important thing to remember is that in the mid/late 80s,
wrestling hadn't yet admitted that it wasn't real. I mean,
I'm sure someone could have surmised this from the way
fights didn't end in a single punch followed by a headlock
and occasionally, a masked man would jump off of something
tall, but it wasn't yet shouted from all the mountaintops.
Nikita Koloff was still speaking broken Russian at the
grocery store, Bill Watts was still firing people for losing
bar fights, and if you were seven years old, there was no
doubt. It was real, and it was important, and much like your
parents or President Reagan, wrestling would never lie to
us. Evil exists, and a lot of rasslers were its earthbound
ambassadors. And sometimes, the very concept of the
existence of some of these bad guys could really fuck me up,
without one single triggering event. Bad Guys of
The Missing Link was one
such villain whose field of menace was strong enough that he
scarred my fragile psyche despite me being a WWF kid and him
mostly running around various NWA territories by the time I
found out about him. Because most wrestling villains were
bad men, but at the end of the day, they were just men.
Andre may have been a Giant, Jake may have been a Snake, Ted
DiBiase might have wielded the corrupting influence of
exactly one million dollars, and Adorable Adrian Adonis may
have challenged the traditional views of gender instilled in
us by our good Christian upbringings, but they were like us;
they could feel pain, they could bleed from their foreheads,
and they couldn't withstand the force of the Patented Hogan
Leg Drop. They were mere mortal humans, when you get right
down to it. But the Missing Link... Was not. Here was this
crazy-haired, green-faced prehistoric sasquatch lizard
sonofabitch who was made entirely of muscles, and if you had
tried to convince me that he was an actual human being, I
wouldn't have believed you. Humanoid maybe, but at best an
unholy caveman/reptile hybrid. Like if he really was the
Missing Link, it was a link between Homo Erectus and The
Mighty Megalosaurus or something. And he was immune to
headbutts, and he was allowed to roam freely on these
streets. He coulda bit somebody and gave them rabies. Fuckin
samsquamptches. Throughout all of the crap being a tiny
wrestling fan put the through, The Missing Link was the only
bad guy wrestler that I literally had nightmares about.
(Unless you count the Greg Valentine dream, but that dream
happened in the format of an A-Team episode. And
yes, I will get to that one someday.)
Bad News Brown's backstory
is simple: Stampede Wrestling star Bad News Allen signed
with the WWF, Vince McMahon saw a Canadian former judo
champion and immediately thought "angry black man from
Harlem," and changed his name to Brown, because he's a huge
racist. And man, when I was little, Bad News Brown scared
the shit out of me. Like the big fear attached to most
rasslin villains was that they would do bad things to our
favorite good guys and take their championships and whatnot,
but Bad News just seemed like he was coming after us
personally. It reminds me of something Stone Cold Steve
Austin said on his podcast about Ron Simmons (and I think he
was paraphrasing someone else, so we got quoteception going
on) that applies here: "He could stand in the ring and read
the phone book, and you'd believe him, and you'd be scared."
So even though I had never drank a beer or tilled the soil
in place of paying rent, when he would call the crowd a
bunch of beer-bellied sharecroppers, I just knew that he was
talking about me, and I just knew he was coming to kick my
ass somehow. Like I'd just be chilling in my room, and he'd
bust in with the
giant mutant sewer rats he had bred to kill Jake the
Snake's python, he would just hit me with the Ghetto
Blaster, (aka enzuigiri, aka that kick you could never get
Fighter Hayabusa lined up right to do in NES Pro Wrestling)
and I would be killed, and that would be it. After all, his
big catchphrase was "take no prisoners, give no mercy,"
meaning that he would totally kill a dude in the ring if he
had to. Looking back, I don't know if I was being
subconsciously racist due to my Mississippi upbringing,
honestly so much as I'm pretty sure I just thought he was a
dude who didn't like white people. So as a six year old, I
was pretty much the "well actually, the REAL racists
are ______" guy that ruins your Facebook political
conversations, at least as far as it pertained to the
rasslin'. Jesus. Whitney Houston once told me that the
children are our future, and it came true, and that's why
we're fucked. As a former child, sorry about Donald Trump
and whatever wars and famines he starts. My bad.
"Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig
was unique as a dude who scared the shit out of Little Me,
in that he was neither monstrous in appearance like the
Missing Link or filled with rage, like Bad News Brown. The
problem with him as a villain was that he was, well,
perfect. Absolutely perfect. And it wasn't no
bullshit, neither, as they kept showing all these videos of
him hitting holes-in-one and full-court basketball shots,
and throwing passes to himself while Vikings tight end Steve
Jordan looked on in awe. (and this also made sense, as I was
already a Bears fan by this point, so of course the Vikings
would be hanging out with Evil Men.) And I was a stupid sack
of shit as a little kid, but I was familiar enough with a
dictionary to know what "perfect" meant, and it meant a
condition where nothing could ever possibly be better. This
man was absolutely undefeatable in any situation, and he
was coming for Hulk Hogan. Younger folks might not
understand this, but Hulkamania was like the world's worst
religion, and little kids were it's stupidest followers. And
Hulk Hogan was both our god and our messiah, and our only
contact with him was through watching him face severe
physical harm. Imagine being a Christian and turning
on your TV every week with the fear that this might be
the episode where God dies. Yeah. Hulkamania fucks you
up. And here comes this dude, who by the very definition of
the words in his name could never lose, and his finishing
move is The Perfect-Plex, a fisherman suplex hold that absolutely
cannot be escaped. Seriously, he performed this Plex
with such Perfection that if he so desired, he could hit you
with it and just hold it there indefinitely, theoretically until
his opponent simply passed on into death. And for all
other wrestlers, ranging in alignment from lawful-good to
chaotic-evil, the ultimate goal was the World Championship
belt; the ultimate be-all, end-all symbol of everything in
the noble sport of professional wrestling. And what did Mr.
Perfect do when he stole the belt after cheating to help
"The Genius" Lanny Poffo literally defeat Hogan by countout?
smashed it with a damn hammer. Not only was Mr.
Perfect an insurmountable threat to the living avatar of
human goodness, but this man was a fucking nihilist.
I mean, say what you want about the tenets of Hulkamania,
but at least it's an ethos.
NEXT TIME, IF I EVER GET AROUND TO IT: #3: Andre Joins the Dark Side
July 11, 2016 - THE TOP
MILLION BILLION VIDEO GAMES OF ALL TIME: Them Fallouts (Permalink)
Picking up where I left off on the old WordPress version, I tell you all why I like the Fallout series, most assuredly an unpopular and controversial opinion that no one has ever expressed before, for fear of violent reprisal. (also, yeah, I'm kinda moving away from the format of putting entire articles on the main page, which seemingly defeats the purpose of abandoning the traditional blog format, but FUCK YOU, MY WAYS ARE MY OWN. Also, due to my laziness, the next Monthly Dump will be a two-month issue.)
(Before we get started here, I haven't actually played ALL the Fallout games, which is why Fallout Tactics, Brotherhood of Steel, Van Buren, and Fallout 4 don't show up here.)
Systems I Played Them On: PC (1 and 2), XBox 360 (also
Playstation 3 and PC - 3 and NV), Android (Shelter)
Release Dates: 1998, 1999, 2008, 2010, 2015
Developers: Black Isle Studios (1 and 2), Bethesda Game Studios (3) and Obsidian Entertainment (NV), Behaviour Interactive (Shelter)
Ppublishers: Interplay Entertainment (1 and 2), Bethesda Softworks
Best Football Cards I Pulled in All those Years: 1998 UD Choice Peyton Manning DN, honestly dunno if I bought any in '99, 2008 Leaf Rookies & Stars Longevity Matt Ryan AUTO RC, 2010 Topps Chrome C.J. Spiller AUTO, didn't buy any in 2015.
