January 31, 2012

January 28, 2012

Quarter Marshall's Royal Rumble Roster Madness

Pull up a sofa, wash down some prescription sedatives with a mason jar of red wine, and tune in to my latest drone-cast!

I don't think twitter highlights will be a recurring thing for me to post, but here's another highlight of my week as a wrestling fan, courtesy of twitter.

January 23, 2012

Spare Change Newsletter: The Strong and the Mid-week

Greetings all fabulous ones,

So, where were we? Oh yeah, wrestling.

We here at SCW Canada have been busily preparing for another Roster Madness program in anticipation of this year's Royal Rumble, which we plan to air this Saturday. In the meantime, some notes have piled up that should be addressed sooner rather than later. It's a mess around here.

It was the 100th episode of NXT this week, so it's as good a time as any to do a little recap of what NXT has offered us in the past and what it's got going for it now. For the first 4 seasons, it was a contest between 6-8 young talents. They had opportunities to wrestle, cut promos, and build their characters in front of the huge WWE audiences. As the seasons progressed, it became plain that it didn't really matter who won the contest, as some NXT winners went virtually nowhere in their WWE careers, and some NXT losers ended up on the fast track to PPV matches.
The current season of NXT started much as the others did, with promo contests, physical challenges, wrestling matches, and eliminations. However, as the season progressed, the format faded away, as there seemed to be no interest in continuing to tally points, or even declare a winner at all. More and more time on the show went to low card talent, usually seen on Superstars (or jobbing on Raw or Smackdown) so that they could develop feuds and storylines amongst each other. This has been the state of the show for the past 7 months. The 3 remaining contestants have each gone through a plentitude of character development, feuding amongst themselves as well as with other rookies and more established WWE personalities. It's developed into a Raw/Smackdown like show, with each member of the limited roster benefiting from being able to develop their character on a weekly basis.
What I like about the show is its air of levity, and willingness to try new things, even if they seem stupid. Sometimes they fall flat, as in the kidnapping of Hornswoggle, but other times the talent makes it work, as in the love triangle angle which came to a head this past week. There's often an undercurrent of humor in the show, which is an atmosphere heavily bolstered by William Regal's screwball commentary, but it remains dedicated to the craft of pro wrestling, with a much greater emphasis on in-ring work and promo ability than in previous seasons.
And with that, I'm done putting NXT over for the moment. This weeks episode featured 3 wrestling matches, one of which was between 2 contestants, and it was terrible. Afterward, one of them got on the mic and delivered the worst heel turn promo I've ever heard. Michael Cole, (temporarily taking Regal's place) couldn't keep his mouth shut about it. Skip to 2:45 in this video to hear what I'm talking about.

I usually hate it when he buries talent, but in this case it really cracked me up. If you feel sympathetic to Titus O'Neal, just go back and watch the whole thing. He got off pretty easy, considering.
The episode ended with an in-ring wedding, which I explained to Alice is a lot like an in-ring contract signing. I mention this because I know you like Matt Striker, who attempted to perform the ceremony while in character as a particularly unconvincing Elvis impersonator. Cole was all over him as well, which was also funny and well deserved. This is that "air of levity" I was talking about. Anyway, drama drama drama and the episode ends with a gross make-out session. It was good corny storytelling and I liked it.

On Superstars, Natalya and Tamina redeemed the divas division with a solid, if short match. After last weeks debacle between Kelly Kelly and a Bella, the real female wrestlers needed to gain some face, so good job ladies.

Like you, I didn't watch the ROH show this week, because I don't care about watching highlights from an hour and a half long tag team battle royal or whatever it was. The whole thing I would watch, but not a cut up version for TV. I did hear, though, that Chikara invaded an ROH house show, and I'd love it if that was integrated into the weekly program. From what little I've seen from Chikara, they seem to be everything ROH isn't, which is colorful characters and long, thoughtfully constructed storylines and feuds. I like ROH, but it is sorely lacking on those fronts.

