After I tried to stop this series and start a new series (which failed), I am back in the driver's seat for King's Survivor's final phase, since it would probably have lasted longer if Adobe didn't cancel Flash (thanks for rushing my series, mate!). This season, I tried to do what u/swoldow did before and make a season called Saints Vs Sinners, where 10 people who embody the term "Saint" will face off against the people who embody the term "Sinner", but unfortunately, it seemed like a lot of the people who signed up misunderstood the definition of saints and sinners. For the love of god, someone who is slightly villainous is not a "sinner", and average people are not "saints". Oh well. I guess it's the best I'm gonna get. Here is the cast: Kahramanca (Saints) Tribe: Ardet Prifti, 31, Rhythm Guitarist, u/Twig7665 Ardet lived a difficult life. Born in Albania with a family that was associated with the mafia meant that Ardet was never safe, and one day, he came back home to find his whole family had been murdered by the Albanian mafia. He spent years on the street, struggling to survive, before he discovered his musical talent. He played a guitar (which he had to steal), which enabled him to earn money. After a few years of doing that, he moved to the United States, where he did his best to get into the largest music college in that country, and actually succeeded. He met some people that became his bandmates, and soon they were pretty popular in the underground scene. When their fame exploded, Ardet's bandmates grew either egotistical or paranoid, but Ardet saw fame as a way to spread awareness for mental illness. He has now become a strong supporter of mental health charities around the country, and he signed up for Survivor to raise money for one of the charities he supports. Ava Chrisly, 23, Kindergarten Teacher, u/Gemini_B Ava was born deaf. After her father died when she was 3, her birthmother struggled to care for her and her 3 siblings. Ava was especially tough since she needed special treatment and one night her birthmother left her on the doorstep of a rich widow with a note explaining how Ava got there. The Widow, not wanting to deal with a deaf child, left her outside where she spent a cold night alone and scared. She came across Marissa, a young girl who ran away from home. Marissa took pity on her and the two banded together. They spent years together on the street with Ava learning to read lips and Marissa learning sign language. Marissa quickly saw that Ava had a gift with children and encouraged her to find a job with kids. Ava didn’t want Marissa to leave, but then Marissa surprised her by revealing she had a scholarship to a teachers college. Ava went off to the collage and became a kindergarten teacher, but when she returned she learned that Ava had gone to jail for stealing from a rich old woman and using the money to bribe a college administrator. Ava promised she’d help bail Marissa out, and learned about survivor. She’s hoping she can win the million to help free Marissa and get their lives on track. Chelsea Rutherford, 22, Lifeguard, u/IAmWolfNinja Chelsea was the heiress to the throne of a foreign country with a corrupt government. The wealth that came with such a status meant nothing to her, since she was utterly disgusted with the actions of her family. Knowing her resentment for their governmental policies, Chelsea's family gradually became verbally abusive towards her. Unable to take any more, she escaped as a teen to pursue her own path. When she arrived in America, Chelsea wanted to do everything she could to erase her dark past and the actions of her family, so she got a job as a lifeguard, where she has saved countless lives. She's occasionally recognized as an heiress, but when it's brought up, she tends to have nervous breakdowns. Chester "Cap'n" Richardson, 67, Retired Naval Officer, u/swoldow Some may see him as just the average old man, but Cap’n has seen and done things most people couldn't fathom. Cap’n joined the navy at a ripe young age about 5 years before the Cold War began, and learned everything from afar, slowly working up the ranks. When things got bad in Vietnam, he was given the chance to take charge of a ship during the war, and he immediately said yes. He ran the ship strictly, but he got both respect from everyone, as well as being genuinely liked as a person by his crew. He led them to many naval victories but unfortunately that didn't last, when his ship was shot with a torpedo, which blew the whole thing up and killed everyone on it, except for Cap’n. With the emotional baggage of watching people he has gotten to know kick the bucket, he immediately resigned from the navy after. As a result of the shipwreck, his mindset has changed, as he’s now super overprotective of his family, and still can't let the explosion go after years and years of retirement. He hopes Survivor can help him learn more about himself, and be the thing he needs to live the rest of his life in peace. Cornelius Von Helton, 52, CEO, u/Gemini_B Cornelius was raised by a family that had fallen from riches and was in tough times. He never expected to get to go to university but got lucky by getting a scholarship for his creative greeting cards. While at university, he enrolled in a business course and after collage started a greeting card business with some friends. All of his friends quickly gave up on the business, but Cornelius stuck through it. When he made a greeting card that was delivered to Eddie Murphy, the comedian was impressed and hired him to do his greeting cards to his friends, family, and invitations to parties. Quickly other celebrities started to hire his business and many fans wanted to get into the trend. His business rapidly expanded and he soon found himself with a company that covered parties, greeting cards, published books and even dabbled in a touch of Realestate. While in his thirties though, Cornelius was mugged while on a walk in the park and got stabbed. He was quickly rushed to the hospital and while there, he was nursed back to health by his soon to be wife. He claims that she saved his life and proceeded to date her after leaving the hospital. She was reluctant at first, but he quickly charmed her and the two have been married for 15 years now. He has two children, a son aged 10 and a daughter aged 8. He's continued to run his business, but leaves most of the work to his higher-ups as he wants to be able to spend as much time with his family and employees as possible. He views his employees as his family and does his best to remember all their names and make the workspace as nice for them as possible. He's come to survivor because his wife loves the show and wanted to compete, but due to growing health issues can't. She's trained him to win, and he wants to do this and win for her. Dana Vasquez, 43, Stay At Home Mom, (filler character) Greg Zimmer, 40, High School Teacher, u/AngolanDesert Greg is one of the nicest people you will ever meet. He is very trusting and kind and will do anything for the people he loves. Since he grew up in Texas, hard work has always been his priority. He knows that if he wants to win this game, he has to work hard at everything he does. Greg decided to be a high school teacher so he could teach his students the importance of hard work. He has been a fan of survivor for a while, so when he saw that applications for survivor were going out, he knew he had to join in. Hopefully, he won’t disappoint his students. Gwendolyn "Gwen" Wallerby, 52, Baker, u/ghetra Gwen works at a bakery where she gets to do what she loves every day: make many different kinds of pies. She is a very warm, loving person and has a reputation for helping out whoever needs it, usually by baking for them. Baking takes a lot of patience and strength, and she is stronger than she looks. She naturally has a very loud voice that sometimes irks people, but once they get to know her it quickly becomes endearing. Now that her children are out of the house, she has started reading much more and taking classes on different subjects that interest her. The world is her oyster. Kirk Smolarek, 62, History Teacher, u/Twig7665 Kirk never had a normal childhood. His mom walked out on his family not long after he was born, and his father was a former Polish soldier with PTSD and a severe drug addiction, leading to Kirk experiencing abuse from him for as long as Kirk can remember. Wanting to escape his miserable life, he smuggled himself on a boat bound for Australia when he was 16. Lo and behold, the ship got caught in a windstorm and ended up sinking, and Kirk and a few other survivors ended up stranded on an island. After spending more than a month there, he was taken back to his homeland after being found there. He ended up being the only survivor of the whole ordeal. He was returned to his deranged father, where the next time his father tried to abuse him, he fought back, causing his father to end up in the hospital. Deemed not guilty because he defended himself, Kirk did not spend time in prison for this. His father on the other hand did spend time there for drug-related charges and child abuse, but was killed by another inmate before he could be released. Kirk then went to college, where he studied history there, and decided to become a history teacher. He then kept that job title for over 40 years now, and despite being in his 60s, he is still an enjoyable presence for his students, as he incorporates unusual teaching methods to make his students interested in what he's teaching. Despite being financially stable, he wants to win the money so he can be well off when he retires in a few years. Maralyn Sander, 32, Tour Guide, u/Void_Drone Maralyn gives tours of New York, driving around in her bus, answering questions, watching broadway shows. And she spends most of her money on her family, except for the money she spent on her pink pearl necklace. She enjoys the tours for the most part, but when she's alone she vents about how annoying the tours can be. Kotu Adam (Sinners) Tribe: Alexa Station, 20, YouTuber, u/IAmWolfNinja A 3AM YouTuber who arrived late to the trend, Alexa has a tendency to flex her belongings when no one really cares. She was recently involved in a scandal where she faked her boyfriend's death, causing endless amounts of controversy, and a near arrest. Her sub count is dropping significantly every day, so she joined to help gain her popularity (relevancy) back. Carter Witworth, 23, College Student, u/JTsidol Witworth, he was born to a extremely rich family, but his parents didn’t have time for him, but spoiled him rotten, when he got into school, he was known for being a bully, however no one confronted him, and everytime he’d get in trouble or fail a test, his parents would pay his way out, last year, he got a slap in the face, when his parents yet again had to bribe the