Friday, April 27, 2007

Funny Images 3

To take my mind off lack of cash flow due to the criminally minded.

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God Damn People...

So someone got a hold of my card information and charged up a ton of stuff. I just canceled my card. Bank says they'll pay me back my money on two charges that went through. I have to call them back about another charge thats pending. Because of this I have to cancel several orders and will have to pretty much use paypal for everything.

Bad day... I hope its over soon.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Funny Images Part 2

May be offensive.

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ROH: Fifth Year Festival Reviews Part 2

Fifth Year Festival-Dayton 2/23/07 ***

Making these reviews shorter.

McGuiness speaks for Morishima, the two beat up irish Airborne. The first match is abotut o come up and Jimmy Rave attacks McGuiness before Colt Caban can make the save. Yep, complicated opening.

Jimmy Jacobs & Brent Albright vs. Colt Cabana & Nigel McGuiness **3/4
Albright and Jacobs work over McGuiness leg thanks to raves heel hook. Once McGuinness nails the lariat Cabanas in. This is a pretty basic back and forth tag match that had ntohing wrong with it but I found myself less then enthused while wathcing it. I did like the scene where Colt used Jacobs as a missile on jacobs own tag partner. The ending had Jacobs hit with the rebound lariat as he was strangling Colt with a guitar string.

BJ promo. Eh.

Sterling Keenan vs. Jimmy Rave **
It's like an extended Superstars amtchw here the jobber gets some offense. Some nice moves here and there but nothing to speak about. Rave wins with heel hook.

Daizee Haze vs. Lacey **3/4
Starts out as a brawl and I was seriously thinking of skipping this match but I stuck with it and it got better. The whip itno the barricade on Daizee was brutal looking. Plus bending her over the steel. Lacey nails a beautiful belly to back supelx much like Bull Nakano use to do. Some stiff slaps and moves. jacobs sneaks in and spears Daizee for Lacey to win. I like thier Shimmer vol. 1 match much more but this was good.

Delirious, out with injury, ignores Becky bayless questions. Aries cuts a good promo in the back about Strongs faction and his match against Matt Sydall.

Jay Briscoe vs. Homicide vs. Christopher Daniels ***
5 years to the date ROH pays tribute to their first shows main event(Bryan danielson vs. Low Ki aka Sen Shi vs. Chris Daniels) with this triple threat match featuring Daniels as well as two wretslers who were on that very show. Note, that match is my favorite triple threat match of all time. This one is good. Doesn't have that slow build as Cide just sort of punches his way in the beginning. Fast, hot opening. Back and forth amongst the three with everyone having good spots. jay really shows that despite the lack of age and experience he's just as good if not better then Homicide and Daniels. Theres a nice sequence where Jay reverses a whip on Cide who monkey flips Daniels but daniels lands on his feet and takes down Jay. Daniels does a boston crab and camel clutch on both men at the same time which was a nice spot. i think he did it in that first triple threat match(I should go back and watch it). Homicide wins with the Hamada Cutter.

Austen Aries vs. Matt Sydall-Open the Brave Gate Title ***
First time a Dragon Gate title is defended in the US. Aries and Sydall ahve a great opening but something ahppens and it just sort of rolls forward without so much spark. Might be Aries ankle injury. Also Sydall seemed a little slow to react to certaint higns. But nontheless a very good one on one match. Sydall wisely targets Aries weak point. Theres a good sequence on the apron/floor in the middle of the match. Sydall nails the Here It Is Driver and his shooting star press to retain.

Delirious saves Aries from a sneak atatck by Roderick Strong and Davey Richards. Lacey congratulates jacobs for trying to end Colts career and talks about her own victory against Daizee.

Tank Tolland vs. Mitch Franklin
Chris Heroes agent introduces Tank as Chris' personal trainer. Tank squashes Mitch.

Pelle Primeau vs. Mark briscoe vs. Matt Cross vs. Claudio Castignoli vs. Shingo vs. Roderick Strong ***1/2
Fans were hailing this match online and while I liked it best on this show I would nto consider it match of the year. There's a fast paced opening with everyone involved. Shingo and Cross exchange and Strong tries helping but cross takes them both out.very fast until it slows down to the point where a number of wretslers are working over Pelle. Nice Strong bit where he holds Pelle up for the delay suplex and then sets him down onto his feet only to smack him across the face. Pelle gets a headscissers take down off Double C. This is where the match gets fast paced again. Aries chases Strong out of this match. Mark Briscoe with shooting star to floor. Double C gets the win with his uppercut.

Samoa Joe vs. Davey Richards ***1/2
Good opening. Richards tries taking control early but joe just pepeprs him with strikes including a vicious kick to the head. Davey tries his handspring kick but Joe just walks away from it. Joe keeps the offense most of the match as Richards tries hard to fight back. Richards hits a nice tornado DDT onto the apron. Joe is pretty much unstoppable here. He puts on the choke twice trying to end the match. Richards gets out and fully turns heel with the lowblow, the mocks, and his attempts at taking control of this match. But Joe uses his msucle buster on apron for victory. This match should've had about seven mroe minutes because I got really itno it after Richards got out of the hold and wanted it to go longer. Second afve match on the DVD.

Joe cuts promo. Graphic about big ROH matches.

BJ Whitmer vs. Morishima-ROH World Title ***
Morishima assaults BJ at the beginning. Morishima looks like a complete monster pretty much dogging BJ in his hometown. Hits powerbomb on the floor. Nice. Inside its rpetty much Morishima trying to beat the life out of Whitmer while Whitmer fights back. gets an exploder on the huge man but not nearly enough. backdrop driver-lariat-backdrop driver wins it. Simple but good.

Briscoes talk tag titles. Aries talking to some people unseen. Least favorite of the fifth year festival shows thus far.


Fifth Year Festival-Chicago 2/24/07 ***1/4

Turns out Aries was talking to three non ROH regulars about helping them earn a spot.

