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Andrew’s Judgmental Album Reviews: Ningen Isu – Kuraku (2021)

The JAR is still navigating the globe and we end up in Japan! Land of the best wrestling and anime! Ningen Isu has been formed since the late 80s, and are like a combination of Black Sabbath and Kiss. How is their newest album?



The JAR is still navigating the globe and we end up in Japan! Land of the best wrestling and anime! Ningen Isu has been formed since the late 80s, and are like a combination of Black Sabbath and Kiss. How is their newest album?

You ever stumble upon a song from a 30+ year old band that just blows up about of nowhere? That was Heartless Scat, released in 2019 it was promoted by the YouTube algorithm and really helped to spread these rock and roll grandpas. Amusingly the 3 piece likes to dress in the spirit of characters, the lead singer looking like a scribe or scholar from older Japanese eras, the bassist does white face paint Buddhist themes and the drummer looks like a Japanese street punk/gangster.

Visually they are interesting, but the music really is very very Black Sabbath. Amusingly enough, similar to last week’s band Alien Weaponry, these guys like to write songs about history, old literature or mythology. With all that set, Kuraku is the dichotomy of life in a way since it means pleasure and pain or joys and sorrow.

So let’s see if we get pleasure or pain from this album!

  • Artist: Ningen Isu
  • Album: Kuraku (2021)
  • Label: Tokuma Japan Communications

Toshishun is the first single as well as the lead off song. Starting a little light, we get a really nice slow guitar riff that brings the atmosphere into almost a horror movie. Which is apt since the song seems to be based of the story and 80s movie adaptation depicting a child who was separated from his mother after a cruel warlord killed his father and took the mother, leaving the boy to grow up in poverty. When the song gets to the point in the story where the boy is granted the power to go in search of his own truth out of poverty, the instrumentation changes to a hopeful almost victory march. Dark where it needs to be and then culminating in sharp harmonics is a great way to end the song on a high note, literally and figuratively. Kamigami no Koushin means March of the Gods, and it definitely sounds like a battle song. Sung by the bassist (who steps in occasionally on the Gene Simmons side of the game), this definitely sounds like a fusion of Kiss and Iron Maiden. It has a larger than life feeling, great harmonies with the instruments and the bassist singing adds a nice level of heaviness.

Akuma no shohousen means Devil’s Prescription. Musically is starts in almost a pop rock vein with the speed and the fact it’s not as heavy of chords that they’re playing. But about midway through we get into a Sabbath-esque breakdown capped off with an erratic solo that almost sounds like the first half of the song trying to escape from being pulled into the darkness. I guess the fact they’ve only been gaining traction in the west for a little over 2 years doesn’t really lend to a plethora of translation sites. Ankoku Ou is the King of Darkness, and no I don’t mean NJPW wrestler EVIL. Though, I mean this is a cool song. The bassist takes the lead again, which does wonders to complement the lower tuning and just sound heavy and almost like a prayer in vain. As we move into the crescendo of the song, it speeds up a little and the bassist even lets out a kind of cruel growl as the song finishes. Ningen Robot is an easy translation, it means Human Robot. I’ll give them credit, they pivot a little away from the heavy Bluesy guitar riffs at points to help give off more of a Sci-Fi undertone. There’s a great slide effect they use to sound like radar or one of those classic Sci-Fi sounds. Even the fact that some of the riffing sounds stuck or to be skipping because they just hit the note more times than expected, helps to drive home that technology vibe.

Uchuu Kaizoku nice fret slide to kick off Space Pirates. So we’re staying in space with the guitarist and bassist trading off lead at points. The loose picking mixed with a cackling sound effect and possibly a…Theremin, gives the space travel/spaceship kind of vibe really cleverly. Hashire GT has a faster rhythm since it’s obviously about motorcycles. The guitar keeps the expected tone of something like Déjà vu, Fuel, 502, Bat out of Hell, or Redline, and they even throw in racing effects to compliment the bass and drum parts. Seikimatsu Jinta so I wasn’t expecting the song about the Apocalypse to sound like a ZZ Top song, or at least start off with that southern blues rock rhythm. Okay after the first verse and chorus is seems to slow into more of the traditional metal/doom metal riffing, but still likes to throw in elements of the 70s blues rock. It’s a very interesting mixture, not because they don’t work, they definitely do, just interesting to see a fusion like that.

Nayami wo Tsukinukete Kanki ni Itare means something to the effect of Joy through Suffering, which is kind of part of the theme of this whole album. The instrumentation is very interesting because it seems to signify the title, where it’s erratic yet held together through a great drum beat and rhythm guitar section. It sounds joyful at times while then also nearly fighting with itself at other points. Koukotsu no Tourou no…this mean, Ecstatic Mantis? They do this increasing echo backing vocal effect that reminds me of what Babymetal does in a bunch of their songs. But I have no real context here, the song title is weird and the song is upbeat, awkward and really sounds like it Kiss and Babymetal did a song together. Shijou no Kuchibiru is…something like The Best Lips. So we’re in more of a traditional metal vein here, because this is definitely a great radio rocking song. I’m not sure how it fits into the great theme of the album, but it has vibes like Highway Star and a typical 70s or 80s traditional rock song.

