Monday, November 25, 2013

Old School Wrestling Review: WrestleMania 7

Just look at that picture! Just look at it! You know what this show is going to be about. Yep. Hogan. Oye vey. What are we getting ourselves into...

This is a very political WrestleMania as it happened during the Gulf War. Willie Nelson sang the National Anthem and the whole pay per view as all about national pride. The whole theme was the Star Spangled Banner, as is obvious by it’s promo picture.

Hacksaw does color commentary dressed as Uncle Sam.

The Rockers (Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty) vs. The Barbarian and Haku (with Bobby Heenan)

Thank goodness Haku is in the match as he can wrestle. Barbarian is so ponderous and slow against the Rockers that he needs Haku to make the match good. The Rockers do a good job selling the Barbarian's overpowered strength. They make it seem like only the Rocker’s quickness can beat the Barbarian, so Haku comes of as though his quickness is a better match against the Rockers.

It makes for an interesting combination because the heels are so different. Haku is one of those solid mid-card wrestlers like Hercules that sometimes get overlooked. It does make me wish for a Haku and Hercules versus Rockers feud. The Rockers win a solid match.

Bobby Heenan comes onto commentating and as always, it’s fun. 

The Texas Tornado vs. Dino Bravo (with Jimmy Hart)

This is a solid, but short match. Texas Tornado won.

This is the last time we see Dino Bravo on TV before he’s killed (though he does do a few house shows.) Kerry Von Erich also dies in the same year within three weeks of Dino Bravo.

Promo -
Slick does a promo with the Warlord and it’s fun. I like Slick.

Promo -
Bulldog shows off Winston, his bulldog, for the first time. Go Winston! Once you have a puppy dog as your mascot you are automatically awesome.

The British Bulldog vs. The Warlord (with Slick)

Bulldog is super over with the fans. They love him! These are two big guys against each other, but they are surprisingly quick. Warlord looks like a super steroidal version of Steve Austin.

Slick does a lot of commentating to the camera while next to the ring. This is a new thing they have started doing with managers. It makes them more interactive with the TV viewers and I like it. I’ve seen it during other matches, but Slick really uses the camera work well.

Bulldog carries this match. Warlord can do the showman stuff, but his moves are weak, so Bulldog does a great job filling the gap with his wrestling moves. Heenan’s color commentating is great because he says so many things that make so little sense that it’s fun to listen to.

Bulldog wins the match.

The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobs and Jerry Sags) (with Jimmy Hart) vs. The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart) (WWF Tag Team Champions)

I’m predisposed to dislike the Nasty Boys. I just don’t like them. The Hart Foundation does a great job making the match interesting at all. Bret is methodical. He dissects each Nasty Boy like they are a disgusting bug while they’re in the ring, but Anvil is a brawler who just wants to beat them up. Neither of them quit.

The Nasty Boys just brawl and tag in and out and do the same three moves. The Hart Foundation make the Nasty Boys look good, even when it’s obvious the Nasty Boys are so limited, so it’s a huge same when the Nasty Boys win.

It’s even more of a shame when my husband informs me the Hart Foundation is broken up after this match so Bret can become a singles wrestler. I really like them as a tag team, but I know Bret Hart becomes an awesome singles guy.

Jake Roberts vs. Rick Martel

This is one of the most interesting gimmick match types I have seen. A blindfold match!

The crowd makes this match good. Jake is the face, so they start giving directions to Jake while he’s blindfolded. They cheer when Jake points at Martel and boo when he points away from him, leading him towards his opponent. The psychology of this match is so different, it makes it fun to watch. Though they don’t do many moves at all, wrestling wise, it’s fascinating to watch and I was on the edge of my seat. Jake won.

The Undertaker (with Paul Bearer) vs. Jimmy Snuka

Paul Bearer! I love him! Of course, we know Undertaker wins these. Spoiler alert, he has this whole streak thing going on at WrestleManias. Paul Bearer’s faces are funny as hell. He’s getting into his character. It’s clear he realizes how over the top his character has to be to get Undertaker over for the fans. Undertaker’s character only works if Paul Bearer makes it seem like the Undertaker really is a dead man who gains power from the urn, so Paul Bearer plays that part from the very start without hesitation. It’s amazing to see.

The match itself is pretty bad. The moves are messy, there are a few botches. It looks bad. It’s just there to show that when Undertaker gets hit, Paul Bearer clutches the urn close, and when Undertaker does well, he holds the urn out. So it’s a match to set up character development.

Poor Snuka got a match for character development.

The Ultimate Warrior vs. Randy Savage (with Sensational Queen Sherri) in a career ending match

This is a continuation of the Royal Rumble when Sherri screwed the Warrior out of the World Title. Miss Elizabeth is in the crowd. This is also one of Savage’s most iconic outfits.

It is an intense match. Both men are very serious. You can tell Savage has really given Warrior a match straight to his strengths. Savage is known for planning his matches and it’s obvious he knows how to do it to Warrior’s style. Both men come out looking top notch and it takes the feud to the next level, even though it’s really only Warrior that has improved by leaps and bounds since he first appeared. (Savage was always a great wrestler from the moment he showed up in the WWE.)

Sherri does a great job generating heat and getting beat up as well. She plays the victim heel manager part perfectly. She’s the absolute evil queen.

Both hit their finishers and kick out, it’s done in a way to display how strong their wills are. Warrior does this whole “I’m talking to my Gods through my hands” moment. It’s silly, but it does add drama because it fits with his character.

Warrior decides he can’t retire, despite what the Gods are telling him, he screams at his hands, and beats up Savage for the win. Savage thus retires. (Well, sort of, he comes back later.)

Sherri beats up Savage for losing. Elizabeth comes running out from the audience and beats up Sheri. This is one of Savage’s greatest face turns. He ‘retires’ for about a year as a face with Elizabeth.

He started the match being booed as a heel, but ends the match being cheered as a face. What a turn!

Promo -
Regis interviews the Undertaker. It’s full of dead puns. Trebek has a cute interview as well. Regis then tries to interview Genichiro Tenryu and Kōji Kitao, who only speak Japanese. Trebek interviews Jake the Snake and Damien (his snake) and runs away from the snake in fear. Apparently, though, Damien loves Jeopardy!

Genichiro Tenryu and Kōji Kitao vs. Demolition (Crush and Smash) (with Mr. Fuji)

This is a one time deal with a Japanese duo. It was a concession match. Ok, but nothing exciting and little story. Tenryu and Kaitao win.

The Big Boss Man vs. Mr. Perfect (Intercontinental Champion) (with Bobby Heenan)

Boss Man is thin! Alfred Hays is on color commentating. As Perfect walks to the ring he is so hated people throw popcorn at him. Now that’s some good heat. He does a lot of selling of Boss Man’s moves and Perfect takes some really hard belt whips to the back. So Perfect retaliates by giving Boss Man some very hard chops. In this time frame, it’s a brutal match when it comes to using a real belt.

I can really see where Dolph Ziggler gets his overselling from, he does a lot of moves just like Mr. Perfect. For all that Mr. Perfect sells the moves from Boss Man, he does dish out some hard moves back.

Andre the Giant comes out to mess with Heenan, and he looks a lot better than he used to now that he’s not wrestling. He needed some rest and relaxation.

Andre ends up hitting Perfect in the head with the Intercontinental Championship title so hard that it cracks the title belt, so they have to replace it. Obviously Perfect spends the rest of the match stumbling around after that big crack to the head. The Heenan family of wrestlers come out and cause a disqualification so Perfect retains the title. A good match, and brutal for the time.

They have a break to show Donald Trump, Chuck Norris (who apparently loves wrestling), Henry Winkler (The Fonnz) and the Incredible Hulk, Lou Ferrigno.

Earthquake (with Jimmy Hart) vs. Greg Valentine

This is a very quick match and pretty dull. It’s the bathroom break match.

The Legion of Doom (Hawk and Animal) vs. Power and Glory (Paul Roma and Hercules) (with Slick)

Legion of Doom squashed Power and Glory in less than five minutes. It’s a short, obviously to the the point, push for Legion of Doom.

Virgil (with Roddy Piper) vs. Ted DiBiase

Virgil has split from his former manager after too much humiliation and proving that not everyone can be bought by the Million Dollar Man. Rowdy Roddy Piper is ringside with Virgil. He’s on crutches after a motorcycle accident.

Virgil dominates the beginning of the match with boxing type moves. Then Dibiase starts dominating with wrestling moves. He generates some cheap heel heat by beating up the injured Piper, but he takes too long and ends up being counted out.

Dibiase wails on Piper’s leg that is still ‘injured’ from the motorcycle accident (obviously it’s healed, but Piper does a great job selling it). Sherri comes out, so Sherri gets a new gig.

Virgil gets them off Piper, and we get another feel good moment with Virgil getting Piper to stand up. Obviously feel good moments are a big deal during this show.

Promo - Sgt. Slaughter has a promo. It’s full of U.S.A. is actually the U.S. of Hogan. Ha!

The Mountie (with Jimmy Hart) vs. Tito Santana

Another short match. Jimmy Hart proves yet again he has so many different outfits! A cattle prod is used to win for the Mountie. The match is pretty short and pointless. It’s filler.

