Bash at the Beach 2000 Incident: 20 Years Later

Photo Credit: WWE

There are many incidents in the world of professional wrestling that is talked about to this day. From the Montreal Screwjob, to CM Punk walking out of WWE, and even the Owen Hart tragedy, These key moments are never forgotten from the old generation of fans, and the current generation once they do their research on these topics. One of these key moments happened in WCW on this day 20 years ago which has since been named the “Bash at the Beach 2000 incident” by the fans. It is time to revisit this moment that is not only talked about to this day, but also debated on which parts of this incident was planned or not.

WHAT LEAD TO THIS INCIDENT

Vince Russo returned to WCW in June 2000 after taking a brief hiatus. At this point, WCW was already in it’s worst year and the damage of the company itself left everyone uncertain. Vince Russo wanted to push the younger talent that has not had the chance to the main event status. He began this a few months earlier when he pushed for Jeff Jarrett to win the WCW Championship and he did exactly that. There was no problem with Russo doing this because the majority of the fans wanted to see more talent that they already had become main eventers and some of the talent they already had before Russo came to WCW left for WWE and became bigger stars. The only thing that was somewhat preventing this, was the big name talent such as Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, and Sid were all still in the main event scene that year. You could imagine the politics going around backstage during this time with those bigger names over the mid to lower card names.

The week of the show, John Laurinaitis had a meeting with Hulk Hogan. John told Hogan that Russo wanted Hogan to lose to the WCW Champion Jeff Jarrett at the show. Hogan did not like this idea and called Eric Bischoff to talk to Russo about another idea for the match. The plan that was purposed was for Hogan to win the title, leave WCW with the Championship, have Vince Russo set up a new tournament to crown a new champion, and then have Hulk Hogan return at a later date as the “real” champion (Similar to how CM Punk and John Cena were both WWE Champions at the same time in the summer of 2011). Hulk Hogan as the real champion vs the current champion would have then be booked at either Fall Brawl, or Halloween Havoc at that year.

Vince Russo did not like this idea. But due to Hogan using his creative control clause in his contract, Hogan figured that Russo would not change that plan. Vince Russo stated on Kayfabecommentaries that his plan the entire time is that no matter what, Hogan was not leaving with the belt. Booker T was.

THE DAY OF THE SHOW

At the day of the PPV and about two hours before the show began, Eric Bischoff talks to Vince Russo the moment he arrived to the arena. Bischoff told Russo to talk to Hulk Hogan about the match. Hogan told Russo that he should win the WCW Championship because he needed the title again, or else he will not work the show in protest. Hogan then asked Russo what would happen if it was real that he beats Jarrett in a shoot. Vince Russo then told Hogan if it was real, then he would go out and cut a promo towards Hogan. Vince Russo then pitched the Booker T vs Hogan match for both WCW Championships down the line and Hogan liked the idea. But what was about to happen, was not what they expected.

THE MATCH

The match then started. Jeff Jarrett’s music played, but Vince Russo made his entrance followed by Jarrett. Hulk Hogan then made his entrance. As soon as the bell rang, Russo told Jarrett to lie down which stunned Hogan, the announcers, and even the crowd. Russo then threw the belt in the ring and walked off. Hogan then got a microphone and said that infamous line “That’s why this company is in the damn shape it’s in because of bull**** like this” as he put his foot on Jarrett’s chest for the three count. Jarrett left the ring afterwards as Hogan became the new WCW Champion. Hogan then left the ring to walk to the back. What happened next during the Sting and Vampiro skit, is that Hogan and Bischoff left the arena to go to their plane. Vince Russo returned to the ring to not only cut a scathing promo on Hulk Hogan, he fired him as well and rebooked the main event as Jarrett will now face Booker T. Hogan and Bischoff was not aware of the promo Russo cut until they landed at their location a few hours later. Booker T defeated Jarrett to win his first ever WCW Championship.

THE AFTERMATH

Everything that happened before Jarrett lied down was part of the pitched plan. The only people that knew about this, was Hogan, Vince Russo, and Eric Bischoff. This was an example of massive communication as nobody knew what was real, and what was not in that situation. Hogan then sued Russo for defamation which was settled a few years later. Hogan would never return to WCW. Vince Russo stayed for a few more months. Booker T would then win the WCW Championship three more times in WCW, and be signed to WWE after they brought WCW. It was in WWE when Booker T won his fifth WCW Championship. And Jeff Jarrett stayed in WCW until the end, but WWE did not sign him. But he eventually founded Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, which is now Impact Wrestling. To this day, there are different versions of the story told by Vince Russo, Jeff Jarrett, Booker T, and Eric Bischoff. Between the parties involved, it is up to you on which take of the story about the incident that you side with. I remember watching this show live on Pay-Per-View with my brother and cousin and they both had a hard time piecing out whether if this incident was part of the show, or not. This was, until the next day, we realized that Hogan was really gone from WCW. The way you can sum up this incident, is that it was a work, presented as a shoot, that then became a shoot.

