Sunday, August 31, 2014

Cena Lesnar Rematch

Destruction. Dominance. Devastation. No matter what word you use, they all sum up the match between John Cena and Brock Lesnar at Summerslam. What was billed the biggest fight of the summer turned into the biggest lopsided beatdown of any WWE Champion ever. There is no disputing that whether one is a Cena fan or chanting Cena sucks every week. Unfortunately, I think it would be unwise to dispute the likelihood that the same thing will happen again. We have no reason to think otherwise.

When John Cena defeated Brock Lesnar back at Extreme Rules 2012, there were circumstances back then that no longer apply which helped Cena defeat Lesnar. For one, Lesnar was not lying when he said he was ill in the time leading up to that match.; He was recovering after suffering from a condition called diverticulitis, a digestive disease that cost Lesnar part of his colon and almost his athletic career. Anyone fighting under those conditions would be less than a hundred percent to say the least. Second, the match they fought at Extreme Rules was--appropriately enough--an “extreme rules” match where anything goes. Lesnar dominated Cena much like at Summerslam until Cena used a chain he brought with him to the ring to knock Lesnar out. That is the only reason John Cena won at Extreme Rules 2012.

The bad news for John Cena is, unless something changes, there are no stipulations that would prevent such an action without a disqualification. That means no win and no title for John Cena. After seeing the match at Summerslam, a disqualification may be the only thing that will save Cena from more of the same by Brock Lesnar at Night of Champions. He will have to use a weapon or something else to his advantage or I fear this month’s pay-per-view main event will be just like last month’s. According to Cena, that is exactly what he is looking for though. If you take him seriously on Monday night, it sounds like the WWE Championship is secondary to John Cena getting revenge on Brock Lesnar and giving him a taste of his own medicine. If that is enough for him and he truly doesn’t care about winning the title, perhaps he will get his wish. If he wants more fromt hat, he will be in for a long night.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Summerslam 2014 Reaction

The biggest fight of the summer became the biggest total domination ever in a Summerslam main event or in a WWE Championship/World Heavyweight Championship match. Minus the punch attempts that seemed to unphase Brock Lesnar, I can count on one hand the number of high impact offensive moves John Cena had during the entire match. There was no blood, urine, or vomit like Lesnar predicted, but it was ugly and at times uncomfortable to sit through. I am not just saying that because I am a big John Cena fan either. Even in matches where the predicted favorite wins, there is usually a better fight put up by the one on the losing end. This wasn’t some average guy off the street that gets paid a little to get beat up by a superior athlete to make them look good before a big fight. This was John Cena, the 15-time World Champion. JBL had it right. No one has a knack for coming back and pulling off big upsets like John Cena. The closest comparison for comebacks in matches would be Hulk Hogan, but Brock Lesnar has now astonishingly wiped the mat with both  both Cena and Hogan in his career, albeit 12 years apart. The only question left--which is at times overused, but definitely applies here--is who is going to stop Brock Lesnar and take the WWE World Heavyweight Championship from him.

Overall the night was a big disappointment despite the quality of the matches which were quite good. I was not happy to see AJ Lee lose the Diva’s Championship to Paige. I was hoping A.J. would break her own record as Diva’s Champion again, but Paige upset her twice this year by taking the title again. A.J. dominated the Divas Division for so long that it is just weird to think of her being there without the title. Hopefully she will get a rematch and gain the title back at some point in the near future. She is married to CM Punk now though so that could work against her given the less than positive way Punk abandoned WWE the day after the Royal Rumble.

The biggest shock of the night came in the divas match when Nikki Bella turned on her sister Brie just when they had Stephanie cornered and her husband down. I have seen sibling betrayals before both in wrestling and with friends I know, but this one was over the top, unexpected, and completely un-necessary. I can think of no good reason Nikki would do this to Brie. I hope she did not sell her out for money like Seth Rollins did. There has to be something deeper under the surface going on. I can’t wait to hear the explanation for what Nikki did.

