Brooklyn RAW Crowd / “Diva Revolution”

August 25, 2015

Opinions are mixed on the Brooklyn crowd’s disrespect toward the Raw Divas match featuring Team Bella (Brie, Nikki, and Alicia Fox) against Team PCB (Paige, Charlotte, and Becky Lynch). I’m of the opinion that it was appropriate. Not toward the new Divas, obviously. They’re just doing what they’re told. The chants from the crowd were more directed to WWE decision-makers. It was the realization that the “Diva Revolution” was just another trendy hash tag fad that tried to take advantage of the recent momentum of women in sports (Rousey, USA Soccer, Serena Williams, etc.). The crowd realized that it was disingenuous, like most of what WWE’s main product puts out these days. If you needed any other proof that it’s a branded tagline with no meaning, count how many times JBL and Cole say ‘Diva Revolution’ during their segments. It’s enough to want to make me mute the TV. Not because I’m anti-women’s wrestling, but because it’s so forced that it makes me want to cringe.

First, you have to start from the beginning of what’s wrong – and what is wrong with WWE in general. There are very few storylines. Sure, the main event feuds typically have storylines, but they’re generally vague and lack logic. NXT women’s wrestling works because not only can they work a match, they can tell a story. It’s back to basics. Wrestling is good overcoming evil. The babyface is held down, screwed, and always comes up short while the heel cheats their way to the top. The babyface finally overcomes heel. Why was Bayley against Sasha Banks so amazing at NXT Takeover? Not just because they had a great match – those can be a dime a dozen. It’s because people had a reason to emotionally invest. Bayley was down and out again and she overcame Sasha and beat her – fairly. I mean, just the promo video before the match got you fired up. There was a finish without interference or timekeepers ringing the bell. Kevin Owens against Sami Zayn worked because they had history and a storyline. I mean, there are still massive portions of fans that think Undertaker is a babyface just doing what he has to do to win. That’s a direct result of the idiocy of WWE announcing these days. I could see Undertaker sacrificing a litter of kittens in the ring and JBL screaming, “HE’S JUST DOING WHAT HE HAS TO DO TO WIN.”

Back to RAW. Since debuting, the Divas have been on teams. Sasha is saddled with the incumbent Naomi and Tamina. Becky and Charlotte are saddled with Paige. Team Bella is saddled with Team Bella. With the exception of possibly Paige, the incumbent Divas don’t know how to work the crowd and tell much of a story. I also think that they have no interest in doing so and instead are more concerned with keeping their spot and backstabbing – this is wrestling, after all. Would you rather model, be on an atrocious reality show, and work 2 minute matches or be paid the same to do the same and bump around 10-15 minutes a night and possibly have your lack of talent exposed? It’s also nearly impossible to get over by having endless 3-woman tag matches with no meaning or backstory. We are forced to sit on our hands until Nikki breaks AJ Lee’s title reign record because personal grudges are more important to McMahon. Instead of the obviously more talented new women squashing the current Divas, they were subjected to not only being forced to sell for them, but to trade wins – essentially rendering the entire thing pointless. After watching those women in NXT, the idea that Brie Bella could pin one of them is as realistic as Bo Dallas taking Brock Lesnar out, yet Brie pinned Becky at one point.

Monday night was the culmination. The most popular Diva, Sasha, wasn’t even on the show. What we got was an absolutely awful promo where the Divas bickered amongst each other about absolutely nothing, which lead to yet another 3-on-3 tag match that also meant nothing for the winners or losers. This match lasted somewhere around 15 minutes and 75% of the match was Team Bella working rest holds on Team PCB. It ended with Alicia Fox pinning someone. Some Divas Revolution. It was an awful match. Why was it so awful? Because there is no storyline. Who cares who wins because it means nothing?

