When I like to think I’m funny

I don’t really know what prompted it, but for some reason, the thought of Mortal Kombat’s Test Your Might bonus stages came to mind, and I thought about how silly it was that one, almost nobody ever got to see it in the arcades, because at its heyday, Mortal Kombat was always so constantly played that the game seldom ever got to reset to a point where the bonus stages could be triggered, and two, even if you did see all the bonus stages, you might have seen that the final bonus stage is trying to shatter a giant block of diamond.

With your bare hands.  One of the hardest stone surfaces on the planet.

Either way, maybe it’s because I’ve been feeling so mopey about finances, that the thought of a magical giant diamond block just manifested and mutated into thinking about Mortal Kombat, and how absurd it is that anyone could imagine breaking diamond with their bare hands, but why any of the Kombatants wouldn’t just take this diamond and get the fuck out of Outworld and go retire or save the planet from the likely immense worth of a diamond the size of a JVC Kaboom Box.

And of course, it’s Liu Kang being the mega nerdy paragon honorific square, that insists on trying to break a giant diamond block, but the more vapid, superficial Johnny Cage whom might actually know what the value of the finer things in the world are worth, that comes to question the objective versus an alternative solution.

Regardless, enough words, all the context that’s needed is in the comic strip itself.

Let’s talk about the new WWE World Heavyweight Championship blet

I guess I can’t say that I’m really that surprised that the WWE went ahead and introduced a new World Championship into circulation of blets.  Roman Reigns has the WWE and the Universal championship on lockdown and doesn’t look like he’ll be losing them anytime soon, Walter Gunther is bringing generations of prestige back to the Intercontinental championship, the United States championship seems like it’s the youngster’s title, with Austin Theory wielding it, and I have no idea what to predict what they’re going to do with the unified Tag Team championships.

But because Roman has both of the company’s top prizes, and it doesn’t make sense for him to relinquish either, there is a modicum of sense in introducing a new World title equivalent, for a pool of upper-card talents to vie for, without getting inevitably squashed by Reigns.

I also like to think that the WWE made a new blet, just so that they could have another blet to sell, considering they’ve kind of caught up and released just about every single blet in the company’s existence, and I don’t imagine business is great on patsy fake replicas with the Boston Red Sox logo or for whatever reason, every single SEC school.  And at an aggressive $499 price point for a replica, they’re probably grateful for AEW for inflating the cost of replicas to where they could justify upping their costs as well.

Anyway, let’s talk about the blet’s design, seeing as how I am the ultimate blet collector that I know [I know nobody else who collects personally] and my opinion holds the utmost weight on replica blets of a fake sport of mostly sweaty dudes crashing into each other in soap opera storylines.

Knee-jerk reaction: meh.  Leaning not liking it, 48-52.  I get what the WWE is trying to do with this, in that they’re trying to take the classic big gold blet from the NWA and WCW and make it inherently WWE’s without just straight up re-releasing the old big gold blet.  Most likely because they wouldn’t be able to justify the $499 price point, but also because the origins of it will never be native to the WWE.

The sheer amount of flourish and the thickness of the plates, and all the swirly designs with practically no contrast to give it any sort of visual separation just kind of make it look like a massive golden turd, smashed and shaped into the general shape of a gold center plate, and then slapped with a WWE logo in the middle.

Speaking of which, because the globe behind the logo lacks any sort of, you know, land masses on it, it’s not really a globe anymore, and doesn’t really say “world” about it.  But that’s okay I guess, because they have “WORLD CHAMPION” on it in a spiky, LA Angels-type font that is supposed to look intense and menacing or something.

It’s like, the classic World championships of the past, and all championship blets for that matter, the WWE logo was always subtle, but present.  It allowed for the actual title of the championship be the focal point of the blets, from the old World championships, all the way to even like the European championship.  There’s a reason why those older blet designs are all so revered and respected and seen as the benchmark of blet design.

The current WWE and Universal championships held by Roman Reigns work, because that’s the WWE going full heavy handed and making the blet basically nothing but the company’s logo.  It’s gaudy and intense, but because they went so ham and committed to it, it works.

