Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (06-03-20)

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AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Shahid Khan, and TNT

It only seems to be getting rougher as the weeks go on and on, but we have to believe that there will be a light at the end of the tunnel and despite the issues I have with it, I am glad that AEW is putting on shows now and that they’re doing it in such an entertaining way.  Is this the brief respite we need to help us decompress from what came before and to get us recharged for what comes ahead?  Let’s find out!!

The episode starts with a promo that I actually thought was building up to a Dark Order segment, but it ended up being a sincere message in support of Black Lives Matter.  We get a recap of the previous week’s events before jumping into our first match, and boy did they pick a BIG one to start with!

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Kenny Omega & Hangman Adam Page Vs. Kip Sabian and Jimmy Havoc – Tag Team Championship Match

Sabian is accompanied to the ring by Penelope Ford

It’s been WAY too long since we’ve seen Page and Omega in action inside of a ring!  Sure the Stadium Stampede match was fun, but I’ve been itching to see them in a proper match for some time now, and while this match against the very solid Sabian and Havoc isn’t everything I wanted it to be, it was a great return for the duo on Dynamite.  It starts off a bit slow and uneventful as Omega takes an early advantage and the other side can’t get a leg up no matter what they try.  I’ll give the match credit where it’s due in how they’re doing a great job of showing off the strengths of their opponents, but it’s not until we’re like eight minutes into the match that any offense from Sabian and Havoc even fazes Omega or Page.  The turning point comes when Ford goes for a Hurricanrana off the top rope on Adam Page and DOES land it, but Page doesn’t sell it for a second and as soon as he drops her to the floor, the ref ejects her from the match.  While Sabian is arguing with the ref about this decision, Jimmy hits both Page and Omega with a wrench which puts the latter out of action and the former in a bad state to defend himself against the offense from both of his opponents.  This evens things out a bit and I found the match more enjoyable as both sides started to trade near falls for the remainder of the match.  Backstabber from Omega onto Sabian only gets a two count, an impressive combo from Page and Omega only gets a two count as well, and Omega even eats a swinging DDT followed by an uppercut and Death Valley Driver from Havoc capped with a double stomp from Sabian but even THAT only gets a two count because Page breaks up the pin!  No one is willing to go down for the count for anything and the match just keeps going and going, but eventually Omega and Hangman hit Havoc with a Last Call (Omega’s V-Trigger and Hangman’s Buckshot Lariat hitting at the same time), and Page finally manages to get the pin.  Perhaps I’m still spoiled by the Bucks match from Revolution and am being a bit unfair in having ANY criticism of this match which is genuinely a very good match.  If a match is too one sided it’s not much fun and if the other team is clearly going easy on the other than it’s even less so, but Sabian and Havoc get more than enough offense to make it look REALLY close to a fair fight, and while I thought it went a bit slow at first and MAYBE a bit too long with just how many near falls they trade back and forth, the ending was great and I’m glad that Omega and Page are having these kind of matches again!

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Super Comics: James Bond 007 7-8

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James Bond 007 and all the images you see in this recap are owned by Dynamite Entertainment and Ian Fleming Publications

Is the world still crumbling around us?  It sure as heck is, so after a few days (weeks, months, who can even tell anymore?) of watching Simpsons reruns until my eyes bled, it was time for me to get back in the saddle and use some of this time to read even more James Bond comics!  With the mastermind of ORU revealed to be the one and only Aurc Goldfinger and agent John Lee being captured by him, it looks like this story will be going down some very familiar paths!  Will Bond be able to bring an end to ORU and Goldfinger without having to take out his friend Agent Lee, or is this a challenge even the great James Bond is not ready to face?  Let’s find out!!