Nikutai no Bourei I think is Gate of the Ghost. But hey, just as the rocking tune confused me, this down tunes and goes back to the darker tone most of the album has had. This floats nicely from a sludgy Doom song, to picking the tempo up a little with a great bassline and a simple blues style riff going into a screeching solo. It does its job as a song to make the atmosphere dark and the occasional screeches of the guitar parts is usually how ghosts get signified in movies. Amusingly the more I hear the main riff it sounds a little like a down tuned Mission Impossible theme. Yoakemae or in English, Before the Dawn. Instrumentally it has elements of what feels like a new day dawning, but at the same time, the heavier breakdowns actually seem a little out of place. I feel they would’ve been better suited starting dark and coming into lighter tones, this feels too similar throughout.

Now Shinji Wajima (guitar/lead vocals), Kenichi Suzuki (bass/backing/lead) and Nobu Nakajima (drums/backing) definitely know what works. Unlike Alien Weaponry the lack of English does make it harder for non-Japanese speaking/understanding fans to really get into it. Apparently Wajima did do an interview that got translated claiming that Kuraku is based on the ideas of children from the Showa Era and their outlook on the 21st century. The children then expected a rosy and comfortable utopia, but what we currently have is more resembling an Orwellian dystopia. The concept of ease and comfort may be relevant but the joy is gone. Especially given the recent events proving that pain and suffering has resulted more in comfortable bitterness. So the two sides of the same coin, inspired the Kuraku album.

Given that, the music and the themes based on the titles (and limited translations), I think this does a good job explaining the story they were intending. There is still a large obstacle in losing some of the imagery and with a lack of accessibility to translations. Also it can’t be overlooked that the music was polished, but didn’t really push any boundaries. Even with the space themes and the applications of the song structures, it felt a little too safe. Still a really enjoyable listen and if you’re a newer fan it doesn’t drift away from what you were made aware of in the last few years.

Final Judgment: 7/10


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Mitchell’s Hyrule Puro-Resu Results & Report! (11/25/21)

Only the hungriest will survive!



HPW Fyter Feast

The Legend of Zelda: The Ring of Destiny, Chapter 21

HPW is in the home stretch to HyruleMania 2, but it’s time to dig in and eat your fill… of ACTION! Who is heading to the Celebration of Greatness this year?


  • HPW Trios Championships #1 Contenders Triple Threat: The Studly Guys VS The Poe Sisters VS The Desert Flowers; The Desert Flowers win and will challenge the titles at HyruleMania 2.
  • HPW Trios Championships: The uWo VS The Studly Guys; The Studly Guys win and become the new HPW Trios Champions.
  • HPW Termina Championship #1 Contender’s Match: Stal-Kid w/ Igos du Ikana VS Fin Balure; Balure wins and will challenge Osphala at HyruleMania 2.
  • HPW Goddess Championship #1 Contender’s Elimination Furious 5 Way: Nabooru VS Ruto VS Cia VS Lana VS Hilda; Hilda wins and will challenge Zelda at HyruleMania 2.


HPW and HXS TV set the scene!

Eat up, there’s plenty to go around! Groose, Skull Kid & Tingle are hungry for payback on top of a title opportunity, but they’ll have to get through two teams at once! Will Aveil, Riju & Bularia get another long awaited chance? Or will the spirited new team show that blood is thicker than water and head for the gold? Then, the HPW Women’s Division is serving up a five course meal in a Furious 5 ELIMINATION match! The Sage of Spirit, Nabooru! The Sage of Water, Ruto! The Dark Sorceress, Cia! The Blue Haired Goddess, Lana! Or Her Grace, Hilda! Who survives until the end and faces the Princess of Hyrule?

And in the main event, the Ruler of Ruin wants to someone in the Ikana Royal Family to ruin Osphala’s reign! But his chosen ace, Stal-Kid, has to get past a top tier opponent in Fin Balure! Will there be redemption for Igos du Ikana and his followers? HPW Fyter Feast in the Shadow Pass starts now!


HPW Trios Championships #1 Contenders Triple Threat: The Studly Guys VS The Poe Sisters VS The Desert Flowers!

Groose, Skull Kid & Tingle have a score to settle with the UnderWorld Order, from Treasure Island to Battle of the Bog, but they won’t get a shot without earning it! But the quadruplets of Amy, Beth, Joelle & Meg are moving in, while Aveil, Riju & Bularia are hungry for another shot. Who punches their golden ticket to HyruleMania 2?

