Episode 26: Holy Golden Gate!: January 30, 2022

Batman Sets the Pace
"After an ingenious escape, Batman and Robin again pick up the trail of the Joker. The villain's ultimate crime is designed not only to make him rich but to ruin Batman's reputation."
71 minutes

"RD: Only One D in RD". Vince: "That was tremendous. Tre. Men. Dous."

RD like the Joker's theme being used in the summary while the narrator does his work: "Wrapped for mailing! Into the mailbox! Addressed to...OBLIVION! But wait! The gasser is yet to come!" RD thought he heard a theremin as the Duo continue to be trapped in gas. Vince: "A WHO?" 

The Duo continue to struggle. Narrator: "OH NO! DON'T GIVE UP!" They respond to these random words of encouragement by switching to their completely obvious stunt doubles to escape by putting their backs together and climbing up the walls of the smokestack. RD saw some technical mishaps with his DVD version for some reason. Jill compliments their bravery. Joker concedes the point, then consoles her on all the money they are about to steal. He bids the Duo adieu, who respond with a chef's kiss, scaring the villains to their blue van. A goon reminds Joker that he has a gun, but he prefers a "succulent idea".

Returning to the Batcave, (:14) the analyzed hairpin does not give any further answers besides triggering the gas in the maharajah's golf cup. So they have to read the Pattern Identification Manual to identify the gas, which can only be found at the Ferguson Novelty and Magician Supply Company. RD wonders how many there are in Gotham. Vince remembers visiting one in Marietta, Georgia.

Sad News: Vince didn't do anything special for his 60th birthday. He had a "woolly" for ribs but he found the restaurant ones too expensive, so he bought and cooked his own. He is continually weirded out by his wife putting sauces on everything she eats. 

Guessing it may be a front, Bruce and Dick pay the Company a visit. Vince gives the store clerk 7 Batpoles. RD gives her a "full" 8 despite not finding much information on her actress Bebe Louie. He is on the case of getting another guest for the video progrem. 

Vince makes fun of his 91 year old father striking out at softball and wonders if that is wrong. He has considered getting his bat blessed by his priest and wonders if that is wrong. RD wonders if they can get him on the video progrem. Five year old Vince had his tonsils removed while wearing a Batman style cowl. 

Jane Wald as Jill is also at the hideout wearing some sort of blanket. RD gives that 6.5. Vince gives her 8. RD reads online words about her and worries about others also researching and proving him wrong and Vince right for once. "Smokin' Bod" he handwrote and circled.

Bruce asks the clerk for some "amusing favors" for a party for Dick. She provides some fake glasses. Bruce: "Very ingenious." Dick: "This would be keen for spies." Dick then gets a long-winded recitation from the clerk about a one-way mirror. Bruce can see Jill and the goons through it, who dismiss the two as "just some squares". Jill then dismisses their captive maharajah as "a big fat bundle of ransom!"

Returning to the Batcave (again), (:40) Batman is mapping out the hideout through an old painting of the novelty shop and a ventilation shaft they can enter using trigonometry or Blade's chemistry or some such. Robin: "Holy impregnability!...Gosh, Batman, I'll never neglect my math again!" 

The Duo stumble upon their entry in the mountains. Batman goes first due to "dynamic seniority". After going through the motions of being ambushed Joker uses his Surprise Attack Defense Panel to start a fight with fireworks and confetti. Jill: "I told you he'd find us you clown!" RD is reminded of Frank Drebin in The Naked Gun telling people to please disperse. 

Joker and Jill escape with their captive, leaving Batman to loudly yell "FIENDS!" after them. So they have to call Gordon who's asleep at his desk in the middle of the evening. He covers for this by warning they may have to call Washington. RD is shocked they're trying to keep things covered. Vince thinks they want to dramatically rescue him. Joker then calls in as is his given right to taunt.
Gordon: "I warn you Joker, if the Maharajah is harmed, we'll hunt you down, if it takes a hundred years."
Joker: "By that time my jokes will be stale, wouldn't they, Commissioner?"
He then tells the Duo the maharajah will pay his own $500,000 ransom on his own in person by writing a check for Batman to then have to cash in. 

They meet at a bank branch for the maharajah to start writing on the check for Batman. Batman: "One t." RD is reminded of his favorite Bobby Heenan moment where he and Gorilla Monsoon went to Tony Packo's Cafe and Heenan tried to help Gorilla write his name properly. 

Despite supposedly being "free" the mahajarah has to be honorable for the "honorable bandit" Joker. Batman then pulls out a lawn dart. Vince: "How far are you sticking it in this dude?" (:55) He thus deflates him to show it's actually Joker, leading to another fight and Robin jumping over a desk. RD screen captured the Joker's bare neck under his mustache.

Batman had discovered the maharajah was never in the city at all, through the deductive powers of...making a phone call to his palace. It is unclear if Jill was in on it; she just vanishes into the void of not shooting scenes. Batman orders O'Hara to "cart this human trash away!" 

In an uncommon turn of events, the Narrator is at Stately Wayne Manor when the phone rings. Alfred is again annoyed that Gordon is calling for Batman. Aunt Harriet warns Dick about eating too many biscuits with his tea: "you'll get as fat as the maharajah!" Vince wonders if she was wearing a girdle instead of a bra. 

