Monday, February 13, 2017

My Valentine

Tomorrow holds two significant events for me.

The first is obvious (Date on the post should say Feb. 13th.) It’s Valentine’s Day!

At this point I’m sure I lost a couple of my readers.  (Dang, I’m only down to one!  Thanks for reading on.) I understand being single on Valentine’s Day and the sappiness that surrounds those who aren’t, so I don’t hold it against you.

The second is the one that holds a lot more meaning to me.  It’s the day that this lovely lady was born.

I felt this gave me a great opportunity to show my appreciation for what I consider one of the greatest blessings in my life.

When I met Brooke I was 18.  Even though I had no restrictions pertaining to dating age, I hadn’t really dated all that much.  I had been more focused on school and my job to think about girls.  Being an insecure teenager didn’t help much.  At that point I’d been on two dates with two different girls that I’d worked with.  (Brooke worked with me too actually.  I didn’t get out much.) The first girl was nice enough.  We joked, kind of clicked.  I think I was most excited for the fact that I’d gotten up enough nerve to ask someone out.  She was going off to college in a couple weeks, so it didn’t really go anywhere.  It didn’t really affect me though.  I liked her, but wasn’t sad that nothing came of it.

The second girl, was nice.  I’d joked with her as well, but I didn’t really see her in the light of someone I was interested in dating.  Our date came about because of a friend that liked her.  He wasn’t sure what he wanted to do so he pushed me into asking her out to a local football game.  Knowing my love of wrestling you can see where we went wrong to begin with.  Also it didn’t help that he drove us to pizza and sat in the car the whole time.  It made the whole dinner awkward. Oh, and the fact that I didn’t want to ask her out to begin with.  He finally ended up dating her and it ended badly.

Shortly after these mediocre dates I’d began joking with another girl at work.  I’d asked her if I could have her children and she good naturedly said “Sure.”  I wasn’t sure she got my jokes or humor, so I didn’t really think much of it.  It so happens a couple weeks later that the aforementioned friend and I went into work on our off hours to hang out.  At the same time another group of coworkers were getting ready to leave on a group thing and beckoned us to come chat with them before they left.

That’s when I saw Brooke.  It was the same girl that said I could have her children.  Fortuitous, no?

I guess I’d never seen her outside of work before.  When you work at a fast food place it’s hard to see anyone outside of their uniforms.  You reek of french fries, burger meat, and sweat.  Also I’m really oblivious sometimes so I could have seen her and not really registered it.  Although if I had, how I would’ve not noticed or forgotten is beyond me.

I’d like to say that the first thing I noticed was her eyes.  They’re a beautiful blue by the way and very noticeable..  Or that long red hair, it was down to her waist when I’d first met here and is also beautiful, but being the eighteen year old teenage boy that I was, I noticed something else.  I’d say the the reason I noticed this particular feature was because her tight t-shirt had a large “Get Outta My Face” printed across it, but you’d see through that pretty easily.

Again, teenage boy here.

After a couple of moments of staring I did notice those other things by the way.  She was joking with another work friend and her laughter was infectious.   That was actually the second thing I noticed.  I couldn’t get her off my mind after that night.  I don’t know if it was love at first sight.  I’d like to say it was.  All I know is that I was smitten and I needed to talk to this girl again.

Whatever it was, I believe that God’s hand was in it.  I was not good with talking to girls that I was interested in.  I barely was able to speak to ones I didn’t want to ask out.  Things fell into place with Brooke.

It was a couple days later that the same friend and I went into work after hanging out.  We’d been hanging out with another work friend at the time.  This friend happened to be a girl.  Low and behold Brooke had just happened to have just got off her shift and was eating.  Me and the other mutual friend (the girl) sat down to talk to her.  I’m not sure how the conversation turned this way, but it landed on the subject of date movies.  Our work friend happened to mention that she thought a certain new movie was a great date movie.  Brooke said she didn’t go on many dates.  Without thinking I heard the words “I’ll take you” come out of my mouth.

Brooke says that she used her supervillain like wits to work the conversation this way.  Apparently she was taken by the long leather jacket I wore.  Whether it was Brooke’s keen manipulation skills or God’s hand at work, I’ll take it.

