Snarky comments from the columnist behind Inside The Ropes, True Wrestling Stories, Breaking News and Wrestling With Literature.
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Sunday, November 27, 2005
Survivor Series Thoughts
Chris Benoit vs. Booker T
Honestly, we missed a good five-ten minutes of the match because the movie theater where we were watching was having satellite problems, so hard to comment on this one. Basically just saw the last minute or two.
Trish Stratus vs. Melina
I guess it furthers the Trish-Mickie storyline, which is fine. Plus Tazz and Styles arguing on commentary was priceless.
Edge Copies Me Yet Again
Only, this time, he didn't even know it. He was insulting Dmitri Young at ringside, who I commented (and I have witnesses who heard me!) looks a little like Mark Henry. Then Copeland calls him "Mark Henry". Geez, at least put me on your fucking payroll already, guy!
Triple H vs. Ric Flair
Just a classic. One of the best matches I've seen this year. Very old school, very emotional and very gory.
John Cena vs. Kurt Angle
Not sure that I agreed with the finish (maybe the title will be held up now), but it was definitely better than some of their previous encounters, so you've got that going on. Not bad, really.
Teddy Long vs. Eric Bischoff
Sorry.. The Boogeyman was there... why?
Team Raw vs. Team SmackDown
I'm surprised Lashley was eliminated so quickly (I mean, why put him on the team unless you're trying to push the guy?), but otherwise, everyone looked pretty decent in there, especially JBL and Masters (surprisingly). Not sure I would have gone with Orton as the sole survivor (uh, yet again), but it does give him momentum if they're going to but the World title on him now.
Also, the commentary from all five Raw/SD commentators was a bit of a clusterfuck at times, though again, LOVED Tazz dissing Styles.
Undertaker Returns From The Dead - Again
Overall, decent show. One of the better ones this year from WWE.
Saturday, November 26, 2005
So I've had the Star Wars Trilogy DVD set for a few months now, and while I've watched the "Bonus Features" disc, my son and I hadn't seen the individual film DVD's.
We were watching Return Of The Jedi tonight, and I'm busy doing something towards the end when my son starts shouting "Daddy! Daddy! Look!". He's watched the VHS version of ROTJ probably 1,000 times, but never the "special edition", so I told him to watch for differences, and of course, he pointed them all out. But what happened in the last few seconds of the film.... well, I won't spoil it for anyone who hasn't seen the DVD set yet, but let me just say -- it wasn't in the "Special Edition" that was out in theaters a few years back.
Not sure how purists feel about it (or if this has already been debated to death, and I just missed it), but nonetheless, definitely an interesting change.
Thursday, November 24, 2005
Best. Book. Ever.
Latest ITR (South Park edition)
It's Thanksgiving here in the USofA, and this year, that means a return to the once-grand tradition of Survivor Series taking place proximate to said holiday. Luckily, this year, we don't have to worry about Gene Okerlund presiding over the birth of an abomination like the Gobbledygooker. To start getting you in the mood over this little two day break from normal scheduling, the Canadian Bulldog has a full (and uniquely South Park-style) PPV Preview in Inside the Ropes.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Just had a great idea....
Anyone out there can hook me up with the e-mail address of Phil Muschnick? :)
Yes! I am so excited -- just booked my first trip to Las Vegas in a good seven years (and, if you want to technical about it, my second time there ever). Looking really forward to this now - headed there next month for four nights at the Treasure Island. If anyone has any suggestions about what to see, do, experience there, lemme know...
Monday, November 21, 2005
Book Review - From A Buick 8
I'm not a huge fan of Stephen King's, though I do find myself reading his books from time to time. I just finished re-reading Different Seasons, because it has Shawshank Redemption as one of its sections), and decided on a whim I want to read one of his more recent works. I picked up this one, and suprisingly, one of the characters has the same last name as me (which is about as close as I'm going to get to revealing my real name to y'all).
Anyways, this was a great read. It was creepy and eerie, though it never really wandered it horror territory. For the uninitiated, the book centers around an odd vintage car that some Pennsylvania cops find, unattended, at a gas station in the '70s. The car has some strange attributes (including not being able to actually drive) and is locked up in a storage shed over the next several decades. The car shows some signs of life from time to time, and the descriptions here are just magnificent.
