Posts Tagged ‘Paige’

Media Update 5/8/2019

May 9, 2019


Fighting With My Family

I am a huge fan of the WWE (through good times and bad) but WWE Films has been fairly hit and miss. This is the kind of movie that was absolutely in their wheelhouse. It is a docudrama on the WWE career of Paige (real name Saraya-Jade Bevis) who was part of the Knight pro-wrestling family in England. The company had access to Paige herself and a lot of the players involved in her career because most of them are employees and ex-employees. Paige helped change the way women are viewed in wrestling by becoming the Anti-Diva and this is more or less her real-life story. The story is absolutely great, filled with humor and heart. Florence Pugh is perfect as Paige, capturing her passion and sense of humor. Nick Frost plays her father and is funny as usual but he also plays a good man with rough edges. Lena Heady plays Paige’s mother, a professional wrestler who is proud of her daughter’s meteoric rise. Jack Lowden plays Zak, Paige’s goofy brother who also tried out for the WWE but did not make it in but was always supportive of his little sister. The Rock plays himself, offering some of the best advice in or out of wrestling “Don’t be the next me, be the first you.” I knew a bit of her story but it was really interesting to see it played out dramatically. Part of that is that it was written and directed by Stephen Merchant, the creator of the Office. It is probably the best pro-wrestling movie made so far. I definitely recommend it, even to non-wrestling fans.


Shazam!

The DC Comics movies lately have been so bad that they had to basically rethink everything. They seem to have finally given up on attempting a shared universe like the MCU which is a relief. They are going back to the drawing board to make better standalone movies. I felt like this was the best DC film in a long time (maybe 11 years). Shazam was the perfect property to start this shift with as it has always been very cartoony and goofy, to begin with. The movie starts a little grim but eventually (like Wizard of Oz) suddenly there is color and humor and fun. First, Mark Strong is a great choice to play Sivana, an obsessed villain who gets to play the straight man to a lot of the zaniness. Zachary Levi and Asher Angel play the title character. I found it really fun that Angel played a world-weary teenager while Levi got to act more like a kid. The supporting cast of Jack Dylan Grazer, Grace Fulton, Faithe Herman, Ian Chen, and Jovan Armand gave the movie more heart and grounded the hero in ways that we have not really seen with DC yet. The movie also surprised me a lot but in the best ways. DC needs more movies like this and Wonder Woman, stories that make sense and grow organically from character. The effects were also great and the cinematography was clear and not as muddy as past films. I definitely recommend it.


Stargate: Atlantis

I was a big fan of Stargate since the movie came out. When I found out about the television series, I was intrigued but it took me a while to check it out. When I did, I found that I really loved it. It had a lot of heart, great characters, and good stories. It scratched the same itches that my favorite Star Trek series touched. When it finally ended after so many but still too few seasons, I was sad. I watched (and loved) Sanctuary because of Amanda Tapping’s involvement. Stargate Atlantis had already come and gone when I finished Stargate SG-1 and I had no way to catch up with it. So I was hit by Stargate Universe instead and that was disappointing. Recently, Amazon Prime had Atlantis so I decided to check it out. The series takes an all-new cast (some of which were regular guest stars from SG-1). The show felt like an extension of the SG-1 series but with room to grow away from that main series and explore a few different but similar concepts. The cast is really good at what they do which is episodic science fiction. Unfortunately, I only got a few episodes into the first season before Amazon Prime yanked the show for some reason. I definitely recommend it if you can find it and if you can, let me know.

Music of the Week:
Stitched Up Heart – Lost

G-Eazy – I Mean It

Courtney Barnett – Everybody Here Hates You

Lizzo – Tempo

The Claypool Lennon Delirium – Blood And Rockets: Movement I

Weekly Update:
– This week’s update is “Into a New World”
– I finished Lucifer Season 3
– I watched more Santa Clarita Diet Season 3
– I watched more Losers
– I watched more Star Trek: Voyager Season 2
– I started Supernatural Season 14 (and I’m halfway through already)
– I started Ash vs. The Evil Dead Season 3

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Why I Love Pro-Wrestling: WWE 30 Day Challenge Pt. 6

March 11, 2019

WILPW

17 – Favorite Debut/Return


Chris Jericho

One of the craziest debuts in the history of the WWE and it is unlikely that it will ever be topped. It was 1999 and everywhere you looked, you could see a clock counting down to the year 2000. Many believed that we were under the threat of a Y2K bug in electronics and there was an anticipation in the air about what was going to happen. One man happened to look at one of those clocks as he was getting ready to debut in the then WWF. He proposed that they start a countdown clock for months before his debut. They would occasionally cut to it during broadcasts with everyone wondering what it was. The time left on the clock did not line up with New Year’s Eve. On an episode of Raw, the Rock hit the ring and he was talking to the fans when all of a sudden the clock showed up again and it hit zero right in the middle of a Rock promo. The lights went out, fireworks went off, and then Chris Jericho appeared to the sounds of rock music. The crowd went ballistic as some were fans of his zany antics in World Championship Wrestling, some knew him from Extreme Championship Wrestling, and some were just caught up in the moment. Right away he traded words with the Rock and his career was off to a new start. It turned out to be a bumpy start but he eventually became even more of a legend from his runs in the WWE.


