2015 MLB Fantasy Baseball Playoffs Parlay – 8th Annual!

4 Oct

Hi friends,

It’s time once again for Fantasy Baseball Playoffs! This is the 8th annual parlay and you’re receiving this email because you either participated last year, a previous year, are in one of my fantasy baseball leagues, or are just on my list for one reason or another because I think you might want to get in on the action.  It makes watching all the playoff games so much more fun!  We had 43 teams in the Parlay last year and my goal is to get 50+ this year.
Please feel free to pass this on to anyone you know, and if somebody you know does want in, just make sure they let me know you referred them.  I’m going to post this on some fantasy message boards and on Twitter, so it’ll be out there.

Here’s how it works. Cost to participate is only $10 per team. One owner may have a maximum of two (2) team entries.

RULES: Choose one (1) batter AND one (1) pitcher from each of the 10 playoff teams to fill out positions of a roster with your 20 players. You must have ONLY 2 players from each playoff team; one hitter and one pitcher – no more, no less.  Do not have more than one hitter from the same team, or more than one pitcher from the same team, or your entry will be invalid.

The scoring will begin with the AL Wild Card game Tuesday night.

You must fill these positions with one hitter and one pitcher from each playoff team:
IF (any infield position)

U (can be a batter from any position)

10 pitchers (can be either a starting pitcher or relief pitcher). May be any combination of SP’s and RP’s but must meet a minimum of 15 innings pitched combined for all pitchers in the Wild Card/Division Series round, then a minimum of 10 innings pitched in the Championship Series round. This is to prevent any team from picking only relief pitchers.

***and Tiebreaker – see below

YOU are responsible for submitting a legal team. I will do my best to catch any errors, but if your team is illegal and is caught at ANY TIME, you will be eliminated and refunded your money.

*PLAYER POSITION ELIGIBILITY – An offensive player needs to have played a minimum of 20 games this year at a position to be eligible at that position. If an offensive player has not played a total of 20 games, then the position he’s played for the majority of games will be his eligible position. Pitcher eligibility is determined by the majority of games played. If you are picking a player that is only eligible at DH, then that player must occupy the U spot.  Otherwise the U spot may be a player from any offensive position.

Your roster will be 20 players to begin with, and as teams are eliminated, those players won’t accumulate any more stats for you. Any roster can have any player from any team, as long as you don’t have more than one hitter and one pitcher from a team. For example, if one entrant’s roster has Toronto’s catcher Russell Martin, that doesn’t mean any other entrant can’t have him, but you couldn’t have Josh Donaldson and Russell Martin on the same team. Pick whomever you’d like. Odds are there won’t be many exact rosters with all the possible combinations, but we have a Tiebreaker just in case.
***Tiebreaker – Pick the two (2) World Series teams, the winner, and in how many games.
The categories that we’ll use are the traditional 5×5 fantasy baseball categories – AVG, HR and RBI, Runs, and SB for hitters, Wins, Saves, ERA, WHIP and K’s for pitchers.

Scoring will be done Rotisserie style, meaning….
However many teams are in the parlay, that number will be the most points available in each category. The leader in each category will get that number of points for the category, the 2nd place team in a category will get 1 point less than the max, and so on down to 1 point for the last place team in a category.
For example, if there are 10 teams in the Parlay, the AVG leader gets 10 points, 2nd place team gets 9 points, 3rd place gets 8 points, and so on down to the last place AVG team getting 1 point. Maximum number of points in this scenario would be 100 (10×10). If there are 18 teams, then 1st place in HRs gets 18, second place would get 17, and so on down to 1. Maximum number of points in this scenario would be 180 (18×10).

Stats will be cumulative, and the total stats after the completion of the World Series will determine the winner(s).


  • The leader after the Wild Card/ALDS/NLDS wins 10% of the overall pot
  • Winner of the ALCS/NLCS round wins 10% of the overall pot
  • Remaining 80% of the pot will be split up to go to the 3 overall leaders after the World Series – 1st place (60%), runner-up (25%), and 3rd place (15%) of the 80%.