college board to accept him, they cut off his allowance, he’s playing just for the money, nothing else. Irvin Eamers, 32, Olympic Sprinter, u/asiansurvivorfan A born athlete, Irvin loved competing in all sports but wasn’t known to play fair as he was never a team player and would often torment others to win. He started training for the Olympics at the age of 17 and eventually got the opportunity to compete in multiple Olympics where he took home many gold medals. However, they were striped from him when he was caught doping and using steroids to give him an edge in races. After the controversy, Irvin’s current wife left him and he was banned from competing in any future competitions. He came on Survivor for one reason and that is that is the money as he’s currently being sued by the Olympic committee. Jessica Abrefa, 25, Poker Player, u/Twig7665 Jessica wasn't the most well off growing up, she lived in Alabama, where racism was rampant. As such, she was bullied for her race, until one day, she decided that they will all be wrong about her not being able to do anything because of her skin colour. She publicly humiliated the whole football team at her high school, and that stunt got her expelled in her senior year. She didn't care, and then she decided to run away to Las Vegas, which she did. While there, she started modeling, but found it boring. She then picked up the hobby of gambling, and played her first poker match when she was 21. She proved herself to be a formidable foe by beating one of the top poker players at the time, a dude named Brett Herman. Impressed by her skills, he tried to form a bond with her, but she turned him down due to him being a very paranoid man. Now, Jessica dates and cheats on men almost daily, and is considered one of the top female poker players, despite only playing for a few years. An avid Survivor fan, she wants to be as flirty and manipulative as she is in her real life. The only problem would be meeting another poker player, but she finds it unlikely that she will. Joey "Wildcard" Caruso, 24, Poker Player, u/wordonthestreet2 Joey did not grow up with the best moral compass as his father notoriously had ties to the mafia. He used the money his father made through illegitimate businesses to gamble throughout his teenage years. When his father learned about his poker abilities and how easy it was for him to manipulate his opponents they began using his poker career as a way to launder mafia money through various casinos. He is known for his excellent poker face and unpredictable style of play which earned him the nickname Wildcard. Maize Nguyen, 28, Heiress, u/Vicctoryy From the outside looking in, the Nguyen Family Dynasty of San Francisco looks like a well supported and strong business, but from the inside, things are crumbling apart. The matriarch and patriarch are always at each other's necks over the company, leaving their children to clean up their messes. Maize, being the oldest, has taken it upon herself to lead the company, and she leads with an iron will and even harder iron fist. While she seems like a worthy replacement for her faulty parents, she has never been afraid to leave with force. Anyone at the receiving end of a verbal lashing from Maize is likely to not return to work the next day, or ever again. She is arrogant, rude, demeaning, and yet she gets things done. Saving the company from absolute bankruptcy caused a lot of backlash, but Maize couldn't care less. Success should be accomplished by stepping on the necks of those who aren't ready for the power, and Maize has done that exact thing. Any person in Maize's way has been an obstacle she has to conquer, and with a flip of her finger, that obstacle is no longer a problem. She has never been afraid to crack a few eggs to make an omelette, and unfortunately, those eggs have just been working class people struggling to make minimum wage and put dinner on their table. Too bad for them according to Maize. Maize has come to Survivor to prove that the Nguyen Dynasty is far from over, and their business monopoly will run on for years with Maize at the front of it. She is the iceberg, everyone else is a ship with no idea of what's in their way. Those too bold to step in her way are trampled, quite literally. Maize has no problem with controversy, controversy brings attention, attention brings money, and money brings power. Molly-Anne Benson, 26, Marketing Assistant, u/ghetra Molly-Anne is a social butterfly. She loves chatting with people about pretty much anything and loves meeting and getting to know new people. She has a natural charm about her that draws people in, but sometimes people are bothered by how chatty she is. She also loves to gossip and is not above spreading rumors. However, she is rather sensitive and can be set off by just about anything. She frequently will push people's buttons if they offend her and will hold a grudge until the end of time. Nikki Lopez, 29, Stripper, u/Void_Drone Randall Martin, 49, Real Estate Agent, u/TDSwaggyBoy Being a self proclaimed sleazeball, which is a very weird thing to be proud of, Randall's life was never too good. He didn't grow up with a lot of close friends. Sure, people liked him at first, but when they really got to know him they didn't appreciate him nor his antics very much. Randall had to make a name for himself. He quickly found a career in the world of real estate. Not even his co-workers enjoyed his company, but they appreciated his skills. Being a fast and smooth talker really pays off in his industry. And now, Randall wants to put his skills to use in SURVIVOR. How well will that pan out? Vito Luco, 49, Used Car Salesman, u/swoldow Vito is the last person you'd want to trust with anything. A true con-artist at heart, he now has a job selling used cars, but his past jobs would make you run away from him in fear. When he was younger, he was a part of a major drug-trafficking operation run by the mafia, and he later got a job selling illegal fireworks, both of which got him to do jail time for a decade. Newly released, he seems to be back to his old ways, as he scams people out of their money daily with his faulty cars. He was born constantly overshadowed by his perfect younger brother, who is a popular politician, while he just swindles from people. As a result, he hates people who play loyally, and wants to prove that evil is the best way to play. He isn't afraid to play hard, as that's what he did all his life, and he'll either win, or go out swinging. Link to Season Episode 1: The 20 new contestants are welcomed into Turkey, where their first task is to compete in a challenge for reward. The Sinners tribe win this reward due to having more young and fit members than the Saints tribe. As a result, the Saints are already demoralized as they arrive at camp. Cap'n starts to feel good vibes from Ardet and Maralyn, and takes them under his wing to form an alliance. Ava, on the other hand, reveals that she is deaf to Chelsea and Gwen, and the three form another alliance due to being close to one another already. Cap'n sees this and scrambles to find an idol, and does so. Over at the Sinners tribe, Witworth and Jessica see their opportunity to look for an idol, and they find it, giving them more security, while back at camp, Maize and Nikki get into a fight over thinking that the other has an idol, which neither of them do. Vito becomes the moderator of this fight, saying that the three of them plus Irvin and Molly need to stick together in the long run. Randall sees this alliance form and tries to get Alexa, Jessica, Witworth, and Wildcard on board, which they all agree to at first, but then Wildcard sees this as his opportunity to cause conflict within his tribe, so he becomes content with being a swing vote. The Sinners win immunity, and on the Saints tribe it quickly becomes a race to see who can scrape up the swing votes the fastest between Cap'n's alliance and Ava's alliance. Dana becomes the target for Ava's alliance because of her weakness in challenges and her blind loyalty, while Greg is targeted by Ardet and Cap'n due to his shiftiness. They are able to get Kirk and Dana on board to blindside Greg, and they try to talk to Gwen, but she does not flip. Instead, at tribal council, we end up with a 5-5 split, followed by a 4-4 vote split due to no one flipping. Then a rock draw occurs on the first vote of the season. Ardet becomes the victim of the rocks, sending him out of the game despite never receiving a single vote. Episode 2: After an explosive first vote, Cap'n tries to figure out who flipped on the six and sent Ardet home. No one tells him who did it, so he assumes it was Ardet. Ava tries to flip Maralyn from Cap'n's alliance, but is unsuccessful at doing so. At the Sinners camp, Jessica and Witworth, despite being closely aligned, argue over who gets to keep the idol, and Witworth ends up keeping it in the end. The Saints pull out a surprise victory over the fractured Sinners, and back at camp, Wildcard decides to snake the alliance he was pretending to work with, and joins Vito's alliance. Their first target is none other than Alexa, who saw this game as nothing other than a tool to get more relevancy back, and it particularly irked Vito, who wanted to play against people who played hard. So together, with his alliance and Wildcard, they vote for Alexa. Meanwhile, the four person alliance realizes that Wildcard snaked them, so they vote for him, and Alexa becomes the second person voted off in a 6-4 vote. Episode 3: After Alexa's vote off, Irvin tries to bond with Vito, wanting to be his right hand man, and they become closer due to both being sleazy people. Wildcard begins to feel like he's in control, and it starts to annoy people on his tribe. At the Saints camp, Cap'n starts to rub people the wrong way because of his cockiness due to having an idol, but no one catches on to him having an idol, which is good news for him, because he plans on holding onto the idol until the merge. The Sinners win immunity for the third time, and they grow cocky because of this. Cap'n and Kirk, being the two oldest men on the tribe, join forces with Dana and Maralyn to take out their biggest threat in the opposing alliance, Greg. However, the other side has majority, and they decide that Dana has been blindly loyal to the other three, and hasn't been pulling her weight in challenges, so she becomes the third person voted out in a 5-4 vote. Episode 4: After a somewhat boring vote, Greg starts to get paranoid, since he's already gotten 9 votes and it's only episode 4. He then tries to get the minority alliance to pin their votes onto Gwen, but Gwen gets angry at him for doing so, and they have an argument. At Sinners camp, Jessica tries to talk to Irvin, trying to get his alliance to help hers take out Wildcard, and Irvin tells Vito about the plan, and Vito starts to see Wildcard