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The 7 - Guest Columns - Wrestling News Central for Sunday 4th April, 2004 Register and log in to post!
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leggo
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#1 Posted on 4.4.04 0650.43
Reposted on: 4.4.11 0651.16


Real Name: Gerard Leggett
Age: 17
From: Dublin, Ireland
Nickname: Leggo
Favourite Wrestler (this week): Shelty Benjy
Currently Playing With: Broadband
PW Writer Since: December 2002
E-mail: Leggo@powerwrestling.com


I got a lot to talk about today, so let’s not bother with an intro.

DO THE RIGHT THING, WHA-OH!

So Triple H begins to ‘do the right thing’ [© IWC 2004] and job to some more ‘deserving’ stars and all of a sudden I’m hearing some of the most vehement HHHaterz renounce their ways of a year ago and proclaim that yes, their favourite Game is back to his best.

Bull.

You have a collection of old WWE pay-per views and DVDs right? Go watch some of Trips’ best matches from 2000. Hell, go watch his worst, they weren’t far removed. It might seem like criticism of his work, but it’s not. The period of 1999-2001 were Triple H’s best years in the ring where he proved himself to be the most consistently great wrestler of the time. He carried a battered SCSA through a No Mercy main event in 99. Like it or not, HE made the series of matches with Mick Foley and The Rock in 2000 great. (This one’ll get me some stick) He made Kurt Angle into a bona fide main eventer and CARRIED him to the first great match of Angle’s wrestler career, and the only one until at least No Way Out 2001.

Oh you want to rebut know? You think that on Monday he did the exact same thing for Shelton Benjamin? Sorry, but you’re mistaken again. Benjamin is a far more accomplished performer than Angle was coming off his rookie year. Oh I’m wrong am I? While Angle definitely had the charisma to make it, his ring style was completely formulaic and required carrying by anyone he stepped in with until possibly the Chris Benoit epic at WM X-Seven. Benjamin not only seems to have Angle’s personality in abundance, although he’s not given time to display it, but he can consistently mix it up with the best and the worst and give an awe-striking performance.

Granted Benjamin has main-evented and has more pro-wrestling experience in all than Angle did at the time, but that shouldn’t deter anyone from the fact that, on Monday night, Triple H did not make Benjamin like he did Angle four years earlier, Benjamin made Benjamin and after much digression, we’re back to our main point: Triple H is not back to his best.

See the thing that escapes people’s minds is that Trips is still a very, very competent in-ring performer, probably moreso than 90% of the talent. He’s slowed down a bit and lost some of his Midas touch, but is in no way a laughing matter. While four years ago, he would have made his matches with Scott Steiner from last year into five-star affairs, Trips merely made them into matches a few years removed. He’s no longer a carrier, but a worker and one who, when pitted with people of similar talent like HBK, Benoit and Benjamin, can produce classics. While Triple H may no longer be THE game, perhaps he would meet a Scrabble sort of standard in that it’s A game, but only one that’s fun on occasions.

SCANDALS GALORE

It’s official. Professional wrestling is officially the athletic sport of choice for every ex-con, rapist, wife beater and general real-life heel alive. Following the Rob Fienstein scandal, it’s now emerged that the infamous ‘Flight from Hell’ of 2002 that saw just about every wrestler on the roster get pissed drunk Irish/Watson-style was not the innocent little piss-up we had all assumed. Turns out that in their intoxicated haze, the wrestlers started to get down and dirty with a less-than-willing air-hostess.

You want specifics? Course you do you sex-starved little fiends. The short version says that Ric Flair decided to do his old party trick of donning only one of his ropes and exposing himself to any available eyes (I’m sure Buddy Rogers would be proud), forcing said hostess to feel his wheelin’ and dealin’ son of a gun. Dustin ‘Goldust’ Runnels went for the less creative route, i.e. hand job city, while Scott Hall decided to do everything but rape her when he drove her head into his crotch and made her say ‘aaahh’. Yeah I suck at entendres.

So what does this mean for the WWE you may wonder? Um…weeelllllllll…precisely nothing. In fact, I bet right now Vince is feeling pretty proud of himself for axing Runnels and Hall not too long afterwards, while the least guilty of all three parties is a bonafide legend and has a reputation for flairing the gold before, so this will hurt Ric if it hurt’s anyone.

