Monday, September 21, 2015

NJPW Destruction 2015 Predictions!!!

Welcome back to, and another edition of New Japan PPV Predictions!  This week we get a double-dose of NJPW awesomeness, following up on the excellent G1 Climax.  It's NJPW Destruction, a two-part PPV taking place in Okayama and Kobe.  The key matchups are spread out between the two shows and the cards are filled out by the usual tag team bouts involving feuding stars.

For this column I'll only be predicting the really important matches, which ends up being four from each show.  So let's get to it...

Destruction in Okayama - 9.23.15

NWA Jr. Heavyweight Championship: Steve Anthony vs. Tiger Mask

This is a tough one for me to call as I haven't been keeping up on NWA current events, but being a title match I figured I'd include it and more or less flip a coin.  Steve Anthony beat the legendary Jushin Thunder Liger for the Title back in April, so I could easily see Liger's fellow countryman Tiger Mask avenging the loss and capturing said belt.  And I like Tiger Mask a lot, so I'll be rooting for him anyway.

WWE Night of Champions, or Why Seth Rollins is the New Shawn Michaels

Well sir, Night of Champions is now in the history books, and I'll be damned if it wasn't a highly entertaining, satisfying little PPV.  At seven matches (plus a pre-show match) NOC was nice and streamlined, and every bout was given time to breathe.  The finishes all made sense, nothing was overbooked, and we got two potentially very important title changes that could have long-standing ramifications.  Let's review, shall we?

The opening match kicked things off beautifully, as NXT grad Kevin Owens challenged the powerhouse Ryback for the Intercontinental Title.  This match accomplished exactly what it needed to and got just enough time to do it.  Owens was obviously outmatched in the strength and size department, but he targeted a limb and worked the crap out of it, utilizing innovative attacks to keep the match interesting.  Ryback staged a late-match comeback but Owens used classic heel tactics (the eye rake and the pull of the tights) to escape The Big Guy's finisher and score a quick rollup pin.  Kevin Owens is a perfect candidate to help restore prestige to the I-C Title like Daniel Bryan had intended.  He's one of the hottest heels in the company, excellent on the mic, delivers spectacularly in the ring, and can believably have his way with most of WWE's midcard pool.  I love this development and hope Owens gets a nice long reign.

The rematch between Dolph Ziggler and Rusev was next, and it was about as good as their SummerSlam bout - very well-worked by both guys and they got plenty of time to make an impression.  Unlike its predecessor this match actually had a finish, where Summer Rae got into a spat with the referee and threw her shoe (Who throws a shoe?  Honestly.), hitting Rusev by mistake.  Ziggler then hit the Zig-Zag (This man desperately needs a new signature move) for the upset.  Lana was absent due to injury but I'm hoping she figures into the inevitable third match by turning back heel and rejoining Rusev.  Those two need each other. 

Friday, September 18, 2015

NFL Pick 'em: Week 2

Welcome back to your official NFL picks, for week 2, where my associates Dan, Miggsy and B-Cuddy predict the top three games of each week.  Let's get to it!

Points Standings

Dan's Picks

Goddamn Mike Tomlin screwing me outta two points last week. Not even from the betting perspective on this, but can anyone explain to the what he was doing? They were down by two touchdowns with about ten seconds left. All he was doing was risking injury to his players. Befuddles my mind. Thankfully I was drunk. Anyways, onto the new week.

St. Louis (-3.5) @ Washington – THE PICK = ST. LOUIS
The one team as inept as my picks last week was Washington. Sure, they almost came back to squish the fish. But their ineptitude played out as planned. I expect that to continue this week (and honestly throughout the season. Skins STINK). Nick Foles should light up this sad looking defense. And whichever Gruden is coaching the Skins can make make faces and scream all day as his team loses, as usual.

Tennessee (-1) @ Cleveland - THE PICK= TENNESSEE
The New York Jets carved up the Browns defense last week's and beat them by three touchdowns. With Harvard grad Ryan Fitzpatrick at the helm of the Jets offense. Now, I'm not dumb enough to think Marcus Mariota is the next great quarterback yet, but I damn sure know he's better than Fitzy. And I damn sure know that the line is waaaaay too low for this game. I don't see Cleveland being too competitive in this game. Johnny Football looked flustered last week and Tennessee's gonna bring the heat to him. 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

WWE Night of Champions 2015 Predictions!

Welcome to the official predictions for this Sunday's WWE Night of Champions!

Coming off a very strong SummerSlam card which was headlined by two part-timers, WWE needed something big for the September followup.  A shot in the arm if you will.  And what better way to galvanize the 2015 fans than by bringing back the hot new WWE sensation Sting!  That's right, direct from WCW circa 1997, the Stinger is back and ready to claim his rightful place atop the WWE roster.  Hot off the heels of his WrestleMania loss to Triple H, it only made sense for the 56-year-old youngster to step up and challenge WWE's top dog Seth Rollins for the WWE Championship!

Okay, snarky rant finished.

Let's get to the predictions.  Dan leads Justin 35/53 to 34/53.

PreShow Match: Stardust/The Ascension vs. Neville/Lucha Dragons

On paper I like this alright.  The Ascension are pretty terrible workers but the other four are all fun to watch.  As I feared though, Neville has been listless since being called up to the main roster.  It's a sad thing when moving UP from NXT to WWE is a poor career move.

Pro Wrestling: A Mark's History, part 14 (The Birth of Attitude)

Before I get on with this installment, a few words about Brian Pillman:

On October 5th, 1997 Brian Pillman was found dead in his hotel room in St. Louis, the day of the WWF's Badd Blood PPV.  Before the show went on the air, Vince McMahon made the somber announcement. 

I must confess I had never been one of Pillman's biggest fans, as when he debuted in the NWA in 1989 I thought of him as just another pretty boy high flier.  I stopped watching NWA programming in 1990 so I hadn't really followed Pillman's evolving career except in brief flashes.  I liked the Hollywood Blonds team with Austin but didn't see much of their work.  In late '95/early '96 I read about his character now being a loose cannon heel and found that intriguing.  Then in the summer of '96 the WWF announced they had signed him.  I thought, "oh cool, he'll be a good addition to the roster."  It was then announced that he had been in a terrible car accident and suffered a shattered ankle.  "Oh super, they signed him and who knows when he'll be able to wrestle again."  When he finally returned to the ring in 1997 I liked the possibilities his persona presented.  He could have a killer feud with Austin, or have a great match with Shawn.  Unfortunately due to his injury Pillman had to drastically alter his in-ring style, which more or less put the kibosh on any epic main event singles matches he could've had.  Obviously no one can say where Pillman's WWF career would've gone had he not been in that car accident - he could've easily been a top-tier pre-Attitude heel, and the idea of a healthy Brian Pillman vs. Shawn Michaels is certainly interesting.  Sadly Pillman died of an undiagnosed heart condition, so he was evidently destined to die young.

