My take on the “Monday Night Wars 2010”

•March 17, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I used to be a wrestling fan. Back in the days of the WWF and the “Attitude Era.” Seeing Stone Cold Steve Austin, DX, the Rock, it was edgy, exciting, fun. Once WCW and ECW went out of business, the WWF had no competition but went on to do some interesting things with the talent and the storylines. But eventually, Stone Cold left, WWF became WWE, and they split their roster into 2, and slowly became PG. It was no longer exiting. It was safe, boring, predictable. I stopped watching a few years ago.

Along comes TNA, getting into the spotlight, on Spike TV and against RAW. There’s the passion, the excitement, and not to mention actual wrestling. WWE’s biggest star is John Cena, a cheesy smiling babyface ala Rocky Maivia in 97, (who got booed for being lame) with 4 moves in his arsenal at best. TNA’s biggest star is AJ styles, an actual athlete. but still WWE persists and is king. Are they really better?

Lets take a look at Raw from March 15th. Stone Cold Steve Austin guests hosts. Awesome right? He comes out to a decent ovation, nothing like the old days but decent. He then goes onto cutting a promo about Bret Hart vs Vince McMahon at Wrestlemania. Bret Hart’s back in the WWE, cool. But, Vince McMahon is 60+ years old. Bret hart cant take a slap to the face without his post concussion syndrome fucking him up. Needless to say I’m not terribly interested in a match between the two, let alone having Stone Cold talk about it on a very rare appearance on raw. Then, Stone Cold says: I don’t care if i have to break my foot off in his as-…….” 3-4 seconds of silence…did they really just censor the word ass? Really? Ass? it barely qualifies as a cuss word.

Then what happens next, John Cena comes to the ring, with almost a bigger ovation (it’s hard to tell, it was much higher pitched from all the tween-age girls and 8 year old boys) and it’s not even to confront stone cold, it’s to have his match. If this was the attitude era, John Cena would have been booed out of the damn ring. But it really is a different, much much lamer time in WWE, and this only illustrated it to the fullest.

So it’s Wrestlemania rewind night, all matches are former Wrestlemania matches, pretty cool right? We start off with John Cena vs the big show. Any match with John Cena is boring, and biased, ends up with him getting his ass beat the whole match only to make a miraculous recovery and bust out 4 moves and win/have someone cheat him into losing. Every damn match. Every…single…one. And the big show, the largest athlete in the word, is basically a sidekick to some douche from the real world. So their match goes on, big show huffing and puffing around the ring, John Cena taking his usual beating. John Cena counters, does literally 4 moves, Batista, his WM opponent comes out to interfere. Cena goes for the FU, oh sorry, the “Attitude adjustment”…how fitting. Batista distracts him, Big show pulls out THE MOST DEVASTATING MOVE EVER…..a punch. 1, 2, 3. First match of the night, ended with illegal interference. And a punch. Now I know a punch from the big show would hurt and knock me out. But that’s ridiculous in wrestling. Not to mention it was less a punch and more big show slinging his arm lazily over to John Cena with the same impact as someone taping you to get your attention, and Cena took it like he got shot.

Also, I can’t remember the last time I saw a WWE match between 2 top level competitors that didn’t end in some kind of cheating or interference. It’s ridiculous. Would anyone watch a football game where the coach distracted the refs while the team switches out footballs and cheats a touchdown? Would anyone watch a UFC fight were the guy sneaks in a chair to win the bout? It basically negates the whole Wrestling match. I don’t care what happened and what moves went on, because that’s not what won the match. Where’s the 20 minute matches where the two opponents battle till one cant go anymore? May as well skip to the end, if you’re gonna cheat to win don’t waste the time of going through the useless match beforehand.

Next up, I almost missed this match because I had to go find my sunglasses because of this guy:

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Holy crap. That’s the whitest person ever. Combined with the red hair he could play Ronald McDonald without makeup. He’s fighting some little dude. Wonder who’s going to win. He starts out the “match” hitting the little dude with the microphone, then crushing him in about a minute, then goes on some promo about fighting triple H at WM for about 4 minutes. And just because “I’m bad you’re bad lets see who’s badder grr.” Creative storyline for a match. And the poor “little dude” is actually Evan borne, who is actually a good and exciting wrestler, and this is how they use him. If he were in TNA he’d be X division champion putting on spectacles of matches.

