Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Raping is... EXTREME!

This Raping is... EXTREME!
by David Swan

Holy Shit... what a difference 24 hours can make! It was just yesterday that myself and a group of friends were watching WWE's "The Bash" pay per view and we were saying how ECW was possibly the best of the three WWE brands. Well apparently a small robot with a satellite dish was sitting in my house and beamed the signal directly to WWE Headquarters, because less than day later ECW has been dismantled... blown up... and destroyed beyond recognition.

Now this isn't the first time that this has happened, most wrestling fans will remember Tazz almost pulling a Benoit on national TV as the ECW brand was raped and pillaged during the 2008 WWE Draft. This time felt different though. We are less than three months removed from the 2009 WWE Draft and more specifically the Supplemental Draft, so it seems odd that the mid-card needed another reshuffling.

The point of ECW is simple, its to give new wrestlers a televised place to sink or swim and to get over with the WWE Universe. ECW creates a unique opportunity for the WWE to get fans familiarized with new Superstars before the debut on RAW or Smackdown!. The formula has worked very well so far: CM Punk was over enough to capture the World Heavyweight Title his first night off the brand. Kofi Kingston, The Miz, and John Morrison are all now major players after getting their first major breaks on ECW.

As I said early, as of late ECW had become the best it's ever been causing everybody to stand up and take notice, apparently including Vince McMahon. If the show was performing that well, it must have meant it was time to bring its stars up to the next level. This was accomplished in what only can be described as one of the most lopsided trades in the history of trades. If wrestling were real, ECW Interim General Manager, Tiffany would have not only been fired but dragged out into the streets and beaten for allowing this trade to go down.

ECW lost a mind boggling 7 of their top 10 wrestlers (Jack Swagger, Evan Bourne, Finley, Mark Henry, David Hart Smith, Tyson Kidd, & Natayla) and in return pick up 3 mid-carders (Shelton Benjamin, Goldust, & William Regal) and 2 Divas (The Belle Twins).

My gut reaction is that some of these moves may have been premature. Benjamin and Regal will benefit the most from the trade. With ECW losing ALL their top heels its almost certain that Benjamin and Regal will rise to the top very quickly, possibly resulting in one, or both, capturing their first Heavyweight Titles. only time will tell if Swagger, Bourne, and The Hart Dynasty will succeed on their new homes, but if they do it will eliminate all doubt in the star making ability of WWE's "Third Brand".

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

An Accurate Look At: "Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen"

In the first Great Depression, Hollywood managed to survive by spewing out terrible, generic cut-rate movies. People would flock to theatres, forget about their woes for a few hours, and Tinseltown would rake it all in.

Sound familiar? It should.

Generic Hollywood Robots II: Return of the Product Placement is a two-and-a-half-hour orgy of mediocrity. Remember the 1998 Godzilla re-imagining? The needlessly radical redesign, the overly large cast of uninteresting humans, and the plot which seemed to have been added as an afterthought between explosions?

Sound familiar? It should.

The team who reduced the Transformers to nothing more than a brainless teen comedy have returned to once again reduce the Transformers to nothing more than a brainless teen comedy.

If you thought that the character development was bad in the 2007 flick, guess again. It's even worse this time around, with more characters who have less screentime than ever before. Think of the Redshirts from Star Trek. Only this time, they've given them names and even action figures. If you're only going to give a character one line and 30 seconds of screentime, you probably shouldn't have bothered to have put them in at all. Why would a character come to Earth just to drive through a few buildings, not even get a full robot mode, and ultimately get blown up?

And speaking of the 'robot modes,' have you ever crumpled up a ball of aluminum foil? Congratulations, you've made an accurate replica of a movie 'Transformer.' What's that? Your replica has no limbs and can't even turn into anything? Well, why not put it on a wheel? Feet are SO 1980s.

Seriously. A construction vehicle that turns into what looks like the robot equivalent of an abortion? A head between two wheels and arms? Where is the torso? Where are the legs? What the hell IS that thing? And don't get me started on the motorcycle triplets. Three motorcycles who don't have a robot mode between them. Picture a jack-in-the-box, with the head on the end of the extended spring. Now put that jack-in-the-box on top of a unicycle. According to Hollywood, you have a robot. Are they trying to make a Beast Machines reference, or just make their designers look lazy? And speaking of terrible designs, the main villain, a bastardization of one of the more memorable Transformers villains (and the ONLY character in this movie who should have had flames) looks like Makuta from Bionicle, and doesn't even turn into anything.

