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Yeah from everything you’ve described, it’s not us, it’s him. We Australians are a funny mob, we love our family, work hard (because shit’s expensive yo, as one of my American colleagues once told me) and will sometimes work to the detriment of fa... Sorry boys, we're not into the Twilight vampire look anymore, we like our men bronzed! There’s a reason they call it the ‘Australian tan’ you know. 4. You can go to OZ whenever. Going 'down under' need not be a task anymore. Getting hitched to an Australian man means no more time wasted queueing at the Australian embassy or fruit picking ... The thing I asked her about? Dating, of course! Check out her insight into dating abroad, falling in love on holiday and of course, the key differences between British and American guys. 1. Are there any major differences between dating British men vs American men? Yes, there are major differences. The Australian accent, however, is pretty different to British and American English, and, while it sounds super cool, it may take you a little while to become familiar with ‘Strine’. Most Australian guys like to spend time getting to know new cultures and living a modern way-of-life with a great passion for sport. Unlike British guys, who can sometimes look a little whimpy and on the thin side, or American guys, who can look a little sloppy, Australian guys tend to be outdoorsy and like to spend a lot of ... My Aussie and I have been together for 5 years now. So, ya, a long long time. And I love the Aussies, but let me tell you, there are some things about dating an Australian man that I found VERY different about dating an American guy.Nothing bad, but just different. It may be a culture thing or the whole 'you always want what you can't have' thing, but I absolutely love dating an Aussie. The American way is loud and even arrogant at times. 10. American men like to date around. The dating culture involves trying out many different options at the same time. Call it the revolving door or hedging – there’s the idea in the American approach to dating that there’s always something better around the corner. Congratulations! You’ve done the impossible — you’re now dating an Aussie guy.The odds were slim: Australia is a country with little dating culture and one of the worst work-life balances in the world. But somehow you wormed your way into his tender, ochre heart, where you’ve nestled yourself alongside his favorite brand of craft beer and a Steve Waugh-signed Gunn and Moore cricket bat. WHEN I WAS GROWING UP, I thought all Australian guys had sun-kissed skin, blonde hair, crystal blue eyes, and lived their lives on their surfboards. And then I found myself dating an Australian who, for the most part, really couldn’t be fussed going to the beach. He didn’t even like the sand all that much. I travelled with a few Italian guys when I was in Australia and it definitely helped my situation -- more than once people mentioned that if some Europeans were willing to travel around with me, I couldn't be the 'typical American' (again, they'd mention that I have a passport and it's not just for going to Mexico or Canada) and so must be an ...
Hello! Welcome or welcome back to Capy's Survivor! This season we are headed to Redemple Temple! We are once again playing the game of outwitting, outplaying, and outlasting your fellow castaways, whether that be by flirtatious behavior, backstabbing your opponents, or making plenty of allies. This is Capy's Survivor: Redemple Temple! I will not be doing write-ups with the posts because I don't have time. I will instead work on them while I can, and post a post with some of them once I'm done. Meet the Castaways: Ometepe Tribe: First off, the captain of this tribe:
Layla Worthington, 31, from Cook Islands, Micronesia, and Heroes vs Villains (4th, 4th, 5th)
Now the newbies:
Wally 'Wall-Man' Jones, 21, College Football Star (made by u/swoldow)
Wally Jones has been a sports prodigy his whole life, growing up in a tiny town, where he was able to excel in every way. He was born the day after his town's draft day for Football, so he was the oldest and biggest kid, and was constantly pressured by his father, a former football star into working out. Wally listened to him, but as a result, felt constantly stressed, having to appeal to his dad's hopes. He worked day and night to be in peak physical condition, and by the time high school football came around, Wally was an unstoppable force. Nearly impossible to be tackled, he was compared to an actual wall, and given the nickname 'Wall-Man' as a result, which stuck throughout college. Wall-Man is now graduating this year from a prestigious football university, but despite his fame, and wanting to make the big leagues, he feels something missing. On a whim, he told his father he wanted to play House of Temptation, and despite his dad doing everything in his power for him not to, Wall-Man persisted, as he wants to use this as a spiritual experience so he can truly discover who he is.
Gonzalo Richardz, 48, Firefighter (made by u/zohnster)
The Baltimore fire chief is a great leader in his field. Intelligent, Gonzalo is a great force in the groups he is part of. At the same time that he leads his team firmly, he is part of a crossfit team and there he is called Gonzo by his friends. The father of eight children and the grandfather of five grandchildren, Gonzo is proud of his life and everything he has built.
Barak is a very confident man in his strategy and in his power of persuasion. In addition to training physically every day, he works hard on his brain to be the best version of himself every day. Arrogant sometimes? YES, but you have a good heart of loyalty and trust.
A 3AM YouTuber who arrived late to the trend, Alexa has a tendency to flex her belongings when no one really cares. She was recently involved in a scandal where she faked her boyfriend's death, causing endless amounts of controversy. Her sub count is dropping significantly every day, so she joined to help gain her popularity (relevancy) back.
Edmund was always his dad's favorite. His father was a British gentleman, and his mother was from the US. They lived in the UK until Edmund turned 17, but then moved to the US. Edmund always felt like an old soul trapped inside a young man's body. He was very serious and polite ever since he was young, and most kids looked at him weirdly. However, Edmund didn't mind the stares. He was not going to lie to anyone about who he was. A lover of art and history, Edmudn decided to become a curator, thinking this job was the right fit for him. Edmund is married, and has been for the past 35 years. Together with his incredible wife, Shannon, he has four kids and seven grandkids. They are his pride and joy, other this his job. He hopes to win the money, but alas, just being out there will be fun. He supposes. Although Edmund is not out here for "fun".
Claire Atkinson, 32, Police Sergeant (made by u/Twig7665)
Claire grew up in the countryside with a Caucasian father and a Native American mother. When she was young, she would often reject her Native American roots in favor of her father's ways. As she got older, she began to respect Native American culture much more, and started advocating for their rights. Eventually, she decided to join her local police force, and rose through the ranks to become a sergeant. She is going on Survivor to make a better life for herself.
Craig looks the type of a typical model, but in reality, he's studied this game inside and out for much of his life. He's a superfan of Survivor, and he plans to play the most dominant game this series has ever seen. He has a tendency to crack jokes even in the darkest of times, and he is ready to leave the game a winner.
Noujir was brought up by a very traditional Sikh family. He didn’t really have many interesting experiences or adventures growing up since he spent most of his time studying. After years of studying, he became a successful optometrist and is quite happy with that job. However, he still craves that sense of adventure he missed out on as a kid so he decided to apply for Survivor after becoming fascinated by the game.
Art is a veteran of the Vietnam War and is traumatized by what he saw. After returning home, he was shunned by his hometown due to what certain soldiers did in Vietnam. As a result, he is very anti-social. He's hoping Survivor can offer him a new beginning.
Growing up, Gabriel had nothing. He was always the rejected child - going from foster home to foster home. He never had anyone by his side, and honestly? He's thankful for that. Because of those rejections, Gabriel became the man he is today - which is honestly not a good thing, but in his eyes it is. He grew stronger and stronger, and now he'd like to believe he's in prime shape. In a game all about lying, backstabbing, cheating and stealing, Gabriel thinks he can excel. He's done all of that before, after all.
Born into a rich family, Lita has never had to work for anything in her life (or so her father says since she was the salutatorian of her graduating class). Her father sent her out to Survivor to observe is she's worthy to take over the family business, and how well she does under pressure and around others. Lita doesn't want to take over her fathers business since it harms so many innocent people, and is looking to takeover it just to sell it, and give it's profits to charity. She hates her father, and has told him that multiple times, but he doesn't listen to her.
Darci Crossley is a fairly competitive woman. She was born in a medium sized house in London, England. She only has her mother Betty Crossley, as her father abandoned her mother when he found out she was pregnant. When she was a teenager, she watched an Australian show called "It's A Knockout!" and has since become a fan of the show. Yellow is Darci's favorite color because of Queensland (QSD). Darci accepts challenges for fun, although she can be too competitive. Darci and his mother traveled to the United States for a life and for Darci to have a job, and he did, as a Radiologic Technologist.
A French born Vietnamese child, Justine was brought up by a tiger mother and a father that she barely talked to nor cared for. Her mother would always try to push into the route of her choosing, Justine being a free spirit, hated her mother’s ideal future for her so she decided to run away at the age of 16. For the rest of her teen years, she moved from different locations and joined a “gang” where she managed to get money by doing many different things. She then decided to reinvent her image by going full goth and getting tattoos and piercings, something her mother would never approve of. She eventually got a job as a bartender and there she met a coworker with a very similar story to her. They instantly connected and became really close. She doesn’t keep in contact with any of her family members except for her brother from time to time and is completely fine with that.
Season:Capy's Survivor: Redemple Temple 20th- Kruseman- Being a returnee, he already had a target on his back, and he knew it. He tried to form an alliance with Lita, Talie, and Justine, who he knew were already close, but they already decided to make Noujir their pet goat. He also noticed an alliance forming between Art, Bridgette, and Gabriel, which he wanted to take advantage of. So he approached Darci and told them that the 3 females were too much of a threat and they should take them out. Both Darci and the other alliance agreed. But Darci thought Kruseman was more of a threat, making him the first boot in a 5-4 vote. 19th- Noujir- Zapatera continued their losing streak, and it was a tale of two alliances. They both tried to get Darci, and she decided to stay loyal. The other alliance knew this, and Talie found the idol, but she decided that it would be best not to use it, as they could gain trust in a revote. The other side decided that it would be best to take out the goat instead of the challenge beasts. It was a 4-4, with Talie's alliance shocked she didn't play the idol. She then proceeded to flip, causing Noujir to go home on a 4-2 revote. Redemption Duel 1- Kruseman beat Noujir 18th- Bridgette- Even though they are already in enough of a minority, Talie wants to throw the immunity challenge, because she says they might get lucky in a tribe swap. She does end up throwing it, and Zapatera is sent to yet another tribal council. Darci approaches the Coven, as Justine, Talie, and Lita have dubbed themselves. She tells them that Bridgette is going, they agree to this. But then, Justine has an idea, she has Talie approach the other side, as they know she flipped, and tells them this info, they just argue with Talie, and say that it will just be a blindside, which seals Bridgette’s fate instead of Darci’s because they voted Talie, which the Coven knew they would, so Bridgette goes home in a 4-3 vote. Redemption Duel 2- Kruseman beats Bridgette 17th- Art- Zapatera loses yet another immunity challenge to the now overpowering Ometepe tribe. At their camp, both the Coven and Art and Gabriel approach Darci, as the swing vote. She decides that a rock draw might be the best bet, but she quickly realizes that she might go home, so she flips with the Coven, but it is already too late. Art goes home by a revote of 3-1. Redemption Duel 3- Kruseman beats Art 16th- Darci- Ometepe wins yet another immunity challenge (and even less screen time because I don’t have time for that) sending Zapatera to their 5th tribal in a row, with still no tribe swap. The Coven decides that Darci is untrustworthy, and they really have no use for her anymore, so they send her home in a 3-2 vote. Redemption Duel 4- Darci beats Kruseman 15th- Gonzo- Zapatera finally won an immunity challenge, sending Ometepe to their first ever tribal council. At the camp, Layla has amassed quite the following. She has aligned and made an alliance with Barak, Craig, and Gonzo. She has also formed a strong relationship with the 2 swing votes, Claire and Alexa, who think the 3 of them are the alliance. She rallies for Edmund, which gets back to him, and he has an idol, so he plays it. By a vote of 3-0 (6 blocked), Gonzo goes home. Redemption Duel 5- Gonzo beats Darci 14th- Barak- Zapatera manages to win their second immunity in a row, sending Ometepe to another tribal council. Knowing that Edmund is probably coming after her, Layla decides to side with them and take down the swing votes, as she knows it most likely won’t matter come the merge. But little does the other alliance (Edmund, Jess, Wall-Man) know, Layla knows a bit more than them. She knows that Claire has an idol, which she shared this information with Layla because she is under the assumption that they are close allies. Layla tells her about the vote, and says they are voting with the other side to secure a bit of trust. Claire plays her idol, and with another 6 votes blocked, Barak is blindsided with 2 votes. Redemption Duel 6- Barak beats Gonzo, returning to the game. 13th- Barak- The host announces the merge is happening, and he also announces that returning to the game is… Barak. Craig wins the immunity challenge. The former Ometepe tribe decides that Lita seems like the most physical threat from the other side, as she came second in the challenge. But Layla, being the mastermind of the game right now, tells Edmund, Jess, and Wall-Man that Barak is the target, as they can’t have him running around telling the Zapatera about their actions. Layla and the alliance heads to the former Zapatera members, and tells them this. So by a vote of 7-5, Barak is sent home. 12th- Craig- Justine manages to snatch this immunity win, and The Coven has a plan already. They know that Layla is the mastermind behind everything on the other side of camp, but they don’t want her out just yet. They want to get her guards down, and possibly crack the other side. So they hatch a plan, They approach their fellow former Zapatera, Gabriel, and tell him that Craig is the target, knowing that he will go tell Edmund, Jess, and Wall-man, which he does, and they tell the swing votes, Alexa and Claire, this as well. The Coven also approaches Layla and Craig, and tells them that Wall-Man needs to go, as he is an athlete. They agree, and Layla goes around telling everyone that Wall-Man needs to go, which causes a bad taste in the other former Ometepe’s mouths. But, just to cause drama, The Coven decides that they are voting Alexa, in case of an idol and to try to crack the other side. At tribal council, by a vote of 6-3-2, Craig is sent home. 11th- Alexa- Claire manages to snatch the immunity win, guaranteeing her a spot in the Final 10. Layla thinks that their best bet would be to gain The Coven’s trust, after last tribal’s masterminding, and vote with them, for the goat Alexa. But The Coven doesn’t believe that Alexa is the real target, and they know Jess is more than likely one of Layla’s goats, so they decide to vote for her. Layla also approaches Claire, Edmund, Wall-Man, and Jess about this vote, who are all hesitant at first, but then decide it for the best. The Coven manage to get Alexa and other former Zapatera Gabriel on their side. So its a 5-5 tie, and Gabriel, knowing it is more than likely already too late, decides to flip and vote Alexa out in a 5-3 revote. Redemption Duel 7- Craig and Alexa beat Barak 10th- Jess- Claire manages to win another immunity, which keeps her safe from the crosshairs of Layla and The Coven. Layla approaches Edmund, Jess, Gabriel, and Claire and tell them all that Wall-Man is the target. Edmund decides that trust is probably best at this point, and tells Wall-Man about this, who is now angry at Jess for deciding not to, and they have a realization that Jess is goat #1 for Layla, so they approach The Coven, knowing they probably want her out and tell them this target. They think this is perfect for them, and agree. They also convince Gabriel, who is in the same mindset as Edmund right now, to vote for her. So at tribal council, by a vote of 6-3, Jess goes home, making Layla angry, as she was Layla’s number 1 priority for FTC. Redemption Duel 8- Jess and Alexa beat Craig 9th- Wall-Man- Justine manages to win the immunity challenge, her second overall. The Coven also decides that Wall-Man is probably Layla’s next priority, and they want to break her down as much as possible, but don’t want her to get a shot at redemption. So they, along with Gabriel, decide to vote for Wall-Man. But, Gabriel tells Layla, trying to gain her trust, and she thinks that this is a perfect opportunity to mess with The Coven, as Wall-Man was not her priority, but she wants them to think that. She tells Claire that Wall-Man is the target, but Claire doesn’t believe her, and she decides to vote Layla to stir up the pot a bit. Edmund and Wall-Man are still under the impression (a la Coven) that Claire is the target. At tribal, by a vote of 5-2-1, Wall-Man is sent to Redemple Temple. 8th- Edmund- In a shocking twist, it is revealed that another immunity challenge will happen right then, and another person will be going home. The Coven think this might be the best time to get another one of Layla’s numbers out, as Layla has immunity. They decide that Edmund is the target, and tell this to Gabriel. Layla tells Claire, Gabriel, and Edmund in a last ditch effort that Lita is the target, to her dismay, Gabriel sticks with The Coven, and Edmund doesn’t believe her, voting for Claire, sending Edmund packing in a 4-2-1 vote. Redemption Duel 9- Jess, Alexa, and Edmund beat Wall-Man 7th- Layla- The Coven decide that it is late enough to boot Layla, and that with this many people they assume are on Redemption, they doubt she will come back. So they tell Gabriel, which has already been approached by Layla, basically on her knees begging him to go to rocks, but he claims at this point, he wouldn’t do that for anyone in this game. So Layla goes home 4-2. Redemption Duel 10- Jess, Alexa, and Edmund beat Layla 6th- Claire- This vote was simple, as Claire was the only Ometepe left, and Gabriel knew there was no use flipping. So Claire goes home 4-1. Final Redemption Duel- Jess beats Claire, Edmund, and Alexa to return. 5th- Gabriel- The former Zapatera are shocked when the ultimate goat, Jess, is back. And on top of that, she wins immunity! The vote is all over the place, with no more alliances. But, this is not true, as Justine and Talie decide they want a fair chance at Final Tribal Council, but they think that Gabriel might cause a bitter jury more than Lita would, so they decide he needs to go. Gabriel is sent packing in a 2-1-1-1. 4th- Talie- Jess, apparently hardened from her time in Redemple Temple, wins the Final Immunity challenge. Justine and Talie decide that Lita is going. But Justine does the math and she realizes that Talie will easily beat her in the FTC, and decides that bringing Lita as a goat is more of a fighting chance, and she tells this to Lita (minus the goat part). Talie goes home right before FTC in a 2-1-1. Final Tribal Council- Justine wins by a jury vote of 7-1-1. Tied for 2nd- Jess and Lita 1st- Justine Thoughts: Somehow, Zapatera, coming into the merge down 8-4, with an idol in their pocket, manages to make the Final 4 (Before Jess), with the idol being wasted at the Final 5 by Talie. That is all, thank you. (also the was The Coven managed to slowly crumble Layla’s game was cool). Also a great season, but it was run by 4 people, so not much returnee material to work with. Possible Returnees: Justine, Lita, Jess, Talie, Gabriel, Edmund, Layla, Kruseman
2020.09.27 11:56 TheserbianguyRoland Garros 2020 - Men's Singles draw analysis, predictions and what to expect
2020 is weird. In a world where every new day feels like an achievement of its own, the tennis universe was something that kept all of their fans safe and the majestic feeling of 2010's still hadn't left. Novak Đoković won the Australian Open. Rafael Nadal has won Roland Ga...Wait. The US Open was the second Grand Slam of the year? I mean I guess Novak or Rafa have won it, right? Oh, Nadal didn't play? Grand Slam number 18 for Novak baabyy. Um what, not him as well? HE GOT DEFAULTED FOR HITTING A LINE JUDGE IN THE THROAT??? Jesus Christ. One of the Swiss boys? Andy Murray made a miraculous comeback and became the first man in history to win a Grand Slam by defeating every single opponent in a 5 set match? WE HAD A FIRST TIME GRAND SLAM WINNER IN SIX YEARS??? Please tell me at least Wimbledon went as expected... In a year where all of that happened, Philippe Chatrier getting a retractable roof might be the single most shocking thing that has happened. Yet. I'll be damned if I say it doesn't look majestic, but it will take quite some time before I even slightly get used to it. Since this is a beginning-of-October tournament this year, the rain will be a major pain in the butt, so we will probably get to see it in action more often than not, but it will be a miracle if this ends until November, at best. I've combined my love of writing and also spending unhealthy amount of time watching this beautiful game, so I thought why not scrap something together and put a little preview on this once-in-a-lifetime (please God let this be true) Roland Garros in autumn. So, without further ado, I present to you... ROLAND GARROS 2020 - Men's Singles Novak's quarter As you can see by the username, I had a pretty good insight on what the people and the media think of the fiasco that happened just a mere three weeks ago. And it wasn't pretty. A lot of conspiracy theories thrown around, a lot of angry fans trying to find justification for something there is really not justification for. It was a mistake, and a costly one to say the least, but the punishment was deserved. I won't bring this up any more, but for context it is something extremely important. Just fifteen days later, on another continent, on a different surface and with who-knows-what on his mind, Novak Đoković won the Italian Open like nothing ever happened. That is why I had to dedicate the beginning of this paragraph to him, because that's a feat no ordinary man can do. Even though it might sound weird, but Roland Garros has been Novak's most consistent Grand Slam throughout his career. Since 2009 and his loss to Kohlschreiber in the third round, there hasn't been a year where he at least didn't get to the last 8 of the field. And I don't think this changes this year. The draw has been very kind for the world number one, because his first three matches should be nothing more than a breeze. He opens his campaign against Mikael Ymer, a very talented Swede of Ethiopian descent who has been on the rise in the last two years. It will be very interesting to see if the roof gets closed, because it would then become a mix of his two favorite surfaces, clay and indoors, but even then I don't see him getting more than 4 games in a set. Second round will be a match against the winner of Dellien/Berankis, and it should be more or less the same story. I expect Dellien to come out of that first round match as a winner, but his game should suit Novak even more, because he doesn't have a single weapon that can threaten the Serb. This match should in theory benefit Đoković, because it would be filled with long and exhausting rallies, and we know that he likes to raise his level slowly, so this could be used as a more intense practice session and a stepping stone to further challenges. In the third round, the most likely opponent will come from a first round battle between Tennys Sandgren and Hubert Hurkacz. He had some interesting Grand Slam matches against both in previous years, and both of them are pretty decent clay-courters, but once again, barring some health related issue, I don't see Novak dropping more than a set, and that's if he's on an off-day, because on this surface, he is just a couple of levels above them. Fourth round potentially brings the first dangerous opponent and I would say one of the trio between Garin, Humbert or Khachanov. Christian Garin made an incredible breakthrough in the last two years and went from playing qualies in an 250 event at the beginning of 2019, to being a Grand Slam seed by the end of 2020. He is a clay-court specialist, won all of his 4 tour titles on this surface, and also had a 10-match winning streak on clay in the beginning of 2020. To get there, he will probably have to face Kohlschreiber, Humbert and Khachanov back to back to back and I could see him being worn out by the fourth round. The reason I'm preferring him as the most obvious winner of that section is because even though Khachanov has two R16's and a quarterfinal in the last three years here and Roland Garros, other than that his clay results have been pretty bleak. He got taken to the shed against Lajović this week in Hamburg and before that he lost in Rome to Casper Ruud in three. Whichever one of the two (Humbert being an outside pick) gets to the fourth round, I don't see them kicking Novak out of the tournament, but a long 4, or even a 5-setter could be on the cards. The second part of the quarter features some pretty good tennis players. Roberto Bautista-Agut, Pablo Carreno-Busta, Jan-Lennard Struff and Mateo Berrettini are the four seeds in this part of the bracket and I expect some pretty awesome matches here. Bautista-Agut starts of against Gasquet, in a match that could very well turn into a long one, but the certain thing is that we'll see a lot of great shot-making and a tennis clinic on how to play from the baseline. His third round opponent could end up being either one of Pella/Carreno-Busta, and these potential matches really bring water to the mouths of tennis fans. The fourth round battle should feature Struff or Berrettini, because the biggest threats to their potential third round match are Tiafoe and Pospisil, and neither one of them is a great clay-courter. I honestly have no idea what to expect from this part of the quarter. I could see it end up being Bautista and Berrettini in the fourth, but there are a lot of great players on clay courts mixed up together here and every round brings a new match-up that could end up being in the top 5 matches of the tournament. Third round prediction - Đokovićvs Sandgren Garinvs Khachanov Bautista-Agut vsPella Struffvs Berettini Fourth round prediction - Đokovićvs Garin Pellavs Struff Quarterfinal prediction - Đoković -Pella Potential first-round blockbusters - Garin vs Kohlschreiber Bautista-Agut vs Gasquet Medvedev's quarter It feels pretty weird calling it Med's quarter, since he actually never won a single match at the tournament so far in his three appearances. This one has the most potential to be filled with upsets and great matches I'd say, because there is a nice mix of great players who don't really play their best tennis on clay, and a lot of clay-court specialists who can beat almost anyone when in great form. The first match-up in this part of the draw features a solid possibility for an upset, because Medvedev opens his campaign against Marton Fucsovics. The Hungarian is a great all-round player, has a very good serve mixed with solid play from both wings and can play on all three surfaces. His only title win came about two years ago in Geneva, on clay, and he has beaten the likes of Stan Wawrinka and David Goffin on this surface. I can see this going for a couple of hours and even into a decider, and the winner won't have it any easier in the second because the winner of Mannarino/Ramos-Vinolas awaits. The third round could be another slugfest against Thiago Monteiro I would assume, because he is far and away the best player on this surface in the quartet with Halys/Giron/Basilashvili, with the latter really struggling both on and off the court this year. Fourth round is where the fun propels even higher. If everything goes to plan, the third round match-up to determine the opponent of one these guys mentioned above is Andrey Rublev vs Dušan Lajović and that is something I greatly look forward to. Both of these guys are great on clay courts, they're having a pretty good season so far and this is promising to be a great match if it comes to fruition. Rublev might find some struggles in the fact he's playing a certain Hamburg final today, which means he won't be able to leave quarantine in Paris until Monday evening, and his first round match against Sam Querrey is scheduled to be on Tuesday. I don't see any reason why he shouldn't win that one, and the potential second round match-up against Alejandro Davidovich-Fokina sounds pretty promising. The Spaniard is coming off of a fourth round affair in US Open and can be a bit dangerous if he gets going, but anything more than a set shouldn't be in his reach. I've mentioned the third round against Dutzee, but he himself will have a bumpy road to get there. The Italian Mager will probably be a straight-setter, but in the second round he will await the winner of Đere/Anderson and whoever comes of that, presumably Đere, will pose a serious threat. The Serb had some health related issues in the past year that saw his ranking plummet from top 30 to outside of the top 100, but he seems to be on his way back with a great showing in Kitzbuhel, winning against Ramos, Sinner and Schwartzman before falling to Hanfmann in the semis. The bottom part of this quarter doesn't really sound all that interesting barring the four seeds, who should see themselves facing off in the third round. Dennis Shapovalov is hoping to continue his great form after a quarterfinal in the US Open and a semi in Rome, which he was rewarded with his first top 10 ranking in his career. His first opponent shouldn't be a walk in a park, but I personally don't feel like Gilles Simon has what it takes to beat the Canadian on clay. His clay court performances have started regressing in the last two or three years and combined with the fact that he's had a pretty quiet year so far, (I know, COVID, but still), I would say this goes in 4 for Shapo at worst. Second round shouldn't be any different with the winner of Johnson/Carballes Baena being the opponent there. The former is an American, which should tell you all about his clay court skills, and the other one is Spanish, which should also tell you all about his clay court performances. I see Baena winning that one, but he is still struggling to breakthrough the challenger-to-ATP level and should not pose any major threat to the Canadian, even on his favourite surface. Third round is a probable Rome quarterfinal's rematch against Grigor Dimitrov, who is bidding for his fourth 3R in a row here in Paris. His road consists of Gregoire Barrere, and either Martin or Joao Sousa, and if the Bulgarian doesn't decide to suicide and commit 80+ unforced errors, I don't see a way we don't see that Rome rerun. Whoever comes of that match as a winner, should have their hands full because the most probable fourth round opponent will be either Filip Krajinović or Stefanos Tsitsipas, and both of them have been on a roll recently. The Serb is 7-3 since the restart of the tour, winning at least two matches in every tournament he played. He faces the countrymen Milojević in the first and most likely Aljaž Bedene in the second round and given his current form, none of the two should pose any serious threat. As for the Greek, he is playing the final of Hamburg against Rublev today, and like I said, the one thing that could deter his run here is that quarantine ends less than 24 hours before his first round match. There he'll play Jaime Munar, who hasn't had the greatest of years so far. His ranking has doubled from his career high, he has a negative winrate and should be happy should he even comes close about thinking of winning a set here. Pablo Cuevas put up a great fight against Tsitsi this week and could have another chance of beating him because he faces Henri Laaksonen in the first, who shouldn't come as a major threat even though he went through three rounds of qualies, with the winner of that match playing the Greek in the second. Third round prediction - Fucsovicsvs Monteiro Lajović vsRublev Shapovalovvs Dimitrov Krajinović vsTsitsipas Fourth round prediction - Fucsovics vsRublev Shapovalov vsTsitsipas Quarterfinal prediction - Rublev vsTsitsipas (Can I do this one after today's final please?) Potential first-round blockbusters - Medvedev vs Fucsovics Thiem's quarter Ah, Dominic Thiem. Another one of those what-if's. What if he was born 10 years later? Would he have been a new Rafael Nadal? Could he have won 5+ Roland Garros titles? Who knows. What we do know, is the fact he managed to get to two finals in Paris in the last two years and put up some decent effort against the Spaniard. This year, the road to get there seems tougher than ever. Even though he beat him on his favorite surface a couple of weeks ago, Marin Čilić isn't the opponent you want to see in the first round of a Grand Slam. I don't see Thiem losing this one, but if Marin gets going this could become very interesting at some point in the match. Second round brings one of the Americans, either Jack Sock or Reilly Opelka and once again, not the easiest of task for the Austrian. The two aren't known for their clay court premises, but with the weather being the way it is and the conditions not so slow as in previous years, the big serve could come in handy to make Thiem really deserve this victory. A potential third round against Casper Ruud just tingles me everywhere. The Norwegian has played amazing since the restart and put up a great fight against Novak in Rome and shouldn't have any problems whatsoever in getting to this blockbuster third round, because neither of Sugita/Paul/Duckworth have the current form to beat the on-fire Ruud. The other part of this group of 16 players has the best first round match-up of the tournament. Stan Wawrinka versus Andy Murray. In a first round of a Grand Slam. Screw you, Andy's hips. The last match he played in Paris was in 2017, on Philippe Chatrier (where today's match will also be played), against Stan Wawrinka, in a five set affair which left him not only defeated on the court, but physically as well. I'm a sucker for these kind of stories and I really hope Andy can come out of this years match as the winner because it would absolutely mean the world to him, and let's face it, he deserves some on-court happiness after everything he went through. This part of the draw is filled with French wildcards, so I would say that the third round against Felix Auger-Aliassime awaits the winner of that match. The top 8 seed everyone was looking forward to getting in their quarter is Gael Monfils. The Frenchman lost both of his post-COVID matches, against Koepfer and Hanfmann, without even winning a set. To make it even worse, he has to face Alexander Bublik in the first round, and the Kazakh is going through a phase where he feels like winning and that makes him extremely dangerous for everyone. I honestly see Bublik getting through here, and a potential third round against Taylor Fritz could promise a serve-based match, which is something we don't often see on clay. The other two seeds in this section, Borna Ćorić and Diego Schwartzman have been playing great tennis in the last month, and adding the fact only Miomir Kecmanović seems like a player who could do some damage to this projected third round match-up, I could see these two getting there without much problems. Kecmanović is facing Schwartzman in the first round that sounds promising, especially after his first title a couple of weeks ago, but I don't see him matching up to the Argentine fitness wise, should this go for a couple of hours. Third round prediction - Bublikvs Fritz Ćorić vsSchwartzman Wawrinka vsAuger-Aliassime Ruud vsThiem Fourth round prediction Bublik vsSchwartzman Auger-Aliassime vsThiem Quarterfinal prediction - Schwartzmanvs Thiem Potential first-round blockbusters - Čilić vs Thiem Wawrinka vs Murray Kecmanović vs Schwartzman Monfils vs Bublik Rafa's quarter Rafa wins LOL. Is this enough? Jokes aside, every time we talk about Nadal and Roland Garros those three words are more than enough to describe what this man has been doing for the past 15 years in Paris. He had some controversial comments about the ball change (Babolat - Wilson) that is occuring this year, he feels they are dangerous and too heavy with the weather being so wet, and that players could seriously injure themselves when playing with them for a long time. To that I say, who are we to question what this man says when it comes to anything that occurs in this tournament. With the roof being there and the tournament being played out in October and not May, conditions could serve his biggest opponents little bit more than usual, but will this be crucial is something really difficult to say from this point of view. The first three rounds should be a cakewalk even for a 50 year old, no-knees Nadal. Gerasimov, Diez/McDonald and then one of the Evans/Nishikori/Andujar trio feels like a lottery win for Rafa because there were some tough non seeds he could have gotten, but instead has three opponents who play exactly how he likes. Other seeds in his section are Fabio Fognini and John Isner, both of whom have had some success against Nadal on clay in the past years. The Italian is one of the only players who have beaten him three or more times on clay and definitely seems like the type who can, on his best day, actually beat the Spaniard in his second home. Isner had that famous first round in 2011, when he went five against Nadal and that remains the best success he ever found on clay courts. However, neither of them are playing particularly well, and someone like Kukushkin or even Pedro Martinez could find themselves in the fourth round. This Roland Garros could be a true test for Alexander Zverev. After that heartbreaking loss in the US Open final, this is the first tournament he'll play and we're going to see what the kid really is made of. He finds himself in probably the most open section of the draw and should, barring any injury, find himself in the quarter final against Rafael Nadal. He opens against Dennis Novak and plays against the winner of Mmoh/Herbert in the second. None of the three are known for the clay-court results, and with the fact Sascha actually seems to have learned how to beat weaker opponents in straights at Grand Slam, we shouldn't see him expend too much energy here. On the contrary, the third round match feels like it could be a marathon. He'll play one of Londero/Delbonis/Cecchinato/De Minaur, and all four are pretty big grinders and play an absurdly amount of long rallies. Big Z struggles against these kind of players, and especially on clay, where his big serve isn't as effective, I could see him going five against any of the opposition. In the other part of his section, everything is possible. The seeds are Paire and Goffin, and funnily enough, both could be out by the second day. The Frenchman has had his fair share of COVID-related issues and it isn't even a certainty he will even play here, but when he played, he was absolutely terrible and hasn't won a set since the restart. On the other hand, Goffin plays an inform Sinner in what should be an absolute beauty of a match. Whoever wins this goes on to face Z in the fourth I'd say, but a second round match Sinner vs Ruusuvouri sounds like something any tennis fans shouldn't miss. Third round prediction - Zverevvs De Minaur Coria vsSinner Martinezvs Korda Andujar vsNadal Fourth round prediction - Zverevvs Sinner Martinez vsNadal Quarterfinal prediction - Zverev vsNadal After analyzing the draw for quite some time, I've ended with Đoković, Tsitsipas, Schwartzman and Nadal as the four semifinalists. The first three have been playing maybe even the best tennis out of everyone post-lockdown, and with the draw being the way it is, I see them being the semifinalists with Nadal who needs no explanation. The obvious one missing here is of course Dominic Thiem, but I have a feeling he will feel the post-first Slam hungover and that an inform Schwartzman could prove to be his end of the road here. The final should obviously be Đoković versus Nadal, and I can say I've been looking forward to this match for the last couple of years, because I have a feeling it could end up being one of the greatest matches of all time. Just like with the US Open, the only certain thing is that nothing should be unexpected, the conditions seem pretty awful and it really would be a miracle if it ends in exactly two weeks. Let the survival in the Boulogne wood begin and may the best player win! Link to the draw: https://www.rolandgarros.com/en-us/results/SM?round=1
