GSP v. Diaz

Hey Scott,
Just another example of what is missing in the WWE that the UFC some how is able to pull off with out being a work.
So we have the abrasive Nick Diaz who has been piling up wins against mid card talent for the past few years over in Strikeforce. Has put down all challengers in that time. The whole time squacking about not making enough money, how he could beat the champ (GSP) if he wasn’t being held back. Meanwhile the clean cut, even keeled GSP is having pedestrian performances where, although remaining unscathed and dominant in them, has looked unimpressive. Diaz destroys all in front of him until the UFC can’t ignore him as a challenger any longer and set up a title fight. GSP vs. Diaz is set. In the months leading up to the fight, the brash and stubborn Diaz decides he doesn’t want to play the UFC media game and no shows a pair of press conferences calling them "beauty pageants" and as a result gets pulled from the main event. GSP down plays Diaz as a contender in the first place and gets set for another opponent. In Diaz’s eyes "The Man" has just stepped in once again, cost him his big "pay day" and continues to hold him back all while protecting the paper champion. He now is forced to face a top contender, former title contender and former rival of champion GSP.  In the fight Diaz dominates Penn in a three round war where Diaz sets a new record for strikes landed and RETIRES Penn. (Penn leaves strong having the heart and determination to withstand Diaz’s punishment). Post fight Diaz calls out the champ immediately! Claims he’s scared to fight anybody right now and that he’s been held back. The normally calm and cool GSP loses it (Off camera unfortunately) and demands to fight Diaz next. Calls him "The most disrespectful human being he’s ever met and that he’s going to put the worst beating on Nick the world has seen." Out of the circumstances, Dana White cancels GSPs next opponent and signs Diaz vs. GSP for Superbowl weekend. This shit is straight out of Rocky III? Diaz just needs to assault Greg Jackson and cause him to have a heart attack. They’ve created a credible, monster heel out of Nick Diaz to face off against the mega-face GSP. Seriously, I would lay down my money today for the pay per view that’s months away.

Yup.  Plus now we’ve got Anderson Silva, the claimed #1 fighter in the world, actively ducking Chael Sonnen and claiming he’s not worthy of a title shot while Sonnen cuts awesome promos on him whenever he’s got a microphone near.  If they play their cards right, they can score two million+ buyrates in a row headlining with those matches now.  It just goes to show that a little carny attitude goes a LONG way.  Although Diaz really is just that crazy, unlike Sonnen who actually “gets it”. 

GSP v. Diaz

Hey Scott,
Just another example of what is missing in the WWE that the UFC some how is able to pull off with out being a work.
So we have the abrasive Nick Diaz who has been piling up wins against mid card talent for the past few years over in Strikeforce. Has put down all challengers in that time. The whole time squacking about not making enough money, how he could beat the champ (GSP) if he wasn’t being held back. Meanwhile the clean cut, even keeled GSP is having pedestrian performances where, although remaining unscathed and dominant in them, has looked unimpressive. Diaz destroys all in front of him until the UFC can’t ignore him as a challenger any longer and set up a title fight. GSP vs. Diaz is set. In the months leading up to the fight, the brash and stubborn Diaz decides he doesn’t want to play the UFC media game and no shows a pair of press conferences calling them "beauty pageants" and as a result gets pulled from the main event. GSP down plays Diaz as a contender in the first place and gets set for another opponent. In Diaz’s eyes "The Man" has just stepped in once again, cost him his big "pay day" and continues to hold him back all while protecting the paper champion. He now is forced to face a top contender, former title contender and former rival of champion GSP.  In the fight Diaz dominates Penn in a three round war where Diaz sets a new record for strikes landed and RETIRES Penn. (Penn leaves strong having the heart and determination to withstand Diaz’s punishment). Post fight Diaz calls out the champ immediately! Claims he’s scared to fight anybody right now and that he’s been held back. The normally calm and cool GSP loses it (Off camera unfortunately) and demands to fight Diaz next. Calls him "The most disrespectful human being he’s ever met and that he’s going to put the worst beating on Nick the world has seen." Out of the circumstances, Dana White cancels GSPs next opponent and signs Diaz vs. GSP for Superbowl weekend. This shit is straight out of Rocky III? Diaz just needs to assault Greg Jackson and cause him to have a heart attack. They’ve created a credible, monster heel out of Nick Diaz to face off against the mega-face GSP. Seriously, I would lay down my money today for the pay per view that’s months away.

Yup.  Plus now we’ve got Anderson Silva, the claimed #1 fighter in the world, actively ducking Chael Sonnen and claiming he’s not worthy of a title shot while Sonnen cuts awesome promos on him whenever he’s got a microphone near.  If they play their cards right, they can score two million+ buyrates in a row headlining with those matches now.  It just goes to show that a little carny attitude goes a LONG way.  Although Diaz really is just that crazy, unlike Sonnen who actually “gets it”. 

