Categories
Art NFT

Sept. 30th’s NF3: Christie’s Post-War to Present, MekaVerse and CrypToadz

I don’t want to speak too soon, but it seems as though we are beginning to emerge from the bear market that has encompassed so much of the past few weeks. There have been a couple major mints this week, in addition to increased secondary market traction from consistently successful collections. Additionally, one of the most important NFT auctions of all time, Christie’s Post-War to Present, will be taking place tomorrow morning, marking a watershed moment in the trajectory of the integration of NFTs into the traditional art world.

If you’re just tuning into NF3, check out our last edition.

This article does not constitute formal financial advice. Always do your own research before investing.

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1. Christie’s Post-War to Present Auction Begins Tomorrow Morning

Hot off the conclusion of its No Time Like Present sale, which featured works from BAYC and CryptoPunks, Christie’s is back with another auction featuring NFTs. The auction, entitled Post-War to Present, is broken up into two sections: Post-War to Present and Post-War to Present: The NFTs.

The latter includes a full set of Curio Cards in addition to a collection from Art Blocks Curated selection, featuring full sets from projects 1, 2 and 3-31. Despite this being the section with “NFTs” in the title, the traditional art section also includes reference to NFTs.

The traditional art selection, which includes works from the likes of Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Yayoi Kusama and more, also features the work of none other than Gary Vaynerchuk. Five physical versions of the drawings that make up the foundation of the VeeFriends NFT project will be auctioned off alongside the world-renowned art pieces; each drawing is authenticated by PSA.

Although there have been numerous NFTs auctioned off by major houses already, this particular auction marks a revolutionary moment in the NFT timeline, as these projects are being auctioned off as pieces of high art. Rather than feeling like an addendum to other collections, the NFTs in these two selections are being treated as historically significant art pieces from the post-war era—comparable to the likes of legendary painters.

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2. The MekaVerse is Minting This Weekend

It’s difficult to think of another project that has built as much hype on as little actual info as the MekaVerse. That’s not meant as a dig; the artwork we’ve seen so far is absolutely phenomenal and certainly deserving of the recognition it has garnered so far.

As of right now, the launch is set for “October 2nd-3rd” and will take the form of a raffle. This is the info we have from the team so far:

“We’re going to have raffles!

You will arrive on a beautifully designed landing page on launch day to register for a ticket. Once you’ve obtained your tickets, you’ll be required to wait in a random queue where you may be chosen in order to mint a Meka. The probability of getting chosen will be determined by the amount of individuals that register for a ticket on launch day.

With this method, there will be no Gas War! We will provide you with further information on the drop before the launch and in the days ahead.

You can register for a maximum amount of two Mekas per individual. If you want to mint one, it is also an option.

We will create an animated explainer video that will teach you exactly what you need to do to successfully mint a Meka! Keep an eye out for that!”

If you’re interested in staying on top of the project, follow along in their Discord for the most up to date information.

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3. Cryptoadz Floor Surpasses 6.5 ETH

This isn’t a piece of news per se, but more of an overall indicator of the market moving in the right direction. CrypToadz is a project primarily built on vibes, so seeing its continued success is an interesting case study for the NFT world writ large. The floor has come back to earth a bit following its earth-shattering highs of the past few days, but the project has a lot of the factors that make an NFT project successful: high amount of owners compared to overall items, consistent volume, major sales and well-known collectors.

We’ll have to continue to watch the project to await any actual definitive news moments, but for now, its soaring floor price is news in and of itself.

Other cool stuff:

TheHeartProject had a pretty drawn-out, potentially mismanaged reveal earlier this week, but the results are a nice indicator of the potential of an artistically valid project, even if all of the mechanics don’t operate seamlessly.

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The reveal ended up taking over 24 hours, but the floor price has fluctuated around .3 ETH through it all, demonstrating the staying power of a project with incredible art and a committed community.

This is, quite simply, going to bang so hard.

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Loopify’s anticipated Treeverse project has been consistently leaking more visuals, and the artwork we’ve seen so far is absolutely fire. Keep an eye on the Treeverse Twitter and Loopify’s personal for more updates.

Categories
Culture Trading Cards

A Too Early Look at the Top 10 NFL MVP Candidates and Their Rookie Card Prices

We’re heading into week 4 of the NFL season and that means way-too-early MVP candidates are emerging and it’s time to look at their card prices. As the NFL season heats up, it’ll be fun to watch how the MVP race plays out and whether or not the players on this list see their card prices rise as we get closer to the end of the season. Using Vegas Insider NFL MVP odds, I’ve compiled a list of the current top 10 MVP players based on their odds, kicking off with… 

1. Kyler Murray, QB – Arizona Cardinals
+700 Odds to Win MVP
CardLadder

Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals are off to a hot start at 3–0. Murray has thrown for over 1,000 yards with 7 passing touchdowns and 3 rushing touchdowns so far this season. The Cardinals have a tougher schedule coming up, facing the L.A. Rams, San Francisco 49ers, and Cleveland Browns, but it will be a good test for the young Quarterback.

Murray’s cards are up 36.1% month over month and are up 43.28% over the past 3 months:

CardLadder

His pop 156 rookie Prizm Silver PSA 10 last sold for $2,600 on 9/24: 

CardLadder

While the card hit a record high of $4,950 last September, it is still up 41.8% since its off-season low of $1,833 in June. 

The Cardinals are in the toughest division in the NFL and have difficult upcoming match-ups, so Murray’s cards and MVP odds will be interesting to watch in the coming weeks. 

2. Patrick Mahomes, QB – Kansas City Chiefs
+800 Odds to Win MVP
CardLadder

Patrick Mahomes has suffered his first-ever losses in September and the Chiefs are currently 1–2. The former MVP and Super Bowl Champion has thrown for 940 yards, 9 touchdowns to 3 interceptions so far this season. The Chiefs have a mixed bag of upcoming opponents, facing the Eagles, Bills, Washington Footbal Team, and Titans, but MVP odds are in favor of a Mahomes/Chiefs rebound. Mahomes has also set two records this season with the most passing yards and touchdowns through 50 starts (note: he is currently at 47 starts). 

Over the past month, Mahomes’ cards have grown 7.65% in value, and in the past 3 months, they’ve grown 18.5%:

CardLadder

His population 877 Prizm rookie PSA 10 last sold for $9,100 on 9/27: 

CardLadder

This card hit as high as $15,000 just before last year’s Super Bowl but is up 14% from an off-season low of $7,950. 

This might not be the ideal start for the Chiefs, but in 3 seasons as a starter, Mahomes has appeared in the AFC Championship and 2 Super Bowls, winning 1. It’s hard to bet against him as the season progresses. 

3. Tom Brady, QB – Tampa Bay Buccaneers 
+800 Odds to Win MVP
CardLadder

7 years ago, I drafted Tom Brady in a competitive fantasy football league and at the time thought it was a big risk given his age. Well, turns out that I (and many other people) were wrong about that. The 44-year-old has led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a 2–1 start with nearly 1,100 passing yards, 10 passing touchdowns, and a 109.3 passer rating

Brady is a 7x Super Bowl Champion, 3x MVP, 14x Pro Bowler and he has more he wants to prove. 

His cards have increased in value by 7.77% this past month, and 57.11% in the past 3 months: 

CardLadder

Brady’s population 1,088 Bowman Chrome PSA 10 rookie card is back up to $21,470 after a sale on 9/27:

CardLadder

This card peaked in value at $28,230 the day after Brady and the Buccaneers won the Super Bowl. This card is up 62.6% from an off-season low sale of $13,200. 

Love him or hate him, Brady is the most accomplished quarterback of all time and hasn’t seemed to lose a step despite his age. The Buccaneers are favored to win the Super Bowl, slightly edging out the Kansas City Chiefs for the best odds so far this season. 

4. Matthew Stafford, QB – Los Angeles Rams
+800 Odds to Win MVP
CardLadder

Over Matt Stafford’s 12-year NFL career, he hasn’t won a single playoff game across 3 playoff appearances. This isn’t a knock on Stafford, he was previously on a Detroit Lions team that has struggled over the years. He’s now on a Los Angeles Rams team that’s just two years removed from a Super Bowl appearance and is currently 3–0. Stafford and the Rams toppled Brady and the Buccaneers in their last outing. 

Stafford has thrown 9 touchdown passes and currently has a 129.8 passer rating. The L.A. Rams are the 3rd favored team to win the Super Bowl behind the Buccaneers and Chiefs. 

Stafford’s cards have modestly increased this past month at 1.33% and 15.32% over the past 3 months: 

CardLadder

His population 61 2009 Topps Chrome Refractor rookie PSA 10 fell in value with a last sold price of $1,200 on 9/27:

CardLadder

The card had a record sale of $1,928.33 in March after his trade announcement but dropped 36.8% in value with the latest sale. 

Stafford is playing at an MVP pace on a Super Bowl-caliber team, but it’s still early in the season. He’s also 33-years-old, so his window for potential is smaller than some other young quarterbacks on this list. 

5. Josh Allen, QB – Buffalo Bills
+900 Odds to Win MVP
CardLadder

Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills have an easier division and currently sit at 2–1. Allen has thrown 7 passing touchdowns and has a 95.5 passer rating so far this season. Last season, the Bills reached the AFC Championship game but were edged out by the Kansas City Chiefs. The Bills currently have the fourth-best odds of winning a Super Bowl this season. 

