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Missing/Murdered/Disappeared: Vanished from East Texas, 2000-2020
Hello friends. Per a request, here is a running list of those who have gone missing in East Texas. As a journalist in this area, these are the individuals I have noticed as part of the missing groups I frequent. Please feel free to direct me to more. As it is my line of work, I care deeply. Some of these individuals I know about, some I do not know much about. There are many more, but this first post is just the time range of 2000-2020. I will do other time periods if there is interest, although older cases are harder to track. They are organized alphabetically. Albright, Alwin- last seen 7/6/19 walking away from his home on Scott Street in Gilmer in Upshur County. He is 74 years old with grey hair and blue eyes. He’s 5’10” and 250 pounds. He was last seen wearing a red shirt and blue jeans. Mr. Albright has medical issues and is without the medications he needs. There is a $1000 reward for information regarding his whereabouts. Anyone with information should contact the Upshur County Sheriff. Alvarado, Eric “Slow”- Last seen 11/20/18. Disappeared from Atlanta, Texas, he is 6’5” and 180 pounds. He was 32 years old, and now would be 34. He was last seen wearing camouflage pajama pants, a white t-shirt, and a gray zip-up jacket. He also may have the glasses he was wearing. He has tattoos on his arms, chest and neck. There is a $10,000 reward for information on his whereabouts. Anyone with information should contact the Atlanta, TX police. Birdwell, Jerrod- Last seen 1/6/14. Missing from Tyler, Jerrod was 17 at the time he disappeared. His height is listed as 5’5” and weight as 170 pounds, but he may have grown. He is white, with short black hair and brown eyes. There are no more details available about him. Anyone with information should contact the Smith County Sheriff. Boehm, Frederick “Lil Joe” Joseph- Last seen 1/25/01. 6’0”, 130 pounds, white male with hazel eyes and brown hair missing from Marshall. He has a rebel flag tattoo on his upper arm. His sister Jolene is searching for answers and offering a $5000 reward. Anyone with information should contact the Harrison County Sheriff. Cannon, Heather Danielle- Last seen 8/27/09. The 15-year-old disappeared from Athens, Texas. Authorities believe she left of her own accord, and she was last seen in the company of her biological father, Jerral Allen Whitley. Whitley refused to take a polygraph test after Heather's disappearance and was later incarcerated in Florida for drug offenses and grand theft. He was imprisoned for 18 months before being released in October 2014. Police have since completed excavations of a property on County Road 4837, near Larue. Anyone with information should contact the Henderson County Sheriff. Childress, Antoinette Renee- Last seen 10/13/15. Missing from Henderson at her trailer home. About a month before Childress went missing, her sister, Patricia Nichols, began receiving strange Facebook messages from her. The first message said there was an emergency and Childress needed her phone number. Three weeks later Nichols got another message that just said "Sister where are I, what's going on." On October 6, Nichols got a voice message from Childress's Facebook account. The message said something about guardian angels, but the voice wasn't Childress's. Nichols left home after that and didn't return until November 6, by which time Childress was missing. Two women contacted Nichols after Childress's disappearance and said they knew what had happened to her. The women stated Childress had been involved in using and selling drugs, and gotten some bad people angry, and was tortured and killed as a result. This information has not been verified. Childress was seeing Felipe Villanueva at the time of his disappearance. He is considered a person of interest in her case and has multiple warrants for his arrest on drug-related charges and driving without a license. His current whereabouts are unknown and it's unclear whether he's still in the area. A few days after Childress was reported missing, police found her car being driven by a man in Henderson. He was arrested on an unrelated charge, and stated Childress had sold him the vehicle, something her family finds difficult to believe. Childress has a warrant out for her arrest, but she's considered a missing person rather than a fugitive. Childress had just gotten off probation at the time and was trying to clean up her life. Her case remains unsolved and foul play is suspected. Anyone with information should call the Henderson County Sheriff Combs, Donnie “Bon Jovi” and Cynthia Arnold (went missing together)- The pair was last seen 9/26/18 in Linden, near Atlanta, Texas in Cass County. Combs called Arnold and asked her to come pick him up in Cass Countyand she left home to do so. A little while later she contacted her mother and said Combs hadn't arrived and she was still waiting at the meeting spot. Neither of them has ever been heard from again. A few days after they were last seen, Arnold's truck was found abandoned and burned in Marion County, Texas. While Kevin Dewayne Shepard Jr. and his uncle, Gary Edward Shepard were charged in Oct. 2020 with capital murder of the pair, their bodies have never been found. They face the death penalty if convicted. Anyone with information should contact the Cass County Sheriff. Culberson, Larry- Last seen 9/4/13. Larry went missing from his home on County Road 4320 in Emory. Larry had been having some medical issues shortly before his disappearance. Larry was last known to be wearing camouflage-style gray pants, a white T-shirt and he might be wearing high-top tennis shoes. He was 56 at the time of his disappearance. An extensive search was conducted in the area without any result. His medical condition causes him to walk with a limp. Anyone with information should contact the Rains County Sheriff. Dunn, Hartford Hunter- Last seen 8/5/04. Vanished from his home in the 200 block of Private Road 4002 in Marshall in the early morning hours, his daughter said she woke up at 7:30 a.m. and found the door open and her father gone. At 76 years old, he was in the beginning years of dementia. He has not been seen since. Anyone with information should contact the Marshall Police. Flint, Kimberly Carter- Last seen 9/29/18. Kim’s car was found partially crashed and abandoned in the roadway of State Highway 154 near the rural community of Rekaw, in Rusk County. Her purse ID, as well as other possessions, were at her home, according to Kim’s son James. Picture evidence of the wreck shows damage to the front and side panel of the grey four-door sedan. "The vehicle it was found still in the roadway partially crashed," her son said. "She just wasn't there." Two searches, both immediately after the crash and 170 days later, turned up nothing. A witness believes he saw her speaking with someone in a white pickup truck, but as any local knows… there are a lot of white pickup trucks in East Texas. Kim was featured on “The Vanished Podcast.” Anyone with information should contact the Rusk County Sheriff. Farrell, Justin Kyle- Last seen 05/11/04. Farrell disappeared from Nacogdoches, Texas. In March 2015, his skeletal remains were found near Cushing in Nacogdoches County, Texas. They were identified in April 2015. Farrell's death remains under investigation and has not yet been ruled a homicide. Anyone with information should contact the Nacogdoches County Sheriff. Fleisher, Steven Miller- Last seen 9/14/16. Missing from Troup, he was last seen around 6:15 a.m. in the 1200 block of Noble Street. Police say Fleisher did not take any of his belongings with him and his family has been unable to contact him. He was 53 years old at the time of his disappearance. Anyone with information should contact the Smith County Sheriff. Flores, Lydia- Last seen 10/11/20. Reported missing on Oct. 19 by her Shreveport, LA boyfriend, who said he had not heard from her since Oct. 11. She is a 40-year-old Hispanic female, and has two tattoos: a barbed wire on her bicep and a playboy bunny on her lower back. She is 5’1” and 115 pounds. She has brown eyes and auburn hair. She is from Longview, but anyone with information should contact the Shreveport Police Department. Franklin, Johnny William- Last seen 10/21/08. The black male, 5'9" tall and 150 pounds was last seen in Tyler. His vehicle was located in a church parking lot at 3009 N. Grand Ave. on October 21, but police said they saw no signs of foul play. He was 53 at the time of his disappearance. Anyone with information should contact the Smith County Sheriff. Gallegos, Veronica- Last seen 01/11/05. Missing from Gun Barrel City at the age of 19, Her live-in boyfriend said she packed a suitcase and left; he speculated she'd returned to her native Mexico. She has never been heard from again. Gallegos left behind her purse, her Mexican identification and her six-month-old child. Her boyfriend is considered a person of interest in her case and has stopped cooperating with investigators. Foul play is possible in her disappearance, but few details are available in her case. Anyone with information should contact the Henderson County Sheriff. Gipson, Tyress- last seen 8/22/20. Missing from Jacksonville, Texas in Cherokee County, Tyress had just turned 18 and graduated. He is 6’0” and weighs 180 pounds. He has tattoos of the name “Lavance,” “BG$” and prayer hands. He is an African American man, wears his hair in dreads, and has braces. Anyone with information should contact the Jacksonville Police Department. Gutierrez, Marquita Leanna- Last seen 11/11/19. Some report her as missing out of Canton, while others report her as missing out of Wood County. Marquita Gutierrez was reported missing after borrowing her mom's pickup that morning to go to a doctor's appointment, but the doctor's office said she never showed up. Her husband told police she was last seen in the Dallas area and was possibly heading toward Laredo. Her husband has been named a person of interest in her case. Anyone with information should contact the Wood County Sheriff Hunt, Shirley Mae- last seen 6/17/07. Missing from Henderson, Shirley was last seen walking on County Road 454 near her home in rural Rusk County. She had alzheimers at the time of her disappearance. She is 5’4”, 140 pounds with hazel eyes, white hair and a partial denture plate. She wears eyeglasses with a gold wire frame, and was 72 at the time of her disappearance. Sheriff’s deputies believe she got in someone’s car, due to scent dog tracking. Anyone with information should contact the Rusk County Sheriff. Jackson, Cole Duane- last seen 07/13/06. Missing from Timpson, Jackson was last seen near FM 1645 and CR 4230. The truck he was driving came out of a private pasture and rammed into a fence. He stopped and spoke to the elderly man who owned the land. Jackson apologized and said he would pay $120 for the damage, but said he had to run to get away from the "bad people" who were chasing him. He abandoned his Dodge half-ton pickup with minor damage and left his two inhalers, which he needed, in the vehicle. The driver’s side door was open and the truck was still in four-wheel drive. Jackson's wife was three months pregnant with their first child at the time he went missing. Anyone with information should contact the Shelby County Sheriff. Lee, Anthony Tyrone- last seen 6/25/11. Anthony was planning to go to the rodeo with his mother on the evening of June 25. When his mother came to pick him up for the rodeo, she found his home deserted. The ironing board was set up with the clothes Lee had planned to wear to the rodeo. His pants were on the ironing board with one leg dangling, as if he'd been interrupted while ironing and left in a hurry. His mother said he would not leave the house in his “house shoes” (a very East Texas thing lol) and he had $600 untouched in his bank account. About three weeks after Lee was reported missing, his mother got strange phone calls. A "death song" played on the line, then someone said, "that's what he gets for snitching." His mother noted that he had been associated with a known drug dealer and this person had wrecked Lee's car about a week before Lee disappeared. Anyone with information should contact the Texas Department of Public Safety (State Troopers). Marshall, Kimberly Ann- last seen 3/17/17 after she spent one night in the Salvation Army womens’ shelter in Tyler, Texas. She was never seen again. Thirty-one years old at the time, Kimberly had cuts and scars on her arms, wrists and back. She also has upper dentures. She is 5’5” and approximately 105 pounds, although she fluctuates in weight. She has brown hair and brown eyes. Few details are available about her. Anyone with information should contact the Tyler Police