Monthly Archives: November 2016

Ring of Honor: Live Event [Review]

On Sunday November 20th, I went to the Ring of Honor live event held at York Hall in Bethnal Green. I consider myself quite a big wrestling fan. For example, I’ve been to two Wrestlemania’s, I go to viewing parties and I try and watch Raw whenever it’s in London. However, I know very little about the independent scenes in general. Practically nothing specific in fact. It’s mostly due to time constraints, WWE takes up too much of my time already and I’m just not willing to commit to watching and following other promotions.

fb_img_1479674343862

I wasn’t sure what to expect from York Hall as a wrestling venue but it’s pretty good.

I have recently watched a little bit of WCPW and have slowly started to be introduced to some of the wrestlers in the British wrestling scene. For example, Marty Scrull and Will Osprey who just so happened to wrestle at this show!

So this show, the third night in the Reach For The Sky tour, was more or less a complete introduction to Ring of Honor. Now I’ll admit I did have some preconceptions about indie wrestling styles and how it’s a lower standard. For example: people kicking out of finishing moves left, right and centre, not selling moves effectively and of course the over use of super kicks. Interestingly, all of those problems have either been or currently are effecting WWE as well.

In short, I had a really good time. It was a fun show and I will definitely try and catch Ring Of Honor next time they are in the UK or I’m in America. Here are some of the my favourite highlights.

ROH World Title: Adam Cole vs. Jay Lethal

cxujn5xweaqe-hwAdam Cole Bay Bay! verses Jay Lethal for the Ring of Honor World Title. It was an excellent main event between two clearly very talented performers. There’s not much I really want to say about it in honesty, other than it was really good. Now obviously, York Hall isn’t going to be the place for a World Title change, especially this close to the Final Battle PPV. Yet the two still put on a great match, even if we all knew the finish.

It was during this match I realised that ROH loves a last stand babyface hulk up. Both Ospery and Lethal did this. It’s a no selling sequence of moves to get back into a match, just before they lose. Its a true last stand of defiance. It was really cool to see, though I imagine it’s probably overused. It would be cool to see this last stand mentality in the WWE once in while though. The closest and most recent thing I can remember to it was Shaun Michaels verses The Undertaker at Wrestlemania 26. Although that was more of him signally for ‘Taker to finish the match and slapping him to anger him enough to do it.

The Youngs Bucks vs. The Briscoe Brothers

SUPERKICK!

From the limited amount I’ve seen The Young Bucks both before and since this live event I would have told you and would still tell you that they are one of the most annoying tag teams I’ve ever seen. Overused of the superkick infuriates me, it’s now become so popular that even most WWE wrestlers do it on the main shows! I hate it.

cxu7zk_xuaemzskHowever, when you’re there in person. It’s just a whole lot of fun. My friends and I placed bets on just how many we would see in the match. The answer was 19. 19 superkicks! Ridiculous, yet amazing. Yes it’s funny but I still don’t want to see it all the time.

Advatised on the card this was supposed to be two singles matches between the competitors, but The Briscoe Brothers came out, pulled a Teddy Long and made it a tag team match. Which, I guess they thought would be for the tag team titles but it was never specified. After they won the match and didn’t win the titles they complained. Silly sods! Also, side note their accents are incredibly thick.

For the match itself I was amazed with how quickly The Young Bucks can move inside the ring. It’s very impressive. Towards the end of the match one of the Bucks was on the recieving end of a Razers Edge into a neckbreaker from the top rope. It looked terrifying and brutal. Obviously he kicked out at two.

This was the most ‘stupidly indie’ match on the card, but instead of it annoying me like I thought it would. It entertained the hell out of me. So nice work!

Television Title: Will Osprey (c) vs. Marty Scurll

Obviously I knew who Will Osprey is, mostly from the buzz that was created from his match in New Japan against Ricochet. For the record, I stand on the side of that match been too much like a gymnastic performance (as impressive as it is) rather than a fight. Wrestling is supposed to be a fight! Though I have to admit that I hadn’t really watched him since until I saw him wrestle Martin Kirby in WCPW, which was a pretty darn good match.

WCPW also just introduced me to Marty Scurll as well. I really enjoy his look and style. He stands out in a crowd for sure. Also, who doesn’t look a gimmick involving an umbrella?

