The Royal Rumble: As it happens review

It’s one versus all and by way of the WWE network myself, Matt Streuli and Aidan Parr tuned in at the wee hours of Monday morning. For the first time in history the stipulation of the thirty man battle royal changed and Roman Reigns puts his WWE world heavyweight championship belt on the line .

Seeing as my last wrestling related blog post gets at least a handful of views weekly, I decided to report the action from Orlando FL as it happened.

 

rumble pic 1.PNG

The Royal Rumble Kick off show

To begin with were presented with a panel that consisted of both Jerry the King Lawler and Booker T, I couldn’t remember the name of the blonde lady and guy with a tattooed throat but for some time they talked about the statistics of the rumble. Then we saw a video clip probably for the first of five times in the evening as predicted by Mr Parr. Next up we were promised a fatal four way elimination tag match where the winners go into the rumble.

The League of Nations cut a promo pledging their allegiance to their team even though it’s clearly all against all. I quite like the premise of this stable, with both Wade Barret and Sheamus taking this group a little bit tongue in cheek and simply humouring Rusev. I think Alberto Del Rio has a little better poker face but the League of Nations is simply the Rusev humouring society.

Next up Kevin Owens was interviewed and talked about beating John Cena on his WWE debut and then going on to make history tonight with his last man standing match with Dean Ambrose for the IC title.

Fatal Four Way Tag Team Match – Winning team goes into the Rumble

Dudley Boyz vs Mark Henry & Jack Swagger vs Damien Sandow & Darren Young vs The Ascension

It didn’t take long until the referee was overrun and everyone was in the ring after some quick tags and no action from the Dudleys. Then it cut to commercial break? Strange move by the WWE in my honest opinion. Are we showing wrestling or selling the shit that can be found around the network. Advertising to people about the network to an audience who are mainly on the network seems a bit baffling to me.

So we come back and D-von Dudley in being worked over by both of the Ascension. There’s clearly a build up here to Bubba Ray’s hot tag. He comes in and takes out pretty much everyone including a big boot to Mark Henry which is followed up by a ‘wassup’ and then 3-D to one of the Ascension. Out of nowhere Mark Henry gets back in and takes advantage of the downed 3D’d Ascension member and picks up the pin fall.

Result- Mark Henry and Jack Swagger to enter the royal rumble match.

Verdict- We weren’t quite sure the actual rules of this match and Mr Parr did state that Mark Henry may not have been legal. Guess the WWE make their own rules up as they go along. In all honesty the match was too short to really judge it as any good.

rumble pic

The Royal Rumble

Before the promo hits a limo turns up at the arena and its Vince McMahon and his daughter. After a rather pointless and incoherent interview with JoJo they continue into the arena, although we know they have been there all afternoon.

First Match – Intercontinental Championship – Last man standing

Dean Ambrose (C) vs Kevin Owens

It didn’t take long for this fight to boil over and plough through the announcer team. To my pleasure Owens was thrown into Michael Cole. This then eventually resulted in Ambrose crashing into the timekeepers area collapsing the well-padded wall. The kendo stick made an appearance as both competitors made it back into the ring. Owens then proceeded to take out at least 5 steel chairs and put his feet up in the ring. An arrogant move for the fighter but a show of who was in the driver’s seat early on. Seeing as it’s PG the weapon usage was minimal and impacts were controlled early on.

Both competitors teeter over two set out chairs which eventual results in Ambrose back body dropping Owens onto them. Yet another 4 or five count that both answer to. Crowd chanting ‘this is awesome’ but compared to the Shawn Michaels and Triple H last man standing matches this is pretty tame so far. That is until Owens brings out a table from under the ring or as JBL calls it, home depot. Another table comes out and they are stacked on one another in one corner outside the ring. This is looking like a series of weapon placed spots setting up and eventual win.

Dirty deeds by Ambrose after an impressive back and forth. Owens get up at an eight count but is looking pretty out of it.  Another dirty deeds onto the steel chair but the table set up outside suggests this isn’t over. This time Owens rolls out of the ring at nine and stands on his feet. Ambrose follows and yet another table comes out. Not sure where this is going. Ambrose hits elbow drop through a downed Owens who is on the table. Both are up at eight.

Back in the ring where Ambrose yells his hatred for Owens who replies with the same. Another table set up in the ring and Owens reverses a superplex into a hybrid type slam and sends Ambrose through the wood. Several chairs are set up and Owens lays Ambrose onto them. This happens in the corner where the double stack table is situated. He goes for the top rope and Ambrose rises and pushes him off and through both tables.

Result – Dean Ambrose retains after Owens couldn’t answer a ten count after going through a double stack of tables.

