for Santino’s Cobra

I was absolutely torn whether to go for a decision that was awful for business (having HHH Pedigree Bryan at SummerSlam) or an example of general foolishness that WWE does for no reason. I chose the latter. Having Great Khali and Jinder Mahal trying to snake charm Santino’s Cobra (the sock on his hand) was one of those stupid (and quasi racist) moments that make you ashamed to be a fan. It’s not cool, and could rightfully scare any potential wrestling fan away forever. Try and have that segment on your TV when a family member, a friend or girlfriend walks in the room. They’d be right to question your sanity. Wrestling can be silly, but it’s doesn’t need to be fucking idiotic. And why the fuck did The Great Khali just happen to have a flute down his pants?!?!?!?

...and now, the Good...
 

Favorite Angle

Winner: Goldust and Cody get their jobs back

I’m with Erik on this one. Goldust and Cody played their parts perfectly during this angle. Goldust was the sad, unemployed veteran who would do anything for his brother, and Cody was the wronged babyface who was unjustly fired. Add in their father Dusty, and it was easy to root for the three getting one up on The Authority. It’s too bad that WWE no longer lets Cody or Goldust talk, as they proved they’re up for the challenge when given the opportunity. The two getting their jobs back was one of the few feel good moments all year in WWE.


Favorite Match

Winner: Undertaker vs. CM Punk at WrestleMania

As much as I hated the build to this match (Punk rubbing Paul Bearer’s ashes on his body), the showdown itself was fantastic. Watching Undertaker these days is a rare sight, and despite his age and history of injuries, he can still deliver. When WWE goes all out, and does the “big match feel”, there’s nothing else like it. Undertaker’s slow entrance to the ring with the dead clutching at him, and Punk being lead into battle by “Cult of Personality” were events in themselves. Of course, we all knew Taker was going over, but Punk did his damnedest to plant some doubt. This should have easily been the main event of the show.


Favorite Moment

Winner: The crowd Fandango’s for the first time

Much like Erik, my pick happened the night after WrestleMania. It wasn’t a match, though, it was the crowd who made me pop like no one’s business. They put on a better show than the one I paid $60 for the night before. They audibly shit all over Sheamus vs. Orton, made Ziggler a star (until WWE screwed it up) and hummed the tune to Fandango’s theme song throughout the night. It was like nothing I’d ever seen. It was hilarious, and a perfect way to tell the WWE to “F” off. Of course, WWE didn’t understand that fans were doing this ironically, and soon embraced the chant as their own, where it two stepped itself to a quick death.


Wrestler of the Year

Winner: The Shield

Yes, I realize it’s wrestler of the year and I’m choosing three men. But just try to imagine WWE programming this year without The Shield. How many different main event matches on Raw and SmackDown would WWE have had to come up with? Much like a great starting pitcher in baseball, these guys ate up innings (or TV time if you will). From an on-air standpoint, they held the WWE together in 2013. They are also one of the few genuine “cool” acts in all of wrestling, which is vital to draw in young fans. It will most likely be their last year as a unit, so enjoy them while you can. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Presenting: The Shammies! (Erik's Edition)

In lieu of a regular episode this week, your favorite Friends have decided to treat you with a version of their very-own year-end awards, the SHAMMIES! Wrestling With Friends recently got together to create some awards that truly represented the product (mainly WWE), rather than the sham that is the WWE's Slammy Awards; though they still opted to shine a light on some of the more positive events later on. But that wasn't enough fun.

The following awards are the first to be presented, this round coming from Erik. Be prepared to hear the Friends duke it out on the show as to who is the truly deserving winner (or loser) of the Shammy Awards!


Most Screwed Over Wrestler (DDP in WCW Award)

Loser: Dolph Ziggler

At this time last year, all signs pointed to 2013 being the year of the Zig-Zag. He played the percentages and walked away the night after Wrestlemania with the World Heavyweight Championship. Unfortunately, he'd relinquish the belt on his first defense after an ill-timed concussion put him out of action for over a month. Ziggler wins the award over Daniel Bryan simply due to the fact that Bryan's story is still being told, whereas Ziggler was basically punished for getting hurt and shows no signs of returning to the top tier. He was also another in a long line of victims of the short-sighted WWE Creative team, turning him face inorganically and destroying much of his allure.