In this kind of Triple Threat Trios match, only two teams are active. Skull Kid, still wearing that spiked heart mask, says he’s got this. The Poe Sisters decide that Beth should be the odd one out, and then Amy steps up, leaving the Desert Flowers on the outside. The bell rings and fans rally up with “Mess ’em up, Skull Kid, mess ’em up!” *clap clap* Skull Kid circles with Amy, they approach, and Skull Kid kicks low! He wrenches an arm, YANKS it, wrenches it again and hits an ELBOW BREAKER! Skull Kid grinds the arm down, and Amy endures as her sisters coach her up. Amy reaches for ropes, Skull Kid whips her away and to the open corner. Skull Kid runs in to RAM a shoulder in!

Skull Kid digs his shoulder in, the ref counts and the Poe sisters protest. Skull Kid lets off at 4, wrenches Amy’s arm again, then wraps it around ropes to pull on it. The ref counts again, Skull Kid lets off, then he kicks the rope! Amy shakes out the bad arm, Skull Kid is after it but Amy scrambles away to her sisters. Joelle tags in and she seems to be the hot head as she storms right up to Skull Kid. They tie up, he knees low, but Joelle throws body shots in return. Joelle CLUBS Skull Kid, whips him to ropes, but Skull Kid reverses. Bularia tags in before Skull Kid dropkicks Joelle down! Skull Kid gets up and Bularia body scissors to a roll-up! TWO, and fans cheer as the two stand off.

Joelle gets up in a huff, but Skull Kid DECKS her! The other sisters protest but Bularia rushes Skull Kid and gets him to ropes. Tingle tags in before Bularia whips Skull Kid. Bularia and Tingle both hurdle over Skull Kid, Tingle drop toeholds Bularia for Skull Kid’s basement dropkick! Tingle runs, Skull Kid coordinates with him, they SPLASH SENTON COMBO! Tingle covers but the Poe Sisters overwhelm Skull Kid to knock him onto the pinfall! Riju and Aveil springboard to AX HANDLE Amy and Meg down! The Poe Sisters regroup on the outside, the ref has Riju and Aveil go back to their corner. Tingle gets up, brings Bularia up and over to the Studly corner, tag to Groose.

Fans fire up for Groose as he takes the handoff and wrenches Bularia’s arm. Groose digs his elbow into Bularia’s shoulder, then steps over to wrench to a wristlock. Groose hammerlocks, reels Bularia in, and hits a BIG back suplex onto the arm! Bularia shakes out the bad arm but Groose waistlocks and keeps her away from the Desert Flower corner. Bularia resists the lift, Groose CLUBS her on the back, then waistlocks to SLAM her down. Groose gator rolls to a bridging cover, ONE, but Groose holds on tight. Groose brings Bularia up, they go to ropes and Bularia bucks the O’Conner Roll, but Skull Kid takes a swipe at her! She glares at him, but Groose gets Bularia’s arms!

Groose turns Bularia but Bularia pushes him away. Amy Poe tags in then hotshots Groose! Amy jumps in, Meg tags as Amy goes up, and Amy CROSSBODIES! Bularia catches Amy, but Meg is up top now! Meg leaps for a seated senton, but Bularia stays up! Bularia hits a POWERBOMB POWERSLAM COMBO! Cover on Meg, but Joelle gets in to break it! Joelle drags Meg to the corner, tags in, then goes back after Bularia with stomps. Bularia goes to ropes, Joelle stomps her more, then springboard stomps! Joelle drags Bularia back to the Poe corner, stomps a mudhole into her, then tags in Amy. Amy stomps away on Bularia, then Meg tags in so she can stomp away!

The ref counts but Meg stops at 4 to tag Joelle back in. Joelle stomps until the ref counts 4, then tags Amy in. And Amy stomps away until the ref counts 4 to tag Meg back in. Meg and Amy get Bularia up, double wrench then double whip Bularia corner to corner! Amy steps up and Meg runs corner to corner, POE-ETRY IN MOTION! Cover, TWO! Bularia withstands all that damage and is still in this! Meg CLUBS Bularia down to keep her from her corner, then drags her away. Meg reaches out to her sisters but Bularia keeps her back now! Bularia reaches for the Desert Flowers, but Meg kicks her low and whips her away, but Skull Kid tags in off of Bularia!

Bularia comes back, Meg hurdles over her, and Bularia wants to tag Riju but Riju points out what happened. Skull Kid slingshots and somersaults to COMPLETE SHOT Meg! Bularia rushes Skull Kid but he sends her out of the ring. Skull Kid springboards to LEG DROP onto Meg! Cover, but Amy runs in, and Skull Kid moves, Amy SPLASHES her own sister! Amy apologizes but Skull Kid gets her with a BASEMENT DDT! Cover back on Meg, TWO! Skull Kid drags Meg over and tags in Tingle. Tingle then tags in Groose, Skull Kid reels Meg in to fireman’s carry, then coordinates with Tingle for an ASSISTED GUTBUSTER!

