Thursday, July 24, 2014

WWE SDCC Coverage

The biggest news today was The Man Called Sting dropping in on the Q&A and the unveiling of a Mattel Basic Sting figure. has images of the slides shown during the Mattel WWE presentation and there's a ton of quality stuff coming our way including 80's Hulk Hogan, JYD, Razor Ramon, Adam Rose, Rusev and Lana, and "The Inspirational" Bo Dallas.  The new hair sculpt for Daniel Bryan is absolutely perfect by the way.  His WrestleMania XXX Elite figure is being added to the "must buy" list.  I'll have more later on all of this, but it's an exciting time to be a fan of wrestling figures.

Here's a gallery of the Mattel display which includes shots of that Sting figure along with Daniel Bryan in Wyatt gear and some of the others I mentioned.

Exciting times, indeed.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Realism in Wrestling

Lately I've just found my self completely annoyed with the level of discourse surrounding pro-wrestling.  It's gotten so bad that I often struggle with even Tweeting during shows because I honestly just get irritated with reading a lot of the stuff out there.  It's not that people disagree with me that bothers me.  It's the specific types of criticisms I see.  It's the nitpicking that drives me crazy.

Most of it centers right around the idea of "realism."

The latest specific example is that Stephanie McMahon's arrest segment wasn't realistic.  Who freaking cares?  It was well done in my opinion.  It wasn't over-the-top corny and Stephanie didn't go full ham or anything.  The way it started was interesting in that it wasn't even the focus of the show.  Then as it went on with her employee and her pleading with the officer it got more interesting.  As the crowd realized what was happening they really got into it and they built this ringside happening into a really hot segment.

The fact is that while I appreciate a certain level of realism in my wrestling it is still meant to be dramatic.  You know what?  Sometimes realism is boring.  Sometimes realism doesn't make for good TV.  I just think the obsession with watching a wrestling show and criticizing every little thing due to a lack of realism is beyond tired.

If it's entertaining and makes sense in context that is good enough for me. 

Sometimes, "That's wrestling!" is good enough for me.  Honestly, I think a lot of you'd enjoy the show more if you could just adopt a similar mindset.  

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose

Let me start by saying that I enjoy both guys tremendously, but it seems that there is a certain amount of discussion online about which guy is really the bigger star or has the bigger upside.

For me, the discussion typically hinges on whether people saw Ambrose as Jon Moxley prior to his WWE arrival.  Those folks are pretty adamant that Ambrose is the real deal.

On the other hand, you have the camp that says Roman Reigns is the one with the star look and the true "It Factor."  I fall more in that camp, but can certainly see that Ambrose also has a ton of potential especially now that he's no longer bound by The Shield gimmick.

Neither side is wrong really because like I said I think both guys can be franchise players for WWE.  I do think that Roman Reigns is at least a tick above Ambrose though.  One reason for this is that he captures your attention by simply being onscreen.  He doesn't have to do anything or say anything and you can tell that guy looks like a star.  To that point I got Dad to watch wrestling with me while we were in Alabama this weekend.  We watched the UniversalHD replays of RAW and SmackDown. When Reigns first appeared the conversation went like this:
  • Dad:  Who's that?
  • Me: That's Roman Reigns, the guy who played at Georgia Tech I told you about.
  • Dad:  He's pretty cool.  He looks like he'd be a big deal.  
That's just an anecdote and doesn't  prove anything, but it does speak to Reigns' "It Factor" I think.  Now in fairness he asked about Ambrose and I mentioned that some say he's kind of working a Roddy Piper/Terry Funk/Dick Slater vibe and he said, "I can see that" and dug that as well.

The point here is that while both guys have definite star potential I really do think Reigns has a bit of a leg up on Ambrose.  That look and that innate charisma are a large part of it.

"Believe in Roman Reigns." 

Monday, July 21, 2014

New Falcons Stadium: "It's Coming!"

I didn't tag this with the FFA tag because as you see one of the events they are "promising" is another WrestleMania. I sure hope it happens. I had a blast at WrestleMania 27 and that was an honest to goodness Bucket List item especially to see one in my hometown. That stadium looks ridiculous (in a good way) and would be a great place to see a WrestleMania I'd imagine.

Upload Credit: Atlanta Falcons YouTube channel

The Battleground Main Event

The Fatal 4-Way Match at Battleground was pretty solid.  The thing that hampered it in my opinion was the fact that a Cena win seemed like a foregone conclusion.  Not because of the "Cena Wins LOL" meme, but because The Authority's Plan C seems to lead us to Lesnar/Cena at SummerSlam. 

Honestly, I've got no issue with that match.  It's a reasonably fresh matchup, makes sense and should be a lot of fun.  Now someone on WCMB this morning tossed out the worst scenario which is Cena defeating Brock the Conqueror.  THAT would be a mistake in my mind regardless what the people who cry about "part-timers" think.

Anyhow, back to the topic at hand I enjoyed last night's main in spite of the perceived inevitability of a Cena win.  The near falls worked well in large part due to the camera angles.  Roman Reigns was showcased and looked like the legitimate star he is and will continue to be.  The highlight for me was Roman countering the 5 Knuckle Shuffle with a Superman Punch.  The way the announcers sold Roman's disappointment after the match was excellent as well.  It was a way to keep the spotlight on him even in a loss. 

