WWE Backlash 2017 Final Card and Results

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WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Randy Orton (c) vs. Jinder Mahal
My Winner: A.J. Styles
Probable Winner: Randy Orton
Winner, and new WWE World Heavyweight Champion, Jinder Mahal

WWE U.S. Championship
Kevin Owens (c) vs. A.J. Styles
My Winner: Either
Probable Winner: Kevin OWens
Winner by countout, and still WWE U.S. Champion, Kevin Owens

WWE Blue World Tag Team Championship
(c) The Usos (c) vs. Breezango
My Winners: Either
Probable Winners: The Usos
Winners, and still WWE Blue World Tag Team Champions, The Usos

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Dolph Ziggler
My Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura
Probable Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura

Becky Lynch, Naomi, and Charlotte vs. Carmella, Natalya, and Tamina
My Winners: Just Becky
Probable Winners: Becky Lynch, Naomi, and Charlotte
Winners: Carmella, Natalya, and Tamina

Sami Zayn vs. Baron Corbin
My Winner: Baron Corbin
Probable Winner: Baron Corbin
Winner: Sami Zayn

Luke Harper vs. Erick Rowan
My Winner: Luke Harper
Probable Winner: Erick Rowan
Winner: Luke Harper

NXT Takeover: Chicago Review, Comments, Etc.

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So, I just got back from NXT Takeover Chicago and as usual, the show was really good.

The first match was Roderick Strong vs. Eric Young. I was hoping Young would come out in a Preds jersey but I’m not surprised he didn’t. It was a good, solid opener, although the beginning dragged just a little from the submission spots. I was surprised to see Roddy win, too.

In the surprise of the night, at least for me, the best match of the show was definitely the UK Championship match between Tyler Bate and Pete Dunne. It was both a great match and the crowd was super into it, which was the opposite of what I had expected. Mainly because I felt like WWE hadn’t really done much to promote the UK talent that much, and I didn’t watch the tournament and I only glance at weekly NXT shows, so I don’t know them that well. But this match was probably one of the best matches I’ve seen live now – and I’ve gone to over 30 shows, so that’s saying something. Dunne won the title. Go watch this match.

Asuka then retained the NXT Women’s Championship in a good match. It suffered from the crowd being somewhat dead from the previous match, though.

Bobby Roode retained the NXT World Heavyweight Championship against Hideo Itami in probably the least exciting match of the night. Roode bores me, yet the crowd loved him because of his stupid theme, and they booed Itami because….Racism? CM Punk stole his finisher? I don’t know really. It was alright, but not that exciting. It seemed like Roode got 3 teeth knocked out though.

And the main event was DIY vs. The Authors of Pain in a Ladder match for the NXT Tag Team Championship. The match was great – the only thing that stopped it from being match of the night is that it was a little slow in spots in the beginning to me. But that German off the ladder through another one – holy shit. Don’t really like that AOP can get up from all that but DIY loses because of double powerbombs, but oh well.

And then Ciampa destroyed Gargano and it was awesome. I’m happy – Ciampa had one of the best matches I’ve ever seen live against Sami the last time NXT was here, so I’m pleased to see him get that moment.

#LaterMarks #DontTouchTheBombs #ButImNotWrong #LunaticFringe #StraightEdgeMeansImBetterThanYou #FollowTheBuzzards #IAmTheEaterOfWorlds #WalkWithTheReapers #AJIsTheBestDivaInTheWorld #PaigeIsTheBloodyDivasChampion #InZayn #FaceThatRunsThePlace #BalorClub #SashasTheBoss #StraightFire #FiveFeetOfFury #LittleMissBliss #FightOwensFight #BecauseHesAFatherDamnit #WelcomeToTheWasteland #SAWFT #BayleysGonnaHugYou #JoeIsGonnaKillYou #ReadyWillingAndGable #BlissedOff #SAVE_US #JerichoInventedEverything #NewDayWillFightYourChildren #CeroMiedo #SamoaJoeHasAn8AndaThirdPercentChance #ReyIsLifeReyIsLove #BaddestBitchInTheBuilding #CesaroSection #JohnnyRudo #SuicidalAngel #ImNotAManImAMachine #YouKnowWhatThatMeans