This new World Heavyweight championship is one part trying to be big gold, but at the same time, one part WWEEEEEEE, that it’s like two conflicting forces colliding and we’re left with this weird bastardized golden turd of a blet where it’s stuck in the middle of two alpha objectives.

It’s not the worst blet ever released by the WWE, but it’s also not one where I see it and immediately go mmmmmmm I want it.  But I could be swayed, be it through an intense discount/sale opportunity, or as simple as being happy with whom is holding the blet, and it making me want it.  But considering the introduction of this blet screams, Cody Rhodes will be the first holder of it, I can’t say that holder of the blet is going to sell me on it any time soon.

Fuckin’ Cody.  I hope he beats some transitional schmuck for the blet in Saudi Arabia, just so we can go ahead and get his bullshit contractually-obligated World title reign over with, but it mean relatively nothing in the grand spectrum of things.

And then next Spring, lose it to Roman Reigns at Wrestlemania, to great lol’s for me.

Great, now I have to defend the influencer

I didn’t think I’d find a way to organically work this Keyboard Warriors logo I made into a post, and would have to dedicate an entire post to it, but sometimes the internet provideths

The skinny: 21-year old TikTok influencer makes posts about purchasing a home free and clear, The Internet responds with venom, resulting in the influencer tearfully apologizing for being out of touch with people with don’t make as much money as her

Welp, I never thought I’d ever be in the position for wanting to defend an influencer, but here we are.  I’m on the side of the influencer, and when it really comes down to it, I just feel that everyone who is throwing stones her way is, a jealous fatty.

Because I’ve seen enough people do exactly what this little chica does whenever they buy a home: they fucking announce it to the world on social media, because no matter what way you put it, it is a tremendous achievement, that anyone who gets into the position of entering homeownership should be proud of.

I purchased my first home at 22 years of age.  I obviously wasn’t an influencer or in any field nearly as lucrative as this kid was in, and I most definitely wasn’t free and clear from the onset.  But I still delved into the world of homeownership at a very young age, and it was truly for the best as I’d begun accumulating experience that I feel has been valuable as I’d evolved my living situations since then.

The influencer isn’t really that special in the sense that she got a home at a young age.  Any 20-something that’s remotely responsible with their finances could probably make it happen.  The only real difference between her and the vast majority of the world is that she happens to make her living in a form that is oft-seen as insufferable, obnoxious, and generally not popular with the cynical segment of the world, in spite of the fact that those who succeed at it tend to make lucrative livings from doing such.

And this is where I think it’s pretty petty, ripe with jealousy, and sour grapes from the people who are casting rocks in her direction, but mostly jealousy at the fact that she has managed to get into a position to where she could achieve free and clear homeownership.  I mean, I’m envious over the fact that she’s free and clear, but I don’t hold it against her; if I had the ability to just completely pay off my mortgage, I’d most definitely wipe that shit out too.

But it sucks that she has to endure such abuse from the peanut gallery, just because she happened to have gotten the right combination of finding a working formula, luck in gaining exposure, and the appeal to get lucrative sponsorships and means to make the copious amounts of money needed to afford the lifestyle.  Because I’d wager my house that anyone who flung bile at her, if they were in her position, they’d most definitely be buying real estate and doing exactly what she did too.

The fact that she felt the need to apologize was completely unnecessary and I don’t think she owes anyone an apology for being successful.  And I’m spending a lot more time white knighting for this kid than I thought I would deem necessary, but the point is, this is a scenario where The Internet sometimes makes the wrong choices of picking people to vilify, and picking on an influencer just because the majority of the people wish they could have her success, is one of them.

Now wait for her adventures as the world of homeownership comes closing in on her.  Home repairs, being responsible for fucking everything in the house, taxes, homeowner associations or any of the niggling things about homeownership that often makes us sometimes go “I understand the appeal of renting,” begins.  That can be the content insufferable anons can get up on their high horses about instead, but those who have already taken first swings, are already playing from behind.

