Sunday, March 9, 2014

WWE Live: Road to Wrestlemania at Madison Square Garden

Last night, I attended WWE Live: Road to Wrestlemania at Madison Square Garden in New York City. It was a non-televised house show. This was my second time seeing WWE live at their home base, Madison Square Garden, and I can not describe the energy and feeling you get from seeing it in that building.


I'm going to go through the card and give my thoughts on each match.

Ryback and Curtis Axel vs. Tag Team Champions The Usos vs. Cody Rhodes and Goldust


This was a really entertaining match. The Usos are fresh off their Tag Team Championship win and were on fire. Their entrance got a huge pop. There were lots of high flying spots from The Usos and Cody Rhodes. The Usos did the "Flying Usos" onto all 4 of them. Cody did a perfect moonsault from the top rope at the end of the match and we all went insane. Ryback is way over as a heel and totally knows how to work the crowd. The Usos won with a big splash off the top rope.

The Miz vs. Justin Gabriel


This match was kind of a snooze which is unfortunate because Justin Gabriel is actually really great in the ring. The match just didn't really have much to it. However, there were definite spots in the match where Miz totally had the crowd going. The best part was the end where Ryback came back out! He beat the crap out of them both, for no reason. However, they gained the upper hand and The Miz gave him the Skull-Crushing Finale and Justin Gabriel gave him the 450 Splash. It was pretty spectacular.

Cameron vs. WWE Divas Champion AJ Lee with Tamina Snuka


This started off as a dance-off. They did this really bogus thing prior to the show where they had the arena vote on their phones for if they wanted to see a Divas dance-off or a Divas Championship match between Cameron and AJ Lee. It started off as 30% to 70%. Then it gradually started approaching 50/50 and people were booing like crazy. As it tipped toward the dance-off, people booed, as it tipped toward the Championship match, people cheered. There is no way that voting was legitamate because no one wanted the dance-off, but that's what we got at first. Cameron started dancing and Tamina quickly knocked her down. AJ and Tamina went to leave but Cameron called her back and they actually had the Divas Championship match.

Unfortunately, I now regret that they didn't have the dance-off because Cameron really sucks. She missed so many moves and made so much of it look like crap. It's unfortunate because AJ is a pro and a great in-ring performer. AJ did what should could but the match was a total stinker. AJ won. It was absolutely fantastic seeing AJ live because she's such an amazing performer from the second she steps out through the curtain to the second she goes back through it.

Damien Sandow vs. Kofi Kingston


This was a solid match. Sandow came out and of course got a lot of boos. He then got on the mic and started bashing New York. He told us that he's going to walk back through the curtain and come out again so that we could give him the proper welcome. He did and everyone booed harder. The match itself was just a good wrestling match. Kofi won. No complaints.

Corporate Kane with Triple H in his corner vs. Daniel Bryan


OK. This is what I was looking forward to most. Triple H came out first. He gave an awesome promo about how Madison Square Garden is where so many A+ players have main evented such as Bruno Sammartino, Bob Backlund, Hulk Hogan, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and him. He then went on to say that Daniel Bryan would never main event The Garden or Wrestlemania.

Kane came out. Then Daniel Bryan came out. HOLY SHIT. We went absolutely bonkers. He walked out, threw his hands up, and the entire arena started chanting "YES! YES! YES!". When I say the entire arena, I mean EVERY SINGLE PERSON. I have never ever been a part of something like that in my entire life. The energy is absolutely unreal. There is such a strong connection between Daniel Bryan and the fans. He is by far, without a doubt, the most over, popular guy with the fans. I don't care how that translates into merchandise sales. When he walks in front of the fans, they show him the most love, support, and reaction. No one else came close to getting a reaction from everyone like he did. The crowd broke out into at least 10 more YES chants throughout the match and I threw my hands up and screamed for every one of them.

The match was great. Kane is a great wrestler, Daniel Bryan is a great wrestler. It's exactly what you'd want to see. Triple H was playing dirty on the outside and even knocked Daniel Bryan off the top rope at one point by pulling the ropes. The end of the match was awesome and something that should be done on RAW or even a PPV. Daniel Bryan was about to win and Triple H knocked out the ref. Then another ref ran down when Kane got the upper hand. Kane pinned Daniel Bryan for a 2-count. Then, Kane knocked that ref out! Kane grabbed a chair and Daniel Bryan knocked him down. Daniel Bryan picked up the win with the running knee to the face.

After the match, they teased Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H at Wrestlemania XXX by having Daniel Bryan get on the mic and taunt Triple H. He asked why they don't just have a match right there in Madison Square Garden. Eventually, Triple H got so heated he took his shirt off and came in the ring. Triple H is still in crazy good shape. Then, Stephanie came out and demanded that this does not happen and said that Daniel Bryan will never face Triple H or main event Wrestlemania.


People are mad that Daniel Bryan is not the Champion or in the main event spot at Wrestlemania, including me, but this angle with Triple H really makes sense. The dynamic between the two is so emotional and it would really mean a lot if Daniel Bryan, the ultimate underdog, puts Triple H in his place on such a grand stage. I'm all for this match at Wrestlemania XXX.