!bye

-Mzrc-

NXT Takeover: Chicago Final Card and Results

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NXT World Heavyweight Championship
Bobby Roode (c) vs. Hideo Itami
My Winner: Hideo Itami
Probable Winner: Bobby Roode
Winner, and still NXT World Heavyweight Champion, Bobby Roode

Triple Threat Match for the NXT Women’s Championship
Asuka (c) vs. Ruby Riot vs. Nikki Cross
My Winner: Anyone
Probable Winner: Asuka
Winner, and still NXT Women’s Champion, Asuka

Ladder Match for the NXT World Tag Team Championship
(c) The Authors of Pain (c) vs. DIY
My Winners: DIY
Probable Winners: The Authors of Pain
Winner, and still NXT World Tag Team Champions, The Authors of Pain

WWE U.K. Championship
Tyler Bate (c) vs. Pete Dunne
My Winner: Don’t Care
Probable Winner: Tyler Bate
Winner, and new WWE U.K. Champion, Pete Dunne

Roderick Strong vs. Eric Young
My Winner: Either
Probable Winner: Eric Young
Winner: Roderick Strong

NXT Takeover: Chicago Predictions, Comments, Etc.

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They finally listened to me about an NXT Takeover in Chicago when they brought NXT here last January…and NXT is completely different now, lol. But, thankfully, I’m still looking forward to quite a bit of this – and most everyone I’d want to see is on here. And the ones who aren’t on the main show, they will be on the preshow. That being Aleister Black. I just wish Kassius Ohno was on here somewhere.

Roderick Strong vs. Eric Young

This was just added to the card tonight, and I’m glad it was. The two of them were in that 6 man tag at Takeover Orlando and that was fun, so I hope this can be just as fun as a one on one match.

Prediction: Eric Young

WWE U.K. Championship
Tyler Bate (c) vs. Pete Dunne


So I haven’t paid any attention to the UK Title – I didn’t watch the tournament and I only half pay attention the weekly NXT shows these days. I’m “watching” it as I write this, tbh. So my opinion on this match is basically irrelevant.

Prediction: Tyler Bate

Ladder Match for the NXT World Tag Team Championship
(c) The Authors of Pain (c) vs. DIY


I’m sad this couldn’t also somehow include the Revival. Anyways, this should be yet again, another awesome match.

Prediction: The Authors of Pain

Triple Threat Match for the NXT Women’s Championship
Asuka (c) vs. Ruby Riot vs. Nikki Cross


I’m really sad Ember got hurt because I wanted to see this fatal 4-way so badly. But oh well. I really want Asuka to lose and come up to the main roster, but for some reason I can’t see her losing this match. It’s possible Ember could’ve won here if she wasn’t hurt – but I don’t see the belt going on Ruby or Nikki yet. Also, side note, if Asuka wins, I’m pretty sure she’s going to have a longer title reign than CM Punk had a WWE title match and this match is in Chicago. Not that anyone will realize that, and not that it matters, because it doesn’t.

Prediction: Asuka

NXT World Heavyweight Championship
Bobby Roode (c) vs. Hideo Itami


I see what you did here, NXT. We all see what you did here. This is NXT Takeover Chicago and the originator of the GTS is in the title match. I see what you did. And it’s going to be awkward as hell when Hideo hits a GTS and the crowd chants CM Punk. And I’d much rather Hideo win….but is he going to?

Prediction: Hideo Itami

Review Saturday.

#LaterMarks #DontTouchTheBombs #ButImNotWrong #LunaticFringe #StraightEdgeMeansImBetterThanYou #FollowTheBuzzards #IAmTheEaterOfWorlds #WalkWithTheReapers #AJIsTheBestDivaInTheWorld #PaigeIsTheBloodyDivasChampion #InZayn #FaceThatRunsThePlace #BalorClub #SashasTheBoss #StraightFire #FiveFeetOfFury #LittleMissBliss #FightOwensFight #BecauseHesAFatherDamnit #WelcomeToTheWasteland #SAWFT #BayleysGonnaHugYou #JoeIsGonnaKillYou #ReadyWillingAndGable #BlissedOff #SAVE_US #JerichoInventedEverything #NewDayWillFightYourChildren #CeroMiedo #SamoaJoeHasAn8AndaThirdPercentChance #ReyIsLifeReyIsLove #BaddestBitchInTheBuilding #CesaroSection #JohnnyRudo #SuicidalAngel #ImNotAManImAMachine #YouKnowWhatThatMeans

!bye

-Mzrc-

WWE Backlash 2017 Predictions, Comments, Etc.