Cool Heavy Metal Albums From Those Years: The Chemical Wedding by Bruce Dickinson (98), Bigger Than the Devil by S.O.D. (99), Bloody Pit of Horror by GWAR (2010), and The Book of Souls by Iron Maiden (2015)
My introduction to the Fallout series was back around late 2000 or maybe 2001, when I stopped by the local Walmart for whatever it was I was headed there for, and made the usual stop by the electronics section to gaze longingly at things I couldn't afford. I would always make a point to hit up the various cheapo discount sections they had prior to the existence of the $5 DVD bin, and occasionally, I'd get lucky, like that time I got a cassette copy of See You in Hell by Grim Reaper for like four bucks. Anyway, they had a CD-ROM two-pack with both Fallout and Fallout 2 in it for ten bucks, and oh sweet Jesus, the system requirements were right in the sweet spot of what my already-miserably-outdated Micron PC could handle. (366 MHz was probably decent in 1999, though) I knew jack shit about PC gaming and was going in completely blind as far as what the Fallouts were about, but it was two games for ten dollars. And now that I think about it, I bought Fallout 3 with an Amazon gift card and New Vegas was a gift from my wife, so between a couple DLCs and that time I bought some lunchboxes on Fallout Shelter, I think my total expenditures on all of these are still under twenty bucks. Hopefully, this streak of luck continues, and I can find an XBox One with a copy of Fallout 4 stashed behind a dumpster or something. A boy can dream, I guess.
THE CASE FOR: Really above all else, it's the world they built for these things. Post-Nuclear apocalyptic future stuff has always been a cool place to go for your science fiction of a fantastical nature, and throwing that extra little curve of an alternate timeline where 2070s America was basically 1950s America with robots makes it even better. Especially now in these times when (white) people seem to be longing to a return to that idyllic time that never existed, when Leave it to Beaver reruns kind of glossed over the way the cops were all Klansmen and people walked around just assume half the world could get blown to smithereens any day now. Come to think of it, the 2010s are a lot like the 1950s, just with smaller bombs. Huh. Anyway, Fallout sets you down inside a world where those innocent times got vaporized in a nuclear war with China, and even though it's been over a hundred years, (200 years, once Fallout 3 hits) mankind is still fucked, living just slightly better than Mad Max style barbarism, and even that is under threat from crazy-ass mutants and giant scorpions running around. Not to mention the folks that rode out Armageddon inside those squeaky-clean underground vaults coming to the surface to have to deal with all this bullshit, and the poor saps who ended up in one of the shady-ass experimental vaults instead. And there are just layers and layers of stuff like this, and it all works and fits together, and it's craaaazy. With the Fallout series, you've got a fully fleshed-out, lived-in universe going on that feels more like it's already existed for a while, as opposed to one that's being made up on the fly. And when you're talking role-playing games, if the world you've built isn't any good, you've got nothing.
(Which is not to say that's a "good" world, but it's one that's good to set a video game in.)
Another thing worth mentioning is how once the series made the jump to 3D, they resisted the urge to go full-on first-person shooter with it. I mean, it's still a lot of shooting done from a first-person perspective, and the turn-based thing was gone, but it's still more thinking than reflex, and the VATs targeting system restores some semblance of a turn-based combat system, even if you can only use that sparingly. Somehow, they managed to make a Fallout game out of Elder Scrolls: Oblivion while still making it feel like a Fallout game, probably owing to how absurdly strong the world they built for it is.
Also, I know it's a lot closer to a large scale digital pet than an actual video game, but Fallout Shelter is perfect and beautiful, so fuck you.
