The Anti-Pulse

Oh mercy, mercy, mercy, mercy me…

Or something less dramatic but equally tuneful.

Hello, and welcome to the Anti-Pulse. The end is coming.

Sure, there will most likely be a beginning not too long afterwards but, still, ending, drastic, panic, riot, disturbance-in-the-force-like-Kenobi-walking-in-on-Wookie-sex, yikes, gazonks, et cetera. The long and short of it is that next week’s column will be the last one for a little while for a lot of reasons.

Firstly, there’s the shoulder thing. My right shoulder is looser than Orton’s or Stratus’ and has now been dislocated a whopping total of thirteen times – all in the space of just sixteen months. The first time it happened (March ’05) in the middle of the night, which caused a lot of needless over-reacting and general exploiting of the word ‘frantic’ but did ultimately introduce me to my good friend Major Morphine. Oh, the times we had together… not so much fun when you come back around and realise you’ve bitten your tongue into the shape of a roadkill slug and can only eat pain-free if the food doesn’t need to be swallowed. Between the shoulder, the tongue and the itchy legs (mm-hmm) it seemed that I was slowly but surely morphing into Faithful Igor. You might think that this sort of thing happening on a near-monthly basis would lead to surgery quickly and quietly. Not so. Since around half of the dislocations were happening while I was asleep and I used to have the (very) occasional seizure when I was a teenager, the doctors jumped to conclusions quicker than Matthew Michaels can grow facial hair and blamed everything on nocturnal seizures – even though I had never had them before, even though I was perfectly lucid and responsive when I woke up to find my arm hanging off, and even though the shoulder also dislocated when very much awake and doing activities as diverse as surfing and, um, yawning. (Bet you Orton couldn’t take a wetsuit off with one arm…) Eventually, after a prolonged investigation involving more X-rays, MRIs and EEGs than are strictly healthy for any individual, the consultant admitted defeat under the defence of inconclusiveness and finally put me on the surgical waiting list in March ’06.

This week it was finally booked for the 10th August, not with the NHS exactly but with BUPA by way of the NHS. It’s called a “waiting list reduction initiative” but it really just means the consultants get paid a shitload to go to a private hospital and operate there because it’s easier than trying to make any lasting beneficial changes to the Health Service. I’m trying to convince my mother, an intelligent and impressive nurse running a dementia unit, to get into politics and form a Health Party but it’ll take a lot more persuading yet. She should definitely do it though. She’d be the Chris Benoit that made Margaret Thatcher seem like Jeff Hardy.

Anyway, the operation shouldn’t be major and if it all goes according to plan then I’ll get home the day after. However, I’m told that my arm will be strapped up for six weeks afterwards and exposed to six sugary-sunny-smiley-super weeks of physio as well so, frankly, I just don’t have the patience to type big articles out one-handed for that length of time when I’ll probably be knackered anyway. We’ll see. I’ve done one-handed Anti-Pulses before, of course… and I’m doing one right now!! Yes, the day after I get the letter with surgical confirmation on it, the f*cking shoulder decides to go for one last hurrah and stumbles into its favoured anterior alt.position. Sheesh.

No morphine this time around though. Gave that and all painkillers up many resets ago when it became apparent this was happening far more times than it should have been, so compounding my health issues with highly addictive junk at the same time probably wasn’t the best idea. I’m not channelling the spirit of C.M. Punk or anything – dear lord no, have you seen the amount of beer I’ve purchased since working in Dalkeith? Obscenely obligatory… I even became a regular for the first time since getting barred from my old one years back for vomiting on a urinal and stealing the hand-dryer… vive la Meadow Bar!! I should try and return to the main sentence by now, right? Excuse me – just trying to stray on the right side of sensible. It’s not going too well today, since I’ve had two bottles of water and managed to drop them both – one on my mattress, one on my khakis.

The week after the surgery should be quite interesting as I have to move house and shall need to convince people to lift all the heavy objects on my behalf. I’m just glad the piano in the flat isn’t mine… So, I’ll be going from Newhaven (small coastal town in the big city, kinda posh, good walking distance from uni, decent Chinese take-away, not much nearby other than a shitty mall) to Portobello (small coastal town in the big city, kinda green, too far to walk to uni but plenty of public transport, decent Indian take-away, nothing specific nearby but lots of potentially worthwhile independent stores) and lord knows how long it might take to get the internet connection sorted out. More than that, I need to get the f*cking laptop sorted out so it’s at the rather useful stage of being able to boot-up.

