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Sunday, January 1, 2017

3035 - DTM-Cast: Episode 67, featuring 2016 In Review


Click the image to download the MP3. Click the break to read the list.

Happy New Year, everybody. See you in three weeks!


So, it's that time of year again. Another Winners and Losers list. Another Year in review... and ladies and gentlemen, it's safe to say that 2016 has been a shit year.

Before I go through the main list, I want to point out three names who will NOT be on the list. The first name and perhaps the biggest name to be mentioned here is your soon-to-be-45th President of the United States, Donald Trump. That still sounds strange to say, actually... but he's not on the list, as it were. That's still up for debate. We'll see how it goes next year... if we're still around, that is. The other name that's not on the list is Classic Game Room... show has had its up and down this years and quite turbulent, but it's just there. No real highlights or lowlights in this regard. And the final name not on the list is Roman Reigns... because I just don't care.

THIS YEAR'S WINNERS
To perfectly honest with you, I had a really hard time picking out some winners for this year because 2016 was such a long road of low points that some of the winners included here might seem like stretching it. However, I am quite confident with these six winners.

NEW DAY
They broke Demolition's record for longest-reigning WWE Tag Champs... and I don't give a shit. Look, good for them. They took a silly thing and ran with it and it became popular with folks and it got them a long reign that happens to be the longest in company history... and I don't give a shit. It doesn't feel like as big a deal as it probably should, which is unfortunately the case with a lot of stuff WWE does these days that are supposed to feel special or like it's a big deal and they don't. Still, it's something, so... congrats to New Day none the less.

NES CLASSIC EDITION
Don't have one myself, hard to find at the moment, but if this didn't rejuventate interest in old Nintendo stuff, I don't know what will. From what I've read, it's a fine quality product that works exceptionally well. If more is made available, pick one up then. Don't give in to price gougers on ebay.

SMACKDOWN LIVE
So WWE did the Brand Split thing again and Smackdown (redubbed Smackdown Live due to its moving to Tuesdays to air LIVE!) seemingly got the short end of the stick, but during the few times I was able to watch an episode or two, this is probably the better of the two WWE shows. The wrestling is generally better, the stories are more focused, the authority figures don't overwhelm the show, and there's more interesting and varied talent to care about. And with John Cena's return from purgatory, Smackdown beat RAW in the ratings this past week. Now if that doesn't earn the show a winner's notch, then I don't know what will.

AJ STYLES
Strong debut at the Royal Rumble, a bit of a fumble in the middle, only to follow up by beating up John Cena and winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Suddenly, it's okay to forget about AJ's considerable stint in the Florida promotion because despite initial fears, he's gonna do just fine... which is more than what I can say for Kevin Owens.

ROGUE ONE
Wasn't expecting much out of this one and it has some flaws, but this was a damn fine movie. Probably better than last year's force awakens, certainly a far better Prequel than the prequel trilogy (not saying that to be cute - I honestly believe this), and hopefully a sign of the quality that Disney and Lucasfilm will approach future Star Wars anthology films since that's an annual thing now.

MEGA MAN X3
A heavy hit to the wallet, but man, am I making the most of it. Same tried-and-true Mega Man X gameplay, refined challenge, fun times. How can a Super Nintendo game from 1995 get a nod in a Winners of 2016 list? I bought a copy in 2016... that's how bad the year's been.

THIS YEAR'S LOSERS
There have been a shitload of losers this year, but let's start with the biggest one of all.

2016... THE WHOLE F'N YEAR
2016 saw many loved famous people leave us way too soon, political upheavals all over the place, an underwhelming 50th birthday for Star Trek, and the return of the Classic Canadian Winter... and that's only a minor number of grievances I have for this year overall. As far as I'm concerned, 2016 can kiss my ass.

So now that we have THAT out of the way... let's really shit the bricks.

BROCK LESNAR
Made a bold return to UFC with a "decisive" victory over Mark Hunt... only for news to hit that he had failed his drug tests, resulting in his victory being overturned and a one-year suspension from the sport. This, along with his lazy sportz-entertainment matches, places the mayor of Steroid City firmly in this year's Losers bracket. Suck on that, Bork.

