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Andrew’s Judgmental Album Reviews: The Offspring – Let The Bad Times Roll (2021)

Let’s open a JAR of Pop Punk and see how The Offspring’s latest album compares to their heights of the 90s! Let the Bad Times Roll is up for judgment!

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Let’s open a JAR of Pop Punk and see how The Offspring’s latest album compares to their heights of the 90s! Let the Bad Times Roll is up for judgment!

Well this album intrigued me because, well, as a child of the 90s; Offspring were right up there Green Day as the pinnacle of Pop Punk. The Offspring always did a decent job at never deviating as much from their Punk sound as the aforementioned Green Day, but when the new millennium hit, they slowed down and had varying degrees of gaps between releases.

So another band with quite some time between their last release and this 2021 disc. Days Gone By was released in 2012, and even though there were a few covers, the Sharknado song for Sharknado: The 4th Awakens, things have been a little slim. You’ll also notice that this album contains the single they released in 2015, Coming For You, so that tells you a bit about the struggles to get this album going.

After 9 years, are they still pretty fly for white guys?

  • Artist: The Offspring
  • Album: Let the Bad Times Roll (2021)
  • Label: Concord Records

What we notice immediately with the album, is they kick things off with This is Not Utopia, which sets the table for topical political discussion with enough of their punk roots to keep the song driving. To anyone really curious, there aren’t a ton of political opinion songs, though that is the roots of Punk. So if you like Punk but don’t like politics, please look up oxymoron and stop it.

The titular track is second and it’s fine. It’s definitely more radio friendly and in that vein of slightly upbeat with a less than flowery imagery Pop Punk. When we get to the third track we open with a riffing that sounds a lot like Tom Petty’s Last Dance for Mary Jane, it stats somber and then picks up solidly. Behind the Walls, can easily be applied to many people dealing with quarantine. Which oddly enough the next few albums can definitely be equated to lockdown feelings.

Thankfully, the 2015 single Coming for You, doesn’t feel out of place. But the real fun is the next song. We Never Have Sex Anymore is just good fun. Reflecting the fact that they are older, so it definitely gives off the vibes of parents sharing too much, but it’s not the first time they’ve played in the amusing sexualized songs. Me and My Old Lady, off of Ixnay on the Hombre took a light hearted approach to a sexual topic. So it’s very true to the band, so that’s always fun to see.

We get a quick instrumental interlude, it’s no Intermission, but serves a similar role. Opioid Diaries, is a fantastic Punk take on the opioid crisis that’s spike up in the last decade or so in the United States. This is probably the most beautifully Punk song they have on the album. Hassan Chop is also very fun. Taking its name from a Bugs Bunny cartoon, which sets the tone of the song, and it’s just a really well done song. Feels more like Punkier Pat Benatar, but not bad at all. So it’s safe to say that the middle of the album contains more of the Punk sound, where the rest is a bit of a smattering from their different eras.

Basically the last legit song (last one Lullaby is more just a mashup of things from the album for an outro), we have the masterpiece of this album, which might be a weird way to say it. Gone Away Requiem, is very literally a stripped down piano version of their 1997 classic, Gone Away. What makes this so powerful, is the duality in the versions. 1997 was a fresh, angry, 30 year old who was mad at the world and everything that happened; and you felt the rage and frustration in that version. This one however, a mid-fifties reflection brings a whole new meaning to every line. Somber, haunting, distressing…but oddly content. Still willing to trade, still just as upset, but the rage has subsided to just a hollow ache. The passage of time, coupled with the lyrics and starting to come out of a pandemic where people have been closer to death and loss, this just hits much differently, and very masterfully. Amazing way to look at grief and its stages from two perspectives with the same song.

So with all that said, The Offspring have definitely submitted a damn good offering for 2021. If you’re a child of the late 80s or 90s like myself, then this will carry enough nostalgic feelings while definitely sounding in the moment and well played for the situation we’re all dealing with. Anyone who may have started losing interest in the band around Splinter can be reassured that they are trending upwards. There’s definitely more radio friendly aspects to some songs, but they make it very obvious they haven’t forgotten who they are.

It’s not their best work ever, but it’s their best work in a while. It’s always nice when older bands don’t forget who they are.

Final Judgment: 8/10


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Mitchell’s Hyrule Puro-Resu News Report! (3/1/24)

A Bracket Finals Preview!

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History in the making!

The Brackets of Power, Wisdom and Courage hit their final rounds, and HPW prepares for a big moment by the Great Cliffs of Gerudo!

 

Update your brackets and see if you busted!

TriforceTournamentBracket2024 Practical3 by Cartridge88

The Gerudo Sisterhood has homefield advantage!