Promo - Hogan’s promo is ok. Obviously political and about the war. Brother!

Main Event!

Hulk Hogan vs. Sgt. Slaughter (WWF Champion) (with General Adnan)

Of course Hogan enters second even though he’s not the champion. He’s the so called National Hero! There are a ton of USA chants during the entire match.

Slaughter oversells all of Hogan’s moves like crazy, while Hogan doesn’t sell any of Slaughter’s moves. For example, Hogan does a back rake on Slaughter, but one, Hogan has no nails and two, Slaughter has two shirts on, so it makes no sense to rake the back, but Hogan does it, and Slaughter sells it like it was a cat’s claws.

Hogan dominates a good portion of the match, then Slaughter does with some help from a chair and some camera cables, and Hogan just looks gassed. Not beat up, just exhausted. But then, the match has been slow, so it makes no sense that their star should be exhausted yet.

Then Slaughter’s manager distracts the referee while Slaughter pins Hogan? It makes no sense. There’s more chairs involved and Hogan gets busted open and bleeds like a pig. Once the Iraq flat starts being part of the match, Hogan rips it. I know at this point, Hogan’s three moves of Doom are coming and low and behold, they are. Hogan wins. Really? I expected this.

To be honest, the match was really crappy, if watched objectively. There’s a lot of wasted time and wasted moves. “And now the War is officially Over!” What the heck, because Hogan won WrestleMania 7 our foes are going to just surrender? The match was crap! Also, Hogan steals an American flag during the ending celebration and wipes his snotty, bloody face with it, and just tosses it back to the poor fan. Yuck.

Once the Savage/Warrior match was over with, the show took a nose dive down in quality.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Dreamtime Dreamscape: Zombies and Cats

So the other day I had a very strange nap dream. My husband and I were running down a zombie infested building hunting for our child, who had gotten kidnapped. It was intense. Everything was dark and stained red, like in a horror movie. The building was cold, brick and had a heavy, oppressive feel. I could hear our child crying from some corner of the building and we kept climbing up stairwells, shooting at the zombies to find him or her. Zombies blocked our way, and we would shoot down a hallway, alternating who would shoot and who would refill our guns. Together, my husband and I made quite a team, but we were vastly outnumbered.

We got to one floor and it felt strangely safe. The stairwell was brightly lit and a person came running up to us. Only, it wasn't a person, it was a cat. A humanoid cat. I had gotten slashed somehow and I got sick, but the cats only knew how to heal other cats, so they transformed me into a small kitten. I made a very cute little cat and they did some healing magic on me. My husband asked about our child and somehow the other cats knew our child had been caught and turned into a cat person too. My husband and I became very upset that our child was now a cat person as we wanted a human for a son.

Then my husband got sick, but when they tried to transform him, he turned into a dog. The cat humans were alarmed, they could only heal dogs. I don't even think they knew what a dog was.

My husband became furious that we had a cat for a son and that he was sick and couldn't go after him, and the sickness started to go away from his anger. As he got better he realized he was more mad that our child was kidnapped than anything and our child might have been eaten by zombies. Zombies eating our child was worse than being turned into a cat. I decided right then and there that my husband was right, being eaten was worse than being a cat. It should be ok to have a cat human as a son, but not ok to have a zombie son.

Then I woke up.

Very strange. But apparently I'm ok with cat human children but not child zombies. The whole, "eating flesh" thing, I suppose.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Rest In Peace: Smokey James Hawley

Please read here for my husband's post.

Today was a hard day for our family. We’ve had a difficult decision to make over the past two weeks and last night, we made the decision once and for all.

On August 9th we noticed he had stopped eating, so we took him in on August 10th to the vet. They said he had a bad kidney infection, possibly more, and recommended we try to save him by letting him stay in the ER over the weekend. We decided to go for it. We visited him every day.

He seemed to improve. Sort of. We told ourselves he was improving, but the numbers said he wasn’t. We gave ourselves hope. Much happier, we took him to the vet on Monday, which was my husband Johnny’s birthday. We left him there not knowing what to expect. The vet was amazed, to be honest, that Smokey was still alive, and even though she said his test results indicated he shouldn’t be. There was no way a cat should be able to live with the shape his kidneys were in. In grief, we decided we would go in on Johnny’s birthday to put Smokey down.

But the moment Smokey saw his Daddy, he perked up and became a cat reborn. He purred like crazy in that vet room and was a kitten again. There was no way we could put him down. We took him home with the vet’s approval and began home dialysis.

It’s now August 23rd. We knew Smokey’s chances were slim to none. Yet we did whatever we could to keep him from feeling any pain and to keep the infection away. We got rid of his infection, but the toll was done to his body.

Smokey had fought, he had fought hard. The vet has said he probably lived his entire life with only one kidney. Ten years with one functioning kidney! That’s amazing for a cat! He faced death in the face more times in these past two weeks than I’ve ever seen and he spat in death’s face. He was a brave and strong cat.

I truly believe Smokey lived as long and as happy as he did because of the bond he had with Johnny. The bond they had was beyond any I’ve seen between a cat and a human.

We decided to end Smokey’s fighting. He had fought hard and long enough. He was tired, and it was time to let him rest. I’m bittersweet about it. I’m going to miss the heck out of him. Smokey was my baby boy, always there next to Johnny on the bed, always trotting into the room when chip bags were opened, always showing up where you least expected it. But he’s at peace now. His end was gentle. He was ready.

The vet let us know that we’ve taken very good care of Smokey, some of the best care she’s seen. We gave him everything we could as parents. He’ll always be a part of my heart, and I’ll always be grateful that I got to live with him for these six wonderful years. Rest in peace Smokey. Remember, as my husband told you, “second star to the right - and straight on till morning.”

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Max's Poetry Reading: The Tyger

Max, the poet cat, came up with some more poetry.

Kittah! Kittah! runnin’ right
In da house all da night
What hooman hand an’ eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

What da catnip? What was da toy?
Why was thou looking coy?
What the anvil? What dread grasp,
Dare its cute claws to clasp.

Is that screen zoomed, and tries,
Burnt da image of dem lazer eyes?
On what wings or fang hooman cast?
Did he who click da camera use flash?

Kittah! Kittah! runnin’ right
In da house all da night
What hooman hand an’ eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

Based on William Blake's The Tyger

Friday, August 16, 2013

Old School Wrestling Review: Royal Rumble 1991

This pay per view opens with the American anthem. The first one in a long time because it’s war time in America. Operation Desert Storm/Shield, was going on at the time. This takes place in Miami with Rowdy Roddy Piper and Gorilla Monsoon on commentating. Piper has a sweet acid denim jacket on. Welcome to the ‘90’s.

The Rockers (Marty Jannetty and Shawn Michaels) vs. The Orient Express (Tanaka and Kato) (with Mr. Fuji)

My husband told me this was going to be a good match, and he doesn’t usually tell me that kind of thing before a match, so I was looking forward to it. It starts out immediately with high action and a ton of tag moves. Rockers get the advantage and Fuji beats his team with his cane, so they move onto submission moves. Both teams keep switching between submission holds and fast moves, each of them feeding off the crowd. It keeps the crowd very involved.

As the match moves, it flows easily between the Orient Express and the Rockers having the upper hand. Each time the Orient Express gets the lead, they get there by cheating, i.e. by hitting when the referee’s back is turned, and other such cheating moves.

There are so many tag team moves during the match, it’s hard to keep up. It’s by far the best use of the tag team that I’ve seen. It’s like watching a dance, almost. Shawn gets a huge submission moment and gets beaten badly near the end of the match and tension builds until he is finally able to Jannetty and is a huge moment.

It goes back to double teaming and it is very awesome. The Rockers win in what is one of the best tag team matches I’ve seen.

Promo -
Sheri has a promo for the Macho Man in the arena where she begs the Ultimate Warrior to have a match with Macho Man. She is a great manager, but you can tell she’s a little nervous at first, but gains confidence as the promo goes on. Warrior comes out and Sheri “seduces” him. He looks like a teenager getting hit on by his teacher. It’s really funny. He then goes all crazy and yells “Nooo!” thus denying Macho Man his title shot. Macho Man, from the back, gets mad and rushes out to the arena. He goes all crazy. It’s a fun segment, worth a youtube. Good times.

The Big Boss Man vs. The Barbarian (with Bobby Heenan)

Heenan comes out in a pink silk shirt and Barbarian is in fake fur. It’s quite a different combination of looks. Boss Man has lost so much weight and looks great. I really like seeing Boss Man as a face.

Boss Man does a great job selling Barbarian’s strength, but Barbarian only has a limited move set. The match turns into a series of bear hugs. Boss pulls off a few impressive moves, especially for a wrestler of his size.

Barbarian does a piledriver and it’s not very pretty. Boss Man gets hit with the one over the top moves Barbarian can do, but reverses it and wins the match. Honestly, Boss Man did all the work during the match to make it look good, so I’m glad he won.