Department. Martin, David Michael- last seen 1/14/10. He was a truck driver based in Sand Springs, Oklahoma, and came home to Louisiana most weekends to visit his family. On January 14, Martin called to say he wouldn't make it home that weekend because his truck had broken down. He never contacted his loved ones again. The last person known to have seen him was the mechanic in Longview, Texas whom Martin took his truck to for repairs. They had dinner together, then Martin said he was going to wait on a friend to get truck parts. The mechanic left to do more work on the truck. Martin has never been heard from again. Anyone with information should contact the Sand Springs Police. Martinez, Gregoria Jacobo- last seen 8/13/09. Martinez was last seen in Nacogdoches. She was born in Mexico and was living in the United States without documents at the time of her disappearance. Her two young children, both of whom are U.S. citizens, and they were visiting their grandmother in Mexico when Martinez disappeared. She had asked the father of one of her children for money to help bring her children home from Mexico. He agreed to meet her and lend her money shortly before she disappeared.Martinez planned to go to the Nacogdoches County courthouse on July 13 to pick up copies of her children's birth certificates, but she never arrived there. She has never been heard from again. She was reported missing on July 16. That same day, her vehicle was found abandoned on the side of County Road 525, near the intersection of U. S. Highway 59 south. There were no obvious indications of a struggle at the scene. Martinez may have gotten a ride south with a truck driver in order to find her children; however, her family never saw her. Both the fathers of her children have been questioned and neither of them have been named as suspects. Authorities believe Martinez was taken against her will. Anyone with information should contact the Texas Department of Public Safety (State Troopers). Marquez, Erin Raquel- last seen 8/30/14. The 17-year-old disappeared as she was leaving the Longview Baptist Church in Hallsville, near Longview. She has long dark hair that was dyed red, and 5’6”, 130 pounds, and has brown eyes. Anyone with information should contact the Harrison County Sheriff. McKay, Melissa Darling- last seen 6/10/11. At 1:35 a.m., Melissa walked out of the Choctaw Casino in Grant, Oklahoma with a white male companion, Jeremy Upchurch, of Lamar TX and was never seen again. Upchurch continues to be a person of interest due to his criminal background. Properties in Oklahoma, Delta and Lamar counties were searched, but came up empty. I can’t find an independent source to corroborate, but a personal conversation I had with law enforcement indicates they have found her vehicle in Oklahoma and presume she is dead, possibly due to drug involvement. Anyone with information should contact the Hopkins County Sheriff or Sulphur Springs Police. Meadows, Beverly Lofton- Last seen 12/26/08. Beverly walked away from the Community Cares Nursing Home in the 200 block of west Merritt Street in Marshall, Texas and has never been seen again. Meadows had lived in the nursing home for about six years prior to her disappearance. She was supposed to wear an identification bracelet that would have activated the nursing home's door alarms, but she took it off before she left. She left without taking any personal belongings. Her mother, who lives 15 miles from the nursing home, believes Meadows was trying to walk to her residence. She was 48 years old at the time of her disappearance, 5’3”, and 240 pounds with short brown hair. She requires daily medication, and she doesn't have her medicine with her. Anyone with information should contact the Marshall Police. Morton, Sheila- last seen 6/2/14. Missing from Center, Texas, Sheila’s behavior and personality changed drastically in the weeks leading up to her disappearance, according to her mother Joan. She had recently quit a restaurant job she had for seven years, moved out of her residence, and began hanging out with an old group of friends. Additionally, the last purchase Sheila was known to make was for a 9mm handgun, which was left behind when she disappeared. She was last seen at her ex-boyfriend’s house. Her phone was turned off the same day she vanished, and she has never been seen or heard from again. Sheila’s family members do not believe she would voluntarily leave her son behind. Anyone with information should contact the Angelina County Sheriff. Pierce, Ashley- last seen 3/10/20. Disappeared from the Longview area, she is 5’3” and has a Hello Kitty tattoo on her thigh and a scorpion on her shoulder. She has long brown hair. Anyone with information should contact the Gregg County Sheriff. Salazar, Rosemary “Rose” Rodriguez- Last seen 10/6/19. Attended a family birthday party at the Golden Corral in Kilgore, and was supposed to report to work the next morning at the Kilgore Walmart, but no-show, no-called. She has several distinctive tattoos, including a heart with a fishing hook, a deathly hallow, and the inscription “my person” next to a rose. She is a 5’4”, 185 pound Hispanic woman with brown eyes and brown hair, and it is not known what she was wearing when she disappeared. Her lime green 2014 Chevrolet Sonic is also missing. Anyone with information should contact the Gregg County Sheriff. Stewart, Harry Edward- Last seen 11/30/11. Harry was traveling from Springtown, Texas to Alabama and was last seen in Hallsville, Texas. His age was 65 and he is white, 5’10”, and weighs about 170 pounds. Sheriff’s deputies determined he was driving when he hit something and had to leave his vehicle after his radiator overheated. Harry told the responding officer he would wait at the Dairy Queen on Farm-to-Market Road 450 near mile marker 604 for a ride. He was never seen again. Thompson, Lauren Colvin- Last seen 1/10/19. At 1:53 p.m., Lauren made a frantic but coherent call to her mother. At 2:01 p.m., Lauren called 911 and told Panola County dispatch she was being followed. The call lasted for 21 minutes before disconnecting. Lauren’s family says it “abruptly ended,” police say the “cell phone died.” Lauren’s phone and shoe were found in the Rock Hill community, a rural area with less than 200 residents and more than 2000 acres of woods. A search by multiple law enforcement agencies turned up nothing. A $10,000 reward is offered for information on Lauren’s whereabouts. Anyone with information should contact the Panola County Sheriff. Tidwell, James “Jimmy” Lamar- Last seen 2/15/12. Family members found his rural cabin in Rusk County abandoned, and later found his vehicle abandoned on Farm Road 95, approximately five miles from his home, without a battery. "I do not believe for one minute that he left this property of his own free will," his sister Lynn Akin said. The road was a route he took frequently. He was 58 at the time of his disappearance. The truck showed no signs of foul play, according to Sheriff’s deputies. Anyone with information should contact the Rusk County Sheriff. Valdovinos, Gustavo Baldovi- Last seen 7/11/12. Missing from his maternal aunt's home on Houston Street in Tyler. He told his family he was an alcoholic and had decided to go into treatment, and he left with a group of people who promised to get him some help. The group he left with is described as a Caucasian male and two Caucasian females driving a white Chevrolet Z71 or Silverado pickup truck. Anyone with information should contact the Smith County Sheriff. Wells, Brandi- Last seen 8/3/06. Was leaving the Graham Central Station nightclub in Longview at around 12:30 a.m. Her damaged car was found on Interstate 20 near the Brownsboro exit with her personal belongings inside. She was wearing rust-colored gaucho pants and a floral tube top, and is 4’11, 130 pounds with blonde hair and blue eyes. She was 23 in 2006, she would be 36 now. She was featured on Investigation Discovery’s “Disappeared.” Anyone with information should contact the Henderson County Sheriff. Witt, Jana Mann- last seen 8/17/05. Missing from Glen Rose in Somervell County, Ms. Witt displayed personality changes several weeks prior to her disappearance. She has also gone by the names Jana Holstin, Jana Howard and Jana Branch. She was 44 years of age at the time of her disappearance, and 5’3”, 160 pounds with blue eyes and dyed red hair. The missing persons database notes that foul play is possible. Anyone with information should contact the Somervell County Sheriff. Sources: News reports, Charley Project, Missing Eight East Texas and more https://www.news-journal.com/news/local/police-searching-for-husband-of-missing-wc-woman/article_7c5144ee-8434-5e12-9829-360d060c510a.html https://www.ketk.com/news/vanished-hartford-hunter-dunn/ https://www.panolawatchman.com/news/still-no-answers-in-lauren-thompson-case-a-year-after-she-went-missing-from-panola/article_07d707bc-4d15-11ea-8c84-af4fb2d30b79.html
Tldr: my wife saw almost 500 new movies this year. Hello movies, it’s been a crazy year hasn’t it... Theaters are closed, production has (for the most part) ground to a halt and what was scheduled for release has moved to a streaming service or was delayed to next year or both. With the initial quarantine back in March starting I decided to take this unprecedented opportunity to give my wife the catch-up she desperately needed since she didn’t watch very many movies growing up. A little backstory, she grew up in a home where many movies were forbidden for religious reasons and as a result just never became a cinephile. She saw many Disney movies and a few random others but missed a vast majority of cinemas best (and worst). On the flip side I grew up near a regular theater and a dollar theater and saw a ton of films as a kid and teen, I’d regularly go on weekends or skip school for a triple feature or catch the last showing of something every night of the week. We’ve been together for almost 11 years now and she would go see anything and everything with me. All the Marvel movies, action comedies, sci fi, animation, whatever... but her movie knowledge is fairly contained within the last decade. So when I got laid off and she began working from home we decided to see how many new movies we could see during this Covid mess. We defined “New” as anything we had both never seen or anything she had never seen and I hadn’t seen in 10+ years since we met. Since mid March we have managed to watch 500 movies and in the process learn a few things about her individual tastes and the kinds of movies we enjoy watching as a couple the most. I’m going to drop a list of everything we saw, after the list I’ll highlight a few hidden gems we both loved... Dr No. - From Russia With Love - Thunderball - You Only Live Twice - Goldfinger - On Her Majesty’s Secret Service - Diamonds Are Forever Never Say Never Again - Live and Let Die - The Man With the Golden Gun - For Your Eyes Only - The Spy Who Loved Me - Moonraker - Octopussy - A View to a Kill - The living Daylights - License to Kill - Goldeneye - Tomorrow Never Dies - The World Is Not Enough - Die Another Day - Casino Royale - Quantum of Solace - Skyfall - Spectre - Enter the Dragon - Way of the Dragon - The Big Boss - Fist of Fury - Game of Death - Bruce Lee: The Man, The Myth - Bruce Lee: The Legend - The Birds - Dora and the Lost City of Gold - The Brady Bunch Movie - A Very Brady Sequel - Planes, Trains, and Automobiles - Kingpin - Leave It To Beaver - Speed - Cuban Fury - Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) - Weird Science - Keeping Up With the Joneses - Blades of Glory - Zoolander - Semi-Pro - So I Married An Axe Murderer - Disaster Movie - Oceans 11 - Dude, Where’s My Car? - Undercover Brother - Superstar - Zombieland - Men In Black: International - Snatch - Earth Girls Are Easy - Mystery Team - Once Upon A Time In Hollywood - Rush Hour - Miss Congeniality - Pitch Perfect 3 - There’s Something About Mary - Gone in 60 Seconds - Young Frankenstein - 300 - Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse - Wayne’s World - Wayne’s World 2 - Rocketman - Beverly Hills Ninja - Murder on the Orient Express - Friday - 9 to 5 - Drunken Master - The Naked Gun - Baywatch - Forbidden Planet - Baseketball - Hot Shots - Hot Shots: Part Deux - Anchors Aweigh - Mamma Mia - Tommy Boy - Clue - Dumb and Dumber - Monty Python’s Meaning of Life - Monty Python’s Life of Brian - Rango - Sausage Party - Broken Lizard’s Club Dredd - Flintstones - A Knights Tale - Stuck on You - Coneheads - Land of the Lost - Police Academy - Police Academy 2: The First Mission - A Night At the Roxbury - Holmes and Watson - Anchorman - Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues - Talladega Nights: Ballad of Ricky Bobby - Osmosis Jones - Venom - Sherlock Gnomes - Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery - Austin Powers 2: The Spy Who Shagged Me - Austin Powers 3: Goldmember - Mystery Men - Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker - Escape From New York - Escape From LA - Napoleon Dynamite - Total Recall - Major Payne - Mars Attacks - Shaolin Soccer - Let’s Be Cops - The Great Outdoors - Smokey and the Bandit - Smokey and the Bandit - Kicking and Screaming - Kiss Me Kate - The Spy Who Dumped Me - The House - The Wiz - Shaolin vs Lama - Close Encounters of the Third Kind - Kung Fu Gold - Smokey and the Bandit Part 3 - Saturday Night Fever - 48 Hrs - Another 48 Hrs - Enter the Invincible Hero - Ip Man - Shaolin Drunk Fighter - The Great Wall - Smokin’ Aces - Down Periscope - The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear - Hero - The Towering Inferno - The Sitter - Isn’t It Romantic - Jackie Chan’s First Strike - The Dead Don’t Die - Shallow Hal - Kiss of the Dragon - Rapid Fire - The Invincible Armour - Innerspace - Date Movie - The Lost World (1960) - It Came From Outer Space (1953) - The Body Snatcher (1954) - Time Bandits - Bad Times at the El Royale - The Shadow - A Fantastic Fear of Everything - The Ladykillers - Flash Gordon - Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult - Robin Hood (2018) - Enemy of the State - Kill Bill Vol 1 - Kill Bill Vol 2 - Some Like It Hot - She’s Working Her Way Through College - Stir Crazy - Zombieland: Double Tap - Mystery House - Jet Li’s Fearless - Desperado - Ed TV - Ready Player One - Shaolin Kung Fu Mystagogue - Back to the Future - Back to the Future II - Back to the Future III - Tango & Cash - The Burbs - Sherlock Holmes: Terror by Night - Casablanca - Circle of Iron - Beavis and Butt-Head Do America - Missing in Action - Missing in Action 2: The Beginning - National Treasure - Shaolin Fighters Vs Ninja - Fast Times at Ridgemont High - The Running Man - Little Cigars - Legion of Iron - Green Dragon Inn - The Warriors - High Anxiety - Joe Versus the Volcano - Chinese Hercules - Predator - Predator 2 - Coming To America - Legend - Five Kung Fu Daredevil Heroes - Pretty In Pink - Timecop - The Castle of Fu Manchu - Gator - The Mystery of Mr Wong - Robocop - Double Teamed - The Forbidden Kingdom - Sharknado - Sharknado 2: The Second One - Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! - Meatballs - Young Guns - The Addams Family (2019) - I Come In Peace - Masters of the Universe - Conan the Barbarian - Demolition Man - Sudden Death - The Heat - I’m Gonna Git You Sucka - Mortal Kombat - Unleashed - Curse of the Swamp Creature - The Cabinet of Dr Caligari - Messages from Space - John Carpenter’s The Thing - Stroker Ace - Dragnet - Of Cooks and Kung Fu - To Be Or Not To Be - Silver Streak - The Hustle - Sixteen Candles - Young Tiger - The Spy Next Door - Half Baked - Funny Girl - Phase IV - Point Break - Tank Girl - Universal Soldier - Conan the Destroyer - Lethal Weapon - Gojira - The Deadly Silver Spear - Car Wash - Hard Target - Big Trouble in Little China - Blade - Looper - Five Fingers of Steel - Clash of the Titans (1981) - Blade II: Bloodhunt - Showdown in Little Tokyo - Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons - Enter the Fat Dragon - UHF - The Falcon in Danger - Roadhouse - The Falcon Strikes Back - The Falcon and the Co-Eds - The Falcon Out West - Jumanji: The Next Level - Cyborg - Masterminds -?The Falcon in Mexico - The Falcon in Hollywood - The Falcon in San Francisco - Blade: Trinity - The Falcon’s Alibi - The Falcon’s Adventure - Dick Tracy, Detective - The Ape - Big - What We Do In The Shadows - The Departed - Gemini Man - Crippled Avengers - Camp Takota - Dick Tracy vs Cueball - Brightburn - Kickboxer - The Five Venoms - The Weird Man - Hellbound - Assassins Creed - The Flag of Iron - Trolls: World Tour - Masked Avengers - Dick Tracy’s Dilemma - Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome - Upgrade - The Cabin in the Woods - True Lies - The Maltese Falcon - Last Action Hero - Espionage in Tangiers - The Man From U.N.C.L.E - Saving Silverman - Dead End - Breakfast at Tiffany’s - Showtime - The Dark Tower - Tomb Raider - Five Elements Ninjas - Cherry 2000 - Johnny Cool - Freaks - Phantom Raiders - Wonder Park - Running Scared - The Bad News Bears - Cat People - The Happytime Murders - Double Impact - Murder, My Sweet - Tammy and the T-Rex - The House With a Clock in Its Walls - War - Street Fighter - Ex Machina - Attack The Block - The Avenging Eagle - Jexi - Ghost - Bad Girls From Mars - Cook Off! - Alita: Battle Angel - The Blob - Invasion U.S.A. - Journey Into Fear - Sharknado: The Fourth Awakens - Barb Wire - Cloverfield - Searching - Death Warrant - Invasion of the Body Snatchers (‘78) - Critical Condition - Stan & Ollie - Mystery in Mexico - Slaughterhouse Rulez - The Adventures of Prince Achmed - The Crawling Eye - Beyond a Reasonable Doubt - Chinatown - The Fly - Stagecoach - The Replacement Killers - Ishtar - The Jesus Rolls - The Getaway - Sky Murder - Action Jackson - Snake Eyes - Sharknado 5: Global Swarming - The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time - G.I. Joe: The Movie - Bad Boys - Bad Boys II - Bad Boys For Life - Movie Struck - Bohemian Rhapsody - Spies in Disguise - Blacula - Zis Boom Bah - Rock ‘n’ Roll High School - Hong Kong Confidential - Judge Dredd - Dick Tracy (1990) - The Cool and The Crazy - Die Hard - Queen of Outer Space - In Bruges - Armored Car Robbery - Fargo - Not So Dumb - Old Dracula - Creature From the Black Lagoon - The Invisible Man - The Green Slime - Don’t Breathe - Tenet - Vampyr - The Haunting - Scream Blacula Scream - The Monster Squad - The Cat and the Canary - Halloweentown - Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge - Scoob - The Mummy (1959) - A Quiet Place - The Haunted Mansion - Halloweentown High - Mom’s Got A Date With A Vampire - Plan 9 From Outer Space - Trick ‘r’ Treat - Lemora: The Lady Dracula - Under Wraps - The Little Shop of Horrors (1960) - The Mad Monster (1942) - Carnival of Souls - Happy Death Day - The Craft - Scream - Rear Window - Yongary, Monster From the Deep - Snakes On A Plane - Cosmic Monsters - The Comedy of Terrors - Killers From Space - Friday the 13th - House on Haunted Hill - The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension - Roald Dahl’s The Witches - The Lost Boys - Attack of the Puppet People - Ready or Not - Return to Halloweentown - Mr. Boogedy - Early Man - Howard the Duck - Dr Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine - Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot - Good Boys - Sky High - We Bare Bears the Movie - Raising Arizona - Book Club - Ferdinand - Police Story - The Wolf of Wall Street - Casino Royale (‘67) - CB4 - Xanadu - Johnny Mnemonic - Slumber Party Massacre - Regular Show: The Movie - Our Man Flint - Psycho - Saturday the 14th - Journey to the Center of Time - Playing With Fire - Stuber - In Like Flint - Bill & Ted Face the Music - The Birdcage - The Big Sleep - Sonic the Hedgehog - Life Stinks - Dr Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs - Happy Death Day 2 U - Freejack - The Brain that Wouldn’t Die - Collision Course - Almost Heroes - The Trouble With Spies - North By Northwest - Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn - The Man Who Knew Too Much - Jingle All the Way - Mexican Spitfire - The 6th Day - Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang - Deck the Halls - Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town - The Leprechauns’ Christmas Gold - The Iron Giant - Elf - It Happened on 5th Avenue - Jack Frost - The First Christmas: The Story of the First Christmas Snow - The Year Without a Santa Claus - Pinocchio’s Christmas - Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer - The Shop Around The Corner - Snow Day - Frozen 2 - Scrooged - The Polar Express - Rudolph and Frosty’s Christmas in July - Rise of the Guardians - Trapped in Paradise - Elf: Buddy’s Musical Christmas - Jack Frost (‘98) - Christmas with the Kranks - Nestor, The Long Eared Christmas Donkey - Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch - Santa Claus Conquers the Martians - Wonder Woman 1984 - The Wizard - Small Foot - Mom and Dad Save the World I’ve noticed that my wife seems to prefer old movies to new ones (overall). Some Like It Hot became an instant favorite for her... She also loved seeing things like Freaks or the Hitchcock films that get referenced a lot. She’s like Captain America pointing out all the references she gets now. We also found out she loves James Bond (mostly older ones), she doesn’t hate Will Farrell as much as she thought (or at all really), she loves bad/old/obscure movies, scary movies aren’t as scary as she thought they’d be, and that she’s basically Jennifer Anniston’s character from Office Space with her crazy love for old Kung Fu. As far as random recommendations my wife wanted to shout out all the Falcon films, Our Man Flint and In Like Flint, and Tammy & The T-Rex. I wanted to shout out The Forbidden Kingdom, Dr Goldfoot and The Bikini Girls & Dr Goldfoot and The Girl Bombs, and Old Dracula. If anybody wants to just talk movies I always welcome I can’t wait to expand her movie history in this coming year, there’s always plenty of bad obscure movies but now that she is into it it’s time to bring out the heavy hitters. Godfather, Jaws, Alien, Citizen Cane, Clockwork Orange, 2001 A Space Odyssey and more are still in the pipeline... If you’re still with me here I want to sincerely thank you for reading about our journey this year. I love you movies, and I hope y’all have a wonderfully cinematic 2021.
Book Jon Moxley’s AEW World Championship Reign: Part 2 - American Venom
Last time we were here we saw Jon Moxley make his fourth AEW World Championship successful defence. He had overcome Death Triangle, and May even have planted the seeds for their eventual dissolving. Him and Pac went to war for 30+ minutes at All Out, and that came after over a month of fighting. They had wrestled in tag matches twice already in the build up, with Moxley getting pinned for the first time all year twice in that time. He had successful defences against Kenny Omega, Brian Cage and Darby Allin up until this point. Omega and Moxley had their first authorised match in the main event of Double or Nothing for the gold. Moxley won after a hellacious war, but on that same night - new arriver to the company, Brian Cage, won the Casino Ladder Match in his debut to become #1 Contender. They would fight in Wembley Arena, England at Fyter Fest, where Moxley won in a Machine’s Rules Match. Not before The Man Called Sting showed up. Mox and Sting made friends, and head into Fight for the Fallen facing against a man who found himself first on the rankings, Darby Allin. Allin and Moxley faced in a No DQ match, and despite the weapons and blood - what hurt Jon most was he felt like he was fighting himself from 10 years ago. Out of respect he offered friendship and to team together. They did, where they faced Death Triangle. Pac and Moxley entered feud, where Brian Cage and new pal Ricky Starks entered the fray, along with The Rhodes Brothers. This led to a 10-men Tag Team Match on Dynamite, which marked Sting’s final ever match. That ended with Fénix pinning Jon Moxley, earning himself a title match. Mox then would defeat Pac, where we ended off. This leads us into... Book Jon Moxley’s AEW World Championship Reign - Part 2: American Venom All Out is finished - Jon Moxley defeated Pac in the main event to retain his AEW World Championship. But that’s not the saga of Jon Moxley and Death Triangle over and done with yet. Fénix pinned Jon Moxley a couple weeks ago and is owed a match for Moxley’s title. The Dynamite after All Out, a banged up Jon Moxley comes out and says that him and Death Triangle’s war isn’t over yet. When Fénix walks out from the ramp on his own, Jon tells him to see him next week. FÉNIX HITS MOXLEY WITH A TOPE CON HILO THOUGH BEFORE HE LEAVES!! FÉNIX THROWS HIM OVER THE GUARDRAIL TO THE FLOOR!! He stands tall and walks off in victory, flapping his fingers up and down to the fans for their reaction to be louder. By next week Moxley now has a hurt arm since he landed on the concrete with it. Him and Fénix have a meeting authorised by Kurt Angle! It’s the same set up as Jericho and OC’s debate authorised by Eric Bischoff, it has Kurt on the stage as his desk with Fénix and Jon at their own stands either side of him. Fénix has a translator with him. He compliments both men on their work before hand, and lets the challenger speak first. Having Fénix speak in his raw Spanish voice will make him seem the most emotional, rather than have his eyes be lost trying to think of how to say what he wants in English. The translator tells Kurt that Fénix says Moxley may have defeated the rest of Death Triangle, but he hasn’t beat