RAW Rambling 11/05/12: England Elevates Everything

Oh hi! Didn’t see you there. Welcome back to RAW Rambling, my collection of random thoughts and stray observations on the WWE’s flagship show.

Just a reminder: this is not and never will be a full recap article. If I miss a segment or two, it’s probably because they weren’t interesting enough to talk about. Blame the writers. Finally, I’m not doing Smackdown, TNA, or anything else that would require going through this process more than once a week. This ain’t The Soup for wrestling, although if someone else wants to start that up I think it would be hilarious.

If you like what you’re reading, why not click the shiny sharing buttons at the bottom? Or hop into the comments for a little further discussion if you’re feeling talkative. You could also join our Facebook group if that’s your thing. For now, let’s get on with it!

Last time on The Amazing Race WWE RAW: Team Foley and Team Punk were formed for Survivor Series. Ryback chanted a lot. And… that’s it? The Disembodied Voice of Recaps mentions nothing on the subject of John Cena and AJ, which is fine by me. And now the conclusion!

wwe miz heyman

• The Miz takes issue with Paul Heyman and CM Punk retreating from the big kerfuffle last week, which is a funny point of contention to take if you’re at all familiar with how this show works. Step 1: form teams. Step 2: start brawling. Step 3: the heels retreat. Anyway, Miz quits the team! That’s a somewhat rare little twist.

• I like the new style of “previously on” video packages the WWE is rolling with, but the dramatic tones and voiceovers backfire slightly when your dealing with a TMZ-level storyline dubbed “The AJ Scandal”. It feels like The Daily Show parodying a political attack ad.

• Using Tout and Twitter to set up new rivalries is a horrible idea. It makes sense (to a certain extent, and only under protest) for fan interaction and whatnot, but you’ve got three hours of television to fill, guys. You don’t need social media gimmicks to tell stories. Use the time you already have.

• Pitting Antonio Cesaro against R-Truth, regardless of the tag stuff, makes me wonder if Justin Gabriel has already been tossed back down the ladder. Not unexpected if that’s the case, yet still a tad disappointing. Gabriel is arguably better than Kofi Kingston at the “jump, jump, kick” routine and Evan Bourne’s return is looking more and more doubtful.

wwe mcmahon vickie

• Hey, can we just go ahead and do RAW in England every week? The fans are always phenomenal, reacting to nearly everything with twice the energy of the average American crowd, and they’re also savvy enough to hang lampshades on everything. This John Cena/Vickie Guerrero/Vince McMahon segment would’ve dragged into the pits of hell along with all the others if it were in the Staples Center or MSG, but in Birmingham, the crowd energy alone spins even the worst talking head skits into gold.

• Just to cement my adulation further: the reaction to Daniel Bryan is insane. As in “post-Wrestlemania, birth of Yes” insane. It makes an already awesome match with Cody Rhodes even better.

• Paul Heyman does the recruitment rounds and manages to snare Wade Barrett as a replacement for The Miz. However, Barrett makes it clear that Heyman now owes him a favour. Wade Barrett continues to be the only sane man, in case you haven’t been paying attention.

wwe brad maddox

• “Young Brad Maddox” as JR calls him looks an awful lot like a young Eric Bischoff. Kid can really talk, too. It would be hilariously ironic if those mic skills eventually land Maddox on commentary after all this backstory exposition about never getting a chance on the WWE’s main roster.

• Maddox vs. Ryback is on for next week, at Maddox’s request, with a million dollar contract on the table for Maddox if he wins. So we can pretty much write the ending to next week’s show right now.

wwe brad maddox
Behold: the future.

• Even the UK’s “what” chants (“wot” chants?) are delivered with gusto. Even still, my calendar says 2012, so you guys can stop doing that whenever you want.

• Vince and Vickie are awesome together.

• Big Show: the word “construed” does not mean what you think it means. With very few exceptions, wrestlers who try to sound intelligent on commentary usually end up dropping Rickyisms.

