The Beast Incarnate

SS14_Photo_304xxSummerslam 2002: WWE Championship Main Event The Rock (c) vs Brock Lesnar at Nassau Coliseum, New York.

“Rock Bottom Rock Bottom Rock Bottom by the champion. One, two….oh my god! Lesnar kicked out of the Rock Bottom! I cant believe it. Look at the look of Rock…perplexed. I think he’s trying to go for another one…wait, a bone crunching spine buster by Lesnar! But the Rock’s back up, I think Lesnar’s hurt. Spine Buster by the Rock….it’s time for the people’s elbow…Oh my God! Just as he’s going for it Lesnar gets up and delivers a clothesline..what a hit! It almost took Rock out of his boots…It’s F5 time…one two three…Lesnar is the youngest Undisputed WWE Champion!”

Summerslam 2012: Main Event Triple H vs Brock Lesnar at Staples Center, Los Angeles.

“Lesnar’s stalking Triple H. Referee’s letting them fight. And now Lesnar with Triple H up high, an F5! It’s over. The Beast hooks the leg. One, two, the game kicks out! What! Lesnar’s shocked. Heyman can’t believe it. Oh look, he’s going for it again, he’s going for the Kimura lock again. He’s got it locked! You need to stop the match ref, don’t let him break the arm. Triple H with kicks to the kidneys has managed to escape the lock. What a fight…Triple H going for the pedigree again. Can he move this big body over for the cover….no he can’t…Lesnar’s locked the Kimura again! Triple H with nowhere to go. Hunter’s trying to fight, he’s trying to survive. He’s tapped he’s tapped! Triple H taps out!”

Summerslam 2013: CM Punk vs Brock Lesnar at Staples Center, Los Angeles.

“Heyman’s getting involved again. Punk with Anaconda Vice on Heyman and he’s tapping….look look look Lesnar with a chair! He attacks Punk with the chair three times. There’s no stopping this beast! Punk has been punished. And now Lesnar with Punk up high, oh right on the chair. F5 on the chair! Cover by Lesnar…one, two, three! Brock Lesnar has beaten CM Punk.”

UndertakerLesnarArticleImage1_642x361WrestleMania XXX: The Undertaker vs Brock Lesnar at Mercedez-Benz Superdome, New Orleans.

“Undertaker sits up again. Two incredible athletes fighting for their place in history. Undertaker signals it’s over. Maybe he’s not human. Brock Lesnar countered….Lesnar countered..He’s got Undertaker up going for a triple. A third F5! Brock Lesnar into the cover…one…two…three! The streak is over!”

Summerslam 2014: Main Event WWE World Heavyweight Championship John Cena (c) vs Brock Lesnar at Staples Center, Los Angeles.

“God…another German. This is an awful dilemma for referee Charles Robinson to be in. Cena’s not going to quit. It’s a waste of time. Cena Cena look at this! Going for the STF. Desperation move by Cena! Cena has found a way to make Lesnar tap out. I told you to not give up on John Cena. He’s got it locked in, what’s Lesnar going to do. Lesnar’s got nowhere to go he’s in the middle of the ring. He’s going to tap! Oh man! Look at Lesnar! Oh my God! Lesnar reversing the hold and now hammering away at Cena. What a specimen! Oh my God Lesnar’s got Cena up high and F5! One, Two Three! Lesnar has won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in convincing fashion!”

SS14_Photo_307xxIt’s not often that I dedicate a full column to one man. But that time has arrived where my hand is forced out of sheer astonishment and marvel. If you had seen the main event of Summerslam you would know exactly what I’m talking about!

In over ten years of my life devoured to watching Sports Entertainment, I have never seen a main event that was dominated by one man and that same man emerging victorious! If you read the book of Professional Wrestling booking, this type of match would always end in the underdog taking the beating, and finally forging a comeback to pin the heel who has delivered the beating. Those rule books went out of the window last Sunday. And to my amazement!

41219That’s all because of one man, one man who has a huge sword painted across his chest! One man who you wouldn’t want to meet eye-to-eye. One man that’s a legitimate Beast. One man who bangs the hottest wife at home, Sable. One man that’s named Brock Lesnar!

I knew that Lesnar was going to win the Championship. That much was certain to me. But the path he took to destroy John Cena, the face of the WWE, left me speechless. And i’m sure i’m not the only one. The certainty in my eyes that Lesnar would leave Summerslam the Champion goes back to what I predicted when he broke The Undertaker’s WrestleMania streak. There was no way WWE would do that just to provide shock value.

