Categories
Sports Strength

Elton’s Weekly Wrestling High Spots and Botches: September 20-September 26

WWE Raw

High Spots: Can someone remind WWE that they’re having a Draft in a few weeks? To the surprise of no one, they’re just randomly throwing out huge inter-promotional matches and completely voiding the validity of the exclusivity of Raw and SmackDown. They’ve been doing that for years though, so it doesn’t really phase me anymore. The Bloodline paid a visit to Monday Nights to disrupt The New Day’s celebration for Big E, which was going pretty well (the Brodie Lee tribute hit me hard, not even gon lie). We ended up getting a match tailor-made for Survivor Series between the two stables that was as good as I imagined it to be beforehand. After Randy Orton and AJ Styles produced some heat on this episode shortly after, it just made me think “how come we couldn’t get something that good at WrestleMania 35?” Their in-ring chemistry has gotten even better since that disappointing matchup though, so at least there’s that.

Shanya Baszler looked like her old killer NXT self for once as she put Nia Jax’s ass to sleep! And right after that, Baszler went even harder to abuse her former tag team partner by working Jax’s elbow over on the ring steps. As someone that’s been missing the old mean streak Baszler used to show during her black and gold days, this segment gave me a little bit of hope for her immediate future. It’s nice to know that Angel Garza still exists! Haven’t seen that incredibly underutilized dude in a long time, so it was refreshing to watch him and Humberto Carillo pop up to take on Mustafa Ali and Mansoor. It was even crazier to see the Lucha Libre tandem get the W, too! The match itself was building towards something even greater, but the short runtime kept that from happening. Let’s make sure we get a run back on that real soon, WWE!

Jeff Hardy got himself a W over Sheamus and got added to the United States Championship match between Damian Priest and Sheamus at Extreme Rules. I’m not mad at that development whatsoever since Jeff has been looking pretty good as of late. Jeff’s gonna be the one taking the biggest of risks while Priest and Sheamus do most of their big man work to ground him. That match should be a fun one. The final moments from this episode of Raw gave the fans a Triple Threat Match that came outta nowhere – WWE Champion Big E vs. Universal Champion Roman Reigns vs. Bobby Lashley. I couldn’t be too mad at the powers that be booking this out of the blue since it was so awesome! Their main event brawl got close to 20 minutes and it excelled in the overall quality department. Reigns got the W since he doesn’t lose these days (which makes total sense!). And I was quite happy to see Big E get protected from being pinned since he just won the WWE Championship, which leads me to believe that we’re going to see a Champion vs. Champion match between the two kings of Raw and SmackDown at Survivor Series.

Botches: How Eva Marie continues to hold a job is beyond me, fam! How has she not improved even a smidge since 2013? We gotta move Piper Niven onto something worthy of her excellence now and get her away from the pointlessness of this whole feud with Marie. Their match was far too short to even matter and just felt like nothing more than a time filler. Rhea Ripley and Nikki A.S.H. won the Women’s Tag Team Championship…big yawn. Rhea continues to fade ever so further from my good graces due to her corny-ass arrangement with the superheroine that gives me heavy “bathroom break” vibes. Alexa Bliss and Charlotte Flair continued doing their best to win the award for “worst feud of the year” and they did a fine job at it, I must say. Everything they did during that horrid Alexa’s Playground segment had me contemplating switching over to TLC to watch a 90 Day Fiance rerun. And as always, the 24/7 Championship hijinks continued to be absolute headassery.

NXT 2.0

High Spots: The new era of NXT continues with Tomasso Ciampa sitting atop the mountain as the brand’s triumphant champion. And of course, he got interrupted by most of the brand’s stars from the previous era and the new blood ushered in for the 2.0 era. A big brawl ensued between both parties, which left Ciampa and Bron Breakker as the last two brutes standing. Solid opening segment there. We got even more mayhem to bask in as the cameras went backstage to watch the ladies tear into each other, too. This show really moves a mile a minute now, huh? Kushida and Roderick Strong got embroiled in a pretty fun Cruiserweight Championship match. I could have done without The Diamond Mine’s three other representatives jumping on Kushida outside the ring and practically handing the win to Roddy, though. Grayson Waller came out afterward and asked for all the smoke from the new champ, which set up a match for the next episode. Roddy ain’t even get to celebrate properly yet!

So WWE’s first Singaporean signing Dante Chen debuted here and I gotta say – the young man sure has a bright future ahead of him! The dude has the body build that’s needed to be taken seriously and he damn sure is getting a huge push out of the gate thanks to his quick dissection of Trey Baxter. I’m gonna keep my eye on that Chen guy, for sure. I got so much enjoyment from Cameron Grimes’ quick and snappy squash over Joe Gacy – Gacy’s usage of social media buzzwords makes his face so punchable, so count me in for watching him always get his ass whipped on the regular. Elektra Lopez got the type of powerhouse aura I like out of my women’s athletes. She made quick work of Anna Scheer with a nasty Blue Thunder Bomb – I can’t wait to see her land that thing on (S)Hit Row’s B-Fab. Odyssey Jones also didn’t have to work too long to get rid of his two casualties, too – his gear was pretty terrible, but watching him splash two jobbers simultaneously was super lit!

The main event easily took home MOTN honors considering the four big-name talents that competed in it. Ciampa got to look like the killer he always is, Breakker & Ridge Holland had a mid-match strongman war, and Pete Dunne got to work over some limbs like he usually does. I’d pay all the money in the world to see Breakker and Holland lock horns on a future NXT TakeOver (we’re still gonna get those, I hope!). Kyle O’Reilly got to deliver some painful revenge to Holland, which set them up for a banger down the line. Judging by the closing moments of this episode, it looks like Breakker vs. Ciampa is getting closer and closer to becoming a reality. Lemme get that match against Holland first, though! And maybe Dunne right after that. A “mathematics” promo from Breakker would also do the young “dog-faced gremlin” some good, too.

Botches: Tony D’Angelo would have been so awesome if he ran with the Full Blooded Italians or The Mamalukes back in the day. Pushing a tired-ass stereotypical character like him in 2021, though? So not awesome. Kay Lee Ray squashed someone and as always, I couldn’t bring myself to care about anything she did. She’s never going to connect with me, fam. Xyon Quinn was all chivalrous for the two ladies he was seen walking with during some super unnecessary segment. It just felt so out of place and didn’t really increase my desire to see any more of the big guy. 

That whole Josh Briggs and Brooks Jensen barroom brawl segment didn’t really land for me, either. I liked those segments better when the APA was doing it, to be honest. The Andre Chase University promo really didn’t do it for me, either. Man, all of the little character-building vignettes were ass on this episode! Ikemen Jiro gets destroyed by everyone on the regular, so it’s pointless for NXT to make me care about him now with “inside the life” coverage. Von Wagner’s workout regime segment was also a complete miss for me. And I gotta keep it a stack with y’all once again – the only good thing about Toxic Attraction is their theme song. Their promo abilities as a collective damn sure aren’t convincing me to get behind them as evidenced by their boring title match demands.

