Greetings readers. After much thought, frustration, and throwing of tomatoes, I will be moving Please Change Disks to Continue...to Hubpages. Never fear, the same awesome quality you've seen here will still be available at the new location. Thanks for the awesome support all of you have given me so far, and I hope you join me for more wacky, lucha libre filled adventures on Hubpages. Till then, send us off DUCHOVNY!
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Monday, May 25, 2015
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What can I say about Chuck, Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak's ode to comedy and spy films? It's one of my favorite TV shows of all time, it's one of the few things my brother and I actually agree on being great, and it was yet another casualty of NBC not having a freaking clue how to produce an audience. Oh, it also desperately deserves a movie, because how can a show that had episodes named Chuck Versus So and So not have a feature length picture named Chuck Versus the Movie? There's gold, and then there's liquid gold. Chuck Versus the Movie is liquid gold.
Why am I bringing this up? Because I'm clearly about to write a column titled Chuck Versus the List. Hey, if I can do that type of thing for Community, why not for the Chuckster? So tonight, let's kick off the first edition of this bad boy with a look at the ten best Chuck episodes of all time! As with Community, let me caution you Chuck fans now; if you're favorite episode didn't make it, it doesn't mean I didn't like it. It just means there were too many great episodes. If it sounds like I'm trying to avoid you throwing fruit at me because I left "Chuck Versus the Cougars" off the list, it's because I am. Did it work? Probably not. ON WITH THE SHOW!
Chuck Versus the List
10. Chuck Versus the Seduction
Makes the list for giving us national treasure Roan Montgomery, the greatest thing John Larroquette has done since...alright it's the greatest thing he's ever done. Bravo to him, writer Matthew Miller and director Allan Kroeker for delivering such a memorable goofball in Roan. He's like James Bond, if Bond was a Nicolas Cage in Leaving Las Vegas level alcoholic and was the most inexplicable ladies man of all time. I'm still trying to decide which of Roan's lines were the best, "Not you, Agent Frankenstein" or "Don't encourage him! This isn't happy hour at Chilis". Like I said, national treasure. Hello Diane indeed!
The series finale only at #9? Hey, much like Community, every list involving Chuck is strong, which means some good/great things are either left out or lower than you expect. Make no mistake though, this is a great finale. Everything you'd want as a Chuck fan is here. Everyone parting on great terms? Check. Jeffster performing a ridiculously awesome cover of aha's "Take Me On"? Check. Call back to the very first episode of the show? Check. THE RETURN OF THE WEINERLICIOUS?! Double check. This is everything you'd want out of a series finale. Except of course that it was the finale. Chuck Versus the Movie? Chuck Versus the Movie? Chuck Versus the Movie.
8. Chuck Versus the Ring Part II
The culmination of Chuck's best season saw our hero finally reach his potential. And what a way to do it, overcoming a near crippling brain injury caused by the Intersect, the death of his father and the ultimate rat bastard in Daniel Shaw. Freakin' Daniel Shaw; not since Riley Finn has there been a TV character I've wanted more to GO AWAY! That character, by design I'm pretty sure, was stiffer than a Kelly Slater surfboard, the opposite of Roan Montgomery. That Chuck was able to finally rid us of him for what appeared to be once and for all (Shaw returned in season five's "Chuck Versus the Santa Suit"), while jamming to Jeffster's cover of "Shot Down in a Blaze of Glory" to no less, is a master achievement. Also, wasn't it fun (and yet semi-tragic) to watch the Buy More go up in flames? What a sad end to the saddest place in the world.
7. Chuck Versus the Nemesis
"Chuck Versus the Hard Imported Salami" may have had the OMG moment in Chuck and Sarah finally making out, but its follow up was the better episode. We get to see the underrated Matt Bomer in an extensive, non flashback role for the first time, and his Bryce Larkin is just as suave, infuriating and chill as you'd expect. Perhaps most importantly however, we finally get to see Sarah wrestle with her feelings over Chuck (while simultaneously wrestling with her lingering feelings for Bryce). Which one will she choose? Will she choose? Add that to Black Friday at the Buy More (one word; Pineapple), and you've got a winner on your hands.