Hawk Falling Down

Hey Scott, Long time reader, followed you through Wrestlemaniacs/ Wrestleline/ Rantsylvania/ Smarks/ 411wrestling/ 411mania/ Insidepulse/ Blog of Doom. The discussion within the Scott Hall post got me thinking about Road Warrior Hawk. My timeline may be off, but I believe it was back in the LOD 2000 days, when Hawk was playing being drunk/stoned, and I think the idea was that Droz was his dealer or something to that effect. Anyway, very early in the angle, LOD was doing a promo and Hawk took a minute to address the crowd as Michael Hegstrand to apologise for his behaviour the previous week, saying that it wasn’t professional, not what the fans paid to see, and promising that it wouldn’t happen again. Sure enough, starting the very next week Hawk is stumbling around the place, tripping while getting in the ring, and falling off the titantron. My question is, what was the incident that started that angle, and was it genuine? Was Hawk really on live TV unfit for work in a glaringly obvious way? And did they base the angle off that incident, forcing Hawk to air his personal demons on TV, or was it all a work?

Well, the drunkness and poor condition was certainly no work.  Hawk was in rough shape at that point and shouldn’t have been on TV.  The rest was the genius of Vince Russo, who decided that it would be edgy and cool to make fun of someone who could barely function.  I forget the exact inciting incident, although I think it was something like him doing commentary while being drunk.  But yeah, the initial incident was genuine, the rest was a work, albeit one far too close to home. 

Hawk Falling Down

Hey Scott, Long time reader, followed you through Wrestlemaniacs/ Wrestleline/ Rantsylvania/ Smarks/ 411wrestling/ 411mania/ Insidepulse/ Blog of Doom. The discussion within the Scott Hall post got me thinking about Road Warrior Hawk. My timeline may be off, but I believe it was back in the LOD 2000 days, when Hawk was playing being drunk/stoned, and I think the idea was that Droz was his dealer or something to that effect. Anyway, very early in the angle, LOD was doing a promo and Hawk took a minute to address the crowd as Michael Hegstrand to apologise for his behaviour the previous week, saying that it wasn’t professional, not what the fans paid to see, and promising that it wouldn’t happen again. Sure enough, starting the very next week Hawk is stumbling around the place, tripping while getting in the ring, and falling off the titantron. My question is, what was the incident that started that angle, and was it genuine? Was Hawk really on live TV unfit for work in a glaringly obvious way? And did they base the angle off that incident, forcing Hawk to air his personal demons on TV, or was it all a work?

Well, the drunkness and poor condition was certainly no work.  Hawk was in rough shape at that point and shouldn’t have been on TV.  The rest was the genius of Vince Russo, who decided that it would be edgy and cool to make fun of someone who could barely function.  I forget the exact inciting incident, although I think it was something like him doing commentary while being drunk.  But yeah, the initial incident was genuine, the rest was a work, albeit one far too close to home. 

Double A (Not To Be Confused With A Double)

Just curious your opinion on a recent discussion I had about Arn Anderson. Has there ever been a mid-carder so perfect? He’d hold titles, but never the top one. He’d be involved in major feuds, do great in them, yet never rise to be World Champion. Yet, it never felt like he was being held back. Is that merely due to the era in your mind or can you think of some other wrestlers who felt perfect in the mid-card, even if they could have clearly been higher?

Sure, not everyone is cut out to be a main eventer.  Mr. Perfect was a perfect IC champion and although he probably could have been World champion, was probably better off where he was.  Terry Taylor was always a great guy to have in the midcard, because he was enough of a name where beating him meant something, but he was never a threat to take your spot.  Especially after the WWF run.  Marc Mero, whether as Johnny B Badd or Marvelous Marc, was a solid midcard threat.  A lot of the guys who ended up as World champion today (like Jack Swagger) probably would have been better served never getting it, too. 

Double A (Not To Be Confused With A Double)

Just curious your opinion on a recent discussion I had about Arn Anderson. Has there ever been a mid-carder so perfect? He’d hold titles, but never the top one. He’d be involved in major feuds, do great in them, yet never rise to be World Champion. Yet, it never felt like he was being held back. Is that merely due to the era in your mind or can you think of some other wrestlers who felt perfect in the mid-card, even if they could have clearly been higher?

Sure, not everyone is cut out to be a main eventer.  Mr. Perfect was a perfect IC champion and although he probably could have been World champion, was probably better off where he was.  Terry Taylor was always a great guy to have in the midcard, because he was enough of a name where beating him meant something, but he was never a threat to take your spot.  Especially after the WWF run.  Marc Mero, whether as Johnny B Badd or Marvelous Marc, was a solid midcard threat.  A lot of the guys who ended up as World champion today (like Jack Swagger) probably would have been better served never getting it, too. 

