Friday, April 22, 2011

Indians Baseball

I know its early in the year, but the table below is just really nice to see. The Indians are getting it done with solid fundamental baseball. Good pitching from the starters and the bullpen, timely hitting, smart base running, and above average fielding. The one noticeable change between this year and the last few is the lack of mental collapses. The young players are holding it together even when they have a bad inning or two. I'm sure they won't sustain this all year, but we can at least enjoy it while its happening. Who knows, maybe they'll surprise us all and stay in contention throughout the whole year.
Go Tribe!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Wrestlemania, It's Over

The wrestling fan has lost. For now. Is there any other company, who deliberately and intentionally killed off their own fanbase? Has this ever happened before? Has any company ever said, all of the people who support our product, we actually want them all to go to hell and we want to appeal to this group of people instead? Has this happened before? Yes. The WWE actually did this once before in 1984. They had wrestlers going to war with each other, putting on technical wrestling and garbage wrestling bloodbaths. Then, Hogan showed up and suddenly it was all about the kids. We all watched Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage while growing up. Then we got older, but so did the WWE.

Then we had Shawn Michaels telling people to suck it and Steve Austin giving people the finger. WWE grew up with us. And now, instead of progressing even further forward, they did a complete 180, took out the entire wrestling aspect of it and replaced it with children's entertainment. Back to the beginning... Now we've gotta wait for Cena's children-fanbase to grow up and start hating their parents. Only then will we get the Cena heel turn and a return to prominence, but by then we'll all be 40. Awesome.

The WWE then keeps sprinkling in reminders of better times by throwing Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels.. or more recently Undertaker vs HHH at us. With Steve Austin and Rock, both long since retired getting to appear on screen every now and then.. But otherwise, there's no reason for any of us to watch anymore. This is now just bullshit for the kids. With an occasial character thrown in like CM Punk, who actually represents the adults trying to tell the kids what to do and how to live their lives. Or Jericho talking down on everyone else in the company like they're a piece of shit. (It's no secret that those two characters were everyone's favorite over the past couple years, but God forbid they step on the toes of the kids' favorite characters)

Shawn and HHH, two of the last guys left from better times, were reduced to being goofy kids, not parent-hating degenerates, but goofy kids. Cena? He's obviously a kid. Miz? I don't even know what he is. At Wrestlemania, we scored a win with The Rock costing Cena the belt. But so what? Rock's going to be gone in a few weeks, and even if we get the Rock vs Cena dream match at Summerslam or so, Cena will win because Rock is a true pro. (Austin sure as hell wouldn't do it, and I don't blame him).

So anyways, Wrestlemania. Let's look at it from a standpoint of the real fan who has been shunned by the WWE.

Match 1: World Title, Edge vs Del Rio

Ok, this on paper was the weakest championship match in Wrestlemania history. Del Rio is too new. Way too new to be the Rumble winner and thrown into a main event. And they realized this, probably the day of the show. Hence, here he is in the opening match, and he LOSES to Edge. This is absolultely a case of "our bad" on the WWE's part. Edge wins in 10 minutes, fairly clean. Match is **1/2 at most.

Match 2: Rey Mysterio vs Cody Rhodes

They get about 10 minutes and Rhodes wins after some shenanigans with a face mask and a knee brace. Whatever. Match is **1/2 at most.

Snoop Dogg showed up for a retarded segment which ended up with Hornswaggle singing as a punch line. This felt like it took up 10 minutes of the show. It was the dumbest segment I've seen at Wrestlemania. Normally they knock these out of the park. (Rock calling Hurricane the Hamburgler?)

Match 3: 8 man tag, Wade Barrett and three guys against Kane, Big Show, and two other guys

Match was literally one minute long. I forgot who got the pin, but Big Show's team won. No match rating.

Match 4: CM Punk vs Randy Orton

This was better than it should have been. CM Punk is awesome and one of only a couple reasons left to watch this piece of shit product. Orton still sucks. Ten years later, Orton hasn't learned a damn thing, still wrestles the same shitty match. Punk carries Orton to his best match since... I don't know, I'm sure one of the Cena matches was better than this but I don't remember them. *** for the match. They got about 15 minutes.

Rock and Mae Young have an encounter. I really think she has video proof that she and Vince McMahon boned. Why else is she still around on TV? Then Rock and Steve Austin had an encounter which made me think they would fight before the night was over. Man, was I wrong there.