AEW Dynamite

High Spots: AEW IS NYC! And as someone who got to bask in the exciting atmosphere of the company’s Arthur Ashe Stadium show, I now recognize that sentiment first-hand. The crowd was electric for most of the evening (there were definitely some points where everyone was either a bit quiet or engaging in a spirited “YERRRRRRRR!” chant, though). But overall, I came away completely satisfied with what was on offer here during this Grand Slam installment of Dynamite. The show started with a bang as AEW World Champion Kenny Omega locked up with Daniel Bryan. Watching Omega mouth the words “I don’t give a shit” as the fans came unglued and put a smile on Bryan’s face gave me chills! Both men meshed extremely well with each other and produced a mat classic for the ages. The time limit draw finish was fine to me and sets up a future rematch down the pipeline that I can’t wait to see.

CM Punk came out next to show his undying love for the AEW NYC faithful and build up his Rampage meeting with Powerhouse Hobbs. The last time I saw CM Punk live, it was back at WrestleMania 29. Plus I saw him win back the WWE Championship back at the 2011 Survivor Series. So it was pretty dope watching him live and in-person once again within the tri-state area. MJF came out to a chorus of boos (even his parents came to the show with a sign that said they couldn’t stand him, either!) for his bout with Brian Pillman Jr. Their match was solid and was a nice showcase for AEW’s talented young stallions. It’s official now, folks – Cody Rhodes has left the good graces of the AEW fanbase. It was clearly evident that he’s no longer a lot of fans’ fave due to the huge negative reaction he got in comparison to the very audible cheers showered upon Malakai Black. Brandi Rhodes’ middle finger act was cute and all, but watching Arn Anderson trip off the ring apron really didn’t do Cody’s act any favors here. Malakai winning with the old “black mist to the face” gimmick was cool and kept him in the winner’s circle, so good job on that end.

Sting doesn’t age when it comes to competing in the ring, I swear! The face-painted legend didn’t embarrass himself one bit during his tag team match against FTR alongside his fellow face-painted protege Darby Allin. Their match further convinced me that the “Stinger” is still great after all these years. Major props to Darby for landing that sick Coffin Drop to Cash Wheeler on the ring apron, too. The same goes for Sting pulling out all the stops and using his smarts to outwit Tully Blanchard. The ladies got the main event slot as Britt Baker defended her Women’s World Championship against Ruby Soho. Both ladies went out there and proved they could deliver in the main event slot with a hotly contested bout. While there were some noticeable sloppy moments here and there, their show-closing contest still managed to be a fun watch. GREAT NYC DEBUT, AEW!

Botches: None to speak of, honestly…

Impact Wrestling

High Spots: Christopher. F’N. Daniels! If you ever wanna have a conversation about TNA Originals that have attained legendary status, the “Fallen Angel” himself will always be near the top of that list. I damn near shed a tear when his name came across the Impact Wrestling stage screen and ran out to make the save for Christian Cage and Josh Alexander. So we gettin’ Daniels vs. Ace Austin at Bound for Glory, right? I HOPE SO! The one match that has been put in stone for Impact’s most important PPV is Christian Cage defending his Impact World Championship against Alexander, which I can’t wait to see. Impact’s most consistent performer had a damn good match with Ace Austin to close the show and finalize his spot in the main event of the October spectacular. I smell a title change happening that night!

Eric Young gave Rhyno an ultimatum for the next episode of Impact, which made it pretty obvious that the “Man-Beast” will deny his request and realign himself with Heath. The crazed duo of Sami Callihan and Eddie Edwards went on a tear here as they practiced their best baseball swings on Moose. They eventually went looking for W. Morrissey with the goal of leaving him with severely damaged legs, but Scott D’Amore stopped that from happening. At least we’re finally getting a Street Fight between the hardcore allies and the giant killers on the next episode. And after weeks and weeks of constant back talking and drag-out brawls, we’re finally getting Deonna Purrazzo vs. Mickie James for the Knockouts Championship at Bound for Glory. I loved each and every minute of the promo seen here that made that match official. Purrazzo got some fire microphone bars, I’ll give her that!

Botches: I was never checking for David Finlay. And I damn sure have never been like “you know who I’m tryna see right now? Hikuleo.” They faced each other on this episode and left me feeling completely apathetic. Just keep El Phantasmo and Juice Robinson, then send the other two back to NJPW USA, please. Rohit Raju vs. Chelsea Green didn’t come off too well. I’ve definitely seen much better intergender matches, that’s for sure. Plus the return of Raj Singh made me and the crowd go mild, which was expected. The match between Rich Swann & Willie Mack vs. Brian Myers & VSK just wasn’t vibing with me, for some reason. It just felt a bit off at a few points throughout. And sadly, Johnny Swinger and Su Yung were in attendance on this show. And they were terrible as usual. Moving on…

WWE SmackDown

High Spots: Montez Ford is going to be a future WWE Champion. Bank on it. WWE clearly sees the star potential in that young king, which is why they tested him out against Roman Reigns during this episode’s main event. Both men had a damn good barnburner as expected (major kudos to Ford for not standing around looking confused when the announce table fell apart under his weight). After Reigns got the W, he was met with a whole lotta chair shots from his Extreme Rules opponent. And I gotta admit – that image of “The Demon” standing on top of one of the ring corners behind The Bloodline was wallpaper worthy! Shinsuke Nakamura defended his Intercontinental Championship against Apollo Crews in a pretty good match. That top rope Kinshasa was a thing of beauty, plus Rick Boogs’ suplex to Commander Azeez on the outside was pure heat! Hope we get some new midcard blood during the Draft to set up some new challengers for Nakamura.

Seth Rollins continued to be an absolute savage as he told Edge to come back and proclaim Rollins as the better man. To my surprise, we found out that Edge is coming back on the next episode of SmackDown to confront his much-hated rival. I’m pretty sure they’re heading to a third and final match at Crown Jewel at this point. And I’m here for it! Happy Corbin came out to follow in the spirit of “Rowdy” Roddy Piper by premiering the very first installment of “Happy Talk.” The big news coming out of that segment was the out of nowhere return of Riddick Moss, who came out to assault Kevin Owens and aid Corbin via a Double Chokeslam. Moss has always been a super slept-on talent to me that has a great look and solid in-ring skills, so I was happy to see him get attached to someone meaningful for his surprising comeback. Naomi got to throw some verbal shade at Sonya Deville and it was way better than I expected it to be. That whole “TikTok your way into obscurity” line from Sonya was heat, by the way! I hope Naomi eventually aligns herself with The Bloodline soon in order to get some solid support behind her and force Sonya to finally acknowledge her (see what I did there?).

Botches: This whole beef between Becky Lynch and Bianca Belair has been super underwhelming. Becky’s promos don’t have that oomph as they used to and I’m still sour over how fast Bianca lost her title at SummerSlam. Their final promo faceoff before Extreme Rules fell completely flat to me. The best part about it was Bianca’s immaculately designed custom jacket, to be honest. Having Liv Morgan lose her match against Zelina Vega mere days before her PPV bout with Carmella at Extreme Rules was…odd. But I don’t care about anything those two ladies do nowadays, so it didn’t really affect me much. And as for Nikki A.S.H. vs Natalya? Too short and too inconsequential to even matter, either. Shotzi and Nox as the next challengers are slightly intriguing, though. Oh and this whole Sami Zayn possibly stepping in to disrupt Rey and Dominik Mysterio’s bond storyline? Don’t care!

