Wednesday, January 1, 2020

The Winners And Losers Of 2019

So it's that time of year again, folks. The annual tradition that has been a thing since the old DTM Webstation days back in 2004 and has endured multiple blogs. For those who want the audio version, the latest edition of the DTM-Cast has you covered, but for those who prefer to read these things rather than hear them, I present to you the Winners And Losers Of 2019!

I'm not going to say that this is the hardest list that I've ever put together because, to be perfectly frank, there were a lot of easy shoe-ins for both sides of the coins. However, when it came to certain items to itemize, that became a bit more of a struggle and ultimately, the two that I struggled with the most ended up being middle grounders. But the rest of the list was perfectly fine.

No better way to start than to focus on the few positive highlights of 2019.

Nintendo Switch
Got one in October and I love it. It's the most wonderful thing I've touched this year. Might not have many games for the system - and I'd imagine it'd be slim pickings at first - but I can't say that I haven't fun with this. A lot of mileage was gotten on both the homefront and handheld format... and I even got a bunch of goodies for the system, which shows how much I love this thing. Absolutely wonderful.

Playstation 4
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the rising numbers of the latest Playstation model, having surpassed the numbers of the original Wii and Playstation consoles and could very well make a run for the PS2's crown as the best-selling console of all time. Whatever you think of the system itself - and I have no real opinion, regardless - this is quite a noteworthy accomplishment and I have a feeling it'll be making the Winners of 2020 list should it continue its selling ways.

Sega Genesis Mini
So Sega's first new "console" is a retread of old territory thanks to years of subpar clone systems by ATGames. Unlike those prior efforts, this latest Mini console got it right with not only quality emulation, but a much more varied selection of games ranging from the usual Sega classics to some great third-party selections and even includes a couple bonus games in the form of a port of the original Darius as well as a retooled version of the long-lost Tetris game... that still isn't very good, but the gesture was appreciated. Out of all the "Classic" console re-releases, the Genesis Mini is probably the best of the bunch, which only makes me more curious about the upcoming TurboGrafx mini console due next year.

Mega Man Maker
Makes the list due to the fact that I'm still playing it... as evident by the various videos I post on it. This is really a fun little gimmick that is continually getting updated with new material and it's a fangame on top of that. Simply wonderful stuff.

Reggie... just Reggie
The man whose body is ready retired as Nintendo of America head honcho and is well deserving the long rest after his years of working at Nintendo and being one of the pivotal voices of that organization. People can make up memes all they want, but the thing about Reggie was that he had a presence and a voice that made people pay attention. Yes, people bug him about Mother 3, but fuck them. Reggie was awesome and I hope his retirement is going well.

Roman Reigns
Joe Anoa'i ended 2018 several months early by announcing that he was battling his second leukemia diagnosis and left WWE television... and this February, came back to WWE TV and announced that his leukemia was in remission and he was back on TV. His 2019 run has been met with less boos than his run on top and while it hasn't been the most inspired run, at the very least, Roman Reigns is back on TV and doing relatively well. Given what he's coming back from, that earns a top wrestling winner spot on this list.

All Elite Wrestling
A dynamite first year in business, with a few successful pay-per-views and a weekly television series on TNT that has been getting decent numbers as well as rave reviews. One could make the argument that all of this is due to the new shine on AEW's bumper and we will see where things are at a year from now. But as far as this year's concerned, AEW is one of the top winners on this annual listing. And speaking of lists...

Le Champion Du AEW, Chris Jericho
From a guy doing silly lists that earned a Loser spot on these annual lists to taking a chance with a new promotion and killing it with some of the best work in his career, there's no doubt that Chris Jericho was in top form this past year. I'll admit it; I didn't think much when he signed with AEW, but he carried the promotion on his back as the first and youngest AEW World champion, he's had great moments and matches, and he even managed to turn something stupid like somehow losing the AEW title belt at a steakhouse into pure gold. This is probably the best that Le Champion has been in years and his spot on the Winners List of 2019 is well deserved.

Jon Moxley
Started 2019 as the third wheel in the WWE Shield that was getting needles stuck up his ass and ended 2019 in AEW going through barb wire glass matches with Kenny Omega. And everything in between - his New Japan run and various indy runs - has given the former Dean Ambrose a new lease on life, almost to the point where I had already forgotten about that other character until I was working on this list.

