Written by Shae Rufe
There were just too many movies to not have a sequel to this blog. Pixar has been a staple in many of our childhoods, and it has grown with us in ways we didn't see coming. It's amazing to me how many adults love these movies as much as kids. As an adult myself I can say that these movies are beyond epic and life changing. Maybe not that far, but maybe for some it is! There's so many themes we can learn from, lessons to take away, and from the very first time we see one of these films to the most recent, we can take something new away.
Toy Story is the film series that grew up with us. The animation was ground breaking, at the time, and the story warmed our hearts and made us think, what if our toys really came to life when we weren't around? If you were a kid who saw this movie and you subsequently freaked out about that being a possibility, you're not alone! Toy Story was fantastic for so many reasons...like emotionally scarring us all. Seriously, that one scene with the toys in Sid's room? That's easily the creepiest thing I've ever seen. Still, Toy Story is about friendship, team work, acceptance, and above all, growing up and change. By Toy Story 3, we aren't with Andy anymore, and that's okay. Andy grew up, like we all do. Change doesn't always have to be bad, but it is scary, and that's okay. If Woody and Buzz can do it, so can we.
Brave had a lot of messages. A mother and daughter who don't see eye to eye. A princess fighting her conventional role. And bears being bears and eating all the things. Brave wasn't about changing fate, not to me. Brave was about love, communication, and understanding. The fight between Merida and her mother was so arbitrary because neither of them were willing to listen to the other. Listening is just as big a part as talking, if not bigger. To me, that's what this movie was really about. Taking the time to communicate with one another and listen, instead of stubbornly fighting and not seeing the other side. Plus, Angus, Merida's horse, was fantastically epic. Brave remains one of my favorite movies because it also shows a happy family dynamic. You have both parents, three younger siblings, and everyone loves each other.
Ratatouille is the last Pixar movie I'm going to cover today. This film about a rat in Paris who loves to cook is adorable on a lot of levels. But Remy the Rat is more than just a common rodent. The whole point of this movie is to follow your dreams. Yes, there will always be set backs. People are going to be against you; tell you how you cannot do something. Circumstances will not always be the best either, but at the end of it all, you have to keep trying. Dreams are worth fighting for, and if you truly want to do something then do it! Remy fought his family on his dreams, until he finally proved to himself that he had achieved what he wanted. This tiny rat from Paris became a master chef, and while that's also a little weird, it's pretty inspirational. If a rat can achieve his dreams, why can't you?
Written by Shae Rufe
With so many awesome movies out there from Pixar, how could I not do one of these blogs? After all, Pixar has been cranking out some pretty amazing movies, and they definitely dig deep on the feels and deliver some smart stories, the kind that teach you things, and stuff. So, buckle up, because it's time to talk about all the wonderful things that Pixar has taught me!
Up is one of my favorite movies of all time. They manage to tell a full love story with as little dialogue as possible, and that love story ends up being one of the most beautiful ones I've ever seen. I'd be lying if I said I didn't cry like a baby during that end scene where Carl is sitting at the church after his wife's funeral. In just the beginning this movie teaches you to love someone with everything you have. That not everything will always be sunshine and rainbows, but so long as you're there for one another, that's what matters most. Up taught me to live your own adventure, even if that's going on some weird journey with a Boy Scout, where you both nearly get killed by your childhood idol. A dog can make you feel years young, and also who doesn't want a dog? People come from all walks of life and we shouldn't be mean to them just because we're cranky and older. Up taught me that you can love someone who isn't family or blood related. A good friend can come into your life at any given moment, so cherish them. Most importantly, Up taught me that life goes on after someone you love passes away, and that's okay. You have to live in the good memories and never forget that person. While life doesn't always work out the way we want it to, that's okay.
