WTF is AEW doing #137

After hearing about, and then seeing the visuals of Chris Jericho defeating Cesaro Claudio Castagnoli for the Ring of Honor World championship on AEW Dynamite on TNT TBS, that was the first thing that I said: wtf is AEW doing?

Then I came to the realization that I say this almost on a weekly basis, because the promotion is always doing some weird questionable things on a weekly basis except for the precise single AEW taping that I was physically present for, where absolutely nothing substantial occurred except an amusing squash match between Brody King and Darby Allin. 

Ordinarily, I’m typically in favor of most things that benefit Chris Jericho.  Notwithstanding his unfortunate political alignment that has increasingly come to light over the last few years, I can still (mostly) separate the wrestler from the guy, and it’s safe to say that I’ll be able to say that I was a fan of the performer, his impressive body of work and his timelessly impressive ability to be creative, inventive and stay relevant no matter the decade.

And with an official ROH title reign now in his pocket, Jericho joins an extremely exclusive club of guys that have held gold in WWE, WCW, ECW, NJPW and ROH, with the only other guy being to my knowledge, Bubba Ray Dudley.  Jericho may never have held TNA/Impact gold before, but Bubba has also never held an AEW title before, so it’s kind of a push for being the most decorated champions of all time.

But maybe it’s because it’s AEW and it never seems like there’s ever an endgame in sight for their seemingly random booking, but I’m more left with the feeling of wtf is AEW doing, over trying to analyze the rationale for having Chris Jericho defeating Claudio for the ROH World title.

Traditionally, logic would say that Claudio is getting a push by dropping the ROH World title, as ROH is unfortunately seen as a tier below AEW, so alleviating him of a second-tier championship frees him up to pursue AEW’s bigger and grander prizes.  But AEW doesn’t seem to know what to do with their World championship, since CM Punk can’t stop being a diva or trying to sabotage the company, so it just keeps ending up on Jon Moxley’s shoulder and is barely worth its weight right now, so it begs the question on whether or not it’s even worth pursuing.

Giving it to Jericho makes a little more sense, because it gives him one more notch on his mantle, of being the most decorated guy in the business, but at this current juncture of his career, where Jericho is seemingly content to be a star-maker, the hope is that the ROH brand will get a young technician to grow and rise to challenge Jericho for the ROH World title, to where Jericho can do good business with. 

However considering ROH still has no television and is completely reliant on AEW programming to advance their stories, it’s probably not going to be nearly as good as the potential of it is on paper.  My guess is that ultimately it’ll be Daniel Garcia vs. Chris Jericho, but it’ll come at the expense of imploding yet another Chris Jericho stable, and the likely alienation and scattering of a bunch of decent workers in the process.

Such a narrative is one that requires logic, something that AEW doesn’t seem to have.  With its World championship in the shitter because their long-term investment went berserk and got into a physical altercation with three executives who were also three of the boys, which was never a good idea in the first place, who also happened to immediately tank the six-man championship that the entire promotion was building up for since day one, the company’s entire main event picture was decimated in a single night.

And for a company with like 15 titles in active circulation, you’d think some of these guys would actually get some television time with them right?  Take PAC for example, the guy is hands down one of the top-3 workers in the entire promotion, is holding the brand new, All-Atlantic Championship, is also co-holding one of the brand-new Trios blets, you’d think he’d get some screen time right?  No way!  After winning the title in June, he doesn’t make his first televised appearance with it until August, and that’s on Dark, and literally this past Wednesday was his first-ever Dynamite defense of the title.  The belt has literally been seen more at non-AEW shows than it has been at AEW shows.

So I suppose with such a tumultuous roster, something’s gotta happen somewhere, so why not start with this, but damn if it just doesn’t seem like something interesting as much as it’s wtf is AEW doing, again?

Hands-free dog leashes annoy me

Of course, as the world turns, I age, and new things come into existence, I often ponder and judge what of these new things are actually cool and/or useful, and what new things are stupid and inherently obnoxious.

Like e-bikes, my knee-jerk reaction to bicycles that have small motors in them that allow the riders to have some assistance when it comes to dealing with hills and fatigue, my first thought was that people needed to stop being pussies and learn how to pedal and overcome their own physical limitations.  But then I thought about the potential about how it would be pretty awesome to bicycle the entire length of the Silver Comet Trail and back and that an e-bike would probably make that way more likely possible than not, and my attitude changed.  I concluded that e-bikes are inherently cool, but it’s a case-by-case basis in which it is determined on whether the rider is being a lazy pussy, or is someone who is in harmony with their physical capabilities along with a little bit of motorized assistance.

