Categories
Sports

12 F2 Drivers to Know

Formula-1 and motorsports in general got shot into the stratosphere of relevancy, in large part due to Netflix’s Drive to Survive. The show chronicles the storylines and rivalries between each team, which just added to the excitement of the race. In F1, racers are allowed to tweak their car to their liking. All racers use a difference model and manufacture, as well as their own technology. In Formula-2, however, all drivers use a car with the same specs designed by Williams F1. Here are 12 F2 drivers to know.

RELATED: Breaking Down How Much F2 Drivers Make

<code><p class = "instagram-media">https://www.instagram.com/p/CetEivwNY90/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading</p></code>
1.) Felipe Drugovich
  • Current Team: MP Motorsport
  • Country: Brazil

There was no better driver in Formula 2 last season than Brazilian Felipe Drugovich. Drugovich won the F2 championship last season after finishing with 265 points, over 100 more points than second place. He has been competing in F2 since 2020, and his 1st place victory last season was his highest finish in the competition. Drugovich is only 22 years old, showing that he has a promising future in the sport of racing. He will most likely make the jump to Formula 1 in the near future. 

<code><p class = "instagram-media">https://www.instagram.com/p/Cf1phXitRiB/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading</p></code>
2.) Theo Pourchaire
  • Current Team: ART Grand Prix 
  • Country: France

The 19 year old French racing phenom Theo Pourchaire enjoyed a very successful Formula 2 season in 2022, despite being one of the youngest racers in the competition. He finished second amongst all racers, accumulating 164 points throughout the season. He has been racing in F2 since 2020, and claimed podium finishes in ten races. Pourchaire was a test driver in F1, but there is a real possibility that we see the Frenchmen becoming a full-time F1 driver soon. 

<code><p class = "instagram-media">https://www.instagram.com/p/CfjPjezNiZA/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading</p></code>
3.) Logan Sargeant
  • Current Team: Williams Racing
  • Country: United States

There is no young American driver that compares to Logan Sargeant, hailing from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Sergeant was the only driver in Formula 2 last season to come from the United States, and enjoyed a fourth place finish overall. This was his second year in Formula 2, and the highest finish of his career. Sergeant will be racing in Formula 1 next season under Williams Racing. 

<code><p class = "instagram-media">https://www.instagram.com/p/CghdpKaKsEE/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading</p></code>
4.) Enzo Fittipaldi
  • Current Team: Charouz Racing System
  •  Country: Brazil

Enzo Fittipaldi enjoyed a great run last season in Formula 2, finishing eight overall with 126 total points. He is the grandson of former Formula 1 and Indianapolis 500 champion Emerson Fittipaldi. Enzo recently became a member of the Red Bull Junior Team but is still racing in Formula 2. Fittipaldi has been featured in Formula 2 for three seasons, with last season being his highest finish. 

<code><p class = "instagram-media">https://www.instagram.com/p/CgXYooANy2m/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading</p></code>
5.) Jehan Daruvala
  • Current Team: Prema Racing
  • Country: India

After being discovered for winning ‘One in a Billion hunt’, a competition put together by Force India racing team, Jehan Daruvala began his ascent into racing. He has been racing in Formula 2 since 2020, and had his best finish last season taking home seventh place. At 24 years old, that puts Daruvala in an older class than most of his competitors, but he remains one of the best racers to come from India maybe ever. 

<code><p class = "instagram-media">https://www.instagram.com/p/CgZpkVcNdR8/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading</p></code>
6.) Frederik Vesti
  • Current Team: Prema Racing
  • Country: Denmark

Frederik Vesti remains one of the youngest drivers in Formula 2, as he was only 20 years old in his debut season last year. He had quite the introduction, taking home ninth place and claiming five podium finishes. Although Vesti raced with ART Grand Prix last season, he will be racing under Prema Racing for the next F2 season. It will be hard to top the year he had last season, but with a top five finish we may see Vesti fast-tracked to Formula 1.

<code><p class = "instagram-media">https://www.instagram.com/p/CYt4SDNtP4N/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading</p></code>
7.) Ayumu Iwasa
  • Current Team: DAMS
  • Country: Japan

Ayumu Iwasa was electric in Formula 2 last season, winning two feature races and finishing 5th overall in the standings. In his debut season last year, Iwasa claimed 5 podium finishes across his 26 starts. Notably, Iwasa won the French F4 championship in 2020 and finished top 10 in the F3 Asian Championship a year prior. At only 21 years old Iwasa has shown immense potential as a driver and has a real chance at racing in Formula 1 very soon.

<code><p class = "instagram-media">https://www.instagram.com/p/CgXfupyP7EM/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading</p></code>
8.) Liam Lawson
  • Current Team: Carlin
  • Country: New Zealand

Although he may only be 20 years old, Liam Lawson has one of the most extensive racing resumes of any young driver in the world. Last season was his second year in Formula 2, and he enjoyed a third place finish after accumulating 149 points across the season. He has been racing since 2015 and has enjoyed 1st place finishes at the NZ F1600 Championship Series in 2017 as well as the Toyota Racing Series in 2020.

<code><p class = "instagram-media">https://www.instagram.com/p/CfhjUQpBSdo/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading</p></code>
9.) Jack Doohan
  • Current Team: Virtuosi Racing
  • Country: Australia

Jack Doohan shocked the Formula 2 world last season after finishing 6th overall at only 19 years old. He is the son of former five-time 500cc world champion motorcyclist Mick Doohan. Jack has been racing since 2018 and just finished his second season in F2. No matter what competition Doohan races in, he almost always finishes in the top 10, and looks like he won’t be slowing down anytime soon. There is a very real possibility that Jack Doohan will be racing in Formula 1 very very soon.

<code><p class = "instagram-media">https://www.instagram.com/p/CeJGy2Dst_G/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading</p></code>
10.) Jüri Vips
  • Current Team: Hitech Grand Prix
  • Country: Estonia 

Jüri has an extensive racing career, as he’s been featured in different series since 2017. He has enjoyed three seasons in Formula 2, where he has also been a test driver for Red Bull Racing’s Formula 1 team. His best finish in F2 came at the end of the 2021 season, where he finished 6th overall. Vips was excruciatingly close to finishing in the top 10, but was a single point shy and finished 11th overall. Vips has a lot of experience in F2 and as an F1 test driver, so there is a real chance he makes the leap to a full time F1 driver in the near future.

<code><p class = "instagram-media">https://www.instagram.com/p/ClJxmBkSvRW/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading</p></code>
11.) Marcus Armstrong
  • Current Team: Hitech Grand Prix
  • Country: New Zealand

The 21-year-old driver from New Zealand has been racing in Formula 2 since 2020. He has boasted a total of three wins, with seven podium finishes. Armstrong has finished in 13th overall the last three F2 seasons, his highest finish in the series.

<code><p class = "instagram-media">https://www.instagram.com/p/Ck8P03YqVur/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading</p></code>
12.) Dennis Hauger
  • Current Team: Prema Racing
  • Country: Norway

Few racers on this list have the same hype and expectations that Dennis Hauger have. The 19-year-old racer was electric in Formula 3, finishing first among all racers. In his first season as an F2 driver Hauger has claimed a first place finish in a sprint race, as well as picking up points during almost every race weekend. He finished last season 10th amongst all racers.

Categories
Sports

12 F2 Drivers to Know – REDIRECT

Formula-1 and motorsports in general got shot into the stratosphere of relevancy, in large part due to Netflix’s Drive to Survive. The show chronicles the storylines and rivalries between each team, which just added to the excitement of the race. In F1, racers are allowed to tweak their car to their liking. All racers use a difference model and manufacture, as well as their own technology. In Formula-2, however, all drivers use a car with the same specs designed by Williams F1. Here are 12 F2 drivers to know.

RELATED: Breaking Down How Much F2 Drivers Make

<code><p class = "instagram-media">https://www.instagram.com/p/CetEivwNY90/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading</p></code>
1.) Felipe Drugovich
  • Current Team: MP Motorsport
  • Country: Brazil

There was no better driver in Formula 2 last season than Brazilian Felipe Drugovich. Drugovich won the F2 championship last season after finishing with 265 points, over 100 more points than second place. He has been competing in F2 since 2020, and his 1st place victory last season was his highest finish in the competition. Drugovich is only 22 years old, showing that he has a promising future in the sport of racing. He will most likely make the jump to Formula 1 in the near future. 

<code><p class = "instagram-media">https://www.instagram.com/p/Cf1phXitRiB/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading</p></code>
2.) Theo Pourchaire
  • Current Team: ART Grand Prix 
  • Country: France

The 19 year old French racing phenom Theo Pourchaire enjoyed a very successful Formula 2 season in 2022, despite being one of the youngest racers in the competition. He finished second amongst all racers, accumulating 164 points throughout the season. He has been racing in F2 since 2020, and claimed podium finishes in ten races. Pourchaire was a test driver in F1, but there is a real possibility that we see the Frenchmen becoming a full-time F1 driver soon. 

<code><p class = "instagram-media">https://www.instagram.com/p/CfjPjezNiZA/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading</p></code>
3.) Logan Sargeant
  • Current Team: Williams Racing
  • Country: United States

There is no young American driver that compares to Logan Sargeant, hailing from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Sergeant was the only driver in Formula 2 last season to come from the United States, and enjoyed a fourth place finish overall. This was his second year in Formula 2, and the highest finish of his career. Sergeant will be racing in Formula 1 next season under Williams Racing. 

<code><p class = "instagram-media">https://www.instagram.com/p/CghdpKaKsEE/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading</p></code>
4.) Enzo Fittipaldi
  • Current Team: Charouz Racing System
  •  Country: Brazil

Enzo Fittipaldi enjoyed a great run last season in Formula 2, finishing eight overall with 126 total points. He is the grandson of former Formula 1 and Indianapolis 500 champion Emerson Fittipaldi. Enzo recently became a member of the Red Bull Junior Team but is still racing in Formula 2. Fittipaldi has been featured in Formula 2 for three seasons, with last season being his highest finish. 

<code><p class = "instagram-media">https://www.instagram.com/p/CgXYooANy2m/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading</p></code>
5.) Jehan Daruvala
  • Current Team: Prema Racing
  • Country: India

After being discovered for winning ‘One in a Billion hunt’, a competition put together by Force India racing team, Jehan Daruvala began his ascent into racing. He has been racing in Formula 2 since 2020, and had his best finish last season taking home seventh place. At 24 years old, that puts Daruvala in an older class than most of his competitors, but he remains one of the best racers to come from India maybe ever. 

<code><p class = "instagram-media">https://www.instagram.com/p/CgZpkVcNdR8/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading</p></code>
6.) Frederik Vesti
  • Current Team: Prema Racing
  • Country: Denmark

Frederik Vesti remains one of the youngest drivers in Formula 2, as he was only 20 years old in his debut season last year. He had quite the introduction, taking home ninth place and claiming five podium finishes. Although Vesti raced with ART Grand Prix last season, he will be racing under Prema Racing for the next F2 season. It will be hard to top the year he had last season, but with a top five finish we may see Vesti fast-tracked to Formula 1.

<code><p class = "instagram-media">https://www.instagram.com/p/CYt4SDNtP4N/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading</p></code>
7.) Ayumu Iwasa
  • Current Team: DAMS
  • Country: Japan

Ayumu Iwasa was electric in Formula 2 last season, winning two feature races and finishing 5th overall in the standings. In his debut season last year, Iwasa claimed 5 podium finishes across his 26 starts. Notably, Iwasa won the French F4 championship in 2020 and finished top 10 in the F3 Asian Championship a year prior. At only 21 years old Iwasa has shown immense potential as a driver and has a real chance at racing in Formula 1 very soon.

<code><p class = "instagram-media">https://www.instagram.com/p/CgXfupyP7EM/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading</p></code>
8.) Liam Lawson
  • Current Team: Carlin
  • Country: New Zealand

Although he may only be 20 years old, Liam Lawson has one of the most extensive racing resumes of any young driver in the world. Last season was his second year in Formula 2, and he enjoyed a third place finish after accumulating 149 points across the season. He has been racing since 2015 and has enjoyed 1st place finishes at the NZ F1600 Championship Series in 2017 as well as the Toyota Racing Series in 2020.

<code><p class = "instagram-media">https://www.instagram.com/p/CfhjUQpBSdo/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading</p></code>
9.) Jack Doohan
  • Current Team: Virtuosi Racing
  • Country: Australia

Jack Doohan shocked the Formula 2 world last season after finishing 6th overall at only 19 years old. He is the son of former five-time 500cc world champion motorcyclist Mick Doohan. Jack has been racing since 2018 and just finished his second season in F2. No matter what competition Doohan races in, he almost always finishes in the top 10, and looks like he won’t be slowing down anytime soon. There is a very real possibility that Jack Doohan will be racing in Formula 1 very very soon.

