Three Sports Betting Based Movies That You Must Watch

The Current OP Meta is a Result of all of Valorant's Combined Flaws.

Hey guys, I'm a 10 year CS player here. Previously played at Level 9 Faceit and A - ESEA. Have probably 1000+ hours of watching pro games under my belt, and even more spent in KZ and HnS servers. I love Valorant, and I love a lot of what they're trying to do with this game in comparison to CS. But, I think the current OP meta is a result of almost every short coming the game has right now (for the most part).
Firstly, I think it's important to preface this by saying that Valorant is 100% by design, made to be easier / more approachable than CS:GO. You can see this in almost every aspect of the game. If it's something that was intimidating to new players in CS, it's been massively simplified here. Spray patterns are far less aggressive. Lineups have been almost entirely eliminated, or completely streamlined. Movement speed has been reduced to allow for easier tracking and aiming. Counter-strafing has been forgotten and replaced by instant momentum. Even the slight advantage you got from good movement (brought along by thousands of hours of practice in CS:GO) has been entirely eliminated by a massive simplification of movement in general, as well as how severe tagging is. I'm not saying these are negative aspects of the game. I understand almost if not all of these changes. Tons of these choices succeed in their desired goal, and it's lead to tons of my friends enjoying this game despite never getting more than 4 games into CS.
With all that said tho, lots of these choices indirectly feed into the current OP meta.
I don't say this lightly either. If you were to directly compare the AWP and the OP, the AWP is hands down 3x more powerful than the OP currently is.
It boasts :
//Thanks to u/IAmNotOnRedditAtWork for pointing some of these out as they escaped me
I have a shortish video on this, with some old community server / lower level faceit games. It's presented as more of a frag movie than anything so there's no need to watch it, but I do think it can offer some important context when talking about how insane the AWP actually is for high level players.
I've edited it to have specific time stamps in the description so that you can jump between the clips that are actually relevant to this discussion. Turn down volume as there is music and I'm sure its obnoxious. Here you go
Despite the obvious advantages the AWP has, we don't really see it being as prevalent and oppressive as we do in Valorant. We do not see double AWP and Triple AWP rounds being NEAR as viable as they are here, with triple AWP rounds being almost nonexistent.
I chalk this up to quite a few things :



And this kinda brings me to my next issue. And probably the one we all should have expected.

CS has very tried and true bits of utility at play. Smokes, Mollies, and Flashes. When you play CS at a level where executes are necessary, it's actually quite fascinating to learn how each map has been designed with utility constantly in mind. Cache B site for instance, there's a window directly above site meant for throwing utility. Mirage A has a massive area above ramp for throwing util. Inferno Apts even has fucking windows on the opposite side of site, with a chimney adjacent to them in order for you to bank utility off of. Dust 2 recently underwent a change in B tuns to allow for more utility and site executes given how hard the site was too take control of. Whether it be on attacks or retakes. Valorant has streamlined "utility" so much, that they've forgotten the exact reason why it was implemented in the way that it was in CS:GO, and why it worked so well. Valorant has thrown thoughtful map design out the window in favor of meaningless gimmicks that fall flat after your 5th game on the map.
Guess what Riot, I don't care about opening and closing destructible doors, or ropes that give you a surprising amount of velocity and accuracy while attached, and definitely not 3 fucking sites. I play ranked games where my opponents go 3-14 and then start fragging out when they decide to whip out the OP. The gun is too easy to use and it sports almost zero counter-play. IT IS AN ISSUE. I understand not jumping the gun and rushing towards some half ass balancing decision, but you've been so quick to address smaller issues that didn't actively suck the fun out of the game and reward players for using an obvious crutch.
// People have pointed out some poor phrasing on my part here, would just like to iterate that I'm not against these kinds of gimmicks, they have a place and I don't mean to undermine anyone who enjoys them. I just think these gimmicks are being used in place of good map design. Sort of a "sure ascent is a terrible map but here are some doors you can open and close, this one has ropes!"
Ascent is the closest map to CS design we currently have in Valorant in my opinion, and it still ignores most of what made those maps work in the first place. Scrap the gimmicks. Nobody wants this random shit. I want maps with intelligent design choices, meaningful spots for fair trades at the beginning of rounds, I want maps designed with rotates in mind and counter-play at heart. You can tell CS maps are designed with all the games utility in mind. I'm constantly reminded that I can't say the same about any of Valorant's maps.
With that being said, what are some ways to fix these issues?

  1. Add a slight time frame with the OP that adds inaccuracy after moving, keep this outside of movement speed, have it be its own value. For instance, if you scope in with the OP, then strafe to the side and stop moving, add an extra .5 or whatever amount of time where there is still an innaccuracy debuff applied. OPs are meant for holding angles, they are already ridiculously good at that in this game. Punish them for playing aggressive.
  2. Phoenix's flash needs a slight "rework" to come more into line with vision blocking utility in relation to cutting off angles. Phoenix's flash shouldn't pop so quickly. I think it sports niche usability with little counter-play. When throwing out Phoenix's flash, have it hover in air at the very end of it's duration while giving it an obvious "charge-up" animation, give a larger (but still small) window in order to either back off an angle, or to turn your back too it, and then have it pop, and increase the time frame in which you're flashed slightly. I also considered having Phoenix be invulnerable to his flash, as a way to give Phoenix a way to more reliably entry, while still forcing him to play slightly outside of his team in these situations, (or risk flashing them). This promotes playing anti flash and/or less predictable and maybe even more dangerous positions in order to deny Phoenix this ground when he attempts to entry. I think it adds a reasonable amount of counter play in a game that severely lacks it currently, I think it gives Phoenix some needed independence and room to make these types of solo plays, while also letting an agent specifically gain ground around OPers. I think a good way to envision this is Ascension A site. Instead of OPing heaven when you know Phoenix likes to flash in from main and push you off your angle, you can play on site to the left, and play anti flash in order to kill him when he attempts to entry. Diagram Here
  3. LET YOUR COMMUNITY DESIGN MAPS FOR YOU. For the love of god the fact that I even have to say this makes me angry. Community interaction has lead to CS being the powerhouse of an E-sport it is today. Volcano's involvement is proof of this. No one is saying you have to add them as actual competitive maps, but acting like you can produce better content than your entire community is ridiculously naive when you've already shown that's NOT the case. Add some kind of community tool for your players to design maps, and have some kind of game mode that rotates these featured community maps every couple of months or something. Even if it's just to give the team at Riot ideas and inspiration. I was worried months ago when you said you weren't going to allow even the most basic of community creativity in this regard. It's okay to be wrong Riot. Valve was smart enough to realize the community could carry some of that workload, while also teaching them and giving them inspiration. Volcano is on your dev team because of this reality.
submitted by mckaystites to VALORANT [link] [comments]

Jul/3/2020 News: (1) Anti-corruption reform (2) Polls (3) Stray dogs (4) Constitutional Court (5) Corruption trial (6) COVID news, Loan vacations, Grandma's phone (7) Real estate (8) Beeline ISP (9) This lake belongs to me (10) Soccer league LOL (11) Mayors busted (12) Yerevan's $10mln garden (13)..

Anti-corruption background checks begin for public officials

The govt passed a law to require judges and officials to undergo "background checks" before being hired.
 
Additionally, asset forfeiture law was passed to confiscate embezzled property. A new prosecutors' department was created to handle asset forfeiture.
These new prosecutors are also going through background checks before being hired.
 
The new anti-corruption institute tasked with doing these new background checks has audited 26 potential prosecutors: 2 failed, 11 barely passed, 13 passed.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/191736

U.S. sends $1mln anti-corruption aid

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/191739

New stray dog shelter and strategy to reduce numbers

In 2018, newly-elect Yerevan Mayor Marutyan vowed to end the practice of killing stray dogs. It wasn't just to be humane. City says mass-killings make the other dogs more aggressive, and research shows they breed faster. Not killing is a long-term strategy.
 
City took over the task of catching dogs from the private industry, which was mired in corruption.
They began neutering, tagging, and releasing the non-dangerous ones.
 
City's dog-department has just launched its new facility. It has a clinic, surgery, post-surgery rooms, more cages, and soon a disease lab.
They neuter 25 dogs per day. 1300 in 2020H1, twice more than last year. 4300 since 2019.
 
City says equally important is dog owners' behavior. They shouldn't dump pets on the streets.
The law requires pet owners to register their pets, but only 400 out of 20,000 have done so.
 
If they were registered, the owners would less likely dump them, and if they did, the pets' micro-chip would allow City to find and punish the owner.
 
To encourage more owners to register, City wants to eliminate the $10/year ownership fee.
https://hetq.am/hy/article/118973
Tags: #StrayDog

La casa de papel

It's a TV show that blew up in Armenia during the pandemic. One of the main actors is Lebanese-Spanish-Armenian Hovik Keuchkeryan. Today he visited Armenia.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/191744

Parliament asks Constitutional Court to delay Kocharyan hearing...

... because Parliament wants time to discuss the opinions recently received from Venice Commission and ECHR on whether Kocharyan can be charged with the law he's charged with as part of March 1st case.
Parliament asked CC to translate and send them the documents.
 
Kocharyan earlier withdrew his case from CC but that doesn't mean CC won't discuss the topic, especially since another entity had also asked CC to discuss the topic.
https://armtimes.com/hy/article/191689

ex-CC judge's entrance is blocked

Hrant Nazaryan is one of the three CC judges who was recently fired. Today he tried to return to his office but the security blocked his entrance to the building, citing the law that fired him.
 
Another fired judged Gyulumyan hasn't visited CC for several days now because "she doesn't want to confront the police".
https://armtimes.com/hy/article/191697 , https://web.archive.org/save/https://news.am/arm/news/589219.html

Polls: Pashinyan's rating refuses to drop

85% approve Pashinyan's job, 79% President, 68% Ministries, 55% Parliament, 23% opposition.
 
What is Pashinyan's weakest point?
16% not tough enough, 10% hires bad officials, 4% not drastic enough.
Gallup International. June 10-27. https://armtimes.com/hy/article/191701 , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1020520.html

Poll: is Armenia on the right track? / Were your expectations met?

Did the revolution outcome satisfy your expectations? 79% fully/partially yes, 6% no.
 
69% says Armenia is on right/definitely-right direction. 2% definitely-wrong direction (15% in Georgia)
 
Will things improve in Armenia? 80% yes (69% in Georgia)
 
Is democracy better than other forms of govt? 63% yes (49% in Georgia)
 
"Most people are aware of CC crisis and support Constitutional reforms," said CRRC pollster.
CRRC pollster: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1020509.html , https://factor.am/265768.html , https://factor.am/265779.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1020508.html

Chamber of Lawyers files complaint against NSS

Lawyers complain that NSS violated the attorney-client privilege by wiretapping the suspect when he made a call to the attorney. "The content of the call was later used as evidence," said lawyers.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/191750

Healthcare Minister testifies as a witness in bribery case

Months ago the deputy Healthcare Minister Armen Davtyan was charged with accepting bribes. He denies wrongdoing.
The person who gave bribes is Razmik Abrahamyan. He confessed.
 
A trial was held today. Minister Torosyan was called to testify as a witness.
He spoke about the anti-corruption fight within the system and how he routinely spoke with directors of various institutes to make sure they don't even try to offer bribes to Ministry officials "because the old way of doing things is gone".
 
P.S. The bribe giver is the same guy who is also a defendant in a separate case about the extortion and trafficking of dozens of newborn children. He's the director of the Republican Childbirth Clinic.
https://armtimes.com/hy/article/191691

COVID stats

+662 infected. +448 healed. +13 deaths.
118,102 tested. 11,211 active. 15,484 healed. 469 deaths.
https://armtimes.com/hy/article/191683

COVID donations

Kalashnikov began producing AM-103 rifles (up to 50k/year). Their Armenia-based partner donated $170,000 towards COVID.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/191713
 
11 Lithuanian doctors have finished their 2-week campaign to help Armenia.
https://hetq.am/hy/article/119002

Banks and loan vacations during pandemic

As of June 1st, banks gave loan vacations to 550k people and 17.4k businesses to ease their COVID burden.
They reviewed $2.7 billion in loans.
 
Bank deposits shrank 1.1% but went back to pre-pandemic levels recently.
Interest rates are unlikely to increase, says the president of banks union.
 
"Unlike the financial crisis of 2008 and 2014, today's situation isn't due to changes in economic fundamentals. This makes managing the problem harder. The parts of the economy that serve as engines are heavily damaged. We hope the govt, businesses, and citizens will succeed in overcoming it."
https://armtimes.com/hy/article/191536

Grandma's cellphone / Medical worker disciplined

Context: a grandma's body was lost because of bad handwriting that led to confusion. Then her body was picked up by the wrong people who misidentified her. Her body will be exhumed and returned to the correct family.
 
St. Gregory Illuminator hospital says they've identified a junior nurse who allegedly took the dead grandma's phone and stole cash from her account, before grandma's family came to pick up her stuff.
There is an investigation. He could be fired if confirmed.
https://armtimes.com/hy/article/191663

Oncology institute workers...

... are getting that sweet VIP deal. The institute will use "modern high-quality buses to transport employees for free". Two routes for now.
https://armtimes.com/hy/article/191687

Real estate prices & transactions

Earlier we learned how COVID affected housing purchase/rent market. All realtors recorded a drop in transactions.
 
One realtor saw a 3x decline in transaction numbers. While the prices remained stable at the beginning of the pandemic, in June it dropped by -5%.
 
Another realtor recorded a sharp drop in second-hand housing transactions, but no drop in the newly-built housing market.
A noticeable drop was recorded in non-residential property lease prices. "Many landlords gave discounts."
 
Across Yerevan, sales transactions +84% in May vs April, but -61% YoY.
New rent transactions +7.8x in May vs April.
More: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1020466.html

Beeline workers are against TEAM merger

Context: UCOM's co-founder was fired. He formed a new TEAM ISP. TEAM wants to purchase the financially troubled Beeline.
 
300 Beeline workers asked Pashinyan to suspend any merger because they're afraid that TEAM will replace them with TEAM's own workers.
TEAM says they won't lay off anyone because they need the existing Beeline workers' experience. "It's a big company. We can't replace the workforce."
https://factor.am/265961.html

SU-30SM jets conduct first target practice

"All targets were hit struck accurately," bragged Pashinyan, who will brag about the jets for another 50 years.
https://youtu.be/bmfsO7PH0jo
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/191733

A dude claims Akna Lake belongs to him

A local "heavy guy" claimed the iconic Akna Lake is his property, and he'll do fish-breeding in it.
The Nature Ministry had to respond with "now it's not yours" after environmentalists raised an alarm.
http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/282613/ , https://newarmenia.am/ակնա-լճում-ձկնաբուծարան-լինելը-կուսո/

Azerbaijan's chief epidemiologist goes 404

"I'm not in Baku. I'm in rayon. Sitting in a village without internet or news. I don't know anything. Call the Ministry," said Abdullah Agaev when someone tried to contact him.
 