Wall-E taught me that cockroaches can be cool pets/friends, that is if you're a robot living in a junkyard. Just kidding, cockroaches are gross, and oddly terrifying when you see one in your room....ever. Wall-E is often seen as a critique on modern society by many. However, I see it a little differently. The convenience of modern technology is glaring and we all fall into it, case and point I'm actually writing this blog while curled up in bed on my phone. Wall-E has a lot of lessons that get looked over because of, well, the people on the ship. Wall-E himself taught me to always be kind to people. This little robot is friendly to everyone he meets, no matter if they're human, robot, or cockroach. If that isn't an important life lesson, I don't know what is! Wall-E is kind to all, well except Mo. Wall-E could have been a little nicer to Mo and his OCD, but it was funny, so I'll let it slide. The debate of Love At First Sight will forever rage on yet we can't ignore how Wall-E does everything in his power to woo Eve over. Eventually he helps her complete her mission, and love wins out with that little headstrong future bot. Eve does everything in her power to save Wall-E, and she does in more ways than one. I love this film because it truly focuses on using as little dialogue as possible. Not that there's anything wrong with talking, per se, just that you don't always need a film full of dialogue from start to finish. Sometimes the most powerful moments are nonverbal.
And lastly, Inside Out. This film takes a look at the five core emotions inside everyone's head. Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust, and Fear are a diverse cast fighting it out for balance inside the head of a little eleven-year-old girl. This rapidly became one of my favorite movies of all time, especially with how the emotions act in relation to their person. Not everyone has the same leading emotion, and not all leading emotions are as they seem. Our emotions are far more balanced than even we realize. Riley's mom's lead emotions seems to be sadness, but she's quite the happy level headed person. With Riley's dad, his lead emotion is anger, yet we only see him get angry once in the entire movie, and even when he is, it's not bad at all. Riley's lead emotion is Joy, but the whole movie focuses on balancing each of these emotions out. Balance is a fantastic word to use for describing this movie because it shows that you have to work together. In the case of Riley, team work is needed to help her have a happy life. When Joy and Sadness go missing, the other three step up to do they best that they can to ensure Riley is happy. No, it doesn't work out, but the important this is that they try, and that they worked together. This lesson is very important, and the whole movie is about Joy learning to work with Sadness. It also teaches us that you can't be happy all the time, nor can you always be sad. Joy learns to be sad while Sadness learns to be happy, and it's a touching moment. The biggest message I took away from this movie was that it's okay to be sad sometimes. Crying is healthy and it's perfectly normal to be sad. Experiencing a wide range of emotions is natural, and while we can't always be angry, or sad, or scared all the time, it's okay to feel these emotions when they happen. It's about working together and working through it.
And also, Bing Bong made me cry. I'm just going to leave it at that.
Written by Shae Rufe
Because the first one wasn't filled with enough feels, let's take a look at some more heart wrenching betrayals! What a better way to deal with the middle of your week? There are some that stick with you, and others you knew would happen, yet still irk you. Whether it was knowing Ezma was evil, or not, sometimes the betrayals are so hard to swallow. Also, possible spoilers of things that have been out for a while, but just in case.
Like when Lando sold out Han and Leia to Darth Vader. Total dick move, right? Here we thought Lando was a friend of Han's. Cloud City was a safe place where they could figure things out. Given the events of A New Hope, we hoped that our heroes would get another win. Okay, yes with a title like The Empire Strikes Back we totally knew nothing good was going to happen for our protagonists. Still, Lando seemed like a really cool guy. Sure, he and Han had a bit of a sorted past, but we never expected Lando to betray them in the way he did. I guess it doesn't matter how well you think you know someone. At least Lando eventually came around, and by eventually, I mean he tried his best to save the smuggler and the princess.
When we think of older people running spy/assassin organizations we often think we can trust these people. Alright, maybe not. Kingsman: The Secret Service is a favorite of mine, undeniably so. Seeing this film for the first time was the most magical, and tear jerking, mixture of moments. Harry Hart will forever be my favorite spy, I don't care what anyone says. When we meet Arthur, the head of this organization, we know he's kind of a prick, but we still like him for some reason. The actor literally has everything to do with that. Yet as the movie progresses, we eventually learn that Arthur has been swayed by the bad guy, we're shocked, sad, and a little like 'yeah, we saw that kind of coming, but were hoping for the best.' After all, Arthur was fully aware Harry put down an entire church full of bigots, and he felt just as sad when Valentine killed him as we did. Attempting to kill Eggsy was outright rude, though.
