Randy Orton is the WWE’s Friend Zone

It’s not often where I feel like I’ve hit an analogy home run, but I think I hit the nail on the head with this one.  After watching Edge’s return to the ring in the Royal Rumble, and the subsequent segment on RAW the night afterward, where he was brutally attacked by Randy Orton, it dawned on me much like the sun rising: Randy Orton is basically the friend zone for WWE wrestlers.

I feel like the analogy works so perfectly, because not just in the case of Edge, but any wrestler who has the unfortunate situation of being put into a program with Randy Orton, they have to know it’s a dead-end feud with no gain to be had from doing it, much like any sad schlub of a guy who thinks they have a chance with a girl, but get put into the friend zone, and they’re the only ones who don’t realize that they’re in it.

Randy Orton has just enough name and face value to where anyone stashed with him retains some degree of relevance, but he doesn’t have enough of either to really elevate them beyond the holding pen point of relevance.  He’s basically keeping budding stars warm, but for guys that are trying to re-climb the mountain, or in the case of Edge, come back and rise through the ranks, a feud with Orton is literally being put into the friend zone, where there is no happy ending in sight, but he’ll still work like hell trying to prove something, because he doesn’t realize that he’s in the friend zone.

I mean, just look at the last few guys Orton has been paired up with: AJ Styles’ went nowhere working with Orton. Kofi Kingston not only didn’t go anywhere, all the momentum he had from Kofimania came to a slow stop, and not long after vanquishing Randy Orton, ended up jobbing to Brock Lesnar in 4 seconds to drop the WWE Championship.  It’s debatable that it wouldn’t have mattered who he was paired up against, but Jeff Hardy fell off the wagon after working with Orton.  Rusev will never get a main event push in the WWE, and working with Orton couldn’t have helped that cause, and the list goes on and on, really.

But it really sucks for Edge, considering the nine years he’s been away from the business, and as soon as he gets back, he’s thrust into a feud with Randy Orton.  I mean, this is a feud that could have just as easily happened back in 2011, and in fact have faced each other before several times in the past.  But in a company that’s chock full of young guys and guys from different companies, you’d think they’d try and pair Edge up with any one of them before Randy Orton. 

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Chalk this up under whyyyy????

For some reason, The Karate Kid is being adapted into a Broadway musical.  I have to ask again: whyyyyy????

The obvious answer is probably that Robert Mark Kamen, the original screenwriter, probably needs the money.  The fact that it’s been 36 years since 1984, and it’s hard to imagine anyone living forever on the royalties of just one series; and with the recent successes of the Cobra Kai spin-off, it’s probably been no better time than the present to sell out the rights to go Broadway.

But still, my knee-jerk reaction to the news that one of the most iconic films of the 80s, is just now headed for Broadway, for a musical rendition.  Sure, the story is simple and linear enough to turn into a musical, but it just seems like a hokey sellout to imagine particular scenes in the film being danced and theatrically performed instead of the gritty, Ralph Macchio-has-no-real-talent versus a legitimately-can-fight-William-Zabka, like on the beach, or at the finals of the All-Valley Under-18 Karate Tournament.

The eventual training montage, which are basically musicals in their own right, will be replaced by a more over-the-top dance rendition of whatever schlub they get to play Daniel, dancing around, occasionally flailing his legs in whatever they’re going to consider kicks, and I’m going to cringe at just the thought, because I highly doubt that there’s a chance that I’ll actually see it; I don’t have any objection to Broadway or theatre in general, but I do bristle at the idea of the properties of my childhood all one-by-one being exploited and re-imagined in wildly conflicting mediums.

But more importantly, don’t get me started on whatever inevitably-will-be-racist guy they get to play Mr. Miyagi.  The true heart and soul of the entire series, whether it’s a Japanese guy that’s probably not old enough to portray the character, but is cast anyway because of his ability to dance and move, or whether they whitewash the role and give it to like fucking Henry Golding, it’s a no-win situation waiting to happen when they cast Mr. Miyagi, and it’s going to make me nauseated at the idea of some wildly inappropriate looking motherfucker playing what should be the late great Pat Morita.