There are many 'robots' in this flick. Too many, in fact, with more literally leaping out of nowhere. Can drones tunnel their way across oceans, and just happen to be in the right area of the right country during an important battle? Do Constructicons reproduce asexually? Do they have Multiple Man's abilities? Sure seems that way because they can be everywhere at once, despite being combined into some kind of gorilla-like Shop-Vac.

Also, way to misunderstand Cybertronians. Megatron calls no one 'master.' Transformers do not cry. They do not have green blood. They do not speak like inner-city thugs. They have their own lexicon of slang and curses and need not borrow the humans'.

But don't worry. The robots aren't the only characters who are awful. The humans are, too. Forget about acting and characterization. Oh no, you can rely on stereotypes to instantly understand everything about a particular character. Paranoid geekboy? Check. "OMG, it's my destiny" guy? Check. Airheaded women? Check! People with learning disabilities? Minorities? Double check!

Why? Why must they make two of the robots who get the most screen time turn into awful-looking Chevrolets with repulsive paint jobs? And why must those cars turn into slang-talking stereotypical gangstas? The Retardicon twins (Hurp and Durp) have huge ears, gold teeth, oversized eyes, speak in human slang, and can't read. Of all the characters to give screen time to, it had to be these two. Primus, why? It was like watching a pair of mentally deficient wannabe rappers having a seizure.

Along with the awful characters came other staples of this kind of movie-making: too much gimmicry, too much special effects, too much frat boy/douchebag/unfunny humour (wrecking ball testicles? Dog buttsex? What kind of 12-year-old wrote that into the script?), and of course, airheaded/airbrushed women who are only cast for two reasons. And their reasons are on their chests.

At one point, Megan Fox's character is seen airbrushing what looks like some trashy tattoo onto a motorcycle. How very appropriate.

This flick is incredibly difficult to watch. And not just for the foreseeable plot twists (I use the term 'plot' very, very loosely), the excessive amount of uninteresting/undeveloped characters, the excessive special effects, a story structured almost as badly as this write-up, and the incredibly forgettable generic soundtrack (which, come to think of it, seems highly fitting). For some reason, this hack of a director loves gimmicks such as shaky-cam, lens flare, motion blur, and slow-motion - and combinations of any of the above. Not only do these 'techniques' feel overdone and tacky, but they really make the movie literally unwatchable. What's going on? What just happened? I don't know, because the camera wouldn't hold still while the sun blocked everything on screen while everything moved around really quickly. If you expect people to pay damn near twenty dollars to watch your drivel in Imax, show some courtesy and let them see the movie.

The best way to describe this flick is to compare it to a 90s comic book - 24 pages of over-the-top 'toughguyness' and badassery for no reason (to the point that characters act out of character), characters no one has any reason to care about, excessive fighting and violence for the sake of excessive fighting and violence, whenches, and bad stories, complete with a holographic cover, a collector card, plastic bag, and whole lot of ads.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Jon and Kate plus 8 divided by 2

By Joe Milone

I’ll be the first to admit (and proudly) that I’ve never watched Jon and Kate plus eight but unless you live in a spider hole you can’t avoid this unholy brood. Besides the show itself, the family has graced every tabloid in the country for the last few months. Whether it’s Jon cheating on Kate or Kate cheating on Jon or announcements of Kate’s plastic surgery, I for one have had enough.

Apparently on last nights show they announced the breakup for the marriage. Kate was quoted as saying "I don't want to be alone," she said. "I don't want to do this alone but that's required and I've got to do it." Sure she doesn’t want to be alone, after all now she’s a single mom of her own baseball team.

On the flipside Jon didn’t seem as depressed as Kate. “I'm hurt by all of this," he said. "But I'm excited and hurt at the same time because I have a new chapter in my life. I'm only 32 years old."

So while they are going to be separated, they will continue the show. “Jon will come here when it is his days," Kate said. "We will flip-flop that way."

So now that they are going to split up perhaps they can split the 40 remaining episodes into two shows, one featuring Kate and one featuring Jon.

