New Day Rocks WrestleMania 33 With Final Fantasy

WWE faction The New Day rocked WrestleMania 33 with an assist from the legendary Final Fantasy videogame series. Serving as the hosts for WWE’s biggest event of the year, the team came out dressed as characters from Final Fantasy’s job system. Xavier Woods was dressed as a monk, Big E was decked out like a samurai, and Kofi Kingston made for a dashing red mage. The team even had a pushcart (filled with New Day ice cream, naturally) adorned with chocobos and moogles. Check out the clip below to see  New Day’s spectacular WrestleMania 33 entrance.

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Coffee Talk #671: The Best of 2016

Another year is in the books! Thanks so much for making RPad.TV a part of your 2016. To celebrate and reflect on the year that was, let’s take a look back at some of the best things of 2016. Naturally, when I mean “best,” I really mean “favorite.” (The idea of a movie or a record being “best” is…stupid.) Below is a “Best of 2016” list of my favorite movie, vaping gear, album, WWE Superstar, and more. I’d love to hear about your favorite anything and everything of 2016. Please share your personal highlights in the comments section. Now let’s do this!

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Random Thoughts on NXT Live Las Vegas December 2016

WWE’s NXT Live tour hit Las Vegas on December 17, 2016 and put on a solid show. The card featured great wrestlers that are ready for the main roster now, some wrestlers that are still trying to figure out their characters, and a few greenies that have a long way to go. Overall, it was an enjoyable NXT Live card with several memorable moments. If there was one takeaway from the show, it was that Tye Dillinger’s “10” gimmick is incredibly over.

Below are the results from NXT Live Las Vegas and some random thoughts on the show. Also, there are a bunch of bad photos taken with my mediocre iPhone 6 Plus. (*sigh* I should have brought my real camera.)

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Celebrate the Ridiculousness of Dwayne Johnson (Fast 8, Baywatch)

Former WWE Superstar and current sexiest man alive Dwayne Johnson recently appeared in a pair of new trailers. Both clips celebrate his status as the top leading man in Hollywood and the king of ludicrous movies. Both trailers are wonderfully absurd vertical slices of (what should be) wonderfully preposterous movies. Check ’em out below.

Let’s start with the first trailer for The Fate of the Furious, the movie formerly known as Fast 8. Like the previous Fast and the Furious movies, this one appears to have crazy race scenes, impossible action, a dangerous amount of testosterone, enjoyably bad acting, and overuse of the word “family.” The Fate of the Furious ups the ante by cleverly using a tank, a submarine, and a gorgeous South African woman (Charlize Theron).

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Coffee Talk #670: Help Me Understand Broken Matt Hardy

I don’t get Broken Matt Hardy. He looks stupid. He sounds stupid. And his gimmick is stupid. For reasons that completely escape me, Broken Matt Hardy is incredibly over with smart marks. While I respect and appreciate his late-career resurgence, I don’t understand why pro-wrestling fans are into Broken Matt Hardy (Matt Hardy Version 4?). Hopefully you can help me understand the phenomenon.

Let’s start with the new and not-at-all improved look. Broken Matt Hardy has a Gentile-fro…with a white streak. He was never chiseled, and at age 42 looks softer than ever. The first time I saw a photo of him in 2016, I thought it was a photo of Eugene, the mentally challenged WWE character. I can’t be the only smark that noticed the resemblance. Whatever the case, I can’t think of a reason why a pro-wrestler would want to look like Eugene, unless he was playing a mentally challenged character.

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Coffee Talk #668: Thank You Daniel Bryan!

The first time I saw Daniel Bryan wrestle was at a Ring of Honor show in Chicago Ridge, IL in 2006. He was still working under his real name, Bryan Danielson. My excellent friend Justin and I were there to support our buddy Austin Aries (the greatest man that ever lived). As expected, Aries killed it. The bonus was the hours of spectacular wrestling I wasn’t expecting. The guys from Japan — Genki Horiguchi, Dragon Kid, and Blood Generation — were spectacular. Delirious totally cracked me up. Most importantly, that night made me a mark for Bryan Danielson and Claudio Castagnoli. The two would go on to have tremendous success in the WWE as Daniel Bryan and Antonio Cesaro, respectively.

