Wednesday, 30 March 2016

NXT Takeover Dallas & Wrestlemania 32 Predictions

Welcome one and all to my predictions and preview for both WWE NXT Takeover:Dallas and Wrestlemania 32 which happen this weekend April 1st and 3rd respectively. Obviously the predictions and thoughts on the matches that will take place. The cards are subject to change, with that let's get started.

NXT Takeover: Dallas

Shinsuke Nakamura Vs Sami Zayn: This match will be phenomenal contest from two guys that are in two very different destinations in their WWE career. This is probably going to be Sami Zayns final match in NXT before going to the main roster as well as the debut of one of the most talented workers in modern Japanese wrestling Shinsuke Nakamura. I hadn't seen a lot of Nakamuras work until I trawled through YouTube and watched a lot of his more recent work. One match that everyone needs to see is one of Nakamuras final matches in New Japan Pro Wrestling against another new face in WWE; AJ Styles. I think this will be a physical match as the two have really unique styles. I don't know how to call this one because of this possibly being Sami Zayn's final NXT match and how hard he has worked one would believe that he would win on a normal night, however this is no normal match Nakamura is one of the hottest talents to come into WWE in a long while and perhaps one of the biggest stars in NXT. I would like to think Sami will win, however as I said I can't really call it.

Austin Aries Vs Baron Corbin: Another great talent enters a WWE ring for the first time in a decorated career with the arrival on the self proclaimed "Greatest Man That Ever Lived". This has been a match that came out of nowhere, but has been built really well really quickly. Baron Corbin is under rated, in my opinion, and I honestly believe if the rumoured departures of many of the top guys in NXT to the main roster happen Corbin is in line to have a run at the NXT world title. Corbin is a unique talent in the sense that he is tall in stature, but is not the most muscular guy however is agile and freakishly strong. I honestly believe that this match will be a defining in not only Aries career, but also Corbins young career.

The Revival Vs American Alpha (NXT Tag Team Championship): This match is a huge benchmark in tag team wrestling in not only NXT, but WWE in general. In a time where there are very few young tag teams coming through both The Revival and American Alpha are fantastic examples of 4 guys taking an opportunity and really making the best of it. Both teams are very old school in style and have very minimal over the top gimmicks and let their in ring work do the talking. Whilst I think The Revival have had a great run with the championship I think all signs point to American Alpha taking the championship and becoming the premier tag team in NXT.

Bayley Vs Asuka (NXT Women's Championship): I'm a little unsure of how this match will go. Bayley finally won the NXT Women's Championship last summer at Takeover:Brooklyn in a match that was heralded as one of the greatest matches in NXT history. The question has to be asked of Bayleys career, where to next ? I think, like Sami Zayn, this may be Bayleys last night in NXT and there really isn't many other people in NXT that deserve to be on the main roster more than Bayley. My only reservations about Bayley leaving would be that all the great work done by Bayley and her fellow Horsewomen may be undone by a weaker women's division that have maybe only 3 or 4 great workers including Bayleys opponent; Asuka. Asuka is one of the greatest Japenese females to ever enter a ring and has been putting on some great matches of late and I would like to see her gain the NXT Womens Championship, my only thought is that it may mean Asuka never going to the main roster which, rumour has it, may be WWEs plan for her. Expect one of the most emotive matches you'll see all weekend.

Finn Balor Vs Samoa Joe (NXT World Championship): This match, simply put, will steal the show of not only this event, but maybe the whole Wrestlemania weekend. I feel that Finn Balors title run has been a little understated, by that I mean there have only been a couple of landmark matches since his win in Japan in July of last year. If rumours are true as with Sami Zayn and Bayley this might be Finn Balors final NXT match before heading to the main roster. Samoa Joe is a tremendous example, just like AJ Styles, of what the WWE can do for a career. I felt that Joes career was a little stagnant in TNA towards the end of his run and by going to NXT has rebooted and refreshed his career. This will be a match of the year candidate and will allow both men show off their talents to the fullest. The way in which I see this match going is that Finn will lose to Joe which will set up Balors debut on the main roster on RAW the night after Wrestlemania. This will also allow Joe to help establish not only his own run as Champion but new NXT talents such as Corbin, Apollo Crews and new talent arriving in the coming months.

 

Wrestlemania 32

This year seems to have been a bit of a disaster year for injury within the WWE roster. In one year WWE lost a huge chunk of their main event players including Daniel Bryan, Seth Rollins, Ceasaro, Tyson Kidd, John Cena, Randy Orton, Niki Bella, Neville and most recently Luke Harper. It's actually astounding that there were enough able bodied superstars to form a half decent card for this years Wrestlemania. My predictions are in no particular order as the running order doesn't usually get announced until the day of the event.

