Archive for March, 2011

With nine matches on the card, I think WrestleMania 27 has a good balance of solid undercard bouts mixed with top billing main events. As always, it’s a 4-hour show and depending on what they want to accomplish, WWE will sometimes cram as many matches as they can on the card. Personally, I think getting into double digits when it comes to the number of matches is really pushing it. As I’ve said before, today’s audience can be very fickle and stubborn. Some people don’t want to to sit through 3 or 4 undercard matches that they aren’t as excited for as they are the main events. Secondly, the more matches on the card, the less time that some of the bigger ones will have. Nine matches in four hours will mean that each main event will get ample time to create lasting Mania moments, while the bouts on the undercard should have a few extra minutes to try and steal the show.

So without further Apu, these are my predictions for WrestleMania 27 this Sunday.

1. United States Title – Sheamus (C) vs Daniel Bryan: There isn’t any real hype surrounding this one. It’s really just a way to get these two on the Mania card, but I like the fact that the US Title is being defended at Mania for the first time in four years. But who knows? These two could come out and put on a sleeper hit of a match even if they were only given six or seven minutes. And despite this being a bout with no heat behind it, it’s still awesome to see someone with the reputation of Daniel Bryan make it to the biggest PPV on Earth in his first year in the WWE, especially considering the whole “Tie-Gate” fiasco from last June. Sheamus has apparently been in the proverbial doghouse with management in recent months, but him beating Bryan for the US Title a couple weeks ago on Raw was a step in the right direction. Frankly, this one is hard to call. Sheamus could retain and keep the title for a lengthy run, or WWE may want to kick Mania off with a title switch and put Bryan over as being a top player someday soon. I’m going with Sheamus retaining, but I think Bryan will have a great showing and I’d love to see the audience give him some form of ovation.
WINNER: Sheamus, retains US Title

2. 6-Person Tag Team match – John Morrison, Trish Stratus & Snooki vs Dolph Ziggler & Lay-Cool: I don’t have high hopes for this. Nobody does. This is the prerequisite “Let’s pay a celebrity with a briefcase full of cash to give us publicity” match that usually comes with WrestleMania every year. Its spot should be near the beginning of the show so that it’s out of the way and we can forget about it while we gear up for the main events and other undercard matches. I don’t watch Jersey Shore, although I know who Snooki is, and she seems to me like a stuck up and catty bitch who has no business being famous and involved in WWE, let alone WrestleMania. Whatever. It’s just a shame Morrison and Ziggler are the ones who have to put up with this bullshit. You gotta think that they would’ve been two of the odds-on favorites to win the Money in the Bank Ladder match if WWE decided to hold one at Mania this year. And although it’s nice seeing Trish Stratus back on WWE TV, has she even been allowed to say two words on the microphone? Nope. Gotta give Vickie Guerrero all the promo time! Same goes for Michelle McTaker! Lord, just please end this mess in 5 minutes or less.
WINNERS: Morrison & the women

3. Rey Mysterio vs Cody Rhodes: I like what these two may produce with this match. The objective behind Mania 27, as far as Vince McMahon is concerned, is to begin making the transition from the current crop of main event talent in WWE to making tomorrow’s top stars. Guys like the Undertaker and HHH won’t be around for much longer and McMahon is only now starting to realize that he needs more wrestlers who audiences will invest their time and money in. Cody Rhodes is one of those guys. I freely admit that when he first debuted in the WWE and for his first couple of years in, I was no fan of his. Didn’t like his look, didn’t like his voice and he didn’t stand out in the ring, in my book. Since his move to Smackdown a while back, I’ve seen major improvement and he’s definitely a guy to watch in the future. I like this whole deranged personality he’s taken on since Mysterio smashed his face with his knee brace, and I think Rhodes will walk out with a major upset and we’ll see this feud continue over the next couple of “B” PPVs.
WINNER: Cody Rhodes

