Friday 31 March 2017

WWE Wrestlemania 33 : Predictions (Part II)

After putting up the predictions of the kickoff show (click here to read), here are my predictions for the main show.


Possibly the main event, Goldberg vs Brock Lesner
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The main show opens up to the music of Enzo and Cass, they trash talk and get the crowd pumped up. Now this is going to be a pretty good match. Expect it to be a 20+ minute affair. 

PREDICTION : ENZO & CASS are crowned the tag team champs for the first time, giving them a Wrestlemania moment.

SCENARIO 2 : GALLOWS & ANDERSON pick up the win, and feud with the Hardy boyz in the next Raw episode
EDIT : On an afterthought, I like the chances of scenario 2 happening more now, and the Hardy Boyz might actually make an appearance right after the match only.



I think this match must have been a street fight or something, and because it is not, I believe they will have another match in the next pay-per-view. The match itself will be pretty alright/good. 

PREDICTION : DEAN AMBROSE retains the IC title, but Corbin beats the hell out of him right after the match. This sets up their rematch in the next pay-per-view, which Corbin wins.

SCENARIO 2 : CORBIN defeats Dean, and that is the end-all to their rivalry. There is a slight chance of a disqualification victory for Corbin too, a brawl after the match, which sets up their second encounter. 


All factors point towards an in-ring proposal by John Cena after the match. This can be done irrespective of whether they win the match or lose it, but I think the WWE would want a happy end to the match.

PREDICTION : JOHN CENA & NIKKI BELLA win the match, the Miz and Maryse sneak attacks, John and team throw them out of the ring, and then John pops the question on his knees.

SCENARIO 2 : THE MIZ AND MARYSE win, Cena and Nikki are distraught, but they comfort each other and John pops the question on his knees.

4. NOTE : I just got to know that the WWE Smackdown Women's Championship match has been moved to the main show. How does it change the predictions? Well, now the chances are more that Sami Zayn actually wins the Battle Royal, but I'll still stick to my prediction of Strowman winning the thing. The main show will still probably be opened up by the ladder match, which means the Smackdown Women's title match will happen later (maybe match 4), which in turn means that Alexa Bliss should retain her title. If this is the first match on the show then chances of Naomi winning becomes really high, but I don't think that is going to happen. An outside chance of a surprise entrant too, but as it already is a six-pack challenge match, I don't know how they might accommodate someone else in the match. Maybe one of the woman get attacked by a 'mystery woman' and the attacker replaces her in the match. Kelly Kelly or Asuka might be a good surprise. Let us see though.


I know anything can happen, but AJ HAS to win this. He is a far superior wrestler and a Shane victory will be of no consequence at all. It might be a better match than people initially thought, and Shane might jump off a rollercoaster or something, but AJ HAS to win!

PREDICTION : AJ STYLES reverses a Shane McMahon high risk move and defeats him.

SCENARIO 2 : SHANE picks up the win by diving off the rollercoaster. Unlikely, but possible. Outside chance of Kurt Angle making an appearance in this match. Angle might be Raw GM, and AJ might be heading over to Raw soon, so they might sow some seeds of their rivalry here.


Will be really interesting to see how WWE book this match
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Many people hate that this match was even created, but I like the fact that the outcome is pretty unpredictable. If Reigns beats the Undertaker and becomes the man to retire him, he will be the most hated person in the entire roster. If a friendly handshake ensues after the match and Reigns walks out a face, people will boo the crap out of Wrestlemania 33. So I'm assuming they won't do that.

PREDICTION : The chances are less that this will happen but I say The UNDERTAKER will beat Reigns, and they will go for a handshake, but Reigns will turn heel and beat the crap out of the Undertaker.

SCENARIO 2 : REIGNS wins the match, disrespects the Undertaker and throws him out of the ring to show that it is his yard, turns heel.



A match I am pretty excited about.. Jericho vs Owens
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One of the best built up feuds in a long time, this match might be to absorb all the boos and 'CM Punk' chants spilling over from the last match. Jericho walks out to a huge pop, then Owens. They have a stare down in the ring, and go for an all out brawl to begin the match. The interference of Samoa Joe looks inevitable to me, so I say, he comes out to help Owens, Jericho fights all odds but eventually succumbs, and Owens and Joe beat the crap out of Jericho.

PREDICTION : KEVIN OWENS becomes the new US champion, and beat up Jerciho after the match with the help of Samoa Joe.

: CHRIS JERICHO overcomes all odds and an interference by Joe, and beats Owens, but get decimated by Joe and Owens after the match.



