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Greggulator

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Greggulator last won the day on May 12 2016

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  1. One of the things Raw and Smackdown do is have an A-plot through line that extends through the show. They have to have this as a TV structure — you want people to tune in and keep watching throughout the night. This is why so many episodes start with a promo to set up what will happen throughout the night. Seeing the same structure is repetitive — opening promo that sets the main event, a bunch of matches and segments, in between, next segment in the main plot, more stuff, main event/segment that ends the show. But that is just how TV writing works. Whatever is the main segment of the night gets some type one three-act structure. Maybe there is a surprise twist — someone new showing up, like the Nexus debut to end the build to Fan’s Vote vs. Cena — but that is just how things get built. I think my favorite through line episodes were: 1) The Shield Vs. Everyone. This was when The Shield was beefing with Evolution and turned face. Authority flunky Brad Maddox set up a 12 vs. 3 match of some kind. The Shield spent the show picking off combatants in the match and then Maddox himself to prevent him from changing the odds. Then the match itself occurred and The Shield tore through everyone. There was a great segment when Wade and Alberto Del Rio, the only heels in the match with any real push, just said “fuck it” and walked away. Wade then slyly pushed ADR into a Roman spear at the top of the ramp to save himself. The other great one was a Raw I attended live. The New Day were about to break the record for the longest consecutive reign as yah champs. They won their first match to do so but ran afoul of Stephanie backstage, who made them wrestle a final match in the main event. I can’t remember who it was against but I remember Xavier Woods doing one of the best Ricky Morton Weight Of The World babyface stuff imaginable. The New Day ended up pulling out the miraculous win and the record. Which leads me to: ACT OF THE DECADE: I am going to go with The New Day. This shocks me to say that considering how much I loved The Wyatts and The Shield and Daniel Bryan’s runs and etc. But The New Day get the nod over the other stables because they are vulnerable, and vulnerability is more compelling than dominance as a character trait. Once someone is established as dominant, then you have to figure out what to do once they lose, because you have to lose at some point. The New Day were DOA with their Gospel act, even though the first sketch had them doing a Nation redux (despite what they claim now). But they leaned into not being liked and found their voice as nerdy, oblivious heels who worked well as a collective. And then they were so good at the roles — legitimately funny and connecting with nerd culture, which is what wrestling is now — that they became fan favorites. It is insane that Xavier became such a good mouthpiece and worker in either capacity considering he was so bad in NXT. Their initial heel run worked though because they never should have won. They were cheap shot artists. They tried to do a “dominant force” thing with them at the end of some Raw and it was not going to work, and they went back to cowards the next week. Then their face run, even with the record in place, they still always looked like they could (and should) be beaten. Their vulnerability now lets them lose (which is something every character has to do at some point) in a lot of ways — either via as an established force against the other veterans in The Usos or by dealing with heel nonsense like Miz and Morrison. And the sympathy that comes with vulnerability then led to the amazing Kofi Mania arc. That was just pure magic in his first gauntlet match — the whole “I never had a shot at this!” acting from someone who has always been great at that stuff — to all of the obstacles in his path that led to the incredible Xavier/Big E gauntlet with The Usos showing their respect — and Kofi’s inevitable triumph against the original ultimate underdog who now was an evil force. And they are still great today. What a fantastic group of three performers who know their individual and collective voice. That is why having characters who can suffer are so much better than people who can just run through others.
  2. My wife just started watching Amazing Race episodes. I have watched a few with her and enjoy it. It is definitely a really fun show. I think Survivor is the best game show of all time. Someone on The Ringer wrote today that Survivor is just like pizza. It’s still good when it’s bad. But when it’s good it is GOOD. Also, John Morrison was on a few seasons ago. Yes, the Miz’s tag partner. Also on the show that year was comedy writer/actor Mike White who actually came in second place.
  3. I love The Sinner. Great series. I like Season 2 more than Season 1 because anything with weird utopian societies is in my wheelhouse. Season 3 is also really good even though the main villain is insufferable.
  4. Is there anyone else on here a big Survivor fan? I am not ashamed to admit that it's my favorite TV show of all-time. Winners at War was a great season of TV.
