Friday, July 27, 2018

Top Ten Things: July PPV Matches

Welcome to another edition of's Top Ten Things, where I assemble a list of ten something-or-others and what-have-yous and decide what order they should go in.

Today I have a list of the ten greatest July PPV matches of all time.  The July PPV wasn't invented until 1988, when the NWA created a Great American Bash special headlined by Ric Flair vs. Lex Luger for the World Title.  For years the NWA/WCW was alone in presenting a PPV event in July, but in 1995 the WWF jumped in, filling the monthly gaps in their PPV schedule with a series of In Your House shows.  In 20 years nary a July has gone by without a PPV event.  While none of the Big Four shows have ever taken place during this month, the annual B-shows have supplied some real classics, some of which I'll talk about,

10. Midnight Express vs. Southern Boys - GAB '90 - 7/7/90

In 1990 the Midnight Express delivered some of the best matches of their career, and some of the best matches that year.  After dethroning US Tag Champs Brian Pillman and Tom Zenk at Capitol Combat, the Midnights defended against hot new babyface team The Southern Boys (Tracey Smothers and Steve Armstrong) at the Great American Bash.  The result was a blazing 18-minute tag team clinic that saw the Midnights retain.  In a rather poor in-ring year for the NWA, the US Tag division stood above the rest.

9. Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn - Battleground - 7/24/16

These former best friends-turned hated rivals clashed one last time at the 2016 Battleground, in a match intended to put their epic feud to bed forever.  And what a battle it was.  Zayn and Owens know each other so well and have worked together so long they'd be hard-pressed to have a bad match, but this bout pulled out all the stops and ratcheted up the drama.  After a brief feeling-out process the big moves appeared fairly early in the match, with Zayn nearly killing himself on an errant springboard moonsault.  Owens then attacked Zayn's vulnerable right arm before Zayn staged a late-match comeback, complete with multiple brutal-looking half-nelson suplexes.  After several unsuccessful attempts to hit the Helluva Kick, Zayn finally nailed the move, picked Owens up almost with a look of regret, and hit a second for the win.  This match easily stole the show and proved one of WWE's best bouts of the year, while giving Zayn a much-need big win.

8. Jeff Hardy vs. Rob Van Dam - Invasion - 7/21/01

The Invasion PPV should've been the start of the greatest angle in wrestling history.  Unfortunately the WWF misfired at almost every turn, burying just about every non-WWF guy in the process.  The one import that caught fire though was Rob Van Dam, who for about six months was pushed to the moon, beginning with this Hardcore Title match against Jeff Hardy.  The two daredevils traded breathtaking high spots in a match that ranged all over the arena, before Van Dam snared his first taste of WWF gold.  The Invasion show may have been a disappointment but this match delivered huge.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Parents' Night In #10: Jaws (1975)

Kelly and Justin are back to talk about one of their all-time favorite films, one they just GOTS ta watch every summer, the Spielberg masterpiece JAWS!

Thanks for watching!  Don't forget to subscribe and join us on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter (@EnuffaDotCom)!

Book Review: The Greatest Matches and Rivalries of the WrestleMania Era

Chad "The Doc" Matthews of fame is back with another countdown of the top 100 something-or-others of the WrestleMania Era (for Doc's purposes that's 1983 to the present).  While his previous tomes focused on the greatest stars and champions of said era, his latest volume deals with the top 100 matches and rivalries of the past 35 years in both WWE and WCW.

Matthews' intent here is to create an objective match/feud ranking, taking into account not only the quality of key matches, but the buildup to them, the character interactions, and the feud's overall impact on the business for its time (The end of the book covers his scoring methodology in detail if you're interested).  After poring through decades of matches and moments, Chad put each candidate head-to-head with its peers in an attempt to nail down a definitive Top 100 that any wrestling fan can reasonably agree with.  As with all art forms, there is of course an unavoidable element of subjectivity when trying to argue that Match/Rivalry A is better than B, but Matthews does present a lucid, pretty compelling argument for the placement of each entry.