One word verdict – Tabley (if that’s a word)

Second Match -WWE Tag Team Championship

The New Day (c) vs The Uso’s

The New Day emerge with microphones and are in mourning of the loss of their trombone. Then the trumpeting begins, gets the crowd going anyway. Two of the many teams responsible for bringing the tag division back to relevancy do their thing and bring us a traditional back and forth affair. There were high risk out of the ring diving manoeuvres from all involved. Xavier Woods kept the crowd warmed up with Francesca 2.0 making this match a crowd pleaser. All of the tag team boxes were quickly ticked by the six minute mark . Big E picks up the win with the big ending which Aidan enjoyed very much.

A time defying match where you never really felt its length as there was always something going on.

Result- The New Day retain

One word verdict – Fun

Third Match – The United States Championship

Alberto Del Rio (c) vs Kalisto

As a casual part time viewer this seems to be some level of grudge match between the two Mexicans. This also appears to be an underdog story. A very much one sided battle early on with Kalisto breaking out every now and then. This feels somewhat like squash match to me.

As expected a lot of lucha libre stuff. Kalisto taking advantage of his size and high flying ability and started to build some forward momentum. It feels like a matter of time until del rio hits the right move but captivating on his momentum Kalisto pulls off a shock win!

Result- Kalisto new US champ

One word verdict – Lucha!

Fourth Match – The Divas Championship

Charlotte (c) vs Becky Lynch

Personally I think Ric Flair is selling himself short for trying to beef up this exposure to this storyline. Not much has changed in the last twenty years in terms of women’s matches. It’s sad to say that most fans probably are indifferent to how this will go. Saying that Becky Lynch seems to have more get up and go than Charlotte, let’s hope the Dubliner wins.

An energetic start with Becky leading the charge. They head out of the ring where Ric Flair gets involved funnily and kisses Lynch then proceeds to woooo!. Having seen Charlotte perform a few times I’m still not convinced by her in any way. Saying that her athleticism cant be faulted and neither can Becky’s. A longer match for a divas contest and there were a few good high risk moves

Result – Charlotte retains after a spear

One word verdict – Wooooo!

After the match Charlotte continues a beat down and is then interrupted by the emergence of Sasha Banks. She then knocks the already downed Lynch from the ring and looks to be siding with Charlotte. Then she attacks her and gets her into some kind of submission hold setting up a next possible feud.

Fifth Match – The Rumble 

Roman Reigns music hits and the big dog makes his way through the crowd. It’s one versus all and has been 18 years since a back to back winner of the rumble. The odds are truly against the champ. Let’s hope they make him look strong.

The number 2 entrant is Rusev with the lovely Lana alongside him. Before entrant three emerges the champ makes easy work of him. Then OMFG AJ Styles makes his WWE debut.

 

styles

Shock moment of the night to see AJ Styles head into a WWE ring

Early on AJ and Reigns are looking like they will need to band together in order to survive. They work together in eliminating Curtis Axel. The ring slowly fills up with Y2J, Kane and Goldust.

R-Truth comes down to the ring and oddly pulls out a ladder. He climbs to the top thinking it’s a ladder match and is then quickly eliminated by Kane.

The league of nations appear from the crowd with Vince McMahon and snatch Reigns out of the ring. They take it in turns to beat down on him and eventually results in Rusev splashing him through a table. Looking like they are really showing that the odds are stacked against him. Reigns is carried away by officials and taken to the back.

Kevin Owens limps to the ring after two of the Wyatts are in the ring. AJ styles eliminated by Owens (disappointing). AJ started impressively and took some punishment, impressed with his perfomance overall.

Sami Zayn returns to eliminate Kevin Owens.

At number 21 comes Erik Rowan, so the Wyatts are filling the ring, I can sense they will be involved in the finish. Harper eliminates Neville with a powerful apron clothes line. Stardust quickly follows and hits the outside.

Number 22 is Mark Henry in his eight royal rumble match. He goes after the Wyatts but is slammed to the ground and then in a group effort they dispose of him in less than a minute. Its only a matter of time until they complelty clear the ring, that is just Dean Ambrose and Jericho.

Brock Lesnar the neat incarnate comes out at 23. He eliminate Erick Rowan and hence suplex city beings.

Jack Swagger comes in at 24 and is subject to an F5 and then eliminated by Lesnar. So much for the tag match he won with Henry.

Awesome! The Miz is here at 25. He goes to the commentary table and puts on a headset. He’s clearly stalling his eventual journey to suplex city.

Luke Harper eliminated by Lesnar.