Meanwhile, Aliyev brought the military to help with the pandemic.
http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/282603/ , https://www.lragir.am/2020/07/03/561165/

update: Soccer tournament suspended over match-fixing

Last week we learned how Soccer Federation cooperated with INTERPOL, NSS, UEFA, sports betting agencies, and found that 5 teams were fixing the match results in the secondary league (not the main Premier League).
 
The entire secondary league is now suspended indefinitely. 45 people associated with those 5 teams are permanently banned. Another 13 are suspended.
 
Meanwhile, the Premier League continues its matches. Only 2 rounds left. 3 teams have a chance to win.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/191706 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/191716 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/191724
Tag: #MatchFixing #Soccer

Former soccer federation chief's restaurant raided

ex-HHK MP and soccer boss Nemets Rubo is hiding in Russia. He's wanted for alleged kidnapping and torture, and financial crimes.
His restaurant Harsnaqar, where the alleged kidnapping victim was held, was raided today.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/191723 , https://www.reddit.com/armenia/comments/go26nw/may212020_news_1_hhk_mp_charged_with_abduction/?

Journalists find "fishy" corruption / 2 mayors busted

In January, Hetq outlet published a report about fishy things going on around a fish business in Ararat province.
 
Prosecutors say: in 2004 a lease was signed for an 11ha land in Sis. In 2007 the company illegally built fish-breeding pools on 5ha.
Sis's former and current leaders knew about this but ignored it.
The former mayor cannot be charged due to statute of limitations, while the current mayor qualifies for Pashinyan's 2018's mass amnesty.
 
Sis was told to either destroy the facility or take it under public control. They chose the latter. The facility was recently sold for $230,000.
Free money: https://hetq.am/hy/article/118996

infrastructure and road upgrades

Norakert has a 7km water delivery network. A govt subsidy will repair 2.5km this year, with the rest being repaired last year. It'll also help 60 businesses to get regular water delivery.
https://armtimes.com/hy/article/191666
 
Sevan is having 5 of its roads leading to residential complexes repaired. A $316,000 infrastructure project. It'll also renovate the curbs and water drainage.
https://armtimes.com/hy/article/191665
 
Syunik province has 3.4x more infrastructure upgrades this year, worth $17.7mln. Apartment energy insulation, roads, etc.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/191734

Top-5 documentary/biography books Yerevan residents read in May

5) Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill. (about how other people will get rich but you won't)
4) D'une porte l'autre, by Charles Aznavour. (about why Marvel movies are nothing more than a theme park)
3) A subtle Art of Not Giving F, by Mark Manson. (about helping mark Manson to get richer)
2) Becoming, by Michael Obama. (about being black)
1) The monk who sold his Ferrari, by Robin Sharma. (about helping Robin Shirama to get richer)
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1020395.html

this guy plants

Stepan Taroyan takes the dried out branches and wood and turns them into natural art. He works at Yerevan's Green Department.
Photos: https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/191160

$10mln Yerevan project for a new leisure center and park

Arabkir district's Komitas St. has a neglected park. It'll be renovated and a multi-functional center will be built.
The works have already begun, with 30 budkas being removed from the area to clear the way. The main construction begins in 2021.
 
5,000 plants will be installed to close the large gaps. They'll be joined by an amphitheater and a fountain. This will allow concerts and theatrical performances to be held.
 
The nearby 'Arabkir' shopping area will be brought under a roof and turned into a modern center with food, Armenian wine-tasting, international cuisine, an area for kid's entertainment, and handmade product sales.
The center's backside will be made out of glass and face the renovated garden.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1020467.html
 
You've read 1894 words.

Disclaimer & Terminology

1) The accused are innocent until proven guilty in the court of law, even if they sound guilty.
2) Currency in Armenian ֏ unless specified otherwise.
3) NSS/SIS/SOC = law enforcement agencies. QP = Civil Contract Party. LHK = Bright Armenia Party. BHK = Prosperous Armenia Party. HHK = Republican Party.
4) ARCHIVE of older posts by Idontknowmuch: PART 1 ; PART 2 ; PART 3 ; PART 4 ; PART 5.
4) ARCHIVE of older posts by Armeniapedia.
submitted by ar_david_hh to armenia [link] [comments]

Wrestling Observer Rewind ★ Jun. 17, 2002

Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives.
PREVIOUSLY:
1-7-2002 1-14-2002 1-21-2002 1-28-2002
2-4-2002 2-11-2002 2-18-2002 2-25-2002
3-4-2002 3-11-2002 3-18-2002 3-25-2002
4-1-2002 4-8-2002 4-15-2002 4-22-2002
4-29-2002 5-6-2002 5-13-2002 5-20-2002
5-27-2002 6-3-2002 6-10-2002

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Some of you may have missed last week's post because I didn't do it on Wednesday. Ended up posting it Thursday instead, so it's there in the archives below if you missed it. I know this 2002 series of Rewinds doesn't really have the momentum or appeal that it had back when I was posting them 3 times a week for years on end. Sorry about that, like I said before, I just decided to post these on a whim when the virus started and didn't really prepare for it so it's all kinda haphazard. But just didn't want anyone to miss the one from last week if it flew under the radar.

