Inside Pulse A pop culture mega-site with Movies, TV, Music, Sports, Comics, Video Games coverage for diehards, including news, reviews, live event coverage, audio podcasts, exclusive interviews and commentary. Sat, 18 Apr 2015 16:02:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 A pop culture mega-site with Movies, TV, Music, Sports, Comics, Video Games coverage for diehards, including news, reviews, live event coverage, audio podcasts, exclusive interviews and commentary. Inside Pulse no A pop culture mega-site with Movies, TV, Music, Sports, Comics, Video Games coverage for diehards, including news, reviews, live event coverage, audio podcasts, exclusive interviews and commentary. Inside Pulse James Franco And Jonah Hill Go For Serious, Not Laughs With True Story: A Review Sat, 18 Apr 2015 16:02:40 +0000
Strong performances dominate this true-crime drama

From the very beginning True Story is off. Let’s start with the title. As it turns out, it is from a memoir of the same name, but the narrative to which it lends itself to comes across as ironic. Two, the film is off in the sense of its presentation. It begins with a stuffed bear dropping listlessly toward a little girl that is curled up. She isn’t nestled on a couch or on top of a bed with covers pulled. She is in an open suitcase, clothes nestled around her. Any moment now she’s bound to wake up when the plush toy comes into contact. She does not.

That action signals the muted horror of a film that works as a true crime story but is more a relationship drama between a criminal and a journalist; two men drawn together by a name.

Starring Jonah Hill as the journo and James Franco as the incarcerated, the two are very different yet over-identifying men bound by a lie and much more as the story goes into onion mode, peeling away the layers.

Set in 2002, Hill plays Michael Finkel, a respected New York Times writer who is fired after he purposely distorts facts and accounts in a magazine cover article about slavery and mistreatment at cocoa plantations in Mali. In the meantime, thousands of miles away, one of the FBI’s ten most wanted, fugitive Christian Longo (Franco), is apprehended in Cancun. Upon his arrest he told police he was “Michael Finkel.”

Longo’s usage of the name finds its way back to Finkel and the two men meet. One with paper and pen, glasses straight; the other in an orange jumpsuit. Questions abound as to the prevarication. Why my name? Christian respects Michael as a writer and offers him something he can’t let slip away: Longo will tell him his story if Michael agrees to withhold its publication until after the trial has concluded. All he wants in exchange is someone to help him become a better writer – or so he says. Blackballed and with no paper willing to hire him, Michael agrees to the terms seeing the story as a means back to publishing and redemption.

What could have easily devolved into an exploratory account of the murders leading up to Longo’s incarceration is instead a figurative game of badminton as the two lob truths and lies back and forth. By the time the trial commences Michael thinks he has Christian figured out. Then comes the start of the trial and those conceived notions are ripped to shreds.

The methodology behind the crime isn’t as important as Christian and Michael’s relationship and indiscretions. At one point Finkel tries to answer and justify his reasons for twisting facts in his African slave cover story. Conflating facts for the personal desire for adulation is fairly atypical for the profession. Christian is similar in this regard. He wants his story told and sees Finkel as the easy mark, someone he can manipulate to buy into his BS.

Dancing around the dicey nature of writer and murderer, True Story plays like Bennett Miller’s Capote, which centers on author Truman Capote and his fascination with the unexplained murder of a family of four shot to death in Holcomb, Kansas in 1959. Strangely enough, the short article that spurred Capote’s interest was published in The New York Times. This would lead to the publication of In Cold Blood, a “nonfiction novel” (as he described it) that would launch the modern true-crime novel.

Jonah Hill, who has spent most of his acting career in comedies, forgoes laughs and plays Finkel flat and straight, showing a nebbish quality when around Longo. Franco may very well be the hardest working man in showbiz, acting as a circus performer as he juggles acting, writing, and directing. He may not know how to host the Oscars, but he is over-committed to cinema, to the extent that it affects his output. But when he’s on, he’s on. This is the same Franco that did a few episodes of General Hospital in between Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours and Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers. In True Story, Franco is on his game, capturing the duality of Longo’s personality and never showing his hand to the audience on what facade is the real one.

Between these two men is Jill, Michael’s wife (played by Felicity Jones). Her role is not of much substance, taking the observation position as she bares witness to Michael and his interacting with Christian. There’s a story between Jill and Michael that doesn’t play out on screen, but seems to fester under the surface: the effect the confabs are having on their marriage. Felicity Jones is given one carrot of a scene, however, when she goes to speak to Christian. In the scene she where she plays a 17th century music composition and the story behind its creation. It’s a throwaway scene to the narrative as a whole, but a memorable moment showing that while Michael may be starstruck by the attention-seeking Christian, she is clearly not.

True Story comes from Rupert Goold, who is making his feature film debut having transitioned to the world of cinema after directing a pair of Shakespeare productions in the U.K. He gets the most of his two main characters but doesn’t quite stick the landing at film’s end. True Story succeeds in dropping the procedural elements in favor of human behavior. The conclusion could have done without the “where are they now” type epilogue but such is case with most stranger than fiction tales built around crimes or heroic feats.

Director: Rupert Goold
Writer(s): Rupert Goold and David Kajganich, based on the memoir by Michael Finkel
Notable Cast: Jonah Hill, James Franco, Felicity Jones×120.jpg

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Marvel Comics Review & Spoilers: Spider-Man & The X-Men # 5 By Elliot Kalan, Marco Failla, Ian Herring & VC – Clayton Cowles Sat, 18 Apr 2015 12:00:31 +0000

Spider-Man & the X-Men # 5 Review & Spoilers
STORY BY : Elliot Kalan
ART BY : Marco Failla
COLORS BY : Ian Herring
LETTERS BY : VC – Clayton Cowles
COVER BY : Stacey Lee
PUBLISHER : Marvel Comics
RELEASE DATE : Apr. 15th, 2015

This issue starts off in The Jean Grey School, alien monsters have now bonded with the venom symbiotes and are invading the grounds attacking our heroes. As they fend off the intruders Firestar comes through with the clutch save solidifying our hero’s victory. They have won the battle but still need to win the war, so Spider-man taking control leads a team through the portal the monsters escaped through, to eradicate the problem at the source. Spider-man, Beast, and Glob with the addition of a few more Xmen emerge through the other side of the portal or bamfgate in search for DeathBird who is leading the monster symbiote army.

The new scene now seems to be a dismembered space station. As Spider-man and the rest of the flock go through the debris a surprise emerges. Abigail, Beast’s girlfriend attacks Beast, she has been compromised and bonded with a symbiote and has lost her mind. It is explained how bonding with the symbiote not only gives the host powers but greatly damages any sanity, forcing the person to become psychotic. Beast is hell bent on separating his girlfriend from the symbiote alone, awkwardly commenting for Spider-man to go ahead without him adding ” I can handle this. Frankly, it’s not that different from our lovemaking.” In true Spider-man fashion a wise comment was returned and we continued with the issue. I will say that comment by Beast did have me check the cover for the rating, it was extremely awkward and I laughed in true random fashion.

