WWE Earnings Call: Now losing less than ever!

This is probably behind the paywall on the Observer site, but basically WWE managed to cut the losses down to 1.6 million due to massive cost-cutting that offset all the money they're wasting on movies and such.  TLC set the new bar for PPV at 39,000 worldwide buys, but Royal Rumble translated to about 270,000 new Network subscriptions, so that's clearly a success.  No indication of current subscribers, so it probably dropped below a million again.  Network will be expanding to all of Canada sometime in March.  
Only things of note in the questions was someone asking about NXT and Vince basically admitting that, yeah, they're throwing the hardcore nerds who subscribe to the Network a bone with it.  Also, someone asked about the Rumble reaction and Vince got all butt-hurt, likening it to fans getting upset that the babyface didn't win right away.  Even though, you know, the babyface DID win.  

QOTD 155: Somebody Call my Maaamaaaaa

Happy Mother’s Day Blog Otters. Lets talk about our Mommas. Or about other Mommas. Or MILFS, Mommas we’d like to funkify! Or just talk bout whatever you want. I don’t care.  Here’s a link to a cool game, Cart Life, that simulates being a Momma and is really fun! 
 
What’d you get your momma for Mother’s Day? 

Has your momma ever contributed in a direct or indirect way to your pro-wrestling fandom? 



What’s your favorite momma-related wrestling storyline or character? Remember Shelton’s momma? Good God. 

Have you ever found Parallax in bed with your Momma? It’s okay if you have, you’re among friends here. 

 
As a side note I’ve gotten 4 “Happy Mother’s Day” calls at work today thinking I was a momma.

Anyway – for Mother’s day I got Last Vegas for my mom, who I believe has a secret crush on Kevin Kline.

My favorite wrestling related Momma is the May Young / Hand cameo from Raw 1000

My Mom purchased me Have a Nice Day for Christmas and I was never the same again,

And no. No I haven’t.

 

Call me crazy

Hey Scott

Discounting any Rumbles …. call me crazy but how is it that Y2J, Rock or Angle have never actually been in a 5 star Scott Keith match!!??

Cheers

​The Angle-Michaels rematch got ***** from me.  BOOYA.

QOTD 128: Best Call, Last Call!

What up BODyDonnas! Today’s question comes from Joe!

“Brian (Bayless)’s exhaustive summary of WCW 1998 has just moved past Havoc.

Despite their many flaws, didn’t the WCW callers/production team just absolutely nail that main event? They made it feel like a tactical match-up, free of any silly plot shenanigans. To my mind, it’s the best-called match I’ve ever witnessed. I guess that’s why I hate WCW; for what it could have been.

That said, my other most memorable call is King of the Ring for utterly different reasons. It was so clearly ridiculously insane and JR/King just went with it.


What do you think is the best called match or matches from mainstream rasslin?



Didn’t someone post Kevin Nash on WCW Thunder Commentary once? Probably not that.

What haven’t you seen? Plus I call you out for killing ECW!

In this era of being able to see what you want, when you want, some 'Doomers might not know what it's like to read Scott talk about the Rocker's white tights being covered in blood and having to wait 3 years to watch the match (Shawn's first DVD was so great given the fact that it might have been the first "Hey, we OWN all of wrestling history DVD" DVDs).
Is there anything that you've heard of IN THIS BUSINESS that you've never seen that you want to? Being a former tape trader myself ('tween the ages of 12-18, seriously that Lucha on Galavision show bought me my first car!) I was privy to many ECT tapes with stuff like the Brody/Luger match, McMemphis,MutavsHase, assorted garbage wrestling, and my favorite tape-Eddie Gilbert's angles! Also, anything pre TNN ECW were big sellers (we tape traders are all to blame for ECW going under. You may not admit it to us, but how much money did you make of off ECW? I'd honestly say that I made around $300 net copying/trading/selling ECW stuff).

Now, aside from my question for you, can we have a copyright/youtube/google ad friendly thread where we can ask for rare clips/matches/angels and receive INSTANT gratification?
Oh man, Muta v. Hase was such great stuff.  Muta v. Liger was also amazing.  I miss comp tapes and WCW All Nighters.  The only stuff I haven't seen / can't easily access would be the stuff that doesn't exist anymore, like Sawyer v. Rich, or Bret v. Tom Magee, or Money Inc winning the tag titles from the LOD.  Really, if I suddenly decided I wanted to binge on Michinoku Pro or Muto's awesome 2001 run, there's tons of YouTubers or online DVD dealers who would hook me up.  
And I made way more than $300 off ECW.  You must not have been trying hard enough.

