18. 08. 16
posted by: Luke Mauer

WWE SummerSlam 2018 Analysis and Predictions:

 

Current Card:

 

Universal championship

Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Roman Reigns

WWE championship

AJ Styles (c) vs. Samoa Joe

Raw women's championship

Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Ronda Rousey

SmackDown women's championship

Carmella (c) vs. Becky Lynch

Intercontinental championship

Dolph Ziggler (c) vs. Seth Rollins

Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz

United States championship

Shinsuke Nakamura (c) vs. Jeff Hardy

Money in the Bank contract

Braun Strowman (current holder) vs. Kevin Owens

SmackDown tag team championships

The Bludgeon Brothers (c) vs. The New Day

Baron Corbin vs. Finn Balor

 

Kickoff Show

Raw tag team championships

B-Team (c) vs. The Revival

Cruiserweight championship

Cedric Alexander (c) vs. Drew Gulak

Rusev & Lana vs. Andrade 'Cien' Almas & Zelina Vega



Rusev & Lana vs. Andrade 'Cien' Almas & Zelina Vega

Luke:

What Should Happen: The WWE should stop burying these two and give them a one-on-one match of the actual PPV.  Rusev was one of the most over acts in the WWE and they’re constantly misusing him. It’s frustrating for me - I can’t wonder how he feels.  Almas is also a ridiculous specimen and is rumored to be getting a big push.

What Will Actually Happen: I’m guessing this is a mixed tag match so that Lana can take the pin.  Aiden English tries to interfere, it backfires, and Almas/Vega win.

 

Andy:

What Should Happen:  Rusev and Lana need to win in an absolute squash, heavy on Rusev beating down Almas.  The Rusev Day gimmick is super over, but Rusev needs to get back to his “unstoppable monster” form because that’s the only thing that WWE will give a serious push to.

What WIll Actually Happen:  Nothing notable, since this will be on the Kick-Off show.  Almas and Vega win, and we continue Rusev’s descent through to the bottom of every card until he leaves WWE and goes to an indie like ROH and has a career rejuvenation.

 

Cruiserweight championship

Cedric Alexander (c) vs. Drew Gulak

Luke:

What Should Happen: The WWE should start treating the 205 Live guys like actual people and let them have good matches.  I think 205 Live has improved a lot, especially with Drake Maverick, but I don’t ever hear anything about it.  How would the WWE ever consider bringing in Fenix or Pentagon Jr when they don’t showcase their Cruiserweights?

What Will Actually Happen: Cedric Alexander has had the title since, what, WrestleMania (when I correctly picked he would win) - but can you name any of his title defenses?  I think he’s special, but maybe a heel champion would do wonders, especially with Lio Rush lurking in the distance. I’m going with Gulak in an upset.

 

Andy

What Should Happen:  Cedric Alexander wins, and schedules an appearance on TBPYNH to talk about why we should be paying attention to this division.

What Will Actually Happen:  Alexander wins, doesn’t come on our podcast, and I continue to not pay attention to 205 Live.

 

Raw tag team championships

B-Team (c) vs. The Revival

Luke:

What Should Happen: The Revival should win in about 10 seconds and become one of the best tag teams like they were in NXT.

What Will Actually Happen: I honestly think the WWE is ready to pull the trigger.  The B-Team is a good story, but they can’t build a tag team division around those guys.  WWE needs The Revival to be the centerfold on Raw and they need to build up the Tag Team Division...especially if Matt Hardy is really retiring. *sad face emoji*

 

Andy:

What Should Happen:  The Revival gets the win in a match that is actually good.  The B-Team gives us some great cheesy moments to remind us that they have a good gimmick, but back it up with some great, physical wrestling, which keeps them in the Tag Title picture.  The Revival are also legitimized by winning the title and beating a team that suddenly looks competitive.

What Will Actually Happen:  The B-Team does some cheesy B-Team stuff, but don’t put up much of a fight and the Revival start up a solid run at the top of the Raw Tag division.

 

Baron Corbin vs. Finn Balor

Luke:

What Should Happen: Yikes.  Speaking of wasted talent.  Do you remember when Finn Balor was the first Universal Champion and worked his ass off every week?  Remember when Baron Corbin won MITB and was finally going to get his push? This should be on the pre-show because it’s going to be garbage.

What Will Actually Happen: Finn Balor, I guess.

 

Andy:

What Should Happen:  WWE figures out where these two are going.  I’d love nothing more than a nice win for Balor that springboards him back into contention for a title (any title, please WWE).  Losing clean to Balor puts a chip on Corbin’s shoulder and he starts roughing up everyone on Raw on the pretense that they need to get better if Raw is going to stay the top show in the company.  Does that make sense? Maybe. Creative, back me up here, you can make this work.