I feel Spider-man was well written in this issue, he had some of the best 1 liners and reactions as always. He continued to hold up through out the issue as a main force and came up with a genius plan to defeat the boss. DeathBird is giving most of our characters a huge go, add being surrounded by symbiote monsters, its looks like the efforts of Spider-man and his team will be futile. Just when you think all hope is lost Spider-man comes up with the brilliant idea of bonding with one of the symbiotes  for power, but using the telepath Martha’s abilities to guard his mind from the impeding insanity. Personally i thought this was genius  and it made the entire comic for me, we even got a few panels inside Spider-man’s subconscious. As the telepath continues to battle to keep Spider-man’s sanity intact he is having trouble defeating DeathBird, even with the strength of the symbiote, eventually its his comment that DeathBird should think of her child (she is pregnant) that causes her to deject the parasite costume. Once the symbiotic monsters are defeated and Spider-man is separated from his costume, thanks to Beast’s return using a sonic gun, the new challenge is returning home. They end up strapping Glob to the front of a space pod, to absorb most of the heat that will be caused from entering the atmosphere and head back to earth. Once landed everyone is accounted for, and the main surprise is finally revealed. Through out the comic they have referenced that someone on the hero side is a mole, because the villains have found certain locations proving they have inside information. On the final panel it is reveled that Ernst has been the traitor all along appearing with MR. Sinister.

Personally my socks weren’t blown off here but it was a good solid comic. I like the artwork and the story carried though out the issue well. I loved Spider-man in this, his wise cracks and genius problem solving skills really saved the day, and add the random comment from Beast made this comic worth reading. I will say that I wish there was a little more, reading this I don’t have too much of an anticipation for the next issue but I will check it out. I would have liked to see a bit more from the other characters, but with the page count they had they did the best they could action wise.

The build for who the mole has been was also solid, and with the emergence of Mr. Sinister I expect to see a lot next issue. I give this about a 6.5 or 7 out of 10. No need to run to the comic shop in my opinion, but if you see it grab it.

– Grainbelt Jones×120.jpg

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Blu-ray Review: Batman Vs Robin Sat, 18 Apr 2015 11:00:49 +0000 Following the events of Son Of Batman Bruce Wayne and his son Damian are both still adjusting to their new father/son relationship and Damian is still adjusting to his role as the new Robin, doing his best to follow his father’s teachings and not those of Ra’s Al Ghul. Thinks get even more complicated for Damian when a new villain named Talon shows up and offers him a way closer to what Ra’s taught him.

This is a very solid sequel to Son of Batman and does a fantastic job of furthering the growth of the relationship between these two men. Bruce is trying his hardest to learn how to be a father and fit that in with his world of Batman and Damian is still trying to prove he’s his own man while attempting to live up to his father’s expectations.

While this movie doesn’t follow the story that Grant Morrison wrote about the evolution of Damian Wayne, it does a great job of melding the best parts of that with the first new villain of Batman in DC’s New 52. I became an instant fan of Talon and the Court of Owls when they were introduced in the comics and was very excited to see how they would be represented on screen here. The Court of Owls instantly became a classic Batman adversary challenging everything he stands for. They way they are handled in this film is extremely entertaining and perfectly ties in with the story of Bruce and Damian.

Batman vs Robin does a wonderful job of mixing story with action into it’s short 80 minute running time. Damian is a stubborn kid and it’s easy to see how he and Batman come to blows so easily. They are both very strong willed men fighting to understand each other, and this complicated relationship is represented well here.

Whether you’ve read the comics or not, Batman vs Robin is yet another great addition to the long line of DC’s animated films. If you’ve enjoyed everything they’ve done so far, you’re sure to love this new one.

The film is presented in 1.78:1 widescreen and Dolby Digital 5.1 DTSHD-MA surround sound . The DC Animated films are looking and sounding as good as ever.

You get Commentary. Gotham City’s Secret: The Mythic Court of Owls: (31 min.) This featurette is kind of hilarious, because it takes itself way to seriously. That said, it’s still pretty interesting. The Talons of the Owls: (14 min.) Everything you wanted to know about the Talons but were afraid to ask… Sneak Peak of Justice League: Gods & Monsters (11 min.) An Elseworlds story where the big three, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, are they’re dark versions; you know this because Superman has a goatee. Personally, I’m not the biggest fan of Elseworld stories, so I’m not sure how good this one is going to be. DC Vault: The Brave And The Bold, “The Color Revenge!”, Batman: The Animated Series, “Old Wounds”, Superman: The Animated Series, “Obsession”, Young Justice, “Auld Acquaintance”.Presenting A Merrie Melodies “Blue Ribbon” short, “Super-Rabbit”: A classic old Bugs Bunny cartoon. Not sure why this is on here, but hey, why not?

I was excited to see how the Court of Owls would be handled here and I wasn’t disappointed. This is a top notch Batman animated film and furthers the intriguing story of Batman and his son.

Warner Bros. presents Batman vs Robin. Written by: J.M. DeMatteis. Directed by: Jay Oliva. Starring: Jason O’Mara, Stuart Allen, Jeremy Sisto, Weird Al Yankovic. Running time: 80 min. Rating: PG-13. Released: April 14, 2015.×120.jpg

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Tsai Ming-liang’s Rebels of the Neon God Recontextualizes his Career- A Review Sat, 18 Apr 2015 10:00:40 +0000
Sexy and Pulsating, Tsai Ming-liang’s Most Electrifying Movie is Also his Oldest

Back in college I accidentally stumbled upon Tsai Ming-liang’s What Time is it There?. I was trying desperately to broaden my cinematic horizons and that film had gotten some press but, forgive the cliché, nothing could have prepared me for what followed. Since then he has remained a director who I follow closely, chasing his films from festivals to Netflix, because he intrigues me and frustrates me to no end. Aggressively anti-entertainment he has pumped out an oeuvre that is marked by portraits of modern urban poverty, extreme rainfall and the most excruciating, deadening, unending static shots that you could ever hope to lay eyes on. Now, 23 years later, his debut feature Rebels of the Neon God is finally getting its initial run in U.S. theaters and it provides a fascinating glimpse into an artist who was something quite different from what he would eventually become.

The water and the poverty are on display here (often working in cahoots to repeatedly destroy the home of our protagonist thanks to a faulty drainage system) but the style Tsai employs is far more conventional and subsequently this film is much more watchable. He moves his camera from time to time, his characters have real conversations and he even indulges himself in a brief foot chase across Taipei. This won’t mean much to a movie going audience who has been weaned on the Marvel Cinematic Universe but this is coming from a director whose big action setpiece in Goodbye, Dragon Inn was watching an old lady hobble down a long corridor in painful real time. Even the appearance of Street Fighter arcade games feels like a bourgie extravagance when you think about the conditions he subjected his later characters to. When taken as a whole the differences between this, his first film, and Stray Dogs, his most recent film, serve to make the point that over time he has overplayed his hand when it comes to the poverty card. His characters here are not in healthy financial shape but they do feel like actual people, they are vibrant and emotional. Contrast that to the family at the center of Stray Dogs who seem to be nothing more than ideological signposts reminding us just how badly some people out there have it.

There is a story though it is loose and not given a ton of attention. Still it resonates and made me long for my carefree days of youth where days on end could be spent in front of video games. Ah Tze (Chen Chao-jung) and Ah Bing (Chang-bin Jen) are partners in petty crime who make the rookie mistake of letting a little female flesh come between them. In their defense the girl in question, Ah Khei (Yu-Wen Wang) is more than a little enticing not to mention they are young and stupid and know not what they do. There is a love triangle between them along with a B-plot that involves Hsiao, a lost college student who is out for revenge against our other two heroes but none of that is the point. Rather Tsai has set out to capture an exact moment in time (Taipei in the early 1990’s) and even if this isn’t precisely what it meant to live in that place and time, even if those who were actually there could poke holes in it, it was convincing enough for me. I was raised a world away from Taiwan and still the misadventures of these young adults felt familiar to me to the point that I noticed my emotions starting to well up near the end even though everything about the romantic entanglement on display smelled like disaster from the opening scene. For anyone who has ever felt the sting of young love or been devastated by someone’s oblivious immaturity it is impossible not to feel something for them.