The rest is history.  We went to that movie.  It was a James Bond movie if you must know.  I’ve never been a big Bond fan, but I figured if this date didn’t work out I’d get to see the Bond movie with Teri Hatcher in it.  I had a crush on her at the time.  Don’t ask.  I’m still not sure what I was thinking.  

I didn’t think it was going very well because she mentioned she didn’t like talking during movies so I kept my mouth shut.  She said later that she only said that so I wouldn’t ruin the movie, which she knew I had already seen.  She’d wondered why I wasn’t talking to her.  We made our way back to McDonald’s after the movie.  She must have really liked me because let’s face it, if we were beginning and ending a date there I was lame.  I ordered a shake and we sat at the bar, still not saying much.  I remembered adjusting and I suddenly felt her fingers.  Before I knew it we were holding hands.  We sat that way for I don’t know how long.  I didn’t want it to end, but it did.  We made plans for the next night and we haven’t really left each other’s side since then.

The nice thing is she started out as my girlfriend, but she quickly turned into my best friend.  We became inseparable.  It was implied as far as my guy friends went if Ken was going to do anything with them there was a good chance that Brooke was there too.  The cool thing was they didn’t mind because she had become there friend too.

Brooke has had a bigger impact on my life than just about anyone.

She helped me find a way back to the church and it’s made me happier than I ever thought I could be.  She urged me to go back to school and get my degree in a field that I love.  I don’t think I would be the man  or father I am without her influence.  She makes me strive to be better than I was yesterday and do things I never thought I could.

She’s never tried to make me give up any of my passions.  I could still collect comics if I wanted.  Heck, she felt bad when I decided to give it up.  Knowing how big a part of my life it had been for so long made her feel bad.  She’s never looked down on me for liking wrestling.  Heck, she’s become as big a fan as I have.  It’s grown into something we share together.

We’ve grown to appreciate and like a lot of the same things.  Yes, there are still things we keep separate, but the wonderful thing is we respect each other enough to let the other do those things without looking down on them for it.

The funny thing is that in all the years we’ve spent together, (Seventeen this coming Sunday) I feel the same as I did as an eighteen year old.  She’s still my best friend.  I still want to spend all my extra time with her.  If I make plans with anyone else I wish that Brooke was there too.  And even though I realize that time apart is probably a good thing it doesn’t make me want to be without her any less.

I want to tell her everything both good and bad.  She’s the first person I tell good and bad news.  I can’t wait to see her next.  Even the idea of going grocery shopping together gets me excited because it’s time spent with her.

God definitely blessed me the day I saw the red haired girl with nice set of…...eyes.  It was totally her eyes.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

I'm A Writer

Since my blog post in November (Ugh! Writing is hard...or is it?) about how hard writing has been and how utterly bad I've been about updating my blog, something has changed.

I'm a writer.

I decided with that post that if anything I'd be consistent.  I would lay something down more often than I had been. Whether it was here on my blog or just something in Google Docs and you know what?  It's been working.

Since that post I've written 6 blogs.  That's more than 3 times the blogs I posted in 2015. Brooke has been called to Young Womens and so every Tuesday she and Kylie are gone for at least an hour. Since Leslie and Sam are both of the age they can watch themselves I use that time to sit down and write.  (Guess what day it is right now?)  It's given me a set time that there are no excuses. That time is for writing so that's what I'm going to do.  I'm going to put something down no matter what!  And it's been working.  I've been writing every Tuesday.  So much so that I've heard Brooke tell the kids sometimes before she leaves that dad will be up on the computer writing.  It's kind of awesome.

And do you know what?  Not everything I've written has been a blog either.

If you remember back I wrote about how I did a wrestling thing where Chris and I wrote wrestling matches.  Although that's more infrequent than I'd like, it's still happening and it's still as fun as heck. I love being able to write matches with stuff that I want to see in wrestling.  Create characters that I wish were in wrestling.  It's phenomenal.  We've even added my other friend Josh, a writing partner since the PCW days. (Written about in another previous blog. The Rise and Fall and Rise again of PCW) It's a lot of the same characters, but with a fresh start.  You can check it out here: ACW

If your a wrestling fan we'd like to hear from you and see what you think.