But hands-free dog leashes?  Yeah no, there’s little positive rationalization for these things needing to exist.  I think they’re the epitome of laziness, and act as a disservice to dogs themselves, allowing their shithead owners to be lazy and inattentive while they are getting the walks that they typically need in order to be healthy.

Because make no mistake, there’s not a single part of me that doesn’t believe that these weren’t created so that people walking their dogs could dick around on their phones with both of their hands and not be so encumbered by the responsibility of controlling their dog with one hand.

As if walking a dog with a traditional, hand-in leash is at all that hard in the first place, a bunch of lazy fucks have to go creating leashes that are worn around the waist or slung over the shoulder, so that your hands are free to surf the internet on your phone instead of paying attention to your dog?  Get the fuck out of here, that is lazy, that is negligent, and increases the chances that you’ll allow your dog to drop a deuce in someone else’s yard and “forget” to clean it because you didn’t see it because you were too fucking busy scrolling Instagram or some other inane internet bullshit.

There’s someone in my neighborhood who walks their dog with one of these leashes, which is how I came to know of their existence in the first place.  And although she herself is a fairly pleasant neighbor, I’ve noticed that when she’s walking her dog with this leash, she’s completely spatially unaware, and doesn’t get the fuck out of the way or give any courtesy space to cars on the road.  All I want to do is judge her, and other people who walk their poor dogs without giving them the sparsest amount of attention that they really need in order to feel like they’re actually in a relationship with their owners.

Either way, these types of leashes are bullshit, and I judge the fuck out of anyone who walks their dogs with them.  The only instances where I could find these remotely acceptable are with paraplegics with no arms in the first place; sure, it begs the question on how they’d even leash a dog and equip the belt, but the point is that only someone with no arms at all seems like the only logical type of person who would warrant needing a hands-free leash in the first place.

RIP the DeVanzo Shift, you bunch of one-dimensional pussies

Ain’t that a crock: MLB votes in favor of several rule changes that will be implemented starting in the 2023 baseball season, which includes effectively, the banning of the shift

In all fairness, some of the other rule changes are fine.  The pitch clock, limiting pick-off attempts and widening bases.  The gradually increasing ADD nature of humanity can’t sit through three hour games anymore and are demanding change, and adding three inches to bases won’t really be that noticeable except to players who might not get their ankles kicked in or stepped on as much.

But the banning of the shift?  Now that’s booty.  Such a cop out.  Result of a bunch of bitches being, bitches.  The supposed greatest baseball players on the planet all suck so much at baseball and are incapable of hitting the other way so they collectively complain so much that it forces MLB’s hand to outright ban the defensive strategy that has owned them for the last decade.  Total bullshit.

I dislike this immensely.  Instead of trying to raise and develop players to spray and hit to all parts of the field, MLB has basically doubled down its catering to power hitters and is instead modifying rules to benefit them instead of telling them to suck it up and evolve their skillset back to when they were kids and probably told to use all parts of the field.

This is why on a global level, Japan still ranks above the United States in pure baseball talent.  When it comes down to it, they might not have guys who will clobber 50 homers in a season, but pretty much everyone in NPB is capable of hitting the ball to opposite field, and their collective batting average is probably noticeably higher than MLB’s collective batting average.

I still remember back in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, there was a Japan vs. US game; Roy Oswalt started for the US, and he absolutely got slaughtered by Team Japan who hung like six runs on him, without a single home run.  The Japanese hitters were basically just consistently plopping singles the other way, and Team USA just had no answer for it, and ended up losing 9-4 in an embarrassing elimination.

This, is the power of being able to hit to all parts of the field, but this is also something that we’ll probably never see in MLB, because instead of challenging players to adapt to a staunch defensive strategy, they’re just prohibiting the strategy and making it easier for players to remain fat talentless sluggers.

But most of all, I’ll never be able to proclaim “the DeVanzo Shift” again whenever an oaf like Joey Gallo steps into the box and gleefully watch a third baseman position themselves on the right side of second base, before he stupidly clubs a grounder into the teeth of the shift and gets thrown out at first with minimal effort.  In fact, Joey Gallo is probably the odds-on favorite to win an MVP award next season with the shift being neutered, and guys like Brian McCann and Jay Bruce are probably back in the cages right now, getting ready to make a comeback, knowing they won’t have to face the shift starting next year.