Being that the Great Cliffs reside in Gerudo territory, and we see Tali, Aveil, Riju, and even Nabooru in the finals of the Goddess Championship Contender’s Tournament, it could be the biggest night in Gerudo Wrestling history! But will it be another sweep like in Nautelle Wetlands? Or are the odds not in their favor? We’ll find out on March 21st!

 

We hear from the Gerudo Sisterhood!

Shabonne has them all raise a glass to toast the massive success they had in the Nautelle Wetlands. A huge win for Nabooru in the Goddess Championship Contender’s Tournament! “Sa’oten!” they say together. A huge win for Tali over Big Croc Scaly! “Sa’oten!” A huge win for Aveil over Donny B. Kool! “Sa’oten!” And a huge win for Riju over Grim Creeper! “Sa’oten!” “And that isn’t going to be the end of it, either,” Shabonne continues. “Bracket finals all around, we’re gonna paint Hyrule crimson red and golden brown!” “Sa’oten!” the sisterhood says again. They all clink their glasses and drink the Gerudo cider. Will they all be toasting again in just over a month?

 

HPW shares footage from after Nautelle Wetlands, Night 1.

Cia regrouped with The Dark Forces after her loss to Nabooru in the HPW Goddess Championship Contender’s Tournament. She felt awful and frustrated after losing in the Goddess Championship Contender’s Tournament but Wizzro and Volga do their best to reencourage her. However, in walk Ganon, Ghirahim and Zant. Wizzro, Volga and Kevin Gibdo are ready to fight but Ganon says they’re not here to fight, just to talk. Cia asks what Ganon would even want to talk to them about. Ganon says The Dark Forces have been struggling a lot lately. Yeah? And what’s it to him? Ghirahim tells Cia to show more respect, but Ganon has him calm down.

Ganon simply wants Cia to consider a “proposition” of his. Cia says ew, gross. No, no, a business proposition. One that can benefit them all in the end. And what’s that supposed to mean? Ghirahim gets sassy again as he says, “Isn’t it obvious? Lord Ganon is suggesting we all join forces.” What? Them team with Ganon and “two goobers?” Ghirahim is upset again but Ganon tells him to knock it off. Ganon won’t rush her on the decision, though. And they know where to find him. “Fellas,” Ganon tells Ghirahim and Zant, “let’s hit the bar!” The Gerudo Ace leads the way out for his trio, leaving Cia to think on it. Will the Dark Forces accept Ganon’s offer?


My Thoughts:

Story building time! Well, mostly with the Dark Forces and Ganon’s new formation. Hyrule Warriors the game would be the inspiration for this story beat, and this team-up would make for a new super group in HPW. I’ll probably have a bit more these next three weeks as the “event” grows closer.


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Mitchell’s Hyrule Puro-Resu Results & Report! (2/29/24)

Nautelle Wetlands, Night two!

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The Legend of Zelda: The Ring of Destiny, Chapter 55

HPW uses the leap year to do big things! The Gerudo Sisterhood dominated, who else makes it through to the Triforce Tournament Bracket Finals in March?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • HPW Goddess Championship #1 Contender’s Tournament: Midna VS The Great Fairy; Midna wins and advances.
  • Bracket of Power Semifinal: Scaldera VS Yunobo; Yunobo wins and advances.
  • Bracket of Wisdom Semifinal: Iron Knuckle VS Zelda; Zelda wins and advances.
  • Bracket of Courage Semifinal: Taro Blanco VS Skull Kid; Skull Kid wins and advances.

PLAY BY PLAY

HPW and HXS TV set the scene!

For the first time, the Triforce Tournament’s semifinal round is two nights, and night one was a huge success! Especially for The Gerudo Sisterhood, as Tali, Aveil & Riju are into the finals! But tonight might be even bigger with the heavyweights and hard-hitters stepping up! The UnderWorld Order still has life with Scaldera, but the third-generation Goron superstar is on a roll! Iron Knuckle and the Princess of Hyrule meet for the first time 1v1, will success be Forged By Violence? And in the main event, it could be the redemption story of the decade as Skull Kid must take on Taro Blanco! Will Skull Kid’s next chapter have a happy ending?

But first, another Gerudo awaits as Nabooru is through to the finals of the HPW Goddess Championship Contender’s Tournament! The Twilight Princess wants to get back to the title to have revenge on Ruto, but another icon stands in her way. Will the Great Fairy join her old rival in the finals to then have a shot at another old rival? HPW in Nautelle Wetlands, night two, starts now!

 

HPW Goddess Championship #1 Contender’s Tournament: Midna VS The Great Fairy!

The Twilight Princess tried to pull off the ultimate double header back at HyruleMania 4 but could not make it through seven total opponents! Can she rebound by defeating just one? Or will Midna be made to move on from the title scene?

