Wrestlemania XXX

Wrestlemania

This past Sunday was the 30th installment of WWE’s Wrestlemania. It is amazing to think that Wrestlemania has been around for so long and shows no signs of slowing down.

I will not be going through this PPV match by match, but briefly discussing what stood out, good or bad.

Overall, it was a very good show that started off perfectly with The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and Hulk Hogan doing a bit that was immensely entertaining.

The first match was Triple H vs. Daniel Bryan with the winner to become the third entrant in the main event World title match with Batista and Randy Orton. It was one of the best matches I have seen in a while. Both performers were at the top of their game and the match ended the way it should with Bryan winning.

The match that almost ruined the show was The Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar.  It was very slow and fairly boring and the match ended with Lesnar winning which was a huge shock. The Undertaker had a 21-0 record at Wrestlemania and it is a wrestling tradition for him to win. The ending was very surprising and really took the air out of the crowd in attendance. Yes, wrestling is scripted, but this was the one thing all fans thought would never change. After Wrestlemania it was learned that The Undertaker suffered a concussion early in the match and was rushed to the hospital after the match ended which explains why it was so slow moving.

The best part though was the triple threat match for the World title between Orton, Batista, and Bryan. It was a good match throughout and everyone got the ending they wanted with Daniel Bryan becoming the new WWE World Champion. All three wrestlers worked the match perfectly. I hope they give Bryan a fairly long reign since he really puts on great matches.

This was a great show and I cannot wait for next year’s!!

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The Winter Soldier

Oh hell yeah! I saw Captain America: The Winter Soldier this past weekend and it blew me away. The first movie was my absolute favorite of all time and the second one has quickly replaced it. In my opinion this is a great movie period, not just in the comic book genre, but of all movies. It was nearly 2 1/2 hours long and you could not tell since it was very fast paced and keeps you interested throughout. Chris Evans is the perfect Captain America and you cannot help but root for him. Sebastian Stan nails the character of The Winter Soldier perfectly. I cannot wait to see his evolution throughout the various upcoming films. Frank Grillo was a great Brock Rumlow/Crossbones and I cannot wait to see what evil stuff he does in the next Captain America movie. Anthony Mackie, Robert Redord, and Samuel Jackson were excellent as The Falcon, Agent Alexander Pierce, and Nick Fury respectfully. There was not a weak performance from anyone in the entire movie.

Steve Rogers going head to head with the artist-formerly-known-as-Bucky were some of the best fight scenes I have seen in some time.

Only one spoiler I must discuss, the extra scene during the credits. Getting our first glimpses of Baron von Strucker, Scarlet Witch, and Quicksilver (who will all feature prominently in the Avengers sequel) thrilled me to no one end and somehow made me even more excited for a movie that I was already thrilled to see.

This is a movie you must see wether or not you are a comic book fan. It will not disappoint.

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Munchkin

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My latest gaming addiction is the card game Munchkin, http://www.worldofmunchkin.com/cardgame/. I have owned the Munchkin Cthulhu set, and three of the expansions, since I bought them at San Diego Comic Con in 2009. They collected dust until September 09, 2012 when my wife, daughter and I finally played it for the first time. The first game was a little awkward since we were still trying to figure out the rules, but after that we were on a roll and really enjoying the game. We have bought various themed dice, level and kill counters, the official IOS app, storage boxes, figurines, etc…when I really get into something, I have a tendency to go “all in” and learn everything there is to know about it and buy all the merchandise I can find related to it. All three of us are really enjoying this game and I have added the original Munchkin, Munchkin Apocalypse, Munchkin Bites, and Munchkin Unnatural Axe to our collection.

It is one of those games that is simple enough for non hardcore gamers to learn and enjoy and for hardcore/experienced gamers to find challenging and just downright fun. What is great about it is the fact that my wife and daughter enjoy it as well. I am not the kind of guy who hangs out at bars with “the guys” or goes fishing with “the men” on the weekends. My most memorable and enjoyable times are with my “ladies” (wife and daughter in case that was not clear). I try to find things that all three of us can enjoy and this game is one of them.

If you have not played it, you really need to. You can find the various 100+ card sets on Amazon (just search for ‘munchkin card game’) for less than $20. Barnes & Noble stores also carry Munchkin and even have exclusive sets. There are various themed sets that fit all kinds of interests…Pirates, Space, Superheroes, Vampires, Zombies, etc…

I wholeheartedly recommend this game for anyone who likes to game and who enjoys goofy humor.

WCW Halloween Havoc 1989

For a pro wrestling fan like myself, the WWE Network is simply awesome. I have been subscribed since the day it launched and have not been disappointed. You have on demand access to nearly every WWE, WCW, and ECW PPV and various other wrestling related programming.

One of the things I have enjoyed is getting to watch the WCW PPV’s. I have always preferred WWE’s product and watched an occasional episode of WCW Monday Nitro, but never really saw many of their pay per views. I decided to start watching the annual Halloween Havoc show from the first one in 1989 and plan to watch them all over the next couple of months and give my opinions on the matches and the show itself and will get to just about everything else on the WWE Network over time

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The first thing I noticed about Halloween Havoc 1989 is that the production quality in WCW was several steps below the WWE (WWF at the time). I am not talking about the matches themselves or the wrestlers, but WCW looked like an independent company where the WWE looked like a top notch production. Ted Turner purchased the organization in 1988 and you would have thought he would have put more money into the company, but it did not come off that way. I will save more on this topic for another post and just give a quick rundown on the matches w/o posting the outcomes of the matches themselves in case you want to be surprised.

Match 1 Tom Zenk vs. Mike Rotunda – not too bad for an opening match, which have the tendency to be short and quickly forgotten, and it definitely had some exciting moments and the crowd was in to the match which helps sometimes. Definitely came off as a thrown together match though just to fill some time on the show.