Bruce excuses himself to read a book about tiger hunting to answer the phone. Gordon wonders if the rumors are true that he is running for the governorship of California.
Bruce: "Calm your fears, Commissioner. The rumor is unfounded. As long as there's a criminal at large in Gotham City, wild horses couldn't drag me away."
Gordon: "Oh, thank heavens, Batman!"
O'Hara: "Saints be praised!"
Dick: "Holy Golden Gate!"
As RD explains, this is a topical reference to then Wrestlecrap figure Ronald Reagan running for the same role. Incumbent Pat Brown responded to his presence by...running an ad reminding people that an actor killed Abraham Lincoln. Needless to say it didn't end well for him. 

As for Reagan, there is no further word on what happened to him. The most I could find of him was his setting off on an airplane to try and settle a bet to begin bombing Russia in five minutes.


  • Special Guest Villain: The Joker [3] (Cesar Romero) [3]

 

  • Blue Van: 1
  • SPEAKING OFs: 2. Getting people on the show, bags of garbage
  • RD Time Outs: 1
  • Screen Captures: 1. RD 

Episode 25: Holy Shrinkage!: January 23, 2022

The Joker Trumps an Ace
"A wave of senseless robberies by the Joker prove to be part of a plot against a visiting maharajah."
84 minutes

"RD is No Prescott Belmont" which sounds like a TNA correspondent. He is also the only one Vince can talk to about AEW, in this case about the Rhodes' reality show perhaps being an outlet for a heel turn. RD reminds him that things aren't always clear cut, something Vince should know from his WCW background. Also one should not take reality shows at face value. 

The Narrator oversees another "beautiful morning" in Gotham City. (:10) He also repeats that on RD's pinball machine. Vince wonders why it's not raining or night or raining at night like it always seems to be nowadays ever since the first movies. He also does not know what "idyllic" means. The Joker arrives to hold up an "exclusive fur salon where elegant ladies are shopping with their doting husbands". One of them, Prescott Belmont, is so shocked by the appearance of "that arch criminal" that he temporarily loses his upper class accent. Joker has his goon "felonious furriers" (Vince also does not know what "felonious" means) gather the occupants at fake gunpoint and put them on two boats armed with bombs so that he can make a rather odd "joke". He then pulls out Mrs. Belmont's hairpin with a magnet.

Gordon also discovers Joker has stolen a hole from a golf course, most likely the interior cup: "What is the Joker up to?"
O'Hara: "About to start on another in a series of dastardly crimes, I'll wager!"
Gordon: "Then we'd better not delay!"
O'Hara: "Right! For there's no one else can cope with the capers of that devilish clown!"
Gordon: "Right Chief O'Hara! Though we may never know who's behind that mask of his, thank goodness he's there when a crisis befalls us!"
...
Alfred (when called): "I'll solicit his presence, sir!"
Vince wonders what happens if Alfred is unavailable to answer if he's in the bathroom. RD supposes it's a Bat-earpiece or bug.

Bruce and Dick are doing a puzzle with the picture upside down for visual memory. RD asks his friend about such activity while Vince only now notices his Lego Batmobile. The Duo leave while bra-ed Aunt Harriet brings them milk and cookies. Alfred tells her Bruce is rushing to the sports store for bird-watching binoculars. 

RD is confused by how the Duo can descend the Batpoles in their outfits. Vince tables that for another episode. 

In Gordon's office Batman uses a stethoscope to examine a suspicious package. (:27) He then delegates Robin to handle the contents while he and Gordon hide behind a Bat-shield. It contains an inflatable genie (or djinn as it is properly called). Batman immediately pops it rather than examine it further, revealing the reel-to-reel hidden within. At least the Joker's joke this time was slightly better, but only just. The Co-Bros prefer the Riddler's laugh to his, though they wouldn't want them appearing back to back. Batman determines he's referring to a visiting "maharajah of Nimpah" who has his own Wiki entry golfs with solid gold clubs. 

(Insert Popeye joke here.
Ah gyuk gyuk gyuk gyuk.)
At the golf course Joker lies in wait on a forklift before moving to a blue van stating "Let
GAYFELLOW Take You To The CLEANERS!". RD wishes for a Lego blue van one day, hopefully without the signage. The Duo meet Prescott who is also the country club president: "Batman, I presume!" Batman prefers to discuss things somewhere less conspicuous" while still in their outfits. He should have asked the Riddler when arresting him how to handle this. The Maharajah golfs badly ("the grass is growing the wrong way") with his bulked up bodyguards and the mayor as the "world's most flatulent tuba" plays his theme and he acts like an ass: "Please don't putt while I'm talking."

Getting the hole dislodges yellow knock-out gas. The Joker and goons take them and their equipment into the blue van. Batman can't Bat-turn the Batmobile despite Robin's protests: "Think of the golfers. The retro-rockets would blow up the course for a hundred yards!" So they have to turn normally. By then the van has vanished, leaving only a model. Robin: "Holy shrinkage!" Inside is a long run-on sentence of another bad joke, leading them to his hideout in the Katz Katz and Katz refinery/fur company. 

The Joker plays cards with as many as 6 (six) goo - felonious furriers, and his lady "Lovey" who is actually Just Jill. RD can't really rate her yet due to the "too short" fur coat she kept wearing (Joker: "That's my style, short skirts on a dame!") but he found her attractive so far. (:45) 

The Duo enter by opening the door like the Ghost Busters. The ORIGINAL Ghost Busters, mind you, of 1975. Hence when that one indie movie in the 80s, their cartoon show was called "The Real Ghostbusters" while original rights holders Filmation capitalized on this by making their own cartoon show called "Ghostbusters". Shockingly, it didn't last as long. 

Vince found odd seeing a copy of the actual Wall Street Journal. 

