All posts by CSRadical

AJ Styles + WWE – This better not happen!

ajstyles

Rumours in wrestling are a constant circulation throughout the internet. One of them as of late has been concerning the “Phenomenal One” AJ Styles, who since leaving TNA Impact Wrestling has proven that he isn’t just a good wrestler, he’s one of if not the best wrestler in the world today. The current stories are saying that AJ’s last dates schedule so far with New Japan Pro Wrestling are in January and that’s all. So of course rumours about WWE trying to negotiate with him into coming back to North American television are starting to float once more.

And as much as I have grown to become a huge AJ Styles fan this past year, I have ABSOLUTELY ZERO desire to see him in WWE!

Not because he wouldn’t work there, fans wouldn’t attach to him, he’d have bad matches, all of that isn’t true, he’d kickass there. He’d have great matches with guys like Cesaro, Ambrose, Owens and especially Rollins, before the knee injury.

I don’t want him in WWE because they will do absolutely nothing with him.

To start things off, he’s a Georgia boy and we know how much Vince, Kevin Dunn and the rest of the WWE take to Southern talent. We’ve see with how they treated Jim Ross over the years how they will endlessly make fun of the accents. Hell Cesaro isn’t allowed to do anything solely because he’s Swiss. You know they won’t let AJ talk much.

Secondly, how many guys originally from TNA have actually done anything in WWE? Here’s a brief list:

  • Samoa Joe is in NXT
  • James Storm’s had one match so far in NXT
  • Marcus Cor Von (aka Monty Brown) had a short, forgettable ECW run
  • Low Ki (aka Kaval) was a thing. I forgot about him until see him on the list
  • Amazing Kong (aka Kharma) is the closest we’ve had to a TNA star making a mark and her tenure was very short

The track record so far for TNA stars in WWE is horrendous, I have little to no faith that Styles would be any different in WWE, where they frown upon people getting over before they do anything with them.

Lastly, AJ’s already 38 years old, his career isn’t exactly young. Plus when you take into account just how much money he’s making doing the independent circuit and wrestling on other major promotions like New Japan and Ring of Honor, it almost seems pointless to take a chance and hope Vince will do something with him for the couple years he’d have left before in WWE’s eyes he’d be too old to be a star (unless you’re John Cena or the Undertaker).

I would love nothing more than to see AJ Styles wrestling some of the best wrestlers in the world in some of the biggest arenas and on some of the biggest shows year round.

But then I remember he’s wrestling Shinsuke Nakamura at Wrestle Kingdom 10 at the Tokyo Dome in January and I shut up.

Getting sick of the “super positive” people

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I’m not a crazy negative person, I’m really not. But I am very pessimistic and an extremely emotional person, minus the tears. When I’m happy, it shows. But when I’m upset, it shows as well. The problem I have now, is that the super-positive or super-optimistic people out there have no idea how to handle people like me. They have a list of sentences and phrases they always pull out when they can’t help themselves to try and pep people up:

  • “It’ll get better.”
  • “You know, it could be worse.”
  • “I don’t understand why you’re so angry.”

That last one is key. Of course they don’t understand why people get so angry, because we don’t live in a world where we see rainbows and light at the end of every tunnel. Unfortunately some of us in life have been exposed to more negative moments than positive ones and while some can just turn them all aside and smile no matter what, others like me take things more to heart and they add up over time. In my case, I get very talkative when I’m pissed off, annoyed or just down. And I don’t sugarcoat anything, which brings me to the thing I hate about the super-positive the most.

When people get optimistic, a lot of the time they end up coming off extremely unrealistic. I see this a lot when I play co-ed league sports, where you probably guessed I’m extremely emotionally involved in. As a pessimist, I’m also a realist so instead of making up crazy events that could happen during a game, or stating that our team is really good (I’m usually on a team that loses 70-90% of our games). However as the realist, I state things based on what I see, the patterns and the actual facts.