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PPVs every two weeks now, apparently. Oh the joy. At least this is a Smackdown one, and at least I’m going to it. That and NXT the night before. And I’m looking forward to most of the matches on both.

Luke Harper vs. Erick Rowan

Hey Luke Harper made the card, hurray! They had a chance to do big things with him and didn’t. I am so disappointed. Instead they might be pushing the trash of the Wyatt Family.

Prediction: Erick Rowan

Sami Zayn vs. Baron Corbin

Not too much to talk about here because the match was just made, but I would hope that Corbin would win this.

Prediction: Baron Corbin

Becky Lynch, Naomi, and Charlotte vs. Carmella, Natalya, and Tamina

The Smackdown women’s division is a mess. There’s Becky Lynch and then there’s…….Well, basically nobody. Carmella is the second best but she’s nowhere near Becky. Naomi is three things away from being worth watching. And the rest are trash. So, go Becky. And just Becky. Fuck the rest.

Prediction: Becky Lynch, Naomi, and Charlotte

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Dolph Ziggler

They finally call up Shinsuke and….stick him with Dolph. Hurray?

Prediction: Shinsuke Nakamura

WWE Blue World Tag Team Championship
(c) The Usos (c) vs. Breezango


Really looking forward to this. I really hope Breezango wins but I don’t foresee that happening.

Prediction: The Usos

WWE U.S. Championship
Kevin Owens (c) vs. A.J. Styles


This match should be great. I’m hoping this feud lasts a while, and for now I hope the Face of America keeps the belt.

Prediction: Kevin Owens

WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Randy Orton (c) vs. Jinder Mahal


HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. They think anyone is going to care about this. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. They think that if Jinder randomly wins a match after being buried for ages I’m going to accept him as credible! They think that because Jinder legit injured someone he should be pushed! They think that if they piss test him they won’t find he’s on roids! They think this is going to go on in Chicago and not get CM Punk chants! (I mean I won’t be saying it, but still.) They think I’m going to boo him for being diverse! They think that I’m one of those 62 million people who are frightened by diversity, and that Chicago fans will be too – even though like any place worth living, Chicago is a liberal city! LMAO. Go home with your xenophobia………….headlock.

Prediction: Randy Orton

So, review on Sunday as always.

#LaterMarks #DontTouchTheBombs #ButImNotWrong #LunaticFringe #StraightEdgeMeansImBetterThanYou #FollowTheBuzzards #IAmTheEaterOfWorlds #WalkWithTheReapers #AJIsTheBestDivaInTheWorld #PaigeIsTheBloodyDivasChampion #InZayn #FaceThatRunsThePlace #BalorClub #SashasTheBoss #StraightFire #FiveFeetOfFury #LittleMissBliss #FightOwensFight #BecauseHesAFatherDamnit #WelcomeToTheWasteland #SAWFT #BayleysGonnaHugYou #JoeIsGonnaKillYou #ReadyWillingAndGable #BlissedOff #SAVE_US #JerichoInventedEverything #NewDayWillFightYourChildren #CeroMiedo #SamoaJoeHasAn8AndaThirdPercentChance #ReyIsLifeReyIsLove #BaddestBitchInTheBuilding #CesaroSection #JohnnyRudo #SuicidalAngel #ImNotAManImAMachine #YouKnowWhatThatMeans

!bye

-Mzrc-

2016-17 Stanley Cup Playoffs Predictions (Conference Finals)

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Second Round Predictions here: https://mzrc.wordpress.com/2017/04/24/2016-17-stanley-cup-playoffs-predictions-conference-semifinals/

————————–Eastern Conference—————————————————-

(2) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. (2) Ottawa Senators

The Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Washington Capitals in 7 games, after the Capitals nearly killed Crosby twice, came back from a 3-1 series deficit, just to choke in game 7 as always.

The Ottawa Senators defeated the New York Rangers in 6 games, and considering Pageau scored more goals in one game than the Hawks did in a series, there’s that. Also, Rangers – you should have won this but didn’t. So you fail.

Somehow the Senators got past the Rangers with False God Karlsson having a broken foot, but there’s no way they can do that to the Pens. Pens have this.