Allen’s cards are up 2.61% in the past month, and 36.51% in the past 3 months: 

CardLadder

Allen’s population 26 Prizm Silver rookie PSA 10 last sold for $8,500 on 9/12, a drop of 30.4% from the previous sale: 

CardLadder

Allen’s rookie cards exploded in value last season and carried into the off-season with a record sale of his Prizm Silver PSA 10 for $15,500. This latest sale is the lowest record sale of this card since March of 2021.

6. Aaron Rodgers, QB – Green Bay Packers
+1,000 Odds to Win MVP
CardLadder

Aaron Rodgers had a rough start to the 2021 season after a tenous off-season with his contemplation of retirement. However, the Packers are 2–1 and Rodgers is fresh off of a 37-second game-winning drive against the San Francisco 49ers. Rodgers is a 1x Super Bowl champion, 3x Super Bowl Champion and the Packers still have the fifth-best odds to win the Super Bowl this season. 

Rodger’s cards are down 0.41% over the past month and 4.25% over the past 3 months: 

CardLadder

His population 236 2005 Topps Chrome rookie PSA 10 last sold for $3,052 on 8/24: 

CardLadder

The card had a previous high sale of $5,620 in January of this year and nearly reached it again in April. In July, this card hit a low of $2,655.74. Despite the rough start, it’s hard to imagine Rodgers not continuing in his groove and leading the Packers to another playoff appearance. 

7. Justin Herbert, QB – Los Angeles Chargers
+1,100 Odds to Win MVP
CardLadder

Justin Herbert and the L.A. Chargers are off to a 2–1 start and defeated the Kansas City Chiefs last week 30–24. Herbert is just 23 years old and broke nearly every rookie QB passing record last season. He’s thrown for 6 touchdown passes with a 97.9 passer rating and the Chargers currently have the 9th best odds of winning the Super Bowl this season. 

Herbert’s cards are up 1.87% over the past month and 4.75% over the past 3 months: 

CardLadder

Herbert’s population 83 Silver Prizm rookie PSA 10 last sold for $3,802 on 9/27: 

CardLadder

This is up 50% from an off-season low of $2,514. 

Herbert’s rookie cards have slowly grown in value the past 3 months but haven’t seen the same increases in value as they did last season, perhaps due to excitement and hype from his rookie campaign wearing off a bit. 

8. Dak Prescott, QB – Dallas Cowboys
+1,400 Odds to Win MVP
CardLadder

Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys are off to a 2–1 start and have the 11th best odds of winning a Super Bowl this season. Prescott is coming off of a season-ending injury but has thrown 6 passing touchdowns with a 110.1 passer rating so far this season. 

His cards are up 0.91% this past month and 15.33% over the past 3 months:

CardLadder

Prescott’s Prizm Silver rookie PSA 10 last sold for $922.50 on 9/26, up 11.8% from its last prior sale: 

CardLadder

The Cowboys lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the season opener and have won just 4 playoff games in the past 25 years. Despite being outside of the top-10 Super Bowl odds so far this season, Prescott has plenty of receiving targets to throw at and the support of Ezekiel Elliot and Tony Pollard in the run game.

9. Russell Wilson, QB – Seattle Seahawks 
+2,000 Odds to Win MVP
CardLadder

Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks are off to a 1–2 start and currently have the 13th best odds to win the Super Bowl this season. Wilson has thrown 7 passing touchdowns and has a 133.6 passer rating 3 games into the year. He’s an 8x Pro Bowler, he’s been in 2 Super Bowls (winning 1), and is one of just four quarterbacks with a passer rating over 100 so far in his career.

His cards are down 9.09% over the past month and are down 9.46% over the past 3 months: 

CardLadder

His pop 1,093 Topps Chrome rookie PSA 10 last sold for $506 on 9/27 down nearly 21% from the previous sale: 

CardLadder

Wilson is a talented, Super-Bowl-winning quarterback on a Seattle team that has struggled early in the season. It’ll be fun to see if Wilson can pull the team back up and gain momentum starting in week 4 against the 49ers. 

10. Lamar Jackson, QB – Baltimore Ravens
+2,200 Odds to Win MVP
CardLadder

Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens are off to a 2–1 start and currently have the 8th best odds to win a Super Bowl this season. The Ravens defeated the Chiefs earlier this year and got their second win over the Detroit Lions with a record-setting field goal from Justin Tucker. Jackson won league MVP in 2019 and has thrown for 3 touchdowns with 2 rushing touchdowns so far this season. 

Jackson’s cards are down 1.29% this past month, but up 3.53% over the past three months:

CardLadder

His population 24 Prizm Silver PSA 10 last sold on 7/14 for $7,750, up 55% from its previous sale: 

CardLadder

Jackson is an electric quarterback with an MVP under his belt at just 24 years old. He’s led the Ravens to two playoff appearances, but both ended in losses. While there is a narrative that Jackson can’t win a playoff game, his performance on the field and his age refute that. The Ravens are capable of contending with the best teams in the NFL and his cards will be fun to watch throughout this season. 

Categories
Gaming NFT

Axie Infinity Enables AXS Staking

Gaming is evolving and players’ opinions and thoughts are starting to be heard in new updates and content that is being released. This evolution is a drastic change from mainstream games and their usual model of operations. One of the most infamous PR debacles in gaming history was when EA locked Darth Vader behind a paywall for a game that was $60+. And in a now-deleted tweet, the community manager at the time referred to the upset players as “armchair developers.”  This tone-deaf approach that has happened at major game companies has opened the gate for other game studios l to cater to a player base that wants to be heard and appreciated.

One game that has exploded due to its impact on community support is Axie Infinity. And they just enabled something that will let their community actually vote on decisions.

Meet their governance token AXS.

WHAT IS AXS?

AXS or Axie Infinity Shards are ERC-20 tokens.

ERC 20s are a type of standard on the Ethereum blockchain, usually denoted as divisible currencies. Think of it like digital money that you can divide like a dollar bill into pennies and quarters. AXS is a governance token, which is a type of cryptocurrency that represents voting power on a project. So a user that owns AXS can vote for specific directions for the game and community. If there was a vote on whether the developers wanted to implement trading fees on player land the community would get to vote in relation to how much AXS they have staked or locked in.

Staking also enables players to earn more AXS. Similar to how an account at your banks gives you a yield on your balance if you keep money there.

Other projects like AAVE and others have utilized governance tokens before but not many NFT gaming projects have. So it’s exciting to see a project have staking.

What is staking?

This morning about 10,000 of the first early adopters were airdropped or distributed free AXS, over 800,000 AXS or $60m dollars worth.

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I myself was airdropped 8 AXS today (currently valued at $600) because I was an early adopter and player. Anyone who had played the game before October 26th, 2020 needs to check their wallets too. This was meant to commemorate the support of the community and to celebrate AXS staking going live. In comparison to almost any other game on the planet, few have the bandwidth to drop $600 of items with instant liquidity to their community.  The amount of AXS that was distributed to the early player base was determined by how much each player had staked within the ecosystem. This model would be great within communities like Call of Duty who have had player royalty for over two decades. Imagine if some of the top players who committed days or weeks of time within popular franchises were rewarded by the game studio for their loyalty.

And many users are turning around and staking it versus selling it, they want to earn more AXS and believe the value will only go up.

How to stake AXS
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As of this moment, over 3.5 million AXS tokens are staked of the 58 million AXS available.

In this ecosystem, AXS has a sister currency called SLP they have different functions but are often compared with each other.

AXS price can be found here.

Is AXS like SLP?

SLP is another currency used by Axie Infinity but it is not used in the same way. Smooth Love Potion has an unlimited supply and is given as a reward every time players win a battle. Like AXS it can be bought and sold on crypto exchanges. Players can earn AXS in games but only by winning tournaments and by placing on the leaderboard in PVP.

What does this mean for video games going forward?

It’s a whole new ballgame.

Other AAA games don’t have forms of staking or rewards for people who participate in the community. Call of Duty and other popular video game franchises don’t have the ability to let fans vote on important game decisions like marketplace changes. As game studios watch the money and attention flow in, they may start to change how they look at these ‘armchair developers’.

If you want to learn more about NFTs be sure to join our Discord, and if you want to be in the know for future NFT insights, like my Axie Market recaps be sure to follow our Twitter.

Categories
Consoles Gaming

These 10 Nintendo 64 Games Need to Come to the Nintendo Switch

IT’S ABOUT DAMN TIME!

For the longest time now, Nintendo Switch Online subscribers have been requesting additional retro Nintendo games besides the NES and SNES library. Those prayers were finally answered during the last Nintendo Direct live stream (which took place on Thursday, September 23rd) when it was revealed that the new Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack will offer Nintendo 64 games at launch. Sega Genesis game will also be coming to the online subscription service (don’t worry – we’re gonna get into that one via another article!), which gives it tons more value for ongoing and brand new subscribers. 