AEW Rampage

High Spots: 2021 is the wrestling year that just keeps on giving when it comes to mind-blowing events. CM Punk made his return a few months back and now we finally got to see him have his first TV match in over seven years! And it took place against a man that I have a lotta high hopes for, Powerhouse Hobbs. Aside from that scary-ass top-rope Frankenstiener bump from Hobbs, this match was a good opener. It did its job of continuing Punk’s string of good matches and placed Hobbs in the spotlight to highlight the future of AEW. Side note – it’s pretty wild how the legend of Hook has taken on a life of its own. The dude was getting a massive amount of cheers when I was up in the stands watching him pace around at ringside. THE SUPER KLIQ PARTY IS BACK, BAY BAY! They high-key had the best match of the night during their fast-paced barnburner with Jurassic Express and Christian Cage. Everyone in that match was on fire, especially Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus. The way Adam Cole & The Young Bucks finally put down the big, green-tongued giant was pretty hype, too. Can’t wait to see Cole and Jungle Boy tangle real soon!

The Men of the Year got one over on Chris Jericho and Jake Hager, which was a welcome surprise. Sky looked great in his 2019 AEW World Championship challenge against Jericho, so it was cool locking up with the “Demo God” once again. Hager had an extra bit of fire in him, which was due in part to the lively NY faithful. The post-match events are definitely gonna end up on the front page of several MMA sites, I’m sure. Jorge Masvidal stuck the same flying knee that put Ben Askren to sleep right into Jericho’s face, which was quite the shocker. So when are we getting’ this Inner Circle vs. American Top Team Blood & Guts match? Shout out to the hometown boys Santana & Ortiz! They got a much-deserved hero’s welcome. The Latin pride was heavy during that wild eight-man tag. Even Orange Cassidy hit the ramp to deliver some justice to HFO’s Jack Evans, which popped the hell out of the crowd. I got heavy PWG vibes from the non-stop action on display during this multi-man affair. And that finish? Fire! I hope we get the Lucha Brothers vs. Santana & Ortiz at Full Gear.

I knew it! I just knew it! Sammy Guevarra vs. Miro for the TNT Championship has finally been locked in. I love how “The Redeemer” came from behind like a horror movie villain and beat the ever-loving shit out of Fuego Del Sol and Sammy. Hell of a table bump you took there, young Fuego. As for the main event of Rampage, I loved it! Eddie Kingston mentally reverted back to his back-alley brawl days as he and Jon Moxley engaged in a Light Out brawl with Lance Archer and Minoru Suzuki. Moxley was definitely getting his ass handed to him for most of the match. But the shocking run-in from HOMICIDE (!!!) saved the day and got Moxley & Kingston back into the fight. Gotta hand it to AEW for actually pushing the storyline forward for that GCW match between Suzuki and Homicide. Archer took a hell of a kendo stick assault while he was trapped under that damn trash can. What a fun ending to a wild night of AEW wrestling in the Big Apple!

Botches: Anna Jay and Penelope Ford just wasn’t it, fam. The whole brass knucks gimmick from The Bunny pales in comparison to the good old days when William Regal embraced the “Power of the Punch.” Tay Conti shouldn’t be involved in such a heat-less feud right now and would be better served working with some better talent in the women’s division. I’d much rather see Conti test herself against Thunder Rosa or Krit Statlander.

Random Rumblings Around the Squared Circle

High Spots: Sheamus is a KING for pulling off Jeff Hardy’s top rope taunts at Extreme Rules! As far as amazing 2021 memes go, that moment is a great late edition when it comes to our wrestling fandom. This year’s Extreme Rules (which oddly had two matches that could classify under that ruleset) was a shockingly great PPV. Everything ranged from good to great, with Liv Morgan vs. Carmella exceeding my expectations by a country mile! The main event (sans the iffy finish) was the best way to close the show, plus the SmackDown Tag Team Championship match slapped tremendously. You gotta hand it to the WWE roster as a whole cause they’ll deal with weeks of shitty writing and usually manage to deliver in the ring once the PPV finally arrives. So we’re getting Becky Lynch vs. Bianca Belair vs. Sasha Banks at Crown Jewel or nah?

Botches: Man, that last episode of Dark Side of the Ring was a hell of a downer. As a massive Chris Kanyon fan, it hurt to hear about his struggles dealing with being a closeted homosexual for most of his life and being bipolar. The Howard Stern clips were especially frustrating to revisit. Kanyon was and always will be one of the most entertaining and innovative wrestlers the business has ever seen. WHO BETTA THAN KANYON! No one, my friend. No one. RIP to the master of the “Kanyon Cutter” and cheers to his closest loved ones for speaking highly of him on DSOR. Side note – a match between Kanyon and Nova (Simon Dean from WWE) would have ruled!

Categories
Culture Music

Emerging Artist Lil Crush Talks “Suni Lee,” Minnesota, and Video Games

On this week’s episode of Monday To Monday, Lil Crush joins Mike Boyd and Aaron “The Don” Dukes, to talk about all things music, Minnesota, and video games. This insightful episode opens up a lens for artists, fans, and industry professionals to learn more about Lil Crush before he blows up. Be sure to tune in below! 

Crush, Boyd, and Don kick things off with a brief introduction, talking about his home studio and the lake house studio. One interesting thing that Crush mentions early on is that if it weren’t for music, he would probably be a chef or in culinary school. He further adds that he loves cooking and cleaning. Boyd then asks Crush how it feels to be on the playlist every week consistently. Crush states that it feels great, and he loves pushing the playlist. He further notes that there is always an opportunity for artists to be heard if they remain persistent.

They then shift over the conversation and talk about what Crush is up to in Minnesota. Following his song “Suni Lee,” an anthem themed around the multi-gold medal gymnast who performed at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. He said that it feels good to be recognized by the local news. Additionally, Suni Lee embodies hard work within their city and community. Crush even noted that he wants to make an effort to make the town a talking spot within the industry. With that, Crush wants to lend a helping hand to other Minnesota artists to help them pop off. Be sure to tune in to “Suni Lee” below! 

Boyd then asks Crush when “Lava Girl” is coming out, a song produced by Freebandz’s Richie Souf, with Crush mentioning it is dropping soon. Crush said that he typically creates his songs around the melody of the beat with his producer, later adding percussion, accommodating his vocals. However, this was a different scenario with Richie’s beat, and Crush noted that this was a good challenge for him. Crush announces that he is dropping his next album, Baby Goat 4Foreign, on November 2nd. Adding that, the project will be in Spanish. This is a testament to Crush’s versatility and shows that he is more than people label him as a “rapper.” Tune into Crush’s song “Shakira” below to get a taste of what Crush has to offer!

Crush brought up an important belief, which is bringing up female producers, videographers, artists, etc., within the industry. He notes that women in the industry are mighty with their craft and show that no gender is superior. Furthermore, he adds that the only way to get what you want in life is to work hard for it. He backed this up by saying too many people get distracted with the drama and nonsense that holds them back. 

Don then takes over to talk to Crush about what video games he’s into at the moment. He has a funny response when he mentions that his favorites are Grand Theft Auto V, Call of Duty, and Minecraft. He also says that he loves sports and was a prominent athlete. He notes that he prefers rooting for players over teams because athletes have a different grind on a whole other level. 