  • Steve Austin walked out of WWE this week and threw everything into upheaval. As a result, Raw featured Vince McMahon challenging Ric Flair to a match for ownership of the entire company. It was the ultimate final blow-off to a huge long-term angle, and they did it with only 2 hours of build-up. With Vince now in charge of both shows, questions are swirling about whether this spells the end of the brand split, only a few months in. The reason this all happened is because, only 6 hours before Raw went on the air, Steve Austin showed up to the arena and found out he was scheduled to wrestle (and Dave thinks put over, though he hasn't confirmed that yet) Brock Lesner. Dave immediately points out the obvious, that an Austin vs. Lesnar match is something you should build up ahead of time, not throw it on free TV with no build up at all. Plus, he's still so new, he's incredibly green, and he's spent the last few months selling way too much for people like the Hardyz and Bubba Ray Dudley. Hell, before he debuted in WWE, he wasn't even the most over guy in OVW. He's nowhere near the level you'd expect for him to be winning matches with Steve Austin un-hyped on free TV. In fact, Lesnar should probably go through just about everyone else on the roster before putting him against Austin. That's a potential Wrestlemania-level match and Dave seems befuddled that they would just book it for Raw like this.
  • Apparently Austin felt the same way because he and his wife Debra left the building and flew home before Vince McMahon even arrived to the arena, the second time since Wrestlemania that he has walked out on the company. A source who was there when McMahon learned of the news said that, for the first time anyone could remember, Vince seemed to drop his "game face" and there seemed to be genuine panic about what to do. Rock has one foot out the door to Hollywood. Undertaker and Triple H are banged up and won't be around forever (bet). Business is already collapsing. And now the biggest star the company's ever had just walked out the door. Last time Austin walked out after Wrestlemania, he was only away for 2 weeks. This time, there's a feeling it could be much longer. Those close to Austin say he's been unhappy for months and this decision wasn't anything specifically to do with the Lesnar match. That just happened to be the final straw. Austin made news last week when he went on the WWE's Byte This show and voiced his frustrations with the company's creative direction. Plans had been put into motion over the last couple weeks for Austin to feud with Eddie Guerrero and then Chris Benoit, which he was happy about (he was enjoying his recent house show matches with Eddie and Benoit is one of Austin's favorite opponents) but that's out the window now. Austin and Vince McMahon reportedly haven't been on good terms for several months now and word is the night before Raw, the two of them had a very heated conversation over the phone that left Austin pissed off and frustrated even before this went down.
  • And that's the deal on Austin. He has more money than he'll ever be able to spend and doesn't have any financial need to wrestle. He only does so because he enjoys it. And if he doesn't enjoy it anymore, then by all means, it's his right to leave and he doesn't owe the business anything if he wants to hang up the boots. But Dave does feel like Austin owes WWE at least a few weeks to write him out of storylines since he's such an important piece of the company. Walking out from a live TV taping is unprofessional and it leaves guys like Guerrero and Benoit left hanging, thus screwing up their future plans and money-making potential too (yeah, that's something that doesn't get talked about much. Austin walking out fucked Guerrero over pretty hard here. It would take him another 2 years to get back into that main event scene that he would have been involved in here). That being said, pretty much everyone in the locker room sympathizes with Austin and agrees with his complaints about the creative direction of the company, but not many of them were defending the way he walked out. And given that this is the second time he's done it, the feeling is he shouldn't be allowed back without facing some actual punishment this time.
  • So anyway, the day of Raw, they went into panic mode and had to re-write the entire show. And with the feeling Austin won't be coming back anytime soon, Vince felt they needed to do something big. So they went with blowing off the dual-owners angle in a match that was designed to turn Flair babyface again and establish Vince as the heel owner of everything. There was also discussion of turning Undertaker babyface again, since he's been getting more cheers than RVD when they work together at house shows lately but they decided against that for now (they end up doing it in a couple weeks). So now Flair has been abruptly turned back, after only turning heel a few weeks prior. The brand split may or may not be dead. And there we stand.
  • In what would have been a major story during any other week, DDP has officially retired from wrestling at age 46. Unfortunately, Austin's walk-out overshadowed everything. The decision on DDP's retirement was actually made by Vince McMahon and Jim Ross, who pretty much made the choice for him after they got his medical reports. DDP has been advised by multiple doctors that his spine is shot and he needs to retire. For the company's own liability, WWE decided to listen to the doctors and DDP agreed. There has been talk of finding ways for DDP to work the remainder of his contract for the company in a non-wrestling capacity. (He obviously ends up wrestling a handful of matches in the years since, but for the most part, this really was the end of DDP's in-ring career as a full-time wrestler).
  • There were a couple of moments on Raw this week where Shawn Michaels was cutting a promo and made a comment about Austin "losing his top spot" and another comment later about Rock "stealing Triple H's spot." A lot of people in the company backstage were upset, feeling like this was the same ol' Shawn, going into business for himself and trashing on Austin and Rock and yada yada. Not the case. Those comments were actually scripted for Shawn to say because they want to get over the idea that Shawn on the mic is a loose cannon and you never know when he might start "shooting" and say something he's not supposed to. It's all very dumb, you see. Almost like Vince Russo is coming back any day now or something.
  • Dave gives a big preview and rundown of the Jarrett family's new NWA-TNA promotion, which has its debut show next week on PPV. Not all cable systems are carrying it, however. Cablevision and Dish Network both declined to carry it, but DirecTV is. This cuts down on the number of available homes for the show and probably cuts 20-30% off their potential revenue. The main PPV provider in Canada, Viewer's Choice, has also declined to carry it. Steep mountain to climb here. Dave expects them to do decent numbers for their first show but predicts an XFL-like collapse after that. By week 3, Dave is scared for their chances. From here, Dave gives the whole history of other promotions who've tried to make it on PPV in the U.S., with varying degrees of success and failure. UWFI, UFC, ECW, WCW, PRIDE, etc, WWF has even toyed with similar ideas. In 1991, they did the one-off Tuesday In Texas PPV as a test to see if they could run PPVs back-to-back (Survivor Series was only the week prior) and it was a flop. The original concept for Shotgun Saturday Night was for it to be a weekly Saturday night PPV with a similar >$10 price point, but that idea got scrapped before it got off the ground and it became just another TV show. Dave doesn't think TNA is going to make it without a TV deal. This PPV exclusive plan just has too much working against it. The Jarretts have talked about the millions of disenfranchised fans that stopped watching after WCW died, and it's true. Those people are out there. But those millions of fans all checked out between 1999-2001, and TNA isn't going to win them back by using the same people and the same concepts that ran those viewers away from WCW. All your wacky booking ideas, your Vince Russos, your Jeff Jarretts as champion, bringing in guys that even WWE won't touch (Scott Hall), etc. Those are all the same things that ran away those WCW viewers. Dave just doesn't see how this experiment can work in its current form.
  • Vince McMahon himself was the latest guest on WWE's Byte This show and needless to say, it was interesting. Vince denied the idea that the wrestling business is "cyclical" and said it's more like a series of peaks and valleys that have slowly been trending upwards over the years. Vince also admitted WWE doesn't always make the best decisions but says their batting average is good overall. Vince also said he's proud to have the word "wrestling" in their company name, which is a pretty big about-face from all the years he's tried to publicly claim they were "sports entertainment, not wrestling." He admitted things are rough right now but said there are huge changes coming soon that will change the entire industry but wouldn't elaborate on what he had planned (I think time has proven that the answer to this was nothing whatsoever. They had no idea what they were doing during this time and were just making shit up as they went along). Vince acknowledged that Austin has been frustrated lately and said Austin is the most demanding of all the wrestlers in WWE. Vince also said he pays no attention to the internet because everyone thinks they're a booker. He also complained that it's hard to live up to people's expectations because fans all think they know everything now. Acknowledged ratings being down and played it off like, yes, WWE is sick. But it's only a cold, not pneumonia or anything, so don't panic.
  • More notes from Vince on Byte This because huge unbroken paragraphs suck: he hinted at producing movies starring WWE talent. Dave thinks that's a bad idea. "No Holds Barred," anyone? Criticized backyard wrestling, which Dave actually agrees with him 100% on. Was asked about bringing Vince Russo back and said he hasn't given it any thought but he has an open door policy (see you next week, Russo! Jeez, it almost makes you wonder if Vince got the idea from this interview or something). When asked about the recent Jim Cornette/Ed Ferrara incident, Vince basically seemed disinterested but said he admires Cornette's passion for wrestling but felt spitting in Ferrara's face was unprofessional. When asked about NWA-TNA, Vince said he didn't understand how they could do it without television. Trying to get people to pay $9.95 a week for a 2 hour show (a minor league product at that, because anything other than WWE is basically minor leagues at this point), when they already get Raw and Smackdown on free television. Otherwise, he said he has no opinions on it because he hasn't seen it, but Vince seems to share Dave's opinion. He doesn't see this PPV model as sustainable and doesn't seem particularly threatened by it.
  • NJPW's latest Best of the Super Juniors tournament is in the books and was a disappointment, just like everything else in NJPW lately. Koji Kanemoto won a pretty boring tournament. There was only one new name involved, which was Michinoku Pro wrestler Curry Man (Christopher Daniels under a mask). He's talented and charismatic but he's not even that big a star in Michinoku Pro, much less to the NJPW audience. Otherwise, it was more of the same, with no real notable matches.
  • Zero-1 in Japan is hoping to put together a working relationship with NWA-TNA. Specifically, they're hoping they can do a Shinya Hashimoto vs. Ken Shamrock feud, perhaps over the NWA title.
  • While training for his comeback, Kenta Kobashi messed up his shoulder doing bench presses, because of course he did. Doctors have told him not to return too soon but he still plans to be back in the ring by next month. Because of course he does.
  • NJPW's latest show at Budokan Hall was a disaster. From photos Dave saw, he figures there couldn't have been more than 3,500 fans in the building. Even at its weakest after the NOAH exodus, AJPW never fell below 7,000 at Budokan and this show looked to be half that. It's likely the smallest crowd NJPW has ever drawn to that arena. The whole show was said to be terrible because of the depressing atmosphere of a building that was 2/3 empty.
  • This week's World Cup game between Japan and Russia did a 66.1 TV rating, making it the #2 highest rated sports broadcast in the history of Japan. This is notable because by doing so, it surpassed the Rikidozan vs. Destroyer match from 1963, which did a 64.0 rating, knocking it down to #3 (for what it's worth, it's believed that a Rikidozan vs. Lou Thesz match in 1957 was actually watched by even more people, but official ratings weren't kept as detailed back then, so it can't be counted for sure).
  • Dave has read some excerpts from the new Shaun Assael book on Vince McMahon called "Sex, Lies, and Headlocks." From what he's read, Dave says it's a very good and accurate portrayal of how the WWE has grown to what it is today. Vince's former close friend and VP of Titan Sports during the expansion era Jim Troy and Jim Barnett were both interviewed for it, among others. If you're a hardcore fan who's been following the Observer for years, there's nothing new here that you probably don't already know from a major story standpoint, but there's some interesting details at least that were new to Dave. But to the average fan, this should be pretty eye-opening. Dave expects to have a full review soon.
  • CZW held its second annual Best of the Best tournament at the old ECW Arena and the show got rave reviews. Particularly British wrestlers Jodie Fleisch and Jonny Storm, who tore the house down in their match. Trent Acid defeated Fleisch to win the tournament.
  • The Coen brothers, producers of the movie "Fargo", have had talks with Bobby Heenan about doing a movie based on his life (this pretty obviously went nowhere).
  • New Jack is no longer working with XPW and has jumped ship to work with a rival local promoter in Southern California. Perhaps not coincidentally, the last check New Jack received from XPW promoter Rob Black for $800 ended up bouncing. Dave says New Jack probably isn't the guy you want to write bad checks to.
  • NWA-TNA has changed its taping plans and no longer plans to tour, and they will now be live every week. The first two shows will be taped this week in Huntsville and after that, all future shows will be live from Nashville at the 9,000-seat Municipal Auditorium. Apparently the rent for that building is really cheap because a newer, more modern arena was just built nearby, so TNA can afford it. That being said, with as much trouble as they're having selling tickets for the debut show in Huntsville, Dave thinks it's pretty optimistic to start trying to run live tapings in the same 9,000-seat building every week. He thinks they would be much better off running a small 800-seat building every week, with a smaller, more intimate atmosphere that would come across a lot better on TV than a big cavernous arena that, inevitably, is going to be mostly empty (to this day, 18 years later, TNA/Impact has never once drawn a crowd of 9,000 fans. Never even really close actually).
  • Various other TNA notes: Dave runs down the list of confirmed names for TNA's first taping. Rick Steiner, K-Krush (formerly K-Kwik in WWF), Konnan, Steve Corino, The Harris Brothers, Psicosis, and a bunch of others. Don Frye has talked to Jeff Jarrett about coming in to work a match with Ken Shamrock. Jackie Fargo is going to be there doing something. They made an offer to Shane Douglas but he only agreed to come in if they didn't hire Francine (some kind of falling out between them). TNA decided they'd rather have Francine. They're expected to be doing some kind of old school vs. new school angle so....yay. More latter-years WCW shit. Mike & Todd Shane are coming in as a tag team called Dick & Rod Johnson and will have costumes that apparently look like penises, just in case you were still on the fence about whether Vince Russo is involved. The top stars are basically making around $3,500 per week which is a pretty decent salary for one day's work every week. The guys without name value, on the other hand, are getting $300 per show and are covering their own transportation. Just in case you were still on the fence about whether Jerry Jarrett is involved.
  • Ken Shamrock did an interview and acknowledged that he hasn't done pro-wrestling in a few years and knows he's going to be rusty. He also said he's worried because with only 1 show per week, he won't really be able to get enough matches under his belt to get good again. He also said he's signed a 3 fight deal with UFC and will be fighting Tito Ortiz in September, which turns out to be a pretty huge damn deal.
  • Dave saw the K-1 match with former WCW developmental wrestler Bob Sapp vs. some dude. Doesn't matter. What matters is Bob Sapp is enormous ("makes Brock Lesnar look like Jerry Lynn"). And he mauled this poor guy. In fact, it looked like Sapp was trying to get DQ'd, as he started kicking and kneeing the guy while he was down and just treating it like a street fight, violating lots of rules in the process. He was DQ'd but then K-1 booked Sapp and this other dude for a rematch in July. That leads Dave to think this was planned as an effort to get Sapp over as a lunatic, but if it was a work, somebody should have told the other guy because Sapp fucked him right on up. "This was like everyone feared Mike Tyson would behave, but 1,000 times worse and from a man far more scary." Furthermore, Sapp came out in a full Ric Flair robe and to Ric Flair' ring music, and the arena went insane. Sapp has massive superstar appeal in Japan right now and promoting him as a violent psychopath who has no regards for the rules in a shoot fight appears to be getting over huge.
WATCH: Bob Sapp vs. some dude. Doesn't matter. K-1
  • Edge will not need surgery for his torn labrum injury, so he'll only miss a few weeks of action instead of a few months. Edge is in the midst of the biggest push of his career and this is his chance to finally break through to the next level so needless to say, good news.
  • Notes from Raw: show opened with Vince walking out, which was unexpected since this is Flair's show. He said Austin wasn't there and made a point of saying Austin was too much of a coward to be there. Pretty well buried Austin and buried Raw as a bad show (blaming Flair in kayfabe for all the show's real life problems. Sorta like last year when they actually turned the bad ratings into a storyline by trying to blame it on Corbin. Some things never change). They're doing a storyline with Trish making fun of Molly Holly for allegedly having a fat ass because, again, some things never change. Former Tough Enough contestant Chris Nowinski debuted doing the Harvard grad gimmick like the heel jock in every teen movie. "The heel jock." Never change Dave. Shawn Michaels made his big return, cut his promo joining the NWO and turning heel on the fans before superkicking Booker T out of the group. So theoretically, this should mean Booker T should have to work his way through the entire NWO one by one before getting to Shawn at the end, in what should be Shawn's first match back. "I'm not holding my breath," Dave says. And of course, Vince beat Flair to take control of both shows. Horrible match but considering it was a last minute panic move, understandable under the circumstances. Lesnar ran in and helped Vince win the match.
WATCH: Vince McMahon opening promo with Ric Flair on Raw
WATCH: Ric Flair vs. Vince McMahon for sole ownership of WWE
  • Notes from Smackdown: during a big pull-apart brawl, several agents ran in to break it up. Among them were Dean Malenko and Fit Finlay, appearing on TV for the first time in their new backstage roles, and John Lauranitis who was also shown on TV last week. More gay jokes with Billy and Chuck and Rico, which Dave calls Russo-esque. Not quite yet. Jamie Noble was introduced with Nidia from Tough Enough season 1 as his valet, in a feud with Hurricane. There was a big effort to make Bob Holly a star this week, starting a feud with he and Kurt Angle and they really pushed Holly hard as a star and Angle busted his ass to try and get him over. And they did a show-long angle with Maven in the hospital (he's legit injured) and Torrie Wilson shows up, it's implied that she gives him a blowjob, and then Dr. Tajiri shows up, mists Torrie and beats up Maven. Dave is at least happy that they're trying to make an angle out of Maven's injury so he has a storyline to come back to, which is more effort than they put into most stuff these days.
  • Various WWE notes: referee Tim White suffered a torn rotator cuff in the Backlash Hell in a Cell match and will need surgery that will keep him out of the ring for months. Rey Mysterio is scheduled to debut on WWE house shows this week and, as of now, is expected to be wearing his mask again. Terry Taylor has been reaching out to get hired, but the company won't return his calls (they eventually re-hire him in September).
  • There's been a lot of praise for the new Spiderman comic "Tangled Web" which was written by Raven (I had to research this, but yeah. "Tangled Web" was a Spiderman anthology series that lasted about 2 years and had 22 issues. Each issue was written by different authors. Issue 14 was called "The Last Shoot" and sure enough, it was co-written by Raven alongside Brian Azzarello, who is the mind behind one of my favorite comic series of all time, 100 Bullets. And I had no idea. Wild).
  • The long-discussed plan of having Arn Anderson as Chris Benoit's manager seems to be off the table now. The thought is Anderson has been devalued so much in recent months (they pretty much wheel him out every time they need someone to take a beating for heat in a Flair feud) that he wouldn't be effective as a manager for a strong, serious heel.
  • Tough Enough II winner Linda Miles made her in-ring debut on Velocity, against Ivory. She was accompanied by fellow winner Jackie Gayda, who turned heel on her and cost Linda the match. Dave thinks it's waaaaaay too early to put these 2 women in a feud against each other considering how green they both still are.
WATCH: Linda Miles vs. Ivory - WWE Velocity 2002
  • The Rock, Vince McMahon, Undertaker, Jerry Lawler, Jm Ross, Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, and Shane McMahon were all in Memphis at the Mike Tyson/Lennox Lewis fight last week. Rock could be seen on camera a few rows deep throughout the fight, while Vince was shown on camera as a celebrity in attendance before the fight. The others were never shown on-camera, but they were all there. The PPV is estimated to have done 1.8 million buys and grossed a record $103 million, which are numbers that WWE can only dream of. Prior to the PPV, Rock co-hosted a pre-show party with guests such as Halle Berry and Britney Spears.
NEXT WEDNESDAY: Steve Austin accused of abusing Debra, much more on that situation and Austin's walkout, Jesse Ventura not running for re-election, Rock wrestles in Hawaii, and more...
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Woke up Kidnapped 21 (Intermission)