Quick promo of Shawn Michaels talking to Austin about his WM match, and Chris Jericho coming to try to get out of his Wrestlemania rewind match against him tonight. The whole thing is basically a promo for Austin’s new movie, which played in the background the entire time.

Next up, some women wrestling. No one cares who or who wins, it’s just an excuse for some T n’ A ironically enough. And no one cares because this was the only match to have a legitimate pinfall finish thus far. More girls come, 13 year old boys around the world masturbate, and that demographic is satisfied as far as WWE is concerned. Vikki Guerrero comes out, supporting some of the bad girls from Smackdown, because the diva’s champion accidentally spilled some cottage cheese on her or something so she made her lose the title. Really. That’s a storyline. It’s just the women but really. Long gone are the days of Wendy Richter and Alandra Blaze. Chyna and Trish Stratus even. Just good looking women and shittier dialogue than a porn movie. But don’t get me started on Smackdown. It’s basically RAW, without any of the spontaneity, or “excitement ” of guest hosts, just WWE’s shitty brand of “Sports entertainment.” Some dude named “R-Truth” comes out and does a sing along with all the 8 year old boys in the crowd. How cute. If I wanted to watch Dora the Fucking Explorer I would be.

Anyway, next up is Chris Jericho VS Shawn Michaels. Shawn Michaels, who probably shouldn’t be wrestling, and Jericho, I just can’t stand the guy. He looks disproportioned. He needs some pants back on, get rid of the shitty prep haircut with the gelled front, and stop doing promos like a monotonous fuck. Where’s Y2J? Where’s Lionheart Chris Jericho? Who is this black hole of Charisma? Someone who, like most everyone else, doesn’t seem to give a shit about entertaining wrestling fans anymore. He’s a heel I don’t like, but not in the intended way. Nonetheless they put on a decent match, until Jericho just leaves and lets himself get counted out. Again, you could have saved us 10 minutes and just left at the beginning. Hell don’t even show up. I just watched the fictional equivalent of the Yankees giving up in the 9th inning just because. Edge comes out. Pulls out his hair. I’m surprised they didn’t censor that. Spears Jericho and says “Spear” and leaves. That’s the whole point of their rivalry now. At first it was because Jericho made light of Edge being injured, but apparently it was too complicated for all the children so now it’s just “I’m gonna spear you” “No you won’t” Spear Spear Spear.” Swiper no Spearing! Jesus.

Next up, last year’s WM main event, HHH vs Randy Orton. Good match right? they wrestle, HHH gives Orton the pedigree, and pins him 1, 2, 3!!!…..just kidding. Cody Rhodes and Ted Diabetes come out and get HHH DQ’d, they beat up Orton, Ronald McDonald comes out and beats up HHH. Wow, riveting Television.

Next up, Batista vs Kofi Kingston. Is that even a WM rewind? I stopped watching before Kofi was around. So, Batista is the WWE champion in the WM main event, on a roll, and Kofi is a mid-card guy who can actually Wrestle. Guess who’s going to win this one? If you guess Batista, you’re absolutely right kids! Lets all go get some ice cream! Sigh. Kofi kicks Batista in the face, accidentally busting him open. Oh boy, blood! now it’s getting goo—huh? The Referee busts out some latex gloves form his pocket, Batista finishes the match almost immediately, and the referee tries to hand Batista a towel. Does Batista have aids or something? What the fuck is that? At least Batista didn’t take it like a fucking pussy, but that was the most bizarre reaction to blood I’ve ever seen on a wrestling program. Batista gets a legit pinfall, because no one in WWE cares about Kofi or what’s he’s doing.

Promo for nest week’s guest host, Pete Rose. They show his appearance on WWE in 98. I’m a guy from Cincinnati, but Pete Rose was barely topical back then, he’s much less so 12 years later.