Really, there’s nothing more to say on this. Can WWE stop international tours? Not really. Can they restrict their wrestlers from drinking while on the job? Well if they didn’t learn that when this actually happened, then they’re not going to figure it now. What Hall, Runnels and Flair did was disgraceful, but if the damsel in distress is looking for some cash as opposed to putting these awful, awful men in prison, then it couldn’t have been THAT traumatic could it have been? Next…

NOT ANOTHER DUH STORY

There’s just some weeks when the news seems to drag for those who wish to commentate on it. Vince Russo recently told the Miami Herald of his Vince McMahon adopted attitude that only those who create something can kill it (which would make McMahon’s purchase of WCW null and void by his own logic). Other Vince is looking to kill what many would chalk down to his creation, Crash TV, which is interesting if you haven’t been either watching or keeping the loosest eye on TNA recently.

Or if you didn’t hear Vince McMahon claiming that he was doing the exact same thing like two years ago.

Yup, Russo’s a changed man alright. Now he can’t even do the ONE thing he was somewhat talented (or annoying) at and get the net smarks talking. Nice job VR. NEXT!

YEAH, YEAH, YEAH

Kurt Angle has been officially cleared to wrestle. WWE are going the smart route and opting to let him wrestle only on special occasions. Considering I’ve had my feelings on this piece of non-news known for the past fortnight, I’ve got nothing more to say other than how sorry I am that THIS is the third-biggest news story this week. NEXT!

MORE REDUNDANT NEWS

The comeback of ECW will come about through Paul Heyman acquiring superstars’ contracts and stealing them off of McMahon, Bischoff and Angle. There, it’s ruined for you too. If we never used the net, this whole scenario would be a lot more fun.

SMACKED OUT

Y’know, for the first time in a LONG while, I’m pumped for SmackDown. Maybe it’s seeing RVD in the theme song or maybe it’s because I’m high, but let us waste time no more.

- Cole and Tazz kick off in Columbus, Ohio and remind us that this is indeed a new era of SmackDown.

- Kurt Angle starts us off with something to say. In the ring, we have a surprise waiting for us, reminding me of the greatness of the Angle/Edge series of matches and the jaw-dropping horribleness of the Undertaker/Big Show ‘What surprise do I have for you this week’ angle. The only thing this has to do with anything of course is the presence of Angle in the former and the use of the word angle in the latter. Enough digression. Angle is looking for a man. He’s looking for a man who can become a role model and great American like him, so he decided to be cloned in every single way, except this clone is 1/8th his size. No that’s not true. Angle’s man will be the winner of the first-ever Kurt Angle Great American Award. Yes, the Kurt Angle Great American Award. Tonight, Kurt Angle (of the Kurt Angle Great American Award) has put together a series of matches where the winners can advance to nomination to win the prestigious award. BUT THAT’S NOT ALL! The winner will also be named number one contender. Oh yeah, the tournament begins n-n-n-now.

Big Show defeated Rikishi via pinfall at 02:47 (1/4*)
The fans seem as pissed as I was. I like Big Show and can tolerate Rikishi, but together they mix together about as well as me and a bicycle, i.e. they don’t. As if that wasn’t enough, it seems as if Cole and Tazz have gone into extreme face bias versus extreme heel bias mode tonight, which hasn’t worked since 1998. Have you seen my buzz anywhere? Thugz ‘n’ Gay verbally battled over what made a great American. Cole’s checklist reads that beating you’re opponent in the corner does not, but sticking your ass in the face does. If I see Cole in Jesse Ventura’s ear when the American election runs around in 2008, I’m going to cry for humanity. Show won with an imaginative counter for the Stinkface, pushing him away from you, and followed up with a chokeslam.

- A limo with bullhorns attached to the front pulls up, which can only mean that it’s BRADSHAW. Or JLB (John Bradshaw Layfield idiots) as his new alias apparently goes. JLB berated his Latino chauffeur and encourages him to learn the language out of courtesy. You know the man has a point. I mean I acknowledge that sometimes when on foreign territory on vacation or something, it must be as annoying for the locals to tolerate our “DO…YOU…SPEAKA…ANY…ENGLISH?” cries as it is for us when a foreign person walks up t you and expects you to understand their native tongue. But when you work in another country, it should be obligatory to learn the country’s language. Now I’m no person to talk about the American schools system, and maybe this already happens, but considering the growing Hispanic population in the States, it should be compulsory to learn both Spanish and English to accommodate the needs of at least 80% of the population. You may scoff at the thought, but trust me that learning Spanish would be more useful than learning the deadbeat Irish language.

~ Break ~

Spike Dudley & Rey Mysterio defeated Chavos Guerrero via pinfall at 04:12 (*1/2)
Chavo’s new music is a simple tweaked version of his uncle’s, with the main difference being a female voiceover saying “Oh Chavo,” every few seconds. I suppose it’s an improvement on the old version though, that sounded like something Jim Johnston rustled up in five minutes on a keyboard he bought in a $1.50 music store sale. (Johnston) “Okay, he’s Hispanic so we’ll have…SALSA background and throw..in..an..A MINOR.” The match was about as groundbreaking as the music, if slightly more entertaining. The ending sequence earned it it’s stars really, with Rey setting Big Chavo up for the 619, but as he was going for it getting clotheslined over the rope by Chavito. Spike then inserted himself in with a Dudley Dawg, using Chavo Sr. for leverage, and got the fall. Afterwards, JLB ran down and knocked everyone out. Huh?