as not being of use anymore. After losing the reward challenge, the Saints come back harder and beat the Sinners at the next challenge. Wildcard lets Vito know that he is going to vote Maize, since he wants to make a big move early on. This becomes the final nail in Wildcard's coffin, as Vito was quite close to Maize. At tribal council, Wildcard becomes the first unanimous boot of the season, going out in a 8-1 vote. Episode 5: Vito starts to think that Irvin has been playing way too loyally, and he gets into a discussion with him that slowly devolves into a full-blown fight between them, but Vito, realizing that Irvin would make a bad enemy, tries to make it up to him, and it works. The Sinners win both reward and immunity, and they feel elated about it. Cornelius goes to Cap'n and proposes an alliance to him, allowing them to control things from behind the scenes with Maralyn. He also reveals that he has grown a disdain for Greg, and that they need to flip the numbers on him. They get Gwen and Kirk on board, or so they think, but Gwen blabs to Greg and their alliance, leading to Kirk to flip as well. They decide to vote Cornelius out due to him being the biggest gamer on the tribe, and he goes in a 5-3 vote. Episode 6: The tribes pack up their things, anticipating a swap, but then the host announces that they will be competing for individual immunity on their tribe, and whoever wins will be safe from the double tribal council taking place that night. Maralyn wins for the Saints, and Vito wins for the Sinners. The Sinners also win reward, earning food to enjoy while they watch the other tribe go to tribal council. Witworth, Jessica, and Randall decide it was now or never to get rid of Maize, who had a fight with Randall earlier that day, but Vito, hearing about this, decides that Randall is the biggest sleaze on his tribe, and he needed to go as soon as possible. In his voting confessional, he states there can be only one sleazy guy on the tribe, and that was himself, so Randall had to go, and Randall becomes the sixth person voted out in a 5-3 vote, and he is bitter as all hell about it. At the Saints tribe, Cap'n becomes angry over the fact he cannot vote in the majority, and it makes the majority annoyed with him, so they decide to vote him off. Luckily for Cap'n, he still has an idol, so he and Maralyn vote for the most threatening player in their minds, Chelsea, and Cap'n plays his idol, sending Chelsea out of the game in a 2-0 vote. Episode 7: After Chelsea's idol out, Cap'n officially became public enemy number one on his tribe, and he tries to find his rehidden idol, but Kirk finds it instead. Maralyn and Greg have a fight due to the food on their tribe running low, and morale being even lower. At the Sinners tribe, Nikki begins to be seen as an easy goat due to her one-sided loyalty to Vito. Morale at the Saints tribe dips even lower when they lose both reward and immunity. Not wanting to lose again,the majority decide to vote off their oldest member, Cap'n, as a last ditch attempt to prevent them from going on a losing streak. Cap'n and Maralyn vote for Greg, and Cap'n becomes the eighth person voted out in a 5-3 vote, missing out on the jury by one placement. Episode 8: After Cap'n's vote out, there are only five members on the Saints tribe, compared to the Sinners having seven. The Sinners increase their winning streak by two by winning both reward and immunity. At the Sinners camp, Jessica and Witworth have another fight over the idol, with Jessica insisting that she keep it. This causes the rest of the tribe to be alerted to the fact that Jessica and Witworth have an idol, and Witworth becomes a target because of this. At the Saints tribe, the women form a tight three, and Kirk and Greg are forced to band together to survive. At tribal council, the three women stay strong, and Greg is voted out 3-2 and becomes the first member of the jury, leaving only four Saints left in the game. Episode 9: With his back up against the wall, Kirk knows that he's probably gone next if he didn't have the idol, which ensured his survival until merge. The Saints finally win a challenge, a reward challenge, but lose immunity once again to the inflated egos of the Sinners. Not much else happens this episode, but Kirk tries to get Maralyn to flip and vote out Ava, but she disagrees to do so, and she votes for Gwen instead, making Kirk not trust her, and he decides to vote for her, while also playing his idol. This causes a 1-1-0 tie between Gwen and Maralyn, and Ava, misunderstanding what would happen if she forced a tie, votes for Gwen while Kirk votes for Maralyn, and Ava becomes the second person in King's Survivor history to be eliminated by default, due to there being no other options, and she becomes the second member of the jury Episode 10: At long last, the tribes merge into the purple Ucurum tribe, meaning balance in Turkish. Left in the game is Witworth, Gwen, Irvin, Jessica, Kirk, Maize, Maralyn, Molly, Nikki, and Vito. At first, it seems like it would be Saint Vs Sinner, but Jessica and Witworth come to the three Saints left in the game, and they convince them to vote with them come tribal council. Vito wins his second immunity challenge of the season, and his target was Witworth for being the strongest male not in his alliance, and also for lying about not having an idol, which he believed was given to Jessica. At tribal council, the lines cause a 5-5 divide between Irvin and Witworth, and on the revote, Maralyn randomly decides to flip to avoid a tie, and Carter Witworth becomes the third member of the jury, and also another person to go out with an idol in their pocket. He is understandably pretty pissed about this ordeal, but wishes his tribe well. Episode 11: The day after Witworth's blindside, the nine remaining contestants compete in a reward challenge, which the team containing Irvin, Maralyn, and Vito win. At the reward, Irvin and Vito realize how dangerous Maralyn could be after she starts trying to talk game with them. Soon afterwards, Maralyn finds the idol, and Jessica calls out Molly for following Vito almost blindly. Nikki wins the second post merge immunity challenge, and Vito tries to recruit Jessica for the vote, which succeeds. They then choose to target Maralyn, since she was the most threatening out of the three Saints, and the six remaining Sinners pin votes onto her. Unfortunately for them, Maralyn pulls out an idol, and the Saints vote for Irvin, a potential immunity threat, making him the fourth member of the jury in a 3-0 vote. Episode 12: After Irvin's blindside, only two men are still in the game, compared to the six women. Nikki is able to find an idol, after thinking that she hasn't been playing hard enough, while Molly gets into a fight with Maralyn over the latter pulling out an idol, which she hadn't wanted her to do. Molly wins immunity, and it becomes a battle of the Saints Vs the Sinners, just like the theme of the season. The Saints go after Maize, wanting to weaken Vito further before going after him, but they are unable to swing anyone over and Vito, fueled by vengeance, gets his alliance to vote for Maralyn. In a 5-3 vote, Maralyn becomes the fifth member of the jury. Back at camp, the final seven become annoyed at Nikki's arrogance after being safe from being voted out, so she becomes a target for the two remaining Saints left. Kirk also becomes a target for being a perceived leader for Gwen, causing him to be target numero uno. After Kirk wins immunity, the target shifts from him to Gwen, due to her being perceived as not wanting to play the game, and rather would be along for the ride, which Vito found unpalatable. Kirk and Gwen then try to vote out Molly for her strength in challenges, and in the end, Gwen gets the boot in a 5-2 vote, making her the sixth juror. Episode 13: With only six people left in the game, the final reward challenge takes place. Maize wins it, and she shares it with Vito, her closest ally, and Jessica, who her and Vito wanted to bring closer. Soon, they realize what a threat she could be, especially because she's a poker player, she becomes the biggest target instead of Kirk. Luckily for her, she wins immunity. Kirk tries to bond with Maize as a way to get Vito to not vote him out, but it backfires, and he becomes the biggest target yet again. At tribal council, he votes for Molly, but everyone else votes for him, making him the seventh juror in a 5-1 vote and completely eliminating the Saints from the game. Finale: Jessica, Maize, Molly, Nikki, and Vito remain. Five players who had remarkably different playing styles, but all came from the same tribe. They compete in the second-to-last immunity challenge, which Maize wins, and the biggest target becomes Jessica again, who has proven herself to be the only player not following Vito, and only voting with him just to get further in the game. Vito does not feel the same way about keeping Jessica around, so he and his alliance with Nikki, Molly, and Maize vote for her, and Nikki plays her idol in case someone flipped on her, and Jessica becomes the eighth juror in a 4-0 vote. Back at camp, Vito feels incredibly cocky, and he tries to influence a fight, and he does so between Nikki and Maize. He then goes on to win final immunity, and Nikki tanks her own game with her fight with Maize, and everyone votes her out, causing her to become the ninth juror in a 3-1 vote. The final three consists of Maize, Molly, and Vito. Molly gets criticism for her lack of strategy, only using her social game to get far, and her challenge capabilities. Maize is seen as following too closely to Vito, but the jury is willing to vote for her if Vito tanks his jury speech. He does not, and explains his game in great detail, saying he started out forming a five person alliance on the first night, he commenced the Wildcard blindside, the Witworth blindside, the Jessica blindside, etc. He did it all, but the bonds he formed in the game were genuine, and he didn't intend his villainous backstabbing to be taken personal. In the end, he gets all the jury votes, even from two people he never met, Greg and Ava. Maralyn wins the Fan Favorite for standing up to Vito and her idol play. Winner: Vito Luco, u/swoldow Fan Favorite: Maralyn Sander, u/Void_Drone Potential Returnees (yeah, I haven't done this in a while): Vito, Jessica, Kirk, Maralyn, WItworth, Ava, Cap'n, maybe Ardet, if I do a first boot season Next season, will be the final season before season 35, I won't spoil the theme for 35, but trust me, it won't be a season to miss. Season 34 however, with the release of the new Island Of The Idols sim, it will feature two King's Survivor Idols, who will be revealed with the sign ups. Next season will be King's Survivor Venezuela: Island Of The Idols!
For those that need a list in response to "What evidence is there that Trump is a racist?"