him. As far the records go, Fénix is 1-0 against Jon. Angle and the translator could probably have a funny moment, since Kurt is just a funny guy. Moxley rebounds with a retort, saying it’s hard to take Fénix seriously wearing his little superman mask and having his nerdy translator speak for him. He laughs at the translator and jokes he should face him instead. “Some real competition” Mox laughs. The translator mumbles what Moxley said to Fénix. He asks if he can jump Jon right now. The translator asks Angle, who tells him “well he already knows what’s coming”. Midway through that sentence though, FÉNIX RUNS ACROSS AND HITS MOXLEY WITH A FRONT DROPKICK!! JON GOES FLYING OFF THE STAGE!! Pac and Pentagon come out then and laugh with Fénix. They all hold up a Cero Miedo taunt, with Angle in the background doing one upside-down. Fénix and Moxley’s clash is set up for the AEW Dynamite Anniversary Show: Chris Jericho’s 30th Anniversary of Wrestling. This means they have 3 weeks until their clash. Moxley would come out again, looking for a non-title match with Fénix this instant. Fénix would come out, slowly walking towards Jon. Jon would retreat as soon as Fénix steps through the ropes. He looks confused at why Mox left straight after calling him out. Mox then says “…now.” AND OUT COMES WILL HOBBS!! Fénix turns around into a SPINEBUSTER!! Jon then rolls back in and says “now we’re even. Next week I want you at your edgelord brother to take on me and my new pal Will.” And that much happens, as The Lucha Bros take on Jon Moxley and Will Hobbs on the September 30th edition of Dynamite. Hobbs gets a lot of time to shine, showing off his athleticism. The highlight of the match being him doing an ASAI MOONSAULT TO THE OUTSIDE!! The ending spot sees The Lucha Bros win after pinning Will Hobbs with a Fear FactoDiving Foot Stomp combo. This means Fénix is now 2-0 against Jon. The go home week sees Jon do one of his usual promos outside under of the hot Nevada sun in front of a graffiti covered wall. He says this will end the months of torment him and Death Triangle have put each other through. AEW Dynamite Anniversary Show: Jon Moxley (c) vs. Fénix - AEW World Championship One year ago Dynamite made its inception, the launch of a brand new promotion’s first TV Show was happening live on TNT. On that episode in the main event we witnessed Jon Moxley interrupting the match to attack Kenny Omega, and hit him with a Paradigm Shift through a glass coffee table. The week following we witnessed Fénix make his Dynamite debut in the First Round of the AEW World Tag Team Championships tournament, where him and his brother Penta took on Marko Stunt and Jungle Boy of the Jurassic Express. One year later. During Jon Moxley’s entrance, he bumps into a wild Hiroshi Tanahashi. Tanahashi is here to celebrate with Jericho for his 30th Anniversary of Wrestling. Tanahashi bows to him and Moxley pats him on the back, before continuing on his march. He hops the guardrail and as if the match could start any other way - FÉNIX WITH A TOPE CON HILO STRAIGHT OFF THE BAT!! The bell rings and the match has started with a bang. Fénix hits him with an elbow before throwing him to the ring post. He looks down at the AEW World Championship and holds it up to the crowd, proclaiming it to be his. HE THEN TURNS AROUND TOA KNEE TO THE GUT FROM MOX!! He throws him into the ring and now we begin. Moxley hammers elbows to Fénix, but then when he rebounds off the ropes for a Lariat - FÉNIX WITH A HURRICANERANA OUT OF NOWHERE!! Fénix with an Overhead Chop to Jon! He then runs the ropes for a Head Scissors, but Moxley rolls through with it. He slides to the outside. Then Fénix runs up for a Baseball Slide - BUT MOX CATCHES HIM AND THROWS THE CHALLENGER INTO THE GUARDRAIL!! MOXLEY STARTS TO SHOULDER BARGE FÉNIX AGAINST THE STEEL!! Jon then takes his title back up from the floor and hands it to Justin Roberts. He says a few words to him, but from behind is FÉNIX RUNNING UP FROM BEHIND WITH A FRONT DROPKICK!! HE THROWS MOX BACK IN AND HITS THE LA GARRA DE FÉNIX!!! 1..............2.............KICK OUT BY MOX!!! Just a few minutes have gone by and we’ve already seen all of this. This is the definition of balls to the walls wrestling. Fénix gets up and looks at Moxley, angry he didn’t put him down straight away. Fénix gets up to his feet and lifts Mox up with him. Jon with a quick elbow to the head and follows with a MONEY CLIP!! FÉNIX ESCAPES!! Fénix arm drags Mox to the corner and hits him with his TIGHTROPE KICK!! Jon falls and Fénix scales the ropes again. He’s crotched by Jon however! SUPLERPLEX FROM MOXLEY!!! 1.......2........KICK OUT BY FÉNIX!!! FÉNIX GETS UP AND HITS A SUPERKICK!! HE GOES FOR A HANDSPRING CUTTER! MOXLEY CATCHES AND GOES TO THROW HIM OUT THE RING!! FÉNIX LANDS ON THE ROPES, JUMPS ON THEM A FEW TIMES - SPRINGBOARD TORNILLO!! Once they’re back up they stand on opposite corners as the crowd applaud their performance. FÉNIX THEN SPRINTS WITH A SPRINGBOARD KICK IN THE CORNER!! He goes for a Snapmare but Moxley picks him up into a MOXICITY!!! JON WITH A DIVING ELBOW DROP!! 1.............2.........FÉNIX GETS THE ROPES!! FÉNIX WITH A CORKSCREW ROUNDHOUSE KICK!! He slides out to the apron. HE DIVES FOR A SPRINGBOARD DRAGONRANA!!! MOXLEY CATCHES AND HITS THE MONEY CLIP!! 1.............2............KICK OUT!! MOXLEY GOES FOR A PARADIGM SHIFT!! FÉNIX ESCAPES AND HITS THE SPANISH FLY!! He throws Moxley into the ropes. FÉNIX THEN WITH A SPRINGBOARD MISSILE DROPKICK FROM ONE SIDE OF THE RING TO THE OTHER!! Moxley is knocked out the ring. FÉNIX THEN WITH A SOMMERSAULT TOPE SUICIDA!! They’re now both laying on the outside. Fénix overshot the mark and now is in some front row sitters laps. He goes to jump off the guardrail but Moxley catches him! He places him on the apron. Jon gets up with him and hits a kick to the head! JON THEN LIFTS FÉNIX UP FOR A GOTCH-STYLE PILEDRIVER - ON THE APRON!! MOXLEY ROLLS HIM IN, AND GOES FOR AN ELBOW DROP!! FÉNIX LIFTS HIM OFF THE THE TOP ROPES AND TRIES THE BLACK FIRE DRIVER!! HE SPINS MOX AROUND, WHO FLIES OUT OF IT!! DISCUS LARIAT! FOLLOWED BY THE MOTHER OF ALL PARADIGM SHIFTS!!!!! 1..............2...........3!!!! MOXLEY RETAINS AFTER A WAR WITH THE MAN OF A THOUSAND LIVES!!! Jon Moxley defeats Fénix (14:56) After the match Moxley limps out the ring and back up the stage, his title slung over his shoulder. Meanwhile Fénix lays in the centre of the ring, gassed out of his mind from what just happened. His brother, Pentagon Jr. walks out to comfort his brother. A man in pain, and feeling grief. Pentagon lifts Fénix up, and looks past the mask to see who he knows more than anyone in the world. He offers a Cero Miedo, and Fénix lifts up his arm to do the same. Then when they throw their hands down into the taunt - PENTAGON GRABS FÉNIX AND ARM DRAGS HIM TO THE MAT!! He know kneels above, still holding the arm. He then slowly reclines it...AND SNAPS THE ARM OF HIS OWN BROTHER!! Pentagon looks at Fénix, the same blood as his, writhing in pain at the hands of him. He then grabs Fénix by the jaw and makes him look at him, barely conscious. “Cero...Miedo...” Next week opens with a recap of the events that transpired last week. We see the high spots of Fénix and Jon Moxley’s war over the title, and then to Pentagon Jr’s attack of him. This then cuts to a promo package for that man, Pentagon Jr. To the backing of Marilyn Manson’s “The Nobodies”, we see the man who Pentagon truly is. He then explains why he did what he did. He explains he doesn’t feel empathy for what he did, he thinks he was perfectly justified. He explains how it benefits him. Later on in the show, Fénix and his translator come out. The translator explains that Fénix has seen the video himself. In the man of a thousand lives words, “those are the emotions of a psychopath. 30 years, and I don’t even know who you truly were.” Pac comes out to Fénix and tells him: “Death Triangle is dead.” He then explains how he himself is furious at Pentagon, because he still considers Fénix his amigo. Moxley then comes out and says he thinks they both deserve rematches for the AEW World Championship, as they’re both still Number 1 and 2 on the rankings. But he then says that next week on the special episode of Dynamite: “SuperBrawl”, he will allow Pentagon to get what he wants. Because he saw the seeds being planted for this moment back when they faced. So next week if Pentagon can defeat Fénix, it will be a Four-way match between all of them at Full Gear. He then gets a text from Tony Khan confirming it. Pac then tells Fénix “you can trust me.” Fénix shakes his head though. He can no longer trust anyone. HE ITS PAC WITH A BLACK FIRE DRIVER!! Next week is SuperBrawl and Fénix and Pentagon have pretty much the same match they had in real life, which at the time of writing was last weeks Dynamite. Pentagon wins by targeting Fénix’s arm throughout. Then on the go home show at the beginning of November, all four of them have a contract signing. They all sit at chairs in the four respective corners of the ring. They’re all wrapped in chains so no one attacks anyone. They will only be unchained when they go to sign the contract. Fénix is wearing a sling for his injured arm. Pentagon says nothing throughout despite being the centre of criticism. When he steps up he signs it and walks straight back, despite having security guards watching him like a hawk. The rest all sigh it, but the main part of it is everyone throwing barbs at each other from each corner of the ring. Pentagon is then demanded he speaks. He waits a moment, before saying “larga vida al rey.” Excalibur says that means “long live the king.” They’re on all escorted off ahead of the bout. Full Gear 2020: Jon Moxley (c) vs. Fénix vs. Pac vs. Pentagon Jr. - AEW World Championship The final pay-per-view of the year is reaching its crescendo to close off the year. Every one of them have been main evented by Jon Moxley, everyone of them for the AEW World Championship. This is hyped as the first ever non one-on-one match in AEW main event history, featuring the four best the company have. Jon Moxley and Death Triangle’s war has gone on for 4 months at this point, since July. We’re now in November and it’s come to a close, with us coming full circle. Everyone of them back where they started - vying for the AEW World Championship. Fénix and Pentagon have never main evented a PPV before, with Pac being only in one. Moxley on the other hand has been involved in every single main event, excluding shows he wasn’t on (Fight for the Fallen and All Out 2019). Moxley has been entering through the crowd since Dynamite Episode 4, when Pac blindsided him during an entrance. He couldn’t trust people after that, and started travelling his own path. Fénix enters out down through the crowds seats, being with the only people who’ve stuck by him. He climbs down the stairs, first out. The Bastard is now in a tweener role, garnering him a mixed reception. It’s Pentagon next, but he doesn’t come out. Instead Moxley is given the call it’s his turn. The fans all wonder why the champ isn’t out last. Then when Mox has arrived - Pentagon steps through the curtain, and it is nothing but boos. No ironic cheers, not even entrance music - his mere presence earning the ire of the fans. Fénix starts off with a bang, HITTING PENTAGON WITH A SUPERKICK STRAIGHT AWAY!! HE HITS PENTAGON WITH THE BLACK FIRE DRIVER!!! Pentagon rolls out while Moxley looks out in shock. FÉNIX THEN JUMPS OVER MOXLEY WITH A SPRINGBOARD TORNILLO TO THE OUTSIDE!! That leaves it to Pac and Jon. These two faced off last at All Out in a hellacious bout, and here they are again. PAC jumps up with a Leg Lariat straight off the bat! MOX THEN REBOUNDS WITH A DISCUS LARIAT!! HE LIFTS HIM INTO A MOXICITY STRAIGHT AWAY!! HE LOCKS IN A BOW AND ARROW!! PAC ESCAPES INTO A BRUTALISER!! Mox breaks free, but is then hit by a German Suplex!! PAC THEN FLIES OUT TO THE LUCHA BROS WITH A BRITISH AIRWAYS!!! Moxley rolls outside to join the hoard. He starts to stomp around all of them, but of course is overwhelmed by numbers. HE TURNS AROUND TO A RUNNING APRON KICK FROM PENTAGON!! Pentagon then drags him inside and licks his lips. This is a dream encounter and the fans cheer. They start booing though when Pentagon gets the first bit of offence with a chop. Moxley no sells it though and hits Pentagon with his own chop - Cheer. Pentagon chops - Boo, and so on. Eventually Pac and Fénix have had enough and both springboard into the ring, both hitting their respective rivals with STEREO SPRINGBOARD CROSSBODIES!! Now it’s these two. Pac tries to conform to Fénix but he’s having none of it. So Pac has to show him his real side. SUPERKICK BY PAC, INTO A TIGER SUPLEX!! 