Rants and raves …

August 21, 2008

A couple of months ago I actually watched WWE Raw, mainly because CM Punk won the world title. However, in the last few weeks, apparently the WWE’s creative team (if you could call them that because nothing they have done with Raw has actually made them look creative) are afraid to make him a major star and are too concerned with protecting their big names — Chris Jericho, Batista and John Cena.

Since Punk won the world title, he has been treated like someone who is undeserving of it. Now that could come with the way he won the belt — a 20 second match with Edge after Edge got creamed by Batista — and the fact that the only person that he has beaten decisively has been JBL — who is perceived as mid-card talent. And of course, those wins have come with a price, since JBL seems to dominate the matches and then Punk wins with a surprise move.

Now I don’t know if Punk is being treated this way because creative is scared to have him replace one of their top dogs on the Raw brand — again, Cena and Batista — or if because creative is really that incompetant that they don’t understand that the main champion of a particular brand needs to be treated as if he is the most important person on the show, i.e. when he loses, it is a major event which therefore elevates the opponent who beat him.

That hasn’t been the case with Punk. He is booked that he is undeserving of the belt — that he is at a lower level than Cena or Batista — and that he is lucky to even have the title.

However, it doesn’t need to be like that. In fact, if WWE creative actually lived up to their name, they could make Punk one of the biggest names on Raw — similar to Cena and Batista.

How do they do that? Simple — turn him heel.

In fact, they should have done that from the beginning, and for the sake of this argument, let’s say they actually did. In fact, let’s pick up the timeline from the Raw where Punk won the world title.

At this point, he is being told he doesn’t deserve the title by every person he comes in contact with — JBL, Batista, Cena and other wrestlers. He is headed into a big showdown with Batista at the Great American Bash and you can see the chinks beginning to show up in his self-confidence.

At the Bash, the match is developed where Batista is dominating. Punk is being stymied every chance he gets. Finally he snaps and delivers a low blow to Batista. The referee calls for the bell and disqualifies Punk, which means he retains the title. He takes his belt, hangs his head and starts to walk to the back. Now comes the key part — as he begins his walk, he stops and, provided the cameraman on hand knows what he is doing, zooms in on Punk’s face (remember his back is turned to the audience) and picks up a small smile forming.

Cue the next night on Raw. Batista comes to the ring and he is pissed. He demands a rematch. Punk comes out and begins apologizing. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to do that — I just got frustrated. I never wanted to disrespect the title like that. I snapped.” At this point, the footage of Punk with his small smile is shown and Batista demands to know what that is about. Punk doesn’t even acknowledge it. He just agrees to the rematch and leaves, leaving Batista in the ring with a pissed off look on his face.

Now comes the main event. This time Batista is mad — and he is taking his frustration out on Punk. He is just beating the hell out of him. So Punk resorts to the low blow. The referee refuses to call for the bell, forcing Punk to continue the match. He pleads his case and then stops — he smiles, raises his hands and proceeds to stomp on Batista. After that, he leaves the ring and grabs a chair. He tosses the chair into the ring and promptly gets into another debate with the ref. So he kicks the ref in the groin. At this time, Batista has recovered and spears Punk out of his shoes. Punk is on the mat and so is the ref. So after looking over the situation, Batista decides to end the match by putting Punk in the Batista Bomb. He gets Punk in position, and Punk drops and again low blows him. From there Punk throws Batista shoulder-first into the ring post and picks the chair back up. Batista turns around and gets plastered with the chair. The ref calls for the bell.

However, this story doesn’t end there. Punk freezes and looks down at Batista, who at this point should have been busted open. He looks at the chair and looks down at Batista again. Then he looks back up — with a wolf’s grin on this face — before just pounding Batista over and over with the chair. The back empties out, the referees get Punk under control and he grabs his belt before heading to the back. But before he gets there, he turns around, holds the belt up high and screams “So I’m undeserving, huh?” before smiling widely.

