Sunday, June 26, 2016

Learn from the wrestlers who came before you

As i watched Sabu wrestle, i noticed the striking similarities between him and his trainer - the Original Sheikh. The Original Sheikh is considered one of the pioneers of hardcore wrestling as he was famous for using pencils and fire in his matches. Similarly, Sabu is often known for his usage of a spike to stab his opponents in hardcore matches like his trainer did while reinventing hardcore wrestling with his own high flying moves.

It seems that modern fans and even pro-wrestlers are forgetting the traditions of the past. There is a lack of respect and admiration for the pro-wrestlers who helped set the foundation for pro-wrestling.

It is precisely for these reasons why i cannot respect some modern pro-wrestling promotions due to the lack of appreciation and knowledge that they have for their traditions. Modern pro-wrestling fans and pro-wrestlers have seem to forgotten ring psychology and what memorable matches look like. I noticed that the very best wrestling legends took inspiration from their trainers and incorporated it into their matches while bringing something freshly unique to the business. This is why i completely admire pro-wrestlers like Sabu because his approach is "how can i hardcore wrestle like my trainer and how can i do it better?"

My concluding advice is for pro-wrestling fans to research the old school legends of professional wrestling if not watch their matches. Respect those who paved the way for pro-wrestling to flourish and left their marks in history. If pro-wrestling is to evolve, we must learn from the veterans and from ourselves to create an outstanding product.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

How pro-wrestling is like organized religion

After watching pro-wrestling for over so many years, i've come to realize that it has many similarities to organized religion. As a matter of fact, i've come to see pro-wrestling as another religion to me behind Christianity. I've come to note many similarities between the two down below.


Both have congregations - Church members put money in the offering and wrestling fans pay for events. There's fellowship with like-minded people of similar interests who unite to accomplish the same goals. Both wrestling fans and Church members put so much effort into making it to their destination.

Both play music - Both wrestling fans and Church members are accustomed to playing music as a devotion to whatever they hold dear.

Both have believers and non-believers - There are pro-wrestling fans who suspend disbelief and organized religious members who believe that their religion is the right one. The non-believers are the ones who refuse to acknowledge pro-wrestling as legit entertainment and organized religion as a guide to life.

Both give testimony worldwide - Pro-wrestling promotions and organized Churches go all around the world to spread their influences. Pro-wrestling's goal is to provide quality entertainment for people. Organized churches travel worldwide to preach the Gospel while installing their buildings in the area. Both wrestling fans and church members give a testimony of how their organizations impacted their lives.

Both donate to charity - pro-wrestling promotions like WWE and organized religious institutions have donated to charity with the money they earned.

Both have authorities and social hierarchies - Pro-wrestling companies like Churches have similar social orders. In pro-wrestling, there's a manager, executive producer, music crew, producers, ring crew, pro-wrestlers, investors, promoters, writers, clean up crew, and so forth. In churches, there's pastors and other spiritual leaders, a choir or worship group, sound guys, clean up crew, deacons, and so on.

Both preach on good and evil - In the Church, there is a celebration of all that is good in God and a hate of what is evil. In pro-wrestling, there are heroes and villains.

Both use catchphrases - Churches often uses catchphrases such as "God is good all the time" while pro-wrestling has some catchphrases of it's own given by pro-wrestlers.

Both perform "miracles" - The definitions of what is considered a miracle in pro-wrestling differs from that in the Church at times but it's almost the same concept.

Both take the time to make themselves presentable - Pro-wrestling employees take the time to make themselves look good for the crowd much like organized religious members for their congregations.

Both hype up the crowd - In pro-wrestling, pro-wrestlers get the crowd excited with their moves and such. In religion, pastors and other leaders use similar tactics to intensify the audience such as shouting.

So far, those are all the similarities i have noticed. Let me know what you have observed in the comments below.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Refuting New Jack critics

New Jack is a controversial pro-wrestler because of several violent incidents he was involved in the ring. From stabbing to pro-wrestlers, attempted murder of several pro-wrestlers, and so forth. I'm here to tell you that they are false. While it's true that New Jack was involved in few violent encounters, he did not intend to murder anyone. This blog post will dispel several myths circulating around the internet on New Jack.

The most commonly cited incident is the Mass Transit incident. Many critics claim that New Jack stabbed wrestler Eric Kulas in the ring. In reality, Eric Kulas was an untrained wrestler who forged his identity to get in the ring and asked New Jack to blade him or cut his forehead open. Eric Kulas died later but not from New Jack.

