Thursday, May 31, 2012

Randy Orton: Wellness-ed

SAW favorite, Randy Orton, is going away for 60 days due to a second Wellness Policy violation.  It's a shame too because I really was hoping that we were seeing the seed sewn for the Sheamus/Orton feud I've been calling for. 

I certainly hope this is Mr. Orton's last encounter with the policy as well, but given his track record I'm not convinced it will be.

When he comes back, I think they need to transition him to being a heel rather quickly.  If he were returning to SAW (my fictional promotion) I would concoct a way to get a huge pop for his return and have him turn that very night. 

Anyhow, I hope Randy enjoys the time off and resolves whatever issues caused this failure. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Big Show on RAW

If you named an MVP of the Memorial Day episode of RAW, you would have to strongly consider the Big Show for that honor.  While I was not terribly high on the prospect of a John Cena/Big Show feud I became a bit more interested by the end of this week's show.

I would like to point out that I am a fan of Big Show.  I think WCW really missed an opportunity with the guy by turning him so frequently.  Big Show screwed himself up in WWE for many years with weight issues, etc.  They have utilized him well in the past as WWECW's "Hardcore Giant" or heel tag team specialist.  Even his recent face run looking for his WrestleMania moment and handing his hat to kids on the way out to the ring was good use of the World's Largest Athlete.  All that being said, I wasn't excited about this feud for a couple of reasons.
  1. The whole deal felt rushed.
  2. The way he was treated last time he was a heel against Cena.
I have no way of knowing whether he will be treated any better this go-round, but I do know they made him look like the monster he should be in that final segment on RAW.  His promo work earlier in the show was solid (not great) and suffered from going on far too long.  I think if they want to get the most out of him, they need him to say little, look menacing while John Laurinaitis does the talking and have him absolutely wreck things when he is in the ring.

Next week is absolutely critical, if Cena comes out and riffs on Ace Ventura again and does his horrible comedy then we've got problems.  Now if Cena does that and then gets mauled by Big Show and is forced to be more serious from that point forward?  That could be a golden opportunity.

Long story short, all I want to see is Big Show being treated like the threat he should be.  If WWE does that then this feud might be pretty good.

Monday, May 28, 2012

FFA: Memorial Day 2012

Below is a repost of last year's Memorial Day entry on SAW.

The saying goes, "All gave some, some gave all."  Today is about remembering those who "gave all."  May they all Rest in Peace.



Upload Credit: habuyoung

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Ted Turner on being fired from CNN

Thought it was interesting to see Ted Turner's thoughts on losing control of CNN among other properties that he once controlled. I have his autobiography, "Call Me Ted" and haven't even started reading it. Thanks to my sister-in-law, it's even an autographed copy. I really need to get on that.

Friday, May 25, 2012

WWE '13 trailer

Kataku has the WWE '13 trailer.  The game looks promising.  Apparently the WWE Revolution videos were in relation to this game.

Special thanks to TH of The Wrestling Blog (@tholzerman) as his Tweet about the subject brought this to my attention.

It also looks like CM Punk will be the focus of the game's ad campaign much like Randy Orton was last year.  Sounds good to me!

WrestleMania 28 PPV buyrate

Per DOT NET, WWE will announce that their WrestleMania 28 PPV buyrate is lower than initially claimed. The number has been adjusted to 1.21 million buys as opposed to the initially reported number of 1.3 million.

We have discussed this on A1-Wrestling.com, but that is still a solid number. Some will call it a disappointment due to the Once in a Lifetime match between The Rock and John Cena. What I see is a PPV that went over 1 million buys and that is an impressive number. Yeah, you can always argue it should have done better and could have done more, but all-in-all I find it hard to be disappointed with a number like that.

Jason Powell of ProWrestling.net credited James Caldwell of PWTorch.com in this story.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Owen Hart Remembered

It was 13 years ago that Owen Hart tragically lost his life during the Over the Edge PPV event. 

