Monday, September 22, 2003

#62. Goldberg, PWI 500, Emmy, White Stripes, Coldplay

Well, it happened. Goldberg defeated Triple H! The reign is over! Long live Goldberg!

The PWI 500 ranking, getting back to that, is drawn from a period that ends in August, so the listing and number one wrestler strays somewhat from the calender year. Brock Lesnar might have been higher up on the previous 500 had last year's Summer Slam been included, given that he won his first WWE championship in a match against The Rock then. Instead he got 17th. This time around he was No. 1! Triple H was No. 2, by the way, and Goldberg's showing was No. 39. Chances are good that it'll be different for those two come next 500, which is more or less a year away now. PWI doesn't have a website, surprisingly, so the only way to find out who made the 500 and were they landed is to pick up the magazine, which was frustrating the years I wasn't able to get my hands on it. This year, however, the editors have compiled a chart of everyone who has ever appeared in the 500 (dating back to 1991, I guess when wrestling had gained enough mainstream momentum thanks to guys like Hulk Hogan), including where they were ranked, if they were ranked.

Tired of me yappin' about wrestling? There was the Emmy's last night in addition to Unforgiven, and the highlight there for me was Conan O'Brien's spot. He was hilarious, the funniest of the dozen hosts. I might be partial. Who knows? The Shadow?

Updating a bit from a few months ago. I did pick up The White Stripes' White Blood Cells and Elephant, both albums I immediately fell in love with. Those two are amazing, an incredible find. Now if I can only find them on the radio, or even MTV or VH-1. Speaking of music videos, Coldplay is a rare breed. "The Scientist" video is a marvel, just a wonder, and I came across "God Put A Smile Upon Your Face" and that was good too. The whole album A Rush of Blood to the Head is fantastic, a worthy follow-up to Parachutes. I've recived word that the band will be taking time off to develope a new sound. Hope that works out well for 'em.

I might have had a thing or two more to say, but I'll hang up the line now.

Friday, September 19, 2003

#61. First Wrestling Post, Road Rules, Dead Celebrities, Neil Gaiman, Geoff Johns

Holy cow! It's been a while, hasn't it? Why, I probably lost all of my faithful readers!

...Oh, right. I don't, or probably don't, have any. All the same, I'm here once again!

Brock Lesner is once again the WWE champion, having beating Kurt Angle by crook last night on Smackdown! in a grueling hour-long Ironman Match. This caps a year in which he made the top slot in the annual PWI 500 list, or more accurately, ensures that he'll have a decent ranking next year as well. The PWI (or Pro Wrestling Illustrated, a monthly magazine) 500 just came out. I was surprised when I saw it at the grocery store, not having previously picked it up as soon as it came out. Usually I get it in October or December, but this year I guess I was just quicker on the ball. Anyhoo, whatever the case I picked it up a week or so ago. Lesner has turned heel, and that's how he's likely to spend this reign, however long it is. RAW will have their PPV (Unforgiven) this Sunday and that leaves Smackdown! with a month to go before its next event. That's why such a pretigious match and occurence happened on network television.

And I missed it! Yup, my local UPN went packing and I didn't get to watch the action. Sucks, sure, but I've missed more important matches than I can count on my eight fingers and two thumbs. I miss a lot of things, but oh well. I still found out what happened. If I was going to be sour about anything, I'd be sour and sore about missing "Bret screwing Bret" at Survivor Series '97, Ultimate Warrior defeating Hogan, Ricky Steamboat defeating Randy Savage, heck even Razor Ramon defeating Shawn Michaels in that epic ladder match. Yadda yadda yadda.

So Lesner is champion again. He might be The Next Big Thing, but he's not going down the same road as Goldberg. Speaking of Goldberg, that bloak is finally going to climb back up the beanstalk at Unforgiven. It's been quite some time, but he'll beat Triple H (who everyone hates because he's actually had the world strap longer than four months or so, god forbid someone put up a sizable title reign, right?) and be "Da Man" and "Da Champ" once again. It's a darn inevitability.

People like to take away the credit Goldberg should be given, some by even comparing him to the one note wonder known as Hulk Hogan. Well, Goldberg ain't Hogan. Goldberg has presence, he's not just a cartoon. When he needs to, he lets loose real skills. The real reason some people can't stand him? They're holding a grudge against him for knockin' Bret Hart's noggin and sending him into retirement. If you held grudges for every mistake, every injury one wrestler does to another wrestler, you'd have to hold a grudge against Bret's deceased brother, Owen Hart, who is the reason Steve Austin has had all those neck problems. But you won't hear anyone seriously badmouthing Owen. He's dead and he earned lasting respect by, um, dying. (Before his fatal plummet, you wouldn't have heard anything much about him aside from his endless professionalism, and that don't get you far. Just look at Chris Benoit.)