Now comes the next week. Punk comes out — in his street clothes, with the belt over his shoulder. Now it is important he comes out in his street clothes, not a suit (I’ve seen him in a suit once and it was the funniest thing ever). The reason being is that he doesn’t look like your typical WWE superstar. He is not jacked up. He is not 6-foot-5. He is basically a misfit — and his attire should reflect that.

He grabs the mic and after quieting the crowd, launches into this tirade —

“For the past two years, I’ve been treated like I was expendable. I’m not good enough. I’m sloppy in the ring. I’m only here because Paul Heyman liked me. Well, I’m done. I’m through coming out here and acting like the cheers that you rain down on me matter. I’m through being a mindless peon in the back, basically doing the same crap week-after-week. I’m through being treated like I’m second-best. I’m sick of doubting myself.

Batista, you’ve said time after time, that I’m not on your level. Well guess what? I kicked your ass last week. I made you bleed. I made you forget your mother’s name. Am I on your level now?

You people think that I’m the second coming — well guess what? I am. I am better than everyone back there, but have I had a chance to show that — NO! I’m forced to put a goofy smile on my face and wrestle down to the abilities of those steroid-embracing monkeys in the back. Well, no more.

I’m the world heavyweight champion now. Instead of me kissing your ring (pointing to the back), you should be kissing mine. This belt proves something that I already knew when I came into this company — that I am better than anybody back there.

As to you brain-damaged chimps in the audience, well as far as I’m concerned, I’m better than you too. I don’t need to drink a beer or smoke a joint to feel better about my life. My life is great. I am the world heavyweight champion and you’re not.

So everyone in the back, everyone here tonight and everyone watching at home, it is time for me to basically reintroduce myself — I’m CM Punk. I am the world heavyweight champion. I am the best wrestler in the world today and there is nothing — nothing — that you idiots can do about it.”

From there, you could have Punk wrestle matches with all the faces on the Raw roster — working good competitive matches with guys like Batista, Shawn Michaels, Rey Mysterio and even elevate some of the younger talent, such as Kofi Kingston. But you book him in a way that he will do anything to retain the title and he continues to be overly self-confident in his promos.

Heck, if done right, he could have such great heel heat that when he finally dropped the title — say at Wrestlemania — it would end up making the guy who beat him even bigger in the fan’s eyes.

————–

For some great Punk moments, here are some recommendations:

Full Impact Pro: The Best of CM Punk Vol. 1 and 2

Ring of Honor: World Title Classic (this dates back to 2004 and was the first of the acclaimed trio of matches he had with Samoa Joe that year over the ROH World title. These matches are basically credited with saving the company following the Rob Feinstein scandal. In fact, it is interesting to note that this match wasn’t even the main event — a four-team tag scramble match was the main event of the night. But the placing of the title match on the card does not take away from the absolute classic that Punk and Joe put together.)

Ring of Honor: Expect the Unexpected. His first match against Raven. Watch the fans in this match. They start out sitting down, but by the end, they are on their feet and making Punk into one of the biggest heels in the company. Great psychology in this match.

Ring of Honor: Joe-Punk II. The second match in their trilogy. This match was named as a five-star match by The Wrestling Observer. It was actually the first five-star match — as determined by the Observer — in the United States in seven years. (Trivia: The last prior five-star match was Undertaker-Shawn Michaels, Hell in the Cell in 1997).

Ring of Honor: Nowhere to Run. The final match between Punk and Jimmy Rave and it was in a cage in Chicago — Punk’s hometown. This match was great and the crowd was fantastic.

Ring of Honor: Death before Dishonor III — Punk versus Austin Ares for the ROH World Title and after the match, Punk cuts one of the best heel promos ever.

Ring of Honor: Sign of Dishonor — Punk comes out in a suit and tie. Just that image alone was worth the price of the DVD.

Ring of Honor also has three best of’s dedicated to Punk — Better than You; Straightedge; and the Legacy Continues.

All of these DVDs are available at rohwrestling.com. Enjoy.

Keep smiling folks:)

Advertisements

So I got a phone call from my wife tonight and she decided to impress upon me her thoughts about Brooke Hogan.