Last night on WWE Monday Night Raw, Daniel Bryan announced his retirement. He’s only 34-years old, but due to multiple concussions, he has to call it quits as pro-wrestler. It’s sad that he won’t be able to do what he loves. Selfishly, I’m bummed that he won’t be able to sports-entertain me any longer. Still, his short career in the WWE was a remarkable one. He connected with the fans in a powerful and unconventional way. While he was always among the best technical wrestlers in the WWE, he didn’t have “the look” or the size of a typical WWE headliner. Instead, Daniel Bryan connected with the fans with unusual honesty and earnestness. He was amazing in the ring and went about his work with a contagious joy. While I thought he would do well in the WWE, I never imagined that he’d headline WrestleMania and become the most “over” guy on the roster.

In addition to the Chicago Ridge show in 2006, I also saw Daniel Bryan wrestle in Detroit in 2007. There was so much I enjoyed about this guy. As a hair metal connoisseur, I loved that he used “The Final Countdown” as his entrance song. I got a kick out of him grabbing the mic from the ring announcer so that he could append his introduction with, “The best wrestler in Chicago this weekend.” His in-ring style was fantastic — a wonderful blend of technical wrestling and high-flying. His use of old-school moves, like the airplane spin, was outstanding. I loved when Daniel Bryan would remind the ref, “I have ’til five!” While he was still Bryan Danielson, Daniel Bryan was everything I wanted from an indie wrestler.

A photo posted by Raymond Padilla (@rpadtv) on

So yeah, those were the first two times I saw Daniel Bryan in person. The last time was in 2013. This time around, he was a full-blown WWE Superstar and a huge deal. I was doing red carpet interviews at a charity event for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Despite his crazy success, it was fantastic to see that Daniel Bryan was still a goofy, laid-backed guy. Off camera, we chatted about our mutual friend Austin Aries, as well as his suddenly-improved wardrobe. His then-girlfriend (now wife) Brie Bella gave him a fashion makeover. He was still proud of his corduroys, which he had for a long time (and totally didn’t match the rest of an otherwise slick ensemble). Daniel Bryan had made it big, but Bryan Danielson was still the guy under the new suit.

As many longtime RPadholics know, after Shawn Michaels retired, I put all my WWE hopes and dreams on Daniel Bryan and Antonio Cesaro. The latter is out with an injury and the former just retired. *sigh* I loved Daniel Bryan’s WWE run (despite the lack of “cattle mutilation“). It was probably the last time I greatly enjoyed the WWE product. While he didn’t have the longevity of many “top guys” in WWE history, his star was one of the brightest that ever burned.

Coffee Talk #665: The Best Hurricanrana

Last week while I was reading about hurricane Patricia, my mind drifted and I started thinking about hurricanranas. The first time I saw the move was in a match between two Japanese wrestlers. I couldn’t believe what I saw! At the time, mat wrestling and power moves were the norm in pro-wrestling. Jimmy Snuka’s superfly splash was as dynamic as it got. Years later, Scott Steiner popularized the move on American wrestling programs; it was the same deal — lots of wrestling fans couldn’t believe the move. These days, hurricanranas are fairly common, but they still get a nice pop from the crowd. Today’s Coffee Talk is about your favorite hurricanrana. Please let me know which wrestler you think does it best and, if you can remember, your reaction to the first hurricanrana you ever saw.

As for me, I’m torn between two variations of the hurricanrana. First up is Dragon Kid’s Dragonrana. It’s a top-rope somersault into a hurricanrana. The move requires great timing from both wrestlers, particularly the receiver. In order for Dragon Kid to change momentum and make the move aesthetically appealing, the receiver has to executive a powerful flip. Check it out the Dragonrana below.

Next up is the tope con hilo hurricanrana. Part of me loves the move simply because I often refer to it as the Cornholio hurricanrana and imagine Beavis doing it. It’s similar to the Dragonrana, but the tope con hilo hurricanrana has the opponent on the floor and the executor starting inside the ring. Many fans think of it as a suicide senton into a hurricanrana. The tope con hilo hurricanrana is arguably more dynamic than the Dragonrana, but I find the former more impressive because the latter gives the receiver a few seconds to adjust for mistakes. Check out the tope con hilo hurricanrana below, performed by WWE Superstar Neville when he was known as Pac.

Now it’s your turn! Kindly let me know about your favorite hurricanrana and your first hurricanrana experience. In case you need a refresher, check out the clip below with ten excellent ‘ranas.