Charlie Haas defeated Rob Van Dam on points at 07:44 (**)
Haas has some new tights. I know that with this new singles push, fans have been united in their wishes for him to change his tights into luminous green shorts with the letters HAAS printed on the back. Well those fans got their wish today. RVD seems so much more fired up on SmackDown. I like it. The match was no better, no worse than their affair last week and I’ll maintain my viewpoint that a prolonged feud between the two would do big business. Fortunately, that seems to be the way WWE are headed. Haas dominated here, working the knee of RVD but Van Dam continued to fight back setting an excellent back-and-forth pace for the match. Unfortunately, it was abruptly halted at just under eight minutes when Haas held up a chair as Van Dam went for a cross body from inside the ring out, knocking both men down simultaneously and causing a double count-out.

After the match, Kurt Angle came out on stage and declared that on SmackDown, there are only winners and losers. When a clear winner couldn’t be reached, it came down to points and, after watching the match, Angle decided that Haas would be the clear points winner. At this point, Michael Cole illogically flipped out, claiming RVD was screwed. Okay let’s look at this minus kayfabe and see if he has a point. He doesn’t. RVD showed brief glimpse of brilliance but this was Haas’ match for all to see. Even if RVD WAS the better man, WWE refers to itself as part-sport and in sport, the best man doesn’t always necessarily win. Sometimes the difference between winning and losing comes down to a critical call by someone in charge and Angle made that call. Cole went at the angle that Kurt didn’t have the authority to make such a decision, which is another clutching at straws call. Of course he has the authority. He IS the authority. Unless Vince McMahon would see fit to renege his jurisdiction, then Angle can run the show as he sees fit, and being an amateur wrestler, if he wants to implement a points system into his show, then he is fully entitled to. Sorry Cole, but your markness has no weight at all.

~ Break ~

- They aired a montage of JLB’s recent change of attitude.

- Kurt Angle fellatios Booker-T as the Bookaman bitches about how Eddie wasn’t a major player and how Booker would make a perfect WWE champion. Tonight, he’ll be in a match with a chance at nomination in the Kurt Angle Great American Award. Tonight, his match will be against the man who threatened him last week, Hardcore Holly, and it’ll be next.

- Next up WWE tries to force us some Confidential crap, so I go listen to an old great Rock interview.

Impersonating Rikishi: I did it for de Rock. I did it, for de people. I did it for all of de…aw shut your mouth ya fat, thong-wearing son of a bitch.
Impersonating Triple H: Or maybe I’m going to have to beat the game-uh. I got a two dollar slut for a wife-uh.
Impersonating Stone Cold: OR maybe, I’m going to have to beat Stone Cold Steve Austin. I’m gonna drink some beer, I’m gonna listen to some Backstreet Boys.

Man, call me a mark if you want, but I miss Rock.

~ Break ~

Booker-T defeated Hardcore Holly via pinfall at 12:27 (*3/4)
I guess I should note that Booker has his old music back. Means nothing to me but since some people saw it as the devil’s spawn on pro-wrestling theme music some might be happy. The most interesting part of the first half of the match was a semi-thought-provoking debate on whether or not Tazz should support Booker-T despite his unwillingness to be on SmackDown. I see no reason why not, Booker’s character is an unsettled person who had his life turned upside down by a move that he had no say in. That’s really none of Cole’s business and Tazz can respect the guy if he likes. The match slowly moved away from having to discuss commentary and into it’s own merit as it built-up quite nicely. Both men got genuinely convincing false finishes, the climax of which saw Booker hit the Bookend for two in an excellent pulled off sequence. This was easily Bob Holly’s best match since his return. In the end, Booker got the win with a rollup and apparent use of tights. What does that DO anyway?

Dudley Boyz defeated Akio and Sakoda via pinfall at 04:06 (*)
I found it strange to note that, in my post-show ritual of finding out match times so YOU can get a better perspective of the show if you missed it, that this was only the third shortest match on the show, it sure seemed like the quickest. The match was just a beginning and an end, and a rather pointless one at that. It didn’t really do anything for the Dudleyz, and didn’t even squash Akio and Sakoda, thus leaving us with nothing to either praise or loath. The Duds got the win with a 3D.

