The NBA Finals

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I am a huge basketball fan.

For most of my life I have been an avid Phoenix Suns fan and enjoy playing and watching the game of basketball.

The Suns struggled this year so my normal playoff time passion has been quelled until the finals started. It is fantastic to see the two teams who are truly the best in the NBA going head-to-head.

No one this season was better throughout the year than the Golden State Warriors and despite experiencing some troubles early in the season, the Cleveland Cavaliers made it clear that they are the top team in the Eastern Conference.

My hope is that this will be a 7 game series and after Cleveland’s big win at Golden State last night, I think that is a strong possibility. Despite losing Kyrie Irving for the rest of the finals this Cavaliers team came up big with LeBron James dominating as usual. Golden State is a great team and will more than likely win at least one game on the road making for a long series. With the first two games going into overtime this is going to be a long, drag out fight to the finish.

I am rooting for Cleveland since the state has never won an NBA title. Who do you want to see win the NBA Championship this year? Let me know in the comments and here’s to what could turn out to be one of the best Finals in years!

WCW Halloween Havoc 1992 & 1993

These 2 Halloween Havoc’s were very interesting since they seem to be a who’s who of former WWF stars with one that I did not realize had a stint in WCW.

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1992 was a fun show overall with the following highlights:

Big Van Vader vs. Nikita Koloff was a good match between two big guys that showed that WCW did have some of their own talent that could compete with WWF. Same with the tag team match between Barry Windham/Dustin Rhodes and Steve Austin/Steve Williams. All four putting on a great match with Rhodes and Austin continuing their exciting feud.

The three matches featuring former WWF stars were over all good. Ricky Steamboat going against a young Brian Pillman was an excellent match and they really seemed to have a great chemistry together. Rick Rude vs. Masahiro Chono was also great with Rude not only showing his great in-ring ability but his heel personality was always very over with the crowd and provided some very memorable moments throughout his career.

The guy that I did not realize had a stint in WCW was Jake “The Snake” Roberts. He was involved in a ‘spin the wheel, make the deal match’ where early in the show his opponent Sting had to spin a large wheel to determine what type of match they had (steel cage, texas death match, etc…). It wound up being a coal miner’s glove match where whoever climbed up a pole first in the match could grab the suspended glove and knock their opponent out (it was supposedly metal lined). The match was fine for the most part until the end when Roberts used his gimmick of pulling the snake out of the bag to taunt his opponent but was instead bit on the face himself. It was an actual snake (cobra I believe) and clearly de-fanged. The problem was Roberts had to be overly physical with the snake in order to make it look like he was being bit. Let’s just say PETA would have been all over him today for how roughly he treated the snake.

Overall, a solid PPV and worth a watch.

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1993 was probably the best Halloween Havoc up to this point. Just a brief synopsis of the standout matches:

Paul Orndorff vs. Ricky Steamboat – two legends put on a great match and showed that both could still work well

Lord Steven Regal vs. Davey Boy Smith – two very different styles of wrestling that really worked well together

Dustin Rhodes vs. Steve Austin – this match seemed to be a bit of a tradition for a few years and never got old since they both had such great in-ring chemistry

Nasty Boys vs. Marcus Bagwell and 2 Cold Scorpio – simply awesome…Bagwell and Scorpio had silly gimmicks at the time, but were amazing athletes and performed some very memorable high flying moves off the top rope

Sting vs. Sid Vicious – they had a feud for a while and always managed to be entertaining

Rick Rude vs. Ric Flair – two legends who kept the crowd into the match throughout

And finally, Vader vs Cactus Jack – this was a Texas Death Match which is basically no DQ’s, falls count anywhere. Both guys beat the heck out of each and really put everything in to it which made for a fun match.

I am getting close to finishing the Halloween Havoc PPV’s and there is definitely some interesting moments where you really start to see where WCW went wrong as a company. When I get to my synopsis of those shows I may briefly go down to reviewing just one since I will have a bit more commentary.

Otherwise, next week is 1994 and 1995!

Role Models

One of my favorite comedies is Role Models starring Paul Rudd and Sean William Scott. When I am having a not-so-good day and just want to laugh, this is one of a handful of movies I throw in to my blu-ray player.

Paul Rudd and Sean William Scott play energy drink salesman who have to perform community service when after a school rally, Danny (Rudd) gets into an argument with a tow truck driver who is taking away his company truck for parking in a restricted zone. He winds up running over a security guard and crashing his truck in to a statue and unfortunately, Wheeler (Scott) is with him when this all happens. Danny is going through a bit of a mental break down when he realizes his life is going nowhere in his current job and his relationship with his girlfriend (Elizabeth Banks) starts going south after the truck crashing incident. Danny and Wheeler perform their community service at a big-brother style center called Sturdy Wings (led by a hilarious Jane Lynch) which is their sentencing judges favorite charity. This is where the real humor begins.

Danny is partnered with Augie (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) who is a LARP loving, shy teenager and Wheeler works with Ronnie (Bobb’e J. Thompson) who is a hilariously fouled-mouthed little kid with a major attitude. As can be expected, things do not start off well for either Danny or Wheeler, but over the course of the movie they become close with Augie and Ronnie and as can be expected, everything works out in the end.

Without spoiling anything for someone who has not seen this movie, it ends uproariously with a fantastic homage to Kiss at the end.

I have only seen the unrated version so I cannot speak on the difference in content between this version and the theatrical one, but there is quite a bit of sexual innuendo and vulgarities which might offend some people.