1......2.....FÉNIX KICKS OUT AND ROLLS THROUGH INTO A LANZA TO THE BACK!! FÉNIX THEN HITS A 540 ROUNDHOUSE KICK!! He fires himself up for a Handspring. He does it, BUT PAC CATCHES HIM WITH A DROPKICK MID MOVE!! PAC THEN WITH A DRAGONRANA!! 1..........2......MOXLEY BREAKS IT UP!! Mox comes in and starts to unleash his brawling on two guys at once. Punch to Pac - punch to Fénix - back to Pac - then again to Fénix. He runs the ropes for a Rebound Lariat, BUT PENTAGON PULLS HIM OUT!! He holds it him in place for someone to dive at him. Fénix does so with a Cannonball Tope Suicida, but instead hits Pentagon! MOXLEY THEN SLIDES IN WITH A LOU THESZ PRESS TO PAC MID RUN-UP!! Moxley lifts Pac up for a PARADIGM SHIFT ATTEMPT!!! BUT PAC GETS OUT AND HITS A TORNADO DDT!! HE ROLLS THROUGH INTO A BRUTALISER!!! MOXLEY LIFTS HIM OUT WITH A DEATH VALLEY DRIVER - BUT PAC LANDS ON HIS FEET AND HITS A HANDSPRING BACKFLIP INTO THE TORNADO DDT!! HE LOCKS IN THE BRUTALISER!! Moxley can’t lift out of it now, and it looks like the champ will fade. THAT’S UNTIL PENTAGON JR. COMES IN WTH A SUPERKICK PARTY!! Superkicks to Pac and Mox, and then one to his brother on the apron. HE HITS HIM WITH A SLINGBLADE ON THE APRON!! Penta then rolls Fénix back inside. He goes for the Fear Factor that ended it last time, BUT FÉNIX GETS OUT AND HITS A SPRINGBOARD SPIN KICK INTO THE CORNER!! Fénix goes for a Snapmare but Pentagon rolls through and lands a Japanese Arm Drag! HE CONNECTS A LUNGBLOWER!! He gives Fénix and a Cero Miedo as the fans boo, AND RUNS UP FOR A SOCCER KICK TO THE LEG!! Pentagon lifts Fénix up for a PENTAGON DRIVER!!!! 1............2..........A MISSILE DROPKICK BY PAC BREAKS IT UP!! PAC THEN WITH AN ENZIGURI!! HE HEADS TO THE TOP FOR A BLACK ARROW!!! MOXLEY CROTCHES HIM!! PENTAGON THEN LIFTS HIM OFF WITH A GORILLA PRESS INTO A DOUBLE KNEE GUTBUSTER!! HE TURNS AROUND INTO A CHAIR SHOT BY JON MOXLEY!! 1................2..........BROKEN UP BY PAC!!! FÉNIX THEN FLIES INTO EVERYONE WITH A CORKSCREW SOMMERSAULT SENTON!! It’s now a quadruple down as every man is taken out. They’ve all practically destroyed themselves by this point. Fénix is first up and throws Moxley out the ring. That leaves it to just the original three...Death Triangle now at war. Pentagon gets up and is shouted out by both men. He steps forward, and falls to his knees. He asks for Fénix to hit him. Fénix takes the offer and lifts him up for a Superkick - BUT PENTAGON CATCHES IT AND SPINS HIM OUT OF IT!! MEXICAN DESTROYER!! HE THEN GRABS PAC INTO THE SACRIFICE!! HE’S GOING TO BREAK HIS ARM!! PAC ROLLS OUT OF IT AND HITS PENTAGON WITH A SWITCHBLADE KICK!! PAC THEN HITS HIM WITH A KNEEDROP SHOOTING STAR PRESS!!!! 1.............2...........ITS BROKEN UP BY A LA GARRA DEL FÉNIX!!!!! It’s Fénix and Pac now, and Pac is pleading for Fénix to not hurt him. Fénix shakes his head at Pac’s pleading, until he points at Pentagon Jr. Them and the crowd then get excited, and they get to work on the double team. FÉNIX HITS A BLACK FIRE DRIVER, WHICH PAC FOLLOWS UP WITH A BLACK ARROW!! They can’t decide who goes for the pin though. THIS THEN TURNS INTO A KICK FIGHT!! They trade Superkicks until JON MOXLEY SLIDES IN AND JOINS THE PARTY!! HE HITS A DOUBLE PARADIGM SHIFT!! HE THEN DIVES WITH A FLYING ELBOW DROP TO PAC!!! 1................2................3!!!!! MOXLEY RETAINS THE TITLE, HAVING GONE THROUGH WAR WITH THREE OTHER MEN. He stands up shakily, looking down at all the wreckage. He then pushes a guy who offers him some ice away as he walks through the crowd, AEW’s hero. Jon Moxley defeats Fénix, Pac and Pentagon Jr. (35:13) We’re out of Full Gear and now on the road to the biggest month of AEW’s calendar year - January. Not only do we start off with Homecoming on the first Dynamite of the month, we then get the Jericho Cruise and Bash at the Beach - all on the road to Revolution. Then for certain members of the roster they travel to New Japan Pro Wrestling - a place Jon Moxley spent a lot of time in last year. But this year, not so much. Moxley defended his IWGP United States Championship at Sakura Genesis against Will Ospreay - which he lost. Ospreay winning his first piece of heavyweight gold in NJPW. Afterwards Jon would say he will spend more time in America this year as he is AEW World Champion, and thus won’t compete in the G1 Climax. Meanwhile Will is on fire. He enters the G1 Climax as part of Block B and fares well for himself. He has tough competition with the likes of Kota Ibushi, Tetsuya Naito, Minoru Suzuki, Kenta and Shingo Takagi - but he holds his own. He then goes on to defend his IWGP United States Championship at Wrestle Dynasty against fellow CHAOS stablemate in Tomohiro Ishii. He defeats him. Afterwards Ishii goes for a handshake, but Ospreay turns on him! The Great O’Kharn and Bea Priestley help beat down on Ishii. Okada then rushes out, but the gang escape in time. They then face off at Summer Struggle in Jingu, where Okada loses. Okada goes on to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship off of EVIL however at King of Pro-Wrestling. On that same show however, Will loses his title to the first ever Japanese born man to hold the gold - Hiromu Takahashi. Back to AEW, Jon Moxley has now had his sixth successful defence of the belt and is steadily approaching a year with the title. At Full Gear we witnessed Kenny Omega defeat Adam Page to win a #1 Contenders Tournament. This immediately sets up Moxley’s next challenger, Kenny Omega. Speaking of, what’s Kenny been up to since Double or Nothing? After losing their tag titles to FTR at All Out, they’d go their separate ways. Now both are alone, with The Elite having disbanded earlier in the year. Omega starts to act more heelish while Page earns more sympathy, his only companion now being the bottle. They come to blows at Full Gear and Omega officially turns heel on that night, attacking Adam with a barbed wire broom afterwards. Next week on Dynamite is the return of The Cleaner. We saw the tease on the build to Double or Nothing, but he never fully capitalised. By dangling the carrot and then taking it away, you switch the fans from expecting something to hoping for it back - and when they get it back it’s an even bigger deal. He comes out with the shades and jacket; a new man - a more evil man. He comes out for an interview with Tony Schiavone, and when asked why he attacked Hangman - he answers in Japanese. He refuses to speak anything other than Japanese. This is the opposite effect of him only speaking English in promos while in NJPW. Jon Moxley comes out the week following to tell Kenny he doesn’t have a damn clue what he said last week, but all he knows is he’s going to beat him for the third time in a row at Revolution. Kenny then hits him with a V-Trigger to show who’s boss. Goodbye and Goodnight. Jon the heads east to Japan in time for Power Struggle, where everything for Wrestle Kingdom 15 is set. The second ever Double Gold Dash between Kazuchika Okada (HW), Tetsuya Naito (IC), Kota Ibushi (G1) and Will Ospreay. Hiromu defends his IWGP United States Championship against an American in Juice Robinson, which he wins. Afterwards Jon Moxley makes his triumphant return to NJPW. He says that he’s not owed any match from Hiromu, but he wants that third US title reign. So he isn’t asking for anything - but just putting out the offer. If Hiromu gives him the match, he will put his AEW World Championship on the line too. Takahashi gives Jon a hug and accepts. He then does something weird, causing Moxley to leave with a eye roll and light smile. Moxley then tries to scare Kenny when he comes back at the end of November with the barbed wire bat, but Kenny doesn’t budge. He has his own translator with him, to tell Moxley what he thinks. I think Kenny as a heel and a goofy translator character could be entertaining, since Omega has comedic chops and hopefully they can find a guy who does too. Firstly Kenny tells Jon that he’s above speaking the language of everyone in AEW because he’s on the next level above them. They are inferior to his new being. Kenny then says he has claimed every top title he possibly can - IWGP Heavyweight, KO-D Openweight from DDT and the PWG World titles. But that - what Moxley’s holding - has alluded him. He will take it. Then it’s December, and we start Dynamite off with an angry Jon Moxley carrying out Michael Nakazawa to the ring. He has a barbed wire bat with him. He threatens to assault him unless Kenny speaks English to his face. Omega walks out to stop it...and then points the finger gun at Nakazawa. V-TRIGGER!! Did it for Mox. Kenny then leaves Jon with a broken man in the ring. After this, Kenny cuts a backstage promo with subtitles. He says Jon is what Pac said - he can’t wrestle. He can only do crazy hardcore spotfests, he can’t get down and technical. Meanwhile Kenny is the best in the world at that, and he knows if they fight in a clean match he WILL win. So he proposes that they fight in an Iron Man Match at Revolution. A DQ will result in a fall to the other wrestler, meaning if Jon gets extreme he will give Kenny a lead. The last Dynamite of 2020 sees Moxley bring Omega out to the ring to accept, and then attack him with the bat. Moxley then travels east for Wrestle Kingdom. Wrestle Kingdom 15 Night Two: Hiromu Takahashi (c) vs. Jon Moxley (c) - IWGP United States Championship and AEW World Championship The second night of Wrestle Kingdom has arrived and it’s set to be a big one. The first night saw the beginning of the second ever Double Gold Dash - where we saw Tetsuya Naito defeat Will Ospreay to retain his Intercontinental Championship along with Kota Ibushi defeating Kazuchika Okada to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. Not only that but we also saw Jay White and Hiroshi Tanahashi in a grudge match as well as SANADA and EVIL do battle in a No Disqualification Match. Night two is now set to see Will Ospreay and Kazuchika Okada do battle as well as Okada and Ibushi fight once again for both belts. But before all that it’s the United States Championship match, and it all begins with The Death Rider Coming out on his finest Harley Davidson, Jon Moxley drives out through the Tokyo Dome to ringside. The Young lions offer him help, but Mox hand selects his boy, Shota Umino, to help him out. The two pull it over the barricade and Moxley sits on it with the title slung over his shoulder, while Shooter does his best Shibata of arms folded and stone faced. “DEATHU RAIYDAH...JONAH MOXUREE!!!” Mox poses with the AEW World Championship. With that wacky entrance over we go to a man who can top “Wacky Dean” in every way you can do wacky possible, Hiromu Takahashi. He walks out with Daryl and Naoru, who hold the IWGP United States Championship between them. Jon sighs at this sight. Takahashi does his weird tongue taunt at all the people in the crowd, as there is no better greeting possible. Once we’re underway Hiromu panders to the crowd for a minute or so, and then the lock up starts. A chinlock by Moxley is rolled out of and Hiromu rebounds with an arm drag into a school boy. Moxley kicks out and swings at Takahashi, who is already running off the ropes but is caught by a Big Boot! Jon then throws him into the corner and starts to unload punches. He then hits a big knee to the gut. A Snapmare and Soccer Kick follows. Jon is in control and applies a Nerve hold. Hiromu quickly sweeps out of it though and lands a Head Scissors Takedown! Hiromu puts his fingers in a v-shape and locks in between because he’s a weirdo. Commentary laugh at this but not so much at his HESITATION DROPKICK!! HOOKS THE LEG - JON KICKS OUT!! HIROMU THEN LEFTS HIM UP FOR A FALCON ARROW, BUT MOXLEY FLOATS OVER AND HITS A RELEASE SUPLEX!! Moxley pulls himself up to stalk Takahashi in the corner, who stands up with him. He tries to get at Jon by raising his fist up towards his for a bump, and calling him “brother.” Moxley laughs it off and raises his hand, to the air, tue LIJ taunt. MOXLEY THEN HITS HIROMU WITH A SCOOP SLAM!! CURB STOMP FROM THE CORNER!! 1................2...........KICK OUT!! Jon pulls him up for a PARADIGM SHIFT - BUT HIROMU COUNTERS INTO THE DESTINO!!! 