And then, the weekend after that, I’ll be down in Reading to see your favourite former columnist, Ross Williams, and his most lovely wife Katie and stagger off to see MURKLEFURKIN PEARL JAM and wet my nethergarment regions like a thirtysomething “gal” with four kids, four maxed-out credit cards, four partners, four STDs and four red letter warnings from the council, giggling with girlish glee at a Take That reunion show.

And then, a few days after that, I’ll be making many exclusive appearances in Toronto over the following fortnight.

And then, shortly after returning, it’ll be time for a new semester at university. I’ll be back here eventually, I’m just not sure exactly when. Chances are good that the Top 50 will get here before the regularly scheduled column does…

All of this plus, on Monday, I should finally get rid of my ingrowing toenail. Bye-bye, badman. I’m most deeply curious to see how it will look to have me hobbling along with a bandaged toe and an arm in a sling. Roll on the wanking embargo.

Roll on Widro making a site that can load at any given point during the day.

Roll on getting some more Desert Island Matches. The only person brave enough to step up and offer a second selection after Will “Student” Cooling’s excellent choices last week was the unfortunately/intentionally named Steve Austin, who wrote:

“Heres mine – sadly, I cant remember all of the actual dates.

1 – Triple H v Shawn Micheals (Summerslam – HBKs Return)
First of all, it was the return of HBK, and second was that Triple H turned up his game 100%. It was pretty much the only reason I bought the PPV.

2 – Kurt Angle v Chris Benoit (Tag team champ V tag team champ)
I picked this one simply because its friggin Angle and Benoit!! You cant go wrong when these 2 turn it up.

3 – Kane v Undertaker ( WM20 – mark out factor alone!)
Like I noted, the mark out factor alone!! The return of the Deadman in zombie mode, and Kane.. well its Kane. Despite what anyone says Kane is the shit.

4 – Steve Austin v Bret Hart ( WM13 ?? )
The classic double turn match where Hart couldnt get Austin to tap, and the both just kicked the ever-loving crap out of each other. Who can forget the image of a bloody Austin right before he passed out.

5 – Jericho & Benoit v HHH & Austin (I just tore my quad yesterday!!)
Four of my favorite wrestlers, all in one ring. Plus Triple H taking that LionTamer on the announce table after tearing his quad was intense. A great free TV match.

6 – Kurt Angle v Rey Mysterio (Summerslam – HBKs Return)
I honestly didnt see this one. The cable company glitched out my PPV (thankfully it came back on in time for the HHH HBK match), but I read all about it afterwards. Sounds like it was a good match. Plus, its freakin’ Angle!!!

7 – E&C v The Hardy Boyz (Terri Invitational Tourney Finals)
When it comes to classic tag team matches, this one sticks in my mind the most. It was fast paced, exciting and downright brutal. I loved every minute of it. Id have no problem being a castaway with this match available for viewing.

8 – Triple H v John Cena (WM22)
I dont really know why I picked this one. Triple H lost, Cena retained, and it wasnt quite a five star classic. I think the reason I did like it was because it had that ??? factor. I honestly thought HHH would win, and thats what a wrestling main event should be. Completly up in the air where one really believes EITHER man could possibly win it. Plus the entrances (especially HHHs) rocked!”

Well,

1 – Possibly the most overrated match in WWE history, in my opinion anyway. Each time these two work together the rest of the world sees something I can’t.

2 – True. No idea when they fought one another as tag champs though. I’d have to go with Rumble ’03 as their greatest match together, with Mania 17 not far behind.

3 – I marked out for his lovely new hat.

4 – Maybe he can forget it, but Jim Neidhart is not like the rest of the world. He doesn’t inhabit this planet, he merely tolerates it. If and when his daughter makes it to WWE they should stick her under a mask and call her Huh. Oh, yeah, great match.

5 – If memory serves me correct this was the same week that Benoit & Jericho went to Smackdown to retain their titles in a four-team TLC match. If they tried to recreate that in the here and now it would be The Hooliganz vs. The Gymini vs. Scotty & Funaki vs. Finlay & Regal.

6 – Why pick a match you’ve never seen? It was good, better than the main event, but still can’t match the tag match from No Mercy ’02.

7 – Geez… remember when people thought the Hardys were the team most likely to succeed? Even Lita has better career prospects than them now.

8 – “??? factor” indeed, particularly for the entrances. Not really sure what you mean when you say that Triple H winning is what a wrestling main event should be, but I’m sure he’d appreciate it far more than he did tapping out to Cena’s deadly submission hold: The Horizontal Cuddle.

Send me your picks.

