Category Archives: Reviews

WWE Elimination Chamber: More About Injuries Than Wrestling

I’m pretty fresh off watching WWE’s Elimination Chamber PPV, and I have to say it was one of the worst ones in a while. It may not have been entirely their fault, but they didn’t exactly help themselves either.

The card itself had 5 matches total. Two elimination chambers (hence the name), a Divas title match (bathroom time), a US Title Match (filler), and the Cena vs Kane embrace the hate ambulance match. That means that if just two matches don’t go well, then 40% of the program is a failure. Considering there is a Divas match here we aren’t off to a good start.

Lets go one match at a time. The show opened up with the WWE Championship match with Punk, Jericho, Miz, Ziggler, Kingston and R-Truth. This was the main reason I was interested in this PPV because I was looking for some light to shed on where the Punk Jericho feud was going. Punk and Kofi started strong and definitely got the crowd into it. I don’t think Kingston gets enough praise for what he can do in the ring. It seems like every time I see him he does something I’ve never seen before. Ziggler, Miz and Truth come in, blah blah blah, Truth gets eliminated by a Punk flying elbow (glad that finally finished a match with no botch involved), and finally Jericho comes in. Expectedly we get a taste of Punk vs Jericho which gets broken up with everyone else involved. One nitpick I always have with these matches is that there is too much time with only two guys doing anything. At any given point there were two or more wrestlers laying on the floor for over 10 minutes. It doesn’t have to be the Royal Rumble, but would having two battles on different sides of the ring be too much to follow? Is it because there is only one in ring camera man? I guess we’ll never know.

Uh oh

Now up to this point everything had been going okay. Not spectacular, but certainly entertaining enough. However after Chris Jericho eliminated Kofi Kingston with the Walls of Jericho (let’s be real, it’s a boston crab), then continued eliminating him for a few more minutes, CM Punk delivered a kick to the face near the open entrance gate, where Jericho fell out and hit his head on a camera or something. At this point, accidentally or not, everything came to a screeching halt. The staff came to check out Jericho, and pretty early on he was deemed unable to continue. The fact that they cut to him just in time for the phrase “he’s not going to be able to continue” to be said so clearly makes me think this was planned. However the expression on Punk’s face, and that he stopped everything while they looked at him, along with giving the “X” signal to call for medical aid, made me think it wasn’t scripted at all. Eventually the match picked up again (without Jericho) but al the juice was taken out of the building. Miz and Punk finished things up with Punk winning on a GTS, and while it would have been fine for an ending to a one on one match on RAW, for a major championship match on PPV it just didn’t cut. The whole ending seemed off and a bit improvised, which makes me a) think the Jericho injury is real, and b) wonder what would have happened had Jericho stuck around. Overall, pretty disappointing start to a PPV. Four matches to go.

Next was the Divas title match between Beth Phoenix and Tamina Snuka. It was an above average Divas match, but it was still a Divas match. I did like that Phoenix (who kept her title) wore an outfit tributing Rowdy Roddy Piper, adding a little Piper/Snuka nostalgia factor. 40% through and I’m not exactly thrilled will what I’ve seen so far.

Needing to fill 3 hours (what seemed like 5 at times) we reached the promo portion of the program. Hey did you know that WrestleMania is just 6 weeks away? Well I certainly do, and I’ll likely never forget it thats to WWE programming. Hype video for Cena, a shot of Jericho getting his head checked out (which made me think it was fake again), and we got to the other majar part of the program. IN RING MONOLOGUES! Johnny Ace came out to gloat about not being fired, but also to say that Smackdown GM Teddy Long should go through the same review that he did. At this point a handfull of, soon to be returning, injured wrestlers came out in support of the idea that Laurinaitis should take over for both RAW and Smackdown. First we had Mark Henry (out for a few weeks), Christian (who had been out forever) and Alberto Del Rio (ditto). All three coming back should help bolster the lineup of heels that just isn’t cutting it right now. More on that in a bit. Teddy Long also is now interesting in controlling both shows, which means we could see some more inter-brand activity in the near future. Perhaps this could lead to both shows sharing talent instead of just RAW getting the lion’s share while Smackdown gets the scraps. The roster just isn’t deep enough right now to have two shows with totally different rosters.