  5. Also, writing this just seconds after I came to the defense of Roman Reigns... But I think today's wheeling and dealing calling the WWE an "essential business" in Florida is it for me and watching WWE. I will avoid all of the talk of the political machinations as I believe that is the rule of the board. But the fact that wrestlers are considered essential employees but are independent contractors and get no health insurance AND someone already had the virus is just absolutely repugnant to me, on top of the sleaze politics behind it all.
  6. Roman was very over -- and organically over -- in The Shield. He was getting great reactions non-stop -- the Rumble where he set the record for most eliminations, Survivor Series that year, the last part of the Shield/Wyatts classic at Elimination Chamber where he nearly saved the day for The Shield, and number of Raws where he did the OOOAHHHH thing and got a huge reaction. He owned the audience. Why the hell wouldn't you want to push that guy to oblivion? A really good looking guy with natural charisma who is also a pretty great worker? I believe the timeline went "Vince is going to push Roman to the moon BOOOOOOOOO" before the push even began in earnest and/or when he got hurt. I will forever think the backlash against Roman's push was just because WWE fans can be pretty friggin' idiotic and hypocritcal. Was the writing always good for Roman? Of course not. Is he a world class promo guy? Nope. (Although he's almost on par with Henry as a heel in-ring shit-talker.) But the guy got over and was being pushed exactly because of the reactions he was getting and then all of a sudden the loudest fans in the arena decided they hated him because he was about to get a huge push. And Roman's huge push was going to come at the expense of Daniel Bryan... who got arguably the biggest push of all-time, which was designed because of the reactions he was getting.
  7. Also, underrated not quite a feud but so many awesome matches: Cesaro vs. Cena. What friggin' amazing dance partners. We all know Cesaro's superhuman strength, but his agility is also next level. Cena's great with any kind of worker, but I think he really excels with someone like Cesaro who can toss John around like he's on 205 Live. John's selling really shines in those types of matches. Plus, they had the sick match in 2014 where Cena did a sit-up out of the swing position into a DDT, which is just one of the more disgusting feats of core strength you'll ever see a human being pull off. And: The John Cena Open was just non-stop awesome. I can't even remember all of the great ones. The Sami one really stands out since he friggin' popped his shoulder before the match even started and still gutted out a really great match. Other matches I loved: 1) Rollins vs. Neville. This was such an awesome segment and really short match. It was Rollins at his dweeb heel best. The false finish at the end was the most creative in memory, because an overexcited Neville rolled Rollins up so much he inadvertantly put his foot on the ropes after hitting him with the Red Arrow. 2) We all know about the great Wyatts vs. Shield rivalry -- the Elimination Chamber match is seriously on the short list of best matches in WWE history, let alone the decade. They also had the great Raw classic where Seth left the team since Dean/Reigns weren't on the same page. There was also a match on that one show I can't remember that The Shield actually won. An underrated component of that feud was that we all remember The Shield's dominant undefeated year by The Wyatts owned them in six-mans and Bray ate their lunches in a lot of singles matches. 3) I know people crap on Bray but man he had a lot of awesome singles matches. His match against Daniel Bryan at that Rumble was my favorite DB match during that huge run. I like it even more than the Cena classic. It got set up by DB joining The Family, one of the all-time best quick angles since it got so many people so riled up about Bryan being "buried" (LOL) when they were clearly setting up for the Rumble. DB breaking free of Bray in that cage led to the biggest pop of the date. Their Rumble match was so friggin' brutal and nuts. The Sister Abigail into the barrier was so incredibly awful looking in the best way possible. Bray also had a sick match against Cena where Cena lobbed the steps from the ring into Bray's face. I also loved that point in their feud where Cena was in the cage and Bray brought out a friggin' children's choir to torment him.
  8. I didn't watch Gargano/Ciampa and don't plan on doing so. But they have a huge problem right now in that they have a lot of time to fill and a lot of issues filling it. How much talent do they even have available right now? They have to fill all of that up, and an hour long match is how they can do it. I sort of get the feeling that's why Edge/Orton was so horribly long, too.
  9. A friend has hooked me up with Season 3 of This Country. This is a mockumentary following two cousins who live in rural England. I think that line-by-line and scene-by-scene that it's the funniest TV show ever made. The first two seasons are available on Hulu in the US. If anyone else is a fan -- Oh, wow, Season 3 is as just as much as a masterpiece as the first two.