Would be hilarious if the patch affects player performance

I love how the 2023 baseball season has barely started, and regardless of the fact that the Mets obliterated payroll records, they still can’t escape being the Mets:

  • Newly re-signed closer Edwin Diaz out for the season with injury incurred during the World Baseball Classic, still getting paid $19.5M
  • Justin Verlander, who will make $43.3M this season, already on the disabled list with a teres-major injury
  • Robinson Cano, who was released by the Mets in 2022, and is currently unemployed, will still make $20M from the Mets

But as the Mets have demonstrated, all that shit’s just money, and they don’t seem to care how much of it they burn if they think its going to lead to moar winz.  The Diaz money is covered by insurance, Verlander will probably still have the best games of his season against the Braves, and well, Cano is a sunk cost that deferred money guys always seem to slip under the cracks unless it’s Bobby Bonilla (also the Mets’ problem lol).

However, this new jersey patch to commemorate the union between the Mets and New York Presbyterian Hospital?  Now that’s some tragic shit, that I can’t believe for a second will actually make it through the entire season.

When it comes to fans roasting their own team, few are as more savage and creatively funny as Mets fans, and despite being division rivals to the Braves, I have always gotten along well with Mets fans on the internet and I respect their candor and creativity when it comes to slamming on their own teams.  And from what I’ve already seen, I can’t really top or better a lot of the shit I’ve seen them dumping on the team for the absurdly ridiculous size of this patch.

But at this mammoth size, I have to imagine that it’s going to be capable of affecting player performance, just because of the general feel and added weight it’s going to add to the sleeve.  Like, when a poorly screen printed t-shirt’s design feels hard on your skin instead of the softness of a cotton shirt underneath; it doesn’t absorb sweat and makes you feel wet flesh on a hot day, little things that can make you feel uncomfortable.

And as neurotic and superstitious as baseball players are, little things that affect the touch and feel of their baseball uniforms, yeah I think it’s completely plausible that these gigantic fucking patches would have the capability to affect player performance.  Being on the left sleeve, I imagine a lefty hitter like Brandon Nimmo is going to feel the subtle weight of it when he gets into his batting stance, and it’s going to take a minute for him to get used to it, but any abject performance that occurs in that minute could be the difference in a winning and losing a game, and considering the Mets lost the division to the Braves by just one game, all wins do matter.

Maybe a player on defense will be uncomfortable with there being this bigass stiff square on their arm instead of the light neutrality of no patch, and it fucks up their timing and they start committing errors.  Or knowing the luck of the Mets, somehow, the patch is going to come into play for an injury stint for one of their $40M pitchers.

Either way, the likelihood of such coming into play isn’t very high, because if players can adjust to all this pitch clock bullshit, the death of the shift and limited pickoff attempts, they’ll get used to a patch, even if it is the size of a Domino’s Pizza box.  But if it did, it wouldn’t be surprising, because only the Mets could be the team that gets derailed by something as silly as an oversized sponsorship sleeve patch.

NJPW Television Championship blet: WTHF

While I was chatting wrestling with my bros, I thought about how New Japan’s upcoming Wrestle Kingdom, which is the equivalent to their Wrestlemania, was looking like a really stacked show, and if not for the fact that it started at 3AM the following day for us in the west, I would totally be interested in watching it.  Just the two matches between Kenny Omega vs. Will Osperay and Jay White vs. Kazuchika Okada are enough to sell the entire show, but really NJPW doesn’t ever have a bad Wrestle Kingdom, top to bottom.

Looking at the rest of the card, most of the other matches seem very appealing, even if it does contain the further stripping of titles off of FTR who will undoubtedly lose the IWGP titles in the triple threat match they’re in, and seeing the new IWGP Women’s champ Kairi (Sane) on the card seems as good as place as any for the rampant news that Sasha Banks will be appearing, to come to fruition.

But the one match that caught my attention immediately, and one that I had no idea was even developing was the finals of a tournament . . . for a brand new championship, the NJPW Television Championship.Obviously this means that there’s a new blet, and when there’s blets, there’s me, hoping it’s awesome so that I could hope to get a replica for my collection, but at the same time hoping it sucks, so that I won’t be tempted to plop down $300-400 I don’t have for something that’s useless and I don’t really need.

Well the good(bad) news is that the design of the blet is this gigantic ball of what the fuck, as in this is the worst fucking designed blet since the days of the NWA territories, and their blets were basically made out of scrap aluminum and Peg Bundy’s pants.