4. 8-Man Tag Team match – The Corre vs Big Show, Kane, Santino Marella & Vladimir Koslov: To me, this is the 2nd filler match of WrestleMania. I would be a lot more enthused about this one if WWE had went with what I originally wanted, and that’s Diesel taking the place of Marella and Koslov. This didn’t even need to be an 8-man tag if Big Daddy Cool were involved. What the hell are Marella and Koslov even doing in this match? Does creative think 70,000 people are gonna go nuts over Santino doing that stupid Cobra stunt? (I don’t even call that a move, let alone a finisher) People can criticize Kevin Nash all they want; the fact is that people went ballistic over his return at the Royal Rumble in January, and he looked good for the three minutes he was in the battle royal. It was also Corre leader Wade Barrett who eliminated Diesel, who then stared down Big Show on his way out. Plus, Mania is in Atlanta, where Nash spent a huge chunk of his career in WCW. Finally, when I was growing up I was a huge Diesel fan; I cut the fingertips off every pair of black gloves I got my hands on and would Jackknife powerbomb my younger brother on a pair of mattresses whenever the mood struck me. How cool would it have been to see everything come full circle, both for Nash himself and his longtime fans like myself? You can’t deny that it would be quite the sight to see Nash get a hold of someone small like Justin Gabriel and Jackknife him to oblivion. Anyway, enough daydreaming on my part, I guess. I pray that The Corre takes the win here, because something big has to happen for these guys since the group has the Tag Team and Intercontinental titles.
WINNERS: The Corre

5. Randy Orton vs CM Punk: I’m really looking forward to this one. It’s not that this is a new match – we’ve seen Punk and Orton go at it before – but it’s a new dynamic in that Punk’s the heel and Orton’s the babyface. In my book, Punk is the strongest guy on the microphone in the entire WWE because he believes what he says and that comes through to the viewers. He doesn’t do lame, schoolyard comedy and he doesn’t seem to try too hard to get his point across or mimic someone more popular (COUGH Miz COUGH). Which is why I’ve really bought into this rivalry he has with Randy Orton. Bringing up the footage from September 2008 of Orton punting Punk in the skull and forcing him to relinquish the World Heavyweight Title was a bold move and at the same time, it makes perfect sense. WWE’s usual practice is to never bring up something that happened over a year ago, so looking back on something that happened over 2.5 years ago was nice to see. Though WWE has really dropped the ball with the whole New Nexus stable, having Orton plow his way through all of them to get to Punk was a smart way to get the audience invested in the feud. I was glad to see Punk gain a lot more heat heading into this match on the last two episodes of Raw, and for me this is the toughest match to predict a winner. Whoever does come out on top, the angle could still continue over the next couple of months. I’d love to see these two get a good chunk of time, something like 15 minutes to really try and steal the show. I’m going with Orton to walk out the winner, but Punk may even attack him after the bell to continue this feud.
WINNER: Randy Orton

6. Stone Cold Steve Austin as Special Guest Referee, Michael Cole vs Jerry “The King” Lawler: I’m not a fan of Michael Cole playing an active part in WWE programming. Don’t like the guy and I never will. And I don’t mean “He’s a heel so I’m being geared to dislike him”. I mean I hate his voice, I hate his face and he comes off as being someone with a huge ego when he gets a small taste of the spotlight. And if you read the 80 million ‘news’ sites, recent reports are saying that Cole indeed has grown a huge ego since taking on the role of a heel commentator. Hell, the guy even called Josh Matthews a faggot on Twitter. Man, I would’ve paid to hear Cole get his ass chewed out by McMahon over that one. Anyway, we all know what this match is gonna be – a platform for Cole to have the shit kicked right out of him by Lawler. WWE has done a great job of keeping the distance between Lawler and Cole, with The King never able to get his hands on the little SOB. So at Mania, I expect nothing less than a severe ass-whipping and a Stone Cold Stunner to go along with it.
WINNER: Jerry Lawler

7. World Heavyweight Title – Edge (C) vs Alberto Del Rio: Given enough time, this could be off the charts. Despite being on the same roster and given a massive push since debuting in the WWE, Del Rio has never had that much physicality with Edge aside from one match on Smackdown last November and fighting for the World Title a month later at the TLC PPV. I really like that because the biggest matches at WrestleMania should mainly be between guys who will produce a the most unpredictable matches. We shouldn’t know what we’re gonna see in the main event at WrestleMania, and with Edge/Del Rio, we don’t. This one has been given a ton of great build-up since Del Rio won the Royal Rumble two months ago. Would it have been cool to see the heavily rumored match between Edge and Christian instead? Absolutely. But WWE has a ton of faith in Del Rio and he’s getting top marks across the board, it seems. I have to question WWE’s logic in having Christian go over Del Rio back to back in matches on Smackdown recently after he returned from injury. I thought it took away a lot of Del Rio’s heat heading into Mania, but him standing over a beaten Edge and Christian on Raw this week was at least a way to try and make up for that. Del Rio has big Brodus Clay in his corner and Edge has his lifetime buddy Christian. Obviously, those two are gonna get involved and when it comes right down to it, I see a new World Champion being crowned after Captain Charisma turns on the Rated R Superstar.
WINNER: Alberto Del Rio, NEW World Heavyweight Champion

