Category Archives: May 2012
Superstars had actually been on a roll of late of good matches, not just because of the stars in them but because they were actually good, so it helped me look forward to this episode. I was even more excited by there being four matches because I like wrestling! Then they gave me Jinder Mahal vs. Yoshi Tatsu, which hey, what a surprise, ended in a Camel Clutch. Damn it!
4. Tensai vs. Alex Riley
The only reason this moved up onto the list and I didn’t give it to some random commentator or fan in the crowd is Alex Riley. The man’s come a long way and didn’t get squashed by Tensai in under a minute. Of course some of the moves he did get in were no-sold by Tensai, but we can’t expect a good match out of Tensai. I’m not even blaming the man’s abilities (I don’t know what they are beyond hissing and not getting knocked down) but the way he was packaged. Riley deserves better than this, though. Right when Riley was coming into his own and should be brought back as a contender again WWE decided they would much rather focus on some guy who has had a chance, left, come back again. “Why doesn’t anyone like our new guys?” Um, hi, have you seen your roster pushes lately? I like how it keeps biting you guys in the ass, though. Makes me smile.
3. Beth Phoenix vs. Alicia Fox
Eh-hem. Got a little ranty there for a minute. Okay, so, Phoenix, to me, is overrated as a wrestler. She’s prettier than most well muscled women in her class but that’s all she has going for her. Her moves look as choreographed as they are and you know when she’s not going to get a move to work because she’ll do a move that isn’t in her repertoire. This match actually made it to 3 this week because of Fox. Fox is typically botch-tastic and instead this week looked like the coordinated one.
2. Scott Stanford
I will not rant on this one. Much. Maybe. We all know my favorite part of Superstars is Scott, there’s no question about it. Josh has a few quips, but they are far and few between and between Striker and Stanford Mathews just can not keep up and sits there staring. I can almost see his eyes glazing over. Scott, on the other hand, had to commentate through Tensai and Riley and Phoenix and Fox and never does he lose his enthusiasm or good cheer. He has to be as bored as we are sometimes during these matches, but you wouldn’t know it to hear him. He’s a consummate professional. So why did I put him at 2? Mostly to be fair to the fans and to give this match the attention it does deserve.
1. Drew McIntyre vs. Christian
Before you whine that this match should have been the main event of Smackdown remember that on Smackdown the main events have not been ending cleanly lately. There’s a thousand commercials in-between as they try to make it long, or seem long, and they have Booker T and Michael Cole to commentate alongside Mathews. Instead this match gets to be the main event of Superstars where it actually has time to be a great match and doesn’t have to rely on disqualifications or anything else they want to throw at them. While Drew was going to lose from the very beginning this might have been the best match I’ve seen this week, and I’ve already seen some great matches. McIntyre and Christian should be a main event match and even if it’s just on Superstars, you deserve to treat yourself to their abilities.
We are reaching the end of the NXT that is being taped during Smackdown. What will happen to that extra hour? Will it be shorter shows now? How will we see Full Sail’s NXT? And what about FCW? A few of those guys seem to think it is just being completely abolished. As usual, watching NXT leaves more questions than it gives any sort of answers and Vince continues to flip us off. Which is why I have a certain number 4.
4. Maxine on Commentary
Maxine’s being on commentary during the Kaitlyn vs. Tamina match was a big flip off of our own, of the writer’s own, of the NXT superstars own right back at Vince. Kill the storylines, fine, but we’ll make sure there is some sort of interaction between these superstars other than being randomly thrown in the ring together, or at least seemingly random in the 6 Man match. Maxine’s weakest point is her commentary, probably because she’s much better being sensual or angry than she is speaking with a clear head, but she still holds her own and chats up Regal while Mathews sits there and botches line after line. It’s as close as we are getting to storylines until Full Sail and I thank whoever thought this bit of brilliance up for at least trying to give us something.
3. Kaitlyn vs. Tamina
Regal comments on how strong both of these women are and that they can deadlift over 300 lbs. Either way, these two women have come a long way and Kaitlyn’s submissions are looking impressive. The match is nothing new for either, though, and it drops it a bit.