Paige

I had just started watching NXT when Paige first showed up. It was a dark time for women’s wrestling on Monday Night Raw. The place was rife with “Divas” who were better at posing than talking or wrestling. Paige dubbed herself the Anti-Diva, a wrestler who had a pale goth appearance and tons of actual athletic talent. She had just recently won the NXT Women’s Championship when she had a surprise debut on Monday Night Raw and she beat champion AJ Lee in what had to be the best women’s match on Monday Night Raw in a long time. Her star burned bright but unfortunately, she did not last as long as other performers and she is now retired by injury. She will definitely always be fondly remembered.

18 – Favorite Commentator


Mauro Ranallo

I was not so sure about Mauro Ranallo when he first showed up as an announcer. He was a commentator for other sports first and sometimes that just does not work out. Professional wrestling is a unique beast and sometimes the skills do not translate from actual sports. Mauro’s references sounded a little forced at first. He makes a lot of geeky references and a lot of references to other sports. I usually get the geeky references but I do not always get the sports references. However, he eventually won me over. His enthusiasm is impossible to ignore and it has obviously caught on with the WWE Universe. Part of what really got me on Team Ranallo was his admission that he is bipolar and his advocacy for mental health initiatives. He moved from the main roster back to NXT and he became part of the fabric of the place. Fans chant his now famous “Mamma Mia!” catchphrase when amazing things happen during matches. His enthusiasm helps build rivalries and sells the story. Villains become more villainous, heroes become more valiant, and every move pops just a little bit more as he adds his two cents in. I know that he still has other gigs and that his mental health is important to him but I hope that he finds a healthy balance so he can stick with the WWE family for a good long while.


Renee Young

She started as a backstage interviewer and stuck with the company long enough for them to really realize her potential. She filled in at the commentator table a few times and it was clear that she was more than ready for the big time. When she finally got her chance, she had been known to fans of the WWE for years. I had been hoping for a female commentator for a long while. First, because they kept bringing back the same tired male commentators who were only getting worse (Lawler, JBL, Booker T). Second, they were finally pushing women in professional wrestling and it only made sense for a female to lend her voice to this new movement. Third, if women were going to be given a more equal spot on the card, they should get a more equal spot at the commentator table as well. Renee is outspoken and knowledgeable about pro-wrestling and adds a badly needed different perspective on the product. I am glad to have the fresh blood behind the table.

19 – Favorite Underrated Wrestler


Cesaro

I first became aware of Cesaro when he was known by his real name of Claudio Castagnoli in Ring of Honor. He was part of the Kings of Wrestling with Chris Hero (Kassius Ohno) and Sara Del Ray. All three of them now work for the WWE which was a brilliant decision. Pound for pound, Cesaro just might be the strongest guy on the roster. He can accomplish amazing feats of lifting and athletics with seemingly no effort. When he needs to, he can be a high-flyer, a brawler, and a technician. He has been a part of a lot of amazing moments in NXT and WWE history. Yet, he has never really gotten the fair shake that has always been due to him. He should have gotten a major title match a long time ago. When I watch him, I see a workhorse who always does what is demanded of him. He has proved himself in feuds with Sheamus and Sami Zayn. He has done well in tag teams with Jack Swagger, Tyson Kidd, and Sheamus. He has suffered from weak feuds that were not his fault. I really believe that he could be a great heavyweight champion if given the chance. Right now he is doing great in his tag team with Sheamus but I feel like his singles career is now a fading memory. He just needs one good feud to ignite the run of a lifetime.


The IIconics

Like most people, I first became aware of Billie Kay and Peyton Royce when they first showed up on NXT. They appeared as The Iconic Duo which was immediately interesting. There had been female groups before but there had always been a clear pecking order and most of the teams eventually fell apart. Billie and Peyton are true friends and each other’s biggest cheerleaders. They work together to gain opportunities for whichever of them has the best chance at the moment. They are actually real life friends who went to high school together in Australia and it shows. They have so much chemistry together and they seem to genuinely enjoy each other’s performances. They are really funny and a lot of the time they come off like a sketch comedy team instead of wrestlers sometimes. However, when they get in the ring they can definitely get the job done either together or separately. There is plenty of time for one or both of them to get a run with a women’s championship but I feel like soon they might get a good feud for the women’s tag titles. I really hope that people see their shine through all of the chaos and give them a real shot.


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