WWE Greatest Royal Rumble Live…

Firstly let’s take a moment to acknowledge all of the work WWE has put in towards gender equality over the past few years and ignore it like they have, for one night hopefully…Because…

The WWE are back with another several hour long extravaganza, we are less than a month removed from the last one, but this time it comes from Saudi Arabia for THE GREATEST ROYAL RUMBLE, well It might ok…

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Kick off show – This started at 4PM UK time, therefore I had better stuff to do like make marmite crumpets and get some tea. It is worth noting there are conflicting reports from the presenting team that the Rumble will go up first or Cena V Triple H, who knows…

I will be adopting a simple bullet point system for each match, so here we go!

The show kicks off with pyro! Who paid for that? Not WWE, but the network special has began with a shot of the trophy which 50 Superstars will battle for and then the commentators talk about some culture plan Saudi Arabia has which we will hear more about later (I suppose this is what they will cram down our throats this time as opposed to ‘PAIGE HERE’)

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Triple H V John Cena

  •  The capacity audience received both competitors well, John Cena looks tired… (it is a long flight)
  • They spend the opening moments trying the get the less experienced audience going with the typical back and forth strength tests…
  • Saying that we’ve had no unnecessary chants so far, apart from ‘CENA SUCKS’ which makes a change…
  • Eventually we get into the match which stays in the ring and is the typical ‘exhibition’ type back and forth affair between two ‘faces’ to the crowd.
  • The first threatening move comes from Cena with an STF(U)
  • An Attitude Adjustment to HHH in which he kicks out at 2.99 seconds, was that the finish?
  • ‘Big Match John’ (Cena) goes for another in which the game converts into a pedigree. The referee counts to 2 and a half this time, we’re still going…
  • Roll up by HHH which is converted into another STF(U)…
  • HHH counters into a crossface in which Cena lifts into another AA. HHH is straight back up for Cena to slingshot him into a corner and then to another AAA, One, two, three!

WINNER: John Cena – who then gets on the mic to extend his thanks for being there…

Verdict: Standard opener to get the audience going, I’m getting standard house show vibes here…

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WWE Crusierweight Championship Match

Kalisto V Cedric Alexander (C)

  • Lucha! Lucha! Lucha! Having seen Kaisto live in london, I know how impressive he is in the ring and with the crowd…
  • Impressive flippy stuff to open the match with from both competitors. Again Lucha! Lucha! Lucha! A great double front flip from Kalisto onto Alexander from the ring to the outside.
  • This time Alexander dives impressively out of the ring into his opponent and manages to land on both feet.
  • Proceedings go down to the mat with Cedric out powering the Luchador.
  • Kalisto powers out and does some more impressive flippy stuff and we get a near fall.
  • An impressive michinoku driver from Alexander but Kalisto answers to a two count.
  • They go up on the top rope corner with a powerbomb set up which Kalisto turns into another awesome flippy thing (spanish fly). Alexander kicks out.
  • Lumbar check by the champion and the referee counts to 3.

Winner: Cedric Alexander retains WWE Cruiserweight Championship 

Verdict: Kalisto was better but he didn’t win… I guess that’s the difference. 

Raw Tag Team Championship Match – Belts currently vacant

Bray Wyatt and Matt Hardy V The Bar

  • Lets firstly acknowledge there is no Nicholas in this match #dissapointing
  • Secondly the crowd zero reacted to Matt Hardy’s ‘delete’ chant…
  • An early back and fourth between the teams, the crowd finally get into the whole ‘delete’ chant.
  • Commentary is awful, getting the names of moves wrong, hang you head in shame Byron Saxton.
  • Only notable move so far was Sister Abigail to Sheamus, the the eleveated Twist of Fate. They get the win.

delete.PNGWinner: Bray Wyatt and Matt Hardy, new tag champs. 

Verdict: It was a bit boring and again I’m getting house show feels towards this basic show..

United States Championship Match

Jeff Hardy (c) V Jinder Mahal

  • Things get dare-devilish as they go outside early *edit I did run to the toilet so I missed the start..
  • The Audience are vocal in their distaste for Jinder as dominates early on with some powerful moves.
  • Hardy eventually counters out.
  • Whisper in the wind attempt but nobody was home… potential botch there.
  • Twist of fate by Hardy as he goes up to the top corner.
  • Swanton bomb and he gets the cover.

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Winner: Jeff Hardy retains US Title

Verdict: Basic title defence, ticked all the boxes for a typical good guy to win. 

And now we see a propaganda type tourism video package, then they get on to the whole awkward women subject….

Then we get an interview with the returning Chris Jericho as he bigs up the rumble match and reintroduces us to the list. The crowd no react… Then we get a Daniel Bryan interview and again the crowd no reacts!

SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match

The Uso’s V The Bludgeon Brothers (c)

  • Eric Rowan begins off with a violent assault onto one of the USO;s and makes the tag to his partner. They tag in and out quickly.
  • This is looking like a squash early on.
  • The USO’s eventually get on top and fire up the flat audience. But the Bludgeons capitalize again.
  • Double super kick by the USO’s to Harper and then a splash for a near fall as Harper kicks out.
  • Again the Bludgeons take control and after a double team move they get the victory!

Winner: The Bludgeon Brothers retain

Verdict: Basic squash match to a flat audience. 

Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match

Finn Balor V Seth Rollins (c) V Samoa Joe V The Miz

  • Rollins and Joe go into one corner whilst Balor and Miz go the other way as the bell rings.
  • Balor’s hand is already bleeding… he heads out and Rollins goes for a suicide dive. They land rather gently into the Saudi announce table. Seth runs back in and dives out the other side, we see the first ladder emerge and Balor runs in and dives out the other side. Good action to begin with here, let’s hope it gets the flat audience going.
  • Joe is the first to set up a ladder before Rollins heads in and puts a stop to it. They exchange blows as Rollins is drove face down into the ladder.
  • More attempts to climb the ladder come from the Miz, Rollins and Balor.
  • Its looking to be a ‘protective’ style ladder match with every risk move well executed and pulled off in a softer style again referring to the house show style of the event.
  • Samoa Joe slams Balor onto a ladder. Joe takes out Miz with the ladder next and starts to dominate.
  • Balor turns it around and pushes Joe into the ladder, he and the hardware go down. Balor up to the corner with Rollins running up to him for a superplex. Joe moves into the mix and slams them both onto the mat.
  • Good action so far, best match of the night currently.
  • Skull crushing finale from the Miz to Joe onto a ladder, he’s all alone with the ladder now. The Miz is looking for his 9th IC title. He climbs but Rollins arrives on time! Rights and lefts and the top of the ladder as Rollins falls. This time its Balor’s turn, they swipe for the belt and fight up high.
  • They go back down to the mat with the Miz still being dominant.
  • The audience come to life with a ‘this is awesome’ chant.
  • We see Balor kick the Miz and falls onto the ladder. Balor climbs up high in the corner and hits the coup de gras.
  • Balor is on top now as he kicks Joe and goes to climb.
  • Rollins out of nowhere springboards onto the ladder and snatches the belt away.

Result : Seth Rollins retains.

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Verdict: A good very unpredictable match. Anything could and did happen, even though it still represented the house show nature of the event.