Promo -
Sgt. Slaughter makes a promo about being evil and the war, but he makes the funniest faces and he’s losing his voice. I’m sure at the time it was really stirring up trouble, but looking at it now, it’s funny. He calls us all pukes so many times.

Promo -
Warrior has a promo. There are more war allusions, but it only makes half sense, which is pretty impressive for a Warrior promo. I enjoyed it, though. Raaa!

Sgt. Slaughter (with General Adnan) vs. The Ultimate Warrior for the WWF Championship

Warrior is wearing red, white and blue of course, yet the Championship belt is lavender? When Warrior comes out, he immediately rips up the Iraqi flag and the crowd goes ballistic with glee. He stuffs the flag into Slaughter’s mouth and humiliates him for a while, beats him up pretty badly. It’s to be expected. The whole Desert Shield/Storm fury and anti-Saddam Hussein mentality was so strong and pervasive, they needed the match to start out like this.

Sheri comes out and distracts Warrior from further beating up Slaughter. Warrior runs after Sheri to the back, but gets ambushed by Macho Man. Macho Man hits Warrior with a huge light and hurts Warrior. Warrior crawls back to the ring while Slaughter keeps stopping the referee from counting Warrior out. Slaughter knows if Warrior is counted out he can’t win the title.

So Warrior is beaten up by Savage and Slaughter, being the good heel he is, capitalizes on this and beats up on Warrior. He eventually puts Warrior in a bear hug. Warrior tries to pump up and gets out of the hold. But, unlike Hogan, he still acts injured and has to sacrifice his pumping up moment to his injured back. Slaughter abuses his back some more. Finally Warrior manages a brief moment of powering up and kicks Slaughter's ass for a short time.

Sheri comes out and Warrior picks her up. Savage at this point was outside the ring. Warrior throws Sheri onto Savage outside the ring. Savage gets up and hits him with the scepter. It’s quite a hit and looks like it hurt a heck of a lot. The hit allows Slaughter to pin Warrior and win the title. The crowd hates this, of course, and boos and goes into full rant mode.

I think it’s a great match. For the time period, it was a good release of the hatred against Saddam Hussein, and having Slaughter win only allows the American population to hate Slaughter and get some of their rage out against him. Slaughter plays the part of a villain so well.

Promo - 
Virgil and DiBiase have a great promo about money being stronger than blood. It's DiBiase, so it's good.

Ted DiBiase and Virgil vs. Dusty Rhodes and Dustin Rhodes

Dustin Rhodes later becomes Goldust. Virgil seems like a boxer type. DiBiase does a great job making Virgil do all the dirty work and treat him like dirt, as a good heel should. It goes back and forth, but to be honest, it’s a bland match for most of the match. At some point, Virgil accidently hits DiBiase and DiBiase beats up Virgil, but still manages to pin Dusty Rhodes.

DiBiase tries to make Virgil debase himself and wrap the Million Dollar Belt around his waist, and Virgil turns on him, which is awesome. The match was pretty much there to sever ties between DiBiase and Virgil, which is fine. It’s just the match as a whole was bland.

Promo - 
Hogan botched his promo pretty badly. As usual.

Onto the Main Event! 
The Royal Rumble!

Dino Bravo and Bret Hart are the first two into the ring. Tony Atlas also is one if the first few into the ring as Saba Simba. My husband is a huge fan of Tony Atlas, who got stuck with a horrible gimmick and used to be Mr. USA. Rick Martel is in very good shape, he’s been working out.

Bret is fun to watch throughout the Rumble. Occasionally he gets all like “Oh to heck with this!” and sits in a corner, waving his hands in annoyance at the other wrestlers.

Tito and Martel still have their feud going, a couple of years going. Long term feuds that last for years and years, that show up consistently at Rumbles, just aren’t common these days. Now days they last for a month and done. Tito and Martel fight all the time and it’s awesome.

Undertaker takes out Bret. He was in for 20 minutes.

Bulldog comes back! Now he has more dreadlocks!. Hawk comes out, and by the time he gets to the ring I’m ready for Valentine, Hercules and a few others to get eliminated. The facial expressions they capture on the guys when they zoom in are hilarious, though. Undertaker specifically makes some great expressions.

Legion of Doom takes out the Undertaker. Sigh, I’ll miss his expressions. Strangely the 18th entry doesn’t show up. Then Hacksaw Jim Duggan comes out, Hooo! The crowd goes wild, of course. Earthquake comes out and immediately starts snockering and sweating buckets. Ew.

Mr. Perfect saunters out with Bobby Heenan, they make such a great pair, Heenan is the best manager for him. Perfect takes out Hacksaw. Aw.

By now the ring is really full, so of course Hogan comes out. Hogan takes out Valentine, who was in the ring for 45 minutes. It’s kind of funny to me how the crowd keeps chanting for Hogan, but absolutely do not like him and do not want him to win.

Luke the Bushwacker enters the ring, then Earthquake pulls him over the rope and eliminates him. Blam. Done. Four seconds. Finally Hercules is eliminated, unfortunately it’s by one of the Nasty Boys. Tugboat is the last man to enter the ring, so the Macho Man was the eighteenth contender that no-showed the Rumble.

Tugboat almost gets out Hogan, so Hogan gets revenge and immediately lifts Tugboat out of the ring. After this, guys start to leave the ring quickly. Bulldog gets Model out, a new record is set at 53 minutes! Model lasted forever, it seems. Bulldog gets shoved over quickly after that.

So it’s one of the Nasty Boys, Earthquake and Hogan. They do a few moves on Hogan. Hogan gets rid of the Nasty Boy, then Hogan plays the crowd a bit. He tries to lift Earthquake and fails. Honestly I’m surprised he fails.

Earthquake beats him up, then Hogan powers up. He powerslams Earthquake. Why the hell is he power slamming Earthquake during a Royal Rumble? Anyway, he wins, of course.

Afterword -
Second year in a row that Hogan has won. Obvious the “immortal” Hulk Hogan would win. It’s predictable. I would like to point out there’s a ton of empty seats by the time Hogan starts his super pose-down ending where he spends the next half hour (ok, ok, 15 minutes) posing for the crowd.

I can see why Randy Savage no-showed the Royal Rumble. Why would he want to waste all that time to job to Hogan? Backstage politics, brother, can’t let the All American Hero loose the Royal Rumble, brother.Screw up my lines, Brooothhherrrr.

All in all, the pay per view was pretty good, though. It was interesting to watch a show during a major war and to see the way the crowd got really ramped up during the segments about nationalism. The state of the country now is so different than it was back then, yet we just went through another period of ‘God Bless America!” after 9/11 and I was a lot more aware of it at that time than I was during the Desert Storm period.

It’s so much the same in many ways. Though the style and the characters have changed, now we have John Cena and Zeb Colter instead of Hulk Hogan and Sgt. Slaughter. (Zeb Colter is the modern, less extreme version who fights for the same political issue as Sgt. Slaughter, just in the complete opposite side of the spectrum. One fights for the American side, the other fights for the opposition’s side.)

I guess it just goes to prove that in every era in which there is war or conflict, wrestling will reflect it. We need wrestling to do this. I wrote another post about it.

In any case. It was a good pay per view, even if Hogan won.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Old School Wrestling Review: Survivor Series 1990

The pay per view starts out with Vince McMahon’s rough and gruff voice announcing the matches. Mr. Fink looks so happy in the center of the ring to get things started. All in all the mood is positive. The Survivor Series matches are all four on four elimination matches, two teams of four guys against each other, heels on one side, faces on the other. Then, at the end, each of the survivors from heels and faces will go against each other in a last match to determine the final winner.

First match!

The Warriors (The Ultimate Warrior, The Legion of Doom (Hawk and Animal), and The Texas Tornado) vs. The Perfect Team (Mr. Perfect and Demolition (Ax, Smash, and Crush)) (with Bobby Heenan and Mr. Fuji)

Perfect and Bobby Heenan work so well together, it’s amazing. Every time Perfect throws his towel, Heenan perfectly catches it. It retains that illusion of perfection so well.

Warrior’s promo is so funny, but poor Mean Gene Okerlund is smashed between Warrior and the Legion of Doom’s spiky football gear. He looks like he’s inwardly sighing about the costumes the whole interview. “Spikes, why does it always have to be spikes?” A side note, Warrior is the first champion to change the color of the WWF Championship’s strap to match the color of his outfit. He changed it to white in this case. Just kind of interesting.

Warrior pins the first opponent during the match and the crowd goes crazy. Crush does a knee drop with a roll off the top rope, which is unusual, but really adds some flair to the normal top rope knee drop. Top rope moves aren't too common yet, but it’s nice to already see some innovation with them.

Legion of Doom and Demolition are disqualified for hitting the referee, leaving the Texas Tornado and Warrior versus Perfect. It becomes open season on the Weasel versus the Warrior! Heenan always plays such a good heel manager when he gets beaten up. Perfect eliminates Texas Tornado and Heenan unwraps a turnbuckle. Warrior gets beaten up for a while, then gets his second wind and beats up Perfect. 

