End of An Era: Vince McMahon No Longer Owns WWE

By Jim Biringer

What a historic month in the world of professional wrestling. There were several great PPVs and events not only from AEW but from WWE as well. However, it was outside the ring aka the squared circle that had everyone talking. Specifically, the deal that saw Endeavor, now trading under TKO Group Holdings, bought WWE, which means Vince McMahon no longer owns the WWE.

Think about that. When you were first introduced to pro wrestling there was a McMahon running the show. Especially in the New York territory. Remember before Vince McMahon Jr. bought the company from Vince McMahon Sr., there were regional territories. Then the WWWF before the WWF was in New York and New England. In addition, AWA in the Midwest starting in Minnesota, NWA or Jim Crockett Promotions were in the Carolina region. Georgia Championship Wrestling, World Class Championship Wrestling in Texas, and so on.

As Vince has always stated if his father knew what he had planned to do with the company after buying it for $1 million dollars, his dad might not have sold him the company. Vince bet on himself and the business taking it nationally and globally. If you go back to the first Wrestlemania, Vince put every dollar he had into that event. It was either going to be a success or a failure. His competitors wanted it to fail. Wrestlemania I was a turning point for Vince McMahon and the business.

We saw the rise of Hulkamania, Macho Madness, the Ultimate Warrior, and so many countless talents in the 1980s and into the early 1990s. This led to the national expansion of wrestling and the death of the territories. McMahon shook up the industry. During that time he faced scandals including the big steroid scandal in the early 1990s, and he survived that one.

Though the product dipped in the mid-1990s, during the Next Generation, Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels were carrying the company. That time saw the rise of WCW along with the nWo, Vince again had to dig deep and find a way to adapt or else he was going to go out of business. The Attitude Era was born to go along with the Monday Night Wars. What a time to be a wrestling fan with the nWo, DX, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H, Undertaker, Sting, Ric Flair, and so many countless others.

But McMahon survived and ultimately bought his competition. Though the Invasion angle did not go over as planned, but still there was Vince McMahon still on top of the world. Remember he went from being a pro wrestling show to a sports entertainment show. And he continues to refer to it to this day.

After the Attitude Era, we had the Ruthless Aggression Era, McMahon once again adapted to no competition by splitting up RAW and Smackdown and it worked. We saw the rise of the Smackdown Six, new superstars emerged like John Cena, Randy Orton, and Batista from OVW. Oh yeah, let’s not forget about CM Punk.

Then we got to the PG era, where Vince lost touch with the wrestling world. The product was not as good as Triple H was making waves with NXT. You knew something needed to change. Eventually, it did, due to the sexual harassment scandal that broke in the summer of 2022. Vince stepped away from the company, and Triple H and Stephanie McMahon along with Nick Khan were running things.

During this time the Bloodline in the Reality Era was running things on TV. Cody Rhodes returned, thanks to Vince McMahon. Though McMahon was not out of the loop he just did not have control. But the writing was on the wall despite what we all thought was going to be the case for years that a McMahon would own WWE. That just is not the case.

The way McMahon got back onto the board of directors and became chairman was shady at best. There were those on the board who did not want him back. But he got back on the board to get his money and to sell the company. Though he did not have creative control, he was still calling things in. But the product on TV was better and never hotter thanks to Triple H.

Think about this for a minute. Vince McMahon sold WWE to Endeavor aka TKO Group Holdings for $21 Billion. He paid $1 million for it from his dad. Now, TKO Group Holdings is looking for McMahon to step aside as his shares are up for sale. The company does not want any distractions as McMahon the current chairman is still being investigated for those sexual harassment allegations and other things as well.

The September 11, 2023 edition of Monday Night Raw was the last event that Vince McMahon owned WWE. Vince started Monday Night Raw in January 1993. Just a historic time to be around the world of professional wrestling.

It is going to be hard to imagine when there was not a McMahon-owning WWE. Now we are here. What a wild time we live in the world of professional wrestling.