CM PUNK
After years of endless hype, speculation, injuries, jokes, mockeries, and whatnots, CM Punk made his long awaited UFC debut against Mickey Gall and put the young kid over... oh, wait, this is UFC, not WWE. What I meant to say was Punk got CLOBBERED and tapped out in two and a half minutes... which is one minute longer than Bork Lazer lasted in his debut UFC match, so that's one plus. Still... all that wait for THAT?

CHARLOTTE VS. SASHA BANKS
One and done was all they needed and maybe save the rematch for next year or something, but instead, we have two talented women playing hot potato with the Women's title and more hotshotting than a Vince Russo scripted episode of WCW Nitro. Despite all the "history making" matches these two have, the one crucial element missing was a reason to care. So while Old Man Flair and WWE want you to believe this is the best feud ever, I'm enjoying the women on Smackdown a little more... if only because they all get to do something.

JOSH MATTHEWS
Why is it that whenever I get wind of Josh Matthews tweeting something stupid, it gives me a migrane? Declaring 30 seconds of Total Nonstop Deletion "better than any Wrestlemania I've seen" is dumber than any tweets crying about how WWE would know about guys like Joe or AJ or whoever.

BILLY CORGAN
Man, how bad is TNA these days that they hire a guy to help them with creative, makes him the president in hopes that he might buy a chunk of it, and then he ends up suing them? The man that was pegged to save TNA - however much of a stretch that is - is no longer involved with the company. Corgan might've gotten his money back, but he made a big play and lost. And that nails him on the list for that reason.

CHRIS JERICHO
To be fair, Jericho's been on a roll lately with his List of Jericho thing... however, I've been doing lists for years long before Jericho even got a haircut. So on account of gimmick infringement, Chris... YOU JUST MADE THE LIST! Of losers of 2016.

MONDAY NIGHT RAW
Kevin Owens wins a top WWE title... and it's a silly red belt with a silly name. The main events feel lackluster, the stories are pointless drivel, the authority figures dominate the program, the new logo looks like ass (a ram's ass, maybe) and that's not even taking into account the uber long runtimes. I want to say that RAW hasn't been this much of a shitshow since the bad ol' HHH years of the early 2000s, but that would actually be a disservice. Good thing I jumped off this trainwreck while I did.

JEFF JARRETT'S GLOBAL FORCE GOLD
Jeff Jarrett tried doing the Global Force Wrestling thing and that didn't pan out, so for a short bit, he tried doing the pyramid scheme where he'd sell gold bullions or something. Maybe TNA should try something like that.

MIGHTY NO. 9
Let me copy what I wrote last year when Mighty No. 9 graced the Losers of 2015 list:

"What was poised to be the second coming of Mega Man and hyped beyond all belief became a sad bitter saga of delays, broken promises, vague promises, and just an all-around mess of a campaign. Now if the game comes out in the coming year, it'd better be the most amazing thing ever considering all the hooplah surrounding this because otherwise, there's a spot waiting on the 2016 list."

Well, the game came... to otherwise mediocre reviews. So I guess based on that, it fits the criteria. That having been said, the game was on special on Steam this past week and I did finally pick it up, played it for a bit... and that's as far as I'll go for now.

COLECO CHAMELEON/RETRO VGS
It started as the Retro VGS, a new retro-inspired cart-based video game system for the modern era. They tried a couple crowdfunding campaigns that didn't go over well. They even managed to sucker in Coleco to put their name on the product, redubbing it the Chameleon... but what the Retro folks never did was provide a working prototype, only mock-ups made up of Super Nintendo parts and PC capture cards. Once the fiasco broke out in the public, Coleco pulled their name and the RetroVGS name vanished into the ethers. A sad tale if there ever was one.

RETROBIT GENERATIONS
A plug-n-play system that sports close to a hundred "classic" games from yesteryear and touted as a competitor to the red-hot NES Classic Edition? Great idea... except let's release a system with shoddy emulation quality, only one Data East game, numerous homebrew games, and offer no options to play Varth the right way. This could've been a nice little alternative, but hardly competition for the NES Classic Edition. It's hardly competition for those lackluster Sega Genesis portable players from AT Games with the shoddy sound emulation.

ANGRY VIDEO GAME NERD CHRISTMAS EPISODE WITH KEITH APICARY
They advertised an AVGN episode and instead we got a Keith Apicary episode guest starring AVGN... and it was just bad. As someone who enjoys good slapstick, I can say with absolutely certainty that this was not good slapstick. Even the Three Stooges remake from a couple years ago had better slapstick than this and that was as unfunny as it gets. AVGN episodes as of late have been hit or miss (mostly miss), but this is one gigantic miss. Nowhere near the depths of AVGN 100 or that stupid Crazy Castle episode - it was comparatively short, at least - but it's pretty down there.

