SSB plays: Final Fantasy VII!

Happy Father’s Day!

To celebrate SquareEnix and Sony’s announcement of a Final Fantasy VII remake, Brian and I have started a somewhat spoiler-free playthrough of Final Fantasy VII.  It’s not exactly clean, and I talk about Jessie Spano.  Saved by the Bell!

 

Remembering “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes

tumblr_m9s86aEwxw1rqoq0po1_1280

via tumblr.com

Yesterday, “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes passed away at the age of 69 years old. Born Virgil Riley Runnels Jr., the future Hall of Famer made his debut in professional wrestling in 1968 teaming with fellow legend Dick Murdoch. But it wasn’t until 1974 when Rhodes would become a fan favorite and break out as a superstar. “The Son of a Plumber” would go on to captivate audiences with his undeniable charisma in the ring and on the mic. His signature move, the bionic elbow, is often still used today in tribute to Rhodes, and his iconic “Hard Times” promo is unquestionably one of the greatest and most influential of all time.

dusty_rhodes_moves

via http://wtvr.com

On August 21, 1979, Rhodes would go on to defeat then champion the great Harley Race and capture his first of three National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) World Heavyweight Championship reigns. In later years, Rhodes would have a memorable feud with “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair and The Four Horsemen culminating in the creation of the WarGame match at The Great American Bash 1987. Rhodes created the match himself after watching the film Beyond Thunderdome.

20120918_WarGames1_642.0

Via cagedseats.com

During this period, Rhodes was also the booker for Jim Crockett Promotions (the forerunner to World Championship Wrestling) and was notorious for what would be known as the “Dusty finish”. The “Dusty Finish” is when a fan favorite wrestler appears to win a big match or championship, only to have that ruling reversed due to some kind of technicality. This type of booking technique is still used today, as recently as last month’s WWE Elimination Chamber match when it appeared Dean Ambrose had captured the title from champion Seth Rollins only for Rollins to retain the championship due to disqualification.

In 1989, Rhodes made his debut in the World Wrestling Federation as the yellow polka-dotted “Common Man” where he would go on to have feuds with The Big Boss Man, The Honky Tonk Man, and “The Macho Man” Randy Savage. In 1991, Rhodes would team up with his 20-year old son Dustin (later Goldust) against “The Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase. However, shortly after, Rhodes would leave the WWF and his career as a full-time wrestler would come to an end.

Following his time with the WWF, Rhodes would go back to booking and commentating for WCW, have a brief stint in the New World Order (nWo) and Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), serve as head booker and writer for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA), then finally return to the now WWE in 2005 under a Legends deal and as a creative consultant. In 2007, Rhodes was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by his sons Dustin and Cody.

dusty-rhodes-family-642

via WWE.com

Recently, Rhodes served as a trainer in WWE’s developmental system, NXT. Several NXT stand outs including Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, and Sasha Banks credit Rhodes for being a mentor and helping each of them significantly evolve into better performers. Below is a link to a fantastic post Sami Zyan wrote about his time with Dusty Rhodes.

http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1smklsp

On a personal note, I just wanted to say that I was introduced to Dusty after watching old WWF coliseum videos in the early 90’s. Back then I was entirely unaware of the NWA and all of Dusty’s past accomplishments. It wasn’t until the mid-90’s when I began watching WCW programming that I was introduced to the true legacy of Dusty Rhodes. And with his DVD release in 2006, and the advent of Youtube, I was able to take a deeper look into his entire career. It’s been a fortunate experience watching all of that old footage, and one I truly appreciate. Especially his promos, Dusty had a true knack for capturing your attention with his words. Whether those promos were light-hearted or serious, he was always able to convey both convincingly. Thank you Dusty for everything you gave to the business, to your peers, to your students, and to us the fans. We will miss you.

Yoga pants should not be worn in an MMA cage. Ever.

Now I know squash matches are a reality in any fight org. But this is beyond a squash match. Beyond a tomato can. Hell, beyond those cups of applesauce that they give kindergartners before naptime.

Who let this match happen!? Who let Katie in the cage? WHO LET KATIE WEAR YOGA PANTS TO A FUCKIN’ MMA FIGHT?!

XPLODE-FIGHT-SERIES-BLOOD-ON-SIGN

That answers that.

(H/T to the peeps at cagepotato.)

KUNG FURY IS THE MOVIE OF THE YEAR ALL YEARS

Dinosaurs, Vikings, Chainguns, Ninjas, Lamborghini Countaches, Kung-Fu Renegade Cops, Nazis, Hacking….it’s like Laser Unicorns peeked into my retro psyche and pulled out what was inside.  Maybe I should quit now because I can never hope to achieve the level of awesome that this movie does.

Nah, I’ll still keep shooting for it.  In my own way.

My coaches…as manga characters?

As thanks for putting up with my shenanigans and turning me into the kickboxing-obsessed otaku that I am now, I decided to ask good ol’ lenejenius to whip me up a piece.

From left: Coaches Caine Gayle, Artem Sharoshkin, Joshua Vongsvirates, Shannon Gugerty, and Jessica Lopez. I'm the one that's beaten up.