By Mark Martinez

When I think of the term “Lead-off Hitter,” in baseball, I automatically think of Rickey Henderson. Growing up in the 80’s, you got to see plenty of good lead-off hitters; Tim Raines, Wade Boggs, Vince Coleman, and when you got to the 90’s, you had Kenny Lofton, as well as others.The game was different back then. Speed and getting on base (OBP) were a big factor in baseball, and strategy amongst managers. 

     Besides Rickey Henderson, who dominates most lead-off categories in the history of baseball, you also have other guys who were really talented. Ichiro Suzuki was a left handed specialist. Ichiro had ten seasons where he had over 200 hits. Imagine if he hadn’t played his first 9 years in Japan. The All-Time Hits list might be a little different if Ichiro started in the MLB before age 27. 

      As the game started to change in the late 90’s, so did the lead-off hitters. Managers deliberately began putting better all around hitters in the lead-off spot, and the number two spot. The philosophy is getting your better hitters more at-bats in the later innings. In today’s game, you see it with Aaron Judge, as well as others. 

      Throughout history, every manager sees the game so differently, and has a different theory into turning a lineup over. Back when pitchers would hit in the National League, managers like Tony LaRussa would bat the pitcher 8th instead of 9th. I always wondered why you wouldn’t let him make the last out. The lead-off batter would then lead off again. In all honesty, the lead-off batter only really leads off once a game. 

     What Ronald Acuna and Mookie Betts are doing from the top spot, this season, is beyond remarkable. The mixture of power, speed, and being just pure hitters, is a rarity, especially from the top spot of the lineup. Driving in over 100 runs from the lead-off position isn’t common. Having two MVP candidates doing it in the same season may never happen again. 

     Acuna already has over 200 hits this season and, in my eyes, is this year’s MVP. Each statistic, between both Acuna and Betts, is very similar, with the exception of the hits. If you took either guy out of the lead-off spot, placed him 2nd to 5th in the lineup, would they have the same season? 

     Growing up, watching Rickey Henderson be a freak of nature until past 40, was memorable. Watching Acuna be a rare member of the 40/40 club is astounding. Being alive for every member of the 40/40 club is, secretly, an accomplishment.

     Understanding the 40/40 club members is an entirely different article. Not one member of the club is in the Hall of Fame. Jose Canseco, Alex Rodriguez, Barry Bonds, and Alfonso Soriano represent speed, power, and some “substance.” Ronald Acuna is a modern day Rickey Henderson, only bigger and stronger. Never did I think I would be able to say that. 

The Uneven Five of the American League Central

By Mark Martinez

     It amazes me that we have a cluster of American League Central Division teams below .500. With the American League East being so competitive, and the complete opposite, I guess some division has to be that way. 

     Looking back at last year’s standings, the Cleveland Guardians won the A.L. Central while the Chicago White Sox finished 2nd, with an 81 and 81 record. The Minnesota Twins seem to be the team, this year, that will win the division outright.

        In 1995, Major League Baseball expanded to three divisions in each league. In the last 28 seasons, believe it or not, the Cleveland Guardians have had the most division wins with eleven. If you follow baseball, you know the Cleveland Guardians were the laughing stock for a long period of time. From 1995 to 2001, they won the division 6 times. The Guardians put some great players on the map. There was Manny Ramirez, Jim Thome, Grady Sizemore, and C.C. Sabathia, just to name a few. Before researching this topic, I honestly didn’t expect to see such dominance from one franchise. 

     The Minnesota Twins rank 2nd, in the same time frame, with 8 division wins. The Twins are a smaller market team. In all the years the Twins have won the A.L. Central, only one time, in 2019, did the payroll exceed over 100 million dollars. In fact, the Minnesota Twins payroll, in 2002, was just 40 million dollars. 

     What I noticed about this division is the cluster. A franchise gets hot, for a few years, steady. The pattern seems to be if you win one year, you will probably win the year after, as well. The shocking part of this division, besides the under .500 factor, is how much the Kansas City Royals do not actually win. From 1995, until the present day, the Kansas City Royals have only won the A.L. Central one time. The only year the Royals actually won the division was in 2015, going on to also win the World Series that year. When you think of the Royals, you think of a small market team automatically. The Minnesota Twins are basically in the same position of being a small market franchise.