Meekin On Movies on…”Smooth Operators: Call Center Chaos”

 
Smooth Operators
Publisher: Bulkypix
Developer: Heydeck Games
Genre: Simulation
Platform: IOS / XBLA Indie
 Cost: $2.99

“They say if you go to enough movies, sooner or later you will see your own story, and believe me, “The Natural” wasn’t mine.” – Roger Ebert

When’s the last time your job was the focus of a novel? What about a movie? TV Show? How about a video game? Lets face it, unless you’re living the incredibly exciting life of a cop, drug dealer, vampire, teenage mother, Surgeon, space Marine, work in a restaurant of some kind, or are Mark Cuban, your career is probably underrepresented in terms of faithful representations in media – “Wrestling Blogger 2013” isn’t happening anytime soon folks. But that tide is changing rapidly. Farming Simulators, truck driving simulators, robot vacuum simulators (seriously), and more are gaining both word-of-mouth buzz, and some critical praise too – it seems finding the joy in the mundane is what’s hot in gaming right now, a “new wave” of interactive experiences that ditches the laser guns and damsels in distress for something a little closer to home. Case-and-point: “Smooth Operators”, a charming-as-hell call center management simulator, that was recently ported to iOS. 


Initially, “Smooth Operators” appears similar to games like “Tiny Tower”, “Yoot Tower”, “Sim Tower” and pretty much any other “Tower” game you can think of – tasking you with building a business literally from the ground up via convenient modules. The twist here is that you’re building a call center, and populating it with cell-center-centric employees like office workers, call takers, project managers, janitors, and woefully underappreciated IT staff. The goal being to meet daily inbound, outbound, and back office quotas as efficiently as possible – the more calls you take, the more money you make. 

Money you’ll need to replace all the hair you pulled out while playing. “Smooth Operators” is an exercise in barely-controlled chaos, each business day a balancing act of managing employees’ happiness while trying to eek every last bit of productivity from them. You’re consistently behind the 8-ball, worried about meeting quotas, granting vacation requests, which buildings to upgrade, understaffing, overstaffing, and lots more. Couple that with random events like employees simply up-and-quitting over things like a lack of quality reading material during break time, and the fact that your progress and success is judged by a single report that comes out at the end of every day, you can see why working in a call center qualifies as a high-stress gigs.

The symbiotic relationship between all the different employees you can hire is both apparent and nebulous, which is good. Managers scream at employees to increase their call taking speed, IT techs kick the back of broken computers until they work, and each call taken by an employee results in a smiley face, sad face, or a L2 thought-bubble, giving you pleasant visual feedback on in-game developments while hiding the actual ones and zeroes of it all to give the game a really human feel – heck, you can even drill down to find what your techs thought of individual calls.

The 2D retro aesthetics of “Smooth Operators” greatly informs that human element, too. Office facilities provide colorful visuals and heaps of personality. Little details like bikini posters in an office, trash piling up if you fail to hire a janitor, broken computers smoking, or the building literally seeming to fall apart until a handyman is brought aboard, immediately endear you to what “Smooth Operators” has to offer. There’s a “Roller Coaster Tycoon”-vibe to it all. A hard-to-quantify, staring-at-a-fish-tank-esque quality that makes the act of simply watching characters on screen do their thing immensely enjoyable. It’s one thing to hire a janitor. It’s another to be able to watch him go about his shift, bathroom and lunch breaks included, tracking how much he does in a given day with fascination.

“Smooth Operators” actually has a quite a lot in common with Chris Sawyer’s infinitely compelling and deceptively weighty series of theme-park sims. Namely the deceptively weighty part. The depth of this simulation is brutal. Similar to how you could adjust individual ride settings in “Tycoon”, here you can educate employees, place various objects like book shelves and potted plants to increase the aesthetics of your facilities, give raises to keep disgruntled employees on board, and about a dozen or so more intimidating-but-not-overwhelming nuances. As a result you’re consistently stressed out in the best way possible as you wait for your funds to tick up enough to allow a purchase of a new building, upgrade, or employee. 

“Smooth Operators” falls short of “Tycoon” in one area – fun factor. While intensely compelling, the playfulness of the presentation doesn’t translate to gameplay. The best sim games are also puppets. Meaning that you can play them as they’re intended, or bork around with the mechanics to great delight. Building a roller-coaster death-trap, unleashing a tornado on your “Sim City”, or seeing how many barrel rolls you can do with a 747 in a flight simulator add enormous amounts of fun, creativity, and longevity to any gaming experience. “Smooth Operators” doesn’t offer this sandbox-style opportunity for misadventure, which is a minor shame. But at the same time I’m not sure how they’d fit it in without completely redesigning the core experience.

