Young Justice S01 E07: Denial

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When I was watching “Young Justice” on a weekly basis as it aired new on Cartoon Network, this was the episode that made me sit up and really take notice of what was going on here, and not just because Doctor Fate was one of my absolute favorite characters (the original version at least).

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Young Justice S01 E06: Infiltrator

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Nobody likes being replaced, especially for a job you claim not to have wanted in the first placed. Well, that’s how Speedy’s feeling. After declining membership on The Team, and going solo from Green Arrow – Speedy has found new heroine Artemis is subbing for him as GA’s new sidekick and with Young Justice… and Artemis may be more than she seems…

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Young Justice S01 E05: Schooled

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Even though they’ve only met once, briefly, Superman apparently doesn’t know what to make of his clone, Superboy. This failure on the elder’s part to communicate has filled Superboy with quite a bit of rage, and it’s finally getting on everyone’s nerves.

The opening is both a lot of fun and sad at the same time. There’s an accident on the bridge between Gotham City and Metropolis (yes, non-believers, they really are right across the river from each other) bring Superboy and Superman together to save a busload of schoolchildren. The conversation is awkward, Superboy asks for help learning to use his powers, and Superman is thankful for an excuse to leave.

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Young Justice S01 E04: Drop-Zone

ayj1The Team gets their first official mission, a covert recon mission to the tiny island nation of Santa Prisca. If the name sounds familiar, it’s because that’s where the super-villain Bane hails from. And the cult of Kobra is trying to take it over.

This episode really didn’t do anything for me the first time I saw it. It didn’t seem to follow suite of the superhero show it had promised. Bane and Kobra seemed odd choices as villains, and they were definitely not favorites of mine. I always thought Kobra worked better as designed in his 1970s solo title as opposed to the megalomaniac cult leader super-villain he later became. And Bane, to me, was at the center of the whole Bat-Azrael thing, which in my opinion was more a marketing stunt than a storyline. I never warmed to him.

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Young Justice S01 E03: Welcome to Happy Harbor

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We open on Star City, and Speedy appears to be going it alone against metahuman street thug Brick and his gang. Brick has some good monologuing about Green Arrow sending his kid to do his job. Speedy’s not alone however, the three original Young Justice members are there as well. It’s a social visit, but Speedy neither wants their company nor help. When they ask him to join, he declines. He doesn’t need them, Arrow, or the League. Wow.

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Young Justice S01 E02: Fireworks

ayj1When last we left our young heroes, they had been incapacitated by Superboy in the depths of Project Cadmus. As we open, we and Dr. Desmond encounter The Light, the organization behind Cadmus. These shimmering holographic images are unidentifiable at this point, but eventually we learn they are a powerful super-villain cartel not unlike the Secret Society of Super-Villains, a cross between the Legion of Doom and the Illuminati, if you will.

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Young Justice S01 E01: Independence Day

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In the wake of seemingly coordinated attacks by ice villains – Mr. Freeze, the Icicle (Jr.), Killer Frost, and Captain Cold – four of the Justice League’s junior partners have been invited to the team’s headquarters, the Hall of Justice in Washington DC.

Robin, Kid Flash, and Aqualad are thrilled, but Speedy not so much. The angry youth calls out the adults for giving the ‘sidekicks’ an overrated tour rather than actually accepting the young heroes as full members. As brash and impulsive as the Speedy of the Silver Age Teen Titans, he storms off. Superman then asks for help with a fire at Project Cadmus, but before he can finish, Zatara (!) radios in for full League help to stop Wotan from blotting out the sun.

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Young Justice: Introduction

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If I’m being honest, I have to admit I was not a fan of the Young Justice comic series. First the concept of a second generation of Teen Titans didn’t sit well with me. I wanted a Teen Titans series, why not just give me that? The creators were iffy for me. Peter David is one of those writers who runs hot or cold for me, I either love him or hate him. And artist Todd Nauck is a great guy who I’ve interviewed a couple times. I love his Wildguard, but again, if I’m being honest, I just wasn’t into his style back then.

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The New Guy

glenntwit copyYeah, I’m the new guy. I snuck in under the radar as a co-host along about episode twenty-one. I’m the guy who doesn’t know wrestling. Worse than that, I’m the guy who also co-hosts another semi-wrestling-centric podcast and doesn’t know anything about wrestling. I’m a good listener though, and I’m learning. I do know my Stone Cold from Daniel Bryan, but that’s about it. Be patient, I’ll get it. Sooner or later.