2. 6 Man Tag Match
Justin Gabriel makes his return on NXT after his injury by teaming up with Percy Watson and Derrick Bateman against everyone’s favorite NXT heels Michael McGillicutty, JTG, and Johnny Curtis. Curtis asked they not call him creepy, then came down to the ring looking… well, creepy. For as long as the match was it started off slow and didn’t really pick up until those last couple of minutes. In those last couple of minutes it was fast paced and frenzied, but in a way that makes you laugh and enjoy the ride. Bateman jumps out and body surfs, or planks, on two of the guys and Gabriel takes the win without using a 450 Splash, which totally earned him points with me. I think wrestlers should have multiple finishers, and Gabriel still had great movement on this new one. But, poor JTG was pinned (and bleeding) and it made me a little sad.
1. Tyler Reks and Curt Hawkins vs. The Usos
Someone might be mad at me later, but this match had the most cohesive movements and consistency. The Usos, who are good for being related to Rikishi and being brothers, looked up to par in this match-up and I can’t help but think it’s because of Reks and Hawkins. Have Reks and Hawkins had a bad match since their return to NXT in September? While everyone comments about their wearing “Hart” colors (because hey, there’s no way color schemes have ever been repeated in the WWE ever, it’s not like everyone doesn’t wear black and red…) they are missing the match. When Reks and Hawkins step out my attention is immediately drawn to them and I can’t help but cheer, in my living room, when I’m by myself with the cats and scaring them. A lot of back and forth in this match and it was the least predicable of the matches since Reks and Hawkins won! Yeah, in case you can’t tell, this was my favorite match of the night, and might have been my favorite match of the week so far.
Usually transitional books are one of my least favorite things. What I mean by a transitional book is that it is in place to set up the rest. Many story lines that will feature bigger later are introduced without a lot of resolution. The reason I typically despise these types of novels is because it feels like a setup the entire time. You know there will be a sequel so you see the first sign of continued storylines and you begin to cringe.
Didn’t happen once in this novel, and I saw myself being setup early. When I was 42% of this novel wondering where the heck it was going, but enjoying the ride so much it took me getting that far before I considered what had happened, I knew I was in for a Hell of a ride. Gualtieri again takes his humor to another level and I spent most of this book laughing.
Now, I can handle crude humor and the constant references to sex, blood and gore, a lack of humanity, and a general lack of maturity from Bill’s friends. I’m perverse, this stuff is amazingly insane and fluid and I want more of it. Do I admit not everyone I know would enjoy this novel? Absolutely. This novel, the sequel to Bill The Vampire, is written for nerd boys, or geeks, who wish they were getting laid and hope for something better. This novel is written for those who understand the argument between which sword in Lord of the Rings was better. This novel is written for those who get the reference about Japanese culture and a hint at tentacles making an appearance. If you understand these references, or it makes you chuckle just thinking about it, this absolutely is the novel for you. Bill is still a nerd, he’s still falling on his ass when it comes to women, but hey, at least he’s a vampire. Right?
Sally, Bill’s vampire “assistant” grows on me much more in this novel and even he felt less of a reason to call her a bitch. Ed grows as a character and Sheila and James both return in interesting capacities. This novel also introduces Gan, who I’m rooting for in so many ways. I won’t explain too much about Gan because it really would be a spoiler, but I sure hope to see more of her later.
Reasons to Read:
- You’re a nerd/geek
- You like a lot of talk about sex
- It’s by Rick Gualtieri
- I like vampires
Reasons Not to Read:
- Most of this blog sounded like gibberish to you. You’re not a nerd. You don’t get it.
- You have no sense of humor
- You’re a prude
- You have a personal vendetta with Gualtieri from 20 years ago and you have vowed revenge and you are secretly trying to sabotage his publication experience by telling people not to buy his novels and thus taking away his livelihood all while you laugh from the sidelines and publish your similar novel that somehow is even geekier but no one is buying because you are just another evil mastermind in a world of evil mastermind’s and you would have been better off taking a totally different approach because this is all pretty contrived and I can’t believe you are still reading this.
Welcome back to another edition of discussions about our favorite novels, or at least the ones we are reading right now.
I’m 85% through this and I’m hoping by the time most of you read this I will have finished it. I’m addicted to Gualtieri’s writing and for and “indy” author he takes every story in stride. Despite the title this book is a hilarious comedy full of the best in nerdish/geekish references. It’s the sequel to Bill the Vampire, which I recommend as well.