The 10 playoff teams are:

  • Toronto Blue Jays
  • Kansas City Royals
  • Texas Rangers
  • New York Yankees
  • Houston Astros
  • New York Mets
  • St. Louis Cardinals
  • Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Pittsburgh Pirates
  • Chicago Cubs

Sample team:
C – A.J. Ellis LAD
1B – Kelly Johnson NYM
2B – Robert Refsnyder NYY
3B – Joey Gallo TEX
SS – Jung-Ho Kang PIT
IF – Munenori Kawasaki TOR
OF – John Jay STL
OF – Terrence Gore KC
OF – Matt Szczur CHC
U – Robbie Grossman HOU

P – Mike Bolsinger LAD
P – Addison Reed NYM
P – Ivan Nova NYY
P – Shawn Tolleson TEX
P – Charlie Morton PIT
P – Drew Hutchison TOR
P – Carlos Martinez STL
P – Jeremy Guthrie KC
P – Travis Wood CHC
P – Oliver Perez HOU
Tiebreaker – Yankees over Mets in 4

May the Fantasy Gods have mercy on my soul for using some injured players as examples and Mets/Yankees as the Tiebreaker example.

Team rosters are due by this Tuesday, October 6th prior to the AL Wild Card game
.  Deadline for submission is 8:00pm, no later.
If you can, get your team(s) to me as soon as possible so I have ample time for data entry.
 Please forward this on to anyone you think might be interested.

I ask that all entree fees be sent by Friday, October 16th. Please make this easy on my part and submit payment on time. Please contact me for mailing address if you want to send a check, or for my email address if you want to send via PayPal.
Teams with fees not received by 10/16 will be subject to disqualification from the parlay.

If you have any questions, please email me today or tomorrow. If you think there’s anything I missed, or anything that could improve/enhance this Parlay, please let me know ASAP. Otherwise, put together a team or two you think will do well and send it over. Keep in mind, there’s a decent amount of strategy involved.  I will email a spreadsheet with all teams’ rosters as soon as all of the data is entered, and detailed updates will be sent after LDS, LCS and World Series rounds.  I am not able to send daily updates due to the time it takes to enter statistics and checking the spreadsheet to ensure all standings are accurate.
Follow me on Twitter at @Scotty_Ballgame as I’ll also tweet Parlay updates over the next month.

Good luck!


WWE Night of Champions 2015 predictions

20 Sep

I have a crazy thought.  All 5 championships will changes hands tonight.  Am I kidding?  No, not really, but do I really believe all 5 champions are going to lose?  Probably not, but I just can’t come up with good storylines where title retention makes sense – except in the case of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.  OK, let’s get on with what in college I used to call my Scotty The Swami picks which I made on-the-air at Syracuse’s WJPZ Z89 and had published in the Daily Orange for Wrestlemania VI.

Let’s get to it…

Kickoff Show – Stardust & The Ascension vs. Neville & Lucha Dragons
Neville and the man formerly known as Cody Rhodes have a little comic book feud going on. I honestly don’t understand how quickly one of the most dominant tag teams in NXT history, The Ascension, have become glorified jobbers on the main roster.  They’ve got absolutely no push right now and I see no way, even with a decent working Stardust, the heels go over in this match.
Winner: Neville & Lucha Dragons

Dolph Ziggler vs. Rusev
I just hate watching Ziggler mired in these mid-card storylines which are a far cry from his cashing in Money In The Bank the night after Wrestlemania 29 in New Jersey to win the World Heavyweight Championship.  Add to this match the stupid love trangle (or I guess you could call it a quadrangle) between Ziggler, Lana, Summer Rae and Rusev.  Lana supposedly won’t be at NOC because of a legit wrist injury suffered at a house show so maybe the wrestling will stand out in this match.  Rusev’s taken a couple surprising pins on TV in recent past so I’m feeling the Bulgarian Brute gets the nod tonight.
Winner: Rusev

Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper & Braun Strowman) vs. Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, and Mystery Partner
This match may have the most pre-event speculation as we’re all staking our claims to who the mystery partner will be.  Regardless of who the 3rd man is, these two teams have had great chemistry lately and that conjures up memories of the awesome Shield/Wyatts feud from a couple years ago.  Just a staredown between the two trios brought out the “This is awesome” crowd chants.  Tonight’s match should be awesome too.  So who’s the mystery partner?  So many guys have been predicted – Cesaro, Samoa Joe, Kane, Erick Rowan, even The Rock.  I would love to see The Rock come out, get a HUGE pop, and help his cousin and the Lunatic Fringe go into battle against the New Face of Fear and his cronies.  It could set up an angle for The Rock moving forward as we get closer to Wrestlemania.  BUT my gut thinks it’ll wind up being Cesaro who’s not billed on the NOC card yet and he’s one of the current guys that are most over.  He’d be a nice addition to the face team and can certainly hold his own power-wise with big boy Strowman.
Winners: Reigns, Ambrose and their partner

Charlotte vs. Nikki Bella for the Divas Championship
I can’t think of any way that Charlotte doesn’t win the title tonight.  We saw the Dusty finish on RAW this past Monday night with Charlotte and Brie and the ref giving Charlotte the belt before Steph came out to get everything right.  Then of course Nikki had her Bella-bration for being the longest consecutive reigning Divas champ in history.  Now that all the shananigans should be behind us we can look forward to a good match for the butterfly tonight.  Of the 5 title matches this is the one I’m feeling most sure about.  Daddy Naitch should be in attendance and he’ll see the figure four turned into a figure eight on Nikki before she submits.
Winner: and NEW Divas Champ, Charlotte

Kevin Owens vs. Ryback for the Intercontinental Championship
Feed Me More, please go away.  I know Ryback is probably one of the most over guys right now.  I don’t care.  He’s boring to me and can’t cut a promo to save his life.  He still has to read cue cards off screen and doesn’t even look at the camera.  I was watching the Top Factions special on WWE Network yesterday and it was actually funny to see a clean shaven Ryback in his previous incarnation Skip Sheffield as part of the original Nexus. Then he got hurt and went away.  I think he’s going to lose tonight and go away. Well one can wish, can’t he?  Owens has been performing on the highest of levels in recent months, especially on “pay-per-views,” er Network specials.  I don’t like him without a belt and he needs one since he dropped the NXT title in Japan.  Give me a Pop Up Powerbomb somehow on Ryback, then a clean 1-2-3 for Owens.
Winner: and NEW Intercontinental Champion, Kevin Owens

Dudley Boyz vs. The New Day for Tag Team Championship
I’m not going to say a lot about this match.  I love New Day.  New Day Rocks.  Heyyyyyyy, we want some New Day.  I really like having the Dudleys back in WWE too.  Michael Cole often calls the Dudleys the most decorated tag team in WWE history.  Whatever they are I think they have at least one more title run in them and that’s why they’re back on what appears to be a full time contract.  I definitely see a 3D and new champs here.
Winners: and NEW Tag Team Champions, The Dudley Boyz

John Cena vs. Seth Rollins for the United States Championship
Cena has to take one of Rollins’ belts in this one, If for no other reason because I miss the U.S. Championship Open Challenge on RAW.  That was intriguing television and Cena’s claim to being wrestler of the year has a lot to do with that feature we loved on RAW.  Me thinks Triple H will involve himself in one of these Rollins matches, just not sure which one.  Probably the other one so that means Cena gets his revenge on Rollins all by himself tonight – and no Jon Stewart in sight.  Look for another classic match with Rollins getting pinned on a 3rd Attitude Adjustment or tapping out to a 2nd STF.
Winner: and NEW U.S. Champion, John Cena

Sting vs. Seth Rollins for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
I honestly can’t believe I think a 56-year-old Steve Borden is going to finally get that one major title that has eluded him in his Hall of Fame career.  Did he come to WWE to lose at Wrestlemania 31 in his only match?  Obviously not.  And his first two matches ever on RAW the other night, and how he won both of them and made Rollins tap out in the main event, makes me think there’s a good chance that Sting does not go over tonight.  But I’m going to stick with my unprecedented prediction of all titles changing and go with Sting in this one.  It’s shaping up to not be a great night for Rollins.  This could be where Triple H distracts “The Man” and Sting nails him with the Scorpion Death Drop.
Winner: and NEW WWE World Heavyweight Champion, Sting!