What Will Actually Happen: Balor eats a pin through some sort of interference, low blow, or some other cheap shot.  And unfortunately starts down a path almost too similar to Rusev.

 

SmackDown tag team championships

The Bludgeon Brothers (c) vs. The New Day

Luke:

What Should Happen: The New Day wins the titles and the Bludgies rebrand (again) as something else?

What Will Actually Happen: The Bludgeon Brothers don’t work for me (or WWE).  You can’t build a monster team up when there are no other monster teams...especially when the first monster team isn’t having good matches.  Luke Harper is probably one of the most misused talents in WWE and this run isn’t helping. I don’t think The New Day need the titles, but I want them to have the titles.  I’m going Bludgeon Brothers because I can’t figure out why not.

 

Andy:

What Should Happen:  The Bludgeon Brothers need to win, but they need to look beatable.  The New Day need to have a good match, give the crowd some exciting spots, and have a couple of near falls.  Keep the title on the Bludgeon Bros, but start to lay the groundwork for the New Day and the rest of the Smackdown tag teams to get competitive.

What Will Actually Happen:  The Bludgeon Brothers won’t win in an absolute squash, but it will be close.  They keep looking unstoppable, even though fans are kind of bored of them, and they don’t really have anywhere else to go.  I’m worried WWE is going to break up the New Day at some point, and this might be the match that starts a chain reaction that breaks them up in a month or two.

 

Money in the Bank contract

Braun Strowman (current holder) vs. Kevin Owens

Luke:

What Should Happen: Have I mentioned misusing wrestlers, yet?  Braun Strowman should truck Kevin Owens in 5 seconds and then go beat the shit out of Brock backstage, drag him to the ring, and then cash in becoming the Universal Championship before killing Roman Reigns in the main event.

What Will Actually Happen: This one is weird.  Braun Strowman doesn’t need MITB.  He should be able to destroy any champion in a predetermined match and then flip a semi on top of them.  Kevin Owens is the perfect briefcase holder because he’s sneaky and slimy. Both talents are underused and I’m starting to think the WWE is over saturated with great talent and nothing to do with them.  I’m taking Kevin Owens with some weird stuff happening at the end.

 

Andy:

What Should Happen:  Braun needs to keep the briefcase, but this has to work in conjunction with the Reigns/Lesnar match.  I’d like to see him hold onto the briefcase for a long time, trying to work his way to the title without using it.  I think he does get a shot down the line loses to, spoiler alert, Roman Reigns, then uses the briefcase at the Royal Rumble for a rematch.  This puts KO in an odd spot, but I believe in him enough to think that WWE will find a good way to use him very soon.

What Will Actually Happen:  Why even have this match if the briefcase isn’t going to change hands?  Kevin Owens wins, probably not clean, and sets up for something crazy later on.

 

United States championship

Shinsuke Nakamura (c) vs. Jeff Hardy

Luke:

What Should Happen: We stop putting an injured Jeff Hardy into matches and let him heal before we lose both Hardy’s 18 months after they came back.

What Will Actually Happen: Shinsuke by a mile.  Randy Orton will probably get involved and this should also be on the pre-show. Also, how depressed are you that you can’t watch these two in their prime absolutely tear the house down?

 

Andy:

What Should Happen:  I honestly don’t know what WWE needs to do with this match.  Both of these guys need to be in contention for a title to be relevant in my opinion, but I don’t like the idea of another long back and forth against one guy for Shinsuke.  I think he should retain, WWE needs to find a better way to use Jeff, and bring in another strong contender for the US title.

What Will Actually Happen:  Again, I’m not too sure.  I see this match as a real toss up, and I guess I’ll take Jeff Hardy to win, possibly setting up another rematch down the line.  

 

Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz

Luke:

What Should Happen: This should be match of the year by a mile and then be match of the decade by a mile and then be the best match ever….by a mile.

What Will Actually Happen: I’m worried.  Not because I’m super hyped - but because it’s been such a slow build (what 7 years now?) that it’s impossible to blow it off for one match.  So, I’m afraid it won’t end clean. Now, if they take a page from Garagano and Ciampa and it ends clean to set up another one that ends clean to set up a title match, I’m 1,000% in.  Miz is one of my favorite people right now, but I’m going D-Bry and the Miz loses his utter mind after and won’t stop until he beats him.