Another user that has since deleted their account submitted this as a comment reply. I think it is worth revisiting. There is an entire Wikipedia article called "The Racial* Views of Donald Trump" Some examples are: "In 1973 the U.S. Department of Justice sued Trump Management, Donald Trump and his father Fred, for discrimination against African Americans in their renting practices." MORE Taking out a full page ad calling for the death penalty of 4 falsely accused black teenagers who allegedly committed a violent rape. The evidence that they were innocent was and still is overwhelming. When they were exonerated, Trump didn't back down. In October 2016, when Trump campaigned to be president, he said that Central Park Five were guilty and that their convictions should never have been vacated, attracting criticism from the Central Park Five themselves and others." MORE "In a 1989 interview with Bryant Gumbel, Trump stated: "A well-educated black has a tremendous advantage over a well-educated white in terms of the job market." MORE In his 1991 book Trumped! John O'Donnell quoted Trump as allegedly saying: I've got black accountants at Trump Castle and at Trump Plaza. Black guys counting my money! I hate it. [...] And it's probably not his fault because laziness is a trait in blacks." MORE "During the early 1990s, competition from an expanding Native American casino industry threatened his Atlantic City investments. During this period Trump stated that "nobody likes Indians as much as Donald Trump" but then claimed without evidence that the mob had infiltrated Native American casinos, that there was no way "Indians" or an "Indian chief" could stand up to the mob, implied that the casinos were not in fact owned by Native Americans based on the owners' appearance, and depicted Native Americans as greedy." MORE "In April 2005, Trump appeared on Howard Stern's radio show, where Trump proposed that the fourth season of the television show The Apprentice would feature an exclusively white team of blondes competing against a team of only African-Americans." MORE "In 2011, Trump revived the already discredited Barack Obama citizenship conspiracy theories that had been circulating since Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, and, for the following five years, he played a leading role in the so-called "birther movement"" MORE Here are a FEW examples of his racism during and after his campaign and presidency. "At a rally in Birmingham, Alabama on November 21, 2015, Trump falsely claimed that he had seen television reports about "thousands and thousands" of Arabs in New Jersey celebrating as the World Trade Center collapsed during the 9/11 attacks." MORE "In August 2016 Trump campaigned in Maine, which has a large immigrant Somali population. At a rally he said, "We've just seen many, many crimes getting worse all the time, and as Maine knows — a major destination for Somali refugees — right, am I right?" Trump also alluded to risks of terrorism, referring to an incident in June 2016 when three young Somali men were found guilty of planning to join the Islamic State in Syria." MORE "Prior to and during the 2016 campaign, Trump used his political platform to spread disparaging messages against various racial groups. Trump claimed, "the overwhelming amount of violent crime in our cities is committed by blacks and Hispanics," that "there's killings on an hourly basis virtually in places like Baltimore and Chicago and many other places," that "There are places in America that are among the most dangerous in the world. You go to places like Oakland. Or Ferguson. The crime numbers are worse. Seriously," and retweeted a false claim that 81% of white murder victims were killed by black people." MORE "During the campaign Trump was found to have retweeted the main influencers of the #WhiteGenocide movement over 75 times, including twice that he retweeted a user with the handle u/WhiteGenocideTM." MORE "Trump also falsely claimed that, "African American communities are absolutely in the worst shape they've ever been in before. Ever."" MORE "Trump also suggested that evangelicals should not trust Ted Cruz because Cruz is Cuban and that Jeb Bush "has to like the Mexican illegals because of his wife," who is Mexican American." "Speaking in Virginia in August 2016, Trump said, "You're living in your poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs, 58 percent of your youth is unemployed – what the hell do you have to lose by trying something new, like Trump?"" MORE "On January 27, 2017, via executive order, which he titled Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States, President Trump ordered the U.S border indefinitely closed to Syrian refugees fleeing the civil war. He also abruptly temporarily halted (for 90 days) immigration from six other Muslim-majority nations: Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen." MORE "In June 2017, Trump called together a staff meeting to complain about the number of immigrants who had entered the country since his inauguration. The New York Times reported that two officials at the meeting state that when Trump read off a sheet stating that 15,000 persons had visited from Haiti, he commented, "They all have AIDS," and when reading that 40,000 persons had visited from Nigeria, he said that after seeing America the Nigerians would never “go back to their huts."" MORE "The U.S. Department of Justice concluded that Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio oversaw the worst pattern of racial profiling in U.S. history. The illegal tactics that he was using included "extreme racial profiling and sadistic punishments that involved the torture, humiliation, and degradation of Latino inmates". The DoJ filed suit against him for unlawful discriminatory police conduct. He ignored their orders and was subsequently convicted of contempt of court for continuing to racially profile Hispanics. Calling him "a great American patriot", President Trump pardoned him soon afterwards, even before sentencing took place." MORE "In his initial statement on the rally, Trump did not denounce white nationalists but instead condemned "hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides". His statement and his subsequent defenses of it, in which he also referred to "very fine people on both sides", suggested a moral equivalence between the white supremacist marchers and those who protested against them, leading some observers to state that he was sympathetic to white supremacy." MORE "On January 11, 2018, during an Oval Office meeting about immigration reform, commenting on immigration figures from El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, and African countries, Trump reportedly said: "Those shitholes send us the people that they don't want", and suggested that the US should instead increase immigration from "places like Norway" and Asian countries." MORE "In August 2018, Trump sent a tweet stating that he had ordered Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to look into land seizures and the mass killing of white farmers in South Africa, acting on a racist conspiracy theory." MORE "In May 2019, the Trump administration announced that there was no plan to replace the portrait of Andrew Jackson on the twenty-dollar bill with that of Harriet Tubman, as had been planned by the Obama administration." MORE "On July 14, 2019, Trump tweeted about four Democratic congresswomen of color, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib. This group, known collectively as the Squad, had verbally sparred with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi a week earlier: MORE I HAVE NOW EXCEEDED THE REDDIT COMMENT WORD COUNT.
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[Lost in the Sauce] Trump admin hides Paycheck Protection program details; lawmakers benefit from loans
Welcome to Lost in the Sauce, keeping you caught up on political and legal news that often gets buried in distractions and theater… or a global health crisis. Title refers to: The Trump admin is blocking IGs from getting info on over $1 trillion in relief spending, including corporation bailouts. The admin is also withholding PPP info from Congress, meaning we don't know if Trump or his family took taxpayer money. Additionally, we learned that at least 4 members of Congress have benefited from PPP money, but aren't required to disclose it. Housekeeping:
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Inspectors general warned Congress last week that the Trump administration is blocking scrutiny of more than $1 trillion in spending related to the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the previously undisclosed letter, Department of Treasury attorneys concluded that the administration is not required to provide the watchdogs with information about the beneficiaries of programs like the $500 billion in loans for corporations. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin refused to provide Congress with the names of recipients of the taxpayer-funded coronavirus business loans. After criticism, Mnuchin began to walk back his denial, saying he will talk to lawmakers on a bipartisan basis “to strike the appropriate balance for proper oversight” of PPP loans “and appropriate protection of small business information.” At least 4 lawmakers have benefited in some way from the Paycheck Protection program they helped create.Politico has been told there are almost certainly more -- but there are zero disclosure rules, even for members of Congress.
Republicans on the list include Rep. Roger Williams of Texas, a wealthy businessman who owns auto dealerships, body shops and car washes, and Rep. Vicky Hartzler of Missouri, whose family owns multiple farms and equipment suppliers across the Midwest. The Democrats count Rep. Susie Lee of Nevada, whose husband is CEO of a regional casino developer, and Rep. Debbie Mucarsel Powell of Florida, whose husband is a senior executive at a restaurant chain that has since returned the loan.
Mick Mulvaney dumped as much as $550,000 in stocks the same day Trump assured the public the US economy was 'doing fantastically' amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Mulvaney unloaded his holdings in three different mutual funds, each of which is primarily made up of US stocks. The next day, the value of the mutual funds tanked.
Cases rising in many states
Good summary: There was supposed to be a peak. But the stark turning point, when the number of daily COVID-19 cases in the U.S. finally crested and began descending sharply, never happened. Instead, America spent much of April on a disquieting plateau, with every day bringing about 30,000 new cases and about 2,000 new deaths. This pattern exists because different states have experienced the coronavirus pandemic in very different ways…The U.S. is dealing with a patchwork pandemic. As of Friday, coronavirus cases were significantly climbing in 16 states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Washington. Oklahoma is experiencing a massive increase in coronavirus cases just days before Trump’s planned rally in Tulsa. In Tulsa county itself, 1 in roughly 390 people have tested positive. Yet Trump plans on cramming 20,000 people in an event with voluntary face mask policy and no social distancing. Attendees must sign a waiver that absolves the president’s campaign of any liability from virus-related illnesses.
On Monday, Pence lied saying that Oklahoma has “flattened the curve.” As you can see at any of the resources immediately below, this is not even close to true. Over the past 14 days, the state has seen a 124% increase in cases and reports 65% of ICU beds are in use.
Tulsa World Editorial Board: This is the wrong time and Tulsa is the wrong place for the Trump rally. "We don't know why he chose Tulsa, but we can’t see any way that his visit will be good for the city...Again, Tulsa will be largely alone in dealing with what happens at a time when the city’s budget resources have already been stretched thin."