The bell rings and the fans already sing, “Midna Midna Midna, Midna Midna Midna! La la lala la, la la lala la!” Midna smiles as she and Great Fairy circle. They feel things out, Great Fairy shoots in but Midna holds off the leg takedown. Midna facelocks, they go around, Great Fairy wrenches out and wristlocks, but Midna rolls, trips Great Fairy and has a toehold. Great Fairy kicks at Midna with her free leg, but Midna grabs that, too. Midna rolls back and gets Great Fairy in a LEG TRAP CRADLE! Cover, TWO! Great Fairy scrambles away and fans cheer while Midna smirks. Great Fairy cools off and the two reset.

The fans rally up again as the two circle. They feel things out again and tie up collar ‘n’ elbow. They go around, Great Fairy headlocks then hits a takeover. Midna headscissors, Great Fairy kips free, and roles reverse as Midna hits the headlock takeover. Great Fairy headscissors and holds tight as Midna tries to get free. Midna moves around, pops free and jumps on Great Fairy for a headlock. Great Fairy headscissors again and keeps on the squeeze. Great Fairy turns over and throws Midna! Great Fairy holds on and turns over to throw Midna again! Midna’s done something like this before, and now she’s tasting her own medicine!

Great Fairy turns over again but Midna pops out the back. TWILIGHT- NO, Great Fairy gets out of the way! Midna tumbles, gets to her feet, and Great Fairy DROPKICKS her down! Great Fairy fires up and the fans are torn as Midna rises back up. Great Fairy runs up, but Midna dodges and runs the ropes. Great Fairy dodges Midna’s boot to run the ropes, but runs into Midna’s SPEAR! The fans fire up, Midna covers, TWO! Great Fairy survives and Midna grows frustrated but the fans rally back up. Midna stalks Great Fairy to a corner and stomps her. Referee Maron Ron Ron counts, Midna lets off at 4.

Midna stands Great Fairy up, and CHOPS! Fans “WOO~!” while Great Fairy hobbles to another corner. Midna follows her, and CHOPS again! Great Fairy hobbles away as the fans “WOO~” again. Midna puts Great Fairy in a third corner, but Great Fairy dodges the chop! Great Fairy fires off a windmill of haymakers as the fans are torn! Maron counts, Great Fairy lets off at 4, fires herself up and runs, but Midna follows to SPLASH her in the other corner! Midna reels Great Fairy in but Great Fairy fights the suplex with elbows! Great Fairy throws body shots and forearms, backing Midna down.

Great Fairy UPPERCUTS Midna, Midna wobbles, Great Fairy ROLLING- NO, Midna catches her for an EXPLODER! Fans fire up with Midna, but Great Fairy’s right back to her feet! Great Fairy catches Midna for a BELLY2BELLY! Cover, TWO! Great Fairy keeps her focus and she rallies the fans up. Great Fairy aims from a corner, waves her arms around as she gathers energy, and Midna rises up. Great Fairy runs up, THE BLESSING! Cover off the jump kick, TWO!! Midna survives and shocks The Great Fairy but the fans are loving it! Great Fairy pounds the mat, the fans rally up, and Great Fairy waits on Midna to rise back up.

Great Fairy chicken wings and turns Midna, but Midna shoves The Great Fairy away! Then CHOPS her on the back! Fans “WOO~!”  while Great Fairy grits her teeth as her shoulder blades are stinging. Midna then CHOPS Great Fairy in the chest! Fans “WOO~!” again while Great Fairy is stinging again. Great Fairy ROCKS Midna with a forearm! Midna CHOPS again! Great Fairy ROCKS Midna, Midna CHOPS Great Fairy, and the fans fire up as they go back and forth! Great Fairy gets the edge, then ROLLING ELBOWS! Midna wobbles, Great Fairy wrenches her to a hammerlock, then slips around to HAMMERLOCK LARIAT! #TheCurse! Cover, TWO!!

The fans fire up again while The Great Fairy loses her cool! “This is Awesome!” as Great Fairy drags Midna into a drop zone. Great Fairy climbs the corner, and MOONSAULTS, but she has to land out of it as Midna moves! Great Fairy rolls back to her feet, Midna runs in, but Great Fairy sends the Spear into POST! Great Fairy rolls Midna up, with a bridge! TWO!! Great Fairy jumps up and up to CROSSBODY! But Midna rolls through! Midna carries Great Fairy for a FALL AWAY SLAM! The fans are thunderous as Great Fairy tumbles and Midna takes aim! Great Fairy sits up, into TWILIGHT SLEEP!! Cover, TWO?!?

No one can believe it, least of all Midna! Great Fairy staggers around, Midna BOOTS her! Great Fairy rebounds, THE BLESSING!! Midna staggers and falls right out of the ring!! The fans are thunderous while Great Fairy sits up and realizes what happened! Great Fairy can’t believe her misfortune! Great Fairy hurries out after Midna, drags her up, and gets her back in the ring. Great Fairy drags Midna up again with chicken wings. She turns Midna around, but Midna lifts her up in a Reverse Gory Especial! Great Fairy slips free, trips Midna, and body scissors her! Great Fairy turns Midna over, GEDO CLUTCH! TWO!!