WM title matches

Hey Scott,
With Cena/Rock and Taker trying for 20-0 at WM this year, the casual fan buy rate is pretty well confirmed. It’s not like casual fans will revolt if Orton doesn’t get a title shot. So do you think WWE takes advantage of this to play to the more stubborn Internet fans by making title matches we want to see? The only people NOT buying at this point are smart fans who don’t care about the two big matches…so why not throw them a bone with a "I can’t believe they’re doing this at Mania!" type of match. And in that case, what do the two world title matches become?

Given they think very little of internet fans and their desires, I don’t foresee anyone getting thrown any bones.  I’m pretty sure they’re building up Mark Henry for Undertaker at this point, whether or not the title is on the line.  People are still all “OMG they’re totally gonna insert D-Bry in the title match briefcase briefcase briefcase” but he’s basically a jobber at this point and should be losing the case shortly once they tire of him completely.  Although with Cena/Rock and UT/Henry taking up the two title matches, you’ve still gotta find stuff to do with Punk, ADR, Orton and the other “main eventers” who aren’t Cena and thus don’t count.  Long-term booking is wonderful in some cases, but others it really leaves you painted into a corner. 

WM title matches

Hey Scott,
With Cena/Rock and Taker trying for 20-0 at WM this year, the casual fan buy rate is pretty well confirmed. It’s not like casual fans will revolt if Orton doesn’t get a title shot. So do you think WWE takes advantage of this to play to the more stubborn Internet fans by making title matches we want to see? The only people NOT buying at this point are smart fans who don’t care about the two big matches…so why not throw them a bone with a "I can’t believe they’re doing this at Mania!" type of match. And in that case, what do the two world title matches become?

Given they think very little of internet fans and their desires, I don’t foresee anyone getting thrown any bones.  I’m pretty sure they’re building up Mark Henry for Undertaker at this point, whether or not the title is on the line.  People are still all “OMG they’re totally gonna insert D-Bry in the title match briefcase briefcase briefcase” but he’s basically a jobber at this point and should be losing the case shortly once they tire of him completely.  Although with Cena/Rock and UT/Henry taking up the two title matches, you’ve still gotta find stuff to do with Punk, ADR, Orton and the other “main eventers” who aren’t Cena and thus don’t count.  Long-term booking is wonderful in some cases, but others it really leaves you painted into a corner. 

Rivalries

Hi Scott Just watched the Bret-Shawn Greatest Rivalries interview, and they make a few mentions of how they replaced the ‘dinosaurs’ of the 80s (notably Hogan). Having recently witnessed the spectacle of Hogan wrestling Sting in late 2011, with a still-active Ric Flair interfering, it struck me as odd that those guys – the very top guys in Hogan and Flair – of the 80s are still wrestling when several generations of replacements such as Bret and Shawn have been and gone since. Do you think any guys approaching the level of Hogan/Flair from the New Generation, Attitude, PG eras etc will still be wrestling at that age? Bret, Shawn, Austin, Rock are all done at reasonable ages – though I suppose with the exception of Bret they could come back. Seems unlikely though – and somehow I don’t see Cena or Orton or whoever lasting that long either. I can imagine HHH maybe, as he’ll be around anyway in some capacity, and Nash at 52 is having a good stab at it – but Hogan and Flair seem exceptional cases compared to the top names that have followed them. Is it because they were such major names that they can get away with it (to the extent that they do), or is it just their individual personalities and situations? Or am I just extrapolating too much from a very small and incomplete sample size? Will you be watching/ranting about the Greatest Rivalries dvd, by the way?

MONTREAL WAS NOT A WORK!  Sorry, reflex macro there. Last thing that Entertainment One sent me to review was TLC 2010, so a full review doesn’t seem likely given how pressed for time I generally am these days and how little I want to put more money in WWE’s pocket in the first place.   Unless I just download the documentary portion, which is possible. Anyway, guys from the last decade or so have tended to work a much harder style than a Hogan or Flair did.  Not saying it was a cakewalk to do their schedule in the 80s, but Flair’s broomstick formula was much easier to do night after night than someone like Edge having to one-up himself with ladder matches and cage matches and endless chairshots.  Also, guys like Rock and Austin were much smarter about their giant paydays than the “blow it all on coke and hookers” 80s stars were, and thus can afford to leave the business on their own terms.  Although according to that Scott Hall piece everyone today is a saint who plays videogames and is as straight edge as CM Punk, so clearly we no longer have anything to worry about.  Whew.