THE CASE AGAINST: I guess if I had to make a case against Fallouts 1 and 2, they'd mostly boil down to me being a dude who grew up on console games, who was not prepared for the way that PC games are a lot more likely to let you fail horribly and irrevocably with little to no warning. Kill the wrong dude or forget to pick up the right item and you could get stuck with no way out, and if you forgot to save (and save often, on multiple save files) you couldn't fix the damage you had done without losing hours of time you could have better spent looking at a tree or petting a cool dog or something. PC games didn't hold your dick for you the way the Super Nintendo did, and it cost me dearly on multiple occasions. Still though, that's probably not the game's fault. It's not you, Fallout 2, it's me.
As for the 3D Bethesda games, the main thing would be that both Fallout 3 and New Vegas are glitchy pieces of shit. Seriously. For a normal game, the signal that you need to stop playing is something like watery eyes or the realization that it's late, you have work the next day, and you haven't fed the cats yet. These two have a pretty definitive signal for when it's time to turn off the XBox, and that's when the screen freezes and the controller no longer responds to anything you do. Also, I never have completed Fallout 3's Head of State side quest, because the game simultaneously decided that I never actually picked up the poster of the Lincoln Memorial that's still in my inventory, and that Caleb Smith's home planet needed him, so he has disappeared without a trace. And they've had damn near a decade to make some sort of patch for some of this stuff by now, Jesus.
Get ready for a whole lotta this.
Also, Fallout 3 specifically suffers from the way that most of the game takes place in ghoul-infested underground tunnels. I mean, it makes sense, because in reality, an atomically destroyed metropolitan area would be hard to navigate on the surface, but it just turns way too much into a zombie survival horror game where everything looks the same. Then there's the ending, and I don't want to make with the spoilers and spoileriffically spoil the ending in a spoilerlicious fashion, so I'm gonna hide the next paragraph using the magic of CSS styles. So if you're using a version of Netscape Navigator from 1998, uhh, sorry for spoiling the game. (For the rest of you, just click and drag to select the text.)
Simply put, the ending of Fallout 3 sucks. The major climactic battle scene involves you just kind of walking behind Liberty Prime while he (it?) does all the actual activity, and there's no big boss for you to overcome at the end. I mean, theoretically, there's Colonel Autumn, but he's just a regular dude who's relatively lightly armed and probably goes down easier then some of the nameless lackeys that are with him. He's an afterthought. Fallout 1 had you take on the Master, horrifying mutant computer psychic thing, New Vegas had Legate Lanius, who was a gigantic dude in scary ass armor, and Fallout 2 had one of the most crazy overpowered villains ever, Frank Horrigan, who was basically twice as large and scarily-armored as Lanius. 3 just has a pushover in a trenchcoat, and a multiple choice ending where you gain nothing from the evil choice, the noble sacrifice still ends your game forever unless you bought the Broken Steel expansion, and it doesn't let you take the common sense option with Fawkes on your team. Come on now.
All this being said, I actually liked the modernized 3D games a lot better than the classic overhead view ones, and New Vegas in particular is a masterpiece that stands out above the rest, sort of like the way Red Dead Redemption relates to the Grand Theft Auto series. (although that may just be some sort of subconscious suggestion due to all the deserts and twangy Western music and whatnot?) Anyway, like I said earlier, I've never played Tactics or Brotherhood of Steel, and I pretty much can't afford the means to play Fallout 4 right now, but aside from those (And Wasteland, to which Fallout was kind of an unofficial sequel. Really need to get DOSBox working, you guys) there's never been a bad Fallout game, and that's why it's blown up all huge and you can find Vault Boy t-shirts at Walmart now.
Personal Memory: Friends, I have a confession to make. That part earlier, where i mentioned how Fallout 1 and 2 would let you get irreversibly stuck somewhere if you screwed up and didn't keep multiple save files? Yeah, that happened to me. Got to the military base and took out the Lieutenant, but killed the wrong mutant somewhere and didn't have the right key to the right door somewhere, so I couldn't actually get out of the building. So I saved the game, hoping to just come back later and figure it out. I saved it over my only previously existing save file, and after a few weeks of hitting the same dead ends, I realized that I had pretty much fatally screwed up, and I got pissed and just started playing Fallout 2, rather than start over. So yeah, I have never actually beaten the first Fallout game. I am a fraud. This has been a difficult confession to make, and my family and I would appreciate if you'd all respect our privacy as we hope to let the healing begin.