• Team Punk is now Team Ziggler and John Cena is back into the title scene with Ryback. So this whole week of Survivor Series team-ups and the involvement of Mick Foley has been entirely pointless. Say, anyone think that the total lack of consistent storytelling might have something to do with the WWE’s ratings woes? Naw, can’t be.

wwe aksana layla

• Aksana is wrestling. Activate the Jackie Gayda advisory system, all hands to the escape pods, etc. Not to take anything away from Eve, Layla, and Kaitlyn, who are all varying shades of awesome, but this would be a great place to have Paige materialize out of nowhere and just full-on Goldberg everyone in there.

• Alberto Del Rio is an oddity. In theory, I should be enjoying his stuff, but none of his rivalries or even his random matches have worked for me so far. Not Sheamus, not Randy Orton, and not throwaway encounters with dudes like Kofi Kingston. Maybe it’s just a matter of stumbling on the right match-up, but wow, it’s really taking a while to get there, isn’t it?

• Primo & Epico enter to absolutely no reaction, not even from this otherwise hot crowd. They are truly the Kaientai of 2012. Though at least Kaientai were evil and not to be trusted, ahahahaha, indeed. A free piece of nonexistent Caffeine-Fueled merch to the first person who can score me one of the old Evil shirts.

• Still loving The Uso’s entrance. More of that and less of the Santino/Ryder wristbands and arm socks, please.

wwe heath slater

• Funny how even in the 3 Man Band jobber comedy stable, Drew “Vince McMahon’s Chosen One” McIntyre is still the least visible member.

• This week’s main event only drives home further how ill-advised the abrupt insertion of John Cena back into the WWE title chase really is. Just watch everything Cena and Ziggler were doing in this match and imagine that as a full, proper angle. They don’t need the title to make that work. Abandoning that pairing feels like the WWE creative masterminds are leaving money on the table, so hopefully they have the sense not to completely turn away from it. I just hope AJ’s part in it is killed and she’s allowed to go be awesome somewhere else.

That’s it, that’s all! See you next week, when the final demise of Linda McMahon’s senate campaign will have allowed the WWE to return to its decidedly non-PG roots. Right? Right. So get off your asses and go vote! Make sure that when Ric Flair eventually returns, he’ll be allowed to blade all over the place like a boss.

ric flair blades

Kickstart Pier Solar HD, Get It On The Dreamcast

If you missed WaterMelon’s Pier Solar the first time, you may be surprised to hear that it was a massive homebrew RPG project released in 2010 for the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive. It even involved increasing Sega’s old cartridge memory to 64MB, the only 16-bit release to accomplish that feat in any era.

I wasn’t even aware that 16-bit homebrew was still alive on any of those old platforms. A fresh Genesis release combined with the folks still putting games out on the Commodore 64 means that’s two big tentpoles from my childhood still alive today in some form, which is pretty awesome.

So you can imagine my delight to see a Kickstarter surface to get Pier Solar remade in HD for the Xbox 360, Mac, PC, Linux, and even the Sega Dreamcast of all things. With custom machines and arcade sticks, no less. Oh my. Someone’s been tapping directly into my brain, I think.

If the thought of an original 16-bit RPG uplifted to HD tickles you like it tickles me, hit the link and toss a few coins at the project. WaterMelon needs $139,000 to get this off the ground and there’s even another print run of the Genesis version on the table if you’re feeling generous.

Sure, it’s not the HD remake of Phantasy Star IV or Chrono Trigger that everyone’s always wanted, but it could be the closest we’ll ever get. Get a taste of the original release in the video below.

Source: Joystiq.

The Entire IMDB Top 250 in 2 1/2 Minutes

Everyone loves a montage! Here’s YouTube user Jonathan Keogh‘s brilliant visualization of the more-or-less-current IMDB Top 250 to pick apart over your lunch break. See if you can identify ’em all. I sure can’t, but I’m a mere amateur cinephile.

Now I’m hoping for a compilation of the IMDB Bottom 100 set to the Red Zone Cuba theme song, or maybe just The Price is Right fail trumpet on repeat for a minute and a half. Maybe throw in a little Benny Hill, “you lose, good day sir”…

Seriously though, IMDB users: 250 films and no Wrath of Khan? That soundbite would fit right in here, too. This list is a sham!

Source: The Mary Sue.

Happy Trails: Nyan Cat, 2010 – 2012

Are you sitting down? Sit down. Are you wearing a hat? Take it off. Do you have a catheter? Plug it in.