For Kate maybe they can try “Kate plus eight plus Bunkmate” where every week Kate brings home a new potential husband and sees how he adjusts to living with her bitchyness and the gaggle of kids. Or how about Kate plus 8: home improvement edition where Kate supervises her children’s construction club as each week they renovate a needy families home.

For Jon, they could possibly have him feature on the Bachelor or what would be even better is if they move him from State to State where he becomes Jon Gosselin: DCF Enforcer. Each week he could investigate families who have delusions of grandeur about making a reality show. First stop The Octomom!

In any case, after this season, I hope that these fools disappear into the void forever.

Monday, June 22, 2009

WWE axes 2 more.

By Joe Milone

It’s the time of the year where we see the WWE clean house and the two latest releases really come as no surprise. The two wrestlers in question are diva Candice Michelle and Sim Snuka.

Let’s start with the train wreck known as Candice Michelle. She tried out for the Divas search in 2004 but failed to make the top ten, however she was hired anyhow and began life in the WWE as a “make-up” artist. Shortly after she started competing in the ring and I’ll admit she showed some promise.

It also didn’t hurt that she became the go-daddy.com girl and was featured in an ad at the Super Bowl. The ad was controversial and as we know Vince loves controversy. She also posed for Playboy which was eye pleasing as well.

She tried very hard in the ring and you could tell she was learning her craft well. She even captured the woman’s championship which was quite a big step. Then in horrific fashion she fell off the top rope on an episode of Raw, breaking her collar bone. She was out of action for about 3 months and when she returned to the ring, it wasn’t long before she reinjured her collar bone and was out of action again.

All the injuries did nothing to help her in the ring. You could tell that she wasn’t all that comfortable out there, gingerly moving about and looking generally horrible. The matches were so bad, they had to edit some of the taped performances to make her look better, and they were still noticeably bad. Shortly after returning, she was reinjured.

During this period it was reported that she was partying around Los Angeles, rather then rehabbing. This was not such a smart move and had to incur the wrath of Vince. Although she was moved to Smackdown during the recent draft, she never appeared on camera. This past Friday, in a move that should surprise no one, she was released. I’m personally glad that the plug was finally pulled on this experiment.

The second release should really come as a shock to no one that follows the WWE. Jimmy Reiher, Jr aka Domino aka Sim Snuka finally got the axe dropped. First debuting in 2007 on Smackdown with his partner Domino, he captured the tag titles once and shortly after the loss, Deuce and Domino got split up. Deuce was drafted to Raw and Domino was released shortly after the split.

Initially after the draft Deuce was no where to be seen, but a few months later he started to appear again. Then he announced that he would like to be known by his “real” name Sim Snuka. In real life Reiher is the step son of Superfly Jimmy Snuka.

So now it appeared that he was heading somewhere and he was recruited to be part of Randy Orton’s Legacy group. But after two weeks he was cut from the group and not seen on tv again.

At this point I figured we would see the famous “We wish you well in your future endeavors” message on the WWE website, but it didn’t happen. He was unseen for months. Sim would resurface during the Wrestlemania Fan Access shows, brutally injuring Dolph Ziggler. And if that wasn’t enough, Sim appeared as the camera man who caught the Undertaker after a suicide dive out of the ring during his match at mania.

Of course by caught, I mean he let the Undertaker drop to the floor almost injuring the phenom permanently. I’m positive that the Undertaker wanted to kill this guy after the match, and the Taker is one guy you don’t want to make mad.

Some more cuts came and it was only a matter of time before Jimmy Snuka jr got the boot. Well more then two months went by and still nothing. Would Sim sneak by? Finally the day came and Sim was axed, probably a year or more past his expiration date.

With these two gone, the Jesse’s and Jimmy Wang Yangs of the WWE could sleep a little easier at night, at least for now.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Smallville Recap & Preview

"Smallville Recap & Preview"
by Dave Swan

*Warning: Contains Smallville Spoilers*

In my last column I wrote about the unspoken battle between The CW and the TV show 'Smallville'. But this time I want to talk about the show itself, and specifically it's most recent season. This season the show underwent a lot of drastic changes, both on the show and behind the scenes.

Coming into season 8, 'Smallville' lost a lot of key players. The show's creators and executive producers, Alfred Gough & Miles Millar left the show as did three key actors, Michael Rosenbaum (Lex Luthor), Kristin Kreuk (Lana Lang), & John Glover (Lionel Luthor), all of which had been with the series since the pilot episode in 2001.