Now, let’s get on with picking apart Smackdown…


TOP 5 NEW TRANSFORMERS FOR THE MOVIE:

1. Spankathontron
2. Erinus Brockovichion
3. Dawn French
4. Poofy-Woofy Fagflame
5. Mullett The Arabbot


THE GREAT AMERICAN BASH 2006: AFTERMATH

Remember these?

Hell, remember these?

Good times…

WWE Tag Team Titles:

Well, at least the division is still in better shape than its Raw counterpart, which is now reduced to the Highlanders, the jobbing tandem of Cade & Murdoch and the soon-to-split Spirit Squad. Even with Kash joining the growing list of suspendees (with the dubious distinction of reasons attitudinal, not just chemical) things aren’t completely ruined yet. Of course, this is in comparison to recent times when we struggled to find more than two teams for our rankings, but still. I never understood how Kash managed to keep his career going for so long at such high levels anyway. The man is a dollar bill being carried by the credit card wallet that is Noble. At least Noble can keep the Pitbull gimmick as a singles act for the near future, the Bashams may well be dusted off again shortly, and there’s the welcome upside of London and Kendrick getting a proonged title reign. Also, with Jimmy Yang preparing to return to action and Kidman recently wrestling under a mask at dark matches, can a new Orient Express be far away?

United States Title:

Similarly, Lashley’s situation has the added benefit of Finlay getting to run with the belt again – and WWE caving in and beginning to turn him face. By all accounts his match with Regal was something of a disappointment, which was inevitable when held up to the standards of ten years ago but should be rectified in a rematch due to both men’s pride as much as one of them being able to work face. But who else is left for Finlay to face? The likes of Psicosis are useful for TV matches but not really for a longer program. Chavo would make for a fine foil but is otherwise occupied just now. Kennedy would make the most sense, but that depends on exactly how long he’s going to be distracting DAVE from the title. We should begin preparing ourselves for Bob Holly’s mid-card title push now.

Cruiserweight Title:

The ironic thing about Hardy’s medical condition is that he got an infection after he broke up with Lita. I’ll leave it up to you to determine what this may say about Ashley. I’m too busy using up all my designated Hardy apathy-points by looking forward to the umpteen silly posts and e-mails that will be written prior to his return, trying to convince the world that this time he will get the push. As though anybody on the inside really cares. Face it; his only options for progression now lie in regression – either by rehiring Brother Nero or starting a new version of Mattitude. Helms, on the other hand, is in no danger of losing his spot on the card, coveted though it may not be. We can at least look forward to some decent matches between him, Psicosis and Noble in the coming weeks. Quality > quantity, etc. By the way, do you realise Helms has had a different gimmick in each of his CW title reigns? Boyband member to wannabe superhero to grumpy bastard. They should launch an Ultimate Helms; a grumpy superhero in a boyband.

Non-Title Women’s Title:

Hell, I don’t care, I just find it amusing that Dean Malenko got in trouble backstage for having the women wrestle so much. YEAH! STUPID FUCKING MALENKO! AND HIS ‘WRESTLING’! FUCKING FAG!

Punjabi Prison:

And just imagine how bad it would have been if Khali was in there!

Fuck it, time to wash the taste out with something truly sweet…

I went to see Superman Returns again just so they could show that for me – and they did! Bonus. ‘Only’ ten months to go…

DAVE and the RAGE:

Where the hell did these scratches on my neck come from??

Anyway, here’s Kennedy in an early TNA match:

My opinion of him has failed to improve. The internet fans are so jaded and so desperate for anything new that they’ll jump on the bandwagon of any one-trick pony with something slightly distinctive – the ability to say his own name, the ability to eat an apple, the ability to hit an RKO, whatever – and demand far more, far sooner, far faster than their chosen saviour should receive… then bitch at them getting too much attention from those not in the know. Kennedy has the raw goods to be a decent performer in two-three years time, but even then I can’t truly see him as anything more than a Christian-level talent.

And then there’s DAVE, whose return brought the momentary ratings peak we knew it would (emphasis on ‘momentary’), yet surprisingly also seen his Animal credentials highlighted with the thorough pasting of Mark Henry and Kennedy bleeding like a haemophiliac giving birth. Now he’s off to ECW2 to get booed out of the Ballroom but also to continue his own personal path of RAGE. There’s nothing wrong with any of this but it doesn’t make it clearer whether he’ll be getting the title back at SummerSlam or not. As things stand it looks like the Batista/Kennedy feud will not be ending anytime soon, which could well mean a triple threat with King Booker for No Mercy – assuming Benoit isn’t back by then.

As I mentioned before, just keep those appendages crossed that we aren’t looking at Batista/Henry for WM23.