     Although 4 out of the 5 teams will finish under .500, you have to guess that eventually the tide will turn, and 4 out of the 5 will be above .500. Playoff contention for 80% of one division makes every game critical. 

Cruz Replaces Portman/Fallon Apologize to Staff

By Miguel Mike Medina

Academy Award winner Penelope Cruz will replace Natalie Portman in the TV adaptation “The Days of Abandonment.” Portman was going to be the executive producer of the series. For whatever reasons she may had, she dropped out of the project. Filming was going to take place in Sydney, Australia.

Penelope Cruz is a talented actress. I feel she’s a solid replacement for Natalie Portman. I’m looking forward to seeing Cruz in this TV adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s 2002 adaptation. I’ve always been a fan of her work dating back to 2003’s Gothika with Halle Berry. ‘The Days of Abandonment’ centers around Olga, an Italian woman, who loses her grasp on reality after her husband of 15 years abruptly leaves her for another woman.

Jimmy Fallon Receives Backlash

Oh no! Not Jimmy! Several of Jimmy Fallon’s working colleagues from NBC’s “The Tonight Show” have expressed their frustration about Jimmy and the toxic working environment he has created. They are saying that bosses and Jimmy Fallon have talked down to them and belittled them. However, not everyone is piling on Jimmy. He has other people who are defending him as well. We don’t know what is true or not, but Jimmy ended up apologizing to his staff after The Rolling Stones article came out. Jimmy is known for his warm and jolly personality on his show. We just don’t know the full person behind closed doors. I had the privilege to attend his show as an audience member back in July 2017. It was a terrific experience. It was my first late-night show experience. 

Top 15 Cinematography Films of the Last 15 Years

By Miguel Mike Medina

Cinematography is one of the most innovative and creative things ever invented in cinema. The name sounds catchy. Cinematography sounds better than Director or Photography. But that’s just my opinion. I have done Directing, Producing, Writing, and Editing, but I haven’t fully done a Cinematographer’s work. That’s next up lining up for me. 

Recently, I decided that I’ll be taking my love for cinema to a whole another level. In the last week, I have been studying and watching films from a cinematography standpoint only. In the last 15 years, we have seen some of the best cinematography films. Here are my Top 15 best cinematography movies of the past 15 years:

15) Roma – Cinematographer: Alfonso Cuaronn 

14) The Irishman – Cinematographer: Rodrigo Prieto

13) True Grit – Cinematographer: Roger Deakins

12) The Social Network – Cinematographer: Jeff Cronenweth

11) Skyfall – Cinematographer: Roger Deakins

10) Inception – Cinematographer: Wally Pfister

9) Hugo – Cinematographer: Robert Richardson

8) Dunkirk – Cinematographer: Hoyte Van Hoytema

7) The Revenant – Cinematographer: Emmanuel Lubezki

6) Gravity – Cinematographer: Emmanuel Lubezki

5) Birdman – Cinematographer: Emmanuel Lubezki

4) Prisoners – Cinematographer: Roger Deakins

3) The Dark Knight – Cinematographer: Wally Pfister

2) The Tree of Life – Cinematographer: Emmanuel Lubezki

1) Blade Runner 2049 – Cinematographer: Emmanuel Lubezki 

As you can probably tell from this list, I love Roger Deakins and Emmanuel Lubezki. Those two are my Top 2 favorite cinematographers of all time. Robert Richardson is No. 3 on my list. Some of the current cinematographers I like to watch are Rodrigo Prieto, Hoyte Van Hoytema, Bradford Young, and Rachel Morrison.

All In Brings AEW Back To Relevancy

By Jim Biringer

There were some tough times for All Elite Wrestling following Brawl Out aka ALL Out 2022. AEW had lost a ton of momentum they had with the return of CM Punk, Forbidden Door, and with WWE in transition, this was the last thing the company needed. 