Robin ruins their ambush with a loud "WE GOT YOU JOKER!" before their Batarangs hit a pane of glass. Somehow it held "folding mirrors" to reflect the golf course green to camouflage itself. Even RD is befuddled. The goons entrap them in crazy confetti by running around them while Joker takes the opportunity to sing and dance.
Batman: "It's like being caught in a barrel of snakes!" 
Jill: "I bet [Batman] wouldn't try to knock you off if he had the chance!"
Joker: "Oh, no, he'd merely try to incarcerate me in durance vile for the rest of my life! A fate much worse than death for a spirit such as mine!" 

He wants to give them a sporting chance to fight back however, much to the shock of his goons. One in particular with a low laying hat protests in a Bluto impression. So Joker uses his "funny ray" to disable their gadgets and utility belt for an hour, in which they'll have to swim for their freedom. Batman accepts the terms despite more of Robin's protesting. One of the goons gives some of the confetti to Batman: "thank you," he says courteously. They then are lowered into a smokestack filling with deadly gas. 

RD found today's average, but much as he likes the Joker he finds himself more preferring the Riddler. Today didn't help with the bad "jokes". 

RD will write about NXT 2.0 as the year's Gooker. (:62) Vince complains about the "Wrestling Dirtsheet Community" not understanding the financial side of wrestling. RD reminds him that things aren't always clear cut, something Vince should know from his WCW background. Also that as a farm system it was developing future wrestlers pretty well before McMahon got it into his mind to "improve" things. 

Watching the Bengals win via coin toss made RD remember Blade sticking only with the Lions except when he didn't. At least it's not Tampa Bay [just eliminated the other day].


  • Special Guest Villain: The Joker [3] (Cesar Romero) [3]

 

  • SPEAKING OFs: 3. That, puzzles, dame
  • Outdated references: 2. Columbia Music House, Larry Storch
  • Blue Van: 1

Episode 24: Holy Rack!: January 16, 2022

Give 'Em the Axe
"Taking advantage of the Riddler's mistaken belief that they were killed escaping his deathtrap, the Dynamic Duo must stop the villain from stealing a treasure of Incan jewels that would mean destroying an archaeological treasure as well."
80 minutes

"RD is Hualpo Cuisi's Long Lost Bro" perhaps through Uncle Burt. He's happy because Stern Pinball has announced a Rush pinball table, which looks as beautiful as a Red Barchetta. (If I had to buy a Stern it would be between that and their Iron Maiden, even if it has yet to include a Pinball Eddie.) While he prefers heavier musical fare, he at first thought the playfield artwork of the trio made them look like Spinal Tap. (If that was the case, wouldn't it then be actual Stonehenge size?) His observation on Twitter caught the attention of Harry Shearer. Vince gives him boos for not then trying to get him on their video progrem.

RD could regale Vince for hours with his pinball knowledge, including former challenger Williams thinking a table based on Star Wars Episode I would be a best-seller. (I wonder if Blade ever played it.)

RD is wearing a Japanese Batman movie shirt. He knows the word Ichiban means 'number one' from his time watching WWF and their commercials for Ichiban Confections ("First in smiles!").

Vince worked in the same ring with Hulk Hogan and never had any real trouble with him, hair issues notwithstanding, yet he wonders why he keeps getting into trouble online. (:15) RD leaves it to habitual human nature if not just apathy. He compares him to WWE Hall of Famer Pete Rose ruining his chances by not apologizing when he should have. And also Paul Bunyan.

SPEAKING OF Paul Bunyan, the Narrator summarizes the previous day's Bat-adventure. (:24) Vince somehow still remembers the original showings of Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30. The Bros trade applause. RD does not remember Riddler having to wear a girdle. "RD Needs A Girdle More Than Frank Gorshin", he wanted to title himself but couldn't due to lack of space. Vince thinks it's a back brace to support his raucous laughter. 

Batman: "Remember Riddler, you can't buy friends with money."
Riddler: "With money, who needs friends?"

Moth gives theatrical coughs so she and Riddler have to vacate the room to watch through their "candlescope" periscope. They leave Batman to sweat his armpits in the heat. He guesses that some listed ingredients of sodium dichromate and potassium ferrocyanide are to create candle wicks that are "highly explosive when exposed to heat". RD wonders what used an explosive candle would be. In this case Batman twists slightly so his "highly polished" belt buckle can reflect sunlight into the chemicals to cause an explosion and free them, rather than just killing them, though it does knock them out. 

Riddler sees bodies and shows his happiness through emotional whisper without actually checking on their status in person. He then calls Gordon to gloat and give a riddle before leaving for the Blue Van: "A crime is no fun without riddles. I'll have you know that's the main reason I took up this crime game." The Duo wait for him to leave before taking back the Batmobile to call Gordon that they're feeling better. RD wonders how they would fix whatever damage Riddler caused. 

Gordon: "Who is this?"
Batman: "Why? This is Batman! Your Caped Crusader!"

They figure out Riddler is going after an nonoperational lion fountain. The Bros find it confusing. 

At the Gotham City Museum (:46) the Riddler and his goons determine their Incan treasure is in the sarcophagus of emperor Hualpo Cuisi. Goon: "Boss, I don't even know what an esophagus is." Riddler and Moth then find themselves in a basement of medieval torture devices (SPEAKING OF Iron Maiden). The Duo park in a no-parking spot and determine that the sarcophagus and treasure must be kept air-tight or it will disintegrate. Billionaire Batman wonders why he would do this for a "mere" million dollars.

As the door is locked and Batman and his stunt double can't fit into a third-floor hole (or just break in lawfully), Robin volunteers to enter. Vince wonders why he was straining to walk up the wall by himself. RD: "Maybe he feels more empowered when Batman's in the rear." 