Alberto Del Rio is at 26 and goes straight for the dominant Brock. Ambrose soon locks into them both.

The other Wyatt is eliminated by Lesnar taking out my prediction of them being involved in the finish. Although Bray is yet to arrive and he comes in at 27.

The Wyatts return and enter the ring quickly ganging up on Lesnar. He quickly fights back and faces Bray. Suplex city! Harper and the others come back in breaking up the chance of an F5 to Bray who then delivers sister Abigail. The Wyatts then proceed to eliminate him.

Dolph Ziggler is at 28

The Miz enters and no sign of Reigns. 42 minites have passed. He deliveres the skull crushing finale toe Ziggler.

Sheamus comes in at 29 and during his walk down to the ring the big dog returns and gives a superman punch to the celtic warrior. He runs into the ring.

The last entrant is HHH for his 9th rumble.

Him and Reigns exchange blows and the threat of a pedigree is imminent. Sheamus finally enters and chaos now enuses. Y2j throws in the lion-saults and Ziggler with the Zig Zag.

Dolph is elimated for his efforts and we are down to 5. Trips and Bray face off.  Bray hits the uppercut. Attempts sister Abigail but is brogue kicked and then eliminated.

Jericho with an aerial assualt followed by the code breaker to HHH. He’s then eliminated by Ambrose. Down to 4.

It’s Sheamus, Ambrose, Reigns and Ambrose.

A superman punch to the celtic Warrior and he’s gone. Then Triple H capitalises on Reigns and he is eliminated. The big dog is out of the Royal Rumble

There will be a new champion!

HHH or Ambrose!

They face off. I get a feeling that Ambrose is just a small time rookie compared to the chief operating officer of WWE. Saying that I would take Ambrose as a champion any day,  but nope the Game does it. Over the rope Ambrose goes, although a commendable effort HHH is the new champion. Authority rules the day.

Result – Triple H is the new champ!

One word Verdict – Authority (with Styles coming in at a close second)

Full Rumble Verdict – Not a bad PPV considering its one the big 4. The actual rumble itself felt watchable throughout and didnt seemed to be filled with needless spots. Although they did focus on Reigns quite a lot, after all it will be him at Mania. Some other feuds were set up tonight and AJ Styles is finally in WWE. This will probably be the final chapter of the saga that is the authority, I feel after mania it will be stale.

 

That’s all for this edition of Lee’s Hall of information.

 

hhh

The Authority Reign supreme

 

Advertisements

My Big Book Announcement

The day is finally here and with great excitement I can happily announce that my first novel ‘Open Evening’ is going to be published!

As some of you may have seen the other day I put up the picture of a date on both the tweet machine and Facebook (or life invader, the name I prefer). And yes and this is actually happening.

On the 29th of September 2016 Open Evening will be available as an e-book initially and then later on in mid-October will see the release of it on paper back.

This blog site has been the very forefront of my publication journey in the past few years and finally there is a destination on the horizon. If you look to the right you can see a countdown of sorts that I had ‘fun’ trying to put up on Tuesday (look I don’t computer well ok).

If you have come from life invader you will have seen my short but sweet announcement video available to watch here. 

The details

As many of you book people will know getting published takes a lot of organisation and firing back and forth of emails. Now you’re probably asking who will be publishing Open Evening.

Well back in December I made contact with Nicky Fitzmaurice of Satin Publishing, an e-pub house I have had my eye on for some time. After sending my work to Nicky she happily accepted and will be editing the book (as well as doing many more things in terms of publishing it).

Open Evening has been recognised as YA (young adult) in genre and will hopefully appeal to a broad range of ages. You can read what it’s all about here.

Now finding success through publishing a book is not something that can be done single handed. Having already organised the services of an editor/publisher I have also been on the lookout for somebody to help promote and publicise the book.

Last week I asked a good friend of mine and fellow blogger Matt Streuli if he would help publicise things?

‘Of course’ he said (in abridged form). Now some of you will already know Matt who does fantastic work, blogging and campaigning for the awareness and stigma that comes with mental health. His journey in the past year can be seen in his many blog posts about the subject of mental health. He has appeared on the radio and even writes for the Huffington post.  I will even mention that every year he finds new and innovative ways to advertise the community drama club we both belong to.

What needs to be done?

So my book team has been organised and ready to assemble, what happens now?

Well there is still a lot to consider before any of you read the first words that begin Open Evening.

Firstly I need to get in contact with a cover artist. I know the saying about never judging a book by its cover but people do so it needs to be good.

Then I will need to get my head around all things that make up the publishing process. After all this is a journey of discovery.

At some point I shall sit down with Matt and discuss all the ways I can annoy people on social media about my book.