On his own terms Tsai has built a remarkably acclaimed career by making movies that feel uniquely his own so in no way am I begrudging his choices. That said, a career that would’ve followed the trajectory set forth by this debut feature probably would have ended up meaning a lot more to me.

Director: Tsai Ming-liang
Writer: Tsai Ming-liang
Notable Cast: Chen Chao-jung, Chang-bin Jen, Yu-Wen Wang, Lee Kang-sheng×120.jpg

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Why You Should Be Reading… Image Comics’ NAILBITER!!! Sat, 18 Apr 2015 10:00:21 +0000 Welcome to my new column “Why You Should Be Reading…

Why You Should Be Reading banner art purple

I have been fascinated with the subject of serial killers since I was old enough to comprehend what they were. I remember hearing of Mr. Dahmer in High school, along with BTK Dennis Rader, the man behind the brutal murders that stretched across the Kansas area. Since then I’ve been a fan of picking up any media I could find, that could possibly tap into the how factor? How could  a person be so heartless, so heinous, and actually go through with taking the lives of other’s. Many have attempted to answer this question, yet I don’t think one answer is possible.

This series latches onto that question of “how” in a deranged, yet well written fashion. The fact that this series eluded me in the first place should be a mystery of its own. When the vendor handed me the stack of 10 issues he said this is not for the faint of heart,” you better have a strong stomach for this one”. That right there sealed the deal, I knew no matter what I would be leaving with this entire stack in hand, and after reading the synopses and seeing serial killer, “sign me up”was my only response. To think I was led to this gem via a simple question, all I asked was what the vendor would suggest me to read, and he was so excited to share, he sold me the whole series up to this point.

Nailbiter banner 1

That night I opened number one and read through it, afterwards I breezed through almost the entire series up to this point, then finished the following day. This is an addicting read that will keep you guessing the entire way. As you flip through each page you are met with compelling story along with diabolical images of action and suspense. Even my roommate (not a huge comic reader)  has grown very fond of this title and has read every issue once I’ve finished it, and is continuing to hound me for when each new issue is released.

So let me set the scene here, remember that “how” I was telling you about? Not only do they taunt, and explore the idea of how and why a  person could kill other people, they take it a step further. In the series Buckaroo is the birthplace for 16 of the worlds most dangerous and notorious serial killers America had ever seen. Not only are we left to wonder how can these characters do such things, we are left with the mystery of how this damn town could create so many monsters over the decades? Is the entire town in on this? Or is it a striking coincidence that seems to be a once in a lifetime legendary happening? Personally I am constantly left wondering who will be next?

Nailbiter banner 2

We follow the character Nicholas Finch, a NSA interrogator that happens to be on leave. Once his good friend, and partner Eliot Carroll makes a call asking Finch for help, the story begins. Carroll has been sucked into the “How” factor, dedicating his life to trying to solve this mystery the town of Buckaroo, Oregon holds. Carroll’s compulsion stems from the capture of the latest and now most deadly serial killer born and raised in Buckaroo, Edward Charles Warren, The Nailbiter. His capture has led to the mass attention and Media scrutiny of the town, it is also the catalyst of Carroll’s attention that eventually leads to his obsession, and now he is enlisting his best friend Finch the only one he can trust for help.

The gruesome nature of the murders Mr. Warren is accused of is intriguing, it is alleged that he tortures victims who bite their nails until they grow back, in which he then kills and devours their nails and finger tips dubbing him respectively, The Nailbiter. As the questions of hows and whys go through your mind, add the fact the town could be a reasoning behind all this somehow. Almost every resident in Buckaroo has a family member from their history that has killed, or has gone to school with someone who eventually starts to kill, this interesting dynamic leaves our main characters in a world of unpredictability, they are surrounded by interesting characters and interactions trying to piece together what is going wrong. Even the town Sharif has an un predictable past worth noting, along with the town having a serial killer gift shop to help bring in revenue is a bit concerning!

Nailbiter banner 3

In amazing fashion, this comic seems to be riding the fine line of all the intriguing emotions that go into your questions about killers. To add a personal touch, imagine living in a place where your entire town could be in on a joke, or could possibly be covering up something. The constant fear that at any point you, or someone in your family, or one of your friends could snap simply based on the legendary history of your city. It’s almost as if due to where you are born you are condemned to fail or snap. That is something I picked up on, the conditioning and effect the town has on its residence, the ripple effect it causes making everyone a candidate for something gruesome, the fact that everyone has that dark side that at any moment could be released.

This is a dip into a part of psychology that is worth exploring, and if at anytime you ever wondered what made killers tick, I strongly suggest giving this a try, its an interesting take on your questions and an interesting dive into the evil that is buried deep in us all!

– Grainbelt Jones×120.jpg

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Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice Teaser Arrives Early, Much To WB’s Displeasure Sat, 18 Apr 2015 09:47:24 +0000 Don’t you just love it when social media loses its collective minds when it comes to entertainment, or anything to distract us from things going on in the world? If you are a fan of movies, a few days ago Facebook and Twitter was abuzz with the reveal of the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser. So enamored, one person made a funny clip splicing together the trailer with footage from Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar showing Matthew McConaughey’s reaction.

Then again you have a situation where an image or clip is leaked online to the public, much to the displeasure of the studio handling an entertainment property. This usually results in cease and desist notices and having videos yanked off of YouTube or other video site. So, instead of jumping on the bandwagon with everyone else posting a shaky cam version of Warner Bros.’s upcoming 2016 release, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, I waited, knowing that the videos would either be pulled or eventually the studio would cow and release it officially (much to its displeasure, I’m sure).

On Monday, WB was to have a special free promo release at select theaters nationwide where people could see the two-minute teaser trailer on IMAX. But with the studio going ahead and putting it online officially it makes the free promo a moot point.

Nevertheless, Zack Synder’s follow-up to his new spin on Superman, Man of Steel, will make its debut in theaters worldwide on March 25, 2016. The trailer is very cryptic showing stark images accompanied by several different voices, including Jeremy Irons (who plays Alfred), Holly Hunter (a US Senator leading a crusade against Superman), plus what Ben Affleck will sound like as the Caped Crusader.

Handling story duties is Academy Award winner Chris Terrio, who penned Argo, and David S. Goyer, who has written such comic adaptations as Blade (and its sequels), helped conceptualize the story of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, and developed TV properties like Flashforward and Constantine.

Without further ado, the teaser for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

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Murtz On The Scene: Exclusive Interview With Big Brother Canada 3‘s Johnny Colatruglio Fri, 17 Apr 2015 19:43:19 +0000


The day after he was evicted out of the Big Brother Canada 3 house, I had the chance to catch up with Johnny Colatruglio to discuss what happened. We talked about a variety of topics including his comment about wanting to be the Neda and not the next Aneal (that he said when he was packing to move into the Big Brother house). We also talked about what it was like to compete in a veto competition where all the other houseguests made it clear that they were gunning for him. I asked Johnny to size up his competitors in terms of pure Big Brother fandom and asked him where he thought that he ranked amongst the others. Johnny also discussed Graig’s proclamation that he wasn’t a bully and offered evidence to counteract this point. The 26-year old IT Manager also outlined everything he did to try and save himself from eviction. Johnny discussed the nature of his relationship with Kevin and opened up about whether he would continue to work with him if he returned to the house. Colatruglio also speculated about what he thinks the First Five competition will be. I also asked him if he would have preferred Canada to vote in the returning player instead of being forced to compete to get back in.