Main event time, must have saved a spectacle of a wrestling match for this one right? Huh? Oh, it’s the contract signing for Bret and Vince’s match. But we do have 3 huge names of wrestling in the ring at one time. Bret, who is like a piece of glass, Vince, who needs to die off already quite frankly so WWE can get interesting again, and Stone Cold, who can’t do anything interested to upset the “storylines” because he’ll be gone after this. Stone Cold tells Vince to “Sit your ass down” to a big pop from the fans, although we at home don’t hear his say it because they censored 4 more seconds of audio because he said the word “ass.” On cable TV at 11:00 at night. I thought this was PG not fucking G for “Gee these guys are fucking pussies!”

They censor the word ass one more time, Vince and Bret talk shit, Bret’s injured leg isn’t really injured, he hits him with the cast, and Vince sells it like he got hit with a paper mache sculpture, which is probably what it was. Raw ends…….zzzzzzzzz.

I can’t believe almost 4 million people watch this a week! TNA was watched by about 1 million, and it has Hulk Hogan every week, Eric Bishoff, Sting, Rob Van Dam, Jeff Hardy, Ric Flair, AJ styles, and actual fucking wrestling. The main event against RAW was Jeff Hardy vs AJ Styles, and Jeff Hardy got a legitimate pin on the world champion, 1 week before a PPV where AJ wrestles Abyss. But I don’t even want to break down TNA. An acceptable wrestling show would be miles ahead of WWE’s shitty programming. WWE is like George Bush in 2004. Both ruined what they represent, and both are shitty at what they do. And I don’t care who is competing with either one of them, I’m voting against them, because anything is better than the crap we got now. But can TNA really beat WWE? Well, George Bush did get re-elected. Only difference is, WWE’s term doesn’t have an expiration date. Joy, joy joy. Unless something changes, sub par wrestling and boring safe programming will continue to reign over much, much better product. it’s disgusting.

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Is this serious?

•January 26, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Unless there is some big inside joke I’m not in on, how is this a legitimate song/video? Really? He sounds like a 5 year old Autistic child trying to learn how to speak when he sings. I’m sorry that was offensive. To autistic kids. Not to mention the ridiculously generic lyrics (The ones I understood anyway) and the whole video looking like an SNL parody. Matter of fact, SNL has had parody songs 100 times better than this:

I also love how when this “Soulja Boy” video plays on MTV they have the “Hope for Haiti” message scrolling across the screen while he rolls around in piles of money and gold. But when you’re already acting like a world class douche I guess it really doesn’t matter.

The entertainment industry is a business

•January 20, 2010 • Leave a Comment

The entertainment industry is a business. This phrase has been bouncing around a whole lot lately. Usually with the phrase “Everyone forgets the entertainment industry is a business.” Meaning that it has to do things to make money, sometimes turning people off.

With hot movies today being Twilight, a poorly written and laughably bad movie, with Television drowning in cheap to produce, bottom of societies barrel reality shows like Jersey shore, the hills, Almost everything on fox etc., this phrase has been jumping around from reviewer to reviewer, company to company. Most recently in an interview I heard this being said about the Spider-man 4 movie, which got scrapped and is going to be rebooted. “Everyone forgets the entertainment industry is a business…And as years go by the cost of these actors go up and it’s more cost effective to just reboot the whole thing with a new director and cast.” I see this as a very very bad precedent that is being set in the entertainment industry today. I can’t believe that scrapping a hugely successful franchise’s sequel is considered a “good” move.

