World Cup Preview: America vs Iran

World Cup Preview: America vs Iran  As far as politics goes, the FIFA World Cup is unlikely to throw up a match-up with more animosity. Through years of cultural divides and accusations of meddling from both sides, one thing is clear: America and Iran are not allies. It would even be churlish to say they are associates. Sanctions and years of cultural division has meant that this match, just as it did in the past, arrives with an already lit fuse.

The drama also stems from the fact that, really, both teams are not great. They will play on the third match day, and both could already be out by this point. Both might also know that a result could see them through – given how tight the group is after England, it is almost impossible to determine who will be left at the end of this process.

One thing is for sure – this is going to be one of the most exciting match-ups of the group stages.

Who will win this tie?

Iran. America arrive with a coach under pressure, a forward line who love to miss goals, and no real tactical fluency. They look all over the place. Iran, meanwhile, arrive amid a challenging political and social backdrop. What they do have, though, is a team that has immense continuity together and a coach who has managed them one and off for years.

In Carlos Queiroz, they have the better tactician. In Mehdi Taremi, they have the best striker. Throw in the chance for immortality with a win, too, and this feels like an Iranian win is forthcoming.

VERDICT: 1-0

World Cup Preview: England vs USA

World Cup Preview: England vs USA  As another one of the more intriguing matches of Group B, England will take on old friend/foe America. The United States come into the tournament in a bit of flux; mediocre results, poor performances, and a real uncertainty about key positions in the team. Sound like England?

Both teams are expecting to come first and second, and this match will have some pretty significant implications on that side of things. Expect England to come into this match on the back on a win against Iran, while America will hope to take at least one point from the game against Wales.

This is a tough match-up to call, as America do have two things that England dislike; pace on the counter, and athleticism. If England can pressure a weak backline and an uncertain goalkeeping rotation, though, there is no reason why the Three Lions cannot undo the USMNT with relative comfort.

Who will win this tie?

England win. America are decent, but more or less every forward they have is unproven and/or out of form. They come into this with some decent players, but it would be fair to say that American eyes are more focused on building for hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2026. This match will be a big one for their players, especially given how many USMNT players are in the English Premier League.

Still, we cannot see anything other than an England victory. America are simply too uncertain in key positions, and England are pretty lethal against such opposition.

VERDICT: 4-2

Who Could Win the 2023 Men’s Royal Rumble?

Who Could Win the 2023 Men’s Royal Rumble?  January is when we’ll learn a lot more about who will be in the main event at WrestleMania 39. The Royal Rumble is being held on January 28 and sees 30 men hoping to be the last wrestler left in the ring and earning themselves a title shot in April on the biggest show of the year. Who are the leading candidates to win this match?

The Rock

It was back in 2000 that The Rock won the Royal Rumble in New York. Anyone in the state who wanted to bet on that victory wasn’t able to do so at that time. Now they (and residents in neighboring New Jersey) can do just that and may well back a winner if doing so.

A lot depends on the availability of the former WWE champion. If he can fit in one last run with WWE, then a match with Roman Reigns (who he is related to in real life) would be the perfect WrestleMania main event. Can The Rock beat The Tribal Chief and take his place at the Head of the Table?

Cody Rhodes

Rhodes returned to WWE at WrestleMania 38 for a feud with Seth ‘Freakin’ Rollins. That went down a storm but then came an injury that put him on the shelf. Will he return in the Royal Rumble and be the last man standing? A lot depends on whether WWE see him as a WrestleMania main eventer.

Drew McIntyre

2020 saw the Scottish wrestler win the Royal Rumble. This year has seen him challenge Roman Reigns for the Undisputed Universal title but hasn’t really been in the title picture much since then. He may well be in the final four and there are betting odds available at these New York legal mobile sportsbooks for that but he doesn’t look like being the winner.

Riddle

Is Riddle someone who should be in the main event at WrestleMania? That’s the decision that WWE has to make when deciding who is going to win the Royal Rumble? His partnership with Randy Orton was a success and he’s had a strong feud with Rollins. One problem here is after losing a title challenge to Roman Reigns, he’s barred from another title shot against him.

Brock Lesnar

Lesnar won the 2022 Royal Rumble, so can he make it two in a row? It’s difficult to rule him out but it would probably take the dethroning of Roman Reigns for it to happen. We’ve seen Reigns v Lesnar far too much already.

Seth “Freakin” Rollins

He’s been mentioned in this article already but could he win the Rumble for the second time? The 2019 winner remains near the top of the card even if he is so irritating. He knows how to put on a good match though and a Reigns v Rollins match at WrestleMania 39 would be interesting, if Rollins could get the fans cheering for him.

AJ Styles

It was at this event that AJ Styles finally made it to the WWE. He’s been the champion since then but in recent years has been in the tag division or in mid-card feuds. WWE know that Styles wouldn’t let them down if put in the main event. He’s an outsider but again could be worth betting on to make the final four.

Five Notable Omissions in the WWE Hall of Fame

Five Notable Omissions in the WWE Hall of Fame  The WWE Hall of Fame is not loved by everyone. It’s often a case of who is on good terms with management rather than rewarding those who deserve to be inducted. Now that Vince McMahon has retired, it’s probably a case of getting in the good books of Triple H that counts most. Here’s a list of five notable omissions in the WWE Hall of Fame.

The Dynamite Kid

The British Bulldog Davy ‘Boy’ Smith is in the WWE Hall of Fame but not his tag partner The Dynamite Kid. Now that’s just not right. Tom Billington was one of the most innovative performers of his day. Sadly he’s no longer with us and his at times crazy high-flying performances left him in a wheelchair. He didn’t have the singles career in WWE that Smith but did win the tag titles and had some amazing matches in Japan.

Owen Hart

No one can deny that Owen Hart doesn’t deserve to be in the WWE Hall of Fame. The sad way in which he died and the bad blood between his widow and WWE is the main reason he’s not. Perhaps now with Triple H having more power in the company, something might be able to be done so Owen can be inducted. It does show however that out-of-the-ring politics do tend to determine who’s in the Hall of Fame and who isn’t.

Jim Cornette

The same rule applies with Jim Cornette. He’s so outspoken and often seen as a relic of the past. Cornette does still talk a lot of sense at times though and has enjoyed a great deal of success in wrestling as a manager, promoter and commentator.

He is controversial though and his runs with wrestling companies have been getting shorter in recent times. The big question of course is would WWE let him loose on a live mic at the induction ceremony?

Professional wrestling is of course predetermined (sorry if that’s surprised anyone) but it’s still popular to bet on in NJ, where you can check odds and wager legally at sportsbooks like BetRivers or WynnBet.

Johnny Saint

Here’s a controversial one but why not induct the former World lightweight champion? There are too few British wrestlers in the WWE Hall of Fame. Saint was a genius in the ring, just watch the old World of Sport videos online. Matches against Steve Grey, Mick McManus and Mark Rocco are absolute classics.

He’s been on the WWE payroll in recent years both as a trainer and his managerial position in NXT: UK. Recognising his talent by inducting him into the WWE Hall of Fame would show respect for British wrestling.

Cyndi Lauper

Not a wrestler of course but a very notable absentee in the celebrity wing. If Mr T. is in there, then surely Cyndi Lauper should be. Vince McMahon put everything on the line when staging the first WrestleMania. Lauper was a key part in the task of making professional wrestling something that could be huge in the entertainment market.

Her work on MTV and the first WrestleMania event was so important for the company. It’s time that the singer/songwriter was in the WWE Hall of Fame.

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