I don't see Charlotte or Nia Jax winning this, so I suppose it is going to be Sasha and Bayley being the final two competitors. Now this has a heel-turn written all over it, but I'm going to take a brave call here. Instead of the more anticipated Banks heel turn, Bayley turns heel. Why? Because her good-girl image isn't working with the crowd anymore. And she has every reason to turn on Sasha because she is irritated that she is looking weak because Sasha comes out to save her everytime. She needs to prove that she can do it on her own, so she cheats to win (or maybe not), and attacks Sasha after the match. At least I'll be more interested to see why did she do that on the following episode of Raw.

PREDICTION : BAYLEY retains the Raw Women's title, but turns heel on Sasha. Which might eventually lead to a Charlotte face turn, but probably not right now.

SCENARIO 2 : BAYLEY wins, Sasha celebrates with her, but turns heel next Monday, starting a new feud. Or Sasha cheats to win and starts a new feud.


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The entire match is going to be focused on Rollins' knee, so expect lots of chair, crutch, pipe shots on it. This match again, warrants a Samoa Joe interference, and possibly Owens' too. But here is what I think will happen. Jericho comes out looking for some revenge, neutralises the attack, by virtue of which Rollins wins the match. Then an all out attack on Jericho and Rollins ensues. After what seems like an eternity, Finn Balor's music hits, and he runs down to confront Joe and Owens. So in the next night on Raw, Jericho and Balor (Rollins will probably be out for a few months due to injury) will start a new rivalry with the new faction of Triple H, Owens and Joe.

PREDICTION : ROLLINS beats TRIPLE H, after Jericho thwarts an attack by Joe and Owens. After the match, the trio beat up Jericho and Rollins, but Balor comes out to their aid.

SCENARIO 2 : TRIPLE H beats Rollins with the help of Joe, and possibly Owens.



(image courtesy :

The big debate is whether this match will be the main event of the show, or will it be Goldberg vs Lesner. Technically the winner of the Royal Rumble main events Wrestlemania, which in this case is Randy Orton. But I suspect it will be the second last match of the night.
Anyway, I really want Wyatt to win this one, but seems more likely that Orton will take this win. Expect a few face/heel turns, be it from these two, Luke Harper, or possibly a returning Erick Rowan. I hope this match provides something more in terms of storyline, some big revelation perhaps, which would take this rivalry beyond Mania.

PREDICTION : I'll be bold and say that Wyatt beats Orton. No, WWE won't end the show with two heel champions. So ORTON beats Wyatt with the help of Harper and Rowans, and Wyatt might have a face turn in the next episode of Smackdown.

SCENARIO 2 : WYATT beats Orton with the help of Rowan. Rowan makes a return when Luke Harper tries to attack Bray and beats up Harper, and gives the advantage to Bray.



This is one of the few matches of which I'm sure who the victor is going to be. The match might be less than 10 minutes long.

PREDICTION : After like 5 minutes into the match, Goldberg spears and Jackhammers Lesnar. Lesnar kicks out. Goldberg goes for another spear, Lesnar counters, gives Goldy an F5. He kicks out. A second F5, kicks out again. A third, 1..2..3 over. LESNAR is the new Universal champion.

SCENARIO 2 : The result isn't going to be any different, but it may vary on how it might end. I don't want to think much more. What do you think?

So here are my predictions for the biggest night of the year, Wrestlemania 33. Agree, disagree, or would like to add something, feel free to comment below. Have a great day folks! Wish you a great Wrestlemania!

WWE Wrestlemania 33 : Predictions (Part I)

Alright, this is a first for me. I have never written anything about World Wrestling Entertainment, and never thought I ever would. I'm not even a big follower of the show, and have only been watching it for the last 3 months or so.

It all started way back in 2002 when I thought WWE was real. Being a 12 year old, it was all so fascinating. I would always get annoyed when a 'bad guy' would cheat and win, and became ecstatic when a 'good guy' would finally get his revenge. Edge vs Kurt Angle in a hair-vs-hair match is one first matches I remember watching, and it was really funny when Kurt Angle got his hair shaved off after he lost; don't think I would've been that happy if Edge had lost.

Board exams, then going to a TV-free place after my 12th, and the realisation that it was all fake, got me off wrestling completely by early 2007. A decade later, I randomly tuned into watch Royal Rumble 2017, and now I am hooked to the show again. Only this time, I know it is not real but just entertainment, and the storylines and booking decisions makes so much more sense to me.

So like a tennis pundit, I'll try my hands on predicting the outcome of WWE matches. For which event? Of course Wrestlemania 33, which is equivalent to say, 'Wimbledon' in the world of wrestling. For WWE fans in India, let me mention that the kickoff (pre) show will air on Ten 2 and Ten 1 HD, live at 2:30 AM on the 3rd of April. The main show will be aired from 4:30 AM.