Somewhere along the line, while remembering so much that “The entertainment industry is a business,” everyone seems to have forgotten the entertainment industry is supposed to be ENTERTAINMENT. If we had always adapted the entertainment as a business philosophy, movies like “Star Wars,” “The Godfather” and shows like “The Fugitive” and “Seinfeld” Would be laughed out of business meetings. Everyone has to pander to the lowest common denominator, making mindless casual movies and television, simply because it pleases the most people enough to watch it. Writer Joss Whedon once wrote “I’d rather make a show 100 people need to see, rather than 1000 people want to see.” Joss Whedon is the creator of a number of highly acclaimed shows, most famously Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a show that barely made it on the air in 1997. It became a huge hit and Buffy became a pop culture icon. Who are the pop culture icons of this generation? Spencer Pratt? Snooki? How far is too far when we have a show where an adopted child has to pick out their biological father is a bathlorette-esque type show? Oh wait, It’s already happened: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who’s_Your_Daddy%3F_(TV_series).

Now I’m not promoting censorship, not by any means. But I don’t want to be watching my 1,000th generic action hero movie or “Guess the STD” 30 years from now because that’s what sells to the most people. I want to see a smart, creative, interesting or innovative movies and TV once and a while. I want to see some works of ART. I want to see shows that are good not shows that get people to watch like a train wreck. I don’t want to see some manufactured byproduct of a business. I don’t want entertainment decisions being run by out of touch executives who draw ideas from facts and figures from devices that themselves are out of date.

The whole “Late night NBC debacle” is a byproduct of this insanity. Conan O’Brien, soon to be former host of The Tonight Show, is being thrown off the air because his ratings are down, not taking into account his crappy lead in, the fact that he’s only been on the air 7 months, and the fact that his audience is younger and don’t all watch his TV show, on TV. Many people watch TV shows through different Internet outlets now, and that is not being taken into account in the Nielson ratings. So they’re replacing him with former host Jay Leno, whose audience is too old to know how to work computers. Not to mention, O’Brien was asked to tone the show down to appeal to a broader audience, which is not what made him successful. So he looses a segment of his fans who don’t like the new toned down Conan, and doesn’t get any of Leno’s audience because he’s not dumbed down all the way. NBC’s brilliant idea was to blame everything on Conan and thrown him off the air after 17 years, and it’s truly truly ignorant.

Fan support is highly in Conan’s favor, Conan has come out as the wronged party, according to a poll on TV guide 83% of people want Conan to remain as host of the tonight show, and everyone is pissed off at NBC. It just goes to show How much the entertainment industry is run by out of touch executives that don’t know or care about what people really want, just what makes the most money. It’s become almost laughably ironic that the entertainment industry doesn’t know or care about what is the best entertaining. I don’t think these people get into Entertainment thinking “I’m gonna follow formulas and make the most money possible!” If that’s your interest then be a stock broker. I would hope they get into entertainment to, I don’t know, ENTERTAIN. Its hard to imagine that the people who entered into a career of making people happy have no qualms about infuriating people so righteously like this. Leno does well because his show takes no risk, has no edge, it’s a blank slate and doesn’t offend anyone, and the majority of casual people will tune in to it. Shows like David Letterman, who appeals to a more cynical, sarcastic audience, or Conan who appeals to a more youthful audience, are much better shows in terms of quality, but only appeal to a certain part of the TV watching audience. Let me put it to you thing way: Everyone from your 5 year old daughter to your 80 year old grandma can gather around and watch Scooby-Doo. It’s meant for everyone. But that doesn’t mean it’s the cutting edge of entertainment for anyone. Your 5 year old would much rather watch Dora the Explorer. Your Grandma would rather watch Andy Griffith. You’d rather watch the Sopranos. All those shows are great, but appeal to a certain audience, therefore not making as much money or having as much ratings as the all inclusive show. At what point does TV become littered with Scooby-Doo reruns? at what point do movies become generic rehashed storylines of event movies, or just become a 2 hour Calvin Klein commercial (I.E. twilight 5)? I think Entertainment has WELL realized it’s a business, and now needs to remember that it’s an art too.

Jay Leno-The real story behind his 1/18/10 statement

•January 18, 2010 • Leave a Comment

In this whole late night mess, through all the jokes and the coverage, it can get hard to figure out what is actually going on. Allow me to provide you with Jay Leno’s side of the story, taken from the 1/18 Jay Leno show:

Now, Allow me to give you the REAL story

For the most part, Leno tells the story of what happened, with his own spin and not mention of the ridiculous irony considering when he took over the tonight show back in 1992. Let me address a few of his statements:

Leno referencing 2004: ‘Well, I’ve been No. 1 for 12 years.’

