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Showing posts from May 26, 2019

Top 5 Comics to Read: June 2019

You work hard for your cash, presumably. So, here's the top five comics worth checking out this month. Make sure to check the full release schedules if you want even more... 5.War of the Realms #6 MIDGARD'S LAST STAND! Malekith’s army gets a whole new crop of recruits — the dead! As Midgard transforms under the rule of Malekith and his allies, the dead rise up to form a new Niflheim! The Black Panther calls in every hero on his roster to fight for Earth, from Spider-Man and the Spiders of Hel to Ghost Rider and Balder the Brave. But if there’s any hope for the Ten Realms, it’ll come from the skies… Out: June 5th 4.The Green Lantern #6 Green Lantern teams up with Green Arrow to stop a cosmic drug cartel that's using Earth as its main distribution base! It's a brilliant homage to the team-ups of old, as Morrison and Sharp do the 2019 version in a story we can only call "Space Junkies!" Out: June 5th 3.Champions #6 WAR OF THE REALMS TIE-IN! A globa

CMLL Juicio Final Review

Matches: 1.Black Panther, Blue Panther Jr, Rey Cometa vs Disturbio, Kawato, Misterioso Jr ***1/2 2.Hermano Chavez, Soberano Jr vs Hijos del Infierno **3/4 3.Career vs Career: Virus vs Metalico **** 4.Hair vs Hair: Amapola vs Kaho *** 5.CMLL World Tag Titles: Valiente, Diamante Azul(c) vs Guerreros Laguneros **1/4 6.Sky Team, Caristico vs Peste Negra ***1/4 7.Hair vs Hair: Ultimo Guerrero vs Mascara Ano 2000 *3/4 Thoughts: When CMLL announced monthly big shows, I was cautiously optimistic. I admit that this card did little for me, but I was still hopeful for at least a little bit of fun. Luckily, I got more than I expected. The opener went way above and beyond the level I thought it would, turning into a sincerely enjoyable trios contest. Even Kawato looked good for once. I think this format and pacing would be the best choice going forward for openers, but I know that's asking for too much. Watch this one. The second match, on the other hand, was disappointing. It h

Wrestling TV Roundup: May 2019

So, here are the matches from non-WWE tv that I decided to check out this month. The only show I am watching in full weekly right now is Dragon Gate Cutting Edge, which is reviewed separate. I also will continue to do the weekly WWE matches posts. Most of everything else will appear here. I figured this format was honestly easier for me and hopefully for you, too. If you'd prefer a weekly roundup instead of monthly I would consider it. Also, if there is a weekly show putting out good stuff that you think I missed, hit me up with some recommendations. Let me know. 1 .Elgin vs Impact vs Pentagon  ***1/2 Impact Wrestling 05/03 Elgin is clearly being set up quickly to be a big name on Impact going forward, as he actually gets the pin on Johnny here. This was a pretty fun match, and one worth seeing for those wanting to check out the direction Impact is clearly heading toward. 2 .Briscoes vs Soberano, Caristico  *** ROH TV #397 CMLL doesn't get as much love in the state

Hornwood Fell: Damno Lumina Nocte Review

Hornwood Fell's new album of emotionally abrasive black metal features some unique and creative moments, with a level of talent and maturity on display helping to make the entire run an interesting listen. While there are still some rather basic sections mixed throughout, they are still well done enough to ensure that the overall quality isn't hurt too badly by them. Hornwood Fell's features two family members providing the entire wall of music, which is something I hope they are proud of as this is a very good album. Damno Lumina Nocte was a nice little surprise for me seeing as I had never listened to them before. I'll make sure to check out more of their music in the future, and I hope you give this album a shot. Rating: ***1/2