Rivalries

Hi Scott Just watched the Bret-Shawn Greatest Rivalries interview, and they make a few mentions of how they replaced the ‘dinosaurs’ of the 80s (notably Hogan). Having recently witnessed the spectacle of Hogan wrestling Sting in late 2011, with a still-active Ric Flair interfering, it struck me as odd that those guys – the very top guys in Hogan and Flair – of the 80s are still wrestling when several generations of replacements such as Bret and Shawn have been and gone since. Do you think any guys approaching the level of Hogan/Flair from the New Generation, Attitude, PG eras etc will still be wrestling at that age? Bret, Shawn, Austin, Rock are all done at reasonable ages – though I suppose with the exception of Bret they could come back. Seems unlikely though – and somehow I don’t see Cena or Orton or whoever lasting that long either. I can imagine HHH maybe, as he’ll be around anyway in some capacity, and Nash at 52 is having a good stab at it – but Hogan and Flair seem exceptional cases compared to the top names that have followed them. Is it because they were such major names that they can get away with it (to the extent that they do), or is it just their individual personalities and situations? Or am I just extrapolating too much from a very small and incomplete sample size? Will you be watching/ranting about the Greatest Rivalries dvd, by the way?

MONTREAL WAS NOT A WORK!  Sorry, reflex macro there. Last thing that Entertainment One sent me to review was TLC 2010, so a full review doesn’t seem likely given how pressed for time I generally am these days and how little I want to put more money in WWE’s pocket in the first place.   Unless I just download the documentary portion, which is possible. Anyway, guys from the last decade or so have tended to work a much harder style than a Hogan or Flair did.  Not saying it was a cakewalk to do their schedule in the 80s, but Flair’s broomstick formula was much easier to do night after night than someone like Edge having to one-up himself with ladder matches and cage matches and endless chairshots.  Also, guys like Rock and Austin were much smarter about their giant paydays than the “blow it all on coke and hookers” 80s stars were, and thus can afford to leave the business on their own terms.  Although according to that Scott Hall piece everyone today is a saint who plays videogames and is as straight edge as CM Punk, so clearly we no longer have anything to worry about.  Whew.

Lobdell Clarifies About Superboy and Other Stuff

http://www.comicvine.com/news/scott-lobdell-answers-your-questions-even-ones-about-starfire-october-edition/143746/ Interesting Q&A with Titans/Red Hood/Superboy writer Scott Lobdell, and he actually clarifies a point about Superboy that I had heard differently before the reboot started:

Superboy started all over again? I mean this is more than just a retelling of his origins like "Year One" stories right, it’s a proper reboot? Or will it jump some years ahead and preserve some of his old comics and his role during Doomsday? It was going to be a relaunch, but it became clear after the Superman and Supergirl retooling that Superboy’s origin has to begin in the here and now.

So there you go, they changed their damn mind again.  Although a lot of Lobdell’s answers fall under the “Previous continuity wasn’t under my control so you can consider whatever you want as being in-continuity” variety.  As someone else said here, Titans is a continuity nightmare thanks to some people rebooting and some people relaunching, and I guess Lobdell isn’t much on paying attention to that sort of thing anyway. 

Lobdell Clarifies About Superboy and Other Stuff

http://www.comicvine.com/news/scott-lobdell-answers-your-questions-even-ones-about-starfire-october-edition/143746/ Interesting Q&A with Titans/Red Hood/Superboy writer Scott Lobdell, and he actually clarifies a point about Superboy that I had heard differently before the reboot started:

Superboy started all over again? I mean this is more than just a retelling of his origins like "Year One" stories right, it’s a proper reboot? Or will it jump some years ahead and preserve some of his old comics and his role during Doomsday? It was going to be a relaunch, but it became clear after the Superman and Supergirl retooling that Superboy’s origin has to begin in the here and now.

So there you go, they changed their damn mind again.  Although a lot of Lobdell’s answers fall under the “Previous continuity wasn’t under my control so you can consider whatever you want as being in-continuity” variety.  As someone else said here, Titans is a continuity nightmare thanks to some people rebooting and some people relaunching, and I guess Lobdell isn’t much on paying attention to that sort of thing anyway. 

Sporcle Series

Scott Here’s a new Sporcle quiz I put together that you and your readers might enjoy.  Can you name the WWF Superstars who were announced as participants in the Survivor Series elimination matches, and then replaced by someone else? http://www.sporcle.com/games/BarleyMcFlexo/wwf-survivor-series-replacements Barley

That’s a REALLY tough quiz for someone like me, because I’m pretty useless with that sort of trivia without proper context.  I only ended up getting 5/23. 

Sporcle Series

Scott Here’s a new Sporcle quiz I put together that you and your readers might enjoy.  Can you name the WWF Superstars who were announced as participants in the Survivor Series elimination matches, and then replaced by someone else? http://www.sporcle.com/games/BarleyMcFlexo/wwf-survivor-series-replacements Barley

That’s a REALLY tough quiz for someone like me, because I’m pretty useless with that sort of trivia without proper context.  I only ended up getting 5/23. 

