Greetings everyone. Welcome back to your weekly installment of the Internet Wrestling Community’s only happy place, A Look on the Bright Side.
So, is it just me, or has this been one of the best years of new television shows in recent history? Granted, I complained about the demise of the sitcom in my review of the My Name is Earl Season 1 DVD, but there’s still that show, The Office, and How I Met Your Mother (a truly underrated show), along with Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. And in terms of dramas, I can’t keep up, even with TiVO – I have all 6 episodes of The Wire waiting to be watched, along with 5 episodes of Numb3rs, 4 episodes of Heroes, and 2 episodes of The Nine. Hell, I haven’t even watched last week’s Lost yet!
Of course, it doesn’t help that I’m watching a minimum of 5 hours of wrestling every week (8 this week, with the Bound For Glory PPV, which I covered for the site), along with PTI, The Daily Show and Countdown with Keith Olbermann every day. Oh, and course every Eagles game. Plus various DVDS I’ve been reviewing for The DVD Lounge. Hell, I have 3 envelopes from NetFlix that have been sitting on top of my TV, untouched, for a month.
And it also doesn’t help that I basically don’t have a weekend. I’ve been spending every weekend for the past 2 months up at the site of where my new house is being built (which is, oh – 3-4 months behind now). That’s the only time I get to see my kids, since they and their mother moved up there when my older son started pre-school. It’s nice having a quiet house and all, but I feel like a divorced parent. (It sucks actually – thanks for asking).
Overall, I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed recently. I love this column, but it does take up a big chunk of my life. I don’t want to get rid of it, but I’m going to have to cut back somewhere, somehow. And to help with that, I’m taking a vacation next week (a real one – like, from my real job and everything). I’ll actually get to see my family for 7 straight days – by the end of which, I’m sure, I’ll be sick of them. HA! But seriously – no column next week. I hope you can all survive somehow.
Around the Pulse
Vinny does an excellent job covering the pros and cons of TNA.
Popcorn Junkies are covering the 25 Most BADASS Action Flicks Ever. Click here for Part One and Part Two.
The You Tube Video of the Week
Please listen to Keith Olbermann. This country is in trouble, folks.
The Happy Fifteen (or so)
And now, we get to the meat of the column. The idea is fairly simple: I point out (at least) 5 things from each major show that should be getting more attention, but aren’t. (And occasionally, I just point out some absurdity just to tweak the rest of the IWC.) There’s way too much negativity infused into columnists who write about pro wrestling: this is just my little attempt to balance it out a bit.
Love the concept? Hate it? Think I missed something important from last week? See something this week that you think should be here? Email me by Tuesday evening.
And be sure to take part in the Insidepulse Forum for A Look on the Bright Side thread too.
Friday Night Smackdown
1. I like how Cole describe MVP as “pulling out all the stops”, when the most complicated move he’s done so far is pulling Kane into the stairs. Eye gouge, punch, forearm, kick… yup, I think that about covers it. Compared to this guy, Kane is looking Chris freakin’ Benoit.
2. I’m always curious to see who gets chosen to end an opponent’s unbeaten streak, and for what reason. Obviously, Burke and Terkay are being built up for something big, which I’m totally cool with. Matt Hardy’s win over Mr. Kennedy really surprised me, but I thought he was getting ready for a US Title run — oh well, so much for that. And of course, there’s still the question of who is going to end Samoa Joe’s streak in TNA. I always assumed Jeff Jarrett would take that for himself – but with Angle around, that’s not so obvious anymore.
3. Okay, gotta ask – why is Gregory Helms staring at Hardy’s nose during this promo? Is he afraid that if he looks him in the eye, he’ll crack up laughing? I know these guys are good friends IRL, but seriously – you’re a professional. Why not try acting, dear boy?
4. Oooh – I like the Stiff-a-thon that is Regal & Taylor. And Cole actually made a good point – the styles clash between them and the Hooliganz will be “interesting” (read: potentially bad match between two talented teams).
5. Really, really excellent job by Chavo to “soak in” the “Eddie” chants: “That’s my Uncle! MY blood!” It really threw the crowd for a loop.
6. Usually I’m not a big fan of “I Quit” matches, because it always seems so obvious that the face has to win, because a true babyface would never quit, and a true heel should never hesitate. But there are a few situations where it’s been put to really incredible use – the most obvious being Brian Pillman’s “I quit, Bookerman!” against Kevin Sullivan, but also with the Mick Foley vs. The Rock a few years ago. But knowing that Rey is going to lose this match tonight, I’m very curious as to how they are actually going to manage a realistic situation where he quits. I swear, if they use Dominic somehow, I’m dropping this show from my column.