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Gabriel woke up the following morning, sore and a little stiff. He probably pulled a muscle in the last jump while dodging the riding animal. He sat up and groaned.
"Rough night?" Deana asked, she sat up and stretched her neck.
"You were there, you should know," Gabriel said.
"Not used to battering Kriks into the ground?" She asked.
"Is that what they are called? No, not really. Not that I'm more used to sword fighting." Gabriel said as he tried to get his spine in order. After a couple of satisfying cracks, he felt much better. "So what now? When's the next fight?"
"I don't know, three, four days I suspect." She shrugged and leaned back against the wall, her legs crossed. “But we can always hope for more.”
“Agreed, I’ll keep my fingers crossed,” Gabriel said and walked over to the bathroom to wash his face. Breakfast arrived at the same time, along with a fancy dressed male Roniean Gabriel had not seen before. Gabriel walked out toweling off his face. “What a pleasant surprise, a guest. Are you joining us for breakfast?”
“Not quite, I was just interested in seeing what my money has bought,” he said and raised his crest. Gabriel noted that it was a bright purple color but didn’t understand the significance of the gesture.
“Satisfied?” He asked.
“Maybe, tell me, how did you jump out of the way of the Krisk that fast?” he asked looking nonchalant.
“I have strong legs, good for short bursts,” Gabriel lied.
“I see,” he said. He studied Gabriel for some time before squinting and nodding to himself, “Hmm, I’ll have to try harder next time it seems,” he said and left the cell. Gabriel gave Deana a confused look and got a shrug back.
“Who was that?” Gabriel asked after he heard the door at the end of the corridor lock.
“He owns this arena, I don’t know his name. All the guards just call him boss.” Deana said. “But I’ve only seen him on the stands, preaching to his guests.”
Gabriel frowned, “He didn’t know how strong I was,” he said scratching his head. “Hmm,” Then the realization hit him. “Of course my seller would lie to him,” Gabriel said.
“What do you mean?” Deana asked, Gabriel heard shuffling and saw Sen at the other door.
“He means buying an alien that has taken down ten armed Igris pirates with a metal rod is likely a bad purchase. Too difficult to control.” Sen’Chakar said. “That would be my guess. Most believe the rumors are just a ruse to keep Gabriel away from trouble so confirming that would make sense.”
“Right,” Gabriel said. “Not to toot my own horn or anything but I crushed all the physical tests they had on US 535.”
“I’m assuming toot your own horn means bragging,” Deana said. “And that was a bad attempt. But I see your point, he seemed to think you would be weaker.”
“Yeah, and he accepted that I could only run in short bursts,” Gabriel said.
“...So that was a lie?” Deana asked.
“Yeah, humans are...persistent hunters, I think is called. Or I mean not in modern society.” Gabriel said. “We don’t run around chucking spears at mammoths anymore.”
“Ignoring what a mammoths is, how long can you run?” Deana asked.
“Full speed? not that long, I’ve only run 400 meters in a sprint. Well, it’s called a sprint but I can’t run it maxed out. I guess I’ve only done 200 meters.” He said.
“And how long is a meter?”
“About this,” he held his hands apart in the best approximation of a meter he could.
“That’s...what would you guess the arena is?” she asked.
“I don’t know, long side maybe 100 at most.” Gabriel guessed.
“I see,” Deana nodded, “Yes, that is far, but a fit Roniean can do the same, although just about I would guess.”
“Same with Igris,” Sen’Chakar said.
“And how long can you run, at whatever speed?” Deana asked and seemed to compare Gabriel’s legs to her own.
“Uh, I mean I’ve run marathons, which usually involves some walking but mostly jogging,” he jogged a little in place.
“And how long are those? In arenas?”
“Shit, hold on,” Gabriel said, quickly doing the math. “The OS, that’s Olympic sport is about 42,200 meters so 422,” Gabriel said.
“You can run, I mean jogging 422 lengths of the arena?”
“Yeah, I mean I’m out of practice so maybe not but with some more walking.” He shrugged.
“And all that while weighing more than Sen,” Deana shook her head. “How is that possible?”
“Gravity?” Gabriel ventured. “I mean like I said, my planet had higher gravity. I blame my weight on that. Wait, would that even help? Actually, with the lower gravity, I might do better, but that needs more testing.” Gabriel rambled on.
“Right, back to the previous subject, you believe you were sold with false information right?”
“Yes, the first time I was sold as some monster that they thought would kill and eat Madeline, this time I can only guess but as Sen said, I assume he wanted a strong but not too strong fighter,” Gabriel confirmed.
Deana shook her head, “This is getting too confusing for me, I need some sustenance,” she said as she grabbed a plate of breakfast. Once the boring breakfast was eaten she spoke up once again. “We don’t know what the ‘boss’ has been told, but eventually he’s going to believe the rumors floating around about you. The ones Sen heard.”
“I told you to call!...” Sen’Chakar started from the other cell. “Nevermind Dee, I suppose I can handle being called Sen for the time being.”
Deana scowled at Gabriel, “Coming here and ruining my fun…Oh well, we should try and escape before the boss figures you out if you still think that’s possible.”
“I do and yes, I agree,” Gabriel said. “Do you think we can talk our way into the armory between matches?” He asked.
“Not really, but it’s worth trying,” she said and rubbed her crest. “Sen, any ideas?”
“We can ask to practice in armor, otherwise I do not have any ideas at the moment...Dee” He said.
“Thanks again Gabe,” Deana sighed and scowled, but it quickly turned to a chuckle.
“Speaking of nicknames, does Gabe mean anything?” Gabriel asked.
“Not in Roniean,” Deana said.
“Not in Igris, but gabend means something similar to someone that does not think, or in other words, idiot.” He said, gabend was pronounced with a short a, but still quite similar.
“Oddly appropriate,” Gabriel murmured. “But now that I’m done bragging and we are done talking about theories we can’t solve at the moment, I think you have a story to tell Dee.”
She looked up from trying to scoop up the last of her breakfast, “I do?”
“Yeah, last night you said you would tell me how you ended up here, I told you my tale.”
She sighed, “You told me what happened after you ended up in space. But, I suppose I did. I can’t claim it to be a story or tale but I can tell you about it.” She put the plate away and got comfortable. “So, where do I start?”
“Wherever you want, we got time,” Gabriel said and sat down on his bed.
“Alright, what brought me here, in the end, was my work in the Roniean military as an intelligence officer. I looked through captured information, drives, recorded conversations, and the like.” She started. “I’m going to assume you know little about my society but stop me if you have further questions.”
“Will do,” Gabriel said.
“Before the military, I studied to work in communications, on FTL tech preferably but I planned to take whatever was available. But I was recruited to the military and went that direction instead. Roniean society is based on a strong military and almost all public services are provided by them. And most large factories also belong to the government and the military.”
“Almost?” Gabriel asked.
“Yes, it is difficult to compete with the prices of the military, whether it is food, clothes, housing, appliances, or the like. But there are always many willing to pay more for custom stuff, or different brands, handmade stuff you know. And so, almost all private companies deal in custom wares of whatever.” She paused for a moment, seeming to gather her thoughts after the tangent. “And because of that, many top students in their field get offered further education in the military. It’s a way to get a good education for less money but comes with a two-year contract after the studies are finished.”
“Forced service?”
“Sort of, but in many different sectors, and none in direct conflict. You can get recruited further to become a soldier or pilot or whatever but for most, it is an employer like any other. I worked testing some new communication unit that was meant to work instantaneously over light seconds. Different ships would be able to talk with each other in the same system.”
“You said would?”
“Yeah, never got it to work during my time there. After those two years were up I was offered my current...well I might be replaced now, but my last assignment which was as I said to gather and sort information.” she looked down at the floor.
“That sounds like a desk job to me,” Sen said from the other cell.
“It was, for the most part. I found some leads that suggested a large criminal organization operated in our capital, where I lived. They both smuggled and sold illegal stimulants and I suspected they also dealt in trafficking. And foolishly I thought if I could just get a little more information I could make sure the gang left the capital altogether. But I was stupid and got captured with enough information to be seen as dangerous and I got sent here.” She finished and looked at Gabriel. “And that’s my story.”
“Thank you for telling me,” Gabriel said and smiled. “I’m sure the information in this place will put many behind bars. After we get out that is.”
Deana chuckled, “Maybe I can convince my boss that I was deep undercover”
“It’s always good to stay positive. Sen, do you want to share?” Gabriel asked.
“I was captured doing much the same, except my position was in Security. Before that, I was studying to go into Security. Before that general school, and before that I did nothing that affected me ending up here.” He somehow managed to fit into one breath.
“...Thanks for sharing,” Gabriel said and shot a questioning look to Deana. She grinned and shook her head. “Did you practice that?” Gabriel asked Sen.
“No?” He said and walked off to do whatever.
“Ok then,” Gabriel turned back to Deana. “An Igris of few words was it?”
“Correct, most of the time, he can string together several sentences once in a while,” she said chuckling. “Your turn Gabe, what did you do before ending up in space?”
Gabriel stood up and began pacing, “Alright, where do I start?” He said, mostly to himself.
“Wherever you want, we got time,” Deana said.
“Fine, fine,” he said grinning. “I’m going to skip most of my childhood, it’s not that interesting. I was a nerdy kid, always liking games and movies more than many of my friends who dove headfirst into sports. When I started high-school a war started between two foreign countries and our country sent forces to help. My sister that I told you about started military training and after I turned the right age I also joined up. I went through a program that was supposed to last for two years but after a year and a half the war ended and my sister came back. Shortly after I was discharged due to...various reasons,” Gabriel said a bit sheepishly.
“Now I’m interested,” Deana said and leaned forwards.
“It’s nothing too special, I got into some fights because I was young and dumb. And they insulted my sister who came back without some of her friends.” He said and sat down.
“I see, talking bad about soldiers who have fought in battle is seen as bad manners and even punishable in the military. Only with chores and less free time but still.” Deana said.
“I'm not sure if they were punished, but I sure was.” Gabriel leaned back against the wall. “Regardless, after that, I started selling and fixing electronics, our version of com units, and the like. It was at quite a high-end store that served several large companies and not at all a bad job.” Gabriel sighed. “Then from what I call piece together I was on my way to my parents with my sister and we got kidnapped.” He shrugged and spread his arms. “The rest I’ve told you I think.”
“Yes, I think so, I just have one question,” Deana said.
“Shoot,” Gabriel said.
“What?”
“Never mind, what’s your question?”
Deana squinted at him, “You have to explain that later, but what is boxing?”
“A...let’s call it a physical sport where we put on gloves and fight. With rules of course.” Gabriel launched into a very bare-boned explanation of boxing, explaining the basic rules and weight classes, finishing with an explanation on how matches were conducted. “There are some great human movies about boxing, shame I can’t show you any.”
“I think I understand, we have a sport which is similar but more focused on points and getting an advantage over your opponent. In the past, it was more or less put together so soldiers would train harder to try and win. But it is physical combat, though with more protection.” Deana said, “I was never a soldier so I didn’t try it, never got the training.”
“You don’t get training if you’re not in...let’s say the military part of your government?” Gabriel asked.
“Yes, and no, we get plenty of physical training and some very basics in using both guns and physical combat but no, we do not get any certification for weapons or learn combat as you have.” She explained.
Gabriel nodded, “I wasn’t that good at CQC too be honest, boxing is not part of the training I received in the military but I was better at it, and enjoyed it more.”
“What was that word, cequce?”
“Oh, C.Q.C, close-quarters combat,” Gabriel said. “We learned to fight hand-to-hand and defend against knife attacks and stuff like that.”
“I don’t suppose you learn how to fight with swords and shields?” she asked.
“Unfortunately, no”
“Shame, I don’t think we can fight without weapons. Or I mean we can, but probably shouldn't.” She said and sighed.
“No, probably not,” Gabriel said, quite aware he could likely break arms with his bare fists, even through shields. But that would hurt his knuckles in the process, or even break a wrist or two if the hit landed wrong. “Is there any, uh, tape or bandages to wrap my hands with?”
“For what? are you hurt?” Deana asked, looking questioning at his hands.
“No, not at all, just to keep me from breaking anything if I do decide to punch someone,” Gabriel said waving a hand dismissively.
“I don’t know, but that can’t be too hard to get. The ‘boss’ does want a good match and bandages will cost him little. It’s all about costs with that man.” Deana said. She stood and rolled her shoulders. “Can you teach me some boxing while we wait?”
“Sure, but what are we waiting for?” Gabriel said and stood as well.
“Food. There is nothing else to look forward to.” Deana said and looked at her fists. “Should we wrap our hands for this?”
“Preferably yes, but we can start easy,” Gabriel said. He showed her how to stand and how to guard and apart from hitting his palms a few times, they spent the next few hours on technique, some shadow boxing, and dodging. It was slow and easy-going so they used most of the time until lunch arrived. Still, they had both worked up a sweat when they broke for food.
“And you are telling me you fight for three minute rounds with only one minute between?” Deana asked as she ate. “Shadowboxing for three minutes was quite a workout.”
“Yep. Is it just me or is this food blander than usual?”
“Just you. And you fight for...what was it, 12 rounds at most?”
“At most, yes, but fights can be over in the first,” Gabriel said.
Deana nodded slowly “I can live with never becoming a boxing champion,” she said and grinned.
Gabriel chuckled, “Same here.” There rest of the day they trained some more, although it was more demonstrations and less physical and Gabriel tried to remember how CQC worked without resorting to just throwing a punch to the face of his opponent. Before dinner, he had managed to remember some throws and how to twist an arm holding a knife. Though he still remembered the optimal way to fight a knife which was to turn and sprint as fast as you can the other way.
After dinner, they talked about both Roniean II and Earth and even managed to get Sen to join them and Gabriel learned a bit more about Igris prime, the first Igris planet. Roniean II was a forest planet with quite extensive polar caps. Around the equator was a thick band of lush forests that did not get to warm or cold. It hardly ever snowed and often rained. Igris prime on the other hand was closer to earth but with more landmass north and south and less at the warm equator.
Igris prime had many popular locations for tourists with warm weather and good swimming, but further down, or up depending on with hemisphere you were on, it often rained with strong winds. And although they were not hurricane levels it would still be miserable to be out in them.
“So Earth has temperatures in the same range as us?” Sen asked.
“Yes, thereabouts,” Gabriel said. It has taken quite some time to translate temperature but they had gotten close he thought.
“But you live in almost all of them?”
“Yes”
“Are there several species of humans? how can you handle the coldest and warmest temperatures?” Sen asked him.
“We are adaptable I guess, As we produce a lot of heat ourselves we just need to isolate for the cold. The heat is different and while we do sweat to cool down we can easily overheat. Many die every year from heatstroke.”
“I see, while we do send scientists to the polar caps we need environmental suits to handle the cold. But I think we produce less body heat.”
“I wouldn’t know,” Gabriel shrugged, “My knowledge of Xenobiology is severely lacking.”
Deana reached over and grabbed his wrist, holding it for a while and then nodded, “Yes, you are warmer than me,” She nodded. “And we Ronieans have about the same temperature as Igris.” She let go of his wrist and reached a hand towards his chest, but stopped before making contact. “Boundaries, sorry,” she said and withdrew her hand. “Just wanted to check, limbs are usually colder.”
“Don’t worry, I won’t get any ideas,” Gabriel grinned and grabbed her hand and placed it on his the back of his neck.
Deana tilted her head, “Your arm was almost cold compared to this. Want to touch me in return?” she asked. “No private place though,” she grinned.
“Thanks for the offer, but I’ll pass,” Gabriel chuckled.
“Your loss,” Deana laughed, she walked back to her bed, “I think I would like to see Earth sometime, Igris prime too for that matter.”
“Won't gravity be a problem?” Gabriel went back to his bed, then decided a shower would be a good idea.
“I guess, but I can get an exoskeleton or something,” She said and stretched out on the bed.
“Or something,” Sen said from the other cell, “You could use a powered armor, provided you can get a hold of one.”
“See,” Deana said, “I just have to convince someone to give me one.”
“Good luck with that, I’m going to take a shower,” Gabriel said and grabbed a change of clothes.
“Have fun, and leave it running,” Deana said waving a hand.
The next couple of days was much the same, breakfast, practice in the training room, lunch, more practice, dinner, and free time. Gabriel tried to convince the guards to let them into the armory but apparently, the boss was away on business and they didn’t want to make any decisions while he was away. And calling was not an option it seemed. On the fourth day, after dinner, they were informed that there would be fighting the next day. Maybe his best bet for escape had been when the boss had visited but that ship had sailed. The guards were always careful when delivering food, always when Gabriel and Deana were at the far wall and they quickly shut the door after pushing in the plates. But if things went on like this he would have to risk it.
“We have to make a move soon,” Gabriel said while they were just about to sleep for the night.
“I agree, but what do we do?” Deana asked.
Gabriel sighed frustrated, “I don’t know, but if we can’t convince the boss we need access to the armory we have to try something. Every time we fight may be our last.”
“Again, I agree but I have been through several matches already,” Deana said and tapped her chest, “I can take it,”
“I’m sure,” Gabriel said, “But I don’t like risking it.”
“I agree with Gabe,” Sen said. “I believe we should try and escape after this next match, it is risky to wait.”
“I’m not arguing,” Deana said and raised her hands defensively. “But we can’t tomorrow, there will be too many guards.”
Gabriel laid down and stared up at the ceiling. “Damn it, I wanted to be out here by now.”
“Sleep, Gabe,” Deana said. “Worry tomorrow.”
“Goodnight Dee, Goodnight Sen!” Gabriel shouted at the door.
Sen chuckled from the other cell, which mostly sounded like several sharp hisses, “Goodnight Gabe, and Dee”
“Goodnight,” Deana sighed.

