Sunday, March 29, 2015

Today (3/29/2015) is the 30th anniversary of the WWF/WWE's flagship PPV event, WrestleMania. I could honor the occasion with a tribute to the best matches from previous WrestleMania events. Yes, I could.

But that would not be right. No, instead, I will offer tribute in the form of ridicule and shame.

Friends, may I present...

Mr. T vs. Rowdy Roddy Piper
WrestleMania 2 (April 7, 1986)

Let's start with a bang!

Or... not. Mr. T lent his celebrity to the first WrestleMania and it worked. His alliance with Hogan was beneficial to both from a push standpoint. Mr. T, who was muscular at the time, is not a big man; nor was he a wrestler or much of an athlete.How do you work around these limitations in the wrestling ring? Have T and Piper laces up boxing gloves and to town in a staged boxing match. Vince never learns from his mistakes. Not only was this oddity a failure then, it would also be a failure and bad idea 12 years later when the WWF tried boxing with their Brawl For All tournament. Stick with 'rasslin', Vince!

Giant Gonzales vs. Undertaker
WrestleMania 9 (April 4, 1993)

I know the picture is blurry, sorry. I chose this particular picture because it emphasizes just how big both of these men are next to the average size ref. Two friggin' titans! Should have been perfect, right? Nope. Another terrible 'Taker match. Anyone see a trend? For all the hype 'Taker has recieved for his his wins at WrestleMania no one ever said they were good matches. This one proves the point. In 'Taker's defense Giant Gonzales never had a good match, period. He was the Great Khali of the day and you can't get blood from a stone. Not even if you're an undertaker.

Big Boss Man vs. Undertaker
WrestleMania 15 (March 28, 1999)

Big Boss Man was a big man. He was an okay wrestler. He was basically a typical big man: low work rate, power moves, heel. His job was to make the faces look good because he was such a big bully. The problem? Pitting him against the Undertaker. 'Taker's billed size sticks around 6'10" and 310lbs. Now, does this sound like a fella that can't take care of himself against a bully? To make matters worse, this was a Hell in the Cell match, one of WWE potentially dangerous and anticipated gimmicks. It went less than 11 minutes proving that, Big Boss Man may be okay in tag matches and TV but, he should not have been featured in a WrestleMania Hell in the Cell match.

Of course, any fan of the Attitude era knows the Boss Man was featured in two Hell in the Cell matches. The WWE does not acknowledge both, as one was labeled Hell in the Kennel... the title alone should be enough to clue you as how that match turned out. Hint: Not four stars.

Brock Lesnar vs. Bill Goldberg
WrestleMania 20 (March 14, 2004)

WrestleMania 20 is one of my favorite WrestleMania events. Probably top 3.

It was not because of this match.

Even though this was complete and utter poop, the other matches were so stellar that they carried the night. What made this match so sucky? Well, both Brock and Goldberg were on their way out of the wrestling business. Combine the knowledge that they were getting paid regardless with the fact that Goldberg was never a good wrestling, and Brock, upon reaching the pinnacle of wrestling, the WWE, decided that his work rate needed to mimic Chyna's lackluster abilities... well, not a good match makes. Thanks to the internet, the fans (the fans at WM it seems, more than any other PPV, are filled with smarks) knew both men were leaving and practically booed them out of the ring. That probably didn't help the match.

The Great Khali vs. Kane
WrestleMania 23 (April 1, 2007)

Kane is a solid worker and he excels at making others look good in the ring. However, when faced with a true giant of a man that can barely move, much less wrestle.... one could point out that this was a booking mistake. One could also point out that it was a hiring mistake with regards to the Great Khali.I don't know if I need to say any more about this match. I try to keep things PG around here, but sometimes I wanna go full R. This match makes me wanna say naughty words.

Diva Battle Royal
WrestleMania 25 (April 5, 2009)

Third on Vince's list of things to hate in the world: women. If you don't want women to wrestle on your show, then don't have them wrestle. Simple, right? Apparently not. This goes along with Vince's desire to humiliate everyone and everything he hates on a national and global scale. Good job, Vince. Mission accomplished.