Now I was thinking that my wife was going to bring up the things that I already know about Ms. Hogan — she’s talentless; she’s dumber than a brick; and apparently she and her father have a relationship that is probably illegal in most states (with the exception of Georgia — cue the dueling banjo music).

I mean, come on! Her father is basically dating her twin and during a recent episode of that trainwreck that is her “reality” show (I caught two minutes of it before diving to find the remote and change the channel before my brain exploded from the amount of stupidity that was emanating from my television screen) her father basically stalked her around the beach. What the ?*&^%#!

Anyway back to my wife’s craziness — she wasn’t calling to tell me any of this; she was calling to tell me that Brooke is not the most attractive of people out there.

“She looks like a man. I mean look at her — she looks like a caveman!”

I fell out of my chair laughing. Thanks Honey — I needed that:)

————

Just got Secret Invasion #5 and was tremendously impressed. Brian Bendis is creating one hell of a Marvel epic. This issue is worth it just see to Hawkeye snap and Reed Richards start his trek toward getting his revenge against the Skrulls for kidnapping his family and torturing him. If you are not reading this series yet, do so now. It is better than Civil War.

Really getting into the current Batman RIP storyline that Grant Morrison has been writing. But if you’re a new reader coming onto the main Batman title and are currently confused, you’re not alone. I had to go back to Morrison’s first issue on the title and reread everything from there. Once you do that, everything will make sense as Morrison has been building up to this storyline since his first issue.

Saw one of the funniest movies ever recently — Thank You For Smoking. It came out a couple of years ago and focuses on a spokesman for the tobacco lobby. Aaron Eckhart is fantastic in this role. If you can find it on Netflix or at Blockbuster, I encourage you to pick it up. It is a great flick.

Speaking of great flicks — saw The Dark Knight the weekend it came out and was totally blown away. I highly recommend it. I will say that I was hesitant about Heath Ledger being cast as the Joker, but his performance made me forget about Casear Romero and Jack Nicholson. Ledger was completely terrifying in his film.

“See, I’m not a monster…I’m just ahead of the curve. ”
-The Joker, from The Dark Knight (2008)

However it is interesting to note that while everybody believes the Joker was always a psychotic killer — he wasn’t always that way. When he debuted back in the 40s, he was actually the Clown Prince of Crime — a gangster who happened to look like a clown. It wasn’t until the 1970s when Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams came onto Batman that the Joker started to become what he is now.

And for the three scariest Joker moments that I have seen in comics:

3) The Killing Joke by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland. This comic focuses on one possible origin of the Joker and his ensuing crippling of a person who had been a major character in the Batman mythos for the past three decades.

2) Batman #663 — The Joker returns after getting shot in the face by a Batman impersonator. The artwork by Jon Van Fleet is fantastic and the story by Grant Morrison — which is written in a dense prose style — is tremendous.

1) DC/Elseworlds The Nail — Imagine the Joker with Kryptonian weaponry and he has caused a breakout at Arkham Asylum. Imagine going against him and being frozen against your will. Imagine the Joker casting a field over Robin and Batgirl, keeping them immobile. Now imagine the Joker forcing you to watch as he tears them apart limb from limb while they beg for your help. And that’s just in the first issue of this three-issue series written and drawn by Alan Davis that came out about 10 years ago. Truly terrifying.

Anyway that’s it for now. Keep smiling folks:)

A couple of months ago I established a MySpace page. I don’t know why, because I’m not really that much into the Internet. But its up and it has provided me with a forum to connect with either people that I’ve either fallen out of touch with or those who I’m getting to know better.

Recently I got into contact with some of my fellow high school graduates. And I was enjoying an e-mail conversation with one a couple of nights ago when a comment that she said started making me think about my past.

To give a brief synoposis, the person in question noted that my wife sounds a nice person to which I replied that she is and she is better than I deserve. The person in question replied ” dont say that she must of found something she loved about you she married you and I remember you being a really nice guy.”

This comment — specifically “I remember you being a really nice guy.” — caught me off guard. It also got me thinking about the person that I was all those years ago (I won’t give an exact number, but let’s say that it has been over 10 years since I was in high school).