1.............2..........KICK OUT!! Both are down having done their partners moves - now learning they can’t follow any path but their own. They both recover on the outside after the kick outs from big moves. Takahashi is first back up and takes Jon back inside. He lands a Superkick to knock Moxley over the ropes, and then heads to the top ropes. HE DIVES OUTSIDE WITH A DIVING SENTON!! HE THROWS JON BACK INSIDE AND LOCKS IN A TRIANGLE CHOKE!! He pulls and pulls on the hold, but then Jon reaches the ropes. Hiromu tries to Superkick him again BUT JON HITS HIM WITH A PENDELUM LARIAT!! HE TRIES FOR THE PARADIGM SHIFT AGAIN BUT TAKAHASHI FLOATS OVER INTO A CANADIAN DESTORYER!! MOXLEY ROLLS OUT AHD LOCKS IN A FUJIAWARA ARMBAR!! MOXLEY STOMPS ON THE HEAD FOR FURTHER DAMAGE!!! HIROMU IS FADING - UNTIL HE ROLLS OUT!! SUPERKICK FOLLOWED BY A DYNAMITE PLUNGER OVER THE ROPES TO THE APRON!! TAKAHASHI THEN FLIES OUT WITH A TOPE CON HILO!!!! Commentary are screaming for Hiromu to throw him inside and finish the job, but he’s too banged up from the fall. The ref’s 20 count begins, but by 15 they’re both back in. Takahashi thinks for a cover, but considers it too late. He rethinks and goes for a Time Bomb, but Moxley gets out and HITS AN ELBOW TO THE BACK OF THE HEAD!! ONE HITTER BY JON!!!! 1.................2.............KICK OUT!! TAKAHASHI BREAKS OUT AND HITS THE JOHN WOO DROPKICK!! He rolls out and sets up one of NJPW’s famously hard wood tables. HE GOES FOR A SUNSET FLIP POWERBOMB TO MOXLEY!! BUT JON BLOCKS IT, AND HITS A PARADIGM SHIFT TO THE OUTSIDE THROUGH THE TABLE!! HE DRAGS HIROMU TAKAHASHI BACK INSIDE AND COVERS - 1...................2...............3!!!!! JON MOXLEY HAS WON THE IWGP UNITED STATES CHAMPIONSHIP FOR THE THIRD TIME IN HISTORY, AND HAS SUCCESSFULLY RETAINED HIS AEW WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP!! Afterwards he grabs a microphone and says “Naito, Ibushi - I don’t care which one of you, but whoever you are - I want to hold four titles.” Jon Moxley defeats Hiromu Takahashi (20:11) Jon says he’s heading back home in the press conference with two titles, and says that after 18 months under his tutelage - he’s letting Shooter spread his wings and go off as his own man. “I’ll see ya soon bud.” he tells him as he walks off through the door, both belts slung over his shoulders. Jon returns home to the States on the week after AEW Homecoming, and the week before the Jericho Cruise sets sail. He comes back and while passing him backstage, says to Kenny Omega: “くたばれ!” (In romaji: (kutabare!”) (means “go to hell!” Literally means "Drop dead!") A match is confirmed for the Jericho Cruise ship, where both guys will team together to run a gauntlet. The build for this is seen when Omega opens the show with a backstage promo (because this show needs promos where every third word isn’t cut off by reception). He says that Jon may think he’s now the king of Japan, but he better no who he’s talking to. Former IWGP Heayvweight, Intercontinental, Junior Heavyweight, United States, Tag Team and NEVER Openweight Six-man Tag Team Champion. Jon can’t and never will top his Puroresu credentials. So he’s going to get to watch Omega to do what he did for 10 years and feel what it’s like to be the lesser, because he needs to be knocked off his perch now he’s passed over 300 days as champion. Jon comes out normally but Kenny has all the bells and whistles, as he enters to “Dragon Heart” from Seiken Tsukai No World Break. He’s led to the ring by a group of dancing ladies with brooms, as he basks in his own ego. They ultimately fall to FTR - the team who defeated Page and Omega at All Out, after a miscommunication. Bash at the Beach and they have a match with FTR, this time for their AEW World Tag Team Championships. Cash slips out of a One Winged Angel and locks in a Fujiwara Armbar. Omega struggles in it but then he’s done for when Dax drops down with a Knee. Omega then instantly tap. Afterwards Jon goes ballistic on him for not making him a triple champion. “No wonder everyone you loved left you.” he says in an interview with Tony Schiavone next week. After that Kenny challenges Moxley saying that everyone he loved left him. Moxley then slowly brings out all his buddies. Darby Allin, Sting, Will Hobbs and Shota Umino. He then starts to call for Omega’s friends. “Riho? Nakazawa? Hangman? The Bucks? No one home it seems. But what hurts most is this: IBUSHI? dead silence” “Now all you got is your dumbass translator. Speaking of - attacks translator” Kenny walks off in defeat. The go home show confirms a Hardcore Match between Kenny Omega and Michael Nakazawa. Nakazawa left Kenny as a friend after he turned to the dark side. This is a match driven by enough but told through DDT hardcore spots. I think I’m the only person on earth who enjoyed Nakazawa/Jebailey so I’d like this, also considering it contains Kenny Omega in it. Omega wins with a One Winged Angel onto a pile of loose arcade buttons. Afterwards he speaks in English for the first time all year. “Jon - what I do to you at Revolution will end your fairytale of a title run. I am not who you had your first successful defence against, you have seen god damn nothing.” This means we’ve reached our destination - Los Angeles, the city in which we will witness the Iron Man Match between Kenny Omega and Jon Moxley. Revolution 2021: Jon Moxley (c) vs. Kenny Omega - 30-minute Iron Man Match for the AEW World Championship Revolution has seen a lot so far, and is already in the history books as one of AEW’s best ever PPVs. But you have to save the best for last, of course. The main event arrives, and it starts with something hardcore...BABYMETAL. Live on the stage are the most Kenny Omega band imaginable, signing a song about hardships and overcoming defeat via perseverance. Then a fan walks on stage and starts to jam out, and the bad stop and look at him weird. Lights go out...ITS KENNY OMEGA!! AS AKUMA’S RAGING DEMON!! His hair is dyed red and spiked up and he has the demon symbol painted on his back. They then resume the song as Omega walks down. Justin Roberts has really strapped up his boots for this one and he has to do not one but two dramatic ring introductions for this match. Jon Moxley then doesn’t have a Harley Davidson like last time (some things are too good to be true), instead having to walk like a beta. Nevertheless he still has two titles with him, commentary pointing out his IWGP United States Championship - also mentioning the belts inaugural champion was Kenny Omega - but now Moxley has held it three times. He walks past his wife Renee Paquette in the crowd who wishes him good luck. Jon slithers into the ring and makes Omega watch as he raises up both titles. Excalibur says that Omega will be the third man in history to have held a major heavyweight championship in Mexico, Japan and the United States if he wins. Previous winners being Antonio Inoki (IWGP, WWF and UWA) and Vader (IWGP/AJPW, WCW and UWA). Also j the crowd for this match are Alex Jebailey who receives a boo at his arrival. The cameras then go to Renee who gets a pop. The bell rings and the match has started. Kenny and Jon slowly advance, doing little circles around the centre. Then they pounce into a lock up. Kenny misses the chinlock and instead is on the receiving end of one. He tries to slide out but Jon snatches him back with an armhold. Omega kicks up to knock Jon off and get away. He dusts his hands and this time leapfrogs Moxley when he goes for him, and grabs him by the waist. He slams him back and gets a rest hold in. He applies a headlock and rolls back into a mini Crossface. Jon grabs the ropes and retreats to his corner. Eventually he gets bored of this and wants to fuck shit up, so when Omega runs at him he hits a kick to the midsection! Moxley then with an EXPLODER SUPLEX STRAIGHT AWAY!! He hits it and basks in the soaking applause of the fans. Jon lifts Kenny up but he’s hit by a Enziguri!! HE FOLLOWS WITH THE YOU CAN’T ESCAPE! As soon as the Moonsault lands he covers, 1........2......KICK OUT!! Jon then connects an Arm Drag and follows with a Kitchen Sink! HE TRIES FOR AN EARLY PARADIGM SHIFT!! OMEGA FLOATS OVER AND LANDS A KOTARO KRUSHER!!! HE HITS ANOTHER ONE INTO THE CORNER!!! He flies over the ropes with the second and so starts to scale the turnbuckles to get back in. HE PULLS JON UP BY A GUTWRENCH!! He tugs and tugs but Moxley sandbags. He still gets him to the first rope. He’s looking for Dr. Wiley’s Powerbomb! MOXLEY THEN LIFTS HIM FOR A SUPERPLEX!! KENNY STAYS PUT!! MOXLEY THEN CATCHES HIM WITH AN AIR RAID CRASH!! HE FLIES!! 1.............2..........3!!!!!!!!!! Jon Moxley earns 1 point. Omega is flustered by that sudden pinfall. Moxley is arrogant about getting a quick pin and turns around to showboat. HE’S THEN CAUGHT WITH A REVERSE FRANKENSTEINER BY OMEGA!! Kenny then slits his throat and points a finger gun at Moxley’s head, BEFORE LANDING A V-TRIGGER!! HE HITS THE AOI SHOUDOU!! HE THEN RUNS THE ROPES FOR ANOTHER V-TRIGGER BUT HES CAUGHT WITH A HEADBUTT!! MOXLEY THEN HITS A CUTTER!!! 1..KICK OUT!! OMEGA GETS UP AND HITS A MISSILE DROPKICK TO THE BACK OF THE HEAD FROM OUT OF NOWHERE!! This man is not fucking about. He pulls Moxley up and thinks he’ll hit him with his own move, the Paradigm Shift. MOXLEY COUNTERS WITH A BACKBODY DROP TO THE OUTSIDE!! Omega lands on his feet, but is immediately hit by a SUICIDE DIVE FROM MOXLEY!! Both guys are now on the outside after the big dive. Moxley isn’t much of a high flyer aside from his elbow drops, but here he just went. He gets up with a middle finger in the sky to show he enjoyed that. He drags Kenny back in with him. He throws Omega to the corner and starts to come in with punches and stomps. He runs for a HESITATION DROPKICK!! He then lifts Omega up for a chop. He readies himself...OMEGA HITS A V-TRIGGER!! DRAGON SUPLEX BY OMEGA!! RISE OF THE TERMINATOR BY OMEGA TO THE OUTSIDE!! He then bashes Moxley’s head off the ring post a few times until he throws him back in He irish whips Jon to the corner, who jumps to the second rope, and IS THEN HIT WITH A SUPERKICK TO THE REAR!! OMEGA CLIMBS UP AND HITS A SUPER CROYT’S WRATH!!!! 1..............2..............3!!!! Kenny Omega earns 1 point. We’re now approaching 20 minutes and the score has just been made equal. Omega climbs up and is now the one who gets cocky. He comes prepared for the surprise attack as he flips out of a German Suplex. SUPERKICK INTO THE ROPES, BUT IS CAUGHT BY A PENDULUM LARIAT!! MOXLEY THEN GOES FOR A SPINNING PARADIGM SHIFT! KENNY ESCAPES AND RUNS THE ROPES, BUT IS CAUGHT BY A KITCHEN SINK!! JAPANESE ARM DRAG BY MOXLEY!! They’re desperate for the second point and the clock is ticking. We’re over 20 minutes now. Omega kicks into gear when he attempts a One Winged Angel and the fans leave their seats. Moxley quickly slides out though and scurries for the corner. Kenny basks in the glory of embarrassing the world champion. HE’S THEN ROLLED UP BY MOXLEY!! KICK OUT AND A DOUBLE DOWN FROM STEREO CLOTHESLINES!! Continues in comments
TL;DR: Man with too much time on his hands goes deep down the rabbit hole on a concept this sub already didn’t seem that enthusiastic about. If you really want to skip ahead, CTRL+F “verdict” and it’ll get you there. Two days ago, u/MrPhillyj2wns made a post asking whether USL should launch a D1 league in order to compete in Concacaf. From the top voted replies, it appears this made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move. But I’ve been at home for eight weeks and I am terribly, terribly bored. So, I present to you this overview of what the USL pyramid might look like if Jake Edwards got a head of steam and attempted to establish a USSF-sanctioned first division. This is by no means an endorsement of such a proposal or even a suggestion that USL SHOULD do such a thing. It is merely an examination of whether they COULD. Welcome to the Thunderdome USL Premiership First, there are some base-level assumptions we must make in this exercise, because it makes me feel more scientific and not like a guy who wrote this on Sunday while watching the Belarusian Premier League (Go BATE Borisov!).
All D1 teams must comply with known USSF requirements for D1 leagues (more on that later).
MLS, not liking this move, will immediately remove all directly-owned affiliate clubs from the USL structure (this does not include hybrid ownerships, like San Antonio FC – NYCFC). This removes all MLS2 teams but will not affect Colorado Springs, Reno, RGVFC and San Antonio.
The USL will attempt to maintain both the USL Championship and USL League One, with an eventual mind toward creating the pro/rel paradise that is promised in Relegations 3:16.
All of my research regarding facility size and ownership net worth is correct – this is probably the biggest leap of faith we have to make, since googling “NAME net worth” and “CITY richest people” doesn’t seem guaranteed to return accurate results.
The most a club can increase its available seating capacity to meet D1 requirements in a current stadium is no more than 1,500 seats (10% of the required 15,000). If they need to add more, they’ll need a new facility.
Let’s pretend that people are VERY willing to sell. It’s commonly acknowledged that the USL is a more financially feasible route to owning a soccer club than in MLS (c.f. MLS-Charlotte’s reported $325 million expansion fee) and the USSF has some very strict requirements for D1 sanctioning. It becomes pretty apparent when googling a lot of team’s owners that this requirement isn’t met, so let’s assume everyone that can’t sells to people who meet the requirements.
