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Larry Rydell

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  1. Jesus, Jeph actually went through with it. Marten hooked up with a pre-op transsexual....
  2. 1. Was he ever regarded as the best draw in the world? Jun Akiyama rarely, if ever, worked outside of his native Japan. Was he ever regarded as the best draw in his country or his promotion? Akiyama had three runs as Pro Wrestling NOAH's GHC Heavyweight Champion, reigns that saw attendance stagnate and decline in comparison to the title runs of Mitsuharu Misawa and Kenta Kobashi. He was also All Japan Triple Crown Champion during a period that saw All Japan struggle to sell 1,000 tickets in Korakuen Hall. 2. Was he an international draw, national draw and/or regional draw? Akiyama was positioned as one of NOAH's "top stars" from 2000 to his departure in 2012 and is currently the "match maker" and President of All Japan Pro Wrestling. 3. How many years did he have as a top draw? 12 years, give or take. 4. Was he ever regarded as the best worker in the world? Was he ever regarded as the best worker in his country or in his promotion? Akiyama was widely regarded between 1995 thru 1999 as the "next big thing" in All Japan, but was never able to establish himself as a superior worker in comparison to Misawa, Kawada, or Kobashi. This has been blamed on factors ranging from simply not having "it" to Mike Lorefice's claims that Misawa, Kawada, Kobashi, and Taue spent too long leading Akiyama through matches instead of letting Akiyama call the match on his own and thus develop his own style and develop his own ability to carry inferior opponents to quality matches. Akiyama was never regarded as the best worker in his own promotion, own country, or overall in the world. 5. Was he ever the best worker in his class (sex or weight)? Was he ever one of the top workers in his class? See above. Akiyama was widely regarded as a "good" to "excellent" worker but has never been able to eclipse the "Four Gods of Heaven" or his New Japan compatriots from the same generation as a worker. His "Burning" tag team with Kenta Kobashi is usually regarded as the best tag team in the world during 1998-99, though Kobashi was regarded as the one carrying the team during that run. 6. How many years did he have as a top worker? Akiyama was regarded as a good to great worker between 1995 thru his June 14, 2009 neck injury. 7. Was he a good worker before his prime? Was he a good worker after his prime? Akiyama was considered the best "young lion" fromn 1995 thru 2000, when he ascended to main event status. His work since return from injury in 2009 has been more circumspect. It's usually agreed that Takao Omori did the carrying in their 6/15/15 Triple Crown match. 8. Did he have a large body of excellent matches? Did he have a excellent matches against a variety of opponents? Akiyama has a very large body of All Japan World Tag Team title matches and Triple Crown title matches which were rated 4*** by the Wrestling Observer and by others. In almost all of those matches, however, he was carried by his opponents and tag partners, usually Misawa, Kobashi, and Steve Williams (on the tag opponent side). His best singles matches all involved the same men and Toshiaki Kawada. 9. Did he ever anchor his promotion(s)? Akiyama had three runs as GHC Champion, and during his first two reigns saw attendance decline to the point where they had to take the title off of him in fluky fashion to junior heavyweights (an undeserving Yoshinari Ogawa and the far more deserving Naomichi Marufuji) in order to let Akiyama "save face" with the fans. His third GHC run occurred after NOAH had lost TV, while his Triple Crown title run played to empty arenas and a half-empty Korakuen Hall. 10. Was he effective when pushed at the top of cards? See above. Attendance either stagnated or declined during his title reigns. Fans simply never took to him the way they did to Misawa or Kobashi. 11. Was he valuable to his promotion before his prime? Was he still valuable to his promotion after his prime? There was probably more money made during his "Young Lion" phase when fans would pay to see him 'struggle' and 'learn' than during his actual time period as a main eventer (2001-2009). 12. Did he have an impact on a number of strong promotional runs? His tag runs with "Burning" in 1998-2000 were notable for the decline in All Japan's non-Tokyo business, outside of Ariake Colosseum and Nippon Budokan, NOAH had stagnant crowds at their non-Tokyo house shows. 13. Was he involved in a number of memorable rivalries, feuds or storylines? The Misawa/Akiyama vs. Kawada/Taue rivalry is usually regarded as one of the best tag feuds of the 1990s, while he was involved in many memorable Champion Carnival and Triple Crown matches as he tried to "suprass" the Four Gods. His GHC title defenses are held in less regard. 