Marty, the very real cat who inspired the very unreal Nyan Cat internet meme, passed away yesterday. He was three years old.

Poor lil’ Marty died of something called Feline Infectious Peritonitis, or FIP, and not pop tart consumption as you may have guessed. It is both very fatal and very incurable, so hey, there’s a downer for you.

To help cheer us all up, here’s as many of my favourite Nyan Cat moments as I can fit onto this page without making your browsers scream in agony.

nyan cat jump

nyan cat breaking bad walter

nyan cat machine

nyan cat pink floyd

nyan cat bacon

nyan cat pumpkin

mexican nyan cat

nyan cat rainbow

nyan cat tac

nyan cat halloween

nyan cat adventure time

Nyan nyan… nyan nyan nyan… *sniff* Nyaaan nyaan nyaaaaan. Stay strong, everyone.

Source: Mashable.

More Anti-Endorsements: Mr. Burns For Mitt Romney

Move over, Joss Whedon! Who better to stand in Mitt Romney’s corner than Mr. Burns, Springfield’s highest profile 1%er?

Sadly, Springfield’s other visible Republican figures – Rich Texan, Count Dracula, Krusty, the blue-haired lawyer, among others – were not available for comment. But hey, it’s nice to know that they’re still in the same digs.

Say what you want about The Simpsons these last ten years or so versus the golden age that was its earlier seasons, it makes me happy that they’re still capable of biting this hard, and with exactly the right timing. The election is just a few days away, y’know.

Source: Warming Glow.

Anime Girl Mascots Sell-Out Windows 8 In Japan

If SkyNet ever does rise up and kill us all, I imagine that Japan would welcome the destruction if it came at the hands of a cute anime girl.

Quoth RN24:

[..] Windows 8 seems to be doing well in Japan as well— so well, in fact, that limited-quantity DSP editions of the operating system, which feature two unofficial Windows 8-themed “moe” mascots, are already beginning to sell out, proving once again that the Japanese will buy anything with a cute anime girl on it (not that there was a lack of evidence).

Both versions include custom theme pack wallpaper, sounds using the respective character’s “voice,” and a Microsoft Wedge touch mouse.

SkyNet: the most tsundere OS-tan ever. How quickly do you think the average user will mute those vocal sound effects? Then again, would the average user purchase the anime mascot edition, even accidentally?

…well, maybe I would, if only for the novelty factor. Are you paying attention, Apple? Your feline-themed Mac OS X updates are done. Get Range Murata or Tony Taka on the horn.

Here’s another “sweet memory” for you: Windows 7 had a mascot character of its very own. So this ain’t the first time Japan’s Microsoft branch has trodden down this well-worth path. Yessir. Lot’s of history down that road there.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1MtA5vtVVo

Sources: NeoGAF; RocketNews24; the “special” hell.

Sony’s New French Vita Ad Is Quadruple Breasted

Take that, Total Recall. Take that, Barney Stinson.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Vita hardware, it has touch control functionality not dissimilar from recent Apple products, with the added attraction of an auxiliary touch pad on the rear of the device. So that’s what this ad is trying to get across, in a roundabout and rather creepy fashion.

Yes, I understand that the point of this style of advertising is to get people talking, and since I’m sitting here writing about it now, obviously it worked. To retort: getting people talking is just half the battle, the low-hanging fruit; the bigger victory is in getting people talking positively, and regarding the product that’s being advertised, as opposed to “hey, look at this crazy ad.”

Look, let’s just skip the whole discussion about the Playstation Vita’s sales performance because this has nothing to do with that. Sony has a long, well-documented history of weird marketing choices, in and out of the Playstation division, and this is just another example in that progression.

Oh, you want more? Well, there was the PSP “viral” debacle and the slaughter of goats in Greece, for starters. Any success the Kevin Butler character brought Sony is starting to look like an aberration.

I’ll say this for the Vita: it deserves better. It’s a quality machine that its creator has mishandled from the start with anemic launch support and a labyrinthine backwards-compatibility scheme. It doesn’t need another round of Sony’s baffling advertising on top of that.

Oh, almost forgot: David Lynch once did a Playstation commercial.

Still no Agent Cooper references. I could’ve given it a pass in that case.

Source: The Escapist.