As we now know, Johnny has the chance to potentially return for a second chance and I also asked him what his strategy would be if he returned to the house. Check it out!

Johnny Colatruglio: Hey Murtzy, what’s up?

Murtz Jaffer: Hey, how are you?

JC: I am good, how are you?

MJ: Very good! Are you ready to get started?

JC: Yeah let’s do this!

MJ: When you were packing to move into the Big Brother house, you said that you wanted to be the next Neda and not the next Aneal. Can you elaborate on why you said this and which former Big Brother player’s game do you feel your game most resembled?

JC: First off, I don’t feel like my game resembles anyone’s game from the past. I feel like I played my own unique game. I came in there and I did the best I could… when it came to competitions, I felt like I was a social player as well. I can’t say that I can compare myself to anyone in particular. I am me and what you see is what you get. I am not like anyone else. With respect to Neda and the calling out Aneal thing, I mean there’s no secret that a lot of the gays have not been my favorites in past seasons of [both] the US and/or Canadian versions. I mean Aneal played a weak game, I thought, and in hindsight I probably played a little bit of a weak game too so I can totally understand that. Neda played that amazing game social wise, and she was really calling the shots which was something I thought I could emulate. I feel like I still have that opportunity and once I get back in to the house… watch out!

MJ: Your dog is named Veto and in the last veto competition, you were literally targeted by everyone in the house. Why do you think everyone targeted you and how do you think your dog felt about the competition?

JC: [Laughs]. Oh Veto! I miss him to pieces… that little puppy dog! Yes that competition was ridiculous. A little disheartening when you know you are fighting for your life and you walk into the backyard, and you realize that it is one of these competitions. One of these dreaded competitions where people are going to take aim at you and it is going to be an uphill battle or a complete shutout (which is what I expected going out there). I was a little surprised. At first, I thought, you know there is four of us playing. Kevin, Brittnee, myself and Sarah and we can easily take out Bobby and Bruno but once Kevin went up first and made it very apparent that no one was going to stick their neck out because no one wanted to put another target on themselves (or put a target on themselves period), there was not much I could do. So what do I think Veto is thinking? Veto is probably barking at the screen! He is probably super upset but he is rooting for me now and he knows I am going to win the comp on Sunday and go back into the house and blow some stuff up!!!

MJ: There are many Big Brother superfans in the house this season. Where would you say you rank in terms of superfan knowledge and trivia inside the house?

JC: Absolutely! It is crazy ridiculous how many people in the house are super fans! This doesn’t happen very often. Not in the US, not in Canada… not like this, that’s for sure. Definitely added a really interesting dimension to the game. Super crazy to have so many people know so much; I thought to myself going in that I was going to tone down the super fan because I didn’t want to become a target because people thought ‘oh he knows the show inside and out,’ but I got in there and it was quite apparent that there are way bigger super fans than I am! I mean when it comes to knowledge of Big Brother and trivia inside the house, Jordan takes it hands down. JP that guy knows last names of people from like first seasons of Big Brother. I don’t know last names, I certainly remember people’s names and what seasons they are from but god that guy knows everything. Willow very smart when it come to the game as well. I would say she is probably second. I would probably put myself at 3rd or 4th. Sarah knows quite a bit, so does Naeha so I think we are all 3rd, 4th, 5th.

MJ: Gotcha. As a superfan, I am sure you know that winning competitions is always suicide in the Big Brother house. Do you regret winning last week’s veto competition that allowed Brittnee to backdoor Graig because while it accomplished what you wanted, it also flagged you as a threat to the others?

JC: So as a superfan, I don’t know if I necessarily agree with you (if winning competitions is always suicide in Big Brother house). I mean look at Jillian and Emmett. They pummeled all of those competitions. They were killing them and I mean we’ve seen competitors in the past who win competitions over and over again. Certainly it [puts] a target on them, but it is definitely a strategy that has been successful in the past so I don’t know if I necessarily agree with that.

At the same time, I don’t have any regrets with winning the veto. The veto is the only thing that you 100% know that you are safe with and at the same time, Big Brother has thrown so many twists at us this year, so you never know what could be coming your way and you never know when you might be in danger.

So with that being said, that Power of Veto necklace on my neck meant I was 100% surviving that week and it allowed us to accomplish the goal of taking out Graig which was amazing and I felt like it was my big game move. It was something that I get to say I did. I got to win the Power of Veto, use it and backdoor someone which is always something that a super fan dreams and prays of doing one day.

MJ: Graig didn’t seem to think that he was a bully. Do you feel like he was in the house?

JC: Yeah, I don’t know why he doesn’t think he was a bully! He definitely was a bully in the house! He made Willow cry when he tried to flip the Risha/Pili vote right at the start and that was a bully. He wouldn’t let her express her opinion and when she expressed an opinion that was different from his, he started yelling and getting all up in her face. That is a bully (as far as I am concerned).

Graig had a lot of nasty things to say about people in the house and whether those aired or not, he was not a nice guy even to people that he was in a so called ‘alliance’ with. So yeah. He is a bit of a bully and then he gets all up in my face with his finger, calling me a liar and the whole nine yards when he was the one that has been lying from day one… even about his occupation.

So he is a little bit of a hypocrite, a bit of a bully, super emotional. Yeah, I stand by what I said. He is a bully. He was a bully in the house. I don’t think he is a bully in real life (don’t get me wrong), but in the house he was a bully… period.

MJ: Too often on Big Brother, when a player is put up on the block, they go out with a whimper and not a bang. You fought until the end and I especially liked your move to use the gummy bears to extract information out of Sarah to use against her. You also seemed to be delivering a message to the other houseguests in your speech yesterday when you said that they should vote for their own games and not play into someone else’s. Can you tell me what you meant by that and discuss everything you did to try and save yourself?

JC: Absolutely, thank you for tipping your hat on the gummy bears. I thought that was quite genius myself. I knew that I was screwed when I couldn’t win that Power of Veto and that it was hopeless for me to expect to be able to save myself so I did what I had to. I was not going out without a fight. I was not going to roll over and die. I was not going to seclude myself in the bedroom like Graig did the previous week which (as far as I am concerned) was pathetic. I wasn’t going to die. I went out there and totally tried to get as much info possible out of Sarah. Initially I wasn’t 100% sure if I was going to use it, but I slept on it and I was like ‘I absolutely have to use it, this is Big Brother, this is what you do when you need to fight to stay.’

So certainly, using that to my advantage, dropping all of that information to Zach and then doing it all over again to Ashleigh in the hot tub (even though we were a little drunk)… it was still an opportune moment when you had a one on one to drop all of that information. I did the same with Kevin and I had hoped that it could turn some things.

As for my speech at yesterday’s eviction, that was totally meant to call out to people like Ashleigh, call out to people like Pili, call out to people who are sitting dormant and are maybe being used by some of the bigger players in the game that they need to start making decisions for themselves. They need to start making decisions that are good for their game and that are not good for everyone else’s game.

So absolutely that was calling them out and especially now (knowing what I know after being able to meet up with the previously evicted house guests and finding out about the Chop Shop and all of that), I certainly stand by everything I said. I think it was a perfect speech on my exit.

MJ: Do you believe that Sarah would turn on Kevin and the others as she told you during the gummy bear strategy session and do you feel like your alliance made a mistake by not keeping you?

JC: Absolutely, I think Sarah would turn on Kevin. She is really in a pickle right now. Sarah being left in the house, and now knowing what I know about the Chop Shop and the couples, Zach could sort of position himself in a way that he is sitting pretty with absolutely everyone. I really don’t think that Sarah has any other option other than to attempt to sell the fact that Kevin and Zach are huge threats.