What makes the Diva Battle Royal so bad? It ultimately had nothing to do with showcasing the women's abilities or talents. Instead it was another comedy bit. Just stupid shtick, with Santino Marella doing his "funny" little Italian person routine in drag. Yes, he entered the Diva Battle Royal for some reason as his win sister, Santina. Funny, right? In less than 8 minutes 24 women were eliminated and Santina won the match. He was crowned Miss WrestleMania.

Great stuff! And by great I mean who ever had this idea should be working at a KFC not WWE.

One would think that the WWE would be ashamed of this. Actually, if you have watched WWF as long as I have, then you would know that nothing, and I mean NOTHING, shames Vince/WWE.

If you like women's wrestling may I suggest you never watch WWE programming again? Instead do a Google search for Shimmer Women Athletes or just Shimmer wrestling, either should do the job. Wanna see real women wrestle? Go to Youtube and look up LuFisto or MsChif.

Jerry Lawler vs. Michael Cole
WrestleMania 27 (April 3, 2011)

Vince, owner and king of WWE, hates to see the good guys win. Deep down in his reptilian brain he thinks that if the good guys win then he is giving the fans what they want, and that, in the end, is abhorrent to Vince. More than anything, Vince hates his fans. This match, on the grandest wrestling stage of the year, was supposed to be Lawler's one and only WrestleMania match. Furthermore, it was a set up that finally allowed the fans to the cowardly heel Michael Cole get his beating - something that has been a staple of professional wrestling. Remember how I started this diatribe? Lawler lost the match in a most unspectacular method after both competitors wasted 14 minutes of time that could have potentially made someone a star.

The Miz vs. John Cena
WrestleMania 27
(April 3, 2011)

WrestleMania 27 pretty much sucked.WM 27 was the last PPV advertised by World Wrestling Entertainment. Four days after WM 27 they switched the brand to simply WWE. Why? Because the second thing on Vince's list of hate, right below the fans, is wrestling. Doesn't WWE stand for World Wrestling Entertainment? No. It stands for WWE. In another 10 years, when Vince kicks the bucket, the brand will be changed to HHH. Enough about that... This was the craptastic main event for WM 27. The modern day Hulk Hogan, John Cena, against one of the most annoying champions in WWF's history, Mike Mizanin. I think Cena is talented, but has been crammed down the fan's throats. Miz... I liked his character on MTV, but he is a jobber at best. Did I mention this was the main event? How did it end? Big spoiler... in one of the suckiest finishes ever, a double count out.

Screw you, Vince.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Role Playing Games, the real ones with pen and paper, are like any other game, in that they are supposed to be fun, right? Not so much when the idea of the Game Master and the idea of the players don't mesh. Friends, I give you...

(Compiled from the website


Me: We are playing Shadowrun
Them: Can I be a blind jazz musician?

Me: We are playing Vampire: the Masquerade.
Them: Can I be an antediluvian?

Me: We are playing Traveller.
Them: Can I be the ship's cook?

Me: We are playing superheroes.
Them: Can I be a telepathic housecat?

Me: we are playing Vampire the Masquerade.
Them: Can I have a bowling ball gun?

Me: We are playing a ruthless clan of shinobi with mystical powers.
Them: Can I be a 16th century French courtier?


Me: Are you sure you want to play a Force Sensitive smuggler?
Player 1: Yes, cuz I want to get some neat Force powers later.
Me: Well, it's not as simple as that. You have to hold to a stricter code of morality. If you want to be a scoundrel and get away with stuff, you shouldn't be Force Sensitive.
Player 1: Right, you told me this already.
Me: ...because you'll get Dark Side Points more easily, and your character will become an NPC.
Player 1: Right. I got it. I'll be good.
Me: Okay, fine. You have just docked your light freighter in one of the atmosphere domes on the planetoid Syned. There's this bar, its name is Spacer's Bar, where you usually check in with your contacts. What's your cargo on this smuggling run?
Player 1: Spice!
Me: So you're smuggling dangerous, illegal drugs, then?
Player 1: Yeah!
Me: minute into the game. That didn't take long...