This match was for the Ring of Honor Television Title, which Osprey had won from Bobby Fish on the first night of the tour. The night after Osprey and Scurll had teamed together to try and win the Tag Team Titles from The Young Bucks. After they failed in that effort Scurll challenged Osprey for his new belt.

cyakem6w8aewjlcThis was a great match and it was awesome to see Scurll win the title. Both men are so good in the ring and have completely different styles but messed together excellently. At one point Osprey did a Shooting Star Press from the top rope to the outside and got an insane amount of height.

About halfway through the match there was a spot in which Scurll ‘broke’ one of Ospreys fingers. I’d seen it recently on WCPW and incidentally the crowd also knew what was coming as they went silent in anticipation. I don’t know how he does it, but Marty makes the best finger snapping sound I’ve ever heard. Not that I hear that all the time of course. It’s punctuated by the crowd being quiet for it and then Scurll himself rushing to the ropes to gag at home disgusting it was while the crowd chant ‘You sick fuck! You sick fuck!’. Brilliant.

The end of the match saw a resilient come back for Osprey and a stubborn refusal to lose. Flipping the bird in defiance at Scurll only resulted in Marty breaking both of those fingers though. Brutal!

Dalton Castle

The final highlight I want to talk about was actually the first match on the card. Dalton Castle verses Lio Rush. I think I have a new favourite wrestling gimmick in Castle. It’s just fantastic.

78ef3816482758f85ec8806f63357e5cFor those who don’t know, Dalton Castle is somewhat sexually ambiguous, incredibly flamboyant showman. It’s very glam rock with Freddie Mercury and Justin Hawkins (of The Darkness) as inspirations.

He wears sparkling sequin jump suits and a cape. He is accompanied to the ring by ‘his boys’, shirtless, mask-wearing men with peacock feather fans who act as human furniture. It’s just all brilliant.

Once I got back from the event I just had to look up some more of his work, including a promo in which he uses ‘his boys’ as human furniture to challenge Jay Lethal to his Television Title. I also watched one of his entrances for TNA, in which ‘his boys’ are replaced with women and Josh Mathew spends every moment dumping on the entire thing. It’s just rubbish. Classic TNA.

Not only is Dalton Castle a fantastic gimmick, he also has one of the best entrances themes of all time. Titled ‘Dalton Wants It Now’ by Adam Massacre, I’ve had this thing on repeat for over a week. It’s the perfect accompaniment to the gimmick and excellently references Freddy Mercury, Queen and the whole glam rock vibe. Mostly, because it’s essentially an extended instrumental version of the opening guitar solo for Queen’s ‘I Want It All’.

The match itself was pretty entertaining with Castle taking multi timeouts to get fanned by ‘his boys’ when Lio Rush got the better of him. Amazingly the character isn’t presented as a heel, instead getting huge cheers every time he interacted with ‘his boys’. Highlight of the match was Lio Rush doing a suicide dive to the outside, which Dalton sidestep and instead Rush hit the boys. Dalton freaked out and Rush kept apologising, hilarious.

Advertisements

Bowling For Soup – Drunk Dynasty [Album Review]

Drunk Dynasty, realised back in October, is the 11th studio album from Texas pop-rock band Bowling For Soup. Like their previous album Lunch. Drunk. Love. the album was part funded by fans using PledgeMusic. Initially intended to be an EP it was later extended into a full-length studio album.

bowling_for_soup1

Bowling For Soup have been one of the standard-bearers for how to be a fun, yet successful pop-rock band since 1994.

Lead singer Jaret Reddick said that Bowling For Soup’s new plan for realising music would be “less music, more often” and that he hates waiting two years between releases due to his love of recording. He also said that he was “super stoked for everyone to hear this shit”. Personally I’m absolutely fine with that, I wish more of my favourite bands had that attitude.

Bowling For Soup are one of those bands that just make me happy. This album is no different. Sure it’s basically just like every other modern Bowling For Soup album. It sounds exactly the same and the songs are written the same way. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. They don’t push the boundaries, because they don’t have to. The songs are still about getting into trouble and falling in love with girls and that’s fine. They’re silly, they’re fun and they’re catchy.  It’s exactly like how their song Critically Distained from the last album says “We’re not here to change the world, we’re here to laugh out others”. Why change the mould when you do it so well?