Select Match Reviews: Golden Girls

Match from STARDOM Gold May 1.Toni Storm vs Kagetsu ***1/2 2.Artist of STARDOM Titles: STARS(c) vs Tokyo Cyber Squad ***3/4 3.World of STARDOM Title: Bea(c) vs Hazuki ***1/2 4.Wonder of STARDOM Title: Momo(c) vs Hoshiki ***3/4 Thoughts: STARDOM continues pumping out hits with this one. Another very good Toni match ending in a draw kicked off our pulls and the three championship matches were all enjoyable. The Artist and Wonder contests in particular were well worth checking out and were great showcases of heart and drama. Both title changes added to the drama and excitement, too. Honestly, if you aren't watching STARDOM I have to assume you just don't know they exist or you dislike the style for whatever reason. Check out the digest version above and then go watch the matches listed.

Deathspell Omega: The Furnaces of Palingenesia Review

The kings of dissonant metal, Deathspell Omega, return with another fantastic album that showcases exactly why the black metal throne belongs to them. The Furnaces of Palingenesia is a twisted distortion of sanity put to music, and is not for those who insist on their music being super accessible. The black metal horror show bathes in destruction and darkness from start to finish, leaving little breathing room for listeners. You have to dedicate yourself to this one, like most of their catalog. If you're willing to do this, you'll find one of the best albums of the year and just another fantastic release from Deathspell Omega. Give it a spin. Rating: ****

ONE Championship Weekly 05/29/19 Review

1.ONE Atomweight Kickboxing Title: Chuang(c) vs Stamp ***1/4 2.Muay Thai: Han vs Che Wil NR 3.Kickboxing: Zhang vs  Yusuf **3/4 4.Thani vs Tan NR Thoughts: A lot of flashbacks in this episode. The opener starts in the 4th round, showcasing Stamp nicely as she goes on to win gold. I love her confidence level and her enthusiasm is contagious. We follow that up with a quick muay thai super series bout. A complete mismatch, with Azwan being outclassed in every way. At least it was short. The only recent fight came in the three spot and was a fairly decent little contest that kept the episode flowing well enough. We close things on a Thani showcase, showing his 6th win in ONE. He has gone on to drop three since to bring his record to 9-3. Decent way to finish the episode. This week's ONE Championship Weekly largely played it safe, and is one of the more skippable episodes I've seen of the show. If you must, just watch the opener in anticipating of the upcoming Stamp

CMLL Juicio Final Preview

Card & Predictions 1.Blue Panther, Blue Panther Jr, Rey Cometa vs Disturbio, Kawato, Misterioso Jr This one is meaningless, and the quality will depend heavily on how much the rudos want to step up. If this turns out to be a good contest, it serves well as a good sign for the rest of the show. If they phone it in...perhaps, not. I have the tecnicos winning in three. 2.Angel de Oro, Niebla Roja, Soberano vs Mephisto, Ephesto, Luciferno Now, this one might not mean anything either but it has a lot of potential to be a fun little throwaway trios match. The Chavez brothers have really stepped it up since they lost their masks and Soberano is one of the best roster members that CMLL has. Mix in Mephisto and his two decent partners in crime... Don't expect a MOTYC, but this has all of the ingredients to at least have some real energy. I have the Hijos del Infierno winning this one in three. 3.Career vs Career: Metalico vs Virus I'm glad a match like this isn'

Red's Top Female Wrestlers of 2019

We've looked at the best overall workers, the best teams, and the best promotions. Now, using a system with ties to my recommendation list, let's take a look at the top women's wrestlers of 2019. Honorable Mentions: Sareee, Kagetsu, Miyu, Io, Tam 10. Mizuki She plays her role in TJP well and is able to fit into just about any match and situation and make it better. Hopefully a major singles title is in the future. 9. Satomura One of joshi's last active legends, Satomura is still working at a rate that'd make you assume she was 20 years younger. Very few are respected as much as Meiko and she is a major part of why Sendai is the #2 joshi promotion. My only fear is what happens next year with the WWE situation looming... 8. Jungle With the new changes coming in STARDOM, I'm hopeful for more chances for Jungle, who is one always capable of delivering big. 7. Riho The first ever AEW Women's Champ, Riho, is finally getting her break and it's bee