There are definitely inclusions (and exclusions) I didn't agree with, but I have to give the author credit for making a strong case for his rankings.  For example Hulk Hogan vs. Shawn Michaels being in the top 40, above many other feuds/matches I would deem far superior.  I wasn't a fan of this feud or match in general at the time and I've never felt the urge to revisit it.  But between Hogan-HBK drawing a very strong buyrate, Shawn managing to carry the entire feud on his own (Hogan opted not to appear on basically any TV leading up to the match), and Shawn getting out of Hogan one of his best-ever bouts (though hardly one of Shawn's best), I can at least appreciate why Matthews rates it so highly.  If you've read Doc's LOP columns you already know he's a fair and well-reasoned debater, and that comes across in the book as well.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Brewery Reviewery: One Love Brewery (Lincoln, NH)

Welcome to another Brewery Reviewery here at, where I sample some local beer flavor and tell you all what I think.

One Love Brewery
25 South Mountain Rd Unit 4
Lincoln, NH 03251

My latest brewery visit took place at One Love Brewery in Lincoln, NH, on the main drag through town, just off of 93.  The family and I had just taken in a movie and wanted to grab a bite for lunch, and I wanted to drink some goddamn beers.

One Love is a German-style pub with a traditional feel; lots of wood with an open, multi-floor seating plan and 19th century decor; a very welcoming atmosphere.  The food there is your typical pub fare, with lots of comfort food options plus German favorites like pretzels with beer cheese and spicy mustard (We had a serving of those and they were quite tasty).  I wasn't super hungry so I just had a garden salad for my lunch entree, and it was actually very nice.  I do love me some balsamic dressing.

But beer is the reason I'm here, so let's get to that.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Top Ten Things: Disappointing Wrestling PPVs

Welcome to another edition of Top Ten Things, here at!

Today's topic is something we can all relate to as wrestling fans.  You're all set up in front of the TV, maybe with a beer in hand, maybe some popcorn, maybe a slice of pizza, maybe a nice wholesome bowl o' broccoli.  That warning screen flashes, instructing you against the unauthorized reception of the upcoming broadcast, and the anticipation has reached a fever pitch.  You can't wait to see three or four hours of wrestling awesomeness unfold before your eyes.......And then you're treated to sports-entertainment shit sandwich.  Nothing about the show lives up to your expectations.  Your world crumbles around you.  And you're goddamn pissed.  The following are ten examples of such an experience for me.....

10. WrestleMania IV

After the unequivocal success (both commercial and critical) of WrestleMania III, the WWF had their work cut out for them to somehow make the followup even bigger than the Hogan vs. Andre-headlined blockbuster.  They decided that a first-time-ever WWF Championship tournament would do the trick, and booked a brilliantly-executed swerve to vacate the Title.  This 14-man tourney would be the centerpiece of WrestleMania IV, but the card would include a staggering eighteen scheduled bouts (only sixteen took place due to tournament draws) over a period of four hours.  If that sounds like an overloaded show, that's because it was.  There were simply too many matches crammed into this PPV and thus nothing got enough time to shine; the tournament final was given a skimpy nine-and-a-half minutes, making it the shortest WrestleMania main event ever until 1993.  Where WrestleMania III featured both an in-ring masterpiece (Savage vs. Steamboat) and a tremendously entertaining spectacle (Hogan vs. Andre), 'Mania IV boasted no truly memorable bouts, and aside from Randy Savage's Championship coronation in the finale, boasted nary an historic moment.  Couple all this with a largely uninterested live crowd comprised mostly of business guests of Donald Trump's, and what ensued was a dull, dreary WrestleMania that served as the WWF's worst PPV of 1988.