 

Andy:

What Should Happen:  You know, this match has been such a long time coming that it sucks that there’s no title on the line.  But if this match does its job, both Bryan and the Miz end up in the mix for a title. I would book the Miz to win, since he’s been out of the picture for a main title (WWE or Universal title) for way too long.  Same could be said for Bryan, but I can’t help but feel he doesn’t have the same “it” factor he used to, so D-Bry works better working with one of the lesser titles.

What Will Actually Happen:  As Luke said, this has the potential to be a great match, and I think it will live up to that hype.  Since there is no title on the line, there is the potential for a later rematch with a title involved down the road.  I’ll guess Bryan wins, the Miz holds a grudge, and we get a rematch for the US title in 3 months.

 

Intercontinental championship

Dolph Ziggler (c) vs. Seth Rollins

Luke:

What Should Happen: This becomes a fatal 4 way with Dean Ambrose and Drew McIntyre and absolutely tears down the house.

What Will Actually Happen: A Dean Ambrose heel turn?  New hair, new look, he got his return pop - now turn him heel and let he and Seth Rollins fight for a couple months.  I’m not overly sold on Ziggler as the I-C champ - but Rollins vs. Dean doesn’t need it.

 

Andy:

What Should Happen:  Dean Ambrose doesn’t turn heel.  At least not in this match.  It should happen down the road, but so close to his return isn’t the way to go.  I would like Ziggler to retain here, because losing the title might be a step towards McIntyre breaking away and getting his own solo push.  We deserve more Ambrose/Rollins vs. Ziggler/McIntyre.

What Will Happen:  This match becomes more about Ambrose vs. McIntyre than Ziggler and Rollins.  That may not be a bad thing, and Dean Ambrose’s involvement is going to make this a contender for match of the night regardless.  In his return he’ll help keep McIntyre from causing a disruption and Rollins will pin Ziggler clean.

 

SmackDown women's championship

Carmella (c) vs. Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte

Luke:

What Should Happen: This should have remained one-on-one and had Charlotte start a program with someone else.

What Will Actually Happen: Can I call for 2 heel turns?  Carmella loses the title. No doubt.  They cannot set up Evolution with Carmella as the champion.  It doesn’t work. I’m guessing regardless this sets up Becky vs. Charlotte at Evolution, but does one of them turn heel?  Charlotte is a great heel, but Becky makes more sense (she fought her ass off for a shot and then Charlotte was handed one).  I’m going to pick Becky to get her moment here.

 

Andy:

What Should Happen:  Becky Lynch gets the win she deserves.  Out of the title picture for way too long, she taps out Carmella while James Ellsworth is distracting Charlotte (we always need more Ellsworth, right?)  Becky is great and has been stuck in no-woman’s-land for a long, long time, it’s time for her to get a nice long title reign.

What Will Actually Happen:  Carmella will somehow retain.  My guess? Ellsworth, of course!  I think WWE is worried that once Carmella loses the title she’ll be hard to keep around, since she’s not really a great in-ring worker.  However, she’s fun enough as a heel with the title that they’ll ride that horse as long as it will carry them.

 

Raw women's championship

Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Ronda Rousey

Luke:

What Should Happen: Ronda should absolutely destroy Alexa and then go kick Brock’s ass and win the Universal Championship.

What Will Actually Happen: Alexa is a much better competitor and especially feud builder than Carmella, so leaving the title on her won’t hurt Evolution too much, I don’t think.  The question is - is it too soon to put the title on Rousey? This will be a great match, but having Ronda Rousey make history at the first women’s PPV makes a little bit more sense to me - I’ll take Alexa Bliss with Alicia Fox’s help. (I would say the Nattie heel turn would make sense here before her father’s passing away this week.  RIP Anvil.)

 

Andy:

What Should Happen:  I’m going the exact reverse of Luke.  WWE should wait to give Ronda the title, although I’d say they should wait until she’s a little more skilled either in the ring or on the mic.  Even Evolution is too soon for me. Oh, and Alexa should call me.  

What Will Actually Happen:  Luke, I think you’re off again.  WWE won’t want to spoil the mystique around Ronda Rousey, and I truly think that she will get a win in a pretty short match.  The only other way I could see this ending is with a DQ for Alexa, which means she retains. No way she gets a pin on Rousey.

 

WWE championship

AJ Styles (c) vs. Samoa Joe

Luke:

What Should Happen: This should main event the show instead of the garbage Brock match and should get 20 minutes of pure wrestling to let these two tear it down.

What Will Actually Happen: I think it’s time to get the belt off of Styles - but I don’t think the WWE is ready for that.  Samoa Joe is dope. He should win here and go on to feud with literally anyone but I’m going to go with Styles in a great match (none of that Nakamura shit).

