Category Archives: August 2012
Was not a bad night for wrestling and unfortunately I could not put every match on the list, nor could I put every segment (kudos to Vickie Guerrero though). I left off Sheamus and Sandow, Rhodes and Mysterio, and way too much time in recaps. However, on the bright side, there were long matches on this episode of Smackdown than there was last week. We tipped it at 28:07, which is about 8 minutes longer than last week. If the 14:55 of recaps had been cut down a bit more (yes, the Anger Management segments were hilarious, but were they necessary in full again?) we could have used it for segment time, or matches. Yes, I’m still hoping those recaps can get cut down more.
4. Prime Time Players vs. Tyson Kidd & Justin Gabriel
Any time Tyson Kidd gets on television is a good time, even if it’s against Titus O’Neil and Darren Young. Kidd and Gabriel are going to be the underdogs in the tag team division, and underdog in the literal sense of the word. They will be used, because they are a tag team, but you know they aren’t getting a title shot. What proved it further is that DURING THE MATCH they showed a Tout from the Usos. Seriously? There is wrestling going on, there is an 88 minute show airing, and you couldn’t find any other time but during the action to show this Tout? For shame, WWE, for not recognizing the talent of Kidd and Gabriel, or recognizing it to put over someone else. Still a decent match for the 3 minutes it was allotted. Read the rest of this entry
I really, really, REALLY want Superstars to go back to being 4 matches instead of 15+ minutes of advertisements and recaps and less than 20 minutes of wrestling. The show was only 38 minutes long! About 18 minutes of that should not be recaps. There is plenty of time to have put another 5 minute match in there. Also, if there was another match, perhaps I wouldn’t have the same Top 4 every week. Sure, Scott would continue to be at #1, but I could give a better nod to the three matches on top and throw one to the wolves. It would mean more. As it is I’m throwing three matches on here and thinking in the future I might stop making it matches and start making it individuals again. That’s for another week, though, because I actually did enjoy all of the matches this week.
4. Alex Riley vs. Jinder Mahal
Riley and Mahal are the stars of Superstars of late. If you don’t get one, you get the other. So I’m sort of “meh” watching them fight each other. I’ll be the first to admit the two have come a long way from their early days, but I keep seeing the same thing in the ring. It’s starting to turn into a Cena or Orton or any top face match where you see the same move set over and over and over and… Is it bad? No, they have a good grip on what they are doing. Is it good? No, we’ve seen it before and all sort of want to see something different. They need different opponents. And Riley, honestly, needs to keep that explosive attitude he comes out to the ring with when he’s in the ring. I know he slowed down so he would not have the mistakes he once did, but now he just seems methodical when wrestling. There needs to be a mix of charisma and power, not just one or the other.
3. Ryback vs. Johnny Curtis
Okay, sure, we knew Ryback was going to win, but since I’ve started recording Ryback matches this has been his longest to date. And against Curtis. Who looked incredible in the ring against the big guy. Curtis knew how to play it off while staying in character and made for a highly entertaining 3:33. See, Ryback can win AND still put on a wrestling match. Hint, hint.
2. Epico & Primo vs. The Usos
How could this match not be the best match of the show? Not much I can say about the Usos I haven’t said already, this week, but it’s good to see Rosa back to dancing and Epico & Primo back in action. It will be interesting if Vince doesn’t forget there is a tag team division for awhile and these two teams, along with the others, get a chance to shine for at least a few months.
1. Scott Stanford
Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! Okay, that was yesterday, but happy birthday to you! What, do you need more of a reason than the day Superstars aired was Scott Stanford’s birthday to have him as #1? Maybe some of his best lines from the week will help convince you.
“This tag team division is absolutely flammable right now.”
“We are livin’ la vida Rosa.”
“And if you’re scoring at home right now that is Jimmy Uso in the ring with that fairly new Samoan Tribal arm sleeve tattoo.”
“Usos asked me if I had any tribal tattoos of my own earlier today.” “And?” “I showed them an airbrushed unicorn on my ankle from a county fair earlier this week. Nothing special.”
“Tribal, no. Temporary, maybe.”
“Always having a terrific time with social media. We’ll see if he has a … terrific time here against Jinder Mahal.”
“I’ve never seen a man get more marriage proposals than Alex Riley.”
“That’s gonna do it… No!”