Triple H said this weekend that he doesn’t just put the NXT women in the main event; they earn their way into it. WWE is forcing the Divas to have more time, but not giving them any opportunity to earn it. Sometimes I wonder if it makes Triple H sad that he has to watch people that he made stars in NXT are marginalized and snuffed out in WWE. NXT just sold out a 15,000 seat arena with a roster of independent wrestlers and development talents. Pretty much every match on the card and the wrestlers were OVER with the crowd. Is it genuine? Is it just the audience rejecting the bland, meaningless WWE product? Who knows, but I do know Triple H can promote and book a wrestling show. I look forward to the day that he takes over WWE, but he’ll be saddled with Stephanie, who I think is just as clueless as Vince.

WrestleMania XXXI, Part 3

March 9, 2015

Not much is new and we are only 20 days away from WrestleMania. That’s pretty shocking. There are 3 announced matches. Lesnar against Reigns and Sting against Triple H are official. Undertaker vs. Wyatt is not official yet. The Intercontinental championship ladder match is announced, but no one knows all the competitors yet. Also, apparently you can just steal the IC belt and it then belongs to you. I can write about the stupidity of this match build-up whenever it actually exists in all its glory.

The Andre Battle Royal is also happening. We don’t know who all is in it. I stand by my Miz/Mizdow scenario I mentioned in my last post. Mizdow has yet to officially enter as of Monday afternoon.

The only other announced match was today, on social media of all godforsaken places. AJ & Paige against the Bella Twins. I only ask why? Why? It’s WrestleMania. This tag match is some throwaway Raw or Smackdown contest. WrestleMania should have importance. Why is this not a Fatal 4-Way for the title? You can tease the past animosity between AJ and Paige. You can also revisit the Bella feud that was never really explained. It makes for an unpredictable match (everyone for themselves) and with the exception of Natalya, those are the 4 best female workers on the main roster.

Instead, a meaningless tag team match. WrestleMania everyone!

As a side note, now that Stardust is involved in this IC title garbage, it seems that a long awaited brother against brother WrestleMania match is off the table. Another massive waste. You know Daniel Bryan will end up in this ladder match, right? I mean, we are 20 days out and the most popular star in WWE isn’t booked in a match officially. Darren Young and Zack Ryder are officially booked on the card. Daniel Bryan is not. He will be, but as of right now: Nope.

WrestleMania XXXI, Part Deux

February 24, 2015

I’ve already discussed Roman Reigns to the point of nausea, so I won’t spend any more considerable time on him unless something drastically changes in the next few weeks.

Let’s move on to the rest of the card. The second main event will be Sting vs. Triple H. We all know Triple H can still perform at a high level. Anyone who doesn’t understand that either has some kind of bias from listening to ‘wrestling reporters’ who get a majority of their scoops from disgruntled former talents or perceived slights or someone who doesn’t watch the product. They say he ‘buries’ talent, which is silly. Almost every long term top star engages in politicking to stay on top. People ‘bury’ each other at your workplace. Let’s not act shocked that Triple H may have done the same a decade ago. His work with NXT shows that he clearly understands the business far better than you or me. Given the same control over WWE’s main roster, I assume the quality of the show would improve significantly.

Anyway, we know Triple H can go. The question is: Can Sting? What is a reasonable expectation for this match? Sting is 55 years old. He was sucking wind at Fast Lane after his exchange with Triple H. I never watched Sting in TNA/Impact/whatever-they-call-it-now, so I don’t know how his work has been the last year. If I had to guess, this match will be less like the Triple H / Daniel Bryan match last year and more physical with a focus on brawling. Will there be a stipulation? A consequence? I don’t know. Maybe if Sting wins, Triple H is out of power again?

I think the goal of the match will be a feel good story. Sting gets his WrestleMania moment in a main event role and overcomes the heel Authority. If you don’t go into it expecting a 5-star match (what is that anyway?), I think it’ll be a satisfying ordeal. At least, I think Sting wins. It would make no sense for him not to come out on top.

