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Review: Baywatch

Thumbs up or thumbs down? Simple, spoiler free reviews.

 

 

Matt Brody is a former Olympic swimmer who wants to join an elite team of lifeguards led by the hulking Mitch Buchannon. Brody thinks he’s a shoo-in, but his casual attitude starts to instantly rub Mitch the wrong way. When drugs and a shady resort owner pose a threat to the bay, Mitch and Matt must put their differences aside to spring into action and save the day.

I’ve got to admit, I was honestly expecting Baywatch to be terrible. I thought it would be dumb jokes and boobs but it’s actually really funny. With dumb jokes and boobs… What I’m saying is it’s exactly what you think it is, but actually done really well.

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Baywatch isn’t just about boobs and Zac Efron’s abs, it’s also a funny film too. I’m not talking high brow humour or anything, but its a laugh!

At no point in time does it allow itself to be taken seriously. The whole premise and plot is ridiculous and Zac Efron has a great line when being told about previous cases on the beach sounding like a ‘entertaining yet far-fetched TV show’. This is a film that fully understands its roots and doesn’t try to be something it’s not. It’s a film about crime fighting lifeguards, obviously its preposterous! The cast seems to be having a genuinely fun time as well, which makes you have more fun with it.

I’d say about 90% of the jokes landed in Baywatch, now granted they often aren’t ‘high brow humour’, I’m talking dick jokes…other dick jokes. It works though and if you know what you’re getting into and just want to relax this is a good dumb movie to do that with. It’s just fun.

Dwanye Johnson, or The Rock as he’ll forever be known to me, is as charismatic as ever while Efron actually nails the self loathing part of his retired olympic medalist character too. Their back and forth is amusing throughout as well. Job Bass is entertaining as the awkward nerd of the group while Alexandra Daddario and Kelly Rohrbach are mostly in place to play up Baywatch’s classic ‘sexy babes’ angle. Both are more than happy to play the roles and mock them extensively, especially in the end credits. Meanwhile Priyanka Chopra as the villain is a bit of a one note character though and Ilfenesh Hadera gets far less love than any of the other lifeguards during the film.

I know this film has been slated by critics, but if you’re interested in a couple of hours of easy viewing that’ll make you chuckle throughout. Give this a go. I honestly can’t believe I’m actually saying this. I’d just assumed it would be rubbish, instead its fun rubbish.

Verdict: Thumbs Up

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Review: Fast and Furious 8

Thumbs up or thumbs down? Simple, spoiler free reviews.

8fbd1362-8e2f-480a-be55-e8ee48eee897Eight. Eight Fast and Furious films. Who would have thought it?

Fast and Furious 8 or The Fate of The Furious depending on your region is quite possibly the best of the entire series. Certainly since it entered its ‘completely over the top, ridiculous, mind numbing at times’ incarnation. Basically, it is the best film since The Rock joined the cast. And that is not a slate on Dwayne Johnson, since joining he has been one of the best parts of the franchise.

This films is very funny at times and infuriating at others. So standard Fast and furious fodder really. I will say this, in the previous two films I thought the balance of ‘really cool’ moments and ‘oh God that is so unbelievable I want to rip my own eyes out’ moments was balanced in the wrong direction. In Fast 8 however, I think they get it right. The stupid, logic and physics breaking moments are still there are fewer in number but still are really dumb. However, it is what the series is known for now so you just have to accept it.

This film also contains perhaps the greatest scene in the history of the franchise too. Jason Statham, single-handedly fighting his way through an entire plane of mercenaries, whilst carrying a baby. It is both hilarious and utterly bad ass.

Jason Statham and Dwayne Johnson are by far the best part of the film. Their relationship is brilliant. Continuing from Furious 7 they absolutely hate each other and trash talk each other every step of the way.