<code><p class = "instagram-media">https://www.instagram.com/p/CeJGy2Dst_G/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading</p></code>
10.) Jüri Vips
  • Current Team: Hitech Grand Prix
  • Country: Estonia 

Jüri has an extensive racing career, as he’s been featured in different series since 2017. He has enjoyed three seasons in Formula 2, where he has also been a test driver for Red Bull Racing’s Formula 1 team. His best finish in F2 came at the end of the 2021 season, where he finished 6th overall. Vips was excruciatingly close to finishing in the top 10, but was a single point shy and finished 11th overall. Vips has a lot of experience in F2 and as an F1 test driver, so there is a real chance he makes the leap to a full time F1 driver in the near future.

<code><p class = "instagram-media">https://www.instagram.com/p/ClJxmBkSvRW/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading</p></code>
11.) Marcus Armstrong
  • Current Team: Hitech Grand Prix
  • Country: New Zealand

The 21-year-old driver from New Zealand has been racing in Formula 2 since 2020. He has boasted a total of three wins, with seven podium finishes. Armstrong has finished in 13th overall the last three F2 seasons, his highest finish in the series.

<code><p class = "instagram-media">https://www.instagram.com/p/Ck8P03YqVur/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading</p></code>
12.) Dennis Hauger
  • Current Team: Prema Racing
  • Country: Norway

Few racers on this list have the same hype and expectations that Dennis Hauger have. The 19-year-old racer was electric in Formula 3, finishing first among all racers. In his first season as an F2 driver Hauger has claimed a first place finish in a sprint race, as well as picking up points during almost every race weekend. He finished last season 10th amongst all racers.

Categories
Sports Sports

33 Sweet Gifts For Wrestling Fans

Season’s beatings are upon us, and wrestling fans are clamoring for hot merchandise! In the age of on-demand content and ultra-niche hobbies, a preponderance of exciting items is available to cater to every specific need, and pro wrestling is no exception. The tricky part about gift-giving, especially for wrestling fans, is parsing out what’s actually cool versus what’s tragically nerdy. With that in mind, we’ve put together a quick shopping list for your holiday needs, ranging from custom items to outrageous fashions. testing version 2

1. MOX Book
Amazon

In his transition from WWE to AEW, Jon Moxley has not only remained the star that he is but thrived in his new setting. His new book, MOX, is a candid look into his life and sees him telling stories about his early wrestling career, his tumultuous time with the WWE, and his new home. It’s a must-read for any Jon Moxley fans and fans of the business in general.

Buy Now, $17.83
https://www.amazon.com/MOX-Jon-Moxley/dp/163758038X/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=mox+book&qid=1636576956&qsid=141-3383629-9811510&sr=8-1&sres=163758038X%2CB0841BLPK2%2C1606998420%2CB0839MJ2XZ%2CB09L4SSH8Y%2CB0120M6DYC%2C1603429875%2C0988872552%2C1304600653%2C1954220006%2C1983844527%2CB09KN6575P%2CB087LJ2Q3Q%2C1032240032%2C057841452X%2CB096XH3ZPK&srpt=ABIS_BOOK
2. Young Bucks: Killing The Business From Backyards To The Big Leagues Book
Amazon

As the name suggests, this book takes readers through the Young Bucks’ journey from Southern California to the worldwide stage. The book rotates between the brothers’ perspectives and features their signature wit and charm that fans love them for.

Buy Now, $15.99
3. CM Punk shirt
AEW

CM Punk’s return to the ring felt like the biggest news story in pro wrestling in a decade. It captured and reinterested old fans and even impressed those that had been following diligently the entire time. Your giftee would probably love one of the Chicago wrestler’s new t-shirts to commemorate this era.

Buy Now, $24.99
https://www.shopaew.com/roster/cmpunk/cm-punk-best-in-the-world-t-shirt.html
4. Big E Art Print
WWE

Big E’s story is the type that dreams are made of and this beautiful art print by Rob Schamberger is an incredible piece that every fan around the world deserves. It’s called The Power and you can even watch a video of it being painted here.

Buy Now, $19.99
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHgKxZvnYQQ
5. Bret Hart Funko Pop!
Amazon

Funko Pops continue to be an incredibly popular choice for gifts and this one of the legendary Bret “The Hitman” Hart is one of the better options from the Funko line of pro wrestling figures. It shows him with his classic black jacket and pink shades and it’s perfect for any old-school wrestling fan.

Buy Now, $34
https://www.amazon.com/Funko-POP-Bret-Hart-Jacket/dp/B07P6XMBG3/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=bret+hart+funko+pop&qid=1636577291&qsid=141-3383629-9811510&sr=8-1&sres=B07P6XMBG3%2CB0781VGB3Y%2CB087MS9DTV%2CB0764G47JY%2CB07W3Q1Y4K%2CB08KGHDVLF%2CB06XGTRF6M%2CB08F2RF53C%2CB07P96L7TV%2CB07TZMZK6J%2CB0763XC18Y%2CB08FMWTNB5%2CB07ZZP4HHG%2CB07P96JYS4%2CB084R4QMQK%2CB08CB74MSZ%2CB07P82MVJF%2CB07ZZNTSQ8%2CB07TXLJYT6%2CB07N5TVK3P&srpt=FIGURINE
6. DND, I’m Watching Wrestling Socks
Amazon

If you know that your giftee is into pro wrestling but not much more than that in terms of specific brands or wrestlers, perhaps it’s best to keep it light-hearted and vague. These funny socks could be the perfect choice in that scenario. The person you’re gifting them to can watch PPVs throughout winter while keeping their feet warm.

Buy Now, $6.99
https://www.amazon.com/Wrestling-Please-Disturb-Watching-Sports/dp/B08V19NQRJ/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?keywords=do+not+disturb+wrestling+socks&qid=1636577359&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEyT1ZQN0RLUkc3TEkmZW5jcnlwdGVkSWQ9QTAzMTY1MjUxQVhRRzJJNkpQS1JWJmVuY3J5cHRlZEFkSWQ9QTA4NzgzNjQzQ1BFUlFBR1BLSUw3JndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfYXRmJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==
7. WWE Matching Game
Amazon

This game can be entertaining enough for adults and it’s easy enough for kids to learn. Cards are set face down with each player taking turns to turn a pair of cards face up, all the while trying to remember where the WWE superstars are and whoever matches the most wins. The game comes with 72 tiles.

Buy Now, $9.99
https://www.amazon.com/Wonder-Forge-Game-Boys-Girls/dp/B086B7ZFWJ/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2CIOEVK4FSHK7&keywords=wwe+matching+game&qid=1636577461&qsid=141-3383629-9811510&sprefix=wwe+match%2Caps%2C230&sr=8-1&sres=B086B7ZFWJ%2CB076MDYRBL%2CB086BKXLRD%2C1465467831%2CB08VBMHX8V%2CB000ELQUZO%2CB08LVY1GZS%2CB07YSVBYHW%2CB01FLQM21W%2CB083TMHCP2%2C1499810695%2CB08GJZJYP1%2CB01DY818JG%2CB098MQ5XKH%2CB004S2BPJG%2CB07TV8HCMT%2CB095XX1YTW%2CB07WTXTFPD%2C1465462643%2CB096LHCVL6
8. Randy Orton Christmas Throw Pillow
WWE

Randy Orton has maintained his position at the top for nearly two decades now, with his twenty-year WWE anniversary fast approaching. He’s a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame and as a result, any professional wrestling fan would appreciate this Orton Christmas-themed throw pillow. It makes reference to his “outta nowhere” finisher with a festive spin.

Buy Now, $29.99
https://shop.wwe.com/products/randy-orton-outta-snowhere-holiday-throw-pillow
9. Darby Allin High Tops
AEW

AEW wrestler Darby Allin has made a big name for himself in his short career, enough to make himself the target of CM Punk’s return match at AEW All Out earlier this year. If your giftee is a fan, get them these Allin high tops that are a great and unique gift. 

Buy Now, $99.99
https://www.shopaew.com/darby-allin-coffin-superkickstm-high-tops-3-4-weeks-to-ship.html
10. Mick Foley Christmas Sweater
PWT

Every Christmas needs a good sweater and for pro wrestling fans, it’s hard to get much better than this Mick Foley-themed one. It reads “have a nice holiday,” a play on his popular catchphrase. A simple but great gift.

Buy Now, $34.99
https://www.prowrestlingtees.com/catalog/product/view/id/50806/s/mick-foley-have-a-nice-holiday-sweatshirt/category/7350/
11. WWE Championship Commemorative Belt
WWE

As a child who had the WWE Championship and the World Heavyweight Championship, I can confirm that there were few things more fun than pretending I was in a title fight, hitting moves, and taking bumps with an imaginary opponent on my grandparents’ bed and raising the belt at the end. You can give someone that experience this Christmas with the WWE Championship Commemorative Belt. It has the same prestigious feel as the belts you see on TV, despite being made from zinc alloy.

Buy Now, $329.99
https://shop.wwe.com/products/wwe-championship-replica-title-belt-2014?variant=32754493194367
12. Roman Reigns ‘Head Of The Table’ T-Shirt
WWE

The Big Dog has had a story with a bunch of peaks and valleys in his time with the WWE. For a while, many found it hard to cheer for him, seeing him as a representation of a larger problem with WWE’s creative team, but that’s in the past now. He’s arguably the face of the company and to celebrate that, you can get the Head Of The Table shirt for a Roman Reigns fan this Christmas.

Buy Now, $22.39
https://shop.wwe.com/products/roman-reigns-head-of-the-table-t-shirt
13. Sasha Banks ‘Boss Time’ Studded Ring Set
WWE

Sasha Banks is red hot right now and is well on her way to becoming a Hall of Famer. The current SmackDown Women’s Champion, a Women’s Grand Slam champion, and a Triple Crown Champion, any kind of Sasha Banks merchandise right now is a lock to put a smile on the face of a wrestling fan this Christmas. We picked out the Boss Time studded ring set but there are also slippers, water bottles, dog leashes, and more for sale.

Buy Now, $14.99
https://shop.wwe.com/products/sasha-banks-boss-time-studded-ring-set
14. The Undertaker ’30 Years’ Poster
WWE

November 19th of this year marked 30 years since The Undertaker debuted in the WWE at Survivor Series. He’s had a long, illustrious career among many eras and has remained relevant in each one, a household name and one of the greatest to ever do it. To celebrate 30 years and mark ‘Taker’s retirement, WWE released a big line of merchandise that would be perfect for any pro wrestling fan. The Snoop Dogg collaboration t-shirts got some stick on social media, but they might be your thing if you’re into vintage tees. Along with those and the poster we like the most, there’s a pillow, a mug, a commemorative urn, a pin, a keychain, a belt, a costume, and much, much more.

Buy Now, $29.99
https://shop.wwe.com/products/undertaker-30-years-18×24-art-print
15. NITRO: The Incredible Rise & Inevitable Collapse Of Ted Turner’s WCW
Good Reads

The WCW era in pro wrestling was a short but sweet one and telling its story here is Guy Evans. Whether you were a fan through the late 1990s and early 2000s when it was functioning or not, his account will make you feel like you were right there in the heat of it. Eric Bischoff, former President of WCW, calls it “the most definitive, well written and thoroughly researched book on the rise and fall off WCW” and going further, Conrad Thompson, the host of Something To Wrestle and 83 Weeks, says it’s “without question the very best book ever written on professional wrestling.” If that’s not enough to convince you, nothing will be. It’s available as an audiobook too.

Buy Now, $29.95
https://wcwnitrobook.com/item/nitro-the-incredible-rise-and-inevitable-collapse-of-ted-turners-wcw-paperback
16. AEW DVD
Shop AEW

Considering how new AEW is, there’s a good chance that a hardcore pro wrestling fan has either seen every show that they’ve put on or hasn’t quite been convinced yet. Very few people will fall down the middle. Regardless of what side they stand on, an AEW DVD could be the right thing to put in their stocking this Christmas. They might want to relive some of their favorite shows, have some of the early shows documented with a physical copy forever, or maybe they want to give it a start in their own time.

Buy Now, $24.99
https://www.shopaew.com/more-items/dvds/aew-all-out-september-5-2021-dvd-2-disc-set.html
17. AEW Action Figures
Shop AEW

In just under two years, All Elite Wrestling has made a huge impact on the pro-wrestling world, as many expected them to. When I was a kid, playing with WWE action figures like Edge, Randy Orton and John Cena gave me hours of fun and had me running wild with my imagination. Now, AEW has released its own set of action figures. Chris Jericho, Kenny Omega, and Cody Rhodes are all on offer and sure to satisfy both kids who want to play with them and adults who see them as collectible pieces to display, either still in the box or out of it.

Buy Now, $24.99
https://www.shopaew.com/figures
18. Bray Wyatt ‘The Fiend’ Replica Mask
WWE

I don’t know about you, but I’ll never forget the first time I saw The Fiend on my screen. It was eery and reminded me of when The Undertaker debuted 30 long years ago. It felt like he was about to make an impact and a large part of the reason was the mask. I’m not afraid to admit it made me feel more uneasy than I should have as someone in my early twenties. If you’re looking to give someone the same feeling, then you can get them The Fiend’s mask this Christmas. You can either buy a standard replica for about $40 or buy the deluxe replica, with more details, for $200.