Earlier in the day, Trump tweeted that he is a victim of double standards when it comes to perception of his decision to resume campaign rallies in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, declaring that attempts to “covid shame” his campaign “won’t work!”
Resources to track increases: There are many different sites with various methods of visualizing the spread of coronavirus. Here are some that may be particularly useful this summer… Topos COVID-19 compiler homepage and graphs of each state since re-opening. How we reopen Safely has stats on each state’s progress towards meeting benchmarks to reopen safely (hint: almost none have reached all the checkpoints). WaPo has a weekly national map of cases/deaths; the largest regional clusters are in the southeast. On Monday, Trump twice said that “if we stop testing right now, we’d have very few cases, if any,” (video). Aside from the fact that cases exist even if we don’t test for them, we cannot explain the rising number of cases by increased testing capacity: In at least 14 states, the positive case rate is increasing faster than the increase in the average number of tests.
Reminder: In March Trump told Fox News that he didn't want infected patients from a cruise ship to disembark because it would increase the number of reported cases in the US. "I like the numbers being where they are," Trump said at the time. "I don't need to have the numbers double because of one ship that wasn't our fault."
Fired scientist Rebekah Jones builds coronavirus dashboard to rival Florida’s… Her site shows thousands more people with the coronavirus, and hundreds of thousands fewer who have been tested, than the site run by the Florida Health Department.
Equipment and supplies
More studies prove wearing masks limits transmission and spread of coronavirus… One study from Britain found that routine face mask use by 50% or more of the population reduced COVID-19 spread to an R of less than 1.0. The R value measures the average number of people that one infected person will pass the disease on to. An R value above 1 can lead to exponential growth. The study found that if people wear masks whenever they are in public it is twice as effective at reducing the R value than if masks are only worn after symptoms appear. Meanwhile, Trump officials refuse to wear masks and Trump supporters copy his behavior… VP Mike Pence, leader of the coronavirus task force, published a tweet showing himself in a room full of Trump staffers, none wearing masks or practicing social distancing. Pence deleted the tweet shortly after criticism. A poll last week showed that 66% of likely-Biden-voters “always wear a mask,” while 83% of likely-Trump-voters “neverarely wear a mask.”
Trump’s opposition to face masks hasn’t stopped him from selling them to his supporters, though. The online Trump Store is selling $20 cotton American flag-themed face masks.
Yesterday, we learned that South Carolina Republican Rep. Tom Rice and family have tested positive for the coronavirus. Just two weeks ago, Rice was on the House floor and halls of the Capitol without wearing a mask.
Internal FEMA data show that the government’s supply of surgical gowns has not meaningfully increased since March… The slides show FEMA’s plan to ramp up supply into June and July hinges on the reusing of N95 masks and surgical gowns, increasing the risk of contamination. Those are supposed to be disposed of after one use. Nursing homes with urgent needs for personal protective equipment say they’re receiving defective equipment as part of Trump administration supply initiative. Officials say FEMA is sending them gowns that look more like large tarps -- with no holes for hands -- and surgical masks that are paper-thin. More than 1,300 Chinese medical-device companies that registered to sell PPE in the U.S. during the coronavirus pandemic used bogus registration data… These companies listed as their American representative a purported Delaware entity that uses a false address and nonworking phone number. Florida is sitting on more than 980,000 unused doses of hydroxychloroquine, but hospitals don’t want it… Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered a million doses of the drug to show support for Trump, but very few hospitals have requested it.
Native American communities struggle
The CARES Act money for Native American tribes, meant to assist people during the pandemic, came with restrictions that are impeding efforts to limit the transmission of the virus. For instance, the funds can only be used to cover expenses that are "incurred due to the public health emergency." On the Navajo Nation, the public health emergency is inherently related to some basic infrastructure problems. 30% of Navajo don’t have running water to wash their hands, but the money can’t be used to build water lines. Federal and state health agencies are refusing to give Native American tribes and organizations representing them access to data showing how the coronavirus is spreading around their lands, potentially widening health disparities and frustrating tribal leaders already ill-equipped to contain the pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has turned down tribal epidemiologists’ requests for data that it’s making freely available to states. A Hospital’s Secret Coronavirus Policy Separated Native American Mothers From Their Newborns… Pregnant Native American women were singled out for COVID-19 testing based on their race and ZIP code, clinicians say. While awaiting results, some mothers were separated from their newborns, depriving them of the immediate contact doctors recommend. New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced that state officials would investigate the allegations.
Personnel & appointees
Former IG Steve Linick told Congress he was conducting five investigations into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the State Department before he was fired. In addition to investigating Pompeo's potential misuse of taxpayer funds and reviewing his decision to expedite an $8 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia, Linick’s office was conducting an audit of Special Immigrant Visas, a review of the International Women of Courage Award, and another review "involving individuals in the Office of the Protocol."
Pompeo confidant emerges as enforcer in fight over watchdog’s firing: Linick testified that Undersecretary of State for Management Brian Bulatao, a decades-old friend of Pompeo’s, “tried to bully [him]” out of investigating Pompeo.
Trump has empowered John McEntee, director of the Presidential Personnel Office, to make significant staffing changes inside top federal agencieswithout the consent — and, in at least one case, without even the knowledge — of the agency head. Many senior officials in Trump's government are sounding alarms about the loss of expertise and institutional knowledge. Trump’s nominee for under secretary of defense for policy, retired Army Brig. Gen. Anthony Tata, has a history of making Islamophobic and inflammatory remarksagainst prominent Democratic politicians, including falsely calling former President Barack Obama a Muslim. Amid racial justice marches, GOP advances Trump court pick hostile to civil rights.Cory Wilson, up for a lifetime seat on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, has denied that restrictive voting laws lead to voter suppression and called same-sex marriage “a pander to liberal interest groups.” Interior Secretary David Bernhardt has indefinitely extended the terms of the acting directors of the Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service, sidestepping the typical Senate confirmation process for those posts and violating the Federal Vacancies Reform Act,
Courts and DOJ
The Supreme Court declined on Monday to take a closer look at qualified immunity, the legal doctrine that shields law enforcement and government officials from lawsuits over their conduct. Developed in recent decades by the high court, the qualified immunity doctrine, as applied to police, initially asks two questions: Did police use excessive force, and if they did, should they have known that their conduct was illegal because it violated a "clearly established" prior court ruling that barred such conduct? In practice, however, lower courts have most often dismissed police misconduct lawsuits on grounds that there is no prior court decision with nearly identical facts. The Supreme Court ruled that federal anti-discrimination laws protect gay and transgender employees. Justice Neil M. Gorsuch and Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. joined the court’s liberals in the 6 to 3 ruling. They said Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination “because of sex,” includes LGBTQ employees.
Alito, writing more than 100 pages in dissent for himself and Thomas, accused the court's majority of writing legislation, not law. Kavanaugh wrote separately: "We are judges, not members of Congress...Under the Constitution and laws of the United States, this court is the wrong body to change American law in that way."
Just days before the SCOTUS opinion was released, the Trump administration finalized a rule that would remove nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people when it comes to health care and health insurance. The SCOTUS ruling may make it easier to challenge the changes made by Trump.
The Supreme Court also declined to take up California’s “sanctuary” law, denying the Trump administration’s appeal. This means that the lower court opinion upholding one of California's sanctuary laws is valid, limiting cooperation between law enforcement and federal immigration authorities. Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, two of the Court's conservative members, supported taking up the case. A federal appeals court appeared unlikely Friday to stop a judge from examining why the Justice Department sought to walk away from its prosecution of Michael Flynn. "I don't see why we don't observe regular order," said Judge Karen Henderson. "Why not hold this in abeyance and see what happens?" Judge Robert Wilkins told Flynn's lawyer that if Sullivan doesn't let the government drop the case, "then you can come back here on appeal."
Good read: Fiona Hill on being mistaken as a secretary by Trump, her efforts to make sure he was not left alone with Putin, and what the US, UK and Russia have in common. “It’s spitting in Merkel’s face,” said Vladimir Frolov, a former Russian diplomat who’s now a foreign-policy analyst. “But it’s in our interests.”
Russia’s Foreign Ministry welcomed Trump’s plan to withdraw more than a quarter of U.S. troops from Germany.
Op-Ed: Why cutting American forces in Germany will harm this alliance
According to a new book, the Secret Service had to seek more funding to cover the cost of protecting Melania Trump while she stayed in NYC to renegotiate her prenup - taxpayers paid tens of millions of dollars to allow her to get better terms. Additionally, NYPD estimated its own costs conservatively at $125,000 a day. Georgia election 'catastrophe' in largely minority areas sparks investigation. Long lines, lack of voting machines, and shortages of primary ballots plagued voters. As of Monday night, there were still over 200,000 uncounted votes. Fox News runs digitally altered images in coverage of Seattle’s protests, Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone Fox News Mocked After Mistaking Monty Python Joke for Seattle Protest Infighting In addition to holding a rally on the day after Juneteenth (originally scheduled the day of), Trump will be accepting the GOP nomination in Jacksonville on the 60th anniversary of “Ax Handle Saturday,” a KKK attack on African Americans. Environmental news:
Ruling against environmentalists, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that the federal government has the authority to allow a proposed $7.5 billion natural gas pipeline to cross under the popular Appalachian Trail in rural Virginia.