Brent Albright vs. Claudio Castignoli ** 3/4
Solid opener. both men work good together but it was another situation where I wans't too into what was going on. The opening was nice with Larry Sweeny and Double C trying to sway the "hitman." Albright wins with the half nelson suplex.

MsChif & Serena Deeb vs. Allison Danger & Sara Del Rey **3/4
nice opening with Deeb showcasing her talents. Fans were behind her. Sara and Allison try to take control but can't MsChif, who I really like, is in. Strike exchange with Allison who ducks the spinning back hand. They work over MsChif and even tie her up, upside down, between the roeps showing how flexible MsChif is. Danger spears her in this position. msChif hits the yoshitonic(sunset flip powerbomb). Del Rey hits her finisher on Deeb for the victory.

Very good Colt Cabana promo.

CJ Otis vs. Trick Davis vs. Matt cross vs. Shingo ***1/4
Very good four corners match. Davis and Cross have a good opening exchange. otis and Shingo have an exchange afterwards. The match starts to become Shingo and Otis working over Trick Davis. Davis uses a tornado lung blower and tags Cross who nails a springboard dropkick on his way in. Cross starts to build momentum unti davis sto;ps it. This is back and forth four-way fight. Shooting star leg drop for Cross to earn victory. I like Shingo more and more, Cross is good, and was surprised by CJ Otis.

Aries recruits Matt Cross for his tag match later that night.

Jimmy Rave vs. BJ Whitmer ***
I'm a mark for both men and I thought it was a good match. Knee tot he abck by rave sends BJ crashing into the barricade at the beginning. BJ fights abck and nails a combination suplex and northernlights. Rave mocks afns while gaining control of the match. Slow paced and back and forth. Rave reverses an attempted pwoerbomb on the esxposed floor. Whitmer tries super powerbomb as well but only able to get a jackknife pwoerbomb. Rave uses a roll up and the roeps for leverage to win.

Briscoes vs. Matt Sydall & Christopher Daniels-Tag titles ****
Briscoes delievr my second favorite match of this set thus far. great, hot, exciting opening with all four men. Goes into a tag formula with them each working over members of each team for peroiods of time. The mocking, show boating, and everything workd well.Champs work over Jays midsection for a while toards the final act before Jay tags Mark and gets to the break down. It's lots of back and fortha tcion with everyone hitting their signatures. Briscoes with guillotine leg drop and shooting star press combo for the victorya nd to earn the titles.

Lacey and Jimmy Jacobs backstage.

Matt Cross & Austen Aries vs. No Remorse Corps. ***
Cross and Aries with a quick attack. Strong tricks Richards itno rushing in, to takie the heat off himself. Aries and Cross hold early control. They work well even doing some of ries and Strongs old tag moves. The NRC take control and start holding onto the match working over both men. First Cross and then Aries when he gets tagged in. Cross gets hot tag. Does an insane springboard twisting pklanche onto Strong and hurts hismelf. Aries with his finisher combo on Richards for the win.

NRC attacks the two and Strong uses the Gibson driver on the broken barricade on Cross. Delirious with the save.

Great moments graphic.

Colt Cabana vs. Jimmy Jacobs-Windy City Death Match **1/2
Violent, bloody, and decent. i just don't like Colt Cabana as a hardcore wrestler. Lots of scissors, tables, chairs, broken wood, and rail road spike. Daizee Haze, Lacey, Brent Alrbight and Whitmer get involved. Colt with his finisher on both Jimmy and Lacey to win.

Morishima & Nigel McGuiness vs. Samoa Joe & Homicide ***
I was expecting so much more. Starts off with nice wretsling by Cide and McGuinness. Starts of pretty basic. Cide and Joe sue a pair of diving moves to the floor on the two and it becomes a big brawl around the ring and crowd. Interetsing to see Morishima do this style of wrestling as it's not done in his home promotion of NOAH. once back in the ring its back to formula. I ntoiced though off spots, slow reactions, and noticible set ups for upcoming moves. Which really dog this match which had a lot of nice thigns going for periods of time. Match ends when McGuiness uses the rebound lariat on Joe.

Joe cuts promo on his farewell tour.

So far I have been udnerwhlemed. good shows but not quite memorable enough for me to say they have good replay value.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Best Damn Show I've Seen in a Long While

Every once in a while a show, usually a cartoon, takes me for complete surprise after I've written it off sight unseen. It happened with Sailor Moon. I just rolled my eyes and mutter 'girlie crap'(not really) and went on my normal business. Then I caught the first episode with Sailor Jupiter and was surprised by the strong characterization for the series. Sailor Moon broke me truly into anime. Then there was Invader Zim. My brother told me of this wonderful new show on Nickelodeon. I then smacked him in the face for spreading vicious lies(he then pile drove me hard to the ground.). Turns out he was right. That show was hilarious. It happened when Kim Possible debuted. Cheerleader who saves the world? Who sold their soul to Satan to let this happen?' I said. Then I caught the Aviarious/She-Go origin episodes and was laughing really hard. So it happened again with a show that, after watching the first two seasons I can not find a single flaw in it. Avatar: the Last Air Bender.

When I finally set down and watched the series, four minutes in, I knew the show was going to be everything I want in a cartoon(well, comics too). It's about a fantasy world where the nations are built around an element theme. These nations have benders who can control the elements. The avatar is a being who keeps the balance by learning all the elements. A the avatar is reincarnation every lifetime as one kind of elemental bender. One generations avatar disappears before the fire nation declares war to try and conquor the planet. At the beginning of the first episode you learn that this avatar is only 12 years old, only knows air bending, and was frozen for a 100 years.

The series opens, and every subsequent episode, opens with a quick, basic run down of the central plot. In the first episode Sokka and Katara of the south pole water tribe find Aang the avatar whose been hunted by fire nation warriors for years. This time its Prince Zuko leading the hunt. Aang must master every element before confronting the Fire Lord and he must do them in order starting with Water. Him, Sokka, and Katara(an inexperienced water bender) look for a water master in the first season.