Buy Now, $24.95
https://shop.wwe.com/bray-wyatt-the-fiend-replica-mask/16046752AE.html?dwvar_16046752AE_color=No%20Color
19. WWE Network Gift Card
WWE

The WWE Network is a forward-thinking system that it’s safe to say we’ll see other huge names in sports adopt sooner or later. For just $9.99 a month, fans can watch thousands and thousands of hours of WWE programming on demand, including the month’s PPV with no additional costs. Whether you want to keep up with the weekly shows or reminisce and watch episodes of RAW or SmackDown from when you were a child, the Network is the place to be, which is actually why paying for someone’s subscription with a gift card is a perfect gift this Christmas. Since the WWE Network is no more in the US, this gift card is better off in the hands of your international brethren.

Buy Now, $29.97
https://www.walmart.com/ip/WWE-3-month-Gift-Card-email-delivery/673684101
20. WWE 2K Battlegrounds
2K

The 2K website describes this new game as having “all-new, over-the-top, in-your-face action” and that’s really better than I could ever describe it. This is a left turn from the usual annual releases from 2K after the developers saw the series start to dwindle slightly in recent years. The pandemic didn’t help either. Instead of pressing on with the same game, they bring us this bundle of fun with plans to return to the standard simulator next year. This is to the WWE 2K series what NBA Playgrounds is to the NBA 2K series. A game that doesn’t take itself too seriously and benefits from it.

Buy Now, $21.50
https://www.amazon.com/WWE-2K-Battlegrounds-PS4-playstation-4/dp/B08J19215H/ref=sr_1_3?crid=1IXI89PQVGRKY&keywords=2k+battleground&qid=1636568966&qsid=141-3383629-9811510&sprefix=2k+battlegrounds%2Caps%2C-1&sr=8-3&sres=B08CLHCP7Q%2CB08C63DS4Q%2CB08J19215H%2CB08N65C6LP%2CB08JHKCFSB%2CB08JZKJPY1%2CB08MZ7ZH3W%2CB08JPGGGK8%2CB08JZMCQXN%2CB091BNKQ33%2CB08JHD13Z3%2CB08CWGP2JL%2CB08JHDRK7C%2CB07FMBHTXV%2CB07HM6FRC3%2CB01GD48T9U
21. Green Ant Lucha Masks
Ant Hill

CHIKARA’s resilient rookie is known for high-flying antics and acts of selfless bravery, but did you know he’s also a budding designer? This diligent bug sells replica masks and custom designs at fair prices, and you get the bonus satisfaction of knowing each one was 100 percent handmade. 

Buy Now, $35
https://greenant.bigcartel.com/product/ant-hill-replica-masks
22. Bullet Club Snapback
NJPW

The Bullet Club will live on forever, no matter where past members of the faction appear. The group has legendary status in Japan and for $29.99, you can rock an official BC snapback from NJPW’s merch site.

Buy Now, $29.99
https://shop.njpw1972.com/collections/new-arrivals/products/bullet-club-snapback-hat
23. WWE Masters of the WWE Universe Grayskull Mania Bundle
Walmart

It’s always been easy to imagine pro wrestlers as superheroes—and now Mattel has made this relationship quite literal. The rocky toy ring even has an absurd backstory to go with the redesigned high-fantasy grapplers: Can denim-clad John Cena save WWEternia (no, really, that’s what it’s called) from Terror Claws Triple H?! Only you can decide!

Buy Now, $69.88
https://www.walmart.com/ip/WWE-Masters-of-the-WWE-Universe-Grayskull-Mania-Bundle-with-Terror-Claws-Triple-H-and-John-Cena-Figures/527415630
24. Book It! Board Game
Foam Hammer Games

Book It! is the board game where you and a few friends become professional wrestling promoters. You’ll have to consider venues, signings, booking, ticket sales, and more as you try to win the most points.

Buy Now, $39.99
https://foamhammergames.com/product/book-it-the-pro-wrestling-promoter-card-game/
25. Sami vs Generico Dream Match Tee
Eric Shorey

Around the time El Generico retired from wrestling to run an orphanage in Tijuana, a lovable red-bearded fighter began appearing on NXT. Fans noting similarities between the two have dreamed of the day these legendary grapplers would one day fight, but no one seems to be able to track down the heroic luchador. Now, Sami’s raising money for victims of the current war in Syria with this collectible tee.

Buy Now, $22.99
https://unicornshirts.net/product/the-dream-match-generico-vs-sami-shirt/
26. Stone Cold IPA
Eric Shorey

WWE has distanced itself from the boozy Attitude Era but Stone Cold’s still going strong with his own brand of IPA, featuring “Citra, Cascade, and Chinook hops.” Give Santa a “Hell Yeah!” and throw that ol’ boy a brew from America’s favorite badass. 

Buy Now, $5.99
https://craftshack.com/products/el-segundo-steve-austins-broken-skull-ipa
27. An Encyclopedia of Women’s Wrestling
Eric Shorey

LaToya Ferguson’s excellent and detailed profiles of the biggest names in women’s wrestling is a perfect gift for the brainy fan. The book is perfect for display on a coffee table but also functions as an informative primer for the stories of trailblazing athletes who don’t get nearly enough recognition for shaping the sport we know and love.

Buy Now, $14.93
https://www.amazon.com/Encyclopedia-Womens-Wrestling-Profiles-Strongest/dp/1454931205
28. Ric Flair Chalk Line Jacket
Eric Shorey

You may never possess the unique and cocaine-riddled charisma of Ric Flair, but you can at least cop his signature look with Chalk Line’s eccentric interpretations of classic pro-wrestling gear.

Buy Now, $74.99
https://chalk-line.com/collections/ric-flair/products/ric-flair-purple-sequin-jacket
29. Odd Sox Men’s The Outsiders Socks
Odd Sox

“HEY YO!” Rest in peace to the great Scott Hall. And it’s also worth showing the utmost respect to “Big Sexy” Kevin Nash. Any 90s wrestling fanatic you still know to this day will be forever grateful to you if you hook them up with this pair of NWO-branded socks. With these on your feet, you just gotta do the slow walk down the hallway just like Hall used to do back in the day.

Buy Now, $14.99
https://oddsoxofficial.com/collections/wwe/products/the-outsiders
30. Too Sweet: Inside the Indie Wrestling Revolution
Goodreads

The independent wrestling boom was amazing to witness during the rise of Ring of Honor & various feds up until the current-day landscape. New York Times bestselling author Keith Elliot Greenberg does an amazing job chronicling the biggest indie wrestling feds, the major personalities that brought more eyes to each company, and the monumental moments that led to even bigger developments across the wrestling landscape. This book provides a deep inside look at how indie wrestling successfully progressed to where it is now.

Buy Now, $9.99
https://www.amazon.com/Too-Sweet-Inside-Wrestling-Revolution-ebook/dp/B089VBHCL8
31. WWE Ultimate Edition “Macho Man” Randy Savage Action Figure
Amazon

The “Macho Man” will forever be a pop culture icon and one of the greatest to ever do it within the legendary squared circle. If you’re in the market for one of the best-looking Randy Savage action figures out there, then this one should appeal to you or any other fans of the “Madness” out there. WWE’s line of Mattel-branded action figures is truly the best of the best due to just how amazingly accurate they all look in comparison to their real-life inspirations. This figure would surely look great on the mantle of any wrestling fan who’s big on Golden Era wrestling legends.

Buy Now, $45.95
https://www.amazon.com/WWE-Ultimate-15-24-cm-Interchangeable-Swappable/dp/B08J4HG1DN/ref=pd_bxgy_sccl_1/144-6255022-4332146?pd_rd_w=O1CC2&content-id=amzn1.sym.7757a8b5-874e-4a67-9d85-54ed32f01737&pf_rd_p=7757a8b5-874e-4a67-9d85-54ed32f01737&pf_rd_r=XPYBF9AXSPV2A7RJDD04&pd_rd_wg=pbpn7&pd_rd_r=50afca33-c619-479f-a547-149357d1a0b1&pd_rd_i=B08J4HG1DN&psc=1
32. Framed and Signed WrestleMania VI Poster
Amazon

HWC Trading is a UK-based print and design studio that’s quite adept when it comes to offering signed memorabilia for avid movie, sports, TV, and music fans. Speaking of sports, this signed WrestleMania VI promotional poster should be right up the alley of anyone who still remembers where they were when Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior locked horns.

Buy Now, $29.99
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09WVZMYWR?pd_rd_i=B09WVZMYWR&pf_rd_p=ed4c580a-3454-4806-8700-a86b48fa2fd1&pf_rd_r=FE8JEZNWYNPKZREW8F09&pd_rd_wg=sUFQ8&pd_rd_w=tF7gh&pd_rd_r=c8355b1a-dcd3-4b9b-a07c-9e96af4f99f8
33. Vintage WrestleMania Metal Tin Sign
Amazon

Imagine spotting this gorgeous piece of work on somebody’s wall! You’ll immediately strike up an hours-long conversation about the good old days of wrestling with whoever decided to add this to their home decor. If you know someone that watches the main event of the very first WrestleMania every year just for tradition’s sake, this metal wall sign is tailor-made for them.

Buy Now, $12.98
https://www.amazon.com/Vintage-Wrestle-20x30cm-Nostalgic-Decoration/dp/B0928PSZTN/?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_w=weRQA&content-id=amzn1.sym.628b38b6-dbee-442c-9e9c-e8813ea9e367&pf_rd_p=628b38b6-dbee-442c-9e9c-e8813ea9e367&pf_rd_r=V8FC3B3JYRJH0WMWVNB9&pd_rd_wg=3PoFO&pd_rd_r=e37b7408-8f2b-4465-9a5c-088c7a97e782&ref_=pd_gw_ci_mcx_mr_hp_d

ONE37pm may receive affiliate revenue from some of the links in this article.

Categories
Sports

Daps Wants to Be the Future of Collectibles

Sports fandom has never been more atomized—social media and streaming have collapsed the distance between fans and their favorite players, creating a version of fandom that’s defined more by personal taste than geographic happenstance. In this sense, most Knicks fans became Knicks fans because they just happened to grow up in New York City, but all Lebron James fans are Lebron James fans because they consciously and intentionally picked him as their favorite player. Whereas sports fandom used to resemble religion in its devotion to a single power, it’s now closer to a parasocial relationship. You have your guys and you feel like you get to know them, even if you don’t really know them; Daps is trying to make it so you do.

Founded by former Columbia basketball player Jake Klores and influencer marketing entrepreneur Ryan Berger, Daps is a start-up app that’s fostering new digital experiences between basketball players and their fans. As such, Daps allows fans to book personal experiences with players and coaches—think: a more interactive Cameo. Right now, Daps’ roster of hoopers is headlined by Penny Hardaway, Jonathan Kuminga, Andre Drummond, Duncan Robinson and WNBA star Lexie Brown. 

“Daps allows me to interact with fans in a whole new way,” said Kuminga. “When testing the app, I got to feel how easy it is to put a huge smile on a fan’s face and I can’t wait to keep doing more of that.”

Beyond basketball, Daps has pledged to donate a portion of their proceeds to Everytown, Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun violence organization, and the Brittney Griner Advocacy Account.

Last month, Daps co-founder Jake Klores sat down with ONE37pm about his vision for bridging the divide between athletes and their fans.

ONE37pm: How did you get started with Daps?

Klores: “I originally started a company called Workhorse which was a marketplace that linked college athletes with brands for NIL deals, but the thing became really clear for me was that there’s a really big gap between what the modern generation of sports fans want in terms of access to their favorite athletes and the options that are currently available to them. There’s a really high level of demand from fans for a level of connection with their favorite players, but there’s just way too much friction for them to get that right now. Even if you DM a player on Instagram, they’re never going to see it. 

With Daps, we wanted to build a place where you can buy personalized, digital experiences from your favorite athletes, whether that’s a five minute video call or playing a video game together or a tour of their sneaker closet. I think that going forward, these kinds of interactions are going to be the new collectibles; instead of just an autograph, you’ll have these interactions and memories for life.” 

ONE37pm: How does your background in basketball inform Daps?

Klores: “I’ve spent most of my life playing basketball, first in AAU with the Rens (editor’s note: current Daps partners Jose Alvarado, Jonathan Kuminga, RJ Davis, Lance Ware,and Simeon Wilcher are also Rens alums) and then in college. And with that, I feel like I have a really unique understanding of what athletes want and how they want to interact with their fans. I think that’s very helpful for us because there aren’t a lot of people who truly understand the unique needs of athletes as customers. These players have high levels of primary income, but they also have very, very busy lives and lots of different obligations and endorsements and deals, so it’s important to build a platform that’s build for them and that’s able to adapt and iterate based on their needs.

But then on the other hand, I grew up as a crazy sports fan and I  think it’s helpful to be able to understand the wants and needs of both sides of the marketplace.”

ONE37pm: How did you choose which athletes to partner with initially and what are your plans to expand your current roster of athletes?

Klores: “Right now, it’s invite only. The ones that we started with were one, we felt a genuine understanding of what we were doing, and wanted to deepen their relationship with their fans. 

Going forward, the biggest thing for us as a company is making sure that both sides are having a really good experience. So it’s really important for us to make this a very easy and efficient experience for athletes. And for the fans, we want to make sure that they’re getting what they booked and that it’s happening in a timely manner. As soon as we feel comfortable with that process, we’ll open up more and more and eventually the goal is that this will become a place for all athletes and not just basketball players to find value.”

