Thoughts on WWE Evolution

Warning: there will probably be spoilers; not that it really matters because who knows how many eons past Evolution it will take before this ever sees the light of day on the internet.

When it was announced that WWE was going to do an all-women’s pay-per-view show, I had a couple of knee jerk reactions.  One was that it had the capability to be the best show of the year, due to the kid gloves that the WWE would undoubtedly have to treat a show of such a nature, and two, that it was a show that could not absolutely afford to fail.  Failure would wreck a tremendous amount of work and equity that the women superstars have put forth to building their brand, and would send things back in time at least a decade.

Fortunately, with the level of talent and the volume of it now present in the WWE, it didn’t seem like failure seemed very likely, especially since the WWE is known to be capable of putting a good show together when they actually give a shit about it.

To no real surprise, Evolution was an outstanding show that I feel lived up to the hype, and truly delivered on what the primary goal of the show was supposed to be: this is women’s professional wrestling.  Sure, there were some booking choices that I probably wouldn’t have made as an armchair booker, but when the show had ended, I can confidently say that the good of the show far outweighed the negatives.

Even some of the matches on the undercard that I didn’t really expect to be that great were better than expected, as if viewers could feel the sheer will and empowerment of the superstars, or the WWE actually let a lot of these women unleash a little bit more from their arsenals than they normally would be allowed to on television.

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The Mae Young Classic, or just Toni Storm?

After the semi-final match between Toni Storm and Meiko Satomura, I thought to myself: man, I can’t remember the last time I ever felt so vested in a match before.  Usually, whenever I have a that thought, my mind races back way in time in order to exaggerate how long it’s been, which took me back to like Wrestlemania XX, when Chris Benoit (pre-psychotic murderous suicidal breakdown) had Triple H in the Crippler Crossface, and I’m on my feet at my friend’s house screaming at the television TAP TAP TAAAAP.  Then I realized that I was pretty vested and captivated by the Andrade Cien Almas vs. Johnny Gargano match that happened just earlier this year, but the point is, matches that manage to capture the suspense and excitement of a jaded smark like me are still few and far between.

Toni Storm vs. Meiko Satomura managed to do just that, have a match where I had an idea of who I thought was going to win, and I like think I have a good read on professional wrestling direction, but still managed to execute a match that was able to make me unsure of my choice, scoot me towards the edge of my seat, and make my eyes widen with what-ifs.  Several close calls, repeated kicking out of signature maneuvers and just plain great work from two very competent wrestlers made for an extremely good match that might not get five stars from Dave Meltzer, but damn was I pleased with it.

And for the second year in a row, I have this thought that this is why the Mae Young Classic is so great, is because they put on center stage, a bunch of female wrestlers whom the casual WWE audience probably isn’t aware of, so the idea of predicting things is kind of negated and it creates this completely fresh wrestling environment for fans to indulge in.  However, when I think of the matches that stood out the most from last year’s Mae Young Classic and this one, I also realize that there’s a correlation between those too: Toni Storm.

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Oh, MARTA #666

Yeesh: MARTA bus full of passengers runs over a person, killing them

It’s been a while since I posted anything about MARTA’s fuck-ups, and it’s not to say that there haven’t been any since the last time I did, it’s just that they’ve never really been anything worth talking about, or the fact that I hardly have the spare time I once did, and simply didn’t get to them.

But I guess if there were ever a time to bring one back out, running over a guy seems like good as time as any to bust out the ol’ point and scowl at what MARTA did now trope.  Not that it’s ever really truly funny whenever lives are lost, but given the Darwinian manner in which this occurred, it’s still something that piques my interest enough to put some words down about.

So whenever the notion of someone getting run over by a vehicle is mentioned, I have to imagine most people envision a moving vehicle approaching a human being, and running them over.  But in this particular instance, a human being managed to get run over while tailing a vehicle, moving away from them.  I’m not entirely sure how someone behind a moving vehicle somehow ends up underneath it, but if it was ever going to happen, naturally it involves a MARTA bus.

Initial reports say that a possibly drunk person was chasing after the MARTA bus as it was pulling away, slapping it, trying to get them to stop so that they could presumably get aboard.  It’s a murky picture to imagine, because either the guy was really fast in spite of their inebriation, or the bus was going the perfect speed to where a human being could keep up and slap at it while simultaneously having enough momentum to drag someone into a wheel well, run them over and kill them.