In a way it’s an average record. While the songs are good they aren’t hitting the heights of their early success, there’s certainly nothing of the quality of ‘Girl All The Bad Guys Want’ or 1985′ here, but who cares. When I took this album out of my car I was still humming half the album days later. If that’s not a sign of a good record I don’t know what is!

Catalyst and Don’t be A Dick are my personal favourites. Don’t Be A Dick actually sums up my thoughts on the world perfectly right now with the lyrics of “Don’t be a dick, don’t be an asshole, just be nice” and “show some respect, just be a person, love one another”. We could all do with more people having this attitude these days.

In summary, Drunk Dynasty is another solid Bowling For Soup album that you will very much enjoy if you like any of their previous work. Absolutely worth a listen.

Verdict: Thumbs Up

OK Go – The One Moment

Ok Go have gone and done it again. Another absolutely fantastic music video. It’s what they’ve become known for over the years but they might have just outdone themselves with this one. It’s creative and beautiful and it only took 4.2 seconds to shoot. Well, that’s how much film they used, it obviously took months of planning to get everything looking so good.

Shot in tiny little chunks and edited together the video features paint explosions, bursting water balloons and exploding guitars. The synchronisation is incredible. The amount of detail they must have had to go into the planning of this is simply nuts.

Released two days ago on November 24th the video already has 3 million views on Youtube alone and far more on Facebook. It’s fair to say it’s gone viral around the world.

I feel bad though, because it’s another good song from the band but I only ever listen to them when they put out mind blowing videos. I should really give them a proper chance. If you somehow still haven’t seen the video for The One Moment you can watch it below as well as samples of their other work. Give them a watch!

If you if you loved that video as much as I did then you’ll no doubt appreciate the behind the scenes video for it to. In which they explain the planning processes and you see some of the dummy runs they did to get the one shot takes perfect.

Here is the video that started it all back in 2006. Here It Goes Again on the now world famous treadmill video.

Finally here’s one that I only just found out about. The video for Upside Down and Inside Out was shot in zero gravity. How cool is that!

Alter Bridge: The Last Hero Tour, 24/11/16 [Gig Review]

The last time I saw Alter Bridge live was back in 2014 at Wembley Arena and I’ve been looking forward to seeing them live again ever since. Not only are they one of my favourite bands, but they are also undoubtedly a fantastic live act as well. Myles Kennedy is one of the best vocalists in the world and as for Mark Tremonti’s guitar playing…he’s pretty good. *ALERT understatement of the century ALERT*

Last night I finally got a chance to see them again. This time at the 02 Arena in London, which I have to say is a far nice venue than Wembley. Even if it’s just the simple fact that it’s curved so that all of the seats are pointing in the right direction.

Alter Bridge were supported by three bands. Like A Storm, Gojira and Volbeat. I’ll be honest with you, I’d never heard of any of them before. So they all got the chance to impress me with their first impressions. The friend I went with had heard some of their music before and said I was in for a treat however.

Let’s crack on with the gig review!

Like A Storm

n66710New Zealand band, Like A Storm kick of the proceedings. Interestingly Like A Storm first began touring the US, way back in 2009, when they were invited to join Creed on their reunion tour. I guess they must have impressed Tremonti and the guys to be brought back again.

The music the band play is hard rock/heavy metal with the added twist of having a didgeridoo. Not going to lie, I absolutely loved it from the first time they cracked out digeridoo solo in place of the traditional guitar solo.

That instrument completely sets them apart, because in honesty without it they would just be a generic hard rock/heavy metal band. That said, they had enough about them to peak my curiosity and I will be checking them out again sometime down the line.

Continue reading

Kingsman [Movie Review]

Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down? Simple, spoiler free reviews.

Gary “Eggsy” Unwin lives in a South London housing estate and seems headed for a life behind bars. However, dapper agent Harry Hart recognises potential in the youth and recruits him to be a trainee in the secret service. Meanwhile, villainous Richmond Valentine launches a diabolical plan to solve the problem of climate change via a worldwide killing spree.


When I first saw the trailers for Kingsman, I distinctly remember turning to my friend in the cinema and saying “well, that looks shit”. I’ll be honest, the main thing that put me off was the chavy character of Eggsy, it just didn’t appeal to me. I thought it would be really cringey to watch.Since it’s release though all I’d heard was how good this film actually was though. So, I decided to give it ago.