Match 5: Jerry Lawler vs Michael Cole

This match got about 15 minutes also. It was awful, but not as bad as Bret-Vince from last year. This match also felt like it was an hour long. In my mind I watched Flair vs Steamboat from Wrestle War 89 twice in the amount of time I watched Cole - Lawler. Lawler wins with the ankle lock?? Not a pile driver? Come on! Come on!!!! REALLY!??! No rating, match blew, wasn't entertaining in any way. Then the GM reverses the decision cause Austin shoved Cole. Whatever. Then Booker T got a stunner.

Match 6: Undertaker vs HHH

Awesome match, but it won't hold up watching it a second time. Watching it again it will be boring as shit. But live, oh man. I was actually worried HHH had him. When HHH gave him that tombstone, I thought that could've been it for Taker. I still don't like that submission move Taker uses, it's like a retarded version of the real thing from UFC, but whatever. He's trying. At age 59, the Undertaker is still a better wrestler/performer than any of these new guys. So is HHH. Live, this gets about ****1/2. Watching it again, I fear it will get about **. That's the big difference between this match and the HBK - Taker matches. Those were entertaining as hell and action packed. This one was all drama/storyline. They went about 30 minutes and HHH beat the shit out of Taker, and then was outsmarted for the finish by the guy who can't be beaten. It was awesome.

Undertaker is a paradox. He debuted in the WWE at age 26. He won his first Wrestlemania at age 27. He beat HHH at WM17 at age 37. He beat him again at WM 27 at age 47. From age 26 through about 45, put it simply..sucked. He sucked. He didn't do a damn thing in the ring except look intimidating. And now, at the time when every other wrestler starts losing their shit and unable to go anymore, he's getting better. He's now having the matches that will define him. He now having the matches we'll remember forever. Where the hell has he been for the past 20 years?!

Anyways.. Match 7: Snooki, Trish, and Morrison vs Taker's Wife, Someone else, and Dolph Ziggler

Dolph Ziggler - another example: They took the least talented member of the god awful "Spirit Squad" and brought him back full time. "Johnny" of the spirit squad was a Daniel Bryan-like indie wrestler "Johnny Jeter" who would be able to wrestle circles around any of the other guys in that group. Nevermind. Snooki pins one of the other girls in the match for the win. They got 5 minutes. That's 4 minutes longer than the 8 man tag got, which actually featured some wrestlers. Either * or no rating. Not sure. It sucked.

Match 8: US Title, Daniel Bryan vs Sheamus

Oh wait, this didn't happen. This didn't happen so we could have a Snoop Dogg/Hornswaggle skit, a 15 minute match featuring announcers, and a 5 minute Snooki match. FUCK YOU, WWE. Entire show's overall rating deducted one star for cutting a "Wrestling Match"

Match 9: WWE Title, John Cena vs Miz

This is the second weakest championship match in WWE history. After a slow start, things picked up a little, then just as they got going, sports entertainment took over. Rock gives Cena a Rock Bottom and Miz gets the pin. Match was about 15 minutes. The entrances were actually longer. Match gets *1/2. Rock then beats everyone up to end the show.

How they didn't either go with Cena vs Rock one on one, or Cena vs Miz vs Rock as a three way is just beyond me. But whatever, it's for the kids now.

The average match rating for this show is 14 (match totals) - 1 (danielson vs sheamus) = 13 / 9 matches = ~1.444 (less than *1/2 overall for the show. That's fucking awful.)

Now, for fun, based on memory, let me go back to WM9 and WM13. Those, off hand are the worst ones I can think of. WM1 was also really terrible, but that one gets a pass because it was such a success that we still have WM to this day.

Tatanka vs Shawn ***
Steiners vs Samoans *
Doink vs Crush *
Razor vs Backlund *
Hogan/Beefcake vs Money Inc **
Luger vs Perfect **1/2
Bret vs Yoko **
Taker vs Gonzales *
Hogan vs Yoko NR


Four Way Tag *1/2
Rocky vs Fatu *1/2
HHH vs Goldust **
Owen/Bulldog vs Vader/Mankind (??) *1/2
Bret vs Austin (one of the best matches ever. EVER.) *****
LOD vs Nation Street Fight (actually a pretty wild ECW type brawl) ***1/2
Taker vs Sid *


So, based on my memory, it's official. Wrestlemania 27 is actually the worst Wrestlemania of all time. And I do believe time will show us this. Wrestlemania 9 was pretty bad, but it was at least memorable. Wrestlemania 13 was bad, but it had one of the best matches of all time. We're not going to remember this Wrestlemania in three years. It had nothing. It had a solid HHH vs Undertaker match, but other than that, it had NOTHING. The only way it's memorable is if this turned out to be Taker's final match but I don't think that's the case.

It was a piece of shit, utter crap, BUT, I bet the kids loved it and cant wait to see Cena get revenge on The Rock.