RIP Brian Pillman

Friday, September 11, 2015

Pro Wrestling: A Mark's History, part 13 (USA vs. Canada)

1997 was an absolutely game-changing year for the WWF.  Events unfolded throughout the year that would have incredible long-term ramifications on the entire industry.

I began 1997 pretty optimistic about where the company was headed.  Shawn Michaels was poised to challenge Sid for the WWF Title at the Royal Rumble, the Rumble match field was as competitive as it had been in years, and since the PPV would be in San Antonio, the company imported several Mexican stars to help flavor the card (at the time I didn't realize how poor these particular Mexican wrestlers were compared to the top-flight ones WCW had already scooped up - Vince was just a little late to that party). 

The '97 Rumble gets an unfairly bad rap as far as I'm concerned.  At the time I absolutely loved the show and felt it was quite stacked.  Since multiple wrestlers were pulling double duty neither the Rumble nor the undercard had to be watered down.  This was the first Rumble match in a while where the winner wasn't obvious going into it.  Bret Hart, Steve Austin, Undertaker, Vader, Mankind, Owen Hart, and Davey Boy all seemed like viable options.  I figured Bret would win to set up a 'Mania 12 rematch (I wasn't aware of the offscreen animosity that was building between Bret and Shawn), and honestly I was a little bummed that Bret would likely be winning back the Title.  Bret was still a guy I underappreciated at the time and I really wanted to see Steve Austin elevated to a World Title contender and eventual Champion.  Needless to say I was pleasantly shocked when Austin "stole" the Rumble win by sliding back into the ring after his elimination.  This was all kinds of awesome, and totally fitting for his character to get a tainted win after such a gutsy babyface-like performance.  It beautifully continued the angle of Bret becoming increasingly disillusioned and slowly turning heel.

God, Sid even makes Sweet Chin Music look lame.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

NFL Pick 'em: Week 1

Hello all and welcome to a new weekly feature here on I'm an American, and as an American, I've been known to place a few bets here and there. And with the pending NFL season starting today, we've come up with this pick'em column to see who can prognosticate the best. We'll be picking three games a week, with one game being the LOCK OF THE WEEK. The lock of the the week is worth two points, and the other games are worth one point a piece. The winner will get a prize to be named later. We'll be picking with the spread based on a fine, reputable, perfectly legal website....maybe...

This is what we call 'research'

And just who will be picking these games?

First up is me, Dan Moore. I've been gambling since I could pick up a deck of cards. I'm more of a poker or blackjack guy, but I got no problem losing money betting on football.

Next up is newest Enuffa contributor Brandon Cuddemi. I've met some NFL gamblers in my day but I've never seen a guy sweat out the Pro Bowl before. He's got parlays on top of parlays and when they inevitably don't come in, the tornado of expletives is GLORIOUS.

Finally, one of my oldest friends, Mike Parker, or Miggsy as he's known. You got something to gamble on, he's your man. From dice to the ponies, the man will bet on it all (he once lost fifty bucks betting on what the first commercial would be during a Super Bowl).

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

This Week's Patriots Controversy: Deflategate or Spygate?

(Editor's Note: Dan Moore is back to talk about the NFL/ESPN's latest smear campaign against the New England Patriots.  We're also joined by newest contributor Brandon Cuddemi!)

Yesterday, the NFL's PR firm, otherwise known as ESPN, released its latest smear campaign against the New England Patriots, the reigning Super Bowl Champions. After the NFL and Der Fuhrer Goodell got embarrassed by a federal judge in court last week over the Deflategate nonsense, ESPNFL decided to drop an article rehashing the almost decade-old Spygate controversy. Below is all the new info included in the article:

The whole thing is essentially, "Anonymous source says 'We always thought something was going on but we can't prove it.'"  Since when is that reporting? There are no actual facts in the entire 10,000+ words. And the "reporters" responsible for this are getting all kinds of praise for this garbage article. We're officially in Bizarro World.

It states the Patriots taped 40 games from 2000-07. It strangely leaves out the fact that taping from an area other than the sidelines was legal til '07. The Pats were punished for taping in non-designated area. In fact, it's still legal to record the other teams from around the stadium as long as it's not the same game day. So I honestly don't even know what the point of this is, other than ESPN saying "Hey, the Pats got caught doing something years ago." They were successful beating NFL in court last week, so the NFL smeared them with this article to remind American citizens the Pats are the cheatingingst cheating cheaters that ever lived.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Welcome To My Newest Twitter Follower, Chris Mortensen

Editor's Note: Our very own Man on the Street Dan Moore has a brand new celebrity follower on Twitter!

During the wee hours of the night, one likes to sleep soundly and dream. Typically one doesn't like to get woken up at 1:23 AM by a phone you forget to silence. That happened to me last night. I groggily woke up and looked at the phone. What I saw was something strange. I had gained a new Twitter follower.

This now technically makes me an NFL insider
Now, gaining followers in the middle of the night isn't a weird thing. But this particular one is quite strange to me. Good ol' Mort has been on radio silence for about a week now. Not reporting on the biggest NFL story of the year. Tom Brady's suspension for Deflategate was overturned by the courts, and Mort has been silent. Not a word on Twitter, Facebook, ESPN or even MySpace (but who knows about that one).

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Tom Brady Freed! Deflategate: Phase 1 Victory for Brady, Patriots

Finally, our long, national nightmare is over (until the appeal). Tom Brady, the best quarterback in New England Patriots history and one of the best ever, has had his suspension overturned for general awareness of some footballs that might have been missing air. 

Live look at Roger Goodell

From the moment this "controversy" was unearthed the night of the Pats bashing the Colts in the AFC championship game, it seems the only people that knew Brady was being railroaded by Goodell and the NFL were in New England. The notion that this equipment "violation" would be turned into the #1 talking point on national newscasts and websites is complete insanity. In the world of sports, air leaking from a football is (and always has been) a non-story. But Goodell wanted to treat this (supposed) violation with a death sentence instead of the parking ticket-like slap on the wrist it deserved.

The NFL peacocked all over TV and newspapers about "the integrity of the game" while ignoring the integrity in their own offices. From false stories being leaked to outright lies, the NFL has shown nothing but a complete and total lack of integrity from the get-go. This investigation has been nothing but a way for the NFL to distract the public from its actual problems. The unending concussion debates, rampant 'roid issues, and countless domestic violence cases. Sure, Tom Brady won and his suspension is overturned, but in a way the NFL has won also. Squishy footballs is a far better headline to be talking about than the latest in head traumas or another of your players hitting a person he "loves." The public has been blathering about TB12 being a cheater instead of steroid suspensions. Definitely a PR win for the Shield.

Regardless of those issues, as it stands, Tom Brady is free to play football again. Hopefully, this is the end of it (no way in hell). I'm looking forward to seeing #12 under center next Thursday on opening night, and cheering along as the Patriots raise the fourth championship banner in their history to the rafters. With Tom Brady cheering along as well, a free man.

You Used to Be Sooooo Good: Harrison Ford

Welcome back to another edition of You Used to Be Soooo Good, where Justin & I, Dan Moore, discuss things used to be awesome but now, eh, not so much. This week we discuss a true hero of cinema. An icon in every sense of the definition. A great actor who lately has been serving us up a steady diet of shitburgers.