The ending is kind of abrupt, to be honest. I kept waiting for the uncovered turnbuckle to be used, but it ends up being kind of a red herring. The abrupt ending was a bummer, but the rest of the match was good, especially because it opened the show. I do always expect that second wind moment from Warrior, so it was expected that he would win. I just wish it hadn’t been so abrupt. This means that only the Warrior goes on to the final match.

The Million Dollar Team (Ted DiBiase, The Undertaker, and Rhythm & Blues (The Honky Tonk Man and Greg Valentine)) (with Virgil, Jimmy Hart, and Brother Love) vs. The Dream Team (Dusty Rhodes, Koko B. Ware, and The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart and Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart))

This match is dedicated to Bret’s brother, who passed away.

There is a whole thing before this match that DiBiase has a mystery entry, who turns out to be the Undertaker. This is his debut into the WWF. He looks nice and sinister. He isn’t the phenom yet, and he doesn’t have all his tattoos, but he is extremely expressionless. Koko B. Ware is the sacrificial lamb to Undertaker’s first tombstone and the first elimination.

Neidhart takes out Honky Tonk Man next, which is fine, Honky Tonk has been very sloppy the past few times I’ve seen him. Since he’s lost the Intercontinental Championship, it just doesn’t seem like he cares. Greg Valentine seems to be the same way. I just can’t enjoy watching their matches as much anymore.

Undertaker takes out Dusty Rhodes, and then goes out after Rhodes to the back and gets counted out. This lets the Undertaker get out of the match while still making him look like a badass. He just couldn’t stop fighting and ignored the rules because he’s a dead man walking, and dead men don’t listen to rules.

The match ends with DiBiase vs. Bret and per my husband this is the only time the two have a singles type match against each other that he can remember. It’s very good and it’s a shame it’s at the tail end of the match. There are so many reversals and holds, and it becomes a match within a match, and a story within a story. It’s a great ending compared to the previous match and I really got into it. Dibiase ends up winning and going on to the last match.

The Visionaries (Rick Martel, The Warlord, Power and Glory (Hercules and Paul Roma)) (with Slick) vs. The Vipers (Jake Roberts, Jimmy Snuka, and The Rockers (Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty)

The Rockers start out fast and furious against the Warlord, then fight Martel. Jake comes out and he has this whole injured eye angle against Martel, so there’s a lot of heat. Snuka is in insanely good shape.

Warlord gets Jannetty. Rick Martel eliminates Snuka. The match is pretty exciting, but the middle has a lot of Shawn versus Warlord, Power and Glory. It made it exciting to see Snuka come out for a brief period of time, and Jake come out for some variety. Shawn fights for a long time without being able to get to the face’s corner for a tag. It drags on a little too long, I think.

Sometimes this kind of match with the drama of one guy getting beaten up by a long time while the other team gets to switch out their members a lot can be very exciting, but I thought it was a little too drawn out. Shawn ends up being pinned and it’s Jake versus the entire heel team.

While Jake is pinning Warlord and the referee is distracted, Martel tries to use his spray can of Arrogance on Jake again. Jake gets pissed off and takes out his snake, Damien. He runs after Martel and gets counted out. Damien wraps cutely around Jake’s leg on the way out. All of Martel’s team thus goes on to the final match. It was an ok match. A little drawn out in the middle.

The Hulkamaniacs (Hulk Hogan, Jim Duggan, The Big Boss Man, and Tugboat) vs. The Natural Disasters (Earthquake, Haku, Dino Bravo, and The Barbarian) (with Jimmy Hart and Bobby Heenan)

Big Boss Man has dropped a lot of weight and looks pretty good. Hulk’s hairdo is really silly. Earthquake still looks like an oversized baby in a big blue diaper. Barbarian is a new wrestler for me, and he looks really strong like a lot of the big guys, but his outfit makes him look like a World of Warcraft druid. It’s hard to take him seriously. I can tell the age of the gimmicks is really getting started.

Haku is eliminated by Boss Man. Hacksaw gets thrown over the ropes by Jimmy Hart, so he goes crazy with his trusty 2x4 on the ring with Earthquake and Jimmy Hart and gets disqualified. A brawler to the end, oh Hacksaw.

Hogan comes in to pick up the scraps. He manages to do a body slam on Earthquake, which doesn’t surprise me in the slightest, but it surprises everyone else. Dino Bravo comes out and gets eliminated by Hogan, then Boss Man switches with Hogan, only to be eliminated by Earthquake. So far Tugboat and Hogan are the only ones left, but Tugboat hasn’t even wrestled yet.

Tugboat finally gets tagged in long enough to be yanked out of the ring with Earthquake and be counted out. So then it’s Hogan and Barbarian. Imagine that. Barbarian does a very messy piledriver. By now Hulk’s hair looks like Wolverine’s with a horseshoe. (From the X-men.) Terrible!

Three Moves of Doom (Hulk's finishers) and Hogan wins. He beats up Heenan for bonus points. So Warrior and Hogan’s matches end with both of them having their second winds, “hulking up” and winning their matches. I didn’t enjoy either match very much, but the Warrior match was better overall. It helps that I hate Earthquake, Hogan, and only Boss Man could keep me happy in this match, and he gets taken out early.

Promo -
There is a promo here with Macho Man and Mean Gene Okerlund on the arena floor. Randy Savage has a promo to take the title from Warrior and he does such great promos, he can really get the crowd going.

The Alliance (Nikolai Volkoff, Tito Santana, and The Bushwhackers (Luke Williams and Butch Miller) vs. The Mercenaries (Sgt. Slaughter, Boris Zhukov, and The Orient Express (Sato and Tanaka) (with Mr. Fuji and General Adnan)

This is one heck of a political match. Operation Desert Shield was going on, and Sgt. Slaughter was an Iraqi sympathizer heel with his Mercenary team. They were going to automatically be hated no matter what.

Everyone gets taken out almost immediately except Sgt. Slaughter. The match is entirely focused on beating up Slaughter, which is fine because of the time period. It is a mindless match, what these days would be a diva’s match. It’s not bad, just methodical and slow. Slaughter eliminates everyone except Tito. Slighter’s manager, Adnan, hits Tito with his Iraqi flag and gets Slaughter disqualified, so Tito goes on to the last match.

Segment -
The next segment is... bad. It’s the worst thing ever. The egg. This egg thing hatches and there’s a human sized rooster inside. The crowd boos. It’s called the Gobbledy Gooker. It’s awkward and horrible. Okerlund has to dance for 2.5 seconds and that’s the only fun part of the whole segment, otherwise it is misery.

Promo -
There’s another promo. It’s for Hulk’s team. Wait, Hulk’s team? Not the WWF Champion’s team? The interviewer, Sean Mooney, before the final match has this horrified expression on his face during Warrior’s part of the promo. It’s so funny. You can practically see Mooney thinking to himself “What the hell are you saying?” I love it.

The Babyface team of Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior, and Tito Santana vs. The Heel team of Ted DiBiase, Rick Martel, The Warlord, and Power and Glory (Hercules and Paul Roma) (with Virgil and Slick)

Warrior has changed his brief’s again. He’s got the outfit changes down.

Warlord is gone in less than 30 seconds by Tito via the Flying Burrito (per Hubby), aka the Flying Forearm, but then DiBiase gets Tito soon after. I guess part of my problem with this match is I know Power and Glory are never going to pin Hogan. Only DiBiase or maybe Rick Martel have enough star power to pin Hogan. It’s like trying to throw level 5 characters against a level 60 boss. You know it ain’t gonna work. When Hogan pins Glory I’m all like, yeah, totally called that one.

Warrior gets tagged in and he honestly gets more of a crowd pop than Hogan did. For once, Hogan does more of the work, which is amazing. Martel gets beat up for a bit, then quits and gets counted out. Honestly I don’t blame him. I know it’s story line because he’s a bad guy and all, but really? Would you want to job to Hogan? I’d be all over quitting for a “storyline” any day if it meant I didn’t have to job to him like everyone else has to back in the locker room. At least it meant I got to do something different.

Dibiase gets the Three Moves of Doom and is pinned by Hogan, amazing. Sarcasm. So Warrior has slim pickings with Hercules. So, basically as I’m reading it, Hogan would work with the Ultimate Warrior, the WWF Champion, but only if he got to take on the level 50 guy (DiBiase) and leave the level 30-ish guy (Hercules) for Warrior to pin. Warrior barely got to wrestle, which was a huge let down. Backstage politics, brother!

Final thoughts - 
I really liked the final elimination match idea, it was a really fun. (Besides the Hoganification of it all of course.) It does give the Survivor Series’ individual matches more meaning. Overall the pay per view was pretty good, there was some good points, and some bad ones. I don’t know if I would watch it again, because there are other pay per view’s I enjoyed a lot more than this one.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Dreamtime Dreamscape: Bookshops in Time

Last night I had a kind of adventure dream turned shopping dream. I have shopping dreams quite often, I guess I have a lot of anxiety when it comes to shopping, which doesn’t surprise me because I hate dealing with money.

In any case. The dream started out that I was in this huge library. It was made of white marble. The whole place was beautiful, with huge Renaissance paintings and built in bookshelves between carved columns. On pedestals around the room were miniature Greek statues.