Amon Amarth: Berserker Review

I began introducing my daughter to Norse myths this week. In related news, Amon Amarth has a new album and all vikings are celebrating. This is 45 minutes of pure, intense metal done at a very high level. The vocal delivery from Johan Hegg is some of his best ever, with every line being delivered to near perfection. Add in quality performances by the rest of the band and a nice production job by Jay Ruston and you have a true force of a release. My biggest issue is that the run-time actually worked against it a bit here and about 10 minutes shaved off would have done wonders for the overall effect. Outside of that, this is another very good CD that will make your blood boil and your heart race as you strike down your enemies with a burning sword powered by the Allfather's grace. Berserker is a worthy addition to the Amon Amarth catalog, so give it a chance when you can. Rating: ***1/2

SOLS: The Golden Atom Review

Mexico's SOLS infuse post-rock with more classical elements than most of their contemporaries, leading to an interesting atmosphere and tone that helps them stand out from the pack. Most post-rock bands from the bloated heap just mimic the elder gods of the genre, but I give SOLS props for being just different enough. The Golden Atom is a great listen, and one that makes me want to go read a book by the lake in the morning while playing it again. Good post-rock should always be cinematic, which is certainly a good description here. Imagine a relaxing trip through the wild, with the sun gently baring down. You are unsure where the next turn might take you, but you're ok with that. That's The Golden Atom; full of beautiful moments and a surprising amount of intricacy. Honestly, my issues here are minor and SOLS should be very proud of this album. Check this one out and embrace the journey! Rating: ***3/4

Cage the Elephant: Social Cues Review

Garage rock kings, Cage the Elephant, are pretty highly respected in most circles. They've managed to break out, getting radio play on local rock stations as well as the top 40 stations. On Social Cues, the band stays in their comfort zone while providing several tunes worthy of air play alongside a solid mix of backup tracks. The emotion here is telling of the personal troubles Matt Shultz was going through at the time, and there is a hint of darkness painted behind the scenes of every song on the album. You can dance to most of the album, or you can drink in the dark to it. Either way, it's a pretty good release that is worth checking out regardless of how you choose to do so.  Rating: ***1/2

Interview with Rick Knox

Pro wrestling referees are in an interesting spot, as they are required to actually do several jobs at once while largely remaining ghosts in the ring. But, every once in a while, a ref will get handed an additional duty and be required to take a bump. In cases such as that of cult icon, Rick Knox, you might even be asked to be involved in major spots and get some offense in. I had a chance to speak with Knox recently, talking about everything from Lucha Underground, to AEW, and even about his current playlist. Take a look... Red: First of all, thank you for agreeing to the interview and congrats on the new job. Now, you've worked for some of the most popular wrestling companies in the world over the years including PWG, Lucha Underground, and Wrestling Society X. Are there any companies that you didn't get a chance to work with that you regret missing out on? Knox: You know, I don't really think about that a lot... I just concentrate on what I know I have ahead o

Dragon Gate Cutting Edge #21 Review

Matches: 1.Brave Gate Title: Susumu(c) vs UT ***3/4 Thoughts: We've arrived at the Dead or Alive coverage. I'm interested in seeing how much of the show actually airs on Cutting Edge. Check out my full review of the special event here . This is a great, engaging championship match worth your time. If you missed it on DoA, check it out now on Cutting Edge. We get clipped coverage of the King of Gate tour to close things. Cutting Edge has quickly become one of my favorite wrestling shows and is really a must-see series. Do not sleep on this. Overall Rating: 85/100%