9. Great American Bash '88

The NWA's third-ever PPV event featured two huge firsts, Ric Flair defending the World Title against his former Horsemen protege Lex Luger, and a monumental five-on-five war inside a three-decker steel cage.  Going into this I couldn't wait to see how this incredible, foreboding structure would be utilized, and I anticipated the company's new top babyface dethroning the heel Champion.  Well, Luger came up short of the Title in just about the stupidest way possible - the Maryland State Athletic Commission stopped the match because Luger was bleeding from the forehead, despite Luger having snared Flair in his Torture Rack finisher.  And the Tower of Doom as it was called consisted of the two teams essentially trying to race each other from the top cage to the bottom so they could each run away from the battle.  This match was both boring and confusing to watch.  Elsewhere on the card we got two very good tag team matches, neither of which had a clean finish, and a Barry Windham-Dusty Rhodes US Title match involving a heel turn that made no sense, from someone not involved in the match whatsoever (Ronnie Garvin).  The nonsensical booking turned what should've been a pretty great show into an overthought calamity with almost no satisfying finishes.  Fortunately the company would refocus under the new Ted Turner regime and string together several great PPVs over the next year and a half.

8. Survivor Series 1990

The 1990 edition of this Thanksgiving PPV introduced a new wrinkle.  Not only would we be treated to the usual series of team elimination matches, but the survivors of each bout would meet at the end for a climactic Survival Match.  Also the company teased the debut of a new character for weeks leading up to the event, as a giant egg appeared on WWF television  and would apparently hatch at the PPV.  The resulting show featured abbreviated elimination matches, the one involving WWF Champion the Ultimate Warrior stuck in the opening slot, and the big egg-hatching reveal turned out to be a man in a turkey suit dancing with Gene Okerlund.  The Gobbledygooker was never involved in any match or storyline going forward and served no purpose whatsoever.  Finally the big Survival Match main event went a scant 9:31 and played out like a warmup showcase for Warrior and Hulk Hogan.  This PPV was a poorly assembled mess except for the debut of The Undertaker, the only good thing it's remembered for.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Toys That Pissed Us Off: Playsets

Welcome to a new feature here at!   Today our very own Dan Moore and I will discuss some of the toy playsets from our respective youts (What is a yout?) that really burned our asses for one reason or another.

Playsets in theory were all kinds of awesome.  You had your action figures and were all set to reenact some awesome movie sequence or what have you, but you needed a setting for the excitement to take place in.  You could either use your imagination and pretend the top of your dresser was the Death Star, or you could fashion something out of cardboard boxes, or you could be like the cool kids and get the officially licensed playset specifically designed to go with your toys.  And when it was good, it was AWESOME.  The G.I. Joe line for example boasted nary a bad playset.  From the Defiant shuttle to the Cobra Terror Drome, to the massive 7.5-foot USS Flagg, those playsets set the standard for action figure accessories.  Sadly not all playsets were so well-thought out.  Here are eleven such examples, in no particular order.

We'll start with one of the most beloved toy franchises, the original Kenner Star Wars line.

1. Jabba's Throne Room

Justin: Let's get one thing out of the way - the Jabba figure itself was spectacular.  It was easily one of the best Star Wars toys Kenner ever produced, with incredible detail, movable arms and a tail that twitched when you turned Jabba's head.  This toy looked fantastic.  His throne though was a different story.  The detail looked good, and it included a trap door into which Jabba could send his victims to be eaten by the Rancor.  But there were one or two problems.  First off, the trap door was the surface the Jabba toy sat on.  So you'd have to remove Jabba to access it.  Second, the door opened OUTWARD.  The hell kinda trap door opens up like that?  The victim would be catapulted across the room!  Third, the area under the trap door was so shallow your Luke figure could only be placed there in a horizontal position.  So there was no reenacting the Rancor scene with this stupid toy.

Dan: I wanted to LOVE this fucking playset. My cousin Jefferey told me all about it before I got it. How cool Jabba was. How awesome all the accessories were. And that it had a working pit. I was fucking PSYCHED. I had one of those Inhumanoid giant toys who could double for the Rancor so I was ready to play.

This giant fellow in the middle?  Oh yeah, Rancor on 'roids!