So now we see a group of guys who spent the week doing WWE tryouts. They have an interview in the ring until Daivari and Daivari come out to an abundance of boos. This is the typical good guy bad guy segment to get the audience going. Turns out the heel pair are Iranian, not the best of moves, but we see the potential try out guys take down the bad guys.

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OUT NOW

WWE Championship Match

AJ Styles (c) V Shinsuke Nakamura

  • Lets hope this one is better than Wrestlemania
  • The arena falls silent as the two competitors lock up with AJ on top to begin with. They dynamic of the match is slow to begin with, as expected, lets hope it heats up to something more impressive than chops and lock holds.
  • The audience begin to get into the match as either competitor could threaten for the win. Nakamura goes for a front slamming suplex as he sets up for Styles to intercept. AJ hits the first big submission of the night in the middle of the ring.
  • Nakamura grabs the rope to break the hold. There’s way more action in this version of their match…
  • AJ goes for the phenomenal forearm only for Nakamura to evade. AJ almost hits the referee blocking his view for Nakamura to hit a low blow. Near fall as the title almost changes hands.
  • AJ intercepts again with a high impressive kick as Nakamura rolls out of the ring.
  • They both head out into the Saudi announce table as the referee begins to count. They continue to brawl and it looks like they are about to head into the ring but they dont, then the referee reaches 10!
  • The bell rings but the fight continues as AJ grabs a chair and attacks Nakamura.

Winner: Double Count out so AJ retains 

Verdict: Unpredictable match with some good action. Obviously a decent way to protect both performers by doing a double count out. 

Casket Match

The Underaker V Rusev

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  • Fun fact: This was originally the plan, then it changed to Chris Jericho V Taker then it changed back, many rumors circulating that Rusev said something untoward about Taker. You should also buy my latest book The Teleporter…
  • The bell rings and Rusev immediately bails, eventually Taker catches up and hits a devastating right hand.
  • They go back into the ring and proceedings move towards old skool taking down Rusev. We’re getting all the typical Taker spots here as we see the leg drop onto Rusev from the apron.
  • Rusev is rolled into the casket but Aiden English interferes enough for Rusev to roll out. Taker receives a kick from the Bulgarian and turns the tables. They exchange blows to the crowd’s enjoyment. This is less of a squash than the Cena match at Mania, Rusev is looking strong for the heel figure here.
  • The ‘acolade’ or cobra clutch by Rusev which keeps the Undertaker down. He signals for the casket to open as the Deadman sits up.
  • Chokeslam by the Undertaker to Rusev with the casket still open. He throws him in and just as he is about to close it Aiden English runs in and recieves a chokeslam followed by tombstone piledriver. He looks over to the casket and drags English into the casket with Rusev already in. They both fit as Taker slams the lid shut.

Winner: The Undertaker 

Verdict: This looked to be a typical squash which indeed protected Rusev although he lost, he didnt take a tombstone. I enjoyed it. 

STEEL CAGE MATCH WWE UNIVERSAL CHAMPIONSHIP

Brock Lesnar (c) V Roman Reigns

  • The ‘Big Dog’ comes out first to a mixed but mostly positive reaction, that does depend on whether or not WWE production mute the audience.
  • Brock Lesnar is looking red already…
  • The cage is locked and the bell rings. They collide and its suplex city early on.
  • The first F5 comes and the weirdly quiet audience stir. He goes for another for Reigns battles out and hits 3 super man punches. He goes for a spear but is caught in an F5 position, Reigns grips the metal cage and climbs up. They are both on the top rope as Lesnar knocks Roman down. Lesnar climbs up and goes to escape.
  • Reigns pulls him down into a power bomb which rattles onto the mat.
  • Roman begins to use the cage as a weapon by throwing Brock against it several times before hitting a spear and then another.
  • Another spear and he goes for the cover for Brock to kick out at 2.
  • Roman calls for the cage door to open and moves towards it, Paul Heyman drives by and slams the cage door into Reigns. Brock is there for an F5 for Roman to kick out at 2. Paul Heyman throws a chair into the ring.
  • Brock removes his gloves to go bare knuckle he grabs the chair for Reigns to spear him down. Roman uses the chair on the beast several times and sets up for another super man punch which connects.
  • He then hits an impressive spear into the cage and both of them go through it and onto the floor outside.
  • We got ourselves a false cop out finish folks. Typical house show shenanigans.

Winner: Brock retains as the referees decide he got out first. 

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Verdict: A typical cage match with no real risk taking or anything new. This could have easily been a monday night raw main event. 

 

THE GREATEST ROYAL RUMBLE MATCH

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Belt for the winner of the Rumble

Entrance order/ Notable stuff that happened: 

  • 1. Daniel Bryan ‘yes’ ‘yes’ ‘yes’ ‘yes’ if only the audience joined him in saying that.
  • 2. Dolph Ziggler
  • 3. Sin Cara – impressive flippy stuff, then eliminated…
  • 4. Curtis Axel
  • 5. Mark Henry – Hall of Famer oh hell yeah – eliminates Curtis Axel
  • 6. Mike Kanellis – Eliminated straight away by Henry #buried
  • 7. Hiroki Sumi – famous sumo wrestler faces off with Henry and gets eliminated by Henry, Ziggler and Bryan then eliminate Henry
  • 8. Victor – quickly eliminated
  • 9. Kofi Kingston
  • 10. Tony Nese 
  • 11. Dash Wilder 
  • 12. Hornswoggle! – first suprise of the night… helps eliminate Dash, delivers samoan drop to Kofi and then tries a tadpole splash but Ziggler superkicks. Then gets eliminated by Tony Nese.
  • 13. Primo
  • 14.  Xavier Woods – new day team to eliminate Tony Nese
  • 15. Bo Dallas 
  • 16. Kurt Angle – Well recieved by the audience, german suplexes for all, he eliminates Primo and Bo Dallas. He belly to belly’s Ziggler out for elimination.
  • 17. Scott Dawson 
  • 18. Goldust
  • 19. Konnor 
  • 20. Elias – comes out with a guitar and then runs in and eliminates Konnor and both of the new day.
  • 21. Luke Gallows – fantastic showdown between Kurt Angle and Daniel Bryan, then Elias sneakily eliminates Angle.
  • 22. Rhyno 
  • 23. Drew Gulak 
  • 24. Tucker Knight – eliminates Gulak
  • 25. Bobby Roode 
  • 26. Fandango 
  • 27. Chad Gable 
  • 28. Rey Mysterio – eliminates Gallows
  • 29. Mojo Rawley – eliminates Fandango
  • 30. Tyler Breeze 
  • 31. Big E 
  • 32. Karl Anderson
  • 33. Apollo Crews – Eliminates Gable
  • 34. Roderick Strong 
  • 35. Randy Orton – eliminates Anderson, Mojo and Crews.
  • 36. Heath Slater 
  • 37. Babatunde 
  • 38. Baron Corbin 
  • 39. Titus O’Neal – trips over and slides under ring? WTF botch or work?
  • 40. Dan Matha 
  • 41. Braun Strowman  – no Nicholas this time  – eliminates Babatunde, Slater and Big E amongst others.
  • 42. Tye Dillinger – eliminated by Strowman , Elias eliminates Orton
  • 43. Curt Hawkins –  never enters match and Strowman chases him down. Throws him in the ring.
  • 44. Bobby Lashley – eliminates Elias after a botch slam, he faces off with Braun.
  • 45.  The Great Khali –  eliminated by Lashley and Strowman
  • 46. Kevin Owens –  Daneil Bryan breaks record for the longest time spent in a Rumble Match 1 Hour 5 mins
  • 47. Shane McMahon – coast to coast to Braun Strowman
  • 48. Shelton Benjamin 
  • 49. Big Cass
  • 50. Chris Jericho – Big Pop from the crowd. Eliminates Shelton Benjamin, gets KO into the Walls of Jericho.

