Wednesday, July 2, 2014

A Trios of Reviews

WWE Network
For my birthday my wife got me a six month subscription to the WWE network. Now when the WWE network first launched a lot of people lauded it as the future of "television". I use quotes there because the WWE Network like any modern app works on Kindles, iPads, computers, etc. I still don't think that's the case. The WWE is unique in that it completely owns all of its content and is in a situation where it's old product is still highly desirable. Wrestling fans will gladly pay 9.99 a month to watch Bret Hart vs Stone Cold Steve Austin from 1997 but how many NFL fans are willing to pay a monthly subscription to watch the Bills choke away a Superbowl to (insert team name here). Anyway not the point.

The WWE Network is a lot of fun, for a long time wrestling fan like myself it's easy to just spend hours watching it. You get current Pay Per View events live as the happen, every old WWE, ECW and WCW PPV on demand, some original shows that vary wildly in quality and some random WCCW and Clash of Champions shows from the 70s, 80s and 90s.

It's not a flawless app. It froze on me a couple times during last weekend's big Money in the Bank PPV and the search feature is TERRRRIBLE. For example, I searched for Raven (one of my favorite wrestlers from the 90s) and it returned about 5 results, about 100 too few.

TL/DR, for a wrestling fan the WWE Network is well worth $9.99. There are bugs they need to iron out but as a whole the network delivers on it's promises. Solid B+

My wife is awesome, she gets an A.

Heroes of Cosplay: Season 2
Last year I reviewed Heroes of Cosplay, looking back on the review I was probably a bit too kind. I felt like the shows repetitive format mixed with some really fake drama took away from what the show was supposed to be about. Fast Forward to Season 2, which had its season finale last night, and a few of my complaints with the show have been addressed, while others have been exacerbated.

Most of the stupid fake interpersonal drama has been ditched, which is great. The problem is without the drama every episode follows the exact same format. What to wear? I'm running out of time! Oh man I didn't win the contest.. or WOOHOO I won the contest!

That's literally every episode. I mean I still watched and for the most part I enjoyed the costumes but it would be nice if the producers could figure out a way to avoid every episode ending with a contest. From what I've learned of the Cosplay community having a picture go viral or hit the front page of reddit is every bit as important as winning a costume contest. Heroes of Cosplay gets a metacritic score of 72/100

The 2014 USMNT World Cup Performance
So the World Cup is over now right?

The US Men's National Soccer team showed once again that they can compete on the highest level but they also showed just how far they have left to go before we can even dream of actually winning the cup. All we need to improve is our defense our midfield and our forwards. We're pretty set at goalie.

It's hard to complain about the results, getting out of the group of death was really amazing but if you look at the Nat's record over the last two World Cups we've only won 2 out of 8 games. That's not very good. The inability to posses the ball with purpose really kills the team at this level. Turns out Michael Bradley isn't the world class midfielder a lot of us thought he was. The striker pool is as thin as we were afraid it was. It's telling that when Jozy went down with injury we started Dempsey out of position for the next 3 games as opposed to replacing him with one of the other 3 forwards on the squad. The defense is still full of potential but young guys like Besler, Cameron and Gonzalez are still trying to find out a way to actually play together and form anything that resembles a competent back line.

But hey, the games were entertaining and a lot of people watched. That's the most important thing for US Soccer going forward. More people interested in the sport equals more money which will in time provide us better players (knock on wood). I rate the USMNT 2014 World Cup Performance as plucky.


B said...

Way to go USA, record of 1-2-1 = success.

As for the popularity this go around, basically the WC had the perfect scenario. NBA and NHL just finished, MLB is in the pre-All-Star break boring stretch, NASCAR is pre cup race and no PGA majors. There is nothing to compete with. Add in friendly broadcast times (8a-3p) and endless marketing, how could it do bad?

If NFL or college FB started the week of the World Cup the ratings would be 90% lower.



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