But what about Mr. Money In The Bank Sheamus?  He’s been teasing that Rollins will need a 3rd match and will lose again as the Celtic Warrior could pick this to be a cash-in moment.  If it happens I see a VERY short title reign for Sting and Sheamus potentially cashes in tonight.  But I’m not going to predict that for tonight.  I just want to enjoy Night of Champions and I hope I do.

SummerSlam 2015 predictions

23 Aug

Not a lot of time to put so much thought and background stories into these, but wanted to get them down.

Fatal 4-Way for WWE Tag Titles – Prime Time Players vs. The New Day vs. Lucha Dragons vs. Los Matadores:
No idea why Los Matadores are in this match. And I still can’t believe we have yet another Tag Title match relegated to the Kickoff show.  I have to think tonight’s the night The New Day finally regain the titles.  Heeeeey, we want some New Day!!  They’re so over with the fans.

Dolph Ziggler (with Lana) vs. Rusev (with Summer Rae):
Love Ziggler, great worker, should win. Just have the gut feeling that Rusev pulls out the win and we see yet another Ziggler job at a big event. Shenanigans from Summer Rae and Lana will probably have something to do with the outcome.

Stardust & King Barrett vs. Neville (Red Arrow) & Steven Amell (Green Arrow):
Easiest bout to predict. Whenever there’s a Hollywood star involved in a WWE event, they also go over. Easy win here for Neville and Amell.

Triple Threat for IC Title – Ryback vs. Big Show vs. The Miz:
Does anyone see Show as a threat to grab gold at this stage in his career? I doubt it. Should Ryback retain and look toward a real challenger? Yes. But I see your Tough Enough “Amanda saver” judge Miz somehow sneaking his way to a win and escaping with the IC title.  Then he can lose it tomorrow night on RAW.

Randy Orton vs. Sheamus:
Haven’t we seen this matchup before? Orton has been RKO’ing Sheamus all over TV. Is that not going to happen at SummerSlam? Doubt it. Sheamus can still lose and keep Money In The Bank, just like Rollins did at Wrestlemania when he lost to Orton and THEN cashed in. I see Sheamus losing tonight but possibly trying to cash in tomorrow on RAW.

Cesaro vs. Kevin Owens:
Cesaro had a huge win vs. Rusev on Smackdown a few weeks ago but hasn’t had a big PPV win. Owens NEEDS a big win after his recent losses to Cena and Bálor, including last night at NXT Takeover.  Winner here should be Owens in what’s likely to be the best match of the night.

9 Diva Elimination Match – Team BAD (Naomi, Tamina, Sasha Banks) vs. Team PCB (Paige, Charlotte, Becky Lynch) vs. Team Bella (Nikki, Brie and Alicia Fox):
Should be a very good match. Bottom line, Sasha and Bayley stole the show at Takeover last night, and The Boss lost. Tonight she gets the ultimate win by being the sole survivor in the Elimination match.

Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose vs. Bray Wyatt & Luke Harper:
Should be more than meets the eye than just 2 on 2 here. This is a feud that was SO hot back when we had The SHIELD vs. The Wyatt Family. Rowan is still out with an injury so I don’t think we see him tonight, but could we see some dissension in the Reigns/Ambrose ranks? Sure we could. A lot of people are predicting Ambrose turns heel tonight and joins Wyatt. I don’t see that happening but I do see Wyatt/Harper grabbing a win with the feud somehow extending to Night of Champions.

