Monday, January 5, 2015

The Winners And Losers Of 2014

This would've been posted sooner, but I started 2015 with a massive case of diarrhea and the flu. So it's going up now. The list is pretty much as mentioned on the audio program posted last week, but there's actually a couple "minor" additions to the list that were made since the recording of the show, so there's something new to check out, I guess?

In any case, here's a look at some of the highlights and lowlights of a year that has been pretty "less than stellar" for lack of a nicer term.



THE YEAR'S WINNERS
There are some good things to like about 2014, believe it or not.

DANIEL BRYAN DANIELSON
Wrestlemania XXX main event. Daniel Bryan wins the main event, gets the big babyface reaction, raised to the upper echelon. The man is a made man from that point on. While injuries and surgeries severely derailed his run on top and his return may be questionable, that doesn't change the fact that Daniel Bryan Danielson went into 2014 with momentum, he was a talent that people were openly rallying behind, and one of the few instances where WWE gave the fans what they want. And for that, I honor the man with a spot in the Winner's bracket. To you, Mr. Danielson, I wish good health and pray for a speedy recovery so that you can continue where you left off in 2014 because goddammit, you deserve it.

PHIL "CM PUNK" BROOKS
Left WWE in January and was basically mum on the matter until appearing on Colt Cobana's Art Of Wrestling podcast where he opened up on his departure and whatnots and basically brought about more publicity upon himself in a few short weeks than WWE could ever dream of... and then a short time after telling it all, he signs a UFC contract and made a huge splash. And on top of that, he's got a THOR comic coming out... it's the annual but still... Say what you will, but the guy got people buzzing and that gets him a notch on the winner's stage.

STEVE AUSTIN
On the list solely on account of the fact that I've just been listening to his podcast, picking out various episodes that mostly involve interviews, and I can honestly say that Steve Austin produces an entertaining podcast; the kind of stuff I can pop into my MP3 player and listen to on a long trip. And of course, there's the one he did with VKM and that was a good showing on Austin's part. Enjoyed watching him in WWF when he was on top, dug him whenever he pops up on TV, and now he managed to suck me into following his fantastic podcast showing.

TNA IMPACT WRESTLING
Look, 2014 was not a good year for TNA in regards to growth and there was speculation as to how that company was going to survive with Spike TV dumping them towards the tail end. By all indications, TNA should be getting the Losers' slot, but a timely deal with Destination America and the Discovery group means they get to survive another year. And just for that, yeah, I'm feeling a bit generous. They can have the winner's notch THIS year because they're surviving. And if the product evolves into something better and something different, they may very well get the notch NEXT YEAR. In any event, I hope they succeed.

AMY JO JOHNSON
Got the funding she need for her first feature film to be, which is called The Space Between, and she even snuck back into the pink spandex and busked on the corner of Yonge and Dungan... and that got her noticed in a pretty significant way. I tossed some change her way, got a photobook out of it, and... look, best of luck to her on making this movie. Hope it turns out well. And first chance she gets, she needs to challenge David yost to busk in a pink cupcake costume, because it's only fair.

STAR WARS THE FORCE AWAKEN TEASER
The teaser itself is nothing special; only a few choice shots of our protagonists, some new takes on old spacecraft, another Sith lord, and not a note of lens flare (yet.) At yet for what little it does, it evoked a whole bunch of emotional responses from a bunch of people who no doubt showed none of that emotion when re-enacting their unique interpretations of wacko fanboy excited at teaser for new movie that will undoubtedly disappoint them when it comes out... For showing so little, it got a sizable reaction and what little it shows looks decent, so we'll give it the nod.

PETER CAPALDI
I like his doctor. It's refreshing. It's hearkens to an older, classical type of Doctor that is more alien and mysterious than the previous iterations of the revival. And it helps that you've got this wonderful actor who is a lifelong fan of the Doctor Who and he looks to be having the time of his life in this role. The last series in general was great stuff; not taking away from any of the other folks, but the stand-out was Capaldi as the Doctor. It was a fun ride and, I tip my hat to you, sir. Here's to a long and successful tenure in the TARDIS.

