October 19, 2017

Well you asked.....

So the other day Rusty was having a "moment of humanity" (a wrestling reference that The Marshall will probably get right away, and Mr. Nickles will inevitably ask what we're talking about, and we'll say Marty and Sarah are the best....even when The Marshall goes on a hiatus) and asked us what we were up to and what we were watching. I, for one, love blogging. I used to keep a LiveJournal and random people in public would bring up things that I had said on my blog and I would feel weird. In the end though, at least Somebody was paying attention? So you get what you asked for. A blog about what I've been up to.

This might be a trial run as I've been giving serious thought about blogging again about my everyday life. I read a blog recently that was so filled with nonsensical manic thoughts that it made me miss the days of yore, when a lot of the people in my life had a blog, and not a Facebook to put inane shit in, but a place to actually punctuate their life (like real punctuation, like writing a paper). I think the reason I quit was because I got SUPER depressed, quit leaving my house, and started watching more wrestling than Dave Meltzer.

It's been a great experience to be going up to Corvallis every once in awhile to watch live wrestling. Some of the most fun I've had in my life is watching live wrestling that isn't WWE (not to say that isn't fun too), but backyards and bingo halls are a more natural place to drink a beer, watch the grapples, and say/yell weird shit aloud. I hope The Marshall joins me this weekend. I'll make sure to do the Tarzan yell in honor of Rusty. I didn't tell either of you that the first time I went by myself there was this group of ladies sitting near me. I recognized them from years ago going to the shows in Eugene. 3 young redhead ladies that always seem to accompany their mother (?) who happens to be in a wheelchair. There is a picture somewhere on my Facebook of me yelling stuff at Jonas Albert Robinson in  Eugene years ago, and when it originally was posted on Facebook the cutest redhead of the bunch was in the background they were also tagged. She sent me a friend request, and in my (I'm guessing) depressed, shy, nervous, not understanding social media state....I never accepted. They weren't at the last show.

I'm currently 200 pages into Slobberknocker by Jim Ross. I feel like this book should have come out in 2004 and not now as it feels like I've heard many of these stories on the podcast, or the new stories aren't that great. Just feels kinda trite. He's obviously trying to copy the tone of Foley or Jericho's books (who both have new ones out that I haven't purchased), but those two are far more clever and likable. I did enjoy the story of JR doing LSD, thinking he was watching an elephant dance in a tutu, and then making his frat brothers/football team watch wrestling. Oh, and after hearing Schi-vone's story about Flair's big hog and trying to get him to have a three some....JR's Flair stories are just tame as can be.

As for what I'm watching. NJPW and WWE are the main things right now. I'll do some old WCW here and there, and my roommate and I are a few (7ish) episodes behind on Lucha Underground). I'm really behind on other stuff as I'm busier these days with work or band practice or social time. Extra curricular tv watching is taken up by The Deuce, Vice Principals, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Simpsons,Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Supergirl, The Flash, Legends Of Tomorrow, Arrow, Chelsea, and Real Time with Bill Maher. Most importantly...I'm watching the 1966-1971 daytime, daily soap opera Dark Shadows. I'm about 170 episodes in (out of 1225?) and I'm 40 or so away from vampires showing up. It's decompressed story telling to a T and I love it very much.

Lastly, my new band played it's first show on Sunday. We're called Brohemoth. It's kinda along the lines of my old band Witchasaurus Hex as it is super loud, bluesy, Black Sabbath/stonery band inspired rock music...and has a funny (or at least funny to me) name. We played 3 songs...it took about 30 minutes. We had a blast playing and it was nice to play live again, even if we were just playing to our friends and not fans of the genre. It's always disappointing to play a show and get no meaningful feedback other than the generic positives or negativity based on the aesthetic. "Too loud," "Songs are too long," "couldn't hear the vocals."  Being on stage playing music is where I feel most comfortable and happy (even when nervous). Sweedily Deedily and what not.