14. Was he effective working on the mic, working storylines or working angles? Akiyama was very charismatic, especially after he scored his first singles pinfall over Misawa in 2000. His heel runs in NOAH were also notable for the charisma he displayed and crowd reactions he earned. 15. Did he play his role(s) effectively during his career? He was effective as either a "young superstar" or "cocky veteran heel" getting good crowd reactions. 16. What titles and tournaments did he win? What was the importance of the reigns? Three time GHC champion, One time Triple Crown champion, multiple World Tag Team and GHC Tag title reigns. 17. Did he win many honors and awards? 1993 WON Rookie of the Year, Tag Team of the Year (3 times) with Misawa and Kobashi, 1996 and 2004 WON Match of the Year (Misawa/Akiyama vs. Ace/Williams and vs. Kenta Kobashi Tokyo Sports Best Newcomer, Fighting Spirit, Technique Award, Best Tag Team, and Best Match (vs. Kobashi 2004) Awards. 18. Did he get mainstream exposure due to his wrestling fame? Did he get a heavily featured by the wrestling media? Akiyama has made appearances on various Japanese variety and talk shows, but has not transcended his sport to gain celebrity outside of wrestling. 19. Was he a top tag team wrestler? He's regarded as one of the top tag team wrestlers of the late 1990s. 20. Was he innovative? Invented the Blue Thunder Driver, Diamond Dust and Exploder '98/wrist-clutch Exploder 21. Was he influential? There are no notable wrestlers who cite Akiyama as one of their inspirations. 22. Did he make the people and workers around him better? See above. Akiyama was usually regarded as being incapable of taking lesser opponents and carrying them to quality matches, unlike Misawa and Kawada. 23. Did he do what was best for the promotion? Did he show a commitment to wrestling? Akiyama was personally responsible for booking his second GHC title run and was criticized for a "weird" list of challengers, most notably Bison Smith and Minoru Suzuki. Special thanks to "The Z" for pointing out he also booked a title defense against eternal jobber Masao Inoue, and proceeded to give him tons of offense instead of squashing him like a bug in 30 seconds. 24. Is there any reason to believe that he was better or worse than he appeared? Akiyama never demonstrated being a better wrestler than he usually was, if anything, he can probably be criticized for beginning to mail it in on occasion after 2005.
  3. http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=55975 Peter David gets a tad bitter about the latest cancellation of All New X-Force: Just because something is "critically acclaimed" doesn't mean that us mouth breathers in Middle America are going to buy it, Peter. I will never understand how so many people fail to realize that just because something gets acclaim from critics, doesn't mean that it's going to be successful with the masses. "Oh my god, how is New Girl doing so poorly in the ratings? It gets such good reviews in the AV Club." Or maybe it was less people "waiting for the trade" and more "people don't care about Polaris, Quicksilver, Cypher, and Warlock enough to buy a book starring them."
  4. Oh, and fuck you Dan Slott for wiping out over 20 years of character development for Felicia Hardy. All the work that David Michelinie, J.M. DeMatteis, Tom DeFalco, and others did from 1991 onwards in taking the ditzy Catwoman rip-off and making her a well-rounded character in her own right, flushed away so you can make her the new Female Kingpin.
  5. http://comicsbeat.com/marvel-month-to-month-sales-august-2014-a-tale-of-two-spider/ Oof. That...that is not good at all. Steve Rogers has gotten so fucked up over the last year, with Steve spending years in an alternate universe, Sharon getting stuffed in a fridge, his adoptive son getting killed, etc. that he really needs to be given a "break." Let Jim Wilson take over for two years until Cap 3 comes out in theaters, then bring Steve (and Sharon, obviously) back with all the stench of the last six months washed off of him. ------- Magneto, Cyclops, She-Hulk, Black Widow, Captain Marvel, All New Ghost Rider, Superior Foes of Spider-Man, X-Force, Mighty Avengers, Fantastic Four pretty much everything else is doing horribly. Who, exactly, thought it would be a fucking good idea to give Cyclops, Magneto, and Storm their own solo titles right now given all the sales problems Marvel is having?
  6. I don't know who the hell was doing color commentary for last night's ESPN Radio coverage of Nationals-Giants, but that guy was awful. Fuck you, ESPN, for employing that guy in any capacity.