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @julianexcalibur for more content. Contact me at julian@alternativemindz.com

The One Time WWE Used Product Placement The Right Way Worked and Here’s Why

Over the years, WWE has had product placement on television whether if it is Raw, Smackdown, NXT, or even the pay per views. Not only does whatever product that is being shown on television is being seen by millions of viewers worldwide, it will also increase the awareness and interest of the brand that is being showcased on television. There are hits and misses when WWE does this at times. But last weekend at NXT Takeover: In Your House, one of the best uses of product placement on WWE programing happened.

This happened during the backlot brawl match for the NXT Championship between Adam Cole and Velveteen Dream. While they were both brawling by the cars, one car pulls up and the driver asked “did somebody call an Uber?” This moment was so sudden and random and it not only worked, it also fit to the entire scenery of the match. It was also not forced and in your face as many other times WWE has done product placement on their shows.

Don’t get me wrong, The few times that I thought WWE used product placement right were good. The first one I can think of, is at last year’s TLC when KFC had their own table. That also fit the theme of the show as that table that was full of KFC food and products, was destroyed during a match. But the difference between this one, and the Uber product placement, is that it was quick and it was not in your face like the KFC spot.

I think that WWE can do more of this type of product placement without overstaying it’s welcome like this. Do you remember nearly almost a decade ago when there was Mountain Dew on the commentary tables for the whole night and not one of the commentators even cared that it was there? I understand that brands paid for the spot, but if it will not have no use other than just being there, what would be the point then? This one product placement that happened on NXT was far better than the various times WWE used product placement on their main shows for the last decade.

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @julianexcalibur for more content. Contact me at julian@alternativemindz.com

Interview: Kris Statlander on her Journey as a Professional Wrestler

Kris Statlander is the newest member of the All Elite Wrestling (AEW) roster and she made her debut not too long ago on AEW Dynamite as Brandi Rhodes wanted to recruit her to her stable The Nightmare Collective. As she is there now, we look to her brief past on her time training at Create A Pro, traveling the road, and her tryout match on WWE Smackdown in this exclusive interview!

You are the first female graduate of Create A Pro. How does it feel to have that honor of being the very first of many females to graduate from the class of wrestlers over there?

KS: “Well honestly, there have been a few girls that have been training there before I have. But I was actually the first one to completely get through the training and it’s a very proud title for me to have for myself. I’m hoping I was able to set some sort of standard for the female and male trainees that come through the school.”

I must say, you and the rest setting the standard opens the door for future women that will go to the school. What was your first few months like over there and do you have any funny stories with Brian Myers? (Curt Hawkins)

KS: “I wish I had some funny stories, he got resigned with WWE shortly before I had debuted so I never got to go on the road with him like some of the other students have. But he’s been like a wrestling dad to me, as have everyone else at CAP. The first few months were incredibly challenging as have the rest of wrestling is. Wrestling itself is like the hardest thing ever. But everyone was beyond supportive and basically made sure I wouldn’t give up or quit because they all believed in me so much. It really became a family for me very quickly. “

 I have seen you wrestle at places such as Beyond Wrestling, Chaotic, and Limitless Wrestling. How far in your training did you adjust to the travel schedule in the northeast for these promotions?

KS: “There’s no really way to adjust, at least there wasn’t really for me. I just started saying yes to everybody and kind of had to just deal with it and figure it out as I go. There’s nothing to prepare you for all of the driving and travel you have to do, it’s just sort of part of the job if you want to make it in my opinion.”

You also appeared on Smackdown Live a few months ago going against The IIconics. What was it like for you to finally be seen on television that is watched by millions and did you tell anyone that you were going to appear on Smackdown before the match happened? Or did everyone found out as they watched?

KS: “I was told the match would happen shortly before they opened doors to that episode of Smackdown. I didn’t tell anybody at home or anything I don’t think because I wanted it to be a surprise. I knew my family would be watching anyways. It was amazing to be on TV, although going into it I wasn’t really focused on that and I was focused and making sure I did my part to make sure the math went as well as it could have. It was also amazing to see how many people online knew who I was even though I wasn’t in my alien form haha.”