If you want some non thought-provoking humor that will keep you laughing throughout the movie then this is a great pick.

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South Park: The Stick of Truth

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One of my new favorite games is South Park: The Stick of Truth. This game is a must buy if you are a fan of South Park or just a fan of ridiculous, over the top humorous RPG style gaming.

The game starts off like most RPG’s with you creating your own South Park character to represent you in the game. Just this small part is laden with humor that will have you laughing from the get go (just an FYI, do not spend too much time trying to come up with your character’s name…you will see why). From this point forward you are now in a long episode of South Park. The graphics are spot on and really give you that feeling of playing around in an episode.

I am only a little over half way through the game and it does not disappoint. There are many inside jokes that may get lost on the non fan, but overall it is still that same crude, socially/politically biting humor everyone has come to expect. The game play is fast paced and even though there is a story line to progress through, you can still spend some serious time just walking around and trying to find all the easter eggs you can.

This game is definitely one that must be added to any gamer and/or South Park fan’s collection.

WCW Halloween Havoc 1990 & 1991

I am going to combine some PPV’s so as not to bore anyone with match by match descriptions and just discuss the highlights, and any notable lowlights, and catch up to what I have watched on the WWE Network so far.

First off is WCW Halloween Havoc 1990.

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The first highlight for me was The Steiner Brothers vs. The Nasty Boys. Two very popular tag teams who were at the top of their game in this match. Nasty Boys were the heels and what I have always been impressed by is the fact that they excelled as either the bad or the good guys. Many wrestlers struggle when they are out of their comfort zone, but not The Nasty Boys. They seem to love being the heel just as much as they love being fan favorites. What they lacked in athletic ability they more than made up for with ring psychology. They were great at working a match and The Steiner Brothers are one of the best teams of all time for them to work with. The Steiner’s are very athletic and really know how to work the crowd. They spent a large portion of their careers as faces and it worked. They had a very long run as a tag team and are truly one of the greatest teams of all time. The Steiner Brothers won in a very exciting match that deserves a re-watching.

The other notable match was Sting vs. Sid Vicious. It was surprisingly fast, about 12 minutes long, but was fun either way. The ending was slightly confusing since Sid pinned a fake Sting, but suddenly the real Sting runs out and wins the match. Kind of unnecessary, but interesting to say the least.

The rest of the card was not very notable with the exception of Stan Hansen vs. Lex Luger. Stan Hansen was not a great worker in my opinion and him coming out with chewing tobacco running down his chin was just plain gross. Hansen winning the match was even worse.

Next up is WCW Halloween Havoc 1991.

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It started off with a Chamber of Horrors match featuring El Gigante, Sting and The Steiner Brothers vs. Cactus Jack, Abdullah the Butcher, The Diamond Studd and Big Van Vader (the attached poster shows different participants since there was a last minute change) ending with Abdullah the Butcher being ‘electrocuted’ and giving the win to Sting and his team. Very strange gimmick, but bizarrely entertaining.

The best match of the night was Stunning Steve Austin vs. Dustin Rhodes. The two of them always seem to have great matches together and this was no exception. It ended in a time limit draw, but still managed to be a satisfying match between two great performers.

The third and final match of note was Lex Luger vs. Ron Simmons in a two out of three falls match. Both wrestlers put on a great match, really worked well together, and even though Lex Luger won, Ron Simons still came off great.

The quality of the Halloween Havoc PPV’s can be a bit iffy, but I still enjoy them. Something about the whole Halloween theme that entertains me, probably since it is my favorite holiday.

1992 and 1993 to come next week!

Pacific Rim

Pacific Rim is one of the most fun movies that has come out in a while. I am a huge fan of Guillermo del Toro and when he first announced he was working on a Kaiju movie I was very excited by the possibilities. He is one of the most talented filmmakers today and I knew he would not disappoint. I did not get to see this movie in the theaters but watching it on blu ray was worth the wait. The movie looked perfect in HD and the sound was intense.

The Jaeger were impressive and came off very realistic as did the Kaiju. You truly got a sense that these monsters and robots were all real and beating the living daylights out of each other while destroying everything in their path.

Overall, the performances were good with Idris Elba and Ron Perlman standing out. Idris Elba is great in every role he plays and he really seems to take every part seriously no matter how silly the subject may seem. Because of that he always stands out and makes every movie he is in that much better. Ron Perlman is simply an iconic genre actor and he never disappoints no matter the role.

I sincerely hope we get a sequel to this movie and get to see much more robot on monster action.

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Echo

Last year I started reading Terry Moore’s Echo (yes, I realize I am a little late to the show)…an excellent comic book that is available digitally through Comixology. I bought the first 3 issues and really enjoyed it. It is about a woman dealing with a divorce, financial issues, etc…who is suddenly bestowed a high tech battle suit by accident which obviously will change her life dramatically. I am only three issues in so I do not know much past that and do not want to spoil it for myself even though it has been out for a few years. It is produced in black and white which really adds to the artwork much like it does for The Walking Dead (a personal favorite of mine that I will discuss at a later date).

Terry Moore really seems to have a strong respect for women and does not overly sexualize them like many male comic artists do. It is nice to read a comic book featuring a female character that I do not feel weird reading in front of my daughter due to the ridiculous poses/proportions. He is an excellent writer/artist and after I finish reading Echo I plan to buy the Strangers in Paradise collections (I know…even later to the party) which I have heard nothing but good things about.

Here’s hoping to a satisfying read of all 30 issues of Echo and an enjoyable start to Strangers!

 

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