My nightly book makes its return! I’m now 30% through and enjoying it. If I wasn’t obsessed with Gualtieri at the moment I would just read this one, but instead it remains my nightly novel. Someone asked me if it was like Go Ask Alice, and yes, yes it is. Though published about the same time (or at least the same year, I wouldn’t know which one was published first) they have a lot of striking similarities while this one, so far, refrains from being as dark.
I haven’t started it yet, but as seems to be my Wednesday thing, I should be starting it today and finishing it today, right after I finish Scary, Dead, Things.
Well that is my list this week! I want to know, what are you reading this particular Wednesday? Are you enjoying it? Is it horrible?
Left off of the list this week, and just barely, is Kassius Ohno’s promo where he calls Cesaro’s bag from last week a purse. This was Ohno’s best promo yet and solidifies my ongoing love for him as a man who grows every time I see him on the FCW screen. Also left on, for a much bigger reason, is the recap of the newcomers to FCW by Briley Pierce and Colin Cassady. While Cassady looked better than he has yet he and Pierce trying to portray their thoughts with a New York/Mafia accent fell flat as neither seemed to fit the part they were going for.
4. Bo Rotundo vs. Seth Rollins
These men are incredible athletes. Unfortunately they do not prove to be incredible wrestlers in this match. This match instead of being an testament to wrestling skill like Jim Ross suggests is more of a show off of gymnastics and Bo’s desire to bump like Ziggler. Facing off together these two have no true direction and it simply leaves you wanting more. I don’t want to take away from the athleticism that these two men have, but it does not carry over into wrestling ability, at least not in this match.
3. Jason Jordan, CJ Parker, Mike Dalton vs. Alexander Rusev, Jiro, and Garrett Dylan
All right, Jordan, Parker, and Dalton make sense together because they have similar abilities, seem to be in a similar position within FCW, and work well together. I want to know who came up with Rusev, Jiro, and Dylan as a trio, though. I have nothing against Rusev, Jiro, and Dylan but that was a pretty random “leftover” group. Still, all six men do their best to put on a good showing, but let’s face it, this match was about Jordan, Parker, and Dalton getting their time to share, and boy do Parker and Dalton get that in this match. Okay, so Parker does have a moment of super-power, but he and Dalton show off their wrestling skills while Jordan tags along and tries in the short amount of time he’s given. They could have done a lot more with this match, but it was still great to see these men all out there.
2. Paige vs. Raquel Diaz
Raquel is having a hard time when she’s on her back and spinning her legs. I think she’s trying to do a twist and get up but she hasn’t done it quite yet. That’s my only complaint about this match. Raquel and Paige meet in the ring with an equal amount of attitude and a growing dislike for one another while Sofia bounces around outside the ring and does her best to distract Raquel. Unfortunately the distraction works in the favor of the wrong diva and Raquel retains the title, but I sure hope this means more from these women against one another. There’s an immense amount of talent here.
1. Leo Kruger vs. Aiden English
Oh, FCW writers, you want to give me more of these men! Well okay, I will allow it! Aiden quickly moved up from my, “I haven’t seen him do anything,” list to my, “Wow, okay, color me impressed,” list. Kruger and English put on what is easily the best match of the night, and could already win best match of the week depending on who gets to wrestle on NXT. These men tell a great story of talent and brutal awareness of their strength and shortcomings as they go against one another. I could handle more of this.
I was really torn on what to give number four this week. The top 3 were secure, but I had a tag match featuring four guys I adore or Big E Langston vs. Seth Rollins in a match that was decent, but I’ve seen both do better. Big E Langston and Seth Rollins didn’t make the cut, but they do get an honorable mention. Big E, for being such a large and in charge man, seems to want to actually wrestle. He goes for his opponents like he wants to take them to the mat and I like that! Seth Rollins has some quick skills but I think he needs a different finisher, something almost more fitting to his moveset. Still a good match.