2020.09.24 05:51 SnooCompliments1696Pray That Foregen Succeeds
Hey. I'm perfectly aware that this might be an unusual topic, or, even worse, be dismissed as a joke. But I'm terribly upset about being neonatally circumcised as an infant. (I was born in the United States) I know that a majority of you will probably respond that circumcision isn't a big deal since it is in the Bible. But what you probably don't know is that the modern procedure form in the United States is vastly more destructive. The original Brit Milah (e.g. Biblical circumcision) partially cut off a portion of the ridged band - whatever hung over the glans penis - but kept some of the sexually sensitive ridged band, along with almost all of the foreskin and frenulum: a feature not carried on into the modern day. Sometime between 120-150 AD (far after Christ) the procedure was radicalized into a form similar to today's called Brit Periah: the "shredding of the glans." This was not the Abrahamic covenant of Genesis 17. So I don't consider this a violation of 1 Corinthians 7:19. This version always completely destroys the entire ridged band, the entire frenulum, and any part of the foreskin that covers any part of the glans penis. This version of circumcision eventually became the dominant form practiced throughout the world. I'm horrified to know that large amounts of sexually sensitive tissue were removed from my genitals as a baby. And it's been incredibly destructive to my faith to know that a misinterpretations of the Bible was one of the motivations for my parents circumcising me, figuring, incorrectly, that it was done for health and medical benefits in the Old Testament. There is an organization called /Foregen researching on how the damage of neonatal circumcision can be partially reversed in the short to medium future. (5-20 years) A few of the scientists on the board are devout Catholics. (They are based in Italy) So it isn't like it's some anti-religious/Atheist thing. Groups such as Wake Forest medical institute are also looking into it. And I've been praying like crazy that one of these groups succeeds in their goals. I realize it'll be a miracle: one that I really, really want to beg to God for. This issue drives me nuts. I'm diagnosed with Aspergers. So empathic feelings, feelings of violation, etc. are particularly strong for me. So please, please pray that some form of circumcision reversal surgery will be possible within the next twenty or twenty-five years. (As soon as God's will permits it) I'm not a hedonist. But knowing something holy, something good, something related to how humans physically express their love has been taken from me, for no good reason at all, has spiralled me into a horrid depression. And I want to know what it's like when I get married. I want my whole body back. This issue has killed my self-confidence like no other. I have significant trouble looking at my body, and particularly my genitals, without an immense level of disgust and emotional turnoil. I feel violated on a deeply personal level. I literally keep bawling my eyes out. How I realized this as a minor miracle itself. Unlike the vast majority of men who were circumcised with a gomco clamp: my entire frenulum was basically left intact. (I'm basically partially circumcised...) And I always wondered (even as a little boy) why a very sensitive "connector" of tissue was on the back of my genitals. It seemed even then that something "else" (e.g. ridged band/foreskin) was supposed to cover it. A couple of months ago I decided to investigate what it was. I saw that they cut me right where the frenulum ends. "Oh, it's a frenulum." Which puzzled me greatly. So I assumed that it was like that on every guy who was circumcised. That they just "cut it off" where it ends. Right? They weren't cutting this off children in hospitals were they? I started to research. And through some reading and some a few NSFW pictures: (I honestly didn't know where to look... and I'm heterosexual... so I just hoped on to Reddit's porn pages - literally for research - and checked.) And I quickly realized that wasn't true. And what I learned horrified me. The sexually sensitive frenulum is apart of a singular structure called the frenular delta. It consists of the ridged bands at the tip of the foreskin, the frenulum, and a mucocutaneous junction where they connect. For intact men: this structure is the most pleasurable and sensual part of their penis. It's entirely destroyed in the vast majority of American neonatal circumcisions. I kept digging. I found a 2007 study by a doctor named Morris Sorrells that plotted the most pleasurable parts of the male body... and it completely matched my own. (Look up "Sorrells 2007 study circumcision graphic" for a NSFW graphic) Half of the purple on that chart (the inner foreskin...the part on circumcised men that is after the scar) was deleted, the ridged bands were basically destroyed, the frenulum was extremely sensitive, and the circumcision scar was the next most sensitive spot. I started hysterically crying. And I got extremely angry. By coincidence... it appears that I'm not the only one who has noticed this fact. The pathologist who named this structure, Australian pathologist Ken McGrath, strongly opposes American neonatal circumcision. He even made a video on how neonatal circumcision is a uniquely destructive medical intervention vs. those later in life. It startled me. It still does. And it made me cry: a lot. Not just for myself...but for a majority of American men. I'm shocked this isn't a national controversy: considering how sex-obsessed American culture is. The fact that it's impossible to feel anything on removed tissue is common sense. Yet it seems like there is a massive cognitive blindness on this issue here. I feel sexually hurt on such a deeply, utterly, personal level. On the most private, personal, and deeply part of my body. And it's caused me to become misanthropic, depressed, and terribly anxious. I feel utterly abandoned by God and so alone. It feels like I have no spiritual, emotional, psychological, or mental support on this issue. And I'm just forced to live with a sexual violation on my body until some solution can be found. And most people aren't even aware that there is a problem in the future place. It's a very difficult feeling to live with. Since you feel so violated, without emotional or spiritual support, and so terribly alone in your thoughts. It's a weird cultural and pseudo-medical tradition in the United States, particularly among evangelical Protestants and Catholics here. so I'm afraid if I'm mentioned this to someone publicly (even a priest/pastor) I'd be laughed off as absolutely nuts. ("e.g. Shut up, hedonist... Shut up, you can cum... Shut up, X got circumcised as an adult for an extremely rare medical issue... Shut up, it's in the Bible...") And I don't really have anyone to blame for this in particular. I know that my parents didn't do this out of malice, or hatred, or zealotry, or some sick desire to ruin my future love life with my wife. It just seems to be a "American" practice that has essentially wormed its way into what "Christians" are supposed to do in the United States. It just makes me feel sexually, physically, and spiritually (in terms of being loved by God) inferior to those who were left alone. The vast majority of them openly defy biblical teachings on sexuality. I wanted to wait until marriage. Yet it seems that they'll experiencing things I may never will. Like God allowed them to be rewarded. While being totally indifferent to my pain, troubles, and suffering. I'm aware that many people, both men and women, including saints, have undergone much worse forms of harm and suffering, including sexual, in their life. Truly: mine doesn't nearly compare in many ways. But the fact that this was done by doctors, who are supposed to heal you; by my Christian parents who are supposed to, guided by God, protect and love me; and partially justified by a misinterpretation of the Bible makes it so much emotionally and spiritually difficult to deal with. A ticking time bomb for my faith. And I'm absolutely clueless on how to proceed. Why didn't God warn my parents? Isn't God supposed to lead Christians to correct spiritual knowledge? Why isn't the Bible more clear on this issue? Why did it not specify which form of cutting is permitted? There has to be a reason why this happened to me? Right? Why were other people left alone? I don't know. I feel utterly abandoned. And even worse: there's very few individuals IRL who know anything about this issue. Or could even help me process it. If not a cure or a way to reverse it... at least an answer and comfort. Once I realized what happened to me: I've felt very sad and frustrated that - as of 2020 - I didn't get to keep the genitals that God gave me. I know that circumcised men still enjoy sex. (Although, if done neonatally, they generally feel less from it) But above all: I just want to feel whole, complete, and undamaged. Because every ounce of my being makes this feel so wrong. I'm sorry if this seems like a joke. I know that most people in the United States/even in church aren't really informed about any of this. (Difference between neonatal v. adult circumcision, biblical v. modern circumcision, the actual benefits v. risks, etc.) I just need spiritual help, comfort, and, hopefully, in the future, a reversal to the damage, God permitting. And this isn't something you can necessarily talk about in public without being seen as a quack. Please tell me I haven't gone completely crazy. Is it possible here for people to pray that: 1.) That God comforts me (At the very least) 2.) That I could be healed from this injury in the future. (Whether through modern advancements in regenerative therapies/miracle) 3.) That this doesn't happen to more children. (Most importantly) Thanks. I don't want anyone else to go through the emotional pain I have. I'd ask for you to pray that Wake Forest/Foregen works: but, if not, may you also request (provided the former doesn't happen) that God comforts me and lets me accept it?
2020.09.08 02:59 500scnds[Table] My name is Paolo Cattaneo. 5 years ago I quit my job, sold everything I had and embarked in a trip around the world on a motorcycle. Rode for almost 185000 km. Still going! Here to answer question about self sustained living on the road and long distance solo travelling. AmA! (pt 2)
SourcePrevious part Note: I'm not sure whether a trigger warning for mentioning depression is appropriate here, but better to be safe than to be sorry.
Did you have any sort of health insurance during this time? (I'm thinking mainly in the United States where an unexpected visit can cost thousands)
yes. There are specific TRAVEL INSURANCE which cover medical and unforeseen expenses like the one you mentioned. I use Worldnomads, which costs me around $800 a year and cover the whole world.
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The hell?! Can you get that even if you stay in only one country? I live in the U.S. and it costs $500 a month for insurance.
I believe it depends from your country of residence. Ouch
This is such an incredible story! This is one of the coolest things I’ve ever heard or read. I just recently finished reading “The Motorcyle Diaries”. I gave you a follow on ig too. What’s the next country you plan on traveling through?
Thanks a lot!! :) I am planning to ride back to Australia via Asia. Not quite sure yet about the itinerary...since covid stopped me for now. Thanks again for the nice words!
Sorry to ask yet another money question, but I think this is the biggest block to doing something like this for most people! 1. When you went to LA initially (when you were 24), you say you pretty much only had enough money for the plane ticket. How did you sustain yourself when you arrived and how long did it take for you to 'get on your feet'? 2. How do/did you deal with 'scarcity' mentality of perhaps one day not being able to find a job (even an odd job, or a temporary position) and running out of money, and facing a more unstable housing/financial situation? Thanks!
Thanks for the question mate. Again, absolutely plausible. When I flew to LA, I had saved some money for the plane ticket and arranged a couch for the first 2 weeks with a friend of a cousin of a distant uncle (the only real connection I had a the time). Meanwhile I was trying to sell my motorcycle at home in Italy. I sold it 2 days after I left and my family helped me completing the sale and sent me the money overseas. I think I sold the bike for 1200 euros. That lasted me quite a while. I did back and forth from Italy to USA few times and I was getting some occasional jobs in Milan to pay for my trips. I made just enough to pay for flights and accommodation. But I remember that a lot of food was offered to me. I was sleeping on people's couches and at times I was eating one Starbucks Frappuccino a day. I know...not the best diet...but I think It was around $2.5 and full of sugar and coffee so It kept me going. Generally I survived thanks to people I met along the way and their generosity. I had a wonderful time in USA. Most people are really willing to help. Some other instead want to take advantage of you. Learned both lessons the hard way, I guess.
Eventually, after thousands of closed doors, I managed to find an IT company that was willing to sponsor me for my visa stuff. It was a complicated time for me, mostly because I wasn't prepared mentally for such cultural gap and such challenges. When you are alone, without your family and friends around, and you have to take care of yourself and your life, you start to know who you really are.
Somehow It is an experience that I would recommend to everybody. Those are some of the most intense yet rewarding experiences I had in my life.
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Thanks for answering! I was curious to know the reality of upping and moving somewhere without a job waiting for you or much money in your pocket and a frappuccino for your daily meal is certainly a peak behind the curtain!! But I agree with you that most people are kind and willing to help. I believe in that in general. I admire your resilience. I've certainly dealt with a lot of closed doors and isolation from family and friends too, but often get scared to "do what I really want" because I'm so afraid of being stuck somewhere without money. Wishing you continued success and safe travels!
I wish you good luck too! I am sure you can endure much you can think. Go for it!
Can I join you ?! Lmao This is my Dream .. good for you man . Good for fuckin youuuu !!! Share the love & grow strong .
Thanks for the support mate!! Go for it! You can do it!
How come you’re happy and I’m depressed as fuck?
I don't want to open a can of worms, but I was super depressed too. Depression is a state of mind in which you tell yourself that "something is wrong". Whether the wrong comes from inside or outside of you, your mind is telling you that there's something that needs to be fixed. It's a good indicator that you are on the path of healing yourself if you want.
Sincerely, if one is not depressed a bit, these days, it would be completely unaware of your surroundings and even your own existence.
Before leaving for Australia, I spent 2 and a half years in deep sadness (you can call it depression if you will), caused by several factors. I had a meaningless job (for me), I HAD TO live with my parents and I was even going through break up with my ex, which ripped my heart apart. I basically didn't get out of my room for 2 years, while I was helping my grandma on her deathbed and my dad was sick with Alzheimer. Fun, uh?
I am not saying that it's good to be depressed, but you can choose to use it as a propeller to wish for something better. You can change your reality. It's entirely up to you, how you see the world and the opportunities you have in life to grow.
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I understand what you are trying to say but I have to disagree. It's a bit like telling a person with a broken back that if they wished hard enough to walk, they will walk just fine. Depression doesn't work like that. You may have made it out of it but to somebody that is currently in a deeply depressive state, the only thing they will hear is: "You aren't trying hard enough, you could do it but you just aren't even trying. You are a useless piece of shit because you are too lazy to change. It's entirely up to you! You useless fuck."
I agree with you. But I believe that there is somehow a bottom line...and when reached somebody will try to react to it and fight back. It's a self preservation mechanism.
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Nah, believe me, there is no bottom. If there were, there wouldn't be people killing themselves. I don't have any self-preservation left, for example. I'm so dead inside that I don't even bother to kill myself because I even lack that energy. It's just chugging along, time flies, and I'm not really there.
Seems like you are inside "the spiral" mate. You ll get out of it, trust me. Sounds silly but enjoying a bit of sun, seemed to have helped me at that time when I felt like that. In any case, just give it time and don't give up. Try to get outside and stay in nature if you can. It doesn't change much but It helps. Stay strong, mate. Give it time.
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I live in one of the most beautiful areas of the world (county Galway in Ireland), right at the sea. I can see it from my window and the beach is 5 minutes away. It doesn't help. I don't even have the energy to go outside, even on a nice day. You've been lucky to get out, all I ask is you not blaming people that can't. It's not a thing of willpower or sunshine. It's a thing of lacking any kind of willpower. I've been like this for over 20 years, sometimes better, sometimes worse. That's not a spiral anymore. It's a chute.
I'm sorry mate. I hope you ll get better anyway.
I was just looking at your Instagram photos... Wow! You take gorgeous photos and have such an interesting story to share. Have you ever thought about writing a book? It seems to me that travel and adventure magazines would also pay you to write stories for them. Just something to think about. Good luck!
Thank you, but I think that I'm not doing anything that hasn't been done before. I do like to share and help people see the world for the beautiful place it is...but that's about it. Thanks for the compliment, though!
Do you avoid public attractions where you have to pay a fee like castles, palaces or other famous tourist attractions. If you avoid them, are you curious about them and want to visit them but you don’t have enough money or don’t you care about tourist attractions?
Good question! I recently posted the story on my instagram about Machu Picchu in Peru, which I refused to visit because of the exorbitant entry fee. $70 USD to enter the site is an unreasonable amount...regardless the fact that it is undoubtedly a beautiful site to visit. I usually avoid big tourist traps, but sometimes you gotta pay. The most I've paid was $35 to enter Iguazu Falls and $35 to enter Perito moreno Glacier. Both worth it sincerely, even if overpriced. I left the others aside and went for the cheap ones instead.
I am from Greece.Where in Greece have you been?And how did you make money during these years to "pay the bills"?
Oh mate!! what a beautiful country! I had a great time there! I spent most of my quarantine and lockdown in Crete, but I entered Greece from Albania, then rode down to the Peloponnese and rode to Athens, Evia and even Santorini!! Check my insta for all the amazing places I've seen! I am still stoked for the great hospitality I received from the greeks and the amazing places I've seen!! For the economical part of your question, please see previous answers, where I explained in details the money factor.
How do you plan what route you will take? Do you navigate primarily with map+compass? GPS on your phone? Both? If M+C, what sort of compass do you use, and where do you obtain your maps for each country or locality?
Hello! I mostly use Google maps for my navigation and planning. Most of the info i get from the places I want to visit, are obtainable from the app itself. It's a brief guide but works for me. If in remote areas I use Maps.me, which works offline and has trails too.
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Have you tried getting a sponsorship from google for using their maps
I actually thought about it...but never really went through with it. Maybe they let me mount a gigantic 360 camera on top of my helmet and then I'll be stuck with it. Haha
How do you deal with dirty toilets in some areas where you cannot find any usable ones if that has ever happened? Also what do you do when there are none around, like on a desert road or something? This and my trust issues with getting help from strangers is what keeps me from even thinking about doing something like what you're doing.
Very pertinent question as I find myself sometimes with no toilets around. There's a basic system, which I wasn't really accustomed to...that is "squatting"...that help with the mentioned activity. When in the wild, you need to have the curtesy at least of (some privacy, obviously) digging a hole in the ground with a stick or something...and then covering it up when you are done with your business. Toilet paper and wet wipes have to be bagged and disposed in the first available garbage bag. This concerned N2, clearly. For N1, being a guy, it is quite practical. But there are a lot of girls travellers which simply "hide behind something". It is quite unorthodox but I guess you get used to it eventually. It's just a matter of doing it the first few times. Then It becomes ok.
What was the moment you thought, ''It was all worth it''?
It was when I arrived back in Sydney, after riding all around Australia... After the first few days of riding I remember I had still some doubts on my mind about resigning and selling everything, etc. When I returned in my own beloved town, it was like i saw myself in the mirror. I saw myself as the person I was before...and the one I had become. And I didn't like the person I was before...so I understood that my life had changed forever. I realized that giving everything up was worth the realization of who I was at that time. I also realized that I couldn't stop there...
Wah! Thanks for the AmA! I've always wanted to have a chat with people who like to travel the world. Your answers are very straightforward, I love that! Did you ever get into trouble with local people like pickpockets and tourist scam? Did you ever have any emergency medical troubles? Do you try to enjoy local street food? (If so, did you ever had any stomache because your body isn't used to that type of food?). Err I think I've made too many questions at once. Have fun & enjoy your life adventure, whatever you decide to do in your future!
No problems! It's a pleasure!! So, I never really had problems with pickpocketers. But I also always look around while walking in big cities. As I mentioned before, the only bad occurrence I had was in Canada, where somebody stole my rusty tools bag from my bike, while parked in Vancouver. I never had medical issue...hurray!!! I do LOVE to try all food. The "weirdest" the better! I think I have a fetish for local street food. So yeah, I eventually had a bit of stomachache but it was mostly my fault. I had a raw shrimp from a market in Mexico. Not wise! haha I built my immune system I think, just drinking tap water from everywhere. If locals don't die...I shouldn't either, right!? ;)
Is your ass now made of steel?
I had to draw a line in the middle of my bum to see where my cheeks were... ;)
Have you been to Bulgaria yet? How much did you see if you have?
No, I haven't. But It's definitely on my list.
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Are you taking reccomendations for places to visit in countries? Because i have a few reccomendations for bulgaria.
Of course!! 😊 maybe send those to me as DM so those don't get lost in the post. Cheers!! 🙏
Have you ever worried about not being able to get a job later on once you stop travelling, due to the big gap between jobs in your CV?
I am not an HR guy...but If I was... I would hire a guy that travelled the world on a motorcycle to have on my team, instead of somebody with straight AA, tons of certificates and no life experience. but maybe I'm wrong. ;)
100k+ on a KTM and no major problems? INCONCEIVABLE! Do you have an ADV th'd?
ahha I know right!??! It's actually almost 200000 km mate and still going strong with no mechanical issues!! Crazy!! I am in awe too! I am on ADVRIDER, yes. But don't have a thread about this.
When did you find out about COVID and how has it affected your travels? Thanks and warmest regards!
Oh man, that was such a bummer! I left italy on the 15th of Feb, 10 days before the first case in Lombardy. One week later it was already mayhem. As soon as the Italian disaster exploded, people started to look at me as carrier of virus...like they were doing with asians in general, no matter if they were from indonesia or mongolia or china. I entered Albania and there were rumors of borders starting to close. So I headed to Greece, since it is still EU and I could get sent back to Italy easily. After spending 4 months in Greece, I took the first available ferry back to Italy, where I am waiting for the pandemic to settle a bit. Then I'll leave again.
Hey Paolo, I recently rode a motorcycle across Vietnam and it got me inspired to ride from Alaska to Argentina, hopefully leaving next summer, virus permitting. I’ll most likely be riding my Honda CRF250L, not quite a KTM haha. Do you have any advice for a young man looking for more adventure?
Yes. Great bike first of all!! You ll love it! South america is kind of paradise for motorcycling so...yeah. I would recommend you to pick the right seasons to ride alaska and patagonia. Crucial for the outcome of your expedition.
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I appreciate it! I’ll definitely keep the seasons in mind for Patagonia and have already made sure to head to Alaska in the summer.
I mean, I went to Alaska in september and weather was amazing...and rode through patagonia in autumn which was chilly but absolutely fantastic! Less people and beautiful colours!
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Less people would definitely be a plus! What are the average speeds in South America or are certain country’s faster than others? I’m worried my CRF might not be fast enough in places.
Your bike is absolutely fine. Do not worry about that
Ciao! I am a italian too, precisely sicilian. Next summer I will probably travel all sicily, how much money do you think i need to bring, and how can I save as much as possible? I want to stay a bunch of days while traveling through cities. Like 3 days at Agrigento, for example. Any suggestions are welcomed! Sto scrivendo in inglese pure per far vedere ad altri i tuoi suggerimenti
Ciao! well, I cannot tell you how much you'll need to travel...even just Sicily. It depends where you are willing to sleep, what are you willing to sacrifice in terms of food and what time of the year you are planning to travel. Just know that food and accommodation are the most expensive elements of your trip.
Did you get any inspiration from Emilio Scotto’s ride around the world? Any plans (or desire) to try and break his record?
I do not know him. I also never read the Motorcycle diaries or Zen and the art of motorcycle. Also never seen long way around or tried to grow a beard like Che guevara.
Just doing my thing, my own way. But there have been many before me for sure.
Did you ride in Nepal as well? If so, how did you find the roads and the journey through Nepal? Also what was your most adventurous experience here? I am a Nepalese so I am asking these to learn what people think when visiting my country.
I haven't been that part of the world yet. But It's on my list!!!
Did you ever get down and dirty with anyone?
Yes. Mostly with my motorcycle. :)
Why did you choose such a big bike? Is all the driving on roads? What modifications did you make before heading out?
I chose my dream bike. I had no Idea where I would have taken my motorcycle in the future. At the time of purchase, I was in love with it. I still am!
I just added a lighter muffler, skid plate and rear rack. The bike itself is a marvel of technology.
I go on and offroad. see my youtube videos... ;)
Hey man, back when you were trekking across south america, did you visit Venezuela?
When I was In brazil, It didn't occur to me to enter Venezuela. Then when I reached Colombia, the border with it was closed for vehicle due to the unstable situation. I really want to go. It's the pebble in my south american shoe. ;)
I have enjoyed watching your travels on IG. What is the scariest situation you have ever gotten yourself into while traveling?
Thanks for tagging along! I had few close calls with my bike...but I guess, If you ride a motorcycle, it is quite common. I almost fell into a canyon... Ouch
Hi Paolo. Where would you say the best roads were? I mean, good condition, few potholes. Where would you say the best views were? What kind of spare parts did you bring along to make sure you could always keep going?
Mmm best roads...i think ecuador had pretty spectacular new roads. At the time I think most roads were 5-10 years old and conditions were optimal.
Best views probably Peru. Nothing can beat the view from a 6000 m mountain...
You can't possibly carry all spare parts. You never know what could happen...but I did bring a spare front tube in case of a flat and some spare screws. Duct tape and cable ties are also a must for any traveller
I do not have a single moment which I consider my favorite. Generally speaking, I could say that the "feeling of freedom" that riding with no schedule and limitation gives, Is the happy memory that I will bring with me even when this experience will be over. The scariest is certainly the moment when I almost fell into a canyon, while riding in Peru. Colca Canyon is one of the deepest canyons in the world and I lost control of the bike, riding down on a tiny dirt road. Fortunately I managed to stop right at the edge of it...but It took me a good 10 minutes to recover from that close call.
Have you ever feared for your life? As in, did it ever cross your mind that you might get mugged or something? Have you ever been mugged while traveling or been in that situation? Do you carry some sort of knife or gun?
Never feared for my life. No. Maybe it's a bit naive of me but I've never felt in need to carry a weapon to protect myself. I don't think there are people out there willing to kill me to take my stuff. But i did cross countries where this kind of stuff happens. In any case, the probability that this would have happened was in my opinion way smaller than the contrary. In fact if you ever have the chance to talk to some of the other thousands of travellers that have been around for a while, none had the need to carry weapons or any sort of defense aid to protect their personage or belongings. Not even girls.
Have you had any accidents or near misses in your travels? If more than one, are there any that stand out?
Tons!! Unfortunately riding a motorcycle doesn't leave any choice. I almost fell into a canyon in Peru. That wasn't good. Also, close calls with maaaany trucks in Bolivia. There are no driving rules there much... I crashed at 100km/h in Argentina and crashed against a wall, in San Francisco, distracted by my GPS. Normal day at the office! 😅
What was your favorite place you’ve traveled to so far?
I have one favourite place, which I always mention because I support the underdogs... I also love nature and food, so...
Ecuador is my favourite country.
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Any specifics or highlights about Ecuador you can share? Looking for my next trip with a friend!
Galapagos is like Jurassic Park. But with no fancy shopping center. Would recommend Baños and Cuenca area too.
What was it like going through the Middle East? I've always wanted to explore that part of the world.
Haven't quite reached the middle east yet. Stopped by the covid. booo
Any issues or denials to get your bike through customs anywhere?
Nope. Just showing my paperwork and off i went! So far I haven't been in countries that required Carnet de Passage.
I see you have good amount of followers on insta and You tube. Have you thought about using it as a source of income like travel bloggers do or have you already done that? If not have you thought about doing it? Also might be rude but how much did you save in those years that can last so long. I mean if i were to do it like is there any bracket amount you'd like to give us? Also what about your fam?
Not enough to generate income on both i think. But yeah, maybe I ll give it a go in the future. Not sure though...because you need to constantly being absorbed by the platform and create content to generate a good income...which I saw with other people became a burden, in the long run. I saved up 40k in 5 years of work. Best advice I can give is to spend your money wisely. Do not spend it in booze or clothes or any other unnecessary commodity that is not relevant in the long run. Being constantly focused on the preparation of the trip is 80% of what it actually takes to go fo it.
My family has been generally supportive about my trip. They sometimes worry but they do because they care. They don't fully understand my life choices but they respect those because they realized I am the only one responsible for my own future.
What is the worst weather you have had to ride through, and how did you deal with it?
Oh man!! 2 days. One was when I rode 750km under frozen rain in canada, against 60km/h headwind, along lake superior. After i reached my destination, i watched the news and saw that they closed the road I just rode on because it collapsed, devoured by the amount of water that fell from the sky. Average temp was 2 degrees Celsius.
The other day was when I arrived in Vancouver 2 years ago in march. 30 cm of snow. -5°C and worst snow storm in the last decade. If i didn't die that day...
Great AMA. Just watched a few of your YouTube videos. Do you have music playing constantly while riding? How has your music likes changed and is there any songs you still play today from the Australia trip? Thanks
I never listen to music while riding. I actually put some earplugs and try to enjoy the ride and let my thoughts flow. It's my meditation moment. Music I listen to change constantly...depending on mood and situation. I probably still have some ACDC tunes laying around in my playlists somewhere. ;)
How did you cross the Darian Gap?
There were 4 options: - shipping container (Not so cheap, time consuming and risky in terms of getting the bike out from the port) $750 - air freight (fast. 4 hours and you are from one side to the other. not cheap, quick and headaches free) $1000 - fishermen boat (slow. Unsafe? Bike gets covered in salt for 5 days) $600 - sailing boat (5 days cruise to the san blas islands. Expensive. But fun holiday overall) $1200
I went with the plane.
Where you ever afraid or unsafe? I’ve wanted to backpack through South America, but as a single woman I’m afraid of putting myself in a dangerous situation.
It's completely understandable to be worried in that sense. What I can tell you is that there is nothing to worry about. There are women travelling solo in many ways (backpacking, cycling, motorcycle, etc) through south america and they are FINE! No problems. I can list you the "do and don't" about travelling, but I believe that having a bit of commons sense is crucial. If you look for female solo travellers on insta, you will find tons of them. I am sure that they can give you a better and more specific understanding of what entails to travel solo as a woman in third world countries. But again, DO NOT WORRY. It is SAFE.
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I did it in Europe and Iceland, but South America makes me more weary. What about bringing children? Did it feel safe for kids? Also, when it came to your hostel stays, did you ever see any families?
Kids will have a blast in SA! I met plenty of families travelling with kids. It is challenging because of the school thing but it is possible!! The internet and online classes nowadays...
People in SA are very family oriented and have special care for kids. It is an incredible experience for kids to see a reality like the one over there.
Hostels are not quite the best for kids, I admit it. You can find plenty of bnb alternatives and family rooms all over the continent. The same options are available all over the world (hostels, bnb, hotel, motel, apartments, etc).
I'm thinking of purchasing the same bike, is it the R model?. What made you choose this bike as opposed to something that is shaft driven? how did you find the chain maintenance aspect over so many miles? It's amazing there were no mechanical problems at all. Is there a specific brand tyre you use and how many miles would you get from a set? were there many puncturers or blowouts? Knowing what you know now, would you have changed anything with the bike or added something before beginning the journey?
I ride the 1190 adventure NON R model. I prefer chain because it's sincerely I wouldn't want to find myself with broken shaft in the middle of Bolivia. Chain can last up to 40-50k km if well maintained and lubricated. It doesn't take much of your time and it helps reminding yourself that you have to take care of your bike too. I really loved Shinko 705 as tyres. Cheap and super grippy in all surfaces. I didn't have many punctures at all. Maybe 4 in the whole trip! Lucky!