I was traveling so I didn't get to see all of the show last night, but that main event was pretty legit.  Had they decided to put the belt on Reigns I would have marked out I will admit.  I wasn't expecting it, but I kept hoping that maybe they would.  Reigns has plenty of time though so there's no need to rush. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Sting Has Finally Arrived In A WWE Video Game

What is wrestling about, if not emotion? WWE 2K15's new Twitter campaign includes the hashtag #FEELIT. The crowd in Virginia certainly felt it when WWE played the ad for Sting's inclusion in this year’s edition of WWE 2K. Despite all the rumors and even Sting’s 7-14-14 tease it still came across as a huge moment for Sting’s fans. The video was simple, haunting and effective. It set the tone beautifully for Sting’s first true introduction to the WWE Universe. Even if Sting never sets foot in a WWE ring they made him look like a million bucks last night. I, for one, am glad to have him working with WWE to some degree or another. Even if his days as an active wrestler are over I am all for seeing him in video games, interview, action figures and other merchandise. That’s the greatest benefit to having Sting aligned with WWE at this point. They will be able to manage his legacy in a way that no other wrestling promotion can and that’s a good thing.

A personal highlight last night was my seven year old son whipping around after the video was over and saying, “We HAVE to pre-order that!” I assured him that I was already going to handle that. Without a word he hustled into his room and hustled back out with his Sting figure in hand. It’s times like these that take me back to sharing wrestling with my dad and I hope my boy has similar warm thoughts about it as he grows older.

I will be interested to see what the Sting/WWE relationship looks like going forward. They do have an official Sting scorpion shirt for sale on WWE Shop. Hopefully this means that the proposed Sting DVD/Blu-ray set will have interviews and a story aspect to it as opposed to simply a collection of matches. It will be interesting to hear him reflect on his career as well as why now as the time to work with WWE.

For Sting fans and fans of the WWE video game this is certainly an exciting time. When push comes to shove that’s what I want from my wrestling. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Mattel's WWE Elite Series 30: The Hoss Series finally has some pictures of Elite Series 30 up at this link.

The set looks pretty legit to me.  That Luger kind of looks like a strange amalgamation of Lex Express Luger and NWA Luger, but I kind of dig it.  I'm hoping they'll do a 90's era WCW Luger with ponytail at some point, but I wouldn't mind having another NWA looking Luger with a mullet either.  If you're wondering why it's the Hoss Series then take a look at the lineup.
  • Batista
  • Brock Lesnar (he broke the Undertaker's Streak if you didn't know)
  • Lex Luger
  • Road Warrior Animal
  • Road Warrior Hawk
  • Ryback
There actually aren't any must buys for me in this series although Luger is the closest.  I already have NWA looking Road Warriors from the discontinued Legends series or else I'd be picking them up.

As of right now there is one must purchase figure for me and that's Elite Bray Wyatt.  I've seen that series out, but Bray was gone.  Rowan and Harper are the other two that are right near must purchase territory for me, but Bray I will pick up if I ever see him.  Most likely I'll pick up the rest of the family as well.

This is a nice looking series though and like I said I hope it means we'll get another version of The Total Package down the line at some point.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

WWE 2K15 Site Is Live

At some point this week I believe the WWE 2K15 site went live.  Up until now the still listed WWE 2K14 as the current game and WWE 13 as an option as well.  Now WWE 2K15 is the active game.  As of right now there's not much to look at, but here is the currently listed roster:
  • Bray Wyatt
  • Cesaro
  • Hulk Hogan
  • John Cena
  • Roman Reigns
Of note, this is 80's-style "Hulkamania" Hulk Hogan.  I am hoping against hope that we get the nWo in this year's edition of the game.  Rumors persist that Sting is going to be the pre-order bonus.  I certainly hope this is true, but I won't believe it until I see it.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Clean Losses By Rising Stars

Over on WCMB we got into a discussion about Monday's RAW and the excellent Orton/Ambrose match. This naturally led to the discussion of whether Ambrose jobbing cleanly was "best for business." Here's my take on it in relation to people asking, "Why do it?" when I pointed out that Ambrose isn't going to be negatively impacted by that loss. There was even a definitive statement that top guys should only lose on PPV and that RAW matches should by and large be non-finishes, screwy finishes, etc.

Non-finishes, etc. can lead you to the same kind of "Why bother?" mindset as well though. I have no issue with a nice mix of clean finishes, screwy finishes and non-finishes on free TV. Honestly, it's kind of necessary in order to preserve the notion that anything can happen.

Dean Ambrose, to me, looks like a guy like Randy Orton (coincidentally enough) that can lose and it won't make a bit of difference. His character is one reason for that, but the other is the crowd's going to respond either way to the guy. Honestly, we need to treat more of the top guys like that. Winning and losing should always matter, but winning shouldn't be the only way to keep a guy over. That mindset is why people got sick of Triple H and John Cena for example. Sadly, it's probably while we'll be sick of Roman Reigns eventually. Guys have to be able to absorb losses even clean ones and maintain their status. It'll make for a more interesting product.
I will add that this isn't an endorsement of "nonsensical parity booking" as a guy I know likes to refer to it. You have everyone from top to bottom trading wins and losses. Guys do need momentum and there still needs to be a tiered system in place, but within that upper level I think you need guys that can all beat one another and win or lose without it destroying them.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Old School Wrestling Shirts

Thanks to Dan Alexsander (@HaveTilFive) for sharing the excellent Beware The Moon Clothing Co. wrestling shirts with me. The Jim Crockett Promotions shirt was the one that was specifically shared with me, but there is a ton of quality shirt designs available over there. The fact that I don't yet own a Badstreet, USA t-shirt is a fairly glaring hole in my massive wrestling t-shirt collection I might add. Also this site has all sorts of cult t-shirts available. There site says this for example, "We offer designs that are different from the mainstream sites out there for fans of cult movies, TV shows, music, horror and much more."