Thursday, November 30, 2017

Music Review: Sia - Everyday is Christmas


To start, a little something about me: I hate pop Christmas albums.  They generally scream "cynical money grab" and have little to no substance, undermining the joyous, wide-eyed naivete we're all supposed to feel this time of year.  And yet here's Everyday is Christmas, the new album of original Christmas-themed tunes from Sia, to evoke warm holiday spirit and kickstart your yuletide merriment.  And the songs are pretty damn good to boot.

The album's ten tracks are mostly light and fluffy like so much Christmas snow (back when it actually snowed on Christmas), but there are a few piano ballads as well, shades of her Some People Have Real Problems era.  It's nice to hear Sia bring back some of that stuff.

An early standout for me is the Darlene Love-esque "Candy Cane Lane," which features the bounce of "Baby Please Come Home" but also a darkly uncertain chorus for a song of this ilk.  Another is the melancholy "Snowman," whose lyrics seem to suggest a metaphorical love song: "Don't cry, snowman, don't leave me this way/A puddle of water can't hold me close, baby."  My only complaint about this track is its short running time; this is one of those choruses she could get away with repeating several times.  The album's apex for me is the ode to holiday boozin', "Ho Ho Ho," another springy track with another instantly infectious chorus hook.  You may have heard a snippet of this in JC Penney's Black Friday weekend TV ads.  The album peters a little in the second half, peaking with the title track, an oddly minor-keyed love song reminiscent of "Bird Set Free," where Sia proclaims to her love interest that "Everyday is Christmas when you're here with me/I'm safe in your arms, you're my angel, baby."   

At 33 minutes, Everyday is Christmas is a quick listen but worthy of multiple spins, as there's enough going on harmonically and instrumentally for new ear candy to reveal itself each time.  It's very telling of Sia's considerable songwriting ability that even an undemanding album like Everyday is Christmas still boasts memorable hooks and quality tunes.  This could've been a total throwaway record of gratiuitous covers just to cash in on the season, but it actually holds up as a solid album.  I don't think this marvelous talent is capable of a bad record.

I give the album *** out of *****.


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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Justice League Movie Review

by Dan Moore
@SouthieDanimal

Someone's missing...

I finally watched Justice League yesterday. As someone who didn't hate but didn't love Batman V Superman, I was somewhat looking forward to this one after watching the excellent Wonder Woman. So let's dive into this and check out the good and the bad. 


GOOD: Jason Momoa as Aquaman and Ezra Miller as the Flash. They both are given some time to develop a backstory and both are quite good in these roles. Momoa as a cocky Arthur Curry is perfect casting. He's funny and he's ready for combat. Plus he confuses my pants area...I'ma surprised by that. And Miller plays the Flash as a socially awkward nerdy guy. It's not the characterization I woulda gone with but dammit, the kid nailed. He's funny throughout the whole thing and really kills this role.


These two were awesome. 



BAD: Cyborg. Not Ray Fisher playing Cyborg, he's fine. Cyborg the actual character. There is essentially no explanation for why he's this shape shifting Iron Man type dude. They tell us he was in an accident and boom he's the T-1000. It's way too fast an origin. In fact...


BAD:...Way too fast origins. They give Flash, Aqua and Cyborg like ten minutes each to tell their stories. It's simply not enough time. The reason the Marvel movies work so well is we see those characters through the growing pains and how they become heroes. In this, it's all way too quick. Here's a fast guy who even tells Batman "I've never been in a fight" aaaaaaand now he's fighting flying demons. Here's a robot guy that doesn't even know how his robot body works aaaaaaand now he's shape shifting to make a laser gun. Without the proper setup for these guys and their powers, there's no individual arc for us to cheer on. It's simply "here's superheroes, cheer along" 


GOOD: SPOILER ALERT but not really. So Superman is back and they finally seem to understand how to do this character, at least a little bit better. I mean, it's strange for him to come back from the dead and lighten up, but whatevs, I'm glad Henry Cavill gets to play a real Superman. 

Top Ten Things: Wrestling Entrance Themes

Welcome to another Top Ten Things, here at Enuffa.com!

Today I'm looking at the all-time greatest wrestling entrance themes!


Entrance themes are such an integral part of establishing a character it's hard to imagine a time before they were universal.  When I started watching this wacky fake sport in 1986 only certain acts were given entrance music.  Mostly it was headliners and championship contenders, otherwise guys came to the ring to only the ambient arena noise.  Most puzzling is the fact that perennial attraction Andre the Giant never had an official entrance theme (Toward the end of his career Vince McMahon's "Stand Back" became his them for video packages, but it wasn't used for his actual ring entrance).  There were other times when a piece of music was intended for one wrestler but co-opted for someone else.  Hulk Hogan's "Real American," a theme we now consider inseparable from the man, was originally written for the US Express (Mike Rotundo & Barry Windham).  Kurt Angle's theme, repurposed by the fans as "You Suck," was once the entrance music for "The Patriot" Del Wilkes.  Then of course there was Jimmy Hart's "Crank It Up," recorded for the Piledriver album, which the Young Stallions "stole" for their own use.  I always got a kick out of that one.

At any rate, a wrestler's entrance theme can say so much about them.  It can help illustrate what type of persona they use.  If the music is dark and foreboding, the character probably is too.  If the music is bombastic and upbeat, the character probably has a loud personality.  When done correctly, the first note of a wrestler's theme can send the crowd into a tizzy, and can be just as important a part of the fans' experience as seeing that person in the ring.

The following ten themes exemplify these qualities.  In each case the entrance music has become forever linked to that character, evoking a massive crowd response every time it blares through those arena speakers.





10. Chris Jericho - "Break the Walls Down"



Beginning with one of the coolest sound effects ever designed, Jericho's entrance theme originally counted down a "Millennium Clock" before exploding into a Rage Against the Machine-esque slow rocker that also seems to have a bit of Beastie Boys influence.  Between the lyrical references to metal bands and the conjured image of walls being broken down, this song conveys Jericho's iconoclastic ring persona brilliantly.





9. Finn Balor - "Catch Your Breath"




This one takes a while to get going, but man, when it does it's pure detuned metal awesomeness.  Boasting an anvil-to-the-skull, stomp-worthy guitar riff followed by a choral chant, this intimidating theme does everything great entrance music should.  It sets the tone for the character, it imprints itself on your brain, and it encourages audience participation, as the crowd chants and gestures along with Balor.  This is my favorite current wrestling theme.




Saturday, November 25, 2017

The History of NWA/WCW Starrcade, part 6 (1998-2000)

We've reached the end of the line for WCW, and its flagship show.  Tread carefully, as the next three editions are full of turds.....

Sigh....here we go.....


Starrcade '98 - MCI Center - 12.27.98
And I thought Starrcade '97 was bad.  Jeezus, that was a magnum opus compared to this disorganized mess.  1998 was the year WCW really started collapsing under its own weight.  The top stars had so much control over their characters that nothing involving them made any sense, and when one homegrown star somehow managed to surge in popularity certain egos went out of their way to cut out his legs (Hmm, that sounds familiar).  We were at the height of the nWo Wolfpac run, which involved the heel nWo faction feuding with the vaguely babyface nWo "red & black" team comprised of Kevin Nash, Lex Luger, Randy Savage, Konnan, and the formerly huge babyface star Sting (How badly was Sting's mystique damaged by his association with this stupid group?).  So let's examine this shitshow....

