Kevin’s Blog: Almost Live, Definitely Half Assed Review of @WWE #Raw

water-drippingI was very happy that my new counter tops were installed today. Unfortunately the night has ended with the water main dripping and me not being able to find my plumber’s wrench. I wonder if Baby Momma Drama took them since he did so much house work. I had another intro but this one over rode it. Let’s roll. Really late.

The WWE allows me to go with the regular introduction because the video package reminds me of my indifference to this unification. I don’t hate that Randy Orton won. I don’t like that he won either. I don’t care that John Cena didn’t win. I wouldn’t give a care if he won either. A standing ovation, Mitchell Cool? Really? I don’t even hear a lot of boos. Orton has looked like a bitch but you know he’s a multi-time champion so it’s credible that he won the match up. HHH & Steph are posed rather seductively which is really odd. Isn’t it supposed to be more fun to be the heel? Because Randy Orton’s speech is hello boring. John Cena bags on him and his comatose speaking. He tries to goad him into a match with Daniel Bryan. Randy Orton steps over the line so Steph smacks him down. I don’t want a title shot for Daniel Bryan because he’ll win then lose later. Oh Steph, you’re so coy and funny saying we don’t understand the WWE Universe. HHH makes the match. So is this supposed to be the funny part where I laugh because Orton keeps putting his foot in his mouth to the Authority so they put him in his place, he apologizes then they rinse and repeat? This is the second round. How did I forget about the Wyatts? Interference city.

Goldust & Cody Rhodes are defending against Rey Mysterio & Big Show. Cody starts off with Rey. I grabbed water because I knew the match would go to commercial. Big Show tagged in to get said break. Big Show slam keeps going. The announcers make a hilarious joke about the presidential selfie. I’m dying from laughter here. The WWE is so hip and current because they’re making jokes about something recent. I would not be disappointed if some of these people tweeting comments that get on Raw were killed in a fiery accident. They’re the most mundane statements ever.  Is Randy Orton better than Daniel Bryan? We’ll find out tonight on #Raw! Knock yourself off. Goldust gets the hot tag against Big Show. Goldust gets choke slammed. Cody makes the save. Dust misses a twisting cross body. WMD. Rey drops the Dime from Big Show’s shoulders for the win.

Christmas Santa match. Oh goody. Bad News Barrett graces us with his presence. We can’t win the lottery. You definitely can’t when you don’t play. Randy Orton is mad at Steph & HHH. Kane is around this time. Steph turns around the argument and points out the obvious three on one match for Bryan. They keeps emphasizing the single championship but he’s still carrying around two belts. Care to explain?

Dolph Ziggler is taking on Fandango with Summer Rae. I must have glazed over the fact that Fandango beat Ziggler. (Wednesday Edit: Tuesday was that kind of day. On the TLC preshow.)  Jack Swagger should meet his fate at hands of one of the tweeters. The announcers are still enamored with the selfie. Ziggler barely beats Fandango with a roll up. I’m beyond annoyed. Shouldn’t Ziggler renew his confidence with an ass kicking? I think so. I’d say that about anyone who needs to get back on track.

Big E Langston & Mark Henry are taking on Jack Swagger & Antonio Cesaro. Langston starts against Swagger who tags out to Cesaro quickly. Henry takes over on Swagger. Langston gets back in. I love how the announcers are talking about Langston being a great champ. Yeah, he does that real effectively in a tag team. The baby faces are dominating who ever is in the ring. Right when I thought the WWE was positioning the Real Americans for a title run, they look terrible. Cesaro & Swagger double team Langston to change moment. The gut wrench suplex by Cesaro is impressive. Cool shot of Cesaro jumping on Langston’s back as he tries to make a tag.  Henry gets the hot tag. Paying homage to the Junkyard Dog! I love when Cool goes through puberty on air. Cesaro teases the Big Swing but Big E got the hidden tag and stopped it. (Wednesday Edit: What a terrible sentence it was before the correction.) Big Ending for the win. The Real Americans get knocked back down the ladder again.

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Eric’s Blog: #WWEWorldHeavyweightTitle match did not require 1-on-1 traditional stipulations

Last night’s match at the WWE TLC pay-per-view to unify the WWE Title and the World Heavyweight Title has a number of detractors for a number of reasons:

  • It didn’t have big-match build.
  • It didn’t have a big-match feel.
  • It wasn’t a traditional, one-on-one match.
  • It wasn’t very creative; they even rehashed the handcuff gimmick from a TLC match held only two years ago.
  • The finish was botched, which wouldn’t have been an issue had it been a traditional, one-on-one match, freed of its abstract Tables, Ladders and Chairs stipulations.
  • The match probably didn’t have a big-match feel because it wasn’t a traditional, one-on-one match, grappled in the past by the likes of Jim Londos, George Hackenschmidt and King Mabel.

Some of the criticism holds water: If John Cena weren’t expected to crash through a table, there wouldn’t have been a table to miss. Had the catalyst of the match not been the non-wrestling figurehead Triple H, it may have had a stronger build. Hell, had it not been held at a glorified In Your House, maybe the wrestling audience would have cared, period.