Impact pushed their luck this week with another decent program. At no point during this episode did I say "Well that's fucking stupid." That's not to say it was great, it just didn't suck. Maybe TNA's plan was to make their show so bad for so long, that when they started turning out a mediocre product it would look good. Or maybe I've just been watching so long I don't notice how lousy it is. That's a scary thought.
Anyhoo, Mickie James and Madison Rayne stole the show (as they're known to do) with a really good steel cage match. It reminded me of that stellar cage match James and Tara had last year, and while it wasn't at that level, it was still a very strong showing by both wrestlers.
Alex Shelley challenged Austin Aries for his title, which could inject some life into the X-Division, which has become stagnant due to lack of competitors.
Angelina Love called out Eric Young for some reason, which resulted in a brawl between her and EY's main squeeze ODB, who's now a babyface by association, the brawl also involving Winter and Eric Young. It's a touchy subject to have males and females wrestling or fighting each other, but Young very deftly avoided being physical with the ladies, and made the whole thing funny and fun to watch.
The main event saw James Storm and Jeff Hardy wrestling for a title shot, which was interrupted by Bully Ray, and by the end of the episode Sting and Bobby Roode were involved in the melee as well. Always nice to have a crowded field around the title.

I'm gonna start my Smackdown review by saying that I like the gimmick wheel of fortune, but I'm glad it's only used once or twice a year. And here's some trivia: The last time WWE was in Vegas was when CM Punk cut his infamous work shoot promo. Lucky bastards in Vegas!
The show kicked off with Daniel Bryan further developing his heelish persona with an understated, but fantastic promo. I was surprised when he wrapped it up, because the whole time I was expecting an interruption by either Big Show or Mark Henry. The commentators were kind of funny after this, because Cole has always antagonized Bryan, but he typically backs the heels, while Booker T loves his boy D Bryan, but is usually more in favor of the babyfaces. They were each babbling after the promo, trying to justify their past opinions while acknowledging that things have changed.
The first match of the night was cool - Cody Rhodes and Justin Gabriel. The Capetown Werewolf even got some mic time, which wasn't a bad idea. I would look forward to it if they had a feud for the Intercontinental title.
Epico and Primo (who should have a tag team name NOT voted on by the WWE universe) had a cool match with the Usos in what I thought was the best stipulation of the night, being that they were all in the ring at the same time.
Then, another Brodus Clay squash! Only this time, it isn't a wrestling match... This segment made me happy. Vickie's spastic dancing was hilarious, and Brodus' rep as resident funkmaster remained intact. Regal's involvement was icing on the cake, and if this was a Marshall Matters Show, I'd definitely have played his line, "How dare you mock this buxom wench."

4 more very entertaining matches (stick it, Raw!) came next, beginning with Sheamus and Wade Barrett. They proved how well they know their way around a tables match, which is very well, and Wade Barrett was able to hand Sheamus his first singles loss in what seems like 4 or 5 months. The next match between Hunico and Ted Dibiase wasn't terrific, but it had some great spots, and Hunico did some balls to the walls shit that looked super cool and he's awesome. After that, Santino put Drew McIntyre on the chopping block in the best blindfold match I've seen. Of course, that isn't saying much, but WWE seem to have learned from past mistakes and are now making their blindfolds a little less blinding. Kudos to both Santino and McIntyre for playing out the ridiculous premise for all it was worth.
Main event. Unlikely as it may seem, Daniel Bryan and Mark Henry have incredible chemistry in the ring. This is infinitely better than Bryan's matches with BS, because Henry actually sells Bryan's offense. Bryan looks tough against the monster Henry, whereas BS made him look weak and ineffective. So, Bryan and Henry had it out a bit, and Bryan kept telling the lumberjacks not to touch him, which made me laugh. The finish for the match seemed to be that Bryan was able to antagonize the lumberjacks to the point that they went into an ass-kicking frenzy, which didn't really make sense but did look cool and built more anticipation for the Royal Rumble. On his way to the back, Daniel Bryan has a heated altercation with Teddy Long in which the match for the WHWC at the Rumble becomes a cage match. Bryan storms off, and I MARK OUT because I really want to see that match!! Hope my boy D Bryan retains, I'd really like to see his character evolve some more in the direction it's going. With the title.