 

Andy:

What Should Happen:  I’m being 100% serious when I say that every superstar on the roster, especially anyone leaning heel, needs to watch every promo by Samoa Joe in his entire career.  He is just so, so good, the only guy that really harkens back to guys like the Rock and Stone Cold when you look at the current roster. That has nothing to do with this match.  But it should happen. As far as this match goes, I don’t think you can go wrong. It’s the inverse of Reigns vs. Lesnar, since it’s two stars that are universally loved. So, WWE,  please don’t find a way to screw this up.

What Will Actually Happen:  I feel like Samoa Joe is the right guy to end Styles’ title run.  Both of these guys are great wrestlers and have been great in every promotion they’ve been a part of.  Joe is great, let’s have him take the title and run with it all the way to Rumble.

 

Universal championship

Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Roman Reigns

Luke:

What Should Happen: Roman should beat Brock in 5 minutes and Brock should never wrestle again and go back to UFC, win a fight, lose a drug test, and retire his ass away or go to Impact.

What Will Actually Happen: I’m just not a Brock Lesnar fan.  He isn’t good. He was exciting at first when he would wrestle 15-20 minute matches that mattered but he hasn’t done that in over a decade.  He won’t be able to carry this match. Roman will work his ass off to sell for both of them and the crowd will shit on it. It’s sad, but it’s true.  Roman HAS to win this. Make Brock leave. Can I call for a THIRD heel turn? Roman teaming with Paul Heyman could be interesting….

 

Andy:

What Should Happen:  The Beast finally rides off to that big Suplex City in the sky...which I guess means UFC?  Alright, bad metaphor. But Brock has to lose the title. And Roman has to win it clean. If he’s going to get any credibility with fans, he has to legitimately win.  It could set up a great team up with Heyman, although that’s looking less likely after Monday night. Regardless what happens, the end will have a mild crowd reaction at best...until...BRAUN STROWMAN WALKS OUT.  But he doesn’t cash in. He just enters the ring, walks up to Roman, and says, “I’m coming for you.” Chilling or what?

What WIll Actually Happen:  Roman Reigns will win clean.  But as soon as he gets the three count, the guy with the briefcase walks out.  And that man is Kevin Owens. Brock uses the distraction to get in an F5 on Reigns, even though he’s already lost the title.  KO takes advantage of a beat up Reigns and gets a 3 count and walks out with the title, while Brock just walks out. At the end of all this, Heyman realizes Brock is done with WWE, and tells Roman “you need me.”  

 

Wow.  Wow, wow, wow.  There will certainly be some bragging rights coming.  Let us know your thoughts on SummerSlam and how things will end up.

18. 08. 14
posted by: Luke Mauer

As if visiting the PGA Championship wasn't enough golf, the closing round Sunday also mirrored the time spot for my second ever Ryder Cup.  Last year, in my first Ryder Cup, I was disappointed.  Not only did my team lose (I think), but I failed to score a point.  I remember playing against Gary F one on one and I remember vividly, new member, Joe Gauck and I played alternate shot together in what we thought was a shoe in.  We struggled.  So this year, I was on a mission.  I was excited to play and I was ready to show that I can score a point (or at least a half, right?).

The first 9 hole was a scramble on the Prairie.  For those of you who don't know - the Ryder Cup at North Branch consists of three 9 hole matches.  Scramble, Alternate Shot, and Individual.  For the scramble, I was paired with Dayne Lecher to take on Angela (Gauck) Belter and good ole Rookie.  We were at a mismatch, but Dayne is really good.  First tee jitters?  Absolutely.  I was looking forward to this for so long.  We took a 1up lead after the first when both Rookie and Ang shanked wedges.  Dayne looked to be on point with his game.  That changed off the next two tees and he missed a putt on 2 that would have put us 2up.  A miracle scramble on 3 kept us even, but even wasn't good enough to beat two of the best.  On the par 3 fifth hole, I took my new approach (clubbing up, because I'm not as good as I think).  I stuck it pretty close (close enough to win closest to the pin and a cool $32).  The only downfall is we missed the putt and Rookie hit a long one to even up the match.  Then the wheels came off.  We lost the next 2 holes and ended up losing 2 and 1.  The last hole didn't need to be played, but it's a short par 3 and we thought we'd throw in a buck for closest to the pin.  I'm certainly the worst golfer in the group, but it's one shot, right?  STUCK IT.  Again!  Add $3 more to the winnings.

