Friday, December 30, 2016

Donald Trump and Bobby V

According to a recent report, United States President Elect Donald Trump has compiled a short-list of candidates for the position of United States Ambassador to Japan, and one of the names on that list is former baseball player/manager Bobby Valentine. Along with managing many Major League Baseball teams (most recently the Boston Red Sox), Valentine also managed Nippon Professional Baseball's Chiba Lotte Marines in 1995 and from 2004-2009. He made history in 2005 by becoming the first American born manager to win the Japan Series Championship. Bobby Valentine also guided the Chiba Lotte Marines to the Asia Series Championship that year, and was a recipient of the Golden Spirit and Matsutaro Shoriki awards. Fan attendance doubled during his time with the team.

Chiba Lotte Marines and Jason Standridge

Good news for Chiba Lotte Marines fans! According to Marines' official Nobuhira Hayashi, the team and Jason Standridge are currently in the process of finalizing a new contract for the pitcher from Alabama. Although Jason Standridge has completed only one year with the Chiba Lotte Marines so far, his baseball career extends back to 2001. After playing for a number of Major League Baseball teams, Standridge's career led him to Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan, playing for teams including the Hanshin Tigers- who he was with for four seasons. Jason Standrige's biggest career achievement has been helping bring the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks to two Japan Series Championship victories.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

WWE Shines the Spotlight on Independent Wrestling

When WWE presented the Cruiserweight Classic this past summer, it was the first time that they acknowledged independent wrestling talent in a major way, as the tournament included independent wrestlers from all over the word. There were even participants who were signed to WWE contracts as a result of their efforts.

As groundbreaking as that was, WWE is now putting an even bigger focus on the the independent wrestling scene, and the UK is the target of that focus. The WWE United Kingdom Championship Tournament is a WWE-produced tournament that will take place on January 14 and January 15, 2017, and will feature UK-based independent talent. The winner of the tournament will become the very first WWE United Kingdom Champion.

The WWE United Kingdom Championship Tournament is a great idea, and I think it's safe to assume that although there are many talents in the UK who are satisfied with the current state of their careers, the majority of them would jump at the opportunity to be spotlighted by WWE. After all, pro-wrestling is a business, and the goal in any business is to make it to the top. In today's industry, WWE is the only company that has that distinction.

Along with that is the attraction of becoming WWE United Kingdom Champion. This is the first time in pro-wrestling history that a global company has established a championship that gives prominence to independent wrestlers who are based in the UK. The talent who becomes champion will stand head and shoulders above all of the others.

With that said, it would benefit WWE to branch out beyond the UK's shores with this idea. Japan and Mexico bring styles to the pro-wrestling industry that are very unique and are an asset to WWE. Puroresu and lucha libre is currently utilized in WWE via Japanese talents such as Shinsuke Nakamura, Hideo Itami, and Asuka; and Mexican talents such as Kalisto and Sin Cara. Puroresu and lucha libre divisions could feature talent from Japan and Mexico on a regular basis, wrestling talent that is already on the WWE roster, giving fans new, different, and exciting matches to watch.

WWE would need to bring in people with knowledge of the Japan and Mexico pro-wrestling scenes in order to branch out this idea in that fashion, but that would not be a problem- the eyes of the WWE machine are everywhere. They see everything, and if they become aware of someone who was the ability to help them bring a plan to fruition, they have the resources to acquire them.

The WWE United Kingdom Championship Tournament can be just the beginning of WWE spotlighting the different styles of pro-wrestling that the world has to offer if they desire to go that route, with, "WWE Asia Championship" and, "WWE Lucha Libre Championship" tournaments. The potential is definitely there, and would benefit WWE long-term.

Tune in the WWE United Kingdom Championship Tournament on WWE Network next month, so that you can see independent UK talent in action and find out who will take their career to another level and become the WWE United Kingdom Champion.

Thursday, December 8, 2016


Hans Brumann is considered by many to be the Philippines' leading jewelry designer. But when he isn't creating jewelry, Brumann spends time searching junkyards in Cavite for inspiration for his other interest- sculpting. One of Brumann's creations is called "Bouquet", and it was made from the steel, chain rings, and other parts of a bicycle, formed into flowers and painted various colors. The round flower on top of, "Bouquet" was created from a bicycle wheel.

Materials that Hans Brumann uses for his sculptures usually come from bicycles, and "Bouquet" as well as 15 of his other creations (which Brumann altogether calls, "Divertimento") were unveiled last month at Lobby Lounge Luxe by Hiraya Gallery at the Makati Shangri-La mezzanine in the Philippines. You can see some of his innovational sculptures on the Hiraya Gallery website at