Though I remember exactly what I was doing that day, this post isn't going to be about what I was doing, instead, I'd like to take this entry to remember just how great and perhaps underrated of a talent he was. 

He had started his career in the late 80's, but it wasn't until his feud with his brother Bret which culminated with the fantastic opening match from WrestleMania X.


It was the biggest way to showcase his heel antics as the little brother so desperate to break out of his brother's shadow and he played it to a T.  Even years later when he reuinted with Bret and the British Bulldog to reform the Hart Foundation in 1997, he was very exceptional in his role. 

One of his underrated roles, and one that doesn't get looked at enough is his "return" to the WWF.  After the events of Survivor Series in 1997, the infamous screw job on Bret Hart, Owen had contenplated quitting and joining Bret in WCW, however, he decided to stay and made his return to the WWF at the Degeneration X PPV event attacking Shawn Michaels and starting the Black Hart.


The fans really took to it and gave Owen a really good reactions, notably here and at the Royal Rumble.  It could be argued that he could've been the second biggest babyface behind the rising Stone Cold Steve Austin.  Unfortunately, the push really got killed at WrestleMania XIV when he lost his match to Triple H.

He would later go on to win the tag-team titles with Jeff Jarret and eventually reprise his role as the Blue Blazer which would lead to his eventual death as he was set to enter the ring from the rafters when unfortunately, the ropes broke and he fell to his death. 

While his life had a tragic end, Owen gave us many years of great entertainment, here's to you Owen, RIP.

I'm going to end this by posting a couple of more videos highlighting how great Owen was, both from the Slammy Awards when he "won" them, becoming a 2 time winner.  Great funny stuff.


This one is his second Slammy win, which is quite hilarious.

 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

WWE and John Laurinaitis screw up their stip on RAW

Jason Powell of DOT NET had this note as a Miss in his WWE Raw Hitlist.
John Cena, John Laurinaitis, and Big Show: I praised creative for making it seem like Big Show made the decision to turn heel in the ring at the pay-per-view. WWE went out of their way to erase that by coming up with a ridiculously illogical explanation that went against the stipulations they came up with a week ago. They tried to have the announcers cover up their own creative incompetence. It's a mess on so many levels that even their explanation left more holes than Tiger Woods has bogeyed since his sexcapades were exposed.
He is absolutely right. The fact that a company as successful as WWE has such a hard time keeping their own stipulations straight on TV is mind-boggling. In the grand scheme of things it is not that big of a deal to me.
What interests me more is the fact they they rely on these silly stipulations too much. All the legal wrangling, battle for control and promises that people will be fired is overdone. It is also one of the main reasons I believe the heel authority figure has long outlasted its welcome.

By the way, the Tiger Woods line from above just made me roll my eyes. Powell has interesting thoughts on the product but he also has a sense of humor that Vince McMahon would like (not a compliment).

Sunday, May 20, 2012

FFA: FreebirdSTF's top 5 comic book films of all time

Started this discussion on my Facebook page and decided the list should be posted here.  I had a couple iterations of this list because I forgot two films. 

Here is my list:
  1. The Dark Knight (2008)--Some will not even consider this film for this category.  I can actually understand the argument that this, "Isn't a comic book film" or "Is more than a comic book film."  That being said, no matter how this pushes the limits of a "comic book film," I still consider it one.  The tone is dark and Ledger's performance as the Joker lives up to the hype.  As they did in the first one, Christian Bale and Michael Caine give the film a solid foundation.  The story of Gotham's White Knight, Harvey Dent, being taken down by a mad man the villains "didn't fully understand" is incredible.
  2. The Avengers (2012)--Tons of build for this through the Iron Man series as well as the Incredible Hulk, Captain America and Thor films.  It hits every note perfectly.  It is tons of fun and succeeds as a film with a completely different tone than the The Dark Knight.  The fact that I even considered putting this film at number one over TDK is a testament to how great it is.  I will be taking my son to see it this week which will mark the second time I will have seen it in theaters.  If you haven't gone, you need to do so. 
  3. Iron Man (2008)--Robert Downey Jr just absolutely dominates this film by nailing the Tony Stark character.  His transformation from playboy to hero is a joy to watch.  One of the things that makes this so effective is that as Stark, Downey nails the "Women want him, men want to be him" thing.  Jeff Bridges as Obadiah Stane deserves credit for giving an excellent balance to RDJ's Stark/Iron Man as well.
  4. Watchmen (2009)--This is another one that you could argue is not a "comic book film."  Honestly, this was one of the films I forgot about when coming up with my first list.  Jackie Earle Haley as Rorshach is the star of this show.  His best line?  "None of you seem to understand. I'm not locked in here with you... you're locked in here with me!"
  5. X-Men: First Class (2011)--Excellent film that explores the genesis of the X-Men and the nature of Professor X and Magneto's relationship.  The performances by James McAvoy and  Michael Fassbender as Professor X and Magneto respectively carry the film.  Major credit should go to Kevin Bacon as well playing the "big bad" in this film. 
Honorable Mentions: X2 (2003) and Batman Begins (2005)

