Widro’s Daily Pulse

Good lord I have turned into a Hyatte-level flake specialist! Some example I’m setting…

Anyway, I’m posting this whenever I finish it today, it’s not going to be on time, but it’s being posted this week dammit!

Games



In what will go down as a major story of the year, Electronic Arts has signed an exclusive deal with the NFL for rights to make NFL video games for the next 5 years. This means that 989, Midway and Sega Sports, among others, will no longer be able to make games using real players or teams.

This is certainly a disappointing step backwards in the evolution of video gaming. The aggressive price drop by Sega this year pricing ESPN Sega Sports NFL 2K5 at $19.99 was a bold move to regain market share. It worked so well that EA announced across-the-board price cuts earlier this year to combat Sega.

Apparently this had a two-fold effect. 1) EA began to panic about its marketshare and wanted to make sure they made money for years to come. And 2) The NFL didn’t appreciate its brand being used in a price war. EA must have gone to the NFL, guaranteed it being a premium part of the EA empire, offered tons of money, and there it is.

The effect is not limited to NFL games. This is a scary precident for many other licenses as well. I can only imagine whats going on in the MLB and NBA offices when they heard the terms of the NFL deal. Madden might not be everyone’s favorite, but at least its good. Imagine 989 gets the exclusive MLB deal and the only baseball game for the next five years is MLB? Yikes.

O’Reilly checks in with his views on this EA/NFL deal in the Pulse Cannon. Pank broke the news initially in his news story.

Although my First Impressions of the Nintendo DS I wrote for an unposted review are now out of date, I have spent a good amount of time with the new system. My favorite game has to be Feel The Magic. It is the only game that really uses the touchpad and mic to effect gameplay.

As much as I loved the N64 original, I’m having trouble getting fully into Super Mario 64 DS. I keep wanting to use the touch pad, but its too bulky, so I use the buttons to run and it’s just not the same. I find myself wanting a DS Player for Gamecube for this game more than wanting to play it on the handheld.

My third favorite so far has to be Mr. Driller Spirits.

As I run out of time, I’ll chime in with my current favorite console game, and that’s the GAMECUBE version of Viewtiful Joe 2.

Wrestling



As positive as I like to be about wrestling on this site, I found very little to enjoy about WWE Armageddon on Sunday night. The main event had backwards reasoning, with the heel champion badly handicapped now both on Raw and Smackdown lately. The US title match was short and decisive for Cena, but hardly worth PPV money or time. The tag title match was the same match we got for free on Smackdown. Is Funaki (a total jobber) winning a fluke title that no one cares about really enough to sell a PPV? Another boring JBL title retention?

I was with three people that watched both TNA Turning Point last week and WWE Armageddon this week, and the consensus was that the TNA show was more entertaining. The production was worse, the finishes were largely ridiculous, but there were moments throughout that show that made it worth paying money for. There were wrestlers putting on incredible shows instead of a top to bottom roster of guys doing the exact same, slow style with 2 highspots each. Every match seemed boring and the same. Every match had nothing important on the line.

WWE seems to have gotten away from the idea of wrestlers selling a show, or matches, and instead sell every show on buying a ‘WWE PPV”. You will see half a cast of WWE wrestlers, in various matches. They are unlikely to have a compelling story, or fresh matchups. It’s like stretching the 2 hour show each week to a 3 hour event, with no commercials.

The argument that there is nothing left that can entertain modern wrestling fans is ridiculous. What about an innovative new move? Every new finisher is a rehash, and almost all of them are inferior to the originals (done by guys less than a decade ago). There are very few compelling undercard wrestlers that fans are rooting to take the next step. I can count them actually ‘ Shelton Benjamin, Batista and John Cena. It seems like everything involving top guys is stale. When every match and PPV and Raw and Smackdown is hyped as the greatest match ever, they all blend into one large blur. Nothing stands out.

I’m not “just being negative”. The four on hand for these two PPVs were Me, Matthew Michael (always an optimist), my cousin (a casual fan who only watches smackdown since he doesn’t have cable) and my brother (a former diehard fan who lost interest around the time WCW died). We all see the same problems, and only half of that group is online at all.

WWE needs to mix up the very core of the universe that its wrestling in. If every match results in the referee getting knocked out, a logical solution would be to change how matches were officiated. How about a second ref in a lifeguard chair? Or a video ref?