And then I got the dumpster fart of a playset. Realizing that my dreams of having Luke get chased around under Jabba were crushed, I quickly dispatched with the playset itself and recreated one on my own out of a plain cardboard box, like a true poor person.

2. Ewok Village

Justin: To be fair, this was a pretty impressive playset for its time.  A big walkway area with a fire pit, over which you could pretend the Ewoks were roasting a person, a tree elevator, and a net for capturing unwitting Rebels underneath.  But compared to the setting in the film this was really skimpy.  Only one place to roast people?  A net underneath the village instead of off in the woods nearby?  An elevator that only holds like two people at a time?  Not to mention very little actually happened in the Ewok village in the movie - all the Endor action took place in the open woods.

Dan: I actually loved this playset a lot. But yes, my initial bitching about it was that there was no room to cook up both a Skywalker AND a Solo. I was PISSED. I refashioned the useless elevator into another roasting pit and I was happy about that. My parents were not happy, however, years later when they bought the Sherwood Forest playset from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and realized it’s the SAME FUCKING TOY.

Also, the Friar Tuck toy was a Pig Guard from Jabba’s palace with a new head. Blew my mind

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

WWE Extreme Rules 2018: A Microcosm of Vince's Shitshow

Move over Backlash, there's a new sucky PPV sheriff in town.  Extreme Rules felt like WWE was actively trying to put on a bad show, between the filler matches, the multiple instances of counterproductive booking, and the noteworthy moments WWE expects everyone to remember in place of good wrestling.  This felt like a Bischoff-era WCW PPV, except without a show stealing Cruiserweight Title match.  I'm hard-pressed to pick a match of the night; only two bouts are in contention but neither of them was even on par with the opening G1 match on night 3 (Michael Elgin vs. Hangman Page).  WWE's product is in absolute shambles right now and it requires on my part a Herculean effort to even get annoyed with it.  That's how little I care.

The show opened with a pair of utterly forgettable matches, one of which featured a title change.  The B-Team defeated Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt for the RAW tag belts in a nothing, free TV-caliber match, and then Finn Balor "upset" Baron Corbin with a small package in another free TV-caliber match.  It's adorable they're still trying to present Corbin as any kind of threat, but no, I'm not buying it.  Balor's position in this company is so far beneath where he should be, but they have so many more issues beyond that I can't even focus on him.  *1/2 for the B-Team match, *3/4 for the Balor one.

Case in point, the systematic sabotage of Asuka in service of the least deserving women's champion since the Kelly Kelly era, Carmella.  I just want to sit down with Vince and ask him, "Why do you hate Asuka so much?"  I also want to sit down with Triple H and ask, "Why are you letting Vince destroy stars you've so carefully built?"  Going into WrestleMania 34 Asuka was something special.  An undefeated, legit badass with gargantuan charisma.  Three months later Asuka is just another one of the girls, just another dimwitted babyface who gets distracted by shiny objects at the expense of her title aspirations.  That a nothing in-ring talent like Carmella even beat Asuka to the championship, let alone got to pin her twice on PPV is a microcosm of how ass-backward Vince's booking philosophy is these days.  After five minutes of forgettable action, James Ellsworth predictably escaped his shark cage but got stuck hanging upside down, at which point Asuka forgot all about winning the title and instead beat up Ellsworth.  And then Carmella rammed her into the shark cage and pinned her.  Asuka could not have been made to look more ineffectual if WWE were deliberately trying (and I'm convinced they were).  DUD

Thursday, July 12, 2018

NJPW G1 Climax 28 Preview & Predictions

It's mid-July and that means it's time for the most exciting four weeks on anyone's wrestling calendar, when twenty of New Japan's top heavyweights compete in a round-robin tournament for a slot in the WrestleKingdom main event.  That's right, the G1 Climax is upon us!

This year's lineup is stacked as all hell, and similar to last year's (I'm not complaining by the way, the 2017 edition was pretty unanimously considered the greatest wrestling tournament of all time), but with championships having changed hands and certain participants looking to climb back up the mountain the stories should play out a little differently. 