While many fans looked at this as a terrible thing for the show, I thought it could be a blessing in disguise. While the Lex & Lionel interaction had always been my favorite part of the series, after seven years some things had grown stale. Lex & Lana especially had been featured in over 150 episodes of the show and to be perfectly honest had completely run out of things to do.

With the departure of these major characters, the show's writers brought three new actors into the mix. Justin Hartley returned to the show as a full time cast member, reprising his role as the extremely popular character, Oliver Queen (aka The Green Arrow). Joining Hartley were two brand new characters created specifically for the show: Tess Mercer, the new CEO of LuthorCorp and Davis Bloom who would later transform into Doomsday, the only villain powerful enough to kill Superman.

Fully aware that the lose of so many characters might turn off some long time fans, the 'Smallville' staff decided to give fans some of the things they had be asking for, starting from the very first scene of the season premiere. The show opened with the long awaited return of The Justice League (this time comprised of Clark Kent, Green Arrow, Aquaman, Black Canary, and a brief appearance by Martian Manhunter), who had not been seen since season six.

The Clark Kent character began transforming into the more traditional version, that fans have become accustomed to. Clark began working at The Daily Planet and the show started teasing a love interest in Lois Lane. Also Clark began embracing a duel identity, dawning the red & blue as a crime fighter known as the "Red Blue Blur".

The writers of 'Smallville' also began incorporating more and more characters from the DC Universe, instead of random made up 'Freak of the Week' characters. DC Heroes included: Clark Kent, Kara Kent (aka Supergirl), Green Arrow, Impulse (aka The Flash), Black Canary, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, Zatanna, and The Legion of Superheroes. We also met a cavalcade of villains including a deformed Lex Luther (not played by Rosenbaum), Brainiac, Doomsday, Maxima, ZOD's wife Faora, The Persuader, Toyman, and The Injustice League (Plastique, Parasite, Livewire, & Neutron).

The season focused heavily on two storylines, the inevitable collision between Clark & Doomsday and a love triangle between Chloe Sullivan, Jimmy Olsen, & Davis Bloom... both storylines came to a head in the season finale.

In possibly the most shocking moment of this or any season, Davis Bloom's affection for Chloe eventually drove him into a rage and he killed Jimmy Olsen by impaling him through the chest. Before Jimmy died he managed to return the favor spearing Davis into a structure impaling him as well. At Jimmy's funeral we learned that his full name was Henry James Olsen (not James Bartholomew Olsen as it had historically been). Chloe than took Jimmy's camera and placed it around the neck of a Jimmy's younger brother, a freckle faced boy with a bow tie.

When Clark and Doomsday had their throw down many fans felt disappointed that it lasted only two minutes. Clark eventually grabbed Doomsday and threw both of them into a building that had been rigged to explode by the Justice League and trap Doomsday in a mineshaft. Clark and Doomsday both went into the building as it exploded burying them alive. While this might not have been the most climatic fight, I believe that it will only be the first of many between the two on the series.

In addition to wrapping up these storylines, the season 8 finally did more than possibly any other finale to set up the next season. Chloe was left with her wedding present from Jimmy, a building that will serve as the Justice League's "Watchtower". While standing in the tower she has a conversation with Clark who is appearing to her in some type of metaphysical form. He says that he was wrong and that it is his human upbringing that is a threat to humanity... not his Kryptonian heritage. He has no knowledge of how he "escaped" the collapsed building and fades away at the end of the conversation.

On the other end of the spectrum, Tess Mercer has come in possession of an orb that she (and we) are lead to believe is the lost Kryptonian City of Kandor. Once Clark & Doomsday are disposed of and no longer a threat the orb activates and releases Jar-El's arch-nemises General ZOD.

With the gears already in motion for storylines involving The Justice League, Kandor, & General ZOD, season 9 appears to have no shortage of new material to work with. It has also already been confirmed that we will see the arrival of a new character "Mason" and Brian Austin Green will be joining the cast for "at least two episodes" as another major villain, Metallo.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

When Captain America throws his Mighty Shield!!!