Accompanying me into the room was a creature I knew to be some almighty being, a God type creature. He, or she, was telling me that I had to make a decision that would shape the world as I knew it. The time streams were being twisted upon one another, and unless I fixed it, all time would cease to exist.

To destroy the extra time stream, I had to throw the miniature Greek statues into the Renaissance paintings, which were actually mirrors, and that would destroy one of the time streams. The god creature warned me that everything from that time stream would cease to exist, all it’s objects and memories, so I’d have to consider wisely.

I thought hard about the second time stream, I had memories from it. Something about the cats and the basement garage from the house I grew up in and the cats getting into the basement garage made me make my decision. I threw one of the Greek statues into the painting mirror.

All of a sudden, half the books in the library started turning to dust. Horrified I asked what was going on. These were all my favorite books! I was told that because I destroyed one time line, the books written in that time would be destroyed too, but I could prevent that by buying all the books I wanted for a price... $20.00 per book and $5 per newspaper.

I agreed to the price and started frantically looking at the books. As I looked, the place became packed with people. My husband was there, looking for books of his own. I started stuffing important books into my pockets, and people kept stealing them from me, so I had to try to find books and keep the ones I had safe.

I found a bunch of newspapers with Calvin and Hobbes prints and grabbed them, but somehow in the fuss, my glasses broke. As I was stumbling around the floor to find them, another person grabbed the Calvin and Hobbes and switched them for Popeye comics. I couldn’t see anything, and time was running out, so I rushed to the checkout counter with my husband.

While at the checkout, the god creature rang up our books and I fumbled to get my glasses back on. Our total was too much for us to afford. I looked through our books and realized half the books were wrong, and the newspapers I wanted were gone. In a panic, I searched for the ones I had actually picked up. I found a few newspapers at the bottom of the bin, including one stuck at the very bottom that was a larger, more complete run of Calvin and Hobbes. Estatic I added that one to our collection and got rid of the Popeye ones.

The books I had picked out were all torn up, including the books I had put in my back pockets for safe keeping. Between the disintegration due to the timeline being destroyed and everyone picking books out of my pockets, my books had been ripped to shreds. I was devastated. The god creature was very mad, and only after my husband yelled at him did he give me another few minutes to look around while the shop was emptying out.

I ran to the back where the paperback fiction was and started opening up drawers, trying to find something I wanted. I found a couple of priceless books, and, more importantly, a few old vintage seed packets from the old timeline. These would be rose bushes or tulips that would never grow again unless I took them out of the bookstore! I had to have them, but they weren’t on sale. Frustrated because nothing was going my way, I grabbed the seeds and stuffed them into my pockets.

I ran up to the register with my last remaining books. The total came to $180.00. I don’t know why, but that number was very important. I woke up almost immediately after seeing the total. I have no idea why.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Wrestling and Aristotle, a musing

On Reddit I frequent the Squared Circle subreddit, which is all about wrestling. Today there was a post I really resonated with, so I replied to it. It was about someone introducing their girlfriend to RAW for the first time, and, as user righteyebrow said:

"... I convinced her to watch a match or two to see how she liked it.

First up it was Orton vs. Fandango. It was around the time when Orton hit the superplex she admitted wrestling was not as fake as she thought. When Orton then hit the DDT off the ropes she was convinced Fandango had broken his neck... By the RKO she was literally in tears. Like actual tears. I kinda felt bad.

So, after seeing some poor young dancer be absolutely decimated she didn’t want to watch anymore. But I convinced her to just watch one more match… which was Del Rio vs Dolph Ziggler.

After about the fifth time she thought Ziggler had been killed, I had to turn it off.

Yeah, so, my girlfriend hates wrestling now."

My reply: I remember going through that period. My husband introduced me to wrestling about 6 years ago when we first started dating. I was flabbergasted that anyone would put themselves through such pain and misery for a crowd. It took a lot of repeat watching to see the actual art behind it and how the wrestlers can make the product look so good... and also try so hard not to hurt their opponents.

It's scripted, and the wrestlers are 'fighting' but there's also a lot of trust between the guys and gals out there, from the wrestlers, to the refs, to the commentators. It all has to work just right for the viewers to believe it. And when real injuries happen, they're never planned, never scripted, and always terrible for the wrestlers.

It took a lot of time for me to be able to watch things like Foley's tooth coming out his nose without getting ill feeling. Now I realize that as much hell as Foley's put his body through, it is his job and he's proud of it. I could never do it, but that doesn't mean he can't find satisfaction from putting one hell of a show. Aristotle realized that theater is a way to purge ourselves of strong emotions, and to watch the wrestlers go through hell and back, to me, is a way to give way to the strongest emotions of triumph and tragedy. It is modern theater.

My husband and I talk a lot about how wrestling has more in common with the theater of old than some people would like to admit. Shakespeare has rowdy plays and I think if he saw wrestling, he'd love the drama of it as an extension of the plays he created.

We talk constantly about the catharsis, the purging of emotions, wrestling provides and how important that is. Only by watching shows where they are directed to bring out our strongest emotions can we release them. It's part of why wrestling hasn't been as popular these days as it was before, I think. They've taken a step back from the theater aspect and tried to be too "real." We need the vibrant characters that can act their parts completely and absolutely in the ring.

It's been 6 years now and I understand how frightening it can be to watch wrestling for the first time. They can make it seem so real that each impact hurts you and you can swear that they are really unconscious and they are seriously injured. 

But then... because you experience that worry over your favorite wrestler during the perfectly placed commercial break after a seemingly bad bump, when your loved ones are injured, you know what that worry feels like and you can move past it and get down to the helping your loved ones faster. You know what worry feels like because you've felt it. It's not an emotion that's unfamiliar. 

It's that purge of emotions that's so important. Wrestling is a theater. To deny it is to deny what makes wrestling such a core and necessary part of our society.

You can read the post here.

Vivi loves string!

Dis string is highly relavant to mah interests

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Old School Wrestling Review: SummerSlam 1990

It’s been a little while since I watched SummerSlam 1990, but I have a lot of notes on it, so I’ll be reviewing this one off of my notes. This was the first Pay Per View we’ve watched since we started going through the old school shows where Jessie Ventura wasn’t on color commentary and I have to say, right away I missed him.

We’ll get right into it with the first match.

Power and Glory (Paul Roma and Hercules) (with Slick) vs. The Rockers (Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty)

Shawn gets attacked by Hercules in the knee prior to the match so he can’t wrestle the event, or so the storyline goes. In actuality, Shawn has to have knee surgery, so it becomes a handicapped match where Jannetty has to wrestle the whole match himself. He does a great job, all things considering. I personally think Hercules does a better job as a good guy, putting over the mid cards, but meh. Even though Power and Glory won, Jannetty gave a good match, so it keeps the Rockers’ momentum going, and gives Shawn an excuse to get his surgery done.

The Texas Tornado vs. Mr. Perfect (the Intercontinental Champion) (with Bobby Heenan)

The Texas Tornado, who I hadn’t seen before, is one of the Von Erich’s. They are a very famous wrestling family who were struck with a lot of tragedy. This one, Kerry Von Erich, wrestled with only one foot, the other is a prosthetic. If I hadn’t been told that, I would not have noticed. I know he’s a great wrestler from a wrestling family, but I have no history with him, so I’m rooting for Mr. Perfect.

Unfortunately, just like the last pay per view, Perfect gets stuck in a losing match. At first I thought the match was going great. Then at the end, once again Perfect gets slammed into the ring post, then Tornado hits his finishing moves and the match is over. It bites that Perfect keeps wrestling and losing at the main shows, it makes his gimmick not work and Perfect deserves more.

Sensational Queen Sherri vs. Sapphire

Sherri comes out in this insanely glittery outfit, she looks like a cat who ate a pound of silver paint, it’s crazy! Sapphire doesn’t show up and Sherri wins by forfeit. I knew that Sherri wasn’t going to wrestle in that outfit, she looked like some cat demon with the way she was prowling around the ring. It was terrible and awesomely over the top.

The Warlord (with Slick) vs. Tito Santana

Warlord is boring and slow. There, that’s the match. Tito tried. Oh goodness he tried to make the match interesting, but Warlord was not having any of it. Warlord won. Forgettable match. At least Piper’s commentary was funny.

The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart) vs. Demolition (Smash and Crush) (Tag Team Champions)

The Hart Foundation finally has their entrance gear and got a true promo! This is a two out of three falls match, the first one I think I’ve really seen all the way through. The first fall went to Demolition. But, for a few moments before the fall, it really seemed like Bret would get the first fall. Exciting!

The second fall went to the Foundation because of a disqualification as Demolition hit the referee. Bret is hurt, so the third member of Demolition sneaks under the ring. The match really starts to heat up. Demolition starts switching up with their third member under the ring for a fresh guy, being good heels and all. The Legion of Doom comes out to help the Hart Foundation and it allows the Foundation to get the win in the confusion. It was an awesome match! Crazy, and one of the best tag team matches I’ve seen thus far. I really liked seeing a two out of three falls match and one with the third member under the ring, it really made the heels stand out as being truly bad guys and made the match have an extra level of excitement.