The third main event will be Bray Wyatt vs. Undertaker. I’m a little torn about this. It reminds me of CM Punk in 2013. Punk lost the title to Rock and basically had nothing to do, so he went against Undertaker at WrestleMania. It seemed like a pointless deal. At least Undertaker was still undefeated at that point. Now, Undertaker is coming off a loss. There is no more Streak. Since Undertaker shaved his head, he really shows his age. His match quality has gone downhill since about WrestleMania 27 (End of an Era Hell in a Cell at WrestleMania 28 masked that weakness). I’m sure a vocal minority of fans will whine when Wyatt loses, but there’s no other way this ends.

I’m just not sure what WWE is trying to accomplish. Wyatt lost to John Cena last year. I question that to this day. Cena loses nothing with a loss, but Wyatt would have gained more credibility. Is Undertaker retiring after WrestleMania 32? If that’s his farewell, I understand his return this year in order to build to next year. That’s a big ‘what if’. As far as Wyatt, what’s the plan? Where is he going? He hit a reset of sorts after splitting from Harper and Rowan and now he’s likely going to take another WrestleMania loss. Then what?

Maybe he will beat Undertaker, but I seriously doubt it. Again, not looking for a spot fest here. These guys will have to rely on some good psychology and figure out a way to tell a compelling story. We’ll see how it plays out leading up to the match. If anything, maybe we’ll see a more old-school Undertaker against Wyatt in terms of the character. That would be interesting.

I’ll move along to the 2nd annual Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Since Miz has announced his intention to enter it, that takes a Miz against Mizdow singles match off the table. On one hand, I’m disappointed. On the other hand, they still have a great opportunity. Common sense says that Mizdow also enters the match and the final 2 competitors are, you guessed it, Miz and Mizdow. Miz tells Mizdow to jump over the top rope and eliminate himself and we get Mizdow selling a tough choice. The crowd grows louder and louder until Mizdow finally snaps on the Miz and wins. Guaranteed massive crowd pop. I’d open WrestleMania with this match and scenario.

The rest of the card will be me speculating as no other matches have been officially announced. The rest of the card should look like this and I’ll address them if or when they are official:

  • Usos and Naomi vs. Cesaro, Kidd, and Natalya
  • Intercontinental Championship: Wade Barrett vs. Dean Ambrose
  • United States Championship: Rusev vs. John Cena
  • Stardust vs. Goldust
  • Seth Rollins vs. Randy Orton
  • Diva’s Championship: Nikki Bella vs. AJ Lee or Paige or ?
  • Daniel Bryan vs. ?

Hold on, we are 33 days away from WrestleMania and Daniel Bryan, the most over wrestler on the roster, has no storyline?!

WrestleMania (XXXI) – Reigns vs. Lesnar

February 23, 2015
Featured image

Image Credit: Levi’s Stadium / WWE

The WrestleMania XXXI main event is seemingly set in stone. As a side note, WWE is apparently not interested in counting WrestleMania numbers anymore, but I am (notice that it is yet to be referred to as ‘WrestleMania 31’, just as ‘WrestleMania’ with an animated play icon). Seems like a bad decision, but that’s par for the course in many cases with WWE recently. No, really – counting is fun. It immediately lets you know how long this has been going on. I can hear Vince now: “We aren’t sports, pal. We’re sports ENTERTAINMENT and you don’t see the Academy Awards LXI, pal! Har har har, poop jokes!”

Whatever. I respect Vince McMahon a lot. I mean, who wouldn’t? He took a small regional territory and turned it into a global, billion-dollar enterprise. He was a visionary, took risks, and worked enough for 3 lifetimes. Now that I’ve said that, Vince McMahon, currently, is simply left behind. He has no incentive to change and I think he’s too stubborn to acknowledge it anyway. On more than one occasion, Mark Madden has stated (paraphrasing here) that less people watch wrestling today than did during the late 90s. Hell, less people watch WWE today than watched WWE alone in the late 90s. That’s not an accident – it’s a downward trend.

Back to the WWE World Championship match. Roman Reigns will challenge Brock Lesnar. The Memphis crowd was dead for Reigns at Fast Lane. To be fair, the Memphis crowd was dead all night, which is a shame. The WrestleMania crowd won’t be dead. That leaves WWE with 3 options, which I’ll get to in a minute. First, let me talk about the apparent rejection of Roman Reigns.