Was I right in thinking it would be awful? Nope! Not by a long shot. Kingsman, is brilliant. There I said it. Review over.

Oh, you wanted slightly more? Fineeeeee.

Kingsman is basically, old school ridiculous Bond but for the modern audience. It’s plot line in silly, it’s characters are over the top and it’s violent. It’s actually a perfect recipe.

Right, most importantly. I thought the character of Eggsy would be awful and put me off completely. He’s actually a pretty cool chap. Colin Firth is on top form and Samuel L Jackson as the films villain is also great. The rest of the supporting cast, which is incredibly strong, features Michael Caine and Mark Strong to name a few.

The film is stylish, entertaining and funny. The action is also great. I really mean it. The church and bar scenes are awesome. Choreographed to perfection. I really can’t sing this movies praises enough!

There’s already a sequel in the works and I can’t wait. What a turn around! It’s got quite a few big names attached but hopefully it won’t feel too bloated or be reduced to silly cameos that clog the plot.

Look at me getting all protective of a franchise I thought I’d hate!

Verdict: Thumbs Up

Booty O’s Cereal Review

15032588_10153898258431121_1167705642_nBooty O’s are the previous fictional cereal dreamed up by WWE wrestling group The New Day, made up of Big E, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods. Who are soon to be the longest reigning WWE tag team of all time when they break Demolitions record in a few weeks. What was once considered a throw away joke in promos quickly received a huge marketing push as cereal boxes containing t-shirts sporting the same designs. Considering the groups popularity and the fact they were the biggest selling merchandise at this years Wrestlemania. It was only a matter of time until the WWE went all in and actually started producing the real thing.

I’ve wanted to taste Booty O’s since I watched The New Day come out of a giant cereal box at Wrestlemania. This was of course before they were even real! Well they are real now, but unfortunately only sold in America. Boo! Luckily I have a good friend who lives there and she sent me a box! Huzah!

Okay, to the review itself. Firstly, the box design is amazing. It’s fun, it’s silly and it’s eye-catching. It’s got to be said that for a cereal mainly aimed at children this does it job very well.

The cereal itself is made up of rounded toasted oat pieces with marshmallow shapes. The marshmallow shapes are supposed to include all sorts of things like stars, smiles, unicorn horns, rainbow hearts, magic, tag titles, and booty crowns. In honesty, they’re just brightly coloured marshmallow pieces and I dare you to find a piece that actually resembles anything in particular.

15033922_10153898290651121_531171796_oNow I’ve never had American cereal before and I’ve equally never had anything too sugary sold in the UK. Frosted Shreddies? Nah, I’ll have regular Shreddies please. They do look very similar to Lucky Charms however and I have been told that they sort out resemble them in taste as well.

What I  can tell you though is that they basically taste like Cheerios. Only with a lot, lot more sugar and obviously the marshmallows. The marshmallows are actually pretty tasty in small numbers but grow sickly quite quickly if you accidentally have too many on your spoon.

As a one of treat however, they’re really nice. I would honestly recommend them to any wrestling fan to try. The problem is though is that, as previously mentioned, they’re only for sale in America and they’re really quite expensive! $10 plus per box and the box isn’t that big.

You’re not going to be making this your number one cereal of choice anytime soon. Still, worth having at least once. They’re fun, they taste surprisingly good and you get an awesome box to keep as well.

Verdict: Thumbs Up

 

Survivor Series [Review]

Well, Survivor Series wasn’t a disaster. It was however a bit of a mess but that’s mainly down to traditional elimination matches, they’ve always been a mess. Over crowded, over booked and under booked at the same time. The Tag Team match was awful.

…and then the main event happened. Good. Lord. What a surprise! Shocking in every sense of the word.

The worst part of Survivor Series, apart from how ultimately pointless most of it was (see Intercontinental and Cruiserweight stipulations for proof of this). Is that because we had so many cross brand promotional matches the commentary teams got mixed up. However, for the most part they chose the worst parts of each team to work together. JBL, Saxton, Otunga and Cole is not a dream team by anyone’s imagination. Why couldn’t we have just had Mauro and Corey Graves do the entire show?!

Also side note: I really enjoy the crowd chanting 10 for every number of a referees count. It’s incredibly stupid, but a lovely reference to Tye Dillinger. Continue reading