So the N64 games revealed thus far as a part of the playable Switch Online lineup are as follows:

Super Mario 64

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Mario Kart 64

Star Fox 64

Sin and Punishment

Dr. Mario 64

Mario Tennis 64

WinBack

Yoshi’s Story

Banjo-Kazooie

Pokémon Snap

The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask

Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards

Mario Golf

Paper Mario

F-Zero X

After looking at that list, you can’t help but be extremely excited for what’s to come in the near future. Nintendo is throwing a whole bunch of first-party classics at us already. Plus there’s even coming down the pipeline. We’re huge fans of the N64 and have 10 games that we’d love to see get added to that strong collection of downloadable classics. And with the addition of online play for specific titles, these 10 highly requested games would be even more replayable in this day and age.

1. ‘Diddy Kong Racing’
Rare/Nintendo

Hot take alert! Diddy Kong Racing is superior to Mario Kart 64 in every way, shape, and form. Donkey Kong’s little brother is the featured character within this quality racing game that features three different styles of transportation (car, hovercraft, and aeroplane), well-designed course layouts, and arguably the best single-player Adventure Mode ever featured in a kart racer. Since Mario Kart 64 has already been announced as one of the N64 on Switch games that offer online play, then giving Diddy Kong Racing the very same capabilities is a must. Nintendo and Rare must work out some sort of deal that can allow this beloved kart racer to exist on a modern-day Nintendo platform. The return of Wizpig scares us half to death, but our newfound patience should help us deal with his boss fight a lot better these days.

2. ‘WCW/nWo Revenge’
THQ

The N64 was home to some of the greatest wrestling games of all time. During the height of World Championship Wrestling’s run, the Atlanta-based wrestling company joined forces with THQ to craft a timeless 3D grappler – WCW/nWo Revenge. AKI Corporation’s grappling system engaged in a perfect marriage with the superstars of WCW to create a dream scenario for wrestling fans at the time. To this day, wrestling fans hold WCW/nWo Revenge in high regard and still whip out the old N64 and four controllers for some battle royale action. It’s only right that Nintendo gives that same fanbase an easier way to play out custom Starrcade match cards. WCW/nWo Revenge is one of the N64’s definitive gaming experiences, which makes it an essential title worth bringing to the Switch.

3. ‘WWF No Mercy’
THQ

If WCW’s finest simulator is on this list, then it makes all the sense in the world for the World Wrestling Federation (now known as World Wrestling Entertainment) to have one of its most celebrated games appear here too. WWF No Mercy always ends up in any conversation once the topic of best N64 games and best wrestling games randomly springs up. And anyone who’s played it can easily explain why – it relies on AKI Corporation’s refined grappling mechanics, features a who’s who of WWF’s hot period during the year 2000, and comes with an amazing single-player experience in the form of Championship Mode. We hope WWF No Mercy and its extremely catchy main menu theme song becomes a part of the Switch’s N64 library. DIG DIG DIG, DIG DIGGITY DOG!

4. ‘Super Smash Bros.’
Nintendo

It still amazes us to see how healthy the competitive community still is in regard to Super Smash Bros. Melee. The continued adulation shown towards that FGC staple is still intact and will probably be played long after we’re gone. As soon as we heard that some of the N64 games on the Switch will have online play enabled, our minds immediately went to the thought of online four-player brawls in the original Smash. The ragtag group of Mario, Pikachu, Yoshi, and the rest of the gang had us in tears during the big brawl they engaged in during the original Super Smash Bros. commercial. We want to embrace all that wonderful nostalgia by playing out our old childhood brawls on the Switch. We can totally envision seeing the Switch version of OG Smash appearing at a major FGC tournament while everyone goes to war with their wireless N64 controllers in hand.

5. ‘Rayman 2: The Great Escape’
Ubisoft

Ubisoft’s limbless wonder has laid dormant for a disappointingly long time span (his last game Rayman Legends released in 2013). If we can’t get an all-new game for the platforming icon, then can we at least get a well-optimized port of his N64 adventure? We hope Nintendo convinces Ubisoft to bring back Rayman’s first foray into 3D so it reminds everyone of just how likable he & his zany antics still are. Rayman 2: The Great Escape is still held in high regard thanks to its quality character designs, vibrant worlds, and rewarding gameplay. Reviving those good times for the Switch’s N64 collection just sounds and feels so right. Rayman 2 belongs right alongside Super Mario 64, Banjo-Kazooie, and Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards when it comes to the greatest N64 platformers of all time.

6. ‘Snowboard Kids’
Atlus

Simply put, Snowboard Kids is Mario Kart 64…ON ICE! Sounds dope, right? For us and everyone else that played Atlus’ kid-friendly snowboarder back in the day, there was a lot of enjoyment to be derived from it. Shredding along some snow trails as the game’s lovable tykes will never not be fun, which is why we hope that Snowboard Kids makes its way over to the Switch. It’s a supremely underrated racing game that deserves more love and attention nowadays. We’ve gotten used to seeing Nintendo throw up a slew of unrecognizable games to the NES & SNES games onto the Switch that receives little to no fanfare. Announcing Snowboard Kids as an N64 Switch port would elicit far more positive feedback, that’s for sure!

7. ‘Ridge Racer 64’
Nintendo/Namco

You can’t go wrong with more N64 racers, right? Mario Kart 64 and F-Zero X are already on the docket. Wouldn’t you all say that Namco’s Ridge Racer 64 should join those two fan favorites as well? Namco’s premier arcade racer made its way over from the PlayStation to the N64 and brought with it a slew of exclusive tracks. It ended up being an enjoyable port that added more to the original game’s overall package and still holds up as an impressive 3D racing game experience. Ridge Racer 64 would do well as the sort of additional N64 on Switch game that offers another substantial title for racing game fans.

8. ‘Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber’
Atlus USA

Side note – this renowned strategy RPG has one of the best titles we’ve ever seen! Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber just has the air of royalty about it that sticks close to its theme of grand battles within a warring state. If there’s one N64 classic that you can derive an insane amount of playtime from, it’s most definitely this one. Fighting alongside your troops, managing different character classes, and mastering the ins & outs of the deep battle system are the three pillars that define everything that’s great about Ogre Battle 64. The N64 didn’t have a whole lot of strong RPGs to choose from. However, one of the few good games within that genre for the retro console should get the opportunity to join the Switch’s N64 compilation.

9. ‘Beetle Adventure Racing’
Electronic Arts

Yes, another racer! If you didn’t realize it by now, the N64 harbors an esteemed collective of the best racing games we’ve ever devoted our time to. Beetle Adventure Racing happens to be one of those N64 games that rank very highly among critics and fans alike, no matter the genre. The game’s premise is super easy to grasp for gearheads and even non-racing game aficionados – you hop behind the wheel of varied Volkswagen New Beetle mobiles and race across numerous tracks. Besides racing, this racer also features an awesome battle mode, some sweet unlockable rides, and even the presence of fun crate crashing activities for extra bonuses! Beetle Adventure Racing deserves to re-emerge in the form of another N64 to Switch release.

10. ‘Wave Race 64’
Nintendo

Adding this one to the launch list of N64 Switch games should have been a no-brainer, right? It’s pretty crazy when you realize that Wave Race 64 isn’t a part of the initial rollout of games for the Switch’s online subscription service add-on. We’re pretty sure that oversight will be remedied before the year is over. The N64’s Jet Ski-powered racing experience arrived during the machine’s launch year and is considered as one of the pillars for the 3D cartridge-based console. Before Jet Moto debuted on the original PlayStation, Wave Race 64 ruled over the racing game sub-genre thanks to its realistic water physics, fast-paced gameplay, and bright & bubbly visuals. There’s a severe lack of water-based racers these days – Wave Race 64’s debut on the Switch could potentially remind everyone of just how great the sub-genre used to be and still can be.

Categories
Sports Strength

The 30 Greatest WWE Villains of All Time

Hey everyone! It’s “The Wrestling Classic” Justin here with another article for ONE37PM. This time around, I will be listing 30 of the greatest villains in WWE history. This isn’t ranking them in order, but just listing 30 of the most evil and malicious bad guys in professional wrestling. There are a handful of people on this list that have been good guys too, but I preferred them as bad guys or they excelled in their villainous exploits. There are people on this list who—when they were good guys—you almost felt like they weren’t being true to themselves. A great villain is someone who is more entertaining when they are devious and dastardly, rather than when they are trying to play by the rules. A true villain is someone you want to see break the rules, stir up some trouble and maybe actually get one up on the fan favorite.

There are also people who were such good bad guys that they became beloved by the fans such as Stone Cold, The Rock and Becky Lynch, who won’t make this list because they ended up being better good guys than bad guys. I also won’t be ranking tag teams or factions on this list either. Lastly, my expertise on wrestling really starts from 1984 forward, so if you’re wondering where “Superstar” Billy Graham or Iron Sheik is on this list, they’re not on it because I can’t really describe their bad guy runs as well. These are the greatest heels in my opinion in the WWE, so take it for what it’s worth.

Without further ado, the 30 greatest WWE villains, in no particular order:

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/uvDx1VbCU0c” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hedAndre the Giant</div>
Andre the Giant

Andre The Giant was a global attraction for the wrestling world and rightfully nicknamed the Eighth Wonder of the World. He travelled the world, allowing the fans to bask in amazement at his incredible size and presence. He was beloved by the people, he was allegedly undefeated and then he did the unthinkable. Andre The Giant aligned himself with the villainous Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, who had convinced Andre that he should be the WWE Champion and that his so-called friend Hulk Hogan was trying to dodge giving him a title shot. The run might have only been for a couple of years, but it was impactful. The reason Andre made this list was because his time as a bad guy led to one of the most anticipated matches in WWE history between himself and Hulk Hogan. They set records for Wrestlemania and on cable television for a special event on NBC called “The Main Event.”