When the day is over, I haven’t paid hardly any attention to the game since my children have been born, but I still keep my ear to scuttlebutt.  And it bugs me that rules are being changed in this manner, not just in defiance of change, but because of the sentiment that bad behavior is being rewarded instead of inspiring improvement and betterment of the players’ skillsets, and that’s just pathetic.

Thoughts from a much-needed weekend off

Paris – my #2 favorite place in Las Vegas

As mentioned in the fanny pack post, I was actually in Las Vegas over the Labor Day weekend.  This was effectively the first real, multi-day, kids-free breather that mythical wife and I have had since, before the arrival of #1 back in March of 2020, right before the pandemic shut the world down.  Since then, we’ve literally never had longer than a single day where we were both not without children.  We obviously love our kids and our budding famiry very much, but we’d also be kidding ourselves that having gone through such a stretch has been difficult at times, and it’s amazing we’ve gone this long without a true break and not ended up going insane in the process.

Needless to say, the highlight of the trip was without question, simply getting to sleep in for two straight nights.  As in, turn off all alarms, pin the blinds shut, and go to sleep, only to wake up naturally, once our bodies deemed it no longer necessary to remain asleep.  I know we were in Las Vegas, the city that never truly sleeps and we’re supposed to be out gambling, drinking and being total shitheads all night every night, but damn if it wasn’t so refreshing to wind down the evenings knowing that we could sleep as long as we wanted.

To any of my zero readers who might be under the age of 32, I can imagine just how depressing of a paragraph the preceding one was, as a glimpse of what life after the age of 40 and with multiple kids can await but I really do love my famiry I really do.

As for Las Vegas itself, it was a good weekend to get away from the grind of daily living, but I have to say I had a lot of thoughts about not just Las Vegas, but the experience of traveling, and the state of the world itself.  And not to shit on what was a very welcome weekend to relax some, but me being who I am, of course these aforementioned thoughts are quite critical.

If I could get right to the point, I would have to say that I feel like there is a pretty wide disconnect when it comes to the world of business and the people of the world, and where they stand on how “re-opened” everything really is versus how re-opened everyone thinks it is, or should be.

Case in point: travel to Las Vegas is expensive as fuck, due to supposed demand and inflation.  What should be no more than really a $350 RT give or take anywhere in the continental United States was like an $800 RT per person, resulting in mythical wife and I settling with Greyhound Spirit Air in order to not get to the casinos already broke.  Except when you get to Las Vegas, casinos and restaurants all over the city are operating at less than pre-pandemic capacities, almost all of the buffets are either shut down or completely impossible to get in on account of them being the only ones left, table minimum bets are way higher than they used to be, and it’s basically impossible to be spontaneous or do anything substantial on short notice anymore.

Aside from sleeping the fuck in, two things that I wanted to do at my first time in Vegas in like 5-6 years was to eat at a buffet, and visit Ellis Island.  Neither of which happened because pretty much every buffet in Las Vegas was either closed or required a massively advance reservation, and nobody in my party wanted to go to Ellis Island and even if we did go, there’s no doubt that their restaurant would’ve had a massive wait and been impossible to get in at.

Not that they were that bad by any means, but we had several meals at places I probably wouldn’t have gone to if there were buffets available, not to mention that they were all way more expensive than good Vegas buffets were.

But due to the general feeling of restrictions and handcuffs here and there, I found myself breaking a couple of my own neurotic rules in Las Vegas, out of a feeling that I didn’t have any choice.  Two of them, at the same time, which was no playing where you stay, and no playing at tables with robotic female Asian dealers, because to me, both are omens of horrible luck.  But I did both anyway, and found myself down a good bit in short order, and going to bed feeling agitated and dejected.

Fortunately, a positive gambling session at Paris the following day helped salvage my gambling exploits, but I still left the city an overall net negative in the process, not that such isn’t always the case when it comes to going to Las Vegas, but the point is, there’s a noticeable disconnect between how much the city wants to operate versus the demand of things from the people who are visiting, leading to a lot of obnoxious waits, crowds, rushes and rejections.