Sincerely, this bike has been beyond perfect and I am still in awe by the reliability and performances of this machine. Kudos to KTM for making such a monstruos bike! If you are not into fast corners and putting your knee down in turns, the R model is actually better because of the customizable shocks. Mine comes with WP electronic suspensions which can't be replaced with others.
Hi Paolo, been a long time follower on Instagram (since South America). Great to see you on here! Initially when you went to work in Australia, did you receive a job offer before moving there, or did you find it once already settled? How come you still have residency in Australia when you've travelled the world for years? Have you ever received any sponsorships along your travels (E.g. from companies or Instagram itself)? If not, have you considered going down that route in order to support your continuous journey? Best of luck, and I look forward to see where the road takes you.
Hey! Thanks for tagging along since such a long time!!
When I moved to Australia I didn't have a job. I spent the first months just looking for some temp gigs, while settling in that new country, at the time. It was crazy because in 2010 people here in Italy thought I went mad for leaving my safe job here, and moving to Australia with no job and as an immigrant. Turned out to be a good choice after all!
I have residency there because I am also a citizen there. Got my Australian passport in 2014.
I haven't received any sponsorship or any monetary endorsement from any companies through Instagram. I don't have enough followers I believe to be considered an "influencer".
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It's always a pleasure tagging along. That's fantastic. I want to work in a different country but all of those I've looked at only allow a work permit if you have been offered work or have experience in specialised manager positions. And as far as I know, one cannot apply for jobs while on a tourist/visitor visa. How did you work around that? Amazing achievement to receive your Australian citizenship in just 4 years! Ah, I see. What a funny world we live in.
I moved to Australia with a working holiday visa, which allowed me to work only for 6 months at the time for each employer. I started working for a recruitment agency and then got bought and hired by my other company, that eventually sponsored me for my residency.
How has your sex life been on the trip? Haha sorry, it does say ask me 'anything'. I guess what I'm saying more specifically is a lot of guys have a fantasy of doing exactly what you're doing and doing plenty of "socializing" in different countries no strings attached. Just wondering if your trip has been fun in that regard or if it's too difficult when staying in hostels etc
I did answer this question already but I'll go into few details again. Travelling in hostels is good and bad. You meet a lot of people but there's no privacy. I tend to respect other people generally so I avoid having sex on bunk beds, bathrooms and stuff like that (which happened to me instead). Not the best to have your bed rattling and having to wear headphones with loud music, trying to get some sleep. Haha
Anyway, the main "issue" in travelling and socializing is that you always have to leave. So unless you go partying and go for the wild night...every night...it's not simple to get close to somebody, even in that sense.
Anyway, my sex life was definitely complicated, compared to the one I had when living in one fixed place in Australia.
Amazing. A question: were you an experienced bike rider before you set off on your trip, or did you decide to use a bike on a whim, and learned as you went? How much biking experience would you recommend to someone before they try a trip like this? Also, what are your thoughts about using a bike vs a car? With a car, you can sleep in the back, making accommodations cheaper, and maybe a bit more luxurious than a tent, but they're also larger, more unwieldy things that cost more to fuel and repair.
Hey! I've been riding motorcycles since I was 14yo (even earlier). So I guess I was kind of an experienced rider, but I wasn't an experience long distance rider so... Not sure if it makes sense to you.
I met different people who recently learned how to ride, doing the same thing I was doing with small learner bikes. I mean, there are literally no limits on what can you do if you want to do it and just...do it, without thinking too much about it.
You know what they say... 4 wheels move the body, 2 wheels move the soul.
Have you been to the Philippines? If so what was your experience and opinion about the place?
Nooo! but definitely want to go there!!! I have a lot of Filipino friends in Australia and they told me about some incredible places to visit!
Just out of curiosity, when you go across continents. Do you start saving up weeks beforehand since the tickets will cost more than your usual expenditure and not to mention shipping your bike as well? Hopefully I can meet you in real life someday! I'm from Hong Kong but just started learning Italian during the pandemic! Grazie mille!
Kudos to you, my friend!! Learning Italian is quite the challenge! just know that even most italians can't speak proper italian, so you'll be fine once visiting the country! ;)
I've been living off my savings so I've been just crossing countries like that. no much planning. Just hop on the bike and go. Shipping of motorcycle only occurred from Australia to South America and from Canada to Ireland. First one was by shipping boat and second one was with Air Canada Cargo. Incredibly, flying was cheaper.
Did you ever wish you had a smaller bike? I‘ve wanted to ask this question for years, ever since I saw a Ewan McGregor travel show, “Long Way Around.” In Ewan’s journey, he used a large BMW 1150/1200, and he was always joking about how jealous he was of the little bike (Ural 500cc?) his friend eventually rode. Thanks in advance!
Yes. I was wishing I had a smaller and lighter bike when I was riding on sand in Brasil or Australia. But then I was quite happy to have a 1200cc engine under my seat when I was going up on some 5000m mountains or during long 800km day rides.
I mean, there is no perfect bike... And there are pro and cons with any kind of bike.
You just have to pick yours and go with it!
Have you heard of the bike dog? The_bike_dog on insta
Yes!! I follow him on Insta!! Amazing feed!
Where are you now and what are your next 5 countries on your list?
Italy now! The next 5 up will depend on how covid behaves in the next few months.
Did you ever make it to New Zealand? If so what was you favourite place in NZ? If not, do you plan to in the future?
I've been to new zealand but not with my motorcycle. It is one of my dreams to ride there though. After what I've seen...
Amazing! Are you going to cross Austria? We have Schnitzel and Apfelstrudel 😉
Ahah Austria is next on my list of countries to visit. I PROMISE! ...i mean, i ride a KTM!
Have you ever been attacked by locals? If so, what was the reason?
The only locals that really attacked me were stray dogs in Chile. Hundreds of those in the streets. They get pretty hostile when in groups...and they aim at the wheels mostly. They chase you and bark at your ankles. Haha 50 meters of pure adrenaline
How do you arrange money for food and fuel? How do you see yourself living your old age given that you likely don't have enough savings for retirement.... to survive in your 50+ or retirement age?
I already addressed the money factor, but I will answer to the second question. I see myself as an old man...living in a 4x4 campervan, parked on some remote beach in Australia, alone, maybe with a dog... Probably with an empty bank account and no big house, but a life full of memories and hopefully a better understanding of myself as a human being. You are only afraid to die if you haven't fully lived, mate!
What do you enjoy about this lifestyle? And what’s a typical day like for you?
The best thing about this lifestyle is the freedom that comes with it. No alarms in the morning, nobody that tells you what to do, no schedules. Free.
I wake up, have coffee and a small bite while checking my social media. Then I look at the map to see where and which routes could be feasible for the day. Then i pack and ride off. Half way in i look for accommodations in the potential destination. When I get there i check around and see if i like it or not. If yes I stay, otherwise i move on to the next location. This is something that only travelling on a motorcycle can give you. Fast change of location, no traffic, easy stop and go, low visibility. Then i find my spot for the night, unpack and enjoy my daily meal. Usually fresh veggies or some local products. At night i rest or sometimes exercise a bit.
Great AMA! 1. Do you ever wish you were with someone, to not be alone in your experiences? Or maybe for people to tag along for a while? (A 2nd person all the time might be a bit much if you like being by yourself). I’ve travelled a little bit by myself and really enjoyed being alone, but sometimes afterwards you might want to talk about an experience with someone who was there with you. I found the freedom of being alone more important, but I’ve never travelled as long as you. 2. Do you ever think of a future where you want to settle down? Maybe wife, kids, and all that? Did your wishes about that change while on the road? Good luck to you!
I have travelled with another rider and even a couple. Not for me. It is hard to find another person you get along with 100%, especially when you are used to have it your way for so long! Said this if you are a solo rider, travelling with a couple 2up, is complicated because they usually have different speed and needs. I prefer to not have a partner with me. It would change the overall experience and I wouldn't be able to be by myself in silence and have moments of absolute peace. You can't be in touch with yourself and embrace the change with another person constantly reminding you who you are and who you have to be. Unfortunately the downsides are sometimes the moments of loneliness...but again, I got used to it. And now i prefer it this way.
As far as family and settling down goes...i am 40 years old and most of my friends are married, with stable jobs and kids. So yeah, it's a constant reminder of my choice in life. But so far, i am happy with what I have done. It's a choice and I am aware of the consequences.
2020.09.02 21:15 roachhelpdesperateFor german cockroach bait - can you recommend Advion vs. InVict gold?
(Sorry for two separate posts; please let me know if I should condense these in to a single post.) I read the sticky on this sub that recommend Advion gel bait for German cockroaches. I have seen it recommended elsewhere, too. However, when I ran the Advion amazon listing through fakespot, it had a pretty low rating. There is another gel bait called InVict gold that I was recommended on this sub; it had much better reviews on fakespot. It made me wonder if anyone here might chime in on why one might be better vs. the other. I'd love to hear a professional's opinion on this, because you guys use these products often. I feel I only have one shot at this, and so was hoping to do it right the first time. Thank you so much! (About fakespot - I believe it is only analyzing for fake sort of reviews/deception, so I guess something could have a low rating there and still be a good product. So just looking for advice!)
2020.09.02 18:01 daprice82Wrestling Observer Rewind ★ Aug. 26, 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:
Dave talks about why there was no new issue last week. It was supposed to be a vacation week so he could finish putting together the Hall of Fame issue, but a series of family illnesses, Dave's uncle having heart surgery, and his mother having a heart scare kept it from being a relaxing week off, but he thanks everyone for the well-wishes he's received.
So with that said, next week is the HOF issue and our big top story this week is....a preview. Sure, ok. The voting is completed and Dave recaps the rules again. All balloting is confidential because there are a lot of voters who would catch heat for it within the industry. Not just for who they did or didn't pick, but simply for participating at all (in other words, Vince ain't gonna be happy if he finds out some of his employees are communicating with Dave Meltzer, even if it's just for HOF voting). Anyway, he lists all the eligible candidates this year and writes a big paragraph about each one, what he thinks their odds are of making it, whether he thinks they're deserving, etc. Similar to what he did last week, but this is for people who actually are on the ballot.
The HOF stuff takes up a huge chunk of the issue, so a lot of the other big stories are all consolidated into a "Catching up on the Headlines" section that are all pretty concise. First up: WWE destroyed the Australian attendance record! Their recent show this week in Melbourne drew a sellout crowd of nearly 57,000 people and a $5.7 million gate (in AUS dollars), equaling the 4th largest gate in WWE history, trailing behind WM18, WM17, and WM6. There was controversy the week of the show when Hulk Hogan pulled out, since he had been the top star advertised for months and was a big reason why a lot of those tickets were sold, and it got a lot of negative mainstream publicity in the days before. Hogan didn't want to take the two long plane rides due to his worsening back problems and also asked for the weekend off for his birthday, but there's also rumors of a financial dispute between Hogan and WWE. Paul Heyman came out and he and Lesnar tried to get the heat from Hogan not being there, since Lesnar was the one who took him out on Raw last week but fans were pretty pissed about no Hulkster. It was a Smackdown-branded show, but lots of Raw names appeared, and they showed a bunch of those clips on Raw, and at this point, why are we even pretending with the brand split anymore? WWE hasn't been there in about 10 years so there was a ton of mainstream coverage of this show throughout Australia. Lance Storm, Christian, and Test were all seen as huge babyfaces to the fans because they're in the midst of doing their Un-Americans gimmick and turns out pretty much anywhere you go on this planet, if you shit on America, the rest of the world loves you for it. So they all had to cut anti-Australia promos before their matches in order to get booed. Even though last week it looked like he wouldn't be ready in time, Triple H did end up working the show after all, his first match back since elbow surgery. The main event was Rock vs. Brock vs. Triple H in a 3-way, that ended with Rock beating Triple H to retain the title, because they have to protect Lesnar for his inevitable title victory at Summerslam. And that was that (here's the full show in 2 parts).
After more than a year of rumors, Bill Goldberg is finally making moves in the wrestling world. Goldberg will work as an announcer for the PRIDE/K-1 joint stadium show this coming week and then later that week, he'll make his in-ring return for AJPW, working both nights of their 30th anniversary show at Budokan Hall. The first night, he will face Satoshi Kojima, and will face Taiyo Kea the following night. These will be Goldberg's first matches since Jan. 2001 when he worked his final WCW match. Dave isn't sure about this. In theory, you'd expect Goldberg to steamroll these guys, but that doesn't make sense because they're both young stars that AJPW really needs to protect right now. Kojima especially, as he's one of the the best wrestlers in the world and a key building block for AJPW's future. It only makes sense for Goldberg to win if he's sticking around for awhile, in which case he could then move on to bigger matches with Keiji Muto or Genichiro Tenryu. Dave isn't sure how helpful it is to have Goldberg go over these guys and that be the end of it. Especially since he may be headed to WWE soon after this. Oh yeah, guess I should have led with that part: Goldberg finally decided to return Vince McMahon's calls. Goldberg has scheduled a meeting with Vince to negotiate a WWE deal so we may finally see Goldberg in WWE soon, assuming the talks go well.
Steve Austin was arrested this week in relation to the alleged assault on his wife Debra. Austin turned himself into police on Aug. 13th and was booked on a charge of assault causing bodily harm, a class A misdemeanor. Debra declined to file charges but the police evidently had enough evidence to pursue it themselves, so they did and issued a warrant for his arrest. Austin was released after posting a $5,000 bond. If convicted, he faces a maximum of a year in prison and $4,000 maximum fine. WWE reported the news on their website, seemingly another attempt at twisting the knife in their ongoing effort to bury Austin over how he walked out of the company. The arrest re-opened the case to the public eye and made mainstream news throughout the country.
A pretty hilarious moment happened at the Smackdown tapings in Seattle this week. If you recall, WWE did a site survey at Safeco Field to see about hosting Wrestlemania there. Right now, it's the front-runner for the show and WWE held back-to-back Raw/SD tapings there on consecutive nights as a way to test the market. If the shows did good, then Wrestlemania in Seattle is probably a go. If not, back to the drawing board. Anyway, if you're curious, Raw was sold out and Smackdown was 90% full, so it's looking pretty certain that Seattle will indeed get Wrestlemania. But here's the funny part: local radio DJ Andy Savage was there to do some pre-show crowd hype stuff. Well, he went out before the tapings and announced to the crowd that Wrestlemania will be in Seattle. Needless to say, the crowd went nuts. But WWE didn't want the word out yet because they have big plans to do a rally in a few months coinciding with tickets going on-sale. So they sent ring announcer Tony Chimmel out there to tell the crowd that Seattle was being considered, but it's not official. That resulted in the crowd booing him heavily. Whoops.
Masahiro Chono won his fourth NJPW G-1 Climax tournament, beating Yoshihiro Takayama in the finals. It aired as a live special on TV and did a disappointing rating, the latest in a long line of bad shows and disappointments for NJPW. Dave recaps the whole show and why everything was pretty much just boring or bad. "This idea of using shooters against New Japan has long since run its course" Dave says and he thinks the company is already in bad shape and is going to get far worse if they don't stop booking like it's 1979 (gonna take awhile).
Hey, speaking of Inoki fucking things up, his latest UFO MMA show is in the books and what a disaster. Needless to say, despite all of Inoki's claims, Mike Tyson and Thomas Hearns did not appear. There were only about 12,000 people in attendance and only 5,000 or so of them were paid. Oh yeah, did I mention this was in the Tokyo Dome? It was the smallest MMA/wrestling audience in the history of the Dome. Just a mismash of MMA and pro wrestling that was soundly rejected by fans of both. In the lowlight of the show, Chyna showed up and challenged anyone in the audience to face her. They brought out a woman named Chika Nakamura, a Golden Gloves boxing champion. They did a worked shoot/wrestling match that, of course, was terrible and Chyna won. Afterwards, she said she wanted to fight the men. Dave is flabbergasted at all this but more on that in just a second. The main event of Naoya Ogawa vs. amateur wrestler Matt Ghaffari "was the MMA equivalent of the Patterson/Brisco evening gown match." Ghaffari was terribly out of shape and it was completely awful (I can't find video of this Chyna/Chika Nakamura match anywhere).
NJPW is indeed planning to book Chyna on several shows in September, facing male wrestlers. She's teaming with some undercard guys in a 6-man match against the team of Yuji Nagata, Jushin Liger, and Masahito Kakihara. Dave says he's in fear of watching that one, trying to imagine Chyna facing off with Nagata in a NJPW style match. In other matches, she's facing names such as Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kenzo Suzuki, Masahiro Chono, Minoru Tanaka, and more. In case that's not enough bad ideas for one tour, NJPW is also bringing in a fake Great Muta. Turns out they own the rights to the gimmick, so evidently they're planning to do their own version of the fake Diesel/Razor thing. "More Inoki insanity," as Dave puts it.
Big long ratings analysis deal. Dave talks about how the injury to Triple H and Austin walking out might have been the best things to happen for WWE in the long run because it's finally forced them to get serious about creating new stars. Smackdown in particular has shown good strides in trying to distinguish itself and build for the future. Lesnar is finally starting to really show star aura, mostly due to how he murdered Hogan a couple weeks back. Mysterio, Jamie Noble, Nidia, and John Cena are all getting pushes, Angle is being pushed as a serious top guy, and Edge is being elevated. Rock's most recent return has been kind of a ratings disappointment, but he's definitely helped anchor the ship in this last month or two. Raw is far more stale, with Triple H as the focus, 37-year-old Booker T, and established names like The UnAmericans and Goldust getting most of the TV time. The only "new" stars Raw has really pushed at all lately are Chris Nowinsky and Eric Bischoff. Dave also talks about the effect that the upcoming NFL season will have on Raw ratings and mentions that WCW used to always be more hurt by Monday Night Football than Raw was, because Nitro's audience was older while Raw had the benefit of attracting a younger viewership. That sentence sure feels relevant 18 years later. Rock is also leaving after Summerslam, which probably won't help either.
With the recent launch of TNA, Dave is somewhat surprised that WWE hasn't tried to raid their roster in any way so far, something that has been standard practice for decades now. In the 80s, Vince raided every promotion and ruthlessly drove them all under. In the 90s, it was a 2-way street, with WWF and WCW routinely poaching from each other. When XWF started, soon after their first set of tapings, WWE signed up Lawler, Hennig, and Hogan. So why not TNA yet? Well, for starters, TNA started at around the exact same moment WWE (a publicly traded company) began making major budget cuts and released a bunch of wrestlers as well as office staff. It's kinda hard to do that and then justify signing a bunch of TNA stars the next day, ya know? Furthermore, much like ECW, it may be in WWE's best interest to let TNA exist. So long as they aren't a threat (and they aren't even close), it doesn't hurt to have a place where future stars can gain experience and maybe build a name. In the last 2 months, several names have definitely raised their profile. But then there's the guys who WWE may not want. Ken Shamrock was heavily negotiating with WWE earlier this year before essentially walking away from the table because they wouldn't allow him to fight in UFC while under contract and it sounds like WWE may have felt a bit burned by Shamrock turning them down to sign with TNA instead. WWE also isn't going to want Scott Hall and probably not Jeff Jarrett. As for Ron Killings, he said he doesn't want to go back because he felt disrespected by how he was released the last time. But Dave says he's only 30 years old and when big money is on the table, people change their minds about that stuff quick so it wouldn't surprise Dave to see WWE go after him again some day. That being said, Killings hasn't been shy about publicly bashing Vince McMahon and Jim Ross over his firing, so who knows. Jerry Lynn, Vince Russo, Ricky Steamboat...all have previously left WWE on somewhat unhappy terms and Dave doesn't think they would be high on the list of people they'd want back anytime soon.
Which leads us to TNA's young stars. Christopher Daniels has been on WWE's radar for years but they've never pulled the trigger. AJ Styles was offered a WWE developmental deal not too long ago and turned it down because he didn't want to uproot his family and quit his day job for a $500-per-week developmental deal. WWE has looked at Low-Ki a few times before also but he doesn't fit what they want. Dave thinks Paul Heyman could probably turn him into a star if they put him on Smackdown. So on and so forth. Lots of guys who already had developmental deals at one point and got cut. And then there's Monty Brown. Dave thinks he's essentially the prototype of what WWE looks for in new talent. The only issue is that he's already 32, which is a bit old to be just starting out. But the dude clearly has something and out of anybody on TNA's roster, Dave wouldn't be surprised to see WWE go after him as soon as they possibly can, depending on his TNA contract situation.
Dave has these numbers every month and I usually skip past it, but just for shits and giggles, here are some comparisons between looking at July 2001 vs. July 2002. It shows just how badly business has collapsed in one year. Average attendance down 44.6%. Average gate down 39.9%. Raw ratings down 24.4%. Smackdown ratings only down 16.6%. In July of last year, they sold out about 30% of house shows. This July, only 3%. Kinda easy to see why Vince was throwing anything at the wall at this point. Watching your live crowds almost cut in half in one year would probably make anybody panic.
CMLL head Paco Alonso was asked about the possibility of bringing Konnan back to the promotion, but Alonso said he would close the company before he ever brought Konnan back (he held his word. Konnan reportedly tried to patch things up over the years, but no dice. Paco Alonso went to his grave never forgiving Konnan. To this day, he's never been welcomed back in CMLL).
WWC in Puerto Rico, which was looking to be on death's door a couple weeks ago, is suddenly getting a lot of mainstream publicity for an angle with Carlos Colon and popular TV host Antulio "Kobbo" Santarrosa. It appears the issue between the two men started as a shoot when Colon got into an argument with Santarrosa at the TV studio (this wasn't on television, it was behind the scenes at the offices and who knows what it was about) and it led to Colon getting taken out by security and legitimately arrested. That story made the media rounds. But then Colon and Santarrosa worked out their differences and decided to turn it into an angle for TV. The charges got dropped and they did a match where Santarrosa actually bladed for Colon and took a beating and then they did the Steve Austin/WM13 finish where Colon had him bloodied and in a figure four, but Santarrosa (again, a TV host, not a wrestler) wouldn't submit and passed out. The angle got over huge, with Santarrosa getting a ton of praise for going in there and actually bleeding and working like a real wrestler. It got a ton of publicity and lit a fire under WWC this week. As for whether the first part was shoot or legit, who knows. A real police report was filed, and Colon legitimately was arrested, but the charges were later dropped and some have accused Colon and Santarrosa of filing a fake police report to help drum up publicity for the whole thing.
The week before, WWC had another hot angle with Konnan turning heel on the Colon family in a unique way. The angle was Konnan had been romancing Stacey Colon, Carlos' daughter and it was all building up to where Konnan was expected to propose to her. She was in the ring and he had a guitar and was serenading her with songs and all that fun stuff, and then he turned and bashed her over the head with the guitar. The whole arena fell silent at first and then went nuts and police had to call for backup to stop what turned into a legit riot. The plan is for Carly Colon (Carlito) to go for revenge on behalf of his sister against Konnan at the anniversary show. Konnan has since been getting death threats and needed extra security at later shows. So 2 hot angles in 2 weeks have suddenly got WWC back in the game. (Good news! Not only does this video below have the angle, but it also has footage of the rioting crowd at the end!)
Ray Gonzalez is still trying to get out of his WWC contract so he can join IWA. But that's still being untangled by the lawyers. In the meantime, IWA still isn't using him because they don't want to risk getting in legal trouble, although there's some who are arguing that WWC is in such bad financial shape right now that they wouldn't have the money to take the issue to court anyway. Most people there think WWC will be folding soon (think again buddy). But IWA head Victor Quinones isn't risking it, so no Gonzalez there for now. But they are not-so-subtly hinting about him, with the belief that sooner or later, he's going to get out of his contract and be free to join.
Feels wrong to skip through the entire Japan section but there's no real news here from any promotion. Dave does recap the latest NJPW shows and calls them pathetic and says that the Tadao Yasuda push "must be stopped." Awful matches with him. Steiners are working the tour and Scott Steiner in particular looks awful. Yuji Nagata vs. Bas Rutten in the main event in yet another worked-shoot style match that isn't getting over with anyone other than Inoki. Just more of the same.
Bret Hart gave his first interview since his stroke to the Calgary Sun. He said he's getting a lot of movement back, but is still worried about his face paralysis, with much of the left side of his face still droopy and paralyzed. But Bret says he's determined to rebuild himself and will overcome these issues. He talked about how hard it's been, just mentally, and how he broke down when he needed a nurse to help him to the bathroom. He can left his arm but can't hold a book in his left hand for long. He's walking again but he can't drive yet because of weakened vision in his left eye and his voice is still weak so he has trouble talking for long periods of time. Another story in the Toronto Sun about Hart mentioned that he has spoken with Vince McMahon since his stroke. Dave hopes that's the first step in those two guys making peace because the beef between them has gone on far too long.
Shaun Assael, the author of the Sex Lies & Headlocks" book is working on a story about Davey Boy Smith for ESPN. Assael was in Calgary this week interviewing people. The initial toxicology reports on Davey Boy are back and showed no sign of street drugs in his system. Results regarding steroids or other prescription drugs may take longer, as they are being done by a lab in France. Speaking of, while we're on the subject, toxicology results also came back for Russ Haas awhile back and he had no drugs in his system either. His death appears to have simply been a tragic natural causes heart attack at a young age.
Bobby Heenan's book is coming out soon and he's making the media rounds to promote it. Dave expects to have a review in a few weeks, but he's pretty much heard the gist already. Heenan doesn't have anything bad to say about Hogan or Vince McMahon and in fact praises most of the wrestlers he ever worked with. However, he doesn't have many nice things to say about Tony Schiavone, Vince Russo, Eric Bischoff, Craig Leathers, and Scott Hudson. But that's about all he really knows so far.
The TV show America's Most Wanted is working on a story about what happened to former XPW wrestler Messiah. They were filming at a recent benefit show for Messiah to raise money for his medical treatment and they're attempting to get comment from XPW on the incident.
Speaking of XPW, they were attempting to run a show at the old ECW arena in Philadelphia and what a mess that turned into. They booked the building and started selling tickets but then someone pointed out that they don't have a license to promote wrestling in the state and they also need to put up a bond. So first they went to ROH promoter Rob Feinstein and asked to use their license. ROH turned them down. So then XPW went and tried to get the bond, but found out they needed a business address within the state. So they used ROH's business address without Feinstein's permission. When word got out, people were furious with ROH because they felt they were helping XPW. You see, people really don't like XPW because promoter Rob Black is a sick psychopath who does insane shit to get attention (Dave notes a recent incident where Black went online and claimed he was going to kill a dog and live-stream it, causing people to contact the police and the humane society. Black eventually claimed it was just a publicity stunt and he wasn't going to actually do it). So basically, shit like this is why ROH fans were outraged when they thought the company was helping XPW. Ring of Honor booker Gabe Sapolsky was furious that XPW used their business address to secure the bond for their show. In the meantime, XPW has managed to secure a license via some other means and the show at the ECW Arena is still a go.
Ed Ferrara has left TNA and will no longer be part of the broadcast team. Dave doesn't really give any details why, but everyone agrees the 2-man booth works better anyway, even though Don West isn't particularly great at it. But he's damn enthusiastic and is good at promoting the next week's show.
Notes from TNA weekly PPV: Low-Ki won the X Division title in a three-way over AJ Styles and Jerry Lynn in the main event in what was possibly the best match in the short history of this company. Dave gives it 4.5 stars and calls it "ROH quality." Opening match was hot too, but everything in between was hot garbage. Ron Killings won the NWA title from Ken Shamrock in a sloppy match with a totally blown finish that Shamrock fucked up. This was basically a way to write Shamrock out of the company because they pretty much can't afford his contract anymore (he's the 2nd highest paid guy behind Scott Hall). The crowd was cheering Killings over Shamrock anyway. They played up the race angle big, with Killings being proclaimed the first black NWA champion, which is true. But Dave hates that everything with Killings right now is playing the race card, since that's been the whole storyline with him since the company started. They also played it the opposite way, with Jeff Jarrett complaining that Ricky Steamboat, a Hawaiian, was favoring minorities and not giving Jarrett a title shot because he's white. Dave wishes they'd just stop. They also created a hardcore title "in one of the worst atrocities known to mankind" so it sounds like it was pretty bad. The "title" is a spittoon that somehow, both the Dupps won so they're co-hardcore champions. There's a complicated point system and everything. Dave can't fathom how this made air. Monty Brown beat Elix Skipper, and originally, Russo had booked Skipper to win because Brown is the one getting the big push and he figured it'd be a surprise (swerve bro!) to have Skipper get the win instead. Logic prevailed and Russo was overruled, thankfully. And that's pretty much the only noteworthy stuff from this episode.
Speaking of Monty Brown, Dave recounts a story from back in 1997 where Brown went to a radio station to meet Ric Flair and did some dead-on impressions of Hogan and Savage and talked about how he wanted to be a wrestler. Flair was super encouraging, but it never led anywhere. Dave is kinda baffled how Brown didn't end up in the business until now. He's built like a brick shit house, he's oozing charisma, he can talk his ass off, he's an ex-NFL star, and he wanted to get into the business at 27 years old and was reaching out to all the right people. But somehow, WWF, WCW, and ECW all somehow completely missed this can't-miss prospect back when he was trying to get their attention.
Scott Hall's TNA deal is said to be $3,000-3,500 per show and first class transportation. TNA is, naturally, trying to cut that back. Hall has agreed to fly coach, but they're also wanting to cut way back on that per-show contract and it remains to be seen if Hall is wanting to give that up. They're also looking at bringing in X-Pac and they could team him with Hall (although Vince McMahon owns the X-Pac and NWO names, so they couldn't use that). Speaking of, yeah, word is X-Pac is on his way out the door in WWE, and has either already been released or will be soon, though he may have a 90-day non-compete. Buff Bagwell also hasn't been brought back to TNA due to budget and attitude reasons.
In fact, while we're on the subject, a lot of TNA wrestlers were told their pay was being cut back, many of them being guys who weren't making all that much to begin with. They're also using less and less fly-ins. Basically, if you work cheap and you're willing to drive, they'll use you. But that's where they're at right now.
Various TNA news and notes: American Dragon is expected to be brought in soon (never happened). Ricky Steamboat asked to turn heel, it wasn't a Vince Russo idea, but it was Russo's idea to rush it (ends up not happening, Steamboat leaves TNA pretty much right after this and as a result, has never turned heel in his career. It was close though). Still no news on Shane Douglas coming in. Screech from Saved By The Bell is expected to work a show for them soon. They're also talking to other companies about DVD releases and video games.
One other note from TNA's most recent show, it featured Malice vs. Don Harris in a first blood match that ended when Harris accidentally got hardway busted open early on in the match. Dave also notes that Harris wore an SS shirt to the ring and Dave hopes he was just trying to get heat (nope, they got the tattoos too. Harris brothers are fuckin' Nazis). Anyway, no one noticed until after it aired and they started getting complaints, prompting TNA to issue a vague apology on their website without naming who wore the shirt or acknowledging what was on it.
About 15 front office employees were laid off from WWE this week due to budget cuts. The company is attempting to slash $20 million in expenses and this was part of that. As much as it sucks to see people lose their job, Dave gives WWE credit for making smart business decisions. So many other companies let problems linger and get out of control, but not Vince. At the first sign of trouble, he makes the necessary changes to keep WWE profitable, even if it means heads gotta roll from time to time.
Notes from Raw: the show did a great job building to Summerslam. Eric Bischoff killed the 24/7 rule for the Hardcore title, which Dave thinks was long overdue (and we wouldn't see the 24/7 rule again until they created the 24/7 title). Trish Stratus beat Stacy Keibler in a bra and panties mud wrestling match, which of course led to Howard Finkel ending up in the mud. Chris Jericho and his band Fozzy performed and were booed mercilessly, which was expected since Jericho cut a heel promo earlier in the night trashing the fans. So it was the desired reaction. Dave thinks Jericho's a much better wrestler than singer. Rock vs. Triple H in the main event in a no DQ match ended without a finish. "Nitro lives!" Dave jokes. Rock has been training at the Miami Dolphins camp and has lost a lot of weight doing conditioning training (yeah, this is around the time Rock almost looked like a normal person, rather than the steroid monster he is now). The show ended with a big Rock/Michaels/Triple H/Lesnar fiasco. Shawn seemed to be favoring his back and tried a dive over the top ropes, but didn't quite clear the top. But luckily, he wasn't hurt and they had a wild brawl to end the show. Dave has no doubt that Shawn is probably going to have a great match at Summerslam, but he hopes he doesn't re-injure his back in the process.
