Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Raw and Smackdown (June 19-20)

Easily D-Bry's best moment since becoming GM.
In the interest of time, here are the significant events from Raw and Smackdown this week.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Money In The Bank 2017

Even he thinks this is a bad idea.
Money iIn The Bank has been successfully deposited, and as a brand-specific PPV, it was surprisingly entertaining. But as the delivery system for one of the most important gimmicks in the WWE currently, it fell short.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Wonder Woman

Still gonna wait for reviews on Justice League tho.
In an "objective" measurement of comparative movie quality, Wonder Woman clocks in at a high Thor 2. Solid, mythological, good action, decent story, mediocre villain.

Motherfuckin' Lucha Underground: "The Cup Begins"

Well, I didn't predict THAT.
The Cueto Cup has officially begun, and they're plowing through the matches fairly quickly, given that they only have 29 matches in the tournament and half a season before Ultima Lucha 3.

PREDICTIONS: Money In The Bank 2017

Two briefcases, no waiting.
Money in the Bank is here, with twice as many briefcases! It should actually be a decent show, at least on paper, but I am give-a-shit-impaired this week, so we'll see.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

PREDICTIONS: The Cueto Cup

And so... it begins.
OK. It's been an awkward, shitty week, but the Cueto Cup starts tonight on Lucha Underground, they released the brackets, and I want to lock my predictions in before tonight's show airs.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The Jim Jefferies Show

Funny, if not strictly necessary.
I do have to wonder why this show exists.

I'm not saying it's not funny. In fact, it's probably the most laugh-out-loud funny of all the topical desk-based comedy shows. John Oliver puts the jokes between the serious bits, and with Samantha Bee, you're more agape in awe at the dead on, palpable hits she scores on everybody she targets.

Jefferies' show is, appropriately for him, way more joke-heavy. But other than that, it follows a VERY standard structure of monologues and a field piece. The field piec, a pretty standard "this interview subject doesn't realize what he's saying" bit in Holland about their racist Christmas mascot, Black Peter, is elevated by Jefferies' trademark bluntness.

Jefferines has spent a lot of his career arouind that tricky "ironic racism", "outlandish character", "politically incorrect provocateur" line that Bill Maher spent so much of the past week on the very wrong side of. He pulls it off in the premiere, and he's generally been more successfulat it in recent years, making it clear that his heart's in the right place when his jokes aren't. More Jeselnik than Tosh.  Can he maintain it? We'll see.

On the upside, Jefferies is super-confident and super-comfortable in his new role, and the show is produced with the kind of competence you'd expect from the incredibly familiar format. I'm glad it's weekly, and not daily, though the actual Daily Show could learn a lot from Jefferies' and his staff's joke-writing.

Smackdeown Live (5/6)

I don't know. I think their day one is getting pretty h.
This week's Smackdown featured two events of real significance, one event of veery mild significance, a bunch of farting around, and the always (for sufficiently short-term values of always) entertaining tag division.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Monday Night Raw (5/5)

Joe's gonna squeeze Paul's head until it's back to the same size as his face.
A middling Raw after a disappointing Extreme Rules, with few answers to many of my post-EXR questions, and the answers we did get were, for the most part, not great.

Extreme Rules 2017

Nothing makes sense anymore.
Want mediocre action, inexplicable stipulations, and disappointing finishes? Well, then have I got a PPV for you!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

PREDICTIONS: Extreme Rules 2017

Even the graphic agrees with me!
My ambivalence level for Extreme Rules is astonishingly high, and made all the higher by the knowledge that nobody is going to get pushed down cement steps on a spine board. So how extreme can it really be?

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Motherfuckin' Lucha Underground! (AlFl Night Long Again)

Man, I missed this show.
Lucha Underground is back after a newarly five month hiatus with the second ever All Night Long match for the Lucha Underground championshi between Johnny Mundo and The Mack. And oh, man, did it not disappoint.

Smackdown Live (5/30)

HOW IS THIS WORKING?!
Pretty good Smackdown Live this week, coming as it does in that sweet spot where they're setting up their matches for the next PPV.

205 Live (5/30)

Whew.
205 Live still desperately needs the shakeup they've been hinting at but not delivering on for months.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Make Mine More Marvel

OK, really, done for a few weeks.
So the Spidey Homecoming Pops came out sooner than I thought given the movie's release date, so I had to fuckin' get on that shit because I was not missing out on that Tony Stark. Because that Tony Stark is all the kinds of awesome.