The addition of ‘new Paul Walker guy’ however was rather awkward. Perhaps they should have waited another film or two before replacing him. I have nothing against Scott Eastward’s performance I just think the character, so obviously being lined up as the replacement in future films is a little insensitive. Yet mostly it is unnecessary as The Fast and Furious cast is now so large that, what with The Rock and Jason Statham as well as countless other returning characters, they could have just let it be.

Overall, I found this latest film from the franchise to be very enjoyable. As long as they can reign in the utterly nonsensical nonsense (and just stick with mildly nonsensical nonsense) I can see this franchise continuing to go from strength to strength. If you’re an existing fan of the series you will love this film and due to it not being quite so frustratingly daft as previous iterations, this might entice newer viewers to stick around for the next one too.

Verdict: Thumbs Up

Top 5: Best Looking Title Belts In Wrestling Today?

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Speaking of the exact opposite of a nice looking title. Here’s the WWE’s Jam Championship from Monday Night Raw.

In 2016 there were a lot of new title belt designs, mostly in WWE after their brand split. Some of these titles looked okay such as the new silver (with either red or blue straps depending on the show) tag team titles. The Raw and Smackdown’s Women’s Titles look pretty nice as well. I’m not quite sure on my opinions of the new UK Championship though. I like the centre piece but I’m not sure in meshes very well with the modern WWE Title design.

Meanwhile the new Universal Championship with looks like the WWE World Title dipped in strawberry jam. I’m sure we’ve all gotten used to it by now, but that doesn’t mean it looks good.

So this got me thinking, what are the best looking titles, currently active, in wrestling today? Here are my top 5.

#5 NXT Tag Team Titles

wwe_nxt_tag_team_championshipNumber 5 on my list is the NXT Tag Team Titles. I think they are far superior than the main roster equivalents, which until recently looked like big copper pennies. Now they look like big silver pennies instead.

It does undoubtedly help that I really enjoy the NXT tag team scene and I’ll happily admit that this is probably the reason that they made the cut. Dash and Dawson of The Revival, are personal favourites of mine, but the whole division has been excellent for over 2 years now.

I find it remarkable that the design of these titles can be so simple and so right. While the main NXT Title looks awful. Not only that, since the main roster got it’s new Women’s Titles, the NXT Women’s title looks more like the old butterfly Divas Title than I think people realised.

What I really like about these titles is that unlike other tag titles, they aren’t a matching pair. As far as I’m aware that is a very unique feature. Instead they are mirror images of each other.

Sleek, clean and simple. In fact they are the epitome of the new championship designs coming from WWE.

#4 IWGP Intercontinental Championship

2nd_version_iwgp_intercontinental_championshipA late addition to my list is the IWGP Intercontinental Championship, having watched Wrestle Kingdom 11. I took some consideration over whether I was going to include this title or the IWGP Heavyweight Championship instead.

The two do look relatively similar but overall I prefer the shape of the Intercontinental Championship. It doesn’t have the extra space on the top and as a result looks cleaner and more symmetric.

Plus it has a white leather strap, much like the WWE version. Which is almost like a trump card for title belts in my opinion. I just think they look really cool. It’s the combination of white leather and gold plate that makes this title look so special. If every championship in the world was on white leather it would lose its appeal very quickly, but for now its still very unique and I like that.

#3 WWE World Title

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When The Rock first introduced the new design for the WWE Title it was immediately met with a wave of relief and delight. Finally the WWE had replaced that God damn awful John Cena Title that had been around forever. It looked like a toy and only ever really suited one man, John Cena. On anyone else it looked, well, rubbish.

It wasn’t until it received the updated logo that it really started to work though. The old attitude era style clashed with the new clean design and quite frankly looked a little ridiculous.

It’s a modern design but still keeps its legacy and legitimacy intact. I even like the fact that WWE have made the top title for male and female competitors look similar. However, I’m not a fan of the Universal Titles look and I’m not 100% sold on the UK Championship either. Those problems aside, you can’t deny that this title looks great. It might actually be my favourite WWE Title design ever. Winged Eagle fans please don’t shoot me!