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Wrestling Observer Rewind ★ May 13, 2002

Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives.
PREVIOUSLY:
1-7-2002 1-14-2002 1-21-2002 1-28-2002
2-4-2002 2-11-2002 2-18-2002 2-25-2002
3-4-2002 3-11-2002 3-18-2002 3-25-2002
4-1-2002 4-8-2002 4-15-2002 4-22-2002
4-29-2002 5-6-2002
  • Okay, look, here's the deal. The obituaries, as sad as they are, contain some of Dave's best work. But good lord, they are looooooooooong. And they never contain anything newsworthy that is relevant to 2002 or anything. But they're always super interesting from a historical perspective. But last week, Dave wrote a brief obit for Lou Thesz (only 5,000 words, ahem) and promised to go into more detail this week. So this week, we open with a 16,000+ word obituary for Lou Thesz and I just can't. Sorry. It's really good though, you should all go read it. But I've got, like, a family and a job and responsibilities and stuff. I can't recap this. It's an incredible piece of work though.
  • The World Wrestling Federation is no more. On May 5th, the company unveiled its new name, World Wrestling Entertainment. Dave recaps the history of the company briefly (was originally called "World Wide Wrestling Federation, or WWWF, until 1979 when it was shortened to WWF, which is has remained for the past 23 years). But as of this week, the company has been rebranded to WWE. The website domain was changed to WWE.com and all references to "WWF" were changed to "WWE." The scratch logo was also changed, with the F being removed, so now it simply looks like "WW" (which, honestly, never really did make much sense to me. Even though the logo has changed, it's still "WW" to this day). Anyway, this all stems from the World Wildlife Fund lawsuit over in the UK, in which the WWE lost every court case and appeal. They were planning to appeal the ruling in the UK's highest court, their final last-ditch effort to save their name, but the reality is, they weren't going to win that case. Vince McMahon and the company blatantly and repeatedly violated the agreement they signed in 1994. It was 1000% obvious they were in the wrong here and they had gotten spanked by every single court before, often losing their appeals by unanimous decisions. So they weren't going to win this final appeal either and they knew it. So they dropped the appeal and threw in the towel and finally agreed to just change the name. The WWE has until May 15th to remove all references to "WWF" from their shows and merchandise. Any merch with "WWF" on it can no longer be sold after that date. All video packages and posters will have to be changed and any "WWF" mention or logos after that time on television or in past footage will have to be censored. Last year, during the court case, the WWE claimed it would cost them more than $50 million to change their name and to deal with all the legal and rebranding headaches that come with it. But this week, they backtacked on that and said it wouldn't be that expensive after all. Who knows if that's true, but the idea of this costing $50 million was enough to make the shareholders shit themselves, so Dave says they claimed it won't cost that much in order to keep the stock from plummeting. Anyway, none of this had to happen. In 1994, Vince McMahon and the Wildlife Fund signed an agreement that the wrestling company would not use the "WWF" name for promoting itself outside of the U.S. (since the Wildlife group is based overseas) and that worked well for a year or two. But then Vince McMahon apparently decided, "Meh, who cares about agreements?" and began repeatedly and blatantly violating it, constantly, for years, at which point the Wildlife group finally got upset enough to file a lawsuit. Anyway, on the first Raw since the name change, Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler repeatedly stumbled over the new initials, accidentally saying "WWF" multiple times. Gonna take time for everyone to get used to calling it the new name.
  • The buyrates for Wrestlemania 18 are in and it appears the event will have to settle for being the #2 biggest money show in wrestling history after it came up short and failed to surpass Wrestlemania 17. Final numbers aren't in yet, but latest estimates put it somewhere around the 800,000 buys range (ended up being about 880,000) which is quite a bit down from WM17. It was also #2 in total revenue from live gate and merch. Internally, it's actually being seen as something of a disappointment because with the power of the Hogan/Rock dream match, they were hopeful this show would top 1 million buys but unless something drastic changes with these buyrate numbers, it looks like the final total will be a good bit short of that.
  • NJPW's latest Tokyo Dome show is in the books. The show drew a sellout crowd of 57,000 fans, there to see the Masahiro Chono vs. Mitsuharu Misawa dream main event (which ended up going to a 30-minute draw). It was the biggest non-Jan. 4 crowd NJPW has drawn to the Dome in 2 years. So that's the good news. The bad news is that the show flopped in the ratings on TV. A big part of that is because the Chono/Misawa match didn't air as part of the show (due to the Asahi-TV/Nippon TV network issues discussed in past issues) so the televised show was built around the Shinya Hashimoto/Naoya Ogawa vs. Scott Norton/Hiroyoshi Tenzan match and man, the fans sure didn't seem to give a fuck about that. In fact, the rating was so bad that there's concern that this will be the end of pro wrestling on prime time TV in Japan for the foreseeable future. But there are justifiable reasons for the rating. The show went head-to-head with the Kirin Cup soccer tournament, which was a huge deal and did more than double the rating the NJPW show did. Unlike the U.S., wrestling and "real" sports in Japan have a major crossover audience, so having real sports competition severely hurt NJPW's show. Also, while Ogawa is a draw as a singles star, putting him in a tag match against Norton and Tenzan isn't exactly setting the world on fire. The show lasted 6 hours, which was way too long and the crowd was burned out before Misawa vs. Chono even started.
  • Other notes from the NJPW show: it opened with an hour long 30th anniversary ceremony. They had a 10-bell salute for Lou Thesz and brought out a bunch of legendary NJPW names from the 70s and 80s. Then they did an angle where Antonio Inoki came out to give a speech, but he was attacked by Tiger Jeet Singh. But then Chyna made the save, attacking Singh, running him out of the ring, and challenging him to a match. Inoki's ex-wife, famous Japanese actress Mitsuko Baisho then made an appearance, getting a huge pop, and she and Inoki did his famous catch phrase to kick off the show. Minoru Suzuki of Pancrase (who started with NJPW as a pro wrestler) was also there. Jushin Ligher and Minoru Tanaka won the IWGP Jr. tag titles and then Liger challenged several NOAH wrestlers who were at ringside (most notably KENTA) and they all jumped in the ring and it ended with a staredown. The Steiner Brothers reunited to face Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kensuke Sasaki, with Chyna as the special referee. Tanahashi was working hurt, but he still worked. They did a spot where Tanahashi ran into Chyna and he went down off the bump instead of her and Dave seems annoyed by this since Tanahashi is a guy they really need to be pushing who can be a huge star for this company. Dave doesn't like him selling bumps for Chyna. Anyway, decent match but the Steiners basically steamrolled them and Tanahashi was pinned by Scott Steiner. Chyna then challenged several All Japan Women at ringside as well as Scott Steiner, Tanahashi, Sasaki, and even IWGP champion Yuji Nagata, saying she wanted a title match. Dave thinks this company has lost its damn mind. Speaking of Nagata, he retained his title in the next match. And then, of course, the main event. Usually during interpromotional matches, the crowd is always super pro-NJPW but this time, they went insane for Misawa and it was clear there were a ton of NOAH fans in the building. Chono did some Inoki moves and Misawa did some Great Baba moves, to kinda have a spiritual "Baba vs. Inoki" tribute in the match I guess. Ended in a draw and by the time it was over, no matter how big the dream match was, the crowd was burned out and weren't as hype for the match as you might expect once the entrances were done.
WATCH: Misawa vs. Chono highlights
  • Goldberg has received a full buy-out of his WCW contract from Time Warner and as of this week, he is now an unsigned free agent. Goldberg did not request the buy-out, the decision was made by the Time Warner side after the most unprofitable quarter in their history. The company was looking to cut expenses, even at a loss, just so the books can look better in future quarters. Goldberg reportedly received almost all of his remaining salary (more than 90% of the nearly $3 million he was still owed) in order to get him off their books. When Goldberg realized he's going to be a free agent a year earlier than expected, talks with WWE started up. But as usual, they went nowhere. WWE (I feel like I'm having to get used to typing that all over again. Really does feel like 2002 again) has interest in him, especially given the way ratings continue to plummet lately. But Goldberg has always wanted more than WWE is willing to pay. Plus, they're feeling burned right now after signing Hall and Nash to big money, long-term contracts for part-time work, only to have Nash get injured and Hall likely to get himself fired at any moment (that moment is coming sooner than you think), and neither of them really getting over in any meaningful way. Even Hogan, who is also making big money for a reduced schedule, was hot for a minute and boosted ratings and buyrates. But after only a few months, that train already seems to be out of steam and TV ratings are back to floundering with Hogan as champion leading the shows. So WWE is kinda gun-shy on opening the checkbook and paying out the ass for these big stars, futilely hoping that one of them is the quick-fix that can stop the bleeding.
  • There's also the question of how Goldberg would fit within the WWE locker room. He hasn't been shy about his dislike for Triple H, dating back to WCW when Triple H trashed Goldberg in a radio interview and saying that even if Goldberg was available, they wouldn't want him (which, at the time, when WCW was still alive and Goldberg was the biggest star in the company, is just about the dumbest thing he could have said. In 1998, WWF would have gladly traded 10 Triple H's for Goldberg). Anyway, Goldberg took the comment personally and even confronted Triple H face-to-face at the Toy Fair convention in New York a couple of years ago, in a bit of an ugly scene where Goldberg was yelling at him and Triple H and Stephanie kept their heads down and said nothing. Goldberg also has a lot of dislike for Scott Hall, which is another of Triple H's good friends, so ya know. The latest on Goldberg is that he's considering working some in Japan but he's just fielding offers right now. Word is he's interested in working with PRIDE as well as NJPW. Of course, if he's looking to maximize his money potential, WWE is still the place to go if you want to make big bucks. If promoted right, matches against Rock, Austin, Triple H, and others could do huge buyrates. And if they keep Goldberg and Austin apart for a year and build to a match with them at Wrestlemania, well, needless to say, that show would set records. Dave talks about how Goldberg got nuclear hot in 1998 and even in 1999, he was the biggest drawing wrestler in the business. But by 2000, the company was dying, Goldberg was injured, and "Jesus Chris with an Etch-a-Sketch" couldn't have drawn in WCW. Dave again does the math and talks about how WWE should have brought Goldberg in for the Invasion angle. Yes, it would have cost them a lot of money and upset the salary structure, but he would have more than made up for it with the kind of buyrates he could have drawn with those dream matches and the Invasion angle might have had a chance. But alas.
  • And of course, who's to say how WWE would use Goldberg? They already have Brock Lesnar and they're currently giving him the unstoppable monster push. Lesnar is bigger, younger, and a more legitimate athlete (for whatever that's worth). And WWE probably isn't going to give Goldberg an endless string of jobbers to beat. In WWE, he's going to be expected to work longer matches, sell for people, etc. They won't book him the way WCW did so who knows how he'd get over in WWE? If they wanted to build to an Austin/Goldberg match, it would make sense that Goldberg first has to plow through guys like Triple H, Undertaker, etc. And politically, that just ain't gonna happen. Dave doubts NJPW can afford him for anything more than one or two big shows. As for PRIDE, he could probably make a lot of money there, but the problem is.....PRIDE is a shoot. They haven't had "worked" matches in a couple of years and doing so now would kill their credibility. Which means Goldberg would have to go into a legit shoot and one embarrassing loss there would severely hurt his future earning potential. In the end, Dave thinks it's inevitable that Goldberg will end up in WWE, but probably not any time soon. But he's certain it will eventually happen. There's too much money on the line for both sides and WWE's ratings woes are making them desperate, so it'll happen some day (yup, less than a year from this).
  • And the moment is here! For those of you who had "under 3 months" in the "How long will Scott Hall last?" pool, come collect your prize. Scott Hall was released by the WWE this week due to misbehavior on the European tour. Firstly, he went on a drunken binge during the entire tour and was even worse on the plane ride home (much more on that in a bit). Dave says this was inevitable. WCW fired him. Even ECW stopped using him when he got arrested at one point. And even though he was seemingly behaving during his Japan tours, even NJPW cut ties with him shortly before he went back to WWE because they were fed up with some of his antics. And now WWE has fired him. Dave talks about how Hall made a drunken spectacle of himself in the locker room on his very first day back in WWE, before the NWO even debuted on TV, then he showed up in Toronto for Wrestlemania in no condition to perform (later came out that he was hungover from the night before), which caused Austin to insist on ending their feud at WM (which was the plan, but Dave says Austin has continued working with Hall afterwards simply because they don't really seem to have any other credible opponents for him). Hall's match with Bradshaw at Backlash was an embarrassment and the night before that show, agents had to help him back to his hotel. Just endless incidents like this. In Europe, Hall was such a blatant drunken mess that even the other wrestlers were calling for him to be fired. Hall was 45 minutes late for the bus they all took to London and then passed out in the locker room during the show. On the plane ride back, he was starting fights with people and eventually passed out and it got to the point that people were worried about his health. When they got back to the U.S. for Raw, they literally had to wake him up from a drunken stupor backstage to send him to the ring to do his segment (and yes, he wrestled). After the show, they fired him. No one came to his defense, and even Hall's closest friends are now admitting that he simply can't handle the pressures of being on the road and being released is the best thing for him right now. Dave talks about how a lot of wrestlers have been fired in the last couple of years for drug and alcohol issues and that's all well and good, but the big problem is why hire them in the first place? Scott Hall's issues were not a secret. It wasn't like he cleaned himself up before he came to WWE. He was getting in trouble and collecting arrests like Pokemon all the way up until the day they brought him back. Anyway, Hall had a 2-year deal, believed to be worth $600,000-per-year downside for only 10 dates per month. So a really sweet deal, but it's gone now.