July 21, 2016 - RASSLEMYN
SPOTLIGHT: MANAMI TOYOTA (Permalink)
Manami Toyota is pretty much the best goddamn rassler who ever goddamn lived, goddammit, and LET ME GODDAMN TELL YOU ABOUT IT.
Toyota Manami, aka Manami Toyota on account of Western
an old saying: "it's a marathon, not a sprint."
Mostly, it's used by people in struggling sports
franchises as a way to excuse their current sub-.500
win/loss record by pointing out that there are enough
games left to save the season. But it can also be used to
kind of say, "look, we got a long way to go here, so if we
go all out from the beginning, we'll have nothing left by
the end." And perhaps at some point in her training on how
to out together a wrestling match, someone told this old
saying to Manami Toyota. And maybe she took it to heart
for like 15 minutes or so. Who knows. But it's pretty
clear that at some point early on, she just kind of said
"YO, FUCK THAT NOISE, WE SPRINTIN" and spent the next
several years making a habit of just Usain Bolting the
shit out of all theoretical 26.2 miles of a wrestling
Seriously, prime early 90s Manami Toyota is some of the craziest shit you can see in a wrestling ring that doesn't involve exploding barbed wire or boxes of syringes or whatever. (More proof that the early 90s was the Best Time) It's like some serious Air Jordan shit, where world-class people ended up looking like backyards by comparison. Like that one Tom Cruise movie where he's all riding a horse in a land run so that he can win a better parcel of land than Greg from Dharma and Greg and win Nicole Kidman's heart as a result, and his horse is just so much faster than everyone else's, and you're super pumped, because that movie came out before you knew Tom Cruise was a maniac and you're not thinking about all the Indians who got murdered so that land would be available in the first place. You know, like that. Except better, because the WWWA title didn't murder no natives or worship any aliens. But anyway, she would just be flying around doing crazy shit with no stops in between because of mutant lungs, probably, but on the occasions when she was in the ring against someone on the same level (or above), like Akira Hokuto or Aja Kong, who would just smash her in the face and slow things back down whenever she'd get ahead of herself and be like "NOW IT IS TIME TO DO MY WRESTLING MOVES, YAAAYYY," the result is seriously some the best wrestling that has ever happened.
For real, if you don't understand why people get overly excited about what the WWE replacing all the old models who couldn't land an actual modeling job with actual wrestlers like Sasha Banks and Bayley, it's because of the faint hope that something like early 90s AJW might be the result. That shit was FIRE, and Manami Toyota might have been spitting the hottest fire of anyone at the time.
Yellow Machinegun - "Oh Die! Oh!! Choose Die!!!" - Look,
this has absolutely nothing to do with Manami Toyota or the
rasslin' in any way whatsoever, but I had to throw this in here as
a warning of what is to come. Because for some reasons my white
American ass will never understand, Japanese lady rasslers just
scream like all the damn time, and it's weird as hell, and Toyota
does it worse than anyone probably. Like she sounds like some sort
of goddamn demon, and due to the quiet, polite nature of the
average rasslecrowd in the Land of Glorious Nippon, it's mostly
all you hear, and it can really fuck you up if you're not ready
for it. Another decent analog for all the Toyotascreams would be Donald
Tardy from Obituary, but he probably has too much bass in
his voice to compare directly, and Yellow Machinegun was one of
the radder bands whose shit I illegally downloaded off Audiogalaxy
in 2000. I got the split 7" they did with S.O.D., and it's on
clear yellow vinyl, and it's pretty cool.