AEW had allowed Triple H and WWE to take back the momentum they had built. Give credit to the wrestlers in the company at that time to continue to put on good matches. But there was a stench that needed to go before fans could trust the company again. AEW needed to get back to its roots. 

It took some time, but AEW got back to the level they were at prior to Brawl Out in September of 2022 as the world on Sunday, August 27th witnessed the biggest event in wrestling history with All In at Wembley Stadium. As Tony Khan stated after the event, the company has never been in better shape. And he is right. 
Khan said in the post-event media scrum, “Tonight’s All In PPV will be one of the most purchased AEW shows of all time. AEW was in a hot place at one point and then was in a challenging position because of injuries and MJF walking out. However, tonight AEW was better than it’s ever been. I wanted one more and tonight was the chance to get as hot as they’ve ever been.” 

Who would have thought AEW would have a paid attendance of 81,035 people at Wembley Stadium for a pro wrestling event? That is a new record for a professional wrestling event. If you include the comps, ushers, and everything else AEW put 90,000 people inside Wembley Stadium. This breaks any attendance record WWE had.
Khan continued in his post-event media availability by saying “When WCW went away there were things that got lost… Something missing from the world of pro wrestling for the last 22 years. Today we created real competition. The numbers are real, I can verify them.: 
But again this isn’t about comparing both companies. As previously mentioned before pro wrestling is in a good state when all companies are thriving. The more companies there are, the better the product is. Which means the fans win. 
However, this is the first time in the history of AEW they have mentioned the competition word. AEW always worried about themselves and never carried about what the other company did. But now the company is in a position where they can say they are truly competition.

Remember AEW dominated NXT on Wednesday for years despite WWE calling that show developmental. The way WWE uses NXT these days it is not developmental anymore. But they want to stay inside their little bubble. But with Triple H in charge that’s changed some but they snub their noses at other companies. However, they do have real competition now. 

There was a massive anticipation for AEW ALL In at Wembley Stadium in London, England. Nobody knew how big this event was going to be when it was announced by Tony Khan before Forbidden Door 2. This event lived up to the hype and even more as most knew it would.

AEW is truly back. It took about a year, but the momentum is back. There was not a bad match on the card. Some people do not like the company and that is fine, but you have to admit what AEW did is impressive. 

There was something for everyone. Some hardcore wrestling with Stadium Stampede and the Coffin match. Great wrestling matches with CM Punk vs. Samoa Joe, FTR vs. Young Bucks III and Will Ospreay vs. Chris Jericho. Then if you like story telling the women’s world title match and the main event MJF vs. Adam Cole told great stories. 

The card was perfectly paced as the action was non-stop. There were tributes to Terry Funk and Windham Rotunda aka Bray Wyatt at this event. Fans were not disappointed. There was not a cooler on the card. Tony Khan had to slow down the pace some, but the crowd was electric all night long.

It was truly a feel-good event for the fans. From start to finish the AEW faithful in London did not leave disappointed. That is what AEW was all about when the company first started. 
From Forbidden Door 2 through All In, AEW is back in the place most people expected it to be a year ago. Some thought this company might be out of business and couldn’t sell out Wembley Stadium. Again all AEW does is prove people wrong. 

Expect even bigger things from Tony Khan and AEW down the road. But for now, cherish what we got at AEW All In. 

Baby Bombers’ Era is DONE

By Miguel Mike Medina

The Baby Bomber era is doomed. It’s over. It’s finished. The Yankees have lost nine in a row. No Division lead, no wild card lead. This team isn’t going anywhere this season. This is the worst second-half performance from the Yankees since 1995. Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls we’re still alive. Although they made the playoffs as a wild-card team that year, this current roster was supposed to perform way better than this. 

The Yankees’ best years to try to win it all during the baby bomber era were from 2017 through 2019. Jose Altuve’s ALCS home run did some psychological damage to that team. They couldn’t recover from that loss. It’s time for the Yankees to rebuild. Yes! You heard me correctly. The YANKEES NEED TO REBUILD! BABY BOMBERS ARE DEAD! The group of Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge, Miguel Andujar, Gleyber Torres, and Luis Severino has been a bust. 