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/hsvUNQyWFhw” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hedShawn Michaels</div>
Shawn Michaels

I’ve been on record saying that heel Shawn Michaels in 1997-1998 was my favorite Shawn Michaels. The Heartbreak Kid was off to the races as a heel when he turned on his long time tag team partner Marty Janettey by throwing him through a barber shop window. From 1992 to 1995, Michaels was an arrogant cocky, yet successful, bad guy. He had a change of heart mid 1995 and stayed a good guy till the Summer of 1997. He even won the WWE Championship for the first time during that time, but he wasn’t the same after he surrendered the championship after losing his smile.

Then he went on one of his most rebellious—yet unforgettable—phases from the Summer of 97 until Wrestlemania 14. He screwed Bret Hart, won the WWE Championship and formed D-Generation X. Shawn had a chip on his shoulder, which meant he had more attitude. We never really saw this attitude from Michaels in his final run from 02-10 besides briefly in the Summer of 2005, when he was feuding with Hulk Hogan.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/UMiT419xjAw” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hedLita</div>
Lita

From the moment that Lita hit the WWE scene with Essa Rios, the fans were enamored with her. Lita had a unique look and moved around like a luchador, which we hadn’t seen from a women’s wrestler on mainstream wrestling up to that point. Lita eventually ended up with the popular Hardy Boyz tag team once she started dating Matt Hardy in real-life. They dubbed themselves “Team Xtreme” and the fans loved them.

In 2005, Lita had a real-life affair with fellow WWE superstar Edge thus ending her relationship with Matt Hardy. This instantly made her a heel, and when they decided they would use the real-life drama for on-screen storytelling, it made Lita one of the most despised villains along with Edge. I don’t think they were ever back on her side until she retired, only returning for special occasions.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/h-c6wDFjQ8I” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hedUndertaker</div>
Undertaker

The Undertaker had a 30 year career with the WWE. Throughout those years, he was both a good guy and a bad guy many different times. However, The Undertaker was a lot more dangerous and scary when he was a bad guy. The Undertaker entered the company as a bad guy and was so dominant that he won the WWE Championship from Hulk Hogan in one year.

The second time he walked back into the dark side, he slowly became more demonic and powerful by creating the Ministry of Darkness. During this run, he sacrificed Stone Cold, stalked the McMahon family and even tried kidnapping a young Stephanie McMahon to forcibly marry her—among other things. The last time he was a bad guy was in the early 00s and this was during his biker days. He was one mean biker to say the least, even to the extent of dragging Hulk Hogan around the arena while tied to the back of his bike. He became more aggressive and wanted people to earn his respect, which some finally did.  

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/Z6hzY13gnTU” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hedChris Jericho</div>
Chris Jericho

Chris Jericho is definitely one of my favorites, whether he is a good guy or a bad guy. He has grown and transformed his character so much throughout the years, similar to The Undertaker. Therefore every time he was a bad guy, he always got smarter and more cunning.

Jericho came into the WWE as a bad guy, but he was more over the top, cowardly and silly. The second time around he became the first ever Undisputed Champion and was a bit more polished. The third time around he was on his way out, but came off like the veteran. The fourth time around he began wearing suits, using larger words, threw Shawn Michaels through the TV screen and hit Shawn’s wife by accident. Most recently he came up with the List of Jericho and became best friends with Kevin Owens. Jericho truly is one of the greatest villains, and a different one every time. 

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/Yq3ZKl4q83Q” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hedRic Flair</div>
Ric Flair

Ric Flair was always a better heel than he was a babyface in my mind. He was flamboyant, cocky, arrogant and—most of all—he was undeniably good that he could back it all up. Ric Flair wore expensive suits, travelled in limousines, flew on jet planes and beautiful women surrounded him wherever he went. He first entered the WWE in 1991 claiming to be the real World Champion even though he brought the title from the rival company, where he was the top star for years. Flair then won the vacant WWE Championship in the Royal Rumble, further backing up his ego. Things took a wild turn when he started taunting “Macho Man” Randy Savage about being with his wife Miss Elizabeth before Savage was with her. He even doctored fake pictures like a true scumbag.

Later in his career, in the 2000s, he was part of one of WWE’s most decorated stables: Evolution. When he wasn’t in the ring himself, he was mentoring Triple H, Batista and Randy Orton. He really taught them his ways of being the dirtiest player in the game. 

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/-xMOjhs_Qss” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hedSable</div>
Sable

When Sable first hit the scene in the corner of Hunter Hearst Helmsley and then in the corner of her then husband Marc Mero, the fans quickly fell in love with her. Sable’s popularity eventually surpassed her husband’s as the years went on. People wanted to see Sable, which eventually led to her posing for Playboy. This just made her even more popular.

After an angle where she feuded with her husband, the popularity got to Sable’s head. Sable became her own biggest fan and felt like she no longer needed the fans, but they needed her. This was when Sable coined the entire phrase about the men wanting to see her and women wanting to be her. When Sable returned in the 2000s, she was manipulative with the newer girls on the roster and even became Mr. McMahon’s side piece, causing issues for the McMahon family. A dynamic arose that if Sable was around, trouble wasn’t far behind. 

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/r3kYW4iEZ4s” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hedBayley</div>
Bayley

Since Bayley was on NXT, she was this lovable super-fan that was just so excited to be working for the WWE and meeting her heroes. By the time she got the main roster, she was the lovable hugger underdog that children loved and who exceeded everyone’s expectations. Bayley was like an overgrown child; she was colorful, wore a side braid, had Bayley buddy tube men for her entrance and fought for the underdogs.

Then one day, she assisted Sasha Banks in an attack and showed up on the following Smackdown, destroying the Bayley buddies before revealing a new haircut. Bayley had officially turned in her fans and became a more delusional heel, which led to her most successful run. Bayley became the longest reigning Smackdown Women’s Championship and also held the tag titles with Sasha at the same time for a period of time. Bayley then turned on her best friend Sasha, further showing how much her ego had grown. Bayley proved that even the most innocent and colorful people have a dark side.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/qn0sifWw9RM” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hedKane</div>
Kane

Where do you really start with Kane? He came in as the presumed dead brother of The Undertaker along with Paul Bearer. In the first few months of being around, he tried to set his brother on fire, and in the future he would bury him alive more than once. He also electrocuted Shane McMahon’s testicles, tried throwing him in a dumpster fire and even tombstoned his elderly mother. Kane also tried setting Jim Ross on fire after an interview. The point being, you really didn’t want to be on Kane’s bad side as he barely felt any empathy and had no control over his actions. Although he had many meaningful friendships and relationships, most of them ended on bad terms. The wrath and fire within the Devil’s Favorite Demon’s soul made him someone you really didn’t want to cross paths with. He grew up with a lot of family trauma, so what do you expect?

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/JqCEYP9bXvc” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hedSasha Banks</div>
Sasha Banks

Sasha Banks has an aura about her that radiates with the knowledge that she’s the best in her mind. Banks considers herself to be the Legit Boss, The Blueprint, The Standard and best women’s wrestler ever. She is cocky, arrogant and flashy by nature, but she can back it all up in the ring. When she’s a babyface, it sometimes doesn’t make sense because you know deep down inside that Sasha always wants to be number one and won’t settle for less. When she’s trying to play well, you know sooner than later that she’s going to get frustrated and the claws are going to come out. That scratchy, self-obsessed and motivated Banks is as villainous as it gets, because she will do anything to get what she wants. It doesn’t matter if that means backstabbing friends, cheating to win, making children cry or reminding everyone just exactly who she is; she’ll do it.

I love that Sasha and quite frankly, when she’s bad… she’s just so much better. In a weird way, even though fans end up wanting to cheer for her because she’s so good and charismatic, she’s a selfish heel at heart. It’s Sasha Banks’ world and we’re all just living in it.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/eEMfapZ5-qc” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hedCM Punk</div>
CM Punk

CM Punk doesn’t drink, doesn’t smoke and doesn’t use drugs. To most of society, he already comes off as a bad guy that you can’t relate to. However, for the first part of Punk’s run in the WWE, he was considered a good guy. A straight edge guy who loved wrestling and was good at it.

In 2009, when Punk finally turned heel against Jeff Hardy, we really saw the side of him that WWE fans hadn’t seen yet. It was bad guy Punk who looked down at people who didn’t share the same straight edge values as him. He then led his own cult of people that followed his beliefs by creating the Straight Edge Society, where he became more villainous and annoying. He then led the new Nexus before finally threatening to leave the company for good, dropping the popular pipebomb promo. The fans would side with Punk after the promo, which led to him becoming a good guy again. He would again turn on the fans by attacking The Rock in midst of 434 day reign as WWE Champion, unhappy about The Rock being granted a title match at Royal Rumble. He would then align himself with his friend Paul Heyman and continue to let the people know exactly what he thinks, whether you liked it or not. Punk was a great villain.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/yru-bIqX0WQ” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hedSgt. Slaughter</div>
Sgt. Slaughter

For years, Sgt. Slaughter was the GI Joe of professional wrestling. He started his career as a heel with the Grand Wizard in his corner and feuded with the WWE Champion Bob Backlund. However, his career took off as a babyface when he became an American hero feuding with the Iron Sheik. He became one of the most popular stars in the company before being let go due to a dispute with Vince McMahon.

