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Wrestling Observer Rewind ★ Feb. 1, 1988
Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words, continuing in the footsteps of daprice82. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives. • PREVIOUS • 1987 FUTURE YEARS ARCHIVE: The Complete Observer Rewind Archive by daprice82
The Bunkhouse Stampede Finals and Royal Rumble are in the books, and as a head-to-head it’s best described as a stalemate. Neither show is what Dave would consider among the best cards he’s ever seen, and from the perspective of a tv viewer they were about what you’d expect. No strong overall lineup for either, and what was delivered wasn’t spectacular either. WWF had the edge in glitz, but not as much as usual because of the live factor meaning they couldn’t rely on post-production editing tricks. Here’s a sentence that describes a typical Raw today: “The three-hour show had too many replays and looked like it may have dragged in spots if you were there live.” Dave’s gotten some word from people who were there for the Bunkhouse finals live, and all rated it terribly as a live experience. From the tv viewer perspective, though, it was better than Starrcade despite some major issues (Dave says they owe the audience an explanation for why the Rock & Roll Express and Steve Williams were absent, as well as for the lack of Mike Rotunda vs. Sting which was pushed on WTBS half an hour before the show).
Dave’s tired of writing a lot of the same complaints about NWA, but they do seem to be responding to fans. They’re going to start showing the finishes to matches that go off the air on the following week’s show and have made changes to the announce desk. Jim Ross did a great job on ppv and toned back on calling every match an all-time classic like he did at Starrcade. But there were eight no-shows among the wrestlers and on Thursday night they had a terrible show in Los Angeles. Most of the no-shows were guys they pulled from the card to save money on flights. The Bunkhouse Finals were advertised with a 7 pm start time, but many of the tickets had 8 pm printed on them, and the show itself actually started at 6:35. Pm and ended at 9 pm, so those arriving at 8 missed most of the show. Not all the no-shows can be blamed on the promotion (Mighty Wilbur got injured, Rock & Roll Express appear to have up and quit), but some kind of explanation needs to be made for the fans. Between all that, getting chants of “Refund” after the Stampede and Dusty getting booed (which fans watching on tv heard) when he won the finals, NWA has significantly hurt its position in two of the biggest markets in the country in LA and New York. They’re making changes, slowly, but some changes need to be made or they’re going to sink. NWA fans come for action, but you can’t get the kind of action the fans want with the schedule they’re running (contrast to WWF which can get by with less action because their guys are seen as stars and the fans want to see the stars). Doing cross-country double shots on weekends is killing NWA, and they need to make new stars. Turning Flair face, since he’s more popular than almost anyone else, isn’t even something to do right now because Luger’s turn is in full throttle and they don’t have a heel to take up the slack. They could turn Dusty heel and have him feud with the Road Warriors, but they won’t.
In the past few weeks, NWA has managed to lose several guys they really shouldn’t have. Terry Taylor is gone apparently because the office had it in for him because of when he left the promotion in 1985. Big Bubba Rogers had become a good worker and had a great gimmick going, but WWF poached him. Rock and Roll Express apparently quit because they were unhappy about their push (though Dave thinks despite their ability and work, they’ve been on borrowed time for nine months now). Dave gives Steve Williams 50/50 odds of coming back and just kind of gestures to UWF as explanation. Sean Royal quit, and Chris Champion, Eddie Gilbert, and Brad Armstrong are all but disappeared. And more are looking to get out. Dave hates writing all this stuff about what Crockett’s doing wrong on the front page, especially when he’s been talking about it for months, and especially because he’s a fan of the NWA. He wouldn’t classify himself as a fan of WWF, but they’ve earned his respect with what they’ve done to take the business to another level and in the next two months he expects them to blow the whole wrestling business wide open. But WWF’s success isn’t the reason for NWA’s problems. WWF doing counterprogramming has made Crockett earn less money than he would have unopposed, and Dusty probably books himself the way he does because he knows WWF won’t steal him (spoilers: WWF gets Dusty in just over a year) and it’s hard to leave the limelight, but WWF isn’t the reason for most of Crockett’s issues.
According to the newspapers this morning, Wrestlemania IV will take place in Atlantic City’s Convention Center. Capacity is 16,000. There were rumblings of Vince being close to a deal in Vegas for either UNLV Gym or Caesar’s Palace, so Atlantic City’s a surprise. Wrestlemania is going to be more focused on ppv than closed-circuit this year, apparently. But most of the audience can’t get ppv, so they’ll still need closed-circuit in major cities.
Two weeks after Wrestlemania will be the Crockett Cup. Place is to be announced, and Dave thinks it’s high time Crockett re-establishes working relationships with at least one or two other North American promotions in order to help make the Cup a big event. They just don’t have the talent roster this year to get away with doing otherwise.
A correction on Starrcade: Dave reported a 6.6 percent buy-rate, but the reality was a 3.3 percent buy-rate. Dave heard they got 20,000 buys and just assumed it was of the 300,000 homes available on cable, but forgot to factor in the 300,000 homes it was also available in via satellite. Dave’s received reports that there were 6 million potential homes for the Bunkhouse finals, but that seems high to him. Even matching the buyrate of Starrcade at that number would mean over $3 million in gross revenue, and Dave doesn’t think they were remotely close to that.
- Anyway, Dave goes through the Bunkhouse finals. An estimated 7,000 were in the arena, and the dark match was Sting and Jimmy Garvin beating the Sheepherders by DQ. Nikita Koloff retained the NWA TV title against Bobby Eaton in a 20 minute draw. -2 stars. Larry Zbyszko beat Barry Windham for the Western States Title, with the match starting slow and getting very good in the last ten minutes. 3.5 stars. Road Warrior Hawk beat Ric Flair by DQ in the NWA World Title match. 3.75 stars. Dusty Rhodes won the Bunkhouse Stampede finals. Lots of blood, a lot of guys going the distance you wouldn’t expect to have the stamina to do so (the match was 26 minutes long), and it was exactly what was promised and was good stuff. 3 stars.
- As for the Royal Rumble, the crowd appeared to be nearly sold out with almost 18,000 in attendance. Ricky Steamboat beat Rick Rude by DQ. Heavy with rest holds and stalling before the final two minutes had them trading near falls constantly and getting good heat from it. 2 stars. The Jumping Bomb Angels won the WWF Women’s Tag Titles from the Glamour Girls in a 2/3 falls match. They started behind with Judy Martin getting the first fall, then the Angels won two straight falls with each Angel pinning Judy Martin (sunset flip and double missile dropkicks, respectively). It was a good match, but not great - the Angels missed a lot of moves and seemed to be out of shape. 3 stars. Jum Duggan won the Royal Rumble, last eliminating One Man Gang. The match was much better than Dave anticipated, and the match went on roughly at the same time as the Bunkhouse finals match. Better camera work in it, and Dave notes that WWF seems to have fudged the two minute intervals after a bit. 3.5 stars. The Islanders beat the Young Stallions (Paul Roma and Jim Powers; Dave’s nickname for them is The Barbie Dolls) in two straight falls. He makes a weird joke about a submission actually working on a pushed guy (Haku submitted Roma with a Boston crab) making him go out for “Oriental food” afterwards because it was so surprising. I’m too confused to even know what to make of the line. 2.5 stars.
Outside the matches, Royal Rumble had some other stuff. Andre and Hogan had a contract signing for the Main Event, where Andre slammed Hogan’s head into the table and pushed the table onto him. Dave’s amazed people buy Hogan as a face, because there’s just something naturally dislikable about people who act the way Hogan does and he thinks Vince could probably get Lee Harvey Oswald over as a face. Dino Bravo attempted to set a world bench press record. Of course, the weights were as legit as the half a million dollars Dusty supposedly won, but Bravo’s supposedly able to bench over 600 lbs legit. Jesse Ventura helped him with “715 lbs” and then claimed he didn’t help at all (the Road Warriors are scheduled to bench on the 30th and were originally planned to use legit weights, but they’ll have to use bogus weights to keep from looking weak next to WWF’s monsters now). Anyway, now they’ll bill Bravo as unofficial bench record holder, and that should get him heat because of the obvious cheating.
Next up then for WWF is The Main Event on February 5. Dave’s told not to worry about Andre, because his back is in much better shape than last year. He and Hogan are practicing daily and have worked out the gist of the match. Dave says you can be sure to expect Ted DiBiase to interfere somehow on the 5th.
Stampede is continuing to do good business and nearly selling out all their big shows. Chris Benoit and Great Gama get 4 stars (from Trent Walters, who I guess submitted the reports for the matches in Edmonton) for their Commonwealth Title match from January 9 in Edmonton.
[Stampede] Jason the Terrible has been made an “honorary member” of Bad Company, Bruce Hart and Brian Pillman’s tag team. So now in addition to the hockey mask he’s also got sunglasses over the hockey mask and a bandana and a black leather jacket. The whole getup is hilarious.
Do you remember Central States? Mike George won the WWA World Title tournament on January 23. They had 800 fans. Match ended on blood stoppage.
Speaking of blood, Keiji Mutoh is headed to Puerto Rico.
Tatsumi Fujinami and Kengo Kimura won the IWGP World Tag Titles from Yoshiaki Fujiwara and Kazuo Yamazaki on January 18. Riki Choshu and Super Strong Machine were originally slated to face the tag champs, but Choshu injured his knee and had to miss the match. Dave expects Choshu and Machine to face Fujinami and Kimura on February 7. He then goes on about how bad Choshu’s luck has been lately. Dave thinks he was supposed to win the tournament, except the Maeda shoot happened, and he was definitely supposed to win the tag titles (the match was scheduled for his hometown and New Japan actually does nice things for wrestlers in front of their home audiences). And with all the work they’ve put into getting Choshu on tv, it’s surprising they’ve phased him down the card so much from where he was.
Lots of stuff about Vader’s look in New Japan. On December 27 he wore long tights and had Road Warrior Hawk’s hair, and it didn’t get him over at all. On January 4 he had a mask and full bodysuit to hide his size. January 11 saw him ditch the bodysuit and keep the mask. The evolution of a mastodon, I guess.
Antonio Inoki began negotiations with Fuji TV after TV Asahi scheduled NJPW tv to move to midnight Mondays, and TV Asahi caved. They’ll now be on a 5 pm Saturday time slot. It’s not as good as their old Monday evening slot, but it’s not a death slot like midnight Monday.
Akira Maeda turned down NJPW’s plan to have him go to the U.S. Also, he and NJPW are fighting over his contract. They offered him a new contract for 1988 with a 15% pay cut and he’s not willing to sign it.
There are rumors that Inoki will wrestle Koji Kitao (the sumo wrestler mentioned a few weeks back) at the Tokyo Dome in April. Kitao is 24 years old and 6’5.5”, weighing 345 lbs. The story of his exit from Sumo is he apparently lost his temper and started kicking one of his sponsors (who is 92 years old) and the knocked his stable master’s wife through a sliding door. Dave’s been told if this match does happen, it could draw very big. Kitao is denying he’s going into wrestling (nope). Kitao was made a yokozuna in 1986, just before he turned 23, because the sumo hierarchy felt they needed a new young star to create interest in the younger generation of fans. But Kitao liked the party lifestyle and didn’t care for tradition, and sumo does not tolerate that. But you can’t demote a yokozuna, and that made him controversial (it would turn out that most of this was made up because Kitao’s stablemaster didn’t like him and felt he was underperforming and wanted him out - more on Kitao’s sumo years here if you want to read it). Turns out sumo is kind of worked too, though not as much as pro wrestling.
All Japan is promoting a “Martial Arts Olympic” show on April 2 at Sumo Hall, to feature all kinds of stuff. Tiger Mask II and Giant Baba will team against some foreigners, Japan Women’s Pro Wrestling (the group running against AJW) will have two matches on the show (Miss A vs. Harley Saito and Rumi Kazama vs. Xochitl Hamada). There will be boxing, kick boxing, the original Tiger Mask Satoru Sayama’s “shooting” sport he invented, shoot boxing (boxing + wrestling with gloves), and more. The whole show is being billed as a memorial service to Ikki Kajiwara, who created the Tiger Mask cartoon and comic.
When baseball season starts, All Japan’s tv will be moved to 10:30-11:30 pm Sunday nights. Usually they get moved to Saturday afternoon during baseball season, and this shift will lose Baba lots of money and viewers.
While Crockett and McMahon ran big shows on January 24, Giant Baba met with their rivals in Las Vegas. Baba’s plan in the U.S. is to send his guys, as well as Bruiser Brody, Abdullah the Butcher, Jimmy Snuka, Stan Hansen, and Terry Gordy to smaller promotions to help them fight against the big two.