Robin immediately loses a fight, and is brought before the Riddler. He orders the goons to put the "pernicious pipsqueak" on a rack. Batman calls Gordon for backup before he deploys the Bat-ram barstool to break down an easily opened door.

Finding the sarcophagus Riddler notably pants as he prepares the wax, only to be stopped by a Bat-shadow.
Riddler: "You lied to me, Boy Wonder!"
Batman: "A little white lie is excusable when dealing with the likes of you, you black-hearted scoundrel!"
Cue another fight, though it's so easily fought that West actually involves himself in it. To cover them Riddler picks up a sword and makes his own "SWOOSH!" cut-ins by his swinging. This does not stop the Dark Knight who puts him on the spinning wheel of death. Riddler: "Ow! Oh! Ow! Batman! That smarts!" He goes to relieve Robin. "One of Aunt Harriet's good nourishing meals will set everything right again," he declares loudly. 

As O'Hara arrives (late, most likely to the bar; he lies by saying they accidentally went to the wax museum) Riddler's stunt double is clearly seen on a motionless wheel. RD thinks his stunt double was the same one for erect Robin. Moth pleads for forgiveness. Batman: "Unfortunately you learned your lesson too late, Moth. A moth that plays around candles is bound to be burned." Riddler: "You may have won the battle...but the war isn't over yet!" 

At the museum which looks suspiciously like Stately Wayne Manor, bra-ed Aunt Harriet joins Bruce and Dick looking at the sarcophagus. Dick decides to write about it for school.
Bruce: "Yes, most Americans don't realize what we owe to the ancient Incans. Very few appreciate that they gave us the white potato and many varieties of Indian corn."
Dick: "Now when I eat mashed potatoes, I for one will think of the Incas!"
Aunt Harriet notes the integrity of the sarcophagus.
Bruce: "The old boy nearly didn't make it! Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha."

RD thinks the first half was much better than the second. Vince likes the plot's simplicity. 

RD has an actual Gooker trophy even if the statue is just a regular turkey. (:69) He runs down the list for Vince. He voted for WWE's "attempts" at movie tie-ins.Vince would also if he had voted. 

RD entertains the people while Vince finds his McFarlane Batcave box set that he got for Christmas.

 

  • Special Guest Villain: The Riddler [3] (Frank Gorshin) [3]
 
  • SPEAKING OFs: 4. The Machines, Japanese, lying, Paul Bunyan
  • Screen Captures: 3. RD, RD, RD
  • Blue Van: 1
  • Entertain The People: 1

 

Episode 23: Holy Dew!: January 9, 2022

The Ring of Wax
"The Riddler's latest scheme involves stealing a wax figure to melt down for its wax that is powerfully corrosive when exposed to direct flame."
79 minutes

"RD: Ready to Wax Philosophically" Vince had a quiet New Year's since he finds the whole thing "depressing". RD at least stays up a bit to watch the proceedings and not know any of the celebrities.

Vince tries to liven things by showing the Blu-Ray box set of the series (for $100, a bargain at 40% of the price). Among the pictures is a glamor shot of Alfred and a close-up of Gordon and O'Hara on a boat. (:04) 

He then asks his "fellow wrestling fan" about women bleeding profusely in matches, rather than sparingly. See, this is the difference in Co-Hossses. Vince talks about women bleeding from matches. Blade talked about women bleeding during their time of the month. No wonder he died without having ever married. RD watched The Passion of the Christ with a co-worker who complained about how it ended. "Well don't watch Titanic then! You'll be disappointed!" 

A "wax" statue of Batman is to unveiled at Madame Soleil's Wax Museum...except that it's been replaced by the Riddler. (:15) RD is saddened that it wasn't actually wax. He's reminded of an episode of The Twilight Zone where Martin Balsam is compelled by wax figures of serial killers to become one of them. Vince saw House of Wax in the original 3-D. Anyway, the wax statue shoots red paint at the crowd and the camera. 

Soleil calls Gordon who promises to "take care of this personally" by delegating it to the Duo. They are huddled around a globe with Aunt Harriet wondering the location of Lima. Bruce: "If we don't know about our friends to the south, how can we carry out our good neighbor policy?" Sadly he does not then take the opportunity to shill the Alliance for Progress. Alfred informs them of the Batphone in normal speaking voice. Aunt Harriet: "Oh, those two! Hither, thither, and yon!"

Young RD once snapped his collarbone being unfamiliar with football. (:25)

O'Hara is happy to tell the Duo that he thinks he's solved one of the riddles too obviously. Robin guesses Riddler may hit a library. But first he has to monologue at the Kandlelight Candle Factory with his goons Tallow and Matches and his lady Moth as they melt Batman's chocolate-style figure. 

Riddler: "Oh, if only this were the real Batman. Oh, 'tis a consummation devoutly to be wished! That his too, too solid flesh would melt and resolve itself into a dew!"
Moth: "Oh, Riddler honey, that's beautiful!"
Riddler: "I wrote it myself."

RD wonders where he got his people from and if he changed their names for them. 

Riddler reveals they had smuggled in a universal solvent in the Batstatue through ecstatic happiness. 

The Gotham City Public Library has a vault for books, like just about all libraries have. Somehow the villains get around without anyone wondering on their outfits or that one guy who looks just like the Riddler. The only guard who comes across them gets easily gassed by a candle. Riddler reveals the solvent works silently on the lock, perfect for a library. He then loudly laughs and jumps around in excitement. The Duo show up anyway. Librarian: "Heavens to Betsy!" She too hasn't noticed "a man wearing a bright green suit with big black question marks on it". 