Categories
Sports

The 20 Scariest Wrestlers of All Time

Hey everyone! It’s The Wrestling Classic here with another list for ONE37pm. This month, I thought we’d do something a little fun since we’re in the midst of “Spooky Season” and cover the scariest wrestlers of all time.

The spooky season is that period of Autumn when Halloween fanatics indulge in horror culture. While it’s an exciting time to whip out the horror movie classics with Michael Myers, Ghostface, Freddy Krueger, and other horror film legends, I thought I would list the spookiest characters from the world of professional wrestling. When making this list, I thought about the wrestlers that struck fear in me when I was a youth as well as superstars I think struck fear in the generation of children that came after me.

Although I might be missing some names such as Bruiser Brody, Sabu, Giant Gonzales, Great Muta, the KISS-inspired Demon (from WCW), and most importantly the Yeti which might have caused you nightmares…this list is meant to be fun and not taken seriously. That all being said…enjoy!

RELATED: The 30 Best WWE Wrestlers of All Time

20. Sting
WWE

I’m not talking about the “Surfer Sting” era – I’m talking about everything concerning “The Crow” Sting (inspired by the character played by Brandon Lee in the 1994 film named The Crow), which was spooky, especially in 1996-1997. When Sting felt betrayed by WCW and his fans, he went mute for a full year while lurking from the rafters and appearing when necessary. Now listen – I can understand if you don’t find Sting that scary after he began talking and recreated himself a bunch of times. But I definitely wouldn’t want to be followed by someone looking like the “Stinger” down a dark alleyway. Now apply that logic to everyone on this list and you’ll see why I placed Crow Sting on this list.

19. Jake “The Snake” Roberts
WWE

Jake “The Snake” Roberts was cold and callous even though he looked like your regular guy. The way he would look in your eyes when he’d ask you to trust him in a soft tone was disturbing enough to make you feel uneasy. On top of that, he was friends with snakes and would carry them around with him, ready to confront you with them at any given chance. If you’re afraid of snakes, you’d definitely be spooked by Jake Roberts. 

18. Se7en
WWE

Dustin Rhodes’ portrayal of Se7en didn’t last very long. Depending on who you ask, the gimmick was either killed off by Vince Russo or the network “Turner Broadcasting” actually put the kibosh on it. It was a creepy character that resembled Uncle Fester, plus he could levitate as we witnessed in his only appearance on WCW Nitro live. In his vignettes, Seven would be creeping on children through their windows and possessing them or something like that. It might have been a failed gimmick but listen – if you saw Seven in your dreams or outside your child’s window, you’d have an easy time classifying him as one of the scariest wrestlers you’ve ever seen.

17. Abdullah the Butcher
WWE

Abdullah the Butcher is a legend who’s best remembered for his bloody battles with the likes of Bruiser Brody and also for being electrocuted in the “Chamber of Horrors” match at Halloween Havoc 1991. The evil “Arabian Sadist” enjoyed violence and he carried a fork around to bust open his opponents just for the taste of their blood. “The Madman from Sudan” looked even more fearsome due to the scars on his head from the excessive use of blading. Those scars were so deep that Mick Foley said he could fit poker chips in them. I definitely wouldn’t want to be locked in a room with Abdullah for too long.

<code><p class = "instagram-media">https://www.instagram.com/p/CMw-ZLKBAOD/?utm_source=ig_embed\u0026amp;utm_campaign=loading</p></code>
16. Decay

“Decay” is a faction from Impact Wrestling that originally consisted of Abyss, Rosemary, and Crazzy Steve when it was formed in 2016. Since the group reunited in 2021, Havok and Black Taurus have joined Crazzy Steve and Rosemary. It’s a group consisting of unpredictable and unusual personalities who love to play mind games and inflict pain on their opponents. Their painted faces and appearances might be enough to terrorize your every waking nightmare, but when you hear they can access the undead realm, it makes them come off even scarier. You’ll find them competing in brutal bouts such as the Monster’s Ball, Demon Collar, and Demon Dance match types. It’s safe to say they like to walk on the dark side.

15. Kevin Sullivan
VICE

If your only memory of Kevin Sullivan is his time spent within the “Dungeon of Doom” or the “Varsity Club” stables, you’ll be confused as to why he’s on this list. Now don’t get me wrong – the Dungeon of Doom was intended to be frightening, but it ended up being more comical if anything. The real reason Sullivan makes this list is because of his early career run as a devil-worshiping cult leader who could invoke the powers of dark spirits in his promos and matches. He even created his own faction called the Army of Darkness. In a time when kayfabe was still a thing, it really scared curious onlookers. Now maybe the Dungeon of Doom did, too – I mean the group gave us the Yeti, who made its debut by humping Hulk Hogan awkwardly in the ring. Simply unforgettable. With all that being said, Kevin Sullivan is undoubtedly one of the scariest wrestlers of all time.

14. Luna Vachon
WWE

In the world of wrestling where the majority of the women were portrayed as eye candy or legitimate athletes, there was Luna Vachon. Now don’t get it twisted – Luna was both very athletic and very skilled in the ring, plus she was beautiful in her own way. The way she was portrayed on television could be intimidating. While the rest of the women around her had sex appeal, were fashionable, or carried themselves as wrestlers, everything about Vachon was super unique. Vachon’s character was also known to snap at any moment, creating an aura of chaos whenever she was around that played into her being ranked here as one of the scariest wrestlers. The veins on the side of her face and her raspy voice were enough for a young Justin to think of stranger danger if she approached me unexpectedly.

13. Kevin Thorn and Ariel
WWE

Although Kevin Thorn won’t be the only vampire appearing on this list, it doesn’t make him any less scary. The pairing of himself and the tarot card reading Ariel brought a dark element to the revamped WWE version of ECW. They would drink blood and do whatever it took to gain victories in their matches. There was a ton of potential here that was never reached due to Ariel being released and Thorn getting repackaged soon after. They definitely had the look and played the role to perfection. It also lasted longer than Mordecai, but that’s a different topic.

12. Papa Shango
WWE

Papa Shango was a supernatural voodoo practitioner who came to the ring carrying a skull to the ring that would blow out smoke. He was also able to control the arena lights somehow and cast spells that caused his opponents to vomit. Shango instantly targeted top stars such as Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior. He didn’t achieve much success, but I’m sure he struck fear in children and even some adults. Although it might be an unpopular opinion, I’d say there is an argument that Shango’s character was ahead of his time and could have worked with a few changes and adaptations made to his gimmick. It was creative and spooky.

11. Malakai Black
AEW

There is something intimidating about Malakai Black from the very moment you see him. Whether it’s his interesting tattoos, his size, or the darkness around his right eye, it was easy to be on edge around the leader of the “House of Black.” Malakai possessed supernatural abilities and the leadership qualities to get lost souls to follow him. From his promos to his entrance, everything about Black was dark and ominous. Eventually, he had the ability to spit black mist in people’s eyes to either cause them temporary blindness or infect them with some sort of disease that slowly converted them to the dark side slowly. I definitely wouldn’t want to be the focus of his attention, which is why I have to recognize Mr. Black as one of the scariest wrestlers I’ve ever laid eyes on.

10. Abyss
IMPACT Wrestling

“The Monster” Abyss was a staple character in TNA or Impact Wrestling (whatever you want to call it now) for years. He was introduced without a really defined backstory but still felt like the love child of the Mankind and Kane characters. Abyss was like an overgrown child filled with insecurities, but could and would unleash violence at any second. He thrived on unleashing violence. You might even say he was addicted to violence. Abyss is truly a madman and someone you would want to avoid if you were stranded with him on a desert island. 

9. The Brood
WWE

“The Brood” was the WWE’s resident vampire stable in the late 90s when bloodsuckers were really hot in pop culture. The group consisted of Edge, Christian, and Gangrel. They would rise through the stage surrounded by flames and Gangrel would drink blood out of his cauldron cup, only to spit it out during their entrance which was accompanied by one of the greatest wrestling theme songs of all time. They became popular for surprising their enemies with blood baths, which is where the red liquid would drop from the ceiling to cover their victims. They were freaky, but also hella entertaining. However, I would like to live a life where I never had to endure a bloodbath. The Brood is well deserving of their placing here on this list of the scariest wrestlers.

8. Waylon Mercy
WWE

Waylon Mercy was this captivating, calm, and smooth-talking madman with a southern drawl based off of Robert DiNero’s character Max Cady in the film Cape Fear. Regardless of his tattoos and the dagger on his forehead, he seemed approachable and trustworthy even though he was sinister and manipulative. He would appear as a peaceful gentleman with southern charm, coming to the ring showing his adulation for the fans but turning into this vicious competitor once the bell rang. Dan Spivey, who portrayed the character, was ahead of his time and inspired the likes of Bray Wyatt (who we’ll talk about later on this list…), but it never got to take off due to prior injuries forcing him to retire. Regardless, go watch one of those Waylon Mercy promos in the dark and tell me it wouldn’t make you double-check if all your doors are locked. 

7. Vampiro
WWE

From the moment I saw Vampiro on WCW shows as a child, I thought he was super creepy. He had face paint that resembled a skull and walked to the ring like he was creeping up on someone or something. He led factions such as “The Dead Pool” and “The Dark Carnival.” He also loved to give his opponents surprise bloodbaths and even tried setting Sting on fire on multiple occasions until he finally did in their Human Torch Match. Vampiro had a nonchalant attitude, but he loved to dish out pain and violence. He is someone I wouldn’t want to stare at for too long to the point where he thought he had to do something about it because god knows what he would want to do. Vampiro has to make it onto everyone’s list of the scariest wrestlers.

6. Doink the Clown
WWE

Clowns are meant to be funny, silly, and entertaining. However, there are many people on this earth who will gladly admit that they have a fear of clowns – make sure you don’t ever surprise them with one. The official term for this is called “Coulrophobia,” which tells you it’s a lot more common than you think. Therefore, when the WWE introduced their own resident evil clown with Doink, it actually struck anxiety, faster heartbeats, nausea, and profuse sweating for all those clown-fearing folk. I wonder if it made a lot of sense to have a villainous clown in a company geared toward families. I mean most of Doink’s pranks were harmless compared to say Pennywise from the 1990 horror classic It. That being said, if Doink the Clown offered me a balloon, I’d still run. 

5. Mankind
WWE

When Mankind first made his WWE debut in 1996 by attacking the Undertaker, he was clearly mentally deranged. I want you to think about that early incarnation of Mankind and not the fun-loving one who wore dirty dress clothes, teamed with The Rock, and won the WWF Championship. I’m talking about the Mankind who wore a leather mask, would pull out his own hair, hang out in boiler rooms, stab himself in the leg, and had a pet rat named George. The early portrayal of Mankind was eerie and, considering The Undertaker was a babyface at the time, I found him less scary compared to Mankind at a young age. He loved feeling pain as much as giving it out. I would hate to randomly stumble into a boiler room and hear a creepy voice yell out “Mommy!” Mankind’s early days classify him as someone who belongs among the walking terrors in this collection of the scariest wrestlers.

4. The Boogeyman
WWE

“I’m the Boogeyman..and I’m coming to getcha!” The Boogeyman was introduced to the WWE Universe in 2005, bringing fear to the audience as he would appear randomly and terrorize other wrestlers. He would shake, crawl and walk through the smoke during his entrance while smashing a clock over his head. The Boogeyman also ate worms and left those same insects in the mouth of his opponents after defeating them. There was even a point where we were introduced to a little Boogeyman (I guess I should mention that Doink had a whole team of little clowns at one point, too) while he was feuding with Finlay and Hornswoggle. Everything about the Boogeyman was spooky – the visual of him eating worms definitely did it for me. I swear they looked like real worms!

3. Kane
WWE

Kane wasn’t the “Devil’s Favourite Demon” for no reason. The backstory of Kane’s character is a detailed yet complicated one with many twists and turns. Introduced to us in 1997 as the Undertaker’s long-lost younger brother who presumably died in a fire during their childhood, he embraced the supernatural side of wrestling instantly. He first wore a mask due to his physical scars from the fire and could only talk using a voice box. During his early years, he was the Michael Myers of the WWE.

He evolved over the years by being able to talk more freely and even had his mask removed, only for us to learn that most of Kane’s issues were mentally driven due to trauma rather than actually existing. It just made the “Big Red Monster” more dangerous since it was his psyche playing tricks on him. Whether he was setting people on fire, burying his own brother, electrocuting Shane McMahon’s testicles, or dominating his opponent in the ring, there weren’t many other characters as scary as Kane. The mad behind the flames will forever be one of the scariest wrestlers to have ever competed in the squared circle.

2. Bray Wyatt and Friends
WWE

“He’s got the whole world in his hands…he’s got the whole wide world in his hands.” – Bray Wyatt

There may not be anyone in modern-day wrestling who personifies being the face of fear more than Bray Wyatt. Wyatt was first introduced to us as the sadistic, manipulative, charming, and smooth-talking cult leader from the swamp who followed the teachings of “Sister Abigail.” As the years went by, we saw different incarnations of Wyatt, including his split personality persona where he dealt with being both the “Firefly Funhouse” Bray and the sinister “Fiend.”