6. Chuck Versus the Push Mix
Co-creator Josh Schwartz has said of this episode that it contains the best ten minutes in the show's history. He's right. The finale of "Chuck Versus the Push Mix" is a sight to behold, with Ellie and Awesome welcoming their daughter into the world, Jeffster providing yet another cover over the hospital loudspeaker, and, in the show's best moment, Chuck proposing to Sarah in as quiet and intimate of a moment as you can imagine. The rest of the episode is pretty good too, with Chuck's mother finally being freed from the claws of Alexei Volkoff, Casey in the hospital, and Casey in the hospital. You haven't lived till you've seen Casey deal with the romance between Morgan and his daughter Alex. Great stuff.
5. Chuck Versus the Cliffhanger
The season four finale features Chuck at his most badass, going to great lengths to rescue Sarah from the now evil as hell Vivian McArthur. Plus, Chuck finally fulfils his destiny of getting control of the Buy More, has the Intersect suppressed out of his head and then watches Morgan get the Intersect. Yup, Morgan with the Intersect. Great stuff. Oh, there's also some sort of wedding. Not a huge deal, just some vows exchanged between your favorite spy couple that took forever to get together. Nothing to get excited over in the slightest!
4. Chuck Versus the American Hero
Remember when I said season three of Chuck was the best season of the show? "Chuck Versus the American Hero" occurs right in the heart of it, a section of the show I'd like to call the Zenith of Chuck. Seriously, from "Chuck Versus the Beard" to "Chuck Versus the Other Guy" (and you could make the argument it goes further), the show took off and became the sort of classic Once Upon a Time only dreams about being. Larry Bird bows down to the middle of Chuck, season three.
Anyways, "American Hero", taking place towards the end of the run, is a tour de force. Chuck finally decides to win Sarah over for good, to mixed results. Awesome, Morgan and Casey (all with their own motivations) try to help Chuck to disastrous results. Lester and Jeff prove to be the LeBron James of stalking. And Daniel Shaw, with an assist from TV bad guy extraordinaire Mark Sheppard and 24 vet Roger Cross, gets one step closer to becoming interesting. All in all, you don't get much better than this. Except that you do, as this is only #4.
3. Chuck Versus the Other Guy
Shouldn't this episode be titled "The One Where Chuck and Sarah Finally Become Facebook Official"? Yes, this is the one where it finally happens. Sarah kicks Shaw to the curb, confesses her love to a drunk, Pretty in Pink quoting Chuck, and we all lived happily ever after. Alright, we did that after Chuck shot Shaw in Paris and saved Sarah's life, but you get the point. Also, Casey wiggled his way back in the NSA, Sheppard went off to yet another unseen TV prison, and Morgan Grimes became an official government spy. But who really cares? Chuck and Sarah got together! It was as if a million fan fiction writers cried out in ecstasy and suddenly fell silent that day. If I can quote General Beckman, it was about damn time.
2. Chuck Versus the Beard
Any Chuck fan knows that the calling card of the show was a mixture of pop culture comedy and gripping action. What also made the show great though was its big heart, something "Chuck Versus the Beard" proudly wears on its sleeve. Unable to flash and now losing Sarah to the boring, humdrum grip of Shaw (who actually makes Sarah seem less interesting than ever in this episode), Chuck is grounded at the Buy More by his team. By chance, Ring agents infiltrate the Buy More and Castle, attempting to destroy both in order to eliminate the Intersect. A rally is staged by the Buy More employees (believing their store is being bought out) to the sound of Jeffster's "Fortunate Son" cover, Chuck and Morgan try to stop the Ring, and Morgan finally learns Chuck's secret. An absolute gem of an episode, and the one that ultimately kick started Chuck on its historic run.
1. Chuck Versus Tom Sawyer
Season three might've had Chuck's best stretch, season four may have had the Chuck-Sarah marriage you always wanted, and season one may have had the Sandworm from Dune. In the end, none of those seasons had the music of the universe. "Chuck Versus Tom Sawyer" did however, and it gets the top spot for being the symbol of what Chuck was; an action/comedy that was as much about world playing Missile Command to Rush as it was saving the world. Plus, have you seen the scene? It's so dope, it has actually inspired me to try and beat video games while listening to "Tom Sawyer." Has it worked? I plead the fifth.