CHRIS BORES
Going from Irate Gamer to Endless Shill Guy and occasional Ghost Hunter dude... yeah, how the mighty have fallen is what I would've said if this were anybody else, but Bores has always been a Middle Grounder so this is where he falls into THAT bracket. I guess the Irate Gamer Sucks blog is going to have to find something else to do unless they want to go after Puppet Steve... not sure why you'd want to, though.

ZIPPCAST
Was supposed to be an alternative to Youtube, going so far as to mimick old Youtube from ten years ago... but never was able to provide any semblance of stability or reliability. Zippcast is now a thing of the past and if it ever comes back, there's no reason to believe it'll be any better. I guess Vid.Me is the "next big thing" or whatever.

STAR TREK 50th ANNIVERSARY
Star Trek Beyond may have been a good movie (perhaps the best of the "Kelvin Timeline" flicks in my opinion), but its failure to make waves in the box office could be attributed to anemic promotion. We look back at 2016 and easily forget that this was when Star Trek turned 50, as the celebrations have been relatively pathetic. Sure, there was an announcement of a new TV series (once due January, then pushed back to May) and some token items released over the years, but no point did this anniversary feel like a big deal. 25th Anniversary gave us a Star Trek film, a Spock appearance on TNG, and even a couple video games including a splendid little computer game. Even the 40th Anniversary had a little pizzazz to it and that was when there was NO television or movie presence to be had. This 50th should've been a big deal and it wasn't.

GHOSTBUSTERS REMAKE
Now, full disclosure, I have yet to see the movie nor do I have any real intention of doing so. However, the negative press that this film has garnered prior to its release, along with the anal-retentive backlash towards one particular Internet personality who declared "No Review, I Refuse", and ultimately the less than stellar box office returns has made enough of an impression that it has to fall firmly in the Losers category. Unfair? Perhaps, but sometimes perception and venom is enough to sway me in this regard. Also, the tie-in video game that was released to scathing reviews and only lead to the shutdown of the studio that made it only a few days later might have contributed a bit as well.

BATMAN V SUPERMAN: YAWN OF JUSTICE
It took them two and a half hours to kill Superman... and for what, exactly? We know he's going to be back in that Justice League film... just an utterly dreadful movie. Has some bright moments - Affleck as Batman works extremely well - but on a whole? An absolute waste of time.

THIS YEAR'S AMERICAN ELECTIONS
Dozens of choices... MANY choices the American people could have gone with... and when it came to the final two, the first thought that came to mind was, "Whoever wins, we're all fucked." When neither choice instills much hope for the next four years, that's a very telling signs that things are going to take a downward spiral down the drain and the damage will be so extensive that it may very well ruin everything. Now some would understandably think that "Oh, he wouldn't be saying this if Hillary hadn't won," but I wasn't keen on Hillary, either. Trump won and we'll see what happens in the next four years, but don't think this entry is a reaction to that because I would've said the same thing if it were the other way around. It's just a situation where no good would come of this.

HILLARY CLINTON SUPPORTERS
Not all of them, mind you. But the ones that talk down to those who don't see Hillary as the greatest, bestest choice for said election. The ones that go "If you don't vote for Hillary, you support Trump. If you vote for Bernie, you support Trump. If you pee the wrong way, you support Trump." The ones that bully those who don't share their view and refer to them as sexists, racists, misogynists, and other slurs. The ones who prefer to hurl insults and venom instead of trying to sell their side. Well, that brilliant strategy backfired bigtime. When all is said and done, those who voted for Trump did it because either they believed he was the right guy for the job or they did it as a big ol' "fuck you" to the Hillary supporters who talked down to them this past year. Good job, morons.

GAWKER
The folks that subjected the world to the dreaded Hulk Hogan sex tape and subsequent racial slurs went to court and lost big, leading to their bankruptcy... Well, they got got is all I'm saying, so...

Oh last one for good measure,

FUNKO POP FIGURES
They're shit. The end.

And that's the list in a nutshell... goddamn did 2016 suck... long live 2017, as far as I'm concerned... and I've pretty much jinxed this year too, didn't I? Sorry, everybody.

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