Let’s try something a little different, and expand a little bit beyond wrestling matches!
2019 was a big year for numerous mediums of entertainment, and we all do more than just watch wrestling…right? Okay some of us?
Since we all have other interests, I figured I’d apply my opinion to some other non-wrestling forms of entertainment.
Let’s get this started.
Top 10 Movies of 2019:
- Jojo Rabbit – Known mostly as “That comedy with the bafoonish Hitler”, this transcended a major hurdle to come to light as a masterwork in cinematography. Acknowledging Germany as more than a bleak land of hatred, the vibrant colors, use of humor to balance the dramatic or emotional moments gives this movie numerous layers to get the viewer invested. Utilizing child’s perspective on WWII and prejudice, to get across the damage of blind hatred, allows the message of this movie to move well beyond that of Nazis and Jews.
- Parasite – A metaphorical title, but a brilliant movie on class differences out of South Korea. The comedic aspects helps to move a rather dark path the movie follows, with the twist remaining firmly rooted in repercussions and tragic positivity. Every scene plays out intelligently while being aesthetically enjoyable. Unless you have issues with subtitles, this movie is a must watch.
- Joker – The most not comic book comic book movie in the history of comic book movies. It’s a gritty psychoanalytical apotheosis of the Joker’s creation. Yes it was very similar to Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy, but trying to slight a movie for following a mold misses the bigger point. Psychosis is an entertaining roller coaster ride. At points you find yourself sympathizing with a psychopath, and that’s something special right there.
- Ford v Ferrari – A title where you may think you need to be a gear head to enjoy, but this is much more than that. A story of determination, friendship and stubbornnes coming together to achieve greatness. The last 15 minutes felt a little rushed/out of place, but that’s nit picking. Christian Bale’s British accent alone, is enough reason to sit and watch this.
- Knives Out – An old fashion who dunnit, with great acting, fun twists and character work that makes it easy to allow the movie to take you on the ride without trying to jump ahead. Beautiful looking film, clever dialogue and helps to rinse out any lingering bad tastes in mouths regarding Rian Johnson’s directing.
- Shazam! – DC’s first foray at a movie with heart and layers, in the cinematic scope. Takes a hero that isn’t the most household name, and takes you on a trip where you care about Billy and understand his growth. Capping things off with the Shazamily of heroes should lend to easy and fun sequels.
- Avengers: Endgame – The culmination of 10 years of Marvel. Nice way to tie up all the storylines even through plot conveniences and the comic crutch of time travel. Seeing how the established Avengers go their own ways, while continuing to establish the new wave is a nice transition with a seemingly fulfilling ending.
- Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood – A convincing trip back to the 60s that showed great character work and acting from Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio. Margot Robbie felt like nothing more than window dressing, but she’s always an enjoyable addition. Fun and clever for the most part, even through the loose story threads.
- Marriage Story – A look at a marriage, almost in reverse. Great acting, great emotional weight in the performances and extremely humanizing. Easy to correlate personal feelings to connect to the characters and the situations. Ending wraps up a little abruptly for my taste, but still fairly well told.
- Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker – Coming off of a generally panned Episode 8 and the lackluster mess of Solo, this movie intended to please. Though not everyone agrees, the movie hit enough notes for the general audience to appreciate the effort. Answering enough questions, while being fun and feeling firmly rooted in the Star Wars universe, this tied up the Skywalker Saga well enough so we can now explore new avenues.
Top 5 TV Series of 2019:
- The Orville (S. 2) – What many expected to be fart jokes and Star Trek parody, turned into a deep cast of characters and a story that pays homage to sci fi classics, while remaining solidly in it’s own world. Seth MacFarlane has detractors and assumed characteristics, but this series shows that he has real range and depth while knowing how to pepper in appropriate amounts of situational humor.
- The Passage – Though the series didn’t get renewed, it was a very clever take on a vampire/post apocalyptic outbreak that was all caused by government meddling story. Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Saniyya Sidney worked wonderfully together and were a convincing adult/child actor dynamic without feeling forced. Smart and cryptic, watching the dominoes slowly fall into place would’ve lead to a great second season.