#2 WWE Intercontinental Championship

wwe_intercontinental_championshipThe WWE Intercontinental Championship came very close to being my number one pick. For a long time I would have said that this is the best looking title belt in not only the WWE but in all of wrestling.

I fell in love with this title back in 2011 when Cody Rhodes introduced the modified classic design on the white leather strap. For a brief moment I wanted to be a ‘traditionalist’ with the belt kept on a black leather strap, but there is no denying how good this looks. Its pure class.

That’s why I had to rank it higher than the WWE World Title itself, obviously I like the World Title design, but it the IC Title is in a league of its own. Unfortunately the title itself has been treated like the after thought of an after thought for the majority of the last decade. Even with its modern design introduction. Hopefully now that it is a Smackdown exclusive championship it will keep receiving more focus than it had prior to the brand spilt. Which will, in theory, return some of the prestige that it lost years ago. Basically, just keep it on The Miz forever is what I say.

#1 Ring of Honor World Title

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Here we are, my number one pick for best looking, currently active, championship title. The Ring of Honor World Championship. There’s something about this title belt that just shouts prestigious to me.

Obviously its a great looking belt straight away. The front of the strap is black while it has red on the back. The centrepiece with its multiple gold wreaths. The continents on either strap. It all just creates this image of luxury, class and history.

For a relatively new design, it is actually a throw back to the older design of titles. It reminds me of the Winged Eagle WWF title belt in many ways. While the majority of WWE titles have been super modernised, it’s really cool to see a championship look like this.


Have I missed any obvious ones? If I have let me know! And if you think my opinion sucks and I’m a big dumb fat idiot moron face, keep your opinions to yourself please. Fragile ego and all that.

How To Improve Raw & WWE Programming In General (One Year On)

A year ago when I first started this website I wrote an article on ‘8 Ways To Improve Raw (& WWE In General)’. It focused on the 8 ways I thought WWE could change to fix their plummeting ratings. Since then, ratings have dropped even lower so I’m back again to show them the light.

Actually, a few of my ideas were implemented by WWE (not that I’m really taking credit), the Brand Split itself has helped with some of these, but they’re some issues that still remain and even newer problems have arisen. Here we go, my two cents on How To Improve Raw (& WWE In General).

The Third Hour

Let’s once again get the big one out of the way first. In my opinion it’s Raw’s biggest problem, but it’s also the one that won’t be fixed. Why? Because it makes too much money dummy! Advertising revenue drives this decision but unfortunately it leads to quantity over quality.

0raw3hours642x361Raw and WWE programming continue to suffer from far too much filler and not enough killer product. Back before the Brand Split it was even worse with 3 hours of Raw, 2 for Smackdown and another 2 for Main Event and Superstars all under the same umbrella. Since the split they’ve been able to focus slightly, but Smackdown is appreciating this far more than Raw. The ‘A’ show still struggles to produce quality entertainment for all of that time.

If you cut the third hour you turn the problem on its head. Instead of being desperate to fill time WWE should be struggling to get everything they need into the show. This will up the tempo of the whole show and wont leave time for any down time. At the end of Raw WWE should want their fans to be desperate to see what happens next not desperate for the show to end! Less is more!

Which actually takes me to the even bigger problem. There’s simply too much product to watch in general. Raw, Smackdown (Main Event & Superstars) and NXT is 8 hours a week already. Don’t forget about the brand new Cruiserweight show on the WWE Network. Never mind the fact that there’s more PPVs than ever before, roughly 2 a month, and that PPV length is growing too! Wrestlemania, excluding the pre-show was 5 hours. SummerSlam and Survivor Series are 4. I’m assuming the Royal Rumble will follow this pattern.

It’s all too much. I do not have time, or rather simply refuse to make the time to watch all of these shows. However, the point remains the same. Quantity over quality is not the way to go. If you can’t fill all of your time with great content, trim it down!