Scott Reviews The New 52: Week 8

Scott Reviews The New 52: Week 8 So we’re at the end of month #2, with nothing I was dying to read, but a lot of decent comics this week. Green Lantern: The New Guardians #2 I’m kind of intrigued by this one, even if nothing really happened again.  Kyle got chosen by the entire rainbow of rings last issue (aside from the orange one) and the former holders are not terribly pleased at losing their source of power.  After the requisite battle scene, Kyle decides to retreat to Oa and see if the Guardians know what’s going on.  I kind of wish they’d make more effort to explain the goofy mythology behind the Rainbow Corps for people who haven’t read everything Geoff Johns has ever written (at one point, a Blue Lantern shows up and Kyle’s green ring gets supercharged, and he goes “Oh, of course”.  WHAT?  It’s not often I say this, but I wish they’d dumb it down a little bit because I wasn’t paying that much attention to all the Green Lantern stuff during Blackest Night.  That being said, I like Kyle Rayner, I like Ganthet, and the new rainbow corps members are enough of a blank slate that I can probably learn about them too, so I’m sticking with it.  For the moment. Aquaman #2 Speaking of Geoff Johns and his comic book empire, I give this issue my highest compliment:  It was over too soon.  Just a good fun superhero book with man-eating monsters coming from the depths, and the authorities calling in Aquaman and Aquawoman (“Her name is Mera.”) to deal with it.  And then just as things get exciting, it’s over.  Damn you, decompressed storytelling.  Lots of good dialogue in this one, with Aquaman talking about his childhood to build some backstory, clarifying his powers for a dumbass deputy, and beating up the vicious monsters who have apparently sucked the ocean dry of sea life.  I love the clean art style of Ivan Reis here, keeping it very accessible.  Johns doesn’t do anything wacky here, and the result is an easy read and one of my favourite surprises of the reboot thus far.  Thumbs up! Superman #2 I find it kind of depressing that Supes is supposed to be their flagship character, but he only has two books and one of them isn’t very good.  This was definitely better than the first issue, although I still hate the new costume.  It’s a clever conceit, as Superman gets attacked by an alien creature who is only invisible to him but is easily seen by everyone else.  However, much like the first issue, there’s a lot of internal dialogue telling us things that we could probably figure out from the story itself.  Luckily this can be read either as a standalone story or a part of a larger arc, so you’re not needing any backstory.  In fact, they recap #1 with a couple of sentences (“Superman fought a big fire creature” pretty much sums it up) and you’re off.  They’ve already announced Dan Jurgens and Keith Giffen as the new creative team in a few issues, so this is all just treading water until that starts anyway.  That pairing should be awesome, this is just kind of there.  I’ll hang in because it’s Superman, I guess, and you know they’re never gonna let the mothership stray too far. All-Star Western #2 “What do we do?” “We kill them all.” If this comic isn’t worth your $3.99 to watch Jonah Hex shoot the crap out of 12 men out for his head, you have no reason to ever pick up a Western comic.  Hex and Dr. Arkham continue their search for a serial killer in old Gotham, discovering a link to the organization known as the Religion of Crime.  That of course would torment Batman in the future, too.   The corrupt old white men are once again the root of all evil in the old West, and Hex has to work his way up the murder ladder to bring justice to them.  This is all, of course, completely awesome.  Plus there’s an 8 page El Diablo revival backup story.  All we need is Bat Lash and this is the greatest book ever.  If you enjoyed the previous Hex series, there’s no reason not to pick this up too. The Flash #2 This definitely feels like a total reboot now, as Barry Allen talks about the Speed Force like it’s a new thing to him, and he’s kind of feeling out his power levels.  I’m thinking this is gonna mean that he never died and there’s no Wally West out there now.  Anyway, this is another pleasant outing from the talented Francis Manapul, as the story centers on Flash learning to “speed think” in addition to his usual speed running, so that he can now figure out all the angles and outcomes before acting on anything.  The artwork does a great job of conveying how he just plain moves fast, and I loved the little touches like the different color scheme for the flashbacks.  Artwork aside, I just don’t find the actual relationship with Manual and his army of clones to be that interesting.  This will probably be a drop soon if it doesn’t get awesome. Teen Titans #2 More info dumped here about the new universe, as Bart “Kid Flash” Allen has only been in action for an hour according to the exposition…and yet Tim Drake was apparently Robin for a while before this.  My head hurts.  The main thread of this one sees Red Robin chasing a mysterious creature named Skitter  through the sewers, while fighting agents from NOWHERE who can teleport at will in annoying manner.  I’m not so pumped about the bevy of X-TREME new Titans to be introduced (Bunker!) but I guess they have to try new characters sometime.  Good light-hearted tone here, although the Liefeld-ish art is a bit of a turnoff for me.  This title screams out for someone like Tom Grummett.  Or the guy who didYoung Justice, he was fun too. Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men #2 This feels like an extended Elseworlds series thus far, as all the previous pieces of the Firestorm universe (Ron Raymond, Martin Stein, The Hyena, Cliff Carmichael) are present and accounted for here, but shuffled around into totally new and different combinations.  I kind of wish they had just started fresh with certain elements and started with a blank slate, because I find it totally distracting after knowing for so long who and what Cliff Carmichael was and then having the character become someone totally different and unrelated.  Anyway, we discovered last issue that Firestorm Jason + Firestorm Ronnie = FURY, the big giant Firestorm killing machine.  The mysterious government agency behind everything attempts to take him out, and that goes about as well as you’d expect.  Ronnie and Jason continue their bickering while wielding all-powerful nuclear forces, and now have to fight off the Hyena agents.  I’m hanging in there out of my love of the previous incarnations of the character, but this really wouldn’t be grabbing my attention if I picked it up off the shelf cold. Batman: The Dark Knight #2 So, um, a bunch of villains are running around like pumped up Image characters, and Batman…uh, forget it, I’m done with this one.  And what’s up with Joker’s face being fine again?  This comic SUCKS. Big recommendations for All Star Western and Aquaman this week, the rest are very hit-or-miss.  Next week:  The #3 issues!