Tingle gets Meg up for a gut wrench suplex! Groose then sets up, “TIM-BERRR~!” BIG falling elbow drop! Tingle and Skull Kid flex and pose as Groose flexes while covering, but the Poe Sisters barge in to break it up! Amy and Joelle brawl with Skull Kid and Tingle and Meg crawls away as Groose goes after Joelle. Beth gets on the apron and the ref tells her to get down. Aveil tags in off of Meg, but the ref doesn’t see it! Aveil SHOTGUNS Groose, but the ref sees her and tells her to go back to her corner! He didn’t see the tag so it doesn’t count! The Desert Flowers protest but Meg crawls back to her corner. Beth has her and Meg pull twin- er, quadruple magic!

Beth sneaks up on Groose but Riju and Bularia point out to the ref that that’s Beth! The ref and Beth argue, Groose turns Beth around for RIGHT HAND OF THE GODDESS! But then Meg slides back in to roll Groose up! TWO, and Meg scrambles away to tag in Joelle! Joelle runs, ducks and dodges to springboard CROSSBODY! The other Poe Sisters trip the Desert Flowers off the apron and throw them into railing! Joelle goes up the corner, aims at Groose, FLYING CODE BREAKER! Cover, TWO!! The Poe Sisters are furious but the fans are thunderous! “This is Awesome!” as Joelle goes back to the corner and tags in Amy. Amy tags in Meg and the sisters coordinate.

Joelle and Amy wrench Groose’s arms, double whip him then DOUBLE FLAPJACK! Groose sits up, to get TRIPLE BASEMENT DROPKICKS! Cover, Skull Kid and Tingle break it in time!! The sisters brawl with them again, but then the Desert Flowers all rush in! It’s chaos and the ref tries to restore order! Amy and Joelle SHOTGUN Tingle and Skull Kid out of the ring while Bularia ROUNDHOUSES Groose! The Studly Guys bail out, Meg tilt-o-whirls Bularia, Bularia blocks it with power then tosses Meg onto her own sisters! Bularia whips Meg to the corner, RAMS into her, then Aveil SHINING WIZARDS over the top of Bularia!

Skull Kid staggers towards three fans, a Deku scrub, a Goron and a Zora. But it turns out those are masks and it’s the UNDERWORLD ORDER!! Death Sword DECKS Skull Kid, Gomess CHOKES Tingle and Hollywood ReDead SMACKS Groose with his beer bottle! The beer splatters everywhere and Groose staggers back to ringside. In the ring, Riju tags in off Meg, Aveil hits Meg with a BULLDOG! Bularia drags Groose in from the apron, holds him out along the ropes, Aveil goes to the nearby corner to DRAPING 450 SPLASH Groose down!! Riju goes up top now as Aveil and Bularia set Groose in a drop zone. ULTIMATE ELBOW DROP!!! Cover, The Desert Flowers win!!

Winners: The Desert Flowers, by pinfall (NEW #1 Contenders to the HPW Trios Championships)

This is wild stuff! The Desert Flowers benefit from the uWo screwing over the Studly Guys! Did they even know that happened? Tingle sputters, Skull Kid swipes at the uWo where they are, but the champs laugh as they walk away. But wait! Here comes HPW GM and King of Hyrule, Nicolas Foolyere! “Oh no no! Where do you three think you’re going?” The uWo shrug but he says this is not what today was about. This was to be about fair opportunities for teams, but the uWo messed that up. So here’s something unfair for the uWo in return! They have to get in that ring right now, and defend their titles against the Studly guys!! Winners go on to face the Desert Flowers at HyruleMania 2!!

Fans go nuts while the uWo throw a fit! Will they make it out of Shadow Pass still the champions? Or will this be their swan songs here tonight?


HPW Trios Championships: The uWo VS The Studly Guys!

After a momentary reprieve, Groose, Skull Kid and Tingle are back in the ring, and the champions are in as good of ring shape as they can be on such short notice. The introductions are made, the belts are raised, and we see if karma’s a thing in Hyrule Pro-Wrestling!

The trios sort out, and Tingle starts against Gomess. Tingle is still catching his breath from being choked and Gomess is chuckling about it. They circle, approach, tie up and Gomess throws Tingle down! Gomess facelocks and drags Tingle up, suplexes, but Tingle slips out! Tingle waistlocks but Gomess blocks the lift. Gomess wrenches out, has the wristlock, but Tingle rolls, only for Gomess to throw him down by his pointy green hood! Gomess CHOKES Tingle again! The ref reprimands, Gomess lets off, but then he chokes Tingle again! The ref reprimands, Gomess lets go to drag Tingle up and put him on ropes. Gomess chokes Tingle on the ropes!

The ref reprimands, Gomess lets off and taunts Skull Kid. The ref is busy with them, Death Sword gets a cheap shot in! Fans boo but Death Sword gets away with it. Gomess stomps Tingle, drags him back up and puts him on the ropes, then tags in Death Sword. Gomess whips Tingle to ropes as Death Sword gets in, Gomess scoops Tingle, POWERSLAM NECKBREAKER COMBO! Gomess DECKS Groose, Skull Kid avoids the sucker punch and Death Sword covers Tingle, Skull Kid slides in to break it! The ref tells Gomess and Skull Kid to both go back to their corners, but Skull Kid rushes Gomess! Gomess dumps him out of the ring!