If someone like Bruno wanted to take out a big threat like Zach who will be a thorn in his side moving on (despite the fact he is working with him), this is a perfect opportunity to allow someone else to initiate a target like that and go after him and maybe have her get blood on her hands. So I definitely think she would. Do I think that my alliance made a mistake by not keeping me? Absolutely…it would be again, on the flip side, a perfect opportunity for Zach to have someone like me stay in the house with my obvious target of Bobby and Bruno. Godfrey, that would have been a waste of a week but he would have been someone worth throwing up there in order to try to backdoor Bobby. So absolutely. I think t was a mistake on their part not to keep me.

MJ: You seemed to be quite fond of Kevin but he turned on you and has a relationship with Pilar. Can you talk about your relationship with him inside the house?

JC: Well my Kevvy Wevvy…I love that guy to pieces. I don’t blame him for what happened in the house. We had an interesting relationship…I went in to the house thinking that he could possibly be another gay and we could have our first gaymance and (of course), within the first 10 minutes, I just had to ask him straight out if he was gay and I got quite the interesting response. He said “no I am straight but everyone has a little bit of gay in them,” and sure now it turned out that way. We shnuggled a bit, we shared the bed, we had some smooching going on. I love Kevin to pieces, super fond of him, I get what he had to do in the Power of Veto and I get the fact that he did what he had to do to protect his own game so…will I work with Kevin if I go back in to the game? Absolutely! I think that he is on the outs, so I would totally go back to him.

MJ: You have the chance to come back in the game but will have to win a competition that has never been seen on Big Brother Canada. What do you think the competition will be?

JC: I have no idea what the competition is going to be. None whatsoever. I hope it is a mix of physical and strategy and/or mental.

MJ: Do you think your odds would be better in a vote to get back in or in a competition to get back in?

JC: Definitely better in a competition. I feel like Naeha is super popular with Canada. I feel like she would lock down the vote just on her own (if it was a voting thing), so absolutely. I am super pumped that it is competition-based because I feel like I have good chances.

MJ: What would your strategy be if you got to reenter the game?

JC: I am going to blow s*** up in the house when I go back in. Zach better watch out because I am going to call out his game in front of the entire house and make him expose himself, and if he is unwilling to, I am going to expose him to everyone.

MJ: Amazing Johnny! Thanks so much!

JC: Thanks Murtz!

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JT on NXT 15th April 2015 – Sami Zayn, Solomon Crowe, Baron Corbin Fri, 17 Apr 2015 15:13:19 +0000 JT on NXT logo

It’s NXT time and we’re kicking off with everyone’s favourite smelly hippie, CJ Parker.

Match 1: CJ Parker vs Solomon Crowe

The crowd is solidly behind Crowe as they lock up, but Parker forces his heavily tanned opponent into the corner. Forearms by Parker but Crowe reverses and hits some clubbing blows in the corner, then a repeated face wash to the hippie, probably the first wash he has had in weeks.

Parker bails as the commentators talk up Crowe, followed by a nice bottom rope suicide dive onto Parker. Back in the ring Parker reverses a charge with a double boot and lays in some punches. Big stomp from Parker, followed by a senton. First chinlock of the night from Parker, and he holds onto it for a long ass time until Crowe finally reverses.

Punches to the head from Crowe but CJ hits a big clothesline that turns Solomon inside out, then follows it up with a scissors kick for a two count. Parker goes for a senton but Crowe gets his knees up, taking the hippie out. Crowe goes to the top rope and hits a diving splash to Parker’s knee!

Crowe locks in an overhead leg submission which is apparently called the Stretch Muffler and Parker taps out for the submission. ‘Stay tuned, because the real show is just beginning!’ Solomon Crowe, ladies and gentlemen.

Solid opener with Crowe displaying some innovative offence and Parker playing the heel everyone wants to see beaten.

Match 2: Baron Corbin vs Steve Cutler

Jobber doesn’t get an intro, but the commentators fill in the details that Cutler is a former US Marine. Irish whip into a clothesline and Corbin is in control, picking up Cutler and hitting the End of Days for a total squash.

Doesn’t really say much for the resilience of US Marines, does it?

Interview with Sami Zayn, where he talks about the target on his back. He’s ready for Rhyno’s challenge.

Match 3: Enzo Amore & Colin Cassidy vs Angelo Dawkins & Sawyer Fulton

How u doin? The realest guys in the room have the crowd on their side as the Sawyer Fulton starts out against Amore. Enzo keeps out of the bigger man’s way before taking him down with a drop toehold and dancing on his back, but takes too long posing and Fulton takes him down with a fireman’s carry.

Fulton drags Amore to the corner and tags in Dawkins, then the pair hit a team suplex on Amore. Tag to big Cass and he lays the smack down on Fulton. Enzo tags himself back in and goes to the top rope, but Fulton hits the ropes and the Certified G crashes to the mat.

Stomps from Fulton as tag champs Blake and Murphy make their way to the ring. Tag to Dawkins and a double team face slam on Amore as the champs chat to Carmella. They’ve both brought her roses, but back in the ring Fulton has Amore in an abdominal stretch. Enzo hits a chinbreaker and tags Cassidy, just as Fulton makes the tag to Dawkins.

Big Cass hits the ring like a man possessed and takes out Dawkins with a pair of shoulderblocks and a side slam, then hits Fulton with a big boot as he enters the ring to interfere. Fulton is out of commission as Cass hits his Black Hole Slam variation on Dawkins and tags in Enzo, who goes to the top rope and hits an assisted splash on Dawkins for the pin and the three count.

Solid match from Amore and Cassidy, but Dawkins and Fulton still look like jobbers.

Alex Riley promo. Rage rage rage.

Match 4: Dana Brooke vs Blue Pants

The debut of Dana Brooke, taking on the much loved underdog Blue Pants. Brooke’s entrance makes her look somewhat like a very athletic stripper. Blue Pants starts out with elbows and a running attack in the corner, but Dana drops her face first onto the turnbuckle.

Hair slam followed by a bottom rope guillotine from Brooke, followed by mounted punches for a pin and a two count. Blue Pants struggles to her feet and Dana chokes her over the middle rope, laying in a knee for good measure. Elbows in the corner from Brooke and then a nice handstand triangle choke.

Despite the awesomeness of the previous move, Blue Pants comes back with some big kicks to the head. On the third kick Dana reverses, picks Blue pants up on her shoulders and hits a sitdown slam, then covers for the one, two, three.

Not a bad introduction match for Dana Brooke, and Blue Pants continues to build a following as a plucky underdog.

Match 5: Rhyno vs Sami Zayn

Big response for Sami in his return to the ring, but he faces an angry man-beast in Rhyno. Sensibly, Zayn avoids the lockup to start, staying out of Rhyno’s reach until they finally lock up and Rhyno shoves Zayn down. Sami shakes it off and continues to circle Rhyno, looking for an opening.

Zayn locks in a headlock but Rhyno shoves him off and hits a shoulderblock. Sami rolls to the outside to collect his wits as the NXT crowd exchange chants. Springboard head scissors from Zayn and Rhyno rolls to the outside, then immediately rolls back in and lays the boots into Zayn in the corner.

Rhyno chokes Zayn over the middle rope, but Sami eventually reverses and hits a running dropkick. Big clothesline from Rhyno cuts off his momentum, and we go to a break.