- Barry (S. 2) – Call it dark humor, call it that off color brand of independent humor, this is an enjoyable show. The tonal shifts between characters and watching as Barry tries to adjust to situations makes this great. Plus the cast definitely helps move the story along and get the viewer invested in the next episode.
- Euphoria – Still not quite sure how to classify this show, but it was definitely an intriguing look into drugs, secrets, addiction and having it all compounded with high school drama. Zendaya being in a different role than we’re used to is great for her. Personally I also appreciated the way it portrayed LGBTQ situations in a way that didn’t make the characters stick out more than others. Normalizing their struggles isn’t quite the right way to say it, but the fact that it was more an aspect of the characters that drove their decision making, and not the only thing that makes them look like a fill out the box, caricature of the people they represent, was refreshing to watch.
- The Detour (S. 4) – A series focusing on a dysfunctional at best family of shit-shows, has been a smart glance at a smattering of current topics filtered through off kilter dark IFC comedy stylings. If you enjoy the humor, you will probably find this to be a good way to spend some time. Highlight episode of Season 4 was the Japanese Game Show, brilliant stuff.
Top 5 Wrestlers of 2019:
- Kazuchika Okada – The most consistent wrestler of the last 7 years. Though it wasn’t a blow away year for him, he makes it all seem easy. After coming off of a nearly 2 year title reign, he still made history by being the first man to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship outside of Japan.
- Becky Lynch – She took the momentum she began towards the end of 2018, and held it pretty consistently. Even when saddled with IWC hate, when Seth Rollins was attached to her hip, she still persevered. Being the winner of the first match that women main evented at WrestleMania, as well as main eventing TLC, Becky has been the figurehead of the WWE Women’s Division. Where many others experienced lulls, Becky stayed hot and on top basically all year.
- Kento Miyahara – The Ace of All Japan, who is putting the company almost completely on his back to help it return to relevance. Though All Japan’s overall attendance numbers dipped a little, it feels like his name was brought up more on the internet. His matches are always at top quality and he oozes charisma that breaks language barriers. As long as he stays healthy, the future is bright with Kento.
- Will Ospreay – So now we get to most of the IWC’s ringwork favorite. Ospreay has gotten better since he decided to bulk up and take a few less stupid risks. As negative as I was on him a few years ago, I can admit his match quality was great and it felt like he was everywhere this year. Since I personally weigh other things aside from purely ringwork (plus I’m not as big of a fan of some of his stuff as others), he wasn’t passing the other 3 on this list, but Ospreay is one of the best of 2019. No doubt about that.
- Adam Cole – Somewhere Greg DeMarco is screaming since I only put Cole at 5. Being the top guy of NXT and the leader of one of the best factions all year, he was definitely important to the narrative of 2019 wrestling. To me personally NXT wasn’t exactly great during his feud with Gargano, but I would have to be blind to ignore the last few months during the Survivor Series build. He’s also been integral in the success that NXT has had on USA. So yes, I’m not his number 1 fan (that’s Greg), but I am aware of everything he did to be in the conversation for Top wrestler.
Okay and I suppose since everyone has a Top Match list, I might as well since I decided to do all this other stuff.
We’re a wrestling website right? Okay, so here’s my Top 30 favorite matches. Might not be the highest rated ones, but these are ones I enjoyed the most and stuck with me through the year.