                  Harrison Ford:  You Used to Be Soooo Good

Yes....look at him.
DAN: I think the main problem with Ford is that his early movies, some of the biggest hits of all time, from Star Wars to Indy, were huge, important pop culture films. These are movies that, as silly as it sounds, are very important to people. They have Star Wars-themed weddings; people dress their kids up like Indiana Jones. Those characters are powerful and influential. And that’s how we think of Mr. Ford. This huge, mythical man, playing amongst the stars and foreign countries looking for treasures. To see him in such lackadaisical films now is a letdown. We have him built up as THE movie star, essentially, and he hasn’t had a groundbreaking or pop culture shattering role in some time.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Helluva Band: Metallica (Part 2)

In case you missed Part 1, click HERE

I saw Metallica in concert again in the summer of 1994 and figured they'd be playing one or two songs off their upcoming album, but they didn't.  Dammit.  In fact at one point James asked the crowd, "You guys wanna hear some new shit?  Yeah, so do we....."  What a tease.  The band more or less went dormant for 1995 as the recording process had clearly shifted into high gear.

When they emerged in 1996 with an album title and release date, the salivating commenced.  The record would be titled Load and would be released on June 4th.  Oh, and all four members of the band now had short hair.  Say what now??  Yup, the unthinkable had happened.  After grunge got huge and everyone decided metal was now passe (What a tragic era that was), the biggest metal band in the world elected to reinvent themselves for the mid-90s.  Even their world-recognized logo was toned down, with little fangs on the M and the A where huge zig-zag shapes once resided.  I had mixed feelings about all this.  On some level I understood that to avoid fading into irrelevancy like so many of their genre colleagues, Metallica would need to adapt.  The music they made so popular five years ago was no longer considered cool, and the band would need to keep exploring new territory.  But at the same time I knew I'd miss the band I was originally introduced to back in 1989.

One afternoon I was listening to the radio, knowing the debut single from Load would be premiering that day.  Without any fanfare a somber beat kicked in over a fretless bass line, and I instantly knew this was Metallica (not sure how).  It was of course the now infamous ballad "Until It Sleeps," which sounded absolutely nothing like anything they had done before.  Looking back it really was a weird choice for the first single.  Second?  Sure.  But songs like "Ain't My Bitch" or "King Nothing" seem like more conventional choices.  I guess that was the point; the band wanted to make everyone uncomfortable with their new direction.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Dan's Review of the MTV Video Music Awards

(Editor's Note: Goddammit, MTV.  You used to be soooooo good.  Hmmm, maybe Dan and I should post a discussion about that.....)

I'll admit this straight up. I watched nary a second of this narcissism convention. I wouldn't be able to stomach ten minutes of vapid, rich whores talking to equally vapid, rich dickheads, never mind four hours of this suck fest.  I make no qualms about the fact that I'm a decrepit, ornery, old man at this point in my life. I mean, look at this picture of yours truly below.

That's me running at full speed

So, clearly I am not the target audience. I get that. I have my finger far from the pulse of society. But what the hell business does MTV have putting on a video music awards show anyway? When was the last time they actually showed music videos on the channel formerly known as Music Television? Every time I flip through that station it's always pregnant teens domestically assaulting the poor bastard that wasn't smart enough to pull his pork sword outta the girl's baby bunker. There's literally no music on the channel at all anymore. None.

Pro Wrestling: A Mark's History, part 12 (The Year of HBK)

What a pivotal year 1996 was in the world of pretend fighting.  The landscape of the business would change drastically over next five years, and '96 was really where it began.  Yes, the Monday Night War had already started the previous September, but it wasn't until mid '96 that things fully escalated and each company would begin to find their respective identities.

Shawn Michaels made his triumphant post-concussion return at the Royal Rumble, putting on a mesmerizing performance and becoming only the second 2-time Rumble winner in history.  WrestleMania season that year was of the totally-predictable-but-awesome variety.  It was obviously Shawn's time to shine and I couldn't wait to see it all unfold.  Shawn's Rumble win positioned him to challenge Bret Hart for the WWF Title, creating what was on paper the greatest WrestleMania match of all time.  Added to the intrigue was the revelation that it would be a 60-minute Iron Man match.  This really felt like a celebration of pure wrestling, which was just all kinds of awesome.  Piling it on, the WWF also booked Undertaker vs. Diesel as the semi-main event.  The two best big men in the company at that time in a full-on slugfest.  This was shaping up to be an unequaled 'Mania lineup.

Over at WCW the World Title was passed back and forth between Ric Flair and Randy Savage (rehashing what the WWF had done in 1992), while Hulk Hogan took a buncha time off.  Hogan's fan reaction had become lukewarm as fans seemingly remembered why they had tired of his act in the WWF.  I was watching RAW religiously every week but flipping over to Nitro during breaks just to keep up on current events.  I did enjoy some of the Cruiserweight stuff on the show, but my first response was that the action was so fast and spectacular they weren't leaving any time for any of the moves to mean anything.  The terms "ring psychology" and "workrate" weren't yet in my lexicon, so I wasn't approaching this stuff from the point of view of an IWC fan by any means (still didn't have internet yet), but on some level I recognized that the storytelling aspect of the Cruiserweight matches was lacking.  It was around this time that I first saw Rey Mysterio, Eddie Guerrero and Dean Malenko, whom I had read about in PWI.  All the magazines raved about their work, but at the time I was pretty underwhelmed by them.  I appreciated the technical aspect but didn't connect with any of them emotionally.  Other than that stuff, Nitro just looked to me like Old Folks' Wrestling.  The main event matches and feuds were insufferably dull to me.

Yeah man, I just didn't get it at first.....

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Helluva Band: Nine Inch Nails

Hello and welcome to another edition of Helluva Band, where I dissect and discuss a particular band or artist I have grown to enjoy, thus forever ruining your experience of listening to them with my overanalytical gobbledygook.

Today I'll be talking about Nine Inch Nails, easily the most famous and well-respected of all industrial rock bands, and brainchild of enigmatic visionary Trent Reznor (Is there a cooler name in rock music?).  I'll discuss their/his various works and how I came to be a fan.

I first became aware of Nine Inch Nails in high school in the early 90s, mostly because the "alternative" kids had the logo sewn or drawn on their bookbags and jackets.  I had no idea what the band was all about and figured it was some sort of punk outfit, based solely on which of my classmates listened to them.  I myself was a metal guy, preferring the chunky guitar riffage and gutteral vocals of Metallica and Megadeth, and paid little attention to much else (The Beatles were an exception). 

At this time MTV had a weekly metal video show called Headbanger's Ball (goddamn this show was awesome) which aired from 11pm-2am every Saturday night.  I would stay up late long after my parents had retired for the evening and tape the videos I was interested in.  MTV used to be pretty spectacular back when they were actually MUSIC television.  One night a Nine Inch Nails video popped up on my TV screen for a song called "Wish."  This featured tinny, preamp-overdriven guitars and a fast, metal-ish tempo.  It was certainly unlike anything I had heard before, which at the time was a bad thing.  I wasn't terribly open to new and unusual music like I am these days, so I dismissed it as noisy crap.