Trump administration has issued a new rule blocking tribes from protecting their waters from projects like pipelines, dams, and coal terminals.
The EPA published a proposal in the Federal Register that critics described as an assault on minority communities coping with the public health legacy of structural racism. The rule would bar EPA from giving special consideration to individual communities that bear the brunt of environmental risks — frequently populations of color.
The Trump administration is preparing to drill off Florida’s coast, but says it will wait until after the November election to avoid any backlash from Florida state leaders.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection used emergency funding meant for migrant families and children to pay for dirt bikes, canine supplies, computer equipment and other enforcement related-expenditures… The money was meant to be spent on “consumables and medical care” for migrants at the border.
ACLU files lawsuit against stringent border restrictions related to coronavirus that largely bar migrants from entering the United States.
Under Trump’s leadership, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has mismanaged its finances so badly that it has sought an emergency $1.2 billion infusion from taxpayers. When Trump took office, USCIS inherited a budget surplus. A large amount of funding is drained by its deliberate creation of more busy work for immigrants and their lawyers — as well as thousands of USCIS employees. These changes are designed to make it harder for people to apply for, receive or retain lawful immigration status.
Asylum-seeking migrants locked up inside an Arizona ICE detention center with one of the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases say they were forced to clean the facility and are 'begging' for protection from the virus
ICE plans to spend $18 million on thousands of new tasers and the training to use them
Any INTP knows the odds are against them all the time and that is enough to deter them. But I've always been a gambler. In middle school I got a multigame mini pool table, table tennis, and Roulette wheel and card table. My friends would come over and gamble money or things. My friend's mom disapproved and made him give me some stuff back (haha). I just didn't know I had to rake games to be "the house." In middle school the black kids taught white kids craps and we'd shoot for dollars. I still love a good dice game. We'd have them on payday after close a couple jobs ago. The shit talking is so much better than poker games. In HS I gambled poker and chess a lot. My favorite poker game was played where everyone had 2.25g of shrooms in them. No poker faces and it didn't last that long. Not great at poker. I've gambled on Chess pretty successfully. Not great at Spades. But I'm an INTP and Casinos aren't my thing. Rather gamble at pool at a dive bar. That said I'm doing a lot of sports betting right now. I once read that a professional sports gambler only wins 55% of the time but they have advanced knowledge in props, parlays, hedging etc. I just figured at college and to a lesser extent pro football, I could pick the winner above 55% maybe even against against--the-spread. My favorite former gf was good at betting on the ponies because she was into horses and leased one, so she had similar inside knowledge as someone who's watched football for 25yrs I put $150 deposit and got $165 because they passed some BTC savings onto me. First week I bet the full $165. I remember the bets too. $45 on Duke (Lost but beat the spread) Same with the $45 I put on S. Alabama. $45 on Coastal Carolina who won outright against Kansas $45. Because the house rakes the games I'd only win about $40 off each so that's $270. But I put a $30 parlay on all three winning and won $180. Turned $165 into $360 (not exact--change and some numbers were rounded). I qualified for a bonus $165 for betting everything. That's a cool $425. I thought "Holy Shit I can just go pro" beginners luck. It was also right after I lost my job and I'm moving for a new one mid October. Back to my home city and old neighborhood. Pretty psyched really except moving is a hassle. Two weeks ago lost $70. I thought that comes with the territory of a pro sports better. I broke even last week. This week I chose a new strategy and bet on 7 games instead of 3. Truth was I don't know a certain percentage. I know games I "know" but I only lost $60. It just feels worse because I went 1-6 instead of two weeks ago when I went 1-2. Plus I lose some change on the low probability parlays. The problem is that I just dipped into my other $165 to bet on pro football. Put in a couple bets and a parlay. The winnings get transferred into my main account. I'm still up either $80 in my account (I can't cash in the "free money") My floor is $200 because I wanna make at least $50 off this fun lil exercise but I see how addictive it is for the first time. I even sought out a Bitcoin chess gambling site mainly used by Africans but I don't play because either I'm not better at Chess than Nigerian Royalty or they use chess bots or both. It also was pretty obviously used for money laundering which is what the gambling sites are also used for. Now I'm betting on Sunday football. Not just Saturday. I guess my cashout ceiling is a grand but I don't see that happening haha. Point is that wk2 college football this year was like my first joint, the first time I mixed valium-codeine-and a belt of scotch at 14. The first time I painted something halfway decent under a bridge at 16. The first time I fucked a girl at 17. The first time I had an audience in stitches at 22 (standup). All very pleasurable and only relatively routinely done. Except maybe sex and drugs but they have other major downsides. Hell when I learned to read at 8 I was attached to books my whole life but nobody thinks that's bad. Haha. Do other people gamble? I'm extraverted enough that if someone has dice on the street I'll shoot or if they have a chess game at a coffee shop. I'll bet $20. Best in person bet was with a frenemy in my group who was the epitome of iamverysmart and everyone in my group thought he was a genius. I took $20 off him in front of everyone and he refused to try to win it back. Bad look for him. I hope I can keep it just for fun. Any other INTP gamblers on here? Edit: Forgot to mention I won $400+ in a $20 pool for the 2011 March Madness B-Ball tourney. I watched none of the regular season (like usual) but knew UConn was good but nobody picked them as they were a #3 seed. I didn't win most rounds either. Dumb luck. It's funny that I forgot because it was less recent than that grudge match against that guy I played chess against.
Philadelphia pausing full green phase reopening, announces travel advisory
The opening of indoor dining and gyms is delayed until at least August 1. PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Due to the rising number of positive cases of the coronavirus, Philadelphia is pausing some of its reopening plans and will only move to a modified green phase on Friday. The city has also issued a travel advisory for 15 states across the country. The city health commissioner Dr. Thomas Farely opened his press briefing Tuesday by saying the news was not good as cases of COVID-19 continue to rise nationally and regionally. There were 142 new positive cases reported Tuesday, bringing the city total to 26,133. There were five additional fatalities in Philadelphia, bringing the total to 1,584. Farley said over the past couple of weeks, positive cases have been likely to be younger people. Thirty-four percent of the cases were under age 30 in the past two weeks, as opposed to 20 percent during the entire pandemic. Dr. Farley announces Philadelphia is pausing its reopening plans. He said this is linked to social events and travel, especially trips to the Jersey Shore. The city's daily case counts are no longer going down, Farley said, and Philadelphia will not meet its targets to move fully to green on Friday. Therefore, the city is pausing the reopening of indoor dining, as well as gyms and fitness centers, to at least August 1. The Southeastern Pennsylvania region, including collar counties of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, entered the green phase of Governor Tom Wolf's reopening plan last Friday, June 26. Philadelphia allowed some businesses like barbers and salons to reopen. The city is also asking people in Philadelphia to not travel to the following states where they are seeing rising COVID-19 numbers: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah. People returning to Philadelphia from any of these states should self-quarantine for 14 days, Farley said. On Friday, Philadelphia will be allowing the reopening of some businesses in a modified and restricted green phase. These businesses and activities include museums and libraries, indoor shopping malls, and small indoor and outdoor gatherings. Casinos will also be allowed to open during this restricted green phase, but only with very strict requirements - masks are required, six feet of distance between patrons, and absolutely no food, drink, or smoking is allowed indoors. All businesses and activities must follow the Safe Mode guidance on the City's Reopening with Care website. Farley added if people can work remotely, they should continue to do so. Farley noted that he expects Philadelphia will be dealing with this virus for a long time, and if there is a rise in cases, the city may be forced to close some previously opened businesses.
Landcadia Holdings II (LCA) is Worth Your Investment, and Here’s Why… $LCA
Landcadia Holdings II (LCA) is Worth Your Investment, and Here’s Why… Tilman J Fertitta, owner of Golden Nugget casinos and CEO of LCA, holds a net worth of $4.9 Billion according to Forbes. He entered a purchase agreement on June 28th, 2020 in an effort to merge both of these companies, here is the 8k sec filing. The merge is set to happen sometime in the 3Q changing ticker from LCA to GNOC, as stated in this article. Although there is no current price target on LCA, it had an enterprise valuation of $385.94 M on 09/30/2019, fairly close to its competitor DraftKings (DKNG) with a valuation of $392.86 M on 09/30/2019. However, it should be noted that these valuations were published before the actual merger of DraftKings and Diamond Eagle Acquisition Corp. We could have a similar scenario with LCA once the merger happens, potentially surpassing DraftKings' share price, since Golden Nugget has continued producing revenue throughout this pandemic. Golden Nugget is leading the New Jersey online casino market and was responsible for 33.8% of the state’s $85.9m gross gaming revenue in May alone, according to igaming. We could see an increase in revenue for GNOC given that the following states have active bills looking to legalize sports betting: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, Vermont, and Virginia. If California were to do so, it could generate them an approximate 700 million every year in tax revenue, according to the Los Angeles Times. Texas could potentially be open to online gambling as well, as Fertitta has joined Governor Abbott’s advisory council to safely reopen the state. Fertitta is not only looking out for himself, but his investors as well.