Unless this is a mistake from Leno, this is not accurate. Leno had low ratings and was beaten by Letterman during the first 3 years of his run. It wasn’t until Hugh Grant showed up in 1995 after being arrested for seeing a prostitute, to give an interview on the Tonight show, where Leno began winning the late night war.

‘Okay. How about until I fall to No. 2, then you fire me?’

There was no “Firing.” Leno had renewed his contract earlier in 2004, which lasted until 2009. 6 months later, Conan O’brien signed a deal which gave him the tonight Show in 2009, Leno simply didn’t have his contract renewed.

‘No, we made this decision.’ I said, ‘That’s fine.’…‘I’ll retire, just to avoid what happened the last time.’

“Last time” being when the Tonight Show’s rightful successor David Letterman, gets screwed over by NBC’s decision to go with Leno instead-even Johnny Carson preferred Letterman, according to Peter Lassally, former producer of both Carson’s and Letterman’s shows.

He did say that was fine-and went on to not complain, not say NBC fired him, but indeed to RETIRE in this classy statement:

Don’t blame Conan O’Brien.

Oh, more on this later

So time goes by, and we stay No. 1 up until the day we leave

Which is how Leno said he wanted to retire in 2004

but I’m leaving before my contract is out. About six to eight months early. So before I could go anywhere else — I would be at least a year or 18 months before I could go and do a show somewhere else

Here’s where things get interesting. On September 27th, 2004, Jay Leno announced he’s leaving the Tonight Show. He says in his statement about renewing his contract, that “About 6 months ago…(NBC) Would like to do 5 more years” so that puts it around March of 04. The last episode of “The tonight Show with Jay Leno” was may 29th 2009. Which sounds right around the time his contract would run out. in Leno’s statement from last night, 2010 “I’m leaving before my contract is out. About six to eight months early” …Something doesn’t add up there. Assuming The contract ran out, when the show went off the air, which makes more sense, Leno would have still had a no compete clause, which is what he’s referring to, having to wait a year to 18 months. If It let out in May, then he’d only have to wait anywhere from 4 months to a year. And considering it took 4 months to get Leno’s new show ready, with the same staff and the same lot, the no compete clause would only effect anywhere from 8 months to nothing. So a worst case scenario 8 months off the air is what Leno is complaining about. And even if it was a year to 18 months, it shows tremendous disrespect to “retire” only to threaten competition against the Tonight show if NBC didn’t keep Leno around. The no compete clause was there when Leno signed in in 04. He was given a 5 year head start to make plans. The Tonight show is the Tonight Show, no the Jay Leno show. Jay Leno is driving Johnny Carson’s bus, it’s Conan O’Brien’s turn to drive it, that’s not for Leno to decide. So instead of “Passing the Torch,” Leno takes his version of the Tonight show, and presumably most it’s viewers, to 10:00. Leno takes away a huge Drama lead in O’Brien would have had, as Leno had Seinfeld, ER, Cheers, Friends etc. over his tenure as no.1 on the number 1 network. O’Brien gets Summer reruns, then a prime time talk show in drama filled competition as a lead in on the number 4 network.

Also knowing, according to Leno from the execs: Now for the first four or five months against original shows like CSI, you’ll get killed, but in the spring and summer when the reruns come, that’s when you’ll pick up.’

So going in, NBC, and Leno, knew O’Brien would have a terrible lead in, also not mentioning the fact that the show he’s taken over had basically moved to 10 pm.