World Heavyweight Title:

What else needs to be said about King Booker?

Let’s just continue the highlight reel instead…

I still mark out for BookDust. I saw them at a house show in Glasgow in 2002 where they were meant to be heels against, um, Dreamer & Spike, I think. Booker got the biggest pops of the night and looked alternately grateful and irritated with great conviction. Bless him and his food stamps.

Heyyy! Hohhh! Heyyy! Hohhh!


TOP 5 VITAL WWE DVDS:

1. The Ultimate Ric Flair Collection
2. The Bret Hart Story
3. Chris Benoit: Hard Knocks
4. Cheating Death, Stealing Life
5. Tagged Classics: Final Four/Canadian Stampede


AND ADDITIONAL NON-VITAL ONES…

The final line-up of the 3DVD History of the WWE Championship set was confirmed this week. Aside from the shock of them including a whopping four matches from the ’70s, including two Sammartino efforts, there isn’t a great deal of interest here outside of the obvious and the expected. Including the Bret/Shawn Iron Man Match in its entirety rather than the Rock/HHH or Angle/Lesnar efforts seems rather peculiar, particularly with so many other noteworthy Bret title matches from the period that could have been chosen instead. And seven Hogan matches! Smell the orange! Good thing they weren’t planning on duplicating so many of them on a second stab at a Hogan DVD package… Oh, wait…

Anyway, here’s the line-up:

Disc 1

WWWF Championship Match
Ivan Koloff vs. Pedro Morales
Madison Square Garden – 2/8/71

WWWF Championship Match
Bruno Sammartino vs. Killer Kowalski
Madison Square Garden – 4/29/74

WWWF Championship Match
Bruno Sammartino vs. “Superstar” Billy Graham
Baltimore, Md — 4/30/77

WWWF Championship Match
“Superstar” Billy Graham vs. Bob Backlund
Madison Square Garden – 2/20/78

WWE Championship Match
Bob Backlund vs. Greg Valentine
Philadelphia, PA – 1/16/82

WWE Championship Match
Bob Backlund vs. Sgt. Slaughter
Madison Square Garden – 5/23/83

WWE Championship Match
Iron Sheik vs. Hulk Hogan
Madison Square Garden -1/23/84

Steel Cage Match For The WWE Championship
Hulk Hogan vs. King Kong Bundy
Wrestlemania 2 – 4/5/86

Steel Cage Match For The WWE Championship
Hulk Hogan vs. “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff
Saturday Night’s Main Event – 1/3/87

WWE Championship Match
Hulk Hogan vs. Andre The Giant
Wrestlemania III -3/29/87

WWE Championship Match
Hulk Hogan vs. Andre The Giant
The Main Event – 2/5/88

WWE Championship Match
Randy “Macho Man” Savage vs. Hulk Hogan
Wrestlemania V – 4/2/89

Disc 2

WWE Championship Match
Hulk Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior
Wrestlemania VI – 4/1/90

Steel Cage Match For The WWE Championship
Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart
Summerslam – 8/29/94

Iron Man Match For The WWE Championship
Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels
Wrestlemania Xii – 3/31/98

WWE Championship Match
Shawn Michaels vs. Mankind
In Your House: Mind Games – 9/22/96

WWE Championship Match
Shawn Michaels vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin
Wrestlemania XIV – 3/29/98

Disc 3

Street Fight For The WWE Championship
Triple H vs. Cactus Jack
Royal Rumble – 1/23/00

Triple Threat Match For The WWE Championship
The Rock vs. Triple H vs. Kurt Angle
Summerslam – 8/27/00

WWE Championship Match
The Rock vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin
Wrestlemania X-7 – 4/1/01

Undisputed WWE Championship Match
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Chris Jericho
Vengeance- 12/9/01

Triple Threat Match For The Undisputed WWE Championship
The Rock vs. Undertaker vs. Kurt Angle
Vengeance – 7/21/02

Undisputed WWE Championship Match
The Rock vs. Brock Lesnar
Summerslam – 8/25/02

WWE Championship Match
Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit
Royal Rumble – 1/19/03

Triple Threat Match For The WWE Championship
John Cena vs. Chris Jericho vs. Christian
Vengeance – 6/26/05

Yes, Christian on a History of the WWE Championship set. Edge has a ways to go yet, it seems.