Now, since I was there anyway, I also grabbed a Vulture. I skipped Spidey because I have the Civil War Spidey and they're very similar. I skipped the Homemade Suit Spidey because, well, it's ugly. And I skipped the Peter Parker because it looks too much like Arseface.

But then Amazon suggested an Ego, and it was cheaper than average, and I don't have any other Kurt Russell Pops... anyway, I have a problem is what I'm saying.

Monday Night Raw (5/29)

Today, we pay respects to the fallen.
I dearly hop someone in WWE today is arranging for a fruit basket, a medal of honor, a raise, and a note of apology to Alexa Bliss.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Arrow: "Lian Yu" (5/24)

You're telling me NONE of those pockets have zip ties?
I watched this on Thursday and have been waiting to see if I'm any less angry about it before I write about it. And that's not happening.

Goddammit.


I thought I was clear on Pops for a bit, at least until the Bojack HOrseman and Spidey Homecoming ones drop, but I stopped into a Toys R Us on the off chance they'd have a Yondu (nope) and found this, and seriosusly, I'm not made of stone. I'm made of five lions.

Motherfuckin' Lucha Underground! (Pre-Premiere Recap)

Three days, now.
Not only did Lucha Underground go on hiatus for a very long time, but before it did, I skipped writing up the last four episodes. So since I needed to remind myself where things left off anyway, I watched all four, and here's where things stand:

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Smackdown Live (5/23)

Shane's befuddlement here is glorious.
Do you like surprise rollup wins? Then this week's SMackdown Live will get you hard, because there were THREE of them. Which, quite frankly, is a lot.

Injustice 2

You couldn't just give us costumes?
Injustice 2 is an absolutely brilliant fighting game wrapped in a thick layer of make-work microtransaction bullshit.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Flash: "Finish Line" (5/23)

This isn't part of the episode. But when I did a GOogle Image search on "didn't stick the landing" The Flash appeared in the fifth result, which is fucking hilarious.
For a minute or so, I was... content with the Flash season finale. Not happy, mind you, but content that a season filled with so much suck had been wrapped up so completely and at a level of middling mediocrity that was mostly inoffensive.

Monday Night Raw (5/22)

Not gonna even talk about this feud.
An unsurprisingly uneventful episode of Raw as the Extreme RUles card is mostly set, and WWE storytelling demands a series of meaningles mixemup matchesin lieu of crafting a story.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

NXT Takeover: Chicago

Yes, somehow, Johnny Gargano is still alive.
Holy fuck, what a show. I mean, I went in with low expectations thanks to some last minute injuries and, frankly, a less than stellar build for this show, but Takeover: Chicago turned out to be the best show so far this year. Every match was outstanding. Every match had a level of effort and intensity that's all too often missing from the main roster. I'd hate to be on the Backlash card after watching this.

Friday, May 19, 2017

PREDICTIONS: Backlash

Ah, brand-specific PPV's. SLightly longer episodes of the weekly shows. Should be a couple decent matches, though.

PREDICTIONS: NXT Takeover: Chicago

We finally get a Takeover not attached to a major PPV, but the card is not super inspiring.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

NXT (5/17)

Come on, Hideo. Dressing like garbage is Ohno's gimmick.
You'd think, with a Takeover in a few days, NXT would have some more shit going on, but no.

205 Live (5/16)

Juvenile, but effective.
My god, an actual new rivalry and story on 205 Live. Sure, it's Rich Swann vs. Ariya Daivari, and sure, it's set up by juvenile package pranks spinning out of the Noam Dar / Alicia Fox mess, but hey, it's something!

Arrow: "Missing" (5/17)

OK, Arrow. We're good.
This season of Arrow has always been at its best when its main villain is 500 steps ahead of Oliver, at a distant, distant second best when wrestling with Oliver's inner demons, and worst when it's dealing with inconsistent ethical dillemas.

