All posts by Doiner

Doiner has been writing reviews, cutting promos and writing whatever comes to mind since 2009. In 2010 alongside Drunken Zombie became the 2010 Splatcademy Award Winners for Best Horror Podcast. In early 2012 he made Head Writer. 2016 saw the closing for Drunken Zombie, now starts a new journey with Krueger Nation Horror Podcast, and Geek-Nerdery. To be continued…

The Road To Geek’d Con (2018)

This past weekend I attended my very first convention, Geek’d Con. For years I’ve heard stories from the Drunken Zombie crew about their adventures. Now I’ve experienced what they been talking about for years…

Leading up to this trip I had a couple goals in mind. One – Marvel Legends, I’ve built an army of figures and still looking for more. Two – video game or comic art to hang on my wall. Those two goals were accomplished quickly and that gave me time to walk the floor. But Doiner! What about meeting celebrities and such. To be honest, not the best lineup of guest for myself. Sure Mick Foley will be there but I can care less about the guy who voiced Jack Skellington. It wasn’t until Brian Knobbs was announced I thought about standing in line for a meet and greet.

Friday was a lot of driving and storytelling. It wasn’t until we stopped getting cell services when the real fun took play. But those stories are for a private conversation, if you will. When you have three big guys who skipped breakfast, lunch became an event or as the people at the Keachie Kountry Store will say, legend. You see… Three guys from the beach in the backwoods of Louisiana. One with a backwards cap, another with a CBT shirt and a guy wearing a Houston Texans cap. I’ve seen a lot of horror movies, I know what comes next… We walked in to a half store half dive and not talking about like the ones you see on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. This place was spooky at times but the wait staff and food was excellent. We chatted with everyone about Geek’d Con and who’s going to be there. After we made friends with the townsfolk we were one step closer to getting to Shreveport.

The first thing we did when we got to Shreveport was check into our motel at the Red Roof Inn and when I say this place was bad it makes the Bates Motel look five stars. Here’s the rundown… My original room was trashed beds flipped, chairs turned over, I got out of there quick. So I was put in another room and this time no running water for an hour. Next thing I knew Rafael switched rooms because of the water being off, wasn’t just me. After getting settled in and disinfecting the joint I found a couple treasures. A pair of socks and ten cents. Oh! And to lock your rooms door, I had to lift the door up and lock it at the same time…

I took security measures for my safety.

That evening we met up with a few more friends and hit up a casino. Good thing Raf and I brought our suits. Because we were limousine riding, jet flying, kiss-stealing, wheelin’ n’ dealin’ all night long. We left the ladies wanting more, WOO! After a few hours of gambling and earning we hit up the Con for a few hours. I made my rounds, found enough Marvel Legends to hold me over. I got the layout of the joint and I was ready for Saturday…

Saturday… Morning, wake up call, Rafael… Get up, get ready. With Roddy Piper’s theme blaring in my hotel room it was time to put on the kilt and jacket. I was ready. Waiting for the doors to open I spotted a few marks and we gave each other Too Sweets or a head nod. Once in I split from the pack to search for more Marvel Legends and this time… Jackpot! MCU War Machine, Ragnarok Thor all on the cheap, but to the guy who wanted $50 for Cyclops or Rogue… Take your internet prices somewhere else.

While walking around taking in everyone’s awesome costumes I got a phone call from Rafael saying Brian Knobbs didn’t have a long line if I wanted a picture. I made my way down there and sure enough, no one! Walked up got a picture autograph combo and he told me a Shawn Michaels story. Good times.

I may get heat for this, looking at you Patterson! But Constantine (2005) is a good movie by my standards. Another person I got the picture autograph combo treatment was from Pruitt Taylor Vince. He played Father Hennessy. Such a nice guy, told story after story. Nicest guy ever… I was informed that different panels were taking place and John Wesley Shipp (The Flash) was coming up soon. After the meet and greets I went back on the hunt for more Marvel Legends and every time I walk past a booth I been to someone was restocking more Legends. So I found my last ML for the day, the variant purple hair Psylocke.

I finally made it to John Wesley Shipp’s panel talk, I was late but I made it. After food and regrouping with everyone and agreeing to see Helen Slater talk about her film career and staying for a viewing of Supergirl (1984) I needed to find something to hang on my wall and wow did I find something cool. I stopped by The Pixelized Princess booth and they had 8-bit bead art but placed said characters on paintings. Great idea! Got myself a Friday the 13th picture. It’s awesome!

At this point the Con had about four or five hours left before closing for the night and I decided I wanted a picture autograph combo with Mick Foley if his line wasn’t long. Yes, I’m a mark and I’m not a huge Foley fan but I liked his early Mankind gimmick. When I got there the line was short about six people and a couple came in right after me. While waiting a announcement was made, once everyone in this line has met Mick Foley he’s taking a break. That’s when they closed the line.

I finally made it to Foley, got to chat with him about his WCW run and facing Vader. Nice guy, what else is there to say. Around the same time I had to make it to Helen Slater’s panel talk, got there took a seat and she talked about Supergirl. Keep in mind I never seen the Supergirl movie. Q&A with the audience and a few questions about The Legend of Billie Jean were ask, I was happy about that.