NWA Powerrrrr
Let's not give AEW all the wrestling love here and share some with Billy Corgan's NWA giving wrestling fans a new hour-long Youtube wrestling show modeled after the old-school Mid-Atlantic NWA World Championship Wrestling studio shows and not coming off as complete parody... though those commercials come dangerously close to driving the whole thing in that direction. The show themselves are pretty simple, straightforward, and make for a really easy watch, basically giving me the quick fix that the old hour-long NXT shows used to give before they were shipped off to the USA Network... and then Jim Cornette said something stupid and everything fell off the rails, but let's not have that detract from what was up to that point a fine hour of online wrestling.

The Mandalorian
So, let it be said that I think the baby Yoda thing needs to die and die quickly because it's the most hideous thing ever conceived by human hands... I may be in the minority here, but beyond that tidbit, I've enjoyed The Mandalorian quite a bit. The first live-action Star Wars show to make it to fruition and it's some high quality expanded fare that almost makes the Disney Plus service worth subscribing to for the short time it's on before you drop your subscription.

Well, they can't all be winners... but this year has had some really obnoxious losers.

WWE (excluding WWE Network)
I don't think I ever marked down WWE as a whole on the loser's list. Usually, I'd denote "main roster" or anything more specific, but this time around, it's the whole company. Yes, they got a couple big TV deals and that goes along fine with that Sweet Saudi Money, but honestly, the product they're putting on TV has been so awful that I gave up on the current product altogether. Their latest video game has been a shambolic mess with glitches galore, their redesign of the WWE Network has been plagued with issues, and of course, their shameless effort to undermine the upstart AEW promotion by airing their NXT show on USA Network and turning it into yet another WWE show. Let me put it another way; when WWE puts out a PPV that is so bad and so wretched that it makes you quit the current product, then the entire promotion deserves not just a spot on the Losers' List, but the TOP spot. That having been said, WWE Network, even with its issues, has been killing it with the classic content and for that reason alone, it's excluded from the overall picture. Everything else can go fly a kite for all I care.

Seth Rollins
Well... I might as well make a special case for Mr. Rollins. So, here's a story of a guy who had beaten the man called Brock Lesnar at both of WWE's biggest shows of the year to win the championship title held by Lesnar both times. Should've been cause for celebration, except the title he won was a red toy belt (now a blue toy belt) that isn't taken seriously. Not only that, but he then goes on Twitter and brags about having the best wrestling on the planet, all the while having mediocre matches with Baron Corbin and Bray Wyatt. For someone who is supposed the top guy in WWE, Rollins has done more to cement his reputation as a bonafide geek than convince anyone that he's actually someone to be taken seriously. And then they turned him heel... because sure, why not?

They took down the F4WOnline video service, which is, quite honestly, the only reason why I even bother with Vimeo to begin with. Fuck those guys; they get the Losers slot.

Twitter is for Twits. Nuff said.

So last year, Atari held a crowdfunding campaign for their supposed Ataribox (or Atari VCS, as it's now known, but I refuse to acknowledge it by that name) and garnered a cool three million dollars. That console was supposed to see release this year... it is currently scheduled to be released next year... presumably in the spring. The fact that I'm only recalling this now should tell you my feelings on the system or lack thereof.

Contra: Rogue Corps
Overpriced shovelware that assumes the name of a beloved franchise and plays nothing like it. I haven't played this one, and to be fair, the twin-stick shooter approach is something that I felt would've been a step forward for Contra (and honestly, would've served a prior game in the series much better), but everything I've seen regarding this release proved that I made the right choice in sticking with the Contra Anniversary Collection for my Contra needs... and I'm not even a big Contra fan.

Terminator Franchise
So they made another one of these Terminator films where they brought back Arnie, they brought back Linda, they killed off John Connor so that they can tell the same story all over again with different people... and the movie ended up being a big bomb. Can we finally stop making these fucking movies now?