They had a well-laid plan. With Undertaker’s approval proof-printed, Lesnar was going to dominate WWE until someone worthy of the status to beat him would come along. The list of achievements renders you searching for words. NCAA Champion, WWE Undisputed Champion, King of The Ring, UFC Champion. This is a man who’s done it all and carries a mystique with him that I think we would never see of a Professional Wrestler again when he hangs up the boots. Watch any other WWE match and a Lesnar’s match and you would track the world of difference, the stark contrast.

This Beast generates that intensity, that jaw-dropping atmosphere inside an arena and the entitlement to believe that what you are seeing is truly a fight. In an environment where WWE is constantly slandered for its pre-determined nature by petty people who wouldn’t know the hardships the wrestlers endure to put on a show or the injury risks they pile up on themselves if something goes wrong, Lesnar is Gold!

He’s the master at bringing that aura and whoever that finally beats him for the title will be on a pedestal that should be close to immortal. If you still had doubts, check Steve Austin’s tweet. He called Brock, The Frankenstein and that amounts to more than any eulogies that I can write of Lesnar.

I have to give kudos to WWE as well as John Cena. Make no mistake, I was delighted to see Cena get his ass kicked left right and center. But what the ground truth of it is, he understands the business. Show me one man who has been the face of the WWE that would agree to a booking of such a beatdown and I will show you a liar. No one would have concurred to that.

Cena being the loyal servant agreed without letting his ego get in front and for that I have to praise him. Credit where it’s due. And on Vince’s part, it’s wonderful that he’s realized the anomaly, which is the straight up Beast in the pure sense of the world, contracted to him. Paired with Paul Heyman, it’s the closest you can get to perfection.

Now execute this plan comprehensively and bring back the days when a main title change meant the world will be talking about it definitively. If the execution so far is any indication, they are well on their way. And I hope they don’t sign Brock to a contract where he will appear at every Monday Night Raw. Make his appearances limited so that when he does come through that curtain, it would be a billboard sighting.

I’m not just saying this because Brock Lesnar is my favourite wrestler after Chris Jericho. I’m saying this because that’s what’s best for business.

Do not have him defend the title at every pay-per-view because 1) it takes away the specialness of it and 2) with the build up he has been given, there’s no challengers that is equipped to challenge him let alone beat him. Don’t mess this up WWE. After Night Of Champions, let him only defend at Survivor Series and Royal Rumble before WrestleMania.

And finally a warning to all and sundry who can’t stand Brock! Run! Stop watching! Because dare I say it, no one will beat him for the title for atleast two years. Yes, I said it!

Rumours are that either The Rock or Roman Reigns will face Lesnar at WrestleMania XXXI at California but if WWE are to let either of them beat Lesnar that would be a big mistake. I want (or I predict whatever, believing the greater sense will prevail) Daniel Bryan to win the Royal Rumble and face Lesnar at Maina in a losing effort. If not , a returning CM Punk to win the Rumble and square off against Lesnar.

Because having The Rock beat Lesnar has no value for the future of the WWE. It has to be someone who is capable of taking the company to the next generation. Reigns could be that one but he is nowhere near ready to take up that mantle as yet and next April is too soon for his progression.

Let Lesnar have the title until WrestleMania XXXII in 2016 and withstanding someone (could be Reigns, Cesaro or even Bray Wyatt) is build up to the level where fans can truly believe that superstar can legitimately defeat Lesnar, then pull the trigger. By that time, Lesnar would eclipse Punk’s reign as the longest reigning champion since the new millennium and that’s an accolade that’s deserving of the accomplishments that has befallen to him in the past few months.

16 German suplexes Ladies and Gentlemen! And if you thought you had seen all from Lesnar, you are in for a rude shock. Because you had just seen the start of what this man is capable of. I bet my house on it.

All Hail The Conqueror. Here Comes The Pain. The Beast Incarnate is the greatest thing to have happened to our much-maligned Sport. He will take Professional Wrestling back to the pop culture and again and I’m one happy camper because of it.


Worcestershire vs Derbyshire Day 3

MoeenDerbyshire 219 (Madsen 111 n.o Ajmal 60-4) trail Worcestershire 432-9 (Kervezee 110 Footitt 52-3) by 213 runs.

An adventurous century by Alexei Kervezee and thrilling 99 by Moeen Ali set the tone for a strong day’s work for Worcestershire as they reached leaving Derbyshire an uphill task to save the match tomorrow at New Road.

Kervezee struck 110 off 137 which included 11 boundaries while Ali faced 146 balls and struck nine boundaries and three sixes. Gareth Andrew struck a blistering half century late in the day (71 off 53 balls) inclusive of 6 boundaries and five sixes to effectively render Derbyshire a back to the wall mission tomorrow.