Scott Reviews The New 52: Week 8

Scott Reviews The New 52: Week 8 So we’re at the end of month #2, with nothing I was dying to read, but a lot of decent comics this week. Green Lantern: The New Guardians #2 I’m kind of intrigued by this one, even if nothing really happened again.  Kyle got chosen by the entire rainbow of rings last issue (aside from the orange one) and the former holders are not terribly pleased at losing their source of power.  After the requisite battle scene, Kyle decides to retreat to Oa and see if the Guardians know what’s going on.  I kind of wish they’d make more effort to explain the goofy mythology behind the Rainbow Corps for people who haven’t read everything Geoff Johns has ever written (at one point, a Blue Lantern shows up and Kyle’s green ring gets supercharged, and he goes “Oh, of course”.  WHAT?  It’s not often I say this, but I wish they’d dumb it down a little bit because I wasn’t paying that much attention to all the Green Lantern stuff during Blackest Night.  That being said, I like Kyle Rayner, I like Ganthet, and the new rainbow corps members are enough of a blank slate that I can probably learn about them too, so I’m sticking with it.  For the moment. Aquaman #2 Speaking of Geoff Johns and his comic book empire, I give this issue my highest compliment:  It was over too soon.  Just a good fun superhero book with man-eating monsters coming from the depths, and the authorities calling in Aquaman and Aquawoman (“Her name is Mera.”) to deal with it.  And then just as things get exciting, it’s over.  Damn you, decompressed storytelling.  Lots of good dialogue in this one, with Aquaman talking about his childhood to build some backstory, clarifying his powers for a dumbass deputy, and beating up the vicious monsters who have apparently sucked the ocean dry of sea life.  I love the clean art style of Ivan Reis here, keeping it very accessible.  Johns doesn’t do anything wacky here, and the result is an easy read and one of my favourite surprises of the reboot thus far.  Thumbs up! Superman #2 I find it kind of depressing that Supes is supposed to be their flagship character, but he only has two books and one of them isn’t very good.  This was definitely better than the first issue, although I still hate the new costume.  It’s a clever conceit, as Superman gets attacked by an alien creature who is only invisible to him but is easily seen by everyone else.  However, much like the first issue, there’s a lot of internal dialogue telling us things that we could probably figure out from the story itself.  Luckily this can be read either as a standalone story or a part of a larger arc, so you’re not needing any backstory.  In fact, they recap #1 with a couple of sentences (“Superman fought a big fire creature” pretty much sums it up) and you’re off.  They’ve already announced Dan Jurgens and Keith Giffen as the new creative team in a few issues, so this is all just treading water until that starts anyway.  That pairing should be awesome, this is just kind of there.  I’ll hang in because it’s Superman, I guess, and you know they’re never gonna let the mothership stray too far. All-Star Western #2 “What do we do?” “We kill them all.” If this comic isn’t worth your $3.99 to watch Jonah Hex shoot the crap out of 12 men out for his head, you have no reason to ever pick up a Western comic.  Hex and Dr. Arkham continue their search for a serial killer in old Gotham, discovering a link to the organization known as the Religion of Crime.  That of course would torment Batman in the future, too.   The corrupt old white men are once again the root of all evil in the old West, and Hex has to work his way up the murder ladder to bring justice to them.  This is all, of course, completely awesome.  Plus there’s an 8 page El Diablo revival backup story.  All we need is Bat Lash and this is the greatest book ever.  If you enjoyed the previous Hex series, there’s no reason not to pick this up too. The Flash #2 This definitely feels like a total reboot now, as Barry Allen talks about the Speed Force like it’s a new thing to him, and he’s kind of feeling out his power levels.  I’m thinking this is gonna mean that he never died and there’s no Wally West out there now.  Anyway, this is another pleasant outing from the talented Francis Manapul, as the story centers on Flash learning to “speed think” in addition to his usual speed running, so that he can now figure out all the angles and outcomes before acting on anything.  The artwork does a great job of conveying how he just plain moves fast, and I loved the little touches like the different color scheme for the flashbacks.  Artwork aside, I just don’t find the actual relationship with Manual and his army of clones to be that interesting.  This will probably be a drop soon if it doesn’t get awesome. Teen Titans #2 More info dumped here about the new universe, as Bart “Kid Flash” Allen has only been in action for an hour according to the exposition…and yet Tim Drake was apparently Robin for a while before this.  My head hurts.  The main thread of this one sees Red Robin chasing a mysterious creature named Skitter  through the sewers, while fighting agents from NOWHERE who can teleport at will in annoying manner.  I’m not so pumped about the bevy of X-TREME new Titans to be introduced (Bunker!) but I guess they have to try new characters sometime.  Good light-hearted tone here, although the Liefeld-ish art is a bit of a turnoff for me.  This title screams out for someone like Tom Grummett.  Or the guy who didYoung Justice, he was fun too. Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men #2 This feels like an extended Elseworlds series thus far, as all the previous pieces of the Firestorm universe (Ron Raymond, Martin Stein, The Hyena, Cliff Carmichael) are present and accounted for here, but shuffled around into totally new and different combinations.  I kind of wish they had just started fresh with certain elements and started with a blank slate, because I find it totally distracting after knowing for so long who and what Cliff Carmichael was and then having the character become someone totally different and unrelated.  Anyway, we discovered last issue that Firestorm Jason + Firestorm Ronnie = FURY, the big giant Firestorm killing machine.  The mysterious government agency behind everything attempts to take him out, and that goes about as well as you’d expect.  Ronnie and Jason continue their bickering while wielding all-powerful nuclear forces, and now have to fight off the Hyena agents.  I’m hanging in there out of my love of the previous incarnations of the character, but this really wouldn’t be grabbing my attention if I picked it up off the shelf cold. Batman: The Dark Knight #2 So, um, a bunch of villains are running around like pumped up Image characters, and Batman…uh, forget it, I’m done with this one.  And what’s up with Joker’s face being fine again?  This comic SUCKS. Big recommendations for All Star Western and Aquaman this week, the rest are very hit-or-miss.  Next week:  The #3 issues!