Back to the action and Rhyno has Zayn in a rear chinlock, but Smai fights his way to his feet and slips out. Elbows in the corner and Rhyno is staggered, giving Zayn the chance to ascend the ropes. Springboard cross body from Zayn gets a two count.

Zayn lays in elbows and tries to evade Rhyno’s grasp, but the man-beast hits a big spinebuster for a two count. Elbows from Rhyno in the corner, followed by an Irish whip and hard bump from Zayn. Running shoulderblock in the corner from Rhyno, followed by a second, then a third. Cover, but Zayn kicks out at two.

Zayn is out on his feet, but then springs to life and starts laying into Rhyno like a man possessed! Blue thunder bomb from Zayn gets a long two count, and Sami can’t believe it despite the fact he has never won a match with the blue thunder bomb in his life. Shaking it off, Zayn goes to the top and hits a flying crossbody, but Rhyno catches him in mid-air!

Jumping neckbreaker from Rhyno gets two, followed by strikes in the corner. Rhyno makes the poor choice of getting up onto the second rope, and Zayn hits a jumping forearm sending him crashing to the outside. As Rhyno gets to hits feet Sami hits the tope con hilo, taking out Rhyno on the entrance ramp.

Sami rolls Rhyno back into the ring but the man-beast hits a front suplex, setting up the gore. Sami dodges it, hits the helluva kick and gets the pin and the three count!

Good match from the veterans, with Rhyno playing the dominant heel and Zayn the never-say-die underdog.

Another quality show from NXT.×120.jpg

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Blu-ray Review: Thunder Road Fri, 17 Apr 2015 12:14:47 +0000 Sam Malone and Coach used to have a tradition that when Thunder Road was on airing on TV. They’d call each other to share the experience. It was that powerful of a movie for the duo on Cheers. This was a movie is still worth bonding over. Thunder Road: Blu-ray + DVD Video combo is a great way to share the experience for your pal who likes his action fast and his home made liquor untaxed.

The movie is Robert Mitchum’s baby on all levels. He put together the story. He wrote the theme song. He played the lead of Lucas Doolin, a military vet who returns to his country home. Instead of getting a real job, he’s happy running moonshine for the family business. He thinks he knows the simple game. He just has to make midnight runs across winding hilly roads to get that precious liquor. Why so late? He has to avoid the revenuers out to bust him and others that wish to make artisan liquor. This has always been the cat and mouse game that Lucas understood. However things get changed around when an outsider wants to take over the entire process. The Deep Fried Godfather wants all the independent moonshiners to work for him. He’ll give them a steady paycheck if they produce their sweet elixir on time. That’s as bad as getting a real job. Lucas won’t back down from any authority – government or criminal.

Thunder Road is supposed to be a warning about the dangers of living the outlaw life. But let’s face it, Mitchum makes us feel for the his moonshine runner. There’s no talk of people going blind and dying from bad batches of booze that don’t need to have any government inspectors or quality control. Which is fine since this wasn’t meant to be Walking Tall. This is about the guy who is sick of being told what to do. He’s a family man who employs his brother as his mechanic (his son James Mitchum). He even has a cool girlfriend that sings at a nightclub (Keely Smith of Louis Prima’s band). He was a cool guy who just wanted his life restored. The film still echos after all these decades. Although watching the reality shows about modern moonshiners, none of them are nearly as cool as when Lucas tore across Thunder Road.

The video is 1.85:1 anamorphic. The black and white transfers brings out the grit of the story. Mitchum had the film shot in Asheville, North Carolina. The exteriors are real places in the moonshiners world. The audio is 1.0 DTS-HD Master Audio. It’s not the fanciest of mixes, but there’s enough octane as the cars barrel down the roads.

Trailer (2:08) highlights the action and gives away the ending.

Thunder Road gets deep into the Southern world of moonshine running. This is Robert Mitchum’s finest role until The Friends of Eddie Coyle. Wake up Sam and Coach, they need to see Thunder Road in 1080p.

Timeless Media Group presents Thunder Road. Directed by: Arthur Ripley. Starring: Robert Mitchum, James Mitchum, Gene Barry and Keely Smith. Rated: Unrated. Running Time: 92 minutes. Released: April 7, 2015.

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Spain’s WWE SmackDown Report and Results for April 16th 2015: Tally-Ho, Pip-Pip and Bernard’s Your Uncle Fri, 17 Apr 2015 12:06:14 +0000 It’s Friday morning, so you know what that means: I was doing something else on Thursday night and so didn’t review SmackDown until the next day. That ‘something else’, by the way, was seeing Dara O’Briain live at my City Hall, which is something I’d have missed any amount of SmackDowns for.

Anyway, let’s see what I gave up in order to laugh so much that I hurt. SmackDown is in London still, making it seem like they’ve just pissed about in the capital for three days, making it a really terrible example of a ‘tour’. John Cena comes out, and I wish someone would tell Michael Cole that Cena using that same one move does not mean that he’s ‘continuing to evolve’. It actually means more or less the exact opposite. And what, exactly, is a Russian Chain Match? Once one competitor gets the chain, is the chain then nationalised and a utility that anyone can use? Because I think that’s what happens in a regular chain match.

Cena says that he wants to thank the city of London, and talks up the Cockneys like they’re the most awesome fans ever, rather than rich bastards benefiting from David Cameron’s bullshit politics. Oh, so apparently a Russian Chain Match is basically like a Texas Bullrope match. Well, fuck that previous joke about nationalising chains. I’m keeping it in, though; it was funny. And Cena’s doing the Open Challenge on SmackDown, and it’s like we’re RAW!

Tyson Kidd, Cesaro and Natalya come out, and I really hope it’s Nat. Pretty sure women can hold second-tier championships. But Tyson and Cesaro want to trash-talk/trash-fact Cena, and then poo-poo London (which itself is a court martial offence!). They tell Cena that he should retire, and how dare London boo that? Cena challenges either of them to a one-on-one match, which is how he solves all of his problems, and then Daniel Bryan shows up; wow, this is actually looking pretty good.

Bryan asks the audience if Kidd and Cesaro are best champions in the WWE today, and the crowd boos. He asks them if they think it’s Cena, and they still boo. He asks them if he’s the most handsome man in the WWE, and gets a fairly mixed response: they love their hipster beards in London. Bryan challenges Kidd and Cesaro to a tag team match against him and Cena, and it’s on. Michael Cole says ‘let’s try to make this official’, and when has an impromptu tag-team match made on SmackDown at the start of the show not been made official?

I’d Take Bray More Seriously If It Wasn’t For The Trilby

We come back from the break and, surprise surprise, the match is a official. Not like I called it or anything.

R-Truth is in the ring, and Bray Wyatt makes his entrance. He’s got his own digital banner thing now, which is neat, and we dwell on his recent messages, wondering about who they’re intended for. I’d bet a hefty amount that Creative don’t actually know. Michael says ‘maybe it’s R-Truth’, and that would be amazing.

They lock up, with Truth rocking Bray with some hands, hitting a crossbody (sort of), and doing some dancing…before Bray crabwalks. And, let me make this clear, crabwalks for about six seconds, with his face and throat bare inches from Truth’s foot. Someday, someone has to just punt the shit out of his head when he does that, and it needs to lose him the match. The only good use of it I’ve seen was against the Undertaker, and even that was designed to fail.

Truth tries to psyche himself up to fight this fat, hairy dude, and gets knocked down. London starts singing ‘Whole World In His Hands'; R-Truth misses a scissor kick, gets taken down by a sudden crossbody and eats Sister Abigail for the win.

The commentary team kept calling this a ‘rare in-ring appearance’. Firstly: why? And secondly: if it’s a rare appearance, make it worth waiting for. Pretty sure they were fifty-fifty on offence here, and it was still quicker than most squash matches. 1.5 Stars.