Throughout this interview, it is evident that Lil Crush is a force to be reckoned with, with his catchy music, diverse influences, and work ethic. Be sure to keep an eye out for this emerging artist, as he continues to catch buzz across social media and Spotify. 

Categories
Sports Strength

Meet Nico Cantor, Star of ‘The Golazo Show’

When the National Football League first introduced a new project known as ‘NFL Redzone’ over 12 years ago there were concerns about the disruption of the traditional viewing experience.

American football games could now be viewed in a very different way, especially with the rise of social media and fantasy sports influencing the ways in which consumers absorb sports.

Fast forward to 2021 and Redzone is now a hot commodity in the American football space and CBS Sports has taken a page out of the NFL’s book with its launch of a similar concept in the European football world.

Meet ‘The Golazo Show’ and its first host, Nico Cantor.

He’s the son of legendary broadcaster Andres Cantor, who has covered World Cups, Olympic Games and a number of other major football events throughout his famed career with Telemundo Deportes, NBC Sports and other outlets. 

Nico is making a name for himself though in a unique space though, one that has the chance to spark a new interest in proper football in the United States with a product that allows fans to see the highlights of all the top matches across Europe’s UEFA Champions League and Europa League competitions.

“When I took the job I didn’t really know what to expect,” Cantor told ONE37pm. “It was very different than anything I had previously done, especially in another country.

“It was interesting because not only was it my first time properly working in English language television, but I was working in England. I think each week now I’m learning something different and that’s helping the show evolve in its own way.”

Cantor, who got his start in broadcasting with former NASL side Ft. Lauderdale Strikers, has had to train himself to prepare in a different manner than he has in the past for previous opportunities.

Instead of focusing on a single team or league, his attention is now drawn every which way with the Champions League and Europa League encompassing the entire European continent.

“I’m prepping all the time,” Cantor said. “Everything I watch now technically counts as prep work for me. Knowing the context is huge.

“I think understanding the context of where every team is at is important so when it’s 9 o’clock on a Saturday and my girlfriend wants to go to brunch I’m the one that has to be like ‘I have to watch Chelsea-Aston Villa.’

“It’s just about being informed with everything that’s going on.”

The change in routine has been a welcomed challenge by Cantor during the early stages of ‘The Golazo Show,’ but he’s embracing all aspects of the job.

With the presence of proper football growing in the United States and CBS’ willingness to take a major step towards introducing the game to a greater audience stateside, the program has a massive opportunity to capture a new age of fans in a similar way that NFL Redzone has done.

As Cantor points out, fans often don’t have the time or energy to watch every minute of every match, and that’s where ‘The Golazo Show’ can thrive.

“I really believe this is a game changer and I think there’s a really interesting product that we have in our hands right now,” Cantor said. “I see that every day, on social at least, more people find out what ‘The Golazo Show’ is and I do believe that people really like it.

“Sometimes I’m really baffled because people will write to me on Twitter asking when the next ‘Golazo Show’ is coming on and there’s genuine interest in what we’re doing. It feels like people are actually craving it and that’s a huge credit to everyone at CBS that’s helped put this together.

“They’ve made it dynamic enough with the right materials and right guests. There’s this great balance in having a broadcast where you can sit back and have fun and watch ‘The Golazo Show.’”

Viewers can tune in to ‘The Golazo Show’ every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday during the Champions League and Europa League campaigns on CBS Sports. The program returns next week when the resumption of both competitions starts on Sept. 28. 

Categories
Sneakers Style

Adidas Taps Bionic Model and Singer Marsha Elle For New AFROPUNK Campaign

Following a successful release in June, AFROPUNK and adidas have once again collaborated on an inspired release of the TRIPLE PLATFORUM, and this time around they are tapping bionic model, singer, and motivational speaker Marsha Elle as the face of adidas Originals + AFROPUNK’s ‘Live the F@%k Out Loud’ campaign.

adidas
adidas Afropunk

‘Live the F@%k Out Loud’ embraces non-conformity and living unapologetically, which represents Marsha to the fullest. The new TRIPLE PLATFORUM sneaker also mirrors these values through its aesthetic, reimagining the iconic triple platform design with AFROPUNK’s sleek black & white silhouette, which also represents the brand’s non-conformist spirit.

Never letting anything, anybody, or any obstacle stand in her way, Marsha has refused to let any setback pull her back transforming her lifelong condition into a power. From notching her first hit “Hallelujah” at 17 to becoming a leader in the body positivity movement, and now working towards using her experiences to empower others. Marsha is the perfect brand ambassador and role model. We spoke to Marsha about what it means to be a part of this campaign.

ONE37pm: Congratulations on becoming the face of adidas Originals + AFROPUNK’s ‘Live the F@%k Out Loud’ campaign! What has this experience been like for you? 

Marsha: The experience was amazing; in particular I really dug the concept, because it aligns with my own values of living unapologetically. Working with the director was awesome too. Glad to be a part of it!

adidas
Marsha Elle

ONE37pm: What does “Living the F@%k Out Loud” mean to you, and how do you personally embody that in your life and career?

Marsha: It means to be free and limitless—whenever I feel like I am not challenging myself, I push harder. That’s part of the reason why I am exploring so many different avenues at the moment in my creative range. For my community, for the disabled community—I go hard for them and myself. That’s Living the F@%k Out Loud. 

ONE37pm: You are truly a quadruple threat! You model, sing, you’re a motivational speaker, and completing your nurse practitioner l degree! How does each of these fulfill you?

Marsha: I try to only engage in things I am passionate about and are of service to others. I want to leave a positive impact on the world—a legacy.

I am no longer pursuing medicine but going off the last question, I’m currently healing in art, music, fashion, and activism, where I think I can make the biggest difference. 

ONE37pm: adidas represents many of the values and traits that you have. How has it been being a part of the adidas family?

Marsha: adidas is a brand that is embedded in the culture; from Run DMC to Yeezy, to this collaboration with AFROPUNK. I’m elated to have been a part of this historic campaign, especially one that focuses on self-love and empowerment. 

adidas
adidas Triple Platform

ONE37pm: Last but not least—there are a lot of people that look up to you and want to be able to do some of the things that you are doing. What is your advice to them?

Marsha:  My advice is simple but important: be authentic to yourself. That will make your reach and interaction with your audience genuine and sustainable.

Categories
NFT Tech

What is an ENS Domain?

The domain name is something we are all familiar with. If you want to visit a website, it is the website url that you type in. Ownership over that domain is something that companies and individuals pay a premium for. The significance of owning a domain like Nike.com enables Nike to control their intellectual property in a way that is familiar and accessible to consumers, not to mention it’s easy to find. In the early days of the internet, websites had IP addresses which made it difficult to easily visit a website. Domain Name Service (DNS) allowed the websites we are familiar with today to convert their IP addresses into readable text.

As the age of the internet continues and Web 2.0 evolves into Web 3.0, it is important to consider what the future of the internet will look like for online storefronts, brands, entrepreneurs, and artists. 

With the progression of web 3.0 technologies like cryptocurrency, decentralized marketplaces, and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAO) comes the need for a name service that makes crypto addresses memorable and quickly identifiable. 