John Cena (US Champ) vs. Seth Rollins (WWE World Heavyweight Champ) Title for Title:
Wow, this is a big one and could go either way. Probably the match I’m looking forward to the most. I can’t believe WWE will take the US Title Open Challenge away from Cena and off RAW, but I also think it’s too early to take the title off Rollins. Do you read anything into Cena’s new “15x” champ attire and think he doesn’t win for the 16th time here? Possibly. I’m not buying that. If I’m wrong I’ll be happy that Rollins retains. If I’m right then Cena walks out with both belts and brings it to a new level tomorrow on RAW. Plus he’s granting his 500th wish for Make-A-Wish today, so guess what, I’m calling it. The Champ is Here!  Triple H may very well have something to say about the outcome of this match.

Brock Lesnar vs. Undertaker:
The match too big for Wrestlemania.  Again, a tough one to call. Taker’s last match has to be coming up at Wrestlemania 32 in Texas.  He doesn’t really need to win here although he’s looking to exact revenge on Lesnar.  Taker has shown no remorse lately on TV with 2 low blows on Lesnar and an amazing in-ring and backstage brawl with The Beast.  There’s really no way Lesnar deserves to be beaten tonight and I predict he will somehow go over, even with some possible interference by someone.  Taker should get his win back at Mania.

Greene Invitational Softball (2015 Season, Game 3) – 7/22/15

22 Jul

Week 1 was postponed since we didn’t have enough guys.

Weeks 2 and 3 were played with 4 vs. 5 or 5 vs. 5 and modified fielding and batting rules.  We just didn’t have enough guys to field full teams on both sides.

Finally tonight in Week 4 we had 18 guys and an actual 9 vs. 9 softball game.  All in good fun though with only a few 40+ year-old pulled hamstrings and unavoidable lame injuries.

The Greene Invitational is the Who’s Who of Longmeadow and Western Mass.  We’re all guys daydreaming of our glory days back in the 80’s or 90’s.  Yours truly hasn’t played competitive ball since freshman year club baseball at Syracuse University in the Fall of ’90.  Longmeadow’s Dave Pandolfi could be seen stretching for 20+ minutes prior to tonight’s game to make sure there was no embarrassment (or injury) with his 17-year-old son Nolan playing as well.  Gary Rome played a sold first base tonight and added some quality base hits while our other Gary, Longmeadow’s Veratti of Party Boss Limo fame, was the good guys’ ringer and lofted a couple home runs.  Not to mention he could also be heard cursing up and down the dugout bench when he just got under it and flied out to left field.

Good news is that the injuries this evening were limited.  Brian Weinberg pulled up lame at second base following a key double and needed a pinch runner with a possible slight hamstring pull.  Greene was on first base following a weak single to left field in the bottom of the 9th and slightly tweaked his hammy running from 1st to 3rd on the final play of the game.  Mike Calvanese, on the softball field for the first time in several years, pulled something on the first fly ball to right field early in the game and favored the “injury” for the rest of the game.

In the end it was a softball game of epic proportions.  Greene’s Good Guys triumphed over Brian Zippin’s Bad Guys 17-16.  It was a walk off win for the Good Guys in the bottom of the 9th.  Even Arnie Horowitz, on the DL recovering from neck surgery 3 years ago, landed a couple key putouts behind the plate as automatic catcher.

We’re back at it next Wednesday night July 29th at Turner Field in Longmeadow.  We’ll actually be trying out the Chicago-based “cabbage ball” for the very first time – a 16″ ball softer than a traditional softball that’s played with no gloves in the field.  The ball does not travel as far off the bat – unless of course you have the uncanny abilities of Veratti or Pandolfi.

Next Wednesday night will definitely be a sight to see as we use Chicago’s cabbage ball for the first time ever.  Most of tonight’s warriors will be on hand for the on-field battle next week as well.

Good Guys:
Scott Greene
Gary Veratti
Patrick Sullivan
Bryan Connery
Jeff Evans
Joshua Weiss
Nolan Pandolfi
Mike Calvanese
Ralph Hardaker

Bad Guys:
Arnie Horowitz
Tim Bannon
Gary Rome
Dave Pandolfi
Adam Peck
Brian Zippin
Brian Weinberg
Bruce Winer
Rob Ravosa

I’d also like to call out senors Brian Wall and John Walczak for being team players and showing up AFTER the game was over.  Supposedly with actual league softball games of their own tonight, that was the story told and had to be accepted when liquid refreshments accompanied them post-game.