Now it was time for the movie… Rafael, Dustin, and I was set and ready… AND… What an awful movie. If I would’ve gotten an autograph from Helen Slater I would have given it back to her and tell her to keep the money, I don’t want a refund. My time watching this movie was spent texting Patterson! and play by play commentary with Rafael. The scene with the front end loader was ridiculous. A giant tire falls, Lucy Lane gets knocked out, Jimmy Olsen never takes pictures to document the damage and so forth. And when ask if she had a transcript, she types one up herself. Who gave her the knowledge that she needed one. And how does she phase in and out of her school uniform. This movie makes no sense. At this point I was so bored I started reading the Geek’d Con program. I had more fun talking about roundabouts or how people bust their belt when all they’re doing is sitting in a chair watching a movie… Looking at you Rafael.

Once the movie was over I first out and never watching this awful movie again, I mean there wasn’t even an end credits scene. How lame is that.

Sunday morning it was time to head home, what a weekend it’s been. Would I do it all over again, I would because I had so much fun. Nothing like hanging with friends and laughing in a place where everyone enjoys the same entertainment as you do. Before we made it home we stopped back in that half store half dive to see what everyone was up too but the morning staff was working…

We made it home and here I am writing this, documenting my first convention. I had a blast and hopefully do it all again next year… Visit Doiner.com for pictures of Geek’d Con 2018.

Living the #FigLife Top Five Marvel Legends Figures

Since joining The Syndicate on facebook and seeing everyone’s Marvel Legends collection I had to get back into the action figure game that was not WWE related. I been buying Marvel figures since the 90’s when ToyBiz was making every Marvel character you can think of. I still have most of those figures today but in storage.

What got me buying again was seeing the Marvel Legends Captain America (Infinity War) and Mr. Fantastic and once I got ahold of those figs, the hunt was on for more! Now to my top five…

Kingpin

Before Hasbro, ToyBiz was making Marvel Legends and the Face-Off collection came at the right time for me because I was heavily reading Daredevil and when I saw the two-pack Kingpin vs Daredevil I knew I had to buy it. I’ve seen many Kingpin figs over the years and this one is perfect in every way.

Human Torch

I had many Human Torch figures growing up but none of them ever felt right when it came to comic book likeness. Some figs would be half human and half flams but with ML I think I found “my” Human Torch figure. The flame effects are minimal and just enough.

Hawkeye

Since Hawkeye made his debut in the MCU all I been seeing is MCU Jeremy Renner or sunglass wearing Hawkeye. I prefer the classic comic book version. The only drawback are the accessories, the bow he comes with and quiver is all purple. Wish it was better detailed and colored differently.

Ghost Rider with Flame Cycle

I’m not huge on Ghost Rider but this set is very cool looking. The flames coming off the bike, flaming chain, it all looks nice sitting on a shelf. The figure itself is basic but the head sculpt is nice with a jaw hinge for up and down movement, red eyes for the penance stare.

The Punisher (Netflix)

The spot on likeness of Jon Bernthal is absolutely amazing. The fading on the skull has nice details. Just a great looking figure overall.

With almost every Marvel Legends figures you get a build a figure part to build another character. I have many parts but never actually built a figure. I just buy the figs I want and keep BAF parts in a box. If you are looking for parts, let me know and I’ll send a picture over of what I have. And when it comes to fantasy booking… I want to see a Dolph Lundgren Punisher from the 1989 movie, and a figure of Ravage 2099.

So! What are your favorite Marvel Legends figures? Comment below.

Interview with Libbi Duncan and ASHES Book Giveaway

This past week I sat down with author Libbi Duncan to talk about The Scorching Trilogy, managing time, and advice for future authors… To get a free copy of ASHES, comment below with what you’re currently reading and a winner will be picked a random. Enjoy!

How do you juggle personal life and teaching while having a trilogy to write?

Libbi Duncan: I’m a binge-writer. I don’t write every day, although I’d like to get into that habit eventually. I usually just write on weekends, holidays, and during winter and summer break. I write best late at night, so it generally doesn’t affect my personal life. It is difficult balancing all three though. Sometimes I feel like I don’t have any free time to just relax, but I do enjoy staying busy.

When you first started The Scorching did you know how it was going to end?

LD: I start each book with a general outline and I wrote a vague arc for the trilogy when I started, but both the individual storylines and overall story have changed. Naturally the endings changed along the way as well. I try to let the story tell itself based on what the characters would do as things progress in their world.

How far along are you in finishing the third installment?

LD: This question gives me anxiety. Can I skip it? Haha. Just kidding. I meant to start writing on June 1st, but I’m in the process of moving and my internet hasn’t been connected yet, so I’m behind. I’ve finished the outline and all of the planning, and I know how the first scene will begin. I just haven’t started writing it yet. I hope to have the rough draft finished by the end of July though.

Thoughts on audiobooks vs hardbacks?

LD: I will always prefer hardbacks/paperbacks over e-books/audiobooks, but I love that we have those options. Flexibility in how you read is important, and no one should be judged for choosing one method over another. As a writer, reader, and teacher, I see variety in publishing as nothing but a good thing. So far my books haven’t been made into audiobooks, but I definitely hope they will eventually. I especially love the idea of audiobooks for people who travel a lot or like to listen while exercising.

Any advice for aspiring writers?

LD: First of all, I dislike that phrase. There’s no such thing as an aspiring writer, in my opinion. There are only people who write and people who don’t write. If you write, you’re a writer.