I was not the nicest guy back then. To put it bluntly, I was a giant asshole. I was arrogant, rude, mean, stand-offish, insulting — if you can think of a bad adjective, I could probably use it to describe myself back then.

Now I can make all the excuses in the world – a bad childhood; spending five straights years in five different schools back in California before moving to Pennsylvania; brutal emotional competition between my sister and I; feelings of inadequacy; a lack of social skills; a desire to be liked by everyone (wow, this is a long list) — but truth be told, I cannot excuse the person I was. Simply put, I was an immature child back then. I didn’t know when to say “enough” when it came down to my behavior. I tried so hard to be what I thought other people might like that I ended up insulting everybody around me.

Since then I have come to terms with how I was back then and I don’t look back on those years fondly. There were more bad times than good times back then. It should have been reversed — the good should always outnumber the bad — but I was too stupid to realize it back then.

Now I’m a husband and a father. I have a loving family, a good job and a house that I can call my own. My sister and I have made peace, and are continually working to improve our relationship. I’m an uncle to five beautiful little girls that my sister and her husband brought into this world. I’m also working to better my relationship with God, which is thanks to my wife and her family who are devout Christians.

For the first time in my life, I don’t need to be ashamed of who I am. I don’t need to try to impress people. I’m happy. I’m still not the most sociable of people, but I’m working on that:)

Anyway, the point I’m trying to make is, while I remember myself to be a horrible person back then, it was nice to hear that not everybody thought that badly of me back then.

————

Now for those few individuals who got done reading my just completed rambling and are wondering why I didn’t include an apology to anyone as noted in my title line — well, now we come to that.

Let first start by saying, I don’t have a lot of friends. My wife is my best friend and probably one of the only friends that I have. Truth to be told, I’m not really good at making friends. I’m trying to get better at it, but you know the old saying about an old dog and new tricks.

Anyway this part of the story focuses on the aforementioned person that I was e-mailing back-and-forth earlier this week. At the end of the conversation I added “Hey, I know that you probably have lots of people to talk to, but if you need someone else to listen, please don’t hesitate to call me. My cell phone is …”

I’ll pause for a minute to let everybody come to the realization that I may have made a probably large snafu.

…. OK then. Now, let me explain my state of mind at the time. Through my continuing education as a Christian, I’ve learned that one of the best things that I can do is help other people, whether it be through volunteering, making donations to charities, helping those in need or even providing an ear to listen to someone who may be having a bad day.

That last sentiment was what was going through my mind when I made my last statement in that e-mail. I was not trying to do anything else. In fact, I don’t believe that this person in question will ever use that number. She is a great person who has a lot of friends. She doesn’t need to talk to me. All I was doing was offering another set of ears if she needed someone else to talk to.

Of course, in doing so I may have offended this person. If I have, I am truly sorry.

Now this isn’t the first time that I’ve gotten myself in some trouble — if I did get myself in trouble — with giving my cell number out to someone.

The other person that I gave my number to was the subject of a blog posting that I wrote a couple of months ago. I had e-mailed her and offered my cell number if she wanted to talk. I didn’t think she would ever use it. Again because this person is also a great person who has a lot of friends (I’m kind of noticing a pattern here …) So I put it out of my mind.

Then one morning my phone rang. I looked at the number, didn’t recognize it and let it go to voice mail. Then I turned back to paying attention to my son. A couple of minutes later I checked my voice mail. It was the person in question.

I was a little surprised. So I called her back. We ended up having a great conversation. However, there was one thing that this person said that stuck in my head and is actually the reason why I am responding to the other individual. This person — who is a female, just like the person I was communicating with earlier in the week — said “I usually don’t talk to married men.”

I was a little taken aback by the statement and after I got off the phone, I began thinking about what she had said.

Yes, I am married — happily in fact. I’ve been married to my wife for six years and we’ve been together as a couple for nearly 10. I have a beautiful son with my wife. Truth be told, I have no romantic feelings for any other woman — mainly because I keep falling in love with my wife more every day.