I was excited to see Chase Donovan on TV for the first time, less excited when I saw Big E Langston come out. I like Big E, for a big guy he grapples well and can put on a good match, but I knew this was not going to be one of those times. Big E pinned Donovan in 42 seconds. If it doesn’t last at least over a minute, really, what’s the point? Look how strong this guy is? We already have a Ryback, and on Superstars this week he managed to show he could put on a good match (I said Superstars, I’m pretending Raw never happened, that was awful). Briley Pierce interviews Big E, who just huffs at him. I feel like I’ve seen this too many times, let Big E have personality. He’s huge in muscle, but he’s short in stature. Stop giving random guys strong, silent predator. Okay, rant over, to the Top 4!
4. Byron Saxton and William Regal
While Scott Stanford might be my favorite commentator, Byron Saxton and William Regal make for my favorite commentary team. The two of them play well off of one another, letting Regal tell his stories while Saxton calls moves. When Regal calls moves Saxton always has a quip. Sure, they have quiet spots at time, but you get the vibe it’s because they are actually paying attention to the match instead of just having nothing to say.
3. The Usos and Ascension
No match between the two tag teams this week, only a segment. A segment which I enjoyed. The Usos call out Ascension and the Ascension do come out, surprising the Usos by not walking through their long entrance but appearing in the ring to attack the Samoans. It will be nice to see Ascension have an actual feud and the Usos, of late, have really come into their talent in the ring.
2. Mike Dalton & Jason Jordan vs. Hunico & Camacho
I really wanted to make this the #1 match of the episode, but I have to give the nod to the main event this time. However, all four men once again are unbelievably springy and quick in the 4 minutes they are allotted making the time go by even faster. I love this feud, it’s good for all four men who are more about their in-ring abilities, even as the characters finally begin to shine. There was not a man I didn’t enjoy in the ring for this match, even though I’m slightly partial to one of the teams.
1. Seth Rollins vs. Jinder Mahal
Face it, this was a good match. Probably my favorite match that Rollins’ has been in. Rollins isn’t a bad wrestler, he does tend to be in matches working a style that he doesn’t seem suited for. With Mahal Rollins takes the step back and wrestles at a different pace and it seems to fit him better. I know the internet hates Mahal, and loves Rollins, but Mahal gives it his all in this match and helps make this 13 minutes match an incredibly charged fight. Unfortunately, by the times this aired, everyone knew that Rollins had the title, taking away from a bit of the, “Could this be it?” moments.
One again, thank you tons to @hotyounglindsey who allowed me to use her photos from Sunset Flip Photography! Follow her, absolutely worth it.
It’s that time again and I haven’t gotten very far. I finished Bride by Command and replaced it with a vampire novel (this is one of two I’m reading).
Amazingly enough this is a dark novel, gruesome at the beginning, and isn’t about romanticizing vampires right off the bat. Did lose points, though, for having a vampire society. I’m tired of secret vampire societies, but I’m only about 16% through this novel so I’ll keep at it. Mostly on the basis that so far it is DARK. If this is anything like the last Armintrout novel I read I’ll likely it just on that basis.
I haven’t actually made it much further into this book than I had last week. This is all about the romance and less about the plot going on, which is the problem with most romance novels. They want to give you something more, then focus on the romance. If you want to focus on the romance, kill the underlying plot and make it about two people, because honestly I could tolerate that more than I can trying to make a complicated story but making it pretty basic because it’s about how hot two people are for one another.
Bored. Having a hard time getting into this. Usually by this time in a month I’ve finished 3-4 books. Right now I barely finished one and the graphic novel I had picked up because nothing is holding my interest. It could be me, or it could be the books I’m currently trying to read through. Truly wanted to adore this novel as much as I do the man who wrote it, but I had such a hard time with the first half that I’m barely giving the second half a chance.
Honestly, it had been awhile since a manga series made me want to sit down and devour it, and now that I’m on the last novel I want to sit and do just that. While not a 5 star story, because really this is about the romance more than the spiritulaization around them, this (unlike the above mentioned vampire novel) knows how to balance story and romance and make it about what it’s actually about… romance. The first novel felt like a set-up for the rest, and it worked out nicely. Now for the final segment.
This is the third book in her third trilogy set in the same universe. Because it would take me a few pages just to explain what has happened this far I’m going to skip right over that. If you haven’t read her first trilogy and enjoy romantic fantasy, read it, if just for the sub-story of the emperor and his assassin that spans all three books. Unfortunately, Jones does not carry over that complicated storytelling into trilogy two. Trilogy three is better than the predecessor but is lacking in imagination after six novels about women finding the loves of their lives.