Outside of the ring, what do you like to do on your spare time? and how has life for you changed since you started your journey as a professional wrestler?

KS: “My life is always changing and I’m always adding new things in my life. The major change in it, is the amount of traveling I’ve been doing, which is exciting but also very tiring. I just like my time at home to be just time at home. With my dog and my loved ones. Get some good workouts in and just relax during some time off the road.”

Who do you see yourself having a match with in the future since you are now in AEW? And what are some locations around the world that you would love to wrestle at?

KS: “I just want to wrestle anyone and everyone everywhere, I love meeting new people and I love getting to create something new with somebody new. But Rhio is the Women’s Champion and she would be a great opponent!”


Top 10 Best Pro Wrestling Matches of 2018

This year, we have had a chance to witness great professional wrestling matches that were highly praised by pro wrestling journalists Dave Meltzer and Wade Keller and fans alike. The match quality of these ten matches were very rare ten years ago or even further and in today’s age of pro wrestling, it is common to get a great match at least once or twice per month. There are many that I have seen that were from various promotions such as WWE, Impact Wrestling, Ring of Honor, and New Japan Pro Wrestling and I will rank them all in my personal top 10 matches of 2018.

10. Seth Rollins vs. Dolph Ziggler (Summerslam)

I was in the crowd for this match at Summerslam and It was a great opener for this long Pay Per View. Rollins and Ziggler has had many matches throughout the year, but this match is their best match of every match they have had this year. There was a mix of everything in this match from the drama, to the athleticism between these two, and the energy of the crowd. There was a few points during this match where I was convinced that the match was over and that Ziggler would retain the Intercontenential Championship but Seth regained the championship in this awesome match.

9. Undisputed Era vs. Ricochet, Pete Dunn, and War Raiders “WarGames” Match (NXT Takeover: WarGames)

Last year, the WarGames match has finally made its way to WWE after many years where the fans would wonder when it would happen and it has finally arrived on WWE’s developmental brand NXT. Last year, it was three teams in this match but that changed this year when the rules reverted to the classic two teams of four. The feud between these two teams has been building up since the summer and the payoff was this excellent match as it was nonstop action from the start of the match to the finish. The War Raiders also showed off how fast these two can move despite being larger than all of the other men in the ring. There was also a camera shot during the match where the two teams are on opposite sides facing each other in the style of Captain America: Civil War. There were also weapons used during this match such as tables, trash cans, chairs, and kendo sticks and the most memorable spot of the match was when Ricochet did a reverse 450° senton from the top of the cage to everyone in the ring. Ricochet’s team got the victory after he pinned Adam Cole of the Undisputed Era to end this fantastic War Games match which is far better than last year’s version of the match.

8. Randy Orton vs. Jeff Hardy “Hell in a Cell” Match (Hell in a Cell)

It has been a long while since I can say that I liked a Randy Orton match and this is one of them. I have been a fan of both Orton and Hardy for a long time, but they both did not have a good match at all this year before this match. This is Jeff Hardy’s first match inside the Cell and it did not disappoint at all. There were a few moments during the match where it turned into a psychological horror movie such as when Orton proceeded to place a screwdriver right through his open earlobe and twisted it. That was very gruesome to watch as it took me a few minutes to resonate what I have just witnessed. The match ended as Jeff climbed to the top of the inner part of the cell with a ladder, used his hands to go to the middle of the cell like it is a monkey bar, and proceeded to do a body splash to Orton while he is laid on the table but as Jeff fell, Orton moved out of the way and Jeff’s head came crashing through the table as Orton then got the pin fall for the victory.

7. Johnny Gargano vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas (NXT Takeover: Philadelphia)

This match is the first WWE five star rated match by The Wrestling Observer Newsletter since John Cena vs CM Punk back in Money in the Bank 2011 and this match delivered in every aspect. Not only that it convinced me that Gargano can headline a WWE event one day, but it also proved the critics wrong about Almas at the time since his run as NXT Champion has gotten mixed opinions. Johnny did everything that he could to win this match and the crowd was behind him as well. In fact, there were many times during this match that there was a standing ovation to both of them due to their performances and they were very deserved. Almas got the win, but before the show ended, Tommaso Ciampa returned from his knee injury to attack Johnny thus resuming their feud which was delayed due to Tommaso needing knee surgery.