Another famous incident is the Danbury Fall where New Jack fell supposedly threw Vic Grimes off of the Scaffold. The Truth is that New Jack never attempted to murder Vic Grimes. They were intentionally meant to land on the tables stacked up together, but missed and landed on the concrete leading to New Jack losing the vision in his right eye.

Vic Grimes has also stated that he botched during their match which further confirms that no attempted murder took place.

New Jack is falsely accused of stabbing Gypsy Joe with the intent to murder. Gypsy Joe actually provoked New Jack during the match.

In conclusion, how much can we ascribe to New Jack for the injuries in the ring? Very few. New Jack does not deserve the hate that he has currently.  

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

My interpretation of "Sinister" 2012 (spoilers included)

Sinister is a very dark, twisted, and at times unpredictable horror film. Almost every scene makes you feel apart of the movie. From the very beginning, we see there is already a problem with the house itself. Ellison Oswalt's 7-year old daughter Ashley says she dislikes the house and Ellison makes a deal with her - if he dislikes the house, they would move back to their old house. This is a foreshadowing of what would happen later.

Ellison Oswalt is hellbent on solving the mysterious murder cases of a suspected serial killer throughout the film but what begins as a pursuit of justice turns into an unhealthy obsession. His book on crime was a side project.

If you take notice, he becomes distant from his family and preoccupied with his police work. He becomes less concerned about his family's safety and wellbeing. It was until he and his wife hit a breaking point where his wife made him refocus his attention on his family vs. his book.

His daughter and son show signs of Bagul or the villain of the film but Ellison Oswalt is too blind to realize it. Ellison Oswalt constantly tries to find clues as to who the suspect could be. Little does he know that Bugal had already influenced his children.

At the film's ending, we realize that his daughter Ashley already succumbed to Bagul's influence leading to the whole family's death. Bagul was looking for the perfect candidate to be his ideal daughter. Ashley unlike the other children was such a grand artist and connected well with Bagul. The morale of the story is that when parents fail to spend time with their children, there will always be a malevolent entity who will. Ellison Oswalt realizes too late that his self-centered obsession with fame consumed him and his fate was sealed when Ashley said "Don't worry daddy, i'll make you famous.."

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

My interpretation of "the Witch" ending (spoilers included)

Since the director left the Witch 2015 horror film open to interpretation, i can only give my interpretation rather than an explanation. I will give my own interpretation behind the film's symbolism, characters, plot, and finally the ending.

The family is banished and as a result, excommunicated from the Church for being falsely accused of witchcraft. I believe that it is the Witch's deception that causes the family to be innocently framed for such an accusation. If you notice in the film, the Witch tricks the family into believing that Thomasin was practicing witchcraft.

The Witch's identity is never fully disclosed but it appears that the Witch is a foreshadowing of Thomasin in the future. This is due to partially to her behavior towards her sister Mercy as she calls herself "the Witch of the wood" and her later transformation.

If she magically stole Samuel who had yet to baptized then it's likely she would've also known about the family's exile and spiritual state. This becomes more evident as she uses her magic to lure Caleb into her home disguised as a seductively beautiful woman.

Thomasin is a girl struggling to find her own identity in a family who restricts her right to express herself in any fashion she pleases. She loves her family but has no freedom to exercise and so rules over her younger siblings.

Katherine also deeply cares about her family's well being but mistrusts Thomasin and William when they fail to protect the family as a whole. She also refused to understand William or Thomasin's dire situation be it external or internal.

William, the father of the household in this scene looks similar to that of some painting of Jesus Christ. William often likes to picture himself as the savior of his family and in this sense, he is arrogant. Throughout the film, he often begs for mercy and forgiveness from God but never receives it because he refuses to trust in God's salvation. William wanted to save himself and his family through his own self-righteous piety and it's this attitude that leads his family to starve. At the end, he puts to rest his self righteousness and allows Black Phillip to kill him instead. William finally puts his trust in the grace of God while dying in the process.

What inspired William to take this action? By watching his son die. In Puritan custom, the father was the head of the household as it was in Patriarchal society. Ironically, the son played the role of a spiritual leader for placing his faith in God as signified by his outstretched arms symbolizing a crucified Jesus Christ and dying a peaceful death. It is unfortunate that the family fails to see this and that is what lead to the family's demise except William's at the end.

As it turns out, Black Phillip was Satan in disguised. The black goat in this time period symbolized the Devil evidenced by images such as the Baphomet. It was Black Phillip who was behind every evil act for the sole purpose of luring Thomasin to fulfilling her destiny of a Witch. Why does Thomasin choose this dark path? She could never find acceptance by even her own family. She could never find grace in God's eyes. If she were to go back to civilized society, she would be killed due to being accused of Witchcraft. If she were to live in the woods, she would starve to death. She comes to believe that God has abandoned her. Who does she have left but the Devil?