For example, my soccer team this season we’re playing in is heavily outmatched, we’re playing in a league that while it says the level is “Recreational”, it’s actually a level higher cause the only teams that sign up this time of year other than my own are the teams that play in the higher leagues and want to stomp on the smaller teams. When I talk during another one of our 9-0 losses, I state that we’re not as skilled, not as conditioned and quite simply not as good. And it’s true, at no point am I telling lies or being over-reactive. But the optimistic view it as such and proceed to break character and start getting upset with me and as the years have gone by I have less and less tolerance for bullshit.

Is it great to be negative all the time? Of course not! And it’s not like I’m going around yelling at everyone, insulting them, threatening them, etc etc etc. I’m usually pretty calm when I’m in my full pessimistic mode. I just wish optimists would take a moment to understand that maybe, just maybe I’m not as high in the clouds as they are. Because I certainly have no problem with them being there and I for the most part fully understand how they are like that.

So why is it so hard for them to understand why pessimists are like that? Oh that’s right, because they believe an heavily outmatched soccer team can make a comeback down 9-0 when we’ve yet to put a shot on goal.

Logic, people.

Lest We Forget

remembranceday

I think the longer I’ve lived in this world, the more I truly appreciate what we have in this present day. When you’re younger, you’re naïve, you don’t take the time to reminisce and contemplate how different our world would be had any of the wars of our past had ended differently.

Today is the day we have chosen to honour the brave men and women throughout history who gave their lives and fought to preserve the freedoms we enjoy without a thought today. It should be something we do every day, but one day is still better than none. These brave souls left everything behind to essentially be sent to their deaths or at the very least in harm’s way.

I cannot imagine how it was to just be drafted into the military. You’re at home one day, just enjoying life to the fullest and then a letter comes to your door, addressed specifically to you by someone or something you’ve never known, and it tells you that you are to leave your home, your family, your friends and join the military and face certain death. We portray these moments in movies like they’re all optimistic, that they’re ready to go and put a bullet in Hitler’s head, something to that extent. But deep down the majority of them had to know, they were not coming back. It reminds me of a great lyric in oddly enough Chris Jericho’s band Fozzy’s song “Storm The Beaches”, a song that to me perfectly encapsulates the infamous beaches of Normandy battles:

First to go, last to know. First to go, last to know. No shingles, no shields, no shellholes to hide. No cover, no walls, no chance to survive.

Can you imagine what these people felt once they entered the battlefield, hell the moments leading towards that. Imagine being on a boat heading towards the beaches of Normandy. You hear the relentless sounds of gunfire, explosions, screams in the distance. And as you get closer and closer, more and more bodies appear and the water gets redder and redder. That scene in Saving Private Ryan still holds a spot deep in the recesses of my mind as a true depiction of the horrors that occurred during those battles.

And all those images are things that we may never have to experience in our lifetimes.

So remember when we have all these arguments and fights with each other, whether it’s legitimate battles like racial, sexual and gender equality, religion and politics, to the pointless and downright asinine fights like every single comments thread on the internet, our rights and the ability to be able to have these discussions are due in part to those men and women who fought and the majority who died protecting our rights and freedoms.

Lest we forget.

A relationship in a harem anime?!

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It might not be nearly as high in numbers of the various girls vying for the lead male protagonist’s affection, but a harem nonetheless, Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry (A Chivalry of the Failed Knight) does something you don’t normally see in harem anime for various reasons: A legitimate loving relationship being formed. And it only took until Episode 5 to be 100% confirmed.

***WARNING: MILD SPOILERS AHEAD***

The anime starts off as one would expect. Ikki (the male lead) is a failed knight who’s barely staying in school (because the lead has to be as low on the totem pole as possible so viewers can sympathize) and somehow manages to get the beautiful princess, Stella as a roommate in their dorm. Their first meeting starts as harem’s usually do as well, he walks in on her changing, thus starting an initial hatred against him. But as time passes on, that hate doesn’t last and it becomes very obvious over time that the uptight princess in Stella is actually falling for Ikki. And instead of her ignoring it or getting trampled by 5+ other girls before she can confess, she admits to herself constantly that she does have feeling for him.