Look at the Baltimore Orioles, Tampa Bay Rays, Atlanta Braves, Texas Rangers, and Cincinnati Reds. The Yankees don’t have a chance against those teams. Those teams have a good farm system and know how to develop their young talent. The Yankees have to make some decisions soon. 

James Harden: A Generational Talent and A Quitter

By Miguel Mike Medina

Philadelphia Sixers end trade talks about 10-time All-Star James Harden. Harden will remain with the team for the start of the season. It is a messy situation in Philadelphia. The Sixers’ breakup will be an ugly one. Joel Embiid is losing patience. Too many distractions in the organization. 

First, it was the Ben Simmons situation, and now it’s James Harden. The “beard man” strikes again with his whining and complaining. Harden recently called Sixers general manager Daryl Morey a “liar” and that he won’t play for no organization that he’s part of. Harden and Morey were together in Houston. They seemed like they were on the same page. That’s not been the case in Philadelphia. 

Harden is not happy and he didn’t get what he wanted. Harden wanted to be traded to the Clippers. Best of luck to any team that wants James Harden. Let’s take a look at James Garden’s contract situation:

– exercised $35.6 million player option for next season

-15% trade kicker (would receive $5.4 million from Sixers) 

-cannot sign an extension with Sixers or any other team

-will be an unrestricted free agent next Summer 2024 

This is not a good look. He’s not going about it the right way. It’s getting annoying to see James Harden make these kinds of headlines. He’s becoming one of the biggest laughingstocks in the NBA. I wouldn’t want him on my team. James is one of the greatest offensive players I’ve ever seen. However, over the last few years, he’s developed a reputation and it’s not a good one:

– Harden is great in the regular season but disappears in the postseason, especially in elimination games

-He doesn’t care about winning or doesn’t take losing a playoff series to heart. Great players suffer when they lose. They hate losing. Great players don’t go on vacation. They go harder in the summer to get ready to win it all the following season. In James Harden’s case, he has been spotted going out to clubs and comes into the following season out of shape

-He quits on every team that he has played for
Harden had Dwight Howard, didn’t work out. Harden had Chris Paul, didn’t work out. Harden had Russell Westbrook, didn’t work out. Harden had Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, didn’t work out. Joel Embiid and several shooters, that’s not going to end well. 

I’ll never forget when he called his former head coach and Hall of Famer Kevin McHale a “clown” after McHale said that Harden is not a “leader,” but Harden didn’t see the full clip of what McHale was trying to say. The media took a little part of what McHale said and asked James Harden about it. McHale didn’t slander James at all. He did praise him on his game and elaborated that there are different kinds of leadership. James can lead in certain aspects but not at the level of the likes of Chris Paul. 

James Harden is not a championship player. You can’t win with him. He’s a generational talent but a notorious quitter. The GOAT of quitting in the NBA. He cares more about his money than about winning. 

‘The Blind Side’ Film is Not Authentic

By Miguel Mike Medina

Former NFL star Michael Oher is making headlines this week. He expresses that the movie “The Blind Side,” is based on a lie. Oher said that there is misleading information about his portrayal in the movie. He mentioned that he wasn’t adopted, and the movie had several stereotypes about him like being “unintelligent” and “too serious” or “mellow.” The Blind Side does have a message or theme of a “white savior.” 

The story of Oher and the Tuohy family became the subject of an Oscar-winning film, “The Blind Side,” starring Sandra Bullock in the role of Leigh Anne Tuohy. The Blind Side is based on the Michael Lewis book of the same name, telling the story of Oher’s life as a homeless child through his college football career and eventual NFL stardom. Sandra Bullock won Best Actress at the Academy Awards for her performance. The Tuohy’s family received a contract price of $225,000 and 2.5% of the film’s net. 

The Blindside did very well at the box office. It went on to gross over $300 million. I only saw the movie once, and it was on Hulu. I enjoyed watching the movie, and with this news, it’s going to make me see the film in a different light. 

Oher made no money off the film, which was released after he completed his college career at Ole Miss. He was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in 2009. Oher played eight seasons in the NFL. He spent most of his tenure with the Baltimore Ravens, where he won a Super Bowl in 2012. 