- The list of nominees for the Kurt Angle Great American Award stands at Booker-T, Big Show, Charlie Haas and either John Cena or the team of Nunzio and Johnny Stamboli. WHAT?! Why don’t they just pull a Bischoff and tell us the winner in advance?! At least a one-on-one could’ve allowed for a shock victory after Big Show interference or something, but why is there a TAG-TEAM in a tournament to determine ONE contender?!

~ Break ~

- Backstage, the Dudleyz were checking on Spike (what? AN HOUR after the attack?) when Teddy Long showed up. He acknowledged their past differences (please inform me of these past differences) but he wants to put that all that behind them and perhaps avail of their services, but not Spike’s as he unfortunately ran out of cards.

- Highlights from RAW. Makes sense.

- Eddie G arrived in a sweet low rider. ORANGE NO LESS. Why is he arriving with a half hour left to go though? That’s like arriving at 4:30 on a 9-5 shift. He walked past Bradshaw’s limo and chatted to the driver. They’re of Hispanic origin so they like each other. Makes sense. That’s about as ignorant as my school putting the Pakistani kids in the same class as other Pakistani kids and expect them to just love each other. What’s with all the analogies this paragraph?

John Cena defeated Johnny Stamboli and Nunzio via pinfall at 02:16 (3/4*)
The star of this match was undoubtedly Renee Dupree, who joined Cole and Tazz at ringside. Tazz tried to interview the accompanying Fifi, but no joy. Before the match, Cena had a little rhyme for us that culminated with the ‘choke on these’ line, throwing a packet of nuts at Fifi. This led to this great piece of dialogue:

Cole: Did you just French kiss your dog? (Laughs at his own joke. No one else did unsurprisingly)
Dupree: Hey shut up Hole.
Cole: It’s Cole actually.
Dupree: Yeah sure it is.

Cole continued on his run of great calls tonight by commenting that he thought all French people wanted to be American. Jesus. The match itself was, surprise, surprise, a squash. Cena knocked Nunzio off the top-rope causing him to do a sick back bump to the outside, and finished off Stamboli with an FU. Afterwards, Cena informed Dupree that he, in fact, could not see him. Dupree’s retort was classic, “Hey get away from my dog you crazy freak!” It mightn’t sound so funny in text, but thinking of Dupree’s reaction in his outraged French accent as he clasped onto Fifi as if Cena were about to violate her still cracks me up an hour after the show’s done.

- Backstage, Kurt Angle told one of SmackDown’s many great backstage hands that he had a big announcement to make. ‘Twould have been funny if the guy just turned around and said “Neat. So…what you want me to do about it?”

~ Break ~

- We’re back on SmackDown and Kurt Angle is ready to cut us a promo. The trophy stood in the ring, thus explaining the necessity of the backstage hand. Angle comments that Triple H wouldn’t have made it five seconds here (and the three superstars you deemed worth one of him would?) and he was glad he traded him. The fans would decide the winner of the GAA on WWE.com. The camera cuts to a guy rightfully scoffing in the crowd. Basically the past two hours have all been about plugging the company’s website. Angle’s rants bring out Eddie Guerrero, causing Cole to make another GREAT call, saying that Eddie should’ve been involved in the tournament. Tazz calls him on this one thankfully. Eddie interrupts Kurt and basically challenges him to a fight. Wait, ever heard this call before:

Cole: Eddie Guerrero firing up.
Tazz: It’s that Latino temper.

Yes. These two original son of a guns are the future voices of pro-wrestling. Angle brings out Bradshaw through some weird, nonsensical segue and Bradshaw cuts the same promo as he did last week, except standing on top of his bull-horned limo. Oh wait, there was one difference as he shunned his old Texas colours for those of New York, praising his new residence in Central Park. Great Bradshaw, that affects precisely NO ONE in Columbus, Ohio. His ish with Eddie is just business, nothing personal, as Eddie has what he wants, that being the title. Eddie took the onus upon himself to personalise this feud and chased JLB into his limo, but not before TAKING HIS HAT. He then proceeded to bait Bradshaw by imploring the fans to spit and pour beer and popcorn in the hat. Unfortunately, one of the fans missed the hat and poured beer on Eddie, but the resulting fracas was edited out of the show. The show ended with Eddie stamping on the hat. Wow.

My Two Cents: New era of SmackDown? Think again. Spike, Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley have nestled right into the fray and no longer has any more of an impact than they did on RAW. RVD, Booker-T and Renee Dupree still have a somewhat decent buzz about them, but are merely exceptions to the rule. This seems no different from what we’ve been watching 90% of the time since the good ‘ol days of late 2002-WrestleMania XIX.