Okay, I lost the first match - but now it was time for alternate shot.  This year, I was paired with Dave Meyer - one week shy of turning 60 and getting to play from a much shorter tee.  We debated which holes we would tee off on (one tees off on odd, one tees off on even).  I chose odd (which would be the 2 very difficult par 3s on the Meadow).  My first tee shot (again, a little nervous), was hit well and bounced RIGHT BEHIND A TREE.  Now, the first rule of Alternate Shot is you don't apologize because you never know what shot your partner will stick you with.  But, here I was, apologizing after one shot.  We pitched out and I hit a decent chip.  Dave really hit a long putt and we won hole number 1.  What a relief.  The 2nd hole - the long par 5 and 59 year old Dave was teeing off.  He wasn't a long hitter so his tee shot landed just across the creek.  I was ready to blast my second shot until someone teed off in my backswing and I duffed it badly.  Dave understood (I think).  We ended up winning the hole as the team we played against had to take an unplayable.  We lost the 3rd after I screwed up the tee shot and we were 1UP after 3.  On the fourth...it all came together.  I chipped in for Par and the other group missed their putt.  We were 2up through 4.  The next one was the first par 3.  It was at 162 yards over a creek to a green that's impossible to hit.  I took out my 5 iron, which I usually struggle with.  But I wanted to make sure I was across.  My partner said "just get across the creek."  Got it.  I swung - absolute beauty!  A little deep...okay, very deep.  But across.  We took another one as their drive landed in the creek.  Then the par 5.  We scrambled around and we both had close par putts.  They missed theirs and it was all down to me to end the match.  I hit it and we won 4 and 3.  Domination.

The last of the three was the individual.  I was paired against Mike S.  I know Mike will never read this, so I'll be candid.  I thought I could win.  I had actually beat him in score before and he was on the team I just beat in alternate shot.  I was confident. 

Hole 1: I hit a decent shot but it wound up leaning against a tree (this will come back later).  I swung and hit it...under another tree.  Then into the water.  Basically conceded.  1DN through 1. 

The 2nd was a par 3 - closest to the pin.  I hit a pretty good shot, a bit long and it just stuck.  I was closest to the pin! (I was also in the first group off).  But the downfall?  It was on the side of a hill and my next putt was awful and Mike hit his.  2DN through 2.  Not a great start, man.  It started sprinkling as we hard thunder in the background. 

I hit a great drive on the 3rd (a par 5 on the Bridge).  My 2nd shot was not great; however, Mike hit his 2nd shot straight sideways and out of bounds.  I ended up winning the hole.  1DN through 3.  The comeback was on.  It was raining lightly now. 

The par 3 fourth hole was set up nicely.  Another closest to the pin.  Could I get a sweep?  Nope. Left it short.  Mike was on the far side of the green but certainly not an easy putt.  I got up to chip, raining now, and duffed my chip.  I putt the next one and it went about 4 feet past the hole.  I have a 4 foot putt for bogey.  Mike putts his all the way across the green and off about 5 feet  (horrible green).  He chips on, putts, and misses.  He gets a 5.  All I have to do is tap the ball close to the hole and get a 5 and get away with a tie.  It's pouring now.  I tap my putt.  Literally tap it.  It goes 5 feet past the hole.  I miss the comeback. 2DN through 4 and soaking wet.  We have a rain delay.  The rain lightens and we headed back out a half hour later. 

I hit a perfect drive on 5 to set myself up nicely.  The rain; however, made my game a little challenging.  I duffed my second shot, catching straight mud, and hitting it in the water.  I lost the hole.  3DN with 4 to play.  Not good.  I had to make a move and I had to do it NOW. 

On the 6th hole, I hit a great drive, but it took a HORRIBLE bounce.  I was devastated.  The good news - I did find it.  It was on nothing but rocks.  I took the club I was least afraid to hurt (my 7 wood) and I tried to punch it through a window.  Mike was scrambling also.  I punched it out decent and had an okay next shot.  There was a chance.  I finally hit a good putt and got away with a bogey.  Mike missed his bogey putt.  Score!  2DN with 3 to play.  I still had a lot of work to do. 

Drive on the 7th - pretty damn good.  Mike hit his into the trees on the left and had to take a lost ball.  I won the hole.  1DN with 2 to play. 

A tough par three 8th awaited as I clubbed down, afraid to go long.  I left it short and right but it held up.  Mike was short in the fairway and chunked his chip.  I chipped on and hit my putt for par.  AS with 1 to play. 