Things started out okay with a double Cruiserweight Title match.  First it was Billy Kidman vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Juventud Guerrera in a crazy fun opening match.  Kidman and Mysterio attempted to stay allied but that was short-lived.  Guerrera had recently joined Eddy's LWO (Yet another nWo offshoot - Christ) so he was a cocky heel here.  Lots of high-risk moves and innovative pin attempts.  All three guys did a great job of selling exhaustion by the end to make the Cruiserweight offense mean something.  Eddy got involved toward the finish but his interference backfired and Kidman retained.  Once again the Cruiserweights got more time than any other match, which is pretty shocking.

Friday, November 24, 2017

The History of NWA/WCW Starrcade, part 5 (1995-1997)

We've arrived at the start of the Monday Night War!



Starrcade '95 - Nashville Auditorium - 12.27.95

Hulk Hogan's shadow was temporarily lifted from WCW in late 1995 due to a kayfabe suspension, so the focus for this show was on in-ring wrestling and several homegrown WCW stars.  WCW once again went back to a standalone tournament-type format for Starrcade - this time it was a WCW vs. New Japan series of matches with the winning team earning a World Cup trophy, which in the long run meant absolutely zero.  Despite WCW putting together a team of both babyfaces and heels, their guys were all greeted as heroes by the Nashville crowd.  Aside from the tourney there would also be a Triangle match to determine a number-one contender to Randy Savage's WCW World Title in the main event.  Two of those contenders and Savage himself were also in the New Japan series, which was just strange.  But unlike say Starrcade '91, this show at least had a handful of memorable bouts, even if the tourney concept was once again pointless in the grand scheme.

Bobby Heenan was great as usual on color commentary but unfortunately had to compete with Dusty Rhodes, who I've always found insufferable as an announcer.  He probably took up about half the talking time of the three-man team and most of his comments were incomprehensible.  So that was quite distracting.

The WCW-NJPW series kicked off with a pretty great on-paper match: Chris Benoit vs. Jushin Thunder Liger.  This did its job as an opener but was frankly a little underwhelming given the talent involved.  I imagine their matches in Japan blew this one out of the water.  Kevin Sullivan ran down to distract Benoit (thus ruining the ending) and Liger executed a really bad hurricanrana and hooked Benoit's legs for the pin.  Not nearly as good as you'd think.

On the flipside though, Alex Wright vs. Koji Kanemoto was a shockingly good followup; better than the opener and with a nice fluid feel to it.  They got almost twelve minutes and did a lot with them.  This match felt almost like a lighter, less stiff version of a New Japan match.

The first throwaway was next as Lex Luger wrestled Masahiro Chono.  Not much to this one but at least it was short.  Chono dominated most of the match, even slapping on his STF finisher, but Luger made it to the ropes and mounted the shortest comeback ever before applying the Torture Rack for the win.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

The History of NWA/WCW Starrcade, part 4 (1992-1994)

The next triumvirate of Starrcades starts off okay before a steep decline in quality....


Starrcade '92 - The Omni - 12/28/92

Well this was a whole lot better.  The previous Starrcade featured ten forgettable, awkward tag matches and a convoluted battle royal main event.  Yes, the Norfolk Scope was dressed up nicely, adding to the splendor of the event, but not one match from that show stood out or warranted a second viewing.  SC'92 on the other hand featured a handful of big matches (two of which were truly inspired) and even though half the card was still taken up by Battlebowl proceedings, the four mongrel tag bouts were concise, fast-paced, and moved along with a purpose.  I still had no interest in the tournament format but Starrcade '92 was a rare show with nary a bad match.  This PPV took place during the Bill Watts era, thus The Omni had a stripped-down, barebones look with gloomier lighting and minimal Starrcade decor.  The focus in 1992 WCW was almost entirely on the action in the ring, and the play-by-play was called by the dream commentary team of Jim Ross and Jesse Ventura.  While their chemistry wasn't as strong as say Jesse & Gorilla or JR & Lawler, I loved hearing these two work together; my favorite play-by-play announcer with my favorite color man.

Side note: I know Rick Rude was injured but where the hell were Steve Austin, Arn Anderson & Bobby Eaton??

The first four matches were all Lethal Lottery tag bouts, none of which overstayed their welcome, fortunately, and all of which were at least a little fun on some level.  Cactus Jack teamed with Johnny B. Badd vs. Van Hammer & Dan Spivey in a decent opener with some good wrestling from Team Cactus.  I'm not sure what they were thinking giving Hammer & Spivey the win though; what's the point of two obvious non-winners being in Battlebowl?  Next was Vader & Dustin Rhodes vs. The Barbarian & Kensuke Sasaki in a very entertaining slugfest reminiscent of a Japanese Strong Style match.  This didn't go long but felt urgent.  Vader beat the piss out of Rhodes after getting the win.  The standout of these tag matches was next - The Great Muta & Barry Windham vs. Brian Pillman & 2 Cold Scorpio.  I liked the Muta-Scorpio/Muta-Pillman exchanges a lot; Muta vs. Pillman should've been a major feud at some point.  Another brief match where they crammed in a lot of good action.  Finally we had Sting & Steve Williams vs. Jushin Liger & Erik Watts, which had good wrestling all around except for Watts, who was clearly not ready for prime time but was being pushed due to his father's position as head booker.  Still this was a fine match, particularly when it was Sting vs. Liger.

Lotta talent in that ring.

With the Lottery bouts out of the way the show settled into a more traditional format with four title matches.  First was The Great Muta challenging Masahiro Chono for the NWA World Title (now separated from the WCW version).  I liked this quite well actually.  Nothing about it was mindblowing, and at 12 minutes it couldn't be epic, but it was well-worked by both guys.  Muta unexpectedly submitted to Chono's STF.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The Worst Thanksgiving EVER

Since Turkey Day is upon us, my associate Dan Moore and I would like to share with you our worst Thanksgiving memories.  Enjoy, if you can.....


Dan's Worst Thanksgiving

Gather 'round children, as I tell you a tale conjured from the combined nightmares of Jason Voorhees, The Babadook and Khloe Kardashian. At a Thanksgiving feast a few years ago, my family trekked to Auntie Patty and Uncle Benny’s house. Uncle Benny was the best cook in the family, and also a true vulgarian, so it was always a blast to eat some bird and listen to him say outrageous things to the old ladies in attendance. A marvelous human being.

A typical Thanksgiving scene welcomed me with open arms as I walked into my aunt’s house. There was bread being baked, glass cornucopias filled with fake fruits, and a banquet table with a giant, steroid-filled turkey and all the fixings. Stuffing, squash (the baby puke of sides), corn, cranberry sauce (the Jell-O from hell) and that’s it. WAIT. WHAT? In one of the most preposterous moves in the history of gluttony, Uncle Benny decided that year NOT to make mashed potatoes. Seriously. Just gone. The fucking glue of the Thanksgiving meal was cast aside like a late hobo at the soup kitchen.