Meanwhile Moth has to go by hand through a card index as she waits for her boss. Vince only gives her 5 Batpoles due to her off-putting face. RD gives her 7 but thought she had too much makeup. Linda Gaye Scott was in the original Westworld and many classic TV shows despite having what RD thinks may be a Geocities site. 

Riddler finds a book on Incan treasures and lets out a "HUZZAH". Just wait until he finds a Shakespeare First Folio and finds more lines he can pass off as his own! The Duo appear to fight with his armed goons before he sprays them with "Dr. Riddler's instant forever stick invisible wax emulsion" to root them to the floor, then gasses them and leaves with another riddle. Batman: "If only the Riddler's inventive mind could be channeled for good, what a better world this would be!" Robin guesses the next riddle involves some wax in a hole. 

To the Batcave! Using the Hyperspectragraphic Analyzer they figure out the Riddler has his silent solvent. They clunky work backwards to determine it's to do with the wax museum. Again. There the villains are "hiding" as revolutionaries. RD is still upset it's again not actual wax being used. Riddler knocks the Duo out with blowdarts and puts them in a blue van. He then decides to steal the Batmobile. RD thinks Penguin warned him about its dangers while in jail together. So Riddler succeeds in his theft. They then return to their normal outfits: "we'd better get our everyday clothes back on, we look too suspicious this way."

He compares Batman to a diamondback rattlesnake as the Duo awaken in "the enormous candle dipper" of "the proverbial pickle". "BM's package" Vince handwrote and underlined as he noticed it was Batman's turn to have something big under the utility belt. RD wonders if it was a stunt double instead. The Duo ask Riddler about his plans anyway as they are lowered. Narrator: "Will Batman wax serious?"

Vince wonders what happens if ever they get an unsolvable riddle. Alexa's increased assertiveness is worrying the two. 

Vince seeks RD's help in getting a jukebox of his own. (:74) He recently cracked a toilet seat from sitting on it too hard. He should have used a trashbag. RD wonders if he too will have more toilet related stories to share over the years.

 

  • Special Guest Villain: The Riddler [3] (Frank Gorshin) [3]
 
  • SPEAKING OFs: 2. Uncomfotable, the bra
  • Screen Captures: 1. RD
  • Blue Van: 1

 

Gooker 2021: Vote or be fired!

Welp. 2021. It sure was...another year.

Let us get the obvious bad out of the way, besides the still present pandemic.

In March, our beloved WCR Co-Host Blade Braxton, at the age of 46, was one of several, including Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff, who are no longer with us. Many smaller and indie promotions found themselves reducing or closing operations. And WWE continued to coast on the waves of mediocrity, firing people left and right in the midst of average content, live audience or otherwise, and even reducing access to their Network in the US through its sale to NBC Universal's Peacock.

However there was still some good to be found. AEW continued to gain strength as a long awaited for viable contender, including some of the best matches of the year. TNA somehow managed to improve a fair bit. And RD successfully pivoted into doing a video progrem with Vince Russo.

Even if it was about the old Batman '66 TV series.

In any event, here are your nominees for the worst of the year.

1. "The Fiendess" Alexa Bliss: The news that came out was that Bliss wanted to work with Bray Wyatt, the original Fiend and regular Gooker nominee. That should have been a clue to how bad things would get. In the beginning Bliss became the Robin to Bray Wyatt's Batman *Insert Hidden Plug Here*. There was one little, WEEE, problem though. Bray Wyatt was written off WWE programming and eventually fired. Since "The Fiend" is Bray Wyatt's property, but more importantly WWE's property, they decided to just let Bliss continue on as her version of "The Fiend". It...was not what everybody wanted! If you hated Bray Wyatt's Fiend, then you'll probably cringe over Bliss' version. It was baffling, confusing, and just god awful. It literally was the definition of WWE's "Sports Entertainment" in all the wrong reasons. I'm not even sure what the hell this is! [Bad makeup from a billion dollar - after mass firings - corporation?]
2. Becky Lynch squashes Bianca Belair at Summerslam: Personal Note here. I, Raging_Demons, the Librarian writing this, HATE Becky Lynch. She is the pro wrestling version of a "joke thief", a comedian who steals jokes from other comedians as their own. And man is she awful in the ring. That being said when Becky came back from maternity leave the WWE faithful (besides myself) was expecting her return to be huge! HYOOOGE I say! [Whatever you say, McMahon.] She returned at Summerslam and it was, in fact, huge. However, it was huge for all the wrong reasons. Just like her fellow Irishman, Sheamus. she squashed Bianca Belair, in what seemed like 18 seconds. Unlike Sheamus's squash on Daniel Bryan (now Brian Danielson), Becky's squash made her the Smackdown's Women's champion AND gave her an unexpected heel turn. So in one event, Lynch stole two gimmicks. AND she then later on stole her hubby, Seth Rollins', gimmick of being a "Drip God" by making herself a "Drip Goddess". [Not sure I understand that particular reference there Brad. Are you implying the couple has a leakage problem? Pffft.]

 
Ethan Page was in IMPACT before he went to where he's at right now in AEW. The North, his one HELL of a tag team with Josh Alexander, had just lost the Titles. Apparently he didn't take the loss well. So Page kind of had a "psychotic break". He slowly turned into a personality he called "Karate Man", giving him the excuse to show off his martial arts skills and SPIFFY headband. Page, sorry, "Karate Man", started to randomly attack others then started to attack his partner Josh Alexander.  
 
 
Yes. Ethan Page was going to have a mirror match with himself! 
 