Gomess goes out after Skull Kid and choke grips him! APRON CHOKE SLAM!! Fans lose their minds while Hollywood ReDead laughs it up. Death Sword drags Tingle over and stands on his head. The ref counts but Death Sword tags to ReDead. ReDead gets in, stands on Tingle’s head and shouts, “AAAH’M THA MAAAN!” Fans boo as ReDead stomps Tingle. ReDead drags Tingle up, throws haymakers and puts him in an open corner. ReDead whips corner to corner, runs in and corner clotheslines! ReDead whips Tingle back the other way, and hits another corner clothesline! ReDead reels Tingle in for a short arm LARIAT! Cover, TWO!

ReDead rains down fists on Tingle, then lets off and roars while fans boo. ReDead drags Tingle up, calls him a “stupid weirdo,” then holds him up with both hands! TWO HAND SLAM! High stack cover, but Groose breaks it! Fans fire up but both Gomess and Death Sword rush in and go after him! They throw Groose out and then go out after him. Death Sword gets Groose up to whip him hard into railing! Groose staggers, and Gomess CLOBBERS him against the railing! ReDead laughs again while his team soaks up the heat and the fans boo. ReDead drags Tingle up, scoops and SLAMS him down, then runs to the ropes. But Skull Kid dumps him out!

ReDead gets up to his feet, Skull Kid springboards to ASAI MOONSAULT! Direct hit and ReDead goes down! Skull Kid runs around the way and he Tiger Feints around the post to RANA Death Sword into railing! Gomess swings but Skull Kid bobs ‘n’ weaves, then fires off low kick, mule kick and ENZIGURI! Gomess staggers, Skull Kid goes up the apron and he SHOOTING STAR PRESSES Gomess down! Fans are thunderous for Skull Kid! He fires up and goes to the corner to reach out to Tingle! Tingle crawls over, hot tag to Skull Kid! Skull Kid gets in to build speed and DIVE! Direct hit on ReDead at the ramp again!

Skull Kid gets ReDead in the ring, ReDead crawls to a drop zone, Skull Kid goes up to the top rope! SHOOTING STAR PRESS! Cover, TWO!! ReDead survives and Skull Kid is furious! Skull Kid drags ReDead up but he sees Death Sword get on the apron. Skull Kid dropkicks him down! Gomess gets up on the apron, Skull Kid elbows him down! Skull Kid turns back to ReDead, and he blocks ReDead’s low blow kick! Skull Kid wags his finger at ReDead, then DRAGON SCREWS! Skull Kid holds onto the leg to GROUND DRAGON SCREW! And then HEEL HOOK! ReDead shouts in pain as he endures, but Gomess and Death Sword get in to stomp Skull Kid!

The ref reprimands, but Tingle gets in to to CROSSBODY! But Death Sword stays up! Groose gets in, RIGHT HAND OF THE GODDESS to Death Sword! Death Sword falls over and Tingle rolls off him. Groose goes after Gomess but Gomess dodges, Tingle runs in to CROSSBODY Gomess! Gomess falls and Tingle drags him out of the ring. Groose goes back to the corner and calls to Skull Kid! Skull Kid gets ReDead up, and he tags Groose in! Skull Kid then goes up to SUPER CROSSBODY onto Death Sword and Gomess! Groose gets ReDead hooks up and turns him, LOFTWING DRIVER! Cover, THE STUDLY GUYS WIN!!

Winners: The Studly Guys, by pinfall (NEW HPW Trios Champions)

Shadow Pass erupts! New champions are crowned, ending the UnderWorld Order’s 239 day reign! Groose, Skull Kid and Tingle get the belts and they pose together with the belts on their waists! But they already know the Desert Flowers await at HyruleMania 2! Will the Studly Guys carry the gold through the Celebration of Greatness?


HPW Termina Championship #1 Contender’s Match: Stal-Kid w/ Igos du Ikana VS Fin Balure!

Osphala still has the title that the Ikana Royal Family believes belongs to them. However, standing in their way is the Zora Rock ‘n’ Rolla! Will Stal-Kid win for the glory of the Ruler of Ruin? Or will the royal family be completely kept out of the Celebration of Greatness?

The bell rings and the two circle. They tie up, Balure headlocks, Stal-Kid powers out but Balure runs him over. Cover, ONE, and Stal-Kid backs away. Igos coaches him up, Stal-Kid stays by the ropes but Balure gets him from the ropes. Stal-Kid headlocks, but Balure powers out. Stal-Kid runs him over, covers, ONE! Kid headlocks again but Balure endures the grind to power out. Kid runs him over again but Balure avoids the cover. Kid gets the headlock back, grinds the hold then hits a takeover. Balure moves around, fans rally up and Balure powers out. Balure drops, hurdles, then sidesteps to dropkick Kid down! Kid bails out and Balure builds speed, but Kid gets in!