Fans fire up again while Great Fairy still keeps the body scissors! Great Fairy fires away forearms on Midna’s neck and shoulders! Fans are torn, Maron wants to check Midna but Great Fairy hooks the arms again. Great Fairy drags Midna up but Midna resists the turn. Midna powers Great Fairy backwards into buckles! Midna’s arms are free, but Great Fairy jumps on for a SLEEPER! Midna stays up with Great Fairy as a backpack! Midna RAMS into the buckles again, and again, and again! Great Fairy still holds on so Midna runs forward, BACKPACK SENTON! Both women are down and the fans are thunderous again!

Maron starts a standing count as the two stir. The fans rally up, Great Fairy stands first, and she ROCKS Midna with a forearm! Midna ROCKS Great Fairy back! Great Fairy SOBATS, front kicks, and- NO, Midna swats the roundhouse and CHOPS! But Great Fairy ROUNDHOUSES Midna after all! Great Fairy reels Midna back in for the chicken wings, but Midna drops down! Midna rolls back to wheelbarrow, victory FACEBUSTER! Midna then turns Great Fairy over and ties up the legs! Cover, MIDNA WINS!

Winner: Midna, by pinfall (advances to the next round)

An instant classic from some living legends, and it’s a technical move that ends it between them! Midna is moving on, will she be returning to the Goddess title?

 

Bracket of Power Semifinal: Scaldera VS Yunobo!

The Burning Abomination is the uWo’s last chance in the Triforce Tournament, but he’s a strong chance. But the young Goron said himself that he can handle the heat! Will Yunobo steamroll his way to the finals? Or will he melt under more than just the bright lights?

The bell rings and the fans rally. The two stare down, approach, and feel things out. They tie up collar ‘n’ elbow, are in a deadlock, and the fans cheer on “YU-NO-BO! YU-NO-BO!” Scaldera uses his height for leverage, but Yunobo digs his heels in. Yunobo shoves Scaldera back, but Scaldera BOOTS Yunobo! Yunobo rebounds off ropes, Scaldera goes to hip toss, but Yunobo’s too big! Yunobo then point-blank LARIATS Scaldera down! The fans fire up and Yunobo flexes. Yunobo drags Scaldera up and puts him in a corner, to then whip corner to corner. Yunobo runs in, but Scaldera dodges! And GAMANGIRIS!

Fans boo as Scaldera makes Yunobo sit down. Scaldera stomps a mudhole in, the ref reprimands and counts, but Scaldera lets off at 4. Scaldera drags Yunobo up, reels him in, but Yunobo is also too big to suplex! Scaldera CLUBS away on Yunobo’s back, then tries again, but he still can’t suplex Yunobo! Yunobo back drops Scaldera away! The fans fire up and Yunobo storms up on Scaldera, but Scaldera uses the ropes as defense. The ref counts, Yunobo backs off, but Scaldera kicks low with a cheap shot! The ref reprimands and the fans boo, but Scaldera CLAWS at Yunobo’s face! Fans boo more and the ref reprimands again.

Scaldera lets off and Yunobo staggers away. Scaldera then runs up behind Yunobo to KNEE him out of the ring! Fans boo more but Scaldera soaks up the heat. Yunobo staggers back up to his feet, still has a hard time seeing but finds his way to the apron. Scaldera BOOTS Yunobo down off the apron! Fans continue to boo but Scaldera goes out after Yunobo. Scaldera CLUBS Yunobo, follows him around the way, and he runs Yunobo right into barriers! Yunobo tumbles up and over into the timekeeper’s area! Fans boo more but Scaldera leaves Yunobo behind as he goes into the ring. Scaldera shouts for the count so the ref starts a count.

Scaldera paces while Yunobo stirs, and Yunobo drags himself up at 4 of 10. Yunobo finds his way out of the timekeeper’s area, hobbles over to the ring, and rolls in at 7. The fans cheer but Scaldera runs up to KICK Yunobo in the side! The fans boo again but Scaldera puts Yunobo in the ropes to CHOKE him! The ref counts, Scaldera lets off at 4, then KICKS the ropes to jam Yunobo up! Yunobo coughs and sputters, Scaldera soaks up the heat from the fans, then stalks Yunobo to a corner. Scaldera grabs Yunobo to BITE his forehead! The fans boo, the ref reprimands and counts, but Scaldera lets off at 4.