Crisis On Infinite Earths (CW Superhero event, not the comic book event)
So this Crisis thing comes along, unites all the various CW Superhero Shows and thensome for some fan service, and gives geeks to get all excited over all the various cameos and whatnots. Burt Ward's in this for five seconds! Brandon Routh is Superman again and comes off as better than the Supercuck they got playing him regularly! Tom Welling is Clark Kent who never suits up because he gave up his powers for his kids! Kevin Conroy plays an asshole Bruce Wayne to validate Batwoman (who, at first, I thought was played by a little boy)! They got the Danny Elfman Batman theme! Holy balls! Meanwhile, you've got incredible unlikable characters, caricatures who exist to fill that diversity checklist, atrocious dialogue and writing that's about as believable as Saudi Arabia being a progressive state. and grand scale battles that come off so poorly the old American made MMPR fight footage are better endeavors... basically all the reasons why I could never get into these CW Superhero shows to begin with. There's two more parts to come in January, but I've seen enough to add this to the Loser List.

Superman: The Truth... again
Didn't we already do this whole "Superman's Secret Identity Exposed To The World" gimmick a few years ago? Last time we did that, it sucked. And so let's try again with hack writer BENDIS going to the only well he has and guess what? It still sucks. Boy, do I sure miss the days when the most controversial thing DC did to Superman was give him a mullet. Fun times.

The Snyder Cut
You know what? Fuck the Snyder Cut. Feel bad about what happened to his kid during production of Justice League, but that doesn't mean I want him to come back and finish a version of the film that's up to par with his last two completely terrible movies. What we ended up getting was just fine and I don't think Snyder's take - three hours of melodramatic bullshit and a droning, forgettable Hans Zimmer score - isn't going to be any better.

Beyond The Grid
The follow-up to the wretched Shattered Grid crossover story that brings every Ranger together for the wankiest wankfest of all and highlighted by the wankiest Tommy wankfest of all courtesy of chief Tommy wanker Kyle Higgins... is a story of a random group of Rangers in some alternate dimension where we get introduced to a couple girls who are teased to be lesbians, but are not. When that's the biggest takeaway from the whole thing, it speaks of the overall weakness of the arc's story, which was forgettable fare. Beyond The Grid isn't a loser because it's forgettable fare, but it did kill my interest in the Boom Studios MMPR comic boom run for good and that merit inclusions on this here list.

Legend Of The White Dragon
You know... this almost didn't make the list because I had forgotten all about it. But because the Rangerboard thread talking about this thing is still in my bookmarks folder (for whatever reason), I was reminded of this blatant attempt at another JDF wankfest from those JDF wankfest extraordinaires, Bat In The Sun. This made some waves, but not enough to get funded in their crowdfunding efforts. Nothing against the BitS guys; I'm sure they do fine if not derivative work, but anything that deals a blow to the JDF egomania deserves a welcome spot on this here list.

Two middle grounders make this list... prepare for the fireworks.

Kofi Kingston
So, here's the deal. Kofi Kingston won the WWE title from Daniel Bryan Danielson at Wrestlemania 35 after fans got behind him and it was a really big moment; one of the few genuine Wrestlemania moments at a show where such things feel manufactured. He then had a rather lengthy championship reign lasting several months before losing it to Brock Lesnar in October. So why is Kofi Kingston a middle grounder? Because the reality is that I don't recall anything noteworthy about Kofi Kingston's reign as WWE Champion other than that he uses the belt to hide the pancakes he would pull from his scrotum and toss to the crowd... and really, him tossing pancakes is the only thing I recall about Kofi in 2019. Even his title reign seems like an afterthought. Hell, I almost forgot that Kofi was even champion this year. That's how truly worthless that title reign was and I actually like Kofi when he's not doing the pancake thing. Because of that, he gets the middle grounder support... but not much more than that.

The Rise Of Skywalker
So after a passable first part that was retreading on familiar territory and a second part where nothing happened while negating a need for a third part, I guess we have a third and final chapter to this trilogy that had no direction. The Rise Of Skywalker goes back to the well and ends up being merely okay... but does little to justify its existence, let alone that of this entire trilogy. If this is the end of the Skywalker saga, then it's a pretty lame way to go out on. I'll share my thoughts on this at a later time, but in all honesty, it's neither good or bad. It's just there. Hence, its middle grounder status.

The End. Happy New Year, folks!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Keep it real and keep it clean.