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Top 10: Indie Cruiserweights for the GCS

Top 10: Indie Cruiserweights for the GCS by Jerry Whitworth

 

KalistoAnnounced in just the last few weeks, the WWE Network will be hosting the Global Cruiserweight Series, a tournament of wrestlers at or below 205 lbs. beginning July 13th. Featuring 32 entrants from around the world, the event will span ten weeks. Obviously, the combined WWE and NXT roster lacks the pool necessary to fill all 32 slots which means the GCS will be groundbreaking in bringing in freelance, independent performers for a tournament (reminiscent of the Super J Cup and Best of the Super Juniors). WWE will likely supply about fifteen entries, namely Stardust, Kalisto, Neville, Xavier Woods, Tyler Breeze, Austin Aries, Manny Andrade, Sami Zayn, Finn Balor, Hideo Itami, Chad Gable, Enzo Amore, Rich Swann, Christopher Girard, and Johnny Gargano. Thus, the company will require nearly twenty outside wrestlers to fill tourney blocks. There are, of course, limitations. It’s unlikely WWE will be able to secure talent from companies like NJPW, TNA, ROH, and CMLL which are arguably its biggest pro wrestling competitors (albeit distant competitors). However, promotions like Evolve and Chikara could likely supply performers and there may even be a chance of bringing in AAA (who supplies much of Lucha Underground’s roster) as the Mexican promotion is in documented financial problems of late (though, LU agreements might cause issues for making this happen as LU reportedly met with WWE previously to seemingly toxic results). Should AAA (the third biggest wrestling promotion on the planet) become a viable option, this could mean the addition of the likes of Rey Mysterio Jr, Fénix, Pentagón Jr, Drago, El Hijo del Fantasma (King Cuerno on LU), Aero Star, Jack Evans, and Angélico. Lets then take a look at what wrestlers could likely emerge in the GCS.

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The Long Road: When a Roster Falls

When a Roster FallsThe Long Road: When a Roster Falls by Jerry Whitworth

 

Looking at the WWE’s roster right now is like that scene in Gone with the Wind (1939) with the train yard where hundreds of injured soldiers from the Battle of Atlanta are sprawled out on the ground. While certainly not that dramatic, the likes of John Cena, Daniel Bryan, Seth Rollins, Nikki Bella, Randy Orton, Cesaro, Sting, Wade Barrett, and more are out with far reaching consequences in any of WWE’s long term narratives. Likely there is no time in WWE’s history where the company has experienced such loss coming at a time when WWE is in such dire straights (as TV ratings continue to fall, attendance for live events declines, and the WWE Network may still cost more to produce than what it earns back). There may even be a good chance some of the injuries could have arose over talent trying to help turn the company around or try to ascend in status within the WWE as company head Vince McMahon perceives the roster lacks ambition (or, a desire to grab the “brass ring”). However, this isn’t the first time WWE’s head was on the chopping block. In the late ’80s/early ’90s, the company saw a similar decline as rival WCW tried to take over the number one position in the industry with the so-called Monday Night Wars only to inspire and motivate WWE to improve and overcome. While certainly there were injuries (the company’s star “Stone Cold” Steve Austin had his neck broken taking him out of the game for three months near the height of his career and ultimately led to his early retirement), there’s been no where near the degree experienced today. Such begs the question, what’s changed?

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Wrestling Streaming: The World in the Comfort of Your Home

WWE NetworkWrestling Streaming: The World in the Comfort of Your Home by Jerry Whitworth

 

In 2014, the wrestling world took a major step into the future. WWE, the world leader in professional wrestling entertainment with a library including the likes of WCW, ECW, AWA, Smoky Mountain Wrestling, Stampede, and more founded the WWE Network. A streaming service for $9.99 a month that will gradually make its vast intellectually owned content available instantly anywhere in the world with an internet connection, the Network was a major undertaking that has placed a great financial burden on the company already undergoing tough times in recent years. Of course, this advent in technology has inspired other companies to follow suit although, interestingly enough, the company’s closest North American competitors have yet to get in line. TNA, formed to fill the vacuum left by the loss of WCW, tried to dip its toe into streaming in an arrangement with YouTube in 2013 with TNA Wrestling Plus for $4.99 a month only to be all but abandoned within two months. Today, TNA has started posting its earliest pay-per-view programs as the Asylum Years for free on YouTube Thursday nights (which started December of last year). It should be noted, WWE entered into a similar agreement to that between TNA and YouTube with the latter’s competitor Hulu Plus in 2012 which continues today despite the formation of the WWE Network (likely, some contractual obligation exists necessitating this duality though Hulu Plus does not air WWE events which are included as part of membership of the Network). As for the United States’ third largest promotion Ring of Honor, for some time they’ve offered their latest weekly television episode streaming for free online and made a portion of their library available on demand on their website for $7.99 a month. Although TNA and ROH at this point don’t seem to be trying to offer their own version of the WWE Network, independent US promotions have been more accepting of the transition.

