Monday, July 16, 2018

Pay Per View Review: WWE Extreme Rules (2018)

Let's review a PPV. Been a while.

Didn't watch the pre-show.

1. The B Team (Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas) defeated The Deleters of Worlds (Woken Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt) (c) to win the Raw Tag Team Championships - I mean, I kinda wanted to believe... Bo-lieve that the B Team could pull off the win. And who'd have thunk it? They did. Also, just a funny thing that Bo and Bray are brothers in real life.

2. Finn Balor defeated Constable Baron Corbin - Let's stop this constable shit. Like, now. It's already gone too far. Balor won from a roll up... For some reason, and this one was over. Considering that it was a roll up win, this feud probably isn't over. Unfortunately. Just push Finn to the moon now.

3. Carmella (c) defeated Asuka to retain the Smackdown Women's Championship in a match where James Ellsworth was suspended in a shark cage above the ring - Carmella doesn't read my blog. Shook. I keep saying the same thing, and she keeps ignoring me. But screaming at the top of your lungs does NOT MAKE YOUR MATCHES INTERESTING!!! Asuka has been a waste on the main roster. This one is embarrassing. Skip it. Why this made the card, but Sasha Banks vs. Bayley didn't astonishes me.

4. Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Jeff Hardy (c) to win the United States Championship - A low blow before the bell, and 6 seconds later... Yup. Okay. It took as long to type that last sentence than the match took. Oh, and Randy Orton returned and stomped on Jeff's balls.

5. Kevin Owens defeated Braun Strowman in a Steel Cage Match - Okay... Don't let that fool you, but yes, technically KO did win. But... It's because he got chokeslammed off the top of the cage through an announce table. So... He technically wins because he escaped the cage. But he left on a stretcher.

6. The Bludgeon Brothers (Harper and Rowan) (c) defeated Team Hell No (Kane and Daniel Bryan) to retain the Smackdown Tag Team Championships - This one made no sense to me. Team Hell No got attacked earlier in the night, and were super weakened. So they predictably lost. I gotta imagine this one isn't over yet.

7. Bobby Lashley defeated Roman Reigns - This could have been just another "Roman wins, lol" kind of thing. But no, Lashley won clean. Cool. I guess this puts him at the top of the list for the Universal Championship that only exists once every 4 months?

8. Alexa Bliss (c) defeated Nia Jax in an Extreme Rules Match to retain the Raw Women's Championship - I straight up didn't like this one. There were so many people involved, Natalya, Mickie James, and Ronda Rousey. It was too crowded, and you can kind of tell that the women are still handled with kids gloves a bit when it comes to hardcore wrestling. The title match at Money in the Bank matches were way better.

9. AJ Styles (c) defeated Rusev to retain the WWE Championship - Rusev finally got a shot at the WWE title. He didn't win. Even on Rusev day. But the match was good. It was damn good. I love AJ, and even though I'm bummed that Rusev didn't pull off the win, but it was still worth every second of it.

10. Dolph Ziggler (c) w/Drew McIntyre defeated Seth Rollins in an Iron Man Match to retain the Intercontinental Championship - I'm so freaking conflicted, as I feel the WWE title should close every show. But being able to see the IC title close the show? Memorable. Even if the crowd were a bunch of cunts and started counting down the clock every time the minute went down to zero. Annoying. I've said this before, but the crowd can dictate how the at home viewers perceive a match. This match was just some damn good storytelling. Seth got an early 2 fall lead, and then McIntyre got Ziggler DQ'd when he annihilated Seth, making Ziggler get enough edge to tie it up and eventually get a lead. Then Seth tied it up 4-4 at the 3 minute mark, and couldn't get the last fall in time and the match ended in a tie. So Kurt Angle restarted the match into sudden death overtime, and when it was restarted, McIntyre returned after being ejected, and it distracted Seth just long enough to get hit by a Zigzag and lose. Ziggler retains.

Match of the Night

Has to go to the main event, Ziggler vs. Rollins in the Iron Man match. It was perfect story telling. Sometimes the hero doesn't always win, and this was the perfect way to do it. Even if the crowd pissed me off.

That's all for now. I haven't seen the G1 Climax, maybe I should. But I think I let too much time pass. Either way, Summerslam is coming up. It's a big one.

Bye bye.

Maxoxo,

Case

Goodbye Hunter


God. Fucking. Dammit.

This is bullshit.

Luna (Chihuahua pictured) left us less than 4 months ago. And now, Hunter left us tonight.