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 wrestling war is, for all intents and purposes, over. The war between the territories, the ongoing collapse of the territory system, and Vince McMahon’s rise is certainly the biggest story in decades, and at this point the war is over and Vince McMahon has won. Sure, the fighting is still ongoing, but even if JCP can recover from their troubles, the gap between them and WWF is there and it’s just going to keep widening.
The biggest story of the week is that WWF has announced its ppv schedule for the next year. March 27 (Wrestlemania IV), August 29, November 24 (Survivor Series), and January 15 (Royal Rumble). Four ppvs doesn’t look like a big deal, just capitalization on the market trend. But it’s going to have a major effect on Crockett. Crockett had been planning ppv shows in early April (Crockett Cup), July (Great American Bash), and November 24 (Starrcade). With WWF’s new calendar and the exclusivity clause in their ppv deals requiring no competing wrestling ppv events 60 days before and 21 days after their shows and the success of Survivor Series and Wrestlemania IV (presumed for that one - Dave expects Wrestlemania IV to be the biggest grossing ppv ever to this point), WWF is putting the squeeze to Crockett. And in doing so, they’re killing any chance Crockett can compete and break into the ppv market. Long-term, ppv is going to mean live gates will be completely insignificant (like it already is in boxing - and hey, in 2020 we have seen the prophecy fulfilled). Because of ppv, Dave expects Wrestlemania IV to gross as much as every other American promotion will gross for the entirety of 1988, combined. Hence why the gap is wide and will only get wider, and JCP will never catch up. JCP’s going to try to counter, and the apparent move will be to shift those events to prime-time WTBS live (or very recently filmed, like a Saturday Night’s Main Event) specials all built as major cards. Starrcade probably will not be among those, Dave figures this will help.
WWF’s Royal Rumble came out the clear winner against the Bunkhouse Stampede Finals. The Rumble drew an 8.2 rating and was seen in 3.2 million homes, which is twice as many people as when Georgia Championship Wrestling’s show on WTBS was big several years ago when this wrestling war was getting started. It’s the highest rated show in the history of the USA network, and the encore broadcast on Monday drew a 4.8 rating (a regular episode of Prime Time Wrestling in that time slot usually draws a 2.9). All this means that the repeat showing of the Rumble was probably the second highest rated show on cable during the last week.
PPV numbers take longer to get, but it’s possible to make some sense of preliminary reports for the Bunkhouse Finals. The show was likely profitable, purely in terms of money, but the reaction was strongly negative. Early reports estimate the buyrate at 4%, which tells us that if given a fair shot at ppv, Crocket could be profitable with a ppv line up. That’s also encouraging for Crockett, since the card wasn’t strong and the show didn’t have the best heat, but those things may be moot now that WWF has a full year’s schedule set up. Big props to the JCP broadcast team for how well they sold the ppv in advance, because ppv and closed-circuit purchases are majority (90%) last minute, as opposed to house show tickets which are typically bought well in advance.
Wrestlemania IV is expected to sell out by the time this issue hits you. Yeah, Dave. By 32 years now. Anyway, about 14,000 seats went on sale to the general public on Saturday and all but a few thousand were sold by the end of the day. The highest price was $150. It’s funny to Dave that despite the crowd discrepancy, WWF may make as much off 14,000 tickets for Mania IV as they did selling 90,000 for Mania III (The April 3, 2000 issue is the earliest I can find for when Dave revised his view of the numbers for Wrestlemania 3). Anyway, the Convention Center is home to Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, and Donald Trump is using Wrestlemania as the centerpiece of a weekend-long event designed to attract vacation families to his casinos, including a Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine concert in the adjacent Convention Center ballroom. So I guess we can put Donald Trump down as the innovator of Wrestlemania weekend. WWF claims Wrestlemania will be available in up to 9 million homes on ppv, and if the show gets a similar buyrate to last year’s then we’re talking around $15 million on ppv, $1 million live, and probably $4-5 million at closed-circuit.
The employment status of the Rock & Roll Express, Michael Hayes, and Steve Williams with JCP has significantly cleared up. The Rock & Roll Express were fired at the Bunkhouse Finals. On January 23, they were asked to do a clean job to Warlord and Ivan Koloff in 12 minutes. Koloff’s been a low card guy recently, and they have been main guys for years, so instead they did the job in 12 seconds (Ricky Morton laid down and let Warlord pin him). Then they flew to New York for the finals, and Dusty learned what happened (he was not at the show on the 23rd) and fired them on the spot. They could be heading anywhere, though WWF is doubtful due to their size. Michael Hayes was fired last week following an incident. He was teaming with Jimmy Garvin and feuding with Ric Flair on the most recent tour; those spots have been taken by Ron Garvin and Sting, the latter of whom is having an accelerated push as a result. Hayes is expected back at World Class, though he did send a resume to WWF. As for Steve Williams, he stayed an extra week in Japan and missed the Stampede. He’s in a contract dispute with Crockett over whether the money he makes in Japan counts against his guaranteed minimum pay from Crockett (Crockett says yes, Williams says no, you’re not paying it so it doesn’t count toward the minimum you are paying him - corporations are not your friends). Williams has disconnected his phone and is out of communication.
Cable ratings for wrestling in the fourth quarter of 1987 dropped from the the third quarter. The World Championship Wrestling show dropped from second to eighth overall, and WWF’s All-American Wrestling surpassed it at seventh. Prime Time Wrestling, formerly ranked third, fell to tenth, while the Sunday WTBS show dropped from tenth to twentieth. AWA on ESPN dropped out of the top 20 (it was number 19 in the third quarter). Some of the drop probably comes from the change in how ratings are gathered (enter the Nielsen box, or “people-meter” as it’s known at this point). There’s controversy about this whole way of gathering ratings, as detractors believe that the boxes ensure shows that appeal to women will receive higher ratings than they would get otherwise. Regardless, wrestling shows across the board dropped about 10% in the ratings in the fourth quarter.
New Japan’s “Martial Arts Olympic” event in the Tokyo Dome has some hoping it will surpass Wrestlemania 3 for biggest live gate ever. They’ve sold tickets at as much as $220 for ringside and sold out those events, so there’s a chance they could if they price right and sell out. Dave’s been told that Inoki vs. Koji Kitao has the potential to double the gate of Inoki’s matches with Leon Spinks and Masa Saito (each over $700,000). If they can get Taue, that’s probably the best opponent they can get for Inoki to ensure a big draw. I think last week he may have written All Japan, but he's very clear this is an Inoki idea this week.
Speaking of Inoki, New Japan recently did a tour in Italy. The big show was January 24 in Rome and drew 8,000 fans. New Japan actually airs on tv in Italy, and Inoki was the big draw, and he pinned Badnews Allen in the main event. Shane Douglas won a battle royal on the show too. These are the first “western-style” pro wrestling matches in Italy since WWF did a show in Milan back in October.
Jake Roberts was on Ellery Queen mystery magazine’s cover this month, and Muscular Development did a cover story on Jesse Ventura. The Ventura article is excellent, but mostly about his life and training regimen, and not to do with wrestling.
Genichiro Tenryu won all the major awards in Japan. Tokyo Sports named in MVP of wrestling, and Gong Magazine and Weekly Pro Wrestling gave him the equivalent. He beat Riki Choshu in Gong’s annual popularity poll as the most popular Japanese wrestler (Maeda came in second, so pressure there for New Japan to bring him back). Chigusa Nagayo placed 9th, the first time a woman has cracked the top ten of Gong’s poll.
Dave went to the WWF show at the Cow Palace on January 30. It’s his first live show since Japan, and the show drew pretty well, but not as well as you’d expect from a show with a battle royal in the area. The big news of the show were four no-shows: the British Bulldogs (Dave’s heard one of them collapsed at the airport and the other went to the hospital with him), Billy Jack Haynes (his health’s really bad and he’s missed a lot of bookings lately and folks are speculating his career is done), and Bam Bam Bigelow (scheduled to face Ted DiBiase, but he had knee surgery so no clue when he’ll be back). Due to the no-shows, the athletic commission ordered WWF to offer refunds to anyone who wanted them before the end of the second match. He runs down the card: Ron Bass pinned JYD, Ultimate Warrior pinned Harley Race. Warrior’s over big, but still sucks. Ted DiBiase beat George Steele by DQ and Dave alludes to last week’s decision to no longer call matches “abortions” and says “The only word to describe this match is one that has been banned from my vocabulary.” Don Muraco pinned Butch Reed in an okay match. The Jumping Bomb Angels beat the Glamour Girls to retain their tag titles in the only good match on the card (Dave gives it three stars). Noriyo Tateno pinned one of the Girls, Dave doesn’t identify her, saying “you know how it is with those people, they all look alike to me,” which is a pretty solid skewering of people who say that about the Angels and other Asian wrestlers, imo. Ted DiBiase won the bunkhouse battle royal to moderate heat. Hercules pinned Hillbilly Jim. Jim Duggan and Ken Patera beat Demolition and Mr. Fuji by pinning Fuji. Jake Roberts and One Man Gang went to a double countout.