The Finish: Bobby Lashley botches a suplex on Big Cass, Daniel Bryan is still in the mix along with Shane but Strowman launches him off the top corner and into an announcers table with an elimination.

Lashley eliminated by Strowman along with Jericho. Bryan and Strowman facing off as they battle to eliminate eachother. Big Cass still involved and eliminates Bryan.

Big Cass faces of with Strowman, the last two! Rights and lefts are exchanged. Cass tries to eliminate Strowman who converts. He eliminates Cass and wins.

Winner: Braun Strowman

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Verdict: Most of the under card talent were present here, or mostly NXT.  The usual rumble is way better, but overall the event was good. It needed women wrestling, but you know the situation there with the country they are in #backward… 

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moment of the night

 

 

 

 

 

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My 3rd book The Teleporter is released!

Let’s face it, the internet works in weird and wonderful ways. My last two book release posts had zero views and zero likes so I could be saying anything right now, like Zuckerberg is actually one of those lizard folk, or cheese is in fact political propaganda to keep us lactose intolerant…

But for those inclined, my third book THE TELEPORTER is officially available via amazon. Click here to check it out…

This time I have written what appears to a super hero comedy on the surface but has actually turned out to be something way more than the genre it’s identified by. Although yes it is still funny (I really hope!) the story faces many different modern issues in this world we live. From low self esteem and self reflection to corruption in politics and business, this one I hope will result in giving the reader something to think about all with a healthy dose of haha! But these serious issues are never treated as a joke, that’s what makes it compelling.

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So what’s the story? 

Our main character Kurt Wiseman is serial ‘drinksmith’ (cool word huh?) and a general layabout/ graphic novelist. That is until he accidentally discovers the ability to Teleport whilst investigating his corrupt millionaire media controlling Trump… I mean boss.

What follows is a story of triumph, struggle, friendship and even mild addiction as Kurt becomes the Teleporter and looks to fight injustice, not because he should, but because he chooses to. The whole morality of good vs bad is highlighted throughout the narrative as our comedy guy fights the forces laid against him.

Above all this story is about honesty and power. In these words lay the most truth I have ever told as a writer, and as long as fiction contains some element of realism then the reader can relate. 

 

I have to take this opportunity to thank my heroic book team for helping me put this together. My editor and publisher Nicky of Satin Publishing has been truly wonderful throughout the process and always contactable when needed. Her work has enhanced my story by tenfold.

Design for Writers have provided another fantastic cover managing to set a tone I could only visualize by words and they have been brilliant throughout.

My final nod is to the loyal people who have already got themselves a copy, the following I have is small but unconditional loyal and for that I must thank you a million times. This whole deal is to prove my passion is worth pursuing and my readers do that every time without fail. Thank you. 

For people old and new who are following me and reading my stuff I must implore you to leave a review via amazon, goodreads, a blog or even Facebook (Lizardberg wont mind), and remember Selfies sell books

The Teleporter is out now! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red Headed Book Lover: A warning to Authors

Unfortunately we live in a world that is rife with the dishonest, and this is especially so in the Uber Democracy known as the internet. A place without any real regulation. I intend for this blog entry to act as a service first and foremost to my fellow wordsmiths who have delved into the world of publishing, independent or not, it is with great importance I come to you with this.

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I don’t see other writers as competition but as fellows in a world where we are all trying to convince the world our words exist. And it is our responsibility to look out for one another especially when our ultimate integrity is threatened. I use the word threat because what we do takes so much work and only a select will understand what that truly means, but for everyone concerned with writing books I have to do my duty for our industry. 

So here’s the story… and subsequent investigation… 

On the evening of April 19th 2018 I received an interesting email from someone called ‘Aimee Ann’ if that is ‘her’ real name is neither here or there. But what this person said is as follows… 

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Sounds good right, I thought so, and initial ideas began to stir around my head in how I was to reply in order to sound as professional as possible, that is without sounding desperate for reviews. Because all writers need more reviews and the fact I overlooked where this person got my email from I was ready to bite her hand off for a review… 

I checked out the website, and initially I was impressed. This person is good, damn good. 

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You cant deny the About section appears to be innocent and worded in such a tactical way for nobody to call bullshit. It’s all positive and draws attention away from anyone with an ounce of suspicion, that includes me. 

Of course the whole deal is written in a way to draw a level of sympathy, truth or not, and who the hell has 4 kids and still has the time to read, review and keep a damn blog up to date? I have no kids and have barely enough time to brush my hair! 

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And so I scrolled further down her rather wordy and ever so  positively innocent bio, until the ultimate red flag destroyed all perception of me believing this whole deal was genuine… 

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Red flag uno… is highlighted in pink above. No pictures personally tells me there is a hell of a lot to hide but this paragraph is very clever in delivery, its almost dastardly, as in evil villain dastardly. And I should know a thing or two about such characters, I’m a writer…

Look how she addresses the red flag and then diverts by involving her family and then even sub diverts by making the reader forget completely about the fact there are no photos of her by mentioning the husband and even diverts that as well. 

Next comes more diversion…

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And let me state here, there is no shame in supporting military charities, but this is just another diversion away from the real facts here. All of this is to give an author a sense of security and trust. 

And that is, red flag numero dos…

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At this point I knew the dream was over. ‘She’ charges for reviews… 

Any type of paid review service is quite simply unethical and viewed in the literary industry as morally wrong. Its cheating, its lying, its false. 

And so I used the google machine for a cold slap of reality to the face.

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The Alliance of Independent Authors provided me with the above testimony.  

Yes folks that’s 75 big ones for a damn review! And so I poked around the interweb some more and found only a few people have lifted the lid on the Red Headed Book Lover’s blog. 

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As you can see this email I screen grabbed from Blank Pages Revealed is identical to the one I got! 

And so my whole premise is simply to lift the lid of future authors who type Red Headed Book Lover into google and tell them simply, its an unethical scam! 

I will never reply to the email, it isn’t worth any more words.

The problem is, there are so many authors who have fallen for this. Reviews are basically currency for authors, especially indie ones, and so when desperation for reviews meets opportunist, Red Headed Book Lover is born, and its wrong, so wrong. 

It is never right for an author to pay for reviews! So I can happily say Red Headed Book Lover and Aimee Ann, I call bullshit and by the power vested by me as an author and creator of worlds, you are banished by the realm of genuine writers. We pride ourselves on hard work and the money we spend to give readers an escape. We can do that without paying for reviews! So kindly fu** off!” 

 

The Teleporter Exclusive Cover Reveal

Yes,you read that title correct and considering we are days away from the arrival of literature’s newest drunk super hero I thought I should share with the official cover of The Teleporter!