Balure CLUBS Kid first, bumps him off buckles then CHOPS him! Kid staggers around, Balure bumps him off buckles again. Balure whips corner to corner but Kid reverses. Kid runs in, Balure goes up and out. Balure swings, Kid ducks and triangle jump dropkicks Balure down! The ref has Igos stay back as the ring count starts. Igos mockingly asks “Prince Balure” how he’s feeling. Balure stands and gets in at 5, but Kid stomps away at the ropes! The ref counts, Kid stops at 4 and argues with the ref. Kid drags Balure up to put him in the corner and stomp a mudhole! Kid lets off, argues with the ref, and Igos chokes Balure in the ropes!

Fans boo as Igos gets away with it, Balure sputters and Kid brings him up. Kid CLUBS Balure, but Balure fights body shots back! Balure whips Kid to ropes, but Kid reels him in from the back drop and spins him around for a NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Kid is annoyed already, then stomps Balure to a corner. Kid stomps Balure, digs his heels in, but lets off at 4 as the ref counts. Kid drags Balure up to snapmare and drop a leg! Cover, ONE!! Kid wraps on a chinlock and grinds Balure down! Balure kicks around, fans rally up, and Balure gets up, only for Kid to wrangle him back down. Balure keeps kicking, Kid puts all his weight on the hold, but fans rally up.

Balure stands, throws elbows, but Kid knees low. Kid whips, Balure reverses, Kid sunset flips! Balure rolls through to basement dropkick! Fans fire up while both men are down! Fans rally up for Balure, “Let’s Go, Fin! Let’s Go, Fin!” and he goes to a corner. Kid run sin but Balure BOOTS him, then rallies with forearms! Balure CHOPS Kid in a corner, rolls him and basement dropkicks at the ropes! Kid rolls out, Balure goes to the apron, and jumps to DOUBLE STOMP Kid on the back! Kid goes down and Balure flexes right in Igos’ face! Balure gets Kid up and into the ring, goes to the corner, but Igos gets on the apron!

The ref reprimands Igos but this distraction allows Kid to roll to the far side. Balure hops down, storms over and CHOPS Kid in the corner! Balure bumps Kid off buckles, whips him corner to corner but Kid reverses, only for Balure to reverse back! Kid goes up the ropes but Balure KICKS him down! Kid flops to the mat, Balure covers, TWO! Balure is frustrated but so is Igos. Balure dragon sleepers but Kid snapmares free to then ROCK Balure with a forearm! Kid runs, but into a SLINGBLADE! Balure aims from a corner, runs in, but into a DYNAMIC DROPKICK! Kid high stacks, TWO!! Balure survives and fans fire up while both men are down!

Igos shouts at Kid to get this done, so Kid goes to a corner. Kid unties a buckle pad! The ref reprimands, Kid leaves it on loosely as he stomps away on Balure in a corner. The ref counts, Kid lets off to then rain down fists! Kid drags Balure up, throws him down and runs in, but Balure ducks the dynamic dropkick! Balure goes to double stomp but Kid avoids them to roll Balure up! TWO!! Kid runs in but Balure dodges, and Kid narrowly avoids his own bare buckle! Balure O’Conner Rolls Kid, TWO and Balure hits the bare buckle! Balure staggers into a SCREW HIGH KICK! Cover, TWO!! Balure survives and both Kid and Igos are furious!

Balure gets out of the ring, Kid argues with the ref, but Igos creeps over. Igos SHOVES Balure into the timekeeper’s table! Fans boo as Igos gets away with another one, and then a ring count starts. Balure grits his teeth to get up at 4 of 10, but Kid goes out after him. Kid whips but Balure reverses, and Kid crashes into railing! Igos sighs at his henchman’s incompetency. Kid staggers, Balure goes up a girder?! Fans watch Balure perch up top and chant, “Please Don’t Die! Please Don’t Die!” Balure aims and leaps to SUPER FLYING CLOTHESLINE Kid down! Fans chant for “H P DUB! H P DUB!” as Balure puts Kid in the ring!

Balure aims from a corner, runs in and SHOTGUN dropkicks Kid into the corner! Balure hurries up top, leaps, COUP DE GRACE!! Cover, Balure wins!!

Winner: Fin Balure, by pinfall (NEW #1 Contender to the HPW Termina Champion)

And just like that, the Ikana Royal Family will have no say as they watch “their” title be defended at HyruleMania 2! Will the Zora Rock ‘n’ Rolla take this momentum and take the title from Osphala? Or will the Gleaming Yellow Light still shine into the New Year?


HPW Goddess Championship #1 Contender’s Elimination Furious 5 Way: Nabooru VS Ruto VS Cia VS Lana VS Hilda!

Two sages, a sorceress, a goddess (of social media) and a spoiled brat all want to take the title from the Princess of Hyrule, but only the one standing at the end will have that chance! Who meets Zelda at the Celebration of Greatness?