The one that started it all.....

Two years later another Nine Inch Nails song started showing up in the rotation of my favorite station WAAF.  It had this weird, almost disco-esque feel to it, and the singer was blathering something about "fucking like an animal."  I'll be totally frank; I HATED this song when it came out.  It did nothing for me musically and I actually resented that metal fans everywhere (including some of my best friends) were embracing this wholly non-metal-sounding dance music with crude lyrics (Somehow I was rather uppity about including excessive cuss words in song lyrics even though I've had a mouth like a trucker since I was twelve).  Even my girlfriend at the time kinda liked the song and found it a little sexy; the idea of her enjoying another guy singing "I wanna fuck you like an animal" decidedly made me squirm.

Kinda looks like a guy about to eat a piece of poop.

So it's safe to say I had no intention of ever becoming a NIN fan.  Over the years they released other albums and few songs here and there caught my attention but I didn't really give them a fair chance.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

WWE, Sting, and Band-Aids

Last night's RAW featured two celebrated returns to WWE TV. 

The first occurred early in the show as The New Day, fresh off regaining the WWE Tag Titles at SummerSlam, were interrupted in their celebration by The Dudley Boyz, who haven't been seen together on WWE TV since 2005.  Both Bubba and D-Von appear to be in tremendous shape (Bubba especially has stepped up his game the past few years, enjoying a main event run in TNA) and a feud with such a decorated tag team will hopefully boost the credibility of the Tag Champs.  Big E, Kofi and Xavier Woods have one of the best acts in WWE at the moment (Woods has been brilliant with his ringside antics during their matches), so the optimist in me sees a three-month program involving some underhanded tactics allowing New Day to retain the straps, and then finally they get a clean win over the Dudleys in the blowoff match. 

The other return last night was of course Sting (or "The Vigilante, Sting" for those of you wondering why Police frontman Gordon Sumner showed up on RAW), who hasn't been seen since his unexpected (and ill-advised) WrestleMania loss to Triple H.  Sting pulled the ol' switcheroo in the main event segment, appearing in place of Seth Rollins' commemorative statue and wordlessly challenging The Authority's chosen one to a WWE Title match at Night of Champions.  As with the Dudleyz scenario, a high-profile feud with such a beloved legend seems designed to give the young WWE Champion a major rub, presumably leading to a much-needed clean win. 

Pro Wrestling: A Mark's History, part 11 (Diesel Power)

The 1995 Royal Rumble changed things up in that the entry intervals between wrestlers was cut down from 2 minutes (or sometimes 90 seconds) to 60 seconds.  My reaction at the time was that it cheapened the idea of longevity as the total match time was cut almost in half, but at the same time it allowed the ring to fill up faster.  In hindsight it was not a good idea, which is why they've never done it that way since.  Anyway, Shawn Michaels became the first wrestler to run the table, entering at #1 and winning the whole thing.  Obviously there would forever be an asterisk next to his achievement, but it was still pretty cool.  He also executed one of the most entertaining near-eliminations of all time, dangling off the top rope for what seemed like an eternity while only one foot touched the floor.

Dude, look how close that is......

What this meant for me though was that my two favorite wrestlers, Shawn Michaels and Diesel (yeah he grew on me fast for some reason I still don't understand) would be facing each other at WrestleMania XI for the WWF Title.  I could not have been more excited!
Wanna hear something stupid though?  A couple of my friends decided to order the show in their dorm room, AND DIDN'T EVEN INVITE ME.  Unbelievable.  I'm generally the biggest wrestling fan in any group of friends I've ever had.  That's not an exaggeration - it's really a sick thing.  And these pals of mine didn't mention their plans to order WrestleMania until after the fact.  Christ!  Of course the show was kind of a stinker anyway other than the Title match, which astoundingly didn't even close the show!

Monday, August 24, 2015

WWE SummerSlam 2015 was Better Than WrestleMania 31

Sometimes it pays to have low expectations.  Case in point, last night's SummerSlam extravaganza.  I went into this show with the mindset of "I'll be content as long as I don't feel like my night was wasted," and what I got was a consistently very entertaining wrestling show with a ton of variety where every match felt like it got enough time, and a few actually stood out.

The much-dreaded-by-me Brock Lesnar-Undertaker main event was easily the best match delivered by these two since their No Mercy 2002 Hell in a Cell.  It was streamlined, hard-hitting, full of nice little nuances (the double situp for example), and while the ending left me baffled at first, once the replay explained everything I actually kinda liked it.  Granted we've been conditioned that the timekeeper never rings the bell until the official calls for it, but in all these years you'd think human error would get in the way at least once.  Well, last night was that one occurrence.  Taker tapped out and the timekeeper jumped the gun.  It was a realistic screwup and hopefully WWE follows up on it by having The Authority discipline said timekeeper on RAW.  Moreover, it protects Lesnar as an unstoppable monster, sets up the inevitable "rubber match" at WrestleMania, and reframes this feud with Taker playing more of a heel (don't get me wrong, getting a Dallas crowd to boo Taker is going to be impossible, but still).  I liked this match a lot, and the lasting image for me will be of the defiant Lesnar flipping Taker off just before passing out to Hell's Gate.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

WWE SummerSlam 2015 Predictions!!!

Well folks it's that time again.  The tentpole PPV of the summer is upon us, and the 2015 edition is SUUUUUUUUUUUPER-SIZED!!!!  That's right, this year's SummerSlam is a four-hour spectacular loaded up with ten, count them, TEN big matches.  And since it's in a normal arena as opposed to a MegaUltraDome, the entrances hopefully won't be taking up half the show like they do at WrestleMania.  Also celebrity wrestling fan Jon Stewart is hosting the show.  While I don't get why a PPV needs a host (Isn't that why the announcers are there?), I'm a Stewart fan and he's a wrestling fan, so hopefully his involvement will be entertaining.

So let's get to the business of prognosticatin', shall we?  As always my associate Dan Moore will give his picks too.

Currently Dan is beating me, for the first time since we started this tradition.  I gotta step it up.  Dan: 28/43, Justin: 26/43

Four-way WWE Tag Team Title Match: Prime Time Players vs. The New Day vs. Lucha Dragons vs. Los Matadores

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Dan's Top 9: TV Shows to Watch While Boozing

Welcome to another edition of Dan's Top 9.  It's a countdown.  Written by Dan.  No explanation needed.   Done.


Booze. It's what makes the world go 'round. Whether out at the bar drinking a dozen or so beers with friends or sneaking a bottle of Mad Dog into a christening, booze makes everything better.  However, there are times where you don't wanna see the light of day or interact with other humans when you're drinking. For those times, I present to you the best programs on television to watch when you're drinking that thirty pack alone.