You can be an aspiring author, though, and that path is difficult to follow. There are countless books on how to be a writer or how to get published; however, there’s no 100% foolproof method, and anyone who says otherwise is trying to sell you their book, not help you. For me, the best advice is as follows:

1.) Read as much as you can.

2.) Write as much as you can.

3.) Revise and edit what you write only after you finish a complete draft. (But again, some authors say the exact opposite.)

4.) Get feedback from both readers and writers, and be careful asking friends to read your work early-on.

5.) Don’t show anyone your first draft. It’s going to suck. Don’t worry. You’ll get better.

6.) Research the writing process as well as the publishing process. Knowledge is power.

7.) Find a support group, either online or in person. I have two writing groups online, one in real life, several critique partners, author friends, beta readers, and loads of awesome friends and family that encourage me. I couldn’t do it without them.

8.) Find what works for you. Where you write. When you write. Paper/pen vs. Laptop. How you edit.

9.) Don’t be afraid to bend or break the rules, but be careful and use common sense.

10.) Persevere. Don’t give up when it gets hard. Don’t give up when you get bad feedback or a bad review. Keep writing.

Ashes: Book Two of The Scorching Trilogy is available now on Amazon.

WWE WrestleMania 34 Predictions

It’s WrestleMania week and sure enough I’m still not hyped for Mania. Something about this years build isn’t getting my blood flowing like past years. Back in January when Shinsuke Nakamura won the Royal Rumble and announced he wanted to face AJ Styles I was onboard. But in the past few weeks Style was and or is injured and may miss his Mania match… And look at Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns story, the whole no show, showing up when your suspended and still get distorted, I’m not buying it. But it’s WrestleMania this Sunday and of course I’ll be watching it and like every year past, here are my predictions.

I do believe it’s time for Reigns to go over and win the WWE Universal Championship.

Cena will call out the Undertaker at Mania and they’ll have their match. Cena did a lot of trash talking in the lead up and it’s time for Undertaker to shut him up. Hopefully we see American Badass gimmick return.

Daniel Bryan announced his in ring return… Don’t see him losing at Mania. As for Ronda Rousey and Kurt Angle facing Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, I’m giving to the Authority. But we all know Rousey and Angle are going over… as for the other matches…

AJ Styles

Fin Balor

Bobby Roode

Nia Jax

Charlotte Flair

Braun Strowman

One Last Trip To Toys “R” Us

I probably made my last trip to Toys “R” Us before they close down. As of writing this everything was 10-30% off. My main goal was WWE action figures and anything TRU Geoffrey related.

When I made it to the WWE figure aisle there wasn’t much, lots of empty pegs and SummerSlam two-packs featuring Ultimate Warrior & Honky Tonk Man. At this point, stop making Warrior figures. Save those figure slots for someone else. I did pick up a WrestleMania build up playset. It came with a basic Brock Lesnar figure which isn’t bad.

After about an hour searching the store for Geoffrey stuff I finally ask for help. Talked to one guy about plushies or Pop! figures and he said, the Pop! figs went fast and as for plushies, we don’t have any. He added, everyone has been coming in asking if we have that type of stuff since we are closing. He built it up as nostalgia.

I spent a couple hours in TRU taking pictures, SnapChatting, and giving play by play to Sometimes Mike about my adventure. So as I walked to the counter to checkout I spotted a row of Geoffrey gift card plushies, jackpot! I ask the lady behind the counter, those for sale? Yes they are… Give me two! And I got’em. I saved a couple dollars noting outrageous. The cashier said, the big sales will take place closer they get to closing the store.

The atmosphere wasn’t all that chipper. Sure I got the, hello when I walked in but it was kinda a ghost town. Saw maybe six customers and four employees. What I remembered the most is how hot it was in there. I’m guessing they shutoff the AC to save some cash… It’s sad seeing a store that’s been there for ages just closing and trying to get rid of everything. I remember going to TRU as a kid looking for wrestling figures and I’m still going to TRU looking for said action toys!

Living the #FigLife Top 5 Random Action Figures

These figures are some of my favorites that’s not wrestling, Star Wars, or Ghostbusters. Being a collector and one time owner of many action figures from the 80’s and 90’s I bought and received a lot of random stuff.

5. Streex (Street Sharks)

I remember watching the cartoon and thinking, if the sharks met the turtles that would be a match. I remember getting Streex one random day after getting out from school. The figure was huge and a bit blocky, the shark did stake but the gimmick was the rubber head and fin so you could make a chomping action. This figure grew old fast with limited play. It needed more articulation.

4. Vinnie (Biker Mice from Mars)

Another one-off figure I bought because of the cartoon. Vinnie was the only figure I collected from the series. He looked cool and always liked the Terminator/Phantom half mask.

3. Aracula (Skeleton Warriors)

I got this figure without watching the cartoon first. Honestly, who needed a cartoon storyline. These figures on their own are awesome. Aracula was the only one I had but got a lot of use out of it. A six armed skeleton was something I never seen before. He faced the Ninja Turtles many of times. And when I see Skeleton Warriors I always think of the Ray Harryhausen movies.2. Armadon (Primal Rage)

To this day I still play the video game but at the time finding any kind of video game action figures hanging on pegs was a must buy. This is one fig I wish I still had, Armadon was used as a villain for Ghostbusters and Godzilla.1. Dracula (Monster Force)

I don’t remember watching Monster Force, but do remember the figures. I had Dracula, he was basic, good look to him. I wish I had other figures from the series to make my own monster mash.