Dave finally saw Hennig vs. Tiger Mask II. Not terrible, but no heat and little action, he thinks. Meanwhile, John Tenta’s improving well, and Baba seems high on Akira Taue, though he’s so new it’s hard to guess what kind of future he has.
[AJW] Yukai Omori’s retirement show will be on February 15. This was announced after her January 15 world title match with Chigusa Nagayo, where she said if she couldn’t win the title she was ending her career. They went 32 minutes to a double count out in the ring after both collapsed.
[Memphis] Lawler vs. Hennig for the AWA Title on January 18 had Lawler’s ring on the line as well. Hennig promised to give his dad the ring if he won, and Larry Hennig was there. The Axe helped Curt win, and Curt gave him the ring, but Lalwer stole it back.
Memphis local prelim wrestler Jerry Bryant has been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Global Wrestling in Florida somehow turned what was an awful live show on January 22 into a good tv show. They taped on Friday night and by Sunday had it polished up into a good looking product. The miracles of post-production. Issues with the live show included starting 30 minutes late, long delays between matches, the ring mic not working, and bad wrestlers. What they lack in wrestling talent, though, they make up for in knowing how to make a tv show that’s on the level of World Class and better than Crockett or AWA.
Continental (Alabama) did a bench press contest between Lord Humongous (not Sid, but Gary Nation) and Doug Furnas. They fudged the weights here, as Humongous did 645 lbs and then Furnas did it twice (his best in competition has been 600) before Humongous pushed the bar down on Furnas and “injured his ribs.”
Apparently the Observer was mentioned positively in the Detroit News by Justice B. Hill in the January 17 issue.
Since Dave started writing this issue, he’s been flooded with fans writing about the Bunkhouse finals. The reaction he’s gotten has largely been negative, with those there live being extra negative about it. Crockett really needs to reserve three hours for the next time they do ppv - going too short pisses the fans off, and ppv viewers expected the show to last past 9 pm. Another difference between WWF and NWA is that WWF always gets their hottest acts on the mic at some point during ppvs and big live specials (twice in the case of Hogan and DiBiase at Royal Rumble), while at Starrcade they didn’t have Flair, Dusty, or Cornette talk once. Instead Jim Garvin gave the worst promo of his career, Michael Hayes was quiet for the first time ever, and they shoved Steve Williams and Nikita Koloff on the mic for some reason. At the Bunkhouse Finals they had no interviews, and getting mic time for Flair or Dusty or Luger while they set up the cage would have been a big help. More of Dave wondering when Crockett will realize they’ve killed the credibility of their world champion and thus killed the drawing power of the belt.
Michael Hayes has apparently quit Crockett and everyone expects him to go back to World Class. And if Steve Williams doesn’t come back, they’ll probably just forget about the UWF Title entirely rather than doing a unification match.
A couple letters this week requesting that Dave keep up the coverage of wrestling in Japan. Another couple letters praising how good Stampede has been lately. Canada and Japan, bringing us the best in wrestling.
Another letter writer asks Dave to realize how offensive it is to refer to a wrestling match as “a total abortion” and to consider that he’s probably offended many female readers of the newsletter. Dave apologizes and says he’ll stop using the term, before doing a “well, actually” bit. It’s a kind of weird response. Judge it for yourselves.
I apologize for that one and will quit using the term. Actually the term abortion for a bad match is a business term just like jobber, mark, babyface and the rest. But there are a few business terms (mainly for ethnic wrestlers and ethnic fans) which are in bad taste that I don’t use, so I’ll add that one to the list.
Tickets for Wrestlemania IV go on sale January 30. The best 2000 seats in the Convention Center are being reserved as freebies for casino high rollers. And as a heads up, this is the location it does take place at. They called it Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino during the show, but it’s the same building. More on that as we get to Wrestlemania.
If Dave can find the space next week, he’s going to talk about whether or not “30 minute matches which ‘tell a story’” work for today’s fans. He really enjoyed the Windham/Blanchard match on tv but there was no crowd reaction, so he’s beginning to wonder if this is even a style that resonates anymore.
Everyone’s asking Dave for predictions about Hogan vs. Andre. So here’s his prediction (and he is way off on many parts of this):
DiBiase will interfere and Andre will pin Hogan on 2/5, however Jack Tunney will prove he can’t be bought and hold the title up so Ted doesn’t get the title, and order a rematch in a cage at WM4 so Ted can’t interfere (and also so Andre can lose without doing a job). Hulk will win on a fluke, and they’ll run Hulk vs. Andre over the summer in your local cities after Hulk gets back from playing Hulk Hogan in the movies.
”There was a clip in Detroit about Hogan, saying that ‘he’s nice[r] than Kirk Gibson, but not by much.’” Gibson’s reputation is of being a total asshole to fans, especially kids.
Crockett is billing FlaiAnderson vs. LugeWindham on Feb. 6 as the first time Flair goes against Lex anywhere. It’s forgivable to forget Lex’s Florida days, but they’ve got FlaiBlanchard vs. LugeRhodes booked for February 2.
Apparently Road Warrior Hawk’s neo-nazi line is just a quote from The Breakfast Club. Okay. So I guess the first letter writer was mishearing him and he’s saying “Neo-maxi-zoom dweebie”? TVtropes gives us this, from the October 3, 1987 episode of NWA World Championship Wrestling: HAWK: "WELL, Tony Schiavone, There Are Two Kinds Of People, as far as me and Animal are concerned. Clamheads and Neo-Maxi Zoom Dweebies." (the Road Warriors consider themselves the latter). And corroborating with the WWE Network, yeah, the line comes through pretty clear. Network 4 minutes in, and yeah, he’s not calling himself a neo-nazi. Definitely an error by that letter writer, and what a weird line for Hawk of all people to utter.
THURSDAY:WWF’s Big Four are born; The Main Event; Rock & Roll Express, Michael Hayes, and Steve Williams update; Tenryu wins all the awards in Japan; and more
NJPW was thrown into chaos this week when Keiji Muto, Satoshi Kojima, and IWGP Jr. Heavyweight champion Kendo Kashin all abruptly quit the company, along with 5 of NJPW's front office employees, and are headed to AJPW. Needless to say, this immediately killed the working relationship between the two companies and NJPW is already attempting to forge a new partnership with NOAH. There's also said to be a significant power struggle within NJPW right now behind the scenes that will likely be straightened out whenever Inoki returns to Japan (he's in Los Angeles right now). Tatsumi Fujinami is NJPW president but in the wake of losing these big stars, and the disappointing TV ratings for the Jan. 4th show, it's rumored his days may be numbered. There's rumors that Inoki may take over the role for the first time since he was forced out of the position back in 1983 (long story, bunch of financial scandals, Google is your friend here). Muto is currently half of the IWGP tag team champions and they were scheduled to defend the titles next month and he volunteered to still work the show, but NJPW wasn't having that so that won't be happening now and the titles will instead be vacated, along with the Jr. title Kashin held. And of course, the IWGP title is also currently vacant due to Fujita's injury, so all of NJPW's top titles are vacant right now (the only other active title is the Jr. tag belts, held by Gedo and Jado).
Lots of rumors floating around about how this happened, but the gist appears to be that Hiroshi Hase was the architect (no Seth) behind this whole thing. Reportedly, Muto (and maybe some of the other people who left) may be purchasing a stake of AJPW from Motoko Baba so he'll have some ownership say. The long-term idea is that Mrs. Baba will step down in a few years and Muto, who by then should be ready to retire (lol) will take over the role as AJPW president. Of course, that was the original plan for Misawa after Giant Baba died, but he and Motoko Baba couldn't get along and Misawa eventually left and formed NOAH instead. It's also worth noting that Kashin in particular wasn't thrilled about doing shoot fights while working in NJPW, but felt pressured to by Inoki and he reportedly wanted out of the company even if the AJPW thing hadn't been an option. As for Kojima, he and Tenzan have been the best tag team pro wrestling has seen in years and from an in-ring perspective, may have been the best pure worker in NJPW so his loss is going to hurt a lot too. The office workers who left are mostly accounting and merchandising people who will be doing the same jobs for AJPW.
One bummer of a note here is that, before this, Muto had talked of putting together a dream match against Misawa. But as long as Motoko Baba is breathing air, an AJPW star isn't going to work with Misawa, so that's probably a dead issue (yeah, sadly we never did get that match).
One final note: Muto also tried to recruit NJPW rising star Hiroshi Tanahashi, who most believe has the most potential of anyone in the entire company, to jump ship with him but Tanahashi decided to stay (oh man, can you imagine how different things would be if he had gone).
On Raw this week, Vince McMahon teased the impending arrival of Hall, Nash, and Hogan, saying he's going to do something soon that even he will regret. Vince has reportedly caved on most of Nash's demands, including the reduced schedule. Hall will be making less money than Nash and will be given an even lighter schedule, because he's a single parent with custody of his children (and Dave questions how fucked up Dana Hall must be if SCOTT is the one who has custody). And of course, you gotta figure Hogan ain't working a full schedule, since he hasn't done that in a decade and probably ain't gonna start now. Of course, this puts WWF in the same position WCW was in a few years ago: having all the top stars working TV and not appearing on house shows, which is something WWF used to openly mock WCW for. Now they'll be doing the same thing, with the same guys. It's something that killed WCW's house show business long before the TV ratings started going down. There's also the issue of how they'll get along backstage, since many of the agents (Dave says Gerald Brisco in particular) were very vocally against bringing these guys back. And then there's John Laurinaitis, who has a lot of power backstage now and he and Nash used to butt heads constantly in WCW. So things are gonna be interesting.
In a bit of a surprise, Vince has also agreed to let them use the NWO name and gimmick, and that reveal was made later in the week on Smackdown when Vince talked about killing the WWF with the help of the NWO. As of now, there's no plans for Triple H to join the group. X-Pac will probably find his way into it, given his relationship and history with the group. Nash is reportedly pushing for Shawn Michaels to be involved, but Dave has heard that's unlikely because there's still some fences that need to be mended there between Shawn and some in the company. But then again, Nash has gotten his way on everything else he's asked Vince for so far, so who knows? Anyway, Hall and Nash have officially signed, but Hogan still hasn't finalized his deal as of press time, but the office has been told it's inevitable and to start making plans as if he's signed. It's expected all 3 men will probably debut at the No Way Out PPV next month.
The Royal Rumble is in the books and was a huge success. Critically, it was an excellent show, nothing MOTY-worthy or anything, but nothing bad at all and was a legit sellout. Coming out of the show, it appears Chris Jericho will be defending the WWF title against Triple H at Wrestlemania, though that can still change. Triple H winning the Rumble was expected but made the most sense. The Rumble match lasted just over 69 minutes (nice), surpassing the 1993 Rumble and, as far as Dave is aware, making it the longest mach in WWF history (a famous Pedro Morales vs. Bruno Sammartino match in 1972 was reported in all the newspapers as lasting 75 minutes, but it was actually only 65 so don't come at Dave with no "well actually..." bullshit)
The return of Mr. Perfect and him being put over like a major star (he lasted until the final 4) proves that WWF has no intention of letting any other competitor get off the ground and will nip that in the bud before it ever happens. Hennig has been available for more that a year (WCW released him before they folded) and WWF never seemed interested, but as soon as XWF came along and made him their featured star (with plans to make him the face of the company), suddenly WWF swooped him up. Hennig's appearance was meant to be a one-off but it was known they were likely going to offer him a deal if he was impressive, and they have. It may not be a huge get for WWF, but it's a massive loss for XWF and pretty much renders their entire first set of TV tapings meaningless now, and Dave says that was precisely the point. Vince left the door open for competition once before and it nearly killed him. He won't make that mistake again (not until 2019 anyway). Dave says to let this be a lesson to any new promotion trying to start up: make sure you have people signed.
Other notes from Royal Rumble: Goldust, who was also a one-off for the match, is expected to sign a full-time deal as well. FlaiVince street fight was way better than it had any right to be considering it was between two guys over 50, one of whom isn't even a trained wrestler and the other hasn't wrestled in nearly a year since the final Nitro. Jericho retained the title over Rock in an excellent match and Dave notes that no one in the history of wrestling with the kind of main event star power Rock possesses has ever done as many jobs as him. Maven dropkicking Undertaker out of the Rumble match was the biggest pop of the entire show. But then Undertaker spent the next several minutes beating poor Maven nearly to death, lest anyone think Undertaker was actually trying to get this kid over or anything. Overall, Dave thinks it was the best Rumble match in several years.
The tradition of Memphis wrestling on WMC-TV has been revived! Sorta. The show, dating back to the 70s, has been off the air since last spring when the TV station refused to allow them to tape shows in their studio anymore. For the next few months, they aired a bunch of "Best of" shows but those eventually stopped in December and they've been airing infomercials in that time slot ever since. But this week, a show featuring Jerry Lawler and Brian Christopher in the main event, taped at a nearby casino in Tunica, MS aired on the channel in the usual Saturday morning time slot. Dave says the production quality was garbage and there was no local publicity for it, so it probably did a terrible rating, but it's something (pretty much just one last dying gasp, this doesn't lead to anything).