Scaldera spits, not liking the taste of Yunobo, and he ROCKS Yunobo with a forearm! Scaldera hauls Yunobo up onto the top rope, then climbs up after him. Fans rally up as Yunobo resists the superplex! Scaldera throws down fists, then tries again. Yunobo still resists, throws body shots, then slips under Scaldera! FALLING POWERBOMB! Fans fire up again and Yunobo crawls to a cover, TWO! Yunobo is frustrated but the fans still rally behind him. Yunobo drags Scaldera up to a fireman’s carry, but Scaldera claws the eyes again! The fans boo more and the ref reprimands, but Scaldera shoves Yunobo into the ref!

Fans boo as the ref falls, but Yunobo block the low blow! Yunobo uses the leg to trip Scaldera up then turn him over to fireman’s carry! GORON DROP! Cover, but no ref! The fans boo and Yunobo is frustrated all over again. And then it only gets worse because here comes Ted Beedle Ossi & Majora! Fans boo as hard as ever but Beedle sends Majora in. Yunobo brawls with Majora, but then Scaldera joins in! They beat Yunobo down, then Majora stands Yunobo up. Scaldera runs to CYCLONE BOOT! Fans still boo but Scaldera then drags Yunobo up so Majora can aim from a corner. Majora runs in, TORPEDO MAJORA!

Beedle gets the ref up and in as Majora slides out. Scaldera shouts to the ref as he covers Yunobo, TWO?!? Yunobo survives and shocks everyone! Beedle shouts, “HOW?!” and Scaldera is furious! Scaldera hauls Yunobo up, whips him but Yunobo reverses. Yunobo runs in to SPLASH, then keeps going corner to corner! Yunobo comes back and CANNONBALLS! fans fire up but Majora gets up on the apron! Majora shouts at Yunobo as he drags Scaldera up and the ref tells him to get down! Scaldera goes to bite Yunobo’s face again! Yunobo TOSSES Scaldera away, into Majora! Fans cheer as Majora falls onto Beedle!

Scaldera staggers and falls, Yunobo runs to somersault, ROLLING THUNDER! Scaldera sputters, the fans fire up, and Yunobo goes up a corner! The fans are thunderous for the DIVING SPLASH! Cover, Yunobo wins!

Winner: Yunobo, by pinfall (advances to the bracket finals)

The UnderWorld Order regroups and retreats, furious in their failure! Yunobo is set for a showdown with Tali, who will prove they have the power?

 

Bracket of Wisdom Semifinal: Iron Knuckle VS Zelda!

Iron Knuckle has proved to be a hybrid of strength and technique, but the Princess of Hyrule still set the bar for title reigns, showing how to win for two years straight! Will Zelda keep going until she’s once again on top of HPW? Or will this tournament be Forged By Violence?

The bell rings and the fans rally up as the two circle. They feel things out, circle some more, then tie up. Knuckle uses size for leverage to push Zelda back and puts her on the ropes. The ref counts, Knuckle lets off slowly, and he stares Zelda down. Zelda keeps cool and the two reset. They circle, feel things out again, and Zelda shoots in to go for a leg. Knuckle holds off the takedown, brings Zelda up and GUT WRENCH PLEXES! Cover, TWO! Zelda bails right out while fans rally up again. Knuckle storms out after Zelda and CHOPS her! Fans “WOO~!” while Knuckle follows Zelda around the way. Knuckle turns Zelda around to CHOP again!

Zelda goes around the corner again and they’re at the ramp side. Knuckle stalks Zelda up the ramp, turns her around again, but Zelda blocks the chop! Zelda wrenches and PELES the arm! Knuckle shakes the arm out, and Zelda clamps on for a COBRA TWIST! The fans rally, the ring count climbs, and Zelda starts raining down elbow after elbow! Zelda waits until 7 of 10, lets Knuckle go, and runs down the ramp to slide into the ring! Knuckle hurries but hobbles, and slides in at 9! The fans cheer, but then Zelda PENALTY KICKS Knuckle down! Cover, TWO! Zelda keeps on Knuckle by going after the arm!

Fans rally and duel a simple “YES! YES!” “NO! NO!” as Zelda wants the Fujiwara! Knuckle resists, rolls Zelda up, TWO, and Zelda goes back for the arm. Knuckle slips free and goes to ropes, the fans cheer as the two stand off. Knuckle composes himself and resets with Zelda. They feel things out, and then Knuckle ROCKS Zelda with a forearm! Fans are torn, Knuckle CHOPS Zelda, then JABS her to a corner! Knuckle JABS, JABS, JABS, then fires off hands from all sides! Fans are torn again while the ref counts, and Knuckle lets off, to then DECK Zelda with a forearm! Fans cheer and jeer while Knuckle soaks it all up.

Zelda flounders along ropes to another corner and Knuckle storms up. Knuckle CHOPS again, fans “WOO~!” and Knuckle hauls Zelda up to the top rope. Knuckle tucks Zelda in! Knuckle carries Zelda off the corner, but Zelda fights free! Zelda then jumps on, GUILLOTINE FACELOCK! Fans fire up again as Zelda has the body scissors! Knuckle stays up on his feet, powers through and suplexes, only for Zelda to slip around into a SLEEPER! Zelda’s a backpack with the body scissors back on, but Knuckle still stays up! Knuckle BACKPACK SENTONS! The fans fire up while both of them are down!