————————-Western Conference————————————————

(1) Anaheim Ducks vs. (WC2) Nashville Predators

The Anaheim Ducks defeated the Edmonton Oilers in 7 games after Edmonton moreso eliminated themselves. They were up 2-0 going back to Edmonton, blew that lead, then blew a 3 goal lead in game 5 with 3:16 left and lost in 2 OT, then demolished Anaheim 7-1 in game six, but couldn’t do anything in game 7. So good job blowing a 3 goal lead in 3:16, because if you didn’t you’d be here and not the Ducks.

The Nashville Predators defeated the St. Louis Blues in 6 games.

So, we can all admit we underestimated the Preds at this point. Even if you thought they were good, you underestimated them. They’re starting to look like a team that can’t be stopped. And they beat the Blues. If they win the Cup, you cannot say they don’t deserve it. They destroyed the Hawks, and basically did the same to St. Louis. If they beat the Ducks and likely the Pens – what a way to do it. And as a second wild card team, too. And honestly, I’m picking them to win here, too.

Finals predictions later.

WWE Payback 2017 Review, Comments, Etc.

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Blah. So, that show happened. And I really don’t care. I’ll be honest with you, after the first match I barely paid attention to the next two matches and I missed the end of the Women’s match but I don’t care enough after the rest of this show to go back and watch before I review.

Kevin Owens vs. Chris Jericho for the U.S. Title opened. And it wasn’t a bad match. But – why the fuck did Owens lose? Jericho literally leaves in five days. So, he’s just going to lose it back on Tuesday. Or lose it to AJ. So what’s the point?

Rating: **1/2

Neville retained the Cruiserweight Championship because of a DQ. Why is this feud continuing?

Rating: **

The Hardys retained the Tag Titles and then Cesaro turned heel. WHY THE FUCK DID CESARO TURN HEEL?

Rating: **

Alexa Bliss won the WWE Women’s Championship which is great – that’s the right call.

Rating: **1/2

The House of Horrors thing was absolute trash. The pretaped stuff was boring – what about it screamed “horrors?” It was just a house. Literally just a house. And they showed back up later to end the match in the ring, and Wyatt only won because of Mahal. It was just awful. WWE – this was you trying to copy the Final Deletion, and you just prove that you shouldn’t have bothered. The Final Deletion was dumb as fuck and shouldn’t have been copied to begin with.

Rating: DUD

Seth Rollins defeated Samoa Joe in a good match. Nothing to say.

Rating: ***

Braun Strowman defeated Roman Reigns so that’s good. Hurray!

Rating: **1/2

Overall Grade: C-

#LaterMarks #ButImNotWrong #LunaticFringe #StraightEdgeMeansImBetterThanYou #FollowTheBuzzards #IAmTheEaterOfWorlds #WalkWithTheReapers #AJIsTheBestDivaInTheWorld #PaigeIsTheBloodyDivasChampion #InZayn #BalorClub #SashasTheBoss #StraightFire #FightOwensFight #BecauseHesAFatherDamnit #WelcomeToTheWasteland #SAWFT #BayleysGonnaHugYou #JoeIsGonnaKillYou #ReadyWillingAndGable #BAMF #BlissedOff #SAVE_US #JerichoInventedEverything #NewDayWillFightYourChildren #CeroMiedo #SamoaJoeHasAn8AndaThirdPercentChance #ReyIsLifeReyIsLove #BaddestBitchInTheBuilding #CesaroSection #JohnnyRudo #SuicidalAngel #ImNotAManImAMachine

!bye

-Mzrc-

WWE Payback 2017 Final Card and Results

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WWE U.S. Championship
Kevin Owens (c) vs. Chris Jericho
My Winner: Kevin Owens
Probable Winner: Kevin Owens
Winner, and new WWE U.S. Champion, Chris Jericho

House of Horrors Match
Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton
My Winner: Bray Wyatt
Probable Winner: Randy Orton
Winner: Bray Wyatt

Seth Rollins vs. Samoa Joe
My Winner: Either
Probable Winner: Seth Rollins
Winner: Seth Rollins

WWE Women’s Championship
Bayley (c) vs. Alexa Bliss
My Winner: Either
Probable Winner: Bayley
Winner, and new WWE Women’s Champion, Alexa Bliss

Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman
My Winner: Braun Strowman
Probable Winner: Roman Reigns
Winner: Braun Strowman

WWE World Tag Team Championship
(c) The Hardy Boyz (c) vs. Cesaro and Sheamus
My Winners: The Hardy Boyz
Probable Winners: The Hardy Boyz
Winners, and still WWE World Tag Team Champions, The Hardy Boyz

WWE Cruiserweight Championship
Neville (c) vs. Austin Aries
My Winner: Neville
Probable Winner: Neville
Winner by DQ: Austin Aries; Still WWE Cruiserweight Champion, Neville

WWE Payback 2017 Predictions, Comments, Etc.