Wyatt rarely spread terror over the WWE alone as his ability to recruit was impeccable. Initially, he was the leader of the Wyatt Family, which consisted of monstrous men like Luke Harper, Erick Rowen, and Braun Strowman. During his Firefly Funhouse days, he was able to get Alexa Bliss to join him on the dark side to play with him and his puppet friends of Abby the Witch, Mercy the Buzzard, The Ramblin’ Rabbit, and Huskus the Pig.

Although there is never a dull moment with Wyatt, he’s the real-life version of a lot of people’s worst nightmares because he will mess with you psychologically and haunt you physically. Mr. Wyatt will always be regarded as one of the scariest wrestlers ever.

1. The Undertaker
WWE

“The Spirit of The Undertaker lives within the soul of all mankind. The eternal flame of life, that cannot be extinguished. The origin of which cannot be explained. The answer lies in the everlasting spirit. Soon all mankind will witness the Rebirth of The Undertaker. I will not Rest… In… Peace.” – The Undertaker

The Undertaker had a reign of terror and destruction over the WWE for over 30 years. The Undertaker was first introduced to the WWE in 1990 as an old western mortician who moved slowly and didn’t sell any of his opponent’s offense. As time went on we found out that he was already dead and reincarnated as The Undertaker, which gave him supernatural abilities. To add to his aura, they eventually paired him up with an equally creepy funeral home director known as Paul Bearer (he could honestly be on this list aside from the fact that he wasn’t a wrestler), who would manage him and control The Undertaker’s powers through the urn which held the ashes of his deceased parents.

Throughout the years, The Undertaker evolved and learned how to control his own abilities while having an off-and-on relationship with Paul Bearer his entire career. “The Phenom” would eventually truly embrace the dark side when he started sacrificing people and created his own stable known as “The Ministry of Darkness.”

For a few years, we got a more humanized Undertaker that rode a motorcycle and seemingly left the dark side behind him…that was until Kane buried him alive, which led to him returning to the creatures of the night as “The Deadman.” The Undertaker was truly the personification of evil, but more importantly, the legend that brought the dark side to the WWE Universe and stood tall as one of the scariest (in not THE scariest!) wrestlers of all time.

I hope you all enjoyed this list of the scariest wrestlers from wrestling. Let me know if I missed any matches you think should have made this list but didn’t.

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Sports

Avengers Assemble: NBA Players as Marvel Characters

Although our world isn’t filled with the superheroes that occupy the Marvel universe, we have a different class of superhuman’s: the NBA. The NBA has some of the greatest athletes in the world who all carry themselves with a unique flare and style, the same way our heroes do the MCU.

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The NBA and Marvel have partnered up on a number of occasions to promote new movies, and even broadcast a game that had special graphics. The league will be producing branded merchandise in accordance with the new Black Panther: Wakanda Forever movie set to hit theaters this weekend. As we anticipate the newest addition to the MCU, we take a look at NBA players and their Marvel equivalent.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Hk2vk-UNAl8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hedCaptain America: Steph Curry</code>
Captain America: Steph Curry

What makes Captain America so great is his resiliency. He’s constantly leading the charge into battle and no matter who the foe in-front of him his, he doesn’t flinch. Steph Curry embodies Cap because of his leadership and determination. After years of ankle injuries, he never gave up. When Klay Thompson was hurt and the Warriors went through a two year rebuilding phase, Steph kept fighting like they were contenders.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Y2YO-2Vwxd8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hedBucky Barnes: Klay Thompson</code>
Bucky Barnes: Klay Thompson

Klay Thompson truly is the Bucky Barnes to Steph Curry’s Captain America. Whenever Curry needed a helping hand, Thompson was there to rain down three’s and keep them in contention. The brotherhood and friendship that the splash brothers have created is a beautiful one.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/q1R5cvTFOHo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hedIron Man: Luka Doncic</code>
Iron Man: Luka Doncic

Like Iron Man, Luka Doncic uses his untapped I.Q. to maneuver the battle field of the court to make his opponents look like pawns. Both Iron Man and Doncic have a bottomless bag in their arsenal of weapons. Luka must also go through the same lesson that Iron Man learned, you can’t win without playing as a team.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/6qirIefUuUc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hedThor: Giannis Antetokounmpo</code>
Thor: Giannis Antetokounmpo

Like Thor the god of thunder, Giannis soars through every opponent to rip down dunks like it’s nothing. It is truly an understatement to say that Giannis looks like a demigod on the court. Thor also started off as a quiet stoic character in the MCU and has evolved to a hilarious figure, the same evolution we’ve seen from the Greek Freak.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/fcVq3UG1fJ0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hedHulk: Zion Williamson</code>
Hulk: Zion Williamson

If you are looking for a hulking figure that can physically dominant anyone while also jumping to incredible heights, look no further than Zion Williamson. Not only does Zion do the things that Hulk does, he even kind of looks like him with the newly added muscle this offseason.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/UqAtmSaNxEg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hedThanos: LeBron James</code>
Thanos: LeBron James

Dread it, run from it, LeBron still arrives. The mad titan Thanos had one goal, collect all the infinity stones to eliminate half the universe. While LeBron may not be chasing rings to wipe out half the population, it’s evident that he is on a quest to pass the legacy of Michael Jordan. There have been stretches of James career where it legitimately looked like <a href=”http://<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/bCiT6psniYc” title=”YouTube video player” frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture” allowfullscreen>Thanos and Hulks first encounter.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/1BEOnpLm0UM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hedLoki: James Harden</code>
Loki: James Harden

Like the god of mischief, James Harden is exceptionally crafty with the ball, creating all types of action on offense. We’ve seen Loki go from trying to destroy the Avengers to virtually joining them, the same way James Harden has abandoned other teams for what seemed like greener pastures. I think the greatest similarity between these two is that i’m really not sure if I consider them a hero or a villain.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/6AkLHdfYCYQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hedSpiderman: Donovan Mitchell</code>
Spiderman: Donovan Mitchell

Donovan Mitchell has been given the nickname ‘spida’ because of speedy ability to rise up and dunk on any defender. His ability to maneuver traffic and even hit shots from deep are the exact qualities of Spiderman. Mitchell also protrudes a sense of youthful giddiness the same way Peter Parker does.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/U-ARxuWLh9c" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hedBlack Panther: Ja Morant</code>
Black Panther: Ja Morant

Ja Morant has been a high-flying superstar since the second he stepped foot onto an NBA court. Like how Black Panther stands for Wakanda, Morant has been taken under the wing by the people of Memphis and sees it as his duty to bring a championship their way.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/6VmDi6EdX94" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hedDoctor Strange: Nikola Jokic</code>
Doctor Strange: Nikola Jokic

The way that Nikola Jokic is able to dominant an NBA court is truly magical. Whether it’s needling passes through impossible windows, or hitting the most unconventional fall-away jumper, Jokic can do it. These are both characters you don’t want to cross, because they will come back with a vengeance.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/siMiP-94aLM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hedUltron: Kawhi Leonard</code>
Ultron: Kawhi Leonard

Like the machine Tony Stark created as a bodyguard for the world, Kawhi Leonard is cold, calculated, and robotic on the court. There are no mistakes, there are no second guesses, he knows what his next move is and he is going to take it. Not only did Ultron betray his creator Tony Stark, but Leonard ended up freezing out the Spurs and Greg Popovich, forcing a trade out of San Antonio.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/YGmCB8djtuc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hedBlack Widow: Kevin Durant</code>
Black Widow: Kevin Durant

Black Widow is a character who has had a lot taken from her. From youth she was put into a world-class group of assassins and taken from her family. After teaming up with the Avengers, she would lose that to. Although it was Durant’s decision to leave the Warriors, it’s not far off to say he has had quite a bad string of teammates recently. Despite the outside noise surrounding him, Durant always goes out and gets the job done, the same way Natasha Romanoff did.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/D3EGBhwcJW4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hedGroot: Joel Embiid</code>
Groot: Joel Embiid

Lengthy: check. Hilarious and immature: check. Kind of hard to understand: check. Groot and Joel Embiid have more things in common than maybe anyone on this list. Both come in extremely clutch for their squad when they need it most, and almost always deliver it with comedic undertones.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/tv5_UwPEvTk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hedHawkeye: Damian Lillard</code>
Hawkeye: Damian Lillard

There is nothing like watching Damian Lillard rain down threes from thirty+ feet out. Like Hawkeye, both him and Lillard are scarily accurate with their shot, and have an intense sense of loyalty to those they consider family. Although Dame never tried to sacrifice himself instead of C.J. McCollum at last years trade deadline how Hawkeye did with Black Widow on Vormir, he still remains one of the best teammates anyone could ask for.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/43IEboKTOmc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hedKorg: Steven Adams</code>
Korg: Steven Adams

Korg is simply just Steven Adams in a costume, there is no other way around it.

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Sports

The Highest Scoring Games in NBA History 

As the great Mark Jackson says “It’s a make or miss league” and it seems as though today players can’t miss. As defensive players are punished significantly now for playing any ounce of physical defense, league scoring has steadily increased. Since 2013-2014 league average for scoring eclipsed 100 points and hasn’t dipped since.

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With the average league scoring increasing each season, you’d expect the single-game record for most points to be recent, but the opposite proves to be true. Of the top five highest scoring games ever, four take place before 1991. Here is the list of the ten highest scoring NBA games ever.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/dOVBVaOnPAc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed1.) Denver Nuggets 184 - Detroit Pistons 186</code>
1.) Denver Nuggets 184 – Detroit Pistons 186
  • Total Points: 370
  • Date: December 13, 1983

The single highest scoring game in NBA history features the infamous ‘bad boys’ of the 80’s Detroit Pistons. Led by Isiah Thomas, the Pistons claimed two NBA championships. Denver Nuggets Kiki Vandeweghe led the game in scoring, putting in 51 points across the triple-overtime game. Overall four players eclipsed the 40+ individual scoring mark and this game will forever be remembered as the highest scoring game in NBA history.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/MTQu6NL3KWc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed2.) San Antonio Spurs 171 - Milwaukee Bucks 166</code>
2.) San Antonio Spurs 171 – Milwaukee Bucks 166
  • Total Points: 337
  • Date: March 6, 1982

The second highest scoring game in NBA history saw the San Antonio Spurs defeat the Milwaukee Bucks with over 330 points being scored. George ‘iceman’ Gervin led the game in scoring, putting in 50 points himself. The Spurs were able to put up 171 points while only attempting one three pointer all game… just shows you how different the league is today.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/JVP9vnQGw1w" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed3.) Chicago Bulls 168 - Atlanta Hawks 161</code>
3.) Chicago Bulls 168 – Atlanta Hawks 161
  • Total Points: 329
  • Date: March 1, 2019

When the Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks faced off in Trae Youngs rookie year, it was pure fireworks. Deep three after deep three from both sides were being knocked down like it was easy work. Zach Lavine led the Chicago Bulls, putting in 47 points, 9 rebounds, and 9 assists. Trae Young put on a show himself, dropping 49 points and 16 assists.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/N-fIfKRc3QI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed4.) Golden State Warriors 162 - Denver Nuggets 158</code>
4.) Golden State Warriors 162 – Denver Nuggets 158
  • Total Points: 320
  • Date: November 2, 1990

When Don Nelson took over as the head-coach of the Golden State Warriors no one really knew what to expect. The free-thinking coach wanted to run a point-forward offense, where a bigger player would take up the ball. Coaching the Nuggest was Paul Westhead, who had just run a championship with the Lakers using a run-and-gun offense. What ensued was the fourth highest scoring game in NBA history.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/rBPlmNY5WSY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed5.) Denver Nuggets 163 - San Antonio Spurs 155</code>
5.) Denver Nuggets 163 – San Antonio Spurs 155
  • Total Points: 318
  • Date: January 11, 1984

There was just something about that 1980’s Denver Nuggets offense that worked, and that’s why they’re in the top five of this list twice. In a 1984 matchup with the Spurs, Kiki Vandeweghe put in 50 points en route to a eight point win. 318 total points would be scored between each teams, making this the fifth highest scoring NBA game ever.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/45xBoYTLSCA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed6.) Phoenix Suns 161 - New Jersey Nets 157</code>
6.) Phoenix Suns 161 – New Jersey Nets 157
  • Total Points: 318
  • Date: December 7, 2006

On a December night in 2006, the Suns and Nets combined for the sixth highest scoring game in NBA history. What’s most shocking about this entry on the list is that the early 2000’s was primarily known for it’s low scoring. This game ended up being a double overtime thriller that saw the Suns barely edge the Nets.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/R5x30NCqJbA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed7.) Houston Rockets 159 - Washington Wizards 158</code>
7.) Houston Rockets 159 – Washington Wizards 158
  • Total Points: 317
  • Date: October 30, 2019

Our second recent entry on this list comes in a 2019 game against the Houston Rockets and Washington Wizards. 2019 saw James Harden go on a nuclear run, dropping 30+ games like it was nothing almost every night. Bradley Beal would put in 46 points but it wouldn’t be good enough for James Harden and his 59 point performance.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/BDkluF-tlWQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed8.) Philadelphia Warriors 169 - New York Knicks 147</code>
8.) Philadelphia Warriors 169 – New York Knicks 147
  • Total Points: 316
  • Date: March 2, 1962

If you thought the NBA wasn’t jam packed with action in the 1960’s oh boy would you be wrong. This 1962 game between the then Philadelphia Warriors and New York Knicks ended up becoming the eight highest scoring game in NBA history. This game remains one of the most important in NBA history, as it was the time that Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points himself. This is a feat that will most likely never be done again.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/85IEXNTmu_U" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed9.) Cincinnati Royals 165 - San Diego Rockets 151</code>
9.) Cincinnati Royals 165 – San Diego Rockets 151
  • Total Points: 316
  • Date: March 12, 1970

Oscar Robertson and Russell Westbrook are without a doubt the kings of triple-doubles, being the only two players to average the feat across the season. In a March 1970 game against the Rockets, Robertson put up a 30 point triple-double to help lead his team to a win in the ninth highest scoring NBA game ever.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/w3Sz1W06Y5s" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hed10.) Phoenix Suns 173 - Denver Nuggets 143</code>
10.) Phoenix Suns 173 – Denver Nuggets 143
  • Total Points: 316
  • Date: November 10, 1990

The 1990 Suns were a special team. On the precipice of adding a legendary Charles Barkley in a few years, the Suns had all the key rotational players to build around. In this 20 point beatdown of the Nuggets, over five players on the Suns scored over 20 points. Cedric Ceballos led scoring for the Suns with a 32 point performance off the bench.