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Issue 7 (May 2019)

The issue begins on a rather familiar scene of Bond entering a Casino and flirting with the ladies while a bad guy is doing something under the watchful eyes of stern-faced henchmen.  This however is no ordinary day in the life of Bond as the bad guy in question is Auric Goldfinger and the henchmen are his good buddy John Lee and the captured Agent Kim; both under control by Goldfinger’s nicotine patch looking mind control devices that you’d think the spy agencies would have picked up on as a mark of being an ORU agent!  You’re telling me the FBI can figure out what the heck Juggalos are and classify them as a street gang, but it took James Bond for to figure out what’s up with the giant glowing neck thingies!?  In any case, his orders are to follow Goldfinger and find out what he can about his next target.  Being the leader of the terrorist organization ORU, he’s certainly very dangerous and can’t be up to any good even if he needed to capture and brainwash South Korea’s two top agents.  Now the question is, how much of this is going to be a straight retelling of the movie Goldfinger, and how much is it going to be its own thing? Well, they did go through all the trouble of getting the new Oddjob to be his henchmen which indicates the former, and they have a nice moment in this scene that plays out similarly to the opening of Goldfinger.  Goldfinger is cheating at a game using some sort of communication device and Bond manages to interrupt it to cost him the game; though sadly there’s no giant telescope involved.

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“Good thing you folded on the last hand too!  All I had was a Joker and a How To Play Poker card!”

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (05-27-20)

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AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Shahid Khan, and TNT

Now that Double or Nothing is in our rearview mirror, this week’s dynamite has the unenviable task of trying to pick things up where the big payoff of the show left off and start things fresh, all while making an entertaining wrestling program in the worst time to be running wrestling shows!  Is this a successful follow-up enticing us with things to come, or are they gonna need another week or so to get their wind back?  Let’s find out!!

The show begins with The Inner Circle at their lowest point; commiserating their lose in the Stadium Stampede match at Double or Nothing.  It’s not just because this latest failure is yet another hit to their ego (and even more broken bones for Sammy), they had purchased boxes upon boxes of INNER CIRCLE STADIUM STAMPEDE CHAMPIONS shirts in anticipation of their victory, and now they won’t be able to sell them.  I’m not sure why as I’d certainly buy one of those shirts, but in any case, this is yet another hilarious segment from The Inner Circle and really got the show off on the right note!

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Young Bucks & Matt Hardy Vs. Private Party & Joey Janela – Six Man Tag Match

Speaking of great comedy segments, Matt Hardy and The Bucks have a promo before the match where they cycle through Hardy Personas to find the right fit for the match which is one upbeat pop song away from a Trying On Clothes Montage in an eighties film.  I’m actually not sure which personality the settle on as it’s implied to be an even earlier version of Matt Hardy than the Hardy Boyz persona and I didn’t realize there was such a thing, but regardless of that it’s always fun to see what he comes up with and how he changes his style and presence depending on what side of him he settles on.  It’s actually kind of a brilliant gimmick that I’m surprised more wrestlers don’t do!  We were certainly begging for Christopher Daniels to be the Fallen Angel again during his feud with The Dark Order, right?  As far as the match itself… well, it’s fine but perhaps a bit too straightforward.  We haven’t seen The Bucks team together in some time and Matt Hardy is really hot right now, so Private Party and Joey Janela are once again on hand to make the other talent look good.  Sure the whole thing is in no way a squash match as AEW is not about burying its talent, but it feels a bit too much like they’re just going through the motions to shake off the ring rust after The Bucks’ long sabbatical.  Still, Isiah, Marq, and Joey put a lot of heart into this match and certainly hold their own against The Bucks and Hardy even if we know where it’s all headed.  The match comes to an end when The Bucks land a Bang For Your Buck on Isiah Kassidy (which basically means they jump on him three times), and Matt Hardy pins whatever’s left for the win.  As soon as the bell rings, Matt Hardy jumps down and helps Marq Quen to the back with the ref and a very bruised Isiah Kassidy in tow; leaving The Bucks alone in the ring and Joey… somewhere else I guess.  They are then immediately jumped by The Butcher & The Blade, presumably still upset about the Superkick, when out of nowhere a car rolls up on Daily’s Stadium and none other than the former Revival who are now referred to as FTR get out and head to the ring.  Initially, they feign assisting The Butcher & The Blade… but instead they turn around and whoop their butts; saving The Young Bucks from the savage beating they were in the middle of.  After the ring is clear and it’s just FTR and The Bucks, FTR walks out of the ring and out of Daily’s place without a word but definitely making their mark.  These guys have been MISERABLE for the past year or so under their WWE contract and I’m glad to see them on TV again and clearly enjoying what they’re doing!