It was, to put it mildly, disappointing. There were many tears shed that day at the lack of the beautiful mound of swirly goodness. We should’ve been laying our heads on the opaque pile of buttery tastiness. Instead, we were pelted in the head with starchy, overcooked rocks.  He decided on roasted potatoes that year. ROASTED. The red-headed stepchild of the potato family. Motherfucker coulda thrown French fries my way and I woulda been happier. At least with the abundance of gravy about, I coulda made some poutine. It’s still brought up to this day in our family, and I for one will never forget that blackest of holidays.  It was a truly brutal nut punch. That’s the worst kind of punch. Right on the nut.

The only way that Thanksgiving could’ve been worse:





Justin's Worst Thanksgiving

I got that beat.  I got that beat.

In the late 90s I joined my parents for Thanksgiving at their friends' house.  It was a large gathering, with kids and grandkids running around, making so much noise I couldn't hear myself fantasizing about Steve Austin fighting Bill Goldberg (Listen, you fantasize about what you want to and I'll fantasize about what I want to.  Assholes....).  We proceeded to gather around the two adjacent tables (since there isn't a dining table in the free world big enough to accommodate this bloated roster), and after piling roughly 64 pounds of Thanksgiving accoutrements onto my structurally stressed plate, I discovered to my horror that my hosts did not provide gravy.

I'd like to repeat that last part: DID NOT PROVIDE GRAVY.


What kind of Communist jamboree had I been dragged to where I'm expected to eat white-meat turkey (typically the dryest of meats) without drizzling a gushing torrent of scrumptious, buttery, brown fat all over my plate?  This was intolerable.  What's for dessert, a bucket of sand?  Sawdust in a bag? A tablespoon of Nestle Quik?  Now I know what Hell looks like.

No thank you, kind sir and madam.  Good day to you!


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The History of NWA/WCW Starrcade, part 3 (1989-1991)

Welcome back!  Starrcade's about to hit a rough patch.  A realllllllly rough patch.....


Starrcade '89 - The Omni - 12/13/89

For Starrcade '89 the NWA inexplicably (for the first of four consecutive Starrcades) went with a non-traditional card format, in this case two round-robin tournaments, one singles and the other featuring tag teams.  I can only assume they got this idea from New Japan's G1 tournament and wanted to try their hand at such a gimmick.  I've already published my own revised version of the show HERE, but in short, there were three major things wrong with using the Iron Man/Team tournament concept at the company's flagship PPV.  1. They'd already given away the blowoff to the year's biggest feud (Ric Flair vs. Terry Funk) on free television a month earlier, so the singles tournament featured no hot rivalries at all.  2. They never made it clear what was at stake in these tournaments other than bragging rights, so the audience had no real reason to invest in the outcome.  3. Twelve matches is a lot for a three-hour PPV.  Oh, and 4. In both tournaments they totally buried someone unnecessarily.

Still this show had a lot to like about it.  Of the twelve matches about eight or nine were watchable or better, and this show marks one of only two times (I think) we ever got to see The Steiners vs. The Road Warriors.  In general the concept of a round-robin tournament is fun and presents some intriguing pairings you wouldn't normally see (just watch some of the recent NJPW G1 tournaments for evidence of that), but Starrcade was just the wrong show for this experiment.  The attendance numbers certainly reflect this; the 17000-seat Omni was only about a third filled, to the point that the house lights had to be dimmed midway through the show to cover up the vast areas of empty seats. 

The singles tourney featured the NWA's top four stars - World Champion Ric Flair, US Champion Lex Luger, and two former TV Champions, Sting and The Great Muta.  On paper every one of the six singles matches should've been gold.  Unfortunately the time contraints (fifteen-minute time limits for all twelve bouts), somewhat hindered the wrestlers' ability to deliver standout matches.  In some cases, mostly those involving Muta, the matches were criminally shortchanged; Flair vs. Muta theoretically could've been the main event of Starrcade had they built it up properly.  In actuality that match was given under two minutes and Muta looked like a chump after it was over.  The innovative, tremendously exciting young Japanese import was jobbed out three times and ended up leaving the company right after Starrcade.  Not the best way to treat one of your top heels of the year.  Flair's other two matches, against Luger and Sting respectively, were both headliner-worthy but not up to their 1988 efforts.  Luger was the only man to go undefeated, beating Sting and Muta and going to a draw with Flair.  But Sting scored a major upset in the final match, defeating his former rival and current mentor Flair with only thirty seconds left in the time limit.  This gave Sting enough points to win the whole tournament, and he was soon named the #1 Contender.  Flair and the Andersons made Sting an honorary Horsemen but soon turned heel on him once the reality of Sting's impending challenge set in.  Had the company made it clear beforehand that the winner of this tourney would receive an automatic title shot, that probably would've gotten people much more interested.  Sadly this wasn't the case, and all Sting officially won that night was a trophy.

It's Champion vs. Champion!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The History of NWA/WCW Starrcade, part 2 (1986-1988)

Welcome back to The History of Starrcade!

Moving right along to 1986....



Starrcade '86 - Greensboro Coliseum/The Omni -
11.27.86

Starrcade '86 was the first one I was aware of as a wrestling fan.  On Saturday mornings I'd watch World Wide Wrestling and see ads for the VHS release.  I must say those commercials were GOLD.  Whoever put those together had me at "hello."  When I used to watch those Turner Home Entertainment tapes I looked forward to the previews as much as the event itself.

The 1986 edition suffered greatly from its main event plans being derailed only a month out.  Jim Crockett Promotions had intended a major World Title push for Magnum TA, which would've kicked off at Starrcade with a huge win over Ric Flair.  Who knows what would've happened, had that come to fruition.  Magnum was enormously popular, built like a brick shithouse, and had rugged good looks that appealed to a crossover audience.  The NWA could've had another Hulk Hogan on their hands, and may very well have been able to compete with Vince.  But unfortunately it was not to be, as Magnum suffered a career-ending car crash in October, and the promotion had to scramble to put together a new main event for its biggest show of the year.  The bookers cleverly turned Nikita Koloff babyface by having him show compassion and remorse over his longtime enemy's injury.  I like that choice a lot actually.  Thus Nikita took Magnum's place in the main event and became one of the NWA's top faces for the next two years.

The company also put the spotlight on one of the secondary main events, even naming the show after it.  Starrcade '86 was the television debut of the Scaffold Match - a horribly dangerous gimmick bout where the combatants are forced to fight twenty feet above the ring on a three-foot-wide platform.  They renamed it The Skywalkers Match (I wonder if George Lucas ever considered suing) and it took on a pretty mythic quality.  But before we get to the top-billed matches, let's take a look at the rest of the show.  For the second consecutive year Starrcade emanated from both The Omni and the Greensboro Coliseum.

Monday, November 20, 2017

WWE Survivor Series 2017: I Hate This Family

Man, how awesome is this?  Wait, it's all gonna go to shit in ten minutes??

Well, just like last year's Survivor Series, this was a very good PPV that had a mindnumbingly stupid main event.  The problem is, unlike last year's main event which only took up 90 seconds of my time, this one took 33 minutes.  Brock Lesnar went from the worst match of the night in 2016 to the best match in 2017, while the men's elimination match took the opposite path.  What the hell is this company doing?  And for the love of shit, why is it necessary for these RAW vs. Smackdown shows to feature everyone clad in idiotic red and blue T-shirts?  We know who's on which show, dickheads.  All you need is for all the wrestlers to include red or blue in their normal ring gear.  Stop insulting me.

