Monthly Archives: May 2020

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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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (05-13-20)

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

We’re back with another episode of AEW Dynamite: Miami!  Okay, it’s actually in Jacksonville, but with Florida very thoughtlessly opening its doors again, AEW is back in Daily’s Stadium to film their weekly wrestling shows, and while I’m a bit unclear on if this week was live or not they DID make a point of saying that everyone was tested and they’re wearing yellow wristbands to prove it.  The tests, of course, are not one hundred percent accurate, but I guess we’ve all decided that that doesn’t matter for some reason.  ANYWAY!  Will this be another fun serious of matches as we inch ever closer to the Double or Nothing PPV!?  Let’s find out!!

We begin with Lance Archer and Jake Roberts getting into the ring so that the former can look scary while the latter talks trash.  He goes after Brandi Rhodes in particular and gets SUPER misogynistic about it, which… I don’t know; does this kind of heel promo still play well?  I know he’s supposed to be a BAD GUY and therefore is supposed to say BAD THINGS, but his talk about a woman’s place is in the kitchen is dated and cheap in a way that promos from more clever guys like MJF don’t, and frankly, there are still enough people out there who legitimately think that way for it to not feel more like a surly uncle grabbed the mic at the wedding and is embarrassing everyone there.  Thankfully Jake’s YouTube VLOG gets interrupted by the revving of a mighty engine as Cody has arrived in his F150 and is looking to make good use of it!  Said F150 has his silly Nightmare Family logo emblazed across its hood which is only slightly less silly than putting it on your neck, and what he ends up doing with the truck is smash like one trashcan which feels like a bit of a wasted opportunity; especially since Jericho and Sammy got blasted by a golf cart in the last episode.  The ensuing brawl is at least really good as Cody proceeds to kick Archer right in the balls and goes to take a swing at Roberts without missing a beat.  However, his arrogance proves to be his folly as Archer is no mere mortal man and has balls of pure steel, so before Cody can even get to the ring Archer has recovered and smashes him onto the apron.  From there they proceed to try and hit each other with their special moves and neither manages to land them which is a great way of building up the PPV match between them; teasing the moves and making both guys look very strong in the process.  It was a bit flabby at the beginning with Jake’s bad Andrew Dice Clay impression and Cody’s car stalling out after hitting a waste paper basket, but after a few minutes, the segment got its groove and proved to be a solid start to the program.

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Jurassic Express (Luchasaurus & Jungle Boy) Vs. The Best Friends

Jurassic Express is accompanied to the ring by Mark Stunt while The Best Friends are accompanied by Orange Cassidy

This is DEFINITELY the kind of match that I should be whooping and hollering about, but something felt a bit off here.  There’s a lot of decent work here (especially in the second half when things really start to heat up), but some of the spots just felt contrived.  There’s a spot where Jungle Boy is on the top ropes with Trent on Chuck Taylor’s shoulders, and for whatever reason Chuck WON’T JUST MOVE OUT OF THE WAY and just stands there while Jungle Boy SLOWLY stands up and does a dropkick on Trent.  That was the really bad one and there are a few other odd spots throughout (mostly on Chuck’s end) but they do manage to tell an interesting story here between Trent and Luchasaurus which does a lot to salvage the match.  Trent starts out getting completely overpowered by Luchasaurus and he spends most of his time in the ring trying to find a way to cut the big man down to size which he eventually does with a hellacious spear followed by a Swinging DDT later in the match.  Unfortunately the ending kind of sucked the momentum out of that story because Fenix comes flying out of nowhere with a kick to Orange Cassidy and in the confusion, MJF smashes Jungle Boy into the ring post.  Seemingly unaware of what just happened, Chuck sees Jungle Boy dazed and lands his terrifying pile driver which he calls an Awful Waffle on the poor kid and gets the pin.  On top of all that, Wardlow takes a swing at Marko Stunt once the bell rings, so I guess they’re setting up some shenanigans for the MJF/Jungle Boy PPV match in just over a week.  I don’t mind when shenanigans happen in the ring to set up a future match, but they’re better served for matches that could use the extra bit of spice rather than ones that are going towards an interesting conclusion.  Hopefully, we’ll follow up on what’s being built up between Trent and Luchasaurus, but aside from that, I thought the match was fine.  Nothing special, but it’s always fun to see a dinosaur wrestle!