Regardless, it still ends up with a perfect storm of ironic chaos that results in a fatality, with MARTA’s name attached to it, regardless of the fact that it wasn’t their fault, which feeds into the narrative that MARTA can’t do anything right, except Ride or Die.

Does the show always have to go on?

One of the first thoughts that went through my head when I heard the news that Roman Reigns had leukemia and was going to relinquish the Universal title and take a leave of absence from the WWE was: this is what the WWE was going to start the show with?

Sure, I’m as surprised as the most casual of wrestling fans are, because I don’t use Twitter nor do I have any sort of sources be on top of every little tidbit of wrestling news, and it’s certainly surprising and sad to hear of one of the top guys in the industry to be derailed like this due to a terminal illness.  Obviously as both a wrestling fan and a human being, I would like to see Roman Reigns beat leukemia back into remission again and return to the ring, and I hope treatment is both manageable and successful.

But my skepticism and disappointment, as cliché as it may seem, remains with the WWE itself, whom as all die-hard wrestling fans know about the business, is that the show must go on.  No one man or woman is bigger than the industry, and the show does not stop for anybody.  The Royal We get it; however that’s more applicable to the unpredictable and unexpected, the things that cannot be controlled or anticipated, like injury, emergency and death.  The fact that the WWE continued on with Over the Edge in 1999, even after Owen Hart fell to his death in the middle of the show is proof to this staunch and concrete mentality.

Roman Reigns’ leukemia announcement though, that’s different.  Despite the fact that the biggest tryhard internet smarks probably all knew what was up before the cameras started rolling, as much as the WWE might not want to believe it, there are more casual fans out there that do not live and die with the minutiae of the internet and might not have been aware of the news.  The choice of when to air the Roman Reigns segment was entirely controllable, and I have to question the WWE’s choice to emotionally powerbomb the audience in the first 25 minutes of the show, and then expect business to go on as usually for the remainder of a three hour program.

I see both sides of the coin, because it’s no secret that the third hour is kind of a drag, and the WWE often times phones it in, in hour three.  It’s later, fewer eyes might be on the tv by then, and if the goal is to get as many eyes on the segment as possible, then hour three is not the logical placement, even if the idea of “the main event” is supposed to be saved for last.  An announcement of this importance should be done when peoples’ attentions are at their peak.

However, this is the kind of announcement that absolutely derails everything.  Reality doesn’t often permeate into the world of professional wrestling, and when it does, it’s very much a big deal.  And as much as professional wrestling is full of trolly smark fans who love to troll live shows and act contrarian to fuck with the business, they’re still going to these shows and buying merchandise because at the end of the day, they’re still fans; and still human beings, who will most likely be impacted by the very real news of a cancer diagnosis of a very prominent figure in their preferred entertainment.

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Waynesboro, Virginia, the land where professional wrestling stood still

I recently went to an indy wrestling show out in the sticks of Virginia.  Waynesboro, to be exact.  This was actually the impetus for a trip I made in order to spend some time with my family, since I frankly don’t really spend nearly enough time with them.

The decision to go to this show was really quite an easy one, because when it first came onto my radar, Juventud Guerrera was listed to be on the card, among a pretty star-studded guest list, especially for an indy show as this one was; guys like Sting, Lex Luger, Vader, Ron Simmons, and the Rock ’n Roll Express were also slated to be at this show.

But as legendary as some of those guys are, I have this ironic love for the weird, and the jobbers, and the guys that don’t get nearly the credit they deserve, like Juventud Guerrera.  Plus, I really wanted a Juvi mask to essentially complete my collection of luchador masks on my shelf, since the Juice is somehow considered “too old” in Mexico itself, to have his masks for sale on the streets of la Playa del Carmen. Without question, Juvi was really the only reason that I wanted to go to this show at all.

So plans were made, flights were purchased, tickets were acquired, and I was on my way back to Virginia for a long weekend of family, friends and Juvi Juice.  I was looking forward to it greatly.