The ref checks both Zelda and Knuckle, they’re okay to continue, so a standing count begins. They both stir and slowly sit up at 4 of 10, and they head for each other. They go forehead to forehead, Zelda grits her teeth and it seems like Knuckle is talking some trash. They both stand up at 6 of 10, the fans rally up, and the forearms start flying! The fans fire up as the two go back and forth, no slowing down! Zelda gets the edge but Knuckle eggs her on! Zelda fires more and more and more forearms! But then Knuckle DECKS her with one! The fans go nuts while Knuckle just stands over Zelda as she sits up in a daze.

Knuckle taunts Zelda, kicks at her, then CHOPS! Fans “WOO~” while Zelda falls back, but then she sits back up! Zelda grits her teeth again, but Knuckle CHOPS her again! Zelda sits back up and the fans rally behind her! Knuckle winds up, CHOPS, but Zelda clenches her jaw to stay up! So Knuckle drops in and around for REBONACK CLUTCH!! Zelda flails and reaches out while fans fire up, ROPEBREAK! The fans fire up more but Knuckle holds on until the ref counts 4! Zelda sputters, but Knuckle drags her right up and tries the Rebonack again! The ref reprimands but Zelda grabs an arm!

Zelda pulls the arm, bends the fingers, and then hits and ELBOW BREAKER! Knuckle clutches that arm, Zelda KICKS that arm, then RAMS Knuckle into buckles, shoulder first! Fans fire up while Knuckle still clutches the arm. Zelda grabs at it, Knuckle shoves her away with his good arm then CHOPS! Zelda again grits her teeth as she fights to stay standing! Zelda KICKS Knuckle’s bad arm again, Knuckle ROCKS her with a forearm! Zelda wobbles, but she KICKS the bad arm again! Knuckle takes another swing but Zelda blocks then BACK ELBOWS! Zelda then grabs the bad arm and wrangles Knuckle into a chicken wing!

Knuckle fights off the crossface and fans fire up! Knuckle backs Zelda up into buckles and is free of the chicken wing. But then Zelda runs up from behind and hops onto Knuckle’s shoulders! POISON- NO! Knuckle fights off the poison-rana and brings Zelda back up! But she turns the Electric Chair into a victory roll! TWO, but Zelda hurries after the bad arm again! She gets the chicken wing but Knuckle rolls, picks Zelda up as a backpack again, but Zelda throws elbows! Zelda shifts into an IRON OCTOROK! Fans fire up as Zelda pulls on the bad arm! Knuckle endures, pops his good arm free and arm-drags Zelda! But Zelda arm-drags Knuckle!

Zelda gets the ARMBAR! Fans are thunderous as Knuckle high stacks Zelda! TWO, Zelda keeps the arm, ARMBAR! Knuckle fights, moves around, but ends up in a TRIANGLE HOLD! The fans fire up more, Knuckle stays up on his feet, and he deadlifts Zelda for a POWERBOMB! Cover, TWO!! Knuckle is frustrated, he clutches the bad arm, but he still drags Zelda up. Zelda gives him a HYLIAN KISS HEADBUTT! Both of them fall over, Zelda falling on the cover! TWO!!! Knuckle survives and the fans are thunderous again! Zelda and Knuckle both slowly rise, the fans rally up, and Knuckle quickly fireman’s carries! GORON DROP!

Both of them are down again and the fans rally more! They both rise again, and Zelda CLUBS Knuckle! Knuckle SLAPS Zelda! Fans lose their minds while Zelda SLAPS back! Knuckle fires shots from all sides, has Zelda on ropes, and throws knees! The ref counts, Knuckle lets off with a BIG knee! Zelda falls, Knuckle storms up but Zelda BOOTS from below! Zelda hurries after Knuckle for UPPERCUTS and forearms! Zelda UPPERCUTS Knuckle down and the fans fire up with her! Zelda drags Knuckle up to whip, but Knuckle blocks it! Only for the bad arm to jam! Zelda goes for the arm, Knuckle scrambles to a corner for the ROPEBREAK!

Zelda lets off, but then DROPKICKS the arm! Knuckle clutches the elbow, Zelda grabs at the elbow again, but Knuckle shoves her away. Zelda runs back up, Knuckle dodges and Zelda rebounds, into a SNAP POWERSLAM!! Knuckle clutches the arm, covers, TWO! Knuckle goes for an ARMBAR of his own! Zelda hurries and turns Knuckle over, then slips out the back to go for the arm! Zelda’s really determined for an Impa Lock but Knuckle fights up again. Zelda shifts to hook a leg, FISHERMAN BACK SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!! Knuckle escapes, the fans are thunderous, and Zelda grabs both arms! Double chicken wing, CATTLE MUTILATION!!

