WWE Money in the Bank 2014 Review

I’m a wrestling fan. That’s right I said it. I LOVE wrestling. Everything from the storylines and the characters to the epic matches excites me. That being said, you can bet that I watched WWE’s Money in the Bank pay-per-view event last night. I have been looking forward to this show for months, especially since this event would be live in Boston, my second home. Although I couldn’t be in Boston to see the show live, I watched excitedly from the comfort of my living room. I was beyond hyped and I am even more hyped to post my thoughts on the WWE Money in the Bank 2014 event. When it comes to the WWE, I am full of opinions so get ready for a rather lengthy post.

 

The show started off with a long awaited return of the great Daniel Bryan, former WWE World Heavyweight Champion, who had his title stripped away a few weeks ago due to a serious neck injury. He had the crowd going wild but was soon joined by the inspirational, sensational, and my one of my personal favorites Bo Dallas. Bo is rather new to the WWE lineup but most fans know him from NXT fame. Anyway, Bo entered the TD Garden happy and hopeful as usual. He proceeded to tell Daniel Bryan that, despite him losing his titles, he could definitely make it back to the top as long as he continues to “bo-lieve”. Let’s just say that Bryan wasn’t too stoked about Dallas’s peppy and optimistic attitude and quickly shot him down by calling him a “bo-ner” and that he should “bo-leave”. As Dallas stood there speechless, the entire stadium cheered on Bryan. This was an excellent start to the show because I’m sure a lot of fans thought that it was about time to knock the undefeated newbie Bo Dallas off his high horse and no one was more suited to do this than the beloved former World Heavyweight Champion. But the real excitement was when the actual matches began.

 

I was pleased with the majority of these matches. The first match of the evening between The Usos and The Wyatt Family was a WWE Tag Team Title match. Defending champions, The Usos, came out strong and full of energy from the very beginning and beat their rivals, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan of the Wyatt Family. It was a much-deserved win as they both worked diligently to show the Wyatt’s once and for all that they were the better tag team.

 

The Divas match between Paige (Diva’s Champion) and Naomi was probably the best Divas match I’ve seen in a VERY long time. Neither of them held out on this performance and went above and beyond to provide one of the greatest matches of the entire evening, in my opinion. It was a constant back and forth between these two ladies but for the majority of the match it looked like Naomi would come out victorious. While I love Paige, I was excited to see if Naomi could win the title. Naomi is a strong player and seems to hit harder and harder as fights progress. I personally thought that Paige was getting her ass handed to her and was getting progressively weaker. In the end, Paige came out on top. Many will say that Naomi deserved to win this, but her time will definitely come. Paige is great and unique in that she is so young and I would love for her to hold onto that title a little bit longer. I believe that it would strengthen her rivalry with Naomi even more and possibly create more tension amongst the rest of the Divas.

Now, I’m going to keep it super brief when I write about the Sandow v. Adam Rose, Rusev v. Big E, and Layla v. Summer Rae matches because I honestly didn’t think there was anything special here. As per usual, Damien Sandow went on stage, insulted the audience, and was quickly defeated. I love Adam Rose and his Exotic Express. They are a hoot and a holler and I can’t help but jump around the room singing his theme music when they enter the stadium. But, I feel that Adam Rose deserved a better match. He has so much potential and I can easily see him eventually rising to the top. As for Sandow, he has become a joke and is basically only brought out as comedic relief. The match between Rusev and Big E received a huge yawn from me. This match was also predictable in that Rusev won with his same old signature move in basically the same amount of time as all of his matches. I would’ve liked to see him be defeated for once just to stir the pot. If he were to be defeated, I can definitely see him growing in anger and his hunger for triumph. But this would also add an element of revenge to his rather weak storyline. I would for sure be interested in a match where Rusev seeks revenge after being defeated in a long epic battle. Finally, the Summer Rae v. Layla match was as weak as any match could get with an equally weak storyline. Basically these two ladies are fighting over a male wrestler named Fandango who was a guest referee for this match. There was a short fight, Layla won, she got Fandango, and Summer Rae cried. It was terrible. It would’ve been nice to see Summer Rae win in a more lengthy fight, not only to provide more exposure and respect for the Divas Division, but also to make this storyline more interesting. This could add more depth to their storyline! Basically, I crave better storylines for all of the wrestlers mentioned.