Long story short, this doesn’t need to exist.  But because nothing is allowed to stay in the past, or isn’t sold to the nostalgia bastardization machine, here we are.  I question why this even needed to become a thing, but honestly, I can’t say that I’m the least bit surprised that it is, unfortunately.

Why does it always have to end in death?

Today Mr. Peanut died in a television commercial.  I’m not sure why it was necessary to have to outright kill him, but it’s clearly a ploy by Planters that is going to lead to something bigger, as it’s speculated that they’re going to have some degree of follow up in a commercial during the Super Bowl.

But come on now, killing Mr. Peanut?  In favor of has-beens and unknowns like Wesley Snipes and Matt Walsh (who?). Why’s it always got to end in death?  And why do Blade and the Tostitos guy get to live over Mr. Peanut?

No matter.  I don’t have a tremendous amount of words to go on about this as I thought I did when I first heard the news.  I think it’s more of being perplexed at the notion of killing an icon of my childhood that triggered the response in the first place.

But if anything at all, I can at least post this classic gif from the Simpsons where Mr. Peanut gains a measure of revenge on people who have been eating his brethren throughout history.

The annual Hall of Fame of bullshit spectacle

This screen grab was too classic to not use

Not really news: Derek Jeter is inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame

Unfortunately news: Derek Jeter is inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, but is denied the honor of unanimous induction by one vote

A year ago, when Mariano Rivera was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, as the first man in history to get a 100% unanimous induction, I figured the doors had been blown off, and that we were going to start seeing more guys getting in unanimously.

Prior to Rivera, such a distinction was basically a pipe dream, and throughout the years, fans have witnessed year after year, legend after legend, fail to garner that hallowed 100% vote, no matter who they were.  Cal Ripken, Jr.  Tony Gwynn. Ken Griffey, Jr. Greg Maddux.  These were all guys that were no-brainer locks to make the Hall of Fame, and I have to ask why if they’re such no-brainers, why none of them ever got to 100% unanimous?

Even guys like Chipper Jones, Randy Johnson, and Pedro Martinez, they were champions, pulled in tons of hardware, put up gaudy career stats; everyone knew they were going to get into the Hall of Fame in their first years of eligibility, but why couldn’t any of these guys get a unanimous selection?

I love Mo, as a pitcher and as a human being, but it’s no secret that the BBWAA hasn’t been kind to relief pitchers historically.  In my opinion, Rivera was definitely worthy of a first-ballot induction, but I’m admittedly surprised that he was the first guy to ever get the 100% unanimous.

Was it because he was such a class-act and a known humanitarian?  Just about every baseball fan knew as fierce of a competitor on the field he was, he was as much of a humble and gracious human being off of it.  But that being said, so were guys like Ripken and Gwynn.

Regardless, with Rivera having broken the mold, I figured that there were still a just a few guys left out there that had the chance to also reach the promised land of 100%, with the first one most definitely being Derek Jeter.

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Well, at least it’s no longer called ScumTrust Park

Shocker of the century: Truist Park becomes the name of the new stadium after the merger between SunTrust and BB&T

Welp, nobody saw that one coming.  And by nobody, I means every single fucking person in Atlanta with a pulse knew that it was going to be Truist Park in the end.

No matter how great it would’ve been if Waffle House swooped in and usurped the naming rights to the stadium, and called it “The Waffle House, home of the Braves.”  Or if the ballpark decided to honor the greatest power hitter of all time and called it like “Hank Aaron Field,” everyone and their mother knew it was going to end up as some soulless, corporate stooge of a name, and once it was announced that the merged bank was going to be called Truist, it was only a matter of time before this obvious news was going to be announced.

The best part is that in spite of the obvious, these corporate stiffs all took the time and resources to make an event of it, justifying the claims of obvious corporate circle jerking.  As if an unveiling was actually needed, anyone with a brain knew the name and what the logo was going to look like before any sort of curtain was ever put on a pedestal.