More On TNA

More big TNA spoilers after the break…

Hey Scott– What do you think of the ludicrous bullshit that was moving the TNA title from Angle to Storm to Roode while turning Bobby heel? For the life of me, I cannot figure out what this company is thinking. First of all, you can give Roode the rub by letting him beat Angle clean instead of beating his mid card tag team partner with a foreign object. Was this TNA protecting Angle because they expect him to be able to carry the company until 2027, or Kurt protecting himself? And turning Bobby heel, when the fans were actually behind him? That smacks of Great American Bash 1991 when Luger finally won the WCW belt but the company turned him so he could attempt to be Flair 2.0. I don’t even watch the product, but the illogic of this booking has me irritated as a wrestling fan in general. Thoughts?

It’s actually not illogical as such.  I mean, the storyline is perfectly sound and turning Bobby Roode is where they were going anyway.  The problem is that it’s so incredibly, ludicrously rushed beyond all sanity.  This should have been a six month build, with each guy getting on a winning streak over several PPVs until people  DEMANDED that they face each other for the title, at which point Roode turns on Storm because he doesn’t want to face him.  Then Storm is out for a few weeks while you get heat on Roode for being a heel while Storm builds his big comeback and returns to win the title.  Instead we got it all over two TV tapings, building to nothing.  But that’s TNA for you.

More On TNA

More big TNA spoilers after the break…

Hey Scott– What do you think of the ludicrous bullshit that was moving the TNA title from Angle to Storm to Roode while turning Bobby heel? For the life of me, I cannot figure out what this company is thinking. First of all, you can give Roode the rub by letting him beat Angle clean instead of beating his mid card tag team partner with a foreign object. Was this TNA protecting Angle because they expect him to be able to carry the company until 2027, or Kurt protecting himself? And turning Bobby heel, when the fans were actually behind him? That smacks of Great American Bash 1991 when Luger finally won the WCW belt but the company turned him so he could attempt to be Flair 2.0. I don’t even watch the product, but the illogic of this booking has me irritated as a wrestling fan in general. Thoughts?