As much writing as that sounds like, even it's not all.  Chris has become my writing partner since the creation of ACW and we haven't stopped there.  He had an idea of doing something related to superheroes.  Whether it be a radio show type podcast or a writing project, it sounded fun.  We created a city, Spartan City, and we'd fill it with superheroes and write about their exploits.  Me, being a comic book fan, I was totally on board.  Although we haven't got the idea too far off the ground I've ground out some stories and it's been awesome!

I've come up with a few semi-unique characters and wrote some origins.  I remembered a Friday night coming up with a great idea.  I was so excited that I ran upstairs and started putting it down. The next morning I was back at it.  I was so excited about what I was writing I was shaking while I was typing it.

Chris has also had an idea for a while to create something where we can write about nerd news. Recently it's become a group effort with a guy Chris and I work with and a couple of Chris' friends (now my friends too) that I hope gets off the ground because I'm excited for it.  Look for that in the next little while.  I think you'll like it.  All 5 of you that read my blog.

The great part is I've gotten some positive feedback on what I've written.  Mostly on my blog posts, but hey feedback is feedback, and it's encouraged me to keep it up.

All in all this experience has taught me a few things.

First, writing is a muscle and if I keep flexing it the better I get.  I didn't think anything I'd written before was worthwhile.  Now the more I write the more I enjoy what I've written and want to share it with others.

Second, I couldn't have done it without Chris and Brooke.  Brooke is very supportive and encourages me to write.  She badly wants me to finish the werewolf story I'd been writing (Also posted in this blog) and sometimes gets angry when she's found out I haven't worked on it.  That's something I really need to get back to.

Chris has become my writing partner.  It seems everything I want to write involves him.  I can bounce my ideas off him and he helps me make it that much better.  He's encouraging and gives me great feedback that I can use and makes me want to write that much more.  And it's gone both ways. He bounces stuff off me all the time too and I give my feedback.  Chris has become the biggest reason for me writing and I can't tell him how much I appreciate him for that.  I'm not sure I would be writing without him.

Finally, I'm my own worst critic.  I know that's kind of cliche because you hear that everywhere, but I've found lately that it's true.  I've given myself a little more leeway.  Not everything I put down on paper (Or type in Google Docs in this case) is going to be great, but I can't let that discourage me.  I like writing.  I like creating my own stories and my own worlds.  If I don't like something I've realized that's not the end.  I can change it or go on to the next thing.  It'll always be there for me to go back to when I've got a better idea.

I couldn't tell you when I wrote that blog a couple months ago how invested I'd become in writing. It's actually surprised me how much more writing I've done since then.  I've enjoyed every minute of it too. I feel like my thoughts and ideas are more organized.  That I'm coming up with better plots and ideas. I'm happy with the things I've written for the first time in forever and am excited to keep it going.  It's a release and a getaway that I can't describe.

Maybe it was that blog post, but I've broke some shackles that I had on me when it came to writing. Something that had been keeping me down and ruining my creativity.  I feel like those locks have been broken and I'm excited to write more than ever.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Why the Hate for Batfleck?

The other day I finally had the opportunity to watch Batman V. Superman Ultimate Edition.  I've seen Batman V. Superman multiple times, but the Ultimate Edition has added and extended scenes in it that I hadn't seen yet.

Watching it I started wondering about something.  It bothered me so much so that the next day I brought it up to a friend/co-worker of mine named Johnny.  I knew he, like myself, was a fan of BVS. So I posed the question to him that had bugging me.  "Did you like Ben Affleck as Batman?"  He came back with a pretty astounding affirmative.  Now the reason I asked him, and the reason the question was bugging me, was I was too.

So why the hate for Batfleck?

Johnny and I had a pretty good discussion on the matter.  He brought up some new points of view that really opened my eyes.  It didn't change my opinion.  I liked Affleck as Batman, but they kind of helped hammer it home.

Since Ben Affleck was announced as the Caped Crusader I remember it being met with a lot of negativity.  I chose to wait until I saw the movie to hold judgement on how good his Dark Knight was, but others did not.  People were in an uproar.  I found that a lot of it stemmed from another superhero movie he was in: Daredevil.

Now Daredevil was another movie that I really didn't mind.  Was it the greatest superhero ever?  No. Did it deserve to go down as the worst ever?  Not in my opinion.  Sure it had it's faults, but really what movie doesn't?  Something a lot of moviegoers are quick to point out I might add.