4. Jake Carter and Corey Graves vs. Kenneth Cameron and Conor O’Brian
I love all four of these men, hands down, no questions asked. Character, skill, look, they have it all. So why did this almost not make the cut for the final four? Too short. It really didn’t give enough time to show off any one person’s skill. Why did it make the cut? No, not because I do this little squeal every time the Ascension music hits or because the dark bad boy looks of Carter and Graves make me forget my own name, no. It was because of the clever finish. Ascension had to lose sooner or later, and they lost in a perfect way that did not make them seem weak, just overwhelmed. It keeps the tag titles on Carter and Graves and gives the dark demons something to come back for later. Beautifully done. Oh, and just because, Conor O’Brian’s coat gets an honorable mention.
3. Raquel Diaz, Sofia, Paige
Raquel Diaz is now full on Valley Girl. I thought I would hate this, to be honest, but she pulls it off with a certain spark that makes you want to laugh, which it is clearly meant to do. Paige and Sofia come out and accuse Raquel of having once wanting to have been an anti-diva, but Raquel’s response to this is, “Ew.” I keep forgetting about Paige’s beautiful accent until I hear her voice. I also never realized how short Sofia was compared to the other two. She has so much energy and talent that she just seems larger than life somehow. The three put on quite the amusing little promo making a match for the next week. Can’t wait!
2. Brad Maddox vs. Richie Steamboat
These two men look like estranged brothers and it bothers me they are feuding with each other. Yes, I know, silly reason, but Maddox really does seem to be the wilder version of Steamboat. Speaking of wilder, whatever Maddox has been doing of late seems to have carried over into the ring and he has this pent up anger that he seems to be releasing out on Steamboat. Steamboat, though, carries his own. The weak point of the match is that it was predictable once Maddox had the first pin. The match was a 15 Minute Championship match, and ended up being 1-1, Steamboat unable to get that second pin before time ran out. It means Steamboat retains his championship, but why not just let Steamboat actually win? It seems he’s just barely holding onto the title in too many of his matches and shouldn’t be so overdone.
1. Bo Rotundo vs. Kassius Ohno
Bo’s ability to take a spill is starting to reach Dolph levels. Bo’s not as natural at it and it’s still obvious at times that he’s doing the over-bump as opposed to a solid flow through the fall. He’ll get there. He’s another that needs to change his finisher, but we do not see his finisher this episode, though he stills wins the match for a shot at Rollins’ title. Kassius Ohno is beaten, but not cleanly. Earlier in the episode Cesaro gave a promo announcing it will be the last time we see him on the show only for him to rush out during this match, strike Ohno with his bag, and knock him down for Rotundo to steal the pin and the win. Amazing moves from Ohno. Every week I get to see a little more of why he was beloved through the IWC and he’s one of the first where I have said early on, “Yes, I totally see it.”
I’m going to get in so much trouble this week.
4. Zack Ryder vs. Heath Slater
I like Ryder, I was a fan of his when I first saw him on ECW when he was still rocking the one pant leg on his attire. As he grew I enjoyed him more. Even as he became a walking-catch-phrase I enjoyed him. But as someone else pointed out, he’s the lowest rung guy to have entered the Five Moves of Doom territory which made this match have not only a predictable ending, but a predictable story. Slater takes it all like a champ and Scott does his best to commentate some livelihood into it, but even Ryder seems to be frustrated as he does his, “What?” when it’s only a 2 count and instead of looking a the ref, or Slater, or anyone else, he kind of stares at the tron. People are losing interest in Ryder, but I fear it might be because he’s lost interest himself.
3. Kofi Kingston and R-Truth vs. JTG and Michael McGillicutty
Again, a terribly predictable ending, but the storytelling and match choreography is not as predictable. Kofi does his, “Boom! Boom!” and JTG makes fun of it outside of the ring with McGillicutty laughing beside him. McGillicutty and JTG actually have great chemistry as a tag team and move like they have been working with each other for months as opposed to having had a one-off sometime months ago. McGillicutty does a baseball slide and a flip to Truth that left me impressed and JTG gets a chance to not just be a comedic act in the ring. R-Truth is great, he has fun, but Kofi is the same ol’ same ol’. Luckily, Scott’s commentary keeps the slow parts of the match lively.