Me: So, anyway, in this game, it's really important that the characters you make to play are heroic, they have to be the good guys--
Player 2: Pansy.
Me: Uh, yeah. You know what I mean, though. Just make a halfway decent human being that wouldn't kill a complete stranger for five dollars--
Player 2: PAN. Z.


Me: Okay, thanks for turning up to my superhero game. What kind of characters would you like to--
Me: ...


Player 4: It's so cool that my character is an Avenger! And that you let me take Hawkeye as a mentor!
Me: Yeah, well, he's just back from the dead, and he wants to do things right this time.
Player 4: I'll make him proud!
Me: Alright, when last we left, you were trapped in the basement of a rundown tenement building, and the Mandarin's son had just used sorcery to bring Kraven the Hunter back to life. The other Young Avengers are busy with the Rhino, so you have to handle Kraven on your own--
Player 4: I kill him.
Me: Are you sure?
Player 4: Yeah, I have to, or when the older Avengers find out I let this happen, I'll get in trouble.
Me: So you're going to commit cold-blooded murder just to cover your tracks?
Player 4: Hey, he's not really alive anyway, he just got resurrected. Besides, he's not that tough, and I have awesome electricity powers.
Me: What...okay...what if the other Young Avengers see you do this?
Player 4: If they know what's good for them, they'll keep their mouths shut!


Me: So, anyway, I was thinking about trying to do a superhero game again. The last three didn't go too well, you know how players can be.
Player 5: Eh, not interested. I only like playing the Supervillains, but they won't let me on Champions Online.
Player 1: That would be cool, you could play a villain, then I could be the superhero, and I could track you down and execute your ass!
Me: I can't believe you two are brother and sister...


Me: So, anyway, I was thinking about doing a classic Vampire: The Masquerade game for you guys. You'd be playing the monsters, so you could be as bad as you want to be.
Player 1: I don't know, I don't like player-versus-player action, isn't there a lot of backstabbing?
Player 3: I'm not sure I want to play a game where you start out as a monster and pretty much have to be evil.
Player 2: Yeah, vampires are pansies!
Me: But...but...


Me: So I'm running this game called Call of Cthulhu. It's set in the 20s, and the PCs are all normal people in a world they think is normal. Secretly, though, there are these terrible monsters and demons running around. You're all going to be playing people associated with a university, and you're out on an archaeological dig. You can be students, professors, guides, workers, or whatever. It just has to be a regular person somehow associated with the dig.

Player: I want to play a ninja.

Me: Um... So how are you expecting to be associated with the university and the dig?

Player: I'm a ninja disguised as an anthropology professor. I have my sword hidden inside my cane.


Me: Okay, the year is 1933 and you're all connected to the NYPD in some way, shape or form. Appropriate character occupations include detectives, lawyers, reporters, doctors, etc., etc. Starting characters don't know anything about the Cthulhu mythos and I'll leave it up to you to decide whether they believe in the supernatural or not. Nobody starts with spells or psychic powers. You're just "normal" people living in NY in 1933.

Player 1: I want to be a pilot who flew in the Spanish Civil War and time traveled back to 1933.

Me: WTF?


Game Master: All right, this game will be a realistic murder mystery where you play ordinary humans, preferably, but not necessarily involved in law enforcement. It's set in modern-day Chicago. Your characters should also preferably know each other from before.

Player: I'm a homeless voodoo doctor with a secret lair in the sewers!

Game Master: ...and you're close friends with a banker, two policemen and a P.I.?

Player (enthusiastically): Yeah!


Me: Okay, so this is Vampire: the Masquerade. You're going to make a vampire who will get pulled into the machinations and politics of the undead, and the mysteries of the night.
Player: I want to be a single dad who works nights to support his two children, because I'm also a vampire but I love my kids and don't want anything to happen to them.
Me: Why would you get involved with other vampires then?
Player: *shrug*


Paraphrased from a game of Castle Falkenstein, a Victorian steampunk/fantasy game, in a campaign that emphasized social etiquette and selfless heroism:

Me, the GM: "Your host welcomes you to stay in his home tonight. He explains that he needs to attend to some business outside the house for a few hours, but welcomes you to call upon his staff in case you happen to need anything."

Player who had previously only ever played D&D: "I search the house for gold."