9. Nature Programs: The tranquil sounds of planet earth make for a lovely companion as you sip down Jack & Diets (I'm watching my figure). Also good for a laugh when you come upon some endangered species doing it. Ever watch rhinos bang when you're hammered? It's fucking HILARIOUS.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

A Newbie's Take on NJPW G1 Climax 25

Well folks, the G1 Climax 25 tournament has come and gone, and it is now time for post-G1 depression.  Sigh.....

Anywho, this being my first G1 tourney as a New Japan fan (or as my wife would call me, a "Jeezus, wouldya shut up about New Japan already??"), I thought I'd throw together a quick write-up about the experience.

The G1 tournament is of course New Japan's annual round-robin tournament to determine the #1 Contender at next year's WrestleKingdom PPV.  So it's like the Royal Rumble except waaaaaay more intensive.  The number of participants varies year to year, as does the schedule.  Whereas the last few tourneys have consisted of entire cards of G1 matches (which I loved because it meant multiple full shows of excellent singles bouts), the 2015 edition was more spread out to give the guys more time to recover from each match.  This year there were 19 total dates including the Finals, and each "regular season" show only featured five tourney matches from one block at a time.  This layout definitely made it easier to keep up if your goal was to only watch the G1 matches, as the first half of each show consisted of multi-man tag bouts to warm up the crowd.  The downside of course is that there wasn't a full show on the level of last year's Day 7 (considered by most to be the best NJPW show of the year).  Still the 2015 G1 tourney had a helluvalotta good-to-great matches and built to an absolutely fantastic peak with the "semi-finals" and the Finals show.

Pro Wrestling: A Mark's History, part 10 (The New WWF Generation)

As 1994 began, multiple top heroes were being positioned to challenge Yokozuna for the WWF Title.  Chief among them were former champ Bret Hart, Lex Luger, and after two years wading around the midcard pool fighting off silly cartoon villains, The Undertaker was finally being pushed as a top challenger. 

He would wrestle Yoko at the '94 Rumble in a casket match, and at the time I really thought he might take it down.  Unfortunately Taker needed some time off and he lost to the Champion with the help of 10 (ten!) midcard heels, in one of the worst matches I've ever seen.  Seriously, this thing stunk worse than a Taco Bell Chalupa fart.  Even worse was the goofy post-match angle, where Taker "disappeared" from the casket, appeared as a ghost on the TitanTron, and "floated" up to the ceiling (in fact it was Marty Janetty in Taker's costume who was the floating stunt double - I mean couldn't they have found anyone close to Taker's size for this job??).

Yup, Yokozuna looks how I felt watching this snorefest.

The Rumble match itself ended for the first time with co-winners, as Bret Hart and Lex Luger tumbled over the ropes simultaneously.  This meant that at WrestleMania X Yokozuna would have to defend the Title twice.  Luger won the coin toss for the first crack at the Champ, while Bret would face his estranged brother Owen before getting his shot.

These two matches, coupled with the possibility of a Bret vs. Luger main event, and the Shawn Michaels-Razor Ramon I-C Title match, made WrestleMania X a must-see event for me.  This was the first WrestleMania I had ever ordered on PPV, and man did I pick a good one!

I was actually shocked when Luger failed to win the Title, as I figured the months-long build from the summer of '93 would result in Luger finally climbing the mountain.  I was pretty pissed when he got disqualified and ousted from the Title hunt, and of course it was then a forgone conclusion that Bret would be regaining the belt in the main event.  To this day, with all due respect to Yokozuna, I still think Bret vs. Luger would've been a spectacular match and I consider it a lost opportunity that it never happened.  When Bret predictably won the Title back, I was happy for him and knew he was deserving, but I wasn't overly excited about it.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Deflategate: Why Are We Still Talking About This?

Editor's Note: Dan's pissed.  And rightfully so....

The New England Patriots have been mired in a 'controversy' of the NFL's making. During the AFC Championship game, some footballs were found to be significantly deflated of air. Or they weren't. Depending on which lie in the Wells Report you want to believe. But clearly the air gauge they used to measure the PSI showed this, right? Depends on which air gauge the Wells Report wants to tell us the refs used. The whole thing is a blueprint on how not to investigate something. The lack of science, the omission of facts and the complete keystone cops atmosphere of this would be hilarious if it weren't so frustrating.

Pictured: Feeding time at the NFL Office

Yesterday the testimony from Tom Brady's appeal hearing was released Does it paint quite the bad picture for the NFL. There's quite a few takeaways from it. Here's a few thoughts.


For months, it's been rumored the Baltimore Ravens tipped off the Indianapolis Colts about some shenanigans with Patriots footballs. Ravens Head Coach Harbaugh has vehemently denied this.

Yesterday's release shows otherwise. The Special Teams coordinator from the Ravens called Colts Coach Chuck Pagano about something screwy with the kicking balls (which, by the way, are never touched by game day staff until they hit the field. Those are issued straight out of box by NFL referees). Now, maybe you can make the argument that Harbaugh didn't know this but then that means one of two things

A) Harbaugh has no control over his staff and they do whatever they want, including going over his head and talking to other organizations

B) Harbaugh knew and blatantly lied, repeatedly.

You make the call.


Vincent is currently the NFL executive vice president of football operations. He is also, by all accounts, the most hypocritty hypocrite of all time. Tom Brady has been suspended four games for most likely being generally aware that some footballs were probably tampered with but maybe not because SCIENCE. But Aaron Rodgers, Pro Bowl QB for the Green Bay Packers, actually said he likes to push the limits of the PSI levels in the footballs. Not generally aware. He told this to broadcaster Phil Simms, who quoted this on an NFL broadcast.

Not only was this laughed about, it's not even a blip on the NFL's discipline radar. As pointed out yesterday from Stephanie Stradley, a lawyer from Houston with no horse in this race (follow her on Twitter @StephStradley, she's brilliant), this didn't even register as even a minor faux pas for Vincent or the NFL.

Rodgers specifically said he likes to push the limits of the air pressure in footballs, and nothing. Brady might be generally aware that some other guy maybe fiddled with some game equipment, four game suspension. Yeah, makes sense.


Throughout the whole testimony, Goodell constantly butts in to get reassurances for answers that are in plain English. Or he has no idea what the word 'Yes' means.

He lacks any kind of reasoning and seems to not understand how language or the world in general works. He asks about Brady getting rid of his phone (by the way, Goodell introduced the word "destroyed." Nowhere does Brady say this. That language was introduced by Rog and told to the public to make him sound guilty) and seems to have no clue what a phone is or how it works.

Evidently, Big Rog thinks cell phones are owned and operated by the Mission: Impossible crew. This is the guy in charge of the biggest sports entity in the world.

This whole Deflategate nonsense has been a sham and a witch hunt from the get-go. It's an embarrassment for Goodell, Brady, the Patriots and all of the NFL. The sooner Brady is exonerated and plays in week one, the sooner we can all forget this and watch some football again. Like we all want to.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

A "Rowdy" Roddy Piper Remembrance

(Editor's Note: I thought I'd defer to my associate Dan Moore to say a few words about the passing of Roddy Piper.  While I was obviously a fan of the Hot Rod, Dan admired him on a different level.  So it only seemed right for him to take the lead on this one.)