No, wrong. Luna was sick and had to be put down. Hunter was stolen from us. Something killed him. It is the most candid I will be. Real life isn't always poetic, and not everything runs it's course in a way that's fair. 

I... Will try to not be too brutal with the details.

So, I was already up tonight because of my anxiety. At 3:20 ish I hear screaming. I think I'm imagining it at first, but I realized it was my niece Alondra screaming at the top of her lungs. I leave my room, and Esmeralda is crying saying Hunter is gone. I am not getting too much info, but I go outside and see them in the backyard weeping together. And... Hunter is in the grass not alive anymore. Something fatally wounded him. I will leave this as it is. I don't know what it could have been. Maybe a coyote, but how did it get in the yard? And by that point how would it have gotten out?



These pics are blurry, because I took this through screen door while Hunter was playing with Buddy.


He was a Pomeranian/Chihuahua mix. 

And... He was taken from us. I had to comfort my sister-in-law and her daughter, and doing so while already somewhat mentally wounded after tonight, and lie to them. I told them it would be okay, and I don't fucking know that.

It's currently 5:18 AM, and marks the earliest I've written one of these up. I can't do shit though. I was already up, and now between the grief of knowing our little floof ball has passed away, versus the adrenaline of having to protect his body from further abuse, I am absolutely not fucking sleeping tonight.

I'm devastated.

Even more so than when Luna had to get put down. We knew Luna was sick. Esmeralda took her to the hospital, and got to say goodbye to her.

Alondra didn't get that luxury. And that's why the whole family is shook right now.

It's not fair, and we tried to make her feel better, but nothing will right now.

I'm done. I don't have anything to add to this post.

Xomaxo

Case

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Pay Per View Review: WWE Money In The Bank (2018)

*Inhales deeply, trying hard not to be cynical*

I was super happy 6 weeks ago when, after a terrible Backlash PPV, I was happy to have a break from WWE programming. I mentioned that I was hoping for an upgrade in quality from then to now, as it would be necessary to keep me watching. Well, you know what?

Not awful. Hell, not bad. This show, in comparison to other WWE PPVs this year, entertained me quite a bit. There are some quite good points, but... There are also some really, REALLY bad points. I may even rant a bit, because I've kept a lot of stuff inside about this. Also I watched NJPW and NXT, and I don't know how this is gonna stack up. Let's keep you guessing for now.

Didn't watch the pre-show as usual, but The Bludgeon Brothers retained their Smackdown Tag Team Championships against Gallows and Anderson. Heard it wasn't bad, just short. May check it out later. May not.

1. Daniel Bryan defeated Big Cass - I would normally not enjoy the idea of Daniel Bryan kicking off the show. You know, because I'm a hopeless Daniel Bryan fan boy. I'm not ashamed of this, I admit this. But this was a shockingly decent match. I'm still not 100% sold on Cass, his promo work leaves a lot to be desired, and he's a bit clunky in the ring, but damned if Bryan didn't get a good match out of him. Second PPV in a row, and Bryan made him tap to the Heel Hook, and this time he didn't even get attacked afterward. Bryan went over again, Cass lost, but looks like he can work now, and it looks like this feud is now over. Let's move on to better things now!

2. Bobby Lashley defeated Sami Zayn - This whole storyline has been just weird. I saw the highlights of the thing with Lashley's sisters, and this whole thing just seems like something that made Vince McMahon guttural laugh because reasons. Ugh. Whatever. They had an okay match, but then Lashley did two vertical suplexes and the match was just over... Huh? Did I miss something? Oh, I didn't. Okay.

3. Seth Rollins (c) defeated Elias to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship - This one was a great match, because Seth Rollins. But I found it a bit weird that he won by holding the tights, considering what a fighting champion he's being. I'm sure this won't come back to haunt him (I'm writing this after Raw has already aired... I know...)

4. Alexa Bliss won the Women's Money in the Bank Ladder Match against Naomi, Charlotte Flair, Ember Moon, Natalya, Lana, Becky Lynch, and Sasha Banks - The third Women's Money in the Bank ladder match, and it was fucking amazing. These women killed it, it's on par with any ladder match you could name. Maybe someone who has never had it before should have won, and not the woman who's won the most championships on the field, but she did and it was still good. Wait... How many has Sasha won? Who won more, Sasha or Alexa? Someone Wikipedia this for me. Either way, Bliss won. Yay!