There you have it, another top five. But this time it took me awhile to figure out what action figure made the list.

Living the #FigLife Top 5 Power of the Force Figures

When Star Wars got a second life in the mid to late 90’s I was onboard and collected almost every Power of the Force figures because those were my Star Wars toys… After you read my Top 5 stick around to read Michael Carlson from The Awesome 80’s Pod favorite Star Wars figures.

5. Hoth Rebel Soldier

Generic rebel fig that I could be used anywhere in the galaxy not just Hoth. The removable backpack is a good touch as well.

4. Grand Moff Tarkin

Peter Cushing having his own figure meant using him for Hammer Horror bookings. He faced the Universal Monsters from the Ghostbusters line.

3. Darth Vader

The first handful of characters I received Vader was one of them, he was just menacing. Prop his arm up and he could force choke anyone.

2. Rebel Fleet Trooper

Just like the Hoth soldier I could make this trooper join the Force or turn to the dark side. I enjoyed the background characters a lot more than the main cast.

1. Bossk

The coolest reptilian in the galaxy. When it comes to bounty hunters, keep your Boba Fett and give me Bossk any day. When he first showed up in The Empire Strikes Back I hope to see more of him but didn’t. He became my chase figure for a long time but when that time came and I found him, take my money!

Now a word from Michael Carlson…

All of my life adults have been telling me to grow up. To me there is a fine line between being childish and childlike, a line between being irresponsible and just seeing the wonder and joy in the world. To me the wonder and nostalgia of childhood is encapsulated in 3 3/4 inch action figures from the early 1980s, I.e. G.I. Joe and Star Wars.

Since I became a homeowner I have multiple times in my head rationalized some of my childlike collections. Ahhh Hell! there are plenty of old guys into train sets and remote control so forgive me for preaching to the choir. F-those people who don’t get the joy of others and get all superior and judgy. If you spend time judging people for anything you are wasting your life.

I was asked to give a list of my favorite Star Wars figures from the Power of the Force line from the 90s. Some figure critics judge and write the early figures off as being too WWE shaped. For the time the G. I. Joes, the Marvel and D.C. figures plus the WWE figures all had that V-shaped upper body that was cool. It may give boys unrealistic ideas about the kind of workouts they need to do but that was the style.

5. C-3PO with cargo net

Just the memories of being a kid and taking the 80 version apart makes me like this figure. I’m transported to Cloud City there are Ugnaughts everywhere and Goldenrod is being carried around in a bag, I just love it.

4. Chewbacca as Boushh’s Bounty

Chewbacca, acting as a prisoner, and Princess Leia, disguised as the bounty hunter Boussh, infiltrate Jabba’s Palace. As a figure you could use it either for the Death Star Cell Bock transfer or the imprisoned Jabba‘s Palace scene. To me though what makes him great is the hair. He just looks messy, and just watching as the original trilogy progressed and seeing Chewy’s costume just get better and better. I love it. Chewbacca, acting as a prisoner, and Princess Leia, disguised as the bounty hunter Boussh, infiltrate Jabba’s Palace.

3. Leia in Boushh Disguise

I was unable to purchase this figure in the Power of the Force box and I was only able to find it in the Shadows of the Empire box. I just love the visual of the costume and figure and her holding the thermal detonator. She is so badass!Princess Leia Organa disguised as Bounty Hunter Boushh was released on different cardbacks in the Shadows Of The Empire and Power Of The Force 2 toy lines.

2. Bespin Luke Skywalker

Luke’s face had great sculpting! To me when I was pretending to be Luke this is the Luke in my mind I was. Fighting Vader, training with Yoda, going on that adventure.

1. Han Solo Stormtrooper

This Han Solo as Stormtrooper was a mail-away exclusive through Kelloggs in late 1995 through 1996. To me this was my first of the series and I couldn’t help but think about early childhood when I sent away for The G.I. Joe, William the Refrigerator Perry figure and the Anakin Skywalker. This is what collecting figures is all about.

I did want to give an honorable mention to the Power of the Force flashback series. The Aunt Beru, Hoth Chewbacca, floppy hat Luke, and Yoda with fun accessories. Great ones that I just don’t love are the Bib Fortuna, Biggs Darklighter, Han Solo in Carbonite, also the one I have out and about it on my desk is the Han Solo from the Power of the Force Commtech Series.

For my figures at the time I spent more money than is reasonable but I loved it every step of the way…I was a very happy addict and owning over 90% of the entire line. As a child every time I would run around the corner of a hallway I expected a group of storm troopers to be there. Every time I climbed a ladder I was climbing a ladder inside the falcon to shoot at Tie-fighters. But, these figures were not my figures even though I had the receipt. My figures we sold at a series of garage sales. I was piecing out my childhood one IP at a time. One garage sale, there goes the He-Men, six more months there go the Transformers, the Star Wars…the G. I. Joes. From 1995-99 there was no question with every paycheck I was going to set aside a portion to just buy action figures. Specifically 80s G.I. Joes and 90s Star Wars was my main focus with my 80s ethos going through my mind. I’m a big Goonies fan and the scene where Mouth is it at the old Lost Garden Wishing Well collecting coins he says something. “This is my wish my dream and it didn’t come true and I’m taking it back I’m taking em all back”, that was my mantra. Who is anyone to tell you what you like isn’t awesome regardless of what it is, and I was getting them all back. To me my dream was to stay young forever and feel like I’m riding Falcor from The Never Ending Story, and these 3 3/4 inch figures do that for me.