4. WWE promotes Netflix movies with hilarious results for all the wrong reasons: WWE took this on themselves on behalf of former WWE wrestlers superstars Dave Bautista for Army Of The Dead and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson for Red Notice. How did they do?
 
For the former, how do you promote a zombie movie? If you say..."introduce a whole bunch of zombies into a PPV event" then you would be right. [Also why are you reading this McMahon?] WWE randomly packed tons of zombies throughout their PPV Backlash, in such a way as if they asked Homer Simpson for promotional advice. [And then promptly fired him.] 
 
 

How WWE handled things was somewhat, but unexpectedly, mixed. Some acted like wallkers from The Walking Dead, expected to run up and surprise targets and literally take them down. Some acted like theyy were the traditional B-movie zombie, walking slowly and loudly demanding BRAINSSS. Or they could act like Cesaro and completely no-sell them and go "Ooh! Zombies! Gotta get a selfie with them for my Instagram page!" They even interfered in a match between Damien Priest vs The Miz with ended up with Miz being *eaten* by zombies. Bautista was bombarded on his Twitter account for the horrifically bad promotion that WWE did. His response was basically "Don't blame me! I had no participation in this!" Of course, to the hardcore WWE fan who is still watching, aka the mentally challenged, they would call it "great entertainment". 

If WWE didn't learn anything from promoting Army Of The Dead, which they didn't, they got paid literally a dump truck filled with money to promote Red Notice. WWE basically played up the idiocy by Vince McMahon bringing in one of the movie's "golden eggs" to set up a whodunit when the egg got "stolen". Social media didn't believe that horrible bad acting that was going on and they mocked it like hell. One of the commentators actually said "nothing happens at Survivor Series when an egg is involved" The egg got "stolen" then "found" at next day's Raw when Austin Theory returned it.
 
He got rewarded for his theft by being booked to lose the show's main match.

WWE just went by their recent formula for success: It doesn't matter if you make good quality "entertainment". As long as you get a huge pile of money, its all good!

(Also before WWE's "attempts" of promotion, Ryan Reynolds promoted for the movie one week before they did.) 
 
[Also also because two films with massive budgets, two of the biggest stars in Hollywood, and on one of the largest streaming services...OBVIOUSLY needs as much advertising and marketing as possible on barely connected and barely watched wrestling shows. Totally makes sense. 
 
Still it could have been worse. You could have had further promotion for Bautista in Dune by having McMahon go on a drugged bender in the desert. I mean, besides what he does already when overseeing the shows anyway.]

5. The Queen's Crown Tournament: Unless you make a lot of money with WWE (Sasha Banks, Bayley, Charlotte), or are protected like Roman Reigns (Becky Lynch), WWE claims that they try to have a women's revolution. Years later we know that they don't do that. They try, but they fail at doing so. [Or forget that they have tried doing so ala McMahon losing his memory at old age. Assuming they haven't already fired the people responsible.] Hence their latest attempt, "The Queen's Crown Tournament", the women's version of the classic King Of The Ring Tournament. 

The whole tournament really was just...crapped out. All the competing women had insanely short matches with the final match was no longer than 5 minutes. The winner turned out to be...Zelina Vega?! The same Zelina Vega who didn't want to give up her successful Twitch account and got fired?! The same Zelina Vega given a Push from Hell as part of an apology for being brought back? Yeah... 

6. Toni Storm's WWE tenure: A very late Gooker nominee since this occured on the last week of the year. Once upon a time, WWE hired one Toni Storm when she participated in The Mae Young Classic on NXT due to her obvious talent. 

So what did WWE due next? If you said push her to the moon, you would be dead wrong. [Again, why are you still reading this McMahon? Don't you have more people to fire?] Instead, Storm got rarely pushed, she rarely appeared on NXT, and was promoted to Smackdown...where she rarely appeared. Oh wait, I'm sorry. She was promoted to Smackdown...to get into a pie fight with Charlotte Flair. 
 
That was all she could take before she did her best Eric Cartman impersonation and said: 
 
 

She quit WWE after that. She completed her last match, which was a house show, grabbed her things, paid for her own flight, and went home. 
 
Storm took to heart the trend of "Knowing Your Worth" that's been making the rounds of social media of late. She recognized she was in a situation that was Wrestlecrap and quit. Now, unfortunately, she may get a possible Gooker for her tenure. 

7. NXT 2.0h No: NXT was a failed reality competition show. Then Triple H changed it into its own farm system to train people in the WWE way before their official debut to make sure things don't go horribly wrong for themselves (see Sin Cara Negro). It was also a stopgap measure because at the time the average indy wrestler was getting more popularity than an average WWE wrestler thanks to social media. Take Danhausen for example. Danhausen took his indy career, social media, and his Youtube channel into a guest appearance on Conan O'Brien's podcast, occasional appearances as a guest host on Renee Paquette's podcast, appearances on other vlogs like Ethan Page's, and a brief career in ROH. (It wasn't his fault, it was Ring Of Honor having a temporary shutdown and release of all their contracts. They're not dead. Yet!) AEW & Danhausen fans are constantly wanting AEW to sign the guy. 

NXT became quite popular thanks to the quality of talent from behind and in front of the ring, such was perceived that it was the superior product instead of RAW or Smackdown! WWE had faith in NXT that they secured a national Wednesday time slot, and also a way to stop some up-and-coming wrestling promotion from being a threat. That promotion was called AEW. Thus what fans would call a new version of the Monday Night Wars became the Wednesday Night Wars. First show Dynamite versus third-ranked NXT. WWE was thinking that NXT would destroy Dynamite easily. 
 
Only...it didn't. Dynamite slowly crushed NXT to a point that WWE moved NXT to not be in direct competition. 