By Episode 4 is when things pick up. Stella in her own way semi-admits she likes him, while at the end Ikki fully admits to her that he likes her. And Episode 5 is where things really get interesting and different compared to other harem anime I’ve watched. Stella states she’s worried cause it’s been 2 weeks since Ikki confessed and they haven’t done anything as lovers, which is the key thing here. Both male and female characters fully admitting they like each other. And by the end of the episode, a kiss seals any doubt we have left.

Rarely in harem anime does a relationship truly form, let alone this early in a series. By the end, generally speaking it’s clear who the one who will get with the main character is, but it’s never 100% guaranteed, there’s no “I love you” uttered, there’s no kiss, nothing. This show has done all that in 5 episodes.

Now granted compared to most harems, Stella realistically has one competitor and it’s Ikki’s younger sister, Shizuku (cause ya gotta have incest innuendos, apparently). There’s been another girl who’s a journalist that has shown interest in Ikki, but hasn’t really put anywhere near the effort as Stella or Shizuku. So currently, Stella isn’t a victim of the usual harem trope of being constantly interfered with by several girls who also want a piece of the main protagonist.

My favourite part of this relationship however is how they speak to each other. They easily come off like a married couple already and there are key things that they say to each other that most harems never use. After arguing over why they haven’t even kissed in the 2 weeks they’ve technically been together for, Ikki admits to her he didn’t want to push things so she wouldn’t view him as a pervert, while Stella admits the same because she didn’t want him to think she was a slut. So Ikki tells Stella that they should at the same time say what they want to do right now and they both say they want to kiss. And the weirdest thing happens: They actually kiss. No interruptions, no shy backing out, nothing.

Generally in harems even at the resolution of a season and even entire series, a relationship never forms and in some, a kiss never even occurs. Every character in the entire anime will have seen each other naked before a kiss will even happen. So for Ikki and Stella to actually share a moment, especially this early on is quite a shock to me.

As a whole, I’ve really enjoyed the series, especially after Episodes 4 and 5. The action’s pretty good, the characters for the most part are all interesting and tolerable and is as cheesy as I like my anime to be.

So when this anime features one of my (so far) favourite pairings, it definitely stands out as one of my favourites from this season of anime. If you can put up with the ecchi scenes throughout this series, it’s actually a pretty decent watch.

I just seriously hope that there isn’t a naked falling on top of each other scene with Ikki and Shizuku. If I wanted to watch excessive incest ecchi anime, I’d just throw on Kiss x Sis. I’ve heard a lot of “things” about that series.

This is what happens, Vince…

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When you have “even stevens” booking and you don’t elevate your midcard talent, you reap what you sow.

With Seth Rollins tearing his ACL/MCL and being out at least past Wrestlemania, likely till Summerslam if not longer, there is a glaringly obvious gaping hole in the list of “stars” active on the WWE roster. But first, let’s go through the current injured/missing list:

  • Daniel Bryan – concussion; return unknown
  • Goldust – shoulder; return unknown
  • John Cena – rest/time off (because Superman doesn’t get hurt); returning in December
  • Randy Orton – dislocated shoulder; 3+ months
  • Rusev – torn bicep; 1-3 months
  • Seth Rollins – torn ACL/MCL; 6-9 months
  • Sting – neck; return unknown
  • Tyson Kidd – spinal cord; return unknown

Now subtract Goldust and Kidd, that’s SIX MAJOR PERFORMERS not on the active roster right now, all of them (except Cena and maybe Rusev) will not be back until the new year, if at all. And given four of those names are main event talent in Bryan, Cena, Orton and Rollins, how many people left on the roster would you actually consider main event talent? Personally, I’d say only one. Brock Lesnar, and as far as I’m concerned, WWE should not be calling him up to fill the void. Keep him on the path he’s planned for.