So let me start off with my predictions for each match one by one, with a brief on how the matches will be booked, who wins, and if I'm wrong, what is the most likely 'scenario 2'.




The current WWE Smackdown Women's champion, Alexa Bliss
(image courtesy :

Probably it is Naomi who kicks off Wrestlemania in her hometown, coming out to a massive pop, followed by the other women. It is a six-pack challenge match, which I guess means that all the 6 women brawl it out till the first woman to get a pinfall or submission wins the match.

WWE Smackdown Women's Championship' by pinning Natalya

SCENARIO 2 : NAOMI wins the title, as it is her hometown, and they usually prefer a face-win to kick off the show. But I feel if that was the case, they would have kept Naomi's comeback a surprise till Wrestlemania. As she had her moment on Smackdown last week, I think she won't win the title.

EDIT : I wrote this article before the WWE Smackdown Women's Championship match was moved to the main show. My prediction remains the same about the outcome, except now, things might get a little twist. Read about it in Part II of my prediction post.



(image courtesy :

This might be one of the best matches of the night, fast-paced, electric and high-flying. Both of them are good wrestlers, but Neville needs to win this encounter. Aries will probably get his hands on the title too, but he might have to wait till somewhere around Extreme rules or Summerslam. The match might end in a submission, as both of them picked up their respective victories in the go-home show by submission, but it might just make Aries look weaker if he loses by submission, so I'm going for a pinfall victory.

: NEVILLE retains the 'WWE Cruiserweight Championship' by pinfall.

SCENARIO 2 : Let me make a bold call and say that it might end in a double countout, or crazier still, a double submission or something. Ok, a double submission is a bit too much, but WWE maybe would want to protect Austin Aries too, so no-result might be a good possibility.


(image courtesy :

30 men are taking part in this match, though the only men of significance are Braun Strowman, The Big Show and Sami Zayn. It will be a shocker if Braun Strowman doesn't decimate everyone else and wins this one. Sami Zayn is slowly getting buried on Raw, playing a 'jobber' to Owens, Samoa Joe and the likes, and if the creatives have any sort of love for the guy, he should be the second last man standing in the ring. This also marks Big Show's farewell Wrestlemania, so expect him to play an important role. I feel he will have a one-on-one showdown with Strowman at some point in the match, and Strowman will eventually eliminate him or something.

PREDICTION : BRAUN STROWMAN wins by eliminating at least 8-9 guys

SCENARIO 2 : SAMI ZAYN wins by eliminating Strowman in the end.

EDIT : Now that the WWE Smackdown Women's championship match has been moved to the main show, I think the Battle Royal will begin the kickoff show. And now, the chances of Sami Zayn winning by scenario 2 is much more likely. Also, his music will probably kickoff the show.

Now the problem with my predictions so far is that I have picked heels (bad guys/girls) to win all three matches, which is a very unlikely scenario. Unless, they make it up by a flurry of face victories in the main show, which tallies with my set of predictions for the main show.
Click here to check out Part II

Wednesday 29 March 2017

Postcards from Sri Lanka : The ruins of Anuradhapura

During my office trip to Sri Lanka back in 2014, Anuradhapura was the first taste of a tourist destination for us. It was the 30th of November, and we reached Anuradhapura at around noon after an hour and half's drive from Dambula.

Anuradhapura was an ancient city, probably inhabited since the 10th century B.C., but it became a great city around the 3rd century B.C., when a branch of a Buddhist fig tree (Bodhi tree), or the 'tree of enlightenment' was introduced here. The city flourished around it for 1300 years, until an invasion in 993 A.D. led to its abandonment. The ruins lay hidden in thick jungles for centuries, till it was rediscovered in the 19th century.

During the span when Anuradhapura flourished, it saw a 'Golden Age of building', when some of the tallest buildings in the ancient world were built here. The Jetavanaramaya dagoba is still one of the tallest brick structures in the world. Apart from that, the Ruwanwelisaya stupa and the Abhayagiri dagoba are pretty big structures too, underlining the high level of architecture and engineering attained by the civilization, millennia from today. We also visited the Sri Maha Boodhi temple, where the part of the Bodhi tree still stands more than 2000 years after it was brought here. The place is flocked by pilgrims, most of them deep in meditation. 