Here was my philosophy on the Daredevil subject and what I told most people when I told them I didn't mind Ben Affleck being cast as Batman and they would said "What about Daredevil?"  First I explained my previous point.  I didn't mind Daredevil.  I then pointed out the fact that Ben Affleck is a different actor than when Daredevil was made.  He'd grown up as an actor.  To the point he was a completely different actor than when he was in Daredevil.  The man had won awards since then. Something that doesn't sway my opinion of anyone, but seems to hold weight for others.  Finally Daredevil can't be blamed solely on the actors.  Yes, they are a part of why the movie works and why it doesn't, but there are a lot of other factors in play.  Direction.  Script.  Other actors performances. Factoring that in I can't blame Ben Affleck for all that was wrong with Daredevil.  A point that all those people seemed to forget when finding out about his casting.

I didn't really think about Daredevil while watching Affleck as Batman.  I actually thought he did quite a bit of justice to the character.  I thought he did a great job in Batman's duality.  Distinguishing Batman from Bruce Wayne.  The part at that Library Benefit where he acts tipsy and tells Lex that the only reason he showed up was to "drink him dry" was a master stroke.  He made it seem that Bruce didn't care to be there when he actually did.  Which showcased another Batman feature I enjoyed about Batman V. Superman.  Batman was a detective in it.

BVS showed Batman doing what Batman does best.  Being a detective.  Affleck in my opinion made it believable too.  Playing to the tunnel vision Batman has while on a case.  He talks about interrogating street level thugs, all to find out who the White Portuguese is and the object the Portuguese has.

In a less obvious note I think that Affleck accentuated some of Batman's less likable features.  I got the sense of pain from the loss of his parents in the way Affleck played Bruce.  The scared, hurt little boy that grew up to be scared, hurt man running around dressed like a bat.

He snide comments with Alfred were great, not only because Alfred fired back with a quick retort, but the idea that he was keeping Alfred at arms length due to the pain he's felt throughout his life.  It was subtle but I think was done well.  Something I don't think is easily performed.

No point showed Batma's vulnerability than the scene that everyone seems to condemn, the climactic "Why did you say that name?" scene. Most thought it cheesy and a far stretch at a resolution to the Batman versus Superman fight, but I think differently.  It shows to me the affect that Superman has on Batman when he inadvertently shows Bats how alike they are in the fact that their mother shares a name.  Batman, with so much hate against Superman, realizes how human Superman actually is when he finds out that their mothers share a name.  As cheesy as it seems, I find it believable.  Batman is that frightened little orphan deep down and all it would take was something small like "Martha" to get him to reassess his situation and the purpose he had.  I think Affleck pulled that struggle off perfectly.

I think a lot of people have attributed a lot of Affleck's performance to other things they didn't like about the film.  Things I've heard from people that talk about why they didn't like Batman V. Superman.  The biggest thing?

"But Batman killed!"

One: That wasn't really Ben Affleck's decision.  That was Zack Snyder's and the other writers decision.  Ben Affleck just played the character the script dictated.  You can't really blame him for that.  Most people will because they don't see the men behind the movie.  You tend to blame the face of the problem.  In this case it's Ben.

I on the other hand tend to overlook this problem.  Not because I like the idea of Batman killing, I don't.  I tend to overlook it because of other portrayals of Batman.  When hearing how great Michael Keaton was as Batman I don't hear about him dropping a bomb between someone's legs or slamming a guys head into a bell and letting him fall down a shaft.  Those tend to be overlooked because everyone loves Keaton as Batman.  Myself included.  I just tend to give that same benefit to everyone.  In this case Ben Affleck.

On a side note, my friend Johnny brought up an interesting take on the issue of Batman killing in BVS.  He said that he thinks, and I tend to agree, that Batman changed after the death of Robin.  He became more devoid of feelings to hide his pain.  Much like a young Bruce did after the death of his parents.  As an adult it got turned up a notch.  In this case dropping his killing rule.  He feels after losing Robin that it may be justified.  It doesn't make me like the idea of Batman killing any more than before, but I can accept that thought.  I tend to believe the events of Batman V. Superman will help to bring him back a little bit.

He also brought up the idea that the character changed to appeal to a different generation.  This also helped me accept Lex's character as well, but that's a different Blog.

