Saturday, April 7, 2018


Does it really matter who wins or loses at WrestleMania? The big event is generally the culmination or beginning of storyline for the next cycle except, of course, for the injuries that wreak havoc with the best laid plans.

WrestleMania is also the event which attracts the occasional looky loos so WrestleMania parties often involve the fans explaining to the non-fans why this match matters and what is the story being played out in and out of the ring.

For the past few years, with the emergence of the WWE’s farm system/indie brand NXT, which puts on a show the night before the major Pay-per-views, the main roster shows have been a bit of a letdown. NXT “Takeover” shows really deliver and, on a side note, the Masked Son will be in attendance tonight! I’m jealous.

I think the WWE is trying real hard to make this WrestleMania special, I mean fourteen matches plus whatever assorted nonsense that may have planned as interstitials. I guarantee you the NXT show will be better but I thought rather than predict winners I would rank the card in terms of the potential for “Holy Shit” moments which may come close, or even exceed, tonight’s sight unseen excellent NXT card.

So, if you’re the occasional fan here is a ranking which may help you decide when to pay attention and when to hit the guacamole. For the hard core, I’m sure there will be disagreement but overall this should be a solid night of wrestling entertainment.

Here’s the card in order of holy-shitness (Five “holy shits” is don’t miss)

Styles/Nakamura 💩💩💩💩💩 This is the one not to miss. Two big stars from NEW JAPAN and veterans of “strong-style” wrestling.
Bryan & Shane/Zayn & KO 💩💩💩💩💩 The return of Daniel Bryan to the squared circle and these four will sacrifice everything to steal the show. There is the added drama of how far Bryan will go given his medical history. Definitely worth asking a fan to walk you through why this will be epic.
Charlotte/Asuka 💩💩💩💩1/2 Charlotte Flare is the best Women’s wrestler, heck one of the best wrestlers you will ever see and Asuka has the streak to add to the drama. This could well main event WrestleMania.
Miz/Rollins/Balor 💩💩💩💩 1/2  Three of the best workers in the biz and they will put on a show.
Usos/New Day/ Bludgeon Bros 💩💩💩💩 I think most fans would have been happy with the ultimate New Day/Usos blow off but this should be violent and a potential show stealer.
Alexander/Ali 💩💩💩💩 They’re cruiserweights so….
Lesnar/Reigns💩💩💩1/2 I was at the Lesnar/Goldberg farewell match at an earlier Wrestlemania. We all know Brock is leaving and the fans have not yet embraced Reigns. Comes down to whether Lesnar gives a shit.
Women’s Battle Royal 💩💩💩 They killed it at the Royal Rumble so no reason to think differently here and Sasha/Bayley could bloom in this match.
Bar/Strowman & TBA 💩💩 The holy shit moment will be learning who Braun’s partner will be, if he even needs one. Then he will destroy things for a while. I think we may see Bray Wyatt 2.0 tonight.
Orton/Roode/Mahal/Rusev 💩💩 This will just be what it is.
Bliss/Jax 💩💩 Miss Bliss doesn’t wrestle all that much should be quick and painless
Andre Battle Royal 💩💩 Whatever
Cena/Taker 💩1/2 Who knows if this even happens. The big holy shit moment will be Taker’s entrance if he arrives. Downhill after that.
Rousey & Angle/Steph & Trips 1/2💩 This has been a botched buildup and, other than Trips no one here can really wrestle. Stephanie will give up her body for this match but it should be quick and a letdown.

So, there they are. Enjoy WrestleMania

Thursday, December 14, 2017

MASKED 10 (OR 15) SHOWS FOR 2017

Here’s the annual list of my favorite shows of the year. In no way are these the “best” shows of 2017 because, for the life of me, I don’t know what that means. I try not to be cute and impress you all with some obscure series that is on some unknown network. These are all pretty well-known properties. Although I call it the MASKED 10 it’s really made up of 15 shows and eight of them were carryovers from 2016.

A lot of critical darlings are missing and, yes, I watched several of them but I enjoyed these more. The one I have yet to see is THE HANDMAID’S TALE which I hope to get to possibly over the Holidays. I think I’m going to like it a lot.

As a scheduler, I cannot help but put some of these shows together since the whole is more than the sum of its parts.

They are listed in some order of favoritocity so there is sort of a new favorite among the favorites this year. So, here’s this year’s MASKED 10

Better Call Saul (AMC)
The Americans (FX)
Billions (SHOWTIME)
Game of Thrones (HBO)
Master of None (NETFLIX)
Silicon Valley (HBO)
The Deuce (HBO)
Jane the Virgin/Crazy Ex-Girlfriend/Riverdale (the CW)
Fresh Off the Boat/The Goldbergs (ABC)
Catastrophe (AMAZON)

Here are the five that didn’t make the cut but I thoroughly enjoyed and would strongly recommend if you have yet to see.

The Magnificent Mrs. Maisel (AMAZON)
Girls (HBO)
Chewing Gum (NETFLIX)
Difficult People (HULU)
Fargo (FX)

If I can say there was one disappointment for me this year it was the return of CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM (HBO). It has run its course.

The Emperor’s New Clothes series of the year (there always are a bunch to choose from) was LEGION (FX).

Here are the shows I watch out of loyalty and I’m looking forward to a time when I no longer feel the obligation. I’m a completest.

The Walking Dead (AMC)
Orange is the New Black (NETFLIX)
Suits (USA)
Homeland (SHOWTIME)
Empire (FOX)

Finally, PREACHER (AMC) was the freshman show that I was so looking forward to but I found the second season a disappointment.

I already have lots of stuff on the runway for 2018 viewing. It never stops but there’s a lot of really good stuff out there 365 days a year.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017


Here are the MASKED 10 Jazz albums of 2017

Although there was a lot of sweet Jazz this year there was nothing that I would call great or transcendent. These are the ten that would catch my attention while I shuffled through the albums in my collection. The pleasant discover was Joao Barradas and it’s always great when Cecile McLorin Salvant blesses us with an album.

·      DAVID MURRAY & AKI TAKASE – Cherry-Sakura
·      CHARLES LLOYD NEW QUARTET – Passin’ Through
·      JOAO BARRADAS – Directions
·      HELENA ECKEMOFF QUINTET – In the Shadow of a Cloud
·      CECILE McLORIN SALVANT – Dreams and Daggers
·      SHERMAN IRBY & MOMENTUM – Cerulean Canvas
·      VICTOR GONCALVES – Victor Goncalves Quartet
·      JEN SHYU – Song of the Silver Geese
·      JOHN BEASLEY – MONK’estra, Vol.2
·      TROY ROBERTS – Tales & Tones