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Super Wrestling: AEW – Double or Nothing 2020

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Double or Nothing and all the images you see I this recap are owned by All Elite Wrestling and Shahid Khan

It’s been a rocky few months to say the least since AEW’s last PPV Revolution.  It’s almost as if the world changed at the very moment, with Revolution happening at the end of February; the same time as the first cases of COVID-19 in Washington turned fatal.  AEW has done what it can to keep the lights on as the months wore on and more and more people got sick, but nothing has been the same since then and whether or not it’s possible to pull off a great PPV in this environment.  Will this be a great show that we’ll remember despite the prevailing circumstances, or is this yet another part of this period in history that we’d all just like to forget?  Let’s find out!!

The Buy In kicks off with Lance Archer beating the hell out of a tire with a sledgehammer while Tony Schiavone is trying to get an interview with Jake Roberts.  In response to whatever question Schiavone is asking, Roberts instructs Archer to beat the crap out of whatever half-demolished run down building they happen to be training in, and Archer proceeds to destroy a toilet; presumably a call back to Cody destroying the throne at the first Double or Nothing.  Seems a bit hokey to me, especially since I’m pretty sure that even I could mess up a toilet give a hammer that big, but it gets the point across well enough.

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Private Party Vs. Best Friends – Buy In Match For Number One Contender Spot

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It’s been a while since we’ve seen Private Party who became one of the biggest success stories in those early AEW PPVs, so it’s somewhat fitting that they not only return on Double or Nothing but manage to put on one HECK of a show with the Best Friends.  Kassidy does a bunch of flippy kicks and stuff, Quen does his ridiculously awesome Moonsault, and despite a few hiccups here and there in the execution, the two of them do some great tandem maneuvers that give The Best Friends a run for their money.  However, Best Friends have been around kicking butt and taking names for months now (not to mention their connection to the EXTREMELY hot Orange Cassidy) so there was little doubt who would be going home with the win here; especially with Trent giving some amazing Suplexes and a HELLACIOUS spear to Isaiah Kassidy.  The Best Friends are frankly better than they’ve ever been and while the can sometimes slip in gimmicky slapstick mode, they are all business here and look like genuine threats to the rest of the division.

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The beard looks good on him!  Not as good as Trent’s, but baby steps!

In any case, after smashing Kassidy into a post on the outside, Trent and Chuck land a Strong Zero on Marq Quen (which looks a bit like a Meltzer Driver) and get the pin for the victory.  Not sure when they’ll get their shot at the title, especially if Adam Page is only here for the PPV, but I’m certainly looking forward to that match!

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Cinema Dispatch: Scoob!

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Scoob! and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros. Pictures

Directed by Tony Cervone

With releases being what they are and LIFE being what it is, I’ve certainly fallen into a bit of a funk lately which is perhaps the biggest reason I was really looking forward to this movie; something that I can put on my calendar and look forward to instead of just the endless pile of stuff that’s already here but I couldn’t muster up the energy to work on.  Now Warner Bros’ recent output of the Hanna-Barbara licenses has certainly been interesting to see, particularly those comic books they released a few years back, and so bringing Scooby-Doo back to the big screen in the midst of all this… shall we say CREATIVITY, does have a certain amount of appeal.  I don’t know how popular it is right now, but the Scooby franchise has proven to be remarkably resilient and is in constant flux with new and drastically different series coming out every few years, so perhaps with such a rock-solid property to work with, Warner Bros can do something truly unique!  Is this the start of Scooby-Doo’s resurgence to the peak of popular culture, or will the concepts prove to outdated for modern audiences to latch onto outside of Saturday morning cartoon reruns?  Let’s find out!!