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Well, Payback 2017 is upon us. And, honestly, while I don’t think the show is going to be bad – if you look at the card, there’s really not a bad match on it – but I’m still not super hyped. It’s probably because that Raw as a whole is so bad that even though these matchups are all good, there’s just not much I’m really excited for. Some of it is predictability, some of it is just Raw is bad.

WWE Cruiserweight Championship
Neville (c) vs. Austin Aries


Not much to say about this. It should be good like their first match was, although if they didn’t put the belt on Aries at Mania, I don’t see why they would now.

Prediction: Neville

WWE World Tag Team Championship
(c) The Hardy Boyz (c) vs. Cesaro and Sheamus


Again, this should be good. I don’t see why the Hardys would lose the titles so quickly after getting the pop they did at Mania.

Prediction: The Hardy Boyz

WWE Women’s Championship
Bayley (c) vs. Alexa Bliss


You know what? I love Bayley and I’ve been waiting for Sasha to turn heel, but have Alexa win. Hell, have Sasha turn heel and cost Bayley the title.

Prediction: Alexa Bliss

WWE U.S. Championship
Kevin Owens (c) vs. Chris Jericho


Jericho is done after this so it’s pretty obvious that the Face of America is retaining.

Prediction: Kevin Owens

Seth Rollins vs. Samoa Joe

This should be good. I wish Rollins could go back to the Curbstomp. Please?

Prediction: Seth Rollins

House of Horrors Match
Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt


Until I realized this was nontitle, I thought Wyatt had no chance. And while I still think it’d be weird that Wyatt might beat the WWE champion and then that’s it for this feud – they’re already building Orton’s next opponent. (We’ll get to that in a later post.) But, they’re doing everything they can in the promotion of it to make you forget he’s the champion, aren’t they? It’s not for the belt. Mahal stole the belt on Tuesday so he’s not going to have the belt Sunday. Hell, look at this image above this – he isn’t holding it. Every other champion is holding their title in these images, aren’t they? They want you to forget that he’s the champ so when he loses you aren’t like – he just pinned the champ! I’m going with Bray, but I could totally see that being wrong.

Prediction: Bray Wyatt

Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman

Braun gets to win this time, right? Right?? RIGHT????

Prediction: Roman Reigns

Anyways, review Sunday.

#LaterMarks #ButImNotWrong #LunaticFringe #StraightEdgeMeansImBetterThanYou #FollowTheBuzzards #IAmTheEaterOfWorlds #WalkWithTheReapers #AJIsTheBestDivaInTheWorld #PaigeIsTheBloodyDivasChampion #InZayn #BalorClub #SashasTheBoss #StraightFire #FightOwensFight #BecauseHesAFatherDamnit #WelcomeToTheWasteland #SAWFT #BayleysGonnaHugYou #JoeIsGonnaKillYou #ReadyWillingAndGable #BAMF #BlissedOff #SAVE_US #JerichoInventedEverything #NewDayWillFightYourChildren #CeroMiedo #SamoaJoeHasAn8AndaThirdPercentChance #ReyIsLifeReyIsLove #BaddestBitchInTheBuilding #CesaroSection #JohnnyRudo #SuicidalAngel #ImNotAManImAMachine

!bye

-Mzrc-

2016-17 Stanley Cup Playoffs Predictions (Conference Semifinals)

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First round predictions here: https://mzrc.wordpress.com/2017/04/11/2016-17-stanley-cup-playoffs-predictions-conference-quarterfinals/

——————————Eastern Conference———————————-

(1) Washington Capitals vs. (2) Pittsburgh Penguins

The Washington Capitals defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs in six games. This should have gone seven, damn it. It was easily the most entertaining of the eight series that happened, and now I’m just sad that Toronto is out. I was more excited for them and the series was the best.

The Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets in 5 games. Now, I’m not shocked that the Penguins won, but I was expecting Columbus to put up a bigger fight than they did.