Friday, May 18, 2012

The return of It's Friday!

It wasn't anything special, but I loved the theme to WCW Monday Nitro.



Upload Credit: eveque

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Possibly the dumbest thing ever

I will never forget SupTool showing me and Dad this video.



I know Dad still brings it up from time to time. Every time I see it, the stunt makes me shake my head.

Upload Credit: MortiisTroll

Brooke Hogan signs with TNA


Brooke-amania is going to be running wild in TNA, but not in front of the cameras or in the squared circle.
TNA President Dixie Carter tells TMZ...Brooke is NOT going to be a wrestler...but rather an executive who will be tasked to develop female talent.
Considering she isn't a wrestler you may wonder exactly how she is to do that, well TMZ adds...
We're told Brooke's duties will help up and coming she-wrestlers develop their characters, help with backstage promos and even consult on entrance music.
It is an interesting move.  Now I am not by any stretch claiming that she will excel in this role, but Brooke has been around the business forever.  We know her singing career never took off so maybe following in her dad's footsteps will be what brings her professional success.

Just for fun, let's see what Hogan fan, Scott Steiner (@scottsteiner) thinks about Brooke:
And maybe that P.R. firm can help your daughter too! Bcuz she admitted she could be a great Whore,when she tweeted that she could make more money on her back than I did in my wrestling career
I should be better than this, but when I saw that Tweet shortly after I posted this story I had no choice but to add it.

Upload Credit: TMZ.com

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Big Show's "firing" on RAW

Jason Powell of DOT said the following in his WWE RAW Hitlist:
Big Show and John Laurinaitis: Big Show gets a "Hit" for his performance. He's like a seven-foot Tommy Dreamer in that he can now cry on command. However, the segment overstayed its welcome. Show also lost something later in the night when John Cena essentially dared Laurinaitis to fire him too. If Cena isn't threatened by Laurinaitis's power, then why is Big Show? I understand that Cena is the top guy in the company, but it still made Show look weak. I assume this angle had to be done to set up something for the pay-per-view. I just hope it's not as predictable as the scenario I mentioned above (and in the Cena vs. Laurinaitis stipulations story I ran after the show last night).
We also discussed this on A1 and everyone seems to agree that this segment had promise and went off the rails.  To me, the crowd began to really get behind Show at one point.  His acting was solid and I had no issue with that.  What started to sink this was the length of the segment.  Actually, I don't even know if the segment was that long, but it got repetitive.  I was ready for them to crap or get off the pot basically. 

Once Big Show had illustrated how much WWE meant to him and still refused to get on his knees for John Laurinaitis, you had a great face moment.  Then things got really screwed up.  After all of that, Big Show finally broke down and begged for his job.  That was the moment when all that good babyface heat he gained was gone.  At that point it was just a segment that went on too long and had a crap payoff.

What is worse is what Powell is alluding to above.
Wasn't it odd that Cena was so happy go lucky after Laurinaitis fired a blubbering Big Show? I suppose that could be by design if they want to give the sobbing Show some justification for helping Laurinaitis on Sunday (remember he's no longer under contract).
That is also the way I think they will go.  You now have motivation for a Big Show heel turn as he has "no choice" but to help Big Johnny take out John Cena at Over the Limit.  Part of my issue with that is I have zero interest in this match at Over The Limit in the first place.  Now you've fired Big Show to possibly get that over?  BS in my opinion.

As always, let's see where it goes, but I thought that segment was much stronger before they punked out Big Show.

Monday, May 14, 2012

BSW: Kamala Benefit t-shirt


This shirt is simple and brilliant.  It's even better that the funds are going to help Kamala pay his medical bills related to his recent amputation.

Photo Credit: Barber Shop Window

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Otunga and Hudson at Six Flags

TMZ posted this excellent picture of Jennifer Hudson and David Otunga at Six Flags.


As the TMZ article notes:
Less than 24 hours after William Balfour was found guilty of murdering her mother, brother and nephew ... Jennifer Hudson and her husband David Otunga hit up a Six Flags Great America in Chicago.
It is good to see them having a good time considering the sad circumstances related to the trial.

Upload Credit: TMZ

Saturday, May 12, 2012

ETB: Wade Barrett

Continuing from David's initial post, I'm moving on to Wade Barrett. The inaugural winner of NXT has gone on to lead The Nexus, The Corre and eventually spin off on his own. Due to an unfortunate injury, his push was put to a halt, but for now let's decide what's the better of his themes. His Nexus entrance:


Or his entrance as a member of the Corre


Or what would be his current theme?


Personally, I'm more leaning towards "We Are One" as his best theme.  But as a singles wrestlers, his current theme is one that could grow on me.

Thoughts?  Post in the comments

WWE items on Netflix expiring on May 15th

If you're a wrestling fan AND a Netflix subscriber, you'll know that a lot of the WWE documentaries and featurettes are streaming on Netflix.  However, like with other movies and whatnot, have a limited life and the following will no longer be available for streaming on the 15th, which is Tuesday.

-WWE: Bobby The Brain Heenan
-WWE: Breaking the Code: Behind the Walls of Chris Jericho
-WWE: Hart & Soul: The Hart Family Anthology
-WWE: Ricky Steamboat: The Life Story of the Dragon
-WWE: The John Cena Experience
-WWE: The Rise & Fall of WCW
-WWE: Top 50 Superstars of All Time
-WWE: Twist of Fate: The Matt & Jeff Hardy Story
-WWE: The True Story of WrestleMania: Vol. 1
-The Chaperone
-That's What I Am           

The Chaperone is the movie with Triple H as an ex-convict trying to reconnect with his estranged daughter and That's What I Am is the movie that features the classic Randy Orton line, "I'll go to the papers if I have to..."  The Chaperone is actually a fairly decent movie, yeah, not a 5-star classic, but a decent way to kill a little time. 

Among the documentaries, The Rise and Fall of WCW is the best of all of them, but if any of the subject matter of them interests you a little bit, they are all worth a watch if you have time this Mother's Day weekend.

WCMB: Sting or Triple H?

WCMB: Better: Triple H or Sting?

This type of thread is why Wrestling Classics is such a great place to visit.  If you want to hear informed opinions on a variety of things or simply learn about the history of the business, this is your place.  Even if you have no intention of ever posting there I strongly recommend lurking.  It is always fascinating and educational to read what the guys there have to say.  

I am a huge fan of Sting.  To say I dislike Triple H is putting mildly.  That being said, there are great arguments on either side of the argument there.

Ultimately, I can see how people might say Triple H is "better," but on a personal level I enjoy Sting a lot more than I ever have Triple H.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Scott Steiner's math promo

I believe I already posted this and I ain't care.  Hilarious promo by Big Poppa Pump.  Thanks to Norko for bringing this to my attention a while back.



Upload Credit: Brandostudios

Thursday, May 10, 2012

WWE Revolution coming?

DOT NET had an article today about what appears to be a viral video appearing on WWE.com.



Looks interesting, but I have zero idea what this is about. Hope it's good though.  Just read in this LoP post that it may have to do with the guy mentioned after the jump.

Upload Credit: shikamaru1756

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Cena raps and then takes on A-Train

This video is positively bizarre to look back on now. Cena working the rap gimmick back when people like me still liked it. Bonus points for him wearing a Herschel Walker jersey in Savannah, GA.

Beyond that, this is 2002-2003 when John Cena was still an up-and-comer.  It's kind of cool looking back and knowing that he indeed did break through to true stardom.

You have to love good ol' A-Train, especially his music.  I still cannot believe how cartoonish the Lord Tensai gimmick looks on him.

Lastly, it's always sad to hear them talking about a fallen legend like Eddie Guerrero.

Also, Part 2 of this match can be viewed on YouTube here.




Upload Credit: L3GEND3SIXTEEN

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A look at Lord Tensai

While I totally "get" what they are trying to do with Lord Tensai, that character just is not connecting with me at all. 

Here's why:
  • Look:  To me, his entrance costume is far too over-the-top and his ring gear looks terrible.  That dude is begging to be in a singlet.
  • Name:  The name is just silly.  I might like it better if they just called him Tensai though.
  • Sakamoto:  The whole manager/servant/attendant thing is just weird to me.  I also dislike the huge Lord Tensai logo on the back of his jacket.  It makes the whole gimmick look second rate.
  • Promos:  It is not just promos, but the whole deal with him speaking Japanese either in promo or during the match is kind of distracting.  Honestly, I'd rather him say nothing.
  • General Premise:  I appreciate the fact that they are acknowledging that Lord Tensai is Albert.  They really don't have much choice in that regard, but it is a smart move.  The whole "Former WWE SuperStar who went to Japan and has now returned more devastating than ever" gimmick actually does make sense to me.  That gimmick is pretty cool, but the problem is that they have focused too much on the Japanese aspect of the character and I think that should have been a very small part of it.
I do like how Lord Tensai is portrayed as an ass-kicker.  I wish that was more the focus than the idea of him being so immersed in the Japanese culture from his time there.  We need colorful characters in wrestling, but this gimmick looks like a throwback to New Generation WWE and that is not a good thing.

Hopefully, Lord Tensai will be tweaked somewhat moving forward because I see value in the guy.  I just don't think the current gimmick is going to get the most out of that. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

FFA: No spoiler look at The Avengers (2012)

I am very happy to say that I am already able to do a follow-up to my previous post on The Avengers.  We went and saw it on Saturday night and this movie absolutely delivered.

There will be no spoilers in this post so I will not touch on plot much at all.  Instead, let's focus on the characters themselves.

In all honesty, I think everyone nailed their characters for the most part.  As always, I absolutely loved Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man.  Mark Ruffalo brought an excellent performance as Dr. Bruce Banner as well.  Like I said, everyone played their part well.

The build was solid.  They did a good job making things like Thor's first appearance important.  The Hulk?  This is by far the best Hulk you have seen in a movie.  I can pretty much guarantee you that.

There are tons of great moments in this film.  I am not going to spoil anything, but I will say that the theater went wild probably five different times.

Bottom line, if you care anything about comic books or comic book films, I think you will love this movie.  We will be seeing it again with our five year old son who is so excited about it that he is pretty much beside himself.

By the way, there are two additional scenes at the end of the film.  One is at the end of the stylized credits that start right after the movie.  The other takes place once the black and white credits roll and right before they cut the lights back on.  The first gives you a glimpse of things to come.  The second is a great moment that I think you will enjoy.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Sting added to WWE Alumni section of WWE.com

This is pretty cool. Current TNA star and former WCW mainstay, Sting, has been added to WWE.com's Alumni section.
I am sure there will be those who trot out the usual, "Sting never wrestled for WWE, this is stupid!" nonsense.  To me, it's cool to have him there and it makes perfect sense.  He wrestled for WCW, WWE acquired WCW and that makes him part of the overall WWE legacy in my opinion.

What is also cool is the writeup they did for him where it touches on the "never worked for WWE" subject.

They start it like this.
Often dubbed “The Franchise of WCW,” the man called Sting is one of the most recognizable and unique faces in sports-entertainment history. It was that distinction that made him the backbone of the Atlanta-based organization throughout the late 1980s until the end of WCW in 2001.
They then wrap the article up this way.
Remembered for his colorful charisma and struggle with The nWo, Sting has become synonymous with the Atlanta-based organization. Although he has never competed in a WWE ring, more than a decade since the demise of WCW, he remains one of the most popular and respected competitors of all-time.
The Alumni section itself is pretty cool.  In fact, the redesigned roster pages in general are fairly interesting.  I strongly suggest you take some time browsing the revamped WWE.com.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

WWE Network update

From the WWE Conference call related to their Q1 earnings report as covered by DOT NET:
-A caller noted that the timeline for the launch of the cable network seems to be slower than expected. He asked what's holding things up. Vince said they are continuing to develop new strategies. He said they have the old strategy and new strategy and they're trying to determine which one looks best. He claimed the hold up is on their end, not on the end of the cable and satellite distributors.

-Vince said they want to own 100 percent of the network. "Control is extremely important and what goes on the network and the lack of restrictions for us is extremely important," McMahon said. "Our model is one in which will give us a lot more flexibility, which is extremely important to us, and that's one of the differences we're looking at."

-Vince was asked about the timeline and the announcement of distribution partners. Vince said he expects three months, maybe even less.
Personally, I'll believe when I see it. If you do not recall, WWE Network was set to launch around WrestleMania 28 but the countdown was dropped at some point before the event.

Vince talks other aspects of WWE's business if that sort of thing interests you.

Flair talks Hayes and Luger

"I will stop at nothing to stay at the top!"--"Nature Boy" Ric Flair



More vintage Flair here, talking up the belt, talking up his wealth and belittling those chasing him such as "The Total Package" Lex Luger and "Fabulous Freebird" Michael "PS" Hayes.

Flair recounting Dusty's words of wisdom to Lex Luger and turning that into a pointed warning is pretty awesome as well. Saying that Hayes is Atlanta's "poor man's Ric Flair" as well as "street trash" is excellent heeling too.

Upload Credit: davnc89

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Cena talks Spinner Title again

According to this DOT NET article from back in March John Cena still thinks the WWE Title is due for an update.
"Side note, the WWE spinning championship is not only the most requested item from anyone who wants any merchandise from WWE, and that goes all the way up to Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers people, but it's also the most sold championship of all time."

Cena also endorsed the idea of changing the title belt. "I don't know if it will go back to the winged eagle, but being the guy who truly invented it, it needs to change. It has been the way it's been for years now. It's had it's run. It doesn't even spin anymore. It's heavy, it's awkward. It really is.
I thought Aaron Rodgers had the World Heavyweight Title, not the WWE Title but that is beside the point.  The point is that even John Cena thinks that monstrosity needs to go.  I say let's listen to the Face of the WWE and move on from that cartoon belt.  Let's make the WWE Title something that looks classy and worthy of a title of that importance.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

John Laurinaitis returning to the ring at Over the Limit?

"Johnny what are you doin'?!"--Michael Cole




As you can plainly see, what John Laurinaitis was doing was assaulting John Cena and his "injured" arm. While I am quite certain that we will not actually get a straight Laurinaitis/Cena match at Over the Limit, I am not sure I like this move.

To me, what works about the Laurinaitis character is that he's a goof and clearly favors the heels, but he plays it pretty straight. He's not "Evil Mr. McMahon" or "nWo Eric Bischoff." That being said, I am certainly hoping that this is a ploy to have Brock Lesnar destroy John Cena.

I must also add that I am more curious than ever about where this storyline is going. That type of unpredictability can be a good thing when it is tied to solid storytelling.

Upload Credit: WWE's Official YouTube Channel