The one wild match that was totally expected was the lumberjack match between Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose. Not surprisingly, the lumberjacks were not able to keep the competitors in the ring and not surprisingly, the lumberjacks took almost as much punishment as Ambrose and Rollins. I expected Rollins to win. He reminds of Edge as far as his ability to win matches by hook or crook as the old saying goes,  but not the Royal Rumble-looking brawl that took place in the ring during the match. The good news for Mr. Money In The Bank is that he won the match. The bad news for Seth Rollins, and for everyone else in WWE or hoping to be part of WWE in the near future, is Brock Lesnar is not ruling the roost. It feels like a dark cloud has just descended over the WWE Universe. That briefcase could be collecting dust for a long time.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Blood Moons

“Then God said, ‘Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years” (Genesis 1:14 NKJV). In the past year, there has been an increasing amount of talk about the phenomenon known as blood moons. What exactly is a blood moon?

A renewed interest in the topic is not surprising because of the number of blood moons that will be occurring during 2014 and 2015. Not only are the number of blood moons during these two years a point of interest, but the timing of those blood moons are as well. It is uncommon for four blood moons to happen so close to each other. One blood moon already happened in April of this year on Passover. Another blood moon will be happening in September of this year during the Feast of Tabernacles. The same two important times on the Jewish calendar will see blood moons in 2015 as well.

The current cycle of blood moons has led some prophecy scholars to conclude that this could be an important time for the nation of Israel because of the importance of the blood moon in Jewish Scriptures and the history of important Jewish events whenever there have been this many blood moons this close together. Admittedly, some have taken this speculation a little too far, predicting that the Rapture will happen during the time of the blood moons. Others can see the significance of the blood moons without jumping to unnecessary conclusions.

Pastor John Hagee is one of the prophecy experts that has studied this subject and found a correlation between a cycle of frequent blood moons with events of great significance to the Jewish people. He notes in his book “Four Blood Moons” that a series of blood moons in 1492 occurred the same year that Christopher Columbus discovered America which has historically been a constant friend to Israel for the most part until very recently. It was also the year that Spain expelled the Jews. The next time a series of blood moons happened this close together was 1948 when Israel miraculously became a nation again after being dispersed among the nations of the world for 1,878 years. The most recent time of this phenomenon was 1967 when Israel won the Six Day War and got Jerusalem back.

I err on the side of caution when people start talking about specific Church Age events (the Church Age being the time we are in now) being signs that the Tribulation is near. Certainly, there are general things to watch for that would indicate when the time is close. This could be one, especially when taking into account what is happening in Iraq, the war going on in Israel that could lead to the war prophesied in Ezekiel 38-39, and the slow reduction in America's superpower status by the Obama Administration in favor of more international cooperation. I do think there is great reason to believe the Lord will return in our lifetimes, but I will not be dogmatic enough to guarantee it since Jesus said no one would know the day or hour (Matthew 24:36).

Joel 2:31 talks about the "moon turning to blood" during the events of the Tribulation. Peter quotes the same Joel passage in Acts 2:17-21. We know that the Old Testament Joel passage was not talking about events of Joel's day. Peter, during his Pentecost Day sermon after Jesus' ascension to Heaven, talks about the moon turning to blood and God's Spirit pouring out as a future event, not a past or current one. So that was a future prophecy by Peter quoting Joel. It seems like there will be at least two "blood moons" during the Tribulation. The final one is what the Acts 2:20 verse mentions which will likely happen around the time of the Glorious Appearing of Christ at the end of the Tribulation. The first Tribulation blood moon is in Revelation 6:12. The sixth seal judgment of the Tribulation is a worldwide earthquake that literally shakes the earth at the same time. The Revelation verse says the sun will appear darkened and the moon will look like blood. It will be the most devastating earthquake since Noah's Flood. So in summary, there are two future Tribulation blood moons mentioned in three verses. The first one will be the worldwide earthquake during the Tribulation (Revelation 6:12). The second will be at the Glorious Appearing of Christ at the end of the seven year Tribulation (Joel 2:31; Acts 2:20). There is an interesting phenomenon going on right now where we are in the midst of a series of four "blood moons" that will be taking place beginning this year and lasting into next year. All four blood moon occurrences happen to fall on significant biblical Jewish holidays. Some believe that is God trying to get our attention to let us know time is short. Others believe it is a sign that something big is about to happen with the Jewish people since that is what previous series’ of blood moons like this have signified. What ever the blood moons mean, we know that God uses signs in the sky as one way to get our attention. Does He have yours?