5. Roman Reigns defeated Jinder Mahal - This one is going to be a long read, and I'm going to rant. So if you don't wanna engage, please continue to Carmella vs. Asuka (I'm gonna rant about that one too). This is a match I couldn't have given less than a fuck about going into it. I don't like Roman Reigns, I've completely cooled off on Jinder Mahal, and I just... JUST didn't give two shits about this match. Like most other wrestling fans. But... It is on the card, lets try and make lemonade, and watch the match. Maybe it'll be good. Other wrestling fans didn't feel the same way. The crowd, about 3 or 4 minutes into the match, absolutely hijacked the match. Chants like "Boring" "CM Punk" "NXT" "This match sucks" "This is awful" "Velveteen" "Rusev Day" and others that I'm SURE I missed... What do you expect? Seriously? I don't care for Roman Reigns. Why? Because while the Lunatic Fringe and the Architect moved on to other things, Roman is still rocking Shield music and Shield gear. He is not his own man. He's like the 23 year old Jock who comes to parties still rocking his Letterman jacket all those years later. Move on, come up with a new identity. And unfortunately Roman suffers from a similar issue. He was shoved down our throats to begin with, and he doesn't even bother to be unique at the same time. John Cena may have been a bit of the same, but at least he was unique and his own man. But, having said all this, Roman actually can work. Jinder is the heel, and while he's good at being detestable, he's not the strongest worker. He can be a bit predictable. As was this match. 16 ish minutes ended with a spear. Romans wins, lol. But the crowd took over, did all those chants, did the wave, I think there was a beach ball... Just give these motherfuckers a chance!!! Make the best of what you got. You could argue with me "Well, name a spot! Did they have any notable spots that you can remember??" Well, allow me to retort. If the crowd just pissed it off 4 minutes in, is there any way they could recover the match, even IF they had any big spots? I mean, Sunil Singh being in a wheelchair and then springing out of it when the ref's back was turned? Hilarious. Entertaining. He eventually had his comeuppance and got owned. See? This match had stuff. I don't know what to make of this match, but I know I didn't enjoy it. It was kind of boring, but the crowd hijacking it didn't help either. Smarks and asshole fans: you have a say in the outcome of how the at-home viewers perceive a match. Whether you choose to bury someone with your awful, now 17 year old "What?" chants. Yeah, that chant is almost old enough to smoke, buy porn and die for our country. Or whether you chant "10" whenever the ref is doing a count. You guys can fuck it all up, and you take it upon yourself to do this regularly. So stop being fucking douchebags. Oh, and yeah, the match was sub-par on a great day.

6. Carmella (c) defeated Asuka to retain the Smackdown Women's Championship - So it would seem that Carmella doesn't read my blog. I am shook. Well, in the vain hopes that she'll see it this time: SHOUTING AT THE TOP OF YOUR LUNGS EVERY 5 SECONDS DOESN'T MAKE YOUR MATCH INTERESTING!!! Yeezus Christ. So, there's a point I will make in the next match, but it's relevant. I am truly sickened that Asuka was pinned. Carmella will now go down in history as the first woman to PIN Asuka. Let that sink in for a moment. Drink it in, maaaaan. Honestly, after watching Asuka for as long as I have, all the mystique and the danger that came with the Empress of Tomorrow is now long gone. She lost to Charlotte Flair at Wrestlemania, and while that was devastating, that was a great match and I was okay with that. This was a throwaway. Also, because of the returning James Ellsworth, this is now the 2nd year in a row at Money in the Bank that Carmella won a high profile match thanks to the assistance of Ellsworth. At least Carmella pinned Asuka herself this time. Unlike last year where James Ellsworth was the first Ms. Money in the Bank (seriously. You think I wouldn't get pissed about that a year later???). This whole thing means that WWE is gonna double down on "Mella is Money" (gag) at the expense of the best female wrestler in the world. Good work Vince.

7. AJ Styles (c) defeated Shinsuke Nakamura to retain the WWE Championship in a Last Man Standing Match - This match was amazing. It was everything that has been missing from some of their past encounters. The only problem? It was too little too late. False, there is another big problem. As much as I love AJ Styles, this was the time to pull the trigger on Nakamura. It was the right time to put the belt on him. The other problem? The same thing with Asuka. We had a men's and women's Royal Rumble, and 2 huge Japanese stars (Asuka and Nakamura) won both of them. Now that New Japan is trying to go more global, was tonight's show just a ploy to bury 2 of the best Japanese stars? (I know Asuka wasn't in NJPW because... Yeah. But still). May come off as a conspiracy theory, but is it a bad one? From a WWE point alone though, where the fuck does Nakamura go from here? This should have been his coming out party. And while the match was great (I can't emphasize this enough, it was great), I feel Nakamura should have gone over. But, it's done. I think a match with them at Extreme Rules will only hurt Nakamura. If he loses, then he lost again. If he wins, he won at a lower profile PPV, and it may be forgettable. Damned if he does, damned if he doesn't.