Switching gears slightly, I happened to catch the end of MTV's Road Rules, South Seas. When they were airing those endless reruns of the season, I happened to catch a little altercation between castmates Abe and Donell. Abe is an example of the worst kind of fraternity brother, the guy who will go out and do any number of crazy things for his brothers (I suspect he got those scar tattoos from his frat house days). He's the type of guy who just doesn't seem too bright. ("I don't think interracial dating is wrong, I just think it's something that shouldn't be done," goes the double-speak bull he actually wins Christena over with.) So clown Donell, who is the type of guy who will get under anyone with thin skin's nerves, gets Abe upset, and Abe plays the race card. This leads to Donell getting serious, and Abe downright bonkers, playing the camera mug first by throwing a very theatrical "f-you" and then throwing fists. Donell might have provoked it, but he didn't deserve it, and the whole situation presents him as the bigger man.

Imagine my not-quite surprise when I go on the Internet and find people supporting Abe and absolutely belittling Donell. Well, it's such an obvious situation, but I'll spell it out to you anyway. No one who wrote in regarding the show and these people and that confrontation was going to react any differently. Abe is this blond frat boy who most of the audience is going to relate to, regardless of what he says or does. Donell is this overweight verbal jabber who picks on Abe because, as Donell puts it himself, "an easy target." Anyone who looks at Abe objectively would see that. Audience finds Donell annoying and he's fat, so clearly they're going to side with the good lookin' dude Who Was Clearly The Victim. Cha! Cha right!

People! The other thing that bugged me took place in the final episode, when the gang is completing the final mission. I don't know everyone's name, but the guy who was paired with Tina, once they had made it across the bridge, turned out to be the second person I ended up not much caring for on the show when he celebrated by trying to act as if Tina needed him to congratulate her for actually making it across. For one, they both made it across, y'know, together. Second, he was darn condescending, no matter how much he might have thought it made him look so nice to her. Third, had she not made it across, neither would he, and vice versa, so there was no point in trying to pretend either one was responsible, or either one deserved such overenthusiastic and fake applause from their teammate. Fourth, they only followed what the team before them did. Fifth, darn if he just didn't come off as an idiot. Ah well.

In nontelevision thoughts, I hate computer viruses! But then, nobody really does, so on to something else. This has been an especially lousy year to be a celebrity. Hepburn, Hope, Hines, White, Zevon, Cash, Ritter, and a bunchmore I can't recall at the moment. Affleck, who not only makes Gigli with J-Lo, but breaks up with her, too, and just before the marriage. I can't stand the guy anyway. Lopez deserves way better. Her unending search for a mate continues! Hey, that could make a great movie role for her! Oh, but Runaway Bride has already been made, and that's sort of similar, ain't it?

I recently got Thomas Friedman's Longitudes and Attitudes as well as Life of Pi, two books that happened to look interesting. Man, I've got a backlog of books to read that just keeps growing. It's insane! If I went through the list of the books I've bought and will "be getting around to" you'd get a good laugh. Really! It's ridiculous.

If this is good enough for "Hurricane" Helms, it's good enough for me. I'm into comic books, and I'm not ashamed. Neil Gaiman has just come out with a new Sandman book, and USA Today did a feature on it. That was great to see. His novel American Gods was excellent. Geoff Johns recently made me believe that there was life for The Flash after Mark Waid. The 200th issue of the comic featured a twist ending that was one of the most incredible ones I've ever read. Mind you, it's also the first issue, the first comic I've picked up in more than a few months. I was a huge comics fan and reader several years ago, but gave it up cold turkey and now only pick up the occassion issue. That issue has me on the verge of breaking me back in, if only to continue Johns' run.

You wouldn't believe how unpopular small-name poetry is. Okay, maybe you would. I've run across several more-than-bargain-priced collections at my college bookstore, and that's been one reason (a recent one) my soon-to-be reading list has expanded so much. I nearly picked up a bunch more today, but I showed some restraint. It was a hell of a battle squeazing those books back in the wrong place, but in this instance of not putting something back where I found it, I can be excused, since the shelves on the sale section are pretty random as they are.

Anyway, small time poetry is not big. Heck, big time poetry is not really big. And yes, this post is quite long. I'll end it now.


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