Some nice 2015 baseball card pulls

24 Jun

Figured I’d post a couple of these hits as I continue on with my 37-year love affair of the hobby.

From one Bowman Jumbo pack:
#RedSox Matt Barnes chrome RC auto


From 2015 Topps Archives Hobby box:
1990 #1 Draft Pick Mike Trout auto, Gold #23/50



Marquis Grissom Fan Favorites auto (next to Trout in this pic)


Another sweet 2015 Bowman:
Kyle Schwarber refractor #/199


Hopefully more to be posted soon!

Aquanett – Club Meadows 5/15/15

17 May

For those 80’s/90’s hard rock, heavy metal, power ballad fans, Aquanett is a must-see!  Check out this setlist from the other night.  If anyone has any idea what Iron Maiden song was played in the last set, please let me know.  That was the only song I didn’t know and I have to say never being an Iron Maiden fan, I wouldn’t know any of their songs anyway.

SET 1:
Talk Dirty To Me – Poison
Round and Round – RATT
Another Thing Coming – Judas Priest
Workin for the Weekend – Loverboy
Lick It Up – KISS
18 & Life – Skid Row
Rock of Ages – Def Leppard
Shot In the Dark – Ozzy Ozbourne
Heartbreaker – Heart
You Give Love A Bad Name – Bon Jovi
Separate Ways – Journey

SET 2:
Unchain the Night – Dokken
Cum on Feel the Noize – Quiet Riot
Panama – Van Halen
Rocket Queen – Guns N Roses
Livin’ On A Prayer – Bon Jovi
I Hate Myself for Loving You – Joan Jett
Still of the Night – Whitesnake (requested by ME)
Stone In Love (Summer nights) – Journey
Alone – Heart
Summer of 69 – Bryan Adams
Enter Sandman – Metallica

SET 3:
Modern Day Cowboy – Tesla
Heaven’s on Fire – KISS
Iron Maiden – ??? Don’t know the song
No One Like You – Scorpions
Monkey Business – Skid Row
Hot For Teacher – Van Halen

My WRESTLEMANIA 31 predictions

29 Mar

It’s been a while since my last blog post, but no better time than Wrestlemania day!!  Heck, two Sundays in a row should be national holidays!  Today with the Granddaddy Of Them All, Wrestlemania 31, and next Sunday night – MLB Opening Night. (although many will consider Monday, April 6 the  true Opening Day)

Tonight (err this afternoon in Santa Clara) is WWE’s grandest stage, their Super Bowl.  The Showcase of the Immortals!  On paper it does look to be a good card.  One thing I’m very curious to see is how they decide to book and layout the main card matches.  Now with two matches on the Pre-Show, we’re looking at only 7 matches on the main card to fill just under 4 hours.  That’s an average of almost 35 minutes per match, which is not going to happen.  This tells me we’re going to see some extended segments, elaborate ring entrances, and maybe a few surprises.  OK, I do this every year, and my Wrestlemania predictions in recent years have been fairly sub par, but my boys keep asking me what they are for this year.  So here goes…

Kickoff Pre-Show:
Fatal 4-Way for WWE Tag Team Championship – Champions Tyson Kidd & Cesaro vs. The Usos vs. The New Day vs. Los Matadores
I said this on Twitter a few weeks ago when it was apparent the lame New Day gimmick and the Matadors were being squeezed into the tag title picture and I predicted this match would be on the Pre-Show.  It’s a shame that the once prestigious tag titles have been relegated to the kickoff now two years in a row.  Some of these guys deserve better.  We the WWE Universe paying $9.99 a month for the WWE Network deserve better.  Whatever happened to the history of classic Wrestlemania tag title bouts like British Bulldogs vs. Beefcake/Valentine and Hardys/Edge & Christian/Dudley Boyz?  This just doesn’t rank, especially if it can’t even be on the main card.  Let me put it simply. Anything other than Kidd/Cesaro successfully defending the titles will be a disappointment.  FACT!  I’ll go with them to somehow eek out a win retain.
Winners: Kidd/Cesaro