AJW, 8-15-92 - Manami Toyota vs. Toshiyo Yamada (IWA Championship, Hair vs. Hair) - Man, sometimes, I think Mexico is the only place that ever truly gets a hair vs. hair match right. anywhere else, you see the finish coming from a thousand miles away, like the time Edge put his perfect golden mane up against Kurt Angle's early-stage horsehoe male-pattern baldness, or when Jeff Jarrett showed up for the match with X-Pac with a head of limp, wet hair, displaying none of the shine and bounce that had defined his early career. Anyway, Yamada shows up with a chili bowl-ass refugee haircut and Toyota's clocking in at like a 0.5 on the Crystal Gale scale here, so there's no real suspense as to whose look isn't long for this world, but it doesn't matter because the match is ridiculous. As a personal anecdote, back in the day, I had a whole separate Tripod site dedicated mostly to trading wrestling tapes, and because I had a fancy Tv-capture card in my computer, (okay, not fancy; it was a Chinese bootleg from Ebay) I would have screenshots of my shit so people would know whether it was seventh-generation SLP bullshit, and there was a shot of Yamada getting her head shaved. (spoilers) Anyway, I started looking into the stats on the site for some reason, and found out that some head-shaving/bald lady fetish website had linked to the image. And I mean, I'm not gonna kink-shame anyone; you do you, you know? But hotlinking to the image and stealing my meager, precious bandwidth, instead of uploading the picture to their own site was a serious breach of internet etiquette, and WE ARE NOT ANIMALS HERE. So to teach them a lesson, I moved some stuff around and changed some filenames, and as a result, some dude wanting to pound off to pictures of bald ladies would end up having a picture of Captain Caveman all up in there, ruining his whole rhythm, for reasons he would never understand.
CHIKARA Pro Wrestling, 5-15-11 - Manami Toyota, Mike Quackenbush, and Jigsaw vs. The Amazing RED and Los Maximos - Oh man, it's Manami Toyota in the GOD DANG UNITED STATES OF AMERICA in a six-person tag match against a bunch of American dudes who just do flippity-floppity shit and try to emulate KEWL MOVEZ they saw on a video game once, and it looks like they're hurting each other for real, because they probably are, because they're mostly kinda bad at MOVEZ, honestly. There was probably a time in my nerdery when I would've pulled some internet elitist shit, all "why back in my day, we wore black wool tights and worked a headlock for 78 minutes" or whatever, but screw it. It's fun, and if they all end up crippled, they knew what they were signing up for. Buy the ticket, take the ride. Toyota kicks a dude square in the face like a 6'5" World Federated Wrestler HOSS at one point, and she's a tiny lady in her forties, and I probably couldn't hold my arm out and kick my own hand at this point, because I'm a goddamn sweathog. Sad.
AJW, 11-20-1994 - Manami Toyota vs. Aja Kong (WWWA Championship) - This isn't actually the match I wanted to put here; I wanted the one from the '95 Queendom show where Toyota actually wins the title, but for some reason, it's not on the internet anywhere, (there are videos that *say* they're that match, but are actually a different one from around the same period, which is just weird) and I'm too lazy to go find the tape and test out the shitty little $10 USB video capture thingy I got a couple days ago right now. Maybe this weekend? Who knows. Anyway, it doesn't matter, because all mid-90s Toyota vs. Kong matches are pretty much legendary, and I think this is the one Herb Meltzer gave the mythical 5-star rating to.