The series opens with the basics and within the first couple episodes its ZOOM right into an engrossing world of fantasy, highly developed characters, comedy, and some of the best action in American cartoons in years. Like a good show should it builds more and more tension as it progress'. This is a pretty dark show done well enough to be accessible to younger viewers but enjoyable to adults much like the amazing Batman: the Animated Series. The first season, Book 1: Water, is a flawless season. I can't say there were episodes I disliked just that there were episodes I loved. The two part season finale was sort of like Star Wars: New Hope in the since there's a victory in a battle but not the war, which season 2's finale gives a bit of an Empire Strikes back feeling to it. Season 2 was better then season 1 and that's hard to pull off. the ramifications in season 1 and the introduction of Zoku's younger sister Azula as well as 12-year-old earth bending master Toph give this show even more of an edge. Not to mention the continued focus on banished prince Zuko and his uncle General Iroh.


One thing I definitely want to point out is the Zuko/Iroh relationship. When the series started and I saw Zuko he never struck me as a legitimate villain. His attitude and relationship with his more wiser uncle who leaves the nation with him after being banished by his father really makes both these characters into characters that are just as entertaining as the main cast. Zuko is aggressive, impatient, and defiant while Iroh tries his hardest to impart wisdom on him and help him grow. It's a real strong, father/son type relationship. I'd hate to give away spoilers but I will here so you can stop reading. Iroh was to be the Fire lord but after his own son died on the battlefront and he abandoned his station Zukos father made his way into being the leader. These chain of events with his cousins death, the incident with his caring mother, and his own turbulent relationship with his gifted younger sister makes the story of Iroh and Zoku just as powerful as the relationship between Anng and his friends. The funny thing i find about this is we have yet to really see Zuko and Azulas father.

Season 2, which I finished yesterday, had a heavier tone then season 1 but kept the optimism and comedy to keep a great balance in the show. The final two episodes, like I stated, remind me of Empire Strikes Back which is my favorite Star Wars film. It was sad, a bit depressing, yet has me excited to see how it ends.

I just hope that after season 3, which would technically be the final season by all indications, remains the finale and Nickelodeon doesn't try to cash in with an unneeded new plot line. Season 3 is to start soon and I'm probably going to buy the box set for season 1 soon. Don't like watching shows on computer.

Friday, April 20, 2007

MARVEL COMICS SUCKS!!! GRRRR!!!

Not really but I am currently buying two ongoings(Runaways and Astonishing X-Men), one mini-series(Loners) and following three books in trade(X-Factor, Nextwave, Ultimates) two of which I will stop when their current runs complete. I'm not really getting into the majority of what Marvels doing right now.

Now I am not going to say that the creative teams suck, but I don't think I care enough about many of the writers to gravitate to their titles. I have honestly been underwhelmed with everything I read by Brian Bendis. Ultimate Spider-Man? Read the first trade and thought it was alright. Daredevil? Eh. Not sure I even care enough for the character. House of M? Thought it was rather dull. Plus I refuse to believe no one brought up the fact Beast was sitting on a cure for the mutant gene. Someone told me Kitty was going to bring it up but Emma stopped her and that may be Bendis' intent with that scene in issue 1 but that doesn't make up for it. New Avengers? Read 13 issues and got really frustrated when he cut from the big climatic fight scenes to talking. Especially in Sentry arc. You had New Avengers, X-men, Defenders, SHIELD, Fantastic 4, and Dr. Strange and what do you do? You cut to Emma Frost and Mr. Fantastic talking with Sentry. Oh, that scene McNiven drew was nice but I can' say it was awesome as I had just finished reading Promethea before this and they had already done similar scenes. Oh, and that whole thing where the characters seem to repeat the same thing to each other for panels at a time. Plus I did not appreciate that scene in Ultimate X-Men where Rogue somehow forget she herself is a mutant and hung out with strange looking people to point out rather naively Nightcrawler being a 'demon' and Angel being a-yeah, angel. But I don't hate Bendis nor do I blame him for my general dislike of Marvel.

Went off on my dislike for Bendis there. Marvel has other writers like J. Michael Straczynski. I read his first Spider-Man arc, and I thought it was okay. But I haven't really read anything by him nor do any of the projects he take seem interesting to me. Ed Brubaker is a writer I should enjoy because Gotham Central was an amazing series. Though I stopped buying Capt. America because while I thought it was good its pacing and the release date(plus money at the time) forced me to cut it. I picked up Winter Soldier in trade and liked it but I found out a few months back Marvel released a few more Brubaker trades and I didn't even notice nor do I feel the desire to buy them. I like Iron Fist, read the first issue and shrugged it off. I love the X-Men but outside Nightcrawler his team line up features characters I really have no interest in. This I can contribute to the fact that the X-Men characters are so split up between three books. Robert Kirkman? Sorry, I really think his Ultimate X-Men is my least favorite of the series. I own the first few trades and I just do not like what I see. Well, to be honest with the last one I couldn't even get myself to read it because I was not a fan of the previous trade. Mark Millar? Well... he's written some stuff I really like but I hated Wanted so much that I pretty much avoided anything else. I forget why, but maybe its because in the time frame it took for that book to finally finish I had sort of become more into older super-hero comics and less cynicism with super-heroes.

Now, the heroes. I loved Spider-Man as a kid but I look at the character now and I'm not filled with that same joy. Except with Spider-Man 2. that was an awesome film. Fantastic 4, I tried. I read the first 40 issues and disliked them. Everyone tells me that the third Essential is when it gets good but that does not change the fact I spent 16.99 on two books and will never look at them again. Because I have gained such a view of this characters, who I find boring or just annoying in general, I can't bring myself to even want to read the stuff with the Silver Surfer or Galactus or the Inhumans. I love Grant Morrison but I'll probably never buy his Fantastic 4 mini. Daredevil? I don't know... I'm waiting the Frank Miller omnibus I ordered but that was because I love me some Frank Miller. DD just comes off as so cold and unfeeling. Hulk? Er... no interest to me. Plus some characters I do like aren't in stories that interest me(Iron Fist, Cage). Or they're like Iron Man and have completely become a douche. X-Men? Well let me break this down for my one time favorite team.