For those of you new to the G1, the format is two blocks of ten, each of whom wrestles everyone else in his block once over the four weeks.  A win gets you 2 points, a draw gets you 1, a loss gets you 0.  The two block leaders at the end face each other in the Finals, and the winner gets the #1 Contender's briefcase to challenge for the IWGP Title at WrestleKingdom, but with a caveat.  Whoever had defeated the eventual winner during the course of the tournament gets to challenge him for said briefcase, which plays out over the fall PPV season.  Thus far the briefcase has never changed hands, but there's a first time for everything.  Also of note, since the implementation of the G1 briefcase in 2012, no G1 winners have gone on to dethrone the champion at the Tokyo Dome.  It is a great honor and accomplishment to win the G1 Climax but by no means is it a guarantee of becoming the IWGP Champion.  The G1 winners in the briefcase era were Kazuchika Okada in 2012, Tetsuya Naito in 2013, Kazuchika Okada again in 2014, Hiroshi Tanahashi in 2015, Kenny Omega in 2016, and Tetsuya Naito again in 2017.

But anyway, let's get to the analysis.  I'll talk briefly about the 20 participants and then offer predictions and most anticipated matchups in each block.

Block A

Kazuchika Okada

The former IWGP Champ enters his first G1 in four years without the cherished gold.  This radically changes the dynamic of his performances here, as he'll no longer be playing defense.  Instead Okada will need to scratch and claw his way to the top of the standings if he wants to main event WrestleKingdom for the fifth straight year.  We should feel a greater sense of urgency in his matches this time.  Okada is, I would think, a lock for the Finals and a heavy favorite to win it all.


Hiroshi Tanahashi

The previous company Ace still has some gas left in the tank.  Can he climb back up the mountain and get one more run with the belt?  Tanahashi's big matches the past year or two have carried a greater sense of desperation, as he struggles to stay at the level of his prime years.  Tana will last deep into this tournament but likely fall short on the last A block night, falling to Okada again.  Or will he?

Jay White

Fresh off losing the US Title in what has to be considered his best match to date, Jay White has gone full-on asshole heel and I love it.  Being a former champion, he'll obviously have a bigger chip on his shoulder which should garner electric heat and make his matches emotionally engaging.  Looking forward to seeing him grow as a performer over these four weeks.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

WWE Extreme Rules 2018 Preview & Predictions

.......Sigh.......another lackluster WWE show is upon us, folks.  Time to pretend any of it's interesting and make some predictions.  It continues to baffle me how badly WWE wastes their insanely talented roster on boring, tired matchups while leaving potentially great ones on the table (or ruining them with stupid booking, a la AJ vs. Nakamura).  Of the ten scheduled matches this Sunday only two interest me, and there are a few others that should be decent despite my not caring about them.  Sooo, let's get to it I guess.  How did the B-PPVs actually get LESS interesting since they dual-branded them??

***Dave has taken the lead this season, with 26/42 (62%), Dan and I are tied with 25/42 (60%), and Landon has fallen slightly behind with 24/42 (57%).  But Jeezus, none of us are doing well, thanks to the nonsensical booking that's plagued the product since 'Mania.***

Pre-Show Tables Match: The New Day vs. SAnitY

This was just added.  Christ there's a lot of matches on this show.  Tables matches are usually lame.  New Day matches are usually good.  I'm so torn.  Anyway, SAnitY are the new team on the block so they win here.

Justin: SAnitY
Dan: 'The fuck is Sanity?  I don't even watch the shows anymore.  I don't care, Sanity wins.
Landon: SAnitY
Dave: New Day

Finn Balor vs. Baron Corbin

First off, how the FUCK did this make the card but Sasha vs. Bayley still hasn't happened yet?  They've been teasing that goddamn feud since February!  Shit or get off the pot, for fuck's sake.  Anyway, I have zero interest in seeing Finn attempt to get a good match out of Corporate Corbin or whatever the hell they're calling him now (Yeah, I know, it's Constable - because there's been one of those in this country in the last 200 years).  Two years ago Finn became the first Universal Champion.  Now he's curtain-jerking (or worse) against a hump like Baron.  Welcome to WWE, home of the reverse ladder to success.