The Bradshaw push isn’t going to work, mark my words now. Remember D-Von was on SmackDown before this term? As a priest? Me neither. This is the exact same sort of push we’ve seen thousands of times where WWE seem to just expect the fans to follow suit instead of offering the decision up to the fans and having them accept or reject it. I’ve said before that Vince knows best, and he does, but consider me on target with this one.

Otherwise, it’s a show. Not necessarily bad, but not must see. It seems like I have to say that all too often doing Smacked Out. I expected a bit more of a shake-up from SmackDown than I did RAW considering that they had time to tread new waters and explore new paths with a pay-per view not upcoming for almost two months, but it seems as if the writers have just resorted to business as usual here. Not compelling yet not offensive. The jury says that this formula does not bring in ratings.

And did anyone else notice that Eddie and Bradshaw were fighting over a HAT?

This Week’s Rating: 3.2
Last Week’s Rating: 4.7
Average Rating: 4.0


CHARLES’ CORNER

Opinion Point

Having already Started at the Beginning, I think it only fair to continue to try and 'inform' before I really get across to totally stating my opinions and such in 'official' columns. And therein lies a key I'd like to put 'out front' for anyone interested in reading what I have to write.

The things I write about are my opinions, and mine alone. I may be right on some things I state, I may be wrong, when it comes to trying to bring across facts. But when it comes to opinions, I always try to back up my opinions with reasons and thoughts as to WHY I feel certain things, if not with outright facts. Now, this'd be a pretty boring wrestling column if I didn't offer some of my opinions *about* wrestlers/wrestling in... well, my opinion. ::Chuckles:: Ergo...

I feel that Chris Jericho is arguably the most overall talented man in all of the WWE right now.

I think that Raw could benefit from storylines that are thought out more ahead than just the day in question. Though it seems they ARE starting to think more 'long term' now, than they used to.

I love 'eye-candy', but also feel that women's wrestling in and of itself on the 'serious' level is sometimes over-criticized.

I think Trish Stratus deserves more 'kudos' than can be said, for having come as far as she has in what she's learned and become able to do, from her humble starts.

I think Kurt Angle is an awesome 'geek', and for one, hope he NEVER loses that 'aspect' to his character, heel, face, or tweener.

I think the 'tweener' role somewhat helped lead to a 'decline' in wrestling. Though it is nice we now cheer who we want, when we want, sometimes... you just gotta know WHO the good guys and bad guys are in wrestling, in my mind.

I'm glad Edge is back because I feel he has unlimited potential even further than what he's already done, and wish him a long and healthy career from this point forward, with no further injuries.

I think 'gimmicks' in a comedy vein are VERY important, and wouldn't mind more than just mainly the Hurricane having one.

These are a few of my opinions, and mine alone. While those above I didn't back with facts to my opinions, or at least my thoughts on why I have them, I could easily do so. And I could go on, literally, virtually forever. But that's what I think is part of where the WWE CAN succeed the best in days when it's popularity may be more in question. Continue to give us a 'little bit of everything'. You can't please all the fans with everything... but if you keep things varied and different enough, those who are 'true' fans should find SOMEthing they like SOMEwhere.

Wrestling is all about entertaining. And sometimes, we have to LET outselves be entertained. I, for one, can actually come to PW and find 'behind the scenes' factoids... yet still am able to click on Smackdown or go to a live show and 'lose myself' in the entertainment offered. Do I sometimes want to change the channel, or shout the oft-signed 'Shut Up And Wrestle'? Sure. But while I can't do that, I never fail to find SOMEthing, at least once, in each and every show I see and go to, that I like. I guess in internet terms, I still have a tiny Mark in me, that I allow to get out for a bit at least once a show. And that, to me, is what helps keep things interesting and fun to watch.

Also, as I've said before, I love the athelticism of these people and have a tremendous respect for what they do for us. Putting their bodies on the line and showcasing their talents, by essentially, getting beaten up each week. And then there's those who can entertain by just a facial gesture, quirk, or getting on the mic...

To me, a 'true' wrestling fan is one who will ALWAYS have at least a little mark in them. Someone who can still go 'wow' at something in a show, or that they see. Someone who might be able to complain about something, yet still be able to go 'Oh, sure, I don't like this... but I still like what they do for us.' Kevin here at PW has said it in the past, and he's said it well. If you're not enjoying what you're seeing, at *all*... why are you watching? But as long as you're finding something you enjoy in what you see, and respect the people for what they do even if you don't like them or their in-ring abilities or some such... this thing called 'sports entertainment' can be DAMN entertaining.