 

Andre The Giant Battle Royale: I have really low expectations for this match. This will most definitely be part of the two hour pre show. Even though he has not been announced to be part of the match, Bray Wyatt will hopefully win this match, making his promos in recent weeks make sense or is that WWE simply stop starting yet another Wyatt family push ? I hope not but, apart from Big Show winning this match for a second time I don't really see any other winners of this match.

Kalisto Vs Ryback (United States Championship): This is a weird match up for both parties. Kalisto has really surprised me in recent months really outgrowing Lucha Dragons and becoming a fantastic singles competitor to fill the Rey Mysterio gap. Ryback is still someone who I'm on the fence about. He has a very mid 90s big guy persona that is very one dimensional and doesn't seem to be working for "The Big Guy" any more. Both men have the potential to have a career defining match and really push past the constraints in their respective career.

Total Divas cast Vs Tamina, Naomi, Eva Marie and Emma: This is another match I think will be on the pre show. I have no hopes for this match at all and to be honest I'm slightly disappointed that creative couldn't offer Paige of Natalya a better match than a multi person tag match. This promises to be nothing more than a time filler to push Total Divas story lines.

Chris Jericho Vs AJ Styles: This is a match that proves that both men are still at the top of their game. I really love Jericho in the heel role as he is so incredibley unlike able that AJ Styles simply needs to turn up to be the good guy. Styles, like Samoa Joe, proves that WWE can do wonders for an already established name. Styles didn't need to come to WWE as he had a great spot in New Japan Pro Wrestling the fact he chose to take a huge risk and come to the WWE shows that he is a competitor that still wants a challenge. I really can't see how this one will go, all I do know is that it will be one hell of a match.

The Usos Vs The Dudley Boyz: If rumours are true this match may end up being on the pre show and not on the main show like it should be. The Usos prove that generational wrestlers can outlive their family name and really make a name for themselves. The tag team is incredibly strong at the moment and it's a shame this match will be overshadowed a little by the other tag team match. The Dudleyz are better than ever and really prove that some teams can become even better than they have ever been even in the twilight of their career. I have a funny feeling The Usos will win this match and it may lead to singles careers for DVon and Bubba Ray.

The Miz Vs Dolph Ziggler Vs Sami Zayn Vs Stardust Vs Zack Ryder Vs Sin Cara Vs Kevin Owens Ladder Match (WWE Intercontinental Championship Match): This is a great match on paper. All of the men in this match need to prove themselves as main event players. The ladder match has become a staple of Wrestlemania even after Money in The Bank got it's own PPV or Network Special as WWE calls them now. Kevin Owens is on fire right now and can bring back the prestige and profile to the Intercontinental Championship that was promised around this time last year. I fully expect some great high spots that will make the highlight reels of Wrestlemania's to come. I fully expect Kevin Owens to retain.

The New Day Vs The League Of Nations: Originally supposed to be a straight tag team match for the Tag Team Championship this has become a multi person tag team match featuring all of the team members allowing them all a Wrestlemania moment. Both teams are doing some great work and making the best with what they have been handed. Whilst I was a little disappointed to not see a WWE Tag Team Championship match this will be much more entertaining match allowing all the men involved an opportunity to push themselves into the limelight.

Charlotte Vs Sasha Banks Vs Becky Lynch (WWE Divas Championship): A year ago this match was nothing more than a pipe dream for NXT fans that watched these 3 wrestle some incredible matches. One year later and 3 former NXT divas are now competing for the WWE Divas Championship at Wrestlemania. I enjoy watching all 3 in action and now with Charlotte siding with her dad to become one of the hottest heels in the Divas division at the moment as well as Sasha Banks striking out on her own this match promises to be great. I feel bad for Becky Lynch because she is being over looked as an outsider, however I think she has proven herself as a amazing talent in her own right. I would love to see Sasha win, however I think Charlotte will retain and continue her ascent to one of the greatest Divas of a new generation.

Brock Lesnar Vs Dean Ambrose (Street Fight): This has been built up really well over the weeks. Lesnar has been put in a field of his own as an unbeatable monster, thanks in huge part to Paul Heymans promos and rightly so but, Dean Ambrose seems the first opponent that may actually be a test for Lesnar. Expect an unbelievable match with plenty to talk about. It's great to see Ambrose call back to his hardcore past for inspiration. The only change I would have made is have Mick Foley and Terry Funk expand on their appearances and accompany Ambrose to ringside. I would like to think this is Dean Ambrose finally taking the leap to becoming the main event player he deserves to be, however I think Lesnar will come out on top.