I joked to Mike we should play one more because it had been a crazy round.  The 9th.  I teed off and hit a beauty - the pressure was immense and you're hitting through a tight group of trees.  Mike got up and hit and immediately was frustrated as it went right - the only place with out of bounds.  He teed up a provisional and it hit the trees you have to escape but bounced out down below.  He was frustrated and wanted to concede the match right there.  We went to see where his first one went.  It was out of bounds...by 4 inches.  I told Mike to play it and he said out of bounds is out of bounds.  Extremely honorable of him.  He hit a nice next shot and was in position to play the hole out nicely.  Now for my ball.  It was a great drive.  Where did it go? It was headed right towards that....tree.  Leaning up against a tree, again.  I had zero shot without breaking something.  I debated the backwards club thing but I had never done that in my life (authors note: I should practice this).  I grabbed the only club I didn't care if I broke...again.  7 wood.  I tried to hit it and it went about 2 feet.  I was still very much under the tree with a restricted swing.  I've done this before and completely missed the ball.  I was a wreck.  I got a club on it and it took off across the fairway.  I was at least making progress.  The next shot was decent and it stayed up on the fringe.  I had a putt that I had to get close.  I stroked it good (yup) and left a 6 incher for bogey.  Mike conceded and the comeback was complete!  It was a crazy round.  I honestly didn't shoot great (probably a 48 or so) but it's match play.  This is what it's all about.

  I headed back into the clubhouse with 2 full points.  Crazy stat of the day.  There was a result in 15 straight holes that I played and 18 of 19.  I played 23 holes that mattered and there was a result on 19 of them.  That's a weird match play stat for you.

All in all - the day was just as fun as I had imagined.  I not only scored, but got 2 points and my team won (another $20 to the winnings).  The blue team succeeded this year and the best part - Joey only scored 1 point for the losing red team.  Yes.  Yes, indeed.  Until next year, Ryder Cup.  It was fun.

18. 06. 11
posted by: Luke Mauer

On Sunday, June 10, Andy and I decided to finally do something for the podcast (better late than never, right?).  We decided to do an underground tour of Cincinnati.  It was a spur of the moment type thing but we were both committed.  Proudly wearing our TBPYHN t-shirts, we set out for an adventure.  Our first stop - The Coffee Emporium where the motto is "Really Good Coffee."  Can't argue with that, right?  We both got a cold brew (my new guilty pleasure) and enjoyed a seat on the Cincinnati streets before we headed to our tour. (photo withstanding because I can't figure out how to rotate it).

The tour began with a nice intro on Over The Rhine (OTR) where we learned of the best gunfighters in the West (Ohio was considered West at one point) and we walked the streets to discuss some theatres and then our first brewery - Wilert's - built in 1873.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wielert%27s

 The story of prohibition and how it affected Cincinnati and OTR especially was the theme of the early tour.  There were 36 breweries during the time of German dominance and they all wound up closing when prohibition hit.  More on the breweries later.

We, then, headed over to one of the more fascinating stops on the trip - the courtyards at St. Francis Seraph.  The courtyards were still used today as there was a friar sitting outside when we arrived.  The monastery was a beautiful places as depicted in some images below:

 The friendliness of the people makes you feel right at home and the beauty of the scenery allows you to feel what it must have been like in the 1800s.  What's more - we were standing upon the graves of the first citizens buried in Cincinnati just below our feet.  They (literally) picked up the church and moved it and asked (politely) for people to dig up their dead and move them to the new cemetery.  Some were dug up (based on the shovels sitting outside) and some were left below in the crypt to remain forever.  Yes, there is a crypt underneath the church.  Don't you wish you could have seen that?  Well, boy aren't you in for a treat!  That's where we headed next.

Before walking into the crypt, we got to see some interesting sights.  (from left to right) an original floor piece from the church.  There were two, the other was taken by the movers as payment.  An old baptismal fount in all it's glory and lastly a very interesting crucifix sitting right outside the crypt - whether creepy or cool, the sight was one for the memory bank.

 Upon walking into the crypt - you could see "tombstones" of the departed dating back to the 1800s.  The latest tombstone was 1835 (pictured on the left).  Most people in the crypt were (presumably) buried upright - but a pretty cool place to visit.

As we walked back upstairs, we got to check out the actual church (still practicing today).  We were in about an hour and a half after mass as some people were still visiting the friars outside.  A large crucifix greeted us as we walked in, but it wasn't until I moved to a different angle that I got to see the rare double sided crucifix.  The reason was because the friars would come in and pray in the back of the church so the crucifix would face them; however, the crucifix would always face the congregation as well.  Very rare to see this anymore in any church, but we were lucky enough to catch a glimpse.