Lastly, this shocking betrayal came after the most hurting of feels movie. When Steve Rogers thought his best friend in the whole world was dead, and then found said best friend brainwashed and alive and trying to kill him, we were stunned. Unless you read the comic and/or knew anything about the Winter Soldier, at all....in which case, you were probably not shocked. Either way the fallout from Captain America: The Winter Soldier changed the Marvel cinematic Universe forever. Along with that came the biggest shock on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. since who saw Ward being evil? Not me! Granted, Ward had a traumatic past and all, but being HYDRA? That was a whole new level of wrong. We watched this guy bond with our team! He was a part of our team! And suddenly he was trying to kill Fitz and Simmons....and everyone else. Ward's betrayal hit way too close for a lot of our comforts. There's probably a life lesson on be careful whom you trust. But it also showed the true power of HYDRA. Which turned out to be quite extensive.
Written by Shae Rufe
Throughout the history of forever writers and story tellers have done wonders for our imaginations. One of the oldest tricks in works of fiction, so to speak, is the art of betrayal. Let's face it, what's more shocking than a character betraying those we love and hold dear? Or what's worse is if we like that character when they choose to betray others. Think you really know a person? Boom! You don't! From the fictional works we have all come to love, some character betrayals are far worse than others. What is one to do when this happens? Hang on and hope for the best.
While Firefly was only one season long, it held one of the hardest betrayals to swallow. Yes, Jayne wasn't always the best or most lovable character, but he had his moments. We all knew he was a money driven, small brained, brute. We just never expected him to betray the crew of Serenity for money. When Jayne sold out Simon and River to the Alliance, we all lost a part of our hearts. Sure, he tried to make up for it later, but our respect for that character died and we never felt the same about him. Jayne's betrayal never did sit well with Mal, and it definitely didn't sit well with me. Sure, Simon and River eventually found out and forgave him, which was pretty awesome. Did Jayne ever really earn his redemption? I'm not entirely sure...
From the vast open space of the 'Verse to the frigid air of Arendelle, the most shocking betrayal of all didn't come out of a sister hiding her ice powers, but from a prince hiding his intentions. Disney has always done an amazing job of having us believe all princes are good. Yes, some of them have a lot of flaws, but for the most part our princes are pretty with it. Hans from Frozen had almost everything going for him. He was a handsome, wealthy prince from a well-off kingdom, and he met a gorgeous princess. From there we are just led to believe that Hans is one of the good guys, right? Wrong! When we finally get the reveal that Hans was the villain the whole time we are genuinely surprised. Okay, I was genuinely surprised. Apparently, a lot of people saw that one coming; just not me. Either way, Hans made us love him and then promptly made us want him utterly dead.
A while back I was watching How to Train Your Dragon with my sister. While I was watching it, it got me thinking of how dark the second movie really is. Toothless is literally mind controlled into attempting to kill Hiccup, and well, he doesn't...because Hiccup's dad, Stoik, takes the hit. Toothless had no control over the betrayal, yet it broke our hearts on so many different levels. This movie had me crying in the theater loudly. When Toothless killed Stoik we all stopped and tried desperately to be in denial. The beloved leader of the Vikings fell at the hands of his only son's pet dragon. Talk about hardcore. Okay, no, it's not really the fault of Toothless. He didn't know what he was doing, and he couldn't control himself. Thankfully, Hiccup forgives Toothless and they save the entire island of villagers. Making that one of the hardest character deaths and one of the saddest moments in cinema history.
Written by Shae Rufe
Since I'm on a little bit of a Dark Knight kick, I figured it was time to talk about some life lessons from Batman. Let's face it, the Bat has been an influence in many of our nerd lives. Many of us here adore the comic, shows, movies, and video games. While Scotty wins at everything there is Joker, I win at everything Batman. I'm just kidding, Scotty wins at that too, I just really love Batman. Growing up with my dad meant cartoons, and I mean the good ones. The 1990's Batman: The Animated Series is how a lot of us kids grew up loving the Dark Knight. Surely there were lessons we could apply to life after seeing this show, right?