At the tapings for next week's Smackdown, Lita worked as a commentator for the Velocity taping portion alongside Marc Lloyd. From those who heard it on the live feed, they were horrible together and they'll have to re-do a lot of it in the studio. Stephanie was basically back to being a heel this week as GM, and since people don't want to cheer her anyway, maybe it's for the best. Mysterio hit the west coast pop on Angle and it'll look fine on TV, but live, it got messed up 2 times before he finally got it right. One of the time, Mysterio's knee brace cut Angle's head, causing him to bleed everywhere. But due to the magic of editing, it should be okay for TV. Funaki debuted as a backstage announcer, doing a stereotypical gimmick. Eddie and Chavo Guerrero teamed up and word is Heyman is wanting to push the Guerreros together as a team, freeing up Benoit to continue solo. Rock vs. Benoit was a great main event match and Benoit did a diving headbutt for the first time since his neck surgery (sigh).
Latest notes from Jim Ross' weekly Ross Report on WWE.com: talked about the cookbook he's working on. Talked about Hogan not appearing in Australia and blamed it on a back injury, which Dave says is part of the story but not all of it (the previously hinted-at money disagreements). Maven's broken leg and ankle injuries aren't healing like they hoped and he's still months away from returning. JR also said he doesn't like the names "Jamal" and "Rosie" for the Island Boyz, but that's what they're stuck with, so.....so be it. Ross also issued a veiled threat, writing, "I would think some talents with weight issues would be more inclined to personally address those issues, but, unfortunately, that does not seem to the case. More than one talent should use some self-discipline and get into game shape." Dave figures that pretty much has to be about Big Show. He also mentioned Hogan's book is coming out in November. Dave expects to spend the entire Observer issue that week reviewing it and, presumably, pointing out all the lies.
Nothing new on the Goldberg front. Relations between he and WWE are positive right now and they're talking but not really close to a deal. If Goldberg could have his way, he'd like to remain a free agent and cherry pick big shows to work in the U.S. and Japan. But WWE isn't gonna go for that kind of deal, either they want Goldberg exclusively under contract full time, or they don't want him at all.
This week's WWE Confidential was a "before they were stars" piece on Shawn Michaels. Only thing noteworthy is that Michaels talked about his trainer Jose Lothario and was dismissive of him, saying he only cares about making money. Dave says Shawn and Jose used to be close, but they went into business together on the TWA wrestling school during Shawn's retirement (the place where Spanky and American Dragon trained) and Shawn and Jose had a falling out during that time. So Shawn doesn't have a whole lot of nice things to say about Jose these days.
Latest on ECW bankruptcy proceedings was a motion that would see all remaining ECW assets going to video game company Acclaim. However, WWE filed an objection this week, claiming they are still owed $616,287 from ECW. The only thing left of the company with any value is the video library. Pioneer Video, the company that worked with ECW on video releases, also wants to put out more old ECW videos and is trying to stake a claim to the footage. But Dave suspects WWE will end up with the library when all is said and done.
Howard Stern claimed on his radio show that he spoke with Vince McMahon a few weeks ago about appearing at Summerslam. Stern said he decided against doing it, but he and Vince have continued talking and pitching ideas back and forth, so Stern in WWE may still happen someday. Stern also talked about starting his own wrestling company. Oh lord.
Various WWE notes: Lesnar went down to Florida where Rock lives this week so the two of them could work out their match for Summerslam. Shawn Stasiak's new finishing move has been named "the ratings drop" and Dave thinks that's a little too on the nose. Hogan and Vince are still having disagreements over money and his future direction, but Hogan is still under contract, so he's not going anywhere anytime soon, even if there was somewhere to go.
NEXT WEDNESDAY:Summerslam fallout, Brock Lesnar wins the WWE title, Shawn Michaels returns to the ring, Observer Hall of Fame, Tiger Ali Singh sues WWE, Bret Hart makes first public appearance since stroke, and more...
2020.08.27 07:15 Mus29487My white American ass has questions about race/religion/culture. I wanna start an open discussion between different types of people so that we can understand one another a little better and stop being such douches to one another :)
So I was writing a reply to a FB post about how school curriculums need to be restructured to promote inclusivity and an open space to ask questions about cultures, religions, races, etc. As I was writing it, I realized that there are hella things I don’t understand both about said cultures, religions, and races and the purpose of some tools or jewelry or hairstyles or whatever that white people have no use for and don’t use. I would like to understand as much as I can. Ik that there are certain things that POC face in America that I’ll never be able to understand as a white girl. I can and will be an ally to the best of my ability. I feel as though to be a good ally, I need to be educated. So I’m asking questions that may come off as offensive through a screen, but I’m trying to word them as respectfully as possible and mean no harm or hatred to anyone. I’m just curious and want to make sure any misconceptions I have are set straight. If I word something wrong to make it seem offensive, please call my ass out and correct me. I just want to learn and thought it’d be better to come to everyday people instead of reading some article about culture 🤷🏻♀️ Answer what applies to you and/or keep the thread going and ask your own questions! I want this to be open. If ya’ll have any questions about shit white people do or Christianity or like hairstyles or American shit or anything like that, feel free to ask. Idk if you know everything ik about this stuff bc to me it seems like common knowledge, mostly bc white people have privilege so our shit is everywhere. I hope this turns into a good conversation to understand one another :) I guess the first one I’ll ask is about textured hair? How do braids or cornrows or dreads or other styles protect textured hair? Why don’t people with that hair type wash it everyday? Why do ya’ll wear the shower cap things to bed? What is the point of a do-rag? Why do ya’ll seem to use extensions or weaves in hella hairdos? Does your hair just not grow very fast or do you just not wanna wait or is it easier to switch it up that way or is it hard to get length without straightening it and causing breakage with heat damage because it’s curly? Do black people get ashy often like the stereotype that exists? If you do, do you know if there’s a particular reason why? How do you feel about the stereotype of black people loving watermelon and fried chicken? What are your thoughts on BLM? Do you think the movement is moving in the right direction? Do you have a memory about a bad encounter with the cops because of your race? How can allies better help amplify your voices as you lead? Please go off about your thoughts on BLM. Don’t hold anything back. There seems to be a huge cultural difference with slang and dialects. I’m sure POC have heard white people say, “oh, they sounded black/ghetto” (they use these words interchangeably), or “WHY CAN’T THEY JUST SPEAK ENGLISH”, or, “their accent was so thick I couldn’t understand shit”. Do we sound different to you? Do you think there’s a difference between sounding educated vs white or black or latino or asian, etc. in America? The reason I ask is bc I’ve heard many white people discredit POC’s speech as being uneducated compared to white people because they have a superiority complex. I just want to hear other people’s experiences on that bc I hear it a lot. What is the significance of the red dots Indian people wear on their foreheads? Are they called bindis? I feel like this girl who was explaining some Indian culture to me in middle school called them bindis, idk. Correct me if I’m wrong. Do all women get their noses pierced in Indian culture or is it a religious thing? Is almost every Indian person a Buddhist or Hindu? Why are cows considered sacred in Hinduism? Is there a significance to wearing red on your wedding day? Do most saris expose the belly and if so why is that? How do you feel about the stereotype of Indians only work in tech support or Dunkin’ Donuts? Does it bother you that dumb ass people don’t realize India is in Asia and not the middle east? Is traditional dance a big part of Indian culture? Does it irritate you when people don’t understand the difference between forced and arranged marriage? Is Islam a peaceful religion? It has been demonized in American media especially since 9/11. Is it just extremists that make it look bad? I’ve literally learned NOTHING about Islam bc I went to Catholic school so I have a lot of questions. If you are a religious Muslim, what is your favorite passage from the Quran and why? Also, I’ve seen your religious book spelled a million different ways, how is it supposed to be spelled? Why do people wear hijabs? Why do some people wear hijabs vs. burkas? Is it a religious or political thing? I thought I had read something about it being political & idk if I’m remembering wrong. Do you feel oppressed as an Islamic woman by either your religion or your culture? I ask because to western standards and the big push for feminist movements, it looks as though you’re still submissive to men & have strict policies that aren’t standard here. Are turbans part of Islam or am I in the wrong religion/culture? What are mosques like? I’ve always wanted to visit for the experience, but I never wanted to intrude on your space & worship. Are there religious services in mosques or is it all independent? If there are services, what do they look like? Does praying 5 times a day get exhausting? How do you juggle a typical, busy 40+ hr work week and finding time to pray that much? What is the significance of bowing on what looks like a yoga mat? What is the mat ya’ll use? If any witches come across this, can you explain the basics of the structure and the beliefs of witchcraft. Because I wouldn’t even know where to start. If any former Amish people come across this, what was it like growing up without technology? Why are the clothes so plain? What is religion like in Amish communities? Do women always have to have their hair in bonnets? Ya’ll make some good food. No question here, just a complement. Was the culture shock of the outside world so overwhelming that you didn’t know how to handle it/cope? Does every teen get wild during Rumspringa? What made you want to leave your community for good? Why don’t Jehovah’s Witnesses celebrate their birthdays? How do you feel about the stereotype about acting like you’re not home so the Jehovah’s Witnesses will leave you alone? Are Mormons really just baby factories like the stereotypes? Are Mormons actually into polygamy? What are the actual beliefs of the church of the LDS? Have you seen the musical, the Book of Mormon and are you offended by it? Why do guys have to do two years of “spreading the word”? What are they called, missionaries? Why are the guys above called elders? Does it bother you when people think Africa is a country and not a continent? Where are the rich parts of Africa? Is it a majority, a minority, or 50/50 on the amount of poor to rich countries in Africa? Does the stereotype that Americans have about everyone on the African continent is poor, starving, and living in a mud hut bother you? What are the big religions there? Why does it seem like many African countries like bright colors and patterns? What is something specific to your country that is unique? Do all Russians really drink vodka? How have ya’ll not froze to death yet up in Russia? Does Putin actually have a lot of supporters or do a majority hate him? Does the fact that Americans can’t tell Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, and Korean features or languages apart bother ya’ll? What is it like in China under a communist government? Is it shit? Is it okay? Do you think it actually kinda works? What are your thoughts on the one child policy or does that not exist anymore? Is it always crowded af? What are some great things about Japan away from Tokyo? I feel like Tokyo is all that’s ever talked about. Are ya’ll bitter at the U.S. for the atomic bomb? I understand if you are. Do you really have school on Saturdays? What is South Korea like? What is your view on the North/South Korean divide? Have the two been separated so long that it doesn’t affect much anymore or do ya’ll think about the filtered world your neighbors have created for their people often? I have absolutely no idea what goes on in Vietnam, Indonesia, or the Philippines. Please enlighten me and tell me the best and worst things about your country and culture. Australia, are you okay with your big ass spiders and dangerous snakes? What are the attitudes of the British colonists’ descendants towards the Australian natives? How about the other way around? South America! Are a majority of ya’ll super poor? Brazil, does it bother you when people think you speak Spanish instead of Portuguese? What is it like living that close to the equator? How do ya’ll deal with the constant heat? Does it irritate you when Americans think all latinos are Mexican bc a majority of this country is racist towards latinos, specifically Mexicans? Central America, are ya’ll super poor as well? Literally American media has grouped latinos all together for the most part. What is in Panama other than the canal? Are ya’ll bitter at the U.S.? I would be. What do you think the biggest differences between South American, Central American, Mexican, and Spanish cultures are? Mexicans. I’m sorry the U.S. media hates ya’ll so much. Do you get frustrated with the American media’s portrayal of ya’ll? If you’ve been in an ICE detention center, what is it like and what do you think would be the best way to help? Other than by overthrowing the government bc that’s a big order. Thank you all in advance for reading and hopefully responding. Again, please don’t eat me alive if I ended up wording questions offensively. I think I got less academic-sounding as I went on bc I got tired. I have 0 intent of being a dick. Please correct me so I learn. Hope ya’ll have a great morning/day/night :)
2020.08.26 18:00 daprice82Wrestling Observer Rewind ★ Aug. 12, 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:
In one of the sickest and strangest stories in indie wrestling history, former XPW star Messiah was attacked in his home by men who cut off his thumb and also attempted to cut off his penis. Police are now investigating under the belief that the attack was connected to the wrestling business. Messiah described 2 large black men coming into his unlocked apartment while he was playing video games. He initially believed they were there to see his roommate but instead they locked the door behind them and began attacking him. One of them held Messiah down while the other one severed his thumb with garden shears. The thumb was never recovered. They attempted to then cut off his other thumb and his penis while he screamed for help. During the brawl, he was also hit with a chair and a fish bowl because they were trying to knock him unconscious. Neighbors heard the screams and called police and the attackers fled the scene. Police have a description of the vehicle and sketches of the 2 men based on Messiah's description, but that's it. Following the attack, Messiah was treated at the hospital but then checked himself out and is said to be in hiding out in another state, in fear of another attack.
Messiah was recently fired from Rob Black's XPW promotion, allegedly because Black found out Messiah was sleeping with his wife, XPW valet and porn star Lizzy Borden. After leaving XPW, Messiah had become a big star for CZW. The Lizzy Borden rumor was pretty much confirmed at another indie show this week that featured a lot of XPW names. During the show, New Jack cut a promo saying it happened and when Messiah came out, the crowd chanted "You fucked Lizzy!" to which Messiah got on the mic and responded with "And she fuckin' loved it!" No one is outright saying so, because it's dangerous to make accusations without enough proof to back them up, but the clear implication is that this attack on Messiah was retaliation from Rob Black. XPW acknowledged the incident on its website, basically saying no matter what happened in the past, this is a tragedy and sending thoughts and prayers to Messiah. Needless to say, not a lot of people buying it (I don't think this case was ever solved but to this day, the overwhelming belief is that Rob Black was definitely behind it. America's Most Wanted even covered it and they heavily implied the same thing, but we'll get there).
We have a big obituary for legendary Portland promoter Don Owen, who passed away this week at age 90. He was the longest reigning promoter in history, running his territory for 54 years, promoting his final show in 1992. Owen was the next-to-last surviving promoter from the regional territory days (Jerry Jarrett's Memphis being the last). Owen was beloved by most wrestlers who viewed him as one of the few fair promoters in the business, always paid fairly and treated his wrestlers fairly. Pretty much anybody who was every anyone during the 50s-70s in particular worked the territory. He promoted his biggest show in 1985, drawing a sellout 12,000 fans for Ric Flair vs. Billy Jack Haynes. It's worth noting that this show also featured Roddy Piper. Yes, in 1985, while he was working full-time for WWF, Roddy Piper also worked this NWA-branded show headlined by Ric Flair. In fact, Piper was so loyal to Owen that for years, he refused to wrestle on WWE shows in Portland because he didn't want to compete against Owen. It was the same territory where Art Barr made his name before the rape accusation derailed his career and he had to go to Mexico. Over the years, when Owen found out about former wrestlers of his who were down on their luck, he would often make anonymous donations to help them, which many of those people never found out about until after his death.
Dave notes that there won't be an Observer next week, so if you notice a big gap in the Rewinds, I didn't mess up. Dave is just lazy.
Update on the lawsuit TNA filed last week against Jay Hassman's marketing and accounting firm they claim defrauded them. Dave compares it to the death of Jarrett's old USWA promotion and he briefly recaps all the legal drama surrounding that (see previous Rewinds, it's a lot to cover here). It's also worth noting that Hassman's company worked with WCW in the past and was dropped before WCW folded because there were a lot of problems with them then as well. But TNA is using a lot of the same people and office staff that WCW used so that's how Hassman's firm got roped into this. A rep for the company dismissed the lawsuit as nonsense and claimed Jerry Jarrett was telling everyone they would get 150,000 buys per week while they were trying to keep him focused on more realistic numbers. He also claimed the lawsuit was a distraction from TNA's "inevitable implosion" and said that Jeff Jarrett recently told him the company is running entirely on credit right now. Dave says of course they're in debt and will probably be deep in the red for months even if this accounting mess hadn't come up. He claimed Jarrett was supposed to have $5 million in credit and $1 million in cash on hand for the deal with InDemand and he claimed to have it, but the accounting rep says they didn't because the sponsor of their first show pulled out because Jarrett didn't have the proper paperwork. I dunno, this is all a boring accounting mess. The rep claims TNA is "now in self-destruct mode" and says they are in breach of their InDemand deal in multiple different ways, and that the lawsuit is an attempt to distract from Jarrett's own failure with this company. So on and so forth.
The latest WWE Confidential episode aired and Dave thinks it was the WWE's biggest attempt yet to re-write history. The main focus of the show was about the decline and death of WCW. Now that they have Bischoff, Hogan, Jericho, Booker T, Big Show, etc. they can interview them all for it. The story opened saying, "Those who don't remember the past are doomed to repeat it," which is a pretty ironic way for WWE to be talking about WCW in 2002. Anyway, instead of focusing on what really killed WCW (running off their audience with a terrible product), the show threw out dozens of reasons, blaming faceless Time Warner execs, guaranteed contracts, and even painting the signing of Bret Hart as if that was what doomed WCW (which Dave finds laughable since 1998 was WCW's most successful financial year ever). They basically blamed the death of WCW on all the things that WWE doesn't do, and ignored all the real causes, which are things also plaguing WWE right now. In particular, Dave argues against the claim that guaranteed contracts were the reason. Reality is, even if every single wrestler on the roster had worked for free, WCW was still tens of millions of dollars in debt. The guaranteed contracts really didn't even represent more than a few drops in the bucket when it came to how much WCW was bleeding money at the end. And when they were successful, they were making tens of millions of dollars, despite those huge contracts. During the episode, not once did they acknowledge that awful writing and poor creative direction drove away fans by the millions. Bischoff once again blamed the death of the company on the corporate merger, but the reality is, if WCW was still drawing 6 million viewers per episode and was still one of the highest rated shows on cable, it would not have been canceled, merger be damned. All in all, it was another example of this Confidential show re-writing history to paint WWE and Vince McMahon as the conquering world beaters who nobly defeated all the evil-doers who dared challenge them. But as they say, the winners write the history books, so there ya go.
WWE announced plans last week to start WWE Films and expand into non-wrestling programming. Ever since the company went public, there's been talk of opening an office in Hollywood and doing movies and TV shows. But Dave thinks the timing is questionable, since WWE's core business is declining and the economy is suffering. Remember, WWE just made major budget cuts a few weeks ago and laid off a bunch of people, so launching a whole new division now when the wrestling side is collapsing is certainly an interesting choice. WWE hired TV and film producer Joel Simon to run the Los Angeles office of WWE Films. The goal is for WWE to finance some movies as well as get roles for WWE stars. This idea was first broached 2 years ago, back when the company was on fire and they had the finances to eat it if this venture didn't work out. No word how much money is being set aside for WWE Films, but TV and movie production is expensive and risky. Not to mention, WWE's track record outside of wrestling is.....let's just say "not good," to put it mildly.
According to a Charlotte newspaper, Ric Flair is once again considering running for governor of North Carolina as a member of the Republican party. Flair first talked of this back in 1998, after Jesse Ventura successfully ran for governor and it got a lot of publicity, but Flair ultimately decided against it. Among the reasons is because he apparently didn't want to have his personal life examined as closely as it would have been by the media (yeah, I suspect digging into Flair's past would be bad news for his political aspirations). Flair thought he'd have a better chance than Ventura because he's a bigger star in NC than Ventura was in Minnesota. But Ventura's election was based far more on how he campaigned as opposed to his wrestling celebrity status. Jerry Lawler is a god in Memphis, but he ran for mayor and didn't even crack the top 3.
NJPW's upcoming Budokan Hall show is weird because it doesn't feature most of the company's big stars, including IWGP champ Yuji Nagata. It's a bunch of freak show booking with MMA guys and rematches from PRIDE shows and inter-promotional matches with NOAH guys and shit. "More Inoki craziness" Dave notes. The show is also expected to feature the in-ring debut of 22-year-old rookie Shinsuke Nakamura.
Speaking of Inoki, he's putting on another one of his UFO-branded MMA shows. There's rumors that Inoki will referee the main event. Inoki is also claiming boxers Mike Tyson and Thomas Hearns will appear, so we'll see how full of shit Inoki is. Tyson is a huge name in Japan and the NTV network that is airing the show hasn't mentioned him in the promotion, which you'd think they would if they were trying to draw ratings. At press time, Dave says there's literally reporters at Narita airport in Tokyo, camped out waiting to see if Tyson arrives. This isn't the first time Inoki has claimed Tyson was making an appearance for him. Last time, Tyson's people had to put out a statement saying it was bullshit. They also claimed Chyna will be working an exhibition match on this show because why not?
Bret Hart was discharged from the hospital, after spending more than 5 weeks there following his stroke. He's doing 5 days-per-week of physical therapy and has made impressive progress. There's hopes that he can make a 100% recovery within a year, but doctors are also being realistic in that he might not ever fully recover.
Dave saw the 60-minute iron man main event to crown a new ROH champion and says the effort was impressive, especially considering there was no AC and the building they were wrestling in was a furnace. You could see all 4 men near total dehydrated exhaustion by the end of it and Dave thinks it would have been better as a 30 minute match. Dave says it was a great match but not the 5 star classic it was reported as.
Dave gives some clarification on the problems ECW faced with InDemand at the end. During the first several years, InDemand paid ECW on time for all its PPVs. But then in the final year, the payments started coming later and later and then when ECW lost its TV deal with TNN, InDemand held the money back, waiting to see if ECW would survive. Needless to say, that guaranteed that they didn't.
Heard enough about Rob Black yet? Well, he's telling people he's attempting to purchase the old ECW Arena in Philadelphia. Needless to say, this doesn't happen.
Various TNA news & notes: there will not be a show on 9/11 because of it being the one-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks. Don West's time on commentary may be limited, since a lot of people don't like his work, and there's talk of bringing in former WCW announcer Mark Madden. TNA has sent out tapes to multiple TV stations in an attempt to get a TV deal. Jerry Jarrett has reportedly been toning down a lot of Russo's creative ideas, although Dave isn't sure how a the gun angle got through if that's the case (more on that in a minute).
Ron Killings did a radio interview where he put over Vince Russo for giving him "The Truth" gimmick. Killings also said he would never go back to WWE ("write that one down, folks," Dave jokes). He says he was mad about the way he was released, claiming Johnny Ace gave him the news in a phone call with no explanation why. He said he later called Vince, Stephanie, Shane, and Jim Ross for an explanation, none of whom would return his calls (that is kinda some coward shit). Dave thinks WWE missed the boat on Killings, because he's got all the tools to be a star.
Jerry Lawler was apparently pissed about a line they said on a recent TNA show where they made a joke about Lawler hanging out in high schools offering girls candy. Lawler called up Jerry Jarrett and was mad about it. Speaking of, even though he's cutting all these heel promos in TNA on his father, Brian Christopher and Jerry Lawler are still working together doing local Memphis shows.
Notes from TNA Weekly PPV: hit and miss show. They had screens in the arena this time, so fans could see what was going on during the backstage segments. They also did the best job so far of building up to next week, so that's a plus. Downside is the arena they're in (Nashville Fairgrounds) is awful and they only had 550 in the crowd for this show and it looked small on TV. To make it worse, they were dead for the show. Ron Killings continued the racial angle, singling out one of the black TNA girls and calling her a ho and saying she was being exploited. In fact, Dave thinks just about every woman on this show was called a ho or a bitch at some point (another hallmark of Russo booking) and it led to Killings getting a title shot against Ken Shamrock next week (after cutting a promo trashing WWE's titles). And then the really stupid angle of the show: Jeff Jarrett beating up one of the little people until another one came out and pulled a gun on Jarrett for the save. Dave thinks this was utterly ridiculous.
Five days before the big Melbourne, Australia stadium show, WWE announced that Hulk Hogan won't be appearing due to "injuries" suffered in the Brock Lesnar angle on Raw. Hogan was by far the most heavily advertised name for the show and needless to say, pulling him off the card 5 days beforehand pissed off a lot of fans who have tickets. In fact, a lot of people have been trying to get refunds because not only is Hogan off the show, so is Triple H because it appears his elbow won't be healed up in time. That's 2 of the 3 big names that were most heavily promoted, and now Rock is the only one still scheduled to appear.
Speaking of, that angle on Smackdown (more later) with Hogan and Lesnar was to write Hogan off TV for a little while. Hogan asked for time off due to worsening knee and back problems. Exactly when he comes back is unknown, but when he does, it'll probably be to build for the match with Vince at Wrestlemania now, instead of at Summerslam. They wanted Hogan to still go to Australia and at least make an appearance, but Hogan asked off anyway because he knew 20 hours on an airplane to get there would cause him more back pain and he wanted to spend his birthday with his family.
Latest on Goldberg is that he's hoping to put together a deal with WWE where he can work some shows for them while also taking big-event bookings in Japan. WWE hasn't let anyone have that type of deal since Hulk Hogan in 1993 when he was working WWE and NJPW at the same time.
Regarding Steve Austin, the feeling among the wrestlers is that they expect him back sooner than later. Agent Jack Lanza believes Austin is bored at home and he's reportedly been training hard. Dave says dozens of big stars have made big money in the business and tried to walk away but they all come back sooner or later (only exception Dave can think of off the top is Jack Brisco). With Hogan out for the foreseeable future and Rock leaving after Summerslam to make another movie, and Monday Night Football starting back soon, they need Austin more than ever. But reportedly Vince is still going forward and making plans as if Austin no longer exists.
Brock Lesnar is being advertised to appear on the Raw after Summerslam, which pretty well gives away that he's winning the title from Rock at Summerslam, which everyone already knew anyway. Of course, plans can always change, but Lesnar is almost certainly winning his first world title in a couple more weeks.
Notes from Raw: whole show was built around finding out who attacked Shawn Michaels, even though it was obvious that it was Triple H. When that was revealed and Shawn announced he was coming back to face him at Summerslam, it got surprisingly little reaction. It got a pop, but not the big overwhelming one you'd expect. Triple H was repeatedly referred to as "the franchise player of Raw." Hardyz were back together again and nobody cared. Big Show is getting fatter by the week. The UnAmericans cut a promo trashing President Bush saying he couldn't defend the country after 9/11. With the first anniversary of the attacks approaching, Dave figured it was only a matter of time before they tried to exploit it, but he didn't think they'd go this far. Trish vs. Victoria was marred by Jerry Lawler on commentary quizzing Molly Holly about whether she was a virgin the whole time.The Island Boyz (still no name) attacked Lillian Garcia and she did a stretcher job. And the Shawn/Triple H promo at the end was excellent, but the crowd didn't seem to care.
Notes from Smackdown: Dave apologizes in advance because he knows he's going to sound like a Paul Heyman cheerleader, but this was one of the better shows of the year, hitting on just about every level, from storytelling, to character development, to in-ring action. It was the best effort to date in getting Lesnar over as a top guy. Stephanie is still getting booed despite being the babyface. Kurt Angle continues to be pushed as a serious bad ass after years of burying that under comedy gimmicks. Angle vs. Hogan was even better than their King of the Ring match and, despite the shitty ending, was probably Hogan's best match in years. Nidia and Jamie Noble are a great act. Benoit/Guerrero vs. Rock/Edge was excellent, with Rock tapping out to Benoit which made for a strong finish, elevated Benoit, and furthered the Lesnar storyline with Rock all at once. On and on and on. Just an all-around great show that Heyman is heading up here.
Random WWE notes: Chris Jericho signed a new multi-year contract. Jim Ross wrote about the recent developmental cuts and said that eliminating HWA was also a step towards improving the overall developmental system. Basically just streamlining everything down to one location (OVW). The Island Boyz attacking Moolah and Mae Young last week was edited off TV in both Canada and the UK. Josh Lomberger from Tough Enough was hired, but not as a wrestler, and instead will do TV production and announcing (later becomes Josh Matthews, current Impact commentator).
Most wrestlers in WWE are told nothing ahead of time about their upcoming feuds and angles. Most of them show up to TV and find out the day of the show what they're doing. For example, Benoit and Guerrero were recently switched back over to Smackdown and they had no idea until they arrived at Raw the day before and had to change their transportation and go to the Smackdown city instead.
Despite getting their asses handed to them in the recent lawsuit, the PTC is still around. This week, they listed Raw as one of the 10 worst shows on TV due to language, sexual content, and violence. The settlement that WWE won does not prevent the PTC from negatively criticizing WWE, but it does prevent them from targeting WWE's sponsors, among other things. But they're still free to go online and talk shit about them just like everyone else.
Wanna hear a joke? Here's something some guy wrote in 1988 that was published in the Observer Yearbook that year. It was a section featuring fake/spoof wrestling news predicting stories that would happen in 1989. Here's what was written: "The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in November 1989 that the World Wrestling Federation can no longer use the initials WWF to promote its business activities. A lower court injunction in favor of the World Wildlife Fund was upheld. A spokesman for the naturalist group expressed joy at the high court ruling. "Originally we didn't care about their having the same initials as us, but their heavy use of animals at their events, plus the naming of over half of their performers with animal nicknames was just causing too much confusion in the mind of the public. Attorneys for Vince McMahon and Titan Sports downplayed the court decision, saying, "We were previously thinking of dropping the wrestling part of our name anyway, since it has a lot of negative connotations and was not altogether appropriate given the nature of our product."
Jeff Hardy has taken time off from house shows because he's working on an album for his rock band PeroxWhy?Gen. Jeff is the lead singer, and Shannon Moore does background vocals. Jeff and Shannon were finding it impossible to work on the album while wrestling full time, so they took Jeff off house shows at his request. Jeff's not yet 25 years old and has said his body is already banged up from injuries, with constant lower back pain and bone chips in his elbow.
Speaking of elbow injuries, Triple H did an interview talking about his King of the Ring match and said he wasn't happy with his performance because he went into the match injured. Afterwards, he had surgery and they removed 8 bone chips from his elbow, some as large as teeth.
Regarding Steve Austin, Triple H had some thoughts on that too. "I have two contrasting reactions. One is for Steve Williams. I feel worried for him as a person and I hope whatever it is that's in his head can be sorted out. The stuff between him and his wife and what went down in San Antonio--who knows what happened? All those things, I feel bad for him and I hope things work out for Steve Williams the person. But as far as Stone Cold Steve Austin goes, it's hard for me not to be angry at what he did. He owes something to everyone here in this company from top to bottom, from the guy who answers the phone to Vince. If I was Vince McMahon, I don't know how I could look people in the eye, anyone who I have a responsibility to, like stockholders or employees and say, 'we're getting behind him and pushing him to the top.'"
Anyway, Dave has some thoughts on this. He agrees that Austin was absolutely in the wrong for walking out the way he did, with no notice, hours before a live show that was entirely written around him. He screwed up the show, and in particular, he left Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit hanging out to dry since they were just starting what was expected to be a major program with Austin, and which would have been the biggest program of Eddie's career. The company has a right to be mad. But this all started because they asked Austin to do a job to Lesnar on TV with no build-up, in order to help jump-start Lesnar's main event push. When Austin balked....they didn't ask anyone else. Dave kinda wonders why Undertaker or someone like that wasn't asked to do the same thing after Austin left, if it was really about getting Lesnar over. Dave seems to imply that there was more to the story about why WWE asked Austin to do it. It's sorta implied here that Vince knew Austin wouldn't want to do it but made the match anyway, almost like he was purposely pushing Austin's buttons. As noted, Austin and Vince weren't getting along at all prior to his walking out and the way they buried him afterwards probably wasn't a coincidence. There's still a lot of hard feelings on both sides.
The "Pile Driver" roller coaster ride at WWE's Niagra Falls location was shut down by safety officials just hours after its grand opening because they didn't have the proper permits and hadn't undergone safety inspections. They had shown the ride off on TV the day before during a big ceremony with Val Venis, Trish Stratus, and Benoit and apparently the safety inspector saw the segment on TV and realized it hadn't been approved and had it shut down. There's no timetable on when it will re-open (I just listened to a Bruce Prichard podcast episode talking about this and apparently it never re-opened. It just sat there dormant for years I think.)
NEXT WEDNESDAY:Observer Hall of Fame preview, Goldberg returning to wrestling in AJPW, Steve Austin arrested, XPW vs. ROH drama, and more...