As we moved on from the church, we walked a couple blocks to the best story of the day.  A man buys an old brewery about 9 decades after it had gone out of business and notices a dotted line in his basement on the blueprints.  A dotted line, of course, denotes that it is hollow beneath the floor.  So what's a guy to do?  He calls up some of his buddies, grabs some beer, and rents a jackhammer.  In the mid 1990s, this group of friends decided to drink some beer and find out what was under the mysterious, creepy, Andy's parents like basement (callback to the haunted episode - number 9).  The group of friends jackhammered through the floor and then the jackhammer fell down, disappearing into the dark.  What the hell were they to do?  They left, got more beer, and drank up their courage to repel down into the deep dark hole.  What they found underneath would change what Cincinnati and OTR is today.

 Brave people going down into the deep, dark abyss.

When you go down the very steep, creaky old stairs - what awaits is a pretty cool sight.  The underground lair of brewing history.  When these friends finally repelled down, they discovered something pretty cool.  I can only imagine how they must have felt in the mid 1990s when they went to a place that hadn't been used since the 1900s.  It looks like something the Romans built (it was Germans, actually).  They had some cleanup to do, but the photos (and memories for them, I'm sure) are great.

Mounds of coal ash remain underground as the old breweries were turned into trash bins after the prohibition.  All of the trash was burnt and the coal ash is the only lasting memory.

Air ventilation systems were put into place as we learned how they brought the year round temperature of 58 degrees down even further to 45 degrees to brew the lagers.  We were 30-40 feet underground, where, as I mentioned, the 58 degrees was a welcome cooling on a hot day.  The tunnels took 3 years to build.  Possibly the more exciting part is since the mid 1990s, there have been a ton of tunnels discovered and more are coming to these tours soon.  It's somewhat unreal if you think about discovering these underground "civilizations" 90 years after anyone has touched them.

A walk back upstairs concluded our tour with a couple more cool bits.  The first was wood (turned art) from an old church that was struck by lightening and caught on fire.  The wood was brought over and is displayed proudly (pictured below).

And, lastly, the tour ends as we walked up the stairs to find ourselves in a brewery that has been revitalized - The Morlein Lager House (one of two Cincinnati locations).  It was here that we talked to the tour guide and told her we were two of the very successful co-hosts of The Best Podcast You've Never Heard and warned her we were going to review the tour.  She was going to listen (and recommend to her boss, don't you forget Laura) and probably fall in love with our comedic genius and make us a global sensation.  No?  Okay, but still - it was here where I learned what Cricket (the dart game) was and saw a Jenga game that was larger than Andy (3 stacks high). 

Shout out to American Legacy tours (https://www.americanlegacytours.com/) and our great tour guide Laura.  It was a blast for us to see and we will be doing one of the other tours I feel very soon (Adam, the haunted one has your name on it).  A very nice history of Cincinnati and OTR with plenty of great sights to see.  A formal review gives this 5 stars and a must from The Best Podcast You've Never Heard.

18. 06. 20
posted by: Luke Mauer

If you've followed the podcast close enough, you know there are a few things we, as a group, are very passionate about.  One of them (for at least Andy and I) is pro wrestling.  It's sometimes more of a trainwreck we can't look away from, but it's just entertainment.  However, there are some very real sides to entertainment and real lives involved also.  The pro wrestling world lost one of these lives today - Leon White, better known as Big Van Vader, died at age 63.

White began his sports-entertainment career in the mid-1980s after retiring from the NFL due to injury. He rose to national prominence in Verne Gagne's American Wrestling Association before joining New Japan Pro Wrestling as the masked Big Van Vader. He went on to become one of the promotion's biggest stars and most feared competitors.  Vader then transitioned to World Championship Wrestling, where he would make the biggest mark of his career. He engaged in memorable rivalries with the likes of Sting and Ron Simmons, becoming a dominant, three-time WCW World Champion in the process.  In 1996, Vader joined the WWE roster, where he squared off against Superstars such as Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker.

Myself, as a wrestling fan, remember Vader from his WCW/WWE days.  One of the first VHS videos I ever had was Deadly Venom: The Best of Sting, which featured Sting's battles with Big Van Vader.  Vader was a massive beast - at 6'5" 450 lbs, he was like me - if I weighed 450 lbs.  But at 450 pounds, Vader would climb to the top rope and moonsault onto his opponents.  Imagine the fear that would strike in you!

It was in Japan, however, that White first made his name and developed his trademark stiff style. His feuds with the likes of Stan Hansen, which included an infamous 1990 match in which Vader finished a match despite his eye popping out of its socket, are still the stuff of legend in NJPW.  Vader was named pro wrestler of the year in 1993 and was atop the world.