Turns out that being super rich doesn't make you exempt from tragic back stories. Seems life doesn't care if you have money or not, money only cares that you can afford to pay your Butler. Which also begs the question of, was Alfred rich? Sure he was Bruce's guardian, but did he inherit some cash from the Wayne's? Raising a spoiled rich brat isn't cheap. Either way, whether you have money, or not, your life can be sad an unfulfilled. Or that your life can be turned upside down, and no amount of money can fix that. Bruce took his parents fortune and continued to grow it, as well as fight crime and make sure nobody felt the pain of loss like he did. Which is admirable.
I guess the life lesson above most is that Batman symbolizes hope. No matter what pain you're going through, nothing beats having your bones broken by Batman. No, but really, for those suffering or going through bad things, Batman is the embodiment of hope. Instead of living in crushing sadness, he works hard to make the world a better place. Even if that means beating up psychopathic clowns. Or rather, especially because he beats up psychopathic clowns. Batman is my personal hero for beating up the Joker. Sorry Scotty, clowns are horrifying!
Let's talk money. When it comes to superpowers, money is the best one to have. No, Bruce isn't super fast, or inhumanly strong; he can't walk through walls or read minds. But he can afford to buy really cool toys that make him an over all badass. Turns out money can buy you the ability to be a vigilante. And also pay your guardian to put up with your shenanigans. Now if you ask me, I'd rather have the money to buy myself the ability to learn several different fighting styles. Need an armored car? Why not! You're filthy rich. You're above the laws of man.
Written by Shae Rufe
It's hard to think of Disney films as more than just kiddy cartoon movies, but the brand is dominating all our beloved nerdy things. From Star Wars to Marvel, it's weird to think that they're owned by the little Mouse, but they are! Today, I'm going to talk about what Disney movies taught me, more specifically those Disney princess movies. So, settle in, sing your favorite Disney tune, and let's talk princesses, shall we?
Tiana isn't born a princess, and honestly The Princess and the Frog is quite the underrated movie. Still, this film has a lot to offer, and kids really need to watch it. Tiana is our first African American princess, and it's been a long time coming. Her story isn't about finding true love and being whisked away, instead Tiana just wants to work hard, save money, and open her own restaurant. She's the first Disney princess to willingly work herself to exhaustion; by way of the drive of her dreams and a desire to stop at nothing. Tiana's message is all about hard work and making your own dreams come true, no magical fairy godmother required. Our leading lady doesn't set out to find love, instead she just stumbles into it. It's Tiana who teaches our spoiled prince the values of working hard and making your own way in the world.
Rapunzel is a highly over looked princess. Tangled was an excellent movie and has a lot of the classic themes we know and love. Kidnapped princess, rescued by a guy who becomes a prince, simple, right? Wrong. Tangled may have not been the modern princess story we were looking for, but it actually dealt with a lot of themes. Rapunzel deals with a lot of anxiety about leaving her tower. To say she grew up sheltered is an understatement, but she overcomes that to achieve her own dream. She's a bit naive when it comes to people and the outside world, however she is the most genuinely kind person around. Despite being terrified of Flynn, she trusts him and gets him to help her. She makes friends with everyone she meets, and even manages to get a known thief to buy her something. On top of that, our golden-haired princess is so honest it hurts. She keeps her promises, no matter what, and doesn't break them. She may tell a few white lies, who doesn't, yet she does it only to the person who kidnapped her. In the end she was willing to sacrifice herself to save someone she loved. Now that's a pretty strong message.
Belle is a well-known princess from an era where princesses literally did nothing to get a guy, other than sleep, or fit a shoe. Not to criticize the previous girls before her; but Belle changed a lot of things when she came around. She broke the idea of what a princess should be, she was smart, sarcastic, stubborn, and not about to settle. Above all, Belle was willing to imprison herself in order to save her father. We can argue Stockholm syndrome later. That aside, Belle is also pretty compassionate and loyal. She returns to the Beast to save him, which is cool, but the real message here should be how Belle stood up for herself. She wasn't a push over, instead she had no problems telling Gaston no, and pushed away his many unwanted advances. She was focused on finding her own adventure, and boy did she get it. She wasn't going to change for Gaston, or anyone for that matter. Belle had no problem making friends with talking furniture, which means she's open minded and into diversity. Truthfully, Belle has a lot of redeeming qualities, and she's a princess worth admiring, ish....