6. Kenny Omega vs. Kazuchika Okada (NJPW Dominion)

This match has been building up ever since their WrestleKingdom match from last year and the slow build has been worth it. These two has had matches on that show along with the G1 Climax as well and every match they have had, outperformed their previous one. It is the modern day Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat with these two as they tore the house down at Dominion this year. This match was a two out of three falls with no time limit and these two went all out during the one hour and four minutes of this classic. During this match, Omega has attempted to use his signature move “one winged angel” many times as Okada has found a way to counter it each time. The only time the move went through is during the final fall of the match as Kenny Omega not only won the match, but also became the new IWGP Heavyweight Champion as well. This match is as brutal as it comes and you will not find a hard hitting match like this anywhere else other than New Japan Pro Wrestling.

5. Buddy Murphy vs. Mustafa Ali (205 Live 7/03/2018)

205 Live from the beginning until the summer of 2018 has been a long afterthought as well as it’s division. Enzo Amore was the best superstar of the division for a while as well until his release and since then, 205 Live has been rebuilding itself and the first match to do that was this one. Mustafa Ali and Buddy Murphy had a no-disqualification match and it was awesome. From the high flying spots, to the innovative ways to preform high flying moves off of the table and even steel steps, and much more spots that has kept my attention to the screen as I was watching it and the fans in that arena as well loved it too and this was the beginning of the relaunch of the Crusierweight division from this point on.

4. Ronda Rousey and Kurt Angle vs. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon (WrestleMania 34)

This match is my favorite WrestleMania match this year and many peope whether if it is inside the wrestling bubble or outside of it (You know, the casual fans and the MMA fans) was curious to see how Ronda Rousey would do in her first ever match in WWE and she delivered in this awesome tag team match in which she teamed with Kurt Angle to go against Triple H and Stephanie McMahon in a mixed tag team match. Kurt and Triple H had control for most of the match as this was also Kurt’s first WrestleMania match in 12 years and once Ronda got tagged in, she did not hesitate to charge right at Stephanie and also Triple H with a fury of strikes and judo throws. The match finished once Ronda made Stephanie tap out to the arm lock as both Ronda and Kurt celebrated after the match finished.

3. Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch “Last Woman Standing” Match (Evolution)

What WWE had done with the women for the last few years has been incredible. Starting way back in NXT when the women’s matches started to be taken more seriously, to WrestleMania 32 when the Divas Championship has been retired for a new Women’s Championship. Now we are at the stage that women are now on the main event of Raw, Smackdown, and even select Pay Per Views and this all lead to the first WWE all women’s Pay Per View, Evolution. Charlotte and Becky Lynch has been feuding since the summer when Becky turned heel at Summerslam. They both had a last woman standing match on this show and it was spectacular to see these two go to war in this match and not hold anything back. My favorite spot during the match is when Charlotte applied the Figure-8 leg lock on Becky as the ladder was also in between both of them. These two gave it their all and I believe this is the best women’s match I have seen this year.

2. Chris Jericho vs. Kenny Omega (NJPW WrestleKingdom 12)

The idea of this match came from Jericho as he wanted to make pro wrestling’s version of Mayweather vs. McGreggor and once it was announced that Kenny Omega accepted the challenge, the anticipation has blew up very high. Jericho and Omega is a dream match that we did not know that we wanted and it delivered. It was also great to see Jericho wrestle a completely different style since he is used to the WWE style for the last 19 years and this was also his return to New Japan Pro Wrestling. Everything with this match from the brutal table spots, to Jericho picking up a camera and started flipping the crowd and the referee with the finger, to Omega’s brutal V-Trigger knee strikes, and with Omega’s high flying arsenal. These two had the match of the night that night as the drama and the story of the match has not slowed down at all from the start to the finish. It also gave Jericho his first ever five star rated match by Dave Meltzer.

1. Johnny Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa “Unsanctioned” Match (NXT Takeover: NOLA)

The match in the year in my opinion and one of the best matches in WWE in the last five years. This match felt like an old school NWA “Lights Out” match from 1980 as the vibe of those matches from that time were transferred to this match. Just like those matches in the past, The referee is only there to make the three count and the other rules are out the window as the referee is not allowed to stop it. Johnny and Ciampa’s feud started way back in Chicago in 2017 and their first match was very crazy. The ring mat was also exposed during this match for the wood to be shown and other than that, there were more dangerous visuals that happened during the match inside and outside the ring and these two put their bodies through war during the match. Johnny did not want to give up at all or hurt Ciampa at all and even his wife did a run in and tried to convince Johnny to end the match. This is also the longest match in NXT history clocking in at 37 minutes. Johnny won this match by submission, but that was only the beginning of their great rivalry.