Too Formulaic

Last year I said that Raw (and WWE in general) had become too predictable. There was a formula that every Raw followed. The same formula was then seen on Smackdown too. It went something like:

  • Opening promo
  • Add break to end the promo
  • First match that gets cut in half by an advert.
  • Authority segment, followed by a recap
  • Rematch from last week
  • Some 50/50 booking
  • Authority segment
  • rematch, with a recap of earlier.
  • 3v3 main event
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The Authority maybe off television, but Stephanie remains as does the formula for all Raw’s.

Every week it was the same thing, it became predictable and fans felt that they could miss an hour or the entire show and not miss anything. It’s one of the reasons NXT became so popular as it was offering something that looked and felt totally different from the main shows. WWE still needs to get the fans believing that ‘Anything can happen in World Wrestling Federation’ again but it has improved slightly. This is in part due to the fact that The Authority has taken a back seat again instead of being the thing the show revolved around.

It’s not perfect and definitely still needs more of a shake up, but there have been some slight improvements. However, this has mostly been due to the fact that Smackdown has its own identity rather than Raw itself improving. A lot of the things I wanted Raw to change are the same, bu they have been changed on Smackdown. The problems Raw suffers from are still there but they aren’t as obvious or frustrating as the other show isn’t just a mini Raw.

The use of different camera angles for example makes a huge difference. New stage designs have been brought in, new theme music too. Title changes have even started to happen as well. Which makes watching the TV show worth it and keeps fans guessing. In the past year the US Title, World Title and Raw Women’s Title have all changed hands on TV and its been great. Don’t over do it though as it will lose it’s novelty. Continue reading

Wrestlemania 32 Podcast Review

Rob and Dan are back for another Thoughts On Wrestling Podcast. This episode it’s all about Wrestlemania 32. Having watch the event live in Dallas you can now join these two bumbling British idiots and they give their ‘expert’ opinions.

Wrestlemania 32 Predictions

Wrestlemania is almost upon us again and it’s time to make some more predictions. First of all, what are the chances it will live up to the quality of NXT Takeover? Slim I’d say personally, but the opportunities are there. After all, last years Wrestlemania didn’t look that strong heading in but it ended up being a fantastic show. It was a really case of everything going right on the night. WWE are going to need that again on Sunday and then some!

I’m writing these predictions on my flight over to Dallas so let’s not waste anytime getting stuck in.

Pre-Show

We’ve got four matches on the Pre-Show this year and non of them are exciting. The Battle Royal is literally the ‘we didn’t have any actual plans for you’ group. The divas tag match is another pathetic attempt to advertise Total Divas. The Usos are boring, yet over as babyfaces and as for Kalisto verse Ryback. Give me a break.

US Title – Kalisto (c) vs Ryback

Let’s be honest, if we’d all be given the option of a multi-man ladder match or a singles match for either the Intercontinental Championship or the US Title. We’d have all chosen the ladder match for the US Title and focused on a meaningful feud between Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens. Alas, the WWE have got it the wrong way round, unfortunately we don’t even get a meaningful feud this way.

Ryback has recently turned heel returning to his ‘big bully who hates small people’ persona. Which let’s be honest was rubbish the previous time around. Meanwhile Kalisto’s title runs haven’t exactly set the world on fire.

Personally I can’t see the point on Kalisto staying Champion if he isn’t doing anything with it. I also can’t see the point in Ryback being Champion either though. That said, if this heel run is ever going to take off he needs to win big. Simple as that.

Winner: Ryback

Divas Tag Team Match

Once again WWE have forced Total Divas into another Wrestlemania feud. Oh joy. This time around we have Team B.A.D and Blonde vs The Total Divas. I’ll be honest with you. I couldn’t give a monkeys about this match.

There’s only two talking points. Firstly Emma is involved which is great news for her as she’s been doing awesome work as a heel since she returned to NXT. Secondly and probably more importantly. WWE decided to put Eva Marie on the babyface team. That’s right, hated diva Eva Marie. The same woman who generates more heat that anyone else on NXT is supposed to get cheers. Not gonna happen WWE.