It’s actually not illogical as such.  I mean, the storyline is perfectly sound and turning Bobby Roode is where they were going anyway.  The problem is that it’s so incredibly, ludicrously rushed beyond all sanity.  This should have been a six month build, with each guy getting on a winning streak over several PPVs until people  DEMANDED that they face each other for the title, at which point Roode turns on Storm because he doesn’t want to face him.  Then Storm is out for a few weeks while you get heat on Roode for being a heel while Storm builds his big comeback and returns to win the title.  Instead we got it all over two TV tapings, building to nothing.  But that’s TNA for you.

Random Thought For The Night

Given that the Muppets are on RAW next week and the show has a chance to break out of the current funk and be something different and fun (although it won’t be), there’s really one storyline that they have to do. At some point, Miss Piggy has to put the moves on Dolph Ziggler, leading to a knock-down drag-out catfight with Vickie where Piggy quickly ends it with a “HIYA” karate chop and Vickie sells it like death. There’s just no way around it.

If they were really thinking, they’d bribe Chris Jericho to make a guest appearance and do a skit with Fozzie Bear.

It could be fun. We’ll see.

Random Thought For The Night

Given that the Muppets are on RAW next week and the show has a chance to break out of the current funk and be something different and fun (although it won’t be), there’s really one storyline that they have to do. At some point, Miss Piggy has to put the moves on Dolph Ziggler, leading to a knock-down drag-out catfight with Vickie where Piggy quickly ends it with a “HIYA” karate chop and Vickie sells it like death. There’s just no way around it.

If they were really thinking, they’d bribe Chris Jericho to make a guest appearance and do a skit with Fozzie Bear.

It could be fun. We’ll see.

More randomness

Hey Scott,
Just because everyone on the blog always comes up with the best things to read, two conversation starters, one humorous/nostalgic and one forward thinking:
1) What’s the lamest catchphrase that never got over?
2) What two WWE/FCW wrestlers would you repackage as a tag team to seriously bolster the potentially revitalizing tag team division and under what gimmick/name?

1.  John Morrison’s “Mr. Ziggles”.  Go on, try to find a worse one, it’s scientifically impossible.  2.  The tag division doesn’t need gimmicky teams, it just needs regular teams who get focused on beyond one champion and one challenger.  I mean, currently the Usos are kicking around, but no one cares about them anyway.  Other than that, Air Boom and Vickie’s guys are the only people who even compete as a team.  Awesome Truth are supposed to be the “main event” team, so I don’t really count them, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see them win the tag titles before Survivor Series.  Really though, it’s easy to put together guys who aren’t doing anything like Morrison, Santino, Christian, Sheamus, the former Nexus goofs, and some developmental guys and you’ve got a tag division.  Like, put Morrison and Sheamus together for whatever storyline you want, and that gives you the guy to take the shitkicking and then make the hot tag to the big asskicker who finishes.  There’s a tag team!  Or put Sheamus together with Heath Slater as the Ginger Supremacists (yeah, I still watch Glee, fuck off) and there’s a tag team!  Give them one of the random Divas as a manager, and you’ve got a tag team act. Or Seth Rollins & John Morrison, that seems like it’d be a good pairing.  Pick 2 people, push them, and see what happens.  Tully Blanchard & Arn Anderson didn’t need a goofy name or gimmicky act to get over. 

More randomness

Hey Scott,
Just because everyone on the blog always comes up with the best things to read, two conversation starters, one humorous/nostalgic and one forward thinking:
1) What’s the lamest catchphrase that never got over?
2) What two WWE/FCW wrestlers would you repackage as a tag team to seriously bolster the potentially revitalizing tag team division and under what gimmick/name?

1.  John Morrison’s “Mr. Ziggles”.  Go on, try to find a worse one, it’s scientifically impossible.  2.  The tag division doesn’t need gimmicky teams, it just needs regular teams who get focused on beyond one champion and one challenger.  I mean, currently the Usos are kicking around, but no one cares about them anyway.  Other than that, Air Boom and Vickie’s guys are the only people who even compete as a team.  Awesome Truth are supposed to be the “main event” team, so I don’t really count them, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see them win the tag titles before Survivor Series.  Really though, it’s easy to put together guys who aren’t doing anything like Morrison, Santino, Christian, Sheamus, the former Nexus goofs, and some developmental guys and you’ve got a tag division.  Like, put Morrison and Sheamus together for whatever storyline you want, and that gives you the guy to take the shitkicking and then make the hot tag to the big asskicker who finishes.  There’s a tag team!  Or put Sheamus together with Heath Slater as the Ginger Supremacists (yeah, I still watch Glee, fuck off) and there’s a tag team!  Give them one of the random Divas as a manager, and you’ve got a tag team act. Or Seth Rollins & John Morrison, that seems like it’d be a good pairing.  Pick 2 people, push them, and see what happens.  Tully Blanchard & Arn Anderson didn’t need a goofy name or gimmicky act to get over.