The fans are thunderous as Knuckle endures! Knuckle flails, kicks, but Zelda flips back and shifts into a ghost pin! TWO!! Knuckle escapes and clutches his arm! Zelda snarls while the fans declare “This is Awesome!” Zelda RAMS Knuckle into a corner, waistlocks, but Knuckle holds onto the corner! Even with just one arm, he holds on! Knuckle REAR HEADBUTTS, then standing switches, GERMAN SUPLEX! Zelda flounders up, into a LARIAT!! Cover, TWO!! Zelda survives and the fans are electric! Both stars are down and the fans are rallying as hard as they can! “Let’s Go, Zelda!” “Go, Knuckle!” Knuckle stands up, drags Zelda up and shoves her to a corner.

Knuckle puts Zelda up top, he tucks her in again! Knuckle carries Zelda off the corner, but Zelda throws punches to get free! Zelda fires forearm after forearm, then a ROLLING ELBOW! Zelda runs to ENZIGIRI the bad arm! And then a half nelson, REQUIEM OF SPIRIT! Fans fire up with Zelda as she gets the chicken wing! IMPA LOCK!!! Knuckle flails, reaches out with arms and legs, ROPEBREAK!!! Fans hope these two “FIGHT FOREVER!” but there’s still the main event! Zelda winds up, Knuckle ducks the kick! Knuckle throws knee after knee into Zelda! Knuckle clinches, but Zelda throws elbow after elbow!

Zelda gets free, goes for the bad arm, but Knuckle PELES! Zelda staggers, rebounds, and jumps up to RANA! Cover, TWO and Knuckle sunset flips! TWO and Zelda high stacks! But Knuckle uses that to roll back and sit on the cover, TWO as Zelda sunset flips! TWO and now Knuckle high stacks, only for Zelda to roll back and PENALTY- NO, Knuckle ducks the kick and rolls Zelda up! TWO and Zelda omoplatas the arm! Zelda grabs the other arm, pulls on it, but Knuckle fights around! Zelda uses that to turn Knuckle, and gets a leg! SEAT BELT CRADLE! ZELDA WINS!!

Winner: Zelda, by pinfall (advances to the bracket finals)

The fans are thunderous as Zelda snatches this one away! The Princess of Hyrule is going back to the Bracket of Wisdom Finals, will she also return to the Triforce Tournament Finals and take it all?

 

Bracket of Courage Semifinal: Taro Blanco VS Skull Kid!

The lead Taro Loco derailed Byrne Lokoma while last year’s tournament winner is looking to prove what he can do all on his own. Will things be muy loco going into the finals? Or will Skull Kid find a way to keep the comeback going?

The bell rings and surprisingly, Skull Kid offers a handshake. Blanco kicks the hand away and fans boo. Skull Kid says okay, and he shoves Blanco! Blanco choke grips and shoves Skull right out of the ring! Blanco goes out after Skull Kid but Skull Kid fires hands! Blanco CHOPS Skull Kid and Skull Kid staggers away. Blanco then whips Skull hard into barriers! And then hard into more barriers! And then HARD into even more barriers! Blanco keeps going, sending Skull Kid into the fourth wall! Blanco then drags Skull Kidd up, brings him back around, and RAMS him into more barriers, then dribbles him off the side!

Fans boo but Rush grins and soaks up the heat. He talks right to the camera, saying the other finalists are perros, and Link is basura! Blanco goes back into the ring, but just to refresh the count. Blanco then dribbles Skull Kid off the barriers again, then goes back into the ring to soak up all the heat. Blanco watches Skull Kid stagger about, goes back out after him, and rips at the skull mask so he can claw at Skull Kid’s face! Referee Tiger Sahasrahla reprimands but Blanco smothers Skull Kid, then RAMS him into more railing! And then he TOSSES Skull over railing! Blanco points to a fan sign that says “BLANCO ES EL MEJOR!” then tranquilos on the apron.

Blanco waits while Skull Kid drags himself up. The ring count starts, Blanco goes out after Skull Kid and brings a chair over. Sahasrahla reprimands but Blanco sets the chair up and SMACKS Skull Kid off it! And then does it again! Then he pushes Skull Kid down and picks up the chair. Sahasrahla reprimands again, Blanco slides the chair into the ring. Sahasrahla fetches that but Blanco grabs another chair! Skull Kid dodges the chair shot and CHOPS back! Blanco DECKS Skull Kid! Blanco drags Skull Kid up, puts him in the ring and soaks up the heat. Sahasrahla checks Skull Kid’s bloody forehead. Skull Kid is still in this, so Blanco slides back into the ring.

