Review: WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches To See Before You Die: #1 The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels (WWE Wrestlemania 25)

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(Here’s the link for the match on the WWE Network: http://network.wwe.com/video/v31305869/?contentId=31305869&contextType=wwe-show&contextId=wrestlemania )

Finally, after two and a half years, I’ve reached #1 on the WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches To See Before You Die! Yes, reviewing each match was the reason I started this blog in February 2014. Of course, I expanded into film and (occasionally) TV, but one night after seeing the 100 Best Matches…List I decided to write about them. I probably could have done it in less than two years, even if I’d reviewed one match per week. But hey, life gets in the way sometimes (as does our natural proclivity for laziness…or mine at least!). Unfortunately, earlier this year the WWE Network updated their 100 Best Matches…List, so after I review this one I’ll have to watch the matches added to the 100 Best Matches…List (click here for my blog explaining what happened). Continue reading

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Review: WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches To See Before You Die: #2 Bret Hart vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin (Submission Match, WWE Wrestlemania 13)

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(Here’s the link for the match on the WWE Network: http://network.wwe.com/video/v31366763/?contentId=31366763&contextType=wwe-show&contextId=wrestlemania )

#3 on the WWE Network’s Best 100 Matches…List set the standard for in-ring work during the late 80s period of the WWE. #2 set off something far more important: it at once gave rise to the mighty Stone Cold Steve Austin and thus the Attitude Era (and a boom period for the WWE). However, #3 hasn’t aged well. #2 has a timeless aspect to it. Like Randy Savage and Ricky Steamboat did at WrestleMania III, ten years later Stone Cold and Bret Hart stole the show in a mid-card bout. In surely one of the best submission matches in the history of wrestling (not just the WWE), Stone Cold and Bret Hart put on a match for the ages. Continue reading

Review: Blade Runner 2049 (2017) (A Sequel Thirty-Odd Years Too Late?)

(SPOILER FREE)

“I hope you don’t mind me taking the liberty”

When we were told that we were getting a belated sequel to Blade Runner, one of the most influential sequels of all time, I reacted with apathy. Why do we need a sequel thirty years after the original was released? Blade Runner might be very well respected as a film, but I couldn’t imagine many people buying tickets to see a sequel to it. And, of course, not many people have bought tickets to see a sequel to Blade Runner. It only making $30 million in its first weekend, compared to its budget of around $150 million. But I’d advise, nay implore, people who love cinema to watch Blade Runner 2049. What could have been worthless cash-in turned out to be one of the films of the year… Continue reading

Review: WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches To See Before You Die: #3 Randy Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat (WWE Intercontinental Title, WWE Wrestlemania III)

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(Here’s the link for the match on the WWE Network: http://network.wwe.com/video/v31348409/?contentId=31348409&contextType=wwe-show&contextId=wrestlemania )

At #3, we have the WrestleMania classic, Randy Savage vs Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat. Well, I say classic because the general consensus is they put on a classic match. And it’s at #3, for goodness sake! However, it’s one of those “classic” matches that hasn’t matured well with age. It set the bar high for WWE matches back when spectacle and A-list stars (and Hulk Hogan) were all Vince McMahon cared about. It blows anything away in 1980s WWE. But it’s merely very good compared to today’s standards. So, it’s on the WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches…List for what it stands for, rather than what it looks like today… Continue reading

Review: WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches To See Before You Die: #4 Ricky Steamboat vs. Ric Flair (NWA World Title, 2/3 Falls, NWA Clash of the Champions VI: Ragin’ Cajun)

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(Here’s the link for the match on the WWE Network: http://network.wwe.com/video/v32297671/?contentId=32297671&contextType=wwe-show&contextId=clash_of_the_champions )

This is the second battle between Flair and Steamboat in their Holy Trilogy of matches. We saw the third match at #17 (click here for my review) and the first match at #11 (click here for my review). There’ll always be debate about which match is the best out of the three. For me, I’d say it’s a tie between this bout and the concluding part. They’re both on the same high level but a dodgy ending lets this one down a little. After nearly an hour’s worth of quality wrestling, the ending seems like a bad joke. But what happens before is nothing short of spectacular. Continue reading

Review: Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017) (Or: How Not To Do A Sequel)

(SPOILER FREE)

“You think that s**t’s gonna work this time?”

Kingsman: The Secret Service was a novel surprise back in 2014, an ultraviolent spy spoof that worked gloriously. In fact, it was so successful in what it did that a sequel wasn’t necessary. However, a sequel was thrust upon us. Could the sequel be a successful spy spoof that didn’t copy the outline of the first one? Could it spoof sequels? Could it give us a reason for its existence? My answer to all of the above questions is: no. It’s a mess, in basic terms. It adds nothing of substance to the Kingsman universe. A plodding pace, a silly storyline and incongruent scenes add up to an awful sequel. Continue reading

Review: WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches To See Before You Die: #5 Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio (WCW Cruiserweight Title vs. Mask, WCW Halloween Havoc 1997)

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(Here’s the link for the match on the WWE Network: http://network.wwe.com/video/v31348221/?contentId=31348221&contextType=wwe-show&contextId=halloween_havoc )

I’ve mentioned it several times whilst writing about the WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches…List, but the Cruiserweight division was a main selling point of WCW back in its 90s peak. Yes, the NWO was there, but for actual wrestling, you couldn’t get any better than the cruiserweights. Look at the WWE’s Cruiserweight division today and you’ll see something quite different. There’s plenty of great talent, but nothing behind them. They even have their own WWE Network show and still no one cares about the Cruiserweight division. Now they have Enzo Amore as champion…God help them! But the greatest match in Western Cruiserweight history is surely this classic between Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio. Continue reading

Review: mother! (2017) (Seeing Is Believing…)

(SPOILER FREE)

“You scared me”

mother! has courted a lot of controversy since it was first screened for the Venice Film Festival. It holds the crooked honour of an F Cinemascore, a score reserved only for the very awful films. It’s bombed at the box office after some questionable marketing. Paramount had to release a statement defending the release of the film! It’s not very often you see that happening. I saw a trailer for it that was laughable. However, nothing would stop me from seeing another Darren Aronofsky film. After missing Noah, I couldn’t let Aronofsky down! And what I witnessed was something I’ll never forget. Continue reading

Spoiler Filled Thoughts On Stephen King’s IT (2017)

WARNING: SPOILERS FOR IT (2017) and Stephen King’s IT (the book)

Is there something wrong with me? I ask myself that all the time, but more specifically, I’m asking that question in relation to Stephen King’s IT (the recent adaptation of the book!). IT has broken box office records, and the majority of people seem to like it. Some even love it. Why am I among the few who didn’t like it? Did I miss something? I know everyone is entitled to their opinion, but it concerns me when the majority is against me. So here is a spoiler-filled dissection of my feelings about IT. Continue reading

Review: WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches To See Before You Die: #6 The Ultimate Warrior vs. Randy Savage (Retirement Match, WWE Wrestlemania VII)

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(Here’s the link for the match on the WWE Network: http://network.wwe.com/video/v31356293/?contentId=31356293&contextType=wwe-show&contextId=wrestlemania )

Don’t get me wrong; I love this match. It’s easily The Ultimate Warrior’s greatest match, and would be on the Top 10 matches of Randy Savage’s career. However, I don’t think it belongs in the Top 10 of the WWE Network’s 100 Best Matches…List. Top 20, maybe. But including it in the Top 10 is pushing things. There’s nothing particularly wrong with the match. Savage works well with Warrior’s limitations to produce something great. But too much outside interference from Sensational Sherri and a silly finish stunt my enjoyment of it. Continue reading