8. Ronda Rousey defeated Nia Jax (c) by disqualification for the Raw Women's Championship - Regardless of what angry internet smarks would like to think, this match was good. Like I said with her mixed tag from Wrestlemania, this match was better than it had any right to be. Because we all still view Rousey as a novelty act, and she kind of got her ass kicked. Uneducated people would say she should have just dominated because she's Ronda Rousey, but I, a person with more than half a brain, say this was just fine. She got owned a bit, so she appears to be human, and for the first time Nia Jax appeared to be the beast she's always portrayed to be. Well, this match ended with a DQ. Why? Well......................................

9. Alexa Bliss defeated Nia Jax (c) for the Raw Women's Championship - Alexa won the Money In the Bank Briefcase earlier in the night, and here she is. She beat the shit out of Ronda Rousey with her briefcase and got Nia disqualified, and when Rousey was disposed of, she cashed in her briefcase on Nia. It didn't take long for Twisted Bliss to end Jax's title reign. I like Alexa Bliss, so I might be biased. But to the smarky fanboys who say that this isn't going to effect Rousey, only Jax, I would have already said you were an idiot. Then Raw happened, and I didn't need to prove this point further.

10. Braun Strowman won the Men's Money in the Bank Ladder Match against Kevin Owens, Kofi Kingston, Bobby Roode, The Miz, Finn Balor, Rusev and Samoa Joe - He killed Kevin Owens. I'm sure of it. Oh what? KO was on Raw tonight? Okay. Good. No homicide on that day. But still, this was as good of a match as I could have asked for. I'm happy that Braun won. He is a huge man that I think is actually amazing, he's super over, and he can move. I wanted the belt on him last year. Now he has a Fast Pass to the Universal Championship. His only hindrance is the how often the Universal Champion ISN'T on Raw. That's the legitimate threat.

This PPV was the first WWE one in 6 weeks. And it was miles better than Backlash. But, it also raised more questions than it answered. I know I ranted quite a bit more than I'm used to in these entries, but I couldn't help it. I got some perspective in 6 weeks, and I can't let some things slide.

I... Realize on some level I will always love WWE. But. I will also always hate WWE. It is a force of habit. I literally posted 2 other PPV reviews today, and they were both more enjoyable. But, there are characters, and most of all, people I care about that I can't just let go of.

I'm trying to not be a smark, because I fucking hate those people. But I also just realize good and bad TV. This PPV? Ranks okay. It's okay TV. I wouldn't watch it again, but I'd say watch it once to get caught up.

MATCH OF THE NIGHT

Despite all the rants I went on, and all the anger I showed, I actually had a hard time picking one. There were some good matches that happened. Despite the obviously egregious booking error from a long term sense, I gotta give it to....

Styles vs. Nakamura in the Last Man Standing Match.

Yeah, it's a bummer Nakamura didn't get the nod. It was the right thing to do. At the right time. But, this match still had all of the drama and all of the technicality that comes with a Last Man Standing Match. Most guys would just make this a glorified hardcore match, but these two still have a great ring sense and they know each other so well, they made it work better than any other. I liked both ladder matches, but they didn't steal the show. AJ and Nakamura, whether obvious booking or not, left a certain amount of emotion and heart that no other match in the night came close to. Had to give it to them.

And, that's all. I'm glad this one was over. From a match stand point, this PPV had the least substance, but from a complaint stand point, I had a lot to go on.

Extreme Rules is next. I always enjoy that one. Let's see what we get from it.

Xomaxo,

Case

Pay Per View Review: NXT Takeover: Chicago II (2018)

As usual, a great showing by the NXT Roster. They always prove why they are the superior brand of WWE programming.

Let's not waste any time, and jump right into this. It was some good watching.