The show opened, smartly, with the six-man tag between two very over squads, The Shield and The New Day.  The crowd was into this and loved both teams (except Roman who got a smattering of "you still suck" chants).  Both trios worked hard and aside from a couple miscues (which seemed oddly prevalent on this show), threw together a very enjoyable 21-minute match which loads of false finishes and an actual ending that was a callback to an earlier spot.  After being thwarted earlier in the match, The Shield put it away with their signature triple powerbomb, but delivered it from the second rope.  If anything this match could've been maybe three minutes shorter, and it wasn't at the same level of the Shield's amazing 2014 matches with The Wyatts and Evolution.  But it was a hot opener with a big-fight feel and established The New Day as very worthy opponents for the dominant Shield.

If you didn't pick these guys to win, I dunno what to tell ya.

The women's elimination match was next, after a baffling backstage pep talk from Stephanie McMahon to her RAW team that once again made the actual women wrestlers look subservient to the boss's daughter.  I don't want to see McMahons on my TV screen anymore.  I'm sick to goddamn death of this family.  Anyway, the match itself got over 18 minutes and didn't feel like a sprint, but still felt a bit rushed.  Too many eliminations were too sudden, like Becky Lynch's unceremonious exit two minutes in.  Stop doing these surprise early eliminations, god damn you!  They aren't surprising if you do them every year.  From there we got a battle of the bulls, as Nia Jax and Tamina faced off.  Tamina won this round by repeatedly attacking Nia outside the ring and hitting her dad's Superfly splash on the floor, getting Nia counted out.  Bayley also fell to Tamina's splash, while Alicia Fox was the victim of a horrendous fast count by the ref.  Naomi had rolled her up and she was clearly supposed to kick out before being locked in a submission hold, but the referee counted 1...2-3 and basically pushed her out of the ring.  Someone fucked up.  It all boiled down to Nattie and Tamina vs. Asuka, allowing the Empress of Tomorrow to fully demonstrate her dominance by eliminating both opponents clean.  Not a great match but a good one that accomplished what it needed to.  Asuka is the woman of the hour.

Asuka's main roster push is back on track.

The History of NWA/WCW Starrcade, part 1 (1983-1985)

Hey there everyone.  Welcome to Enuffa.com, your home for pro wrestling, movies, music, and other life-altering forms of pop culture.  I know what you're thinking.  You're thinking, "Hey Justin, it's been a while since you posted the complete history of a beloved wrestling supercard.  Can ya help us out?"  You my friends are in luck, because without further ado, I'd like to present.....

The Enuffa.com Complete History of WCW Starrcade!!!




That's right, it's time to hop into the ol' DeLorean and travel back to 1983, when Jim Crockett Promotions envisioned a wrestling event so magnanimous it couldn't be just for the live crowd in attendance.  It had to be broadcast on closed-circuit television throughout the South!  Big wrestling events on Thanksgiving night had long been a tradition in the region, and Crockett correctly surmised that a supercard held on that date would draw big business.  Starrcade '83 is the real Granddaddy of Them All - the first wrestling event broadcast on closed-circuit, and the prototype for the modern PPV event.  The show was a tremendous success, famously causing massive traffic jams in downtown Greensboro, and JCP made Starrcade an annual tradition.  Quickly it became the promotion's flagship event, and by 1987 it was also carried on pay-per-view.  When Ted Turner bought out Jim Crockett in 1988 he kept the Starrcade brand but moved it to December to avoid having to compete with the WWF's Survivor Series, and that's where it stayed until WCW folded in 2001.

So let's look at the highs, lows and everything in between, of Starrcade!



Starrcade '83 - Greensboro Coliseum - 11.24.83

The inaugural Starrcade was by today's standards a very barebones production which featured quite a few obscure names from the early part of the decade.  It was a very uneven show with a pretty forgettable first half.  But it's the final three matches that make Starrcade '83, and they're all first-rate classics of the era. 

The NWA event lineups back then were different from the WWF approach, in that they stuck all the undercard bouts early on the card and saved the important ones for the second half - quite often the last four matches would all be for championships.  By contrast Vince would spread the big matches around to give each show peaks and valleys, often inserting "buffer matches" between some of the headliners.  There are pros and cons to both philosopies of course.

After three matches that could be considered throwaways (The Assassins vs. Rufus Jones & Bugsy McGraw; Kevin Sullivan & Mark Lewin vs. Scott McGhee & Johnny Weaver; and a brief Abdullah the Butcher-Carlos Colon showdown), the show began for real with a solid tag match: Bob Orton (Randy's dad) teamed with Dick Slater against Mark Youngblood and Wahoo McDaniel.  This was no five-star classic, but it was easily the best match thus far.

Next was a TV Title vs. Mask match between The Great Kabuki and Charlie Brown (actually the "suspended" Jimmy Valiant under a mask).  I've never been much of a Valiant fan, so for me there wasn't much to this, but it does stand as the first-ever championship match on a Starrcade show.
From here on out the show was pure gold.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

The History of WWE Survivor Series, part 10 (2014-2016)

We've reached the finale of our historical journey....




Survivor Series 2014 - Scottrade Center - 11/23/14

Oddly the main event of the 2014 edition was like a do-over from 2013.  The Authority picked five guys to represent them, against a five-man insurrection led by the company's top babyface.  And if the good guys won, The Authority would be out of power, with only the babyface leader able to reinstate them.  On paper that's a pretty high-stakes elimination match.  Unfortunately the execution leading up to this show was so bad and lacked all urgency, and this type of angle has been done so many times no one really cared.  A year prior, with the Daniel Bryan vs. The Authority feud in high gear, this would've been epic.  In 2014 though, with longtime WWE posterboy John Cena cast as "The guy Triple H and Steph don't want representing the company because........just because," it doesn't quite work.  But before we get to this match, let's look at the rest of the show.

First up was a four-way match for the Tag Team Title, as Goldust & Stardust defended against Team Mizdow, The Usos, and Los Matadores.  Taken in and of itself this match was perfectly decent.  It was given over fifteen minutes and everyone involved could work.  The problem was these four teams had faced each other in various combinations ad nauseum over the preceding weeks, so nothing about this felt special.  It was just eight guys executing a match.  Also this being Survivor Series, Elimination Rules would've made more sense.  Mizdow won the belts prematurely to further the eventual split between Miz and Sandow, which as we all know led to nothing.

They won the belts too soon and split up too soon.
Next up was a four-on-four Divas elimination match: Alicia Fox, Emma, Naomi and Natalya vs. Paige, Cameron, Layla, and Summer Rae.  There was little point to this match but I'll be goddamned if it wasn't terribly entertaining.  It's a rare thing for a women's match of any kind to get nearly fifteen minutes on a PPV, and this was actually treated like a real Survivor Series bout.  Sadly it was a clean sweep which I hate in general (these should be saved for very rare occasions and made into a huge deal), but I liked the match quite a bit all things considered.

The first big match of the night was next, as Dean Ambrose faced Bray Wyatt in a battle of the crazy dudes.  This was pretty underwhelming actually, and ended with a lame DQ.  They'd have a much better match with an even dumber ending at TLC.

Next up was Adam Rose and The Bunny vs. Heath Slater and Titus O'Neil.  What in the hell was the point of this?  Between the match itself and the entrances this took up probably 7 minutes of valuable air time that could've been given to one of the matches people actually gave a shit about.