Los Matadores vs. NXT Tag Team Champions The Ascension


Vickie Guerrero came out and said she had a surprise. The surprise was the NXT Tag Team Champions The Ascension. This match was really slow. The Ascension are really good and won with their finisher. At the end, El Torito charged into Vickie's ass.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Alberto Del Rio


This was the match of the night by far. Dolph Ziggler is WAY over with the fans. In the ring, he's extremely intense, energetic, and puts on a great show. He gets a lot of pops with his moves which isn't easy when you see it in person. I learned a lot about Alberto Del Rio during this match. This man is a true performer. He knows how to really work the crowd and he is fantastic in the ring. I was so impressed with everything the both of them did. Seeing these two in person was absolutely unbelievable and makes me sad that they aren't both in a main event spot right now. This was one of the best matches I've seen in 2014 so far.

WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt vs. Batista and John Cena


This match was really, really good. Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt are at the top of their game. Basically, the way the match went was Randy and Bray had the upper hand 90% of the time. At the end, after getting beat for 10 straight minutes, Cena finally got to the corner to tag Batista and Batista refused, turning on Cena. Cena then got the upper hand on Orton and threw him to the ropes but he smashed into Bray Wyatt, knocking him to the floor. Then, Bray Wyatt got into the ring and turned on Orton, giving him a few punches to the face and Sister Abigail. That probably got the second loudest pop of the night. John Cena picked up the win though.

Bray Wyatt is very over with the crowd and Batista got the loudest boos of the night. Cena's chants were 50/50 and we broke into "LET'S GO CENA, CENA SUCKS" chants at least 5 times throughout the match. I really can't say enough about Randy Orton. I know Daniel Bryan is the fan favorite to be Champion, again, including with me. But Randy Orton is so deserving of those titles. He does not miss one step in that ring and it may be cliche for me to say but he is truly an artist in a professional wrestling ring. He works the crowd when he needs to. He moves so smoothly through the match. When the match picks up he becomes extremely intense and you can feel the energy in the room. When he does the Viper coil and the DDT off the middle rope, the crowd goes crazy. I'm a huge fan of Randy Orton.


Overall, it was an unbelievable night and I had such a great time. I've been going to WWE shows for over 20 years and I still say it's the greatest performance on earth. I have more pictures from last night and you can check them out here!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

WWE Elimination Chamber 2014 Predictions

Tomorrow is the final WWE pay-per-view event before we are officially on the road to Wrestlemania. Tomorrow is Elimination Chamber. Here are my Elimination Chamber predictions.

Cody Rhodes & Goldust vs. Ryback & Curtis Axel

I think this is going to set up a feud between Cody and Goldie that will lead into Wrestlemania. I'm assuming Goldust will cost them the match, making Cody a very not-so happy camper.

Winners: Ryback & Curtis Axel

WWE Tag Team Champions The New Age Outlaws vs. The Usos

I think that The Usos are ready to be Tag Team Champions and The New Age Outlaws can do some good by passing the torch and putting them over. However, it would make more sense to set up a feud here and have this build into Wrestlemania so that the title win is that much sweeter.

Winners: The New Age Outlaws

Intercontinental Champion Big E vs. Jack Swagger

This is tough. I don't really know what is going on with the Intercontinental Championship right now. When Big E won it, it felt refreshed like the title meant something again. Then he kind of stopped being in the spotlight as much. Honestly, what I think we need is a good, old-fashioned feud involving the Intercontinental Champion. Swagger is pretty intense and has been a World Heavyweight Champion, so he's a great guy to be in line for the IC title. I'd like to see this develop into something. I think Big E will pull it out this time but we'll see what the future holds...

Winner: Big E

The Shield vs. The Wyatt Family

This is what I'm most excited for. The build-up to this match has been so amazing, I feel like it could have been a Wrestlemania match. The stare-downs between The Shield and The Wyatts on RAW gave me goosebumps. This can potentially set up A LOT of great stuff going into Wrestlemania. I think we've seen the most cracks in The Shield's foundation as of late so I'm leaning towards The Wyatt Family.

Winners: The Wyatt Family

Batista vs. Alberto Del Rio

LOL.

Winner: Batista

Darren Young vs. Titus O'Neil

This should be interesting. These two guys have developed a really explosive relationship so I think it's going to be a pretty emotional brawl. I feel like Titus has a bit more edgy and will probably be too ruthless for Darren Young to handle.

Winner: Titus O'Neil

WWE World Heavyweight Championship Elimination Chamber Match

I don't think that they're going to give the title to anyone else this close to Wrestlemania. I feel like Daniel Bryan is close, but they aren't going to give it to him right now. Going into Wrestlemania, what makes the most sense to me is Randy Orton vs. Batista. Of course, if I had my way, it'd be Randy Orton vs. Batista vs. Daniel Bryan (with Daniel Bryan winning). But I'm getting ahead of myself. Don't worry, Wrestlemania predictions will be coming.

Winner: Randy Orton

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Happy Green Lantern Day!

Today is officially Green Lantern Day! The date is 2/8/14, numbers that represent the Green Lantern Corps members who have been watching over our Space Sector (2814) for years. I'm celebrating the Green Lanterns of Sector 2814 like only I can, like a Fat Lantern. There would be no Fat Lantern Corps without the Green Lantern Corps. So here's to you, Green Lanterns of Space Sector 2814. Thank you for your service. I'll take it from here...

The Most Powerful Rice Krispies Treat Of Space Sector 2814
...Beware their Power, Green Lantern's Light!!!
...Beware my Hunger, Fat Lantern's Bite!!!

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Fat Lantern: The Everything Blog

I've reached a crossroad with this blog. When I started it, I envisioned it as an outlet for all things comic book related. It was great. However, it's been over two years and it's hard for me to keep up, just talking about one topic. I am a man with many interests and obsessions. I've put so much effort into making comics the focus, trying to relate everything to comics, when what I am much more comfortable doing is making me the focus, relating everything to me. That comes across way more selfish now that I wrote it out. But it is what it is.

I am not saying this because I'm less into comics and/or reading less. As a matter of fact, I think I'm subscribed to more comics now than ever and my obsession is running wild. I'm also not saying that I'm going to stop writing about comics. But for quite some time now, I've been stressing out over the things I want to write about because I want to discuss my other interests, such as wrestling (my original, life-long passion), movies, and fitness, for example. And I do! But I've been feeling like I couldn't because this is a "comic book" blog.

Well I'm here to officially declare The Fat Lantern as an everything blog. I'm going to write about anything and everything that inspires me to sit at a computer and type away. So if you're a fan of comics, stay put! Wrestling? Hell yeah! Movies? Hold onto your seats! Action figures? Look out! Stories? Listen closely! Humor? Knock knock!

I'm going to be open about another thing that's been stressful for me. No matter how hard I try, I feel like I've been having an extremely difficult time getting a good amount of views for posts that I take a lot of time to write. Sure, this is a lot of fun and I love writing, but if I wanted a personal journal, I'd keep one under my pillow! I do this because I want a lot of people to read what I write and interact with me because I love talking about every single thing I put out on this blog. If you like something or have an opinion on something I write, leave a comment and share the post with your friends and family! Spread the word about The Fat Lantern blog on Facebook and Twitter and any other social media outlet.

Speaking of social media, I want people to follow me on Twitter because I want to connect with fans of comics and wrestling and action figures. I want people to like my Facebook page because we have fun and joke and have discussions and debates. If you already take time to read my blog posts and follow me on Twitter and Facebook, then I want to give you a big THANK YOU. I really appreciate it. But we all know that there are a lot more people out there that are fans of all of the interests I discuss, so my goal is to connect with as many of them as I possibly can.

This blog is about me and everything that defines me. I am Dominick. I am Hollywood Dominick. I am The Fat Lantern. I just have one request:

If you're ready to see The Fat Lantern become no holds barred, GIMME A HELL YEAH.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Meeting WWE Diva Natalya

Last night, I had the pleasure of meeting WWE Diva Natalya a.k.a. Nattie Neidhart!

Yesterday, I was doing my morning Twitter browsing as usual, and I came upon a tweet that stated that Natalya was going to be signing new issues of FLEX Magazine (where she is featured) at a Barnes & Noble in Manhattan, not too far from my job, at 7PM. I was ecstatic. My love of wrestling is apparent. But she comes from a family of the greatest wrestlers in the business whom I grew up watching and admiring. And most importantly, I am such a huge Natalya fan! I think that her and AJ Lee are the best female wrestlers in the business today. Also, I recently got hooked on Total Divas, a show on E! starring Nattie and a bunch of other WWE Divas. So as you can imagine, I wasn't going to miss this.

I got to Barnes & Noble an hour and a half early and I was the 7th person in line. About a half hour before Nattie arrived, the Total Divas film crew arrived and passed out release forms since they were filming the signing for the show. I didn't even think twice. A chance to meet Natalya AND be on Total Divas? SIGN ME UP (Literally).

Natalya arrived and she looked amazing and had a huge smile on her face, as usual. She was not a minute late and as a matter of fact I think she was a few minutes early. She's a class act.



The Barnes & Noble employees informed us that she was just going to sign magazines and not take pictures, but I had a feeling Nattie was going to be open to snapping a picture with her fans. I was right. She was so nice and warm to everyone and did not hesitate to take as many pictures as people wanted. The first thing I thought of was "I need to get a selfie with Nattie". Folks, I did just that.


She signed my FLEX Magazine. I took the opportunity to sympathize with her about her cat Gizmo that recently passed away. It was discussed on Total Divas. I told her that me and my wife's previous cat passed away so suddenly a couple of years back as well. Seeing what she went through really hit close to home and I wanted to let her know that I knew what she was going through.

I love meeting people who I'm a huge fan of but what really puts it over the top is when they're humble and nicer than you expect. Natalya was just awesome and I've become an even bigger fan of hers.

Next step: Check out Total Divas season 2 to see if I made the cut!