Enter the ENS

Otherwise known as Ethereum Name Service, the ENS offers a secure way to translate the Ethereum addresses a user has into a text that is easily searchable from human memory. As of right now, ENS domains end in ‘.eth’ and can be registered at ens.domains. When creating an Ethereum wallet, users are given a long string of generated numbers and letters that they are able to send their Ethereum assets to and from. The difficulty with this is that these addresses are too difficult to memorize and use consistently. When registered, the ENS resolves the address and becomes the identifier for the specific address that the wallet is registered to. 

How to get an ENS domain:

Before you get started you will want to have a small amount of ETH to pay the transaction and ENS registration fees associated with the ‘.eth’ domain you want to acquire. 

1. Open an Ethereum-enabled Browser

You will need an Ethereum-enabled browser to access your crypto wallet. If you do not have a crypto wallet, you can set up yours by following this guide here

If you are registering through mobile you can use Trustwallet, Coinbase Wallet, or MetaMask mobile apps.

In order to access the ENS registration application, you must be signed in to your Ethereum browser with the same wallet that you want to have the ENS name registered to. (Note: If you register the ENS name to one address and you want to transfer it in the future, you can do that).

2. Go to app.ens.domains
ENS Domain
https://ens.domains/

3. Find and register an ENS

Once connected to the ENS registration app, start by searching for your desired ‘.eth’ name. When searching for a name, you will get one of two prompts: Available or Unavailable. If the name is unavailable you will be able to see the address that registered it and when the expiration date is. If the address is available you will be prompted with a way to register the domain and pay for the number of years that you would like to register the domain for. You can always log back into the ENS provider to extend the time that you have the ENS registered for so that it does not expire.

ENS Domain
https://ens.domains/

4. Confirm registration

This is the step that you will need to use your crypto wallet to sign the transaction. In order to register the ENS name, you will need to pay the registration fee associated with the name as well as for each year that you would like to register it for. You will need to wait for the ENS app to confirm your registration to make sure that no one else is trying to register the same name at the same time.

5. You now have your own ‘.eth’

Congratulations, you are now a registered ENS owner. 

Additional benefits of owning an ENS

A recent update now allows the owner of a DNS domain name to import the same name for use on an ENS name. The integration allows for the ENS name to be used for many more applications, including portable web3 username and profiles, payments in any cryptocurrency, and decentralized websites. This allows ENS to be a complete key to the future of web3. 

In addition, ENS domains are registered to the ERC-721 standard which allows them to function as an NFT. This utility allows you to treat ENS names the same way as you treat NFTs—meaning that you can buy, sell, trade, and transfer to other wallets, accounts, and exchanges. 

With an ENS name, you will never have to worry about entering the wrong wallet address, and it will allow other users throughout the world of crypto to easily interact with you.

Categories
Culture Music

How YOUNG036 is Leveraging TikTok in His Music Career

Within the music industry, TikTok can make an artist explode at exponential rates. This is the case with the Fort Worth, Texas-based artist named YOUNG036. Young is currently a junior at Texas State, where he is running OHTHREESIX! Media and managing his music career. YOUNG began seeing traction when his song “Sorority! began to blow up on TikTok during Alabama’s rush week. The song was released in October 2018 but started to catch waves recently, all thanks to TikTok in 2020.

In an interview with the College Chicks Chapel Podcast, he stated that Indiana’s Gamma Phi sorority created a TikTok dance using his song “Sorority.” The TikTok eventually went viral, attributing to YOUNG’s emerging success. He continued to build leverage by releasing “Gphi-Anthem,” which he noted was a song to thank them for helping his music blow up. 

Additionally, YOUNG released the Zeta Anthem with “6 Zetas In This Benz!” The track reached over two hundred thousand plays on Spotify. This led to nearly four thousand videos created using this sound within TikTok. These TikToks were made following the release of Greek Week! and Greek Week! (Deluxe). These two projects are filled with catchy sorority and college anthems. Check out this TikTok below that blew up on the platform, receiving over one hundred thousand likes.

Another wave started around the same time Alabama’s rush week continued to gain traction across TikTok and even within the mainstream media. Alabama’s Zeta Tau Alpha sorority began to use his song “Where Them ZTAs At.” The song caused several of the sisters of the sorority to post them using this song. Furthermore, over two thousand videos were created using this sound. YOUNG even went to Alabama to join the sorority at a Loud Luxury event. The ZTA roll-call was another factor that helped YOUNG reach over sixteen thousand followers on TikTok. Tune in to this TikTok below of the ZTAs using this song, getting nearly four hundred thousand likes and millions of views.

We talked to YOUNG in an exclusive interview to talk about the success of his music, TikTok, and more. 

ONE37pm: How did it feel about going viral on TikTok and having that much support?

It was kind of surprising I never thought it would get this big, so when it did, I didn’t really know what to do; I had to restructure the way I made music to accommodate for what was happening.

ONE37pm: Which song was your favorite to make when creating the Greek Week! album?

“3 A.M. in College Station,” that beat is so different, and I love what I put on it. I constantly challenge myself when it comes to music.

ONE37pm: With the success you’ve seen on TikTok, how do you think emerging artists should approach TikTok?

There is such a dumb stigma from being a “TikTok rapper” that it turns away artists from using the platform, but this platform caused many artists to blow up and do things that probably would take years to otherwise. Like YoungChris, he is still in high school and was in the studio with Freddie Gibbs and Rick Ross because of Tiktok ONLY. So I say use it to the best of your ability and don’t care what other people think, because as an independent, you HAVE to use every tool to your advantage; you’re competing with multi-million-dollar labels. People hold themselves back in music because they think there is a sure way to come up. There’s not.

ONE37pm: What’s next for your career/music? Anything special that you’re working on?

We are working on this college experience where we get DJs and artists all together to invite the community and throw a massive party. I want to work with fraternities and find sponsors to go to the enormous party schools and throw huge shows. However, that’s a lot of logistics, and it will take some work,

I have a whole college album coming out. I had to delay it because of everything that’s going on right now. I am also working on making roll calls for sororities and fraternities.

This one trend that YOUNG successfully developed shows alone how powerful TikTok is as a platform. If you are an aspiring artist, be sure to keep posting TikToks consistently and keeping up with the latest trends. This is evident with YOUNG, as he is beginning to make a splash on Spotify and continue his success on TikTok. Be sure to keep an eye out for YOUNG, as we’re sure this isn’t the last time you’ll be hearing about him. 

Categories
Consoles Gaming

The 20 Best Multiplayer Horror Games

People tend to be split down the middle when it comes to horror games. Some people love them and are fuelled by the fear and suspense that comes with playing them and some people can’t understand why anyone would ever put themselves through such an experience.

For the latter group of people, perhaps the solution is having someone by your side, literally or figuratively. For you, we have a treat. Below is a list of the 20 best multiplayer horror games, so that you can share the experience with a friend.

1. Cry Of Fear

Cry Of Fear started out as a mod for the first Half-Life game, using its standard renderer, before becoming its own game. Interestingly, the game features an entirely separate co-op campaign that works better having already played the single-player campaign, because it sort of relies on the single-player campaign as context. If you’re willing to put the time in, we recommend the game from Swedish indie studio Team Psykskallar.