When Captain America throws his mighty shield!
By Joe Milone

Just a few days ago I was having a chat with my friend and fellow contributor to the Nail Gun, Dave Swan. One of the things we touched on was how long it would take for Steve Rogers to come back to life and return to the role of Captain America.

Well it looks like the conversation was topical because just a few days later Marvel Comics announced that the original Star Spangled Avenger would be returning on July 1st with a miniseries titled Captain America Reborn.

It was bound to happen sooner or later as no one truly stays dead in comics. How it will happen, I have no idea. But I do look forward to seeing it unfold. For me it will be the first Cap comic I purchase in over 15 years.

Ed Brubaker’s run on Captain America has been highly acclaimed and following Roger’s death Cap’s former sidekick Bucky was placed in the role of Captain America. But this was a Cap who used a gun along side of the famous shield. To me Cap doesn’t need a gun, which is why I look forward to seeing the real deal return to life. Plus the new Cap costume is horribly bad, looking more like something out of Buck Rogers (but maybe I'm just a sucker for the classics)

It doesn't surprise me though. With The Captain America and Avengers movies announced, I would think that Marvel would want the comics to match the big screen. And Marvel would like both to be big successes.

Two questions come to mind as a result of this revelation:
What will happen to Bucky?
And how long will it take before DC comics follows suit and returns Bruce Wayne to the mantle as Batman?

Stay tuned True Believers.

Somebody Saaaaaaaaave Me!

Somebody Saaaaaaaaave Me!
by Dave Swan

Wednesday, June 17th: a day that will live in infamy... today The CW Network officially announced that it's #1 show, Smallville, will return for its 9th Season on September 25th. Now if your running to write this down on your calendar, you have probably already noticed something... September 25th is a Friday.

Yes, after 8 highly successful seasons, The CW has decided to move it's top rated show to what is historically the WORST night for TV shows. The Friday night line-up for CW has been especially miserable since the network eliminated it's previously highest rated show, "WWE Friday Night Smackdown!" from its line-up stating the show "didn't fit the network's vision". Apparently, the "network's vision" was to finish in last place EVERY week since, including struggling to even put up 50% of the viewers that "Smackdown!" has been putting up on it's new home My Network TV.

The CW undoubtedly had ALOT of explaining to do after their new "Friday Night Comedy Line-up" fell flat this past season and they responded quickly... by canceling all the shows on it. Now they literally have a night of television that in the course of a year went from their highest performing night to the worst performing night of ANY major network. The CW needed help, but luckily they have their own resident superhero to call on.

In 2000, The CW (then The WB) brought to life the latest in a long line of Superman television shows, entitled "Smallville". "Smallville" however was different than any Superman series that came before it, in the simple fact that "Superman" wasn't the star of the show. Instead of the traditional 'Man of Steel' the show focused around the life of young Clark Kent and his trials growing up in the 'Meteor Capital of the World'.

The show was a mixed bag for comic book fans... while many enjoyed it, traditionalist had a hard time coping with many of the changes that the show had made to the Superman Mythology. But regardless of how the comic geeks felt about the show, one thing they couldn't argue was that the show was a huge hit for the still fairly new WB Network.

The show was originally predicted to go "four or five seasons" and now nine years later it is still running strong (in fact the series' star Tom Welling has already signed on for season 10). So it seemed natural, on paper, that The CW would call upon it to save their collective asses. Unfortunately, things aren't always what they seem.

Now if it's one thing I hate its a conspiracy theorist, but I think I've witnessed enough over the past few years to say this is a valid claim. I believe, and fear, that The CW moving "Smallville" to Fridays is nothing more than an attempt to kill the show. Now instinctively you would ask 'why would a Network want it kill it's top show?' and that is a very valid question and one I have no logical response to. All I do know is that The CW has done it before.

When the WB Network transformed into The CW in 2006, the first order of business was an extremely unpopular one. The network immediately announced they were canceling one of the network's flagship shows '7th Heaven' after 10 seasons stating the show had become 'too expensive to produce'. The decision was so unpopular that the network was flooded almost non-stop by letters from fans and they were left with no choice BUT to resurrect the show for an 11th season.