1. The Undisputed Era (Kyle O'Reilly and Roderick Strong w/Adam Cole) (c) defeated Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch to retain the NXT Tag Team Championship - NXT have gotten really good at delivering strong Tag Team matches, and this one was no different. It started getting pretty intense, but the UE pulled off the win again. A great start to the night. Gonna be hard to follow.

2. Ricochet defeated Velveteen Dream - Holy shit, Velveteen Dream is becoming such a reliable source for good fucking matches. And Ricochet is, well... Ricochet, so of course it's gonna be a good match. These guys tore it down and I legit didn't know which way it was gonna go. Having said all this, I do have a bit of a complaint: All of these awesome matches I see of Velveteen Dream are outstanding, he tears the house down, but... He never wins. Like, ever on Takeover. He may be the future, because he's so fucking young, but we gotta start putting some high profile W's in Dream's resume to make him look strong. If he's gonna be beat, let it matter. Because right now, most guys can beat him.

3. Shayna Baszler (c) defeated Nikki Cross to retain the NXT Women's Championship - This one was very unique, as since Baszler's reign started she has pretty much dominated the entire women's division on NXT. Nikki Cross going "crazy" (I really wish they'd stop throwing that word around) throws Baszler off her game, and makes for a much better story. Baszler didn't know how to handle Cross, and they had a pretty good back and forth, but Cross eventually passed out (not TAPPED out) of Baszler's choke hold. Then when she woke up she started laughing. It makes it seem like there is more to go here. As the only match of the night that didn't break 10 minutes, I only wish this match had gone on a bit longer. It was good.

4. Aleister Black (c) defeated Lars Sullivan to retain the NXT Championship - So, I may have mentioned this a few Takeover reviews ago, but, for whatever reason I just don't care for Lars Sullivan. I feel he's a bit cookie cutter, and I just don't remember what his face looks like after his match ends. I really like Aleister Black, but I didn't actually believe that his title was in jeopardy, even if they booked him as the underdog going into the match. While I really do like Aleister Black, I gotta call this one as the weakest match of the night.

5. Tommaso Ciampa defeated Johnny Gargano in a Chicago Street Fight - I was in shock and awe when this match ended. Johnny Wrestling practically murdered Ciampa near the end of the match, then at the last second Ciampa hit a DDT on the exposed wood in the ring WHILE handcuffed, and stole a win. I couldn't believe it. Gargano won during the CWC, he won last Takeover, and I honestly thought from a booking stand point that Ciampa should be booked to win this one. Then he was on a stretcher and that sentiment left my mind, and then he steals it. It was terrific booking, long term booking. Because I know this isn't over, and deserves one last hoorah, and these guys are so good at what they do I don't mind seeing it one more time.

Whew, it wasn't as long as others, but it was still exhausting in all the good ways.

MATCH OF THE NIGHT

There are some real contenders here, but come on. Gargano vs. Ciampa III has to take it (working title, as I'm not sure even the commentators brought up the CWC). It was a perfect match that showed how strong the baby face was, while still allowing the heel to go over. It displayed how to book a heel winning, and how to make it as devastating as possible. Gargano is the blueprint of how to be a baby face, and everyone should fucking take note from Ciampa on how to be a heel. You don't get "Fuck you, Ciampa!" chants for no reason. That is real heat. And it's fucking amazing.

That's all for this one. Please keep reading my blog.

Seriously. I like when I get views.

Maxoxo,

Case

Pay Per View Review: NJPW Dominion 6.9 in Osaka-Jo Hall (2018)

I'm not gonna lie, I'm pretty excited to be here again, reviewing my 2nd NJPW PPV. It wasn't the easiest thing to get to watch, I can't exactly watch it live from Japan, and unlike last time where I found... Ahem... "Alternate" means of watching Wrestle Kingdom 12, I couldn't get around this one. I bit the bullet (Club... lol) and subscribed to New Japan World. It was the right thing to do. And getting it work on my TV took a minute, but I got that working too.

Let's get to the show. I'm rambling.

1. Suzuki-gun (El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru) (c) defeated Roppongi 3K (Sho and Yoh) to retain the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships - While a solid opener, it wasn't a match that blew me away. I'm trying not to compare this match to the opening match at Wrestle Kingdom where Roppongi 3K took on the Young Bucks, because... Come on... But still. This match was okay. On to the next one!

2. Taguchi Japan (Juice Robinson and Dave Finlay) defeated Chaos (Jay White and Yoshi Hashi) - Another tag team match. This one was shorter than the first match, but it was a better match. I dug it enough. Next!

3. Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki and Zack Sabre Jr.) defeated Chaos (Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano) - And yet another tag team match. This time however, I got to see one of my favorites. I usually mark out anytime Zack Sabre Jr. wrestles, and he even got the submission here. Fucking terrific. 

4. Michael Elgin defeated Taichi and Hirooki Goto (c) to win the NEVER Openweight Championship - This triple threat match had a decent dynamic, considering how annoying Taichi is. He hindered a lot of the match (in a good way), so this made the match enjoyable. Also, since Big Mike pinned Taichi, it didn't make Hirooki Goto look bad. I would like to see just a one on one with these two at some point.

5. The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson) defeated Los Ingobernables de Japon (Evil and Sanada) (c) to win the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships - While the other matches throughout the night were good and/or okay, this was the first match of the night that really got my blood pumping. They used the idea that even though the Young Bucks are now in the heavyweight division, they are still much smaller than their opponents. They used a lot of injury angles to sell the drama of the match, and though it looked bleak, the Young Bucks pulled off the win. Great tag team match, and I hope I didn't undersell Evil and Sanada. They are fucking great too.

6. Bullet Club (Cody Rhodes, Hangman Page, and Marty Scurll) defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi, Jushin Thunder Liger, and Rey Mysterio Jr. - While this was fun, because there were a lot of familiar faces and guys I liked in this match, this one did kind of feel like a throwaway. Almost like filler. Still, it's always good to see Rey Mysterio and Jushin Thunder Liger.

7. Hiromu Takahashi defeated Will Ospreay (c) to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship - I was looking so forward to this match. Will Ospreay stole the show in my opinion during Wrestle Kingdom, so I knew I could expect a great one, and it did not disappoint. I didn't get to watch the Best of the Super Juniors, but I hear tell that this match ended the exact same way as that one did. That's a bit unexpected, but hey, that's a good thing too. We got a great match and a new champion out of it.

8. Chris Jericho defeated Tetsuya Naito (c) to win the IWGP Intercontinental Championship - I am gonna try to get through this and not mark out too hard.... Nope. Failed. Oh my fucking God!!! Jericho wins his 10th (kinda) Intercontinental Championship. This match was brutal, because that's the way Jericho is rolling lately. Whatever, it works, it's entertaining, not about to question it. He used super heel tactics to actually beat Naito. All while trash talking the whole time. I am kinda curious where this goes from here, and I'd love to see it. I'll admit that last time he was here, I thought it was a one off. Now I'm not sure. Let's find out together.

9. Kenny Omega defeated Kazuchika Okada (c) 2-1 to win the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship in a 2 out of 3 Falls Match - I don't even know what to say about this one. This went over an hour, and while I'm trying hard not to get on the bandwagon, but... This may be one of, if not the best wrestling matches I've ever seen. This match utilized something that I feel like not enough matches utilize: fatigue. Both men had moments where they were about to hit a finisher or a devastating move, and just failed to do so. Collapsing from exhaustion isn't something a lot of wrestlers do. But it made the fight sympathetic. It made it somewhat realistic. And yes, I did go crazy every time Omega hit the One Winged Angel. But after an hour, and 3 well written falls later, Kenny Omega captured his first IWGP World title. It was super cool, he had Kota Ibushi at ringside the whole time, the Young Bucks came out at the end, it got emotional. It was great. Then Cody came out. Foreshadowing? We'll see (cough, All In? Cough)

This was a fucking great event. So glad I forked over the money and caught this. Worth every penny. 

MATCH OF THE NIGHT:

It can't be anything other than Omega vs. Okada IV. It was just the perfect match. That's it.

Can't wait for the next NJPW event!

Xomaxo,

Case

Monday, June 11, 2018

Top 5 Hot Ones Episodes

I am very open about how YouTube is a big source of my entertainment. One of my favorite shows on YouTube is from the channel First We Feast, and their show is called Hot Ones. Sean Evans is the host and he's a fucking boss. The premise of the show is great, he interviews celebrities and they eat progressively hotter wings.

If you've never caught the show, do it! But either way, this list will be my personal favorite 5 episodes of Hot Ones. And yes, I will link each one, so if you wanna watch them as you read, you can do that.

5. Henry Rollins, Punk Rocker: Anyone who listens to punk rock has of course heard of Henry Rollins. I just love what a chill guy he seems like. And even though he's obviously doing okay for himself, I love how frugal and thrifty he still is. Punk rock, haha! Also, he got paddled by the board that the wings were on. Rad.