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Top 10 WWE Games Changes That Nobody Asked For

The WWE Games series has come a very long way. From the days of the NES to now the current generation of video game consoles and PC, it is not going away soon. I enjoyed WWE video games for years especially the early years of the Smackdown! and Smackdown vs. Raw series along with cult classics such as WWF No Mercy, WCW/NWO Revenge, and WCW World Tour. I loved them and at this time, each series improved over another in great ways, but there are some changes that i myself including many fans did not like. I am here to count down the top 10 changes in WWE video games that nobody asked for.

 

10. Ridiculous Camera Angles (Smackdown vs. Raw 2009)

I start this list with a decent entry to the series even though there were a few major flaws. Smackdown vs. Raw 2009 was built around the new tag team engine but that did not stop them for having a good idea with poor execution. One of those ideas were the outside the ring camera angles. This feature made the game play irritating on where to locate the superstars and even though I liked that they wanted to have a visual presentation to what it looks like in real life, the results were not the same when that feature was implemented into this game. Have they saw other games with poor camera angles before deciding to go with this?

9. Removing GM Mode for Career Mode (Smackdown vs. Raw 2009)

General Manager Mode is a popular mode among Smackdown vs. Raw veterans. Although today’s Universe Mode is good, it is not as in-depth as General Manager mode so when fans found out that this mode is going to be removed in Smackdown vs. Raw 2009, the entire community was very angry. What they did was added a Career Mode and trust me, it is very dull. You chose a brand, your superstar, your match of the week and try to build attribute points and repeat. This mode was so repetitive that you will get bored with this mode after one hour.

8. Promo Engine (WWE 2K17)

We all thought that this engine would change WWE Universe Mode in this game but we were so wrong. Want to have Bray Wyatt say something like “i will defeat you at the next show” or “me and my friend John Cena will team up tonight”? Well that is the promo engine for you. Every character has their own way of cutting promos on television in real life. In this game on the other hand, it is as robotic as a Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar match. There is no life to these promos and it was a huge waste of time trying to create segments with the superstars too. Did i forget to add that the promos are in on screen text instead of voice overs?

7. Fighting Styles (Smackdown vs. Raw 2008)

This game is considered the worst of the Smackdown vs. Raw era and it shows the moment you play this game. There was a new feature that included fighting styles and your superstar had a choice of having two out of eight different styles. This decision was very poorly received because this game had far too less moves and limited down how many moves a superstar can do. Good thing that this feature was removed in next year’s game and turned those styles into a variety of abilities that your superstar can have.

6. Removing 2K Showcase Mode (WWE 2K17)

The 2K Showcase mode goes way back to The Attitude Era mode way back in WWE ‘13 and to see it being removed in 2K17 is a huge mistake. The only way you can play this mode is by DLC but in 2K18, this mode was not brought back. You cannot sell a video game with no base story with it.

5. Not Including Many WCW/ECW Superstars (Smackdown! Just Bring It)

Lets keep this in mind that i said “many” because this game was released at the height of the WCW/ECW Invasion storyline. The likes of Rob Van Dam, Booker T, Hurricane Helms, Mike Awesome, Tommy Dreamer, DDP, Lance Storm and many more huge names were absent from this game. It is the first WWF game on the PlayStation 2, but it was a disappointment by fans despite the fact that the game actually looked great. The roster was extremely outdated and there was no excuse for this since Smackdown! 2: Know Your Role had a very stacked roster a year before.

4. Very Minimum Content (WWE 2K15)

2K15 was a graphical improvement since it was running on PS4/XBOX ONE hardware and that is all it was. Removing many content such as multiple match types, the ability to create custom soundtracks, Create a Superstar, Match Creator, Entrance Video and other content was just very jarring for a WWE Video Game. You would think that you would have multiple options and decisions in this game when it is first announced but I along with many other fans learned the hard way and that is, when there is not much announced before a release date, then there is something that they are hiding that does not want to come to light and this game is a prime example of that. The last WWE video game I have enjoyed was 2K14 and that is almost 5 years ago now.

3. Character Models (WWE ‘12)

This game has some of the worst modern character models for a WWE video game at the time and it was a shame to see the downgrade of graphics compared to the previous game’s graphics engine. I will say no more other than Look at Booker T in this game compared to others.

2. Merging GM Mode With Season Mode (Smackdown vs. Raw 2008)

“Why did they do this” comes to my mind when i first tried it out at a comic book store when i was still in high school back in 2007. This is another idea that sounded good on paper, but bad when you see it. The ratings system is extremely broken, your selected superstar burns out quick within a few matches, the ECW Brand would lose every time and so on. There is more to be said badly about this decision and I am glad that they never did this again. The last game to have a good GM mode was Smackdown vs. Raw 2007.