Free to play
https://store.steampowered.com/app/223710/Cry_of_Fear/
2. Dead By Daylight

Dead By Daylight is a 1 vs. 4 online multiplayer where the one is a killer who the other four must dodge and escape from. To do this, the other players must turn on generators around the map so that they can use the exit. What’s great about this game is that there are characters that can be used that are licensed from other famous horror franchises. Survivors can take on the roles of characters from Stranger Things, Saw, Left 4 Dead, A Nightmare On Elm Street, and more while Killers have those options as well as Fun World’s Ghost Face and Hellraiser amongst others.

Buy now, $9.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/381210/Dead_by_Daylight/
3. Dead Space 3

We’re excited for the Dead Space remake which we’re going to have to wait until 2022 to get news for, but in the meantime, playing the third game in the main series will hold you down. Playing the story with a friend on co-op actually unlocks new details of the story and some additional missions, so it’s well worth a try even if you already tried the story on your own when the game came out in 2013.

Buy now, $4.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/1238060/Dead_Space_3/
4. Deceit

Developed and published Baseline, Deceit is a game whose title sums it up perfectly. Like Dead By Daylight, you and a group of friends are tasked with escaping an area through an exit and must complete some tasks to do so. However, one of you is infected and must secretly consume the blood bags around the map to turn into a monster where you must kill all the players before they exit. There are items along the way that will help you figure out who the infected is too, so use them wisely.

Free to play
https://store.steampowered.com/app/466240/Deceit/
5. Dying Light

Much like many games on this list, Dying Light allows you to play the campaign with some friends if you so wish. What makes this one unique though is that the co-op version of the campaign features co-op challenges, where you and your friends can compete to see who kills the most zombies and race each other to airdrops, adding some fun. In addition to this is the Be The Zombie mode where one player becomes the Night Hunter and is tasked with stopping other players from destroying infected nests.

Buy now, $29.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/239140/Dying_Light_Enhanced_Edition/
6. F.3.A.R.

F.3.A.R., or F.E.A.R. 3, was developed by Day 1 Studios and published by Warner Bros. Released in 2011, it was the first game in the series to allow players to experience the campaign with a friend through co-op. Knowing what happens in the first two games is important and does enhance the experience of this game, so it’s worth playing through first. As well as the co-op story mode, there are four multiplayer game modes: Fucking Run!, Contractions, Soul Survivor, and Soul King, allowing players to team up or battle against each other like any good multiplayer should.

Buy now, $19.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/21100/FEAR_3/
7. Friday The 13th: The Game

This kind of survival horror, as evidenced by Dead By Daylight and Deceit already appearing on this list, is very popular right now. In a group, one player is randomly selected to control Jason Vorhees and they must kill as many of the other players, who will control Camp Crystal Lake counselors before the time runs out. You can fight back against Jason with items like bear traps, but Jason also has abilities like being able to teleport anywhere on the map, which ups the tension at all times. There are five maps available that are based on locations from the first five films.

Buy now, $14.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/438740/Friday_the_13th_The_Game/
8. GTFO

GTFO comes from Swedish independent studio 10 Chambers Collective. The game is still technically in early access, with the time for a full release yet to be decided on. You’re one of four scavengers who must retrieve data from a particular area for a mysterious entity called The Warden. The only problem? The area is pitch blacked and filled with monsters.

Buy now, $34.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/493520/GTFO/
9. Hide & Shriek

A lot of the games on this list are scary, but their concepts are really nothing new. If you want a multiplayer horror that’s a little fresher, look no further than Hide & Shriek. Developed by Funcom, the game pits two players against each other, giving them both a bunch of tasks to complete. However, along the way, you’ll get additional points for scaring the other person, luring them into traps, and performing rituals. To make things better and scarier, you’re both invisible, so you’ll have to keep an eye out for clues about where the other person is and what they could be doing.

Free to play
https://store.steampowered.com/app/480430/Hide_and_Shriek/
10. Hunt: Showdown

Hunt: Showdown is a multiplayer FPS that was released on Windows and Xbox in 2019 and PS4 in 2020. In the Bounty Hunt mode, players can either go it alone or team up to hunt down the Butcher, the Assassin, the Spider, or the Scrapbeak, the game’s four monsters. However, while you do this, you also have to look out for rival bounty hunters, making the game all the more suspenseful. There’s also the battle royale mode, where players must find an energy wellspring whilst fighting off enemies.

Buy now, $39.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/594650/Hunt_Showdown/
11. Killing Floor 2

Killing Floor 2 can be played alone, but why on earth would you ever want to do that when you can be part of a team of 6? You and a group of five friends can take on the game which takes place a short while after the events of the first game. Despite this, the sequel can be played and enjoyed on its own. You and your group of five friends will team up against hordes of Zeds, which are essentially zombies. If you like the concept, you might also like the Versus Survival version, where there are 6 teams of 2 and all but one team become Zeds, with the aim of killing the human team.

Buy now, $29.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/232090/Killing_Floor_2/
12. No More Room In Hell

No More Room In Hell was first released on Halloween of 2011 as a Half-Life 2 mod but two years later to the day, it was re-released as a standalone game. The game was created by Max Kazan. Set in a zombie apocalypse, you and your friends take the role of eight survivors who must work together to survive. There are two multiplayer game modes. In Objective, players must exit the area and in Survival, players must kill increasing waves of zombies while supplies get dropped every now and then.

Free to play
https://store.steampowered.com/app/224260/No_More_Room_in_Hell/
13. Phasmophobia

Phasamophobia really took off recently. The name is taken from the word for the fear of ghosts, so no prizes for guessing what you’ll be up against here. Phasmophobia puts you and some friends in the shoes of a paranormal investigator, or a ghost hunter if you will. A great unique selling point that this game has is that it features speech recognition, which means that the sound of equipment and even some keywords that players say in voice chat can be heard by ghosts, who will react accordingly. If that’s not spooky and won’t keep you on your toes, we don’t know what will.

Buy now, $13.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/739630/Phasmophobia/
14. Resident Evil 5

Fans and critics alike were very mixed on Resident Evil 5, but it does offer a good amount of multiplayer content. It was the first game in the series designed for co-op gameplay. Players control Chris and Sheva, the latter of which would be controlled by A.I. if players played on their own. You can either play online with a friend or split-screen, which is an option we see less frequently nowadays. The other multiplayer aspect of the game is the Versus DLC, which features the Slayers and Survivors modes.

Buy now, $19.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/21690/Resident_Evil_5/
15. Sign Of Silence

In Sign Of Silence, you and some friends end up in a car crash in a town called Danville, which is creepier than anything you’ve ever come across before. As you try to escape the town, monsters and eerie cultists will do their best to get you.

Buy now, $4.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/1346070/Sign_of_Silence/
16. Obscure

Developed by Hydravision Entertainment, Obscure was released in 2004 and 2005 in Europe and North America, respectively. This game allows two players to tackle the campaign together with co-op and that’s a big help. Obscure is set at Leafmore High, where some students end up locked in the school overnight after searching for a missing friend. What they discover are some dark secrets about the school, that some students are mutated monsters due to injections and experimentation. If you’re looking for a creepy environment to traverse through and a fun game to scare yourself and a friend, this is a good choice.

Buy now, $6.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/254460/Obscure/
17. The Blackout Club

The story of this game is that teenagers in a particular small town have been dealing with blackouts, that see them in a completely different area when they wake up. They uncover a dark and scary secret which pits them against a monster they can only see with their eyes closed.