I grew up in a household that watched and tolerated wrestling to different degrees. My father went to live events with his buddies a lot. My mother used to let me, my older sister and younger brother stay up past our bedtime to watch Prime Time Wrestling, the precursor to RAW. She didn't mind wrestling but didn't much pay attention either. Around the corner was my Aunt Patty and my cousin John Michael who was like a big brother to us.  He watched all the time and tried out his wrestling moves on us much smaller kids. Auntie paid attention to varying degrees. But there was one wrestler everyone that all of us agreed was can't miss television: The Hot Rod was the best.

I was seven when WrestleMania came around back in 1985. That was back in the day when there were clear cut good guys and bad guys. My childhood brain loved the Hulkster, Junkyard Dog and Hillbilly Jim. I obviously hated King Kong Bundy and Greg "The Hammer" Valentine. They were jerks and cheats.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Dan Moore & the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Twenty Minutes

Hey, how'd your morning go?  Oh great, grand, I DONT CARE. This is how my day started.

That's me, under the elephant.

A little background here. I live with my girlfriend in a suburb of Boston with our dog and cat. The dog's a little fella and the cat is an orange furball of fury. He's great. (Editor's Note: False - that cat's a regular asshole.  And I love cats.)

Anyway, our dryer went on the fritz the other day. It's a real pain in the ass walking down to the basement to throw clothes into a dryer that doesn't work. So instead of forking out the cash for a new one, we called a repair man. Had I known the turmoil this guy's visit would cause, I woulda Kramer'd my clothes and put them in the oven.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Pro Wrestling: A Mark's History, part 9 (Lex Express)

In January 1993, for the second time in a row, I ordered a WWF PPV event.  The WWF Title match of Bret Hart vs. new top heel Razor Ramon interested me, as did the annual Rumble match despite the lack of star-power (What's the opposite of star-studded?  Star-missing?). 

But the big match for me that night was I-C Champion Shawn Michaels finally facing his former tag partner Marty Janetty.  This feud was a full year in the making, as Shawn had turned on Marty in January 1992 by superkicking him and ramming him head-first through a plate-glass window.  This was probably the most violent heel turn I had ever seen at that time and it immediately forced the audience to sit up and take notice of Shawn.  Still one of the most brilliantly-executed heel turns in the history of the biz.  Keeping Marty off TV for a year was genius too, as it added weight to Shawn's attack and made the eventual feud much more personal.

That's gonna leave a mark....

The Rumble '93 event was shockingly good considering how it looks now on paper.  I'll still dust this one off and watch it from time to time.  The Steiners made their WWF PPV debut in the opener against the Beverly Brothers - solid tag bout there.  Shawn vs. Marty was a damn good Intercontinental Title match, though it had less high-flying than I would've expected.  The Bret-Razor match was excellent and got both guys over.  Even in defeat, Razor looked like a million bucks.  There was even a Bam Bam Bigelow-Big Bossman match that was better than it had any right to be.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

You Used to Be Sooooo Good: Summer Blockbusters

Today, my esteemed colleague Jingles and I, Dan Moore, will be discussing the disturbing trend of what was once our favorite popcorn eating time of year, summer, and how it has turned into a wasteland of special effects laden tripe on the big screen.
The Summer Blockbuster Season:  You Used to Be Soooo Good

JUSTIN: So, the summer blockbuster.  Yeah what's happened?  Summer movies are no longer allowed to be fun, are they?  Everything has to be deadly serious and feature wall-to-wall explosions to the point that you're just numb to the whole experience, like being smashed in the face with a hammer 600 times in a row.  By the end you don't feel anything, and you just wanna go home and curl up in a fetal position on the bathroom floor.

1980s summer movies conveyed a tone of adventure, wonder, and even comedy.  Indiana Jones for example had a ton of action set pieces but they were simple, easy to follow, and done with a sense of humor.  Action sequences now have to depict CGI armageddon and each scene has to be 25 minutes long.
Man of Steel......and Disaster Porn
There's no such thing as a fun little summer action movie anymore, they're all EPIC EVENT PICTURES.  The scope of all these films has to be as huge as possible so they're bigger than every other epic event picture.  And they must all cost over $200 mil and feature entire cities being destroyed.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Hulk Hogan's Rock N-Wording

Well it's come out that Terry Bollea has been fired from his WWE Legends deal over some alleged racist comments he made, that were captured on tape (Yeah, I still say "on tape," sue me).

***NOTE: My friend Travis came up with the title of this piece.  Credit where credit's due.***

I'm not here to take a side (but screw Terry, that racist prick); rather I'm here to share some amusing thoughts my friends have offered on the subject.  Be warned, they're basically all in very poor taste, and in no way represent the views of or any of its subsidiaries.  Christ, I gotta get a better class of friends.....

The One Thing Wrong With Pixels, by Dan Moore

I'd rather watch this for two hours

(Note: I have not seen this movie nor do I ever intend to. It looks horrible and at this point any Adam Sandler flick should be out out to pasture. There are most likely millions of things wrong with this garbage movie, but this one bothers me)

The premise of 'Pixels' at least sounded like a decent idea until I found out it was a Sandler flick.  Then I lost all interest. A group of aliens disguise themselves as classic 80s arcade characters to destroy Earth. It's up to former video game champions Sandler, Peter Dinklage (why Tyrion,WHY!?!?!) and Kevin James, playing the most unlikely President of the Unites States EVER (Also a bit of a step down from being the King of Queens, eh your majesty?).

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Pro Wrestling: A Mark's History, part 8 (Bret Wins the Big One)

The WWF started 1992 off amid a hugely memorable angle.  The World Title was vacated at the end of '91, stemming from a pair of (unwatchably terrible) matches between Hulk Hogan and the Undertaker, both of which ended in controversy.  WWF President Jack Tunney held up the Title and declared that the winner of the '92 Royal Rumble would be crowned the new Champion, thus making this the most important Rumble match in the event's history.

The company pulled out all the stops for this one, stacking the Rumble match with all the top contenders - Hogan, Flair, Taker, Savage, Sid, Jake, Piper.  They made sure to ramp up the unpredictability of who would walk out with the belt.  In the end of course it was a gutsy 60+ minute performance by Ric Flair that earned him the WWF Championship.  I was absolutely stoked!  Flair was the guy I was rooting for but I wasn't sure they'd pull the trigger on a Title run for him.

Awesome thing I never thought I'd see #1. 
BTW how tiny does that belt look
when compared to Flair's Big Gold Belt?

Following the Rumble was the press conference where Tunney would announce Flair's challenger at WrestleMania, and predictably Hulk Hogan was originally the choice (which I found idiotic - Hogan wasn't even the last guy eliminated from the Rumble match).  This would all be used as a way to set up the Hogan-Sid feud however, and on Saturday Night's Main Event they more or less recreated the Hogan-Savage angle from 1989 by having Sid abandon Hogan mid-match and turn heel. 