Cyclops: Fav Marvel character. I said it.
Jean Grey: Love her.
Emma Frost: Love her.
Wolverine: Use to love him as a kid but now I only enjoy him with the X-Men. Besides, he's just about as hard to kill as Superman but without a supporting cast and his rogues are pretty much just as lame. though I love Superman, but i like the idea of good for goods sake and Wolverines become pre-packaged cool. IMO.
Shadowcat: Cool.
Colossus: Cool.
Beast: Cool.
Rogue: One of my fav Marvel females.
Sabretooth: Is he good? Is he bad? Is he dead? Is he brain dead? Someone make up their mind. he's alright.
Iceman: Okay.
Cable: Fuck 'em.
Havok: Never cared.
Rachel Summers: I started disliking Claremonts run right about the time she showed up.
Storm: I like her.
Polaris: Does not interest me.
Bishop: Is he still around? Lame.

Thats just some of the characters. it take too long to go through them all.

What about the artists? Now Marvels got some damn good artists but call me old fashion but I like artists more like a Joe Bennett to a Jim Cheung. I like Salvador Larroca, Skottie Young, and many others. My taste is sort of like this: Pop art/experimental, then traditional super-hero, animated, and then "near realism." So DC has more artists I like that fall into the main two categories. But... I never buy titles specifically for artists, or writers, or characters anyway. It has to be a combination of things. For some reason the combinations work mroe for me with DC. I like Batman, I like Morrison, I like Kubert so I buy Batman. Not my fav title but I have faith it'll get better. Sean McKeever taking over Birds of Prey. Don't really read McKeever but it is Birds of Prey and as far as I know Nicola Scott is still on so I will stick with it. Brubaker, X-Men, Billy Tan on Uncanny. Like Brubaker, hate the team, feeling meh on Tans work thus I did not pick it up.

Now, I should try more Marvel titles, I admit. But looking ahead I am just so god damn confused. There's a space event, Hulks running crazy, there is something going on with magic, I hear there is a big X-Event oh-and every comic book in the main universe is reeling post-CW where the characters are on a side of pro-reg or anti-reg and I decided to just not bother with Civil War. Maybe in a few years I'll branch out and try something. Until then, they still put out Essentials and trades of older stories that seem interesting to me. I'm actually looking forward to seeing Frank Millers Daredevil and I pre-ordered the Spider-Man omnibus. I hear the second volume of Spider-Woman comes out in July. Wasn't that big a fan of vol. 1 but like the character enough to get vol. 2.

Funny Images

Or images I find funny. These ones I made myself. Yay for me. And my terrible concept of what humor is. The next bacth, by more talented people, will be funnier. probably because they'll be more offensive.

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Pix were too large so I had to resize. Damn.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Chikara Reviews for Shows 3/24-3/25/07

Best Imitation of Myself ***

Mostly solid show front to back.

High light match would a ***1/2 match between Chris Hero and Hallowicked. Hero has quickly become one of my favorite wrestlers while Hallowicked impresses me more and more. Hero, fresh back from NOAH in Japan, takes on Wicked. Hallowicked tried winning early but after the third school boy roll up attempt Hero stomps down in his head. Hallowicked attacks the behind and Hero makes it work, Nice sequence on the floor with Hallowicked flipping out from a pick up and nailing a yakuza kick. Hero responds in kind after dodging a whip. Hero wins with roaring elbow/cravate suplex/standing moonssault combo. he lands head first in Hallowicked chest.

Claudio Castignoli and Eddie Kingston was the best of the *** star matches(about, second best on the show. I like Claudio more and more but I was really impressed with Eddie Kingston whose turned me into a fan with this and the next show. Very hard hitting affair. One of the only heavyweight type matches I've seen in Chikara. Hard strikes and suplexes. Eddie taps out to an ankle lock as he had just returned from surgery.

The Campeonjas De Parajes(sp?) match was good. The first two falls had a nice story with Jigsaw and Shane Storm, the challengers, getting the first pin fall in a minute. Icarus eliminates Jigsaw so him and Akuma can work over Shane Storm. The match sort of falls apart in the final fall. It should have been longer and the ending spot came off sloppy. Still a good match. ***

Overall a good card. Some matches were too short and others exposed the inexperience and "greeness" of certain wrestlers. But still an entertianing show.

Time Will prove Everything ***3/4

Probably on par with king of trios Night 3 as my fav Chikara DVD. Seeing as it was missing many of my fav Chikara faces I was surprised.

Hot ***1/2 opener as 'Well Mannered' Billy Rocs Chikara try out/debut continues and he takes on Chuck Taylor who has quickly become one of Chikaras best heels and most entertaining personalities. The two click for apparently their only second meeting. Lots of nice luche armdrags including one crazy one where he starts out on top Taylros shoulder. Roc's natural baby face is such a surprise as he tricks Taylor into a few hand shakes. Taylor nails his beautiful kick/jaw breaker. They even tease the "face checking on heel-heel steals victory" angle but Roc escapes. Taylor wins with his brutal omega driver.