Importantly I will be blogging and bringing any updates onto here in order to build up an even bigger following that I already have. That ladies and gentlemen is where you come in.

No writer has ever found success without the support of loyal readers and in this day and age, followers. Quite honestly I need you all to like, share, retweet, re-blog and rewind the VHS before taking it back to blockbuster (what?). Seriously I need you, because on that day of publication I want Open Evening to make a dent in whatever list or chart it finds itself on. My dream is for the world to read my stuff and it’s on the horizon, but only if you help. There may be a signed book or cup of tea for your reward.

I said 2016 will be my #YearOfWriting and it is. So come with me if you want to read…

Thank you all sincerely for reading this and liking my posts on whatever social media platform you find me on. It means everything to me. This journey has been long but its going to get interesting soon.

LH

The Hateful Eight: A review

Quentin Tarantino is back for another western in his 8th feature film. This one was a double dog damned roller coaster of a dialogue fuelled hootin tootin masterclass.

Samuel L Jackson, Kurt Russell and Jenifer Jason Leigh lead a cast of Tarantino familiars and new comers to the post civil war backdrop where a blizzard is on the way. Without giving that much of the main plot line away as it is well worth the three hours of investment in running time and this is a story of the time it is set. Double crossing and mistrust were two of the main themes running strong throughout the movie which throws some unlikely allies or enemies together in a remote shack during a violent blizzard.

Racism is of course a strong theme as Jackson holds his character firm whilst being the only African-American of the main cast. After all this is a time where racial awareness pretty much didn’t exist and the times were constantly changing.

KurtRussell’s character nicknamed the ‘hangman’ is bringing his bounty to the town of Red Rock and has kept her (Jenifer Jason Leigh) alive until their arrival at their shelter from the blizzard. Jackson is also bringing his bounty to town and has aligned himself with Russell. Upon entering the shack they are met by some diverse characters whom are also seeking shelter. Hence a psychological battle ensues between bounty hunters and shady figures ending in true Tarantino style.

There were true moments of laugh out loud comedy particular my from Jackson and a mention should go to the apparent new sheriff of red rock Walton Goggins. The tension between the characters resonated throughout the sharp and witty dialogue which is exactly what this film is pure dialogue. If your expecting masses of action you will be disappointed but this is a masterclass in all of the themes I have mentioned. Yes it’s violent and gory. Scenes aren’t necessarily in order and people aren’t who they seem but that’s the wonder and premise of a Tarantino film.

From the visuals you do see early on are beautiful wide shots of snowy mountains and western country. Something which only can be appreciated on the big screen. After all the writer director makes films exactly for that. Although most of the film took place within the confines of the wooden habidashary the performances were larger than life and some mentions should go forth to Tim Roth and Michael Madsen who added so much more value to this ensemble performance. I would even say this film could be adapted for the stage.

I recommend it highly and rate this film at 9/10

Write with your head, not the heart

Over the past few months I have come to some realisation on how I perceive myself in writing. From what started off as a pre teenage dream now stands as something dead serious, to me anyway.

On my way to adulthood I learned quickly from the working world about having an important thing called work ethic. Without tooting my own horn too much I have taken such ethic and applied it to everything I deem as a success. My philosophy in life and my ultimate key to success has only really consisted of three things:

  1. Turn up on time
  2. Be nice
  3. Work hard and be useful

The above rules work together as much as they do in a formulaic way. If you feel useless in a new job at least you turn up on time and be nice. If you can’t work hard because of some arbitrary consequence then just be nice and turn up. Everyone has no excuse for rules 1 and 2, to me they are the most important.

In writing it’s hard to find success even if you apply my rules because unfortunately there is always something else denying you. All you can do sometimes if continue onwards and work towards an eventual goal you may not even see on the horizon.

This stuff I talk about here is good and all but what is my point?

Writing is indeed something very personal. Here you are pouring all emotional strength into a story and yet people are rejecting you left right and center. Much of the time we get lost in our own creativity to even think that if we want genuine success as writers it needs to be treated like a job.

Slowly everyday that is my realisation. Take away all the heartfelt stuff, emotional connection with characters and  you can still let the creativity flow. Last year I made a critical decision to let go of my first written stories.

There were many reasons but above all if I want success as a writer I need to take away the emotion and write a story with appeal across the board. Don’t get me wrong that isn’t the key all writing success because all of this is figurative but I was penning a story that meant so much to me. Perhaps it just wasn’t right for me anymore or a readership.