Shaggy Rogers (Iain Armitage and Will Forte) is a lonely kid with no friends… for some reason, until he finds a stray dog who can talk but no one seems to have much of a problem with.  He names the dog Scooby (Frank Welker) and eventually meets three other kids named Fred, Daphne, and Velma (Pierce Gagnon and Zac Efron, Mckenna Grace and Amanda Seyfried, and Ariana Greenblatt and Gina Rodriguez) who by happenstance they end up solving a mystery with.  And thus the origin story has been told, in less than ten minutes!  What do they fill the remaining eighty with?  Well it turns out that The Blue Falcon, or at least his son Brian (Mark Wahlberg) is trying to stop the evil Dick Dastardly (Jason Isaacs) from doing… something, and it somehow involves Scooby (presumably because he’s SUCH a good boy) which means he snatches Shaggy and Scooby away from whatever it was they were doing and are now sidekicks on a superhero adventure!  Blue Falcon is helped by his female pilot Dee Dee (Kiersey Clemons) and his dad’s robot dog Dynomutt (Ken Jeong) who are basically the two keeping this operation afloat while Brian stumbles his way through the adventure, and with the help of Scooby being… so very important I guess, they will race Dick Dastardly across the globe from collecting the Magical MacGuffins that will spell doom for the world!  Meanwhile, Fred, Daphne, and Velma are wondering why they aren’t a part of this movie and so try to “solve the mystery” of where Scooby and Shaggy went, only to wind up in a larger than life adventure far beyond investigating a ghost who’ll end up being a guy in a Halloween mask!  Will our heroes overcome the pure malevolent evil of a man named Dick with a beautiful mustache?  Will Scooby’s new status as BEST DOG EVER make Shaggy into a jealous jerk for half the movie for extremely petty reasons?  If we’re gonna do this cinematic universe stuff with Hanna-Barbera, can we at least put Harvey Birdman into it?  Better yet, Phil Ken Sebben!  At least that would be SOMETHING about this movie worth talking about!

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“He’s my best friend Scooby, and he likes fried Scooby snacks on a stick!”     “HA HA!  Treats on dowels…”     “Was… was that a joke or something?”     “You’ll understand when you’re older, sport.”     “Okay, boomer.”

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (05-20-20)

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AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Shahid Khan, and TNT

It seems like yesterday and also a million years ago that we were watching Jon Moxley win the title at Revolution; belt raised, the crowd cheering, and all was right with the world.  Now we’re just days away from Double or Nothing and things have certainly changed since then, but AEW has been doing their absolute best to put on good shows and get us pumped for the card this weekend.  Is this go-home show the capstone to weeks of goodwill and excellent content that will make Double or Nothing a big hit for the company?  Let’s find out!!

The episode begins with The Inner Circle arriving at the stadium in a limo which SOUNDS extravagant, but I’m guessing there aren’t a lot of people chopping at the bit right now to rent one of those (you know, what with the WORLDWIDE PANDEMIC and everything), so they probably got a good deal on it.  Still; there’s nothing quite like watching Jericho in sunglasses and a branded bandana climb out of one of those with a bat named Floyd in his right hand.  This is also probably a good time to correct something I said last week.  I thought that when Jericho announced the Stadium Stampede match that it was going to be the main event of this episode and not a part of Double or Nothing.  They’ve since made it VERY clear that that is not the case, but if the Inner Circle isn’t fighting The Elite tonight, then what do they have up their sleeves instead!?  ANYWAY!  On to the first match!