As for the Hogan set, well:

Hogan vs. Andre 9/13/80
Hogan vs. Nick Bockwinkel 4/24/83 AWA title match
Hogan vs. Iron Sheik WWF title switch
Hogan vs. John Studd 9/22/84
Hogan vs. Roddy Piper 2/18/85 MTV
Hogan & Mr. T vs. Piper & Paul Orndorff Mania 1
Hogan vs. King Kong Bundy Mania 2
Hogan vs. Orndorff Toronto Exhibition Stadium
Hogan vs. Andre Wrestlemania III
Hogan vs. Randy Savage Wrestlemania 5
Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior Wrestlemania 6
Hogan vs. Sgt. Slaughter Wrestlemania 7
Hogan vs. Undertaker 12/3/91
Hogan vs. Ric Flair 7/17/94
NWO formation
Hogan vs. The Giant 8/10/96
Hogan vs. Sting 12/28/97 Starrcade match
Hogan vs. Curt Hennig 11/14/01
Hogan vs. Rock 3/17/02 Mania 18
Hogan vs. HHH 4/21/02 Backlash
Hogan & Edge vs. Billy & Chuck 7/4/02
Hogan vs. Vince McMahon Mania 19
Hogan Hall of Fame Induction
Hogan vs. Shawn Michaels 8/21/05

On the other hand, it seems Edge is mandatory for the Ultimate Hogan set – more so than the Hogan matches with Angle or Lesnar from the same year.

It seems a little backwards for them to make a new Hogan set and pass it off as definitive when he’s wrestling again at SummerSlam and will inevitably be in action once more at WrestleMania 23. Why not wait till then to release this, reissue the Hogan Still Rules DVD to hook a few extra saps from the Hogan Knows Best hype, and in the meantime get started on DVDs for the likes of Savage, Piper and Lawler, who should all have gotten them long ago?

The possibly drunk Will Cooling chimes in with:

“How crap is the match listing on the DVD? What a dissappointment.

And what do you make of Samoa Joe? Not a happy happy hippo :). And
btw, you should download Victory Road just to see Raven, I swear he
looks like Dusty Rhodes i.e. curly, greasy blond hair, scar tissue on
his forehead, massive gut and his eye shadow gives him Dusty’s big eye
bags. All he needs now is manboobs and stretch marks and his FlockDust
:).”

I could download lots of things if this old PC wasn’t torrentist. Perhaps considering Raven is on the outs with TNA management they could make the Dusty connection, dress him up in polka dots, give him a plunger and have an overweight black granny jiggle to the ring behind him. I’m sure Raven could hit the right notes on Madonna’s “Cherish”.


TOP 5 ALAN MMMMMMMMOORE STORIES:

1. V For Vendetta
2. Watchmen
3. Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?
4. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen vol. II
5. From Hell


SOMETHING OF AN AUTHORITY

Never mind wrestling, not when there’re comic books to be discussed. There’s actually some good news to be had there, though of course we of the Nexus persuasion try our hardest to knock it down whenever we can. It’s more or less our duty as snarky net bastards.

Still, things really haven’t looked this good in a long time. Sales figures are up, public interest has been substantially raised and there are several big-names getting involved now. It’s like the wrestling industry circa 1998, only without any creative control clauses. Superman Returns and Batman Begins did everything they should have done (and a little bit extra) in re-establishing the franchises. (If you’re still on the fence about the Superman movie then imagine how much worse it could have been) The Wonder Woman movie is being helmed by none other than Joss Whedon. Marvel, not to be outdone, has the aforementioned Spider-Man 3 and, among other things, Jon Favreau directing Iron Man, plus a second Hulk flick that dumbs it all down into smashy-smashy for the masses. All of this plus a series of animated DVD movies, from Marvel’s Ultimate Avengers and its upcoming sequel to the likes of Superman/Doomsday from DC.

As for the actual comic books, well, sure, there’s plenty to criticise DC for in the wake of their multiverse-shattering INFINITE CRISIS event but it doesn’t change the fact that they are currently releasing two all-time classics in Grant Morrison & Frank Quitely’s ALL-STAR SUPERMAN and Mark Waid & Barry Kitson’s LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES. And don’t forget 52, a groundbreaking weekly series that chronicles the events of a year in the DCU in real-time – from Clark Kent coping with life without powers to Lex Luthor selling metagene therapy to Black Adam uniting Russia, China and the Middle East against the USA and beyond. Get in quickly, because it won’t be collected for a long time yet…

Over at Marvel, things are slap-bang in the middle of CIVIL WAR. As you may well have heard, this so far involves Spider-Man revealing his secret identity to the public, Iron Man concocting one of the greatest heel turns since Hogan dropped the leg on Savage, and the return of this guy:


Zidane’s new career took him to exciting new places

All of which has made a lot of people rather giddy, though personally I’m opposed to the Superhero Registration Act premise and am happier to stick with underdog titles like the hilarious SHE-HULK, written by Stan Lee’s illicit offspring, Dan Slott, or the consistently arresting (and even, on one strange occasion, arousing) ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN by Brian Michael Bendis & Mark Bagley.