Such sentiments weren’t limited to Vegas itself, just the traveling experience in general, is very similar in the sense that airports want to operate in these pandemic-era manners with skeleton crews, early closures and basically taking away all seating from travelers, but not taking into consideration every single flight is basically oversold, because of the reduced number of flights is making every ticket a hot one, and all these people are stacked on top of each other, sitting wherever there’s floor space and an outlet on the wall.

Either way, I don’t regret the trip, and I’m grateful to have gotten away from ordinary life for just a few days, and could sleep in and feel like a self-absorbed adult for that time.  By the time it was time to pick the kids up from grandma’s, I couldn’t wait to see my girls, and give them big hugs and kisses again.  But obviously me being the headcase that I notoriously am, nothing goes by without me overthinking about it, even good shit like small vacations.  But I would wager that I’m not the only one who feels that it’s kind of obnoxious that the commercial world is trying to have their cake and eat it too when they try and use the pandemic as an excuse to operate at 75% when the consumer world is ready and itching for things to be operating at 110%.

Welp, it’s been a while

Ordinary news: massive accident on I-285 shuts down the entire interstate for 10 hours.  Brog news: tractor trailer involved in the crash was carrying beer

As the subject line reads, it’s been a while since I came across a story about a truck crash on Georgia’s highways.  Obviously I live under a rock and don’t really keep my eyes peeled for these, and in all fairness, it was mythical wife who came across it, and it didn’t really pique my interest until the mention about the part where the tractor trailer that was involved in this whole fracas, was carrying beer.

Not that it really matters anymore, because I’m long past the days of where I had intrinsically remembered every type of consumable that had spilled onto Georgia highways, but still, it’s always a tickle to go back in time a little bit to find some inspiration to write on account of booze spilling all over the roads.

The thing is, where this crash occurred, at Ashford-Dunwoody on I-285, this is probably one of the most infamous exits in the state.  Not only is the specific spot a logistical disaster nightmare zone, because it’s close to where GA-400 intersects and that’s a state route that will never seemingly get its shit together or never not be tampered with at any given point in time, for whatever reason, shit just keeps happening here.  Most notably, a few years ago, it’s where an armored truck carrying like $385,000 or some large sum of cash, the doors just popped open and people were basically getting out of their cars in the middle of traffic to try and snatch as much cash as they could, regardless of how illegal it was to do so.

The details of this entire thing are what was the most compelling thing about it, regardless of the presence of beer.  The fire apparently raged so hot, that it created all sorts of structural concerns of the asphalt as well as the integrity of the bridge that it occurred under.  Obviously, it hasn’t been that long since Atlanta was the laughing stock of the country again, for the whole I-85 bridge collapse, and I’m sure GADOT was having flashback and PTSD about the risk of something like that happening again, so they clearly erred on the side of caution when they shut down the highway to assess the damage, lest the bridge over I-285 collapsed, taking out a pretty substantial surface street vein.

All things considered, it was no Japan fixing a lake-sized sinkhole in 7 days impressive, but the fact that GADOT was actually able to get I-285 up and running again in 7 hours is still substantial and for ‘Murican standards, pretty impressive.

Lol Alabama: who do you think you’re fooling?

Uh sure, my bad – Lawrence County, Alabama Old White Guys’ Club Republican group “mistakenly” uses GOP elephant logo featuring hooded Klansmen in it

East Side Elementary in Marietta, Georgia must breathe a sigh of relief every time some other group out there “accidentally” co-opts racist shit and puts it out there and expects to get away with it and never does.  Since their own stint using the Nazi eagle, it didn’t take long before Hanover County, Virginia basically used a swastika for some team within the government, which probably took the immediate heat off of them. 

And now to distance themselves even further, we’ve got some Republican club out in Alabama using artwork from an extreme left-wing news source to represent their right-wing bullshit, that had pretty obvious KKK imagery in it, and then saying “whoops, my bad” when they got caught.  Make no mistake, this is pretty obviously one of those instances where there would be no apology had they not gotten caught, but it’s hard to imagine that in this day where people are actively looking for racism that anyone would think they’d get away with it.

It’s funny, because I googled Lawrence County, Alabama, to see where on the map it was, so that I could then go onto the Southern Poverty Law site, and search where in Alabama where there was reported KKK activity, and see just how accurate it checked out.  But hilariously (ironically), when you click on Alabama, it says that not only is there KKK activity in Alabama, unlike most of the other hate groups in the state, there’s no specific dots to signify where, but it just says statewide.  So obviously Lawrence County falls into that category.