  7. The reason Picket Fences only lasted 4 seasons and got mediocre/lousy ratings, despite being critically acclaimed and winning a Best Drama Emmy, is because most American viewers didn't want to watch "The David E. Kelley Self-Righteously Tells People How To Live Their Lives By Having The Alien From My Favorite Martian Play A Judge In Wisconsin Who Lectures The Audience Each Week About How We're Living Our Lives In The Wrong Show" Also: Kathy Baker's character was actually more of a Holier Than Thou jerkass than Camryn Manheim's character on The Practice.
  8. Rest In Peace to Richard "Jaws" Kiel: http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/richard-kiel-best-remembered-as-the-james-bond-villian-jaws-dies-at-74/2014/09/11/ce4ba294-39bc-11e4-9c9f-ebb47272e40e_story.html Also, farewell to Charles Keating, who played Carl on the soap opera Another World: http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/12/showbiz/charles-keating-obit/ And for some odd reason, Oscar winning director (and occasional actor) Richard Attenborough died on August 24th and didn't get a thread, even though he, you know, directed Gandhi, one of the greatest films ever: http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/24/showbiz/richard-attenborough-dead/index.html
  9. WHY!??!! exactly is it called The Equalizer again? Let us review: The TV show: Robert McCall is a retired CIA agent who wears a bad-ass trench coat, drives a Jaguar, puts ads in newspapers to help the helpless, lives in a swank luxury apartment, kills only as a last resort, still keeps in contact with his old CIA boss who is named "Control" and wears vintage business suits from the 1950s, routinely gives long, moralistic speeches towards the bad guy, and routinely uses con artist tricks to get the bad guys to confess to whatever crime they've committed. The Movie: McCall (no first name) is a retired Special Forces commando who dresses like a homeless person, is apparently a drifter with no fixed address, only helps a pathetic teen prostitute seemingly out of boredom more than anything else, still keeps contact with his female boss who apparently isn't named "Control" and has no vintage fashion sense, brutally kills the bad guys without giving them a long, moralistic speech or the opportunity to incriminate themselves in an intricate con job. --- This was like a ready made script: Denzel arrives at his Upper East Side condo, checks his Craigslist e-mail and sees he has a request for help, puts on his trench coat and drives to the Bronx in his 2015 Jaguar XL, gets the request from help from a helpless innocent, meets with "Control" to get info on the bad guy, meets with Mickey Kostameyer to get his help, sets up an intricate trap to trick the bad guy into confessing, executes the trap, gives the bad guy a "The Reason You Suck" speech, kills the bad guy in self-defense when the bad guy pulls a knife on Denzel, has a "everybody laughs" freeze frame ending with Mickey and his client, roll credits. The movie at least better fucking end with a remake of the opening credits, with the theme song blaring and Denzel standing in the shadows, backlit by car headlights, as The Equalizer logo appears.
  10. I would only want to see a TNA invasion of WWE if the "invasion" consisted of Dixie coming out to announce that she had "purchased advertising time" from USA and then bringing out The Menagerie, Bromans, Rock star Spud, EC 3, Shark Boy, and every other "geek" gimmick in the company out for a concert by DJ Zema Ion. The lights go out and when they come up Kane and Undertaker are in the ring and proceed to destroy everyone in the ring in a sick semi-shoot, complete with Ion eating an unprotected chokeslam through his own turntable/mixer board and Spud taking a Last Ride over the top rope to the arena floor.
  11. I know that was stock Turner production music, but I think it came over with all the WCW related stuff when WWE bought it. I know its used on the Network during the proper times. It depends on the music. For the life of me I could never find it again, but the guy who wrote the entrance music that Jim Crockett Promotions used for most of 1988 once posted on Youtube (in the comments section) that WWE was refusing to pay him to use the music for Starrcade 87 even though the royalties were dirt cheap. Edit: The guy's name is Nigel Jenkins
  12. First time I've ever seen a company advertise specifically towards the parents of children with Asperger's Syndrome.
  13. The irony being that wrestling is FULL of people who have done far worse than punching their girlfriend, including first degree murder, rape, and child molestation, and have gotten away with it scott free.
  14. I wonder what entrance music "classic" Sting will have. Will 2k wuss out and use "Man Called Sting" or will they actually pay the cash for his guitar music from 1989-1992?
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