Honestly, as much as the Capitals are the best team in the league….I have to pick the Penguins. After Pittsburgh beat Columbus more easily than expected and the Caps had some trouble with the Leafs, it’s hard for me to believe than the Penguins won’t beat the Caps AGAIN. And honestly, after all that’s happened in the first round – this all smells of a Pens repeat to me.

(2) Ottawa Senators vs. (WC1) New York Rangers

The Ottawa Senators defeated the Boston Bruins in 6 games, and no one cared.

The New York Rangers defeated the Montreal Canadiens in 6 games.

This is probably the toughest one to call in this round. I’m going with the Rangers but that could be wrong.

 

————————Western Conference—————————

(1) Anaheim Ducks vs. (2) Edmonton Oilers

The Anaheim Ducks swept the Calgary Flames in 4 games. I paid no attention to this series.

The Edmonton Oilers defeated the San Jose Sharks in 6 games.

I wish the Oilers would win this, but I just don’t foresee that. The Ducks will be much tougher than the Sharks were for them. But the Oilers are the only team in the West I want to win.

(3) St. Louis Blues vs. (WC2) Nashville Predators

The St. Louis Blues defeated the Minnesota Wild in 5 games.

The Nashville Predators defeated the Chicago Blackhawks in 4 games. (More later.)

Blues have got this. The Blues and the Ducks are the only ones who can stop each other, and unfortunately that means one will end up in the Finals.

————————–Chicago Blackhawks Postseason Eulogy————————–

Blackhawks, where do I even begin?

You lost in four games. To the Predators. The PREDATORS. I mean, they’re not a bad team, but you made them out to be gods. YOU WERE SHUTOUT FOR TEN PLUS PERIODS! YOU SCORED THREE GOALS.

THREE.

That’s like, comically bad.

So bad I barely watched the last game. Didn’t watch the second at all. (Part of that’s me having been at work, but that’s besides the point.)

I guess after the second game of the season happened (ironically against the Preds) and I thought “Are the Hawks just bad now?” I was right. Turns out you still won the conference, but it sure doesn’t seem like it.

It seems like the Hawks have finally hit the wall we knew they would. It was inevitable. You sign so many to such huge contracts for so long and trade away the rest and replace them with……?

I mean, yes, those contracts make sense – you want those players on your team – but eventually you’re going to hit a wall when some of them are maybe too old and then you’ve got nothing around them. With the exception of getting Panarin, there hasn’t been a major change since the last Cup that’s going to be a big difference.

How many rookies do you have surrounding an aging core? Hartman, Kero, Hinostroza, Rasmussen. The only one really worth a damn so far is Hartman.

Still only have 3 or 4 defensemen. Keith, Seabrook, Hjalmarsson. Everything else around them still doesn’t work.

The core is all getting older, and with age they will not be as good. It’s not there yet, but this just happened and they’re all signed to LONG deals. And they’re contracts that can’t be traded.

Toews, Kane, Anisimov, Keith, Hossa, Seabrook, etc. Most have deals that will get most of them into their late thirties or young forties.

They failed themselves last year, but this year it’s clear whatever they had fell apart completely.

Let’s not mince hairs. The Preds killed them. The Preds were undoubtedly the better team. No bullshit conspiracies like the refs were against them or something or that the Preds were lucky. Nope. The Hawks just died.

And honestly, as much as I want to say “trade everyone,” that just doesn’t work. You’ll be lucky to trade one player – and which one, and for what? You’d be most likely to trade Anisimov probably, but he’s not the best player the Hawks have, they won’t get enough in return to make the Hawks a real contender, and he’s one of the older ones, too. If we’re being honest, I’m not sure the Hawks are going to win the Cup again anytime soon.

Toews and Kane can be better. Panarin is great. Hossa was better this year than the previous year, but is that a trend?

We need more than 3 defensemen and we need more than two lines at best. The Hawks used to be scary to play against – not anymore.

Honestly, with all the crap that’s happened – constant trading away of favorite players (because they have to, I know), steady decline that’s probably going to continue for a while, and most importantly, I’m not a Patrick Kane apologist and I really don’t even get that excited about the Hawks because of this, I don’t even know where I am as a fan. As much as I can compartmentalize the rest of the team from Kane because they aren’t shitbags just because he is, it’s still really tough for me to root for them anyway. And I was having that trouble last year, when they weren’t doing things like losing to the Preds in four games, and before Andrew Shaw went off the deep end too. And while Shaw is gone, that’s not really it.