Jake Roberts vs. Bad News Brown with Big Boss Man as the special guest referee

Promo -
The promo for this match was a bit of a fumble because Damien, Jake Robert’s snake, kept misbehaving and getting his coils in the way. It was kinda funny and cute. There was also this “Harlam Sewer Rat” angle and it was really stupid. I’m never going to believe they lugged out 200 pounds of sewer rats to ring side. Nope. Sorry.

Match -
The match was bad. Bad News is a good heel but he’s not a good wrestler. Jake pulls most of the weight during the match, but it’s a good thing the match is so short. If it wasn’t short, I would have been frustrated with the match. Jake won so he got to take out Damien. Good, I didn’t want to see the stupid “sewer rats.”

On a side note. I’m always impressed with how well Jake handles Damien, considering he doesn’t like snakes. I can tell Jake is very smart and analytical by just how he handles Damien so matter of factly. He doesn’t let himself get bothered by the creature he hates, he just closes that part of him away and deals with it like it’s some continuation of ring psychology or something. It’s fascinating, in a way.

Brother Love and the reappearance of Sgt. Slaughter

This is exactly like the current day Zeb Colter, declaring war on non-Americans and so on, or all the other very controversial political commentating segment. Remember JBL and the border patrol? I remember hearing about that segment. Anyway, these kinds of segments are all over wrestling. Politics through wrestling is important, it gives people a forum to get their opinions out without needing to resort to true anger. You can get mad at Brother Love instead of getting mad at your actual brother who just might happen to think a little bit like Brother Love. But I digress.

Nikolai Volkoff and Jim Duggan vs. The Orient Express (Tanaka and Sato) (with Mr. Fuji)

Hacksaw is so pro-American and this is a political match. With the first Bush war going on, it’s pretty crazy with all the Middle East stuff going on. This is almost a way for people to get out some of their feelings in a healthy and mature way. Duggan even does some football moves. It’s a way to be patriotic without being to the extreme that Brother Love took it. They showed through the Brother Love segment how it could go too far, and Duggan kind of showed how to do it a little better, I suppose. I might be thinking too far into it all. Obviously Volkoff and Duggan win the match. Politics and all.

Randy Savage (with Sensational Queen Sherri) vs. Dusty Rhodes

This match starts out with the Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase bringing out Sapphire with a ton of money. Quite the lesson to the kids, money can buy your woman from you, Dusty Rhodes. The match itself was quick and Sherri’s purse makes another appearance. Macho Man has another great match and another win, even if he was just used to further the plot of Rhodes vs. DiBiase.

Hulk Hogan (with The Big Boss Man) vs. Earthquake (with Jimmy Hart and Dino Bravo)

It’s been so nice not having all Hogan promos and instead having Rhodes promos up until now. Earthquake seems so silly so I can’t take the feud seriously in the slightest. Both Hogan and Earthquake are gassed after two moves so the match is in slow motion. At some part Hogan starts ripping off part of the referee’s shirt while he was in a hug hold? What in the heck Hogan? It doesn’t make any sense. Of course Hogan kicks out after two of Earthquake’s finishers and does Hogan’s patented punch, boot, slam, leg drop on Earthquake. Outside of the ring, Hogan manages to do a bodyslam on Earthquake and all hell breaks loose and Hogan does his whole “Oh shoot, I took down the Earthquake after being finished, brother, brother, brother!” shocked look.

Anyway, Earthquake gets disqualified so Hogan can win, blah blah. Sure, Hogan doesn’t get a pin, per se, but he made sure he comes out the strong looking guy and gets to do his 45 minutes of posing. At that point in the show I’m missing Jessie Ventura’s commentary and wanting Warrior to come out.

Finally the Main Event! 3000 pounds of steel cage!

The Ultimate Warrior (WWF Champion) vs. Rick Rude (with Bobby Heenan)

They actually show how they put the cage together during the show, so if you want to see how they put one together in 8-10 minutes, watch this one. It’s pretty cool. The gaffers have it down to an art.

Promo -
Warrior’s promo is brilliant! The Declaration of Independence reworded to be the Declaration of INSANITY! He blew Hogan’s promo out of the water. Ha! Warrior comes out and immediately puts the cage construction to the test by bouncing on it.

Match - 
The match is far better than the Hogan one. The characters are livelier, the match doesn’t drag on. Though some segments are slow, mostly it’s only because it’s a steel cage match and recovery time is inevitable. The whole thing is fun. Warrior has a lot more energy than I expected, though he’s no Bret Hart or Randy Savage. He knows enough to hold his own, which I wasn’t expecting given what’s all been said about him.

This match is the last hurrah for Rick Rude as he was leaving for WCW. It is a great send off for him. I’ll miss his matches and his feud with Warrior has been so much fun, including the ridiculous “pose-down” that was so funny. I’m glad Warrior won the match, but I’m glad it was Rick Rude in the main event with him.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Dreamtime Dreamscape: Coffee Shops

This dream was from a few nights ago, so I’ll do my best to remember it. I was working at a coffee shop that was like Starbucks (which I once worked at) but wasn’t Starbucks because it was a locally owned coffee shop.

It was laid out a lot like the shop I worked at, only it had this extra counter to one side which we didn’t use, and we had extra counters behind, and it had an enormously huge bakery case to one side of the store. The bakery case went up to the ceiling, with probably a hundred different baked goods. They were all very fancy ones, cookies and brownies, cupcakes and muffins, anything you could imagine, all bright and full of calories.

The coffee area of the store had the usual coffee bar and espresso machines, and the back room had a huge sink and tiny dishwasher. Since the whole shop was busy, there was always a lot of dishes and in my dream, just like when I worked at Starbucks, I was stuck doing dishes for a lot of my work shift.

I dreamed that I was working very hard keeping the store cleaned because my coworkers and my boss weren’t very good at it, and I was getting yelled at about it a lot. There were a lot of problems with the floor drains, flies and gnats were coming in through the pipes, so I covered them up neatly with plastic wrap (this is something I actually had done at the store I worked in) and I got called to the back office and yelled at by the district manager for doing this.

I had to plead my case to the district manager until they realized I was actually doing the store a favor by using the plastic wrap to cover the drain covers while leaving enough room for the water pipes, and reducing the flies from the sewage pipes because the people that made the building hadn’t put in a proper piping system. My dream had this whole piping system montage gif moment.

I kept cleaning and cleaning, and kept having to sweep up the store. Finally we had so much stuff that I had to move the counter space on the strange unused area of the store. I was shifting the counters when a hamper full of clothing fell out from between the counters. It was full of dirty clothes and a plaid parachute that unfolded all over the place. 

Somehow I didn't think it was strange that the parachute was strange. I took that in stride. I also didn't take it badly that it was held together with suspenders. I did freak out that there were pills hidden in the clothes. The other employees were all horrified to find them.

It was a huge mess, but the district manager was coming around again, so my boss started chewing all of us workers out for the mess I had made. I had to clean up all the clothing and fold up the parachute and the boss took the pills away. 

Finally I realized the parachute was my boss’s because she went parachuting every weekend. I was pissed because she had been throwing all her old clothes behind the counters and was now making me clean it all up. We all suspected that she was popping pills, too. The pills in my dream, strangely, looked like viagra or something. Ha!

When the district manager came, and was mad the store wasn’t clean, the rest of the employees and I explained about our boss. I don’t remember all the details of the dream here, except the boss got fired. 

I got promoted to head baker, and I was excited about this because it meant I got to make all the hundred of little bakery items. And I mean hundreds, the moment I looked over at the bakery case, my dream made it twice as big and impressive looking and I dreamed I made every one even more fancy than the last one.

To reward me for my work, the upper management bought me these shoes. I thought they were really awesome in my dreamscape, but honestly they were horribly ugly and I’m glad they aren’t real. They were red velvet platform pumps with spiky heels and chunky platforms. They were also covered with black metal punk studs you find on leather belts. I probably would have stabbed myself with the spiky heels. Seriously.

I woke up shortly after getting the horrible looking shoes. It was obviously a dream I had when I was really hungry because I focused quite a bit on the bakery goods, and I was frustrated with cleaning.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Binx is sexay! Or just cuddly!

Binx is sexy and he knows it!
He's to sexy for the bed... but not too sexy for food!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Origami: Omega Stars

I got a little obsessed with Omega Stars for a while, and made a bunch of them in varying colors. You can find instructions on YouTube. There are a ton of instructions, so I won't go through how to make them.

The awesome thing about the stars, besides how easy they are to make with six sheets of paper, is they are easy to fancy up, too.

The orange one (1)  pretty plain. I didn't add anything to the paper, I just used three slightly different shades of orange paper, so the star looks interesting.

The yellow one (2) was made with six sheets of yellow with the same tint of paper, but I painted the center with gold paint, so between the center webbing of the star, you'll see gold paint.

Similarly with the yellow (3) star, I drew squiggles with a black pen, so you'll get a hint of the three dimensional inside that way. I think it's very striking and fun.

For the pink star (4) I used both three shades of pink paper and painted the inside of the star silver, and for the blue star (5) I used more silver paint.