4. Coyote Peterson, YouTuber of "Brave Wilderness": Love the idea of watching another YouTuber on someone else's YouTube channel. I love, LOVE collaboration videos, and considering how much I love the nature show Brave Wilderness, I loved watching Coyote on the show. I've seen Coyote take some of the worst stings/bites from insects, but watching him take on hot wings was an experience on it's own.



3. Chris Jericho, Professional Wrestler: I've been a Jerichoholic since I was 12. I say this with no hesitation, Chris Jericho has always been my favorite wrestler. Super happy he went to New Japan and won the Intercontinental Championship. He's a jack of many trades, and his episode was fucking terrific.



2. Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Astrophysicist: So up until recently, this was my number one favorite episode. I love Neil DeGrasse Tyson, and watching him eat spicy wings and break down what the sensation was doing to him was A+ watching. He's obviously... *OBVIOUSLY* super smart, but he's also down to earth (slight pun intended) and even though it's a goofy show about hot wings, he made me feel important watching it. Love this episode.



1. Alton Brown, Iron Chef America and Good Eats: My favorite TV host of all time, and undeniably the person I owe the Food Journal to, Alton Brown. I don't just watch Good Eats, I absorb it. I always took very personally the techniques he used on his show, and it made me a better cook. Watching him do the show and even rank the hot sauces was everything I could ever want from this show. Watch it now. Like, right meow.


I hope you enjoyed this list as much as I enjoyed revisiting it. I mean, watching some of my favorite episodes for the sake of the blog was just suuuuuch a chore (sarcasm).

That's all for now. If you haven't watched these episodes yet, then, get to it. Haha.

Maxoxo,

Case

Friday, June 8, 2018

I'm Tired

I realize that I missed Mental Health Awareness Month. That's my birth month, and a bit of a freebie for me. I have people that I love who want to do nice things for me just for the sake of doing them, and though it's still a weird concept for me, makes me feel good. I consider myself lucky that my birth month is the same month as Mental Health Awareness Month, because my closest friends and loved ones being nice to me without expecting anything in return is the best medicine for a fractured sense of self. But, we're in June now, and things haven't been super great for much of the world lately, so allow me to divulge a bit of myself, so that it may help you a bit... And also make you want to give me hugs, because honestly hugs help a lot and I won't turn down a free one.

I'm fucking tired. Like. All. The. Time. Why?

Let's get the cheap and easy one out of the way: Trump. I hate the cunt. I really do. I'm not ashamed to admit that I have stooped to his supporters' level of hate, and I just wish he would go away, no matter how that will happen. But I fear for the lives of the ones I love most. I married into a family of people who weren't legal, but came here through legal methods (for the most part). Though 95% of them have become residents and are working or are going to work towards citizenship, the idea of Ashley or Tony going to one of those detention centers truly keeps me up at night.

Esmeralda is my darling niece, my now coworker, and since she's become an adult, my contemporary. She is wise beyond her years, and though I view her as family, she is also one of my best friends. The idea of something happening to her torments me to no end.

I have a new wife... We're in the first year, so we're still new (screw you, lol) and I found out that she was as depressed as I was after the wedding was over. I guess we were both feeling the financial repercussions of the wedding, as well as the same stagnant feeling once we did it. Yeah, we got married, and it was literally the happiest I'll ever remember being... Now what? Oh... I'm still waiting for my certificate and she's still accepting freelance gigs when she can? Oh... Okay. We felt stagnant. (I now have my certificate [Bracket in a parenthesis... Meta... I am now accepting any and all graphic design gigs] and she is now working at VER) but eventually things worked themselves out, but there were a few months there were we were wondering what was next, and neither of us had the answer.

Go back to Spring 2017, I was working for Don, I was going nowhere fast, I was still just an usher, and I was trying to support us while trying to fund a wedding. Then I find out that I was disqualified by financial aid. I was depending on that money to help fund the wedding.

I have been in a constant one sided fight with my family.

I invited my mom to the wedding. Told her to leave her husband at home because I hate him (NEVER going to budge on that one) and she predictably said no. Gotta say, that still hurt. Told her I hated her.

Messaged her about a year later, tried to salvage something... ANYTHING. I told her that the hatred I held on to was poisoning me, and I'd like to make some kind of relationship, even if it wasn't what either of us had in mind. Still just wants to hold on to her anger even though I tried to mend things. Last thing I told her was I loved her. Whatever. Vaya con dios. Except dios doesn't exist.