Friday, November 17, 2017

NXT TakeOver: WarGames Preview & Predictions

Oh man.......oh mama......it finally happened.......WWE is resurrecting WARGAMES!!!!


Nevermind that the new version of the rules doesn't make much sense and is yet another entry in the WWE Fixed Something That Wasn't Broke category, this is gonna be a lotta fun.  I've been a fan of WarGames since I first bought the NWA Great American Bash '87 tape back in the day.  The visual of two rings surrounded by a steel cage with ten guys bloodying each other senseless for 25 minutes was the stuff of legend.  I'm not sure how NXT will handle the blood situation; maybe there will be a few "accidental on purpose" hardways.  Regardless, I'm looking forward to this main event.  But as always, NXT has a host of other intriguing matchups this Saturday, so let's take a look...


First off, there's a dark match between UK Champ Pete Dunne and Johnny Gargano, and I'm baffled this isn't on the special.  That would probably steal the goddamn show.  Christ.



Kassius Ohno vs. Lars Sullivan


I know next to nothing about Sullivan, so it's hard to give much of an educated opinion on this one, but Ohno will work hard to make him look good I'm sure.  Since Sullivan is 303 pounds you know WWE officials are salivating at the idea of a new monster character.  I'm guessing Ohno's only here to give him a good win.

Justin: Lars
Landon: Sullivan





Aleister Black vs. The Velveteen Dream


Former Tough Enough contestant Patrick Clark will be the latest to get bludgeoned by Black, on his rise to the NXT main event scene.  Not much more to say about this; it's obviously another Black showcase match.

Justin: Aleister Black
Landon: Black is probably being groomed to take the title from Adam Cole, or he'll be ready very soon.





NXT Women's Championship: Ember Moon vs. Kairi Sane vs. Nikki Cross vs. Peyton Royce


I'm looking forward to this.  Asuka's departure left a vacant NXT Women's Title, and this is the match to fill that vacancy.  As I see it, this is really a two-horse race.  Royce has no chance of winning, nor should she, Nikki is the spoiler candidate here but won't end up taking it.  It's realistically between Ember Moon, who was Asuka's heir apparent, and Kairi Sane, who, like Asuka, is a very accomplished Japanese import.  I think it's too soon for Sane to win the belt, and it would look too much like they were just plugging her into Asuka's spot.  Ember Moon should finally capture the title and get a decent run before Sane eventually dethrones her.

Justin: Ember
Landon: Ember


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Awesomely Shitty Movies: Batman v Superman

Welcome to Enuffa.com!  It's been a while, but the time has come to resurrect the old favorite, Awesomely Shitty Movies!  Some of you know the drill, but for those who don't, ASM is where I examine the good and bad elements of some piece of cinematic tripe.  

And today's entry certainly falls into that category.  That's right, it's Zack Snyder's divisive creation, the long-awaited Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice!


This 151-minute superhero mashup marks the first time in history that Metropolis's messiah and Gotham's masked vigilante share the big screen, and I can assure you it ain't to swap gazpacho recipes.  Nope, it's to pummel the ever-lovin' shit out of each other (and also to set up the Avengers-esque Justice League movie in 2017....mostly it's for that reason actually).

Henry Cavill is back as Kal-El, the brooding, reluctant alien hero from Man of Steel who sorta looks like Superman but doesn't share any of his character traits.  In Batman's cape and cowl this time is Ben Affleck, who might just have the greatest superhero jaw in the history of the world, and who is also ENORMOUS in this film.  Huge.  Like, did anyone check who's supplying his "vitamins?"  Plus we have Israeli model Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman and Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor(??).  So let's get to it - what worked and what didn't?



The Awesome (For the purposes of this column I use that term loosely)


Visuals

As with most of Zack Snyder's work, the visuals here are super slick, very stylized, and moody.  Just like Man of Steel, the color palette in BvS is very muted and there are a lot of CG enhancements, but the costumes look badass and there's plenty of eye-candy.

Lotta cool-looking stuff in this movie


Batfleck

For all the complaining when he was cast, Ben Affleck makes a pretty good Batman.  It helps that his costume is based on Frank Miller's wonderful version of the suit, giving Affleck a fearsome, bulky appearance.  His Bruce Wayne is older, more grizzled, more cynical, and more ruthless.  Affleck plays possibly the most tortured screen version of the character to date, who's given up trying to be a normal dude, even letting Wayne Manor fall into decay and settling for the modernized guest house nearby (This was a nice touch I thought, and served as interesting symbolism for the character).  Also his electronically-enhanced "Bat-voice" is way cool-sounding and I think they've finally found the right way to execute that.  All that said though, I still never fully felt I was watching Batman.  I was always at least slightly aware it was Ben Affleck in a Batsuit.  But overall no real complaints about Batfleck.

Possibly the best-looking cinematic Bat-suit



Some Superman Scenes

Cavill as Superman is still monosyllabic and therefore almost impossible to identify with.  Aside from his look (which is perfect), Cavill has still not proved to me that he's the correct choice for Kal-El, nor does he even bother playing Clark Kent as a different character.  To all those people who say Lois should know Clark and Supes are the same person because it's unrealistic for her not to figure it out, I say this: If Superman doesn't act any differently as Clark Kent, isn't it more unrealistic for everyone else (including the World's Greatest Detective Batman) not to put it together?

However unlike Man of Steel, BvS at least provides Clark a few scenes where we feel a little something for him, such as the one after he fails to stop a bombing and expresses to Lois that maybe he wasn't meant to be a hero.  This idea doesn't really get explored further, but the scene itself was well done.



Frank Miller Influence

This movie is FULL of visual references to Miller's The Dark Knight Returns.  I already mentioned the Batsuit lifted right out of Miller's artwork, plus the armored Batsuit (which looks INCREDIBLE in movie form), much of the Bats vs. Supes fight itself, and some unrelated moments I'll get to in a bit.  It was cool to see Miller's iconic version of Batman brought to life.

I knew this looked familiar....

WWE Survivor Series 2017 Preview & Predictions


Wow.  What a bizarre build to this year's Survivor Series.  The card has changed roughly 78 times since the matches were first announced four weeks ago, and amazingly the show went from a surefire stinker to one of the best on-paper lineups of the year.  That doesn't mean of course that WWE won't fuck this up, they've demonstrated on many occasions their uncanny ability to botch something as simple as bagged salad mix.  But my optimism for this show being good has probably tripled in the last two weeks.  I went from full-on dreading it to actually having hope that this will be on par with last year's surprisingly excellent Survivor Series.  While I do think the champion vs. champion gimmick is dumb overall, three of the four matches are now very promising.  And while the RAW vs. Smackdown nonsense is forced and drivelous, the two elimination matches have the potential to be great.

So let's take a look at the matchups and see what makes sense.

***I'm leading still, with 62/88 (70%), Landon's in second with 51/76 (67%), Dave's in third with 36/54 (66.666666%), and Dan's in the rear (heh....rear...) with 54/88 (61%).***



Pre-Show Cruiserweight Championship: Enzo Amore vs. Kalisto


Thank Christ this got bumped to the pre-show.  What a pointless match, feud, and title.  This division is deader than dead.  If anyone's tuning in specifically for the 205 Live stuff, I feel sorry for you.