But there are other married men who are not as content in their marriage as I am in mine. These are the guys who call up single women and tell them all sorts of things — my wife doesn’t understand me, my kids hate me, I’m thinking about getting a divorce and so on and so forth. Why do they do this? Because these guys using a woman’s sympathy in an attempt to get laid. They don’t care about their wives or what kind of damage they may cause to their families. They’re basically thinking with the second head that they were given.

Let me be truthfully honest — when I reach out to these people, I’m not looking for someone that I can have an affair with. I take my marriage vows very seriously. I said “I do” in front of God and my family. I promised to be with my wife “until death do us part” and that is how it is going to be.

Now does that mean that I can’t attempt to strike up friendships with women who are not my wife? I don’t believe so. Because I know that nothing is going to come of it other than friendship — and to be truthful, that is all I have offered.

In fact, this person who contacted me — well, we text each other probably once every couple of weeks. I usually either say “Hi,” wish her a good weekend, or offer an encouraging word and she has done the same.

Now I can understand the hesitation by some women to call a married man — it does have the hint of impropriety. But, in my case, all I’m offering is an ear for listening. I have nothing else in mind.

However, if I ever did cheat on my wife, she has threatened to cut off parts of my anatomy in retaliation. And I believe her. She may be tiny, but she does know where the cutlery is:)

I had to throw that last paragraph in there because I know that she reads this blog:) I love you sweetie:)

——————

So anyway that’s about all for now. I promise to select a little lighter topic next time. Keep smiling folks:)

Just blogging

August 6, 2008

So I’ve been tearing out what is left of my hair for the past couple of days trying to come up with a subject to write about. And then I realized – why don’t I just make some random comments? Then I realized that that’s all I do now. Yeah, I’m feeling really swift now ….

Anyway ….

I was looking at myself in the mirror the other day and came to a dreaded realization — I’m getting old. This shocking realization came to me when I took notice that not only is my hair leaving the top of my head on its own free will (when I don’t shave it), but some of the remaining hair has the audacity to turn gray as well. See, Mother Nature has decided to punish me twice. And if that wasn’t bad enough, my son — who is about to turn two — has a full head of blonde hair … and he doesn’t hesitate to rub that fact in when around his old man. AARGH!!!!!

I made mention that I love really bad horror films and I came across a doozy the other night — Madman. This 1980s piece of garbage — which takes place at a summer camp (surprise, surprise) — centers on a group of camp counselors that are being picked off by a crazy man with an ax. But that’s not the best part — when they finally show us the killer, I burst out laughing. The killer looks like a friggin’ garden gnome. Just the thought of it makes me giggle now. It was a sight to behold.

Was goofing off on the Internet the other day and found something that will either make you laugh or cry. I mentioned the movie “Sleepaway Camp” a few weeks ago. Well I discovered they made two sequels to the movie — and the killer in these films is played by Bruce Springsteen’s sister, Pamela. Scary, isn’t it?:)

Just finishing reading the first graphic novel collection for the comic book series Scalped, and I am hooked. The story in the trade is brutal, but fantastic. It keeps you hooked on every page. The series focuses on the seedy underbelly of an Indian Reservation and it is written by one of the best new writers in the comic industry, Jason Aaron. I encourage people to pick this one up — there are two trades currently available. However, I will warn you, it is a DC/Vertigo title and it is for mature readers. As I said it is quite brutal, but if you can get past that, it is a great read.

I’ve been listening to Shelby Lynne’s “Just a little lovin'” CD a lot lately. Another CD that I’ve been enjoying is Sugarland’s “Love on the inside.” Both albums are fantastic.

Decided to expand my literary collection a little bit by trying the works of two new authors — Duane Swiercynzski’s The Blonde and Christopher Moore’s A Dirty Job. The Blonde is the story of a man who meets a blonde in an airport and then is told by that person that he has been poisoned and has 10 hours to live. A Dirty Job focuses on a man who has been chosen as a death merchant who harvests the souls of dead people and then transfers those souls to the living. The Blonde was a great thriller, while A Dirty Job was a laugh riot. I give both these books high recommendations.

I think that is about it for now. Keep smiling:)