Select Match Reviews: WWE Matches of the Week

Matches from WWE Week of 05/27/19 1.Universal Title: Rollins(c) vs Zayn ***1/4 2.Kofi vs Owens *** 3.Gallagher vs Humberto ***1/2 4.KUSHIDA vs Gulak *** Thoughts: It's sad that WWE is so complacent that they decided phoning it in on Raw was the best response to AEW killing it days before, but that's the situation we're in right now. On the bright side, I have four match pulls this go around. It's still just four matches out of over seven hours of content, but let's not get too negative here. The Universal Championship match was fairly good, and followed the controversial spot that had a lot of people buzzing this week. For the record I think it was a work. But yea, I'm not sure why Sami was even getting a title shot but it's nice seeing him booked in such a spot at all. I'll assume it was as a result of the next blood money show as a PR stunt of sorts. Good match, either way. Over on the blue brand, Kofi and KO also had a nice, lit

Methadone Skies: Different Layers of Fear Review

Methadone Skies is a post-rock stoner band celebrating their 10th anniversary and they chose to do so by releasing a pretty good slab of tunes. Different Layers of Fear runs over 70 minutes, focusing largely on repeated themes creating walls of music best suited for listening to while watching wrestling or studying. The production job is well done, showcasing everyone nicely enough while ensuring the bass comes through strong. I am reminded a lot of Russian Circles and later Appleseed Cast. Guest vocals from Straccione of Shores of Null come in on one track near the end of the run, which are rather decent even if they're a bit jarring. That's actually where one of my biggest issues rests. After such an extended period of instrumental music, having the vocal section just felt out of place and honestly latest a bit longer than it should have. It's not that the vocalist was bad, either. It's just that it messed with the overall flow. The only other issue I had wa

Top 10 Matches of April 2019

In another month full of great matches, these were the best. Don't forget to check out the full list of recommendations and note that these are listed in order of rating and then by date. 10.Nomura vs Suwama ****1/4 9.Aldis vs Scurll ****1/4 8.Lucha Bros vs LAX ****1/4 7.Kota vs Sabre Jr ****1/4 6.Naito vs Kota ****1/4 5.Okabayashi vs Shuji ****1/4 4.Kento vs Jake Lee ****1/2 3.Kenta vs Okabayashi ****1/2 2.WALTER vs Dunne ****1/2 1.Gargano vs Cole ****3/4

25 Years of Quackenbush

To celebrate 25 years in the business, CHIKARA and Quackenbush released a series of classic match videos on their YouTube channel. So, let's dig in and take a trip down memory lane. Oh, and note that I'll be working on something to celebrate 15 years of Impact Wrestling soon, too. 1.Quackenbush vs Cabana *** A comedic, technical wrestling showcase. One of my favorite things about CHIKARA is how receptive the fans are to contests like these. While this is far from a classic, it actually works perfectly as a symbol of CHIKARA-style wrestling. Good start to the celebration. 2.Quackenbush, Toyota vs BDK ***3/4 The artist now known as Cesaro teaming up with NXT trainer, Sara Del Rey, to take on Toyota and Quack? Man, I actually forgot about this little gem. Nine years is a long time, but this was peak CHIKARA. Four of my favorite workers in the ring at the same time in a match ahead of its time. One thing this company always did well was showcasing equality. This was grea

Being the Elite #154 Thoughts

I loved the Mox stuff that book marked the episode as well as the general behind the scenes theme of the episode. The tease of Jon and Janela should make for something fun. All Out is officially announced for August 31st in Chicago, with tickets becoming available on June 14th. I expect another sell out in under an hour. Special guests here include Flip coming to surprise the Elite as well as a quick moment with Mike Tyson. If you want a look at some of the stuff that went down backstage during Starrcast and Double or Nothing, check this one out.