Now I’m not supporting all these injuries, but in a weird way this stretch could be a blessing in disguise for wrestling fans. With all the major players out for the foreseeable future, this gives a number of talent the chance to get out of midcard hell for at least a couple months and have the opportunity to show they belong up there, or grab the brass ring Vince still claims is a thing. You have guys like Kevin Owens, Cesaro, Bray Wyatt, Dean Ambrose and even Roman Reigns (if done properly) who are just salivating for the chance to show they belong at the top of the mountain. This tournament for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Survivor Series should be that opportunity.

Of course for Seth Rollins, this is not a good injury at all, which makes the many people saying this is great for Rollins rather unsettling. Yes, he needed to go away for a little while, he’s clearly not working as a hell, the Authority angle has killed his character except for the fact that he is pretty much the best in-ring performer they have. But a year-long injury that could lower his agility and mobility for the rest of his career is not the way anyone should have envisioned for him, nor should they believe it’s a good thing for him. We all talk endlessly about the crazy high-flying moves he is capable of doing, especially as a face. But an injury like that could very easily reduce what he can do in the ring from now on. If an injury was the only way to get Rollins away from the terrible booking job WWE has done with him for the better part of six months, this is pretty much the worst possible injury he could’ve gotten.

So what should happen with this tournament? There’s a ton of speculation in terms of either bringing back old stars (Rey and Jericho have been tossed around) or if an NXT call-up is necessary. I would personally not bring back any old talent, it’s clearly not working ratings-wise. If you’re gonna have a new face in the tournament it needs to be an NXT guy and right now there’s only one I’d put in: Baron Corbin.

The reason I pick Corbin is really because Finn Balor is still champion and should be for a little longer, there’s no way they’re treating Samoa Joe with any respect, Apollo Crews has to a be a you know when he’s coming type of star and as far as we know, Sami Zayn is still injured. So all that’s left in terms of big-name NXT talent is Corbin. Jason Solomon from the Solomonster Sounds Off podcast suggested having Corbin take the Big Show’s spot by beating him down at the PPV and I like that idea, except have him do this before Survivor Series, perhaps the go-home RAW where the last qualifying matches are being held. I’m not convinced Corbin will get a huge reaction if his first appearance is at the PPV, so let’s give the casual and PG fans a week head start on the guy.

In terms of who takes the title at the Survivor Series there are only two options. A heel Dean Ambrose or a heel Roman Reigns. Not a Sheamus cash-in either. A babyface should not be winning this tournament, there needs to be a chase before a title win, not winning a vacant title, I’ve never liked faces winning a vacant title (ie: John Cena after CM Punk left with the belt), there’s no lead-up, it’s just a victory, the chase is always better. And with a lack of top heels in the company, Ambrose or Reigns are the only two that make it work. I’d prefer a heel Reigns to win however, only because I believe the fans are far more likely to entertain and love an Ambrose title chase than Reigns once again suffering succotash-ing his way towards a title feud with Ambrose.

The true test comes now for Vince and the creative team with all these guys out with injuries. But it’s their fault to begin with, they’ve been “Cena booking” for too long. You can’t rely on one guy, you have to create new stars, otherwise when the one guy goes down, you’re screwed. With Orton and Rollins out, you have no major heels. Who’s the biggest heel right now? Sheamus? Del Rio? Wyatt? That’s their fault for not raising talent. Barrett, Owens, Wyatt, Rusev (who’s injured), hell even Stardust could’ve been built up to be upper midcard, main event level heels, but because Vince only wants a select few in that spot, with them all gone, no one’s left.

You are the reason you’re in this position, Vince. You and whoever’s in your ear, you have created a roster that if 2-3 guys go down around the same time, you have little stars to work with. Why did the Attitude and Ruthless Aggression Eras work so well? You had almost or more than double digits in talent people would believe could be Heavyweight Champion. At this point in time, you technically have zero. Because I don’t want Lesnar in that picture either. None of us can believe guys like Wyatt, Owens, Ambrose, etc. could hold it. And almost no one at all wants the currently BABY-face Reigns there either. If he’s a heel, it could work, but we all know that’s not what you want to do.

So this is your mess, Vince. Time to clean it up, otherwise these ratings I guarantee will fall below 2.0 next year for sure.