She goes to a Witches Coven and partakes in the flying ointment in the beginning of the film, completing her transformation as a Witch.

I think this is one of the most disturbing themes of the film but one of the most true. Some will turn to God in the face of tragedy and others will join with Satan. Nevertheless, it carries on a valuable lesson to it's viewers.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Horror film review - "The Witch" (2015)

After stumbling across one of the scariest indie horror films, i came across "the Witch" 2015. At first, i was reluctant to watch it under the impression that this was going to be like any other supernatural horror until i watched the trailer. Finally, i gave into temptation and gave it a shot so i watched it.

The film reminded me much like "the Crucible" film and "the Conjuring" but that's probably because it surrounds themes leading up to the Salem Witch Trials. The plot begins in New England 17th century when the family is banished from a Puritan community after being falsely accused for witchcraft. They now have to live in isolation when a supernatural force haunts them as they are confronted with a Witch in the woods.

This film is very well researched into the folklore and history of the time period it was set in. The director drew from Puritan texts and the Geneva Bible among other sources to create a new tale with influences of the past.

What i loved most about this film was the atmosphere, the camerawork, the visual effects and film quality, the bone-chilling and more ambient music, the fleshed out characters, the symbolism, but most of all - the struggle between faith and despair.

As i was watching this film, i could feel the dark supernatural presence the creators wanted to convey and this is what made the film flat out disturbing. The director didn't use any jumpscares or over the edge supernatural show of power. It was the mere ideas and despicable acts committed in this film that will horrify you. He wanted to connect the modern audience with what people in the past feared and he succeeded.

Overall, if you are into supernatural horror and want a breath of fresh air then i highly recommend this film for you.

How TNA is like ECW

It's unfortunate that ECW closed down but hardcore wrestling has not stopped. Whenever i watch TNA IMPACT! or almost any hardcore match at TNA, i sometimes get this feeling that the spirit ECW still lives on in that promotion and others have felt the same too. ECW was known for not just hardcore wrestling, but it's characters, storylines, sub-culture, and much more. TNA has certainly evolved hardcore wrestling matches with the introduction of thumbtacks, chains, ladders, tables, barbed wire, and more. Nevertheless, TNA fans in some matches have been chanting "ECW! ECW! ECW!" There was one incident where fans tried to recreate ECW's "the day it rained chairs" incident in TNA's ring!

TNA has some of the most brutal matches for a small company and may just carry on the ECW legacy onto future generations of wrestling fans.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

What i didn't like about the Attitude Era

While the Attitude Era was a very popular and successful period of time in the WWF, it is highly exaggerated and not as great as fans make it out to be. Like any other era, the Attitude Era had many successes but also some notable failures.

The Attitude era had a diverse set of popular characters, shocking and entertaining storylines/feuds, bloody matches, but very poor often boring matches. Some gimmicks such as the Undertaker's ministry of darkness and Mick Foley's Dude Love gimmicks were just flops. The women were being misused as nothing more than eye-candy with the exception of Lita and Chyna. I was sometimes bored watching some pointless so called "entertaining" segments.

In short, there are other eras that deserve as much attention as the Attitude Era such as the Ruthless Aggression period or WWF's Golden Age of wrestling. While i don't want too much technical wrestling, i also don't wish for too much entertainment which is one of the pitfalls of the WWF's Attitude Era.

Why Abyss doesn't belong in the WWE

I hear about several fans and how they long for Abyss being inducted into the "big leagues" namely the WWE. After he rejected their offer to book him against the Undertaker at Wrestlemania, we can clearly see why he doesn't belong in the WWE.

Abyss has been a die-hard loyal TNA worker since NWA/TNA. He has helped it TNA grow as a company and continues to do so despite all of it's shortcomings. Abyss is an underground pro-wrestler who is one of the icons of hardcore wrestling in TNA for the new generation of wrestling fans. WWE has nothing to offer him as far as his wrestling abilities and gimmick goes. They already have Kane as their monster and very technical wrestling matches for main events. The days of hardcore in the WWE are over. Pro-wrestlers like Mankind were only successful during the Attitude Era because hardcore wrestling at the time was popular in the WWF. In later eras, hardcore matches became more and more rare due to Vince McMahon's decision as many pro-wrestlers were getting injured.

For those reasons, Abyss would not survive in the WWE/WWF simply because he isn't cut out to trump out stars pushed for the big stage. Personally, i feel he is better off in TNA as he can continue to help the company grow to it's uttermost potential and that is much more rewarding than taking WWE's offer.