That's the news. Thems the breaks. In personal news I've got a pretty regular freelance gig doing internet stuff, nothing long-term probably, but it's nice to be somewhat employed. I've watched a bunch of CG movies lately, from Toad Warrior to Vampire Hookers, and There's Nothing Out There at your recommendation (good one), but have spent much more time boring my way through Dr. Who, starting from Season 1, which aired originally in 1963. I'm halfway into season 2 now, but have about 20 years left, or something like that. Most of those early episodes are really bad, but it's worth it for the ones that are really good. I expect the average episode quality will improve as time goes on.
If I was still in Portland, I'd be very supportive of your bands and stuff. But from up here in the Great White North, I'll just say "keep up the good work, buddy!"
That includes a thumbs up.

January 18, 2012

rusty report

January 17, 2012

MMS 01-17-12

Don't know if I make any real poignant insights into the world of pro wrestling this week, but that didn't stop me from talking about it for 40 minutes. On the plus side, this week's show features an account of the Smackdown house show I went to!

Updated embed feature from Internet Archive means our streaming content is now compatible with iPad, iPhone, etc!

Enjoy these pics of Johnny Ace getting his ass kicked (by Vader) and an original Regal road story

January 10, 2012

Marshall Matters 1 10 12

Rusty Report 1 10 12

January 06, 2012

Marshall Matters Show 2012

I might be a little rusty, but there was no gimmick infringement intended.

As we've all heard, last Friday Randy Orton was hurled down a flight of concrete steps by his arch-nemesis Wade Barrett. Best wishes for a speedy recovery, Randy! Being a member of the RKO Forever Fan Club, I have access to this special message Randy released only for his most ardent of followers.

January 03, 2012

Rusty Report 1.2.2012

First of, Raw was great last night. I don't want to forget that. Because one thing Justify Fullkinda confused me i need to remember that for the most part i had a great time watching RAW. Maybe it was because i watched it with a big group who were all having fun. Joe was over of course as well as Cory, the dude you met when you were here a few weeks ago (who is slowly turning into a big fan). Maren and 3 of her friends also cam over and were having a great time. That's the cool thing about wrestling. Once you relax and get over all the stupid preconceived crap anyone can have fun with it. So we had a good time. Now on to the nit picking...

Before the show starts we see promos for raw. The promos are interrupted with the End Of The World bits.I can't tell you how excited i was about the 2012 reveal thingy. So excited. I kinda figured it was just going to be Taker but i was still really looking forward to it. The final promos only stoked our interest. Everyone tells themselves it's going to be taker so we don;t get disappointed. The Show starts, Cena comes out and cuts the normal promo. Ill talk more about cena in my next report that im currently working on, the things i hope happen in 2012.