The bell rings and the five stare down. Old rivals, Nabooru and Ruto, tie up and go against ropes, and Hilda bails out. She motions to the sisters, Cia and Lana, suggesting they should fight. Cia and Lana look at each other. They worked together in the Hyrule Warriors match at Clash of Fates, but what about now? They both look at Hilda, and they go out after her! Hilda freaks out as they chase her around the ring! The sisters split up and flank Hilda! Hilda tries to get back into the ring but Cia and Lana get a leg each and drag her back out! Cia and Lana mug Hilda with hammering hands. In the ring, Nabooru whips, Ruto reverses and Nabooru dodges to DIVE out onto the others!

Fans fire up as Nabooru leaves Cia, Lana and Hilda on the outside to get back in the ring. Ruto kicks Nabooru low, snapmares and KICKS her in the back. Ruto then clamps on a chinlock and digs a knee in. Nabooru endures, fans rally up, and Nabooru fights up to throw body shots. Nabooru goes to run but Ruto grabs hair! Referee Maron Ronron reprimands but Ruto headlocks Nabooru. Nabooru throws more body shots, powers out, but Ruto slips around to crucifix takedown! TWO, but Ruto goes for the arms! Nabooru fights the backslide, swings Ruto around and tries a hip toss, but Ruto blocks! Cia and Lana both roll Ruto and Nabooru up, TWO!

Cia and Lana regroup as Nabooru and Ruto both get up, STEREO DROPKICKS send Nabooru and Ruto out! Then they both take aim and STEREO PLANCHA! Fans are divided at the younger generation taking it to these living legends, but Cia and Lana get Ruto and Nabooru in. Stereo covers, TWO! Nabooru goes to a corner and Cia stomps her, while Lana brings Ruto up to wrench an arm to a wristlock. Ruto rolls, spins, breaks the wristlock and then wrenches Lana back. Lana reaches for ropes but Ruto keeps her away. Cia brings Nabooru up to whip but Nabooru reverses. Cia goes up and over and hits a BACKSTABBER to the BLACK MAGIC!

Nabooru endures and reaches out for ropes. Ruto has Lana in a corner, whips Lana corner to corner but Lana has to LEAP over Cia and Nabooru. Lana comes back and CROSSBODIES Ruto down! Cover, TWO! Nabooru gets to ropes, Maron counts the ropebreak. Cia lets go, and gets Ruto for a BACKSTABBER! BLACK MAGIC on Ruto! Lana SHOTGUNS Nabooru out of the ring! Ruto taps out, Cia ELIMINATES Ruto! And then Hilda returns to DECK Lana! Hilda stomps Cia while Ruto leaves the ring, then drags her up to hammerlock and facelock. Cia drops to roll Hilda up, TWO! Cia mule kicks Hilda, springboards to sunset flip! TWO, Lana gets Hilda in a waistlock!

Hilda resists the lift, kicks Cia away, switches with Lana, shoves Lana at Cia but Cia helps Lana go up and springboard to FLYING RANA Hilda away! Hilda bails out, the sisters chase after her again. But Nabooru CANNONBALLS from the apron! She takes down Lana, but Cia kicks Nabooru and whips her into railing! Cia checks on Lana and helps her up, but Nabooru comes back to SHOTGUN them both! Payback for earlier! Nabooru drags Cia up and puts her in the ring, but then Hilda reappears again as she runs and leaps over Nabooru! SUNSET POWERBOMB to the floor!! Fans lose their minds while Hilda hurries to put Nabooru back in the ring.

Hilda climbs up the corner while Nabooru is down. Hilda steadies herself as fans fire up, takes aim at Nabooru, but then she climbs down to STANDING MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO! “Fine!” Hilda shouts as she storms back to the corner. Hilda climbs up to MOONSAULT! Onto knees! Nabooru gets Hilda into a cradle, TWO! Lana missile dropkicks Nabooru! Lana and Cia grab Hilda before she scurries away again, then bring her up, double back suplex! Lana covers, TWO! Cia drags Hilda back up, reels her in, but Hilda arm-drags free! Lana rushes in but into a kick. Hilda bumps Lana off buckles then reels her in to POISON-RANA! Cover, TWO!! Lana survives and fans fire up!

Hilda drags Lana back up but Cia CLUBS her from behind. Nabooru comes back to waistlock and GERMAN SUPLEX Lana! Bridging cover, TWO! Nabooru drags Lana back up while Cia stomps Hilda’s leg over and over. Nabooru has the dragon sleeper, but Lana snapmares free! Lana kicks but Nabooru blocks to throw Lana down. Nabooru then facelocks, to URA NBR! Cover, TWO!! Lana survives again! Hilda kicks Cia’s leg out and snap suplexes her into buckles! Hilda drags Cia back and ties up the legs for HER ROYAL HIGHNESS’ MATCHED LUGGAGE! Nabooru drags Lana back up into the dragon sleeper, TRUE NBR!! Cover, Nabooru ELIMINATES Lana!