If matches themselves have no importance, which they don’t seem to, the matches are all pointless. In TNA, Savage pinned Jarrett in that terrible main event, but he was then in line for a title shot. It’s that type of internal logic to the matches and the ‘wrestling universe” that seems lost in WWE. As I watched Raw, they had a few really big matches, but none had ramifications on anything. Orton beat Edge clean, then they both got an equal spot in the main event. The same is true in the Benoit/Jericho vs. HHH/Batista match.

I’m not sure where I’m going with it, but it’s just a shame to see these PPVs coming out so bland, ordinary and boring.

Music



I’m in the midst of putting together my personal awards for the year. It was a great year, in my eyes, with tons of great CDs out. I will have more on my choices later, but they don’t really gel with most people’s lists, so don’t expect any Eminem.

I’m really excited about this new Motley Crue song If I Die Tomorrow I finally found an MP3 version of the AOL stream of the song, and even though the quality is poor, I’m glad I have it on the ipod.

The realization came to me that my favorite Motley Crue songs since the 80s have come on their greatest hits packages.

In 1991, the released Decade of Decadence which not only had Primal Scream, possibly my favorite all time Crue song, but also Angela and an Anarchy in the UK cover!

In 1999, they released another Greatest Hits, with 2 songs written and recorded between Tommy Lee jail stints. Bitter Pill and Enslaved were great Crue-style hard rock with a modern touch that could have made them relevant on rock radio.

Now in 2004/5, they have the “Red, White and Crue” package with the new song I’m already lovin.

What’s incredible is that the show in NYC, with almost NO radio support, sold out in 2 hours. We’re not talking a club, we’re talking about Madison Square Garden!

What’s even MORE incredible is how similar the 2005 Crue Reunion is to the 1997 Crue Reunion. They were still bickering in public right up to the reunion announcement, then suddenly had a new song, new PR pictures and a full tour planned.

1997’s Generation Swine CD is one of my favorite modern hair metal CDs. They put together a really strong modern album that fans weren’t ready to accept. It seems like they went more in that direction with If I Die Tomorrow, enlisting Simple Plan to help write the song. All bands like this (Aerosmith, Bon Jovi) that survive into the third decade have songwriters, so I’m glad Sixx has finally swallowed his pride.

Wow that was a tangent, huh? Much more consistent with her Tuesday postings is Gloomchen who’s latest Totally True Tune Tales is a look back at a friend she might have inspired.

Movies



There are a bunch of movies in December I want to see, but haven’t gotten to the theatre yet. I was a huge fan of Ocean’s Eleven, and want to see Ocean’s Twelve badly.

In addition to wanting to see Ocean’s Twelve, I am interested in checking out Blade Trinity as well. Not to see Jessica Biel, no way! I want to see TRIPLE H BABY!

That’s a joke.

TV



TV has moved out of November sweeps into December repeats, so it’s been a lot of sports on TV lately for me.

I did want to quickly comment on the OC shocker from last week. I think it was great! I felt like an idiot not seeing it coming with both of them with red hair, but it was a nice twist. The show is becoming AWFULLY incestuous, but it’s still really fun. I just have to wonder how realistic it is to have so many SUPER hot chicks throwing themselves at Seth Cohen constantly.

On the site now is some great stuff from the celebs and our great writers as well. Check out Ask Nick Season 2, Episode 14 as well as the debut from Ask Colin and Christie

Coogan tries to sell me on Scrubs in this week’s So-Called TV column, but I’m not buying. Mike moved days and changed the name of his column so it’s up to me to link him to give his loyal fans a chance to find him – My TV Reality debut.

Comics



I feel kinda bad that I vanquished Ben Morse from the site, but it wasn’t totally my fault ‘ the Hot Seat is scorching!

Anyway, the Nexus hasn’t missed a beat with the Overlord in control. Today they are featuring DC News and Views where Tim Stevens gives the latest in the DC Universe.


The Hot Seat has been extra hot since this Tuesday Daily Pulse launched a few weeks ago, giving Murtz as well as Ben Morse a paltry 1 out of 5, the latter of whom was forced to leave the internet forever because of the result. That doesn’t bode very well for Inside Pulse’s Daniels, who comes to the Hot Seat for the first time on da Pulse.

1. We always start with geometry – what is the formula for the area of a sphere?

Daniels: Easy! 4piRsquared!

Judges: You’re lucky to have google. 4 R is correct1 out of 1

2. I recently noticed a new candy on the market, and that is reese’s pieces with peanuts. Unfortunately, I have yet to try this new candy treat. If you have already tried it, tell me a bit about it. If not, describe for me your interest level in tasting a sample.