By the way, the California state assembly voted 60-7 to reclassify pro wrestling as entertainment and not a sport. So that means once the bill passes the state senate, athletic commissions will have no power over pro wrestling in California, and wrestlers will not need wrestling licenses to work in the state (which was already a joke of a requirement - Dave got a print-out once of all 60 wrestlers licensed in California and major guys like Hogan and Steamboat weren’t on the list).
The lineup for AWA’s February 4 show, the last at the Minneapolis Auditorium before it’s demolished, has been announced. Curt Hennig defends the AWA Title against Greg Gagne in a cage match. The Midnight Rockers defend the tag titles against a mystery team (the latest announcement was Nick Kiniski and Kevin Kelly, but Kiniski was let go this week and they’re building to a face turn for Kelly). The rest of the card has Dick the Bruiser vs. Adnan al-Kaissey, Billy Robinson vs. Tom Zenk (particularly interesting since Robinson is in for a one-off but has a reputation as a shooter, as well as competing against Verne as a promoter sometimes, so there’s a chance he may go into business for himself), Wahoo McDaniel and Baron Von Raschke vs. The Nasty Boys, and Billy Jack Strong vs. Soldat Ustinov.
Adrian Adonis broke his ankle at the AWA tv tapings in Minot, North Dakota.He was getting whipped into the turnbuckle and stepped into a hole in the ring. He won’t be back for at least two months. Adonis has about 4 months left before he dies.
AWA released a song called “Superstars of the AWA.” Jerry Lawler and Jeff Jarrett were in it due to the increased swapping of talent between Memphis and AWA. I could not find the song.
Something Dave forgot to mention about the WWF battle royal in San Francisco. Technically there were 19 guys, but only 18 actually worked the match. George Steele came out about a minute late, walked around the ring for a few minutes without getting inside, and then just walked to the back with JYD when JYD was eliminated (JYD was the second out of the match). Dave guesses at George’s age he didn’t want to take the bump or something. Dave recalls a story he heard about an unnamed WWF “neanderthal character” who stalled outside the ring for a complete match, and when one fan yelled to “Get in the ring, you lazy bum” he retorted (despite his character not being able to speak English): “What do you think this is, the NWA?”
WWF Superstars tapings were held on January 26 in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Barry Horowitz and Steve Lombardi beat Lanny Poffo and Scott Casey, which set up the main event for the second hour of the taping where the Killer Bees beat Horowitz and Lombardi. Rick Rude and Ricky Steamboat had a match that ended in a big brawl that got Hercules, Harley Race, Jim Duggan, and Ultimate Warrior involved. The main event of the live show was not taped for tv, but had Hogan and Bigelow going over Andre and DiBiase (Hogan pinned DiBiase). Andre’s contribution to the match was one minute (of nine total for the match) in the ring, and a body slam to Hogan before almost collapsing. Commentary for this taping was not done live, but rather will be done in post-production due to the fact that they’re waiting for The Main Event first, since these will all air after that sets up the angles.
Dave hears that the decision on what to do with Hogan/Andre at The Main Event will be decided this week once his filming schedule is determined. If he’s available for weekends, he’ll stay champion through the summer. If not, then a title change will happen and DiBiase is the likely beneficiary.
[Stampede] Badnews Allen and Jason the Terrible were fined $200 and $300, respectively, by Calgary City Hall. This is in relation to their brawl in the audience on December 18 that led to a woman in the audience suffering a concussion.
Oregon will be holding a special show on February 16 as a Frank Bonema Memorial show. Bonema was the tv announcer from Portland who passed away in 1982 or 1983. They haven’t announced any matches yet, but Curt Hennig is supposed to defend the AWA Title against their Northwest Title holder at the time, and there are plans for a tag title match, a strap match, and a cage match.
The February 12 card will be the last card by Continental in Knoxville before Ron Fuller’s new promotion takes over the area from them. The situation with Alabama’s territory continues to confuse me.
Nobuhiko Takada beat Owen Hart on January 13 in one of the highlights of New Japan’s jr. heavyweight tournament. As of January 26, here’s the status of the tournament: Koshinaka leads with 34 points (7-1 record), Takada has 31 points (6-1-1 record), Hart at 29 points (6-2 record), Hase also has 29 points. Yamazaki has 24 points (5-2 record), and Yamada is 4-2-1 with 21 points. Kobayashi has 24 (5-1), Saito at 19 (4-4), and everyone else is negligible at the moment. The finals will be on February 7.
All Japan is pushing a big show for March 9 featuring Hansen vs. Tenryu. That will be a double title match, as Tenryu puts up the United National Title against Hansen’s PWF Title (Dave expects a double countout. Other matches will include Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Tiger Mask II, Baba and Wajima vs. Kimura and Tsurumi, and others.
Giant Baba’s been negotiating with the Funks and David Manning about getting All Japan on tv in the U.S. All part of his angling to help the promotions outside the NWA and WWF against the juggernauts.
AJW is building a big match for February 25, Dump Matsumoto’s retirement show. Dump and Yukari Omori (also retiring that night) will face the Crush Gals in a tag match. Also on the card will be a battle royal and Yumiko Hotta/Mitsuko Nishiwaki vs. Bull Nakano/Condor Saito for the vacant tag team titles.
AJW’s annual rookie auditions took place on January 17 in Tokyo. 1500 girls showed up, and seven were picked based on their performance in various athletic and endurance drills. Dave says this is one of the main reasons it’s ridiculous to attempt to compare joshi wrestling to any American promotion. Only the top half a percent in terms of athletic ability are chosen for training in the first place, and then “they train them like spartans from the age of 15-17 and by the time they are around 22, if they’ve even survived, they are better workers than virtually all the men.” And with the retirement age of 26, nobody stays on so long they feel stale. Then again, that level of training sounds kind of easy to become mega abusive from a 2020 standpoint.
Lots of rumor that NWA’s recent firings aren’t due to discipline issues but due to the company having financial issues. That’s the story those being fired have given. Michael Hayes in particular claims that he and Crockett agreed to a two year deal for $150k per year, but Crockett never signed it and when he pressured Crockett to sign (he wasn’t making money with the contract unsigned), and so he got fired for missing the January 23 show in Cincinnati. Even as Crockett’s financial issues become more and more apparent, they do seem to be recovering at the gate a little.
Unlike WWF, NWA’s weightlifting competition used legit weights. All four guys did 460 pound bench presses easy, then Paul Ellering called to move the bar to 600. Animal failed first, and they threw chalk in his eyes and he bled and was “taken to the hospital” and the whole thing came across well.
The road to Barry Windham joining the Horsemen (not that Dave suspects anything yet) continues as he and Luger are being pushed as a tag team. Meanwhile, Flair and Sting are set to feud.
Dave once again clarifies about Hawk’s line (because apparently he’s still saying it). It’s Neo Maxi Zoom Dweebies, not Neo Nazi Zoom Dweebies.
Crockett referee Jeff Goldberg writes in to correct the record on something. In the January 18 issue, a reader wrote in about the December 26 show in Philadelphia and said it looked like the referee screwed up the finish. Goldberg says he acted as instructed, and Flair would not have congratulated him later on if he had screwed up. He also says readers often blame referees for screwing up finishes, but that’s usually the wrestlers who screw up (or the finish is in fact supposed to look screwed up). Referees can be green just like wrestlers, but he’s proud not to be one of them.
Another reader tells us that his cable company had Bunkhouse Stampede, but Crockett did a LOLNWA. Crockett announced that Sammons cable would have the show on January 23 (day before the ppv). Except they didn’t air the announcement until 2 pm that day, had given no announcement ahead of that time, and Sammons closed their company office for the weekend at noon on the 23rd.
The longest letter this week is all about how Bret Hart deserves a bigger push. Brief version: Vince is making a big mistake by not pushing Bret as a singles star. Even the casual fans buy into him. He’s got promo ability, the ability to make a bad wrestler look good (very important in WWF), and he’d make a great opponent for Randy Savage after an Intercontinental Title change. Give it a few years, Jeff. You’ll get your wish and then some.
Crockett’s apparently going to keep two offices open. The Dallas office will be for tv production, and the Charlotte office will remain as the base for talent.
Mike Rotunda won the NWA TV Title from Nikita Koloff on January 26, then gave the Florida Title to Rick Steiner. Interestingly, Dusty did a promo referencing the Hogan/Andre/DiBiase title situation and said that in the NWA you can’t buy a title. Well, Dave points out, DiBiase offered $1 million to Hogan for the title, so that seems to be the going rate for the WWF championship for a year. Meanwhile, Rick Steiner got the Florida Title for free, which pretty accurately reflects the worth of that title.
World Class drew a crowd of 80 in Houston on January 26. No, you didn’t read that number wrong.
THURSDAY:Hogan drops the WWF Title (really the only big story next week)
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
Free Movies Digital Codes Giveaway Megathread #2 [VUDU, iTunes, Movies Anywhere 4K etc]
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Alabama Shakes on Austin City Limits "This Feeling" - YouTube
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