Cia endures the modified stretch plum and Nabooru jokingly wonders what to do. She then gets Hilda into a dragon sleeper! Hilda lets Cia go as Nabooru drags her back! But Hilda throws hands to get free! Hilda whips, Nabooru reverses and gets Hilda for a fireman’s carry! Hilda rakes eyes and slips off, then shoves her into Cia! Hilda bails out again, Nabooru DECKS Cia then chases after Hilda. Hilda gets under the ring and Nabooru looks under. Cia WRECKS Nabooru with a dropkick! Cia stomps Nabooru then puts her in the ring. Cia drags Nabooru up, throws forearms, then spins, but into Nabooru’s SHOTEI! Nabooru dragon sleepers but Cia throws elbows.

Cia gets out of the dragon sleeper, wrenches Nabooru’s arm and CLUBS it! Cia wrenches the arm again, to an ELBOW BREAKER! Nabooru hits Cia in the back with the good arm, then fireman’s carries. USHIGOROSHI! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up while Nabooru gets frustrated. She drags Cia back up, whips her to a corner and runs in to WHEEL KICK! Then BULLDOG! Nabooru fires up and drags Cia back up into the dragon sleeper. Cia spins the dragon sleeper onto Nabooru and INVERTED SUPLEXES! Cia rolls back and drops into the BLACK MAGIC!! Nabooru endures, reaches out, crawls over, but Cia kicks the ropes to bring Nabooru away!

Fans are thunderous as Nabooru endures even more! Cia pulls way, way back, but Nabooru manages to turn and make it a cover! TWO!! Cia keeps hold of Nabooru’s bad arm and dribbles Nabooru off the mat! Again and again and again! Fans are going nuts as Cia clamps the crossface back on! Nabooru endures all over again, but she’s starting to fade! Maron checks, but Nabooru gets a second wind! She crawls forward with her good arm! But Cia grabs at it! She hammers the arm before it can touch ropes! Cia adds it to the old as a half straitjacket! And PULLS Nabooru back! Nabooru taps! Cia ELIMINATES Nabooru! Now it’s just Cia and Hilda!

Cia stands up and looks around. “Where the heck did she go?!” she shouts. Cia looks over the sides but Hilda isn’t by commentary or by hard camera side. What side did Hilda duck under again? Wait, someone comes out from the ramp side! It’s- It’s Ravio with a purple wig on over his mask!! This is the same stupid move he pulled to help Yuga! He’s claiming to be Hilda, but we can all tell he’s not. Maron argues with Ravio to leave, but the real Hilda gets in from behind! BACKSTABBER! Hilda is stealing BLACK MAGIC!! Fans are going nuts while Cia endures her own submission hold! Cia reaches out, crawls, but Hilda grabs at the arm just like Cia did to Nabooru!

Cia moves around, pushes and rolls, then ROCKS Hilda with a forearm on the mat! Cia hammers away on Hilda, then drags her up. Cia wrenches, hammerlocks, and facelocks! But Hilda RAMS Cia into a corner! She won’t let Hilda steal a move back! Hilda SLAPS Cia, scoops her and runs corner to corner! Cia slips off and shoves Hilda into the corner! Cia grabs at Hilda, but Hilda holds onto the ropes to deny the backstabber! Cia hits the mat, Hilda high stacks, and puts her feet on the ropes! Maron sees that and cancels the count! Hilda protests but Cia schoolgirls her into buckles! Cia drags Hilda to a cover, TWO!

Fans fire up and Cia grows frustrated. Cia paces around, drags Hilda back up, fisherman’s a leg, but Hilda fights free and YANKS Cia into ropes! Cia sputters and gasps, Hilda wrenches and WRINGS Cia’s arm into the mat! Hilda then drags Cia back up, hammerlock and facelock, HER CROWNING ACHIEVEMENT!! Cover, Hilda wins!!

Winner: Hilda, by pinfall (NEW #1 Contender to the HPW Goddess Championship)

Ravio returns to celebrate with Her Grace! Of course, he had a part to play, but that doesn’t matter now. Hilda is heading to HyruleMania, but will she be able to dethrone Zelda as champion?

My Thoughts:

I meant to do more for this to really make it a “feast,” but I felt like the “surprise” Trios title match was good enough. I also couldn’t be sure if the Termina title or the Goddess title contenders match should be the main event. But after writing them out, I figured the Fatal 5 Elimination actually was better than the 1v1. Things are really busy these days but hopefully I can make HyruleMania 2 awesome, last year’s was really fun.

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Bandwagon Nerds #106: Spider-Speculation



Bandwagon Nerds Mario
Bandwagon Nerds #106: Spider-Speculation

With Patrick and Dave under the weather and Rey out of action, the Bandwagon brings an episode a little shorter on time but still high on content!  This week, the Nerds continue their breakdown of Locke & Key.  Learn how this episode almost caused Tunney to break his promise to not binge the show.  In news around the Nerdosphere the guys discuss the controversy embroiling video game giant Activision, a Harry Potter Reunion special and a fifth Lethal Weapon movie possible coming to HBO Max.  Finally, a new trailer Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer dropped.  The Nerds discuss the potential spoilers and secrets before turning to the possibility that the MCU may be due for some critical and fan backlash.

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