MARVEL
Don't care for the current comics they produce, but they shoot out two fantastic movies in The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy. Most studios that shoot out movies as part of a series would start dwindle in quality and while there were some that were... not great, quality thus far has been consistently good, consistently entertaining, and something I would hope DC would take into account when producing their own dark, dreary, generic superhero films.

CLASSIC GAME ROOM
Well, they came back to YouTube after months in exile. They're expanding their website. They're starting to produce graphic novels. They got a DVD coming. Classic Game Room has certainly grown from its humble beginnings and dormancy. And Mark and the rest of the crew deserve major props for continuing to produce entertaining content. All the best to them.

RALPH BAER
Who recently passed away this past month. If you're unfamiliar with the name of Ralph Baer, he's the one who planted the foundation for a form of entertainment that endures to this very day. And if you are familiar with the name of Ralph Baer, then you know who to thank for paving the way for your chosen form of entertainment. Thank you, Mr. Baer, for giving us video games.

THE YEAR'S LOSERS
Losers. There are a bunch of them.

THE INTERVIEW
It keeps popping up on my YouTube page even though I've clicked on the little remove tab that is supposed to make it go away, but it just keeps coming back like a tumor. I understand the desire to get people to watch this thing since Sony surrendered to North Korea by pulling its theatrical release, but I don't want it on my fucking YouTubes. Seriously...

POWER RANGERS SUPER MEGAFORCE AND THE LEGENDARY STUNT SHOW
Two years of hyper hyperbole and ballyhoo and it didn't live up to the hype. Never mind the reality that the series itself was just a poorly-written, poorly-conceived rehash of the MMPR formula that had some references to the 20th anniversary tacked on like an afterthought. Look, I've said my piece regarding this fucking waste already. I've neither the time nor the patience to go through it again. All I'll say is... here's hoping Dino Charge is better. And while we're on the subject...

THE ASTRONEMA CAMEO IN EXTENDED EDITION
People liked this for some reason and that was enough to excuse the rest of the Legendary FARCE. You remember that one episode of the Simpsons where the Malibu Stacy doll was starting to fall out of favor with the public, but then she was reintroduced to the masses with a brand new hat and that was enough for people to fall in love with her again because they're that gullible? Well... Astronema's the hat that was added Legendary Farce's Malibu Stacy doll... and the gullible fandom fell in love with it. Sad.

MMPR IN NAME ONLY
Did their first episode come out yet? Anybody know what I'm talking about? If not, then don't worry. You're not missing much.

BOB ORCI
Was set to direct Star Trek 3 or 13, then not. Was set to write the upcoming Power Rangers reboot, then not. Was even set to write the Trek 3 or 13 script, then not... Nothing against the guy, but yeah, um... was set to have a busy year, then not. I could be missing something, but then again... not.

JASON DOUCHEBAG FRANK
We've gone to the "I wanna fight CM Punk" well again... because clearly he's the only one that gives a shit; the same way he's clearly the only that gave a shit about a potential fight with Jean Claude Van Damme that never happened... but more than that, JDF has been a bit of a douche, especially in regards to another former Ranger (and winner of 2014 on this list) with whom he has some heat that nobody but him cares about. ANyone who acts and skews things in a way that prompts me to create a label on the blog called JDFisCancer... I don't hate the man; I don't know the man, BUT his public persona is a douchebag. And that's generally (but not exclusive) what garners him the illustrious spot on this LOsers list.

BROCK LESNAR
Wait a minute. How could this be? Brock Lesnar broke the Undertaker's much overhyped and overemphasized Wrestlemania streak... in a match that wasn't very good and brought about an end to two decades worth of storytelling with a whimper than any semblance of a bang... and then he fucked off, never to be seen again for months on end. B-but he beat John Cena for the WWE Title at Summerslam in convincing, DOMINATING FASHION... in a match that was 15 minutes and 50 German Suplexes too long and was also known to cure insomnia... not to mention it's another part-timer holding the title simply because FUCK YOU.