  • Hey, speaking of that European tour, turns out there was a bit of trouble on the flight back to the U.S. Perhaps you've heard of it. Most of the trouble wasn't even due to Scott Hall. Turns out Vince McMahon didn't make the trip and lots of people decided that was a good reason to cut loose and have fun. Plus, since everyone has seen Hall get away with being drunk 24/7 for the last few months, they figured nobody would get in trouble. So....folks got DRUNK. Among the various incidents on this flight: Goldust got on the speaker system and began drunkenly serenading his ex-wife Terri with love songs. Terri was extremely uncomfortable and begged him to stop and then Jim Ross had to go sit him down. Ric Flair also "started to get wild" but Jim Ross calmed him down as well (Dave doesn't seem to know just yet exactly what Flair "getting wild" entailed, but if you don't know, it involved getting totally naked except for his robe and started helicoptering his dick at flight attendants. And it gets worse if you feel like researching it. The flight attendants later filed a lawsuit against Flair and accused him of sexual assault). Curt Hennig was spraying people with shaving cream and he kept trying to get Brock Lesnar to fight him. Lesnar, being a newcomer, didn't know how to handle it and didn't want to get in trouble, but he ain't gonna let Hennig talk shit to him either. So anyway, Lesnar got up and basically annihilated Hennig, repeatedly taking him to the ground and embarrassing him because, well, of course he did. It's Brock Lesnar. At one point, Lesnar slammed Hennig up against the side of the plane, right into the emergency exit door, which freaked everybody out for obvious reasons. Michael Hayes got into a scuffle with Bradshaw and then tried to pick a fight with Hall (although everyone on the plane said Hall had it coming). Anyway, Hayes was apparently obnoxious as hell and annoyed everyone. But then he made the mistake of falling asleep and someone (believed to be X-Pac) cut his hair off. When Hayes woke up, he was furious and tried to fight several people. The next day at the Raw tapings, his entire mullet was in a plastic bag, pinned to the wall of the locker room for everyone to see. Gerald Brisco, Arn Anderson, and Hayes all caught a ton of heat from Vince afterward since they were the people who were supposed to be in charge. Anderson and Hayes especially, since their jobs are to keep the boys under control, but they were apparently having just as much fun as everyone else. Everyone's waiting to see how Vince is going to handle this situation. As noted, Hall was already fired and Hayes got an earful from Vince, Stephanie, and JR at Raw the next day, but there will likely be more fallout. Undertaker was also said to be furious over how out of hand everything got (I'm sure we haven't heard the last of this).
  • Anyway, while they were in Europe, WWE presented its latest UK PPV, Insurexxtion. As usual with the UK PPVs, this was little more than a glorified house show. They announced the show as sold out, but there were empty seats everywhere. RVD vs. Eddie Guerrero for the IC title was the show-stealer according to every report Dave heard, and was said to be far better than their Backlash match. Brock Lesnar teamed with Shawn Stasiak (lol wut) and lost to the Hardyz. Brock beat up everybody after the match. Triple H beat Undertaker in the main event and Dave doesn't know why since Undertaker is the one challenging Hogan for the title at the next PPV. The top rope broke during the match when they did an Irish whip into the corner and when the rope snapped, a metal piece broke off from the corner and flew into the crowd and barely missed hitting a small child in the face.
  • Smackdown on 5/2 drew the all-time lowest rating in the history of the show. Dave says that's the scariest thing to happen to WWF in the past 5 years. It was also the 3rd lowest rating for any Smackdown or Raw dating back to 1998. The rating was a full 18% drop from the week before, which was already scary. The rating was even lower than previous holiday episodes. So what was the problem? Well, it was headlined by Hogan defending the WWF title against Chris Jericho (as it turns out, the final time the "WWF" title was ever defended). Dave says the title has been meaningless for years now and Hogan's steam is running out. And Jericho hasn't recovered from spending the first part of the year being emasculated and playing second fiddle to Stephanie McMahon in the Wrestlemania feud. Add all that together and you've got a recipe for a shit ratings night. Among other things. Dave isn't blaming this all on Hogan and Jericho by any means, there's a lot of problems with the company as of late, from bad storylines to failing to make new stars, and it's all starting to come home to roost.
  • Keiji Muto wrestled a match in AJPW under his alternate gimmick of Kokushi Muso. Turns out "Great Muta" isn't his only other persona. The Kokushi Muso gimmick is basically like Hakushi in WWF, where he's covered his entire body in Japanese writing. He originally debuted the gimmick in Michinoku Pro last year, when teaming with....Hakushi (Jinsei Shinzaki, who occasionally brought back the old Hakushi gimmick in Japan). Anyway, same thing here. He teamed with Hakushi for this match, while using that gimmick (Muto would use that gimmick a handful of times throughout the years, always when teaming with Hakushi. It's like that was only his gimmick for that team. The last time he used it was in 2009, also in a tag match with Hakushi).
  • Former NOAH Jr. champion Naomichi Marufuji underwent knee surgery this week and should be out around 6 months (ends up being 9 months).
  • NJPW is doing an angle (according to Dave) similar to the Vince/Flair angle last year where Antonio Inoki and Masahiro Chono are battling over control of the company. Although it's more realistic. Inoki is in the press talking about how many of NJPW's shows aren't doing well and is pushing for them to use Naoya Ogawa more, while Chono doesn't want to. Inoki is also saying Chono needs to retire from wrestling and focus his energies on managing the day-to-day business of the promotion full-time. Dave says this is an angle, but it doesn't sound like much of one to me, and I think later years have kinda proven there was a lot of blurring between fiction and reality here, because there was a ton of behind the scenes turmoil in NJPW during this period.
  • Will Smith appeared alongside Antonio Inoki at the Japanese movie premiere for the film "Ali" based on Muhammad Ali's life. Crowd went absolutely insane for Inoki (I've tried like hell and can't even find a picture of them together. But then again, I can't find a single pic from the premiere at all).
  • When reviewing the recent Dos Caras Jr. shoot fight in Japan, Dave talks about the guy's potential as a wrestler. He has a strong amateur background, legit shoot skills, and a famous name. Dave thinks, if he's even halfway a decent worker, he can almost be a guaranteed star in Mexico (based on his name alone) and probably Japan too, if he decides to pursue that career (indeed he did, and indeed, he was fairly decent at it. Of course, he later became Alberto Del Rio, accused rapist and pretty much confirmed all-around piece of shit).
  • Former long-time WCW referee Randy Anderson passed away this week after a long battle with testicular cancer. Back when WCW was still around and he first got diagnosed, they did an angle out of it where Eric Bischoff fired him and then laughed at his wife and kids when they begged him to give Anderson his back. Of course, he was later re-hired when Flair became on-screen commissioner and continued to referee until 1999 when the cancer forced him to retire.
  • Random news and notes: Bobby Heenan is said to be in good spirits and is especially excited because WWE recently contacted him about doing a WWE Magazine feature on him. Verne Gagne's wife Mary passed away from cancer this week. Goldberg will be appearing on this week's Wrestling Observer Live show to be interviewed. Mil Mascaras is releasing an autobiography (in Spanish of course) and man, I'd love to find an English translation of that because I bet it'd be interesting. Chyna appeared on "Sabrina The Teenage Witch" this past week.
WATCH: Chyna on Sabrina The Teenage Witch
  • Bruno Sammartino turned down an invitation to attend the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame ceremony in New York (yes, that HOF existed and still does, in a different city now). Bruno did an interview with the local paper and said "Wrestling is how I made my living and supported my family, but it's over. I don't want anything to do with it anymore." Bruno managed to turn the discussion to the WWE, despite them not having any affiliation with this HOF and grumbled about how Vince McMahon blocked him from being inducted into the Madison Square Garden Hall of Fame. However, the new MSG owners have apparently promised Bruno he'll be inducted this year, since he sold the place out 200 times (Dave jumps in here to correct it and says the real number of sellouts is closer to 45. Bruno only main evented the Garden 127 times and by no means were they all sell-outs. But it's one of those myths that has been perpetuated for so long that Dave begrudgingly recognizes that people are always going to believe the 200 number is true, but it's not even close. He compares it to the claim that Andre The Giant was 7'4, which also wasn't true but people repeated the lie so often that it became accepted as fact).
  • Afa Anoa'i Jr., the son of the legendary Wild Samoan, is a star football player at his high school and is being recruited for Penn State. He also sometimes wrestles on his father's indie shows (that would be Manu, who was very briefly part of Legacy with Orton, Dibiase Jr., and Cody).
  • Former WCW announcer Scott Hudson will be doing commentary for Jerry Jarrett's new promotion, and Bob Ryder is said to be in a major front office position.
  • Jarrett has put out a press release saying that his new promotion has had talks with Randy Savage and Ultimate Warrior. Word is Warrior wanted a 15% ownership stake in the new company, which pretty much ended those talks right there. They're also apparently interested in Scott Hall now too, with the idea that since they're only doing 1 show per week, he won't be a screw-up here. Dave is skeptical. Anyway, currently Road Dogg and Brian Christopher expected to be some of the company's top stars and Dave's not optimistic.
  • XWF wrestlers were told last week that a television deal should hopefully be finalized this week. But Dave has been told no chance it's happening that soon. The rumors are that the deal is either with the FX or Fox Kids networks. Ted Turner had inquired about buying this promotion a few months ago, but when he learned how much it would cost to get them off the ground and make them competitive, he lost interest (TV deal never materializes, company is already dead, etc. etc.).
  • The Scorpion King slipped to 2nd place this week, falling to the new Spider Man movie which did a record breaking $114 million opening weekend. Randy Savage has a small role in that movie.
  • Speaking of, The Rock worked his first match in about a month at a Fort Lauderdale house show, teaming with Hogan to beat Jericho and Angle. After the match, Hogan tried to get Rock to pose with him, but Rock wouldn't do it. Rock thanked the fans for the success of Scorpion King and said it would likely be his last match for awhile. There was a ton of local media there, but Rock didn't talk to any of them. Basically, the house show was in his neck of the woods and he simply decided to show up and work it just so he could see his friends and hang out with the locker room, he had no interest in doing interviews. He was just there because he wanted to be. Backstage, Rock was telling people that Hollywood higher-ups have told him he has to leave the wrestling business if he wants to be taken seriously as an actor. Those in the company feel it's a certainty that Rock really is leaving and he's likely going to break out of wrestling into Hollywood and actually become a rare success story (yeah, you could say that).
  • Look how long this is already. Imagine if I had covered that Lou Thesz obituary in full. JUST IMAGINE!
  • Notes from Raw: Dave compares it to an episode of Thunder, with the crowd half-dead for everything. Also, the roster was exhausted after just returning from the Europe trip (and the plane ride shenanigans) and that was apparent too. Brock Lesnar won his match via pinfall instead of the usual ref stoppage and Dave says that word is Triple H got in Vince's ear and convinced him to end the ref stoppage gimmick for Brock. Sure, why not? Hogan was supposed to ride off on Undertaker's bike at one point, but then the motorcycle wouldn't start. It was one of those awkward live-TV moments where time stood still and nobody knew what to do. Flair finally turned heel on Austin, to a shocking lack of heat from the crowd. Nash returned, etc. Dave recaps the rest of this show and it sounds like a lot of bad WCW stuff, coincidentally enough with a lot of the same people.
WATCH: Hogan can't start the motorcycle
  • The man who played the effeminate gay guy applying to be Vince McMahon's secretary on Smackdown a few weeks ago was new creative team member David Lagana. He recently joined the company and has written for several other TV shows, including "Friends" and has a strong knowledge of the industry (Dave says if you've been reading the Observer closely for the last few years, you're probably familiar with him, he's written in to Dave a lot over the years).
  • Dave goes on a brief rant about how to use older stars. In the past, everyone, even Vince McMahon, talked about how you should use guys like Hogan and Flair in small doses and how WCW's reliance on older stars like that is what made them less special. Dave talks about back in the day in Memphis, Jackie Fargo would come back once or twice a year and he was always the biggest star in the company when he did. Because he was used sparingly. But WWE has pretty much built its company around Hogan and Flair (and to a lesser extent, Vince and Undertaker) over the last few months and they've been totally overexposed because of it. Just 6 weeks ago, Hulk Hogan was getting some of the largest crowd reactions in the history of the business. Now, he and Undertaker are practically hearing crickets during their on-screen interactions.
  • Lita underwent neck surgery this week and isn't allowed to do anything physical for 9 months. Scotty 2 Hotty also had neck surgery and is expected to be out for about a year. Both are expected to make full recoveries though.
  • Jesse Ventura admitted this week that he received WWF stock options as partial payment for some work he did with them. Dave doesn't know if it's related to the Summerslam appearance a few years ago or the XFL announcing gig. Ventura says he has 10 years to exercise those stock options but wouldn't give any further details.
  • Scott Steiner told WWA he will work their next UK tour but after that, he's going to WWE. Dave is skeptical. Reports are that Steiner was in horrible pain after every match he worked on the last WWA tour and there's significant doubt that his body will hold up to a WWE schedule.
  • The new Steve Austin "What!" DVD has a lot of WCW footage, including the full Austin vs. Steamboat match from WCW Bash at the Beach 94. Dave doesn't say so, but I believe this is the first time WWE used any of the WCW library for commercial release after they purchased it the year before.
  • Someone writes in and asks Dave to stop spending so much time writing about steroid use in wrestling and instead says he should write a story about racism in the business. This person writes about the allegations from years back of Dusty Rhodes using the N-work with impunity, or the time DX parodied the Nation by wearing blackface. The WCW discrimination lawsuit, the embarrassing angles they've done with Mark Henry such as Sexual Chocolate, etc. This guy is asking why is it white wrestlers outnumber black wrestlers by 35-to-1 ratio in the U.S. (70-to-1 in Mexico and 80-to-1 in Japan). He wants to know why Dave isn't writing about that stuff. Dave responds and agrees that the blackface DX promo was racist, and it was racist when Buff Bagwell did it in WCW and when Roddy Piper did it in the 80s. Dave says wrestling, especially from the 70s through the 90s, had a horrible history of exploiting stereotypes and/or saying and doing racist things. You can argue it's gotten better, but no doubt the problem still exists. Dave lists some examples but he also pushes back on some others. For example, he's heard people complain that Booker T isn't being used properly due to his race and Dave disagrees. It's true that Booker T probably deserves a bigger push, but you can make the same case for guys like RVD and Jericho and Raven or DDP (when he first debuted, at least) and that didn't happen either, so Dave doesn't necessarily think Booker's lack of top-star push can be blamed on his race (we're less than a year away from Triple H definitively proving otherwise).
  • There's also 2 letters about the Rock/Hogan match at Wrestlemania and they couldn't be more different. One guy writes in and he can't understand why people are praising that match because if you put aside the hot crowd, it was awful, everyone's moves looked bad, it was embarrassing, etc. and says Hogan should have retired afterward. Then someone else writes in and says he was there live and, taken as a whole, Rock vs. Hogan was the greatest match he's ever seen. Basically the same "love it or hate it" opinion people have about that match to this day. Also, someone else writes in about the recent Low-Ki vs. American Dragon match from an ROH show and puts it up there among some of the greatest matches of all time (listing off several classic WWF matches like Shawn/Razor and Owen/Bret at WM10 for example). So there ya go.
NEXT WEDNESDAY: more fallout from the Plane Ride from Hell, more on the beginning of Jarrett's new NWA-TNA promotion, more on the NJPW Tokyo Dome show, and more...
submitted by daprice82 to SquaredCircle [link] [comments]