Justin: Enzo retains.  Who gives a shit?
Dan: I guess.  He stinks.
Landon: Enzo.  Fuck this company.
Dave: My god, I don't care.  Enzo I guess.





Champion vs. Champion: The Miz vs. Baron Corbin


This is the one main card match I'm really not at all interested in.  Who fuckin' cares about this?  Both guys are heels, only one is good at his job, and there's literally nothing at stake.  This match should get as little time as possible.  Corbin really should've dropped the belt to a rising babyface star prior to this (Not you Sin Cara!), so there'd be something to care about.

Justin: Miz gets a cheap win
Dan: COME ON MIZZY!
Landon: Miz.  Fuck this company.
Dave: Miz rules.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

2017 World Tag League Preview


Well...This is certainly underwhelming. Usually there's some fun to be had out of the World Tag League, but this year the rosters seem really barren. Naito is vacationing in Mexico, Kenny is off in the Eliteverse, and I can only assume that Okada and Tanahashi are going into two of Lord Frieza's Medical Machines for the next month. So what we're left with is a handful of established tag teams, odd faction amalgamations, and a few last minute cobbled together teams that fill out a weak Tag Tournament. But, there's still some joy that can be found in all this. What's good, what's bad, and what'll work? That's what we're here for.



A Block

Bad Luck Fale and Chase Owens (Bullet Club)

Landon: I love Chase Owens and he deserves to do better than he will.

Justin: This here is the Bullet Club C-Team.  They won't be winning the tournament.



EVIL and SANADA (Los Ingobernables de Japon)

Landon: I think that EVIL and SANADA are going all the way. They're at least sweeping this block. They have nothing better going for the next few months, so they could drop the 6-Man belts (sorry BUSHI) and be a proper native top heavyweight tag team.

Justin: Evil and Sanada have to be one of the two or three favorites to win the whole thing.  They aren't involved in a feud right now and they need something good to do for the Dome.  A tag title match would do nicely.



Hangman Page and Yujiro Takahashi (Bullet Club)

Justin: And this is the Bullet Club D-Team.  Next?

Landon: You know at least they were a tag team before literally these announcements. I know they won't go far, but Yujiro and Hangman have both stepped up their efforts in their respective home companies. Maybe they'll show promise here.


Friday, November 10, 2017

Top Ten Things: Essential NJPW PPVs

Welcome to another edition of Top Ten Things, here at Enuffa.com, where I count down Ten Things that are at the Top of my list.  Pretty simple really.  Not sure why I have to explain it.


Today I present the ten (or more accurately, thirteen - narrowing this list down to ten is nigh impossible now) best NJPW PPVs I've seen thus far in my relatively young New Japan fandom (New JaFandom?).  I started watching NJPW in January 2015, when they launched NJPWWorld.com, a subscription streaming service not unlike The WWE Network (If you haven't subscribed you should do so - it's cheaper than WWE's version and you'll get access to forty-plus years of New Japan).  Basically from day one I was hooked, and I started poring through the archives to absorb as much New Japan awesomeness as I could find.  So here are thirteen essential NJPW PPVs you need to watch (and if you've already seen 'em, watch 'em again!).  Here we go:





13. WrestleKingdom IV


The WrestleKingdom series evolved from New Japan's 25-year tradition of holding a huge Tokyo Dome show every January 4th.  Regardless what weekday that falls on, the Tokyo Dome show is always on the fourth day of the year (weird, right?).  The name has changed several times, and starting in 2007 they turned the event into a PPV and called it WrestleKingdom.  In my opinion he first WK show to really deliver on all fronts was the fourth edition.  The undercard was a bit cluttered with tag matches (as was customary at the time), but once Intermission was over this show really took off.  Besides the couple of standout tags (Prince Devitt & Ryuske Taiguchi vs. Averno & Ultimo Guerrero; No Limit vs. Team 3-D vs. Bad Intentions), WK4 featured four good-to-great singles matches in a row to close out the PPV.  Tiger Mask IV vs. Naomichi Marufuji holds up as one of the best Jr. Heavyweight matches I've seen, which was then amazingly topped by a superb Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Go Shiozaki heavyweight match, which was followed by the surprisingly awesome Takashi Suguira vs. Hirooki Goto for the GHC Championship.  The main event, for the IWGP Heavyweight Title, saw Shinsuke Nakamura (pre-rock star persona) defend against the bruiser veteran Yoshihiro Takayama, in a slow but intense brawl.  This show started out slow but escalated to a fever pitch in the final 90 minutes, making it the best of the early WrestleKingdom events.

Key Matches: Takashi Suguira vs. Hirooki Goto; Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Go Shiozaki; Tiger Mask IV vs. Naomichi Marufuji





12. Power Struggle 2013


Often seen as something of a transitory PPV due to its place on the calendar so soon before WrestleKingdom, the annual November show Power Struggle generally features little in the way of important angles or title changes.  But that didn't stop NJPW from presenting a very strong edition in 2013.  Undercard standouts included the Young Bucks vs. Suzuki-Gun tag match and a short-but-intense Shibata-Honma slugfest, but once again the final four bouts were where business really picked up.  Hiroshi Tanahashi and Tomohiro Ishii stole the show with a 17-minute war, Tetsuya Naito settled his months-long feud with Masato Tanaka, Shinsuke Nakamura narrowly retained the I-C Title against Minoru Suzuki, and Kazuchika Okada defended the IWGP Title against Karl Anderson in a main event that far exceeded my expectations.  The last three Power Struggle shows have essentially just been a collection of good matches without major consequences, and the 2013 edition was the best of the series.

Key Matches: Kazuchika Okada vs. Karl Anderson; Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Minoru Suzuki; Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Tomohiro Ishii





11. WrestleKingdom 8


The 2014 edition of WrestleKingdom has the unfortunate distinction of being sandwiched between the two best all-time WKs, but that doesn't stop it from being a helluva good show in and of itself.  The show started out strong with two good Tag Title matches - The Young Bucks defended the Jr. Heavyweight straps against Time Splitters, Forever Hooligans and Suzuki-Gun in a blistering spotfest, while Lance Archer and Davey Boy Smith jr. faced the new Bullet Club combination of Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows for the Heavyweight belts.  The middle of the show featured several okay matches before the final third once again took things to the next level.  Hirooki Goto and Katsuyori Shibata delivered a brutal war, Kota Ibushi dethroned Prince Devitt for the Jr. Heavyweight Title in a great piece of storytelling, Okada and Naito had a marathon IWGP Title match, and in a first for WrestleKingdom the Intercontinental Title took the main event slot, as Nakamura faced Tanahashi in the clear Match of the Night.  While WK8 lacked a true MOTY candidate, it still stacks up as one of the best editions of NJPW's flagship event. 

Key Matches: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi; Prince Devitt vs. Kota Ibushi; Hirooki Goto vs. Katsuyori Shibata





10. King of Pro-Wrestling 2012


Voted the Best Major Show of 2012 by the readers of Wrestling Observer, King of Pro-Wrestling was the first PPV to use that moniker, and was a streamlined, loaded lineup.  Both Jr. Heavyweight Titles were defended in top-flight matches - Forever Hooligans defended the tag belts against Time Splitters, and Low-Ki defeated Kota Ibushi for the singles championship in a 17-minute showstopper.  After a few good but largely inconsequential bouts, the show kicked into overdrive with a trio of excellent matches.  Okada defended his WK7 #1 Contender's slot against Karl Anderson, Shinsuke Nakamura and Hirooki Goto had a blazing I-C Title match, and in the main event Hiroshi Tanahashi faced Minoru Suzuki in an epic 29-minute match with loads of psychology and nary a pin attempt until the very end.  Incidentally this bout was named Match of the Year by the Observer.  KoPW was a tremendous PPV that outshined every other NJPW show in 2012, and amazingly it would be outdone by its 2013 sequel.