Smackdown Live (5/16)

Still funny. Not sure how, but still funny.
If you'd asked me six months ago... three months ago.. hell, six weeks ago that the match I'd most be looking forward to was Breezango vs. The Usos, well, we'd have had words.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Agents Of SHIELD: "World's End" (5/16)

Coincidentally, I, too, am also on board 100%.
You know what I really like about this season of Agents of SHIELD compared to, say, Arrow, or especially Flash?  SHIELD hires grwon-ass people.

The Flash: "Infantino Street" (5/16)

Oh well.
I don't buy it.

If I actually believed The Flash killed off Iris West for good in this episode, I would give them weird, backhanded credit for the swerve - spending the entire back half of the season with the team doing everything in their power to stop a tragedy but none of it worked because they suck at their jobs and are frequently very stupid.

Monday Night Raw (5/15)

Who would have thought a relationship that started with so much gay panic would end so tragically?
We're back to things happening on Raw, at least, even if many of them are weird and wrong.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Arrow: "Honor Thy Father" (5/10)

Yep, that certainly was an episode of Arrow. I mean, if you have an episode that pretends to be a climax despite clear clues in previous episodes that it's not the climax and also there's two episodes left in the season so clearly it's not a climax, how can it not be anticlimactic?

Agents Of SHIELD: "The Return" (5/8)

Not even the power couple of the episode.
If you don't look to closely at how Mack's continued connection to the Framework is a thing at all given what happens in this episode, this is a damn near perfect episode of Agents of SHIELD.

The Flash: "Cause And Effect" (5/9)

Rough wig year for The Flash.
"That's the thing about time travel,Barry. The more you do it, the less the rules apply to you."

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Monday Night Raw (May 8) and Smackdown Live (May 9)

The Monster Among Men has a booboo.
I'm combining Raw and Smackdown this week because essentially, nothing happened.

Oh, technically, Cesaro and Sheamus are now officially challenging the Hardy's for the tag titles, but we all knew that was gonna happen. And technically, Golden Truth had a failed redemption storyline that will probably lead to their retirement or breakup, but who gives a shit?

On Smackdown, Kevin Owens cut a great promo, another edition of The Fashion Files made me laugh despite my better judgment, and Nakamura Vs. Ziggler is official for Backlash, but we all knew that was gonna happen anyway.

Everything else was water-treading and time-wasting. I'm not sure if it's because these were UK shows, taped in advance, or because of the uncertainty (in the case of Raw) caused by Braun Strowman's injury, but both shows were complete nothingburgers.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Saturday, May 6, 2017

NXT (5/3)

Whole lotta this goin' on.
Not a real standout episode of NXT this week, although I do want to give you a theme song update - it's still awful.

205 Live (5/2)

NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO.
OK, 205. Time to stagger your stories. Wrap one up and start a new one. Wrap up the Alicia Fox story. I mean, I thought you HAD wrapped it up, but no, this week, Alicia Fox was back with Noam Dar after he beat Rich Swann. And while it's not much better having her wrestle on Raw, it was a little better than this.

Arrow: "Underneath" (5/3)

Hooray for metaphors indeed!
As expected, this was a "use being trapped to work out the larger issues of the season" episode, and by and larged, it worked pretty well. Or as well as it could under the circumstances.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Iron Fist: "Bar The Big Boss"

I'm starting to suspect, with one episode remainig, that Iron Fist is not going to pull out of its nosedive.

Agents Of SHIELD: "Farewell, Cruel World"

It'snot easy kidnapping digital Nazi dads.
There's very little to say about this week's Agents of SHIELD because it just goes where it needs to go and does what it needs to do.

The Flash: "I Know Who You ARe" (5/2)

Yay.
So Savitar is Future Barry or something. Yay. I'm not going to try to unpack whether this makes sense given everything that Savitar has done and that we've been told about him to date. I'm also not going to try to make sense out of the extent of and limitations of SaviBarry's knowledge of the future and how that affects what he does because that's some time travel shit and we all know time travel shit doesn't make sense on these shows.

Instead, I'm just going to wonder why I should give a fuck? How does Savitar being Barry really change anything? It'll probably factor into the eventual resolution, and hell, I'll go out on a limb right now and say those shots of them filming a funeral that leaked a couple weeks ago were probably filming Future SaviBarry's funeral or something dumb like that.