WWE NETWORK CANADA
Get it for 9.99? Sweet! Unless you live in Canada, then it's 11.99... and it's a premium channel on Roger cable systems only... and it's the BEST OF WWE NETWORK, meaning it's nowhere near as good... lame. And hey, while we're on the subject...

WWE NETWORK
Despite a relatively low monthly fee of... well, you know... and access to a smorgasbord of old-school wrestling content and some original programming, the Network only managed a little over 700,000 subscribers. Now, I don't want to shit on the Network too much, because you know what? It's something I'd be remotely interested in, mainly for the archival stuff. But the way they've been managing this thing has been pretty horrendous. Surely, you'd think WWE would've thought this through a little better when it came to something so massive and game-changing. After all, they pretty much sacrificed their PPV business and threw all their chips behind the Network and so far, it hasn't been paying off - possibly due to the fact that their current product is really not worth the 9.99. Now, there's a chance they could turn this around in 2015 and the same could be said for the WWE Network in Canada, but for now, I've gotta slap these in the Losers bracket because 2014 has not been too kind. Let's hope this isn't the case for next year because I'd love to see this take off and really achieve the kind of success I think it could achieve.

GRUMPY CAT HOSTING RAW
A last-minute addition as a reading of a Wrestlecrap list reminded me of this moment where some cat was the "guest host" of Monday Night Raw... and again, I have to ask; who the fuck is Grumpy Cat?

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2
Here's another one that just came to mind as I had removed it from my brain after seeing it. Outside of some decent visual spectacles, there's nothing remotely redeeming about this thing. The writing and story sucks a massive lemon, some of the acting borders on wretched... it's never a good sign when they try to build a movie around the doomed Peter/Gwen relationship and do a piss poor job of making it interesting that I was literally thinking to myself, "Just kill the girl off and get it over with." And to anyone who thinks ill because of that statement, I'll assume you didn't read the original comic book where this actually happened. And that did a far better job with that particular relationship than this movie ever could... absolutely worthless.

ANGRY VIDEO GAME NERD
The movie sucked... And this is another thing that I've already spent far more time talking about this thing than I really needed to... so I won't say much here. All I will say is that I just recent popped in my own bootleg copy of the Star Wars Holiday Special and as terrible of a show as THAT was, I got more chuckles and more laughs watching THAT wretched thing than I got out of watching the AVGN movie, the 12 Days of Shitsmas marathon, and the past two or three years worth of AVGN episodes COMBINED... now if that isn't grounds for a loser spot, I don't know what is.

MIDDLE GROUNDERS
Less middle ground and more honorable mentions. Only a couple this year.

CHRIS BORES
Did a tell-all video, told his side of the "feud". Opened up, as it were. I didn't listen to the whole thing - it was something I never cared for - but he opened up on his side of the story and I can respect him for that. There're parts of his story that are dubious at best, from what I've seen and I didn't see the whole thing, but to me, just the fact that he opened up about this was overdue... not enough to put him in a winner notch because , but enough to remain comfortably within a middle ground notch. Some would complain that it's still higher than the Nerd movie, but that's just the way it is. Bores tells all - good for him, should've done it ages ago, but good for him... There're some bits that I could question or even dispute, but as far as I'm concerned, it's time to put this to bed and move on because we've got better things to do with life and with internet woes.

MY DOG
Had to undergo surgery because she had a lump and there was a cancer scare, but fortunately, she's fine. She's Cancer-free. And she's back to her old usual bitchy self. You people only get to see her good side. But there are days when she can be a handful and a bit aggressive... and that's partly why she's not on the winner's list... actually, an honorable mention on this list is the best place for it, so... there you go.

So that's the list... happy new year, everybody.

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