Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Hey Yo...

For years the men in my family have greeted one another with a deep-voiced, "Hey yo..." in an homage to none other than Scott Hall.  Often a "chico" is delivered after a pregnant pause. 

Here's why I share this though and that is because this greeting has been modified for my children.  Typically it goes like this:

Me:  Hey yo...

Kids:  CHICO!

It's one of those dumb little things families do, but it amuses me.  It's like a secret handshake between me and my kids.  My four year old daughter ran towards the door as I left for work yesterday while screaming, "HEY YO...CHICO!"

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Sting's WWE Network Appearance

Obviously you've already heard about the Stinger making a brief appearance on Warrior Week's Greatest Matches tribute to the Ultimate Warrior.  This was the special that aired Tuesday night on WWE Network.  While not a huge deal or even necessarily a sign that Sting is officially coming to WWE in any capacity it was a cool moment.  If you haven't heard or watched it yet he basically told a very brief and odd story about Warrior.

The story goes that Ultimate Warrior took tuna fish and orange juice (tasty, right?) put it in a blender and drank it.  Once he was done he said, "I just got my protein and Vitamin C ALL AT ONCE!"

Funny story, nauseating concoction.  No matter if it means anything long term as it relates to Sting and WWE it was good to see him in something other than archive footage on WWE Network.

As an aside here is the message that shared from Warrior's widow, Dana.  Classy message.  No matter how you feel about Warrior you have to feel for a family that is dealing with something like this I would think.  Her touching on how they dealt with and felt about the Ultimate Memorial on RAW was interesting and heartbreaking. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

RAW Review: Ultimate Memorial

Last night's RAW opened up to quite a touching scene with their tribute to Ultimate Warrior with full 10 bell salute.  That scene right there is one of the reasons I really dislike using the 10 bell salute in angles and such.  The video was top notch too.  As a father hearing Warrior speak about the importance of raising his daughters really spoke to me.  While I certainly appreciate why some bristle at honoring Warrior to this degree in light of his controversial nature.  In this instance I am able to separate the man from the wrestling legend however and I have enjoyed the tributes.  For one thing it's always nice to see an industry that often chews up and spits out its talent take a moment to pay respects like they have.

As for the rest of the show I enjoyed it.  It certainly helps that I'm a huge tourney mark and the idea of having a tournament to choose a number one contender for the Intercontinental Title is pretty cool.  The matches themselves delivered as did the possible injury aspect of the Sheamus match.  Cesaro and Heyman are quite a pairing, but I do hope our Swiss Superman is going to get some theme music before too long.

The reformation of Evolution is obviously the big point here alongside the impending resurrection of masked Kane.  The beatdown on The Shield was a bit too slow for my tastes and I didn't care for the 11 on 3 handicap match stipulation, but hearing Evolution's underrated theme song and seeing Triple H, Orton and Batista walk down was a nice moment.  Leaving The Shield laying made for a good visual as well especially as they taunted Roman Reigns.  One thing of note was I saw some complaints about The Shield jumping Orton and Batista.  I think what people need to keep in mind is that you kind of have to have The Shield continue to deal Shield Things as it were.  Beyond that not everything is really black hat and white hat in this day and age.  Faces with an edge make perfect sense to me.  To present The Shield in any other light would probably kill the magic.  As for Kane I'm glad we are seeing a return of the mask.  To me, this is what I wanted to see when he joined The Authority.  Not Kane as a corporate stooge, but monster Kane who is willing to be given orders by The Authority.  Nice video package to setup his return too.

It was a solid RAW with a very emotional opening segment as they paid tribute to yet another legend gone too soon.  Not a lot to complain about from what I recall and I'm looking forward to Extreme Rules.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Vacation Is Over: WrestleMania XXX, WWE Network, Ultimate Warrior and the RAW after Mania

Got back in town from St. Augustine, Florida on Saturday.  We spent 8 days and 7 nights down there at the beach and it really was a cool trip.  Anyhow, I'm back and ready to discuss some wrestling.  Instead of stretching this brain dump into several different posts I figure I will put it all here.

WrestleMania XXX--This show delivered in a big way.  When you can legitimately question whether they went over the top in putting Daniel Bryan over you know that WWE did right by him.  The Authority deserves a ton of credit for going out of their way to make Bryan look as good as possible. 

It wasn't a match, but one of the coolest moments on the show was Hulk Hogan opening the show and then having "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and The Rock join him.  Even Hogan's confusion over Detroit's Silverdome and New Orleans's Superdome ended up OK because it gave the three legends something to joke about in the ring.  Really cool moment and it was great to see all three together even though they weren't active participants in the show. 

Cesaro dumping Big Show the way he did was simply amazing.  The whole concept of that battle royal is cool.  Having Hogan endorse an Andre the Giant battle royal is a neat touch to add to WrestleMania now that Hogan is back home. 

The show would have been perfect in my mind had Bray Wyatt beaten John Cena.  I understand why they didn't pull the trigger, but I think you would have more interesting storylines coming out of Mania with a Wyatt win than you did with Cena taking the match.

Last, but certainly not least you had Brock the Conquerer put an end to Undertaker's WrestleMania Streak.  It takes a lot to shock me in general and even more to shock me on a wrestling show, but this one did it.  I was confident that Taker would retire with The Streak intact.  When the referee counted three and the match was over that crowd was eerily quiet as was I.  I couldn't believe what I had seen.  I really wonder if he's done.  If so, he's done a heck of a job making The Streak meaningful and deserves a ton of credit for the work he's done at WrestleMania these last few years.

WWE Network--Being on vacation gave me a true test of WWE Network's capabilities.  I watched it on an iPad with some external speakers hooked up and I had maybe three instances of lag over the condo's wireless.  I was ready for a big Network failure, but was pleasantly surprised with the performance for an event as big as WrestleMania.

Ultimate Warrior--While I didn't think Warrior looked great at the Hall of Fame or especially on RAW Monday night I could not believe when I woke up to the news that he had passed away.  With Warrior I have to say it is one of those situations where I am able to separate his controversial statements with his on-screen character.  He was a big part of my fandom as a kid.  Heading into WrestleMania VI I was firmly in his corner for example.  His passing feels like yet another small part of my childhood passing away.

Thoughts and prayers with his family.

RAW after Mania--Good show, but not mind-blowing.  I think it was a victim of my expectations more than anything.  One takeaway is that I wouldn't mind seeing an Evolution reunion with Triple H, Batista and Orton or at least just Orton and Batista.  That would work for me.  I'm hoping tonight's show keeps my attention better.  I am curious about the Warrior memorial aspect of it.  We will see.

Conclusion--It's been a wild couple of weeks.  Hopefully WWE keeps up the solid work and the positive momentum as we move out of WrestleMania season.  Keeping Daniel Bryan looking good as champion would go a long way in that regard.  The new talent infusion looks promising as well. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Undertaker Bores Me

Here's the thing.  I don't really dislike Undertaker.  Like most fans I think The Streak is a great WrestleMania tradition.  The Streak adds a ton to the card and Taker always busts his butt out there. 

My problem isn't with any of that.  My problem is that the build to what his basically become his only match of the year is practically a channel changer for me.  I don't know if it's because I feel like there isn't any way he'll lose at WrestleMania or what, but I do not care about the build to his match at all.  I haven't for years it seems.

The two Shawn Michaels builds were pretty good, but for the most part they just aren't that interesting to me.  That great moment that everyone went nuts about where Triple H silently challenged Taker?  Yeah, not that cool in my opinion. 