Carlos Colon said he's going to cut back on being an active wrestler because he wants to spend more time with his kids. Dave points out that most of his kids are wrestlers in his company, so maybe he's actually trying to get away from them.
NJPW star Minoru Tanaka announced his engagement to former women's wrestler Yumi Fukawa, who retired last year (did some research and they're still married to this day. Tanaka still wrestles in NOAH and Fukawa is an actress in Japan).
Atsushi Onita, who has been issuing grandstand challenges to Antonio Inoki for months with no response, has now challenged Naoya Ogawa for a match and wants it to be a benefit show in Afghanistan for the kids there. Dave says don't hold your breath for that one either. Onita says if he beats Ogawa, he wants the match with Inoki. Again, none of this is happening, just Onita trying to work his own angle. Neither Inoki nor Ogawa want anything to do with him.
Goldberg participated in a charity golf tournament this week and while there, he made some comments about going to the WWF. "I personally believe that everything I've stood for when I got into the ring would be compromised and succumbed to the circus-like atmosphere that's out there, and that's putting it mildly. I would be an imbecile if I gave up half my money to work for a company I didn't respect." Dave wonders if his tune will change when that WCW contract money dries up (yup). Also, at the same tournament, they did a funny little angle with Goldberg throwing his caddie into a lake.
Superstar Billy Graham has reportedly lost nearly 60 pounds in just 3 weeks, most of it water weight due to edema he's suffering from and all the other liver issues he's currently dealing with.
Bruno Sammartino did an interview talking about the role he has in a new low-budget movie called Saloonatics where he plays a mob guy with cancer. Sammartino talked about how uncomfortable he was with all the profanity his character had to say but he eventually got more comfortable with it and was able to put aside his personal feelings and eventually was okay with it. (No idea where the full movie is, but here's a trailer and yeah this shit is LOOOOOOOW budget).
Former WCW announcer Mark Madden is in some controversy in Pittsburgh, where he hosts a daily sports talk show on the local ESPN radio station there. A few weeks back, the sports media in the city was swirling with rumors about NFL star Kordell Stewart's sexuality. Madden went on his radio show and criticized people who were spreading those rumors. A writer who works at the radio station then went on the air and accused Madden of being one of the main people who fueled those rumors and claimed Madden had said things in the past on his show implying that Stewart is gay. Madden denied ever saying that, demanded the guy find the tapes to prove he ever said it, and basically felt like the guy ambushed him live on the air with the accusations. The radio station apparently agreed because the writer was fired when he refused to apologize (for what it's worth, several people have made accusations about Stewart being gay over the years and he's always denied them, and even successfully sued someone a few years ago for claiming he had a relationship with him. Who knows and who cares? Not anybody's business anyway).
Jake Roberts was on a radio talk show in England recently and said some interesting stuff. Said he plans to stay in the UK for the next 2 years. Said he could walk back into the WWF and have a writing job tomorrow if he wanted it. Dave scoffs at that and says I guess he prefers wrestling in front of empty indie show crowds in England instead of earning a steady paycheck. Jake also talked about the scene in Beyond The Mat where the movie alleges that Roberts asked an indie promoter for crack cocaine as his payoff for working the show. Roberts denied it happened and said he doesn't trust a promoter with anything, so he wouldn't trust one to get him crack. Well okay then. Claimed he left the WWF last time because he wasn't comfortable with the angle he was doing with Jerry Lawler, feeling like they were exploiting his sobriety. Dave pretty much rolls his eyes at all this, because Jake was actually fired for going on a bender and no-showing a bunch of events (I'm glad we all love Jake now, but he was still 1000% full of shit and off the deep end during this period).
Iron Shiek missed an appearance on the Opie & Anthony radio show this week because he was detained for several hours at the airport. Turns out he wore his curly toed wrestling boots on the plane and because this is 4 months after 9/11 and only 1 month after the attempted shoe-bomber, and let's be honest, simply because Iron Shiek is Middle Eastern, people freaked out. And when they wanted to examine his boots, he initially refused to let them and, well, you can imagine how well that went over with airport security.
If WWA's PPV in Las Vegas happens next month, Bret Hart has agreed to reprise his role as the on-screen commissioner. As best Dave can tell, no one else has really been signed on for the show and the MGM Grand doesn't know anything about this alleged plan to hold the event in their arena and in fact, WWA hasn't even applied with the Nevada commission to get a license to run a show anywhere in the state and it's almost certainly too late to get one by the scheduled date. So Dave is skeptical that this even happens, and if it does, he can't see it being in Las Vegas. (Surprisingly, it does happen and it is in Vegas, but we'll get there.)
Speaking of the Nevada athletic commission, XWF brought a bunch of wrestlers and a wrestling ring to the National Association of Television Program Executives conference in Vegas, with hopes of putting on a live show and impressing all the TV execs and trying to secure a TV deal. But the XWF didn't get permission from the Nevada commission, so they weren't allowed to use the ring and do a show. Whoops.
Speaking of XWF, morale is in the dumps in that company right now. Losing both Hulk Hogan and Curt Hennig (neither of whom were signed but had been working with them) as well as Sting reportedly not being interested has killed a lot of the excitement about the promotion for people within it.
Notes from Raw: Flair cut an emotional promo about his history in wrestling and how he was on the road so much and put wrestling ahead of his family and not seeing his kids and all that stuff. During the promo, Lawler made a sarcastic joke about Flair needing to have his priorities in order, which Dave thinks is pretty rich coming from Lawler, who lived the exact same life and wasn't much of a father to his kids either (which Lawler has admitted, to be fair). They're continuing to tease a Triple H/Stephanie split, with him being annoyed at her nagging. Speaking of Triple H, Dave thinks he needs to lose at least 15 pounds because he's totally slow and lumbering since he came back.
Notes from Smackdown: AJ Styles worked a dark match, losing to Rico Constantino, but apparently he looked awesome in the match (yeah he hits an awesome shooting star to the floor late in the match). And the show ended with McMahon doing the big NWO reveal on the back of his chair during his promo.
Regarding Triple H's match on Smackdown last week, where they gave away his return match on free TV 3 days before the Rumble. Remember how Dave was flabbergasted that they would be so short-sighted? Turns out Triple H felt the same way and fought hard against it, but Vince wouldn't budge.
Chris Benoit is telling people he expects to be back in the ring around June (yup).
Jim Ross answered some questions at a press thing last week and had lots of interesting stuff to say. He said the criticism WWF was receiving for bringing in Hall, Nash, and Hogan hurts, but they have to do what's best for the company and Vince feels this is it. Doesn't sound like JR loves the idea too much either. They've had no talks with Scott Steiner. When told of Goldberg's recent comments (mentioned above), he said he wanted to believe Goldberg hadn't really said that and thought it was a shame. Said there's heat on Jeff Jarrett for how he left the WWF last time so he probably won't be welcomed back anytime soon. JR also hinted that the brand split will come after Wrestlemania and implied that they will be reviving the cruiserweight division. Dave says he's convinced that Vince will never get behind pushing cruiserweights as major stars so he's not holding out hope for that. Said they may bring in Rey Mysterio if they decided to launch a cruiserweight division. Said they'd love to have Eddie Guerrero back but he has to get his personal issues straightened out first. Same with Shawn Michaels, plus they don't know if he could physically do it.
ESPN's Bill Simmons wrote an article reviewing Royal Rumble 2002 and Dave thinks it was great. In one piece, Simmons managed to pretty much sum up all of WWF's recent problems while still acknowledging that the show was entertaining. And the link Dave posted for it in 2002 still works!
Unless things change, Chris Jericho is gonna be in an awkward situation next week. Jericho is scheduled to play in a celebrity hockey game as part of NHL All Star Weekend. Who will his celebrity coach be, you ask? Goldberg. As of press time, most people in WWF don't seem to be aware of it and Dave wouldn't be surprised if Jericho gets pulled from it.
Booker T was on the Howard Stern show (after his comments last week saying he wasn't a fan of Stern, go figure) and talked about his time in prison and his plans to write a book. He also said he hopes to retire in 2 years which Dave ain't buying (yeah, still about 10 years away from that). He also said someone is suing him over the term "Spinaroonie" because apparently someone else thinks they own the rights to that name. Booker also mentioned that he's dating former Nitro Girl Sharmell Sullivan. Dave notes that they've been dating since WCW and Booker is the one who helped her get hired by WWF, where she's currently in developmental.
DDP has also said he plans to retire in 2 years, to become a motivational speaker. This one actually almost happened. He left WWF just 3 months after this and didn't wrestle at all for several years. Then he had a brief run in TNA but he's been mostly retired other than some one-offs ever since.
Randy Orton is moving up to the main roster. In his final OVW match, Orton lost clean to Prototype and Dave says it's clear they're grooming Prototype to be the next OVW champion.
Synopsis: Vampire Mafia Vs Artificially Enhanced Human Crime War: THE STAKES HAVE NEVER BEEN HIGHER
Concept: Near Future setting, semi-dystopian (but not full out dystopian) Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, Las Vegas A Vampire Mafia begins a Gang War with biologically, technologically, and chemically enhanced Criminals. Eventually the conflict escalates to an actual full on violent conflict around Nevada. Keep in mind: this is not actually a chapter, just an outline for the first few chapters. Forgive my writing, I just wanted to know if anyone can see too many obvious plot-holes and what you might suggest would add to the tone of the story. TL:DR; down on his luck 28 yr old gets laid off from his security agent/IT/Cyber-security job, turns to crime peddling artificially enhanced organs, patented (stolen) DNA that has been enhanced, cybernetics. Eventually escalates into discovering the blood trade, which pays big. Turns out he's fallen into the clutches of a member of the Vampire Mafia. After a successful smuggling job his client rewards him with initiation into this group with futuristic and illegal forms of coercion and converts him into a vampire. However, his connections with the cybernetics trade makes him powerful enemies-- cyborgs/artificially enhanced humans/clones/etc. The Year: 2040 (TBD) Summary/Synopsis: Brian is down on his luck. He has been furloughed from his low paying job as a cyber-security and loss prevention agent at a high-end electronics store at a Mall, replaced by an automated robot. The humiliation has sent him spiraling into an alcoholic stupor for weeks. Eventually he gets a call, offering his old job back at 50% his original rate, just to do modifications to the AI system’s hardware and re-update its malfunctioning features. Infuriated by this demotion, he remembers an old friend back from college who had some seedier predilections, his old fraternity pal Mark who dealt drugs to the other kids at university. He decides to contact him in order to start doing under the table work—and with some luck, manages to get some fairly high-profile underground jobs smuggling contraband items throughout the Silicon-Valley to other areas in the South-West, meeting with other smugglers to distribute the illegal wares all over the country. This contraband contains altered human DNA that has been in research and is patented by these Gerontology and Transhumanist labs, along with cloned organs that have been enhanced with both gene editing and hormonal methods. There are even mechanical chips that could be inserted into one’s brain to increase learning capability or even give someone a skill set they didn’t have before without having to spend time getting a degree. These are all high end services for the super-elite, many of which are not available to people without means, but the dark market knows that underground people will spend money on stolen goods and even replicated goods (they can take these stolen patent plans and designs and create these types of items in clandestine laboratories – often with mixed effect). He makes a decent amount of crypto money enough to be well off. He enjoys the thrill of smuggling these items across state borders and there are some close calls with border patrol—could be a lark. Eventually after several successful runs he becomes highly adept at getting through technological security and finding ways of eluding detection with police officers and DEA agents. Eventually through his new connections he meets a new client—a very eccentric man. A high-roller at the high end casinos in Vegas, one of the places where there is a huge market for brain chips and other technology that allows people to hack the slot machines and rip off the casinos, or rip people off with convoluted credit card scams (such as the ones you might find on the darknet today). This man is incredible, full of energy, one who partakes in many new-fangled performance-enhancing or recreational drugs, including superfluous blood infusions. A gambling addict with a fake alias to elude people looking to collect money from him, though this time it seems like he’s going by the name Stefano. Always on the run for ripping people off and scamming them, it’s a miracle he hasn’t been killed yet. He introduces the Brian to a new product that could be sold at a remarkably high mark-up on the underground market. The Brian is suspicious of this because nobody else is looking for just blood—especially rarer types. In order to do this our Brian chooses to do something gravely immoral by high jacking a truck full of blood donations—the payoff is just too great. In order to pull this off he must disable all security systems surrounding the area that the blood bank has and sneak in undetected and make off with an entire truck full of bags of frozen donor blood. He gets paid a hefty sum in exchange for his work, and his new client is pleased—highly pleased. He takes him out for a night on the town in downtown Las Vegas to various shows, cocktail bars, strip joints. Brian is beguiled by Stephano’s incredible high life and starts to feel a sense of camaraderie start to form. By the end of the night, Stephano takes him to a hotel room and Brian is only mildly surprised to see full of kilos of cocaine, enhanced-Amphetamine, and a personality-perfecting form of alcohol (an older form of the enhanced alcohol they have now, this older iteration was abused in the date rape scene, though the effects of the drug are highly addictive) There is still a high demand for this now-illegal product. This leads to a disturbing scene wherein the Brian’s client offers him a variety of substances to partake in, each one having a different strange effect. Finally, he is offered the enhancing alcohol and becomes receptive to his client’s request that they swap blood— “How does that work? I don’t know if I’m the same blood type as you man”, he laughs, clearly affected in a strange stupor. Logically he knows if they have differing blood types, there is a chance of a deadly consequence, though so inebriated he holds up no protest as the true intention becomes clear. He asks whether or not they need a syringe or an IV to do the swap transfusion, but as soon as he turns around his neck is being bitten and he is in the grips of shockingly strong wiry, gnarly hands. He falls unconscious and wakes up on the floor of the hotel room, alone. He looks at his messenger to see that his client sent him a text about “needing to run a few errands—don’t leave the room unattended. Big trouble if people see what we’ve been doing in there.” He decides to open the blinds and is horrified by the brightness, immediately closing them and wondering why he feels so strange. He tries turning on the TV and watches a News Segment about the current trade relations between Port-Coel Corporation—a company leading an expedition terraforming and colonizing a moon of Jupiter to mine for precious metals and other resources like plutonium, uranium, and others. Trillions of dollars are being spent on mining and moving these materials to earth for use in various industries and the United States military. As time goes by, he feels time and space being distorted, strange new feelings come over him. He becomes violently ill and full of rage. He storms around the place he knows he cannot leave, not knowing what happened after the blackout. He gazes into a mirror and sees nothing but his own clothes, with blood stains around his collar.No, it couldn’t be, he thinks, but as he runs his hands over his neck, he feels two distinct marks. The cuts are deep. He pulls his hand away and sees blood. Upon the return of his client coming in all-smiles, Stephano bellows “Aye buddy, how was your first day?” “What have you done to me?” Stephano then explains that because of the Brian’s high trustworthiness and professional discreteness, especially from his last job, Stephano desired him a permanent part of his crime syndicate. Initially rejecting the offer in a rage, realizing the limitations of his new life, he wanders the loud nighttime streets of Las Vegas, noticing he can smell the vitality of the humans walking by. He decides to contact one of his old friends from his previous underground jobs to find a friendly face again. He now no longer could be outside during the day or go anywhere without explicitly being invited inside, nor can he cross bodies of water. He notices that his old friend is in the middle of a back-alley operation having cybernetics placed into his arms and having his eyes replaced with bio-identical but modified eyes that can be heat seeking, et cetera. This is a typical happening in this scene. Underground surgeries are growing in popularity these days. Eventually he decides to confide in his friend about what has happened to him. His friend is a bit incredulous about the whole vampirism thing, asks him to prove it. The guy just goes ahead and takes a clove of garlic and presses it into the Brian’s arm, burning him horribly. “Holy shit, they really did it to you.”