8. WWE Championship – The Miz (C) vs John Cena: Obviously, this one is getting a ton of buzz based on the fact that The Rock will be involved in some form. One thing I wish WWE had established is exactly WHAT Rock’s role in the match is, because I’m sure Miz and Cena don’t want a bunch of people in the Georgia Dome looking at the entrance and waiting for Rock to come down in the middle of their main event title match. We’ve seen Miz and Cena mix it up a lot in the past, but obviously this is a different time and different dynamic in that it’s Wrestle-Fucking-Mania. I’m no Cena fan, but when he wants to, he can really turn it up in the ring and The Miz has come so far in the past year in all facets of his career. Christ, last year he was OPENING WrestleMania, and 12 months later he’s main eventing it. Love him or hate him, that says so much about him and the faith that WWE has in him to be an elite top superstar. I don’t expect it to be a classic of any sorts, but it should definitely be dramatic. One thing I’ve been tinkering around in my head is the prospect of WWE trying to mimic WrestleMania 13 in some form – Cena playing the part of Bret Hart as he shows a viciousness against the Miz much like the Hitman did to Stone Cold. I’m not saying turn Cena full-blown heel or Miz babyface, but something besides the boring “Cena trying to persevere” formula. As for the ending, who really knows? Rock may get involved in deciding who walks out the Champion, or he may wait until it’s over. One thing I do know – Miz is keeping the WWE Title and Cena is eating a Rock Bottom. I’m going with Miz retaining for two reasons; first, because he’s been treated like such a third wheel in this whole drama between Cena and Rock and second, because Cena doesn’t need the win whereas Miz does. There’s only so many times John Super-Cena can defy the odds and walk out of WrestleMania with the title in his hands. Sunday is not one of those times.
WINNER: The Miz, retains WWE Championship

9. No Holds Barred match, The Undertaker vs Triple H: Besides the presence of The Rock, this collision is what sold me on this year’s WrestleMania. I cannot wait for this match. I was one of the first people that started saying that HHH and Taker should have a match at Mania, but it seemed everyone around me was saying “No, HHH has to fight Sheamus to get his revenge for taking him out” and “Taker is facing Wade Barrett because the Nexus helped bury him alive”. I didn’t buy those matches for two reasons; first, with his career likely winding down in the next year or two, Undertaker should only be facing guys at Mania who are either top guys like himself (Cena, HBK, HHH) or are about to break through the proverbial glass ceiling. Second, because with the way Mania was taking shape, it lacked that one blockbuster, special attraction match. This is it. The two longest-tenured veterans in the WWE locker room are gonna rip each other to shreds at the biggest show of the year and for my money, THIS is the main event much like Taker’s epic with HBK was in 2009. I think if the scenarios play out as I think they will in the World and WWE Title matches, this is the best choice to feature as the show closer. It’ll be much different than Taker’s matches with HBK in the sense that instead of David v Goliath, it’s simply two powerhouses going at it, which is a welcome change of pace. I’m interested to see how these two shake off the ring rust they likely have. Taker hasn’t wrestled since last October and HHH has been on the shelf longer than that, having been out of the ring since last April. Hopefully these two are given a lot of time, like a good 20-25 minutes to tell their story and produce the kind of carnage we’re sure to see. I loved HBK’s involvement in the build to this match, especially how he showed doubt over whether his best friend HHH could beat Taker since he couldn’t in two years. I think it’ll be brutal, epic and storytelling at its finest. And of course, Taker will notch the WrestleMania streak to 19-0.
WINNER: The Undertaker

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This is gonna be epic

Posted: March 29, 2011 in events, wrestling

With last night being the final episode of Raw before the Granddaddy of ’em All, every wrestling fan is salivating at the reality that’s facing us – WrestleMania is merely days away.

The WWE put their best foot forward on Raw, which was the go-home show before this Sunday’s huge extravaganza, and the show was jampacked with as much hype and promotion as they could do in two hours. When it comes to the Road to WrestleMania, it’s a time in which I’ll forgive WWE for showcasing as little actual wrestling as they care to in favor of hyping the biggest matches and hottest feuds going into the event. Last night was a classic example of that, as two of this year’s main events – The Undertaker vs Triple H and The Miz vs John Cena – got some major last-minute hype and the segments were something that we’re gonna see on highlight reels for years to come.

I love WrestleMania. It’s my Super Bowl. Well, it’s OUR Super Bowl (wrestling fans around the world) and the one night of the year where it feels like “the end of the season” when it comes to the WWE – except nothing ever stops in this company. Regardless, all the feuds, storylines and rivalries lead up to this very show and everything year-round is built around it, which is kinda why it feels like a 4-hour “season finale” of sorts.

I take great pride in being born the year WrestleMania was first unleashed on the world: 1985. And there have been an endless amount of legendary matches and moments in its 26-year history. Among the biggest:

– The match between Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat and the Macho Man Randy Savage as well as Hulk Hogan bodyslamming Andre the Giant at Mania 3
– Savage winning a one-night tournament for the vacant WWF Title at Mania 4
– The epic Ladder match between Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon at Mania 10
– The one-hour Iron Man match between Bret Hart and Michaels at Mania 12
– Stone Cold Steve Austin and Bret Hart’s brutal and bloody Submission match at Mania 13 that kickstarted Austin’s rise to the top, as well as laying the foundation for the infamous Attitude Era
– Austin and The Rock battling for the WWF Title in the main event of what many call the best WrestleMania ever, 17
– The match pitting wrestling’s past against wrestling’s present, Hulk Hogan vs The Rock at Mania 18

Those are only some of the biggest matches and moments in WrestleMania history. And every hardcore fan has their own personal favorites.

When it comes to this year’s show, there’s a lot of hype surrounding not

FINALLY...

only the big matches, but the man hosting the entire event – The Rock. WWE is banking on the fact that The Great One can help draw a huge buyrate for Mania 27 and do much better than last year, when Mania 26 produced about 885,000 PPV purchases. And if the ratings for Raw the last few weeks is any indication, WWE may just get their wish and then some, as the return of The Rock has resulted in higher numbers of viewers week in and week out on TV. He was one of the top stars in the Attitude Era, so I think a lot of people who grew up watching him and then tuned out are getting back into the WWE product. I think that’s awesome. Of course, the key will be how WWE capitalizes on the success of WrestleMania and KEEPS those people tuning in when it’s over.

And of course, one of the biggest things that gets debated heading into every WrestleMania is the match order. It’s a tricky formula because you’re playing with the emotions of the crowd. Twenty years ago it was pretty basic; it simply went from low card matches all the way up to the biggest main events to close the show. Today’s audience is different though, I’m sad to say. They need to be taken on a ride that lets them rest for a few minutes in between and near the end. WWE needs to figure out a good balance that will accomplish two things – appease the egos of the wrestlers involved and ensure the crowd is just as excited for the main event as they were for the opening match. There have been several notable victims of bad match placement where one match that should’ve been the show closer ended up in the middle of the PPV: Mania 8, where the WWF Title match between Ric Flair and Randy Savage was the 5th match out of 9 and a terrible match between Hulk Hogan and Sid Justice ended the show and Mania 18, where many felt the epic showdown between Hulk Hogan and The Rock should’ve ended the event, including Chris Jericho, who defended his WWF Undisputed Title against Triple H in the last match.

Many people also said after the fact that the match between Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker at WrestleMania 25 should’ve ended the show after WWE gave viewers a pretty lackluster main event in the form of Triple H vs Randy Orton. It wasn’t that the match was bad, but rather it was booked poorly and there was a largely shared feeling of “That’s it?” among fans and critics.

Tomorrow, I’ll post my analysis of each match and my predictions of who will come out on top in each of them. I have some theories on a couple of them that may raise some eyebrows, but it’s WrestleMania – everything’s open to speculation.

I’m out,
DR

Feelin’ fine

Posted: March 25, 2011 in life

Though I can’t attest to the mental state of actor/party animal/tiger blood drinker Charlie Sheen, I can relate to his life-loving, free-spirited nature right about now, as things are looking up in Ruttle country these days.

You and me both, buddy!