Key Matches: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Minoru Suzuki; Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Hirooki Goto; Kazuchika Okada vs. Karl Anderson


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

ESPN 30 For 30 Documentary Review: Ric Flair Nature Boy

by Dan Moore
@SouthieDanimal

Last night, ESPN premiered their newest sports documentary about the stylin', profilin', limousine riding, jet flying, kiss-stealing, wheelin' n' dealin' son of a gun Ric Flair.


This man is not only a wrestling legend but he has transcended that stardom in the squared circle to become one of life's superstars. Everyone knows who Ric Flair is. Everyone knows what his bedazzled robes look like. And of course we all know his signature catchphrase--'WOOOOOO!'

But what about the man? This documentary gets in to the man...kind of. It's definitely more about the playboy persona of RIC FLAIR WORLD CHAMPION but it does give some insight into Richard Fliehr, the adpoted son of strict, tie wearing parents. It delves into how young Richard loved wrestling but his father wanted nothing to do with it...and that's it. It's barely five minutes of talking about Ric's childhood and lack of interest from his parents. There's clearly more to the story there as you can see it affected Ric greatly but the director chose to move on from that pretty quickly I thought.

We then move onto his wrestling career and man oh man did this guy do some hard living. There's a scene (some scenes were animated when Flair was telling stories, as this one was) where he describes his daily intake of booze. 10 beers and 5 mixed drinks everyday he worked. Well, he's a wrassler, and he worked everyday so he drank that amount EVERYDAY.


Well, hello new phone background. 

WWE Smackdown: AJ Hinders Jinder

Well.  That's certainly an improvement.


Last night on Smackdown, AJ Styles unseated WWE's worst Champion of all time (Yup, I'm goin' there), Jinder Mahal to not only capture the belt but take Jinder's spot in the Survivor Series main event against Brock Lesnar.  And thus we now potentially have a main event worth watching, provided Vince doesn't just book Lesnar to squash AJ.  What SHOULD happen at Survivor Series is Brock has a bitch of a time catching the lightning-quick Styles and is kept off balance for much of an 18-minute match, finally getting his XXXXL-gloved hands on AJ toward the end and lowering the boom.  I have zero problem with Brock beating AJ, but it's gotta look good and be a competitive match.  For the first time in a WWE ring we have two former IWGP Heavyweight Champions squaring off.  That in and of itself is quite something.  The match could be fantastic if they do it right.  Please do it right, Vince.  Throw us a frickin' bone here.....

There was another title change this week, as Cesaro & Sheamus regained the RAW tag belts from Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose.  I'm not crazy about this change unless it's to create a Shield match (more on that in a sec), as we now have yet another heel champion vs. heel champion match.  For 24 hours every title in the company was held by a heel.  Normally I'm fine with that scenario, but not if you're doing champion vs. champion matches in two weeks.  I really would've liked to see Owens & Zayn beat The Usos for the Smackdown belts and face Ambrose & Rollins, but that one's not in the cards. 

Instead what seems imminent to be added to the lineup is The Shield vs. The New Day.  At least that's what's being teased.  Should be a good match, but why not just add The Bar and The Usos (or better, KO & Sami) and make it another 5-on-5 elimination match?  There's no belts on the line anyway, so who cares?  I'd rather see a third Survivor Series match on the Survivor Series PPV.  Call me crazy, call me a pervert.  Anyway....

Next week's Smackdown will have two title matches that could further change the card.  This build has been the weirdest since the Russo era.  Baron Corbin is defending against Sin Cara - why are they pushing him again all of a sudden?? - but I won't be sad if Cara wins because a) it's makes a heel vs. face match at Survivor Series, and b) Miz vs. Sin Cara will be a helluva lot more fun than Miz vs. Corbin.  And Nattie is defending against Charlotte.  While I'd be sad to see Nattie's reign cut so short, Alexa vs. Charlotte is also a heel vs. face matchup and will probably get the crowd more engaged than Alexa vs. Nattie.  So both changes could be positives, and I assume Nattie would take Charlotte's place in the women's elimination match. 

If the Shield-New Day match gets added, Survivor Series will have an 8-match lineup.  Please tell me the Enzo-Kalisto match gets bumped to the pre-show then?  No one gives a shit about that one, and even for a four-hour show, eight matches is a lot when two of them are 5-on-5.  I'm guessing Owens and Zayn get involved in the men's elimination match and screw over Shane's team.  I'm also guessing Jinder gets added as the fifth man for Smackdown (Ugh)? 

Still so much up in the air for this show, considering it's in eleven days.  But at least we have a strong main event now.  More importantly, Jinder Mahal's Reign of Suck is finally over.  Let's keep it that way.



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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Movie Review: Jigsaw (2017)

by Dan Moore
@SouthieDanimal



All right, I've said A LOT about these movies in the last month. I had to re-watch 'em all just so I'd be good and prepared for the newest chapter, Jigsaw. So how does it compare to the rest of these flicks?

Eh. It's ok. It's a ton of the same shit that came before. And a lot more convulted-ed-ness (that's a word). John "Jigsaw" Kramer is dead...OR IS HE?!?!? A new group of shmucks are stuck in a new shithole trapped in a situation eerily similar to Jiggy's M.O. Is it him? Come back from the dead?!?!?

We're introduced to a buncha new characters. There's hard-boiled detective Halloran, his partner detective Hunt, medical examiners Logan and ginger Eleanor. And then the whole slew of folk trapped inside of Jigsaw's newest game. I'd tell you their names, but they're completely forgettable.

Our suspects, ladies & gentlemen. 


Without getting too spoilery, these people hafta atone for their past sins by having pieces of their body flayed off. It's fun! While they're all trapped up bleeding everywhere, the cops and the medical folk obviously start suspecting each other as being the new Saw dude because they're the only ones in the movie that could. So a buncha people get hacked up, no one learns a lesson and there's a twist ending with SOMEONE being a murderer type.

Did I like this one? I mean, I like them all, but this one kinda stunk. The problem with this particular episode is it's kinda obvious who's pulling the strings. At least in the other flicks I was sorta guessing what the plot twist was gonna be. When it happens here, it only confirmed my suspicions. There's a point in the movie where they make it quite obvious that the person doing the Saw'ing is the only possible one that could've manipulated everything into place. So without the surprise element, this one's lacking a fundamental Saw piece.

Monday, November 6, 2017

NJPW Power Struggle Review: JERICHO!!!!

Wow, what a show, both in terms of match quality (three ****+ matches to close the PPV by my calculation) and perhaps more significantly in terms of setting up WrestleKingdom 12.  NJPW Power Struggle is likely to be remembered at least as much for its post-match angles as for its matches, with Tokyo Dome bouts set up for the Jr. Tag belts (RPG3K vs. Young Bucks is sure to be spectacular), the Jr. belt (if you're doing a Fatal 4-way these are the four guys you want), the Intercontinental Title (the push seems a little sudden but I've been eagerly awaiting Jay White's return to the company), and one of the most earth-shattering announcements in New Japan history, Kenny Omega defending the US Title against Chris Jericho!