1. Adding Loot-crates (WWE 2K18)

In the age of Loot-crates and micro-transactions, this one takes my number one spot because when gamers hear those words, there is trouble to come. Of course you cannot use real world money to buy those crates in this game, but i have a bad feeling that it will happen in the next game since 2K Games did it to a few of their game lines such as NBA last year. Loot-crates are for My Career only, but nobody should have to rely on randomized boxes to increase stats and etc. We saw how this damaged EA’s and Bungie’s reputation and i have a bad feeling that 2K will get that reception too on this year’s game. This is a feature in every game that NOBODY asked for and that is my main reason why this takes the number 1 spot.

 

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The Wrestling Court Episode 184-Backlash 2018 thoughts

Julian is here with a good solo show covering the disastrous backlash 2018 ppv along with the rumors about Carmella and John Cena, Jim Ross’ comments about the women not deserving pay from the greatest royal rumble, the WWF Cookbook and much more.

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The 2018 WWE Superstar Shakeup thoughts.

 

The WWE Superstar Shake-up is the 12th edition of the WWE Draft. A select number of WWE Superstars from Raw and Smackdown switch brands from either show with the addition of call ups from their third brand, NXT. The 2018 edition of the Superstar Shake-up had many switches over the course of two days and i will go over each one that got switched over.

FROM SMACKDOWN TO RAW

#1. Jinder Mahal- Mahal coming off a huge push from 2017 is now on Monday Night Raw. He took the United States Championship with him to Raw and his title was immediately put on the line against Jeff Hardy but more on that in a few minutes. His Smackdown run is still debated to this day so hopefully, this will be a fresh start for him on the Raw brand.

#2. The Riot Squad (Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan, and Sarah Logan)- With Paige being the new General Manager of Smackdown, it makes total sense to have these three switch brands. But do i think that it was too early for these three to get switched? I do. They have been on Smackdown since November and all three of them have not had a talked about moment at all yet since their debut so lets see what will happen to these three down the road.

#3. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn-I actually did not think that this would happen since they were storyline fired from Smackdown. It appears that Stephanie McMahon (keep this in mind since over 6 months ago, Kevin Owens headbutted Vince McMahon) overruled the decision to keep them off Raw. Will Kevin Owens go back to the main event scene on Raw like he did before, or will him and Zayn will begin in the tag team division. Good pick for Raw in my opinion.

#4. Zack Ryder- His announcement was made via Twitter that he has been drafted to Monday Night Raw. I do not know how they can use him since he has been a comedy act for a very long time.

#5. Fandango and Tyler Breeze- Another comedy act from Smackdown that were never taken seriously by the casual fans. Just like Ryder, i do not know where they will go from here.

#6. Natalya- Natalya i believe is the only female veteran currently on the roster right now. She has had a good year on Smackdown Live last year so i believe that she will be able to help carry the women’s division on Raw.

#7. Mojo Rawley- For some odd reason, i think that either he or someone else who i will mention on the Raw selections will get that “Jinder Mahal push” sometime this year. He was not getting anywhere on Smackdown so i will give him a shot on Raw.

#8. Dolph Ziggler and Drew Mcintyre- Drew needed to go to Raw and Dolph is now back on Raw as well. I already see the fans making the Diesel and Shawn Michaels comparison with these two but i think that Drew will get that “push” i just mentioned on Raw so this is a great choice and we will have to see how well he will do. Anyone noticed that the former 3MB members are all on Raw now?

#9. Baron Corbin- Yeah. He has fought a lot of guys on Smackdown in the past two years and he needs a fresh new start since his disastrous summer last year from losing his Money in the Bank championship match, to losing to John Cena at the opening of Summerslam.

#10. Mike Kanellis- I keep forgetting that he is on the roster but i do not think that he will do much on Raw.

#11. The Ancension- Like Breezango, this is just another tag team to add for depth. No major shakeup here.

#12. Bobby Roode- This is a GLORIOUS addition to the Raw roster and i think that he will do great there. He had a decent run on Smackdown and he still gets a good crowd response every week. I think that a heel run from him is where the money is.

#13. Chad Gable- I thought that him and Benjamin would get drafted to Raw but i think that he should have stayed on Smackdown. Unless he teams up with Jason Jordan, i do not have a good feeling for Gable on Raw.

FROM RAW TO SMACKDOWN

#2. Jeff Hardy- The first televised shakeup announcement that happened on Smackdown started with a bang. I initially thought that the Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins will be drafted to Smackdown, but i was totally wrong. Jeff Hardy did great on his previous run on Smackdown from 2008-2009 so he will do great here too.