Justin: I guess Finn takes this?  Christ, I hope so.
Dan: Yeah Finn
Landon: Corbin
Dave: Finn I guess.

RAW Tag Team Championship: Deleter of Worlds vs. The B Team

I have a feeling this gets bumped to the pre-show.  Does anyone care about this match?  A mongrel tag team defending against a jobber tag team?  Pointless.

Justin: Matt & Bray retain
Dan: Matt & Bray
Landon: Champs retain
Dave: Matt & Bray

Extreme Rules RAW Women's Championship: Alexa Bliss vs. Nia Jax

Oh good, this match again.  Look, I enjoyed their first two outings.  In fact I'm one of the few who did.  But why do we need it again?  Ronda Rousey is going to be sitting at ringside for this so obviously it's setting up her next title shot at SummerSlam, presumably against Alexa.  I guess the Extreme Rules stip could make this different.

Justin: Alexa retains
Dan: Alexa
Landon: Alexa
Dave: Alexa but who cares?

Monday, July 9, 2018

NJPW G1 Special Review

New Japan delivers again.  The G1 Special at the Cow Palace was yet another pretty stellar effort from the world's best wrestling promotion, featuring three excellent marquee matches and a host of fun undercard bouts, plus some newsworthy items.

The first three tag team matches were just a fun way to warm up the crowd, starting with a 10-man tag between the lower-tier Bullet Club members and the supporting members of CHAOS (RPG3K, Gedo and Yoshi-Hashi).  The SanFran audience popped big for King Haku, who teamed with two of his sons (Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa), plus Yujiro Takahashi and Chase Owens.  The match was a briskly paced nine minutes and ended with Tonga scoring the pin on Gedo.  Not much more than a showcase, but it didn't overstay its welcome and Tama Tonga in particular looked like a star here.  More on that later.  **

Next up was the best of the three undercard tag matches, as Minoru Suzuki and Zack Sabre resumed their feud with Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano.  As expected this match shined when Suzuki and Ishii were pounding the snot out of each other.  Their inevitable singles match will no doubt be a brutal spectacle.  The finish came out of nowhere as Yano tried several times to hit a low blow on Sabre only for Sabre to block and counter.  But Ishii leveled him with a clothesline, allowing Yano to cradle him for the pin.  Very entertaining stuff.  **3/4

The third showcase match pitted Tanahashi and Kushida against Hangman Page and Marty Scurll, and accomplished a lot in elevating Page.  Very early in the match Page hit a death-defying shooting star press off the apron to the floor, landing on his feet(!) and knocking Kushida down.  From there the pace was furious as the heavyweights and the juniors paired off, but in the end Page finished Kushida with his Rite of Passage finisher (reverse Tombstone piledriver).  Page is rapidly proving himself a worthy New Japan star and I'm interested to see how he does in the G1.  **1/2

The first important bout was next as Hirooki Goto defended the NEVER Title against Jeff Cobb.  This was a rugged display of athletic power wrestling, full of suplexes and high-impact moves.  This was my first time seeing Cobb and thus far I'm duly impressed.  From what I understand this wasn't even one of his best efforts (at 12 minutes it felt a little short), but I'm hoping New Japan will bring him on board officially.  Goto retained after the GTR.  Solid midcard match.  ***

Thursday, July 5, 2018

NJPW G1 Special in San Francisco Preview & Predictions

Welcome to another round of NJPW Predictions here at!  Landon Wayne (of and I are back to sort out the matches and predictions!