WWE now thinks that NXT is damaged goods. So what does WWE want to do to "fix" it? Why, firing all the old people and replacing them with hip, younger people! Imagine Vince McMahon and all the older staff people trying to look hip and cool!
All the talent were either fired, replaced, or had their contracts run out. NXT, along with the rest of the company, will now hire only young talent (to easily train them in THEIR ways). The backstage talent was also released. Gone were established talents creating a great product. Now its just "talent" who don't know how to wrestle a good match. Gone were the dark colors of NXT. Now its colors from a Ben & Jerry's carton.
Even to this day, WWE continues to fire a lot of backstage talent [I'm noticing a trend here] which just recently included on-screen talent William Regal who was just about to become a trainer. [And Samoa Joe. Again.] It looks like Vince and his lackeys are literally taking apart the hard work Triple H made to make NXT something and turning it into a memory.

[I am like many others believing that Bron Breakker Rich Steiner has far too much talent to remain stuck there. He should find a way to get to bigger fields before HE gets cut too. It's simple math.]

8. WWE's continuous future endeavours: Throughout 2021 WWE fired about 60+ employees. This adds to the 90+ released during 2020. 20% of those wrestling were hired evenly between AEW or IMPACT.

So, for all those that say, "Oh Tony Khan has hired everyone that left WWE!" Just shut up! Tony Khan has not hired everyone! That is a lie set up by WWE idiots and fans and idiot fans!
 
He's only hired half of everyone. That's all!
 
Here's the thing though. WWE keeps firing people and yet they are not losing any money at all. In fact they made a ton of money last year! This is my choice for Gooker. WWE: Abandon all hope ye who enter here!
 
[Also what good is McMahon's exultation for his workers to reach for those brass rings when he keeps firing them before they can do so?]

9. Cody Rhodes' will-he-or-won't-he heel turn: Now to AEW with, of all people, Cody Rhodes. 
 
Cody was slowly gaining heat for that horrible reality show of his Rhodes to the Top, which is so bad it makes that one by the Bella Twins look good. At this point, he was becoming like John Cena: liked by others, hated by a few. 
 
However he started getting full blown heel during a match versus Malakai Black, Cody accidentally knocked down his "trainer" Arn Anderson. Anderson fell like he was seriously injured while Cody just continued on like nothing happened. The fans noticed and started hating it IMMEDIATELY!

Now usually when WWE comes up a situation like this, they just ignore the fans and let people remain where they are role and story wise, such as John Cena staying face even though he was slowly getting booed throughout the years, or Roman Reigns getting booed for YEARS as a face. 
 
Cody on the other hand... he basically said "Fuck You! I'm a good guy, deal with it!" He even went on-the-record by saying "I would rather retire from Pro Wrestling than go Heel!

Cody has tried to return to be a face but it's just not working. He even tried to toss his weight belt to the crowd.  Usually the crowd would keep anything tossed in by the wrestlers. Here they tossed it back! He's enjoying his time teasing the heel turn that he just got back the TNT Title for a third time, off Sammy Guevara who fans wanted to see with it. Guevara went just TWO weeks with the title and they gave him a custom title FOR NOTHING!

Right now, Cody is ENJOYING the fact that he's teasing his turn. As the AEW faithful are waiting for it, and they can since they just spent over 2+ years waiting for "Hangman" Adam Page becoming World Champion, then that heel turn will come even if it means tolerating the return of Brandi Rhodes. 

[Admittedly I wouldn't mind this indecisiveness if it avoids him getting another laughably bad neck tattoo. UNLESS ITS ALL PART OF THE PLAN TOO.]

And finally,

10. Kenny Omega vs. Jon Moxley in an "Exploding" "Barbed" "Wire" "Death" "Match": If you don't know what an "Exploding Barbed Wire Deathmatch" is, it's pretty simple. The ring ropes are replaced with barbed wire and actual explosives, not dangerous if possible, will detonate every few minutes. Mick Foley and Terry Funk had wrestled a few of these matches and in fact it was one of these matches that infamously made Foley slice his ear off. It's quite possible one of the most brutal matches ever! And it was definitely the most hyped match of the year.

It started like this: Kenny Omega just won the World Title off Jon Moxley by shenanigans. Moxley wanted the title back. Omega said he'll give him a rematch, but only if it was an "Exploding Barbed Wire Deathmatch".

The AEW fans were literally drooling over the place. Omega has had great matches and is nicknamed "The Best Bout Machine". Moxley had past expertise in deathmatches. This was a wrestling nerd's wet dream! Everyone was expecting a good match. 
 
It ended with Eddie Kingston trying to protect Moxley from...well...(minus the laughter of course): 
 
 

We were expecting explosions and violence, not...sparklers! 
 
AEW tried to correct the overselling for the crap they had heavily promoted by letting Omega be Aizen from Bleach [he was replaced by Kyle Hebert? I love his voice acting!]: he had "planned" for this and the sparklers was a way "to humiliate Moxley". Then he mocked Kingston by trying to impersonate him "protecting Moxley". 
 
Though unlike Kingston AEW couldn't cover that they heavily hyped up a match that literally their asses wouldn't cash. 

10 choices. One possible winner for the 2021 Gooker. Admittedly these nominees are very hard choices to select for this year. It's as if you have to go "Eeny, Meeny, Miney, Moe". 
 
 

[Or you could just be me and vote for all of them using the sneaky of hack of "multiple private browser windows. Or if you're as lazy as I am, just voting for the mass firings. Although NXT 2.0 is also a close contender on matters of mishandling talented people. But please don't let me try to interfere. This isn't a 2020 US election!]
 