When he returned  in 1990, he came back as a heel and as an Iraqi sympathizer. This was during a real-life Gulf War where a US-led military helped Kuwait from an Iran invasion. He aligned himself with General Adan and eventually Colonel Mustafa, who was Slaughter’s former rival the Iron Sheik. Slaughter would talk down America by calling them soft and weak compared to Iran, to the extent where he was receiving real-life death threats. He would go on to beat Ultimate Warrior for the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble. Hulk Hogan would take offense to Slaughters’ action after he desecrated the United States flag, and would defeat him at Wrestlemania. This run alone though makes Slaughter one of WWE’s greatest villains.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/zuqwRgHDG8A” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hedBret “The Hitman” Hart</div>
Bret “The Hitman” Hart

Bret Hart flipped from being a bad guy to good guy during his tag team run with Jim Neidhart as one half of the Hart Foundation. They started off as a villainous tag team along with Jimmy Hart in their corner, but eventually would become fan favorites. When the team split, Bret Hart would go on to become a fan favorite due to his in ring skills and connection with the fans worldwide. He would be one of the biggest heroes for the WWE in a post Hulkamania era.

However, early in 1997, due to an on-going feud with Shawn Michaels and Steve Austin continuously being a thorn in his side, The Hitman snapped after being screwed out of opportunities. He began to get more frustrated with the American fans who cheered for anti-heroes like HBK and Stone Cold. The official turn would take place at Wrestlemania 13 in a classic match with Austin. Following the PPV, he would reunite his family to create a new Hart Foundation stable that consisted of Owen Hart, Davey Boy Smith, Jim Neidhart, Brian Pillman and himself. It led to a dynamic where the Hart Foundation would be over with the fans everywhere around the world but America. In America they were the villains. It was truly a unique dynamic that we haven’t witnessed ever since. That is why Bret Hart made this list. 

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/8HGsjTq46ig” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hedRandy Orton</div>
Randy Orton

Randy Orton is such a good bad guy that the fans start to get behind him, which eventually forces him to become a good guy again. He’s selfish, narcissistic, irrational at times, ruthless, unpredictable yet methodical and doesn’t trust a lot of people. He started off as one of the members of the heel stable Evolution. While in this group, he portrayed this cocky, self-centered and arrogant persona who would eventually target legends, thus dubbing himself the Legend Killer. When he was kicked out of Evolution after winning the World Championship, he would flip between being a good or bad guy. However, I always preferred him as a bad guy.

Orton’s character constantly evolved. When he was a bad guy in 2008-2010, it was more of a young vet who lacked trust because of how he was betrayed in the past by his mentors, but he also began leading his own group in Legacy. In 2013-2014, he was more of the seasoned veteran that was chosen and protected by the Authority. Most recently, he became more violent and vicious, attacking legends and old friends; he even set The Fiend on fire. The one thing that is for sure about Randy Orton is that you’re never sure. The Viper can strike at any time and it’s really based off how he is feeling that day, which makes him one of the greatest villains in WWE.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/fIQHp86E15E” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hedSeth Rollins</div>
Seth Rollins

Seth Rollins made his debut in the heel trio of The Shield. They claimed to fight for justice when most of the time they were helping the bad guys—particularly CM Punk at first—win their matches. They would also attack legends and many others as time went on. The Shield became one of the most dominant factions of the modern era. They would become babyfaces and successfully  feud the Authority and Evolution. It was then that Seth Rollins turned on his Shield brothers to buy into the Authority that he would go on one of my favorite villainous runs. He had the Authority backing him in most scenarios and even had his own lousy security in J&J security. Seth was the most slimy and devious during this 2014-2015 heel run. He secured the Money in the Bank briefcase and pulled off the heist of the century when he cashed in at Wrestlemania to become the WWE Champion.

Most recently, he has adopted different characteristics as a villain, such as acting like a holy leader as the Monday Night Messiah or as a visionary in his current state of mind where he is overly flashy, but fully out of his mind. It’s villain Rollins over nice guy Rollins any day for me.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/IbLYlH23ca0″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hedEdge</div>
Edge

Edge had runs as a bad guy early in his career, whether it was while he was a member of The Brood or one half of the Edge and Christian tag team. Honestly, his time as a heel with Christian was both fun and entertaining so I wouldn’t necessarily say Edge was a major villain during those years. Edge’s origin story of becoming a villain began in the mid 2000s, when he became more obsessed with achieving his dream to be a World Champion. The closer he got, the more dastardly he would become. When it became clear that Lita cheated on Matt Hardy with Edge in real-life, it made Edge come off as even more of a scumbag and he embraced it. It was the birth of the Rated R Superstar. Edge would win the first ever Money in the Bank match and cash in to finally achieve his dream by becoming the WWE Champion. However, the old obsession of winning a world championship became an obsession to keep it or regain it. Edge would do whatever it took to do so, even if that meant surrounding himself with people that would help him, getting extra violent or even making out with Vickie Guerrero. 

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/n9KOdKznffk” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hedCharlotte Flair</div>
Charlotte Flair

Charlotte never chose to be a villain, but the fans dictated her fate. Charlotte Flair can literally breathe and she’ll have people hating her. Honestly, every time Charlotte was portrayed as a babyface, it felt weird. The second generation superstar is such a natural heel, and as the daughter of the dirtiest player in the game Ric Flair, I wouldn’t expect anything else. The fans always try to downplay her success by saying she only receives the opportunities she gets because of her family background rather than accepting that she is just that good. The Queen continues to get better year after year too.

Currently, she might be the most comfortable in her role as a polarizing figure than she ever has been. Charlotte knows her role, is extremely confident in her ability and has the track record to back up her ego. Quite frankly, Charlotte is the bar in the women’s division that you need overcome to be taken seriously. There was a time she had her dad by her side and she would find ways to sneak away with victories, but at this point in her career, she doesn’t need any help. Whether you like it or dislike it, learn to love it because Charlotte isn’t going anywhere.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/Lm4Si1KUKuc” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed”Ravishing” Rick Rude</div>
“Ravishing” Rick Rude

“What I’d like to have right now is for all you fat, out of shape, reading sweathogs to keep the noise down while I take my robe off and show all the ladies what a real man is supposed to look like.” Ravishing Rick Rude was a narcissistic egomaniac with an impressive body that made him even more confident. The ladies low-key loved him and this made the men hate him even more. Figure in that he was also a part of The Heenan Family aligned with Bobby Heenan—who hyped him up on the regular—that it made him even more dislikable. One of Rude’s trademarks was that he would wear special custom airbrushed tights for his major matches. Therefore, when he was feuding with Jake “The Snake ” Roberts and had Jake’s then-wife Cheryl airbrushed on his crotch… well, it doesn’t get more sleazy than that. Rude would go on to feud Ultimate Warrior, Roddy Piper and a couple of other people before leaving the company, but was a villain the entire time. He even aligned himself with the villainous DX when he returned briefly in 1997 as their insurance policy. Rude wasn’t a good guy.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/ygxeBw-jxiQ” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed”Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase</div>
“Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase

They say money can change people and it’s very rare you come across a humble millionaire. In the 1980s, the WWE’s resident millionaire was everything but humble. Ted Dibiase would bribe or pay whatever amount necessary to get whatever he wanted, because he truly believed everybody had a price. Along with his bodyguard Virgil, Dibiase would prove this theory by offering fans money to partake in tasks or contests where he would humiliate them. Dibiase would also shove a $100 bill in the mouths of his opponents following matches, which Virgil would usually retrieve for himself. Initially he tried to purchase the WWE Championship from Hulk Hogan, but only successfully purchased it after Andre defeated Hogan for the belt under controversial circumstances. Dibiase would use his power in all his future feuds too and even created his own Million Dollar Championship. Later in his career, he would lead his own group of villains under the “Million Dollar Corporation” name. In the end though, Ted Dibiase may be one of wrestling’s greatest villains because he was rich and he could afford to be a villain.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/_5l4rK72-cI” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hedOwen Hart</div>
Owen Hart

Owen Hart was the youngest kid in the illustrious Hart Family. Owen entered the WWE as this colourful, talented, energetic and ahead of his time wrestler. While Owen Hart was making his name in the company, his older brother Bret Hart was winning World Championships and main eventing shows. It wasn’t until Survivor Series 1993 that we really saw tension between the two brothers after an inadvertent bump into each other caused Owen’s elimination from the match. This set Owen Hart off and we saw his true colors as a man who was sick of being in his brother’s shadow. It was off to the races with the jealous younger brother angle for Owen and his obsession to prove that he was better than his older brother beginning to tear their family apart. They feuded for the next year with Owen not only picking up victories against Bret, but also costing him the WWE Championship. He would later team with Yokozuna and eventually be part of the heel Camp Cornette faction. When that group disbanded, the family reunited to form the polarizing Hart Foundation faction. Owen would continue to be the bad guy most of the rest of his career until his unfortunate passing, but he was damn good at it. Regardless of how bad Owen was, it was hard to not like him.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/ckKvbTOaOTc” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed”Macho Man” Randy Savage</div>
“Macho Man” Randy Savage

The “Macho Man” Randy Savage was an over confident larger than life character and an extremely talented second generation wrestler. When he introduced the beautiful yet reserved Elizabeth as his manager, it backed up his cocky attitude and made fans dislike him even more—especially when he would treat her like crap, use her as a shield and she would let him get away with it. As talented as he was, he would still try to find the easy way to pick up victories, such as when he used an illegal steel object to knock out Santana to secure the Intercontinental Championship. One of the most villainous things he did early in his career was trying to end Ricky Steamboat’s career by injuring his larynx with a ring bell and using the outside guard-rail to his advantage. This would accumulate to one of the greatest matches ever at Wrestlemania 3, which is still held in high regard.