2020.08.23 02:34 meadowwiltongoddessThe Most Flawless Game in Survivor History:
I’ve seen quite a few people on here lately posting about Guatemala – and specifically Danni’s game. While most people agree that Danni is a good winner, I’m going to try and shed some light on her game, which is genuinely flawless and one of the most elite single-season performances ever seen on Survivor. I especially wanted to do this because so many people denounced her as a good player after Winners at War. I’m totally open to debate in the comments! Just please take the time to read this through first; remember that “flawless” and “best” are not synonymous in the context of this post – I’ll explain this later on. But anyway, here is my discussion on why Danni Boatwright played the most flawless game in Survivor history. This is a long and thoroughly researched discussion so there is a TLDR at the end of the post! As you guys all probably know, Danni infamously hid her strategy from production (this will be detailed later on), so the nuances of her game were not shown on camera. In fact, Guatemala was an insanely complex season strategically, and like The Australian Outback and Fiji, a lot of it did not make the edited show – so I hope this post helps you realise just how good of a game Danni played. Since a vast amount of her game was not shown, I have taken the time over the last few months to listen to interviews, read websites/articles, and thoroughly research her game, so I can assure you that this is as accurate as I could make it. I will go through her entire game first, and then discuss. Danni was in control of both of her pre-merge tribes; a vivid contrast to her merge game, where she was the bona fide Survivor underdog. On Nakúm she was comfortably situated in a majority alliance of herself, Brandon, Bobby Jon, Brooke, Margaret, and Blake. She had a final three deal with Brooke and Margaret, as well as a final two deal with Brandon – ensuring that she would never be the first one targeted. However, everyone on the tribe came together to vote off Jim first simply because he asked to be voted out (he tore his bicep and was very physically weak from the fifteen-mile hike to camp). Danni was the leader of her tribe, but she led in a way that did not make her a target (as was often the case in the older seasons). Surrounding herself with people such as Bobby Jon and Brandon who would always be targeted over her, Danni was at the top of the Nakúm totem pole yet no one ever saw her that way. Her tribe comfortably won the next two challenges. The two tribes then swapped. Danni’s strategical domination at the swap is what truly propelled her game forward, and the moves she made here are amongst the most strategically complex pre-merge moves in Survivor history. Before I detail these, I’ll just explain how the swap worked for anyone who has not seen Guatemala. The swap in Guatemala was weird – essentially the players were asked questions such as “who needs a shower?”, “who needs to eat? [Danni was the majority answer here – showing yet again how good her social game was]”, but the gimmick was that the person whom the majority of the tribe voted would receive whatever the question entailed – Bobby Jon & Gary who were voted as the people who most desperately needed a shower received a jungle shower, Danni received an apple, etc. Brian and Cindy were picked for last question: “who has the most tribe pride?”, and because of this they were permitted to stay on their tribes, whilst all the remaining members who had not been chosen were then swapped. The swap happened with fifteen players left, and Danni ended up being swapped to Yaxhá with her former tribe-mates Brandon, Bobby Jon and Blake, as well as Brian, Amy, and Gary from the other tribe. Though this does not seem particularly noteworthy – you have to remember that for the first 10 years or so of Survivor, the game was predominantly based along tribal lines. Danni went from a tribe of eight, to a tribe of seven, automatically putting them at a disadvantage. Danni’s close ally Brooke was voted out after Judd flipped on her. Danni, realising this, started planning one of the most intelligent and intuitive pre-merge moves of all time. Danni knew that someone had flipped on Brooke, and as Judd and Cindy were known to be on the bottom of old Nakúm she figured out that it was one of them – meaning Margaret would be the next to go if Nakúm lost immunity. Yaxhá then lost the next challenge and due to this flipping, Danni was faced with a dilemma – she and her alliance could vote out one of the old Yaxhá’s or take out one of their own. Danni convinced her alliance to vote out Blake who was #6 in the initial alliance formed on old Nakúm. By turning on Blake, Danni got rid of someone who she didn’t trust and gained three new allies because of it. Had she kept Blake around, any of Gary, Brian, or Amy who made the merge would have flipped to the NuNakúm alliance. Having lost Judd and Cindy to the other side, as well as Brooke (who had been voted out), Danni needed these new allies in order to have any chance of having the numbers at the merge. If Danni had kept Blake around they would never have had the numbers. She sacrificed a member of her four-person alliance in order to create a new six-person alliance – this is one of the best pre-merge moves of all time and one that I rarely see discussed. People tend to credit Brian for the Blake move with his great “Bait Blake” montage – but this was not the deciding reason in why Blake went at all, though it certainly acted as a catalyst in his elimination. You may think that it would be stupid to vote off someone from your old tribe when they had the majority. Danni did not trust Blake, so he was not good for her game. However, she insured her game by making a deal with Amy and Gary that if Danni helped them to vote out Blake, then they would agree to vote off Brian next, meaning that even though the numbers were split 3-3, she could comfortably regain the majority. This foresight was one of Danni’s biggest strengths in Guatemala and is a huge reason why she was able to manoeuvre her way into the final tribal council. At Yaxhá’s next tribal council, Brian was sent home unanimously. The next episode featured the unique and iconic “Danni’s Birthday Party” scene where one tribe (Nakúm) was given permission to be with another tribe (Yaxhá) - the ONLY time this has ever been allowed in Survivor history except for when Aitutaki accidentally and unknowingly paddled to Rarotonga’s camp in Cook Islands. This occurred because Danni knowing that the conditions in Guatemala were absolutely brutal (115°+ everyday with constant 100% humidity) wanted to celebrate her birthday with everyone in the caged pool that her tribe had won on reward (the castaways were not allowed to go in the water under any circumstances due to the crocodiles in the lake). This did two things: Danni knew that they would likely be going into the merge without the numbers - this is an example of the subtlety of Danni’s social game as it would be unlikely they would target Danni first, and it also allowed Danni to gain some crucial insight into the dynamics of the other tribe. Danni was able to receive crucial information under the guise of a birthday party, yet again outplaying the producers. Yaxhá lost immunity. Danni and her alliance then voted off Amy just before the merge – something that seems questionable because Amy was likely not going to win any challenges (she had broken her ankle). However, this was a key part of Danni’s strategy. She knew that they were entering a merge with a 6-4 deficit, and rather than taking someone easily beatable in the challenges, Danni went into the merge with Bobby Jon, Brandon and Gary – the three biggest challenge threats left meaning that they would always be targeted over her. People always say Jeremy invented the meat-shield strategy, but Danni was doing the exact same thing twenty seasons earlier. Then the merge comes – and who are the first two people voted out by the majority NuNakúm alliance? Brandon and Bobby Jon. It was at this point where Danni began masterfully integrating herself into the majority alliance as it was just herself and Gary against an alliance of six. Danni and Gary were given an extra three days when Rafe, Stephenie, Cindy and Lydia joined them in voting out paranoid Jamie at the final eight. This move has to be taken with context to the atmosphere of Survivor in the first eleven seasons. For some of you who have only seen the newer seasons this may seem somewhat unimpressive – countless people have managed to get members of the majority alliance out. But in the early days (as I mentioned before), Survivor was almost entirely defined by your tribal lines – every single winner up until Guatemala with the exception of Chris was either in the majority alliance at the merge and stayed with that alliance as far as they could, or they voted for the person who went home at the merge (Vecepia). Guatemala’s cast brought this concept to a level like it had not been seen before. The majority alliance consisting of Stephenie, Rafe, Lydia, Cindy, Judd and Jamie not only wanted to take out Danni’s minority alliance one by one, but they were extremely vocal about it too, constantly gloating about their position around the camp, with Jamie even getting into a heated argument with Bobby Jon over the simple fact that Bobby Jon referred to the merge tribe as “one tribe” while Jamie was still convinced that they were indeed two separate tribes. This adds even more strength to Danni’s game because no underdog in Survivor history faced an alliance that was so set on sticking together until the final six (not to discredit Chris’ amazing game at all, but the alliance he went up against in Vanuatu was as fractured as one can be – they all hated each other plus Scout and Twila had previously attempted to flip on the alliance). Now, most people believe that it was Danni’s relationship with (and social manipulation of) Rafe that was crucial in her win, and while her manipulation of Rafe was A) one of the most complex in-game relationships of all time and B) key to her progression in the game – it was actually her relationship with Lydia that was the most important thing in how she won. At the final seven, Stephenie selfishly kicked Lydia out of the alliance for the simple reason being that Lydia eliminated her in the reward challenge. Lydia linked up with Danni and Gary, however in an attempt to show her willingness to be loyal to Stephenie and Rafe, Danni voted out the only true ally she had left in the game – Gary. At the auction, Danni purchased an advantage in the next immunity challenge (she could swap positions with any player). Judd bought his loved one and took Cindy and Stephenie on the reward with him. Back at camp, Danni started working on the Judd blindside – painting Judd as untrustworthy to Rafe. Danni’s famous immunity win at the final six is often cited as the turning point in her game – but this is not the case. The plan to take out Judd was in the works well before Danni’s immunity win, her win just ensured that the others would follow through with the plan. It was Danni’s acquisition and Stephenie’s ostracisation of Lydia as an ally that truly propelled the motion of Judd’s blindside. She had been working on a relationship with Rafe ever since the merge too, and they had become extremely close – however Rafe was uncertain if Stephenie would be down to vote Judd out. After the challenge, there is another infamous scene where Lydia and Danni coax Judd into saying anything that could incriminate him and get Stephenie to turn on him (they already had Rafe, they just needed one more person to ensure there wouldn’t be a tie). This was actually set up beforehand by Lydia and Danni to get Stephenie on their side. Judd stated that he wanted to take out the power players. You may ask why wouldn’t Danni and Lydia just lie to Stephenie? Coaxing the information out of Judd was once again another insurance policy for Danni’s game – Judd was an absolutely terrible liar (the idol clue), so had Stephenie decided to confront Judd then it is more than likely he would spill the beans about what he said anyway. This once again shows Danni’s foresight. Judd was then massively blindsided (“I hope you all get bitten by a freaking crocodile… scumbags"), and Danni was in the final five. A former beauty queen turned sports radio host who was just a typical All-American-girl-next-door had managed to meander her way into the top ranks of an alliance that was dead-set on eliminating her at the merge. It was here that Danni and Rafe created their controversial final two deal. Danni structured this magnificently - the deal was that if Rafe took Danni to the final three then she would take Rafe to the final two if she won immunity. However, she did not expect the same of Rafe and even told him this. The way Danni formed this deal was, from Rafe’s perspective, entirely to Rafe’s benefit. He wouldn’t have to get any blood on his hands by voting out either Stephenie or Danni had he won final immunity; both would take him to the final two. People always blame Cindy’s elimination on the fact that she did not give away the cars (Cindy won the car reward challenge but was given the opportunity to give her car up so the other four people would each get their own car), but similarly to Morgan and Blake’s boots, the edited version is not what actually transpired. The truth of Cindy’s elimination is that she was always on the outs of Stephenie and Rafe’s alliance, she was never making it past five (unless she had immunity) even if she did give the cars to everyone. Even though Danni stated that she would’ve given up the cars in a heartbeat she didn’t have any resentment towards Cindy for her decision at all. Rafe was the only one who was angry at Cindy for taking the cars – Stephenie and Lydia even said that she did the right thing. But to ensure that Cindy did go home, Danni slyly fuelled Rafe’s annoyance about the car situation by telling him that she agreed with him and that it was a dumb move. Not only did this paint Cindy as selfish, it also further solidified her relationship with Rafe because Stephenie and Lydia were vocal about the fact that they would’ve done the same. The other four knew that Danni’s entire alliance was on the jury, yet despite being the obvious boot here as both a jury and challenge threat, her name was the only one that was not brought up (aside from Stephenie who was immune), as Rafe and Stephenie considered dropping Lydia, and Cindy was targeting Rafe. Cindy was swiftly voted out 4-1. The final four vote is another vote that is shrouded in unclarity. There are a bunch of different theories as to why Lydia was voted out but the fact that Danni was able to survive here without immunity is insane. Danni was a known challenge beast, specifically in endurance (held cross country records in high school, was a cheerleader, ran marathons), whereas Lydia has to be up there as one of the all-time worst challenge performers of all time as she came last in practically every single individual challenge on the season, and was a massive hinderance in the tribal challenges too. One of the theories is that Rafe (being the biggest superfan ever cast up until that point) knew that the last challenge was always endurance, and that he wanted to keep Danni as he thought the challenge might favour a smaller older woman. But I mean, this is kind of dumb. Yes, Kim Johnson won in Africa… but Jan was the first out in Thailand, Lill did win against Fairplay and Sandra in Pearl Islands but both of them were completely useless in all physical challenges all season so long, and Scout and Twila both lost to Chris in Vanuatu. This could also be corroborated to the fact that Danni at this stage of the game was completely and utterly emaciated (to the point where she was nearly evacuated and needed fluids pumped into her to keep her alive). She weighed 96lbs at a height of 5’10 and started the game at 126lbs (a weight loss % of 23.8%, the highest of all time for any female castaway ever). This post of mine explains in more detail. Personally I think that the main reason for keeping Danni in the game is simply because Lydia was also a huge jury threat, and likely wouldn’t take Rafe to the final two. This is where Danni’s final two deal with Rafe really saved her. As I said before, she structured this in a way that made it 100% entirely beneficial to Rafe, if Danni won immunity she would take Rafe, if Stephenie won immunity she would take Rafe (she knew she wouldn’t have a chance in hell against Danni), yet Danni told Rafe that the deal did not include Rafe taking her to the final two. While Danni’s sickness was probably a factor in Lydia’s boot, it was definitely her deal with Rafe that propelled her through this vote. This is an all-time dumb game move that I never see discussed in “what is the dumbest move of all time” posts. I would also like to note that this is the only tribal council where Danni’s name was EVER brought up all season long. Rafe and Stephenie were never going to turn on each other as they knew that if they wanted to win they would have to sit next to each other - both Lydia and Danni knew this. Ultimately it was Danni’s social manipulation that got her through, Lydia did vote against Danni at this tribal council but in her confessional she explains that Danni has been a great friend but she has to vote her if she wants a chance to stay in the game. This vote was A) the only vote against Danni that she received all season, and B) the only time Danni was ever brought up as someone to send home. Almost no other winner can truthfully say that they were never targeted for 37 days, Danni can. Some people like to hold the fact that Danni had to win final immunity in order to make the final two against her game. I think this is a ridiculous reach. Someone who came into the merge out of the numbers, who was up against a majority alliance hellbent on taking her alliance out, and who lost her entire alliance is a bad winner because even though she was able to get out four members of a solid majority, because she needed final immunity all of that impressive strategic and social play is negated? Danni had no business making it past six, yet she was sitting in the final three. That alone makes her an impressive player and it is cruelly unfair to invest so much weight into something so trivial. Another point of controversy is that the final immunity challenge was unfairly catered towards Danni. The reason for this is because production did not want another twelve-hour final immunity like Palau, so they made sure that the challenge got consistently harder over time by removing supports that the final three used to balance. When these supports were removed, all three of them lost their balance simultaneously and all three of them quickly steadied themselves on the outside posts that held the challenge up. This is entirely a production miscalculation, this was never “against” the rules, and production did not mean for the castaways to outsmart the challenge in this way as it was the first time they had ever introduced the concept of gradually making the final immunity harder. Furthermore, Rafe is taller than Danni so it wasn’t as though she had a huge advantage over the other two, only over Stephenie. This was not Danni’s fault so it is unfair to count this as a mark against her game. Danni wins final immunity and votes out Rafe, taking the obvious goat in Stephenie to the final two (she would beat either of them in the final two). Danni’s final tribal council was good, it wasn’t spectacular but it didn’t need to be. In her Survivor Oz interview Danni recalls that when the jury walked into the Day 38 tribal council, they started cheering when they saw that Danni had won final immunity (production made them reshoot). She answered her questions honestly (including Judd’s random ice skating question), which was all she needed to do as Stephenie had an absolutely shocking final tribal council performance. Danni wins Guatemala 6-1, with Rafe being the only person to not vote for her. At the reunion, Danni describes herself as a stealth bomber: “I like to think of myself as a stealth bomber, I didn’t fly under the radar, I beat the radar, they didn’t know I was coming until after I dropped the bombs on them.” This quote sums up her game perfectly. Danni knew what she was doing the whole time, and used social and strategic manipulation of the top-dogs of the alliance to get her way into the final two with a smile on her face all the way along. Now, here is why I think her game is the most elite and flawless of all time. Let’s first look at the flaws in her game… and there are none. She played an utterly seamless game for thirty-nine days with absolutely no mistakes whatsoever. She only received one vote the entire season (on Day 37) and that was from Lydia who’s only choice was to vote her if she wanted to stay. Did Danni have a public resume full of big moves? No. Did she need one? No. The way Danni played was subtle to the point where her moves were so delicately planned that she would not even let production know what she was thinking. Had she been so obvious in her moves then it is likely that everyone realises just how big of a threat she posed and she doesn’t make it to the final two. She did not make a single bad move all game – yes, she may have voted in the minority for the first two merge votes but she was in the minority anyway. Why would she vote her allies out who were going to be on the jury? Plus, she knew they were going home so it’s not as though she was out of the loop. She used this time to build the relationships that would propel her through the ranks of the majority alliance. I guess you could potentially say that a flaw of her game was that she didn’t win enough tribal challenges… but this argument is easily dismissible because A) it makes no sense and B) even if it did, Danni was arguably the star performer for her tribe in most of the challenges (Mayan Basketball, and the one where they had to break the tiles are examples of her challenge prowess). Many of the most revered winners had flaws in their game that Danni simply did not have. Rob’s social game in Redemption Island was really bad, no one respected the way he played as the Zapatera’s saw right through it; he loses to anyone except Phillip and Natalie who the jury hated even more. Even Kim (who I think played the best winning game of all time, Danni is second), had flaws in her One World game, as the minority alliance (specifically Troyzan) saw the game she was playing while they were there and tried to get her out for it. Tony’s incredible Winners at War game was peppered with flaws – his tribe swap antics being perhaps the most notable. These are just some examples of great winners who had flaws that could have cost them the game, Danni on the other hand had none of these. Every single decision she made was calculated, and correct, and that is why she was so easily able to navigate her way through the merge and into the final two. I’m totally open to discussion but I really do not think one can justifiably fault Danni’s Guatemala game. You might ask: well why is her game one of the all-time most elite then? My first point of discussion is that Danni is one of the most adaptable winners of all time. No one has ever been thrusted from the top-dog position that she was in on her pre-merge tribe (controlling all the votes), to an underdog to the extent that she was – and successfully won the game. This shows that Danni was a good enough player to be able to not only succeed, but thrive as both a top-dog and an underdog in the game. In losing control, Danni could’ve easily spiralled out of control and been voted out, but instead she took the time to sit back and assess the situation that had been presented to her, she let the strong guys she used as shields be voted out all the whilst she was beginning her smooth infiltration and manipulation of the majority alliance. We’ve seen winners like Kim and Rob really struggle to play in an underdog position when they were so used to controlling the game – yet Danni was able to succeed in perhaps the extremes of both positions. Throughout Survivor history, every single underdog has survived by scraping up the person/people at the bottom of the majority alliance and then using them to take out the top-dogs. Everyone, except for Danni. Danni is still the only person in Survivor history to successfully infiltrate an alliance by pandering to the people in control and manipulating them into voting out their own allies – for no reason too. Chris and Twila used Scout and Eliza (who were on the bottom of the Yasur Female Alliance) to take out Leann at the final seven in Vanuatu. More infamously, the coconut chop challenge in Marquesas revealed the pecking order of the majority Rotu Alliance, causing the outsiders to scoop up those on the bottom and take out John at the final nine. This is definitely the easier way to do this, all you have to do is convince people that they are on the bottom and that they won’t make the final two – in Danni’s case, she actively got the two people in charge (Stephenie and Rafe) to completely destroy their own games when they already had an easy path to the final two. Another point to note is that Stephenie and Rafe are by no means bad Survivor players. Both are consistently brought up in “best player to never win” discussions, and both played really good games until Danni came along blew all of that up. Danni’s social game is one that does not get the credit it deserves. Honestly, I think she played the best social game of all time. only rivalled by Tina, Earl, JT, and Kim. The difference between a good social player and a great social player is that a good social player is someone who is friends with everyone, but a great social player is someone who exploits these friendships and uses the social agency that they have to manipulate people into doing their bidding. On both of her pre-merge tribes, she was so deeply integrated socially that she was able to control every vote without anyone suspecting what she was doing as they were the ones bringing all the information to her. Her social game really kicks off at the merge though, and this is where her already great social game becomes even greater. A great social player is able to get someone to do something that is bad for their game – the classic example of this is the Black Widow Brigade convincing Erik to give up immunity. Danni was consciously getting Rafe and Stephenie to ruin their games through methodical manipulation; convincing them that Judd was a huge threat (when he wasn’t), and the way she structured her final two deal with Rafe show this. The argument that Stephenie should’ve won is strange considering that she played one of the worst social games of all time. She complained about everything, when Lydia eliminated one of her pots in a reward challenge she threw a tantrum and kicked her out of the alliance, she ate the majority of the already meagre food supply, and (because of Danni’s social manipulation) she voted out people for no reason other than to simply be a piece in Danni’s plan to get to the end. An argument people often use against Danni is that Stephenie came into the game with a huge target on her back and while that may be true to an extent, given the fact that Brianna started crying when she saw Stephenie was playing with her, the fact that Stephenie was the reason Lydia applied for the show, the fact that everyone else started incessantly cheering when they saw Stephenie honestly makes me think otherwise. People were literally dying to work with her – you have to remember that at the time Survivor was a huge cultural phenomenon; those who participated became quasi-celebrities, and Stephenie’s popularity is only rivalled by Rupert’s. It’s a known fact that the producers selected people who said Rob was their favourite player of all time for Redemption Island, and even showed the cast Heroes vs. Villains before the season started (which was where Rob was seen as a loveable underdog – a stark difference to his first two games), and honestly it makes me wonder if they did something similar here – even if they didn’t, Stephenie still was not this huge target that everyone makes her out to be. Another thing to look at is who could’ve won against the eventual winner? Once again, Danni wins against anyone in the final two. Players like Kim and JT also win against anyone – how come Danni is rarely discussed when it comes to this? This is even more impressive being that the entire jury aside from two people were people that were vehemently against her alliance, yet she received all of these votes except for one. On that topic, I would like to bring up the “perfect game.” If you do not know what this is, basically a perfect game is someone who receives no votes to eliminate and then receives all the jury votes to win. In Survivor history there have only been two winners to do this: JT and Cochran. However, Danni came extremely close, only receiving one vote to eliminate and only losing one jury vote. In fact, her Guatemala game is the sixth most “perfect” of all time, with JT and Cochran being the two perfect games, and Earl, Tom, and Sandra (Pearl Islands) all receiving either one vote to eliminate or losing one jury vote. Finally, a big thing in modern Survivor is the premise that “whoever makes the biggest moves should win.” Modern juries that echo this mantra have clouded many judgements of what it means to be a good player. Because of this, several incredible winners like Danni and Tina (both of who’s games were not accurately illustrated by the editors on TV) have had their games ranked somewhat low, when in my opinion they played the second and fifth best winning games of all time respectively. For the case of Danni – she simply did not need to make these big flashy moves as doing so would have been directly detrimental to her stealth bombing strategy. Did she make moves though? She absolutely did. She was responsible for the blindsides of Blake and Judd, she controlled the votes on both of her pre-merge tribes, her social game was so good that she was able to get two people to destroy their games simply so she could get further in the game. Because Danni did not let production in on what she was doing (therefore it did not make the show) people may see her as undeserving, but the subtle complexity to her elegant and multi-faceted game is what makes her game the most flawless win of all time and what makes her performance in Guatemala one of the most elite of all time. As a female she took charge of a tribe of alpha males (this rarely ever happens) yet was able to deflect all heat any leader might take onto the men in her alliance. She wasn’t as cutthroat or deceptive as other winners – and to that I say so what? Why does someone need to be unnecessarily cutthroat to be considered a good winner? The best characteristic a winner can have is flexibility and adaptability, and Danni displayed both of those to the highest extent. Her flawless gameplay is why she is one of the few female castaways that Jeff Probst has openly praised as a game-player. It’s why she was asked back for Micronesia, Heroes vs. Villains, Blood vs. Water, Game Changers and Winners at War. It’s why she (along with Yul, Sandra, Rob and Parvati) was one of Jeff/production’s “must-haves” if Winners at War was to go ahead. It’s why she was Jeff’s pick to win. Yes, she may have gone out early on Winners at War, but that doesn’t mean points can be justifiably taken away from her excellent game in Guatemala. Danni’s game will always remain one of the most underrated and under-appreciated games in Survivor history, it was a masterclass in adaptability, social manipulation and strategic prowess that has yet to be replicated since and given the trajectory of modern Survivor is it unlikely that it will ever be replicated again. TLDR:Danni Boatwright may not have had the flashiest game of all time, but she was a huge force in that game (unfortunately most of it did not make the camera due to her withholding her thoughts from production). She was in control of both of her pre-merge tribes and was responsible for every single person going home. Her position quickly shifted to that of an underdog at the merge and through careful yet calculated strategic and social manipulation she proved that her game was incredibly adaptable, allowing her to to infiltrate the majority alliance that was hellbent on getting her and her alliance out. Her social game was so great that she was able to get good Survivor players to make moves that benefited her and that only destroyed the chances of anyone in the majority alliance winning the game. When it comes to faults or mistakes, Danni simply had none in the entirety of her thirty-nine day stay, only receiving one vote to eliminate from her best ally Lydia on Day 37, and only because voting Danni was the only option Lydia had if she wanted to stay. Furthermore, despite being an obvious challenge and jury threat Danni was never brought up as the vote until Day 37. Every single move she made was the right one and every single move she made was beneficial to her game, and that is why Danni Boatwright played the most flawless game of Survivor in forty seasons, and why her game is one of the most underrated yet elite performances of all time too. P.S. – On the subject of Winners at War, the edit portrayed Danni’s boot extremely inaccurately (this post details what really happened.
2020.08.19 17:59 daprice82Wrestling Observer Rewind ★ Aug. 5, 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:
OBSERVER REWIND UPDATE: So here's the deal. I started doing the 2002 Rewinds on a whim when the pandemic shut down the U.S. I didn't have much of anything written up in advance before I started, I just dove in and started doing it without a plan. As a result, I couldn't write them up fast enough to keep up with the original M-W-F schedule. So that's why these only get posted once a week right now. Well, I'm starting a new job at the end of the month. I'm super excited about it, but I don't know how it's going to affect the Rewinds. Right now, I've only written up to mid-September 2002. I'm going to have to finish these during my free time outside of work, and that might mess the schedule up even more. So just a heads up in advance, I don't know how this may affect things going forward but I'm trying my damndest to get us through 2002 before slipping off into retirement again.
Several major media outlets are working on stories about the high number of deaths in professional wrestling, including HBO Real Sports, The Los Angeles Times, and Sports Illustrated. There's been a lot of talk about steroids in baseball lately (keep in mind, this is just after Barry Bonds broke the home run record) and Dave expects the stories to focus on steroid use in wrestling, the high number of deaths of people from that era, and likely it will all tie into baseball. Sort of a "if baseball doesn't clean up its act, it could end up like wrestling" type of story. Dave says it goes beyond that though. Steroids are a convenient excuse, but no wrestling deaths that Dave can think of can be tied directly to steroids alone. The problem really comes down to the fact that wrestling is an industry that rides people until their bodies break down, with a relentless travel schedule, and many wrestlers turn to painkillers, sleeping pills, alcohol, and other drugs to deal with it all. So there's a lot more to the story of all these deaths than just steroids. Dave briefly recaps the steroid scandal that crippled WWF in the early 90s. In particular, the Sports Illustrated story should be concerning to WWE. Steroids in baseball was kind of an open secret until a recent Sports Illustrated story broke the whole thing open and it became one of the biggest sports stories in years (here's the article in question, if you're feeling nostalgic about 2002 baseball scandals). A similar story on pro wrestling probably wouldn't be nearly as big a deal, but it would still bring bad publicity. And it would put Vince McMahon into a position of having to answer tough questions that he doesn't have any honest answers for. Wrestlers are dying at a horrifying rate and WWE has done nothing to combat it. The schedule is still a nightmare, injuries still pile up, guys still work through them, and the company doesn't do drug testing. If WWE is lucky, these stories will fly under the radar. If not, they're going to be in for some bad PR in the coming weeks and months (yeah this becomes a pretty constant story throughout the early-00s).
NWA-TNA has filed a lawsuit against an accounting firm led by a guy named Jay Hassman that was brought in to handle financial and marketing decisions for the new company. Jerry Jarrett recently did an interview explaining the situation. The gist of the lawsuit is that Jerry Jarrett claims the firm misled him about several financial issues that the company was facing. Notably, about how much clearance they have in the PPV market. Jarrett was apparently under the impression that their PPVs were available throughout the country on all the major PPV providers (Cablevision, Dish Network, etc.). But then they started getting feedback from fans who were unable to purchase the weekly PPVs and realized they don't have nearly the exposure they were led to believe. And in fact, Jarrett has allegedly found out that Hassman never even spoke with some of these providers to make the deals he was supposed to make. As a result, TNA is bleeding money because they aren't bringing in nearly as much PPV revenue as they were expecting. There's also issues with the total lack of marketing and promotion for TNA's PPVs, which is another thing Hassman's firm was being paid to handle and apparently did none of it. When the PPV numbers started coming in far lower than expected, Jarrett realized what was happening and it's said he's been consumed with this ever since (hence the mention last week of why Jerry Jarrett wasn't involved in writing the recent shows because he's so busy with all this mess and how, once again, nobody seems to be supervising Vince Russo). It's worth noting that Hassman is affiliated with another marketing group that does consulting work for WWE, which Jarrett wasn't aware of until recently, and reportedly InDemand PPV had some kind of issue with this and told Hassman they would only do business with him for one company, at which point Hassman allegedly pawned TNA off onto someone else (something else Jerry Jarrett claims they were never aware of). I dunno, this is all confusing.
Hassman allegedly told TNA that they had gotten 17,000 buys from DirecTV but they later found out the real number was less than 5,000. TNA is claiming Hassman forged an email attachment on DirecTV letterhead and even forged a signature with these fake DirecTV numbers. They're claiming he did a similar forgery with the InDemand PPV numbers as well. Hassman claimed the total PPV buys for TNA's first show were around 74,000 which was great news. But when Meltzer and other media outlets began digging around and reported the number as lower, TNA responded basically claiming that everyone else was lying and that the numbers really were that good. But now they're finding out the hard way that they were wrong. For what it's worth, TNA's deal with InDemand requires the company to air 13 weeks of programming before they will receive any of their PPV money. So if the company was to fold right now, they won't ever see a penny from the last 5-6 weeks of PPVs. And also, if they fold before the first year, they will have to pay InDemand a steep penalty. Jarrett admitted that TNA is currently in survival mode and just trying to make it from week-to-week right now while they sort out this mess. The lawsuit against the firm is asking for compensation for damages based on lost revenue as well as punitive damages for fraud and sabotage. Plus they want Hassman to re-pay the $50,000 fee he received when he and his firm were hired.
The Observer Hall of Fame issue is coming up soon but for now, Dave decides to take a look at several active wrestlers who aren't yet on the ballot and see what he thinks their qualifications are and whether he thinks they are HOF-caliber stars. So let's see what Dave thinks about some of these names as of 2002:
The Rock: Dave says he's a sure-fire HOF inductee. People might argue about longevity since he only debuted 6 years ago and it looks like he's gonna be gone from the business any day now. But still, he was too big of a star not to be a lock. Even if he retired today, he's a guaranteed first-ballot inductee.
Triple H: A year ago, Dave would have said he was a lock. This year, he's not so sure. His last 3 years have been strong and in 2000, he was voted Wrestler of the Year, but the quad injury took him out of the game and he hasn't been anywhere near the same wrestler since he came back. His reputation in the industry, due to his growing backstage power, might also hurt him with some voters (similar to the way Shawn Michaels should be a lock, but so many people have hated him for so long that he's yet to get enough votes). The next few years will probably determine Triple H's fate, but if he stays the same subpar, boring wrestler that he has been since returning from injury, it could hurt him.
Kurt Angle: unless he gets hurt or decides to quit the business, Angle will also almost certainly end up inducted. He started late and he doesn't have a lot of longevity yet, and he wasn't as big of a draw as Rock, Austin, or even Triple H. But he's unquestionably one of the best wrestlers in the world and you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who has ever entered the business and become as good as he is, and as big a star, in such a short time.
Chris Jericho: right now, Dave thinks Jericho is still missing something that would take him from "very good wrestler" to "Hall of Famer." He's done it all, he's good at everything, but he's never really had a sustained run as a top guy anywhere he's been. Dave compares him to Barry Windham or Curt Hennig, guys who had similar careers and were both very good, but never were full-time top guys and as a result, neither of them got many votes and aren't in the HOF. Jericho's not there yet either.
Rob Van Dam: he's going to need a successful run as a top star before he can even be in the discussion. Top star of a small cult-favorite promotion doesn't mean shit in the grand scheme of things (Sabu got almost no votes when he was eligible for the same reason). And given RVD's lack of promo skills, Dave doesn't see him getting that big break any time soon (indeed, RVD never made it to the WON HOF).