The Batman that 1989 needed was different to the one that was needed today.  Unfortunately today he had to deal with a world that likes to nitpick movies apart instead of just enjoying them for the good things.  I'm not saying you can't dislike a movie, just let the little things slide.

So do I believe Ben Affleck's performance perfect.  No.  Do I believe it's good.  Yes.  While thinking about this for the last week or so I believe it's one of my favorite performances of the Dark Knight.  It wasn't perfect, but it was up there in my opinion.  To me he was a pretty dang good Batman.  He was able to portray Batman's strengths and flaws without throwing them in your face.  That to me is a good actor.  Not everyone is going to live up to everyones expectations of an iconic character like Batman.  Ben Affleck doesn't top my list of great actors, but I like him as Batman and am excited to see what his next outing brings.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Wrestler Retrospect: Sexy Star

While trying to figure out who my next Wrestler Retrospect was going to be on, I brought the subject up to my wife Brooke.  She started to throw out names and inadvertently made me realize something.

A great injustice had been done!

In all my years of doing Wrestler Retrospect I had never showcased a woman. Something that desperately needed to be changed.  Especially in this day and age of the woman's revolution.

In trying to figure out which woman to do it on, because there are so many great women wrestlers out there right now, I figured I could kill many birds with one stone. Not only could I showcase a favorite woman's wrestler.  A wrestler from Mexico, and one from another wrestling organization: Lucha Underground!

That brings us to today's pick for Wrestler Retrospect: Sexy Star!

When my friend Chris introduced me to Lucha Underground there was so much great talent.  It also had some great concepts.  One being that there was no "women's division" per se.  There were women, yes.  There were women wrestlers, sure.  But there was no separate women's division.  A roster of ladies vying for a title that only women could hold.  I'll admit at first I thought it weird.  To see women face men.  The men weren't holding back, treating them like delicate flowers to be careful with.  Worrying about hitting moves on them or just plain hitting them for that matter.  It took some getting used to.  Sexy Star was one wrestler that helped with that.

She was on the debut episode and fought against another favorite Son of Havoc.  Right off I took a liking to her.  She was a luchadora, mask and all.  Using high flying moves and wrestling holds just as much as punching her opponent in the mouth.  Neither combatant held their punches and it began to seem more natural. She showcased that not only she, but any woman could compete with a man and have it be believable. What was at first weird began to be refreshing.  She didn't win that match, but you got the feeling that she could have.  It wasn't long before she did.

She's performed many firsts for me and on Lucha Underground.  There are three main titles on the show.  A trios title, which is akin to a tag title but with a team of three on either side.  The Gift of the Gods title, which is unique concept where medallions are earned by the combatants.  When all the medallions are earned, the medallions are placed in a belt.  The medallion earning wrestlers then fight in a multi-man match, the winner receiving the title.  It then can be defended, but also cached in for a shot at the final title.  The Lucha Underground Championship.  The major belt of the promotion.

Sexy Star has held both singles title.  The only woman to do so.

It was amazing to watch.  Her title reign only lasted a day, but was won in glorious fashion.  She fought in a match with twenty other participants that ended with her and a monster of a man known as Mil Muertes, another favorite.  There aren't a lot of wrestlers there I don't like.  

It was an amazing match and an amazing victory.  Her reign, unfortunately was short-lived, as she lost the title the following episode.  The only consolation was that the person that beat her cheated, meaning the Sexy Star could have one just as much as her male opponent.

It's not just her title victories that showcase how great she ia.  She had a epic I Quit match against a wrestler named Mariposa, that Brooke and I talk about to this day.  Well I talk about.  Brooke just nods and agrees.  Warning though, if you watch it she does drop the F-Bomb.  It was about the only bad thing I have to say about it.

Sexy Star is a great wrestler, one that stands out as one of my favorite female performers, male or female.  She's proved that she can hang with anyone.  Much like everything she's done earned the right to be inaugural
female Wrestler Retrospective.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Wrestler Retrospect: AJ Styles

I remember it like it was yesterday.

Okay, so my memory isn't THAT good.  I still remember it pretty well.

I was in the crowd at the Idaho Center Arena.  My voice mostly gone at that point.  I had already seen Samoa Joe, which was one of the main wrestlers I wanted to see, so everything else was icing on the cake at that point.