The other problem Jones falls into is that her main characters are out and out boring at times. The women are perfect, the man have “flaws” that most women would forgive because, Hell, they are nearly perfect themselves. But women in romance novels never forgive their men for lying to them that easily and must hold unnecessarily long grudges that make storytelling repetitive. How many times can she claim to not hate him but be so angry with him she wants to leave?
As usual, her side characters are more interesting. You have the story of a bridal candidate who is being forced to lie to those around her and treat them poorly because she’s afraid of having people close and you get to see more insight into the “bad guys” of the novel. Unfortunately the side characters of Danya and Rainer are not as interesting as the ones from the two books before, and it falls flat.
Jones has a large, well thought out setting, but unfortunately she doesn’t do enough with it and 309 pages of a romance novel where the plot itself is a bit thin doesn’t work. Not to mention a gaping hole that was not addressed in the novel until towards the end to, more or less, deus ex machina a reason to not kill off a character. And after reminders of how everyone is doing or where everyone is at the end of the novel seems to be nothing more than a reminder of incompetence and what might never have been a truly terrifying threat.
Reasons to Read:
- Conclusion to this trilogy
- Interesting premise
Reasons Not to Read:
- If you read one in this trilogy, you read them all
- Makes women seem weak
- Makes the bad guy seem weak
- Too much worrying about love, not enough worrying about an empire
This was a good week for matches, just oddly none of them were on Smackdown. We also had the pay-per-view which changes the contention a bit. If it wasn’t for Summer Slam Gabriel would have been making two appearances and a Del Rio submission might have fallen onto the list, but I can’t leave out those wonderful PPV matches.
4. Justin Gabriel & Tyson Kidd vs. Michael McGillicutty & Johnny Curtis – NXT
Sure, we’ve seen it before, but the four of them tend to strive to change-up their matches. It doesn’t feel like the same match from the time before and that’s part of what saves it. Plus, I’m still damn impressed with Curtis jumping off the turnbuckle.
3. Dolph Ziggler vs. Chris Jericho – RAW
Well if any match this year had a more obvious ending I can’t think of it at the moment. It didn’t detract from the fact that it was an excellent display, albeit short, of their abilities and was not a carbon copy of the match they had just had the night before. It’s sad to see Jericho go, but it’s great to see him give Ziggler the rub before he does. Now hopefully they continue to boost Ziggler up instead of letting him fall.
2. Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio – Summer Slam
Despite the hate for these two men fighting in the ring “again” I highly enjoyed the match. The two men know how to work off of one another, even though they have different styles. It comes together nicely in the ring and made for the second most entertaining match of the night, and second most entertaining match of the week. Sorry to the lovers of a lot of other wrestlers on Summer Slam, but a lot of them weren’t overwhelmingly great pay-per-view matches despite the talent in the ring. However…
1. Dolph Ziggler vs. Chris Jericho – Summer Slam
And they make the list again, this time in a match that was given the proper length of time. It wasn’t a perfect match, but it was perfect for what it needed to be, which was excellent. Jericho’s not as springy as he once was, but he still handles himself with care in the ring and in this match seemed to have found the rhythm he might have missed in other matches throughout his return. It was great to see him get a win and it was great to see Ziggler grapple with the Ayatollah of Rock’N’Rolla.
What an underwhelming show for matches. There were seven matches of the night, only two of them went over three minutes. Kind of makes it hard to rank a match highly when even on other shows, that are about matches, struggle to get five minute matches and I think those are too short at times. I don’t think matches need to be ten minutes to be good, but I do think recaps need to be cut down. That’s over five minutes of show that could have gone to more wrestling, even if it had been spread out over those five matches. Anyway…
4. Ryback vs. Jinder Mahal
I have to say, even though it was interesting to see Ryback have a near storyline, I hope this was the end. Not because it was awful, I had a few chuckles out of this, but because where do they go? This is an instance of possibly writing themselves into a corner, unless they flesh it out more (ha!). If Ryback continues to win their push to make Mahal a legitimate opponent dies, if they let Mahal win their push for Ryback to be nearly unstoppable dies. Of course, since I don’t believe they have long term plans when they going into a storylines, this could continue for the next three months.