2. Scott Stanford
Speaking of Scott. Yes, he’s number two this week, but in my heart you know he’s number one, but this week a match won out. Scott has great one-liners, as usual, and explains about his learning exactly what a “Honky Tonk Badonka donk” is as well as explaining that the reason Slater was eliminated first in the last battle royale is because no one wanted to take on Khali and that he was willing to do it, though in retrospect it might not have been the best idea. Scott lends his voice and storytelling to Superstars, as usual, and he awakens the two matches he sat in for. But one match stood out on its own…
1. Antonio Cesaro vs. Tyson Kidd
Yes, Cesaro won. Yes, it was predictable. Yes, I like Kidd more. BUT, and it’s a good one, this was an incredible match. Kidd can’t put on a bad match (when he’s not told to take the squash) and this time they are given the opportunity to use up their abilities on one another. Kidd makes Cesaro look good and Cesaro seems to either take things more seriously now that he’s been brought up, or his skill has grown in spades in just a few short weeks. Either way, this match shines out through the others. And Cesaro was accompanied by Aksana, which is always a plus.
And I’m blaming the fact that Scott didn’t wear a tie this week for the reason he is at number two.
Scott’s best lines of Superstars:
“The freshness of JTG with the ground and pound stylings of McGillicutty.”
“Truth working on getting Lil’ Jimmy a Championship belt.”
“JTG, he wouldn’t be a dinosaur, he would be a flynosaur.”
“That’s gotta do it! JTG to pick up the win here on Super- No!”
“Honky Tonk Badonka Donk.”
“You know, Flo Rida talks a bit game, I don’t know if he’d actually want to step into a WWE ring with Heath Slater.”
“So you don’t get Beyonce one night, you use Heath Slater.”
“You know what show I haven’t been on? Are You Serious with you and Road Dogg.”
“Broski Boot into your living room!”
The old adage, “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is,” would have been the perfect lesson for the main character to repeat in his head through this book. What is it about a slick man promising a lot of money that people just jump at the chance of? Oh right, the promise of a lot of money.
The ending is predictable, which is likely why it’s left for the very end. The majority of this book is about Clay Carter’s rise to the King of Torts than it is about the inevitable fall he suffers once at the top. Which, of course, leaves a lot to be desired in the end for resolution.
This novel is less about the cases and the torts than it is about Carter’s life throughout the rise and fall. Carter’s relationships, his friends, how he spends his newfound money. However, despite it being about Carter, Carter as a character has no real depth. He admits to losing sleep or feeling bad, but none of it has any consequence besides him saying so. If Grisham really wanted a cost of being a millionaire story then this should have been given a little more in depth.
Reasons to Read:
- It’s John Grisham, his writing is still incredible
- Interesting look at lawyers who sue major drug companies only looking to settle
Reasons Not to Read:
- Flat characters
Once again NXT has forgone plot of any kind and become NXTStars instead of what we had grown to love, which was a show about stories and the wrestling ability. Chris swore up and down because Drew finally gets to be used in the store and it’s when it’s gone away from storylines, leaving WWE with the continued stigma of never allowing us to have conclusion. Le sigh. However there were some decent matches on this episode! And some not-so-decent ones.
4. Heath Slater vs. Percy Watson
Look, I’ll be honest. I almost left this off in favor of just putting William Regal’s commentary at number four, and I know the fandom is wondering why the Hell I didn’t. Sadly, I’m going to say the reason people don’t want me to: Heath Slater. Despite an obnoxious personality he’s a good wrestler and he made Watson look good. When Watson originally showed up way back when to one of the original seasons of NXT I liked him… for an episode. Then his Eddie Murphy impression got on my nerves so badly I couldn’t handle him anymore. Then he returned sans glasses and I was a bit renewed in liking him. Then his wrestling decided not to develop any further. He’s not great, Slater is better, and that’s why Regal’s commentary nearly took the spot.
3. Maxine vs. Alicia Fox
Alicia Fox has very little depth perception, a common problem with the divas, but Maxine does not. She comes out and has the facial expressions, the moves, and tells a story of anger and loathing as she goes after Alicia. With no storylines in NXT any longer until the new format it means they need to do it in the ring and on commentary. Regal and Maxine take it away on this one and Maxine wins again with a sleeper. I do adore she plays around with her submissions as well. Especially since there was no way Fox was holding Maxine up the way other divas have been able to.
