k sawyer paul

That accolade is fresh

KSP on Punk vs. Taker:

CM Punk is the first legitimate candidate to challenge Undertaker’s winning streak since Randy Orton in 2005. In retrospect, Henry, Batista, Edge, Michaels, and HHH were all obvious in how they would play out. Henry wasn’t worthy; Batista and Edge couldn’t beat Taker and hold onto their championships; and Michaels’ pair was really all about defining what it means to be a great wrestler. HHH also lost twice.

I laughed out loud at this, but I would propose that HHH’s pair was about defining what it meant to be a great wrestling performer, without necessarily being a great wrestler.

Also, welcome back, Sawyer.

Back in business hodgepodge

We’re back! The Cybercrime law has been suspended by Philippine court. More on that over on BBC News.

Yes, I know it’s been a month since it’s been suspended. I’m sorry. Please forgive me.

Too much has happened since: The iPhone 5! The iPad mini! Brad Maddox! A diet that I couldn’t sustain!

Here are my thoughts on these, respectively:

  • Like it, kind of want it, don’t need it
  • Like it, kind of want it, absolutely don’t need it
  • Wat
  • I’ll try again :(

K Sawyer Paul (of Fair to Flair and International Object fame) was gracious enough to interview me over on his podcast. We talked about e-book readers, Instapaper, and fanboyism. You can check that out here. I feel like Evan Bourne tagging with John Cena. Thanks again, buddy.

Life is still busier than ever, but it’s looking slightly more manageable now. And I no longer have that stupid cybercrime law to hide behind. (I’m sorry.) More cakes to come heading into 2013! See you soon, folks.

Oh, and one more thing, speaking of 2013…

Daniel Bryan will win the next Royal Rumble. You heard it here first, kiddies.

On mid-match commercial breaks

K Sawyer Paul responds to Matt at the Wrestling Journal, about the annoyance of commercial breaks during long TV matches:

Other sports don’t have this problem. No sport with any popularity can play an entire game between commercials, and fans understand that. Other sports also have believable lull periods: time-outs, half-times, infield-outfield changes, etc., where it makes sense to place a commercial. But wrestling matches can last anywhere from 18 seconds to over an hour.

Airing commercials during matches is really only a problem if wrestling is still viewed through the lens of sports and competition.

Seeing wrestling an art in the medium of television, I see no other alternative to having commercial breaks in the middle of a match. On any given episode of Raw, the narrative progresses more so out of the ring than in it, and the important parts of the matches we missed are replayed anyway.

I’ve gotten used to the timing of the commercial break during the first featured match on any Monday Night Raw: always on the first “act” of the match, one of the wrestlers (usually the heel) gets thrown outside the ring, presenting the image of the other being the dominant competitor in the match. Once the show returns from commercials, the previously dominant wrestler is trapped in a submission hold (usually a chinlock), with the tide having turned during the break. The move that caused the shift is then shown to us in a “double-action” replay.

I have a theory: mid-match commercial breaks are much more grating now because of the commentary. Michael Cole (or, his character) has always placed more value in WWE storytelling and corporate line-toeing than in the importance of whatever match is taking place, so when he throws us to commercial break by emphasizing the uncertainty of wrestling competition, it feels like he’s insulting our intelligence.

As lovers of wrestling matches, we’ve probably gotten used to tuning out the asinine commentary on Monday Night Raw, so it can get quite jarring when commercial breaks take place–we get forced to “un-tune-out”.

When it was Jim Ross (or Joey Styles, or anyone who places more value in in-ring action than stupid things like Twitter Trending Topics) on lead announcing duties, the commentary added a narrative layer to the action, which we, as wrestling fans, accepted. So when he threw us to the commercials, we accepted the suspense they were portraying on-screen. It didn’t feel insulting.

❖ Hubris, Focus, and Wrestlemania XXVIII « International Object

K Sawyer Paul on WrestleMania:

The opening contest of the show can rile up a crowd, but is also, in special circumstances, there to set the tone. Daniel Bryan and Sheamus was the second kind. It was there to say, “every match tonight is going to be a variation of this simple equation.”

What’s the equation? Focus vs Hubris. Every match on this card extented and toyed with that idea. It began simply, and quickly. The dominant Sheamus never took his eyes of his opponent, while Danial Bryan—by demanding a kiss from his girlfriend—did. It cost him. End of story.

He makes many more points that resonate with the heart of Hurry up the Cakes. Fantastic read.