Logan age 26 Struggling musician, lives in Vegas. Takes odd jobs like magician's assistant and Ubering people around. Cooks top ramen with a sprinkle of cheese and an egg because it makes him feel fancy. Owns a YouTube channel although not a successful one. He's talented he just doesn't have the marketing savvy. Into conspiracy theory videos. Stays up late sometimes watching 10-15 videos in a row going from simple UFO / Bob Lazar stuff, to debating whether the earth is flat using 6th grade Trigonometry. He knows it's not flat, but sometimes he looks up and can't help but wonder. He's that shady guy at coffee houses. Wears a scarf to places that you don't expect people to wear scarfs. Always has stubble but never a full beard. Which is odd because you rarely see him shaving, you'd think his stubble was permanently tattooed on his face. Hosts various open mic nights around the city every other week. People mistake him for Russell Brand until they hear him speak. "Russell! Russell!" you'd hear them running up on the strip trying to take a selfie, sometimes he just goes with it. One night our would-be British celebrity picks up a couple in his Uber. They're young in their mid 20s. The woman has wavy brown hair, in a navy blue mini skirt with dark red heels and a white blouse. As soon as they get in the car she starts crying begging the man who appears to be her husband to stay. She appears to be a little tipsy and has a pizza stain on her right shoulder. Logan can see from the mirror, aside from being a messy eater, she's also very worried for her husband's well being. "Honey I can't let you go all that way alone. Don't they have housing for spouses on the base?" She begs. "No.. normally yes but... Baby we can talk about this when we get home. Please.." The man looks as though he fears she might say something that might get them both killed. "How dare you leave me all alone while you go to fucking ANTARCTICA!!!! What the fuck is so great about Antarctica anyway? Do they have hot Antarctican strippers on the base? I bet that's what it is. You're cheating on me with a whale!!!!!" She laughs with tears in her eyes. "Baby I told you..\Looking at Logan glaring at him in the rear-view\** It's.... it's classified". "CLASSIFIED CLASSIFIED THAT'S ALL YOU EVER SAY! I'M YOUR WIFE!!!!!!! YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO TELL ME THINGS ANYWAY!!! Like that time you told me about the space craft they found in New Mexico. And the portal in Africa. And the pasta colander Gina found in Switzerland"- hiccuuppp "....Theparticle colliderinGeneva, Switzerland*... Dear you're so drunk... Please.." "YEAH THAT THING!!!! IF YOU TOLD ME ABOUT THAT WHY CAN'T YOU TELL ME WHAT'S GOING ON IN ANTARCTICA!?" ".... I'm so sorry sir she had a little too much to drink tonight. You can just let us out over here. Thank you. Here's a tip. For the disturbance." He hands Logan $100 bill. As if to keep quiet about what he had just heard. "Hey" said Logan to the man who had just handed him a crisp hundo. Being a conspiracy nut himself and having done tons of research on Antarctica, Logan needed to know more but he couldn't let on that he wanted to know more. "Are you guys hiring? For... for that trip I mean... Uber... doesn't pay very well at all. And well... I could reaaally get out of this damned heat, a change of pace in Antarctica sounds exciting." Faking desperation, thinking it would help his case. People sometimes take pity on you if you plead nicely, Logan has learned. "I'm not supposed to say... and normally I wouldn't. But.. you've got that same look in your eye that I once had. So... I definitely did not tell you that we're leaving from Los Angeles in 2 days. And if you were somehow to show up at this address with a suitcase and a sad story, you might get hired as a cook on board our ship. The captain has a soft spot for sad stories. But I didn't say that. Have a good night." Logan thought for a minute. "A cook... hmm... I don't know how to cook...But I gotta get on that boat somehow... I don't have a lot of money either.. Ahhhh who am I kidding. Me? Antarctica? Pshhhhhhh" With a swipe of his finger on his smart phone that fit snug into the cup holder of his silver and black SUV, he logged off the UBER app and headed to the Circus Circus with a crisp hundred dollar bill. He hands his keys to the parking attendant who gives him a claim ticket. "You can come to me later for free parking validation sir!!" "Thanks......Hmm.. I like what they did with the remodel" Logan says under his breath as he passes a gaudy slot machine decorated with polar bears, ice bergs and a huge fan set up to blow cold air on your face every time you pull the lever. "Worth it just to get out of the heat, I'd say.." Something pulled him towards that specific slot machine. Maybe it was the remnant of a frantic woman drunkenly babbling on about government conspiracies or maybe it was... fate. With a fold, a tug and a whirling grinding of the tiny conveyor belt, Logan had a feeling he would never see that hundred dollar bill again. Part of a 50s doo-wap song begins to play on the machine before a loud obnoxious voice takes over. "ARE YOU READY TO PLAY BYEEEEEEE POLARRRRRR!!!!!! LETS GET READY TO CRUMBLLLLLLLEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!.... THESE ICE BERGS!!!!!!! Choose your bet and pull the lever! Try max bet for a chance to win 20 free spins and an entry into our million dollar jackpot at the end of the night!!!!!" "Yeah right... I just want the free buffet. It's reasonable? Come on. Give me a buffet" As Logan presses max bet, pulls the lever and the warm musty air blows on his face from the fan that obviously needs a can of freon, Logan can't help but wonder if he should have just got a buffet with the hundred dollar bill. "Well too late now" The machine starts whirling and spinning, a video of a big ice wall pops up as a bunch of birds in military uniforms attempt to jump over it as each number counts down. Sorry you lose. Admiral Bird is sad. Try again? Logan goes to spin again but it won't budge. He glances over at the sign that reads "Max Bet $100" "Wow I spent $100 on one spin???? Are you serious??? What a rip off..." As Logan stands up from the chair that looked more like a throne and had 10 ice swords sticking out of it with a vortex in the middle, he hears another whirling printing noise coming from the machine. "Keep this ticket for the million dollar drawing at the end of the night! Your number is 74819!! If 74819 gets called, show this ticket to the concierge to collect your prize. Not valid if you leave the casino before the drawing. Not valid if you go to the bathroom before the drawing. Not valid if folded. Not valid if you validate your parking. Void where prohibited" "Geeez what a load of crap.. Not valid not valid, you'd think they would just print "GFYS" and be done with it". $100 was all Logan was willing to spend at the casino. He knows the slots are rigged, but he also knows they're on a certain percentage payout, meaning if enough money goes in, some money has to come out. $100 is his limit. It's a rule. With a rule like that you'd think he knows what he's doing, except the most he's ever won was $900 on a malfunctioning roulette machine in Atlantic City. Logan heads for the door to go validate his parking when he hears on the loud speaker: "Greeeeetings Circus Circus fam!!! We're about to announce the winner of our million dollar jackpot drawing. BEtter not VaLidAte your parking just yet!! We'll be calling out one number every 5 minutes until the final number is drawn!!!!" Logan looks at the parking attendant and snatches his ticket back before he had a chance to stamp it. "Awe mannnnn they pay me for every stamp" The attendant with red hair and braces cried. "Shut up kid, I'm trying to hear this" "ANd nOw the MOMENT YOU'VE ALL been waiting for.... the million dollar drawing!! FIRST NUMBER IN 30 SECONDS!!!!!" The parking attendant tries to stamp Logan's ticket without him noticing. Logan stares at him with a Bruce Lee stare that said "I'll kill you with subtitles". "If your number has a 3 in itttttttttt!!!!!!!!" - Logan exhales and reaches to give the parking attendant the ticket he's been drooling over like Gollum at a wedding rehearsal. "Then you're out of luck because the first number is 7!!!!!!!!" "NOT TODAY GOLLUM!!!!!!!" - Logan snatches the ticket back and starts to run as the attendant hisses. The attendant chases Logan around the casino with his freshly inked stamp while each number brings him closer to the prize. Logan careful not to fold it or enter any bathrooms before the final number gets called. Finally Logan seemed to lose the red haired parking attendant and found refuge sitting near an old lady in fishnet stockings playing a fortune teller slot. Trying to keep his cool knowing he's only 1 number away from a million dollar jackpot (minus taxes of course), he tries to make small talk with the aunt-like fishnet wearer. "So.. do you have one of those tickets too?" A little giggle comes out as the woman pulls the lever to the slot in front of her. "No..... I don't. But I do have.... a PARKING VALIDATION STAMP!!!!!!!" What Logan thought to be a nice old woman woman turns her head to reveal a toothy grin from the red haired parking attendant. "Holy shit what are they paying you guys???? I'm not even mad.. That's impressive.. No really, like how you did your eye shadow? It's a lovely color on you. It looks like Egyptian markings!" The parking attendant blushes. "Oh you really think -" *AND NOW THE FINAL NUMBER!!!! 9!!!!!! If your ticket says 74819 then head to the cashier right away to collect your prize!!!!!" Logan takes off running towards the cashier. The attendant doesn't chase after him, instead just sits there feeling sad because he actually thought Logan was complimenting his eye shadow. "I would have let him off the hook ya know. I've validated parking for so long, no one ever... validated my markings....." Some time later, Logan sitting in the back room of the Circus Circus cashier cage with a team of people making sure that he didn't get his parking validated or took a bathroom break, trying to find any loop hole to deny him a payout. A short chubby bald man holding a cigar, dressed in a short black suit snarled at Logan while a team of data scientists prepare Matplotlib graphs from camera footage in Jupyter Notebooks on a server a few feet away. The short man looked like Dr Eggman played by Danny Devito joining the Men in Black. "Okay Fine you got us, kid. Here take your damned cash. You earned it fair and square." Leading Logan into the "back-back" room filled with the sound of cash rolling through the electrical money counters and yellow paper bands with a tiny bit of glue being wrapped around and tightened against stacks of green currency with old men's pictures printed in the center to denote dollar amount. "1 million dollars. Minus taxes and parking attendant therapy fee that's 6 hundred thousand, 3 hundred and 68 dollars annnnd 46 cents." The short balding Eggman said. "Parking attendant therapy fee? Seriously?" "Look kid, we can give you 6 hundred grand and change or free parking validation. Which will it be???" Sensing that this isn't your average casino, and that this isn't an average situation, realizing the reality that he was just hours ago driving for $10 dollars a ride, now having over half a million after tax dollars in his face, he said what any human in his position would say. "I'll take the cash...." 2 days, 40 grand and 5 high class call girls later.. Logan arrives to the address scribbled on the back of an Ale house business card. Turns out it was an abandoned building. The guy was just messing with him. "I drove 4 hours for nothing.. Maybe she was just wasted. Antarctica sounded so cool though. The mystery. I need to know what they're hiding... Man how am I gonna get to Antarctica?" Driving down the industrial complex, Logan spots a travel agency. "Maybe they have a cruise?" The door opens with a BEEEEEEP and a jingle of door chimes with the atmosphere of a knock off 7/11 on a back alley road. It even had those little red and green door beads that lead to the back room where you just know there's a round table and an elderly group of ethnic gentlemen in tank tops smoking cigarettes and complaining about the "races". "Can I help you?" A tall dark gentleman in a red and yellow Hawaiian shirt with curly black hair said in a rough southern British accent. Which was weird because he seemed.. not British. "Uh...... yes do you guys have anything for Antarctica?" "Ohhh quite booked up eeem'afraid. Yup till September." "Well that's only next week..." "Of 2022 eem'afrraiid, yup it's quite a while yup." "Why... are you talking like that?" "Look we're booked up bruv. If you wanna have a go at one of our Hawaiian cruises I can put you on the next boat to Waikiki which leaves in an hour." "Dude come on, how can I get to Antarctica? I got money..." "How much money?" "I'll spend 100k on it if I have to. I want to go to Antarctica." "Hmmmmmmmmm wellll woi didn'tcha say so govna, come on back let's have a look at our private charters why don't we". The clearly not British man in the tacky Hawaiian shirt led Logan down past the rasta beads to the back room which.. looked exactly as Logan presumed "Ayeeeeeee Earl man wants to go to Antarctica. Got 100k" "100k? To go to Antarctica? Why? Can't he wait til 2022 it's only 4k. What's the rush?" Both the tall dark gentleman stare confused at Logan. Logan himself looks a bit bewildered. When he really thought about it, he hadn't even made a plan. "Just get to Antarctica" was the plan. But as to what was next once he got there he hadn't given really much thought. "To be honest I have no clue myself, I just... wanna go. See the sights.." Logan said not wanting to raise any red flags. "THATS E SPEEEREEEET" the clearly not British man shouted, as both Logan and his counter-part looked frightened. "Sorry... I mean... yeah man that's the spirit!" Earl peered down at Logan through his black rimmed prescription glasses in confusion and doubt, wondering if he's actually got the 100k to spend. "For 100k I'll take ye there and back. But how'loi know you got the monay" said Earl who didn't before but now has a very thick Scottish accent. "Well I just won a jackpot from the Circus Circus in Vegas. See here's a bag full of money. They even zip locked stacks for me at a nominal fee." "Circus Circus eh? A wise guy eh? Oi want payment up front and en cash. And ye gotta sign a waver, if'n ye die in and or around the boat during any time from here to Antarctica and back, you hold SaberTooth Charter LLC indemifiable for all liability and such." The other clearly not British man chimed in "Yeah indemnifiable!" ".......I'm gonna have to think about it...." Logan said, backing away slowly, clearly uncomfortable, trying to peacefully exit the building. "Okay fine fine... I'll drop the accent and you can pay half now, half when we get there. 3 meals a day, whole crew ready to do your bidding. It'll take 4 weeks. We'll stop in Guadalajara, El Salvador, Ecuador, Peru, Chile straight to Antarctica. If you've got any specific spots you'd like to check out along the way, we'll try to accommodate you. Fair enough?" "Deal." said Logan. (Chapter Two)