A Look Back – I Was a Toys R Us Kid

It’s being reported that all US Toys “R” Us stores are closing soon and it’s a shame. Toys “R” Us is every child’s dream, walking into a toy store finding that one action figure that you been searching for for weeks! If TRU didn’t have it no one did.

Toys

I’m still lucky enough to have my childhood TRU still open. I haven’t been in there in three years but I do have fond memories. I picked up the first Iron Man movie figure back in 2008 and one of my last times I went to TRU was in search for WWE Classic Superstars Series, Ted DiBiase. Didn’t find him but eventually ordered him online.

Speaking of ordering online, that’s one reason TRU is going under. Big box retails can’t compete with Amazon, or eBay. And I’m guilty like everyone else. Sure you may go look at Wal*Mart or Target for something but you failed to find it just order it online, it’s much easier picking up a package at a post office than dealing with dummies at a store.

One childhood memory that always stuck with me was when my mom, grandmother and I made a trip to TRU looking for Beetlejuice for NES. As I stood there looking through the glass searching for Beetlejuice I didn’t see it. I was told to get any other game I wanted but my heart was on Beetlejuice, I made the decision to leave empty handed. To this day Beetlejuice for the NES I’m still chasing in the wild.

The one thing about my TRU is, I don’t remember Geoffrey Dollars. I saw them advanced on Tv and in the Sunday paper but never at the store itself.

What I did see every time I walked into Toys “R” Us was their mascot, Geoffrey the Giraffe. He was always giving out hugs and high-fives. Nowadays he’s probably Too Sweeting people. But I digress. My experiences at Toys “R” Us has always been good, I hate to see them go out of business.

Living the #FigLife Top 5 WWE LJN Figures

I been really enjoying writing about wrestling figures and I’m gonna finish this series with the LJN line. Big chunks of rubber and paint crashing into each other! They are really indestructible sometimes. What makes the LJN figs playable are the poses the superstars come in. And you can forget about Rick Rude making this list. Worst LJN ever!

5. Greg Valentine

Valentine was a figure I got much later in life from a family friend. I didn’t use him much since Hasbro was popular at the time. He mostly stood on a shelf.

4. George Steele

Talk about a brick of rubber. Maybe a bulldog or Japanese arm drag but in all reality he could splash a laying opponent. I liked Steele growing up so this fig has a lot of sentimental value.

3. S.D. Jones

The longest IC Champion when I was booking my fantasy league. SD could do it all. I gave him a chokeslam finisher.

2. Ricky Steamboat

Perfect hand for an iron claw submission or something simple as a drop kick.

1. Hulk Hogan

From leg drops, diving elbow to an hurricanrana. The Hogan fig could do it all.

The one LJN that never crossed my path was Randy Savage. Never saw one in a store or yard sale. What are some of your favorite WWF LJN figures?

Living the #FigLife Top 5 WWF Hasbro Figures

The WWF Hasbro line are classics! So many figures with action packed moves, what can go wrong? Other than half my figures got broke over the years of play and a bit of yellowing years later. But let’s look back at my top five!

5. Jake The Snake Roberts (Blue Card – Python Punch) What made this fig cool was his punching action, pull back and let it fly.

4. Lex Luger (Red Card – Narcissistic Action) I found this figure at a yard sale years after Hasbro stop producing WWF figures. I bought it just to add it to my collection. It’s always fun finding wrestling figures in the wild.

3. Brutus Beefcake (Blue Card – Sleeper Hold) This style Hasbro isn’t very popular with the jumping action. But I didn’t mind it, Beefcake was colorful in my eyes with pink, black and white paint job he stood out.

2. Andre The Giant (Blue Card – Giant Jolt) My first Hasbro figure I remember getting, Andra toward over all the other figs and his arms made it easy to tie him in the top and middle ring ropes.

1. Randy Savage (Blue Card – Elbow Smash) One of the hardest figures to find around town. I remember going store to store looking for Savage and didn’t have any luck until I found him in my local mall and the rest was history. Savage won majority of my fantasy booking matches.

The only figure I wish I had was Bret Hart since he is my favorite wrestler. As for the WWE Mattel Retro figs, I’m not collecting. They look cool but not for me.

Living the #FigLife Top 5 WWE JAKKS Figures

When it comes to JAKKS my collection is an impressive one. From bone crushing action to the Classic Superstars series. But today I’m focusing on the basic Ruthless Aggression – Classic Superstars era.

Brooklyn Brawler (Classic Superstars 12) Brawler was a job guy with lots of gimmicks but having him in action figure form was a treat. He was a day one for me.

John Cena (Ruthless Aggression Series 3) This was Doctor of Thuganomics era Cena and at the time he was the coolest figure around to make up your own raps against your other figures.

Jesse Ventura (Classic Superstars 21)This figure mirrors the LJN Ventura with his blue bandanna and pink flowery tights. Once I saw the resemblance it was a must have.

Kevin Thorn (Ruthless Aggression Series 31) Who doesn’t want a gothic vampire wrestling figure. The likeness is spot on and put him next to Ariel you got yourself the Brood 2.0 or a good Twilight spin-off.