Let’s look at Roman Reigns, the singles competitor. I’ll start with the break-up of the Shield. Reigns was in the Money in the Bank ladder match for Daniel Bryan’s vacated championship. He didn’t win and was largely an after-thought. He then lost a 4-way for the World title at the Battleground PPV which, again, featured nothing remarkable. Reigns then beat Randy Orton at SummerSlam is an arguable dud of a match. Reigns was then injured and out until he returned for a run-in on the John Cena / Seth Rollins match at the December TLC PPV (And to receive his inexplicable 2014 Superstar of the Year Award). In addition, during his absence, we were treated to the most awkward via satellite promos possibly ever from Reigns. They were painful to watch. We were then treated to a series of matches against the Big Show that Reigns won by DQ or count out. Reigns then won the Royal Rumble with assistance from the Rock. Reigns then defeats Daniel Bryan at Fast Lane to get to the title match.

So, what happened? Reigns was popular and generally well-liked after the initial Shield break-up. Even though Rollins and Ambrose were the initial two stand-outs to feud with each other, Roman just hung around. At SummerSlam, I recall the crowd response to his match against Orton being poor. There were a few factors at work in that event. First, the match was very slow and plodding up until the finishing sequence. Second, Reigns had the aura of inevitability around him – he was the guy. He wasn’t immediately rejected because Daniel Bryan’s return status was up in the air, so who else was there?

Following Reigns’ legit hernia injury, WWE had him record short promos to keep him relevant in the minds of the fans. This did 2 things. First, it made it obvious that Reigns was going to WrestleMania to go for the title. Daniel Bryan wasn’t live via satellite every other week. Second, it exposed Reigns’ biggest weakness – his lack of charisma and inability to connect with the crowd. Then Reigns returns to a tepid reaction at TLC. He starts cutting promos that McMahon himself wrote that are more corny than anything Cena has ever said. After the promos and some uninspiring and downright awful matches with Big Show, it seemed clear that it wasn’t Roman’s time. Is it ever anyone’s time? I don’t know.

Unfortunately for Reigns, Daniel Bryan announced his return for the Royal Rumble. In order to temper the impact, WWE had Bryan return to the ring on a Smackdown taping and even take a clean loss to Bray Wyatt on TV. The hope was that it would lower expectations for Bryan in the Rumble as WWE had to anticipate a 2014 repeat. Bryan came out in the first half of the Rumble and was tossed over 10 minutes later in very anti-climactic fashion. On my Twitter, I said they just lost the crowd. Indeed they did. Everyone who entered after that point was resoundingly booed. Reigns made his entrance and was booed. At this point, the crowd became ‘anyone-but-Reigns’. As Ziggler, Ambrose, and Wyatt were dumped over the top rope like garbage by Big Show and Kane, the crowd realized that Reigns was inevitable. WWE planned ahead and out came the Rock to save Reigns from Big Show and Kane and … they booed. Rusev came back into the ring and was dumped over without a fight. Booing. The look on the Rock’s face tells the whole story.

At this point, we have Reigns defeating Daniel Bryan clean at Fast Lane. The goal was to have Daniel Bryan take Reigns to a great match (he did) and try to make Reigns look like gold. Unfortunately, the rejection of Reigns is nothing personal. He’s going to be great one day. The problem is that Daniel Bryan is the most over baby-face in WWE. He is organically popular despite WWE’s best attempts otherwise. Vince likes to say that Daniel Bryan isn’t over, just the ‘Yes’ chant is over. Sure Vince, and the Rock’s catchphrases were over and not the Rock himself. Reigns just hasn’t done anything to ‘earn’ it in the eyes of some fans. I have no idea what merchandise sales look like, but I’d be shocked if Reigns was in the Top 5.

Now we come back to WrestleMania 31. WWE has 2 options with this match. If Lesnar re-signs with WWE, they have a 3rd option that is essentially the only option.

