By: Justin Hopkins
It is that time of year, where we sit back and recollect on the past. Thinking about the excellent movies, shows we got to experience over the past 12 month. Which we will soon be getting to, but lets kick the countdowns off right, with the best wrestling matches of the year, and was it no easy feet. In some cases, felt like there was a new candidate nearly every week, especially where a certain Bryan Danielson was involved. Who threatened to take over the entire list by himself. Now, this list will contain matches from AEW, NXT, and WWE, because those were the three I followed most. I promise I will change that next year, cause I just know the like of Impact, NJPW, and so many others put on bangers as well. Just need to make the time to check them out. With that said lets jump right in with…
Christian Cage Vs Kenny Omega Impact Championship
This is a compromise to myself. How much I wanted to put this on my top ten list, because I was there for it. Had a fantastic time and this match was so good. Didn’t think for a moment Christian was walking away with the victory either. Figured no way they would have an Impact title change on AEW, but was wrong in the best of ways.
10. Pac vs Orange Cassidy vs Kenny Omega AEW Heavyweight Championship Double or Nothing
At some point, going to stop rolling my eyes when Triple Threat Matches are announced. I am proven wrong nearly every time, and this match blew away every expectations. Three completely personalities and styles and they knocked it out of the park. Knew that Kenny wasn’t losing that belt, but they sucked me in and made a believer that both Pac and Orange had a chance, and that moment where Pac had Orange locked in the Brutalizer and Kenny is kicking him but Pac is laughing off the blows. Forcing a Panicked Omega to take out the Ref to save the match will live on in my head forever.
9. Bianca Belair Vs Sasha Banks Smackdown Women’s Championship Wrestlemania Night 1
For the moment alone, this would have made the list. Two of the best going in WWE today, in Bianca and Sasha. Two of the most deserving women, who have worked so hard to be where they are. Such a feel good moment to see them bath in the Crowd reaction to them Main Event Night 1 of Mania. Then they had a stellar match. Cementing this is the place of history and with Mania going to two nights. will hopefully open the door to more women’s matches in the Main Event Slot.
8. Pete Dunne vs Finn Baylor XXT Championship Vengeance Day
As someone who really likes slow build technical based matches, these two guys ticked all of the boxes. Finn can go against anyone and make something magical and Pete Dunne is fantastic when it comes to working over his opponents, Together they made something magical and I hope Dunne finally gets that belt in 2022.
7. MJF vs Darby Allin Full Gear
I knew this match was going to be good going in, but was not ready for just how good it turned out to be. They opened the show and could make the argument that they had the match of the night. Highlighting both of their strengths and brought out the best in one another. Looking forward to see what happens next, in what I am sure will be a storied rivalry between the two and I am willing to be next time will involve a championship.
6. CM Punk vs Eddie Kingston Full Gear
Now this is how a blood feud is done. Two guys who don’t like each other and wanted to fight. Punk didn’t do his normal routine on the ramp. Eddie starting things off with the spinning back fist and they just went from there. Flipping each other off and went at it till Punk hit the final blow, but even in defeat, Kingston felt so important cause on another night. Could swing his way and with how Kingston’s year went. Think that might be sooner then later.
5. Bryan Danielson vs Kenny Omega Grand slam
This is a match I have been looking forward to, even when this was a pipe dream. Would talk about this with Co-Workers who would wish I would talk about anything else, and was thrilled to see that we were not only getting it, but weren’t wasting time. The match was everything that I wanted. Even knowing they would probably run the time limit draw, was still so entranced by everything they did, and the way they ended it. Suggested this is just an appetizer for things to come.
4. Bryan Danielson vs Hangman Adam Page AEW Heavyweight Championship Winter Is Coming
From a time limit draw we saw coming to one we did not. We get this gem from deep into the year. They had set the match up perfectly going in and Bryan almost toying with Hangman as the match went on. Proving more and more that he is less human and more actual wrestling machine. From someone who never yells at the tv, when it was under a ,minute, I was out of my seat yelling for Hangman to get up. Part 2 can’t get here soon enough.
3. IIja Dragunov vs WALTER NXT U.K Championship NXT Takeover 36
The best match WWE put on this year, was easily, Dragunov vs WALTER 2. These two guys went out there and beat each other like a bongo drum. WALTER being the prominent monster for 800 plus days and IIja being a smaller guy, but refused to being defeated on this day. Returning fire with everything that he got and getting the win by submission felt like a massive feather in the cap for him.