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Super Recaps: The Twilight Zone (Tagged)

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The Twilight Zone and all the images you see in this recap are owned by Warner Bros Television and based on the series created by Rod Serling

Episode directed by James Head

We’re back with more of The Quarantine Zone, as the current health crisis has certainly given me enough time to finally finish this series off and not a whole lot else.  I mean they’re gonna put Scoob out on VOD soon, but other than that it’s either this show or staring at the ceiling all day.   Things are not all bad however as this has certainly given me more than enough opportunities to laugh, think, and derisively snide at it from episode to episode.  Where will this one fall?  Let’s find out!!

The episode begins with Marcus AKA Picasso (Todd Williams) sitting in a car with a bunch of his fellow gang members who call themselves THE DEUCES  as they watch a guy paint on a wall.  Not exactly what I’d expect a gang to be spending their evenings doing (even one that’s given themselves such a hilarious name) but it turns out that the wall this guy is painting on was tagged by Picasso and the guy is covering it up; so under threat of teasing and name-calling, Marcus goes out there to confront the mysterious painter.  Unfortunately for Marcus, the painter can smell the wussy coming off of him and isn’t the least bit deterred when Marcus tells him to stop doing it; going so far as to chuckle when he pulls out a gun and shakily tells him that he’s serious!  Sadly this guy’s bravado in the face of danger only gets him so far as he goes the extra mile to try and take the gun out of Marcus’s hand which then goes off without warning; killing the artist who REALLY should have thought twice about grabbing the barrel and pointing it RIGHT at his midsection.

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“OH CRAP!  I mean… uh, yeah!  I MEANT to do that!!”

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (05-06-20)

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

We’re back, not only with AEW Dynamite but with AEW Dynamite LIVE.  Yes, it’s their first live show in quite some time despite circumstances REALLY not changing since they decided to stop doing them, but I guess they want to get things as close to normal as soon as possible so with the return to Florida they’ve got quite a stacked show for us.  Is it a return to form after a few weeks of good but compromised episodes, or are we in for the same matches we were already getting; just in a bigger room?  Let’s find out!!

So first thing’s first, we’re back at Daily’s Place in Florida since they’ve lifted restrictions on wrestling shows; calling them an “essential service” despite there being nothing essential about it, and with the way these empty arena shows are done, almost no benefit to the local economy.  Now sure, I’ll admit that the BIGGER stadium looks better than shoebox they were using for all those taped shows, but it still leaves a bad taste in my mouth that this is only happening because local, state, AND the federal government are all acting irresponsibly for short term gain, and the fact that they are doing this live instead of taping a whole bunch of content only makes it that much worse.  Yes, I know Tony Khan sent out a tweet saying EVERYONE WAS TESTED NEGATIVE, but even if we assume those tests are accurate (they aren’t always), it just feels like a bad precedent to set for everyone else who wants to reopen business before it’s safe to.  In any case, they’ve got pyro, a big screen, more room for the wrestlers on the sidelines to distance themselves (I guess we can count that as a plus), and Jericho is off announcing duty to be replaced by both Excalibur and JR.  I’m certainly glad that they’re back, but Jericho’s hilarious commentary, as well as his chemistry with Schiavone, was something special and we should definitely see more of it in the future.  Anyway, onto the first match!

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Cody Vs. Joey Janela

I actually do not remember if we’ve seen these two lock-up before.  Joey fought Moxley in a really good match and Kenny Omega in a not so good one, but Cody?  Not ringing a bell.  I’m certainly interested to see how this will go with Janela playing a decidedly mid-card role at the company and Cody’s a pretty big star to put him against, but then again the lines between A-List talent and the B-Team have started to blur now that everyone’s fighting in empty arenas (and QT Marshall’s back yard), and I’ll be darned if Joey doesn’t look GREAT here so maybe I was a bit too harsh on the guy!  Joey tends to come off as a jokey guy where funny expressions and painful spots take precedence over… big moves and physicality, but he takes this match seriously and pulls off a lot of decent offense with quite a bit of speed.  Still, it looks like a bit of a mix up when Joey takes the advantage and Cody’s stuck on the floor.  That feels a bit unbelievable where something more competitive throughout would have probably come off a bit better.  The Colt Cabana Vs. Lance Archer match is a good example of someone looking AMAZING all the way through a match despite never truly having the advantage, and I think it would have served both men if Cody stayed in control for more of this.  Things eventually even out in the match after he dodges a run from Joey and follows it up with a Disaster Kick to the face, and after some decent moves from both sides, Cody eventually snags the win with a surprise Cross Rhodes out of nowhere.  It dragged a TINY bit due to Cody overselling for Joey, but this was a solid match to start off with and I’m glad that they reestablished the Cross Rhodes as such a devastating move.

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