Last year it was just that Kane’s a shitbag (and to lesser extent, no Sharp and no Saad.) Now it’s that, plus the writing’s kind of on the wall, and I’m becoming more and more of a Leafs fan.

I’m beginning to wonder if the Leafs are actually my favorite team. I’ve been following them as closely as I follow the Hawks since 2010. I don’t get to watch that many games of theirs because of where I live and they don’t broadcast them. They’ve been bad for a long time, but in reality the Blackhawks won the Cup in 2013 – and while I was super happy about that, I had residual depression the whole playoffs after the Leafs lost in round one to Boston. (IT WAS 4-1!!) And now they’re finally becoming the team that their rebuild was for, and they’re only going to get better. Sure, they were never going to win the Cup this year, but they made the playoffs and they gave the Caps a run for their money. They really ARE the new Blackhawks. There’s a lot about the team that reminds me of the 2010 Hawks, only with three rookies and not two.

The Sharks were my second favorite team for a long time, but in 2012 when they signed Raffi Torres, they just kind of went to being a team I liked. And while they finally got rid of him last year and kind of re-elevated to being a legit second favorite, they didn’t set that in stone. Having followed the Leafs this year, using all their rookies in my fantasy team, worrying more about them making the playoffs than anything, and the series they just had, they definitely surpassed the Sharks into second favorite no matter what – and I’m not sure they haven’t surpassed the Hawks in the process.

Obviously I’ve been a Hawks fan all my life because, well, proximity. Dad has season tickets when I was a kid and I’d go to a lot of them with him even on school nights. It didn’t matter that they were bad for most of these years, but they were. When I started to follow the sport as closely as I follow wrestling, it was the year Toews and Kane started, and obviously they started to get good. Within two years they won the Cup.

The year they won the Cup is the year I subsequently started following the Leafs, and it was kind of just on accident. I watched a playoffs predictions video on Youtube by Steve Dangle, a Leafs fan, found it amusing, and I’ve been subscribed to him ever since. He makes videos about every Leafs game. You want to know how I know so much about the Leafs? Now you do. The first couple of years I was probably just watching, but it was probably their playoff run in 2013 that solidified them as third favorite. Steve started a podcast right after that playoff run and I listen to that every week since then, too. That’s where most of it came from.

The least important reason is because the Hawks may be on their way down. Maybe they aren’t and this is just a bump in the road – but it’s hard to look into the future and see major changes coming. But obviously we’ve seen many players leave – many that I love. Byfuglien and Ladd in 2010. Bolland in 2013. And most importantly, Sharp in 2015. Also Saad, but Sharp is my favorite player, bar none. And I’m not sure I’ll get over that one. Getting him back wouldn’t change it either. Losing Sharp and Saad will always be another one. But the biggest will always be Kane being a dumpster fire of a human being. Sure, he’s a great hockey player – whoop-do-fucking-do – but I just don’t think I can ever really root for this team as strongly as I used to with him here.

I can’t attack other teams for similar things and not attack the Blackhawks just because I’ve been a fan all my life. I’ve attacked Colorado for letting Semyon Varlamov play even though he beat his girlfriend, or Nashville for letting Mike Ribiero play even though he sexually harassed his nanny, if I remember correctly. I think L.A. actually got rid of Slava Voynov when he beat his girlfriend too? I’m certainly not going to just gloss over what Patrick Kane did. As someone who considers himself a feminist, that’s certainly not going to happen.

I’m never going to actively root AGAINST the Hawks, but it’s tough for me to root for them in this situation. I’ll still be happy for the rest of them if they succeed, but I won’t be as excited when they do either. I probably can’t judge what my gut reaction would be to watching them win the Cup again would be – I just know that the past two, I cried, and if they did again, I’m not sure that I would.

The only things about my Hawks fandom that I’ve always had that I’m 100% positive will always remain intact are that I will defend Corey Crawford always and I will call you an idiot if you don’t think Jonathan Toews is one of the best players in the world. (This is actually a common trend in the past two months, btw.) And I will always be able to watch previous championships happily because nothing was wrong then. And I will always still watch them – I’ll watch almost any hockey game I can find.

But I’m not sure I’m not more of a Maple Leafs fan right now.