In what is now an annual tradition, New Japan will be visiting American soil once again just before the G1 Climax, with a special PPV that airs live on AXS TV and then on-demand on  The company really stacked their championship fields with gaijin to try and capitalize on the western audience, and with this show taking place at the Cow Palace in San Francisco this will be the largest American event in NJPW history.  Stagnant ticket sales initially stoked fears that the company had tried to expand too fast, but from what I understand the event is mostly sold out now.  Going from a 2300-seat venue last year to a 5000-seater this past March to 10,000 now was certainly ambitious but it looks like they'll be just fine.

Anyway this show is fairly stacked, with five big title matches and some showcase tags.  Let's get to it...

10-Man Tag: Yoshi-Hashi/Gedo/Roppongi 3K vs. Chase Owens/King Haku/Yujiro Takahashi/Guerrillas of Destiny

Oh look at this, father and son teaming together.  What a strange turn of events.  Should be a fun little opening match.  I'm not expecting it to go very long but it'll be a showcase for RPG3K (who are still chasing the Jr. Tag belts). 

Justin: I have a feeling Haku will be super over, so they may give Bullet Club the win here.
Landon: Do we know if Haku is still the linear WCW Hardcore Champion? If not him, who is? Bullet Club

Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano vs. Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr.

It's a rematch from Dominion.  This'll be great whenever Ishii is in the ring and silly whenever Yano is.  Ishii vs. Suzuki is still being built as a blood feud and I imagine we'll get to see that at either Destruction or King of Pro-Wrestling, or both. 

Justin: Suzuki-Gun pins Yano again

Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kushida vs. Hangman Page & Marty Scurll

Shocking to see Tana in such a low undercard spot, but I guess he's got less name recognition than most of the western wrestlers.  This should be another fun tag match.  Kushida and Scurll will have excellent exchanges I'm sure.

Justin: Tana & Kushida get the win
Landon: Fucking weird, but Team WMB wins here

Monday, July 2, 2018

Bob Dylan's "Blonde On Blonde" Revisited

by Michael Drinan

I was twenty years old when I first listened to the album. Dylan was a name I had heard before but never paid much attention to or gave him a listen. When you grow up in the 90s you don’t feel you need an artist like Dylan in your life because you already have so much to listen to as it is. So, when the 90s faded, along with the great music that came with it, I figured it was time to dive into the music of the 60s to see what the fuss was all about, and The Beatles and Dylan were the first artists to check out.

As a guide, I used VH1’s list of “100 Greatest Albums of Rock & Roll” to point me in the right direction. Before you roll your eyes I will tell you that it was and still is the best list on the subject I’ve seen. Sixteen years later and I still find myself agreeing with the albums listed, even though we can always quibble on placement. Of course, The Beatles and Dylan were littered all over it and so it seemed to be the most logical place to start. The Beatles were easy to listen to since my dad had many of their albums. Dylan, I had to go to the music store and buy his albums to hear them.

So, I bought Blonde On Blonde along with Blood On The Tracks, two works that many deem to be his best. I went to my car, popped in Blonde On Blonde and went driving around the back roads of Hampton Roads in Virginia and listened, preparing to be blown away.

I didn’t prepare myself enough. How could anyone?

The first track, “Rainy Day Women #12 and 35” I dismissed as being a playful little jam session where it seemed as if no one knew how to play their instruments. I still sung it out loud because I had heard it before off the Forrest Gump soundtrack. I began settling into the album on the second track “Pledging My Time”, a muddy, bluesy stomper with a soaring harmonica intro. My foot kept tapping, my head bobbing back and forth and my fingers drumming along. I was into it.

The clincher came when “Visions Of Johanna” came on and opened with one of the greatest opening lyrics I’ve ever heard, “Ain’t it just like the night to play tricks when you’re trying to be so quiet.” Mother. Fucker. What a line! I was instantly sold, not just on the album but with Dylan himself. I heard he was a great lyricist, the “poet of rock ‘n’ roll”, but you’re never prepared for when you realize it or when you believe it. That lyric was the one that sold me on that notion. He was the greatest lyricist in rock history.