But that isn’t all, because you and I both know books shouldn’t be judged by their cover alone or their blurb, so let me tell you what the Teleporter is really about…

It’s a comedy…

Okay most of you already knew that, pretty much all of my marketing efforts have centered around convincing readers this story is funny, and it is. The comedy delivered by main character Kurt Wiseman can best be described as fourth wall breaking honesty. And honesty is probably the ultimate key word that runs throughout the many themes…

Honesty, really?

Yes, really, because if there is honesty or realness clung to the concept of something fictional the whole thing becomes all the more engaging and real. Trust me when I say there is more truth in this book than anything I have ever written. 

So if this book delivers the truth via fiction, then what is it really about?

That’s a damn good question because the Teleporter isn’t ruled by genre, although it identifies as a super hero comedy and yes I’ve already mentioned that but what this book is really about you ask?

It’s about power, and the responsibility of power. 

But that isn’t all because power is never a simple thing. The Teleporter firmly glares into the face of adversity when it comes to the abuse of power. This story isn’t afraid to stand up and punch many different problems society has, right in the face. And the wonderful thing is, this book was never supposed to be that at all. Much like the age we live in has become an opportunity for people to proudly stand up against stereotype, prejudice and discrimination by just being themselves. That is indeed a world where people with power do not like, and that is what drives change for the better.

As well as power, the Teleporter wraps itself in comedic satire to tackle modern politics, media control, inclusion and even addiction. This world we live in today, the internet age, is a place where all of that matters, and that is why this story is something you should read. But after all of that, it is just a comedy.

So without futher deliberation, okay just a bit more…

I set out to write something which was a departure from my usual genre and go a little more lighthearted. What I got instead was a straight shoot into the fire of modern society and all of its wonderful problems in which this world is still figuring out. Even now I have no idea how the Teleporter will be received, I’m uncomfortable and even a little nervous. Those feelings are what drives me to be a story teller, staying out of comfort and branching towards something risky and daring. The not knowing is probably the greatest and most unique feeling a writer can have, it makes us create better stories. Ladies and gentlemen, here it is, my third book The Teleporter!

 

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The Walking Dead Season 8 Finale Review

It’s been a pretty enduring season for The Walking Dead, a roller coaster that many fans will prefer to leave behind, myself included. Opinions are divided and most viewers haven’t been happy with recent decisions for the overall direction of the show. Here’s my review of what was an interesting and important turning point for Rick and the gang…

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They had to do something with Negan…

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No doubt JDM has brought a masterclass of villainy to TWD, his arrival two seasons previous will go down in history and turned the whole story upside down. The original execution and motives of such a big character is probably the sole reason for the show’s downturn. I have covered Negan before but my concern has always been what will they do with such a momentous character, a seemingly indestructible force in a fragile world. His whole deal seemed to grow stale after the past two years, and there were scenes where I honestly thought the show’s writers didn’t know what to do him.

This seasons final episode set in motion a direction which sat somewhere between expected and unexpected. We finally got some level of resolve towards Negan and an indication of where his fate will move to next. You could tell especially in his half of S8 that they were doing something, and the pay off came, eventually.

Clearly the show running powers that be have spoken…

Looking around the internet rumor mill its no secret the show runner position for the walking dead has changed mid season, lets face it, they had to change things. You could tell almost straight away in the mid season premiere it was out with the old and in with the new, of course Carl’s death foreshadowed anything drastic and essentially became the theme of events to follow.

Although I truly believe Carl’s death should never have been, it has given the show an almost refreshing direction, now stay with me here, but the Rick we saw in the last episode of this season has been shaped by the loss of his son and the legacy he left behind.

Mercy is the greatest weapon of all, and a key to character development…

We’ve seen Rick take down the big bad before, we’ve seen the group move from settlement to settlement before, we’ve seen them deal with trust issues before. The decision for Rick not to kill Negan has interrupted the stale routine this show has got itself into, they have broken the cycle and maybe without knowing displayed a huge amount of development for the characters of this show. The take away moment from this episode was Rick showing mercy to a defeated Negan and the saviors. He has taken the high road and showed that people can be better than just killing.

That triple cross though…

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Eugene was playing chess quite simply and to see the moment his manufactured bullets backfired was a huge unexpected twist. Something had to happen and this was the moment the tables turned, for the better.

For the greater good of the group

Let’s face it there have been some wonderful character performances throughout the 8 years of TWD. Many of which were on display in this episode which to me felt like a television special. Jerry and King Ezekiel are wonderfully likable characters with a natural chemistry on full display as the episode opened.

Morgan has always been a favorite for me and the deep psychological issues he faces and tackles is superbly depicted. His character may seem erratic but under the hood he knows what is going on, and even referenced to the ‘bar’ scene him and Rick found themselves in a few episodes previous. Their decision to break the bond of their word didn’t fall on silent ears and was addressed, a pivotal moment which has broken the usual vague style TWD carries.

An unexpected emotional moment came to me through Dwight’s retribution and apology to Daryl. He is a man with nearly nothing left and somehow stands out as someone very relevant in the world where Negan is now a prisoner.

I enjoyed Father Gabriel’s journey toward the light, and again it seems his faith has pulled through. Another example of great emotional acting.

There’s still a long way to go

I know for a fact it wasn’t perfect, but this episode was the first good’un in what seems like a long run of dud episodes. Most of the season was in fact a dud without direction and too spread out. With the dissolution of Negan’s reign there seems to be a new fresh route this show could take.

There are still many open plot points which need to be answered, that will always be TWD’s style, but for the first time in a long time, this show has got itself a win, and we still get to keep Negan, something which I am sure will have some level of resurgence and value in later episodes.

A feel good factor

It feels good for the first time in a long time to watch this show, that whole putting the audience though as much shit as the characters has finally been lifted. Carl’s memory and contribution were memorialized throughout the episode playing on the audiences heart strings and perhaps sub consciously nodding to the fact he probably shouldn’t have died, even though his death may have got the Walking Dead out of this rut.

Overall I liked the episode

From the very open of this episode I could tell it was going to be good. The twists and turns which led to Negan’s defeat were simple and straight to the point. I enjoyed the fact it happened just after the halfway point leaving more time to move towards next season’s plot.

The overall character development of this show has been flexed in this episode and I think the cast have ridden a proverbial shit storm out of a shituation. Full credit to the sheer effort they put in to make this whole deal feel so emotionally real. TWD has always captured the emotion above everything else.

Should they really be divided?

That’s the question most people are asking, and I think its another interesting twist. Was it right to publicly show mercy to Negan in front of the likes of Maggie. If so a civil war could be on the horizon. I’m not sure I fully believe the motives of Jesus and Daryl as they align themselves with Maggie, that may be my only criticism of a decent episode of the Walking Dead and for the first time we have no frustrating cliff hanger!

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The Problem with…Facebook

There’s a hefty amount of conflict that swirls around the title of this post, simply because it goes against what may be the most powerful social force today, Facebook. A vision which initially began as a college project has recently been revealed to have a concerning sinister underbelly…

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Those of the living under a rock persuasion (and I admire you) may not know that very recently Facebook had their business exposed by the way of Cambridge Analytica, a somewhat evil sounding corporation straight out of a dystopian future looking to control the world by harvesting everyone’s private information. And the rub is, that fanatical  analogy doesn’t fall too far from the tree.