Match 2 The Samoan Swat Team vs. The Midnight Express and Steve Williams – Very fun and all 6 wrestlers were over with the crowd and new how to work a match. The Midnight Express are very ’80s in their look and gimmick, but still come off as entertaining in 2014 because they were excellent performers.

Match 3 Tommy Rich vs. The Cuban Assassin – Nope..nothing to say other than it was an unneeded match and using the Lou Thesz Press as a pin is disturbing.

Match 4 The Freebirds vs. The Dynamic Dudes – I do not like The Freebirds. I know they are considered an innovative and legendary tag team, but they just come off as downright awkward to me. I know non wrestling fans will think that all pro wrestling is awkward, but for myself The Freebirds are the cream of the awkward crop. What I liked the most about this match was the tag team of Shane Douglas and Johnny Ace (The Dynamic Dudes) at such an early point in their careers especially knowing the evolution of their characters in later years.

Match 5 Doom vs. The Steiner Brothers – The best match of the night in my opinion. All four guys are excellent athletes and really put on an exciting match. It came off as a very physical, stiff match and I found myself rooting for both teams even though Doom were the heels.

Match 6 Lex Luger vs. Brian Pillman – Another good match. Both wrestlers were early in their carriers and already showed they would become top tier talent.

Match 7 The Road Warriors vs. The Skyscrapers – Another very fun match. I have always enjoyed the Road Warriors/Legion of Doom. One of my absolute favorite tag teams of all time and even some of their weaker matches late in their careers still entertain me. Sid Vicious and Dan Spivey (The Skyscrapers) played the heel role perfectly.

Match 8 Ric Flair & Sting vs. The Great Muta and Terry Funk – 4 of the all time greats put on an awesome main event match. The gimmick was that the match took place inside a steel cage that was electrified at the top. Ahh wrestling…the silly things you guys come up with. The best part was when they lowered the cage around the ring and one of the top corners caught on fire. Watching the staff climb up the cage to put it out was quite amusing. The match itself was crazy and fun. With Sting early in his career, Ric Flair at his prime, The Great Muta at his green mist spewing best, and Terry Funk at his middle aged and craziest, it was simply great fun to watch.

Overall, it was a fun PPV and interesting to see WCW in the ’80’s when I was mostly watching the WWF at the time.

I look forward to seeing all of WCW’s PPV’s and seeing the evolution of the company.

A Nightmare on Elm Street

A Nightmare on Elm Street, released in 1984, is the movie that got me in to horror movies when I was a teenager. There was just something about the movie’s creepiness and the killer himself, Freddy Krueger, that really intrigued me and turned me in to a life long horror movie fan.

Re-watching the first movie as an adult, it still has that creepy factor and I still see Freddy as the best horror movie villain ever created…even in his later, silly catchphrase incarnation.

For the few horror movie fans that may have not seen it I will just give my general opinions and mention some of my favorite moments without spoiling anything.

What caught my eye was the fact that through a large potion of the movie you do not get to see Freddy clearly which makes his eventual full reveal more shocking if this is your first exposure to the character. The look of Freddy is effective for a first movie and Robert Englund’s performance is perfect. I have the recent remake in my collection, but have yet to watch it since it is hard to imagine anyone else in the role since Englund portrayed this character perfectly for 7 films.

The gore effects stand up fairly well with my favorite of the film still being the classic Johnny Depp bed blood geyser. Even if you have never seen this film, it is one of those classic horror movie moments that just about every fan is familiar with. It is also amusing watching Depp in his first major movie role and to see how much he has grown as an actor over the years.

I also enjoyed John Saxon as the father of the heroine of the story, Nancy (played by Heather Langenkamp). Sometimes actors in horror movies can come off as not taking the medium seriously and acting goofy and over the top. Saxon takes his role and the movie itself seriously and plays his part perfectly.

The movie can easily be obtained on DVD or blu-ray separately or in collections of the 7 original movies through all the normal retailers. As a big fan I have the original DVD 8 disc set and it holds up very well.

This is one of those films that is a perfect example of why the ’80’s slasher movie craze was so big and how, despite a lot of the straight-to-home-video horror movies that made the genre look bad, there are still many great exceptions with A Nightmare on Elm Street being at the top.

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A New Beginning

For me, Sunday is the beginning of a new week. Most people see Monday more in that role since it is the start to a new work week, but I always look at Sundays as the time to start focusing on the upcoming week and what I want to achieve on both a personal and professional level. For myself I look forward to the start of this regular blog. It is something I have wanted to do for some time, but never seem to get around to it. I have decided no more excuses and to just do it. I plan to start with at least 3 blog posts a week about things I enjoy and reviewing/promoting them. Initially, I am planning on the following three themes:

Monday Movies (I figured I would post my review of any movies I have recently seen for the first time or re-watched…I have fairly eclectic tastes so it could be anything from the latest Marvel movie to a classic Disney animated film or possibly a favorite horror movie)

Wrestling Wednesday (I have been a pro wrestling fan since I was around 12 and I subscribed to the WWE Network the day it launched and have enjoyed watching old PPV’s and various shows and decided it would be fun to give my opinion on one per week and yes, I know pro wrestling is scripted)

Free Fridays (I will post my opinion on whatever comes to mind…be it a comic book book I just read, a basketball game I have just watched, a game I recently played, etc…)

My hopes are to continue to grow and improve as a writer/blogger and possibly have a solid reader base in the future.

This is an exciting journey for me and I hope you will enjoy it as well.

I greatly appreciate all opinions, wether you agree or disagree with me, and look forward to constructive debates.

Please enjoy!!!