So here we are, nearly at the end of July. How the hell did that happen? I was talking to somebody the other day about how fast this year is going, and we agreed that while most years fly bye anymore, this one seems to be doing so even quicker than usual. Even though we’ve gone through winter and last week’s ridiculous heat, it still feels like the year should be just getting started. I’ve caught myself several times thinking about how if I were the type to make New Year’s resolutions it’s time to get started on them, but then I remember it’s March…er May…er July…damn near August.
Hopefully you’re all having a nice summer. Ours has been rather unremarkable for a change. we’ve had a couple of visits with friends and a few day trips to see family, but it hasn’t been like most summers where every weekend is completely booked solid with things. for the record I’m fine with this, as seems to be Carin.
That’s not to say that nothing is going on. I’ve gotten way out of the habit of writing about concerts I go to, but there are a couple coming up next month.
On the 8th I’m going to see Wide Mouth Mason and Steve Earle, which should be amazing. Wide Mouth Mason is one of my favourite bands and Steve Earle is Steve Earle, so not much more need be said. It’s the fundraising kickoff show for the Kitchener Bluesfest, something I’ve wanted to go to for years. Moving to Kitchener made things a lot easier, since now I don’t have to worry about how I’m going to get back home. The tickets are only $30, which seems like it has to be a mistake. It isn’t, and you should grab yourself some tickets if you’re going to be in the area. It’ll be a fantastic night unless it rains. I hate rain.
Then on the 25th, Brother Brad talked me into going to see the Goo Goo Dolls and Matchbox Twenty in what I like to call the Welcome To 1998 World Tour. I’m not up on what either band has been up to for the last several years, but I used to like both of them so it should be a fun night.
In sports, boy are the Blue Jays ever awful. I was more patient than most fans while the team was digging itself its April hole, telling anybody who would listen to give them until June before writing them off for good. And like I predicted, mid May and June were pretty good times, complete with an 11 game winning streak that pulled them out of that hole and closer to being in the race. But what I didn’t predict was July going the way it has. I was clinging to the hope that the May and June Jays were the real team and that April was one of those baseball things where bad teams look good and good teams look bad sometimes, but I get the distinct sense that this team is much more April than June. I was never part of the plan the parade crowd that popped up when the Jays made all those moves in the off season, but I did expect better than this. I wouldn’t have even needed playoffs to be happy. All I hoped for was a close race where the Jays were playing meaningful baseball in September for the first time in years. The names they signed and the names they already had should be capable of at least that, but it’s not going to happen and I’ll be honest, it hurts. Since the glory years ended I’ve gone into every season with zero expectations, so anything they did was either not a disappointment or a welcomed surprise. But this year there was actual hope, and even though my expectations were lower than those of a lot of others, they’ve still managed to play well below them. I can’t remember a time in my baseball life when Jays games have been so hard to watch as they’ve become. Come game time you’re just as likely to find me watching Investigation Discovery or one of Spike TV’s Cops marathons as you are baseball. “Oh well. There’s always next year,” said the Toronto sports fan.
Surprisingly, one thing that hasn’t been disappointing me much lately is wrestling, specifically WWE. I haven’t been able to give them much credit for a long time, but I’ve gotta say that since the Payback PPV in June they’ve been putting on some of their best shows in years. I have no idea what happened, but I hope it keeps up. Even the 3-hour Raws, which are still way too long, are much easier to watch without stopping. Sure there are still the matters of John Cena’s ridiculous more indestructible than Hulk Hogan ever was act and the goofy McMahon power struggle with the General Managers stuff cluttering things up, but there’s more than enough good going on to keep me entertained. If you’ve turned off WWE because it sucks, at least come back and give Daniel Bryan a chance. Anybody who knows anything about the guy knew for years that he was one of the best wrestlers in the world, but he’s showing in WWE where being entertaining counts sometimes more than what you can do in the ring that he’s good at everything.
The almost always excellent Ring of Honor has finally made the decision to stop running live internet pay-per-views. After all the trouble they’ve had with the broadcasts for at least the last year including my experience, it’s about time. Even though I think it’s the right thing to do, it didn’t have to be this way. Pulling off a good IPPV is hardly impossible. Just ask the folks at WWNLive.com. If they can do it with their comparatively shoestring resources, what’s ROH’s problem? From where I sit, there’s only one answer to that question. Sinclair Broadcasting. If they were serious about owning a wrestling company, they would put their considerable money where their mouths are and do all they could to make sure that the streams were the best they could possibly be. But as it stands, they aren’t even doing all they can to make sure that the TV show and the event DVDs are high quality. Sure the turnaround time for getting the events up online and out to anybody who still buys DVDs is much better, but there’s no excuse for bush league audio and video when you’re a national promotion owned by a giant television company. If only management took as much pride in the product as the guys in the ring do, things could be so much better.
Which brings us to TNA. I’m still largely enjoying Impact and the pay-per-views as I have been for the last year or more. Amazing what getting rid of Vince Russo will do. My main complaint with TNA is something they did outside the ring yesterday. I know they’ve been having money issues and that cuts have to be made, but Jesse Sorensen? The same Jesse Sorensen who was nearly paralyzed for life and possibly could have died because of an accident on one of their shows? The same Jesse Sorensen that they repeatedly trotted out to put over how much they care? Pretty disgusting, guys. It was nice that they gave him a job in production for a few months, but those months should have been years or better yet, a lifetime. There are probably a dozen people I’d have cut before Jesse Sorensen even crossed my mind. Do we really need Brooke Hogan, for example. She brings no value whatsoever to the product outside of keeping Hulk Hogan happy. Hulk Hogan, who has been to my eyes a questionable investment at best. I don’t want to wish harm on TNA, because their being around is a good thing for the wrestling business. But I hope this turns into a PR nightmare for them so they learn that there’s more to being compared to WWE than running shows with wrestling matches on them. You can say a lot of bad things about WWE and be completely in the right, but the fact is that they do more to take care of their talent now than they have at any other time in history, including people who don’t even work for them anymore. TNA would do well to do even half of what they do.
I think that’s enough for now. It’s lunch time and I haven’t even had breakfast, so I should probably take care of that before I fall over. Talk to you all later or something.