But that's all just *my* opinion... ; D

'Awesome PW-Ite', PW Fan Forever, and the 'PW Beast',
-Charles-
LATER! ; D

(Croc0Guy@aol.com)

BECAUSE THERE’S MORE TO LIFE THAN WRESTLING


I’ve never seen any reason to get involved in a serious relationship with a girl. I’m 17. I don’t have time for an inner conflict between love and lust. My experiences with women never last longer than a weekend. We have a little fun and then it’s back to the status quo. At the moment, the only advantages I could see to having a girlfriend would be sex and the fact that I can go to movies that I couldn’t with my friends.

Okay so if you read last week’s report, you’ll probably have figured out that I’m a burgeoning movie geek. I try to watch at least one a day and diversify my tastes so I can get the best of every world for the day when I eventually want to make one myself. My friends aren’t as interested in movies as me, let’s just put it that way. Oh they like movies, who doesn’t? But a pair of tits, a witty comment and a gun on the trailer sell them, whereas I’m more enticed towards a psychological thriller. A movie with substance. This’ll all come into play later.

Another love of mine is clubbing. I love the dancing, the women, the bus ride as everything slowly deteriorates into a drunken bath, I love it all. Except for the days proceeding said club visit. When you’re young, at least in Ireland, under 18 discos don’t happen very often and when they do, you have to ensure that you don’t end up at a club where 12-year olds frequent. The next part of the struggle comes in obtaining the tickets, usually sold two weeks beforehand. You have to listen to all of the dance pirate radio stations for advertisements about said discos, provided they’re not temporarily closed down due to trouble with the law. Then comes the trouble of actually get the tickets. Then comes the bitch that is organising the bus trip. Last thing you want is to end up having to go in with parents. Travelling with parents means no drink. No drink means less fun. Less fun means a waste of money. Discos cost a lot of money so, being the drunken bums us Irish are, we try to pinch our pennies until they evaporate.

So after that eternal struggle comes the wait. We’re broke from the disco so the things we can do while waiting are limited. Last night, we decided to rent out a DVD.

My friend Mark and I always seem to agree that Freddy vs. Jason will be the video we’re going to get as we walk down. We haven’t once seen it yet. When we arrive, we’re like children in a sweetshop. This time, the argument was a bit more intense than usual. Mark, a huge Matrix mark, wanted to watch Equilibrium while when I had seen City of God on the shelf, I was sold. So the arguing began. You can probably imagine it, me with my enormous loudmouth and Mark desperately trying to keep up, screaming at each other at the back of the store as the incredibly long line waiting for service watched on. Some pretended not to be watching, some looked awkwardly at the people behind the desk, who just laughed. They must’ve seen this played out 1,000 times.

Mark read out the back of Equilibrium to me. I told him smugly that I wouldn’t even consider it unless it AT LEAST has martial arts. Mark desperately scoured the disk until he found a blurb that told him that the film “combined Western gun action and Eastern martial arts.” I sighed and told him that City of God was nominated for Best Picture in the Oscars, despite being released two years previously. The film was an international one so qualified for the 2004 awards, and was good enough to receive recognition I pointed out. With his back against the ropes, I pulled out my trump cards.

Sex/Nudity: Some, moderate.

Mark was almost giving until he had a look at the cover. Realising the film had subtitles, he delivered a large blow to my case by informing our two accompanying friends now playing jury of this. We decided to take a vote. Two for Eqilibirum, two for City of God. Damn why did we bring an even number? I attempted to compromise by offering up the suggestion of renting out Quentin Tarantino written film, True Romance. My friends immediately scoffed and rubbished my claims that the title was ironic. Back to square one. Eventually, we came up with an idea that had somehow escaped us throughout the fracas: flip a coin. Heads was City of God, tails was Equilibrium. We settled all terms there and then to avoid further controversy. It would be one flip only. The coin would hit the ground. By now, we had immersed the waiting queue probably more than their film of choice would later on. They didn’t even pretend not to look anymore. I have to say that the sight of twenty heads bobbing up and slowly coming down as the coin of choice was in mid-air, with some even stretching to try and get an earlier look at the result, made this night somewhat worthwhile. The coin hit the ground.

HEADS! I raised my arm in victory as Mark tried to put together a final plea. The jury had seen enough and the three of us walked off as Mark tried his hardest to clutch to straws. In the line, I watched Mark like a hawk for fear he would switch movies at the last minute. He didn’t even bother.

As the line progressed, we came across this array of sweets set up exactly for suckers like us, the Pick ‘n’ Mix. Compiling carefully our collection, as we paid for the DVD, we found out to our horror that the sweets would cost more than the actual movie itself. The bill came to 5.39 euros for the sweets, and four for the movie.