Written by Shae Rufe
Let's be honest here, a lot of us have our favorite sidekicks that we absolutely adore. Some of them end up being total bad asses. Not all are warm and fuzzy, or helplessly useless, so the term sidekick doesn't always mean second best. A lot of our heroes wouldn't be the ones we love without their trusty sidekicks.
Case and point Han and Chewie. Chewie steals the show in a lot of ways. He's this tall, intimidating, monstrous beast. Would Han be Han without Chewie? No. Chewie is just as responsible for saving the galaxy as Han is, he just gets lumped in with Han because, well, they're partners in crime. The two are kind of considered their own entity. Chewie wields his own weapon of awesome, and in classic sidekick fashion saves Han time and time again. Plus, how cool was it when he partnered with Lando and Luke to save Leia and Han? That's true friendship there. Not once do we question Chewie's loyalties.
Speaking of loyal, how loyal is Groot? The big lug gets kind of shoved aside for the allure of Rocket, but let's not forget that Rocket wouldn't be who he is without Groot. Sure, one gets considered the brains while the other is seen as the muscle, but Groot is quite smart himself. Also, he only says, ‘I am Groot’ and that's adorable and amazing. Groot literally sacrifices himself to save his friends, Rocket included. Our giant lovable tree dies to ensure his friends live. Okay, actually, let’s just pretend that he didn’t, even though it’s confirmed that the did because it’s just better if we don’t think about that.
Sometimes the sidekick becomes the hero. The Green Hornet is a fantastic show and I actually really liked the movie remake. But we are all led to think Green Hornet is our hero, but Kato is the more competent one of the two. In fact, it's Kato who does all the actual work, but Green Hornet seems to take all the credit. The relationship seems to work well since everyone underestimates Kato while they focus on the Hornet. It speaks to the classic crime fighting duo and how the whole thing is cliché, while throwing a great twist into the whole thing. I suppose that makes The Green Hornet, Kato's sidekick.
Written by Shae Rufe
In the fictional worlds we love there are worlds in which we, the readers/watchers, wouldn't want to live in. Yeah, some places sound awesome and if you guys have seen my previous blogs on this, then you know that there are downsides to some of our fantastic places. Let's explore more of those today, because there are just so many terrible places to discuss.
The world of Kingdom Hearts is beautiful, magical, and filled with a wonderful combination of Disney and Final Fantasy. Behind those fun treks across the various Disney-verses there are plenty of dangers. Like the Darkness, the Heartless, and Nobodies. Yep, while we want to live in our favorite Disney world, hanging with princesses and our favorite Final Fantasy heroes, there's huge danger. Half the time your paradise is being threatened by the Heartless whom, despite their name, want to eat your heart. When all the hearts of the world are gobbled up, the world you know, and love is devoured, torn apart, and destroyed completely. So, you know, there's that! The Heartless aren't the only threat, there are Nobodies, some of which are intelligent enough to control the Heartless, and they kidnap people, and also destroy worlds. As fun as hanging with Goofy and Donald are, I'd rather not get my heart stolen...not to mention you have to fight every Disney villain ever!
Similarly, the worlds of Final Fantasy are filled with dangerous beasts, out of control maniacs, and monsters that want to kill you. Well, in the case of Final Fantasy VII, a murderous psychopath. The planet is always in danger of being destroyed, people you love are always being murdered or kidnapped or both, and then there's always some big bad monster that would kill you if it stepped on you. Between the betrayals, the tragic sad back stories, and the fights, it's impossible to not be sad. Okay, the world is beautiful, you do have a lot of friends, and there's almost always a happy ending. Or is there? Okay, it's not always bad, but there's a lot of tears and sadness along the way. Constantly fighting for your life, being on a long journey, and did I mention cactus monsters!!!