Look at Eve trying to steal Smackdown. Since she started with this “assistant” role back at the beginning of the year with John Laurinaitis the woman went form being an internet joke to someone people are beginning to look forward to. Sure, there are still those out there who hate on Eve, but she’s been a great character from kissing up to Booker T and making Long look bad to coming out and holding Layla and Kaitlyn’s arms up awkwardly. Oh, and let’s not forget a sudden appearance of the tag teams. This was a blatant reminder that, hey, WWE does have other tag teams. Now, let’s do something with them. But Vince will likely be bored in 2 weeks and forget again.
2. Sheamus vs. Dolph Ziggler
This is a good match all together, even if it’s better in the end when Ziggler threatens to cash in the briefcase yet again. However, it’s probably time to start watching out how often he goes for that cash-in, as he does it again at the end of the show. There is no reason to continually make Ziggler look weak and like a coward. But the match itself was entertaining and at over five minutes given a proper amount of time to be good while not being overly excellent.
1. Alberto Del Rio vs. Randy Orton
The match itself could have been better. Orton’s not been up to his usual self since his return, which is a shame. I like Orton, even if I’m still one of the last, but even I have to admit his in-ring performance is suffering. Del Rio is brilliant in the ring, even if I stand nearly alone there as well, but together there wasn’t enough sparks. What helped make this match make it to #1 this week is one thing, Orton tapped. No one believed it. Honestly, go back and look at the last year of Orton’s career. Orton is the one face most likely to lose cleanly, but to tap out to Del Rio, it still shocked everyone when they saw it (or read it in the spoilers).
All-in-all this was an underwhelming Smackdown, but it had it’s highlights. For the record, I nearly gave the segments number 1 or 2 just because at least I had no real complaints about those, but let’s give it up to the hard working wrestlers.
This week all of Superstars was taped before Smackdown, which gave us a team of Matt Striker and his condescending Cole-isms and Scott Stanford and his love for everyone and ability to let negativity roll off his shoulders. Unfortunately for the show there was too much recapping, with nearly 8 minutes of recaps or ads for things that are airing later in the week. There was 19:38 of actual match time (I count from bell to bell, entrances and conversation are not counted into the match time). Considering the show was 39 minutes long there’s still about 12 minutes I didn’t figure in. Probably more on air ads.
4. Damien Sandow vs. Yoshi Tatsu
A lot of people called this a squash, however I think Tatsu had a pretty good offense for the bit of time he got to show it off. Sandow was going to win, that was clear, and Tatsu’s treatment is absurd in the company, but I’m glad to see him in the ring. He helped make Sandow look even better. Still not the best match of the show, but decent enough.
3. Alex Riley vs. Drew McIntyre
Drew McIntyre comes out looking stylish in the new jacket from last week, but the ending of this match is already predetermined. Superstars is no longer just about good matches and having quick rivalries (believe it or not, just a year ago, it was even if there was no given plot). Superstars is about putting over the guy they are going to push or want to make sure you remember. Unfortunately, it’s not Drew, though Drew looks incredible in the ring. I’m not taking away from Riley, Riley’s come a long way since his ended quick feud with Miz, but I’m ready to see something for McIntyre again. Great match that didn’t flow the way you would have expected it to, which is always a plus.
2. Cody Rhodes vs. Justin Gabriel
Before the match started Gabriel and Rhodes had a sort of smile off. Rhodes wanted to prove that he could get a better smile and crowd reaction and told Gabriel to watch him as he climbed up onto the ropes and did his smile. I love both guys so I was at home just cheering like a fan girl all by my lonesome. Was a sad moment for me, but the match itself made up for it. Great match where the two never truly slow down, which is what I like to see. Ultimately, predictably, Rhodes wins and no one is surprised.
1. Scott Stanford
This week Striker and Stanford took more opposing sides while calling the matches, especially for the first and third match (Scott seems less capable of taking a side when either Riley or McIntyre are out there, more so against one another). It made it interested to see Scott clearly playing the face announcer instead of being enthusiastic about everyone and everything, though he still never truly has a horrible thing to say about anyone, making him the ultimate face announcer. Still, as Striker took repeated barbs at Scott and Striker tried to talk himself up as much as he did the matches (though Striker did give a good reason for Rhodes and Gabriel’s continued feud) Scott is the one I always feel the need to praise. Scott doesn’t seem to be affected by the negativity and in fact pokes fun of himself, making it harder for Striker to continue. Scott gets better every week.
