Saturday, October 8, 2016

No Mercy Preview

Time for my first preview and predictions of a SmackDown exclusive pay per view. The blue brand has been a little more consistent in terms of storytelling and having some better feuds so far but it has not been without a few hiccups but I'll get into that soon enough my sweet sweet treasures.

Jack Swagger vs Baron Corbin
Sigh...I guess we're gonna continue this feud huh? When I saw Swagger was coming to SmackDown I thought good for him. Then I saw him paired against Baron Corbin and thought huh? Now after 3 weeks of this back and forth my feelings are as followed:

Winner: Baron Corbin (I guess) 

Curt Hawkins vs TBD
I'm actually a fan of Curt Hawkins but this new Chuck Norris-esque gimmick is quite confusing. If he comes out spouting crazy facts but is actually delusional and keeps getting squashed it could be funny. I do think he is too good of a wrestler for that to happen but hey who knows. Frankly I think he could be used as a great addition to the tag team division. I'm sure Joey Mercury can team up with him and still take a bump.

Nikki Bella vs Carmella
That can't be good for the neck.

 So this has not been a bad feud to get Nikki Bella back into the swing of things. Pitting her against Carmella makes story line sense the way it was presented and has turned her into baby face simply by being on the ass end of a few ass kickings. That said, it's been so one sided that I imagine Nikki will go over here and thus begin her inevitable heel turn against Becky Lynch which is essentially a rite of passage for all women wrestlers these days. 
Winner: Nikki Bella

Randy Orton vs Bray Wyatt
A match that on paper should be great. But the build up to this one...woof. Rambling promos from Bray, boring nonsense from Randy, weird ass back stage vignettes, wake me up when this feud is over. And that really is a shame. Randy is one of the best wrestlers of his era and Bray has a charisma and moveset that can't be matched. Given that he's lost his last few pay per views I'll guess Bray Wyatt is going to pick up the win but who the hell knows how they will play this one.
Winner: Bray Wyatt

The Miz vs Dolph Ziggler (Intercontinental Championship or Ziggler's Career)
Thankfully this is not the scheduled match for Sunday.
 This has been surprisingly entertaining. Dolph Ziggler as the plucky under dog is a role he can play very well given his ability to make anyone look great in the ring. As for the Miz...who could have predicted that I would be excited to see the Miz on tv ever really. And the ether he dropped on Daniel Bryan a few months back? My Lord. He has been the top heel on SmackDown. This may shock some people but I'm guessing the Miz's reign continues and Dolph returns in a few months repackaged with a new gimmick.
Winner: The Miz 

Heath Slater and Rhyno vs The Usos (tag Team Championship)
You guys deserve all the cheese and crackers.
First off let me say I am extremely shocked that I am saying this but I am loving Heath Slater and Rhyno. They play off each other so well and I think it's amazing that Heath Slater after getting squashed for years is finally getting his shine. That said the evil Usos are just too damn hot to not get the title on them and it pains me to say this but having American Alpha chase them for the title is a much more compelling story line. 
Winner: The Usos

Alexa Bliss vs Becky Lynch (SmackDown Women's Championship)
Now this is going to be an entertaining match. From a technical stand point few can hang with Becky Lynch. And I dare say she throws possibly the best t-bone suplex male or female in the WWE. 
Alexa Bliss in her new Harley Quinn inspired gimmick is close to moving to 3rd string bae behind Bayley (Sasha Banks will always be # 1) and has the perfect mannerisms of a disgusted heel. Because the title is so new and Alexa is still not quite there I think Becky wins and sets herself up for a heel turn from Nikki Bella.
Winner: Becky Lynch

John Cena vs Dean Ambrose vs AJ Styles

I have never been a fan of John Cena. In the ring the guy is dynamite, but his personality was just too cheesy and corny. Now he is being this kind of shitty guy while still being a face and it kind of works. Dean Ambrose has gone from being this super wacky guy to deliriously unhinged in the same mold as Brian Pillman which works for me as well.
Please break the skull mask from Japan out.
As for the face that runs the place AJ Styles...he has been maybe the best wrestler in the world since leaving TNA. I expect this to be the match of the night in all honesty.  I expect AJ Styles to keep the title as he is just too on fire currently and has never been more popular. 
Winner: AJ Styles 

Well there you have it wrestling fans, surely by the law of averages all of these can't be wrong.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Martin Luther King, Jr. Is Not A Racial Pokemon

I’m sure I’m not the first person who has noticed this, but whenever the topic of Black Lives Matter or more accurately whenever some black people protest (because Black Lives Matter is an organization, not all black people who protest or active in the community is a member of said organization but that’s another story) you inevitably will hear this talking point. “Martin Luther King Jr. would have…” This my friends drives me crazy for more than a few reasons that I will gladly list it for you. 

1. MLK ain't my daddy. 
One of my favorite podcasts is Negroes With A Podcast. In one of the episodes one of the hosts Vann Newkirk, a really dope writer from the Atlantic, made a great off the cuff remark that stuck with me. "MLK ain't my daddy." Why is it that he is thrown in to every black person's face when the topic of race is discussed? This is by no means any shade to Dr. King or his legacy but he was a man and it is possible to disagree with his opinion.

2. The masses didn't like MLK like they do now.
Today he is the universally beloved civil rights leader of yore. At the time he was reviled by opponents of equal rights and see as a trouble maker who was making too much noise. He was constantly under surveillance by the F.B.I. and in one particularly disturbing correspondence vaguely urged to kill himself. Seriously.

3. He protested "the right way." 

People like to talk about MLK and his acts of protest as if they were well received and well respected by those he was trying to reach. That could not be further from truth. All those claiming to want people to do it the right way bring up his marches and non violent ways yet constantly fail to bring up how he was physically attacked, spit on, and eventually assassinated.

4. Using one line from the "I Have A Dream" speech ignoring all of his other works.
Whenever racial strife or speaking of inequality you inevitable will be hit with a line from the "I Have A Dream Speech."
Not the only speech he ever gave.
 Undoubtedly that is one of the greatest speeches ever, but Dr. King said so much more. For people who question how someone can riot in their own neighborhood King once said: "It is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention. And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard." The point is situations are nuanced, there isn't a single quote from King or anyone for that matter that can be used as a band aid on any situation.

Dr. King is a hero of mine, hell he should be a hero of all of ours but to trot him out only to try and shut people of color up is quite stupid. Read more than just the "I Have A Dream" speech and for God's sake listen when people are telling you their experiences.