2. Thunder Rosa vs Dr. Britt Baker Unsanctioned Lights Out St. Patrick’s Day Slam
For me, this was monumental. Sure other places have let the Women’s Wrestlers go like this, but I had never seen it. Let alone on National Television like this. They made it feel like a big deal and solidified that Lights out matches will be brutal no matter who will be in them, and Baker and Rosa set the bar incredibly high. The match complimented the rivalry, paving the way for the two of them to go tooth and nail against one another and in the end. Both walked away bigger stars for it and was so close to being my match of the year.
1.Bryan Danielson vs Minoru Suzuki on a buy in for a Rampage on freakin YouTube!
Let that sit in for a moment. This was a dream match on YouTube. A counter to what WWE was trying to do to them. No one would have faulted them for going half speed and taking it easy. Nope, they beat each other within an inch of their lives. So, many moments they went toe to toe, throwing punches and kicks and every time was more exciting then the last. Concern every time Bryan hit the ground like a safe and felt like he only got 9the win, cause for a single moment. Was able to outsmart the murder grandpa. I don’t normally share matches with my non-wrestling friends. Last time was Shield vs Wyatt Family. I shared this one though. They treated a free match on YouTube like it was a Main Event of a Big PPV and will love it forever.
As always, I hope you enjoyed and….
Thank You For Reading!
By: Justin Hopkins
So, I have had this idea bumbling about my head since Tony Khan made the comment about knowing who his first 4 Champions were going to be. Now, how true that might be now, is anyone guess, but it is the end of the year. Before we get to the slew of best of this and that posts and videos. Lets have a bit of fun throw away blog and do a bit of fantasy bookings. One important thing I must point out. There is a slew of potential new signings coming in over the next few months and while I will be stretching a bit, but there is one group I am leaving out, and that is the Ring Of Honor group. Now, I know, their is some incredible talent in the group, Johnathon Gresham, Briscoe Brothers, Danhauen, Max The Impaler and so many others could easily make the list, but I have seen so little of ROH and only catch glimpses here and there, so not comfortable booking things I don’t know. So, apologies for leaving them out. Now, lets jump in shall.
- Ruby Soho – The newest belt and the tournament is still going on. The story is right there in a way. Having to go through stronger wrestlers in Statlander, Nyla and finally Jade to get the Championship. Her first major title of her career. A feel good moment to start the new year and can’t ask for more.
- Dr. Britt Baker – The former women’s champion who looks down on the fact that she has the TBS Belt, but staunchly defends it because she can’t live without gold. It is a hard story to pull off without the title looking bad, but Britt could make it work.
- Jaime Hayter – Whether it be the break up of the group or Jaime working her way back to her former stable leader. Jaime is so talented and this could be the win to highlight a stellar 2022.
- Ryo Mizunami – Okay, so this one may be a bit of a stretch. So, many who could take the belt, but Ryo has been doing some great work and her matches are always fun and would like to see her with some gold. Even if it’s not a long run.
Tag Team Championship
- FTR – Yeah, but the Tag belts are one of the hardest to predict and want a full powered Pinnacle to face off a reformed Elite. So, them going on a long run just makes the most sense.
- Dante Martin and either Lio Rush/Darius Martin – I don’t know when Darius will be back, but this pick is more about getting some gold on Dante. Who is so good and Tag belts are a good first belt for a kid who will have so much more gold in his future.
- 2.0 – Yeah, just fun goofballs, who can get some major heat off this, but really, just a transition to….
- Proud and Powerful – I almost feel bad for putting it off them this long. Would have no problem with them beating Lucha Bros. or FTR, but when they do finally win the belts. Going to be a great moment.
- Shawn Spears – I love the idea of Shawn and Sammy being eternal rivals. Careers defined by sticking it to one another and trading wins and titles back and forth, in banger matches. Him taking the strap off Sammy would just be another chapter in the story.
- Wardlow – That break up of Pinnacle and will test Wardlow the ability to run as a Babyface and carry a title at the same time.
- Malachi Black – At the moment, he doesn’t need a belt, but that will change and some gold can help push him further.
- Lee Moriarty – By the time we get to this point. Plenty of time to build Lee up and even writing this, could easily move him up the list, but he has such a long future ahead and no reason to rush.
- Thunder Rosa – This is the only easy pick. The Women’s division needs more time to show off how good it is, but Thunder Rosa winning the belt is just a matter of time.