Select Match Reviews: BOSJ Week 2 Roundup

Matches from New Japan Best of the Super Junior 26 Week of 05/19 Night Six 1.Ospreay vs YOH ***3/4 Night Seven 2.Ospreay vs Phantasmo **** Night Eight 3.Ospreay vs Bandido ****1/4 4.SHINGO vs Dragon Lee ****1/4 Night Nine 5.Dragon Lee vs Titan **** 6.Romero vs Phantasmo ***3/4 Thoughts: This year's BOSJ tournament continues to provide high quality content, this week giving us six noteworthy pulls. The first was a great, clean battle between the aerial assassin and the lesser member of RPG3K. YOH might not be as talented as his partner, but he's still a quality performer and he stepped up here. The second saw Ospreay and Phantasmo put on a fantastic spectacle of a match. Phantasmo is a nice addition to the Bullet Club, and I'm sure he has a bright future.  Night eight had my two favorite matches of this BOSJ week. Ospreay and Bandido killed it, and nearly themselves, in a spectacular outing that worked well as a symbolization of what t

MOX to NJPW

Moxley has teased that he'll be debuting for New Japan, which was later confirmed by the company itself. Jon is apparently the teased challenger for Juice's IWGP US Championship. The match is scheduled for June 5th. He apparently is in a similar situation to that of Jericho and Omega.

NXT TakeOver XXV Preview

Card & Predictions: 1.Riddle vs Strong They're building Riddle up to likely be the next NXT Champ, so he wins this one. 2.NXT North American Title: Velveteen Dream(c) vs Breeze This is a toss up for me. I am happy that Breeze will get a chance to remind people how freaking good he is. Honestly, I'll say Dream wins this but I'm fine either way. 3.NXT Tag Titles, Ladder: Undisputed Era vs Burch, Oney vs Street Profits vs Forgotten Sons God, this is a good card! I'll say that Undisputed Era get this win and take home gold after a fantastic match. 4.NXT Women's Title: Shayna(c) vs Io With the draft just happening and the main brand's writers presumably still figuring out what to do with new faces, I don't think Shayna will be called up right now. I don't see her dropping the belt this time until she is about to move to Raw or SD. I'd love to be wrong, though. 5.NXT Title: Gargano(c) vs Cole Gargano winning was a big moment, but those

Looking Back on Double or Nothing

First, let's take a look at my predictions . I did decent. I feared Page would be the surprise entrant and win, but didn't think they'd go that route. I was right about an unannounced indie darling (Stunt in this case) and a legend (Dreamer). KENTA was not on the show, obviously, but I still think he will be involved at some point. I was right on the outcomes of the other preshow match, the SCU/SxH outing, the joshi showcase, the championship contest, and the outcome of the Cody/Dustin war. I also was correct that they'd add a 4th women though had no idea it would be Kong. I was right that Moxley would appear. In all, I had correctly predicted the results of most of the matches. My biggest misstep was assuming Omega would win the main event. I also had incorrectly predicted Cody attacking his brother after an emotional moment. I'm curious how everyone else did and would love to know. Contacting me is pretty easy, so feel free. I'll do an u

AEW Double or Nothing Review

Matches: 0a.Casino Battle Royale *** 0b.Kip vs Guevara ***1/4 1.SCU vs Strong Hearts ***3/4 2.Awesome Kong vs Baker vs Nyla vs Kylie *** 3.Gueros del Cielo vs Best Friends ***1/2 4.Hikaru, Riho, Ryo vs Aja Kong, Yuka, Emi ***3/4 5.Cody vs Dustin ***** 6.AAA Tag Titles: Young Bucks(c) vs Lucha Bros ****1/4 7.Kenny Omega vs Chris Jericho ***1/2 Thoughts: Many of my random ramblings can be found in the live coverage post for the show. That said, this show surpassed even my large expectations so here's some more. Let's start from the top. The Casino Battle Royale was an overall good match. I'm not typically a huge fan of this style of match, but it was enjoyable enough. My only real issue was Page winning since it felt a bit cheap, but really it's a minor issue and I'm sure the payoff will be good enough. The other preshow match was a fairly good "get the crowd ready" cruiserweight match. I'm sure the preshow did little to convince hol