The second best match would be the 8 man tag of Blck Out vs. Hallowicked & the Colony. Blck Out seem out of place in Chikara with their thug-like persona's but they are entertaining. Eddie Kingston and Joker bring the power while Sabian and Ruckus bring the high flying. The Colony(three Ants) and Hallowicked seem to be on the defensive most the match taking bumps. Hot ending with a quick roll up by Wicked to win and Kingston apparently turning heel. ***1/2

My favorite match is another Chris Hero match this time with Ricochet. Ricochet and Claudio Castignoli have my all time favorite Chikara match from King of Trios. This one isn't as good because Hero exposes some of Ricochets flaws and a couple stalling bits. But its still intense as Hero is a great heel and brutalizes Rocochet for a lot of the match. Nice piece in the middle where they tease flying moves to the outside but Hero gets the jump on ricochet with a mean boot. Hero does a mean liontamer/texas cloverleadf while stand on one of Ricochets hands. Well put together and Ricochet looks tough while Hero looks like gold.

other fun matches on this disc with the only real disappointment being Siceodellico Jr. & Lince Dorado vs. Team FIST.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Quick Hits-April 13, 2007



Movies
Grindhouse ****
Nudity, violence, and over-the-top imagery. It's raunchy spectacle that I believe is much needed in the stale landscape of Hollywood. Robert Rodriguez's Planet Terror about a gas that turns people into zombies and the motley crew fighting them is bloody fun. Rose McGowen and Freddy Rodriguez are great. Tarantinos Death Proof is slower paced with more exposition. But the build up for this cross between a serial killer and car flick is very good because when it gets going-damn. Some intense scenes. The fake trailers are amusing, wish they'd put the Canadian only Hobo with a Shotgun on for us US fans. Sadly people don't seem to interested.

Music
Filthiest Show in Town-My Life w/the Thrill Kill Kult ***1/2
TKKs first studio album since 2001, not counting the previously unreleased gay, Black & Married, takes their usual style and pumps it up with something new. That's right, lyrics of sex, drugs, and sleaze over funky beats is still here but the R&B influence of their last album has been replaced with elements of jazz. It sounds like what they were aiming for, music for sexploitation flicks. Not one of my fav TKK records but I enjoy it quite a bit and its growing on me more and more every time I listen to it. Though I do wish it could have went a few more tracks. Fav songs include Jet Set Sex, TV Sista, and Jive Ass Ave.

Secrets From the Future-MC Frontalot ***
Nerdcore MC supreme Frontalot returns with his sophomore album. Rapping about hatting blogs, comic shops, and role playing games amongst more topics. Dips into controversial territory with his Origin of Species song rapping tongue-n-cheek as a preacher over a sort of country influenced beat. Fun stuff on this record though I think I like his previous release more. Especially as it had Goth Girls and Pron Song. This record, like the last, takes early demos and Song Fight contenders(here on his site and ) and reworks them for this album and I prefer the originals. though Romantic Cheapskate v2.0 is pretty good. Definitely bumping the title trackBizarro Genius Baby.

Comics
The Loners #1 **1/2
Allow me to disagree with some of the praise this book is receiving online. These spin off of Runaways is about a self help group for former superheros. In the aftermath of MARVELS INCREDIBLY BIG STATUS QUO CHANGING EVENT THAT ONLY IDIOTS WHO WILL AVOID, such as myself, things are rougher on the spandex clad set of Marvel U. We got Turbo, Nighthawk, Green Goblin(the good one), Spider-Woman 3? And some others. Very dialogue heavy at first and I felt CB Cebulski was laying on the emotion a little thick in places. Didn't really do much for me but admittedly I only know Phil Urich all that well and the other characters from their previous Runaways appearance. Karl Molines artwork was cool until the super-heroics and then the angles, perspective and anatomy looked weird. Plus the lack of background and the speedlines in the fight scenes come off as pretty lousy in my opinion. Interesting story developing though so I'll give it another issue or two.

All Star Superman #7 *****
My favorite comic is back on the stands!It's the invasion of the Bizarros as Bizarro World appears from the underverse and they invade Earth replicating into Bizarro versions of people at a touch. So obviously it's up to Superman to save the day. With a suggestion from Jimmy Olsen, coolest man on the planet, and a kiss to Lois Lane, who Frank Quitely draws elegantly, he's off to the Bizarro World to enact the plan. This is Morrison writing so you know it just doesn't end that simply. Morrison pulls out an ace up his sleeve and gives a nice twist that just rocks very hard. Frank Quitely is at the top of his game as always and All Star Superman is just the best damn book I'm reading.


Wrestling

Chikara Presents Cibernetico Forever ***
The third annual Torneo Cibernetico show from Chikara. I picked this older DVD up for two reasons: that slamming take on Kevn Maguires iconic Justice League cover and the idea of a 16 man elimination tag match. The under cards decent with Worker Ant making his first appearance to join the Colony. as well as Crossbones joining the Order of the Neo Solar Temple. The real meat is the Cibernetico. 8 vs. 8 with each team captain putting together a batting order. One man in the ring for each team, one on the apron, and then the rest on the floor in order. Switching based on tags or eliminations. but here's the twist, even a team loses there still can only be a single wrestler to win so the team mates engage in a gauntlet match. This nearly hour long match starts with the wrestlers becoming familiar with the other team and builds. Hero, Castignoli, Quackenbush, Cheech, Cloudy and Hallowicked definitely are the strongest but the Thomaselli Bros., Eddie Kingston, and Icarus step it up in my opinion. Good, fun, entertaining luche libre inspired comic book zaniness fun.

I'll have full review on the two new releases from Chikara next week. I'll only review older wrestling DVDs this way.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Wrestling DVD Reviews: Ring of Honor-Fifth Year Festival Shows

Ring of Honor: Fifth Year Festival-NYC 2.16.07 ***½
Special graphics for the Fifth Year Festival. New back stage interview Becky Bayless checks in with the fans. This is my first DVD since she’s come one on to the team but I remember her as the valet for Special K. Damn she’s hot. Jimmy Rave cuts a promo while not looking at the camera, which I guess is the new and yet very dumb thing. Rave’s getting better at his promos but its definitely not his strength. Though he’s looking stylish like a young Ric Flair.