But beyond that, I don't care. They clearly meant us to care. They clearly thought they were setting up a big mystery and we were all going to be excited for an exact duplicate of Who Is The Evel Speedster Going To Be Actually, but nope. Don't care. Stopped caring about Savitar the instant his mystery identity became A Thing, in fact. Seen it all before.

Which is true of pretty much every characte beat in this episode, espeically the Joe-Cecille story. Retread city. Truns out Joe was telling lies and keeping things from her to protect her but decided that love was important. This lesson was new to him because he does not watch The Flash.

The funny thing is that by Flash standards, the baseline craft of the episode was pretty good. Cisco carried the bulk of the (over)acting and melodrama, and he can pull it off. The new scientist was good even if she seemed to be transported right out of an 80's movie. I'm not sure Iris even spoke a line of dialogue. There weren't many dumb arguments. But the season story is now officially a bigger mess than ever and I just want it to be over because they promise Season 4 won't be about evil speedsters. They haven't ruled out the other two things they suck at - time travel and alternate Earths - but ruling out one of the show's three weak points can't be all bad.

Smackdown Live (5/2)

This Smackdown was really predictable 0 some in a good way, like this is the logical conclusion or next step to a story, and some in a bad way, because wrestling always does things this way.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Monday Night Raw (5/1)

So good. So very good.
Surprisingly decent Raw this week, despite a lot of weirdness in storylines, feuds, and title picturåes.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Iron Fist: "Black Tiger Steals Heart" / "Lead Horse Back To Stable"

Iron Fist leaps to sorta OK with two episodes left to go in the season, A lot of stuff happens, but it's sort of introduced and sort of resolved over the span of these two episodes, so it's too little, too late. Also, I still don't know what's going to be in the last two episodes.

WWE Payback

Now that's some branding.
This show was better than I thought it would be, in all honesty but it's still got that problem of like the last year of WWE programming where the top half of the card is a lot slower and duller than the bottom half. But the bottom half was good.

Pre-Show: Enzo & Cass vs. Anderson & Gallows: I'm gonna flip a coin and say Enzo and Cass win.

And hey, I won the coin flip. You've seen this match a few times before, but it was well eecuted except for some poor distance judging on one failed tag attempt. Anzo got a rollup on I think Anderson after Cass booted Gallows out of the Magic Killer position. (1/1)

US Championship: Kevin Owens vs. Chris Jericho:Owens wins, pussibly retiring Jericho for another nine months or so.

Or not! Either I've been worked by the rumors and Jericho's sticking around, or whatever happens to send him off and get the title off him will happen on Raw or Smackdown. Pretty good match with a great ending playing off Owens' finger moment at Mania. Also, both Jericho and Owens have new entrance graphics, and Owens' is AMAZING. (1/2)

Neville vs. Austin Aries, Cruiserweight Championship: Neville retains.

I said "retains", not "wins", so this is a correct prediction. Hot match, hot crowd, lots of great sequences, and it ended with Neville using the ref to break the Last Chancery to lose by disqualification and retain the title. Since the next Raw PPV is Extreme Rules, expect some kind of stipulation and an Aries victory. (2/3)

The Hardys vs. Cesaro and Sheamus, Raw Tag Championship: I'll go out on a limb and say Cesaro and Sheamus take the belts and break the hardyz.

Nope! In fact, they went the other way with it, and turned Cesaro and Sheamus heel. I don't know if this is because The Revival are out of action or what. Not a fan of the decision, because I don't think Cesaro makes a great heel and Sheamus as a heel is old as fuck. Maybe this will be what "breaks" the Hardys since Broken Hardys is gonna get face reactions? This is probably slso setting up a gimmick rematch for Extreme Rules. (2/4)

Bayley vs. Alexa Bliss, Raw Women's Championship: Bayley retains.

Wow. How much does WWE like people losing in their hometowns? So much so that Alexa won clean, for no real reason or continuation of the story, or any angle involving Sasha. Good for Alexa, who becomes the first woman to win belts on both shows, and a good, intense match, but I'm not sure there's any thought going into the women's division beyond that. (2/5)

Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton, House of Horrors Match: That's all I need to bet against Randy Orton out of pure spite. Wyatt wins.