Then "Get Ready to Fly" hit.

AJ Styles' theme song.

The roar grew deafening.

I watched AJ, the Legends Champion at the time, face off against his real life best friend Christopher Daniels.  The match was everything I'd ever wanted to see if I'd had the chance to attend a live event. There had been a main event after that match, but to me I was watching the real main event right then.

AJ finished Christopher Daniels with his finisher, the Styles Clash, a move he invented, and it was amazing.  The two men finished the match with a handshake and a hug I think.  Then Daniels then lead the crowd in a round of happy birthday to AJ.  Not only was I able to see AJ Styles, the man was performing on his birthday.  I was in heaven.

Later, while in line to take a picture with Team 3D (Also known as the Dudleys) I walked past AJ.  I actually had the nerve to tap him on the shoulder and tell him happy birthday in person.  He thanked me and I was beaming.  I was also able to get his autograph later, which only capped off a memorable night.

AJ Styles had been the face of TNA for the better part of twelve years.  He had been there since the beginning.  I know when I had first been introduced to TNA by my friend Josh that AJ had been one of the highlights that kept me coming back.  His "Phenomenal" nickname was well deserved.   Even though he was most associated with the X-Division at the point I started watching, AJ was a heavyweight contender.  He could hit opponents with power moves and then turn around and fly off the top rope and have you in awe.  He was a well rounded wrestler.

I think when I started watching he had already held that Heavyweight title and was TNA's first grand slam winner, meaning he'd won every title he could contend for.

That was just in TNA!

I thought the end of his run with TNA was kind of disappointing.  Not because of what AJ was doing. I thought he was close to the top of his form, but because it was cut short.  He wasn't being treated right by the company.  They put him in the title picture after a great story line that saw him do almost a Sting type gimmick, where he didn't talk and you couldn't tell what side he was on and he was attacking everybody!  It wasn't enough to keep AJ.

He eventually moved on to the independent circuit, where his popularity began to grow, if that was possible.  He led a stable called the Bullet Club in Japan and had a great run.

WWE finally came calling though.  Styles was an anomaly when it comes to WWE recently.  He was signed with WWE and instead of going to NXT, WWE's development brand which is common with a new signee, he went straight to the main roster.

I was at my buddy Chris' house when he debuted.  There were rumors that he might debut in the Royal Rumble, but some very convincing stories had came out debunking that.rumor.  When number three was set to make his entrance, an unfamiliar theme hit.  Like Roman Reigns, who was in the ring, Chris and I had a confused look on our face.  It was when the screen read "I am Phenomenal" that Chris, I, and the entire Amway arena came unglued.  I yelled so loud I got a dirty look from a few in the room.

It was hard to get me to pop that loud anymore.  With the internet everything is ruined before it actually happens.  I was glad it hadn't been that night though.

AJ spent quite a bit of time in the match before being eliminated by Kevin Owens.  It was a sweet debut.  He's has had an amazing run in WWE so far.  Before hitting his first year with the company he's already captured the WWE title and doing some of the best heel work I've seen from him.  Pretty amazing if you ask me, but very well deserved.  AJ is an exceptional wrestler that's earned every accolade he's accomplished.  Whether a babyface or a heel he remains simply....


What?  Did you think I was going to say Phenomenal?

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

One Last Challenge for the Green Hornet

Yesterday as I was scrolling through Facebook the worst thing happened.  I came across the announcement that Van Williams, the man that played The Green Hornet, Van Williams, had died.

Needless to say I'm crushed.

I had actually recently finished the entire series.  I'd gotten them all from a friend, pirated from someone's TV viewing.  Having time in the morning between working out and getting ready for work to squeeze in an episode, the wound was fresh.

I vividly remember finding the Green Hornet as a kid.  I was in twelve or thirteen at the time.  We had recently received FX when it was a brand new cable channel.  I had stopped on the channel because Batman, the 60's Adam West show, was on.  They'd been showing marathons of it and Wonder Woman all day.  During a commercial they showed what was coming up next.  It happened to be the Green Hornet.  I was elated.  I'd seen the movie Dragon: The Bruce Lee story, so I knew the show existed, but I'd never had the opportunity to see an actual episode.