 

The tag team match of Goldust and Stardust against Rybaxel was perfect. We got to see more of Stardust and how he truly will become the face of the Rhodes Brothers. Goldust is getting old and, if you think about it, he could retire at any moment. So by giving Cody Rhodes the persona of Stardust and allowing him to grow into this beautiful, amazing character, we are sure to see great things coming from him in the future. This match made me happy as can be. I applaud the Rhodes Brothers on an excellent win and for being great wrestlers overall. They are brilliant!

 

With the Contract Ladder match I’m pretty sure everyone was expecting either Seth Rollins or Dean Ambrose to win and that the majority of the match would consist of the two of them attacking each other mercilessly. It made sense seeing as Ambrose would show up at every one of Rollins’ matches and ambush him right in the middle of a fight. He was furious about Seth Rollins betraying The Shield. They shared a special bond as a team. They were the “Hounds of Justice” for Christ’s sake! For someone who was part of a team who fought in the name of all things just, to side with The Authority and betray his friends by brutally attacking them did not seem just or right by any means. As a result, Seth Rollins opened a new chapter in his career. He was on a powerful side of The Authority now and I guess one of the perks of joining them was more airtime and some nice leather pants. I love this rivalry and how we get to see the personalities of each of these formal friends. Seth is on top of the world while Dean is out for vengeance. That’s what this match was all about. Everyone else who partook in this match didn’t seem to matter to anyone else and I think when The Demon Kane (a member of The Authority) unexpectedly entered this match, we all knew Seth would win. From that point on, I as well as many other fans expected Roman Reigns to win the title of World Heavyweight Champion in the final match. For me, if Roman didn’t win, I would have loved to see Randy Orton (a member of The Authority) win. As I mentioned before, I am all about juicy storylines and if Orton won, Seth Rollins could cash in his contract at any time to battle Randy Orton for a chance at the World Heavyweight title. It would be a match for the ages. Two members of the same evil team going at it, creating divides within The Authority.

 

Before I knew it, the final ladder match arrived and what a match it was. The fight to climb the ladder to grab the two belts (World Heavyweight Champion belt & WWE Champion belt) was one to remember. Before it even began, I was expecting Roman Reigns and / or Randy Orton to absolutely dominate and the other participants trying but not being as powerful as Reigns. Oh, how wrong I was. I could have done without Bray Wyatt and Alberto Del Rio in this match and possibly even Kane although I know he is a big player in this storyline between The Shield and The Authority. But, you know what, I was not expecting Sheamus to really be a top player in this match. Sheamus absolutely astounded me and I became an even bigger fan after seeing him fight in this ladder match. Most participants would drop out as soon as they were hit and we wouldn’t see them enter the ring once more until quite a while later, especially with John Cena and Dolph Ziggler. When Randy Orton got seriously injured and began to bleed from the crown of his head, I figured Reigns had this in the bag. He would win and the storyline would progress as predicted. No. In the end, John Cena came out of nowhere and grabbed the belts to win his 15th World Heavyweight title. Now, doesn’t 15 seem a bit ridiculous? Well that’s how the majority of WWE fans feel as well. How in God’s name are they going to write this into the storyline?! I know John Cena has an alliance with Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose but it wasn’t big enough to be recognized, in my opinion. They should have played more on their alliance and built it up to make it more powerful. John Cena winning was a huge shock to everyone and an undeserving one in the eyes of most fans. A friend of mine who was at TD Garden for the event recalled the stadium booing Cena upon his win. I’m really hoping that something good and epic comes out of this. I’m also hoping that tonight’s Monday Night Raw will play upon this immediately to get the ball rolling. Also, as a random side note, I would’ve loved to see Bad News Barrett compete in this match but due to his shoulder injury, I knew that his participation wasn’t likely.

 

For the most part, I loved this event! I was on the edge of my seat through out the whole show. While I was quite pleased with most of the results, there are some things that irked me beyond belief. I apologize for this post being rather lengthy as this is my first WWE analysis and there were a lot of things that I wanted to comment on. I’m hoping to improve by doing more of these posts in the future.

 

How did you feel about WWE’s 2014 Money in the Bank?

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Sleepy and Soaked: Why I’m Not a Morning Runner

Seeing as I woke up at 4am this morning, I figured that I should try going for a morning run. Usually my runs happen during the late afternoon or on a gym treadmill due to the crumby Florida weather so I thought this would be a nice little change.

First of all, I want to mention how difficult it was for me to run in the morning. Not only was I thrown off by the time of day, but my body was totally not ready for this measly 3 mile run. One of the main reasons why I never really hit the pavement in the morning is because of how sleepy my body still is. When I run later in the day I know that my body has had an adequate amount of time to wake up and move around. My day’s activities have had me moving around enough where I can take on any distance without feeling groggy.