And indeed he does, but not before we're subjected to one of the dumbest fucking things I've ever seen - Randy Orton acting like he's in a direct to video horror movie. And the second dumbest thing I've ever seen, the rest of this stupid pile of garbage. Basically a hardcore match in a badly dressed, badly lit house some distance away from the arena, pre-taped and edited with spooky inserts and I think maybe even foleyed with punch sounds Or it's just how they were miked. Orton yells "WHERE YOU AT" like four thousand times..

Wyatt dumps a fridgeon Orton, crawls out to a car, and asks the driver to drive him to the arena, and the match takes a break for Rollins/Joe?! What the fuck? After a limo ride that lasts, convenienly, the length of Rollins-Joe plus one ad for the WWE Network, Wyatt arrives in the arena and does his entrance. And Randy Orton is here, somehow, having escaped from underneath the fridge and having called a fast Uber, I can only assume.Then we get a Singh Brothers run-in, two Jinder Mahal belt shots to the back of Orton's head, and a Sister Abigail to finish it. What a mess. , (3/6)

Seth Rollins vs. Samoa Joe: Joe wins through shenanigans and we get six more weeks of this.

I freely admit this was distracting, coming as it did in the middle of another match and all. Also, who cares, and also, the House of Horrors break murdered the crowd, and this isn't the match to get them back. Low stakes, not much build, and while I like JOe and am happy to see him getting the big money on the big stage in the back half of his career, the fact is that Joe's basically had one gear and wrestled one match since he joined WWE. And Rollins is right in line with frequent Joe opponents like Balor and Nakamura, which doesn't help. They put the work in, but don't get much out of it. Rollns won with a weird fluke cover, so I don't know what or why any of this match.  (3/7)

Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman: I'm gonna say Strowman wins but the victory will be blamed on Roman's ambulance injuries.

Yep. Of course, even with Roman's "injuries", indicated by a heavily taped up chest and arm, it took a hellacious beating and two running powerslams to keep Reigns down because Reigns. Post-match, Strowman destroys Reigns a bit more with the steel steps, so it might be another couple of weeks before Reigns is back to 100%. Reigns refuses to be stretchered out, either out of bravery, fortitude, or fear that Strowman would ambulance-murder him again. Which in fact happens at the start of Raw Talk after the PPV - Strowman charges at Reigns who's getting into the back of the ambulance, knocks the back door off, and Reigns somehow manages to get the last hits in. Because Reigns. (4/8)


Saturday, April 29, 2017

PREDICTIONS: WWE Payback

Yeah I don't need to watch this live.
Ah, the first PPV afgter Mania. Traditionally a weird, half-assed affair, this year's Payback is extra special because of the weirdness caused by matches being set before the Superstar Shakeup. I have bad feelings about this.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Arrow: "Dangerous Liasons (4/26)

There's moral ambiguity, and then there's just amibuity.
There are two huge problems with the big Helix blowoff episode this week. The first is that the whole Felicity/Helix thing is built on Felicity's grief over Billy and desire for revenge against Promootheus, and that's the one thing this season the show has completely failed to sell me on.

NXT (4/26)

Pretzel Party on NXT!

A lot of OK stuff on this week's NEXT, but it's really all about the UK title match.

205 Live (4/25)

Still one of the best things going
It's amazing how much the end of the Alicia Fox storyline is livening up 205 Live. Some solid matches and furthering of the stories this week.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Agents of SHIELD: "All The Madame's Men" (4/22)

Another solid episode of Agents of SHIELD in the can, but it pretty much played out in a completely logical fashion from what came before it, so I'll touch on a couple of minor points instead of the plot.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Smackdown Live (4/25)

"I don't  exactly know what a House of Horrost match is, but for some reason I feel like Sunday, I'm going to find out."

God, Randy Orton sucks.

The Flash: "The Once And Future Flash" (4/25)

NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO
Honestly, by Season 3 Flash standards, this wasn't a completely awful episode. Oh, sure, it was full of the usual bullshit like Barry not listening to Iris, Barry standing around mouthbreathing while villains unleash their powers on him, and the eternal question of how, in the seven (or eight, according to the show) years between 2017 and 2024, nobody ever used the magic words "Iris wouldn't have wanted this" that turned Future Barry around. But beyond that, the show was watchable, I think.

Monday Night Raw (April 24)

Can this just keep happening forever?
If you watch wrestling for goofarounds on the mic rather than the in-ring action, this was actually a pretty good episode of Raw. For the most part.