To all those writing a fantasy time travel pirate series for example. You may have had this in you for years and it means so much, the story very much runs in parallel to your own life. For sure go ahead and write it if that’s what it means to you. If you want to find publication not only does this piratey masterpiece need to be good enough for a literary agent to like it but also have appeal to a massive group.

Making things complicated from the start will leave you disappointed and there isn’t an agent in the world who will take on your stuff if it has zero appeal to a mainstream audience. You also need to be somebody these days. By mainstream I mean all types of folk. Adding several sub genres to a title is just narrowing down potential readers each time. My suggestion and this is all yet to be proven so take what I say with a pinch of salt, keep it to one simple and single genre.

Why do you think Justin Beiber (through gritted teeth) is such a success? Two reasons: The stuff he makes is one genre and his target audience are a large number of people. He didn’t know he would be a success to begin with but he made it easier by making stuff that appeals. How do we do the same as writers?

Treat this thing like a job and research what is hot at the moment. If you are a writer and call yourself one you have to be prepared to do parts of the job you don’t like. Much like the real world of work. Put the pirate fantasy time travel story away for a while (but don’t forget it) and pen a simple romance story or something of the young adult persuasion. Two genres that are massively popular across many ages. Widen the range of people your writing will appeal to and grow a readership. The pirate story will come later when people buy the book because who’s written it and not what it’s about.

That good people is where I currently stand. My close to heart story and pick of destiny book series the Thorn legacy is currently on hold. A futuristic science fiction action thriller is too genre heavy right now for it to actually weigh in as a success. That doesn’t mean it’s gone because some day it will return. Right now my focus is on writing simple stories with mass appeal that I can get out myself and actually build a following.

Before August I was writing this series which had a zero following and readership. Sometimes we have to do things we don’t really want to do. But if you are what you say you are (a writer) then that’s what you got to do. The story you are destined to tell comes after the story you have to tell.

My first book Open Evening comes out this year. It’s recognised as young adult in genre. I have absolutely zero expectation as to how well it will do because I don’t know. For me that is the thrill of publishing. Not knowing and being surprised by what can happen. I’m very sure soon I will officially announce the publication date and begin a countdown.

So my advice right now is write with your head. Not your heart.

New Year Same Momentum

Like everyone else I am going to say that 2016 is here! It does seem like quite a while since my last entry as I decided not to review 2015 simply because I didn’t fancy recycling old posts and linking them. It’s boring to me if you are recycling old crap and shoving it towards loyal readers. Saying that 2016 and 2015 are just both numbers to me. For many it’s a clean slate to start things again, for the Chinese it probably doesn’t mean a lot and for me well I actually count my years via my birthday.

Momentum is something I want to briefly talk about as I have been gaining a lot of it since my year started back in august. I hope to carry that momentum into this year. Open Evening my latest project ( young adult in genre) has been written, edited, edited again by myself and now it is in the stage of organising a professional edit. I have envisioned the release to be around September time, hopefully.

Whilst that is in motion of back and forth emails I have taken steps towards drafting another project. I won’t reveal any more details other than that as I am still unsure at this stage if it will go any further than the 800 words currently drafted.

Over the festive break I had the pleasure of going to the cinema and yes you guessed right it involved jedi Knights and Storm troopers.

ar wars

Star Wars: the force awakens was a fantastic few hours spent and well worth the over priced popcorn and beverages. As an audience we are introduced to a group of new characters who will later become the heroes much like the original trilogy. We are then re introduced to some favourite characters who then interact with the new. Simply put, this film is a re introduction of star wars for the generations who haven’t had the chance to see it on the big screen and just as important, a carrying on of the original story. One top thing I have heard about this film is mainly from people who are strangers to the Star Wars universe and they themselves say its good, so I recommend it. The force is definitely awake and has out shone the prequels to say the least. I would even argue that this is the best Star Wars offering yet.

 

Moving on, the beginning of a new calendar year means one thing for me and group of talented performers. That’s right, Iver Heath Drama Club are back on stage this month for their annual pantomine show Dick Whittington.

Ticket sales are doing well but could be better, so if you are in the UK and can get to greater London then I suggest you come and see me in a show! Tickets are available online here. You will catch me working alongside fellow blogger Matt Streuli who is the resident dame and chairman of IHDC. A lot of voluntary hard work goes into these performances and it shows when the curtain finally comes up.

Year of writing

My final note will be about the campaign I began late last year called #YearOfWriting . Basically using this hashtag will group all of my stuff together on social media platforms so go ahead and use it when sharing my stuff, that’s if you do share my stuff. Anyway thanks for reading, drop me a comment sometime, share my stuff and thanks to old and new followers. Here’s to a productive new year filled with success and good things.

 

dick