And that’s not even getting into the likes of Neil Gaiman, Stephen King and Orson Scott Card writing for Marvel now… or DC landing Paul Dini and Richard Donner for Detective Comics and Action Comics respectively…

Can’t forget the best-of-the-rest though, particularly Robert Kirkman’s work for Image – the teenage superhero saga INVINCIBLE and the schlockless horror book THE WALKING DEAD; both of which have been optioned. Or how about the stunning and unsettling detective title FELL by Warren Ellis & Ben Templesmith, the first issue of which can be read here? Or how ’bout ‘dem ‘Formers? Yes, IDW is now publishing a number of TRANSFORMERS mini-series and one-shots featuring both G1 and Beast Wars characters, with none other than the TF guru of gurus, Simon Furman, leading the way.

And look out for my exclusive interview with Furman next week!

With all of this and so much more, is it any wonder that comics are eating up all the geek points I hitherto reserved for wrestling? Pardon the rant, but it does me good to know that I can still actually mark out for something.

There’s some great work being done in the Comics Nexus just now too, so check it out. Matt Morrison‘s review of Clerks II was so accurate that even Kevin Smith took notice (seriously). Jamie Hatton went to the internet to find the Marvel dirt from the San Diego Comic-Con, while Michael Rosenbaum did the same for DC. Manolis Vamvounis, a.k.a. the guy that wants to f*ck me, has been doing some brilliant work with his LYS@D column lately. Down, boy. Nick Piers took a break from taking a break and has at long last returned to the review team. Jeff Ritter includes a photo of Sammy El Jackson; ’nuff said. I knew a scrawny white boy called Samuel J. Jackson once. The Ultimate Marvel Handbook continues to defy the expectations of its colour scheme by being a good read. People will start asking questions if I pimp Will Cooling yet again in this column, but his interview with Baz Renshaw is too good to miss. And, of course, we’d be lost without Paul Sebert and his Words of Questionable Wisdom, which has been on fire lately.

And then there’s me as well. Last week’s Anti-Nexus reviews are up and this week’s probably are by the time this thing gets posted… maybe a new three-part Roundtable too…

The Comics Nexus: Predating & Surviving Inside Pulse.

This was a very long way of getting around to an e-mail about Alan Moore from Michael Mahoney:

“I seem to remember us discussing this on the boards at IP a while ago. I’d never read the comics/graphic novels but was intrigued by the premise. Anyway, it took me this long, but I’ve just seen the film and thought it was f*cking fantastic. Just curious, as you appear to be something of an authority on the works of Alan Moore, why did he disown the movie? I know it was a bit of a blockbuster, but as blockbusters go, it was awesome. In all honesty, I thought it raised more interesting questions about terrorism than the likes of Syriana while simultaneously boasting some great performances and and that shiver-down-the-spine factor that makes big movies fun to watch.

So what does Moore’s original work have that The Wachowski’s f*cked with enough to upset him so?

And is Watchmen any good? I seem to recall you saying it was. I’m slightly concerned that Zack Snyder’s attached to the remake. Snyder’s a stylist, anbd his attachment to anything of substance means the destruction of all meaning in favour of MTV editing and a nu-metal soundtrack.”

Crikey, where to begin…

The most important thing to remember about Alan Moore is that he has lived in Alan Moore’s world for a very long time. I don’t know if you know anything about his personal life but he is a practising magician, apparently has some credentials as a real-life wizard of sorts and once claimed to worship a Roman snake-god called Glycon. Whether you can respect this or just think success finally burst his inflated head through his own arse, the fact is that he is not exactly compatible with the corporate world, be it Hollywood or DC.

He’s got a long history of confrontations. The feud with Todd MacFarlane over the Marvelman/Miracleman character could fill a book. DC pissed him off back in the ’80s when they released Watchmen merchandise without giving him royalties. He wasn’t satisfied with his Batman: Killing Joke graphic novel but they published it anyway. He proposed a major story called Twilight of the Super-Heroes that DC never got around to producing before he left them, yet a very similar story called Kingdom Come was later released and clearly incorporated major story elements from it. When DC reprinted V For Vendetta as a graphic novel (it was earlier serialised in a long-since-defunct British comic called Warrior) they intended to use it to introduce a new ratings system for their books, in part inspired by the darker tone of Moore’s work and others like Frank Miller and the Burton Batman movie, which he somehow took as a personal insult. He left the company after that.