2nd Annual Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal
Last year’s event was decent and one would think Cesaro’s win was that impetus in taking him to that next level, possibly leading to a singles championship.  That didn’t happen.  He was essentially buried over the course of the next several months and then Vince told everyone he just didn’t have that “it” factor on the Stone Cold podcast.  I was actually very happy to see Cesaro paired with Kidd and marked out when they won the titles a short time ago.  So I’m hoping the same fate doesn’t happen to this year’s winner.  I see two possible outcomes.  Sandow finally snaps and ousts The Miz to win, OR the returning (for the last 2 months) Sheamus comes back and takes the crown.  If Sheamus isn’t part of the Battle Royal then he’s going to leave some sort of mark on the IC Ladder Match.
Winner: Sheamus, alternate outcome Sandow

Main Wrestlemania 31 card
Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match – Champion Wade “Bad News” Barrett vs. Dolph Ziggler vs.Daniel Bryan vs. Stardust vs. R-Truth vs. Luke Harper vs. Dean Ambrose
One thing is for sure, and it’s a damn shame.  Ziggler isn’t winning this one since he’s scored two pinfalls over Bryan in the last week or so.  One finished the Gauntlet match on Smackdown and the other was a clean win in a decent but short match on RAW this past Monday.  I’m also pretty confident in saying that Barrett won’t successfully retain the belt.  I think he’s jobbed out to just about everyone on the roster over the last month.  Dean Ambrose is a big fan favorite and could be a popular choice here, but I’m not seeing them go in that direction.  I could envision a Shield reunion before Ambrose gets an IC Title run.  Harper, Stardust and R-Truth are non-factors.  That leaves the only outcome that really makes sense.  Daniel Bryan gets another Wrestlemania moment and hopefully brings some honor and main event status back to the once prestigious Intercontinental Title – a la WWE Class of 2015 Hall of Famer Randy “Macho Man” Savage, Honky Tonk Man, Mr. Perfect Curt Hennig, Bret “Hitman” Hart, Owen Hart and the list goes on and on.
Winner: Bryan

Paige/A.J. Lee vs. Nikki and Brie Bella:
Jeez, this one is being telegraphed a million miles away.  Haven’t we already seen the “frenemies” falling out?  Paige and A.J. will not gel for the entire match.  Blood is thicker than water.  Keep those cliches coming!  Too bad Nikki’s not defending the Divas Championship tonight, but really, until NXT’s outstanding Charlotte and Sasha Banks get promoted to the main roster, there really isn’t anyone worth challenging for the title.
Winner: Bella Twins

Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins
Don’t really have a lot to say about this match.  Seems as though they need to keep Orton in some type of quasi-main event role even though he’s not THE main event anymore.  Rollins IS the future.  His performance in the Royal Rumble triple threat match was truly amazing.  Mr. Money In The Bank is going to successfully cash in for the World title, it’s just a matter of when.  Orton exacted some revenge on RAW a couple weeks ago and that should continue tonight in what should be a very good match.  How about a missed Curb Stomp into an RKO outta nowhere sequence?  A loss here doesn’t necessarily hurt Rollins as he still holds the all-important briefcase.
Winner: Orton

U.S. Championship match – Champion Rusev vs. John Cena
Rusev has had an impressive year.  He has not submitted or been pinned during his time in WWE.  That ends tonight.  Cenation will chant “Let’s Go Cena” while the other half chants “Cena sucks.”  Rusev put a pretty good beatdown on Cena at the last pay-per-view (err Special Event) Fast Lane.  Tonight will be the soon-to-be Springfield College Athletics Hall of Famer John Cena’s night.  Not sure if he’ll pin Rusev after an Attitude Adjustment, or if he’ll make him tap out to the STF.  Either way, Rusev loses on the big stage.
Winner: Cena