Another reason has to do with fuel. This morning my stomach felt so empty and weird, like I was trying to digest something that wasn’t even there. I would have eaten something but whenever I eat immediately before a run, I start to cramp up and feel gross, to put it simply. Before working out or running I like knowing that I have eaten a nice nutritious meal and have had a decent amount of time to digest before getting active. With this approach, I feel more energized and avoid unwanted trips to the bathroom.

Finally, ending my day with a run or a workout just feels great. I can just hop into the shower, chow down at dinner, and go to bed feeling totally relaxed and accomplished. Even if I haven’t really done anything all day, I can go to sleep knowing that I did do something beneficial for my body and my training. Oh, and let me just add that running as the sun sets is absolutely beautiful.

I bet some readers were expecting me to mention how the air is cooler in the evening or in the morning. But, in reality it’s equally as cool in the morning as it is in the evening so I see no huge difference in that category. Just don’t run midday. It’s the easiest way to feel extremely burned out super quick.

Also, as a side note, I got rained on this morning which put a huge damper on how I felt toward the end of my run. I usually hear from people talk about how magical and fun it is to run in the rain, but for me it was a watery hell. I could barely keep my eyes open because of all of the water being pelted directly into my face. My shoes also got super soaked. Running or walking in soggy shoes / socks makes me shudder. It’s just not a good feeling.

I’ll end this post with a picture of me looking like a drowned rat post-run. Ayeee.Image

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Oh Treadmill, My Treadmill

Let’s face it, Florida during the summer is as wet and humid as it can get. Sure, I love coming home for the summer and taking in the warmth, especially after spending 9 months in the frozen tundra of Boston. But, since I’ve decided to train for the 2 upcoming half marathons, Florida has become my worst enemy. From the mosquitos to the unrelenting storms, I absolutely hate how it completely throws off my running schedule. I was looking forward to completing all of my training runs on the road but I’ve had no choice but to create some sort of friendship with treadmills.

Since coming home, I made it a priority to sign up for a gym membership at a relatively large gym so I wouldn’t have to deal with overcrowding. Seeing as most people in Florida are into achieving bulging muscles and rock hard bods (I am one of those people), hitting the weights becomes a challenge during certain times of the day. On the other hand, there is a huge surplus of treadmills in my gym. Upon discovering this my first few times at the gym, I thought that it was a nice little touch. But with how wet, humid, and dangerous the weather has been lately, the cardio section surplus has been a lifesaver. I write this with a bitter taste in my mouth.

Luckily, only a few of my training runs have been on a treadmill while the majority have been on the road. Although, I do feel like the amount of treadmill runs will increase as my training schedule progresses. Now, you might be asking, “Why are you so bitter? What’s not to love about running on a treadmill? You have air conditioning, speed control, and you don’t have to deal with mother nature.”

No offense to lovers of the ‘mill, but I’m about to drop my stone cold opinions on y’all. First of all, I hate the predictability that comes with running indoors on a treadmill. On a race day, you can’t expect things to go as planned. Anything can happen in terms of the race course (i.e. incline, decline, amount of racers) and the weather. When I ran the B.A.A. 5k (my first race ever), I was expecting frigid  weather with a relatively flat course. That was not the case. I found myself shedding some of my layers and experiencing some incline / decline changes. While most people would find this annoying, I liked the change and the thought of running into the unknown. In short, it’s thrilling.

To me, running is about working hard and continuing despite any circumstances. If it’s hot on race day, I’ll have to deal with it. If it’s cold, I’ll deal with it. If it rains, yeah, I’ll have to deal with it. But if it’s dangerous outside, you can bet that a race will be cancelled. I only use treadmills when I feel that it is or can get dangerous outside.

As for speed control, I like that I can adjust a treadmill to get faster thus challenging myself to keep up. But sometimes I find myself wearing myself out too quickly or pushing myself way too hard. I guess you can call me an occasional speed control abuser. With half or full marathon training, your goals should dictate your training. For people who want to increase their race pace, upping your speed is essential. But for people like me who simply want to finish their first race in a decent amount of time, it’s about learning to conserve energy and know your limits while gradually upping your mileage. When I run on the road, I know to take it slow and how to fluctuate my pace in a way that will help me see results while remaining injury-free. But because of the non-stop stormy weather that passes through South Florida, I need to learn how to find my balance on a treadmill.

