A Look on the Bright Side

Greetings everyone. Welcome back to your weekly installment of the Internet Wrestling Community’s only happy place, A Look on the Bright Side.

Why does this column exist? Because the Internet Wrestling Community (IWC), as a whole, is way too negative. Recappers, and columnists, and even the news guys spend a dozen words praising the good parts of pro wrestling, and 2,000 words blasting the crap that they didn’t like that week. So, to balance it all out, I present: me. I’m the guy who’ll remind you why you care about this so much in the first place. (Yes, I’m the only writer in the IWC who has never received a “If you hate this so much, why do you keep watching/writing?” email.)

YouTube Video of the Week

I was forwarded this by reader Joe Sabia: a seven minute recap of the entire Sopranos series. Kick ass.

The Sopranos is, quite simply, the greatest show in the history of television. You owe it to yourself to watch the last few episodes, currently running on HBO (Sundays at 9pm), even if you’ve never seen it before. If you don’t have HBO – get it for the next two months. It’ll only cost you, like, $24. Just man up and do it.

Around the Pulse

Pulse Glazer grows balls of Colbert-esque proportions, and calls out the entire PulseWrestling staff. You go, girl! Seriously, I’ve already emailed Aaron and volunteered to help out where I can, reviewing DVDs and house shows in the Philly area (now that my house is finally done). And seriously – if you’re looking for a good live wrestling show, it’s tough to beat the $10/seat policy from RoH. If you’re in the Philly area, and interested in any of the shows (like the Edison show this Saturday), email me.

Eric recaps the Masters. Zack Johnson seems like a nice enough guy, and I’m happy for his win. But I’ve come to expect a certain kind of golf during the Masters, due to the layout – and this weekend wasn’t it. (And really, Eric – a predicted winning score of 11 under par? Had you paid no attention whatsoever to the weather prediction in Augusta that week? Basically, (no rain) + (high wind) + (cold temps) = (even par wins).)

Andy gives some excellent reasons why TNA should not add a second hour to Impact. And I agree with pretty much every single one of them.

Vinnie does an excellent piece on the new ECW.

Scott really liked Grindhouse. Ping is significantly less kind to The Reaping.

Daniels covers the opening of the baseball season. However, I am so depressed about the play of the Phillies that I can barely bring myself to read the ramblings of a foul, stinkin’ Mets fan.

Danny and some friends review the week that was in the sports world.

The Week That Was

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? ink 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.

Smackdown

1. And right off the bat – Kennedy is carrying the briefcase to the ring. Excellent.

2. Can someone please slip the standard note to Jeff Hardy that states “Thou shalt only sell a torso injury by wearing tapes around your ribs”? Cuz he’s really throwing me off here, man….

3. Okay, seriously – that’s the first time I remember a referee ever telling anyone: “Hey, I can’t count – his shoulder is not down.” Kennedy reacted perfectly, which makes me think it might have been pre-arranged. But even if so – well done, sir(s).

4. Oh boy. I hope we can all agree that Jeff Hardy is off the drugs. If you had a doubt, check out the exposed belly during that submission move. Ouch.

5. “You ever put your hands on Hornswaggle again, you’ll be watching Wrestlemania from a wheelchair.”

6. Okay – WTF is up with this Teddy/Kristal thing? I appreciate the fact that guys get dumb for hot chicks that show their boobs and all – but… eh?

7. JBL on Benoit’s chops: “That’s like getting hit from the inside”. And The Miz is showing some nice pain tolerance – his upper left chest is BRIGHT red.

8. Okay, obviously there is a bet backstage, concerning: “Which crappy wrestler can Benoit make look the best?” MVP is winning so far, because of the fact that they mixed it up on WM, but The Miz is not that far behind.

9. The end to the tag team championship match was the most impressive finisher I’ve been in a WWE ring this year. (Granted, damning with faint praise and all that.)

10. Kinda enjoyed the Hall of Fame stuff. And Cole’s line about “absolute Hall of Famer” got me thinking: who on the active roster is a sure-fire Hall of Famer, and who will probably get in? Off the top of my head, I can think of:

The Undertaker
HBK
Triple HHH
Stone Cold
Ric Flair (only because I’m shocked he hasn’t been inducted already)

I don’t necessarily think anyone else on the current roster is a “lock”. If you disagree, email me.

Monday Night Raw

1. Shane-O-Mac in da hizzie. I’m already feeling good about tonight’s show. (And no, not just because of the scotch.) (Which was also not responsible for my painfully white ass using the phrase “in da hizzie”. Fo shizzle.)

2. Wow. Lashley looks like a freak, even in a suit. (Oh, and for the record, I am not a fan of the “golf shirt with a suit jacket” look. If you’re wearinig a suit jacket, wear a dress shirt. And a tie, for crying out loud.)

3. Wait – am I to understand that Stephanie nixed the idea of Shane introducing Aretha Franklin at WM XXIII in some sort of power play, but approved him slapping Estrada in the face, and then staring down Umaga (thus establishing himself immediately as a badass)? Anyone else thinks that those two concepts just don’t make any sense together?

4. This was the strangest exchange I think I’ve ever heard on Raw.

JR: “Candice didn’t stay on her back long.”
(Me, thinking: “Oh c’mon, King – he just set that up for you.”)
King: “Speaking of backs…”
(Me, thinking: “There ya go.”)
King: “Would you shave your back for Candice Michelle?”
JR: “I beg your pardon?”
(Me, thinking: “WTF??”)

5. You know, a year ago Micki James was grabbing Trish Stratus’ crotch and licking her fingers clean. I still enjoy her character – but can we get that Micki back again, please? Soon?