Pelle Primeau vs. Morishim-Squash
I don’t know, 15 seconds? Way to get Morishima over. Put a 5’8” 150 lbs guy up against over 6 feet tall and near 300 pound monster.

Adam Pearce vs. Delirious **
Formula heel vs. face match. Not as good as their first one on one encounter which sadly ended in screw job. Pearce is a good heel and gets too much flak from ROH fans. Where he ripped some of Delirious tassels and choked him with them was nice. Has a mean choke slam. The match was okay as a true show opener. The ending had delirious hiding brass knuckles in his mask and winning with a head butt.

Tag champs cut promo. Christopher Daniels is of course good, Matt Sydall is “eh.” They tease Daniels heel and Sydalls continued cocky streak as he’s now wearing the Dragon Gate Promotions Open the Brave Gate title.

Daizee Haze & Alexa Thatcher vs. Sara Del Rey & Allison Danger *
Not off to a great start are we. Sad this match featuring two of the best female wrestlers in the States today(Haze and Rey), along with Allison Danger who keeps getting better and the very attractive Alexa Thatcher didn’t amount to much. But ROH pushed their Haze/Lacey storyline and left Thatcher, who I had never once seen before, to get crushed. Opened good, quickly became a waste of time.

Shingo vs. Jimmy Jacobs vs. Jack Evans vs. Xavier-Four Way Fray ***
No tags, all at the same time. The former ROH World champion makes a bit of a return filling in for the injured Davey Richards and does a damn fine job making me hope ROH brings him back in the future. Shino and Evans, stable mates in Japan, team up on the others. Shingo and Xavier have a nice exchange. Xavier avoids Evans very beautiful sasuke special(cartwheel twisting senton over-the-rope and to the floor). Shingo and Evans deliver big moves to Xavier and Evans scores the victory there. Uses a bridging backslide pin, which takes a lot of flexibility to pull off. Jacobs gets worked over and Shingo finishes him off with a lariat. The two stable mates go at it and deliver the best portion of this match. Shingo gets better and better every time I see him. The man utilizes a lot of great facial expressions which helps him connect with fans as his English isn’t all that good. Plus his wrestling is getting tighter. Evans wins with the 630. Complaints-Xavier needed more to do. Jacobs didn’t do enough. Evans and Shingo needed 5 more minutes. Good match, far from a classic, but the kick in the ass this show needed.

Samoa Joe comes out to say his goodbyes and thanks.

BJ Whitmer vs. Brent Albright-Tables Are Legal ***
Two men, lots of tables, craziness. The structure of this entire match was who can pretty much toss the other wrestler through more tables. Think Mike Awesome/Masato Tanaka with less wrestling and more table destroying. Not that it was bad, its was fun. I liked when BJ used the exploder through a table but only broke the bottom fourth. Then does another exploder breaking it through the middle. No waste of tables with Whitmer. The two could have a great stiff heavyweight match with the little wrestling they did throw in like Brent using his rolling germans and half nelson suplex only for VJ to absorb it and nail him with a lariat. Albright goes with awesome bomb through two tables, slightly larger in scale to when he awesome bombed BJ in a similar fashion at Final Battle 2006(http://anothercomicgeek.blogspot.com/2007/02/ring-of-honor-final-battle-2006-review.html). Albright has a serious dynamic that makes me question why WWE let him go. There’s a spot in a fit of anger where he just destroy a table . BJ wins with a super exploder through a table.

Roderick Strong & Austin Aries vs. “The Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels & Matt Sydall-Tag Titles ***
My fav tag team of 2006 face off against a team up I’m “eh” about. I like Daniels, I like Sydall, but not really as a tag team. There’s some nice stuff in the opening, back and forth action. Early on there seems to be some problems between Aries and Strong. Despite that they work cohesively. They work over Sydall until Sydall can get to Daniels and then the tag champions work over Strong. When Aries gets in he goes off on the champions but he messes up the quebrada and lands on his head and hurts his ankle. Still he continues through. The champs try to take the advantage but it stays pretty back and forth. Eventually the champs retain. This was a solid match and had a good amount of time and everyone was good but there were times it felt like it was dragging or didn’t just click.

Than we get Roderick Strong turning on his partner alongside Davey Richards. Jack Evans with a save to his former stable mates but doesn’t want to get involved in a growing conflict. This seems to be the kick off to the currently brewing stable wars. This is a sad split as Strong and Aries were such a great tag team and complimented each other so much. Aries with a great personality and in ring dynamic. Take it from me, I hated this guy when I started watching ROH again but now he’s one of my favorite wrestlers to watch. He’s like a more serious Chris Jericho. Strong, Strong just gets better and better. Definitely a better wrestler than Aries and more powerful but lacks the personality of Aries and while he is intense in the ring, not as much as Aries is. Kind of lame to see them broken up.

The Briscoes vs. Nigel McGuinness & Colt Cabana ***½
Great, another tag team WWE messed up. Colt was suppose to start teaming with Nigel more regularly after they each settled their feuds and this was a great way to show what they could do in the future.

Briscoes attack early and strong but Colt and Nigel are able to get themselves on the offensive as both men have teamed before and weren’t just thrown together. They go back and forth working over members of the opposing team. Colt and Nigel use their European chain wrestling on mark and colt throws out some comedy as usual including pulling Marks chest hair. Mark uses a cross body to get his team back on offense. Once Nigel gets in he starts laying in those stiff strikes. Even pulls out a regular suplex, very rarely using any power moves or non arm based takedowns, sending one Briscoe down onto another. Jay and mark are amongst the best tag teams in the world and watching them just makes tag team wrestling worth it so they pull out some of their top team moves like the black tiger bomb/neck breaker combo. In Japan they call that the Redneck Boogie. There’s a nice assisted Tower of London by Colt and Nigel. Back and forth until Nigel pulls out the upset victory with the rebound lariat. Very good tag match. Best match on the card by far.