The last star I made was with decorative paper (6) I had and it is lovely! The paper has geometric designs, which suit the omega star design very well.

All in all, I'm happy with the omega star, and will probably make more. I have been thinking of adding some to sticks and making them into fairy wands, but most of them just have strings on them to make them into ornaments at the moment. I've put a few up on the Etsy store as well. Of course, they can be special ordered. I was thinking they'd be cute cake toppers or piled into a bowl with mini-lights.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Dreamtime Dreamscape: Sleeping Bags

Last night I finally had a dream I remember to some extent. I’ve been trying to remember them, but I’ve been having trouble. I don’t know why, probably because I’ve been waking up so tired and so late I haven’t had a chance to sit and remember my dreams.

But in any case, I jotted down a few things to help me remember, so this is what I do recall.

Most of it took place at the dream version of the home I grew up in. This is a different home than the house I actually grew up in. The house I grew up in is was a pretty typical suburban home, a long box style home built into a ¼ hill, so the bottom floor was halfway inside a hill. To get to the house, you went down a winding hilly road. The house was yellow when I left it and the front lawn was mostly a garden.

In my dream, there’s still that winding road, and the house is still in a hill. The first floor is still above the hill, and the house is the old brown color it was when I was really little. But the front yard is different. Instead of a garden, there’s a big porch that extends halfway to the street and the porch is halfway hidden from the street by tall pruned bushes. When I was very small there were bushes against the house, and I think my subconscious has made them into these big fence bushes. The real house has a front porch off the front door, but the dream house has a screen porch off the front deck, and the front deck is about twice as big. I can still tell it’s my old house, but it’s different.

The dream house’s inside is also a lot different, but that’s for another dream.

In any case. I’m at my dream house. It’s freezing cold. It’s winter, but there’s no snow. This isn’t that unusual where I grew up. Everything is dead and brown and the sky is grey and dreary. For some reason I don’t want to go into the house. I’m feeling anxious, but I have to stay at the house.

It’s not my house, because I don’t live there, but I’m in my teenage years so I know I should live there. I have a test in the morning, one that will decide my future, so I have to sleep. It’s very important that I sleep deeply and sleep very well for this test, but I don’t remember what the test is about exactly.

So I ask the people in the house, I think they are my family but I don’t remember, if I can sleep on the front porch. They tell me it’s very cold, but I tell them I’ve been training to sleep in the mountains because I’m a mountain climber, and they tell me it’s ok then. I go to my car. It’s not my current car but my old one, the one I had for most of my life, and I pull out a sleeping bag and a big quilt. I take the bag and the quilt and I lay it out on the porch and I go inside to get my jammies on.

I go past my bedroom, but it’s not my bedroom anymore. It’s now the bedroom of my nextdoor neighbor who I babysat as when I lived at that house, so it’s a toddler’s room. Disturbed, I decide to just sleep in my street clothes.

I lay down to sleep. There’s a tall concrete fence now between me and the front door (suddenly, out of no where, as in the manner of dreams) and I hope it’s enough to keep people from disturbing me while I sleep because of that big test in the morning. I quietly open the screen door to the porch and hear a solicitor at the door.

I don’t want her to talk to me, I have that big test. I quietly slide the door open and quietly slide into the sleeping bag. She keeps ringing the door. Just as I close the door, someone yells from inside, and she hears through the screen door.

I wince. She hears the noise and looks over the concrete wall.

What are you doing sleeping outside when it’s freezing? She asks, clearly alarmed. She starts to argue with me, rudely.

I try to explain to her that I’m at my house that isn’t my house, and I prefer to sleep outside, but she doesn’t understand. I try to explain that I’m training to be a mountain climber, but she doesn’t explain that, either. She just yells at me that my parents are cruel and inhumane for letting me sleep outside in the bitter cold. I tell her I have an important test in the morning and ask her to leave. Eventually, she does.

But now I’m so angry I’m sweating. I know I can’t sleep like that so I get out of my warm sleeping bag and get back up and go back inside. I root around the kitchen and find there’s a hidden cabinet that holds the hot water bottles I used to use when I was a child. I fill them up with hot tap water. I’m wondering in my head how I’m supposed to use my c-pap machine while I’m outside sleeping and decide to plug it in inside and run the hose to the sleeping bag when I start to wake up.

It was a very bizarre dream. I have my feelings as to it’s meaning, of course. I was chilled when I woke up.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Old School Wrestling: WrestleMania 6

Holy Crap! Constellations!

The promotion on this one was all about the constellations of Hogan and Warrior in the skies and it was corny and terrible but oh so funny. Just watch the promo video. It’s so worth it. However, this is the WrestleMania where the wrestlers get stuck doing matches they don’t want to do. It’s a common theme.

So. Onto the matches!

Koko B. Ware vs. Rick “the Model” Martel

I was excited to see the ring cart/gondola back! I just like it, it’s so fun to see. The production quality shows the extra money put into the event and the screens are huge in the arena. The match itself is pretty good. It’s nice to see Koko given a singles match, even if he is curtain jerking, aka. being the first match of the night. Rick Martel won the match with the boston crab submission hold. I always like submission hold wins, they don’t happen often.

Ax and Smash as Demolition vs. Andre the Giant and Haku with Bobby Heenan as the Colossal Connection

This match has some classic Bobby Heenan as the weasel action. Andre doesn’t really wrestle much, he’s reaching the end of his tenure, so Haku does most of the work. Andre does heel stuff in the corner as best he can. He looks really tired. The crowd really gets into the build up of Haku beating the heck out of Demolition as a proper heel, then Demolition getting Andre tied up in the ropes. Bobby Heenan acts like a good weasel throughout all of this.

It makes Andre turn face by beating up Heenan after the match when Heenan gets mad at Andre for getting tied up. This lets Andre finally retire and go out as a face. After all, the best way to turn face is to punch Bobby Heenan.

Earthquake with Jimmy Hart vs Hercules

I’m surprised Hercules has been around so long, but he is a perfect mid-card. He can put any new guy over and test talent. They bury Hercules, though, which is really stupid. Earthquake is a ridiculous character and I don’t like him. I know they want to build him for Hogan, but I don’t buy Earthquake for a second. He looks like a slob.

Brutus “the Barber” Beefcake vs. Mr. Perfect with the Genius

Beefcake’s tights are, as always, awful. Could he cut them any closer to his ass? Ugh.

Perfect oversells like crazy, then doesn’t pull any of his kicks. Was there some kind of bad blood in real life? Perfect seems extra vicious and really oversells his moves. It makes Beefcake look like a chump throughout the whole match. It gets to the point of hilarity because you can just tell Perfect’s pissed off at Brutus. Beefcake ends up beating Perfect and ends his perfect record with a stupid move. Oh. That explains the whole match. No wonder Perfect was being brutal with his punches and kicks. I’m sorry, but Brutus comes off as a bully and a jerk, and wears the worst tights in the history of wrestling. I just am not a fan of his.

Bad News Brown vs “Rowdy” Roddy Piper

There was a Michael Jackson reference with Piper being black and white with a glove? I’m not sure. Anyway, the match was a good brawl. You can count on these two putting on a good brawl match. It was a double count out. Pretty basic.

Bret Hart and Jim “the Anvil” Neidhart as The Hart Foundation vs. Nikolai Volkoff and Boris Zhukov as The Bolsheviks

The Hart Foundation has upgraded to their fancy tights and Bret gave out his sunglasses! They are truly making it big now. It’s great to see. This is a fast tag team match. Bret is fast and furious and Jim hits his moves with precision. Excellence in execution by both of them. It was over in seconds.

The Barbarian with Bobby Heenan vs. Tito Santana

Chico’s Revenge! The commentary at the beginning about burritos is hilarious and worth a youtube. We were cracking up. The match was great except the end, which was exactly like the Perfect match. Tito did all the beating up, then Barbarian hit a singular powerful move and beat Chico. It was a little repetitive.

“Macho Man” Randy Savage and “Sensational Queen” Sherri vs. Dusty Rhodes and Sapphire with Miss Elizabeth.

There is one comment when Macho Man and Sherri are entering the ring. Jessie goes, “You know what’s great about Macho Man and Sherri? They pay their taxes...” and there’s 10 seconds of dead air. Youtube it. It’s so funny.

This is the second WrestleMania using Miss Elizabeth against Savage. Sigh. The sheer athleticism of Savage puts everyone else to shame. He’s up and down all around the ring like he was born in it, like it’s his toy to play with, yet he’s clearly pissed off for the whole match. You can see it in his face. I can’t imagine going from main event WrestleMania 5 to being in a gimmick match at WrestleMania 6. It’d be mad too if I had Macho Man’s clear talent.

Sapphire’s pin is terrible, as was her “wrestling” and it makes the match lose it’s legitimacy. I have no problem with Dusty Rhodes, I’ve actually started to like him when before I thought he was questionable at best, and Sapphire did her best. The problem with the match is Macho Man is clearly so much better than the rest of them that he outshone the match itself.