  1. Reigns beats Lesnar and Rollins cashes in to win the title.
  2. Reigns wins after Heyman turns on Lesnar and aligns with Reigns.
  3. If Brock re-signs, he beats Reigns.

Option 1 will send the crowd home happy. Yes, a heel unfairly beating the supposed baby-face newly crowned champion would turn the sea of boos into a celebration. WWE writing and announcing is to thank for that. Option 2 will accept the sea of boos and use Heyman and Reigns turning heel to play into it. Option 3 is a no-brainer. Lesnar crushed the Streak. He eviscerated Cena. He destroyed Cena and Rollins at once. He should crush Reigns and hold the belt until WrestleMania 32.

Bottom line, if Lesnar doesn’t re-sign, he has to lose. You either have to play into the crowd reaction or swerve them with Rollins. I guess you could put the match on in the middle of the show and close with Triple H / Sting and Undertaker / Wyatt and have Reigns go over clean. What’s left for Daniel Bryan? Nothing of any substance, unfortunately. He doesn’t care, though. He’s making damn good money and just likes to wrestle.

I’ll write another post soon on the rest of the card.

WWE WrestleMania XXX Update

March 12, 2014

It would appear that I spoke too soon. In theory, WWE has saved WrestleMania XXX. I use the phrase ‘in theory’ because buy rates will be largely irrelevant in the new age of the WWE Network live streaming the events, so a poorly received event won’t be as evident when a lot of people won’t be asking themselves if it’s worth $70 this year. I’ll be honest: I didn’t expect this. I was 99.5% sure that WWE would stick to Orton/Batista and just position that match conveniently after Bryan/HHH or Undertaker/Lesnar, with the other one being used at the actual main event.

Several things could still happen at WrestleMania. WWE is beyond capable when it comes to completely screwing something up (Brock Lesnar’s 2012 return, Big Show’s entire career, the Invasion angle, AJ Lee’s rise in 2012, ECW’s relaunch, etc.). Daniel Bryan almost definitely is going to get the win over Triple H. Of course, he could still be ‘screwed’ out of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. That’s my one fear at this point. Batista was brought back for a reason (To win the title and display it during his promotion of the Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy movie). He was also brought back at great expense as well. Vince is going to want the return on that investment.

I’m pretty certain that Bryan wins out and has his WrestleMania moment, though, but I was also pretty certain that he wasn’t going to even be in the match.

Aside from the ‘Big 4’ matches that are official, how is the rest of the card coming along? The answer is that I don’t know. The inclusion of a largely meaningless 30-man battle royal seems to indicate that there won’t be a whole lot of time invested into much else. I realize that the battle royal is symbolic and the winner will receive the Andre trophy, but how about offering a legitimate reward? A mid-card title shot or maybe the final two get a tag team title shot following the match. Regardless, this is going to make sure everyone on the roster gets on the show, which makes me wonder how WWE will handle PPV payouts in the era of the Network and decreasing PPV revenue.

I’m in the dark about the direction WWE is going with the Shield. Since Bryan is going to make the main event a Triple Threat, a Shield implosion/Triple Threat seems unlikely. It’s never a good idea to have two of the same kinds of gimmick matches on the same card. Maybe that’s why the Shield is seemingly together again since those plans changed. What will they end up doing? I have no clue.

The only other real feud that seems to be building for WrestleMania is Cesaro and Jack Swagger. Again, I could see a Triple Threat with those two against Big E for the Intercontinental Championship, but as I said previously, the Triple Threat gimmick would be overkill if used in more than 1 match.

I would assume that leaves room for a Women’s Championship match. I’m still leaning toward AJ against Tamina (Sort of like HBK vs. Diesel/Kevin Nash back in 1994-5), but WWE has yet to tease any tension between the two and the clock is ticking. Maybe the Usos and Outlaws will have their blow-off match at WrestleMania at this rate as well. I’m not sure how I feel about that.