Michael’s still cagey about whatever legal action he’ll be taking against Brock Lesnar. Really, I hope this is all a set-up so Lesnar can actually cripple a lawyer on television. And I say that as the son of two lawyers and the brother of a future lawyer (trust me, it’s hard to undertake a PhD and still be the ‘disappointment’ of your family, but I am somehow pulling it off).

Also. I am sitting here with a infuser pot of green tea, a mug of coffee and a genuine carafe of water: I’m not sure how this set-up has evolved, but it’s pretty awesome.

We review the Divas Battle Royal. Always throws me off that Divas don’t have to go over the top rope. And Naomi’s a heel now, which probably puts her out of contention against Nikki Bella. Or not; I like a good heel vs. heel match as much as anyone. Better than face vs. face matches where everyone acts like they’re best friends until shit gets tense.

Apparently the crowd was chanting ‘you fat bastard’ at Big Show, according to someone I work with. I missed that but, if that’s true, well done, Britain.

Roman Reigns has another interview where he somehow manages to make being an indomitable fighting machine seem really boring. And they’re going to talk to Big Show later, and see above where I use the word ‘boring’.

Without A Doubt, Miz’s Greatest Match Ever

Ah hell, Miz is in the ring, and he writes Mizdow’s win off as a fluke. He says that Mizdow is nothing without the Miz; he said he made Mizdow, and is this going to lead to him being Mizdow’s father? Or in the mob? Barrett shows up, probably in a response to the mob allegations. I mean, he looks like he’s broken a leg or two in his time. Wade enjoys being popular for a few minutes, tossing some zingers Miz’s way. He manages to turn it around by attacking Bryan, and even the hometown boy’s the heel against Daniel Bryan.

Miz takes off his sunglasses, turns around, and gets Bull Hammered for the pin.

That was the best match I’ve ever seen involving a combination of the Miz and Bad News Barrett. 3 Stars.

We replay Orton and Rollins proving that neither of them should be trusted with free will. Because who the fuck makes a cage match with no RKOs? Fucking idiots, that’s who. Also, there are no DQs in a steel cage, so what happens if Orton hits it anyway?

Renee interviews Mizdow and Summer Rae. Mizdow is quite the charmer, but this touching scene is interrupted by the Miz, who wants a rematch at Extreme Rules. He also demands that Mizdow stops being the Miz, and Mizdow starts imitating the Miz aggressively! On RAW, they’re going to have a match to decide who gets Miz’s personality. I mean…that’s up there with betting sex with a woman, and WWE used to do that too! Miz makes some comments about Summer, and she smacks him.

Just to clarify, we are going to see Miz bet his own personality and inherent being in a match on Monday. That just happened.

The Most Acrobatic Incarnation Of The Anglo-Irish Wars

Aw yiss, it’s Sheamus vs. Neville time. Have to say, I love Sheamus’ entrance music and lighting. I’m getting used to the hair and facial hair as well; let’s face it, he looked stupid before as well. Neville shows up, and I’m pretty sure he actually has bigger muscles than Sheamus. Sheamus trashtalks Neville, and the crowd boos, because an Irishman isn’t allowed to talk in public in this country. Apparently Neville’s from Newcastle, which is where I’m from, and I love that that got a boo/cheer from this Southern crowd. Sheamus says that he’s from Ireland, which if I remember my history right means that Neville is legally able to put him to work and have sex with his wife. Or that might be Braveheart. Sheamus says that, in Ireland, they don’t like us English bastards. In fairness to Sheamus, we were sort of massive dicks about the whole Ireland/Scotland thing. Even the Welsh rose up against us a time or six, and they’re the fucking Welsh.

If Neville, at some point, eats a potato during this match, the crowd will explode and I will love him forever and ever.

Neville ducks Sheamus a couple of times, then gets backed into a turnbuckle so Sheamus can mess with him. Neville shoves him and takes some shots. Neville scoots under Sheamus’ legs, dropkicks him, leapfrogs over Sheamus and backflips into a corner. Sheamus charges at Neville, running into a big boot, then gets hurricanrana’d out of the ring. Neville hurls himself out of the ring, taking Sheamus out. Back in the ring, Neville goes up top and Sheamus rolls out of the ring. Neville runs out in pursuit, getting bodyslammed on the outside as we go to break.

Back from the commercials, Sheamus has Neville in a headlock. Neville punches his way out, but gets thrown into the corner before Sheamus does that throwing-suplex thing he does. Irish Curse backbreaker takes Neville down. Sheamus yells ‘are you not entertained?!’ and gets a boo, because fuck Javert. Neville hits a jawbreaker to Sheamus, but runs right into an elbow. He ducks a charge, and Sheamus blasts the steel ring post, going right outside of the ring.

Sheamus comes back into the ring, right into some kicks, with Neville stomping on the back of his head. Standing moonsault connects for two. Sheamus kicks Neville’s feet out from under him, and then tosses him out onto the apron. Ten Things of the Whatnow is attempted, but Neville fights back; he dodges a boot, kicking Sheamus in the thigh, and then springboards into the ring to hit a missile dropkick! Massive kick to Sheamus’ temple, and Neville hits the Red Arrow from the second rope, getting a near-fall!

Neville goes up high again, but Sheamus knocks the rope, crotching Neville. Rolling senton’s attempted, but Neville rolls him up for another near-fall. Enzuigiri hits Sheamus in the shoulder, then again in the temple, and Neville clotheslines the Irishman out of the ring. Sheamus catches Neville when he comes out, dumping him on the announce table…for the DQ? The fuck?

Excellent match, and I’d honestly have been okay with Sheamus getting the victory with a sudden Brogue Kick after a lot of near-falls. Neville’s being built beautifully right now: victories over the lower-tier guys which serve as a showcase, with opportunities against bigger guys giving him exposure, making him look like a big deal, putting him in longer, better contests and making sure, early on, that losses don’t matter that much. Really great match. 3.5 Stars.

Post-match, Sheamus picks Neville up and throws him into the ring, carrying him on his shoulder like…(wait for it)…A SACK OF POTATOES!! (it’s okay; my best friend’s Irish). Ziggler interrupts the beat-down, and if this leads to a triple-threat between these three at Extreme Rules, then there’s your match de la noche.

Ziggler gets on the mic and says he knows why Sheamus doesn’t like the English: because they don’t like him either. Well, that and the history of subjugation, slavery, starvation and offensive jokes (although that last one pales in comparison to what we say about the Welsh). Also the fact that the Irish used to hate Britain so much that they blacklisted and almost starved any of their own who joined the UK to fight against, you know, the Nazis. I mean…there’s some layers to that background. Ziggler then says that not even the Irish like Sheamus, probably because his family fought the Nazis.

Dolph says the only way to deal with a bully is to stand up to him, and he wants a match right now. So…the way to deal with a bully is to wait until he’s beaten up and exhausted, and then stand up to him? I mean…totally the way I’d do it. Sheamus then makes a ‘Kiss Me Arse match’ at Extreme Rules. Whoa, okay, I hope that’s a stipulation and not an actual mechanic of the match. This is going to be crazy homoerotic, and then…oh my God, I’m just going to quote Ziggler for this bit:

“And listen: I am gonna grind youpull you and stretch you so bad, you won’t know which way is up. And then, in front of the entire world, I’m going to make you kiss your own arse.” – Dolph Ziggler, alleged heterosexual.