You have until Jan 14th to pick who will get the 2021 Gooker, with the "winner" being posted on Jan 20th. Vote now!

Episode 22: Holy Whale Oil!: January 2, 2022

Not Yet, He Ain't
"Framed by the Penguin, Batman and Robin prepare a trap to lure the supervillain into executing his true scheme's masterstroke."
66 minutes

"RD: Hoping Russo Doesn't SNAP like Robin!" Has he already forgotten he only Swerves? He sent Vince pictures of Christmas pizza rolls. Teenage Vince once worked for a week in a Sbarro's until he got fired for misreading the schedule. Adult Vince has around 30 Funko figurines.

Vince likes today's unique creativity, where "behind the scenes" the Duo manage to move their legs to reduce their frames to just their bulletproof shoes. Vince wonders how Robin can wear such tiny shoes in that case. This also releases a Batknife stored in Batman's glove. The Penguin pays up as O'Hara finds the recoil of the "pop gun" surprisingly strong. The Penguin then finds the Duo have escaped. "Great blubbering whale oil! They're evaporated!" followed by a "Curses! CURSES!" Vince wishes he had written more "curses" while in wrestling.

Vince watches the episodes on his personal large curved TV in his basement away from the normal use 40" one. He has a personal music one where he can listen to his over 4000 albums including some Batalbums and the complete discography of Tiny Tim. He recommends RD to watch Licorice Pizza due to his daughter, usually a harsh critic. 

In the Batcave the Duo are stumped. (:15) Robin wonders to a milk drinking Batman why they didn't stick around to stop Penguin who attempted to kill them. Batman shifts responsibility to the police. Vince wonders why Penguin didn't citizen's arrest them for the police and use it for his alibi in court. Perhaps Harvey Dent was out of town for it. 

At Police HQ Penguin is suddenly there threatening Gordon to arrest the Duo or be sent back to the "Department of Sanitation". This is the first RD has heard of this. This is the first I have heard of this. Perhaps someone can write Batman: Year Zero and expand upon this? Penguin then calls on the Batphone to give themselves up. Batman gives himself 25 minutes to come to him. Gordon dramatically tells O'Hara to have the police there to arrest him when he shows up. The Duo call Gordon from the Batphone in response without telling the audience ala Hitchcock.

They then show up at Penguin's agency doing their best Joker impression of madness. Robin as a crazed zombie: "WE'VE SNAPPED!" Batman as Zur-En-Arrh: that one meme. The goons come in with machine guns and miss completely. The Duo then try to escape, but the police stop the Batmobile u-turn and O'Hara actually remembers he has a gun to fire at Batman. 

The police then shoot the Duo in the back gangster-style and cover the bodies with black tarp while O'Hara watches nonchalantly.

The Co-Bros do not remember any of this. (:31) 

The goons react by trying to drive the Batmobile, but like Kane they don't know how to drive a stick shift. Vince temporarily confuses RD by not knowing what manual transmission means (he does, thankfully).

Cut to Gordon's office where he requests the Duo to be buried with full honors. 

Cut to Stately Wayne Manor where Aunt Harriet is wearing something horrendous with a bra. Alfred does a good show of pretending to lose it.

Cut back to Gordon's office where O'Hara demands compensation for using 297 blanks. Yes, it was all a (non-Russo) swerve, otherwise the show would end.

Cut to the Batcave where the Duo are watching the Penguin and Sophia Starr in the Birdmobile with custom bird decals stop another robbery. Batman bets a milkshake this is another fake. Robin: "Holy Romeo and Juliet!" Vince gives Sophia 7.5 Batpoles on account of her face. RD gives 5.5. He reads some of actress Kathleen Crowley's entry. Sad News: McMahon was not obsessed with Gunsmoke as once rumored. Vince has an autographed picture of Ken Curtis as Festus. 

Penguin has a sign notifying that "this loot" is under his protection of a bridal room for a sudden wedding. A bomb goes off in a water pipe and trick umbrellas are handed out to distract from the Penguin stealing the presents and gassing the police.

This was apparently his master plan all along. 

The Duo have to come on the Mobile Batcycle. 

Robin: "Time to jolt him with our gimmicks!"
Batman: "Hmmm." 

They use their Remote Control Ejector Button to launch crash test dummies of the goons 40 feet into the air. The Penguin reacts by looking around randomly. The Duo then mess around with the doors as he tries to close them with his umbrella. Robin hears the goons complain from a mile away (or perhaps through a bug). They close on Penguin who misses his shots at point blank. They then hogtie him (with cigarette in mouth) and his goons onto the Mobile. 

The stolen goods are collected in Gordon's office. Batman plans to fumigate the Batmobile. Sophia is still in love with Penguin, who is still planning to get away with it. Upon hearing her confession he instead exclaims: "Great quivering icebergs! Take me to prison!" Vince wonders if he would be attracted to anyone. RD makes fun of his eyesight.

Vince found many things memorable like the Penguin's waddle, more so than anything WWE has currently, and liked the episode overall. RD will always remember the Duo going crazy and getting "killed". 

The Riddler is to make his third appearance of the season next week. Vince wonders how much the salaries were. He thinks Burt Ward can make an appearance for $500. RD hopes he's a jerk. Vince thinks they should get "spry" Lee Merriweather instead.


  • Special Guest Villain: The Penguin [2] (Burgess Meredith) [2]


  • URLs not taken: 1. VinceRussoDrivesAnIceCreamTruck.com 
  • SPEAKING OFs: 1. Highly unlikely
  • Screen Captures: 3. RD, RD, RD