Daniels: Reese’s Pieces are among the greatest candies ever invented. I feel: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I’m not saying they suck, but if I’m presented with a choice between the known goodness of Reese’s Pieces vs. some new Reese’s, I’m going with what works

Judges: You didn’t have to choose between them, you could have had both. Conservatism isn’t winning you points with these judges. 1 out of 2

3. The powerhouse that actually runs this site is the beast known as Archway. True or false: As its primary creator, you are the only man on Earth who is able to stop Archway.

Daniels: False: Archway actually owns me. The only way to stop Archway is to send someone back in time to kill me before I create it.

Judges: You are wise beyond your years to realize that you no longer can control or contain Archway. 2 out of 3

4. Rank these Mario games in order of awesomeness, from the most awesome to the least awesome: a) Super Mario Brothers 1 b) Super Mario Brothers 2 c) Super Mario Brothers 3 d) Super Mario World e) Super Mario 64 f) Mario Sunshine

Daniels: Super Mario 3 (in the top 5 games ever), Super Mario 64, Super Mario 1 (historic significance), Super Mario World, Mario Sunshine (too hard), Super Mario 2

Judges: I might have ranked Mario World higher than you, but the overall list looks pretty decent. We’ll give it to you. 3 out of 4

5. Last night on Raw, Edge and Chris Benoit apparently tied in the battle royal. The first example of this I can remember is the Royal Rumble with Bret Hart and Lex Luger. In 40 words or less, talk a bit about you reacted when that first happened as a young WWF mark:

Daniels: It was the first time I’d ever seen that, so it was something crazy to me. Then I wanted Bret to kick Luger’s ass because he was a cheap Hulk Hogan Wannabe.

Judges: Bret was the man! 4 out of 5

Daniels has defied the odds and scored an incredible 4 out of 5 on this week’s Hot Seat. Were the questions easy? The judges in a generous mood? Whatever the case, Daniels is now the top Hot Seat Scorer in Inside Pulse history. Congrats.

Wrestlemania 21 Countdown



With WWE choosing not to start the build for any major interpromotional matches at Survivor Series this year, we are left to wonder what is going on with Wrestlemania. Since WM21 is still over 4 months away, there is still time for WWE to put something special together.

For the last couple months, the basis of my WM21 predictions have been this card:

Tentative Wrestlemania 21 card:

Raw World Title
Triple H (c) vs. Randy Orton

Shawn Michaels vs. Edge

The Undertaker vs. Kurt Angle

However, there are more recent developments that make me think that plans, at least on the Smackdown side, have changed.

There have been no indications that WWE is building Angle vs. Undertaker as the top match on Smackdown, and recent comments by Angle seem to indicate he might not be up for a full singles match in a headlining spot.

Much like the last Wrestlemania was about crowning Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit as the new champions of WWE, I think WWE is looking to make this year’s event the crowning of Orton and Cena as the stars of the next generation. With all three major Smackdown title contenders failing to beat JBL in every match recently, I think they will all be moved out of the title picture. In the meantime, it seems like the Big Show will have some matches with JBL, leading to Cena getting a match with JBL at mania, after JBL had nearly a year as champ to build his credibility.

I think WWE is looking to do a singles feud with Undertaker and Heidenreich on Smackdown in the meantime, with Eddie and Booker getting into it over the coming months.

Over on Raw, with the Elimination Chamber thrown into the mix, I don’t know where the world title picture is headed. I have a feeling they might have Batista come out as champ, and begin a 3-way push for the title with the three Evolution guys ‘ HHH, Orton and Batista. Then WM21 would be the final culmination of that storyline, with Orton coming out on top in his triumphant moment. I then made up some other logical matches for the top Raw guys, but I’m not sure if that’s where they are going with any of them.

So my card would become:

Raw World Title
Batista vs. Triple H vs. Randy Orton

Smackdown World Title
JBL vs. John Cena

Undertaker/Kane vs. Snitsky/Heidenreich

Eddie Guerrero vs. Booker T

Shawn Michaels vs. Edge

Think it’s more interesting than WWE’s current plan?

Closing Time



Every week I vow to start this thing earlier, and every week it’s afternoon on Tuesday and I’m scrambling to finish this up in my office. I should really try to get this thing finished over the weekend, or at least part of it. Anyway, stick around for the rest of the week at the pulse.

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