Savage’s popularity would grow and he would eventually become a good guy. This would only last until he got fed up with Hogan trying to share his spotlight and his woman. Savage would dump Elizabeth and associate himself with Sensational Sherri. After winning a King of the Ring tournament, he would become the Macho King and continue to do whatever it took to get what he desired. This would be Savage’s final run as a villain in the WWE, but he always prospered at it because he’s flown with the eagles and slithered with the snakes…

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/k5FnCjJl014″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hedEric Bischoff</div>
Eric Bischoff

It’s not a coincidence that when you give someone a little bit of power, it can go to their head. Most authority figures in the world of wrestling usually let that power go to their head. Not everyone was a Jack Tunney or a Gorilla Monsoon; every once in a while you’d have to deal with a self conceited and arrogant boss like Eric Bischoff. Bischoff was the former president of World Championship Wrestling, which under his leadership began to beat the WWE in the ratings in the mid 90s, almost putting the company out of business. Nobody in their right mind thought we would ever see Easy E in the WWE under any circumstances, and especially not in a role with power. Therefore, when Mr. McMahon introduced Eric Bischoff as the new General Manager of Monday Night Raw, the fans were astonished. Bischoff was now in charge of the show he used to compete against on Monday Nights. He had a knack for siding with the bad guys and making the lives of the good guys a living hell. It was truly chaos until Stone Cold Steve Austin became his co-general manager to balance out the biases. The thing is, when you saw Eric Bischoff and his devious smile, you knew things were about to get interesting.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/pRkqYktOgv0″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hedTriple H</div>
Triple H

Triple H was one of those villains that I grew to love as a bad guy more and more as I got older. Hunter Hearst Helmsley entered the company as a stuck up aristocrat before becoming more of a degenerate alongside Shawn Michaels. Triple H was entitled, ruthless, willing to get violent and obsessed with proving to everyone why he called himself The Game. He played the game, if that meant surrounding himself with people that would help him get where he wanted and protect him as the World Champion in factions such as D-Generation X, the Corporation and Evolution. Hunter even went as far to marry the boss’s daughter to advance his career and keep the upper hand of all opposition. When he was the leader of Evolution, he would find ways to beat everyone, especially fan favorites that were coming from WCW. Triple H would reunite with Michaels for a bunch of years, become more of a good guy and spend more of his time focusing on his role as the COO in the years that followed, but frequently reminded people why he was called the Cerebral Assassin. When the Authority was against Daniel Bryan being the face of the WWE, the old Triple H came back out and it was fun while it lasted. There aren’t many villains like Triple H.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/JdxJneNFAbM” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hedPaul Heyman</div>
Paul Heyman

The first words that come to my mind when I think about Paul Heyman is “evil genius.” That is exactly what Heyman is. He is a master manipulator and knows exactly who to advocate for. Heyman is amazing on the microphone and knows how to get people to drink his kool-aid. It was something he perfected when he was the mastermind behind ECW.

When he first appeared in the WWE, he played the perfect heel against Jim Ross’s commentary. When he got fired after the Alliance storyline, Heyman returned alongside Brock Lesnar, dubbing him the “Next Big Thing” and becoming his advocate. He would stick around after splitting from Lesnar to become the Smackdown GM or be part of the resurrection of ECW. Heyman would return in 2012 to once again advocate for Brock. Heyman would be in The Beast’s corner while he dominated the WWE by winning championships, ending undefeated streaks and taking superstars on trips to suplex city. He excelled as Lesnar’s mouthpiece and negotiator. He would also lend his services to others such as CM Punk, Cesaro, Ryback and—most recently—the Tribal Chief Roman Reigns. It’s crazy that if you align yourself with Heyman, you’re automatically a bad guy. That tells you his impact as a villain.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/XNRij-SpS0I” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hedJBL</div>
JBL

Bradshaw went through many character incarnations since he first arrived on the scene in the WWE. During those years, he was a villain a handful of times. He was briefly villainous while he was Justin Hawk Bradshaw, branding his opponents and even when the Acolytes first got together as members of the Ministry of Darkness before becoming the beloved APA. It wasn’t until he recreated himself into the JBL persona—which was closer to who he was in real-life and played off his real life success on wall street—did he really become one of the most annoying villains of all time. He began wearing a suit, a cowboy hat and would make his entrance in a limo with bull horns in the front. The character kicked off with JBL trying to hunt for illegal immigrants at the border of Mexico and Texas to earn a number one contendership match for the WWE Championship against Eddie Guerrero.

Layfield would go on to become the WWE Champion and had a lengthy 9 month reign, usually winning his matches in controversial fashion. He even started his own stable called the Cabinet that helped him keep the title for months. He would remain a villain for the rest of his career, aside from when he could show a more positive side on commentary. However, JBL is one of the greatest villains in WWE history.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/tKb7DJSZ9No” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hedStephanie McMahon</div>
Stephanie McMahon

Stephanie McMahon is Mr. McMahon’s little girl and correctly named the “Billion Dollar Princess.” Stephanie has had her time playing a good authority figure, but most of her career she has been an entitled, powerful, spoiled and charismatic villain.

Stephanie showed up on the scene as this timid and shy young woman who was allegedly kidnapped by Triple H and then forced to marry him while under the influence. Later we found out she was in on it all along as she turned on her own father, aligning herself withTriple H to take over her dad’s company. From that moment on, we were off to the races. Stephanie would have an off and on relationship with all of her family members throughout the years and even turn on her own husband for a time period. As Stephanie matured and gained more power behind the scenes, she had no problem asking people who the hell they thought they were and reminding them they were standing in her family’s ring. I have seen many superstars fall victim to looking helpless under Stephanie’s tirades. Those who would fight back would either deal with professional repercussions, have to deal with her husband Triple H or in some cases Stephanie herself. If you’re on the roster, it’s a goal to not make this princess mad.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/kH_rN-Ig8RM” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed”Rowdy” Roddy Piper</div>
“Rowdy” Roddy Piper

There is a famous promo that took place at WCW’s Halloween Havoc 1996 where “Rowdy” Roddy Piper said something along the lines of “do you think they would have cheered you so much if they didn’t hate me so much” to Hollywood Hogan. That line always hit home. It made me really realize just how important Hot Rod was to the wrestling boom in the mid 80s and that he was the ultimate villain. He had the gift of gab and the ability to get under people’s skin. By hosting his Piper Pit talk show segments where he degraded his guests, Roddy was able to get into altercations with superstars—like the infamous moment where he smashed Snuka’s head with a coconut. He would keep up this rebellious attitude when celebrities like Cyndi Lauper got involved with wrestling and Hulk Hogan would come to Lauper’s aid, thus kicking off the “Rock ‘n’ Wrestling Connection” era. This feud would eventually set up the very first Wrestlemania main event where Piper and Orondorff—along with “Cowboy” Bob Orton—faced off against Hulk Hogan and Mr. T, who had Jimmy Snuka along with them. It doesn’t matter how over Hulk Hogan was or how many celebrities you had on the card, you cannot deny that if wrestling fans didn’t want to see Piper finally get what was coming to him, it wouldn’t have been as successful as it was. 

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The Miz

Mike Mizanin came from the world of reality TV as a former cast member of MTV’s The Real World. He tried to achieve his lifelong dream of becoming a WWE superstar by going through the Tough Enough competition. The Miz impressed someone enough to be offered a contract with the company, even though he didn’t win the competition. He would show up on the main shows initially as a host and backstage interviewer. Finally realizing the fans found him annoying and pompous, he began playing a villainous character. It took a long time for the fans to come around to The Miz. And I mean a really long time. No matter how entertaining he was, how many titles he won or how great he played his role, wrestling fans truly didn’t feel like he belonged there. It was the ultimate disgrace to wrestling fans when he won the WWE Championship in 2010. They did try to briefly turn Miz into a good guy in 2012. They even had Ric Flair as his mentor, but it was short-lived and honestly forgettable.