  10. Bray/Cena was really fun. Good on Cena for committing fully to something so incredibly weird and mocking of his career. He absolutely ran with what he was given. I am an unabashed Bray mark. Windham Rotunda really should be an actual actor. He has such a diverse set of tools for his different personas and character and knows how to change his voice, facial expressions, eye control, etc. I am assuming he had a huge hand in putting that together. Both this and Boneyard were so much fun to watch. You can tell the performers had a good time putting them together, too. I agree that less is more with this sort of thing, but this is just a strange time to be alive that they might have to rely on this sort of system for a while. Night One was way more fun. I liked both women’s matches a lot tonight. Everything else was sort of just there or insufferably long. I am also not a Drew fan. Dude is a snooze.
  11. I can't go that deep in my memory. But my Top 5 off the top of my head would go something like this: 1) Wyatts/Shield, Elimination Chamber. That entire year of WWE TV was ridiculously good. It was largely that good because they had so many awesome six-man matches from first The Shield and then The Wyatts. Their first tease was at one of the Raws in England and was one of those "Oh, crap, yeah, we need this NOW" moments. It just got better from there. It such a great three-act story. The first was all three teams going at it and ending in a draw. The second was the violence being heightened and taken to the floor and ended with the mystery of Ambrose going missing. The third act was whether or not Roman Reigns could hold off the inevitable before dying on his own shield. A+. 2) Punk/Cena, MITB. The best homecourt advantage in wrestling history. Total chaos with everyone wondering WTF was going to happen in terms of the backstage stuff leaking into the actual story, with one the all-time best endings. 3) Sasha/Bayley I and II. I refuse to separate those matches from each other. Both of them were absolutely monumental and had such a huge, lasting impact and really changed professional wrestling forever. The NXT women had been stealing show show for some time, and Sasha/Becky from the previous takeover was really f'n great. The first Takeover match had a year's long story of Bayley overcoming her self-doubt and naivety to beat the Legit Boss who had been running the show in a match with fantastic heightening and heeling throughout. The Iron Woman match had Sasha's best-ever character work when she tormented Izzy at ringside and a great ending to my favorite gimmick match, with Bayley calling back to the first match by stomping on Sasha's hands until she had to tap. 4) Revival vs. DIY. The Revival brought the house down for so much and showed the world that tag team wrestling is the best wrestling. Great match with another awesome ending with both Revival members tapping out at once. 5) SAMI VS. NEVILLE: That match made me feel like a kid again. It was a great morality play at its finest to see if Sami Zayn, who was pretty much the voice of the audience, would break his code to become the champion. He didn't succumb to his darkest impulses, and walked out a hero... only to have his former best friend stab him at the end. HONORABLE MENTION: The Kofi Kingston Gauntlet Match. I can't remember who even won that match because who really cares. The only thing to remember that match was Kofi's insane 60-minute performance with some great character work throughout. It set off KofiMania and ended with him beating Daniel Bryan in a classic. And along the way there was a great story about a great, overlooked wrestler finally getting his big moment, helped along by his two best friends and the universal respect of his peers (best encapsulated by the Usos forfeit).