Blanco stomps Skull Kid to a corner, digs his boot into Skull Kid’s face, but lets off as Sahasrahla counts. Blanco then HEADBUTTS away on Skull Kid, wanting to get that blood pouring more! Sahasrahla reprimands but Blanco tells him to back off. Blanco taunts the fans, then goes back to Skull Kid. Blanco drags Skull Kid up, CHOPS him, and Skull Kid falls over! Blanco swaggers around, goes back to Skull Kid, and Skull Kid sputters as he stands back up. Blanco revels in it, but then Skull Kid ELBOWS Blanco, ROCKS him, CHOPS him, and repeat! Skull Kid whips, Blanco reverses, but Skull Kid hits a REBOUND LARIAT! Blanco stays up!?

Blanco kicks Skull Kid around, then KICKS him in the chest! Blanco HEADBUTTS Skull Kid again, but Skull CHOPS! Blanco just scowls. Blanco taps Skull Kid low and dares him to bring the heat! So Skull Kid CHOPS, CHOPS, and CHOPS! Skull Kid fires off CHOPS, Blanco roars, but Skull Kid SOBATS! Skull Kid runs, but into a JUMP KNEE! But Skull Kid DROPKICKS in return! Fans fire up with Skull Kid and he goes corner to corner, but into a SUPERKICK! Blanco goes up the corner but Skull Kid ROCKS him first! Skull Kid climbs, throws forearms, but Blanco throws them back! Skull Kid adjusts, Blanco CHOPS him, and he eggs Skull Kid on.

Skull Kid CHOPS, Blanco CHOPS, and again Blanco demands more of Skull Kid! So Skull Kid HEADBUTTS! And HEADBUTTS! And then gets around to SUPER STEINER! Fans fire up as Blanco flounders! Skull Kid aims from a corner, but the other Taros Locos show up! They distract Skull Kid, fans boo, the ref reprimands but Blanco runs in! But Skull Kid ducks the lariat to trip Blanco! Skull Kid drags Blanco into an STF! Blanco reaches out, crawls around, drags Skull Kid along, and gets the ROPEBREAK! Los Taros Locos cheer as Skull Kid lets go. Both men go to the apron, and Blanco wipes some of Skull Kid’s blood onto himself!

Fans chant that Blanco’s sick, but Skull Kid CHOPS! And CHOPS! And CHOPS! And CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS! Blanco CHOPS, Skull Kid CHOPS, then Skull Kid ducks and fires palm strike after palm strike! Blanco BOOTS Skull Kid, Skull Kid staggers, but he comes back, only for Blanco to OVERHEAD suplex to the floor! The fans lose their minds and Blanco is scowling. Sahasrahla checks Skull Kid but he’s somehow still in this! Blanco puts Skull Kid in the ring, stands on him for a cocky cover, TWO!!! Skull Kid isn’t done yet, so Blanco drags him up. Blanco dares Skull Kid to hit him. So Skull Kid SLAPS him! Blanco DECKS Skull Kid!

Blanco drags Skull Kid over, bumps him off buckles, and then stomps away on him! Sahasrahla counts, Blanco keeps after Skull Kid, but then Sahasrahla pulls Blanco back. Blanco shoves the ref! Sahasrahla and Blanco argue, Skull Kid rolls Blanco up, with tights!! SKULL KID WINS!!

Winner: Skull Kid, by pinfall (advances to the bracket finals)

Fans can’t believe it but Skull Kid snatches this away from Blanco! But now Los Taros Locos beat Skull Kid down! They won’t let this stand, even though they tried to cheat first! But wait! Groose, Tingle & Ladrona rush out here! Fans fire up as The Good, The Bad & The Studly brawl with Los Taros Locos! Blanco bails out, but Rojo ducks Tingle’s clothesline, only for Ladrona to DDT him down! Groose JABS, JABS and JABS Azul, then hits the RIGHT HAND O’ THE GODDESS! Los Taros Locos regroup and retreat while fans cheer. Groose looks to Skull Kid in the corner. Fans cheer as Groose offers a hand!

Skull Kid is hesitant, knowing he didn’t treat his friends right. But Groose says it’s okay, and he keeps his hand outstretched. Fans cheer for the “Studly Guys! Studly Guys!” Skull Kid takes the hand! Fans cheer as Groose helps him stand up, and they even hug it out! Fans cheer more as Groose holds up Skull Kid’s hand in victory! Skull Kid is headed back to the bracket finals, will he complete his redemption story?


My Thoughts:

Hooray for another round finished! I realize I made Knuckle VS Zelda the longest and most epic of the matches, but y’know, sometimes, that’s just how an event works. Another match outshines the main event one way or another. But I think Skull Kid winning out over Taro Blanco and then having a moment with his old friends, Groose & Tingle, would be a really good story beat, set up some stuff for the following months.


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