Samoa Joe attacks Nigel and then Morishima comes out.

Samoa Joe vs. Morishima ***¾
I’ll be honest, I was not taken with this match as much as others were. Maybe its because I got by best of Toshiaki Kawada bootlegs and was expecting something on that scale of classic AJPW with two wrestlers who can go like that. That said, it is a damn fine match. Morishima out sizes Joe and over powers him early. Uses the cartwheel avalanche splash into the corner to the shock of fans unfamiliar with Morishima. The two go back and forth with Joe hitting some of his signature spots and combos. He pulls out a lot of strikes that look and sound stiff. Sometime within the first seven minutes he breaks Morishimas nose. Morshima has simple moves and likes using his size as an offensive tool like his rolling shoulder block as his opponent is seated. That’s 290 pounds flying at your face and chest. Not good. Joe hit’s the muscle buster but Morishima kicks out. Morishima uses some big moves including his backdrop suplex driver but Joe kicks out. Samoa Joe pulls out a half nelson suplex which I don’t think I ever seen him do. He wins with the choke though maritime never quit. Very good match I just sort of expected something a little grander.

Graphics on popular feuds from 2005 to 2006.

Jimmy Rave vs. Homicide-World Title***¾
“The match is a formality. New world champions right here.”-Jimmy Rave on his way to the ring.

Be glad you lost Jimmy, though I was pulling for you. Rave attacks Homicide right out of the gate. The two take it back and forth for the majority of the match. Rave tries to keep the match at a slow pace but Homicide is always quick to speed it up. Homicide pulls out a nice tiger bomb and exploder suplex combo. Rave moments later starts to try and work over the knee for his heel hook. Rave makes the mistake of trying to get into homicides territory with the fork but Homicide forks him for his mistake. Rave starts pulling out the big moves in his arsenal but can’t keep Homicide down for too long. Rave digs deep in his bag of tricks and pulls out the move he was banned from using-the Rave Clash(AJ stole this move and found a way to stop the originator from continuing using it) from the middle turnbuckle. Homicides manager saves him from the heel hook submission. Homicide starts hitting some big moves while Rave tries to rehook his finisher but a sick looking cop killa and Homicide retains in a match I think was just as good as the Joe/Morishima match which some argue should have went on last.

Show ends as we see Jack Evans laid out in the back. In a scenario I would normally see in WWE or TNA so to say I didn’t like it would be an understatement. Overall no as good as Glory by Honor V Night 2 or Final battle 2006 as far as Manhattan Center shows go.


Ring of Honor: Fifth Year Festival-Philly 2.17.07 ***¾
Whats with the bad backstage bit with Jack Evans laid out opening the new DVD? And why is Davey Richards walking around saying “It wasn’t me?” and mentioning the No Remorse Corps. And more promos where the wrestlers aren’t really looking at the camera. With these sort of things and a hot interviewer makes me wonder if Ring of Honor is slowly building to a TV deal. Probably not. But still they seem too TV wrestling. Jimmy gets interviewed about a suspension due to pulling out the rave clash but Joe comes in and says instead of being suspended they’ll go one on one tonight.

TJ Perkins vs. Nigel McGuinness **½
Perkins uses some lucha in the early goings for an early advantage. Tries to take it to Nigel on the floor but the rebound lariat when Perkins tries putting him back into the ring knocks Perkins down. Nigel starts working over the arm per usual. TJ starts trying to block some of Nigels big moves and it goes back and forth. Perkins kicks out of Nigels Tower of London but the rebound lariat pulls out the victory. Best lariat in wrestling today? Hm… solid, fun, opener.

Nice promo with Lacey, Jimmy Jacobs, and Adam Pearce. Best moment is when Jacobs says “Let’s not forget that we go out there with the crest of love on our side.” This is what makes Jimmy Jacobs such an effective bad guy is that he believes himself to be the good guy and won’t back down yet he does such vicious and violent things in the ring and as fans we see him being manipulated into these situations by Lacey.

Claudio Castignoli vs. Austin Aries ***
Is Castignoli a face or heel? Here he is heeling it up as he enters through the crowd(still playing off Castignoli as a traitor to ROH from the CZW/ROH series) and he trades verbal jabs with fans. Good stuff. Gets mad when fans do his “HEY!” stick.

Aries takes control early but the fact he hurt his ankle the night before allows double C to takeover. Interesting as this match features two wrestlers with bad blood who were to team up several weeks later in an 8 man tag match. Castignoli is an effective heel and I prefer that in double C as I never liked him as a baby face but as either a fan-hated wrestler or playing the big man to a smaller wrestler he is quite entertaining. Aries lands on his feet from one of double Cs standard attacks and this turns the match into a brief back and forth. Castignoli takes back control and hits an impressive springboard twisting uppercut and his Alkamari Water Slide(sort of like an angle slam). However Aries uses his patent combo for the victory. His combo? Stiff kick to the face, brain buster, and 450 splash. Beautiful series.

We get more of the building to this “stable wars” as Aries talks about the NRC of Roderick Strong and Davey Richards. Calls Davey Austin Aries lite which has become a sort of criticism from Daveys online detractors. Jack Evans wants to try and have things get settled between his former tag partner Strong and their one time stable leader Aries but it doesn’t seem like that’s going to work.



Jimmy Jacobs, Lacey, and Adam Pearce vs. BJ Whitmer, Daizee Haze, and Colt Cabana ***
Big violent brawl is pretty much the sum of it. Its mostly set up like this: Whitmer vs. Jacobs, Cabana vs. Pearce, Haze vs. Lacey. Theres a fun spot early with Pearce, lacey and Jacobs all in the same corner and Colt picks Haze up(rocking that BJ Whitmer shirt like only she can) and she tosses her hip first into them. There’s a lot of crowd brawling for the guys as the women stay just around the ring. The focus is mainly on Whitmer and Jacobs as their feud has been one of the hottest in wrestling in the recent years. There’s a spot where Whitmer uses his belt to hang Jacobs but Jacobs is able to get out and use the railroad spike. Back and forth and Jacobs nails Colt Cabana with the low blow. He uses duck tape to tape him up as Lacey takes a high heel she brought to the ring and Jacobs uses it down hard on Cabanas throat. But even though it becomes almost 3 on 2 Whitmer pulls out the suplex exploder suplex from the top to win it for his team.