Ultimately, I guess it's just the nature of the gimmick and all, but Taker's promos bore me and that hurts the build to his big match.  I'm confident the match will live up to the hype, but I don't care anything about seeing him on RAW .  Not even a little.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Washington Post Interviews Roman Reigns

The Washington Post ran a brief interview with WWE and The Shield's Roman Reigns.  He touches on some interesting aspects of his path from college football as a member of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets to becoming a WWE SuperStar. I love his answer about seeking individual success.
You’re experiencing team success, but you’ve had individual moments that stand out. You keep getting mentioned as a main eventer and future champion. Where do you see this going?

I’ve always pictured myself being in the main event. It’s always been my expectation to be the top guy, the face of the company, the one with all of that responsibility. But that should be everybody’s goal. I didn’t get into this to just be in the middle of the pack. If you want to do that, go work in a different line of work. This isn’t the place to camouflage yourself. I’m trying to be the most exotic animal on this safari.
Another point of interest was why he wasn't given or you could say saddled with the stereotypical wild Samoan gimmick.
When you turned to wrestling, you didn’t go with a Samoan name, character or outfit, as so many from your family have. Was that your decision?

It was a process. Of course, immediately the thought was: “He’s Samoan, so let’s run with that.” But then I think they saw my personality, being more of a cultured guy, going to college, playing ball, things like that, just the kind of guy I am, you know, just be me — don’t try and focus on a nationality or an ethnicity or anything like that. Just be myself.
The entire interview is worth a look. Like I said it is fairly short too. It is always good to see these guys get some mainstream pub.

Hot Take: Bobby Heenan is a Genius

Obviously this isn't a hot take, but rather an obvious one.  While watching WWE Network and seeing a ton of classic Heenan helps remind you exactly how brilliant he was whenever he was in front of the camera.

 I mean without even getting into the one-liners you have the absolute silliness of him riding the camel backwards into Caesar's Palace at WrestleMania IX or trying to check out the ladies at WCW Beach Blast '95.

As far as great lines go his reaction before and after Shawn Michaels turned his back on Marty Jannetty is up there.  Heenan's commentary is absolutely hilarious every time I watch it. 

Anyhow, watching all this Heenan has reminded me of his greatness. Listen for it when you're watching old WWE and WCW programming. The Brain really was the best.

Upload Credit: hvcswrestlingshow

Monday, March 24, 2014

Starrcade '84: Dusty vs Flair for the NWA Title

Thanks to the wonderful thing that is WWE Network I just watched Starrcade '84 for the first time.  I had seen parts of many Starrcades via YouTube or renting them at Key Video in Fayetteville, GA when I was a kid.  I honestly don't believe I had ever seen a single thing from Starrcade '84 until today though.

The show was honestly not terribly exciting in general, but the main event was inexplicable.  I shouldn't say that I guess.  I'm sure it doesn't take a lot to figure out what was going on behind-the-scenes to give us a finish like that, but it was bad.  I'll save spoilers for after the jump....

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Earliest Known Footage of Andre the Giant?

One of the good folks over on WCMB shared this one today.  Really cool footage of a young Andre the Giant at only 19 years of age.

Crazy to see how different he looks back then before the disease had really started to take its toll...

Upload Credit: Andre the Giant

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The WWE Hall of Fame Is NOT Just for WWE SuperStars

Just posted this sort of ran on WCMB.  It amazes me that people haven't gotten over this yet.
I'm not sure why so many people are still hung up on the idea that you had to have a WWE run to end up in the WWE HOF. That's clearly not the case and it baffles me that people still cling to that misguided notion. It is readily apparent that WWE is not interested in sticking to that criteria and I think they should be applauded for that.

Beyond that arguing about who is or isn't deserving to get into their HOF is an exercise in futility. They are going to induct who they want under whatever circumstances they choose. My suggestion is to just watch the ceremony and the induction videos and enjoy it for what it is.
Seriously, if you're still hung up on this I think you really need to "DEAL. WITH. IT."*

*Please read this as if Batista is saying it. Thank you.