Anyway, another personal anecdote, about the match I couldn't find video of, but we already went through all that. This was probably around 2005, because I was still living with my brother as a roommate, but it was after the shitty little apartment we broke the lease on because it flooded, which itself was after spending like 4 months rooming with a faux-lesbian aspiring slam poet who basically got us evicted by spending her half of the rent money on a fancy Everquest computer and going to Canada to buy medicinal marijuana, despite having a 6-foot tall hydro plant in the living room closet. Long story, and I'll probably tell it in full someday. Anyway, it was 2005-ish and I did the cardinal sin that every fucking dork eventually commits, where you just kind of assume that all you have to do is show a normal(ish) person your dork shit and they will instantly be converted to your form of dorkery. So I'm sitting there, watching my tape, and my brother walks in, and I start pimping it as the greatest thing ever, just really giving him the hard sell on how great it is. Like just blabbering on and on, about how these are the two best wrestlers ever and how Toyota had chased the title for years while Kong was an insurmountable monster, and for fuck's sake, I'm pretty sure I even used the phrase "fighting spirit," out loud, in my actual life. Jesus. But anyway, I'm all ready for him to see the amazingness and see the shining light of rasslin' glory, when he does the following: He stops, looks at the screen for maybe thirty seconds, and then goes, "the chick in black needs to get naked," and just walks smooth the fuck off. It was like a serious "Bart Simpson rewinding the tape to show Lisa the exact moment when Ralph Wiggum's heart breaks" moment. Anyway, the WWE "Divas Revolution" was never going to work, and someday, we're all going to die.
July 24, 2016 - THE TOP
MILLION BILLION VIDEO GAMES OF ALL TIME:
"I vant to bite your - OHHHH SHIIIIIIIIT"
THE CASE FOR: Oh shit, Castlevania, you guys. Back in 1987, there were few video games out there that were as metal as Castlevania. I mean, I guess Ghouls 'N Ghosts (aka Ghosts 'N Goblins) had a lot of overt Satanic imagery and Thriller consisted of just shooting at Cannibal Corpse album covers, but G&G was a good game that was so hard that it rendered the experience completely unenjoyable, and Thriller was one of the shittiest games ever made. So Castlevania gets the nod on the basis that it was metal as hell and also ruled. Think about it, though: You're a dude dressed like Conan the Barbarian who runs around a freaky castle, killing zombies and skeletons and Draculas with a god dang whip. Metal. Also, take a minute to listen to this:
I have a radical theory that the little riff that plays at around the 0:45 mark is the scaffolding which the entire Castlevania series hangs from. It is seriously hard for me to hear that without imagining some manner of horror creature being whipped to death by Simon Belmont, or one of the other members of the Belmont family that show up in the thousand sequels. (Trevor, Richter, Marcel, Claude, Newgene, Clovis, etc.) It is too perfect for anything else to be true.
THE CASE AGAINST: Anyone who would find a pot roast bricked into the wall of a haunted castle and immediately just snarf it down is super fucked up, you guys.
PERSONAL MEMORY: Back in the day, we lived in
University-type housing and ended up spending a lot of
time around my parents' crazy friends. Like there was
this one dude who was an ex-Marine karate instructor
who would carry an AR-15 around with him all the time,
(pretty sure it was because someone stole the AK-47)
and tiny me would try and explain Transformers:
The Movie to him while he would show us how to
take his machine gun apart safely, and explained to me
while counting out a couple duffle bags full of
(possibly illegal) money on our dining room table that
the one full of $20 bills actually had more money it
it than the one with $100 bills, because math is magic
or something. Last I heard of that dude, he was a
pretty respectable mall cop with a bunch of daughters
or something. Anyway, this story has nothing to do
with that guy, but I figured I'd never get to mention
any of that anywhere else.
We were chilling and playing Nintendo, and this other one of my parents' friends was there, and that dude was awesome. Like he was all into video games and toys and shit, which is funny because that was probably aberrant behavior in 1987, but it's the standard now. Holmes was a visionary, thirty years ahead of his time. But we were playing Castlevania, and got to one of the parts where there's these skeleton dudes hopping around, throwing bones at you. (How do they do that without running out of bones?) All of a sudden, he busts into what I can best describe as the voice Eddie Murphy would use in his standup act to imitate of of his dumb friends, and goes, "he tried to BONE me in the head!" And I'll never understand why, but it was the funniest thing to me ever. I played through Castlevania: Symphony of the Night again a couple years ago, (oh man, THAT game, you guys, sweet Jesus) and one of those similar hopping, bone-tossing skeletons showed up, and even damn near thirty years later, my first thought was "he tried to BONE me in the head!" Good times, you guys. Good times.