I definitely enjoyed the twist at the end as well. This is one I'd recommend picking up, whether you're traditionally a King fan or not.
Sunday, November 20, 2005
SmackDown vs. Raw '06: Initial Thoughts
Picked up the game on Friday and I have been experimenting with it off and on this weekend. It's getting harder and harder for THQ to top themselves, but they've definitely done it again. Initial thoughts:
- The ring entrances are EXTREMELY lifelike, to the point where it almost looks like the real thing. Really good stuff here.
- The "General Manager" mode (eg EWR-lite) is just AMAZING. Combine this with the fact that you can play any of the matches you want, and it's a tremendous feature that I'm surprised hasn't been tried until now.
- The Season Mode (from the little I've seen so far) is more challenging than normal, though it has considerably more depth than ever, so a feature worth pursuing. I still remember in the SmackDown: Shut Your Mouth days where they only had three storylines, and you had to sit for hours clicking through everything if you wanted a created character to appear in them.
- Speaking of which... the CAW feature seems a lot more difficult than previous incarnations. I'm still trying to figure out how to do even the most basic of things here. Haven't tried the "Create An Entrance" feature yet, though I'm excited to. On the plus side, they've brought back decent sample characters, so if you wanted to resurrect Brock or Luther Reigns, you could do so quite easily.
- There seem to be more characters than before, although many of them (Spike Dudley, Mohammad Hassan, Mark Jindrak, Joy Giovanni, Chris Jericho, Christian and of course Eddie Guerrero) aren't on the current roster. But I'm sure there will be many more over the next year, just as in all incarnations. As for the new ones, they make pretty decent likenesses of Eugene, Heidenreich, Carlito, Masters, etc. Nice choice of legends here as well.
- Overall gameplay is slightly trickier, mostly because of the new "Stamina" bar. I'm not crazy about it, because it means you constantly have to increase your stamina, but it's not the end of the world, either.
- There are a few new game modes here: Buried Alive (which is hard), Title Matches (ehhhh) and some different incarnations of the hardcore match. I still choose TLC most of the time because it's the most functional all-around mode. Also, you can change the number of competitors in a Royal Rumble, in case you don't want to sit through a 30-person affair.
Looking forward to playing this one a bit more, for sure....
Friday, November 18, 2005
New DVD Review
Fans have spent the better part of the week remembering Eddie Guerrero. Our memorials are tinged with sadness, upon Eddie's sudden and unexpected death. But a little over a year ago, WWE itself put together a DVD set exploring Eddie's life and career, and it was more a celebration upon Eddie's first WWE World Title win. "Cheating Death, Stealing Life" remains an uplifting tale of Eddie's unlikely rise to the top of the wrestling world... but viewed through the filter of this week's events, there are unsettling bits of foreshadowing, including an eerily prophetic vision from Dean Malenko. The Canadian Bulldog takes a fresh look at the WWE DVD version of Eddie's Story in this ItR Video Review.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
Monday, November 14, 2005
Still in shock over Latino Heat
I was originally slated to guest-write Matt Hocking's Raw Satire tonight, but given that it's now a tribute show to Eddie Guerrero, there doesn't seem to be much to make light of.
Matt is going to be doing something special as a tribute (not sure what; stay tuned to OO for details, though), and I've got my own tribute of sorts planned for Thursday. I'm certain we won't be alone in that respect.
You know, it's amazing how this is someone I've never met, never had a real emotional attachment to, per se, yet his passing can weigh so heavily on my mind. Honestly, all I've thought about for the last 24 hours or so is about him and his career. Just another tribute to how talented he was, I suppose.
Sunday, November 13, 2005
Eddie Guerrero 1967 - 2005
I just went online this afternoon, answered a few emails and was about to write a lengthy rant after learning that Arrested Development. Of course, that's really not terribly important in the grand scheme of things.
Eddie Guerrero is dead. Here's someone who, by all accounts, worked furiously at turning his life around. Here's someone who almost ALWAYS had the best match on the show, the most entertaining promo, and one of the coolest ring entrances.
I watched SmackDown this Thursday (we still get it in Canada on Thursday nights) for the first time in ages, and remember smirking watching the finish of his match with Ken Kennedy. Honestly, the rest of what I watched was pretty unremarkable, but that was always a great spot.