Monday, July 20, 2015

WWE Battleground Thoughts, or What Did I Just Watch??

WWE Battleground has come and gone, and I'm trying to assemble some pattern of logic for how it ended.  Still can't do it.  I found the booking of that main event baffling for so many reasons.  I've presented those reasons below, but first a few words about the rest of the PPV:

John Cena and Kevin Owens once again stole the show with a fantastic semi-main event.  I think Owens should've gone over here, because unless WWE Creative figures out things like proper follow-through (spoiler alert: they haven't), Owens could get lost in the shuffle like Rusev and Wyatt did after feuding with Cena.  Randy Orton vs. Sheamus was the second-best match of the night but their opener was lacking a bit of urgency.  Still, well-worked.  Reigns vs. Wyatt was a very good 16-minute match but unfortunately it was stretched over 22 minutes.  Reigns now seems so far away from being the next top guy it's just become sad.  The Divas 3-way was solid and considerably better than most main roster Divas matches, but nowhere near what the NXT women are capable of.  The Tag Title match was too short to amount to much and I'm still not sure why The New Day didn't get to keep the belts long-term.  Imagine a Honky Tonk Man-type reign with those guys.  It'd be gold.

Okay, now for that main event.  Lesnar and Rollins were on their way to a very good match, but at the nine-minute mark, Mark showed up.  Fuckin' Mark.....  As I said, there are several reasons I don't like this booking.  I've presented six of them.

Wait, what happened to the match I was just watching?

Thursday, July 16, 2015

WWE Battleground 2015 Predictions!!!

And we're back for another set of official WWE PPV Predictions!

This Sunday is the annual B-level PPV, Battleground, which this year is actually pretty stacked.  The 2013 and 2014 editions were widely considered the worst WWE shows of those respective years but with Brock Lesnar being included this time, there's a chance for the 2015 edition to be a solid outing.  The WWE product has been stagnant as ever of late, but there have been a few bright spots such as the US Title scene, the return of Brock Lesnar, and a smattering of NXT stars.  So there's certainly no shortage of talent on the roster, it's just up to Creative to properly use what they have, which they rarely ever do.

So let's get to predictin'.  Justin and Dan are currently tied for the 2015 season, 24/37.

Pre-Show Match: King Barrett vs. R-Truth

Jeezus H. Christ, can we put this feud to bed already?  No one cares, and you've succeeded in killing Barrett dead with the stupid King gimmick.  Don't bring back the KOTR tournament if winning it actually HURTS a guy's career.  Fortunately this match is for the Crown, so maybe Truth will relieve Barrett of that albatross and he can go back to delivering Bad News.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Pro Wrestling: A Mark's History, part 7 (The Year I Almost Quit)

As 1991 began, one of the big two wrestling promotions (AWA had folded in 1990 so it was really down to the WWF and the NWA, who soon became WCW officially) was stuck in a major creative rut and riding on fumes from the 80s, and the other was trying in vain to reinvent the wheel.

January 19, 1991 was significant for me because it marked the first WWF PPV I ever ordered, the 1991 Royal Rumble.  Why I picked that particular event to order after four years as a WWF fan I'm not sure, but I was excitedly hoping either Randy Savage, Undertaker, Hawk or Animal would win the Rumble match itself (This was before the Rumble winner automatically got a WWF Title shot so it was still anyone's ballgame).  Much to my dismay Hogan won it for the second straight year (yawn) and even worse, Sgt. Slaughter of all people won the WWF Title.  I figured we'd be getting a Warrior-Hogan rematch at WrestleMania, so it was mindboggling to me that Slaughter took the belt.  It was the first time I remember feeling like a championship had really been devalued - this long irrelevant, marginally talented 80s midcarder just waltzes in and wins the top championship in under six months??  Needless to say the '91 Rumble was and is not one of my favorite PPV events and it would be nearly two years before I ordered another one.

Yup, this actually happened.

Why they felt a cartoonish drill sargeant turned Iraqi sympathizer would draw huge money I'll never know.  But they cast their lot with the exploitation of the Persian Gulf War by pitting turncoat Slaughter against "Real American" Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania.  This was literally the least interested I had ever been in a PPV match.  Not surprisingly ticket sales for the event slumped and a lackluster 'Mania ensued. 

Monday, July 13, 2015

You Used to Be Sooooo Good: Superman Movies

Welcome back to another edition of You Used to Be Soooo Good, where Justin & I, Dan Moore, discuss things used to be awesome but now, eh, not so much. This week we discuss the FIRST superhero, the big blue boy scout, your favorite alien and mine, Superman, and how his cinematic exploits used to be great but now, not so much.

        Superman Movies:  You Used to Be Soooo Good


DAN: Ah, the wonder of Superman movies. The man in blue flying heroically through the sky. There used to not be a superhero movie coming out every week. There was nary a special effects spectacular starring a comic book hero in theaters. It used to be Superman…and that was it for a loooong time.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Dan's Top 9: One-Time Seinfeld Characters

Welcome to another edition of Dan's Top 9, where my associate Dan Moore counts down his favorite 9 something-or-others.....

Seinfeld is the greatest sitcom of all time. About this, there can be no debate. Some people argue that there were better sitcoms in the past but it's an argument I can't listen to. I can't, I won't. The main cast was perfect, but the supporting characters also added to the show's greatness. Besides recurring characters like Newman and Puddy, there were some classic one-time characters on the show. Without further ado, here they are. I'm not counting the finale as the second appearance of these characters because it was a glorified clip show. So if you wanna cry about it? That's a shame.

9. Paul O'Neil

I'm from Boston, so I hate the Yankees. And growing up my cousin, John Michael, had an unnatural hatred for Paul O'Neil. I inherited that hate as well. Until he showed up in "The Wink." Kramer barges in on O'Neill, trying to get him to hit two dingers for a dying kid and O'Neill acts the only way a normal person in that situation would: by saying no one's dumb enough to promise two homers and wondering how the hell Cosmo got into the the Yankee clubhouse. Perfect reactions from a most hated Yankee.

He just needs to catch a pop fly in his hat

8. Joe Mayo

Do me a favor when you read this article, can you hit Ctrl-C to copy the article and send it to your friends, thanks! Fuckin' Mayo, ordering guests around at his party. His one saving grace is his Dr. Zaius man fur jacket.


7. Todd Gack

Sure, this guy is a slimeball, but to be fair, Gack (I think that's Dutch) has the perfect system on how to get chicks. Make a bet you know you'll lose to take them out on dates. It's brilliant in its simplicity. With this system, he not only beds Elaine (you know they humped, she's loose) but also got Nicki, who is arguably Jerry's hottest girlfriend in the show. Good work, Gack.


6. Meelosh

A hack of a tennis pro who decides that instead of letting his awful racket play be known, decides to dabble in the flesh trade. By trading his wife' to Jerry to keep his mouth shut, Meelosh becomes the first and only sex slave trader in this show's history! Good work. Coupled with his bad tennis and hilarious, over the top Russian accent, Meelosh holds a special place in my heart.