I'ma be real you guys. This is taking a long time and I just scrolled through and there's a bunch of names on this list. I don't feel like writing out Dave's opinion for all of them. So here we go: Eddie Guerrero (not quite yet), Shocker (big star in trios matches in CMLL but not enough proof that he's a draw on his own), Rey Mysterio Jr. (unquestionably the most influential guy in the business today, but this upcoming WWE run will determine if he goes down as a legend or guy who did cool flips for a few years and disappeared), Los Infiernos (trios team in Mexico, too soon to say), La Parka (not yet), Don Frye (probably not because American voters consider him more of a shoot fighter than a wrestler), Kazushi Sakuraba (same story), Masahiro Chono (got no support in the past and his work went downhill after a neck injury in 1992, so Dave is doubtful he'll ever get the votes), Yuji Nagata (too soon to say), Naoya Ogawa (Dave calls him the Japanese Goldberg. Huge huge HUGE TV ratings draw, big mainstream name, and has headlined some big Tokyo Dome shows. But never worked full time, isn't a great wrestler, and is seen by some as unprofessional with a bad attitude. Says Ogawa was basically handed the opportunity to be a big star in the business and hasn't ever seemed to appreciate it), Satoshi Kojima (depends on how well AJPW does in the next few years. Right now, no, but he's being groomed to be a big part of AJPW's future), and finally Jun Akiyama (a few years ago, Dave would have thought he was on his way to being a guarantee, but he's had some injuries and his momentum has stopped. Dave thinks he's still missing something). And that's it. He actually has big paragraphs on each of these names to explain his reasoning but we got other stuff to do.
This isn't wrestling but it's a big story, so real quick: the Nevada Athletic commission suspended UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett for 6 months for testing positive for steroids earlier this year. It came as a surprise because most expected the commission to issue a warning and that they wouldn't begin suspending MMA fighters for steroid failures until Jan. 1, 2003, to give everyone time to start with a clean slate under the new guidelines they have. But nope. Barnett was suspended which bans him from fighting not only in Nevada, but for any promotion worldwide that is also sanctioned in Nevada, which includes PRIDE and K-1. They made it clear that if any of those promotions use Barnett during his suspension, they will lose their promotional license in Nevada. The following day, UFC officially stripped Barnett of the UFC title and it will probably be decided at UFC 39 in the fight with Randy Couture vs. Rico Rodriguez. It's thought that Barnett might have escaped punishment originally, but his manager Matt Hume represented him at the hearing and Hume was contentious and argumentative with the commission and had put out a press release beforehand criticizing the commission and its rules. Basically, instead of defending his guy for what he obviously did, he went on the attack against the commission itself and they weren't happy. Barnett himself also spoke at the hearing and denied using steroids, but he failed multiple tests for it so no one's buying it. Barnett actually came off well and everyone who witnessed it thought he should have spoken for himself rather than let Hume piss off all the people who were going to decide his fate. Dave talks about how this whole thing opens up a big can of worms for the sport of MMA going forward, but that's another paragraph for another day.
XWF has found a way to survive a few minutes longer. The promotion is now doing an invasion angle of sorts with WWC, to build something for the upcoming anniversary show. The tapes XWF filmed last year, featuring guys like Hogan and Curt Hennig, will air on TV in Puerto Rico over the next 5 weeks, immediately following WWC's TV show (it will also go head-to-head with IWA's first hour on TV, which might hurt their ratings, which is a bonus for WWC). This is to give the XWF names credibility so that when they "invade" WWC, fans will know who they are. And it gives WWC a boost for their anniversary show, which is needed after the recent shocking departure of Ray Gonzalez who is still expected to debut for IWA any day now but is still trying to get the legal issues cleared up to make sure he's freed from his WWC contract.
In a quick note from the Zero-1 promotion in Japan, Dave says that Samoa Joe has changed his name to King Joe (this doesn't last too long, he leaves the company for good before the end of the year and joins Ring of Honor).
NJPW is doing a tournament to revive the old NWF title, which was the main singles title in NJPW before the creation of the IWGP belt in 1983. The idea is to build this up as a "shooters" type of title and the 4-man tournament will have Kazuyuki Fujita vs. Yoshihiro Takayama (rematch from their famous PRIDE fight from last year) and Tadao Yasuda vs. Tsuyoshi Kosaka. In theory, this may lead to a unification match with the IWGP title next year, but Dave seems pretty down on this idea. For a company that is struggling with so many issues right now, not the least of which is Inoki's obsession with putting his MMA interests ahead of pro wrestling, bringing back a world title from the 70s seems like not the best idea. (Indeed, this does eventually become a big thing. Takayama wins the tournament in January 03 and loses it to IWGP champ Shinsuke Nakamura a year later in 2004 in a unification match, at which point the belt is retired again, with Shinsuke as the final champion).
Speaking of, Dave wonders whatever happened to the old WWF World Martial Arts title belt that Inoki presented to Mark Coleman at a PRIDE show awhile back. That was expected to lead to something, but apparently went nowhere.
Latest on Goldberg is that he's in negotiations to work matches in Japan. The idea right now is Goldberg would work AJPW's Budokan Hall show at the end of August but that isn't yet finalized. Goldberg's agent Barry Bloom is also one of the American producers for PRIDE so there's a lot of talks there also. Kazuyoshi Ishii of K-1 is rumored to be negotiating for a fight with Goldberg as well, but Dave says there's nothing to the rumors, it's just to drum up publicity. He may make an appearance at the upcoming PRIDE/K-1 stadium show, but Dave seems 100% confident that he's not going to do a shoot fight with anyone.
Ring of Honor held its 5th ever show and crowned its first champion in Philadelphia this week. Low-Ki become the first ROH champion, defeating Christopher Daniels, Spanky and Doug Williams in a four-way 60-minute ironman match that got rave reviews from those who saw it. AJ Styles successfully defended the TNA X-Division title, the first time it's been defended outside of the company. AJ was more over than ever and the crowd chanted "TNA" which means that promotion at least means something to some fans.
Dave also adds that ROH has gotten a local TV deal in Philadelphia and will be airing on Ch. 48 at midnights on Tuesdays starting next month. Booker Gabe Sapolsky wants to move the show to a new building, preferably the old ECW Arena nearby, but admits they would have to paper the shows a lot to fill up the crowd, plus there's at least 3 other indie companies routinely running shows there already. Dave drops a gem of a tidbit here and says that, aside from their biggest shows, ECW used to paper the Arena shows more than anyone was allowed to know. Apparently Heyman kept it pretty secret, but they evidently had more trouble than people realize when it came to filling up the ECW Arena all those years.
David Arquette was on Carson Daley's talk show and they were joking about Arquette being a former WCW champion. Both of them recognized how foolish it was, which Dave says is funny because to this day, Vince Russo refuses to admit it was a mistake. When Daley asked Arquette how the fans responded, Arquette was honest, saying, "They didn't like it at all. They were booing loudly." (It's 2020 and, to the best of my knowledge, I believe Russo still defends this as a good idea. Anyway, here's the footage of Arquette on the show, in a video that looks like it was beamed down from the moon in the 1960s. But Arquette is pretty funny in this and even back in 2002, he clearly understood his place in the business and seemed embarrassed to have ever been put in that position).
Afa Anoa'i Jr. was listed by ESPN as one of the top defensive linemen to watch out for in the 2003 season. Afa Jr. is starting for Pitt this year and recently wrestled on one of his father's indie shows. Given that he's a member of the Anoa'i family and given that Jim Ross is still in charge of talent relations, you can be damn sure guaranteed that if Afa Jr.'s football career doesn't work out, he'll have a shot in WWE (indeed, he signs in 2006 and later becomes Manu, briefly a member of Legacy before getting kicked out and released soon after).
XPW is planning to run a show in Philadelphia, but they haven't applied for a license yet. Regardless, tickets are already on sale and Dave says they can just pay a local promoter to use theirs (or lie and try to leech off ROH's, but we'll get there). There's rumors that CZW fans are uniting to get as many tickets as they can, with plans of showing up to start trouble. At least the AEW/NXT war hasn't gotten that petty yet. Then again, we haven't had fans for 5 months, so who knows if it would have happened by now.
Colin Scotts, an Australian football player, wrote an autobiography with some Hogan-esque level lies in it. Scotts claims he was a major star in WWF in 1996 and that he wrestled Jerry Lawler at Madison Square Garden in a match that turned into a shoot. He also claims he became best friends with Hogan during that time when they were working together. So here's the real story: Scotts had a real sports background, so WWF brought him in for a look. They filmed a promo with him that never aired on TV. And they sent him to Memphis to train, but he only lasted a week before he quit. Also, Hulk Hogan was in WCW in 1996.
TNA is attempting to get a TV deal. Which is no surprise, they need one if they want to have any hope of surviving long-term. But for what it's worth, XWF had Hulk Hogan, Curt Hennig, and higher production values than TNA has, and they weren't able to get a deal. So....good luck.
The big question for TNA right now is whether they have enough money to survive the near future, and if so, for how long. PPV numbers are all over the place, of course, but Dave thinks it's possible they can maybe pull in 15,000 buys a week on average at this point. Whether that will generate enough money to keep them afloat, who knows. 15,000 buys definitely isn't enough to break even, but it might be enough to keep the losses manageable and if so, maybe they can stay alive long enough to catch a lifeline (this is exactly what ends up happening). That being said, the recent shows have been atrocious and Dave can't fathom any casual fans checking out this product and being impressed enough to pay for it again the next week.
We have more and more news about the shaky situation of TNA. Right now, even TNA itself has no real idea how it's doing on PPV. The only numbers they are informed about are ticket sales, and those are awful too (most of the crowds at these weekly PPV shows have been freebies, although this week there were no freebies. So they only managed to sell 700 tickets in a small building that holds double that. Imagine if the ECW Arena was half empty). Given that, the decreasing amount of star power on every show (reminder, they're splitting up Scott Hall and Ken Shamrock to work alternate weeks so they don't have to pay them both weekly), and the awful creative changes that have taken root since Russo arrived, there's a lot of concern in the locker room that this promotion is already doomed. Even with a small arena, the crowds have often been dead. There's also no video screens (budget cuts) so all the backstage stuff that happens on TV, the live fans are seeing none of it. Which basically means lots of dead air and nothing happening in the arena.
X-Pac's days are rumored to be numbered in WWE and Dave thinks he would be a good fit in TNA alongside Scott Hall. But, of course, X-Pac ain't gonna come cheap and TNA doesn't have two dimes to rub together right now. And even if he is let go today, WWE will enforce the 90-day non-compete so who knows what TNA's financial situation will be by then, or if they'll even still be in business (turns out X-Pac didn't have the non-compete in his deal, he shows up in TNA soon).
Notes from this week's TNA PPV: Dave says Russo wasn't quite as badly out of control this week as he was last week. Still a lot of the same problems though. Nearly every tag team on the show was bickering and doing that partners-that-don't-get-along gimmick, which is fine when it's one team, but it was done multiple times on the same show. They announced Jeff Jarrett was suspended for 60 days in kayfabe, only to have Ricky Steamboat overturn it before the next PPV, so Jarrett won't miss a single show. Brian Christopher attacked announcer Don West and choked him out, which you'd think would mean he's off the show for the rest of the episode, but nope, he recovered and went right on announcing the show without even mentioning it. K-Krush changed his name to his real name and added a nickname, so now he's Ron "The Truth" Killings and he cut a promo about being held back by white people only to have Monty Brown come out and defend white people and accused Truth of complaining, with Truth calling Brown an "uncle Tom." Dave thinks if this TNA thing doesn't work out, Monty Brown is gonna end up in WWE developmental quickly. He's got the look of course, but he also showed here that he's a shockingly good promo too. Dave thinks he has obvious major star potential. Disco Inferno debuted doing a Piper's Pit-style interview segment. And Shamrock vs. Sabu for the NWA title in a ladder match was a mess that was supposed to end with Sabu passing out in a submission and then Shamrock would go get the belt. That ended up not happening and Sabu never did the pass out sell and Shamrock had to somewhat improvise the finish of the match and it looked awkward as hell on TV. As a result, there's a pretty good chance Sabu won't be brought back because they blamed him for screwing it up. Pretty much all the matches sucked, actually. Even the ones with guys like Low-Ki and AJ Styles felt more like decent indie matches rather than top level performers.
Francine getting taken out on a stretcher last week was the last of her, evidently she's gone. As a result, Shane Douglas is likely going to be joining the company soon. Douglas refused to have anything to do with TNA as long as Francine was there, due to some falling out the two had. But now that she's gone, Douglas is said to be back in the picture but they haven't signed a deal yet.
Ken Shamrock may not be around too much longer either. He didn't turn out to be the big draw everyone hoped he would be for TNA and hasn't really gotten over all that well. Considering he's the 2nd highest paid guy there (behind Scott Hall), Dave expects them to get the title off him sooner than later and probably won't bring him in as often afterwards. Truth is getting the monster push right now and challenges for the belt next week and may win it (yup).
Various other TNA news & notes: they were working on a deal to bring in Howard Stern personality Beetlejuice for a match and would have cross-promoted it on Stern's show, but the deal fell apart. Malice recently filmed an episode of the Jenny Jones show. USA Today had a story about Toby Keith being involved in a wrestling show with Jeff Jarrett, but never mentioned the name of the promotion. Matt Striker vs. BJ Whitmer was supposed to be a dark match at the recent taping, but it got cut for time reasons.
Details on Monty Brown: former Division II All-American football star, wasn't drafted to the NFL, but tried out and made it onto the Buffalo Bills where he played for 3 years, including in the 1994 Super Bowl. He got cut, went to the Patriots as a free agent and made the team, but then got injured and was cut again. He tried out for the Jets, but didn't make the team. He always wanted to be a wrestler and went to an ECW show after his NFL career ended and filmed a promo for Paul Heyman, but it never aired as far as Dave knows and that was the end of that. He has been working indies in Michigan ever since until TNA came calling (he eventually makes it to ECW....sorta).
Jim Cornette's mother Thelma passed away this week after battling cancer. Dave tells the story of how Cornette's mom used to take him to the wrestling shows when he was still a kid where he'd write the programs and shoot photos for the magazines, which is how he got into the business. And from there, Cornette turned his mom into part of his gimmick of being a spoiled brat raised by his rich mama.
Kurt Angle did an interview with his local Pittsburgh newspaper about going for the 2004 Olympics. The belief of most in WWE right now is that he's not going to do it. Angle himself seems unsure, saying some days he's ready to go for it and other days, he thinks maybe he won't. Angle's wife Karen was also interviewed and said she doesn't want him to do it. She said her husband has suffered more injuries in his 3 year WWE career than he did in 20 years of amateur wrestling and noted how difficult it would be for him to be healthy enough for it. Plus, she also smartly noted that he hasn't done amateur wrestling in 6 years and if he fails in the Olympics, it could hurt his WWE career since he's a top star there and being the best wrestler in the world is his entire identity. Angle said he has to decide by the end of this year and Vince McMahon has given him the green light to do it if he wants. Dave points out the obvious: Kurt Angle in the Olympics and going for the gold would draw huge ratings for the Olympics as millions of pro wrestling fans would be watching. Plus it would bring huge publicity to WWE, to have one of their own high profile stars vying for a gold medal. And if he won, he could go back to pro wrestling as the biggest mainstream star in the business. But, as Karen Angle pointed out, all of that is a huge long shot.
Notes from Raw: show was built around Rock vs. Flair in Greensboro which sounds like it should have been a huge hit. Not so much. The crowd was polite for Flair and they booed the Rock, but they didn't really seem all that into it otherwise. And the reason was Flair, who seemed distracted and wasn't even close to his usual self. It was one of those matches where Flair's age showed, because they hyped this up as a guaranteed classic dream match and Ric just couldn't hang. Someone attacked Shawn Michaels and left him bloody but it was left as a cliffhanger to decide who. Most likely Triple H, but they tried to play it like it wasn't going to be. Benoit beat RVD for the IC title in the best thing on the show. The Island Boyz (still not yet called 3 Minute Warning) beat up Moolah and Mae Young. Dave says he knows they think they can take it, but it's still scary to see these elderly women taking these moves. That's pretty much it.
Notes from Smackdown: excellent show. Jericho vs. Edge cage match was a 4-star barnburner. They pushed new people, and the show ended with Mysterio, Edge, and John Cena in the ring and the commentators pushed those 3 hard as the future of Smackdown. You know the move where a guy is sitting on your shoulders and you drop him down backwards? That move has been around for 20 years and Dave says he's never heard a name for it, but on this show, Michael Cole called it the electric chair. Dave hereby credits Cole for finally naming that move (this just made me wonder, are there any other moves in wrestling that we've seen people do but doesn't have a known name?). Mysterio got a new entrance where he comes out from under the stage and got a huge pop and Dave likes that the presentation for him is so strong because that goes a long way towards getting people over. He and Chavo had a great match. Overall, pretty great show.
Various WWE notes: Kanyon was in ICU all weekend for a shoulder injury that got infected that then caused fluid in his lungs. Triple H is working backstage as an agent, helping guys put together matches (not sure if that was ever an official role, I'm sure Bruce Prichard would say it wasn't and Dave Meltzer is wrong 99% of the time and makes up lies). Pretty much everyone backstage felt Eddie Guerrero really had a star-making performance during his promo segment with Rock on Raw last week and he opened some eyes. Brock Lesnar and Jerry Lawler worked house shows for the brands they aren't on this past week, and at this point, what is even the point of the brand split? Speaking of, Raw star Triple H is scheduled to have his first match back since elbow surgery at the big Melbourne, Australia show next week and yes, why, that is a Smackdown-branded show, thank you for noticing. The "Jr." has been dropped from Rey Mysterio's name and was also told to slow down the pace of his matches and not work as much of a Lucha/WCW cruiserweight style. Then why even hire.....ah fuck it, nevermind.
It hasn't been made official, but everyone in WWE acknowledges that Tazz's in-ring career is most likely over. Tazz himself is pretty much resigned to it also, due to years of injuries piling up. Good news is that WWE seems happy with his performance as an announcer. (indeed, Tazz wrestled his last real match about 2 months prior to this. He has a "match" at ECW One Night Stand but really he just choked out Lawler in 30 seconds so I don't count that).
WWE Confidential this week had a big piece on the life of Randy Orton, with lots of clips of his father and grandfather. Talked about his time in the military, which he hated, and he went AWOL and took a bus home. He later turned himself in and spent 38 days in a military prison. Talked about how his dad brought him to a show and they had him work out in the ring with Tom Prichard. Orton had never wrestled a single match at that point, but he was immediately signed to a developmental deal. That got him a lot of resentment from others in OVW who felt like he was handed an opportunity some of them had worked years for. And, I mean....he pretty much was. They also did a feature on the time DX invaded Nitro and in WWE's latest revisionist history, this moment was painted as the big turning point in the war with WCW. Dave thinks this is a way to paint Triple H as if he was a huge, integral part of the Monday Night Wars on par with Rock and Austin, and needless to say, that ain't the case. There were a million things that led to WCW's downfall and this DX invasion isn't even one of the bigger ones. (And to this day, they still act like it was, even though it was basically just meaningless and funny at the time).
Shelton Benjamin's TV debut took place on Sunday Night Heat in a throwaway nothing match against Justin Credible, which is a pretty shitty way to introduce someone who's got as much potential as Benjamin. When he first started, people were talking about him like he was the next Kurt Angle with how fast he picked things up. And he and Lesnar were a tremendous tag team in OVW.
WWE had a thing on its website where you could give feedback on Raw. By filling out the form, you also agreed to give WWE the right to use any creative idea suggested by fans. The notice said, "By submitting any submissions, whether solicited by us or not, you are automatically granting WWE a perpetual, royalty-free, non-exclusive, unrestricted worldwide and irrevocable right and license" to any ideas submitted.
According to those in the creative meetings, Steve Austin's name is never brought up and WWE is moving forward right now under the assumption that he's gone for good. So things still very icy on that front.
NEXT WEDNESDAY:XPW wrestler Messiah assaulted and has thumb cut off, legendary Portland promoter Don Owen passes away, more on TNA lawsuit and financial situation, WWE getting into the movie business, and more...
2020.08.19 00:08 Martel1234Preview Of DWTNCS Week 3
Hey hey. This is my second week looking at DWTNCS and giving previews of what I think is going to happen. Last week I went 5/5 for picks, 4/5 for finishes, and 4/5 for contracts. Lets see if we can replicate that with this week's show. First fight we got is Kevin Syler (10-0) vs Kenny Cross (10-3), a short notice bout that was just recently added. Kevin Syler (10-0) From Bolivia and fighting out of ATT, Kevin Syler is an international super prospect. Having not lost any pro or amutrur fights, he is definitely a good fighter. His opponents combined record is 57-22-1, which is honestly pretty tough all things considered. He has had 7 submissions, 2 decisions, and 1 KO. He already fought once in the series though, a decision victory over Lance Lawrence who he beat by Unanimous decision. Kenny Cross (10-3) The Michigan born fighter, Kenny Cross is an exciting prospect. With 6 submissions and 4 TKO’s/KOs, he has not had a single fight go to decision. His opponents combined record is 55-41, showing a slightly padded record but definitely a record with more experience. His main fault is that all three of his losses ended by a submission on the ground, which Syler can exploit. I got Syler here by round 2 submission. Though Kenny has good ground skills, he doesn't have the defense on the ground to survive. Sucks for him though as I like both guys and think they should both be in the UFC. Next up we got a heavyweight bout between Josh Parisian (12-3) vs Chad Johnson (6-1) Josh Parisian (12-3) Josh is a decently big fighter on the regional scene. One of the top American Regional prospects, Josh is known for being on the latest season of TUF. Losing in the first round, the fight got his name out there. He also competed in DWTNCS Season 2, getting a victory with a spinning back fist (my favorite way to finish a fight.) He has 9 KO/TKO’s, 2 Submissions, and 1 Decision. His opponents combined record is 121-86, with the help of veterans like Greg Robello and Tony Lopez to boost up his combined record Chad Johnson (6-1) A Wisconsin fighter, Chad is an up and coming prospect. Having all of his wins come from KO/TKO, he is definitely a knockout artist. Coming up from the KOTC ranks, he's definitely dangerous. His opponents combined record is 21-20, showing his record was pretty padded up. I got Josh by TKO in round 1 here. Think he's more experienced and has a better opponent record then Chad. Next up is Matt Dixon (9-0) vs Orion Cosce (6-0) Matt Dixon (9-0) From Indiana, the 24 year old Dixon is a nice prospect. He has had 5 TKO’s, 3 Decision, 1 Submission. Training out of Oklahoma, his opponent combined record is 68-43, making him not the most experienced but still pretty tough. Orion Cosce (6-0) Brother of one half of the main event tonight, Orion is definitely being pushed by the UFC. I honestly believe this is a similar situation to Australian Top Team, where they build these guys up as he and his brother are the only pro fighters in there gym He has 5 KO’s/TKO’s and has an opponent combined record of 26-47 I got Dixon here by decision. It’s hard for me to see any actually UFC worthy talent in Orion but he may prove me wrong. In our co Main and our only women's bout between Cheyanne Buys (4-1) and Hilarie Rose (4-1) Cheyanne Buys (4-1) Probably up there in terms of fan favorites, Cheyanne Buys does not have an ugly face to say the very least. She has 3 decisions and a TKO, and her opponents have a record of 10-6. She is pretty inexperienced but her opponent also is. Hilarie Rose (4-1) The Newfolk Mass fighter, Rose is rising up the CES ranks. She has 2 submissions, 1 KO, and 1 Split Decision. She has a padded record though, at 7-15, which could mean shes not ready for the step up. I got Buys here, but neither girl is ready for the UFC. In our main event, we got Victor Reyna (11-4) taking on Louis Cosce Victor Reyna (11-3) A mixed Vet and Prospect, Victor has been around the block. He has fought mostly in Combate but has fought in KOTC before. His losses come from the likes of Kevin Holland and Miguel Baeza, with him losing to Baeza last year at the contender series. He has 7 KO/TKO’s, 3 Decisions, 1 Submission. His opponents combined record is 87-51 (1 NC). Louis Cosce (6-0) The brother of the previously mentioned Orion, Louis is pretty similar to his brother. He himself has a padded record (34-61) and has 4 KO/TKO’s and 2 Submissions, all in round 1. Though I think he's the better of the brothers, I still think his record is padded to make him look good. I got Victor Reyna here in an upset decision. I just can't take the Cosce brothers seriously. Alright, For Contracts I got Matt Dixon Josh Parisian Kevin Syler. Thanks for reading and I hope this helps get you into tonight's fights! Week 2: https://www.reddit.com/MMA/comments/i7wn8j/preview_of_dwtncs_season_4_week_2/
Preface: If you're not a Reformed/particular Baptist, please don't make jokes about baptism and other contentious issues, I'm not interested in it. Thanks for your understanding. I know that I am new to this subreddit, but I have been a Reformed Baptist for 10 years now, I used to run (and founded) the Reformed Memes Daily page on FB, I've read lots of RB literature and I am convinced of the truths set in the 1644/1689 Confessions (so, please don't debate). But I have to say: I'm sick and tired of the Reformed Baptist faith at the moment. I am sick of how I can't find a genuine Reformed Baptist church here in Australia. My wife is a black woman from the US, I am a white guy from a low income area in SE QLD. And it seems that a lot of what calls itself Reformed Baptist these days is just racist and moralistic. And I am sick of it. Sick of the slavery defending bullcrap in the U.S and sick of the rabidly Republican crap too. So sick of the rabid ways so many Reformed Baptists (looking at James White as an example) attack "SJWs" and yet in the process, attack legit Christians, even ones in their own camp. I'm so sick of how stupid American politics and political affiliations have clouded what it means to be a Reformed Baptist. I'm sick of how on a number of occasions, I've joined a supposed Reformed Baptist church, and in due time, it has just turned into a charismatic mess, forsaken its confessional convictions or it has just turned into one of those Bapticostal type churches. And I don't want it. It seems that the only two options I have for a church is a fake Reformed Baptist one, or an ultraconservative one that I (and my wife) feel way out of place in. I'm sick of how so much Reformed Baptist culture is just an excuse to be a snob, classist and looking down at people for not being prim and proper. I'm sick of how under the guise of holiness and church discipline, a lot of Reformed Baptist churches end up covering up abuse, or end up abusing vulnerable people. And then, when people call it out, whistleblowers are maligned and pathetic excuses are made to justify the abuse. I'm not thinking about a specific situation, but things I've noticed over time. I'm sick of how so many Reformed Baptist people mistreat those with mental illness issues and offer no help whatsoever. It's gotten to the point now that my wife and I are burnt from Reformed/Calvinistic Baptist churches (or so called) that we're seriously considering going to another denomination (Lutheran church to be exact). Not because I want to, because there's a lot I disagree with; but at this stage- what choice do we have? I'm sick of how so many Reformed Baptist preachers/pastors claim to preach and believe in justification by faith alone etc. and yet preach things that are contrary to it. Thinking about how many RBaps love Doug Wilson, believe the Paul Washer Preperationism etc. and have never even picked up anything by Benjamin Keach or even know who he is! Sorry, but I'm just so jaded and angry with the Reformed Baptist faith atm. Or, what considers itself to be so. I just needed to vent. Surely other people feel similar things. Thank you for listening.
I'm not Australian, I'm a Texan. And I'm not a Reformed Baptist, but I am a reformed (Southern Baptist). That's my context. FWIW, I don't agree with Uncle Jimmy on everything, but I find his perspective to be helpful. That said... There are 3 primary ways a church can express itself:
It can give up and go liberal: it can deny scripture's authority. It can relegate it as "one of many" things. Elders/pastors are more interested in appealing to those outside. It can start deciding what parts of scripture it wants to hear. The world tends to look at this type of church more favorably and is easy to do. People in #2 are often saddened by what they see in this group and people in #3 get angry and "go overboard."
It can be faithful by adhering to sola scripture, the elders can minister to the flock and, without compromise, hold fast to the preaching of the word. This is hard to do and ends up not making many friends, but is where churches ought to be. People in camps #1 and #3 will often lobby accusations at this group and generally be "offended".
It can attach itself to some extrabiblical ideology. In some cases it's patriotism, in others it might be anti-government sentiment. For others it can be a rejection of some doctrine. The reasons are different but the effect is the same: They generally have vitriol for #1 and have disdain for the churches in #2.
Many, many churches seem to go down roads #1 and #3. Our church re-opened and then, when other churches closed again, ours stayed open. There has been an influx of people who have come to realize that with the desire to go and have fellowship, that their church is falling into #1 or #3. I'm not saying that a #2 church has re-opened, but generally speaking, this has been my experience. Truth is, there are not that many Reformed Baptists in the world. There are many evangelicals, a lot of evangelly-fish, and tons of nominal Christians. They were "won" to the faith by sophistry or smooth preaching, and they never rooted into the faith that secures them, brings them hope, and anchors them in the storms of life. There is a reason why our church, while it has plenty of older men who have been in the church for a decade or more, do not teach and are instead needing to be taught. They either don't care or they are unable to teach because they simply don't know. And they are at a point in their lives where they have been able to exist in place which did not challenge them. I'm not saying they are not Christians, nor that they are strong in the faith. They know what they believe but not why they believe it. All that to say: before you get frustrated at RBs in general, remember that we are living in a generation that didn't take theology seriously and we are now reaping the harvest. There is a reason why people like myself (along with JW) have no regard for SJWs—because the vast majority of them do not have a biblical understanding of what God's justice actually is. There is no eternal perspective. Or maybe they do have some biblical perspective, but they jump to conclusions which are outside of biblical application. You have many people who are mixing what they heard from a friend or from Sunday school when they are a kid with what the world hears and they are are defending it because that's what they know. The same goes for the other side. America has been a massive force for good in the world. Any many people say without America there is no Gospel. This obviously is an error, too, because we know the Gospel was around before the late 1770s. Anyway, God knows your struggles and your pain. Keep searching and you will find a home. And remember that false teachers will be held accountable for their words and actions.
Good question. I'm not going to offer a textbook/Wikipedia definition, but when I think of SJW, these things come to mind:
Generally this person is progressive (not conservative). (e.g. a leftist/marxist and not a liberal in the true sense of the word).
Promotes a subjective idea of "justice" which isn't rooted in reality or scripture. It often goes in direct violation of scriptural principals (e.g. those who called Chauvin a murderer before hearing the facts of the case, or those who may immediately side with the poor or rich in a case).
Does not believe in an eternal perspective in which true justice is meted. Justice must be done here, immediately, and to their satisfaction. Often according to the mob, which is again against scriptural principles.
May demonize people who are not aligned with them. (Us vs. them mentality).
Acts in a way that undermines the very system which supports them. (many SJWs are only SJWs because it's easy to be so, in other countries they would jailed/tortured). They say "abolish the police" when in reality they have built a system which requires the police and would undermine society if they actually had their way.
Is generally ruled by their emotions. They are not interested in absolute truth or rule of law unless it happens to align with their intended goals.
Often times, doesn't take into account a biblical anthropology. Again, this comes with leftism marxism which assumes that throwing money/education at people will make them happier and healthier.
Promotes desired outcomes, without considering how to get there and often ignoring the reality of historical perspective.
Move the goalposts: There is no "destination" as far as they are concerned. Once given an inch, the goalposts move another inch and there is never a place where one can say "enough is enough".
I'd say if someone has more than half of these, then I'd probably lump them into the SJW category.
I would say that Be the Bridge and Witness have admirable goals, but the practices cause division and excuse sin for people that are from classes that have historically been oppressed. I prefer not to call people SJWs because it's so derogatory, but I would say they have bought into some of the worst and unbiblical aspects of critical theory.
2020.08.18 05:02 Survivor31fan[S] Marooned: Africa (Complete)
16 Americans are about to begin the adventure of a lifetime in the scorching deserts of Kenya in eastern Africa. They are about to be abandoned in the heart of one of the most diverse and dangerous collections of animals anywhere on the planet. Zebras, giraffes, elephants, lions, just a sampling of the animals that call this place home. Temperatures here can reach 120 degrees. Water is scarce. It is a land virtually untouched by the modern world. For the next 39 days these 16 strangers will be left to fend for themselves. Forced to create a new society while battling the elements and each other. They must learn to adapt or they’ll be voted out of the tribe. In the end only one will remain to claim the million dollar prize. 39 days, 16 people, 1 survivor! This is Marooned: Africa! INTRO The Cast Boran Tribe:
Albert “Al” Meida, 28, Art Director
Al likes to compete, especially when he wins. Growing up in a successful family, he adapted to his family’s way of thinking of always pushing yourself to be #1. Whether if it’s in sports, academics or other activities, Al always desires to be the one to come out on top. Survivor will be his greatest challenge yet and he’s ready to come out on top.