If you google ‘Cambridge Analytica’ you’ll see for yourself what they have been up to along with Facebook. And to put it basically, they accessed millions of user’s data without really telling them! Now the details are rich amongst the many news articles online but a figure which seems to echo throughout is 87 Million. That is the number of Facebook users who had their ‘information’ collected via a sneaky quiz app, you know the types that come up every now and then via the news feed.

So what type of information are we talking here? Now this is where some of the facts may differ but we are talking personal things here, such as; political beliefs, interests, friend’s information, phone call logs even if you didn’t use facebook to call, location and even private messages. There is even rumors of deleted information still being kept somewhere..

This is where the real power of Facebook is exposed, and its quite concerning to say the least how much they have on one person. So what is real problem here? 

Facebook are heavily known for being vague and having many grey areas when it comes to rules. Kind of like ‘do as I say, not as I do’. This poses the real issue here and that question is; what are Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg’s real intentions?

Having all this data gives a major company a lot of sway via the information gathered. It can even be used in a political sense, such as an election. President Barack Obama did exactly the same as Cambridge Analytica and was even perceived and viewed as clever for doing so. But it doesn’t matter what this information is being used for, it’s the fact they have it.

For what initially seems like an uber democracy, the internet over recent times has just become yet another place where the corporations have more control and again Facebook has proven this. It’s all about the money seemingly, and in these circumstances the conflicted arises from the fact there is no real alternative to Facebook.

Honest people like me have invested in Facebook for the use of not just socializing but for trying to launch a career in writing. I’ve had success as an author because of Facebook and the networking it provides. I have met people from across the globe because of this social network and built a following over time. There is so much good in what Facebook is, the world is much smaller and better connected place because of it, but…

Some of the worst things have come from the best of intentions and Facebook is staring down the barrel of conflicted users because of their conduct. Near enough Everyone I know uses Facebook and let’s put this into perspective.

Let’s say I developed a way to harvest millions of people’s personal information, all the way to level where I knew what they had for breakfast. I’m pretty sure the law wouldn’t just let that fly, you probably wouldn’t see me again. But Mark Zuckerberg was able to sit in front of US senators and talk about the idea of regulating Facebook and tell them he doesnt ‘feel’ like he has a monopoly.

It’s incredible that billionaire types get some kind of preference all because of money. I can almost guran-damn-tee Facebook will live to fight another day after this scandal passes and the problem is for people like me, is that’s the result I kind of need to continue a decent social media presence. We have no choice but to carry on. Even if millions of people delete Facebook, or a token celebrity tries to make some political deal about it, they will still stand. For as long as the internet is floating in the airwaves there is no real way to put any real lawful control across the globe for it.

So I guess for now life will continue with needless selfies, an overabundance of emojis, name tests and vague attention fishing statuses… Every now and then Facebook brings something good but that frequency is dying.

Have you deleted Facebook? Or are you like me and need to reach followers  in order to promote books. Speaking of books,

The Teleporter arrives in just a few weeks, there,will,be, booze!

 

Wrestlemania 34 as it happened…

It’s that time of year again, where the Wrestle meets the mania! So here are the results from the 34th showcase of the immortals with WWE Wrestlemania 34 as it happened…

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Wrestlemania 34 Kick off Pre Show

So proceedings kick off for us in the UK at 22:00. It’s going to be a long night, with around seven hours of wrestling planned, all of it coming from the WWE network in which the kick off is just an advert for.  Did you know Wrestlemania is free when you sign up to the network and get some days free… that’s what we keep getting told anyway.

After some talking about various matches we see Miss Money the Bank Carmella talking some trash about cashing in her brief case and then she leaves.

We see that John Cena is in the crowd.

Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royale

The ring is full of superstars and we are introduced to hall of fame announcing duo of Jerry the King Lawler and Jim Ross. Most superstars are without a match later on in the night, familar faces include Kane, Goldust, Dolph Ziggler, Baron Corbyn, Rhyno, Matt Hardy and R Truth.

Highlights include a brief return of the Golden Truth, where Goldust then turned on his partner and throws him out, an impressive running knee from Shelton Benjamin to Tyler Breeze for an elimination, Ziggler doing the Shawn Michaels hanging on over the ropes multiple times, Zack Ryder getting eliminated from former parnter Mojo Rawley and a poorly timed commercial break right in the middle of proceedings.

Kane and Corbyn face off in the middle of now emptying ring who are then mobbed by remaining superstars. A super kick from Dolph Ziggler to Titus O’Neil. Audience chant DELETE as Matt Hardy rises to prominence followed by Kane who is eliminated.

The Last three are Mojo, Corbyn and Hardy, the other two ganging up on the latter. A video package interrupts and Bray Wyatt appears in the ring. He helps Hardy and eliminates Mojo, Hardy then eliminates Corbyn to claim the win.

Winner: Matt Hardy

That’s hour 1 over and the clock strikes 23:00. The Mercedes Benz superdome in New Orleans is filling up. We see John Cena in the audience again.

WWE Cruiser weight Championship Match

Cedric Alexander v Mustafa Ali 

The match begins with a back and forth between the two competitors with some impressive ground to air maneuvers. They exchange strikes and kicks in what is the typical warm up match for what will be a long night of ups and downs.

Alexander executes an daring dive outside to the floor and connects with Ali. They move back into the ring and things slow down with Alexander on the front foot. Ali is slowly coming back with an effective face buster for a near fall. The ‘spanish fly’ comes unexpectedly from Alexander and both of them stay down.

The both of them head up to a top corner and it looks as if its gonna go high risk. Mustafa hits Alexander with a spanish fly for a near fall.  We see another commercial type break with the action slowing down. Again it picks up Ali hitting a tornado DDT followed by his finisher the 5’4 only for Alexander to raise a foot onto the bottom rope.

Cedric Alexander hits an impressive move the Lumbar Check and manages to get the cover and the Cruiser Weight Championship.

Winner and new Cruiser weight Champion: Cedric Alexander

John Cena is interviewed in the audience and looks to be an audience member tonight.

Women’s Battle Royale

Lilian Garcia introduces the announce team which includes Hall of Famer Beth Phoenix and the injured Paige. Becky Lynch gets her own entrance and then the rest of the women make their way to the ring. Bayley gets her own entrance also.

Just before the match appears to start we see a preview trailer for a movie about Paige’s life story which just seems to be about the Rock. We come back to see the legit Boss Sasha Banks come down the ramp.

The bell finally rings for everyone to jump Carmella in which they then proceed to eliminate. Now they all gang up on Dana Brooke and do the same to her. Eventually a mass brawl ensues and everybody spreads out. The ladies of NXT take control of the ring and then another ad break comes.

Eliminations continue with Lana, Becky Lynch and Mickey James going out. NXT women seem to be dominating yet again and they gang up on Natalya who fights back but is eliminated by Sasha Banks and Bayley.

We’re down to the last two of Banks and Bayley. Banks offers a hand to shake and Bayley converts into an elimination to look like the winner but now Naomi appears and takes the win!

Winner: Naomi

Wrestlemania 34

The stage is set and we are ready for the 34th Wrestlemania…

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Intercontinental Championship Triple Threat Match

Seth Rollins V The Miz (C) V Finn Balor 

The opening bout begins with a scramble between the three competitors with Finn Balor going high risk early. He dives out to the floor onto the Miz and Rollins. Action quickly moves back into the ring with the continuation of back and fourths.