I think that might be the gayest thing I’ve ever heard, including any of the dialogue or diagetic noises from Brokeback MountainRoom in RomeBlue is the Warmest Colour and Mysterious Skin.

Happy Birthday To Me

Oh yay, it’s Los Matadores vs. The New Day. Okay, look, it was my birthday, like, two weeks ago and I didn’t try this then, but I’m doing it now. My birthday present to myself is to not have to review this match.

The New Day won and they’re stupid. They beat Los Matadores, who are also stupid. El Torito was there, and he’s the stupidest stupid of all. 0 Stars: fuck every gimmick in that match.

We replay Fandango dumping Rosa and having a dance-orgy. Backstage, he’s still dumping Rosa. Has he been dumping her for the past three days? And then the Rosebuds and Adam Rose run past, making this officially the worst break-up ever. Adam Rose then hits on Rosa without even looking at her, which is oddly impressive. Seriously, the fuck is going on this week?

Big Show comes out, and says that people from England suck. I mean, I’m not paraphrasing there: he just said it. He says he’s the greatest giant in history, and that nobody can stop him, especially not that Roman Reigns fella. He answers to nobody but the Authority, who think that Roman’s a threat. We replay the beating Show gave Reigns on Monday. Reigns kept getting up, Show says, and Big Show chose not to end him there. But he’s got a match at Extreme Rules against Roman Reigns: a Last Man Standing. Okay, I can sort of see the sense in that. Although I will admit to holding out for another Stairs Match.

When There’s Only One Championship, Everyone Wants To Be A Contender

This is a triple threat match between Cameron, Alicia Fox and Natalya, following Cameron being the special guest referee last week and screwing the two of them over. At least she had the restraint to wait until the match was over, as it was a fair match.

The bell rings, and it turns out that Alicia and Natalya do not like being jumped from behind, taking it to Cameron before she scoots out of the ring. Alicia tries for a roll-up, nearly gets locked into the Sharpshooter, and then gets knocked out of the ring. Cameron wants a roll-up, takes a clothesline and Alicia breaks up the pin.

Alicia headscissors Natalya, knocking her down and then missing her cartwheel legdrop, taking a dropkick to the face instead. Cameron pulls Natalya out of the ring, slamming her against the wall. She then books it into the ring, punching Alicia, who takes her down with a boot. Alicia then misses a boot in the corner, and gets her head snapped back onto the mat. Cameron goes up high, but gets distracted by Natalya. The three guys who are supposed to be commentating may as well be smoking cigars and rubbing their crotches considering the way they’re actually talking about this match. At least if Renee Young was on commentary she wouldn’t be talking about Divas in steam rooms.

Natalya hits a powerbomb to Alicia, who superplexes Cameron at the same time: all the Divas are down, and then recover, trying to cover each other, until Natalya takes Fox down with a clothesline, sending her out of the ring. Cameron nearly gets a small package, and then another near-fall. The ladies exchange roll-ups, but then Natalya wants a Sharpshooter. Cameron looks to be about to tap, almost getting to the ropes before being pulled away.

Natalya suddenly avoids the scissor kick from Alicia, applying the Sharpshooter to her, until Cameron nearly throws her out of the ring, but gets thrown out instead. Alicia takes Natalya down with her big boot, hitting the scissor kick, but Cameron throws her out of the ring and gets the pin. Fuck’s sake, please say this doesn’t make Cameron number one contender. For God’s sake, I like the Bellas better than I like Cameron.

Good match: really good. With AJ and Paige out of the picture, I think we’re going to see some real opportunities for these Divas, which is only a good thing. Except Cameron. 3 Stars.

Relationships, Am I Right?

Here’s Fandango, getting ready for a match against Adam Rose. I swear, I have reviewed so many matches with these two against each other. Rose takes Fandango down with a shoulder block, then eats a dropkick before getting clotheslined out of the ring. Fandango hurls himself out onto Rose. Rosa suddenly appears, confronting Fandango, and Adam Rose baseball slides him before awkwardly hitting on Rosa. Adam Rose gets distracted by Rosa, who gets on the apron, and then gets rolled up by Fandango.

Man, wrestling break-ups are weird. 1.5 Stars.

Bray Wyatt suddenly appears, and oh my God, he’s feuding with Fandango! Yeah, no, he’s just mumbling more weird stuff to himself. Could this guy, for once, just build a feud with somebody else?

Should Have Got Rollins And Nikki Involved Somehow

Main event time, and the competitors make their way to the ring. Cena gets Kidd in a headlock, is thrown off the ropes and knocks Tyson down. Cesaro tags in, and has a test of strength with Cena, wearing him down at first, and then takes a kick to the shoulder. He manages to batter Cena into his corner, tagging Kidd back in. Tyson tags back out, keeping hold of the leg so Cesaro can stomp Cena.

John’s trying to reach Bryan, but takes an uppercut in the corner, and Kidd’s in now, keeping Cena grounded with a front facelock. Cena fires up, taking both Kidd and Cesaro down, but Tyson pops up past enough to kick him back down. Tyson wants his apron leg drop, but Cena avoids it, trying to reach Bryan, but Cesaro gets there, pulling him back. Cena manages to kick Cesaro all the way out of the ring, crawling across the ring again, but Cesaro reaches him first, taking Bryan off the apron and gutwrenching Cena halfway across the ring.

It’s been all Cesaro and Tyson so far in this match, with Cesaro holding Cena, but John manages to dig deep, hitting a back suplex. Both men are down, with Cena making his way to one of the neutral corners. Cesaro wants a running uppercut, but Cena dives out of the way, leaving Cesaro to blast the ring post. Cena sidesteps Kidd, who runs into the ring and flies straight back out, and crawls over to Bryan…who gets pulled off the apron by Kidd. Solid tag-team wrestling right here.

Cena gets a burst, locking the STF in on Cesaro, only for Tyson to strike for a third time, breaking it up. Cesaro tags in Kidd; Cena surprises him with an Attitude Adjustment attempt, only for Kidd to land on his feet, kick Cena in the stomach and hit a dropkick to the face for two. Kidd tries to punch Bryan, but Daniel blocks the shot, hitting Kidd in return, making him stumble into a backdrop from Cena; Cena launches himself across the ring and gets the tag!

Bryan comes in, taking Cesaro off the apron and then pounding Cesaro in the corner. Dropkick to Cesaro on the floor, then he toe-holds Kidd into the corner. Hurricanrana from the top rope for a near-fall. Bryan laces Kidd with kicks to the chest; Cesaro interferes, gets taken down, and now they’re both getting kicked! Kidd tries for a roll-up, but gets destroyed with a kick to the side of the head. Bryan looks for the Running Knee, only to stop as Natalya gets up on the apron. Come on, Nat, you’re better than that. And stop getting distracted, Bryan; you’re better than that too.

Kidd tries to sneak-attack Bryan, but Daniel dodges, leaving Kidd to blast Natalya. But, you know, even if he’d hit Bryan, it still would have knocked Nat off the apron. Natalya lands in Cesaro’s arms, and that guy is the greatest third wheel ever. Kidd takes the Yes Lock, and Cesaro dumps Natalya on the floor, trying to interfere; he takes an AA as Kidd taps out!

Really great match, with some fantastic tag team wrestling. This has really been a great effect of having the mid-card champions be top guys; fantastic matches which elevated all four of the belts involved. Seriously enjoyed this. 3.5 Stars.

Definitely the best episode of SmackDown I’ve seen in a good long while. What was good was great and what was bad didn’t last long. Had a lot of fun covering this show; hopefully this isn’t just a one-off London thing. Would certainly recommend checking this one out. Nine out of ten.

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