Dammit, We're Going to Make This Work!!! (Vince McMahon Award)

Loser: 'Paul Heyman Guy'

2013 was not a banner year for WWE Creative. Rumors swirled that each big moment actually only had about 5 minutes of thought put into it, and in some cases it was even on the fly. While this leads to lots of OMG/WTF/Any Other Outdated Acronym moments, it doesn't leave room for the all-important follow-up. Arguably, their biggest mistake was the monster push of Ryback in 2012 and into 2013. Not learning from the Goldberg fiasco in WCW, Ryback was skyrocketed to the big time, only to fall flat upon his first major loss. There was still time to save it, but their rushed placement of the hungry turtle with Paul Heyman sank the Ryback battleship. Heyman is infamous for leading poor talkers to the main event, but he's only one man. The mystique was gone. And in the case of Michael McGillic—er, Curtis Axel, it was never there in the first place.


Get the F off My TV!!! (Buff Bagwell Award)

Loser: Big Show

When people think of over-exposed superstars, names like Hogan and Cena often enter their minds. One name that's often forgotten, however, is a one Paul Wight, the Big Show. Show has been on wrestling television in some capacity for nearly 20 years, which is more than Cena AND the Hulkster, when taking into account the fact that Hogan rarely appeared on television in his heyday. Love them or hate them, Cena and Hogan deserve their exposure due to their innate ability to make Vince McMahon money as well as their excitement to moveset ratio. Would anyone dare say that about Big Show? Even in a diaper, this man couldn't draw a fly to baby poop.


Worst Moment of the Year (Vince Russo in WCW Award)

Loser: Good Santa vs. Bad Santa

It's hard to pick a 'Worst' moment, as the term is inherently subjective. Additionally, each era is in and of itself plagued with head-scratchers (show any non-wrestling fan 'Attitude Era' highlights and see if they call you for any more pick-up games at the gym), allowing some of WWE's 'PG' moments in 2013 to be excused for the sake of the children. One thing I cannot abide by, however, is a match-up to save Christmas featuring Mark Henry and Damien Sandow. These guys should be at the top of any card on any given night, yet here their dignities are challenged by this god-awful display of foolishness (highlights include candy canes for weapons and Sandow, an intellectual, unable to operate a fire extinguisher). Had this match featured Santino and Heath Slater, it'd get a passing grade from me. But to put two men who trained for countless hours and left their families for the road to participate in this pitiful match is an embarrassment.

...and now, the Good...

 

Favorite Angle

Winner: Goldust and Cody get their jobs back

The Authority destroyed the hopes and dreams of many WWE fans, but not in the way the writers drew it up. One thing they did get right, however, was the dramatic Rhodes family fight for employment. It hit all the right notes: a tinge of realism (i.e. the real-life Rhodes-McMahon rivalry), mixed with a dose of high-stakes drama, with a large helping of nostalgia in *hissssssssssCHOMP!* Goldust. Had this been the Goldust of the late aughts, or even the late 90s, the angle would have been swept under the rug much like the Shockmaster or, worse, the lWo. Instead, the Bizarre One caught fire while Cody Rhodes finally found his place on the card, and together they became the working man's heroes that fans had longed for since the days of a foul-mouthed, Steveweiser-gulping sumbitch.


Favorite Match

Winner: Punk vs. Cena on RAW

For all the bitching to be had about WWE's creative direction in 2013, their superstars put on some of the best matches of any year. While Daniel Bryan was perhaps most of the reason behind this, something should be said for the electric match between CM Punk and John Cena on the February 25th edition of Raw for a shot at the Rock at Wrestlemania. Some of the best matches are the ones where the final result is all-but-determined, yet you're still on the edge of your seat regardless. For our generation, I'd argue that it may have been this match, one that would have left a far better taste in WWE fans' mouths as the main event of Wrestlemania XXIX. Just go watch it.


Favorite Moment

Winner: Ziggler cashes in Money in the Bank

If I could pick a favorite night to watch wrestling as my moment, it'd be the post-Wrestlemania Raw in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Since I can't, I'll pick my favorite moment from that entire night as being when Alberto Del Rio was writhing in pain after his handicap match against Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter and hearing Dolph Ziggler's music hit, before seeing the man who should have battled Del Rio at Wrestlemania XXIX fired up by the awesome crowd. The ensuing match was equally as dramatic, including impeccable timing and moments of hope and dread intermingling before Ziggler walked away with a legitimate World Championhip victory.


Wrestler of the Year

Winner: Goldust

This may be a controversial pick amidst the heavyweights that appeared in the main event scene, but I'm sticking with it. Daniel Bryan was the American Dragon we know him to be, while CM Punk and even John Cena continued to put on roof-tearing matches, but Goldust gets the rub for not only telling a true story of a man's redemption in a world of actors but for showing an athletic ability not often seen in a man on the wrong side of forty. It didn't seem like Goldust was long for the WWE upon his return, but his story-telling ability matched with a rediscovery of his talent have made for a unique character that the WWE's been missing. The fact that they've stuck with him for this long is one of the few bright spots in the company's mistake-laden year.