Oher wrote his autobiography, I Beat the Odds: From Homelessness to The Blind Side and Beyond, in 2011. His most recent book, “When Your Back’s Against the Wall,” was released last week.

Saturday Night Collision Can Be Considered the A Show For AEW

By Jim Biringer

All Elite Wrestling has a new show on Saturday night called Collision. Ever since the show hit the airways back on June 17th, it has given off a vibe of being the A Show for All Elite Wrestling. Not to mention it is giving fans vibes of what the old AEW was like when Dynamite first launched back in September 2019. 

The company has been around longer than that. January 2019 is when All Elite Wrestling was launched. The foundation started at All-In that fall as Cody Rhodes, Matt and Nick Jackson (Young Bucks), Kenny Omega, Hangman Adam Page, and Marty Scurll gave the fans an alternative product to WWE. You can go back even further than that when Omega and Chris Jericho at Wrestle Kingdom earlier that year set the tone for what was to come for AEW. 
Now fast forward to now with AEW Collision. Dynamite feels like its own show and Collision feels like its own show even though they are under the same company. This was similar to what WWE was like with the original brand split in 2002 coming off the purchase of WCW. Smackdown had its own roster giving high quality matches. And RAW had its own roster giving fans different matches and more storylines. 

Collision and Dynamite has that feel now too. Think about it. Collision has been more wrestling over the past several weeks and less storylines. While Dynamite is giving fans the storylines with a dose of wrestling mixed in. But each show is pushing the other show to be better and we have seen it. 

As much as AEW does not mention a roster split, Collision has the wrestlers they feature the most and Dynamite has its roster it features the most. Again that had to happen with the return of CM Punk. And Punk is proud to lead the charge on Saturday calling it his show. We know the history of The Elite and Punk. There is a reason they are not on the same show right now. Maybe one day they will bury the hatchet and do what is best for business and give the fans that feud, but right now it is now happening. 

But back to Collision. Saturday Night AEW Collision does not feel as rushed as Dynamite does on Wednesday night. They let things settle a little more than Dynamite does. You could see Dynamite doing that early on, but now they just wanted to cram as much in as possible within the two hour time block. AEW Collision has only a handful of matches each week. But again the company is producing high quality television each Wednesday and Saturday night.

While AEW does not want to admit it, and MJF said it Saturday it is not Collision vs Dynamite, there is a little bit of that competitive drive between the two shows. Over the past several weeks, Collision and Dynamite have each put on great matches, but it has been Collision leading the way with Punk, Ricky Starks, FTR, Jay White, Juice Robinson, Andrade El Idolo, and the House of Black. 

Think about the matches FTR has had over the past couple of weeks. Two matches with White and Robinson. One of which went 58 minutes in a best two out of three falls match. Oh yeah the champions defended their tag team titles against the red hot act of MJF and Adam Cole this past Saturday. Another instant classic. 
Robinson and White have been excellent as well. CM Punk hand picked these guys to work with before Collision started. These guys wrestle every week. And Bullet Club Gold is gaining momentum.

And of course the rivalry between Punk and Joe culminated on a Saturday night on Collision. Punk and Starks have a nice rivalry going through the Owen Hart Tournament and now beyond. Starks will get a AEW World Title match this Saturday as Punk claimed he is still the real champion, more on that in another story. But giving the show a major belt says something about the quality of the talent before the titles are merged again.

Let’s not forget about Andrade and the rivalry he had with the House of Black over his mask. What a tremendous ladder match. Like the Old AEW, Collision is giving banger matches each week. Now it will be interesting to see if they continue that. At times Dynamite slowed down with that, but recently, Tony Khan has been pulling out all the stops as each show is bringing out the best in the other.

The ratings are getting better each week too. Now let’s see what happens when college football comes around and when there is a WWE PPV. But Tony Khan and Warner Bros Discovery took a chance on another two hour wrestling show and it is paying off.

Collision is giving the fans of what the old AEW was like and showing why it can be considered the A show now.