Seth Rollins takes his turn to execute two dives out of opposites sides of the ring and we then see a near fall for the Miz who then gets the figure 4 locked in with Balor. From out of nowhere Rollins hits an impressive top rope frog splash getting a near fall.

Action moves outside and then back into the ring with Rollins and Balor going against eachother. Balor hits Rollins with a slam for another near fall, he then heads up to the corner for the Miz to prepare for a superplex. Rollins converts into a buckle bomb and the Miz goes down.

Skull crushing finale from the Miz to Rollins for a two and a half count. Still no definitive looking winner with what seems like a three way game of tennis.

Finn Balor connects with coup de grace to the Miz followed by Rollins running in with a kerb stomp to pin the Miz.

 Winner: New Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins.

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Verdict: A good action packed opening match which really got the crowd going. Seth Rollins is now a grand slam champion in WWE. 

Smackdown Women’s Championship Match

Charlotte Flair (c) V Asuka 

A great start with some serious lock holds and chain wrestling from either competitor. Asuka shows some superior strength against Charlotte. We pan to John Cena in the audience yet again.

Charlotte begins to show dominance with a moonsault that Asuka converts into an arm lock hold which Flair then reverses into a Boston crab. They break away with Asuka targeting Flair’s shoulder. They head out onto the apron with Asuka suplexing Charlotte onto the floor! This is by far a brutal and well put together match reflecting how far the women’s division has come in recent times.

Action moves back in between the ropes with Asuka continually targeting Charlotte’s left shoulder. They head up to the top rope and Charlotte hits a spanish fly! A near fall which almost broke Asuka’s undefeated streak. More ground based lock holds with Asuka placing pressure on the champion. Charlotte hits a spear and Asuka answers to a near fall. Charlotte hits the figure 4 followed by figure 8 one armed and impressively makes Asuka tap.

 Winner: Charlotte Flair Retains

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Verdict: Fantastic somewhat physical match. A token to women’s wrestling. 

A referee is seen running in and heads towards the audience and John Cena. He proceeds to run back up the ramp and go to the back. 

Fatal Four Way Match for the United States Championship.

Bobby Roode V Rusev V Jinder Mahal V Randy Orton (c)

Proceedings start with Rusev taking a dive into Orton and Mahal from the outside apron. He then moves back into the ring to go one on one with Bobby Roode. Mahal back in along with Orton who exchanges chops with Roode. A busy start to the match.

Jinder and Rusev face off with the Bulgarian dominating with an onslaught of boots.

Note: Aiden English is the incorrect way to spell Aidan. 

It’s Bobby Roode’s turn to assault Jinder who reverses the offence for Orton to run in. He gets a hold of Rusev for the rope DDT but fights his way out of it. Orton attempts it again an hits the DDT off the ropes. Randy is readying for an RKO but hits it on a running in Aiden English he then hits the RKO to Jinder. Next he tries to RKO Roode who converts into a glorious DDT.

Mahal manages to blind side Rusev and picks up a three count.

Winner: Jinder Mahal wins and becomes the new US Champion.

Match verdict: A great back and fourth fatal 4 way. Kind of a deflating ending but still good to watch, the crowd were in loud form.

Mixed Tag Team Match

Ronda Rousey and Kurt Angle V Triple H and Stephanie McMahon

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Triple H’s entrance music hits and there are a bunch of bikes/trikes revving on the ramp. Both Steph and H appear on trikes and head down to the ring. Typical entrance for them with a lot of leather and green lighting.

Next comes the only Olympic Gold medalist in pro wrestling, Kurt Angle followed by Ronda Rousey.

The match begins with Stephanie getting a few cheap shots in before the bell. Rousey is pulled away and so HHH and Angle begin. The gold medalist takes his opponent down to the mat with an arm lock, showing dominance early on. There’s more foul play as Stephanie works the ropes for Kurt to fall out. Again Rousey is frustrated in what will be a slow burn all the way to a hot tag.

Kurt finally gets the tag and Rousey is in, the crowd pop big time as she lays into Stephanie. Into the corner they go with several strikes from the former UFC champ. She then throws Steph across the ring and then goes for an arm bar which McMahon somehow blocks. They wrestle on the mat with Steph managing to break away but Triple H is down outside the ring so she cant tag.

Stephanie hits a DDT on Rousey for a one and half kickout. Its all McMahon now as she puts in a submission move, then throwing her to the floor via a hair pull. Rousey fights back and lifts Stephanie up into a shoulder height slam. A certain victory is taken away as HHH pulls the referee out of the ring.

HHH then pulls Rousey out and faces Kurt Angle. HHH throws Angle across the announcers table and heads into the ring to check on his wife whilst Rousey is going to face off with Hunter.  Rousey shows some superior strength here and literally man handles the Game! Steph is back in the ring for Rousey to intercept and they head out.

Back in the ring HHH and Kurt go into it with belly to belly suplexes followed by German suplexes. The crowd are on fire as HHH goes for a pedigree which is reversed into an ankle lock which HHH wriggles out of. Angle slam to the game which he kicks out of. Entertaining and quick paced with a potential match of the night quality.

Stephanie and Angle face off as she goes for a kick which he catches. Ankle lock as HHH puts in the pedigree, Rousey breaks the pin. Now its HHH and Rousey and she reverses the pedigree into an arm bar. Its locked in as Steph breaks the hold with a rear naked choke. Rousey gets to her feet and flips her over into an arm bar. Kurt Angle gets HHH in the ankle lock at the same time. HHH thows Angle into Rousey and the holds are broken.

The power couple look to go for double pedigrees but Kurt throws HHH out and Rousey converts into arm bar on Stephanie. She is yelling ‘no’ and eventually taps!

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Winner: Ronda Rousey and Kurt Angle

Verdict: Most likely to be match of the night. Great action. 

Smackdown Tag Team Championship Triple Threat Match

The New Day V The Usos (c) V The Bludgeon Brothers

Before the Bludgeons can even get in the ring they are drop kicked back and Kofi Kingston hits an early trouble in paradise to no pin fall. The action moves outside as the Bludgeons target all of the new day. They hit the ring and continue to dominate.

Big E blasted off the apron as he tries to get in the ring and the match properly begins with the USO’s targeting Luke Harper. A big splash with Harper kicking out at 2. The tag champs efforts head towards the outside with a double suplex to Eric Rowan on the floor.

In the ring Kofi is facing Harper who dominates and heads into the corner. Kingston is powerbombed and then handed to Harper who powerbombs him off the top rope for the pin.

Winner: The Bludgeon Brothers, new tag champs

Verdict: A quick match putting over the new champs who mostly dominated. 

Next up is John Cena who heads down the ramp and into the ring. The referee heads down and talks to Cena who then gets out of the ring. The lights go out and Elias appears on the ramp. He walks down to ring with a guitar and sings. Cena heads out of the ring as Elias gets between the ropes and continues his song. Eventually Cena heads into the ring and puts the beat down on Elias and hits him with an attitude adjustment.

Cena heads back up the ramp with his music playing and then the lights go out. In the ring we see a hat and folded jacket whilst Cena watches on. Again the lights go down and the gong sounds.