One final thing, do you think Undertaker regrets the decision to shave his head? I’m not a fan of the shaved head. Or wrestler’s who don’t wear boots or shoes, but that’s a topic for another day.

That’s how it’s shaping up. I’m cautiously optimistic at this stage.

WWE WrestleMania XXX Thoughts

March 6, 2014

Photo Credit: WWE

WrestleMania XXX is just around the corner. Theoretically, the 30th WrestleMania should be the biggest one ever. Not so much in terms of attendance (The Super Dome can’t hold over 93,000) and not in terms of Pay-Per-View buy rates (Due to the WWE Network, PPV buy rates won’t touch the ~1 million they’ve been averaging for the last decade). Rather, it should be the biggest WrestleMania in history simply due to the milestone. The 30th WrestleMania should be ridiculously loaded from start to finish. A new era should be ready to begin. Hulk Hogan dominated from WrestleMania I through WrestleMania IX. The New Generation/Attitude Era went from roughly WrestleMania X until WrestleMania XVII. The Invasion/Brock Lesnar Era lasted From WrestleMania XVIII to XX. The John Cena Era has endured since WrestleMania XXI.

By most accounts, the pieces are (were) there for the change to happen. CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Cesaro, Bray Wyatt, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, Sami Zayn, AJ Lee, Paige, and other NXT talents should be the present and the future. Those names are just off the top of my head. Heading into WrestleMania XXX, I am slowly starting to realize that the actual event, as grand in scale as it may be, is going to be awful.

I am going to explore some of the main event-level matches and explain how I would do things differently and how the audience will likely respond to WWE’s version- starting with the WWE Championship.

1.  WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton vs. Dave Batista

This is the main event of the biggest (In terms of milestones) WrestleMania, ever. The first WrestleMania with the newly recognized WWE World Heavyweight Championship and the WWE gives the audience THIS pile of BS. Before I get to the Batista debacle (and that is putting it nicely), let me discuss Randy Orton’s storylines and booking heading into the event. Last summer, Orton was booked to continue getting screwy wins over Daniel Bryan. In the short-term, people were furious. In the long-term, what kind of payoff would it be if Bryan triumphantly overcame it all when it mattered? Am I right? It would be tremendous.

Read the rest of this entry »

Movie Critics Are Mostly Idiots – And They Know It

August 4, 2013

I recently had the misfortune of watching Human Centipede 2. It was recommended to me in Amazon Prime Video under the Horror genre. Let’s be clear: It isn’t horror. There’s nothing scary about Human Centipede 2. I’ve seen movies that scared me enough to affect my sleep for several days at a time. Scary movies stick with you – regardless of how legitimately realistic they may be. I’ll say it again: Human Centipede 2 is not a horror movie.

Human Centipede 2 is what I refer to as the new torture porn movies. The formula is pretty simple:

  • Lots of pointless nudity
  • As much vomiting as possible
  • Human beings being graphically tortured to death
  • Villains who don’t get their comeuppance
  • Arrogant, socially awkward director

That’s why I call it torture porn. It’s basically naked people being brutally murdered and butchered by a villain who never really gets what is coming to him/her. There are no heroes. There is no satisfaction. It’s just a depressing, pointless shit show. 

So, I decided to head to Rotten Tomatoes to see if 100% of people agreed with me that this was utter garbage. I was relieved to see that this movie is rated a very generous 30%. I KNEW – I just knew – that there were going to be some critics who tried to put lipstick on this pig and I wasn’t let down.

Read the rest of this entry »

WrestleMania 29 Follow-Up

August 4, 2013

In a previous entry, I heavily criticized WWE for having so many promo/recap videos during the live PPV. I said that it not only wasted a lot of time and caused a match to get bumped from the card, it was also irrelevant to an audience that already ordered the event.

Today, PWTorch posted their daily Q&A where someone asked a question that may have read my article considering how strikingly similar his complaints were to mine. To make a long question short, he asked: Why were there so many recap videos during the PPV?

The answer by James Caldwell was as follows:

There are a few main reasons why WWE incorporates a heavy dose of video packages into their PPVs, especially for the main events.