From left: Coaches Caine Gayle, Artem Sharoshkin, Joshua Vongsvirates, Shannon Gugerty, and Jessica Lopez.
I’m the one that’s beaten up.

So if you’ve been wondering who’s responsible for what you see today, look no further.  It’ll be even better if you join the boxing club.  Serious.  Tell them I sent you.  And that you saw the picture.

 

5 years waiting for MayPac leave you feeling underwhelmed? Worry not, I’ve got the cure.

I watched all 12 rounds of the Mayweather v. Pacquiao fight.  It went exactly as I predicted it.  Decision win going to Mayweather, due to his footwork, evasive movement, and superior defense.  Surprised?  Not at all.  Underwhelmed?  You betcha.

*PRO-MMA Rant incoming*

That’s why I prefer MMA/Kickboxing over plain boxing.  To me, it’s way more exciting and there’s plenty more ways to fight.  8 points of contact as opposed to 2 points.  Kicks.  Knees.  Elbows (Muay Thai rules).  What always gets my goat is when boxing fans always say, “Oh, if an MMA fighter went into a boxing ring he’d lose.”  Well no shit.  You’re taking away all the weapons an MMA fighter can use.  If a boxer were to go into the MMA ring or octagon, at least they can’t say that both fighters were nerfed in any way.  A boxer can go into an MMA ring with his fists.  The MMA fighter or kickboxer can go in with all their weapons intact.  And boy do I love watching boxers go into an MMA/kickboxing fights and getting their just desserts.

*end Pro-MMA rant*

Tonight just reaffirmed a few things for me.  One, it pisses me off to see boxers make that much money for a fight that was about as exciting as watching grass grow.  Two, I just can’t be bothered by any combat sport where only the fists can be used.  Three, screw the hype train.  For me, it’s MMA all the way.  Kickboxing and Muay Thai too.

I’ve taken the liberty of adding some fights which are my personal faves of recent memory.

 

And if you’re interested in learning some of the finer points of striking, I highly recommend Lawrence Kenshin’s channel.

And there’s always Jack Slack and the entire Fightland VICE series on youtube as well.

 

A Look Back at Star Wars Celebration 2015

SAMSUNG CSC

Recently I had the privilege of attending all 4 days of Star Wars Celebration 2015 in Anaheim, CA. It was my first Star Wars Celebration and going in I wasn’t sure what to expect. I love Star Wars – the films, the animated television shows, the expanded universe, the Christmas special, etc. And I’ve been to various conventions over the years (San Diego Comic Con, WonderCon, D23, and New York Comic Con to name a few). But I’ve never gone to one that focused primarily on a single franchise. How would occupying 96 hours of my life with all things a galaxy far, far, away go? Fortunately, once the final day of Star Wars Celebration ended, I concluded it was easily one of my favorite experiences ever.
My Star Wars Celebration experience began at 4am on that first Thursday April morning. This was all to line up for big kickoff panel with Star Wars: The Force Awakens Writer/Director/Producer J.J. Abrams and Producer Kathleen Kennedy. Fortunately, I arrived just in time to make it into The Arena room where the panel was being held and could experience it live in person (the panel itself was simulcasted in other rooms throughout the Anaheim Convention Center as well as on the internet for the world to watch.
During the panel, Abrams and Kennedy brought out some special guests.

Up first were R2D2 and BB-8.

DSC05165
Then some new cast members from The Force Awakens

DSC05172
Followed up the new First Order Stormtroopers and some familiar faces.

DSC05198

Then the whole group came together.

DSC05209

But that wouldn’t be all as the 2nd trailer for The Force Awakens debuted.

I have no words for this experience. The level of excitement in the room was unmatched, even by Hall H standards. The moment when Harrison Ford uttered those now iconic words “Chewie, we’re home” brought simultaneous cheers and tears in the audience (some that I may have shed myself). One woman was overheard saying, “I can’t believe this. I thought the story was over. I never thought they would bring it back.”

The rest of my Star Wars Celebration experience consisted of a run in with J.J. Abrams on the main floor and various panels hosted by James Arnold Taylor (voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi on The Clone Wars) and featured guests including Ian McDiarmid (Emperor Palpatine), Ray Park (Darth Maul), Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), the cast of Star Wars Rebels, Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), and Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian). Other panels and events I attended include the debut of the upcoming Star Wars Battlefront game, The Untold Clone Wars panel that revealed episodes that were unfortunately never finished due to the cancelation of The Clone Wars series, the One Big Story panel discussing what stories are now considered canon in the Star Wars universe, the premiere screening of Episode III: Revenge of the Sith in 3D, an exhibit showcasing models and props from The Force Awakens, and various photo opportunities with past and current Star Wars sets and props.

20150416_123901

DSC05233

 

DSC05254

 

DSC05307

 

DSC05320

 

DSC05328

 

SAMSUNG CSC IMG_20150417_102018

SAMSUNG CSC

SAMSUNG CSC

However, my favorite activity during the entire 4 day experience was when my fiancé and I took a family portrait with The Skywalker Twins.

P-VXY-86H-QE0

Star Wars Celebration 2015 will be an event I will always remember and one I recommend every Star Wars fan experience once in their lifetime. If you are interested in attending the next Star Wars Celebration, it will be held next year in London from July 15-17, 2016.