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Jon Moxley Vs. Ten The Creeper

Before the match begins, Brodie Lee comes out with Ten The Creeper along with Alex Reynold and John Silver who we haven’t seen in quite a while and are carrying the title belt that Lee stole from Moxley as well as a few other Creepers for good measure.  It’s clear that despite Ten being the one who’s actually going to fight, this is still all about Brodie Lee and John Moxley so the fight itself is almost immaterial to what happens before and after it.  Brodie gives a pep talk to Ten The Creeper and the AEW locker room, and despite a few hiccups in his delivery (he seems to stumble a bit here and there on his word choice), he does a lot of great work here to build up The Dark Order and his match at Double or Nothing.  My favorite part was when Brodie Lee admits that he HAS to win his match at the PPV, not for his own sake but for the sake of his followers; to prove to them that The Dark Order isn’t a joke and that they shouldn’t regret their decision to join.  I’m glad that he’s getting to the point where he’s talking about more than just himself as it’s a bit difficult to understand why ANYONE would become a Creeper if it didn’t benefit them at all and if the leader was a one-dimensional jerk bag.  Sufficiently pepped for the task at hand, Ten The Creeper is left in the ring while the rest of The Dark Order leaves him to his task of softening up Jon Moxley for the match on Saturday.  Still seems a bit optimistic considering that Moxley makes short work of the guy as soon as he gets in the ring!  Oh sure, Ten gets a couple of moves in including a decent looking Rip Cord, but it doesn’t take long for Moxley to land a Paradigm Shift which leaves Ten The Creeper more winded than if he’d been blasted in the stomach with a bowling ball.  Moxley easily picks up another win but he’s not done yet!  In perhaps his biggest heel move since he became champion, Moxley puts Ten The Creeper’s arm in a chair and gives Brodie Lee ten seconds to come out and give the belt back or else his precious follower is going to pay the consequences.  Now unfortunately this doesn’t go where I had hoped it would.  What happens is that Brodie Lee gest on the big screen, calls Moxley a jerk, and then leaves the building with the belt; leaving Moxley to do exactly what he promised to in the middle of the ring without even the slightest bit of resistance from The Exalted One.  To me, this would have been a really good opportunity for Brodie Lee to show that he ACTUALLY cares about his men by having his Creepers try to stop Moxley, or even for him to outsmart Moxley in some way by threatening to destroy the belt which might have made Moxley decide NOT to break Ten The Creeper’s arm.  Instead, he’s still being written as rather one-note and is yet another sign that The Dark Order needs a guy like Evil Uno who can thread the role a bit better and would certainly be a huge asset to Brodie Lee’s development of this character.  I’m sure the match will be fine on the PPV and it’s clear they’re working with what they have since MJF was taken out of the picture for so long (I’m guessing that he was in line for a title shot next), but there are still ways to make this even better than it already is.

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Cinema Dispatch: Capone

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Capone and all the images you see in this review are owned by Vertical Entertainment

Directed by Josh Trank

Well that’s a name I didn’t expect to see!  It’s been a while since Josh Trank’s last film Fant-Four-Stick which was by all accounts a misguided mess, but I never thought he was a BAD director; just someone who’s reach exceeded his grasp much like Colin “Book of Henry” Trevorrow who was dropped from Star Wars but at least is getting another swing at Jurassic Park at some point.  Honestly, I hadn’t even heard about this movie until the reviews started pouring in on my YouTube feed, and since there’s not a whole lot else going on right now, why not give it a shot?  Is this a solid film and a notable return for the director of Chronicle, or has Trank somehow declined even further after Fantastic Four was such a nightmare to work on?  Let’s find out!!

Notorious mobster Alfonse Capone (Tom Hardy) was released from jail seven years after he was sentenced for Tax Evasion due to his failing health.  He then spent several years under the care of his wife (Linda Cardellini) and some of his old friends in Florida whiling away the days while his condition got worse and his mind began to deteriorate.  With not much time left, some of the people in his life start to wonder if there’s one last bit of cash stashed away somewhere, most notably the FBI who have been keeping him under surveillance since his release, but ultimately this is a story of a man slowly dying and reflecting on his life; trying to find some peace in his final years and lamenting the continued loss of his faculties as the paresis ravages his mind.  Will we learn what makes this legendary gangster tick as we watch him struggle through the final years of his life?  Will the people around him get what they’re looking for, and how far are they willing to go to get it?  Will Tom Hardy get that Oscar gold with this mumbling performance of a man who craps the bed and yells at things!?  I mean we gave Jeff Bridges an Oscar for that, so why not him?

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“My acceptance speech is ready to go!”

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