#3. Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville- These two were paired up with now Smackdown Geneal Manager Paige over on Raw and just like The Riott Squad, they were brought up way too quick but the difference is, these two improved far better than Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan. I thought that these two would be split up but lets see how long that these two will be paired up.

#4. Samoa Joe- Another great draft pick and one i did not see coming is Samoa Joe. Joe was about to start a feud with Roman Reigns on Raw but now it has been scrapped. Joe will be a big deal on Smackdown and it is an amount of time before he has a match with AJ Styles.

#5. Sanity-Another NXT act that has been rumored for a call up since late last year. About time! I know everyone is upset with NIkki Cross not coming up too, but that is fine. Remember Carmella didn’t join Big Cass and Enzo in WWE either right away. She was called to the main roster on her own and benefited a bunch. Cross has more to do – on her own. If she joins the group down the road, fine. But I like her potential as a stand alone act. Sanity did okay in NXT; I am curious to watch it translate on the bigger stage.

#6. Big Cass- Interesting. I imagine WWE will ride with him for a little bit as an upper mid-card heel. Then we can all check out his progress summer time.

#7. Auska- Oh yeah! I thought she might switch with Charlotte. Instead, they are now on the same brand. That is fine but also ironic following WrestleMania 34. Asuka has wiped the floor with the entire Raw women’s division. Now it is Smackdown’s turn. I am a huge fan of this. Her and Charlotte are kept away from Ronda Rousey until the time is right for them to do battle.

#8. The Club- No Finn Balor. Really, that is the takeaway here. The Club on their own…nobody cares. With Balor, fans care.

#9. Cesaro and Sheamus- Another move that was easy to predict. They have done it all on Raw. My take on this is that this opens the door for new tag feuds but also solo feuds. Sheamus and Cesaro will have to remain their single’s careers again eventually. I am ready for that to happen. They can lose and finish their Raw business Friday at the Greatest Royal Rumble event.

#10. R-Truth- – If No Way Jose is on Raw, then Truth can be on Smackdown. They are simply a fun opening match act that gets the crowd hyped up. If WWE does want to give him a renewed push though, they know he is a well respected veteran and more than capable. Win-win.

#11. Andrade “Cien” Almas and Zelina Vega- The pair of these two will be great for Smackdown. Move over Alberto Del Rio, these two are what fans care about and i think that Andrade will get a shot at the United States Championship sometime within the year.

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C2E2 2018 Recap

Last weekend was the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo or otherwise known as C2E2 and all of the attendees went to the show to check out cosplayers, buy rare comics, attend panels and to get their exclusive merchandise at the ReedPop area. It is a show for all ages whether if you love comics or entertainment and there were also celebrities there in attendance such as Dave Bautista, Sean Gunn, Charlie Cox, CM Punk, Dominic Purcell, Khary Payton much more where anyone could have had a chance to buy photo ops or autographs.

The panels i have attended were great. Bautista and Sean Gunn talked about Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers:Infinity War and the fans asked questions about those movies along with Bautista’s time in WWE.

I also went to the Khary Payton spotlight panel as he talked about The Walking Dead, Teen Titans and Teen Titans Go.

Tom Kenny, the voice actor of Spongebob Squarepants also had a panel as they celebrated 20 years of the show and he talked about that along with his best moments of doing the show and his favorite episodes and characters. It is crazy to think that the show is still going strong to this day.

The cosplayers that were at C2E2 were amazing and these were the best i have seen below.

I also had the chance to interview key people for the show Supermansion and the upcoming film Daphne & Velma and those are now up on these links below the photos.

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‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Star Dave Bautista To Attend Wizard World Comic Con Portland, Philadelphia and Chicago

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Star Dave Bautista To Attend Wizard World Comic Con Portland, Philadelphia and Chicago

‘Drax the Destroyer’ To Appear Saturday at Three Of Wizard World’s Longest Running Events

LOS ANGELES, January 16, 2018Dave Bautista , who wowed fans as “Drax the Destroyer” in Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014 and in last summer’s blockbuster sequel, will make triumphant returns to Wizard World Comic Con events in Portland (April 14), Philadelphia (May 19) and Chicago (August 25). Bautista, whose budding film career has also included a role in the Sony feature Spectre, the 24th installment of the James Bond series, will greet fans, sign autographs, pose for photo ops and conduct interactive Q&A sessions at his Saturday appearances at each show.