Jetavanaramaya dagoba

Ruwanwelisaya stupa

Samadhi statue

Abhayagiri dagoba

A structure right next to the Abhayagiri dagoba  

To be honest, we did not quite enjoy Anuradhapura as much as it was hyped. I have been to the ruins of Mandu (Madhya Pradesh), Lothal (Gujarat), the former capital cities of Patan (Gujarat), Shivsagar (Assam), and the century-old structures of Delhi and Ahmedabad to name a few. Anuradhapura didn't seem much different either; ruins of an old city in a complex.

But after coming back home and reading up on it, Anuradhapura intrigues me more than ever before.
 Now that I know the story of what happened here so many years ago, I think I can relate to the place much better. I would not go just to look around at the ruins, but to stand and breathe in the same place, which was dwelled by learned men two millenia ago, gaining enlightenment under the sacred Bodhi tree. The ruins would not chunks of brick for me anymore, but it will have a story weaved in its patterns, of the life lived here so long ago.

How was your experience of Anuradhapura? If you haven't been there, would you like a trip to Anuradhapura? Feel free to comment below.

Hope you like the post. Have a great day. See you again on Saturday. Cheers!

Saturday 25 March 2017

Postcards from Assam : The Geese of Jorpukhuri, Guwahati

The last time I visited my hometown, Guwahati, was back in 2016, in the month of March. It was my brother's wedding and there were numerous ceremonies happening every other day. I was unfamiliar with almost all of them.

On the day of the wedding, all the available women from the groom's side would go to a nearby lake in the morning, to collect water. I accompanied them because I had to drive them to Jorpukhuri, the lake from where they would collect water. I had nothing else to do there, so once everyone went to some nearby temple (to pray, perhaps), I whipped out my camera, and started clicking the only interesting objects in the vicinity; a gaggle of geese.

The following photographs are of geese, and geese only; none of my usual uploads of hills and forests and nature. But I find geese elegant, yet amusing and cute. So I thought why not change it up a bit and post something happy this time? So here they are.

Hope you enjoyed the post. 
Have a great day and an awesome weekend! 

Wednesday 22 March 2017

Postcards from Sri Lanka : Sigiriya rock

Located 5-10 kilometers from Dambulla, Sigiriya, a UNESCO World heritage site, is the most visited site in Sri Lanka. I visited Sigiriya on the 1st of December, back in 2015. It was one of various places I had been to during my 8 day stay in Sri Lanka. Click here for a detailed account of my trip.

My colleagues and I (it was an office trip) reached Sigiriya around noon. Sri Lanka doesn't really have cold winters and the sun was glaring at us from the heavens. We still decided to go ahead with it though.

The former palace and fortress stands atop an imposing 200 meter rock. The Sigiriya complex has beautiful gardens, which are pretty old too. The steps start from the gardens, and continues right to the top. There are around 1200 of them (I tried to keep track initially, but lost count midway). The steps got steeper and narrower, the higher we went.

About halfway through the climb, we look out into the distance, and we could hardly believe that we had made our way this far up. The view was already magical.

View from somewhere midway up the rock
The dry linear patch is where the gardens are. That's where our climb started.

On the way to the top, there is a mirror wall (a highly reflective wall, where you can see a faint reflection of yourself), the famous frescoes on the stone walls, and a pair of lion's paws. It is a wonder how the people in ancient times made such a climb and created wonderful pieces of art at such heights.

Frescoes on the rocks

A set of lion's paws just before we reach the top

As seen above, the steps towards the latter end of the climb
 is more of narrow, metal staircases,
 as opposed to the initial wider, stone steps. 

The tiring 35 minute climb was worth it though. The view from the top was breath-taking! I enjoyed the view for about a full hour, but I got hungry and had to come down after that. 

Sigiriya, for me, is a must see if you ever go to Sri Lanka. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The climb isn't that taxing, but once you scale it, it makes you feel like you earned the right to enjoy the spectacular view from the top. I would definitely want to go there again.

Does this post tempt you to keep Sigiriya in your bucketlist? For the ones who have been here, how was your experience of Sigiriya? Do you have any interesting stories to share? Feel free to comment below.

I post photographs from my travels every Wednesday and Saturday. See you on the 25th then with some more travel motivation! Have a great day!

Saturday 18 March 2017

Postcards from Sri Lanka : A stroll in the beach in Colombo

Ever since I completed my higher secondary education and had moved out my hometown, Guwahati, I have traveled a fair bit. But till a couple of years ago, I had only been to different places in India. My acquaintance with foreign soil was only through photographs on Google.

All that changed back in November 2015, when my boss decided to take all his employees to a trip to Sri Lanka, to attend his wedding celebrations there. Click here to read about my experiences in Sri Lanka.