  12. I loved every single second of that show. It was so much fun. Also, you really got to see a lot of artistry in how the performers were all adjusting in their own way to the new setting. I think it also showed in a lot of ways how the WWE live audience can be totally worthless. So many times it just takes away from the show instead of adding on to the show. Having no audience really just let everyone lean into what they wanted to do the most. Kabuki Warriors vs. Nikki/Bliss was great since the KWs and Nikki just did their usually shtick. That actually make a lot of sense to their characters since they're all off to various degrees. Corbin vs. Elias was the most "whatever" match to me but Corbin's a really good heel. He's the one guy I think all night who clearly works better in front of a live audience since he does not care about being a heel at all. Bryan vs. The Great Liberator was so enjoyable. You an tell those guys had a great time putting it together. Sami's new act is pretty brilliant, if you asked me. There's no way I would have ever thought he'd be an excellent wormy cheapshot heel after his outstanding run as a babyface in NXT. But he's found a way to be uniquely irritating but still entertaining. Rollins vs. KO was my favorite match (non-Boneyard division) of the night. I don't hate Rollins at all. He's especially good as a grating self-absorbed heel. I think this felt like a really great comic book fight since it was so heavy on dialogue. Both guys really know how to use their voice during matches in front of live audiences better than anyone else. One of the more stand-out moment last decade was when Rollins left his brothers in the rematch against The Wyatts on that one Raw and said "YOU NEED TO WORK THIS OUT!" and the like. KO is also really great at talking in matches and making himself heard. They both really leaned into that so much. Rollins saying stuff like "YOUR MOUTH ALWAYS GOT YOU IN TROUBLE KEV" and the like was really good. But KO screaming "HOW'S THIS FOR A WRESTLEMANIA MOMENT?" before his huge dive was a really great iconic moment. Becky vs. Shayna was super snug and felt like a real fight. It was the same thing they did in NXT where Shayna lost the women's belt and went off by saying "I wasn't beat. I lost. And you'll never understand the difference." It's a great way to continue the feud some more since Becky's clever way to pin Shayna wasn't a decisive tap-out win. I'm hoping they get into a submission vs. submission match. The ladder match was a fun spectacle. Kofi's one of the all-time great in any setting they put him in. That hurricanrana spot was mindboggling. I also loved the "I KNOW YOU GOT HEART!" before laying in a boot into whatever Uso that was. My only problem with the match is JoMo. He's such a fun and singularly unique wrestler with his parkour stuff. But wow does he not do anything fun character wise. But that was a great car wreck. I will fess up to not paying attention to Braun/Goldberg. The Boneyard Match was just everything I (and a lot of other people I've talked with) need wrestling to be at this really horrible point of time for people. This is such a fucking stressful moment for a lot of people -- myself included. But having something that was just pure, unadulterated fun and silliness was a perfect read on what to do. Great commitment from everyone around and buying into the magic tricks. A+ all around and a really great distraction from what we're all enduring.
  13. I prefer all the episodes I am on. I hope I am not spilling any beans. But my brother’s biggest dream guest for his show was Roddy Piper. It was actually close to happening and they talked a few times on the phone before Hot Rod passed away. We were Piper fanatics as kids. Not sure if it will come up in the thing about New Jack, but Chris and I went to see ECW in Asbury Park in 1997 or so. Chris actually managed to get part of a table Jack dove through from the mezzanine. I have it beat though because the same show I was in the bathroom. I heard the unmistakable voice of Referee Bill Alfonso say “it’s clear, no one is here” and RVD walked to the stall next to me, pulled up the right leg of his singlet, turned to the side and peed. As far as the Benoit documentary goes — I really think it is award worthy. There were so many parts I never considered, like how Vikki and Nancy had a very close friendship. I also think the producers did a very good job at showing that Woman was really talented herself and more than just a murder victim. They are completely right, too. Just in ECW alone she had such a big impact. Everyone remembers the Shane NWA belt thing. But the first really big ECW angle I remember hearing about was when Tommy accidentally swung a cane and it clicked Sandman’s cigarette into his eye and he was blind. Nancy did such an awesome job and people at the time legit thought it was a shoot. She also got Dreamer over huge. Dreamer in those early days of ECW was just some chubby snooze. The whole angle with The Sandman got him over, especially when he had to take a bunch of cane shots and Woman tormented him the entire time. That really put Dreamer over as “extreme” and was the angle that made his career. I also don’t know how over Sandman would have been without her as a second. His act was so unique he could have been fine but she really added a lot to it. I also was such a huge mark for Doom. Their debut match at some random Clash is one of the best ring intros ever. If memory is correct, there is some sort of giant skull background and a lot of dry ice and “Her Strut” by ZZ Top and a lot of bad attitude all around. She was really really talented.
  14. He is a huge fan. He had both Sami Zayn and X-PAC on separate episodes on his old show. The X-PAC episode also had Jon Hamm in a sumo wrestling suit. Chris and Colt Cabana are also really good friends and have done a lot of work together over the years. We actually went on vacation together last winter to go to a NXT Taping.
  15. Season Three of The Sinner wrapped up last week. It's such a great series. Harry's antagonist this year was by far the least interesting. Jessica Biel's memory lapsed woman was an all-time "wait, what, this person can act?" role. Carrie Coon as the de facto leader of a deepwoods utopian cult was really next level. Jamie Burns is many steps below that in terms of being interesting. But man Matt Bomer hit the role out of the park and became so ridiculously compelling along the way.
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