The walk home didn’t end the conflict however, as all parties except for myself wanted to get stuck into our treats. Knowing the value of conserving until the time was right for maximum effect, I held the packet. The mistrusting fiends weren’t done yet however, claiming that I was only trying to steal sweets on the sly. For the next fifteen minutes, all four of us held onto the packet desperately. Eventually, the other two dropped off, deeming not looking like idiots more valuable than risking the wasting of good money. Mark, not wanting to concede defeat for the second time tonight, and myself, still pinching those pennies, held on. And we walked. For ten minutes. In the dark. Looking like we were holding hands to those who we passed, some of them who had respected and liked us beforehand. In the end, neither of us won or lost. The first fair result tonight.

Back to Mark’s it was. Ever the diplomat, I decided that the best way to ensure that all of us were to receive our fair share of sweets would be to distribute them in four bowls, going on the time-honoured ‘one for you, one for me’ adage. After all the sweets were dispensed, for the first time in the night we were united on the notion that we were ripped off. Holding up one tiny sweet barely bigger than my smallest fingernail, I commented that we had paid 10 cents for THAT! The sweets were gone for everyone, even myself, the conserver, by the time the film got started.

City of God tells the tale of Rocket, a boy growing up in the slums of Rio de Janeiro. He notes once that this was far removed from the postcard image that the city had been given. Rocket is one of the few bastions of hope among a city ravaged in crime. He dreamed from an early age of becoming a photographer, and eventually achieves that dream through a life of avoiding the hoodlums. The hoods are a group of children who, from an early age, decided that crime was the best route out of the City of God. They do drugs and rob from as young as 8, and the whole point of the film centres around the fact that, despite the cyclical nature of this form of life, this doesn’t do any good for anyone, yet almost every ‘runt’ (as is the name for these kids) sees it as the ultimate goal.

Contrasting Rocket’s lifestyle is a kid called Li’l Dice, or Li’l Zé as he becomes known later in the film. Dice sees his future in running the city, and he never aims too high. At first he is likeable, but slowly degenerates into the sort of guy you hope Rocket takes down. It doesn’t transpire like that, but I’m not going to reveal any more of a plot.

The film itself, directed excellently by Kátia Lund and Fernando Meirelles, plays out very like a Brazilian version of Pulp Fiction. The saga is told through a series of fast moving stories that all tie into the end result. Rocket isn’t so much the focal point of the film, but his story incorporates all others and he Meirelles and Lund do manage to make his story seem worthwhile. The cinematography is top-notch, getting across at times the beauty of Brazil but simultaneously the poverty these people live through. The City of God is easy on the eye, but never are you deluded into believing it would be a good place to live. Although I can’t be 100% on this, I’m pretty sure the actors are not officially contracted professionals but children who actually live through conditions and times like this. They do an excellent job and allow you to focus on the original and captivating story in its entirety.

All in all, when the credits rolled and I made fun of Mark for ever doubting me, I was left thinking. City of God can do that to you. Like Pulp Fiction, Fight Club or any great film of similar ilk, you can enjoy it for the plot itself but at the same time think about it over-and-over if you wish. It is an all-time classic and definitely worthy of it’s number 37 position on iMDB’s top 250 films.

And as the credits rolled on my night and I left Mark’s to go home and rest for my busier night of clubbing, tonight as it happens, I smiled. With just one film, this night wasn’t just a bland night where we stood around, wallowing in our teenage poverty and thought about what experiences lied ahead the following evening. This was a night in it’s own right, and a damn good one at that.

Aiiite, I’m out.

Leggo




(edited by leggo on 6.4.04 1337)
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Freeway
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#2 Posted on 4.4.04 2358.16
Reposted on: 4.4.11 2359.01
Shelton Benjamin debuted alongside Charlie Haas in December 2002 or January 2003 as part of the Team Angle angle. As part of a tag team, Benjamin was able to get the formulaic tendencies out of his system and develop a personality. Kurt Angle spent his first year basically wrestling schmucks and any combination of Chris Benoit or Chris Jericho. He was protected because the promotion wanted him to look good. He was their pet project. Benjamin was protected, but not to the degree that Kurt Angle was. Benjamin had to develop well since he didn't face the Benoits and Jerichos of the WWE as regularly as Angle did.
leggo
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#3 Posted on 5.4.04 0649.18
Reposted on: 5.4.11 0649.22
Oh I recognise that their careers don't run parallel and acknowledged that in the article, but I was illustrating that people can't claim that Triple H was as good as he was in 2000 after the Benjamin match because Angle wasn't nearly as competent as Shelton was in the ring at the same stage in their WWE careers.
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#4 Posted on 5.4.04 1841.29
Reposted on: 5.4.11 1843.19
You keep putting March 20 as the date on these - is there a reason for that?
leggo
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#5 Posted on 6.4.04 0737.24
Reposted on: 6.4.11 0739.30
Yeah. I'm dumb.