In no particular order of importance, one main reason is that it creates a natural buffer for the live audience to hit the concessions/restroom or just come down from the previous match, while also allowing the home viewer to go the kitchen/restroom in-between matches when a commercial break would normally fill that time.

Another main reason is that WWE operates with the mindset that people watch PPVs in groups and not everyone watching is up-to-speed on the main storylines. There might be a group of 2-10 people watching at home and only half of that audience might know what’s happening with a big match, so WWE wants to make sure everyone watching at home is caught up by the time the match starts.

Another main reason is that it creates a greater sense of importance to a main event match. It’s a cue to the home viewer/live attendee that “this next match is a big deal” if the match gets an intro video package.

Overall, it might not be the most ideal viewing situation if you follow the product closely or have seen a similar video package 5-10 times by the time the match happens, but WWE is trying to connect with as broad of an audience as possible while creating natural come-down moments in-between big matches.

That’s one way to look at it that I hadn’t really thought about. However, it seems kind of like a bunch of BS. A natural bathroom break/concessions time for the crowd or a come-down time following a match? Isn’t that why a few matches have certain placement on the card? The 8-Man tag? Ryback vs. Henry? Those are positioned to be the come-down matches. That’s the time when people at home go get food in the kitchen (or pause the DVR in most cases) or people at the event go to the bathroom.

As far as trying to catch up people who may be watching in a group that don’t follow the product – why would WWE care? Wouldn’t their friends catch them up? Furthermore, most of these matches barely have much of a back story as is. Rock came back and cost Cena the title at WM27. They cut some promos on each other leading up to WM28, which Rock won. Rock beat CM Punk for the belt and exchanged promos with Cena. Now they’re fighting again. The end.

Want to give Rock vs. Cena the big match feel? How about some backstage promos and shots of them warming up? Then some big-time entrances. That’s worked out pretty well for, oh, the last 28 years.

My complaint still seems valid to me. This isn’t RAW. It’s a PPV that we paid $70 for at home and up to $1000 for live. That many promo videos was absolutely absurd. It seemed like it was absolutely non-stop with filler. Inexcusable.

*Note: I tried to direct link to PWTorch’s article, but for some reason, the link isn’t valid. That’s pretty funny because they use their garbage iPhone App to force you to visit their website for most of the links – presumably for ad revenue. Actually, now that I think about it, they are the kind of website that would defend heavy advertising since their site is miserable to browse due to all the pop-ups.

Why Adjusted Box Office Grosses Are Mostly Meaningless

August 2, 2013

You hear it all the time: “Movie X did $400 million in the U.S. Box Office, but adjusted for inflation, it’s not even in the Top 100 movies of all time!”

This is a tactic commonly used by people who cling to their generation’s films as being the best and this statistic justifies it in their mind. They have a point, to an extent, as a lot of movies nowadays do bomb, but there are an unbelievable amount of movies hitting theaters nowadays – more on that later.

Let’s start with the obvious. Inflation adjustment is good for measuring the proportion of tickets sold. Older movies sold more tickets to a population less than what we have now. Now I’m going to tell you why it’s not a relevant statistic.

When I was younger (2002), I could buy two student tickets to a movie, popcorn, and drinks for about $20. Now, in 2013, it is $10-11 PER TICKET (Up to $15-17 for IMAX/3D/IMAX 3D). For two people to go to a movie in 3D and get drinks and snacks, you’re looking at between $35-50. That is a huge difference compared to only 10 years ago. Going to the movies is EXPENSIVE. In 1960, tickets were roughly $1 each. Nowadays, combining non-3D and 3D movie showings, the average ticket is probably around $11 (Especially if you use Fandango and pay fees). Since 1960, the average household income has increased 8X. The price of a movie ticket has increased roughly 11X.

Bottom line: The price of a ticket in 2013 is a higher proportion of people’s income than it was in 1960 – not including the rising cost of theater drinks and food.