There's, of course, so much more -- and his "Cheating Death, Stealing Life" (okay, an unfortunate name right now) DVD really covered off why he was one of the greatest of this generation, pure and simple.
I just can't believe he's gone. Here's someone I'd never met or anything, yet I am just deflated right now. What an athlete, what an entertainer. You will be greatly missed, Eddie. Here's hoping you can lie, cheat and steal a little in heaven.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
Sure, you could wait till next week for the release of WWE's 3-DVD Bret Hart Career Retrospective... but you'd only get the company's version of the story. And possibly also Bret's. And who are they to tell you the tale of The Hitman? Luckily, OO's own Canadian Bulldog is superiorly qualified to handle these important duties. Covering Bret's rise from tag team obscurity to singles glory and even to moving on to all those bigger and better things that awaited him once he made the wise decision to jump to WCW, Bulldog provides an in-depth biography of The Best There Is, Was, or Ever Will Be. Check it out in the latest Inside the Ropes.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Arrested Development Line of the Night
"Fun and failure both start out the same way."
Man, after such a long hiatus, you'd figure the two AD episodes last night would have been more... memorable. I mean, they weren't bad by any stretch, they were just somewhat lacking.
Parts I enjoyed: Tobias as the mole, George Michael's jet pack, the church and state fair and, of course, Super Dave as the surrogate. Man, I could watch that story arc play out all day and night without getting tired of it.
Parts I couldn't stand: Charlize Theron (I mean, I'm glad she's an MRF and everything, but she's just added so little to the show), Bob Loblaw (funny name, nothing else of substance though), George Sr. being stuck in the house (that's just starting to wear thin.)
That said... my favorite part of the entire night? The potential return of Annyong. Yesssss!
Monday, November 07, 2005
BIG Stu Stone News
Reuters (ugh) is reporting that everyone's favorite Hollywood ITR reporter, as well as Jamie Kennedy, have had their reality/scripted TV series picked up MTV.
This is great news for someone who's known Stu since he was a kid in the Kraft Macaroni & Cheese commercials. Best of luck, bud, and if there's ever an opening for someone to play the wacky next-door neighbor, I'm your Dawg.
In the pipeline....
Just a heads-up to some of the columns/projects that I am going to be working on in the next month or two. As always, some may not make it online, some may be killed halfway through the writing process, etc.
- The REAL Bret Hart story.
- Playing guest-host to Matt Hocking's Raw Satire on 11/14.
- Q & A column (and as I mentioned in ITR last week, if you have any questions -- the more obscure the better, send them to me ASAP).
- Traditional year in review wrap-up with a new twist this year.
- Book review of the Kane "biography"
- DVD reviews of: Hardcore Homecoming, UPW Overload, ROH "Night of the Champions" and... well, something one of you loyal readers sent in that I never quite thought I'd consider reviewing, but, we'll see. I likes me a good challenge.
I'm not going to say that I have loved the new season or anything, but last night's episode was definitely quite stellar. Part of that was personal bias: you pay homage to my favorite movie of all time (The Naked Gun), and it's hard for me NOT to love the show. But then you add in the digs at the FCC, the "alternate" versions of All in the Family, Brady Bunch, etc. and you have a winner on your hands. Just bloody brilliant.
The Simpsons, on the other hand.... well, it wasn't bad, and I'm always happy to see new content. But over the years, I have put so much stock into the Hallowe'en episodes that anything that isn't over-the-top hilarious won't do it for me. That said, the Robo-tot story had its moments, the game hunting one was *okay* and the costume story was just plain lazy. Ehhhh.
Thursday, November 03, 2005
By Any Other Name...
You're not supposed to call them the Dudleys, but we all know that "Team 3-D" just doesn't have the same kind of ring to it, so let's fudge, OK? Cuz the Dudleys return to prime time Thursday Night TV for the first time in over a year tonight, as part of a special 2-hour edition of TNA Impact. They'll be facing Team Canada on a show that probably can't be any worse than what RAW delivered on Monday. We hope. Canadian Bulldog, who is noted for his love and knowledge of TNA, has a full preview of the show, plus lots of other news (Austin, Christian, and even special interview that only a Crack Investigator could score) in Inside the Ropes.