Seriously, I haven’t had a blet boner go flacid so quickly since the old Ring of Honor TV blet whose plates were so vertically long that it couldn’t not be a literal cockblock.  The NJPW TV blet does absolutely nothing for me except say what the fuck, every time I look at it, because nothing about it makes any god damn sense.

Firstly, it’s completely boring and uninspiring, with the shapes of the plates being some fucking rectangles.  The baby shit brown color of the strap with the weird gold piping trim don’t do it any favors, and I just don’t get why all promotions seems so determined to steer away from traditional, classic black straps.

But then the designs of the plates themselves, are nothing but eye-scrunching puzzling.  For starters, it’s deviating from the norm and is not being classified as an IWGP championship; for the matter it’s not really being classified as just an NJPW championship but an NJPWWorld.com title.  As in it is a championship belt that represents a website and nothing else.

And despite the fact that they’re calling it the NJPW Television championship, the word “television” doesn’t appear anywhere on the strap itself, but don’t worry the URL NJPWWorld.com is on it five fucking times, so that anyone who sees the blet who misses it the first four times might still see the address on the fifth spot on the left side plate.

The only thing that gives any hint that it’s for television is on the side plates, which basically has a clipart of an early 2000’s monitor with a gigantic PLAY button on it next to the NJPW lion crest, naturally accompanied by one of the five NJPWWorld.com URLs, so I guess it sort of represents digital media.

I know IMPACT! gets a lot of flack being the spiritual successor to TNA, but at least they have the wherewithal to name their blet the “Digital Media (world) championship,” have the name of it on it, and have a blet that doesn’t look like shit.  For all the weeb-y praise and credit NJPW gets, in this regard, they just got dunked on, hard, by fucking IMPACT! of all other promotions.

Finally, the last criticism I have for this turd blet is the silhouette behind the primary NJPW World wordmark on the center plate.  I have no idea what that is supposed to be.  Usually, blets like to have silhouettes of continents or countries, to signify the regions they’re supposed to represent, but I can’t really make out what’s in the background of this one.  Despite being for a Japanese website, the silhouette kind of looks like North America if global warming raised the sea levels, sunk most of Mexico and western Canada and thinned Florida out.  Or maybe it’s eastern Asia despite the fact that NJPW doesn’t operate in any of those countries.  But all the same, I think the heat can get off of the NXT UK Tag blets for not actually having the UK visible on their plates, because at least some recognizable country is comprehensible.

The bottom line is that the NJPWWorld.com YouTube Championship blet looks like garbage.  If I’m Zack Sabre, Jr., I’m pleading with whomever has the book in New Japan to not have me win the championship, because it would be a colossal embarrassment to be seen having to carry around a shitty looking title as such.  It would undoubtedly be better to be a non-champion than have to carry around a clown championship, and if there’s one thing the WWE and WCW has taught wrestling fans throughout the years, there very much are championships that sandbag careers than benefit them.

The NJPWWorld.com Digital Streaming NJPWWorld.com Championship definitely, definitely is one of them.  What the holy fuck indeed.  There’s absolutely no desire for me to track down a Pakistani bootleg replica of this, even if Rusev/Miro were to set Tony Khan on fire and burn AEW to the ground and make the jump to New Japan that I foretold years ago and won this piece of shit en route to fulfilling his destiny as IWGP World champion.

I think this takes the cake

The ad on the left is the July 4th ad that my former team and I produced for the 2021 year.  The ad on the right is the July 4th ad that was produced by my former employer for the 2022 year.

Now I understand that there’s little sexy and glamorous about newsprint, especially considering the world has such a collective boner about digital-this, omnichannel-that, social, influencers and other forms of marketing approaches that constant insists that the print medium is dying or already dead, but I will fight you if you tell me this to my face.

What good is your digital medium if the internet goes down?  Or you can’t connect to the wi-fi and your 5G can’t make it through the concrete and medal coliseums of the stores you’re in, needing to access the internet?  Or you catch me on a bad day and I slap your phone out of your hand and break your phone for telling me that my occupation is obsolete?  Alright then

I’ll be the first to admit that the 2021 ad isn’t necessarily mind-blowing, or remotely close to the best work that my team has ever produced.  We were still amidst pandemic-this and supply chain-that, not to mention that my team was forced to work in a program that was the equivalent of a Chevy Cavalier trying to compete with NASCARs on the track.  But compared to the ad on the right?  Suddenly the 2021 Cavalier looks like a spaceship compared to the stone and chisel produced ad in 2022.

In short, my old team was completely gutted, laid off and the company’s newsprint was outsourced to an agency in Austin, Texas; literally a week after I had my final day with the company.  I was pretty upset about it despite having dodged a massive bullet, because I still had and have a tremendous amount of care and shits to give about all the people on my old team, because there’s a ton of talent and good people there who were put into a horrible situation.

Fortunately, almost all of them have landed on their feet since, but the point remains that the old newsprint team was effectively killed, with our primary task being outsourced; in my opinion, one of the biggest professional insults to anyone who’s ever taken pride in what they do for a living.

I blame my old boss for all of this.  I’ve made no secret of the disdain, contempt and general hate I have for her, and how they were easily the #1 factor for why I decided to leave the company.  I could list of numerous things I hated about being under their thumb, but I’d be better off saving those 50,000 words for November and completing NaNoWriMo with them instead.  However, of all of the horrible shit she said, did and behaved to me that made her a horrible Bronn of a boss, I genuinely think this is the worst thing she ever did; as the title of this post says, I think this takes the cake.

This piece of outsourced shit,  the July 4th ad for 2022, is a goddamn joke.  The photo does no justice to how poor the entire ad is, because all throughout the circular are errors, alignment and consistency issues, bad crops, obviously distorted images, and zero quality control.  A hundred things I caught in a hundred seconds of scanning through it, that would never have made it past mine or any of my team’s eyes on our numerous proofing rounds.  Ancient Egyptians pounding hieroglyphics on reeds had better brand standards than this sad circular.

She killed our medium.  No matter how hard my team pushed back against evolving trends and proved our positive ROI year after year, she came in and killed us, because no team in the world can survive in the league when their own coach is deliberately and determined to kill them.

Continue reading “I think this takes the cake”

WTF is Capcom thinking with Street Fighter 6’s logo?

When I started seeing people posting about the recent Street Fighter 6 teaser, the very first thing I thought was that it was a fake and/or a joke, because there’s no way that this was going to be the logo for one of the most iconic franchises in video game history.

Ohhh, but it turned out that it really is.

Honestly, I couldn’t give two shits about the game itself, I’ve been so long out of video games in general, much less Street Fighter, that there’s a very high probability that I’ll never even play it in my lifetime.  I never played SFV once, and I only played SFIV a handful of times before I got pissed about there being a quick released SFIV champion hyper turbo or whatever new edition that made my version obsolete, so I never played it again.

But that doesn’t change the fact that I can’t sit on my pedestal and judge logos.  And SF6’s logo is fuckin’ godawful, and it really makes me wonder just what the fuck Capcom is thinking when they phoned it in and “designed’ this shitty piece of clipart and decided it to let it represent the franchise that basically made them who they are today.

I couldn’t even get home from work to point out how turrible the logo is before other sites had already sunken their teeth into the same observation, and a few have already gone as far as to call out the obvious low-effort low-key plagiarism Capcom has done in creating this “logo” that basically says all the same things that I would say.

Seriously though, this isn’t just another case of resisting change for the sake of resisting it.  Street Fighter’s general wordmark has been recognizable and iconic throughout every iteration of the series, and there are common elements and a color palette that continuously make it work no matter the number of sequels they put out.  The gritty, violent-looking delivery of brush strokes to create the words, to the signature yellow-to-orange gradient palettes used in every iteration up to SFV.

And then SF6 phones it in with this lame rip off of some Adobe clipart, and then typing out “Street Fighter” in a jersey typeface that appears to have been modified slightly so they don’t get sued to oblivion by the original font creator.  It’s a sad and insulting edition to an iconic franchise that doesn’t look like it’s real, but it is.

I know I already said that the likelihood of me ever playing SF6 isn’t very high, but I most certainly judge books by their covers, and seeing what is becoming of Street Fighter from the logo alone, would probably give me pause to give it a whirl, even if I were still avidly gaming.