He’s here, the Undertaker is here. Shrouded in purple and blue light he walks to the ring and faces John Cena.

The Undertaker V John Cena

The bell rings and they collide. Into the corners and against the ropes, Taker flies and claims early dominance. He then takes Cena old skool and the crowd are electric. Snake eyes followed by a big boot and leg drop combo. He reaches the sky for a chokeslam which Cena suplexes out of.

Taker sits up as Cena goes go for a five knuckle shuffle and recieves a chokeslam followed by tombstone. One, two, three. It was a squash, WTF?

Winner: The Undertaker

Verdict: Taker hasn’t looked this good in at least 5 years and essentially this was a squash match. 

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And now we see the WWE Hall of Fame 2018 class!

Tag team Match

Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan V Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens

The capacity audience are on fine form with the mass of ‘Yes’ chants as he comes down to the ring. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn hit the ring with a surprise move from behind and the brawl begins. The dastardly pair power bomb Bryan onto the apron before the bell even rings.

Bryan is down and stays there with Shane left to fight alone. McMahon calls for the bell to ring and the match begins. He dominates with quick paced punches and high risk moves. Soon enough Zayn and Owens get the upper hand. They take it in turns to dominate but Shane fights back and manages to hit a coast to coast to Zayn.

Owens turns the tables and hits a frog splash and as he goes for a cover Daniel Bryan enters the match and puts in the save. Shane desperately struggles to reach for a tag to no avail. Daniel Bryan is beginning to stir and Shane eventually makes the tag.  Bryan hits the ropes and hits a thunderous clothesline to Sami Zayn. He then throws out a big missile drop kick from above. Bryan takes it turns to hit either of his opponents in their respective corners and targets Zayn for a hurricanrana which he executes successfully.

Owens faces off with Bryan and puts in a powerbomb which Bryan kicks out of. Shane is kicked off the apron twice. Now Zayn and Bryan are about to face off. Several kicks come from Bryan to Zayn and he converts the running knee into the yes lock. Zayn taps.

Winner: Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon

Verdict: A decent return for Daniel Bryan and of course physical from Shane, Owens and Zayn. 

Raw Women’s Championship

Alexa Bliss (c) V Nia Jax

The match begins with Nia going after Mickey James who joined Alexa down to the ring. The bell finally rings in what will probably be some level of a squash match considering the size difference between competitors.

nia.PNG  Nia Jax throws Alexa across the ring with a huge slam. They head outside with Alexa trying to walk off with her belt only for Jax to plough into her. Back in the ring they face off with back and fourth action but Jax finds dominance as expected. Bliss does all she can to stop her being dominated by eye poking but again Nia slams her down to the mat.

She picks Bliss up onto her shoulders and climbs the second rope. She falls back and and slams Alexa in the middle of the ring. One, two, three.

Winner: Nia Jax , new Raw Women’s champion.

Verdict: Essentially a crowd cool down squash match. 

WWE Championship Match

AJ Styles (c) V Shinsuke Nakamura

For the first time ever AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura lock up with the crowd captivated and electric. Styles takes the offensive lead and looks to be in control during the early stages of this match. Nakamura fights back and they move into the corner. Forearms are exchanged between the two competitors.

The match slows down and the audience seems partially dead for now, its been a long night as we hit 04:00AM and hopefully the last hour of wrestling. Things continue to crawl along with the pace of this back and fourth flow affair. I’m not sure where its going.

Styles throws out a devastating kick taking Nakamura’s leg away. They move to mat based submission holds. The injured leg is focused on as Nakamura hits the turnbuckle with his knee, Styles hits the springboard forearm and goes for a pin. Kick out at 2.

A spingboard 450 from Styles but Nakamura throws up his knees to block. The pace slows again. Styles clash to Nakamura and thats it, one, two, three!

Winner: AJ Styles retains WWE Championship

Verdict: A slow paced match, the crowd died down near the end, its been a long night, this match could have been a lot better. 

After the match Nakamura presents the belt with the champ and then proceeds to low blow Styles. A possible heel turn perhaps after he puts a beat down on Styles.

And now its time for yet another mid card match…

Raw Tag Team Championship Match

Cesaro and Sheamus (c) V Braun Strowman and mystery partner??

Ok so Braun heads out into the audience in search of a partner and brings back a kid called Nicholas. The match begins and Nicholas stands on the apron as Braun goes against the champs. He lays in a chokeslam to Cesaro but Sheamus intervenes.

The tag champs begin to gang up on Braun who easily kicks out of a pin attempt. Nicholas is tagged in but Strowman comes back in the ring. Strowman hits the powerslam and takes the pin.

Winner: Braun Strowman and Nicholas, new champs, WTF???

Verdict: Okay??? 

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The main Event…

WWE Universal Championship Match

Brock Lesnar (c) V Roman Reigns

The match quickly gets going with Brock taking Roman into suplex city times three followed by Reigns hitting two superman punches. Brock hits the third outside of the ring. He throws Brock outside opposite.

Belly to belly by Brock to Roman on the outside, they are both back up quickly. They head over to the announcers tables with Roman being thrown onto one. Back into the ring they go with more suplexes, the pace begins to dwindle with the crowd chanting ‘cm punk’.

Again they focus on the tables with Lesnar leading Reigns into the barricade. Roman battles back and spears Brock onto an announcers table. Again they get up and into the ring, a super man punch followed by two spears from the number one contender and still the champion kicks out.

An F5 from Brock but Reigns kicks out! ‘Put him down!’ Paul Heyman yells after a third F5 and again Roman kicks out.  It’s approaching 5am in the UK and the match is showing no signs of ending although anything could and will happen with Brock and Reigns.

F5 through the announcers table to Roman on the outside, that’s number 4 as Brock drags him back in the ring. The Beast incarnate is priming for the finish with another german suplex, Roman is dwindling here.  F5 number 5 and Reigns kicks out somehow, again.

Brock takes his gloves off and drives his fists into Reigns head, blood everywhere but somehow Reigns fights back with his face covered in red! F5 number 6 and that’s it, one, two, three!

Winner: Brock Lesnar retains WWE Universal Championship

 

Wrestlemania Verdict: Better than most from recent years. Many of the matches were good value and action packed. Some titles changed whilst others were retained. Great to see Kurt Angle back in a Wrestlemania Ring. Ronda was more than impressive. The whole Cena Taker deal seemed strange and of course ‘Nicholas’ was particularly odd. Paige looks as if she’s shot to pieces and been replaced by a drag queen, yep she looks that bad. 

The main event became a little excessive with the amount of finishers, and the blood was probably a step too far. That’s it for another year. Be sure to check out my next book The Teleporter which drops this month! 

The problem with… Potholes

Okay, so I’ve been letting this one slowly cook in my mind for a little while, and normally I don’t like to go all political or serial debater in my posts. But seeing as the Hall of Information is my corner of the internet, I thought I would, because let’s face it, there isn’t one driver in the UK who doesn’t face the daily dodge of potholes.

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I’ve tried to make this less of a generic poke at what is the main problem with Britain’s roads, apart from the overcrowding, HGV’s, sneaky speed camera placements, road rage, BMW’s and of course the recent snow shit-uation. And I point those problems out with the least amount of hostility, apart from the damn snow (shakes fist at clouds).