Unfortunately, even though the show obviously still had a fan base and was performing well, the Network was still determined to get rid of it. They did so first of all by CUTTING the show's budget and making it impossible to bring back many of the show's stars, next they moved it off it's longtime home of Monday nights (so that they could unveil their new 'Monday Night Comedy Lineup'... sound familiar?) and dumped the show on Sunday nights with very little fanfare and in direct competition with 'Extreme Makeover: Home Edition', a very popular show geared towards the same exact demographic. '7th Heaven' finished up the season before once again being canceled.

In recent year's "Smallville' has become the proverbial "red headed stepchild' of the CW family. The network invests literally no time, energy, or money in promoting the show and when they DO decide to promote it they make mistake's that no professional company would make. For example last season they released all the promotional material for the 'Smallville: Season 8' premiere a week after the episode had aired and early 'Season 9' promotional material incorrectly lists characters that are no longer on the show and features actor's heads photoshoped on other actor's bodies.

As September 25th draws closer Clark Kent will enter his greatest battle... the battle for his show's very survival. Their are two foreseeable outcomes to this fight. Outcome #1 is that 'Smallville' single handily resurrects The CW's ravaged Friday Night line-up and receives no credit for it's monumental deed. The other outcome unfortunately isn't as positive and The CW will succeed where Lex Luthor, Brianiac, and Doomsday couldn't... they will successfully kill Superman.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


by David Swan

Last Thursday marked the three year anniversary of the full time resurrection of Extreme Championship Wrestling and amazingly more than a quarter of a decade later, "hardcore" ECW fans are still crying about it. Well its time for this to come to an end, somebody has it say it, and I guess its going to be me... The new ECW is better than the old ECW!!!! I'll do you one better than that the majority of the old ECW SUCKED!

Now before all of the smart marks rise from their parent's basements to attack me, allow me to defend my opinion. ECW's Legacy is completely fueled my nostalgia. Nostalgia is a powerful thing, this isn't a new revelation, but it needs to be stated. Nostalgia causes our parents to claim that shows like "I Love Lucy" and "The Honeymooners" were 'hilarious' and causes people from my generation to swear that "80's cartoons are better than the $hit on TV today". We live in a society driven by nostalgia... if you don't believe me look no further than the Hollywood Box Office. This summer alone the biggest films are ALL remakes of ideas from the 60's, 70's, & 80's... Star Trek, X-Men, Transformers, & G.I. Joe.

Now back to ECW, for anybody reading this that's not familiar with ECW, here is the very abridged version of the history of the company. ECW was founded in 1992 by Todd Gordon, and reached its most notoriety in the mid-late 90's under the leadership of Paul Heyman. In August 1994, a well timed publicity stunt helped ECW gain momentum as an "anti-establishment" wrestling company when Shane Douglas captured the NWA Championship and immediately threw it in the garbage and declared himself "ECW World Champion".

ECW established a rapid fan base and produced many ideas and stars that were "stolen" by WWE & WCW. Paul Heyman masterfully portrayed the WWE & WCW as nothing short of Satan & Lucifer and used that image to gain the support of wrestling fans and wrestlers alike. Heyman would repeatedly accuse Vince McMahon and Eric Bischoff of raiding his talent roster, but the truth is that Heyman was WWE's payroll at the time and much of ECW was being funded by Vince McMahon. WWE and ECW even ran several "inter promotional" angles leading into ECW's break out year.

It been debated a million times as to what caused the fall of ECW, in my opinion the blame falls solely on the shoulders of Paul Heyman, but not for the reasons that others claim. In the end Paul made the mistake of forgetting that ECW was a "niche" product that appealed to a small percent of wrestling fans. ECW expanded way bigger than it should have, by the end of the 90's ECW was running monthly Pay Per Views, had a weekly prime time show on the TNN Network, had DVD deals, video games, and action figures. The problem was that while they had all these things, what they lacked was a fan base big enough to warrant them and before long the company crumbled around them.

On April 4, 2001, Paul Heyman officially closed the company and declared bankruptcy. Vince McMahon then proceeded to buy the remain of the company from the courts, paying off the nearly 9 million dollars in dept that the company had acquired.

In 2005, WWE released a DVD documentary called "The Rise and Fall of ECW" the DVD was such a huge success (rumors have it that this DVD alone brought in more money than it cost WWE to buy ECW) that in June of 2005 held an ECW Reunion Show on Pay Per View. A year later, WWE re launched the company as the WWE's third brand.