The Miz began to garner more appreciation after 2013 as fans began to appreciate his awesome mic skills and growth as an in-ring competitor. He would remain a villain for the rest of his career while surrounding himself with his beautiful wife Maryse, his old friend John Morrison or other short term comrades. The fans do get behind him in some situations, such as his feud with Shane McMahon, but other than that, he’s just so easy to dislike and want to punch in the face.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/DN0vwRJglwI” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hedBobby “The Brain” Heenan</div>
Bobby “The Brain” Heenan

If you were aligned with Bobby “The Brain” Heenan in the 1980s or became a member of the Heenan Family, you turned your back on the fans and became a villain. It was just that simple. Bobby Heenan was witty, devious, hilarious and truly one of a kind. The Brain knew now only how to make his clients seem like stars, but how to disregard them or sell their contracts off to other managers when they no longer were valuable to him. He was the slimy salesman, outrageously biased and financially corrupt. Most of the villains that heroes like Hulk Hogan had to overcome were members of Heenan’s family. The Andre The Giant turn only worked because he aligned himself with Heenan. Heenan’s chemistry with Gorilla Monsoon on commentary and Prime Time Wrestling further shined a light on The Brain’s charm.

Fans always wanted to see Heenan get his eventually, and sometimes they got that opportunity. There are so many classic moments when Heenan’s one-liners made you chuckle against your will. He created terms like humanoids and ham-n-eggers that wrestling fans still use today. He truly was a once in a lifetime villain, but if you listened to him, you went to the top. And if you didn’t listen to him, you were never heard from again.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/nIAYS8x_4uY” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hedMr. Vince McMahon</div>
Mr. Vince McMahon

It’s really easy to hate your boss, isn’t it? If your boss ends up being a narcissistic billionaire egomaniac with vindictive tendencies towards anyone who crosses them… they really make a great villain. For years, fans who were just watching wrestling on television and not looking for the inside scoop saw Vince McMahon as an on screen announcer and commentator while others played the figurehead president role on television. It wasn’t until the mid-90s that people started making slight references towards Vince McMahon being the boss. It wasn’t until the Montreal Screwjob and the interview he gave on Raw weeks following the event that the WWE decided to capitalize on Vince McMahon being the villainous powerful boss on screen. He also had the perfect rival in the anti-authority and rebellious “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. Mr. McMahon would find any way possible to screw Stone Cold out of being the WWE Champion while still making money off of his popularity.

McMahon would go on to feud Triple H, Undertaker, Mick Foley, Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Hulk Hogan, Randy Orton, CM Punk and even Daniel Bryan throughout the years. He would even use his power to cheat on his wife Linda with the female talent on screen and sometimes even right in front of his wife. Mr. McMahon also wrestled both children on separate occasions. When the Boss shows up these days, you never know what to expect.

Categories
Sports Strength

Gregg Berhalter’s Excited by Gianluca Busio Play in Serie A

The U.S. men’s national team returns to action this October with its second trio of Concacaf World Cup Qualifying matches, and Gregg Berhalter’s inclusion of one rising European talent should have many American fans excited after his strong start to life across the pond. 

Gianluca Busio made his mark in MLS with Sporting Kansas City and eventually earned a move to Serie A club Venezia FC.

After excelling for the USMNT during this summer’s Gold Cup triumph, Busio has quickly earned a starting role with the Italian side and was chosen as one of 27 players by Berhalter to represent his country this October.

Busio’s absence from the September slate of matches wasn’t a major shock due to his recent move from the United States to Italy, but now with five appearances and over 400 Serie A minutes under his belt, the 19-year-old will be expected to perform for the USMNT if called upon against Jamaica, Panama, or Costa Rica.

“Man, I love what he’s been doing,” Berhalter said in a press conference Wednesday. “He’s really been adapting well, you can see he’s a super smart player. I commented that in the Gold Cup, he plays like an older player.

“That’s what I’m seeing in Serie A at well. He’s not fazed, he’s competing. Just doing a really good job adapting, you can see he’s already important to the team.”

Busio made 70 appearances for SKC during his MLS career, scoring eight goals and registering nine assists from an attacking-midfield position.

His versatility has been on display at Venezia, a team who is struggling for consistent results at the moment, featuring mainly as a No. 6 in midfield, but having the ability to race around the field and play hard with or without possession. 

The former MLS Homegrown talent has quickly emerged as a regular starter for Venezia, and will now look to pair up with other midfield stars in the USMNT squad, such as Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams, Yunus Musah, and Brenden Aaronson.

Busio’s role for the USMNT could change slightly with experienced options like McKennie and Adams likely to start in the heart of Berhalter’s formation, but the head coach backs him to deliver in whatever role he is used in.

“For us, we see him being able to perform,” Berhalter said. “We won’t hesitate to put him in. We know we need rotation, we know we need people who can start the game and also make an impact coming off the bench. We think he’s going to be a contributor this camp.”

The USMNT has four points earned so far in World Cup Qualifying, concluding its September window with a 4-1 road win over Honduras.

With a pair of home games in Austin and Columbus, the Americans will be expected to end its October window in a much-higher place in the Concacaf octagonal standings than it did in early September. 

Categories
NFT Tech

Know the Difference: On-Chain and Off-Chain NFTs

The drop of the new project ‘OnChain Monkey’ started a necessary conversation across the NFT community: what exactly does it mean when NFTs are referred to as being ‘on-chain’ or ‘off-chain’? The distinction between the two is just as confusing as it is essential to understand. 

There is a common perception that the blockchain technology that underpins NFTs leaves the digital assets impervious to corruption and is permanent. This is true in terms of the smart contract, however, there is a potential vulnerability that exists in the way that digital artwork (content and metadata) may be stored for some projects. If the metadata for the digital art is stored off-chain, there is a potential that you could be stuck down the road with the smart contract that points to a broken link. Knowing the on and off-chain components of your NFT will make you a more informed collector and enhance your understanding of project quality. 

The Problem with Off-Chain Data

Take the most recent proliferation of PFP NFT projects; they follow the same recipe: 10K+ assets, an adjective used to describe an animal, some rare traits, followed by a location (club, society, spaceship, stable, etc.), with promises of community and companion airdrops. The team behind the project starts a Twitter and Discord account, appoints a community manager, and starts whitelisting early participants for a shot to mint early.

At a high level, the NFTs in these projects exist in two parts—the smart contract and the metadata for the actual artwork. The smart contract exists on a blockchain, typically Ethereum, (although that is changing rapidly), and contains a set of rules or standards that facilitates the transaction and serves as a digital description of the content. The smart contract includes a link that points to the server that stores the digital artwork.

On the other hand, the digital artwork may not live on a blockchain and may be stored “off-chain” or simply, not on a blockchain. Off-chain storage includes centralized servers within the company or an InterPlanetary File System (IPFS). The issue with centralized storage is that if the server goes down (or the company dissolves) the image would be lost. IPFS is a more secure method of finding data as it utilizes a distributed, decentralized system. While still off-chain, if a storage location (node) goes down in one spot it may be found in another location. 

Due to the immutable quality of the smart contracts, rewrites to redirect to the image are not possible should there be a disruption to the off-chain method of storage. In this scenario, a collector would be left with a smart contract that contains a link to unavailable content. It’s fair to assume that this outcome is definitely not in sync with the expectations of the current collector.

How do I see if an NFT is Off-Chain?

Follow the steps below to see how your digital assets are stored. You can also try to Check My NFT if you know your contract address and token ID.

MetaMask Wallet: Open your MetaMask wallet and click on ‘NFTs.’ Select the NFT you’d like to review and click the link that appears directly across from ‘Asset Contract.’ This will bring you to Etherscan

OpenSea: Once you have pulled up the webpage of the NFT you would like to review, scroll down to ‘Details’ in the left-hand column and click the link across from ‘Contract Address.’ This will bring you to Etherscan

Once you are in Etherscan, click the ‘Contract’ tab located below the ‘Contract Overview’ box. After clicking on ‘Contract,’ select ‘Read Contract’ and scroll down to ‘tokenURI.’ This dropdown box allows you to enter the ID number of your token, which can be located in the name of the NFT, for instance, Cool Cat #7000, or on the OpenSea webpage in the ‘Details’ box below the contract link. Once the Token ID number is entered, click ‘Query.’ 

If a link appears, the artwork is most likely stored off-chain. The link may start with “ipfs://” or “https://api.”, include the project name, and end with a token number.

Potential Solutions

Hundreds of projects dropped over the summer and hundreds more are in the queue to be released this fall. As fast as these NFTs are dropping, it’s hard to believe that the creative teams are concerned with the long-term permanence of these assets. Conversations seem to revolve around floor prices and future airdrops, with several blatant rug pulls already occurring. 

Luckily, companies are already working on the issue of data permanence: InfiNFT is a user-friendly platform that allows creators to store metadata on-chain utilizing IPFS and Arweave. Arweave is a company that developed a blockchain derivative that is working toward a ‘permaweb.’ These solutions aren’t the only ones up and running and they are followed by more in the pipeline. 

Taking into consideration the pace at which the very concept of NFTs is evolving (artwork has transformed into content with utility), there is no doubt that giant leaps in digital permanence are just around the corner. As the technology continues to evolve, researching a project’s roadmap, artists, and dev teams will give you insight into the intentions and capabilities of the team.

Categories
Culture Music

Be Sure to Check Out Icewear Vezzo’s ‘Rich Off Pints 2’, Out Now!

Detroit’s Icewear Vezzo is building off the hype of his last project Rich Off Pints, with the release of Rich Off Pints 2 this week. The project is a fourteen-track album featuring Moneybagg Yo, Babyface Ray, and two collaborations with Future. The album also includes many samples from some classic hip-hop songs from the 90s and early 00s. So be sure to tune in below.