In March of 1994, Vader was famously the opponent in the match against Mick Foley which caused Foley to be caught up in the ropes and lose part of his ear.

Vader made a crazy return to WWE in 2012 to show up and trounce Heath Slater.  His intro hit and people lost their minds.  It's Time.  It's Time.  It's VADER Time.

Vader's life took a turn for the worst in 2016 when he had congestive heart failure.  His doctor gave him only two years to live.  Vader fought hard and looked to triumph as his health continued to improve.  Ultimately, Vader got pneumonia and his heart gave out after a lengthy battle.  Vader will always be remembered in the hearts of many wrestling fans and in the hearts of many people in general as a kind hearted soul outside the ring.  Inside the ring, though, no one wanted to hear those daunted words.  It's Time.  It's VADER Time.  Now and always, Vader, rest easy.

18. 05. 30
posted by: Andy Seiter

Looking at the Air and Sea division of the cryptid battle, there isn’t actually a lot of balance.  We only have one air-based creature, the Ahool, going up against seven sea or water-dwelling beasts.  That said, don’t count out the Ahool.  Bats by themselves are terrifying to me in particular, but a bat with a ten-foot wingspan is terrifying beyond belief.  Being able to fly is honestly a huge advantage, especially in a hypothetical battle against another creature based on the land.  That alone means that the Ahool is going to at least be a semifinalist.  So let’s dig into the sea monsters to determine who’s going up against the Ahool to get to the finals.

One of our entrants unfortunately is going to be eliminated almost instantly due to name (and not because I won’t be able to pronounce it on air).  The Filiko Teras, although it’s supposed to be a gigantic sea monster, has a name that literally means “the friendly monster.”  Sorry, bud, that means you’re out.  Next up we have the emela-ntouka, which, although it is supposedly dangerous much like a hippo, it is a herbivore.  I’ll be damned if a vegan cryptid wins this division!  Next up, Tessie of Lake Tahoe.  I don’t have a problem with Tessie, especially if it’s a relative of the Loch Ness Monster, but you have to bring a better name to the table than “Tessie.”  Plus it loses points for being the little brother/sister to Nessie, so Tessie isn’t advancing.  Last of the quick eliminations is the Ogopogo.  The Ogopogo seems like the most promising of this crew, since it plays on the classic sea monster archetype, a giant snake/eel thing.  But, that name.  It comes from...a song.  Not just any song, a weird, jaunty, 1920s song that’s too ridiculous to take seriously.  Ogopogo is out.  That just leaves us with three serious competitors to take on the Ahool.

First up the Akkorokamui.  It is described as basically a giant octupus, which is a great start for a sea monster.  Lots of crazy arms, big creepy eyes, and presumably a beak for a mouth perfect for chopping people in half.  This one has a long history, plus the added benefit of the ultimate monster lineage of being Japanese (think Godzilla) giving it a leg up.  It’ll be tough to beat.

Next, the Altamaha-ha.  Now, jokes about Ha Ha Clinton-Dix aside, this thing sounds formidable.  It has an alligator-like head and teeth, massive size, and flippers to make it mobile.  There is unfortunately a lot of uncertainty about this one, but sightings are frequent and span a long period.  “Altie” could be a big threat to win.

Finally we have the Dobhar-chu.  This half-otter, half-dog is the most aggro of all of the sea creatures.  It will full-on attack humans and dogs, and if one isn’t enough to take you down, don’t worry.  They like to hunt in packs.  While the Alamaha-ha and Akkorokamui both sound tough, the Dobhar-chu is going to move on to the semis for one reason:  There are literally gravestones in Ireland that state the person buried there was killed by a Dobhar-chu.  No one’s going to top that.

For the finals, we have The Dobhar-chu going up against the Ahool.  A giant predatory otter-dog fighting a giant bat-ape.  I have to be honest, while it sounds like a cool matchup, this one isn’t really that close in my mind.  The Dobhar-chu attacks humans, hunts in packs, and has confirmed kills on its record.  However, sightings haven’t really happened in the modern era, and some think it may even be extinct.  Put that up against an enormous flying bat/ape hybrid thing that, no joke, will hunt and kill a human with a single bite, and the winner becomes clear.  Just check out this description of what the ahool can do:  “Ahool drops down from the treetops to its victim, jaws open wide, and "engulf" their victim with their large wings while delivering a fatal bite with their massive fangs to the victim's neck, cracking the spine and usually kills the victim instantly.”  With that, it’s going to move on to the final showdown against the winning land creature.  Who will be the overall winner?  Find out on the next episode of The Best Podcast You’ve Never Heard!