But the one argument I refuse to agree with is that, to paraphrase, “a title match of this magnitude should have just been a traditional, one-on-one match.” This sentiment popped up on Twitter a handful of times before, during, and especially after the match. A mouth-breather from Yahoo (and what a perfect last name, Durr) had this to say:

And shame on the WWE for having such an important match contested in a TLC match in the first place. If it wanted to truly build an appreciation for the unification of the two championships, the match should have been contested in a tradition [sic] one-on-one match. The WWE relied heavily on the history of both championships in its buildup of the match but elected to contest the all-important unification in a gimmick match.

Gimmick matches rank among some of the greatest matches of all time, that much we can all agree with. But to poo-poo on adding a gimmick to a title match, a title unification match, or any other one-of-a-kind main-event match is poo-pooing the very wrestling history you’re attempting to salvage. Rose-colored glasses may only allow in epic world title matches like Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat or Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant, but they improperly filter out classics like the Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels ironman match, or Ric Flair vs. Harley Race in a steel cage, or…

If you really want your argument stomped out like Smokey the Bear attacking a cigarette in the woods, look no further than the 1992 Royal Rumble. Regarded as one of the greatest matches in pro wrestling history, the Rumble match crowned Ric Flair as the new WWF Champion after a month of vacancy, in a contest pitting not one, not one-on-one, but 30 wrestlers against each other. And not even all at the same time! Gasp! The horror! Wrestling history iz DEAD!

Granted, the examples I can offer are limited. Have there been fewer gimmick matches than traditional to either decide or unify versions of the World Heavyweight Title? Yes. Does the fact that those few matches were gimmick matches preclude an incredible quality of athleticism or level of excitement? Absolutely not. If you wish to complain, don’t hate the chair, hate the chairman.

#SippyTimeBeer Review – @NewBelgium Taste Testing

New Belgium SignI got invited to a tasting for New Belgium Brewery from Superior Beverage by way of Cheryl Harrison. New Belgium is from Fort Collins, CO and will start distributing in Ohio on the 16th of December. Since I blog about beer, I got an invite. It’s the first real present I’ve gotten out of this gig. Since my woman doesn’t like beer (cider only), I brought my buddy Ken since a guest was allowed to come. Quite a few people wondered what Stunt Granny was so hopefully we’ll get a couple of more clicks on the site. I had no idea what I was in store for since the invitation gave the location and time. No hint as to what beers would be there aside from beer and food that paired with it. When I got there, I found out that they had three year round beers, one seasonal beer and three beers from their line called Lips of Faith. I also found out that some of the food pairings were a no go for me since I cease breathing when I ingest shellfish. On to the beers and some of the food pairings.

After signing in and snagging our name tags, we ran into the most obvious of choices from New Belgium, Fat Tire Amber Ale which is their signature beer. I had already tried this beer when my younger brother Brian lived in Denver. Since it’s an amber, it’s another easy choice for me. I would also say that Fat Tire is my second favorite amber only to Great Lakes Eliot Ness. It was paired with biscuits that had bacon in it. The pairing did work quite well but it’s near impossible to go wrong with bacon inside of bread along with a very tasty beverage.

We then moseyed to the back venue and tried out their only seasonal beer, Accumulation, anIPA. This beer was lighter than I expected out of an IPA. The hops are definitely there but it’s cut by citrus, mostly lemon, to not completely light up your palette with hops. They created this beer this year in October and will only be available until the end of the month so if you like IPAs, I suggest finding this one. I’m not sure if the barbequed meatballs were supposed to be paired with this beer but that’s what I ate with it.

Ken and I then drank their Trippel, a Belgian Style Ale. This beer had the highest alcohol content of any of the main selection of beers at 7.8% alcohol. The hops and malt are balanced out quite nicely which leads to the coriander spice being a prominent taste. They claim that it’s just a trace but it’s definitely in there. I loved the smoothness of this beer and could see it being a trouble maker.

The fourth beer overall and the third year round beer was their Ranger, another IPA. With the Accumulation, the citrus cut the hops. In this one, they balanced it out by adding a dash more malt (pale and dark) to take the edge off. They used different style of hops than in Accumulation but they were supposed to have a citrus bite to it. The hops citrus notes weren’t as noticeable as it was in the other beer. A bottle of this beer accidentally fell in my back pocket as we left so you know it must be good as IPAs are still growing on me.

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Jeremy’s One Paragraph Movie Review: World’s Greatest Dad (2009)

worlds-greatest-dad

World’s Greatest Dad was Robin Williams transition movie back in to respectable cinema after a far too long period of garbage family movies.  If you didn’t see it that is most likely due to its small release and subject matter. If you watch the preview, well, don’t. In no way does it represent the movie. The trailer is made for mass appeal but once you watch it becomes apparent you got bamboozled. This is yet another Bobcat Golwdwaith film that just kills. It is honest and not predictable. It is easily the best of Bobcat’s movies and probably the most accessible but that isn’t saying much. His films never fail to challenge the audience. You may not like them but you will have a reaction. The movie carries on a near perfect tone of angst and anguish while making you uncomfortable laughing at situations you normally wouldn’t. It was a brave choice for Robin Williams after all of the family fair he churned out. It works though. Everything about this movie is sold and worth the very quick ninety-minute running time. -Jeremy

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