Vezzo’s story-telling and tough delivery help his music stand out on this project. This project does not disappoint. We recently profiled Vezzo and his upbringing. If you’re into Vezzo or want to learn more about the Detroit artist, be sure to check out our recent piece here.

Tune In
https://www.one37pm.com/culture/music/icewear-vezzo-rich-off-pints-2.

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The following three tracks stood out to our team at ONE37pm immediately:

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In the song “Tear The Club Up,” with Future, the song features a rugged, dark rap beat, a type of beat that one may expect a Detroit artist to spit fire on. The beat features a sinister-like piano, with Vezzo setting the song’s tone in an aggressive and straightforward manner. Not only is it unique for Future to be on a Detroit-style beat, but his cadence is even familiar to Vezzo’s. Future brings the same energy on the track with a rather long verse! The song is based on “Tear da Club Up ’97,” by Three 6 Mafia, with a similar chorus, but they add a modern taste of Detroit and Atlanta with fire bars. Tune in! 

<iframe src=”https://open.spotify.com/embed/track/533xPP4BjZEkZzySNYKbcW?theme=0″ width=”100%” height=”80″ frameBorder=”0″ allowfullscreen=”” allow=”autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; fullscreen; picture-in-picture”></iframe>

On “Sippin” with Babyface Ray, Vezzo pays homage to “Sippin On Some Syrup” by Three 6 Mafia. He samples the main melody and theme of the song while adding his sauce. Babyface Ray and Vezzo’s chemistry they’ve developed over the years is evident on this track, both delivering a fire flow and hard lyrics. Be sure to give this song a listen! 

<iframe src=”https://open.spotify.com/embed/track/4pbPdGt5Q1SYu6lKtJCam7?theme=0″ width=”100%” height=”80″ frameBorder=”0″ allowfullscreen=”” allow=”autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; fullscreen; picture-in-picture”></iframe>

On “5 Mill,” Vezzo also samples “I Got Five On It” by Luniz and Michael Marshall. Similar to “Sippin,” he samples the melody of the song. Vezzo typically raps about the trials and tribulations of life in Detroit, and he delivers the same message with high energy in this song. Vezzo spits, “Motivate the trenches, turn a sinner to a nun. Fetti take a tooka, get a brick for 21. Hit the crib, we threw the guns, Stuffed the blender by the tub.” This bridge shows the hardships he has to deal with within Detroit, rapping about his crime-ridden nerighborhood (trenches) and what he has to deal with. 

Categories
Culture News

The Past Week In Crypto Adoption News: September 23rd to 30th

Welcome to the new edition of “The Past Week in Crypto Adoption,” a weekly recap of companies, institutions, organizations, and individuals who are beginning to adopt crypto as a payment/work platform. With the crypto industry becoming more and more dynamic, this weekly report is meant to help you stay in the loop. The last few days saw crypto becoming more mainstream, implemented by some of the world’s most prominent organizations across different industries.

<div class =”code”><p class = “twitter-tweet”>https://twitter.com/nayibbukele/status/1442533230540886019?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw</p></div>
1. Chivo wallet reaches 2.5 million users in El Salvador

Last week, we reported about the quick adoption of the official BTC wallet of the El Salvador Government, Chivo. El Salvador’s president Nayib Bukele recently shared some statistics on Twitter, showing that Chivo has now reached 2.5 million users. This represents 1/3  of the population in El Salvador, further proving the point that the adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender has been a successful project. For comparison, it is estimated that 70% of the population in El Salvador doesn’t have bank accounts, so the rapid adoption of BTC proves the “banking the unbanked” thesis. 

<div class =”code”><p class = “twitter-tweet”>https://twitter.com/BrooklynNets/status/1442472527473807361?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw</p></div>
2. The Brooklyn Nets will be sponsored by a crypto company

The Brooklyn Nets announced that they will be sponsored by Webull. Webull is a trading app that allows users to buy and trade stocks and cryptocurrency. The deal was announced on social media by the Brooklyn Nets. The sponsorship will be a patch sponsorship, meaning the Webull logo will be on the player’s jerseys. The deal is reportedly worth $50 million. After the Philadelphia 76ers, the Brooklyn Nets are now also sponsored by a cryptocurrency company, further helping crypto become mainstream.

<div class =”code”><p class = “twitter-tweet”>https://twitter.com/EvolveETFs/status/1442489895264526349?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw</p></div>
3. The first-ever Canadian ETF combining Bitcoin and Ethereum has launched

Investment company Everest has announced that it has launched the first-ever multi-currency ETF. This ETF will hold both Bitcoin and Ethereum. ETF stands for Exchange Traded Funds and is comprised of a group of investments versus one single investment. This is done to minimize the investment risk. Crypto ETFs represent a big step towards major acceptance of crypto, especially in the finance world.

<div class =”code”><p class = “twitter-tweet”>https://twitter.com/3LAU/status/1441133134641197065?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw</p></div>
4. Singer 3LAU launches NFT-song; fans will own 50% of the song revenue forever

Singer 3LAU, who has been a pioneer in the NFT space, especially regarding music royalties, has once again launched a new project. He announced that he will be launching his new single “Worst Case” as the first fan-owned song ever. The first 333 fans to participate in the project will own 50% of the streaming revenue the song generates in perpetuity. 

<div class =”code”><p class = “twitter-tweet”>https://twitter.com/esthercrawford/status/1441089106906288133?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw</p></div>
5. Twitter launches Bitcoin tipping option through the Lightning Network

Twitter has announced that they are expanding the tipping options by integrating Lightning Network. This means that users can tip their favorite creators with Bitcoin. Twitter has become the first major social network to fully embrace this sort of feature, and with Jack Dorsey’s announced ambition to make Twitter a crypto-friendly platform, it can be expected that more similar features will be added that help introduces crypto to hundreds of millions of users around the world. 

Categories
Culture Movies/TV

‘The Problem With Jon Stewart’ Isn’t ‘The Daily Show’ And It’s Not Trying To Be

If there’s one thing you should know about Jon Stewart since he left The Daily Show in 2015, it’s that he’s not laughing anymore. Sure, in his sporadic appearances in the public eye on his buddy Stephen Colbert’s The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, he’s made us laugh and even chuckled himself, but it’s clear that he’s become fed up with the way things are.

Nowhere is this more evident than on his new show The Problem With Jon Stewart, premiering today on Apple TV+. The biweekly program examines a singular issue, diving deep into what makes that something of note and why we should be paying more attention to it.

This format contrasts with The Daily Show, which had segments devoted to a “main story” every night, covered the day’s news, and interviewed a guest. It often left the commentary and fact-telling lacking, simply due to the time constraints of a 22-minute program. On The Problem With Jon Stewart, the host does not have that problem, which works to his benefit.

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Per Apple’s description:

“Jon Stewart leads with compassion and humor as he takes a deep dive into some of the most enduring, deeply-entrenched issues of our time on the new Apple Original series, The Problem With Jon Stewart. The series explores complex topics through the differing perspectives of stakeholders, experts, and individuals confronting these challenges. The companion series podcast will expand upon the conversation from each episode, featuring staff members from across the show who will have conversations with activists in the space, share facts on the issue, and of course, bring plenty of jokes.”

Apple uses the phrase “bring plenty of jokes,” and there are many to be found, but make no mistake: This is a show much more focused on the issues rather than the humor.

And it’s stronger for it.

Nowadays, Stewart has positioned himself as much more of a progressive political commentator rather than a comedian. He begins the program with jokes and humor, as we are accustomed to before joining a panel of guests that discusses the issue at hand.

In the first of two episodes provided to the press by Apple, Stewart examines War, more specifically the impact that waste disposal burn pits have had on our Veterans. And on the second, he focuses on the notion of “Freedom,” dissecting what exactly that term means in modern society.

Stewart begins that first episode by saying, “In this divided country, the one thing that we seem to be able to agree on is that we love the troops.” He then queues up a video montage that goes against just that, documenting the rampant unemployment, drug addiction, homelessness, and high rate of suicide amongst American veterans.

He investigates an issue that is probably unfamiliar to many of us: How the military gets rid of their garbage. That list of waste includes the following:

Apple TV+

Along with his team of writers and researchers, Stewart unpacks what makes the topic newsworthy and why you need to know about it. In this example, the burn pits have contributed to an epidemic of sorts amongst military veterans, with the toxic fumes produced by that burning waste causing many to develop different cancers, neurological disorders, and more.

Stewart’s skills as an investigative journalist (although I doubt he’d call himself that) are on full display here. He’s always had a remarkable ability to inject humor into serious topics, but you can tell that now he is angry, and he wants to make sure that you know why.

Perhaps it comes from his experiences fighting for healthcare for 9/11 first responders, the last four years under President Trump, or the upending of the entire world due to COVID-19. Still, Stewart has evolved into someone new while also somehow remaining familiar.

The Problem With Jon Stewart is not without its faults; the writing doesn’t feel as focused or snappy as The Daily Show was. Thankfully, much of the focus is on the panels, so this hasn’t become a major issue yet.

If you were a fan of his before this show’s premiere, you’ll likely enjoy The Problem With Jon Stewart. However, it’s best if you go into it not expecting another Daily Show because it’s not that, nor is it trying to be.

The first episode of “The Problem With Jon Stewart” is now on Apple TV+ and new episodes will premiere every two weeks.