I mean, it’s no surprise how much of a layup such is, seeing as how Alabama is well, Alabama.  A state that other than college football isn’t really known for anything else other than Forrest Gump and racism.  It’s about as surprising as the NFL slapping Deshaun Watson on the wrist for sexual harassment while suspending indefinitely Calvin Ridley for gambling that Alabama has KKK on the brain, and it manifests itself in their Republican clubs.

Sometimes, I proclaim that one of the biggest flaws of the political field is the Democrats’ complete lack of respect for the collective intelligence of the Republican party; that it’s their liberal arrogance that thinks technology, creativity and solidarity amongst minority groups can actually overcome sheer force of numbers and mindless hero worship of a bunch of old white folks.  That this shit didn’t just manifest out of nowhere in 2016, but was the result of an extremely lengthy and tactical long game that is bearing tremendous fruit in advantage and a seemingly endlessly stacked deck against all opposition to this very day.  Tactics like this don’t come from idiots and brainless followers that so many people love to associate your stereotypical Republicans to be.  Somewhere in the party are some really, really intelligent and cunning minds, and this is why America is ‘Murica, and why it never seems like it will ever end.

But then we do actually have idiots and brainless sheep of ‘Muricans who make up other parts of the Republican party, who think they can flagrantly use graphics featuring Klansmen in them and actually think they’ll get away with it, and it’s like well shit, why the fuck are these dipshits’ votes actually counting?

Either way, I don’t think anyone with a brain will actually believe Lawrence County, Alabama, is actually apologetic for using their KKK artwork, and that the only thing they’re really sorry about, is that they got caught.

I love Luis Guzman, but I can’t get over him as Gomez Addams

Apparently because I live under a rock, I had no idea that there was an adaptation of The Addams Family on the slate for revival.  And very recently, some stills dropped to release the initial promotion for what is apparently going to be a Netflix series.  Obviously, I know nothing about it at all, but seeing the above image, was enough for me to be intrigued.

To no surprise, Catherine Zeta Jones is still gorgeous, and there’s little doubt that she’ll visually portray Morticia Addams probably very well.  The kid playing Puglsey doesn’t look nearly as fat or creepy as I always remembered the character to be, and I don’t think I need any synopsis to read that based on the promotional imagery, the show is probably going to lean heavily on swirling about Wednesday Addams, because the point of all revivals and reboots today are typically geared towards drawing in the next generation, while using easter eggs and nods to the past to satiate us olds.

But for me, it’s all about Gomez Adams, who is laughably portrayed by Luis Guzman.  Now I’ve been a fan of Guzman since I saw him in The Count of Monte Cristo, where he played Jacopo the Maggot, Edmond Dantes’ sworn-for-life right hand mate, a role that endeared me to him forever, because few characters have ever portrayed selfless and die-hard loyalty than Jacopo did.

But let’s not sugar-coat it; Luis Guzman isn’t exactly the most stereotypically handsome man in the history of Hollywood media.  He’s a stumpy, pug-faced runt of an actor that so often times gets pegged as some cholo Los Angeles gangbanger named Hector or something as stereotypically bad.  And here he is, slated to be the suave, debonair, romantic love machine, Gomez Addams that was so brilliantly and famously done by Raul Julia in the 1990s.

From what I’ve heard, this reboot is supposedly aiming to harken back to the original Addams Family comic strips from way back when, where Gomez was always portrayed to be kind of stumpy, way shorter than Morticia, and in fact, a little ugly, compared to his bombshell of a wife, adding to the situational humor of the pairing.  So I guess that if that is the objective, than a guy like Luis Guzman isn’t a bad pick, but at least for olds my age, who grew up seeing Raul Julia flipping around and stealing the scenes with his portrayal of Gomez, it’s going to be a really, really hard sell to see Luis Guzman try to ooze the machismo that his predecessor did.

All the same, I do love Jacopo, and for him alone, I would consider giving this Netflix Addams Family reboot a flyer.  Sure, it’ll sit underneath tons of other titles that are in my queue, but if the conditions are right, I’m definitely willing to give it a shot, because as hard of a pill it’ll be to swallow, my appreciation for Luis Guzman would make me take a chance on the new Gomez Addams.