[Other] A Look into Sony/Columbia Pictures: History, 2019, and Beyond
On this post, I will focus on Sony Pictures/Columbia Pictures, the studio people want dead because they own Spider-Man and not Marvel. Besides Spider-Man, this studio is most well known for Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Men in Black, Hancock, 2012, the Daniel Craig 007 Films (Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall, and Spectre), and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. Before we start, I want to say something, and I might get downvoted for this. People when Paramount Pictures’ 2017 slate critically and commercially flops (every single one of them was rated poorly: Monster Trucks, xXx: The Return of Xander Cage, Rings, Ghost in the Shell, Baywatch, Transformers: The Last Knight, Mother!, Suburbicon, Daddy’s Home 2, and Downsizing): I hope Paramount Pictures improves as a studio. But hey, with new management, Paramount will turn things around in no time. People when Sony Pictures’ Venom gets negative reviews from critics: FUCK YOU SONY! STOP MAKING SPIDER-MAN FILMS! PACK YOUR BAGS! SELL THE SPIDER-MAN RIGHTS TO MARVEL! GO ROT IN HELL! YOU PEOPLE ARE INCOMPETENT! Oh by the way, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse looks great, Sony. I also can’t wait for Spider-Man: Far From Home which is an MCU film (as they forget that Sony has final creative control and distributes the film). Anyways, FUCK YOU, SONY! I WISH YOUR MOVIES WOULD FLOP SO YOU CAN SELL YOUR MOVIE DIVISION! YOU CAN’T MAKE SPIDER-MAN MOVIES ANYMORE! (Screeching Intensifies) It’s a good time to be a Spider-Man/Sony fan and a bad time to be a Sony hater. I’m not saying Paramount Pictures deserves to get blasted on, but Sony getting blasted constantly is somewhat unjustified to me. Of course, you may not like the direction the Spider-Man franchise had been going with Sony (then again Into the Spider-Verse says hi), but people are judging some films negatively because it’s a Sony film. Or some people just look at the new Spider-Man movies, Ghostbusters (2016), the Emoji Movie, and Venom’s reviews, and say that the whole studio sucks because of that. I’m sure some people have other reasons, but I don’t get how Sony is a reason why a movie is bad. It’s just a film studio. They’ve made bad movies, but so have 20th Century Fox, Universal, Paramount, Warner Bros, and Disney. They’ve made good movies too. I’ll show you some down below. 1924-1976: The Beginning and Before the 80s In 1918, Harry Cohn, Jack Cohn, and Joe Brandt founded Cohn-Brandt-Cohn (CBC) Film Sales. In order to improve the brand name, the company was renamed to Columbia Pictures Corporation on January 10, 1924. Columbia’s films were mostly moderately budgeted comedies, sports films, serials, and cartoons. As time went on Columbia would start making high budget films and join United Artists and Universal Pictures to become the “Little Three” in the Golden Age of Hollywood. Unlike the five major film studios in the Golden Age, RKO Radio Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, and Warner Bros Pictures, Columbia didn’t own any theaters. However, Columbia’s rise to become a major film studio was due to the ambitious director, Frank Capra, with movies like It Happened One Night, Lost Horizon, and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, which made James Stewart a star. Columbia couldn’t afford to have a large amount of contract stars to the point where they would borrow stars from other studios. MGM would send some of their stars to Columbia to punish them if they weren’t obedient. After Harry Cohn’s death in February 1958, Columbia started to decline with multiple box office failures to the point where they could possibly go bankrupt. Fortunately in 1972, the studio was saved with an drastic overhaul in management and a deal with Warner Bros to share the WB studio lot. Some Columbia hits include Lawrence of Arabia, Dr. Strangelove, and Taxi Driver. Notable Columbia Pictures films: Discontented Husbands, It Happened One Night, Lawrence of Arabia, Dr. Strangelove, and Taxi Driver 1977-1983: Close Encounters of the Third Kind Era On November 1977, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, a sci-fi film directed by Steven Spielberg, became a major success for Columbia Pictures and was their highest grossing film at the time (making $307M worldwide). In 1982, Columbia Pictures was bought out by Coca-Cola, the company behind the soda. Tri-Star Pictures was also created around this time, while Columbia expanded its television franchise. Major hits for the studio include Kramer vs. Kramer, The Blue Lagoon, Stripes, Stir Crazy, Tootsie, and The Big Chill. Notable Columbia Pictures films: Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Kramer vs. Kramer, Stripes, Stir Crazy, and Tootsie Notable Columbia Pictures film that bombed: Krull 1984-1989: Ghostbusters/The Karate Kid/Rambo Era On June 1984, two Columbia Pictures movies would be the biggest movies and the most well known films in Columbia’s library: Ghostbusters (making $295M worldwide) and The Karate Kid (making $91M in the US). Ghostbusters would receive a sequel in the form of Ghostbusters II, while The Karate Kid would become a trilogy. On the TriStar side, they had received Rambo: First Blood Part II and Rambo III, which would be a major success for the studio. Rambo: First Blood Part II was the highest grossing Columbia/TriStar film in this era, making $300M worldwide. Other hits include Stand By Me, Look Who’s Talking, Peggy Sue Got Married, and When Harry Met Sally… This success would catch the eyes of a fellow Japanese multinational conglomerate that would buy them in 1989. Notable Columbia/Tristar Pictures films: Ghostbusters 1 and 2, The Karate Kid Trilogy, Rambo: First Blood Part II and Rambo III, When Harry Met Sally…, and Look Who’s Talking Notable Columbia Pictures films that bombed: Ishtar and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen 1990-1996: Early Sony Era On 1989, Sony bought Columbia Pictures for $3.4B. Did Sony buy the best studio at the time? Probably not, but I don’t know if they could’ve bought a different studio (20th Century Fox was owned by News Corporation, Warner Bros was probably too successful to be bought, and Disney would never give in to another corporation). The three studios I could see Sony buying instead of Columbia are MGM/UA, Universal, or Paramount, though I’m leaning towards Paramount more. Imagine complaining about the new Star Trek movie or Transformers movie being ruined by “Sony”. But honestly, this wasn’t a bad buy for Sony as they would keep their film division to this day. In the long term. As for short term, well, something was off. In 1994, Sony took a $2.7B write-off. It seems like it took less time for Sony to make a successful video game console (PlayStation) than it took for Sony to make Columbia Pictures an actual worthy investment. Most of the hits came from TriStar and not from Columbia Pictures with movies like Hook, Basic Instinct, Cliffhanger, Sleepless in Seattle, Philadelphia, Jumanji, and the highest grossing film for TriStar at the time, Terminator 2: Judgement Day (making $521M worldwide). On the Columbia side of things, the biggest franchise they had was probably City Slickers, but it wasn’t much compared to Ghostbusters, The Karate Kid, and Rambo in the 80s. They did have some other hits like Total Recall, Flatliners, Misery, Boyz N the Hood, The Prince of Tides, A League of Their Own, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, A Few Good Men, Groundhog Day, In the Line of Fire, Bad Boys, The Cable Guy, and the highest grossing Columbia Pictures film in this era, Jerry Maguire (making $274M worldwide). Notable Sony/Columbia Pictures films: Total Recall (1990), Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Hook, City Slickers, Basic Instinct, and Jumanji Notable Sony/Columbia Pictures film that bombed: Hudson Hawk 1997-2001: Men In Black Era Fortunately in 1996, Amy Pascal and Chris Lee was brought in to become the president of Columbia and TriStar, respectively. On 1997, Sony Pictures was ranked as the highest grossing film studio in the US, making $1.26B with movies like The Fifth Element, My Best Friend’s Wedding, Air Force One, As Good As It Gets, and the highest grossing Sony film in this era, Men In Black (making $251M in the US and $589M Worldwide). Other hits from Sony in this era include Godzilla, The Mask of Zorro, Stepmom, Big Daddy, Stuart Little, The Patriot, Charlie’s Angels, America’s Sweethearts, and Black Hawk Down. After their success in 1997, they weren’t able to replicate their success and fell behind the other major film studios. In 2000, they were in 7th place behind every major film studio plus Dreamworks SKG, making $682M that year. In 2001, they were in 6th place behind every major film studio, making $729M that year. Fortunately for Sony, they had gotten their hands on the most iconic Marvel superhero with plans to make a live action movie of this character. And this character made a major impact on Sony Pictures. Notable Sony/Columbia Pictures films: The Fifth Element, Men In Black, Air Force One, Stuart Little, and Charlie’s Angels Notable Sony/Columbia Pictures film that bombed: Ali and Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within 2002-2007: Spider-Man Era While Paramount’s 90th anniversary in 2002 didn’t end well, Columbia Pictures’ 78th anniversary was amazing. Not only was this year the best year since 1997, Sony was able to have the largest market share and make $1.5B in the US, surpassing 1997 with movies like Panic Room, Mr. Deeds, Men In Black II, xXx, Maid in Manhattan, and Sony’s highest grossing film at the time, Spider-Man (making $404M in the US and $822M worldwide) Spider-Man would be the highest grossing Sony film domestically until 2018. In 2004, Sony had the largest market share again and made $1.2B in the US with movies like 50 First Dates, White Chicks, The Grudge, Christmas with the Kranks, and of course, Spider-Man 2. In 2005, Sony led a consortium that purchased MGM, giving Sony the distribution rights to the James Bond franchise. In 2006, Sony would have the largest market share for the third time this era and made $1.7B in the US, surpassing 2002 with movies like The Da Vinci Code, Click, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Open Season, Casino Royale, and The Pursuit of Happyness, showing that Sony doesn’t need Men In Black or Spider-Man to make $1B in the US. This didn’t happen with the odd-numbered years, as Sony was 2nd in 2003 (making $1.2B that year), 5th place in 2005 (making $918M that year), and 4th place in 2007 (making $1.2B that year, even with the release of Spider-Man 3) Around this time, Sony were able to keep two actors around to make most of their films under Sony: Adam Sandler with Mr. Deeds, Anger Management, 50 First Dates, and Click and Will Smith with Men in Black II, Bad Boys II, Hitch, and The Pursuit of Happyness. Spider-Man was clearly the biggest franchise for Sony in this era and has been the biggest franchise for Sony since. Sony had other small franchises that were profitable like Resident Evil and Underworld. Other hits from Sony include Daddy Day Care, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, S.W.A.T., Superbad, and Spider-Man 3, which would become the highest grossing Sony film at the time, making $890M worldwide despite mixed reviews. Notable Sony/Columbia Pictures films: Spider-Man Trilogy, Men In Black II, Hitch, The Da Vinci Code, and Casino Royale Notable Sony/Columbia Pictures films that bombed: Stuart Little 2, Gigli, xXx: State of the Union, Stealth, and Zoom 2008-2012: The James Bond Era Now with the Spider-Man franchise mostly absent this era besides the Amazing Spider-Man, Sony mostly depended on Adam Sandler, Will Smith, and the James Bond franchise to be successful. I’ve noticed that other than that, Sony doesn’t heavily depend on multiple successful franchises compared to the other major film studios. They actually profited off of many original films in the previous era and this era. James Bond was still going strong with Quantum of Solace and reached to franchise and studio records with Skyfall, becoming James Bond and Sony’s highest grossing film and Sony’s only billion dollar film to this date, making $1.1B worldwide. Adam Sandler had hits with movies under Happy Madison like You Don’t Mess With Zohan, Paul Blart: Mall Cop, Grown Ups, Just Go With It, and Zookeeper. Will Smith had hits with movies like Hancock, The Karate Kid (as Producer), and Men In Black 3. They were 5th in 2010 and 3rd in 2008, 2009, and 2011. The only time they had the largest market share this era was in 2012, making $1.8B in the US, surpassing 2006 with movies like The Vow, 21 Jump Street, Men In Black 3, The Amazing Spider-Man, Hotel Transylvania, Skyfall, and Zero Dark Thirty. Other hits for Sony include Step Brothers, Pineapple Express, Angels and Demons, District 9, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Zombieland, 2012, Salt, The Other Guys, The Social Network, The Green Hornet, Battle: Los Angeles, The Smurfs, Bad Teacher, Moneyball, and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Notable Sony/Columbia Pictures films: 007 James Bond (Quantum of Solace and Skyfall), Hancock, 2012, The Karate Kid, The Amazing Spider-Man, and Men In Black 3 Notable Sony/Columbia Pictures films that bombed: Year One, The Pink Panther 2, How Do You Know, Jack and Jill, That’s My Boy, and Total Recall (2012) 2013-2016: The Amazing Spider-Man 2/Sony Hack/The Decline Era After 2012, it seems like Sony was slowly declining. Sony didn’t have a stable franchise, though was still doing better than Paramount. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was supposed to set up a whole cinematic universe on Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man, but underperformed and the sequels were cancelled in favor of a deal struck with Marvel Studios to bring Spider-Man to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Spectre did well as a James Bond film, but was the last James Bond film Sony would be able to distribute. Adam Sandler and Will Smith movies weren’t doing as well as before and pretty much stopped making films for Sony at the end of this era. Ghostbusters was rebooted, but infamously underperformed. They were 4th in 2013 and 2014 and 5th in 2015 and 2016 (making slightly less than $1B in the US), just above Paramount Pictures. Some other hits are This is the End, Grown Ups 2, Elysium, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, Captain Phillips, American Hustle, 22 Jump Street, The Equalizer, Hotel Transylvania 2, The Angry Birds Movie, Sausage Party, Don’t Breathe, The Magnificent Seven, and Passengers. In late 2016, Sony took a $962M write down, with rumors starting that Sony would sell off their movie division sometime in 2017 if their 2017 lineup didn’t do so well. This most likely wasn’t true, and 2017 fortunately proves the studio’s worth. Notable Sony/Columbia Pictures films: Captain Phillips, American Hustle, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, 22 Jump Street, Hotel Transylvania 2, and Spectre Notable Sony/Columbia Pictures films that bombed: After Earth, White House Down, Aloha, Pixels, Grimsby, and Ghostbusters (2016) 2017-Present: Spider-Man/Jumanji Era (Comeback Era?) In the first half of 2017, it wasn’t looking too good for Sony. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter did fine, especially in China. Life and Rough Night were only modest successes for the studio. Smurfs: The Lost Village was an attempt to reboot the Smurfs but underperformed, making slightly less than $200M. However, things started to turn around with three summer movies: Baby Driver, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and the Emoji Movie. Baby Driver was a surprise success for Sony and for director Edgar Wright. Spider-Man was shared between Marvel and Sony, which led to everyone wanting to see Spider-Man’s first solo film (+Iron Man) with Marvel Studios, making $880M worldwide, just $10M behind Spider-Man 3. The Emoji Movie was made fun of by everyone, even though enough people went to make this film $218M worldwide. The Dark Tower did alright, but probably not enough to warrant a sequel. It seems like Sony did alright, but then December 2017 came. Sony decided to release Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle near Star Wars: The Last Jedi as counter programming (what a moron, am I right? /s). With the movie having a surprisingly strong word of mouth, it topped Star Wars: The Last Jedi in the first few weeks of 2018. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle would later go on to make $405M in the US, surpassing Spider-Man to be the highest grossing Sony film in the US and would make $962M worldwide, just a notch below $1B. I had a feeling that $405M made in the US was what Sony was expecting the movie to make worldwide. In 2018, Sony’s success continued on with hits like Peter Rabbit, Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, The Equalizer 2, and the biggest surprise of 2018 for Sony that isn’t Jumanji, Venom, making at least $212M in the US and at least $823M worldwide. Sony was also able to keep the budgets low and have low budget films like Sicario: Day of the Soldado, Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween, and Searching make a decent amount of profit. It may seem like Sony is making a comeback, especially with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse being well received and being at least moderately successful (though only time will tell). Notable Sony/Columbia Pictures films: Baby Driver, Spider-Man Homecoming (and Into the Spider-Verse), Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, and Venom 2019 is next year, and it’s time to look at what Sony has in-store for everyone next year. I’ll try to keep it short (with a basic description of each one if necessary and how well it might do). The numbers I have won’t be accurate, so take it with a grain of salt. Escape Room - it’s a psychological thriller film directed by Adam Robitel. If it has a low budget, I think this could be moderately successful while adapting the escape room idea into film. I’d say $50M Domestic and $70M Worldwide. A Dog’s Way Home - it’s a family drama film directed by Charles Martin Smith. I don’t get how A Dog’s Purpose is at Universal while this movie is at Sony. Did Universal not buy the rights to every single A Dog book or what? This will probably make less than A Dog’s Purpose with $50M Domestic and $180M Worldwide. But at least it comes out before A Dog’s Journey, another movie based on the A Dog franchise. A Dog’s Way Home will probably make more than A Dog’s Journey based on this movie coming first. Miss Bala - it’s an American-Mexican action thriller directed by Catherine Hardwicke and is a remake of the 2011 Mexican film of the same name. I don’t know what to compare this too. There isn’t any numbers on how much the original did either, so I have to make guesses. I’d say $50M Domestic and $100M Worldwide. Greyhound - it’s a war film directed by Aaron Schneider and starring Tom Hanks in another World War II movie. No footage has been released, but it could make $100M Domestic and $300M Worldwide with the right marketing and a good movie like Saving Private Ryan. The Intruder - it’s a psychological thriller directed by Deon Taylor. This could do almost as well as Don’t Breathe, but I still don’t get why the former owner of the mansion sold his house (if you see the trailer). $70M Domestic and $100M Worldwide. The Rosie Project - it’s a film directed by Ben Taylor. Not much is known unless you read the book. Besides Crazy Rich Asians, there hasn’t been much romantic comedies. I guess this can be compared with Overboard (2018), meaning this movie could do $50M Domestic and $70M Worldwide BrightBurn - it’s a horror film directed by David Yarovesky with James Gunn producing the film. This could break out, even in the late May slot. Then again, not much is known about this film. Maybe $80M Domestic and $120M Worldwide? Men In Black International - it’s a science fiction action comedy film directed by F. Gary Gray and is a spinoff of the Men in Black trilogy. What makes this a spinoff is that this is a London based team instead of New York. And hey, Chris Hemsworth is another Sony franchise that Sony is trying to make relevant. But I think it could succeed this time, unlike Ghostbusters (2016). I could see this doing at least $160M Domestic, though it could go as high as $240M Domestic with a strong word of mouth, similar to how well Jumanji unexpectedly did. As for Worldwide, I’d say $450M, but it could go as high as $600M. Grudge - it’s a supernatural psychological horror film directed by Nicolas Pesce and is a remake of The Grudge (2004) which was also a remake based on a Japanese horror film. It probably won’t be as successful as the 2004 remake as this 2019 remake is a similar premise and no one is really demanding it. I could see this doing $100M domestic and $160M worldwide at most. Spider-Man: Far From Home - it’s a superhero film directed by Jon Watts and is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I could see this going two ways. One way is that this will make $900M and the domestic total will drop from Homecoming (maybe $320M). However, this could possibly be the second Sony film after Skyfall to gross $1B. The only two obstacles are The Lion King movie which comes out two weeks later (it’s like Disney is trying to prevent Sony from being a major competitor for Disney in the movie industry like how Universal and Warner Bros currently are to Disney while Fox is taken care of and Paramount is trying to pick themselves up) and the plot is pretty much Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation. Wish Dragon - it’s a 3D computer-animated film from Sony Pictures Animation. Not much is known about this film besides Jackie Chan being involved and it having a Chinese theme. It’s set to release on the same day as Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, but I have a feeling it could be moved to late 2019 or even 2020. Maybe this could make $80M Domestic and $200M Worldwide? I don’t know. I need more footage. Once Upon A Time In Hollywood - it’s a mystery crime film directed by Quentin Tarantino. I could see this being similar in success to Inglourious Basterds or Django Unchained as this film seems like a wider release with a lot more marketing compared to The Hateful Eight. I could see this doing $150M Domestic and $400M Worldwide at most. The Angry Birds Movie 2 - it’s a 3D computer-animated action comedy film from Rovio Animation and is the sequel to The Angry Birds Movie. Reception to the first one has been mixed, so I think it could go as low as $90M Domestic and $300M worldwide, or it could go as high as $120M Domestic and $400M worldwide. Zombieland Too - it’s a post-apocalyptic zombie comedy film directed by Ruben Fleischer and is the sequel to Zombieland. This will be another franchise Ruben Fleischer is working on with Sony besides Venom. I could see this making more than the first one with a $90M Domestic and $120M Worldwide. You Are My Friend - it’s a drama film directed by Marielle Heller. Not much is known besides the fact that it’s about a journalist who runs into Fred Rogers and has his life changed. Unlike Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, another film about Fred Rogers, this film has Tom Hanks portraying Fred Rogers. With a wide release (if it does get one), I could see this making $40M Domestic. Charlie’s Angels (2019) - it’s an action comedy film directed by Elizabeth Banks and is a reboot of the Charlie’s Angels franchise. If this film goes the Ghostbusters 2016 route, I could only see this make $70M Domestic and $120M Worldwide. If not (hopefully), I could see this making as much as $140M Domestic and $260M Worldwide. Masters of the Universe - it’s a He-Man film directed by Aaron and Adam Nee. It’s supposed to come out the same day as Jumanji 3, but I think it could be moved to 2020 (but I’ll still analyze anyways). This is a wildcard and a gamble for Sony. It could go both ways, but I think I need more footage to fully judge. $40M Domestic, $90M Worldwide? Jumanji 3 - it’s a fantasy adventure comedy film directed by Jake Kasdan and is the sequel to Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, and the movie that made Disney move Jungle Cruise to July 2020. Like Spider-Man: Far From Home, it could go both ways. It could drop from the second, especially if Star Wars: Episode IX gets people to care about Star Wars, by making as much as $380M Domestic and $800M Worldwide. It will still do well as counter-programming, but maybe not as well as Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. Another way this could take is that everyone lost hope in Star Wars: Episode IX, and the people who didn’t see Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and saw Star Wars: The Last Jedi and hated it will go see Jumanji 3 instead. It’s possible that Jumanji 3 could be the second after Skyfall or the third after Skyfall and Spider-Man: Far From Home to cross $1B worldwide as a Sony film. This movie could also get a sequel boost with this making as much as $420M domestic, possibly becoming Sony’s highest grossing film domestically and passing Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. I’d say it could go down domestically, but it has the potential to reach $1B worldwide. Little Women - it’s a drama film directed by Greta Gerwig and is based on the book of the same name. Columbia Pictures did a film based on Little Women back in 1994 and that was a success. I’d say it could go up from here. I’d say $60M Domestic and $80M Worldwide. Thoughts on the 2019 Slate: Besides not having Ghostbusters, Robert Langdon, or The Karate Kid on their side this year (Well, there’s Cobra Kai, I guess), I think Sony is going all out next year. This is probably one of the best lineups for 2019. There’s Angry Birds, Men in Black, Jumanji, Charlie’s Angels, and Spider-Man on the same year, along with possible smaller hits like Grudge and Little Women. They won’t be going against Paramount anymore, they can now go against Universal, Warner Bros, and possibly Disney. The Future: Regardless of what happens, I’m sure Columbia Pictures will live to see its 100th anniversary in 2024. Sony Pictures Animation will stay strong with a Peter Rabbit sequel, a Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse sequel, and a spinoff (though I don’t expect the Into the Spider-Verse movies to come out until 2021). Other upcoming Sony Pictures Animation films are The Mitchells vs. the Machines and Vivo. With the success of Venom, the Sony’s Universe of Marvel Characters will continue in 2020 with possibly Morbius and Venom 2. Even with the success of Venom, I doubt Sony would pull Spider-Man out of the biggest franchise ever after Far From Home. Bad Boys is coming back as Bad Boys for Life. Sony is getting more superheroes, this time from Valiant Comics starting with Bloodshot. Sony could start new franchises from video game adaptations like Watch Dogs and Uncharted (with Tom Holland as a young Nathan Drake). It seems like Sony is making a comeback, whether you like it or not.