In addition to his Guardian and Spectre roles, Bautista also appeared on-screen last year in the much-anticipated Blade Runner 2049 , the sequel to the science fiction cult classic. In 2016, he appeared in several films including Kickboxer: Vengeance and Marauders , and the year prior he was also in the action film Heist starring opposite Robert DeNiro and Jeffery Dean Morgan .

Bautista can also be seen in last year’s independent film Bushwick starring opposite Brittney Snow, and has numerous films scheduled for 2018 release, including Avengers: Infinity War and Final Score .

A more complete current roster of celebrities for each event is available along with dates, times and other information at www.wizardworld.com , with additional headliners to be announced.

Wizard World Comic Con events bring together thousands of fans of all ages to celebrate the best in pop culture: movies, television, gaming, live entertainment, comics, sci-fi, graphic novels, toys, original art, collectibles, contests and more. The Portland show, held at the Oregon Convention Center, is set for April 13-15. The Philadelphia event is set for the Pennsylvania Convention Center, May 17-20. Wizard World will celebrate the 20th anniversary of Wizard World Comic Con Chicago, August 23-26 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill. At all shows, kids 10 and under are admitted free with paid adult.

About Wizard World (OTCBB: WIZD)

Wizard World, Inc. (www.wizardworld.com ) produces comic, gaming and pop culture conventions across North America that celebrate the best in pop culture: movies, television, gaming, live entertainment, tech, comics, sci-fi, graphic novels, toys, original art, collectibles, contests and more. A first-class lineup of topical programming and entertainment takes place at each event, with celebrity Q&A’s, comics-themed sessions, costume contests, movie screenings, evening parties and more. Fans can interact with Wizard World at www.wizardworld.com and on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and other social media services. Additional initiatives may include an augmented touring schedule of Wizard World shows, fixed-site installations, curated e-commerce, and the production and distribution of content both in the U.S. and internationally.

The 2018 Wizard World convention schedule is available at: http://www.wizardworld.com/comiccon .

Julian’s Thoughts: What Makes a Good Wrestling Theme Song?

A good wrestling theme needs one key thing: it has to be recognizable right away. If a theme doesn’t have a strong opening, it can fall flat. Glass shattering, a big guitar chord, “If you smell…”, the list goes on and on. Having a good theme is essential. These days, everyone in WWE has a good theme, but that wasn’t always the case.

Themes like what X-Factor had, Test’s 2nd theme, and David Flair’s WWE theme, just to name a few, are examples of bad themes. A couple of those songs improperly and suddenly change tempo. David Flair’s theme was just the same generic guitar riff over and over, ad nauseum.

Suffice it to say, keeping the same tempo is pretty important. Test had a great theme, for example. Then they took the opening and slapped it on another song. Just like X-Factor’s Uncle Kracker theme, the whole thing changes tempo to become slower for no reason, not to mention the lazy edit of pasting “X-Factor” over “that fact” without even *trying* to remove the original lyrics. If you can’t, for some reason, then you leave it alone and *don’t do the edit*. Changing the tempo *can* work if the transition is good. A good example of this is Doink the Clown’s heel theme. While it retained the same opening, it stepped down into a slower, dark theme. Not only does the theme fit the character, the tempo shift from the opening is done well.

Next thing, the theme has to fit the wrestler. For example, Triple H’s main theme is “The Game” by Motorhead. The Triple H character is a very hard-nosed, tough-as-nails fighter type. The song features heavy guitars and ideal vocals. Adding in his Evolution and “King of Kings” themes and you have the Motorhead trifecta, a band that Hunter was very close with. These songs suit the character perfectly like the themes do these days. The X-Factor theme is another good example of a theme that doesn’t fit the workers who are using it. Uncle Kracker’s “Whatchu Lookin’ At” does not make a good theme where and how they edited it. It doesn’t fit the combination of power and speed that X-Factor was supposed to represent.

Finally, the theme should prepare the crowd for what they’re about. This is a little like fitting the wrestler but, since themes are for the audience, it’s good to prepare them for what they’re about to see. WWE does a really good job of this… these days. Take Randy Orton. His original theme suited his character well. Egotistical and boastful. Now, his character is more stealth than anything and his current theme suits that. Vance Archer used to have a theme that was far too fast for a big power wrestler. It would be better suited for a cruiserweight or somebody who does a lot of aerial attacks or “flippy stuff”. Vance should have a much slower theme. Not slow since he isn’t a slow, methodical character. Something like “Wild Child” from W.A.S.P. is good for him.

So, it needs to quickly be recognized, the same tempo, fit the wrestler, and prepare the crowd. Not too much to ask, right? These days, in WWE, they seem to understand. What themes do you think are good and what do you hate?

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