7. Hey, Rey did the Mr. Perfect “Act like somebody shot you when they kick your hamstring” spot! Nice!
8. That seated senton from Rey off the stage was a sign of two guys that really, REALLY trust each other. If either one of them was just a bit off, we’re talking serious injury – potentially on both guys. Chavo caught Rey perfectly, allowing himself to fall to the floor on his butt, and for Rey to land on his feet fairly lightly.
9. The setup was a bit contrived, but I definitely approve of the way they ended the “I Quit” match. Rey being helpless in that scaffolding allowed the crowd to know he had no choice, plus this gives him the ready excuse for the surgery he desperately needs.
10. Okay, I talked about Kennedy last week, so I feel compelled to mention this about Helms: now that is how you enter the ring when you’re going to take on The Undertaker. He’s selling the concept of this match like a true champ.
11. Wow. Undertaker vs. Helms so far looks like Me vs. My 4 Year Old.
Monday Night Raw
1. “America’s Most Hated” – y’know, it does take some serious amounts of self-confidence to be a “celebrity” (even D-list like Federline), and revel in the fact that there are lots of people who just hate you.
2. I wonder if King Booker has an entire list of random phrases he’s waiting to use while he’s still in this character: “rapscallion” is still my favorite, but “balderdash” is a close second. Anyone want to place bets on the next phrase he throws out? I think I’ll put my money on “scallwag”.
4. JR really needs to let go of this “Melina likes to have sex with multiple partners at the same time” thing. It’s 2006, Jim – this isn’t as shocking as it used to be.
5. Okay – the top that Melina was wearing really should be become part of the required outfit of all Divas from here on out, especially those with boob jobs. They stayed inside, and they were visible during the entire match – win-win for everyone. (Followup from forum goddess EllieMo: “Why stop there. Lets make it required wear while making dinner for your husband on Monday nights. :-)” I love the way this woman thinks.)
6. Shelton Benjamin doesn’t even get an entrance? To use a quote from earlier tonight: “Damn.” Excuse me while I cry in my Guinness and Bushmills a bit.
7. Shelton got the win? Shelton got the win!! I’ll ignore the post-match shenanigans, other than I like the fact that it establishes another 4-way match.
8. Words cannot express how disappointed I am that Booker didn’t do a Spinarooni before the kick on Cena. The crowd was definitely waiting for it.
9. Okay, so it’s pretty obvious Cryme Time is WWE’s version of LAX – but they’re faces, because they’re against the Spirit Squad. Sure, G.T. Gee isn’t near Homicide’s level yet, but I think Shad might be even better than Hernandez, given enough time.
10. Fuck all y’all – I love Dusty Rhodes. I cut my teeth on wrestling in the 80’s, and he was simply the man back then, despite everything he had going against him. But, in terms of pure charisma, only Hogan has come close.
11. Vince: “I’d like to have a private conversation with Eric.” Yes, just me, him, and several million viewers watching us thanks to this handy camera. COME ON – once you break down the fourth wall, you can’t build it up again. They don’t have that much virtual mortar sitting around.
ECW on Sci Fi
1. Matt Striker has some amatuer wrestling ability too? Well, shit – no wonder I *heart* the guy. He’s put more offense onto CM Punk than his last 5 opponents combined (granted, that’s only 3 distinct guys), and it hasn’t been due to any form of storyline nonsense. My respect for both competitors has gone up.
2. Wait – CM Punk took the time to paint his fingernails black? Was this at the same sleepover where Jeff Hardy got his hair braided? Oh hell. This may color my impression of him. Dammit.
3. Wow – they’re giving away Test vs. Hardcore Holly already? Considering some of the other slow-building fueds they’ve been working with, I’m somewhat surprised they’re going with this one after two weeks.
4. I’m in complete agreement with SpauldingsGhost over in the forums – that suplex by Holly to the floor was nasty-looking.
5. “I’m the Sandman, and I approved this message.” Okay, that was funny. Especially when he delivered to that Stepford-wife bimbo that he just showered in beer.
6. I will admit, I was a little worried when the ladder match started with less than 10 minutes left in the show. But kudos to The Big Show for the blade job (bigger than I expected), and to RVD for some pretty innovative spots (that “toss the ladder from the top turnbuckle then kick it” one was especially nice).
And that’s it for this week. See you on Wednesday, the 8th.