Top 30 Matches of 2019:
- Dustin Rhodes vs Cody Rhodes – AEW Double or Nothing
- Kento Miyahara vs Jake Lee – AJPW Raising an Army
- Momo Watanabe vs Jungle Kyona – Stardom 3.3 Nagoya
- Shingo Takagi vs Will Ospreay – NJPW BOSJ 26 Finals
- Naoya Nomura & Jake Lee vs Kento Miyahara & Yuma Aoyagi – AJPW Real World Tag League
- David Starr vs Jordan Devlin – OTT 5th Anniversary
- Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Kenny Omega – Wrestle Kingdom 13
- Kofi Kingston vs Daniel Bryan – WrestleMania 35
- Arisa Nakajima vs Nanae Takahashi – SEAdLINNNG Dynamic Show Case
- The Revival vs Undisputed Era – NXT TV 11/20
- Strong BJ vs Violence Giant – AJPW Dream Power Series
- WALTER vs Tyler Bate – NXT UK: Cardiff
- Takashi Sugiura vs Kaito Kiyomiya – NOAH Misawa Memorial 6.9.2019
- YAMATO & KAI vs Eita & Big R Shimizu vs Kaito Ishidia & Naruki Doi – Dragon Gate Kobe World
- Halftime Heat – WWE NXT
- Minoru Suzuki vs Josh Barnett – GCW Bloodsport
- Kota Ibushi vs Zack Sabre Jr – NJPW Sengoku Lord
- KENTA vs Kazuchika Okada – NJPW G1 Climax 29
- The Young Bucks vs Lucha Bros – AEW Double or Nothing
- Kazuchka Okada vs Minoru Suzuki – NJPW Royal Quest
- Momo Watanabe vs Mayu Iwatani – Stardom 5 Star GP
- RATEL’S (Harada & Tadasuke) vs Stinger (Suzuki & Kotoge) – NOAH Starting Over Day 5
- Rina Yamashita vs Tsukushi – Ice Ribbon New Ice Ribbon 986
- Kaito Kiyomiya vs Naomichi Marufuji – NOAH Great Voyage Yokohama
- Blue Demon Jr vs Dr Wagner Jr – AAA Triplemania 27
- Will Ospreay vs Jay White – NJPW 47th Anniversary
- Gail Kim vs Tessa Blanchard – Impact Wrestling Slammiversary
- Men’s Elimination Chamber – WWW Elimination Chamber
- Kzy vs PAC – Dragon Gate Open the Truth Gate
- R-Truth vs Samoa Joe vs Rey Mysterio vs Andrade – WWE Fastlane
King: Plotting The Return Of Randy Orton To WWE
Chris King is back with his look at the best scenario to bring Randy Orton back to WWE, and the perfect opponent for his first big match back.
Chris King is back with his look at the best scenario to bring Randy Orton back to WWE, and the perfect opponent for his first big match back.
I wanted to bring everyone’s attention to a superstar that’s being overshadowed right now, ‘The Viper’ Randy Orton. After RKBRO lost the Raw Tag Team Championships to The Uso’s, Orton vanished from the company. There was speculation about his serious back injury and, it wasn’t until The Viper’s wife herself posted a candid picture of Orton after successful surgery.
While the focus in WWE right now is either on The Bloodline, Bray Wyatt and Uncle Howdy, or the returning Cody Rhodes, I felt this was a good time to start plotting The Viper’s return to WWE.
Randy Orton’s Return to WWE
On the Raw-After-Mania ‘The American Nightmare’ opens the show after a tough battle over Roman Reigns to win the WWE Championship. Rhodes with tears in his eyes is giving an emotional promo about his family’s legacy, and how much this title means to him. The WWE Universe is chanting “You Deserve It,” and out comes Finn Balor flanked by The Judgement Day.
‘The Prince’ starts by congratulating the new champion for dethroning ‘The Tribal Chief’ but, now he wants his title shot. Rhodes being the resilient hero accepts Balor’s challenge for the main event. The American Nightmare and The Prince are putting on a clinic of a match, delivering multiple finishers but unable to put the other away. Judgement Day starts to interfere when Orton’s music blares throughout the arena. Orton takes out the heels and helps his former protege. Rhodes capitalizes and hits Crossroads for the 1.2.3.
The former Legacy members are celebrating and embracing with a hug as Rhodes goes to raise his newly-won title. In the blink of an eye, The Viper strikes and takes out Rhodes with an RKO Outta Nowhere! The champion is knocked out as Orton hoists the title above his head while trash-talking his now rival. Orton violently throws Rhodes out of the ring and delivers a nasty-looking draping DDT onto the floor.
The Build–And Culmination–of Randy Orton vs. Cody Rhodes
Orton stares giving 2009 vibes as Rhodes’ head raises, so The Viper runs and delivers a punt kick. WWE officials come out and break things up and the champion is stretchered out of the arena. The show closes with Orton grinning over the destruction he has caused to his former protege. Over the next few months, Orton and Rhodes enter into an extremely personal rivalry over the coveted prize. We finally make it to SummerSlam where both men agree to raise the stakes and do war inside HELL IN A CELL!!!!