Buy now, $29.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/599080/The_Blackout_Club/
18. The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope

Little Hope was released about a year ago for Windows, the PS4, and the Xbox One. The Shared Story mode allows players to team up for the campaign, all the while making decisions that affect each other and the game’s ending. The great news here is that if you’re a fan of the game, you have Man Of Medan and House Of Ashes to play, with 5 other games planned for release as part of the anthology.

Buy now, $29.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/1194630/The_Dark_Pictures_Anthology_Little_Hope/
19. The Forest

Developed by Endnight Games and released for Windows and the PlayStation 4 in 2018, The Forest is a game where survival is the key. Doing this during the day is tricky because one or two cannibals can be a threat if not taken seriously, but it’s when the sun goes down where things get scary, with hordes of them coming at you.

Buy now, $19.99
https://store.steampowered.com/app/242760/The_Forest/
20. Unfortunate Spacemen

Unfortunate Spacemen is one of the smaller games on this list, but don’t knock it until you try it. It was developed by Geoff Keene and it pits you and your teammates against a shapeshifting alien, which is controlled by one person. Some people have referred to this game as a more advanced version of Among Us and we can see why, with its concept and setting. If you liked Among Us but want a scarier twist, this is a must-play.

Free to play
https://store.steampowered.com/app/408900/Unfortunate_Spacemen/
Categories
NFT Tech

Robinhood Announces A New Crypto Wallet

Robinhood has been a mainstay for people first getting into crypto trading for several years. It has become a financial boon for the company. In fact, more than half of their $565 million transaction-based revenue came from crypto trading. This is crazy when you consider this app is where a good chunk of the AMC to the moon memes started. More on that later.

Why is this a big deal? In crypto, it’s important to have ways for people to get into and out of with regular currency. Such as the ability to buy crypto with the money in your bank account and also send the money you made from trading crypto to your bank account The more options they have, then the more people that will join the overall cryptocurrency space.

Even though crypto trading brings in millions of dollars of revenue for Robinhood, the app was introduced as a way for newcomers to the stock market who wanted to trade stocks without paying commission fees.

Later as it grew it added the ability to buy and sell crypto which opened the doors for people who never experimented with investing in crypto before. Which made it different from its competitors like Coinbase or Gemini which were primarily crypto-focused. 

Previously crypto fans jumped through hoops in order to buy bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Fiat onramps are places you can exchange standard currency for crypto and have slowly become easier to use. Since I have joined the space connecting a bank account has become both more normalized and streamlined. But even with this groundswell of innovation, some banks have stiff-armed the change. Several banks have forbidden users from sending money/using money on these apps. Going so far as to decline the transfer. This is where it gets interesting with Robinhood. As stated before, they were initially a place for people to buy and sell stock without commission fees. It helped speed up adoption as more banks began to slowly accept the change.

In Robinhood’s announcement, they mention that you will be able to move your crypto in and out of the app. There is currently a waiting list and they’re planning on releasing it next month. Below is a screenshot from their announcement that shows what the user will be able to do with their new wallet functionality.  

Robinhood
https://robinhood.com/us/en/

Back when Robinhood introduced crypto trading a ton of users including myself bought crypto on the platform. Unfortunately, I quickly realized that what I bought was locked to the platform. Typically if I were to buy from a fiat onramp like Gemini I’d connect my bank account. Similarly, I purchased ETH I could then send it over to my Metamask wallet. And after transferring over the ETH I would then be able to buy NFTs on marketplaces like OpenSea.

If you want to learn more about Metamask and how to get started with your own, be sure to check my Metamask setup guide here.

But what if I had tried that now on Robinhood? Nope. In Robinhood’s current state I could either buy more crypto or sell at whatever the current price was but I’d be unable to transfer it out of the platform. Imagine the disappointment of a newbie grabbing ETH in order to invest in NFTs and other digital assets and realizing they just spent a few hundred dollars that can only be bought and sold within the Robinhood platform. 

There are other reasons too for why some users have soured on Robinhood. Just in the past year, Robinhood has had several app crashes when there was a huge market swing in cryptos like dogecoin. And who can forget when they strong-armed users into selling their GameStop stock? You can find a bemusing Reddit video assembled by the community r/WallStreetBets that visually explains the drama of what happened here.

How did they strong-arm their users and why? Earlier this year GameStop‘s stock price exploded past 500%. During the excitement, Robinhood refused to let consumers buy any GameStop stock while still letting institutional inventors like hedge funds like Citadel. 

Closing access to retail investors didn’t just lead to upset users, it led to a full-blown SEC investigation. At one point the CEO had to apologize for their handling of the affair.

All in all, this is an exciting development for users of Robinhood. But as the past year has shown it isn’t perfect. It’s important to check out different exchanges to find the one that works best for you. And if you want to store your crypto and NFTs safely in your own hands be sure to check out our hardware wallet article.

Categories
Culture Movies/TV

‘The Many Saints of Newark’ Is a Welcome Addition to ‘The Sopranos’ Legacy

Those looking for a Tony Soprano origin story might be a tad bit disappointed in The Many Saints of Newark, a prequel film to the legendary HBO series The Sopranos. However, what they get in return is something more; whether that’s a good or a bad thing is up to the viewer.

Set many years before Tony Soprano takes his first on-screen bite of gabagool, The Many Saints of Newark provides a glimpse, albeit tiny, into the legendary and monstrous mob boss’s early days.

Per Warner Brothers:

“Young Anthony Soprano is growing up in one of the most tumultuous eras in Newark‘s history, becoming a man just as rival gangsters begin to rise up and challenge the all-powerful DiMeo crime family’s hold over the increasingly race-torn city. Caught up in the changing times is the uncle he idolizes, Dickie Moltisanti, who struggles to manage both his professional and personal responsibilities—and whose influence over his nephew will help make the impressionable teenager into the all-powerful mob boss we’ll later come to know: Tony Soprano.”

The Many Saints of Newark is a welcome return to familiar territory for fans of the show. Besides Tony Soprano—played by the late James Gandolfini’s son Michael—plenty of characters from The Sopranos reappear here, including Tony’s mother Livia (Vera Farmiga), his uncle Junior (Corey Stolz), as well as his loyal fellow mobsters, Silvio Dante (John Magaro), and Paulie Walnuts (Billy Magnussen).

It introduces characters such as Dickie Moltisanti (Alessandro Nivola) and Tony’s father, Johnny Boy (Jon Bernthal), who are only mentioned on the show as they are long since deceased by the time The Sopranos takes place.

While Tony and the other characters from the show are present, they appear merely in a supporting role, with Nivola’s Dickie taking center stage as the protagonist of this story.

It is a smart move by series creator David Chase, as the focus is on expanding this universe and not keeping it constrained to what has already happened.

By helping clear up the mystery that surrounds Dickie Moltisanti, it also contributes to the growth and character development of his son Christopher, a supporting character of The Sopranos. Christopher is burdened by the legend of Dickie, and it is here that we get to see it explored.

This also helps the movie strengthen the foundations and themes of The Sopranos, which is considered one of, if not the greatest TV show of all time.

Warner Brothers/HBO

Many of the themes of The Sopranos are present throughout the film as well.

What does it mean to live up to the idea of one’s father? Do we carry the same sins as them? Or are we free to live as who we choose to be?