Bray Wyatt vs. The Undertaker
Many are surprised we’re actually getting The Deadman in the ring tonight at #WM31.  We’ve heard nothing from him and not seen Taker once since Brock Lesnar shockingly ended The Streak last year.  Wyatt has done a tremendous job on the mic in his promos to build the match all by himself.  This is one great opportunity for The Eater of Worlds and the so-called New Face of Fear to share that big stage with The Phenom, one of the greatest of all time.  I only hope that Taker can go and make this a decent match.  It doesn’t have to be a 4 or 5* classic.  The big question is will his retirement match be next year at #WM32 in Arlington, TX in front of 100,000+ in attendance?  Or is this it?  I can’t see him losing two years in a row, and maybe he does lose in Texas last year, just like Flair did to Michaels in Orlando in Naitch’s retirement match.  Let’s go with that scenario.  Wyatt puts on a great show for us tonight but winds up resting in peace.
Winner: Undertaker

HHH vs. Sting
This is awesome!  Of all tonight’s matches, this is the one I’m probably most excited about, and likely more so for the entrances than what we might actually get in the ring.  What can HHH do to best his entrance with his harem of three from last year?  Does Sting come down from the rafters?  Wait a minute.  Are there even rafter at Levi’s Stadium?  Maybe we descends from the upper deck or even flies in on a giant crow.  Whatever we see it’s going to be a potential once-in-a-lifetime WWE ring entrance for the Stinger.  I expect both of these guys (45 and 55 years old) to be in tremendous shape and can only assume they’ve been planning this match out for quite some time.  It could easily close the show but I don’t think that’s going to happen tonight.  This is probably the toughest match for me to predict as I can easily see it going either way.  If it’s Sting’s only WWE match, he has to win.  If HHH and The Authority are still going to wield their power, there’s no reason why The Cerebral Assassin can’t go over.  Since I’m looking at one outcome in the main event, I have to go with the “face” in this one.
Winner: Sting

WWE World Heavyweight Championship match – Champion Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns
WIth Lesnar’s recent announcement that’s he’s re-signed with WWE and won’t be returning to the Octagon, we now have so many possible outcomes for this match – so many moreso than if we all knew he was out the door after tonight/tomorrow.  That’s one way to look at this.  Another way to look at this match is to remember that tomorrow night’s Monday Night Raw could almost be called Wrestlemania 31 1/2.  Annually it’s the best RAW of the year and big things happen.  If we don’t see a Rollins cash-in on Lesnar or Reigns tonight, then it very well, and very likely, could happen tomorrow night.  As for Lesnar vs. Reigns, I’m not saying it’s going to be an excellent match but it will be exciting.  One thing I’m learning is to never doubt with Paul Heyman preaches.  Lesnar is a beast and he will put a pounding on Reigns.  Does he suplex him 16 times into oblivion like he did Cena at SummerSlam?  I don’t think so.  Reigns will likely land his Superman punch and deliver a spear or two, but I just don’t see Lesnar being pinned by those.  Heck, he could kick out after 1 like he did after a Cena AA.  Another factor to consider here is Reigns’ cousin The Rock.  We saw him “help” and embrace Reigns at the Rumble in January and he very well could make an appearance tonight.  Does it help or hurt Reigns remains to be seen.  There’s a lot of chatter about a double turn with Lesnar going babyface after a double-cross by Heyman/Reigns.  I’m not buying into that, at least not tonight.  Could I be wrong?  Of course, and I usually am at Wrestlemania.  I just honestly feel that Lesnar is too big an attraction to take the belt off him right now.  His commitment to remain with WWE for the next however long his contract is just gives me too many reasons to doubt that the Championship goes to Reigns tonight, even if only for a minute or two prior to a Rollins cash-in.
Winner: Lesnar

I certainly am excited for tonight and can’t wait to watch the big event with my boys.  To everyone who is in attendance tonight, take it all in and enjoy Wrestlemania for the celebration of pro wrestling that it is!  I will one day get there myself.