Alix Colburn, 22, Zookeeper
lex has never been quite sure how to feel about himself. While he's biologically male, he actually wants to be female. His parents have conflicting feelings about it, and barely anyone treated him with respect as a kid. Nowadays, he's feeling better. He works at a zoo due to his love for animals and he wants to raise awareness on the show before he fully transitions.
Katrina MacQuoid, 58, Prosthodontist
Katrina’s parents we’re performers in Kentucky. They lived and breathed theater and expected their daughter to be the same. Though Katrina loved being the center of attention, and still does, she never loved the stage the way her parents did. Her parents wanted her to continue to pursue something arts related, and she became an advertising adjective, but never felt satisfied. When she learned that Kentucky was looking for jobs in the dental field, she felt it would be a perfect field to enter. She always found teeth interesting, I mean, are they bones? But they fall out? So weird. She returned to school at age 35 and became a Prosthodontist at age 43. She’s worked as a Prosthodontist since then and (While not at the level of Peter) has a firm understanding of the most important hole in the human body, the mouth. While she’s liked by many people because of her fun personality, she has trouble forming 1 on 1 bonds and has never found the special one. As a child she often got in trouble for anger issues with her parents, so she began to hold in her anger and let it out in huge, uncontrollable fits when her parents weren't around. This holding in of anger until she can’t contain it is a habit she continues to have, blaming her rages on “Hurricane Katrina” as a sort of justification of her actions. She’s never left Kentucky and while she’s very book smart, she can often be very ignorant on other subjects.
Kiara Phoenix, 28, Novel Writer
Kiara is socially generous and shy, but inside she behaves pessimistically about herself. Kiara can be a leader but sometimes she have difficulty giving orders correctly, but she still tries. Kiara's family is doing well, being the only daughter of her parents, but sadly she lost her mother on July 19 this year to heart attack. Kiara and her father kept on doing what they like to do; her father, Damian, working as a furniture maker and Kiara in a hobby that is writing novels and drawing, DeviantArt, but then she changed to Tumblr because of problems in the page, but months later she is recognized by her book "The Dark of Fantasy" and now she works mostly as a Novel Writer.
Marilyn Yung, 21, Aspiring Broadway Singer
Growing up Marilyn’s Parents always told her she would be a star. unfortunately Marilyn took what they said to fat and would beg her parents to let her audition for a Broadway show each show she auditioned for she was rejected the directors always found her annoying and didn’t like her singing style this led Marilyn to audition for a lot of things one of them being the show “Survivor” Marilyn wants to use the show to Promote her Broadway Career and possible gain fame.
Raymond “Ray” Franks, 21, Student
Ray grew up in a very conservative town where he couldn’t express himself openly. After getting accepted into college, he decided that he would leave his family and friends behind and live how he wanted to. He’s still attending college, and is hoping to get accepted into a top tier medical school where he can pursue a career that helps others. Ray is planning on using the money to pay for his student loans and living expenses. He is currently living with his roommate and only “loved one” Troy.
Tonette “Toni” Madison, 36, Jazz Singer
Toni’s parents were both musicians, hence her name Tonette. She has always wanted to follow in her parent’s footsteps, except better. She succeeded in doing that, and now wants to win the million not for herself, but for her parents, as they were struggling musicians, whereas she is successful, and she feels as if she owes them a big thank you.
Wallace Buchanan, 26, Barber
Wallace is a very reserved guy. He lives his life for his work and weekend activities at his home on Lake Michigan. There he does his carpentry, listens to his heavy rock, practices his meditation with his girlfriend, in short, a life away from everything and everyone. He has few friends, but the ones he chose are very loyal and important to him.
Crystal “Cris” Brook, 26, Singer
Cris has always been a shy person. However, she was also naturally gifted in singing. All throughout high school the friends that she did have wanted her to perform in her school's talent show. She was finally convinced in senior year, and she won the talent show and became an overnight sensation. Since she has gotten famous, she has made plenty of albums, and is known as "The Geek of Pop." However, Cris loves to exercise and it's actually a coping method for her and helps her be confident in herself.
Jeremy McPherson, 32, Firefighter
Growing up he was saved by a firefighter while their house are burning, he is thankful for them, and growing up he wants to be a Firefighter, and now his dreams come true he have saved so many life as a firefighter.
Kathy Mayfield, 26, Aspiring Actress
Ever since Kathy was a child, she always dreamed to be BIG. She always wanted to be an actress in Hollywood. Unfortunately for her, after 26 years of life the biggest role she got was an extra in a commercial. So she plans to go on Marooned, where she can show all her talents as an actress, she can manipulate and charm her way to the top, and maybe she can finally have her dream come true.
Kaylee Robinson, 27, Self Defense Instructor
Kaylee wasn't always this loud and proud, being from the dangerous part of town, Kaylee and her sister were jumped by a street gang called the king's court. Kaylee barely escaped with her life. The same can not be said for her sister Liana, who was shot 12 times in the chest after protecting her sister from the shots. This traumatized Kaylee who finally came out of her shell after this tragic accident. Ever since that day, Kaylee taught herself self Defense until she was a master at it. Kaylee now teaches Self Defense to women all across Oregon.
Leo Johnson, 34, Pro Wrestler
Ever since Leo was young he has wanted to be a wrestler. Now at 34 years old he’s living the dream being a pro wrestler but a part of him still doesn’t feel complete. He’s coming to Marooned to go on an adventure that will hopefully help him feel more complete and accomplished.
Matt Kristoffson, 19, College Athlete
Matt takes the "strong, silent type" to the extreme. Ever since he was young, he would very rarely talk to others, and mostly kept to himself throughout his teenage years. Now in college, he is a key member of his college's football team. Not wanting to be seen as a dumb jock, Matt also takes his academics very seriously, and is a very smart guy. He may be an introvert, but he thinks he has what it takes to win Marooned.
Natalia “Talia” Grey, 24, Audio Mixer
Talia has never been confident in herself since she was a child, as she had two workaholic parents who showered her with unattainable expectations in Middle and High School, both wanting her to become a scientist, while she always had a dream to pursue music. Her parents never approved, and scoffed at her every time she tried to show them something, so she spent long nights in her room honing her craft, and never showing anyone over fear of what they would think. One of her only friends, and eventual boyfriend stumbled upon some of her mixes of songs, and sent it to a few music colleges without her knowing, and she was shocked to receive a scholarship to a huge music school in LA in the mail, which she immediately took to go follow her passion. Now fresh out of college, she may know what her career path will be, but she lacks the social connections to get employed in the industry, so she hopes she can play Marooned to get her name out there and hopefully gain some confidence around others.
Ryan Brown, 27, Software Engineer
He was adopted at birth and was raised with 5 other siblings. He is extremely grateful towards his adoptive family and wants to thank them by winning. Unfortunately, he faced a lot of racism growing up due to being raised by a white family in a very conservatively white city, but he managed to impress most of his tormentors with his intelligence. Though very smart, Ryan is pretty reserved and wants to use this as an experience to test his social skills
THE SEASON *I apologize to u/swoldow for misspelling their character’s name in the sim. Episode 1:After making a long trek through the savannah both tribes reach their tribe campsite and begin setting up camp. On the Boran tribe the building of the tribe camp is mostly harmonious although Toni and Ray do start butting heads a little. Meanwhile on the Samburu tribe there is a clear power struggle between Leo and Jeremy. Both think that they have what it takes to be the leader of the tribe and neither is willing to back down from that position. Crystal and Kaylee both side with Leo thinking that he should be the tribe leader while Matt and Kathy side with Jeremy and think that he should be the tribe leader. Ryan and Talia both dislike the conflict going on in the tribe and decide to stay neutral. At the immunity challenge Samburu manages to win despite the tension they have at camp. When Boran gets back from the immunity challenge Ray accuses Toni of being the reason that they lost the challenge. Toni does not take this well and begins screaming at Ray. Ray does not back down and soon they are in the middle of a huge argument. Right before things get physical Al and Wallace step in and separate the two. It is clear that for the sake of the tribe either Toni or Ray need to go and because Toni is perceived to be weaker than Ray in challenges she is seen as less valuable so at tribal council Toni is unanimously voted out of the tribe. Episode 2:Without Toni Boran is once again harmonious and this causes them to go into the next immunity as strong as ever and win. Over on Samburu Leo and Jeremy’s battle for dominance leads them to target each other. Leo still has Cris and Kaylee on his side and the two of them agree to vote for Jeremy. Matt still has Kathy and Matt on his side and the two of them agree to vote for Leo. This leaves Ryan and Talia in the middle and forces them to end their neutrality by picking a side. The two of them decide to do what they believe will keep the tribe strong so they decide to keep Leo the pro wrestler and vote out Jeremy. At tribal council Jeremy is voted out in a 5-3 vote. Episode 3:After the last vote Kathy and Matt are clearly at the bottom of the Samburu tribe. At the immunity challenge Boran wins, sending Samburu to their second tribal council. Back at camp it seems clear that either Kathy or Matt will be the next person voted out. The new majority alliance of Leo, Ryan, Kaylee, Cris, and Talia come together to discuss whether they should vote out Kathy or Matt first. They come to the conclusion that they should vote out Matt first because he seems like more of a fighter and they know that he has the potential to stir up trouble in the future if he’s still around. After that conversation the vote seems obvious but Kaylee didn’t come to Marooned to play an obvious game. She views Kathy and Matt as people who she could potentially work with down the line. Talia on the other hand is someone who Kaylee doesn’t trust at all. Kaylee tries to convince Cris and Leo to go along with her new plan and blindside Talia. At first they think that Kaylee’s new plan is crazy but they slowly realize that she’s right. Talia is the type of person who will flip on them as soon as the merge comes so at tribal council they turn on her and Talia is blindsided in a 5-2 vote. Episode 4:Ryan is shocked and out of the loop after the last tribal council. He recognises that he’s going to have to step up his game or he’s going to end up blindsided just like Natalia. At the immunity challenge the Boron tribe wins for the third time in a row sending Samburu back to tribal council. Ryan knows that he could be in trouble because he was left out of the loop on the last vote but luckily his social connections on the tribe are strong enough that nobody bothers targeting him. Instead Leo decides to target Matt because he thinks that Matt poses the biggest threat to his leadership role. Leo is easily able to get Ryan and Kaylee on board with the plan. In addition Kathy realizes that her alliance with Matt is a sinking ship and decides to get on board with Leo and vote for Matt. Cris on the other hand doesn’t want to vote out Matt. She would rather keep the tribe strong and vote out Kathy. Unfortunately she is not able to get anyone else on board with her plan and at tribal council Matt is voted out in a 4-2 vote. Episode 5: In the biggest twist in the history of Marooned each tribe is told to select 3 tribe members to represent their tribe. Katrina, Kiara, and Wallace all volunteer to be the representatives for Boron. Samburu decides to have their 3 women represent their tribe. These 6 people are given new buffs and forced to switch tribes. At the immunity challenge the Boron tribe wins the first immunity challenge as new tribes. Back at Samburu Ryan and Leo know that they are in trouble being outnumbered by the original Boron people 3-2. Ryan decides to fight to stay in the game so he tells the Boron people about how Leo is the leader of the Samburu people and is a huge threat moving forward. Kiara doesn’t like the way that Ryan ratted out his tribe by giving away their information and thinks that they should give him some Karma and vote him out but Wallace and Katrina are more focused on getting rid of a big threat and want to vote out Leo so at tribal council Leo is voted out in a 3-2 vote. Episode 6:On the Samburu tribe Ryan is the clear underdog being the only original Samburu person left on his tribe but there is clear dissension between Katrina and Kiara giving him some hope that he may be able to survive if they don’t win the next immunity challenge. At the immunity challenge Samburu finally wins immunity for the first time since day 3 sending Boran to tribal council. Over on Boran the three Samburu girls appear to be outnumbered by the original Boran people and therefore you would expect them to be on the bottom of the tribe but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality Al and Ray haven’t been getting along for the past 10 days and want to take eachother out. Marilyn is in an alliance with Al and Alix is in an alliance with Ray leaving the Samburu girls in the middle acting as swing votes. In the end the Samburu girls like Ray better than Al so at tribal council they all vote for Al and Al is voted out of the game in a 5-2 vote. Episode 7:The two tribes finally come together and merge into one tribe called Moto Maji. At the immunity challenge Ray wins the first individual immunity challenge of the season guaranteeing himself a spot at the final 9. Back at camp Wallace, Katrina, and Marilyn want all of the original Boran people to put their differences aside and work together to pick off the original Samburu people one by one starting with Cris but Ray, Kiara, and Alix have zero intentions of sticking with the original Boran people and instead form a new 7 person alliance with the original Samburu people and at the first tribal council of the merge this 7 person alliance works together and blindsides Marilyn putting Ray in a power position. Episode 8:Katrina and Wallace are pissed at the rest of the original Boran people for not sticking with them and going Boran strong for the rest of the game. At the immunity challenge Alix wins individual immunity. Back at camp Ray feels like he has full control of the tribe and decides that he wants to vote out Cris so he tells everyone to vote for Cris. Most people are on board with this plan but Wallace and Katrina are still angry at Ray for betraying them at the last tribal council and are gunning for him hard. They pull in Cris in order to have 3 votes for Ray but they still need at least 2 more people to vote with them. Cris has a talk with Ryan during which she learns that Ryan doesn’t like Ray so she is able to convince him to join them and vote for Ray. They still need one more vote but aren’t sure who they can trust. They don’t want word of their plans to get back to Ray and are worried that Kaylee or Kathy might spill the beans so they decide to try to convince Ray’s close ally Kiara to flip and help them blindside Ray. Katrina has a long talk with Kiara and is able to convince her that if she works with them to blindside Ray she’ll take her to the final 2. Kiara really likes this plan so at tribal council she decides to work with them and in the biggest blindside of the season Ray is voted out in a 5-4 vote. Episode 9:After the last tribal council everyone is shocked that Kiara flipped on her closest ally Ray and everyone starts calling her a snake. At the immunity challenge Kaylee wins individual immunity ensuring her safety at the next tribal council. After the intense past two tribal councils nobody wants to deal with anymore crazy scrambling and instead everyone wants to go with an easy vote. As it turns out the easy vote is voting out Kiara due to the fact that everyone considers her to be a snake. Everyone quickly jumps on board the vote out Kiara band wagon and when Kiara finds out about this she is furious at Katrina for going back on her word and not taking her to final 2 like Katrina said she would so at tribal council Kiara votes for Katrina but everyone else votes for Kiara and Kiara becomes the second member of the jury. Episode 10:For the first time since the merge the original Samburu people have the numbers and the four of them decide that they are going to take advantage of this. At the immunity challenge Wallace wins immunity. Back at camp the four original Samburu people come together and decide to vote out Katrina. Alex decides to join them and vote for Katrina too because he doesn’t like Wallace or Katrina. Wallace and Katrina find out what's going on and try to convince Ryan and Cris to flip back to their side and help them blindside Kathy but Ryan and Cris decide to stick with the Samburu people and at tribal council Katrina is voted out. Episode 11:After the last tribal council Wallace has no allies left in the game but he talks about how he’s going to keep on fighting and won’t give up any time soon. At the immunity challenge Wallace does everything he can to win but falls short and Ryan wins individual immunity. Back at camp Wallace starts talking to people about what a big threat Kylee is. When Alix hears about this he realizes that he doesn’t want to get stuck sitting next to Kylee at the final tribal council so he agrees to vote for her. Wallace then attempts to convince Ryan and Cris to jump on board with him and blindside Kylee. Ryan is totally on board with this but Cris isn’t and Cris convinces Ryan to stick with the Samburu so at tribal council Wallace is voted out in a 4-2 vote. Episode 12:Alix shot himself in the foot at the last tribal council by voting with Wallace and is now clearly on the bottom of the tribe. At the immunity challenge Kylee wins immunity securing herself a spot in the finale. Back at camp it seems clear that the 4 Samburu people are going to work together to vote out Alix but Kylee is worried that if it’s the four Samburu people are sitting in the final four it would become Cris and Ryan vs her and Kathy. If that were the case and Cris won immunity then her and Ryan would be able to vote Kaylee out because Ryan doesn’t have any previous votes cast against him and Kaylee has 2. Because she is trying to avoid this Kaylee decides to make a new final 3 alliance with herself, Kathy, and Alix. At tribal council this new 3 person alliance pulls off another huge blindside when they vote out Ryan in a 3-2 vote. Finale Part 1:After the last tribal council’s blindside Cris knows that she needs to win immunity in order to stay in the game but at the immunity challenge Alex wins immunity essentially sealing Cris’s fate. Back at camp Cris makes one last attempt to stay in the game. She explains to Alix that if he goes to the final 3 with Kaylee and Kathy and he doesn’t win immunity he will 100% be voted out of the game. Unfortunately Alex is in denial and still believes that he has a shot at being brought to the end by Kathy or Kaylee and at tribal council Cris is voted out in a 3-1 vote. Finale Part 2:Kaylee wins the final immunity challenge. For her the decision of who to take to the end is easy. Her and Kathy have been close allies ever since the swap so at tribal council she votes out Alix. Final Tribal Council:At the final tribal council most of the jury respects both of the girl’s games and believes that they are both very deserving of being in the final two however, they can’t deny that Kaylee played a much more well rounded game. Whereas Kathy only really played the social game Kaylee played a great physical, strategic, and social game. This leads to Kaylee winning in a 4-3 vote. **My Thoughts:**>! I LOVED this season. From start to end the season was entertaining and full of great blindsides. The Ray blindside was probably the highlight of the season but I also loved the Ryan blindside, the Talia blindside, and the rivalry between Jeremy and Leo. The cast of this season was also top notch and I found almost every single person on it to be memorable in some way. Kaylee is another fantastic winner who played an extraordinary game. Her taking out Ryan at the final 5 was really smart and I would definitely consider that to be her signature move though her blindsiding Talia in episode three was also pretty iconic. There are so many people in this cast who I would love to see return for all stars and I’m betting that at least a couple of people on this cast are going to become legends.!< Potential All Stars:Ryan, Kaylee, Katrina, Ray, Wallace, Kiara Potential Second Chancers:Cris, Jeremy, Leo, Alix, Talia Past Seasons:Borneo The Australian Outback Stay tuned for the next season of Marooned, Marooned: Marquesas I’d love to hear what you guys thought about the season in the comments!
More Tiger King, a YouTube Doll Debacle and Did Sophie Find D.B. Cooper?
Inspired by recent haunted dolls on the hive, Cassie dives into internet sensation, Venus Angelic
The Stars of Tiger King: An Epilogue
Snitches get stitches and when internet comments destroy lives
Would you provide an alibi for a loved one? Trevor Hardy - The Beast of Manchester (and his brother)
The Inception of FaceBook Commentary: tangled history of internet smear campaign
Kelsey Grammar maybe into pegging
"It's very unfortunate for the mens. Their G-spot is up their ass hole and they're just going to have to get over it." -Cassie Delaney
Eamon Holmes (5G) and the gardaí (posting photos of sun bathers)
In The Shadow of the Truth Lies the Statue of Liberty
Bling Water! Your water is dead, you fools
Lisa helps Sophie with a follow up to Molly from Sophie's previous creep
The Mandela Effect. Are we all in hell/purgatory/multiple dimensions/simulated world
This episode has more filler than actual creeps but was no less enjoyable. Sophie, my handle is @Harry_birdboy. Cassie, I'll hug you!
Shipman the shit man
Crimes that happen in the virtual world that cross over into reality and suicide pact community killer
Harold Shipman, world's most prolific (and boring) serial killer
Gemma O'Doherty again (but she gets owned by Dublin airport on Twitter)
Beta Theta Pi? More like Beta Theta Die and the Glow Up with Deadly Consequences
Beta Theta Pi, Penn State University. Hazing ends in death :(
Sophie loves horror. Tells the real life story behind Scream. (Impromtu creep!)
Walk like a reincarnated Egyptian also that time a squirrel ate some guys nuts
Dorothy Eady, the reincarnation of an Egyptian priestess.Cassie is mean to her mother
Creep Confectionary is now a thing. Sophie seeds the idea for a Toast Podcast. Sophie presents a gaggle of gals cat-fishing some terrorists
Man gets balls eaten by squirrels
Jen and Sophie want to host their own Most Haunted. Cassie protests, as usual
Camilla and Prince Charles talk dirty
Don't anger a Karen, canal creeps and the parents who put the kid in kidnapping
Shannon Matthews, Karen Matthews has her own daughter kidnappped while she plays Xbox
Belle Gibson update! She is now Oromo (an Ethiopian ethnic minority). Katherine Knight and her human pelt
Riding in a tent on the canal
Freezin’ people ain’t easy, the genuinely geriatric mother and the biggest creeps of the week ever
The YouTubers that rehomed their son
The oldest woman in the world to give birth (oyster woman). 40 year old stone foetus!
Jen finally gets to tell her cryogenics story. Multple strands
No name, No luggage, No labels, No answers
1.) In a room at the Oslo Plaza Hotel, a young, elegant woman is found dead, with a gun shot wound to the head. Why did she check in under a false name? Why are the labels removed from her clothes? 2) Death in Ice Valley
The gals are reunited!
Guilt or grief? The dark story of Casey Anthony
Via Reddit/Sarah. Creepy MSN guy and possibly related swindler
2020.08.17 01:59 Survivor31fan[S] Marooned: The Australian Outback
16 Americans are about to be abandoned in the heart of one of the most unforgiving places anywhere on earth… the Australian Outback. For the next 42 days they’ll be left to fend for themselves. Forced to work together while battling the elements and each other. They must learn to adapt or they’ll be voted from the tribe. In the end one will remain and claim the million dollar prize. 42 days, 16 people, 1 Survivor! This is Marooned: The Australian Outback! INTRO The Cast: Kucha Tribe
Famesh Ali, 19, Street Musician
Raised in a strict, Bangladeshi household, Famesh was always pressured by his parents to study law or go to medical school , since all of his siblings followed that path. But he always had a passion for music so you can imagine their reaction when he told them. He rarely speaks to his family these days but he’s very glad that he decided to pursue his true passion.
Herbie Rivera, 70, Jazz Musician
Herbie was abandoned at a young age. He was considered a villain throughout his life despite just being blunt. Herbie relied on the kindness of others to help him get through. Herbie has always been abused by anyone who tried to take him in. When he finally had enough of this, he decided to create his own band. He is hoping to gain respect by playing survivor as an anti hero.
People call her "Ratafak Plachta" because she looks like the character of the same name from the series "Slniecko". She moved to Los Angeles to relax and leave her home country of Czechoslovakia behind. She wants to be on this show to be recognized and to show that appearances can be deceiving. When she was younger (20-30), she was recognized as one of the best singers in her country, but retired for personal reasons.
Randy Huston, 35, Rancher
Randy spent a majority of his life on a ranch and considers himself to be "A True Cowboy". When he's not working on the ranch or tending to the animals, he's taking part in rodeo (Bull riding, Lassoing, etc.). Because of his view of himself, a lot of others see him as a redneck or a hillbilly, but he doesn't care. He's going into Survivor a cowboy and once Marooned is done, he'll be a rich cowboy at that.
Raven Sanders, 18, Dog Walker
Growing up Raven didn’t have the best childhood,she had a bad relationship with her parents and they wanted her to be just like her older sister and who did pageants,modeling,etc.There relationship got even worse when Raven started changing her appearance to look the way she wanted to.it got so bad that Raven ended up moving out and living with her grandparents she wants to win Marooned so she can pay to go to college and start a new life.
Rita Rizalte, 24, Medical Student
When she was a child her parents always tell her to become an engineer but she didn't listen to them because she wants to be a doctor. She was kicked out in her house when her parents knew that she is taking the medical class. She joins Marooned because the money will help her to achieve her goals.
Sarah Gold, 21, Model
Sarah was born and raised by her butler Clarence. Always given what she want, she never knew the woes of the outside world. This backfired severely on her parents, and after watching the news one night, she ran away. After being found by her parents, Sarah decided to compete here, and use her winnings to help the needy.
Troy Alexander, 28, Construction Worker
Troy has a rough exterior and looks like he would be tough but deep down he is very sensitive and caring. He married his high school sweetheart and found out that she is pregnant two weeks before leaving for the show. Now he not only has himself and is wife to play for but also his unborn child.
Alexander “Alex” Larrison, 32, Math Teacher
Growing up Alex was always the golden child. He got excellent grades and was the star player on his high school basketball team. After high school he got a degree in business and pursued a job in that area but found that for the first time in his life he was struggling. He did not enjoy his business jobs at all so he decided to switch directions in life and go back to the place that he loved… high school. He now works as a high school math teacher and enjoys every minute of it.
Dylan Pitchford-Smith, 18, Student
Dylan has lived a pretty basic life but last year when he saw Marooned he fell in love with the show and became determined to get on season 2. He has studied the strategy of the game and learned about human psychology to ensure that he is fully equipped to play and win the game. For Dylan this is the opportunity of a lifetime and he is ready to do whatever it takes to win. He wants to play a similar game to the Syncopation from last season.
Jamal Jefferson, 54, Father
Having a rough childhood, needing to fend for himself since a young age, Jamal knows what it's like to have no one to him but himself. Growing up without a strong father figure, Jamal vowed to be a good father, one with good morals who will set a good example for his kids.Ever since a young age, Jamal, as the oldest of six kids, had to work part time jobs to help his family's financial situation. It wasn't easy, but it's what he had to do.Despite the struggles, Jamal now lives a fairly happy life, with two beautiful sons, six grandkids and a wife whom he married 27 years ago. The road here wasn't easy, but he's glad he managed to get here.
Maybelline is a first generation immigrant, being the very first of her bloodline to be born on American soil. Her parents worked hard, and were able to legally immigrate into the United States months before giving birth to Maybelline in San Diego, California. Growing up in one of the most popular states in the country did Maybelline quite well. She was able to thrive academically and creatively due to the life her parents had given to her. As she grew old enough to begin making her own decisions, Maybelline took a liking in the Film Industry. So after graduating high school, Maybel’s next move was going to a University to continue her knowledge in the performing arts. Once graduation came around, Maybelline was able to score herself in a position as a talent scout for a movie production company, finding actors and actresses to fill up roles in your favorite upcoming blockbusters! In her home life, Maybelline is a hardworking single mother. Maybel divorced her ex husband earlier this year, choosing to raise her seven year old son with his father, sharing partial custody. Maybel is getting older now, and she wants to take some more risks in life before it’s too late; hence why she chose to get on Reality Television!
Queenie Knightley, 57, Retired Model
When Queenie was younger she used her slyness and her wit to help her become a model. Now years later she’s retired and she’s searching for an adventure but she’s crazy so instead of going on a vacation like most people her age would she’s decided to go on Marooned.
Sabrina Boyd, 28, Insurance Consultant
Sabrina was bullied often in her high school days. People called her ugly and a nerd constantly. That's why in senior year she changed herself. She dyed her hair blonde, got rid of her glasses, and started wearing makeup. She still couldn't make people happy though and many people called her a whore or a slut. Sabrina vowed on graduation night that one day everyone would be crawling back to their knees to her. She is now a successful Insurance Consultant and wants to win the show to show everyone that they were wrong all this time
Winter Nakkula, 19, Medical Student
Winter grew up in a family of doctors and is current studying to be a doctor. She knows she's weak physically, largely due to her height, but her interactions with her parents' patients have really helped her social skills and she wants to use them to her advantage. On top of that, her studies have made her a strong strategist as well.
Xangetti DeFranco, 41, Real Estate Company Owner???
Being the offspring of a wall street banker, Xangetti has known what people can do for money for a very early age. He began dabbling in the real estate business to make money, but as he soon started making cash, he began experimenting on how high he can push people to pay him. With interest rates through the roof, and the immediate eviction of anyone who doesn't pay the rent, Xangetti has been officially been recognized as a loan shark, and after 10 years of scaring people into paying ridiculous amounts of money, he got arrested for it, losing all of clients. Now out of prison and taking a loan from his dad, he needs to get back on top somehow, and what better way to do so than play Marooned.
