Thursday, March 28, 2013

DDP Yoga - Day 30

Today marks my 30th day on DDP Yoga and as of this morning, I am down 9 lbs. The only bummer is I was also down 9 lbs. last week and was hoping to make it to 10 by today, but there were delicious cupcakes at my nephew's first birthday over the weekend and I think it hampered progress a bit. But still, 9 in 30 days is more than double my pound-a-week goal and we haven't even really gotten into the intense workout routines yet.

My wife and I have also managed to stick to the most challenging part of the journey: the diet. Again, we're not following the program's strictest guidelines, but we're cooking at home, using much better ingredients and what I think is most important: planning. We've lived together for five years now and before we started DDP Yoga, this was a common conversation:

Me: so what should we do for dinner?
Wife: I dunno, but I'm starving.
Me: fuck it, let's get Wendy's.

But now, we're planning dinner for the entire week, going to the store to get what we need and cooking throughout the week. Admittedly, there have been a couple nights when we screwed up what we were trying to make and ordered pizza and we go out to eat a lot on the weekends, but planning has far and away been the biggest help so far.

So is it the Yoga or the diet change that's caused a 9 lbs. weight loss in 30 days? If I had to give weight to one over the other, I'd say the diet is the biggest help for now. But once we start doing the tougher routines and upping our time from 60 minutes a week to a few hours a week, then that will shift. Once we get to week 8, multiple routines start getting added to one day of exercising, so I expect an ass-whooping is on the way.

I don't have 100+ lbs. to lose to be one of those jaw-dropping success stories, but if I can keep this up without plateauing by the time I turn 30 in October, I'll have achieved the health and weight goals that have eluded me for 20 years.

Top 29 Matches in WrestleMania History - #10

10. The Ladder Match: Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon - WrestleMania X
Not the first ladder match in history, but definitely the one everyone remembers. Michaels and Ramon laid the groundwork for what would become one of the more popular gimmick matches in wrestling today. One could argue that without this definitive ladder match, the careers of Jeff Hardy, Edge, Chris Jericho and many other stars would have never taken off like they did. I don't know what else to say about this match that hasn't already been said except that every ladder match you see today uses this battle as the blueprint.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Top 29 Matches in WrestleMania History - #11

11. "Macho Man" Randy Savage vs. The Ultimate Warrior - WrestleMania VII
The World Wrestling Federation was just too big for both of them after the Macho Man cost the Warrior the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble months before. Their feud had to come to an end and it would do so at WrestleMania VII in a retirement match. Despite hitting The Warrior with five of his signature flying elbow drops, Savage could not keep him down, perhaps he had the advantage since they were in his hometown of Parts Unknown?

The real story came after the match when Randy Savage reunited with his long-time manager Miss Elizabeth. The two would go onto get married five months later at SummerSlam 1991, only to have their reception ruined when a cobra was discovered in a gift box courtesy of The Undertaker and Jake "The Snake" Roberts; Savage was reinstated soon after to get revenge... damn, I love pro wrestling.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Monday Night Raw - March 25, 2013

Less than two weeks till WrestleMania and WWE still has a bit of work of to do. How'd it come along last night?

I have to wonder what the plan was for CM Punk & The Undertaker before the death of Paul Bearer? So far, the entire thing has revolved around the urn, which is totally fine, I'm just curious what the original plan was. Not that it needs any plan, as I've been saying for weeks, the mere idea of Taker and Punk sells itself, but a little seasoning doesn't hurt. Punk's whole, "I don't care about the streak, I just want to break it" keeps up his nihilistic tendencies and Paul Heyman's general scumbaggery made for a great segment. Who does Heyman come to the ring with at Mania though, Punk or Brock? Both?

Taker getting in a few punches as Heyman absconded with the urn was a nice touch too.

I'm not exactly sure how WWE managed to pull this off, but Chris Jericho vs. Fandango might be the most compelling match on the entire WrestleMania card. I still don't get the hype for Fandango and I thought putting him with Jericho at Mania was an early April Fool's joke, but I'll be damned if they're not kicking ass with this buildup. It's not like they're reinventing the wheel either, it's just two dudes who pissed each other off punching each other in the face (nice shiner for Jericho too), but it is a tried and true formula for a reason. They can't debut Fandango beforehand though, that would ruin it. Who was the last person to have their debut match at WrestleMania? Has it ever happened?

Jericho vs. Dolph Ziggler wound up being a really great match too, not that it should come as a surprise. Jericho got the win with the Walls of Jericho Liontamer, but suffered the wrath of Fandango after the match with a gorgeous top rope leg drop... glad someone brought that move back.

Mark Henry & Ryback tried to one-up each other in handicap matches, Henry fought two guys in The Usos, Ryback claimed he was one-upping with 3MB, but let's be honest, The Usos are tougher than 3MB. Hell, Tamina is tougher than 3MB. I'm sure you're shocked that Henry and Ryback won their respective matches.

Alberto Del Rio vs. Antonio Cesaro is a feud that needs to happen, and not in the context of this "let's just throw Cesaro in there with a big name guy every week" bullshit they insist on continuing. This wasn't much of a match though, mostly just an excuse to get Jack Swagger out there to beat up Ricardo and cause Del Rio to get counted out. Del Rio still took time after the match though to attack Cesaro, which I hated. Good guys should not do that; Del Rio's loss was his own fault, Cesaro didn't do anything wrong. Oh well, at least no one said "fiery Latin temper," so I'll move on.

Team Hell No vs. The Prime Time Players part 4824739479 was pretty dreadful. I like the idea of Hell No going up against Big Z at WrestleMania, there's built-in history with AJ there, but it doesn't change the fact that WWE's tag division is still in shambles. Titus & Darren are great in their role too, but there's nothing about this match that was going to get people off their feet unless they were going to get some nachos.

Triple H kept it suspiciously short and sweet for his promo against Brock Lesnar. I liked it, he had some great lines like "if you go into a match with Brock Lesnar thinking it couldn't be your last, you've already lost," but of course, he just had to kick Wade Barrett in the dick for no apparent reason. At least he didn't get Pedigreed through a table, I guess?

Barrett vs. The Miz played up on the aforementioned dick kick, allowing Miz to score a win and perhaps set up a Mania match, but if this does make it onto the WrestleMania card, you know it's getting bumped to the WWE Active pre-show. This match was l-o-n-g though, and I don't think anyone needs to see it again at WrestleMania.

The Shield vs. The Great Khali, Zack Ryder & Justin Gabriel was another "oh I'm so shocked" match, but a good excuse to show The Shield triple-powerbombing Khali. Although I am really tired of the "no, we're turning the tables on you, Shield guys!" from Randy Orton & Sheamus, surely The Shield should see that coming by now.

Rhodes Scholars vs. Brodus Clay and Sweet T would've been a lot better if the Bellas were wearing those sweet capes they were rocking before they left. Blah to the rest of the match though.

AJ beat Kaitlyn by count-out... I suppose that'll be your Lumberjill match at WrestleMania.

I love, love, loved the "Hall of Fame Forum" with John Cena & The Rock. Adding Mick Foley, Bret Hart, Booker T and Dusty Rhodes to the mix was great too, gave it all a bit of much-needed gravitas.

And it's probably cliché to say this, but they set up a heel turn for John Cena expertly. For the first time ever, Cena made an excuse for a loss. For the first time ever, Cena seemed desperate. For the first time ever, Cena looked weak. I was reminded a lot of the lead up to Austin's turn, which did backfire horribly, but the fans didn't want to boo Austin, they wanted to boo The Rock. This time, they want to boo Cena and it hasn't just been a mere three years like it was for Austin's run, it's been over a decade. If Cena does turn (which I highly doubt despite the set-up), I suspect it'll be more like Hogan joining the nWo than Austin joining McMahon.

Again, I don't think they'll do it, but that segment was so great, it made me think not turning Cena would be a missed opportunity. This Raw wasn't particularly great and for the most part just treaded water for Mania, but I'm infinitely more interested in Rock vs. Cena now than I was this time yesterday.

Top 29 Matches in WrestleMania History - #12

12. The Undertaker vs. "The Nature Boy" Ric Flair - WrestleMania X-8
Ric Flair is the greatest professional wrestler to ever lace-up a pair of boots, want to know one of the dozen reasons why? Because at the age of 53, after years of being told it was time to hang it up, he made his return to WrestleMania and put on an absolutely astounding match with The Undertaker and restarted his illustrious career. And Arn Anderson's Spinebuster cameo is one of the coolest moments in WrestleMania history.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Top 29 Matches in WrestleMania History - #13

13. Shawn Michaels vs. Chris Jericho - WrestleMania XIX
A match between two of my favorite wrestlers of all-time? Sign me up. This match is special in three ways: one, Chris Jericho lists it as his favorite match he's ever had; two, it was HBK's first WrestleMania appearance in five years; and three, it marks when Shawn Michaels made a full-time return to wrestling. Shawn had been working sporadically for seven months prior to WM19, but after this match, he fell right back into a normal routine and didn't miss a beat until his retirement several years later.

Top 29 Matches in WrestleMania History - #14

14. Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart - WrestleMania X
Much like the childhoods I ruined by having Hogan/Warrior so low on the list, I'm going to lose my wrestling nerd cred by keeping this match out of the top ten. Make no mistake about it, this is a tremendous match, but it was really just a building block in the bigger feud that was to come. It was the first time two real-life brothers did battle in a WWE ring and they put on a wrestling clinic with Owen Hart sneaking out a surprise victory. The reason I don't have this match in the top ten is it's overshadowed by Bret Hart going onto win the WWE Title later that same night and what I would say is a superior match several months later at SummerSlam 1994, which I would call the greatest Steel Cage match of all-time.

Top 29 Matches in WrestleMania History - #15

15. Chris Benoit vs. Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels - WrestleMania XX
I hesitated even putting this match on the list due to the horrific events surrounding Chris Benoit's final days, but it is certainly one of the most memorable moments in WrestleMania history. I'm not one of those people who get all whiny about Chris Benoit being "erased" from WWE history, why would they ever want to associate themselves with that incident? But I'm also not going to go on some long rant about how a man I did not know was evil. All I can say is, the whole situation surrounding the man just makes me extremely sad; I haven't watched a Benoit match since June 2007 and I don't know if I ever will again, but the match and its aftermath was absolutely incredible at the time.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Top 29 Matches in WrestleMania History - #16

16. Hulk Hogan vs. "Macho Man" Randy Savage - WrestleMania V
The Mega Powers Explode! In my opinion, the two greatest wrestlers of the 1980s (for widely different reason) in what I would say is Hulk Hogan's best match ever... maybe (more on that later). Randy Savage had all the tools to fill the role occupied by Hulkamania, but Hogan cast a huge shadow and it came to a boil in this 1989 main event. A tremendous match with one of the best build-ups in WrestleMania history, this was the biggest match possible for a certain five year old that never grew out of watching these larger than life characters.

I also love the way Savage says "Hulk Hogan."

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Top 29 Matches in WrestleMania History - #17

17. Shawn Michaels vs. Kurt Angle - WrestleMania 21
Shawn Michaels next (and far from final) appearance on this list is a dream match of sorts. What would happen if the greatest wrestler from the 90s took on arguably the greatest wrestler of the 00s? What we got was the 2005 Match of the Year. It's a shame we never got the rubber match.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Top 29 Matches in WrestleMania History - #18

18. Hulk Hogan vs. The Ultimate Warrior - WrestleMania VI
This match is an integral part of any wrestling fan who grew up in the 90s, but I'd argue its influence has waned over the years. I love this match as much as the next guy, but it's just not as historically significant today as it was in 1990 since Hulk Hogan didn't retire soon after (as was expected) and The Warrior obviously wasn't the guy to "pass the torch" to (as was expected). Unquestionably the pinnacle of The Ultimate Warrior's career and his best match, the same cannot be said for the Hulkster, but it is a rare moment where the two top stars of the industry meet and it's everything you hoped for (at least at the time). I'm not so sure this match would work as well today, as evidenced by Rock and Cena trying to duplicate it last year.