1. Wrestling fans love it when things go from a work to a shoot. For those of you who aren’t wrestling fans, that means when things go from planned/scripted to unplanned/not scripted.
I don’t know whether the conclusion of the Jon Moxley–Kenny Omega match at Sunday night’s AEW pay-per-view event was planned, but it was one of the funniest, most embarrassing things you’ll ever see in pro wrestling.
The duo was wrestling in an “exploding barbed wire death match.” Toward the end of the match, Moxley was left in the ring handcuffed as it was about to “explode.” There was only one problem. The “exploding” part turned out to be a total dud. Nothing exploded. The only thing that happened was that Fourth of July sparklers went off. The announcers still sold it as if the ring blew up into a million pieces, which made the entire scene even more hilariously absurd.
In fairness to AEW, I’m not sure what it could’ve done to have a true “explosion” in the middle of a wrestling ring, since that would have been dumb and dangerous. So maybe the exploding sparklers were exactly what the company was going for, although I find that hard to believe.
Even though wrestling is scripted and outcomes are decided before the match, it would be best if companies didn’t promote completely ridiculous stipulations that result in botched endings.
My personal favorite when it comes to finishes gone wrong is the 2005 Royal Rumble, when John Cena and Batista both hit the floor at the same time (which wasn’t supposed to happen), which caused Vince McMahon to run out to save the pay-per view ... but then he ended up blowing out both his quads.
The end of the Moxley-Omega match wasn’t exactly a botched finish. It was more like a gimmick that ended up being a dud. So maybe it’s closer to the debut of the Shockmaster than the 2005 Rumble.
Either way, it wasn’t good.
2. It felt like the entire world was watching the Oprah Winfrey interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on Sunday night. Just some perspective: Early ratings say 17.1 million people watched the special on CBS; Sunday 4:25 p.m. ET NFL games averaged 22 million viewers in 2020.
3. Some celebrities have gone public with their charitable efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. Others have done things in a low-key way. They deserve credit, too. So, well done, Steph and Ayesha Curry.
4. Speaking of Steph Curry, this was a subtle but outstanding moment from Sunday night's All-Star festivities.
5. "DNP: Coffee" is a new one.
6. The guest on the latest episode of the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast is Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Florio explains why gambling is a major factor in the NFL's going to a 17-game regular season and why he expects the league to eventually go to an 18-game regular season. Does the 17th regular-season game mean we're going to finally get a Super Bowl during Presidents' Day weekend? Florio shares his thoughts on that topic and talks about other scheduling changes we could see. Other topics discussed on this episode include the TV-rights deals the NFL is about to close with its broadcast partners, why the league was able to get such a huge rights fee increase and what's going on with Sunday Ticket. We also talk about how the offseason has become bigger than the regular season when it comes to people's interest in the league, clickbait stories and much more
You can also watch the podcast on YouTube.
7. RANDOM OF THE DAY: Over the weekend a Twitter follower sent me this video of a nasty, vicious hit. However, I wasn't interested in the hit as much as the fact that Vin Scully was calling the action.
Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on Apple, Spotify or Stitcher. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram