Sunday, July 5, 2015

2422 - CV_HardType Preview

2421 - DTM-Cast: Episode 43

Click on the dog to download the MP3.

A near-whopping two hours worth of ramblings, where we do a Q&A covering MMPR comics, expanded universes, and fantasy booking decisions... and also, Beast In The East.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

2420 - WWE Network Special: The Beast In The East

The WWE Network special, The Beast In The East, where they air a live house show from Tokyo. And this aired in the morning, live, which was surprising, but hey, it's a nice surprise and one of those little things that makes the Network worthwhile. To tell the truth, they should probably do more of these. Just a random house show here and there.

But of course, there're two things on this show that makes this worth turning into a televised special; the NXT Championship match between champion Kevin Owens and challenger Finn Balor... and Brock Lesnar's first match since Wrestlemania... and - spoiler alert for those who haven't seen it - the main event of this WWE Live show from Japan that has these two major talking points... is a nothing tag-team match that features John Cena... because that screams main event.

So, for those who care, it's a house show. No big elaborate set or anything; they just got a small titantron for the videos. That's the extent of your production and that's fine. You don't need a big production for a non-televised event... even though this is a televised event. Commentary is provided by Michael Cole and Byron Saxton.

So added bonus; Chris Jericho, who occasionally does house shows, inadvertently gets shown on television. He faces off against Neville and Jericho wins, of course. The finish was pretty cool, though; Neville does his Red Arrow flying move that Y2J somehow turns into a Liontamer. Jericho didn't miss a beat and he looked pretty damn good. All in all, this was a good match. No complaints.

Divas Champion Nikki Bella defeated Tamina Snuka and Paige to retain the title. Um, okay. This was a thing that happened while I was in the John... Cena.

Brock Lesnar defeated Kofi Kingston in a short match... what, no 50 suplexes for 20 minutes? I'm shocked. Although don't you fret, kids. Ol' Brock dishes those out after the match. This was a thing that happened and it was short. So there you go. And yes, Michael Cole did indeed acknowledged Brock Lesnar being a former IWGP champion. Didn't think that would happen, but there you go.

Finn Balor defeated NXT Champion Kevin Owens to win the title and send ol' Kevin to the main roster. This being a Japanese crowd, they toss in the streamers and geishas presenting flowers. This was probably the best match on the card. Finn Balor's entrance is a feast to behold with all the make-up and lighting. Kevin Owens is such a prick and such a loud-mouthed asshole it's a beautiful thing to witness his taunting of the crowd. The match itself was paced in a way that seemed somewhat slow at times, but never felt plodding. It told the story it needed to tell and it told that story well. I was intrigued, I was engaged, it was enjoyable fare... that's all it takes for a match to be worthwhile and good.

One thing I'd like to mention is the noticeably stark improvement in the overall commentary from Michael Cole and Byron Saxton. Commentary in WWE has been such an unbearable clusterfuck that it takes away from what's on screen. Good commentary can enhance a match while bad commentary can destroy a match and I'm happy to say that all throughout the night - the Owens/Balor match especially - Cole and Saxton put on good commentary. They weren't trying to be funny, they weren't trying to sell the latest app or make sponsors happy or be outright stupid. They were providing backstory to these matches, they were providing background on the various talents - going so far as to not only acknowledge past New Japan title reigns in regards to Brock Lesnar and Finn Balor, but also bringing up Jericho's stint in FMV and Neville's Dragon Gate past.

It's as though they knew the crowd watching this show was more within the core audience rather than the wider casual crowd and they adjusted their verbiage and presentation accordingly. It goes to show that, when left to their own devices, Cole and Saxton can get the job done. As much as people like to shit on Michael Cole, the guy's capable of pulling off good play-by-play and that's what we got.

So, overall, that was a good show and... oh wait. I forgot. There's another match.

John Cena & Dolph Ziggler defeated Kane and Bad News Barrett when Cena hit Barrett with an AA... there were no streamers, there were no geishas, there was nothing... this was a thing that happened and why is this over twenty minutes? So they win and they celebrate and Cole is excited that he and Saxton trended on Twitter... oh well, it was fun while it lasted.

So, overall, if you forget the last 20-30 minutes existed and you ended it on the NXT match, this was a pretty good show overall. A great NXT title, the usual Brock beating, a solid Jericho showing... and the usual pissbreak match. For something that was a regular live event... this was a good little show. They should do more of these instead of stupid shit like the "WWE List" or that Swerved show. Those suck.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

2418 - MMPR The Movie Game Reviews Compilation

A quickly assembled compilation of all my old video reviews for the four tie-in video games based on the first Mighty Morphin Power Rangers motion picture in celebration of the film's 20th Anniversary.

Friday, June 26, 2015

2416 - Slight Fix

So in a bit of an effort to fix the clutter, I've divided the Documents page into two; one containing all the wrestling-related musings (conveniently under Wrestling Stuff) and the rest of the stuff in its usual Documents page.

Those who check out the Wrestling Page will note that there is a King Of The Ring section added, with posts due up in August as part of the challenge.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

2415 - Nobody Cares Enough About The New Tough Enough

The premiere episode of the latest edition of Tough Enough is down 63% compared to the fifth season premiere episode back in 2011. Source here.

It's too soon to tell how much of a flop this is going to be, since it's only the first episode. And it's really unfair to compare the numbers of this season to the prior one, which had the benefit of debuting following the post-Wrestlemania RAW and being hosted by Stone Cold Steve Austin. No knock on Chris Jericho, but sometimes having that big name everyone recognizes hosting the thing helps. Still, like I said, too soon to tell how this will fare.

I haven't watched it, because for obvious reasons, I don't get USA Network. I've seen the Competition Special... not all that interested, quite frankly. I generally don't care for reality shows because more or often not, they usually end up feeling phony, fake, scripted... dare I say faker than pro wrestling. And also, given the past track record of Tough Enough, there is not enough reason for me to care about this competition. What do the winners get? They get a contract, which means nothing. Because the most they'll get a few spots on NXT and best wishes on their future endeavors.

Meanwhile, some of the losers of this competition could very well be picked up by WWE and given contracts... and who knows? They might even make it to the main roster and be "big stars" within that universe... thus making this entire competition pointless. The telling sign of this is Season 5 contestant Ariane, a.k.a. Cameron a.k.a. the chick whose favorite match of all time was Melina vs. Alicia Fox, who was the first contestant of that season eliminated and yet she's gainfully employed by WWE. Meanwhile, the guy who eventually won that season, Andy, stuffed it out in the developmental territory for barely a year or so before being future endeavored. You probably don't even remember Andy, do you?

This isn't a knock on Cameron. She made it to WWE, she's on a roll, good for her. I got no issues with her. My issue is... why bother with these so-called competitions if they don't mean anything? What's the point of these live vote-ins and judges and whatnots to determine who's tough enough to continue and who's being sent home when the ones being sent home have better chances of getting WWE contracts and making the most out of it than the winners do? Going through this whole charade of being invested in these people and their journey to "stardom" feels like a waste of time. And that's because it is; a waste of time.

It feels really sad when the only really worthwhile WWE reality project that dwells behind the scenes is Total Divas, which is really, really, REALLY faint praise on my end because that show is just irritating.

Yeah, so... who's tough enough? Who cares?

2414 - Doomsday Warrior

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

2413 - The Rock To Star In Rampage Movie... Not That One...

So, word has come out that the Rock is going to be starring in the new Rampage movie. Source here.

First hearing that, I had assumed that German schlockmeister Uwe Boll somehow got the funding needed to produce his third movie and somehow shoehorned Dwayne Johnson into it, thus proving that being an insufferable asshole on the Internet is the key to success.

But as it turns out, the Rampage movie in question is actually an adaptation of the old Midway arcade game where you got to play as giant monsters and demolish cities. Apparently, the people who did that horrifically generic San Andreas film is also on hand to bring this thing to life.

All things considered, I would've preferred Uwe Boll behind the wheel.

Then again, considering his track record...

Never mind.