Asuka Went from Force of Nature to Typical Heel at Takeover

Since debuting in NXT, Asuka has been one of the most popular wrestlers on the brand, with a devil’s smile hiding a cyclone of wicked kicks, waiting to be unleashed on the very ripe division that was raided after the start of the Women’s Revolution. At NXT Takeover: Orlando, on the anniversary of submitting Bayley for the title, she faced one of her greatest opponents to date. Someone who, as the commentators said, could truly go toe-to-toe with the champion: Ember Moon. The match was good, well-paced, with the two women displaying a remarkable chemistry, and a playful attitude at the beginning in an entertaining competition between two of the best wrestlers in NXT.

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Ranking the X-Men Movies from Worst to Best

With the release of Logan, 20th Century Fox now has a total of ten X-Men movies under their belt holding varying degrees of success. Although I re-watch each of these a good bit, I realize not everyone wants to, and it has been seventeen years since the release of the first entry. So now seems like as good a time as any to look back at each chapter of this mutant saga and explain why the film should be avoided or is worth another view, as well as giving my personal rankings.

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Retro Replay: WWF Attitude

Back in 1999, I was so deep into wrestling, and this game was released at the height of the era it is named after. I almost never bought sports games, as they usually wouldn’t hold my attention, but I craved more wrestling and several of my friends had talked the previous game up. WWF Attitude allowed me to feel like I was watching the show, but I could visit the ring whenever I wanted and more importantly, make my own legacy—so to speak. All of these things made this a game I truly enjoyed in my youth, so as Wrestlemania approaches, it’s a good time to revisit.

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Wilds’ Comic Conundrum: Iron Fist

Iron Fist is a character I have always liked, but mostly read about in other titles or the books that cover his Heroes for Hire days. As this show grew closer and I conversed with others, I found out just how little people knew about what they were getting into. The origin story for Danny Rand is pretty simplistic and anyone with a little experience watching some classic kung fu films should be able to follow what is going on and get into the vibe. With that in mind, I had a lot of hopes that Netflix would go four for four and knock another one out of the park as well as giving a few viewers some new favorite characters and dabbling with the mysticism that Doctor Strange showed us could work. What we received though might be one of Marvel’s first really failed outings, or just an enjoyable but flawed jaunt back into their New York-based superhero underworld.

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6 Problems with Impact Wrestling’s Latest Reboot

I was a huge fan of TNA and often boasted about the great wrestling all my friends who only watched WWE were missing, but even I had to take a break from it in early 2016. It was more clear than ever that it was a directionless company, and that made it hard to still care about it. Then I started to hear about some of the things they were doing with Jade, the Decay, and the Broken Hardys, so I made it a point to tune back in. Now, here I am catching up on the last few weeks of Impact Wrestling, excited to see what a new regime really means. There are some interesting new developments, but I’m already noticing a lot that’s going wrong.

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Logan

 

[This article contains some spoilers for the film]

 

Well that lived up to the hype for me.

When the trailers for Logan dropped I was incredibly pleased but did my best to keep the expectations grounded, especially seeing as the previous two solo entries for this character had utterly failed and fallen way short, in that order. This time though it seemed like everyone involved was determined to do better so that Hugh Jackman could go out (supposedly) on a high note and they could have something to be proud of while showing off the character’s potential. So it was time to put it in the future, away from the other stories, to take inspiration from some of the comics, like Mark Millar’s entertaining Old Man Logan, to adjust the scope, and of course there is the violence with that R rating.

Some people are asking if they should take their ten-year-olds since it is a comic book movie: Nope!

The violence is certainly there and satisfying, but it seemed appropriate with the tone and felt necessary. There were no edgy moments for the sake of shocking the audience or just trying to push a boundary. The story is simple and good focusing on Wolverine and the few associates he has left, keeping the action and conflict high, while not having a story where the whole world or existence itself needs to be threatened. In an odd way, the first two acts are the same as Elektra, but done with actual care. The acting is wonderful on every end and the road trip gives many opportunities for great moments. It’s about relationships, family, loss, and a very topical theme of a Hispanic girl trying to reach safety at the border. This doesn’t mean the action scenes aren’t fantastic and that violence is a wonderful topping. Is this still a superhero movie? More like the modern Western vibe Old Man Logan tried to go for mimicking Unforgiven, but they literally show a part of Shane in the film, that has similar plot points. The real theme here though is that life sucks and everyone learns how to deal with it or they die. The ending works and somehow after a two hour and seventeen minute long movie, I still wanted just a little more. I was glad there was nothing at the end like a hidden scene though, because the last shot is almost welcoming and feels like a true curtain call.

So, make sure you see this one. In the meantime I’m left wondering how this movie shares a universe with X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which is only good in small parts because of the side characters and the interactions between Jackman and Liev Schreiber’s Sabretooth. The second one was much better, but that is against a bar that was set incredibly low. The Wolverine had a great opener and some good character moments that dropped off at the end with lackluster villains and a literal giant robot fight. So how did this colossal jump in quality happen when James Mangold directed both The Wolverine and Logan? Most would say it is the writing, and I get that, but both films even shared one writer, with Mangold taking up some of those responsibilities for Logan as well. So what changed? This may be one of the best examples for why some film makers deserve multiple chances.

There are a few things I thought could have been better about the movie past just trimming a few unneeded elements. Cut out the serum and tighten up the kids part at the end maybe, but my main complaint would be the involvement of X-24 (not a typo of X-23). This clone was thrown in to give a bigger physical threat, but I think Donald Pierce could have filled that role with a few of his upgrades from the comics. This however would cause the big scene with Xavier to need some re-working and I can understand if some might not want to do that, but I think the character added very little. Why is there never any love for Albert? It does seem the writers knew some things needed to be cut though, as I think it was smart they left out the scene that showed the fate of the other X-Men, saying that the audience knows what kind of happened and letting the fans have their own ideas is better. That worked and I’m glad they did it that way.

Logan does a lot that I think many will not expect, like how I never thought I’d hear Patrick Stewart say the words “fucking albino,” and I kind of want that as my ringtone now. All of this seems to have left fans asking where does the franchise go from here? I actually don’t think this will affect it much, as multiple movies are already coming up and there is so much in the X stories to explore. I am okay seeing Logan as its own compelling tale of dark ends and it teaches FOX to focus on character, stories, and scope; hoping they don’t just see this and Deadpool as meaning that everything needs an R rating.

It’s hard to watch our heroes die, but it sure can be fun.

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Retro Replay: Fighters Destiny

As much as I love the Nintendo 64, it is not known for having a great selection of fighting games, even if several on that list are worth looking at. An exclusive for the system would pop up though and manage to do some things that no other entry in the genre was trying at the time. Developed by Genki—a team I don’t expect anyone to know off the top of their head, for good reason—their project should have been a memorable success, but Fighters Destiny lives on only in small circles of passionate fans, which is why we are talking about it here.

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