With all that out of the way we had the second elimination chamber match for Smackdown’s World Heavyweight Championship. The original lineup had me pretty interested in this one. Bryan, Big Show, Henry, Rhodes, Orton and Barrett. However take out Orton and Henry (injuries), and replace them with Khali and Santino (a stiff and a clown), and suddenly things are not looking to good. Surprisingly enough though this ended up being the match of the night. Barrett and Rhodes are about as dependable as you can get, Khali is an absolute joke who was thankfully taken out 90 seconds after he got in, and the Big Show/Bryan feud got just enough action. Big Show breaking the chains at the top of Bryan’s pod to get in with him while he couldn’t run away was a great spot (even though Bryan’s door was opened 15 seconds later). I was down on Bryan before but I really like where Bryan’s character has been going. However I feel like he has one bad looking botch in every big match I see him in. For someone who is supposed to be so great in the ring, it’s just way to much for me. I’m down on him again.

Almost lost to a little Italian meatball

Then there is Santino. For a guy who wasn’t set to be in the match at all until last week, he absolutely stole the show. He did his usual schtick that is occasionally funny while at the same time definitely wearing thin, but little guy kept hanging around and by the end it was just him and Bryan remaining, and the place was electric. It never got louder the whole night than it did for Santino, and even though you knew there was no way he would walk out with the title, it was pretty fun just entertaining the idea, especially after he nearly got the pin off the cobra. Bryan won right after that with the Lebell Lock briefly had a chance to celebrate before Sheamus entered to knock him out, essentially announcing that it’s be Sheamus vs Bryan at WrestleMania.

Jack Swagger put up his US Championship against Justin Gabriel because Hornswaggle accidentally compared Swagger and Vicki to cheese or something. Just passing the time until Kane/Cena. Now 80% through and we’ve only had one match worth remembering.

Finally, we find out if John Cena will embrace the hate, or if Kane has more moves in his current arsenal than an uppercut and a half assed chokeslam. Turns out, the answers to those questions are kinda and not at all. Most of the match played out between the ramp and the stage, which I hate because it just means that you get nothing but guys throwing each other into walls and no actual wrestling moves. In other words it’s perfect for Cena and Kane. Oh boy does Kane look bad. I keep hoping that he just needs to get into groove with reps but he’s been working for a couple months now and it’s just not there. His chokeslam into the announce table was pretty weak, and aside from a leap from the top rope he didn’t really do anything. Cena was Cena. Showed off how strong he is but also showed how limited he is. Finish was fine. Cena giving an attitude adjustment to Kane off the ambulance to knock him out so he can put him in the ambulance to end it. Pretty anticlimactic. Somehow the highlight of the match was Cena walking up the steps with Kane on his shoulders.

LOVE ME!!!

So did Cena embrace the hate? Beats the hell out of me. Cena won but he enjoyed hitting Kane with steel steps a little too much. Didn’t Kane say he wanted Cena to beat him anyway? That he can only win if he embraced the hate or whatever? Is that it for Kane now since he was driven away in an ambulance and who knows where those things go? Is that it for the Ryder/Eve/Cena storyline? Ryder’s out of action and he’s in the friend zone so there really isn’t anywhere else to go there. I was kind of hoping Ryder would get pushed down the ramp jackass style but oh well. I don’t really care either way. I’m just annoyed that two months passed with nothing happening. That’s being a wrestling fan I guess.

To recap, Jericho is hurt (maybe) putting his WrestleMania match with Punk in jeopardy (maybe). No idea who could replace him if he couldn’t go (Ziggler again? Miz? Not good). Orton out  (probably for a while), Henry, Del Rio and Christian coming back. Bryan vs Sheamus confirmed. Johnny Ace and Teddy Long fighting for control of both shows. Nothing changed with Cena. Kane is probably gone for while. Undertaker and Triple H were no shows, and I feel like the WWE owes my brother 60 bucks. They put all their eggs in one basket (or chamber), and when too many of the eggs broke, there just wasn’t anything to make it worth while.

“Abobo’s Big Adventure” Review

Back in November I was left in shock by the trailer for Abobo’s Big Adventure (read my preview here), and since then I have been patiently waiting for the chance to beat down the entire NES roster. In development since 2006 by a small indie group known as Team Bobo, I never expected much from the game aside from the novelty of seeing all of the Nintendo characters on one screen (which would have been more than enough). However what I got was about as much nostalgic fun as you can have on your computer.

This man will beat you into a bloody pulp and then eat the remains

The game stars Abobo, an enemy from the Double Dragon series. His son, Aboboy, has been kidnapped Double Dragon style and he is out on a mission to rescue his not so little kid. From the first level you are hit with about as much retro action as you can handle. Each stage centers on one specific game (such as Contra or Mega Man) and then throws in as many characters from other games that fit into that mold as they can. Team Bobo does a great job pacing the action so that you are always left guessing what is coming next, and coming up with very clever and funny ways to kick the action up a notch.