- Serena Deeb – She is just so good. An intimidating heel that spends months twisting babyfaces into pretzels while everyone hates her.
- Kris Statlander – The world needs our alien leader, after all.
- Leyla Hirsch – While I almost put her on the TBS title side, Leyla is just so good in the ring that I moved her over here. The babyface version of Serena and you know what. Can probably make being a heel work for her.
- MJF – Cause it just makes sense. Biggest heel taking down their ultimate good guy.
- Miro – He doesn’t have to be a good guy. He’s the Redeemer who destroys everyone in his path and can make for an excellent champion.
- Eddie Kingston – A stellar moment to be had. To see Eddie hold the belt, even if it is only one time. Need to see Eddie have his moment as the man.
- Kevin Stein – Is there any man better at stepping on moments and dreams that Owens/Stein. Destroying Kingston the way he did Zayn. Would be so good.
This was such a blast to write and so hard to try and put together. Have such a deep roster. Could easily flip in names like Powerhouse Hobbs, Tay Conti, any of the Dark Order. Not to mention who all they will bring in, but boy is it an exciting time.
As always, I hope you enjoyed and….
Thank You For Reading!
By: Justin Hopkins
I was absolutely devastated. Psych was one of my favorite shows during its run, and the first two movies were great fun, and I had no idea that this movie dropped till about a week ago. No fault other then my own for not being on the ball, but being that I see so many trailers for movies I don’t want to see. Would have been nice to see one to highlight this one. On the plus, side though, I went into this one truly blind and will always take more Psych in my life. So, lets jump in and discuss how they did the third time around.
The movie kicks off with a media storm outside of the Police Station. Buzz bringing in a suspect, with his lawyer demanding his release. Being stopped by a returning Lassiter, who tells everyone they have the wrong guy, and starts explaining how the real culprit is the lawyer. Being fed the information through an ear piece by Shawn. Who is hiding in a bush nearby with Gus. Everything is going well, until Shawn and Gus get into an argument over food, that Lassiter starts to repeat out loud. After the crowd dissipates, they are taking him back home. Learning he is still in rehabbing and struggling with his recovery. While Gus is preoccupied with preparing for the wedding. Shawn tells him that they can’t keep coming back down here to help him, but he doesn’t take that well. Saying that they are coming for his job and if they don’t come back, they are dead to him. Shawn goes to his Dad to get him to help, but refuses. Saying Lassie is worse than what he wants to admit and all they have done is give him false hope by helping. While he is out helping Gus with errands for the wedding. We learn that Gus is determined to have this wedding before she gives birth, but there is an issue; she hasn’t gotten divorced yet. Shawn starts to pry. Even going to Juliet to try and get her to look her up, but she won’t. Since they agreed to not have any children. Sees her friendship with Selene as her chance to be Godmother and tells him to leave it alone. So, of course, he goes to Chief Vick. Who is fixated on getting her meeting with the press out of the way so she can go on her family camping trip and while she doesn’t out right tell him no. Does so in a way that it didn’t happen if he doesn’t get caught and leaves him alone in her office. While the four are at dinner, Shawn steals her purse, and takes it into the bathroom. Getting an address from indents in her wallet, but is caught by Gus. He tries to explain but a fight ensues. After a lengthy brawl, Shawn convinces him that the two can settle this by just going to talk to her Sister. When they get there the next day, she has no idea who they are and when they argue with her boyfriend. She makes a run for it. Catching up to her when she flips her car. Confessing that she hires her to play her sister, and that Selene isn’t even her real name and he was not the first guy she introduced. Back with Juliet, Selene comes to her office, she found a bunch of stuff in her purse. If they are doing what she thinks they are, then they are in danger and that is where I will leave it for now.
Nobody has lost a step. Says so much on how good everyone is at there roles and how much chemistry they have together. Able to step into their characters like they had never stopped. The jokes, over the top moments, and emotions all hit so well and this movie had them firing on all cylinders.
They did a solid weave this story together. Not the first time they have gone to Gus attracting the wrong person and you really found yourself pulling for him. Hoping that this was all a misunderstanding, so he can have a good ending. While also not dropping the ball when it came to Lassiter. Showing his struggles with recovery and not sure what to do. Building on the emotions he had from Lassie Comes home and made for some of the best parts of the movie.