This is how I would book The Viper’s return to WWE. If you feel like this should be written differently, I’d love to hear your thoughts!
AJ’s Phenomenal Opinion: Bray Wyatt
So everyone loves Bray’s return right? Right? Well the McDonald’s Sprite spicy opinions of AJ…may feel differently.
Well, just because my work schedule changed, doesn’t mean I’m not going to drop some opinions of mine, of which, I haven’t done too bad with. I got Three out of Five for my returns right a few months back and this is going to be about the last entry on that previous list. I knew for a fact that Bray Wyatt would return to the WWE in some way shape or form and time for some… controversy.
As my favorite ratings winner of 83 Weeks once said, Controversy Creates Cash and boy HOWDY… Do I have something to get off my chest here so sit back, order some Chairshot Merch and lets get on with Adam’s… Rants for a bit.
Bray coming in and making a return to the WWE was an inevitability. Death, Taxes and I guess WWE Returns are always guaranteed anymore and maybe we could get some new creativity with a supernatural gimmick. Bray has always had that supernatural to him ever since he had the Wyatt Family in Erik Rowan, the late Luke Harper and in the end, Braun Strowman. The Wyatt’s had a control like no other and were beloved for a moment in the WWE.
Bray did a lot to make sure things were in motion but for some reason any massive feud he had, he failed. Following a bunch of injuries to the rest of his family and even releases later on, he seemed to at least get some traction going for him. WWE Champion, somehow got Randy Orton with him, Universal Championships and got those big match wins that eluded him in the Wyatt Family beginnings. Let me also say this as well, I actually liked the Firefly Funhouse Match with Cena as a “This is Your Life” match of sorts. I was tickled and entertained… Then much like Bray in character, something changed.
Dark and Terrible Lurk with Fiends
We had a lot to figure out during the Pandemic. Like A WHOLE HELL OF A LOT. Through it all though, WWE figured it out but the person that helped these types of ideas, soured them drastically. Lets go back to the WWE Championship run in 2017. Randy Orton won the Royal Rumble that year and he wouldn’t betray Bray, right? Well he does and Mania for the two is set, Orton against Wyatt for the WWE Championship and it was… terrible. Random images of maggots and decay (Not the IMPACT Stable) popping up into the ring as the match goes on and Randy still wins. Through head game attempts, Bray comes up short in the big match moment. That’s odd but maybe it will be a bigger pictu– and Jinder Mahal wins the Championship. Okay.
Wyatt returns as this Mister Rogers character and has a darkness inside of him with The Fiend. Now we had this amazing theory or maybe that’s what happened but the story was, anyone The Fiend fought, they revert back to their best selves. The Miz returned to be the A Lister, the guy who grabs a microphone that you love to hate. Finn Balor doesn’t have the Demon Gimmick anymore because after his loss, he’s the Prince again. The cocky guy that walks around because he is the best, he gives no care in the world. Seth Rollins, who he took the WWE Universal Championship from, went from a dorky sweetheart back to the asshole taking every opportunity that he could get because he’s that much of a weasel and when he lost… He lost to Goldberg. The one guy that has been the same since 1997. Drums, Pyro Bath, Spear, Jackhammer, “Who’s Next?” and during that time, he sucked at points. One of those Rollins matches was in a Hell In A Cell match, the red cage with the red lighting. Match ending with a Stoppage from the referee… INSIDE OF A HELL IN A CELL (I think Sean Waltman said it best… Why did the match stop? It’s supposed to be Hell?) and it’s one of the rare times that I agreed with wrestling’s favorite Uncle… That was Negative Stars for a match.
After Goldberg, he didn’t have a commanding presence. He recruited Alexa Bliss who was already over whether she was a Heel or Face and made everything so unbelievably… boring. Alexa had to carry that idiotic demon gimmick and doll, not having anything really supernatural. Just some wrestling and Brock Lesnar cleaning up everything faster than a Chop Shop in main events and segments. He tried to return and make his grand return, beating the Universal Champion Braun Strowman at Summerslam just to falter a literal week later to Roman Reigns, who proceeded to never look back from that win. Bray gets fired after and no more supernatural ideas. Undertaker isn’t around really and retires, Kane is a mayor. Paul Bearer is no longer with us and everything is just… normal.