The Season Episode 1:The 16 new castaways are dropped off in the middle of the outback by a military plane. They instantly run over to their tribe crate which is packed with supplies and has a map to their tribe camp. Once they have all their supplies they begin the grueling 4 mile trek to reach their tribe camps. As soon as the Kucha tribe gets to their camp Herbie’s bluntness starts rubbing everyone in the tribe the wrong way. Even Randy who is able to see where Herbie’s coming from and understands he isn’t trying to offend people has a hard time being around him. Famesh, Randy, and Raven all see Herbie and his bluntness as an annoyance and try to stay away from him but others such as Rita view it as an opportunity. Rita knows that Herbie is going to be very loyal so she makes an alliance with him and in order to get a majority she has Ratafak, Sarah, and Troy all join the alliance too. Over on the Ogakor tribe Dylan starts trying to play the game as soon as they get to camp. He begins trying to make alliances with everyone but most people see right through him and don’t trust him at all. As a high school math teacher Alex deals with kids like Dylan every day and knows exactly what Dylan is thinking. He has a long talk with Dylan during which he tells Dylan that he needs to calm down and stop over playing. Dylan is very receptive of what Alex is telling him and decides to stop playing so hard. By the end of the conversation Dylan and Alex agree to have a real alliance and watch each other's backs. Meanwhile Jamal starts feeling a strong connection with Winter and Sabrina. He says that the two of them remind him of two of his daughters. The three of them decide to make an alliance and keep eachother safe. At the immunity challenge Kucha wins immunity sending Ogakor to the first tribal council. Back at the Ogakor camp Sabrina, Winter, and Jamal all want to get rid of Queenie because she is the oldest and weakest on the tribe. Word of their plans quickly spreads through the camp but Dylan and Alex don’t want to get rid of Queenie; they think that she could be a loyal vote down the line so they warn Queenie. This new three person alliance between Queenie, Dylan, and Alex agrees to target Jamal. Maybel and Xangetti become the swing votes. After thinking it through Maybel and Xangetti decide to stick with the original plan and at tribal council Queenie is voted out in a 5-3 vote. Episode 2:After the last tribal council it’s clear that Dylan and Alex are at the bottom of the tribe. The two of them agree that it’s every man for himself and the two of them are going to have to campaign against each other. At the immunity challenge the Kucha tribe wins immunity once again. Back at the Ogakor camp Sabrina, Winter, and Jamal start acting extremely cocky. They think that they have complete control of the tribe. This cocky attitude quickly gets on the nerves of Maybel who decides that she’s done working with those three and is ready for a blindside. While Winter, Sabrina, and Jamal are away from camp Maybel forms a new four person alliance which includes herself, Xangetti, Alex, and Dylan and at tribal council this new alliance works together to blindside Winter. Winter, Sabrina, and Jamal are all completely shocked. Episode 3:The Ogakor tribe begins worrying that they are the new pagong tribe and are going to lose nearly every immunity challenge. Sabrina and Jamal in particular are terrified of the thought of losing 5 immunity challenges in a row because they know they are on the bottom of the tribe and will likely be the next two picked off. At the immunity challenge Ogakor shocks Kucha when they come out on top and win immunity sending Kucha to their first tribal council. As soon as the Kucha tribe gets back to camp Herbie goes down to the river to wash off. The remaining seven all agree to vote out Herbie but Rita, Sarah, Troy, and Ratafak all know that for them this is a fake plan. Later on in the day Herbie, Rita, Sarah, Troy, and Ratafak all come together to discuss who they want to vote out. They end up coming to the conclusion that their best bet is to vote out Famesh because he is the biggest threat and at tribal council Famesh, Raven, and Randy are shocked when Herbie only receives 3 votes and Famesh is voted out of the tribe. Episode 4:After the last tribal council Randy feels betrayed and throws a tantrum which causes the 5 people in the majority alliance of the Kucha tribe to agree that the next time they lose an immunity challenge he needs to be the one to go. At the immunity challenge Ogakor wins immunity and it seems clear that Randy is going to be the next voted out but before tribal council Sarah and Troy change their minds and try to convince their alliance to change the vote from Randy to Raven because Randy is much stronger in the challenges than Raven is. This causes the Kucha majority alliance to argue but in the end they decide to stick to the original plan and at tribal council Randy is voted out. Episode 5:For the first time since day 3 the tribes are back even 6-6 and this leads to one of the most competitive challenges to date with both tribes desperate to get the upper hand. In the end it’s the Ogakor tribe who wins immunity, sending Kucha to tribal council for the 3rd time in a row. The vote is pretty obvious with the alliance of Rita, Herbie, Troy, Sarah, and Ratafak being the strongest they’ve ever been there was little to nothing Raven could do to save herself and at tribal council Raven is voted out unanimously. Episode 6:Now that they’re down to just 5 Kucha is desperate to win the next immunity challenge in order to even the score but their determination alone is not enough and Ogakor manages to beat them sending Kucha back to tribal council for the fourth time in a row. Back at the Kucha camp things are very complicated. With only the 5 members of the Kucha majority alliance left on the tribe they are forced to turn on themselves. Everyone agrees that they need to vote out either Herbie or Ratafak because they are the weakest members of the tribe and if they don’t merge soon they’re going to need to be able to win challenges. Herbie argues that he should stay because he is stronger than Ratafak in challenges but in the end the tribe decides to vote out Herbie because of his sometimes rude personality and keep the kind Ratafak. Episode 7:After 19 days of competing against each other Kucha and Ogakor merge and become the Barramundi tribe. After just a few hours of living together it becomes crystal clear that there is a tribe divide. All of the Ogakors agree to stick together until final 6 and pick off every single one of the Kucha people. At the immunity challenge Sabrina wins immunity guaranteeing herself a spot at the final 10. After the immunity challenge all of the Ogakor people gather together to decide who they want to vote out of the tribe. Jamal and Sabrina try to tell everyone that they want to vote out Troy because he’s going to be a challenge threat down the road but everyone ignores them and they instead agree to vote out Sarah because they think that she’s a brat. This is enough to make Sabrina and Jamal realize that they are on the bottom of the Ogakor alliance and if they stick with them they’re going to be picked off at the final 6 and final 5 so at tribal council they flip on the Ogakor people and work with the Kucha people to blindside Dylan in a 6-4 vote. Episode 8:After the last tribal council Xangetti is pissed off at Sabrina and Jamal for flipping and wants to lash out at them but Maybel manages to calm him down because she knows their only shot at getting the numbers again is if they can convince Sabrina and Jamal to flip back to their side. Before the immunity challenge Sabrina complains that she feels sick but she still manages to go to the challenge and compete. Maybel ends up winning immunity ensuring herself a spot in the final 8. After the immunity challenge the castaways are walking back to camp when Sabrina suddenly passes out. The medics come and discover that she is severely dehydrated and malnourished. They end up coming to the conclusion that she can’t continue in the game and has to be medevaced. Episode 9:Without his ally Sabrina, Jamal loses all of his confidence in himself and decides that he can’t continue making moves and switching alliances so he decides to go back to the Ogakor people and rejoin their alliance. This once again creates an Ogakor vs Kucha dynamic but this time both alliances are equal with four members each leaving everything up in the air. At the immunity challenge Troy wins immunity. After the immunity challenge things are extremely tense with the Ogakors staying on one side of the camp and the Kuchas staying on the other. Both alliances try to figure out who in the other alliance has the most previous votes cast against them. The Ogakor people figure that Sarah has the most previous votes cast against her because she sometimes acts like a brat and they know that she received 4 votes at the final 10. The Kucha people guessed that Xangetti had the most votes cast against him because of his sometimes off putting personality. At tribal council this led to a 4-4 tie between Xangetti and Sarah. On the revote it was 3-3 meaning it came down to who had the most previous votes cast against them. Xangetti had 0 previous votes cast against him meaning that with 4 previous votes cast against her Sarah is voted out of the game. Episode 10:After the last tribal council the Kuchas are back down in numbers and they feel hopeless. The Ogakor people decide that Troy should be the first of the three Kucha people to leave because he is strong in challenges but at the immunity challenge Troy wins immunity ruining the Ogakor people’s plans and forcing them to switch their target from Troy to Rita. They choose Rita over Ratafak because Rita is more strategic and threatening overall. Rita realizes that she’s being targeted and scrambles to stay in the game by trying to convince Jamal to flip but Jamal refuses to flip and at tribal council Rita, the leader of the Kuchas is voted out. Episode 11:At the reward challenge Xangetti wins an overnight stay at an outback cowboy camp. While he is away Troy and Ratafak try to convince Alex, Jamal, and Maybel to keep them for a few extra days and vote out Xangetti first but their pleas fall on completely deaf ears. At the immunity challenge Troy does everything he can to win but ends up falling short as Maybel wins immunity sealing Troy’s fate. At tribal council Troy is voted out in a 4-1-1 vote. Episode 12:With Troy out of the game Ratafak is officially the last Kucha left in the game. Back at camp Alex makes a few rude comments that rub Maybel and Jamal the wrong way causing them to consider working with Ratafak to blindside Alex at the next tribal council but at the immunity challenge Alex wins immunity sealing Ratafak’s fate and at tribal council Ratafak is voted out unanimously. Episode 13:With only the four Ogakor people left in the game things start to heat up as everyone jostles for a position in the final 2. Maybel wins immunity. Back at camp the two clear targets are Alex and Jamal. Alex because he has been rubbing people the wrong way the past few days and Jamal because he hasn’t always been loyal to Kucha. In the end Maybel and Xangetti side with Alex and Jamal is voted out of the game in a 3-1 vote. Finale:The final 3 spend some time reflecting on their experience before heading to the final immunity challenge. Xangetti ends up winning the final immunity. He chooses to take Maybel to the end with him because the two of them have shared a close bond from the beginning and he doesn’t want to take Alex to the end because Alex annoys him greatly. Alex becomes the seventh and final member of the jury. Final Tribal Council:Most of the jury expresses anger towards Xangetti because they don’t like the way he treated them in the game. Maybel on the other hand is loved by the jury. Almost every single jury member thinks that she played an incredible physical game winning 3 immunity challenges and an amazing strategic game too. In the end it is no surprise when Maybel becomes the winner of Marooned: The Australian Outback in a 7-0 vote. My Thoughts:I thought that this was overall a pretty decent season but it could’ve been a lot better if things had played out a little bit differently. The pre-merge was a lot of fun and gave us the fantastic Famesh and Winter blindsides. The post merge started off really great with Sabrina and Jamal flipping on the Ogakor people and blindsiding Dylan. Sabrina getting medevaced was devastating and ultimately hurt the season a lot because without her there was nobody who was really willing to make moves. Why do my favorites always have to get medevaced? The final 8 was interesting because we got to see the Ogakor people and Kucha people fight against each other but that was pretty much the last good episode of the season. After that the final 7-5 was basically just a pagonging and at the final 4 it was clear Jamal would be voted out. It was no surprise when Xangetti chose to take Maybel to the final 2 because the two of them clearly had a final 2 deal for most of the game (Although I do think that Xangetti would’ve stood a much better chance against Alex in the final 2). I think that Maybel is an excellent winner. Her blindsiding Winter at the second tribal council was really cool and although she didn’t make any moves in the post merge she did a nice job of keeping her alliance in check and getting them to the end. She also had a pretty good physical game winning 3 immunities. Overall I’d probably rate this season a 7.7/10. Potential All Stars:Maybel, Troy, Rita, Dylan, Sabrina, Jamal Potential Second Chancers:Famesh, Winter, Xangetti Previous Season:Borneo Stay tune for our next season Marooned: Africa I’d love to hear you guys’s thoughts on the season in the comments!
2020.08.16 23:30 THEPRESIDENTIALPENISEpstein's Presidential Ties [Part 3]: The 2016 election or: how I learned to stop worrying and love Roger Stone and Alex Jones
Also see Part 1: Donald Trump and Part 2: Bill Clinton. With this post I intended to create a timeline of important events during the 2016 election related to the Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell (JEGM) scandal. This period interests me because the true scope and gravity JEGM's crimes weren't known at the time but as we all recall there was definitely some action -- a spate of reporting in early 2015, the Katie Johnson allegations, and the JEGM claims at the heart of Pizzagate, for example. A certain pot-smoking body-building dandy swinger and his paranoid friend kept popping up though, so in their spirit I made the post into a conspiracy of my own instead. The fundamental claim is that the Roger Stone and Alex Jones run a thread right through the origins of Pizzagate. I can't point you to a smoking gun but, as far as I can tell, this is the first time anyone has pointed out Roger Stone's direct involvement in propagating early renditions of the conspiracy. I tried to be as apolitical as possible. Enjoy. January and February 2015: Roger Stone On the afternoon of January 15 2015, Roger Stone -- long term GOP operative and America's preeminent master of the political dark arts [Netflix, Frontline] -- wrote a cheeky little piece in The Daily Caller calling out Bill Clinton for his ties to Epstein. Always the effective communicator the piece is titled "Will The Jeffrey Epstein Pedophile Case Snare Clinton?" and, always the honest man, Stone begins with his intentions:
Is this the scandal that ends Hillary's campaign?
January 2015 people. In fact, over the following weeks Stone would pop up several times in the media with his salacious new story -- see, for example, Hannity 1, Hannity 2, Sunshine State News, or Salon -- and true to form he tweeted and tweeted and tweeted too [Source]. Stone would eventually collate his allegations in a chapter titled Orgy Island in his October 2015 diatribe The Clinton's War on Women. The usual amplifiers happily honed in on the message with headlines such as Bubba and the Palm Beach Pedophile among others -- see, for example, RadarOnline, Fox 1, Fox 2, Breitbart 1, Breitbart 2. Even Trump got in on the action at the February 2015 CPAC, then flirting with his presidential run [YouTube, Bloomberg Politics]. Why? The election obviously, Stone said it himself. But this is the JEGM scandal people. Blackmail, spies, conspiracy theories. Of course there's more: In late December 2014, survivor Virginia Roberts Giuffre joined Bradley Edward's Crime Victims' Rrights Act case as Jane Doe #3 and reiterated her 2011 claims [The Mail on Sunday] that she had seen Bill Clinton on Little St. James with JEGM, Kellen and two 17 year old girls from New York. She also did another round of media interviews: one with Amy Robach (suppressed by ABC), and a few with American Media Inc. (AMI) published in their flagship The National Enquirer and their (once Epstein funded) gossip rag RadarOnline. The interviews mainly concerned Prince Andrew but Clinton gets a mention too. There's more. As I've written about before  but probably misunderstood then, Stone was also involved in propagating rumors that David Pecker (CEO of AMI media who had just run the Giuffre interviews) was going around telling people including Trump that there existed a photo of Bill Clinton in a compromising position with a minor. That is, Stone explicitly states these allegations in The Clinton's War on Women and a similar account is provided by former Trump advisor Sam Nunberg (corroborated by former Trump attorney Michael Cohen from prison) in a 2019 Vanity Fair piece. David Pecker, by the way, is a known blackmailer and his media organization AMI were heavily implicated in protecting Harvey Weinstein from allegations of sexual abuse, as well as at least two catch-and-kill schemes to quash scandals implicating then presidential nominee Donald Trump. Who the fuck are these people? It's important to understand that this was one of many Clinton character smears that Stone was lining up for the campaign -- put simply he was slinging shit to see what sticks. The Clinton's War on Woman, for example, mostly serves to lay out the sexual assault accusations against Bill and to paint Hillary as an enabler. Trump deployed some of these narratives to great effect during the election -- for example, bringing five survivors of Bill's alleged abuse to the second debate in an attempt to discombobulate Hillary (also apparently Stone's idea). The groundwork laid out by Stone to tie Clinton and Epstein however was one of those narratives that Trump seemingly left on the table. Why? April 26, 2016: Katie Johnson On 26 April 2016, still months before Trump won the GOP nomination, Katie Johnson filed a lawsuit in CA without legal representation claiming that Trump had abused her and another minor at a party at Epstein's NY property in 1994. The suit was first reported by none other than AMI media's (once Epstein funded) gossip rag RadarOnline in an article written by none other than David Pecker's fat Australian henchman Dylan fucking Howard -- the guy who actually carried out the Bezos blackmail attempt, who actively participated in Weinstein's cover-ups, and who did the dirty work on Trump's Katie McDougal catch-and-kill scheme. In the forth paragraph Trump's outright denials are laid out. He says:
The allegations are not only categorically false, but disgusting at the highest level and clearly framed to solicit media attention or, perhaps, are simply politically motivated. There is absolutely no merit to these allegations. Period.
Did you know, at least when this article was written, that there is only one bullet point about these allegations on all of Wikipedia? Period indeed. You can read the editors reasoning here. I'm not going to be able to do it justice so here are is the most comprehensive article on the internet about it [Medium] and here are two curve balls about the other minor mentioned in the suit [Justice Integrity Project 1, Justice Integrity Project 2]. In short, Johnson's suit was dropped on technicalities -- it was a civil suit without an actionable civil claim, recall she filed without representation -- and her story was shopped about media in a suspicious way by Norm Lubow, a former producer on the Jerry Springer show with a penchant for media scandal, and Steve Baer, a never-Trumper and an anti-abortion activist. If Johnson's claims are legitimate it's the fault of those two men -- who highjacked the story for their own political ambitions of damaging Trump -- that the whole episode was largely ignored by the mainstream media at the time (at the time -- if you don't believe that is true I encourage you to read the Medium piece above or Bloom's piece below before explaining to me why). On April 30, 4 days after the original filing, Roger Stone set the tone by tweeting:
Update - Smear attempt against @realDonaldTrump falsely accusing him of rape traced to NY lawyer #hoax #Epstein
There was in fact a little bit of action in the right-wing media at this time but not about Johnson. Fox, for example, kept Clinton in the headlines with an article in May about flight logs and another in July about the Clinton Foundation [respectively Fox 1, Fox 2]. Largely speaking however, this suit and it's next rendition filed with legal representation on June 6 were mostly ignored. Not for long. In July things took a turn. Attorney Lisa Bloom -- famous for a string of high profile salacious lawsuits and for being the daughter of Gloria Allred -- wrote an opinion piece in the Huffington Post laying out the case against Trump and calling out the media for their silence. Bloom then offered to represent four women who alleged sexual misconduct against Trump including Johnson. The final rendition of the lawsuit was thus filed September 30 2016. Bloom announced a 1pm November 2 press conference (notably just six days before the election -- I will raise this point again) however Johnson ultimately pulled out of the presser and two days later, on November 4, withdrew her suit. It would later be revealed that Lisa Bloom, while representing Johnson, was also advising Harvey Weinstein amid his sexual abuse scandal. I don't mean to argue that the Katie Johnson's allegations are the reason the Trump camp seldom brought Epstein into the election -- indeed, his close personal ties to JEGM beyond these allegations meant a such a move would likely be politically damaging. Even Stone ceased his interviews and tweets about the scandal within a week of Trump stating he was going to make an announcement in June that's "going to surprise a lot of people" [CSPAN]. Instead I mean to argue the Katie Johnson allegations put the Trump camp on the back foot: a survivor was going to accuse Trump of pedophilia on live television 6 days before a national election. Stone's rule: "Admit nothing, deny everything, launch counterattack." Rewind to March 19, 2016: Fancy Bear The personal Gmail account of John Podesta, chairman of Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign, is breached via phishing attack and thousands of his emails are stolen. The CIA told congress in December 2016 that the Russian government was behind the attack, specifically the cyber espionage group "Fancy Bear." Roger Stone, as well as others such as Alex Jones and Epstein's favorite Mark Dougan offered an alternative narrative as to the source of the emails of course, about a leak from within the DNC met with murder also known as the Seth Rich conspiracy. "Admit nothing, deny everything, launch counterattack." Now we fast forward 6 months because it wasn't just Stone that dropped the JEGM scandal. Trump, after his February 2015 CPAC comments, didn't publicly address JEGM until Epstein was arrested in July 2018. Nor Clinton. So toxic was it for the both of them -- even if neither were involved in any meaningful way -- that they left it completely on the table. I'm reminded of a mutually assured destruction type scenario or this Lisa Simpson quote. October 7, 2016: WikiLeaks 30 minutes after the Access Hollywood tape was first published by the Washington Post, WikiLeaks began releasing Podesta's stolen emails -- you can still read them here. The releases continued daily through October and directly lead to several damaging scandals for the Clinton camp including her Wall Street speeches, bigotry against Catholics, shared presidential debate questions, and preferential treatment of Clinton over Sanders within the DNC. And yes, they also ultimately spurred the satanic panic surrounding Pizzagate in the last few days of the election, around the same time Katie Johnson was meant to lay out her case to the media in a press conference with Lisa Bloom in NY. Roger Stone not only promoted the Seth Rich conspiracy to muddy the waters regarding the Podesta hack but he also quite clearly had prior knowledge that WikiLeaks possessed the emails and intended to release them. On the 21st of August, 18 days before the leaks, he tweeted:
Trust me, it will soon the Podesta's time in the barrel. #CrookedHillary
And on the 2nd of October, 5 days before the leaks, he tweeted
Stone of course denies this ("Admit nothing, deny everything, launch counterattack") but he was ultimately convicted for lying to Congress about his role in the email scandal. Specifically the false statements were justice.gov:
Stone made a number of false statements relating to the identity of a person he had referred to in August 2016 as his “back-channel” or “intermediary” to the head of WikiLeaks; whether he had asked that person to do anything on his behalf; whether he had written communications with that person; whether he discussed that person with anyone involved with the Trump campaign; and whether he had written communications with third parties about the head of WikiLeaks. On October 13, 2017, Stone sent the House Intelligence Committee a letter falsely stating that the person he had referenced in August 2016 was an individual named Randy Credico. Stone then engaged in witness tampering by urging Credico either to corroborate this false account, or to tell the Committee that he could not remember the relevant events, or to invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination to avoid testifying before the Committee. Credico ultimately invoked his Fifth Amendment right in response to a Committee subpoena.
October 28, 2016: Weiner's wiener Following sexting scandals reported on in the The New York Post in August and The Daily Mail in September, the FBI began an investigation into Anthony Weiner, husband of long-time Clinton aide Huma Abedin, for sending photos of his wiener and some really fucked up messages ("I would bust that tight .....") to a 15 year old female. An iPhone, iPad and laptop were seized and on those devices some 650,000 emails related to the Hillary Clinton email investigation were uncovered. Hillary would later say this scandal cost her the election but the decision to keep this idiot around is where it began. This was the third time Weiner had sent pictures of his wiener over the internet and been caught, also in 2011 and 2013, all while he was married to Abedin. In one of the photos their sleeping baby is in the frame. And recall this latest round of dirtbag behavior was directed at a 15 year old. I'll say it again. Who the fuck are these people? As a result of pressure from within the FBI and possibly from outside of it, on October 28 2016, 11 days before the election, FBI director James Comey sent a letter to Congress advising them that he would be reopening the earlier investigation to review the additional emails -- recall Comey had declined to indict Clinton on the private email server scandal nearly four months prior. October 29 to November 1st, 2016: Seeds The next day, according to a joint investigation by The Investigative Fund and Reveal published in Rolling Stone (also a podcast), a politically active Facebook user named Carman Katz (probably Cynthia Campbell of Joplin MO) wrote to her followers of the Weiner investigation:
My NYPD source said its much more vile and serious than classified material on Weiner’s device. The email DETAIL the trips made by Weiner, Bill and Hillary on their pedophile billionaire friend’s plane, the Lolita Express. Yup, Hillary has a well documented predilection for underage girls.... We’re talking an international child enslavement and sex ring.
It's likely that Campbell was repackaging content from elsewhere, such as this post by a user named fatoldman on a message board for NY cops [theRANT], or these posts on conspiracy forum Godlike Productions [1, 2], or even a much earlier thread on 4Chan, but this is the post that went viral. The next day an anti-Semitic Twitter account @DavidGoldbergNY tweeted (twice) a screenshot of Katz's post with the comment:
"I have been hearing the same thing from my NYPD buddies too. Next couple days will be interesting!"
According to a sample of tweets analyzed by an Indiana University informatics professor, the Pizzagate hashtag was shared roughly 1.4 million times by more than 250,000 accounts in the 5 weeks between @DavidGoldbergNY's tweet to the day Edgar Maddison Welch showed up at Comet Ping Pong with an AR-15 and a .38 handgun. There's something else my conspiratorial mind noticed. Stone has to my knowledge never publicly advocated for Pizzagate in its final purest form -- I hope to explain -- but he did speak publicly about Weiner's emails and he did link them to child sexual abuse [e.g. 1, 2]. And just like our anonymous friends Carman Katz, fatoldman, @DavidGoldbergNY and WarHog76, Stone also liked to cite his "NYPD sources" to explain how he was privy to the contents of Weiner's emails, for example in this piece on his own bloody website, or in this interview with the Hollywood Reporter, or this one on the Jim and Sam Show. Is this all the same messaging or a coincidence? In writing researching this post I've gone from Charlie to Cohle. At the least, this period marks an important moment in our timeline. Recall Stone had been banging on about exactly these allegations* beginning with his Daily Caller piece some 22 months ago but changed tactics somewhere along the line. Stone went on to publish a chapter on Bill's ties in October 2015 (in The Clinton's War on Women but I can't even find a tweet about it let alone a media interview. We are left with 12 months of relative radio silence from the man. That is, until the same** content starts mysteriously seeding across the internet a week before Johnson's press conference and in the final days of an election campaign. And yes, there were accounts linked to Russia that helped amplify these tweets in these crucial early days [1, 2]. One crime at a time. * Except with the (quite frankly beautiful) added touch of implicating Hillary this time around. ** As above. November 2, 2016: Alex Jones On November 2 2016, 6 days before the election and the day of Johnson's press conference with Bloom, the burgeoning conspiracy got a massive leg up from two important hubs in the right-wing media sphere. First was True Pundit, then an anonymous blogger of right-leaning conspiracies and pseudoscience (according to mediabiasfactcheck.com) but since revealed to be PA man Michael D. Moore. He alleged:
The new emails contain travel documents and itineraries indicating Hillary Clinton, President Bill Clinton, Weiner and multiple members of Congress and other government officials accompanied convicted pedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein on his Boeing 727 on multiple occasions to his private island in the U.S Virgin Islands, sources said. Epstein’s island has also been dubbed Orgy Island or Sex Slave Island where Epstein allegedly pimps out underage girls and boys to international dignitaries. Both NYPD and FBI sources confirm based on the new emails they now believe Hillary Clinton traveled as Epstein’s guest on at least six occasions, probably more when all the evidence is combed, sources said. Bill Clinton, it has been confirmed in media reports spanning recent years, that he too traveled with Epstein over 20 times to the island.
"The Lolita Express", "Orgy Island", "NYPD sources" -- how familiar. Trump advisor and General Flynn's son Mike Flynn obligingly retweeted [p.96 Benkler]:
“U decide — NYPD Blows Whistle on New Hillary Emails: Money Laundering, Sex Crimes w Children, etc... MUST READ!”
The same day Douglas Hagmann, infamous conspiracy theorist, grifter and host of HangmannReport.com, was interviewed by Alex Jones, infamous conspiracy theorist, grifter and host of Infowars.com, the latter of which at the time had an audience of some 7.7 million unique visitors per month. The video was deleted by Jones' in the purge of his Pizzagate content but the blurb remains Infowars:
The FBI reportedly found evidence of treason, money laundering and connections to child exploitation – including the infamous Lolita Express – on Anthony Weiner’s home computer, says former federal prosecutor Doug Hagmann.
I don’t want to be graphic or gross here... Based on my source, Hillary did in fact participate on some of the junkets on the Lolita Express.
I'll take this time to note that Stone has long collaborated with Jones and Hagmann in their various media ventures -- they're all pals, especially Stone and Jones, and they all interview each other and corroborate each other's bullshit and they have done so for a long time [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 there's more I just ran out of steam]. It's a big club and you ain't in it. It's clear to me that this media attention was related to the Johnson case somehow, perhaps the "counterattack". I suspect it was orchestrated by Stone -- at the least this story has the same DNA as the one he extensively wrote and interviewed about in early 2015. I don't have a smoking gun for you, just that a certain body-building pot-smoking dandy swinger and his paranoid pal run a thread right through this story. In the end it wasn't necessary to distract or deflect because Johnson pulled out of the press conference (though she wouldn't drop the suit for another few days). The day after, November 3, Stone tweeted:
INEXORABLE @Hillary and Bill going down for corruption , treason, pay for play and sex crimes #Epstein - all in Huma’s MAIL #NYPD
Cheeky bugger. November 3, 2016: Alt-right The Pizzagate conspiracy came about at the confluence of two stories circulating the right-wing media sphere: firstly the supposed JEGM revelations contained in Weiner's emails which I have beaten to death above and secondly the supposed evidence of child sexual abuse and child trafficking found in Podesta's emails. Alt-right Sputnik News reporter Cassandra Fairbanks and (another one of Stone's pals) Mike Cernovich seeded the latter story on November 3. Fairbank's first article, "Internet Is On Fire With Speculation That Podesta Emails Contain Code for Child Sex," weaves together 4chan posts, Reddit posts and a Cernovich interview to suggest Hillary was involved in child sex trafficking out of Haiti. Fairbanks ends with a quote from Cernovich that ties it all back into Epstein:
"Bill Clinton took six trips to Epstein’s island without Secret Service [an earlier Fox story]. Weiner was sexting 15 year old girls. Whole inner circle is suspect," Cernovich said.
The first known articles explicitly mentioning "spirit-cooking" (read "satanic panic") came about on the same day, another by Fairbanks and one by Cernovich himself. Cernovich again:
Perhaps those children were destined for Jeffrey Epstein's "pedophile island," a sex cult resort that Bill Clinton visited dozens of times. Notably, Clinton refused to allow his Secret Service detail to accompany him several times.
These articles are also important for another reason, however: they validated the digging that was going on in some of the now-banned corners of the internet [see this NYT investigation for details], giving the impression to the burgeoning communities on Reddit and 4chan that what they were doing was real and important. Seriously, even Sean Hannity ended up tweeting:
LEAKED EMAIL appears to link Clinton Campaign Chairman to bizarre occult ritual
I have had some of my digging published in the press and let me say it is exhilirating to be at the forefront of a story. November 4, 2016: Erik Prince. Wait, what? At 1:00am the next morning WikiLeaks -- again Stone's pals -- retweeted one of Fairbanks' stories. Are you starting to see how the machine works? Well later that morning Erik Prince -- founder of private military contractors Blackwater, major Trump donor, and brother of Trump's soon-to-be secretary of education Betsy DeVos -- appeared on Breitbart Radio playing 1D chess on the topic of Weiner's emails:
They [the NYPD of course] found a lot of other really damning criminal information, including money-laundering, including the fact that Hillary went to this sex island with convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. Bill Clinton went there more than 20 times. Hillary Clinton went there at least six times.
This interview was such a curve ball for me that it ultimately inspired this entire post. What the fuck has Erik Prince got to do with this? Might America's preeminent master of the political dark arts have anything to do with it? Maybe. In 2019 during Stone's trial for lying to Congress about his role in the WikiLeaks scandal it was revealed that on October 3 2016, four days before WikiLeaks began releasing Podesta's emails, Roger Stone sent Erik Prince a sneaky little email:
"Spoke with my friend in London last night. The payload is still coming."
There is also mention of a relationship forming around the 2016 election in the Mueller report. Certainly Prince needed to know about the emails. And certainly Prince's interview looks to me to be part of the same machine as the Infowars Hagmann interview or True Pundit piece and, if I squint really hard, maybe one of our anonymous friends fatoldman or WarHog76 or @DavidGoldbergNY or Carmen Katz. The rumors of coming NYPD revelations were moved up the credibility ladder pretty quickly with Prince's comments, and it is notable that a certain body-building pot-smoking dandy swinger continues his run right through this story. And so does his paranoid friend. Only a few hours later Alex Jones started streaming on Infowars.com. When putting together this post, knowing what Pizzagate became, I've come to see this historic ramble of Jones' as a critical moment for the burgeoning conspiracy. To me it represents the first fully fledged version of the backbone of the Pizzagate: not weird occult rituals in Podesta's emails nor supposed JEGM revelations in Weiner's, but rather 3 hours of Alex Jones masterfully extemporizing at the forefront of conspiracy culture to paint a picture of Hillary Clinton as a demon-possessed pedophile who killed children and drank their blood in satanic occult rituals. To do so he curates Fairbank's and Cernovich's November 3 posts, and interviews Hagmann -- the grifter from the November 2 Infowars interview -- as well as our pal Roger Stone -- America's preeminent master of the political dark arts -- to provide corroborating accounts based on their insider information from none other than the FBI and the NYPD. The cherry, during the interview with Stone [Source], comes when Jones brings up Prince:
And Erik Prince is involved -- heavily involved in black ops -- saying the Clinton's are trafficking in kids. Prince wouldn't come out any say that unless the whole country was on the line! And obviously it's true.
The story was amplified within minutes by Drudge, the core of which made it to Hannity and Washington Times three or four hours later. Incredible isn't it? Beautiful almost. I also noticed something else. During his interview segment on Infowars Stone was laying out his case against Hillary and drops a fucken bombshell (recall November 2016):
And it's very clear this fellow Epstein was trafficking young men and young women to super elites, many whose names you'd recognize: at least one former Democratic US senator, at least one former Democratic governor, a couple of cabinet officers, some athletes, some scientists, some bankers, some extremely well known you know A-list celebrity types.
We the public learned about the allegations against former Democratic senator George J. Mitchell and former democratic governor Bill Richardson in the Giuffre v. Maxwell unsealing in 2019. Is this Roger Stone three years beforehand hinting at insider knowledge? Is that you again Mr. Pecker? Through to December 4, 2016: Social media The remainder is literally history. On November 6 Comey wrote to Congress again stating the FBI had not changed their conclusions expressed in July. I have not been able to verify the claims of JEGM revelations on Weiner's laptop either. But the damage was done, and in the following days a conspiracy theory that Hillary Clinton and other top Democrats were involved in satanism and clandestine sex trafficking lit up the internet. On November 8 Trump won the election. I don't think that Pizzagate had much to do with it -- it has occurred to me that some of the posturing may have been for the event that Hillary won. Indeed on election day, Jack Posobiec -- also Roger Stone's pal -- live streamed himself getting kicked out of Comet Ping Pong. The connection to Alefantis' restaurant had been made online the night before, November 7, as far as I can tell. Through November the story snowballed taking on the hashtag #Pizzagate and a distinct flavor of social-media-facilitated citizen-snooping that I am in no position to criticize. Ideas about kill rooms, underground tunnels, satanism, cannibalism, Madeleine McCann, et cetera, emerged and spread like wild fire. Evangelical communities were particularly engaged and on December 4 -- five weeks after the original rumors about JEGM revelations in Weiner's emails were seeded and exactly a month after Jones' November 4 segment -- Christian man Edgar Welch travelled from NC to DC with an AR 15 and a .38 handgun to investigate himself. Here's a blog he recorded on the way. Welch fired the AR15 in the restaurant, snooped around for the underground tunnels and Madeleine McCann. He didn't find anything, of course, just the janitorial closet. He didn't hurt anyone either. But he was arrested on the scene without incident and later sentenced to four years prison. Conclusion: The political dark arts I haven't seen any other posts on the internet directly implicating Stone in the origins of Pizzagate so I spent 4 weeks on this. It was exciting, I enjoyed it immensely. More recently Stone has continued connecting Weiner's emails to the JEGM scandal, claiming that Abedin was collecting damaging information on the Clintons lest they made a move on her, and that was what the NYPD found when they seized Weiner's electronics. The Pizzagate conspiracy has also seen a resurgence among teen influencers on TikTok. Inasmuch this post comes with a message, a moral: conspiracy theories are an effective political tool. They work. And although the individuals responsible for seeding this one have since been deplatformed it's extremely important we pay attention to them going into the next election. This case is way too important to be tied up in bad faith messaging. Thanks for coming to my TED talk. Stay tuned for Esptein's Presidential Ties [Part 4]: The Qult. Edit: A bracket
Hey, i still don't know how to use reddit but I've found tons of Taobao shops that sell greyed items/overrun or not fit for retail. Does anyone know any TB shops that sell even more urban outfitter or princess polly items for a cheap price? pls comment below or msg!
飞成外贸 - now this is the messiest shop I've ever seen but has EVERYTHING. beautiful dresses, some very very outdated and one of their posts has different items and may not even be in stock. ive seen lulu and princess polly tags on some of the pictures
anyways, hope you guys like the list and be sure to help me out with finding more princess polly and urban outfitters shops ;-) happy shopping! edit - hi sorry guys, just to specify though, I use the Chinese Taobao store as I know mandarin and live close to china so I don't need an agent that's why I used the Chinese store names. besides that, I learnt about this subreddit yesterday and stuff about greyed items so I'm very new to this and everything in general! apologies in advance!
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