We stayed in Sri Lanka for a total of 8 days. The wedding celebrations were supposed to take place on the first three days in Colombo, and then we would head out to Dambula. 
We hardly stepped out of the hotel because of all the fancy lunches and dinners we attended, after which we would find peace in bed. The only exception was on the second day, when we found a couple of hours to chill at the beach. We were put up in Taj Vivanta and the beach is right across the road.

At around 4 PM that evening (28th of November), we decided to awaken the children in us just a little bit! We bought a couple of kites and ran riot in the beach, trying to keep them flying. The breeze was very soothing, and the experience was quite surreal. It was quiet, peaceful and serene, all the ingredients for a perfect evening at the beach. I do not know how pictures will do justice to the experience we had that day, but hopefully it comes close.

Though we were there only for a couple hours, it had to be one of the highlights of our long stay in the island nation. I will put up more pictures of my trip there on Wednesday. Have a great day, folks!

Wednesday 15 March 2017

Postcards from Andaman : The beaches of Havelock

After spending the better part of the day hopping beaches in Neil island, it was time to take a 1 hour ferry ride to Havelock, one of the most popular destinations in Andaman. I and my entire family were really tired by the time we reached Havelock. It was around 4:30 PM on the 17th of November 2014, when we checked into our hotel. It was located right next to the beach, so my brother and I dropped our luggage in our rooms, and straightaway went for a swim. We came back half and hour later and freshened up. Next thing I remember was waking up for dinner a few hours later.

I woke up at around 6 AM the next morning to chill by the beach, and took some photographs. It was quite a lazy morning, perhaps because sitting by the beach was so fulfilling in itself. After having breakfast, we headed off to Elephant beach in a ferry. 

First up was underwater walking. We had gone for a scuba dive 2 days ago in North Bay, Port Blair, but I enjoyed this one more. We just had a huge glass bubble on our heads for air, and we were standing on the sea bed. There were fishes galore, and we also fed them crumbs. They would nibble on our fingers, and it was a surreal feeling. I really enjoyed it.

I also went for a jet ski ride, snorkeling and a banana boat ride, and had a gala time there. I unfortunately do not have many pictures of all that, as I kept my camera inside the bag for almost the entire duration, deciding to enjoy the moment more than clicking pictures. Actually not really. It was because I was in the water almost the entire time and I did not want to touch my camera with wet hands.

We took the ferry back, pretty tired from all the fun and frolic. But we had Radhanagar beach to cover. I was not that excited about it, but decided to go anyway. And I'm so happy I did. It is the best beach ever! The waves are gentle and a swim there was so refreshing. We stayed there till sundown and headed back to the hotel.

Havelock truly live up to my expectations. I had a great time there, and would go there again if I get a chance. We stayed there the night and left for Port Blair the next morning in a ferry. For a detailed account of my Andaman trip, click here.

Visit again on Saturday for more travel photographs. Hope you enjoyed these. Have a great day! 

Saturday 11 March 2017

Postcards from Andaman : Neil Island

During my trip to Andaman with my family back in 2014, we made our way to Neil island on the 17th of November from Port Blair. It takes about 2 hours by ferry, and we reached the island at about 7:30 in the morning. We had a quick breakfast nearby and left for Laxmanpur beach 2. 

The main attraction in this beach is the 'natural bridge', which is basically a rock formation resembling a bridge. This involves a 5-10 minute walk through dead corals, and is kind of a trudge, which some might find a tad difficult.

As can be seen here, the walk up to the natural bridge is somewhat rocky and full of dead corals

The natural bridge in Laxmanpur beach 2

View of the ocean from the Laxmanpur beach 2

Around half and hour later, we made our way towards Bharatpur beach. This is a slightly more commercialized beach, and there were plenty of boats offering glass-bottomed boat rides. The idea is take us a little far away from the shore and through clear glass at the bottom of the boat (as the name clearly suggests), we would get to see fishes and corals. We went for one such ride, and it was pretty good.

Even though there were people and boats at the beach, it was quite peaceful. We lay there for a long time, enjoying the cool breeze. 

Bharatpur beach

We made our way to the last of the beaches at Neil island, called the Sitapur beach at around noon. There was nobody at the beach and everything seemed so calm and relaxed. We hardly spent half and hour there though, and made our way back to the dock from where we started on Neil island, as we had a ferry to catch to go to Havelock island.

Sitapur beach

Neil island is just about an hour's ferry ride from Havelock, which is one of the most popular destinations in Andaman. Even though Neil island is all about the 3 beaches I've mentioned, they are all unique, and worth visiting on a trip to Andaman. The water is almost cyan, the bluest I've ever seen in any place. For a detailed account of my entire trip to Andaman, click here.

I have many more travel stories and photographs to share. I'll be posting again next Wednesday. Have a great day!