Sticking with the theme Assassins' Creed is also along the lines of places you probably wouldn't want to live in. I love Ezio's story, and Edwards, Connor, Shay, and even Altair! It's hard to pick a favorite. No matter the world, or in this case time line, being an Assassin or Templar or even anything in those worlds sounds terrible. Okay, you're likely to get murdered violently, and if you don't you're doomed to a life of being on the run! Your family is likely going to be either murdered or you simply end up as the black sheep of the family. The life of an Assassin is hard, unless you're Ezio, then you're a ladies' man...and have friends, but your family is dead...and your sister runs a brothel...but your best friend is Leonardo Da Vinci. The upsides are that you get to have cool weapons and make money easily. The downside is everyone wants you dead, your missions are hard, and there’s no indoor plumbing. Just think on that last one for a time. All those comforts you know and love? They're not available to you.
Written by Shae Rufe
Hi everyone and welcome to a new segment I like to call, Things Every Geek Needs! This, as you guessed, is a totally new made up series that you may or may not see more things of! It’s exciting, right? Like all the flashy lights that I’m imagining going off in my head. That is weird. Okay, so I’m sitting here trying to think of a topic, and then it hits me. There are no actual guide lines in being a Geek or a Nerd for that matter. Like what is that about? So today we’re going to go through a list of things that I, your self-appointed Geek Leader of Doom, have decided that you need to own as a Geek and/or a Nerd. Random fact, did you guys know that and/or is actually my favorite word? I bet you didn’t. It’s a day full of surprises.
Is this blog total nonsense, yes! Are you still reading? I hope so! Okay, as a Geek/Nerd you need to own at least one jacket with something from a TV show, or movie, or comic, or all of the above…figure that one out. I myself literally own way too many jackets, and I promise you 87% of them are geeky. Sometimes, I wear a Jack Skellington Hoodie……because you can’t have too many of those. If you don’t own one, that’s fine, I guess, but then you have to compensate by having two nerd shirts minimum. That was the hardest word to spell tonight. Yep, two nerdy shirts equal one geeky jacket. For the purposes of this blog, nerds and geeks are now the same thing.
If you’re a nerd of any kind, you should also own at least one plush. I’ve just made that up, because I own like four. But one plush from your favorite show, or movie, totally solidifies your nerdiness in the world. You are officially allowed to go to sci-fi conventions. If you’re wondering, I own a plush Enterprise, a plush Black X-Wing, and a tiny plush BB-8. Anything Hello Kitty does count, because she’s adorable, and anything Pokémon is completely beyond acceptable. Bonus points if anyone has anything Mew related, as she is officially the best Pokémon to ever exist ever, and she is the best plush in my collection, and yes, I was totally making it look like I forgot about her so I could save the best for last. However, if you do not own a plush, but you do own a blanket, or snuggy, that’s totally fine. Maybe you’re weird and own several blankets. I don’t know, that’s normal…
Lastly, if any POP! or action figures adorn your home, or work office space, you my friend are the cool kind of nerdy and everyone should hang out with you. I get it though, sometimes you want to be subtly nerdy. Mugs are of course an overall win, always. Maybe you have so many in your cupboard you need to throw some away, but you’re not going to do that. Mugs not only say ‘I’m a nerd’ they’re also so diverse that if someone notices your mug and makes fun of you for it, it means they’re a nerd too. And therefore, you should destroy them for not being cool enough. Or just spoil the ending of Game of Thrones for them. I mean, whichever you feel like doing.
Written by Joel T. Lewis
A lot changed for me last year: I finally got to see The Last Jedi, Max Bemis took over Moon Knight, and it was the year I fell in love with professional wrestling. That’s right dear readers, buckle up because what you’re about to read may shock you, and in a sense, that’s what I want to talk about.