5. The Bubble Boy

Everything, I mean, EVERYTHING the bubble boy says is goddamn hilarious. A jaded, spoiled twenty-something stuck in a bubble (I thought it was like an igloo), he gets a glimpse of Costanza's chick and immediately asks her to take her top off. She scoffs, and he hits her with 'COME OOOOOON'. And even that didn't work. Susan sure was stuck up.  And then he loses Trivial Pursuit on a misprint. "Moops" my ass.

4. Marcelino

Cockfighting. Find another show that bases an episode's plot on illegal bird battles. You never will. And Marcelino was the kingpin. The owner of the bodega with another over-the-top accent. His pronunciations are hilarious, as is his request for a goddamn bird to take a dive in a fight. Brilliant.

Shop keeper by day, poultry pugilist by night.

3. Jiffy Park/Jiffy Dump guy

Yea, this is kind of a cheat as this guy was in two episodes, but I believe they were twin brothers, not the same character, so there ya go.  But I can't help it. The delivery of this guy's lines is impeccable. George parks his car in his lot which is being used as a mobile whore house. George finds a prophylactic in the car, confronts the guy. And then the guy hits us with one of the great throwaway lines in the show's history.
First ten seconds of this clip is gold, Jerry. GOLD

2. Soup Nazi

He had to be on the list. Sure, he's overplayed and everyone says "No soup for you!" to this day. But he's a classic. Yev Kassem (his real name) is as iconic as any main character from the show. His soup recipes are perfect, evidently his bread is quite good and his furniture choices are also impeccable. He's a true Renaissance man.

1. Lt. Bookman

Could it be anyone else, joy boy? Philip Baker Hall KILLS this role. A lifetime library cop out for Jerry's blood for a long overdue book. His seriousness, his menacing looks, his line delivery all combine to make the perfect Seinfeld guest star. When my friends and I watch his performance, we use our pee pees and wee wees to wet our pants.  Undeniably the greatest guest star on the greatest show ever. Thanks for reading this list. I gotta get outta here to get my kicks, me and all my good time buddies. 

If you screw up again, he'll be all over you
like a pit bull on a poodle

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Pro Wrestling: A Mark's History, part 6 (From Awesome to Boring)

January 1990 saw the NWA at the top of its game, with Ric Flair having vanquished the challenge of Terry Funk and seemingly moving onto a feud with rising heel Lex Luger.  Sting had just won the Starrcade Iron Man tournament and joined the newly reformed Four Horsemen, and was poised to become a full-fledged main eventer. The Steiners stood atop the burgeoning Tag division that included The Road Warriors, Doom, and The Skyscrapers, and The Midnight Express was rekindling their longtime feud with the returning Rock & Roll Express. 

Everything was going well, then suddenly the World Title picture seemed to shift completely away from babyface Flair vs. heel Luger, in favor of heel Flair vs. Sting (something we had seen already, brought on by a heel turn that came out of left field).  So now Sting would be the #1 challenger to Flair's Title and heel U.S. Champion Luger would be moved back into the midcard.  I was baffled and furious at this turn of events as I thought 1990 would finally be Luger's year, and we'd see the company take more risks like they had in '89.  But instead they played it completely safe and everything seemed to reboot to the 1988 Four Horsemen era. 

Then an abrupt injury threw a wrench into their plans as Sting hurt his knee and would be out of action for six months.  Heel Luger was moved into the #1 contender spot to challenge heel Flair.  Oh good.  So now there was no protagonist in this feud at all.  The ensuing Flair-Luger showdown at WrestleWar '90 ended up being a very good, epic match that involved Luger's "redemption" back into a babyface (only about 8 months after he turned heel).  Sting appeared at ringside to support Luger in the match, and then the Andersons showed up to attack him.  Then came one of the stupidest match endings I'd ever seen.

Come on, Luger was pretty badass in 1990

Monday, July 6, 2015

NJPW Dominion was All Kinds of Awesome

Well another New Japan PPV is in the books folks, and what a helluva show it was.  I just wanted to throw my two cents in about yesterday's Dominion PPV, so bear with me for a few moments.

Dominion was in my estimation the second-best PPV of 2015 so far, behind January's WrestleKingdom 9 (upon which I've heaped mountains of praise HERE).  Of the nine matches only two could be considered weak, and even those weren't bad at all.  The two headlining matches both fell in the four-star range, while several others were approaching that territory.  It's staggering how much better New Japan's product is than that of any other wrestling promotion right now.  Incidentally I went 8 for 9 in my predictions despite having only been a NJPW fan for six months, which I attribute to Jado and Gedo's booking being logical, concise, and satisfying.

The show opened with another wild, fast-paced offering from the Jr. Heavyweight Tag division, as The Young Bucks defended their Titles against reDRagon and RPG Vice.  While these matches won't ever be called epic examples of storytelling, they're always a highly entertaining way to dip your feet in the water.

Next up was one of the weaker matches of the night; Bad Luck Fale and Yujiro Takahashi vs. Tomoaki Honma and Tetsuya Naito.  This wasn't a bad match but the real story here was Naito's gradual heel turn.  He sauntered down to the ring, in no hurry to help out his partner who was being ambushed by the two Bullet Club members, and even refused to tag into the match until very late.  Eventually Honma got the surprise win, but Naito bailed immediately after the closing bell.  It'll be interesting to see where they go with this - Naito's been a pretty bland babyface character for so long, so a heel turn could be just what he needs to get to the next level.  It's nice to see Honma finally getting some kind of a push, as he's really fun to watch and super over.

The "stacked" portion of the card began next with the Shibata-Sakuraba fight.  And I mean FIGHT.  This was one of the best simulated MMA bouts I've ever seen and I'd rank it right up there with Sakuraba-Nakamura from WK7.  The grappling looked totally convincing and snug, and Shibata's strikes were brutal.  Sakuraba dominated the match with some amazing submissions, clinging to Shibata like a spider monkey, until finally Shibata broke free and took the match with the Penalty Kick.  Great fight.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

NJPW Dominion 2015 Predictions!!

Welcome to the first-ever New Japan PPV prediction column!  Those of you who already read my stuff know that I started drinking the NJPW Kool-Aid about six months ago and goddamn it's the most delicious beverage I've had in a long time.

This Sunday is the big Dominion PPV, and since a) I've become such a fan of this company and b) this is on paper the most stacked card so far in 2015, I thought I'd expand my prognostication wheelhouse to include major New Japan events.  I probably won't be quite as accurate as I am with WWE since I'm a pretty new fan and am not privy to the same backstage information or storyline/promo segments with NJPW.  But what the hey, let's give it a shot, no?

New Japan's WrestleKingdom 9 show is by far the PPV to beat in 2015, but if any show is going to top that one, it could very well be Dominion.  There's nary a bit of fat in this lineup, and with the exception of Kota Ibushi (whose presence will be missed on this card), all the company's major stars are accounted for.  So let's get to predictin'!