He later started working for Image in the ’90s, which was part-owned by Jim Lee (if you don’t know who he is, he’s the most successful artist in the comic industry). He did a few various titles for them and eventually agreed to run his own imprint called ABC for Lee’s own company, Wildstorm. Ironically, Lee then sold Wildstorm to DC. This led to various arguments with Paul Levitz, who was more or less in charge of DC at the time. They’re too varied to get into here but they did escalate to the point where Levitz ordered an entire print run of a Moore comic destroyed. A few years later, Marvel tried to get him to do some new work for them. They had fallen out of favour with Moore years earlier for reprinting some stories he had written for the old Marvel UK’s Doctor Who comic without his permission, yet their new editor-in-chief, Joe Quesada, was nearly successful in hiring him this time around. The first step was a collection of Moore’s old Captain Britain comics, yet on the first printing his name was accidentally omitted and he walked – even though it was accidental, Quesada apologised and later printings rectified the error.

Of course, by this point there had been film adaptations of From Hell and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Moore disassociated himself from them, but a screenwriter called Larry Cohen claimed the League movie plagiarised a script he had writen called Cast of Characters and sued 20th Century Fox. Most of the elements were ones that had been added to the film by the studio and hadn’t been in the comics, yet Moore still had to testify and felt Fox didn’t clarify his innocence in the matter. After this, Moore wanted to remove his name from all future film adaptations of his stories and his portion of the royalties given to the artists instead.

That happened with Constantine and everybody seemed fine with it. Then came V For Vendetta, produced by the ever-excited Joel Silver, who said in an interview that Moore was happy about what the Wachowskis were doing. Moore demanded a retraction but none came. This appears to have been the final straw for him and he has now, finally, closed ABC and left Wildstorm and DC altogether. There’s a final League graphic novel coming out in October and then the future installments will be published by Top Shelf instead. Furthermore, he wants his name to be removed from all future printings of comics that he doesn’t own. Presumably he can’t have been pleased at the publication of DC Universe: The Stories of Alan Moore this year, then…

So, um, that’s the long-winded answer of why he didn’t like the V movie. I enjoyed it but, as good as it is, it really can’t come close to the graphic novel. Get that and get Watchmen, which most people see as his best work (not me, I prefer V). I’ve heard about Snyder being the latest name attached to the movie version but I’ve not seen anything he’s made and, really, they’ve been trying to adapt it on and off for nearly twenty years. I won’t believe they’re actually making it this time until they actually start shooting it.


TOP 5 BOTTLED BEERS:

1. Zywiec
2. Budvar
3. Brooklyn
4. San Miguel
5. Corona


ANTI-NEWS, OR HOW I LEARNED TO STOP CARING AND SPRAFF SOME MORE:

Now you’ll know what to buy me at the Birmingham expo on the 9th December. Other than fentanyl.

Anyway, let’s do some wrestling talk…

*****

If you were wondering why Edge and Lita had a private sex celebration rather than another live one recently then you can in fact blame Canada. After the sexcapade in January, complete with nipple slip, Phil King of TSN actually cancelled Raw. Vince McMahon somehow convinced him to give them a second chance but then rather foolishly went ahead with the “Triple H and Candice Michelle get oral sex whilst chatting” skit, knowing full well that King would be upset by it and that TSN were interested in getting the NFL for Monday nights. Well, never underestimate the power of a Triple H blowjob. TSN cancelled the show after that, despite good ratings, and went with the NFL for the obvious benefits to public image and advertisers. Raw will now air on the less prudent The Score network on a one-hour tape delay, starting at 10pm. Meanwhile, Smackdown is getting moved to Friday nights at 8pm on the same network. No more premature downloads, I guess. Ironically, this has left ECW with arguably the best TV presence in Canada. Although it’s shoved in a midnight Friday slot on Global, that network is available in over 12 million homes as opposed to The Score reaching just under 6 million homes. Even worse, none of those Score homes are in Quebec, which affects the usually lucrative WWE Montreal market. Raw and Smackdown will be covered by Global affiliates in the province, yet the former won’t start till midnight on Mondays on CKMI and the former not till half-past midnight on Saturdays on CJNT.

That’s yet another warning sign for the apocalypse that would be ECW Heavyweight Champion Test (duhhh…).