El Generico and Kevin Steen vs. the Briscoes ****
Generico has been getting a few ROH bookings of recent. Having improved quite a bit since the last few times he worked with the company. Steen makes his return as he’s had try outs before but has supposedly become far better. What follows is what I’d argue to be the best match of both shows. Steen tries intimidate the Briscoes early and all that does is lead to the Briscoes assaulting early. They start double teaming Generico after sending Steen out but Steen trips one of the Briscoes and pulls him outside. Its an early breakdown as both teams just go at it in a very hot opening. It eventually gets to a formula tag affair. Back and forth with Generico being worked over by the Briscoes one moment to Jay being worked over by the opposition. When the Briscoes get back on the offense they deliver a flurry of moves on Generico. In a very amusing bit Steen becomes so upset that he rips the tag rope(the little rope on the turnbuckle pad tag wrestlers are meant to hold on to waiting for a tag). Jay gets it after Steen throws it at him and sues it to choke Generico. Generico pulls out a spot from the Jay vs. Mark match at ROHs first year anniversary, though I doubt they were the only ones who used it but it was the first time and only time I had seen it, to reverse an attempted springboard twisting hurricarana into an ace crusher. Steen gets in and starts working over both men. There’s one of my fav Generico moves which happens on the floor as Generico jumps into the ring, through the bottom and middle ropes, back to the outside and uses a tornado DDT. Its another breakdown. Steen nails Jay with a powerbomb onto the edge of the ring apron. But the new ROH tag team make a mistake and Mark hits his cutthroat driver. The Briscoes hit their combination guillotine leg drop/shooting star press for the victory. Intense tag match.

Backstage with Colt Cabana still hurt and Whitmer, blood dried on face, talking about how Jacobs is going to suffer at Colts hands and then his own.

Jimmy Rave vs. Samoa Joe ***½
There were reviews saying this match was boring or wasn’t a good Joe farewell to Philly but I enjoyed it quite a bit. Joe still looks good while making Rave lose but still look like he’s been elevated to main event player in Ring of Honor. Joe messes with rave in the early going demonstrating his dominance. It starts a little back and forth until the match goes outside with Joe tripping Rave face first on the apron. Then hooking him and sending him head first into the barricade. Joe begins to control the match but Rave starts building an offense however when he spits on Joe gets upset and delivers his atomic drop/flying boot/back senton combo. Its all Joe until Jimmy rave reverses the face wash and starts working on Joes knee. Its back and forth as Joe gets out and starts nailing his moves but of course Rave hits some of his signatures. Joe makes Raves heel hook look devastating, even getting out and using it on Rave himself. Rave tries to keep out of the muscle buster but Joe uses the island driver for the win. I really liked this match.

Joe thanks the fans and puts over ROH. Backstage Becky interviews Jack Evans.

Delirious vs. Roderick Strong-FIP Title **
Online fans were right, worst match on the show but that might be because of delirious suffering an concussion part way through. It started off hot with some nice work from both men and Delirious being the very-over athlete he is doing some good technical work. The spot where it goes down hill is when Strong pulls Delirious off the top turnbuckle dropping him back and head first into the ring floor. You can tell delirious is out but he keeps trying to go. Strong continues the assault including a Tiger Driver on the ripped to the floor guardrail. Delirious is being carried out but Strong attacks him. All this does is solidify him as a heel. Aries makes the save and chases Strong off. All reports says Delirious did suffer a concussion being pulled off ROHs next two shows and even being spotted at the Chikara show the next day from this show still hurt.

Shingo and Jack Evans vs. Matt Sydall and “the Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels-Tag Titles ***½
Starts as fomula tag match. Good stuff with former stable mates and also dragon gate competitors Sydall and Evans. Evans showboating allows the champs to take the advantage. Sydall mocks him and attacks and then Daniels does the same. Even busting the robot because ROH fans know Evans is a b-boy. Evans gets out and tags Shingo who tries working over Daniels until Daniels catches him with the leg lariat. Shingo gets worked over for a moment and then Daniels gets worked over by the challengers. Shingos firemans carry into sit out spine buster in a nice move. Does some nice submissions after Daniels kicks out. This match eventually goes to hot tag mode and breaks down. Lots of back and forth with an assisted angel wings for the champs to retain. Another good tag match but I still do not care for the Daniels/Sydall tag team.

Aries and Evans talk. Aries says he won’t force Evans to help him. Both say they’ll start teams. Backstage Laceys proud of Jacobs, for once, and whispers something to him. Interestingly they are interviewed by Becky Bayless who has a history with Jacobs and apparently had a break up that Jacobs took very hard at one point. Not that this means anything but I felt like adding that.

Video package about international talent ROH brings in. They need some luchadors this year. Real luchadors from Mexico.

Morishima vs. Homicide-World Title ***½
Big outside brawl early. Homicide tries throwing out some moves at Morishima by using brawling and high flying on the monster. Even Homicides manager Smokes gets in on the action but Morishima is just too much knocking down both men inside the ring at one point. He uses his size to his advantage on the smaller Homicide. He pulls out some submissions and tries a lariat but Homicide reverses it to the ace crusher. Homicide pulls out his lariat but Morishima just takes it. Even a superplex from the top can’t keep the man down. Cide utilizes the flying rana but Shima just comes back with a uranage throw. He nails the backdrop driver and lariat but Homicide kicks out. Second back drop driver and new ROH World champion. Fast paced, action pack, good title match.

Overall I liked this show better then the NYC show.