6. I’m pretty sure I could see that Make a Wish kid enter puberty during his hug from Maria.

7. I currently own only 3 wrestling DVDs: The Monday Night Wars, The Rise and Fall of ECW, and The Best of Samoa Joe. (Along with the first One Night Stand, which I burned from TiVo – so I get the actual Sandman entrance.) That will be growing to four now that the Horsemen DVD is out.

8. Okay, so I started to get somewhat bothered Shane’s grey hair for some reason, so I decided to look up his birthday. Holy crap – he is exactly 3 days younger than me. Man, someday I have to thank my parents for the genetics I was gifted with: my hair looks exactly the same as it did when I was 18. (Of course, that may be the reason I still occasionally get carded.) And wait – he was born in Gaithersburg, MD? Okay, that’s just freaky – both of my sons were born there. Reading further… he went to Boston University? My wife went there. Okay, I’m scared – I’m not reading anymore.

9. The Forum regulars on The Rabble thread pointed this out, though I noticed it myself: HBK came out to “Sexy Boy” instead of the D-X theme, no D-X shirt, etc. But then, he made the D-X sign standing on the corner turnbuckles. Eh?

10. By the way, JR was wrong – the largest muscle in the body is not the thigh muscle. It’s the gluteus maximus. (Yes – your ass.)

11. Okay, I don’t care who you are – and I dislike Cena as much as anyone in the IWC – but there’s no way to ignore the fact that the pop when Cena’s music played was bigger than anything else that night. He’s still got it – whatever “it” is.

12. Y’know, if they had just given Cena the opportunity to “freestyle” on his three challengers, I would have been back on his side. But the formula they used is just played out.

13. OMG. When Mick Foley announced “our honorary General Manager of Raw”, I actually heard some people booing. Holy crap – the smarks can actually boo a kid from the Make a Wish Foundation? What the FUCK is wrong with them?

14. The final match was… well, bland and utterly predictable. But I did get a chuckle from JR’s comment about Umaga’s “ample backside.” Just a strange night all around for commentary.

ECW on Sci Fi

1. “Rob Van Dam.” “How ya doin’, CM Punk?” Okay, anybody else used to read the “Rey Mysterio Jr. and Dean Malenko” soap opera stories back on… what was it, Scoops? This totally reminded me of that.

2. Burke: “That’s what I’m talking about.” RVD: “Uh-huh. Yup.” Wow – way to end the promo on a high note, guys.

3. The absolute funniest part of Snitsky’s thing with the Expose chicks was the fact that Kelly never even reacted. She might be the dumbest bimbo to ever appear on a wrestling show – and yes, that is saying a lot.

4. Now, Eric Szulczewski is as responsible as anyone for my current gig here on IP (I was one of his regular emailers back in the old days when he only had one column a week – quaint, eh?). So, big props to him and all. But, one of the things that’s always annoyed me is when he uses the phrase “Angle Advancement” to immediately denigrate any given match on TV. Well, gosh – isn’t that kind of the point of the TV shows? Shouldn’t using your in-ring product to actually advance a storyline be a desirable goal, instead of depending solely on backstage interviews, promos and skits? Aren’t those the points of “sportz entertainment” that get slammed all the time by the IWC, usually with some gratuitous “crash TV” or “Russo” reference thrown in? I really believe that the TV shows are the means to build anticipation towards the big PPVs. (I also think there should only be about 4-8 PPVs per year – but I know that’s just crazy talk.) So, having an occasional match on TV whose sole purpose is to advance a storyline, rather than give us a winner and a loser (rather meaningless concepts in a scripted contest anyway) is not a bad thing – it’s a necessity.

5. The reason I point this out is the Punk/Richards match. Once Striker and Sandman made their way down to ringside, it was obvious this was going to be an Angle Advancement Match. And I’m totally cool with that – Punk desperately needs to keep developing his character, Striker and Sandman need to keep pushing the Originals/New Breed feud, and Richards needs to earn his paycheck. So, good all around.

6. Oh, by the way – anyone that blows off the ECW Extreme Expose as something that would have been “laughed out of the Bingo Hall” has obviously not seen Kimona’s strip tease on the “Rise and Fall of ECW” DVD. Trust me – T&A were absolutely a part of the original ECW. If they had 3 girls that knew how to dance (instead of only one and a half), and if they didn’t insist on doing this every single friggin’ week, it could get over. (And, of course, if they just had these chicks kiss each other every so often – it’d be the most watched segment of wrestling each week. C’mon – college girls are kissing each other every 15 seconds on YouTube (or so it seems) – so why the hesitation? You’re trying to tell me Layla wouldn’t swap spit with another chick for 30 seconds onscreen? Puh-leeze.

7. And hey, here’s another thing Eric does that bugs me (man, but I’m an ungrateful f*ck tonight): the whole “you can’t use these names” thing. Case in point: Marcus Cor Von, who he insists on calling Monty Brown, and accuses other writers of being “marks” if they do otherwise. So, going by that logic – Eric should never be able to use the phrase “Trips” again. Depending on how far back you wish to go, that wrestler should only be referred to as “Hunter”, “Terra”, or “Paul”.

8. Okay, anytime a wrestler is able to “block” a standard move from his opponent, I applaud the concept of common sense. I mean, if Stone Cold kicks you in the stomach – just fall to the ground. So when Marcus was able to block RVD’s usual “kick in the corner” thing, I appreciated it. (His “point to the temple” move was unneccesary, but forgiveable).

9. Taz: “Actually, I think they use DVDs now, the kids…” BWAHAHA.

10. I hope they are going with the “straight edge” portion of CM Punk’s character to explain his allegiance to the New Breed. After all – Sandman’s a drunk, RVD and Sabu got busted with pot, etc. If they go any other direction – I’m terribly disappointed.

See ya next week, folks.

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