Promo - 
Next up was a promo video for the main event. The Hogan promos are silly and I’m going to make snide remarks throughout all of them because they are all the same. Brother, brother brother. However, the Warrior promos Need No Microphones and Want to Bring the Hulkamaniacs And Little Warriors Together Through The Pores Of His Skin Raaaaahhhhh!

Sato and Tanaka as The Orient Express with Mr. Fuji vs. Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty as The Rockers

There are a ton of double moves and this is a good high flying match. The ending with salt in Jannetty’s eye and a count out allowed the Orient Express to get a win for Fuji and let the Rocker’s loose without them losing their hard earned momentum. It was an interesting and different ending.

Jim “the Hacksaw” Duggan vs Dino Bravo with Jimmy Hart and Earthquake

The match was pretty good. I generally like Hacksaw matches. It wasn’t stellar. I didn’t like how Earthquake had to be there to bury Hacksaw. It was so stupid that Earthquake had to be built up for the Hogan feud.

“The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase with Virgil vs. Jake “the Snake” Roberts

This match was lagging because the crowd started doing the wave of all things, but DiBiase took the heat back by yelling at the fans to get the attention back on the match. After that, the attention was on the match as it should be. Pretty quiet match, lots of holds, not a lot of action. I’ve been following Jake Roberts as he’s been recovering with Diamond Dallas Page’s help and so it’s nice to see some of his wrestling. He was a good technical wrestler, this match shows that. Very good ring psychology.

The Big Boss Man vs. Akeem with Slick

Boss Man has dropped quite a bit of weight. It’s a short match and the crowd starts off dead. They do pop when Boss Man wins. Akeem’s popularity as a heel is waning.

Segment - 
The Honky Tonk Man has a segment, where he comes out to sing a song. There’s an easter egg. He comes out in a pink Cadillac. It’s driven by Diamond Dallas Page. Ha!

The segment is horrible. Honky Tonk Man cannot sing and obviously Hammer Valentine does not want to be there because his expression is so bored and annoyed. Thank goodness the Bushwhackers come out to break it up. Yes, Bushwhackers, end it, end it now! I’ve never been so happy to see them!

Rick Rude with Bobby Heenan vs. Jimmy Snuka

This is a wake-up the crowd match. Both guys are crazy in shape, but Rude lost some of his chest mass since having the work-off matches with Warrior. It is a powerful match. Both guys are nice and strong and the match has good tough moves. It’s a loud match.

And now for the main event!

Ultimate Warrior vs. Hulk Hogan!

Ultimate Warrior’s hair! It’s outta control!

Ok. I’m going to admit. I’m rooting for Warrior throughout the whole match.

Hulkster looks bloated like a grape. As my husband says “He’s got 24 inch pythons and an 18 inch forehead.” He’s got one heck of a horseshoe. Hogan looks terrible. He’s panting from rest holds and he gets “injured” like... right away.

So this is the match. Hogan gets injured badly and limps around. Then his leg is magically healed a minute later and the commentary has to make shit up like idiots to make up for Hogan’s bad selling. Actor my ass. He can’t even do a chin lock right. Warrior has to move himself to make the chin lock look good.

Warrior carries this match. He has to shove Hogan around and you can see Warrior getting frustrated as Hogan flops around like a limp noodle because he’s so gassed. When Hogan finally shows that stupid grin and does his three moves of doom, I just knew he would win and I threw my hands up and groaned at my husband.

The leg drop hits, and Warrior gets out of the way? Wait, what? No one gets out of the way of Hogan’s leg drops. Warrior gets Hogan and pins him. Warrior wins! Oh my god, Warrior won? Hogan lost? What planet did I just land on? Hogan’s “tears” are a welcome relief. Get his overly tanned, ketchup and mustard, you look like a hot dog, arse out of the ring and give Warrior some seriously awesome ring time! I am so sick of Hogan at this point. I have no idea how people lived through it when the wrestling era was actually going on. Let Warrior be the champion for a while, please! This is the first time that Hogan lost at a pay per view since we started watching and it was about freaking time!

Final thoughts - 
The pay per view ended excellently on a very high note. Warrior deserved the win. So many of the wrestlers I liked had to do matches they weren’t thrilled about, so it was great to see Warrior win the championship and see Hogan lose his precious title. Also, like a good champ, Warrior didn’t spend 6 hours patting himself on the back and posing in the ring. Woo!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Old School Wrestling: Royal Rumble 1990

Though I know Hogan's in the Royal Rumble this year, I'm still looking forward to this one because they are really pushing DiBiase to win this one. Last year DiBiase cheated his way to the last position, so this year there's a lot of heat on DiBiase to lose.

Anyway, there's a few good matches to start the pay per view off, and one terrible match.

The Bushwhackers (Butch and Luke) vs. The Fabulous Rougeaus (Jacques and Raymond) (with Jimmy Hart)

The sound was a little off at the start of the pay per view, it sounded like a gym. I was surprised that one of the Rougeau brothers grew a beard. They seem like they are pretty boy types, which would never have beards these days. I haven’t seen much of the Bushwhackers and it is amazing how over they are, the crowd goes nuts when they come out!

The match is full of biting and is full of pandamonium. It is a hectic pace, but both tag teams sell each move like crazy. The Rougeaus do a great job making the Bushwackers look like they are out of control with their moves and when the Bushwackers hit their moves, it feels like lightning hits the ring. It’s so fun, you can’t help but cheer. The Bushwhackers win and it’s an electrifying way to start the pay per view.

Brutus Beefcake vs. The Genius

Oh god. Beefcake’s pink mesh tights. Why does anyone like Beefcake? Anyway. Genius does a lot of acrobatic showmanship moves. It’s funny, Beefcake makes fun of the Genius for being prissy, but Beefcake is very prissy himself. This match is horrible. The crowd is rude and the match is uncomfortable to watch. The ref takes a terrible hit and bounces on the match badly. There is a double-disqualification and it’s just awful.

There is one of the few chair shots when Mr. Perfect comes out to save the Genius’s hair as Beefcake cuts it off. Beefcake just does a terrible job throughout this entire match, Genius did all the work and the full time wrestler, Beefcake, just flopped around like a dead fish. The crowd only made the match worse. Probably the worst match I’ve seen so far in the old school pay per views.

Ronnie Garvin defeated Greg Valentine (with Jimmy Hart)

Both of the wrestlers have leg braces on. This will be important during the match as they keep trying to use their braces to cheat. It starts out like a boxing match, though. They kept going for pins, a few too many, but using the leg braces to apply and block the figure four submission holds was really funny and inventive. It added a different dimension.

Jim Duggan vs. The Big Boss Man (with Slick)

This started out fast and furious. Hacksaw is a street fighter so this feels like a bar fight, yet he still has the time to “Hooooo” every minute. This is a pure brawl match, almost no wrestling, technical-wise. It was a basic match, but exciting. Simple.

Onto the Royal Rumble!

It starts out with DiBiase vs. Koko B. Ware. DiBiase got spot number 30 last year, so this year he got spot number one. Koko fought well, but he was eliminated quickly. Marty Jannetty came out next and was eliminated before Jake the Snake came out. DiBiase actually goes out of the ring to fight Jake the Snake before he gets into the ring, of course going out under the ropes. Macho Man is next, so there are three people in the ring. Next is Piper. He saves Jake from the heels. Finally the ring is getting full. Bret comes out.

Macho Man takes out Jake the Snake over the top rope. I can tell that the method of taking a wrestler out over the top rope is starting to become more common. Rhodes comes into the ring and takes Macho out with the second most common move used these days to take a wrestler out during a Royal Rumble. As the methods to take wrestlers out of the ring become more standard, the storytelling during the match become more important.

Andre comes out. Bad News and Piper eliminate each other and have a rough brawl to the back. The brawl is slightly messy, they trip a bit, so it feels real unlike these days when even the brawls are heavily scripted.

Andre gets eliminated. Unlike the other Royal Rumbles he’s very slow at this one. He’s really slowing down at this point.

Every time DiBiase gets close to being eliminated, the crowd goes crazy. Five wrestlers get eliminated by Earthquake. Really? Earthquake? It gives him a little push. The Ultimate Warrior comes out and ends up eliminating DiBiase and everyone loves it. It does a great job of pushing the Ultimate Warrior, and it also gives DiBiase credibility because he lasted so long and could only be eliminated by one of the physically strongest wrestlers in the card.

Since the ring is full of a bunch of people, Hogan comes out and eliminates the world. Of course. I am not surprised that it ends up as Hogan vs. Warrior for a while. Warrior gets thrown over the top rope with Hogan’s help and gets mad about it. I’m not at all surprised about this.

It ends up with Rick Rude, Mr. Perfect, and Hogan. Rude gets taken out, and Perfect gets in a Perfect Plex. Of course Hogan no-sells it. Hogan his move and Perfect sells it because Perfect is a better wrestler. Perfect goes over the rope and Hogan wins. No surprise. This sets up Hogan versus Warrior.

It wasn’t a bad pay per view. The ending was very expected, and besides the travesty that was Genius vs. Beefcake, the rest of the matches were decent. Not my favorite pay per veiw, but it was good to watch it. I am liking Warrior far, far more than Hogan. It’s like a breath of fresh air.