Why do we scoff at the WWE? Why did I hate pro-wrestling? It’s probably the demographic right? That’s the negative image we associate with the sport (and I am not using that term ironically); the obscenity spouting, often-spitting, mouth-breathing red-necked masses waving their beer soaked middle fingers at hulking alpha males who proceed to pretend to hit one another. And to a certain extent, that’s fair enough. From its golden age leading into the Attitude era, pro-wrestling was far from the most woke entity; trading on racist, sexist, and homophobic story angles for quick and dirty ‘character development.’ It employed cheap small-minded prejudices in order to quickly establish good guys or face characters and bad guys, also called heels. This method of character development doesn’t appeal to, or even target the most upstanding fan base, and this fuels much of the negative view of wrestling fans in popular culture. It certainly did for me. It also didn’t help that when I was a kid I was bullied by guys in Steve Austin and Undertaker t-shirts, so that definitely contributed to my avoiding the wrestling world.
But in recent years the WWE has become more progressive. In the last 2 years the women’s division of the WWE has grown leaps and bounds from the overly sexualized Diva’s Division of the past. Female superstars are now featured as main event performers at WWE pay per view events with their own Hell in a Cell, Royal Rumble, and Elimination Chamber matches. Their evolution from objectified sideshow characters to legitimate main event performers is very exciting and has inspired a whole new generation of female wrestling fans. Pro-wrestling has also move away from the days when broadly drawn racial stereotypes informed a character’s performance and rivalries.
Another criticism you hear is that it’s fake. Why do you care about a fake sport? How can you be invested in an event claiming to be a fight when punches don’t land, matches are choreographed, and the finishing moves are too cheesy to believe that they could really hurt? Again, this is a fair argument. It is definitely more difficult to suspend your disbelief watching wild haymakers that don’t really connect in wrestling when choreographed fights in movies and TV are edited and enhanced to sell the blows more believably.
Now, as a more than casual sports fan I have always been attracted to the pageantry of Game Day. The Super Bowl, title defenses in Boxing, the World Cup Finals; I love the ritual of a whole day devoted to a sporting event. You have people over, they wear jerseys, you eat specific food (often bad for you which is a plus), and it’s a great communal, almost tribal experience. In an odd way it feels like family. That being said, you can’t talk about game day rituals without talking about pay per views and their problems. PPV’s are expensive and more often than not the matches that cost you over $100 amount to 4 hours of mid-card bouts that you tune in and out of and a main event that turns out to be anticlimactic. This is especially true of UFC matches, because of the nature of takedowns and submissions, a title match could be over in less than a minute. So you have this huge build up to a disappointing ending, and that’s frustrating. Even with baseball, hockey, football, and basketball there’s no guarantee of a photo finish or a satisfying climax to a dramatic season. That’s not to say that that doesn’t happen, just that it is not a given.
What I found with the WWE is that because matches are “scripted” (not “fake”) the payoff of a title match is massive. Because the matches are components of a larger story and the outcome is predetermined, at the end of a PPV, whether who you were rooting for wins or not, you feel as though you got your money’s worth. The object of the wrestling match isn’t really who comes out on top, it’s about the highs and lows within the match, the ebb and flow of the competitors’ momentum, and selling the story of the fight. These are the same factors that we love about the Rocky and Creed films. Rocky wasn’t a real fighter and he never fought like a real fighter (anybody with guards that low would have been decimated), but what we enjoy about those movies and the fights within them is the drama, the story they represent.
The final criticism I want to examine has to do with the ridiculousness of the characters and their personas. Hulk Hogan, Macho Man Randy Savage, Undertaker, and John Cena were and are grown ass men who dress up in ridiculous outfits, commit to silly character catchphrases, and feud with each other over fictional and imagined slights. They do. That is a major component of the WWE. Look, as a manic Moon Knight fan specifically, or even a superhero fan in general I can’t look down on the WWE for those reasons. It’s a fictional universe filled with colorful, outrageous, and over-the-top characters, who actually have superhuman physiques and gymnastic abilities. The only real difference between the two is that when you see a Wrestler dive from the top rope or slam into the apron in a match, there’s no cgi involved. Admittedly, the writing of comic book characters is consistently better but the ethos is the same.
My point is, I’m a wrestling fan and I fully expect to catch some heat as a result of this. But if I’m honest, it’s really hard to claim that wrestling fans aren’t nerdy and that’s what this site and I am all about. So until next time, Geek On!