Trust Issues in Modern Wrestling

In case you missed it: on the last RAW of 2013, the storyline between Daniel Bryan and the cultish Wyatt Family took an interesting, if not baffling turn. After weeks of harassment and suffering at the hands of the diabolical three-man group, Bryan stood before them during the final minutes of RAW… and joined them.

While this development was indeed shocking, it doesn’t come close to what would happen on the January 13 episode. After only three television shows (and everything else in between), Bryan would cost his team a pretty important cage match against the Usos, and the rest is history. Bryan turned against Bray Wyatt in what has to be the most spine-chillingly electric moment of the year – and that’s saying something, seeing as we haven’t even been halfway through the first month yet. (If you haven't seen this ending, go do yourselves a favor and seek it out. It'll be worth your while, I promise.)

But that ending was still a backpedalling of epic proportions. No matter how amazing, awe-inspiring, or downright glorious it is, we simply cannot deny that. Yes, the WWE had a very lucky strike with that booking decision, perhaps managing to catch lightning in a bottle (even if it was with the finesse of the Three Stooges) with that insane crowd reaction at Providence – but at the heart of the matter lie the actual questions, to be poked and prodded:

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Attack on Titan

I've become convinced that the reason that the humans of 'Attack the Titan' (or Shingeki no Kyojin) keep losing is because they just won't shut up. Whenever there's a crisis, members of the Survey Corp. will invariably spend 20 minutes discussing how they feel about the situation, often with shiny quivering anime eyes, before taking any action. For some reason, the slack-faced Titans will patiently wait for said soldiers to finish their histrionic discussions and then promptly proceed to defeat the resulting plan and eat them.

This procedure usually takes up to several episodes. In fact, you could cut the series 25 episode run (so far?) down to maybe 8 or 9 and still end up with the same plot, just minus the sections where the characters are over-emoting.


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The 2013 Geek Out/SGP Wrestling Awards

2013 was a good year for wrestling.

Before anything, I’m going to need to bring up some qualifiers there. I say “wrestling” but I only really have the WWE to go on this year, and that’s blasphemous within the context of a vast, bustling professional wrestling industry that thrives from the major leagues at the top to the small presentations at the bottom. It’s not just Vince McMahon’s company.

But sometimes, in a way, it is. Nobody else has enough marketing power to match the WWE’s, and the company ends up becoming synonymous to wrestling. I have no doubt that it falls under a philosophical fallacy of some sort, but there’s no use trying to debunk it. So here’s the postulate: when the WWE does well, wrestling does well, and vice versa.

The second qualifier is the definition of “good.” Let me be clear in saying that it is not great, and very far from perfect. There are still some questionable decisions abound, both gimmick-wise and booking-wise (the latter sometimes in the name of what the WWE might like to call delayed gratification) but the wrestling has been very solid. The roster is still stacked with good workers from the main event down to developmental, and the company’s picked the right ring general to elevate (more on him later), resulting in a year’s worth of great matches at best and decent matches at worst.

And that’s why we’re here today – to look back on the year that was with a rundown of the good, the bad, the ugly, and the future, all served neatly in a package full of awards, voted on by the Philippine wrestling brain trust that is Smark Gilas-Pilipinas.

Let’s begin, shall we?


Rookie of the Year

Part of what made 2013 a good year for wrestling – or at the very least, the WWE – was that the new blood infused everywhere brought a lot of good things to the ring. While I mentioned one promotion, for the purposes of this award, a “rookie” is any young blood wrestler who started in a company in 2013/late 2012, and for the WWE/NXT paradigm, those who were called up to the WWE’s main roster in that same time period are included.

And your 2013 Rookie of the Year is… Sami Zayn!

Read more: The 2013 Geek Out/SGP Wrestling Awards


Thoughts on Sherlock - 'The Empty Hearse'

Two years since Sherlock jumped to his death at the end of Sherlock, series 2, we finally get to hear how it really happened. I tried to figure out a way to review this without spoiling anything for late viewers, but there really isn't anyway to do that, so I'm going to preface this entry with a short summary.

'The Empty Hearse' is a fun, if somewhat mediocre, episode of the Sherlock series. There's a lot of exposition that is thrown at you, very little actual plot or development, and if you haven't followed the series, then you are NOT going to understand what is going on. The actual mystery in this one takes a back seat to humor in this love letter to Sherlock fans.

Now that that's out of the way:


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Thoughts on "The Time of the Doctor"

In the 2007 short Time Crash, the Tenth Doctor met with the Fifth Doctor through some wibbily-wobbly timey-wimey stuff. In the episode, after a beat near the end when Ten (played by David Tennant) has acted starstruck and gushed effusively about meeting his predecessor (Peter Davison), he said to Five, "You were my Doctor."

I understood that the line referred both to the fact that Ten had enjoyed being Five, "...dashing about and playing cricket" (Davison was less stodgy and authoritative than his precursors), as well as the fact that the Fifth Doctor was the one on the air when Tennant was a boy. He would have been about 9 or 10 years old at the time Davison began his run. What I didn't comprehend at the time was the emotion that Tennant displayed when he said that line. However when I watched Matt Smith say farewell as number Eleven in The Time of the Doctor earlier, something dawned on me.

Eleven just isn't my Doctor.

Read more: Thoughts on "The Time of the Doctor"


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