Bobcat Joe: Lucas

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NewsCrap: January 27, 2015

NOTE: I apologize to all about this being a voiceover-only version. After everything else I had to deal with over the past few days, the video quality came out terrible and I just could not record again and get this out in any remaining reasonable time.

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The Wrestling Mark: Royal Rumble 2015

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WWE’s issues may go beyond Vince McMahon

There are a lot of areas in my life where, even though I’m a part of something, I don’t find myself completely fitting in. And one of those areas is being a professional wrestling fan. I frequently find myself disagreeing with a lot of the popular opinions spouted within the infamous “Internet Wrestling Community.” I even had to voluntarily leave a wrestling fan Facebook group because it was nothing but talk about how horrible John Cena and WWE are today and how much better the so-called “Attitude Era” of wrestling was. I just don’t find myself going along with those views.

Keep that in mind as I will look to post an article on wrestling prior to the WWE Pay-Per-View event each month, much like how I will post a recap of the event afterward in my persona of The Wrestling Mark. Many of these articles will likely be done in a devil’s advocate tone, where I will try to state a point of view that will often be quite different than what is usually stated on the Internet.

As the Royal Rumble, the so-called start to the “Road to WrestleMania,” approaches, the wrestling fan base seems to be as on edge as ever. Storylines they don’t like and and matches that seem repetitive are leading them to do everything short of predicting the end times for their brand of sport, saying how WWE is on the verge of collapse like WCW was in 2000 and the only way it can be saved is for Vince McMahon to step completely away from running the operation, which he shows no indication of doing any time soon.

Now, I’m not out-and-out absolving Vince of all responsibility here, just saying that he’s not the only one that the finger can be pointed at. Because there are people that Vince himself has to answer to, and that would be the higher-ups at the TV Networks like USA.

It’s easy to blame all of WWE’s problems on an owner/promoter who is approaching 70 years old and seems to be stuck in the past. And there may very well be some truth to that. But if there’s one group of people that are even more stuck in the ways of falling back to the status quo and overused tropes, it’s television network executives, which is why it’s totally believable to think that the USA network is meddling in Vince’s affairs just as much as he’s accused of meddling in Triple H’s. In fact, Vince dealing with meddling executives has always been an issue WWE has had, from Kay Koplovitz constantly whining about the content of the Attitude Era to Spike TV muting out all references to USA on Raw’s last night on their network. And as long as WWE is dependent on their time slots to air its flagship program, the network has the ultimate Sword of Damocles hanging over Vince’s company.

The more I think of it, the simplest thing WWE could do that could turn things around is cut Raw back down to two hours. That would mean an average of four hours a month – more than 50 a year – of content they don’t have to produce. Less matches and spots the wrestlers have to work – and the writers have to create – would mean being able to save their best stuff for the PPVs, along with reducing wear and tear.

Sadly, this is not likely to happen any time soon. Because from what I have read/heard, making Raw a three-hour show was more the directive of the USA Network rather than WWE’s. It makes sense the network would desire this more, given how much greater Raw’s ratings usually are for pretty much the network’s original programming and the fact that networks all over are putting more of a premium on live programming . The fact that wrestling is usually their highest-rated program is is the dirty little truth the network brass wishes wasn’t true, because they still view the product as too “lowest common denominator” for even them.

That’s why they want to try and make it more “legit” by forcing the other factor that many wrestling fans aren’t very keen on: Guest stars. Yeah, you didn’t like it when Kathy Lee and Kelly Ripa had a tea party in the ring? Point the blame at the network for that one. WWE has always had celebrity appearances since Vinnie Mac took over, but they usually were involved with the wrestling shorelines, and when it was people like Mister T or even Mike Tyson, it worked. I’m willing to bet it’s not Vince’s desire to have people like Al Sharpton taking up his show’s air time to shill something not related to wrestling.

Thus, the attitude the TV networks have toward wrestling really haven’t changed much in years. They will continue to use the ratings the programming generates to boost their ad rates while griping/mocking the production behind the scenes. And of course, it would only take one Jaime Kellner-like personality to dump the TV time altogether on the claim that wrestling is too low-class for the network altogether.

This is why my gut feeling is that even if Vince did relent to retiring and letting Triple H run everything, it wouldn’t guarantee much better of a product. Because for all the praise the IWC can give to Triple H’s pet project NXT and how much better the wrestling and storylines are, the sad truth is that something like NXT is not what the USA Network wants. Jim Cornette has said he’s not sure Triple H would be successful completely running WWE because he hasn’t proven he can constantly deal with network execs or stockholders. And those aren’t going away should Vince do so.

These are among the reasons why I think the WWE is so dug into selling the WWE Network. I would imagine their ultimate goal is to be able to distribute Raw and SmackDown themselves completely without the meddling middleman of a TV network. Can that ever happen? I can’t say for certain it ever will, but I also can’t be sure it’s impossible. We will just have to wait and see.