This is simply huge.  That an 18-year WWE veteran has jumped ship to New Japan indicates a potentially seismic shift in the industry the likes of which we haven't seen since WCW came knocking on Vince's door back in 1995.  For the first time since the Monday Night War, a very relevant WWE fixture has willingly decided to try his hand in a different company that currently has a major buzz around it.  For a wrestler at this stage of his career to yearn for a new challenge rather than taking the easy, reliable paycheck is remarkable, and it illustrates how much hotter the New Japan brand is right now than WWE (not to mention how committed Jericho is to reinventing himself).  NJPW is becoming the place where wrestlers go to improve their game.  WWE is where wrestlers go to make as much money as they can while they're still healthy.  What's also telling is the numerous New Japan/ROH talents who have declined WWE contracts like Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks, and the recent WWE departures like Austin Aries and Neville who asked for their WWE release.  Wrestlers are increasingly discovering they can make a good living and actually be used based on their strengths outside of WWE, rather than floundering in a company that doesn't seem interested in creating legitimate box office draws.  It's a truly exciting development and I can't wait to see both the Jericho-Omega match, and Jericho's post-Dome New Japan run.  I assume it'll be a 3-6 month tenure and then he'll go back on tour with Fozzy.  We could easily see him return to WWE at some point as well, but the fact that he chose to go somewhere else after repeatedly vowing never to wrestle for any other company speaks volumes of how hot New Japan is right now.   

Alright, moving on to the actual PPV.  Power Struggle was, in my estimation, New Japan's third-best show of 2017 (after WK11 and Dominion of course).  The undercard was a solid, consistently entertaining series of matches, and from the Jr. Tag Finals on we were treated to a variety of good-to-excellent bouts, concluding with, as I mentioned, three stupendous outings.

The Young Bucks returned to New Japan in the opening match to make fairly quick work of Titan and Dragon Lee.  It was a brief seven-minute encounter but a nicely executed, fun opener that re-established the Bucks as the division's team to beat.  No complaints there.

Next up were a pair of multi-man tags to keep the crowd feelin' good.  Suzuki-Gun took a quick dive against Juice Robinson's squad when Kushida tapped out Taka Michinoku.  Not much to that match but it was inoffensive and quick.  Then TenCozy and Togi Makabe had an enjoyable little match against the Bullet Club C-team when Kojima pinned Chase Owens. 

Friday, November 3, 2017

NJPW Power Struggle 2017 Preview & Predictions


Power Struggle is, barring the World Tag League, the final stop to the Tokyo Dome. After this, there are no more matches for the Big Four titles of New Japan, all the title matches for the Domewill be decided here, or soon after. The undercard is underwhelming, but the second half promises to be a rockin' outing. It's only a few days away, and Justin and I are running down just what's gonna happen in Osaka.




David Finlay vs. Katsuya Kitamura

Landon: This might end up being Kitamura's first win over a non-Young Lion in New Japan. There's obviously a tremendous upside to the rookie, but history tells that Finlay will pick up the win here.

Justin: Gotta stick with the non-rookie.  Should be a nice little match though.




Nick Jackson and Matt Jackson vs Dragon Lee and Titan

Landon: "We have nothing for the Young Bucks really, and we have the CMLL guys here still. So..." Young Bucks to win here, possibly to face SHO and YOH at the Tokyo Dome.

Justin: Bucks of Youth have to win here.  YB vs. RPG3K at the Dome.




Juice Robinson, Jushin Thunder Liger, Tiger Mask IV, Kushida, and Hirai Kawato vs Suzuki-Gun (Zack Sabre Jr., Taichi, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, El Desperado, and TAKA Michinoku)

Landon: Something for the Suzuki-Gun Junior Brigade to do, and something for the Seiki-Gun to do. Kawato probably eats the fall, maybe from El Desperado

Justin: Yes, SG wins, if for no other reason than to keep ZSJ strong heading into the Dome.




Togi Makabe, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, and Satoshi Kojima vs. Bullet Club (Cody, Yujiro Takahashi, and Chase Owens)

Landon: This entire Undercard for this show is really weird. I guess the only thing that could come of this is Makabe pinning Chase. Whether that sets up for the NEVER Openweight title match against Suzuki I've been demanding for months, or even an ROH World Championship match, I don't know. I don't expect much.

Justin: Bullet Club so Cody looks strong.


Thursday, November 2, 2017

Fast & Furious Controversy: Tyrese Threatens To Quit

By B-Cuddy




[EDITOR'S NOTE I'll be honest, no one here at Enuffa gives a rat's ass about Tyrese or these movies. In fact, this is all just an excuse for B-Cuddy to bitch about these 8 (fucking EIGHT?!?!?) pieces of shit. Take it away, Cuddy.]

My wife loves these movies so I have had to sit through the last few of 'em. I still love her though cause I'm a helluva guy. Anyways, it's like the Olympics of bad acting. The stories are so over the top and nonsensical, that for any of those morons to think they're irreplaceable is laughable.


Here are the 5 worst performances from the two that I've watched.



5. The Rock


Seems like a nice guy but he has the emotional range of a can opener. Being on steroids has done his career wonders. I bet even Justin agrees with this. I'd ask him about it, but anytime the Rock gets brought up, you gotta wait a while until Justin cleans himself off.  (Editor's Note: Umm, that's Prof's gig).



4. Ludacris


How is he an actor? And how the fuck did he get cast as the nerdy tech guy?? It would be more believable if my aunt had this role, and she can barely turn the TV on. 


3. Tyrese


Sucks at singing, sucks at acting. He plays the "comic relief" and is always panicking for some reason or another. Which is odd because he continues to be part of a crew who's entire existence is based off high speed chases and explosions and I don't fucking know what else. Perhaps it is actually time for both he and his character to quit. Also, not a laugh to be had. But since he's taking his ball and going home, a spot has opened up. And if you want laughs, hire my man Pickles. He's an actor. (In theory). Just change it to an R-rated flick because there's gonna be a lot of colorful language. C-bombs like ya read about. 




2. Michelle Rodriguez




In one of these hunks of shit, this dame gets amnesia. FUCKING AMNESIA. Because when you get 8 deep into a movie franchise, you gotta break amnesia out at some point. I wish I had amnesia from watching her act. The only one who's worse is Vin himself (SPOILER ALERT!). Apparently Vin's character fancies himself a gal on his acting level, and someone who looks like him. No, seriously, they look similar. It's weird. 


1. Vin Diesel




First of all, what a preposterous asshole name. If a porn actor told a studio his name was Vin Diesel, they'd tell him to pick something less stupid. But i digress...

Maybe the worst actor I've ever seen. Its close between him and that kid who turned Darth Vader into a whiney bitch. From what I've gathered between these movies and his dodge commercial, his entire career is based of having a deep voice. And supposedly being bulky? Maybe that worked until the Rock showed up and cucked him into the next galaxy. AMIRITE, Jingles???!!!


I wish I was surprised these movies made money, but I mean, just look at the world we live in now. It's utter chaos. 



That's all for B-Cuddy.  Thanks for reading, and join our Facebook group HERE.