Sorry Vince, once again you’re out of touch with how the fans think.

Winners: Total Divas, but who really cares.

The Usos vs The Dudley Boys

Another match that I’m finding it hard to get into. There’s no denying that The Usos are a popular tag team and there’s also no denying that The Dudleys are one of, if not, the best tag teams ever. It just feels like since their return they’ve done very little and keep getting stuck in long, drawn out feuds that never really go anywhere.

I suppose I’m really just waiting for a Bubba Ray singles run ala Bully Ray in TNA. I’m not expecting one however. Long and short of it, The Usos will win in what hopefully will be a decent match. That won’t set the world on fire.

Winner: The Usos

Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal

Completing the pre-show is the Battle Royal. Also known as the Jobbers Battle Royal by those more cynical. In honesty I don’t know who will win this but if I had to put money on it, I’d say it would be one of The Wyatt Family. It doesn’t matter though, it means litereally nothing to win the match. Perhaps however this will be the year that this all changes, maybe this year it will finally be the kick start to someones career.

Winner: Braun Strowman

Main Show

AJ Styles vs Chris Jericho VI

20160303_wm32-keyart_match_ajstylesjericho_1920x1080-254cf568c0871ceb096414387d8d10e6If you’d have told me before the Royal Rumble that we’d be seeing Chris Jericho verses AJ Styles at Wrestlemania I’d have snapped your hand off. If you’d have then have told me it would be their fourth match, I’d have told you to shut your mouth. In recent WWE tradition we’ve seen a good thing too many times, too quickly to get truly excited about it.

It’s similar to how we saw Kevin Owens verses Dolph Ziggler on Raw 8,000,000 times this year. It doesn’t matter though as just like those matches between Owens and Ziggler, this is going to be another good match.

It should be a great match and I’ve got faith both men can deliver. At the very least if we don’t see a great match it’ll be a good match but more importantly it will help put AJ Styles on the WWE map.

Winner: AJ Styles Continue reading

RAW TALK [07/03/16]

With Raw being the very definition of hit and miss at the moment, I skipped watching this weeks episode live. Opting instead to watch the Youtube highlights. No WWE, I’m not one of your 10,000,000 million subscribers you like to brag about while your TV ratings plummet, you post way to much junk to justify that.

As always, let’s take a look at The Good and The Bad from Monday Night Raw this week live from Chicago! No Roman Reigns this week as expected, WWE really are trying to hide him from harsh crowds after all. However, putting Dean Ambrose is his place only shows how widely different the two men are in terms of popularity. Ambrose actually gets cheered for example.

The Good

Cool little interaction between Bray and Triple H. In what looked like it was going to be a repeat of last week (dean down and triple h beating him up afterwards) Trips took a little too long and was caught with some Dirty Deeds. Triple H sold it as if he’d been knocked out cold. Simple selling, but effective. Selling is a lost art. We either get nothing (normally from Dean, or over the top stuff from the likes of Dolph)

Triple H and Dean Ambrose

I’ve got to admit, I’m enjoying this mini feud between Dean Ambrose and Triple H. Even though I know Ambrose doesn’t have a hope in hell of winning the Title at Roadblock. It’s already been booked a hell of a lot better than Roman Reigns V Triple H and that’s the bleeding main event for Wrestlemania! Imagne if WWE did swerve us all and put the title on Dean, that would be mental!

There was a cool little moment in the main event between Bray Wyatt and Triple H, a mini stare down if you will. It’s all for nothing though, Bray isn’t anywhere near that level any more. More on him later unfortunately.

hhhh6poxhIt’s set up to look like the previous two weeks. Triple H comes down after his rival has already been attacked and brutalises them just a little more. This week however, he takes a little bit too much time and gets caught with the Dirty Deeds DDT from Dean Ambrose. Triple H sold it as if he was full on knocked out. Simple selling, but effective. Finishing moves should do that after all!