Along with planting scenes for things to come. With a post credit scene of Allen changing his focus to Gus and Selene in a room full of their picture. Besides the fact that Alan Maldonado was a lot of fun as Alan, but they way they used him. Could prove to be a credit threat to them and like the idea of a recurring threat. Also, I do hope we get to see more time for Vick and see where they are going with her family issues.
And before we end this, I go to talk about the bathroom brawl. It was so over the top and delightful and every time you thought it was over it just kept going and I could watch an entire movie length of that fight.
That is it. No negatives to speak of. Slightly mixed on was I didn’t care to much for the music video, but it is at the end and didn’t take anything away from the film. Have talked about the cast before and they are all wonderful at their characters and just love the fact we keep getting more from this world. Definitely check it out on Peacock. You won’t be disappointed. Final Grade – A +
As always, I hope you enjoyed and….
Thank You For Reading!
By: Justin Hopkins
And we are back! I have been looking forward to playing this game, to a point. Had a real blast going through the gens for the blog series and the fourth gen (Platinum) had quite to offer. Including, what I think, and quite a few others will agree with, the toughest battle the series has to offer. While the trailer certainly didn’t look good. Was still willing to give it a fair shake. Now, the journey is done, lets discuss shall we.
Kicking things off with news reports of a Red Gyarados and we join, Mui. Tracking down or friendly rival, the villainous Paulie this time. Finding him at his house and started toward the lake, only to have to go back, because he forgot something. Threatening to fine me various amounts if I didn’t beat him to the lake. Whatever, still better than Hop, you be you. Making it to the lake, where we see Rowan and his assistant Lucas talking to each other. When they leave, they forget the briefcase, and we go to get it; are attacked by Starly. The case pops open and Chris, the Chimchar joins the team. In case they didn’t fix the fire Pokemon issue (they did not). Storming my way through everything, with a bit of back and forward before I was on my way. Putting off getting pokemon for a moment. Trying to not repeat my team from Platinum. Checking off boxes in Jubilife City and dealing with Paulie. When I encountered a Budew that I named, Rebecca. Who nearly swept Rourke, but his Cranidos got a lucky shot in, bit the newly evolved Monferno got revenge. Coming across Rowan belittling Team Galactic, and had to team with Lucus and made my way to Floaroma Town and was given a Mew and Jirachi. Taking a moment to think that over a bit. Not really my play style, but never had one this early in the game so meet in the middle. Boxed Jirachi and Claire, The Mew joined the team. Just as a safety net if I find myself in trouble down the line. Picking up a Shellos that I called Jill, before Chris surprisingly downed the monster Purugly with a few Power up punches. Trying to focus on Budew in Eterna Forrest, but plant vs plant and bug is nightmarishly slow. Meeting Cynthia and spent way longer then I should figuring out what was a stomp, in Gardenia’s Gym. Along with Galactic Headquarters to get my bike. Oh, and Ralts named Sherry made the team. Getting in early weapons in the Cynthia fight. With Fantina away, I spent to much time in the contest halls of Hearthome City. Along with another Paulie fight and shortly after, Budew became Roselia. Blowing through Solaceon and onto Veilstone. Ralts to Kirlia and Monferno to Infernape. Blowing through Maylene and the goons who stole the Pokedex. My focus changing to get the leather coat. Pastoria was a cake walk for Roselia and Sherry playing backup. Same with Paulie who got in my way as I chased a Galactic Goon and Cynthia redirected me to Celestic. Which I headed straight for and had to turn around… Forgot to get Defog. Anyways, Celestic town came and went, and set sights on Fantina… who beat me. Her Gengar kept getting off Confuse Rays and my team insisted on punching themselves in face. Conclave City brought another face-off with Paulie and after a detour to go get Flamethrower, Chris made short work of the Gym. Our meeting at the Library was cut short and we ran off to find out what blew up. Finding Galactic had set off explosions at the lake at two of the three were gone. Racing off to check on Paulie, but not before Chris dealt with another gym, only it was to late and we had to go to the Headquarters to try and save the day. Once I got the Masterball and saved the guardian, began to get excited for The Distortion World… which is not in the game. The Cyrus fight ending and the Guardians just freed Dialga for me to Masterball and put in a box. Dejectedly, I continued, Wolkner was no match for Jill and for the first time, I slowed down. The flashbacks starting to hit me. I was drastically unprepared the last time I faced this Elite four. This time around, thought I had a solid answers for most of the Elite Four. As long as I can keep Sherry alive for Garchomp, with Mew having Avalanche just in case.
