Sunday, July 31, 2016

Why Roman Reigns isn't getting over with fans

Ever since Roman Reigns began getting pushed as the top face of the WWE, many fans have been hating on him for various reasons. They include - he's a talentless wrestler, has no character, has no charisma, he's shoved down our throats, the list goes on.

I think Roman Reigns is getting hated by the fans because of those reasons. What the WWE and pro-wrestlers don't seem to understand is that fans are human. You can't realistically expect fans to just blindly cheer for a pro-wrestler who is forced down on them unless a relationship is built. You can never force anyone to love you. You must always give love to yourself first and foremost before you are ready to give it to the fans. 

The problem that i see with Roman Reigns is not just that he's being shoved down our throats, it's that his responses to boo chants makes fans hate him even more. The biggest reason of why Roman Reigns isn't over is because he doesn't understand the wrestling business. He may have training in wrestling but he doesn't understand how to utilize his skills to the fullest. He lashes out at his haters by saying "Sometimes, as a former football player, we have to go into that away game and silence the crowd... And just let them know I am the man. I'm going to be here for a long time" which is counter-productive to his career. He tries throwing up the sign of the cross before he wrestles, roaring loudly to get fan reactions with little to no effect. He doesn't understand ring psychology let alone story-telling. He's not investing himself in his overall gimmick when he comes to the ring which comes off as insincere to the fans. 

Recently, the WWE gave up on pushing Roman Reigns. While this might not make Roman Reigns the top star in the WWE, it's a start. 

Saturday, July 30, 2016

What every great hardcore match must have

Today's generation of wrestling fans have forgotten what hardcore wrestling was all about and it's created a division in the wrestling fanbase. There are fans who love hardcore wrestling because of the art form and those who hate it because of it's lack of skill. Both sides have forgotten what made hardcore wrestling so great which is why most cannot tell the difference between talented hardcore wrestling and what i like to call "garbage wrestling." Here's a list of essential aspects that hardcore wrestlers and fans ought to grasp in order to be phenomenal:   

* Story-telling - What made pro-wrestlers like Mick Foley so great? While they used weapons at their disposal, they told a dramatic story with their bodies. They have a build up from the beginning to middle until the end. Story-telling especially in hardcore matches are what cause audiences to react and jump out of their seats. 

A great example of a brutal hardcore match incorporating story-telling aside is Pentagon Jr. vs Vampiro. As you watch, take note of how it builds up to the final act: 

* Believable characters - Raven is a master at ring psychology and in this case, psychological heel tactics. He's arrogant, disrespectful, ambitious, ruthless, brutal both verbally and non-verbally. You can clearly see that in the way that he mocks his opponents, plays mind games, taunts them, does his signature pose, the list goes on. To stand out as a hardcore wrestler, you must have character be it heel or face. You can have the most brutal match of the century but if you have no character, your reduced to an extreme stuntman. 

Watch his match against Sabu and pay attention to how he shows his character. Notice how Raven mockingly uses the Sheikh's camel clutch against Sabu. 

* Ring Psychology - Sabu is another notable wrestler who skillfully uses ring psychology in his matches. Hardcore wrestlers apply the same principles of pure wrestling to hardcore matches. They still treat pro-wrestling as a sport as opposed to a blood bath by resorting to strategy and applying wrestling techniques in their matches. They are aware of their surroundings, the rules, etc. and use that to sell their moves to the crowd. 

One of my favorite hardcore matches serving as an example of ring psychology is between Sabu and Abyss at TNA's Turning Point barbed wire match in 2005. Notice how both pro-wrestlers struggle over control and try to throw each other into the barbed wire while avoiding it at the same time. Take note of how they took the time to sell their moves as the match progresses.  

* Creativity - Hardcore wrestling contrary to popular belief have creativity in their matches. A fantastic example of this is Tommy Dreamer. Whenever he was tossed a weapon by ECW fans regardless of what it was, he would instantly use it creatively and often painfully on his opponents. It's easy to see why he earned the title of "the innovator of violence." It doesn't matter what weapon you have, it's how you use them that matters.

Any hardcore match that completely lacks all three of these elements and more is what i define as garbage wrestling. There's nothing wrong with garbage wrestling. It's only when hardcore wrestlers and fans forget about the foundations of hardcore wrestling that problems arise. What's wrong with today's hardcore wrestlers? They think that by doing high spots, they are great at hardcore wrestling which isn't true. It doesn't matter how brutal your moves are or how bloody your matches are. If you rush your matches by over-saturating them with gore and lack story-telling, ring psychology, a believable character, and creativity then you won't be a memorable hardcore wrestler. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

My interpretation of "The Strangers" 2008 ending (spoilers included)

When "the Strangers" 2008 came to a terrifying close, i couldn't help but sit there with chills running down my spine. The ending was so good but not for reasons that people think.

At the beginning of the film, we see Kristen and James' relationship ultimately suffer. They don't know if they are meant for each other or not and would have parted ways..that is until three assailants invaded their home..

Since then, both Kristen and James have been desperately doing everything they could to survive their own home invasion. Ultimately, they run out of ideas and are slowly being backed into a corner as the film progresses. The film hits a chilling climax when Dollface whispers "your gonna die Kristen!"

When they are finally taped to a chair and ask them "why are you doing this?" They respond "Because you were home"

What's my interpretation of the ending? Kristen and James finally accept their fate as they hold each others hands in the process because after everything they've been through, their love for each other was strong enough to take them into the afterlife. There was no longer any room for doubt or denial. Their security wasn't in their home as is believed by many Americans, but in themselves.

As for who the three intruders are, we will never understand completely but the ending gives us a clue. When the two boys passing out religious pamphlets, Dollface gets out of the car to collect one. When the boy asks her "you a sinner?" She replies with "sometimes..." Her partner in crime then says "it will be easier next time.." Despite everything that happened, i believe that Dollface was deep down a guilty human being pressured by her other two partners to engage in a life of crime. It is in this one scene where we don't see her identity, but we see a glimpse of the kind of people the killers are.

Overall, the Strangers is one of the rare slasher films with such mystery and revelation culminating at the ending.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Christian Bale was the wrong actor to play the Batman

While i am a fan of the live action Dark Knight Trilogy, i thought Christian Bale was a horrible choice to play Batman/Bruce Wayne. In fact, when "the Dark Knight" was released - Christian Bale flat out admitted he was self conscious about his performance compared to that of Heath Ledger's as the Joker.

Throughout the films, Christian Bale's acting seemed very stale and lacking emotional depth. His facial expressions almost always stayed the same during his role as Bruce Wayne and he didn't seem very involved in his character. His forced harsh tone of voice as the Batman seemed...well...forced. It didn't flow naturally with his change of character nor was it intimidating. The Batman character intimidates with strong assertion and threatening promise with a more affirmative tone of voice as opposed to loud. The true character of the Batman/Bruce Wayne is supposed to be shrouded in mystery but also with many different vulnerable sides shown to those whom he confides in. It seemed Christian Bale was trying too hard to play his role although i do give him credit in some scenes. Nonetheless, i got the impression that Christian Bale was acting simply for the money rather than studying the character from every possible angle.  

Overall, there should have been another actor to play the role of such an iconic and memorable superhero. Christian Bale simply didn't have the charisma to play the hero role especially for one such as the Batman.