I really enjoy this game’s depth, charisma, and attention to detail. But it may not be for everyone. The barrier to success is brick-wall thick, and it takes quite a few restarts to really understand what you’re doing. Similarly, employee information is tucked away inside the game menu, versus being easily accessible like HR and vacation requests are in the top right hand corner of the screen, so assessing the mood of a manager or janitor requires an extra tap or two…Andddd considering you can manage railroads, airports, lemonade stands, kart-racing teams, kennels, an entire space program, and a variety of other more exciting businesses, you may find the idea of managing a call center a bit esoteric.

Look, “Smooth Operators” is so far up my alley it could stick bowling pins up my nose. I’ve worked in a call center for six years and love sim games. So for me this is the gaming equivalent of being Bill Clinton and sitting down to watch “Primary Colors” – the broad strokes are all too familiar, and the nuances are surprising and welcome. It’s perfect for mobile devices too, fantastic in bite-sized chunks as well as extended play-sessions. It’s a quality sim with quality mechanics and heaps of enduring aesthetic qualities as well.

It’s also a great game to play while on hold. 

Four Stars (of Five)

They Call Him The Streak

Scott –

Everyone makes a big deal about the Undertaker’s undefeated streak at Wrestlemania – and rightfully so.  My question is – was it planned to be that way?  I doubt that Vince and Company said “We’ll bring in this Mark Callous kid, push the crap out of him and have him wrestling 25 years from now – and along the way we’ll have him go undefeated at Wrestlemania!”

If you look at some of the matches he had (the Giant Gonzalez one where he won by DQ comes to mind), the Streak wasn’t a mythical quest at that point.  However, along the line someone picked up on it and it became a story unto itself.

So – when did “The Streak” become “The Streak”?  And was there a mastermind behind it?  Vince?  Taker?

 

I recall the streak becoming something that was noted around Wrestlemania 18, with someone basically going “Hey, Undertaker is undefeated at Wrestlemania, that’s pretty neat.”  It certainly wasn’t the focal point of the show, as the first time I remember them making a big deal out of someone challenging the streak was Randy Orton at Wrestlemania 21.  I think it just kind of grew organically out of people talking about the streak, rather than being something that anyone came up with a cool marketing point.

Of course, this year HHH and HBK are in cahoots and have a SECRET PLAN so it’ll probably end, right?

They Call Him The Streak

Scott –

Everyone makes a big deal about the Undertaker’s undefeated streak at Wrestlemania – and rightfully so.  My question is – was it planned to be that way?  I doubt that Vince and Company said “We’ll bring in this Mark Callous kid, push the crap out of him and have him wrestling 25 years from now – and along the way we’ll have him go undefeated at Wrestlemania!”

If you look at some of the matches he had (the Giant Gonzalez one where he won by DQ comes to mind), the Streak wasn’t a mythical quest at that point.  However, along the line someone picked up on it and it became a story unto itself.

So – when did “The Streak” become “The Streak”?  And was there a mastermind behind it?  Vince?  Taker?

 

I recall the streak becoming something that was noted around Wrestlemania 18, with someone basically going “Hey, Undertaker is undefeated at Wrestlemania, that’s pretty neat.”  It certainly wasn’t the focal point of the show, as the first time I remember them making a big deal out of someone challenging the streak was Randy Orton at Wrestlemania 21.  I think it just kind of grew organically out of people talking about the streak, rather than being something that anyone came up with a cool marketing point.

Of course, this year HHH and HBK are in cahoots and have a SECRET PLAN so it’ll probably end, right?

They Call Him The Streak

Scott –

Everyone makes a big deal about the Undertaker’s undefeated streak at Wrestlemania – and rightfully so.  My question is – was it planned to be that way?  I doubt that Vince and Company said “We’ll bring in this Mark Callous kid, push the crap out of him and have him wrestling 25 years from now – and along the way we’ll have him go undefeated at Wrestlemania!”

If you look at some of the matches he had (the Giant Gonzalez one where he won by DQ comes to mind), the Streak wasn’t a mythical quest at that point.  However, along the line someone picked up on it and it became a story unto itself.

So – when did “The Streak” become “The Streak”?  And was there a mastermind behind it?  Vince?  Taker?

 

I recall the streak becoming something that was noted around Wrestlemania 18, with someone basically going “Hey, Undertaker is undefeated at Wrestlemania, that’s pretty neat.”  It certainly wasn’t the focal point of the show, as the first time I remember them making a big deal out of someone challenging the streak was Randy Orton at Wrestlemania 21.  I think it just kind of grew organically out of people talking about the streak, rather than being something that anyone came up with a cool marketing point.

Of course, this year HHH and HBK are in cahoots and have a SECRET PLAN so it’ll probably end, right?