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A Brief Biography

Salutations readers. My name is Bobby Fisher, one of the hosts, and founders of the Nerdfect Strangers podcast. This is my first real post on our new website, and it felt only appropriate that it should feel like a first date, a get-to-know-you profile, if you will.

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Pictured: Me, Currently.

It was never easy for me, I was born a poor, black child. No, that’s not right. When it comes to my nerd-dom, my geeknicity, as it were, I got an early start. Some of my earliest memories include the original Burton Batman films, the 1960s Batman series in syndication, the celebrated classic Bruce  Timm Batman: The Animated Series, etc. My early years featured appearances by Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior. I can distinctly remember having the old, non-articulated wrestling action figures including a wrestling ring.

A stiff, rubber man in brightly colored skivvies? Hours of formative fun for a toddler!

A stiff, rubber man in brightly colored skivvies? Hours of formative fun for a toddler!

Said wrestling ring would prove to be my downfall, however. In 1993 An ill-fated attempt at recreating a top-rope, high-risk maneuver, or just a clumsy five year old falling (depending on who you ask), led to a wrestling ban that was put into effect until roughly about 2000. I missed out on the Attitude Era, and thanks to the WWE Network, that’s been the impetus behind my Wrestling Time Machine project. When I was reintroduced to wrestling, I quickly gravitated to the Undertaker, and have been a fan ever since.

Growing up, I was always into comics, toys, etc. Toyfare and Wizard were my extracurricular textbooks, and Mego Spidey was a damn fine teacher.

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Pictured:  Professor Tobey Maguire, and several unpaid Hugh Jackman interns.

I spent two years in college, pursuing my interests of paying to fail at math, which no man or woman was meant to understand. Devouring comics, video games and wrestling in between all that. My heart became set on writing on my own comics, and before you know it, this podcast sprang up, so I and others could have an outlet to discuss our interests.

 

Mirror, Mirror: What If WWE Didn’t Win?

WrestlingMirror, Mirror: What If WWE Didn’t Win? by Jerry Whitworth

 

About a week ago, I discussed in detail my history with pro wrestling. Therein, I spoke on 2001 being a terrible year for wrestling fans. AOL Time Warner had sold WCW to WWE as ECW, after losing its TV deal with TNN, would likewise sell out to WWE. What’s interesting about these events is that TV deals were at the root of both downfalls. For WCW, Eric Bischoff had secured funding to buy the company but wouldn’t sign the deal unless TNT and TBS agreed to continue airing Nitro and Thunder, respectively. Reportedly, that sticking point lead AOL Time Warner to sell WCW to WWE for a ridiculously low price (as several WCW personalities claimed they could have bought it themselves for the price sold). As for ECW, it was a company on the rise that was abandoned by TNN after airing the promotion for a year and that was troubled by its past use of adult content to find another network. Now, it’s important to note, neither WCW or ECW had bad ratings. At the height of Nitro, it was one of the highest rated shows on TV and even when it fell, it was still a huge draw for TNT. It just lost money because of poor management within the company (part of which stemmed from its parent company being unfamiliar with the industry it was invested into). All of these details considered, if some circumstances would have been amended, both companies could have easily survived and likely thrived. For example, if Bischoff won his battle to buy WCW, it either could have had the arrangement to remain on the AOL Time Warner channels or he could have moved to another station (like, perhaps, TNN which was looking to drop ECW when it saw how much wrestling could draw for the station). Also, what if ECW either remained on TNN or moved to another network (say, perhaps, MTV, which got into the wrestling game in 2001 with WWF Tough Enough and later Wrestling Society X). Lets take a look at what could have been.

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Hello, Again

HakushiHello, Again by Jerry Whitworth

 

Considering the popularity of my introductory post to the Nerdfect Nation, I thought I’d speak on my history with pro wrestling considering it’s such a huge aspect of our content and coverage. I first came into contact with the WWF in its auxiliary ventures, receiving some of the LJN action figures as a youth (an eight-inch rubber Hulk Hogan and some of the thumb wrestlers), watching Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling on TV, playing WWF WrestleMania on the NES, and getting my face painted like the Ultimate Warrior because everyone else was doing it (I always wanted to get a Tonka Wrestling Buddy but they alluded me). The earliest aspect of an actual wrestling program I can recall is my dad leaving it on one night when he fell asleep and I saw Papa Shango put a voodoo curse on Mean Gene Okerlund in 1992 on Superstars which terrified me. I would, however, come back to the product later where I became a big fan of Hakushi (as I was seemingly born into an interest in Eastern martial arts thanks to my father) and where I was introduced to wrestlers like the “Portuguese Man O’ War” Aldo Montoya, 1-2-3 Kid, and Tatanka all of whom in which I also became a fan. A casual viewer at best, Hakushi seemed to appear less as my interest grew in the “Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels. I officially wouldn’t became a fan of wrestling, however, until WrestleMania XII in 1996.

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