Wyatt’s Six (Reasons I Tune Out)
In 2022, Vince retires seemingly from everything and Triple H is at the helm, could he bring balance to everything? He makes a bunch of returns that people love seeing. Johnny Gargano, Dakota Kai, Tegan Nox, Bronson Reed, Dexter Lumus just to name a few and of course, the big one that everyone wanted. Bray Wyatt.
Bray makes this heartfelt return and everything seems great. We get him as him, he makes this weird build to a Wyatt 6, assuming we think it’s the Firefly Funhouse and he’s just talking, building. Alright well who is going to be these six figures because they are more than just puppets this time around. A masked man named Uncle Howdy that people think is Vincent Marseglia or maybe a bearded Bo Dallas who is Bray’s real life brother and he……… pops in and out to confuse people. Okay… (1)
Alexa might return to the 6 because of all the segments and gets darker and a heel. Alright that is perfectly fine but, WHY IS VINCENT DALLAS HERE AGAIN TO JUST INTERFERE WITH RANDOM THINGS? Okay… fine. (2) Alexa has a Women’s Championship match against Bianca Belair, that will make sense of thi– it’s a clean finish… Why is it clean? No Howdy, No Wyatt just a random VHS tape like I’m watching The Ring about her being dark after the match. Okay…… (3)
Oh Wyatt finally gets a feud for his return. I almost forgot about that! Who will be this first victim? LA Knight.
Maybe this will be good. They are both great on the microphone, maybe Bray has new moves that he can do and I know all too well how good LA Knight is, I have been an Eli Drake/Shaun Ricker fan for years. This could be a great match that they have, they announced it for the Royal Rumble so it’s going to be big and it’s a… Pitch Black Match presented by Mountain Dew.
The Royal Rumble is upon us, the Men’s Rumble starts the show and we all have adrenaline in our soul for it and now is this weird Pitch Black Match and it’s not a cinematic match. It’s in the ring, No Count Outs and No Disqualifications. LA Knight comes out in his iconic Yellow Attire and Wyatt is talking… with a mask on. The lights turn off and the ropes are glowing a neon greenish-yellow… with an announce table spot that… has Nickelodeon Slime inside of it when they break it? Okay fine… I knew the match was going to be dumb and gimmicky from the Mountain Dew Sponsorship. Bray wins, yay. LA Knight comes back with a Kendo Stick and… we get invulnerable Bray again… they don’t hurt. Lets go to this crash pad and Bo Marseglia shows up from somewhere and just elbow drops him from maybe fifteen to twenty feet with pyro and the Firefly Funhouse Puppets appear at the top, to watch a fire… And there is number six…
Actual Thoughts on Current Bray Wyatt, Post Rumble
I absolutely hate it.
This was awful. You build whatever insignificant thought process of the Wyatt 6 has going for it when Uncle Howdy does the best Cap’n Shane O elbow drop for a hellfire effect. At least the pyro was better than the AEW Explosion Match I guess…
Regardless, how does LA Knight come out of all of this moving forward? He lost an idiotic gimmick match and looks presumed dead. This just makes me think that whoever in whatever interview said Bray Wyatt is a creative mastermind needs to put whatever they have down before we hear about their T.O.D. posted somewhere. This Pitch Black Match is somehow worse than that Rollins Hell in a Cell Match and that takes talent. At least a good amount of alcohol lulled that from my brain but this made me remember that and enjoy the thought of that match happening with its finish. The best way I can picture how this was pitched was Burnt Dogshit, wrapped in a Kerosine Blanket with… sorry had to look at what I wrote, not putting that on websites but… people saw a Creative Quesadilla and when we got the actual product, it gave Salmonella poisoning and E Coli at the same time.
I really don’t want to see another Bray Wyatt match… again. Whoever gave him creative, take it away immediately. As much steam as Bray Wyatt gets in promos or possible matches in the past, the only steaming he gets at the end, is steaming piles of shit. You can say, he’s getting paid millions where I’m a little troll on the internet with typing power and I really don’t care but to me, Triple H… you finally got your first failing grade with something in your leadership role in WWE.
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