That'll do it guys! Hope you enjoyed this list. I'll be back with another one sometime soon. Till then, a gif of SUMMER in Chuck, Season 4.
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Alright guys, we've finally arrived to the final part of the Lucha Libre World Cup preview. Today, we're going to take a look at the last two teams, and then give some quick predictions for the show. Are you excited?! You best be. Let's not waste anymore time. ON WITH THE SHOW!
Lucha Libre World Cup Preview Part 4 (with predictions)
El Hijo del Fantasma: Son of luchadore Fantasma, has worked with CMLL, currently working in AAA and Lucha Underground, where he goes by the name King Cuerno. Current AAA World Cruiserweight Champion, and the first after unifying the belts last August.
El Texano Jr.: Son of former CMLL, AAA, WCCW and WCW wrestler El Texano, brother of Super Nova. Was the longest and youngest reigning AAA Mega Champion in history. Was 2015 Rey de Reyes winner. Currently wrestling in Lucha Underground.
Psycho Clown: Son of Brazo de Plata, who was known to WWE fans as Super Porky (that sound you hear is me angrily shaking my head at Vince McMahon). Leader of the Los Psychos Circus stable with Monster Clown and Murder Clown, where they are in their second reign as AAA Trios Champions. Also worked for CMLL. Looks like Doink the Clown, acts like a cross between Doink and Pennywise.
Wrestler You've Heard Of
Fantasma. With Psycho Clown having no appearances in the American wrestling landscape, that leaves Fantasma/Cuerno and Texano to duel it out here. And while Texano has the AAA title reign (definitely noteworthy), his LU run has been...it's been the equivalent of David Caruso leaving NYPD Blue for movies that sucked. Sucked may be too strong of a word for Texano, but he hasn't been as good as hoped. Thus, Fantasma/Cuerno takes this spot, as you've heard of him and he hasn't disappointed. Plus, now you'll get to see how different Deer Antlers is in a non Deer Antlers role. Fantasma is actually supposed to be more his identity than Cuerno is (the only reason Fantasma didn't use his AAA name in LU is because of copyright issues), so consider this a first look in how he actually performs most of the time.
|Alternate Universe Fantasma|
Chance of Victory
Good. Very good. The group is made up of three solid AAA stars, Texano and Fantasma come in white hot from their AAA runs and they're based in the promotion running the event. They're at least getting into the third place match up.
The Dream Team
Alberto El Patron: Son of Dos Caros, nephew of Mil Mascaras, biggest star in lucha libre today. The current AAA Mega Champion, former two time WWE Champion, former two time WWE World Heavyweight Champion, Royal Rumble winner, Money in the Bank winner, numerous other accolades. Wrestled for CMLL, currently also wrestling in Lucha Underground. The man, as if you couldn't tell.
Myzteziz: Brother of AAA and Lucha Underground star Argenis, cousin of luchadore Magnus, nephew of CMLL booker Tony Salazar. Was the biggest star in lucha libre in the mid 2000's while wresting for CMLL as Mistico, and was considered by many to be the best wrestler in the world. Voted biggest box office draw of the decade by the Wrestling Observer. Wrestled for WWE as Sin Cara.
Rey Mysterio Jr.: Nephew of Rey Mysterio Sr., debuted at only 14 years old. Wrestled for WCW and WWE in the United States, where he won three world titles, four tag team titles, two Intercontinental titles and a record setting eight cruiserweight titles. Returned to AAA this year to finish his career, rumored to be heading to Lucha Underground. Considered by many to be one of the greatest lucha libre stars of all time.
Wrestler You've Heard Of
Mysterio. It's not a landslide, as all three men have wrestled in the states, and El Patron is widely well known here himself (and is definitely a bigger star in Mexico right now). But there's no comparing to Mysterio. He wrestled here in the states for almost 20 consecutive years, revolutionized the way Americans say lucha libre and is certainly a sure fire WWE Hall of Famer sometime down the road if he wants it. Hell, I've been watching Rey since I was a kid, first seeing him in WCW. This is the most well known guy not just on this team, but in the entire tournament. I expect he and El Patron will be the biggest reasons people by this show.