(Known) USSF D1 league requirements: - League must have 12 teams to apply and 14 teams by year three - Majority owner must have a net worth of $40 million, and the ownership group must have a total net worth of $70 million. The value of an owned stadium is not considered when calculating this value. - Must have teams located in the Eastern, Central and Pacific time zones - 75% of league’s teams must be based in markets with at a metro population of at least 1 million people. - All league stadiums must have a capacity of at least 15,000 The ideal club candidate for the USL Premiership will meet the population and capacity requirements in its current ground, which will have a grass playing surface. Of the USL Championship’s 27 independent/hybrid affiliate clubs, I did not find one club that meets all these criteria as they currently stand. Regarding turf fields, the USSF does not have a formal policy regarding the ideal playing surface but it is generally acknowledged that grass is superior to turf. 6 of 26 MLS stadiums utilize turf, or roughly 23% of stadiums. We’ll hold a similar restriction for our top flight, so 2-3 of our top flight clubs can have turf fields. Seem fair? Capacity is going to be the biggest issue, since the disparity between current requirements for the second-tier (5,000) and the first tier (15,000) is a pretty massive gap. Nice club you have there, triple your capacity and you’re onto something. As a result, I have taken the liberty of relocating certain (read: nearly all) clubs to new grounds, trying my utmost to keep those clubs in their current markets and –importantly--, ensure they play on grass surfaces. So, let’s do a case-by-case evaluation and see if we can put together 12-14 teams that meet the potential requirements, because what else do you have to do? For each club’s breakdown, anything that represents a chance from what is currently true will be underlined. Candidate: Birmingham Legion FC Location (Metro population): Birmingham, Ala. (1,151,801) Time zone: Central Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Legion Field (FieldTurf, 71,594) Potential owner: Stephens Family (reported net worth $4 billion) Notes: Birmingham has a pretty strong candidacy. Having ditched the 5,000-seater BBVA Field for Legion Field, which sits 2.4 miles away, they’ve tapped into the city’s soccer history. Legion Field hosted portions of both the men’s and women’s tournaments at the 1996 Olympics, including a 3-1 U.S. loss to Argentina that saw 83,183 pack the house. The Harbert family seemed like strong ownership contenders, but since the death of matriarch Marguerite Harbert in 2015, it’s unclear where the wealth in the family is concentrated, so the Stephens seem like a better candidate. The only real knock that I can think of is that we really want to avoid having clubs play on turf, so I’d say they’re on the bubble of our platonic ideal USL Prem. Candidate: Charleston Battery Location (Metro population): Charleston, S.C. (713,000) Time zone: Eastern Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Johnson Hagood Stadium (Grass, ~14,700) Potential owner: Anita Zucker (reported net worth $3 billion) Notes: Charleston’s candidacy isn’t looking great. Already disadvantaged due to its undersized metro population, a move across the Cooper River to Johnson Hagood Stadium is cutting it close in terms of capacity. The stadium, home to The Citadel’s football team, used to seat 21,000, before 9,300 seats on the eastern grandstand were torn down in 2017 to deal with lead paint that had been used in their construction. Renovation plans include adding 3,000 seats back in, which could hit 15,000 if they bumped it to 3,300, but throw in a required sale by HCFC, LLC (led by content-creation platform founder Rob Salvatore) to chemical magnate Anita Zucker, and you’ll see there’s a lot of ifs and ands in this proposal. Candidate: Charlotte Independence Location (Metro population): Charlotte, N.C. (2,569, 213) Time zone: Eastern Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Jerry Richardson Stadium (Turf, 15,314) Potential owner: James Goodnight (reported net worth $9.1 billion) Notes: Charlotte ticks a lot of the boxes. A move from the Sportsplex at Matthews to UNC-Charlotte’s Jerry Richardson stadium meets capacity requirements, but puts them on to the dreaded turf. Regrettably, nearby American Legion Memorial Stadium only seats 10,500, despite a grass playing surface. With a sizeable metro population (sixth-largest in the USL Championship) and a possible owner in software billionaire James Goodnight, you’ve got some options here. The biggest problem likely lies in direct competition for market share against a much better-funded MLS Charlotte side due to join the league in 2021. Candidate: Hartford Athletic Location (Metro population): Hartford, Conn. (1,214,295) Time zone: Eastern Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Pratt & Whitney Stadium (Grass, 38,066) Potential owner: Ray Dalio (reported net worth $18.4 billion) Notes: Okay, I cheated a bit here, having to relocate Hartford to Pratt & Whitney Stadium, which is technically in East Hartford, Conn. I don’t know enough about the area to know if there’s some kind of massive beef between the two cities, but the club has history there, having played seven games in 2019 while Dillon Stadium underwent renovations. If the group of local businessmen that currently own the club manage to attract Dalio to the table, we’re on to something. Candidate: Indy Eleven Location (Metro population): Indianapolis, Ind. (2,048,703) Time zone: Eastern Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Lucas Oil Stadium (Turf, 62,421) Potential owner: Jim Irsay (reported net worth of $3 billion) Notes: Indy Eleven are a club that are SO CLOSE to being an ideal candidate – if it weren’t for Lucas Oil Stadium’s turf playing surface. Still, there’s a lot to like in this bid. I’m not going to lie, I have no idea what current owner and founder Ersal Ozdemir is worth, but it seems like there might be cause for concern. A sale to Irsay, who also owns the NFL Indianapolis (nee Baltimore) Colts, seems likely to keep the franchise there, rather than make a half-mile move to 14,230 capacity Victory Field where the AAA Indianapolis Indians play and expand from there. Candidate: Louisville City FC Location (Metro population): Louisville, Ky. (1,297,310) Time zone: Eastern Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Lynn Family Stadium (Grass, 14,000, possibly expandable to 20,000) Potential owner: Wayne Hughes (reported net worth $2.8 billion) Notes: I’m stretching things a bit here. Lynn Family stadium is currently listed as having 11,700 capacity that’s expandable to 14,000, but they’ve said that the ground could hold as many as 20,000 with additional construction, which might be enough to grant them a temporary waiver from USSF. If the stadium is a no-go, then there’s always Cardinal Stadium, home to the University of Louisville’s football team, which seats 65,000 but is turf. Either way, it seems like a sale to someone like Public Storage founder Wayne Hughes will be necessary to ensure the club has enough capital. Candidate: Memphis 901 FC Location (Metro population): Memphis, Tenn. (1,348,260) Time zone: Central Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Liberty Bowl Stadium (Turf, 58,325) Potential owner: Fred Smith (reported net worth $3 billion) Notes: Unfortunately for Memphis, AutoZone Park’s 10,000 seats won’t cut it at the D1 level. With its urban location, it would likely prove tough to renovate, as well. Liberty Bowl Stadium more than meets the need, but will involve the use of the dreaded turf. As far as an owner goes, FedEx founder Fred Smith seems like a good local option. Candidate: Miami FC, “The” Location (Metro population): Miami, Fla. (6,158,824) Time zone: Eastern Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Riccardo Silva Stadium (FieldTurf, 20,000) Potential owner: Riccardo Silva (reported net worth $1 billion) Notes: Well, well, well, Silva might get his wish for top-flight soccer, after all. He’s got the money, he’s got the metro, and his ground has the capacity. There is the nagging issue of the turf, though. Hard Rock Stadium might present a solution, including a capacity of 64,767 and a grass playing surface. It is worth noting, however, that this is the first profile where I didn’t have to find a new potential owner for a club. Candidate: North Carolina FC Location (Metro population): Durham, N.C. (1,214,516 in The Triangle) Time zone: Eastern Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Carter-Finley Stadium (Grass/Turf, 57,583) Potential owner: Steve Malik (precise net worth unknown) / Dennis Gillings (reported net worth of $1.7 billion) Notes: We have our first “relocation” in North Carolina FC, who were forced to trade Cary’s 10,000-seat WakeMed Soccer Park for Carter-Finley Stadium in Durham, home of the NC State Wolfpack and 57,583 of their closest friends. The move is a whopping 3.1 miles, thanks to the close-knit hub that exists between Cary, Durham and Raleigh. Carter-Finley might be my favorite of the stadium moves in this exercise. The field is grass, but the sidelines are artificial turf. Weird, right? Either way, it was good enough for Juventus to play a friendly against Chivas de Guadalajara there in 2011. Maybe the move would be pushed for by new owner and medical magnate Dennis Gillings, whose British roots might inspire him to get involved in the Beautiful Game. Straight up, though, I couldn’t find a net worth for current owner Steve Malik, though he did sell his company MedFusion for $91 million in 2010, then bought it back for an undisclosed amount and sold it again for $43 million last November. I don’t know if Malik has the juice to meet D1 requirements, but I suspect he’s close. Candidate: Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC Location (Metro population): Pittsburgh, Penn. (2,362,453) Time zone: Eastern Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Heinz Field (Grass, 64,450) Potential owner: Henry Hillman (reported net worth $2.5 billion) Notes: I don’t know a ton about the Riverhounds, but this move in particular feels like depriving a pretty blue-collar club from its roots. Highmark Stadium is a no-go from a seating perspective, but the Steelers’ home stadium at Heinz Field would more than meet the requirements and have a grass surface that was large enough to be sanctioned for a FIFA friendly between the U.S. WNT and Costa Rica in 2015. As for an owner, Tuffy Shallenberger (first ballot owner name HOF) doesn’t seem to fit the USSF bill, but legendary Pittsburgh industrialist Henry Hillman might. I’m sure you’re asking, why not the Rooney Family, if they’ll play at Heinz Field? I’ll tell you: I honestly can’t seem to pin down a value for the family. The Steelers are valued at a little over a billion and rumors persist that Dan Rooney is worth $500 million, but I’m not sure. I guess the Rooneys would work too, but it’s a definite departure from an owner in Shallenberger who was described by one journalist as a guy who “wears boots, jeans, a sweater and a trucker hat.” Candidate: Saint Louis FC Location (Metro population): St. Louis, Mo. (2,807,338) Time zone: Central Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Busch Stadium (Grass, 45,494) Potential owner: William DeWitt Jr. (reported net worth $4 billion) Notes: Saint Louis has some weirdness in making the jump to D1. Current CEO Jim Kavanaugh is an owner of the MLS side that will begin play in 2022. The club’s current ground at West Community Stadium isn’t big enough, but perhaps a timely sale to Cardinals owner William DeWitt Jr. could see the club playing games at Busch Stadium, which has a well established history of hosting other sports like hockey, college football and soccer (most recently a U.S. WNT friendly against New Zealand in 2019). The competition with another MLS franchise wouldn’t be ideal, like Charlotte, but with a big enough population and cross marketing from the Cardinals, maybe there’s a winner here. Wacko idea: If Busch doesn’t pan out, send them to The Dome. Sure, it’s a 60k turf closed-in stadium, but we can go for that retro NASL feel and pay homage to our nation’s soccer history. Candidate: Tampa Bay Rowdies Location (Metro population): Tampa, Fla. (3,068,511) Time zone: Eastern Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Raymond James Stadium (Grass, 65,518) Potential owner: Edward DeBartolo Jr. (reported net worth $3 billion) Notes: This one makes me sad. Despite having never been there, I see Al Lang Stadium as an iconic part of the Rowdies experience. Current owner Bill Edwards proposed an expansion to 18,000 seats in 2016, but the move seems to have stalled out. Frustrated with the city’s lack of action, Edwards sells to one-time San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr., who uses his old NFL connections to secure a cushy lease at the home of the Buccaneers in Ray Jay, the site of a 3-1 thrashing of Antigua and Barbuda during the United States’ 2014 World Cup Qualifying campaign. Breather. Hey, we finished the Eastern Conference teams. Why are you still reading this? Why am I still writing it? Time is a meaningless construct in 2020 my friends, we are adrift in the void, fueled only by brief flashes of what once was and what may yet still be. Candidate: Austin Bold FC Location (Metro population): Austin, Texas (2,168,316) Time zone: Central Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Darrel K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium (FieldTurf, 95,594) Potential owner: Michael Dell (reported net worth of $32.3 billion) Notes: Anthony Precourt’s Austin FC has some unexpected competition and it comes in the form of tech magnate Michael Dell. Dell, were he to buy the club, would be one of the richest owners on our list and could flash his cash in the new first division. Would he have enough to convince Darrel K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium (I’m not kidding, that’s its actual name) to go back to a grass surface, like it did from ’96-’08? That’s between Dell and nearly 100,000 UT football fans, but everything can be had for the right price. Candidate: Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC Location (Metro population): Colorado Springs, Colo. (738,939) Time zone: Mountain Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Falcon Stadium (FieldTurf, 46,692) Potential owner: Charles Ergen (reported net worth $10.8 billion) Notes: Welcome to Colorado Springs. We have hurdles. For the first time in 12 candidates, we’re back below the desired 1 million metro population mark. Colorado Springs actually plans to build a $35 million, 8,000 seat venue downtown that will be perfect for soccer, but in our timeline that’s 7,000 seats short. Enter Falcon Stadium, home of the Air Force Academy Falcons football team. Seems perfect except for the turf, right? Well, the tricky thing is that Falcon Stadium is technically on an active military base and is (I believe) government property. Challenges to getting in and out of the ground aside, the military tends to have a pretty grim view of government property being used by for-profit enterprises. Maybe Charles Ergen, founder and chairman of Dish Network, would be able to grease the right wheels, but you can go ahead and throw this into the “doubtful” category. It’s a shame, too. 6,035 feet of elevation is one hell of a home-field advantage. Candidate: El Paso Locomotive FC Location: El Paso, Texas Time zone: Mountain Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Sun Bowl (FieldTurf, 51,500) Potential owner: Paul Foster (reported net worth $1.7 billion) Notes: God bless Texas. When compiling this list, I found so many of the theoretical stadium replacements were nearly serviceable by high school football fields. That’s insane, right? Anyway, Locomotive don’t have to settle for one of those, they’ve got the Sun Bowl, which had its capacity reduced in 2001 to a paltry 51,500 (from 52,000) specifically to accommodate soccer. Sure, it’s a turf surface, but what does new owner Paul Foster (who is only the 1,477th wealthiest man in the world, per Forbes) care, he’s got a team in a top league. Side note: Did you know that the Sun Bowl college football game is officially, through sponsorship, the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl? Why is it not the Frosted Flakes Sun Bowl? Why is the cereal mascot the promotional name of the football game? What are you doing, Kellogg’s? Candidate: Las Vegas Lights FC Location: Las Vegas, Nev. (2,227,053) Time zone: Pacific Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Allegiant Stadium (Grass, 61,000) Potential owner: Sheldon Adelson (reported net worth $37.7 billion) Notes: Sin City. You had to know that the club that once signed Freddy Adu because “why not” was going to go all out in our flashy hypothetical proposal. Thanks to my narrative control of this whole thing, they have. Adelson is the second-richest owner in the league and has decided to do everything first class. That includes using the new Raiders stadium in nearby unincorporated Paradise, Nevada, and spending boatloads on high profile transfers. Zlatan is coming back to the U.S., confirmed. Candidate: New Mexico United Location: Albuquerque, N.M. Time zone: Mountain Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Isotopes Park – officially Rio Grande Credit Union Field at Isotopes Park (Grass, 13,500 – 15,000 with expansion) Potential owner: Maloof Family (reported net worth $1 billion) Notes: New Mexico from its inception went deep on the community vibe, and I’ve tried to replicate that in this bid. The home field of Rio Grande Cr---I’m not typing out the whole thing—Isotopes Park falls just within the expansion rules we set to make it to 15,000 (weird, right?) and they’ve found a great local ownership group in the Lebanese-American Maloof (formerly Maalouf) family from Las Vegas. The only thing to worry about would be the metro population, but overall, this could be one of the gems of USL Prem. Candidate: Oklahoma City Energy FC Location: Oklahoma City, Okla. (1,396,445) Time zone: Central Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (Grass, 13,066) Potential owner: Harold Hamm (reported net worth $14.2 billion) Notes: There’s a bright golden haze on the meadow and it says it’s time to change stadiums and owners to make it to D1. A sale to oil magnate Harold Hamm would give the club the finances it needs, but Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (home of the OKC Dodgers) actually falls outside of the boundary of what would meet capacity if 1,500 seats were added. Could the club pull off a move to Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma – home of the Oklahoma Sooners? Maybe, but at 20 miles, this would be a reach. Candidate: Orange County SC Location: Irvine, Calif. (3,176, 000 in Orange County) Time zone: Pacific Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Angels Stadium of Anaheim (Grass, 43,250) Potential owner: Arte Moreno (reported net worth $3.3 billion) Notes: You’ll never convince me that Rangers didn’t choose to partner with Orange County based primarily on its name. Either way, a sale to MLB Angels owner Arte Moreno produces a fruitful partnership, with the owner choosing to play his newest club out of the existing Angels stadium in OC. Another baseball conversion, sure, but with a metro population of over 3 million and the closest thing this hypothetical league has to an LA market, who’s complaining? Candidate: Phoenix Rising FC Location: Phoenix, Ariz. (4,857,962) Time zone: Arizona Stadium (playing surface, capacity): State Farm Stadium (Grass, 63,400) Potential owner: Ernest Garcia II (reported net worth $5.7 billion) Notes: We’re keeping it local with new owner and used car guru Ernest Garcia II. His dad owned a liquor store and he dropped out of college, which is making me feel amazing about my life choices right now. Casino Arizona Field is great, but State Farm Stadium is a grass surface that hosted the 2019 Gold Cup semifinal, so it’s a clear winner. Throw in Phoenix’s massive metro population and this one looks like a lock. Candidate: Reno 1868 FC Location: Reno, Nev. (425,417) Time zone: Pacific Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Mackay Stadium (FieldTurf, 30,000) Potential owner: Nancy Walton Laurie (reported net worth $7.1 billion) Notes: The Biggest Little City on Earth has some serious barriers to overcome, thanks to its low metro population. A sale to Walmart heiress Nancy Walton Laurie and 1.6 mile-move to Mackay Stadium to split space with the University of Nevada, Reno makes this bid competitive, but the turf surface is another knock against it. Candidate: Rio Grande Valley FC Location: Edinburg, Texas (900,304) Time zone: Central Stadium (playing surface, capacity): McAllen Memorial Stadium (FieldTurf, 13,500 – 15,000 with expansion) Potential owner: Alice Louise Walton (reported net worth $45 billion) Notes: Yes, I have a second straight Walmart heiress on the list. She was the first thing that popped up when I googled “McAllen Texas richest people.” The family rivalry has spurred Walton to buy a club as well, moving them 10 miles to McAllen Memorial Stadium which, as I alluded to earlier, is a straight up high school football stadium with a full color scoreboard. Toss in an additional 1,500 seats and you’ve met the minimum, despite the turf playing surface. Candidate: San Antonio FC Location: San Antonio, Texas (2,550,960) Time zone: Central Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Alamodome (FieldTurf, 64,000) Potential owner: Red McCombs (reported net worth $1.6 billion) Notes: I wanted to keep SAFC in the Spurs family, since the franchise is valued at $1.8 billion. That said, I didn’t let the Rooneys own the Riverhounds based on the Steelers’ value and it felt wrong to change the rules, so bring on Clear Channel co-founder Red McCombs. Toyota Field isn’t viable in the first division, but for the Alamodome, which was built in 1993 in hopes of attracting an NFL franchise (and never did), San Antonio can finally claim having *a* national football league team in its town (contingent on your definition of football). Now if only we could do something about that turf… Candidate: San Diego Loyal SC Location: San Diego, Calif. (3,317,749) Time zone: Pacific Stadium (playing surface, capacity): SDCCU Stadium (formerly Qualcomm) (Grass, 70,561) Potential owner: Phil Mickelson (reported net worth $91 million) Notes: Yes, golf’s Phil Mickelson. The existing ownership group didn’t seem to have the wherewithal to meet requirements, and Phil seemed to slot right in. As an athlete himself, he might be interesting in the new challenges of a top flight soccer team. Toss in a move to the former home of the chargers and you might have a basis for tremendous community support. Candidate: FC Tulsa Location: Tulsa, Okla. (991,561) Time zone: Central Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Skelly Field at H.A. Chapman Stadium (FieldTurf, 30,000) Potential owner: George Kaiser ($10 billion) Notes: I’m a fan of FC Tulsa’s rebrand, but if they want to make the first division, more changes are necessary. A sale to Tulsa native and one of the 100 richest men in the world George Kaiser means that funding is guaranteed. A move to Chapman Stadium would provide the necessary seats, despite the turf field. While the undersize population might be an issue at first glance, it’s hard to imagine U.S. Soccer not granting a waiver over a less than a 10k miss from the mark. And that’s it! You made it. Those are all of the independent/hybrid affiliates in the USL Championship, which means that it’s time for our… VERDICT: As an expert who has studied this issue for almost an entire day now, I am prepared to pronounce which USL Championships could be most ‘ready” for a jump to the USL Prem. A reminder that of the 27 clubs surveyed, 0 of them met our ideal criteria (proper ownership $, metro population, 15,000+ stadium with grass field). Two of them, however, met almost all of those criteria: Indy Eleven and Miami FC. Those two clubs may use up two of our three available turf fields right from the outset, but the other factors they hit (particularly Silva’s ownership of Miami) makes them difficult, if not impossible to ignore for the top flight. But who fill in the rest of the slots? Meet the entire 14-team USL Premier League: Hartford Athletic Indy Eleven Louisville City FC Miami FC North Carolina FC Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC Tampa Bay Rowdies Saint Louis FC San Antonio FC New Mexico United Phoenix Rising FC Las Vegas Lights FC Orange County SC San Diego Loyal SC Now, I shall provide my expert rationale for each club’s inclusion/exclusion, which can be roughly broken down into four categories. Firm “yes” Hartford Athletic: It’s a good market size with a solid stadium. With a decent investor and good community support, you’ve got potential here. Indy Eleven: The turf at Lucas Oil Stadium is no reason to turn down a 62,421 venue and a metro population of over 2 million. Louisville City FC: Why doesn’t the 2017 & 2018 USL Cup champion deserve a crack at the top flight? They have the market size, and with a bit of expansion have the stadium at their own SSS. LCFC, you’re in. Miami FC, “The”: Our other blue-chip recruit on the basis of ownership value, market size and stadium capacity. Yes, that field is turf, but how could you snub Silva’s chance to claim victory as the first division 1 club soccer team to play in Miami? Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC: Pittsburgh sacrificed a lot to be here (according to my arbitrary calculations). Their market size and the potential boon of soccer at Heinz Field is an important inclusion to the league. Saint Louis FC: Willie hears your “Busch League” jokes, Willie don’t care. A huge market size, combined with the absence of an NFL franchise creates opportunity. Competition with the MLS side, sure, but St. Louis has serious soccer history and we’re willing to bet it can support two clubs. Tampa Bay Rowdies: With a huge population and a massive stadium waiting nearby, Tampa Bay seems like too good of an opportunity to pass up for the USL Prem. Las Vegas Lights FC: Ostentatious, massive and well-financed, Las Vegas Lights FC is everything that the USL Premier League would need to assert that it didn’t intend to play second fiddle to MLS. Players will need to be kept on a short leash, but this is a hard market to pass up on. Phoenix Rising FC: Huge population, big grass field available nearby and a solid history of success in recent years. No brainer. San Diego Loyal SC: New club? Yes, massive population in a market that recently lost an absolutely huge sports presence? Also yes. This could be the USL Prem’s Seattle. Cautious “yes” New Mexico United: You have to take a chance on New Mexico United. The club set the league on fire with its social media presence and its weight in the community when it entered the league last season. The market may be slightly under USSF’s desired 1 million, but fervent support (and the ability to continue to use Isotopes Park) shouldn’t be discounted. North Carolina FC: Carter-Finley’s mixed grass/turf surface is a barrier, to be sure, but the 57,000+ seats it offers (and being enough to offset other fully-turf offerings) is enough to put it in the black. Orange County SC: It’s a top-tier club playing in a MLB stadium. I know it seems unlikely that USSF would approve something like that, but believe me when I say “it could happen.” Orange County is a massive market and California likely needs two clubs in the top flight. San Antonio FC: Our third and only voluntary inclusion to the turf fields in the first division, we’re counting on San Antonio’s size and massive potential stadium to see it through. Cautious “no” Birmingham Legion FC: The town has solid soccer history and a huge potential venue, but the turf playing surface puts it on the outside looking in. Memphis 901 FC: Like Birmingham, not much to dislike here outside of the turf playing surface at the larger playing venue. Austin Bold FC: See the other two above. FC Tulsa: Everything’s just a little bit off with this one. Market’s slightly too small, stadium has turf. Just not enough to put it over the top. Firm “no” Charleston Battery: Small metro and a small potential new stadium? It’s tough to say yes to the risk. Charlotte Independence: A small new stadium and the possibility of having to compete with an organization that just paid over $300 million to join MLS means it’s best for this club to remain in the USL Championship. Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC: When a club’s best chance to meet a capacity requirement is to host games at a venue controlled by the military, that doesn’t speak well to a club’s chances. El Paso Locomotive FC: An undersized market and a turf field that meets capacity requirements is the death knell for this one. Oklahoma City Energy FC: Having to expand a baseball field to meet requirements is a bad start. Having to potentially play 20 miles away from your main market is even worse. Reno 1868 FC: Population nearly a half-million short of the federation’s requirements AND a turf field at the hypothetical new stadium makes impossible to say yes to this bid. Rio Grande Valley FC: All the seat expansions in the world can’t hide the fact that McAllen Memorial Stadium is a high school stadium through and through. Here’s who’s left in the 11-team Championship: Birmingham Legion FC Charleston Battery Charlotte Independence Memphis 901 FC Austin Bold FC Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC El Paso Locomotive FC Oklahoma City Energy FC Reno 1868 FC Rio Grande Valley FC FC Tulsa With MLS folding the six affiliates it has in USL League One, the league is a little bit thin (especially considering USSF’s requirements for 8 teams for lower level leagues), but seems definitely able to expand up to the necessary numbers with Edwards’ allusions to five new additions this year: Chattanooga Red Wolves SC Forward Madison FC Greenville Triumph SC Union Omaha Richmond Kickers South Georgia Tormenta FC Tucson Format of Assorted Leagues – This (like everything in this post) is pure conjecture on my part, but here are my thoughts on how these leagues might function in a first year while waiting for additional expansion. USL Premier – We’ll steal from the 12-team Scottish Premiership. Each club plays the other 11 clubs 3 times, with either one or two home matches against each side. When each club has played 33 matches, the top six and bottom six separate, with every club playing an additional five matches (against each other team in its group). The top club wins the league. The bottom club is automatically relegated. The second-bottom club will enter a two-legged playoff against someone (see below) from the championship playoffs. USL Championship -- 11 clubs is a challenge to schedule for. How about every club plays everyone else three times (either one or two home matches against each side)? Top four clubs make the playoffs, which are decided by two-legged playoffs. The winner automatically goes up. I need feedback on the second part – is it better to have the runner-up from the playoffs face the second-bottom club from the Premiership, or should the winner of the third-place match-up get the chance to face them to keep drama going in both playoff series? As for relegation, we can clearly only send down the last place club while the third division is so small. USL League One – While the league is so small, it doesn’t seem reasonable to have the clubs play as many matches as the higher divisions. Each club could play the other six clubs four times – twice at home and twice away – for a very equitable 24-match regular season, which would help restrict costs and still provide a chance to determine a clear winner. Whoever finishes top of the table goes up. And there you have it, a hypothetical look at how the USL could build a D1 league right now. All it would take is a new stadium for almost the entire league and new owners for all but one of the 27 clubs, who wouldn’t feel that their property would be massively devalued if they got relegated. Well that’s our show. I’m curious to see what you think of all of this, especially anything that you think I may have overlooked (I’m sure there’s plenty). Anyway, I hope you’re all staying safe and well.
Telling landlords to not accept black applications, to the extent of being sued by the DoJ and which identified a superintendent put the letter 'C' on applications of people of color so the office would know to reject them. source 2
Central Park 5 - repetitive accusing them of being criminals 12-17 years after DNA led to exoneration, all as justification for death penalty and police becoming more violent
Tried to buy out the Ground Zero Mosque "not because I think the location is a spectacular one [because it is not] but because it will end a very serious, inflammatory, and highly divisive situation that is destined, in my opinion, to only get worse."
Will not allow Hurricane Dorian refugees from the Bahamas because because they are full of “very bad gang members.”
Muslim ban (yes it was, it treated people differently based on religion)
Pardoning Joe Arpaio who was convicted of racial discrimination, expressly broke the law to target hispanics, arrested people for being hispanic without an actual criminal charge, and kept them in brutal prison conditions
Charlottesville apologetics of the neo-nazis - first said the problem was the left then "both sides" etc
Tweeted calling for the death penalty for Sayfullo Saipov, the Muslim who killed 8 with a truck along a Manhattan bike path. Yet he never said it for Dylann Roof, who killed 9 in a Charleston church even when Nikki Haley linked the rhetoric to him.
“I’ve got black accountants at Trump Castle and at Trump Plaza. Black guys counting my money,” Trump said, according to the 1991 biography. “I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day.” ... “I think that the guy is lazy. And it’s probably not his fault, because laziness is a trait in blacks. It really is, I believe that. It’s not anything they can control.”
“You’re not gonna support me even though you know I’m the best thing that could ever happen to Israel”...“And I know why you’re not going to support me. You’re not going to support me because I don’t want your money”...“You want to control your own politician.” and “Is there anyone in this room who doesn’t negotiate deals? Probably more than any room I’ve ever spoken.” source
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