Selling injuries and moves seems to be becoming a lost art. We either get nothing at all, normally from Dean Ambrose, or oversells from the likes of Dolph Ziggler. Don’t get me wrong, I love The Rock’s reaction to a Stunner more than anybody, it’s just important to make moves look effective and real. After all, that is the aim of the game!

Chris Jericho and The New Day

The Chicago crowd were hot for the Tag Team Title match. They were really into it. So was I actually. From the highlights I saw it looked pretty damn good, will have to search out the full match to watch at some point.

Another fantastic catch from Big E to hit the Big Ending. A few weeks ago he caught Jay(?) Uso mid splash to perform the move. This week he caught Chris Jericho mid Code Breaker! Amazing stuff!

After the match though, Chris Jericho finally turns heel. About a month after we all thought it was going to happen. Does this mean it will be AJ Styles verse Chris Jericho at Wrestlemania after all? I’ll happily take another match, I think they can still pull an amazing one out of the bag.

In total Jericho hit three Code Breakers and then shoved a brand new Y2AJ T-shirt in Styles’ mouth. He later explains why he attacked AJ to Renee Young, it’s basically all down to Styles’ popularity. Finally we get a serious Chris Jericho heel turn. Can not wait!

Kevin Owens Vs Sami Zayn

It’s finally on! The feud with all been wanting to continue since NXT is finally back and just in time for Wrestlemania! It might not have been the way that I’d have booked it but I’m glad we’re getting it never the less. This is going to be awesome!

Kevin Owens defeats Neville with a, as describe by Byron Saxton ‘cheap victory’. Unfortunately the TV audience missed Kevin Owens grabbing the tights completely, thanks Kevin Dunn, you had one job. So it actually just made Saxton look really petty, despite actually calling it correctly.

After the match Owens wants to add insult to injury and attacks him, but who is there to make the save? Sami Zayn! Why we haven’t seen him since the Royal Rumble I don’t know, but who cares!

The Bad

Shane O’Mac Vs The Undertaker: Continued.

Is there a feud that’s fallen from the heights of excitement to the pits of dispare so quickly? Maybe it’s just me. I was so happy to see Shane McMahon returning but after last weeks Raw managed to answer absolutely zero of the thousands questions I had I’m losing faith quicker than…quicker than a thing that loses faith quickly. Good one Rob.

From what I can tell this entire match and storyline is exactly what we thought it was. A desperately late, thrown together affair with little justification or long term thinking. It will result in one cool spot at Wrestlemania, no doubt that will involve the death of Shane himself.

Shane appeared on Raw this week and the crowd were happy to see him but I still have no idea what’s really going on. Shane and Vince don’t like each other? Cool, I can work with that. BUT WHY IS THE UNDERTAKER SO WILLING TO FIGHT FOR VINCE?! I need to know and I need to know quickly.

Tyler Breeze

Can someone explain to me the point of Tyler Breeze? It’s a horrible question to ask, but since he’s been called up to the main roster he’s done absolutely nothing. He’s just another guy, another number. Hell, he gets less TV time than the Social Outcasts! Who for all intents and purposes are the new J.O.B Squad.

It’s horrible to see such a talent become so stagnant so quickly but thw worst thing, unlike with some other NXT stars who got promoted only to do very little (Neville for example) Breeze never even had his full moment in the sun there either! What a waste. Why call him up if you don’t want to use him?

Bray Wyatt

216_raw_03072016ej_1538-922d8dd1e0843a7e0f6e1be1a38bfc9dI can see why WWE decided to drop the much rumoured Wrestlemania feud between Bray Wyatt and Brock Lesnar. WWE just are not capable of making Bray look like a force to be reckoned with. This week he had to get help from the Wyatt Family just to beat up Dean Ambrose. How is he going to cope with Brock Lesnar at Roadblock? Well, simply he isn’t. But where do The Wyatt’s go from there? Nowhere and that’s my problem!