And then as the show neared, I went to the promotion’s website to refresh my memory of what else was in store; and noticed that Juventud’s profile was no longer a part of the promotional banner.  To make matters worse, all mention of Juvi was gone from the site.  My friend messaged them on Facebook, but because they’re a yokel backwater promotion, they never responded, but all signs were pointing to the idea that Juventud was no longer going to be a part of it.

“Card subject to change” is one of the bigger tropes of the business, and because professional wrestling is full of flakes and bums, it’s the thing said to easily Mentos out of just about any sort of card changing, like Juventud Guerrera not being a part of it.  Unfortunately for those of us outside of the business, the real world doesn’t work as conveniently as the scripted one inside of it.  I still had plane tickets and vacation time punched out at work.  Juvi or no Juvi, I was still going to be going to this show, disappointed as hell that I wouldn’t get to meet the Juice and pick up la maskara for the colleccíon.

Oh yeah and Vader died, so that was another blow to the card that was going to be hard to cover up.

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Nothing says education matters than dropping out when football’s over

This is what’s wrong with sports: theOhio State defensive end Nick Bosa drops out of school after getting injured to “prepare for the NFL draft”

This is the very definition of what is wrong with sports, and Nick Bosa is the very definition of a entitled dumbass who has clearly put all of his eggs into one basket; which naturally makes me disrespect his lack of intelligence and therefore makes me want to see him fail.

But basically, what we have here is a story of a highly-touted star athlete with professional aspirations who got injured.  But instead of rehabbing his injury and staying in school while doing so, he drops out, and cites that he needs to prepare for the NFL draft.

I know I rag on theOhio State a lot, and I never tire of seeing them lose.  But the fact of the matter is that famous schools are rich schools, and rich schools are often prosperous schools, even for those pleebs enrolled that aren’t student athletes and play football.  To justify their position in the collegiate world, theOhio State is still a very good school for academics, and sure it’s no secret that the vast majority of football players don’t actually have to learn anything and are handed phony-but-still-legitimate degrees, but that’s still contingent of them sticking around long enough in order to fulfill their credit hours.

Nick Bosa dropping out of school because his football season prematurely ended is basically the greatest message of how unimportant education is as long as you can play a sport.  He pretty much had a free ride for a free degree, as long as he could throw his body against other meatheads and occasionally rush a quarterback 4-5 times a game.  An injury wouldn’t have ceased such a sweet deal, because technically Bosa was a junior, and as long as there was the thought that he could come back and keep playing, the free ride would have undoubtedly continued.  And even if everyone already didn’t know he was going to go pro after 2018, it’s not like theOhio State could just pull the rug out from under him and renege on the scholarship, unless he was just straight up a criminal or something.

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I fucking hate bicyclists now

For the last few months, mythical gf has been training for a half marathon.  Being the long-time runner that I am, I’ve decided to join along for lots of her runs, as it’s never going to hurt me to get out there and run and burn some extra calories here and there.  As part of the training, we’ve been going out to trails and extending her distance little by little, in preparation for the eventual 13.1 mile course.

We’ve found a trail that we’ve decided is the ideal place to train and stretch out distances, and over the last few months, we’ve been routinely spending a day every weekend out there to log some miles, burn some calories and in my case, sweat out buckets.  With the weather finally changing from summer into fall and cooling off, the runs have been rather pleasant lately.

Except, for the existence of all these fucking bicycles.  Look, it’s a multi-use trail, and I understand that bicycles have just as much right as the two of us and every other walker/jogger in Georgia does.  But given the fact that the vast majority of bicyclists on the trail are all these mega-douchebag-tryhard bike riders, by the time our runs end, I always make some sort of proclamation about how much I’ve grown to hate bicyclists now.

I’m talking about these shitheads who roll into the parking lot in Audis, Lexuses and Porsches, are wearing these onesies that would raise the eyebrows of even the most dedicated Queer Eye viewer, and from what little I do know about bicycles, are unleashing these bicycles with blade wheels, carbon fiber bodies, and other ludicrously priced hardware meant to make them as fast as possible. 

And naturally, they capitalize on the expensive toys’ capabilities, and scream down the path as humanly possible, despite the fact that the trail’s width is maybe 10 feet wide, very well-populated, with a variety of runners, walkers, people with baby strollers, or dog walkers.

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