I just did a C&P job from the Document I was writing it in and forgot to change it from the first week I wrote it.
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#6 Posted on 8.4.04 0744.02
Reposted on: 8.4.11 0744.17
Nice read, It was a long read but a very good read as well. I especially like your quick opinion point part. Maybe it's because I agree with so much of it LoL.

-I feel that Chris Jericho is arguably the most overall talented man in all of the WWE right now.-

Arguably, no doubt. You can most make a case for Jericho being the most talented man in the WWE... For me I'd give the slight nod to Eddie Guerrero and a Kurt Angle(but he's injured now). But Jericho can be up there

-I love 'eye-candy', but also feel that women's wrestling in and of itself on the 'serious' level is sometimes over-criticized.-

Agree, I always thought women wrestling in the past has been viewed with an unfair microscope. One minor slip which isn't even noticable unless you are looking for it is called "match ruination" as male matches are viewed as a whole... Always been a fan of most of the Raw divas, the little time they have out there, they go there and give it their all and if one of them is going through the motions, she really stands out as the majority are all putting out a full effort.

-I think Trish Stratus deserves more 'kudos' than can be said, for having come as far as she has in what she's learned and become able to do, from her humble starts.-

Testify! I think Trish is somewhat underrated in the IWC and I don't really know why, maybe it is she was a model beginnings or maybe it's her look. But when she's in a good match or feud, credit seems to given more to her opponents... Trish has had a very impressive track record having good feuds and matches with multiple women and ability to wrestle her opponents matches. I'm not saying Trish was carrying anyone, that's not the case. But I think she certainly more then holds up her end of the bargin.

-I think Kurt Angle is an awesome 'geek', and for one, hope he NEVER loses that 'aspect' to his character, heel, face, or tweener-

This one is a difficult one, I think doing comedy is so difficult and so few have that gift to pull of comedy with any sort of regular success. Kurt has that gift. The geeky Kurt Angle is one of my all time favorite character ever in wrestling. Saying that a character has to evolve and Kurt really did portray a major league bad ass right before WM with his serious attitude, glassy stare and stonefaced look. I'm on the fense on this one, I'm so entertained by geeky Kurt but I do understand the logic of the people who say that a serious Kurt is a more fruitful.

-I'm glad Edge is back because I feel he has unlimited potential even further than what he's already done, and wish him a long and healthy career from this point forward, with no further injuries.-

I like Edge as well, he was in a real hot streak before he had to leave due to his injury. His comeback so far has been less then spectacular to say the least, I don't think it's any of his fault. Just like they didn't really plan anything for him for his return. Short term anyways.

-I think 'gimmicks' in a comedy vein are VERY important, and wouldn't mind more than just mainly the Hurricane having one.-

Yes, agree again. I really was sad to see Goldust released because he was a vanishing breed of gimmick/cartoon characters in wrestling. I don't want 50% of the roster to be over the top gimmicks but a guy like Hurricane or Goldust certainly brings something different to the table, as when you see them you go "Okay this is a little different"

As I am in a agreeing mood, City of God is a very good movie.

leggo
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#7 Posted on 8.4.04 0749.51
Reposted on: 8.4.11 0750.40
Haha, actually the Charles' Corner segment is a guest spot. Glad you liked it though, I'll pass on your remarks to the writer.
Torchslasher
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#8 Posted on 8.4.04 0753.39
Reposted on: 8.4.11 0754.07
    Originally posted by Freeway420
    Shelton Benjamin debuted alongside Charlie Haas in December 2002 or January 2003 as part of the Team Angle angle. As part of a tag team, Benjamin was able to get the formulaic tendencies out of his system and develop a personality. Kurt Angle spent his first year basically wrestling schmucks and any combination of Chris Benoit or Chris Jericho. He was protected because the promotion wanted him to look good. He was their pet project. Benjamin was protected, but not to the degree that Kurt Angle was. Benjamin had to develop well since he didn't face the Benoits and Jerichos of the WWE as regularly as Angle did.


Woah, woah there. Shelton debuted in the WWE way before the Team Angle gimmick. I remember several matches that Shelton had on Sunday Night Heat, including a really bad match with William Regal. In fact, I saw nothing in the matches that told me that Shelton would be very good, but he proved me wrong. Benjamin disappeared after that short stint, and then re-debuted with Haas as Team Angle.
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#9 Posted on 11.4.04 0112.19
Reposted on: 11.4.11 0112.25
i believe spike and t. long's "past differences" were spike being a white wrestler on sunday night heat.
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