Undertaker Vs Shane McMahon (Hell in a Cell) I think this is a really interesting approach to Undertakers match this year. If the WWE had even suggested Shane McMahons return to take on The Undertaker at Wrestlemania even 6 months ago there would have been some chuckles and then the idea would have been dismissed. The fact that Shane O Mac hasn't really missed a beat and by all appearances can still go in the ring is a great selling point. The fact that not one but two stipulations have been placed on the match is even better. The two possible outcomes are that Shane wins and takes control of WWE and Taker will never be seen again or the more likely Taker wins and nothing at all changes which would seem counterproductive. Hell in a Cell brings the promise of classic Shane O Mac high spots.

Triple H Vs Roman Reigns (WWE World Heavyweight Championship): The Universe is going to love Roman Reigns whether we all like it or not. I have very little opinion on Reigns at all, I don't hate him or love him I'm indifferent. I do think he is one of the most polarising champions since John Cena and Cena now could buy and sell each and every one of us. Triple H has been a great heel champion for the past two months, however I feel they haven't done enough to build Reigns as a credible champion. I believe that Reigns will no doubt come out on top, but they need to do something with him that gives him the slightest chance for regaining a fan appreciation; whether that means that Reigns turns heel or he is screwed out of the championship by Ambrose or even Bray Wyatt to gain a little sympathy for him is to be seen.

 

Overall this is a slightly overwhelming Wrestlemania card, however I wasn't too sure about how well last year would go and I was pleasantly surprised. Hopefully Wrestlemania 32 marks a change for the better for the WWE as a whole. Rumours are endless as what will happen the night after on RAW possible scenarios is the announcement of a brand draft, which would allow for more exposure of under utilised talent as well as the prospect of seeing NXTs finest graduate to the main roster and become a force for change. Enjoy the weekends festivities.

 

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Shameless Promotion Part 3: The Rabbit In Red Lounge

Welcome one and all to the 3rd installment of Shameless Promotion, a series of blog articles in which I bring your attention to a film, band, comic book, website or any other item of relevance that I believe you, the reader, should discover for yourself. This installment is about the fantastic online Tshirt store, The Rabbit In Red Lounge.
Before I begin I would like to state that this is in no way a paid promotion by the company this is simply me telling you about an independent online retailer I think you should check out.
If you are like me you will love movie merchandise, and whilst it is incredibly easy to grab a Tshirt showing your appreciation for nearly every superhero under the sun it's not so easy to grab a garment emblazoned with your favourite horror movie poster design or featuring some obscure foreign version of movie promotion. Finally there is somewhere to design a custom Tshirt showing your love for horror classics such as A Nightmare On Elm Street or B Movie cult movies such as Killer Klowns From Outer Space.
The Rabbit In Red Lounge is a fantastic place in which to find a massive selection of Tshirts from the world of horror , science fiction, cult and b movie as well as a new Kung fu section. I happened to stumble upon this website when I was looking to find a way in which to buy some horror movie Tshirts. I followed a link from Google and spent the next hour scrolling through the countless designs featured on the website. Ever since that day I am a convert to these one of a kind, hand made garments. I have bought 10 different items from the website and I will be honest and say that every single shirt or jumper I have received from The Rabbit In Red Lounge. The level of service is fantastic, as the product you are buying is one of a kind your new shirt may take a month or so to arrive, but that is because every single one is hand made by one person. A month may seem like a long wait, however the finished product is well worth the wait. Once you pick your design you are free to customise your order. This includes choosing the colour of the garment and the style of aging you want the design to look like. There are numerous different clothing types to choose from including both short and long sleeve Tshirt as well as sweatshirt and even numerous styles for female fans. Once your item arrives there is a care guide that advises you to wash at 30 degrees and without any harsh chemicals. I would strongly advise to follow this as I have wrecked a couple of my favourite shirts by accidentally putting them in with a conventional wash. If you sign up to the mailing list for the website you will receive updates on any new activity in the store including sales and new designs being added. Postage costs are very reasonable, for example postage for a single shirt within the UK is a bargain price of £2.50. International postage is offered and you can pay using the usual methods.
I cannot recommend The Rabbit In Red Lounge enough, but me telling you isn't enough. Click the link in this article and see for yourself.
Thanks for reading the 3rd installment of Shameless Promotion. If you have any suggestions for future posts or feel like I should talk about you next contact me through one of the numerous social networking platforms I use.