Okay, I wrote a page. It's late and past my bedtime. I didn't even talk about all the DDP Yoga I've been doing, or how I ate All-You-Can-Eat shrimp at the Outback Steakhouse tonight as a hilarious novelty. Hope this is coherent as I'm not going to edit tonight and just post away. Smooches.


September 01, 2017

The Pedantic Take

What follows is a written version of the inner dialogue I've had with myself this week. I set out to make a five paragraph essay formatted post and I don't think I did a good job as I am out of practice. I should probably start practicing just in case I ever decide to go get my degree in Wrestling Criticism. Enjoy. 

So, I enjoy the fact that you took my challenge so seriously, or at least your creativity so seriously.

What I was really getting at was trying to wrap my head around booking theory. The hows and whys, because there are legitimate reasons for both of them to go over. I think the general idea of booking the match in general was that Vince is scared that he'll lose Cena to Hollywood pretty quickly and wants to use him to put over his "The Guy" (ie Undertaker, The Rock, etc) now rather than later.

So that being said, if we're just booking the finish to this one match (without possibility of a rematch) the winner is Roman, but we know that John Cena will tell us that WWE is his life, and he'll be back any/ever chance he gets. So there will be a rematch. Then real question is... Are we watching a Roman Underdog Story (Roman loses and must fight to overcome The Face That Runs the Place) or a Warrior/Hogan WrestleMania 6 story? Will this backfire like Warrior winning did or does that even matter in 2017 corporately run WWE?

Business is down (Brock doesn't get 'splosions when his arms come down). Isn't Network Subscriptions that name of the game now? Do little kids have big enough allowances to spend 9.99 a month and buy tickets to the live events and t-shirts when they get there? I know that when I was a kid my parents were not interested in wrestling, so I was never taken to wrestling events, and I got to order 2 PPVs (with multiple other kids contributing to the price so it cost about 10 bucks at most). But they did take me to see Shakespeare plays and Weird Al concerts, because my folks had an appreciation of those things. Had Shawn Michaels or Stone Cold been hosts on the Today Show, maybe my first wrestling event would have been in 94 rather than 2000.

Most wrestling pundits think that the crowd hates Roman because he's perceived as the Chosen One that Vince picked. That he's handsome and your girlfriends/wives all think he's super hot. That he's "related to The Rock." That he does tea parties with his "baby girl." I think that's horse shit.

Roman is an above average big man wrestler. He also has an overused "semi" finisher in the spear, and a completely ridiculous "finisher" in the Superman Punch....which is an illegal closed fist. I would also argue that The Drive By is a really cool move and is over with me. There are issues with his move set in general though. Also, he has been saddled with bad promos, and even when he gets a good one....he feels awkward and stilted (and not in a cute Daniel Bryan aw shucks kinda way). He doesn't connect as a character, he connects because of his size, look, and looks.

The only other coherent argument I've heard about the Roman Reigns dilemma is that the crowd hates him because he isn't Daniel Bryan. This one is logical to me. Rey Mysterio was booed at the Rumble because "he wasn't Daniel Bryan." The argument against is that everybody no knows that Daniel Bryan isn't an option (Even though Brie is saying that some guy named Bryan Danielson is imminent) and there isn't anyone else on the WWE product that is over at the same level right now.

John Cena is more "beloved" now and the tone of the audience's hatred is more of the Kurt Angle "You Suck" rather than the venom spewed back in the Cena vs Edge, Cena vs DX, Cena vs Punk days. I would argue that the reason people have come around on Cena is because his character was tweaked to be more like a Daniel Bryan. He started having technically good matches, stopped putting people down with poo poo/pee pee jokes, and hasn't been as much of a dickhead frat boy lately (I think The Marshall refers to the new character wrinkle as "Goofy Smile Cena.") He also isn't extremely over exposed to wrestling fans. He isn't the star of both Raw and Smackdown (kinda, he mostly picks one). He's also funny in movie roles (anybody watch Tour De Pharmacy....he plays a character that is played by Dolph Lundgren when he is old).