Jim Neidhart, Marty Jannetty, and Tito Santana (Classic Superstars Series 3 Three Pack) When building the Hart Foundation you really need an Anvil and at the time the only Jannetty figure was a two-pack Rockers. With Tito you could build Strike Force with a Rick Martel model fig. Finding this set was a real get because it was hard to find.

Living the #FigLife Top 5 WWE Mattel Action Figures

I been buying and collecting wrestling action figures since the LJN era. My collection of JAKKS I’m very proud of but backed off when I found out Mattel took over the WWE license and thought I might as well stop with JAKKS because I really don’t want to rebuy all these figures over again… Until I bought my first Mattel and I was hooked once again. My first figure came from WWE Legends Series 5 with Macho Man Randy Savage. JAKKS never had a Savage figure and I couldn’t pass him up!

These are my Top Five favorite WWE Mattel action figures.

5. Becky Lynch (Elite 49)

I’ve always been 50/50 on Lynch but came around a year ago. I picked up her Elite 49 figure on clearance, it just looks good. She has her steampunk top hat, goggles and duster.

4. Razor Ramon (WrestleMania 32 Basic)

When I was looking for a Razor there’s a Defining Moments figure with purple ring gear, but I wasn’t looking to get anything fancy. So I found a basic with black and gold ring gear which to me is the classic Razor look. Sure he didn’t come with a vest but still a nice figure to add to my Kliq/New Generation Era collection.

3. D’Lo Brown (Elite 52)

D’Lo was my favorite wrestler in the Nation and he’s a bit underrated, he’s one of a few people in the Attitude Era that wasn’t named Hardy doing high flying moves. The Elite 52 figure is spot on, down to the protective vest.

2. Dusty Rhodes (Target Exclusive)

I skipped on buying WWE Legends Series 1 Dusty Rhodes to buy Randy Savage, years later when Target had Rhodes packaged with the WCW ring I couldn’t pass it up. Rhodes was in his NWA era ring attire with the big gold belt and by this time I was already three rings deep and having one more couldn’t hurt. But it’s the classic Dusty that I like about the figure. Cowboy ring boots, birthmark and one elbow pad. Classic!

1. Bret Hart (Defining Moments 5)

I gotta have my all time favorite wrestler. This figure is from In Your House: Canadian Stampede. Everything about this figure is awesome, he comes with a Canadian flag, sunglasses, and a leather jacket with the Hitman skull logo on the back. Everything you need to make a perfect Bret Hart figure.

Who’s Next? At this point Mattel is making everyone, as of this year X-PAC has four figures floating around and one of them is Syxx from his WCW run. But I really want to see a Gorilla Monsoon figure because Bobby Heenan has a figure out and one on the way, and I need a Prime Time Wrestling duo. Another figure I would buy is Haku in his King of the Ring attire.

And now a word from Lawrence of The Awesome 80’s Podcast on his top 3 favorite wrestling action figures.

Thanks Doiner for including me in this column. I was a hardcore collector from 1990-2005. Although I do have some of the early WWF figures they didn’t capture my heart at the time. After I was collecting for a few years I stopped opening all figures and kept them in their packaging. If I really wanted to open one I would buy doubles but even then I found I would have a tough time allowing myself to open the package. I found I got more joy out of holding the unopened package and looking at them than I did playing with an opened one.

If anyone is looking for gift ideas I have always regretted opening the 1990 WCW set and am willing to take donations of any of those figures. Enjoy my Top 3 list below and feel free to comment about your favorites. My favorites are all about sentimental value and not which ones looked the coolest or had the best moves.

3. Shawn Michaels (Road to WrestleMania 22 – Series 1)

Shawn Michaels as Hulk. This figure makes me laugh and reminds me of the promo HBK delivered right before their 2005 Summer Slam match where Shawn over sold everything and made Hulk look like an asshole. If you haven’t watched this match or haven’t watched it in a while as a wrestling fan you owe it to yourself to check it out.

2. Mick Foley’s Triple Threat

I was a huge Foley mark since his 1991 WCW run. So I was the worst to be around when he was at his peak in WWF from 1998-2002. I loved everything Foley did and I wasn’t shy about telling everyone I saw. When this set got released I was full on mark mode. It is of course still sitting in my collection, unopened.

1. Jim Ross (Ringside Collection Series 2)

I was also a big JR mark. This is my #1 because I searched for over 6 months to find this figure. Every Wal*Mart or Toys R Us I passed I had to stop to try to find it. The fleeting moment of joy I had when I found it and held it in my hands was a euphoric feeling for all of 10 seconds. I have four of this figures currently sitting in my basement you guessed it all unopened. Special shout out to my college girlfriend who also had to stop at everyone of those Wal*Mart’s, Toys R Us and oh ya I forgot we also stopped at every K B Toy stores.

Honorable mention to the WCW 1990 set. This was the first set that I hardcore collected. I still have the entire set in my collection but I opened them all to book shows using the WCW ring I had. Special shout out to the spring loaded ring platform.

WWE Royal Rumble Aftermath

The women’s Royal Rumble match went on last and what a match it was. Asuka eliminated Nikki Bella to become the first woman to win said match. Before she could choose which champion she wants to face at WrestleMania, Ronda Rousey made her appearance staring down Charlotte Flair, Alexa Bliss and Asuka. She event had a stare down and handshake with Stephanie McMahon.