By pretty much every bodies account the original launch of the WWE's ECW brand was a mess. WWE fans had little interest in seeing much of the old ECW talent and ECW fans automatically resented anything that wasn't from the original ECW. Eventually, WWE realized what Paul Heyman had forgotten five years earlier... that a world wide brand could not survive being marketed directly at a "niche crowd" and when WWE completely transformed ECW into a WWE style product the product FINALLY became watchable.

Its become trendy to bash the new ECW but I'm going to defend it.

FACT: ECW gives you the highest percentage of wrestling per show of any wrestling program on TV.

FACT: ECW has been the home of COUNTLESS new superstars that would have been welcomed into the old ECW with open arms: CM Punk, Evan Bourne, Tyson Kid, Kofi Kingston, John Morrison, and Elijah Burke to name a few.

FACT: ECW has been the home of many established stars that the "internet community" LOVES: Rob Van Dam, Chris Benoit, Matt Hardy, Chavo Guerrero, Fit Finley, Christian, Hurricane Helms, and others.

FACT: The new ECW has already produced more main event talent than the old ECW. Not one World Champion from the old ECW would ever go onto another World Title after leaving (and no TNA does not count in my book). Where as Rob Van Dam, CM Punk, Big Show, Mr. McMahon, & Kane have all held the ECW & WWE/World Championships.

FACT: Nearly one million more people watch "ECW on Sci Fi" every week than watched "ECW on TNN".

Back in the 90's, ECW was a proving ground for young talent. Countless future World Champions including: Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit, Rey Mysterio, Rob Van Dam, Mick Foley, and Steve Austin all got their big breaks there. And that is one thing that hasn't changed, years from now we will look back at men like CM Punk, John Morrison, Kofi Kingston, The Hart Dynasty, Evan Bourne, and others and remember that they TOO got their first BIG breaks in ECW.

In closing, its time for people to realize that the ECW they remember is gone... its gone and no matter how many companies try to replicate it, you simply can't capture lightening twice. What stands before us now is a new ECW, an ECW that in many ways is far superior to its predecessor and if some people would give it a chance they might actually enjoy themselves.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Pulling the Trump card

Last Week Vicki Guerrero (The widow of the Late, Great Eddie Guererro) quit her post as the General Manager of Raw. In real life Vicki claimed she wanted to go home to spend more time with her family. Personally I think it's ridiculous seeing as she works one day a week, but whatever.

While certainly not the most attractive woman, she proved to be a great heel generating tremendous heat. In that aspect she will be missed.

The WWE website promoted a new GM of Raw to be named this past Monday night. Many speculated that it would be Ric Flair, especially since the show hailed from Natch's hometown, Charlotte, North Carolina.

Well last night Vince appeared on Camera and said he wouldn't be naming a new GM, but rather he would be naming a new owner of the RAW brand. And in shocking fashion Donald Trump was named as new owner. I don't think the smartest of the marks could have seen that one coming.

The Donald is no stranger to the WWE. Trump plaza played host to Wrestlemania's 4 and 5 and at Wrestlemania 23, Trump was in the Corner of Bobby Lashley when he took on Umaga (who had Vince in his corner.) I've also seen Trump in the crowds watching the shows at MSG, so I gather that he is a fan.

So how did this all come to pass? My guess is that it was suggested by the Network as a way to boost ratings. USA Network and NBC fall under the same parent company and The Apprentice is a pretty big hit on NBC. So this stunt will most likely gain attention in the media, which works out well for both McMahon and Trump. Perhaps the WWE will have some kind of involvement on the next season of Celebrity Jeopardy for extra cross promotion.

But the bottom line to me is how much is Trump really going to add to the show to a weekly basis? His "promos" are horrible and his act is tired. I wonder how quickly he is "bought out". But this is something of a new twist to the show, so I will watch with interest and see what develops.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Scary Washing Machine

Looks like a normal washing machine to me, but I present the Scary Washing Machine, originally being sold here: http://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/Listing.aspx?id=223309871And I quote from the original auction
Old mid 80's Fisher and Paykel top loader.
Goes like a rocket!

By 'goes like a rocket' I actually mean that literally.
It actually shakes the house.

It's the loudest most violent sounding washing machine I have ever encountered.
It makes guests scared and children cry. I've lived with it like that for almost a year and it still scares me.