This iteration of the John Cena character is at least far more tolerable and probably charming to people that don't have 15ish years of ill will built up in their brain or are easily manipulated (I'm a stubborn obstinate guy). Now more than ever, because of his extra curricular outings, he really is the "Face" that runs the place. Goofy grin and all.

 Why did they book this at No Mercy!? The only good explanation I've heard is a mix of No Mercy being in Los Angeles, the Network changes booking decisions because your end all be all isn't PPV (which doesn't make sense, because Network Subscriptions is PPV), and Vince wants to burn every possible big money match now so Roman Vs Brock is the only coherent thing to book at WrestleMania.

So who wins September of 2017? What outcome is best for business? Is it just simple "Roman gets outsmarted" and pushed to the ends of space to make up for it?  The "shocking" ending might actually be Roman wins clean. Could it be a schmoz? Could Undertaker cost Roman the win?

They have been booking Roman as a heel. He's lost a bunch of matches lately. I think I've talked myself into Roman winning clean. Cena can have an underdog story, and Roman can get heat for beating both Taker and Cena. Lesnar will go into WrestleMania as the babyface that has beaten the two guys Roman can't beat (Strowman and Joe). It will either embolden small children and ladies that love him, and piss off logical rational people.

It's taken me five days to come up with this conclusion. I've been wracking my brain. So congrats WWE on making me think about stupid wrestling all week.

August 30, 2017

Poncho’s Booking Challenge: Q Marshall Edition

Raw 8/28 (as it happened)
John Cena calls Roman Reigns out, says he isn’t good enough at anything to qualify his being “the guy”.  Roman says Cena’s a has-been, and jealous of his success.  GM Angle says “That’s great, now you’re a tag team.”  They win their tag match against the Goodbrothers without an altercation between them.

Raw 9/4
In awkward backstage interviews, small women ask Cena and Reigns (seperately) how they feel about the harsh words spoken the week before.  Roman shrugs, is all like, “whatever, at No Mercy, I’m gonna win.”  Cena’s reply is basically the same, but he has a goofy smile.  GM Angle says that since they did so well the week before, this week they’re going to tag again.  And that match will be against… these gentlemen: Big Cass and the Big Show!  And that match… is right now!  Big Show looks worried because his partner is on crutches and screaming the “S” and “F” words.  Cena and Reigns tag back and forth against Big Show for a little while, but Reigns gets the pin easily when Cass is tagged in.

Raw 9/11
GM Angle annouces that since they did so well the past two weeks, this week they’ll face another tag team.  Against… these gentlemen: Sheamus and Cesaro!  And that match… is right now!  During the match, things are pretty even until Sheamus sees a god damn beach ball in the crowd and goes to fetch it and rend it to pieces, leaving Cesaro unsupported.  Cena pins Cesaro.  Good-natured in their loss, Cesaro and Sheamus shake hands and agree not to do that anymore.  GM Angle announces that next week, Cena and Roman will face these gentlemen: Rollins and Ambrose.

Raw 9/18
Oh boy, now we’re off to the races.  Having the Shield back in the ring together will remind people of how they used to like Roman Reigns, which babyfaces him, but it will have the countereffect of making him seem more heelish because John Cena will seem outnumbered, and there will be the constant tease of a Shield reunion which *SPOILER ALERT* does not happen.  The match ends with Cena being pinned by Ambrose, and tensions between he and Reigns are higher than ever.  Cena comes off as more of a babyface.

No Mercy
Sting is hung over the ring in a shark cage, but he strips to his underwear and jumps into the arms of Robocop, who takes off his visor and reveals is actually Fred Ottman.  Cena wins.  The story is that Reigns got over-confident, and is outsmarted by the veteran.  Roman wins the rematch, the Royal Rumble, and beats Lesnar for the Universal title at Mania.  Oh wait, am I still booking this?  Samoa Joe wins.  The End.