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Sports

AEW Full Gear 2022: Matches and Predictions

It’s safe to say there’s always some backstage drama circulating throughout the AEW locker room. But you can’t deny just how good episodes of Dynamite usually are, even with all the backstage dirt that pops up in all the dirtsheets. AEW is also great for presenting quality PPVs, which is why many fans are super excited about coming on Saturday, November 19. The 2022 installment of AEW Full Gear is coming our way and you know what’s on the docket – big-time matchups, championship encounters, and newsworthy moments that’ll be all over your timeline in the form of GIFs and memes. So let’s get right into it and break all my AEW Full Gear 2022 predictions.

RELATED: The 16 Best AEW Wrestling Theme Songs, Ranked

AEW Full Gear 2022 Predictions
AEW

<code><p class = "twitter-tweet">https://twitter.com/AEW/status/1593812729135247360?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw</p></code>
Best Friends (Orange Cassidy, Trent Beretta and Chuck Taylor), Rocky Romero, and “A Very Mysterious, Very Evil Partner” vs. The Factory (QT Marshall, Aaron Solo, Lee Johnson, Nick Comoroto, and Cole Karter)

Preview & Predictions: The Factory has really dug itself into a hole this time! QT Marshall’s steel steps-assisted piledriver to Danhausen has taken the face-painted deviant to a “very evil” place – now the chances of him coming back with an even darker and vicious demeanor to get his revenge on QT and his stable are very high! Best Friends will easily tear through The Factory thanks to Danhausen’s mean streak coming to fruition during this 10-man encounter.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/JelCA69Xa5g" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hedBrian Cage vs. Ricky Starks (AEW World Championship Eliminator Tournament Semifinals)</code>
Brian Cage vs. Ricky Starks (AEW World Championship Eliminator Tournament Semifinals)

Preview & Predictions: IT’S RICKY STARKS’ “ABSOLUTE” TIME TO SHINE! As soon as the participants for this AEW World Championship Eliminator were announced, I bet my entire savings account on the master of the “Roshambo” coming out on the end of it as the victor. Now that he’s made it this far to the semifinals to take on Brian Cage, I’m confident about his chances of getting the win here. I loved watching these two go at it for the FTW Championship back then and I’m hyped to see what they can produce here. Starks shall prevail here, go to the post-PPV Dynamite to defeat Ethan Page, and then go on to Winter is Coming to face the AEW World Champion (more on that later…).

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/hmC1Qqne7Mg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hedDeath Triangle (Pac, Penta El Zero Miedo, and Rey Fénix) (c) vs. The Elite (Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson)) (AEW World Trios Championship)</code>
Death Triangle (Pac, Penta El Zero Miedo, and Rey Fénix) (c) vs. The Elite (Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson)) (AEW World Trios Championship)

Preview & Predictions: Now that the controversy behind the “Brawl Out” at All Out 2022 has subsided, the red carpet has been rolled out for The Elite’s grand return. But during their absence, the Death Triangle has been putting on bangers as the second-ever AEW World Trios Champions. Pac, Penta El Zero Miedo, and Rey Fénix have done an amazing job at showcasing those titles with amazing performances on a constant basis. And now I’m expecting them to go out there and put on yet another classic bout against Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson, and Nick Jackson.

I get the feeling that this match will lead right into the sad breakup of Death Triangle. There will come a point during this match when Pac will present Fénix with the opportunity to clock their foes with a hammer as he did once before. And just like last time, Fénix will deny his fiendish ways. But this time, that babyface decision will cost Death Triangle the titles as Omega will capitalize on this moment of distraction and lay out Fénix long enough for The Elite to reclaim the belts.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/4SsCoUWlSnc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hedThe Acclaimed (Anthony Bowens and Max Caster) (c) vs. Swerve In Our Glory (Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland) (AEW World Tag Team Championship)</code>
The Acclaimed (Anthony Bowens and Max Caster) (c) vs. Swerve In Our Glory (Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland) (AEW World Tag Team Championship)

Preview & Predictions: “SCISSOR ME, DADDY ASS!” *clears throat* Had to get that out of my system real quick, excuse me. I’ve been more than pleased with the development of The Acclaimed and Billy Gunn as a super-over act in AEW lately. Their first reign as the AEW World Tag Team Champions still has the massive backing of the fans, which has given all of their title defenses and promos that extra sense of energy and excitement. The previous champs have earned themselves another opportunity at the straps, which means we’re due for a third amazing tag team sprint between these two duos.

The biggest change from the last two matches is the more heelish changes put on display by Swerve Strickland. He’s done some devious things in the ring lately and has gone over the deep end with his treatment of “Daddy Ass.” Keith Lee is none too pleased with these developments from his partner, which leads me to believe that Swerve in Our Glory will have a major moment of miscommunication during this match that will cost them everything. I’m predicting a successful title defense from The Acclaimed here and a future breakup angle between Lee & Swerve in the process.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/uv_VJzmGx0k" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hedJade Cargill (c) vs. Nyla Rose (AEW TBS Championship)</code>
Jade Cargill (c) vs. Nyla Rose (AEW TBS Championship)

Preview & Predictions: Jade Cargill is tired of all the funny ha-ha games! Nyla Rose has been working the true TBS Champion’s last nerves by parading around with her title and eluding her every time Jade tries to recapture her prize. All the mind games directed at Jade are making her even more pissed off than she usually is, which Nyla is clearly hoping to tap into to get her off her game by the time Full Gear arrives for this match. It will all be for naught, though – Jade will channel all that unbridled rage into destroying Nyla and getting her championship prize back around her rightful waist.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/9xS5d0F4tSk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hedWardlow (c) vs. Samoa Joe vs. Powerhouse Hobbs (Three-Way Match for the AEW TNT Championship)</code>
Wardlow (c) vs. Samoa Joe vs. Powerhouse Hobbs (Three-Way Match for the AEW TNT Championship)

Preview & Predictions: I SURE HOPE BIG E’S WATCHING THIS ONE! Wardlow, Samoa Joe, and Powerhouse Hobbs are the type of big boys that he loves to watch come to blows and put on a Kaiju-sized encounter. I’m pretty damn hyped to watch all three of these behemoths try their damndest to walk away with the TNT Championship while shaking the very foundation of the Prudential Center. I love me some Joe and I love me some Hobbs, but I just know that Wardlow isn’t dropping the strap he won this past July anytime soon. My AEW Full Gear 2022 predictions point to Hobbs getting the dreaded “Powerbomb Symphony” as Wardlow retains his title.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/u33mI2mOuis" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hedToni Storm (c) vs. Jamie Hayter (Interim AEW Women's World Championship)</code>
Toni Storm (c) vs. Jamie Hayter (Interim AEW Women’s World Championship)

Preview & Predictions: “HAYTE, HAYTE, HAYTE, HAYTE, HAYTE!” I’m a major “Hayter” that can’t wait for the day when Jamie Hayter finally breaks away from Britt Baker and goes on a solo rampage. Sadly, they’re still in cahoots with each other. But Hayter has maintained her strong streak of putting on good-to-great matches and keeping her fanbase pleased on a regular basis. Toni Storm’s been going strong as the Interim AEW Women’s World Champion and my gut is telling me she’s not dropping the belt before she has a chance to square off with the legit champ in Thunder Rosa. And that pretty much means Hayer’s gonna eat a loss here. But I’m confident that she’ll put on a career-defining match in the process with one of her better dancing partners as of late.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/cnDqp0rKkLs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hedLuchasaurus vs. "Jungle Boy" Jack Perry (Steel Cage Match)</code>
Luchasaurus vs. “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry (Steel Cage Match)

Preview & Predictions: This feud has been cooking for a good while now, hasn’t it? It technically started when Jungle Boy eliminated Christian Cage during the Casino Battle Royal at Double or Nothing 2021. Then both men entered into a mentor/young up-and-comer partnership where Christian provided his expertise to Jack Perry. That soon led to Perry and Luchasarus becoming tag team champs with Christian right alongside them. But soon, that alliance came to a sad end once they lost the titles and Christian’s support in the process. A Luchasarus heel turn, a newly turned heel Christian, and a highly pissed-off Jungle Boy have now culminated in this epic encounter in a Steel Cage.

I’m quite confident in this match producing a Match of the Year candidate. Perry’s resilience will truly be tested here as he takes the fight to his former partner, which will expectedly result in some brutal back-and-forth action between the two. Christian’s presence won’t matter a bit here since he’s still injured and can’t do much of anything to impact this bout’s outcome. In the end, my AEW Full Gear 2022 predictions point to a huge win for Jungle Boy via a daredevil act onto Luchasaurs from atop the cage.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/HfxyPaGASQE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hedJeff Jarrett and Jay Lethal vs. Sting and Darby Allin</code>
Jeff Jarrett and Jay Lethal vs. Sting and Darby Allin

Preview & Predictions: In the year of our lord and savior 2022, Jeff Jarrett and Sting are rekindling their TNA feud in AEW! As someone that was hyped beyond belief for “Double J” vs the “Stinger” back at Bound for Glory 2006, I’m pretty tickled by the fact they’ll be facing each other once again in a tag team bout alongside their young stallions. I’m fully expecting this match to start out as a fair and balanced tag team affair before one of those famously overbooked Jarrett finishes comes into play. I’m fully expecting a ref bump followed by a guitar smash to Sting that won’t affect him whatsoever – while Darby Allin incapacitates Jay Lethal on the outside, Sting will clock Jarrett in the gut with his bat, plant him with a Scorpion Death Drop, and make him tap out to the Scorpion Death Lock to finish him off.

<code><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/9fIfljoPPw8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>","hedChris Jericho (c) vs. Bryan Danielson vs. Claudio Castagnoli vs. Sammy Guevara (Four-Way Match for the ROH World Championship)</code>
Chris Jericho (c) vs. Bryan Danielson vs. Claudio Castagnoli vs. Sammy Guevara (Four-Way Match for the ROH World Championship)

Preview & Predictions: I’ve been a massive fan of Ring of Honor since 2004, so it’s been pretty cool witnessing the brand and its championships merged with the AEW product. I was shocked when Chris Jericho defeated Claudio Castagnoli for the ROH World Championship. And I’ve been pleasantly surprised by Jericho’s better-than-expected title defenses against the likes of Bandido and Colt Cabana. The ongoing wars between Bryan Danielson, Castagnoli, and Sammy Guevara have kept them all entrenched in the ROH World title scene, which has led to this big-time championship matchup getting booked.

I’m very much looking forward to this Four-Way clash taking place. I’m sure Danielson and Castagnoli will join forces to get the edge on Jericho and Guevara, and vice versa. At some point, Danielson and Castagnoli will embrace the art of competition (even among stablemates such as themselves) and engage in a stiff back-and-forth bout of action. Jericho and Guevara will certainly disrupt their encounter and continue the greatness of this match at hand. I’m placing all my bets on Danielson being the one to make Jericho tap out, which will make the “American Dragon” a two-time ROH World Champion and someone that’ll be damn near impossible to beat.

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Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D. vs. Saraya

Preview & Predictions: SHE’S CLEARED! Saraya clearly walked into All Elite Wrestling with her working boots on with one goal in mind – to make sure she silences all the doubters and prove that she’s ready to impress during the second run of her illustrious career. Seeing as how Dr. Britt Baker is positioned as a pillar of AEW, it makes sense for Saraya to take aim at her for her very first in-ring exhibition with the company. The promos between these two have been great and the heat building between them has gotten me way more interested in this match than I expected to be once it was announced. Since this is Saraya’s official wrestling debut for AEW on PPV, I’m quite confident in choosing her as the victor here as a part of my AEW Full Gear 2022 predictions.