Bruce Lee having been the most famous actor to come out of Green Hornet, Dragon of course played him up.  After finally watching an episode of Green Hornet I'd realized how much they'd downplayed Williams.  He had a very, very small part.  The actor playing Williams had been tied to a chair, and while Bruce punched and kicked his way through the scene, all he said was "Great job, Kato!"

I loved that movie, and at the time knew no better.  After seeing an actual episode I realized how sad it made Williams look, in my perspective anyway.  Not until recently did I find out that Williams had actual been in that scene as the director.  It made me feel a little better about the scene overall.

In the TV show, Williams was great.  He was the star.  The Green Hornet was smart and sleek.  He was a hero posing as a criminal to get close to the bad guys and bring them down.  Kato was there as his partner and muscle, but that never stopped the Hornet from getting his hands dirty.  He punched right along with Lee.

The show was made by the same company that had made Batman, but all the intentional campiness was gone.  Being made in 1966, and compared to today's fare, there were some campy moments.  For the most part the show was played straight   An article I read said that Williams insisted it be played straight and I respect him for it  For a show about a masked hero I think was pretty cool for it's time.

I ate it up.

Catching an episode every time I could was a high light of my weekend.  I would try to find DVD's with Green Hornet episodes, but sadly came up short.

I've recently found out through articles what happened to Williams since his stint as masked hero posing as a crime boss.  He'd gone on to do more acting, but eventually became a reserve deputy sheriff for L.A. county and a firefighter.  To paraphrase a line from an article, there aren't many people that play a hero and then go on to be one in real life.

It was because of Williams portrayal of Britt Reid and his alter ego the Green Hornet that I had a hard time stomaching the 2011 film.  Reid came across as a bumbling buffoon.  He let Kato take up the slack and be the real action star.  I prefer to remember my Green Hornet and Kato as partners. Solving crimes and fighting bad guys together.  I know most will always remember the Green Hornet as the launching point of Bruce Lee's career and I take nothing away from him.  I'm a fan along with everyone else.  I think in the many years since it's airing Van Williams has become underrated in just how great he actually was.  He played Green Hornet in a way that people would respect today.  He was what people want to see in their heroes on screen.
Williams left an impression on me of how I want my superheroes to act.  Smart, a little suave, and definitely kicking ass.  Van Williams holds a place of high regard in my heart among my favorite actors.  Not actors to play masked heroes, but actors.  Because as a teenage kid getting into comic books and superheroes he definitely was a large reason why I love them.
 He will be missed.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Wrestler Retrospect: Shunsuke Nakamura

I can't put my finger on it.

There's just something about Shinsuke Nakamura.

I knew virtually nothing about Nakamura before he came to NXT.  In his first appearance, he issued a challenge to Sami Zayn, I was a little taken aback.  It wasn't what he said that was weird.  It wasn't that he did anything specifically out of the ordinary.  There was just something about him that intrigued me.  His mannerisms. His expressions.  Something.

The following Takeover (NXT's pay-per-view) Nakamura premiered.

And I was hooked.

It was everything.  From the music that played him to the ring, to his unique walk/dance to the ring, not to mention the match itself.  The man had charisma that you just can't help but like.

His entrance music alone has to be in my top 5 favorite themes of all.  A violin driven theme that you (and the entire crowd) can't help but sing along with.  And there aren't any lyrics.

That says nothing about the following match itself.  Something amazing happened.  Zayn and Nakamura put on a match that was mesmerizing. The live crowd began a chant of "wrestle forever" that I can't say was far off the mark.

Nakamura stayed undefeated for quite a while.  Eventually becoming champion.  His first loss was to Samoa Joe at the last Takeover event.

It's interesting to see what Nakamura does.  He's not fully grasped the English language, so he's a man of few words.  When he does speak he makes it count, but he lets his charisma do the talking. He has a way of walking and acting that catches your attention immediately and doesn't let go until he's gone.  He knows how to walk and act that keeps you interested in what he's doing.  I'm a fan of wrestlers that can talk and cut amazing promos.  It says something for a wrestler when he doesn't say much and can keep me engaged in what he's going to do next.

NXT is constantly bringing in star power to their brand.  People from the independent circuit that you can't help but love.  For me Nakamura is towards the top of the list.  I can't wait to see what he does next.  He's got a bright future with the WWE and one that he will sure to make unique.