*****

Goldberg and TNA have been linked yet again, this time thanks to a ‘holding deal’ he signed with Spike TV. I have no idea what that means but if it involves a Kindergarten Cop TV show then I’m all for it. Sadly, Goldberg is now stuck replacing Seagal rather than Arnie, or even JCVD. He’s doing a sequel to Half Past Dead called Justified. 1998 must never have felt so long ago for our Billy. Somehow, I think Seagal is in a better position doing Orange Mobile ads and touring his blues band. Anyway, while announcing the mysterious Spike TV deal, Goldberg was gracious enough to not belittle TNA and hinted that he might show up at Hard Justice. Hopefully not, since TNA actually has a set direction for once and shouldn’t derail it for anybody short of The Rock coming in. Goldberg, like Sting, could draw an above average buyrate for one PPV. Even then it would only be 5,000 or so extra purchases and, unlike Sting, even though he’d want $500,000 too, he wouldn’t stick around for the whole year, work TV tapings, or have any contact with the younger stars. If they can negotiate a one-off fee for him to come and challenge Samoa Joe for the title later this year then, sure, go for it. Anything more than that would be a waste.

*****

Apparently Sen Shi/Senshe/Low-Ki/Kicky is pissed off. TNA wants all its top stars contracted to a weekly wage rather than a per-show payment, which means they handle all the indy bookings for contracted talent, take a commission, and pay the talent a lump sum bonus each quarter. Kicky is notoriously fussy about handling bookings himself and wants to avoid working for certain promoters, so he’s reluctant to sign the deal. This means that his return to TNA has been rather muted, even with his X Title reign, and the company probably won’t do anything major with him unless he falls in line. There’s fault on both sides here. The new TNA contracts were widely reported many moons ago, so Kicky must surely have known what awaited him. Similarly, why TNA rushed the belt onto him when he hadn’t yet agreed to the new deal is unfathomable. We’ll see how this plays out, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it ended with Nash squashing him for the belt.

*****

Apparently, at an NWA show in Virginia, the state Athletic Commission had to persuade the promoter, Rick O’Brien, to change the announcing. They didn’t want Sean Denny’s MMA gimmick to lead to the use of terms such as ‘rear naked choke’ or ‘guard position’, or to anybody tapping out on the show rather than submitting verbally or the ref dropping their arm three times. The reason for all this is that pro-wrestling shows have a $125 licensing fee, MMA shows have to pay $1500, and apparently they felt the public was too stupid to tell the difference. I wouldn’t expect something as well known as WWE to be affected by this when they come into town but, hey, we’ll see if Virginia gets any dumber by then…

*****

Nacho Libre has been seen by an estimated 8.3 million people in the USA, with a $79 million box office so far, which means more people have seen it than the combined totals of all 2006 WWE and TNA PPVs thus far. Bring back Macho Libre, says I.

*****

If it hasn’t been removed already, check out the video of RVD and Sabu getting busted:

73mph in a 55mph zone with a reputation as a speed trap… idiot.

Anyway, RVD should be back the week after next, with Angle back next week and Punk debuting on the same show. If only there was some way to concoct a feud between the broken-down Olympian held together by painkillers and the straight-edge youngster eager to compete with the best… nope, beyond me…

The weird thing about ECW2 is that even though it’s drawing ratings that are the equal of or even the better of Smackdown, the house shows aren’t drawing anywhere near the level of Smackdown’s. In fact, there’s talk about scrapping them altogether. I wouldn’t go that far but I certainly wouldn’t run as many of them. Seriously, why do a house show on a Monday night?!

*****

From the files of Where Are They Now:

– Mark Madden coaches Team USA at Street & Ball Hockey and recently led them to the gold medal at the World Junior Championships. I am reliably informed that this is more than Chris Hyatte has accomplished.

– Chris Kanyon (almost) attempted suicide again last month, having to be talked down from the roof oh his building by his brother and roommate. He claims to be doing much better now that he has moved to Atlanta, which has a wider gay community than his old Florida hometown, and has some new happy drugs to take. Yeah, nothing says ‘healthy lifestyle’ like popping pills and sleeping around…

– Orlando Jordan is working for the TNT wrestling promotion, which lists his finisher as ‘the bare back’. Bet you Viscera is nonplussed.

– Debra Marshall, a.k.a. the former Mrs Mongo, a.k.a. the former Mrs Stone Cold, will be in the Resident Evil: Extinction movie due out next year. I feel bad for paying to watch the first two movies in that series. Never underestimate my propensity for zombies. If the third one has the potential for zombie cookies then, hell, I’ll be camping out overnight for opening day.

*****

‘Kay, I’m done. 16 pages one-handed is more than I planned on doing. E-mail me or don’t or something, I’ll be around a while longer… Next week… at the end of all things…