Chance of Victory
If these guys aren't the favorite, I don't know what you're definition of favorite is. This team will make the finals at worst, and I'm just being kind to the other teams in setting expectations that low.
Alright, there's a breakdown of the teams. Now let's predict the matches!
Dream Team vs. Team Noah
Poor Noah. I had them as a semi finals team when I first started this breakdown. I was wrong. I'll literally move to Tokyo if the Dream Team doesn't pull this one out. Winner: Dream Team
Team AAA vs. Team ROH/LU
Unfortunate luck of the draw here for ROH/LU. They could've been a second round team against Noah, All Japan or TNA/LU. Alas, they'll have to settle for going home early. Unless you're really expecting AAA to get rid of their own team in the first round. Winner: Team AAA
Team All Japan vs. Team MexLeyendas
Yup, they put the two oldest teams against each other in the first round. Who could've possibly guessed that?! I would say this would likely be the worst match of the opening round due to everyone's age, but after watching L.A. Park vs. La Parka last night, I'll never doubt anyone regardless of age again. Probably why I'm going with the oldest team for victory. Now get off my lawn! Winner: Team MexLeyendas
International Dream Team vs. Team TNA/LU
We're in biased territory! To be honest, I don't need to be biased to know that the International Dream Team is taking this one. I said yesterday that I don't foresee Team TNA/LU making it too far, and I especially don't see that now that they're going up against a team with two of LU/AAA's hottest stars right now. Looks like I'll be cheering on into the second round! Winner: International Dream Team
Dream Team vs. Team AAA
That's right, we're getting a match that looked like a finals contender in the second round. Well done AAA, way to throw some unpredictability into the mix. I'm very tempted to take a risk here and go with Team AAA with some sort of screwy finish (all three guys are rudos after all), but how on earth can you possibly bet against the Dream Team?! There's a reason it's called the Dream Team after all. Thus, barring plan to jumpstart a huge Triplemania feud here (which they can do later anyway), the top seed gets to the Finals. Will be an awesome match, potentially the best of the night. Winner: Dream Team
Team MexLeyendas vs. International Dream Team
I think most people will go with the MexLeyendas here, so the fans can see a spirited, fitting finale between the present day stars of lucha libre vs. the past. NOT SO FAST MY FRIEND! I think AAA knows the best way to generate an electric atmosphere for the Final is to have the rudo team get a cheap victory to put more fans on the side of the Dream Team. Thus, look for El Mesias to do something dastardly, and look for the International Dream Team to make it to the finals. I'm totally not being biased and living in a dream world right now! Winner: International Dream Team
Third Place Match
Team AAA vs. Team MexLeyendas
The legends are taking this one in a close bout. What, they're going to get something, might as well be this one. Look for a big Triplemania feud to start from this. I'm going to say Dr. Wagner vs. Fantasma. Winner: Team MexLeyendas
Dream Team vs. International Dream Team
It will be electric, it will be fun, and it will be the top contender for match of the night, along with the Dream Team-Team AAA match. I expect we'll see a sudden death period here as well, likely between El Patron and El Mesias. Who wins? As much as I'm rooting for the International Dream Team and as tempted as I am to say they sneak out a win to a massive chorus of boos, I can't go against the favorites. There would have to be a massive, and I mean MASSIVE, Triplemania angle planned, and there's nothing I can see them doing here that they can't do with a Dream Team victory. So I'm going to play it safe, pick Patron to beat Mesias in sudden death, leading to the glorious kick start of a Patron-Mesias angle that leads the Triplemania main event. Man, do I hope I'm wrong here (GO INTERNATIONAL DREAM TEAM!). Winner: Dream Team
There you have it guys. That will wrap up the Lucha Libre World Cup preview. Be sure to tune in tonight at 7 P.M. EST on IPPV to catch all the great action. I'll be back tonight with something non lucha libre related and will have full analysis on the World Cup tomorrow, perhaps even a running diary (depends on if I can watch the show tonight or if I have to catch it tomorrow). Till then, DUCHOVNY! Alright, so I didn't go that deep with the closing line this time.
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