In the meantime, we can always hope that the Royal Rumble can be the start of a turnaround. If Daniel Bryan wins the Rumble, goes on to win back the championship at WrestleMania and this time can stay healthy long enough to carry the brand, maybe the fans will finally be appeased.

Of course, that may still lead to the IWC eventually turning on Bryan and saying he was overused and it’s killing the product.

Because it does seem like no matter how WWE is doing, the Smarks just want to complain.

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Bobcat Joe: Black Swan

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Punchline: Top Comics of 2014

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Punchline Quickies Volume 9

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TV Trash: Dungeons & Dragons

Will Rowdy need a high initiative roll to explain this cartoon?

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TLOTA: In Defense of Michael Bay’s “Armageddon”

(0:36-end mark from the theme from the final season of American Gladiators original run play the camera moves back to see James on top of the slab with the words “The Last Of The Americans” on it then the camera zooms to the backside of the slab with the word editorial on it)

I’m James Faraci, The Last Of The Americans and the views I’m about to express are that of my own & some of yours and welcome to another edition of “In Defense Of…” (Show pics of maligned pieces of pop culture while the fanfare from the Olympics play and James comes up after Vanilla Ice slides back and his right hand thumbs up and the words “In Defense Of…” appear to the left of James then cutting back to James)

TLOTA: Remember in my “Top thirteen vampire films better than “The Twilight Saga” list” that “The Lost Boys” is proof positive that a Blind hunting dog with a missing leg can get it’s quarry and get a mate for Joel Schumacher. Well for me personally I’ve found the movie that is the Blind hunting dog with a missing leg can get it’s quarry and get a mate for someone who must never, EVER have anything to do with filmmaking. I am of course talking about Michael Bay. (Cut to images of Michael Bay while James does a voice over.)

TLOTA (Voice over): Now I am fully aware that I will never, EVER defend everything about Michael Bay. As a film maker His films are pretty much formulaic and to say Adult movies have more substance is accurate and if there is a hell you can bet Michael Bay will be going there and be hearing, reading & seeing all the mistakes critics & fans have pointed out in his movies for all eternity! (Cut to James physically)

TLOTA: But if I hate him why is there at least one of his movies that I can tolerate? Well, believe it or not before he was the director EVERYONE loved to see sacrificed to the ancient gods of Cinema he made some decent films. For some people who’ll admit they like one movie from Michael Bay it’ll be either one of his remakes of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” or “Friday The 13th” or “A Nightmare on Elm Street” or “The Rock” or one of the two “Bad Boys” movies. But me personally the one movie I like from Michael Bay is “Armageddon” (Cut to opening credit to of “Armageddon” while “Don’t wanna miss a thing” by Aerosmith plays in the background of clips from “Armageddon” as James does a voice over)

TLOTA (Voice over): Now believe it or not I DIDN’T like it before I saw it but after watching it, I found myself enjoying it but why is that? Well first off, I can say that this was before he decided that angles found in the Adult movie section were great for mainstream movies and before every scene that wasn’t using those angles were scenes of everything being blown off the map and there was actual story, characters & reasons for the explosions. There was actual reason as to why this movie is so great let me explain why I like “Armageddon”. First off, the cast was amazing, a million times better than “Deep Impact” a movie similar to “Armageddon” I loved about this how Bruce Willis acted in this movie and how Bruce handled things as his character especially when he discovers his daughter played by Liv Tyler having hooked up with Ben Affleck. Trust me when I say the reaction he had was genuine, probably the reaction I’d have. In addition, the humor I felt while unintentional was decent. The fact they casted Steve Buscemi as someone who was a genius who decided to drill for oil because the money was good, the locations change constantly and they allow him to use explosives was a sign the guy’s engine wasn’t firing on all cylinders. But I have to mention the score by Harry Gregson-Williams & Trevor Rabin was magnificent while Aerosmith’s “I don’t wanna miss a thing” was a great song for me to listen to I loved the orchestral music more so. Plus Ben Affleck wasn’t as bad in this as he was in “Pearl Harbor” let’s just say Anything the “Nostalgia Critic” complained about him and Bay in his “Pearl Harbor” review is justified. But not everything was great about there were signs of what would be how Michael Bay would make movies and what would become formulaic and what would get scrapped. I kid you not the only reason ONLY reason I think Bruce Willis saved Ben Affleck was because Michael Bay said so. The reason things got so bananas in the drilling on the asteroid was because again Michael Bay said so. The reason we needed guns on those Armadillo driving things was because AGAIN Michael Bay said so. But with my gripes about this movie does it make me hate the movie? No! Because while we know how bad Bay got after this movie, to me this was Bay at his best because he was more tempered in how he handled things in movies. I’m not gonna lie and say everything about this movie wasn’t schlocky but he put something he didn’t in terms of The Transformers movies or any movie he made after this one which was effort in everything he did. If he had put the same effort in the Transformers movies and better casting choices yeah I’m talking about both Shia LaBeouf & Megan Fox his newer movies wouldn’t be as hated by everyone. So for this one time I give Michael Bay his due. (Cut to James physically)

TLOTA: I’m James Faraci The Last Of The Americans and now I have to watch a movie I never thought I would. Pray for me people. Pray for me!