“Four months go by; we don’t make it. Meanwhile, Conan’s show during the summer — we’re not on — was not doing well. The great hope was that we would help him. Well, we didn’t help him any, okay. They come and go, ‘This show isn’t working. We want to let you go.’ ‘Can you let me out of my contract?’ ‘No, you’re still a valuable asset to this company.’ ‘How valuable can I be? You fired me twice…”The affiliates are the ones that own the TV stations. They’re the ones that sort of make the decisions; they’re not happy with your performance and Conan is not doing well at 11:30. I said, ‘What’s your idea?’ They said, ‘Well, look, how about you do a half-hour show at 11:30?’ Now, where I come from, when your boss gives you a job and you don’t do it well… I think we did a good job here, but we didn’t’ get the ratings, so you get humbled. I said, ‘Okay, I’m not crazy about doing a half hour, but okay. What do you want to do with Conan?’ ‘We’ll put him on at midnight, or 12:05, keeps The Tonight Show, does all that, he gets the whole hour.’ I said, ‘Okay. You think Conan will go for that?’ ‘Yes, yes. [laughter from the audience] Almost guarantee you.’ I said okay.”

Interesting statement. First off, Conan wasn’t doing well, he had just started. Leno had 3 years to find his groove, O’Brien had 7 months with no lead in. If, Johnny Carson, had a talk show on at 10pm before Leno, Leno would be out of Show business. He mentions he gets fired twice. The first time, was the contract expiring. The second, is when he supposedly gets 2 years guaranteed. So if they really “fired” him, it would be a breech of contract, and the no compete clause would be void. If they simply wanted to move his time slot, then Leno wouldn’t have to agree to anything, but he clearly states he had to accept the 11:35 time slot. You also notice, how he says “Okay” to the deal, twice, before asking how Conan will feel about this, to the NBC exec, instead of directly asking O’Brien. He then accepts the deal, presumably signing a contract.

“Next thing I see, Conan has a story in the paper saying he doesn’t want to do that. They come back to me and they say, ‘If he decides to walk and doesn’t want to do it, do you want the show back?’ I go, ‘Yeah, I’ll take the show back. If that’s what he wants to do. This way, we keep our people working, fine.’ So that’s pretty much where we are. It looks like we might be back at 11:30; I’m not sure. I don’t know. [applause] I don’t know. But through all of this — through all of this, Conan O’Brien has been a gentleman. He’s a good guy. I have no animosity towards him. This is all business.

“I go, ‘Yeah, I’ll take the show back. If that’s what he wants to do. ” If that’s what he wants to do? You signed the contract Leno. You forced his hand in this. You are the one who sabotaged his show by taking your show to 10:00. You are the one who signed a deal pushing 3 other late night hosts back, including the famous Tonight show, and you don’t think to ask anyone or think it over. And you have the audacity to casually say “Oh sure, I’ll take it back. If that’s what he wants” And the line “This is all business.” Please. You passed the Torch to O’Brien, he uprooted his family and his entire staff from New York to L.A., and you go along with the whole Screw job on O’Brien, chalking it up to “Just business.”

If you don’t get the ratings, they take you off the air.

Oh really? So you didn’t get ratings for the first 3 years. They actually threatened to take the show From Leno and give it to David letterman, in this article: http://www.nytimes.com/1992/12/23/arts/jay-leno-criticizes-nbc-on-tonight-cliffhanger.html?pagewanted=1

Leno Complained his ass off about this. And now that he’s the benefactor it’s “Just business.

Jay Leno is officially a corporate backstabbing jerk. I lost respect for Leno years ago when he dumbed down the show, but his 2004 statement seemed like a fitting end. Now he’s done everything he “Said” he didn’t want to do, and is acting like it’s none of his fault. This statement is nothing but damage control, a message to his audience who is unaware of everything listed above. Especially with the Phrase “Don’t blame Conan” As if Conan is the one to blame. Leno is clearly trying to play the victim and it’s sad that so far it’s working with some viewers and news outlets picking up this story. It’s truly truly sad that you can get by just by BSing your way through life because your following will believe you. Jay Leno has a dumbed down show, and a dumbed down audience, and Jay knows it all through it all. He could have gone out, on top and a respected host of the Tonight Show, even given what he did to David Letterman. Now, it’s De Ja Vu all over again, only on a much bigger scale, and Jay Leno will go down as nothing but a corporate, sellout, scumbag. And hopefully, the ones educated on this travesty will not let this go