There is a particularly relevant to me case study that will hopefully enlighten those within the borders of ‘Great’ Britain and even those looking from afar. Because everyone loves a good old fashioned story of complaining.

Note: This SAGA has been going on for over a year!

Exhibit 1: Early 2017 

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The above picture is marked in two different colours via some wonderful work by yours truly in MS Paint, which isn’t as good as those XP days..

The green represents the private property in which I reside. If the camera panned up a little you would see me pecking away at my latest novel or even putting up a finger depending on your approach. As you can see there is some dirt and upon closer inspection water damage below the window which is caused by the shit-uation in Red.. 

This particular patch of road in Watlington Oxfordshire, (I wont do street names, people might find me…) is riddled with pot holes like the one you see. And you might be thinking, that isn’t so bad… No car is going to fall down that…

Wrong, because the deal shown in Red, is severe deterioration of the road so much so, water cannot actually flow into the drain pictured. Actually the water just sits there by the kerb. This means when a driver of the speeding persuasion (another problem with UK’s roads) or not so fast persuasion (again a problem) passes said spot it splashes and damages private property. A grade 2 listed building!

Exhibit 1B

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The above picture shows the first initial repair, the date 27th of March 2017. That’s a year ago folks, and look at the miniscule effort. It’s as if somebody just painted over the hole with thick black paint and its worth noting the dirt and damage beneath the window of my house, a grade 2 listed building…

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Now what can one do in such a situation, well there is a handy website known as Fix my Street.  Which you can report potholes and indeed attach pictures, lots of pictures, which I have done, lots of times. They even pass it on to local councils. Sounds good right, well..

And so we must move on, to exhibit B… 26th of March ’18

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This is a current in door view of the recent ‘fix’ that some men in a flatbed did one late morning for a couple of minutes. Now this one doesn’t show the smaller scale repair they did, with even less scraps of tarmac. This time they made the effort to drill that and fill most of the hole, stopping a majority of the rain water, but there is still a lot of splash-age going on. Please excuse the miniature tea set simply put in for scale…  And water still seems to sit there destined to cover private property yet again, and damaging private property yet again.

Now disappointingly the rough patch is in desperate need of a resurface was ignored again. Referring to exhibit 1 the area marked in Red is the total problem hence Exhibit 3 below…

exhibit 3

Now that’s a much better expression of how inadequate the repairs have been over the course of, well a long time. My thinking here is logical to the point where I think one proper pothole repair would save the cost of multiple shoddy ones… that’s just basic maths right? You can see the water still sitting there waiting to wash over the house with its all too familiar colour of oily grey with a hint of precipitation. 

And so here is my latest entry to Fix my street. I even attached a photo with pretty colours pointing out the obvious problem…

fix me street

Of course I went into full condescending sarcasm mode, and why shouldn’t I, this is just an example of what is happening on a daily basis in Britain’s Roads. I say screw the economy for a while especially if we cant even get to work in the first place because I fell down a hole, or splashed some good looking writer’s house.

The council or whatever their real name is have replied saying this problem has been actioned to be repaired, but it still hasn’t and may have even been forgotten…

All joking aside, this situation is no joke, people face serious damage and serious threats to life from roads that need a look at properly. Motorways, A roads, B roads and every other driving surface are riddled in this country. Something must be done…

Got any pothole stories, don’t just tell me, hit up Fix my street and then share this post so we can shame Oxfordshire County Council who will be tagged on the Tweet machine, so waves to those peeps, and do something about it… seriously before someone gets hurt, badly. 

The Teleporter: World Exclusive Blurb Reveal

teleporter logo

What if there was a power like no other? What if one drunken slouch stumbled where nobody stumbled before and discovered the ability to teleport!

And just when you thought there were enough super hero stories in this world, we made another one…

Kurt Wiseman spends his days underachieving and his nights quenching a thirst for drink. He doesn’t fit the standard bill of someone looking to battle injustice and certainly has no aspiration for abs. That is until destiny calls upon him to face an all too familiar sounding mega-rich powerful businessman who represents everything wrong with society today.

Wiseman accidentally acquires the power to teleport and realizes he must fight a politically loaded story arc as well as enduring a journey of self-reflection by overcoming his greatest weakness, booze. Even if the path is filled with comic book cliché, inappropriate one liners and genre busting fourth wall action. Kurt must earn the trust of his friends and save the day.  

Not all heroes in this world are the same and with great power comes the possibility to go viral! This is a story that will unite humanity.

 Kurt Wiseman is… The Teleporter!

Out now on amazon in paperback and e-book formats! What are you waiting for? Go…click here… 

 

 

 

I, Tonya: Review

It’s Wednesday, which means yesterday was half price Tuesday at the cinema, which means today is blog post review day… So like many of the people in my damn way, I ventured out into the snow and did some cheap ticket grabbing and saw me a gritty biopic called I,Tonya…

(This review may look as if it’s a little late to the party depending on your location, but this film has only just come out here in the UK)

i tonyaMargot Robbie leads a cast of the real life story that centers around former american figure skater Tonya Harding. A story perhaps not particularity well known by younger generations but by people of a certain age. I was intrigued by this film’s premise and trailer so put it on the list to watch.

The film opens and introduces viewers in a documentary style way with interview sequences from the handful of main characters this story has to offer. Those who do know about the ‘incident’ surrounding Harding will have their expectations eventually fulfilled but for someone like me, who didn’t know the background I was still treated with some pretty fine performances from the cast along with a great story.

The narrative throughout is done via a unique fourth wall breaking style, with central characters not only narrating but telling the story as it happens along with flash forward interviews.

I, Tonya is the story of a young girl who fights her way to the top of the figure skating scene, even if she is never perceived as good enough, and this is where Margot Robbie delivers. Her ice skating sequences are wonderfully shot with much of it close up and to look as if Robbie was indeed not a stunt double. The emotional side off the ice was just as good and believable with the abusive relationship she found herself in with estranged former husband Jeff Gillooly (Sebastian Stan). Some of the domestic violence Harding endured isn’t held back in the film and some audience members did gasp.

Much of this film has been taken from real events and real footage, which we see comparisons to at the end much like Tonya Harding’s famous execution of the triple axel in a skating competition along with her interaction with the press. She became the first american woman to attempt and execute this move and so she rightly earned her way into the winter Olympics.

Her mother played by Allison Janney delivered an oscar worthy performance of a real hard ass, nothing is good enough parent who drove Tonya forward in skating. I wont reveal the main plot or resolve to the film as we don’t do spoilers here, but I will say I, Tonya is a fantastically told, and wonderfully shot film put together like a documentary. There are laugh out loud moments sandwiched with some true heartbreak and triumph.

I must commend the wonderful sound track which takes you back very effectively to the eighties and early nineties. Overall I come away from the cinema knowing I watched a great film and story which is worthy of telling.

My favorite moment would be the emotional stare in the mirror Tonya gives as she is desperately trying to keep it together and smile over tears. This scene itself garners an Oscar nod along with the make up effects to age and make the characters look like their real life counterparts

Overall I would say go see it, rock and roll man…

 

A thank you…. to all of those who downloaded my second book Darke Blood whilst it was free this week and last week. It went to number 1 in both UK and US ebook charts…