A few of Scott Stanford’s great lines of the week:
“When you look up the term Shot Out of a Cannon you see a picture of A-Ry.”
“What’s wrong with excited and happy? Just look at the guy.”
“Two words we always use to identify Drew McIntyre: Ruthless Aggression.”
“A-Ry, he’s got him done!”
“Talk about explosive! That’s the word I love to explain Riley!”
This week’s Top 4 is leaving off a match that could have made it, I mean, Tamina Snuka versus Sofia Cortez are great wrestlers, but I’ll admit to folding under pressure. Sofia is no longer with the company and since I do these blogs to promote the beauty of the wrestlers, the laughter, the athleticism, giving it to someone who is gone doesn’t feel right. And Tamina, on her own, doesn’t work for this.
After the Tamina and Sofia match Raquel comes out to further taunt the loser, which in this case is Tamina. She draws an “L” on Tamina’s forehead with her lipstick… sort of. She actually draws it upside down, since Tamina is knocked out and her head is sort of laid back. When Tamina stands up it’ll be more of a 7. I get why Raquel did it the way she did, but in the end it was just distracting as everyone was commenting the same thing, “It was more of a 7.” There is an interview with Briley Pierce, and I give him credit because unlike some other backstage interviewer I won’t mention the name of, Pierce shows personality. Ohno… not as much.
3. Kassius Ohno vs. Jake Carter
Well, as usual, when someone doesn’t get an entrance you know that he’s likely losing. Poor Jake Carter. It wasn’t a squash, luckily, as there were over four minutes of match, but it wasn’t spectacular. Ohno is trying to fit the character they have written him into it, and doesn’t seem like he’s comfortable with bringing it to the ring. Meanwhile no one actually worries about trying to tell a story with Carter as NXT has fallen into the same rhythm as Raw and Smackdown. You know, the “these are the guys were are pushing and that’s that” mentality. I miss NXT Redemption’s storytelling, but that’s for another day and another blog.
2. Derrick Bateman vs. Antonio Cesaro
Let’s face it, I am a huuuuuuuuuuuuuge fan of Derrick Bateman. I have been since his first incarnation on NXT. So, I really wanted to make him number one, but there is a rule out there that if Kidd fights, he’s number one. It’s actually a good rule because, well, it’s Tyson Kidd. So Derrick and Cesaro slip to number two, but do an incredible job in the short match. Cesaro’s grown on me, but he didn’t really grow on me until he started with Smackdown, and this match helped my opinion of him. Derrick… well, he’s still one of my favorite guys… ever.
1. Michael McGillicutty & Johnny Curtis vs. Tyson Kidd & Justin Gabriel
Kidd and McGillicutty have such chemistry in the ring that I’m surprised these two just don’t have a permanent side feud. Gabriel returns and while he’s not as fast as the commentators keep trying to lead you to believe, he never misses a step and is in no way a slow athlete. Curtis might be the weakest of the three, but that’s like saying Twilight Sparkle is the weakest of Rainbow Dash, Rarity, and Pinkie Pie. (Oh yeah, I got an My Little Pony reference in). There’s just that much greatness all in the ring. Curtis does a move that surprises me from him. I don’t think high flyer when I think Curtis, and I’m really sad Gabriel moved out of the way because this move was … awesome!
The photos are thanks to @hotyoungLindsey and her photography. Check her out on facebook and see how good she is!
It’s that time again! Let’s discuss!
I like the guy who wrote this, so it’s a shame so far I’m not enjoying this novel. Albino day bats? And there is soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much talking. Conversation should NOT be how a plot should be explained. Especially through the whole novel. And there are a lot of convenient run-ins. A lot. I’m 55% through and wondering how these bumbling two are supposed to turn into heroes.
This is the third novel in this series of implausible characters and reactions. The first one was meh, but I decided to try the next book. The second book was good but lost me with the whole, “I don’t want to be a vampire anymore!” ending. This one, just… no.
Winstead Jones is incredible at writing evil characters and secondary storylines. This is the third novel in her third trilogy set in this world. Lady Danya is brilliant and Rikka and Kristo make great devious evil doers. However, they aren’t the focus. The focus is on Jahn, the stereotypical male romance lead, and Morgana, the stereotypical female romance lead. So there story, which is the majority of the novel, is pretty much lovey-dovey happy with secrets kept from one another while the side stories are all more entertaining.
In the long run, I’m not reading much good. Tell me you are reading something better!