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Jon Moxley (c) vs. MJF (AEW World Championship)

Preview & Predictions: Ever since the post-PPV events of All Out 2022 transpired, the AEW World Championship scene has been thrown for a loop. MJF returned to the company to earn himself a title shot, a tournament was put in place to crown the new champion, and Jon Moxley overcame the odds once again to reclaim the title. Now MJF is heeding the advice of William Regal to man up and try his hand at winning the title the proper way – by challenging the champ at this PPV and not going the easy way out by ambushing him once he’s thoroughly weakened.

Now there’s another factor that makes it seem like MJF will go the respectful route – his issues with Stokely Hathaway and the stable he put together known as The Firm. MJF’s hired guns turned on him once Stokely gave them the OK (he could no longer take the disrespect, obviously). MJF and Moxley will become uneasy allies against The Firm and, in the process, will play into the storyline of MJF becoming more of a babyface.

When Moxley and MJF finally meet, they will have a match for the ages. And I’m fully expecting MJF to stick to his promise of not using his Dynamite Diamond Ring and clashing with Moxley in the fairest fashion possible. In the end, MJF will finally win the big one and begin his first reign as AEW World Champion.

Categories
Sports

The Pros Behind MLP: Meet Some of the Faces in Major League Pickleball

It was 1965, and Joel Pritchard was at his home with his kids near Seattle, Washington. Out of boredom, he decided to create a game for the family to enjoy. That game has now become the fastest growing sport in the United States: pickleball. The great game of pickleball has reached impressive heights in the last few years, and it’s just getting started. 

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Major League Pickleball has dominated headlines in the pickleball and the sports world in general because of its current and new high-profile owners. Names like Lebron James, Tom Brady, and Kevin Durant have all bought into the league. These names all have one thing in common, they make good investments. James, Brady, and Durant have built media empires through their brand and excellent play in their sport. 

What has gone under-the-radar are the actual faces of MLP, the best pickleball players in the world. While the headlines have been dominated with big names, a question still remains, is the hype real? After spending the weekend at MLP Columbus, I learned that it is more than real. What isn’t conveyed on a livestream or T.V. broadcast is the intensity and pride these pro-pickleball players carry themselves with.

After a weekend of exploring MLP Columbus, watching entertaining match after entertaining match, and interacting with a number of players, my perspective on pickleball will be forever changed. Here are some of the elite athletes that make up Major League Pickleball.

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Jorja Johnson

Jorja Johnson is from Boynton Beach, Florida and is one of the youngest professional pickleball players at 16 years old. The Johnson family tree is one of the most elite in pickleball. Her brother, J.W., is one of the top ranked players in the world and her mom, Julie, is one of the most decorated senior pro pickleball players. Her team faced off against J.W.’s during MLP Columbus which saw an epic five set dreambreaker. Jorja and the Hard Eights were able to pull it out after an improbable comeback.

Jorja Johnson: “We had a couple of bad breaks with some net chords and just unlucky shots where it hit the tape and didn’t quite roll over for us. I think we just had to really stay in it mentally, and you know, eventually, that doesn’t work forever, and the tides will turn in your direction. So you just have to remember that. Any luck can turn around in just a second.”

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Simone Jardim

While many players, even on the pro-tour, are relatively new to the game of pickleball, Simone Jardim has been around the game since 2016. After coming to the United States from Brazil on a tennis scholarship, Jardim coached at Michigan State. She was convinced one day to play and after that the rest was history. She is one of the most decorated professional pickleball players with 17 PPA Tour titles. She wasn’t sure if she would be able to commit for a whole season due to injuries, but after the first MLP event of the year that fire started burning again.

Simone Jardim: “The first event, when I went, it brought back memories of being on a team which is my foundation. I came to America to be on a team to play college tennis and then I coached for many years. So it brought back all of that and more because pickleball is different, it’s unique. The format is unique, so all of it was just like a different feeling. It made me fall in love with pickleball over again.”

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Rafa Hewett

Rafa Hewett is from Idaho and played collegiate tennis. After getting a pickleball paddle as a birthday gift, he decided to give the game a try. Despite not knowing any of the rules, Hewett took gold at his first tournament and decided to dedicate his time to going pro. It proved to be a good decision, with his team winning two of the three tournaments this past MLP season. It wasn’t just the winning that helped Hewett fall in love with pickleball, but it was the game itself.

Rafa Hewett: “Where can you find a sport where you can have four generations on the court? I can have my grandmother, my mother, and my seven-year-old daughter, and myself all on the same court at the same time. I can’t do that with any other sport. That’s what’s so great to me, I’m gonna be able to play this sport pretty much till the day I die.”

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Irina Tereschenko

Irina Tereschenko is from Moscow, Russia, but has been living in the United States for over 20 years. Tereschenko played collegiate tennis at Texas Tech before transitioning into a coaching career. She helped propel team BLQK to two tournament victories this MLP season, most recently at MLP Columbus. She is a veteran of the game of pickleball, first picking up a paddle in 2013 and sees pickleball as a game for the masses.

Irina Tereschenko: “From a broader perspective for people who don’t have a tennis background, this game is absolutely unique because the way the rules and the equipment are designed. It really blurs the boundaries between age and gender and the learning curve is very short. I think the world has never seen a sport like this, it’s been around for awhile but, I’m glad it’s having a resurgence right now.”

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Gabriel Tardio

Gabriel Tardio is a 17-year-old professional pickleball player who currently lives in Florida. After his grandfather fell in love with the game of pickleball, he built two courts in their home country of Bolivia, which exposed Gabriel to the game for the first time. He immediately was drawn to the sport and has quickly climbed the professional ranks. There is no doubt the future is bright for the young pickleballer in the MLP.

Gabriel Tardio: “What I love about pickleball is it’s such a fast sport, but at the same time you have to be patient. It’s fast and patient. It’s also such a new sport, it’s great.”

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Lina Padegimaite

Lina Padegimaite is a professional pickleball player originally from Lithuania. She originally came to the United States on a tennis scholarship and  obtained a degree in exercise science, as well as a doctorate in physical therapy. She began playing pickleball in 2020, but fully started dedicating herself to the game in 2021. She see’s pickleball growing into an international game.

Lina Padegimaite: “I’m Lithuanian, and we just started Lithuania’s pickleball federation this year and we’re going to host the first tournament in November. So I think it’s just going to start kind of branching out into other communities, which I think is huge because the more countries playing the sport then you can start being considered for Olympics at some point”

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Federico Staksrud

Federico Staksrud is from Argentina and currently ranks as the fifth best mens single pickleball player in the world. Staksrud originally came to the United States for collegiate tennis. He started playing pickleball in 2021 and immediately was addicted.

Federico Staksrud: “I just really like that you can have fun playing with all different levels. I play pro but I can have fun playing with amateur players, kids, older people, I really like that aspect of the game.

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Lee Whitwell

Without a doubt a fan-favorite at MLP Columbus was the great Lee Whitwell from Gibraltar. Whitwell came to the United States in “the late 1900’s” (her words not mine) on a tennis scholarship. She enjoyed an illustrious collegiate career and played professional tennis before reverting into a coaching/directing role. A friend finally convinced her to participate in a pickleball tournament in 2017, and the rest would be history.

Lee Whitwell: “My friend of mine asked me to play in a tournament and at first I was reluctant. I always knew I had a price. I always knew I could be bought, but I thought my price was high. Come to find out, my price is a case of Coors Light. We actually won, but more-so than the win was the fun I had on the court. It was the most fun thing I’d ever done, I could never imagine having that much fun at a competition.”

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Ben Newell

Ben Newell is from Topeka, Kansas, and has a deep tennis background. He first picked up the paddle around 2019 playing in tournaments and local leagues. At heart, Newell is a competitor, and MLP gives him the opportunity to express that on a big stage. However, he wants to see the MLP experience evolve for the fans.

Ben Newell: “The thing I would change would be anything for the fans. Can they connect with us more, can we connect with them more, it would be so fun to throw stuff to the crowd. Have more of an introduction about who the players are so we can find some local fans in the crowd. Anything to connect with the fanbase because we’re playing for them.”

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Mary Brascia

Mary Brascia is a 22-year-old professional pickleball player from California. She had a background in tennis but during the pandemic she was nudged by her parents to try the sport. Once she started playing she was hooked right away, falling in love with the sport and community surrounding it. Brascia went viral during MLP Columbus for an absurd behind the back shot she returned during a rally. She told us what was going through her head when she made the return.

Mary Brascia: “I actually do hit that shot in practice, in the moment, it’s just kind of a reflex. The fact I did it in a match wasn’t really a shock to me but to everyone else it was like, “what?!” It’s just a weird thing I have haha.”

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Rob Nunnery

If you want to know what dedication looks like, just look to Rob Nunnery. Nunnery currently resides in Hawaii, but travels in-land for MLP tournaments and other events. He currently hosts a pickleball podcast with fellow pro-player Adam Stone on-top of playing. Nunnery has a clear vision of the potential MLP has and expressed that passionately.

Rob Nunnery: I think the big question is how friendly will it be viewership wise on television. I think another big piece is will sports betting be involved in pickleball. I think when that happens the sport will have to be regulated a lot more, but it’s gonna get a ton more eyeballs on it. I think that’s where the pro aspect of pickleball really takes off.”

Categories
Sports

Week 8 NFL Power Rankings: Taylor’s Version

As we charge ahead into the meaty part of the NFL season, everybody is on Red alert. For football Lovers, we’re nearing the time when Reputations are made, where Fearless legends can play their way into gridiron Folklore (i.e. Joe Montana and John Elway in 1989) and Cinderellas try Evermore to ward off their inevitable Midnights. In honor of Taylor Swift releasing a new album last week, here are our Taylor Swift-themed Week 8 NFL Power Rankings. If you have any objections, Speak Now.

1. Philadelphia Eagles, 6-0 (no change from last week)

“I had a marvelous time ruining everything,” —”Last Great American Dynasty,” folklore

More than any other city, Philadelphia sports fans delight in crashing the party; it doesn’t matter if they’re not on the guest list—they’ll scale the telephone poles and have more fun dancing on their own anyways. As such, the still-undefeated Eagles (they were on their bye this week) have forcibly rearranged the balance of power in the NFL, eschewing prevailing trends by storming through the first third of the season without an elite quarterback or a de jour offensive or defensive scheme.

2. Buffalo Bills, 5-1 (no change from last week)

“With you I’d dance in a storm in my best dress, fearless” — “Fearless,” Fearless

It’s impossible not to believe in Josh Allen. While he’s been an elite quarterback for years, he’s leveled up this year, cementing himself as the league’s ballsiest and best signal-caller. Coming off of his bye week, Allen has already outdueled Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson and the Bills look like one of the select few teams that could plausibly win the Super Bowl.

3. Kansas City Chiefs, 5-2 (+2 from last week)

“This is the golden age of something good and right and real” — “State of Grace,” Red

The Kansas City Chiefs have existed for over 60 years, dating back to the AFL’s creation in 1960; the last few seasons have been the best they’ve ever been. Since Patrick Mahomes took the reins in 2018, the Chiefs have gone 55-17, winning Super Bowl LIV and then nearly repeating the next year. Outside of blips against Buffalo and Indianapolis, this year’s Chiefs team looks like it could be their best yet; in Sunday’s 44-23 desecration of the 49ers, the Chiefs ripped off a 37-10 run over the last three quarters. 

4. New York Giants, 6-1 (no change)

“Welcome to New York / Welcome to New York / Welcome to New York / It’s been waiting for you / Welcome to New York / Welcome to New York” — “Welcome to New York,” 1989

The 5-1 New York Giants represent New York City. This is heady, high-level stuff.

5. Minnesota Vikings, 5-1 (-2)

“Your nemeses will defeat themselves before you get the chance to swing.” — “long story short,” evermore

Although they have a bad habit of letting inferior teams hang around in close games, the Vikings are 5-1 with a commanding lead in an NFC North division that has crumbled around them. The Vikings are certainly a good team and they look even better in comparison to their rivals, who have spent most of the season self-sabotaging in sundry and exotic ways.

6. New York Jets, 5-2 (+1)

“I could build a castle out of all the bricks they threw at me” – “New Romantics,” 1989

Building castles, keeping receipts. Same difference.

7. Dallas Cowboys, 5-2 (+2)

“I come back stronger than a 90s trend” — “willow,” evermore

Or at least that’s the hope! In Dak Prescott’s return from a month-long stint on the IR, the ‘Boys flexed their muscles, showing the true breadth of their talents in a 24-6 ass-kicking of the Detroit Lions. Prescott was surgical, completing 19 of 25 passes for 207 yards and a touchdown; the defense was magnificent, as they’ve been all season. If the Cowboys are ever going to revive the spirits of their 90s dynasty teams and break their 26 year title drought, this is their best shot in a long time.

8. Baltimore Ravens, 4-3 (-2)

“And baby, I get mystified by how this city screams your name/ and baby, I’m so terrified of if you ever walk away” – “Cornelia Street,” Lover

Lamar Jackson is the best quarterback the Ravens have ever had. He’s a marvel of athletic charisma and chutzpah, capable of sustaining a high-level offense simply by being on the field; even when he’s off his game as he was on Sunday (9 of 16 passing for a measly 120 yards), he can conjure up enough juice to pull out a 23-20 win over a divisional rival. This year, he’s thrown for more touchdowns than Tom Brady and run for more yards than Jonathan Taylor. This offseason, he’s set to hit free agency and has shown no urgency to negotiate an extension with the Ravens. If he stays in Baltimore, he’s an epoch-defining superstar. If he leaves, Ravens fans will never be able to walk Eutaw Street again.