Derbyshire’s bowlers were lacking in penetration after a morning session, where they got the lengths right. But since then, they were hit all around the park ruthlessly as runs began to haemorrhage. Only one to come away with some pride was Mark Footitt who returned impressive figures of 52-3.

It was all based on another solid and obdurate opening stand between Daryl Mitchell and Matthew Pardoe who took care of the early seam movement. 41 runs were added with lot of caution but 72 runs on the board, the first wicket fell as Mitchell was caught and bowled off David Wainwright for 26.

Moeen Ali had an assignment of his own in hand, with England selectors having a binocular placed on him and he curbed his attacking instincts in the early spells. Maybe he had going to lunch without damage at the back of his mind, whichever it was, he managed it with some anxious moments.

However, Pardoe couldn’t last until lunch as a contentious catch by Wayne Madsen at square leg meant he had to depart for 49. Umpires had to consult eachother before arriving at a decision and Pardoe seemed hardly impressed with the outcome.

Moeen broke his shackles after lunch, wielding his bat with effortless ease to reach a half-century only off 59 balls. His company proved to be valuable for Tom Kohler-Cadmore who hung around with hope that he could turn his poor form around. But Madsen turned to Tony Palladino since the spinners were leaking runs at will, and he immediately got the breakthrough removing Cadmore for 11. That was the call for fireworks as Kervezee and Ali began to swallow the lead of Derbyshire in double quick time.

They added 78 for the fourth wicket before Ali’s horror moment arrived on the stroke of tea. Needing a single to reach his 13th first class hundred, Ali spooked at a wide delivery by Wes Durston which spooned to Tim Groenewald at backward point.

After tea, Ross Whiteley did nothing to remind his former county of his presence as he was dismissed for a duck by Palladino. Ben Cox continued his fine form and added 75 runs off just 79 balls for the 6th wicket before departing for a well-made 41.

Then the stage was set for Andrew to instigate a savage assault. The ground wasn’t big enough for three of his sixes while another hit ‘Worcestershire County Club sign’ at the rooftop of the nearby hotel. Even the last man Charles Morris joined into heave a boundary towards square leg to multiply the misery for Derbyshire bowlers.

In the middle of the carnage, the message wasn’t lost. They had set themselves up for a real tilt at an outright victory tomorrow.


Worcestershire vs Derbyshire Day 2

madsenStumps Day 2: Derbyshire 219 (Madsen 111 n.o, Ajmal 60/4) lead Worcestershire 31-0 (Mitchell 13 n.o Pardoe 10 n.o) by 188 runs by Chathura Pinnawala at New Road.

A fighting century by Wesley Madsen provided the backbone to an otherwise tentative display of batting by Derbyshire as they were shot out for 219 in their LV Championship Division II match at New Road today.

Worcestershire in reply reached stumps at 31-0 condensing all the honours of the day to themselves. Daryl Mitchell and Matthew Pardoe were at their watchful best as they made peace with the 16 tricky overs which was left on Day 2 before stumps. Saeed Ajmal took four late order wickets, while Gareth Andrew, who bowled splendidly in the morning session, and Charles Morris shared three wickets apiece.

Earlier, Captain Madsen stood like a rock striking 14 boundaries in a marathon knock, his 16th first class hundred, which lasted 244 balls. He never found the relief such a knock warranted as wickets falling around him was a constant theme of the day. It seemed they were off to an auspicious start though, as the overnight pair, Madsen and Shivnarine Chanderpaul fronted up to the apparent swing that was on offer under the cloudy skies.

Chanderpaul’s dismissal, LBW to Andrew for 32, just before lunch was a key moment in the match with it providing the impetus Worcestershire yearned for after yielding nothing for a concentrated spell of bowling in the morning. Chesney Hughes followed soon after, again LBW to Andrew, for a duck to leave the Falcons in deep trouble. It was compounded when Ajmal, playing his first match after receiving the long awaited go ahead by Pakistan Cricket Board, decided to rearrange his wickets column.

First to fall was Wes Durston for two before Dan Hodgson, on loan from Yorkshire, did no favours for his new county falling to Ajmal leaving him on a hat-trick. Admirably, from then onwards the visitors’ tail gave sufficient company to Madsen, helping him reach his century.

David Wainwright (10), Toni Palladino (11), Tim Groenewald (24), Mark Footitt (17) all put a price tag on their wickets, which enabled Madsen to add invaluable 136 runs for the final four wickets.