The graphics and gameplay are exactly what you would expect. It’s Nintendo in all of it’s 8 bit glory except for one twist: THIS GAME IS GORY AS HELL! Kids getting decapitated, limbs torn off, mass vomiting, it’s a virtual bloodbath. The overall package leads to some legitimately memorable moments throughout the campaign, which is something I definitely did not expect. A pair of levels are rather annoying (like the gratuitous under water level), but the payoff after you finish them is so good you don’t really care when you’re done. Don’t get me started on the ending. Classic stuff.

If you have a couple hours to spend, I highly recommend that you visit http://www.abobosbigadventure.com and check this game out. I guarantee you have never played anything quite like it. Especially for free.

Paranormal Activity 3 Review

Paranormal Activity 3 opened to a record $54 million dollars for an October debut. Money is great and makes the film a commercial success for sure, but was it any good?

A prequel to Paranormal Activity 2, which in itself is a prequel to the original Paranormal Activity, PA3 wastes no time getting us back into familiar territory. Sisters Katie and Kristi, yes those sisters, discover old tapes left by their recently deceased grandmother. The tapes are from their childhood, and they mysteriously have no memory that they ever existed. Before they get a chance to watch them the tapes are stolen. We then see the tapes. The rest seems like a toned down version of the first two films.

The tapes go back to a young Katie and Kristi, living with their mother Julie, and her boyfriend Dennis, who is a wedding videographer (see where we’re going with this?). Dennis and Julie begin hearing noises and guess what Dennis decides to do? If you guessed hire someone to inspect the house, I’m sorry but you are wrong. If you said film the whole thing using his all of his video equipment, DING DING DING, we have a winner!

If you’ve seen the other two movies, with the exception of plot points I won’t spoil for you, you pretty much know the drill from here. The “spirit” in the house gradually makes it’s presence more and more known day after day, culminating in a final scene that aims to scare the pants off of the entire audience. The main problem is that while the story is fairly interesting, excluding some plot holes that pop up when connecting them to the other 2 films, the scares just weren’t there for me. I can recall 5 moments that had a legit scare factor. The rest of it is just waiting for those moment to come up. Sure there is something to the scenes just telling us an entity is in the house, but those points never really amplify like they do in the first two.

Part of that could be due to the acting. While the entire cast does a fair job throughout the movie. Some of the reactions to the scares borderline on being funny instead of scary. I didn’t expect to laugh so much during one of these films. The other part could just be direction. After two movies, there is only so much that could be done. Perhaps the decision was made that suspense was the best scare left, and they put plenty of it in there. As for the ending, it definitely provides the scares, however it also completely changed the whole way that I look at the series. Unfortunately I can’t say that it is for the better either.

If you are new to the series, then PA3 delivers adequate scares with a twist ending. However if you are a Paranormal Activity veteran, expect pretty much the same movie you’ve already seen twice before, with a ending that adds a whole new outlook on the series. Overall, an okay movie. Entertaining, but I won’t exactly be having troubles getting to sleep tonight.

 

Food Review: Denny’s Mac ‘n Cheese Big Daddy Patty Melt

By Mike,

If there is one thing I like in my food it’s everything. I’m big on combining my foods to create one explosive delicious bite. Well it turns out the people at Denny’s can read my mind because here is the Mac ‘n Cheese Big Daddy Patty Melt. How about an ingredients roll call?

Heaven on a plate
Mac 'n Cheese and beef and fries, oh my

1 hand pressed beef patty
Mac ‘n Cheese
melted cheddar cheese
zesty frisco sauce
grilled potato bread

Throw in some seasoned fries and you got yourself a whole lot of tasty. You also have a whole lot of calories on your hands (1690). But as we all know, calories are delicious so bring it on!

 

Look at all the magic inside
A perfect balance of beef, mac, and cheese

But how good is it really? On their own the parts are just so so. The Mac ‘n Cheese is creamy but plain. The patty is your basic burger patty. Cheese is cheese and so on. But together, the damn sandwich comes alive. There is just enough Mac ‘n Cheese in each bite so that you know it’s there, but not too much that it overpowers the beef or the cheese. Every element compliments each other, and impressively, it doesn’t fall apart when you eat it. Also impressive is the portion size. Not that it is big, but that it is just right. By the time I was done I was not stuffed, but I sure was satisfied.

Well done Denny’s. I’ll see you again the next time I’m driving through New Jersey in the middle of the night.