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YouTube can suck it

I had hoped that this would not be my first foray into a weekly article posting on this site. Yes, it is my hope to provide a written commentary or article each Saturday now on topics ranging from television to possible movies to wrestling to any possible subjects in the entertainment realm. This will not necessarily be from “Rowdy’s” perspective, although Rowdy is essentially an exaggerated character created from my own idiosyncrasies. No, these articles are the straight up opinions of me, myself and I.

And I had hoped that I wouldn’t have to start by beating this dead horse again, But then again, how can the horse be dead when it keep kicking at you?

YouTube and the big studio copyright nazis are at it again. The Mysterious Mr. Enter, who I have stated to be one of my own favorite reviewers, had his YouTube channel killed because Viacom, Nickelodeon’s parent company, complained one too many times. So Mr. Enter joins the elite group that includes Doug Walker, SciFi Debris and Confused Matthew to be victims of YouTube and Google being in bed with major studios who are more concerned with who’s uploading what online that actually producing good content and getting taken down any video that has even five seconds of their material on it.

Have I mentioned that YouTube can go to hell?

It’s done mostly for bullying, and most of the time they don’t have a leg to stand on. I should know. Fox flagged my review of Season Six of Buffy. When I challenged the claim, it was eventually dismissed – on the grounds that Fox didn’t even bother with a rebuttal. Then they turned around and had my entire Frak Ups list 3 taken down with a copyright strike – for having ac lip from King of the Hill in it. In a video where I explained why I hadn’t even reviewed King of the Hill on my show!!!

The worst part is that this has nothing to do with protecting copyrights and we all know it. This is about Nick and Viacom having thin skin and not being able to take just criticism. I have frequently stated to not be a Spongebob fan, having already been 20 years old when the show debuted, but I have watched enough of Enter’s reviews to understand the general gripes with the show currently. The show is the kids programming equivalent of Family Guy in having gone down the tubes with bad characterization and unfunny jokes. Hey Nick, if you actually produced better material, you wouldn’t have to deal with people like Mr. Enter.

Heck, maybe it isn’t even Viacom at all. I wouldn’t be surprised if the complaints lodged against Enter were instead made by one or even many butt-hurt fanboys of the show who can’t take the heat. Heck, when I voiced my support for Enter on Twitter, one of said fanboys that I never met before had to respond with “Mr. Enter sucks.”Hey, that’s the opinion someone has the right to have, but the fact that he saw my comment tells me this was a hater that is essentially stalking Enter, and yeah, that’s rarely good.

This is the bottom line of why I have pretty much quit uploading full episodes of TV Trash to my YouTube channel and have uploaded pretty much nothing but the promos. In fact, a commenter recently posted this question on one of my Rowdy Riffs on YouTube, asking why I don’t upload the Riff with the video it’s meant to be riffing. Simply put: Because YouTube would take it down, which is the very reason Riffs are used in this very format.

Besides, if YouTube doesn’t want our business, they can stick it where the sun don’t shine. Mr. Enter has been hastily uploading his stuff to Dailymotion, which is of course my secondary place to place content behind Manic Expression’s Springboard account. With Blip and MAker STudios having cast away the ne’er-do-wells like us, maybe we can help launch a provider like Dailymotion or even Zippcast to geezer prominence and even force YouTube to reconsider by having to deal with competition.

Or maybe not, given al the money and power Google has. They can pretty much do what they want.

In the meantime, I believe I heard that Enter has even considered legal counsel in his own process of fighting to get his YouTube channel back. I have personally believed that, if enough people got together, a class action suit against the likes of Google could eventually lead to the DMCA being declared unconstitutional. Could Mr. Enter be the one to start up something like that? Our freedoms of expression are constantly under assault ; maybe the time is coming for us to try and use the law in our favor instead.

Whew, well, at least that was cathartic in some way. Hopefully things will get much better in the coming weeks. On the other hand, maybe not. Fair warning – some of what I post in the future will definitely have a “devil’s advocate” approach to some pretty hot topics. And it’s likely going to start next week.

In the meantime, look for more exciting stuff coming to RowdyC soon. I have new people showing their videos and/or linking to their blog articles starting up in the next week or so. And of course, more special productions and rewards are in the works for all my Petreon contributors, which you can become a part of at I will be detailing just what is in store for htose Patreons in a new video very soon.

Stay Rowdy, My Friends.

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