The sad thing is that no matter all the clowning that Citi Field got when they unveiled, Truist Park is worse.  Sure, the Citi Field logo looked like a Domino’s logo, but at least it was still somewhat attempting to look like base paths and relate to baseball.  Truist Park looks like an Epcot reject with an emblem that looks like the ominous symbol seen on the episode of Black Mirror about the White Bear.

And no clever nickname can be applied to something as lame as “Truist.”  Or ScumTrust for that matter.  Turner Field was often referred to as “the Ted” based on the original ownership, but nothing can really be applied to these bullshit corporate names.

Regardless, in spite of the dunking I want to do about Truist Park, at least when the day is over it’s no longer called SunTrust.  Despite the fact that the bank itself isn’t necessarily dead, the lack of identity helps mask their bullshit, and I can probably stomach actually going to a game in the future once my kid gets here, and daddy wants to take his daughter to her very first baseball game.

The Jeopardy! GOAT: As if it could’ve been anyone else

It took just four nights out of a possible seven, but the long-awaited answer was finally given its question: the Greatest Of All Time Jeopardy! Contestant?

Who is Ken Jennings?

Ultimately, I’ll admit that I was rooting for Jeopardy James Holzhauer to win it, partially because of likely recency bias, but also because he’s a known baseball stat geek, and he plays the game with such reckless abandon that a known gambler should play, that it’s hard to not become a fan.  But I do also remember the summer of 2004 when Ken Jennings emerged on the scene and it seemed like every single day after work, he was at the podium with a $15,000+ lead.  He would end up winning 74 games in a row and raking in over a million dollars in the process, and I’m pretty sure it was decided then that he was, at least unofficially, the greatest of all time.

But unofficial doesn’t ever count in the grand spectrum of things, plus not to mention that in several of the follow-up specials and tournaments, Jennings often times fell short of winning some major crowns, and was dually humbled when IBM’s Watson AI wiped the floor against him (and Brad Rutter).

Regardless, as most people know the narrative, the emergence of Jeopardy James meant that Jeopardy! finally had a third worthy contender, and with the declining health of legendary host Alex Trebek, there was no better time than the present to embark on the long awaited matchup to decide, who is the GOAT of Jeopardy?

Frankly, with no real disrespect to Brad Rutter, but he didn’t belong in this.  His run as a Jeopardy champ was nearly 20 years ago, and despite the $4 million+ he’s raked in through repeated tournaments and follow-up appearances, there was no way he was going to hold a candle against a savant like Jennings or a gunslinger like Holzhauer.  It was no more evident than through the four episodes of the GOAT shows, where Rutter finished last in every single match, and repeatedly wiped out and finished with 0 points after Final Jeopardy; if he was even allowed to play, as in, not being in the negatives.

Although he was a class act the whole time, gracefully singing the praises of his competition as well as honoring Alex Trebek, when the day was over, his presence made the entire GOAT tournament a two-man race.  I would’ve seen someone like Arthur Chu or Julia Collins in the third spot; I know they don’t stack up in terms of wins or earnings, but based on the way Rutter performed, it’s hard to imagine that they’d have been any less inconsequential.

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Can white folks let the body get cold before they start picking at it???

It wasn’t even a month ago when I saw Bong Joon-ho’s coup de grace, Parasite.  It was one of the best movies I’d seen in a long time, and I say that not just because I want to support films made in the Motherland, but because it was also just a good movie.  The plot was fairly simply and linear, the acting was superb, and I’m no cinematography buff, but the visual storytelling was at times, breathtaking.

If white people weren’t so fucking white, then there’s an off-chance that Parasite should win the Oscar for Best Picture, but let’s be real here; it’ll probably go to Marriage Story or The Irishman, because they’re in English, and all of Hollywood is trying to get in bed with Netflix these days.

But speaking of white people, one of the more infuriating pieces of news I’ve heard lately was that the rights to an adaptation of Parasite were won by HBO.

And let’s be real here, the phrase “adaptation” is a gentler, whiter way of saying “replace all the gooks with American-speaking whiteys

All I know is that I lost my shit when I read this article about Parasite already being prepared for adaptation.  And knee-jerk reactions is probably about 75% of the shit I write about on my brog in the first place, but they’re usually coming from the most passionate, heart-felt emotions.

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