Eventually, I know that I will feel more comfortable and confident on a treadmill. I will find my balance and finally see the treadmill as an effective training tool when road running isn’t an option. I hope that day comes soon. But until then, I will have to deal with my issues and keep at it. I need to look past these problems and distractions because, after all, any run is better than no run at all.

Anyway, today is, yet again, a dark stormy day and I will have to retreat to a gym treadmill. Wish me luck.

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My First Kinda 10k

Saturday was the closest I’ve ever been to a 10k. Throughout the day I dreaded hitting the pavement for my 6 mile long run. 5 miles already seemed like a scary distance so you can imagine how I felt about adding on that extra mile, especially when it comes to my knee. Since I began my training journey, I’ve had a few problems with my left knee. It’s nothing serious though. It just feels a bit painful after a while. I figure that it’s either my IT band or runner’s knee. I am not too certain though because it is sometimes difficult to pinpoint the exact source of the pain on my knee.

Anyway, I started at around 6pm just as the sun was about to set. The sun was less brutal and the humidity not as bad. For me 6 miles is pretty far and I wondered where my run would take me. I don’t plan my course ahead of time because I kind of like making my runs an adventure. I know running around my Florida neighborhood during the summer does not compare to my runs in Boston during the school year but I like being able to explore my surroundings. Along with my Spotify running playlist, not mapping out my runs keeps me from getting bored. I found myself running through various streets and around a local park which was bustling with activity. While I definitely had fun, this time around I did make one mistake.

Chugging water. Oh, how it destroyed me post-run! Even during my last 2 miles I felt the water slushing around in my stomach, as gross as that sounds. It felt almost as bad as running a little too soon after eating a meal. Because of this, I definitely learned two important lessons:

  1. Sipping saves
  2. Just because you’re going on a longer run does not mean that you need to fill up on water while you’re on the course. If you hydrate well before your run, you should be golden.

By the time I ended my run, I felt exhausted and like a walking water tower. A couple hours later I felt super nauseous and begged my family to pick up some saltines and gatorade for me. Each run provides new learning experiences and I definitely learned my lessons on this long run.

I also thought that I should bring up the issue of taking walking breaks. Yes, I do indeed take walking breaks on my run. I never did cross country in high school nor did I take running seriously until the past couple of years. So I guess you could say I’m a newbie to this. I went from wanting to run 3 miles to wanting to run 13.1 miles. But, with each and every run I do see improvements in my endurance and I’m sure that by the time I get to my first half marathon, I will be extremely overjoyed by my progress. Greatness takes time and effort. Things don’t happen overnight and I am 100% okay with that because I know that one day I will reach my goal and (hopefully) nail it.

Note: I will probably be posting training related musings after each weekly long run unless something comes up during another run. Special thanks to those who read and liked my first running post and for those of you who decided to follow my blog. It really means a lot!

 

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Lifestyle Changes and Fitness Goals

Seeing as I’m home from college for the summer, I figured I should start updating this blog again. I know my first real post was about film, but now it’s time to learn a little bit more about me.

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One of my biggest passions is fitness. A little over a year ago I realized how overweight and unhappy I was with myself. I always felt self-conscious and out of place wherever I went. I would compare myself to everyone around me and become stressed out over how out of place I felt. I just wanted to hide in my room and sleep all day and that’s exactly what I did for a good portion of my freshman year.

The summer following my freshman year is when I decided to make a change. The only way to make myself feel better and more confident was to actively do something. I went to the gym and fell in love with working out immediately. I loved all of the challenges that I faced when going to the gym, both mentally and physically. What I loved even more was conquering those challenges. I found myself getting stronger with each workout. Learning to eat clean was definitely one of my bigger struggles but I eventually figured it out. Eating clean and healthy is now second nature to me. I carried out this new lifestyle through my sophomore year and into the present. In lost a total of 24 pounds. I even found myself doing a 5k race during Boston Marathon weekend, something I never thought I would be able to do.

This only scratches the surface of how health obsessed I am but this little bit of background is necessary in order for me to tell you about my recent goals.

Following the 5k, I made it my goal to become a better runner. I was great at strength training and sure the elliptical and indoor bikes are swell, but running was not my strong suit. So after that Boston Marathon weekend, I decided that I wanted to run a half marathon. I signed up for RunDisney’s Walt Disney World Half Marathon as soon as registration opened. Since that race is in January, I decided to also run the B.A.A. Half Marathon in October. You know, even out the playing field a bit by having one race during the Fall Semester and one in the Spring Semester.