Kane cuts a promo on cena over the PA. I don't care about this feud. I guess i just haven't paid enough attention to understand what it's about. So all the rest of the cena kane stuff from this episode was kinda ignored. Moving on...
DBD VS Dashing Cody - Like i said, we had a ton of friends over, so i didn't pay a lot of attention to detail on this episode. I kinda watched the matches but didn't really hear a word the commentators said. So i don't have a lot to say about this match. What i will say is that i'm sad DBD is now a champ. I was happy when he won but i feel like now it's going to hurt him in the long run. And that sucks cuz we all love DBD. But i feel like they are picking on him or something. I dunno yet, a little early to tell, but it feels like he was thrown a bone to see what he can do with it. If he fails that will be it for the upper card for ol DBD (remember swagger?)
The Miz and Laurenitis promo was great. I really like Laurenitis and loved the "does that ring a bell?" "NO" part. I also loved seeing Truth act like a maniac.
I don't need to talk about the Santino wade barrett match really. Santino is still hilarious and i still like Barrett. The high point was Santino calling Wade Barrett the "Barrett Garage". That was great
Miz and Shaemus have a match. Nothing exciting. Truth attacks Miz and hits him with the water bottle of doom. I actually like the WBOD. It's so stupid that it's funny, and live it looks really cool. But on TV it looks not really cool at all.
Eve is talking to Ryder backstage. It really sucks. Ryder kinda sucks still in my eyes. I wouldn't say i hate him but i just don't buy the hype yet. The conversation between the two is horrible and Swagger doesn't do a lot to help. Laurenitis makes a 6 man tag match to close the show and i couldn't care less. Kinda sad.
Punk vs Ziggler. Another great match. Two of my faves. At one point in the match i really felt that ziggler was going to get the pinfall. My heart jumped. That means a lot to get a real reaction outta me like that. I liked the end and the way ziggler won.
Next up- divas match. My whole living room was buzzing over how lame the divas are. I felt the need to defend them, blaming it all on the WWE and not the women wrestling. We talked about the good divas and complained about the bad ones. And then Eve hit a awesome moonsault which was cool. Another 3 minute divas match. oh well....
Again Punk delievers a killer promo with authority. "...beat you like a bitch!" made me bust out laughing. It was just so pissed and different than the over all feel of the show (cena doing a cheesy speech, Miz and Truth playing tom and jerry). I loved it. It's nice to see Punk pissed again, they took all the steam outta his personality and he could use it back. So it looks like we will have Punk vs Ziggler at the Rumble. I can't wait! You know that they are going to deliver for sure.
Ok here we go. The last promo. We all were SO excited. I put the word SO in caps so you KNOW i mean it. And the last promo made us even more ready for the reveal. And then what did we see? The arena fake shaking with a really cheesy effect. We could hear the rumbling and it was all so stupid that we had to laugh. But once the lights went out we all forgot all about and were totally glued to the tv. I was thinking that it had to be Taker but was still excited. Maren had the same thoughts and even made the BONG! sound effect to suggest Takers theme was about to begin. But then we saw the lights, and heard the old y2j theme and everyone cheered. I was really happy to see Jericho come down the ramp, even tho his jacked was stupid. I thought about you and how you were probably screaming in your apartment.

So Jericho goes into the usual showing off and reveling in the spotlight that all returning superstars do but by the 2 or 3 minute mark we were starting to wonder what was up. By about 6 minutes i was wondering if this was his burn on The Rock. But then it kept going and going and everyone was getting really bored. It looked like everyone in the arena loved it but i guessed that everyone at home was getting pissed. We all were. And then he walked back up the ramp and goes backstage. And that was it.

I am torn by this whole thing. I feel like it really worked on me in one way. I loved Jericho back in 2000. He was great on the mic and great in the ring. But back in 2009 when i got back into wrestling he didn't do anything for me anymore. I didn't care for him much. So his return can swing my opinion for him either way. And what he did made me not like him. I know, he is still great and smart and all that, im just saying that he did a great job and made me not like him.

But the issue i had with the whole thing was the set up. It just didn't match the punchline at all. It was kinda a bait and switch. Sure, it worked, and now Jericho is a heel and we hate him. But the WWE has been making a lot of stupid decisions lately and if this was not a well thought out plan they will become more of a heal then they already are. A personality on the show being a heel is good, the company as a whole as a heel is bad. We are currently in the middle of a really stupid and frustrating bait and switch with Brodus Clay never appearing, with absolutely no explanation. Big time plot lined just fade away such as the anonymous GM. You have a commentator who is making the talent look bad and pointing out very real flaws in the show in every single episode. The last thing they need is a poorly planned out payoff to promotional packages that created one of the most anticipated moments in years.

Enough yappin. I'm still interested, and I'm not ready to judge yet. Ill give them a chance to explain it all before i make my decision on last nights return. Till then I'm still So excited.
Alright, Last match. I don't really give a crap about this. Swagger is a jobber now, Cena is boring, Big Show is Big Show, Ryder doesn't interest me at all and Mark Henry has had his character ruined in the past few weeks. So why should i care about this match? Because Kane is going to do something cool in it, hopefully, he doesn't come down to the ring in the intro. But at the end he finally makes his entrance thru the ring and after Ryder. Who cares again? And why? I dunno. The coolest part was the fire. I marked out for the fire. But other than that it was a lame-o ending to a fun raw.
Did i bitch too much? Don't take it the wrong way. I still love the wwe and, like cena, will never give up. I just wish they would try harder sometimes.

Ill be back in a day or so with another report. Till then....

Rusty Nickles316