Once while washing a load of towells it got a bit out of balance and it got so out of control for a minute that I swear I actually saw a porthole to another dimension open above it just for a second, there were dinosaurs on the otherside and they looked scared too, it almost sucked me in but I held onto for my life to the deepfreeze. It sucked my shoes and pants off though and it got the iron as well which pissed me off because it was quite a good one. Luckily it sucked it's own power cord out of the wall and stopped before the whole house went in.
I drew a picture of the dinosaurs i saw incase people didn't believe me, they are partly red because my green felt ran out half way through.

I think it would be good to paint it matt black and put steel spikes all over it and draw demons on the front, however I have added an image of another possible customization option for people who like horses.

On heavy duty spin cycle it sort of sounds a bit like the tortured howls of 1000 undead writhing in the sulphury pits of hell mixed with a train with carriages full of scrap iron sliding down the road with no wheels, on fire, into a bell factory.

Thankfully it's bite is not as bad as it's bark. It washes fine, completes cycles, does everything it's supposed to.
It leaks a bit when it's running, always has.
Its a bit grubby, could do with a wipe down, I refuse to touch it because I'm still getting over the whole dinosaur scare thing.

If your in a fix and need a cheap washing machine and are either completely deaf or hate your neighbours this baby is for you.

$1 reserve, pick up only, Waterview Auckland.
Selling to pay for my counseling.

Well if you hate your neighbors or want to open a portal to jurrasic park, this might be for you. Plus the sale goes towards a good cause for the man's counseling. But then the question remains, did the machine drive him mad to need the counseling in the first place.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Extreme-ly Happy Ending

Last night the WWE held the ppv formerly known as One Night Stand, Extreme Rules. The show as a whole was enjoyable, but the one thing that stood out for me was Tommy Dreamer becomming the ECW Champion.

The deal was that Tommy's contract was up and if he didn't win the ECW title, he was finished as a wrestler. And in storybook fashion he was able to capture the gold by defeating Jack Swagger and Christian.

This is a guy that the everyman can identify with, he's nothing flashy as far as ring work is concerned and heck he hardly ever wins a match. Thing is I'm a fan. I've watched him throughout his career from ECW all the way up to the WWE.

And the one thing that truly seperates him from from is peers, he's not selfish. Tommy Dreamer always put the business ahead of himself. He went out there and put people over and made them look good. And he is still a crowd favorite.

If this is Tommy's last hurrah, then I'm glad he got a shot at being a champion one last time. And from the emotional look on his face I think he appreciates the honor as much as we appreciate the man himself.

Thanks Tommy!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

RIP Transformers Animated

After the end of Transformers: Cybertron, which had many things lost in translation due to it being a dub of a Japanese Anime, fans were left waiting for a new Cartoon featuring their favorite Autobots and Decepticons.

Prior to the live action movie hitting the big screens in 2007 sone sketches were leaked featuring some very different takes on the famous property. Many, including myself weren't sure what to make of them. They were quite different from the designs that we were used to in the past but I'm open minded and was willing to give it a chance.

Soon more news leaked out about the series. It would be written in the US and the voice actors would be performing in the same room together, a throw back to the old voice recording sessions. Which makes a huge difference because the actors are able to interact rather then simply dubbing over the voices. You could liken it to the old radio programs I guess. This all seemed to make the show intriguing.

The first three episodes aired in December 2007 as a mini movie and was met with mixed reactions by the fandom. Some questioned the style of the show, which was similar to the Teen Titans animated show. Others praised it for it's uniqueness and it's storyline.

The show itself featured a great story with great voice acting. It was a new continuty but drew inspiration from all of the series that came before it. Many easter eggs were given for the long time fans of the franchise, while making ise;f enjoyable to new fans as well. Over the course of 39 episodes, the show became very solid and it is, at least in my opinion the best show of the franchise, right behind the original series.

Adding to it were the figures, which resembled their animated counterparts almost to the "T". Another first for the franchise, which had never happened in the past.

Sadly at Botcon 2009 (The annual Transformers convention for those who don't know) it was announced that the show has been canceled in it's current form. Hopefully they decide to revisit the show someday, perhaps in the form of a DTV release. But for now we'll have the DVD's and toys to look back on this great show. Hopefully the next TF series can live up to this one, but Animated set the bar quit high.