2. Johnny Curtis and Drew McIntyre
Again with Khali and Ezekiel Jackson! This time it’s Curtis and McIntyre tortured by whoever’s idea, though I refuse to blame the NXT writer I fell in love with (creatively!) back in September when Reks and Hawkins first came back as a tag team. However, Curtis and McIntyre have a lot of fun with this match, despite the fact that they are going to lose horribly. It’s just a shame they waited so long to move Drew over, now that the storylines are gone. If anyone could have given him some screen time it would have been NXT, and if anything could have drive NXT’s viewership up, it would have been Drew McIntyre.
1. Derrick Bateman vs. Jinder Mahal
USA! USA! USA! Oh yes, finally, a USA chant for a man who is actually from the US! It’s been awhile! And I’m glad it was for the man who emulates Chicks and America, Derrick Bateman. Derrick looks less than thrilled to be in this match, and who would be happy to know they are going out to lose to the camel clutch. I don’t know if you guys and gals have been paying attention, but I’m not a fan of this movie. Mostly because it’s the only one he uses. For the record, I hate Orton winning all of the time with the RKO as well, and I love Orton, so it’s not hate on Mahal, it’s the move. The first time I watched it I enjoyed Derrick, because he’s Derrick. He motivates the crowd in this match, his facial expressions tell the story while Regal compliments him on the side. When Mahal throws Derrick, and he slides, pops back up, and knees Mahal, it’s amazing. Once again the talent of Derrick comes alive. Watching it the second time I can’t help but hope that perhaps there is a higher meaning to this. Mahal is widely hated every time. Was this the help Derrick needed to get a little more over with the live crowds? Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but I’m hoping.
I guess William Regal is the sort of co-star for number 1 since he added life to every match. Without the storylines Regal is heavily relied upon for those thoughts and stories. It’s just a shame Mathews doesn’t play along.
It’s that time again where we wonder who gets the Top 4 list. This month it’s Drew McIntyre. Despite popularity, and the fact that when he comes out during live events the crowd goes crazy, WWE is under utilizing this amazing talent. Drew I have liked since the moment I first saw him, and that has rarely happened with a superstar for me. I’m a cynic first, they grow on me later. Not Drew. I’ve supported him since the first time I saw him on my television screen. Here’s four reasons to get behind him!
4. The Look
It’s become tradition that I mention hair on the Top 4, so we’ll start with that. In the last few weeks Drew has started a new style where he pulls some of it back in a half ponytail. Sometimes he adds braids. I like the braids. His hair isn’t the only great part of his look. He’s a large guy who looks lean, a perfect muscle combination. He has a face that is one of the most expressive in the WWE. When he wants to be comedic he has a smile that can light up the screen, we he wants to be smug that curl of his lip shows his disdain and his ego, and when he wants to be angry and cruel the narrowing of his eyes and the pure hatred that can ripple across his face has his opponents shaking. The man can take on any role with a certain tilt of his lips. And I haven’t even brought up the clothes yet. That coat was one of my favorite things ever, the way he slowly unbuttons and slides it off, one of the first men to start the sudden growing trend of long coats. (I’m not saying he was the first to wear a long coat, I’m saying the trend started with him!)
I have never loved an entrance song as much as I have loved Broken Dreams by Shaman’s Harvest. I’ve liked many songs, I think a lot are fitting to the superstar, but this one gives me chills every single time. The music starts and the crowd goes quiet, even as they sing along to the first verse they sing quietly. Then the tempo picks up and Drew McIntyre steps out, a perfect timing that gives me goosebumps. Never has a sound and superstar gone so well together.
2. His Voice
Maybe I have a thing for accents? His lilt and speech, like his smile, work for whatever it is he is saying. Whether he’s angry, smiling, or simply giving a speech the man knows how to deliver and that accent adds to his character and persona.
1. His In-Ring Abilities
Chris is always scared that Drew will be turned a face and it will ruin Drew’s in-ring, or more-so, change it. Drew knows how to be cruel in the ring, absolutely annihilating the weak points of a superstar. He’s swift and near perfection in his movements and sometimes he does moves that are forced to remind me how absolutely muscular he is. My favorite move: The Future Shock. He has perfected this DDT and takes his opponents down with relative ease. This man should be winning most of the matches he is in, not being pushed aside for others. More Drew, please!