Monday, 10 August 2015

Shameless Promotion Part 2: Raleigh Ritchie

Welcome back to the new and, over time, improved blog. Before I start I would like to promote ashley-blake.co.uk which hosts a number of great blogs, including my own which discusses the forgotten and under rated films in cinematic history.

This is a feature that I have done before, and will be a continuing feature on this blog. Shameless promotion will be a feature that I will use to promote a film, film maker, musical artist, website, blog, podcast, restaurant or app that I think you should check out.

This installment of Shameless Promotion is about an up and coming music artist by the name of Raleigh Ritchie. Whilst Raleigh Ritchie (Real name Jacob Anderson) might not be a household name yet, I predict huge things for this multi talented singer songwriter/ actor from Bristol. Raleigh Ritchie has already appeared in acclaimed ITV drama "Broadchurch" as well as BBC comedy "Episodes, however he is probably best known for his portrayal of Grey Worm in the hugely sucessful "Game Of Thrones.

Raleigh Ritchies musical career began with an appearance on a track with Plan B for the soundtrack to british film "Adulthood", in which he also appears. Ritchie then signed to Columbia Records where he released a 3 track EP "The Middle Child" in 2013 and then a second EP "Black and Blue" in early 2014. Raleigh Ritchies track "Bloodsport" was released and this is where I first heard any of his work. Check out a reworked version here:




And from there the equally great song "Stronger Than Ever" was released with a fantastic music video that displays not only his musical talent, but also his acting skills:





As you can see the future is more than bright for this talented singer songwriter. Check out Itunes to buy his music and follow him on Facebook. 

If there is anything or anyone you think I should talk about on my blog, or if you have a film, album or anything else you would like me to talk about please email me or contact me through my social network accounts.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Wrestlemania 31 Preview

Wrestlemania 31 is tonight and apart from that fact I'm no longer bound to watching the event through Sky Box Office and paying an arm and a leg for it, I am beyond excited for the event because of the pretty decent card. Here are my predictions for the event.

1. Fatal Four Way Match for the WWE tag team title: Tyson Kidd and Cesaro Vs The New Day Vs Los Matadores Vs The Usos. I think Tyson Kidd and Cesaro will win this match. I'm really dissapointed that this match has been relegated to the pre show as this would have been a great display of the up and coming talent that include, in my opinion, future WWE champions such as Cesaro and Tyson Kidd. Expect high flying, fast paced action from this one.

2. The Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal: Again quite dissapointed that this has been moved to the pre show, however I understand that not everyone can make it onto the actual Wrestlemania 4 hour event. I'm not too sure who will win this. WWE has been pushing Miz, Mizdow and Curtis Axel leading up to Wrestlemania. I have a sneeking suspicion that one of the aforementioned men will win, but don't count out old faithfuls such as Big Show or Kane.

3. Ladder Match for the WWE Intercontinental Title: Bad News Barrett Vs R-Truth Vs Dean Ambrose Vs Luke Harper Vs Dolph Ziggler Vs Stardust Vs Daniel Bryan. This is one of the matches I'm looking forward to most. I'm really looking forward to seeing what the WWE will do with the Intercontinental Title. The smart money is on Daniel Bryan taking the belt home. A high profile face to go with the IC championship is just what the WWE needs and Bryan could provide that. I would like to see the likes of Ziggler or Barrett finally getting the recognition they deserve, but I doubt that will happen at such a high profile event.

4. WWE US Title Match: Rusev Vs John Cena. This is the second part of the WWEs plan to make the other singles title belts more high profile. This match is the prototypical Good USA vs Bad foreigner that was incredibley popular in the 80s and 90s, however it doesn't really excite me a great deal. I expect Cena to win the match and sell a tonne more t shirts.

5. Randy Orton Vs Seth Rollins. Another match on the card that I am excited to watch. There is a reason Seth Rollins is being touted as the future of the WWE and all you need to do is watch his matches with Cena and Lesnar at the Royal Rumble and his series against Dean Ambrose. He is a gifted athelete that seems more than dedicated to taking the WWE to a new level of popularity. Don't discount Randy Orton though. I expect this to be a great back and forth that would have been an entertaining WWE title match and could be for the future.

6. Paige and AJ Lee Vs The Bella Twins. Unfortunatley this match will be nothing but filler for the live crowd to go to the toilet or buy another hideous Cena t shirt, which is a shame because all four have proven to be more than decent in the ring. I expect nothing more than a Bella win.