[LONG] My Experience with Las Vegas Shooter Stephen Paddock - His Brother Says Revenge was the Motive and So Do I (includes links to news articles, credible web sites and blogs, and video interviews that back up every element of the story]
This is an email recently sent to journalists, attorneys and others. The two people addressed briefly at the beginning of this Email are a Paralegal at the Connecticut law firm of Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder https://www.koskoff.com who are suing gun manufacturers as part of their overall lawsuit strategy and doing the same in relation to Sandy Hook and independent journalist Mike Turber, one of the producers of the upcoming documentary Vegas Wrong, along with Ramsey Denison https://www.imdb.com/name/nm1774444/?ref_=nv_sr_1?ref_=nv_sr_1 , producer of the award winning documentary What Happened in Vegas https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6615426/?ref_=nm_knf_i2 Hi Lorena, The following is a very good overview of what I know of what happened in Las Vegas on October 1, 2017 - and I venture to say I know way more valid information than 99% plus of the population about this subject. It was originally sent to Mike Turber months ago. I have added comments where needed, but for the most part it was already very complete and well documented. Please let me know you received this, there are many links and a few images so not all email systems will treat this as serious correspondence. Thanks, Rodney Peterson Hi Mike, A week before you posted the videos with Eric (Paddock, Stephen Paddock's brother), I posted roughly 120 to 130 posts on Twitter in succession with links to back up everything I say. These are the original writings I culled those posts from. Eric Paddock interviews for Vegas Wrong: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPEmD5KKvb0 (Long) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=diofrf4nwaE&t=9s (Short) On his last day on Earth, just hours before committing the Las Vegas Mandalay Bay Route 91 Harvest Festival mass shootings in which he killed 59 people, including himself, Stephen Paddock won $860,000 playing video poker. Independent Journalist and Investigator Mike Turber has seen the official records. (while this is true, he LOST even more than that. This gives you an idea of just how fast paced and pressure filled becoming an addicted gambler playing video poker for up to 14 hours a day year-round can be). There is more about that specifically and about Mike Turber later in this email. Rodney Peterson You can also find an extended interview with the shooters brother Eric Paddock, who is speaking through Mike Turber on this video, and myself on the You Tube page of Weg Oag, who has posted many videos about the Las Vegas shootings here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zR1rBjtwHI&t=5s All of that is true. If you read my comments beneath, and there are many of them, you'll see that I've answered all the inconsistencies and reasonable objections anyone brought up. All of the interview and all of my writing is first and foremost based on the following. Without this, it's very unlikely I would have remembered meeting Stephen Paddock, let alone what he said with regards to wishing to extract revenge on the casinos through extreme violence. I did not remember it right away, it took several days after I read the comment below and it was not very clear at first. It took probably right around a week to actually remember everything accurately. Here it is copied and pasted from the Los Angeles Times website at which it was published on October 17, 2017 - two and a half weeks after the shootings where it was posted after an article about Jesus Campos appearing on the Ellen DeGeneres Show: robert.roberts0361 1 year (s) ago Quite a while back talked to that guy in an Edmonton casino about how the casinos cheat their patrons. Not a Muslim terrorist thing at all. Same guy Filipino girlfriend. Lived in a hotel in Vegas. Asked him why he came to an out of the way place like Edmonton. He said just to gamble. He mentioned he was a retired accountant. Talked about nothing you can do about the casinos cheating if you tried to sue they would bury you with their lawyers. He said he tried that once. He said he was going to do something about it. He mentioned something about a AR 15. I said I didn't know what that was (at the time) I'm retired military what would that be in military talk? He said M16. When I left I thought that guy is an American so he can't get guns in Canada. Can anyone figure out the dates he was up here. I recall he said he drove in from British Columbia and was on a 2 day stopover from a 19 day cruise when I met him. Maybe 30th September 2016??? Compare that with my conversation with him, which started as just being at the same Blackjack table where he and Marilou Danley were in the Excalibur, staring at me for half an hour or so while I played, then complimenting me on winning money as he noticed the mathematical progressions of my betting patterns, then his bizarre rant about the casinos cheating, and finally this exchange when talk of cheating became talk of revenge: "How? How are you going to get revenge on the casinos? They'll have you before you get ten feet on the floor!" "LOOK ALL AROUND YOU! WHADDAYA SEE?! WINDOWS!" Couple that with having nearly the same set of mental issues as Paddock. The major difference is I became obsessed with music and movies, not guns and not gambling 14 hours a day. I'm sure there are other differences as well, my contact with him was limited, but in retrospect, there was a ton of common ground. The types of personalities he and I have are not in the slightest bit desirable or advantageous. Especially when every effort is made to deny a problem even exists, as is the case with him. Anyone with these same issues and real introspection abilities would never have carried this out, they would look inside themselves first. He couldn't even blame himself for his own gambling issues, let alone anything else. How he even thought for a minute he would survive such a heinous act uncaught, unpunished and with impunity is probably pretty good proof he couldn't ever accept the reality of his predicament and mental disabilities. The reality is from what I know of him he didn't attempt to deal with problems in any constructive way and just let the anger keep building, it's toxic. Lots of people with these same issues snap violently and always will. Largely because of the introspection he apparently lacked, I know I would never get away with such an act, even if I wanted to, even on a much smaller scale, no matter how much I tried or wanted to. I knew immediately that comment was very important, it literally checked many of the boxes of what I instinctively believed, as well as had been originally reported, and urged the writer to contact the FBI. I had no idea when I read it I would have a similar story to tell, to say that was shocking when I began to remember my own encounter with Stephen Paddock is a huge understatement. You can find it at the comments posted underneath the linked Los Angeles Times article here. To find it click where it says Be the first to comment (I don't know why it's set up like that, but it is) when you do comments will open. Keep clicking until the comment above appears. Here is the link to the article: http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-jesus-campos-20171017-story.html It's extremely detailed as you can see, plus EVERYTHING FITS. A couple of important points - a retired military person would not have to know what an AR15 is, maybe they didn't have a huge interest in guns. And maybe they knew what it was but didn't know what it was called exactly. And the part about the two day stopover from Vancouver is irrelevant. ALL 19 day cruises to Alaska end with a two day stopover in Vancouver. That means Stephen Paddock had already disembarked, and did not have to go back to the ship at all. EXTREMELY IMPORTANT AND SOMETHING THE FBI COULD EASILY DO IF THEY WANTED TO GET TO THE TRUTH OF THE MOTIVE >>>>This would be easy to prove by checking passenger manifests for 19 day Alaska cruises that began in early to mid-September 2016 from the port of Vancouver. My experience with Stephen Paddock was very similar and is written in detail, particularly at Instagram. Telephone, text or Twitter are the best ways to contact me directly. I suspect he has aspergers as I do. That explains his obsession with numbers and math. That was why he wanted to talk to me - he saw I was using a mathematical system to win money. No one, before or since, has ever wanted to speak to me about using progressive math to win money, and that’s counting hundreds and hundreds of Casino Blackjack games. Very few people ever even notice it. Being obsessed with activities and collecting stuff is part of the aspbergers, I believe, another part is the math. He collected guns and gambled 14 hours a day at times. My obsession is not about those things, it’s about collecting music, movies and television series, on every conceivable format at one time or another. But it’s part of the same pattern of aspbegers. He’s unfriendly, he was annoyed I sat down at the same table he was playing at. He stared at me for a good half hour while we played, hardly saying a word. So he was both annoyed and studying the math I was using to place bets, which I didn’t know until after the game had ended for me, and he started talking about how I using math to win money. He thought that was smart. He is incapable of blaming himself for his problems. He lacks introspection. Losing money at gambling is not his fault, the casinos are cheating him. That’s what he told me and I disagreed. The casinos don’t need to cheat. He flies off the handle quickly. Disagreeing with him sent him into more of a rant about the casinos cheating, getting revenge, and finally when I asked how he was going to do that, yelling about shooting out of windows onto the Las Vegas Strip. It didn’t make a whole lot of sense, and even though he mentioned he lived at Mandalay Bay, which sounded like bullshit and I pretty much didn’t believe him, we were at The Excalibur which I’ve never thought of as a place with large windows, so it sounded even more ridiculous. All in all, it sounded like a fantasy of revenge that would never happen. Yet, clearly, 15 months before he did it, he already had a clear plan of how to proceed. I believe that over the next 15 months it gelled from an insane idea to a workable plan. But he still made a ton of mistakes. Otherwise, if he knew what he was doing when he shot at the jet fuel tanks, it could have been way, way worse. Just as an example of how inefficient the entire plan was. It is extremely frustrating not to get real traction on this part of the story being reported, and it seems to be a deliberate decision possibly made by people in power at various institutions that have an interest in not divulging these details. These include MGM Resorts and other casinos, for certain, which in turn have a large degree of influence over the FBI and Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, as well as media outlets, especially the Las Vegas Review Journal which is owned by casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. There are new stories being investigated and confirmed that concern other angles of this story that are not being disclosed by MGM Resorts. This includes MGM gifting security guard Jesus Campos with Real Estate in the form of Las Vegas condos to sign an NDA and not talk about the events, including that management knew there was a huge quantity of guns in the room but chose to ignore them because of Stephen Paddock's High Roller Status. This is according to his former brother-in-law, Luis Castro, and is partially documented in the article mentioned below. See this article, one of many written by Doug Poppa. It’s important to note his background is in casino security, while my story revolves around my experience with Stephen Paddock, and examines both psychology and a very strong case of explaining the motive as revenge against the casinos, which is what he told me in person. http://baltimorepostexaminer.com/exclusive-mgm-resorts-international-buys-mandalay-bay-security-officer-jesus-campos-silence-with-all-expenses-paid-trips-condos-in-exchange-for-nda/2018/12/09 Here are a couple of newer posts I’ve written at You Tube with relevant information about what Stephen Paddock told me: Regarding what Paddock shouted “LOOK ALL AROUND YOU! WHADDAYA SEE?! WINDOWS!!” and Doug Poppa saying he’s never seen windows in the Excalibur, he wasn’t talking about that casino. He was talking about the entire strip. It was pretty obvious. In fact, when he said it the image that came to mind was that he would shoot out of the windows of a central location, like Aria, not Mandalay Bay and certainly not Excalibur. Although he did tell me he lived at Mandalay Bay, which just added to how nuts I thought he was. People do not live at Mandalay Bay, and yet, he actually was very close to that, but I didn’t believe him. Naturally, when I remembered all this I felt horribly guilty I never reported it. But now I know thanks to the efforts of Doug Poppa interviewing Luis Castro it wouldn’t have made any difference at all. Mandalay Bay knew about the guns in the room and ignored them. They weren’t about to take my word over his no matter what I told them on July 6, 2016. He was a high roller, I was not. I didn’t know he was a high roller, of course, I just thought he was a disheveled angry nut. The interview also includes comments by Eric Paddock, who tries to negate my testimony in two ways. First, he claims Stephen Paddock didn’t play table games. Second, he tries to negate my memory of Stephen Paddock with a beard and mustache by saying he’s clean shaven. In