The Cynthia Fight
Putting Paulie in his place one last time, I threw myself at them to see where I was and barring a struggle with Lucian. We did make it to Cynthia, but since Chris was my highest level at 56. Cynthia did not have much of a hard time punching me out. So, stepping back and went for the shiny stone to get a Roserade of my own, and threw myself at the league. Win or lose, best way to grind and rounds two, three, and four all ended the same. Taking Cynthia down to Garchomp and he swept me out each time. Learning early, do not put in Ada, the Kricketune, who was never worth mentioning, in with Garchomp. Even as a chance to try and revive Sherry. Garchomp would simply take the chance to simply Swords Dance and take away any fleeting hope I might have. Spiritomb was the problem. Sherry needed to take him out, but couldn’t one hit it. Turn three, Sherry took him down to under half, withstood a Shadow Ball. So, I went for Drain Kiss, to squeeze out a bit of health. For her to swap into Roserade, got poisoned and died from poison damage. On the Fourth shot, Chris was my last Pokemon standing and took him down with Close Combat for Rough Skin to kill him and I lost cause of the draw. I was so close I could taste it. Fifth round, came in with Sherry at level 63, and still couldn’t one shot it, but tanked a Shadow Ball and Cynthia left him in. Downing him with Dazzling Gleam and felt I had a chance. Rebecca dealing with Milotic and Gastrodon and Chris dealing with Lucario and Roserade. Leaving just her Garchomp. Sending out Roserade who took and Earthquake and got off a Toxic. Sending in Mew for chip damage with Avalanche. Setting up a chip shot for Sherry, but when an Earthquake did not take him down. Cynthia opted for a Swords Dance and thanks to the Toxic damage. Was in range for Mew to finish him off and secured our place in the Hall of Fame. Finishing up the Pokedex and retired back home.
Kicking off the positives, I do really like how they kept the spirit and the strength of the Elite Four and Cynthia. Gardevior could have been a good counter, but was never going to out speed him. While, I thought Mew would have tilted the board. He was always a bit player on the team, and had she attacked, a second Earthquake would have killed him. You still need to strategize beforehand and that was great to see them carry into this game.
I did like the battle animations for the most part and how most of the characters looked in the battle scenes. Really stressing those scenes specifically. They do give you plenty to do Post Game. Places to go, legendries to capture and the national desk along with the Battle Tower. Which has never been my thing, but a lot of people like that. While I do like going to catch the Legendries, it probably won’t happen for me because…
This game is atrocious to look at. I thought maybe I could adapt to the Chibi art, but no. It actually got worse the more I played. Just started rushing my way through to get it done, and I have heard the argument that, that is how it has been, but the key is in the wording, HAS BEEN. It worked for the Gameboy advances and DS, but we moved on to people looking like people, in Let’s Go and Sword/Shield. If they are going to take from the past, bring in Megas or Z moves. Not the Chibis. All of the expressions were bad to the point of either laughter and after a while, eye rolls and annoyance and it really brings this game down a lot because of it.
Can’t believe I am going to say this, but the follow feature is terribly executed. I love the follow feature in Pokemon Games. So much fun seeing your Pokemon running behind you and interacting with them and they drop the ball so hard here. You are either outrunning them to the point it is sad or you bump into them and just looks strange. Granted, was fun trying to push them in front of trainers to see if they could block them and let me bypass a fight, but seemed off putting.
I can somewhat forgive them not having the Distortion World in this game. I still missed it. Really liked that world, but what I can’t is them keeping the problem with the fact there is only two lines of Fire Pokemon in this game. The Chimchar line and Ponyta. Platinum is right there. Could have at least brought them in to help build up the numbers, since they already knew this was a problem for Diamond and Pearl.
I will let you all in on something. May still be calling myself Genwunner, but after spending last year playing my way through the games. Favorite is Gen 5, and after playing Brilliant diamond. Hope there is no plans to remake it. This felt hollow when there was so much more they could have done. Really fleshed out the world more then they did. Not going to be someone who points out Breath of The Wild. Would have been happy to have this world done up with similar animations and art from Sword/Shield. Anything would have been better then this. And while you can still have fun with this game. Kids would probably enjoy it and that is what it is for really. First time players might enjoy it, but can’t suggest it over Diamond or Pearl and definitely not over Platinum. Final Grade – C-
As always, I hope you enjoyed and….
Thank You For Reading!