Given that Tony’s father was in prison for much of his formative years, Dickie takes the mantle of Tony’s mentor instead and, given that Dickie knows no other life, does not do much to steer Tony away from this “thing of ours.” Tony wants to go to college, play football (although I never thought he had the makings of a varsity athlete), and try to avoid the criminal lifestyle.

And although we know where things lead for him, it’s obvious that, at least at first, he does not want to follow in Dickie and his father’s footsteps.

This idea of legacy feeds into one of the other core tenets of the show and fuels the central conflict: Pride, and more specifically, how that sin contributes to one’s downfall.

Many characters on the show and in the film are embodiments of pride and toxic masculinity, most notably Uncle Junior, who, without spoiling anything, bears a growing resentment towards Dickie for a perceived and trivial slight. No man in this world of mobsters can be seen as weak, and if they make that mistake, it can ruin them.

Warner Brothers/HBO

The Many Saints of Newark uses a city in turmoil as the landscape for the story it tells. It begins in 1966, right as Newark is embroiled in one of the worst race riots in the country’s history, caused by the unjust arrest and beating of John William Smith, a black cab driver, by the Newark police department.

Harold McBrayer (Leslie Odom Jr.) begins the film as Dickie’s runner and employee of sorts but gradually grows to become his enemy as Harold yearns to start a criminal empire of his own. As a black man, Harold’s partnership with Dickie does not sit well with the mafia, who still harbor racist attitudes towards Newark’s black population. 

It is here where the film falls short, though. Harold longs to become the king of the Newark criminal underworld as the mob is pushed out, but it’s never explored more than that. His character serves as little more than a foil for Dickie and his personal life, and by the time the movie ends, you find yourself wondering why this plotline exists in the first place.

The film’s runtime clocks in at around two hours, but it is in this case where it could have used an extra 20 or so minutes to dive a little further into the motivations of Harold and his crew.

Warner Brothers/HBO

It is the performances of The Many Saints of Newark that carry the film. Vera Farmiga, Alessandro Nivola, Leslie Odom Jr., and Michael Gandolfini are all fantastic in their roles, with Farmiga perhaps being the best of all of them.

From her voice to her mannerisms and attitude and almost hatred for her children, she nails everything about who Livia Soprano was.

Gandolfini had the most challenging task, who, much like his on-screen character, had to live up to the legacy his father left behind. He is more than up to it, though. Tony is angry; he is rebellious but intelligent and a leader, something that Michael can embody just like his father did.

He won’t be visiting Dr. Melfi for many years, so Tony is forced to struggle with his issues and deal with a world that tells him that his mental health is not a priority.

Warner Brothers/HBO

Fans of The Sopranos, myself among them, will certainly enjoy The Many Saints of Newark. There are easter eggs throughout including, of course, a backroom meeting at Satriale’s but they don’t weigh down the story with simple fan service. They are simply the cherry on top of a story that exists all on its own.

By the time the show’s theme song hits (which gave me goosebumps), you might think “does this movie need to exist?” Maybe not, but you definitely won’t be mad that it does.

Categories
Entrepreneurs Grind

A Look At Tom Brady’s TB12 Brand With Co-Founder Alex Guerrero

The key to longevity as an athlete is health and consistency. At 44-years-old, Tom Brady has been able to have one of the longest and most successful careers in the history of professional sports, and as Brady begins this NFL season with yet another Super Bowl win under his belt, people are once again asking how he does it. If you want the answers on how he does it, look no further than TB12, the health and wellness brand he co-founded with longtime body coach Alex Guerrero in 2013. With the season back in full swing, we spoke with Guerrero about TB12, the importance of athletes caring for and maintaining their bodies, and how you can live a pain-free life. 

TB12

ONE37pm: You and Tom Brady launched TB12 in 2013. What was that process like then, and how has the company evolved since?

Guerrero: When I first started working with Tom, he couldn’t toss a ball without feeling pain. I worked with him using what would later be coined as muscle pliability, and he noticed a difference within two days of receiving his treatment. From there, our friendship and partnership began. I remember one day in 2012, we were sitting in Tom’s living room during a break in their offseason training and we reflected on the impact our work together had made on his ability to improve his performance.

I asked myself: If what we’re doing works for you, why wouldn’t it work for everyone? And so, the TB12 brand was born. TB12 is really a holistic approach to optimize pain management, performance, and recovery, with a focus on nutrition, hydration, and movement – and it can be applied to anyone. We are hoping to change the game for health and wellness globally and help people live their lives to the fullest and do what they love for as long as possible.

TB12 has a large and growing web presence, including virtual workout sessions.

The eCommerce store sells everything from pliability and performance equipment to the highest-quality nutritional supplements on the market.

ONE37pm:  These last few years one of the biggest questions in regards to Brady is how he has been able to achieve this type of longevity and stay in such great shape. Can you give us more insight into his overall process?

Guerrero: To perform your best is to perform pain-free. Tom and I work on several things to prevent overload to elbows and shoulders and maintaining mobility and strength through his hips and spine.  But the constant through it all was the hard work and determination that propelled Tom personally.  There are many ways to stay healthy, but one key part of longevity is muscle pliability.  For applying some of the practices of pliability that Tom works on,  you can roll out your muscles pre-and post-workout.

TB12

One of the best ways to experience deep-tissue manipulation is with a TB12 Body Coach whose process is modeled after my work with Tom. If you don’t have access to a Body Coach, you can perform pliability work at home using devices like the TB12 Vibrating Pliability Roller, our Vibrating Pliability Sphere, or our Vibrating Mini Sphere. The second way to get pliable is to pursue a lifestyle that minimizes inflammation, which comes from a balanced approach to nutrition and an emphasis on proper hydration. A lifestyle that supports your pliability also has to include a good amount of sleep, which helps your brain to recover and develop. The result of pliability is that you recover faster, play better, and spend less time on the sidelines.

ONE37pm: Some of the core elements of TB12 are pliability, hydration, and living a pain-free life. A lot of our readers are young athletes that want to have long careers and just be healthy in general. Can you expand upon those concepts?

Guerrero: TB12 is centered around a holistic methodology for your overall health and athletic performance with personalized services from Body Coaches mirroring my approach to training Tom. TB12 integrates revolutionary concepts in deep-force muscle pliability work, hydration, nutrition, movement, and mental fitness. With a focus on performance and recovery, we help people do what they love better and for longer. Through this work, it is our mission to empower people to live pain-free and perform their best. 

Some of the key differentiators of the TB12 Method are the emphasis on pliability and recovery as a whole:  

At TB12, we believe everything begins with pliability, which is the daily lengthening and softening of muscles to promote recovery and help protect from injury. 

Core pillars of the TB12 Method include pliability, hydration, mental fitness, movement, and nutrition. We also believe that the recovery process is multi-faceted – it includes rest, hydration, diet, and pre and post-workout pliability. 

Overall, the body and brain need re-centering, rest, and recovery in order to perform their best 

ONE37pm: Last but not least, is there anything else that TB12 has in store for the rest of 2021. Obviously, the season is back in action which is exciting.

Guerrero: In addition to our Tampa, Boston, and Foxborough locations, TB12 has major growth plans that include expansion into markets such as NY, LA, and Florida. Our vision is to become the world’s most trusted authority on health and wellness.

You can continue to keep up with TB12 on both Instagram and Twitter.