both cases in the comments section I link to articles and photos that prove he did play Blackjack - for up to $2500 a hand. Photos of Stephen Paddock with a beard and mustache are easily found searching Google for images. All reasonable objections and any time I misspoke during the interview are addressed in my comments - there are a lot of them. A lot of people asked questions, but some were redundant and others just will not accept that this tragedy was not a conspiracy, or that it didn’t happen. Of course, it happened. And it wasn’t a conspiracy. Here is an early article from October 7, 2017 printed in the Las Vegas Sun confirming Stephen Paddock did indeed play Blackjack: https://lasvegassun.com/news/2017/oct/07/dealers-lv-gunman-paddock-would-spend-long-hours-p/ Excerpts from that article specifically about Blackjack: When one blackjack table dealer at the D Las Vegas first saw Stephen Paddock’s picture on television last week, she thought it was Paddock that had been shot — not the other way around. Upon later finding out Paddock was responsible for the deaths of 58 attendees and the injuries of nearly 500 more at last Sunday’s Route 91 Harvest Festival on the Las Vegas Strip, the dealer said she was surprised that a man she knew to be calm yet reclusive was responsible for the largest mass shooting in modern United States history. “He wasn’t the nicest guy, but he never came across as threatening,” said the dealer, who asked not to be identified. “Unpleasant in general, but he didn’t go out of his way to be rude or go after other people.” “I never would have thought he was capable of something like this, not him,” she added. The dealer was one of several to speak with the Sun about Paddock, who owned homes in Mesquite and Reno but spent his retirement years and the final weeks of life frequenting the tables and machines of downtown and Strip casinos. An avid blackjack player, Paddock also played video poker, interviewed dealers said. His girlfriend, Marilou Danley, enjoyed playing video slots when the two came to the casino together. Another female dealer at the D Las Vegas, who requested anonymity, said Paddock had been a regular at the casino for “many years,” gambling as many as four days a week and sometimes spending an entire afternoon shift between gaming tables and the upstairs video poker room. Despite betting up to $2,500 per hand on high-limit blackjack tables, Paddock was a poor tipper at first, she said. But he eventually came around when she gave him a hard time for “being cheap.” “I told him, ‘Steve, it would be nice if you started tipping me,’” she said. “From there on, he always left a fair tip.” Three other dealers at the D Las Vegas said they last remembered Paddock at the casino on Sept. 26, just five days before he opened fire from his 32nd floor hotel room onto the 22,000 attendees of the country music festival. SOME OF THE FOLLOWING IS REPEATED. THERE ARE OTHER AS YET NEW TO THIS EMAIL ANGLES OF THE STORY FOLLOWING THE REPEATED BACKGROUND INFORMATION. Independent Investigator and Journalist Mike Turber has seen official records confirming Stephen Paddock won $860,000 on September 30, 2017, just hours before he committed the Las Vegas shootings. However, that figure doesn’t include losses for the day, which are right around $890,000. Mike Turber, along with Ramsey Denison, who produced the documentary What Happened In Vegas, have interviewed me extensively on camera and in person. Mike Turber has stated that he observed my body language and other factors as a sort of lie detector test to determine if I was telling the truth without my knowledge which he states in that You Tube video. His conclusion is that either I am telling the truth or I believe I’m telling the truth. Mike Turber can be contacted here: [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) I believe, based on behavior, both Stephen Paddock and I have similar mental illnesses and Asperger’s syndrome. I believe that’s why he instinctively talked to me and noticed I was using the same type of mathematical formulas he did and was familiar with. (It works too 98% of the time the problem is it doesn’t work 100% of the time and that’s what you need). So was he crazy? Of course he was crazy! So am I. But instead of guns, my obsessions are artistic – movies, music, media production, and the like. There’s nothing I can do about the Asperger’s or High Functioning Autism that’s part of this. Like him I’ve had it all my life. You cannot fake this. I would never have even remembered meeting Stephen Paddock, let alone what he said to me about wanting revenge against the casinos if I hadn’t come across this post written after an article about Mandalay Bay security guard Jesus Campos appearing on the Ellen show. Everything here fits: robert.roberts0361 1 year(s) ago Quite a while back talked to that guy in an Edmonton casino about how the casinos cheat their patrons. Not a Muslim terrorist thing at all. Same guy Filipino girlfriend. Lived in a hotel in Vegas. Asked him why he came to an out of the way place like Edmonton. He said just to gamble. He mentioned he was a retired accountant. Talked about nothing you can do about the casinos cheating if you tried to sue they would bury you with their lawyers. He said he tried that once. He said he was going to do something about it. He mentioned something about a AR 15. I said I didn't know what that was (at the time) I'm retired military what would that be in military talk? He said M16. When I left I thought that guy is an American so he can't get guns in Canada. Can anyone figure out the dates he was up here. I recall he said he drove in from British Columbia and was on a 2 day stopover from a 19 day cruise when I met him. Maybe 30th September 2016??? You can find the original at the comments posted underneath the linked Los Angeles Times article here. To find it click where it says Be the first to comment (I don't know why it's set up like that, but it is) when you do the comments will open. Keep clicking until the comment above appears. Here is the link to the article: http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-jesus-campos-20171017-story.html It's extremely detailed as you can see, plus EVERYTHING FITS. A couple of important points - a retired military person would not have to know what an AR15 is, maybe they didn't have a huge interest in guns. Or maybe he knew what it was but didn't know what it was called exactly. And the part about the two day stopover from Vancouver is irrelevant. ALL 19 day cruises to Alaska end with a two day stopover in Vancouver. That means Stephen Paddock and Marilou Danley had already disembarked, and did not have to go back to the cruise ship at all. AND HOW TO PROVE THE EDMONTON STORY IS TRUE: Any FBI investigator or private investigator could prove if what Stephen Paddock told that commenter is true by checking passenger manifests for 19 day Alaska cruises that began in early to mid-September 2016. Unless Stephen Paddock and Marilou Danley were on that cruise, this person couldn’t have possibly known about it unless he was directly told by Stephen Paddock, as he says. THE FOLLOWING IS ALSO VERY IMPORTANT TO MOTIVE. THIS IS WHAT STEPHEN PADDOCK MEANT WITH REGARDS TO THE CASINOS CHEATING, NOT TRADITIONAL CHEATING. I don’t play Video Poker, so I had no idea what he meant by his talking about the casinos cheating that morning unless he had explained it to me, which he didn’t do. Here is another recent You Tube post I’ve written which details more about Stephen Paddock and Video Poker with links to yet more relevant information. There are several posts by myself near the bottom of the thread. Just like on my Instagram page, Rodney4K, you can see how the details of the memory of meeting Stephen Paddock was not at that time completely clear and changed as I remembered more and more of what happened. There are very rare video poker machines known as 9 over 6 Jacks or Better. If played perfectly they give the player 100.8% payout. But that's no guarantee. Someone figured out that in order to have a 90% chance of winning $140,000 you need at least a six million dollar bankroll. There is a whole thread about this and Paddock in one of Anthony Curtis columns on the Las Vegas Advisor website. Of course, beating the house long term is close to impossible. Even the Sheriffs department admits Paddock had lost a considerable amount of wealth prior to the shootings. There's also a report that he won $860,000 on the day of the shootings. But that figure doesn't include losses, which are reported to be some $890,000. Mike Turber knows the details of this. I have several comments in that article. Just like on my Instagram page, if you read them, you'll see how they change more and more as I start to remember meeting Stephen Paddock and what he said about getting revenge on the casinos. It was a very bizarre few days as that memory returned: https://www.lasvegasadvisor.com/gambling-with-an-edge/the-shooter-gambler-steven-paddock/ Because that blog is about gambling, many of the posts are about how much Stephen Paddock did gamble, his odds of winning and related subjects. It is this post from the above thread that appears to be the most accurate about the level of Video Poker Stephen Paddock played nearly every day: What everyone is forgetting is what kind of bankroll is required when playing 9/6 Jacks or Better at $125 a hand. According to Video Poker for Winners if you bet $125 a hand and you get 0.5% slot club return, which I think is generous for a strip club casino in 2015, you need over $6 million bankroll. And that is for a chance of going broke 10% of the time! If the average gambler can make this calculation so can a casino. There’s no way a casino is going to give you free rooms, food, shows, etc and at the same time let you win $5 million over the year! You can see how complicated it gets. Did he win the $5 million? Sure, probably several times. But at a cost that probably was more in the neighborhood of after 6 million dollars of losses. Another insightful commenter provided this information about changes in tax law under Donald Trump which would be something that could very much upset Stephen Paddock to the point of taking these drastic actions: I am surprised nobody has commented on an obvious angle to the Shooter’s profile. He had millions in Royal Fushes each year. At Tax Time those wins were undoubtedly counter balanced by his losses. Anthony Curtis related in the latest issue of LVA that the last 2 books purchased were about Taxes and Gambling Law. Under the Trump tax plan guess how much will be allowed to be written off as losses?? ZERO!!!!! That deduction dies and so with it will any AP (Advantage Play) play on VP. The Shooter was an accountant, he had to have knowledge of that reality. Anyone who plays VP, at any level above a $1200 Royal, would have to be an idiot to be in action under those conditions. The winning sum of $5,000,000 has been used in previous posts, Can you imagine having won $5,000,000 and subsequently losing that back plus an additional $500,000? You would not only be stuck the $500,000 but also owe the IRS another $1,000,000 to $2,000,000 in taxes on your non deductible winnings. How come nobody in the casinos is screaming about this? It will kill destroy $1 and up Slot and VP play. According to Mike Turber, who says he has seen the records, Stephen Paddock won $860,000 on September 30, 2017, just before the shootings. But, he also very likely lost $890,000 that very same day, according to the full accounting. This is also very important, in that besides my testimony of what happened when I met Stephen Paddock and when Robert Roberts met Stephen Paddock, here is a CNN article quoting his Caesars Palace host that says that when they switched out the high payoff machines, he stopped coming altogether. This helps give credence to the motive of being angry at the casinos, wanting revenge, and his belief the casinos were cheating. They don't cheat in the traditional sense - they don't have to, and that's why I disagreed with him and why he became angry. But, in his mind, switching out the higher payoff Video Poker machines for the ones that gave the house a better edge after years and years of playing them-I can see how he would equate that with cheating: https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/16/us/las-vegas-shooting-documents/index.html This is an excerpt from that CNN article: A man who worked for Caesars Entertainment who had known Paddock for years said Paddock was a regular guest for several years but Caesars took out his favorite video poker machines. Paddock was a skilled gambler, the casino host said, and he stopped coming once those games were taken out. The host said Paddock was an odd guy who either came to one of the Caesars properties alone or with his girlfriend, Marilou Danley. Danley was in the Philippines at the time of the shooting, and police said they don't think she was involved. Paddock, who killed himself, acted alone, police have said. The host said there was one incident years ago in which Paddock yelled at him over late luggage, something the host thought peculiar. When asked to specify why he thought Paddock was odd, the host said: "He was just weird." I'm also on Instagram where you can find more information. The Instagram account is not active, I can’t respond to it or anything anyone else chooses to write there, or edit or remove comments from others, but there are several posts there that are relevant. The top of the page explains which posts to look for by date that are relevant. www.Instagram.com/Rodney4K/ I also have a Twitter page, which is active, with brief tweets and through which I can be contacted for communication or chat: www.twitter.com/Rodney4KBluRay Rodney Peterson
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