Some of my favorite highlights was seeing Beth Phoenix wrestling again, I miss her in ring work so bad. Natalya Neidhart eliminated Phoenix. Another person I was surprised to see was the number thirty entrance, Trish Stratus and she still can go. She and Mickie James faced off reuniting their feud. A couple other names appeared was Molly Holly and Lita. Lita got some ring rust. Torrie Wilson and Michelle McCool were good. And entering at number nineteen was Kelly Kelly… What a joke!

Let me get this out there… Jason Jordan is the Marty Jannetty in every tag team he is in. The Bar defeated Seth Rollins to win the RAW Tag Team Championships. Jordan got taken out early by Cesaro by slamming him face first into the ring post. The match was basically a two on one match and Rollins worked his tail off.

The men’s Royal Rumble match was good but it was a bit fast. Shinsuke Nakamura eliminated Roman Reigns to win the match. I and everyone watching the Rumble was happy Reigns didn’t win. A one point it could’ve came down to Cena-Reigns and if that have happened everyone in the crowd would’ve rioted.

Rey Mysterio, Adam Cole and Andrade Cien Almas made surprise appearances. Mysterio shocked me the most since he’s been in Lucha Underground and the way he left the E wasn’t on good terms.

Brock Lesnar retained the Universal Championship in a brutal match with Braun Strowman and Kane. Strowman kneed Lesnar in the head and got a punch in the face receipt for it. Strowman looked a bit shaken by it. This match was spot heavy, from getting hit by chairs and destroying three announce tables and two additional tables. Just watch the match it’s worth it.

AJ Styles defeated Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn to retain the WWE Championship.

The Usos defeated Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin to retain the SmackDown Tag Team Championships.

Royal Rumble (2018) was good but I still say NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia was a better show when it comes to in ring work.

Rhodes Turns On Omega At New Beginning

Last night at New Japan Pro Wrestling: The New Beginning event in Sapporo saw Cody Rhodes turn on Kenny Omega after he lost his IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship to Jay White. After Cody hit the Cross Rhodes on Omega and anymore damage could be done Kota Ibushi made the save. Reuniting the Golden Lovers once again!

Omega getting kicked out of the Bullet Club has people saying he may appear in tonight’s Royal Rumble match. I don’t see that happening. Omega is a face now and with the help of Ibushi, I see them trying to destroy the Bullet Club. Maybe a Omega-Cody match is in the works, love to see that in a year long build and at Wrestle Kingdom 13.

NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia Results

Mix reactions for tonight’s NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia but I thought it was a solid show top to bottom. Sure there were a few hiccups in Ohno-Dream but still a good match. The Royal Rumble tomorrow night has a lot to live up to.

Authors of Pain taking on Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly is the best tag team match I’ve seen this year. Undisputed Era working over the knee of Rezar really showed how good Fish & O’Reilly are when it comes to facing someone bigger than them, when size and strength isn’t on their side. Fish & O’Reilly retained the NXT Championships.

Ohno and Dream had an okay match. They could’ve slowed it down a little and paced it out. And I still can’t get over how big Kassius Ohno has gotten but he can still movie around the ring like a hero.

Ember Moon put on one hell of a fight reversing the arm bar from Shayna Baszler to get the pinfall. The match was one sided with Baszler dominating but Moon hit the eclipse and a handful of kicks. I don’t see this feud ending anything time soon. Baszler attacked Moon after the match.

Aleister Black defeated Adam Cole via pinfall in an Extreme Rules match and it’s probably one of the best hardcore matches I’ve seen. Other than CZW or some indie show you don’t see extreme wrestling anymore other than the E and this match had everything.

The match between Andrade “Cien” Almas and Johnny Gargano is being called match of the year by some on Wrestle Twitter. Was it a good match, yes. Five stars, argument could be made. I thought it was a good wrestling match. Would I put it next to Omega-Okada, nope. But it was still a damn good match. Gargano is someone I been following since his days in Pro Wrestling Ohio and I’m very happy to see him get an NXT title shot but he came up short.

#RAW25 Is In The Books

I was hyped more than anyone for #RAW25 and it had its moments but fell flat when it came to the Manhattan Center and the fans let everyone know by chanting “bullshit”.

I would be pissed too because the Barclays Center was getting all the top names and segments like John Cena, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Godfather. Where the Manhattan Center got the Undertaker cutting an in ring promo which came off bad and two short matches with Wyatt-Hardy, and Bálor Club-Revival. Sure D-Generation X and Razor Ramon segment went over well, but it took Triple H putting over the fans to get them back on his side.

What you didn’t see was during the commercial breaks the Manhattan Center was getting 205 Live matches and even those went short.

The E tried to do something good but couldn’t really pull it off. I did kinda like the original format, one hour will take place at the Manhattan Center and the next hour Barclays Center and have the third hour rotate. I did like seeing Brooklyn Brawler, Brother Love, the return of the Peep Show even though Christian became a background character. The Manhattan crowed chanting 1 2 3 for X-PAC that hit me in the feels. And let’s not forget the fan dressed in drag like Bobby Hennan did.

Here’s to another 25 years of Monday Night RAW… I said in my Royal Rumble predictions that there may be a setup for a Bryan-Miz match and tonight the seeds were planted again! Miz became the new IC Champ defeating Roman Reigns.

WWE Royal Rumble Predictions (2018)

The road to WrestleMania starts at the Royal Rumble. One man and one woman will go on to headline WrestleMania 34.