I am using a 20-week half marathon-training plan and am currently on my 5th week of training. I couldn’t be any more proud of how far I’ve come and how much closer I’m getting toward my goals. These past 5 weeks and the upcoming week are basically dedicated to building a bit more endurance so I can start the more rigorous portion of the plan. Yesterday was my first run of the week (skipped the first 2 runs of the week that were on Sunday and Tuesday…oops). The distance was 5 miles but due to super rainy weather I had to come up with a game plan. Seeing as it was pretty cloudy I thought, ‘Hey! The sun isn’t gonna beat down on me. It shouldn’t be that bad’. Wrong-o. It was extremely humid and the heat was unbearable. I’m used to running during sunset when it’s much, much cooler out. I ran about 2.5 miles before I went home feeling kind of sick.

But, I’m not really one to give up so easily. I decided to call that my warm-up run (pun not intended). I refueled, rested, and went to the gym to start my 5-mile run via treadmill. At first I was a bit worried about not getting the most out of my run because it wasn’t a road run and was on a machine that basically had a cushioned conveyer belt that would move my legs for me. I was expecting it to be too easy. Well, I was wrong. It was just as tough as any training run I’ve had so far and in the end I was pretty satisfied. While I’m determined to run a huge majority of my training runs outdoors, I learned that there’s nothing wrong with using a treadmill when absolutely needed. Unless I’m dying of sickness, I guess this means I have no excuse to miss runs from now on.

Anyway, I apologize for the long blog post. I wanted to provide some context for later health / running related blog posts but also catch you all up with what’s happening in my life recently. I will do my best to update this blog regularly with posts about my training and other things that may happen to me. But, yeah, expect TONS of health / running posts…tons.

 

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Alone in a Dark Room

We do it all the time.

I am sure all of us have found ourselves sitting in a room, the only light source coming from a TV or computer screen, watching a movie or TV show all alone.

Within the confines of a home, this is totally okay. Heck, the act of watching movies and shows stag has become an acceptable practice in almost any location. A special shout out can be given to tablets, smartphones, Netflix, and HBO Go for making this dream a reality. But, if it is totally normal for someone to be in complete solitude and stare at a tiny screen for hours at a time, then why is it socially unacceptable for someone to go to a movie theater alone?

This thought constantly came to mind whenever I found myself being turned down by my buds after asking if they would like to see “that great film that just came out. Ya know, the one with (insert actor / actress here). I showed you the trailer weeks ago.”

Many a time have I wanted to see a film and passed because I was scared of going stag. Who goes to the theater alone, right? Well, it was about time I conquered that petty fear. That’s right, today I went to a theater and saw a movie solo. And you know what? It was pretty awesome.

After a long day of traveling from Ft. Lauderdale to Boston, I decided that I should unwind by catching a flick at one of the many theaters nearby. During my hour-long layover in Atlanta, I frantically messaged people asking whether they would like to catch up and see a movie. After receiving quite a few replies of rejection, I decided that today would be my day. It was time for me to suck it up and do what I wanted to do and I was going to like it too.

Originally I planned on seeing Nebraska at the historic Coolidge Corner Theater. But by the time I dropped off my baggage in my dorm, I decided that I would be cutting it close. Finally I decided on seeing The Dallas Buyers Club.

I will admit, I did feel a bit awkward standing in line alone to get my usual popcorn and water. But nothing could really compare to the feeling of sitting in a theater and noticing how everyone had some sort of movie partner with them. It was odd. I never really noticed this before but that is probably because I always went with a buddy myself.

But anyway, there I was. It was me, my popcorn, and an empty seat on each side of me. Throughout the film I found myself feeling contemplative.  I became quite reflective not only of the film but of myself. It was that similar feeling of self-awareness that one gets as they practice yoga. In that moment, this was my ananda (“bliss”).

I found that being alone allowed me to focus more on every aspect of the film. This included everything from the character development to the set up of each and every shot. Eventually I began to think about who I am as a storyteller and a filmmaker. I thought about where I wanted to take my craft. What did I like about the film? Why did I like it? If I did not like something, how would I go about doing it? I was lost in the film and by the time the credits were rolling, I was sure that I had it all figured out.

Walking out of the theater, I felt refreshed. I had this newfound confidence that I could take on the world one screening room at a time.

Would I see a film all by myself again? Absolutely. If anything, I highly recommend taking yourself out on a movie date. You get in there, just you and your popcorn, and tell me how you feel after.

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Howdy

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This blog is a collection of my thoughts on film & television, fitness, and life. I am on a journey, as we all are, and this is my way of documenting it.  I am constantly finding myself and exploring the world around me.

Take off the coat and stay a while, will ya?

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