RASSLEMYN SPOTLIGHT ON MANAMI TOYOTA BONUS TRACK:
Manami Toyota vs. Aja Kong (3-26-95) - This is the match I couldn't find online that's the one that was on while my brother crushed my Wrestling Dork Spirit. It's brought to you by me, with my VCR, and my weird little bootleg USB capture thing and my bootleg copy of AJW Queendom Victory 95. So many layers of bootlegging here. And it is the goddamn best, and you should watch it forever. Also, Aja Kong has the most amazingly ridiculous theme music ever, and I shall share the lyrics with you here:
God got up one morning
He was in an ugly mood
He was sick of floods and plagues
He wanted something really rude
He made a big piranha out of broken glass and glue
Then he gave it two legs
And a nasty attitude
The Sahara was a jungle 'til she ripped out all the trees
Then she looked up at the mountaintops, they all began to freeze
The sun gave her a cold until she set it on fire
Check and see it for yourself if you think that I'm a liar
God made the Devil just for fun
But when he wanted the real thing he made Aja Kong
(oh-ay, oh-ay, etc.)
She's a head splittin', fire spittin' human earthquake
She makes the young ones wonder and the wise ones shake
She's got the hands of a gorilla, got the head of a snake
She keeps lookin' but hasn't found a thing she can't break
God made the Devil just for fun
But when he wanted the real thing he made Aja Kong
(oh-ay, oh-ay, etc.)
God made the Devil just for fun
But when he wanted the real thing he made Aja Kong
(oh-ay, oh-ay, etc.)
DEAD FORMAT CONVERSION/DEAD STOCK DISPERSION PROJECT #3
SACRED REICH - Dynamo Open Air, Eindhoven 4-6-90
I cheated this month and just went with a bootleg CD I already had ripped to my hard drive. (A half-truth; I had it ripped at 192 KHz from the old 40G hard drive days, now, it's re-ripped at 320) My love for Sacred Reich is probably well-known, at least amongst people who know me, and for a long time, they had no decent official live albums. Alive at the Dynamo was great, but it was an EP that just had a few songs, and it was a European exclusive that you couldn't find. After that, Still Ignorant came out in 1997, and it was probably the most pumped I ever was to order a Cd from Columbia House, but in the end, it really kinda sucked, you guys. They played all sloppy, Phil sounded like he was slurring his vocals and said maybe 5 total words between songs, and either someone forgot to mic the crowd or there were only 15 people in attendance. Seriously, Sacred Reich's first album came out in '87, and it was over twenty years (and about a decade after the officially broke up) before they had an official live album worth buying. (Live at Wacken, it's real, and it's spectacular.) So when I went on my early 2000s Sacred Reich Ebay Buying Spree, (which was before PayPal was really a big thing and before I had an ATM card that was also a credit card, so I was paying with money orders, you guys. I am old.) this CD's existence was exciting as hell. It's a good quality, sound board recording that's probably not up to the standard of a legitimately-released CD with the production and the mixing and the mastering and whatnot, but it's not a camcorder audio style bootleg, either. It's not perfect, but it's good enough. And it's Sacred Reich around the time The American Way came out, at the height of their powers and popularity, so even the shittiest internet curmudgeon who didn't like Independence or Heal can dig this. (for real though, how can you not like those? Weirdo.) Anyway, if you are metallically inclined, this is for you.
1. The American Way
2. Administrative Decisions
3. One Nation
4. Love... Hate
5. Who's to Blame?
6. I Don't Know
7. Death Squad
8. 31 Flavors
9. No Believers / Ignorance
10. Surf Nicaragua