7. Bray Wyatt Vs The Undertaker. If last year was all about pushing Brock Lesnar into the spot for unbeatable champion this years installment of The Undertaker saga will be about passing the torch to Bray Wyatt with regards to being the dark, mystical character for the future of the WWE. I doubt that Wyatt will actually win the match, however I expect it to be a great back and forth with plenty of high spots. I will be surprised to the Taker get Wyatt up for a tombstone.

8. Sting Vs Triple H. The match that nobody ever expected to see will happen tonight. I'm disspointed that this match hasn't happened earlier as both men are far from their prime. This doesnt mean that either has lost a step. The only concern is that Sting might encounter a little ring rust. I would have liked to see Stinger take on The Undertaker, but I think this match will a hell of a lot more entertaining to watch. The child inside me would like to see Sting win the match, but I think Triple H might add another high profile scalp to his collection.

9. WWE World Heavyweight Title Match: Brock Lesnar Vs Roman Reigns. I don't really know what to make of this match. I'm not the biggest Roman Reigns or Brock Lesnar so either way I'm not too bothered who holds the WWE Heavyweight Championship. This could go one of two ways; either an unexpected high point of Wrestlemania or a car crash of a match. I can't really decide what will happen. I still think putting the belt on Reigns would be a bit of a mistake so mabey Lesnar winning would the better of the best of a bad bunch. I think this might be the night that Rollins cashes in and becomes the WWE Heavyweight Champion and will lead us to a number of possibilities for future pay per view events.

 

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Hillarious James Bond Sketch

Last night in the UK there was the biannual Comic Relief night. I just thought I would post this hillarious clip featuring Daniel Craig and some other familiar faces involved with James Bond. Below is part of the video as the full sketch isn't available:

 

 

Friday, 13 March 2015

It Follows Review

Please note: This review will NOT contain spoilers


This will be the first post of many in the "reboot" of this blog.

I felt that I really needed to review It Follows. I cannot explain how much I enjoyed this film. It Follows is a clear homage to the 70s and 80s films that utilise the fear of the unknown. The story follows Jay as she begins to regret sleeping with a mysterious new boy in her life. After a terrible ordeal Jay is informed that she will begin to be followed by something that changes form. What comes next is an hour or so of the most claustrophobic, slightly terrifying cinema I have seen in a long time.

The premise of the film is slightly ridiculous, a thing follows you after you sleep with someone and the only way to stop it is by sleeping with someone who will then begin to be followed by said thing. Despite this the film is fantastic. I do have an issue though, whilst it's not a major issue. The audience are never really told what time period the film takes place in. The feel, soundtrack and the costume design for the film would suggest that the film take place in the late 70s or 1980s. There are never any real hints but thIs a minor gripe for an otherwise great film.

Maika Monroe is incredible. I must admit part of the reason I went to see It Follows because I was such a fan of Monroe in The Guest. Her performance as Jay is the complete opposite as this time she plays the vulnerable victim as opposed to the strong headed cynic Anna Peterson that she played in The Guest. I look forward to seeing what comes next from this promising actress.

The style of the film, as I have said previously, harks back to the style that was popular in lower budget horror films. The tension in scenes was built by claustrophobic camera shots and essentially ominous tones that build to an almost deafening point rather than guts, gore and special effects. I love that fact that the only monster or antagonist in this film is someone that follows you. It taps into the fear that most people have; being followed, stalked for no reason other than you are makes you feel uneasy and scared. I have to admit that I felt uneasy and uncomfortable in parts.

Overall I really enjoyed It Follows. The idea is in theory something that is completely ridiculous and shouldn't be able to hold an audiences attention for more than 5 minute, however it really works. Although I felt uneasy and a little terrified in parts I cannot suggest this film to horror fans enough.

 

 

Monday, 12 May 2014

X Men Days Of Future Past And Snowpiercer Trailers

X Men Days Of Future Past is on its way and one of the characters I am interested in is Quicksilver. The main reason for this is that Quicksilver will not only appear in said X Men film, but will also feature in the upcoming Avengers: Age Of Ultron. In Avengers he will be played by Aaron Taylor Johnson, however in X Men he is played by Evan Peters; best known for his roles in the American Horror Story series. Check out this cool trailer for Quicksilver and Days Of Future Past:




Snowpiercer is an upcoming film starring Captain American himself, Chris Evans, John Hurt and Jamie Bell based on a French graphic novel entitled La Transperceneige. Set in the future where an experiment to reverse the effects of global warming goes horribly wrong plunging the world into a new ice age, the only survivors remain on a train that is in perpetual motion. on board the train civil war breaks out with Chris Evans leading the revolt. Check out the trailer below: