Thoughts on Wrestlemania Week

It occurred to me that in spite of how much I like sports like baseball, college football and basketball, or any other sport that I tend to get into for various spurts of time, when the day was over, and I really had to pick one thing to really stay interested in giving my very limited time these days, what wins out in the end is professional wrestling, the so-called fake sport.

I mean it’s really no surprise, considering my interest in wrestling precedes every single sports interest I’ve ever had in my life, so I’m literally falling back all the way to my childhood interest when there’s an overabundance of options to be interested in.

Anyway, so this past week was for lack of a better term, Wrestlemania Week.  Both NXT and the main roster broke up TakeOver and Wrestlemania into two-night affairs apiece, and to be perfectly honest, I really liked it in this format, and kind of hope it remains as such in the future, and not just a pandemic thing.  I enjoyed the fact that every single evening was a 2-3 hour event, and unlike ‘Manias in the past, wasn’t an exhausting five hour show to where I’m dog tired by the time the Brock Lesnar match at the end is over.  I literally had time to slap on a paint of coat in my second daughter’s nursery after night 1 of TakeOver went off the air before going to bed.

By breaking up the shows over multiple nights, I could build anticipation for matches on each of the nights, and I didn’t feel tired or burned out from watching any one show too long, and it actually helped me remain engaged and entertained.

However, before I get into the meat of this post and talk about my favorite matches of the week, I have to say that I was one part happy to see a raucous live sellout crowd at Raymond James for Wrestlemania, because fans really are one of the things that have been truly missing throughout the last year, and I know AEW and NXT have been running small crowds regularly, but seeing a packed house, made it feel like for the first time, something back to normal.

But on the other hand, the other part of me was absolutely mortified at the fact that there were 25,000 people sold out two nights straight in Tampa Bay, and just days prior in Dallas, were about 40,000 people packed into a ballpark for the Texas Rangers’ home opener.  The mere thought of these kinds of gatherings when coronavirus is very much still a thing makes my skin crawl at the sheer ignorance and selfishness being exhibited by all the people going to these things, and turning these gatherings into what will probably become super-spreader events.

I know people miss and desire the feeling of normalcy by going to major events like home openers and Wrestlemanias, but I’ll be damned if I go to anything expected to be packed houses, for at least, the rest of my life, if not another two years, without feeling scurred and/or paranoid the whole time.

But that’s just me.  Save for the awkward scariness of seeing tens of thousands of fans gathering in a venue again for the first time in over a year, Wrestlemania week was full of some fantastic work; and these were my favorites.

Continue reading “Thoughts on Wrestlemania Week”

This is where the ‘You Sold Out’ chants would start


The funny thing is most people weren’t aware how close Greg Valentine and JYD were in real life, in spite of this horrifically racist promo from 1985

That is, if the WWE actually had live crowds anymore.  The inspiration of this post comes from news that NBC’s Peacock streaming service, which acquired the entire WWE Network library and has formally liquidated it as of a few days ago, has begun going through their archives and scrubbing all sorts of perceived racist content.

I’ll be the first to admit that professional wrestling has a long history of having done some racist shit during its existence; but that can be said about absolutely everything that’s been around as long as the business has.  If Dr. Seuss, the freaking godfather of children’s literature was found out to have made some racist illustrations way back in the day, it should be no surprise when Triple H had a feud with Booker T with some severely racist undertones not so way back in the day.

Racist shit is all pretty bad stuff, but it happened, will always happen, and in spite of all the rah-rah rhetoric that’s thrown around left and right these days, I unfortunately wouldn’t wager a single penny that it’s ever going to go away any time soon.  It’s sad to admit that, but would you rather I lie about how I feel?

But one consistent opinion I have is that I am absolutely not a fan of any sort of revising of history, no matter what it is that’s trying to be canceled, censored, hidden or deleted from the past.  It doesn’t matter if it’s confederate statues or episodes of Community, I abhor the idea of anything that’s been created being deleted because they’re perceived as offensive.

Personally, it’s not so much it’s because I’m callous and fucked up and want racist shit to exist in plain sight of everyone, as much as I firmly believe that creators of these things need to own that this shit has happened, but most importantly, that they’ve (hopefully) learned something over the passage of time, and that such opinions and thoughts might not be their actual beliefs today.

The mistakes of the past are lessons for the present, of things that should be avoided, should be corrected, and should be worked towards improving upon, and not buried in the closet, stashed in a plastic Publix bag and hidden inside of an Amazon Prime cardboard box behind a larger box that was never unpacked from the last time you moved homes.

NBC going through the WWE video library and trying to scrub out racist content is no exception to these opinions of mine, and I wince and look at NBC with disgust at their cowardly attempt to hide the past instead of trying to learn from it.  When this stuff was all on the WWE Network, the WWE just slapped a disclaimer on all old content, succinctly explaining the content of these programs reflect their original air date’s time and ideals, and that not everything is applicable to modern times.  But NBC being so lily white homogenized, just would rather delete it from existence, to where, as Winston Churchill once said,

Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it

Imagine one or more of Triple H and Stephanie McMahon’s kids; if the WWE Network still existed when they’re old enough to watch some of the old content, they’d eventually come across the aforementioned HHH vs. Booker T feud.  Daddy could easily get in front of the topic, and explain to his kids the implications of the storyline, that they were wrong, that he was just acting, but to not replicate that sort of behavior or thinking.  It could be an actual teachable moment.

But in the Peacock world we’re living in now, his kids will never see that daddy portrayed an arrogant racist in a storyline, and one day, someone will find a clip on YouTube of daddy saying “you people” to a black man, and Hunter’s kids will come to their own conclusions and realize that daddy is racist.

He’s also into necrophilia when he was feuding with Kane, but for some reason, NBC seems to think that racist content is just a little bit more offensive, and his kids would be able to see that regardless of the platform but anyway.

The point is, I really dislike that NBC is doing what they’re doing, but frankly I’m disappointed that the WWE liquidated their fantastic network in the first place to sell to NBC.  I know coronavirus really put the hurt on the industry, due to the complete tanking of live events and all the revenue that comes with that, but this shit will pass, but what’s done is done, and WWE sold their shit out. 

I don’t know if they ever knew just how influential they were to the world we’re in now, where damn near every media company has an app now, and as much as none of them really would want to admit it, almost everyone’s eyes were on the WWE Network when they launched, and it was through them, most realized that they could survive and thrive on that model too.

But now they’re a tiny cog in a larger machine, that’s also going through their hallowed libraries and censoring all of their old shit that they think might hurt someone’s feelings.

You-Sold-Out!  You-Sold-Out!

My 600 Lb. Diet – fin

After seven days, I decided to throw in the towel on the Dr. Nowzaradan 1,200 calorie diet.

It’s not so much that I couldn’t handle the diet, as much as it was that I had actually started doing some research on what was and what wasn’t healthy numbers of calories to ingest, and what it really boiled down to was that 1,200 calories a day for someone as active and capable as I am on a daily basis, just was not a good thing.

I actually began to have doubts as soon as day 2, but I compromised with myself and gave myself the rest of the week to make sure that I wasn’t just going through knee-jerk doubt, and to stick it out just one week, to see if it might get easier or if it really was something that was capable of defeating my willpower.

As I said, it’s definitely something that I know I’d be capable of doing for an month, but not without its own series of inconveniences, outside of just hunger and radical energy spikes.  What helped justify the decision to call it after a week was that I was also running out of the healthy food that I had bought to embark on this test, and the thought of having to go to Costco again, just for a whole bunch more meat was about as appealing as the idea of sprinting through a forest naked.  Apathy and laziness trumped Dr. Now in this regard.

Speaking of apathy and laziness, 1,200 calories, in spite of being way below normal for just about anyone, much less an active and capable person, works for rapidly reducing weight for people who inherently live sedentary lifestyles and are already morbidly obese, but for all others, it’s just simply not enough calories to operate without there being some parts of the day in which your body feels sluggish from having no energy to burn, and occasional hangriness, even though we know it’s a thing.

The real kicker though for me was when I looked up general calorie calculators, on how many calories someone like me should be consuming in a day (photo above), and seeing how if I wanted to lose weight at a normal pace, two times of 1,200 is what I’d be allotted to have each day, a little bit less than that, but still significantly more than 1,200, if I wanted to “lose quickly.”

And anyone who’s ever taken any sort of interest in nutrition knows that when your body goes into a deficit, the first place that it goes into is typically muscle, and seeing as how I’ve already shriveled and likely lost a bunch of mass from the last year of pandemic and no-gym, losing even more was the last thing in the world I wanted to happen.

I could have adjusted the diet, and stayed low-carb/high-protein and just consumed 1,800 calories a day, but then it wouldn’t have been the Dr. Nowzaradan 1,200 diet; and that was the point I was trying to make, being able to do.  So after the seventh day, I went to bed knowing that the following morning would be back to normal for me, where I could have cereal, I could have creamer in my coffee, and the world of food options was once again my oyster to where I could eat whatever I wanted. 

Final Number after 7 Days:

Initial weight: 189.4 lbs
Final weight: 185.8 lbs (3.6 lbs lost)
8,310 calories consumed
951.5 grams of protein
$67.56 worth of food for 21 meals and 18 snacks

My 600 Lb. Diet – Day 6

I’m finding that the biggest opponent of staving off hunger is staying awake longer than is necessary.  Actually, I knew that, because back in like 2006 when I was actively dieting pretty well, I had some pretty regimented hours because my life wasn’t in a particularly good place, and I slept a lot to deal with a lot of the depression I was dealing with, so I went to bed at pretty predictable hours and had a pretty routine schedule as far as eating went.  It was probably close to intermittent fasting before intermittent fasting was coined.

Dealing with a possible emergency situation with one of the house’s pets and went to an emergency clinic for the first time ever.  Now I’ve heard lots of things, mostly negative about emergency vets, but almost all of them involve lots of waiting.  Which is kind of fair, because you’re going with no appointments, the on-call doctors there have to react and diagnose quickly, and things can go tits up with one bad decision.

Regardless, I sat in the parking lot for two hours after being told 30 minutes to an hour, watched several cars that came after me leave before I did, so I called to find out what was up, only to find out that my pet hadn’t been seen yet, and “was next” in about 30-45 minutes.  I told them I didn’t live far, and they finished the statement for me by telling me to go home.  So instead of doing the critical schoolwork I had planned on doing this evening, in the indeterminable window of time it will take for my pet to be seen, I’m catching up on writing this diatribe as well as summarizing my Dr. Nowzaradan diet’s day, as I have been doing over the last week.

But yeah, I’m typically in bed by now, and the hunger I’m feeling isn’t registering while I’m asleep.  But because I’m not asleep, the hunger is real, and I know I’m not eating again until like 7:30 am.  Combined with anxiousness over the wellbeing of my pet, this is not a particularly good way to start a very well-needed weekend.

BreakfastSame as Day 3
SnackSame as Day 1
Lunch – Same as Day 1
Snack – Same as Day 1 + 0.7oz extra turkey (end of package, 30 cal, 5g pro)
Dinner – Same as Day 1

Exercise
• 50 sit-ups (50)
• 125 push-ups (25, 70, 30)

Total
1,225 calories, 129.5 grams of protein.
Total cost: $9.35

Moar AEW observations

As my schoolwork has begun loosening up a little bit, I began trying to play catchup on all of the wrestling that I’d missed throughout the last month.  Naturally, this would include TNAEWCW, and I got many a great chuckle out of the unimpressive fireworks display they constituted as an exploding ring at their last pay-per-view event that also makes me wonder how their PPV buyrates are in a day where so many people are now used to basically getting PPVs for free through the WWE Network.

Anyway that said, I blew through four episodes of Dynamite just because I wanted to see how a couple of things that I’d heard happened, happened, and as much as I clown on AEW for being TNAEWCW, I still like some of the things that they’re doing, and always do hope that things will eventually get better . . . someday.

A couple of things really stood out when watching a whole bunch of TNAEWCW at one time, and I will disclaim that I fast forward through a whole bunch of the matches themselves, because for a smark like me, the matches themselves don’t always matter so much as I like to see how storylines progress, guys cutting promos, and general flow of segments.

First: AEW really does operate like two separate promotions under the same umbrella.  You have one chunk of the roster all in this weird sub-promotion within AEW that revolves around the TNT Championship, and then you have another chunk of the roster that’s entirely focused around Kenny Omega, the Young Bucks, the Elite, and any and all remnants of any sort of Bullet Club/New Japan talents, even if they are Impact guys like Carl Anderson and Luke Gallows, and whomever they’re feuding with at the time, which appears to be Jon Moxley, Christian and for some reason, Eddie Kingston. 

There practically no crossover between the two sub-promotions, and the show might as well swap out ropes and mats between segments, they’re so diametrically different from each other.  The nepotism that AEW fought in year one is clearly no longer being held back, and now that the inmates run the asylum, they’re letting all their fantasy ideas come to fruition, even if it means lots of actual AEW talents are getting their TV time usurped by guys from other promotions.

Second: Rey Fenix and Britt Baker are the MVPs of AEW, hands down.  I’ve been high on both of these talents pretty early on, because it was pretty prevalent that the two of them, regardless of their actual win-loss records or active storylines, are the top male and female talents on the roster, in terms of consistency, workrate and screen impact.

Continue reading “Moar AEW observations”

My 600 Lb. Diet – Day 5

When I first started doing this, between days 2 and 3, I was often feeling hot, or just plain uncomfortable.  I couldn’t help but wonder if I was literally feeling the burn of calories that my body was doing, as there was no gargantuan excess of calories being consumed like my general living was like before Dr. Nowzaradan.  Granted, the season is in the midst of changing over right now, and temperatures have been swinging pretty hard, but still, I was wondering if the hot sensation I was feeling was like the start of ketosis or something.

I’ve had several friends do keto over the years, and I can’t say that it’s something that I’m particularly interested in trying myself.  However, given the fact that I’ve been minimal on carbs, and having cut sugar outright, I do feel kind of close to a keto diet, minus the fact that I’ve been pounding a large amount of spinach and broccoli throughout the week, since they’re so negligible in calories but high in nutrition.

Either way, five days in, and I have to say that the hardest parts of the day are in the morning, when I’m up at 6:30, and typically have to hold out until around 7:30 so that my daughter and I can eat our respective breakfasts together, and I’ve noticed a slog at around the 4:30-6:30 area, where I feel my energy level getting low regardless of how long I hold my afternoon snack off until.  It’s during these times in which I feel a little sluggish, and my heart tends to beat faster than I think it should when doing things like going up the stairs, or it could be the fact that my toddler is getting heavier or that I’m unfortunately getting weaker, because my already-diminishing muscles are probably eating themselves.

But it’s not that difficult.  The worst meal of the day is lunch, where I eat an entire can of chicken, where I simply get bored of eating just how much of it is packed into a can.  I’ve been leaning heavily on spices and mustard to help get me through them, and I’d never thought mustard could taste so good in my life until it was breaking up the monotony of plain chicken on spinach.

Breakfastsame as day 3
Snacksame as day 1
Lunch – same as day 1
Snack – same as day 1
Dinner – same as day 3

Exercise

  • 100 sit-ups (50, 50)
  • 110 push-ups (20, 30, 30, 30)
  • 2.98 miles (30:16, 399 calories burned)

Supplemental food on account of having run today

  • 1 slice Martin’s whole grain bread + 1/4 cup cottage cheese (155 cal, 12g pro, 48¢)
  • 1 slice Publix honey wheat bread + 1/4 cup cottage cheese (115 cal, 9.5g pro, 27¢)

Total
Meals/Snacks: 1,313 calories, 139.5 grams of protein. Cost: $9.92

Supplemental food: 270 calories, 21.5 grams of protein. Cost: 75¢
Running calories owed: -399 calories
Total sum of day: 1,184 calories, 161 grams of protein.
Cost: $10.67

My 600 Lb. Diet – Day 3

Mythical wife has been making a point to not eat around me right now.  As if I’m some weak-willpower’d schlub who will cave into temptation when I see a Chick Fil-A bag, or a sniff out some Dunkin Donuts.  Once, she ate in the car in the garage, and another time, she beelined in the door and into her general office area to eat, as not to eat in front of me.  Firstly, I’m fine if people want to eat around me, I’m the one trying out the stupid diet in the first place.  Second, she pregnant: girl needs to eat.

Either way, three days in, and this day was actually a little easier than the day prior.  Granted, I had a lot of things on my plate today, and like most unpleasantries, distraction is a good way to overcome, and because work is always a feast or famine kind of thing when it comes to things being on fire, it was easy to not think about being hungry for chunks of time, and then remembering that I have to eat a snack, lest my body goes into even more hunger.

Slight modifications were made today, due to switching bread, and to compensate for running by putting in more calories to eat, which I’ll deduct from the end goal of the day of being as close to 1,200 calories.

Breakfast

  • 1 Slice Martin’s whole grain bread (110 cal, 5g pro)
  • 1/4 cup Daisy low-fat cottage cheese (45 cal, 6.5g pro)
  • 4 links of Amylu chicken sausage (172 cal, 16g pro)

327 calories, 27.5 grams of protein. Total cost: $1.16

Snack

  • 4 oz. Kirkland brand oven roasted turkey (140 cal, 30g protein)
  • 1 slice swiss cheese (80 cal, 5g pro)

220 calories, 35 grams of protein. Total cost: $1.93

Lunch: Same as Day 1

Snack: Same as Day 1

Dinner

  • Two 3 oz. salmon filets, steamed (236 cal, 30g pro)
  • 2 cups of broccoli, steamed (60 cal, 6g pro)
  • 1 slice cheddar cheese (80 cal, 5g pro)

376 calories, 41 grams of protein. Total cost $4.07

Initial Total
1,383 calories, 174.5 grams of protein.  Total cost: $10.76

Exercise

  • 100 push-ups (70, 30)
  • 30 sit-ups
  • 3.00 miles run (30:54)

According to my Garmin tracker, I burned 414 calories during my run, which I have to admit that I did some run-walking on account of precaution in the event I was feeling loopy, because I had basically no carbs in my system, and I’m operating at a very low amount of calories.  But since these exist outside of the 1,200 calorie formula, these are calories that I should be expected to make up as best as I can.

Supplemental Food

  • 1 Slice Martin’s whole grain bread (110 cal, 5g pro)
  • 1/4 cup Daisy low-fat cottage cheese (45 cal, 6.5g pro)

155 calories, 11.5 grams of protein.  Total cost: $0.55

True Total
1,538 calories minus 414 calories burned from jogging
1,124 calories, 186 grams of protein.
Total cost: $11.31