1 Year Post Partum

Your history and goals
Currently 34 year old mother of a three year old (born March 2017) and one year old (born May 2019). I mainly wanted to share my experience because it can be hard to find stories that are relatable to a normal woman who is working 40-50 hours a week, is breastfeeding/pumping and raising two kids.
I was a team sport athlete throughout high school and college. My first foray into lifting was as a freshman in college. I lifted consistently for four years, then was off and on until my first pregnancy when I stopped lifting because I felt I didn't have a good enough base. I switched to yoga and walking as my primary fitness during my first pregnancy. Had a tough delivery (significant tear) and recovery. I went to pelvic floor PT twice a week for a few months to help rehab my pelvic floor and "fix" my diastis recti. I went up 35 lbs my first pregnancy and lost all but 5lbs by my 6 week follow up. I fluctuated between 5 and 10lbs from my pre pregnancy weight until I weaned my daughter at about 14 months. I was able to drop those last pounds by the time I was 16 months postpartum, just in time to get pregnant with baby #2. For pregnancy #2, yoga and walking were again my main forms of exercise. I also gained about 35 lbs, but delivery was much easier. No tearing and no diastis recti. However, I only dropped about 15 lbs by my 6 week follow up appointment. When it was time to go back to work 12 weeks postpartum, I was still 20 lbs up from my pre pregnancy weight. I knew that if I didn't start working toward losing the weight soon, I would be at risk of holding on to it for a while. I decided that I would start calorie counting and tracking in the nSuns TDEE calculator. I also knew that I was planning on breastfeeding my son until at last a year and that was the most important thing. I was very clear with myself that if my milk supply started to suffer, I would need to adjust my approach. My goals were to get back to pre pregnancy weight by my son's 1st birthday (last half of May 2020). I wanted to do this slowly, safely and sustainably.
Your before and after stats
Height 5'8"
Weight 180lbs to 160lbs
Age 33 when I began, now 34
Started: 8/20/2019 Ended: 5/20/2020
Before/during/after photos (NSFW and please excuse the dirty mirror!): https://imgur.com/a/KJCzz99
Diet
CICO with a focus on veggies, fiber and protein and I was off dairy until my son was about 9 months old because of an intolerance on his part. I was VERY consistent the first 6 weeks and made sure to weight what I could and log everything as well as track my weight. This was my first time counting calories, so I knew I had to be very strict with myself to get into the habit. My goal was to lose .5lbs a week. I figured that would keep my milk supply intact and would be a small enough deficit that I'd be able to stick to it for the long haul. I saw great progress those first 6 weeks and dropped about 5lbs. If I felt like I needed a break from calorie counting, I would take a break over a weekend. I would still eat proper portions, but the not logging and weighing for a few days was needed to keep me doing it consistently. My TDEE was around 3300 and I would aim for 2800-2900 during the week so I had a little more leeway on Saturday and Sunday. Meal prep was really important. I packed two meals and a snack to eat at work everyday. If I let myself get too hungry, all bets were off and I would grab carby/sugary snacks (breastfeeding hunger is a whole different level).
Routine
I started with some VERY gentle post partum yoga from Sarah Beth Yoga (she has a ton of free videos on YouTube, but I paid for her app to have full access to all of her classes) and short, SLOW walks around the neighborhood around 6 weeks post partum. Around 8 weeks post partum I began increasing my mileage and incorporating some of the rehab drills I learned from pelvic floor PT. These include the following:
Clam Shells- 3 set of 8-12 reps per side Bird Dogs- 3 sets of 8-12 reps per side Stomach Vacuums- 3 sets of 10 to learn to re-engage the core Side planks modified with knee down- 2 sets of 15 seconds per side Sarah Beth also put out a Deep Core yoga video at this point that was 45 minutes and I did that at least once a week.
After about 4 weeks of following this modified program (about when I went back to work), I felt ready to go back to normal yoga. I would pick a video to follow from Sarah Beth's app and committed to yoga at least 4 days a week. I knew it wasn't a calorie burner, but it was more about getting into the habit of taking the time for myself. I was pumping during my breaks at work, so those 20-30 minutes 4 times a week were some of the only "me" time I got. It also re-connected me with my body and slowly and gently rebuilt my strength. I went from struggling to hold warrior poses (outstretched arms), to being able to do an unmodified chatarunga.
I did yoga for another 6 weeks until I felt ready to start back with low impact, kettle bell based HIIT workouts. I love Jen Sinklers "Lift Weight's Faster" email subscription. I got workouts emailed to me 3 times a week and I would do the workout that was sent. I started very lightly and only 10 minute or less workouts and really listened to my body about what I was ready for. If something felt off, I modified or tried a lighter KB. I didn't always get 3 workouts in, but I did my best.
Around February 2020 I was itching to try something new. I decided I would try running again (I had almost finished the C25K program before getting pregnant with my son). So, I picked a 5k beginners program that had me run 3x a week and hit the road. My friend suggested Bad Ass Lady Gang's app and program and I enjoyed it for the most part. I think most 5k programs are very similar. I decided to switch my KB HIIT workouts to twice a week for 20 minutes, yoga to 4xs a week (any length). And I'm currently still following this plan, but am now training for a 10k.
Just a note, the heaviest KB I have is 30 lbs, but I do have two 20lbs kbs
Measurable progress or achievements
Inches: Waist: 32.5 29.5 Neck: 14.25 13.25 Hip: 40.5 36.75
5k- I went from not being able to run one without walking, to being able to run one in 32 minutes during a training run.
Functional Fitness- I can carry my 35lbs 3 year old in various positions (on my back, on my shoulders, in my arms) for over a mile.
Going forward
I have learned so much about myself in this process. I learned I'm capable of hard things, that things worth doing are worth it even if it you can't complete it 100% and that consistency is WAY more important than perfection. I've thought a lot about what I want my life to look like from here on out. I was initially bummed I hadn't lost 5 more lbs to get to 155. I have really maintained my weight the past two months. But then I looked at all I accomplished this year and losing 5 more lbs really wouldn't have made any difference. I feel strong, capable and good. The way I'm living my life right now is sustainable.
My goals moving forward
One last thing; HUGE shout out to my husband. He is a very involved father and never batted an eye when I said I needed time to myself. He encouraged setting aside time each day for me to get my workouts in and took on cooking dinner. I would not have been able to do most of this if it weren't for him.
If you've read this far, thank you! I also want to say that I'm here if anyone pregnant/postpartum/breastfeeding mommas have any questions.
submitted by ALH289 to xxfitness [link] [comments]

CINEPLEX INC (TSX: $CGX ) STOCK OPPORTUNITY

CINEPLEX INC (TSX: $CGX ) STOCK OPPORTUNITY

Cineplex (TSX: $CGX)
CINEPLEX INC (TSX: $CGX ) STOCK OPPORTUNITY
Another great medium risk but high potential return stock. The stock has taken a beating because of Covid19 & movie theater closures.
Investors think Cineworld's C$34/share buyout offer will be cancelled, yet Reuter's reported, "Cineworld Says No Change In Co's Position On Cineplex Takeover Since March" on April 7. That's double your money at C$11.69 (at post) if it goes through.
Investors also think Cineplex will cancel their monthly $0.15 per share dividend in their next ER that they delayed until June 29, 2020.
Investors are discounting Cineplex's possible rise of online movie rentals to offset their onsite losses.
The odds don't get better than this but do your Due Diligence before investing.
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The Motley Fool described Cineplex as having a "virtual monopoly" over the cinema market in Canada.
#StockPick $CGX -- #ShakingTheTree with #Shorts hitting all the #Bulls #StopLoss down. Easy double or triple opportunity here. Do your #DueDiligence. Good luck to all.
#StockPick #CGX $CGX $CGX.TO
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MY DUE DILIGENCE:

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52 Week Range:
Low: C$6.30 (Coronavirus Crash)
High: C$34.39 (Buyout Offer)
CGX Stock Performance
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Cineplex Inc., formerly known as Cineplex Galaxy Income Fund and Galaxy Entertainment Inc. is a Canadian entertainment company headquartered in Toronto, Ontario. Through its operating subsidiary Cineplex Entertainment LP, Cineplex operates 165 theatres across Canada. The company operates theatres under numerous brands, including Cineplex Cinemas, Cineplex Odeon, SilverCity, Galaxy Cinemas, Cinema City, Famous Players, Scotiabank Theatres and Cineplex VIP Cinemas.
Divisions:
  • Cineplex Odeon
  • Galaxy
  • Famous Players
  • SilverCity
  • Colossus
  • Coliseum
  • Cinema City
  • Scotiabank Theatre
  • Cineplex Cinemas
  • Cineplex VIP Cinemas
Subsidiaries:
  • Cineplex Entertainment LP
  • Player One Amusement Group Inc.
  • Famous Players LP
  • Galaxy Entertainment Inc.
  • Cineplex Media
  • Cineplex Digital Media Inc.
  • Canadian Digital Cinema Partnership (78.2%)
  • Topgolf-Cineplex Canada LP (75%)
  • SCENE LP (50%)
  • Cineplex Entertainment Corporation
  • World Gaming Network Inc. (80%)
  • Alliance Cinemas
2019-present: Proposed acquisition by Cineworld
On December 16, 2019, Cineplex announced a definitive agreement to be acquired by the British cinema operator Cineworld Group, the second-largest film exhibitor worldwide, pending shareholder and regulatory approval. Cineworld would be paying $34 per-share—a 42% premium over Cineplex's share price prior to the announcement, valuing the company at CDN$2.8 billion. Cineworld planned to pay US$1.65 billion, and to fund the remainder by taking on debt.
The sale was approved by Cineplex shareholders in February 2020. Activist shareholder Bluebell Capital Partners called for the Canadian government to block the sale, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. which in turn led to the temporary closure(s) of all Cineplex movie theatres across Canada since March 16, 2020, and up until further notice.
https://www.cineplex.com
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cineplex_Entertainment
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Cineplex Store
Browse from over 8500 HD movies including the latest releases and earn SCENE points every time you rent or buy. Watch online or look for the Cineplex Store.
https://store.cineplex.com
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ESPORTS: WorldGaming Network (WGN), formerly Virgin Gaming (now owned by Cineplex), is an online video gaming platform that hosts head to head matches, tournaments and ladders for consoles and PC gamers. WorldGaming has had over 3 million gamers register for its platform worldwide which makes it one of the most robust and dynamic global eSports communities. There have been over 6.7 million matches played over 20,000 tournaments held on WorldGaming.com since 2010.
Newzoo: Global esports will top $1 billion in 2020, with China as the top market (Feb 25, 2020):
Global esports revenues will surpass $1 billion in 2020 for the first time — without counting broadcasting platform revenues, according to market researcher Newzoo.
Globally, the total esports audience will grow to 495.0 million people in 2020, Newzoo said. Esports Enthusiasts (people who watch more than once a month) make up 222.9 million of this number.
In 2020, $822.4 million in revenues—or three-quarters of the total market—will come from media rights and sponsorship.
“As the esports market matures, new monetization methods will be implemented and improved upon,” said Remer Rietkerk, head of esports at Newzoo, in the report. “Likewise, the number of local events, leagues, and media rights deals will increase; therefore, we anticipate the average revenue per fan to grow to $5.27 by 2023.”
https://venturebeat.com/2020/02/25/newzoo-global-esports-will-top-1-billion-in-2020-with-china-as-the-top-market
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VIRTUAL REALITY
On September 13, 2018, Cineplex announced that it would acquire a stake in VRStudios—a Seattle-based provider of virtual reality installations, and utilize its equipment for as many as 40 VR centers across the country.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cineplex_Entertainment
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PLAYDIUM
Playdium is a family entertainment centre chain owned by Cineplex Entertainment through its subsidiary Player One Amusement Group. The flagship location in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada launched as Sega City @ Playdium near Square One Shopping Centre on September 7, 1996. The 11 acres (480,000 sq ft) centre cost CA$17 million to build and included an arcade, batting cages, go-karts and mini-golf. A partnership with Sega GameWorks, it featured many arcade games from that company such as Daytona USA, and eight-player racing setups for Indy 500 (as Virtua Indy) and Manx TT Super Bike. Indy 500 remains available today. In 1999, the centre was renamed to Playdium. The company opened up two more locations in Brampton and Whitby in late 2019.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Player_One_Amusement_Group#Playdium
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The Rec Room
The Rec Room is a Canadian chain of entertainment restaurants owned by Cineplex Entertainment. First opening in Edmonton in 2016, its locations feature entertainment and recreational attractions such as an arcade, driving simulators, recreational games, and virtual reality, as well as restaurants and bars, and an auditorium with a cinema-style screen, which can be used for concerts and other live events.
The Toronto location features The Void virtual reality attraction. In July 2018, Cineplex announced that it would become the exclusive Canadian franchisee of The Void and add additional locations (such as the Mississauga and West Edmonton Mall locations).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rec_Room
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SCENE (loyalty program)
SCENE is a Canadian loyalty program established in 2007 by Cineplex Entertainment and Scotiabank.
The main reward is a free movie ticket, starting at 1,250 points for a regular or 3D ticket. Over the years, the program has expanded to include a greater variety of rewards, including restaurants and sporting goods.
https://www.scene.ca
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FOOD & BEVERAGES
Cineplex has an Outtakes (French: Restoplex) restaurant in 94 theatres, some which replace previous restaurant partners (Burger King, KFC and New York Fries) and others which introduce restaurants at locations which did not previously feature one. VIP Cinemas and some Xscape locations feature a licensed lounge with more premium offerings compared to Outtakes. Poptopia is a flavoured popcorn restaurant offered in a full-service format at 22 locations. Other Cineplex theatres may feature Poptopia at the concession stand, but only in the caramel corn and/or kettle corn flavours.
Ice cream at Cineplex locations debuted with Baskin-Robbins and TCBY. Beginning in December 2007, Yogen Früz became the preferred partner. On January 1, 2014, Cineplex acquired a 50% stake in Yoyo's Yogurt Café. As of January 2017, 77 Cineplex theatres feature Yoyo's restaurants, while Yogen Fruz is still available in 23 Cineplex theatres while TCBY is available in 16 locations. Cineplex also manages Melt Sweet Creations, an in-house dessert bouqtiue brand targeted at women ages 19-35 debuted in December 2017 at Cineplex Cinemas Queensway and VIP. Melt is available at 13 locations.
Beverages are available in both cold and hot formats. Cold beverages include the Coca-Cola lineup, which replaced the Pepsi lineup used at locations formerly owned by Famous Players. 12 locations feature Coca-Cola Freestyle. Hot beverages include Starbucks as the incumbent provider with 105 locations, all which offer Pike Place Roast coffee (regular or decaf) and Tazo tea. Select locations also offer premium drinks such as caffè mocha or caramel macchiato. Tim Hortons is available as a full-service restaurant in five locations,[75] with Brossard being the only location to offer both Tim Hortons and Starbucks.
In most theatres, Cineplex offers sale of alcohol to 19+ guests in Ontario (18+ in Alberta) similar to the VIP theatres albeit from a selection of beer or cider beverages.
If Aurora Cannabis (ACB) & Cineplex (CGX) partnered up to offer CBD & THC infused Cannabis 2.0 edibles in movie theaters, especially the IMAX & 3D ones, it should do very well. Canadian Cannabis Industry stocks should also do well as I posted earlier Cannabis Stocks Opportunity.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cineplex_Entertainment
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RECENT NEWS:

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Cineworld to buy Canada's largest movie theatre chain in $2.8B deal (Dec 16, 2019):
Cineplex’s stock had been trading close to the Cineworld offer price of C$34 per share through early 2020, but has since plunged 40% following the virus outbreak.
Cineplex could lose a potential lifeline if its outstanding debt exceeds more than $725 million. As of December 31, 2019, the debt level was $625 million. The debt might balloon past the threshold with a further lockdown extension.
https://www.ctvnews.ca/business/cineworld-to-buy-canada-s-largest-movie-theatre-chain-in-2-8b-deal-1.4731547
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Cineplex shares fall after short seller raises concerns about Cineworld deal (March 5, 2020):
https://www.ctvnews.ca/business/cineplex-shares-fall-after-short-seller-raises-concerns-about-cineworld-deal-1.4840173
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Cineworld Dives After Cineplex Activist Urges Rejection of Deal (March 16, 2020):
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-16/cineworld-dives-as-cineplex-activist-urges-canada-to-block-deal
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Cineplex closes locations, provides Cineworld acquisition update (March 17, 2020):
https://mediaincanada.com/2020/03/17/cineplex-to-close-all-canadian-locations
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Cineplex Inc. cuts salaries of full-time employees after part-time layoffs (Mar 23, 2020):
P/T employees laid off in Canada & USA. F/T employees take reduced base salaries & senior executive team takes 80% reduction in pay.
https://www.cp24.com/news/cineplex-inc-cuts-salaries-of-full-time-employees-after-part-time-layoffs-1.4864434
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Cineworld halts dividend and says will 'monitor progress' of its buyout of Cineplex (April 7, 2020):
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/cineworld-halts-dividend-and-says-will-monitor-progress-of-its-buyout-of-cineplex-2020-04-07
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Staggered seating, nostalgic films: Cinemark offers a look at movie going post-coronavirus (Apr 15, 2020):
Cinemark, the third-largest movie theater chain in the U.S., hopes to reopen at least some of its doors to the public in July.
With no major movie release until mid-July, theaters could play “library” movies, which are movies that have already previously been released in cinemas, for several weeks.
If social distancing restrictions are still in place the company said it would either sell every other reserved seat in the theater or suspend reservations and just sell 50% of the tickets per theater.
“Even at peak periods of time in a normal environment, our occupancy levels range from 20% to 30% and we can operate profitably during those scenarios...” - CEO Mark Zoradi
He added that Cinemark has seen attendance as low as 10% and still was able to turn a profit.
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/15/cinemark-offers-a-look-at-movie-going-post-coronavirus.html
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North Vancouver's Park & Tilford Cineplex permanently closed (May 20, 2020)
The company closed all 165 theatres across Canada in March due to COVID-19, but the 1,382-seat Brookesbank Avenue location won’t be among those reopening, Cineplex has confirmed.
With Cineplex closing its Lower Lonsdale theatre in 2019, it leaves Park Royal as the only place to catch a big screen flick on the North Shore.
“We thank the community for their patronage over the years, and look forward to welcoming them at neighbouring Cineplex Cinemas Park Royal and VIP,” said Sarah Van Lange, executive director of communications. “I’ll note that our intent is to repurpose the Park & Tilford theatre space, which we’ll have more details on at a later date.”
https://www.vancouverisawesome.com/vancouver-news/park-tilford-cineplex-movie-theatre-permanently-closed-north-vancouver-bc-2365365
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OTHER NEWS & RUMORS:

Why Amazon’s Rumored Buyout of AMC Entertainment Makes Sense (May 12, 2020):
If Amazon can buy AMC, they can most certainly by CGX & dominate & control most of North America's movie theaters. Amazon would then control Hollywood! Why stop there, they should buy Cineworld too.
https://investorplace.com/2020/05/why-amazons-rumored-buyout-of-amc-entertainment-makes-sense
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AMC Entertainment Surges 56% on Report of Talks With Amazon (May 11, 2020):
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/amc-entertainment-surges-56-report-133822697.html
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Alert: Cineplex (TSX:CGX) Could Be Acquired by This Incredibly Unlikely Source (May 12, 2020):
Despite Cineworld maintaining its commitment to buy Cineplex, the market has a different opinion. Remember, Cineplex agreed to be acquired at $34 per share. As I type this, the stock trades at $14.44. There’s no way the spread would be that wide, unless investors were writing off the acquisition completely.
Fortunately for beleaguered Cineplex shareholders, a new suitor could very well come along — one virtually nobody sees coming.
Although I think there’s potential for a private equity group or some other deep-pocketed investor taking a run at Cineplex’s cheap assets, there’s a much more interesting suitor on the horizon.
That acquirer is Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN).
https://www.fool.ca/2020/05/12/alert-cineplex-tsxcgx-could-be-acquired-by-this-incredibly-unlikely-source
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AMC says it will no longer play Universal Studios films (Apr 28, 2020):
“AMC believes that with this proposed action to go to the home and theaters simultaneously, Universal is breaking the business model and dealings between our two companies,” AMC Chief Executive Officer Adam Aron said in a letter addressed to Universal Studios Chairman Donna Langley.
Universal added that the company looked forward to having “additional private conversations” with AMC but was “disappointed by this seemingly coordinated attempt ... to confuse our position and our actions.”
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/28/amc-says-it-will-no-longer-play-universal-studios-films.html
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Cineworld joins AMC in banning films from Universal Studios (April 29, 2020):
Cineworld, the world’s second largest cinema chain, has followed its rival AMC in banning Universal Studios films from its cinemas when they reopen, after the Hollywood film-maker released Trolls On Tour direct to streaming platforms.
“There is a certain system of windows which are a custom in the market and this sets the time difference between the theatrical market and other ancillary markets, among them streaming. Any movie that will not respect this window will not be shown in Cineworld group,” Mooky Greidinger, Cineworld’s chief executive, said on Wednesday.
https://www.ft.com/content/3cc70161-e157-4ff1-bfbd-a886dd6d9af5
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Odeon bans all Universal Pictures films as studio skips cinema releases (Apr 29, 2020):
https://www.theguardian.com/film/2020/ap29/odeon-bans-all-universal-pictures-films-as-studio-skips-cinema-releases
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AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc.
AMC Theatres (originally an abbreviation for American Multi-Cinema; often referred to simply as AMC and known in some countries as AMC Cinemas or AMC Multi-Cinemas) is an American movie theater chain headquartered in Leawood, Kansas, and is the largest movie theater chain in the world. Founded in 1920, AMC has the largest share of the U.S. theater market ahead of Cineworld and Cinemark Theatres.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AMC_Theatres
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Cineworld Group PLC
Cineworld is the world’s second largest cinema chain, with 9,518 screens across 790 sites in 11 countries: the UK, the US, Canada, Ireland, Poland, Romania, Israel, Hungary, Czechia, Bulgaria and Slovakia. The group’s primary brands are Regal (in the US), Cineworld and Picturehouse (in the UK & Ireland), Cinema City (throughout Europe) and Yes Planet (in Israel).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cineworld
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And Action! All the Movies We Can't Wait to See in Summer 2020 and Beyond (May 22, 2020):
Fingers crossed that it’ll be safe to step into a theater this summer. If they open, there will be plenty to watch. “Summer hits are the popcorn movies,” says film historian, author and podcast host Leonard Maltin. “They can be the biggest box-office hits of the whole year.”
Rest of 2020:
  • To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar - VIP (Jun 1)
  • Unhinged (Jul 1)
  • Tenet (Jul 17)
  • Mulan (Jul 24)
  • Summerland (Jul 31)
  • Random Acts Of Violence (Jul 31)
  • The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run (Aug 7)
  • Sound of Metal (Aug 14)
  • Wonder Woman 1984 (Aug 14)
  • Fatima (Aug 14)
  • The One And Only Ivan (Aug 14)
  • The New Mutants (Aug 20)
  • Bill & Ted Face the Music (Aug 21)
  • Antebellum (Aug 21)
  • Monster Hunter (Sep 4)
  • A Quiet Place Part II (Sep 4)
  • The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (Sep 11)
  • The King's Man (Sep 18)
  • Candyman (Sep 25)
  • Tom Clancy's Without Remorse (Oct 2)
  • BIOS (Oct 2)
  • Death On The Nile (Oct 9)
  • The Witches (Oct 9)
  • The French Dispatch (Oct 16)
  • Halloween Kills (Oct 16)
  • Snake Eyes (Oct 23)
  • Lord And Miller Connected (Oct 23)
  • Everybody's Talking About Jamie (Oct 23)
  • Come Play (Oct 30)
  • Black Widow (Nov 6)
  • Clifford The Big Red Dog (Nov 13)
  • Deep Water (Nov 13)
  • Godzilla Vs. Kong (Nov 20)
  • Soul (Nov 20)
  • Happiest Season (Nov 20)
  • James Bond ‘No Time To Die’ (Nov 25)
  • Free Guy (Dec 11)
  • Dune (Dec 18)
  • Untitled Coming To America Sequel (Dec 18)
  • West Side Story (Dec 18)
  • Top Gun: Maverick (Dec 23)
  • Untitled Tom & Jerry Film (Dec 23)
  • The Croods 2 (Dec 23)
  • News Of The World (Dec 25)
  • Escape Room 2 (Dec 30)
2021:
  • Mortal Kombat (Jan 15)
  • Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway (Jan 15)
  • 355 (Jan 15)
  • Chaos Walking: The Knife of Never Letting Go (Jan 22)
  • Rumble (Jan 29)
  • Cinderella (Feb 5)
  • Nobody (Feb 26)
  • Ghostbusters: Afterlife (Mar 5)
  • Raya And The Last Dragon (Mar 12)
  • Sony/Marvel Morbius (Mar 19)
  • The Boss Baby 2 (Mar 26)
  • Reminiscence (Apr 16)
  • Ron's Gone Wrong (Apr 23)
  • Shang Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings (May 7)
  • Spiral: From The Book Of Saw (May 21)
  • Cruella (May 28)
  • F9 Fast & Furious (Apr 2)
  • Bob's Burgers (Apr 9)
  • Infinite (May 28)
  • Space Jam 2 (Jul 16)
  • Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar (Jul 16)
  • In the Heights (Jun 18)
  • Minions: The Rise Of Gru (Jul 2)
  • All This Victory (Aug 7)
  • The Woman in the Window (TBD 2021)
  • Blithe Spirit (TBD 2021)
  • The Personal History of David Copperfield (TBD 2021)
  • Greyhound (TBD)
& MUCH, MUCH MORE MOVIES than listed coming to the big screens.
THE 65 MOST ANTICIPATED MOVIES OF 2020 (May 20, 2020):
https://editorial.rottentomatoes.com/article/most-anticipated-movies-of-2020
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CONCLUSION:
Nothing beats watching a great movie on the big screen in premium format:
  • Prime Seats
  • IMAX
  • UltraAVX
  • D-Box
  • VIP Cinemas
  • 4DX
I'm sick of the congested internet & buffering of online movies & services during Covid19. They need to upgrade the internet infrastructure to 5G & Fiber Optics before it can really grow in my opinion -- especially buffering 4K & 8K movies & future tech that will only require more bandwidth going forward.
Younger people are not afraid of Covid19 like the older crowd. When theaters open, they will rush in to see their favourite movies.
Betting that people won't want to go to movie theaters when they re-open, is like betting the same against live sporting events or music concerts.
No home movie theater can match a real movie theater, even the smaller discount ones, unless you're Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos etc.
With Cineplex's Canadian Monopoly & diversification into other entertainment arenas like eSports & Virtual Reality, as long as they don't go bankrupt & social distancing restrictions are loosened, the stock should increase 2 to 3 times by end of 2021 in my opinion -- especially if the Cineworld Buyout goes as planned or another company like Amazon buys them out for a strong presence & control in Canada.
If a Coronavirus Vaccine is discovered sooner than later, then this stock will rebound accordingly & rapidly -- especially if they don't cancel or even if they do, resume Dividend payments in the future. At current prices, Dividend yield is about 13% per year.
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Social distance cinema: drive-in theatres boom – in pictures (May 5, 2020):
We are all social creatures & want to go to movie theater as a social activity, to see & be seen; otherwise, why would Drive In Movie theaters boom during Covid19?
If no one goes out to be seen anymore, then all the Vanity Goods & Services will go under too & we will all dress in sweat pants & T-Shirt -- no need for designer suits & dresses working & staying at home. LOL ;p
https://www.theguardian.com/world/gallery/2020/may/05/social-distance-cinema-drive-in-theatres-boom-coronavirus-in-pictures
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Internet Bandwidth Requirements:
Online streaming remains the biggest source of 4K content, led by Netflix and Amazon’s growing selection of original series. But many consumer broadband connections aren’t fast enough to allow reliable 4K streaming.
Home Theater Movie Resolutions:
  • 4K (UHD): 3,840 x 2,160 pixels
  • 1080p (Full HD): 1,920 x 1,080 pixels
  • 720p (HD): 1,280 x 720 pixels
  • 480p (SD): 640 x 480 pixels
  • 8K: 7,680 x 4,320 pixels
For comparison purposes, 70mm film - still considered by many to be the gold standard - is roughly equivalent to a 12K resolution in digital terms, so digital's still got some catching up to do on that score.
submitted by extriniti to wallstreetbets [link] [comments]

Unlike most sports betting movies which show the dangers of betting recklessly, this movie is a light-hearted look at the world of horse race betting and really captures the feel of a big winning bet. Top 5 Movies About Sports Betting You Should Watch. Based on a true story of a former college football player who became successful sports tipster, Two for the Money is a the top of our list These movies give us a different angle on the sports betting world. You get a chance to see the dark side in Even Money, the good up and up side in Lay the Favorite, and the bookie side in Bookies. By watching all these movies you can get a pretty good idea of how the whole sports betting arena works. Sports betting is a popular passion for both sports and gambling fans alike. It has a following around the world, and online with websites like sbobet through e-sports betting. This hobby has even influenced the movies. Due to its popularity, it’s no wonder that popular culture has adopted sports betting as in influence for plot devices. Bet on Hollywood to Tell the Two for the Money Story: Based on True Events. Two for the Money (2005) was directed by D.J. Caruso and written by Dan Gilroy. The two stars of this film are Al Pacino who plays Walter Abrams, a seasoned sports betting tout and Matthew McConaughey who plays Brandon Lang, an ex-football star who is now a sports handicapper expert.

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