Can you imagine ANY movie putting up $1 billion at the U.S. Box Office?
Source: Box Office Mojo

The other HUGE factor is simply the volume of movies. When Lion King, Jurassic Park, Star Wars, and others released, they had top billing in the theater for at least a month. Nowadays, a $150+ million blockbuster releases every 6-7 days and sometimes 2 or 3 at a time. A month after release and there are 10-12 major movies pushing the films out of theaters. I would estimate the competition in theaters to be 10 times what it was 20-30 years ago.

Another factor that is ignored is that many of these older movies have been re-released multiple times in theaters and have pushed up their totals to misleading heights.

Lots of other things have affected recent movie totals that are worth mentioning:

  • Illegal streaming/downloading
  • Faster turn-around between theater and DVD/Blu-Ray release
  • Increase in media consumption mediums (Netflix, Red Box, On Demand PPV, Amazon Prime Video, Playstation Network, XBox Live, iTunes, etc.)
  • Increased exposure to critics and media hype (By this, I mean people that get off to movies bombing – see recent headlines)

What’s the point of this post? To show people that adjusted domestic totals are fun to look at, but ultimately meaningless. Avatar, Titanic, and The Avengers are this generation’s Star Wars or Gone With the Wind. Their performance is equally impressive, if not better than the older movies. I mean, due to the insane competition in theaters alone, any movie that goes over $400-500 million nowadays is absolutely amazing. I’m not saying older movies are bad, either. I’m saying that box office grosses from 1930, 1960, and 2010 are not an apples-to-apples comparison and shouldn’t be treated as such (but they are).

Apple iPhone Wireless Internet

August 2, 2013

I like my iPhone. As I mentioned previously, I’ve had all the major releases: The original iPhone, 3G, 4, and now the 5. In every single one of those phones, there is something that has universally driven me insane: The length of time it takes for the phone to shut the WiFi receiver off when it determines that the signal is no longer usable.


No, really iPhone, it’s a lost cause.

Now, unless you have a dog and spend a lot of time taking it on walks, you may not even notice it. Basically, when you walk outside your home, your signal indicator will usually drop to 2 bars. Depending on where your router is, the wireless will still work if you’re just right around the house. Once you get about 30 yards away, the signal will drop to 1-2 bars and it will no longer work. If you attempt to access anything, it will just endlessly load or say there’s no network connection.

Here is where the problem starts. It won’t switch to cellular for what seems like an eternity (OK, like 1-2 minutes, but it feels like an eternity). It just sits there with 1 signal bar and won’t switch off. You’re probably asking yourself, “Why doesn’t this dumb ass just toggle the WiFi off?” I’ll tell you why: I’m lazy. I need to hit the home button to exit what I’m in. Then I have to scroll to the Settings app. Then select WiFi. Then toggle it off. Then exit back out and go back to what I was doing. It takes 10 seconds, but it’s annoying. Then I have to remember to turn it back on later, or else feel the wrath of AT&T’s data throttling on my ‘unlimited‘ plan.

So, yes. I could toggle it off kind of easily, but why should I have to? Excuse my ignorance of how the cellular and wireless radios work together, but I have an idea for how to make it better. I assume 3 bars of signal is equal to 67-100% signal strength. Two bars equal 34-66%. One bar is <34%. From my experience, 2 bars is hit or miss depending on how close I am to the router – obviously. Why not have the WiFi radio switch off after 5 seconds below 50% and instantly if it’s under 34%? Does that sound outrageous? There’s no reason for me to sit at one bar of signal strength for 60-120 seconds while it tries to stay connected.

Is there a hardware issue that prevents rapid switching of the radios? Power savings, maybe? The battery already blows, so if there was an option to enable such a feature, I’d be fine with that.

That’s all, really. Just an annoying feature that has been pissing me off for years.

Edit to add: I just realized that I have had instances where I had 1 signal bar and the WiFi worked. Mostly in hotels or someone’s house. Therefore, my idea about being able to toggle rapid switching on and off would be the best option as it would make people’s lives miserable if it was always on, in some cases.


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