9. Cincinnati Bengals, 4-3 (+1)

“I’m just gonna shake, shake it off” — “Shake It Off,” 1989 

Winners of four of their last five, the Bengals have shaken off a sluggish 0-2 start to vault themselves back into the playoff picture. Against the Falcons, Joe Burrow had his best game of the season, fileting Atlanta’s secondary to the tune of 482 yards and three touchdowns. 

10. Los Angeles Chargers, 4-3 (-2)

“They told me all of my cages were mental / So I got wasted like all my potential” — “this is me trying,” folklore

For just about the dozenth straight year, the Chargers’ roster is stacked. Justin Herbert, Joey Bosa, Derwin James, JC Jackson, Khalil Mack, Rashawn Slater, Keenan Allen, Mike Williams: all among the absolute best of the best at their respective positions. And yet, after losing 37-23 to Seattle, the Chargers have a bottom-ten point differential in the NFL (to be fair, their 4-3 record paints a rosier picture). Unsurprisingly, the Chargers are doing their usual thing, struggling to squirm free from under the weight of injuries and their sheer Chargers-iness. Boy-genius head coach Brandon Staley has such powerful intellect that each Sunday he gets lost in a sparsely decorated mind palace that he spends the whole week building.

11. Miami Dolphins, 4-3 (+9)

No one wanted to play with me as a little kid / So I’ve been scheming like a criminal ever since” – “Mastermind” from Midnights

The closest analogue for Dolphins head honcho Mike McDaniel is probably Syndrome from the Incredibles; he was spurned by the establishment, so he built a machine that would destroy it. McDaniel hardly looks like a Football Guy, but he’s one of the league’s most creative offensive thinkers and has mostly kicked the Fins’ attack into higher gear. Playing on Sunday for the first time since suffering a grisly concussion last month, Tua Tagovailoa reacclimated himself fairly easily, throwing for 261 yards and a score in Miami’s 16-10 win over the Steelers. While Tagovailoa isn’t exactly a world-beater, his accuracy and quick release unlock dangerous aspects of McDaniel’s scheme; tellingly, the Dolphins are 4-0 when Tagovailoa plays more than half his team’s snaps and 0-3 when he doesn’t.

12. Tennessee Titans, 4-2 (+1)

“I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 22” — “22,” Red

Derrick Henry wears #22. Sneakily, the Titans have won four straight and if you add the two twos in #22 together, you get four. There are levels to this.

13. Seattle Seahawks, 4-3 (+6)

“We are never, ever, ever getting back together” — “We Are Never Getting Back Together,” Red

The Seahawks are in first place in their division, having poked their head above .500 with a Sunday win against the Chargers. Quarterback Geno Smith has been a revelation, posting the fourth-best QBR and third-best passer rating of any quarterback. And best of all, the Seahawks didn’t have to lavish him with five year, $245 million mega contract that doesn’t even start until after, gulp, the 2025 Super Bowl. Needless to say, the Seahawks are perfectly happy that their old guy is now the old guy. 

14. San Francisco 49ers, 3-4 (-3)

“I’m sorry But the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now/ Why? Oh, ’cause she’s dead” – “Look What You Made Me Do,” Reputation

Kyle Shanahan, son of Mike, is largely responsible for the resurgence of the so-called “Shanahan” offense that’s defined the last half-decade of the NFL. As the Falcons offensive coordinator and 49ers head coach, Shanahan (and Rams coach Sean McVay, who comes from the same coaching tree) became the face of the running the basic wide-zone run scheme and play-action-heavy passing attack that the rest of the league has rushed to imitate. But by trading for Christian McCaffrey, Shanahan has signaled that he’s moved beyond it, instead committing to the variegated formations and concepts that he began to work in last year during the 9ers’ run to the NFC title game. Between McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel and George Kittle, Shanahan has three of the most dangerous players in football. Just as Taylor Swift evolved from a twangy teeny-bopper to our nation’s greatest living popstar, Shanahan has ventured into exciting, unknown territory. Although Sunday’s soft launch against the Chiefs was a bust, the 9ers are the dangerous sub-.500 team you’ll ever see. 

15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 3-4 (-1)

“So it’s gonna be forever, or it’s gonna go down in flames” — “Blank Space,” 1989

Somewhere, Tom Brady is eating a small, precisely measured pile of legumes and solemnly nodding.

16. Los Angeles Rams, 3-3 (no change)

“And if I get burned, at least we were electrified” — “Dress,” Reputation 

If last year’s Super Bowl winning Rams were the party, this year feels like the beginning of the long hangover. By dint of wantonly trading draft picks for superstars, the Rams have amassed a dazzling array of in-their-prime talent; Aaron Donald is the best defensive player since Lawrence Taylor and Jalen Ramsey is the best cornerback in the NFL and Cooper Kupp is in the midst of the greatest 23 game stretch a receiver has ever had. Still, the bill is coming due—quarterback Matthew Stafford has lost his fastball; the offensive line is made of rayon; they have no running backs. Their talent is better than their record, but their on-field play is worse than it—even after a 24-10 win against the Panthers on Sunday, their point differential is squarely in the red at -22. 

17. Green Bay Packers, 3-4 (-4)

“You need to calm down/ You’re being too loud” —”You Need to Calm Down,” Lover

Aaron Rodgers, the podcast guest/quarterback, is unhappy. Despite grousing about being in Green Bay for the better part of the last two years, Rodgers extended his deal with the Packers last offseason. Even more curiously, the Packers rewarded Rodgers’ loyalty by jettisoning All-Pro receiver Davante Adams, leaving Rodgers with a threadbare receiving corps. As such, the Packers offense has been unable to achieve lift off this year, falling from the 10th best scoring offense last season to the 23rd ranked one this year. More troubling, the Packers have dropped three straight games, including a 23-21 Week 7 debacle against a bad Commanders team. At the risk of going full Boomer, maybe Rodgers should practice more and podcast less.

18. Indianapolis Colts, 3-3-1 (-3)

“Time won’t fly, it’s like I’m paralyzed by it / I’d like to be my old self again, but I’m still trying to find it / After plaid shirt days and nights when you made me your own / Now you mail back my things and I walk home alone” – —“All Too Well,” Red

A close reading, as it pertains to Matt Ryan: Time won’t fly, it’s like I’m paralyzed by it (this is why Matt Ryan gets sacked all the time). I’d like to be my old self again, but I’m still trying to find it (Matt Ryan used to be good, but now he’s crud) “After plaid shirt days and nights when you made me your own” (I bet Matt Ryan owns so many plaid shirts). Now you mail back my things (The Colts are starting some guy named Sam Ehlinger now, so Matt Ryan isn’t really needed around anymore) and I walk home alone (Matt Ryan is lonely and needs a new Sunday afternoon activity).

19. Atlanta Falcons, 3-4 (-1)

“Every time I don’t, I almost do” — “I Almost Do,” Red 

Initially pegged as a candidate to tank, the Falcons have been shockingly competitive. In fact, five of their first seven games have been decided by less than seven points and their point differential sits at just -8; their 35-17 drubbing at the hands of the Bengals is their only truly lopsided result so far. Too good to be bad, too bad to be good, the Falcons are in the liminal space of doing something and doing nothing.

20. Chicago Bears, 3-4 (+9)

“And you wanna scream, ‘don’t call me kid, don’t call me baby / Look at this godforsaken mess that you made me’” — “illicit affairs,” folklore 

Like the Falcons, the Bears are better than they have any right to be—and are probably better than they even want to be. While Justin Fields has started nearly 20 games for the Bears since he was drafted in 2021, two years in the industrial wasteland that is Chicago’s offense has made it difficult to get a bead on his progress. Is he missing throws because he’s inaccurate or because he’s constantly under pressure? Is it possible to be a bust if you’re never given the chance to succeed? Encouragingly, the Bears have gotten Fields more involved the last two weeks with designed runs and trounced the Patriots 33-14 on Monday Night Football.

21. Arizona Cardinals, 3-4 (+6)

“You held your pride like you should’ve held me” – “The Story of Us,” Speak Now

Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray should’ve been such natural allies—they’ve been close since 2012 when Kliff Kingsbury was Texas A&M’s offensive coordinator and recruited Kyler Murray, who was just a sophomore in high school. Outside of being handsome and knowing Sean McVay, Kingsbury was hired because he was hailed as the perfect new age offensive thinker; Murray was drafted #1 in 2019 because he was hailed as the perfect new age quarterback. Yet, in Arizona, Kingsbury has struggled to unlock Murray during their time together, serving as the sole playcaller for an offense that’s ranked in the top half of the league in net yards per attempt just once in four seasons. During the Cards’ 42-34 win over the Saints on Thursday, the Kingsbury-Murray marriage reached its public nadir, with the two getting in a screaming match on the sidelines. Murray is good enough to overcome it, but it’s increasingly clear that Kingsbury is more of a hindrance than a help.

22. New England Patriots, 3-4, (-5)

“You can plan for a change in weather and time / But I never planned on you changing your mind” – “Last Kiss,” Speak Now

The reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year, McCorkle Jones was supposed to be Tom Brady’s successor, the bridge from one Pats’ dynasty to another. But what if the real heir to the Brady throne is Bailey Zappe, an unassuming late-round pick who steals the starting role from a higher-profile quarterback? When Bill Belichick subbed in Zappe to relieve a clearly still-hobbled Jones on Monday Night Football, he set the NFL’s weirdest quarterback competition ablaze. If you have two starting quarterbacks, do you really have any?

23. Washington Commanders, 3-4 (+5)

“So watch me strike a match on all my wasted time/As far as I’m concerned, you’re just another picture to burn” – “Picture to Burn,” Taylor Swift

Following Taylor Heinicke’s upset of the Packers, it’s hard to picture Carson Wentz reclaiming the starting job once he’s healthy. As recently as last summer, Wentz was seen as a potential savior, but now he’s just another addition to the ignominious list of the 14 starting quarterbacks to flame out in Washington in the post-Kirk Cousins era.

24. Las Vegas Raiders, 2-4 (no change)

“You’re not my homeland anymore / So what am I defending now?” — “Exile,” folklore 

Go back to Oakland! That’s your home!

25. Jacksonville Jaguars, 2-5 (-4)

“Band-aids don’t fix bullet holes” — “Bad Blood,” 1989

The worst team in the NFL for the last two years, the Jaguars splurged in free agency last winter, spending $259.5 million on seven players. Even if the outlay of cash seemed over-the-top, you could imagine a world where adding steady veteran presences up and down the roster would give the team a sense of seriousness and catalyze improvement from the younger players. The results are murkier—franchise quarterback Trevor Lawrence does look much improved in his second season, but that’s partially because he finally has real coaches. Having dropped their last four games, Jacksonville is no longer the trendy sleeper pick they were a few weeks ago, squashing the idea that they could engineer a historic single-season turnaround.

26. Denver Broncos, 2-5 (+6)

“It’s me / Hi / I’m the problem, it’s me” – “Anti-Hero,” “Midnights

[*stares at Russell Wilson and Nathaniel Hackett so intensely that their slack-jawed visages become seared into my retinas*] This works doubly well because, like a sexy baby, Russell Wilson is cute and small.

27. Cleveland Browns, 2-5 (-1)

“My reputation’s never been worse/ so you must like me for me” —Delicate, Reputation

The Browns are 2-5, riding a four game losing streak and gave the biggest guaranteed contract in NFL history to a serial sexual abuser. Say what you will about the Browns, but Browns fans are certainly loyal.

28. Carolina Panthers, 2-5 (+3)

“There’ll be happiness after you, but there was happiness because of you. Both of these things can be true.” —”happiness,” evermore

A Ewing Theory win over the Buccaneers is a good start to the post-Christian McCaffrey era, but there’s always an emotional toll whenever a franchise legend is traded.

29 & 30. New Orleans Saints & Pittsburgh Steelers

“My castle crumbled overnight / I brought a knife to a gunfight / They took the crown but it’s alright” – “Call It What You Want,” Reputation

From 2009-2020, the Saints made the playoffs eight times; the Steelers made it seven times. These two teams were models of consistency and continuity, each anchored by an iconic quarterback-head coach batter (Drew Brees-Sean Payton in New Orleans; Ben Roethlisberger-Mike Tomlin in Pittsburgh). Now, though, both are adrift—I double dog dare you to name each team’s passing yardage leader this season. More damning than the fact that both teams are 2-5 is the fact that neither team’s record is especially surprising.

31. Houston Texans, 1-4-1 (-5)

“I forgot that you existed” — “I Forgot That You Existed,” Lover

I forgot that they existed.

32. Detroit Lions, 1-5 (-2)

“In my defense, I have none” —the 1, folklore

In just six games, the Lions have allowed an NFL-high 194 points. Surrendering 32.3 points per game, the Lions are on pace to be the second-worst defense of the 21st-century, sandwiched between the 2020 Lions and the 2008 Lions.