And then Ava got a new job, I got promoted to assistant, and then not soon after House Manager where I work, and things were turning up. Except, they aren't.

I don't know why, but things aren't making me feel better.

I have a raging headache that either comes from the bite in my cheek because of my growing wisdom teeth that turned into a tension headache, or a terrible migraine from not sleeping because of the realistic, Truman Show style nightmare I had last night (by the way, watch the Truman Show again. It's a great movie, but convince me it's not a horror movie. I dare you.). This happened, I woke up and snuggled into Ava, who at like, 3 AM just held me in and said her usual mantra when I'm a mess. I hear her say these words so often.

So, if I'm hurting, who do I turn to? This is a surprisingly loaded question. I can't tell my wife, who as I just mentioned, has a planned set of words to calm me down in the dead of night. I obviously am a burden. I can't hit up friends who have already stated in some way or another that they are hurting too. I can't just unload my burden on them. I love my auntie, but I can't keep unloading myself on her either. She has a life to live, and it can't revolve around me.

This is the struggle of those who are mentally hurt. Where. The fuck do I turn to? I'm watching renowned celebrities who most people envy, end their lives because of their afflictions. I even have to hear jokes about it, and hear ignorant people who never questioned their existence a day in their life tell me how selfish someone was to take their own life.

I feel like I am weak when these things happen. I vowed to let nature take it's course with me, but what happens if I'm 55 and my brain tells me "no more"? How am I gonna explain to my wife that I just can't handle this anymore? Will we have adequate, stigma-free mental health care by then? Will this be a non-issue in my later life? Or will, despite every effort I've ever had, I succumb to the piece of shit that is my brain?

I worry about this on a daily basis. If I've ever looked tired, this is why. I'm tired. I would love to have a peaceful night of sleep. I would love to not worry about whether or not we'll be able to ever afford a home in this economy. I would love to believe that my nieces and nephew will always be safe, and the only enemy we'll have to worry about are the bandits and skags in Borderlands. I would love to think that, despite 2+ decades of work that my auntie won't have her social security fucked with. I would love to believe that if I ever decide to have kids, they will be okay. I would love it if Donald Trump fucked up so badly that Bernie Sanders comes out with the Money in the Bank Briefcase to cash in on the presidency (This is a reference to wrestling. Google WWE Money in the Bank if you're confused).

I would love to think that my wife will always have a reliable man in me.

But I can't. I can't depend on any of these pipe dreams. Real life sucks, and having mental health only impacts that further. I had a panic attack during Deadpool 2. Don't know why. Can't explain it. Wife held my hand tight, as she's learned the telltale signs of it, I panicked for 4 minutes, went back to enjoying the movie. WHY??? I have done a lot to mend fractured relationships, maybe mend some fences, and try to be a happier person. It has made me a lot happier, but it hasn't helped with my sleep. It hasn't made me less of the mess that I am now.

I don't have answers for this. I have sought therapy, and while it did help, I unfortunately ran out of resources to continue it. Balls.



Why? Why did I do this entry?

To show those who maybe don't want to, or can't admit that they have a serious issue. Don't get me wrong, NJPW Dominion is tomorrow. And though it's live from Japan, I will find time to watch it and review it. I will still be... Richard Case. I will still post food on my other blog, post about wrestling, detestable characters, my political leanings, and my personal failures.

I'm asking you though, to not forget that Case, your author of the blogs, has a Richard attached to it.

Case is a gregarious, boisterous personality that I have conceived over a long time, and though he isn't the asshole he used to be, he still exists. But Richard doesn't feel great sometimes. It's been 7 months since my last true breakdown spiral, but it's a daily effort for me. I can be fine, and then hear something that makes me hate myself and have a good 2 minute cry, followed by a 1 minutes get together so you'd never even know what happened. Case has never left you, but Richard is on the ropes.

And I would imagine, as per the whole reason I wrote this candid entry, so are some of you. I'm tired. I'm so. Fucking. Tired. Like, all the time. It's so much easier to say I'm tired than I'm hurting. Because at this point, I can't tell the difference anymore. I'm sure many of you also do and say the same thing.

Don't be afraid to be on the ropes. Even boxers who are on the ropes have a trainer who have their back and will throw the towel in if they need it. Have someone that'll do that for you. I have my Ava. And she's the best at it.

I love all of you. Even those I hate.

Xomaxo,

Richard Case