They Call Him The Streak

Scott –

Everyone makes a big deal about the Undertaker’s undefeated streak at Wrestlemania – and rightfully so.  My question is – was it planned to be that way?  I doubt that Vince and Company said “We’ll bring in this Mark Callous kid, push the crap out of him and have him wrestling 25 years from now – and along the way we’ll have him go undefeated at Wrestlemania!”

If you look at some of the matches he had (the Giant Gonzalez one where he won by DQ comes to mind), the Streak wasn’t a mythical quest at that point.  However, along the line someone picked up on it and it became a story unto itself.

So – when did “The Streak” become “The Streak”?  And was there a mastermind behind it?  Vince?  Taker?

 

I recall the streak becoming something that was noted around Wrestlemania 18, with someone basically going “Hey, Undertaker is undefeated at Wrestlemania, that’s pretty neat.”  It certainly wasn’t the focal point of the show, as the first time I remember them making a big deal out of someone challenging the streak was Randy Orton at Wrestlemania 21.  I think it just kind of grew organically out of people talking about the streak, rather than being something that anyone came up with a cool marketing point.

Of course, this year HHH and HBK are in cahoots and have a SECRET PLAN so it’ll probably end, right?

They Call Him The Streak

Scott –

Everyone makes a big deal about the Undertaker’s undefeated streak at Wrestlemania – and rightfully so.  My question is – was it planned to be that way?  I doubt that Vince and Company said “We’ll bring in this Mark Callous kid, push the crap out of him and have him wrestling 25 years from now – and along the way we’ll have him go undefeated at Wrestlemania!”

If you look at some of the matches he had (the Giant Gonzalez one where he won by DQ comes to mind), the Streak wasn’t a mythical quest at that point.  However, along the line someone picked up on it and it became a story unto itself.

So – when did “The Streak” become “The Streak”?  And was there a mastermind behind it?  Vince?  Taker?

 

I recall the streak becoming something that was noted around Wrestlemania 18, with someone basically going “Hey, Undertaker is undefeated at Wrestlemania, that’s pretty neat.”  It certainly wasn’t the focal point of the show, as the first time I remember them making a big deal out of someone challenging the streak was Randy Orton at Wrestlemania 21.  I think it just kind of grew organically out of people talking about the streak, rather than being something that anyone came up with a cool marketing point.

Of course, this year HHH and HBK are in cahoots and have a SECRET PLAN so it’ll probably end, right?

They Call Him The Streak

Scott –

Everyone makes a big deal about the Undertaker’s undefeated streak at Wrestlemania – and rightfully so.  My question is – was it planned to be that way?  I doubt that Vince and Company said “We’ll bring in this Mark Callous kid, push the crap out of him and have him wrestling 25 years from now – and along the way we’ll have him go undefeated at Wrestlemania!”

If you look at some of the matches he had (the Giant Gonzalez one where he won by DQ comes to mind), the Streak wasn’t a mythical quest at that point.  However, along the line someone picked up on it and it became a story unto itself.

So – when did “The Streak” become “The Streak”?  And was there a mastermind behind it?  Vince?  Taker?

 

I recall the streak becoming something that was noted around Wrestlemania 18, with someone basically going “Hey, Undertaker is undefeated at Wrestlemania, that’s pretty neat.”  It certainly wasn’t the focal point of the show, as the first time I remember them making a big deal out of someone challenging the streak was Randy Orton at Wrestlemania 21.  I think it just kind of grew organically out of people talking about the streak, rather than being something that anyone came up with a cool marketing point.

Of course, this year HHH and HBK are in cahoots and have a SECRET PLAN so it’ll probably end, right?

They Call Him The Streak

Scott –

Everyone makes a big deal about the Undertaker’s undefeated streak at Wrestlemania – and rightfully so.  My question is – was it planned to be that way?  I doubt that Vince and Company said “We’ll bring in this Mark Callous kid, push the crap out of him and have him wrestling 25 years from now – and along the way we’ll have him go undefeated at Wrestlemania!”

If you look at some of the matches he had (the Giant Gonzalez one where he won by DQ comes to mind), the Streak wasn’t a mythical quest at that point.  However, along the line someone picked up on it and it became a story unto itself.

So – when did “The Streak” become “The Streak”?  And was there a mastermind behind it?  Vince?  Taker?

 

I recall the streak becoming something that was noted around Wrestlemania 18, with someone basically going “Hey, Undertaker is undefeated at Wrestlemania, that’s pretty neat.”  It certainly wasn’t the focal point of the show, as the first time I remember them making a big deal out of someone challenging the streak was Randy Orton at Wrestlemania 21.  I think it just kind of grew organically out of people talking about the streak, rather than being something that anyone came up with a cool marketing point.

Of course, this year HHH and HBK are in cahoots and have a SECRET PLAN so it’ll probably end, right?