Worcestershire top order could have easily surrendered the advantage given to them by their excellent bowlers, but Mitchell and Pardoe was in no mood to do so.

The sun was a welcome sight after an opening day which was washed off and with an encouraging forecast for tomorrow, Cricket will be the focal point of the day again instead of the depressing umbrellas and raincoats.

Worcestershire vs Derbyshire Day 1

darylStumps, Day One: Derbyshire 3-2 (Andrew 2/1 Morris 1/1) v Worcestershire by Chathura Pinnawala at New Road.

Persistent drizzle and wet ground conditions prevented any meaningful play in the LV Championship Division II match between Worcestershire and Derbyshire which commenced today at New Road.

Only four overs were possible for the entire day and the visitors found it hard to counter the seam movement to finish at 3-2, having elected to bat. Gareth Andrew dismissed Billy Godleman for 3 as an inside edge crashed on to the stumps while youngster Charles Morris produced a ripper which jagged back and castled a perplexed Stephen Moore who didn’t offer a stroke.

It was during a brief period from 4.30pm, but just as Moore trudged off to the pavilion, rain followed him ending any further play. Worcestershire made just one change from the previous victory against Kent, drafting in Saeed Ajmal in place of Shaaiq Chowdhry while for Derbyshire, Dan Hodgson and David Wainwright took the places of Richard Johnson and Mark Turner.

Play is scheduled to begin at 11am tomorrow.

Jack Wilshire-Soldier On

Jack+Wilshere+Arsenal+v+Norwich+City+Premier+-H1PFC0YX7_lTwo games can’t be further poles apart. In Jack Wilshire’s case it demarcates lethargy and agility. Last few weeks provided references of the old adage in abundance, ‘you are as good as your last game.’
Wilshire’s performance barring the goal that accrued a precious point for Arsene Wenger few weeks ago at The Hawthorns was pedestrian at best. Maybe it had dices of tenacity and steely fortitude to never wave the white flag embedded in it, but the countenance that cameras are positioned to take hold of, his overall play, lacked timing, forward predicting and fluidity. The Wilshire, fans came to know as the man who has free timing on the ball has been missing for quite some time now.
While the goal masked the lack of match practice for a second, it was evident where his pauses lied. He was caught on the ball by a barging set of Baggies time after time, being tackled relentlessly to the floor and having to agonize while the play went on. It must have been a different playing field for a man used to jump over tackles and storm into the business area unshackled.
This is where match fitness plays its part.

article-2470071-18E12FCA00000578-526_634x356Continuous football makes you drilled for the occasion, makes you sense the tackle before it flies in and importantly instils a sense of forward thinking that makes you fearless. Arsenal’s no 10 is slowly getting there. Considering the symphony he, Santi Cazorla and Olivier Giroud orchestrated against Norwich he has fastened his seat belts.
That’s a testament to the man he’s mentored under, Wenger knows how to keep faith in his players.
In that spectrum, Wilshire is an emblem. Wenger must not have been impressed by the leaked pictures of his protégé smoking. More controversy was to follow as the sun set on Adnan Januzaj’s availability befuddled Wilshire to speak his heart.
article-2444311-1885966000000578-266_634x521As psychology goes, when you are not in the best position in life and you have something to prove or in Wilshire’s case something to regain which he has lost due to swathes on injuries for nearly two years, a question provides you with an avenue. An avenue of vulnerability. An avenue of forthrightness. An avenue that makes you want to show hypothetically that you haven’t lost anything which public opinion says or your performances have indicated.
There were signs during England’s qualifier against Poland that the skills were slowly returning.
The culmination of everything was the supreme team goal that ensued which many pundits have bracketed as a goal of the year contender and even one of the best open play goals scored in the Premier League. Wilshire was cherry picked for greatness and the heir to the armband for England in the probable near future not for nothing.

That blowing hot and cold nature again crept in during the Dortmond game where he had to scamper, survive niggles and was substituted ultimately for lacking impact. Against Crystal Palace, Wenger tested another facet of his to err on the side of caution and he adopted.
Now he’s back on the sidelines again. It’s the ankle that continues to thwart his attempts to push on but the seriousness of the injury is far less. Soon he’ll start to completely evade tackles, pick out passes and penetrate the game from deep midfield for the maestros upfront to pounce. It took Aaron Ramsey three years to completely shake off his demons.

JackWilshereIn the theatre of football, match fitness means everything. Smooth integration will see Wilshire return to full fitness slowly and surely. And that’s something to wait in anticipation and hope for.  Because lo and behold,  there aren’t many finer sights in world football than a fit Wilshire.