Dirt sheets are saying John Cena will win the rumble but face Undertaker at Mania and not go for a world championship title shot. Cena has won in the past and I really don’t like repeat winners and if Cena wins there still needs to be someone going for the SmackDown or RAW world championship. I’m predicting Bray Wyatt to win.

The women’s rumble match I’m really looking forward to but let’s not have Ronda Rousey win the match, just have her as a surprise entrant. I can’t wait to see who’s all going to be in this rumble, hopefully some past WWE superstars pull a one shot. Right now I’m high on Nia Jax and want her to win the rumble.

Triple threat match for the WWE Universal Championship… Brock has been champion for awhile now and Kane is kinda busy on the political scene and then there’s Braun Strowman. The man who tipped over an semi truck! He’s so over with the crowd and Wrestle Twitter, it’s time for him to win gold and I hope he does.

Handicap match for the WWE Championship… AJ Styles will face Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn. I like the direction where Owens and Zayn is going but I can see Owens turn on Zayn if they win the championship. Keep it on AJ and give him his WrestleMania moment in a singles match that has nothing to do with Shane McMahon.

Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin over the Usos to become the new SmackDown Tag Champs.

Cedric Alexander is going for the Cruiserweight Championship facing Enzo Amore and it’s time for Alexander to get gold. He’s a great performer and the Lumbar Check is a sick finisher.

Update: Enzo Amore got future endeavored. So he won’t be making it to the Royal Rumble.

Seth Rollins and Jason Jordan vs Cesaro and Sheamus… Not a fan of Jason Jordan and Kurt Angle’s family storyline and ever since I’ve been sour on Jordan. The Bar has already seen tag team gold, Jordan and Rollins will hold the belts a little longer.

Side Notes: Wrestle Twitter is saying Daniel Bryan will make his in ring return at the Royal Rumble. I would like to see D-Bry back in the ring but not to win the rumble. If he does have a come back, let’s get that Lesnar match out of him and put Reigns to the side. Or Bryan-Miz would be a match I see Bryan wrestling in because the storyline is there if you watched Talking Smack in 2016.

Top 10 Monday Night RAW Moments

WWE is celebrating the 25th anniversary of Monday Night RAW this Monday night by having a simulcast, part of show will take place at the Manhattan Center while the other half will go down at the Barclays Center. And the WWE is bringing back some of their heavy hitters like Stone Cold Steve Austin, Chris Jericho, Scott Hall, and even… She’s so bad they named her twice, it’s Kelly Kelly!

And I’m here tonight to give all of y’all my top ten favorite Monday Night RAW moments!

10. Chris Jericho’s RAW debut (8-9-99)

9. Shane McMahon buys WCW (3-26-01)

8. Brian Pillman – Pillman’s got a gun (11-4-96)

7. Lita and Trish Stratus main event RAW for the WWE Women’s Championship (12-6-04)

6. Lightning Kid defeats Razor Ramon (5-17-93)

5. Brock Lesnar returned and destroyed John Cena (4-2-12)

4. DX reunites on Raw’s 1,000th episode (7-23-12)

3. CM Punk’s pipe bomb promo (6-27-11)

2. Hardy Boyz and Edge & Christian received a standing ovation (10-18-99)

1. Bret Hart returns (1-4-10)

There you have it my top ten RAW moments! Now let’s see what special guest Lawrence from the Awesome 80’s Pod have to say about some of his favorite RAW moment.

1. RAW is Owen: Nothing will ever rank higher than me than the night after Owen died. The emotions were high and every superstar was vulnerable and real. Best moment for me was the Road Dogg and Godfather deciding to go smoke a fatty and swap Owen stories instead of wrestling each other. (5-24-99)

2. Formation of the Union: Foley, Test, Shamrock and Big Show. The group only lasted a few weeks but their gimmick was perfect for the time and place. (5-3-99)

Their hokey entrance music just added to the legend.

3. Steven Regal – Real Man, unfortunately Mr. Regals substance abuse issues led to this gimmick lasting only a short time but this theme and gimmick made me pop every time I saw it and is too often forgotten. (10-24-98)

Honorable Mention: Ric Flair had the best retirement in the history of wresting from his last match to the next night on RAW. This would be my number one if he didn’t screw it up by wresting for TNA. (3-31-08)

Watching Doctor Who: Twice Upon a Time on a Broke Television

Christmas has ended and the Doctor Who Christmas special is over… I been waiting all day to watch Twice Upon a Time, after Christmas dinner I went home sat down turned on the television a couple minutes later the screen went dark and a loud pop came from it, the Tv died. I went into panic mode how am I gonna watch Doctor Who tonight? A few phone calls and hours later I got myself a mini TV. What a Christmas it has been!

I liked Twice Upon a Time, it wasn’t a adventure story but it filled my DW needs. This was Peter Capaldi last run as the Twelfth Doctor, his whole run is hit and miss for me. Series nine was his strongest. I may pickup series ten because I really enjoyed Pearl Mackie and glad she returned tonight. Another companion to show up was Clara (Jenna Coleman) her role was small, in and out that was fine by me, Twelve now remembers her.

We also got the regeneration scene for the Thirteenth Doctor (Jodie Whittaker). I’m really excited to watch her run and with a new show runner in Chris Chibnall I’m hoping he brings something new to DW without forgetting the past. It’s been said Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor will be a hard reboot for the series like Eccleston in 2005. Now it’s a waiting game for Doctor Who to return to TV.