First off and best of all, I got a raise at work. Even better, it was for more than I originally saw myself getting. For this, I am extremely happy. I’m very grateful that I get to make a decent living at what I love, and let’s face it, what I do best. I get to talk with people, attend all sorts of events all over the place (for free) and craft stories around my experiences. For a guy living in small town Saskatchewan, it’s a catch of a job.

Second, and also in relation to my job, I’m looking at two very big cheques coming my way when it comes to going “out in the field”. I attended five days of the recent Brigitt Blanchard murder trial up in Saskatoon, another trip up to attend Lisa Rendall’s Citizen of the Year banquet and a trip to Elbow last month to take a photo. This really racks up the miles on my trusty Ford Fusion, and I get compensated 45 cents per kilometer. Suffice to say, I’m looking at more than $500 for driving a car that’s very fuel efficient in the first place. Can you say profit?

Third, my Stephen King film adaptation is really coming along, which is explained in much more detail below in another post. Right now I’m just looking for actors to get interested in the script and I’m trying to put dollar figures together to determine what kind of budget I’ll be working with. And then I start raising that dough.

Finally, I’m just looking at the next few months with a lot of positivity. Bad days come and go as they will but despite everything, spring is in the air and snow is starting to melt, which always seems to better your attitude. I’m also thinking about summer plans, of which I have none set in stone other than a hopeful trip up to Pratt Lake with the guys and a road trip to Insert-Place-Here.

In short……WINNING!
D

So much to tell

Posted: March 25, 2011 in film, horror, life, Stephen King, writing

I know it’s been awhile since my last post – two months and eight days, to be exact. Frankly, this blog got lost in the back of my mind as work has been very busy and I’ve been pushing myself into overdrive when it comes to this project I hope to get underway in the spring.

That project of course is my film adaptation of Stephen King’s short story, Mute. I’m pretty happy with how things are going right now and I’ve come to realize that I can shoot this sucker for much cheaper than I originally anticipated, which is the ultimate plus for any starting filmmakers. New information has come to light as far as technology goes, and the dollar figures behind it are much lower than I thought they would be. WINNING!

I could ramble on and on and make this post War and Peace-like in its length, so instead here are just the main bullet points when it comes to this film:

– I finished the script at 5:30 A.M. on Saturday, February 19. I sat down on Friday night knowing that I wanted to be completely done before I went to sleep, and I ended up putting my head on the pillow at the same time that some people wake up for the day. Thus is the life of a driven, stubborn and sometimes frustrated writer.
– The script came in at 26 pages, roughly eight pages less than the original story itself. But that’s adaptation for you. The general rule of thumb in screen-writing is that one page = one minute on the screen.
– A readthrough of the script with Kyle took a little over 30 minutes. This confirmed my suspicions when I sat down to write Mute in the first place that I would end up with a film over half an hour in length, especially when you include opening and closing credits.
– I still have yet to sit down and try to come up with an actual budget as

It will be mine. Oh yes, it will be mine.

far as equipment costs and expenses go, but I have found the camera I want to buy and use: a Canon VIXIA HF M400, a small but incredibly effective camcorder that’s getting rave reviews online. One of the features that sticks out to me about it is that it has no internal memory. Some may be irked about that, but that means no data or footage can become corrupt inside the camera and totally screw it up because you’re only using external memory cards. The worst that can happen is something on the card gets screwed up, but the camera will be fine. So you delete off the card and move on.
– I’ve started a Facebook page for Gang 04 Films, and I’m at the blockbusting number of 20, yes 20 whole fans! A small number for now, but I’m a shameless promoting son of a bitch so I hope that number grows ten times higher eventually.
– I’ve put out a casting call for anyone interested in reading the script, and also included my intentions with Mute and capitalized the part in which I tell people that this is a NON-PAYING film. Wannabe actors are doing it for the experience, a credit on their resume or they just didn’t have anything better to do!

So that’s pretty much where I’m at with Mute. Script is done, I know what camera I wanna use and I’m trying to get the word out to actors via Facebook. Actually, I’m sitting here looking at the screen and just got an idea that I’m slapping myself for not having before. I think I’m gonna type up a simple “Hey, are you an actor looking to be in a film?” notice and post it in local businesses in the area.

Why the Hell didn’t I think of that a month ago?

Anyway, I’m out. As far as this post goes.
D